Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Perfect Backpack #SMARTY

I have the most perfect backpack.  My daughter needed a backpack for her 8th grade trip to Washington DC. The kids were told to bring a draw string bag because there would be so many security checks and having a backpack would slow the group down. She used the SMARTY Heavy Duty Clear Backpack and ran into zero trouble going through security or searching for what she needed quickly.

She kept everything in it:

Snacks, water, phone, money, credit card, keys, books, drawing pad, brush, umbrella, gum, sunblock, and even a stuffed animal she purchased at a gift shop.

She loved the size and said the other kids had a small drawstring bag that had to be searched thoroughly and didn't have any room in it due to the size. She said, this was water proof, easy to handle, comfortable to wear and on while on the bus she didn't have to search for anything. She could see exactly what she needed just by looking at it.

Since she came back and I have been seeing a chiropractor for my sciatica pain, I have taken SMARTY as my job bag. I carry so much stuff with me every day. Stickers for my students, books, lunch, wallet, planner, extra water and more. It is so nice and big and instead of carrying my tote on one shoulder like I use to, I can distribute the weight evenly. My chiropractor still doesn't love how much I carry but says this is definitely better for my back. 

It is a great bag. I love that it is waterproof and easy to find my things.

Smarty Heavy Duty Clear Backpack

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

Three Ways to Defeat Your Addiction

The moment you are able to recognize that you have a problem with addiction is the moment that you will begin to turn your life around. Recovery is an ongoing process that needs to be taken care of and nurtured for your whole life, but this doesn’t mean it has to be a difficult task.

This helpful guide is going to give you the three things you can do to ensure that your recovery from addiction can be long-lasting and help you to regain control over your life. As it is often said, life is too short, so it is so important that you make the most of it while you can and defeat your addiction as soon as possible.

Start strong

When you first decide you need to get sober, you will be in a very vulnerable place and need the help of professionals if you want to get through. Talking to the professionals at Forward Recovery will give you a good insight into the kind of support that can be offered to you during this difficult time when you first give up the addictive substance. They will be able to offer you expert medical advice and treatment, as well as help to emotionally support you and better understand what causes you to want to use. All of this treatment at the beginning will make your chances of relapsing plummet.

Look after your mind

Addiction isn’t just about the effect on your body, and you need to know how to take care of your mental health if you want to defeat your addiction for good. This can simply mean introducing some little changes to your everyday routine to keep yourself levelheaded. For example:

·         Healthy work to life balance to limit your stress levels.

·         Spend time away from social media at least once a day.

·         Try to exercise every day or at least always get out of the house once a day and into the fresh air.

·         Keep in contact with friends and family and try to organize social events to spend time together.

·         Start writing a wellness journal to help you to process your emotions.

Fill the time with other activities

One of the biggest issues addicts find when they are first sober is that they don’t know how to fill the time and this idleness can lead them to want to use again. To combat the boredom, you may well feel when you first get clean, that you need to find some new and productive ways to spend your free time.

Try to make yourself a schedule for every day of the week so that you always have something to do to occupy your mind. You could clean the bathroom on Monday, go to a dance class on Tuesday, and meet up for a coffee with friends on a Wednesday. Making these simple plans every day will help you to resist relapse and stay away from the places and people who may want to make you use again.

Photo credit: Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash

4 Reasons to Hire Professionals for Your Next Move

A long distance move can be difficult to plan and execute, but even moving from one town to another locally can prove stressful and time-consuming. Below are four reasons to hire professional moving services when planning your next move.
Get the Move Done Faster
Tackling a big move can take time when you are stuck having to handle all of the planning, packing, and physical moving. Hiring professional movers puts the job in capable hands that have the whole process down to a fine science. You'll be moved to your new location fast.
Take the Stress Out of the Process
When you are on tight deadlines to get to your new home and are not familiar with the moving process, it can result in a highly-stressful experience. The experience of experts in moving will help bring things in control. You can get back to making plans for getting comfortable in your new location when the move is done.
Keep from Getting Injured Moving Heavy Items
You probably don't move stoves, refrigerators, and couches every day. Professionals movers do and they have the equipment to make it easier. Hiring professional moving services can keep you from pulling muscles, or straining your back. You don't want to end up out of commission due to injury in your new home.
Expert Movers Get Your Belongings Moved Safe and Sound
Knowing how to pack sensitive or fragile items is as important as moving them with care. Expert movers know the materials to use to minimize damage and how to store everything for a safe and secure journey.
Look for experienced and knowledgeable movers near Livonia MI to help you with your next move. Get to your new location on time and with all of your items in great shape.

