Wednesday, February 29, 2012

AWESOME GIVEAWAY! VueZone "Nanny Cam" System - SM2500 Cam and Motion Detector!

Yesterday, I wrote a post talking about this product called VueZone and their webinar that I attended. During the webinar, everyone was entered into the drawing for a VueZone system, and the first two bloggers who posted a blog post about the benefits of this wireless cam system for parents, on their blogs, immediately after the webinar, would receive a VueZone system.

What is VueZone? Think wireless "nanny cam"...but it can do so much more!

After the webinar, they gave away:

·         Two SX2500 VueZone systems (valued at $249.95 each)—one for an attendee and one for giveaway
·         Two SM2200 VueZone systems (valued at $199.95 each)—one for an attendee and one for giveaway
       ·        One SM2200 VueZone system to the first two attendees who post a story about the benefits of VueZone for parents

Guess What! I won! (Keep reading to find out which one!)

I was so totally excited, because I wanted one so bad! Okay, I'll tell you why. I have sneaky children, plain and simple. I'll have 3 full 2 liter bottles of soda in the fridge, and within hours, they can disappear. And the worst part...someone will leave the bottles in the fridge with two or three droplets left in the bottom.

Or, there are times when there is a dispute between two of the children. Wouldn't it be wonderful to let a camera capture these moments so all you have to do is replay the footage to find out the truth?

The system is also perfect for work-at-home moms like me. Set up the cameras in the playroom while you're in your office working and you can be watching your children and making sure that they are playing safely from the other room.

There's a smartphone app that works with the VueZone system so you can watch your kids on your cell phone, too.

I could come up with a ton of reasons that I'm going to love this "nanny cam" system. I can't wait to get it!

In the meantime, I listed the 4 different packages above that were given away after the webinar, and it must have been my lucky day, because I happened to be the person who won the SX2500 system, a $249.95 value, the BEST ONE!



I just love giving!

So, you say you want A Vuezone System too?

I don't blame you!

Here's what you need to do:

1) Leave a comment stating why you want a VueZone system or what you would use it for.

2) Like VueZone on Facebook

3) Follow VueZone on Twitter.

4) Like Mommy Rantings on Facebook.

5) Follow Mommy Rantings on Twitter.

This giveaway will end on March 6th at 12am EST. The winner will be contacted by email, so remember to leave your email address in the comment.

Good luck Good luck Good luck!

Thank you so much, VueZone, for my new "nanny cam" system and giving one away to a Mommy Rantings reader!

Recognizing Depression in Your Teen

Teenagers can be moody, can't they? It seems like a Sylvia Plath/Catcher in the Rye phase is a rite of passage. How do you know when the typical teenage angst is something more? According to researchers at John's Hopkins University, depression affect approximately 5 percent of teenagers, and of those, only about 30 percent receive any treatment. Those same researchers note that suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth ages 15 to 24 in the United States. Learning how to recognize the signs of depression in your teen can help you to provide the right treatment. Here's what you need know about recognizing depression in your teen and how to treat it:

Causes of Depression
There are many reasons why your teen might develop feelings of depression, outside of any problems that your family might be experiencing. They may feel pressure to perform at school, have trouble fitting in with their peers, struggle with their sexual identity, or feel anxiety over their future plans. And all that is in addition to the hormones that are starting to rage through their body. Often, depression can be the result of chemical imbalances in the body or genetic predisposition.
Signs and Symptoms
There are many common signs and symptoms of depression, some of which are general to all groups suffering from depression and some of which are particular to teens. Here are some of the things you might notice:
  • ·         Withdrawal from friends and family 
  •       Difficulty concentrating or making decisions 
  •       Excessive sleeping 
  •       Insomnia 
  •       Changes in appetite 
  •       Forgetfulness 
  •       Reckless or irresponsible behavior 
  •       Use of alcohol or drugs 
  •       Promiscuity 
  •       Poor performance in school 
  •       Preoccupation with death 
  •       Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or excessive guilt 
  •       Suicidal thoughts or behavior 
  •       Restlessness 
  •       Lack of interest in activities
  •       Low self-esteem
  •       Extreme sensitivity to criticism 
  •       Physical ailments such as headaches and stomach pains
Teens can develop some of these symptoms, or many of them. There is no checklist that can tell you if your teen is suffering from depression. However, these are some warning signs that can let you know that there might be a problem and that you need to talk to your teen. The best way to know if there is a problem is to trust your own intuition. No one knows your child better than you do. If something seems different or just "not right," trust that feeling and talk to your teen.


The best way that you can help your teen is to start by talking about the problem. Ask him how he is feeling. Ask her to tell you about her friends or her life at school. Get a real understanding of the pressures that your children face and talk to them about solutions. Offer your advice and encouragement.

Start with encouraging changes at home that may  your teen, such as reaching out to new friends, participating in sports or other team activities, or developing enjoyable hobbies. Often, having a network of support or feeling like part of a group is enough to help.

