Sunday, January 29, 2012

TOP Giveaway & Reviews Hop Week 20!

WELCOME TO TOP GIVEAWAY and REVIEWS HOP WEEK 20!
  1. Giveaway, Reviews links only - Blog or any other links will be deleted.
  2. Family friendly links
  3. Tweet, Facebook, Google+ this hop


TheOliveParent


FEATURED GIVEAWAY!
Raw Organic Coconut Water Vinegar Giveaway! - The coconut water in this vinegar is fermented and unpasteurized. What makes this vinegar unique is the "mother of vinegar", a colony of bacteria culture, making this a truly raw product! - Ends 2/12

 FEATURED REVIEW!

FEATURED OPPORTUNITIES! (BLOGGERS)

FEATURED CONTEST! (BLOGGERS)
Nordic Naturals What's Essential Blogger's Contest - THREE WINNERS - Prizes valued at $125.00 - Ends 3/31

FEATURED CONTEST! (EVERYONE)


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Opportunities On TOP

This blog is my eighth child. I’ve nurtured, cared for it and watched it grow. Seeded in my passion for an empowered life, TheOliveParent sprouted forth to include my own stories, information, opinions and anything else that moves my quill. It’s very important to me to preserve the authenticity of this blog, which is by and by the essence of me.

In saying such, I’ve made decisions on what is and is not acceptable, to preserve that authenticity. For example, If I give away a food item or body care product, it must be organic or toxin-free. I don’t host giveaways for the sake of getting a “free” product or to gain traffic. If anything, it's to share an experience. It’s a delicate and, at times, frustrating balance as I try to maintain the balance of operating an authentic, revenue-earning, blog. What I have found, as I’ve discovered long ago, that personal sacrifices has it’s own rewards.  While holding out for the best, I’ve found the best. This of course is simply my own opinion. I’ve found companies that make it easy for me to promote them. In this industrialized age, value-driven companies are rare. Far too often, companies are quick to sell products, namely food, with little concern with the consequences. I truly believe the results of this carelessness is evident in a society that is constantly plagued with obesity, and other ailments.

With that background painted, it was very easy to decide to work with Integral Marketing, a PR company for the natural foods industry, as a temporary project manager. In addition to my usual blogging obligations, I will facilitate the Nordic Naturals Blogger’s Contest on TOP in addition to managing/recruiting product reviewers, over the next few weeks. This a short-term project. I want to ensure my readers that my blog remains under my full control, and my opinions will continued to be influenced by my own unique beliefs and values that creates the flavor of TOP.

Having said all this, Nordic Naturals is a fine company. Here’s a bit of a profile:
Values-Driven & Research-Based Innovation
Bringing forward a new definition of fish oil quality as it relates to purity, freshness, taste, dosage, and sustainability, Nordic Naturals’ leadership has also shifted the model of how to conduct business truthfully and authentically. Nordic Naturals incorporates ethical and socially responsible practices with regards to environmental consciousness, corporate transparency, philanthropic partnerships, and education—all of which are integral to fulfilling our mission of correcting omega-3 deficiency around the world.– Read the Company Mission & Profile
Raw Material Nordic Naturals starts with the best raw material available: 100% pure Arctic cod (Skrei) sourced from the Norwegian Sea. We have built direct, exclusive relationships with smaller boats and independent fishermen, rather than larger trawling vessels that spend much longer at sea. These relationships allow us to maintain optimal raw material quality as well as sustainable fishing practices. We offer only 100% Arctic cod liver oil. No fish body oils or synthetic vitamins or additives are ever used—only pure Arctic cod (Skrei), which has the highest DHA, vitamin A, and vitamin D content of any cod species. – Read the Gold Standard
Manufacturing and Bottling We use nitrogen to minimize exposure to oxygen at every stage of manufacturing—beginning immediately after catch. The importance of this cannot be overstated: only by using nitrogen can the fish and oil be protected from the oxidative rancidity that leads to fishy smell and taste, as well as to free radical formation in the body. Vertically integrated from boat to bottle, Nordic Naturals delivers exceptionally fresh cod liver oil.– Read the Gold Standard

Friday, January 27, 2012

Is Caffeine Really Bad For You?

