September 28, 2017

SackPals Giveaway

SackPals Giveaway

Hosted By
~ 1 Winner~
Open to US
9/28 12am ~ 10/12 11:59pm

~Prize~
SackPals Starter Kit
RV $39.95

Check out our review for the SackPals Starter Kit.


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a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any questions about this giveaway,  reviews, or any of our other giveaways, please feel free to email us directly at grovesamy81@gmail.com or amy@aarlreviews.com

September 24, 2017

My Tips for Purchasing A Car

*This is a sponsored post*


I didn't get the car in the divorce. That makes life a little tough. 
I needed to start the car search for an affordable vehicle I could use to travel where I needed to, when I needed to.
Cars.com afforded me the luxury of looking for a car from the comfort of my dining room table.
The search tools were very easy to use and let me pick exactly what I was looking for and in the price range I could afford. 
 These are the steps I took in looking for a new car. Mind you I decided on a used car that fit in my budget that had higher miles, but an excellent maintenance record.


Determine Your Budget

Look at your numbers. What can you realistically afford after the necessities are paid. Don't forget you need to include insurance costs as well. Don't break the bank.


Research Vehicles: New or Used

Can you really afford a new car? Or would you be better off with a "new" used vehicle? Brand new cars can cost up to $45000 now. A quality, well maintained used car can be bought for under $12000.

Financing Or Purchasing Options

How will you purchase the car? What kind of interest rate can you get with your credit? Make sure to know your credit score and shop around for the best interest rates if you need to get a loan for your purchase. Or have you saved enough to pay for a vehicle in full? 


Dealership Options

Whats the reputation of the dealership you are looking to buy from? Are the mechanics certified? Do they have Better Business Bureau rating? What are complaints or praises?


Test Driving

Make sure to take a real test drive. Not just down the road and back. Hit the highway or go on a bumpy road or a road with curves and stops. Get a good feel while you drive. If it doesn't feel right in the test, it wont feel right later on. 


One other thing, car seats. If your little people are going to be spending anytime in the vehicle, you need to make sure all of the car seats will fit with space left over for the wiggles of feet. 

Check out the video cars.com has about their car seat checks. HERE

Child seat safety is very important! 




We're Doing Science! Sponsored by Fruit of the Loom


Parents can never be too prepared when it comes to their kids!!!

Fruit of the Loom’s bonus pack with boys’ and girls’ underwear comes with extra pairs…
just in case.

*This is a sponsored post/share*



September 22, 2017

Matthew West: All In, CD Giveaway

#ALLIN & #FlyBy

I had never heard of Matthew West to be honest. This CD was my first introduction to his music. He has a beautiful voice and the lyrics are understandable. I found this CD and his music to be enjoyable for all ages. 

Matthew wrote his new album All In with the goal of encouraging himself and others to get up off the sidelines of their faith and really live it out – to go all in in your time with God, all in with your family, all in with your community, and all in battling your fears that may hold you back from becoming who God made you to be. Along that same theme, Matthew will be launching a 6-week All in Challenge on his social media starting 9/18, and each week Matthew will be challenging his fans to go all in in a different part of their lives. What does it look like when a heart that knows Jesus takes a step and holds nothing back? How can we go All In in the places that mean the most?




“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

September 19, 2017

Colortime Crafts and Markers Coloring Items


Reasonable prices for birthday parties and sleepovers with Colortime Crafts and Markers coloring pillowcases, t-shirts, backpacks, permanent fabric markers, and more. New special glow-in-the-dark ink items available! Clean, easy, and affordable crafts activity that doubles as a unique keepsake!

My Readers Receive 15% Off Any Order at Colortime Crafts and Markers



 Use Code: FGH15 at HERE 

Click On the LInk Below for the Latest Online Special offers and promo codes to Colortime Crafts and Markers

September 14, 2017

2017 Killington WitchCraft Fall Festival



Killington WitchCraft - Spooky Fun - 2017 Killington WitchCraft is a fall festival that's a scary amount of fun for everyone. Be the first to be a part of a tradition you'll look forward to and never forget.
Killington WitchCraft has something for everyone!