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

Best Summer Activities For Kid's Growth & Development

Summer is known as that lazy, relaxing time of year. While all kids deserve a break, they still need structure and stimulating activities that nurture their growth and development. What are some pro tips to keep in mind when it comes to your kids this summer?

Vinay Saranga M.D. is a child psychiatrist and founder of Saranga Comprehensive Psychiatry (www.srangapsychiatrycom) and offers this advice:

  • Create A Summer Schedule: You don’t have to schedule something for every second of the day. The idea is to develop a predictable but flexible daily schedule that can help children thrive. Remember, sometimes boredom can be a trigger for bad behavior. The idea is to still have a routine and agenda, but know that it’s okay to be a little laid back when it comes to sticking to it.

  • Create A Calendar: Make it visible to your entire family. Write down daily activities and include a chore/activity chart. This helps children understand what’s expected of them. It also helps enrich their sense of responsibility and integrity all while building their confidence.

  • Don’t Skip Reading: Reading should be part of their everyday routine this summer. Whether in the morning or before bed (or both), make it a priority to read with your kids. Of course, the goal of reading is to make it enjoyed. Get your child involved by going to a local library and scouting out the latest book by their favorite author. 
  • Sleep Is Still Essential: Sleep, especially at a young age, is essential for healthy growth and brain development. We all benefit from a good night’s rest! Even if you extend bedtime during the summer, make sure your child is getting the recommended amount of sleep each night. Try not to get too far off of their school routine because it will be back in session before you know it!

  • Cut Back On Screen Time: Sometimes it’s too easy just to turn on the TV. When they’re not swimming or riding bikes, find something productive for them to do. Stock up on fun and educational activities that will help your kids continue to grow and learn over the summer break. Coloring books, crosswords, puzzles and board games are all great ideas.

  • Some Downtime Is Good: Remember that long days at the pool/beach can cause exhaustion which leads to frustration and overwhelm. Figure out what the right amount of activity is to stimulate your child and incorporate enjoyable activities into their summer routine.

  • Keep them social. Summer camps, group play and trips to the local playground are all ways to entertain children without screen time. Social settings often encourage imaginary play and creativity all while developing social skills that are essential for a child’s development.

  • Incorporate nature. Let nature be your inspiration this summer! Get your children outdoors for some fresh air. Plan a game of hide-and-seek or set up a nature scavenger hunt that will keep them entertained in a healthy way.

  • Make time for family: Our kids grow up so quickly, so make time to enjoy the summer as a family no matter how old your kids are. Whether planning a vacation out of state or simply a day trip to the beach, the best activities are enjoyed together.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

My Life In Pics - April 1 - April 7

April 1 - More art from my Goddess. Her sketches are so cute to me even when she wants to toss them out because she "ruined it."

April 2 - Digital art by my girl. So cute!

April 3 - Of course there are cats in my photos but this time it is a video.

April 4 - Luna's teeth. Why? Well, we love getting shots of them yawning for some reason. Don't judge.

April 5 - NADA

April 6 - Hello! I saw the Weiner Mobile and thought it was the coolest. My daughter thought I was totally lame. 

April 7 - Luna laying with Goddess while she creates art featuring well....Luna of course.

My Life in Pics - March 23 - March 31

March 23 - Family dinner at Pizza Unos. My boys crack me up when they are together. Very much boy play which gets a little ridiculous and involves a lot of trash talk.

March 24 - Just one of our cat sitting jobs. This is a new family for us and we were thrilled to get to know their cats.

March 25- We never get a photo of our three cats hanging out together. This made us so happy.

March 26 - Pretty pathetic pic but I took a photo of the speaker I  have a work for a review. It is a great little speaker. My class is so loud (they are 2 after all) so I need a power little speaker that will not break if it falls. This is durable and loud.

March 27 - My daughter took some photos of her class trip to Roosevelt Mansion in Hyde Park. I love seeing them. As a child my family went there often. I love how quiet this room looks with it's four poster bed and overhead light.

March 28 - This is the thing nightmares are made of. Luna in a snapchat filter was the only photo taken on March 28th. Yikes!

March 29 - My date for the Middle School play is too cute in all her black gear.

March 30 - Really?! This is it! A friggin picture of a Shamrock shake?! UGH

March 31 - Semi Formal dress shopping was not what I had expected. It kinda sucked.

Chloe's Nickelodeon Kids Pops are Here Along With A #Giveaway Ends 6/11 #chloesfruit

Chloe's the better for you frozen fruit pop brand has launched a kid focused line in partnership with Nickelodeon!