I’ve always been suspicious of claims that caffeine has a negative impact on your health. My thinking stems from drinking Yerba Mate, South American tea that loaded with vitamins, minerals and naturally occurring caffeine. I’ve found drinking Yerba Mate, as well as green teas, to be a very pleasant experience of gentle stimulation.  However, back in  my pop drinking days, I do remember the feeling of jittery nervousness that came from caffeinated soft drinks. I’m willing to bet (I haven’t done any personal research on this yet) that synthetic caffeine is the culprit of the negative results of caffeine.  

However, a NaturalNews.com article talks about the latest research that reveals that caffeinated coffee can protect against Alzheimer’s Disease.

“(NaturalNews) Recent research suggests that drinking caffeinated coffee daily may protect against developing Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, depression and more, according to reports from Science Daily. Animal studies at the University of Florida discovered an ingredient in coffee that interacts with caffeine and increases blood levels of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (GCSF), a growth factor that that prevents the production of beta amyloid plaques, which are thought to be the causative factor in Alzheimer's disease. Researchers reported that daily consumption of caffeinated coffee by middle-aged and elderly individuals markedly lessens the risk of developing the disease.”

 

“Coffee is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, which provide the body with additional ingredients to increase cognitive function to protect the brain; as well as protect against other diseases of aging, such as Type II diabetes, depression, stroke, and Parkinson's. Studies also suggest coffee may help fight against breast, skin and prostate cancer.”

“Drinking two to three cups of caffeinated coffee daily may also lower the risk of depression in women by 15%, according to research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine-- and those who consume four or more cups daily have shown an even greater reduction in their risk of developing depression. Caffeine affects brain chemicals and is known to release mood-altering transmitters.”Read the entire article

I’m NOT a coffee drinker. I abhor the stuff. However, the research information on  caffeine is quite fascinating! The article advises that all things should be taken in moderation including coffee.

“Caffeine affects brain chemicals and is known to release mood-altering transmitters.” This would explain the “gotta have my “coffee/Yerba Mate” feeling every morning!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Misdiagnosed Ectopic Pregnancy Saved by a Dream


This is heart breaking. Truly. A few months ago, I asked the question, Are Misdiagnosed Miscarriages Common Practice? With this news story surfacing, it certainly gives the question the serious consideration it deserves. While the story speaks of a misdiagnosed ectopic pregnancy. The topic of misdiagnosed miscarriages, and misdiagnosed ectopic pregnancies go hand in hand.  In both instances, pregnancies are determined, not viable and procedures are performed to end these pregnancies.
After a fourth positive test, she went to her doctor for answers. The news was devastating. "It's ectopic," Schoger recalled the doctor saying after a hormone test and an ultrasound. "I was so upset because we'd been trying for so long."

"Schoger was given two high-dose shots of methotrexate in the fatty tissue above her hips to abort her pregnancy, which was four weeks and five days along. Days later, she started having nightmares about a baby crying out in pain inside her. So when she returned to the doctor for a second round of shots a week later, she insisted on a follow-up ultrasound for peace of mind." Read the full article.
Ultimately, the ultrasound showed the baby was forming not in the fallopian tube, like the doctor had said, but in the uterus. I am compelled by this mother’s story. Her response to the dreams of her little baby crying out to her was her child’s saving grace. Sadly, the child was born with severe deformities. But the fact that the baby survived the pregnancy at all is amazing in and of itself and it’s all due, not to a person in a white jacket with letters to their name, but a mother, connected and in touch with her unborn child.

Far too often, we allow calculated decisions and scientific data to convince us our love for our children, born or not, carries no real value. The truth is, it can compel us, motivate us to achieve the results we’re looking for when it comes to our children’s safety. Love defies hopelessness, while scientific data defines it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Home Births Can Be “Baby-Friendly”

“The time has come to set forth the important roles and responsibilities of clinicians, employers, communities, researchers, and government leaders and to urge us all to take on a commitment to enable mothers to meet their personal goals for breastfeeding.“
Regina M. Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A. Vice Admiral, U.S. Public Health Service Surgeon General
The breast feeding report card provides perspectives on state and national trends on breastfeeding. The CDC has been compiling breast feeding stats to track breast feeding rates for the last five years. Although more babies are being born in baby-friendly hospitals, less than five percent of babies are born in baby-friendly hospitals.  Read More

