Ask Away...: March 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What Makes Me Feel Foxy [Waist Training]

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


So I had heard all about this whole waist training thing and I was genuinely interested.  I teamed up with Feel Foxy to figure it all out.   Basically,  waist training is the gradual process of using a waist cincher/corset to reduce your waist.  You use the adjustable hooks to gradually increase how tight the corset is.





There are so many waist cinchers and corsets on the Feel Foxy website.  You can choose the style, material,  and color that you like best.   I used the Ann Cherry Clasica Fusionada Waist Cincher.  I did just as I was advised - and I gradually increased my length of wear over the weeks and also increased how tight the hooks were.  After the first week I was a lot more comfortable in this and I could wear it for longer periods of time.  I noticed that I am able to hold my stomach in more even without the waist cincher on.  

I also noticed that when I wore it to eat, I ate less aka proper portions.  I honestly couldn't shove food in my face all night if I had this on so it really worked out in my favor!   The other thing I noticed was that I look better in my shirts.  I'm not busting out at the waist anymore!  


When I first put this on it was difficult to get all the hooks closed but after the first few times I could breeze through it.  I thought this waist cincher was really soft and flexible and it didn't irritate my skin or make me itch.

I also felt really sexy when I wore this.   I can't really explain it beyond that but I definitely loved it.  I will continue to use my Waist Cincher from Feel Foxy.

Is this something you would try?



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Monday, March 30, 2015

My Secret in Addition to Nutritious Food and Exercise

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

I've been running again and eating healthy and cutting out stuff like added sugars.  I've really been seeing a difference in my waistline but I also have to give credit to my other little secret... SlimQuick Pure Extra Strength Mixed Berries Flavor Gummies.



That's right... these little gems can help you lose 3x the weight (over a 13 week period)  as long as you are also doing other things like diet and exercise.  They are stimulant free and have Bio Pure Green Tea and a delicious mixed berry flavor.  There's no artificial colors.   I just took 2 of them twice a day with water and a small meal or snack.   I noticed a significant shrink in my waistline over the first month.  SlimQuick knows how obnoxiously difficult it is for women to lose weight because our bodies are designed very different than that of a man's.   I definitely felt an energy boost and I also noticed that I didn't have insane cravings for food. 

I definitely plan to keep using this product!!!  

In addition to that, I've been running at least 4 days a week and I've been keeping up with my healthy eating habits. Hooray for me!

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I Tidied My Closet with The KonMari Method


So originally I saw a Facebook post from someone that said they had KonMari'd their filing system of papers. Intrigued, I googled "KonMari" and then immediately bought the book. I also was inspired by all the Instagram pics I saw when I searched for the hashtag.   I read it in 24 hours and began the process.  I highly recommend everyone read the book. 


Basically, the KonMari method comes from Marie Kondo, who suggests that we only keep things that bring us joy.   She suggests a specific order to go through things like clothing first then books and magazines and then papers, etc.   You must put everything out in the open all together (coat closet, off season clothes, closet clothing, and drawer clothing) and hold each one by one.  When you hold it you ask yourself if it brings you joy.  Surprisingly, this was a fun process and I could not believe I was able to do it in a matter of hours!


So what was the result?   Well, I no longer have an off season wardrobe stored in bags under my bed.  All of my clothing fits in my closet (which isn't even a walk-in!) and in my main dresser.  I was able to get rid of SIX bags of clothes, which I donated.  

I was seriously exhausted by the end of the day and I was a bit emotional when I dropped the clothing off at the local Community Aid.  

I was so proud of my work.  Then I went to bed.  

 This is my entire closet. All seasons of clothing able to hang.  The first photo is the right side of my closet and the second is the left side.  I hang in this order: Dresses, skirts, jackets, sweatshirts, pants, sweaters, long sleeve shirts, 3-quarter length, short sleeve, and tank tops.

These are my drawers.  Left to right: Row 1 is work out clothes and pajamas.  Row 2 is jeans/pants and tank tops/layering shirts.  Row 3 is tshirts/scarves/belts/leggings and socks.   I didn't take a photo of my undies drawer though.  :)

When I woke up the first thing that crossed my mind was "Wow, I have everything in my closet now and there's still so much space! "  I had a different energy to me.  All morning I felt energized and less stressed.  Could it be that having so much stuff even when it was out of sight was blocking my good energy?   I believe it now! 
It's amazing how organized and in order your entire life feels when everything you own is in it's place and you only own and hang on to the stuff you absolutely love. 

