Ask Away...: March 2018

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

3 Simple Ways To Overcome Gym Injuries

If you are a gym bunny and love nothing more than pumping some iron, feeling like your going to throw up after a particularly strenuous spin class or venturing onto the treadmill for a 10k run, the chances are you hate it when an injury prevents you from pursuing your passion for exercise. A torn muscle, a niggling knee or an achy joint can stop us getting the workouts we crave. Because you can’t put in the maximum effort, you might rather stay at home. While injuries can be a pain (no pun intended), they are rarely long lasting and shouldn’t be used as an excuse to see your mojo wither away. Take a look at these simple ways to overcome gym injuries fast so you can get back to your active routine.

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Back Spasms

Most people who suffer from back pain see their aches originate in the lower portion of the back just above their buttocks. This is where you can place the most strain on your vertebrae when you are lifting weights, pulling the rower or running. The impact can cause soreness, tenderness and all-out spasms. While you could choose to rest up, you might want to take a more proactive approach to your recovery. The chiropractic element of occupational therapy means that you can receive a soft tissue massage from specialists who can manipulate your back and spine without causing further pain. While initially you may feel sore, the morning after a good night’s sleep should see you waking up with much less pain. Any knots or tension in your muscles should be alleviated meaning that you can head back to the gym quicker. Bear in mind you won’t be able to go full pelt with the weights but the pain that was preventing you from even setting foot in the gym should have subsided.

Shin Splints

If you are one of those runners who often suffer from aching, throbbing or shooting pains in your shins mid-jog, the chances are that you suffer from shin splints. If severe, this pain can see you immobile as the searing throbbing can be unbearable even when walking. While there is little you can do but rest up when suffering, there are more ways to ensure that you are afflicted much less often and less severely. Firstly, you need to fix the way that you run. If your posture means that your heel is striking the ground flat every time you take a step, the shock on your tibia can cause pain. You also need to consider taking a rest day between each run to lessen the intensity of your workouts. Stretch well before and after each jog or run and always stay hydrated. By ensuring that you take these preventative measures, you may be able to banish shin splints forever.

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Sprained Ankle

The key to a speedy recovery from a sprained ankle is ensuring that you don’t weight bare on it and that you seek treatment immediately. Don’t power through an exercise and make the injury worse. Get home, put your leg up, alternate cold and heat packs, take painkillers and rest. Although the monotony of being still may be depressing, you may speed up your recovery time by two or three days simply by taking action quickly. If in doubt as to the severity of the injury, see a medical professional.

As an active person, anything that stops you from getting to the gym can be crushing. However, follow this advice, and you will recover from injuries more quickly and be back in the gym in no time. photo ScreenShot2014-06-25at102225PM_zps4fdda517.png

5 Tips for Healthy Dogs

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Spring is here and lots of people seem to catch a little bug this time of year in addition to allergies getting worse.  For me, I always take a lot of different steps to keep my own health in tip top shape but I also do the same with my dogs.  It's not actually hard for me but there are just a few things I make sure I prioritize when it comes to keeping my dogs healthy and happy.

Avoiding Other Dogs
This may sound odd at first but let me clarify what I mean.  If I know the dog and the owner then I usually don't worry about germs and bugs but if it's a stranger's dog, I try to keep my dogs away from them.  I don't know if they currently have a bug or what might be going on with them.  Dogs can definitely catch germs from each other and for me, if one dog gets sick, they can all get it then it's a huge hassle.  If I go to the veterinarian with any of my dogs I never let them touch noses with other dogs.  I don't know what the other dog is there for and what issues they could have.  I also don't do doggy daycare because I actually am afraid of the germ potential (I sound like a nutty mom don't I?) but also my dogs are well socialized with dogs already  and I obviously have more than 1 dog so that helps too.

Strict Treat Options
Some people give their dog any kind of treat they can find.  I tend to stick with the same brands and ingredients of the highest quality.  Then I never have to worry about anything upsetting their little tummies and resulting in a huge mess for me to clean up if something doesn't sit well with them. 

