Wife, Chicken Mommy, eBay Seller and Walking DIY Disaster

Category Archives: Linky Love

I’ve been hanging on to this SpareOne emergency phone trying to figure out how to review a product that I hope I never have to use. This week with all the tragedy surrounding the Oklahoma tornado damage is a great time to think about emergency preparedness. I grew up in a household that planned for emergencies. We had backpacks under our beds with clothing, non-perishable food and water and basic first aid kits. We also stored extra food and water in case of hard times (which we ended up using during a time my dad was out of work for a year) and we gardened to have healthy foods to store.

As I think about how my life and technology have changed over the years, I am happy that I have kept the habit of preparing for the future. In my own home, I store extra supplies, water, food and keep a store of first aid supplies. Now, I also keep a SpareOne emergency phone. It’s quite a neat idea – a battery operated phone whose battery lasts for 15 years. The packaging is waterproof, floats and the phone is operable through the bag. Knowing that we are covered for emergency phone calls in the event of a disaster is a great feeling. Although we all have cell phones, having a waterproof, cold temperature proof phone offers more peace of mind.



Yesterday, I was contacted with a special offer in relation to SpareOne and the Oklahoma disaster. Right now at SpareOne.com you can buy a SpareOne emergency phone at a discount and an additional phone will be donated to people in tornado stricken areas. Anyone using the code BUYGIVE04 will receive a $20 discount on each phone purchased, a SpareOne phone will be donated and SpareOne will track buyers coming from WindyLou.com!

This is a small way to help the recent Oklahoma tornado victims and first responders, and at the same time, prepare your own family.


DISCLOSURE: I was provided with a SpareOne phone for review purposes. I was not compensated for this review/article and all opinions are my own and honest. This review is provided as part of my relationship with itsaglamthing.com

A while back I reviewed and gave away an awesome household cleaner: J.A.W.S. The Just Add Water System is cool because the products are environmentally friendly AND the packaging is minimal. The best part is the little refill holder attached to the bottle – it doesn’t get lost in the dark corners of a drawer or cabinet.

Since we tried the sprays indoors this time I tried the degreaser/cleaner on a REALLY grubby project. I’m renting a booth space in a boutique mall, which has sent me hither an yon trying to find all sorts of displays and shelving. I found a darling chippy old cabinet, but man o man was it dirty. Armed with my JAWS I decided to see if it would work on the crusty cabinet.

I’ll let the picture give my answer:

IMG_1894 IMG_1895

Y’all that is years of who know what all caked on. I didn’t photograph the whole cleaning sesh, but needless to say I’m an even bigger fan of my JAWS now.

Here’s the skinny on a few sales at a couple of stores: BOGO sale on JAWS cleaners April 14-27 at Busch’s and April 8-21 at Hiller’s (www.Jawscleans.com). It’s normally $4.99 a bottle at each store (with one refill included). The sale is a BOGO at each store, so it’s $2.49 a bottle with the included refill. The sale is on the JAWS Glass and Hard Surface Cleaner; JAWS Multi-Purpose Cleaner/Degreaser; Bathroom Cleaner/Deodorizer; and Disinfectant Cleaner Degreaser.


I’m also giving away another full line of cleaners valued at $20!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*HAPPY HAPPY UPDATE: The Germantown has changed their membership policies effective immediately!  All families are now included! *


I’m really angry this morning. I’ve been angry all night actually. A high school friend that I keep up with on facebook has been denied a GYM MEMBERSHIP because he, his partner and their children are not a “family” as defined by the membership application at Germantown Athletic Club (at least partially funded by taxpayer money.) Is this REALLY happening in 2013? I know lots of people who are not on board with gay marriage and legal status. Whatever. But a GYM MEMBERSHIP? Does. Not. Compute.

The worst of it is that the personnel informed my friend that they didn’t qualify for a family membership IN FRONT OF HIS CHILDREN. What a disgrace.

Last night Adam posted his frustration, offense and sadness on facebook. Many people have begun to cause a fuss on Germantown Athletic Club’s facebook page. Now the club wants to keep this quiet. What the WHAT?!?

Talk about a stupid move. Now I feel like shouting it from the rooftops that discrimination is alive and well in Germantown, TN. In addition, when I shared this information on my own facebook page, a different friend informed me that Bartlett Rec HAS THE SAME POLICY. What is wrong with people?

Please let the Germantown Athletic Club know how offensive and discriminatory their PRINTED policy on family is.

From the website
Family memberships are defined as husband, wife and children 18 years or younger for which they have custody. Additionally, full-time college students who are 24 years of age and younger may be added to a family or a couple membership at $25 per child. Verification of full-time college enrollment is required.

Samantha Boyd, Membership Sales Advisor at 901-757-7372 or sboyd@germantown-tn.gov.


