Ask Away...: 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016

Know What To Do When Your Health Lets You Down

None of us like to think about what would happen if our health went wrong. Even so, health problems can strike us all. There’s no denying that you’ll be in for a bad time if you are suffering from illness. Knowing what steps you’ll need to take can make the struggle of illness a little easier. You won’t want to worry about it at the time, so it’s best to have a plan in place for if anything should happen. This list should give you some idea of the path you should take.

As soon as you notice a health problem, you should head to the doctor. Don’t put the visit off any longer than necessary. Many illnesses can spread and get worse if left untreated. With your doctor’s help, you can receive a diagnosis and start planning a course of action. If you have to undergo treatment, you’re sure to have a few things to work out. You’ll have to think about work and your family. Fitting treatment into your life may be hard, but it’s essential. The longer you put that treatment off, the worse the illness can get. You won’t have the luxury of getting your head around whatever is ailing you. Don’t hesitate to act, and trust that your doctor knows what’s best.
As well as being an emotional time, illness can be expensive. If you don’t currently have health insurance, you should get some. The more help you get during difficult times, the better. Having insurance behind you will ease a lot of the burden. Even so, you may lose money from taking time off work. Depending on how ill you are, you may have to leave work altogether. Working out how much money you have is the best way to move forward in that situation. If you think something caused your illness, taking legal action may be the best way to make extra money. Whether it was an accident at work or illness caused by the environment you live in, you can make a claim. Research legal representation to see if you have a case. You may need an accident claim lawyer, or a mesothelioma attorney. Find out what you need so you can take steps towards getting it.


As much as most of us don’t like to think about illness, we like to think about its repercussions even less. Regardless, you’ll want to know your family is protected if anything bad does happen to you. As much as positivity can help your recovery, it’s important to remain practical. Sort your will and power of attorney before you need it so that you don’t have to worry about it if anything does happen. Knowing that aspect has been sorted will allow you to focus fully on your recovery. Having to think about such things while undergoing treatment can have an adverse effect on your mindset and recovery process.

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My Elliptical Routine

So as you know, I've really been working on my fitness these days and one thing that I do consistently is my elliptical workout.  I do this every other day for 35 minutes.  

So here is the routine I use.

I originally found a similar one on the internet but the resistance was so high and I wanted to be more realistic since I still consider myself a beginner. So I played around and modified it and it's been working great for me. 

Feel free to save the image and routine and print it for your own use!

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

How to Plan an Inexpensive Formal Party

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The idea of attending a formal party is something that many individuals like. However, hosting a formal party, and even sometimes attending a formal party, can be quite expensive. The following tips can help you if you are interested in planning a formal party.

One of the most expensive parts of hosting a formal party is finding an attractive venue that is not too expensive for your budget. Instead of using popular venues in the city where the party will be held, like hotel banquet halls, go with something that is a little bit outside of the box. For example, could you host the party in a park? What about a school gym? Or what about at a friend's home? Another idea would be to hire a company that sets up large tents. This may be a lot less expensive than using a popular venue site.

Another expensive part of hosting a formal party is the food. Planning a six course meal with expensive meats is not necessarily something that is going to be in everyone's budget. This is another area where you can think outside the box. Do you have some friends who are chefs or at least enjoy cooking? Could they help prepare some of the food? You can start couponing now and purchasing appetizer, beverage, and dessert ingredients. Get together with your friends in the days before the party and make food to serve. This will save you a lot of money.

Also, think about the clothes that you will wear. Going to a formal party means wearing formal clothing. However, this does not mean that you need to go to an upscale boutique in order to purchase an outfit. Look around at local thrift stores. You may be able to find something appropriate for the occasion. Have it dry cleaned before hand, and you will look like a superstar. If you are a woman, inexpensive prom dresses may be appropriate for the occasion. If you are really crafty, you may even try your hand at making your own dress for the party.

Other aspects of the party do not need to be expensive. Get your friends and family involved. Ask someone to organize the music and bring equipment from home to play it. Have other people help with decorations. The more people you get involved, the less it expensive it will be for you.

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Christmas 2016

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas this year.  Today I wanted to show you some photos from our Christmas. 
Enjoying some wine on Christmas Eve before family arrived.

On Christmas Eve we had my mom, dad, brother, and grandmother over since she was going to my aunt and uncle's house for Christmas Day.   So my mom made some Hors d'oeuvres. 
Shrimp Dip
Bologna and cream cheese
Monkey Bread

The Spread
Don't be fooled.  This was my first of literally 10 servings.

Grandma had a blast with the pups as always. 

 Oh and I am obsessed with Christmas centerpieces.  James sent these to my work earlier in the week so I brought them home to use them on the table of course!

  I sat around during the day on Christmas Eve reading and reflecting on all the things I'm grateful for.   I have my healthy (good eating and work out habits and I've lost nearly 20 pounds since March!), I'm engaged, I found a new hobby this year with gardening and reading library books, and I have a great home!