But that's not all...I'm KMing everything else too and I'll have more posts about those including linen closet, beauty supplies, photos, papers, etc.


Have you ever heard of this method?  How do you feel about your current organizing/tidying methods?
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How To Make Your Bathroom Guest Friendly + A Giveaway!

The Dial® brand provided me with a sample of Dial® Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap in exchange for a product review.  However, all the opinions expressed here are my own. 



Did you ever use the bathroom at someone's house and you feel so cozy and warm in it because they have such elegant décor and such delightful potpourri and a conditioning soap?   That's what I like to do for MY guests when they come to my house.  


Here are a few things you can do to make your bathroom more friendly for houseguests!



1. Keep Décor to a Minimum

Try to keep any shelving surfaces cleared as well as the main vanity itself.  When a counter is cluttered it doesn't feel clean to a guest.   The main things you should keep on your counter would simply be hand soap and perhaps an air freshener.

2. Keep Extra Toilet Paper Handy
Nothing is worse than running out of toilet paper and not knowing where the owner of the home keeps it.  In that case, someone may have to snoop around in a few drawers or cabinets.   In order to prevent that, make sure your roll is full and if it's near the end, have an extra roll sitting close by in plain sight.
3. Have Hand Towels Available
Ever go to a house and after you wash your hands you see that the only thing to wipe them on is someone's bath towel? No way Jose!   Make sure you always have clean hand towels available for your guests. 

4. Use a Quality Hand Soap
I can't stand using an actual bar of soap when I'm at a guests house. It's messy, slippery, and sometimes already been used which just turns me off.  NEW Dial® Sugar Cane Husk Scrub Hand Soap is a great choice for your bathroom.  It has an amazing scent inspired by freshly cut Sugar Cane and has gentle scrubbers that deeply cleanse skin while leaving it moisturized and soft.
I love the classy look of the bottle.  It definitely adds to the décor of any bathroom.  Dial®'s new Boutique Collection hand soaps have a completely new bottle and design with rich colors and vibrant scents.


And I'm giving away 2 coupons for free NEW Dial® Hand Soap!





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Get Your Blog Up and Running in 10 Easy Steps





I've been blogging for almost 5 years now and I have to say, I've come a long way and learned a lot.  Now it's time for me to share some tips with you.   So if you know you want to start a blog but don't know how to begin the process, these tips should help you! 

1 | Choose a host. First things first; you need to figure out a host for your blog.   I started wtih Blogger, but it's wise to use a website hosting service such as HostGator , which  has 24/7 live support via chat, phone, or email.  They are basically always right there to help you which would have come in handy for me in the middle of the night when I had a page crash.  By the way, you can sign up for 30% off web hosting services at HostGator here.  

2 | Choose a domain.  If you know what you want to blog about, that's a great start for figuring out a name and you will want to choose a domain that coincides with the title of your blog.  As you can see, mine is AskAwayBlog.com.   HostGator is a great one stop shop for domains and will help make the process a lot less overwhelming.  
I designed this graphic to help introduce people to my site.

3 |  Design your site.  You should have some sort of theme in mind and a basic idea of what you want the design of your site to look like.  Don't freak out if you aren't good with design and HTML.  It took me a long time to learn over the years.  Luckily, HostGator has pros that can do it all for you.  That will save you a lot of time and energy, I promise you!

4 |  Figure out a layout.  The layout of your site should be easy on the eyes and somewhat clean so that when people visit your blog they aren't overwhelmed.  HostGator has excellent website building tools like drag and drop that make it super simple to build a site.  Over time you may need to change the layout and that's a normal and good thing. 

5 | Decide on content.  Think of what you want to give your readers when they come to your site and what topics you want to blog about.  The key here is to basically fulfill a need, like advice, fashion tips, organizing tricks, or product reviews.   If you just want to start a personal blog about your everyday life, that's a great idea too!

6 | Choose a posting schedule.  I actually have an agenda book for my blog posts.  I can see what days don't have any posts so I know where I can add one in.   

7 | Use photos in your posts.  Pictures tell a story so make sure you always include some in every post.  Practice makes perfect if you plan to dabble in photography so just be patient and see what some other bloggers do.   And HostGator offers one click WordPress installs with no messy downloading and uploading of files which will actually be one less HUGE hassle to worry about.