Enjoy guided ATV tours of the mountain, challenge your family to a race through the haunted maze, or sit back with a craft beer and listen to live music. Come out and join us for a weekend full of activities for the whole family.

Killington WitchCraft - Spooky Fun - 2017 Save up to 20% on lodging. - Killington WitchCraft is a fall festival that's a scary amount of fun for everyone. Held two weekends, October 7 - 8 and October 14 - 15, activities include hay rides, a haunted house, pumpkin launch, craft beer, and more. Save up to 20% on lodging.
http://www.killingtonwitchcraft.com

PLEASE NOTE: Lodging prices do not include WitchCraft event tickets.



Packages range from $49 to $99




September 11, 2017

Drawing Book: Draw 50 Outer Space Pictures


Do you have a drawer in the family? I do. Two in fact. My 16 yo is getting good at drawing so I have passed this book on to him. Hes good at animals real and fictional. 
This book gives good direction on everything from a human to a space shuttle to planets. Step by step the illustrations are clear and walk you through.

Definitely a good guide for kids and teenagers interested in learning to draw things related to outer space.

My son has already drawn 34 of the pictures and hes embellished on the final picture. 

My daughter has drawn 19 and she has stuck with the basics as she does simpler, more direct type of art.

I like the clear and clean designs in the book and the simple easy to follow outlines. I definitely be purchasing more books like this from the publisher to complete the kids collection of drawing assistance books.

GET IT HERE ON AMAZON

Disclosure:  I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. No other compensation was given in exchange for an honest review.

 



September 9, 2017

Ozeri Touch II Kitchen Digital Scale.


KEY FEATURES

Industry exclusive scale features Microban antimicrobial product protection that helps prevent the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria

It has 2 touch sensitive buttons, 4 high precision GFX sensors, a large Blue LCD screen, and a capacity range of 0.05 oz to 18 lbs or 1 g to 8000 g

Award-winning thin design is infused with Microban, antimicrobial technology to provide an added level of protection that won't ever wear away

Precision Tare button subtracts the container weight for the net ingredient weight; easy Unit button instantly converts between lb/oz, g, fl.oz., ml

Includes 2 Lithium batteries and an easy-access battery compartment (no screwdriver needed). NOTE: remove the battery insulating strip before attempting to use the device



This scale is the perfect sized kitchen scale. The only issue I have with it is that I have to push the digital buttons/sensors kinda hard for them to work properly. My fingers are usually on the cooler side so I sometimes have a problem with digital things and touch. Other than that I like this scale. 
Its accurate and the digital readout is clear. 


28.95 on Amazon. See it HERE.

September 8, 2017

Water Heater Nightmare

The purchase of a water heater is a big investment. Not only for your home but for your family. Spending anywhere in the range of $400 to $800, even up to $2000, for a round metal tank to hold water is a challenge and investment most of us do not want to have to make. But when you have no choice but to make that large type of home investment, you trust that there will be a warranty or guarantee on that purchase.

Most products you purchase do have a guarantee that the product is free of defects and will work for a set amount of time or years. Most of these purchases also come with a warranty that is in effect for anywhere from 3 to 8 years.

In most states there is also a warranty that alot of residents don't know about. Its called the Implied Warranty of Guarantee. This is a guideline set in each state of how long a certain product, purchased in your state, is expected to last. The range of these guidelines depends on the purchased product.

Recently a consumer, we shall call Mr. M, found the need to replace his homes water heater. This is a natural part of home ownership however in Mr. M's case, the water heater he needed to replace was less than 4 years old and had only been installed in his home just under three years ago. In this case, the warranty from the original purchase was needed to cover the replacement. Since Mr. M had believed in the product he had purchased, he began the investigation into why the water heater had failed. Through search and discovery, he and his trusted investigator, discovered it was due to a failed part. This discovery led to Mr. M's beginning of a nightmare trip with the maker of the defected water heater and their customer service. This company not only has a horrid way of dealing with customer issues, but in honoring the warranty and guarantee on their products.

