Monday, October 31, 2011

Buddha Board - Water Wizard

Brandon is big on doing art lately.  He likes to color, do crafts, chalk, paint, and anything else messy that he can get his hands on.  Its been really amazing watching how Brandons art has gone from barley even scribbling to drawing circles, faces and they even actually look like what he says it is. 

When I first heard about the Buddha Board Water Wizard I was very intrigued.  Its like a desktop artist easel and they have kids versions as well as adult versions.  You set it up either on the table, or your lap, and all you need to do some creating is the magical pen that comes with the Buddha Board and some water.  You fill the pen up with water and create.  It takes a few seconds but your image starts to appear and looks bold and fabulous.  After a while it does disappear and then you can start creating all over again!

Whether you are artistic yourself or you are looking for some Christmas ideas for your kids you should definitely check out the Buddha Boards.  They even make a great small sized one that's awesome to keep in the car for longer car trips or taking when you go to friends or family houses!

The full size is only $21.40 Cad and the mini is $9.95 Cad with a min order of 2.  For this price you can order a few extras for gifts!  Very unique and how many kids don't like to draw?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kinder Surprise - My Kinder Moments - You can WIN $500

Have you seen the new app on the Kinder Canada facebook page called My Kinder Moments?  Its very easy to use and a lot of fun!  My Kinder Moments take your special moments that you photographed of your kids and turns them into Kinder Moments.

You can choose from some pretty cute frames, some are for more obvious themes, Halloween, First tooth etc and some are more general.  They are all really cute and so easy to use.  The best part is that for every one you create you are entered to win the monthly prize, this months prize is $500 to spend on a new Fall wardrobe for your little one! 

All you do is allow the app access to your facebook page, then you choose your frame, that's the hard part.  You upload your picture, either directly from your computer or your facebook pictures and then you are done.  Send it to a printing company or show it off on your facebook page.

I loved this one and now Brandon has a cute picture to remind him of the day we went to the pumpkin farm picking pumpkins with his cousin!  It was so much fun, we fed the chickens, goats and of course got to walk the spooky barn and pick pumpkins!  We went last year as well and he totally remembered it!  We love them and will be going back year after year.

I’m part of the Kinder® Mom program and I receive compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hamburger Helper with a Giveaway

By now you all know how much I like coupons, I have actually gotten even more into coupons over the last few weeks.  When I was in Vancouver with my Mom, Aunty, and daughter last weekend I even did a quick walk through a drug store there looking for coupons :)  I am getting a bit addicted and its pretty funny.  I could be addicted to worse things though than saving money.

While working with the great team over at Life Made Delicious I have learned about some awesome new coupons that are in store now.  You can get $4 off chicken or beef on the Old El Paso taco kit, got one, free yogurt on selected cereal, got 2 and free juice on select fruit by the foots and fruit snacks.  The main one we are going to look at is the free veggies with Hamburger Helper. 

We don't make a lot of Hamburger Helper because Kris can't have wheat but I love the one pot meal theory.  Why not do it all up in one big pot, meat, carbs and veggies.  The first thing I would do to Hamburger Helper is add some veggies to it.  My kids love veggies, raw or cooked as long as they are dipped in sauce or in a dish, steamed veggies not so much, other than corn.  Anytime I made spaghetti sauce, chili or any other one pot type meal I always puree and chunk up some veggies in it.

Its easier than ever right now with the coupon for a free bag of green giant vegetables!  You buy Hamburger Helper and a bag of Green Giant frozen veggies and then next time you use your coupon and buy Hamburger Helper and get the bag of veggies free, and keep on doing it until the promo is over :)

One of my lucky winners will be able to skip that first step by winning three boxes of Hamburger Helper and three coupons for free Green Giant vegetables as well as a skillet to cook them in worth $60!!
Open to Canadian residents only, also please note readers can enter across multiple blogs but only win once

To Enter:

Tell me how you make your Hamburger Helper, do you have a special ingredient or something you do to make it extra delicious?
(This must be done for additional entries to count)

Additional Entries:

