Ask Away...: April 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

Chewy 30 Day Challenge [Final Thoughts]

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So this is the final post in my 30-day challenge from Chewy where I fed my Chihuahuas Dr. Tim's Kinesis All Life Stages Food.  They did so well on this food! I am so impressed with the all natural ingredients and the overall smell, texture, and size of the kibble.

I've noticed a great energy level in all of my dogs over the past 4 weeks.  When I'm working out in the basement I can hear them running around chasing each other and wrestling on the floor above me.  Their bodies are definitely full of the proper fuel to allow them to run and play. 

Rocky is no longer a picky eater and he is maintaining a healthy weight which is important since he has a heart condition. 

I am so impressed by Dr. Tim's food and I have been recommending it to several friends.  When you feed a high quality food you get high quality results.  Nutrients get absorbed into the body so they can do all of the things they are supposed to.  They go to the bathroom (number 2 ) just twice a day and honestly, when I forget to clean up after them the rain just washes it away in a few days.  Remember, all natural ingredients means it literally will break down naturally too!

If you are looking for a high quality dog food I suggest Dr. Tim's!

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Golden Rules for Avoiding Getting Scammed

People have been scamming other people since the dawn of time. They didn't need the internet to take other people for a ride. However, now that we have telephones and the internet, scamming people can be easier. Some suspicious emails and phone calls can be easy to spot. We can laugh them off and wonder why anyone would fall for them. However, anyone can get drawn in by a scam, especially when you're not expecting it. It's important to know how to avoid getting scammed in all the possible ways. Have a look at some of my tips to protect yourself and your money.

Don't Assume You're Immune

People can assume that scammers only go after vulnerable people. While it's true that those such as the elderly can be more susceptible, they aren't the only people scammers target. The worst mistake you can make is to think that you can't be scammed. Don't tell yourself that no one would try and scam you or that you would never fall for one. Scammers use all kinds of techniques to get people to cough up their cash. They can make you panic or do something unquestionably. You only realize you might have been had when the adrenaline dies down, and you come to your senses.


Read Up on Common Scams

If you want to avoid being scammed, it helps to know about some of the common ones you might find. Most people know about scams such as the "Nigerian prince" email. You can find lots of variations on this, which involve sending money to someone. There are many other common scams you can read about to familiarize yourself with them. Some websites list the scams you might come up against and how they're supposed to work. Psychictopia can tell you how to avoid psychic scams by fakes. Obviously, you can't read about every scam in existence. However, many of them are very similar, and you can start to recognize the patterns.

Learn How to Recognize the Signs

When you read about common scams, you can spot some indicators that many of them share. For example, some scams try to get your money by offering you cash or a prize out of the blue. The rule of thumb to use here is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. If you don't remember entering a competition, or someone you've never met wants to give you money, it's a scam. There are other ways of getting you to pay for something too. For example, rental scams will use photos of luxury apartments to draw you into paying a deposit. A simple reverse image search will reveal the pictures to be from a hotel or similar. However, many scammers work by frightening you into thinking you need to pay for something. For example, they might pretend to be IRS and even disguise their phone number.

Keep a Cool Head

Scammers will often get you by appealing to your emotions. They make you panic or get you excited, and your feelings take over. It's important to keep a level head and think logically when faced with these things. Of course, that can be difficult in the moment. If you're unsure, you should talk to someone who can give you a second opinion. They can help you to make a rational decision.

Be Alert Online

The internet is full of scammers, and it's where you need to be most vigilant. Clicking on the wrong thing could mean your personal details get into the wrong hands. You need to protect your passwords and make sure you choose strong ones. Be careful about who you give any information to, as well as arranging to meet anyone you talk to online. It's especially important to watch out when you're paying for things or using online banking. For example, some banks will say that they will never email you. So if you get an email from your bank, don't click on it before checking the address. Don't forget to use anti-virus protection too.

Don't Hand Over Money Easily

The ultimate rule is not to give anyone money easily. If anyone is trying to rush you to pay for something, be suspicious about their reasons for doing this. If they want to sell you something, they can afford to wait. It's best to use websites with excellent security and payment protection.

You have to be aware of your actions and how scammers work if you want to avoid getting scammed. Keep your wits about you to protect yourself.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Our Yard Makeover | The Final Part

So last year I showed you our front yard makeover and a few weeks back we did the side yard and added some things to the front in another makeover. Well now I'm happy to report that everything is complete because last weekend I finished the stones in the other side yard and the backyard. 

Talk about being productive.  The front corner was very plain and bare looking without the rocks.   It looks so clean and nice now that it's finally done. 
 My OCD is lovingt he clean line between the grass and the stones.
The back of the house has changed so much on this side wince we moved in. I love it!
 I kept some bushes in the sideyard because honestly I want the birdies to have a place to hang out.
 This is my favorite part. I don't know why. I just am obsessed with looking at this picture up close haha.

