Grandma's Back Room
I'm a pretty big chicken and afraid of many things, from swimming to speaking in public to falling down stairs. Yep, I'm a chicken. While I accept that about myself, I refuse to let it limit me, keep me from doing things that scare me. For it's often the things that are most frightening that end up being the most exhilarating and offering the greatest reward upon doing them, even if that payoff is simply an increased sense of pride or power.
Because of my determination to not let fear hold me back, I've successfully completed a tandem skydive, won a water-based challenge despite not knowing how to swim, appeared on television for a cause, screamed my way through the scariest of haunted houses, and more, despite fearing I'd lose my lunch—or my life—each time. So when I was offered the opportunity to review an experience of a lifetime from Cloud 9 Living, I jumped at the chance...on the outside. On the inside, I was scared to death, but said "Yes!" anyway.
Cloud 9 Living is an "experience gift" company that offers unique and memorable experiences as gifts, touting an experience portfolio consisting of more than 1,700 experiences in 43 regions.
Before sharing my scary-yet-so-much-fun experience, here's an explanation of how Cloud 9 Living works:
I was offered by Cloud 9 Living my choice of experiences to review, for free. I perused what was available in my region, settled on trying out zip-lining—something I've long wanted to add to my "Did it!" list—and was disappointed to learn zip-lining isn't offered this time of year in my region. Which makes sense, considering the cold and snow. So I settled on the next best (and indoor!) thing: Indoor skydiving!
In not time at all, I received confirmation—and a lovely folder announcing my experience gift, just as shown in the video—that my husband and I would each get two one-minute flights (plus gear and instruction beforehand) at SkyVenture Colorado.
Now, two minutes total time in the wind tunnel doesn't sound like much, but we were assured that it's equivalent to one to two real dives. "Many flyers find that each minute feels much longer, due to the adrenaline involved with flying in a 120 mph wind stream."
As I mentioned, I've done a real skydive before, about 20 years ago. So has my husband. Still, we both were anxious about our indoor dive. The training beforehand though, from our friendly SkyVenture Colorado instructor Landon, assuaged our fears a smidgen, thanks to his sense of humor and thorough explanation of the hand signals we were to know and use as well as his gentle-yet-adamant instruction to relax and enjoy.
So after the 45 minute or so instruction, which included a short video, Jim and I and our half-dozen classmates (three being parents with their tween son) suited up in the gear supplied by SkyVenture Colorado while Andrea, our youngest daughter, played photographer. Then we lined up as directed by Landon and took our turns on our first one-minute jumps.
A few things that surprised me about the first one-minute flight: I slobbered. Big time. Landon had mentioned it may happen, and it did. Also, it was pretty darn hard to control my body. But with Landon directing me on positioning and such (keep chin up, arms bent at the elbow and near my face, and legs bent slightly), I flew. Or fell. Or floated. Or, more accurately, bounced here and there throughout the windtunnel for the full minute, which felt, as they said, much longer than sixty seconds.
Jim pretty much bounced around, too, on his first turn, as did most of the rest of the class.
But then, we all were ready for our second one-minute turn, each of us more determined to follow Landon's instruction better, now that we had a feel for the flight experience. And what a difference! Here, my flight then Jim's, with Landon at our sides:
Such fun! Such an experience! Such a super opportunity that I would not have had, if not for Cloud 9 Living offering it to me, free for this review.
Bottom line: I highly recommend my experience to anyone with a sense of adventure. More so, I recommend Cloud 9 Living for gifting the adventurous on your holiday list with a present that will excite and exhilarate like never before. And don't forget to add an experience to your own wish list, too, while you're at it.
You can do more than add an adventure to your wish list, though. Right now, you can win your own experience by entering Cloud 9 Living’s “9 Days of Christmas Contest” here. For nine days, from December 16 through December 24, Cloud 9 Living will draw one daily winner for the following prizes, culminating with the Grand Prize drawing on December 24th.
- Day 1 Prize: Flight - Learn to Fly
- Day 2 Prize: Relaxation - Spa Package
- Day 3 Prize: Driving - Drive a Stock Car & Stock Car Ride Along
- Day 4 Prize: Foodie - Food Tour for Two
- Day 5 Prize: Golf - Golf Lesson with a PGA Pro
- Day 6 Prize: Romance - Dinner Cruise for Two
- Day 7 Prize: Adventure - White Water Rafting for Two
- Day 8 Prize: Adrenaline - Tandem Skydiving
- Day 9 Prize (GRAND PRIZE): Experience of a Lifetime - Fighter Pilot for a Day
For more information on indoor skydiving, visit SkyVenture Colorado.