Despite the fact that 99% of women birth in hospitals, hospitals are largely considered un-baby friendly. In other words, they lack the policies in place to encourage or improve breast feeding rates. I find all of this incredibly ironic. Home birth has been vilified by doctors and proponents against home births,  yet it’s the one place that is most baby friendly. Having a home birth and breast feeding almost always goes hand in hand. I’d LOVE to know the breast feeding rates of home birth. I’m willing to bet it puts it’s counterparts to shame.  At a home birth, the birth is planned, and centered around that child(ren) and the mom. Mom receives a lot of support and love. The expectation of breast feeding is almost always unquestioned. At least it was for me and my midwife.  It’s unfortunate home births are misunderstood. I truly believe if home births were accepted and encouraged, breast feeding rates would increase naturally. Take a look at the the “baby-friendly” chart… So, so sad…

Photo credit: CDC.gov

Sunday, January 22, 2012

TOP Giveaway Hop Week 19

WELCOME TO TOP GIVEAWAY HOP WEEK 19!

  • Giveaway and Review links only. Blog links will be deleted
  • Family Friendly links only.
  • Please Tweet/Facebook/Google+ this hop (Thanks!)
FEATURED OPPORTUNITY!
  • Product Review! - Nordic Naturals is having a contest and is looking to get the word out! They  need bloggers to (1) review their product and (2) the contest. Interested? Visit the link for more info. The offer ends when 75 spots are filled. 
BLOGGER'S CONTEST!
Nordic Naturals® What's Essential™ Blogger's Contest - In addition to the product review opportunity, Nordic Naturals is sponsoring a contest for bloggers. THREE winners with the best written post per posting requirements will win...
  • Nordic Naturals Tote Bag full of products
  • What's Essential T Shirt
  • Other Swag from Nordic Naturals (over $125.00 retail value)
Currently, there are NO entries and three lonely prizes.






FEATURED GIVEAWAY!
Raw Organic Coconut Water Vinegar Giveaway!  - Coconut water vinegar is coconut water that is unpasteurized and fermented. What makes this vinegar unique is that it retains "the mother of vinegar" a bacteria colony culture, making this vinegar a truly raw product. - Ends 2/12



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Raw Organic Coconut Water Vinegar Giveaway! (Closed)

I use various kinds of vinegar to create my salad dressings and marinades. My favorite vinegar to use in salad dressings are balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar and red wine vinegar. Naturally, I was curiously thrilled to try coconut water vinegar.

Coconut water vinegar is raw coconut water that has been fermented. The fermentation process enhances the nutrients that are in the coconut water. Coconut water, by the way is high in vitamins, minerals, potassium and electrolytes, a naturally hydrating drink. What I really love about this vinegar is that it retains the mother of vinegar, a colony of bacteria cultures, making this product unique and raw in every sense of the word.

With all of my experiences with vinegar, I have yet to experience a vinegar like coconut water vinegar. Its taste is unique in and of itself. It tastes a bit of alcohol, very strong and acidic. The Tropical Tradition website suggests that you add one to two teaspoons of coconut water vinegar to a glass of eight ounces of water for a "cool and refreshing, healthy beverage". I did just that and LOVE it. Drinking my water this way resembles the taste of Kombucha a bit. I like to drink my water with a slice of lemon or a few drops of Stevia extract and adding the coconut water vinegar definitely freshened my drink. I've been drinking it with my water since I got my coconut water vinegar!

I used coconut water vinegar in my salad. Using a bagged lettuce, I tossed in chopped onions, green bell pepper, garlic, cucumber and tomatoes. Typically I make my dressing right in the bowl along with the salad, I drizzled some olive oil, and then salt (pink), cracked black pepper and about two cap-fuls of coconut water vinegar and tossed. Lastly, I added a tablespoon of mayo for a creamy texture. I just LOVED how the coconut water vinegar enhanced the taste of my dressing. It was really delicious!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bloggers: Product Reviewers Needed! - Closed

This campaign is now closed. But the Nordic Naturals What's Essential Blogger's Contest ends 3/31. Read below for details. Subscribe by Rss or Email to stay up-to-date on the latest review and giveaway opportunities!


