Best Water Bottle Ever

a mug

I purchased this stainless steel water bottle in red from LL Bean as a Christmas gift for myself.  It seemed a little pricey at $25, but I have been looking for a spill proof bottle that can handle essential oils.  Stainless Steel is the better option as glass is breakable.  My husband bought 4 malt cups for just this use, but because they are not insulated they are extremely cold to hold when containing icy beverages, they have tons of condensation issues, and they are easily tipped and spilled by children.  Needless to say, my LL Bean cup is perfect!  It is indeed spill proof, can hold cold or hot beverages and maintain that temperature, fits into our vehicle cup holders, and is easy to handle with one hand.

I am not reaping any rewards from LL Bean, but just sharing this fantastic find.  But that’s not all!  I have a $10 off gift card that expires soon.  First come, first serve.  Enter this code:  2000120911881788393  PIN 8746  This card expires on February 11, 2015 and can only be used one time.  LL Bean offers free shipping on all purchases as well.

I also have a 20% off coupon.  These offers cannot be combined.  So, if you missed out on the above gift card, enter the promo code DJ 7303 8873 91  at checkout and receive 20% off your entire purchase.  There is no expiration on this, but it can also be used only once.

If you use either of the above, please comment to let the readers know that it was taken.  And, let me know how you like your water bottle!  Thanks for reading my blog.  Have a blessed new year!


Movie Review


Oops!  I totally missed July’s book review and now we are two weeks into August.  Sorry.  I attended the IHM Conference (Immaculate Heart of Mary) in July and had a very difficult time choosing which Catholic movies to pick within my $100 budget.  With the assistance of the owner of the bookstore, I was able to pick 5 movies and have watched nearly all of them already.  Instead of a book review for July/August, I will give you my very humble opinion on the flicks that I have enjoyed thus far.

The Footprints of God Series by Dr. Stephen Ray (Ignatius Press)

This is a collection of 6 separate movies including: Abraham, Moses, David/Solomon, Mary, Jesus and Peter.  Each comes with a study guide making it a great Bible study or apologetics tool as well as being entertaining.  Dr. Ray (Patrick always calls him George because he looks like the Seinfeld character George–no offense, Dr. Ray) walks us through the Bible on location in the Holy Land.  It is really an incredible experience for those of us who cannot travel to the Holy Land, but it also makes the Bible come to life as we see the places where these events took place.  It is a great way to teach Salvation History to your children or just expand your own understanding of the these historical people and their stories.

Solanus Casey: Priest, Porter, Prophet  (Ignatius Press)

This was a personal pick for me.  My father was a novice at the monastery in Detroit where Fr. Solanus lived at the time (1950’s).  My grandfather, believing that Fr. Solanus was a saint, instructed my father to save a lock of hair.  You see, my father was assigned to the barber shop during his novitiate.  My father did as he was told and I remember that lock of hair sitting on his dresser for all of my childhood and hearing the story of Fr. Solanus.  My father sent the hair with documentation of how it was obtained to Rome.  Fr. Solanus is currently referred to as Venerable Solanus Casey as we await one more miracle and pray for his canonization.  This documentary includes actual photographs and video footage of Venerable Casey.  It is always good to read and learn about the saints and other holy people who serve as role models for our own lives, but this was especially meaningful knowing that he lived in America in recent time.

Please join me in praying for the beatification of Venerable Solanus Casey

Please join me in praying for the beatification of Venerable Solanus Casey


St. Guiseppe Moscati: Doctor for the Poor (Ignatius Press)

Very entertaining and inspiring, this movie chronicles the career of Dr. Moscati as he lived and practiced in Italy.  Some theatrical additions were added to the story for entertainment purposes, but the essence of his story remains true to life.  A small booklet is included with the film that discloses the added literary features.  This a movie vs. documentary which will grab your attention and hold it throughout the film.  The original format is in Italian, so you have the choice of subtitles or an English version.  We found the English version to be entertaining all on its own as the lips and words don’t quite match up.  I was so inspired by St. Moscati’s story that I mailed the movie to my godson who is a doctor in Nebraska.


Padre Pio: Between Heaven and Earth (Ignatius Press)

Also a movie version vs. documentary, this film kept my attention for the duration.  It also captured the attention of my teens and ten-year old son who were in the room with me.  It is a two-part film and I had to wait to watch part two until the other three were available to watch it with me!  Like Venerable Solanus, Padre Pio was also a Capuchin monk living at the same time but at a monastery in Italy.  This movie was originally filmed in Italian as well.  The English translation is off in some places as well as the pronunciation.  I found the subtitles to be more accurate, but they did not match the spoken words.  This could prove to be a distraction, but not so great as to not learn and benefit from viewing the movie.


