Ask Away...: November 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

25 Things About Me





Sometimes I get so busy writing about things and stuff that I forget to write about me.   Not that my life is all that interesting but I like connecting with my readers by having unique things in common.  So whether you're a first time reader or you've been a fan since day one, I hope you enjoy getting to know me.

|1| I become furious at the world whenever I hit a pothole. It's like an instant reaction. 
|2| I refuse to go to zoos, circuses, aquariums, or anywhere that wild animals are held in captivity.
|3| I probably have 15 different shows that I watch entire seasons of in the span of a year. And I also like to binge watch stuff I like.   My all time favorite TV shows are Breaking Bad, Lost, and The Affair.
|4| My longest relationship is with my dog Pixie (10 years) and my car (8 years).
|5| I am not having kids. Ever.  
|6| I'm afraid of heights.  No zip lining, hot air balloon, sky diving, etc. for me EVER EVER EVER!
|7| I support the legalization of Marijuana.
|8| I support gay rights and get very defensive when people make any sort of rude comment towards gays, transgenders, etc.
|9| I don't follow or participate in organized religion.  I am spiritual with the Earth in my own way.  I also enjoy Buddhist practices even though I don't consider that the same as most religions.
|10| I have a No Soliciting sign on my front door because I can't stand solicitors. Not even the thought of them at my door.
|11| I used the KonMari process last year and my life is super stress free now.
|12| I'm obsessed with lists and I make a list for everything.
|13| I still have a fear of the dark. 
|14| When I was little I used to be afraid of Ursula on The Little Mermaid when I saw it on the big screen.
|15| I have 20 different random nicknames for each of my dogs and I talk to them in a different voice.
|16|I don't leave the house without kissing my dogs goodbye.
|17|When I was 21 Pixie was stolen in a robbery. I got her back.
|18| I lost my Best Friend ever back in 2008.
|19|I secretly wish I was Carrie Bradshaw!
|20|The whole idea of child birth makes me squirm.
|21| I work a full time job for the State and I've been there for 10 years.
|22| My favorite past time is seeing stand up comedy shows. So far I've seen Jerry Seinfeld, Ron White, Kevin James, Dave Chappelle, Steve-O, Fluffy (Gabriel Iglesias), and Jeff Dunham.
|23|By 7 pm on weekdays I have my bra off, PJs on, and I'm on the couch watching TV.
|24| I can't stand people that are lazy and make excuses.
|25|I try to live the book The Secret every single day. Thinking positive has brought amazing and magical things my way!


So..do we have anything in common?








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Pet Travel with Ease [The Hatch Carrier]

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Tis the season for Holiday travel which means that some of you will be traveling with your pets.  One of the biggest things most pet owners worry about is the stress that your furry baby will go through.   So there's this amazing thing called The Hatch Carrier. It's a safe way to ensure your cat or small dog can't escape and there's even a Direct Reach system which gives you access to the interior of the carrier through an elastic entry portal.  This lets you reach in and place your hand on your pet to let them know it's okay.  You can also slip in a treat or get something out from the inside.   

Normally, a pet parent opens up their carrier and it can actually provide an escape route for a nervous pet to jump out and flee.  But with a patented access system like the one in The Hatch Carrier, you won't have to worry about your pet getting loose whether it's on the way to the vet or in a car or on a bus.  

The inventor is Jon Mirsky who was inspired by the experiences of his cat, Junior who had a hard time traveling.  He found that what most carriers lack is the ability to reach in and reassure your pet without the fear of escape.  The Hatch Carrier is made of water-resistant, military grade ballistic nylon which protects against wind and rain and it's also scuff and tear resistant! That means even the sharpest claws can't compete!   This really comes in handy with the mesh windows for ventilation and viewing.  Inside is an interior pet bed that's removable and has a machine washable bed cover.  You can carry this Hatch by hand or over your shoulder.  You can secure it to luggage or fasten in a car seat and this carrier is flight-approved and meets the requirements of most major domestic U.S. airlines.  

Isn't this amazing?  Right now this amazing carrier needs YOUR help on Kickstarter to get these things into production!! 

See below for details on what your contribution will get you!

Would this solve some travel needs for you and your pet?




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Eat, Drink, & Be Merry with A #CyberMonday Deal from Restaurant.com




I received a Restaurant.com gift card for the purpose of this review.  This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media.  Thoughts are my own.

That's right - the great site Restaurant.com which is a personal favorite of mine to find deals for local restaurants is making it even easier for you to give the gift of a great food experience.  Today only they offer $3 for $25 Certificates with the promo code CYBER.  

