Ask Away...: March 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Happiness Project - March- Aim Higher - COMPLETE!

photo by clvrmnkyvia PhotoRee
My Happiness Project for the month of March was to Aim Higher.

Here were my goals and here's what I did with achieving them. 


1. Not complain about my job.
I literally have not complained about it at all since I made this goal.  The second the thought comes in my head, I automatically replace it with the realization that I am lucky to have a job these days, especially one with benefits and vacation time. 
 

2.  Grow my blog.
I networked more, sought out new brands to work with, and made sure my content was only of the highest quality.  I have received several compliments this month so I know I succeeded with this goal!

3. Work harder.
I made work my priority despite and personal issues I have had, with the exception of my wisdom tooth surgery.  However, when I was off work for that, I made sure to work on my blog!  



Check back tomorrow for April's Happiness Project which is to Lighten Up!  

Friday, March 29, 2013

Week 8 on Nutrisystem


Well this 8th week on Nutrisystem is great!!  After I had a 4 pound loss from last week, I was already adjusted to eating less (no cheating!) and smaller portions.  Well, I vowed to do as much as I can to keep the weight off.  Also,  it's much easier to ignore the first signs of hunger, which by drinking some water, ended up going away, it was just my tummy making space.  There is a difference between hunger and your body telling you it's hungry when it's time to eat.  Well, atleast for me there is.  I have lost an additional 4 pounds, bringing me to a total of  16.8 pounds so far from being on Nutrisystem ! I'm sure the fact that I was on a very limited diet has helped a lot but I was so glad I was able to incorporate Nutrisystem into my meals during the time I was recovering! I can NOT believe how much progress I have made. I now weigh 123.2 pounds since probably high school!!

I already got my 10 pound Nutribear and I'll be sure to show it off in the next post!!! YAY!!!

Hopefully I can keep this up for week 9.  This is great and still 2 months to go!
Easter wasn't even a big deal since I watched portions.  My stomach is totally adjusted and trained. I am so proud of myself!

Check back next week to see how well I did!

Want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting http://www.nutrisystem.com/nsblog.

Disclosure: Nutrisystem has provided me with their program free of charge for participating in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogging Program. There is no other monetary compensation and  all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wildlife Works - Combining My love of Animals and Fashion

I'd like to take this time to introduce you to Wildlife Works and allow them to explain what they do: 

Our founder, Mike Korchinsky created Wildlife Works in 1997 with a simple but powerful idea: Protecting endangered wildlife requires balancing the needs of the animals with the need for work in rural towns. By creating sustainable jobs, we provide viable alternatives for people who previously had to destroy their environment through poaching, clear-cutting or unsustainable farming practices just to survive. 

Mike built the Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary on the land between the Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks in Kenya, which had previously doubled as an animal migration corridor and a slowly failing cattle ranch. At the base of the sanctuary Mike built an eco-factory to produce organic apparel. Over 100 jobs were created between the factory and conservation efforts, and over time the animal population has flourished. 

In 2008 in response to new developments with the United Nation's REDD+ initiative, allowing carbon markets to finance forest conservation, Mike launched a new venture, Wildlife Works Carbon LLC, to pursue more rapid expansion of our business model through the sale of REDD+ carbon credits. Basically, companies can offset their carbon footprint by purchasing carbon credits, which we use to conserve forests. 
So by providing jobs to rural communities in Kenya and selling carbon credits, we can protect endangered animals such as elephants, zebras and cheetahs in our Wildlife Sanctuary and protect 500,000 acres of trees in the Acacia-Commiphora forest. 


