Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Circle+Bloom Review & Free Giveaway (Including an IPod Shuffle!)



Ok Bleeps... let's all join hands and come together in the circle.  Focus on your inner eye, and communicate with Mother Earth.  Use Dragon's Breath... in one nostril and out the other.  Are you feeling at One with your being?  No?  Here, smoke the incense, and chant "Spermie Wormie, Spermie Wormie" while skipping in a circles around a bowl full of chicken gizzards. 

Still not working?  Have you tried doing three back flips while chugging a Maca smoothie, then dive into Downward Warthog.  When the moon is full, make love on top of a 11 Pumpkin pies.  Then wrap your abdomen in cloth soaked in snake oil.

Still not pregnant??  Well, I'm at a loss.

Look, there's a lot of "new age" business out there to help increase your fertility.  Devoid of any kind of science, these folks focus on us Infertiles who will prey upon us Infertiles who will literally try anything new if it even vaguely promises to improve our odds of conceiving.  Anyone who buys this stuff is just grasping at straws, obviously.

And I may or may not have a box full of that crap. 

Can you blame me?  I'm not saying I'm not doing all the traditional stuff as well... Clomid, ultrasounds, fertility doctor, etc.  But if keeping a fertility stone underneath my pillow improves my standing with Fate or Mother Nature or The Stork or whoever decides which people get kids and which ones don't, then I'm doing it.  I'm not even going to be embarrassed about it.  Well, maybe about the pumpkin pie one but only because it left such a bizarre stain on the carpet. 

Unfortunately, a lot of this voodoo, new age stuff gives the more scientifically-sound alternative medicine a bad name.  Acupuncture may have at one time elicited an eye roll from you, but now you're hooking up with Dr. Needles on the regular.  How does it work exactly?  Science doesn't exactly know, but it does note that it works.  Does acupuncture actually create change within our body?  Or is it psychosomatic, and our body makes changes because we expect it to. 

Either way, what does it matter?  If it works, it works. 

I've done a lot of stuff the past few years, both in traditional and alternative medicine, to improve my fertility.  In addition to acupuncture, I've done fertility yoga, fertility exercise, fertility diets, Chinese herbs, hid fertility medallions around my bedroom (they were gifts, I swear), and any number of other things.  Most had some science to back it up.  Some were nothing more than going on faith.  But EVERYTHING I've done has focused on changes to my body.  Nothing addressed changes within my mind. 

Then, a few months back I became acquainted with a program called Circle+Bloom.  Joanne, co-founder of Circle+Bloom, is on Twitter, and I liked her right away.  Mostly because she didn't try to sell me something.  She was just nice, and helpful.  She asked questions, and solicited feedback.  And I'll be honest, I'm a simple creature.  I really liked their website design.  It's full of soft pretty colors and cute little chicks.  So that's how they first caught my attention.

Then, the lovely Jennifer at Baby Making Machine announced she with pregnant on the first month of using Circle+Bloom's program (click the link to read about her experience).  Well that caught my attention.  Jennifer discussed how using the program helped her mind/body connection.  I had a "DUH" moment... why hadn't I thought about trying to improve that brain thingy too? 

I was sold.  Then, right about that time, Joanne asked me if I'd like to give the Circle+Bloom program a try.  Ummm.... hmmmm.... let me think about that... YES! 

I waited until my next cycle started, and the dove right in.  Circle+Bloom is a guided mediation program.  I know what you're thinking, please reference the voodoo listed at the top right?  Why don't I just get out my crystals?  Change my name to Moonbeam?  Trust me, I'm not the type. 

I elected to do the program right before I went to bed at night, unless I was getting acupuncture that day and then I listened to it while the needles did their work.  Each day there is a session that's about 15 or so minutes long, and it was exactly what it sounds like--guided mediation.  Targeted for where you are in your cycle.  Whether you're cleaning house during Aunt Flo, waiting for the Big O, or hoping for implantation... there's an app for that.

