Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Birthday: Part 1

My birthday is tomorrow (I don't want to admit how old I am because even though I am NOT OLD, this is definitely not where (in my life) I pictured myself being at this age...but let's just say that next year will be a big milestone) & DH surprised me by showing up today with a bouquet of roses!! Since we have our appointment with our donor & her husband (B & C) tomorrow at the RE, he figured that he wouldn't have time to get them for me then...but we are planning on going out to dinner after the appointment (with B & C if they have time to join us before heading back home to put their daughter to bed). Keep your fingers crossed that all goes well!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

American Idol: Top 5

This week's theme: The Rat Pack era

1. Adam - I'm Feeling Good - Ok, I hate to sound like a broken record, but Adam is amazing! They were talking about swagger...ADAM has SWAGGER, baby! I know there's Adam haters out there, but wow...I can't get over what he does with that voice. Un.freakin.believable.

2. Matt - My Funny Valentine - This seems like it should be a great style & song for Matt. He definitely has that crooner-style voice (and look). I loved the control of the runs in the middle of the song & I loved when he started belting out the second half. That kid can SING and I am so, so, SO glad that they saved him (even if he doesn't win). I hope we see a lot more of him!

3. Kris - The Way You Look Tonight - I was kind of taken aback to see Kris in a suit since he's usually in his jeans & tee, but I liked the little bit of casual-ness that he threw in there by loosening his tie a little - I thought the song sounded great - nice & soft & he held back a little. He showed off his range & threw in little runs that were great & it just sounded so sincere. I will actually quote Paula when she said that he could be a "contemporary crooner", like a Michael Buble of sorts, but I also agree with Simon that it wasn't incredible.

4. Danny - Come Rain or Come Shine - Ok first off, Danny looks SMOKIN' tonight! I have to admit that I felt kind of disjointed from the song - I'm not sure if it is the phrasing or the timing of the song, but I didn't really enjoy the performance as much as all of the judges did. I thought he sounded great, but I just wasn't drawn in...but I guess I don't know as much as the judges do!!!!

5. Allison - Someone To Watch Over Me - I definitely think she looks great tonight (finally) & I love this song! I did it in high school at a voice recital! She puts me in mind of Eartha Kitt in this song (although I can admit that the only Eartha Kitt song I know is Santa Baby). This is probably my favorite performance of Allison's - I haven't been a fan in past weeks (even though I agree she can definitely sing), but this style really pushes her to sing instead of shout. She showed a lot of control in this song, but I agree with Simon that I think she's in jeopardy this week, simply because she has a hard time connecting emotionally with her audience.

Bottom 3 (despite great performances by all): Matt, Allison & Kris???

Going home: Allison (due to VFTW factor on Matt)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Wait!: Two songs!

I'm just about ready to wrap up my (forever-and-a-day long) series on waiting in times of struggle. I wanted to share the lyrics to two songs with you that have really touched me & spoken to me throughout this IF journey. Read them. Mull them over. Take them in. They give me goosebumps.

The first is a hymn written in 1752 by a woman named Katharina von just goes to show you that God's messages are timeless...

"Be Still My Soul"

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to your God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: your God will undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds shall know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

And this one is a bit less enduring, I'm sure, but meaningful's "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus (I know, I really is an amazing song).

I can almost see it
That dream I’m dreaming but
There’s a voice inside my head sayin,
You’ll never reach it,
Every step I’m taking,
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking but I
Got to keep trying
Got to keep my head held high

There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes I'm going to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing,
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes they might knock me down but
No I’m not breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I’m going to remember most yeah
Just got to keep going
And I,
I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on,

There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes I'm going to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

There’s always going to be another mountain
I’m always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Somebody's you're going to have to lose,
Ain’t about how fast I get there,
Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side
It’s the climb

Keep on moving
Keep climbing
Keep the faith baby
It’s all about
It’s all about
The climb
Keep the faith
Keep your faith

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

American Idol: Top 7 (AGAIN!)

Disco week! I can't wait to see what they pull out of their hats this time around! I was kind of surprised that they saved Matt last week! I think he's awesome and has come so far in the competition, but I thought they would save the save for Adam, Danny or Kris, if need be.