Immune System Boosters
Just like some of us take vitamins everyday to help build our immune system, there are things that you can give your dog everyday to help boost theirs.

Solid Gold SeaMeal Boosters from Chewy are a really good way to give your pooch a big dose of USA-sourced seaweed which is rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants.  This helps support healthy skin and coat as well as immune health.  Stomach and skin issues often go hand in hand so digestive enzymes are added to these soft chews which are gobbled up by my dogs at every meal. It's always so important to take simple little steps like this to make a big impact in the long run when it comes to your dog's health.        

Avoiding Human Germs
People can't really catch "dog germs" but dogs can catch people germs.   When I'm sick or if someone that's sick comes to my house I make sure they know to not let the dogs lick their dirty hands or lick their mouth or face.  And if I'm sick I make sure my dogs never have even the slightest opportunity to get ahold of dirty tissues or any germ laden items of mine.

Even in the cold weather, Rocky gets a short walk while he wears a warm jacket.

Exercise, Eating, and Water
My dogs are always well hydrated and I make sure to engage them in physical activity every day whether it's them chasing each other around or me taking them for short walks.  And when it comes to food they are always fed a high quality dog food brand with plenty of vitamins and nutrients that they need for everyday health.

Do you take steps to keep your dog healthy and away from germs or am I just a crazy dog lady?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Clearing The House Out For Charity

Doing things for good is one of the greatest things a person can accomplish in life, and everyone is capable of it. Clearing the house out is a well known spring activity, but the clear out doesn’t have to stop there. Instead of simply throwing everything you don’t want anymore away, try donating it. It’s a lot more productive, and will leave you with a warm feeling inside as soon as you’re finished the last spot of dusting. With that in mind, here’s a couple of steps to take before you bag everything up.


Pick Your Organization

Who you’re donating your used goods to is going to be a big decision and have a real impact on that charity. You can go local, which would be the most useful option, or you can send off your items to further afield, depending on the kind of charity you really want to help at that point. Some are in a little more need than others, so be sure to research this if you want to your donations to go as far as you can.

With a local store, it’s simple enough: pack your stuff into the car and go down to the shop (if you don’t know where the warehouse is), leave your stuff with them, and then the volunteers themselves will take it from there. But if you’ve got your heart set on a cause that isn’t close to home, check out their website. Something like will have plenty of ways you can donate to help their efforts out.

Pick Your Junk

Your junk is definitely going to be someone else’s treasure, and because of that you need to be donating only the top quality stuff you find lying around your house. Junk can be quite a lucrative market after all, considering the low, low prices people are going to get on anything in a charity store, so bulk out your bags as much as possible and take a trip.

Your old clothes are going to be a big hit with the charity shops, as people always want more vintage clothes compared to what’s on the market nowadays. These shops are also a good place to pick up some business wear, so if you have any old suits, take them on down too.

Similarly, if you have any old technology lying about, like that old video game console that hasn’t seen use in years, take it down too. People go crazy over old electronics like that, and you might actually own a collector’s paradise that has just been sitting around in your attic! People can get these pieces of tech working all the time, so if you’re not sure it works just test it out. You can find some handy tips on this at

Clearing the house out for charity is going to be a good use of your time, and will also mean you’re finally putting all that junk to good use.

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How To Grow Your Twitter

There is so much going on these days with social media and there are different tips, tricks, and strategies for each channel.  I feel like Twitter is on the backburner lately and that doesn't need to be the case.  I still love Twitter because it's a great way for me to communicate with brands and to my followers that have a Twitter account. 

Growing your Twitter isn't as hard as some other social media channels which is why it's a good idea to work on it sooner than later. So here are some tips and strategies to help grow your Twitter in a legitimate organic way.

Follow Follow Follow
In order to be seen you have to get yourself out there.  Find accounts similar to yours like bloggers that have the same interest or accounts that tweet about stuff you enjoy.  When you follow them and they receive a notification they may check you out as well and end up following you. 