I'm not gonna lie, I laughed at some points.  I think it's Joanne who does the mediation's themselves, and I honestly don't know how she doesn't bust out laughing when she's instructing you to imagine you're a chicken sitting on your eggs.  She also does some reverse psychology during the "Ovulation Special" track, and I felt a little awkward thinking about a time when I DIDN'T want to get pregnant (was there ever such a time?) in a room full of other people during acupuncture (hopefully there weren't any Sookie Stackhouses around to see what I was thinking about). 

Occasional cheesy guidance aside, I dug the whole thing.  First thing I noticed was I was sleeping better.  Since my D&C last fall, I've really struggled with insomnia.  I mean, REALLY struggled with it (please see post on infomercials).  The meditation mellowed me out before bed, and I was able to fall asleep faster and not wake up in the middle of the night.  For that alone the program was worth it's weight in gold to me.

Here's the other thing that happened:


Yeah, it surprised the hell out of me too.  To a PCOS gal, it's a special day when we ovulate.  It's a legendary day when we ovulate AND you can confirm it on an OPK (ovulation predictor kit).  For whatever reason, our particular plumbing problems make it hard to detect ovulation on an OPK.  The only thing I had done differently that month was this program.  At the end of the month, I felt like I had focused my energy on fertility in a positive and constructive manner rather than in a worrisome, fretful way.  Like I had Superman laser vision, and it burned right into my ovaries!  Bend to my will, Ovaries! Bend, damn you! 

Nothing magical happened at the end of the month, I didn't get preggo.  The holidays happened, Aunt Flo came to visit ON Christmas morning (how thoughtful of her, Merry Christmas to me).  And new cycle began. 

And in my infinite flakiness, I forgot to start my Circle+Bloom program again.  Aside from that, did EVERYTHING the same... fertility drugs (Femara), acupuncture, etc.  Only this month I did NOT ovulate.  Stupid ovaries.  And now I have to take progesterone to force Aunt Flo to visit.  (Sigh)

So, that's my bottom line.  Last month I ovulated when I used Circle+Bloom, and this month I didn't use it and I didn't ovulate.  A scientific study?  Not so much.  But for me, it's enough to keep me on the program from here on out.  But there is plenty of science out there that talks about the importance of stress reduction and the mind/body connection.  What do you mean, which studies?  What do I look like, your science teacher?  But you can check them out on Circle+Bloom's site (nerd). 

Long story short, my opinion is this:  Yes, it's a little cheesy sometimes.  Yes, I felt a little touchy-feely doing guided meditation.  But I sleep better, I ovulated, and I felt all warm and fuzzy inside.  I can't scientifically prove it, but I'm pretty sure it made my little Grinch heart grow ten times in size.  I love it.  I'm a true believer. 

Of course, they could have put subliminal messages in the program to make me say I love it.  But that's for you to decide.  It would certainly explain why I cluck like a chicken every time Simon Cowell appears on TV. 

And here's the best news of all...  You can win your very own Circle+Bloom program!  And it comes pre-loaded on an IPOD SHUFFLE!!!  (You can choose a pink or green one)

I know, it's frickin' awesome.  Circle+Bloom's fertility program, and an iPod Shuffle, for free!

The value of the Circle+Bloom program is $59, and the value of the Shuffle is $60.  Total prize package value is $119!
Here's the rules:
-Be a follower of the Busted Plumbing blog (mandatory)
-Leave a comment below with something you learned by visiting Circle+Bloom's site (It's full of great info, and pretty colors, so this should be easy) (mandatory)

For extra entries (please leave separate comments for each entry):
-Become my Facebook Fan
-Become a Circle+Bloom Facebook fan
-Tweet "I just entered @BustedKate's giveaway for @circlebloom's fertility relaxation program on an iPod! http://bit.ly/ci4ZH0"
-Follow @CircleBloom on Twitter
-Add my button to your blog!
-Post about this giveaway on your blog (3 extra entries, please leave 3 comments)
-Download Circle+Bloom's Free Trial (3 extra entries, please leave 3 comments)







Also, by entering this contest you are also consenting to me giving your email address to Circle+Bloom. 