Next, take your teen to talk with a professional counselor. Teens do not need to be diagnosed as clinically depressed or to have a mental illness to talk with a counselor. Often, talking with a professional can help sort through depressed feelings and to change negative patterns of thinking. If necessary, medications such as anti-depressants can be prescribed to treat the chemical sources of depression. It may also be helpful for parents to talk with a counselor about ways that they are contributing to their teen's depression or, at least, how they can help to assuage it.
Though it may seem that a moody teen is just experiencing a normal, hormonal rite of passage, it may be something more serious, such as depression. Learning to recognize these signs and symptoms in your teen can help you to get the needed help to get him or her back on track, and feeling like a happy and connected teen once again.

Heather Green is a freelance writer for several regional magazines in North Carolina as well as a resident blogger for Her writing experience includes fashion, business, health, agriculture and a wide range of other topics. Heather has just completed research ondifferent types of nurses and clinical nurse specialist degrees.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

VueZone System Winner!

I posted earlier today about a webinar I attended, where I learned about the VueZone Systems and had the opportunity to win a VueZone System with 1 Indoor Camera and 1 Motion Detection Camera - and I won! Not only did I win, but I also have the opportunity to give away a system to a very lucky Mommy Rantings reader!

Stay tuned! Tomorrow, I will be posting the giveaway - YOUR chance to win this awesome cam system so you can keep tabs on your kids!

Thank you, VueZone! Lord knows I need a camera system in this house!

VueZone - Webinar & Review

Do you know where your kids are? Today, I attended a webinar about this super-cool VueZone system:

It's a personal video camera system that can be installed easily to keep an eye on children indoors. The fact that it's wireless makes it perfect! Depending on the system you select, they have indoor cameras and motion detectors. And they are totally portable! So, if you're going to your parent's house with the children, or even a friend's house, you can take it with you!


Set-up, from what the company states, only takes 15 minutes, if that. And, the system can be set up wherever you want inside the house. I could use six or seven of these, set up in the kitchen (to find out who the soda thief is) and in the bathrooms (to make sure kids are brushing their teeth) and in the bedrooms (to make sure they're all in bed on time and not sneaking time on the computers).

The magnetic mounts are peel and stick. Super-easy! The cameras are battery operated, so no wires! You can gain access to your account online.

Smartphone Apps

Monitor your children (live stream!) on your smartphone with a convenient app!


Motion detectors will also capture video and send the footage to your email with a link to access the video.

What Else?

You can watch, record and even share your videos! And, for moms like me who would love to have a camera in each room of the house, you can have up to 15 cameras on a system. There is a free package, a basic package and a premier package (the premier would be more for small businesses or houses like mine!).

What parent couldn't use a system like this? Let's not forget times when your oldest child is babysitting or the babysitter or nanny is at the house. How cool is it that you can watch a live stream on your cell phone while you're away from the house?

· SX2500 VueZone systems (valued at $249.95 each) -
·  SM2200 VueZone systems (valued at $199.95 each) - this is the motion detection system

This post was published for a chance to win an SM2200 VueZone system. With seven children and a home-based business, this would be an awesome way to keep an eye on the chaos while I'm working! 

Special Champorado Recipe For Your Sweet-Toothed Diabetic Child

Do your children incessantly crave sweet foods? You might want to watch what they eat, especially if they have diabetes. It is pretty common for children nowadays to have a hyperactive sweet tooth, what with all the candies, chocolates, and junk foods abundantly available everywhere. But what about break or snack time? Is there any new and diabetic-friendly snack that you can serve them?

Introducing The Healthy And Delicious Champorado

Champorado is one of the native snacks that Filipinos enjoy. The history of champorado stems from the time when Mexicans traded goods and even recipes with Filipinos. Champorado largely resembles porridge but is sweetened and brown in color. Champorado is a healthy snack and way better for children than all those junk foods which they love to nibble on. Here’s the diabetic-friendly version of the original recipe:


1/2 cup (more or less to taste) honey
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup (more or less to taste) unsweetened cocoa or dark chocolate
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup glutinous rice


  1. Cook glutinous rice in a medium-sized saucepan with 2 1/2 cups water. Stir continually until rice is partially cooked.
  2. When rice is almost ready, add cocoa and honey. At this time rice should be slightly transparent.
  3. Stir for about 2 more minutes and then add coconut milk. Continue stirring until coconut milk is evenly distributed. 
  4. Once cooked, serve champorado in bowls or cups topping it off with evaporated or condensed milk.

This version of the traditional champorado, which is inspired by my friend Maileen’s hometown recipe, is diabetic-friendly because it makes use of honey instead of sugar and coconut milk instead of whole milk which are both healthier alternatives. You can choose to decrease the amount of honey and coconut milk as desired. Hopefully, this satisfying and healthy dish will help gratify your kid’s craving for sweets. Who knows? You might just encourage them to eat healthier foods from that moment onward!

NiƱa Angeli Pilapil is a quality promotional items expert and writer who loves reading books and novels. She works for, a promotional products company. Visit her Twitter page at

Monday, February 27, 2012

Children and Food - Tips for Parents

Kids can be notoriously picky eaters.  Sometimes it can feel like you are cooking for a team rather than a few mouths, but besides that, your main concern is that your children are eating healthily. 

1.- Start as you mean to go on.