- add my Fun and Funky Mommy button to your blog (2 entries)
- follow me publicly (2 entries)
- subscribe to Fun and Funky Mommy
- like me on facebook (leave your first name and last initial so I can find you)
- blog about this giveaway with a link to me
- follow me on twitter @Funfunkymommy AND tweet about this giveaway for one entry (can RT daily for another entry)

***Feel free to Retweet this***

Win 3 boxes of Hamburger Helper, 3 coupons for free Green Giant Vegetables and a Skillet @Funfunkymommy #LMDGiveaway

***** Contest will end on November 22nd at 8:00 PM. I will use to choose the winner. The winner will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Make sure that your profile is set to public or that you include your email in your comments because if I can't get a hold of you can't win! Contest open to Canada ONLY*****

Disclaimer: I am part of the Life Made Delicious Connector program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

My weekend in the big city #CBias #EqualCanada

So last weekend I was in Vancouver for my birthday, I was pretty excited to go and it was even more fun than I imagined it would be.  My aunt was going over to visit a friend so we hopped into her car and hitched a ride.  Our plan was pretty open, lots of shopping, eating and drinking.  It was my 30th and Kristinas 9th birthday within days of each other. 

We stayed at the Delta hotel and resort in Downtown Vancouver.  I have never stayed at a hotel like the Delta before.  It was a very nice looking hotel, nice rooms, very friendly staff, the usual with a good hotel but the staff were nothing like I had ever met before.  The gentleman who served us dinner both nights was so friendly and nice.  He brought Kristina extra doughnuts for dessert and the following night he even brought them to her for an appy without knowing whether or not we were having a meal. 

He never charged us for her dinners, its free for under 6 so he just made it free.  When budgeting for a trip this is huge, he saved us so much money just in food alone.  He also comped my dinner for my birthday night and an appy for everyone to share.  He may have also comped a drink or two, I don't really remember how many I ordered :)

The breakfast waiter we had both days was amazing as well.  Not only did she give us the easiest directions to the best mall in the city, she is from the island where we are from, small world.  Even though we didn't know her so was so friendly and kind.  She comped my breakfast for my birthday and both of Kristinas!!

Here is what we had for Breakfast on my birthday!  I had the omelet, with hash browns, toast, and some fresh fruit.  I love that the fruit was already missing its rind, random I know but I don't like rind, even touching it lol.  My Mom had had a bagel with cream cheese and a nice big bowl of fruit and Kristina had Mickey Mouse pancakes with sausage and fruit.  We all loved our breakfast.  I tried some of the French Vanilla coffee, hoping it would be like Tim Hortons, I don't really like the taste of real coffee.  It was more like coffee than Tim Hortons French Vanilla so I had to add a whole lot of Equal to it to make it taste better. 

I was pretty excited to see that they had Equal in their sugar/sweetener collection.  I am looking for it everywhere I go now and it only seems to be in about 1/2 of the places I have been.  So thank you Delta hotel for everything you did to make our girls birthday weekend amazing!  You can learn more about Equal on their website, twitter @EqualCanada or on facebook!

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias All opinions are always my own!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Card Swap party TOMMOROW with giveaways

So I will be telling you more about the company that is Card Swap with a review and giveaway shortly but tonight I have some amazing news!

I talked to the folks at Card Swap and they are going to include ONLY the fans of Fun and Funky Mommy in their big party tomorrow night.  Yes tomorrow night Card Swap is throwing an amazing party.  If I didn't have to work I would be glued to my computer all night! 

The party is happening on the Card Swap Facebook page so if you like their page, here, and then RSVP to the party, here, you can win.  Also if you are online the night of the party, tomorrow night, Friday, then there will be many more ways to win.  One of them being a Fun and Funky Mommy fan will be winning a gift card just for being a fan on my facebook page, here :)

One of the great parts about this party is that even if you can't attend, virtually, you can still win a gift card.  As long as you RSVP to the party you are in to win! 

Some quick background, Card Shop is a Canadian company who buys gift cards from people like you and I who end up with a gift card we don't want or can't use and you sell it to Card Swap.  Then of course when you are looking to buy a gift card, for yourself or someone else, you can buy it from Card Swap for a discounted price.  Card Swap always verifies the balance and there are no fees :)  Can't get any better than that!