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Nordic Naturals is having a contest and needs your help in getting the word out!


Nordic Naturals believes that omega oils are essential to an extraordinary life. That’s why they’re committed to delivering the world’s safest and most effective omega oils. They are committed to helping you get healthy and stay healthy, so you can do more of what you love with those you love.


The "What's Essential" Contest
Nordic Naturals wants to know what’s essential to you!


Nordic Naturals is inviting everyone to participate in the exciting What’s Essential contest by submitting your “what’s essential to you” story and accompanying image via Facebook or whatsessential.com. Winners will be announced in June. Official rules are posted at www.whatsessential.com. No purchase is necessary to enter or win. The contest is open to Canada (excluding Quebec) and the USA.


How you can help!
We need bloggers who can (1) review the Ultimate Omega®-D3  and (2) share the What’s Essential Contest with their readers! If this describes you and your blog:
  • First time reviewer of Nordic Naturals products
  • Green, Health and Wellness blogs, or a blogger passionate about health and wellness
  • American/Canadian (Quebec excluded)
  • English or bilingual presentation
  • 500+ Followers/Subscribers (GFC/Newsletter/RSS info should be viewable on your blog)
  • Facebook, Twitter, Google+ numbers will be considered as well.

Then sign up here.
Space is limited! The first 75 blogs that qualify will be sent a product to review. The turn around for your post time is 7-10 days upon receipt of the product.


Don’t meet the criteria? No problem!
As long as you have an American or Canadian blog, you can enter the What’s Essential Blogger’s Contest! If you enter a blog post about the contest, you are then eligible to win a prize valued at over $125.00. There will be THREE grand prize winners. Each winner will receive:
  1. A Nordic Naturals tote bag filled with products!
  2. A What’s Essential T shirt
  3. Other swag from Nordic Naturals

To enter:
  1. Write a post on what is essential to you in your life
  2. Include in your post, information about the What's Essential Contest and encourage others to enter and do the same
  3. Enter into the contest www.whatsessential.com – this is optional
  4. Tweet/Facebook the post.
  5. Publish your post and submit the link here.

ALL bloggers, qualified or not, can enter the What’s Essential Blogger’s Contest. Only one link per blog should be submitted.



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Paula Deen’s “Moderate” Lifestyle

Photo credit:JB Lacroix/WireImage/Getty Images

 

Paula Deen has Type 2 Diabetes. I don’t believe anyone is surprised by this newest information. I remember her words to Oprah when asked how many calories were in a certain dish.

“I’m your cook! Not your doctor!”

That statement got laughs and chuckles, but there’s nothing funny about promoting dangerous,  unhealthy eating habits. I believe naturally occurring fats are actually good for you, but its unfortunate that  Ms. Deen wasn’t considerate of distinguishing natural fats and trans (bad) fats in her cooking demonstrations.

Her health condition aside, it’s bad enough she didn’t differentiate between good and bad fats as well as refined sugars and salts to their counterparts… Now she’s teeming up with a pharmaceutical company to treat a disease that could very well be prevented with good dietary habits. If not prevented, at least managed.

So what we have here is a scenario where, you can consume large amounts of (bad) fats, refined sugars and salt and take prescribed drugs to help you manage your diabetic condition, should your health take a hit….it’s all good!

*Sigh…*

Ms. Paula Deen confirms

When asked if the high-fat, high-caloric recipes she champions can lead to diabetes, she hedged.

That is part of the puzzle," she said, but mentioned other factors: genetics, lifestyle, stress and age.

"On my show I share with you all these yummy, fattening recipes, but I tell people, 'in moderation,'" she added. "I've always eaten in moderation."

She ate in moderation? “Always”? …hmmm…okay.  Is this the lifestyle “factor” she is referring to? Consuming foods cooked with trans fat (allegedly) in moderation?

 

My  children and I, enjoy Paul Deen’s feisty spirit.  I wish Ms. Deen the best in her journey to healthful lifestyle, and I hope she achieves the  good health she needs…although I’m not holding my breath with the route she’s decided to take.

 

What do you think about Paula Deen’s health condition and her spokesperson status for Novo Nordisk?