Read your feed and respond to tweets from others.  It gets a conversation going and other people will see them tweeting you back and likely check you out.   It's also important to interact with the brands you are interested in.  Sometimes engaging with them is enough to spark a partnership or collaboration.  You may even get lucky and they'll retweet something of yours and you can gain a bunch of followers.

Share Your Work
I go through some of my favorite older blog posts from time to time and share them on Twitter.  I notice other people sharing them too which means that I get more readers because all of the people that follow those accounts can see the link. You can use programs like Hootsuite to schedule your Twitter posts too.

Write Shareable Tweets
Not everything you tweet will be worthy of a retweet by others so you want to make sure it's something that could go viral.  Sometimes a nice piece of advice or uplifting phrase can do the trick. Other times a very relatable sarcastic story can be what you need.  You want to write something that when people read it they think "Oh man I can totally relate!" because then their instant reaction will be to retweet your post.

Use Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to be found.  People search hashtags everyday to see what people are saying about that topic.  If you're watching the latest episode of your favorite show you can use the hashtag to see other people's reactions to what's happening during the episode.  That usually gets people to start interacting with each other and then you can not only make new friends but get new followers.  It's a great way to meet like minded individuals. 

Hashtags are also important for getting your content noticed. If you shared a link to a blog post you wrote with budget advice you may want to use some financial hashtags so that if people are searching for #Budgetmanagement info they will find your tweets.

Photos and Video
Photos and video area  great way to stand out in someone's feed and get away from the heavy text.  A photo of something that you share on another channel can do just as well on Twitter with a few hashtags and a brief description.  Before and after photos are a big hit on Twitter and can often go viral.

A Good Profile Description
Just like with Instagram, make sure you fill out the basics of your Twitter profile.  I always include a few keywords about what I tweet about and ALWAYS include a link to your blog or website.

These are just a few ways that you can help build your following on Twitter and create great tweets!

What aspect of Twitter do you still struggle with?

Friday, March 16, 2018

How You Can Take Part in the Movement to Improve Yourself

It can seem that the world is constantly being inundated with self-help books and short lists of tips that will quickly help you reform your entire life. With all the noise made by these exciting ways to change your life, it can often seem that one voice is being drowned out: your own. When you attempt these life-transforming actions, it might often seem like an external activity rather than something you are truly embodying.

If you are really looking to make a major life change, it is incredibly important that you are invested fully: mind, body, and soul. That is the truth at the heart of any of these self-help books, and it is often skated over in lieu of the tasks that should be done. It is entirely possible to become fully involved in changing your life, and here are a few tips that will help you do just that!

1. Personalize Everything

Self-help books are written by people who have had personal success in changing their own lives. They have had this personal success because they recognized a problem they were having and found a personal way that helped them deal with it. While these books are written by very knowledgeable people and hold a lot of good information, the authors are uneducated on one very important piece of the puzzle: you.

If you want to be an active part in improving yourself, you need to do some serious soul searching. By doing this, you can discover what the major problems are in your life. From there, you will be able to more pointedly address your personal issues rather than wasting time on improvement-activities that focus on things you do not really need to improve.

Beyond that, you will be able to take the well-studied tips from the professionals (or the internet) and make them their own. Maybe a life coach suggests hitting up the gym, but you don’t enjoy running on a treadmill and watching TV. Instead of going to the gym though, you can buy gear and equipment for outdoor exercise. If you don’t want to improve in the way that’s recommended, don’t. Rather than trying to make any method work for you, find the essence of the activity and personalize it for yourself.

If you want to be an active part of your self-improvement, you need to make it about you.

2. What Calms You Down and Wakes You Up?

So much of self-improvement is dedicated to having a greater control and understanding of your state of mind. Everyone’s brain is different. That is what allows for the great diversity of the world. But if everyone’s mind is different, it is ridiculous to believe that everyone’s brain will be calmed down and woken up by the same things.

