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

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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.

    Tuesday, July 11, 2017

    Book Review: Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age by Jeff Goins

    This is the second book by Goins that I am reading and I like his approach to life and work in general; this book being no exception. We hear too much about artists not making any money and that being artist somehow excludes actually making a comfortable living. Nothing could be further from the truth. Artists an live in inspiration alone or they can, and that is what Goins suggests, approach making art like you approach a real job. You study, prepare and work hard at it to make it a success and make money in the process. While I am not an artist in real life, my family has had business based on crafts that combine artistry with making money and made a good living that way. That may be the reason why I agree with most of what Goins states in this book. As an artist you need to be good at what you do and form a little, as we call it in German, Ich-AG. A company focused on and run by you. You need to market yourself and your ideas and work.
    I think this book does a good job of convincing anyone who wants to make a living in an artistic field, whether as a painter, author or even a blogger, full-time or part-time that the hours spent on the art do not mean poverty, but can be money makers if done correctly. To me as a part-time blogger they reinforced me in my goal to think of my blog and my part-time social networking activity as a creative outlet that still allows me to make money. This is a reassuring book for anyone that thinks starting a creative career means no money and poverty and instead contains good advice and some tools to get you start on making art a career by approaching it like a business.

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

    Thursday, July 6, 2017

    #RightToKnow: DIsclose full ingredients on product labels of cleaning products

    So far, you are buying cleaning products and you never know what these products actually contain. Right now, no regulation or law requires that ingredients in cleaning products are disclosure, but there is hope. Currently, three different legislative bills have been introduced to force a change to this and of course Seventh Generation has been fighting the good fight for Ingredient Disclosure for quite some time. They are leading the cleaning industry by example and want everyone to #comeclean!

    Below is a summary of a few points that struck me as particularly important when it comes to ingredient disclosure in the cleaning industry:

    Q: Why should consumers care what’s in their cleaning products?

    A: Cleaning product exposure can cause certain health conditions, such as asthma, due to the chemicals contained in cleaning products.

    Q: Who is at most risk from these adverse effects? 
    A: The sad news is that everyone with regular exposure to such products, in particular janitors or maids, are at risk, but also moms, who do the most cleaning for the family. 

    Q: Why put ingredient information on a label? Will consumers really know what to do with it?
    A: How are you supposed to make an informed decision about which product to purchase if you do not know what is contained in the product. Why is one product more expensive than another? It could be due to more risky ingredients, known to pose a health hazard, that the bargain brand is able to be on sale permanently, while a carefully crafted product that stay within safe concentrations is more expensive. But can you really put a price on the health of your family? I do not believe so and have been switching to a lot more natural products, like Seventh Generation, to make the house clean for my family.Consumer already have gotten used to reading labels for calories and food ingredients, why not let the consumers be adult about cleaning products as well ans enable them to read these labels too?

    Disclaimer: I received something for free in exchange for this post, but all opinions expressed in this post are my own and have not been influenced by any third party.

    Saturday, July 1, 2017

    Product Review: Arm & Hammer Baking Soda as a great affordable cleaner in the house

    Through Simple Solutions I received a kit for Arm and Hammer Baking Soda that included a handy sprinkler bottle and a booklet to show some uses for baking soda around the house. I had received a shaker bottle before from Arm and Hammer and so the latest one has been donated to mom, who is now happily shaking baking soda on rugs and upholstery to make her spring cleaning even more productive.
    I have continued to use my baking soda sprinkler around the house, but the booklet gave me some new ideas. Since we are now a one dog household, even though at times it seems like a hoard of wild beasts are making their home in our house, we have plenty of chew toys. After buying a new toy every week initially, we have now settled on a squirrel called Squeeky and a duck called Ducky, both looking rather disheveled and smelling accordingly.
    I do the same with the toys as with rugs, I take my sprinkler bottle, add some baking soda to the fabric and then vacuum the rug or carpet and brush out the toy. My puppy may not really be sure about what happened with the toy, but I can appreciate the fresh smell and the cleaner appearance of the toys and also the rugs.
    I love that baking soda is safe to use around kids and animals and that the price is so affordable. So far, no one has had any reactions to baking soda, the fabrics are not negatively impacted and the smell is just a nice, clean smell that indicates that the house is clean.

