Saturday, August 5, 2017

Book Review: Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life by Jen Hatmaker

I fell in love with this book on the first few pages because it speaks to all women who are independent, do not question why life is some times no fair and persevere. Jen makes it finally okay to have doubts, but then to wake up another day and figure this day is another chance at making things right. Forget about what happened yesterday and what may not have worked out perfectly (or possibly turned into a seemingly total disaster). Another day and another go at making life fun and proving your worth as a person. Because while the book is directed at women, Jen underscores that women are no different than man in making mistakes and succeeding and trying again and being themselves. What makes women often different is the belief that we have to be perfect and if make a mistake or something does not work out - women tend to have more doubts and fear more the trying again. Jen shows in this book that women are sometimes their own worst enemy. The fear of failure and mistakes is holding us more back than society or our own abilities.

available at
Early on, my parents used to tell me after a bad grade that in the future, 5 years down the road, no one will remember this one grade. To me the grade was horrible and a total embarrassment and I focused so much on the grade that I forgot to live for a few days and simply focused on studying; in order to avoid such an embarrassment in the future. Looking back at these times, my parents were right. Everyone has a bad day and one bad grade overall did not matter and I really moved on to other things. It really was not worth it to worry about the one grade. Life is an opportunity and an opportunity to do things better next time. Forget not to live your life and enjoy it and realize that failure is part of life and overcoming failure is the reason we should look forward to each new day.
In this book, Jen provides examples to women about how to enjoy life, how to succeed and how to understand that worrying is often more about us feeling insecure than about an actual problem for the rest of society. If I get one lesson from this book, it is that life should be lived with all its ups and downs. And women have the right, if not the duty, to be themselves because we are all unique characters that deserve a space on this earth. In her usual way, Jen teaches these profound lessons through laughter, tears and thoughts that speak to her reader on a variety of levels. This is one book that I had a hard time putting down and stopping to read. I keep it in my office because sometimes the stories by Jen are the perfect pick me up during work or a nice break when I need to gather my thoughts before a meeting.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced 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.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Kroger Bargain today only: General Mills Cereal, or Nature Valley or Fiber One Bars, just 99¢

Download your coupon July 19-22 for this hot price on General Mills Cereal, or Nature Valley or Fiber One Bars, just 99¢ each with Card! 


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Kroger Friday Freebie: Gatorade Fuel Bars on 7-28-17

Sign up for an online account with and get free stuff every Friday. Coming up next:
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Redeem by Sunday, August 13. Available in most stores.
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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Book Review: The Break Down by B. A. Paris

This is tough thriller to read. Not because the action is not believable or the writing is bad; but the book is tough to read because you want to help out Cass, the protagonist of this nail biter. 
One evening, Cass is driving home and passes a car with a woman inside. She does not stop and finds out the next day that the woman in the car has been murdered. Not only is Cass plagued by feelings of gilt for not stopping and possibly helping the woman, but the woman was also someone she knew, making the murder hitting so much closer to home.

This book definitely has some elements of Gaslight in it, the wonderful thriller from the black and white era with Ingrid Bergman and without giving too much away, the reader will likely feel sorry for Cass, who thinks she may be losing her mind. The book does an excellent job of describing the journey that Cass takes from the initial guilt over not stopping and helping the woman to thinking she may be going insane and not remembering basic things about her daily routine. Along the way, the reader is left wondering whether these events are part of Cass's imagination or whether someone is deliberately acting the background to possibly remove the only witness to the murder. This would also explain the strange calls Cass has been receiving lately.  

#ad #TheBreakdown - copyright Durhamonthecheap

This book is not for the faint of heart. Even though will probably make the reader to want to protect her against what is causing this journey into madness; Cass certainly has her flaws to and her inability to trust people around her brings her more and more into isolation and this leaves her ore vulnerable. This is definitely ranking as nail biter type of book that will leave the reader wanting to finish it in one sitting. I suggest though to take your time and read every sentence because the writing is well done and enjoyable. The author has managed to come up with interesting characters and even though Cass is not without her fault, the way her life throughout this book is described still elicits compassion among the readers. I frequently just wanted Cass to move and get away from it all, so she could be safe and enjoy her life. There are plenty of plot twists and the end left me gasping because it was so unexpected. Even though thinking through the storyline, the author prepped you for such an end and it still hit you out of nowhere. This is a book I would read again just to be able to focus on the hints that may be given away. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good thriller and see darkness in everyday life of seemingly normal people. 

