Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Baby Bookworm

Happy THREE months to baby Henry Sebastian today!!! 

Henry goes EVERYWHERE with me which means that he gets to hear just about every story I read to the other kids.  I noticed today that he was paying close attention during story time, not to me, but to the book.  He was more interested that everyone else!  I got a phone call halfway through Pinocchio so I stopped and put the book down.  Boy, did he get MAD!!  He calmed down immediately when I started again.  I really hope to instill a love of reading in all of my kids.  Dad hates to read but I love it and do it all the time.  Fortunately, he can't say no when his little princess asks for a bedtime story (and Jonas always cuddles up with them) so they still get to hear and see daddy reading too.          

I haven't been talking much about baby Henry anywhere because I've been keeping a written journal with all of his milestones.  Lately he has become such a wiggle worm!  He's rolling over, tries to move around but ends up going in circles (literally), and flips over in my lap all the time.  He tries to sit up whenever he's reclined and if he isn't strapped in he could very well propel himself right out of his seat because he's so strong!!  He has been learning to comfort himself successfully (two fingers and/or a blankie), interacting with his siblings- I've been through it a few times before but it just seems so new and exciting all over again!  He met his car seat buddies today and made instant friends with the cute critters, cooing and batting at them.  We hadn't used it before because the hospital advised against toys in the car.  Now we just use it when we use the seat as a carrier and he adores them.  His favorite position is lying with his belly on the ground and his shoulders and head sideways (see photo below).  It's so strange but really cute.  He loves his long afternoon nap and sleeps so well at night.  He doesn't like to be bothered when he sleeps!  We love to sing, dance and chat together!!  I think that he is going to look up to his big brothers but he will adore his big sister, who is like a mini-mama to him.  ♥   

So that's a little of what's going on with my family!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bzz: A Review of Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean


I recently received 2 bottles of Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean from Bzz Agent.  Extend-A-Clean features a continuous sprayer so you don't have to keep pressing on the trigger, making for an easier-to-use and better coverage cleaner.  Another feature is that they claim you can go up to 4 days longer without having to clean by providing an invisible barrier on the surfaces that are being cleaned.  

The first thing I did was explore the Scrubbing Bubbles website to learn more.  
 Useful information from the website ( 
         "Works on most bathroom surfaces, including tubs, showers, glazed ceramic tile, stainless steel, chrome fixtures, fiberglass, vinyl and glazed porcelain. Avoid prolonged contact with wood, aluminum and painted, lacquered or soft surfaces. DO NOT USE on gold plated fittings, semi-glazed and resurfaced enamel baths, natural marble, travertine or brass."
  1. Squeeze and hold trigger for continuous spray. Spray 8-12 inches from surface to clean. Cover surface evenly. Allow foam to penetrate dirt and soap scum (for tough jobs, let stand several minutes).
  2. Wipe clean with a damp cloth or sponge, then rinse.
  3. Good ventilation during use is recommended. 
 Where to use it?  Everywhere in the bathtub (except the inside of the toilet)- shower, tub, tile, shower doors, sinks, faucets and fixtures.
 What's the difference between this and other cleaners?  The invisible barrier cleans every time the surface gets wet, up to 4 days. 
Anything else?  No visible residue is left behind, according to the site.  The triggers are designed to last 2 years and the batteries are expected to last through approximately 8 refills (that relieves my "OMG- more batteries?" feeling).  The product is citrus-scented.

My initial thoughts on this product:  
*Easy to set up and use.  I like the safety lock feature.
*What does an invisible barrier mean when it's time to bathe the kids?  With four kids I'm giving baths usually at least once a day.  And what about if their toothbrushes or toys that they might put in their mouth or in the tub touch a wet surface that was sprayed?  Will they be "cleaned"?  A little concerning!  The site says that, if used properly, the product can be used around kids.  It doesn't say "safely used".
*I was curious about how the continuous sprayer would compare to a regular spray bottle- is it really necessary to have ANOTHER product that requires batteries to function?  
*Would having a different type of sprayer ensure that the entire product would be used (or would some be wasted)?  
*People clean their tubs more than every 4 days?  I'm content with giving it a quick wipe after each bath or shower if it looks like it needs it, then a more thorough cleaning once a week (again, if it needs it).  I'm not a fan of cleaning so anything that makes it quicker and/or easier is a plus but I don't really need to spend much time cleaning the tub in the first place with this routine.
*$10 for a cleaner??  Yikes!  $7 for a refill?  Double yikes!          
*"use with good ventilation" is never a good phrase to use with a cleaner, especially with kids and the lack of a bathroom ventilation fan.

So...I gave it a try.  I opened a window and turned on the bathroom's ceiling fan (we only have 1 bathroom).  I set it up (easy to do) and started spraying.  Then I immediately dropped the bottle and ran from the room!  The smell!!  It would be a good smell if there wasn't so much of it.  I don't have asthma but thought this might trigger an attack anyway.  It was very overwhelming.  

The sprayer was kind of fun to use- you squeeze the trigger and it makes a whirring sound as it sprays the desired surface.  It comes out sort of foamy, so you know where it's going.  I sprayed the whole bathtub and let it sit for a few minutes (you sort of have to wait- away from the bathroom- because of the smell).  After a few minutes I took a washcloth and started wiping.  I was impressed with how well it cleaned.  It got off some of the stains that I thought were permanent in the tub.  Nothing else has ever gotten them off (though I haven't tried baking soda yet).  I was a little afraid to let the kids take a bath after using it though, so after I was done cleaning I ran the shower and then wiped the tub down again with a new wet washcloth because the barrier made me uncomfortable.  

The verdict: I give this product a 10 for cleaning power, a 10 for ease of use, a 1 for "green" power, a 1 for price and a 2 for safety around kids after cleaning, during regular bathroom use (I wouldn't consider allowing my children in the area during or for 5-10 minutes after spraying).  

I would not buy this product to regularly clean my bathroom, especially at the retail price.  I'm just not comfortable enough using it around my kids and it's one of the most costly bathroom cleaners I've ever seen.  The scent is good but far too strong and I do not have any respiratory issues.  While it was fun to use, I think having a battery-operated sprayer is totally unnecessary and wasteful.  If I wasn't as environmentally aware of what I use to in my house as I am, and if I didn't have kids I would consider it as my regular bathroom cleaner. 

I have to add that I did a comparison against another product (stay tuned!) and Scrubbing Bubbles Extend-A-Clean totally beat the other product in the cleaning competition.  It really does work well, but for our family it is not a good fit. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Poor Party of 5 is Now a Party of SIX and Needs a CHANGE!