Monitor yourself and listen to yourself throughout your day to day life. Are there certain things that make you feel anxious or incredibly tired? Are there things that happen that make you feel like you could run a marathon?

Knowing what calms you down and wakes you up can also lead to better solutions for your personal situation. If you wake up groggy every morning from restless sleep, then it may be time to research reviews to find a better mattress. If you are perpetually stressed about being late to work or important events, then it may be time to look up reviews of the top watches to better track your time. If you are looking to go all natural—with your food, habits, and way of life—then start looking at behaviors you can change like cleaning your cutting board with a natural solutions or growing your own garden. If you’re trying to cut down on your waste output, look at the small things you do every day that impact your carbon footprint, like plastic razors, and make the switch to sustainable beard trimmers instead. Recognizing what gets you worked up versus what can work to further your self-improvement is incredibly important.

This understanding will vary from person to person. One person might enjoy meditation, whereas another considers it absolutely maddening and prefers to zone out and vent stress with online games instead. There is no correct way to rev up or wind down and having an understanding of what your personal means of accessing this are will allow you to have more control in improving yourself.

3. Don’t Talk About It

Your life is constantly impacted and influenced by the people you surround yourself with. It can be incredibly tempting to discuss your recent quest to change your life with the people around you. One of the most tangible pieces of self-help advice is do not do this.

Just like you wouldn’t go around bragging about getting an STD check to maintain your personal health, you don’t want to boast your other self-improvement goals. Your life and who you are is incredibly personal to you. If you are striving to take more ownership over your life and its overall improvement, why would you invite other people to take part in it?

By discussing it with the people in your life you do two things. Firstly, you have invited other people's’ opinions into the discussion. As well intentioned as their comments may be, advice that may work for them may distract you from fully coming to understand yourself and what you need. While advice may be very helpful, it is important that you have a fuller understanding of yourself before you seek it.

Secondly, by sharing your pursuit with others, you share the burden with them. While having friends who will help you carry life’s burdens is a wonderful part of life and the sign of a valuable friend, you should not share the responsibility that comes with improving and understanding yourself. By talking about it, you relinquish some of your control when your quest was to attain more control. Your motivation needs to come from within, and, when it does, you will be fully in charge of changing the trajectory of your life.
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5 Productive Things To Do With Your Extra Hour of Daylight

Sunday was Daylight Savings Time when we turned the clock forward an hour and even though it made that day shorter, from now on each day will gain an extra hour of sunlight.  That's great and all but what are you going to do with that extra hour.  You may as well celebrate by doing things outdoors.  So I put together some ideas of some productive ways to use that extra hour each day.

#1| Exercise
Get out and take a walk or even a jog around your neighborhood.  Not only will this motivate you to get more active but it's actually a more pleasant experience because you get to see how Spring is evolving in your area.  You will start to see flowers and more critters and even more people outside. 

#2| Wash Your Car
Winter can be really rough on cars with all the salt and road dirt and mud so make sure you wash your car at least once every other week depending on the weather in your area.  Road salt can eat away at paint over time so it's never a good idea to let it sit on your car's paint.  That's why I always encourage people to at least rinse their car from time to time.  And if you don't feel like dealing with the physical aspect of all that, by all means just take it through an automatic car wash.

#3| Read
Reading is good for the brain and what better excuse to read than when it's warmer and sunnier and you can sit outside and enjoy the world around you while getting submersed into a whole new world.  I always read on our screened in porch in the evenings.  I try to stay outside as long as possible especially when I'm reading a really good book!

#4| Prepare Your Yard
This is a great time to tidy your garden beds and flower pots so that they are ready for new seeds and plants in the Spring.  Also a great time to clear any debris like clumps of wet leaves.  I love prepping my yard for Spring and even though pulling weeds isn't fun, it's productive so I feel good after I finish doing it.

#5| Grill
Grilled food tastes so good this time of year and it's a great way to save money by eating at home rather than eating out.  Plus you can grill meats rather than frying them and it's also a great excuse for entertaining. Throw some meat on the grill and ask your friends to bring a side dish.