Beginning two days after the failure, Mr. M. contacted the companies Customer Service Department on several occasions. Not once did the company state to Mr. M that the warranty information and the guarantee information, which included the claim form, could be located online. Nor did they mention that the information located on the defective heater was needed. Mr M was also informed that he needed a receipt with a detailed purchase on it. The statement from the credit card company he used to make the original purchase was not going to be accepted. For two weeks Mr M kept contacting and researching. Finally discouraged, he purchased a new water heater. During the installation of the new water heater, he and the installer discovered a shocking thing. The new heater was manufactured and marketed under two different names. The manufacturer was the same as the deceased water heater but marketed under the name of a very reputable company.

Mr M, then contacted a reporter and asked her to do research as he was very discouraged. The reporter discovered several things in her research. Having called and spoken to several representatives of both brands and not getting replies, the reporter discovered the following:

-Whirlpool has a Brands We Love page.  American Water Heater, is not listed on that page. Even though the newly purchased water heater was purchased under the premise of being a Whirlpool, the warranty and paperwork inside the box states American Water Heater. The warranty registration card also states, as you can see on the bottom, Whirlpool Water Heaters.

-No where on either companies websites, is the other companies logo located or the company mentioned.

-American Water Heaters (aka U.S. Craftmaster, etc.) produces water heaters for Whirlpool which are then sold through Lowes.

  Canadian water heater manufacturer GSW Inc. purchased American Water Heater Co. in early April from Southcorp Ltd., an Australian winemaker that now has divested all its holdings in water heater companies. In December 2001, Southcorp sold its Australian and Asian water heater businesses, which included the Rheem brand, to Japan-based Paloma Industries, which owns the rights to the Rheem name elsewhere.

  A.O. Smith Corp. on April 3 completed its acquisition of GSW Inc., a Canadian-based manufacturer of water heaters and building products, with 2005 sales of $520 million (U.S.). It was acquired for $340 million in cash.

GSW is the parent company of American Water Heater, Johnson City, Tenn., which it purchased in 2002. American Water Heater also sells water heaters under the names American PROLine and U.S. Craftmaster.

GSW sells electric, gas, propane and oil-fired products to customers in the wholesale, retail and energy services channels across Canada, under the GSW and John Wood brand names.

 Whirlpool/American/A.O. Smith

Complaints and stories:

one

two

three

Not Better Business Bureau Accreditted

Here is some more information for you on consumer purchasing that you may find helpful if you ever need it.

Implied Warranty of Merchantability

Just about every consumer product purchase comes with an implied warranty of merchantability, which means it is guaranteed to work if used for its intended purpose. If you buy a blender that simply doesn't work, then you have the right to take it back for an exchange or a refund. This also applies to used items, with the extra disclaimer that it will work as intended, given its condition at the time of resale.

Implied Warranty of Fitness

Some purchases come with what is called an implied warranty of fitness. This means that a product is guaranteed for a specific purpose, beyond the lower threshold of merchantability. So if you asked a salesperson to recommend a blender specifically for making frozen cocktails, but the one that's recommended turns out to not have enough power to crush ice cubes, then you may return the item under its implied warranty of fitness.
That means sales of consumer goods that work perfectly fine, just not for the customer's planned and stated use, may breach an implied warranty of fitness. The warranty usually is implied through the salesperson's assurance or recommendation of an item for a specific purpose.

