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audiotechnica

Let me just say I am very particular and have undiagnosed OCD, I have to have things a certain way. When I listen to music I have despised the old school foam headphones, they made me want to itch. The over the ear headphones cause a feeling of claustrophobia. In the ear, well, those have to fit or I am constantly fidgeting which causes me even more frustration. I love to hear the sound of music, clearly, so ear buds have to be just right. From the deep bass, to the treble and understanding the words speaking life into my ears. Ear buds are like Cinderella’s glass slipper, not each ear is like the other, you have to find that right fit.

AudioTechnica has a great line of headphones and ear buds to fit any music or audibly inclined connoisseur. The SonicFuel ATH-CKX5iS are excellent for people on the go or for folks like me who like to not have to fuss or fidget or mess with moving ear buds while walking, talking on the phone, and or running.

The C-tip configuration of the SonicFuel ATH-CKX5iS nestles within the ear where it locks in place for extra stability. Customize your comfort with a multitude of C-tip and silicone eartip sizes or use the included Comply™ foam eartips for true sonic immersion. Available at retailers nationwide for $49.95 with a two-year limited warranty.

audiotechnica budsThese ear buds (headphones) are amazingly durable and heavy duty. I love the feel, the weight, and above all else, the sound! I plugged these into my iPhone while running and heard sound so much more clear than I did with my Apple ear buds. I even used them on my laptop when I was watching the new movie Confessions of a Prodigal Son so that I wouldn’t wake anyone. Low and behold, they couldn’t hear me and I couldn’t hear them either. The sound was so rich, clear and prevented other noises from interfering like standard ear buds. The SonicFuel ATH-CKX5iS come complete with additional eartips and C-tips and a convenient vinyl carrying case so you aren’t fumbling for sound.

Don’t just take my word for it, enter to win a pair for yourself! I am giving away a pair of black SonicFuel ATH-CKX5iS for  you to enjoy. They are compatible with any smart device and phone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Participating Blogs were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Karie Herring will be responsible for product shipment to winner of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact Karie@TheFiveFish.com if you have any additional questions or comments.

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Confessions of a Prodigal Son

prodigal son

Life is about creating a story. The story we write or create is based on the decisions we make banded together with His story. So often we think we have total and ultimate control over our decisions and to some degree we do. Often we are allowed the opportunity to live our life a certain way, where our Father allows us to learn the hard lessons in life, sometimes painful, challenging and can reveal the worst parts of ourselves. This week I previewed the new movie Confessions of a Prodigal Son. The movie depicts a coming of age young man who experiences the struggles we all face when trying to figure out life and the story we will write in our lives.

Personally, I experienced this same coming of age. From 18-25 I was figuring out who I was as an adult and who I was as a person outside my parents home, aside from my parents, who was I in this enormous and sometimes confusing world. Around ages 25-35 I was figuring out who I was as a woman, wife and mother. From the time I was 35 I was figuring out who I was in the world all over again. What was my purpose? What was the meaning of my life? Somehow I made my way back to my Father, where I began to embrace and understand my purpose, the meaning to life, in my life.

The story tells of how we stumble and fall. We are all struggling to find our way in the world, our world, His world and are afraid to conform to the ways of our Father at times. Placing so much pressure on ourselves to fit in with the rest of the world, to feel some acceptance, to fit in with others. What we fail to stop and see, accept, is that He is calling us back to him, that God accepts us for who we are in all our faults, fears, strengths, beauty. Our faults do not define who we are as people.

The movie follows a bit of the life of Sean (Nathan Clarkson) as he rebels and leaves his home, family and father (Kevin Sorbo) to figure out life on his own. Two years later–while still on the journey to find life’s answers–Sean suddenly finds himself questioning everything he thought he knew as he is confronted by a professor (Darwin Harris) who challenges Sean to see his life as a story; a best friend (Azel James) walking a dangerous path; and a strong and beautiful young woman (Rachael Lee) who is on her own journey to answers. Each one of these elements causes Sean to greater examine the choices he is making.