1. Kris - She Works Hard For the Money - interesting song choice, but I totally love his acoustic arrangement...kind of like an MTV unplugged thing going on. Kris is really starting to put me in mind of a John Mayer & he's definitely growing on me more and more each week! What a cool, one-of-a-kind performance!
2. Danny - September - great choice for Danny, but I'm not a fan of the scruff going on on his face. I thought he did a great job and I thought this song was a lot of fun! And I agree with Kara, Danny never has pitch problems!
3. Adam - If I Can't Have You - Adam's back to his JoBro/Elvis look & I still can't decide if I like it or not - vocally, I was surprised to see Adam scale it back for disco week (because I think he could have gone really crazy with funky, falsetto, disco-esque stuff). He sounded amazing & he continues to make us expect the unexpected. Not my favorite performance, but still solid &, as always, unique!
4. Matt - Stayin Alive - I'm not so sure how the judges will feel about this song since it's SO cliche disco, but I thought it was a nice performance. I really liked when Matt went up into his falsetto, in true Bee Gees fashion. This was a surprising choice, but I thought he worked it out and really showed his stuff.
5. Allison - Hot Stuff - First of all, her outfit is only marginally better than it has been in the past weeks...she looks half cat-woman, half disco-ball (which I suppose is appropriate). I wasn't really a fan of this performance. Vocally, she sounded good (shouting at times), but I didn't like the arrangement...I didn't feel like there was much meat to it (but what was there, she made it sound great!)
6. Anoop - Dim All the Lights - Just an ok performance from Anoop. I thought he sounded good vocally but there was nothing outstanding in the song's arrangement that really drew me in. I liked that he was doing something softer instead of going "traditional" disco...and I don't like his scruff either.
7. Lil
- I'm Every Woman - again, just OK - I felt like this style of music suited her more than any of the others, but I'm just not a fan. Pitchy & all over the place. Sorry, Lil. Your days are numbered. I hope you just saved Matt from his imminent death.

Bottom 3: Lil, Anoop, ???? (Matt)

Going Home: Lil (I hope) & Anoop

Monday, April 20, 2009

Menu Plan Monday!

Hopefully I can get it all together for another MPM this week! I have grilling in the menu this week as a tentative plan, but I'm not sure if the weather will cooperate!

Sunday - soft tacos
Monday - Family night w/ ILs
Tuesday - Chicken Enchiladas (new recipe to use up some soft taco shells & take advantage of the $1.69/lb chicken special)
Wednesday - Steaks (on the grill or broiler) & baked potatoes
Thursday - chicken caesar salads (sliced, grilled, marinated chicken & Rachael Ray's homemade no-egg caesar dressing)
Friday - homemade pizza
Saturday - your guess is as good as mine ;-)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's a scary world out there

Teaching preschool 5 days a week, I will admit that I'm pretty sheltered from the crazy, scary place that we live in. True, I do see the school-aged daycare kids (through 6th grade) on a daily basis, and yes, I will admit that they are much more brazen that I ever was at that age (I think they're more brazen than I am even now - more on that in a second). But, the true dose of reality comes when I go to school functions with G from time-to-time. It never ceases to amaze me how kids are so ready to grow up so quickly, and how many parents allow (or in some cases seem to actually foster) that kind of behavior.

This past weekend's function was a 6th grade activity night. That means that for 2 hours, we were chaperoning a couple hundred tweens while they played putt-putt golf, basketball, volleyball, bingo, and dancing. I'm sure in your mind, you're turning the pages back to your middle school/junior high dances where the girls stood along one wall in a little circle and the boys dismally looked across at the girls, mustering up the courage to ask one of them to dance. Finally, when one of them did get the nerve to ask, their dancing was rigid and impersonal, at best, with the obligatory full arms-length between he and his partner.

Well NOT.ANY.MORE! I could NOT get over these kids! First of all, many of them walked through the door with a $20 bill in one pocket (for $.25-$1 snacks, mind you, their admittance had already been paid) and a cell-phone in the other...SIXTH GRADERS! The girls wore shorts so short, I was beginning to wonder if they had anything on underneath...really. And the dancing...oh gosh, the dancing.

