Thursday, October 12, 2017

Book Review: Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation by Michael L. Brown

Do we like the America we live in today? While most will agree that even as a deeply divided nation, the US is still preferable to many other countries, many also do not condone how the US currently presents itself to others and to its citizens. Even though Dr. Brown is a conservative and leaves no doubt about the fact he preferred a GOP win over a win by Mrs. Clinton, he is also open about the fact that he does not condone everything that is currently happening in the US. While posts critical of Twitter as a political platform may be well known, Dr. Brown uses this book to explain America must find back its roots, if it wants to be the leading pillar of democracy and good in this world.

The last election may have been a protest vote in more than one way, a vote against the establishment in DC, a vote against politicians, but was it also a vote against the America as we know it? Possibly! Talk about radical changes or even revolution as something that must happen sooner rather than later are worrisome. And Dr. Brown acknowledges this dangerous time we are in as a nation and proposes that in order to find back to our roots, Christian religion should guide us. His revolution is a revolution back to the roots of this country. While this change will also be significant, it forces the church to acknowledge that it too has made mistakes by changing and adapting to a society that is not guided by religion and religious principles anymore. The church must find its way back to its core message and principles; the word of Christ as written in the Bible.

Some may find this book to be overly religious and not applicable to people outside of the church. While I agree that this book is a message to Christians to take back the US and return its to Christian principles. What many of these critiques forget is that the US was founded on Christian principles, people from many Christian religions banded together and created this country. I would further argue that this movement is not a fight against people from other religion since Christianity does teach tolerance towards people of other believes. What I feel Dr. Brown is arguing for is a culture in which families stay together, kids can be kids and not mini-adults before they graduate high-school and effort and work ethic are expected in school.

 This is certainly a thought-provoking book that Christians should read to determine whether there are changes that they can make in their lives and their families to bring back some of the values that Dr. Brown argues we have lost as a society.

available on

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Crowdtap sampling - Unilever Round 3 - loved everything from Degree and Suave

Through Crowdtap, I have recently the luck of being involved in several Unilever product test. I would get a sample box with about 5 full-size samples, usually some haircare, deodorant and maybe a body lotion etc. All great products so far and I have been happy every time we received such a box. Thanks Crowdtap!

I got another Unilever sample box this week and love the shampoo and conditioner that is included. But who does not need deodorant and was happy they included a spray deodorant this time. I have not used spray deodorants since leaving Germany many years ago and was happy to see that the quality of spray deodorants has improved significantly since I first used them many years ago. were full-size samples. Again, all samples were full-size, which gives you plenty of opportunity to try out the products and also share them with family members and have them try out products. This time, I decided to use them all for me because I do color my hair from time to time and the shampoo and conditioner are specific for color-treated hair.

I got the following products
  • Degree Women Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant - Stress Control
  • Degree Women MotionSense Dry Spray Antiperspirant - Stress Control
  • Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Color Care Conditioner
  • Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Color Care Shampoo
  • Degree Women Dry Protection Antiperspirant Deodorant - Fresh
copyright Durhamonthecheap - Love my new Unilever product samples. So happy with the Suave shampoo!
The Suave Professionals Moroccan Infusion Color Care line of products is specifically formulated for color-treated hair and infused with Moroccan argan oil/ Used together as shampoo and conditioner, regular washing of hair ensures that the color stays vibrant and  the hair looks shiny and healthy.I can attest to that, my hair feels smooth and healthy with Suave and the I absolutely love the mild scent of the products.
Unilever and Crowdtap again Thanks for the samples!

Disclaimer: I received free products in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Book Review: Before You Hit Send: Preventing Headache and Heartache by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

How often in this quick-paced world of email and online collaboration have you hit send and regretted it about 2 minutes later? In my case, I still blush thinking about a couple of times that this happened and wish I could take that send command back. While computers have their advantages and online collaboration has made working with groups in other countries and other regions of the USA so much easier, we are IT-workers and IT-dependent works still need some adjusting to this interconnectivity. Looking at our current president, probably a good example that tweets, even with misspellings, have a tendency to somehow survive, even if only as a screenshot.

If we make a mistake within our family, we may be forgiven, but as professionals, forgiveness is reserved to a few lucky few and embarassment is not something anyone of us wants to suffer as a result of an email error. Due diligence with email, computers, social networks, some things are hard to learn and that is one thing for sure.

Early on in law school I was introduced to the concept of netiquette and this book can be added to the ever growing body of documentation on how to adjust to the online world of communication. Email is just words, not emotions and no facial expressions. A joke may not be clear to someone reading the email and voila another notch on the embarrassment scale and lessons learned for the future.

This book is intended to help people navigate the world of email, social networking and avoiding the pitfalls of sending something that is ambiguous or wrong too early.The author is touching on four basic points that are part of every communication:
  • Is it true?
  • Is it kind?
  • Is it necessary?
  • Is it clear?

I would argue that the last point, is it clear, is really critical. Email and online communication is all about speed, but we still need to be clear in the absence of facial expressions or gestures. So choosing out words wisely and being clear about what we want to express and how we want to express it are critical.

