Friday, December 30, 2022

My House Smells Like Vacation

This month my family headed to Florida's Universal Studios and stayed at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando. 

Not only was the hotel gorgeous and we will be booking again for our next trip in a few months but the smell was unlike anything I have ever smelled. On my second day I ran into the gift shop to see if I could buy the scent. They must have a candle, oil or something I thought. NOPE but the woman at the counter told me the scent is Bright Sunshine and where to buy it. She said everyone asks SOOOO as soon as I got home I ordered some wax melts for my Christmas stocking and the whole family is obsessed. It is honestly amazing. It smells like I'm at the hotel every time I smell it. It does something to my body and instantly puts me in vacation mode. 

To Order your own check out 

Shop Holiday Deals Now!

They have many scents to choose from as well as scent machines that will make the entire house smell like "your" favorite scent. We are buying one for ourselves on our next paycheck.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Safety Tips in Using a Doppler

If a new parent gifted a doppler, you'd want to learn how to use it properly. This article will cover all the basics, from avoiding scams to checking your baby's heart health.

Operating the device correctly

A Doppler is a portable device that helps healthcare professionals monitor the baby's heartbeat. It is typically used during a doctor's visit to check the baby's health. But you can use a Doppler at home as well. Before using one at home, one must understand how the device works and how to avoid possible problems.

First, you should know that not all Dopplers are created equal. Some of the more advanced models require medical training to operate correctly. In addition, some devices can confuse the mother's heartbeat, resulting in strange readings. So it's essential to be sure that your device is high quality.

You should also be aware that listening to the baby's heartbeat is not recommended until you are at least 14 weeks pregnant. However, some women can hear their babies' heartbeats as early as nine weeks. That said, it's still best to consult a doctor before listening to the heartbeat with a handheld Doppler.

Avoiding scams

You must understand how to spot the cons if you want to get a fetal doppler for your pregnancy. Doppler sales can be risky, mainly when done online. Be sure to only buy fetal dopplers from reputable retailers like Cradle Me Baby to avoid any issues. Before purchasing, research the vendors, read customer reviews, and compare pricing.

There are a few red flags you should look out for, such as counterfeit personalized products, deals that seem too good to be true, and fake coupons. Also, be wary of companies that require payment through a credit card or PayPal, as these may be scams. 

Scammers may also contact you by phone or text, and they might ask for your personal information. Never give a stranger your phone number, email address, or physical address, even if the spiel seems legit.

The best way to avoid a scam is to learn about the scams and how to report them. Most cons have two primary goals. First, they want to steal your money, and second, they want to get your personal information.

Detecting a baby's heart health

Dopplers are ultrasound devices used to detect the heart health of a baby. They are also helpful for women who are having high-risk pregnancies. But how do you know if a doppler is safe to use?

You should consult a healthcare provider before using a doppler. Your OBGYN can verify whether a doppler is safe to use. There are also a few safety tips to keep in mind when using a doppler for hearing your baby's heartbeat.

First, you will need to find a private spot to lie down. The best position for a doppler to hear your baby's fetal heartbeat is below the pubic bone. It is the location where most babies are located during pregnancy. If you have difficulty finding the right place, try to switch positions.

Make sure you clean the probe after each use. If you use too much gel, you may create air bubbles. It may also make it challenging to find the baby's heartbeat.

Photo by olia danilevich

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Holiday Table Scraps to Avoid for Pets


The holidays mean lots of leftover food, and while it may be tempting to enlist your pet to help finish it off – many of the festive foods we so much enjoy are, in fact, hazardous to pets. Dr. Jo Myers, practicing DVM on Vetster, shares these top foods to avoid:


Fat trimmings and bones


Eating too much of anything rich, fatty, or unusual — cooked or raw — can cause intestinal issues and stomach upset. Dogs are at especially high risk for a life-threatening bout of pancreatitis when they overindulge in a fatty meal. As for bones? They aren’t toxic, but they do present some hazards. Dogs and cats can nibble large, sharp, or oblong pieces of a bone that can get lodged in their esophagus or elsewhere along the digestive tract. These indigestible chunks can cause intestinal blockages which are fatal without treatment.


