Ask Away...: July 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

2 Must Haves for Skincare

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I love new and amazing skin products that help fight signs of aging and wear and tear on your skin from other the years.  Today, I'm going to share 2 of my favorites from SkinPro with you!



The first is Delfogo Reconstructive Eye Serum. It's designed to smooth and tighten problem skin areas like around the eyes.  It uses pharmaceutical grade ingredients and anti-oxidants (Resveratrol and Acai Berry) to target the ultra sensitive skin including upper and lower eyelids.  

Not only can it treat and repair dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles, but it also rejuvenates lost collagen.  After using it for a couple weeks I noticed a HUGE difference in my eyes.  No more discoloration and puffiness. Honestly, my eyes look a lot more youthful!

The second product is Elite Serum RX Extra Strength.  It's designed to reduce eye wrinkles in a manner beyond what any topical wrinkle cream or cosmetic injection can do.  It's super easy to apply and I love the airless syringe.  One syringe is good for a 45-60 day supply. People of all ages can use this product and I really saw a huge difference.  My skin is so soft now around my eyes and I feel like a whole new woman!

I highly recommend both these products to anyone who is concerned with aging skin!



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How To Handle An Active Shooter Situation // This Post COULD Save Your Life



A few weeks ago I attended an Active Shooter training class and I found it so informative and mind-blowing that I wanted to ensure everyone can get the great information I got. 

An active shooter is defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as "an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearm[s] and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims."

When it comes to an active shooter:
You HAVE to Understand Him to Survive Him

So with that being said, there are 5 stages of an Active Shooter.

[Stage 1: Fantasy Stage]
-Fantasizes about headline news coverage
-Wants to break the death count
-Individual may draw pictures or write descriptions of what he fantasizes about.
(( If fantasies are passed on to law enforcement they CAN intervene.))

[Stage 2: Planning Stage]
-Suspect is still an active shooter
-Determines who, what, when, where
-Decides how they will travel
-Chooses an outfit
-Plans how to conceal weapons
-Looks for a location and time that can get them the most # of victims (Remember the Aurora theatre shooting?  The suspect chose that location because he knew it would be a full theatre.  Theatre seats are small, therefor it's impossible for every person to duck and protect themselves completely.) 
((If law enforcement is tipped off an intervention can be made.))

[Stage 3: Preparation Stage]
-Suspect may be obtaining weapons, gun powder, chemicals
-Practice runs can be made (We are creatures of habit - we sit in the same seats, drive the same roads, and stick to the same schedule.  Suspects can use this against us.)
-Robberies can be committed to illegally obtain items to use for their final plan
-Often, people are warned by the suspect at this time to not report to work on a certain date or not be in a certain place

[Stage 4: Approach Stage]
-DANGEROUS Stage where suspect is committed to following through
-Often there is nothing we can do to stop them from going through with their plan
-Suspect approaches target with the tools for his massacre
-This is the LAST DAY on Earth for suspect in his mind
-If law enforcement approaches a suspect for any reason at this time, he may think they know his plan and become super paranoid
-The closer the time to the event comes, the more dangerous they are
((Remember Jared Loughner?  He was approached by law enforcement the day he planned to shoot Gaby Gifford but he was a person who kept his cool and still ended up following through with his grand plan.))

[Stage 5: Implementation Stage]
-Once the suspect opens fire, immediate action MUST be taken
-If he is not stopped he WILL kill until his is out of victims
-Mindset of GOING FOR THE TOP SCORE
-In this stage AS SOON AS someone effectively intervenes through an act of courage the death count comes down



An important thing to keep in mind:
RISK - There is a risk in doing something but the greatest risk lies in doing nothing. 
We WILL come back to this. 


What have we learned from past Active Shooter situations? 

(-)Meet Russell Weston, a man who shot and killed two officers at the United States Capitol.  If you watch the video below you will soon realize he makes absolutely no sense to someone like you and I.


It's safe to say he was very mentally unstable.

DON'T THINK FOR ONE SECOND THAT THERE AREN'T PEOPLE LIKE RUSSELL WESTON ROAMING THE STREETS. They are everywhere and anywhere. People like Russell are paranoid and everything in their head is REAL to them. 


(-)Remember Columbine?   How can you ever forget that tragedy, but one huge thing that was taken away from that is that some lives MAY HAVE been saved if the first responding officers had entered the school rather than waiting for the special response teams.
Ever since Columbine, active shooter training classes have started nationwide. Up till then, law enforcement was told that if they can't handle a situation they should wait for the SWAT Team.

