About Beeb Ashcroft

I'm a British expat living on the north Oregon coast with my fiancé, Jai. Journalist since 1997 & blogger since 2008, this is my personal blog where I share my life adventures & favorite things!

See a Health Care Provider From Your Smartphone With Health eXpress

Health eXpress

This is a partnered post.

I didn’t have health insurance for most of my 20s, so any of my doctor’s visits came out of pocket. Anyone without health coverage will know the feeling of putting off hospital visits and waiting to see if an annoying condition like a sore throat is really “Bad enough” to have to make an appointment. I became very familiar with the rates for local walk-in clinics in order to cut costs when I had to go in for something, but would still easily have to pay $100 just to have a doctor write a prescription. So when I heard about Health eXpress, an app that allows you to see a health care provider from your smartphone, computer or tablet, the first thing I noticed was that it only costs $39 per visit.

HealtheXpress App

Health eXpress is a very futuristic way to see a provider. This app uses secure technology to connect you live to a Providence doctor or nurse practitioner, who can see and hear you through streaming video. You don’t need an appointment and can connect usually within 5 minutes. You will only be charged the $39 if your condition can be treated by Health eXpress, so if they can’t provide you with a diagnosis, treatment recommendation and/or a prescription, you will be advised to seek immediate offline treatment and will not be charged. This is a great option for conditions such as cold/flu/cough, allergies and urinary tract infections – things that are easy to treat, but are often tolerated over paying hundreds to see a provider.

Health eXpress is specifically for people in Oregon and Washington and is a part of the Providence family, accepting Providence insurance and other select health coverage plans. Although I’m in my 30s and have fantastic health insurance now, I can still see a number of situations in which a “Virtual” appointment with Health eXpress would be preferable to a standard appointment:

  • Getting a doctor’s note: Many employers require a doctor’s note before they will allow an employee to call in sick, resulting in many people going to the hospital for the common cold – and spreading their germs to everyone in the waiting room. Through Health eXpress, you can have a health care provider confirm your cold and write a note to your employer while you sit comfortably on the couch and keep your germs at home!
  • Help for busy moms: Through Health eXpress, moms can check in with a provider without trying to wrangle their children into the car and doctor’s office, making life that much easier.
  • Seeing a provider after hours: Murphy’s law seems to dictate that we will always get sick at the most inconvenient time. When I was younger, I remember counting down the hours over a weekend so that I could see a provider without racking up thousands for an ER visit. Health eXpress is open from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday and from 8 AM to 8 PM on weekdays, giving you a lot more options!

To learn more, visit HealtheXpress.com to create a free account and download the app on iTunes and the Google Play store.

Have you ever paid a virtual visit to a health care provider like this? Would you use Health eXpress?

Saving Money on Travel Essentials With Groupon Coupons

This is a partnered post.

It’s an extra-busy week for me as I prepare my to-do list in advance of a business trip to New York this Saturday. I keep an ongoing list in an app on my phone with all my suitcase necessities, which makes it easy to see what I need to pack. Since I travel a lot, I try to order some of my essentials in advance online for convenience and to cut costs. And because I’m the coupon connoisseur, I was glad to discover Groupon Coupons, a new addition to the classic Groupon site that offers a free, no-registration-required database featuring 55,000 coupon codes and sales across big names like Walmart, Macy’s, PetSmart, and many more. Deals are listed by category, making it easy to find a specific item.

And fortunately for us frequent fliers, Groupon Coupons has travel deals across a variety of categories:

  1. Luggage: I bought a new suitcase last summer, but it has the nasty habit of tipping over if I don’t hold onto the handle at all times, so I keep meaning to replace it. For those of you who are also in the market for a new roller bag, perhaps you should check out the free shipping at Delsey Luggage!
  2. Air Fare & Hotels: Groupon Coupons has a dedicated “Travel” section listing promos for plane tickets, hotel bookings, and car rentals.
  3. Travel size items: I like to keep trial size samples that I receive to the side, so that I have something convenient on hand to meet 3-1-1 guidelines when it’s time to pack my carry-on! Groupon Coupons has a free samples section where you can sign up for some freebies for the next time you need to leave town!

Groupon Coupons

Have you visited Groupon Coupons yet? What are your travel must-haves?

Giving Forward Campaign For Andrew

My bloggy buddy Virginia over at That Bald Chick shared today that one of her son’s friends, Andrew, is going through treatments for Leukemia. His family has set up a GiveForward page to help with the medical expenses, and GiveForward has announced that it will donate $25 to the family per blog post written about the cause, up to $1,000; and if 30 bloggers post by today, November 24th, they’ll donate an additional $200. So in support of the family, I am sharing my post – you can click here to view their GiveForward page and learn more; they also have a Facebook page with more information here.

Making the Sunscreen Grade: Warding Off Burns Through Labor Day & Beyond

Coppertone in the sand

Samples provided. This article is not intended as medical advice; always consult with a doctor regarding skin care.

Whether you’re headed to the beach, a picnic, or have other big Labor Day plans, you’ve probably remembered to tuck a bottle of sunscreen in your beach bag. But what is your sun care routine like after the heyday of summer, as we transition into back-to-school and beyond? Most people think of sunscreen as something they apply on a hot day, but sun protection is important year-round.

In light of this, Coppertone has released their 2nd annual Making The Sunscreen Grade program, which includes hints, tips, and a downloadable sun care guide. There is a special section dedicated to “Back to School”, which outlines some common things to be aware of regarding sun care at school. This has been an issue in the news recently, as some schools have restrictions on whether students may bring sunscreen or not; the American Academy of Dermatology recently released a statement encouraging schools and summer camps to allow sunscreen without requiring a doctor’s note. There’s a lot to think about on this topic, so it’s good to be proactive and aware.

Personally, my skin burns very easily, and in the last two years I’ve been very careful to slather on more sunscreen than I think I’ll need. Guess what? I’ve stood under some blistering sun and traveled to hot places without sustaining any burns. Yeah! In fact, I’m often the only person in a group to have sunscreen in my purse, and I notice my pals will all say they don’t need any of my sunscreen…then a few hours, they’ll notice their skin starting to turn pink and say, “Hey – do you still have that sunscreen by any chance?”. And I am always eager to share! And in fact, I have quite literally shared my bottles of Coppertone that I’ve written about here on a few occasions.

So, what with all that sunscreen getting used, I was glad to replenish my supply as it began to dwindle after a summer of traveling! Among the samples I received were:

  • Coppertone Sport AccuSpray: I really like the Sport line from Coppertone, and spray sunscreen makes it SO EASY to apply and really saves time!
  • Coppertone ClearlySheer Beach & Pool Spray: This spray is really unique to any sunscreen I’ve ever used because it has a consistency more like a moisturizer than a sticky sunscreen, and it has a really nice fragrance. This is one of my very favorites because I rely on sunscreen so much and it’s usually a little greasy/gross to wear. This one isn’t pictured because I just got through traveling for 3 weeks and it was a staple in my bags during that time…and I’m not sure where it is right now. ;)
  • Coppertone Clearly Sheer For Beach & Pool: Of course, we can’t take large aerosol bottles on planes, so this one will be great to pack in my bags for long trips.
  • Coppertone Clearly Sheer For Sunny Days: And this one is the perfect size to take in my carry-on luggage since it’s 2 oz!

Did you go through a lot of sunscreen over the summer? Are you re-stocking for Fall, too?

Taking The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

My friend Nicole at SAHMReviews nominated me for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge yesterday, to which I said: Challenge accepted. Jai was a good sport and joined in the fun, so we spent our Monday evening dumping cold water on each other in the Oregon fog. The point of this challenge is to raise awareness and funds for ALS, also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”, by encouraging people to click, watch, laugh, and learn more. Those challenged are asked to make a donation to ALSA.org, which I was glad to do, as the organization has been given a four-star rating by Charity Navigator. You can donate online and learn more by clicking here.

Have any of you been nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge?

RhinoShield Screen Protector: Keep Your Phone From Getting Hammered


RhinoShield Screen Protector provided for review.

I am very, very protective of my iPhone. I guard it carefully because I’m so worried about getting it scratched or worse. But vigilance can only help so much – as careful as I am, I travel with my phone constantly, and one of these days it’s going to flying out of my pocket at the airport or get eaten by an alligator or something. I have a really nice case that Jai got me for Christmas that cushions it nicely, but I’ve been meaning to get a screen cover as well to avoid scratches and help protect it in the event that it falls out of the case or has an accident while I’m charging it.

Enter RhinoShield. This screen guard inspired me to finally get around to this task because their marketing is a little more ingenious than most screen protectors. This is meant to protect your phone from shock in a way that most traditional scratch guards just can’t – watch the video above where they test it out by dropping it on concrete. I was intrigued!

RhinoShield kit

The RhinoShield kit comes with the screen protector, an applicator to smooth it out, and a cleaning cloth with dust removal stickers to clean your phone thoroughly before application.

Applying RhinoShield

After giving my iPhone 4S a thorough clean, Jai and I set about putting the screen guard on. Well, he put it on, I took the photos. ;) The screen protector comes sandwiched between two layers of protective plastic, with markers telling you which side goes down. You line it up to fit the screen, and remove the “Back” piece of plastic so that it will stick. Then you take the thin applicator tool to smooth out any bubbles. It went on pretty well – there’s a teensy tiny bubble on the side that didn’t squeeze out, but it’s not really noticeable.

Once you have the screen protector smoothed out, you remove the top layer labeled “Front” – this makes it so that the RhinoShield screen itself is protected through the whole application process.

iPhone 4S With RhinoShield Screen Protector

And here’s the finished product! I’m quite satisfied with it thus far. It looks like a nice sturdy screen shield, and it has been easy to clean as advertised. Above and beyond that, I can’t attest to its protective powers, because I’m not about to take a hammer to my phone for the sake of this review – sorry about that! ;) But it seems like a no-brainer to me that my phone is more protected now than it was sans screen. As I embark on a week of travels tomorrow, I’m very happy to have some extra protection for my precious phone!

Learn more about RhinoShield by visiting their online store and following them on Twitter and Facebook.