Keep an eye on my facebook and twitter because I will let my fans all know when the giveaway is going to be for my fans only!!!  Watch for it and tell your friends!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Campus Book Rentals

If you or someone you know is in college or university you know that one of the highest cost items is textbooks.  You need a lot of them and they don't come cheap!  When I went it was very hard to find them used, and not outdated, so you just end up at the college bookstore and forking out a whole lot of money that you don't really have. 

When you are in school you tend to be living as cheap as possible, eating the cheapest foods and not buying clothing or anything else that can be considered frivolous while on such a small budget.  One of the solutions can be Campus Book Rentals!

Renting textbooks saves you money plain and simple and gets the same result in your classes as buying your books. Rent textbooks without the risk of your books becoming worthless by the end of the semester. Rent college textbooks from the comfort of your home or office. Don't lose money at your school bookstore anymore. Rent textbooks along with customers on over 4,000 college campuses that have used our service so far. Join the movement.

Another great thing that Campus Book Rentals offers is opportunity to sell your books to them.  You can send them to them.  You put the ISBN number in and they will tell you what they will pay you for them.  They send you a prepaid box or envelope and will put the money on an Amazon gift card, cheque or paypal within 2 business days of receiving the books.  This is put on by

Campus Book Rentals offers new and gently used textbooks for typically less than half the price you'll pay in your school bookstore. Search for the college books you need and save money today!


Here's a few reasons:

1. We have a top notch support staff. We hire problem solvers. Live help. Quick responses.

2. We've been around since the beginning. We pioneered textbook rentals and you can be confident we know what we're doing.

3. You'll save money. Pay less than half price to rent textbooks, and if you decide you want to keep the book instead of renting it, just pay us the difference and the book is yours. It's really risk free.

4. We have a 30 day risk free guarantee. Return your book for any reason within 30 days for a full refund.

5. There's tons of perks. Monthly giveaways, textbook scholarships, shirts, and other prizes. Registration is free and you do not have to be a paying customer to win.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dyson Hot

We have a wood stove, practically no insulation, and there are a lot of days, and nights, where we are chilly but don't want to light the wood stove.  You can't just take the chill off of a room with a wood stove, you are cooked out.  Maybe the pros can do it but Kris and I sure can't.  If we light a fire when we are only chilly we end up with the fire going and the windows open and even the Dyson fan on.  Weird I know. 

When I heard that Dyson was coming out with a new Dyson Hot fan heater I was pretty excited about it!  This is just what we need for when its not cold enough for a fire but chilly.  We have had the Dyson Hot for weeks now and are even more in love with it than I could have imagined.  Kris usually has to get up in the middle of the night, when its cold out, to continue to add wood to the wood stove through the night.  Hes usually up to pee but it sucks for sure. 

Now what we do is just set the Dyson Hot fan heater for the temperature we want and as soon as the temperature drops below that it comes right on.  The Dyson Hot feels great pointed right at my feet while I am vegging out on the couch or blogging away but it doesn't just heat where its pointed!  It heats the whole room, and easily, it doesn't take hours to heat up our living room.  So much faster and much more efficient as well.

I love its totally safe for kids because there is no exposed element to burn themselves on.  I love that if its getting to hot the Dyson Hot turns on the fan to cool the room down to the temperature you set it to.  I love that its small and doesn't take up lots of room yet can heat the entire room faster and more efficiently than a full size heater.  I love that its so easy to keep clean, just a quick wipe with a damp cloth and its like new.  I love that it comes in an awesome blue color.  I love that with just a touch of the finger you can point it up or down and that it oscillates and is very quiet!  I think I just love it :)

Dyson Hot™ features smart technology that can be set between 32 and 99 degrees Fahrenheit to heat a room. Dyson Hot™ monitors the room temperature by measuring surrounding air. If a drop is detected, the heater turns back on to maintain the desired temperature.

“Fan heaters rely on inefficient motors or dust friendly grilles. As the heat rises you’re left with a partially heated room and a worrying burning smell. We’ve developed a heater that heats the whole room, without you having to constantly adjust the temperature.”

It took 22 engineers – including experts in thermo dynamics and fluid mechanics – over three years to research, develop and test Dyson’s patented Air Multiplier™ technology for its application in a heater.