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Crowdtap sampling: Curad first aid supplies, now with Arm & Hammer Baking soda

Thanks to Crowdtap I got a wonderful kit with a bunch of new products to speed up healing. Curad has a tradition of producing products for first aid and the bandages, gauze and tape that I received in my kit underscore that Curead is the name to trust. I love the fact that Curad now incorporates Arm and Hammer Baking Soda in their wound pads because baking soda helps with the bacterial odors that can be noticeable if a wound is oozing. They also made wound pads in different size and offer gauze that can be used in places where pads do not work well, especially knees and elbows. Too much movement can make it difficult to cover a wound, so the gauze is perfect in combination with the tape.
I badly scraped my knee last year and even though I did not need stitches, my knee still shows scarring and it took almost a month for the wound to heal. I remember all too well the bacterial odor as well as the pronounced oozing that I experienced for several weeks. Curad would not only helped with the odor, but also better handled the oozing because there are only natural ingredients in their pads that support a better healing and letting the wound breathe.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - again Target does not disappoint, Curad available here!
Having baking soda and minimizing the odor is also a big plus because even though I may have been more self-conscious that necessary, I felt that the odor was noticeable for the first couple of weeks when I was visiting clients to do some work. Overall, look in your neighborhood pharmacy or Target for Curad products. Especially minor scrapes that do not need stitching, but are deep and will take some time to heal are ideal to show off the advantages of Curad compared to other brands of first aid bandages and gauze. I am convinced and will now rely solely on Curad!
copyright Durhamonthecheap - great selection of products I received through Crowdtap

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.

copyright Durhamonthecheap -

Crowdtap sampling: RXBAR for kids

Through Crowdtap I was introduced to a new kind of protein bar. RXBAR are made in formulations specific for kids and adults. We received three samples for kids, which the adults in our family, not so surprisingly, had to test first to make sure they were good enough for the kids. So after splitting the bars between adults and kids, we are the newest fans of RXBAR. We absolutely love the fruit-flavored kinds, especially the berry flavor for kids and the blueberry flavor for adults. They are very high in protein and relatively low in sugar and they are so filling. I some times add them to the lunch box as a dessert and afternoon snack all in one and for me, the adult bars serve well to tie me over if work is hectic and there is no time for a sit down lunch. Grab a protein rich RXBAR and you can continue to work and have lunch later in the afternoon. The price is acceptable for a good protein bar and we love that in addition to the endless stream of chocolate and peanut butter flavors, we now have the option of fruit-flavored bars that my family prefers.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - great selection of RXBAR products at my Target
They are available at Target and a box runs around $6. They are well worth the price and in addition to the taste, the ingredients are minimal (egg whites, fruit, nuts, dates) and in a world where the ingredient list is too often a page out of an analytical chemistry book, I love the fact that RXBAR is sticking to healthy, minimally processed ingredients and keeps the flavor as close to nature as possible.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - picked up two fruit-flavored bars, love them both!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - mom looking forward to getting some bluebrry RXBAR, her favorite flavor.

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.

Book Review: Collateral Damage by Dr. J. T. Chiban

Every person that starts thinking about marriage, family and kids always has the hope that every thing will turn out for the best. No one starts thinking about divorce at the beginning of this journey. Even signing a prenup is more done with the hope to never have to use it. Yet despite best intentions, a large number of marriages end in divorce. Such a large number that often couples do not even marry, yet still start a family and eventually also drift apart. What often is overlooked, despite the best intentions by the parents, are the children and how to get them through the breakup of the family.
Dr. Chiban has come up with a well structured, clearly written book that summarizes extensive research on the effect of divorce on children. The structure of the book hits on the main points of his guidance:

  • Before You Begin: Your Child and Your Divorce
  • Part 1: Guiding and Protecting Your Children
  • Chapter 1: Attune to Your Child
  • Chapter 2: Manage Emotions and Stormy Situations
  • Chapter 3: Sustain Your Parental Role
  • Chapter 4: Provide Stability Through Nurturance
  • Part 2: Navigating Divorce for Parents
  • Chapter 5: Regain Control—Reclaim Yourself
  • Chapter 6: Realign Your Relationships
  • Chapter 7: Redefine Parenting
  • Chapter 8: Retain Your Parenthood in a Blended Family
  • Chapter 9: Preserve Loving Relationships
  • A Final Word: Redirecting Your Divorce Through Spiritual Life
     In the end, simply because a marriage fails, does not mean that the family fails. We talk to a lot of people in amicable ways and before and after a marriage spent time with friends. Most of us spent a lot of time at work with colleagues. All of these show healthy relationships that many times exist over years without a bond such as marriage. While ideally a divorce never happens, what Dr. Chiban shows is that keeping a relationship with your child is something both parents need to do because of the consequences if they don't. Often children going through a divorce bear deep emotional scars and have a tendency to seek solace in alcohol, criminal acts and show mental instability in later life. Managing the divorce in a way that minimizes the impact on a child is important and maintaining a healthy relationship despite a divorce is important and Dr Chiban's book is an excellent guideline for any parent who faces a divorce, but wants to minimize its impact on their child. 
    available at
    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.