June 2014 Archive

Interesting Facts About Blood Types

Which Blood Type Are You?

I found some interesting facts about blood types recently. I am 0-, the universal donor for emergencies. However, my dilemma is that I can only receive my blood type. Being the universal donor had me thinking that 0 people could save the world until I realized exactly what a universal donor really is.

Being a universal donor does not mean you can just give your blood to anyone, but rather in an emergency you are able to give blood to other people with different blood types because you have no antigens on the surface of the blood. It is for this reason that my blood type is used during emergencies when a persons blood type is unknown and typing it would take too long.

I am also Rh-negative. That means I don’t have a certain protein (D antigen) on the surface of my red blood cells. Caucasians make up the highest group of people who are Rh-negative. It is not good or bad but merely further defines the blood type. It can be a problem when getting pregnant. This was the case with my second child who is Rh-positive. My body would attack her and possibly kill her before birth if steps were not taken to correct this. I was given a shot.

It is scientifically speculated that A blood type was first. Through mutations we developed other blood types. These mutations were devised to help us survive. Think about this;  If we started with type A and where we lived a lot of people caught malaria, they would start dying. To prevent our species from phasing out, a mutation happened and developed a new blood type that would help us ward off malaria. This new blood type was 0. The 0 blood type is missing the protein that malaria needs to bind to a human. You can still get malaria however; it can’t stay in the systems of (0) people giving them a higher survival rate. Interesting, isn’t it. I don’t want to test that theory out though.

 

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As these mutations developed blood type A produced blood types 0 and B.  It is believed in Japanese culture that a person’s blood determines his/her personality traits. O-negative persons are believed to be more self-confident, loyal, competent and passionate. They are believed to have leadership qualities and are considered innovators and trend setters. However, there is little scientific evidence in favor of this. Find out more on how the Japanese see blood types.

Did you know we have 32 blood types? I thought there were only a few, boy was I wrong. According to an article in Popular Science from 2012 we now have 32 blood types. Read it for yourself here:

Thanks for visiting and come back again

Vicki

Vicki

 

 

Posted by Vicki Brown in Straight Talk With Vicki

Why You Shouldn’t Give Up On Marriage

 

 

I believe in the commitment of marriage. I don’t remember ever thinking to myself that I would not get married. Maybe this was because I came from a family with two parents, I really don’t know. All I know is that marriage can be a beautiful thing if you let it.

I never put much stock in the idea of being a princess. I was brought up to believe that I could be whatever I wanted to be and I could do anything I desired, as long as it was legal. My dad and mom showed me, through their marriage, that it is a union of two people. Everyone needs to be involved for it to work. Both the husband and the wife must pull their weight and work together on everything.

The minute you say “I do” everything changes; it really does.

 

This is me and my husband, Brian. Happily living our fairy tale for 16 years and counting.

This is me and my husband, Brian. Happily living our fairy tale for 16 years and counting.

 

I know people move in together to see if they will work as a couple. The minute they marry they realize that what they had was not the same. This is not a marriage and it will never be like a marriage. There is no obligation in this relationship and each party still functions as an independent person. They may say they are committed to one another and they may actually love each other but nothing takes the place of that paper committing to work with one another forever.

I know people say “it’s just a paper” and I will not be owned. I guess you can say the same of a birth certificate, but you have one of those, don’t you? Marriage is not ownership it is a partnership of love. You agree to do whatever you can to work with this person that you treasure above all others by promising to love them, be true to them, honor (with goes both ways) them, and obey them. Obey can be taken in any manner that you choose to. For me it means coming to an agreement that both of you decided on and sticking to it. Not obey in the sense of “I said so”.

Why it is so many marriages fail? Well, my thoughts are that divorce is an easy option. Yes, they said the vows but did they stop and consider that this is a lifetime commitment, similar to having a child? No. People get fed up with one another at the drop of a hat and then divorce is advertised all over the place making the thought of a divorce seem so easy. Females are looking for the white horse and prince charming. When he isn’t there 100% of the time they want out. Men communicate differently than women and can be hard to understand. Instead of working on the differences and making them unite us we bail.