Before I tell you about the dancing, I should first note that we have activity nights all throughout the year for the kids (usually 3-4 per year). The first two this year have been FINE where the dancing is concerned. The kids don't really know each other too well and they haven't been exposed to that kind of dancing...that is until they attend school-wide functions (we don't chaperone those) where they see the 7th and 8th graders dancing inappropriately (without any teachers telling them to stop...) and "learn" that it's ok.

Fast forward a couple of months to now...they know each other really well, some of them have become boyfriend/girlfriend and their hormones are raging (happens EVERY spring!) and the dancing starts to get out of control. At times during the dance, we discovered (when kids looked over their shoulders from within the circle to whisper *PSST! There's a teacher coming!*) that taller/bigger boys (many bigger than little old 5'0", 100lb me) would form a circle around a group of boys and girls so that they could dance inappropriately behind the human shield. I physically walked right through the middle of the circle and told them that they needed to spread out. Less than 20 minutes later, I had to tap a miniature womanizer on the shoulder to tell him "We don't dance like that here" as he was literally all over some girl from behind as he was dancing. It really disgusted me.

There were a couple of teachers there with me that either didn't see it or didn't say anything, but all I kept thinking was, if that were my innocent little daughter out there being danced on like that, I would hope that someone responsible would be willing to put a stop to it. Of course, I have a feeling that my daughter (if she's anything like me) would have been uncomfortable/terrified at that age if a boy danced on her like that. It really does scare me how society (read: parents) can encourage this type of behavior at such a young age. I don't know about you, but I know when my little one(s) finally come along, I will be trying to slow down the growing up process...not speed it up!

It's times like these when I think maybe I'm not cut out for parenting in the type of world that we live in. Maybe God made me infertile so that I wouldn't have to deal with the pain of watching a child grow up too fast. Or maybe God knows that I'm not strong enough to raise a child who won't give in to the pressures of today's culture. Or maybe it's just that God wanted to give G & I some extra time to really take in what it will mean to be good parents in today's day & age...I like to think it's the latter.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wait: Lesson #5 (God's Timing is Perfect)

The last formal lesson in the wait series (I have a couple devotionals that I've written as well as some lyrics to some old hymns that I think are really relevant) is pretty short, sweet & to the point...although we don't always understand it or agree, there is a reason that we are where we are right now & God will continue to use our situations, troubles and struggles for His glory and in His time.

"Good people suffer many troubles, but the Lord saves them from them all." ~Psalm 34:19

  • It is reassuring to know that we are not alone and our current struggles are certainly not meant to be viewed as punishment for past mistakes (although I will be the first to say that I am guilty of this mind-set...). There is no way to know WHY we are given these struggles, but the encouraging part is that our pain will not last forever. Someday, somehow, somewhere, the Lord will save us from our heartache.
"We know that in all things, God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose." ~Romans 8:28
  • What it basically comes down to is that without our struggles and troubles, we would have no need for God in our lives...sure, we would still probably thank Him daily for our blessings and go through the motions that "good Christians" do, but would we really be growing? In our church,we just finished up a bible study based on John Ortberg's "The Life You've Always Wanted." In one of the lessons, John mentioned how he once surveyed the members of his church and discovered (not surprisingly) that most of his churchgoers indicated that the greatest periods of spiritual growth in their lives happened during & immediately after times of hardship and great struggle! I know it doesn't make it any easier when you're right in the thick of it and down in the dumps, but hopefully we can take comfort in the fact that we continue to be God's work-in-progress.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Houston - we have a donor!

Ok, I've been keeping some of you in suspense if you're on my facebook list & I'm very sorry for that (if you're not my FB friend, email me and we can meet up!) may have noticed that my status yesterday was a bit (or a LOT) on the positive side...especially considering how anxious and pessimistic I've been lately. Well, it somehow seems that our luck may be turning and that things really just are finally starting to come together for us. Allow me to explain.

