Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Smarterer Post

Smarterer can give you your score in 10 questions in just 60 seconds about topics such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Wordpress, and many more topics.

This site can be a lot of fun and addicting! And, you can even learn from it, because if you get the question wrong they tell you the right one.

You then earn badges and rankings in each particular quiz you take...which can keep you "playing" longer to up your score! Of course, it can also lower your score! You can post your scores to Facebook and it could get competitive.

Check out smarterer! You'll have fun! And you'll find out just how much you know! Enjoy!

I'm a bzzAgent and for this campaign it is all online, so I did not receive anything for free, nor did I receive any other type of compensation.

Juice Fast - Day 2

Day two of the juice fast has been different than day 1, I suppose that's expected. I woke up this morning and promptly went back to sleep. When I got up again, I still wasn't ready to face the day...I layed there for a while. I wasn't ready for a juice...but then...Pete got up and said he was going to make our juices. Cool. I still layed there...and my friend doing the juice fast with us (at a distance) text me..asking if I was avoiding the day, too. Yes, I was. LOL.

Juice 1 - Pete brought me juice 1 - Alternative Green Juice (from the Reboot site) around 10:30am.
2 cups of Spinach
6 - 8 leaves of Kale
1 cucumber (recipe called for 1/2)
4 stalks of Celery
2 Apples
Piece of Ginger
Well, I still tasted the celery overpoweringly (thinking about trying none in my juice), so I added some raw, unfiltered honey and that helped. I drank that down and felt fine today.

I felt OK...I didn't feel super hungry and no weird head I went on with my day.

Snack Juice - Pete got hungry a bit too early, so we had another "snack" impromptu juice...around 1pm.

Lettuce leaves
2 Carrots
2 Apples
Pete had more than me...and mine was poured over the little bit of my "breakfast" juice. I sure don't guzzle them down...I seem to drink them over an hour or two.

Juice 2 - Dracula's Dream Juice (slightly modified) was around 4:30pm.
6-8 Kale leaves
2 Beets
3 Carrots
2 cups of Strawberries
It's better than the green juices, but it's not delicious. I took almost 2 hours to drink it, no honey added. I felt pretty good after drinking it..not really tired...not hungry...just OK.

Well, around 7pm, I started to feel extremely hunger headache...just fuzzy tired head. Not even tired eyes...just like I want to go to bed.

It's after 9 now, and I'm feeling hungry...I think it's time for the Mean Green juice.

Juice 3 - Mean Green (from the Reboot site).
6-8 Kale leaves
2 Apples
4 Celery Stalks (I substituted carrots)
1 Cucumber
1/2 lemon
Piece of Ginger
After a while, I started feeling better....less tired. We watched a documentary called Killer at Large: Why Obesity is America's Greatest Threat. At first it was, well boring...and not that inspiring, but as it went on it got better. And, as the night went on I felt better...and more awake...and well not too hungry. Finding that if I talk about specific food or think about specific food...that's when I get hungry.

Also, I started feeling really giddy and just happy late at night...I don't know if I was getting a high off the juice sugar or what...but I couldn't stop laughing...until finally we were in bed and I just crashed...

So, all in all, I'd say today was better than yesterday. I'd still love to eat a steak, but I am sure I can get through Day 3 drinking just juice and water! Let's do this!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Juice Fast - Day 1

Backstory - My boyfriend and I started watching all these food documentaries...and well I started thinking about a juice fast to kick-start or reboot my body into eating a lot more veggies and fruits (goal is AT least 51%) and a heck of lot less processed foods! Well, I mentioned this to a friend of mine (she's already a vegan that still wants to eat healthier and cut out fried foods)...and she said she was going to ask me if I wanted to do one (mind you, she lives in Tampa and I live in Columbia). So..then we set a date..2/27/12 (which was one week from when we all decided this). 

