Archives for January 2009

True Crime Book Reviews: Clara Harris Murder

Out of control is an excellent true crime story. As you know, I love true crime books and I’ve decided to read more in 2009. I saw Clara Harris on Oprah years ago. I didn’t see the entire episode, I just remembered a silver Mercedes being involved and she was a dentist accused of murdering her dentist husband.

While browsing books in Borders I came across Out Of Control and decided to add it to my reading arsenial. I’m glad I added it, I couldn’t put it down.

David and Clara Harris were married on Valentine’s day. How romantic. They built a million dollar dental business and purchased a mansion. Clara was helping to raise David’s daughter, who she adored.  She gave birth to twins, which put the icing on the cake.  Life was good, until David started an affair with the office assistant. Clara had wrapped herself in their home and family and was unaware of David’s infidelity.  Everyone was talking behind her back.  Even her step daughter who worked in the office was aware of her father’s unfaithful behavior.

Oh, but what’s done in the dark will come to light.  Clara soon learned of the betrayal. She fired the office assistant and hoped to save her marriage.  She wasn’t willing to throw everything away that easily.  David agreed to work on the marriage. He arranged to meet Gail and end their relationship formally.

Clara no longer trusted David and decided to hire a private investigator to ensure David was not straying from the marriage again. David realized that he had true feelings for Gail, the office assistant, and he missed her. He told his wife how he felt. He arranged a meeting with Gail, but not to end their relationship. Clara sensed it and became obsessed with her husband’s whereabouts. On the night of the meeting, she and her step-daughter drove around the city trying to locate David. The destination would end at the Hilton Hotel. Clara came up with a scheme to flush David out. She called his cell phone to tell him one of the children was sick and he needed to come home. David didn’t move fast enough so Clara called again. She headed to the elevator so she could confront him.

Next, the elevator doors open and there stands David and Gail holding hands.  Clara lost it. She beat the crap out of Gail, ripping off her blouse and pounding her head against the floor. Gail is in shock, David had told her that he and Clara had an open marriage.  Security escorts Gail to her car with David trailing behind. Clara and her step daughter leave the hotel and head toward her silver S-Class Mercedes. Clara realizes that her fairy tale marriage is over, her world has crumbled. Once inside the vehicle, Clara points the car toward David and accelerates.  As if that wasn’t enough, she throws the car in reverse and backs over him. Hell have no fury like a woman scorned.

The author did a great job bringing out the characters and details in the book. I would suggest that you purchase the book so you can experience it for yourself. It’s a great read!

Diaper Clutch Give Away

Oh, so cute. We found this adorable diaper clutch and wanted to share this fabulous find with our readers. We understand how difficult it is to stay organized with a baby or toddler. I have a 16 month old grandson, and it’s so much easier to have everything in one place when I change him. His attention span is so short, all it takes is a second before he becomes distracted or wants to take off. It is imperative that I have everything within reach. This diaper clutch does just that.
It is the perfect item to carry when running errands. You can also stick this fabulous clutch inside your diaper bag or purse and have everything readily available for a quick change. The clutch is large enough to hold up to 4 diapers and wipes can be included. Why not tuck a travel size bottle of powder, diaper rash creme or hand sanitizer inside. Everything is at your disposal. I tuck disposal diaper bags inside my clutch when running errands too. I’m able to dispose of the diaper or seal it properly until I get home.
Hip and funky fabrics are available under their New and Classic Styles. I adore the Morning Glory fabric, but The Diaper Clutch will custom design for you. Step out in class ladies, this hip little clutch is chic. We can be mothers and grandmothers without being boring. Most importantly, any item that makes my life easier gets 3 snaps and a booty shake.
Cynthia Poblete, owner of The Diaper Clutch, has been gracious enough to offer our readers a free clutch. You could be a winner. Here’s how:
Head over to the Diaper Clutch and check out this great product. Let us know what style and fabric you would like if you’re a winner. This give away will end February 25, 2009 at mid-night. The give way is open to US and Canada Residents 18+ only. The winner of this give away will be notified via email, so please leave a valid email address. Posts without valid email addresses will be disqualified. The winner will have 3 days to contact us. Failure to contact us within 3 days will result in disqualification.
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Have fun browsing and good luck!