Yesterday was B (our potential donor)'s initial appointment at our RE's office for the basic screenings...b/w & u/s to check (among other things) her FSH levels (indicator of the quality of eggs) and her ovaries. We had some concerns that her egg quality could be compromised because she had severe endometriosis, starting as a teen. We were also concerned about how well her ovaries were functioning because B had a partial hysterectomy 5 or so years ago. Due to the procedure, blood flow to the area would be reduced, thus possibly damaging the ovaries and their ability to function properly. Well, wouldn't you know it...the doctor took a look in there and saw two beautiful ovaries with about 17 - yes SEVENTEEN!!! - beautiful eggs forming...and this is UN-STIMMED! Now of course, that doesn't mean that we would end up with 17 mature eggs upon retrieval or anything, but in perspective, the most I ever found at an ultrasound was 9 or 10 & I was floored by even that.

Not only did B's ovaries pull out all the stops yesterday, but the doctor's office called B in the afternoon to let her know that her levels are STELLAR and we are...wait for it...GOOD TO GO!

For our next steps, B & her hubby have to come back down on April 30th (my birthday!!!!) to have a psych evaluation with myself & G at the RE's office. Once that final step is done, the meds will be ordered and we will be on our way to starting our donor cycle! GOD IS SO GOOD...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

American Idol: Top 7

Music from the movies...

Adam - Born to Be Wild - as I've come to expect with Adam, interesting song choice...I love when he breaks out into his metal band shriek. I thought it was a really cool performance and I'm once again floored by his talent...but I agree with Simon that it was a bit theatrical (that's Adam, though) and prior performances were a bit more original in the way that he changed them up.
Danny - Endless Love - Awesome song choice for Danny - I seriously had chills the whole way through this song. His tone just gets me everytime! LOVED.THAT.PERFORMANCE!
Anoop - Everything I Do, I Do it For You - as an aside, this is the first song I ever slow-danced to in 7th grade, so I have an emotional attachment to it - I hope Anoop doesn't disappoint...and he didn't - he gave me chills because he's so sincere and you really feel like he means what he's singing (or as Kara said, I felt so connected!). Awesome job, Anoop!
Kris - Falling Slowly - Kris sounded great, but I was a bit bored with the song...maybe because I wasn't familiar with it. I loved the falsetto. I think he would have made a good choice doing piano this week, but maybe it would have been too distracting for him to do both. Not my favorite of his performances.
Matt - To Really Love a Woman - I loved seeing Matt at the piano still & doing his little falsetto thing. He had some problems in the middle especially with the key change - he started to fall apart a bit. He just tried to do too much. I think this song was just a little too "soft" for him.
Allison - I Don't Want to Miss a Thing - after seeing her practice session w/ Quentin, I thought it was going to be a really good match for Allison, but I did NOT like this performance. I thought she was really pitchy, especially in the beginning, and definitely over-singing throughout. I wasn't impressed and I'm surprised the judges didn't hear that.
Lil - The Rose - this song choice makes me really nervous, as it's kind of a traditional voice-lesson recital song (meaning it's pretty easy and sticks to the same 4-5 notes throughout). I did not like how she tried to add runs, etc into the song. The problem with the song is that it its beauty is in its simplicity...doctoring it up ruins it, IMO...and again, she kept starting before the beat almost every

Bottom 3: Allison, Lil, Anoop

Going Home: Lil

Another Menu Plan Monday (Tuesday)!

Better late than's this week's MPM! Visit Organizing Junkie for more MPMs!

Monday - Chinese takeout w/ IL's
Tuesday - Garlic Cheddar Chicken
Wednesday - Cheeseburger Pie
Thursday - Italian pasta bake
Friday - pizza with DH's co-workers!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

A few recipes for you...

Everyone out there has been quiet lately...if you see something you like, please comment and let me know!

Today, I wanted to share a couple of recipes with you that I made this week. The first is for a really awesome dish that I made for dinner and the second is a great dessert!

Creamy Bow Tie Pasta

The original recipe is meant to be a side dish, so I ended up doubling it and adding chicken. DH loved it so much that he cleared the bowl in no time (it really didn't make much), so next time, I will triple or quadruple it and maybe also add peas to it. So delicious!


