Friday, July 24, 2009

WARNING: Embarrassing Post Ahead

Yes, this is my most embarrassing post ever. I'm sharing things here that I normally would NEVER write about but, if it helps someone else then I've done my job. So, here goes...

I have had hemmorhoids for years..there you have it. Pregnancy and bad childhood eating caused it and it sucks. It's sucked for years! I've got interior and exterior ones. For years I have tried all kinds of crap from over the counter Preperation H to prescription suppositories. Let me tell you that any of the over the counter crap does not work!!! The prescription suppositories work but they contain cortisone which is not good for long term use. They would work for awhile but eventually the pain and the lovely itching always cam back.

So about a year ago I just searched online for hemmerhoid products and of course, got a bunch of questionable sites. I looked at several and decided what the hell I might as well give one a try. Can't be any worse that what I'm already going through right? I went ahead and ordered from Neo-Healer. I ordered the combo which has the ointment and a box of 10 suppositories which cost me $39.95 plus shipping.

I got my order about a week later and found the product was made in Jordan. Hmmm...did I make a mistake. Believe it or not, NO I did not make a mistake. This stuff really works. Go figure, a questionable product that works. I used both the ointment and the suppositories and after 10 days, gone gone gone. Once in awhile I'll have a minor flare-up, but I just put a lil ointment on it and within hours no more problems. I have been truly amazed. And, with the ointment, a little goes a long way...I've had my tube for a very long time and still am not even halfway thru it.

Here are the ingredients straight from the website, all herbal I might add:

"Lupinus Albus - The essential oil extract from Lupin (Alpha-Lupaline) has been shown to be 10,000 more potent than vitamin E, 5000 times more potent than vitamin C. This is used to support the activity of skin repair enzyme to aid in skin healing and recovery.Vateria Indica - A bitter resin from the piney tree which is traditionally used in ayurvedic prescriptions in India for centuries to heal hemorrhoids. It helps exerts anti inflammatory action and hasten up healing.Mentha Piperita - Also know as peppermint, this is a herb with downy leaves and small purple or white flowers that yields a pungent oil used as a flavoring. Use for hemorrhoids pain relief and to reduce itching.Aloe Vera - Contains gibberlin and polysaccharides, which effectively decrease inflammation and promote healing."

It works for all kinds of hemmorhoids, including bleeding ones (which I used to get alot). And, the peppermint makes you all minty fresh lol. Yes I know, TMI Jen, TMI.

All kidding aside folks, this product actually works. I would never recommend anything that did not work for me and Neo-Healer, does. I'm happy to have finally found something that works and like I said I haven't had any problems in over a year (other than one or two minor flare ups but I treatd them and they were gone within hours). I HIGHLY recommend this product!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Finding unique and orignal jewelry designs can be hard or it can be easy. Etsy, as you know, is my top top choice for finding one of a kind or at the least, very original pieces. Sometimes, I find a shop that has designs that really do stand out from the crowd. Serrelynda is such a shop.

Serrelynda's designs incorporate unique antique and vintage findings with bronze, oxidized brass and oxidized silver. Most of these pieces are things I have never seen before. The bracelets and necklaces are extremely unique and no two are the same. To me, it's the vintage bits and pieces she uses that make all the difference. Plus, her profile says shes a stay-at-home-mom with a 4 year old...just like yours truly...except I can't come up with jewelry like this :-)

This bracelet is perhaps one of my favorites from her shop. This Cloisonne (I love Cloisonne) Moon and Star Filligree bracelet, has really antique Cloisonne from Baghdad marked with the year 1937. I have alot of Chinese cloisonne in my home (from my mother) but this is not your run of the mill/dime a dozen type of enamel work. The oxidized brass works so well with the cloisonne pieces, it's like they were two lost souls who finally found each other...ok I'm being sappy but this is just a beautiful piece! This bracelet runs for $28, not a bad price considering the antique cloisonne.

Another piece that I love is this necklace with the two opposing Griffins. It's so medieval and it just seems to be a show well as a major conversation piece. Who wouldn't ask you about this if you were wearing it? Serrelynda oxidized the brass herself (which I wouldn't have a clue how to do) and to me that just says I put my blood, sweat and tears into my work. $42 for this original necklace and I guarantee you'll be the talk of the party wearing this one :-)

Serrelynda does make earrings too. They are beautiful but not as intricate as her necklaces and bracelets. However, you don't want to overdo your jewelry ensamble. The earrings are simple in design and will go well with they other pieces she sells. If you're wearing an over the top necklace or bracelet, you want to go easy on your earrings. Not every piece of jewelry should make a huge statement. Simple earrings go well with intricate necklaces. I like these Bronze Moonglow earrings. The warm colored beads against the bronze are just striking. $12 for these earrings.
Serrelynda has many many other pieces, this is just the tip of the iceberg. So if you're looking for something out of the ordinary, Serrelynda has pieces that range in price from $10-$42. I would be shocked if you didn't end up either buying something or just hearting alot of pieces and hearting her shop!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Deep in the Heart of Texas Part 2

Ok, so after leaving the Schlitterbahn Waterpark, we went to San Antonio. I have to say that San Antonio was my favorite part of the trip. Our hotel was just a block down from the Alamo and only a couple of blocks from the River Walk (along the San Antonio River). San Antonio is just a really nice city.