And if you are traveling, that's okay because their mobile app makes a primary travel companion.  You can search for places to eat by zip code and then use the certificate from your phone when you're at the restaurant.

Hurry up though because this "Better than Best" $3 Cyber Monday Sale isn't going to last.  Restaurant.com is the trusted source for connecting restaurants and diners nationwide.   This offer ends Monday, November 30 at 11:59 PM CT. 




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I received a Restaurant.com gift card for the purpose of this review.  This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media.  Thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

So What's the Deal with Adult Coloring Books?





If you are on social media at all these days, I'm sure you've seen at least one person post about adult coloring books.    They are becoming a big deal again now because it's being said by medical professionals that there are lots of benefits to coloring.   

It's true though...have you ever seen kids coloring? They are so pleasant and focused.  They can listen to what's going on around them even though they are paying attention to their picture.   And afterwards they have a great sense of pride and accomplishment when their picture is done.


Coloring can connect you back with thoughts and feelings of your childhood when life was more carefree and laid back.   It's also a great stress reliever because it keeps your mind busy and it's relaxing physically.   Coloring helps me focus better, as odd as it may seem.

  When I'm coloring it's mindless for me so my brain ends up tuning into what's around me like what's on TV or a webinar I'm listening to.   

But see, when I'm coloring or doing a fun mindless activity I tend to do some really weird things that drive my boyfriend nuts.


For starters, I babble like a fool.   I'll repeat things I hear on TV but I say them in a goofy voice. I make weird sounds, I hum songs that don't exist and sometimes I just randomly scream.

I'm not kidding dude. I am WEIRD!

NOT coloring I do some really obnoxious things.  I babble and babble



Coloring also is a fun hobby that involves being creative when you try to decide on different colors and patterns to follow.  When's the last time you got to be creative with pencils, markers, or crayons!?   So I have two different coloring books - one is an animal book and the other has vintage patterns and designs!





I love the beautiful designs and I can't wait to figure out what colors I want to use and what patterns I want to follow.  It kind of reminds me of designing fabric so I'm going to pretend I'm a famous designer! See, I'm already using my imagination!

[I do have this problem though where I start to color things then I stop and go to a new page so I end up with all these unfinished pages which is kind of funny. I used to do that as a kid too.]

I would make these little books by folding printer paper in half and stapling it in the middle. I'd start writing a story but I'd stop half way through. My mom  always pointed it out and we laughed. Now, when I go through my boxes of stuff and I see them I laugh even harder. 

{{I'm freakin' weird man.}}



I'm so excited about the animal coloring book because I love animals to begin with but I've always enjoyed the decorative patterns, bubbles, and shapes that artists use inside of animal decor for houses, etc.




I can tell you already that from the few pages I've done I really really enjoy it. And don't say you're bad at coloring. I mean honestly, it's not hard to stay in the lines as an adult. You can use markers, crayons, or colored pencils. I like colored pencils just because they are a bit more precise, at least for me.



I will be sharing my finished colored pages on social media so be sure you follow me so you can see them along the way!


Honestly, coloring is so relaxing. I do it all the time now and I really enjoy the challenge of trying to use just the right colors so it all looks perfect...well atleast to me!   I remember why I loved coloring so much as a kid...it was just a great way to relax but still be doing something so I wasn't bored.    This is one trend that I'm proud to join in on!


Have you joined the Adult Coloring Book craze yet?

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I'm A Doll...Literally

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You guys! I am a doll!!!!

I mean it!  

Get ready to see the coolest thing ever!   

This was made by Budsies.  Budsies is a company that makes a plush version of your child's favorite artwork character.  Seriously, if your child draws a picture you can have it made into a plush doll!!!  

 Or you can do what I did and make a Selfie! Yep, Budsies even makes Selfies


You just upload a photo of yourself and you can provide a detailed description with the things you are wearing and colors and everything! You get to choose your eye color and skin tone too.    



Generally it can take 5 weeks to complete but holidays can be different. Budsies cost $89 and Selfies cost $79. It's so worth it. Let's take a closer look at my Selfie!

I love how they captured the long hair and the way two pieces of it are in front of each side.  I feel like I have super thick hair. Well I mean I do (it's clip in extensions ) but now it's captured forever in doll form.  
Check out the detail on the shoes.  The leopard spots are sewn on! I love it!!! 


And my purse!! With the double straps and everything!

{I apologize that it's not stuffed with Chihuahuas} because that would be a more accurate depiction of me. HA!