And with the saying "The worst opponent you can go against is a guy who doesn't care if he dies" in mind, law enforcement now are issues semi-automatic handguns as well as assault rifles so that in the case of a Columbine type attack, they are better equipped to immediately make contact with the active shooter.
(-)If you are from PA you probably remember the West Nickel Mines School tragedy, where the shooter was actually known very well by the community. 

This shows you that an active shooter can not only be a stranger but can also be someone that you know.  Also, while many active shooters plan their massacres, there are also last minute active shooters that may be triggered by a job loss and come back to the office the next day for revenge.   While many of the situations we've discussed so far were planned out well in advance, the spur the moment massacres are just as dangerous.

(-)Viriginia Tech
In the Virginia Tech tragedy, the suspect studied Norris Hall for months and months.  He learned that there was a 10 minute window when there was NO ONE in the hallways.  He also knew there were 3 exits.

What he did was utilize the 10 minute window to chain the 3 exit doors so literally NO ONE could escape. He even went as far as to put a sign on the doors that said if the doors were opened the building will explode.  This bought him more time to act out his massacre.

 

 
Things to remember during Threat Assessment:
- If you suspect something is wrong, report it.   Some killers have a profile as a loner, have problems with authority, and feel that they are owed something.
-TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Kristina Anderson for some reason decided to wear sneakers instead of her usual sandals on the day of the Virginia Tech Massacre and that may have been what saved her when she was shot in the foot.  Sometimes we do things simply because we have a "feeling".  Never question your gut, and remember that your instincts may be what help you through a situation later on.
-Look for a triggering event.  Sometimes people are fired, reprimanded, or have a terrible event happen in their life that can trigger them to become an Active Shooter.
 



These next 3 items could save your life.   Read them, remember them, and practice them.   No, it's not terrible to mentally play out these scenarios at the movie theatre, grocery store, or work... it's smart and you're helping yourself become more prepared in the event that an Active Shooter situation event occurs.
 


[]If there is an accessible escape path USE it. 
[]Have an escape route in mind.
[]Evacuate REGARDLESS of whether others agree to follow.  
[]Leave your belongings behind.
[]Help others escape along the way if you can.
[]Keep your hands visible incase a member of law enforcement approaches you at any time. 
[]Follow law enforcement instructions.
[]On your way out, prevent others from entering the area where the active shooter is.
[]Call 911 when you are safely able to do so.
[]DO NOT Attempt to move injured victims.



An Active Shooter won't waste time on something if it won't get him what he wants.  Hiding out is a method of survival in the event that you can't evacuate safely.

[]Find a spot where you will be out of the shooter's view.
[]Provide protection for yourself from bullets or weapons.
[]Barricade yourself into a safe room.
[]Place large objects in front of doors.
[]Lock all doors.
[]If someone is screaming in the room you are in, try to keep them quiet. 
[]Remain CALM.
[]If you have your cell phone, turn the ringer and vibrate feature OFF.
[]Call 911, Make sure speaker phone is OFF.
[]If you can't speak it's okay to let the 911 operator hear everything that's going on, sometimes it can help them figure out where you are and what's going on.



There are scenarios where you can not run and can no longer hide and you may come face to face with the Active Shooter. As a last resort you may have to fight back.

[]Attempt to disrupt or incapacitate the shooter.
[]Act as aggressive as possible.
[]Throw things and improvise weapons. (Ladies you know your stiletto heel can pierce an eyeball right? )
[] Yell and scream.
[]Commit to your actions; if you are going to fight, fight for your damn life.
[]If you're shot, KEEP FIGHTING! You are not dead!
[]Remember what you are living for.  If you want to get home to your babies...keep that reason in your head.  Tell yourself I'M MAKING IT HOME TONIGHT.
[]Your will to live will take over.
[]Do you want to be a victim or a survivor?
[]If you are shot play dead!  This is still a method of fighting back.  Remember what I said earlier, that if you've been shot, and the Active Shooter thinks you're dead, he won't waste anymore time on you, and will move on to find more victims. 

