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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How Would You Choose To Die?

Gunshot? Hanging? Injection? Stoning?

What if you weren't given a choice.

This true story ripped my heart out.

The Stoning of Soraya M
A drama set in 1986 Iran and centered on a man, Sahebjam, whose car breaks down in a remote village and enters into a conversation with Zahra, who relays to him the story about her niece, Soraya, whose arranged marriage to an abusive tyrant had a tragic ending.

The book:
Soraya M.’s husband, Ghorban-Ali, couldn’t afford to marry another woman. Rather than returning Soraya’s dowry, as custom required before taking a second wife, he plotted with four friends and a counterfeit mullah to dispose of her. Together, they accused Soraya of adultery. Her only crime was cooking for a friend’s widowed husband. Exhausted by a lifetime of abuse and hardship, Soraya said nothing, and the makeshift tribunal took her silence as a confession of guilt. They sentenced her to death by stoning: a punishment prohibited by Islam but widely practiced.
Day by day—sometimes minute by minute—Sahebjam deftly recounts these horrendous events, tracing Soraya’s life with searing immediacy, from her arranged marriage and the births of her children to her husband’s increasing cruelty and her horrifying execution, where, by tradition, her father, husband, and sons hurled the first stones. A stark look at the intersection between culture and justice, this is one woman’s story, but it stands for the stories of thousands of women who suffered—and continue to suffer—the same fate. It is a story that must be told.

I was born in the Caribbean and even though the odds are still against women in many areas, we definitely aren't treated less than animal to our spouses and family.  As a woman I feel I can make a choice to do what I would want.

It's terrifying to think that so many woman cannot and yet they survive...thrive...

How you are stoned to death:

First, you get buried. Iran's Islamic Penal Code states that men convicted of adultery are to be buried in the ground up to their waists; women, up to their chests. If the conviction is based on the prisoner's confession, the law says, the presiding judge casts the first stone. If the conviction is based on witness testimony, the witnesses throw the first stones, then the judge, then everyone else—generally other court officials and security forces.

Stones must be of medium size, according to the penal code: Not so big that one or two could kill the person, but not so small that you would call it a pebble. In other words, about the size of a tangerine. The whole process takes less than an hour. One possible upside of getting stoned is that people who manage to escape from the hole are allowed to go free. But this applies only to those who have confessed to their crimes. (If you were sentenced to stoning on the basis of witness testimony, then digging out of the hole does you no good.) In any case, it's very difficult for anyone to escape the punishment: Prisoners are wrapped in a white cloth sack with their hands tied.


About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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Whole Grain First Ingredient Review & #GIVEAWAY

If you know me, you'll remember that I only eat one cereal.  Basic from General Mills. I used to get it at Walmart and then they stopped carrying it. I was so sad.  I stopped eating cereal (Yes I did try others and never liked them until I found Basic) and kept searching other stores for my Basic. I finally found it at Target and there began my love affair with Target because it turned out they sold my chocolates too! And those chocolates are the only one I'll eat. So these days I go to Target for my fixes :)

Would you believe that General Mills sent me some cereal and I have some to share with you too, so don't worry, and NOT one of them is my BASIC!  Sigh. Anyways that wasn't the point of this right.
The point was about choosing healthy ingredients for your meals to help you have healthy bodies.

Whole grain is very good for you and trust me, even if it's not your taste, just give it a few tries and it will become your taste. Taste buds need training too. Habits don't break in one taste.

We know whole grain is important to you, and the Dietary Guidelines recommend choosing products with a whole grain listed as the first ingredient. Now every cereal with the white check has more whole grain than any other single ingredient with the same great taste. You will see “whole grain” as a part of the first ingredient on the ingredient list, indicating that whole grain is the first and most prevalent ingredient.

