Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Scrubbing Up: Buying Bathroom Products as Gifts

Giving someone a bathroom product might not be some people’s style, but the bathroom is just as important as any other room in the home. People take pride in the appearance of this, the smallest room of the house, and it’s not all basic toilet roll holders, soap dishes and mirrors anymore. Think vintage and also contemporary. Now you can pick out a stylish, practical present if you make a fuss over someone’s bathroom, since there are so many quirky bathroom accessories around these days.

Getting the shabby chic vibe
The shabby chic look has been around for a few years now and its popularity looks set to continue. The good thing about this trend is that you can easily pick up shabby chic items in places such as second-hand furniture stores and antique shops. Go vintage with your mirrors, ornate pills boxes, antique bottles for flowers and porcelain soap dishes. Such products can be beautifully designed and friends who have styled their bathroom using this theme will love you that little bit more.

Going contemporary
A contemporary bathroom is a much more minimalist look than the vintage theme and usually includes muted colors. The theme relies heavily on glass and steel products, which aren’t too expensive depending on the item. Floating glass shelves, minimalist steel soap dishes and glass candle holders can project the bathroom well into the 21st century. If you have a contemporary bathroom, it will be the little touches that make it so. Decisive differential elements can include frosted glass toothbrush mugs and stainless steel coat hooks.

The quirkier the better
For some people it’s all about the unusual objects that are both household items and conversation pieces. Fun (not to mention funky!) bathroom products can include floating lights disguised as a submarine, and dinosaur toilet brush holders. There’s always the option to give framed prints and wall clocks specifically designed to be hung in the bathroom, which can definitely brighten up any room in the home.
Before buying the bathroom accessory make sure to browse around the Net and research your buying choices. You can find some great products online but remember that rooting around vintage shops and flea markets is all part of the fun.

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Delivery Man on Blu-Ray

Product Received

Having 3 kids is a lot to think about, but what about having over 500 kids? That thought is one that I dont think anyone should ever have, but what about those countless men, who have donated their sperm over the years? I mean, there is no telling how many kids they have fathered, and most probably do not let the thought bother them. Well that is something that becomes a reality for a man when he finds that he has 533 kids out there, whom of which were the products of his donations that he made 20 years earlier in the movie Delivery Man. In this comedy, David learns that he has fathered 533, and the shock becomes one of the best things to ever happen to him. We found this comedy to be both funny and heartwarming, and it made for a great movie for my husband and I to watch on our own movie night. With the Blu-Ray edition that we were sent, we not only got to watch the movie, but we got to enjoy the fun deleted scenes along with bonus features! Delivery Man is available now to bring home and share with your family today!

This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.
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Monday, April 21, 2014

#Giveaway Purex Crystals Limited Edition Fabulously Fresh (3 Winners!)

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When it comes to the laundry, I like to not only have my laundry smelling fresh when it comes out, but I also like that freshness to last. A product that I use to help freshen up my washes is the Purex Crystals, and when I go to buy Purex Crystals I like the selection of fragrances I can choose from. Recently I was sent some of the Limited Edition Fabulously Fresh scent from the line of Purex Crystals.

With Spring upon us, I found this scent to be very suiting. Not only do I have products through out the home that give my home that spring like feel to it when it comes to scents, but I can also have the spring like fresh scent in my laundry and continue to smell the freshness long after I have done my families laundry! I can appreciate that when I use the Purex Crystals, just a little can go a long way, which is a plus when you have a never ending pile of laundry to do in the home! You can find the Purex Crystals Limited Edition Fabulously Fresh today and bring it home to bring the spring like freshness to your laundry and home! Well, to help with freshening up your laundry, the wonderful people from Purex are giving 3 of my amazing readers each a coupon that is good towards the purchase of 1 bottle of the Purex Crystals Limited Edition Fabulously Fresh!

This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.

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#Giveaway New Scents for Spring from the Softsoap Decor Collection

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From the fragrances I find to make my home smell fresh and inviting to the cleaners and hand soaps I find, I like to seek out the products that are suiting for the season. Recently I was sent some of the new products from the Softsoap Decor Collection.