Children’s food preferences are set from an early age. As you may know already, even toddlers have the start of clearly defined tastes in food. Introduce them to foods that you regularly eat in small portions, so that they can get used to them. Make sure that they are mild in taste. Children’s sensitivity to the flavour of food is quiet strong.

2 - Your are the role model.

Children are the best mimics that one will ever see, they copy those around them. Try to engage in regular meals and snack healthy. If you eat lots of fruit, then your kids will as well. If you drink lots of soft drinks, then the same applies.

3 - Food should not be the only reward.

There is nothing wrong with rewarding children with treats and sweets but it can form a habit in which times of stress in later life are compensated with by over eating. Praise and attention are what children ultimately crave.  The human psyche craves validation, be generous with praise and encouragement.
4 - Eating out.

When eating out, why not discard the kids menu, at the least let them have a look at the older menu. It’ll be interesting to note that Kids can be drawn away from burgers and chips and will experiment with food, when they have the chance.

5 -  Soft drinks.

Soft drinks can be quiet deceptive. While your kids can eat really well, they can consume vast quantities of sugar by consuming soft drinks throughout the day.  Natural juices, milk or water are the best drinks for a child.

I hope that these few tips, which are readily applied to everyday life, will make a difference to the foods that your children eat and enjoy.

Edmund is learning how to manage 3 kids under the age of 5, a small business and 2 pet dogs. Life is busy but always enjoyable. Passionate about food and eating.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Attention Kitchen Gadget Lovers! Recipe Rock Review

Are you tired of getting ingredients all over the cards and papers with your favorite recipes on them? Who woulda thunk it? A "rock" and a magnet = the Recipe Rock by Architec. Well, it's not exactly a rock. Let me show you what I'm talking about:

Now, would you think that this kitchen gadget would actually keep your recipes nice and clean and wrinkle-free? I wouldn't, but the curve in the "rock" and the exact placement of the magnet holds even a full-sized piece of paper that you would print a recipe on from your computer like this:

The Recipe Rock holds upright even flimsy magazine pages with it's special contours.  

And it holds papers and recipe cards up at an angle that is perfect to reference while you're cooking. So, let's put it to the many papers will this little Recipe Rock handle at one time? Let's say you're cooking up a dinner for the entire family for a should be able to stick up to 8 pages between the magnets before the Recipe Rock gives out.

Need to move to another area of the kitchen? Grab the Recipe Rock from the back and it easily becomes portable.

Cooking with the Kids

Yes, cooking with the kids is lots of fun, but they make messes, spill ingredients...and how many times have you had to quickly wipe of your recipes with a paper towel, wishing there was a better way? Enjoy cooking and baking time with the kids without having to worry about that, because the Recipe Rock protects your papers by holding them above the counter.

I think the Recipe Rock is a simple, yet practical an ingenious little must-have for the kitchen!

Unique Gift Idea!

You can also purchase a Recipe Rock for a friend, for any occasion. For those hard-to-buy-for people, this may be the out-of-the-box idea that you've been searching for. While it's great in the kitchen, the Recipe Rock can also be used in the office, holding papers right in plain sight on a desk, on the television, with important notes for the children, or on the mantle, to display a child's award from school. The ideas are endless...

You can find the Recipe Rock on Amazon in light blue or green for $9.99 or gray for $13.99.

I received a Recipe Rock for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was exchanged.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

6 Great Ways to Introduce Your Child to Music

You might have heard by now how music can be very ‘instrumental’ in your child’s development. It has been said that it can help with discipline and structure, as well as academic studies.

Understandably, you might want to introduce your children to music, but not quite sure how to do it. If so, you have come to the right place, because I plan on sharing some great ideas with you. They might even inspire some additional ideas as you read them.

I am doing this, because I love music and how it can benefit each of us throughout our entire lives. It’s not a temporary fad for some of us, as it can create some wonderful moments to treasure. Music is something that can develop throughout time into something great. A quote from W. H. Auden reminds of this:

“A verbal art like poetry is reflective; it stops to think. Music is immediate; it goes on to become.”

I plan on encouraging my children to apply music to their lives. If you would like to as well, read on for some ideas on how you can easily, yet subtly do that.

1. Listen to Music Often

Whenever you can, listen to music. In the car we typically have some sing-along songs on, which also makes the car ride more enjoyable, especially on a long trip. If we are doing arts and crafts at home, we also have music playing, and I try to base our choice on their mood for that day.

We also started introducing them to music in the crib, with classical lullabies to fall asleep to while napping, or going to bed for the night. My kids thoroughly enjoy music, and I believe it’s a result from being exposed to it from day one.

2. Point out Special Music

If you hear a new song, a special concert on TV, or hear their favorite song walking through the mall, point it out to them. You can even subtly encourage them to hear background music when it’s playing, by tapping your fingers to the beat.

I once was at dinner with some friends when their daughter, aged 5, saw her mom tapping her fingers to the piano playing in the background. She asked right there if she could learn how to play the piano.

My point is, if you are subtly introducing them to music through your enthusiasm, it can be infectious to your young children.

