Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories by Celeste Fletcher McHale

This is a great romantic love story, in the tradition of the love stories that our parents and grandparents read. So it may be old fashioned, but it also makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.
The story begins during a flood that is threatening the lives of Jacey and Colin. The are stuck together on a roof for several days until they finally are rescued.
Each goes their own life afterwards and Jacey does not really think she will ever meet Colin again. To her surprise, a year later she recognizes Colin as the priest that is officiating the wedding, for which she serves as a member of the wedding party Her feelings for him come back, but nothing good in life ever comes easy. And so the path for both Jacey and Colin is difficulty and takes his number of twists and turns. Memories of her time with Colin on the roof, during which she fell in love with him, are also mixed emotions of joy and sadness.
The author, as I indicated earlier, wrote what I would describe as a good old-fashioned love story. But it is a sweet one and it is an entertaining read. Some aspects seems far fetched at times, but this book is one of these feel good stories that we all need from time to time to block out the difficulties we face in our real lives. Like the fairly tales as children made us believe that everything will turn out well in the end, this book makes its adult audience believe that wonderful things can happen, even if the way to them is dark and filled with stones.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - available at
Disclaimer: The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Stand up for accurate labeling - this is important!

Most women and their daughters know that talking about periods can be squeamish for some, but there is helpful info to be shared.

I just found out that there is no federal law which requires disclosure of ingredients in tampons and pads. This means women are left in the dark about what ingredients they are putting on some of the most sensitive and absorptive tissue on their body. To make a change in this important area of health for all women, Women's Voices for the Earth and Seventh Generation want to let you know that Representative Grace Meng is planning to re-introduce a bill to require disclosure of the ingredients used in feminine products. In support of this bill on May 23, women from all over the USA will gather on Capitol Hill to tell Congress: It’s time to care about feminine care. Period.

We know that vaginal tissue is very sensitive and we should be extra careful about what’s coming into contact with it. In fact, there is considerable interest in vaginal drug delivery systems because the vagina is such an effective site to transfer drugs directly into the blood without being metabolized first. One study found that a vaginally applied dose of estradiol (an estrogen proxy) resulted in systemic estradiol levels in the body 10 to 80 times greater compared to the same dose given orally. So, you should really know what the heck is in the products you use around the vagina.

That is why it is so important to know that companies will only tell you a little bit about what’s in their products, in particular those that manufacture tampon and pads. Many do include some basic information on their packages about the ingredients — unless they use fragrance. A ‘fragrance’ can be made up of 50-200 different ingredients, many of which have not been adequately tested for safety; this means that women may expose their body to dangerous substances.

A few, forward-thinking companies are already doing the right thing by voluntarily disclosing the ingredients used in their products. Seventh Generation as a leader is taking the extra step to advocate for transparency industry-wide by co-sponsoring a rally in May.

So let's hope that on May 23, news organizations will cover the effort by women concerned about their health to tell Congress that we have the right to know what’s in the products we use so intimately. Congress can do their part by enacting a very simple, common-sense law.

Disclaimer: The opinion expressed in this blog is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Product Review: New NESTEA Iced Tea - Peach flavor

 Through MyMagazine Sharing Network I received two coupons for free bottles of Nestea Iced Tea and the first bottle had to be peach tea. The tea comes in three types, peach, lemon and slightly sweet black tea. I will probably sample the sweet black tea next because living in the South you need to have a taste of Nestea's version of Sweet Tea. But what I have tasted so far in the peach variety is very promising. The peach flavor is a nice balance between the sweet peach flavor and the slightly bitter/tart black tea flavor. The peach tea is refreshing, but also a treat because it tastes sooooo good.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - love peach for a refreshing break in the North Carolina heat
 It is available locally at Kroger. So if you are in the mood for a refreshing bottle of iced tea and even want to treat yourself to some fruit flavor - go for the #New NESTEA flavors in peach or lemon. I can certainly highly recommend the iced tea by Nestea!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - three great flavors to choose from, peach is my favorite!

Disclaimer: I received something for free. The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Book review: The Seven Money Types: Discover How God Wired You To Handle Money by Tommy Brown

When we say that some people just can't handle money no matter how many courses about financial management they take we may be closer to the truth than we know. This books looks not as providing guidance for handling money and securing your retirement, but rather at how different people have differing relationships to money and how they handle money as consequence of their innate money personality.
Understanding why you handle money a certain way compared to others will be the first step to improve your money relationship. Aligning with God and Christian Faith your financial behavior will benefit you in the long run and provide you with a good guide to develop a healthy relationship with your finances. At the same time, this book will also help you understand how other people handle money and struggle with finances. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking to improve their finances and especially those that have taken financial management courses in the past. This book will reshape your attitude towards money from the ground up and create a long-lasting change in how you handle money. The author does not instruct as much as patiently guide you through the book. He shows compassion for financial troubles and the people that struggle with money. Reading this book will help you, but without admonishing or making you feel bad.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - available now 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.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Book review: An Outlaw and a Lady: A Memoir of Music, Life with Waylon, and the Faith that Brought Me Home by Jessi Colter

 I have to admit, despite growing up outside of the USA, I am big fan of traditional country. None of the crossover stuff for me, give me some Waylon, Willie or Johnny and I am good. So this book hit right home with me, a book written by the wife of Waylon about their lives together. Jessi grew up in a religious household, but I guess she had a wild streak in her somewhere because early on she decided to pursue a career and ended up marrying Duane Eddy. Now I had no idea about this relationship because Duane Eddy's guitar tunes are a favorite of mine and so this insight into his life was an added bonus of this book.