These hand soaps not only smell amazing with their unique fresh scents, but the bottles look great in our bathrooms and kitchen and are very inviting for others to use when need be. I can really appreciate the uniqueness in the collection from the Wild Basil & Lime which is refreshing and fragrant to the Peony & Plum, and the Orchid Petals & Mint Water, which are also very pleasant and refreshing and all make a beautiful spring time accessory to any restroom. The Softsoap Decor Collection is available now for you to bring home! Well to help add a bit of decorative elegance and some refreshing fragrances to hand washing in your home, the wonderful people from Softsoap would like to give one of my amazing readers their own set of the new Softsoap Decor Collection!

This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.
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Feeding the Imaginations of Kids with the Let's Play School set from Nenuco

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Feeding the imaginations of my kids is something I enjoy doing. I love being able to go out and find products that I can bring home to give to the kids and watch as their imaginations take off when they play with the items I give them. I think that one of the things I liked when I was a kid and that I like to share with my own kids is toys that encourage role playing. Ever since Estrella was a little toddler, she has enjoyed role playing with her dolls. From the time she would play Dr with her dolls, and when I had Robert she would follow me with her own baby dolls pretending to be a little mommy, to when she first went to school and she incorporated what she had learned at school with playing school at home with her dolls and later with her little brothers. So when it has come to playing school, Estrella and Robert have had a lot of fun playing school together with their toys. Recently I was sent a play set that is great for adding to their imaginative role play when I was sent the Let's Play School set from Nenuco!

With this play set they not only get a doll who is a eager student ready to learn, but they get some fun props that can make them feel like real teachers. The kids can put on the matching play glasses on the doll and on themselves. Then the doll can sit at the desk that comes in the set and await instruction from the teacher as the kids go over the fun lesson plans that include math, science, history and more! In all we have found the Nenuco Let's Play School set to be a great set to get the kids and add to their play times!

This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.
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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Local Online Selling and Buying Made Easier with the Puhsh App #ad

This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.

As a mom, I am constantly going through the kids items, and either giving them away or trying to sell them. Aside from the constant fact that the kids are always growing, growing out of clothes and growing too big for certain items, I am also always looking for clothes that are a bigger size, or other items for both the kids and the household. Like many other mothers out there, I head to sites like Craigslist and those Facebook groups that have the online garage sales and swaps. The thing is, when I use sites like Craigslist, I end up finding ads for things that turn out too good to be true and are nothing but spam, or when I have items for sale, I get calls from people who are trying to scam others. Then when I do find items that are legit, ones that I really want, I call or email, and it has already been sold, leaving me back to square one where I am once again searching the ads. Things like that turn the experience into a nightmare, and I end up wanting to set up a garage sale, but never have the time, and I get discouraged because I can not trust those sites and groups.

Recently I was introduced to a app that is a solution to the issue, and that makes the online garage sale idea a fun and easy one like it should be. The app is called Puhsh, and when I download the Puhsh App from iTunes or Google Play, I can feel assured that as I use the "Local, Social Media, Marketplace", where others who use the app have verified Facebook accounts. I can also use the Facebook Graph which allows me to see other members who I might have mutual friends through, who are local. Aside from the safety feature of having only verified users using the app, I like that I can choose the categories that interest me, so those will be the only ones I see in my feed. The app also allows me to easily manage my own posts, the items I have bid on, and receive an instant notification when anything happens!

Another plus about the Puhsh App is when I am ready to set up items to sell, the app makes it very easy and fast to do. Also, when I have sold an item, I can mark it as sold, so others know it is no longer available and same goes for when I am shopping for items. I also like that there are many pickup options for when I am selling or buying, like if I want to ad the option of a Porch Pickup and so on! Once I have sold or bought an item, I can manage the sale through private messaging so either the buyer or seller can work out the details of the exchange. Then for those of us who utilize the app on a regular basis, we can earn points and even badges, which not only shows that the member is trustworthy, but members can use the points to earn discounts!

You can begin your selling and shopping today by downloading Puhsh, also you can learn more by heading to the Puhsh site and by watching the video below!