When Law Enforcement Arrives:
[]Drop all items.
[]Raise your hands and spread your fingers.
[]Avoid quick jerky movements.
[]Don't stop for help or directions from them, keep moving!
[]Avoid pointing or yelling.
[]Law Enforcement can't stop to help the injured, but the wave of EMS First Responders behind them can.
[]First on scene in Law Enforcement are to go to the active shooter.

If You Call 911:
[]Describe the shooter.
[]Describe the location.
[]Give an estimated # and location of possible victims.
[]Describe number and apeparance of any weapons.


REMEMBER THIS VIDEO




Please consider taking a free class or seminar to learn about how to protect yourself in a situation like this.   I attended a training and I couldn't believe how interesting and educational it was. 
 
One option I know of is Daniel Minor who goes around to non-profit organizations, churches, businesses that want to educate their employees, and crime prevention organizations to educate everyone on what to do to save your life.   You can find his Facebook Page here.
 
 
Disclaimers: These are just my tips to help you.  To be better prepared, I highly recommend reading up on Active Shooter trainings in your area.  Also, the Active Shooter was referred to in my post as a "He" only to make it easier for you to read.   While about 95% of all Active Shooter cases are male, an Active Shooter can still be a female.
 
 




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I Got Crafty With Spellbinders Celebra'tions Collection + A Giveaway

The Spellbinders brand provided me with a sample of Spellbinders Celebra'tions Collection in exchange for a product review.  However, all the opinions expressed here are my own.

I don't consider myself a very crafty person but usually because I don't have the right supplies to create papercraftsEmbossing, stamping, and die cutting has always been a challenge for me.  But when I got the chance to test out Spellbinders Celebra'tions Collection it was so easy AND fun.

It's a complete collection by Richard Garay of dies, stamps, paper, inks, and accessories that are all coordinated to work perfectly together so you can make a unique and personalized card, gift, scrapbook layout, and much much more. 

The cardstock and pattern paper come in amazing vibrant colors and it really helps get the creative juices flowing.  The die and stamp sets have a lovely selection of whimsical designs and even some fresh modern ones.  Their stamps are made of photopolymer and have cling technology so they can adhere to clear blocks. 

The True Color Fusion Stamp Pads are amazing.  They contain the benefits of dye and pigment ink all in one.  They dry quickly, don't leave a chalky residue, and they won't fade.  You can use these inks on all types of materials like paper, fabric, wood, and acrylic.  You can choose from 12 colors within the palette and all the colors coordinate beautifully with the solid and printed papers. 

I am very impressed with my card making abilities so I figured I'd show them off to you!

The instructions they sent me were easy to follow but I got a little creative and did some things differently.  It was so easy!


Here's my card!




This is a little gift bag that you can put a party favor in.





And guess what! One of you will win a set of stamps from this collection!  Just leave a comment below with your email address and let me know what kind of crafts you like to do.

Winner will be chosen on August 7th.


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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On The Dot// Perfect Spot + A Giveaway

This site has affiliate links and sponsored content. Read my Disclosure Policy.

I'm all about organization and cute decor in the home so when I learned about On The Dot Perfect Spot I was floored! 



You see when it comes to feminine products like tampons and pads, we tend to either hide them in cramped cabinet, or they sit out and it looks embarassing if you have last minute company stop by.  That's what One The Dot Perfect Spot is for!
Everything you need to store can be kept discreetly in this adorable little dispenser.  There are several patterns to choose from and I love mine!
It's so lightweight when I have to move it around and honestly it's designed by a genius because it's not hard to get into and it doesn't fall over!   I love the beautiful decorative knob on the top which makes it super easy to get into even with one hand. 

You can set it up any way you choose whether you want to stack pads on the bottom and put tampons in the little drawer or if you want to do it another way that's fine too!   
I can't get enough of this thing.  And you know what, if you decide to use it for something else, that's fine too! Want a discreet place for your feminine wipes and creams? Here ya go!

The On The Dot Perfect Spot looks great in my bathroom and I can't wait for when I move into my own house and can put it there! 

 



And one lucky winner will get an organizer/dispenser of their own!


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Bring a Spark to Your Pet's Life

This site has affiliate links and sponsored content. Read my Disclosure Policy.

I'm the queen of comparing my dogs to humans so it's no surprise that I take care of their health that way too.   One of the most important things is keeping their bodies full of the nutrients they need to stay healthy and active on a daily basis. 