I know I don't have many (or any, maybe) readers but if there are any out there I ask for forgiveness. I am being a terrible blogger right now!
Over the past few months I've become a fan of micro-blogging and have fallen off the big blog horse. I have so much running through my mind, so many things I could write about for days. But when I sit down at the computer I can't seem to write the words. So I slide over to Facebook and post my lazy, shortened thoughts over there instead of writing a thoughtful and detailed blog over here. And it makes me angry! For months I had no good excuse- I was just tired and lazy and not in the mood. Now I have the perfect excuse- the newest addition to our family! But I really want to keep it up and I'm going to try really hard. Sometimes I need a push or a hand to hold and this is one of those times.

Anyway, welcome our newest addition:
Henry Sebastian born on March 30, 2010 at 6:15pm (same time I was born!). 9lbs 7.9 oz. and 19.5 inches long. He was my biggest baby by far!! Zachary was 7lb 13.5oz, Amara was 7lb 15.8oz and Jonas was 8lb 6oz.

When he was born he did not have a name. Everyone was asking and I had to keep telling them all that we hadn't decided yet. This wasn't entirely my fault. I was searching names for months but hubby wouldn't give me ANY input. NONE! He said we had plenty of time to decide and all I could get out of him was a "No way!" if he hated a name. So, on my own I researched and thought and talked to other people (mostly to hear what NOT to name my babe). I knew I didn't want a common name (top 10? No thanks.) and I wanted to be sure that no one could obviously make fun of any name I picked (Jason said NO to Oliver). But right around my due date (March 20th) I was writing and combining names that I liked and I said them aloud. When I said, "Henry Sebastian" something clicked. I think Jason might have made a negative comment but I didn't hear him. His mom was over and she agreed that it sounded really good. I actually like Sebastian better but Sebastian Henry doesn't sound right to me.
My due date came and passed and I was stressing out. I was huge and tired and ready to have a baby! My first 2 spoiled me by being 6 days early. My 3rd was 6 days late. So I was convinced that he would follow suit or surprise us with a due date arrival. But of course he had to be difficult and 10 days after he was due the hospital forced him out. That's a whole other story though :) (if I ever get around to it!).

While enjoying our baby (and sharing him with our family-packed delivery room!) we kept on discussing names. Thankfully my sister brought along a notebook and wrote everything down before, during and after delivery. I was in too much pain/concentrating/pushing/enjoying to do much writing. It was late then so we held off the discussion until the next day. We had a new group of people to talk it over with. My dad was VERY opinionated about the subject and made me angry enough to want to kick him out (I didn't). He was basically telling me that my other son had a dumb name and that I should change it and was shooting down every name I liked for Henry. Then he insisted I use the name HE liked and said he was going to call him that anyway (very childish...). I should mention now that he has Schizophrenia and I can blame a lot of what was going on on that...and I shouldn't have been so bothered but I was. After everyone was gone for the day Jason and I had more chance to talk about it (it seemed it was the only thing we were talking about) but he was STILL not making a decision or giving me any input. At that point I decided I was going to push for the name I wrote it large letters on my due date. Finally, on our departure date I was waiting to finish the paperwork that required his name and he caved. I won! I won! I got my name :D

Welcome to the world, Henry Sebastian! I LOVE your name and it fits you perfectly!!

And since Party of FIVE just doesn't seem appropriate, I am changing my blog name to Weavers Wobble.  Grandma K. Weaver has always joked that "Weavers wobble but they don't fall down!" and I thought it totally appropriate for the new blog name.  So head on over to for the lastest updates and the best of Poor Party of 5!! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Sony Digital Camera is Broken :(

And I'm heartbroken! This camera has been with me since 2003- SEVEN YEARS! I got it for my birthday in January, 2003 and it's been my pal ever since. It was a $200 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P32 3.2 mega pixel camera. Now you can get 3 times more mega pixels for less money, but back then it was a big deal! This baby even took video and came with smart zoom, which means that instead of zooming before you take the picture you zoom after you snap. I'm not sure it was a feature I loved but it worked for us. The memory stick it came with was 12MB...Really! It held 10 pictures taken at the 3.2 mega pixels. If we lowered the picture quality we could get up to 50 maybe. Those pictures looked awful though- very blurry. But it was mine and it was fabulous! A few years later I found a 256MB memory stick on Ebay for less than $10 and since then I've never filled the memory. I'm pretty good about getting them off the stick and onto the computer.

My wonderful Sony has seen the good and the bad- lots of love and care but it's also stood up to sand on the beach, drool and sticky fingers from kids, and plenty of drops. I seriously thought this camera could survive anything! So I didn't think much of the day a few weeks ago when I was toting the camera in my purse and my stupid water bottle leaked. The camera didn't even get that wet and definitely wasn't completely submerged like some of the items in my bag. It was damp and I was able to dry it off in seconds. I immediately took out the batteries and the memory stick and left everything open so the inside could dry out. I never thought this would be the death of my Sony camera.

I'm really sad about my loss and with our 4th baby due in 4 weeks I am frantically searching for something in our price range (zero!) that will also work well for my subjects- fast-moving children and our lifestyle. I'm not sure that I could ever find something as reliable or sturdy as my wonderful Sony but I'm hoping for something that comes close. But I need SOMETHING! When my third, Jonas, was born Jason forgot to charge the batteries in the camera (I was more concerned with other matters, like delivering a baby) so we have no functional pictures of him in the hospital. We declined the hospital photos because of the price. My friend used her cell phone (and I was SOOO grateful that she was there and took pictures) but the quality is so poor that I wouldn't even be able to print up a wallet of him. It made me really sad and I don't want to experience that again. Based on history, I won't ask to borrow anyone's camera or for them to send me pictures because it's likely that neither would happen. In other words, I will not rely on anyone else to help because it probably won't happen!

I sort of want another Sony because I had such a fantastic experience with it the first time around. But I have to keep much in mind, like cost, while shopping for my next camera. If I end my Sony relationship I end it by saying that we had a great history together and I don't regret a moment!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Crystal Light Waterway Challenge

At the end of May I participated in a week-long challenge to drink more water, improve my health, body and mood and create a good habit. I recorded a journal entry for every day during the challenge to share what I was going through- how I felt when drinking enough water every day, whether or not it was easier to drink more water when incorporating flavors like Crystal Light (I received three boxes of Crystal Light and a really cool Eddie Bauer water bottle for the challenge from Gather) and what the hardest part of the challenge was.