3. Dance to the Rhythm

Dance is a great activity because it not only exposes the kids to music, but it’s a fun form of exercise. I will often turn on the radio while we are working around the house, and then take breaks for a little dancing with my daughter. My son has just recently shown interest, so it works.

As they move to the music, it gives them the opportunity to learn about beats and timing, which make up the measures of a song. Picking up that rhythm at a young age will help them later when learning how to read music.

4. Get the Family Involved

There are many ways to introduce the kids to music through family activities, such as:

*        Singing in the car while traveling
*        Form a ‘band’ for an evening
*        Dance to various styles
*        Attend concerts
*        Play musical chairs
*        Host a musical event or variety show for the family

Some of these activities are for younger kids, while some might be better for the older ones. You could also come up with your own. The key is to show your own enthusiasm for music, because they will respond to it.

5. Start Lessons

Lessons are probably in your future if your child wants to take up an instrument. Private lessons can add up quickly, but will give your child the individual attention that group lessons won’t give. If your child is shy, I wouldn’t recommend group lessons, because they might not speak up if they have questions.

If the budget does not allow for lessons, you might want to look into lessons online. They can learn to read music notes for piano, flute, or guitar through the website, which will save money. You won’t get the feedback like you would with live lessons, but it is an alternative.

6. Have a Family Instrument

By having an instrument in the home, one the entire family can play, it can subtly introduce your children to music. I am thinking of a piano for our home. It is an instrument that will be out in the open at all times, which makes it convenient for any of us to use at most any time.

It’s also a good introduction instrument. Playing another instrument will be different, but piano lessons will teach the basics as far as reading music. The recommended minimum age for starting piano is around 6, but will depend on the individual child of course. 

The way I look at it is that if I am playing it and showing my interest in piano, all while subtly encouraging my kids to join me it, could eventually entice them as well.

Whether it’s the piano, or some other instrument, kids learn from their parents. If you are showing an interest in it, they are more likely to pick up the interest as well. I will just end with this little story about my son and music, showing how kids emulate us…

My young son didn’t want to dance with me when I first mentioned it. But, two days later, after turning some music on and asking him, he was not only willing to dance with me to the music, but didn’t want us to stop!


Melissa Cameron lives in Texas with her husband and 2 children. Wanting the best for her children she understood the value of music in childhood development. She knew if her children could learn how to play the piano and she helped them learn to read music notes for piano that they would have a well-rounded foundation for a true love and appreciation for music.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Best Gadgets for Moms On-the-Go

Thanks to advancements in modern technology, we’ve become a society that just loves to play with high tech toys and gadgets. Today many of these gadgets can save either a husband or wife a lot of time doing menial tasks around their home such as cleaning or mopping a floor. 

In today’s hectic world, a woman’s schedule can get out of hand. Between the commitments of a full time career, and sharing the responsibilities of running a household, a mom’s life can get pretty hectic.

And this is why it’s great to have a cool gadget or two around the house that not only make things easier on the busy couple, but also saves time in when doing the usual household chores.

For instance, in order to clean the expensive hardwood flooring installed throughout the house, simply turning on a small automatic vacuum cleaner to clean those expensive floors is a cool way to save time and eliminate a chore no one really wants to do.

There are lots of cool gadgets that are great moms on-the-go like the full line of I-Robot robotic cleaning units including the Roomba dirt cleaner and its companion the Scooba that washes floors.

Let’s take a look at a few gadgets that a busy mom will not only think are cool, but will also help her save time in innovative and fun ways.


The Smart Shopper

The Smart Shopper is a very cool gadget for the busy person who doesn’t have time to make out a grocery list. This gadget attaches to the refrigerator and just voice-records items that you’ve used between meals.
And when it’s time to take that trip to the grocery store, all you have to do is just hit print, and you and your shopping list are ready to go. The Smart Shopper is web friendly also. If you use a service such as Shop Rite from Home, just log in using Smart Shopper and place your order, get it delivered, and never leave the house.


Amazon’s Kindle


This is a great gadget for the busy mom on the go. Amazon’s Kindle is still the number one portable handheld reading device worldwide, and with the new Kindle Fire, reading a book or browsing the web has never been cooler.

There’s a Kindle for any taste. From the Kindle Fire with its color touch screen to its cloud storage and the availability of some of the most popular apps today including Hulu Plus, Pandora and Netflix, to the Kindle DX with its 9.7 in display and free 3G wireless capability.


         The Clocky Alarm on Wheels

For the busy mom who doesn’t have the time to get the kids out of bed because they keep hitting the snooze on the alarm clock, there’s the Clocky alarm clock. The Clocky could be the distant cousin to a certain Star Wars droid, with its persistent voice.

The Clocky alarm clock has the usual settings you’d expect from an alarm clock, but the wow factor comes from it actually jumping off a night stand and rolling around on the floor sounding it’s alarm until it’s turned off by someone, presumably the sleeper.


The Neat Organizer


Here’s a great gadget for the work-at-home mom. Organizing a home office can be a daunting task sometimes, especially if that office is cluttered with business cards and other business documents lying all over that small space taking up valuable real estate in the process.