The story is one of drama, laughter, relationships, faith, and redemption, ultimately asking the question “Can broken stories have happy endings?”

The timing could not be more appropriate as we lead into the Easter season. Easter is known as a time of new beginnings, redemption, beautiful changes. Confessions of a Prodigal Son tells the famous story Jesus shared and happy endings can happen for broken people. We can all change from stumbling through life, to living a life with the love of God. Despite all our struggles and hurt we always have a Father who loves us just who we are and welcomes us back into his loving arms to change our lives, our story, through Him. Confessions of a Prodigal Son is available for pre-order through Amazon, WalMart, Family Christian and iTunes where it will be released on Tuesday March 24th. Want to see it on the big screen? You can request a screening in your area. Enjoy a timeless Biblical story retold for the relevancy of our day in age.

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When Is It Time for Adult Diapers?

aging

As we grow older, we gain an amazing sense of wisdom and we also gain a sense of gratification with the life we have lived. Lately I have been able to spend a great deal of time with my aging parents and grandparents, reveling in the lives they have lived, soaking in all the experiences. My mother is one of the assisting caregivers for my grandparents in their aging process so I have had the opportunity to experience certain situations that come with age. Even the situations that are not pleasurable. For many older adults, incontinence is one of the things they worry about, and sometimes experience, the most.

Worrying about incontinence is very understandable. Sometimes there may be a bit of denial about adult diapers becoming a part of their daily life. Many adults do not like using the word “diaper”, and that is completely understandable. My grandfather is one of these adults, at the ripe age of 84, he does not want to accept getting older though his mind is as sharp as it was when he was 40; his body, unfortunately is not as sharp and neither is the muscle tone that aids us in our facilities as we age.

incontinenceIf you think your parent, patient, or someone else you love may have to take that step in wearing something to remain healthy and sanitary, here are some things that you may be able say to help him or her to feel better about and prepare them in the situation.

Provide Him Or Her With Samples

Many people hear “adult diapers” and they think about these big, bulky diapers. They immediately think about what a baby wears, and they imagine they will have to wear something like that. They think that if they wear those big diapers people will obviously know what they are wearing. That is not how things are anymore. The disposable briefs and underwear can be pulled up and down just like our normal briefs and underwear. You can provide samples that allow them to feel how comfortable they are. They will also be able to see how they will be the only one who knows they are wearing adult underwear.

You Don’t Have To Use The Word “Diapers”

No adult wants to feel like a baby or young child. If you want ease your parent or patient’s concern,
you can refer to the incontinence products as adult underwear or adult briefs. To some people, using
the word diaper can be a bit insulting. You don’t want to add insult to injury to someone who is
already having a difficult time accepting they may need assistance with incontinence.

If you feel as if you can have an appropriate and gentle conversation with him or her, you may have
to make them aware of the things you have noticed. Sometimes as adults get older, they cannot
smell as well as they used to. They may not be aware of a smell. Many adults and their family members fear incontinence, but if you are kind and considerate in your approach you can have a better chance of getting them to at least try them.

If you need help on choosing adult underwear or briefs for someone you love, or if you want to purchase samples to show them, click here to find out more to help work through this new transition in aging. What was helpful for my family is that Comfort Plus is a company based right here in Arizona. We didn’t have to worry about which representative and if a representative could assist us, we had peace of mind with dealing with a local organization.

While we would all love to age perfectly with grace, sometimes we have to accept that our bodies age faster than we would like. However, accepting the unpleasantness in aging does not mean that we have to be treated disgracefully. Incontinence products allows our aging loved ones to still be engaged in their activities without feeling embarrassed or insulted.

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Has Social Media Become Anti Social Media

Copyright YoungKoh.com

A friend of mine posted the other day about how Facebook has turned into a feed of others posting videos they have seen and no longer a forum for conversation. His comment was profound to say the least.

“Do people still actually post things here or is just a forum to share videos you found on the internet?”

Our social media venues have become more of the anti social media as we fail to engage one another. Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) seem to have transformed into venues of mental masturbation to help pass the minutes as we exercise, exercise bowel movements and or exercise our lack of effort into our careers and selves.