Multiple Births – Quintuplets Overwhelm Mom

Five beautiful babies. Adwai Malual, a 28 year old first time mother from Sudan, gave birth to 4 girls and a boy in an emergency birth last month while visiting her sister in Prince George’s County. It took a team of 30 doctors and nurses to handle her birth. Fortunately, mom and babies are doing well.
Adwai says she is exhausted, but she feels blessed to have all five of her bundle of joys. Her quintuplets are the first at the Anne Arundel Medical Center in the hospital’s 106-year history. Her mother is visiting from Sudan to assist with her new grandchildren. The quintuplets go through approximately 40 diapers and numerous bottles of formula each day. Adwai and her mother work in 12 hour shifts feeding, changing, burping and holding the little darlings. Adwai said by the time she gets the last baby feed and changed, the first is crying again. Can you imagine, lol. I struggled to handle one, I don’t know what I would have done with five at once.
Adwai’s husband has not seen his children. He is over seas working as a liaison for the military in southern Sudan, and her mother will return home soon. Adwai is without insurance and she is unsure how she is going to continue to sustain the children. Even though the United States would be a better place to raise her children than war torn Sudan, Adwai realizes it is expensive to live in the United States. She said donations came in for several weeks, but they have slowly tapered off. Everything she has, has been donated from the clothing and diapers, to the crib to the changing table. Usually corporations such as Johnson and Johnson, Pampers, Similac etc. assist families with multiple births, but they are not volunteering to assist her. The economy has taken its toll on everyone.
If you would like to assist Adwai or know of an organization who can help, please contact Reverend Barbara Sands, the hospital chaplain at the Anne Arundel Medical Center, who is coordinating donations. Reverend Sands may be contacted at bsands@AAHS.org or 443-481-5120.
May this family be blessed.

Poingo Give Away

It’s amazing how far technology has come with children’s books. We had the opportunity to review Poingo, the latest in interactive books for children 3 – 7, and we were pleased with the results. This review was a great way to promote Giggles & Sugar Kisses goal to promote reading in 2009. Our starter package contained: two books, Nemo and The World Of Cars, and the Poingo stick. Poingo is the pointer used to make the story come alive on various pages in the books.

I put the book to test with my nieces ages 3 and 7. The set is very easy to use. Poingo has a switch that you can move to the on and off positions and was ready to use immediately. The children were able to figure out the positions easily and loved moving Poingo across the pages. The 3 year old choose Nemo, which left the 7 year old with The World of Cars. Both books were entertaining, but The World Of Cars seemed to be the favorite. They enjoyed playing the games found on various pages as well.

One of the things that I liked about the games is that it allowed the children an opportunity to try again if they missed an answer. There was a response to tell them if they were right or wrong. The questions asked were easy to difficult depending on where you placed Poingo on the page. I felt the questions challenging. There was lots of sounds while moving the Poingo around the pages too.

My 16 month old grandson wanted in on the action. He loved the noises while moving Poingo. I wouldn’t recommending a child his age playing with the books alone, the pages can be torn easily.

Overall, I give Poingo 3 snaps and a booty shake. It definitely goes into Grandma’s bag. It’s a great entertainment activity for the kids and it would make a great birthday gift. I will be purchasing Hanna Montana and Cinderella to round out the set for my nieces when they visit.

Did I mention that these books would be great while you’re traveling with your child or on visits to Grandma’s. In addition to Nemo and The World Of Cars, Cinderella, The Lion King, Pooh’s Wishful Thinking and Sleeping Beauty are available. High School Musical and Hanna Montana will be available shortly.

One of our readers will be the winner of a Poingo starter kit. That’s right, you could be the lucky winner. Here’s how: Visit My Poingo and check out their site. Let us know which books interest you. We will randomly select a winner from the posts. For extra entries:
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This give away is open to US and Canada residents 18+ only, and will end February 20, 2009 at mid-night. Posts with invalid email addresses will be disqualified. Winner will have 3 days to claim their prize. Good luck!