  • 1 cup uncooked bow tie pasta
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons Crisco® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Dash salt
  • Dash dried basil
  • Dash crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream


Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the oil, flour, garlic and seasonings until blended. Gradually add the milk, broth and water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Remove from the heat; stir in cheese and sour cream. Drain pasta; toss with sauce. Yield: 2 servings.


Lemon Bars

I'm making these for Easter to take to SIL's house, but I also made them on Tuesday night for our weekly bible study treat. I'm not much of a baker & DH has a real sweet tooth, so once he saw them, he ended up eating 2 before bible study, 2 during & 1 in his lunch the next day...I had to take the rest to work to prevent him from eating the whole pan! They aren't exactly good for you, but very yummy and just the right amount of lemon!


Crust -
2 c flour
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 cup butter/margarine (softened, but not melted)

1. Sift the flour & powdered sugar together & then mix in the butter with your fingers. I tried to lighten it up A LITTLE by just using 1.5 sticks of butter instead of the full 2 sticks & I think it worked just fine...maybe a little crumbier
2. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish
3. Bake the crust in a preheated 350* oven for 20 minutes

Lemon Filling/Topping -
4 eggs
2 c granulated sugar
1 t baking powder
1/3 c lemon juice (I used fresh, which was about 1 whole lemon)
dash of salt

1. Beat all of the above ingredients together & pour over the baked crust.
2. Bake for 20-25 minutes until it is set (it will still be a bit jiggly, but you will notice that it is not watery and TOO oozy. Mine took about 23 minutes)
3. Cool the pan on a wire rack & then dust with powdered sugar
4. Cut into bars & enjoy!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

American Idol: Top 8

Here we go with American Idol's top 8 contestants: songs from their birth year (I think this is always my favorite because it allows them to choose any genre!) I loved the pics of the judges - I think Simon was dressed up like someone from Devo!

Allison - I Can't Make You Love Me - Great song choice, although it's hard for me to compare because Carrie Underwood also did this song & she's my favorite idol ever. I thought Allison sounded great & definitely redeemed herself from last week's No Doubt performance...although her wardrobe still has me trying to figure things out...I'm not a fan of the high heels, half-grunge, half-leather, ruffly skirt trend...if there is such a thing.
Matt - Part Time Lovers - I love the funked-out version of Stevie's song & he looks hottt...but slowing it down took some of the sense of urgency out of the original song that made you want to move along to it, so that made it not as good to me as it could be. But Matt is BAAACK!
Adam - Mad World - Ok, so I missed this because Idol ran long and I was watching it on Tivo, which didn't record it, but I went back on youtube to find it (click my link). I didn't really love the song, even though it was musically great...what I do love however is that Adam always keeps you guessing & I think that's really important in music today...unless, of course, you are Britney Spears and you don't mind that all of your songs sound exactly the same. And hey...he got a standing ovation from Simon, so my words don't really matter anyway!
Danny (I love how Danny's the oldest and he's only 6 days older than me...greeeeaaat) - Stand By Me - As always, Danny had great tone in his voice (I think the song was a perfect match to his style, range, and ability) & I really liked how he changed things up.
Anoop - way to be a big man and apologize, Anoop! - True Colors - interesting song choice (in a good way!), and the arrangement was nice. There was nothing super flashy about it but it was soft & sweet and just nice to listen to. Way to go, Anoop!
Kris - All She Wants to do is Dance - interesting song choice; the arrangement definitely made it different, but it was kind of confusing to me...Kris is my favorite (even though I love Adam and think he will win), but this just didn't do it for me. I just didn't "get it."
Lil - What's Love Got to do with It? - for probably the 3rd or 4th week in a row, I felt like Lil was behind tempo a bit & trying to drag it out...The song was just OK. It seemed kind of "flat" compared to Tina Turner's version of the song...She sounded like she was getting very tired by the end of the amazes me that Lil has never been in the bottom 3 thus far because she just hasn't been impressing me lately and I don't think that she has been listening to what the judges have been telling her each week (even though she says she has).
Scott - The Search is Over - I thought the song was really soft & sweet at the beginning, but once he started in with the guitar (which I thought I would like), it seemed more like a kid in his garage, playing along to the radio. He started to fall off pitch and basically just fell apart.