What are you looking forward to doing with your extra hour of daylight this Spring?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Make Your Next Interior Switch Up Count

Interior switch ups seem to come around once in the blue room, which is understandable really. It’s not often that you get the time, the money, and the dedication to actually give your interior a switch up. It all seems like a lot of hassle when you think about it. New furniture, stripping the walls, painting or wallpapering, thinking of a whole new design. All that sounds like to most people is stress, stress, stress. But, we’re here to tell you it isn’t. All you need to do is tackle one task at a time until the job is done. So, to make sure your next interior design switch up counts, here are our best tips.

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The Design

The design is the first thing you need to be thinking about. What do you see your home looking like? Well, to know the answer to that you first need to think about what room you’re going to do first. For the purpose of this article, we’re going to talk about the living room. This should be the cosiest room of all, and the best way to get it nice and cosy is through the furniture. Companies such as Joybird make custom furniture that could look perfect in your living room, then it is all about getting the colour scheme right. You can either go two ways here, dark and relaxing, or bright and fresh. For dark and relaxing we would recommend using the grey and white colour scheme. It looks so good, and really creates a relaxing environment, this colour scheme can be used all over the house and looks amazing! For light and bright, you want to keep the walls as white as possible, with one feature wall to break things up a little. For the sofa, you could go a nice cream colour with a grey or mink coloured carpet!

The Task At Hand

The task at hand is a lot for some people to take in. For one, you need to work through this methodically, and one room at a time. Doing it all yourself is going to save a lot of money, so get that DIY head on of yours. If you’re worrying about how to paint a wall properly, there are plenty of guides on the internet, as well as for wallpapering. It should only take a day or two to complete one room, then all you need to focus on is getting professionals in for new carpet, and making sure you get the best deals on any items you’re buying such as furniture.

Save Some Pennies

Make sure you’re shopping around to save some pennies. The best place to look is usually on the internet. There you will be able to find independent sellers that will be selling at such a discount compared to the shops you might find on the high street. If you are going to shop on the high street, make sure you’re shopping around to see where you can get the best deals.
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Adding A Lot Of Luxury For Not A Lot Of Money

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Whether you are planning on living in your home for eternity and a day or you’re thinking about popping it on the market for any one of the million reasons out there, making your place feel a million bucks makes total sense. It’s that idea of achieving the expensive look, upping the elegance and, who knows, maybe increasing the value of your humble home too.

Of course, there is one, giant, throbbing problem to overcome first: it costs money to do this. It costs money to upgrade a house. It costs money to make improvements. It costs money to modernise and transform and just make a place look and feel better. At least, that’s what people have come to believe.

But this doesn’t have to be the case.

In fact, there are plenty of ways to make your home feel more fabulous without your bank account crumbling like the biscuit-base of your favourite dessert. And to prove this, we have pulled together a list of incredible ideas that will give you the look of luxury on a budget. Don’t worry, you don’t need to thank us, just share these tips with your friends instead.

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1. Don’t Overlook the Door

Whether it is potential buyers coming round, your dear old mum or just you getting back from work in the evening, the first part of your house anyone will see is your front door. That’s why you should let this set the tone of your home. Give a lovely lick of paint to the door, add some potted plants to the porch, put up some (fake) stately-looking pillars, hang a seasonal wreath and change the handles-slash-knobs so that they reflect the kind of elegance you’ve been picturing in your head.

2. Stairs Runner Magic

If you’ve ever considered getting your slippery staircase carpeted because, well, nothing is cosier than the feeling of soft carpet underfoot when you are heading to bed. The issue is, most of the time a carpeted staircase is going to set you back a couple of thousand and then some, which is enough to make anyone spray their coffee over the place. However, there is a simple solution: the DIY stair runner. All you need is a couple of off-the-shelf woven runners, a few stair fastening tidbits and, voila, you can start enjoying a staircase that absolutely sparkles. What’s more, you can choose any colour, pattern or design you like, meaning it will be perfectly personalised while saving a pretty penny.