If we put as much effort into working our relationship like we do our social media and friendships maybe we could work things out. When you accept that ring, it symbolizes to you that a union has just formed. It isn’t just a piece of jewelry that you flash around to your friends. You didn’t marry someone so they could take care of you. You married them so you could take care of each other. Maybe people just don’t realize how big a deal marriage really is. There will be tough times, believe me, but those tough times make your marriage stronger. If you never have any tough times then you need to evaluate your union. Maybe you really don’t know the person you married at all or you don’t communicate enough. Each of us has our own mind and each of us believe our opinion is the right one. I am here to tell you that the grass is not always greener on the other side and stop looking for an easy way out when something doesn’t go your way.

Marriage is not a Disney Movie where you play the role of Cinderella and live happily ever after. I see so many people plan their wedding like a fairy tale only to be disappointed when life doesn’t live up to it. Marriage is a fairy tale but not like you see in the movies. When you and your spouse communicate and form a bond that is unbreakable this is a fairy tale. It is a wonderful feeling to know that someone can have your back no matter what. They will drop everything to be at your side during a so-called disaster and you will do the same for them. It brings as sense of calm to your day knowing you have that special someone whom you trust will all your heart to come home to. This is what makes marriage a fairy tale.

When you get married please give it some thought. Marriage is not the same as living together and it is like nothing else you will ever experience. That ring, big or small, is only a symbol of the love you share. Wear it with pride and with the thought that you have another heart to consider when making life choices.

Thanks for spending some time with me and cheers to marriage. Make it all it can be and live your own fairy tale.

Vicki

Posted by Vicki Brown in Straight Talk With Vicki

DreamWalk by Dr. Scholl’s Review

Recently I had the opportunity to try a new Dr. Scholl’s Product, the Dreamwalk Inserts for high heels.  I have a few pair of high heels that sometimes cause foot pain when I wear them. It seems that the manufacturers never add enough padding to the heels. As I walk throughout the day in them my heels and just under the toes start to hurt. By the end of the day I can’t wait to get out of the heels. I have been looking for something that would improve this condition.

I was given a pair of DreamWalk inserts to try from BzzAgent, who I product test for. What I noticed first about the product was the high bump where the arch sits. Most inserts are completely flat and all they offer is extra padding. These inserts were similar to what a padded shoe would have when you purchase them. There was padding and arch support. The next feature that caught my eye was they are reusable. When I placed them in my heels I didn’t quite get it even and needed to remove it and start over. This was not a problem. The insert did not rip out the foot bed of my heels and I had no problem re-adjusting them.

Now came the time for me to actually wear them. I put my heels on and everything seems to feel good. My arch was supported fine and I couldn’t tell I had inserts on except for the arch support. Where the insert ends and my shoe begins DreamWalk is very thin allowing for an easy transition. If I were to give this product a rating on a scale of 1 to 5, it would get a solid 4.

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I thought it did a good job of helping me keep my heels on and not have continuous pain while wearing them. I felt my arch was being massaged while I walked which is a nice improvement. At the end of the day I was still ready to get out of my heels but the pain was a good 40% less than without these inserts.

Each heel is different and maybe some are just more uncomfortable than others are so I recommend each woman try these and decide for themselves if they improve their step. Carlos Santana shoes are not the best at padding and maybe if the heel had padding in addition to using the DreamWalk inserts my story would have ended a little better given this product a 5 star rating.

 

Posted by Vicki Brown in Product Reviews

Estate Planning, What To Do When Someone Dies

 

When someone we know dies it causes feelings to surface inside us. We start wishing we had told them something or maybe we wish we hadn’t. We all hope for just one more day with them. No one can plan when our time will come or even why it came at all. We are never prepared for the end of happiness, sadness, or just nothingness. We need to remember that our time could be today and start doing and saying what we always wanted to. We need to start living now.

What we also need to start estate planning. When someone dies we should learn from their passing. We need to understand that years fly by so quickly and we need to make the most of them. We also need to learn to prepare for death. I understand no one likes to think about this. I believe in general we only want to think about temporary problems not permanent ones and this is why we avoid death.

When someone dies that either I knew or someone close to me knew, I start thinking. It sets me in organization mode and I recheck my paperwork to make sure everything is still in order and that nothing has changed. As much as I don’t want to think about death, I really don’t want my family dealing with my loss and having to handle everything. We make hasty decisions based on what our heart tells us and not our head during times like this, thus we are taken advantage of.