My journal entries can be read here:

Day 1: I Pledge to Drink More Water

Day 2: Why Am I So Tired?

Day 3: I Gave In & Had Coffee But I'm Still Drinking Water

Day 4: Learning To Balance

Day 5: Getting Into Habits

Day 6: Trying Something New

Day 7: Continuing to Challenge Myself

Day 8: New Beginnings

I continue to challenge myself and try to drink enough water every day (at least 8 glasses) and I continue to incorporate Crystal Light because I have trouble drinking 8 glasses or more of plain water. It really helps when the water where I am doesn't taste very good- the Crystal Light hides that! Since the challenge has ended I have NOT lost weight but my skin is improving a little bit. I have only had soda twice since I began that challenge so I am doing really well with that. I have not stopped drinking coffee.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Preparing for the 8 glasses-a-day Crystal Light challenge on Gather

I was choosen to receive Crystal Light and a re-usable water bottle for the water challenge on Gather.
This is going to be fun! Unfortunately it has that unplesant dye that I am not fond of and I can't seem to find what it is sweetened with. I would totally be alright with it being clear!!! I'm not a kid- I don't need things to look the way they are supposed to taste.

So, why do I need to prepare for a challenge that consists of drinking the required amount of water every day? I do carry a water bottle with me everywhere but I am no where close to drinking the amount of water that I should. Sometimes it is laziness. Sometimes I just don't want water, even though I love it. And sometimes I want it cold and it isn't, so I just don't drink it. I could go get ice, but that goes back to the laziness thing. That is why this is going to be a challenge for me. It is really hard to make myself do something if I don't want to. It is going to be a serious effort for me to follow the rules but I am going to try! Another major hurdle for me will be my discovery of Pepsi Throwback. I find something like that then I have to give it up??! Bleh!

To make the most of this challenge I am adding some of my own stuff to it. To start, I weighed myself today. I am currently 153 lbs., give or take since it isn't a perfect scale. I wear a size 12 and large tops. At 5'4" I am overweight. I will say I am only a maximum of 20 lbs. overweight, because I am larged-boned and in high school I was anywhere between 125-135 lbs and definitely not fat. I wore size 9 jeans and was in a large (junior). I took ballet and was on the tennis team. I had a perfect stomach- I could sit and there was no rolling. I had cellulite even when I was younger and I've never seemed to be able to get that under control. The rest of my body was so-so. Even though I was active I always seemed to have a lazy body- I was still flabby in some places, like my arms and legs. There was muscle, but it got stuck under fat. Anyhow, that is how I have decided just how overweight I am. I think that increasing my water in-take, getting rid of soda and all that good stuff is going to get me closer to my long-term goal of weighing around 140. My short-term goal is to weigh 145. I don't leap for the stars.

I have always had an energy problem. I always feel tired even when I've had plenty of sleep. I can always use a boost. Maybe the answer has always been that I just need more water. Let's hope!

I also visited the Crystal Light ad here on Gather to see what they have to say. They are also holding the challenge and offer lots of features including a chance to win prizes, articles and tips. They also have provided registered users with a widget to keep track of their water intake. I copied the widget and tried to post it to my blog as a test but it didn't show up. I don't know if that problem was on my end or theirs. It didn't work here either but then I think Gather limits where you can get your widgets, right?

Are you participating in the water challenge? Remember that anyone can participate. Most of us could benefit!

ADHD- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder on Gather

I recently took over the ADHD group on Gather and am extending an invite to anyone that has ADHD, a family member with ADHD or wants to learn more or share what they know with the group. It's also open to people who are dealing with similar disorders or issues that sometimes go along with ADHD, though this will be our main focus.

This is a moderated group and only subjects pertaining to the topic will be permitted. If you aren't sure about something, submit it and I'll approve or deny. But please do not submit anything totally unrelated!

I would prefer that pictures be limited and will probably only accept ones that have the ADHD or similar tag, so that our group tags are not cluttered with non-related tags. But every so often I'll accept some pictures that seem appropriate (see current group images to understand).

I hope that you will consider joining if ADHD affects your life and please consider reposting old material that would fit to the group. After weeding out the bad content we went from over 10 pages to less than 2 (though it still says 10?). So we need some fresh stuff to read! Plus with the few pictures I've approved it has changed the popular tags to unrelated topics, which I've said before I don't want (I am trying to get this group picked up by Google and while I don't know a lot, I do know that totally unrelated topics will not help at all).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ocean Spray Cranergy Challenge

I was choosen to receive 7 bottles of Ocean Spray Cranergy to review from Gather.

Why do I need an energy booster in the middle of the day? Well, I was very excited to try it out because I am a very tired mom of 3. I haven't yet figured out a way to harness their energy so I am always looking for healthy ways to keep myself from collapsing by 4pm. I start my days with coffee or tea. I wake up around 7am and start getting my 7 year old ready for school. He has this amazing talent. He can drain my energy within minutes of my being around him. It happens every time. He was diagnosed with ADHD recently and has always been this energy-stealing lunatic (I say that with lots of love) morning, noon and night. I send him off to school shortly after 8am but as soon as he leaves my friend arrives with her daughter, a 4 year old that I watch Mon-Thurs and sometimes Friday. My daughter wakes up anytime between 8 and 9:30am. Jonas is the most unpredictable. If he is sleeping after our friend gets here I will take a shower. If not I have to try to get him back to sleep and sometimes that fails.

I need a combination of a shower and beverage to be functional. If I can get the shower and the kids are still calm when I'm finished I can get some laundry or dishes done. If not it's because I am trying to stop fight after fight after fight. The girls are the best of friends, but they fight like cats and dogs often. I get them fed then I need a Gather break. My coffee should be kicking in by now but sometimes it doesn't work. If I forget to eat it just makes me jittery with no energy boost. Then it's time to break up another fight. I haven't found the perfect way to keep them happy yet. Jonas is very easy to please but requires a lot of attention so if I'm not taking care of the girls I am taking care of him. I really never get a moment to myself. If I do, it is literally just a few minutes before something else happens. Two days a week the girls have school and that is when I get my shopping done, if Jonas doesn't fall asleep. If he does I have to rearrange to get my shopping done during Zachary's piano lesson. This all happens between 11:30-2pm. It sometimes seems that I have more energy on those days than on the ones where we don't go anywhere or do anything. But it is SO hard to actually get to the point of leaving the house. Why is it so difficult? I hear in my head, "Just get up and do it!" That is what other people say too. But for me that just doesn't seem to work.

