Ask Away...: December 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

I and Love and You [30-Day Challenge] // PART 3 // Final Thoughts

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Welcome back to the 30-Day Challenge.  As you read in the First Thoughts post, I was really excited to start feeding my dogs I and Love and You Naked Essentials Dry Dog Food in the Chicken and Duck flavor.  My second post covered the improvements I've seen.  So I wanted to do a third and final post with my thoughts about this food and my plans for the future.  I honestly love this food.  My dogs scarf it down and I love all the improvements I've seen.  Since it's been a full month and I am already seeing such great results, I do plan to keep them on this food. 



Grace has great energy levels and she hasn't been licking her feet like she used to which leads me to believe there was an ingredient in her other foods in the past that irritated her skin and fur.  


 Stella has such a beautiful coat and it is even shinier than it's ever been.  She doesn't itch herself nearly as much which means there are less furballs flying around the hardwood floors! 



Pixie is 10 years old but now has the energy and stamina of a puppy. She plays fetch all the time now and she doesn't get out of breathe like she used to. 


Rocky has always struggled with getting enough protein in his diet and the vet wanted him to keep his weight up.  He's maintained his weight on I and Love and You and he loves eating. He's no longer finicky.

 The fact that they are pooping less, absorbing more nutrients, and have great energy levels makes me confident that it's the best choice for them.  I love that my babies all have soft and silky coats and they aren't shedding like crazy like they have in the past.  Normally I don't see results this fast or this good so I'm so excited and I stand confidently behind I and Love and You Dog Food! 



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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tips For Keeping Those Pesky Varicose Veins At Bay





As anyone who suffers from varicose veins will tell you, they can knock your confidence. The problem with these pesky veins isn’t just that they’re unsightly, but also that they can be painful. This is especially true if you are someone who is on their feet a lot of the time.

The good news, however, is that there are lots of things that you can do to keep varicose veins at bay. Some of these things will help to prevent new veins from occurring while others will make it easier to deal with the ones you already have. No one wants varicose veins, but what’s important is knowing how to deal with them. To keep varicose veins at bay, take note of these handy tips:

To prevent them

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First things first, let's focus on how to prevent new varicose veins from occurring. There are plenty of ways that you can do this, from regularly exercising to not crossing your legs.

Don’t stand or sit for a long time. If you’re going to be standing or sitting for a long time, such as on an airplane, make sure to move your legs regularly. If you don’t move about, you’ll put your veins under too much pressure and will make them more prone to problems.

Never cross your legs. While many people make the mistake of thinking that crossed legs can cause varicose veins, that’s not the case. It can, however, make you more prone to them. So when it comes to sitting, it’s always best to avoid crossing your legs.

Be healthy and lose extra weight. You may not realize it, but if you’re carrying a little too much weight, it puts you at greater risk of developing varicose veins. As well as losing any extra weight, if you want to prevent varicose veins, it’s also important to exercise. Exercise, like running or cycling, helps to increase blood flow to the legs, making it easier for the blood to be pumped around the body. This helps to prevent blood from pooling in certain areas and causing veins to bulge.

To treat them

If you’ve already developed varicose veins, there are plenty of ways that you can treat them. So no matter how bad they are, there’s no need to stress about it.  

For a quick fix, compression stockings are fantastic. If you’re in need of a way to hide your varicose veins and remove the discomfort, compression stockings are a fantastic option. While you can buy these in most clothes stores, you can also get prescription ones that tend to work a lot better. Of course, the one downside to compression stockings is that once you take them off, the varicose veins reappear.

For a longer term solution, natural vein removal is a great option. There are various treatment methods to choose from, from sclerotherapy to vein ablation. The type of treatment that’s best suited to you will depend on how bad your veins are.

For dealing with the pain and swelling, ice is amazing. This can be applied as often as required, and can help to make your legs more comfortable. It will make the damaged veins less visible and will significantly reduce the swelling.