3. Makeover Your Flooring

For some reason, a couple of decades ago, the world went through a weird stage in terms of interior design, which is probably why your spare bedroom has a questionable burgundy floor. Don’t get us wrong, some homes might make this work, but it’s not something that suits everyone’s taste or personality. However, refinishing a floor like this isn’t possible when you are on a tight budget. Instead, what you should do to keep your home looking elegant, sophisticated and modern is paint a pretty pattern on the floor. Something like a checked pattern in light grey and white. Not only will this brighten a room, it will add a little splash of personality too.

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4. Make Your Home Smarter

If you really want to give your home that modern overhaul, then the best thing you can do is make it smarter. Pop a couple of Alexa’s around the place, one upstairs and one down. Get yourself the best smart thermostat on the market so that you can make your home cosy by the time you get home. Pop a couple of cute little surveillance cameras around your home and try changing the locks on your door to smart ones. We live in a technological world, so having a few nods to that fact is an absolutely essential move to make if you’re hoping to modernise where you live. What’s more, with smart gadgets like the Echo Dot retailing for less than $50, you don’t have to spend a fortune to bring your place into the here and now.

5. Plants Work Perfectly

Nothing can add a breath of fresh air (quite literally) to a room more than plants. But this isn’t the only reason you should go out and buy plenty of easy to maintain houseplants. It’s also got a lot to with how they lift a space. They have this way of bringing in a mid-century vibe that feels full of life. And they are wallet-friendly too. Of course, not every plant is going to help you get the modern look you are pining for, or the one you think will sell your home fastest, which is why we would advise you to get something like a snake plant, or a succulent or even Tillandsia. Then it’s just a matter of displaying them as you see fit. Hang them, pop them in mason jars, line them up along the windows or leave them to do their thing on your coffee table. Whatever suits you.

6. The More Vases The Better

Ever since the word modern design sprung into people’s minds, vases have been celebrated, which is because they come in some many shapes, sizes, styles and materials. Of course, to get the contemporary look in a room, we recommend you grab a mix of sizes and a mix of vases made from glass, ceramic and metals. If you can get your hands on curvy or geometric ones too, well, all the better. That said, this is just our advice based on our preferences. But that’s the beauty of it. You can let your personality burst through the seams with vases. You can embrace shiny and glittery pieces, or textured ones, or those that are painted the brightest colours known to the human eye. So long as you create a collecting, you’ll have achieved your desired look.

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7. Lamps Have Lots Of Influence

If you’re looking for a super-simple way to transform the look, feel and ambience of a room, then you need to look at changing up your lamps. Of all the ways to add a bit of modern design to a room on a budget, there aren’t many better options than investing in some new lamps. What you want is something with a simple base, a minimalist stand, geometric shades, a glass globe or that industrial look using metals. Of course, not everyone can squeeze a new lamp into the budget. We get that. Luckily for you, refurbishing your current lamps can be just as - if not more - effective. Get some silver spray paint, or a mix of bright colours, and then swap out the shade and, there you have it, a mid-century looking lamp that will spruce your space up no end.

8. Freshen Up The Little Details

It’s always the little details in a home that gives away the most about a home. It’s like the secrets of a house are hidden in these moments. That’s why you should do your best to focus on these. We’re talking about adding new handles to your kitchen cupboards and drawers, adding a fresh bead of caulk around your bathroom edges to hide that brown tinge, replacing the faucets on all your taps, upgrading your small countertop appliances, pressure wash your deck and patio and give your kitchen cupboards a fresh lick of paint. All of these things fall into the category of subtle, but they will all have a huge impact on your space. That’s a guarantee.

And there we have it, simple ways to add a lot of luxury for not a lot of money.

I Finally Used A DNA Kit || Here's What It Said (+ A MyHeritage DNA Coupon Code)

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You may have heard of them or even seen advertising for them.  There are several brands out there that offer DNA kits where you can submit a sample of your own DNA and wait to get the results back.  These results can tell you where all you're from.  I've always wondered what percent of different ethnicities I may be so I was stoked to get the chance to review MyHeritage DNA.

