Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rev It Up Reading Review and Giveaway (Tomoson)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.


I reviewed Rev It Up Reading, in exchange for honest review from Tomoson. Rev It Up Reading teaches you to not only, read faster, but improve comprehension as well. I love to read books and magazines, but usually I forget what I read immediately after. I mostly read to read, and not read for comprehension, unless it's something I really need to know.

About the course

The course consists of 9 modules, which teaches speed reading and comprehension. The course also has an online manual, which is also printable. Another great printable is the  personal progress chart, which tracks:
  • Your reading strategy used for each assignment
  • Whether you read on screen on or on print
  • Comprehension percentage
  • Words per minute
  • Your thoughts (comments) on each activity. 
  • Beginning words per minute and comprehension
  • Ending words per minute and comprehension
The manual also provides a self-evaluation of reading habits. You take the evaluation at the beginning of the course and at the end of the course. You also can create a beginning and end personal statement. 

The course lasts 90 days and cosets $199 dollars. 


Reading Strategies 

  • White card method.
  • Using Keywords
  • Phrasing
  • Two finger pull
  • Right side pull
  • Left side pull
  • Underline
  • Pull down center

My Review

One of the first things, I did, was print off the manual to follow along. Now, the online course and guide do not follow each other. The online guide will tell you when to consult the manual. 

The courses are presented in a video format. You learn each module, then complete the reading exercises. The module also tests you on your comprehension. Once you complete each module, you can note your comprehension (if applicable) and your words per minute on the progress sheet. 

During the first assignment, I had 265 words per minute and 90% comprehension. On lesson 2, the white card method, I had 460 wpm and 520 wpm on the assignments. 

I am not done with the course yet. I am on Lesson 3. I hope to improve for reading during book reviews and school assignments. 

Giveaway

Enter to win free access to the course. The course is available on PC and Macs.


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Pearl Mountain Technology Video GIF Review (Tomoson)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.




video


I reviewed Video Gif in exchange for honest review from Tomoson. The program allows you to turn your previously created videos into GIFs. You also can use the webcam to create new videos.

After your video appears, you can add text. With text, you can modify the colors, fonts, sizes, and shadows. You can choose which section of the video to use as a Gif.

Next, you can add effects to your video, such as Black and White: Vintage, and Marcato. You also can adjust frame count and frame delay.

When you are done creating, select the button, which says create gif, and your video will finalize.





Pros:


I made cute videos of my kids and great niece. I added text. I played with the frame counts and delays. The program was easy to work, when I used the webcam to record videos.




Cons:


One of the biggest problems I had was uploading my own videos. When I uploaded, the video would not appear on the screen. I could hear the video, but not see the video. The program worked best when I used the webcam to record videos.

Video Gif is available in the App Store for Mac OS 10.7 and higher computers and laptops. Currently the video is 4.99.

Social Media







I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Carolyn Woods Book Reviews (Business to Blogger)



This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links. All opinions are my own. No compensation was received other than a free copy of the books.


First, I read Successful Home Business Ideas For People Who Love Household Help and Services: Work From Home In A Business You Love in exchange for honest review. The book provides ideas on how to start a home business. Some ideas include housecleaning and catering. I used to clean houses. One of the best jobs ever. I clean, they pay. I have not cleaned houses in years since I moved to Houston. No car. No bus line.

I also have ran errands for people in Atlanta, starting at $20, depending on what I have to do. Everyone has a marketable talent. Maybe you can clean, cook, or even blog. Maybe you love walking dogs. Or, converting a book into Kindle format for an author.

The book was a quick read. The author provided tips on starting 9 businesses plus tips on how to market and price yourself.

Next, I read Successful Home Business Ideas For People Who Love Shopping and Crafting: Work From Home In A Business You Love. In this book, Woods discussing selling items, such as crafts online. You can sell on Craigslist, Etsy, Ebay, or maybe set up an online website. Woods discusses how to find items to tell; how to determine price; and shipping. The book was a quick read. The book provides ideas to get started. Good read.