 

Source:

Paula Deen Teams With Novo Nordisk on Diabetes

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Menstrual Softcups Giveaway Ends Tonight

If you haven't had a chance to enter into the Instead Softcup Starter Pack Giveaway, you can still do so. The Giveaway will end tonight.

Go here to read more and enter the giveaway. 

Giveaway coming soon....

Raw, Organic Coconut Water Vinegar from Tropical Traditions. 

This vinegar is pretty unique. From the TT website...

"In the Philippines and other tropical places, raw coconut water is often left in the open air to ferment, where it eventually turns into a vinegar. The fermentation process enhances the nutrients, unlike heat pasteurization. The acidic environment prevents the growth of undesirable bacteria naturally. This process is a "backyard" cottage industry, however, and the final product is seldom consistant or attaining to our high standards. Therefore, Tropical Traditions worked with professors at the University of the Philippines for several years to develop an incubation system that could produce clean coconut water vinegar from our certified organic coconuts (used to make our Virgin Coconut Oil) and retain the mother of vinegar (a colony of bacteria cultures) as a truly raw product. We use the mother of vinegar to inoculate future batches of organic coconut water vinegar."

I'm excited to try this one out. I'm a salad lover, so I plan to use this in my salad dressing as well as a electrolyte drink. Read more about this vinegar here. Sign up by email or RSS for the announcement. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Everything You Thought You Knew About Your Clitoris But Didn’t Know


Shocking! There’s something new to learn every single day. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable and pretty empowered about my body since incorporating a natural family planning method in my lifestyle. I had no clue, none…of the fascinating dynamics that surrounds the mysterious place hidden in the folds.

I stumbled upon this cleverly written post on Twitter. Yes, that’s right folks, Twitter, the new go-to for sex education! I kid, however in perfect seriousness, this post is written on the Mosex: Blog. A blog that has six contributors, and is “dedicated to the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality”.

Titled “The Internal Clitoris”, it explains that all that you see externally, is not all that truly exists. The clitoris actually is a glans that is connected to a “internal shaft“ that surrounds the vagina and becomes erect when stimulated! Here’s a snippet of the post…
"Try asking the next person you encounter to tell you where the clitoris is located.  Having posed this question to others many times myself, I’ll guess that the majority of answers you receive will sound something like, “It’s that small bulb at the top of my lips,” or, “That’s the button up under the hood.”  Although these responses aren’t exactly wrong, the interesting truth is that the majority of the clitoris is actually within the pelvis – that is, it’s far more internal than external. Even most of the women I coach, women who are generally worldly and well-informed about their own bodies, react with a combination of fascination and confusion when I explain that their clitoris extends deep within them.
The scientific name for the external “little button” or “bulb” is glans.  Not to be confused with glands, glans simply refers to a small circular mass.  This little structure contains approximately 8,000 sensory nerve fibers; more than anywhere else in the human body and nearly twice the amount found on the head of a penis!  From reading her work, it’s clear that Marie Bonepart mistakenly thought that the clitoris was completely comprised of the glans; and because it is super sensitive and all anyone can see of the organ, her confusion is mirrored by most women today.  The fact is, though, that most of the clitoris is subterranean, consisting of two corpora cavernosa (corpus cavernosum when referring to the structure as a whole), two crura (crus when referring to the structure as a whole), and the clitoral vestibules or bulbs."
If your mind has been blown by this bit of information, then you absolutely must stop by  Mosex and read the rest of this post! Don’t worry it comes complete with pictures for your viewing pleasure!

When you’re done reading the article, let me know what you think :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

TOP Giveaway and Review Hop Week 18!


TheOliveParent

Group Giveaway Opportunity
I'm in the process or recruiting/coordinating blogs to giveaway cash by PayPal. Click on the link for more information. Are you a business interested in sponsoring a group giveaway? Contact me for more information. 

Prevent Iatrogenesis - Demystify Yourself

Iatrogenesis - “originating from a physician” – Adverse effect or complication resulting from medical treatment or advice. - Wikipedia
An Apple a Day...


A week about the Department of Health and Human Services, Officer of the Inspector General released the latest report of hospital incidence reporting which spoke of poor hospital incidence reporting and little, if any changes resulting from error reports. I happened upon a new term. Iatrogensis. Which is the same subject that report speaks of. Adverse effects or complications caused by hospital errors.