Many a late nights I used to delve into Twitter and Facebook. Twitter especially, as I engaged on many a conversations, albeit some superficial “mom talk,” as my twins were much younger and I found an online community of other women who had the same subscription of life. Bantering, high level disagreements and even some catty non-sense. However, the result was all the same. Conversation.

Today I see Twitter as a monologue, at best. Almost like a telemarketing convention where all of the sellers are dialing out to potential consumers with their tweets in hopes someone will buy their sales pitch. I was saddened to see my own church guilty of the same actions. Services were provided with a hashtag to “join the conversation.” Really? Who would we be conversing with? Other members I suppose, but I found that to be very anti social as well with other members tweeting, never actually engaging in a dialogue.

Facebook has transformed itself into much of the same fashion…coupled with the sisterhood of Instagram. Timelines are littered with selfies and no longer original and or beautiful content. I have watched these two venues turn into a cesspool of narcissism interlaced into being “social.” Social would be how many likes you received for your newest photo and nothing really ever of a conversation.

Have we let our new technology and new forms of communication dilute, if not totally eliminate, any true forms of communication or dialogue? Or is this the way we communicate now these days with pictures, videos, selfies and emoticons? How do we begin to converse with one another again?

With advancements of technology and forms of communication have we catapulted ourselves into the age of anti social media? Recalling an email I received from my dad about 10 years ago, he provided me his new phone number when he was living in Iowa and said, “text me if you want to talk.” I replied and guffawed at such a request, “I don’t text Dad.” Was I flippant, naive, optimistic that communication would remain status-quo? Maybe a combination of all three, never in my wildest dreams would I consider communicating with my parents, let alone my friends in such a fashion. Never would I have imagined creating a blog when just six months pregnant to detail the chronology of my twins in utero, their lives thereafter, our lives in their entirety as a collective over the past eight years.

I suppose since our lives are so busy, social media helps to keep us abreast of all of friends goings-on. Maybe we help show them our interests with the different shares and social likes through Facebook and Twitter. Social media has helped us connect with one another instantly and receive updates on breaking events in the blink of an eye as opposed to waiting for the following day or the late evening newscast. Yet, we seem to be more anti social because we have updates so frequently, so immediate that we can even sever friendships with the click of a button, block the information we receive, filter our lives to seem, feel and look perfect.

Have these “social” venues created an opportunity of anti social behavior?

Social media has allowed us to avoid having meaningful and legitimate dialogues with the click of a button, removing people from our lives when conversations become crucial. While we can connect immediately, we can disconnect just as easily. As opposed to having a healthy dialogue, we just shut the conversation down with block, delete, un-follow, unlike. We can avoid sharing how our lives are imperfect by sharing some of the best photos of the day when the picture behind the camera would suggest normal humanity, beautifully broken. Suddenly we have keyboard muscles that we exert as our form of exercise, because to exercise our mental capacity to accept diversity that something is less than perfect or a comment is less than favorable we remove the threat. Our behavior on social media is dramatically different that in person, acting as if we lack any inhibition to hurting another because we may not actually have real life interaction with people.

Have you found yourself in the vortex of anti social media? Have you found you are only sharing videos and other posts and never really engaging in real, healthy conversations or dialogues? Has your social media become a monologue and not a dialogue?

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Winning Moves Easter Event Giveaway

Winning-Moves-1024x1024

Oh no! It’s raining and while April Showers may bring May Flowers it’s no fun for the family. So when contemplating what to include in your kids Easter Baskets think about Winning-Moves. Their games will bring back fond memories from when you were a kid and even help you make new memories with new games.

Connect 4 Twist & Turn, for ages 6 and up, is just like the traditional Connect 4 game, with a twist! Each layer of the tower twists, strategize to see if you can “Drop, Twist and Win!”

