Friday, August 30, 2013

Vinegar Friday and a proofread FAIL!

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because as you will understand once you read today's post, I can't count on friends as proofreaders!

People sometimes ask me about how I transformed a year's worth of blog posts into a book. 

"I guess it was pretty easy," they say. "After all, you already wrote it, right? You just had to copy and paste it and you were done."

"Yeah, it was that easy," I pan. 

To be truthful, it was a pretty overwhelming process and I put countless hours into it. If you've been following Vinegar Fridays since the beginning, you know that on any given Friday, I could ramble on about vinegar and ants, vinegar and soft heels, vinegar and coffee pots, and God knows what else. Well, I knew from the start I couldn't just throw the posts together. It wouldn't have made any sense. 

My daughter, Bethany, volunteered to print all my VF posts. This is where the copying and pasting came in, by the way.

After she gave me all the posts, I carefully cut them all apart according to subject. There were piles of paper strips everywhere! Finally, I sat down and figured out how many chapters I wanted, divided the sections of posts accordingly, and started writing. Trying to combine all these snippets so they finally made sense was harder than you think. And it took more hours than I thought it would take.

I found I had to do more research and add more information to some of the scrawnier chapters. Of course, that took more time. I also added a preface, an introduction, a closing, and, in a fit of inspiration, a children's story featuring my grandchildren, Lincoln and Laura.

Finally, I had the manuscript together and sent it off to four different proofreaders who carefully perused it, looking for errors. They each found a few, I corrected them, and sent it off to my friend, Heather, for layout. We haggled back and forth a bit before it was ready and then, in November 2011, I sent it off to and it was published.

Of course, I ordered my first 60 copies without seeing a proof first. Big mistake. Then I gave them away as Christmas presents, sold a bunch more, and sent them off to reviewers, still without proofing the book myself. Another big mistake.

One night, a few months later, I decided to read through the book myself, since I was appearing on a television show the next day. Horror of horrors! I found 30+ grammar and spelling errors and typos. Aaakk! I was appalled and humiliated. I wanted to crawl in a hole. Seriously. It was awful.

Heather and I worked hard to correct all the errors and I republished it, this time with an index, which I hadn't bothered to include in the first round. It was tedious work, but well worth it.

So, that's the story of the book. I'm glad I struggled through it and came up with a finished product I'm proud of. I can't tell you how many times each week I reach for it, turn to the index (reviewers you were right when you said it needed one) and find the remedy or tip I am looking for. If you don't have a copy, I'm not sure why that is. It really is a valuable resource and it's cheap. Right now, you can buy it directly from me, via Paypal, for just $8 plus $3 s/h. 

Email me if you're interested. You can also check out some of the reviews and access links for Amazon, Lulu, and Barnes & Noble if you'd rather buy from them. Just click this link.

Keeping it green with vinegar (and you can, too!),


In accordance to the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, it is my responsibility to let you know that the above is a sponsored post.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A giveaway to help you live The Ultimate Life

Between the pressure of running a foundation started by his late grandfather, being sued by his greedy extended family, and seeing his beloved Alexia leave on an extended mission trip to Haiti, Jason Stevens' world is unraveling. But when Jason discovers a journal that his grandfather began as a Depression-era lad, his writings transport Jason on an incredible rags-to-riches ride. With everything he loves hanging in the balance, Jason hopes he can discover THE ULTIMATE LIFE.
Directed by Michael Landon, Jr. and opening in theaters September 6, THE ULTIMATE LIFE (the sequel to The Ultimate Gift) reminds us some things are worth more than money!
With The Ultimate Life Blog App, take the quiz to find out if YOU are Living Life to the Fullest! Read six great ways to start living the ultimate life NOW, as written by Jim Stovall, author of The Ultimate Life book. And watch the official trailer for this inspiring movie!

So, who wants to win The Ultimate Life prize package? Here's what it includes:

• DVD of The Ultimate Gift
• The Ultimate Gift book by Jim Stovall
• The Ultimate Gift charm bracelet
• The Ultimate Life leather-bound journal

The giveaway ends on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 and winner will have 48 hours to respond with mailing address before an alternate winner is chosen.

