Wednesday 28 April 2010

What Up Wit Da Girl


(Or,  Gimme an E!  Gimme a Y!  Gimme a J!  Gimme a...oh, forget it.  Maybe We Should Just Spell 'Volcano'.)


Eyjafjallajokull.

They say: 
“Ay-yah-FYAH’-plah-yer-kuh-duhl”.

I say:
Stupid stinkin' volcano.


The Girl should still be in the United States right now.  She's not.  That damned volcano in Iceland, the name of which nobody can pronounce, has really messed things up.

To give a little background, The Girl is part of a cheerleading team.  Now, cheerleading isn't a very typically Irish thing to do;  in fact, she is part of the only cheerleading group in the country.  Since it's not something that has any history or standing here, they have been struggling to get some recognition and support--financial and otherwise--for what they do.  So, in an effort to prove the legitimacy of their sport, last year Team Ireland started working hard to raise money to fund a trip to compete in the 2010 International Cheer Union World Championship competition in Orlando, Florida.  That's right, Disney World.  Traveling anywhere is always exciting when you're fifteen, but going to America is HUGE.  And Disney World?!  You can imagine how excited she's been--for months.


 Photo from Daily World Buzz
 But that stupid volcano on Eyjafjallajokull had to blow its top.  And it had to spew its ash all over the place, obstructing all air traffic and making flights in or out of Ireland (along with most of the rest of Europe) impossible.  (It should be obvious that anything with a name like Eyjafjallajokull has to be bad news, right?)  And while I know that hundreds of thousands of people experienced some disruption to their lives due to the stupid thing, I saw how crushed The Girl and all her cheering friends were.  I know there were many, many people who were in a hurry to get to important meetings, vacations, weddings, funerals or even to just get home.  I know it was difficult and an absolute mess for everybody else.  But this is the story *I* know, so I'm telling it. This was, for some of these kids, the chance of a lifetime.  To have it snatched away from them for such a bizarre and really kind of surreal reason has been...well, at the risk of using such a strong word, simply devastating.

What still shocks me is that the only part of the entire trip that is refundable is the airfare.  I suppose I can understand the hotel they'd booked having a non-refundable reservations policy, but Disney World??  Really?  For a bunch of kids, an extracurricular activity sort of group of kids who were coming to Disney World to compete in a wholesome and healthful physical sporting activity?!  That surely isn't what I'd expect from the Happiest Place on Earth.  This doesn't come to me directly from Disney World itself, but rather through The Girl from her coaches who organized the trip.   My personal feeling is that the issue should be pursued to see if any arrangements can be made, especially since, as I understand it, admission tickets to Disney parks are good forever [anybody know if that's true?], and the group is planning to try again next year.

Anyway, it is an all-around bummer, and that's why I wrote a strongly worded Post-it Note to Eyjafjallajokull the other day.  To her credit, and to our delight, however, The Girl has taken it fairly well.  She was very, very bummed, of course, but some of her disappointment has been eased by a trip the whole group took this past weekend to a waterpark in Cork.  She's taking it on the chin, getting on with things and looking forward to next year.

And really, isn't that the kind of optimism you'd expect from any self-respecting cheerleader, anyway? 


      The Girl is in the front row, second from the right.               


Wordless Wednesday 9


Lost Ball

(Just for fun--solarized and swirled!)

For more Wordless good stuff, go here for mine or here for everybody else's.

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Wordless Wednesday 8


Parade of Characters 2
(better late than never?)


                                     




 









Beverage CADDi Review and Giveaway

  
Everybody who wishes they had more hands, raise...er...whatever you've got.

 If you don't have as many hands as this guy, read on.

I've always wanted more hands so I could wear more rings.  But that's not what this post is about.  It's about a really cool new product called the CADDi!


 The Beverage CADDi is one of those products that you don't know you need until you start using it.  It does exactly what its name implies;  it allows you to carry a beverage.  Not impressed yet?  You will be.  The CADDi was developed as a solution to a problem we all have:  too much stuff to carry and not enough hands to carry it all...comfortably, at least.  It allows you to carry books, boxes, or bags along with your favorite hot or cold beverage without spilling or hurting your wrist.  You only need one finger to carry your drink with the CADDi!