Third, Successful Home Business Ideas for People Who Love Writing!: Work From Home In A Business You Love discusses writing and selling a book online and writing for others. I love self-publishing. All of my books have been self-published through Lulu, Amazon, or Smashwords. Writing a book isn't as easy as it seems. First, you have to write about something. Then, edit; create covers; publish online. If you have errors, then you have to fix them before a website accepts the book. The book was a good read. It touched on the beginning steps of book writing. I would have expanded more on preparing a book for Kindle. I went from amateur to pro quickly when I started working on the Kindle editions of my books.


Next, I read Successful Home Business Ideas: Developing a Budget and Income Plan To Get Your Business Started: Work From Home In A Business You Love!. Woods briefly touches on income plans. She also discusses setting your goals, so you know how to develop the income plan. Woods also discusses listing your strengths and skills to learn how to generate income. Finally, Woods discusses expenses: tracking and reducing them. The expense section was my favorite since I just finished another round of financial management classes at church.




Finally, I reviewed Homeschooling for the Smart, Energetic, and Easily Bored: Hands-on Learning Methods for Your Gifted, ADHD, or Just Plain Wiggly Child. I wanted to review the book because I used to homeschool Brad. Brad has Autism and ADHD. Homeschooling became too much. Brad became more antsy. I didn't feel like attending live classes and completing most of his work (even though the school knew Brad can't read or write). Oh Yeah, the teacher wanted student participation from my child, who can't say 2 or most of the ABCS. yeah, got burned out quick during the second year. Some days Brad did not want to do any work, except art. He would run out of the room, when he had online speech therapy. Not to mention, he was not always woke during live classes because of his meds.

Anyway, some tips include:


  1. Working in smaller steps. Instead of tackling on a big assignment at once, you can break the assignment down into smaller steps to work on each day. 
  2. Develop a reward system for accomplishments
  3. Relax. Sometimes parents need to relax. Kids will have good days and bad days. No point in torturing yourself

Woods also provided links to websites for additional learning.




The books are available on Amazon. The books are also prime-eligible.



















Thursday, March 27, 2014

500 Hats of a Modern Day Woman by Joyce Ellis Book Review (Litfuse)

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.






About the book (From Litfuse)

In The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman you'll find strength, purpose, and perspective to balance your many roles-and gain insight into the roles of women around you. With honesty, humor, and practicality, Joyce Ellis helps you see how your roles can fit together to make a difference in your world. Questions for reflection or discussion at the end of each chapter make this book suitable for book clubs and small-group Bible studies as well.



About the Author:

Joyce K. Ellis, award-winning author of more than a dozen books, speaks for women's groups and retreats across the country and internationally. She and her husband enjoy reading by lakes and rivers and oceans, and spending time with their grown children and delightful, too-quickly-growing grandchildren. They live in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota.


My Review



I received 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman: Strength for Today's Demanding Role in exchange for honest review from Litfuse. I received a PDF copy of the book. I wanted to read the book because we, as women, wear different hats or roles.

For example, I am a:
  • Mother and caregiver
  • Daughter
  • Sister
  • Blogger
  • Student Journalist
  • Friend
  • Confidant
  • Woman practicing celibacy
  • Crazy woman
  • soon to be divorced woman
I have many roles. Some I like. Some I love. Some I disdain. Some I despise. Yet, I still have to take time out and teach the kids something. Take those precious minutes and take a long shower. Read Kalen a page out of  whatever book he brings me. Make sure to give Brad his meds. Wake up in the morning to make sure Brad gets up for school.

I liked the chapter about marriage. Sometimes women get married and don't have a clue what they are getting into. I definitely had no clue. I didn't like being married. Wasn't sure if it was for me. It lost its appeal quickly. We lasted through one session of pre-marital counseling. I was not comfortable telling another human being my problems, especially when the pastor/counselor was my ex's uncle. I am a natural introvert and counseling was painful for me.

Ellis discussed instead of competing with her husband for time and whatever else, she cooperated and helped him along. For example, she said she was not a fan of football. Could not understand her husband's obsession. Then, she decided to cooperate with his interests. She watched games with him. She bought t-shirts for both of them. He also started learning to accommodate her interests. Steve would gather up the kids after church, while Ellis sung in the choir for second service.

