Pretty Opinionated http://www.prettyopinionated.com Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Give a Meaningful Personalized Gift with InJoy Artistryhttp://www.prettyopinionated.com/2014/10/personalized-art-injoy-artistry/ http://www.prettyopinionated.com/2014/10/personalized-art-injoy-artistry/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.prettyopinionated.com/?p=39310 Looking for a meaningful personalized gift idea for the holidays? Particularly something that would be great for new moms? InJoy Artistry let me pick out my favorite of their gorgeous prints for tots, personalized it and sent it my way for review. Now, I’m sharing it with you! First, let me point out that I removed some of the details from the finished product to protect my niece’s privacy. After I had already sat there and diligently cloned out Abbie’s last name and birth place, my sister-in-law Jennie said not to worry about it! Anyway, any flaws that you see […]

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Looking for a meaningful personalized gift idea for the holidays? Particularly something that would be great for new moms? InJoy Artistry let me pick out my favorite of their gorgeous prints for tots, personalized it and sent it my way for review. Now, I’m sharing it with you!

Give a Meaningful Personalized Gift with InJoy Artistry

First, let me point out that I removed some of the details from the finished product to protect my niece’s privacy. After I had already sat there and diligently cloned out Abbie’s last name and birth place, my sister-in-law Jennie said not to worry about it! Anyway, any flaws that you see in those spots are all mine.

That said, look at the gorgeous color! Jennie loves purple, so when I saw this painting on the InJoy Artistry website, I knew I found the one for Abbie. The poem is just beautiful. It’s everything that I want for my niece. A life of joy, imagination, wonder and beauty.

Give a Meaningful Personalized Gift with InJoy Artistry

I absolutely love the butterflies. The detail is so soothing, just right for a nursery. The overall quality of the piece is outstanding. It’s just such a beautiful gift to give a new mom. As Abbie grows, I hope she’ll keep it on her wall to remind her how much her Aunt Nikki loves her. I chose this piece because it’s something that can also fit into a little girl’s room, a teen’s room and beyond.

Take a look at a couple of my other favorite pieces that really grow with a child:

roselamp_Wrapped_1

Actually, the Roselamp piece is perfect for kids and adults. My mom and her sisters have a secret “Rosebud” code. It’s their way to identify each other in the next life. This would be perfect for them!

pencilleaves_Framed_1The Creativity Blooms art is the piece I’d choose for my son. It fits him perfectly. Each piece was painted by Sarah Nehamen, the artist and creative force behind InJoy Artistry. It arrives on high-quality canvas ready for hanging.

Personalized Abigail 4

If you’re looking for a unique, beautiful and meaningful personalized gift idea for the holidays, baby shower or just because, InJoy Artistry is definitely it. Check out their site to learn more. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with news.

Which InJoy Artistry piece do you absolutely love? Tell me in the comments!

 

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Honor our Heroes on Veterans Day & Every Day #RunWithGloryhttp://www.prettyopinionated.com/2014/10/5-easy-ways-thank-veterans-runwithglory/ http://www.prettyopinionated.com/2014/10/5-easy-ways-thank-veterans-runwithglory/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.prettyopinionated.com/?p=39743 I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for BAND-AID® Brand. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. I am proud to come from a family full of heroes. See that picture there? That’s my grandfather back at the end of WWII. He was a Sailor on a Minesweeper.  Decades later, my aunt married a sailor. My uncle David also served for 20 years in the Navy. Two of his sons served in the Navy. One is currently serving in the Marines. My son’s father […]

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I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for BAND-AID® Brand. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Honor our Heroes on Veterans Day & Every Day #RunWithGlory

I am proud to come from a family full of heroes. See that picture there? That’s my grandfather back at the end of WWII. He was a Sailor on a Minesweeper.  Decades later, my aunt married a sailor. My uncle David also served for 20 years in the Navy. Two of his sons served in the Navy. One is currently serving in the Marines. My son’s father was a Sailor, so I was a Navy Wife. Yes, that totally deserves capital letters, as any Navy Wife will tell you!

Honor our Heroes on Veterans Day & Every Day #RunWithGlory

Being part of a military family definitely has its stressful moments. When my ex was in the Navy, we were stationed in Misawa, Japan. While I absolutely loved it over there, being on the complete opposite side of the earth from my family was difficult. The holidays were the hardest. We have a lot of Christmas traditions and it was difficult not to celebrate them with my own family. Then I realized that I did have a family, just a different kind.

In the military, friends become your family very fast. You spend birthdays, anniversaries, weekends and typhoon watch parties together. They make you check them for ticks after a hiking trip (don’t ask). They sleep on your couch after hernia surgery and act like you’re their mother.  You bake horribly lopsided cakes for their birthdays, and they appreciate it because they didn’t expect a cake. There’s nothing quite like a military family.

My cousin is overseas in Japan right now. He’s been away from my aunt and uncle for the last couple of year almost non-stop. He’s discovered his own military family.  I can’t tell you how proud I was when I saw a picture of him on Facebook helping Japanese kindergartners get ready for Halloween. He has such a big heart. I know my grandfather would be so very proud of him.