So there you have it, everything that you need to know about keeping varicose veins at bay.







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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

5 Benefits of Using Lighting as Decor

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Now that I'm a homeowner I love decorating each room.  I like choosing simple decor that adds to a room without making it look cluttered.  Since I have a smaller house, I have learned that decorating with useful accents is a win-win.  I use the decor and it also looks nice. The main thing I decorate with now is lighting.   Lamps can really make a room look perfect if you find one that has a complementary style or color with the rest of the decor in your room.  I also love that you don't have to break the bank with lighting. 


When it comes to decorating with home lighting, there are several benefits.  


|1| It Looks Nice
I always admire people's home decor especially their floor lamps.  Maybe it's just me but pillows and lighting can really make or break a room.  I especially love when people have a lamp or lighting that matches the colors or theme of a room.  The last thing I shopped for was additional lighting when we moved in because I wanted to wait till we had the basic decor and flow of the house in place so it would be easier to accent each room with the right kind of lighting.




|2| It's Practical
I mean who doesn't need lighting in their home?  Everyone does!  Without buying unneccesary knick knacks and clutter, you can add a piece of decor that actually serves a purpose.  I'm all about home decor that doubles as lighting or storage.  Plus, I can easily justify spending money on a PRACTICAL purchase.





|3| It Doesn't Add Clutter
A lot of people fill their counters and shelves with knick knacks and mementos.   On the other hand, a lot of people have smaller homes that don't have tons of table top storage and they want to keep their home clutter free.  Often times, a lamp needs a table in order to fit in a room, so that's why many people opt for Tiffany style hanging lights. It's up and out of the way but it still stands out and is a great conversation piece when giving people a tour of your home.


|4| It's Classy
Not every lamp and light in your home needs to be tacky or over the top so using inexpensive pendant lighting is a great way to keep the lighting decor in your home more minimalistic. It won't break the bank either and there's plenty of designs and colors to choose from.

|5| It's Healthy
Straining your eyes is a bad habit and not good for your vision at all. It's much healthier to have a well lit room so you can see what you're doing and where you're going.  You'll be able to read better, write better, and see what's going on in front of you with the right lighting.  Plus if you squint, it can make you get wrinkles so what better reason to use a lamp than to keep your skin beautiful!!

So there you have it - the many benefits of decorating a home using lighting.  There are so many options when it comes to this so I hope I've given you some ideas.  What ways to you currently use lighting in your home? Is it for the practical reason of brightening a room, or do you like to use your lamps foor decor?








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Heading Into 2016

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I had a great year this year.   I mean heck, we bought a house, I celebrated 5 years of blogging, I paid off my debt... the list goes on!    So heading into 2016 there are some things I'm going to focus on.




A New Laptop
I love Apple products. For the longest time I had a 13" Macbook Pro which I got in 2010.  I was still a young thing back then so that poor laptop went through Hell.  It went in for repairs many times because of me banging it around or not keeping it up and away from fur and dust.  It got to the point though that it would overheat so easily. So I decided it was time to invest in a newer version and I got another Macbook Pro but this one has a Retina display and is thinner than my last one.  I'm taking special special care of this one. I even got a protective cover for the wrist rest part of my Macbook Pro! The Palm Rest and Trackpag Protector from UPPERCASE Designs is amazing. It helps shield against dirt, grease, sweat, and abrasion which includes scratching from watches or jewelry.  The protectors are made from a plastic film that comes in different finishes to match the new Macbook's gold, space gray, and silver colors! They totally blend in with the aluminum surface.  They can be removed easily without leaving a residue and it was super easy to apply.  I definitely am taking more precautions with caring for my precious Macbook now that I understand how crucial it is for my blogging career.