5 Reasons You Should Not Loan Friends Money

Would you lend a friend $5,000?  How about $3,000? Frankly, I don’t think it’s wise to lend family or friends money. I’ve done it twice in the pass and I was repaid, but it wasn’t thousands of dollars like this request. I once helped a friend out of a bad marriage and another time to help a friend get back on her feet after she put her mother in a nursing home.  The second friend tried to make it a habit, I ended that.     

Why am I leery this time? Could it be because it’s a male or the size of the request? To be honest, I have a hard time with a man asking me for money. Especially large sums of money. So maybe it’s both. When he asked me to lend him the money, I really wanted to ask if he saw a sign that stated The Bank of Rhonda in my front yard. What irritates me is this person lives in a 4,000 square foot house, drives a luxury vehicle but is unable to pay their bills. Did I mention they took a vacation overseas? 


Do you know the quote: “I don’t loan money because it causes amnesia.”  – Unknown  Yes, I love it and here’s a few other reasons why I don’t believe it’s a good idea to loan family or friends money:



1.  It’s rare that family or friends will repay the money –  Friends and relatives believe that they really don’t have to pay you back because of the friendship or the fact that you’re family.  


2.  Help people don’t enable them – Offer to help the person with their finances rather than loaning them money. It may be want they want, but it could be what they need.  


3.  Loaning money can jeopardize your relationship – Many friendships/relationships end because money is not repaid. Assess whether your relationship is more important than the money.  


4.  If the priorities are wrong, it won’t be a priority to repay you –  If a person is not paying bills timely or being financially responsibility, you won’t be a priority either. 


5. Your finances could be harmed –  If the money you loan is not paid back, it could potentially harm you financially. You could use that money for emergencies or to have a saving for future hardships. 


Most people can’t afford to loose money, so assess your relationship and decide whether money is worth ending your relationship over. Nearly 57% percent of friendships or relationships end because money is not repaid. 

2009 Book Challenge

To help with my 2009 goal to read more, I decided to enter a book challenge. There are 2 options for the challenge. I’m going for option 2:


1) The first option is to simply buy one book and read it. The book you buy and read should be a book you have chosen for yourself for pleasure. It should not be work related and books read to your children do not count.


2) The second option is to buy one book a month and read it. I am asking that those of you who will probably already have one book read by January 2 choose this option. Books can be on your other challenge lists, it is only necessary that you buy them and read them! The challenge will end December 31, 2009. Head over to the 2009 Book Challenge and sign up.

Here’s my book list for the challenge:

  1. She Wanted It All – Kathryn Casey
  2. Lust Killer – Ann Rule
  3. Too Late To Say Goodbye – Ann Rule
  4. Gone Forever – Dianne Fanning
  5. Murder So Cold – Patricia Springer
  6. A Descent Into Hell – Ann Rule
  7. Pure Murder – Corey Mitchell
  8. Because You Loved Me – William Phelps
  9. The Darkest Night – Ron Franscell
  10. Such Good Boys – Tina Dirmann
  11. Never Leave Me Again – John Glatt

Satin & Cheetah Pillowcase Give Away

No kiddy give away this time ladies, this give away is hot and it’s just for you. This red satin and cheetah print pillow case has just been added to the inventory of Sharmooz Luxury gifts. Not only is this pillowcase soft and sexy, it could lead to a good night’s sleep. Satin pillows are also great for protecting your hair. Because I have my hair colored regularly (Don’t tell anyone), I use a satin cap or scarf to tie my hair at bedtime. On those nights that I desire a little romance, I leave the satin cap and scarf behind. Although I’ve been told that it doesn’t matter what I’m wearing on my head, I just don’t feel sexy. Usually by morning my hair is tangled or going in a 100 different directions and I suffer the consequences of not covering my hair when I brush it.

I don’t own satin sheets and pillow cases, but I am thinking of investing in a set. Oh baby! In the mean time, I could use this red hot number to rest my head on. It would be great for napping or resting my head while reading a book and sipping tea too. Can you picture yourself on this luxurious pillowcase?

You can claim it and receive it by Valentine’s Day. Sharmooz Luxury Gifts wants you to pamper yourself this Valentine’s Day. Ann Tillage, owner of Sharmooz is offering one of our readers the pillowcase shown. Visit Sharmooz and leave us a comment on your favorite luxury gift.