Dublin is a walking city.  On any given day you can see hundreds of people on the sidewalks, rushing to get to work, class or the next great sale.  Most of these people are carrying bags of some sort, and a lot of them carry a drink, as well.  Many are struggling to manage it all.  Now that I've used one, I can't help seeing these people trying to juggle everything on and in their hands without thinking 'If only they knew about CADDi!'

I have to admit, when the package containing my Beverage CADDi arrived in the mail I wondered if this little gadget could really do what it claimed.  It arrived in a flat envelope, and it just seemed too simple to actually work.  I was, however, very eager to put it to the test, and I immediately dropped an empty plastic cup into it.   It's super easy to use!  You literally just slip the little vinyl holder over the bottom of your cup, slide it up to the top or as far as it needs to go to get a firm grip, then pull the strings up and slide them over your finger.  And it really did work!  But I still wasn't convinced.  After all, I had only been using an empty cup.  So I tried something more daring;  I filled the cup with water!  Okay, the weight of the liquid didn't seem to affect CADDi's ability to keep a grip on things.  If anything, it seemed to grab onto the cup even more tightly.  Still, all this was happening while I sat at the kitchen table, not moving, not carrying a gazillion things.  So I started carrying my cup--with no lid!--around the kitchen, CADDi on my finger, picking things up and moving all around the place, almost trying to get my drink to spill.  It didn't.  

Then I tried something really crazy.  

I remembered something from science class years ago about centrifugal force, and how water won't fall out of a swinging bucket because of the inertial effects associated with rotation.  But surely that wouldn't work here, would it?  Could the CADDi keep my drink in its proper receptacle even while it's upside-down above my head?!  Surely it would spill!  I took a deep breath and gave it a go, swinging my CADDi-cradled drink in a full circle at my side...around and around and around.

It didn't spill a drop!

Ain't science cool?!  Now, I don't recommend you go around swinging your coffee all over the place, but you know...it's nice to know you could, innit?  
  
'Kay, then.  Back to more practical matters.  The CADDi really does grip your cup.  It's designed to fit most standard to-go cups that you would get at your local coffee shop, but will fit virtually any standard tapered cup with a lip at the top, with or without a lid.  I actually even tried it on a glass tumbler with no lip, and it held onto it just fine.  You can carry all your shopping bags, purse and totes, books, or whatever else you need to take with you, and have your drink swinging from one little finger at your side.  


 See the CADDi in action here: 





And it's not just about carrying stuff.  The CADDi lets you text, talk on the phone, hold your dog's leash, or hold your honey's hand, all while keeping your drink safe and sound and at your side.  And the CADDi is convenient to carry when not in use, too!  It folds flat, and can be easily tucked into a purse, briefcase, diaper bag or even a wallet.  It makes a great gift, and was recently featured on the Rachael Ray Show as one of the Top 20 Gifts of the Year!  You can purchase one for only $5.50, or skip the doughnuts and buy a dozen of them for your coworkers for $32.40.  That's only $2.70 each!  And it comes in a whole range of designs, all very cute.  I received the Quotes design, and I love it! 


If your organization is looking for a unique and useful promotional gift, look no further.  The CADDi is totally customizable with your group's name and logo.  You can learn more about these options here.

I truly am impressed with the CADDi.  It is usually the simplest ideas that are the best, and this is no exception.  I think it ticks all the right boxes--it's cute, simple to use and carry, affordable, and it really works!  There's only one tiny reservation I have about this product, and that is that I don't think it would appeal to men quite as much as to women.  But then, men don't usually carry as much as we multi-tasking women, do they?  ;)

You can buy your CADDi at www.getthecaddi.com, and remember to order an extra one as a great gift to have on hand!  Trust me...once you've used the CADDi, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it!

Barb from CADDi has generously offered to give one of my readers his or her very own CADDi in the design of the winner's choice!  All you have to do is enter below.


Mandatory Entry: 
Visit the CADDi website, then come back here and leave a comment telling me which design you would choose if you were to win.

*The Mandatory Entry must be done before subsequent Bonus Entries.*


Bonus Entries:
(You can do as many or as few of the following as you like, just be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry.)