Honoring Our Heroes on Veterans Day & Every Day

 

Honor our Heroes on Veterans Day & Every Day #RunWithGlory

BAND-AID® Brand, a staple in American households and the military since my grandfather was a Sailor, has teamed up with Team Red, White & Blue to help connect veterans to their communities through physical and social activities. Right now, as I type this, runners are carrying an American flag 3,800 miles across the country to raise awareness and funds for veterans. They’ll finish their journey on November 9th.

As part of this partnership, they’ve launched OUR VETERAN HEROES™ BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages, featuring cool patriotic and military designs. For every box sold, BAND-AID® Brand will donate 5% of the sale price to Team Red, White & Blue. Want to help raise even more funds? Show your support for Team Red, White & Blue during their Relay by sharing a photo or message on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #RunWithGlory. You can also visit bandaid.com/heroes  and share the messages on the site. BAND-AID® Brand will donate $1 for each message shared.

Honoring our veterans should be an everyday thing, not just a November 11th thing. I urge you to share your positive message with the #RunWithGlory hashtag. It just takes a moment, yet helps raise awareness and much-needed funds. Our veterans deserve our respect and gratitude. They sacrificed so much so that we wouldn’t have to.

If you are a veteran, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Have you thanked a veteran today? How do you show your gratitude on Veteran’s Day?

 

 

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Enjoy Your Favorite Mega Berry Smoothie Recipe Year Round with Frozen Fruits!http://www.prettyopinionated.com/2014/10/enjoy-favorite-mega-berry-smoothie-recipe-year-round-frozen-fruits/ http://www.prettyopinionated.com/2014/10/enjoy-favorite-mega-berry-smoothie-recipe-year-round-frozen-fruits/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:54:44 +0000 http://www.prettyopinionated.com/?p=39812 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Frozen Food Foundation for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine. I love berries. I’m an incredibly picky eater. There are so few veggies that I will touch, but I do love berries! Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries. If it has berries in the name, chances are I love it. I remember picking blackberries off the bush when I was a kid. I’d come home with baskets full of them. Now, I don’t live anywhere near those bushes. I find that fresh berries in the store are a bit pricy. I […]

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Frozen Food Foundation for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love berries. I’m an incredibly picky eater. There are so few veggies that I will touch, but I do love berries! Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries. If it has berries in the name, chances are I love it. I remember picking blackberries off the bush when I was a kid. I’d come home with baskets full of them. Now, I don’t live anywhere near those bushes. I find that fresh berries in the store are a bit pricy. I also notice that for some reason, this year’s fresh fruit crops seem to be spoiling much faster than usual. I can’t tell you how much money we’ve lost on strawberries that went bad a day after we got them. Enjoy Your Favorite Mega Berry Smoothie Recipe Year Round with Frozen Fruits! More and more, I’ve been leaning towards frozen berries. Now that my favorites are out of season anyway, it’s simply the smartest option for me. Did you know that a recent study conducted by The University of California, Davis in partnership with the Frozen Food Foundation found that frozen fruits and vegetables are generally as rich in nutrients, and often more so, than their fresh counterparts?   I know I am likely one of the nearly 80 percent of Americans that fail to get the recommended amounts of fruit and I’m definitely one of the nearly 90 percent failing to meet dietary recommendations for vegetables. For me, the issue is time and money. I don’t have enough of either. Frozen fruits (and vegetables) help on both fronts. Breakfast is my biggest downfall. I never remember to eat it. Sounds funny, forgetting to eat an entire meal. I just get into working and breakfast becomes too much of a hassle to make. The only way it happens is if I can drink it. Smoothies are the easiest way for me to get my recommended amount of fruit. I whipped up this one in under 5 minutes!

Mega Berry Smoothie Recipe

Enjoy Your Favorite Mega Berry Smoothie Recipe Year Round with Frozen Fruits! Ingredients:

  • Frozen berry blend, about 1/2 cup. Mine had strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. I let it thaw overnight.
  • Frozen strawberry slices, about 1/2 cup- leave frozen, it adds a nice texture to your smoothie and eliminates the need for ice.

Mega Berry Smoothie 3

  • About 5 tablespoons of Low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1%)

Mega Berry Smoothie 1 To make, just throw it all into a blender and mix. Top with a bit of whipped cream and enjoy. Makes two servings.

Frozen food is just plain cool

You love my puns, you know you do. I get them from my grandfather. He was a totally punny guy. Bottom line: frozen foods lock in freshness. They’re nature’s pause button. They take food at their peak freshness and just, well, freeze them in that state. See those berries above? When they thawed, they looked and tasted just like the berries I picked off the bushes as a child. Trust me, I know my berries! Fruits and veggies are filled with nutrients that we so desperately need to fight chronic diseases. Given that those chronic diseases are actually on the rise, we need those nutrients now more than ever before. Don’t let a lack of time or money keep you from staying healthy. Discover the benefits of frozen fruits and vegetables for your family! Visit the Frozen Food Foundation to learn more. Follow Frozen Food Foundation Twitter and Frozen Food Foundation Facebook to keep up with news.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to eating healthy? How can frozen fruits and veggies help you?

