Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year Checklist

A New Year brings a fresh start for many with goals to achieve and lists to create on what your plans are for the year.

Here are some helpful tips to help guide you into 2010:

- Go through your medicine cabinet and toss out all medicines that are beyond their expiration date. If a product smells or the color has changed you need to toss it in the garbage. Many medicines are still okay after the expiration date, but they are not as strong as they once were. Antibiotics that are in the refrigerator need to be disposed of. Nose drops and eye drops can become contaminated and should be tossed out.

When going through your medicines also check all the over the counter medicines to see when they should be used by and follow suit as well. Make a list of the items you have removed and purchase new bottles/products. Make a note on your new 2010 calendar to order refills on existing medications/prescriptions.

- Many over the counter medications have coupons available in magazines and newspapers. Go through your supply of coupons to remove all those that expired in 2009 and organize them according to categories. Make a note on your shopping list which items also have a coupon to redeem.

- Start the New Year by removing the germs of 2009 and invest in a new toothbrush and cover for each member of the family. Do the same thing for hairbrushes and combs you keep on hand and for your purse or handbag. For those with pets purchase new care products for them also. Don't forget cosmetic brushes in your makeup case and vanity.

Glasses - We should still be wearing sunglasses during the winter - this includes children too. I was disappointed to find out that Walgreens does not stock kids sunglasses at this time of year, so we had to go elsewhere for a new pair. For those who wear prescription glasses make an appointment to have your eyes checked.

Cosmetics - Many cosmetics should be tossed and replaced every three months. Start by changing your mascara, powder puff, lipsticks and balms. This includes the cosmetics stored in your handbag, gym bag and at home.

Soaps - For bar soap users clean out the dish the soap is stored and open a fresh bar. If you use a sponge or mesh puff sponge purchase a set of new ones in bright festive colors before removing the used puff. Consider trying a new brand of soap, shampoo and shaving creams.

Message Systems - Change the message on your answering machine and voice mail systems to reflect the New Year 2010 and wish everyone a prosperous New Year. Have the kids leave a message or say their name and Hello as well. Listen to the message before setting it so everyone is pleased with the results. Do the same thing with your work message.

Subscriptions - Check the expiration date on all magazines and newspapers for your family members and the professional journals you may subscribe to at the office. Decide if you want to renew or cancel subscriptions.

Allowance - Start implementing one now or make an increase for the New Year, unless you do this during the birthday month.

Calendars - Hang up new ones and have the children take part in writing down birthdays and events they want to be reminded of. Have calendars for desk and purse noted with dates of interest. We purchased at Border's last week at 50% off a daily cat calendar, a penguin calendar for the wall and a datebook.

Batteries - Make sure all smoke detectors have new batteries and are in working order. Check flashlights inside and in automobiles for working condition and store new batteries close by.

Photographs - Take a current photo of each child and note their height, weight, age and school information on the back. Keep in your wallet, car and purse for emergency purposes. Consider placing a family photo in the child's wallet or backpack.

Taxes - Get your taxes done quickly this year. Consider having more taken out of your paycheck by filling out a new W-4. If your family qualifies for Earned Income Credit obtain a W-5 form from IRS to have advanced payments in each paycheck.

Food - Clean out your refrigerator of old, smelly food and label plastic containers so you know what is inside. Toss out the old eggs and spoiled milk. Post on the outside of the refrigerator the emergency numbers for fire, police, Doctor, Hospital and poison control.

This is also a good reminder to take a class at the local community college or Red Cross to learn CPR, first aid or a number of other emergency related techniques that could save a life. Look inside the trunk of your vehicles to see if emergency kits are up to date and adequate for your family needs. Store bottled water indoors and canned food to last three days for each family member.

Start an activity as a family, whether it be roller skating one night a week, visiting the book store once a week or implementing a game night for all members. Take an active role in your children's education and their extracurricular activities and interests.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Joey Tote Bags

As a blogging member of Buzz Cooperative I receive weekly email alerts connecting bloggers to companies interested in pitching their products for review. This is how I came to learn of Joey Totes.

Upon my arrival at their website to check the product features before replying to the request I was shocked at the way they used a baby with the bag. As parents we know not to have our babies and children around bags due to suffocation. I almost clicked off the site thinking I could not condone such a product.