Raw or uncooked meat


Raw or uncooked meat can be bad for pets, just like it is for people. Raw meat can carry food-borne illnesses such as salmonella and E. coli. So make sure you wash your hands after stuffing that turkey. A pet that’s consumed raw-meat residue can disrupt a dinner in a hurry.


Onions, garlic, leeks, scallions


Pets shouldn’t eat onions, leeks, scallions, or garlic. These vegetables damage red blood cells, and eating enough of them can lead to hemolytic anemia. The effects of this condition are not always immediately evident, and can include lethargy, loss of appetite, rapid breathing, pale gums, and jaundice. Keep concentrated sources of onions and garlic out of reach from your feline friends.


Chocolate and other sources of caffeine


Chocolate contains the methylxanthines theobromine and caffeine, both of which are potentially toxic to pets when consumed in significantly large amounts. Chocolate toxicosis symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, and seizures. 


Milk, cheese, and other dairy products


Adult dogs and cats, like most mammals, are lactose intolerant.  Once weaned, the consumption of a large amount of dairy products can cause stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. So you’ll have to share your eggnog with someone else.




While we’re on the topic of eggnog, pets need to steer clear of holiday cocktails as well. Alcohol affects pets the same way as it does humans, but keep in mind dogs and cats don't weigh as much. Dogs and cats that have been exposed to alcohol may act like they’re drunk, and higher doses lead to alcohol poisoning. Symptoms include: vomiting, trouble walking, disorientation, lethargy, loss of vision, seizures, slowed breathing, loss of consciousness, and in extreme cases sudden death. 


Bread dough with yeast


Uncooked dough with yeast continues to ferment even after it’s been swallowed, and this produces alcohol. Large amounts of dough can produce dangerous amounts of alcohol as well as enough gas to cause potentially life-threatening intestinal distension. It’s best to keep pets away from the kitchen while those dinner rolls are rising.


What to do when your dog or cat eats something they shouldn’t


The severity of symptoms often depends on the amount of the hazardous food your dog or cat has eaten. But if your pet has ingested any of the above foods or is showing signs of distress, call your vet right away. It’s always better to seek help sooner rather than later, and there’s no safe or effective way to induce vomiting for cats at home, so professional help is critical.


You can also schedule an online appointment through Vetster to determine if an emergency vet visit is necessary. Licensed veterinarians are available 24/7 and can observe your pet’s behavior in their natural environment to better discuss treatment options as well as safe human-food alternatives.

5 Tips for Making Fitness Resolutions That Will Last All Year

Fredericksburg Fitness Studio, a private personal training studio, helps people get healthy all year


FREDERICKSBURG, Virginia – (December 12, 2022) – With the New Year upon us, it's time that millions of people will be making resolutions. According to a large-scale study published in the December 2020 issue of the journal PLoS One, some things can help people be more successful with their resolutions. The more people know about what it takes to be successful with them, the more likely they will ensure they are doing those things and will come out with the results they were after. 


“The key to making fitness resolutions that will last all year is to make SMART goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based,” explains Jennifer Scherer, medical exercise specialist, certified personal trainer, and owner of Fredericksburg Fitness Studio. “Many times, goals are too broad or vague to have any chance of lasting the whole year.”


The PLoS One research followed nearly 1,100 people from the general public who had set resolutions. Some of the people had support, while others didn't. When they followed up with the people a year later, they found that 55% considered themselves successful in sticking with the resolution they had set. Researchers found that the most common resolutions involved physical health, weight loss, and eating habits. They concluded that New Year's resolutions could have a lasting effect, approach-oriented goals are more likely successful than avoidance ones, and those who have support are significantly more successful with their resolutions.


Here are 5 tips for making your fitness resolutions last all year:


1) Make SMART goals. Put some specifics to your goal to help keep you accountable. Make sure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.