Reason - We are doing this because we both have "love handles" - sounds so much nicer than they are...and we eat so much processed food it's incredible! We want to go toward a diet rich in micronutrients with less macronutrients ...we just want our insides to get healthier and feel healthier! So...on to the Juice Fast!
Shopping - On Sunday we all went shopping (in our respective cities). Pete and I went to the SC State Farmer's Market for some of veggies and then to Earth Fare for the rest. Total we spent $90 for 3 days worth of juicing produce.Pictures are only some of what we bought.

Juice Fast Day 1 
Today is day 1 of this juice fast! I'm working on my 3rd juice of the day as I write this. I woke up this morning feeling hungrier than usual (probably due to eating 5 meals yesterday)...and laid in bed for a while thinking about how I needed to weigh myself (haven't done in a while) and take pictures to see if after a while all my healthy changes start making a difference. Then we got make our first juice.

Juice 1 - We set up the juicer...and rinsed all the produce we needed for this juice - the Mean Green recipe - per Joe Cross's Reboot Website. Turned into 24 ounces.
1 Cucumber
6-8 Kale leaves
4 Celery stalks
2 Apples
1/2 lemon (we ended up using a whole lemon b/c they were shriveled)
Piece of ginger
For me this drink was bitter, all I tasted was the celery stalks...bleh! And the more I drank...the weirder I felt. I think my body was revolting against this influx of lots of micronutrients, since I normally have bread for breakfast! For a couple hours my head felt weird, with a slight headache, and I got a nauseous feeling. I think we had this first juice around 9:30am.

I decided to re-watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead for inspiration from Joe Cross and Phil. It helped...I started to feel better inside and out...

Juice 2 - Around 2:30pm we made our second juice of the day - Dracula's Dream Juice (also from the Reboot website). Turned into 16 ounces.
2 Beets
2 Carrots
1 cup Strawberries
6-8 Kale leaves
This juice was better, way more tolerable. It is insane how green it smelled for being so red! Pete said, "Earthy". OK! Anyway, a lot better...and I felt so hungry while drinking it...after not hungry. Also, just had a slight headache no other pains. Woo! Pete had felt fine in the morning, but said he started to have a headache after this juice. 

Well, in between juice 2 and 3...we both had bouts of hunger. I can tell you I really have started dreaming about when I can eat something solid...and I want it to be steak, but I know it should be vegetables and nuts! Grr. 

Juice 3 - Third juice of the day is Mean Green, modified, made around 7:30pm. Turned into 28 or 30 ounces (guess as an American, dinner should be the most calories!).
1 Cucumber
6 Kale leaves (for me - more for Pete)
2 Carrots (for me - none for Pete)
2 Gold Delicious Apples
3 Celery stalks (for me - 5 for Pete)
1/2 Lemon
1 Blood Orange
Piece of ginger
I thought for sure this was going to taste better tonight due to the changes, but it doesn't...well...I still taste the celery stalks no matter what...but I guess if they weren't in there the juice would taste overall better. Pete doesn't mind bitter, so to him this juice is better (lucky). 

So far, feeling fine, but I'm not half-way through the side-effect all day has been the need to uhh pee a lot today. And I mean, A LOT!

Sometime after midnight, Pete was so hungry he was like can I make another juice? And, I was thinking I could use some, too. So we made our own thing - some blueberries, pineapple and apples. It was THE BEST JUICE WE HAD ALL DAY! Since it was late, I only had a little bit, Pete had more.
Looking Forward - I look forward to feeling less hungry as the juice fast goes on...and feeling overall they did in the documentary. We are committed to 3 days...and will asses and potentially go on to 10 being our maximum days at the juice fast. After the juice fast we shall eat only vegetables/fruits and nuts for a day or two...then move on to a well balanced, minimal processed foods diet (at least this is my plan...we shall see how it goes).

Monday, February 27, 2012

Current Instant Win Games (updated 2/27/12)

Updated list of current Instant Win and Contests going on.

Facebook games often require you to like the page and to allow an app. Internet games don't have those same requirements. And text IWGs are at applicable texting rates. Let me know if you win at any of these! I put my wins below.

