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October 22, 2014

How to Wow Your Other Half With a Romantic Meal At Home

It’s now possible to buy an array of elaborate and expensive gifts to hand over to your other half. However, sometimes it’s the simplest gestures that are the most romantic. For example, preparing a sumptuous meal for two at home could really wow your partner. If you’d like to cook up a storm for that someone special in your life, take a look at these top tips.

Make it a surprise

To really impress your partner, make the meal a surprise. This could take a little doing. For example, you’ll have to make sure your other half doesn’t get suspicious about any food you buy for the meal. Try to conceal the items you get at the back of your cupboards or at the bottom of the fridge.

Make sure you have the house to yourself for a few hours while you do your prep and cooking too.

Choose the perfect menu

When you’re deciding on your menu, make sure you include some of your partner’s all-time favorite dishes or ingredients. Luxurious products like fillet steak, smoked salmon and oysters can be ideal. After all, it is a special occasion.
Also, make sure your dishes complement each other. For example, if you’re planning a rich and indulgent main course, it may be wise to choose a light starter and a refreshing dessert.
For the ultimate romantic gesture, think of a special theme for your menu. Perhaps you and your other half have a favorite holiday destination. Choosing dishes inspired by this location could earn you extra brownie points.
Also, if you’re not confident when it comes to preparing any of the dishes, try to practice first. This will help you to avoid any last-minute panics.
Think about your drinks
As well as concentrating on the food you’ll serve, think about drinks. When your partner steps through the door, it’s nice if you can greet them with a refreshing aperitif. This could be a gin and tonic, a cocktail or a mocktail if you’d prefer a non-alcoholic option.
Meanwhile, the drinks you serve with your meal should complement the food. Don’t panic if you don’t have a clue when it comes to matching wines and other beverages to dishes. There is plenty of advice available online.
Create the ideal ambiance
Once you’ve got your food and drink planned out, it’s time to think about the setting for your romantic dinner. Make sure you have some candles and it’s also worth spending some money on a beautiful bunch of flowers. Floral table decorations add instant class and elegance to the occasion.
Select some background music too. If you and your partner have a special song, make sure this features on your playlist.
The finishing touches
Just before your partner arrives back home to discover your romantic surprise, take a little time to spruce yourself up. Change into a classy ensemble and make sure you look and feel refreshed.
By planning your romantic gesture and paying attention to every last detail, you can guarantee that your partner will be impressed.

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The Easy Solution to Thigh Rub

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No matter how pretty of a dress you have on, thigh rub can be super annoying and painful.  Unless you are wearing pantyhose, you really don't have a way to avoid it...until now.  Allow me to introduce my secret weapon against thigh rub... Bandelettes!

They have a nice little grip so they stay put all day and prevent chafing. And they come in different colors and styles!  I love nude because it pretty much can go underneath any color dress!
They are so comfortable I always forget I even have them on. I love that they are discreet and you can't even tell they are on if you are looking at my outfit.  You know I'm a sucker for fashion fixes so I just had to let you in on this little secret!  
Do you suffer from thigh rub like I did?

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Live Love Run

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Ever since I started working out on a regular basis in June, running has been my escape. For some reason I feel like running is the only way I can stay sane!

This Live Love Run Endure Hoodie from Endure is so pretty and soft.  It's great to wear when I take a light job in the cool evenings.  I love the design on it. It's such good quality so I know it will last!
The gorgeous leggings are from ActivewearUSA, which has a great selection of over 150 women's activewear brands.  They have such great name brands at great prices! 

So What I Wore: 
Live Love Run Endure Hoodie - Endure; Leggings - ActivewearUSAWomen's Pheehan Running Shoe - Reebok; Socks - Under Armour from Rockvale Outlets Lancaster

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October 21, 2014

3 Tips for Online Shoe Shopping

While it may be fun, shopping online for shoes can be tricky.   Sometimes you get lucky and you already know your size in a certain brand, but when you start looking for great deals, you want to be sure that you can make a one time purchase that you won't have to exchange.  Exchanges can be a hassle and sometimes cost YOU money on shipping. So here are 3 tips to shopping online for shoes. 

1. Purchase the RIGHT size
Have you ever been on a site from another country, and you get really confused as to why they have such small sizes available?  It's likely because of the women's shoe size conversion so you'll need to see what size you are on their site. Always check a shoe size conversion chart to be extra sure you are getting the correct size. 

2. Look at all angles of photographs
Sometimes a shoe looks cute from one angle, but a photo of the bottom shows that there is no tread.   These are things to think about before you go ahead and click the purchase button. 

3. Is it compatible with your current wardrobe?Just because a pair of shoes is totes adorbs, doesn't mean you should impulse buy.  If it's not for a special occasion like a wedding, and it doesn't go with more than 2 outfits in your closet, it may not be worth the money. 

What tips do you have for online shoe shopping? 