A few points to think about are; do you have a will, what about P.O.D. accounts, are your vehicles listed as (or/and), are your beneficiaries up to date, does your house have life insurance and more? As I learn and make changes to my own situation I feel the need to share this with you. I want your family to only be concerned with your loss when you are called to Heaven. I don’t want them to have to grieve later because they were so busy dealing with technical issues. And I really don’t want your family to become a victim during this time because they made purchases with their heart and not their head. Get your life/ death in order now.

I believe there are many reasons for death. One is so the living will start living. We become so complacent with ourselves that we just go through the motions and we forget to realize how lucky we are to be here for even one more day. Another reason for death is to learn from what happens to those who die and better prepare our family for it. And the final reason, one that my dad told me years ago, is because if we don’t die new ones can’t be born. When you think about death this way it isn’t as hard to deal with. It gives us a calm feeling thinking about a baby coming into this world. This is possible because someone was called to serve in Heaven.

So let’s prepare and show our loved ones just how much we do love them. First of all, do you have children? If so, you are already blessed because they are miracles, treasure them. My husband and I have two children and we want to make sure they are taken care of if something were to happen to me. What my husband and I did was get life insurance for our house. If something were to happen to either of us or both, how would our children pay the mortgage? I don’t want their family home taken away from them. Life throws us curve balls but we don’t have to upset the entire applecart.

Our lender offered life insurance, but not for us, it was if something happens to either of us or both our house would be paid off. The beneficiary is actually the mortgage company and the money would go directly to them. It covers the exact amount owed at that time. How it works is this; I pay the mortgage each month and extra money is added to the bill for the insurance. It shows on the statement validating it is still active. The lender moves the money to the insurance company for payment of the home insurance. If something happens to us, the lender gives the insurance company the payoff amount and they pay it directly to the lender. Our house is paid in full.

I chose this option in addition to standard life insurance because I don’t want to put the burden on someone to make the payments until an outside company decides to cut a check. Then the check must clear and payment sent. Not everything goes as planned and I wanted to make sure this was as easy as possible, no middleman.

Another change I made was to add P.O.D to my bank accounts. In the event that something were to happen, these accounts do not need to wait for probate. P.O.D stands for payable on death. When the account owner dies the person listed as the P.O.D becomes the owner of the money in the account. Simply show proof of death, which the funeral home can assist with, and collect the funds. No questions asked. This frees up money for funeral arrangements (if not prepaid) and also to handle any outstanding bills that might be incoming. I leaned this from my mother who worked in banking for over 30 years. Thank you mom.

From my dad I learned to always have vehicles/ houses listed as (OR). The reason for this is a technical one but can be very costly if ignored. When a vehicle has two owners and one dies the vehicle might need to be sold. In order to do this both parties would need to sign if the documents read (and), however; if the documents read (or) you can make a decision without the consent of the other person. This can be both good and bad. I guess if both owners are not of the same mindset something could be sold without you agreeing but it is very helpful when a person dies to be able to make decisions without needing proof and hassles. Thank you dad.

A will is valuable especially if you have children. Write a Will,  it documents exactly how you want your estate divided. It also explains who will take care of your minor children in the event they need a guardian. Remember wills go to probate and if someone decided to cause a problem, they can contest it. This could tie it up for a long time which can become costly with court fees. It is always better to handle your estate in the ways I listed above than to rely on a will.

Since 2007, when my father-in-law passed away, we have been dealing with his estate which is still in probate. His wife received a higher portion of the property and did not want to sell it even though all three sons wanted to. She was going to pay them off however; she low balled the amount she wanted to give them and no one accepted. She wanted to rent the property and all of them divide the taxes and maintenance costs. The property is in another state and keeping track of everything would be rather difficult. To this date no decision has been made and the court fees are adding up. Recently a judgment has been placed on the property as well, probably making the value at less than $0. Remember, he had a will. Have a will but remember that just because you document your wishes they are not set in stone.

