Saturday, September 5, 2009

Guest Post from Author Jacqueline Klosek

Our Right to Know About the Future of Healthcare
- Jacqueline Klosek

As politicians and the public at large continue to debate the future regulation of the US healthcare system, there is one thing that is for certain – we, the people have the right to more information about how this future is being determined. We need to know more about the agencies and officials who are involved with decisions about health care. We need to know with whom they make and from whom they take advice. We need access to White House visitor logs and full disclosure of information about the meetings that our leaders have had with health care executives and others who may have commercial interests in the future regulation of US healthcare.

Access to information held by the government is an essential and fundamental part of democracy. Our right to information is enshrined in the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and equivalent state laws. However, this right is not always easily exercised. Oftentimes, people seeking information from government agencies under the FOIA will face obstacles such as delays and denials. Other times, information that is supposed to be posted online or otherwise communicated to the public will not be made available.

President Obama ran on a campaign of transparency and open government, assuring us that we would have access to more information than we had under the prior administration. While there have been a number of significant accomplishments in this regard, there have also been disappointments and setbacks. In the current debate over healthcare regulation, many would agree that the public has not been afforded enough information.

It is thus an opportune time to reacquaint ourselves with the rights we have under FOIA and similar legislation. In my recent publication, The Right to Know, I provide an overview of the FOIA and offer tips and suggestions on how journalists, activists and citizens can use these laws to obtain information held by the government. To show the important role that the FOIA has played, I also provide examples of case were the FOIA was instrumental in achieving significant revelations in key areas including environmental protection, human health and safety, civil rights, human rights, government corruption and crime. If we continue to exercise our right to know and to push for more information and transparency, we are likely to find ourselves with a government that is more accountable and effective. As President Lincoln wisely advised back in 1861, "Let the people know the facts, and the country will be safe."

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Review & Giveaway ~ Celebrate Chocolate Covered Cocoa Almonds

I reviewed the yummy Celebrate Truffles, and I've been asked to now review the Celebrate Chocolate Cocoa Covered Almonds!  Now if you recall from my previous review, the Celebrate Chocolate is an appetite suppressant. 

From the website ~

These start with a lightly roasted almond at the center. Each is then wrapped in the same Celebrate Premium Chocolate (73% Cocoa) that enlivens Celebrate Truffles, including omega-3/DHA and Nutritia 56 Whole Foods. Finally, it is dusted with the rich, never bitter, rare blend of Columbian mountain and Guatemalan lowland cocoa.

Celebrate Chocolate Covered Cocoa Almonds
They satisfy your hunger, while they cut your cravings. If you are quiet, and bite them slowly, you will hear, and feel, the crisp snap of a very thin layer of crystallized chocolate on the inside.  Almonds at the center, a light dusting of dark cocoa powder on the outside, and a lot of Celebrate Premium Chocolate in-between.
A seductive mouthful of pleasure.
Celebrate chocolate cocoa covered almonds taste so exquisite you'll forget they will help control your appetite  you'll not consider they could benefit your heart, nor remember they are chocked full of anti-oxidants and omega-3/DHA.

Celebrate Premium Chocolate + Almonds
You�ll love this perfect marriage of America�s favorite nut � almonds, and the world�s all-time favorite treat � chocolate. They were meant for to be together. While others have tried to marry them, only Celebrate Premium Chocolate makes them with the perfect match of never-bitter, never-too-sweet premium chocolate richness, and barely-roasted-almond�s uniquely satisfying crunch, and distinctive flavor.
Satisfy Your Hunger
To satisfy your hunger, eat a few 20 minutes before a meal. Just make sure you put the bag away after you do.

Why? You�ll be tempted to eat the entire package in one sitting. Then again, even if you are tempted, after enjoying several more � if you savor them slowly � you will find your hunger subsiding, and thoughts of finishing the package will diminish. Celebrate Cocoa Almonds are that powerfully satisfying.
Stop Your Cravings
An hour later you will have to remind yourself you used to have cravings. Your cravings will be gone � a wonderful result from choosing the very best. After just one Celebrate Chocolate Covered Cocoa Almond, nothing else will satisfy in the same way.
Premium hand-made chocolates.
A bounteous bouquet of flavor.

Curb Your Appetite. Stop Cravings.

If you don't put it on, you don't have to take it off.
When I received my chocolate, I quickly opened it.  It is super yummy.  I also noticed it really filled me up.   If you love chocolate & also trying to keep your weight down, I highly recommend trying Celebrate Chocolate products!

Celebate is offering one of my readers a package of the Celebrate Chocolate Covered Cocoa Almonds that I got to try out!

Buy it ~ 

30% OFF Coupon is available for any purchase on Celebrate website. The coupon code is: 30NUTS

Closed ~ Congrats
To enter ~ Head over the website, fave this page on ³ShareThis.² This is the Last button located on the
left navigation. They can ³ShareThis² via bookmarking or any social website available in the menu of this button.  Then come back here and tell me what site you shared on.