According to Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of “The Doctors,” identifying whole grain products can be challenging. Shoppers can look for nutritional cues on the front of the box, but they need to read the ingredient list to know if they are getting enough whole grain. Ingredient lists detail ingredients in order of prevalence, and if the words “whole grain” are followed by a grain like wheat or oats, it means the food contains more whole grain than any other single ingredient. Here’s how to determine if your cereals have whole grain as a first ingredient:
With all the health messages facing grocery store shoppers, it can be confusing to translate what appears on food labels into nutritional needs, and hard to determine which foods have a meaningful amount of whole grain. Dr. Stork has some additional recommendations to help you include whole grain easily into your diet. They include:
  • Start Early! The Dietary Guidelines recommend people get at least 48 grams of whole grain in their daily diets. Get a jump-start on the day’s nutrition by incorporating whole grain into your morning routine. For instance, when choosing cereal make sure whole grain is listed as the first ingredient. One easy choice is cereal with the white check, which have more whole grain than any other single ingredient.

  • Make Simple Swaps. Choose whole grain versions of the foods you love. Great options include whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread or even whole grain crackers. Also, try different types of whole grain. Use brown rice instead of white rice as a side dish at dinner or popcorn, which is a whole grain, for a snack.
  • Don’t Judge a Food by Its Cover. The front of food packages provide good nutritional cues, but don’t forget to read the ingredients and check the nutrition label and side labels for additional health information. Cereals with the white check even include the amount of whole grain per serving on packaging.
To help with choosing products with whole grain, General Mills developed “Fast Lane for Whole Grain,” an online educational game. Consumers can navigate virtual grocery store aisles and identify products that have whole grain as the first ingredient, with the option to enter a sweepstakes to win one of each of the 50 cereals with the white check

Make a commitment to add more whole grain to your diet by simply pouring a bowl of cereal with the white check including Cheerios®, Lucky Charms®, Cinnamon Toast Crunch®, Honey Nut Cheerios® and Total®.   For more information on the importance of whole grain and a chance to enter the “Fast Lane for Whole Grain” sweepstakes, visit www.WholeGrainNation.com. You can also enter their sweepstakes while you are there.

Now since you just had all that information. Let's make you a winner!

GIVEAWAY:
5 boxes of General Mills cereal with the white check

Enter below in rafflecopter form

Disclosure: The prize pack, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.



About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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Sunday, January 29, 2012

And All That Jazz - 4Ms

This is the one I want to see.
Welcome again to Monday's Music Moves Me. Let's start our Monday's off dancing and and a light mood. 

Theme for this week: Broadway Hits

Thank you all for visiting. I'll drop by soon!

*BESOS 

Hosts: 
The Shewbridges of Celebration, Florida - Lori
Stacy Uncorked - Stacy

So, here's the steps to this party.
First step:  Run over to You Tube, (or wherever), and lock and load!  Get your pick for the theme of the week. 

Second Step:  Grab our "Monday's Music Moves Me" button (over to our right, right under mine)

Third step:  SIGN THE LINKY - Dance (follow) your host/hostesses, and grab their buttons.

Final step:  Start looking for a partner and boogie on down to her/his blog, and say hello, and tag (follow) her/him, and leave a nice comment.  If you've been tagged (followed) be hip, and get on over there, and tag (follow) her/him back and  leave a comment.

Spotlight Dancers
Congrats to our  "SPOTLIGHT DANCE" COUPLE FOR THIS WEEK!


Welcome to Meet Me Monday!  Meet Me Monday is a weekly link-up hosted by Inspiring You To Save! created for socializing and to get new followers, subscribers, and readers.  Every Monday a new linky will be posted. 

Monday Music Moves Me LINK UP Below:
  


About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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Ocean Spray® Fruit Flavored Snacks #Giveaway & Review

Finding a new snack item is great for me because I do all the meal preparations here at home, which includes lunches for the boy for school and after-school snacks for both children.

I want healthy foods for snacks and treats.

The Ocean Spray Assorted Fruits is the perfect size for little snacks and treats and can also be added to Dboy's lunch kit to surprise him and change up the meal routine.
I was very surprised how good the Ocean Spray® Fruit Flavored Snacks tasted! They are soft and you could almost say like little gummies , but not gummies. They taste really great and I love that I have another snack option for my family that is healthy!
This is not just for kids :)

Your kids are going to want to eat them like a meal, so have to ensure they have a meal and this is just a snack.  I keep having to tell my kids this, because even after their normal meal, they still want more and more and more.  Yes it's that good.

