Sunday, March 28, 2010

Who Wouldn't Want Free Medical Advice?

With the internet, you can find an answer to most medical symptoms you may be experiencing any time of day.  I know that I find myself researching medical issues for myself or family at least once a week.

I have been using two web sites most of the time.  One is WebMD and the other is MayoClinic.

Each one has enough information to help you discover what ailment you may actually have, what side affects you may get from the medication you are taking, advice on healthy living and WebMD even has a section on pet health.

The internet is filled with many sites offering similar information, but I find that I have the best luck with these two.

Staying healthy is important and when we need to find an answer quickly, it is great to know that you are only a click or two away.

Where to look: and

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My Favorite Coffee Site is Having a Sale

Special Savings on 5 Pound Bags
Save Five Dollars on all Five Pound Bags
For a limited time, we are offering our 5 pound bulk bags

at a great savings: Regular coffees start at $36.95, which
equates to $7.39/lb! This special offer can be made even
better in conjunction with our Annual Membership
which offers an additional 10% savings on top of our low 
sale price. Prices are valid through April 7th, 2010 and 
all coffee is roasted fresh to order.
This is a great opportunity to try our current
Limited-Release coffees before they disappear:

All The Vitamins You Could Ever Want

Not sure if anyone takes as many vitamins and supplements as I do, but just in case you need any, I have a great site for you. It is called

And not just for vitamins.  You can buy organic or allergen-free food products,  green cleaning products, herbal supplements, bath and beauty products, sports drinks and supplements and homeopathic remedies to name a few categories.

Let's talk about prices - the best you can find anywhere. And there are different brands to choose from within a category.  Shipping cost is a flat $4.99, not matter what your final total is.

I have been using this company for many years and could not be more pleased.  If something is wrong with anything, you send it back, no issues, and you will either get a replacement or your money back.  Sometimes you will get an email offering a discount code for certain products or an overall discount on your total order. Even without any discount, I cannot find the products I purchase for less anywhere.

Where to buy:

Here's to good health!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rotor Rooter To The Rescue

What do you do if you have a plumbing problem on Sunday that can't wait until Monday? You call Rotor Rooter because you will always get to talk to a person not voice mail and they will have a plumber to your house soon after your call.

It was in the middle of February, freezing temperatures and we had a toilet overflow with water also coming up through the shower drain.

We tried our best to fix it, but it wasn't good enough.  I called Rotor Rooter and someone was at our house within the hour.

After surveying the issue, they gave us a price to fix the problem.  You can choose not to do anything and there is no charge.  We chose to have the plumber work on it.  Eventually he told us that whatever was blocking the water flow was too hard to clear out with a snake.

He then gave us another estimate of what it would cost to get it repaired necessitating additional equipment and more man-power. The problem was outside, underground.   We agreed because it seemed reasonable and men were at our house 9am the next morning.

By mid afternoon, all was cleared and back to working order.  Repairs were done carefully and the area was cleaned up really well. It was a big job and someone had to do it!

Luck was on our side because the very next morning, a trememdous snow storm came through and our plumbing issue would not have been able to be repaired had we had to wait for a plumber.

You can also find coupons on their site. I also get them in those packs of coupons mailed to everyone. 

I know that there are many good plumbing companies out there, but that day we chose to call Rotor Rooter.  It's all in the timing!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Let's Make a Deal" with DealOn

While reading the news on MSNBC's website, I came across an link to a site called DealOn. The description of DealOn is that it is "your personal gateway to the best daily discounts on restaurants, spas, events and other amazing experiences from merchants in your area."

This is the way it works: When a deal is offered, it is listed with a start and target price. With each member purchase, that price drops until it reaches its lowest or final target price. This is the price which everyone who had purchased the deal, will receive.

To explain further, if you purchase a deal for $50 and by the end of the day the price drops to $30, everyone pays $30, regardless of the price you originally "bought" it for.

I am sure this is a way for a business to increase traffic, but if we can save money and get something we actually want, why not?

Offers are available in major cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington.  You can sign up for the city you are interested in.