Enter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Noggle ... keeping your kiddos cool, and warm, whichever way they're facing

In accordance to the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, it is my responsibility to let you know that this is a sponsored post. While I did not receive compensation for this post, I  did receive the product mentioned in the review at no cost to me. My daughter reviewed the product for this post and the opinions are hers alone and are not based on the receipt of a free product.

Review it Wednesday

What the heck is a Noggle and why you really do need it? 

The Noggle is a genius device you hook up to a vent in your car to direct air anywhere you want it! Why is that useful? Well, if you have a rear facing child, this is pretty valuable! While I don’t think my child is going to be harmed from being sweaty or cold in the car, I would love to give him the same comfort I have with air circulation in the front of the car. 

Let me tell you about what I received and how simple it all is! I chose the eight foot Noggle since I have a large SUV. This size will really come in handy down the road if I ever need it to go to the third row, but right now I have it in the second row. It came with two different adaptors that will work for any vehicle and two zip tie type fasteners. It was easy to loop the fastener through the vent and lock in the adaptor, then you just twist the hose over it and it’s locked into place. Easy peasy! 

We have rear seat vents that would be great for forward facing kids but since my 3 year old is still rear facing this was the perfect place to attach the Noggle. We had enough room running along the door that we routed it behind his seat and along the side, through the back of the seat and up to the head rest. 

There are many ways you can attach your Noggle because it comes with Velcro fabric straps to attach it anywhere you have a stationary spot! It comes with a warning to make sure you take the time to disconnect the Noggle from the vent adapter when you are leaving the vehicle.  (Oops, I always forget about this one since it’s attached in the back! Hopefully with it being near the floor it is protected pretty well from the sunlight but I will have to remember to do it going forward. It really only takes a second to disconnect/reconnect it!) Heat and direct sunlight magnified by a vehicle’s windshield could cause the plastic of the Noggle and the vent adapter to warp from the extreme heat.

We received the Noggle right before our summer vacation and it did a wonderful job at keeping my guy nice and cool! His favorite thing to do is to stick his legs straight up the back of the seat and let his feet feel the cold air! He either pulls off his shoes or has his crocs on and the air flows right in. It’s pretty darn cute when he says his feet are nice and cool! 

So with it being the end of summer, I was kind of bummed I didn’t discover this earlier and we would be done with it until next year, then out of nowhere in the middle of August we got a cold front. I’m talking lows in the 40s!! We had somewhere to be in the early morning and the cold air was a bit shocking to our systems. We got in the car and I turned on a little heat. Linc yells up to me that he can feel the warm air. Bam, this is awesome!! It never dawned on me that this would be beneficial year round!  Since we follow “best practice” rules when it comes to car seat safety, we don’t allow jackets in his car seat.  A little run down of our winter routine goes a little like this . . . Warm the car up beforehand when it’s possible, wear a thin layer of fleece, blankets in the car and bring along a jacket to put on after we get out if it’s unbearably cold.  So with the heater running and blowing out the Noggle right at Lincoln he will be toasty warm this winter! Yay!

I’ve added some pictures as to why those big bulky winter coats are a no-no in the car. He is buckled in nice and tight over his jacket but when you remove the jacket and buckle him in you can see how much slack is in his straps. It’s pretty crazy! In a crash his coat would compress and leave all that space between him and the straps, possibly leading to some pretty serious injuries. 

Questions about jackets/coats and car seat safety? Click here


I really didn’t find any drawbacks to this product, but I did come up with an idea for improvement. I think it would be great if it came in a wipeable fabric option. It’s located along the door in our vehicle, which makes for a prime spot for dirty feet. It would be great if I could take a wet rag and wipe it down. I’m sure I could remove the cover and wash it but would be nice to have a quick clean up option! Just my two cents! 

Now that I've told you all about the Noggle, wouldn't you like to win one? Click here to enter the Rafflecopter drawing for a Noggle of your own!

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For prices and more information about the Noggle, visit the website

Bethany Schad is a SAHM with an active three-year-old. She also happens to be my daughter! She is passionate about car seat safety, toxin-free living, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and a whole lot more. I'm honored to feature her as a guest reviewer time and time again.

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