How it works: Using patented Air Multiplier™ technology, air is drawn in through a mixed flow impeller, a combination of the technologies used in turbochargers and jet engines. It is then accelerated through a 2.5mm aperture set within the loop amplifier. This creates a jet of hot air which passes over an airfoil-shaped ramp channeling its direction. Surrounding air is drawn into the airflow, amplifying it six times in a process known as inducement and entrainment.

Safety features: Dyson Hot™ has low surface temperatures throughout and no visible heating elements. And if tipped over, the machine has been engineered to automatically cut out.

Remote Control: Turning the Dyson Hot™ on and off, adjusting temperature, airflow rate and controlling oscillation can be done easily from across a room. The remote control is curved and magnetised to store neatly on top of the machine.

Precision: Dyson Hot™ has temperature controls and an intelligent thermostat. Variable airflow and oscillation is controlled either by remote or on the front of the machine.

Cooling fan: Unlike conventional heaters it has a dual-mode function as a cooling fan. In keeping with Dyson’s Air Multiplier™ range it couples high airflow and velocity.

Dyson Hot™ is available at on and most major Canadian retailers at the manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $449

The Dyson Hot is available in a sleek iron/blue or elegant white/silver, is very easy to clean, no little nooks and crannies, just a quick wipe of a damp cloth, and it only weighs just over 5 lbs. 

· Guarantee – Dyson Hot™ has been tested for the equivalent of 10 years of constant use and comes with a two year parts and labor guarantee.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Got Free Cards

Do you send out ecards?  My Aunt sends us ecards, well mostly for the kids, every Holiday!  Its pretty cute actually and the kids love it!  They find paper cards boring and they always end up just thrown in the recycle and it seems like such a waste.  Not just of the paper, the money, how much they cost to make and ship, not to mention all of the energy used in making, sending, and then recycling!

When there is such a great option like ecards it seems like the easy choice.  You don't have to go to the store, you don't have to mail the card and waste the money on a stamp if the person lives away.  Plus they can be much more interactive and of course fun. 

Got Free Cards has so many choices available, they have free Halloween ecards, Christmas ecards, birthday ecards and so many more.  Best of all they are FREE!!!  Free ecards are a great choice so give it a try and see how you like it!

If you try it out let me know what you though!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Shoezooz with a Giveaway

Brandon just may be getting my shoe problem, if you want to call it a problem.  He has his favorites for sure, like his boots, motorcycle boots is actually what he calls them.  The only trouble is that he can't seem to get them on the right feet no matter how hard he tries.  I have heard to things to help kids learn how to tie their shoes but never something that helps them put them on the correct feet.  He doesn't know his numbers or letter well enough to write those in the bottom of his shoes so Shoezooz has found the perfect solution.

Shoezooz has created stickers that you put in the bottom of your child's shoes that is one picture that's split into two.  So right now in his motorcycle boots he has a pig, a head and bit of body in one and the rest of the body and the tail in the other.  He loves showing off his pig that's hidden in his boots and it works like a charm.  I showed him the pig before we put it in and now he has put his shoes on correctly every single time.  I just tell him to put on his boots and look for the pig. 

The package we got has a sheep, pig and cow and he is loving them.  The stickers don't seem to be wearing off at all, they don't even look a few weeks old, considering hes a boy and wears them everyday that's excellent.  At only $5.99 a package they are a great investment.  Check out here where you can purchase them and of course I have a giveaway!  Two winners will each receive two packages!

To Enter:

Go to Shoezooz and tell me what you learned
(this must be done for additional entries to count)

Additional Entries:

- add my Fun and Funky Mommy button to your blog (2 entries)
- follow me publicly (2 entries)
- subscribe to Fun and Funky Mommy
- like me on facebook (leave your first name and last initial so I can find you)
- blog about this giveaway with a link to me
- follow me on twitter @Funfunkymommy AND tweet about this giveaway for one entry (can RT daily for another entry)

***Feel free to Retweet this***

Win 2 packages of Shoezooz -helps your child put their shoes on the right feet- on @Funfunkymommy

***** Contest will end on November 5th at 8:00 PM. I will use to choose the winner. The winner will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Make sure that your profile is set to public or that you include your email in your comments because if I can't get a hold of you can't win! Contest open to Canada and the USA*****

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hank Player with a Giveaway

Favorite t-shirts don't come along very often, but if your drawer is filled with Hank Player, they'll come along every day!