Still made with the same simple ingredients: fruit, water and cane sugar, the new line of 40 calorie pops includes a Blueberry-Banana combination featuring Thomas & Friends and a Strawberry-Mango blend with new favorite character, Sunny Day.

The warm weather is here which means my freezer gets over run by ice pops, Italian ices and ice cream. Chloe's is always in there. I love the Cold Pressed Coffee Pops, Dark Chocolate Pops and Blueberry Pops. They taste amazing and the Dark Chocolate Pops taste like the chocolate Italian Ices I use to get in Brooklyn at the local pizzeria. I don't mind my kids having a frozen pop on warm days but I do NOT like them to be loaded with sugar and empty calories which is why I am so excited about these 40 calorie Chloe pops geared toward kids. 

My store says they are getting them in soon and I am excited to see what my kids think because they love the Blueberry and Tangerine pops. The Thomas & Friends and Sunny Day pops are a wonderful kid loving combo of Blueberry-Banana and Strawberry-Mango. These are my kids favorite yogurt combos so I know they will love them. 

Since my store didn't have them in stock yet, I am going to show you the Dark Chocolate ones. 

I think the reason they taste so much like my beloved Brooklyn Italian ice is because they are made of natural cocoa, water and cane sugar. At 60 calories I don't feel any of the guilt I feel when I eat a bowl of ice cream. They are delicious and one is enough! I LOVE THEM!

One winner will receive a coupon for a free box of Chloe's Frozen Pops. 

They have so many flavors to choose from and you can find them in your supermarket freezer.

To Enter for a chance to win a coupon for a free box of Chloe's pops enter below:

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

Monday, May 27, 2019

5 Home Improvements Worth Putting on Your To-Do-List

It’s easy to get swept away with improving our homes at the start of each new year. We tend to throw our time and efforts into planning lavish updates and how to make our homes appear more luxe, eager for a new year’s resolution that will last.

Fast forward to a few months down the line, and many of us find that we still haven’t made a start on them.

Don’t worry if you fall victim to this. By limiting your
home improvement to-do list to a much smaller ‘do-able’ list, you’ll find your plans are much more manageable.

They key is to look at the ones which will instantly add value, in terms of your own enjoyment and for the house price.

Below are five key improvements which are completely worth your time, effort, and money.  

1. Look at door replacement

Although not always the first thing on your mind, the doors you have in and around your home make a huge statement. Your front door is one of the main doors you should pay attention to, after all, you know what they say about ‘curb appeal.’

With this in mind, it’s important to make sure your front door is in excellent condition.

Your front door will represent your home, so a smart design representative of the theme of your home is a must.

Ensure you assess all the doors around the home, too. Back and front doors work well when they let light in through window panel use, and bedroom doors should be solid and well-painted.

2.  Update your patio

If you want to make a great first impression to any guests, the outdoor additions to your home should top your improvement list.

You would be surprised at how much neighbors can judge you and your home from peeking in at your yard. Look at working on creating a neater, tidier backyard complete with a beautiful patio this summer. When it comes time to sell your property, potential buyers will be much more enthused if they know they don’t have to plan in a full outdoor makeover project.

Above all, having a backyard complete with decking areas, neat fences, luscious grass, and pretty flower beds is a joy all round to spend time in.

3. Make use of unused space

Do you have an attic or a basement which doesn’t get any use, other than for storage? If so, make it something to update this year if your funds allow. By utilizing this unused space, you can create an extra bedroom, an office, or even a home gym.
Of course, this project requires a lot of work, and it depends on what state the spaces are currently in. Attics which have been unused for years tend to have layers of dust, but they will also need checking from unsafe flooring and holes in the roof.
It's wise to bring in the experts to ensure your attic is a safe place before starting any renovation tasks. For example, attic projects services, such as Attic Cleaning Company, will fully provide all cleaning and attic insulation needs.

4. An extra bathroom

Whether you have a growing family, or just want to make use of the space in your home, adding an extra bathroom is a worthwhile home update.

You’ll find that many new home developments are built with homes that either has a downstairs bathroom or an ensuite to the main bedroom. The demand for homes with two bathrooms is increasingly growing, and no doubt it will increase the value of your home significantly.

5. Add decking to your garden

We mentioned above that any outdoor additions are vital for updating your home, so following on from this is to invest in decking. Perhaps you already have decking in your rear garden which needs improving, or, you may have suitable space to create a decking area.

If you implement a large wooden decking area to your garden, it instantly creates a new space designed to relax, host BBQ’s or use as a place for children to play away from the grass. That aside, good quality decking can work wonders to create a smart new layout and structure to your garden.