Every day we see proof that our conservation efforts are a success! Our protected land now has a balanced ecosystem with 50 large mammal species, more than 20 species of bats and over 300 species of birds. As many as 450 African elephants now call Rukinga home, but their numbers can swell to an estimated 2,000 around the end of the dry seasons in October and March. 
As for the forests, we have expanded our original 80,000 acres of protected land to over 500,000 acres, which will offset 1 million tons of CO2 emissions per year for the next 30 years.
Social responsibility is just as important to us as conservation and environmental stewardship. We're currently building schools, funding scholarships, improving agricultural practices and providing health care for the people in and around our project area.
Our latest arrival, the Spring Summer 2013 Fashion Collection, is a trendy and casual line inspired by various African elements and bold colors. We’ve branched out from our collection of basic tees and graphic prints to include pants, vests, skirts and dresses with a variety of silhouettes and shapes to flatter any body. Every single item is 100% carbon neutral and made from organic cotton. Our supply chain is completely transparent and details can be found here: http://shop.wildlifeworks.com/pages/carbon-neutral-supply-change.

We truly believe that consumerism can fuel conservation and that no one should have to sacrifice comfort or style to buy sustainable products!

While You STILL Wait for the Perfect Open Window Weather...Burn a Candle!

Spring may have started according to the calendar, but it is still far too cold for me to leave my windows open all the time.  The stale winter air that has been trapped inside your home can still be refreshed if you don't mind having to remember to blow out a candle in the process.   So, join me as I embrace ALMOST-Spring with Bath & Body Works and their celebrity event designer partner Matthew Robbins.  

Together, they have made an ideal way to make pleasant scents come in the form of fun home decor.  And whether you need to decorate for Easter or just because you are going to be enjoying your new clean living space in the weeks after your Spring cleaning, Bath & Body Works White Barn Candle Collection and Accessories will have something for everyone's tastes!

e.

Candles: $20 at bathandbodyworks.com
Accessories: $5.50-$44.50 at bathandbodyworks.com



 

An Adorable Easter Dress


This is adorable for an Easter get together where you can show your spoiled pooch off to the family.  The Chocolate Bunny Rhinestone Dress from Bloomingtails has sparkle and bling and convenient arm holes soy our dog can still move around and stay comfortable! I know my girls would look great in this!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Changes......for the better of course!


Stop!!! Read this so I can update you on a few good things!
photo by *Blunight 72*via PhotoRee



I just wanted to take a few minutes (and a blog post) to tell you guys that as loyal readers, friends, fans, and followers of Ask Away, I always try to make sure I keep you all up to date with anything (whether it be good, bar, or just plain stressful) that is going on in my personal life.  This is of course because, no matter how good of a writer or a blogger someone can be, there's always a way to pick up on how the person behind the blog is feeling.  Sometimes the quality of content in my blog posts can be affected by what's going on in my life.  If I am going through a lot, and even some difficult time,  I have noticed I write shorter posts and the quality of my content isn't as great as it normally can be.

So, in case you don't end up picking up on this through my posts, I am doing great!!  Keeping busy and getting a lot accomplished, but most importantly, I am very truly happy with my life right now and I finally feel a sense of meaning for a lot of things I've had to go through.  I owe a lot of that to the person that over the past couple of months (2 months to be exact) found his way to me, while I found my way to him without even realizing that's where my path in life was taking me.  I have a great guy by my side now and it shows in everything I do.  You can read briefly about him here.  I'm not going to go in great detail or say to much, because you'll end up getting to know him more when he comes up in blog posts when I do fun activities and go to events this Spring and Summer  and also I'll share  examples of my healthy relationship with you to help back up what I say in my relationship and advice posts!   In the posts I've drafted the past few weeks I've noticed they are longer, more detailed, better quality, and have a happier tone behind them.  

I am so excited that I'm finally 100% proud to share parts of my future as they happen with all of you, who have stuck by me, probably without even knowing, through a lot of good and bad, easy and hard, times in the past 2 1/2 years.  You guys are great and I do feel loved and I do love you all!!  

I'm proud to be able to let you know that not only is my love life AMAZING, but my health is great, I have lost weight and am now finding it easier to maintain a slender figure, and I'm doing great with my money saving and budgeting!   My 4 pups are healthy and happy and my full time job is keeping me busy, which is obviously a great thing!