Jessi eventually divorced Duane and ended up marrying Waylon. And if marrying a rock musician such as Duane was not wild enough, life with Waylon certainly was. He was well known for his demons, among them a long standing addiction. While Jessi was mild compared to Waylon, she certainly drifted far away from her religious roots and ended up leading a fairly wild life, but eventually found to her faith again and maintained her faith.

This is one angle of the book and I feel that for some people this will be the focus, but I preferred to focus on the biographical aspects and the knowledge that despite his demons, Waylon was a good person at heart. I also think that the biographical aspects of this book made it really unique, a first-hand look into the lives of rock musicians that were groundbreaking and country musicians that were legendary. That aspect of the book should be the primary focus and religion figures into it and at times, such as when Jessi relies on her faith for strength when times are difficult, can be important. But the book overall should be seen as a biography and a very good one at that! I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves the music history of the US from the 50 through modern times because you get an interesting, unique look at some of your idols. I loved this book and Jessi has a captivating style that brings the people she met to life in her book.

available through
Disclaimer: I received a free book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by any third party.

Looking for the perfect gift for BFFs who love wine or just enjoy having fun - DuVIno Wine Glasses

 I was excited to try out a novelty wine glass by DuVino. The glass is really sturdy, but still looks like an elegant wine glass. With a capacity of 12.75oz and a solid stem and base, the glass is the perfect gift for the BFF that loves to drink a wine after dinner. With witty and funny prints on each glass, I certain laughed out loud when I got my glass with the perfect description of what a mother it.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - the perfect combination, a good wine and a witty glass!

The glass came in a sturdy box, perfect for just wrapping up as a gift and giving to your friend. As a novelty gift, these glasses are a bargain with an ARV of $19.99. They are sure to last because the print is dishwasher safe and made to last. The glasses are designed and made in the USA, so you do not have to worry about really using the glass to drink wine out of.

copyright Durhamonthecheap- any this witty glass is just one of the DuVino glasses available

For your convenience, the glasses are available at or directly through DuVino, which uses an Amazon cart for security. The website is located at and in addition to the mother design, they got some awesome additional designs, all of them funny.  

copyright Durhamonthecheap - what's not to like about this? Order your own version at amazon
Disclaimer: I received a free sample in exchange for my review. The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Crowdtap sampling - International Delight One Touch Latte creamer

I love coffee as does the rest of my family, mom included. So we are always game for trying new items and while sometimes a good cup of just plain black will be perfect, there are times when you want to boost some flavor and create something extra special. International Delight has come up with the perfect and convenient solution for those times  - their One Touch Latte comes in three flavors. You can choose vanilla, caramel, or mocha and within seconds you have perfect latte at home that you can enjoy on the sofa. My mother made the most of our recent sampling through Crowdtap, she volunteered for the caramel - actually she beat me to the first cup - and then used the opportunity to take her morning coffee break with some caramel latte. Even the dog was looking with some jealousy at her cup. but mom remained strong and emptied the cup on her own!
copyright Durhamonthecheap - me time and luxury of a latte at home

copyright Durhamonthecheap - add some cinnamon or cocoa and cookies = perfect latte at home
 I have now sampled some of the homemade latte too and with some ground cinnamon on top and chocolates and cookies to go with, I felt that despite having to wait a little bit longer I ended up with a pretty good bargain too. I have to say the caramel flavor is just right, not too strong or sweet and the latte really foams nicely and provides a latte like coffee in under 10 seconds. Very impressive!
The can retail for around $4 locally, so if you are in the mood for a latte, but scared off by the coffeehouse prices, International Delight One Touch Latte is a perfect reason to treat yourself to a latte at home - convenient and a bargain!

Disclaimer: I received a free sample in exchange for my review. The opinion exprssed in this post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Crowdtap sampling: Dunkin’ Donuts Creamer

For those of you that follow my blog, you will be aware that I love coffee. It is an affordable, but also convenient way to bring a daily treat into my life. Whether I add a specific flavor of coffee, some coffee add-ons, such as syrups or whether I treat myself to my favorite coffeehouse coffee - medium regular cream and sugar from Dunkin Donuts - I love coffee.

copyright Durhamonthrecheap - my very own path to Dunkin Donuts happiness at home!
Now Dunkin Donuts has brought its creamers to the stores and I was happy to be selected for sampling the new Dunkin Donuts creamer for Crowdtap. Not only did I receive a coupon for a free creamer, but I also received a coupon for a free coffee. I selected the extra extra creamer, which means extra sugar and extra creamy  - now I can make my own Dunkin Donuts coffee at home! I love it. Together with ground coffee from Dunkin Donuts, they even sell decaf for my mom, at my neighborhood grocery store, there is nothing standing in the way of enjoying coffee at home that tastes like Dunkin Donuts medium regular cream and sugar.

So if you are like me and love Dunkin Donuts, but never quite managed to recreate that cream and sugar goodness at home, pick up the extra extra creamer at the store next time and try it out. Or you can select one of the other flavors they offer, like caramel, which also sounds good!

Disclaimer: I received a free sample in exchange for my review. The opinion exprssed in this post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.