And where is Jason during all of this??? SLEEPING.

So on school days we get home a little after two. When we pull up Zachary is getting off the school bus. We walk in and it's like a war starting. "Who touched my toys?" "I want to watch a movie!" "NO! I am playing a game!" Because everyone is just getting in and getting settled, it's total chaos! Some days I can calm it quickly and others I just want to melt into the couch.

Right around this time (sometimes a little earlier and sometimes a little later) I need a serious energy boost. I usually grab some more coffee or tea, or I just sweat through it all and hope that some of them fall asleep or Jason decides to go in to school at the regular time and will help before then. This is about the time I replaced my regular afternoon enery drink with Ocean Spray Cranergy. I devoted an entire article (I talk way too much) to what's in the drink (the Raspberry Cranberry Lift) that you can read here:

My opinion on the product: I have to start off with saying that I do not approve of ingredients like red dye being in a "Natural" drink. I don't care if the drink is red! It doesn't need to be red for me to like it. (Side note: I was always a huge fan of Crystal Clear Pepsi- I really like clear drinks because it makes them feel more natural even when it isn't natural) And I would much rather they use cane or raw sugar to sweeten it if they want it to be a healthier alternative, instead of Splenda. I think it is a little strange that the product is tooted as a cranberry drink when the main ingredient is White Grape Juice. Why not cranberry juice? Both are tart so I don't think they were trying to prevent tartness. I will just assume that grape is cheaper and leave it at that.

My opinion on the TASTE of Cranergy (Raspberry Cranberry Lift)? Well, I am not a big fan of grape juice so it is a downside that grape juice is the number one ingredient. At least it is white grape juice and not red. I love cranberry juice but can rarely find it pure and the cocktails are not my thing. So I was pleased at the cranberry flavor. I love raspberries, but not raspberry drinks very much so if I were going to drink this I would not choose the Raspberry Cranberry Lift. I would get the regular cranberry flavor instead. Artificial sweetners always leave a weird aftertaste in my mouth and the Splenda in this did not disappoint. I had a weird aftertaste every time I took a sip. But the overall flavor was good. It was a little too strong for me so adding water would be a good idea, which I didn't think of until after I was done! Even better would be adding ice and letting it melt a little- that would make it just right and the perfect temperature on a sunny spring or summer afternoon. In the winter I could see adding this to some hot green tea for a fruity kick. Sounds like a great idea! This drink is also good at room temperature.

How did this work in place of my usual energy beverage? Well, on day one it seemed to have a little bit of an effect. I wasn't less tired, and maybe I had a little more energy. In the evening I got a headache but I didn't attribute it to the drink on the first day. Day two I got a headache almost immediately after finishing the Cranergy. I get headaches frequently but I couldn't ignore the cause this time. Itwasn't caffeine withdraw because I don't really get that and when I do it isn't like these headaches. By day three there was no doubt that the headache was from the drink. I'm going to say it was from the dye or the Splenda, neither of which are a normal part of my diet. I have gotten headaches from each before.

Did I have more energy? Nothing that I really noticed but I didn't have LESS energy either, which is a good thing! So it can either keep up with coffee and tea or none of it ever worked for me to begin with. I did get a lot more shopping done that week than I have in a long time. That could be important! I was still not able to drum up enough energy or will to go for walks or anything with the kids, but I don't think that has to do with energy as much as it does with something mental going on in my head.

I didn't have any jitters like with my afternoon coffee, but I don't think I would trade jitters for headaches.

Will I continue to drink Cranergy? If they get rid of the dye I will consider it. If they change to a more natural sugar and still keep the price reasonable I will give it another go. Otherwise, no, I definitely will not continue. Tea and coffee are both more natural than this drink right now.

Did I cover everything? What do you think of this drink?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Glade Sense & Spray Bzz

I received the Glade Sense & Spray from Bzz with the Clean Linen scented Spray.

The product is very easy to operate and everything is simple to install.

Whenever the S&S detects movement it will shoot a burst of scent into the air to freshen it. After that it locks for...I think 30 minutes so that it doesn't spray every time it detects movement, though you can push a button on the S&S to make it spray whenever you want.

The good: I like the timer and the fact that you can override the timer if you want more scent. I like that there are scent options, though they are too limited (4). I think that I would give Apples and Cinnamon and maybe Country Garden a shot. Powder Fresh, not so sure. And definitely not the Clean Linen again. It's easy to operate- it opens easily and it's simple to remove the cannister and install a new one. It can be hung or placed on a flat surface. It's not too expensive and Glade offers coupons often. You can't kill anyone by dousing them in spray, like you can with the cans (I swear I almost died from that once or twice- my boyfriend is spray-happy). It's nice to look at (totally beats a big can of spray).

The bad: I hated the Clean Linen scent. If you have it on a flat surface that is low, like the sink then you chance having it sprayed in your face if you don't remember to watch the warning lights. It's a little too strong for small spaces (my only bathroom is 6x9) but maybe I feel that way because I didn't like the scent. It only freshens the air for a short time, then any odors come back. I prefer that it make smells go away, not just mask them.

The decision: I am going to give different scents a try. I don't think this belongs in a bathroom, at least not the primary bathroom. If you have more than one, it would be good in a second, less-used bathroom. That would also extend its life, since it wouldn't detect movement much. Otherwise I think it belongs in the living room or a laundry room, depending on the scent choice.

*Note* I seem to be the only one who doesn't like the Clean Linen (besides Jason, who agrees with me). I showed the S&S to others and gave demonstrations and they ALL loved it- scent and all!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Glade Fragrance Collection: I'm not sure if I'd rather eat it or burn it.

I was shopping with my mom for Amara's birthday present at Target and we stopped in the candle aisle when we were finished. The first candles I saw were from Glade's Fragrance Collection so I grabbed my mom to make her see what I was Bzzing about. I told her about Bzz Agent a few times and recently Bzzed to her about the candles but she hadn't checked them out yet. She is always on the lookout for good candles at a good value because she uses them when she gives massages (she is a Massage Therapist). I showed her the one that I had at home- the 10oz Currants and Acai. She thought it was alright but was more receptive to the possibility of buying it when I told her that it wasn't as strong when it was burning. The price was a huge selling point. She had no immediate needs for candles but those will be added to her list of ones to buy.