How I used them:
  • Eat it alone :)
  • Mix with yogurt
  • Mixed with chopped fruits (apples, satsumas and any berry) 
  • In cereal (cold) I didn't like it that much this way. Maybe I'll try it in hot cereal. 

Ocean Spray® Fruit Flavored Snacks provide kids with the great tasting snacks they crave and parents with the confidence that they come from a good place. Ocean Spray® Fruit Flavored Snacks are:
  • †Made with real fruit juice and natural colors* and flavors.  
  • 80 calories, gluten free and contain 100% of the Daily Value of Vitamin C.  
  • Available with year round Double Box Tops.

#GIVEAWAY
4 Winners will win 6 boxes (3 of each variety) of Ocean Spray® Fruit Flavored Snacks

Learn more at Ocean Spray’s® Website, Facebook, Twitter

Enter in the Easy Rafflecopter from below.



Disclosure: Ocean Spray® Fruit Flavored Snacks, information, and giveaway have been provided by Ocean Spray® through MyBlogSpark.”


About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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One Day I Want A Party Just For Me

Yesterday was my birthday. My mother says otherwise. I'm not so confused anymore though. I know I can celebrate two months.

My mom called. She loves me.

My husband sent an email.
He remembers.

My mother prefers the other date though. I don't blame her, but I'm glad she understands.

I did nothing special. I didn't even remember until the bank told me a few days ago. And then I didn't remember again, until my mother called in the morning.

My mother loves me.

Maybe today or tomorrow I'll buy myself ice cream or a slice of cake.



About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Google+ And Facebook Island Hop #10

I'm sorry I'm late.

I hope you link up with me today right through to Wednesday.


Looking for a hop that  doesn't have all the rules? You are in the right place.

Island Hop - Share Your Link - Reciprocate
    

My name is Colette and I'm hosting this hop and hope you will participate and share the news with your friends and blog buddies.
     
Blog hops are great when they are free and blog love is being reciprocated.

I'm an island girl and I go with the music, so while today might me a link for Facebook likes, next week it might be for twitter or blog comments or another hop. So read, visit others, leave your link, enjoy and make friends!

Theme: Google+ and Facebook follows
  
Grab the code if you want.
Don't forget to add your url to the linky belowClick Post title for linky to show up.

If you follow me, just leave a message so I can follow you back.

Grab the linky if you want   


<!-- start InLinkz script -->
<script type="text/javascript">
                document.write('<script type="text/javascript" src=http://www.inlinkz.com/cs.php?id=121444&' + new Date().getTime() + '"><\/script>');</script>
<!-- end InLinkz script -->



About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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Friday, January 27, 2012

8 Ways to Defeat Depreciation in Electronics

There's a big difference between investments and expenses. An investment implies you expect to get some return on your money, while an expense is money you spend and never plan to see again.

Despite the vast difference in money-use methodologies, shoppers tend to get their terminology mixed up. "Investing" in an LCD TV or Blu-Ray player is a misnomer. Just like a new car, these items lose value as soon as you take them for a spin. Though most consumers are already aware of this detail, it doesn't seem to slow their interest when it comes to electronics.  Consumer Electronics Association projects more than $1 trillion in such spending this year, an increase of 5 percent from 2011.

With the  Consumer Electronics Show wrapping up last week, tech fanatics everywhere have an itch for the next big thing. If you plan on scratching it, use these tips to help defeat depreciation.

1. Use the News
Nothing kills the excitement of a brand new gadget like discovering a price drop days after you've opened the box. In fact, many holiday shoppers are suffering through this exact scenario, thanks to a  recent $100 price drop in several popular tablets. Avoid getting stuck in this predicament by tracking the news on products you're planning to buy. Big cuts are usually announced in advance to help stimulate sales.