2) Have an accountability buddy. Whether it's a friend, a family member, or a co-worker, tell someone your goal or see if anyone has the same goals as you. If you are working on your plan with someone else, you're more likely to stick to it, and it can even be fun. 

3) Put check-ins on your calendar. When planning your yearly calendar, add check-ins every month or every quarter to remind yourself of your goal and keep yourself honest throughout the year. If you've made specific goals, add monthly checkpoints that you want to achieve each month to get to your larger goal by the end of the year. 

4) Be consistently good. We are human, and we aren't perfect. Knowing that we may slip up sometimes is okay, but planning for that is great. Focusing on being consistently good with your goal rather than occasionally great can help you mentally with your goals. Would you operate at 80% all year long or have one month at 100%, 2 months at 50%, 1 month at 25%, and another month at 100%? Being consistent across the board will help you reach your goals faster, even when you slip up occasionally.

5) Commit yourself. If your goal is fitness or health-related, try going to a personal trainer that will help hold you accountable and help you reach your goals. Having a standing appointment weekly with someone will keep your goals at the forefront of your brain and help you not put them on the back burner all year long. 

"You can be one of the successful people sticking with their resolutions," added Scherer. "It's a matter of sticking with the things that work. Trust me, you will be so happy that you did!”


Fredericksburg Fitness Studio is a private personal training studio that offers a range of services to improve health and wellness, including medical exercise, personal training, in-home medical training, virtual personal training, nutrition coaching, and a Pilates reformer program. All workouts on it are custom-tailored for the individual to address their physical fitness concerns. The Pilates Reformer program features a versatile machine designed to provide resistance. It can be used when standing, sitting, or lying down. 


Fredericksburg Fitness Studio doesn't offer memberships as other gyms do. They offer private customized fitness programs that are available by appointment. Many people who go to the studio are referrals from physical therapists and doctors. The wellness professionals at the studio communicate with the medical teams to keep them up to date on patient progress. To learn more about Fredericksburg Fitness Studio, visit the site:


About Fredericksburg Fitness Studio

Founded in 2008, Fredericksburg Fitness Studio offers personalized fitness programs, nutrition coaching, and medical training. The private personal training studio was started by Jennifer Scherer, who has a background in human physiology, anatomy, nutrition, weight training, and exercise. The studio has a team working to help people reach their health and wellness goals. To learn more, visit the site at:




# # # 




PLoS One. A large-scale experiment on New Year’s resolutions. December 2020.

A Concise Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen


A new year is a fresh start and the chance to become an improved version of yourself.

One way many people across the United Kingdom like to express their plans and take action to be more in control of their life and more organized is to conduct a thorough spring clean of their kitchen.

So, whether you are just about ready to start and are looking for some last-minute tips or else you are looking for some inspiration, either way, continue reading to discover a concise guide to spring cleaning your kitchen. 


Always Clean from the Top Downwards


The most basic but incredibly effective thing to know when spring cleaning any room, but especially the kitchen, is to start from the top and work downwards.

This stops any surface or area of the kitchen you have cleaned previously from getting covered with dust and debris from the top of the shelving units and cupboards. As the kitchen is a food preparation area, you prevent contamination on the work surfaces that you believe to be clean when they are not. 


Change It Up


One thing you can do to make spring cleaning a more enjoyable experience is to look into changing the design or even the basic layout of the space, and if your budget allows for it, you could even consider treating yourself to a new statement piece of furniture.

Reputable and impressively skilled designers at ligne roset chelsea supply a wide range of unique and eye-catching furniture, and there is literally every style and colour to choose from. The incentive of a new feature for your kitchen will motivate you even further to spring clean!


Don’t Forget the Appliances


Even though in an ideal world, kitchen appliances such as the microwave and oven would be entirely self-cleaning, the truth is that both pieces of equipment and also others, such as your coffee machine and toaster, should be regularly and thoroughly cleaned. 