Since we got there so late on Monday, we just freshened up and walked along the River Walk. We had dinner at one of the (many) Mexican restaurants along the walk and did the Riverwalk Boat Tour..highly recommended. Any of the restaurants along the Riverwalk are going to be pricey. On average, for the 4 of us (and the kids shared a meal) it usually was $80 for dinner. The boat tour is a must. It runs around 35 minutes and for us 4 is totalled $26.75. It was very informative and fun.

The next day we, naturally, did the Alamo. Remember, there is NO basement in the Alamo! Texans are very very serious about the history surrounding the Alamo, so much so that it is considered holy ground in Texas. So, when you go there be RESPECTFUL! It's not very big but it's a must see for anyone visiting San Antonio. Alot of neat artifacts from good old Davy Crockett and in the gift shop there's a short history of the Bowie knife. The gift shop actually is one of the best gift shops I've seen. They had a great selection of items and reasonably priced too (you don't see that too often either). If you're hot after your Alamo excursion, right outside in the plaza there are many many snow cone vendors!

After the Alamo, we crossed over to the visitors center and picked up some day passes for the Trolley. We rode down to Market Square which is a bunch of little shops carrying hand made Mexican items. Most shops carried the same things but you could find some one of a kinds if you looked hard enough. There's a great little cafe across the way with a huge bakery. I will warn you though, some shops (only a couple) sell some items you will not want your kids to see.

After Market Square, we went over to the Buckhorn Saloon for lunch. Food was ok, more like your local sandwich shop. But, it's the atmosphere you are there for. Cowboys twirling their lassos as they greet you. Inside there's every animal head imaginable on the wall. The kids and my husband just loved that. There is a museum in there which we did not go through, a very tiny game room and a gift shop. This is a good place for the kids. After lunch we headed back to the hotel for a bit of R&R.

The evening was spent walking around the Riverwalk shops, La Villita (the original village of San Antonio which is now all shops), the River Center Mall and dinner at the Saltgrass Steakhouse. There weren't as many shops as I was hoping for. The majority of the Riverwalk is all restaurants and bars. It's a family friendly that's for sure.

Wednesday, July 1st, we had to make our way back to Houston to come back home. But, not before taking a slight detour to Shiner, Texas and the Shiner Brewery (home of Shiner Bock beer). Tours are only given at specific times and only on weekdays. We were a bit late (tour started at 11am and we got there at 11:07am) and it's very short. No pictures allowed by the way. Then you go back to the gift shop where you get 4 samples of their beer. They had some good items in the gift shop from tshirts to Steins. I got myself a Shiner brewery cookbook and the recipes look damn good! Oh, and they have lemonade for the kids so again, another "family friendly" place.

Well, that was the trip. There was so much more we could've done in San Antonio had we stayed longer but alas this was all the time we had. I hope this review helps anyone who's thinking of going down there...I do recommend you wait and do not go in the summer if you can help it.

New reviews coming soon including some very unique jewelry I found on Etsy. Have a great day!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Geez..sorry sorry sorry..didn't realize it's been this long since I posted......well the end of school came and then getting re-adjusted to both boys being home and then vacation last week....I guess I'm just getting back into the swing of things.

Happy 4th of July everyone! And, yes I was in Texas from last Saturday till Wednesday. Again, lots of reviewing of the places we went and things we saw to help you if you go down there on vacation.

I'm sure you're wondering how insane I am to actually go down to Texas on Vacation in June/July...well my husband planned this trip so I'm not to blame. Although, the 103 degree temps down there really made me wonder if he's nuts or not. So, here's where we went and my recommendations as to yay or nay especially if you've got the kiddies along.