Also pay attention to the receive email check boxes - most aren't required. It is required to say you read the rules, though. Good luck everyone! 

Facebook IWGs and Contests

Thomas's Toast & Win  Enter daily to win prizes of any of Thomas's products. Ends 2/29/12. 

Tic Tac Shake It Up Contest Enter daily to win a 12 pack of Tic Tacs, shoelaces, T-shirts, and more. Ends 3/6/12. 

Crayola Spring Giveaway Enter daily from 3/12/12 - 3/16/12 for your chance to be one of the daily 25 winners of great Crayola Prizes. Ends 3/16/12.

Orbitz 50 Faves Contest Play for a chance to win one of fifty (50) awesome vacation packages. Invite others to get more bids! Come back daily for more chances. Ends 3/25/12.

Gillette Venus Giveaway Enter daily to increase your chances to win the weekly prize of a year's supply of Venus Embrace and Satin Care products! Ends 3/30/12.

Tone's Swag Bag Giveaway Enter daily for your chance at a New Tone® Fruit Peel™ Body Wash, plus one of four fresh spring accessories. With a Swag Bag giveaway on 3/31/12. Ends 3/31/12.

Peeps Ultimate Easter Basket Giveaway Enter daily to win this awesome prize! Ends 4/1/12.

Clinique Lucky Days Contest  Enter daily to win full size products! 5 given away per week...ranging in price from $10 +. Ends 4/1/12.

Oberto Quick Grab Enter daily to win prizes. Ends 6/30/12.(I won a $1 off coupon 3/13/12; and another $1 off coupon 3/15/12)

Internet IWGs and Contests 

Disney One More Day Sweeps Enter daily to win one of 60 a 5-day/4-night vacation at Disneyland Resort in California or Walt Disney World Resort in Florida!* OR Text DISNEYDAY to 347639 to enter! Ends 2/29/12. 

Subway Footlong Nation Appreciation Enter daily (up to 3 codes) to win prizes and to be entered to win free footlongs for life! Get codes from specially marked items from Subway (like a beverage cup) or follow them on Facebook and Twitter for free codes. Here are some free codes I got from VT Freebie Girl (I love their site & FB page) EJ9Q1MT, USATODAY, DVOMXVD, DLZT26L, 97334NV6, DN1QTTU, CV812WM, D1KPY8B, NRF9LBMF, E48F4L9, DQE3Z43, E8X18OO, CX91T8L. Ends 3/11/12. (I won 2 bags of chips 3/3/12.)

Dole IWG Click your favorite fruit to win prizes like Dole Fruit Bowls, Plastic Jars, and $25 Nike Giftcards. Ends 3/24/12.

Slim Fast IWG Enter daily to win tons of instant win prizes, like gift cards and slimfast! Also a grand prize of $10,000 or a makeover with Celebrity Stylist, Jacqui Stafford. Ends 3/26/12.

SunDrop & SunKist Giveaway! Enter daily to win a trip to the 2012 Billboard Music Awards! Ends 3/30/12.

Dole Warm Up Contest - Enter daily for your chance at a trip to Fuji and instant win prizes! Ends 3/31/12.

Fiber One Great Taste Enter daily for prizes like $500 giftcard, designer handbag, or a box of Fiber One brownies. Use code 1600011111. Ends 3/31/12. 

Purex 50 Bottles in 50 Days Enter daily to win a bottle of Purex detergent. 50 bottles given away each day for 50 days. Ends 3pm PT on 3/31/12.

State Farms Smart Play Challenge Watch a clip, guess the smart play, see if you are right, but even if wrong a chance to win. You can play/enter once daily. Ends 3/31/12. (I won 15% off at 3/13/12, 3/14/12, and 3/15/12. Everyday I play this is all I are useless to me.)

Velveeta Rotel Contest Enter for your chance at $15,000. Ends 3/31/12

Levono $50,000 Contest Enter to win the grand prize or other awesome prizes! Ends 3/31/12.