When it comes to cleaning your oven, this simple guide should help:

1. Remove everything inside
2. Spread newspaper on the floor underneath 
3. Mix water and baking soda to a paste and spread in the oven (wear rubber gloves)
4. Add extra paste to areas with a build-up of gunk
5. Leave for approximately twelve hours
6. Use a damp rag to remove the paste 
7. Spray vinegar on any build-up of paste 
8. Wipe clean and leave to dry 


Organize Your Freezer & Fridge


After you have brought everything out of your kitchen cupboards, thrown away what is not needed, and wiped clean the shelves before putting everything back, you then need to turn your attention to the fridge and the freezer. 

Any leftover food should henceforth be labelled with a date, the shelves on the inside door should contain non-dairy drinks and condiments, and make sure you wipe the shelves down with a food-friendly cleaning agent. 

In order to reduce waste food, you should also use the drawer at the bottom of the fridge for what it is intended for, which is only fresh fruit and vegetables. 


Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Teaching Almost 4 Year Olds

When I started in daycare I was a floater the first few days and eventually settled into the 2 year old potty training room as an assistant to a new teacher. She was younger than me and our way of teaching very different but I was there to assist so that was what I did. As the potty training room, we had many challenges as with every age. After she left to have her own family, I asked for a break from toddlers and hoped to move to the 3s but found myself assigned to PreK.  While my class is not quite PreK I was excited as these are my kids from the last room. I know them and I know their families. It was a perfect way to start my “new” classroom on the other side of the building. 

I thought 2 was great. I loved holding them, caring for them, loving them, but this is a whole new ballgame. Teaching this group has been my favorite thing since I started working here 6+years ago. Seeing them grow, mature, LEARN, I mean really retain information has been a beautiful thing and I will not ever forget moments I’ve experienced with them. Yes there are challenges but when you see the lightbulb flash, notice critical thinking skills, hear yourself coming out of their mouths, all challenges have been worth it for this!

When I introduced writing to them in October and my class thought tracing their name was “too hard” to hearing one say literally 3 weeks later “it’s not hard for me anymore, Ms. Maria” a moment that still makes me tear up, I wish I had gone to school for teaching. Another tear up moment was when one of my kids noticed that the P in Jeep was like the P in his name. Omgosh nothing better.

There is nothing like knowing you are making a difference in their lives and while they may not remember  you in the long haul, you shaped their educational foundation. 

As we close 2022 I hope that somehow, someway I become an even better teacher to my next group, I hope these kids who all love books read to them (OMGOSH I love that they can sit for more than one tiny book and ask for sometimes 5 during the day) become avid book readers or who knows even writers one day. 

What a blessing it has been to teach these almost 4 year olds I wish I could do my own kids all over again but since I can’t helping my daytime kids is one of the best things I have ever done.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

4 Reasons to Learn to Ride a Motorcycle


For some people, as soon as they are legally allowed to drive a bike, they are out there on the road with the wind in their hair, and for others, they are far more reluctant or even do not like the idea of driving whatsoever. 

For others, driving a car with the relative luxury of a roof over their head is not enough and they, instead, want to experience the open road in a much more sensory and intense way, and for such individuals, a motorcycle or scooter is the only option.

So, whether you have been offered the opportunity to take lessons, or else you are considering motorcycling as your new hobby, then continue reading to learn the four top reasons to learn a ride a motorcycle. 


1. A Sense of True Freedom

Arguably, although hard to contest, freedom is the second most important aspect of life, falling short only next to the need for a healthy body and mind, and as such, if you crave freedom and independence, then a motorcycle or scooter is definitely for you. 

Even though it is true to say that, when driving a car (unless it is automatic), you do feel in control to a certain extent, the self-sufficient nature of motorcycle and scooter driving is truly unparalleled


2. An Improvement in Your Overall Mood


One thing electric scooter and motorbike riders seem to universally agree upon is that riding is such an amazing boost to their levels of emotional health and well-being, with some passionate scooter riders saying their bike is more like their therapist than simply their mode of transport. 

Even psychological studies have indicated time and time again that riding a scooter is effective in reducing physicaltension, as well as helping to ease headaches and even tooth pain. What is more, drivers of the renowned piaggio electric scooters claim that the very act of maintaining and cleaning their scooter also helps to reduce stress levels.