Where to sign up:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Company With Heart

I was ready for them to say, "Sorry, we can't take it back." What a surprise when I heard their response. Here's what happened:

A few weeks ago I was running low on arthritis medication for my dog Emma so I ordered more.

Unfortunately, Emma passed away before we opened the new bottle.  A few days later, I wondered if I could return the unused prescription. What I want to write about is how understanding was.

I called the company to see if they would take back the medication.  They explained that by law, medication cannot be returned...but they would be happy to put a credit on my credit card for what I paid.  I was so taken aback.  Imagine, not a "store credit!" An actual credit to my card.  What could I say? I thanked them over and over again.  Partly surprised and truthfully grateful because of the expense of the medicine.

Here is the bottom line: impressed me with the way they handled my situation. They did more than they had to and that makes a difference.

Note:  they will do price matching if you present them with a legitimate company's prices.  Shipping is free if your order is over $39. 

Where to buy:

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Napping - Why We Should Try It!

"To sleep, perchance to dream." And if only we could all just take a nap. Read the article below which I received from

Afternoon Nap Might Make You Smarter
Snoozing refreshes the brain's capacity to learn, study finds

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay News) -- Want to ace that next test? Try taking a mid-afternoon siesta.

While the findings are preliminary, new research raises the prospect that sleep, specifically a lengthy afternoon nap, prepares the brain to remember things. Think of it as similar to rebooting a computer to get it to work more smoothly.

"Sleep is not just for the body. It's very much for the brain," said study author Matthew Walker, an assistant professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

Walker and colleagues divided 39 young adults into two groups. At noon, all the participants took part in a memory exercise that required them to remember faces and link them with names. Then the researchers took part in another memory exercise at 6 p.m., after 20 had napped for 100 minutes during the break.

Those who remained awake performed about 10 percent worse on the tests than those who napped, Walker said.

There's one more twist: People's ability to learn declines about 10 percent between noon and 6 p.m. normally, but the nappers were able to negate that decline.

The structure of the study suggests that a phase of non-dreaming sleep that the nappers went through is boosting memory, he said.

"This is further evidence that sleep plays a critical role in the processing of memories," he said. "It provides more evidence that it's not just important to sleep after learning, but you need it before learning to prepare the brain for laying down information."

But it's important to sleep long enough to give the brain an opportunity to go through various cycles of sleep, he said. Using electroencephalogram tests to track electrical activity in the brain, the researchers determined that memory-refreshing seems to occur between deep sleep and the dream state, called rapid eye movement or REM.

"The brain's ability to soak up information is not always stable," Walker said. "It seems as though the brain's capacity may be a little like a sponge. It may get waterlogged with continued learning throughout the day."

Jessica Payne, an assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame, said the study findings "really add to something we already know about why sleep is important."

One message from the research, she said, is that sleep can be valuable for "students and for people who are struggling with their memory because they're aging."

Other recent research has suggested that sleep can help you think more creatively, have better long-term memory and preserve important memories.

The study findings were scheduled to be presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Association of the Advancement of Science in San Diego.

More information

The National Sleep Foundation has details about sleep.

SOURCES: Matthew Walker, assistant professor, psychology and neuroscience, University of California at Berkeley; Jessica Payne, assistant professor, psychology, University of Notre Dame, Indiana; Feb. 21, 2010, presentation, American Association of the Advancement of Science annual meeting, San Diego

Advice For Your Pets

My pet issues seem to grow as my dogs and cat get older! I am grateful for my veterinarian whom I can call anytime. There are times when I have to stop panicking and deal with an issue by doing some research online.

This is what happened last night. Hunter (The Blogging Dog,) got into some trouble outside. He came in and was acting a bit crazy, digging at his bed, sticking out his tongue as if wanting to clean it, licking his body and the worst, tons of drooling.

It got too wild when the floor was covered in his saliva. I thought he may have eaten something outside, which could easily have been the case since he walks around our property and we do have fox, woodchucks, turkeys and who knows what else!

