Glad I Don’t Live In NJ

I am not a believer in the flu shot. If you are — great. Whatever makes you feel comfortable. But don’t try to convince me it “works” or that it doesn’t make you sick, because I’m not buying it. There’s plenty of research out there stating that flu shots are ineffective. (And of course, believers in flu shots can counter me with studies saying it is. I’ve worked in the media and I know there is a study to support any and every point of view). Regardless, I think the flu shot is a crapshoot at best. And right about now I am really glad I am not a resident of NJ. From

New Jersey on Friday became the first state to require flu shots for preschoolers, saying their developing immune systems and likelihood of spreading germs make them as vulnerable to complications as the elderly…

A health advisory board Monday backed the new requirements on a 5-2 vote with one abstention after parents said they worried about the safety of giving young children dozens of vaccine doses.

I would be livid if I were a parent in NJ.

This entry was posted in Newsy.

Just no words, really

My heart is just broken for everyone living in Southern California. I can’t imagine. Fire has always been one of my biggest fears and a fire that is this uncontrollable? The photo that finally made me break down in tears was this one. Imagine looking out, across the water, at that entire wall of fire. I just don’t know what to say.

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In the drink

I was never a big soda drinker. I loved having an icy-cold Coke as a treat sometimes, but as a kid, I don’t think I drank a lot. When Drew and I moved in together, I think we started to drink more. It was easy to just buy a case of soda cans and take one to work every day. But when I got pregnant with Jake I really scaled back and now I only have a glass occasionally. With all the reports on how awful it is for you, it’s a good thing too. From a recent article on CNN:

“Liquid candy” to detractors, sweetened soft drinks are so ubiquitous that they contribute about 10 percent of the calories in the American diet, according to government data.

That’s a huge percentage! The article also points out that a 32-ounce soda has 400 calories in it. 400!!! My entire lunch didn’t even have 400 calories. But clearly, it’s a huge problem in this country. You can just picture people sitting back in their discount home theater seating, with a huge tub of popcorn and 2-litre bottle of Mountain Dew not even realizing how many wasted calories they are ingesting. There are so many other things you could spend those 400 calories on. You could eat 4 100-calorie packs of cookies or crackers for crying out loud! And here is a site that shows you several meals that are all under 400 calories. Hmm, let’s see. A big soda that’s not going to satisfy me, or 2 scrambled eggs, 2 slices of turkey bacon, 1 piece of whole wheat toast with butter (BUTTER!), and a cup of coffee. I think that’s a no-brainer.

I do think people are starting to pay more attention to this, though. At least I hope so.

Crock Pot Cooking Malaise

When I was growing up, my mom was constantly using her Crock Pot to cook dinners. In college, my friend Kelly and I often used a Crock Pot when we had our apartment senior year. I’ve seriously been using one forever. So what gives? Lately everything I make in one comes out, well, ehhh…. I don’t get it. It’s not like I’m trying to buy a Dodge Charger accessory, or do something else that I have no knowledge of. Tonight, for example, I decided to try the Orange Chicken recipe that is in the new Kraft Food & Family magazine. It was easy and I thought it sounded really good. About a half an hour before it would probably be done, I checked on it and the chicken didn’t look appetizing and the “sauce” was all watery. It looked nothing like the photo in the magazine, that’s for sure. I ended up dumping everything out of the crock and into a saucepan. The sauce thickened up nicely around the chicken and it turned out okay. (Some seasoning issues, but that is purely my own taste and nothing to do with the Crock Pot issue). Last week I made beef stew in it, and it wasn’t good. I’d recently made Chicken Cacciatore and found it barely edible. Seems that I’m just not enjoying the texture. When I make soups, I don’t have a problem. It’s just frustrating because the Crock Pot does make my life a little easier in the evenings, but I’m not going to sacrifice taste for convenience, either. 🙁

Review: Life Balance CD Set

nelson.jpg Although I am not typically one for self-help books or tapes, I had an opportunity to review a three-CD set by life coach Clay Nelson. I will give most things a shot at least once, and I have to say that I enjoyed listening to these CDs. Even though I am quite happy where I currently am, and I have a pretty clear idea of when I am hoping to be in 5, 10, 15 years, I still found “Life Balance” beneficial. We all find ourselves in ruts from time to time, and I’ll probably come back and listen to this again when I’m not feeling up to snuff.