Stretching
I went to get a massage recently and it was insane how tense my fascia and my muscles were.  I need to stretch a lot more.   I don't need to do yoga necessarily but I'm going to make it a point every couple days to go down into the gym, get my yoga mat out, and stretch. And breathe.   I have a great new yoga mat to keep me motivated too.  Like anything I do, I lose interest fast, so I figured an inspiring yoga mat was just the thing. This is from Affirmats and I just love their line of yoga mats!  






It says You Are Wonderfully Made.  This reminds me that I need to love my body and continue to take care of it. I love this mat because it's very slip resistant and sooo comfortable to lay and sit on.




Relaxing
I need to take more time to just relax and do absolutely nothing.  I am someone who normally likes to be doing stuff and likes to stay on a routine of crossing things off my to do list.   This year I'm going to add relaxing to my to do list and enjoy just laying around doing nothing.   I don't have a ton to do anyways now that my life is in order. 


Finances
I need to build up my savings more in 2016. I'm still debt free which is great but I really need to put a nice little safety lump of money together in one of my accounts!


What are you working on in 2016?









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Comfy & Casual for the Holidays {{+ a giveaway}}

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So I like to keep it nice and casual even around the holidays. So my outfit of choice last week was an adorable comfy tee and a flannel shirt. 


 I know, maybe it's not everyone's thing but there's nothing better for me than a cute and silly shirt with a nice flannel over top. 



This shirt is the I Am Not A Morning Person Tee from Awesome Best Friends Tees!  I love their website! Not only do they actually have matching tees for people to wear together but they have catchy cute phrases and a few different styles of shirts. 

Shirts like this are perfect when you are worried that a plain tee is too casual.  Sometimes a few words is enough to off set the plain look and give some style to your outfit. 

So What I Wore:
Flannel- Maurices

Jeans - Lee Jeans
Shirt - Awesome Best Friends Tees

And one lucky winner is going to get a tee shirt of their choice as well! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway





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Monday, December 28, 2015

I'm Literally THE Crazy Chihuahua Lady {{ + a giveaway}}

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I'm not even kidding.  If you google Crazy Chihuahua Lady, and click on images, my photo is halfway down the page.  


I really can't imagine life without my wolf pack.   There are so many reasons why I'm a CCL though.


1// I would rather stay home with them than go party. Seriously.  My stomach hurts when I have to leave them, so I just avoid leaving them altogether and instead I stay home every weekend on the couch and watch TV. And I love it.   They are great company. 




 
2// When I do go out, I'm miserable.  But now, PetChatz has enabled me.   I can go out but I can still be in touch with my babies!  Pet chatz is like the best invention known to mankind!  PetChatz allows you to connect from anywhere even when you aren't physically home.  It's an interactive way to talk to them which is more than just watching them on a webcam. With PetChatz you can actually give them attention and interact in real time.  There are no monthly fees - it's free unlimited chat time.  PetChatz is made of super durable materials that are pet safe and PetChatz mounts directly over an outlet and gets screwed securely onto a wall stud.  That means your dog can't go trying to pull it off.  Plus, there are no corners, edges, or electrical cords that can be chewed.  GENIUS!!!

But wait - it's even crazier (Better!).  You can actually dispense a treat (one of the all-natural PetChatz ones) with the click of a button on the app or from your computer.   And you can dispense a calming scent that's created specifically for PetChatz to give them a sense of security. You can even use your own scents.  PetChatz has alerts that you can set up for motion and sound so I always know when my dogs are up and about and I can tune in to make sure there are no accidents in the house which sometimes happens, especially with Rocky.  Setting up PetChatz is so easy it just takes a few minutes. It's Wi-Fi compatible so you aren't restricted to where you can place it and it's so easy to use with the web and mobile apps. 

And no I'm not done yet - you can actually train your pet to call you over PetChatz system by pressing the PawCall button, which is an optional accessory that's compatible with PetChatz HD.   This thing has literally changed my life. I no longer stress out when I'm not home with the dogs. I can see what they are doing, make sure I calm the down if they are barking a lot, and I can interact with them whenever I miss them.  My whole life is completely changed thanks to this gem!