So, I use Spark, a dietary supplement for dogs and cats.  It's a natural way to give them a vitamin-rich whole-food supplement that can be discreetly sprinkled on their food once a day.   Sometimes their food just isn't enough for all the vitamins and minerals their little bodies need.  Spark helps support healthy bones as well as teeth and coat.  It helps with digestion and nutrient absorption and it even supports joint and muscle health which is very important for any dog especially as they get older. 

Spark also helps support a healthy immune system and cell growth and repair.  It contains 43 natural ingreidents that when all combined, have an amazing ability to maintain excellent health. 

My dogs loved this stuff, and licked their bowls clean.  I am so glad I learned about this product because I can see an improvement in them already!  They have shiny coats, don't have upset tummies like they used to, and have great energy levels! 
 
Is there any health need that you would like to attend to with Spark?




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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

15 Reasons I LOVE My Honda Civic




I love cars.  All different types of cars.  But I REALLY love my Honda Civic.  I've had her since 2006 (6/6/06) to be exact and I am definitely attached.  Maybe it's the experience I've had with her and how reliable she's been that I just can't think of getting rid of her and risking a new car that may not be as awesome. 

But for anyone considering a Honda as their next car, here are 20 reasons why I LOVE mine!

1. Great Gas Milage
It's no secret that Honda's are known for being great on gas, but I still can't believe that my 8 year old car is STILL a saint with that!  

2. Reliability
As long as you keep up with maintenance like oil changes and routine inspections, a Honda is generally a reliable vehicle.  I can vouch for this as the only things I've needed in the past 8 years were brakes, tires, a fuse, and a new battery.

3. Easy Maintenance
The beauty of a Honda is that a lot of people are very familiar with them so it's easy to find someone to do maintenance on one.  And if you're a girl and you want an easy maintenance car for you to learn on, I definitely suggest a Honda.

4. Affordable Maintenance
When you do need a part or two to keep your Honda running sound, the parts are affordable, even the factory ones.  This also makes it easier and quicker to get the parts you need.

5. Ease of Parking
Mind you I have a compact car but it's still easy to parallel park or to fit into narrow spots.  I always feel like it's easy to see what's around me too.

6. Spacious Interior
I know there are some older models that may be small but for the most part, even though a Honda can look compact, I always find the interiors to be designed with the average person in mind.  I have no problems fitting in my car or fitting my luggage when travelling.  And passenger that sit in the back have never complained.



7. 93,000 and Counting...
Friends used to joke with me that "She won't even be broken in until 150,000 miles" but I really do believe that now.  My car currently has 93k miles and I am hoping to get 300,000 out of her, hehe!

8. Sporty and Stylish Look
My car has a nice sporty sleek look and that's one of the main reasons I fell in love with her on the lot.  I see some oddly shaped vehicles these days but I'm always impressed with the Honda's!



9. It's Fun to "Modify"
I used black plastidip to make the chrome trim on my car black. A harmless, cheap modification of her appearance, and I also purchased Civic Si Factory Wheels and plastidipped those black and put them on.   Nice and simple upgrade!

10. Great Customer Service
Everytime I take my car in for service, the people at Bobby Rahal Honda are excellent!   And I'm also impressed with the great communication that Honda has with their customers with updating us on recalls, etc.


11. Practical Thinking
One of the things that makes sense to me is to make a vehicle reliable by putting more practical parts under the hood.  And with my car, it has a timing chain not a belt, which has often snapped in older vehicles.  I mean, it makes WAY more sense to use something that is more reliable and longer lasting in the newer models...like the chain!

12. Honda Owners are Like Family
It's always fun to find something in common with other Honda owners like how much you love your Honda.  It feels like you're all one big happy Honda family!


13. Honda Always Tweets Me Back
This may be goofy but I love when I tweet something and mention Honda and they respond back!

14. POWER!
Don't let my little car fool you, she can accelerate in the blink of an eye when I need to merge onto the highway and avoid tractor trailers. 

15. They Hold Their Value
If you ever want to resell or trade in an older Honda, they tend to have a great resale value as long as you maintain them properly.  This makes a Honda an even more worthy investment that other vehicles.

I could keep going but I would never sleep!

Do you have a Honda?  What's your favorite thing about it?





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Outfit of the Day: Blogging is My Cardio


So I am loving my new shirt from Whitney Ellen of I Wore Yoga Pants to Work. Each month she offers a new catchy phrase on the shirt of your choice (Dolman like I have, or tank top, etc.) and this month's is so catchy.
dfs



I mean I do run so technically running is my cardio but I loved the look of this shirt and the font is super cute too so I figured this was a great casual top to have.