Ocean of Mercy

I have this one out on loan, so I am not certain of its publisher.  Is that what you call it for movies?  Anyway, this is my absolute favorite, all time Catholic movie and I learn something new each time I view it.  Ocean of Mercy was filmed while Pope John Paul II was the current Pope and, obviously, still living.  Since then, he has become St. Pope John Paul II and that makes this film that much more amazing when you view it.  It is a three-for-one punch as it covers the lives of three saints:  St. Faustina, St. Maximillian Kolbe, and St. Pope John Paul II.  Their lives overlapped physically and spiritually during the 20th century just prior to and during the Second World War.  You will be inspired by the heroic acts and divine intervention in these Saints lives during an incredibly dark time in human history.  If you only watch one movie, it should be this one.  You will not walk away untouched.


I’ll keep you posted on more great movies!  Remember, my friends, family and fellow CATH members all have access to my movies and are welcome to borrow them at any time.  These are wonderful entertainment pieces, but they also speak to our hearts and souls calling us to our higher purpose.  And don’t forget the popcorn!

On Phones, Warranties, and Republic Wireless

I didn’t start out wanting to do a phone review, but after the experiences of the past  eleven days it would be an injustice not to share my experiences with you.   First, the back story.   Ever since we have had cell phones in our home, my husband has used Hawk Electronics and bought his own phones from ebay.  We didn’t have to have a contract and saved money by buying used iPhones vs. the latest version.  Because I am at home most of the time, I had no need for a data plan and we just used our wi-fi to use the apps and internet.  This worked really well for us until ATT forced Hawk out.  In October 2013 we were notified that my phone and my daughter’s iphone (hand-me down from Grandma) would be forced into data plans and our monthly phone bill would increase by over $100.  We had heard about Republic Wireless, and the new Moto X was due to be released in November.  Allison and I decided we would give it a try and break from the Apple products we had come to know and enjoy.

It did not disappoint.  The Moto X was simple to learn and use with the best benefit of unlimited talk, text and wi-fi data at $10 per month!  When I traveled up to Kansas City I upgraded to a data plan for the two weeks and switched my plan back upon my return.  My husband took out Square Trade warranties for $97 per phone as insurance policies since we did have to buy the phones for $299 each.  Overall, the average cost of the phone and usage was way less than the iPhone.  Another benefit came when we travelled to Mexico.  My husband’s iPhone  texting and data had to be blocked to avoid expensive international roaming fees.  My phone had full talk and text wherever WiFi was available.  I was able to Skype with my kids and communicate with friends back home, which came in handy when Icemaggedon hit and our flights were delayed.

Fast forward to Sunday, April 7, 2014.  My two-year old son lay on the bed next to me running fever and feeling more than a little puny.  The next thing I knew he was vomiting on my bed and in the chaos of cleaning it all up, caring for him and scrambling for towels and such, my phone got scooped up with the dirty linens.  The washers were both full and running, so I set the pile next to the machines.  My daughter would later report that she heard my phone ringing, but couldn’t find it.  By the time she reported it to me, my phone had been washed on the sanitize cycle.   It was dead.


We filed a claim with Square Trade and shipped it to them on Monday.  The following Monday we received an email that it was beyond repair and they were sending a check for $599.  So, the insurance was a big bonus!  It covered the cost of the insurance, the cost of the phone and the $75 deductible for the repair assessment.  Yes, it took a week to get the results, but we didn’t lose money along with the phone.  I ordered my new phone from Republic on Monday and today it came in the mail!  Two days later, fully loaded with my contacts, photos and text messages I have a phone.  No annoying iTunes, no limited cloud storage, no connecting with a computer.  I have a working phone and it took no brain power on my behalf to make it work.  Yay!

I’m not completely knocking Apple here.  I love my iPads and we use them daily for school, work and recreation; but as far as phones go and backup for said phone, the Moto X is hard to beat and Republic Wireless rocks the price.  Now, time to go set up a Square Trade warranty on this bad boy, just in case I make another goof-ball move.

You’re welcome.

I just went to purchase a warranty from Square Trade and they sent me a coupon to share with you! Coupon code: FRIENDSHARE. For a two-year warranty at $69. After you purchase the warranty, be sure to go into your account and enter the serial number and submit your receipt to complete the warranty contract.

And click this link for Republic Wireless. If you sign up, we each get $20!