And look at that pretty face! I love how they make the eyes look!



This is so so worth it. Think of all the ways you could use a Selfie or a Budsie.  For a Selfie - it's great to make a doll of yourself for a loved one or child.   I am so happy with my selfie!!!  

Are you going to get one? Let me know!   







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Monday, November 23, 2015

How to Protect Your Home | Free Printable Checklist | {{+ a giveaway]]

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


As a new homeowner I am always trying to take the best steps to make my home safe and secure.  There are so many things that can happen to anyone, anywhere.  Whether it's outside vandalism, breaking and entering, or whatever - it can be scary to have a house of your own and you can go crazy worrying about it.  So here are some things you can do to keep your home safe every single day.  Whether it's a new home or your current home, it's never too late to start.
[Install Dead Bolt Locks on Exterior Doors]
Any exterior entry ways like doors leading into the garage, front doors, basement doors, porch doors, etc. should  all be securely locked with a dead bolt.  Have you ever tried to break into your own door with a dead bolt on it? Exactly. It's a very worthy investment and it definitely feels good knowing you took that extra step.



[Keep Blinds Shut]
If you have windows without curtains or blinds, get some! When you aren't home make sure your blinds are drawn so no one can see in and scope out your house.  When you are home, especially at night when the lights are on inside, shut your blinds! You don't want anyone peeking in. I mean unless you WANT to give a peep show. This also prevents any potential burglars from scoping out what you have.



[Garden Lights]
Lighting around the outside of your home is a great way to deter people from snooping around in your yard or near your home.  Some people use spot lights that aim at their home, other people use solar lighting.  And please if you come to my house don't judge me when you see Rocky lift his leg on my garden lights.  Oops. 




[A Security Camera]
A security camera is by far the best investment you can ever make for your home.  The NuCam IR 720P is a great addition to your home, as it is to mine.  It fits all standard E26 Light Fixtures and has a remote controlled 3W white flood light.  This means you can install it in a place where you already have lighting.  This is great for the exterior of a home like a porch, patio, or garage.  The NuCam IR 720P has a wide angle lens with automatic night vision mode.  You can hear and see whatever goes on and it easily pairs with both iOS and Android! There's even a digital video recorder with an SD card slot.  I love the quality of images from this camera.  I'm very impressed to see they aren't stretched or fuzzy.  I can't even tell you how much piece of mind I have from my NuCam! It even comes with a flood light remote control and an 8" light bulb socket extension.  It's just so easy to adjust the camera viewing area with this.  The fact that I can check my home whenever I'm away is so amazing to me and gives me a great sense of security. You can purchase one here: http://www.nuvending.com/product/nucam-720p

**The awesome folks at NuCam have offered 20% off for anyone who purchases their camera from Amazon. Just use the code GETNUCAM!















[Have A Plan]

Seriously it might be scary to think of this but it's a healthy type of fear. have a plan in your head for what you would do in different scenarios, like if someone breaks in while you're home. where will you run, where will you hide, when will you call the cops, how will you escape. have a plan for each possible scenario like if they come through a front door, a basement, a window, etc.


[Protect Your Home When You're Away]

When you plan to be on vacation there are several things you can do to keep your home secure like notifying the police so they can come by daily and check your house.  Make it look like you're home by having timed lights come on or keeping an exterior light on.  Notify a person you trust so they can come by and check your home.  Don't advertise that you're leaving your house empty on social media.


[Don't Hide Keys]

I don't care what anyone else does, this is the most foolish thing a person can do.  Burglars know to look for this stuff so they WILL check under mats, above door frames, and fake rocks.  If you are so worried about locking yourself out someday, make sure you either keep a spare on your self or get a garage door opener that you mount outside that you put a passcode into.  That way if you do forget your keys you can at least get in the garage.


[Lock Doors Always]

If you're home you still need to lock your doors. Creepy people can walk in at anytime, even if they know you're home.  Always lock your doors. Keep your windows locked as well.  If you are out back, lock the front door so no one can slip in when they see you are busy out back.

[Get A View Hole]

When we first moved in our house didn't have a peep hole on the front door.  So we installed one ourselves and now we can always peek out whenever the doorbell rings.  This way, you won't answer the door unless you absolutely want to. And never open the door for people you don't know. It's totally okay to ignore solicitors.  Seriously, you have no idea how weird and vulnerable I felt when I realized we didn't have one and the doorbell rang for the first time!


[Display Signage]

Those signs that say Beware of Dog are a great deterrent. So are No Soliciting signs and signs that say you have video cameras.