And here's a nice view of the side yard.
I am so relieved that this is done.  Stay tuned for plenty more things around the yard and house this Summer!

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Is Your Smile Ready For Summer?

Summer is just around the corner, and many of us will be thinking about toning up and switching up our diets. You may have your beach body covered, but have you given your smile a second thought? If you’re eager to look your best, nothing beats a bright white smile. Here are some simple steps to help achieve the perfect summer smile.

Brushing and flossing
Brushing and flossing help to target harmful bacteria and reduce your risk of oral diseases. But they also remove surface stains and give your teeth a lovely radiant glow. Set aside at least two minutes every morning and evening to give your teeth a thorough clean. If you’re not sure if you’re cleaning for long enough, set a timer. You could also brush along to a song, as most last between two and three minutes. Be gentle when you brush, and take care to devote equal time to each quadrant of your mouth. When you’ve finished brushing, take a few pieces of dental floss. Pass each individual strip through the tiny gaps between your teeth. Flossing helps to dislodge bacteria and food debris, reducing the risk of plaque formation.

Tooth whitening
If you’re after a dramatically whiter smile, tooth whitening treatment is your best option. There are various whitening solutions available. You can visit your dentist for professional whitening treatments, or choose convenient home-based therapies. The results depend on the type of treatment you choose, and the starting shade of your teeth. If your teeth are heavily stained, you probably won’t achieve the same results as somebody who has much lighter teeth to begin with. Go to to find out more.

Innovative braces
Are you preparing for a special event, such as a wedding, or do you simply want to look your best this summer? If so, it may be worth considering innovative modern braces. Orthodontic treatment is designed to address issues such as misaligned, crooked and crowded teeth. These problems can affect your confidence, and they may also increase your risk of decay and gum disease. Braces have a bad reputation, but modern braces are a completely different proposition to those of old. Today, you can choose from discreet, sleek clear braces or invisible, removable appliances. If you’re desperate for a perfect smile for summer, why not give your dentist a call?

Cosmetic solutions
It’s rare to have a naturally flawless smile. Most of us have slight imperfections. The good news is that cosmetic dentistry has come on in leaps and bounds and you can now find a solution to almost any problem. If you have chipped, stained, worn or uneven teeth, your dentist will have them looking brand new in no time. With treatments like veneers and cosmetic bonding, anyone can achieve a perfect smile.

If your smile’s not quite ready for summer, don’t panic. You’ve still got  time to brush up on oral hygiene and learn more about cosmetic dental solutions and orthodontics from your dentist. You don’t have to spend hours in a dental chair, or cash in your life savings to enjoy a flawless smile. You may be surprised at the difference simple solutions can make to your smile, and your confidence.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Few Things to Remember About Administrative Professionals

In honor of Administrative Professional's Day I wanted to make a post that every admin out there can relate to.  I know that many people take us for granted, but I don't know if they really understand what it's like to BE us.  So here are some things to keep in mind.  I promise that you're adminsitrative professional will thank you!

[1] We need our space. 
Just because we are out in the open doesn't mean you should hang around constantly.

[2] We aren't invisible.
Having a conversation with other people right in front of our desk makes us feel under appreciated and invisible. We are people too. Would you stand in your boss's office and talk to a friend? No... so go away.

[3] Our job is exhausting.
You know how people say they get tired from a long day  where they had to be "on" all day... being on means being ready to be approached. you notice every person that walks past, and you are prepared to talk to them if they engage you. it's EXHAUSTING.   

[4] Don't interrupt.
Just because our desk area is generally open, doesn't mean we forgo privacy. if there is someone at our desk whether it's for work or a personal conversation, please dont assume it's okay to just come up and stand or just jump right in. Go back to your desk and check back later.

[5] Those little tasks add up.
I'm not kidding when I say we slave over a copy machine. Those things get hot. And when you have a billion staples and paper clips and you want some things double sided but others not wehave to do a lot of rushing around over the copier to coordiante everything.

[6] Multi-tasking is constant.
Not only do we have about 10 things always in the back of our mind for ongoing projects that we are waiting to hear back from someone else about, but we are constantly interrupted by ringing phones, emails, and foot traffic.  It's exhausting.

So with that being said - we understand our job is to be the one everyone depends on but please remember that our jobs can be just as difficult and tiring as everyone elses.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Things I've Learned Being A Homeowner

Being a homeowner has made me sooo domestic, I swear.  I've also learned a lot of cool little life hacks along the way that I wouldn't have known or even cared to know about before having my own house.  I figured I'd share some of the things I learned with you gu are just as excited about them as I am.