And this is something (my relationship and future from here on out) that I take very seriously because as you may have noticed, I rarely post intimate things on here unless it's something I'll never have to delete or change!

So, thanks for sticking with me and Ask Away! And I hope you enjoy my journey from here on out! :)

XO
Ellen

Friday, March 22, 2013

Week 7 on Nutrisystem


Well this 7th week was rough.  I got my wisdom teeth out at the start of it and I have been taking forever to recover.  Luckily, the mashed potato lunches were edible and the mac and cheese dinners were delicious.   weeks and I did it!!!!!!!   I have lost 12.8 pounds so far from being on Nutrisystem ! I'm sure the fact that I was on a very limited diet has helped a lot but I was so glad I was able to incorporate Nutrisystem into my meals during the time I was recovering!

Hopefully I can maintain my healthy habits going into week 8.  It's tough with Easter coming up especially because travelling and holiday meals can get me off track so I try to remember the following few tips:

1. Portion control - I don't have to eat everything on my plate - plus starting with small amounts is best. 
2. Bring my dining out guide from Nutrisystem with me so I know what's okay to eat and what's not if I stop somewhere while travelling around for the holidays. 
3.Keep drinking water even on the go.
4.Choose salads as an appetizer. Much healthier that way.
5.Take advantage of the convenience of Nutrisystem meals and stash some with me when I am on the go.

Check back next week to see how well I did!

Want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting http://www.nutrisystem.com/nsblog.

Disclosure: Nutrisystem has provided me with their program free of charge for participating in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogging Program. There is no other monetary compensation and  all opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Trend: How to Wear a REALLY Bright Color

A sweater like the one I'm wearing below, which has large enough holes that you can see what you're wearing underneath, is a great trend this Spring. You can wear a tee shirt or cami underneath in a color that is too bright for you to wear by itself!


This trend is also a great way to incorporate pieces of your Fall or WInter wardrobe in with basics like the cami.   Are you going to try this out?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Check Out My New Hair!!


At the end of February I made a drastic change with something I normally am not so quick to change... my hair.   I decided to get long layers and a trim and also add some color.   I wanted dark brown hair with caramel highlights in it. 

Through word of mouth from a coworker, I learned of Paula Twaddell of Global Hair Design!  You can message her through that link to talk about making an appointment and the price is great because she is an apprentice!  I am so pleased with what she did with my hair. The color is perfect, the size of the highlights is perfect, and I LOVE that she made my roots dark.  It looks so cool!!  Definitely check out her page and consider getting something done to update your look! I'm glad I did!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pet Safety in the Car


Warmer weather is coming which means a lot of us will be taking our pooch with us in the car to head out to a park.  It's extremely important to remember to keep your dog safe with a car seat or other restraint so that in case of an accident, he is always protected.  There are a bunch of dog car seats at Bloomingtails, including this harness, which is great for large dogs.  It's easy to hook your dog up and it will keep him safe and comfortable on the ride to and from your destination!!

My Day (with Stella) at PawsAbilities 2013!


This year, I once again attended PawsAbilities which benefits the Susquehanna Service Dogs! It was held at the Farm Show Complex, and this year was a blast, just like I expected!  When I got there I took a few laps to check out the agility activities, in which my friend had her chihuahuas and it was so adorable to watch such a tiny dog jump over obstacles and display some fancy footwork!  

I was mesmerized by the dock diving and how enthusiastic both the dogs and the owners were.  Stella seemed to enjoy watching as well!!  I really enjoyed chatting with different people about both my dog and theirs and it was nice for Stella to be exposed to new people.  She did very well and I know the kids their really enjoyed getting to pet her. 

Just like I always do every time I'm at Pawsabilities, I stopped by Miss Lucy's Dog Treats stand and purchased some baked Easter cookies for the pups!  