Fish, Fish, Squish! is for ages 5 and up. This game allows you to mold your own school of dough-fish and get ready to “squish” your opponents’ fish. Every three-in-a-row with the cards earns you a squish. But you’ll want to stay on your fins! Everyone else is trying to squish your fish too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Participating Blogs were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Winning Moves will be responsible for product shipment to winner of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact Joie@NetworkingPerks.com if you have any additional questions or comments.

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Spring Break and SwimSpray

swim spray

March is a time for kids (and teachers) to take that mental break before the end of school. Teachers are feverishly cramming information into their little brains and you can tell they need just a week (or two) reprieve to get back into the swing. Most of us will be taking our kids on holiday to enjoy tropical, exotic or maybe even home locations to take in a much needed break. One thing I like to keep in my arsenal of goodies for spring break is prevention treatment for swimmers hair for my little blondies with SwimSpray.

What I love about SwimSpray is that the ingredients are all natural. Not like the “all natural” we have all read about, but truly a blend of natural ingredients found from our favorite summertime fruit. A convenient little bottle of citrus without the smell of citrus. Some of you may have loved the days of old with lemon juice to remove the chlorine from  your hair, as a blond and spending many a summers poolside and with swimmers hair, lemon juice was my bane. Neck cricked over, towel on my head and constantly showering off. Knowing how much I did not enjoy this past time I surely will not inflict this on my children.

SwimSpray is just that. A spray of a blend of vitamin C and water. No harsh chemicals. No harsh smells. No drying out your hair and or your skin. Absolutely safe to use on your skin to get the drying and damaging effects of chlorine out of your pores. You can even use SwimSpray on your swimsuit to prolong the life and remove the chlorine and the chlorine smell.

SwimSpray comes in a four ounce bottle spray so it is super convenient to pack in your carry-on and small enough for even the most independent of little hands to use on themselves. Be sure to prevent spraying in the eyes and always supervise children when using this product.

Enjoy your Spring Break and summer, free of the harsh effects of chlorine with SwimSpray. Just spray  on after swimming and wash as usual. SwimSpray is available online at SwimSpray.com, local swim shops, swim schools and other authorized retailers.

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The Bonds of Trust

trust, bonds of trust, covenants

Skeletons in our closet can often become our undoing. We hold these deep dark arcanums dear to prevent hurting others and or to prevent unraveling of our relationships or the outward image we portray. Are secrets ever healthy? Can we have healthy secrets for the sake of protection not for ourselves but for others?  Should secrets ever be shared for the sake of transparency, as to eliminate any insecurities regarding hidden truths. What happens when the bond of trust is broken for the sake of transparency?

One late evening several months ago The Chad and I were laying restless in bed and we began to have a very raw conversation about secrets. We discussed some details of our secrets that we held to ourselves, the details held no benefit to the other. For some reason at that moment we felt enough trust and security in our marriage to discuss these particulars, sans judgment and bias. After 14 years of marriage we felt we have experienced a great deal together that nothing could break this bond.

However, I struggled with this conversation. I felt as if I was invaded. My secrets are mine. Not that I was proud of these personal mysteries that are a dark part of me, of which I have accepted and have shaped who I am today. Yet these details are nothing I felt needed to be shared aloud, they were particularly crude to relive. The Chad knew of my disfavor after I distributed the details my secrets, explaining some things do not need to be said.

But to what end do we determine what secrets and unknowns to share with our spouse? Our friends? Confidants?

For the last year or so that I have been serving with ministry I have been learning about secrets, self identity. As I have matured as a woman, mother, human, my understanding of secrets has greatly evolved. I used to keep secrets because of my own personal insecurities and damning actions. Something I held to myself that would greatly hurt others because my actions, beliefs, knowledge of this secret could or would cause irreparable pain. Secrets formerly meant something sinister was afoot, a wrong doing of sorts. Now my secrets are not to protect myself, as a “save my own ass from implicative actions”, but to protect others, to protect their identity. I keep secrets to protect the vulnerability of others, albeit a paladin to the dark part of themselves that they accept are part of their fiber as mortals but no longer entertain the dooming actions or way of life.