Target also had the Orange Vanilla single wick soy candle. I called her over and her eyes lit up (so did mine!). I remember when I was growing up that Orange Creamsicles were one of her ice creams of choice and I grew to love them too. They are so sweet and creamy with just the right amount of tanginess. We smelled it and both said, "mmmmmmmm"! It was exactly like the ice cream! Exactly. I wanted to eat it. I want creamsicles!

I didn't buy one but I wanted to. I hadn't brought any coupons along and had a budget I needed to stick to on that shopping trip. But I'm buying one of these in the future, no doubt!

A few days ago I was in my local grocery store and saw the McIntosh Apple soy candle from the Collection. I smelled that and it smelled like a very tart apple. A little bit too much of an apple soap scent but still VERY yummy. It doesn't smell like the apple pie scents that most apple candles smell like, which makes it unique. I'd buy that one if I had a coupon and the Orange Vanilla wasn't available.

My first trip to RiteAid using their rebate program.

I recently made my first RiteAid shopping trip with the intentions of taking advantage of their rebate program. In no way did I come close to getting the deals that some on Gather have, I think I did alright for a first-timer. The following day I ended up going back because I missed a really good deal, and I ended up picking up a couple other things during that trip too.
For my first trip I mostly ended up using coupons and in-store offers that didn't require signing up for the rebate. I paid $2 each for two bottles of Herbal Essences conditioners after the in-store offer and a $2 off coupon. I paid $5 for two 6pks of Coke (Jason drinks them at school) after the in-store offer and a $1 off coupon. I paid $2.49 for Colgate toothpaste but I will be getting $1.50 back from that. I also bought lightbulbs- I needed 100w regular lightbulbs for Amara's Easy Bake Oven and there was a tag on the generic ones for $.99, regularly $2.29. I ended up paying regular price for them though, because the offer was expired by the time I bought them, they just hadn't removed the sign. Annoying, but my fault for not looking closer. Not astonishing, but I'm happy with it :)
Later that day I noticed that there was a Huggies offer for $3 in rebates, plus they were on sale for $8.99. I also remembered having a coupon for $1.50 off so I went back the next day after a meeting with Zachary's school. So I paid $4.49 for those (I never buy Huggies but couldn't pass up that deal!). I also found Veet on sale for half off and had to grab it (I don't really use razors but use Veet and Nair all the time).

Not great, but a good start! I am going to make a plan for this week for all three stores- CVS, Walgreens and RiteAid. I am going to search my coupons, make lists and go prepared. Not easy with all the kids coming along, but I think I'll find my way. I have to get a CVS card because I've never had one. I assume they will let me shop on the day that I get it- hopefully because I usually only go out the way once or twice a week and don't really want to make an extra trip.

It was so easy to register on the site and enter my receipts online! I was SO scared (new things always stress me out, scare me badly and make me so nervous that I usually end up avoiding it altogether which is why I am just starting now) but I had nothing to fear. It was so so easy. Entering receipts online is a simple few steps- you just enter the store number, register number and transaction # and they do the rest for you! Plus you can create a shopping list on the site based on their rebates for the month. How cool!!

The Fragrance Collection by Glade: The unboxing Bzz and a candle-lit bath.

When I received my Glade Fragrance Collection Bzz Kit in the mail I was surprised at how pretty the packaging was. I opened the shipping box to find another box- this one a pretty red with the words "indulge yourself for a little." running across the center.

I opened this box to find my Bzz Guide, some adorable invitation-style coupons to share and a large round tin that housed the candle. The coupons contain scent samples and $3 off coupon. The candle tin- a 10oz Currants and Acai, multi-wick soy based candle- was surrounded by "berries" which was a nice touch. They were very creative with this campaign!

As I opened the package the smell was super strong. A very good smell but so intense. I was a little concerned that it would be overwhelming when lit and I wouldn't like it. I have a sensitive nose and I don't like overly strong smells. It hurts to breathe when something is too strong!

I decided immediately upon opening it that I was long overdue for a much needed bath. After the baby was down for his nap I occupied the older children and ran a bubble bath. I grabbed my current book (Lisey's Story by Stephen King) plus an entertainment magazine just in case I needed something different. I found a lighter and lit the candle once the bath was ready. I settled in and started reading. Within a minute (we have a small bathroom- 6X9) the fragrant aroma, a much milder version of what I smelled when unlit started drifting toward me. It absolutely was not overwhelming. It was actually the perfect amount of smell. It was very relaxing and I was able to enjoy it for about 45 minutes before I had to get out. That amount of time barely put a dent in the candle! It left a pleasant lingering aroma for a little while after I put it out.

Since burning the candle that first time I haven't been hit by the too strong scent that I smelled the first time I opened it. Every time I walk by it unlit I get just a hint of scent, which I really like.

I swear it's like the candle knows how much scent can be handled in a room and acts accordingly. It's a smart candle! When I burn it it seems to release just the right amount of scent no matter how big or small the space is. I get the same strength in a tiny space that I do in a large room.

The best part about this candle is that it is just as good as the expensive candles but for a fraction of the cost. I don't like to pay a lot for candles but quality matters too, so it's hard to find the perfect balance. I get everything I like out of these candles. With the coupon offers that come out often I will be more likely to buy these in the future.

I smelled the samples in the package and I must say that I am impressed with the cotton scent. I normally hate that smell but it's more realistic that most cotton scents. Still a little too "fabric softener" for my taste though. The Lotus Bamboo is pretty good. I don't know what either smells like in real life but I don't think it would smell like this. The Bzz Guide describes it as creamy and rich and I definitely agree with that. The majority of the scents in this collection would be ones I couldn't identify if asked to. So the only ones that I have real expectations of are the apple and orange vanilla.

The Fragrance Collection candles are available in the following:

10oz multi-wick soy based candles: Currants and Acai, Sheer White Cotton and Lotus Bamboo. Retail $8.99

4.9oz soy candles: McIntosh Apple, Earthly Awakening and Orange Vanilla. These candles are not 100% natural but are all more than 90% natural. Retail $5.99

Reed Diffusers (12 reeds and 1.62 fl oz oil): Currants and Acai, Sheer White Cotton and Lotus Bamboo. Retail $8.99

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A chilly morning; a warm, sunny and breezy afternoon; a thunderstorm to end the day

Yesterday morning was chilly in South Central PA. It was probably in the 50s and I almost turned the heat on again. I was down because I was thinking it would be this way all day and didn't really feel like dealing with another cold day in Spring.