The Neat Organizer is offered in two different device styles. There is a Neat desk and a more portable Neat digital scanner. There are versions for Mac and PC users and either OS system will do the job of helping you quickly organize your important documents and business cards into searchable files that you can easily find for quick reference on your desktop or laptop, simply by typing in keywords to help find the documents you’re searching for.

These are just a few of the types of tech toys and gadgets that are designed to either entertain or help a busy couple do things around the home that’s usually very time consuming, and not a lot of fun to do into something that can be done quickly and easily by a cool electronic device.

Author J. J. Shimp is an expert in installing engineered hardwood floors, though he also enjoys a gadget or two when spending time at home with his two friendly cats, wife, and long list of home improvement projects.

IRS "Where Is My Refund" Explanations and Have You Seen Your Refund Yet?

Wow! I've been listening to the mish-mash going on about IRS refunds and I found one article that really made a mess of things, totally misrepresenting ABC News and the author of the article, as far as I'm concerned. Go ahead and click the link, but be sure to come back!

Did you read it? Good.

This year has been a disaster for IRS tax returns, first with the IRS delaying the January tax returns to people, and well, February has been a mess, too. The "Where Is My Refund" page sat for the longest time displaying a half-way apologetic letter that some e-filers - I'm assuming after reading around that most of the e-filers - have received a message that their tax return has not been received.

And, then THIS article comes out on ABC News on Feb 15th, talking about how tax returns are not affected by the slowness of the site. Come on, IRS, there is no excuse for this mess! And, why, oh, why is the media trying to cover for the IRS? Seriously, from what I have gathered from other people, the direct deposits are showing up with no rhyme or reason. No special day of the week, and not when the site says it will happen.

Then, the writer of the article actually puts an op-ed spin to her so-called reporting by adding that the people who file early are usually poor people who are expecting a windfall. What?!?!

From what I've gathered, and I've been doing taxes for fifteen years now, individual and corporate, and when us, regular, working people pay taxes, we often OVERPAY because we don't want to UNDERPAY and owe Uncle Sam, because dealing with Uncle Sam is really like dealing with the mob.

You don't want to owe him.

So, we figure out the proper deductions so that we overpay and come out above at the end of the year.

Which makes a...REFUND! You don't have to be poor to get a refund.

I'm not going to go into a long, drawn out, bla bla bla about how if we're late paying our taxes, there will be penalties, but the IRS can pay us anytime...I'm not going to go there. I'm not going to fuss and whine about how I e-filed on February 2nd and still have yet to see my refund.

Today, we saw the update finally happen on the IRS Where Is My Refund site and it said February 27th, 2012, but if we don't see it by March 3, then we can call the IRS, and they can't do anything until March 3, so don't bother them until then, or something to that effect.

So, here I sit, wondering exactly when the direct deposit will happen. I guess we'll have to just wait patiently and see...

Have you received your tax return this year? How long did it take?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

iPhone Apps to Manage Your Child's Diabetes

Having a child with diabetes can be very challenging. You have to constantly monitor your child’s glucose levels, keep him or her from eating food that can be dangerous, and make sure your child has as normal a life as possible. This can be emotionally draining as well since you identify with your child and want them to be free from diabetes.

While all this can be hard, there are a few things you can do to make the day-to-day difficulties of life with diabetes easier. The iPhone is known for having a huge amount of apps, but did you know that there are apps made for diabetes sufferers? These can help you manage meals and glucose levels and even offer other helpful features.

Diabetic Meal Planner


Usually children love food full of fat and sugar, but that can be a very big health hazard when your child has diabetes. Knowing what foods you can safely prepare can be difficult with these hazards. This app is made specifically to help you create meals that will not agitate this condition. By measuring the glycemic index and glycemic load of each food item, this will help you make a full-course meal for your child.

The free version includes 38 foods, which is a little small. However, if you upgrade to the full version, you gain access to 975 foods. It’s a little expensive at $13.99, but definitely worth it.



Along with making meals for you child, there is something else even more difficult: finding restaurants at which he or she can safely eat. While this app is specifically for Type 2 diabetes sufferers, Type 1 sufferers can get some use out of this as well. This app will show you local restaurants and the items that are safe for your child. Not only that, but it will give you directions to the restaurant as well.


Glucose Buddy

Having to manage how many carbs your child has eaten, when or if you administered insulin, and your child’s current glucose level can be hard for even the most studious mother. With Glucose Buddy, you get a data storage app that helps you manage all this information in one place. You can easily enter the data, and it ensures that you never forget to give your child insulin or check his or her glucose. Forgetting just one piece of information can lead to trouble, so pick up this app to make sure nothing bad ever happens.



Bant is another data storage app that helps you remember your child’s glucose levels. All of the information is also automatically added to your Google Health page, and you can talk to other mothers and diabetes sufferers through Twitter right from this app. This makes it very easy to share information with doctors, and to keep track of your child’s glucose level.



Aside from helping you track glucose levels, this app is great for mothers who may be forgetful. One of the best features of this app is that it remembers when you are supposed to log in glucose levels. If you don’t enter a log, then your iPhone will have an alert, reminding you to take the levels now. Not only that, but the alert will also be sent to your support group, which will further help you to remember entering this value. This is best for forgetful moms, or mothers who are just starting to take their child’s glucose levels.