Twitter: @GtownAthClub 



I’ve all but given up my music photography since moving to Michigan. Luckily, I find shows here and there where I can drag my big camera (Canon Rebel) along. Most often lately, I only use my phone camera (iPhone 4S) because it’s so damn handy. When we were on vacation in November I took my big camera to the Norton Records wash- a -thon, but I chickened out at the last minute what with all the water and cleanser and fragile vinyl lying around.

In a fun turn of events my friend Twinkle needed some photos for a story she was doing on Norton and I was able to send her a few! It’s been a good while since I’ve had a photo published so I was happy to help!

Check out her story

You can find Twinkle here

and Norton Records here. Norton still needs lots of help. If any of you record lovers feel so inclined, I’m sure they can use some monetary help in addition to the volunteers needed for clean up efforts.



I was super excited to be given the opportunity to try out this cool gadgety gadget. Our family of four sports 3 smartphones and 2 tablets, and we’re looking at another smartphone in the near future. Since we share a data plan, sometimes The Millionaire has to remind us not to go heavy on the data when we don’t have a wireless connection. Now? He doesn’t have to worry! The NetZero 4G mobile hotspot can connect with up to 8 devices at once. Data plan saved!

The device itself is the cutest thing. It fits right in the palm of my hand, which also means it doesn’t take up much room in a purse or bag. As a travel baseball family, saving space is crucial and having internet access on the go is a dream. Not to mention our everyday activities, waiting at practices, my coffee shop stops, the school pick-up line and the like. My NetZero hotspot can charge while I’m using it either via USB or in a standard wall outlet. I love that I can stay connected even if I don’t have an outlet.

Another nice feature is that I can feel secure. I love free wi-fi, but let’s face it, there are concerns about who can get my info when I’m noshing on bagels and sipping my coffee at a coffee shop. With the NetZero mobile hotspot, my data is safe. Who doesn’t like safe and secure? It’s like a snuggly quilt for my wi-fi.


For a limited time these devices are on sale with purchase of a data plan!

Technical Specifications for the hotspot device (this is the device I received for review; I did not use the USB)
3.4″(L) x 3.4″ (W) x 0.7″(H)
4.44 Ounces
Battery Information
2200mAh battery providing 6+ hours of use
Usage Time
Works with any Wi-Fi-enabled device
Wi-Fi Range
150 ft.

I am so happy to be able to give away a mobile hotspot to ONE lucky reader! Prize includes NetZero Hotspot plus three months of platinum service ($49.95 per month), a $300 value. (The winner must live in the U.S.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I was not compensated for my review, however I was provided a hotspot and service by NetZero in connection with the MomItForward community. All opinions are honest and my own.

We have 7 cats. SEVEN. CATS. That means seven times the love and seven times the poop. It also means seven times the territorial disputes and night crazies. I would not trade any of my kitties, but hoo-boy I would trade the spraying, scratching and litter duty.

The lovelies at Ceva generously provided me with full size samples of their pet products Feliway and Adaptil. Feliway is for cats, Adaptil for dogs. (Since I don’t have any dogs, I gave the samples of Adaptil to my mom and a friend to try out on their dogs.) Have you heard of Feliway? Well, pull up a chair because I am about to tell y’all about it. It’s my new favorite product to help deal with behavioral and territorial issues at my cat farm (as my house is lovingly referred to by a family friend.) Feliway comes in a plug in diffuser and a spray that can be applied to specific places to ward off scratching or marking. For the last few months, we have used the diffusers in combination with the spray. Can I just say AMEN!

Feliway is a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone, used by cats to mark their territory as safe and secure.

By mimicking the cat’s natural facial pheromones, Feliway creates a state of familiarity and security in the cat’s local environment.

As a result, Feliway can be used to help comfort and reassure cats while they cope with a challenging situation and help prevent or reduce the stress caused by a change in their environment.


And just what does that mean in a house with seven cats? It means that Kitty Cat, the oldest most jealous kitty doesn’t hiss and fuss at the youngers as much. It means that Gus, the one who sits by the door and cries to go out ALL.DAY.LONG can be redirected to play or come away from the door. It means that LuLu the fat bottom girl who is averse to anything that doesn’t involve food doesn’t mind being held so much, that Miss Ellen (or the BeeBee as  we like to call her) only hides under the bed 12 hours a day instead of 23. Feliway in my house means that Phineas and Tag, who are about the most chilled out cats I have ever met, remain chill even when Kitty Cat is being a jerk. And it means that when we brought home the 4 week old abandoned kitten, Captain, the big boys didn’t feel the need to eat him*

We have less territory marking, less torn up furniture, less hissing and posturing. Calmer kitties mean I am calmer and that our family enjoys our pets even that much more. In short Feliway has been a game changer for us. It has been studied and proven to reduce stress in cats! (As for the Adaptil, my mother and friend report the same calming with their dogs.)