This is a sponsored post, all opinions are my own.
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Boosting my Workouts with X2 Performance #teamX2

This is a sponsored post. I received the X2 Performance along with compensation as a X2 Performance Blogger Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

Over the past year I have been on a life changing journey, one that I had to do for myself and my family. In the past year I have lost over 60 lbs, which is a lot, but I still have a ways to go before I get to my original goal. A few months ago I decided that after hitting the plateau in weight loss, and also indulging on those holiday goodies that are so good but so bad, that it was time to hit the gym. I went and got a membership to a gym that is open 24 hours, so that I could go at any time with no excuses.

Taking the step to go to a gym was big, I mean, when I started my weight loss journey, I not only cut my calories and watched what I was eating, but I also started going on regular walks each day. I found that when the winter months came about, I was coming up with excuses to myself because it was too cold or there was snow and or ice on the ground, so I did not go walking. When I went to get on the scale, I knew it was not a great shock to see that I was no longer loosing weight, and that is when I got my gym membership. It had been many years since I had been to a gym, and I felt out of place. I got a trainer to get me started and give me direction, which was a really good choice.

I usually choose to hit the gym in the evenings, after the kids are home and have eaten their dinners. One thing that I had noticed to be somewhat of a annoyance when it came to the time I chose is the fact that I am tired by this time of day. I mean, I have a toddler that I chase around and play with during the day, a house to take care of along with other obligations, and by the time everyone has settled down for the evening, I am usually plum tired. Well with the fact that I am out of energy by the time I go to the gym, and the fact that once I get home I have plenty of writing to do, I found myself looking for something that can give me that boost, a boost not only at the gym, but one that would help enhance my workout. Recently I was sent what I had been looking for, when I was introduced to X2 Performance.

The first thing I did when my X2 Performance arrived was to check and see what I needed to do in order to get the full benefit. I took the dose that was recommended for my weight about 45 minutes before my workout and on an empty stomach as directed. I was very pleased to feel a burst of energy, which is what I really needed, when I got on the treadmill at the beginning of my workout.
Now, I have taken energy drinks in the past, and usually after a walk, or run on the treadmill, I feel myself coming down, fast. Not the case with the X2 Performance. After going on the treadmill, I head to the 30 minute circuit room, which is a fast paced workout that incorporates weight lifting and steps, and works all of the muscles. I was very pleased to not only be feeling the energy boost that I need to complete the training I get form the circuit room, but I also found my recovery after my workout was over to be very nice. Even after working out in the evening, I was able to have the energy I needed to go home and complete my work for the night, instead of being exhausted. They recommend that you do not take the X2 Performance 3 hours prior to bed, and I would suggest that unless you are one who is a night owl like myself, that you choose your workout time earlier in the day. I have been able to take the X2 Performance for the past few days, even on my down days, as recommended, and I have noticed a difference in the energy I have both at the gym and on the days that I am not at the gym. Also, I am not a person as to whom you might see as fit or in shape, in fact far from it, and I am working on that, but I have found the X2 Performance to work for me, and to provide me with the energy needed and a quick recovery time after working out.

I have found the X2 Performance to be very beneficial both in the gym and out and you can too when you give the X2 Performance a try! You can get started on your own fitness goals and get that energy and recovery benefit by signing up for your free trial offer of the X2 Performance!

I received product and compensation for this post. All opinions are my own. Please consult with your Dr or Physician before starting any workout routine or taking supplements.
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#Giveaway (US & Canada) Introducing the SwaddleClub and the New Muslin Swaddles from Swaddle Designs

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As a parent prepares for a new baby to join the family, a lot can take place. There are many questions that might come about. Like how to properly care for baby, from bathing to the correct way to swaddle baby. Even being a seasoned pro so to say after having 3 babies of my own, I still find that having tools that can help with things like understanding baby care, tools that can assist me when it comes to soothing baby, can be very useful, especially in those first few months when sleep does not come as easy as it once did before. Recently I was introduced to a great new app from one of my favorite companies. The app is called the SwaddleClub, and it was created by the people from Swaddle Designs.