IHOP Lorax Contest Enter daily to win a family trip to Universal Orlando - including airfare, hotel stay, and both park entries all day. Ends 4/1/12.

Secret Contest They are looking for the busiest woman! Four busy women will win awesome prizes! If you are a super busy woman that's in charge of your life - enter! Ends 4/4/12.

Chapstick - Lucky Lips Enter daily to win iPods (10 per day), $10 iTunes gift cards (18 per day), Kinect for Xbox 360 (2 per day). Codes on specially marked packages, or request a free code - once per day (apparently you can only get so many free game codes, today I was informed I had received the limit - 3/8/12). Ends 4/10/12

Purex Scavenger Hunt! Find the image that matches and there will be an entry form. This is a chance for one of ten (10) $50 Visa gift card. One entry per person.Winners will be selected around 4/13/12. Ends 4/10/12

Skittles Riddles Game Enter daily for your chance at instant win prizes like a pinata or skittles and for grand prize entries for a trip to Hollywood and an awesome pinball machine and to star in a viral video with that guy! Game ends 3/22/12. Sweepstakes ends 4/12/12.

Purex $1000 Laundry Room Makeover Giveaway Enter one time for the chance to win $1,000 to makeover your laundry room! Ends 4/17/12.  

Clorox Kitchen Central! Play daily to win a FREE canister of Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes and earn a Sweepstakes entry toward our $10,000 Kitchen Makeover grand prize. Ends 4/17/12.

Betty Crocker Great Snacks Giveaway Enter daily for an IW! Enter a package code or use: 16000-12345. Ends 4/30/12.

Stella Artois Chalice Contest Enter daily for your chance to get their chalice. (I won a chalice 3/24/12). Ends 4/30/12

Hershey's Reeses NCAA IWG Enter daily to win a trip to the 2013 Men's NCAA Final Four and your chance at instant prizes (like Reeses cups). You can also enter by texting "REESES" to 44144. (Game hasn't worked for me past couple days 3/23 and 3/24). Ends 4/30/12.

Lindt In the Bag Enter daily for your chance at awesome prizes! Get game codes from specially marked bags of chocolate, or ask for a free code. Ends 6/30/12. (I won a Red Envelop $10 off coupon on 1/11; I won a Red Envelope $25 off coupon on 2/28)

Hershey's Avengers Instant Win Game Enter daily to win instantly! You can get codes off specially packaged Hershey's candies or get free. Play the game or just find out if you won! (Game hasn't worked for me past couple days 3/23 and 3/24).  Ends 9/30/12.(I won 10 digital Avengers comics on 3/22/12)

The Perfect Cup Sweepstakes One entry per day to win a year's supply of K-cups or one of their Instant Win prizes - machines & K-cups. Ends 3/31/13.

Hot Slots Enter daily (can spin as many times as you like) to win Hot Tamales candies. 500 prizes per month, can only win one prize per monthly game period. Game will last as long as they like. (I won Hot Tamales 3/14/12)

My Coke Rewards Currently has various contests that you can play for 3 or 6 pts. Instant win games...among other items that you can get as your points build up! Enjoy Coke...gain swag or play games! No free games currently.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Barkeeper's Friend Love

Up until a few years ago, I had no idea this product existed. Did you? Have you used it?

So, we have this problem that some of our knives and pots and pans get rust on them...and its really annoying, because it could just be from sitting in the sink overnight (or for a week). Then bam, useless...but we wouldn't get rid of them...just I'd set off to the side and wait for magic.

Finally a few years ago Pete asked his mother, and she said, "Get Barkeeper's Friend, you can find it in Walmart, probably near the floor in the cleaning aisle." Likely, a month later we went out and bought it...and I've been in love with it ever since!

It is amazing! You wet a paper towel or cloth and add some of the powered Barkeeper's Friend...simply wipe...sometimes you have to scrub (but not usually), a little bit, and more rust! It really is magic! I mean it probably won't get the rest off something that is really now all rust, but for some surface rust..yep gone!