8 | Marketing is key.  If you want to generate traffic you need to market yourself or your blog.  HostGator has in house experts for SEO and PPC that want to help you with marketing.  Take advantage of this because the sooner you can start bringing in traffic, the better.
You can learn A LOT at a blog conference.

9 | Network.  Everywhere you go, tell people about your blog. Invest in business cards.  Go to social media club meet-ups and blog conferences.  Trust me when I say that almost any situation can be an opportunity to network.

10 | Have fun.  If it's not fun for you, it's never worth doing.  Remember to enjoy your blog and be patient and don't expect to be the #1 blogger overnight.   Blogging is a great way to use your free time and if it wasn't then people like me wouldn't be doing it for so long!





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

Sunday, March 29, 2015

New Sneaks


It is always fun to go shopping for sneakers. With so many styles and brands to choose from, it can sometimes be hard to choose a pair that you like best. However, when you are going to buy a pair of sneakers, the most important factor should not only be how they look. While every person wants to look good in their sneakers, you must also be certain that they fit properly. Otherwise, you could slowly develop problems with your feet if you wear these ill-fitting sneakers for an extended period of time. Understand that injuries to your feet take a long time to heal. They can seriously impair your ability to walk and ruin your quality of life. That having been said, here is how to buy sneakers that fit properly.

1. Give your toes room to breathe

A common mistake that people often make when they buy sneakers at places like SneakerKing.com is not giving their toes enough room. Your feet may feel fine when you are walking around the shore store, but if you fail to give your toes adequate room, a few days of walking in those shoes will cause you some serious pain. Obviously, if you do any form of physical activity in shoes that do not fit correctly, you are running the risk of having a serious injury. Ideally, your toe should have a good half-inch of space between it and the front of the shoe. This will allow your foot to slide forward slightly without slamming into the front of the shoe.

2. Get properly fitted

Another common mistake that people make during the process of buying sneakers is assuming they know their own size. However, many people are surprised to find out what their real size is once they have been professionally fitted by an employee at a shoe store. Even if you are 99 percent certain that you know what your size is, it only takes a minute to be fitted. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you ever wonder why you have pain in your toes and feet, there is a distinct possibility that you have been wearing sneakers that are too small for you. 

3. Wear them around your house

For the first few days after you buy new sneakers, only wear them indoors. If you do this, you will still be able to return them if you change your mind.




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Friday, March 27, 2015

I'm In Love With A Mister + A Giveaway

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

I have to tell you about my obsession with wrap bracelets.  They are so comfortable and I love how they look when I layer them. 

This bracelet is the Mister Insecure bracelet from D'Andrea Handbags. You may recognize the company for selling handbags, totes, etc. but now they have expanded to include bracelets.  Their bracelets are so classy and simple!


They come in a variety of different colors and it's great to wear alone as a small statement piece or if you want to layer your wrists with other bracelets.  I love that this bracelet rests against my arm rather than jingling all around with every move I make. 

So before I get to the giveaway... I have a coupon code for you guys! Use code: EllenMisterlove15 for a special deal when you buy one bracelet at full price you will receive the same style and color for free! 

And one lucky winner will get a bracelet of their own!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Loving Layers



It's been chilly lately so I like to layer.   Stella already keeps warm with her long hair but it's not so easy for me.  I just used a simple crochet poncho and a regular sweater for this one. 


Boots - Just Fab | Poncho - Chicwish | Jeans - Articles of Society | Sweater - New York & Company.





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Thursday, March 26, 2015

I Stay Cool Even in Spring

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

Most people are thrilled that it's Spring and the weather is warmer, but I on the other hand don't necessarily enjoy how my bedroom heats up. 


I can not fall asleep with out my Hydraluxe Cool Case from Comfort Revolution. The best part is, I can use it with my current pillow.   The gel lining zips in and out so it's easy to clean and it's available in standard, queen, and king sizes.   It's so nice to have a cooler pillow all through the night, in fact it keeps me from waking up in the middle of the night just to flip my pillow over. The Hydraluxe gel technology keeps you cooler for longer and the pillow case has a breathable mesh cover with adorable trim.  And when you order one at Comfort Revolution's website you get free shipping! I notice that I fall asleep faster and sleep more solid!

Also be sure to follow Comfort Revolution on social media to keep up with flash sales, new products, and giveaways!