Then Ellis discussed one of my biggest joys, biggest frustrations, motherhood. I have another level: special needs motherhood. I never imagined I would have kids, let alone special needs kids. Many night (and days), I wonder why God blessed me with special needs kids. I lack patience. I'm slightly off. I'm anal when it comes to certain things. I don't always like to talk to myself because my kids don't comprehend the words.I definitely was not expecting a 13 year old and a two year old in the same year lol. Some of my latest blessings and let downs included;


  1. Kalen learned to say the word NO
  2. Kalen learned how to move a chair to get what he wants, including climbing on top of the freezer.
  3. Kalen kicked me in the eye last night, while sleep, knocking off my glasses
  4. Brad tosses his diapers wherever, instead of the trash bags or diaper pail. 
  5. Brad has not had any complaints from school in a few weeks. 

Ellis said mothers need God. We can't do it alone. We need to seek him. Seek out his wisdom. Set limits. Write things down in the calendar (because I will forget).

At the end of each chapter, Ellis provides websites and books for future reference. She also presents discussion questions for personal or small group bible study. What sets the discussion questions apart is many refer back to the bible. Read a verse, then answer the question. I also like the thoughts to ponder. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

GlamST Website Review (Brandbacker)




This post is sponsored by Brandbacker. All opinions are my own.



I had previously did a write-up about GlamST when it was just an app (GlamST Previous Review). The website is now up.

In the previous review, the website had four main areas:


  1. Uploading your photos to create new make-up looks using virtual make-over
  2. Recommendations on how to complete looks
  3. Receiving advice from others about your looks
  4. Trends and tips. 
  5. Bloggers can also post content, which will link back to the blog. 

@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos

One of the features of the website, I like include the virtual make-over. You upload your photos and adjust the dots to your facial contours. Next, you can apply foundation, powder, blush, eye shadow, concealer, etc, to your face.

You also can save your look for future reference. Next, you can buy products "tried on". It will take some practicing to find the right shades for you though. Finally, you can share your looks with social media.

@ 2014 Stacie D. Wyatt

@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt
Sign-up. Try out the virtual make-up feature.






This post was sponsored by Brandbacker. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sabi Day Box Review (Tomoson)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.



@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos

I reviewed Sabi 3-Compartment Weekly Travel Pill Case with 8 Clip-On Day Boxes in response to a campaign on Tomoson. I wanted to review the box as an easier way to track Brad's medications by day and by week. Since Brad's medications need to be called in for refills 3 days in advance, I have to know when they are about the run low. Leaving the pills in the bottle is not the best method for me.

The day box allows you to organize by day and week. On the front of each container, you have the day of the week. The red compartment is for extra pills. The boxes also detach, so you can carry in your purse.

Next, each compartment has 3 slots for morning, noon, and night. The compartments also have a rubber top.

I used the day boxes for the past week to track Brad's last week of medication before doing a refill. I had hardly any complaints. One major problem is the rubber needs to be child proof. Both Brad and Kalen kept taking the rubber off. The rubber is easy to remove and has came off in my purse on its own.

I had to separate the containers with pills and the containers without pills, so the kids won't take any. The sleeping meds is small enough to swallow without anyone knowing.

The day boxes are a great way to organize pills but the containers need to put out of reach of children, no matter the disability.


' I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sabi Pill Crusher Review (Tomoson)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.



@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos


I reviewed the Sabi CRUSH 2-in-1 Pill Crusher/ Container, in exchange for honest review from Tomoson. I wanted to review the pill crusher for those rare occasions where Brad does not want to take his pills, the regular way (swallow or chew). The crusher comes with two parts: One for pill storage and the bottom part for crushing.

To work, you take the pills from storage and place in the white part at the bottom. Then turn, the top part until you think the pill is crushed. Since, there is no way to tell if the pill is crushed from the outside, you open up the bottom and either take your medications or crush a little bit more.

The pill crusher crushed smaller pills, such as Brad's sleeping medication, but would not crush my vitamin b-12 pills. No matter how many times I turned the crusher, the B12 pills only produced a small crack.