The other day, I went to use our crock pot and saw some weird yellow stuff stuck to the sides of the pot...and I couldn't scrub it off with dish soap or my finger I tried Barkeeper's Friend and OMG! It worked...this one I had to scrub off, but all clean! No more weird yellow stuff...Barkeeper's Friend is cheap and easy to use....I recommend this product to EVERYONE!

*I have not received this product for free or anything from the company, these are my own thoughts and opinions.*

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Food Documentaries I Watched This Week

This week, we got really into watching some food documentaries. Let's go back a bit....for years Pete and I have talked about changing our diet, eating healthier, eating less fats and sugars...blah blah. Yet, we haven't this day! He's wanted us to go on a juice fast...he's wanted us to go raw food...and I've been like sure I'll try it...but not like super excited. So, we never do. Back to now...we noticed a lot more documentaries have loaded onto Netflix and we decided to watch some food related ones together...because again we started talking about changing our diet and exercising and all that. 

The specific documentaries that we watched were:

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead - This was about an Australian guy that decided he needed to change his lifestyle because he was overweight, had a lot of health issues (including an autoimmune disease), and was on his way to being nearly dead. His idea - kick start a healthy living lifestyle by doing a 60 day juice fast. Just take fresh vegetables and fruits and juice them...and drink that for each meal. He was under a doctor's watch. He lost weight and got off all his medications and no longer had his autoimmune disease! After the 60 days he went on to eat a diet of mostly vegetables and fruit and whole grains....and maintains a healthy lifestyle with exercise. He also met a guy that was more overweight than him that also had the same autoimmune disease...and changed that man's life! He lost a lot of weight...convinced others of the lifestyle and is all around happier and healthier and stronger! It's really amazing... no one says you have to do the 60 day juice fast...but jump start with a 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, just helps to cleanse the body when you change to a more vegetarian diet. I have to say...this show convinced me! Pete and I are going to do a juice fast starting Monday...and a friend of mine has wanted to do one for a while ... so she's doing it also (from a distance). 
Taken from their website.
Food Matters - This was all about nutrition and how beneficial it is for us to eat a diet that is at least 51% vegetables and fruit...and how curable heart disease and diabetes are. This show really made me upset thinking about how important nutrition and the foods we eat are, but how its never really relayed to us in such terms other than, "eat your veggies you'll grow up big and strong" "eat your veggies it'll cure what ails ya" "change your diet if you don't want to take these pills". Yep broad terms like that don't get anyone to change. Cuz we hear "in moderation" and how this and that are needed. I had no idea how rich in protein a lot of plants are...that we don't need to eat meat! What! Well, uh this show convinced me to make a change toward AT LEAST 51% diet of vegetables and fruit...and maybe one day going toward vegetarian or day. 
Taken from their website.
Forks Over Knives - This one was again about nutrition and the health benefits of eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. It really went into scientific data about how a diet like this can actually stop and reverse cardiovascular disease and diabetes! I mean, I've heard about reversing diabetes with food, but...cardiovascular disease...holy wow! The veins actually repair themselves and grow back strong! It also said, it has been shown that cancer patients changing to a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole animal protein/products....actually can reverse cancer! Cancer cells shrink and go away! Is that not incredible? Also, this show focused on how big industry has a huge say in what is healthy for us. It talked about how milk has been pushed at us as being needed for its calcium, but it showed that for all the calcium we drink...we still have a huge percentage of people that get osteoporosis...said what happens is because of the animal proteins...our body actually fights it..and fights it with the calcium in our bones. There's a lot of calcium in leafy greens. I have to say again I felt angry that no one had explained this to me before in so many words. We have to seek it out if we want to know...we have to learn on our own what they mean. OMG! You have to watch this..if you do not watch any of the others.
Taken from their website.
A lot more research and reading has to be done...and a lot of learning...and a lot of recipes found to keep the food interesting! But first...a 3 day that may turn into a 5, 7, 10 day juice fast! We're going to see how it goes at each of those intervals and if we feel good enough to go on...we will! If not, on to veggies and fruits (on day 4, 6, 8, or 11).