The first two days we stayed in Houston (landed there and stayed till Monday morning). We went straight to the Downtown Houston Aquarium which is run by Landry's (think restaurants, food, etc). This is an aquarium with a few outside rides and games. For $15.99 per person, you get access to all the rides, games and the aquarium. Not a bad deal if you take a gander at the individual prices for the rides ($2.99-$4.99). This is a really nice little aquarium and there are just fish tanks everywhere, from the main aquarium to the restaurants. It's not a big aquarium but alot of fish I haven't seen before. Very nice set up. There's a "touch tank" room where you can pet sting rays and horseshoe crabs. Also, they have White Bengal Tigers there and you can get right up to the glass to see them. Gorgeous tigers and really cool to be face to face with them. The restaurant was a bit pricey but that's what you have to deal with. There's a huge huge tank in the middle of the restaurant with all kinds of fish, from the teeny tiny to the HUGE. You also can take a train ride into the shark tank area which is short but neat. All in all, a decent thing to do if you have the time. For us, it killed time till we could check in to our hotel.

Sunday we did way too much, especially in the heat. First we went to San Jacinto State Park (where Santa Anna signed his surrender) and that's ok but not real exciting for the kids. It costs $2 per adult to get in the park and kids are free. It costs more if you want to go into the monument, but we didn't..just took it's picture. Also in the park is the Battleship Texas (built in the early 1920s I think). Costs $10 per adult and kids are free (you have to go into the park and yes pay the first fee before you can pay the Battleship fee). My older son and my husband really enjoyed the battleship. My little one was hot and not really interested. So, great for older kids (8 and up). The ship has been kept in remarkable shape and there are lots of knooks and crannies to check out and find aboard.

From there we went to the Johnson Space Center. I ordered our tickets online and saved $3 per ticket. Under 4 are free. For us the total was $48.75. You just print out your tickets when they are emailed to you and walla all done. The kids loved the Space Center. There is PLENTY of things for them to do and explore. I liked it but thought it would've been bigger and the main area was just overcrowded, not with people but with stuff. You also get the Tram Tour which takes you around the main NASA area. YOu get to see their training facility (where they have mock ups of the shuttle and the international space station) as well as Rocket Park where the Saturn V rocket is held (they built a huge "warehouse" to hold it as the elements were taking their toll on the rocket). If you have kids then I highly recommend the Space Center, both of my kids enjoyed it alot. I also recommend that you save the money and buy your tickets online.

For dinner, we went over to Kemah Boardwalk and had dinner at The Flying Dutchman. Dinner was great but Kemah is just a HUGE tourist trap and in my opinion a waste of money. They've got rides which cost an arm and a leg to go on, boardwalk games (just a few and dull) and plenty of restaurants. They also have a video arcade which was the biggest rip off got 2 tokens per one dollar and most of the games cost 2 or more tokens. RIP OFF. If you just gotta go to Kemah, just go for the eating and leave. Parking is $6 in the lots. Plus the rides cost a fortune. We just did the train ride since the boys love trains. Other than that, even they didn't seem to thrilled with Kemah.

Monday we left Houston for San Antonio..but before arriving there we had to go to the Schlitterbahn waterpark. My husband was all excited about it, he had seen it on the Travel channels top 10 waterparks. Needless to say, we were not impressed by it at all. Now, I've been to plenty of different water parks from the ones in Disney to Water Country USA in Williamburg to the old Action Park in north Jersey. Schlitterbahn is split into 2 parks, the Original Schlitterbahn and the newer Schlitterbahn East. YOu have to take a bus to get from one to the other. We started off in the original park which uses untreated water from the Comal river (untreated???). If you have a little one, you need to stop in guest services and pick up a life vest and a netted tube (so they don't fall thru) for them to use. Then you've got to get your locker. Then you've got to get yourself some Splash Cash (basically waterproof wrist bands with lil tags with dollar values). Then you've got to go down to the tube pickup and grab a tube to carry all through the dam park. Yes, in the original park you need to get a tube and carry it everywhere. The rides were great (I got on 2) but the lines are long long long. The park layout is all screwed up. You gotta go down to the end of a line which snakes back up to the entrance. It's just not an easy park to get around and find things. They did not plan the layout real well. Disney will make a park around the land to make it flow....I'm still trying to figure out how Schlitterbahn worked it all out. The kiddie pool areas were actually the best part in my opinion. They were unique and set up great. The kids really both enjoyed the kiddie areas. And, I highly recommend water shoes. Not for the water but to keep your feet from getting third degree burns from the sidewalks. Not alot of shade in this waterpark (others I have been to have had tons of shade trees over the sidewalls to keep them cool). They don't have shoe cubbies at the rides either so your screwed. My feet were burnt. The only one of us who didn't get burnt feet was Connor since he was easily carried. By the time we got over to the East side of the park, I was sick and tired of it already. I just hung out in the kid's pool on that side and didn't move. I know this waterpark is a BIG deal down there in Texas (we went to the one in New Braunfels) but this waterpark is not up to par with the likes of Water Country USA and Disney.

I'll continue this tomorrow with our 2 days in San Antonio and our stop at the Shiner Bock Brewery....just like Texas..this post is getting too BIG.