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Friday, March 27, 2015

Seriously Slacking + Chewy.com Review

This month has been one of those where we are flying by the seat of our pants and crazy-busy.  I've been slacking on my posts, but I at least wanted to give a shout-out to Chewy.com for the awesome treats that Khloe and FatBoy received this month.  I'm a horrible brand-blogger this month because while I've been diligent about giving daily treatie-treats (the beasts won't let me forget to), I've been bad about taking pictures of them enjoying said treatie-treats.

This month we chose the Halo Liv-a-Littles freeze-dried protein treats for the beasts to try.  We got the salmon flavor and they look like this:

Stock photo

These are very light, non-dense, and smell great (for kitty treats, anyway).  They are grain-free and 100% wild salmon.  Khloe loves them and will talk to me every morning until I give them to her.  FatBoy doesn't care for them at all and will look all offended until I remove them from his sight (drama-queen??).  I've even given Sandy-dog a couple and she scarfs them down.  The one and only con to all the pros is that some of the chunks are pretty large and need to be broken down before Khloe can eat them.  Overall these were only half a hit (only because of the drama queen mentioned above) and I probably would not purchase them only because I like to have treats that all the cats will enjoy.  Thanks, Chewy.com, for the opportunity to try these out!

While Chewy.com supplied the treats, all opinions are solely my own (with heavy weigh-in from the menagerie).  






Thursday, March 12, 2015

TBT In Pictures

I thought I'd throw up a Throw-Back Thursday post with some of my favorite family pictures.

My 4 faves, right after we became a new family.
The unbridled joy in this pic slays me.
My two oldest and me.
Sandy-dog and Kels, just chillin...
Heck if I know...
My beautiful middle one.

Middle and mom.
A rare Halloween sighting of the elusive Moogle and Waldo.
Girls' annual San Marcos shopping trip!

Have a great one!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Treatie-Treat Time with Chewy.com (Sponsored Post)

Yes, we really call them treatie-treats, (because we're special - that's why) so don't pretend you call snack time something normal-sounding in your house when I know that you still eat pasghetti and read magdazines.

Anywho, we keep our pet treats in the master bathroom cabinet because the little one (Chloe) is a little rat bastage who likes to find anything in a crinkly bag that might be treats and carry them upstairs for her mom to open for her.  Funny side-story -- one time I found one of those little packets of freeze-dried vegetables that go into ramen soup on the stairs leading to my daughter's (Chloe's mom) room.  She had been stalking the kitchen counters for snacks and decided that freeze-dried veggies looked like just the thing.

Back to snack time.  Our animals are trained like Pavlov's dogs so that when anyone walks into the bathroom, all of a sudden there's an audience sitting in front of the cabinet impatiently waiting for treats.  Chewy.com was gracious enough to send treats for both the cats and our ancient Collie in February for us to try.  For the cats, we received Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Boost Minis in the Rabbit Flavor.  

This box ain't going to open itself, you know.

Chloe isn't really a very vocal cat, but whenever she saw the box for these treats, she went nuts chirping and meowing, and in general just begging for them.  Our two foster kittens also loved them to pieces and risked their lives by trying to steal Chloe's from her (MAJOR smack-downs when that happened).  Our oldest cat, Ted, didn't care for these too much although to be honest, he's not only picky but completely toothless.  I think that these were a bit too hard for him to comfortably gum to death.  These were a big hit overall and we'll definitely buy them in the future.

For the aging Collie, Sandy, we received Blue Buffalo Blue Bones Regular Dental Chews. Historically, she has displayed an allergy to anything red-colored (makes her sick) so when I saw these were red, I was a little apprehensive.  I checked the ingredients and found that they were colored with beets and not dye, so we decided to give them a try.  Again, these went over great and didn't make her sick at all.  As a matter of fact, she would take her treat to the back door and wait to be let out to enjoy her snack in peace because the cats would try to steal them from her.   Since she is 15 and ancient, we really couldn't see a difference in the whiteness of her teeth, but her breath was pretty decent. 

Couldn't get one of her with the treats.

The menagerie would like to thank Chewy.com for the opportunity to try these great products out! While they supplied the treats, all the opinions are solely my own (with heavy weigh-in from the beasts).  

Friday, February 27, 2015

Life this week, as told in in gifs

Made it to another Friday, thank you, Jesus.



My girl children have been overly full of the drama this week.
The smallest things have usually ended this way:



Thanks to a craptastically put together spreadsheet I struggled with for
LITERALLY three days at work, I was a little stressed and irritable.



So after the stressful week, I politely asked the
wonderful hubby for a date night.