#1 | You can prolong the amount of time your bananas are ripe by wrapping their tops with foil.  No more having to worry about using the bananas before they go bad and no more having to make an extra trip to the store just for fruit.

#2 | Instead of purchasing spices at the store - make your own by hanging herbs from your herb garden to dry, then chopping and put into a container. In the longrun you will save a little bit of money and it gives you a sense of pride when you do it yourself. 

#3 | You can soften butter by filling a glass cup with boiling water, pouring it out, and then covering the stick of butter with the cup.  Perfect for impatient people like me!

#4 | If ants are bugging (ha!) your flowers, sprinkle the soil with Cinnamon.  I struggle with this every summer but the Cinnamon definitely works. 

#5 | Keep chipmunks away with mothballs. Trust me, they hate them! Snakes don't like them either so that gives you some peace of mind.

#6 | Baking soda takes the stink out of furniture and old stains on the floor where a dog (or child) peed.  Just pour it on, let it sit, then vacuum it up.  I have 4 dogs. I speak from experience.

#7 | Prevent streaks on windows by cleaning them with a microfiber cloth in a back and forth motion.  Circular motions actually enhance streaks.  Also clean windows when the sun isn't shining on them.

#8 | You NEED a flyswatter. Seriously, you do.  if you don't have one, you WILL go crazy.

#9 | Curtains are a pain, but completely necessary. It's like no matter when you shop for them it's always a big ordeal.  You have to find the perfect design, color, texture, type, and price.

#10 | Winters are depressing when you garden.  If you live in a state that gets a frigid winter, be prepared to mourn the loss of your garden until Spring.  Then all the hard work starts again.  I have a mini greenhouse inside but the outside is just so much better.

So as you can see - I've learned a few precious things in my first year of homeownership.  CHEERS!


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A Look at My Skincare Routine

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone.  #CeraVeSkincare #CollectiveBias

So not only am I a blogger but I have a full time job so my days are pretty crazy and that means when I get home, my evenings aren't any better.  That being said, I do try to relax and take care of myself each night.  

So since I use CeraVe Skincare products (which you can save $2 on) because they help replenish the vital ceramides healthy skin needs, I'll be featuring them throughout this little tutorial. I also love them because they are non-irritating and fragrance-free and most are also non-comedogenic. 

After Work
When I first get home I like to spend time outside on the porch and in the yard, especially since I have a garden to tend to.  So I always make sure to put on CeraVe Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50.  It provides broad spectrum, lightweight sun protection and has vital ceramides.  It's easy to put on and I feel better about being exposed to the sun, even in the evening hours. 

Before Bed
Before bed I need to remove all the makeup and dirt from my face so I use CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser.  it removes dirt, oil, and makeup as ceramides and hyaluronic acide moisturize and soften my face.  It also helps repair my skin barrier.  My face always feels super clean afterwords.

Next, I use CeraVe Moisturizing Cream to help restore the protective skin barrier with vital ceramides.  This way my face doesn't feel all dry and tight when I go to bed.

In the Morning
Of course whenever I wake up for work I have to wash my face before I leave the house so I use CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser which removes dirt, oil, and any makeup while it replenishes my skin.  It always leaves me feeling refreshed.

Then I finish it off with CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion.  It moisturizes my skin and also provides broad spectrum sun protection so I can enjoy the day outside on my lunch break at work.

I just love CeraVe products because they were developed with dermatologists and a mission to provide advanced skincare products that do more than just moisturizing the skin's surface.  CeraVe is also the first and only brand to offer a full line of products that contain an exclusive combo of 3 scientifically identical ceramides! The patented Multivesicular Emulsion (MVE) technology they use in their products releases important ingredients slowly over time which allows them to absorb into the skin to nouris it and repair, restore, and maintain the natural barrier.  So basically CeraVe products keep working even up to 24 hours after you apply them.  And if you are still wondering what Ceramides are... let me explain.  Ceramides are naturally found in your skin but overtime they become depleted which leads to dry and irritated skin so CeraVe helps to replensih the ceramides that your skin needs to be healthy.  Only CeraVe delivers these ceramides through a patented, controlled-release technology. I think that's pretty cool!

You can find CeraVe Skincare products in the skincare aisl at Walmart.  CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser, and CeraVe Moisturizing Cream will be on Rollback until 5/9/2016.  Until that date, all 3 will be $9.97! '

So what does your routine look like? Post about it on social media and while you're there check out CeraVe on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube!

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Friday, April 22, 2016

5 Tips to Properly Care for an Active Dog

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

Whether it's a Great Dane or a Chihuahua, any dog can be full of energy.  Believe it or not, my 4 love to race around and wrestle with each other.  Sometimes it gets a little crazy and someone slams into a wall, tumbles off the couch, or pulls a muscle as they run.  Just like with kids, you have to keep pets in line when they are active so here are a few tips to help care for an active dog.