Glucose Mate

Another glucose data log app, the main feature of this one is that it contains a glucose analysis chart. This chart tracks glucose levels, along with how the glucose was affected by meals and time. You should always show this information to your child’s doctor, as it will help him or her adjust insulin dosages and it will be easier to determine if other medications are needed.



This iPhone app does everything, except take the actual glucose levels, but it is sure close! Once you take your glucose level with an appropriate device, you can plug the device into your iPhone to instantly add the measurement. This makes life much easier, and there are several other helpful features. This app makes it easy to tell other caregivers how your child is feeling right now, and it can help you make meals that are healthy and safe. Another plus is that it helps you administer the right amount of insulin based on how the glucose has changed from meals. There is also a chart that helps analyze all the recent readings, so you can see how your child is doing in the long-term.

As I mentioned in the beginning, having a child with diabetes can be very challenging to monitor and manage. You have to constantly take glucose measurements and prepare meals that do not agitate the diabetes. However, there are many iPhone apps designed to make life easier for you. Try them out, and you will see that they make managing life and managing this condition so much easier. Most of them are free or inexpensive, so you won’t have to spend much to get the help you need to simplify this condition.

Sandy M. is a blogger and and technology enthusiast who loves to simplify what matters most in the information age. She stays busy with her two young sons and keeping up on the latest gadgets. She also writes about finding trustworthy auto insurance companies online and helping people get the cheapest auto insurance possible.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Bachelor - Bye Bye Kacie B? Don't worry, she'll be back!

I want to put my own two cents in here about Monday night's show, the Bachelor. I've been watching the show, and the Bachelorette, since the beginning - I just love to watch the places that they visit each week! I think that is one of the biggest reasons I make sure I don't miss a show. But, besides the amazing views and the fabulous cities and the exhilarating activities that they get to do, there's the plot...

So, each week, we're left with a feeling of loss after watching Ben send girls home. This week was the first week that I really felt this way this season. Kacie B. - I thought she had it made until I watched the show Monday night. When Kacie B.'s mom said that she didn't approve of how past couples left the show and then shacked up together. She hoped that wasn't Ben's plan.

Right there, I knew there was trouble in paradise for Kacie B. That's a very old-fashioned way of thinking nowadays. And, as Ben said, people need the chance to check each other out by living together and see if they can handle living with each other. I could rant on, talking about how I felt about the subject, but that's not the point. The fact that Kacie B.'s mom was so blunt about it made me cringe for poor Kacie B.

I wonder if she'll be upset with her mom for doing that?

Well, Bachelor fans, here's what I've found:

1) There's a spoiler page with pics for the finale if you're wondering who's getting eliminated next week.

2) Kacie B comes back on the show to tell Ben what she thinks of Courtney. Why in the world is he keeping her around anyways???

3) And, according to Reality Rewind, Ben proposes to Courtney????

4) Then, they end up not speaking to each other? What a dummy Ben, what a dummy! Or, maybe not, because if you read the article about them not speaking to each other, it sounds like Ben isn't too upset about it at all. Was it just a ploy to get girls and travel the world? Maybe he's not so dumb.

Does he really pick Courtney? Really?

Easy Dinner in 20 Minutes: Chicken Pillows and Kid-Approved Waldorf Salad

Are you out of quick dinner ideas? Or do you just have random ingredients sitting around without an obvious purpose? Try these super easy and fun recipes that your kids will love. Try chicken pillows as a simple alternative to leftover shredded chicken. These light chicken-filled pastries cook up fast, and are really fun to roll up. Your kids may even want to join you in the kitchen as special helpers! Then, pair your chicken pillows with a classic waldorf salad. All you really need is a rotisserie chicken, a can of crescent rolls, shredded cheese, apples, grapes, celery and walnuts, but, just in case, there is a detailed shopping list that includes both recipes below.

Shopping List:
Bag of walnuts
Red seedless grapes
Green apple
3 Lemons or jar of lemon juice
1 can of crescent rolls
Shredded cheese
Rotisserie chicken (or 2-3 cups shredded chicken)

1. Waldorf Salad Recipe

* 1/2 cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts
* 1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
* 1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced (or a 1/4 cup of raisins)
* 1 sweet apple, cored and chopped
* 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
* 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
* Salt
* Pepper

Whisk the mayo and lemon juice together in a medium sized bowl. Add the salt and pepper. Stir in the apple, celery grapes, and walnuts. Let the salad sit as you make the chicken pillows, or, better yet, overnight. Serves 2.

2. Chicken Pillows Recipe

The original recipe calls for a filling of cream cheese and butter, but you can really cut down on the fat content by simply replacing those ingredients with a sprinkling of shredded cheese.