Extra entries ~ 

  • Blog about this giveaway (3 entries)
  • Subscribe to my blog or any of my other blogs (email subscribers x 2)
  • Become a follower here or any of my other blogs (current & new followers count)
  • Tweet this giveaway (3x a day)
RT Enter to win Celebrate Chocolate Almonds @momof2dancers #giveaway #win #contest
  • Know another way to promote this blog, just comment here with how & link if applicable
  •  Post my button on your sidebar x2 if you also post my contest blog button on your sidebar
Contest will end on September 15th
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Review ~ TI-Nspire with TI-84 Plus Keypad Math & Science Calculator

I have been extremely lucky in the product reviews I have been able to do the last couple of years through this blog.  I am so thankful to be doing this review on the TI-Nspire graphing calculator from Texas Instruments today.  This little powerhouse is going to help my 7th grader for years to come.  I remember when I was in school I had the TI-83 and loved it.  It was one of the more expansive calculators at the time, and I was one of the lucky few that had one.

I remember my first scientific calculator was the TI-36{TI-36X II}  I loved that thing.  It was so exciting hitting middle school and being allowed to use calculators, lol.  Someone even stole my first one, just left me the case with my name on it, so my poor mom had to buy two of them.  Now though, I have noticed that my kids elementary school had the cheaper of the scientific calculators right in the classroom for everyone to use.  It is amazing the way technology has progressed over the years.

Anyway, through the Family Review Network, I was one of the extremely lucky bloggers that had a middle/high school student to be sent a the TI-Nspire to test out and review here.  When I got my package, I was pretty amazed at all the improvements and new features on these calculators.  Not only do you get the Nspire, but you also get an interchangeable keypad to chance it to the TI-84 version of the calculator.

Using the TI-Nspire handheld as a TI-84 Plus will give you access to these built-in calculator software applications (Apps):
Cabri Jr.
Inequalities Graphing
Periodic Table
Probability Simulations
Science Tools
Transformation Graphing
Vernier EasyData
With the TI-84 Plus keypad inserted, educators and students can continue:
Using the TI-Navigator classroom learning system, version 3.0 software or later.
Collecting data using TI’s CBR 2™ motion detector and CBL 2™ data collection device, as well as Vernier Software and Technology’s EasyTemp® temperature sensor and EasyLink® sensor interface.
Transferring data back-and-forth between student TI-Nspire handhelds and the teacher’s classroom computer using TI Connect™ software.
Some unique features of TI-Nspire technology let you:
  • View multiple representations of a problem on a single screen
  • Grab a graphed function and move it to see the effect
  • "Link" representations: Manipulate the properties of one and observe instant updates to others without switching screens
  • Create, save and review work in electronic documents, like a computer
  • Activate the handheld's Press-to-Test feature to block access to certain geometry features not allowed on state exams
  • Experience identical functions on the handheld and TI-Nspire Computer Software (Windows© or Mac©). Your students can use the software independently or in tandem with the handheld for work in and out of class
  • Project a full interactive handheld alongside a large handheld screen to demonstrate concepts to your class usingTI-Nspire Computer Software - Teacher Edition
There are just so many benefits to buying this model, if you can budget it, I wholeheartedly recommend it to your high school students.  It will last many years, if taken care of ~ you should be able to use it for more then one child.  I know, I still use my TI-36 from years ago.  I sadly lost my graphing calculator, but no longer have to worry about that {thank you  Family Review Network and Texas Instruments}

I was also send a nice big fat TI-Nspire For Dummies (For Dummies (Math & Science) book to help my daughter use the calculator.  That is a godsend because she struggles in school.  The easier to understand Dummies book will be lifesaver for her as the years go on.  

That TI-Nspire handheld is unlike any math tool you’ve ever seen! Much more than a calculator, it’s a learning aid for mathematics from pre-algebra to calculus. TI-Nspire For Dummies walks you through every amazing feature, showing you how to use this remarkable learning technology. In plain English, you’ll learn everything from how to load the batteries and create a document to how to perform geometric calculations and construct statistical graphs. You’ll be able to:
  • Set up your TI-Nspire, get familiar with the keypad, use the d, e, /, x, c, and b function keys, and configure system settings
  • View graphical, algebraic, numeric, geometric, and written formats
  • Grasp mathematical concepts more easily through multiple and linking representations
  • Recognize how different concepts are linked by watching how a change in one representation appears in others
  • Work with the calculator menu, tools, forms, and variables
  • Create documents, add problems, configure page layout, and save your work for assignments or class notes
  • Use the graphing functions in the analytic view and work with geometric objects in the plane geometry view
  • Create and manage lists and spreadsheets and use this application with others for statistical calculations
  • Install the corresponding software on your computer and connect the handheld device to your PC
Written by a math teacher, TI-Nspire For Dummies helps students and educators alike take full advantage of this outstanding tool for teaching and learning math.