1 | Prevent Falls
Obviously if you don't allow your dog on furniture you probably don't have to worry about this but that's just not a reality for me. I love my pups snuggling with me in bed and on the couch so to prevent falls, I use pet stairs and foot stools.  This way, they can safely go up and down without having to jump and risk landing the wrong way on their paws.  No one wants a hurt pup or a pricey vet bill.

2| Joint Care
Even if your dog is young, some breeds are more prone to joint issues, especially large breeds.  Since my Chihuahuas are all over the age of 5 I want to make sure I help them out with their joints so I use Nutramax Cosequin Minis from! They are chewy and moist and my dogs look at them as a treat. They are formulated for dogs up to 25 pounds and provide mobility cartilage and joint health support. 

3| Maintaining Control
When you have a dog that gets spurts of energy and likes to run around, you should always ensure that they are secure.  If you have a fenced in yard, ALWAYS make sure the gates are shut and never take your dog outside without a leash when you aren't in a fenced in yard.  The last thing you want is for your pooch to run off and risk getting hit by a car or have a scuffle with another dog.

4| Water
Water is the fuel of life for humans AND animals so always have fresh water out for your pet when you're home and you see your dog has been active.

5| Regular Exercise
Life can get really busy, and that's okay, but if you have a high energy dog, make sure you give him the chance to get his energy out through a 20 minute walk, a game of fetch, or just some rough housing and wrestling on the floor. 

Do you have an active dog?   What do you do to embrace his hyper side?

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A New Me - Fitness + Food PLUS A Free Printable Fitness Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #SavvySnacking #CollectiveBias

I've always been a simple gal so when it comes to what I eat and how I exercise I like to keep it as simple and realistic as possible.   Two of the major difficulties in my life are getting myself to exercise on a regular basis and making smart snacking choices.  Well, I am happy to report that I am becoming a pro with both of those. 

Snacking has always been a struggle for me and I would always tend to grab the most starchy or sweet treat and stuff my face with it.  I'm totally owning that, by the way so give me some credit!  I'm serious though, I would get done with a workout and then stuff my face with jellybeans.  It was horrible because I couldn't stop myself and it was becoming such a bad habit.  It's like when my body craves nutrients and fuel, I just go with what my tastebuds love which obviously includes sweet and carb-loaded stuff. 

Lately, I've been eating more protein in the form of snacks and I wanted to find a snack that had responsible ingredients and delicious flavor.  Well, I found that in the form of Lorissa's Kitchen which you can find at Walmart.   My all time favorite snack these days is Lorissa's Kitchen Korean Barbeque Beef.  It's so flavorful and delicious.  There are other flavors to choose from as well like Lorissa's Kitchen Sweet Chili Pork and Lorissa's Kitchen Szechuan Peppercorn Beef. 

Lorissa's Kitchen captures that farm-to-table lifestyle through their yummy portable snack that is obviously packed with protein.  It's a great way to fuel your body as you go about your day and it's perfect for when you're on the go. 

Oh and there's an awesome sweepstakes you can enter!
Lorissa's Kitchen #SavvySnackingSweepstakes

I keep some in my purse so that I can snack on it throughout the day at work or when I'm out running errands.  I also keep some handy when I'm working out so that afterwards I can relax and give my body the protein it needs. 

Lorissa's Kitchen is high in protein but low in carbs and fat.  It has no MSG and no preservatives.  It's even gluten free!!   These products are also made from grass-fed beef.  The ingredients in these snacks can be found in your own kitchen! 

As promised, I do have a fitness tutorial for you that includes the strength training moves I do 3 times a week. 

Day # 1: Chest + Triceps
Dumbell Bench Press - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Dumbell Incline Press - 10 repys with 5-10 lb. weights
Kickbacks - 12 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Overhead Press - 12 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Skull Crushers - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Take a 30 second break and repeat 2X.

Day # 2: Back + Biceps
Dumbbell Rows - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Dead Lifts - 10 reps with 10 lb. weights
Bent Over Flys - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Seated Dumbbell Curls - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Seated Dumbbell Hammer Curls - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Take a 30 second break and repeat 2X.

Day # 3: Shoulders, Legs + Abs
Lateral Raises - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Upright Rows - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
Seated Dumbbell Press - 10 reps with 5-10 lb. weights
12 Squats
12 Lunges
12 Calf Raises
10 Sit Ups
10 Leg Raises
10-Second Plank
12 Pushups
Take a 30 second break and repeat 2X.

Here is a printable version for you...just click to open and hit print!

Be sure to look for Lorissa's Kitchen products at the registers at your local Walmart. 

And be sure to enter the Lorissa's Kitchen Sweepstakes from earlier in the post, too!!!   

Now, what's your secret to a new you this year? 

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