Disclosure: I received a free experience for this review. Anecdotes and opinions are my own.
Friends Complete Series Box Set now out on Blu-Ray — Enter to win a limited edition prize package [CLOSED]
In celebration of the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release of the Friends Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set November 13, Warner Bros. is awarding one Grandma's Briefs winner a Limited Edition Friends prize pack with two oversized cappuccino mugs and a picture frame just like the one on Monica’s door, exclusive to the Warner Bros. giveaway!
Entering is fun and as easy as 1-2-3:
ONE — Take the 30 Days of Friends: Trivia Challenge. Come back every day to earn a different Friends character badge, unlock hidden badges, and earn awesome Friends content along the way.
TWO — Enjoy the Mashup Clip Countdown. Relive all your favorite Friends moments in these fun clips. Each week a new clip will be unlocked (and will remain available for viewing even after the giveaway ends).
THREE — Name your favorite Friends character in the Rafflecopter widget below! Plus, nab a few additional entries while you're at it, as noted on the widget.
It really is that easy!
Entries accepted through Nov. 28. U.S. residents only. One winner will be drawn by Random.org Nov. 29.
Disclosure: I was offered for free a Limited Edition prize package from Warner Bros. to be given away to one reader, to be shipped to winner by Warner Bros. representative.
Exercise your noggin' with this wonderful game made exclusively for Grandma's Briefs readers by Ruth Curran of Cranium Crunches. It's a fun challenge to enjoy with your loved ones — featuring plenty of photos of my loved ones — while providing a particularly good brain workout for us, um, folks of a certain age.
Memory Match is a great short term/working memory exercise. It helps you work on your ability to overcome distractions, sort out similarities and differences, place items in space, and, in the case of these albums, work out your smile muscles! Racing the clock adds another couple elements — impulse control, thinking under pressure, and visual processing speed.What I like most about Memory Match is that, as the difficulty increases, you are required to think just a bit differently. You have to change your strategy when the photos get more similar in both subject matter and content. Good memory is about developing good strategies and I love a game that requires you to change (or at least vary) your strategy to get better. Another way to mix it up just a bit!
How to play
Choose a level, then click on the photo album and get clicking to make matches. It's that simple!
Please note: If, like me, your vision needs a workout, too, and the images are a little too small for visual comfort, PC users can increase the size by hitting CTRL and the + key to make the images as large as you like.
If after the first round the cards won't turn, simply refresh your browser to get things going again.
Enjoy! And do boast about your scores in the comments. (My best so far on Level 1 is 42 clicks.) Feel free to come back again and again to work out your memory muscles while having fun, either alone or with your grandkiddos.
I like to pack fun into my Grandma Bag to share with my grandsons each time I visit them. Packed in my bag for my most recent trip was more than just movies and makings for holiday crafts, though. This last time I packed juice. And not just any juice, but fun juice.
How can juice be fun? Well, how can juice be anything but fun when it's TummyTicklers and TummyTickler Tots from In Zone Brands.
You see, the juice itself is good—100% juice, with no sugar added, in fact. Healthy. Tasty. Good. Just what moms and grandmoms look for in a juice. That's what pleases the grown-ups about TummyTicklers and TummyTickler Tots.
What pleases kids, though, the primary consumers of the juice, are the ever-so-awesome, collectible, spill-proof tops designed as characters kids of all ages love. There's Woody and others from Toy Story, Spider Man, Batman, Pooh and his buddies, Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine, and so many more. The six-ounce TummyTickler bottles for preschoolers have fun tops little kids will love to drink out of and collect. The four-ounce TummyTickler Tots bottles for the very youngest of juice drinkers have fun tops, too.
The tagline for TummyTicklers and TummyTickler Tots is 100% Healthy. 100% Fun. As far as Bubby, Mac and Gramma were concerned with the free samples received for this review, the juices 100% lived up to that claim.
What we loved most: Bubby and Mac, of course, were thrilled with the bottles. Bubby's favorite (no surprise) was Batman, followed closely by Spider Man. Mac got a kick out of his Bob the Builder bottle as well as those with construction vehicle tops. Gramma (and Mommy) appreciated that the spill-proof lids really were spill proof. Also especially nice was that the TummyTickler Tots is juice that's already cut with purified water, saving the hassle of watering down Mac's juice for him, as is typically done when serving juice to toddlers.
Other things we all loved: The boys enjoyed the flavor of the juice. Gramma and Mommy enjoyed that once the juice was gone, the labels could be removed, the bottles and tops washed, and the boys happily sipped away on water from their character-topped bottles all day long. (A definite plus for desert-living boys who need to stay hydrated.)