*All can be found on Twitter and Facebook by their very titles. :)

Has anyone ever tried a juice fast before? How long and how did it go? Would you do another?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thoughts on a Career Change

Have you ever thought about changing your current career? I'm sure for most it is just a thought...and others its something they did! I've been at a crossroads for a few years...I quit my career job as an Instructional Designer (ID) in 2010 to try something else, only later in the year to go back to the same career freelancing, and then with a company. Well, earlier this year, I was let go from my job working remotely as an ID and it leaves me once again looking to change my career and figure out my passion. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a lot of aspects of being an ID, but I find on my current path I'm not getting to do the things I learned in college that I especially loved. brings me to...
I took a little quiz called the "What's Your Dream Job?" on MSN and it was interestingly accurate about the directions I should take. It is only 9 questions long. I was even for Information jobs and Creative Jobs (I just took again and it said Information - I know I changed one answer).
Information careers may include tasks such as synthesizing, coordinating, analyzing, compiling, computing, copying or comparing. Possible career choices include: library assistant, editor, web developer, professional organizer, accountant or private investigator. I'd say Instructional Designer falls under this category.
Creative career choices include: writer, photographer, musician, interior decorator, graphic artist, fashion designer. Of course there are many more careers to choose from, but knowing your preferred type can help you narrow down the choices. Very interesting, Photography is a hobby of mine, and I used to love, love, love watching HGTV and the like. 
I went to another site - The Career Key, but they charge to take their quiz, so I looked at all the categories and picked jobs of interest to look into. A few that interest me are: Librarian, Historian (Genealogist), Photographer, Interior Design, Architect, Scientific Photographer, Pharmacy Technician, Human Resources Assistant, Archeologist, Instructional Coordinator, and Executive Assistant
What's nice is they link to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This site is awesome, because it gives a lot of information about the type of career including - Significant Points, Nature of the Work (including Work Environment), Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement, Job Outlook, Earnings, etc. It all can be rather encouraging or discouraging...depending on what you read and how you take it. 

I'm going to research career options further, and if I feel one stands out, I may go back to school at some point in the near future to pursue it. I already have a lot of student loans from when I went to college for my BA and MS, but I always said if I figured out something else I'd love to do, I would go back...hopefully I can go part-time and pay it off as I go or something this time! I particularly like this hilarious, maybe true, list of reasons to go back to college! Or maybe I'll find an ID job that allows me to do what I loved about the career in the first place! Guess we'll see what happens in the next couple of years! 

If you were to change your career what path might you take? Or if you did change your career what did you go from and to?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Purex Free Product Coupon Giveaway Post!

Being a Purex Insider (they are not currently accepting applications, but check back in the spring 2012), I have been able to try some products for free (Purex Crystals, Purex UltraPacks, Purex Triple Action Detergent) and with my blog posts about these products, they have provided me with coupons to share with my readers. This will allow potentially 4 winners in two giveaways below! ***GIVEAWAYS begin at 12:01am 2/15/12 and ends at 12:01am 2/29/12.***

*Two (2) readers will win One (1) Purex UltraPacks Free Product Coupon (up to $5.00).

*Two (2) readers will win One (1) Purex Triple Action Detergent Free Product Coupon (up to $5.00).
**I will allow that a reader can win one of the Purex Ultra Packs coupons and one of the Purex Triple Action Detergent, but not two of the same.

To enter to win these wonderful prizes, fill out each Rafflecopter application and as many entries as you would like using the Rafflecopter Application below. The more entries you complete, the better your chances of winning! This giveaway is in no way associated with or sponsored by Facebook or Twitter. The winners will have 24 hours to contact me at with their mailing address, or a new winner will be chosen. Please note the Rafflecopter Application may take a moment to load. Thank you!