Further exploration has a girl being carried inside a Joey Tote. If as consumers we do not offer feedback, how will a Company know that their line of advertising is deemed offensive to potential customers. I decided I was up for the challenge and would be forthright in my analysis. Joey Totes covers this in their FAQs:

Are Joey Totes meant to carry children?

No! Our photos are meant to demonstrate attributes of our product and contain a certain 'cuteness' factor, but we do not recommend anyone reenacting these images

I received a set that includes 1 large (9.5” x 5) and two small (8” x 4”) sized totes. The white label on the side shows the totes can be machine washed in cold, gentle cycle and hang-dry. The other side of this white label has a funny warning note - "Use of Joey Totes causes uncontrollable grinning and feelings of glee." I would much rather see use of this clever slogan than the two baby displays and carrying of the girl on the website.

These totes are available at the present time in only one shade - Slate Gray with their Joey Totes Fuchsia logo. There is a white draw string on the other end of the folded up tote. They are made from rip style Nylon.

I have been utilizing the Joey Totes for several days now and find them to be quite useful for everyday activities and errands. Unfortunately I have to frequent the laundromat on a weekly basis. I prefer to fold socks at home so I always gather them up in a duffel bag.

I didn't want to carry dirty clothing in the tote, so I brought it along in my purse to open later. I had some packages to take to the post office and used the large bag for this as well. The totes would also be doable for carrying back library books and bringing home your next batch.

I left the bag in the passenger side of my minivan after the post office errand and realized this while inside the grocery store. I was able to place two bags inside the large Joey Tote and carry that into the house with ease over my shoulder.

We went to a fair the other day where rows of tables and exhibitors had pamphlets and brochures for visitors. My teen aged son was in charge of holding the tote and gathering up all the contents from tables. There was even a sample of oatmeal that did not break or open up while being transported around outside.

I think of the Joey Tote as a universal tote, if you have an item it can be placed inside the tote for storing and delivery purposes. On our next trip to the Zoo I will bring along a small tote to carry cameras and binoculars until they are needed.

The tote bags are easy to fold up and put back into the carrying case that hangs at the bottom when it is in use. Here is the large tote bag I folded back up and the small bag I have yet to use.

I recommend the Joey Totes for hostess gifts, therapist or teacher gift, suitable for college student and a Mother's Day or Father's Day present. The possibilities are endless - think stocking stuffers and older relatives that live alone and could use a good tote bag for their errands.


reinforced bag can handle 40 pounds
one year limited warranty
gift certificates are good for one full year
they will recycle for you


only available online
no color selection
poor advertising usage of babies and children inside bags

Readers can save 10% off their purchase with the promotional code "autismfamily" through the end of May. A Big Joey costs $8.50, the small Joey is $14.00 for a set of two with the Joey Set of 1 large and 2 small at $20.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Personal Fan Combats Eczema Breakouts

I have suffered my whole life with eczema, but as I near my 49th birthday this coming April it is clear to me that the breakouts have gotten worse throughout my 40s. I have searched my symptoms many times and it seems similar to both Psoriasis and Lupus as they are exacerbated from weather/season changes and exposure to sunlight.

I cannot continue on the merry go round of prednisone, which has side effects I cannot go through anymore - weight gain and personality changes. Plus the Doctor has told me that prolonged usage can cause Diabetes.

I have fans all over my house, many are on non-stop all year long. I found these O2 Cool fans that are battery operated. I use one year at the desk by the computer that I also take with me to the laundromat. It needs 2 DD batteries every other day most of the time. It cannot be transported though in my purse.

For that I was using several varities of the candy fans that are found in that aisle. My son would point them out to me, but they are long and hard to fit inside a purse. I often got weird looks when I would remove this orange tool from my purse while in line at a store, but at least my face was not on fire.

Last month my son and I went inside Brookstone to browse around for birthday ideas for his (March) and mine (April). My son spotted in the area near the register these Personal Fans that are still on sale at two for $30. I have the blue and green fans. They take 4 AA batteries. It has almost been one month since purchased and my son just today put in new batteries. The personal fan was working, but not at full blast and I like it that way when we are experiencing warmer days here in Los Angeles. It is easy for my son who turns 14 this month to open and insert batteries.

I keep the green personal fan in my purse. Last month I was at Ross trying on shirts and used this in the dressing room. If not for the personal fan I would not have been able to tolerate waiting for the 21 people in line in front of me. I stood there in line while others were in large bulky coats and sweaters and felt comfortable while the store seemed to lack ventilation. In fact, the clerk ringing up my purchase wanted to know where I got the fan.