Christmas Morning James and I always open each other's gifts first.
Sports bra I wanted, and Oofos sandals which are perfect for my Plantar Fasciitis prone feet

Chihuahua Leggings from LuLaRoe (I know I know! Stay tuned for a blog post in the next two weeks to explain! haha)
Battle Scars

 At 4 pm my mom, dad, and brother came over for Christmas Day dinner and gifts.  I cooked EVERYTHING myself.  It was a gluten free meal as well for James.  I only had one mishap.  I sliced myself on a can, and as I yelled for James to bring me a band-aid it was like a domino effect. I suddenly bumped an open bottle of Brandy (for the cranberry sauce) and it went all over the floor making a sticky ass mess.  Then I lost track of what needed pulled out and when so I began to sweat and get all frantic.  I ended up doing a good job anyways.  Any only needed one bandage.

Sweet Potato Casserole

I made the napkin ring!

Cranberry Sauce

Green Bean Casserole

Corn Casserole with Cheese

And I was so happy with my gifts from my mom and dad.  All the stuff I needed.  New towels, gardening tools, a gravy boat and ladle, a game for when I have friends over, and a spiralizer!

Everyone always asks what I get my dogs for Christmas.  Well they have EVERYTHING they need already.  They have two bins of toys, they already are stocked up on treats and chewies, and they have a full wardrobe.

Rocky was happy that he had some new food to try out. Stella & Chewy's has some Super Blends Meal Mixers and you can even feed them as a full meal.  He is such a picky eater but man does he love this stuff!  It's specially formulated in a small breed offering that meets my little guy's needs.  There are no added hormones or antibiotics in the poultry and it also has 100% organic certified fruits and veggies!   No grains, gluten, or artificial ingredients! You can either mix it in with their kibble or feed it on it's own like I did. This freeze dried blend even came with a little scoop so it was easy to measure out how much to give Rocky! 

And as for Grace's gift... well let's just say with her health scare in September/October I think I spent more than enough on her already so she has her health and that's a damn good gift. 

Stella and Pixie got tons of hugs and cuddles as their gift.   That's all they needed.

How was your Christmas?!?

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Books I Recommend You Read [Decemer]

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Hello Hello and here we are again at the end of another month and I have another selection of great books for you that I've read this month!

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Oh Em Gee I absolutely LOVED this book!! Do you remember in the movie Castaway when Tom Hanks comes home and goes to his former wife's house and sees how she's moved on.  But she's still confused and so is her and remember how you felt watching that scene where she basically had to make a choice?  Now imagine that someone wrote a book specifically about that struggle...well that's what this book is.  Jesse gets lost at sea and Emma has to move on and when she does she finds the new love of her life, Sam.  But suddenly Jesse is back.  She now has to make a choice.  Who will she choose and will it be an easy decision?  This book was such an easy read as well!

Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt
This is one of those books that takes place in the 70's and it's about a girl that falls in love with an older man who turns out to be a monster.  Will she get away?  

Forever by Judy Blume
Okay, I know this is totally a book for teenagers but I never read it. And OMG it was amazing and totally brought me back to those first time emotions and feelings of love and lust.  This is a must read for every female at any age.

Above by Isla Morley
This book is really really interesting and very hard to put down. It reminds me of that Cloverfield Lane movie. Basically a girl is kept in a shelter underground and you go through the book trying to figure out if the guy keeping her there is brilliant or just a sicko.  Seriously, this is a thrilling read!

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book is about a trial separation and I just love how the author captures all of the emotions that we experience both in a relationship and during a break up. It's a very easy read and it's an amazing story line.

Swear on This Life by Renee Carlino
This is a great little love story (and I'm normally not a fan of them because I assume they are all sappy) about a boy and a girl that grow up together and are then separated. Then the boy writes a book about what could have happened and the girl reads it.  And I'm only leaving it at that because you HAVE to read it and find out the rest yourself.  

 It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
This is an amazing novel about family patterns, how hard it is to break them, domestic abuse, and how our pasts stay with us. I don't even want to try to explain more but just know that I read this book in a day!   

Wild and Precious Life by Deborah Ziegler
Do you remember Brittany Maynard? A couple years back she was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor.  She chose to end her life on her own terms.  Her story is beautiful and her mother carries on the story through this book.  MUST READ!! AMAZING! It makes you realize how petty we can all be sometimes.

All The Wonderful and Ugly Things by Bryn Greenwood 
This book is a great! I was so captivated by the story line. Told over several decades and different point of views,  it's a tale of forbidden love and family drama.   I love the grittiness of it! 

People Who Knew Me by Kim Hooper
I read this in one sitting because I could not put it down! It's the story of a woman whose life is essentially changed forever after 9/11 but it's her own doing in a way.  Over a decade later her past is catching up with her.  It's also got a realistic love affair which I really indulged in.  