2. Read Reviews
User reviews are a great place to start your electronics education. They'll help identify common problems so you can steer clear of troublesome products. Poorly reviewed items are usually the first to plummet in value, since manufacturers need to unload such inventory to make room for new, higher-quality products.

3. Cut the Initial Cost
There's no secret formula to preserving value, but there are plenty of ways to cut the initial costs. Find  coupon codes for DellNewegg and other popular retailers on such sites as CouponSherpa. When making high-dollar buys, don't shy away from haggling, either. Most items include a certain amount of mark-up, and most managers would rather sacrifice a few dollars than lose the sale altogether. Just make sure you're prepared to buy, if they meet your price.
4. Protect What You've Got 
You don't have to coddle your iPad like a newborn, but keeping it protected pays off in the long run. Simple actions like adding a screen protector and case ensures a longer, healthier life for your gadget. It also helps preserve any resale value you hope to get in the future. Don't bother buying brand-name, though. Quality cases, cables and covers are abundantly available online for a fraction of the price.

5. Quality Matters
Though low price-tags can tempt even the most careful consumer, it's best to avoid the cheapest of the cheap. Simple logic should tell you there's a good reason for an item being priced $100 less than its closest counterpart. When you're already laying out a good chunk of change, it's often worth spending a little more for quality. A  Forbes.com article notes that Apple products tend to retain their value best, in comparison to other computers and electronics.

6. Wait it Out 
At some point you have to put a price-tag on bragging rights. Is making your friends green with envy over your 3D HDTV really worth a few hundred dollars? Electronics are never at a higher price than when they're brand new. Ignore the hype on new releases and give yourself an extra six months before buying. While the waiting seems interminable, you'll get a good understanding of the item's quality and can still keep an eye out for special offers and sales.

7. The Old Switcheroo
One of the best ways to enhance the value of your electronics is making a trade. Your two-year-old HDTV is as good as trash to a major retailer, but someone just upgrading from tube technology would consider it a treasure. Using sites like  Swap.com or even Craigslist to trade unwanted items lets you assign your own value and keeps unnecessary waste out of landfills.

8. Beware of Buyback
Many popular merchants now offer buyback programs promoting value preservation for customers. However, some of these programs are quite counterproductive and come with many restrictions. For example, the maximum possible payout from Best Buy's Program is only 50 percent, and that's within the first six months. The retailer's program also requires you pay a fee to participate and discretionary details, like product condition, can significantly detract from the resale value. When considering a buyback program, look for one that doesn't cost extra and provides payment in cash, not just store credit.


Andrea Woroch is a consumer and money-saving expert for Kinoli Inc., and has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, NBC's Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. She is available for in-studio, satellite or skype interviews and to write guest posts or articles.
For all media inquiries, please contact Andrea Woroch at 970-672-6085 or emailandrea@kinoliinc.com.





About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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Cougar Cub Tales: The Sneezy Wheezy Day Review & #GIVEAWAY

I have quite a few colds a year. I think I would go longer between colds if my children didn't share what they bring home and as much as I keep on top of washing hands and teaching about germs and how to keep safe, there are just some things you cannot escape.

The cold and flu season always live up to it's name.  Families everywhere are having to deal with the symptoms of being sick or taking care of sick children and loved ones.  We parents need all the help we can get to share the care with our family.

Just in time for the peak of cold and flu season comes The Sneezy Wheezy Day (January 2012), a children’s picture book every parent will want to keep on hand for when the sniffles come on.

There is so much comfort in just being able to cuddle up and share tea and a book with your love one. I love doing this with my children and these days my kids prefer to read TO me :), except when they are sick. I don't mind though.
As a nurse and mother of three, Sharon Cramer has seen more than her share of winter illnesses. So much so, she was inspired to write The Sneezy Wheezy Day, the third in the award-winning children’s series that follows the adventures of a brother and sister cougar cub. In The Sneezy Wheezy Day, brother cub has a cold, so he and his sister seek help from their friends to make him better.
My kids love having this new book and the story line is such fun! Of course we get to have discussions about how we help, care, and give comfort to each other. Best of all we get to discuss how siblings need to love and support and share with each other!