Which will lead to a fancy dinner tonight
at a great downtown Houston steak house.


A Rockets game...



And then a small glass of wine
and quality time with the hubs at home.



I'm out!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Radha Beauty Intensive Youth Eye Gel


This is a sponsored post written by me, powered by BrandBacker.
While I was compensated for this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NBAKXIA?psc=1
Radha Beauty Intensive Youth Eye Gel
As I age, I find that the roads that I have travelled in my life start to creep up and show themselves on the map of my face (boatloads of beach time, oodles of outdoor activities, craters of concern and worry, etc.).  As a result, I look for new and improved facial care items to try to counter-balance the damage that living a good and fulfilled life has done.  That's where Radha Beauty Intensive Youth Eye gel comes in.  It purports to moisturize and firm skin, and reduce eye bags, dark circles, and puffiness.  The gel is 99% natural and 75% organic and is safe for all skin types. 
 
I don't think that I've tried the product long enough to see long-term results; however, I will share what I have noticed to date.  I will be straight-up honest and tell you that I prefer creamy-type facial products and I knew before trying this that it was a gel, so I won't count that as a negative since some people prefer gels -- it's just a matter of personal preference. 
 
On first examination, I found that the gel is smooth and has a fairly benign smell -- not strong, but noticeable.  I liked the fact that it's mostly natural and organic and didn't irritate my eyes at all (I wear contact lenses).  It does go on the skin very nicely (especially the delicate skin around the eyes) and spreads easily without pulling.  I noticed after a few days that some of my puffiness and darkness had been reduced some and after continued usage I believe that this will be a continued effect.  I cannot vouch for the claim to firm the skin since I don't think I've been using it long enough to see that particular claim to fruition.  This product also did not cause any redness, bumpiness, or itching, which is always a plus.  One of the few things that I did not care for was how long this took to dry, especially before being able to apply makeup. 
 
I will finish out the bottle of the gel to see how many more benefit I might get from it; however,  I probably won't order it again simply because of my preference for non-gel eye products.  If gels are your thing, though, click on the link on the picture to add this great product to your routine!
 
 
 
 

 


Friday, February 20, 2015

Still Alive!

The past couple of weeks have been brutal on the family with all the illness running rampant. As I alluded to in the last post, everyone in my household has had some form of upper respiratory infection, ear infection, bronchitis, etc. I blame this in part on the craptastic weather that we have here in our part of Texas. Our poor systems just can't handle the constant flip-flop of temperatures (rainy 30 degrees one day, up to a sunny 75 the next).


On top of all the ookiness (it IS a word - inclusively defined as all the phlegm, snot, and mucous filled sickness), Kelsey landed in the hospital due to cluster seizures caused by dehydration and electrolyte imbalance from being sick. To round the crappy month out, my dad's cancer has spread pretty rapidly and is beginning to affect his mental capacity. The altered mental status plus the uncontrolled pain from disease spread to the bone landed him inpatient, as well. Just like most of the nation, I'll be glad to see the back-end of this winter in my rearview. I've got a couple of posts scheduled for this weekend, a few product reviews coming up, and just life in general updates. Hope everyone is doing well!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

So Much Sick...

Here at Casa Echeverry, EVERY.SINGLE.FAMILY.MEMBER. has had some sort of upper respiratory thing going on.  A couple of us have had ear infections and all five of us has that nasty cough that makes us sound like four-pack-a-day smokers.  Here's a good approximation of what it looks like at any given time in our house right now:


I know that our neighbors must think we're going deaf because in order to actually watch a TV program as a family, we have to turn the volume to DEAF-CON (heh) levels.  I don't know if I'm more horrified that the neighbors know the kids watch Family Guy on a daily basis, Supernatural on constant repeat, or Duck Dynasty in stereo.  That's some quality programming right there, but I digress...

At risk of sounding like a whiny wimp (especially to those who live in truly cold climates), I've just got to say that I'm soooo tired of this winter!  I'm tired of our Texas weather being freezing one day and in the sunny 70's the next.  I'm ready for summer, ready for heat, and ready for pool and beach. Ya'll! There's a reason I've never left Texas for any length of time (unless you count those few unfortunate years in Louisiana).  I find myself spending inordinate amounts of time and brain power imagining myself somewhere on a beach with a margarita as soon as humanly and financially possible.  As a matter of fact, I would like to go to here right now:

My view from the beach chair in Cozumel last year.

Okay, enough griping.  After I get more good drugs this evening, I'm hoping to be feeling better in a couple of days and then I'll be right back on the blogging track once again.