When you join the SwaddleClub, parents can have access to some great tips, and much more! When I say more I mean, like when you are trying to calm baby, and rocking and singing is just not doing it, you can find some great calming sounds and soothing music when you pull up the app to play for baby. Parents can also find tips on safe sleeping, and they can also get swaddling tips, like how to swaddle baby properly, as well as watch some great baby care videos! Another plus when it comes to being a SwaddleClub member is, parents can access this information by scanning the QR code on the Swaddle Blankets from the Swaddle Designs line, and also find some great deals on the products from Swaddle Designs!
Aside from the great new app that is available to parents and caregivers, I was also sent some of the new Muslin Swaddles to review. With the Muslin Swaddles, I like that they are not only perfect for swaddling, putting on as a cover on the stroller, or as a nursing cover, but I like that the material is light weight and is breathable, which is going to be perfect for the upcoming hot Texas summer days! This breathable weave helps to keep baby from overheating, and like on the other swaddle blankets from Swaddle Designs, you get those very helpful directions which give parents and caregivers the step by step instructions on how to swaddle baby! In all, I have found the SwaddleClub app with all of the great tools and tips, along with the new Muslin Swaddles to be things that parents need when preparing for baby! Well to help with preparing for your own baby, the wonderful people from Swaddle Designs would like to not only offer the SwaddleClub app for free to anyone who wants to utilize this amazing app, but they would also like to offer one of my amazing readers their own pack of the Muslin Swaddles!

This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.
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Spring Scents for the Home from Glade

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Spring is here and one of the things I really look forward to in the spring months is the flowers! I mean, there are flowers blooming and when I head outside and smell all of the fresh floral fragrances in the air, I know that spring has officially sprung. Well like with any of the seasons, I look forward to the scents of the season, I enjoy not only being able to head outside and smell the fresh spring rain, the flowers blooming and the fruits in the garden ripening, but I also enjoy finding those fragrances that remind me of the season, for the home. Recently I was sent some of the new Spring Collection from Glade to review. With the room sprays, I can spray the different rooms in my home and get those fresh, sweet, floral scents that I adore. Then with the Glade Candle I was sent, I can enjoy the Live Loud, which can fill up any room I choose to place it in, with a bold and energizing romantic scent that is full of that springtime feel that I enjoy this time of year! So if you are looking to bring some of those amazing scents from Spring into your home, head out today and get some of the new Springtime scents from Glade!

This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.
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Saturday, April 19, 2014

#CKMondaviHeroes American Made Wine Supporting American Veterans

In our family, we have a lot of military, from the active military members to the veterans. My husband is a former Marine, and several of my brother in laws and a sister in law are all veterans as well. My husband also has several cousins who are either active or retired, and his dad was a veteran. Then when it comes to my family, I have a cousin who is active in the Marines, and my grandfathers were veterans. So when it comes to supporting our troops and veterans, we find ourselves to be very passionate in supporting them. I enjoy finding products that are not only American made products but products that can also go to help support a cause, and when it comes to supporting our military, well I find that even better. Recently we were sent a couple of bottles of CK Mondavi wine, which is not only perfect for those dinners where wine will pair wonderfully with the meal and or company, but I also love this wine for the cause the company supports.

When I go to purchase any of the CK Mondavi wines, I like knowing that the wine is the only American made and grown wine, that I can find at my local supermarket for under $10. I also find it to be a compelling company for the fact that the company CK Mondavi is run by not only a legendary Napa Valley wine icon, Peter Mondavi Sr., but I also like that fact that the company is run by a World War II veteran. CK Mondavi is a family owned business that has been around since the 1940's, and has thrived as a family owned business for four generations! I like that even when I am traveling in any of the US states and I am looking for some wine to take to a party or to enjoy on a quiet night in on vacation, I can find CK Mondavi at the local grocery store. Well, aside from the obvious that compels myself and others to buy CK Mondavi, the wonderful people behind the wine are giving back by giving a percentage of each bottle sold between May and August to Intrepid Fallen Heroes! The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is funded entirely by the public, and it goes to support U.S. military personnel and or their families, who have been wounded or killed in the line of duty. You can show your support by heading out and getting your bottles of CK Mondavi during the months of May through August, and you can learn more about IFHF by heading to www.fallenheroesfund.org!