~Follow I Digress. via Blogger or Google Friend Connect, and tell me in a comment that you are following.  (2 entries)

~Become a follower of Beverage CADDi blog.  Leave a comment telling me how you follow.  (1 entry) 
 
~Follow CADDi on Twitter, and tell me your Twitter id.  (1 entry)

~Tweet about this giveaway, and leave a link to that tweet.  (1 entry) 
  (You can right click on the part under your tweet that says how long ago you tweeted, select 'Copy Link Location', then paste the link here in a comment.)
  You can tweet once a day for the duration of the contest.
  You can use the following tweet: 
Win a Beverage CADDi from I Digress.  http://tinyurl.com/y8357x7  @hybroanglid!  Ends 5/12.


~Follow ME on Twitter, and tell me your Twitter id.  (1 entry)

~Grab my brand-spankin'-new button!  Leave a comment telling me where I can find it. (3 entries!)

~Enter my Skin MD Natural giveaway here. (1 entry)

~Subscribe to my blog's RSS feed in a reader.  (2 entries)

Please make sure you leave separate comments for each entry, including separate comments for multiple-entry activities.  Please also make sure your email address is either included in your comment or easily accessed through your profile so I can let you know if you win!


Contest is open WORLDWIDE!  Ends May 12th, 2010 at 10:00pm GMT.   

Winner will be selected using Random.org (which was created here in Dublin...cool little fact for ya!) and will be contacted by email.  If prize is not claimed within 72 hours, a new winner will be drawn from other entries. 

Disclosure:  I was given a sample of this product for review purposes.  I received no monetary compensation, and the thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are mine.

Skin MD Natural Review and Giveaway









SilkySmooth.

Those are the words I would use to describe the feel of Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion.


Those are NOT words I used to use to describe my hands.
 





In fact, if you'd met me in person a few weeks ago you might have noticed me hesitating to shake your hand.  I have been self-conscious about the condition of my hands for years.  I carry hand lotion absolutely everywhere I go, and I use it liberally.  As wheelchair pushers, my hands suffer abuse most folks' hands can't imagine.  Dust and dirt, friction and contact with rubber tires, road salt in the winter, even certain medications I take...they all just suck the moisture right out of my skin.  At their worst, my hands crack and split.  I keep hand lotion in my office, at my desk, beside my bed, in the living room, in the kitchen, in the bathroom and even in the car.  I use it like crazy!  I have even tried covering my hands with Vaseline or some other goopy concoction and wearing gloves to bed.  All these things have helped for a short while, but the effect has always been...er...skin deep.

That's why I'm figuratively jumping for joy about Skin MD Natural!

 If you've been around the blogosphere a bit you've probably heard of this product.  I know I kept seeing reviews for it and it all sounded really good.  I couldn't wait to try it!

My wish came true a few weeks ago when I received a bottle of this amazing stuff to review.  I was so excited;  I opened the box immediately and gave it a go.  Wow!  I liked it right away.  Skin MD Natural isn't thick and heavy like so many other lotions and creams.  It is so light...almost watery...and it absorbs into the skin so quickly!  No applying lotion then waiting for a few minutes to touch anything while my hands dry.  My skin just soaked it right up!  And I can't even describe how wonderful it feels!  It just glides onto my hands.  It's actually a  pleasure to use!
I've used lotions in the past that felt good going on.  The real test of this stuff would be whether or not there was a noticeable improvement in my hands later, a few hours after using it.  And guess what?  There was!  It even lasted through several hand washings!  And here's where Skin MD Natural really stands apart from the other products out there.  Skin MD Natural is a Shielding Lotion.  It actually forms a protective barrier between your skin and environmental moisture-suckers.  And you can really feel the difference!  Some other lotions might cover the surface of your skin, and might eventually be absorbed by your skin, but the moisture doesn't last.  They need to be reapplied frequently--and they might even make your skin worse!  That's right...according to Dr. Lisa Benest, a board-certified dermatologist, "most moisturizers on the market actually increase the trans-epidermal water loss."  Sheesh!  If only I'd known!  But the protective barrier of Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion reduces the amount of water loss, AND it actually enables your skin to moisturize itself more efficiently!



But wait...there's more!  Skin MD Natural uses all natural ingredients.  Aloe vera is widely known to soothe inflammation and encourage healing, Arnica montana helps prevent bruising and other damage, chamomile is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, and Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant that protects the structural integrity of skin cells. 