How is everyone else's winter?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Exercising, Eating Better, and Getting Healthy (Transformation Tuesday??)

So little known fact about me (unless you ask – I’m an open book) is that I had a gastric bypass quite a number of years ago.  I officially lost 205 pounds and have kept all but about 30 of it off.  I went on to have a circumferential body lift (O.M.G! – worst pain ever!) that removed about 18 pounds of skin and tightened a lot of my parts and pieces.  I felt the best I have ever in my life right up until about 2 years ago.  My back went out and I ended up having to have a discectomy and a laminectomy and ever since then my old, aging body is a constant canvas of nagging, little pains. 

I decided that this year I was going to do something more substantial about getting my body and my health back in order.  I promised the wonderful hubs that I would exercise more often, cut out my daily glass(es) of wine, and eat better.  And right up until the great snot-storm of 2015 this past week, I had made a valiant effort toward that goal.  I started the C25K app (WAY modified for my mode of wogging/ jalking) and have been feeling really good.  Although to be honest, this is really more my style of running but I'm sticking to the program.  LOL.



Believe it or not, I don't want to become a runner.  I want to increase my cardio enough to balance out the food changes for maximum weight loss.  After I drop some of the poundage, I'm going to get back into some of the strength training to help out my core, which in turn, should help out the nagging little pains to some degree in my back.

Any other people out there (come on -- I need a response from all two of my readers!) who are embarking on new and healthy things?  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Photo Dump

Today, because I feel like I've been hit by a truck (dang, stupid head cold), instead of a real post, I'm doing a Friday Photo Dump from my camera.  I'll try to throw something more substantial up over the weekend (if the fog in my brain lifts a little).  Have a great weekend!

Grocery Game Entry - Closet Stash

Grocery Game Entry - Garage Freezer, Both Pantries

Snoozin' Sansa

Isn't this precious face just adorable????

It's like looking at reverse twin tuxies.

My view of Lake Houston on my walk.

Snoozin' Arya.

Owned!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Weekend Wrap and Epilepsy Support

This weekend was a slow one for us (which I prefer sometimes). We didn't do much Friday, errands and church on Saturday, lazy laundry day on Sunday, and then breakfast with the in-laws and grocery shopping with the hubs yesterday. I LOVE long weekends!!! The only thing I would have loved more is more sleep. I have been totally exhausted for the last few weeks. Exhausted to the point where I'm trying to fall asleep at 8:30 at night and STILL dragging butt getting out of bed in the mornings. This is how I would have liked to have spent more of my weekend:



On Thursday night I got a text from a friend while we were at the gym asking me to give her a call. When I did, she asked if I could contact a friend of hers whose son had been diagnosed with seizure disorder (age 2 1/2) and she is at her wit's end in knowing how to deal with things. I did give her a call and listened to her and then tried to alleviate some of her worst fears and concerns and provided a shoulder to lean on both then and at any point in the future should she need it.

 The thing is, I remember being where she is now. I remember the diagnosis and feeling like I was alone in the world in dealing with taking care of my daughter with epilepsy. I remember trying to navigate the health care system, trying to understand the drugs and their side effects, trying to stay the course of scholastic difficulties and assistance, all the while watching my daughter suffer from horrific looking seizures. I remember how very very difficult it was for me (pretty much from diagnosis forward I was a single mom dealing with this until my 2nd marriage) and how alone I felt. At the time I didn't know who or how to reach out for support. I didn't know how to access help for Kelsey scholastically. I felt like a huge failure in advocating for my child. I have provided that support for quite a number of families over the last 15 years not because of any reason other than "I remember."

 We are a Christian family and I do believe in divine miracles and have prayed for such a miracle for my daughter. I do believe that God could heal Kelsey in the blink of an eye if it was His will. I do have that kind of faith and I do believe that God answers ALL prayers. That said, I think that a lot of people believe that just because you pray for something, God will automatically grant it and if He doesn't, then a) he must not love you, b) he isn't listening, c) he doesn't really exist, d) insert your own conclusion here. God answers ALL prayers, but not all answers are "yes." Some answers are definitely a "yes," some are a "no," and some are "not yet." For Kelsey, I believe that His answer is "no" and it's not about her or us. I believe that God will use this disorder and how we deal with it for his glory. There have been too many instances where He has moved people into our lives (just like my new friend above) so that they can see how we deal with the disorder and the fall-out and ramifications that go along with it and do it all with our strong faith and our belief intact.

 Thoughts?

God will not permit any troubles to come upon us, unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty.  Peter Marshall