Story Time For Me Review and Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I was provided free books in order to complete this review. I was in no way monetarily compensated for my time and all opinions are my own.


When I was contacted by Story Time For Me, I was ecstatic! A little background about the company: Story Time For Me specializing in creating e-books for toddlers and early elementary school children. You can purchase books from a series and soon you will have the opportunity to purchase a personalized book with your child's name and picture! The books seem to really capture the child's attention with vivid pictures and character voices that make the books come to live. My favorite feature was the animations. The animations made the book come to life even more and my children really seemed to enjoy watching the characters move about and act out the story being narrated. There are currently 3 series to choose from; Ben the Mouse, Fern the Fox, and Flame the Dragon. Each series cater to a specific age group, which makes it a lot easier for the child to relate and stay focused.

Now for the GREAT NEWS! Each of my readers will have the opportunity to receive 2 free e-books from Story Time For Me! Simply follow the directions below and your children will be enjoying their books in no time!

  1. View the demo on how the product works:
  2. Follow this link to sign up and receive your free books!

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8 Types of Toxic Friends - Excelle

8 Types of Toxic Friends - Excelle

Associated Content

January 12, 2009

A "toxic friend" is defined as a friend who contaminates our social life with destructive or negative behavior. The top 8 toxic friend profiles can be found below, along with ways to handle each one.

1. The Bubble-Burster This friend is always there with bad news to counter any good news you might have. Getting married? She happens to have the average national divorce rates memorized. Also known as Debbie Downer or The Wet Blanket. This friend is unnecessary in all situations, but if immediate disposal is not an option, try limiting conversations with her, especially where news-sharing is concerned. Keep your happy news to yourself when she's around and it will magically stay happy.

2. The One-Upper

This friend likes to fancy herself well-rounded or an overachiever, but she mostly lives to make others feel inferior. Mention an upcoming trip to Aspen, and you'll soon learn about her family cabin there, not to mention her countless medals and trophies for skiing. The best thing to do with people like this is ignore them. They crave approval, expecting people to envy them, and nothing will slow their nauseating self-congratulations like ambivalence. No matter how impressive their stories are, keep reactions minimal and they'll stop finding the thrill in overshadowing you.

3. The Employer

You might as well be on this friend's payroll for all the wingwoman duties you perform. You break up with guys for her, never outdress her, and even carry on obligatory conversations with a guy so she can chat up his hot friend. Playing second fiddle is never fun and can cause serious damage to your self-esteem. Relationships like these are draining and she'll just have to survive without you for a weekend. You have other friends, don't you? Call them. She'll likely be threatened, but this is because she is insecure. You don't need her permission.

4. The Predator

Never leave a boyfriend, boss, or even new friend alone with this social life stealer. The Predator just cannot help wanting what others have and cannot be trusted with the special people in your life. Introduce her to your new man and before you know it, she's sitting a little too close. Made a new friend? Keep them apart or she'll be punching their numbers into her phone. Don't even think about letting her meet your boss: she'll be strolling the halls of your office in no time...and hogging the boss's attention! If you have one of these bandits in your life, treat your social life like an expensive car in a bad neighborhood...locked up tight!

5. The Bodyguard

Whether its a guy hitting on you, a new friendship, or even an established relationship, this friend just doesn't think you're qualified to properly judge human character. She constantly feels the need to "protect" you from bad relationships, but ironically, she's the one you need protection from. Let her know that you can pick your own friendships and relationships. While you might appreciate that she has your back, remember that she's not just blocking bad could be missing out on a lot!

6. The Charity Case

This friend is always down on her luck and can't seem to catch a break. Whenever you think you can't take another second of her and you're ready to hit the road, she needs another favor or shoulder to whine on and you're trapped until the incident blows over. Performing your own damage control will require fighting a little fire with fire. When she calls with a favor to ask, say you're down on your luck, too. It's highly unlikely that she'll try to repay the kindness you've shown her. The Charity Case is a taker, not a giver, and she'll likely fade away in search of a new knight in shining armor...and you'll be off the hook.

7. The Train Wreck

You know you should look away, but there is something about this dramatic friend that has you hooked. She's either in legal, financial, or social trouble (drinking/drug problems, spending addictions, and abusive relationships are the most common scenarios) and it's completely, 100% her fault. People offer their help and advice everyday but she doesn't want to hear it. With such a resistant attitude, her life is be mostly private and she kindly keeps you out of her problems, right? Wrong. In fact, you always seem to be bailing her out. Even though your opinions and perspectives are not welcome, she has no problem keeping you on the phone until 3a.m. while she complains about her problems. It might be hard, especially since you obviously care about this friend, but the intervention must stop. Once she falls on her ass, there will be nothing left for her to do but get up. That's when you can start helping again.

8. The Houdini

You haven't seen this friend in a little while...and the worst part is that you don't know why. You thought things were great, the bond was strong, and you were inseperable for a little while. Suddenly, she's not calling anymore and you're seeing her around with a different crowd. The problem is that you invested time and emotion in the relationship and her fairweather friendliness has left you feeling hurt and rejected. You're jealous of her new best friend and inevitably wonder what you didn't have to offer the relationship. Take comfort in this: that new best friend is going to be in your position in a few weeks and the Houdini will be sampling a new flavor. Commitment-phobes treat people like light bulbs because they are scared of getting rejected themselves. Meanwhile, you know how to treat a friend and will have plenty of them in your there's something to be jealous about!

Use this list wisely and refer to it everytime you begin to question a friendship. Remember, if none of your friends fit this criteria, but the relationship is still suffering, look over the list again. Could the toxic friend be you?

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Nivea® Body Happy Sensation®

Remember when you used to pillage on your mom or sister's dresser and play with her lotions and her Nivea@ Facial cleanser? Remember that fresh smell when you opened the jar of facial cream? Remember rubbing it everywhere it wasn't supposed to go? Don't act like it was just me, hahaha. Well, Nivea® has a new hit product! Nivea® Body Happy Sensation is a lotion that leaves your skin feeling fresh and beautiful. The scent is very light and it actually does smell like Orange Blossoms! So it's not one of those scents that leave that weird after-smells like some lotions do. After putting it on, my skin felt instantly rejuvenated and didn't leave a feeling like I forgot to wash some soap off my skin or make me itchy. It is definitely a winner in my book and it made my skin very happy!

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Recipe of the Day: Avocado, Spinach, and Pumpkin Seed with Lime Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette Ingredients

1/2 cup Lime Juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon minced jalapeño Chile, seeded and deveined
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salad Ingredients

10 oz baby spinach
2 avocados, sliced thin
1/2 cup roasted salted pumpkin seeds


1. Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients except oil in small bowl. Whisk in Oil.

2.  Toss spinach in large bowl with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat.

3.  Add avocados, pumpkin seeds and additional vinaigrette if needed; toss gently.

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Recipe of the Day: Green Beans with Caramelized Onions and Bacon


8 slices of bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups sliced onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 lb. fresh green beans
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup cider vinegar


1.  Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Stir frequently and drain on paper towel.  

2.  Heat oil in same skillet over medium heat.  Cook onions, salt, and pepper covered for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.  Uncover and continue to cook for 5 more minutes until onions are golden brown and tender.

3.  Cook beans in large pot of lightly salted water for 6 to 8 minutes until crisp-tender. Drain and cool under cold running water. Drain well.

4.  Before serving time heat beans onions, and water in large skillet over medium-high heat until heated thoroughly, stir frequently.  Remove from heat and stir in vinegar.

5.  Sprinkle bacon over beans. Serve.

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