From the Back Cover
You'll be inspired by this low-stress guide to a high-tech math learning tool!
Your TI-Nspire is unlike any mathematical tool you've ever seen, so you'll really appreciate this plain-English guide to what it can do and how to do it. From loading the batteries and creating a document to performing geometric calculations and constructing statistical graphs, you'll see how to use the TI-Nspire alone and with your PC.
  • Start here — set up your TI-Nspire handheld, get familiar with the keypad, use the function keys, and configure system settings
  • You need representation — grasp mathematical concepts more easily through multiple representations and linking representations
  • Document problems — create documents, add problems, configure page layout, and save your work for assignments or class notes
  • Be calculating — work with the calculator menu, tools, forms, and variables
  • Graphic or plane — use the graphing functions in the analytic view and work with geometric objects in the plane geometry view
  • List the spread — create and manage lists and spreadsheets and use this application with others for statistical calculations
  • Link up — connect the TI-Nspire handheld to your computer
Open the book and find:
  • How to connect your TI-Nspire handheld to your computer
  • Basics of entering and evaluating expressions
  • How to conduct data collection experiments
  • How to use CAS (Computer Algebra System) in algebra and calculus
  • Different methods of graphing a function
  • How to construct geometric objects
  • Steps for creating dot plots, histograms, box plots, and scatter plots
  • What the Notes function provides and how to use it
You can purchase the Texas Instruments TI-NSpire Math and Science Handheld Graphing Calculator at Amazon, along with many other office supply stores.  It currently retails for $179.99 and is being sold for around $140 on Amazon at time of posting. 

This post was written as part of a program for Family Review Network and Texas Instruments, who supplied the product for review
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Haven't joined Swagbucks yet? Now is the time!

If you haven't joined swagbucks yet, now is the time.  Not only do you earn points for searching, now if you download the new easy to use toolbar, you will have a chance to earn swagcodes to get you even closer to prizes!

When you download the brand new toolbar, they will give you codes over the next month to increase your points!  What are you waiting for, head over and register.  Then click on the toolbar tab and download the new toolbar.  I use mine in firefox & love it!
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Monday, August 31, 2009

Start the day out right with Mom's Best Cereal

Numerous studies have shown how important breakfast is to your overall health.  They have also shown how important eating breakfast is to getting good grades in school. 

I'm not a morning person myself, so I know how hard it is to think of breakfast when you are tired in the morning, rushing to get ready, etc.  That is why, I love giving my kids cereal for breakfast.  It is really quick on me, they get a nutritious breakfast that is easy to eat.  There is no waiting for it to cook, just poor it into a bowl and eat. 

I have reviewed Mom's Best cereals before on this blog, and I was given the chance to review them again through Mom Fuse.  I ended up picking the same cereals again, they were just too good to not get again.  The closest grocery store that sells the cereal line is over an hour away.  I was craving those deliciousOats & Honey Blend and the Honey Grahams.  I will even admit it, me and the kids fought over who got to eat it.  I wanted to keep it all to myself, but they love it as well.  Don't worry, I shared, I'm not that mean of a mom :) 

Other then the great taste, what I love about Mom's Best is that they use only the highest quality ingredients. There’s nothing artificial, no saturated fat or hydrogenated oils, no high fructose corn syrup.

They also have an amazing product commitment ~

Sustainability & Stewardship
Renewable Energy
We support renewable energy development by purchasing 100% of the electricity consumed by the production of our natural cereals from Windsource®. Windsource® is the US registered trademark of the Public Service Company of Colorado.
We have active programs to reduce energy and minimize water use at our Northfield, Minnesota plant. Since 1996, we have reduced the water used to make cereal by 41% and we’ve reduced our energy use by 10%. That adds up to millions of gallons of water and KWh of energy saved through creative conservation.
Over 99% of the waste in our Northfield plant is recycled.
We have many recycling programs throughout our company. Our cartons are made from 100% recycled paperboard, minimum 35% post consumer content.
Community Service
“MOM Cares” is an employee funded foundation that has given over 90 grants to help others in our community.
Energy Fair
Each year we host an Energy Fair to inform, educate and inspire our employees and business community.

If you want a tasty and extra good for you way to start your day, consider buying Mom's Best Cereals.  You can locate a store near you + get a coupon.  

I was excited to see that our local CVS was selling the Mom's Best Oatmeal (retail only $1 there).  I'm crossing my fingers that I start to see the tasty cereal by me next.  I'm dying to try the Honey Nut Toasty O's®

Thanks again to Mom Fuse and Mom's Best Cereal for the chance to try this amazing cereal.  I was not paid in any way for this review.  This review is simply my opinion.  Thanks for reading.

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Christmas in July Giveaway:

Detroit based Company just got in some new  ugly Christmas pajamas and onesies.  Why wait till the holiday c...