    copyright Durhamonthecheap - the nifty shaker bottle to sprinkle baking soda on rugs and toys etc.

    copyright Durhamonthecheap - easy to fill and easy to use + very effective in cleaning and deodorizing
    I showing the bottle in more detail in this video and also a rug that I got cheap secondhand and revived with the use of baking soda. It looks great now and the colors were revived thanks to Arm and Hammer Baking Soda. No more grayish dusty colors and musty smells, now the rug is a nice dark blue and smells just nice and clean.

    Disclaimer: I received something for free in exchange for this post, but all opinions expressed in this post are my own and have not been influenced by any third party.

    Stockpile - a new way to invest in the stock market!

    I received a giftcard to try out a new site to stock trading and general investing in the stockmarket. Stockpile tries to bring investing into stocks to the people and in my opinion they have succeeded. I got with my starter kit not only the giftcard, but a fun, easy to understand booklet that provided guidance to me about the basic principles for investing into stocks and how to buy stocks.
    Now we all know that investing in stocks does not guarantee a return, but it also historically has proven to be the best way to accumulate money.

    I found the page easy to navigate and they even allow you to buy a percentage of stock. So rather than invest several hundred dollars to buy one stock in a company such as Apple, you can use $100 and buy a portion of one stock and still benefit from Apple doing well with their latest gadgets, whether it is Iphone or Ipad. This to me was a serious advantage of using Stockpile. As a mother, money is tight and kids come first. But saving on everyday expenses with coupons, a little money can be saved and I loved how I could use some money to invest in Stockpile.
    So if you want to try out and invest in stocks, go ahead and sign up at Stockpile. Here is a link that you can use for an additional $5 as a gift when you sign up and start trading at Stockpile.

    Available stocks include Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, Ford and a lot of other major companies that trade for well in excess of $100 a share and would be hard to get into with just some saved up coupon money. So for moms and other new investors, Stockpile is a great option to get into the stock market early, learn about how it works and make some money possibly as well. There is nothing standing in the way of you becoming an #Investor and with the ability to buy giftcard, you can #GiveStockpile and #GiveStock to your kids that are now off to college. #HappyInvesting y'all

      Disclaimer : In exchange for my honest and unbiased review, I received a $25 gift card to try out Stockpile. This post contains a referral link. I am not a market professional and not responsible for gains or losses that you may experience. I am not affiliated with or own an investment in any company or brand mentioned, and have no plans to do so. Securities products are not FDIC insured. Not bank guaranteed. May lose value.

      Book review: As Southern As It Gets: 1,071 Reasons to Never Leave the South by H. Jackson Brown

      Having lived in the South for almost half my life and the majority of my time in the USA, this European transplant can certainly appreciate someone listing a few more reasons why I would not consider moving away from the South every again. Having lived in several states outside of the South and having traveled to the majority of the lower 48, there is a certain charm about the South that does not end with good food and the people that prepare it. There is something to be sad about having home-cooked meals at restaurants, listening to music that everyone seems to know and adhering to a lifestyle that takes things just a little bit slower than people in other places.
      H Jackson Brown manages to outdo me in reasons why the South is his favorite place to stay, but many items would make my list as well. Including the multitude of food listings, including pimento. An acquired taste for many outside of the South, good pimento cheese is here cherished at every get-together and, while giblet gravy is not my favorite to make, a good gravy will elevate any cook when served over nice biscuits and with some sweet tea. Add a coonhound at your feet, Patsy Cline on the radio and there is nothing better to life.
      So if you want to learn why Southerners like there lifestyle, this book will give you more than a 1000 reasons and if you happen to live in the South already, especially as a transplant, this book will give you a more things to explore.

      available on
      Disclaimer: I received a free book 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.