I also got the chance to meet and introduce myself to Mary Ann from Just Four Dogs, who just so happens to be a fan and reader of Ask Away!! Just Four Dogs has homemade healthy baked treats, and they are all made from human grade ingredients.   Mary Ann was nice enough to let Stella (and her siblings) try out some delicious treats!  I must say, they smelled delicious even to me!! 











Once again, PawsAbilities was a blast, and I plan on attending again next year, and so should you!! 

Week 6 on Nutrisystem


6 weeks and I did it!!!!!!!   I have lost 10 pounds so far from being on Nutrisystem !  It's been a great 6 weeks so far and I can't wait for the next couple of months to see how much more progress I have made. 

Best of all, when I go shopping for a few additions to my Spring wardrobe, I can pick out smaller sized pants! 


Tomorrow I am getting my wisdom teeth taken out so I will be down for the count for a couple days and I'm sure it'll cause me to lose some more weight, but rest assured I have my mashed potatoes from Nutrisystem to help me survive the journey! I'm ready for Week 7!


Want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting http://www.nutrisystem.com/nsblog.

Disclosure: Nutrisystem has provided me with their program free of charge for participating in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogging Program. There is no other monetary compensation and  all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My First Messy Updo!

I found some inspiration on Pinterest one night so I decided to try it out for myself.  I literally just got creative, teased my hair a bit, and used a few hair pins, but when all was said and done I was quite pleased! You like???

Life Manifesto Review & *Giveaway* Ends 3/19








Life Manifestos offer a great item, the personalized Family Manifesto. 
Life Manifestos are a great way to remind yourself and everyone in your home how much pride you have for yourself and your family name.  This can be expressed through a personalized Family Manifesto.  You can get a poster made with your family name in it surrounded by inspirational and meaningful phrases and words.  This is a great way to teach your children and other family members the true values of a strong family bond.  It also helps promote pride within a family.

I was excited to receive my personalized Family Manifesto from Life Manifestos and I am so proud to dispaly it on my wall.  Family has to stick together and over the years that is just what we have done, through thick and thin. 


And guess what! You can use the code UNITEDFAMILY to get free personalization on your family manifesto! That's a $10 savings.  One winner will receive a personalized Family manifesto of their own!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, March 11, 2013

My 30 Before I Turn 30 List



1. Go to a museum
2. Stop Smoking - July 2012
3. Buy a house - (June 2015)
4. Visit another country (even Canada)
5. Building up a decent savings fund
6. Sponsor a child - September 2012
7. Go camping overnight
8. Have my own Carrie Bradshaw moment (July 2013)
9. Get wisdom teeth removed  - March 2013
10. Get published in a print magazine - (December 2013)  
11. Visit the World Trade Center
12. Learn to meditate - October 2013
13. Buy a gun - February 2013
14. Run a 10K
15. Go Whale Watching
16. Pay off all my credit cards (Or at least all but one) - March 2014
17. Get professional photos done with my pups- September 2013
18. Pay off my car - December 2012
19. Attend BlogHer Conference
20. Attend IFB Con
21. Go to a shooting range - February 2013
22. Get 5,000 blog followers
23. Run a 5K- August 2014
24. See Jerry Seinfeld - November 2012
25. Get Rocky and Stella's paw prints added to Pixie and Grace's on my tattoo - October 2014
26. Attend Lucky Fabb - October 2013
27. Embrace Minimalism - August 2013
28. Visit Kentucky/Tennessee
29.  Lose 10 pounds and NOT gain it back again  -(March 2013)
30. Go to Fashion Week in New York

Friday, March 8, 2013

Week 5 on Nutrisystem


5 weeks in and I can not believe the results I am getting from being on Nutrisystem !   I have lost 9 pounds since I began.  The meals are great and I look forward to them each day.  I no longer have random cravings and my healthy snacking is getting me through the day with not a single problem! 