We will randomly select a winner from the posts, so please leave a valid email address. This give away is open to all US and Canada residents 18+ only. It will end midnight February 6, 2009. You will have 2 days to claim your prize. Failure to respond to the email will result in disqualification.

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Enjoy browsing Sharmooz and good luck!

Die, My Love

I finished my first book for 2009, Die, My Love. For those who missed my initial post, one of my goals for 2009 was to read more. This was the first book that I’ve read by Kathryn Casey. I found her book well written and engaging. Usually if a book doesn’t get my attention by Chapter 2, it becomes difficult for me to continue reading. I had no problem finishing this one. I polished it off at the doctor’s office yesterday.

If you are a true crime reader, you won’t want to miss this baby. It’s about a renowned Richmond, VA college professor who marries a pretty, but dysfunctional Texas attorney who can’t pass the bar or hold a job. After 3 children and a lot of drama, the marriage eventually unravels. They go through a bitter divorce. The professor’s ex-wife and sister in law work to make his life a living hell. They send emails and make phone calls to his neighbors and colleagues to tarnish his reputation.  They take it to another level and accuse him of emotional abuse and work to have him jailed.  Calling these women wicked would be an understatement. 

The professor fights back and wins custody of his three children after convincing the court that his wife is unstable, lazy, manipulative, untruthful, and wastes money. His bitter ex-wife moves back to Houston, TX with her sister and a court order to pay the professor child support for the three children. The professor moves on with his life. He starts dating after finding someone on match.com and works to get his life back on track.

Things appeared to be going well, but unfortunately his nightmare was not over. On the day before Halloween in 2004 he is gunned down in his driveway while retrieving his morning paper, and left to die in a pool of blood. Who would murder a man in his driveway while his children sleep in the house?  His ex-wife or his ex-wife’s sister. He was hated equally by both.

There are no eye witnesses to his murder, and his ex-wife and her sister live a thousand miles away in Houston. They both claim to have been in Houston the time of the murder. To complicate matters, the sisters look alike and would do anything for each other. They use each others cell phones, cars, cloths, homes, money, and the list goes on. They weave a tangled web. So who’s the murder? Now that I won’t reveal, but I would recommend that you read the book to find the answer to that question.

I don’t remember this murder in 2004, but I googled it after I completed the book and was surprised to find that the murder was covered nationally and on Court TV. It was interesting to see the characters in the book up close.

I would be willing to exchange books with other true crime readers. If interested please leave a comment. Also, we want everyone to let us know what you’re reading, we would love to hear about the books that interest you too.

Baby’s Growing

Xavier, are you eating Gran’s chips & dip?  Even though he got caught on camera and dip is all over his face, the response was no.  Whatever you ask him he shakes his head no. This picture was taken Christmas Eve.  It’s hard to believe that he is now 15 months.  I hope that he knows how much Gran loves him.  My eyes tear up with joy just looking at this picture. 

It has been amazing to watch all of the stages that’s he has been through.  As you can see, he loves potato chips and french onion dip.  Gran loves them too.  He is definitely a chip off the old block.  He just smiles and dances when he sees a plate containing these favorites.

Gran’s a little worried about her little sweetie.  The doctor said he is under weight.  He eats little and runs all day, so he’s burning up whatever he consumes.  I would love to hear from all of my readers, especially any moms who have experienced this problem and what steps you took.  Xavier has always been small, he was born about 2 weeks early.  Should I be concerned?

Winnie The Pooh Returns

Are you a Winnie The Pooh lover?  I am and I’m thrilled to hear that a new Winnie The Pooh book will be published in 2009.  The anticipated date is October, almost 80 years after the original book. 

I decorated my daughter’s nursery in a Pooh Bear theme.  That was almost 30 years ago.  I still call her Pooh Bear.  I have a 15 month old grandson now, and I love to dress him in Pooh clothing and read Pooh books to him.  He too is becoming a Pooh Bear lover. 

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood is the new book.  They’re keeping the details under wraps, but I’ve added the book to my list of Christmas gifts for Xavier.  I’m sure it will thrill the young and young at heart