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sabi Pill Holster Box Review (Tomoson)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial. This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links. 


@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt

I reviewed the Sabi Holster Clip-On-and-Go Travel Pill Box, in response to a campaign on Tomoson. I wanted to review the holster box as an easier way to carry pills, without bringing the bottles. The holster comes with a clip. You can clip the pills in your pocket, purse, or pocket.

The device has two buttons at the bottom, which opens up the holster. Once the holster is open, you have 3 slots for morning, noon, and night pills. The holster provides a great way to carry and organize your pills.

The product is sold on Amazon and is an add-on.


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sabi Water Carafe Review (Tomoson)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.



I received Sabi's Water Carafe, in exchange for honest review from Tomoson. I wanted to review the water carafe to find new ways for my son to take his meds. The top of the carafe has slots for pills, while the bottom is where water goes. The Carafe is perfect for people, who have to take pills in the middle of the night, without having to get up. I also use it in the mornings before I give Brad his meds. I place the pills and water in early. Then before Brad catches the bus, give him his medication.

I didn't see any major cons with the product except my youngest ran off with the cap. Brad also uses the cup for juice and milk, instead of water.


Check out the video for a full review of all the products I received.






I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Futick Review (Blogging for Books)

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.

I read Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God's Voice Above All Others, in exchange for honest review from Blogging for Books. The book was written by Steven Furtick and published by Water Brook Multnomah. I received a kindle and hardback edition for review.

I wanted to read the book because my mind wanders all the time--from positive to negative thoughts. Some days are worse than others.


The book teaches us how to allow God to work within us,  but first, we need to do something with those pesky thoughts. The author said "The Chatterbox is my way to representing the lies we believe and keep us from accurately and actively hearing God's voice."

One of the first things, which stood out was: (All passages was highlighted in the Kindle, since it arrived first).

"I wish I had a little devil on my left shoulder. I could flick him off and tell him to go to hell. THen, I could fist-bump the angel sitting on my right shoulder and get on with doing all the things God has called me to do."

"God has given us the ability to choose the dialogue we believe and respond to. And once we learn how, we can switch from lies to truth as deliberately as we can choose the Beatles over Miley Cyrus on satellite radio....It is the key to pressing ahead and doing God's will anyway, even as you are bombarded with thoughts, feelings, and even facts about why you can't do it."

The book will be in the Kindle's carousel for a while. I have a long way to go when it comes to thoughts. I have a lot of negative thoughts about why I can not do something, psyching myself out before I even begin, especially when it comes to school or kids. What I believe determines my future.

I also loved the beginning of chapter two, where Futick discussed the Voice. On the Voice, the judges determine talent sight unseen. It is a good feeling, when a judge chooses you because you are apart of the competition. You have a chance to win. It is another thing when all four judges choose you. On the other hand, the scene changes when no one chooses you. No one likes your voice. Maybe you simply are not ready for a higher level of competition such as the Voice or Idol. The contestants want the judges to turn around in the chairs to choose them. It's not Idol where the bad singers sing for our amusement, on purpose,  during the auditions. The beauty of the passage was even though people will reject us for one reason or another, God will never reject us when we seek his name.

The book was a great read.

Stacie

500 Hats of a Modern-day Woman Giveaway (Litfuse)

In Joyce K. EllisThe 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman you’ll find strength, purpose, and perspective to balance your many roles—and gain insight into the roles of women around you.


Want a helper for your modern-day journey? Enter to win a Kindle Fire in Joyce's "500 Hats" giveaway!

500hats-400-click



One winner will receive:


  • A Kindle Fire
  • The 500 Hats of a Modern-Day Woman by Joyce K. Ellis
  • A Modern-Day woman kit (T-shirt and hat)
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 30th. Winner will be announced April 1st on the Litfuse blog.


Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by the Litfuse blog on April 1st to see if you won.

Friday, March 21, 2014

#DisneySideParty Review (Mom Select)

Disclaimer: I was selected as a #DisneySide Blogger in response to a campaign from Mom Select. I received a #Disneyside package, which included party favors, a suit case, snacks, photo paper, etc, for participation.