Do you guys need to have a cool pillow at night?








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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Enter Now For a Chance to Win Fine Jewelry


Enter Now For a Chance to Win Fine Jewelry
The Spring Sparkle Sweepstakes from Milano Jewelry will make three lucky winners’ season the best yet! The grand prize, a diamond empress ring with a total diamond weight of 1 carat, will soon grace the finger of one winner. Two other lucky entrants will take home a 2.52-carat silver Tanzanite Dreams jewelry set containing a matching necklace, ring and earrings. The grand prize is worth $600, and the tanzanite sets are each worth $300.



Enter on the Website or on Facebook
Beginning March 17 and ending March 31, the giveaway is open to any visitors to the Milano website or Facebook page as well as to current email subscribers. There is no purchase required to enter, and a detailed list of contest rules may be found on the Milano website.
Save on Spring Jewelry
Milano is a fine jewelry retailer with 26 stores in Mexico, Alaska and the Caribbean. The company offers high-quality jewelry at competitive prices on its easy-to-use website, where shoppers can find featured deals any time of the year. The current special offers will continue throughout the duration of the sweepstakes so that website visitors can save money on all their spring jewelry.

Available free shipping and a 15-day money-back return policy are just a few of the many advantages of choosing Milano to expand your fine jewelry collection.
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5 Tips for Safe Driving + A Giveaway

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


Staying safe when driving shouldn't be rocket science, but sometimes we struggle to balance out the conveniences of life like cell phones, with staying safe and attentive on the road.   So here are 5 safe driving tips!




1| Hands off your phone
I keep my iPhone on my air vent thanks to my Kenu Airframe + where I can still see it if I need to answer an incoming call or use the GPS features.   But I won't be distracted with holding it and looking down at it.  
 



And it even expands for the size of a larger phone and it DOES work with my enormous oversized phone charging case!  It's so easy to just slide on to a vent.


2| Buckle Up
Seriously, not only is it the law, but it can really save your life.   Make it a habit of buckling up EVERY TIME you get in the car and after a few weeks it'll be second nature.  In fact, I don't even notice when I buckle up because I do it so habitually.

3| Keep the Music at a Reasonable Volume
It's completely fine to enjoy music while you drive, but keep it at a level where you could still hear sirens in the distance, or hear a car beeping behind you.

4| Go Hands Free When On A Phone Call
Once again, the Kenu Airframe+ can help with that. I can talk on the phone with it on speaker and I don't have to worry about holding it in one hand, which sometimes makes it hard to control the wheel when turning.  

5| Wear Sunglasses
Laugh all you want, but when you suddenly turn into blinding sunlight it can be scary.  I never leave home without my sunglasses. 






And one winner will get an Airframe+ for their car!
a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Preparing for Spring

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

Even though the weather is bipolar right now and can't decide whether it wants to stay warm or cold, Spring officially started on Friday!    I like to do little things in my own life to prepare for the warmer weather.

 
I always switch my cell phone case to something more appropriate and this new teal floral iPhone 6 case from Ankit is perfect! I love the soft but rubbery feel.  It really helps me get a better grip when I hold my phone and I know that this case is protecting it.  The floral is so vibrant and beautiful!

 



One of the downfalls to warmer weather is that my bedroom gets really hot at night and I end up waking up drenched in sweat. So I like to wear my pajamas from Cool-Jams.  This Wide Leg Pajama Pant is so comfy and I don't wake up with my legs soaking! I also love my Cami Top in the same color!  Cool-jams are amazing because their fabric's thermal regulation properties keep the body cool and dry even when it's hot.   But when the temperatures dip it can keep your body warm and cozy.  Cool-jams absorb moisture and heat away from your skin to the outside of the fabric.  And then they dry quickly.  They are so lightweight and comfortable and they are really compact when you fold them up in your drawer or when travelling.  Cool-jams even has temperature regulating bedding, sheets, comforters, pillows, and mattress pads!


 

And one winner will get a $50 gift certificate to Cool Jams!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Back to Basics



Sometimes grey and black makes the best combination in an outfit. I had to offset it with a leopard print scarf, though. 



Grace was so camera-ready today! 

Jeans - Maurices at Rockvale Outlets Lancaster | Top - New York & Company at Rockvale Outlets Lancaster | Jacket - TJ Maxx | Boots - Aerosoles. 



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