But then at 11:30am when it was time to take the girls to pre-school I went outside and it was perfect! Sunny with big cotton candy clouds. A perfect breeze and the temperature was just right. A jeans and t-shirt kind of day, which is my kind of day!

After school we all played outside, started working on our "Make It" crafts, colored with sidewalk chalk and I took a few pictures of the fun. It was just so nice!

Zachary drawing some circles while taking a break from his craft.

Amara is practicing her shapes and letters.

Jonas is thinking that he might be able to get to the road before I get to him.

Then we all went inside and about 20 minutes later it started raining. The thunderstorm soon followed. Twice when the thunder came it was followed by a strange crashing sound (that sounds dumb, but that is what happened- a normal thunder crash, then the crash of something on the ground, I guess my idea of what an earthquake would sound like). I'm not sure what it was but it scared me and Amara came tearing down the stairs asking what happened. Zachary said, "THAT was NOT thunder!"

I love thunderstorms. This one wasn't a long one. I did tape it with my camera for the sound- you couldn't really see anything because of the clouds. I wish it would have stayed longer!

Not sure why this video won't work. I used the embed code from Gather. I'll have to bring the issue up to them to see why it won't function correctly here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ocean Spray Cranergy: what's in it?

I was choosen at Gather as a reviewer for the Ocean Spray Cranergy drinks (link is to that post). I received a package over the weekend that contained 7 bottles of the Raspberry Cranberry Lift Ocean Spray Cranergy drinks. Each bottle is 10 fl. oz. which is just a little more than a (normal-sized) cup of coffee, and a little less than a can of soda.

Ocean Spray Cranergy Drinks boast 50% fewer calories and less sugar (Compared to Traditional Energy Drinks) and are a source of Natural Energy.

Contains 20% fruit juice; 1 serving per 10oz container; Calories: 40; Calories from fat: 0; Total fat: 0; Sodium: 60mg (3%); Total Carbohydrates: 11g (4%); Sugars: 11g; Protein: 0g; Vitamin C: 100%; Niacin: 60%; Vitamin B2: 60%; Vitamin B6: 60%; Vitamin B12: 60%; Pantothenic Acid: 60%

What's in this stuff? The ingredient list isn't as complicated as some foods and beverages but isn't as simple as a cup of tea either.

Ingredients: Filtered Water, Grape Juice from Concentrate, Cranberry Juice from Concentrate, Raspberry Juice from Concentrate, Malic Acid, Green Tea Extract, Natural Flavors, Sodium Citrate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Pectin, Sucralose (Splenda), Maltodextrin, Red 40 (color), Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamins B6, B2 and B12.

Filtered water and juice concentrate- we all know what that is. Malic Acid is an acid found in fruit which gives off the tart flavor. Sodium Citrate comes from Citric Acid and is also used as a flavor (tart) or as a preservative. It is one of the helpful ingredients when you drink cranberry juice for a UTI. Pectin is a carbohydrate present in certain ripe fruits and vegetables.

Splenda is one ingredient that can be controversial. According to one article, Sucralose was created when researching new pesticides. It is created from Sucrose (sugar) though "three of the hydroxyl groups in the molecule have been replaced by three chlorine atoms." If you understand chemistry, they have provided a link to a model of this. The way that Splenda is used by the body may prevent any toxicity from it to be too harmful to us. It is well-known that artificial sweeteners may not be the best thing for our bodies and when it comes to Splenda there has not been enough time or research to be sure that it won't end up being the next Saccharin or Aspartame. So far so good.

Maltodextrin is a food additive, a carbohydrate. It is used as a filler as well, and in the case of this drink is probably supposed to provide more energy.

Red 40 is another controversial ingredient in food. It is the most popular food coloring in foods and beverages. Certain food colors are not handled well by our bodies. We are allergic or intolerant of some of them. Why does that matter if allergies are common? It matters because the food coloring is absolutely not necessary, unless you are looking at it from a marketing point of view. There is no nutritional value and it could actually harm some people. Children seem to be the most affected by the dye though it has been known to trigger migraines in adults. Fortunately no children should be drinking Cranergy. Symptoms of hyperactivity are often reported more when kids have ingested products containing the dye.

Personally, I would rather drink my Cranergy drink WITHOUT any dyes. Or if they wanted to REALLY promote the "all natural" drink they could use Red Beet Juice, which is a popular food coloring and still makes Dora's Yoplait Yogurt look and taste yummy, without the potential negative side-effects! I would totally be happy if the drink were clear or just not as red.

The rest in the list of ingredients are vitamins.

Ocean Spray Cranergy: A Gather Review

At Gather the other day I saw someone post about being one choosen to receive Cranergy product samples to review and I got all sorts of jealous because this was one that I really really wanted to try. An all-natural energy booster? Sign me up!! I have so much trouble getting through my day, even with lots of coffee or tea. I then checked my Gather mail to discover that I had been choosen as well! I had to do a little happy dance when I read the e-mail:

Thank you for volunteering to take part in the Cranergy® Challenge. Congratulations! You've been selected to receive seven samples of Cranergy® Energy Juice Drink from Ocean Spray® for the challenge.
Cranergy Ocean Spray drinks are supposed to give you a boost of energy from natural ingredients like green tea extract. I am unsure of what it in them right now, but I'll find out soon!

I am still doing a happy dance. I really can't wait to try these out!! I am not expecting a miracle cure for my tiredness. But maybe it will help just enough for me to feel a little better. I have three kids, plus I babysit one during the week. My son Zachary goes to school (he is in 2nd grade) and the girls have pre-school for two hours, twice a week but when they are all together it is craziness!
Zachary was diagnosed with ADHD recently, which explains a lot of his behavior. We tried all sorts of alternatives to medication until this week, when we finally decided that he needed more than what we could do for him and we got a prescription for Concerta XR (this decision was NOT made lightly). But the change was immediate- he is GOOD!
Unfortunately we cannot enjoy this change because it wears off when he gets home from school. When he gets home he is his normal crazy self. I then have 4 kids running around fighting, screaming (sometimes in play, sometimes in anger) and messes everywhere. I just can't keep up with it all and by 5 I am ready to lock myself in a room by myself. Jason sleeps all day long, goes to school in the evenings and stays up all night playing games. So he is practically no help whatsoever.