Please comment below to share your own story about supporting veterans and/or American-made products. I will select ONE reader to be entered into CK Mondavi’s grand prize drawing by May 15. The grand prize is a $500 donation to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund in the winner’s name!

     I was selected for this opportunity as a member of  Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Finding a Fit in the Gym with Shefit

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Over the past year, I have been working on something big, something life changing, and in order for it to begin I had to take the first step. I am talking about my weight loss journey. I will have to admit, it has not been an easy one, but I have been working hard at sticking to it. In the past couple of months I did something I have not done in years, I got a membership to a gym and I have been going on a regular basis. When I started my journey to loose weight, I began my exercise by going on walks each day, but I got to a point where I hit that plateau , you know the one, where the weight is no longer coming off like it did at the beginning. I went several months where I was not loosing the weight, then with the winter and holidays, I was bad, I did not go on as many walks and I ate food that went straight to my rear. So when my birthday was coming up, I decided I needed to get back into the groove, and not only start watching what I eat again, but take it up a notch and go to the gym. Being one who had not walked into a gym in many years, I realized I did not have the gear to wear that would help make me more comfortable while I worked out. I mean, sure I had clothes to wear, but those clothes were also ones I wore years ago, when I went to the gym regularly, and before I had gained all of the weight that I did. Well, to help with revamping my workout wardrobe, I was sent a Shefit bra to review.

I find that having a great sports bra to wear while working out is ideal. It keeps the girls in place, and I love that it is adjustable! I mean, being able to adjust my bra, so that it continues to work for me and fit as I loose the weight is a huge plus. I also like that with the adjustable straps and such, the bra is made so that women of all shapes and sizes can wear it and get a comfortable bra to workout in. With the zipper in the front, it helps give me the same fit each time, so that everything stays in place and I do not have to worry about the girls needing to be adjusted or causing any other issues while I work out, allowing me to focus on my workout and not an uncomfortable bra! In all, I have found the Shefit to be the sports bra for me, and if you are either a seasoned pro when it comes to the gym, or a new comer like me, heading back to the gym after many years or even for the first time, make sure you have the gear that can help make your workout that much better and get your Shefit today!

This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Game Night Fun with Wonder Forge

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Game night is something my kids and I really look forward to. We find a time for a family game night can take place on any given night. Like on a weeknight after everyone has had a good day, we can end the day with a fun game that everyone can play and enjoy. I also find family game time to be a lot of fun on a rainy day as well. When it comes to the games we like to play, there are many, and there are plenty of times when we will let both of the older kids each pick out a game they would like to play. With Robert, he enjoys the matching games, and being able to have games with some of our favorite characters can make game play that much more fun. Recently we were sent some games from Wonder Forge, which are both age appropriate for Robert, but also have some of our favorite characters in the games. We were sent two great matching games, one with the Marvel characters, and one with the characters from the Disney movie Frozen, along with the game Sky Race which has the high flying characters from Disney's Planes in the game.

With both of the matching games, Robert and Estrella can enjoy a rainy day play time together, matching up some of their favorite characters. I also like that as we all play the matching games together, Wyatt, who is 1, sees what everyone else is doing and tries to do some matching up himself! Then with the Sky Race game, we can pull out a board game, where we can each be a flying plane character in a race to win the rally. I like the challenges that we run into during the game, which make the game both challenging and fun! In all, we have enjoyed adding these great games from Wonder Forge to our collection of family games and you can too by heading out today and bringing them home for your family to play!

This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.
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7 Beauty Myths You Can STOP Worrying About (Guest Post)

When you are flipping through your favorite magazine or scouring Pinterest how many times have you seen and heard beauty tips that just seem absurd. With all the style and beauty outlets available online and in print, there is a mountain of advice and information available on beauty maintenance. The telling and retelling of these valuable beauty tips has caused some of the details to be misinterpreted or simply embellished over the years. For example, the tip stating ‘pulling out one white hair will bring 7 more’ or ‘pumping the applicator wand in the tube when applying mascara’ are both beauty myths. So here are 7 common beauty myths exposed and clarified once and for all!