S'Mores Better Than Ever #stuffedpuffs #smores

Introducing Stuffed PuffsÔ the first
stuffed marshmallow, filled with real chocolate.

The S’more, a century-old American tradition, has been re-born. On April 28th, Stuffed Puffs™, the first and only filled marshmallow – made with real chocolate – debuted at WalMart®.  Stuffed Puffs has created an innovative and proprietary manufacturing process to do something that’s never been done and “make a good thing even better.”

Everyone loves s’mores. But not everyone loves making them. Juggling marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers around a campfire, or hot grill, can be a sticky challenge. All too often, the marshmallow does not get hot enough to melt the chocolate. Stuffed Puffs ingeniously solves the problem by putting the chocolate inside the marshmallow: “the chocolate melts while the marshmallow toasts.”  It’s the fail-safe way to make a perfect s’more.

“The idea was born around a campfire” said Michael Tierney, who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY in 2010. “It’s a simple idea, but very hard to execute, which is why it hasn’t been done before. I spent seven years figuring out a truly innovative system that breaks the rules of traditional candy making. I’m so excited it’s finally here.”   

Stuffed Puffs is the easy new way to make a good old-fashioned American favorite,” Tierney continued. “But s’mores are only our starting point. We are already at work on different flavor and coating combinations that will make Stuffed Puffs much more than just a campfire-season product.” 

Stuffed Puffs is available at WalMart® stores across the country in time for Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kick-off for America’s summer season. Consumers should keep an eye out for them, as they are going to be one of the season’s hottest new items. At a suggested retail price of $3.98, Stuffed Puffs are likely to move off the shelves as fast as they are gobbled up at barbecues, campfires, and everywhere else family and friends get together to enjoy the summer.

The 411:

My kids and I loved these marshmallows. They love marshmallows any which way but I only like them once they have been charred. Well...that is how it use to be. I will eat a whole bag of these charred or uncharred if I wasn't concerned about my waist. I love them! The kids and I love that we don't need to have a bar of chocolate on hand to make S'mores. It certainly made things easier to have the chocolate already inside. 

I was sent a box of Stuffed Puffs with skewers and Graham Crackers to try them out for myself. The box had 2 bags of Marshmallows inside yet we have already bought 2 more bags. I got a bunch of gavones in my house. I order to take these pics I needed to run out and get more marshmallows. Can you imagine? Is nothing sacred?  

My favorite way to eat a marshmallow

If your family likes S'mores, I highly suggest these yummies. I cannot wait to try them in my hot chocolate. 

Craving them right now....

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Spend Your Vacation at the Beach

A house on the beach can be the perfect getaway. Sunrise walks on the beach, hiking in the woods and swimming with dolphins are all possibilities for a North Carolina beach vacation.

Beautiful and Affordable

To some people, it just isn't a vacation if it isn't in a fancy hotel, and that's fine. But if you are looking for comfort, amenities and a spectacular view, north carolina beachfront rentals have what you want. Beach rentals come in all sizes, from tiny cottages for two to expansive, three-story homes that sleep a dozen or more, making it the perfect getaway for a group of friends or extended family. Beach houses can be formal and fancy or laid back and comfortable, and it is your choice. Another point in favor of a beach rental over a hotel is that you can have some of your meals at home and save expensive dinners for a special treat.

Something for Everyone

The beaches and towns of the Outer Banks and Atlantic coast of North Carolina offer many activities for fun and relaxation. You can tour historic lighthouses from Nag's Head to Sunset Beach. There are many state parks offering miles of hiking trails through coastal forests. Boardwalks offer amusements and mini golf, and the fishing and boating can't be beat. For more exotic fun, you can go scuba diving and explore some of the many shipwrecks in the area.

Year-Round Fun

While the summer vacation season is the busiest time of the year, autumn, winter and spring rentals are available, too. The crowds are not as large in the offseason as well. If you are really looking for peace and quiet, some communities, like Bald Head Beach, prohibit cars for the ultimate laid-back get away. A ferry provides transportation from the mainland to the island.
If you are looking for the perfect family vacation spot, a house on the beach in North Carolina could be just the thing