TummyTicklers come in packages of three six-ounce bottles (MSRP $5.97) and TummyTickler Tots come in packages of three four-ounce bottles (MSRP $5.47). Find out more about the juices and where to find them at www.tummytickler.com and www.tummyticklertots.com and on Facebook.
Enter to win a prize of one package of TummyTicklers and one package of TummyTickler Tots. Here are the details:
Disclosure: I received this product free to review, as well as the offer to give away packages to readers. Anecdotes and opinions are my own.
I by no means run with a Hollywood or high-income crowd, yet I do have a few acquaintances who regularly indulge in Botox injections to reduce their facial wrinkles. They're pleased with the results, so I say more power to them.
For me, though, when it comes to Botox and similar treatments, all I can think is Needles to the face? Botulism injected in my face? Thousands of dollars invested in poking poison into my face? No way you'll catch me indulging in such treatments.
That doesn't mean I don't have lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and under-eye circles I wish would go away, so when I was offered the opportunity to review and give away (yes, a giveaway—see below!) a needle-free anti-aging serum to reduce all of the above, I signed right up.
The seemingly magical potion is called Elite Serum. Pages of technical details, research and information on the ingredients can be perused at your leisure by visiting www.eliteserum.com, but the bottom line is that Elite Serum is a highly concentrated blend of pharmaceutical-grade peptides and natural moisturizers that claims to reverse the signs of aging. Specific ingredients, in laymen's terms, include seaweed, glycerin, purified water, hyaluronic acid, and more.
From the Elite Serum website, the "advanced features and benefits" of the serum include:
|Formulated with the highest concentration of pharmaceutical-grade ingredients.|
|Rich seaweed extract base as used by the world's most expensive serums.|
|Contains scientifically advanced peptides proven to cause DNA rejuvenation.|
|Delivers a youthful and vibrant appearance around the eyes.|
|Rapidly brings oxygen and nutrients to the eye area.|
|Reduces the appearance of dark circles and puffiness.|
|Diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.|
|Feel the difference directly under and around the eye area within minutes.|
|Ultra-lightweight and fast-absorbing application.|
|No injection needed. It works on areas where the botulinum toxin solution can not.|
|A Cooling, hyper toning sensation indicates that the serum is working.|
|Scientifically designed as hypoallergenic, non-sensitizing and non-irritating.|
|Can be used safely and beneficially in conjunction with other skin care products.|
|Ability to work alone as needed as a powerful eye serum.|
|Manufactured in the USA in an advanced FDA licensed pharmaceutical laboratory.|
I was intrigued and excited to see how well such claims stood up.
I've been using the serum morning and night for about a month now, and I can honestly say I see improvement in the lines on my face, especially one deep line in the center of my brows, courtesy too much furrowed concentration. That line is nearly gone. I had hoped to eliminate my crow's feet completely, but it didn't happen. At least not yet. There is, though, a definite decrease in the deepness of those wrinkles at the edge of my eyes.
My age spots and dark circles are still there, and because I look at myself daily and didn't take before and after photos, I don't know for sure whether those have or have not lightened. Overall, though, I'm pleased with the results in just one month.
What I love about the Elite Serum: When I first received my .47-ounce airless syringe for the review, I thought the syringe container was a hokey poke at the non-needle treatment. Turned out, though, that the syringe was the ideal method for dispensing exactly the amount needed and only that amount. At $89.95 per syringe (which should last 45-60 days, depending on use), it's great to know the serum won't be wasted by using too much in one application. I also appreciated the fact the serum could be used with other facial products, especially as it does indeed tighten the skin and make it feel as if a moisturizer must be applied afterward.
What I didn't love so much: As is the case with nearly all anti-aging treatments, it's not a permanent fix. Packaging notes that "The maximum benefits to your skin will be seen following 6 months of regular application." Of course, Elite Serum never claims to be a miracle cure, so it's only fair to assume one would need to keep on using it. I was just really wishing for a truly magical potion for my wrinkles. (Aren't we all?)
Elite Serum can be purchased two different ways at www.eliteserum.com. There's the "Replenishment and Savings Program" in which you pay $59.95 for your first unit then every 45 days you will be automatically shipped a new order and billed $59.95 per unit plus shipping, and you can cancel at anytime. The second option is a one-time purchase of one syringe for $89.95 plus shipping.
The makers of Elite Serum have generously offered to give away one Elite Serum syringe to a lucky Grandma's Briefs reader. Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below through October 19. The winner will be drawn via random.org and notified by email October 20.
Good luck! And happy wrinkle erasing, my friends!
Disclosure: I received the product free for review, plus the offer of product for a giveaway, to be shipped by the maker to the winner. Opinions and anecdotes are my own.