This book is a must read for everyone that needs to navigate this online world as part of work and feels that some guidance is needed on how to navigate the use of email safely. 

available on

Disclaimer: I received a free product in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Book Review: Truth Doesn't Have a Side: My Alarming Discovery about the Danger of Contact Sports by Bennet Omalu

 Many football fans have hard of CTE and the still ongoing controversy about the lasting impacts of contact sports, such as football, on the brain and the general health of the players. While some dispute the connections between contact sports, concussions and brain disease, especially if cited in the context of violent acts, others believe that this connection exists and point to CTE and its prevalence among football players as strong evidence for such a connection.
Bennet Omalu is at the center of this controversy. Not known to many fans, Dr. Bennet Omalu is the neurologist who first detected and wrote the paper for the foundation of CTE as a syndrome associated with contact sports.
 CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is associated with horrific consequences including suicide and violent behavior. But outside of the attention-grabbing headlines, CTE also stands for the daily struggle a lot of NFL retirees experience that involves deterioration in attention, memory loss, and depression.

available on

Dr. Bennet Omalu journey started in Nigeria and ended in 2002 with the dead body of former Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Webster on the autopsy table and Dr. Bennet Omalu's discovery of CTE. This book is Dr. Bennet Omalu's attempt to point out that he did not set out to create controversy or start a crusade against the NFL or contact sport in general, it was just him trying to find an answer why Mike Webster's body looked the way it did and how to explain the changes he found in the brain of the NFL player. He used scientific methods, careful observation and conclusions to come to define CTE and link this syndrome to contact sports and the effect such sports can have on a body.
if you are concerned about the potential effect of football on your children and want to learn more about the current CTE controversy, I highly recommend reading this book.

Disclaimer: I received a free book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Crowdtap Sampling: SPLENDA® Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend

Through Crowdtap I was able to sample a great new sweetener blend that contains sugar, but has less calories than regular sugar, while tasting like real sugar.  Splenda Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend is a mix of Sugar and Stevia and while it can be used just like sugar and taste just like sugar, due to Stevia mixed in, it has about 1/2 the calories of sugar. Also a little goes a long way, you use only half the amount of sugar to get the same sweetness. I could not wait to try out Splenda Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend in my favorite dessert - homemade Tapioca custard. Easy to make with just a handful of ingredients, the custard is a favorite in my house. I used as instructed, half the amount I normally use for sugar of the Splenda Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend and then prepped the Tapioca as always. It tasted just like regular Tapioca, but had half the calories and my family could not taste the difference. 

So if you are looking for a product that can help you cut back on calories without losing flavor or adding in a chemical aftertaste - give Splenda Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend a try. We love it.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - Tapioca with Splenda Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend is yummy! 

copyright Durhamonthecheap - Tapioca with Splenda Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend + raspberry syrup = heaven

copyright Durhamonthecheap - Tapioca with Splenda Naturals Sugar & Stevia Blend so easy to make

Disclaimer: I received free products in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Crowdtap sampling - Unilever Round 2 - loved everything from Ponds, Degree and TRESemmé!

Through Crowdtap, I recently received another box full of samples from Unilever and they were full-size samples. Loved it! First of all, thanks Crowdtap for selecting me again for the Unilever sampling. I could really get used to this. Second, I absolutely love the fact that I am getting full size samples really to try out. Love that they includes makeup remove towelettes and some more hair care products. I can never have enough shampoo and conditioner in my house, even though I just chopped off about 5 inches - see new haircut below. 
Again, as with the first time, I was lucky enough to get samples that my family can easily use. my mom has not sampled the products yet, but I am sure she will try to steal some of the products from me, so I have been hiding them for now and will enjoy them a little bit first before I share.
I got the following products:
  • Pond's Evening Soothe MoistureClean Towelettes
  • Degree Women UltraClear Antiperspirant Deodorant - Pure Clean
  • Degree Women Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant - Sheer Powder
  • TRESemm√© Botanique Curl Hydration Shampoo

  • TRESemm√© Botanique Curl Hydration Conditioner

While all products worked great, I definitely had a couple of favorites- especially the Pond's Evening Soothe MoistureClean Towelettes were great. With the cold cream they contain, removing make up is not difficult and certainly not irritating anymore. One towelette removes makeup in an easy and comfortable way. Another favorite of mine was the Degree Women Clinical Antiperspirant Deodorant - Sheer Powder, love the scent and it does keep me dry all day with the scent lasting a long time too. 
Nothing really has been disappointing in this box and I am loving that I get to use these products as full size products for the next few weeks!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - love my Unilever samples, in particular the Ponds Makeup Remover Towelettes!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - love my Pond's Evening Soothe MoistureClean Towelettes

Disclaimer: I received free products in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Review: Coloring Christmas Devotions by Lizzie Preston, Claire McElfatrick , and Suzanne Khushi

My mother has been totally hit by the coloring craze and she loves to collect also books with proverbs, quotes and sayings that she can use to add to cards and personalize them. So when I came across this book, I figured this would be perfect for her. I was right, she absolutely loves it and her goal is to finish it before Christmas.
I should caution people that have visual issues and need magnifying glasses or use books with large print that some images in this book contain very detailed images that require decent eyesight. The images used as a nice mix of abstract art, stylistic representations of flowers and simple shapes. But there are also very nice nature scenes with animals and the three wise men. This book is perfect for all ages, although little kids will have problems staying in the lines. I would say that 12 years is probably a good starting age for this book to both read and color. That being said, the stories included a good to read to younger kids and fully colored, the book is a nice book to go through with younger kids and discuss the holiday and the meaning of it for Christians.
I should also point out that the book is a perfect size to carry in a purse. it is not too big and can be easily carried in a satchel, no huge tote required.
So if you are looking for a book that the whole family can use and multiple generations can enjoy, this book may be it for the Christmas season. We plan to have my mother color it and then during the holiday read it and enjoy it as a family.

available at

A sample image that can be used to color; the book is a nice mix of abstract art and nature scenes

Disclaimer: I received free products in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.