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Support Our Veteran Heroes in A Unique Way

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for BAND-AID® Brand. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. #MC

Times are so tough these days, and there is so much craziness going on in the world around us.   Many of us have family and friends that are in the military or have been in the past.  For me, I like to give back to my friends, family, and even strangers that have signed up to serve our country so the rest of us can enjoy life the way we do every day.   I have seen so many things happen to my friends that come home, and they struggle to get back into life as a regular citizen again.  I feel like the least I can do is to always contribute towards anything that supports military personnel and veterans.  

And apparently, Band-Aid feels the same way with OUR VETERAN HEROES™ BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages!

BAND-AID® Brand will donate $1.00 for every positive message of support displayed on social media channels with the hashtag #RunWithGlory.  They will donate up to $25,000. That is so amazing! And all of us have a chance to help them do that by sending messages of support!   Do you have a Facebook or Twitter?  Why not send a tweet or status out about why you are so grateful for our heroes!!  I also recommend you mention their Facebook and their Twitter so they are guaranteed to see it! 

Isn't that such a precious video?  BAND-AID® Brand has partnered with Team Red, White & Blue to help enrich the lives of America’s veterans.  They connect them with their communities through various activities both social and physical.

Now back to the adhesive bandages that feature patriotic and military-inspired designs... BAND-AID® Brand is donating 5% of the sale price of each box sold to Team Red, White & Blue, available at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid!  The reason I am so in love with this idea is because it really does help spread a message.  When people make a comment about the my patriotic bandage, I can tell them what it stands for, why I appreciate veterans, and what BAND-AID® Brand is doing for them. 

And BAND-AID® Brand is the presenting sponsor of the Team Red, White & Blue Old Glory Coast to Coast Relay.  From now through November 9th, runners will carry and American flag 3,800 miles across the country! This is to raise awareness and funds to support the veteran communities in our country.  And BAND-AID® Brand is even donating $1.00 for each consumer message encouraging Relay runners and thanking veterans! 

It's so great to learn about the #RunwithGlory campaign since I'm a runner so that holds a special place in my heart! 

Make sure you do your part to support our veteran heroes!  

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10 Ways to Maximize Storage Space In Your Home

If there's one thing living back at my parent's home has taught me it's how to maximize storage in a small space.  I'm pretty much limited to my bedroom so I have to make the most of what I can. 

But even if you just have a small house, there are many ways to maximize storage space.  Here are 10 ways that you may find helpful.

1. Choose furniture that doubles as storage.
Whether it's a vanity chair, an ottomon, or a nightstand, always make sure there's a hidden storage area so you can keep your belongings out of sight but still handy for when you need them. 

2. Use clear plastic bins in large storage areas.  
Large plastic bins are great for your main storage areas like the attic or the basement.   You can combine like items and label the bin.  Everything can be stacked away in a uniform fashion.   Sometimes I see people line an entire wall with clear plastic bins. 

3. Add shelves in your closet.
Shelves are great at the top of your closet where you can never reach to hang things, so it's great for shoe storage, sweaters, and handbags.   You can always add a shelf (or another bar)  in the bottom of your closet for pants and jeans.

4. PURGE! do NOT need 4 cheese graters in your kitchen drawer.  Get rid of the 2 oldest grungiest ones.  Learn to let go of things you don't use, wear, or that you have multiples of.  This is especially helpful when you need to purge a closet to make more room.

5. Decorate vertically.
Too often, people line an entire room with furniture and storage items.   That makes a home look even more cluttered and cramped. Just because there's an open space where you can see the wall, doesn't mean you should use it. Look for tall furniture and storage items. Instead of having 2 end tables, get a tall ladder storage shelf.  Your storage capabity doubles VERTICALLY.
6. Hang papers and reference items.
Instead of shoving things into a drawer that you end up referring to a lot, get a cork board or a magnetic board and use that to hang things that normally sit in a pile like a book of stamps, take-out menus, bills that need to be paid, etc.  You can buy hanging letter organizers as well.

7. Keep surfaces clear.
Too often we keep and collect knickknacks by decorating mantels, and tables with them.  This makes a room look too busy and very cluttered and it also tells our brain that it's okay to add more.  That's why in a lot of homes with knickknacks, you'll also see random items like a nail file, magazine, and a few CDs in a pile on the same surface.  Clear open surfaces make it easier to dust and clean, and they help keep you motivated to NOT pile things up.

Even adding a wire shelf under the kitchen sink helped double storage space.
8. Take advantage of awkward tiny areas.
The empty wall space between the top of the doorway and ceiling in your bedroom can function as a storage space if you just add a shelf.  Or you can use the stairwell leading down to your unfinished basement to hang cleaning supplies rather than keep them in a pile on the floor in a closet. 

I bet you can't even tell there are small clutches in these handbags!

9. Store belongings inside of other belongings.
I store small purses in larger ones and when it comes to luggage I literally have 10 smaller bags inside one large suitcase.  The same can be done for things like storing umbrellas inside of rubber boots in the closet. 

10. Use plastic storage drawers in cabinets.
Whether it's in your closet, or under your bathromo sink, plastic storage bins not only keep everything neat and uniform rather than piled in front of each other, and they also add to your vertical storage space.
Tell me - how do you maximize storage space in YOUR home?

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