I started looking up "Excessive Drooling in Dogs," and found a great website which covers everything you could ask for. The site is: I also subscribed to the newsletter . The Vet is in Southern Florida, owns many hospitals and has been practicing for 25 years. You can also call to speak to a Vet or Vet Tech to get an answer in 10 minutes, although there is a fee involved.

This is not to say that there was not any other site I could have gone on to find this information, but I liked the way this was done and how much information was available.

Where to find information:

By the way, Hunter is fine.

Here's to all our wonderful animals!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere and I Need Filters!

Here's a question you don't get asked everyday: how many of you need water filters? I need more than I would like, but since that is the case, I wanted to find somewhere to buy them at prices which would make a whole lot of sense.

I need filters for my refrigerator's ice cube maker and air filtration system, for my whole house water and for my sprinkler system. Each should get changed at least every 6 months or less, depending on water use.

I searched and searched. I can't tell you how long it took before I came across this site and finally said, "Hurray!" Their slogan is, "Spend less, get more...DiscountFilterStore!"

Totally agree.

Not only that, they arrived only a few days after I placed the order. Well done, especially since I had not changed my ice cube maker's filter in quite a while.

Where to buy:

Here's to clean water everywhere!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Designer Clothes and Accessories at Non-Designer Prices

You can join a club, buy designer clothes and accessories at a discount and look great!
On this site you will have to ask to join and they will send you an invitation in a few days.

Once you sign up, you can shop, starting at a given time since items are available usually around 12 noon, EST. It functions like a first come, first serve shopping spree, since good items may sell out fast. They will let you know what is coming up each day.

Gilt has a pretty decent shipping charge and you really have to read the return policy before you make a purchase. Not everything is returnable.

If you know your designers and prices, this site will be great for you. I do not usually buy designer clothes so I am not as familiar with the items as some of you may be. That being said, I still liked the prices for the items shown.

Where to sign up:

Let me know how it goes.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Look Great in the Morning Even if you Have Not Slept!

I read this on and loved all the little hints. I wanted to share them with you.

This article came from: WebMD Feature from "Good Housekeeping" Magazine

Good Housekeeping Magazine Logo

Nothing takes the spring out of your step quite like being told, "You look tired" — especially when you're actually feeling well rested. "Dark circles, puffy eyes, and sallow skin can all telegraph fatigue," says Francesca Fusco, M.D., a New York City dermatologist. So we asked the beauty experts how best to address these tiredness hot spots. Read on for their wake-up tips for eyes, skin, and hair. Your friends will think you've just taken a 10-hour nap — or a 10-day vacation.

10 Ways to Fake 8 Hours of Sleep

The easiest way to refresh your complexion turns out to be fast — and free. "Simply splash cold water on your face," says Dr. Fusco. Coolness constricts blood vessels, giving your skin a smoother, more toned look. Try this while on the go: Tote an atomizer in your purse, such as Avène Thermal Spring Water ($7,

Slather on a thick, occlusive moisturizer to lock the water into your skin. "With a face balm, any dryness and flakiness will disappear, and wrinkles will be less obvious," says Ranella Hirsch, M.D., a Boston dermatologist. Try Vichy Aqualia Thermal Mineral Balm ($32, drugstores).

If skin still looks lifeless, dip a washcloth in a mix of milk and ice cubes, wring out the cloth, and place it on your face for five minutes, then rinse. "The combination of the pH of the milk, plus the cold, makes this brightening," says Dr. Fusco. To reduce blotchiness, suck on an ice cube, she says. The top of the mouth contains nerves connected to the blood vessels in your face. By touching the nerves with ice, you are sending them a message to constrict (again, helping to even skin tone).

To counteract puffiness, choose an eye treatment containing a mix of peptides — some of the least irritating anti-aging ingredients — and caffeine, which has a diuretic effect. Try First Aid Beauty Detox Eye Roller ($24, Sephora). Stash it in the fridge before applying under eyes. "Coldness counters puffiness," says Elise Brisco, O.D., an optometrist in Los Angeles. Or, rest refrigerated 2nd Skin Moist Burn Pads ($8 for six, on lids for five minutes. They're filled with a soothing gel that's 97 percent water.