Makeup Causes Acne
This beauty myth is probably not true. There is no conclusive evidence that proves that makeup or skincare products cause acne. Studies were conducted on rats in the late 70s and it was determined that the effects on their skin had no direct correlation to the way women wear makeup. So why do so many women, beyond puberty, still get acne? Adults that experience breakouts after using a particular skin or makeup product is mainly due to irritation or is an inflammatory response to the ingredients in the beauty product. In this case, check the active ingredients and consult a dermatologist about your reactions to the product.

Pumping the Mascara Applicator Wand into the Tube
Pumping the mascara applicator wand is an old myth that must be stopped immediately. Sure it’s fun, but it actually has negative effects to your mascara and possibly to you too. Moving the brush in and out forces air into the tube and any bacteria that comes from your eye will thrive and multiply if exposed to the air that is trapped in the tube. In addition to that, pumping the applicator dries out the mascara paste much faster and also reduces the amount of product on the wand. Instead, move the applicator wand around the inside of the tube, gently scraping the edge. You will still get enough product, that is evenly distributed on the applicator, while keeping everything fresh and bacteria-free as long as possible.   

Washing Your Hair Frequently is Harmful
There has been quite a bit of debate on this topic, especially because many stylists say that there are natural oils that are healthy for your scalp. However, the truth is that your scalp has pores and these pores sweat and produce oils like the rest of the body. If you don’t wash your scalp, bacteria will thrive in the warm pockets of your hair. If your hair is oily and you exercise a lot, washing your hair with good quality shampoo and conditioner will not only clean your hair, but improve its condition. 

Using Lip Balm on a Regular Basis Gets Your Lips Addicted
All I have to say is NO! For starters, you should erase the idea that your skin can become addicted to anything. If the regular use of lip moisturizer is helping your lips stay moisturized, then it will continue to work for that purpose. Similarly, because water is good for us and has proven benefits every time we drink water, we don’t worry that our body will get addicted to drinking the standard 8 glasses of water day after day. 

100 Brush Strokes Will Make You Hair Shinier
Stylists are very clear about this rumor, brushing your hair that many times is too much. Professionals say that tugging your hair that much can often cause more damage because the strands of hair can break in the middle. There are, however, benefits to brushing your hair a few times to gain a little bit of luster. Trichologists or dermatologists that study hair and scalp, say that light brushing removes impurities and stimulates blood flow to the scalp which nourishes hair follicles and keeps them healthy. It also redistributes the oils from your scalp down the strand of hair which will reflect the light, giving off a shiny glow.

Pulling Out White Hairs Will Bring More
This myth has been floating around for several decades, but if you really think about the science behind this theory, it couldn’t possibly be true. You may have heard that pulling one white hair you will get 7 more, but only one strand of hair grows per hair follicle. So in order of this myth to be true, you would have to grow 7 new hair follicles from plucking hair out of one follicle. That is simply not possible. This does not mean you should run to the mirror to pull out all your white hairs because ripping hair from the roots often leads to the new hair strand to be unable to lie flat. The best idea for resolving white hairs is to see a colorist.

Crossing Your Legs Causes Varicose Veins
This myth is officially debunked starting...NOW! Sitting down or crossing your legs does not cause spider or varicose veins, but standing might. The two situations that can lead to pronounced veins are a genetic predisposition or people who have jobs that require them to stand a lot. This is because excessive standing causes the circulatory system to work extra hard to pump blood up from the legs to the heart. Varicose veins are also a side effect of pregnancy or trauma, like getting hit by a baseball or a car door. 

Make sure you remember that beauty tips are stated for the general masses. While most publications will address beauty tips that are applicable to everyone, it is important to realize that everyone’s body is different and a beauty tip that works for someone with tougher skin may not suit someone with more sensitive skin. 

Hello, My name is Sonia and I am a thirty-something blogger who loves to write about sports, health, DIY projects, hair and makeup, jewelry and food from India! I also write for a medical and cosmetic practice in Nashville, where I get most of my health knowledge from some of the greatest, well rounded surgeons. I am a fun-loving, vegetarian that will try anything once. I like to play golf, dance, meet new people and listen to upbeat music. 