The Contest will end on midnight on Monday, February 15th (President's Day), and I will announce the winner the next day. 

Disclosure:  The Circle+Bloom program was provided to me free of cost to try out.  I received no financial remuneration, and my opinion was not influenced in any way by money or any other compensation.  Like anyone could influence my opinion anyways.

Thanks for entering, and good luck!! 

220 comments:

  1. I already follow your blog.

    I did not know how to spell Hypothalamus - or that it is the size of a walnut - or that it controls your stress and your fertility! And that makes sense now why they affect each other even more!

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  2. I am already your facebook fan...and fan IRL too!

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  3. I am became a fan of Circle&Bloom on FB.

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  4. I already downloaded the free trial...just haven't tried it yet.

    post 1

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  5. I am def a follower/fan of your blog :)

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  6. I am def a follower/fan of your blog :)

    Something I have learned:

    The widely prescribed drug Clomid works on your hypothalamus to have it produce GNRH to the Pituitary.

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  7. I am a fan of your facebook :)

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  8. I am a fan to Circle+Bloom as well. :)

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  9. I just tweeted about this: ttc4toolong

    I just entered @BustedKate's giveaway for @circlebloom's fertility relaxation program on an iPod! http://bit.ly/ci4ZH0

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  10. I have your button on my blog :)

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  11. I am following @CircleBloom on Twitter

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. I love the free trial! I just wish I would have the extra money to get the whole program.

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. I downloaded the free trial a bit ago and have been using it with this IUI cycle :)

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  16. The free trial has helped DRAMATICALLY in me being able to sleep :)

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  17. Her voice is so calming and the music is perfect!

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  18. I follow Circle+Bloom on Twitter....

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  19. And I'm a Circle+Bloom fan on FB....

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  20. And I'm a Busted fan on FB......

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  21. From the website I learned how essential a healthy mind-body connection is-love her website!

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  22. lots of comments and lots of entries to follow.
    1st off I have been following your blog for a while now ;) and from the circle+bloom website I have learned A LOT more about the program and that there are different meditations for different times in your cycle

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  23. Im already your facebook fan :)

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  24. I'm now also a Circle+Bloom facebook fan

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  25. I follow @circlebloom on twitter

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  26. your button is proudly displayed on my blog

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  27. I have downloaded circle+bloom's free trial and will now comment 2 more times ;)

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  28. free download entry #2

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  29. free download entry #3

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  30. I'm a follower! Yeah, me!!!

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  31. I'm all about the mind body connection and am amazed at the increased positive physical and physiological responses the program generates!

    Very cool website.

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  32. I have your button - it's the best!

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  33. Downloaded the free trial!

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  34. Looking forward to reaping the benefits of better sleep...if its helped others hope it helps me!

    Free trail entry 2

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  35. Thanks for doing this giveaway!

    I downloaded the Free Trial

    entry 3

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  36. Hello! Great post - I have never heard of Circle+Bloom!! I love your writing style btw :) Thank you for the chance to win an iPod with the program preinstalled! I look forward to seeing if I win!

    On the Circle+Bloom site, I learned that a woman has 300,000 - 500,000 eggs at puberty. I guess I didn't realize it was so many!

    I already follow your blog (and really enjoy it)

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  37. I'm your fan on Facebook!

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  38. I'm a fan of Circle+Bloom on facebook!

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  39. I tweeted about the giveaway on Twitter @cre13

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  40. I am now following @CircleBloom on Twitter!

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  41. I've added your REVIEWS button to my blog!

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  42. I've downloaded the free mp3! (1)

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  43. I've downloaded the free mp3! (2)

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  44. I've downloaded the free mp3! (3)

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  45. I posted about the giveaway on my blog (1)

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  46. I posted about the giveaway on my blog (2)

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  47. I posted about the giveaway on my blog (3)

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  48. Downloaded the C&B free trial- 1

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  49. Downloaded the C&B free trial- 2

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  50. Downloaded the C&B free trial- 3

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  51. i follow your blog - i love that its only 15 minutes a day! i'm super excited about this!!