When it comes to getting more energy, I am all for caffeinated drinks like soda, coffee or tea to help pick me up. But I don't want to drink or take any energy "cures" that have serious questionable side-effects. I know soda isn't the safest thing, but they don't have any warnings on the bottle like some things do! So it is very exciting for me to be able to have the opportunity to try out something natural. I am going to be hounding down the mail lady every day until these come!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Promo Squad: Listen to Music, Rate Music, Earn Points, Get Prizes!

Do you like music? Do you like free stuff? Then Promo Squad is a great place for you. When you register with Promo Squad you have the opportunity to earn points every time you listen to music and rate it, take the polls and more. Some of the music you listen to will be new, and others will be recent releases.
Prizes from Promo Squad include raffles, movies, gift cards, cds and more. Prizes change all the time so if you don't see something you like it still may show up in the future. You can always e-mail the PS staff and beg for your prize choices too :) Right now raffles start at 300 points and prizes start at 1000 points ($10 gift cards).

It's always fun to hear and vote on new music- to have a say in what's going on in the music world. If you know someone who has some talent in music, someone who wants to be known, you can even try to hook them up with a contract...and possibly earn a $1000 finders fee!

Right now I have 200 points at Promo Squad. I redeemed for a CD once, and received it within a few weeks.

I love free stuff, and I love sites that actually do what they promise. Promo Squad fits the bill!

Sign up for Promo Squad now

Desktaurant Date- first one is today!

As a member of Gather, not only do I get to enjoy great people, great conversations and great (and free) gift cards for participating: I also have the opportunity to be a product reviewer and/or try out free stuff from sponsors. In this case, Gather is having Desktaurant Dates, once a week on Wednesdays (from today til the end of May) from 12-3pm EST. The Desktaurant Date is an open chat for Gather members. The purpose is to "Pretend that we’re all sitting around the breakroom table gossiping and talking about the latest stories!" It is open for 3 hours so that members from all of the time zones can join in on the fun.
50 Gather members were choosen to receive coupons for FREE Oscar Meyer Deli-Creations sandwiches to eat at these Desktaurant dates. Other Gather members will have the chance to win free coupons during these chats, plus 5 members at each chat will win 250 Gather Points!!! (That is almost halfway to a $10 gift card!). If this isn't incentive enough to join Gather now, I don't know what is!

I was one of the members picked to receive coupons and I was very excited. I love free stuff, especially food!

I got my coupons in the mail on Monday so Jason and I stopped at Walmart to pick up 2 Deli-Creations sandwiches- one for each of us. I told Jason that he had to review it if he wanted to eat it!
I don't shop at Walmart often so this was the first time I have seen the price of Deli-Creations there. Their normal price is only $2.50. I usually buy all of my groceries at Giant, where I can earn Gas Rewards. But the normal price for Deli-Creations there is either $3.50 or $3.99! Their sale price is still more than Walmart's, at $2.99. They have never been cheaper at Giant. I really don't like Walmart and I REALLY hate shopping there (I always have unplesant experiences that range from employees refusing to acknowledge that they even work there to them not moving when I am trying to get something from an aisle to customers running their carts right into me while I am trying to push a cart and carry a baby- all while staying on MY side). But when I find a specific thing that is equal but that much cheaper I have to re-think what I am doing. I won't buy meat there and will only buy fruit if it looks better and is from the US.

Anyway, Jason picked the Honey Ham and Swiss Deli-Creations sandwich. It comes with Honey Ham, 2% Milk Reduced Fat Swiss Cheese, Country White Sub Roll, 1 packet each Light Mayonnaise and Deli Mustard (the spicy kind with horseradish). This sandwich contains 440 Calories, 140 from Fat. 15 grams of Fat (23%), 5g Saturated Fat (25%) and 0g Trans Fat. 60mg Cholesterol (20%), 1380mg Sodium (57%), 50g Carbohydrates(17%), 3g Dietary Fiber (12%), 14g Sugars and 27g of Protein (38%). Vitamin A: 6%, Calcium: 30%, Vitamin C: 25%, Iron: 20%. They also compare how much less fat it has compared to using regular Mayo and Cheese.

I had trouble deciding what I wanted to try first. I ended up going with the Mesquite Smoked Turkey Breast with Monterey Jack Cheese Deli-Creations sandwich. This sandwich comes with a Country White Sub Roll, Mesquite Smoked Turkey Breast, Monterey Jack Cheese with Jalepeno Peppers, 1 packet each Salsa and Southwestern Style Ranch Dressing. It contains 450 Calories, 160 from Fat. 17g Fat (26%), 6g Saturated Fat (30%) and .5g Transfat. 55mg Cholesterol (18%), 1170mg Sodium (49%) 51g Carbohydrates (17%), 4g Dietary Fiber (16%), 12g Sugars and 25g Protein (33%). Vitamin A: 8%, Vitamin C: 35%, Calcium: 20% and Iron: 20%.

So...these are NOT for anyone looking out for their health or weight! For the size of the sandwiches I would prefer to eat it with something like chips. But that is probably not a good idea, unless I want to meet most of my bad dietary needs in one sitting. Maybe I could settle for something healthy on the side like a pickle.

...Review of the Honey Ham and Swiss Deli-Creations Sandwich...

I have had the Ham and Swiss sandwich before (complete Nutritional information profile located above). The sandwich is a nice size, but a little pricey at the regular price at my local grocery store. I have since discovered that Walmart sells them for only $2.50, which is less than the sale price at Giant and that is a much better value.

I hate swiss cheese so I was afraid to try the Honey Ham and Swiss- I kept searching and hoping that somewhere they had available a Honey Ham and Cheddar or American Cheese. But the cheese in this sandwich is so mild that you barely notice it. Tastes sort of like Mozzarella or Jack cheese. It was the first time I have ever been able to tolerate the flavor.

I can tell that the Mayo is light, which I am not fond of. Light Mayo is so bland, I would almost rather go without. But the spicy mustard more than makes up for the lack of flavor in the mayonnaise. I remember the honey ham not having a strong flavor. It sort of tasted like regular ham. I cannot remember if I feel the same about Oscar Meyer's regular deli honey ham. The mustard helped make up for the lack of flavor there too.

The bread was really soft, and not chewy at all, even after being microwaved. It was so surprising!! It was actually more firm before being microwaved, because of being refridgerated. I think that the bread choice is good for this particular sandwich, though I would be pleased with wheat or whole grain as well.