Lucky for you, my lovelies, I have prizes to give away! I took all my willpower not to keep these for myself because I am SO in love with this product. Two (2) winners will each receive a bottle of spray and two (2) single-use comfort wipes, and two (2) winners will each receive 2 single-use comfort wipes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In the sad, sad, event that you don’t win one of the prizes, Feliway can be found at places like PetCo, PetSmart and local veterinarians.

The full scoop: I was not compensated for this post. CEVA graciously provided samples to me and I will host the giveaway from the products I was provided. Postage is at my own expense. My cats like Feliway. It’s worth every penny!


Congratulations to Candace!

Ok, admit it. When you see the word JAWS you think of the shark movie and you immediately hear the dun-dun-dun-dun-dun-dun music in your head, right? No need to fear, this awesome cleaning system is not gonna bite. I had the opportunity to test out the full JAWS (Just Add Water System) line of non-toxic cleaners in my home over the last few weeks.

First off, I love the minimal packaging. It’s a thing with me. I hate to make extra garbage if I can help it. Now I can finally feel better about buying household cleaners. The Just Add Water System is pretty cool. Each spray bottle can easily be reused because JAWS utilizes a cartridge system. And, when I say easy, I mean I handed the kids each a bottle and cartridge and said “See if you can figure out how this works.” Within a few seconds they read the instructions on the bottle and popped in the cleaning solution cartridge with no help or prompting for me. If they hadn’t been headed to their mom’s house, I would have had them test out cleaning the bathroom! Bwahahahahaha.

The bottles I tried out had an awesome cartridge holder attached to the side of the bottle. Can I get an amen? My OCD loves that the refills are stored ON THE BOTTLE! You always know how many you have. No excuses of “I can’t find the refill!” Having the refill on the bottle also means I don’t have to come up with extra space to store the refill cartridges.

And the best thing? JAWS cleaner actually works. It’s all well and good to have a fun new gadget to try, but if it doesn’t work it ends up as a dust catcher. The degreaser degreases, the bathroom cleaner de-grimes, the all purpose cleaner removed kitty paw prints from my windows. I’m sold.

Now for the good news: JAWS is BOGO at all area Hiller’s stores, from Nov. 12-25. (www.Jawscleans.com).The cleaner line is regularly $4.99 a bottle (with one refill included).

Wanna try before you buy? Enter to win a set of JAWS cleaning products

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find JAWS online, on Twitter and Facebook and in local stores like Hiller’s, Busch’s and BedBathandBeyond

It must be said: JAWS graciously provided me with a full line and refills of their awesome cleaning system. I was not paid for my opinion. Giveaway prize is provided by JAWS. All honest opinions and corny jokes are my own.


Congratulations to Jen H.

I’m teaming up with several other bloggers to support Michigan based businesses and locally made products. Welcome to the 2nd Annual Made In Michigan Blog Giveaway Hop hosted by DETROIT MOM AND HER VIEWS

My love of thrifting doesn’t mean I never buy new! But in keeping with a recycling/reusing/conservation-y frame of mind, I enjoy shopping locally as much as possible. Through my Etsy shop I met several local ladies who make amazing products right here in, not only Michigan, but in my town!

Meet Jennifer Gunter, hot mama and One Haute Hostess, a work at home wife and mom to a GORGEOUS little boy. I met Jen at one of the first meet ups of local Etsians. From there a couple of us kept up meeting on a semi-regular basis, and have dubbed out meetings “crafty coffee.”  You can imagine we talk about everything under the sun, but we actually still find a few minutes to discuss our current crafts! Jen’s specialty is beaded and wire-wrapped baubles – everything from coffee scoops to wedding cake cutters! She has generously offered a salad set for me to give to one lucky reader!

Custom Salad Set Reserved for kcarlson

(photo is for example only)

Jennifer was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself so you can get to know the lady behind the hostess gifts! Here’s my first attempt at an interview:

What attracted you to beading and wire wrap work?
When my husband and I were engaged to be married, I was trying to find a cake server and knife that we could use to cut the cake that didn’t have plastic handles or gaudy bows. I finally decided if I wanted something unique that would fit our fun wedding, I would just have to make it myself. After some trial and error, I came up with something that we used. From there, things just kind of took their own course. My brother got married the next year, as well as a cousin in between, and they all wanted wedding cake sets like ours, so I did them as bridal shower gifts. My grandmother also wanted a pie server to show all of her lady friends when they got together for dessert.

What was your first sale?
My first sale was to a cousin who ordered some wine glasses and spreaders for her mother for Christmas. Friends and family really encouraged me to try craft shows and the like, and then I found Etsy! I love Etsy! Craft shows aren’t really my market, so I’d spend an entire weekend (with setup and the like) and sell a few things to make back my booth fee. Etsy allows me to fill orders and promote items at my leisure.