 On February 15, 2014, I threw a #disneyside party. I kept the party simple. A photo booth for the kids to take photos. For food, I made the following:

  • Tres leche cake
  • Strawberry cake
  • Corn dip
  • Nachos
  • Meatball Mess (Ground Turkey, Onions, Mushrooms, sweet and sour pork sauce, potato flakes (no panko)), egg-))
  • Mickey Mouse shaped pizza biscuits
  • Cheesecake Desserts
  • Homemade Guacamole


@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos

@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos

@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos



@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos
@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos
@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos
@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos
@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos
@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos

 @2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos

@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos
As you can tell, the brats had a good time eating up the food and taking photos. Love me some Disney.


A Friday in the life of a Special Needs Parent: Picking up Brad's Meds.

@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos

@2014 Stacie D. Wyatt/Perfect Chaos

Today, I had to go pick up Brad's Rispercrap and Clone (Clonindine) from the pharmacy at the clinic. I called in the prescription 4 days ago. Since the pills take 3 days to fill, I have to call before it get too low. Too low means he won't have enough meds to get through a school week. My mother drove for almost an hour to get to the psych clinic. 

The last time, I called in meds, the wait was an hour. When I have to walk-in and wait, I have waited for hours. I should have known something was wrong, when the line moved too quick. I arrived at the window with ID in hand, ready to leave Third Ward or whatever part of Houston I was in. Going to the clinic isn't one of my favorite past times. An appointment takes all day. If you have to wait for meds, add a few extra hours. The pharmacist said the Clone was ready, but not the Rispercrap. I can live without the Clone: I have Melatonin as a back-up. I can't live without the Rispercrap. 

First, the pharmacy said the insurance did not cover the meds. Then, they said the amount of refills had expired (still have one more left). The pharmacy just changed over to a new system. Some data had got lost. One dude, had brought his empty pill bottle to show how many refills he had left. The pharmacy lady was very nice. She called Medicaid. She called Brad's psych down the hallway and got him some Rispercrap. I was happy when Brad's name was called and I saw both of his medications in the bag.

I did strike up a conversation, with potential SPED grandparent. She suspects her grandson may have ADHD, but his mother does not want to get him tested. The grandson was two years old. The mama can get him tested through WIC but grandma said mama does not want to get WIC. Wishing Grandma the best. 

I love my boys, but I hate, hate, hate phone calls home from school, asking me to come pick up Brad (with no car) for bad and destructive, Autistic behavior. He already doesn't take his Clone in the mornings, like he supposed to because his teacher said he slept the whole day(s). When he doesn't have his Rispercrap, he can kick, throw, scream, meltdown. The last, level 5 meltdown, she sent Brad to the principals office. This was about a month ago. I was at the psych clinic again, picking up Brad's medications. 

By the time, we got back on our side of town, Brad had a hour left for school. My mother did not want to waste time picking him up, when he would be home soon. Special needs teachers supposed to know how to deal with special needs kids, she said. Plus, you can’t pay me to homeschool again.

Anyway, this is a Friday in the life of a special needs parent. 

Other highlights of my day:


  • Went to take my shower earlier today before we headed to the clinic. Kalen was sleep. When I got back to my room, Kalen was woke. Diaper was off. He smeared poo all over him, my pillows, and sheets. 
  • Early this morning, both Brad and Kalen woke up before 4 a.m. They did not keep quiet, which gave groggy me, a migraine. I gave Brad a Clone earlier, but he left the room quickly after. I am not sure if he took the pill. I had to give him melatonin so he can sleep for school. Brad played on the computer, while Kalen went through the bins and buckets. I had enough when Kalen hit me in the head, with a small box, filled with glassware. Yeah, not a good night. I made Brad turn off the computer and get back in his bed. I prayed for a moment's peace. Of course, I tapped Kalen's leg for trying to kill mama, while groggy. I could not handle all the madness last night. 
One day, one day soon, both kids will be in school. I will have three hours free from Timon and Pumbaa. Have a blessed day. 

Stacie D. Wyatt