Recently The Girl developed a mysterious rash over her chest, neck and face.  We tried to figure out what was causing it, but couldn't identify the culprit.  In the meantime, she was crazy itchy!  I suggested she try some Skin MD Natural.  We were both impressed.  The Shielding Lotion calmed her rash so she wasn't scratching all the time, and over the course of about four days (she applied it once each day), it has completely disappeared

She's not the only one who's benefited from Skin MD's healing effects.  It's great for all kinds of skin conditions!  Skin MD Natural can help heal or reduce itching and irritation associated with eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, latex sensitivity, and allergies, as well as occasional scratches and other skin damage.  It's also a great weapon in your beauty arsenal!  Skin MD Natural can be used everywhere!  It's great for your face because it's non-comedogenic, which means it won't clog pores!  I've been using mine as a facial moisturizer.  It feels so silky on my skin!  I use it alone or under my makeup, and I think it works well as a primer, too.  My makeup lasts throughout the day, and my face doesn't feel oily or shiny.  And I really think my skin has a more youthful appearance since I've been using it.


Overall, this stuff is wonderful.  I do have a couple of caveats, though.  Firstly, while Skin MD Natural definitely DID increase the moisture in my hands, and I did notice a cumulative improvement in my skin's condition over several days of use, the efficacy of the stuff seemed to plateau after about a week, at least on my hands.  They are far better than they ever were before using this product, but I guess I'd hoped for a bit more.  I still have problem hands.  The problem is just a lot smaller now.  The second concern I have with this product is the price.  It costs $18 for a four-ounce bottle ($25 for the SPF 15 formulation).  I find that a bit steep.  I'm not saying it's not worth it;  it actually is.  But just because something is worth its price doesn't mean I can afford it.  I think I will ask for a bottle or two for every birthday, Mother's Day and Christmas!  On the other hand, for use on either the occasional rash or other irritation, or as a facial moisturizer, it's quite affordable.  If, however, you want to use it as an all-over moisturizer, it's a bit expensive. 

Skin MD Natural Shielding Lotion is a pretty amazing product!  It can be used all over--hands, face and body.  It is unscented and made from completely natural ingredients.  It uses NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS and IS NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS (other than humans, of course!).  And it can be purchased at most major drugstore chains and many grocery stores.  You can even purchase it online--WORLDWIDE!!  That is a major plus for me!  If you've been thinking about trying it, go for it!  You'll be pleasantly surprised at how great this stuff is, and you might just find a product you can't live without.

You can buy Skin MD Natural online here, or you can WIN a full-size bottle right HERE!


Mandatory Entry: 
Visit Skin MD Natural, then come back here and leave a comment telling me something you learned there, and why you want to try it!  

*The Mandatory Entry must be done before subsequent Bonus Entries.*

Bonus Entries:
(You can do as many or as few of the following as you like, just be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry.)

~Follow I Digress. via Blogger or Google Friend Connect, and tell me in a comment that you are following.      (2 entries)

~Follow Skin MD Natural on Twitter, and tell me your Twitter id.  (1 entry)

~Tweet about this giveaway, and leave a link to that tweet.  (1 entry) 
  (You can right click on the part under your tweet that says how long ago you tweeted, select 'Copy Link Location', then paste the link here in a comment.)
  You can tweet once a day for the duration of the contest.
  You can use the following tweet: 
Win Skin MD Natural from I Digress.  http://tinyurl.com/y6w8a6x  @hybroanglid!  Ends 5/12.

~Follow ME on Twitter, and tell me your Twitter id.  (1 entry)

~Check out the Skin MD Natural Store Locator and tell me where you can or would purchase it. (1 entry)

~ Grab my brand-spankin'-new button!  Leave a comment telling me where I can find it. (3 entries!)

~Enter my CADDi giveaway here. (1 entry)

~Subscribe to my blog's RSS feed in a reader.  (2 entries)

Please make sure you leave separate comments for each entry, including separate comments for multiple-entry activities.  Please also make sure your email address is either included in your comment or easily accessed through your profile so I can let you know if you win!


Contest is open WORLDWIDE!  Ends May 12th, 2010 at 10:00pm GMT.   

Winner will be selected using Random.org (which was created here in Dublin...cool little fact for ya!) and will be contacted by email.  If prize is not claimed within 72 hours, a new winner will be drawn from other entries. 

Disclosure:  I was given a sample of this product for review purposes.  I received no monetary compensation, and the thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are mine.
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