Bottom 3 this week: Scott, Lil & Anoop
Going home: Scott, even though he is being promoted now on VFTW

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Wait: Lesson #4 (Reliquish it to God)

Today's lesson is the 4th in a 5-part series on waiting through tough times, based on a speech my friend Kelli gave. I've added a couple of my own lessons throughout! If this is your first time here, please check out the older posts & don't forget to let me know what your thoughts are!

"My Father, if it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me! Yet not what I want, but what you want." ~Matthew 26:39

  • I love the redundancy of this verse & how much it rings true to human nature. I mean, how often do we say, 'Lord, please give me x, y, & z....but only if it is your will.' And we all know that in our heads and hearts, we're screaming..."PLEASE! Let it be your will!" as though our pitiful pleadings could really sway the divine plan. The purpose of this verse, however, is not to give reassurance that God will take your pain away (hear me out on this one...), but rather that He can't take it away until you've really let go of the pain and fully thrust it all into God's hands...which, I know, is hard to do...especially in things like infertility where you already have so little control. You're almost begging for one tiny thread of something that you can claim ownership to, but that is what we are called to do.
"Father,' he said, 'if you will, take this cup of suffering away from me. Not my will, however, but your will be done.' And an angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him." ~Luke 22:42-43
  • Although we're not literally seeing angels from heaven in our times of struggle (although DH thinks that Becki, our egg donor, is some form of an angel), I do believe that God sends people into our lives (at just the right time!) to help us through the hurt and pain. That person may be a parent, a sibling, a spouse, a new friend at a support group, a pastor, bloggy buddies, or message board friends who live thousands of miles away! The important thing to remember is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! There is always someone out there who has been where you've been and understands your pain.
"But I will bless the person who puts his trust in me. He is like a tree growing near a stream and sending out roots to the water. It is not afraid when hot weather comes, because its leaves stay green; it has no worries when there is no rain; it keeps on bearing fruit." ~Jeremiah 17:7-8
  • Honestly, for me, this step (Relinquish it to God) is the hardest for me to accept/enact. In reality, of course, it makes perfect sense: Take your mess of a life, package the meager remains up & give them to God to work his magic on. But it is so much easier said than done. In your head, you're crying out, "But God, I am a Christian woman and I feel like I've been handing this whole situation over to you all along through my daily prayers, my devotions, my confessions, my ministries, my worship!," but I also think that the more time you spend in prayer and in communion with God, the more you realize all that you've been clinging that tree by the stream, the closer it is to the water, the less it worries about the dangers of the hot weather. Similarly, the closer we are to God, the less we worry about the outcome of life's disasters.
"To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see." ~Hebrews 11:1
  • I can be sure that I'll be a mommy someday (somehow, some way); I am certain that the Lord is always close by, especially when we are hurting. Reach out to Him today!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Product Review: Glade Sense & Spray

I've been a member of an online community called BzzAgent for about a year now. Through BzzAgent, I am periodically surveyed and matched up with new products for which the manufacturers are looking for consumers to try out and create a "buzz" about. My most recent product to test is the Glade Sense & Spray motion-activated room freshener.

I was really excited to try this out because we're always looking for a new air freshener. I thought the unit was attractive enough without being overly noticeable. The scent that they sent to us was Clean Linen, which would not have been my first choice (as I tend to like the fruitier/sweeter/spicier smells), but I like it well enough...and I guess since we are using ours in the bathroom, it would make more sense to have a clean type of fragrance there anyway.

