Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Youve Been Reviewed: Your Sweet Tooth Needs Little Debbie Snacks!

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Youve Been Reviewed: Your Sweet Tooth Needs Little Debbie Snacks!: Little Debbie snack cakes and other sweet treats are manufactured by McKee Foods Corporation in Collegedale, Tennessee, a few miles from Ch...

Your Sweet Tooth Needs Little Debbie Snacks!

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Little Debbie snack cakes and other sweet treats are manufactured by McKee Foods Corporation in Collegedale, Tennessee, a few miles from Chattanooga.   This small-town, family-run business produces tons and tons of snack cakes, which is why it is rated Number One when it comes to this type of product.

If you open my pantry any given day you will usually find a package (or two) of Little Debbie cakes as my husband is a big fan!  He prefers chocolate, but he won’t turn down any of their products. When we made our last house move we were able to pick up a pile of Little Debbie packing boxes – which made our move a sweet one for sure!

Does Debbie Really Exist?
Yes, absolutely, Debbie is the granddaughter of the founder of the company.  When you see her face on the packaging you will know who she is!  She was only 4 years old when her face and name first became famous!

What Products Do They Make?
  • If you like Brownies – they have Cosmic Brownies, Fudge Brownies and Little Brownies.
  • They have more cake varieties than you can shake a stick at including – Swiss Rolls and Devil Squares plus 14 others.
  • Don’t forget pies – lemon, cherry and chocolate to name a few.

Does Little Debbie Help with Fund Raising?
Yes, they do.  Schools, churches and other organizations use their products for fund raising.  You can contact them via their website to fill out a form regarding this and they will contact you.

Is this a Southern Product Only?
No, absolutely not.  These products can be found in all 50 states.  That’s not all; if you are in Canada or Puerto Rico you can buy these snack products.

Are These Products Expensive?
No they are not expensive compared to other snack foods on the market but they are made with high quality ingredients.

This photo was taken at the local Piggly-Wiggly store.  You can find displays like this one at your favorite grocery store!

Now that I have your taste buds in an uproar, if you want any more information you can check out their website and then head to your local grocery store or dollar store and you will find them!  Happy Snacking!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

How to Avoid Bedbugs in Hotels

Knowing how to avoid bedbugs in hotels is a necessity these days. Once almost eradicated in the U.S., the bedbugs are back in hotels with tenacity. This ABC article says that since 2001, the National Pest Management Association has seen a 71% increase in service calls. I have checked the bed and hastily retreated to avoid bedbugs several times. Run-ins like these are increasing. Knowing how to spot signs of an infestation has helped me avoid bringing bedbugs home several times.

In the same night I found them in two hotels and caught a red flag about a third hotel. Fortunately, I have been able to scurry away before the bedbugs could catch up. Here's how I avoid bedbugs in the first place.

These steps may not work for everyone, but they 've kept my home bedbug free. A few minutes to check is time well spent. After all, no one wants to bring home hitchhikers like the ones in this photo.

There is plethora of websites telling me that these creepy critters are not a health hazard unless I'm allergic to them. Those websites about bedbugs are somewhat reassuring but not fully. Physically harmful or not, bedbugs are guaranteed to drive my already questionable mental heath over the edge. Their presence in my home is most unwelcome and apparently expensive.

According to this article on Dateline learning how to avoid bedbugs is the most effective way to deal with them. To that end I've become very aggressive about searching them out.

It would be easy to say that bedbugs only effect hotels in 'xyz' price range but that's not so. Low end to high end hotels can be infested. The free Bedbug is helpful for spotting potentially infested hotels but I feel that nothing beats taking precautions.

Knowing what to look for is the first step to avoiding bedbugs. Online photos at and the video on Free Bedbug Advice other online sites have been helpful. Other signs include black dots on the mattress, red stains and of course the tiny live bugs themselves. Bedbugs can look like dots of sprinkled pepper to flat round disks that remind me of ticks.

These things are opportunistic hitchhikers. Worse yet, they can hid around mattress seams, headboards, night stands, furniture, picture frames - you name it.