Items Sold 'As Is'

Retailers sometimes mark items with the words "sold as is" or "with all faults" in an effort to disclaim an implied warranty, but this is not allowed in the following states:

Alabama
Connecticut
Kansas
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Mississippi
New Hampshire
Vermont
Washington
West Virginia
District of Columbia

Since implied warranties are by definition unwritten, they are not covered by federal law (which covers ALL written and verbal warranties). However, most state laws require 4 years of coverage under an implied warranty. Some states only require implied warranties to last as long as any express warranty that also came with the purchase.
Other states limit the ability of merchants to disclaim an implied warranty, including Maryland. Disclaimers such as "sold as is" have no legal bearing on transactions in the state, which means customers may always return items that meet the criteria of "merchantability."
The base of this article, Mr M's story, is currently still open and no resolution has been aquired. Consumer Law provided information for this article.

September 5, 2017

Keeping Your ‘Thought Life’ Healthy And Your Stress Level Low Tips


7 Techniques For Keeping Your ‘Thought Life’
Healthy And Your Stress Level Low


Life gives people plenty of reasons to be stressed.

Relationship problems, child-rearing issues, job woes and a lack of money are just some of life’s complications that can weigh people down – and cause health problems.

“It’s difficult to stay healthy and energized when stress is a daily reality,” says Dr. Greg Wells (www.drgregwells.com), author of The Ripple Effect: Eat, Sleep, Move and Think Better.

“Chronic stress can damage your body, threaten your mental health, put a strain on relationships, and take the joy out of life.”

But there’s no reason to surrender to stress, Wells says. He suggests seven techniques that can help you have a healthier “thought life” and recover from chronic stress:
• Move your body. Rhythmic, repeated motion is particularly soothing to the mind and body. A long walk, cycling, swimming, or running will all work, but any kind of movement relieves tension, improves circulation, and clears your mind.
• Get into nature. Head to the garden, the park, or the woods to lower your blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, reduce tension and depression, and boost your mood. “It’s stunning how good it is for your health to be in nature,” Wells says. “And I recommend you leave the cell phone and earbuds at home.” 
• Practice yoga or Tai Chi. Therapy, yoga and Tai Chi are good ways to decrease stress and anxiety, increase energy, and boost the immune system. They also give you more stamina—needed in stressful times—and improve the quality of your sleep. 
• Have perspective. Don’t be so quick to conclude that you “can’t handle” a stressful situation. “This is truly a mind-over-matter opportunity,” Wells says. “Believing that you are strong and resourceful actually makes you stronger and more resourceful.” Don’t give in to negative self-talk about not having what it takes to manage life, he says. 
• Change the nature of your response. Research indicates that taking an active, problem-solving approach to life’s challenges relieves stress and can transform it into something positive. If you withdraw, deny the problem, or spend all your time venting, you’ll feel helpless. Instead, Well says, be determined to make a change, put effort into it, and plan for better results. 
• Practice slow, deep breathing. Start applying the power of deep breathing each day. It will make a huge difference. Wells recommends you start small by taking three deep breaths each time you sit down at your desk—in the morning, after breaks, after lunch, and so on. It will help you become more patient, calm, and relaxed. 
• Block time for single-tasking. Each day, schedule time in your calendar for focusing exclusively on one task. This task should be something that is important to you. “People love to talk about multi-tasking, but while doing several things at once might make it seem as if you are working hard, it’s an illusion,” Wells says. Your body and mind are not designed to work that way and it causes extra stress.
“Ultimately, it’s important to remember that your thoughts have a strong influence over stress levels,” Wells says. “What you choose to think about, or not think about, dictates how your body and mind react to everyday life.”


About Dr. Greg Wells

Dr. Greg Wells (www.DrGregWells.com) is an authority on high performance and human physiology. Wells’ latest book, The Ripple Effect: Eat, Sleep, Move and Think Better, hit shelves earlier this year. Dr. Wells is an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Toronto where he studies elite sport performance. He also serves as an Associate Scientist of Translational Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children, where he leads the Exercise Medicine Research Program.

*photo credit to Google search images*

September 4, 2017

Tips To Help You Return Unscathed from your Vacation

40% Of Travelers Contract Infectious Disease On Vacation

Tips To Help You Return Unscathed


Dr. Brent W. Laartz thought he was in for the ride of his lifetime when he set out on a horseback riding excursion in Costa Rica.