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  52. i'm circle+bloom's facebook fan now

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  53. downloaded free trial - 1

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  54. downloaded free trial - 2

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  55. downloaded free trial - 3

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  56. I have lurked for a while but now I am a follower. Trying to get you to 300!

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  57. I had no idea that all of the physiological attributes of our bodies could be changed by a change of mind!

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  58. As you already know, I'm a loyal Bleep!

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  59. While this isn't exactly news to me - it's nice to know that Circle + Bloom agree - Stress can impact your fertility!

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  60. downloaded free trial #1

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  61. I have downloaded the free trial (1)

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  62. downloaded free trial #2

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  63. I have downloaded the free trial (2)

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  64. downloaded free trial #3

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  65. I have downloaded the free trial (3)

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  66. I tweeted!
    I just entered @BustedKate's giveaway for @circlebloom's fertility relaxation program on an iPod! http://bit.ly/ci4ZH0

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  67. Your beautiful button is already on my blog! One of these days I'm going to have to learn how to make one of those.

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  68. I'm also a loyal @CircleBloom follower on Twitter!

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  69. Wow only 15 minutes a day? That sounds like something I'd definitely try.

    I will be trying the free trial.

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  70. I added your button to my blog!

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  71. I posted about the giveaway! #1

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  72. I posted about the giveaway! #2

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  73. I posted about the giveaway! #3

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  74. I am a follower of the blog.

    Also as far as what I learned... I knew the hypothalamus was involved in hormones, I hadn't even connected that to mean it was involved with stress as well........

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  75. I am your fan on facebook. :)

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  76. I just twittered about your giveaway. :)

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  77. I started following @CircleBloom on twitter.

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  78. I'm now a fan of CircleBloom on facebook.

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  79. I just downloaded the free trial.

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  80. I just downloaded the free trial.

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  81. I just downloaded the free trial.

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  82. I blogged about Circle+Bloom.

    www.nikusroad.blogspot.com

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  83. I blogged about Circle+Bloom.

    www.nikusroad.blogspot.com

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  84. I blogged about Circle+Bloom.

    www.nikusroad.blogspot.com

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  85. "The widely prescribed drug Clomid works on your hypothalamus to have it produce GNRH to the Pituitary"..... Good to know, since I had NO IDEA about that and have already done 6 cycles of the stuff! I hope I win, I am willing to try just about anything at this point!

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  86. I've just discovered your site recently, but became a follower immediately. I've looked at their site and seriously think this may be the extra piece of the puzzle I am missing. I had never thought to use meditation, and didn't realize how tied into everything stress is.

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  87. I am a follower of your blog.
    By visiting the site, I learned what the corpus luteum was and its purpose. I never knew that and was too lazy to look it up before :-)

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  88. I am a fan of Busted Plumbing on facebook

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  89. I am a fan of Circle+Bloom on FB

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  90. totally just tweeted about the giveaway -- @CadyncesMom

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  91. I Follow @CircleBloom on Twitter

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  92. added your button to my blog

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  93. Love this giveaway! I am a fan of Busted Plumbing.

    I learned a lot. How the program works. Using different meditation for different points in your cycle. That the Hypothalamus works on both infertility and stress...explains the connection.

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  94. I am a circle + Bloom FB fan

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  95. Your button is on my blog

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  96. 1. I downloaded the free trial

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  97. 2. I downloaded the free trial

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  98. 3.I downloaded the free trial

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  99. I follow you and have your button on my blog and follow you on facebook(just wait, one of these days I'll show up on your door...) and I signed up for the free trial, but didn't download it because I've only had my work computer- does that give me 1/2 an entry? And I'll tweet in a moment. But seriously, I'd love this. I didn't realize only 15 minutes a day! I can do that...

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  100. Hey Kate! I'm already a follower of your blog.. and I've actually been checking out this Circle+Bloom for a few weeks wondering if I wanted to try it out.. In checking out their site I learned the LH and FSH come from the pituitary gland. That word always kinda makes me gag. Is that normal?