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#Giveaway Finding Gifts for Mom from Cate & Chloe

Product Received
Spring is here and before you know it Mothers Day will be here as well. I see Mothers Day as a day to show mom how much you care and appreciate her for everything she has done. As a mom myself, I have found a deeper appreciation for my own mother, so on Mothers Day, even though my husband and kids find ways to show me they care, I like to find ways to show my own mom how much I care! Recently I was introduced to a company that has a monthly delivery club, but instead of food or flowers, it is a club that delivers jewelry monthly. The company is called Cate & Chloe, and to introduce me to what they do, they sent me a necklace to review. The necklace I was sent is just a taste of what I can expect when I sign up for a VIP membership at Cate & Chloe. 

The piece I was sent is valued at around $200, and when I sign up to be a VIP member, I can expect the same quality of jewelry each month delivered right to my door. As a VIP, members will get $200 worth of jewelry delivered to their home each month, for just $40 a month! I mean, sure, the monthly snack boxes and flowers are great, but if you want to give mom or anyone special a gift that keeps on giving each month, then check out the subscriptions from Cate & Chloe. Instead of mom having to worry about the flowers dying or adding unwanted extra layers to her rear, mom can enjoy new jewelry each month, and continue to enjoy the pieces she gets for years to come! I found Cate & Chloe to not only be a great place to shop at for jewelry, but also a great site to sign up for a monthly subscription for jewelry! Well to help with some of that shopping for mom this year, the wonderful people from Cate & Chloe would like to give one of my amazing readers a one month subscription!!

This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.
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#Giveaway Get your MLB Gear for Baby From BabyFanatic.com

Product Received

Baseball season has started back up and in full swing, and fans everywhere are gearing up to show their team their support. I think aside from getting the stickers for our cars, flags to fly to show who we are rooting for and the shirts we wear, finding gear for baby is also a lot of fun. In the next months we will be preparing for a new member to join our family. Knowing what all was needed for my own babies each time, I find it to be a lot of fun to find products to get for the new member. One thing that I have always enjoyed looking for when it comes to my kids and even baby is the team gear. With each sport season that starts up, I find that looking for the appropriate apparel and gear that is suiting for the season is ideal. With the MLB season started up, we have found that getting the gear for my husband's home team to be the way to go. So when we were sent the very adorable gift set sporting our San Diego Padres from Baby Fanatic, I knew that everyone in our family would agree that this set is very suiting!

This adorable gift set includes a baby bib, pacifier and bottle that all have the San Diego Padres logo on them. I find that this gift set is not only suiting for the soon to be new baby, but also a great gift set to give at a baby shower. I also like that when I head on over to BabyFanatic.com, I can find a great range of fan products for baby for not only baseball fans but also football and college football fans! In all, we have found the Starting Lineup Officially Licensed gear for baby to be very fitting and you can too by heading to BabyFanatic.com today and gearing up your little one in your teams gear! Well to help with gearing up the little ones in your life, the wonderful people from BabyFanatic.com would like to give one of my amazing readers their own MLB gear for baby!

This was not a paid post and honest/original opinions were used and they are my own. Thank you to the company and/or pr agency who supplied the product for review.
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Floral Fragrance: Anyone Can Create a Beautiful Flower Arrangement (Guest Post)

Arranging flowers is a popular hobby, but it takes time to master. It is not simply a question of throwing lots of flowers together and hoping for the best. However, you can learn the basics quite quickly and enjoy excellent results without too much trial and effort. Here is the way to get started.

Prepare the Vase

The vase is an important part of the flower display, so you will want to choose it carefully. You should first decide whether you want it to be something distinctive like a teapot, which will add to the display, or something more subtle that will essentially be hidden and won't distract attention from the flowers.

You can use practically any vase that you have lying around, or you could buy a new one specially for your arrangement. Whatever you decide, you will want a vase that is at least clean and attractive. You may also want to consider using a glass vase and filling it with some stones to provide support and improve its appearance.

Choose Your Flowers

This is a matter of taste, but as a general rule certain flowers look better in certain vases. Small flowers are generally better in short vases, and longer flowers work better in tall vases. Try to find a vase that is suited to the flowers you want to use, but you can always cut the flowers to size instead.