Read my post: Birth Choices: Hospital Safety, is it a Fact or Blind Trust?

What I was shocked to find out was that Iatrogenesis is the THIRD cause of death in America as shared by NaturalNews.com.  A study in the University of Toronto claims that pharmaceuticals kill more people than motor accidents.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Profile on International Midwife Assistance Organization

International Midwife Assistant is a charitable, non-profit, humanitarian organization that seeks to improve the standard of maternal/infant care in developing nations and areas of crisis. IMA achieves their objective by:
  • Placing midwives, health care providers in hospitals, clinics or homes
  • Training midwives and other health care workers
  • Deliver medical supplies, aids and medications
  • Raising awareness to the cause by educational presentations and slide shows
The IMA has three programs.
The Teso Safe Motherhood Project in Uganda.

“Through the TSMP clinic, IMA offers general medical care, prenatal, vaccination, family planning services and a birth center, to help the poorest of the poor in the Teso region of Uganda. IMA midwives help local practitioners provide quality prenatal and birth services, as well as general medical care, to increasing numbers of men, women and children from surrounding poor communities. Through these services, women receive the assistance they need to help ensure safe, healthy pregnancies. The clinic staff also conducts weekly mobile outreach clinics to remote rural areas.”

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Natural Ways to lose Weight

Since I became a mother, I’ve been dedicated to learning natural ways to preserve and keep my families’ health safe and have picked up quite a few revelations on the way. I am in no way what you would consider “skinny”. I believe I am a healthy weight, but would like to be a few pounds lighter, like everyone else.  Simply put, exercise is the most natural way anyone can lose weight. However, exercise is simply not an option for me. I’m definitely not sitting around though. I’m active in the sense that I’m always on my feet  doing the three C’s. Cleaning, cooking and chasing. There are days when I realize I’ve been on my feet for hours without a thought about it.  I tell you, if it wasn’t for breast feeding, I would simply forget to sit a minute and relax!
With that said, my weight loss regimen has been focused on my eating habits and I’ve discovered some pretty nifty ways to decrease the pounds without the treadmill.

SOLE
I discovered sole two years ago.  Sole is a solution of Himalayan Pink Salt and water. Himalayan Pink Salt is unrefined salt that has an abundance of minerals. A teaspoon added to eight ounces of water to drink behaves as an electrolyte drink, in addition to balancing out pH levels. Drinking sole first thing in the morning, on an empty tummy gives me energy. I’ve also experienced some weight loss and a change in my cravings. Read more about sole here.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Group Giveaway Opportunity!


I'm putting together a PayPal Cash Giveaway of at least $50.00 to be given to three winners! The final cash amount will depend on the concluding tally of bloggers.

If you're interested in participating you can add one link choice of:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • Google Friend Connect
The participation fee is $7.00 Sign up ends 2/1

There is room for thirty bloggers, however I'll cap the list at thirty-five. Your link will be listed on the giveaway in the order it is received. Hurry to secure your spot! 

Sign up here!

Questions? Leave a comment.

Are you a family-friendly business interesting in sponsoring this giveaway? Contact me.

*This giveaway is not affiliated with PayPal

Social Media is the New Customer Service Experience

There’s no doubt that social media has redefined the meaning of customer service. Business across the globe have set up various forms of socially interactive platforms to extend a personal touch to their customers and make new ones in the process. At least that is true for those who take customer service at heart. For those who don’t, social media certainly lands at the advantage of the customer seeking service.
I’ve had a recent experience when my pre-schooler accidently installed an app on my phone. No, not the free ones. A good amount of change was promptly removed from my account. By the time, I realized the faux pas,  I couldn't get an immediate refund from the marketplace. I had to contact the developer. Here was where all the fun began.