The first disk is entitled Creating Your Purpose. Mr. Nelson guides you through an exercise that is designed to help you identify some of your goals, and then write a purpose statement. The second disk is called How To Let Fear Serve You and I think this was the best of the three. Why do people fail? They let fear get in the way. You need to take chances. He challenges us to do something every days that scares us. I actually started doing this (though not every day) this summer! And it really does help. The final disk is Commitment, and as you might guess he discusses the importance of giving yourself over 100 percent — committing yourself to your projects, your family, your goals. No one else is going to do it. You need to be the one.

The set was inspiring, I have to say. Mr. Nelson also has a radio show that I’d like to try to catch at some point. You can read more about his Getting Started Series on PRWeb.

Free Pearls!

My free pearls A while back, one of the lovely ladies over at Mommies Rock posted about a free pearl necklace offer at I decided to give it a go, and if all I lost was the $2.95 shipping, no big deal. My order went through and I started to wonder if this was for real or not, especially because they seemed to take forever to arrive, but they came yesterday. The offer is still up on their site, if you’re interested! I have bought nicer pearls from Overstock before, but come on — for the price? Totally worth it.

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In case my blog just isn’t enough

This morning I made up a new Twitter account. Mostly because quite a few of my fellow wine bloggers have been using it for notes and whatnot, but also because… hey, why not. I had an account last winter when the service was quite new, but later, in a fit of Internet malaise, I deleted it. So, if you’re on Twitter and you’d like to follow me, I thought I’d share that information. In fact, I think I’ll just list all of my little social networking profiles. Because… hey, why not.

On Twitter:
On Facebook
On MySpace
On LinkedIn
On Snooth: You can add CarolB to your friends; couldn’t figure out a direct link
On Cork’d

I need to make better use of Snooth and Cork’d. I have a bad habit of not writing down my wine notes and then regretting it later.

Tee Hee!

I was super excited to find out that one of my favorite photos has been blogged at Zen Habits! I figured that since they decided to use my photo, the least I could do is provide a link back to them. (The content of the post is really worth reading, too. I think I’ve found a great new blog). Hooray for stripey rainbow socks!

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Sexy Sommeliers

What does a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon have in common with a crotchless panty? I found this while looking for news for my wine blog — apparently there’s an adult store in New York City that has started doing wine tastings. They tasted wines with salacious names such as Seduction Cabernet and Foreplay Chardonnay. How freaking funny is that? Hey, just goes to show that everyone enjoys a nice glass of vino. Even the kinky crowd.

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Scrappy Giveaway Contest!!!

scrappygiveaway.jpg I’m so excited about hosting my first-ever blog contest! This one is mutually beneficial — I get to give away scrapbooking and stamping supplies that I am no longer using and you get to a chance to win them. Basically what I did was this: I found a box. Then I filled the box up with as many things as I could fit in it. Then, I took a photo so you all can get a peek:

Prize Pack for my 1st Ever Contest

If you want to look at anything closer, just click on the image and it will take you to the Flickr photo page. You can view a higher resolution image from there. The quick breakdown:

– 1 set of Deluxe Chalks
– 1 small album (either for photos, cards, or as a quick mini-album)
– Two brand-new, still-in-the-shrinkwrap Tim Holtz Distress Ink pads
– 4 containers of Pearl-Ex
– 4 containers of embossing powder (white, black, clear, and gold)
– 1 new package of Making Memories square jewel brads
– several mini baggies of random embellishments: brads, eyelets, etc.
– 6 rubber stamps (two are Rebecca Sower; not sure of the rest)
– 1 CD of Victorian clip art
– Burgundy skeleton leaves
– Random other stuff: some pop-dots, a tag, photo corners, a transparancy, ribbon, a couple bottlecaps…

All you have to do to enter is write a blog post about anything craft-related (scrapbooking, stamping, sewing, quilting, knitting… anything) and link back to this post ( If you are feeling generous with the linky-love, you can link to as well. Leave a comment and/or a trackback for me so I know that you’ve entered. The contest will end on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th, and on Friday I’ll write down the names of all the contestants, put them in a basket, and Jake will draw the lucky winner. Easy, easy! If you want to use the graphic, feel free, but please save it to your own server or upload to a site like Photobucket. This is open to anyone in the U.S. or Canada (sorry, but this package is heavy and postage might get expensive). Good luck!