I used it a few days later in line at the post office where the air is dead and claustrophobic. The Bank is another business that lacks a system for circulating air for the customers and workers. I now take this fan to the laundromat as it is easier to transport.

My face breaks out often when I am in the sun or doing various chores like washing dishes. With cuts on many fingers I try to wash the dishes every other day. I now use the fan at the sink to hit my face while doing the dishes. This has helped a great deal with me not wiping or scratching my face.

Another spot to consider having a personal fan would be the library, sometimes there are smelly people inside and no air flow. I was at a meeting the other day that lasted over three hours and needed some relief so I utilized the personal fan.

The button is so easy to slide on and off. This is also how you turn it higher or lower. I really like this device and will most likely pick up two more next time at he mall as you can never be too prepared.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Notes from Dr. Northrup Webinar on

I watched Oprah today with Suzanne Somers on the discussion of menopause and hormone therapy. It was mentioned that Dr. Northrup would be doing a one-hour webinar at

I listened and watched the webinar and tweeted on the tips shared. This was on twitter where you are limited to 140 characters. The following are my tweets that I posted from the webinar.

Oprah Webinar on Hormones notes from Thursday, Jan 29, 2008 6 PM PST

need birth control for a full year after completing menopause, per Dr Northrup on oprah webcast

most women do not have perimenopausal symptoms while on the pill - per Dr Northrup on Oprah webcast

Dr Northrup suggests using a PDR - good idea, Physicians Desk Reference, I got a used one on ebay, it is updated yearly though

menopause is a turning point for your lifetsyle, eat better, exercise, reassess relationships

do not stop anti depressents coldly, talking to a caller who takes them

take good fish or flax oils, also omega 3, up your exercise level - taper anti depressants

ovaries are producing eggs, have progesterone a few months, this gets hormones out of whack, why hot flashes on and off, a process/not event

stop hot flashes, stop white sugar, wine and caffeine - experiment, omega 3 dats, exercise these can stop the hot flashes

caller on HRT for nineteen years in her 60s, still having hot flashes and night sweats- she is on premarin twice a week

try a transdermal hormone replacement - on the skin and not on the liver, that is what Suzanne Somers was doing

caller says when taking premarin every day, but when stopped taking daily and only twice a week gets hot flashes, can be cortisol stress

change brand instead of premarin, maybe a spray as a skin treatment at any pharmacy, check in with Dr every year

vaginal estrogen will restore that area very quickly, get creams just need a little bit to help loss of elasticity and dryness

once restored will only need cream twice a week, give it a couple of weeks and be back in the saddle

if you had breast cancer can you take hormone therapy - someone asked this to Dr Northrup. depends on quality of life - how much sleep?

considered safe to use vaginal creams, omega 3 fats - high amount, Vitamin D, exercise, foods high in flax, soy possible, acupuncture

30 mg of progesterone can stop hot flashes in some women, just rub a bit of it in the skin

46 yr old on raw food diet, feels good, but hormones are non existent, getting back her sex drive now, only 4 months on raw food diet

Dr Northrup says good for her to be on the raw food diet, her body is self healing, restoring her adrenal health, balance in body

Dr Northrup says good for her to be on the raw food diet, her body is self healing, restoring her adrenal health, balance in body

Univ of Oregon doing a study used small amount of natural progesterone for women who have had a heart attack prevention of angina

her heart attack at 41 was a precursor to her premature menopause, now age 48, estogen beneficial effect on culinary ateries

all birth control pills are synthetic hormones

fifteen minutes left of Dr Norhrup on menopause, at age 39 all bad habits catch up with you, clean up clutter in all areas of your life

get hormones tested - prefer blood test most drs. saliva test will tell more about what is in your tissue, jury is out, conventional Drs

best way to tell is your body, symptoms and how you feel, nurse practitioner can do that with saliva test

premature ovarian failure is auto immune, - A book called "Inconceivable" restore ovarian function

traditional chinese medicine, "The Fertility Cure" - name of book by a Dr to look thru

many are iodine deficient, many dont eat table salt, fish due to mercury or eat eggs, she says start eating eggs 2 x a week, check adrenals

adrenal exhaustion could be the problem

calls from Hawaii, Alaska, Canada and even Australia

DHEA, and also meditation has been mentioned, institute of heart check their site, the webinar is now over, webcast on demand 4 free tomorrow