3. A Way to Connect with Nature 


If you find yourself, certainly in your professional life, spending too much time cooped up in an office building and not enough time outdoors, then when the weekend comes around, getting out on your motorcycle is the best feeling in the world.

There is a myriad of advantages to both your physical and emotional health and well-being by spending more time in nature and the natural world including, amongst a host of others, the following:

• A boost to your immune system 
• A way to recover quicker from illnesses
• A sense of perspective and peace
• A natural way to boost your energy levels
• A way to enhance your focus and concentration 


4. An Eco-Friendlier Alternative


The last reason on this list to learn to ride a motorbike or electric scooter over driving a regular car or even pick-up truck is that it is considerably kinder to the environment and an incredibly effective way of drastically reducing your carbon footprint

Riding a motorcycle instead of driving a car will mean that you get to your destination significantly faster, will be creating lower overall harm to the atmosphere, and will also save you money on gas prices. 


4 Tips for Cooking Delicious & Authentic Indian Cuisine


One of the most culturally significant types of food and one which is adored by people of all walks of life the world over, is that of Indian cuisine. 

So, whether you consider yourself to be the next Gordon Ramsey and want to showcase your cooking to friends and family or simply wand a change, you have come to the right place. Continue reading to discover four top tips for cooking delicious and authentic Indian cuisine. 


1. Only Add Spices at the Halfway Point 

Obviously, one reason why Indian food is most people’s favorite cuisine is due to the wide array of spices, especially in the powdered form, in every single dish. 

When cooking a traditional curry, for example, resist the temptation to add the spices too soon and instead let them release their naturally aromatic components quicker when the meal is hot. Powdered spice such as cumin, chili, coriander powder and turmeric all work best once the meal has been cooking for a while. 


2. Expand Your Mind


Not just with cooking, but with a myriad of creative pursuits and activities, even the best cookbook written by the leading expert in that particular field of cuisine will still only give you the basics, with true culinary expression coming from your own experimentation. 

One of the best possible things you could do if you really want to improve your skills at creating delicious and authentic Indian dishes is to treat yourself to a meal at the legendary, and enjoy all the dishes on offer, teaching your tastebuds the subtle art of cooking Indian food. 


3. Heat is to Your Personal Taste


Sometimes, when you go round a friend or family member’s house for dinner, you are treated to a delicious curry which you cannot actually taste properly due to the intense, eye-watering heat. 

Any Indian chef would be happy to confirm to you that there are literally no rules when it comes to how much fresh chili and chili powder you add to the dish and that it entirely depends on personal taste alone. Look at the types of chilis most often used in traditional Indian cooking, you would not go wrong with one or more of the following:

• Kanthari Chili
• Dhani
• Bhut Jolokia
• Ramnad Gundu
• Kashmiri Chili
• Byadagi Chili
• Guntur Chili


4. Use Water Sparingly


Finally, the biggest and most universal mistake people all across the country make when attempting to create traditional, authentic Indian food is that they always seem to immediately add a substantial volume of water to the dish as soon as either the vegetables or meat have been added.

When cooking an Indian feast, it is entirely counterproductive to spend so much time reducing the meal and therefore increasing the flavor combinations, just to saturate it with too much water. Indian food is unique in that its beauty essentially centers around slow-cooking and as such, you should sprinkle water as and when it is required, rather than drowning the meal. 



Image by valeria_aksakova on Freepik

Monday, December 19, 2022

Four Top Tips to Stay Looking Younger for Longer


Aging is an inevitable part of growing older and unfortunately, is out of our control. While it’s a completely natural process, it can certainly have a knock-on effect on confidence levels due to the changes we experience throughout our bodies. Always remember that aging is a privilege that not everyone gets to experience, therefore, its about learning to accept these changes and finding ways to stay looking younger for longer.