My first instinct was to find contact information. I found an email where I sent a summary of the event. Then I went to the website in search of a phone number. I found a “tech” help section that came with some numbers and an email support ticket. I decided to send an support ticket. I received a form response acknowledging my request. The following morning I get an email. Breathing a sigh of relief, I replied to the questions that was asked; confirmation number, name address all of the legitimate questions that assured me someone was going to take care of me.  But, then a minute later, to my horror, I receive another form response. This time telling me my email was not “processed” because my replies were not within certain “parameters”.  I was completely shocked. What legitimate company in their right mind would reject replies? My worst nightmare seem to unfold before me. What I didn’t mention earlier was that my cherubic child installed this app from the European marketplace.  So now I’m thinking, how in the world do I get money back from a foreign country? I return to the website, and find the phone numbers. I call the first number. Someone answers, listens to my issue and promptly tells me, we don’t issue refunds, but could transfer me to someone who could help. I got a voice mail box. At this point, I wanted to speak with a live person. I didn’t leave a message, but called again (800 number) the same person picks up. I ask for a supervisor or superior. Nope. None available. I ask for the schedule of the person she transferred me to. What do you know…she doesn’t know that either.  Looooong story short, I called another number and was redirected unto infinity. My husband called multiple numbers as well, in addition to the marketplace only to end up with the same email address that rejected my reply.  (Inject screaming & hair-pulling here.)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

TOP Giveaway and Reviews Hop Week 17



TheOliveParent


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Birth Choices: Hospital Safety is it a Fact or Blind Trust?

Home births are often the subject of scrutiny when it comes to safety.  Doctors and proponents against home births try to incite the “common sense” of medical expertise, equipment and knowledge to validify the safety of hospital births over the home. These points at first glace appear true, but in all consideration, it’s the second glance that gives these points less weight.

By example, we know that 99% of women give birth in hospitals, yet our infant, mortality and cesarean ranking is abysmal for a country of our stature. Doctors who champion against birth choices bank, quite literally, on the lack of connection between these stats to hospital safety. And now a new report further gives women a good reason to reconsider the “common sense” that seemingly adheres to improvement of safety when birthing in a hospital.

The Department of Health and Human Services, Officer of the Inspector General released the latest report of hospital incidence reporting. Here are some some of the findings…
“The administrators acknowledged that incident reporting systems provide incomplete information about how often events occur, but they continue to rely on the systems primarily because they value staff accounts of events.”

“In the absence of clear event reporting requirements, administrators classified 86 percent of unreported events as either events that staff did not perceive as reportable (62 percent of all events) or that staff commonly reported but did not report in this case (25 percent). “

“Nurses most often identified events through patient observation and routine hospital safety
assessments.  Information regarding one-quarter of events was not accessible to the staff responsible for monitoring patient safety within the hospitals and for making policy changes”

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Standing Behind her - Judgment Free Breast feeding

Support with Integrity
I’ve always believed in supporting others’ decisions, even if it means I disagree. The way I see it, we all have the right to choose the things, methods  and opportunities we want out of life. It’s everyone’s God-given right. In the same stead, I do my best not to participate in enabling negative behaviors. For me support is a delicate balance  that shies away from being judgmental, yet being a true friend. Information is power. Sharing it can be a blessing to another, however “sharing” in condescending and chiding tone does nothing positive.

The only person who benefits from this negative tone, is the one who feels the need to do so. Straight shooting, it’s about the ego. Nothing more. Nothing less. As a breast feeding, home birthing, semi-green, African-American, hearing-impaired mom, I’ve met more than my share of  it all. Surely how I live my life goes against the grain of society, but then who I AM goes against the grain of society. I’ve decided long ago (feel free to hum the song) that I was going to be me as God made me, that meant meeting my own desires and wants out of life.