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  101. I am already a facebook fan!

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  102. I'm also a Circle+Bloom facebook fan!

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  103. I tweeted that I entered your contest.. I really hope I win : ) : )

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  104. I'm following Circle+Bloom on Twitter as well!

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  105. Silly Kate, your button is already on my blog!

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  106. I posted on my blog about your give away.. http://pouringoutmyinsides.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/a-give-away-from-busted-kate/

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  107. I posted on my blog about your give away.. http://pouringoutmyinsides.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/a-give-away-from-busted-kate/

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  108. I posted on my blog about your give away.. http://pouringoutmyinsides.wordpress.com/2010/02/04/a-give-away-from-busted-kate/

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  109. I downloaded Circle+Bloom's free trial, can't wait to get my meditation on!

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  110. I downloaded Circle+Bloom's free trial, can't wait to get my meditation on!

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  111. I downloaded Circle+Bloom's free trial, can't wait to get my meditation on!

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  112. Well, honestly, I already knew about Circle+Bloom and have been to their website. They are lovely and I think anything that you can do to help the emotional side makes the journey better even if you don't get the outcome you want.

    Er...and you're in my Google Reader--does that count?

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  113. I used the circle and bloom program this past month. I have no idea what works and what doesn't but I"m up for trying ANYTHING! I found it relaxing and I have heard that meditating once a day is great on stress...so I continue to do it!

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  114. Hey Kate, I follow you already and what I learned by looking at the Circle + Bloom website was that this is a relaxation program. I thought it was more of a "herbs" and "vitamins" program!

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  115. I am a fan of the Busted Plumbing facebook page!

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  116. I became a fan of Circle + Bloom on Facebook!

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  117. I have tweeted the tweet! :-D

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  118. I follow Circle + Bloom on twitter.

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  119. I have your button upon my blog :)

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  120. I posted about the give away on my blog. Entry #1

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  121. I posted about the give away on my blog. Entry #2

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  122. I posted about the give away on my blog. Entry #3

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  123. I posted on my blog about the give away.

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  124. I posted on my blog about the give away. :)

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  125. And yet again, I posted on my blog about the give away. :)
    (Thanks for the extra entries for doing so!)

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  126. I of course follow your blog and I learned from the site that just fifteen minutes a day can make an impact on your outlook and in your cycle.

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  127. I tweeted your message! http://twitter.com/Amaprincess/status/8774732145

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  128. I follow @circlebloom on twitter

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  129. Your button is on my blog!!

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  130. I have downloaded and used the Free Trial :) I LOVE IT! It helps me sleep at night like a baby :)

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  131. I love the free trial! I just wish I would have the extra money to get the whole program.

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  132. Every time I use the free trail it helps me get really relaxed and relief some of the stress that TTCing has put on me. :)

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  133. I just found out about your blog. thank you for the laughs amongst a tough time. I had never heard about the circle+bloom before. I appreciate your honesty about it and I want to try it because of that. maybe I can win!

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  134. Kate,

    You had me laughing out loud with your review. I've been through the 30 Circle + Bloom sessions myself, but not for conception. I've been there and done that ( 2 children born in and around 4 miscarriages, a few years of secondary infertility and a failed IVF cycle). I learned alot as well and I'm still learning.

    I discovered Joanne on Twitter several months ago. The mind/body program that Joanne and Susan produced syncs with my own philosophy that the brain is an amazing organ and the mind definitely influences our health and wellbeing. My training as a coach and fertility/miscarriage support is completely based upon using mental attitude, emotions and new behaviours to heal and create the person we want to be and the life we want to live.

    By the way, I didn't chuckle over the guided imagery while I listened, but I did have to go back and listen to a few tracks again in order to establish whether I heard them correctly. I laughed when I tried to explain it to my husband, though.

    I am now extremely happy to have become the fertility coach for Circle + Bloom. You can find an explanation of how I work with their customers on Joanne's blog. If you purchase their Complete Fertility Package, you get a fertility coaching session with me included.