Effective Corporate Gift Ideas

In the old days, women who stayed home and took care of their homes and families full time knew the value being a gracious hostess, with all that entailed. A great hostess would have every point of proper etiquette down just so, from how to set a table to how to plan party invitations to how to write and send a perfectly worded thank you note. Along with all these skills, a great homemaker and hostess would also know how to find and present the perfect hostess gift. Today, the world has changed quite a bit as far as how women work and function in the world, yet we can learn a lot about how to best communicate graciously in the corporate world from home women from years ago used their social skills. The Art of Gift-Giving One skill great homemakers had was knowing when to give a gift, and knowing what kind of gift to give. One gift that was always popular with every recipient was the gift of a delicious baked good, like a cake or a beautifully arranged basket of cookies and other sweet treats. Today, there is a whole industry built around the art of creating corporate gifts, and cookie baskets, delivered by cookie delivery Atlanta or other cities, remain a very popular gift item. Beautifully presented baked goods are an ideal corporate gift, as they convey a friendly feel (like mom always had) without being too personal. There's no question that almost every person enjoys delicious treats from a bakery, and tasty treats always bring a smile along with a lot of good feelings. So, next time your company is searching for ideas for the perfect client gift, take a cue from the wisdom of the hostesses of days gone by, and order a special delivery of delicious bakes items, perfectly arranged in a basket and tied up in a pretty bow.

OMG You Guys...This Is The Best Juice Ever And It Is 90% Juice

Have you guys ever heard of WTR MLN WTR? It is unbelievable! By far my favorite drink and I need to order 10 cases immediately.

I drink about 5 16 oz glasses of water a day. I love my water and carry it everywhere. Being that I have  nasal drip from my deviated septum, my throat is always dry. My only other drink is my morning cup of coffee BUT...this changed it all.

Right out of the box I saw there were natural electrolytes from watermelon and it was only 90 calories. I don't love a sugary aftertaste so I was pleasantly pleased when I took my first delicious sip.

It was absolutely amazing. It was as if someone took a watermelon and squeezed it into my cup. The ingredients are: Watermelon flesh, watermelon rind, Strawberry puree, filtered water and lemon juice. THAT IS IT PEOPLE!

I took one bottle to work (one because that was all I was willing to part with) to share with my co-workers. My boss loves stuff like this so I brought it to her first telling her I had something I really wanted her to try. She LOVED it and said exactly what I thought the first time I tried. "I have a dry throat due to medications and this would really help me. I could easily drink that whole bottle." She carried on about how good it was just like I did after my first taste.

The next person I brought it to was my friend Clary. I know she wouldn't like it and I knew why. I gave her a cup and she said no thanks at first. Then I poured some telling her she needed to try it. She kept saying "that's enough!" but seriously can't taste a drop right?! She is like that.

She drank it and said, "Nope I don't like it. It tastes too healthy." WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT I KNEW SHE WOULD SAY. Seriously...too healthy. It didn't have any Stevia and that is what some people get use to when something says "no sugar". I LOVED it and didn't share the other bottles. Sorry not sorry!

Look at that color though...isn't it pretty?

The cover says Shake it Like You Mean It.

It is so good, my only complaint it that I cannot get it at my Shoprite but it is available at some as well as Walmart, Cosco, Whole Foods and many other stores. Head over to WTRMLNWTR to see if it is near you.

Amazon sells it as well

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

Monday, May 20, 2019

How To Get Out of a Timeshare

Timeshare properties offer the ability for people to own a piece of property alongside others to share the costs of ownership. However, timeshares don’t work out for everyone and it can be difficult to get out of the contractual obligations. When the benefits no longer outweigh the negatives, it is time to find a way out of that timeshare.
Timeshare Basics
When you bought your timeshare, you picked a particular week or weeks to use throughout the year. Those weeks can be traded for others if they are floating or flexible. Achieving timeshare termination can be difficult but not impossible. Depending on the type of ownership purchased, owners either have a shared leased ownership or shared deeded ownership. Over time, the owner pays fees and maintenance charges in addition to the purchase price.
Poor Investment
For many, owning a timeshare is not the best investment. The opportunity to resale the timeshare is limited with so many available for purchase. Like a vehicle, the timeshare depreciates in value instead of gaining value with time like a home.
Ownership Drawbacks
Timeshares only allow you to use one property for your vacation. If that particular location is a favorite, the timeshare may be a great vacation investment. If you enjoy any vacation flexibility, a timeshare may be a poor purchase. Another drawback is the limited amount of time you have to use the property. For longer vacations, a timeshare is unable to accommodate your schedule. Owning a timeshare comes with continual payments even once the original purchase price is paid in full.
Timeshare sellers often tout all the benefits of owning a timeshare. They may throw discounts and cost savings at you to entice you to purchase. Once you have spent the money, you may regret the decision and have trouble getting out of the agreement. Terminating your timeshare may be easier than you think with the right help.
Photo by Marc Babin on UnsplasP