No matter what adjectives defines you, be it as varied as mine, or not so much, we are all unique in and of ourselves. Therefore, our needs may not mirror those of your breast feeding or home/hospital birthing neighbor. I’d love to see moms embrace this for other moms. It seems to me, we can be each other’s worst enemy, when reality dictates empathy should easily flow between moms. This pledge should have a universal message. The world would be a much more peaceful place to reside if it was!
Having said this, it was very easy  for me to sign the Support With Integrity Pledge.  Created by Earth Mama Angel Baby. They explain the goal of this pledge.
The goal of the Support with Integrity Pledge is to strengthen and to unite the efforts of breastfeeding supporters who focus on getting the baby fed, and not taking sides about how it’s done, or being right. We each may prefer one organization, technique, method, schedule or position, but we believe that a mama who is breastfeeding deserves support with whatever technique she chooses, and whatever works for her and her baby.
The ultimate goal of all breastfeeding advocates is that the breasts are making milk, the baby has a good latch, the nipples are happy, and the baby is getting what she needs to grow and be healthy. We’ve asked our colleagues to help us spread the word to promote civility and diversity of beliefs about breastfeeding. Now we turn to you, the mamas, and ask you to sign the Support With Integrity Breastfeeding Pledge.
To be clear, this pledge isn’t about breastfeeding vs. formula feeding. It’s simply about uniting breastfeeding supporters who have a common goal: to help normalize breastfeeding, to help remove the barriers to breastfeeding, and to provide a peaceful village of supporters united in their desire to help women successfully breastfeed. Read the article
Thank you Earth Mama Angel Baby for creating this site. Head over, and check out the pledge. If you agree, sign it and display the very cool (love the pink!) badge.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Does Cholesterol Really Cause Heart Disease?

I'm not as familiar with Homeopathy as I am with herbs, teas and essential oils for health and well being, but it is my hope to learn here and there as I go along. I am subscribed to Joette Calabrese's email  newsletters and have been enjoying  the information she presents in them.

Joette Calabrese is a homeopathic consultant with a variety of credentials after her name.  In her most recent newsletter, she spoke about cholesterol, a topic everyone talks about and wants to lower. Other than the ads on TV sporting cereals and drug lowering choices, I've no idea what to think of cholesterol. I've mainly understood it to be "bad", but I couldn't tell you why. Other than a few pounds I need to shed, I'm very healthy and have not felt the need to understand my cholesterol levels. However, Ms. Calabrese, wrote a very informative article and since the article gives republishing permission, granted with it's copy right information intact, I wanted to share it with you guys.

HEY, WHAT’S YOUR CHOLESTEROL?  By Joette Calabrese HMC, CCH, RSHom(NA) of HomeopathyWorks.net

Photo credit: HomeopathyWorks.net

It's about as casual and common a question as, "How's it going?" And because cholesterol is made out to be the dirty culprit responsible for high rates of heart disease, many stay on top of their cholesterol levels and try desperately to keep them below whatever the doctors are touting as the "now", new dangerous level.
Men of all ages can't even watch a TV hockey game without being prodded to: "Ask your doctor if Lipitor is right for you." Well, don't bother asking. The answer is "No!" Plain and simple.
Lipitor's website begins with the words, "If you have high cholesterol, you may not even know it."(1) Well, that's true. If indeed high cholesterol was the cause of heart disease, the reminder and warning might be appreciated, but what the mainstream media doesn't tell us is this:

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

TOP Giveaway and Reviews Hop Week 16!

Here is the first Giveaway Hop on Top of Twenty-Twelve! I'm late in getting this hop started, but better late than never!
TheOliveParent

Monday, January 2, 2012

Baby Stepping Your Way Into 2012

Welcome to Twenty twelve! So far, so good!

New years resolution are filled with good intentions under the exciting prospect of a fresh start. A slate wiped cleaned. A return to the drawing board. I have to admit, I’m not much of a resolutions fan. After many years of well-intended, yet unfulfilled resolutions, I’ve come to the conclusion that you should always try your best to do today, what you can do tomorrow. Intentions can be deceptive in the fact that they are “good”.  However, if you haven’t exercised a day in your life, it’s fair to assume getting that weekly gym membership may be a fantastical dream that ends with wasted finances. I believe the reason why so many resolutions go unmet is because a change in lifestyle first requires a change in mindset.  Resolutions should be centered around a mindset change. If your goal is to lose weight this year. Start small. Examine your eating habits and daily routine and make small consistent changes here and there. Baby stepping your way to fulfilling your resolutions…at least one of ‘em anyway. :)

I truly believe life is an evolving process and one should never stop growing spiritually and emotionally…no matter what age reflects your life experience.  Resolutions should be a daily thing. Something as simple as a commitment to positive thinking and finding the good in as many situations as possible is a baby step to a lifestyle change. Periodic perusals of who you are, what you are, and who you’d like to be is a boon towards that good change you desire. It requires honest self-examination and courageous commitment.
What changes are you preparing for this year?