Hank Player strives to create a quality, long lasting t-shirt that brings together a combination of hip, novelty graphics and vintage inspired colors. All about clean designs, Hank Player tees are garment dyed and vintage washed to give it a familiar lived-in and super soft, comfy feel.

 The kind of clothes repeatedly picked out of the drawer or closet when given the choice, Hank Player has the ability to make a positive statement about the kids wearing them and once they put them on, they'll never take them off!

Hank Player lets a boy define himself, and you'll recognize him in our designs. The one who throws his head back in a belly laugh, cries when he loses, cheers when he wins, and wears a cape and pretends he can fly. Here's to boys — our boys, your boys, Hank Player boys!

Now available for boys of all ages, Hank Player's proudly made in the USA. Shop the Hank Player Campus Store for hip baby gifts and novelty graphic tees (including our Official NASA tee) for infants, toddlers, boys & men.

I love finding Brandon cute, sassy and attitude shirts.  Shirts that say it like it is and shows our thoughts on our sleeves so to speak.  The witty shirts are my favorite, we always get comments when we go out with those kinds of shirts on.  When I had the chance to review one of the shirts from Hank Player I was pretty excited.  It quickly turned into frustration though, I had to choose one, only one, how was I going to do that?  Well somehow I narrowed it down to the super cute I am the future peace t-shirt.
The best part of all of it all?  I ordered a size 6 for Brandon, some size 4's are getting to small, so I thought a 6 would be good or a bit to big.  Turns out the size 6 fits Kristina, and shes in a size 10/12!  So good thing she loves it, she wears it all the time.  And being that its good for boys or girls Brandon can wear it soon.  Hank Player carries shirts for boys, girls, men, women and even a few bags!
If you like the funky shirts from Hank Player be sure to keep them in mind for the Holiday Season.  I know Kristina would have loved to rip that shirt open on Christmas morning.  If you can't wait that long you can win one here!  One of you will win TWO shirts from Hank Player.  The winner will choose the size and Hank Player will choose the shirts to send as their stock changes very quickly.
To Enter:
Sign up for the Hank Player newsletter
(This must be done for additional entries to count)
Additional Entries:
- add my Fun and Funky Mommy button to your blog (2 entries)
- follow me publicly (2 entries)
- subscribe to Fun and Funky Mommy
- like me on facebook (leave your first name and last initial so I can find you)
- blog about this giveaway with a link to me
- follow me on twitter @Funfunkymommy AND @HankPlayer AND tweet about this giveaway for one entry (can RT daily for another entry)

***Feel free to Retweet this***

Win TWO shirts from @HankPlayer @Funfunkymommy

***** Contest will end on November 5th at 8:00 PM. I will use to choose the winner. The winner will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Make sure that your profile is set to public or that you include your email in your comments because if I can't get a hold of you can't win! Contest open to Canada and the USA*****

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What coffee houses have Equal sweetener as an option?

Well I am going to let the cat out of the bag and share with you all that its my 30th birthday this Saturday!  I am so okay with it, not upset at all, and very very excited about my plans.  My Mom is taking Kristina and I to Vancouver for a weekend of relaxing and shopping!  My Mom and I have always been big shoppers so this will be a great time for us.  Of course Kristina loves to shop and is pretty excited to have a weekend away with the big girls.  It her Birthday this Wednesday so its kind of both of our presents :)

the Mama and the drinks

We were at my parents tonight for Sunday night dinner, we try to have dinner together every Sunday and my Mom and I were getting into planning our trip, can you say IKEA :)  After dinner the kids were spent and ready for bed and my Mom and I were pretty into talking about and planning our trip so Kris decided to take the kids home and my Mom and I went out for coffee.  After working all weekend it was a nice way to end the weekend!
the sugar and sweeteners