I am humbled to be entrusted with these people in my life, whether directly or indirectly, and their secrets. Humbled because they felt my love was genuine and strong enough to withstand their naked truths. I am also taken aback by those who lack the maturity, application and mutual respect to hold my naked truths.

A recent road trip proved to release an unnecessary pink elephant that The Chad and I weren’t interested in conversing over with almost total strangers. Crucial conversations happen all the time in our home. I am no stranger to confronting conflict like a freight train, straight at the situation without stopping. However, possessing enough emotional intelligence to gauge the venue of which to have those conversations is cardinal for a productive outcome. Sadly, the venue presented itself when our opinion of one of our friend’s brother was shared openly, at a celebration of life (funeral).

Aghast at the confrontation of our secret. All I could do was to remain calm in the face of the girlfriend (the confronter) to the brother whom which we carried a secret. Reassuring her that the details, of our secret, were taken out of context. In an effort to thwart what could be an escalating situation, I flatly explained our entitlement to our opinion without malice and the conversation was had in confidence. At the same time I found the “tattle tale” style blathering to be abhorrent. An assumed, confidential conversation, in which we shared a bold, albeit distasteful, opinion of this brother. The actions were intolerable, childish at best. I could only speculate what would behoove our closest friends to break our covenant of trust. Or maybe we made an assumption that something, this “secret” of our opinion, such as this just didn’t need to be said or shared and they would mutually respect and acknowledge this view. Better, maybe we could have kept our big mouths shut…either way…losing battle.

Maybe we overestimated the assumption of emotional intelligence, respect, and confidence. Even with something as trivial as mentioning to your best friend that his brother is an asshat.

How do you overcome a broken bond of trust?

As I mentioned, ministry has assisted my transformation regarding personal confidence. Maturity helps in this aspect as well; recognizing and respecting that not all information is to be freely shared, no matter how anonymous. Our same road trip, The Chad and I discussed his recent mentoring group. The thought is thrilling for me to watch him be a part of a revolutionary group of men that allow him to be beautifully raw and unadulterated in his views, opinions, to be open in the haven of other mutually respecting men. In the midst of our discussion I was intrigued as to the breadth of their conversations, while he was very high level, I used deductive reasoning. Segue into the confidentiality agreement and covenant he is required to sign and the clause that he cannot share details with me. Considering I had already read and signed the agreement before he did, I was grinning ear-to-ear like the Cheshire cat noshing the canary at the sheer pleasure.

Quieting my joy, I listened as The Chad began to detail the reason for the covenant, of which I already knew the reasoning, but hearing the details aloud are always helpful. He mentioned that secrets, stories, moments in our lives do not always paint us in the perfect light. (Preaching to the choir) Sadly, not everyone has the maturity, awareness or where with all to accept we are all broken. If details were to be shared outside of their fraternity, this could then be sideways into gossip…even trivial details. Especially since a portion of the men in his group have crossed my path directly or indirectly as well as their wives of whom I am friends with. All tangled together in this small world of ours. Additionally, some details are not theirs to share with others, but to take in as listening and self reflection.

A part of me only wished that our friends knew and acknowledged these same contractual bonds. No anger or ill will is felt, but definitely a sense of mistrust and the overall lacking of security to disclose in a way confidants would normally. More so I am saddened that our level of friendship has been impacted.

As for my marriage. I enjoy that he and I have separate parts of our lives that we do not share with one another. Actually I revel in the fact that I can enjoy a part of me aside from him. From our children. From our friends. Even though we are married and even though we have deep relations with one another, with friends.

I suppose with any relationship, albeit casual and or professional, boundaries need to be set in order to determine clear lines. Boundaries could be the cornerstone to convalescing broken bonds of trust. But how does one repair even the most trivial levels of trust? When loyalty, trust and respect are so highly valued in any relationship, how can anyone shrug off a simple betrayal? Maybe I am looking at this too intently, but I would hate to trust someone with something more sensitive, high valued, precious, only to be betrayed again. How do you deal with betrayal? Even betrayal on the most juvenile level?

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