How It Works
Basically, you purchase a kit from MyHeritage DNA online.  Once it arrives you will send a DNA sample back to get analyzed in their lab and then get the results back in a few weeks.  You don't have to take blood or anything like that, you just give a saliva sample.  When the lab receives your DNA sample it gets processed to translate the biological information into digital data.  Then they use their algorithms to calculate your ethnicity and see which segments of your DNA come from which regions of the world.  They also compare the DNA to other people's DNA to find close and distant relatives. 
Your DNA and matches are only available to you.  Everything is safe and secure and they take this very seriously. 
The Kit
So when my kit arrived it came with an activation card that contained a number to use to register on the MyHeritage website.  It also came with 2 vials and 2 swabs that you use to get spit samples from inside your mouth.  And of course it had an envelope to submit my samples to the lab and a super easy instruction card inside.  All of the DNA collection items were sealed completely.
The Process
First things first, I registered an account and used my activate number to create my profile. 
The next step was to open the first swab, and get a sample. 
Yep, simple as that.

No pain at all. You just swab for a certain amount of time and then you're done!

Then you place the swab in the first vial, break it off, and then seal the container.  
You have to submit a second sample as well from the other cheek.  So I just repeated the super easy process.
Once both of the samples are sealed in the vials it's time to package them for mailing.

The kit comes with a sterile pouch with a little cotton pad inside to set the vials on. 

Once you seal the bag you place it in the envelope carefully and seal it for mailing.
And of course the final step is to drop the envelope into your mailbox.

Now you get to wait.  They send you a notification when the lab receives your sample and tell you a date that you should expect your results. 

The Results
On February 24th I received an email that my results were ready.  All I had to do was click the link and it took me right to my DNA breakdown.

So at first it shows you the general breakdown and the areas from which you may come from on a map.  It's crazy because I always thought I was mostly German and when I told my mom about the results even she had thought that.  But it turns out I'm 41.8% Scandinavian, 35.4% Irish, 8.6% Italian, 8.5% West Asian, and 5.7% something else.

Then they show you a more detailed breakdown within each ethnicity.  I was so shocked to see I was 2.3% Jewish!  This was actually really cool and I feel very connected with myself just knowing my actual roots.

I really liked the Family Tree part of the MyHeritage website because it allows you to create your family tree and enter specific (or vague) information about each person.  So after I got my DNA results it motivated me to fill out my family tree as best I could. 

The cool thing is that I actually had to do a family history project back in middle school so I ended up going to my parents' house and getting my project binder from them so I could use the information to add to my family tree.  After my tree was filled in as much as it could be I started receiving messages from people that somehow had a connection to me as either a 3rd cousin or something even more.  It was really cool to know that I can find more people that I'm likely related to in a way. 

MyHeritage DNA actually explains how DNA can be used to prove or disprove documented family tree connections. So on their website, when someone shares my surname or we have a match with a family tree owner we can both test ourselves with the DNA to see if we are related.  MyHeritage even helps find historical records based on your own family tree.  I already started getting notifications on results based on what I had entered.   I plan to continue using MyHeritage and I will likely pay for a membership so I can access even more. 

I HIGHLY recommend at least doing the DNA part of MyHeritage so that you can see where you actually come from.  It will definitely motivate you to learn more about those ethnicities and you'll end up learning a bit more about the world as well as yourself. 

And today I have an exclusive coupon code for my readers that is worth $12 Free Shipping.
Just visit this link and use the code ELLENROSS
 This is a great gift idea for Mother's Day, Father's Day and really any occasion. 