It's very soft and I love the slouchy aspect of it.  I just threw a cute cami on underneath and voila!


So What I Wore:
Shirt - IWYP; Sandals - Kohls; Pants - Target; Cami - Express.



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Monday, July 28, 2014

A List of Reasons Why I'm Not Having Children + What NOT to Say to People Like Me




Ha, fooled ya.. 

You see, I was intending to sit down and develop a whole list of reasons as to why I am not having kids in my lifetime.... 

And then I sat down...

And for the first time in my life I couldn't come up with a list of reasons for a blog post like I usually do.  In fact, over the years everytime I've been asked to explain why, I couldn't  think of a list of reasons.

Why not? Well, you see a list consists of multiple items, and my reason is simple and clear.   It's just ONE reason. 

BECAUSE. 


That's all.  No need to explain.  You can't explain a feeling, an instinct, an energy...you just KNOW it and FEEL it.  I've known this was my decision ever since I was in Elementary School.   

I didn't like playing with dolls, I would toss them out of my stroller and put a stuffed animal in.   Then one time I said to my mom that I didn't really want to have kids someday and would rather just have a bunch of pets.  


I love kids, and I enjoy being around my friends' kids but I just don't choose to have them myself.   And I don't think there's anything wrong with that, or with anyone who wants to have kids. 

Speaking of lists though, I COULD come up with a list of things NOT to say in response to someone saying they don't want to have children.   Like...

You'll change your mind someday.//Don't tell me what my mind will do.
Wait till you get a little older. //Don't tell me how to live my life.
When you meet the right person that will change. //Oh so it all depends on who you meet and marry? Uhhh no.
Do you think you will feel fulfilled your whole life?// Do you think I'll feel fulfilled for punching you in the face?
Who will take care of you when you're old? // Why does it concern you?

All of those are none of your business and you should never ask someone those questions.  

You should also not say things like...

I can't imagine life without children. // What if I said I can't imagine life WITH children?)
You don't know what love is until you have a child. //Really? So you are telling me that I don't know what love is? How do you know that I don't know what love is?
You would be a great mom.// I'm also a great human, thanks.





So, there you have it.  My boyfriend feels the same way as I do and always has.  My parents respect my decision and have never once made me feel uncomfortable about it.   So I'm happy and that's all that matters.  
 
How do YOU respond when people ask you that question?


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How Men Can Pay Better Attention to Grooming Detail

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When it comes to your man, he probably already knows the importance of detail when it comes to shaving and taking care of his face.  Most men will tell you that they DO care about nose hair and they try to trim it, even though it can be painful.   The trick is to find a product that doesn't make it painful and makes it easier than ever before. 

That's why my boyfriend loves the ToiletTree Heavy Duty Nose Hair Trimmer.   It's water resistant and has a design that allows your man to use it in the shower and get an easy rinse off.  It's also made of high quality steel rather than cheap plastic.



My boyfriend was so happy to see the LED light that is great for finding those hard to reach hairs.   He has thick hair so he was also impressed at the blade quality.  This product is also backed by a lifetime replacement warranty.


The whole thing operates on just 1 AA Battery and it's great for stray hairs not just in your nose but also the eyebrows, bear, and ears.  A smooth cut will leave your man happy and you'll enjoy your snuggle time with him much more I promise!!!

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

My 4 Fresh Breathed Chihuahuas

This site has affiliate links and sponsored content. Read my Disclosure Policy.

I love my babies so I take care of them just like I do myself, including when it comes to cleaning their teeth.  I use a toothbrush on their teeth daily but sometimes that isn't enough which is why I love that Chewy offers some smile-friendly chews for dogs.

These Natural Balance Dental Chews for Dogs help reduce plaque and tartar, fresh breath, and they are easy to digest. 


My dogs LOVE them!!!   It helps with their natural chewing instinct but it's also safe to enjoy because it won't break apart and get stuck inside their little bodies.  I love the duck and potato flavor because it's a huge hit with my fur kids!
 You can see the little grooves on these and how they can work to clean teeth as well as freshen breath.  These chewy treats also contain nutrients like Vitamin C which is important for immune function.  And of course they are made proudly in the USA!

Do you clean your dogs teeth? It's super important!



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