Admittedly younger and more na├»ve than he is today, Laartz – an infectious disease specialist and author of the book How to AvoidContagious Diseases (www.drlaartz.com) –  failed to take some of the precautions necessary to avoid becoming one of the 40 percent of travelers every year who bring back an unwanted souvenir of a major illness from their trip.

“While on vacation it becomes entirely necessary to be more observant of the conditions that are in place that could harm you,” Laartz says.

Laartz offers tips on how to protect yourself on your next trip and to make sure the ride of a lifetime doesn’t turn into the worst ride of your life:

 Avoid local water in all forms

 When you shower, don’t ingest the water and don’t be afraid to ask for a drink without ice. In lesser developed countries there is less infrastructure for clean water, effective sewage and public health. If you can’t avoid unsanitary water, make sure you have iodine tablets and bring along a tea or coffee-making device that will boil water for you. Furthermore, you should buy a case or two of water when you arrive at a destination and check that all bottle caps are sealed to assure the bottled water isn’t just a refilled bottle of dirty, parasite-infested tap water.

Protect your feet at all times

Use flip flops in the shower, and if you must be barefoot, put a towel down on the floor. Parasites can enter the skin of your feet and travel to different parts of the body. For the same reason that you should wear flip flops in the shower, you should never walk barefoot in any area of a foreign country, including your hotel room.

Beware of fruits, vegetables and condiments

If a fruit such as apples or bananas – which can both be peeled – isn’t available, it’s best to avoid. Any fruit or vegetable served fresh may have been washed in the same water, or wiped with the same rag used to clean work surfaces in kitchens. The best advice is to bring your own peeler so that you know nothing unsanitary has been applied to the fruit. Food such as potato salad and coleslaw, which contain uncooked mayonnaise, should also be avoided. And beware of any condiment not served in a bottle.

By-pass the roadside stands

 The aroma coming from that roadside stand or little corner of an open-air market might smell great, but unless the food is piping hot when served, the best idea is to leave it alone. If you are concerned about the sanitation of a restaurant, order the food to go. Styrofoam boxes may be cleaner than the plate or fork on the table. 
“How you protect yourself will determine whether your trip goes off without a hiccup,” Laartz says, “or whether you become another vacation casualty.”


About Dr. Brent W. Laartz
Dr. Brent W. Laartz (www.drlaartz.com), author of How to Avoid Contagious Diseases, is a board certified infectious diseases specialist in Safety Harbor, Fla., with years of experience in infection control at hospitals, nursing facilities, rehab facilities and outpatient clinics. He graduated with his BA and MS degrees from Northwestern University and his MD degree from the University of Iowa. He finished his training in Tampa, Fla., where he completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in infectious diseases and tropical medicine at the University of South Florida.

*photo credits to Google search images*

September 1, 2017

UNLEASHED: Giveaway and review





When a cosmic event turns Emma’s dog and cat into two perfect guys, Emma reconsiders her outlook on dating, hilariously works out her trust issues, and ultimately learns to love herself.

Emma (Kate Micucci), a brilliant but awkward app designer, moves to San Francisco after a massive betrayal by her boyfriend (Josh Brener) with only her beloved pets Ajax (Justin Chatwin), a golden eyed cat and Summit (Steve Howey), an energetic mutt in tow.  One night, drawn by the light of a Supermoon, Emma’s pets escape into the night and are transformed into full-grown men.  With the help of her colleague (Hana Mae Lee), she realizes she needs to make significant changes in her life before fate takes another turn.

I must say I did enjoy this movie. A good clean romance movie with hints at adult suggestions that were not over obvious or anything that would be embarrassing to anyone. A movie I am ok with my teenage girls watching.
Are you  #TeamDog or #TeamCat

Each household is only eligible to win Unleashed via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Debras Random Rambles is not responsible for prize fufillment or shipment.