The verdict: Good but not fantastic. It should be more flavorful with either a different cheese or the option to buy it will regular-fat products instead of the low-fat. Just a little too mild for my taste. I could fix that when I eat these at home by substituting the mayo with some from my fridge, or adding something extra to give it the kick I need.
The Honey Ham and Swiss would go well with something salty, like chips (Martin's Waffle Barbeque Chips IN the sandwich...mmmmm!), but based on the nutritional information (57% DV of sodium!) it wouldn't be a good idea to add much more salt to the meal.

Hopefully Jason enjoys it as much as I did and hopefully I like my Mesquite Turkey!! He is adamant that I do not "ruin" his sandwich by microwaving it. He asked how crazy I was for even THINKING it!! I am looking forward to his reaction when I do it anyway and he gives it a try.

In case you want to know how these size up to other sandwiches, here is the link to Subway's Nutritional Information.
Please note if comparing that the subs with "6 Grams of Fat or Less" do not count cheese in that math. None of the sandwiches include mayo or other condiments unless otherwise noted.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Homepage Friends (formerly My Search Funds) closes site to US

In a surprising twist, My Homepage Friends (paid to search site) has decided to no longer support users from the United States. Shocking, considering that the US is usually pretty low on the click fraud scale, compared to some other countries. I'm not sure the US has ever been banned from using a GPT-type site. Guess that wasn't the case with MHF. Too bad, because I enjoyed earning with them. It wasn't much but when you are a stay-at-home mom making money online, everything cent matters.

Recently I attempted to do a search with MyHPF and was re-directed to a page with the following message:

Due to a change in the terms and conditions of our partners we are no longer able to offer our service in your country. Due to the significant amounts of click fraud, the countries we are able to offer a service are:
United Kingdom

If you are in one of these countries and are receiving this message, please contact us in the usual way. Please note that if you are not in one of these countries, you will still earn money on affiliates who are. We thank you for using our service and once we have been paid by our partners we will be paying you your outstanding balance regardless of whether you have reached the £20 or not. Due to the changes they have implemented this may take a few months but rest assured you will be paid. Please ensure that you have entered your payment details. Thanks again for using our service!

It's great that they will still allow earnings on affiliates that are in those countries for people who have worked hard to gain those referrals. Even better is their mention of paying everyone, no matter if they reached the minimum payout amount or not. Many sites do not make this offer and will just take your money and run.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that in a few months I will be receiving approximately $15 USD from them.

Swagbucks has always been my number one search site but MyHPF was always number 2. I have a few backups that I guess I am going to need to start using from now on, to maximize my earning potential!

Friday, April 3, 2009

1000 Spotwinner Win!

I rarely go to Spotwinner anymore because it is kind of boring. The prizes are great and it's easy so I SHOULD do it more.
Today I was checking my e-mail and saw one from Spotwinner. I thought it was a newsletter or something saying, "come back". I opened it and got the following message:
Dear Alexandra,
Thank you for participating in the October Gaming Giveaway Sweepstakes on
You are receiving this note because you have been selected as a winner for that recent sweepstakes!
Your prize is described below:
1,000 SpotCash (One Hundred Winners)

Yay! It's not major but it's a pretty big deal. I'm happy!! I don't win a lot so that was fun to find.
What have you won lately?

Typealyzer: Your Blog's Myers-Briggs Personality

I tried out the typealyzer after reading about Tom's experience on Gather.

What is the Typealyzer?

The typealyzer determines your personality based on your blog writing. You simply type in your blog address and within a few seconds you get a result. Then it matches your blog to a personality type, based on the Myers-Briggs personality test.

Sounds like fun! So I give it a try. I enter my blog and get the following result:

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.


Is that me? Entertaining? Maybe. I see myself as boring. Friendly? Definitely! I do see importance in my surrounding- I like to feel, smell and see nice things (who doesn't?). As for living in the present moment and not planning ahead...well I plan all the time. I am constantly exhausting myself with my thoughts and plans for the future. It's very overwhelming.

I do enjoy work where my effort shows, whether or not it is with people. I always try to avoid conflicts and I will not initiate confrontation. So that is right on. Though I was always pretty successful with being a manager in past jobs.


I have taken the Myers-Briggs personality test before but I never remember the results. So I took it again (see link Myers-Briggs). The results probably change from time to time anyway, because my ideas change a lot.

And the results:

Your Type is

Well, well. That thing knows what it is talking about!

My exact results:
Strength of the preferences %

Qualitative analysis of your type formula

You are:

  • slightly expressed extravert
  • slightly expressed sensing personality
  • distinctively expressed feeling personality
  • slightly expressed perceiving personality

ArtisanTM Portrait of the Performer (ESFP) (More in-depth.)

Performers have the special ability, even among the Artisans, to delight those around them with their warmth, their good humor, and with their often extraordinary skills in music, comedy, and drama. Whether on the job, with friends, or with their families, Performers are exciting and full of fun, and their great social interest lies in stimulating those around them to take a break from work and worry, to lighten up and enjoy life.

Performers are plentiful, something over ten percent of the population, and this is fortunate, because they bring pleasure to so many of us. Performers are the people for whom it can truly be said "all the world's a stage." Born entertainers, they love the excitement of playing to an audience, and will quickly become the center of attention wherever they are. Performers aren't comfortable being alone, and seek the company of others whenever possible-which they usually find, for they make wonderful playmates. Performers are smooth, talkative, and witty; they always seem to know the latest jokes and stories, and are quick with wisecracks and wordplay-nothing is so serious or sacred that it can't be made fun of. Performers also like to live in the fast lane, and seem up on the latest fashions of dress, food, drink, and music. Lively and uninhibited, Performers are the life of the party, always trying to create in those around them a mood of eat, drink, and be merry.

The Performers' talent for enjoying life is healthy for the most part, though it also makes them more subject to temptations than the other types. Pleasure seems to be an end in itself for them, and variety is the spice of life. And so Performers are open to trying almost anything that promises them a good time, not always giving enough thought to the consequences.

Like the other Artisans, Performers are incurably optimistic - "Always look on the bright side," is their motto - and they will avoid worries and troubles by ignoring them as long as possible. They are also the most generous of all the types, and second only to the Composer Artisans [ISFPs] in kindness. Performers haven't a mean or stingy bone in their body-what's theirs is yours-and they seem to have little idea of saving or conserving. They give what they have to one and all without expectation of reward, just as they love freely, and without expecting anything in return. In so many ways, Performers view life as an eternal cornucopia from which flows an endless supply of pleasures.

Some of it is me, some of it doesn't really describe me well. But maybe I just don't know myself that well!

So, who else is up for the challenge?