1 can of 8 Pillsbury crescents
2-3 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups shredded cheese
1 egg
Crushed crackers

Preheat you oven to 400 F. Place the shredded chicken in a bowl and add the shredded cheese. Mix. Lay out your crescents on a cookie sheet and stretch them out. Put a spoonful of the cheese and chicken mixture onto the center of each crescent. Next, roll up the crescent around the filling and close it up so there are no cracks. Whisk the egg and a bit of water together in a bowl and dip the pillows into the egg. Then, dip them into the crushed crackers to make a crunchy topping. Cook the pillows at 400 F for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

Alvina Lopez is a freelance writer and blog junkie, who blogs about accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: alvina.lopez 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Complete Information on Federal Grants for Women to Avoid Debt

In the U.S., women are incurring more debt than their male counterparts, with debts building up from impulse credit card purchases - and let's not forget the many women who have decided to return to college, but aren't aware of how to reduce their college debt before they even start. 
Paying off debt is a crucial part to achieving financial freedom and attaining a debt free life - but there are also ways to ensure that you don't spend an arm and a leg on future education goals, too! You can either hire the services of a debt settlement company (now or in the future) or you can apply for free federal grants to pay off your debts. 
If you do happen to receive a grant, it will create an immediate reduction of your current  debt - and paying off college may be much more feasible. You may even be able to avoid enrolling in a debt relief program, altogether, with the help of federal grants!
While there are many public grants that are funded by the tax payers of America, there are also private grants that are funded by the private organizations aiming to help women manage their finances. 

Interest & Eligibility

Applying for a grant will be different from applying for a loan, as you are not required to pay back grants - and the interest that can accumulate with a loan (which can end up, over time, being just as much, if not more, than the loan itself was!) is non-existent when you are approved for a grant. Keep in mind that grants are usually dependent on financial need, but this is not the case for every grant that is available - each one will have its own stipulations for eligibility.
Check With the College or University

More than 25% of the nation's colleges and universities have special grants and scholarships for women that are created to encourage them to attend the institution and pursue a higher education. If you receive a scholarship, you can avoid taking out a student loan in order to manage the higher education expenses - or at least reduce the amount of the student loan. Imagine how much less stressful it can be attending college without thousands of dollars of debt looming over your head! 
Foundation Center
Unfortunately, if you don't understand the grant application process, you might not receive a grant, despite the fact that you qualify for it. To avoid this mishap, be sure to check the reference guide available in the Foundation Center website.They have tons of resources for you and they offer free public access to information. And, for you entrepreneurial women, they have a Proposal Writing Short Course to get you started in finding funding for your non-profit organization.
More Info About Grants

There are plenty of other websites that show a number of government and private foundations where you can apply for grants. And, you don't have to stop once you've received a grant. You can apply for - and get approval for -  several grants at the same time. Did you know that you can use one of the grants to pay for your rent or mortgage and the other to pay off your student loan? You can get this money for the entire term, but you are required to apply each year for another term.
Remember that the non profit organizations receive grants from private foundations; there are many organizations that offer grants for individual projects. Therefore, you are required to evaluate the grant programs that will be beneficial for you. Yes, it may take some legwork to find the appropriate grants for you, apply and - hopefully - be approved, but think of the hundreds...and even thousands...of dollars in savings (and debt reduction) that you will receive. 
Grants offered by the government can be beneficial for women to manage their expenses and pay for their higher education without falling into the trap of endless and stressful debt.

Kenneth Parkar is a contributory writer associated with the Debt Consolidation Care Community and has written several articles on various topics like debt settlement companies, debt relief, debt free etc. He holds his expertise in the Debt industry and has made significant contribution through his various articles.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pinterest Contest for DIY & Fashionista Moms!

Attention all you lovely Pinners out there!

For those of you who caught my post last month about how Pinterest can help you achieve your New Year's Resolutions, you know by now that I'm completely head over heels for the idea-based site. Seriously: Instead of sugarplums, I have visions of craft projects and gorgeous homes dancing through my head. All day long.

For those of you as in awe with the site as I am, there's contest that's right up your alley. The gals over at  Reading Glasses Shopper are hosting their very own “Pin It to Win It”contest all for the love of pinning.

To enter, all you have to do is create a board centered around all things lovely, follow the easy guidelines for pinning, and you're entered for the chance to win a $25 gift card to Reading Glasses Shopper, $25 to, and a $50 to the ever-so-artsy Michael’s stores. I mean, what fabulous female wouldn’t want a pair of cute glasses, an adorable scarf for all seasons, and a chance to go craft crazy?

For more more information on the contest, visit the Reading Glasses Shopper blog. And no worries, if you're pining over the contest but don't yet have a Pinterest account, they'll offer you an invite, too.

Who knew spreading your love for all things crafty, charming, and creative could be so much fun (and rewarding)?

About the Author:
When Molly isn't scouring the internet for good reads and the perfect infinity scarf, she loves spending time with her triplets nieces, trying new restaurants, and redecorating every corner of the house.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tips for Baking the Perfect Cookie

Isn’t it weird how something as simple as a cookie can either look delicious and just perfect, or a burnt mess on the baking tray?

If your cookies always seem to fall into the second group, make sure you follow these tips to ensure they come out just perfect every time from this moment on.

Insist on the best ingredients

Which ingredients should you go for? Should you get the cheapest ones to save money or the most expensive ones to get better results? If you want truly amazing cookies you have to invest in them.