[Arrive Home Safely]

If you park in your garage when you arrive home, make sure you shut the garage door behind you as soon as you pull in. Make sure it closes and make sure no one slips in behind you.

[Privacy Film]

If you have windows in a shed, garage, or small bathroom that you don't want people looking in as they attempt to find a way to enter the home - use privacy film.   No one can see in so not only will they miss what's inside for them to get into, but they won't even be able to see if the coast is clear!




And that's not all - One of you will win a NuCam IR 720P Camera of your own!



 



a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Dog-Friendly Entertaining Tips for Thanksgiving




It's almost that time again, where you house fills up with friendly guests and good food.  But, there are some things you need to keep in mind when it comes to your dog (or any pet). 

I've heard horror stories of dogs that get into something they shouldn't and have to be rushed to the vet.  You don't want that to interrupt your holiday so make sure you follow these dog-friendly tips.

[1] No Table Scraps
It's [NOT] a good habit to get into and there's things that are put into human food (yes, even meats) that aren't good for dogs.  Make sure your guests know this is the rule in your home. Trust me, your dog may beg, but I assure you he will be just fine without scraps from your plate!

[2] Keep Your Dog Busy
There will be //a lot\\ of activity and it's easy to get overwhelmed when you're a dog so make sure you have plenty of things for your dog to do so they don't get into trouble.   I give mine chewies.   I highly recommend the Benebone Wishbone!

They come in different sizes and flavors and are made with food-grade nylon.   They are perfect for keeping your dog occupied.  Plus, when you purchase Benebone, a portion of the sale is donated to animal support organizations! OH and they are made in the USA!


[3] Keep Coats & Bags Up High
When your guests arrive, make sure you put their coats and bags somewhere your dogs can reach.  Dogs can get nosy and if they happen to snoop in pockets or purses they can get into some dangerous things like pills, gum, etc.  This is also a good habit to get into because sometimes little boy dogs (like my Rocky) like to sniff around and mark new items by lifting their leg.  {{{That's right - Rocky has sprinkled on his fair share of purses!}}}


[4] Safe Zone
If your dog tends to get overwhelmed when there are a lot of people over, make sure he has a nice quiet area he can retreat to at any time.  It's always good to keep a cage or crate or his dog bed in a room that's quiet.   If he seems to be overwhelmed, you may have to put him there yourself. 






[5] Celebrate with Your Pet 
All the fuss with your guests can make your dog feel left out so make sure you include him in your celebration and continue to give him regular attention throughout the day. This way, everyone has a good time! 





What tips do you have for pet-friendly entertaining? 

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Friday, November 20, 2015

How to Find The Best Gifts This Holiday


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Every year people frantically drive across town to spend days on end searching for the perfect gift for everyone on their list.   You would think it would be easier to just do it online but so many people seem to think the only way to take advantage of sales is to physically be in the store.  That's not always the case.  

I have found the perfect way to find the best gifts for everyone on my Gift List this year and today I'm going to share it with you!
Shop from Home
I get all my gift buying done in one day all from the comfort of my couch, because I choose to shop on CyberMonday.com.   It compiles all the sales for top retailers into one place so I save time, money, and energy.  No more opening 10 different tabs on my browser and no more rushing around and standing in line at the store.  It's the greatest one-stop shop for  Cyber Monday promotions but it's also great year round. 



No More Multiple Tab Browsing
I don't have to search all over for coupons and special deals because CyberMonday.com collects coupon codes, limited time offers, and special savings opportunities from over 800 online stores.  Then I can browse them in one convenient place.   There are even some promotions that are exclusive to CyberMonday.com. 
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Special Deals
CyberMonday.com even features a Deal of the Hour on its front page on Black Friday and Cyber Monday which highlights a different retail promotion every hour.  This can be anything from free shipping, a certain amount off, or a free gift with your purchase.


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Gift Guides
There are even gift guides that are set up with recommended categories, products, and stores depending on the person you are shopping for and their hobbies and interests.  That really helped me out when I found myself stumped on what to buy for certain people. 

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Easy Shopping
It's so easy to shop around on CyberMonday.com. I love that I can click on the logo of my favorite store and it allows me to choose from the different offers, or I can just go through to their website.  No more digging around for offers and trying to remember coupon codes.  


I was able to do over half my shopping so far with this site!   I even discovered deals that I definitely wouldn't have found otherwise.  I feel so great that I can now relax and enjoy this holiday season and not waste time rushing around dropping loads of cash at stores, getting stuck in traffic! 


When do you want to have your shopping done by?





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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.
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