Reducing the opportunity for them to hitch a ride in your things is important to avoiding bedbugs. This begins at the front desk. If the response of the desk clerk is anything but yes it gives me pause. A conversation with one desk clerk caused me to leave immediately.

The desk clerk refused to let me look at a room until I fully checked in and they had my credit card information on file. According to her, the hotel stopped allowing people to look at rooms because they couldn't be rented again once the sheets were removed. It had apparently become a problem for guests to look at a room, pull the sheets back and leave.

She couldn't imagine why people would do that but I could. That's one of the red flags of possible bedbugs. I thanked her for her time and took great care not to touch anything on the way out.

Even when checking a room I never enter with anything more than my keys and flashlight. Everything else stays in the car until I've thoroughly checked the room.

The first thing that catches my eye in a hotel room is the bedspread. Red staining can indicate bedbugs. Next, I pull back the sheets and mattress cover to look for staining, anything resembling flakes of black pepper or live bugs.

A good solid thump on the headboard dislodges anything hidden and I check the mattress itself plus the crevices. The next thing is to pull the mattress from the box spring and to take a look at the dust ruffle. If this is all clear then I take a quick look at the nightstand and finally the carpeting next to the wall.

At this point the room is probably okay but I take a look at the chair and those crevices anyway. I've gone to a lot of trouble to avoid bedbugs. One quick look at the furniture won't hurt.

If anything looks suspicious I wash my hands with hot soapy water and go back to the front desk. Sometimes desk clerks are nice sometimes they aren't. I made the mistake of checking in to one hotel before checking the room. That will never happen again.

To further avoid bedbugs my suitcase gets placed on the luggage rack (also checked). The plastic bag for dirty clothing goes on the table, desk or bathroom floor. It is not placed on the carpet.

Before leaving, I'll use the hotel laundromat. The clothing goes straight into the suitcase there. I figure that will help avoid bedbugs that could sneak in. If there isn't a hotel laundromat I'll tie the plastic laundry bag as securely as possible. Right before putting it in the car I'll thump it on the ground a few times. This will hopefully cause any bedbugs to fall from the outside of the bag.

Heat of more than 114 degrees is supposed to kill bedbugs. In the summer, the bags will remain in the car overnight. Summertime temperatures in the south can run over 100 degrees. The car temperature will climb much higher. I figure that will take care of any lingering bedbugs.

These steps may seem like a lot of trouble. So far we have been able to avoid bedbugs and that's good enough for me.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Pancake breakfast fundraiser update for mission team

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Here is the pancake breakfast fundraiser update that you have all been waiting on. This series is a departure from the normal articles that appear on You've Been Reviewed. Given the local interest it seemed best to post updates here. This way everyone can stay abreast of the developments. After all, it isn't every day that a team from the churches in our area get to share God and learn about Him in turn, in Alaska.

The pancake breakfast fundraiser at Wesleyanna UMC was a success. Lots of new faces joined the team in the fundraising efforts. Tickets were priced at $5.00 which included all-you-can-eat pancakes, plus sausage, scrambled eggs and drinks.

Profit from the fundraiser was around $875. People were generous enough to donate items, or to provide funding, so that the cost of raw ingredients were covered. Sausage, pancake mix and syrup were donated by individuals that wanted to help. Several others gave the funds to provide other essentials. The end result was a pancake breakfast fundraiser that gave a 100% profit margin and people tossed in a few extra dollars here and there.

Also, everyone seemed to have a good time. That's important when you're trying to raise money for any cause.

Other fundraisers are coming up. There is a murder mystery dinner at Jones Chapel UMC on April 25, the team will be hosting a jewelry party where 80% of the jewelry price will go to the mission team. A photographer will be taking family portraits in time for Mother's Day. A yard and/or craft sale is also being discussed.

The team is also accepting donations of craft supplies and Vacation Bible School materials for the trip. Email me at if you can help with items. 

Keep watching this blog as we go along. We'll be posting updates on our travels as we go along and about all other future events. It should be a fun ride. Thanks for virtually coming with us on the mission trip!