If you’re worried about early aging, it’s time to act now to ensure you’re taking the right steps to long-term youth. Here are four simple steps you can follow that can knock a decade off your age:


1. Stay out of the sun


One of the most common causes of aging is long-term sun exposure. Perhaps not surprisingly, the harmful UV Rays emitted from the sun are responsible for almost nine out of tencases of premature aging. This is because the UV radiation breaks down the skin’s elasticity, causing wrinkles, dullness, sagging, and age spots. With this in mind, aim to keep out of the sun as much as possibleparticularly during the summer months. Be sure to apply a high-factor sun lotion to protect your skin from UV rays and sunburn, as well as skin cancers such as melanoma. 


2. Pay attention to your brows


Brows can instantly change the appearance of a face. When unshaped or bushy, it can add years to your age. Neatly shaped brows on the other hand, can soften your features and give you a much more youthful glow. It would be worth visiting a hair removal Oxford salon where professional beauty therapists are trained to thread your eyebrows to a shape that suits your facial features.


3. Cleanse and moisturize


Protecting your skin starts with daily cleansing and moisturizing when you wake up and before you go to bed. Regular hand soap has a drying effect on the skin, so instead, use facial products that are designed to gently cleanse your skin of irritants and dirt and add moisture, without leaving a greasy residue. Be aware that not all moisturizers on the market provide equivalent active ingredients. You should be using clinical grade products which absorb into the skin better and contain an array of essential nutrients that keep your skin supple and healthy. 


4. Quit smoking 


It’s no secret that smoking is the cause of several chronic health risks such as lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease, but did you know that it also affects your skin?

The harmful chemicals within tobacco contribute to poor circulation which restricts blood flow to the face, limiting oxygen and essential nutrients. Additionally, smoking impacts collagen production, which is the protein that helps keep your skin elasticated and soft. As a result, you’re more likely to notice wrinkles appearing at a younger age, particularly around your mouth due to the repetitive action of pursing the lips.

Quitting smoking isn’t easy, so you may wish to book an appointment with your doctor to discover various methods to help you kick the habit once and for all.

4 Reasons You Should Make Changes to Your Home

Changes to your home can feel daunting, especially if you are worried about the cost and the work that may well have to go into the adjustments and advancements to create the outcome you are hoping for.


Due to this reason, it can be hard to bite the bullet, but there is usually a good reason to go ahead anyway.


This piece is going to take a look at four reasons that you should make changes to your home and how it can benefit you both in the short and long term.


Let's get into it.



1) Financial Value


One of the main reasons people choose to make changes and upgrades to their home is to increase the property's financial value. Whether you are looking to sell now or you are thinking ahead, increasing the financial value of your propertyis usually a smart investment. Even if selling is not part of the plan, and you want to pass your property down, those who are on the receiving end will be able to enjoy that increase in value as an asset. 



2) Comfort


If you have a chance to live in comfort – do it! Life is too short to struggle up and down the stairs instead of using a stair lift or to brace yourself for the freezing floor in the bathroom on a winter morning. Making changes that are going to make your life easier will never be a waste and can help you enjoy your home much more than if you kept things the same. It is usually the little things that make such a big difference to our day, so feel confident in making the changes you know are going to improve your day-to-day comfort.


Head over to for some excellent advice on increasing the comfort in your home, such as improved lighting to an upgraded heating system. Small changes like these can make a big difference. 



3) Change of Circumstances 


Changes are usually made as a response to something, and this is no different when it comes to home renovation. Perhaps you have reached your limit with your inefficient boiler or have transformed a room into a use that needs much more light. Maybe you have started a family, and need a little (or a lot) more extra room in your home. There are many reasons you might need to make changes to your home, and it is up to you what you think will benefit you the most with your new set of circumstances.



4) Style


If you are someone that loves to keep up with the interior design trends, then you are probably never too far from a change anyway! Alternatively, if you have had the same design or style in your home for over a decade, you might decide it is time to freshen it up and make it a little more modern or a little more "you."


Making changes to your home is an excellent idea when you consider the above benefits. 

Photo by La Miko from Pexels: