Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Four Fun Jewelry Display Ideas

As much of the country is hit with one terrible snow storm after the next, many of us are being forced to find our own indoor fun. This is the time in which many of us turn to our crafting kits and excitedly set out to make decorations, knick-knacks . . . but why not DIY something useful? Yes, making jewelry is fun, but why not spruce up your room with a new organizer or holder? While the different designs and textiles you can use are certainly bountiful, below are some fun ideas to get you started. 
Double as Wall Art
Your jewelry doesn’t only look good on you, but on your wall as well. Think about fun ways you can hang your earrings, necklaces and more. For a easy-to-do design, take a piece of wood and attach simple hooks to it; as boring as this may sound, there is plenty of ways you can customize this project to make it truly your own. Do you want to lacquer a blown-up photograph to the surface? Paint it white and do splatter art? Consider fun alternatives to customary pegs like door knobs, Polly pockets, wire that is hung horizontally and more. Of course, wood doesn’t have to be the only surface you utilize as a foundation. For instance, you can stretch the fabric of an unused scarf tautly across a backless picture frame and let the stems of your earrings penetrate the material. 
Reuse Kitchen Items
Not all pieces of jewelry can be hung, so raid the kitchen and recycling bin for household items you can re-purpose to be holders. Spray paint jelly jars for a colorful holder for hair ties; glass bottles can be used to stack your bangles; ice cube trays or cupcake sheets can be painted and utilized for smaller accessories; and saucers can be used to hold studs inside while dangly earrings hang on the outside of the edge

Monday, January 27, 2014

Blog Forward Challenge #1 - 2014 New Year’s Resolutions: Involve the Family!


Are you ready to make 2014 the most perfect year ever?  With every new year comes new goals.  I don't make New Year resolutions, I simply promise myself to make simple life changes.  I think life changes are easier to maintain than resolutions are.  Although, it might simply be just mind over matter.  Call it what you wish, but making better choices will make for a better year.


My main focus again this year is to lose weight, another 10 - 15 pounds.  During 2012/2013, I lost 56 pounds.  Simply by cutting back on my portion sizes, exercising 3 days a week and snacking better.  It really is the little things that make the biggest difference.  For example: instead of eating 3 pieces of pizza, eat 1 piece of pizza and a small salad.  Instead of drinking a large soda, drink water with a slice of lemon. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Soothe Your Sore Throat - Pine Brothers Softish Throat Drops (Review)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
Cold and flu season is upon as, and that means sniffles, runny noses and sore throats.  As a mother who likes to be prepared for any sickness that may arise, I always like to have a stock of cold and flu medications and supplies on hand.

Pine Brothers Softish Throat Drops are AMAZING!  I know that medicine isn't suppose to taste good, but these taste great - almost like candy.  As a result, it makes taking them easier and more enjoyable, especially when it comes to my sick children.  Anything to make taking medicine a little easier when we are sick is always a bonus.

I also love how they are soft!  A little hard and a little chewy, for the perfect texture!  I honestly think it makes them smoother and more comforting.

Available in 4 flavors: natural honey, lemon-citrus, black licorice, and my personal favorite wild cherry.  They are also available in two convenient packages: bags and pucks.  The bags are perfect for home and the pucks are perfect for in the car, diaper bag, or even your purse.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Get Motivated through Music - Save 20% and Get a $5 Best Buy Gift Card

Have you started thinking about a New Year's Resolution for the New Year?  Whether you're keeping track of your current health status, starting a new fitness program, or training for a fitness competition, getting (and staying) motivated is the key! 

I have always found that my workouts go by much quicker when I'm listening to music - the more upbeat the better!  When I'm working out on my elliptical or treadmill, I turn up the radio, tv music station, or jukebox and turn it up loud.  But, when I'm exercising outdoors, I need my music to be portable!


It's easy to "Get Motivated" while incorporating music into my routine by using the #1 selling sport earphones – Yurbuds!  I just happen to have a hot pink pair and I absolutely love them!  They don't hurt my ears, and they have never fallen out - no matter what type of activity I'm participating in!

Studies have shown that music can increase the intensity and duration of a workout by as much as 15%. Unfortunately, most people miss out on those benefits because their earphones hurt and fall out during active use. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Know Some Basics about the Furnace Maintenance


Winter will remind us always about the heating system or Furnace. Maintaining and repairing the furnace is very essential especially during cold winter. If you are looking for the repair and Furnace Denver services, look for the one having professional and expert technician team. 

During cool winters not having the furnace working for even a single day can be a problem. Hence, it is important that the heating system is maintained properly and repaired immediately in case of any issue. There are certain points if kept in mind the effectiveness of the furnace can be increased. Some of such points are mentioned below in detail. 

1. Changing Filters 

Furnace filters must be changed on regular basis. Once, the filters are not clean it affect the performance of furnace aversively. In case the air from the ducts draws out then furnace won’t be able to produce the warm air through the registers. In such a situation, the furnace will start making the wheezy sound. Hence, it is very import to either get the filters cleaned if possible otherwise get them changed. 

2. Checking The Duct Work 

Check if there will be any leakage in the duct work. In case during the installation there has been any gap left over the duct work or any hole that is leaking the air in the metal sheet. In this situation the air will be lost and heating will not be maintained. The Furnace will have work harder in this case and heated air will be transferred to the unheated areas in place of the living place. In such a situation, the holes can be patched through the good quality aluminum tape and the openings can be covered. This way the air leakage will be stopped and furnace efficiency can be maintained. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekly Deals, Giveaways & Lots of Discounts at Beauty Encounter

January calls for a month of fun and fresh start and this also means tons of discounts and special treats from Beauty Encounter. Home to thousands of discount branded perfumes, skincare & hair care products as well as bath essentials, Beauty Encounter never fails to amaze customers with their line of quality and well-known products. 


This January, the one-stop online shop gives you every reason to shop ‘til you drop with their deals, giveaways and discounts to fire up your exciting year!  

Deals of the Week 

Every Sunday, new products are being updated, allotting flash quantities with corresponding further discount prices. Deals in a specific week are only available within 7 days so hurry to get the best out of your money. Just imagine a 3.3 oz bottle of Lacoste Eau de Lacoste L12.12 Noir for Men for only $42.97 from its retail price of $65; Marc Jacobs Honey for Women 3.4 oz bottle for only $65 from $95. 

Aside from discount perfumes, Deals of the Week also offer cosmetics like Cameo Combo Palette eye shadow for $5.99 from $15 and hair care products like L'Oreal Kerastase Reflection Bain Chroma Riche Luminous Softening Shampoo for $25 from $40 per 250ml bottle.  

New Year Giveaway 

Every month, Beauty Encounter gives out awesome prizes in just three steps: (1) liking their Facebook page, (2) sharing the page that has contest details, and (3) entering a valid email address. While the previous months only cater to one prize, this January 2014, they’re giving away 14 prizes! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

10 Frugal Vacation & Travel Tips!

My husband, our two children and I look forward to our family vacation every summer, and over the past several years have become quite good at planning and creating memories on a frugal budget.  It's only January, but we are already planning and budgeting for our 2014 summer vacation!  

Here are ten of my favorite frugal vacation tips on how to save money while on family vacation:

  • Plan Early!  Planning early is probably the biggest money saving tip that I can share!  If you plan your vacation in advance, often times the prices are lower and the deals are better.  This year we reserved and paid for our Oregon beach house rental in January and got winter rates.  Even though we won't vacation until August.
  • Kids Eat Free!  Look for family friendly restaurants where kids eat free.  Even if that opportunity is only available one day a week, you can save money.  So many restaurants offer that deal and it can really pay off.
  • Eat Dinner Early!  Many restaurants offer a lunch menu price on their meals if you eat before 4pm.  Plan to eat an early dinner and save!  The portions are still the same but the price is often $2 - $5 cheaper per meal.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Safe Winter Driving Tips!

Snow and ice covered roads are here!  I live in a snow belt so winter driving comes with the territory.  I'm not afraid to drive on snow or ice packed roads, but I do drive differently. I'm always nervous about what the other drivers on the road might do, so many reckless winter drivers, that don't stop to think before they get behind the wheel.

There are so many different things you can do to keep you, your family and the other drivers safe during winter driving conditions.  Planning ahead and being prepared could make all the difference.

Here are a few safety tips that I think are important and will help keep your family safer while driving on slick and snow covered roads:

SLOW DOWN: Just because the speed limit says 60 mph doesn't mean it's safe. Adjust your driving speed according to the outside weather conditions. It's not safe to drive 60 mph if it's snowing heavily outside or if the roads are slick.  Plus, your visibility is decreased and it takes longer for your vehicle to come to a stop! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Make This The Best Year Yet - Be The Best You in 2014! - Take the Balance Bar Pledge (Review & Giveaway)

Are you ready to make 2014 the best year yet?  Are you one of those people that makes a New Year’s resolution each year only to break it? Well you’re not alone! According to a recent study1, over 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions each year, but only 8% actually achieve those goals.


Instead of making New Year's resolutions that I won't end up keeping, I vow to make better choices and lifestyle changes for myself and my family.  This year I plan to lose those last 10 pesky pounds (after losing 56 pounds in 2013), eat more fresh fruits and veggies, drink more water, and be more active!

We received Zumba Fitness and Zumba Kids for Christmas and have moved the treadmill and elliptical machine side-by-side so that we can exercise inside together when the outside weather doesn't allow.

I recently received a mixed box of the Dark Chocolate Peanut, Chocolate Mint Cookie Crunch and Yogurt Honey Peanut Balance Bars, a 2014 calendar with tips from lifestyle Guru Laurel House, and a pair of pink sport headphones from Yurbuds. 

New Year’s Resolution tips:

Make an “intention” board to stay motivated.
"Intentions" (rather than “resolutions”) allow you a little leniency while still holding a basic structure that helps to keep you on track to achieve your goals. Create an intention board of images and words cut from magazines that illustrate the energy behind your goals/intentions/resolutions for the year. For the tech savvy out there, go ahead and make it on Pinterest! 

10 Weight Loss Tips and Healthy Advice - How She Lost 102 Pounds!

Last year it was my goal to get healthy, be more active, and to lose weight!  I managed to lose 56 pounds in 7 months, and shared my weight loss journey with my family, friends, and readers.  A friend of mine went through a similar weight loss journey of her own and managed to lose an astonishing 102 pounds.  She looks AMAZING by the way!

My "Before & After"
Here are Jill's words of advice that were some of the keys to her weight loss success:

Ok so I'm by no means an expert or anything. But, I'm down 102 pounds so far so I want to share some things I've learned along the way and some rules I live by. Feel free to take it or leave it, but hope it helps.

1. Diets make you fat. A diet implies it's only temporary and that at the end of the diet you will go back to all the unhealthy eating you've been doing. Don't diet. Instead, make a commitment to make healthy choices and eliminate the word diet from your vocabulary, along with all the fads like shakes, pills, crazy juice fasts, etc. None of it is good for you, and none will teach you how to do anything except yo-yo.

2. Eat Clean, Train Dirty. This means you eat only healthy real foods and when you work out, you don't half ass it! Work your butt off and push yourself to the limits and beyond.That being said, if you eat a piece of cake, or some chips, don't make that ruin your day or your week. We're all human, so if you eat something you shouldn't then get over it and get back on track immediately.

3. Processed Foods have no place in your home or in your body. If the food you eat doesn't grow in the ground, on a tree or branch, or have a face, it doesn't belong in your body. If you have food that has ingredients that you can't pronounce, don't eat it. It's not really food. It's chemicals and crap you don't need in your body.

4. Veggies are your friends. Eat at least 6-10 cups of veggies each and every day. Fresh is best but frozen is ok too as long as it's not covered in cheese or full of added sodium. Craving a crunchy snack like chips? Slice up a whole cucumber and eat that instead.

5. Healthy fats are good. Avocado, olive oil, and coconut oil are awesome. Coconut oil is really really awesome. I use it in everything I cook.

Monday, January 6, 2014

HELP! Stuck in a Blogging Rut!


Today was the first day back to school, the end of our two week Christmas vacation.  As I sit here and type this... I feel terrible because I haven't shared a blog post in four days, and to make matters even worse - I honestly can't think of a single thing to share.

I have a few review/giveaway items in route, but nothing in hand!  I went clearance shopping yesterday afternoon (90% Christmas clearance), but need to get my items layed out so that I can take a picture and share a post before it's old news.  However, I just can't seem to get myself motivated to get it done.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Are you a Harlem Globetrotters Fan? You Could WIN FREE TICKETS to a Show Near You!

Last year we took the kids to see the Harlem Globetrotters for the very first time and they had a blast!  They were engaged and wide-eyed the entire show, and talked about it non-stop for weeks!  It's been almost a year since we saw them, and we are thrilled to be going again next month.

This year the kids each get to take a friend with them - which they are super excited about!  The excitement is already building... I love it!

2014 Savings Challenge: How to Save $1400 in a Year!

Did you know that by putting a little money away each week that you could save nearly $1400 in a year?  This is a simple and cost effective way to save for those unexpected emergencies, household or vehicle repairs or even your family vacation.
We all know that a penny saved is a penny earned, right?  I'm also one that never passes a penny on the ground without picking it up and putting it my pocket!  As a frugal shopper, I'm always looking for new ways to save, both for the present and the future.  You never know when your savings or rainy day fund will play a vital role.

Every cent adds up... and you can save nearly $1400 in 52 weeks!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Get Some Natural Pain Relief in 2014 with Noxicare Cream (Review & Giveaway)

Work and sports related injuries occur every single day, affecting so many people for the rest of their lives.  Daily activities that were once easy and painless become more and more difficult as the days, months, and even years pass.

Three years ago, husband had a work related injury and had to have knee surgery.  It has been exactly three years since his surgery, but his knee still hurts on a daily basis.  In his line of work, his knees don't ever get to rest and as a result it takes its toll.

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

"Noxicare Natural Pain Relief is a breakthrough natural pain relief formula that is a proprietary combination of 7 of the world’s most potent natural pain relievers that quickly and effectively alleviate inflammation, muscle aches and nerve pain — with NO known side effects and without a prescription."

This thick cream may safely be used every day, and will help relieve pain associated with: joints, nerves and muscles; inflammation; musculoskeletal disorders, and neuropathy.

From the very first time we used Noxicare cream on my husband's knee, he could feel the difference.  We love that the cream is thick, odorless, and non-greasy!  For the past several weeks, Noxicare has become part of our nightly ritual - I rub this cream on his knee every single night before we go to bed.

It has proven to be fast acting and effective.  The natural pain relief, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory ingredients have proven to relieve his knee pain and has made a positive effect!  

Ringing in 2014 - Happy New Year!


Welcome to 2014!  I hope that the New Year brings you success and happiness.  Lets make 2014 the best year ever.

“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”  ― Brad Paisley