A good way to find out more about flowers is to look at other displays when you are out and about and to take notice of the types of flowers that work well together. You could also watch videos that provide information about flower arrangement. There are lots of instruction videos online, so download some using something like http://www.youtubedownloadersite.com and watch them offline at your convenience, perhaps as you are arranging your flowers. Make sure you remember to respect intellectual property.

Prepare the Flowers

Once you have chosen your flowers, preparing them for the arrangement is easy. First, remove the lower leaves from the flower stems so that they do not get covered in water, and this will help the flowers stay fresher. Next, cut at least an inch from the bottom of each stem, and cut at an angle to allow the flowers to soak up more of the nutrients. You should also remove the pollen stamens because pollen can cause discoloring of the flower petals.

Position the Flowers

Once you have prepared the flowers, add water to the vase along with flower food if you wish, and the water should be at about room temperature. Then start to place the flowers in. There are no rules here, but try to position the larger flowers first as this can help you to create a foundation for your arrangement that you can then build upon with the smaller flowers. Knowing what works is really a matter of practice, but try to position the flowers at different angles and balance out your display.

Experiment with Flower Arrangements

The above is a guide to get you started with flower arrangement. The beauty of arranging flowers is that anyone can enjoy getting creative, but the secret, like anything, is to practice. Try out different things, get creative, and analyze the flower arrangements of others, and soon you will be creating flower arrangements that delight anyone who sees them.

Lisa Harold is an experienced florist. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and skills to help others have beautiful flowers in their lives.

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Delicious Snacks for Easter (Guest Post)

Be honest, we all love good food, treats and snacks and Easter is the perfect time to indulge without guilt. Let's face it, whether you agree with the commercialisation of Easter or not, it sure does promise a wealth of delicious chocolate goodness, which is never a bad thing. But have you considered making your own? Aside from being great fun, baking for a theme opens up a world of opportunity, and is great fun for the kids.

If you’re in need of inspiration, take a look at the range of Easter desserts from Kraft. Hip-hop bunny cake, juicy egg jigglers and fluffy bunny cupcakes sound good? You bet. There's only one thing for it - get baking! Let’s take a closer look at some of these mouth-watering ideas:

Bunny Chocolate Cupcakes
Now these little goodies are sickeningly rich with chocolate goodness and topped with a beautifully colourful whip to finish. The thing I love most about these chocolate cupcakes is not just the contrasting icing colour but the freedom you have to decorate them. You can choose to use mini marshmallow bunnies or even just make sugar-coated marshmallow bunnies and chicks on their own. But the fun doesn't stop there, if you're in the mood for a full on bake-fest then stock up on all kinds of decorative goodness to create a collection of original and Easter-ified treats.

Bunny Brownies
Making brownies is always fun, but even more so when you can get hands on with cookie cutters at the end – there are some great examples on eBay. So you've gone through the measuring, mixing and baking process, and reached the cutting stage. While you carefully cut chocolate bunny after chocolate bunny, you'll see a mound of adorably scrumptious treats pile up before your eyes. But you aren’t finished there - next up is the icing! You'd think it would be impossible to make these brownies any more tantalising, but wait, top with chocolate-coconut frosting and these little creations will melt in your mouth; yum.

Bunny Patch Dessert
Last but not least to make the list of enviable sweet-toothed goodness is this pie-like cake. Ok, so my description probably doesn’t do it justice but I guess I'd describe this cake-making process as similar to the trifle, requiring you to add layers of dessert elements. The base of this number is a lining of cake slices. These are then topped with pie filling and whipped topping before being left to firm up in the fridge for an hour. Once set, the fun begins; go wild with an array of jelly beans and other sweet treats and top your dessert with all your favourites. This part is also great if you're baking with the kids, you might just need to make sure the sweets actually make it on to the cake! 

So there you have it, my top picks of Easter treat temptation. Chosen for their simplicity, fun and ease of execution, these unimaginably delicious bakes are the perfect Easter activity. Anyway, I won't keep you any longer - get baking and happy Easter!

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