Skip heavy foundation or powder; it makes dull, sallow skin look even more mask-like. Instead, slather on a tinted moisturizer with SPF, suggests Sarah Lucero, global education director for Stila Cosmetics. It will even out any blotchiness while still letting skin show through. Try Wet n Wild Beauty Benefits Fresh Effects Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 ($10, Walmart). Apply a second layer or a touch of concealer over any still-apparent dark circles around the eyes.

"I always travel with an eyelash curler," says Emily Kate Warren, a New York City makeup artist. "It's the only thing that perks up my face when I'm sleep-deprived." Aim the curler as close to the lashline as possible and give a good 10-second squeeze. Then go over the outer lashes again. "I've had patients who think they need Latisse [the prescription eyelash growth product]," says Dr. Hirsch. "I show them how to curl their lashes, and they decide to skip it."

To further enhance curl, apply two coats of lengthening mascara, adding a little more in the center above each eyeball for even longer-looking fringe. Try CoverGirl LashBlast Length Mascara ($7.49, drugstores).

Peach cream blush beats pink for a quick pick-me-up. "Peach tones brighten skin and take the focus away from dark undereye rings," says Lucero. "Cream formulas leave a slight dew on cheeks, like a 'flush of youth.' " Dab color on the apples of your cheeks, and blend well. You can also apply some to lips over balm for a soft hint of color. Try Sonia Kashuk Crème Blush in Petal ($10, Target).

Adding some deeper contour just below your blush can give definition to a puffy face. Sweep a powder bronzer or foundation one shade darker than your skin directly beneath your cheekbones. "You'll get an even more sculpted look by dabbing the same formula along the jawline and temples," Warren says. Then blend, blend, blend with a brush or sponge. The color should almost disappear.

Revive slept-on strands without washing them by misting roots with a dry shampoo. Try KMS California Hairplay Makeover Spray ($17, for salons). This rice powder–based aerosol absorbs oil and freshens hair. Briefly blast roots with a blow-dryer on high heat to loosen up the powder, says Kaycee Clark, international artistic director for KMS California. Then you can apply your favorite finishing styler to hair.

7 Night Moves

Try these before bed and wake up to more beautiful mornings.

The single best thing you can do for your skin at night is keep a humidifier in your room, especially in winter, says Dr. Hirsch; you'll hydrate your face (and body) continuously while you sleep.

Go to bed with a clean face, says Dr. Fusco, and be especially meticulous about taking off eye makeup. In the absence of gentle eye-makeup remover, squirt a drop of baby shampoo into a wet washcloth and swipe it over lids, then rinse. "So many people sleep with their makeup on and wonder why they wake up with funky eye gunk in the morning," says Warren. "That's why."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Please Check Your Medical Insurance Claim Statements

Now we have to make sure we are paying for what we should and not more! The other day I received a claim statement showing what I owed to a hospital for a minor procedure. I noticed a fee for a "service charge." This is something I have never seen before. The discounted amount for this fee was included in what I owed to the hospital.

I also noticed that there was a notation next to the amount owed stating that this fee was paid directly to New York State by the insurance company. So why should this fee be included in what I owed the hospital? That would mean they get paid, by me, for this fee which was already directly paid to the state by the insurance company.

Needless to say, I called my insurance company. They agreed with me and said they will re-write the claim and make adjustments.

What if I didn't scrutinize this claim statement? What if I just sent the hospital the total amount owed without a second thought? I would be out money and the hospital would have made money from a fee they were not entitled to.

I also received a separate claim statement for drugs used for the procedure. It was initially denied by my insurance company because of a missing or incorrect NDC code. I called the hospital and had to speak to 5 different people/departments to get someone to correct this. But when I called the insurance representative about the service charge issue, I mentioned that I was confused since there were drug charges on the larger claim and also on this missing/incorrect drug claim. The rep said that someone did something wrong and that was why it was probably denied. Can you imagine if I was double billed for drugs? What a mess.

Please take the time to go over your insurance claim statements and question anything you do not understand. All it takes is a phone call and patience.