After testing the product for 2-3 weeks, I can definitely say that we would recommend this product to others. We love the small doses of fragrance that are released & the fact that it is motion-activated is pretty cool. My only complaint about the sensor is that, depending on your lighting (and the time of day), it doesn't always work properly. For example, I was taking a nap in the middle of the day the other day & when I got up, I noticed that the Sense & Spray light was on, meaning that it had released its scent within the past 30 minutes. I was the only one home, so it was obvious that there was no motion in front of the unit in the past 30 minutes. The only explanation that I could come up with was that the lighting outside had changed & caused the bathroom door to cast a shadow on the unit, triggering it. Conversely, there are mornings when I will get up (still dark outside) and I turn on the bathroom light, walking directly in front of the unit, and it still will not go off.

Other than those couple of bugs, though, I can say we are extremely pleased with this product & will most definitely buy refills when our Clean Linen runs out.

PS - if you are interested in becoming a product-tester for BzzAgent, you can check out their site, or send me an email and I will send you a referral!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

American Idol: Top 9

I ended up doing pretty well with last week's predictions (two out of the bottom three, and who went home). Let's check out the top 9...

Kris - Ain't No Sunshine - I love how multi-instrumental so many of the contestants are this year. The beginning of that song gave me CHILLS and he's such a cutie. The thing I think I like the most about Kris is that he is just himself - he doesn't need flashy clothes or guyliner. He wears a tee and jeans & makes it all about the music. Nice, solid performance.
Danny - Rascal Flatts - soft & sensitive. I could really feel the emotion coming through in his voice & he seemed so sincere. I love the "gravel-ly" tone of his voice, which I think sounds like Michael Bolton a little bit (even though I'm not a big MB fan or anything). Well done! (yeah, Simon!!!)
Adam - Wild Cherry - Rock it out, Adam! The things he does with his voice are just amazing & I like the changes that he made in the verses of the song. I love the young Elvis look that he's keeping. He's a total rock star! I love that he's humble & knows what works for him.
Scott - Billy Joel - Great song/voice match for Scott, but he's definitely not Billy...I like the new hair. Definitely his best performance from the recent weeks, with the most emotion, but I still think he's in danger. PS - Paula, again, what are you SAYING? I swear, she researches all of these musical terms to try to incorporate them into her critique, regardless of whether or not she knows how to use them appropriately.
Allison - No Doubt - Gwen Stefani is a good voice match with Allison, but I had to laugh when she said "I grew up listening to this song" like Don't Speak is such a classic or something (plus it made me feel old! LOL). Her outfit & hair are horrible, IMO (Amen, Randy!). I thought the song was OK, but I felt like there are so many songs that are both more musical & more lyrical than this one. I mean, her voice sounded good, but I think there are so many songs where should could have sounded GREAT.
- Celine Dion - I'm nervous about this one - you really have to have the pipes to sing Celine. Again, I feel like she's lagging behind the music a bit, almost like she's trying to get the musicians to slow down. This was definitely one of her better performances, although it was a bit pitchy throughout the middle (especially around the key changes). I felt like she was "sliding up" to too many of the notes (not really as effortless as Kara made it sound, IMO). I loved how her little girl hugged Randy, though :)
Matt - The Fray - The beginning was very pitchy for me (dawg). You can definitely tell this isn't the style of music for Matt, but I didn't think that it was terrible. I didn't like his set-up with him out in the middle of the mini stage, surrounded by "fans" - it made him seem like less of a big star & more of a club singer, which is NOT what he needs, especially after (wrongly) being in the bottom 3 last week. Definitely not one of his best performances.
Anoop - he did an Usher song, which I wasn't familiar with. I felt like I couldn't understand a lot of the words, and in general, it was just ok. PS - don't talk back to the judges. PSS - Paula, WTH are you saying? I am so confused.
Megan - Bob Marley/Lauryn Hill - I never heard this song either (which is odd since I do listen to popular music). She sounds like some popular singer, but I can't put my finger on who...Sara Bareilles maybe? I thought the song sounded good & was a good choice for her, but it was just one-dimensional to me...there wasn't much "meat" to it. PS - I love how Simon was making faces at Paula's vision of Megan sitting on a stool...nonetheless, I thought they were hard on her (but still not enough to make her safe this week)***EDITED TO ADD...I figured out who her voice reminds me of...Nelly Furtado!

Bottom 3: Megan, Scott & Anoop (regardless of the quality of their performance)
Going Home: Scott