My parents live in Comox so we headed to the closest Tim Hortons and ordered our favorites!  I had an iced capp with milk, not so sweet for me then, and my mom had a nice steaming hot mug of hot chocolate.  Nice warm way for her to end the day, the only thing that would have made that better for her is being in her jammies.  We couldn't order dessert, we had just had some delicious Betty Crocker gluten free cake for the birthdays before we left so we definitely didn't have room for a doughnut no matter how good they looked!

the restaurant (nice and renovated)

It didn't surprise me that Tim Hortons didn't carry Equal, because, well, I was there last week asking about it.  I still suggested it though because I think that its only fair that people who don't want sugar have just as many choices as those who do want sugar.  There are syrups, chocolate, sugar, honey etc that sugar is for and then sweetener as the only other option?  It doesn't seem fair.  I don't drink plain old coffee so I can't speak for myself but that's what I would think.

Overall my Mom and I had a great time chatting about our trip, ps you won't hear from me next weekend because I will be having a blast :)  The only thing that could have made this better was to not have the air conditioning blowing down right on me, it made for an extra chilly iced capp, it probably could have been better had I had hot cocoa though lol.

Do you use sweetener?  What kind do you prefer?  Feel free to check out Equal on facebook and twitter , @EqualCanada as well as Tim Hortons on Twitter @TimHortonsNews

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. As always these thoughts are my own!  #CBias

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Greeting Card Universe - great deal on Christmas cards

Have you seen all of the Christmas goodies already out in stores?  Its coming and quickly!  I love Christmas and can't wait to set up the tree and start baking and eating, and wrapping and more.  One thing I try and do every year is Christmas cards, some years I am on it and some I am not.  It depends on whats going on that year, how early I got on starting and how much I love the cards I found. 

This year I will be sending out Greeting Card Universe cards and they are so easy.  All you do it 3 things.  You pick out your card, you customize it with text and pictures to make it look exactly how you want it.  Then you pay for it and have it shipped to you.  Super easy.  You don't even have to write in the cards if you don't want to, you can have it say love the.... and then you just stuff them in the envelopes, address them and done!

You can even use Greeting Card Universe to order birthday cards, anniversary cards and more and even have them shipped right to the recipient!  That doesn't get any easier.  To top it all off right now until October 18th all cards are on for $1.49 from $3.00!  To kick off their new Holiday Photo Card Collection, cards will be available at half price for one week, beginning Tuesday October 11th, a deep discount traditionally reserved for exclusive sales days like Black Friday.  How awesome, now is the time to get organized, place your order and then one night have a bottle glass of wine and address them and then send them out, you could even have them out before everyone else, if you wanted to look that keen :)

Use code  2011OCT149

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Seventh Generation buy one give one

I was given an amazing opportunity to do something good for my community and in turn it did something great for me and my kids.  Seventh Generation has a new campaign going on that is going to do some amazing things.  You can purchase a package of the new Seventh Generation Free and Clear diapers and Seventh Generation will donate another package on your behalf.   Seventh Generation is aiming to reach their goal of giving away up to 240,000 diapers to 40 shelters in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. This means a donation of up to $160,000 in diaper value to a charitable cause that rarely sees corporate assistance!

When the kids and I went to do our donation today it was a great time to talk to the kids about people who don't have as much as us.  People who are leaving bad places and don't have money or jobs and who have babies that need food and diapers.  Seventh Generation sent us 4 packages of diapers to donate to whichever charity we wanted.  We chose to donate our 4 packages to the Transition society who provides support and training to Transition, Second and Third Stage Houses, Safe Homes, Children Who Witness Abuse programs and other programs in the Violence Against Women sector. Through research projects and partnerships we publish and promote Promising Practices for supporting women, youth and children fleeing violence.

When I posted on my Facebook page where people thought I should donate this came up along with the pregnancy center but I thought being that the diapers were a size 4 would go over better at the Transition society.   You can do the same, teach your kids about helping out others and especially if you use diapers anyways why not buy the ones that help out others!

Also don't forget about the 7th Gen Nation, where you can have access to coupons, special offers and great tips for green and healthy living! 

Disclosure – I am participating in the Seventh Generation program by Mom Central Canada.  I received compensation as a thank you for my participation.  The opinions on this blog are my own.