3// I have been known to sit on the floor if there is no room on the couch for me.   My dogs also sleep in bed with me so even if I'm super tired and they are taking up a lot of space, I just let them have their way.  I would literally starve in order to keep them happy.  I mean I'd be miserable too but who cares...I'd still have them.  I know... it's crazy, but I warned you!!


4// I take time to play with each one individually every day.  That's right...every single day I play with my dogs one on one.  I know what each one likes and that's what we do.  For Stella, I basically just pet her and talk to her in a goofy voice. She just loves attention and that makes her happy. Grace likes to wrestle with me and we chase each other around.  Pixie loves playing fetch so every night I sit on the floor and throw her mini tennis balls.  And Rocky is the cuddler so he gets special cuddles every day!


5// They have 5,000 nicknames each.   Not even kidding. Okay maybe I'm kind of exagerrating but let's see...

 
Pixie - Piggies, pig, pickies, figgets, piggets, figgies, pigmalia, pigamus prime, miss pixie wiggins, wiggins, pixie wigginstein, das foogy, fickes, fickes mcgehey, baby piggy, lil sis, stinky pigs, wiggets.  


Grace - Anna, banana, ann, mama, bub rub, gatey, getty, grace ann, gitty, Annamous Prime, Gatey Ann, Officer Gatey.

Stella- Telly, tell, tella bear, baby bear, bear, t bear, steve, steve-o, shteve-o, steven, Poo eater, Stella marie, telly bum, baby bee, B, Stelly McBear, Shteve-o Shtevowski, Terry Teriquo, Broby.

Rocky - Rock man, rocket, rock guy, buddy, bud, buddy guy, buddy man, tink, tinky man, tinkery man, tinkery, stinks, stinky, stink man, stink man mcgee, BG, guy bud, guy bud man, Rocket man.  

See - I'm crazy.   


Oh but wait... one of you is going to be just as enabled as I am because PetChatz is giving one lucky winner a unit of their own!
a Rafflecopter giveaway










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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Being in the Moment {{+ a giveaway!}}

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I have been making a very conscious effort to be more present in every moment.  I am so used to just rushing through life to get things done and make the most of my time.  There's nothing wrong with that except that it's so crucial to enjoy every little part of your daily life. 
 
The first thing I did was get a nice fluffy poof and some body wash from Walmart.  I love being able to scrub my body and exfoliate which helps me enjoy the moment.  It also makes me feel as if I'm scrubbing the day's stress away! 

  

So I started using all NEW Zest FruitBoost Shower Gel from Walmart and I love it. I got Peach Mango and it smells so fruity and invigorating.  I love the tube it comes in too! It's so easy to hold...I have tendency to drop everything in the shower which kind of messes up my zen moment. 



I really do love this stuff! I'm also someone that is very into how things smell so the scent helps me focus and relax.



I also make sure I have a beautiful shower curtain to look at.  It helps set the mood of relaxation and I feel very calm.  I love nature and artistic stuff so this artsy elephant really makes me smile!


And of course I have super soft towels that I got from Walmart and they really let me enjoy drying off. Sometimes I stay wrapped in them for an hour after my shower!




You can find Zest FruitBoost Shower Gels in Walmart. Be sure to use this coupon for $1 off!  It was so easy for me to find them and I love that there were a few different scent options to pick from. 

It's really easy to be more present when you have the right things surrounding you!

One lucky winner is going to win a Zest Fruitboost Shower Gel for themself! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas




Before I sign off here for the next few days I want to wish you ALL a very merry Christmas and I am so glad to have you as my readers. Seriously, it means so much! I pay attention to every comment, like, email, and share. 

I don't know where (or what) I would be without you amazing readers!!