Acheive: Making Your Personal Goals Priority

If you lead a busy life, it can be a challenge to make extra time for yourself; career, family, your other half, and a list of jobs and chores to do, seem to ensure that you’re always kept on your toes. If your life is fulfilling and happy, that’s great; you’ll be able to continue to work towards those dreams you’ve always had. However, if there are things that you feel like you’ve always wanted to do or achieve; these will stay in your mind until you’ve given them a good go. Personal achievements and goals can result in higher confidence and self-esteem, and many of the things you could go out and do will help to enrich your life.

Whether it’s a level of education or qualifications, you’ve always wanted to boost your career prospects, or learning a skill that would give your lifestyle a boost or make it easier; there’s no time like the present to give it your best shot. Maybe there’s a physical achievement you can stop thinking about, or you want to better your personal best; now is the time to get started. It might take a little effort, and some added time-management; however, you’ll never regret trying, especially if you come out the other end motivated and having reached your goals. A personal achievement can have a ripple effect on the rest of your life; positivity is contagious, so it’s time to do your research and begin writing any lists you’ll need along the way. The following are some ideas, inspiration, and advice for those who are ready to do something for themselves, and want to prioritize their dreams and goals for a better future.

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Increasing Your Skills

Learning new skills or improving some existed ones, will only ever enrich your life. They may take up some valuable time during the process; however, having them under your belt will ensure that your future is far easier. Therefore, it’s time t start planning how and when you can begin your journey to improving your skill set and your life. If driving is something you’ve never had the time to focus on; now is the ideal time to get behind the wheel, and learn the rules of the road. Driving can give you more freedom, and the inclination to get out on an adventure regularly. Therefore, it should be a life skill that you put at the top of your list, you’ll also need to work out fitting your lessons and practice time in around your other commitments. Take a look at some reputable sites like so that you can better understand what you’ll be able to achieve, and by when. Having the skills and means to drive safely could open up a world of new and potential opportunities. You might end up applying for new jobs because you’ll feel confident enough to commute in your car, or going to see loved ones regularly becomes part of your free-time, which can only be a good thing.

Perhaps it’s your job that you want to focus on, and in order to reach the next level in your career; you’ll need to get a boost in your skills in the workplace. Now is the time to list the things that will help you move up the ladder in your place of work, and give you the added confidence in the office you might be craving. Speak to senior members of staff or even your boss; your commitment and enthusiasm for your role won’t go unnoticed, and they may well end up helping you, or pointing you in the right direction. Whether you need some lessons in spreadsheets and how to utilize them, or your communication and public speaking needs to improve so that you’ll be the one going to networking events and holding company seminars; start working towards your confidence today. Discuss a career path or plan with your boss; they may introduce the training into your working week so that your time management isn’t disrupted too much. Or it might just be time to prepare yourself for extra hours in front of your computer or heading to learn outside of work hours. Bear in mind that this busy schedule won't last forever, and will only lead to bettering your life as a whole.

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Further Your Education

As well as potentially furthering your current job and career; a boost to your education and qualifications could lead to you heading towards a field of work you’ve always dreamed of. It can be easy to get stuck in a job you don’t enjoy after you finish school or college, as your bills and everyday expenses will have taken priority. But, it’s time to take some control back and make some changes so that you can budget for, and free up some time, to head to school, college, or online, to gain what you need. You can begin the process of looking for jobs in the meantime; perhaps there are options where you can train as you work, like teaching or similar. Check out sites like this for an array of ideas on time management so that you can begin thinking about what changes to implement in your life in order to study and achieve what you need.

Putting extra work into giving yourself the means to take a new career path that you’ve always dreamed of, will not only provide your income and lifestyle with a potential boost; you personal satisfaction and happiness will benefit too. Therefore, it’s vital that you make the changes needed to grab your goals with both hands. Remember that education isn’t always focused on a qualification; you can learn about issues surrounding your personal life, to better it, also. Perhaps you or a loved one has a certain condition or struggle in life; learning about how to better understand and deal with situations will only become a positive in your life. So, don’t rule things out just because you don’t get a certificate afterwards. It’s time to get yourself out of your rutt and make some changes so that you’ll have a happier, more fulfilling future ahead.


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