Do you enjoy any other crafty pursuits?
Absolutely! I love doing anything “DIY” around the house–painting, decorating, etc. I have started to dabble a little into sewing–nothing complicated–bibs, pillowcases, etc. I also love to scrapbook because I feel it is important to document my family’s memories. I always promised myself I would be more organized than just having shoeboxes full of photos–it seems to be working so far:)

What’s it like to be a work at home mom AND a crafter?
Busy–and messy! My little boy loves to “help” so he often scoops beads from one container to another, leaving a giant trail of beads in his wake–nothing a vacuum can’t fix! Thankfully, he has never been one to put things in his mouth so we have not had any bead-eating issues :) My husband is really good about making sure I get time to get my orders done, and I mostly end up doing it on the weekends or after my son is in bed.

Where can we find your work?

I will also be at Beneath the Tree Nov 9 and 10 in Grand Rapids this year. I have done this show the past 3 years and really enjoy it. It is an open house environment where you can see homes decorated for Christmas and shop artist who have brought their items into each home. It kicks off my Christmas shopping every year!

Isn’t Jen a doll?!

Enter her to win a one of a kind salad server valued at $30-$40, then hop along to the other blogs and enter to win even more fun stuff!


Welcome to the 2nd Annual Made In Michigan Blog Giveaway Hop hosted by
All of the Michigan bloggers below have joined forces to bring you Products from Made In Michigan Companies.  Each blog has a prize package of at least $25 worth of awesome Made In Michigan products.  Once you’ve entered here, be sure to hop along to all the others on the list. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



In an amazing opportunity I had this Spring, I met Ms. Parham (featured the above eBay Thanks You video) as part of the eBay Parent Panel Summit. That short trip changed my entire outlook about eBay. I thought I was already on top of the world after being selected as part of the MoneyMakers Web Series last fall, but those 2 days in California blew me away. When I was offered a spot on the Parent Panel, I was overwhelmed. My enthusiasm has only grown since March with a renewed focus on building my eBay business.

It’s difficult for me to put into words what being affiliated with eBay has done for me. For many casual sellers, eBay is just another way to get the junk out of their house. It’s much more to me. Finding a way to legitimately work from home is priceless. In addition to having time with my husband, I have had the opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of eBay and meet other bloggers who have been a tremendous help to me. Through the Parent Panel I have discovered that I have the desire to do more than just sell. As of this week, I enrolled in the eBay Education Specialist Program. The certification that comes with completion of the program will allow me to teach others how to sell on eBay with approved materials. Had I not participated in the Parent Panel summit, I never would have known about the program.

Having another stream of revenue helps our family tremendously.  Last year my husband’s company was purchased. As part of the buy out, his opportunity for extra money disappeared in January of this year. We certainly weren’t expecting what amounts to almost 1/4 of his income gone. Just like that. This year has been more difficult for us financially to say the least. Knowing that I have opportunities with eBay gives us peace of mind that we will have a second steady source of income. I know that when things get tight, I can invest more into my eBay work and when things are ok, I can invest that time with my family.

Aside from the monetary and informational aspects of being an eBay seller, my self worth has taken a boost as well. No other job felt right for me – they all felt like jobs and not careers or lifelong professions. Being an eBay seller (and soon to be instructor) allows me to feel fulfilled as a photographer, an expert, teacher, a resource for others and frankly, it’s just plain fun. For the first time, I feel that I’ve found something I could do for the rest of my life. Thanks, eBay, from the bottom of my heart!


This post is part of my affiliation with the eBay Parent Panel. All opinions and experiences are my own. I’d tip my hat to eBay even if I weren’t part of the Parent Panel though.  Also, Ms. Richelle rocks and I wish I had taken a photo with her when I had the chance.

Once in a blue moon I get a hankering for some jewelry. If you’ve ever met or known me IRL, you know that I am not a high-maintenance  make-up and jewels type. It’s a pretty rare thing that I go searching for a piece of jewelry. The last time I got new jewelry was for my birthday back in April – my husband bought me a pair of birthstone (diamond, baby!) earrings. Before that was over a year before when I bought a pair of earrings from an ETSY shop. Those didn’t work out so well….but I digress.

My Pinterest addiction unwittingly exposes me to all sorts of things I’d never go looking for. Most of them I give a glance and then move on, but stackable rings have struck a chord. I’ve seen so many cool iterations, but I keep coming back to simple silver bands. Well, there is an amazing white gold one that I would LOVE to have but it’s something silly like $300 or $600.  Anyway, silver bands. Love them. Need them. Don’t wanna spend the money.  I do visit them from time to time


They can be found here.

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