Go for butter, not margarine

Let’s face it cookies aren’t the healthiest food on the planet. But it’s a lot trickier to make them successfully if you’re using margarine. Stick to butter and you’ll notice a better taste and appearance.

Use different sugars for different cookies

If you come across a recipe that calls for brown sugar, don’t just throw white sugar in and expect to get the same results. Brown sugar is used in cookies that need to have that chewy texture in the middle once cooked. White sugar will enable them to go crispy and crunchy instead.

Don’t over mix

This is especially important when it comes to adding the flour. If you mix it too much the dough will dry out, and that will be evident when the cookies are baked.

Put the finished dough in the fridge for a bit

One of the biggest issues people seem to have with cookies is that they go flat and don’t hold their shape. If you have this problem you can usually solve it by creating the cookie mix and then putting it in the refrigerator. Once it is cold it will hold its shape far more easily – even when it goes in the oven.

Use the right flour

People often assume that flours are all pretty much the same. But this isn’t the case. It’s actually easier to get the right results from each cookie mix by using exactly the right flour as stated in the recipe.


If you follow all the tips above you should notice a marked improvement to your next batch of cookies. By putting a few simple tips and hints into practice you’ll be amazed at how impressive they can be. So if your cookies never quite turn out as you’d hoped, you might now have the solution.

Oh and another thing
If all else fails, plan B is to buy some tasty vegan cookies right here and just tell everyone that you made them!

This guest post was written by Ricky from Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Outrage Over Pro LGBT Education Mandate In California

The Story
Some of you may remember a radical decision made by California delegates last year that shook many a conservative foundation. The bill (signed into law by California governor Jerry Brown in July) aimed to make mandatory the inclusion of teaching students about Americans within the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender) community who have contributed to the growth and progress of our nation. Important Americans with disabilities were also included in the bill, which was decided to take effect come 2012.
Of course, as is almost always the case, several groups expressed their outrage with the law. The Traditional Values Coalition, perhaps the most vocal opponent of the new law, was quick to share its opinion by way of Chairman and founder, “Reverend” Louis Sheldon. Sheldon went on record as saying, in so many words, that this law should provoke sensible parents into removing their children from public schools.
Now, two months into 2012 (when the law takes effect), the controversy still rages.
My Two Cents
 I get it, Louis Sheldon (though not a person of faith, I find it an insult to the title to refer to you as a reverend); change is scary… But, are we still making this the focus of so much concern when more important facets of our society are failing? Even taking the passion so many naysayers possess into account, I cannot wrap my mind around this opposition. I am not one to attack any person for their choice of faith, but, as the child of a Baptist Minister, I can confidently say that there is no logical religious wall to hide behind in this fight.
My biggest beef with the Traditional Values Coalition’s stance is that it directly violates the core values bestowed upon us by our forefathers. Last time I checked, Americans were all considered to be equals – regardless of one’s faith, color, or creed. The opening line of our treasured Declaration of Independence addressed this stance rather bluntly:
            “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Surely those words are capable of speaking for themselves.
I have to wonder who the Traditional Values Coalition is actually trying to “protect” with all of their posturing. Louis Sheldon insists that every decision his group makes comes from an unwavering desire to protect the minds and moral purity of our children… But, I certainly beg to differ.
How does teaching our children about important, influential Americans who hail from the LGBT community impact the moral decency of our children? The simple act of learning about influential figures won’t influence children to behave “immorally”. I certainly never found myself wanting to follow in Hitler’s footsteps when learning about the good he did for the people of Germany while, at the same time, committing immeasurable atrocities. I also feel confident in saying that no one has ever “turned” homosexual because people spoke highly of a particular individual of that persuasion.
More importantly, the Traditional Values Coalition fails to see that a person’s sexual preference is not the sole focus on the educational reform taking place in California. The aim is to discourage any discrimination that would seek to refuse giving due credit to men and women in this country, simply because they live under alternative lifestyles. It won’t be a matter of flaunting one’s sexual orientation in the faces of students, while mentioning their accomplishments and contributions to our country as a minor footnote.
Perhaps the simplest way to explain how this will work is to look at how influential African Americans are mentioned in our history books. The focus is always upon their contributions to our nation and the world as a whole. Their status as oppressed citizens receives mention only if it has a bearing within the context their accomplishment. Take Rosa Parks, for instance. Her action would have carried much less weight had she been a Caucasian defying the popular social construct of segregation. Sure, she would have been spoken about while housewives dished out scandalous gossip, but she would not have incited a revolution.
Most importantly, however, is the harm we are doing to our children by teaching them to discriminate. The basic aim of being a parent (aside from protecting our children from danger) is to raise well-adjusted human beings. We all desire for our children to grow up to make a difference, to impact the world in positive ways – to achieve things we could have never foreseen.
What good are we doing our children by telling them a person’s worth is measured by who they love, not what they achieve? Who can we count on to keep lit the torch of compassion and love as humanity treks onward into centuries unknown? My faith certainly won’t be wasted on the descendants of hate-mongers like Louis Sheldon.   

Jordan Siron is a freelance writer/blogger living in Orlando, FL. As a devout Humanist he will save the dates of all human contributions, no matter who makes them.

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