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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

How I Prep My Home for the Holidays

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This year we are hosting Christmas dinner which means this week is full of cleaning, organizing, and polishing everything in the house so it's ready for my family.   So what do I do exactly? Well let's take a look....




|1| Sweep Outside

Since the first thing guests see is the walkway, I make sure it's always swept clean.  This also ensures that people won't track leaves, tanbark, and dirt into the house when they enter. I'm hardcore with this so I use a Black & Decker 24" Push Broom that can be used indoors and outdoors.  It has a Clic 'N Loc Ratchet system so the handle won't come loose and the bristles are soft on the outside to get the finer dirt, while the inside is stiff to help move the touch messes.  With a steel pole, I know this thing will last years and years.




|2| Prep the Furniture
I have 4 dogs.   Needless to say, my couch will be a furry mess one day after I vacuum it.  So right before my guests arrive I go crazy with the Evercare Fur Erase Roller.  It has little rubber agitators that remove fur super fast and get the stubborn clumps of Stella's long fur.  The lint roller picks up whatever is stirred up by the rubber part.  I love this thing.  I always keep it close by.




|3|  Clean the Toilets
It's a guarantee that my guests will visit the restroom a few times at our Christmas dinner so I have to make sure the toilets are super clean.  I love the Mr. Clean Bowl Brush & Plunger Set.   With a non slip base, it gives me easy storage for both these tools. The plunger is always nearby God forbid something happens, and it's easy to scrub the toilet bowl really quick before guests arrive.  






|4|  Fragrance
I can not have people in my house with my essential oils from Annmarie Gianni in my diffuser! They are so easy to use! I just put a few drops in the diffuser and VOILA!   Each essential oil has a different purpose. 

Calm has spruce, frankincense, rosewood and lavender.  It The floral and spruce mixture is great for a clean crisp fragrance throughout the whole house.  It's actually perfect for this time of year too!

Love has sandalwood, rose, jasmine, and frankincense and I just love that these are aphrodisiac oils.  This blend represents love, compassion, and acceptance.  The jasmine and rose are the perfect blend of florals for this oil.

Vibrance has ruby grapefruit, lemon, bergamot, lavender, clementine, jasmine, and rose. It's a very uplifting blend and the citrus notes bring energy and act as natural antidepressants. 

Passion has buddha wood, sandalwood, rose, amyris, and frankincense and is great for helping me relax and awaken my sensual side. It's great when it's just me and James having an indoor date night. 

Grounded has sandalwood, cedarwood, amber, ginger, and tumeric.  It's a great balance that brings peace and clarity. It's very earthy and I usually use this one the most. 

These are all amazing!!

So what do you do to get your house in order?








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A Relaxing Week in the 2016 Hyundai Elantra Value Edition

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With all the hustle and bustle of December, I somehow managed to get a relaxing week in and when I say relaxing I mean every aspect of it was comfy and calm.  



See this smiling face? Yea, I got to drive her! It's the 2016 Hyundai Elantra Value Edition.   Don't let the word "value" fool you though.  This gem had heated front seats, a sleek interior design and a sporty outside.




The size is perfect. This car was so easy to park even in the city and the tiny spaces in the parking garage for work.   It's can stop on a dime and it accelerates with ease.  I couldn't believe how quiet the ride was.  And even though there are bumpy roads in the city, I literally felt like I was floating to and from work.  What a smooth ride! 





The interior is very spacious and I love the cargo room in the trunk.  It's great for your weekly grocery trips or when you need








I love the interior.   There are a few bells and whistles but nothing terribly overwhelming.   Steering wheel controls are always a plus for me because it keeps me from being distracted if I have to reach over and turn the knob on the radio. 


I was quite impressed with the fuel economy.  32 mpg on average with 28 in the city and 38 highway.  I was a happy camper!

All in all - this is a great car.  It's perfect for a single person or a small family.  I loved going on a tour of all the local neighborhoods and their christmas lights. It was a great car to drive around town in but it also did great when we had to jump on the highway.  It's a very practical car!


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