The thing I really like about Nutrisystem is the convenience, especially with lunch.  I have been enjoying the Fudge Graham Bars as a quick and satisfying lunch and they really do hold me over throughout the afternoon.  It's perfect for in the car, at work, and at home when I am rushing around getting things done. 
Bring on Week 6!

Want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting http://www.nutrisystem.com/nsblog.

Disclosure: Nutrisystem has provided me with their program free of charge for participating in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogging Program. There is no other monetary compensation and  all opinions are my own.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Why Dating Sites Can Be a HUGE Advantage for Dating


photo by Bob.Fornalvia PhotoRee

Before you diss the dating site commercials you see on TV, keep in mind, they aren't JUST about technology.  Think of it this way... dating websites do the filtering for you, which is especially beneficial for those of you that do not have the best of judgement. 

A dating site can match you up with someone that has the same moral values, religious background, etc.  These are all important basics to finding your perfect match, so it's important to filter out people that won't be able to get along with because of certain differences.

Online dating is great for people that don't have much of a social life whether it's because they are low on funds or because they work a lot. 

Either way, it's definitely something to think about...

Do you have any experience/stories about online dating websites?  Please share by comment below!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

If Girls Made a Checklist Before Dating a Guy....


photo by athena.via PhotoRee

Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we all made lists of qualifications that a guy needs to meet? If every girl made a list… of things she looks for in a guy (within reason and being realistic) it could possibly save us the trouble of dealing with men that aren’t worth our time.  


Actually, you can do this, simply by making a list of everything you look for in a guy and whenever you begin getting to know a new guy, as long as you know enough about him, see if he fits in the list. 

Remember, he doesn’t have to get a yes for every qualification, but at least some, obviously. 

Your list can contain things like:
Likes animals
Has a good job
Knows how to manage money
Close with his family
Isn't a big drinker
Not insecure
Not cocky
Has old school values (opening doors, etc.)

It’s like a giant check list to see if a guy passes the test.  Sometimes it’s hard to do this at the time, so if you have a list made up ahead of time, you can always pull it out no problem and start seeing how your current interest does!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Look Like a Celeb with the Perfect Handbag


The Melie Bianco Alyssa Shoulder Bag from Silvia's Handbags looks like something a celebrity would wear.  it has the right amount of slouch but is still a clean cut bag! It comes in a variety of colors but the grey is still my favorite and I love that it has a long strap and the double handles so you have a choice of how you can carry it.

Friday, March 1, 2013

My Happiness Project - March - Aim Higher


photo by clvrmnkyvia PhotoRee

My Happiness Project goal for March is to Aim Higher. This will have to do with work and my blog. 

Ways I will do this are:
1. Not complain about my job
2. Grow my blog
3. Work harder

1. Not complain about my job.
I will remember how lucky I am to have a job, especially one with great pay and benefits.  And I will train myself to let that thought pop up whenever I get ready to complain about something with my job. 

2.  Grow my blog.
I want to network more, especially locally and make my blog even more appealing and successful.

3. Work harder.
I will not let my personal life affect my work ethic and when I'm at work I will focus on work. 

Check back at the end of the month to see how I reached my goal!

Week 4 on Nutrisystem


Well, it's been 4 weeks now that I have been on Nutrisystem and I can't believe I am still dropping the weight and trimming the fat this much!   I have lost 8.4 pounds since I began.  My clothes are much looser on me than ever before and my work pants fit very comfortably. 

My favorite meals are the Mushroom Risotto and Ravioli.   For lunch, Homestyle Baked Potato hits the spot and for breakfast, I can't get over the amazing scones.  My favorite part of Nutrisystem is the amazing desserts because I still get to indulge in something sweet after my dinner meals!!




Bring on Week 5! Next week I start my new box of food!


Want to lose weight and get healthy on Nutrisystem? Join today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by visiting http://www.nutrisystem.com/nsblog.

Disclosure: Nutrisystem has provided me with their program free of charge for participating in the Nutrisystem Nation Blogging Program. There is no other monetary compensation and  all opinions are my own.
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