Visit Sponsor's Site

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Outbreak… Breakdown: A Forensic/Medical Author’s Take on Ebola & the CDChttp://www.prettyopinionated.com/2014/10/outbreak-breakdown-ebola-cdc/ http://www.prettyopinionated.com/2014/10/outbreak-breakdown-ebola-cdc/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:00:00 +0000 http://www.prettyopinionated.com/?p=39829 Welcome D.J Donaldson, author of Louisiana Fever. He’s sharing his views on Ebola and the CDC. I am super excited to have him as a guest here today. I’ll shush so you can get to reading. My book, Louisiana Fever, involves the spread of a bleeding disease known as Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever. This is a real disease that, like its close relative, Ebola, is caused by an infectious virus.  And having researched this thoroughly (and having come from a forensic/health background) I feel compelled to weigh in on the Ebola outbreak. When I was plotting Louisiana Fever, I figured I ought […]

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Welcome D.J Donaldson, author of Louisiana Fever. He’s sharing his views on Ebola and the CDC. I am super excited to have him as a guest here today. I’ll shush so you can get to reading.

Louisiana Fever

My book, Louisiana Fever, involves the spread of a bleeding disease known as Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever. This is a real disease that, like its close relative, Ebola, is caused by an infectious virus.  And having researched this thoroughly (and having come from a forensic/health background) I feel compelled to weigh in on the Ebola outbreak.

When I was plotting Louisiana Fever, I figured I ought to have a character in the book that was once an infectious disease specialist at the CDC.  It seemed like a logical idea because the CDC is this country’s unquestioned champion against virulent organisms, an organization staffed with experts that know every nuance of tropical viruses and how they can be controlled.

To make sure my writing about the CDC would have an authentic ring to it, I asked the public relations office of the CDC if I might be given a tour of the place.  “Sorry,” I was told.  “We don’t give tours.”  Considering how many dangerous viruses are stored in the various labs there, that seemed like a good policy, even to me.  So there would be no tour.  But then I heard from someone in my department at the U. of Tennessee Medical Center that one of our former graduate students now worked at the CDC.  I began to wonder if this connection might work to my advantage.

And it certainly did.  The former student was now a virology section chief. A SECTION CHIEF…. Holy cow! This could be my way in.  But would the man be generous by nature and sympathetic to writers?  He proved to be both of those.

On the day of my visit, I reported to the security office as instructed.  There, I had to wait until my host came to escort me into the bowels of the place… no wandering around on my own with a visitor’s badge.  That day I saw the hot zone in action and spoke with experts in many fields of virology, even spent some time with the world expert on porcine retroviruses.  At the end of my visit—including all the cumbersome clinical protocols I had to engage in both before and during said visit—I not only left feeling more educated, but actually more safe and secure that no tropical virus would ever be a threat to this country… not with the meticulous, detail-oriented, security conscious, microbe fighters at the CDC watching out for us.

So, it’s with much regret and… yes, even a little fear, that I witnessed the head of the CDC recently assuring us that the Ebola virus is very difficult to transmit and that we know exactly how to control it.  Instead of (what looked like) his clumsy attempts to soothe an ignorant and paranoid public, the CDC head should have given a blunt assessment, educated everyone like adults, and encouraged them to exercise precaution.

Then, seemingly in answer, two nurses who cared for the index patient from Liberia become Ebola positive.  And the CDC clears one of those nurses to take a commercial airline flight, even though she was in the early stages of Ebola infection…depressing.  From a medical professional standpoint, this was practically criminal negligence. At present, the disease is not transmitted by air (“airborne”), but any scientist worth his/her salt cannot account for mutations the virus may undergo.  This is why the job of the CDC is to contain harmful microbes, issue protocols to protect the public against them and ultimately eradicate them… period.  It is not to be PR professionals for television cameras and fostering carelessness.

I’m still convinced that the combined knowledge and brainpower of the CDC staff will be a major impediment to any virus taking over this country.  But Ebola probably has some tricks we haven’t seen yet. That means we may lose a few more battles before we can declare that this particular threat is behind us.

Meanwhile, how is development of that Ebola vaccine coming?

About D.J. Donaldson

D.J. Donaldson is a retired professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Tennessee, Health Science Center—where he taught and published dozens of papers on wound-healing and other health issues.  He is the author of Louisiana Fever, one of the seven in the Andy Broussard/Kit Franklyn series of forensic mystery thrillers. Learn more about Louisiana Fever at:  http://bit.ly/1u5ohGC

Buy the Book:

Amazon |  B&N | Apple  | Kobo

What do you think of the CDC’s handling of Ebola? Are you worried about the outbreak becoming a bigger issue in the US?

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