    Kate, make sure I don't win the ipod, as I'm sure I am ineligible. If it's okay with you, I would love to post a portion of your review of the program on my C+B page on my Your Great Life blog. Can you please email me directly? I will retweet your competition.

    Thanks, Lisa
    lisa@yourgreatlife.co.uk
    http://yourgreatlife.typepad.com

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  135. I love that is suppose to help with stress and anxiety...something everyone ttc could use help with!

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  136. I downloaded the free trial. #1.

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  137. I downloaded the free trial. #2.

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  138. I downloaded the free trial. #3.

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  139. Hi, I just started following your blog today. I came over from Baby Makin(g) Machine.

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  140. It would be great to try guided meditation in my home in my own time. The ipod is super cute too.

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  141. gotta get some more entries in! I just blogged about the giveaway! http://ready2bmom.blogspot.com/2010/02/trying-to-relax-and-win.html

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  142. i tweeted again about giveaway and blog post :)

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  143. I learned that the Circle + Bloom is also good to relieve daily stress while helping you become pregnant! Being a student teacher and a wife TTC, life becomes very stressful and nothing seems to work. I think I am putting a strain on my own body. Circle + Bloom's site taught me I need to RELAX some.

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  144. following this blog :)
    so glad i found you

    I learned...that visualization can be complimentary to all the other fertility enhancers. I was always told i should relax more, but i didn't realize there was a whole method to it.

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  145. following Circle and Bloom on twitter

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  146. and i tweeted the entry :)

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  147. I am a follower of your blog, I did not know that Clomid works on your hypothalmus.

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  148. I downloaded the circle+bloom free trial.

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  149. I downloaded the circle+bloom free trial.

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  150. I downloaded the circle+bloom free trial.

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  151. I became a fan of this blog on FB

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  152. I became a fan of circle+bloom on FB

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  153. I added your button to my blog!

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  154. I blogged about this giveaway #1

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  155. I blogged about this giveaway #2

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  156. I blogger about this giveaway #3

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  157. I became a follower of your blog after clicking through to your review from their site. One their site I read about Joanne's story.

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  158. I became a fan of Cirle+Bloom on facebook.

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  159. Hey! Thanks for putting on this giveaway! Most of the stuff on the Circle+Bloom site I already knew, after going through infertility for a couple of years, but, I did not know that a woman at puberty will have between 300,000 – 500,000 eggs in her ovaries. Interesting little tidbit!

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  160. I'm following you on FB! btw, I love the whole I Already Tried That, And It Gave Me Ebola thing. I'm thinking of saying that to someone the next time they have an uneducated suggestion.

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  161. I fanned Circle+Bloom on FB!

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  162. I just tweeted about the giveaway!

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  163. I'm following circlebloom on Twitter now!

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  164. Added your badge to my blog! Took me a bit to figure out how, because I've never done that before. Now I'm wondering where y'all get your cute badges/logos from!

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  165. I downloaded the free trial comment #1

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  166. Downloaded free trial comment#2

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  167. Downloaded free trial comment #3

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  168. I learned that even after that, I am still skeptical about the connection between relaxation and fertility.

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  169. I am now following your blog! I learned more about the mind-body connection. Already planning to do an intensive vipassana meditation retreat, but why not try this before I go?

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  170. I am now following your blog and checked out Circle & Bloom...I had no idea the size of the Hypothalamus or that When a woman reaches puberty, she will have between 300,000 – 500,000 eggs in her ovaries.

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  171. What did I learn on the Bloom + Circle Web site? Well, I learned that... "Warning: Under no circumstances should you drive while listening to the sessions or operate any kind of heavy machinery since the program is designed to illicit deep relaxation and alternative consciousness." Which is great news to me! I need some deep relaxation. All this TTC business is wiping me out!

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  172. I Tweeted about this review and the giveaway for @circlebloom's fertility relaxation program on an iPod!

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  173. I followed @CircleBloom on Twitter!

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  174. I just download Circle+Bloom's Free Trial and I plan to start using it tonight!

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  175. I had no idea visualization techniques helped reduce stress. I need this!

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