I love the illustrations and the book is perfect for any age!

This book will make a lovely gift and I'm so glad I get to share this book. You can also have a free kindle edition copy on amazon. I'm so sad that I couldn't get it on my nook. My daughter asked me if I could get it on the nook :)

Award-winning Cougar Cubs are Remedy for Sniffles Whether sick with a cold or something more serious, book provides kids comfort, teaches compassion
When kids get sick, parents want nothing more than to “make it all better.” We pull out every comfort tool in our arsenal – chicken soup, extra cuddles, and more cartoons. 
In The Sneezy Wheezy Day, brother cub isn’t feeling well. As he and sister cub seek help for his cold, they encounter many well-intentioned forest friends who offer silly home remedies. One friend even tells brother cub, “Tickle your nose with the tail of a goose and do it before the next blue moon rise!” Although the recommendations help, the final remedy is a sibling’s love. 
Cramer wrote the first book in the series, Lost and Alone about sibling rivalry, when her youngest son was born 18 years ago. As a mom to two older sons at the time, Cramer says she felt like an expert on “brotherly love” already. 
The second installment in the series, I’m Just Like You addresses intolerance.   
Cramer illustrates the Cougar Cub Tales books in watercolor, with each picture taking her between 18-24 hours to create. She chose cougar cubs because she wanted to create characters that spoke strongly of the Pacific Northwest , where she lives.  

SHARON CRAMER is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and avid competitive equestrian. She is also the author of, soon to be released, Marlo and the Monster, and is working on a new young adult series called The Cerulean Star. She lives in Spokane , Wash.

To learn more and hear audio of Cramer reading the books, please visit: www.talkingbirdbooks.com. You can also follow her on Twitter and facebook

We are also giving one away! :) I bet you are so excited too!

Just enter in the rafflecopter form below!

GIVEAWAY:
One Copy of The Sneezy Wheezy Day book


About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hello? Anyone There? - Aloha Friday

I used to like them as a kid and through some of my teen years. Now as an adult I don't watch them if I know I wont be able to handle it. Every once in awhile I'll take a gander though.

There are some things you just shouldn't watch as a child.
Do you like scary movies?
 THIS 


And a little about me :)


 


Smart and Trendy Moms 

Stalk Hop Friday




About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Boy, Bubbles And Bathing

I've been teaching the six year old how to take his own bath. As I'm getting him scrubbed and soaped up, I tell him what I'm doing and how important it is to wash where, here and everywhere.  I don't think I'll have much problem with him taking a bath. He seems to love being in the shower and will spend hours in there if I let him!

He is learning.

He already knows how to turn the faucet on and get cold and hot mixed to warm.
We covered the basics of me not having to keep drying water up off my floor, so he knows once he is in, he is in, which means after putting clothes in hamper, he has to pee or poop before getting in the shower.
I had a bath mat in the tub and I'm wondering if I should put it back. It's just a pain to clean it and if it's not clean, I'll freak out. But his safety is best.

He knows to wash the most bacteria infested areas properly; underarms, bottom, inleg, between toes, and of course everywhere else! But his favorite thing is to play with his toys in the tub!
His arms are a little short to reach his back, but I told him, keep practicing, and I bought one of those back scrub thingies, but he said it feels harsh on his skin. I'll show him how to put the washcloth/rag over it and scrub.
It occurred to me a couple months ago that I need to teach him how to take his own  bath.

He is pretty good now. He loves when I let him rinse himself.  He is also learning to dry properly and slabbing on some lotion.

Seems it will take awhile before he gets that he should not lather in the lotion. I almost fainted when I went in and he was covered in lotion like it was soap! :) Ahh these are the memories right?

He already chooses his own clothes so he is doing good there.

Ahh my baby is growing up. I could cry.

Did you teach your kids the basics or did they just eventually get it.
Did your parents teach you?


About the author: Owner of JamericanSpice. Sharing my journey in the present, from the past or thoughts for my future. Mom of two who loves to travel and read and decipher people.
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