That's all for this month! Have you read any of these?  

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Friday, December 23, 2016

The Top Five Gifts the Woman in Your Life Will Love

As the holiday season is in full swing, many men are on the hunt for the perfect gift for their special lady. If you find yourself wondering what you should purchase, remember that at the core, it's the thought that counts. Knowing this, it's still important to put special effort into the gift you get for the woman in your life. Whether she's your wife, girlfriend, sister or daughter, consider these gifts to leave an indelible impression.

1. Diamonds
Diamonds are a girl's best friend. The perfect holiday is definitely complete with diamonds. Whether it's a diamond ring, earrings or a necklace, this is a treasured jewel that so many women love to receive. Consider visiting a retailer like Mervis Diamond for awe-inspiring diamonds. If you're unsure of which diamond she'll like, just take her to a Mervis retailer and allow her to pick out own diamond. This would be an experience she'd never forget.

2. Clothes/Shopping Spree
Many women love to express their style and personality through their clothing. You'll never hear a woman say that she has enough clothes in her closet. It's usually that she can't find the right outfit to wear and doesn't have enough. Even if you completely disagree with that statement, show her that you've been listening and take her out on a shopping spree. If you don't think you're up for the long lines and waiting in dressing rooms, give her a gift certificate to her favorite clothing store and send her on her way!

3. Spa Day
Whether she's a new mom, a tired college student or a woman going through a difficult period, a spa day is always welcomed. The opportunity to have someone massage and rub her back, feet and body is an awesome and rejuvenating gift you could give her. Spa days are always fun with company, so if you'd like to tag along, that's a nice gift. As long as she's able to let down her hair and unwind, consider this another perfect gift to give during the holiday season.

4. Vacation
While it might be nice to build a life she doesn't need a vacation from, it's special to take some time to get away and see the world. If she has hinted about places she'd like to go in the future, take a look at flights and great hotel deals. Consider all the fun excursions you think she'd really like to enjoy. If you're at a loss for ideas, take a look at her Pinterest board (if she has one) and see what places she'd like to travel too. She might like to travel to Paris or enjoy fun in the sun in the Caribbean. Make sure to plan ahead of schedule so she can make arrangements. Consider her work schedule and other plans she might have in place.

5. Electronics
Many people make the assumption that only men prefer electronics. Well, many women are ready to upgrade their iPads and smartphones just like the next guy. Take a look at the gadgets on the market and pick out the one you know she'd love and use on a regular basis. Whether it's the latest DSLR camera or the newest model of her favorite phone, you usually can't go wrong with an electronic surprise.

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Wedding Tips: From Engagement, Planning To The Big Day Itself

Weddings! A hot topic of conversation in my house considering I have just got engaged this month. But while I have a pretty set idea of what I want to do for my wedding in 2018, many people out there currently engaged, or even hoping their partners are going to pop the question might be in need of some information and advice. So from engagement through to the big day itself here are some of the top wedding tips to help you through the process.


Let’s talk about getting engaged for a moment

Indulge me a little, having just been proposed to I am feeling on cloud nine. So if you are hoping that your partner will pop the question you might be wondering how to go about it. A few tips would be to start talking about the future and enter weddings into your conversation every now and again. Often it’s just making sure you are both wanting the same thing that can set the wheels in motion for your future wedding. Talking about getting engaged isn’t even a taboo subject if you have been together a while. Perhaps you already own a house together and have dogs or children. The beauty of planning your engagement together means you can go shopping for yellow gold diamond engagement rings or something unique like a different gemstone. Choosing your own engagement ring might be the dream for you.

Don’t get swamped with planning

A marriage and a wedding are two different things in reality. Getting married means making a commitment to be together through sickness and in health, for better or for worse. A wedding is the event itself in which you celebrate this very act. So if you keep things simple, like I am planning on doing, or go for something more elaborate and big then make sure the wedding planning doesn’t overwhelm you. It’s easy to step on the rollercoaster of wedding plans and not be able to get off, while you watch money mount up and cost escalating. The biggest tip is to ensure you get yourself a planner and no your budget and wedding size before you begin, it helps to be able to keep yourself in check.

Make the important decisions together

Let’s be honest here, the man in your life might not want to try every piece of cake or look at endless color samples of a different shade of blue or pink, but he might want to know about the venue or have a say on the food. You know your partner better than anyone, so involve him in what he will be interested in, and don’t both him with the little details. Wedding planning can be stressful without it causing unnecessary arguments between one another.

Don’t let the emotion of the big day take over

Finally, try and make sure you don’t let the emotion of your big day take over. Instead, don’t feel overwhelmed by the at but embrace the wedding day and enjoy yourself. It’s going to be one of the best days of your life.

I hope these important tips help you with your wedding planning.

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