Many of us have life insurance either through our jobs or through a company we purchased from. Check to make sure you have someone listed and that they are still the same person you want listed as a beneficiary. Divorce, separation, and death happen yet we continue to go about our daily lives thinking everything is covered only to realize that the people we want to receive something is not even listed as the beneficiary. Please check into this. Make sure you have all the correct addresses and phone numbers for the Life Insurance Companies as well. We will discuss this later.

When it comes time to redeem a life insurance policy it can be difficult. Remember they sell millions of policies and don’t know you by name. You will need the policy number and as much information as possible when dealing with them. Make a physical folder or an online folder containing any Life Insurance Policies you may have and highlight the policy number for easy identification. Also include a phone number, don’t use the main number as it directs to a million different departments, but rather the actual department that handles payments. If you have an online folder make a note where the documents can be found. Do this with retirement benefits and any other paperwork that might be needed.

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Tip: Order at least 5 death certificates. Establishments will require them but most will not return them to you and they take over a week to receive in the mail.

If you need more proof about what you just read, see this article. You won’t believe what happened when this man tried to leave $400,000 to his children. If only he had taken a few extra minutes to fill the forms out carefully.

It is so easy. Simply download the forms by clicking on the blue box above to get started. 

Now death isn’t everything…..we still need to live, yes that includes financially. Part two of Planning, click here.

 

Posted by Vicki Brown in Estate Planning

Could You Use Additional Income?

I am reaching out to all you moms and dads looking for additional income but don’t have time to leave your house for a second job. We started a new project helping families earn additional income. Our focus is on families since that is what we have and what my page www.vickistoughlove.com is all about.

I know you have concerns and are going to say ? How much does it cost?, I don’t have any money to spend in order to try to make some?. I got you covered. Do you have a Costco or another wholesale club membership? This is the same concept, you are buying a membership to get access to wholesale products, called a HUB. All of these services are designed to help you save.

What we offer is a way to help families and help yourself. We are a wellness company that helps people save and manage their money. We need to create change and do something different to get a better result. Network marketing is just that. It teaches essential life skills that can be applied to everything in your life. People in this industry want to help people. Members get paid to share services. It is called word of mouth advertising. When you see quality, you want to share it with others. When you share with others you build a residual income. Watch this 5 minute video on what it is. 

 

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Now that you see what it is, check out how it works.

 

 

Posted by Vicki Brown in work from home

Sally’s Beauty Supply Beauty Club, worth it or not?

I renew my Sally’s Beauty Supply Beauty Club each year however; this year I decided to skip the renewal. I decided that there really wasn’t that much I purchase there. That was before they mailed out the flyer giving me extra savings.

My renewal is due in May. The end of May a flyer appeared in my mailbox with the standard sales inside. On the back was a coupon stating if I renewed I would get a free nail polish. This same coupon gave me an extra 15% off my purchase. I really didn’t plan on buying anything except the renewal and didn’t give it much thought.

Here is what happened next. I was charged only half price for the renewal, not sure why but I wasn’t questioning  deal like this, and I only paid $2.50 instead of $5.00 the standard rate. I also received the free polish. I picked a really cute glitter polish in red,white, and blue that I plan on using for 4th of July nail art. I also flipped through the flyer to discover that Orly (one of my favorite brands) was on sale for buy one get one free. I know a good deal when I see it and found two colors I really liked. In addition to all this I received 15% off my entire purchase.

Find great deals at Sally’s Beauty Supply and get the Sally’s Beauty Supply Beauty Club card, it will give you freebies and save on each purchase you make. Remember, it is $5 and they give you a free $5 coupon to use when you spend $5 or more, making it free.  Check out more nail art designs here.

 

I started with a light purple base and added Essie "wicked" polish for accent.

I started with a light purple base and added Essie “wicked” polish for accent.

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Paint the corner of your nail with “wicked” and let it dry. Add another line leaving a space in-between so the base color shows through. If you don’t feel confident free handing it simply use a piece of scotch tape on the nail and paint one wide stripe. Paint over the tape, then remove it, this is make the same pattern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The total came to $7.95 with tax. That price was for 3 bottles of polish and the beauty club renewal. The beauty club renewal also gives me a $5 coupon when I spend $5, making this good for a free item.

Posted by Vicki Brown in Coupons and Rebates