Ask Away...: August 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

[PSA] Your In-Home Product Parties + Why I'll Always RSVP NO

I've made these facts known on social media throughout the years but I figured it's time to put it into a blog post.   Why? Because every week I get different invites to an in-home (or even an online) party for something being sold whether it's jewelry, bags, skincare products, food, or nail decals.   It's not that I get mad at anyone that invites me to those, it's just that by now I have a reputation as being the person that always says no.   Still, some people don't know that and they continue to invite me to things then text me to make sure I got the Facebook invite. 

It's not that I fault you for doing that, because by all means I encourage and support people to work hard for any extra money they can get.  And I fully understand how these things work, and no, don't worry I'm not trying to claim it's all a scam, because it's not always a scam.  

It's just that it's NOT my thing.  But for some reason, many times when I say NO, I either get questioned or I get responses back trying to offer alternatives.  So here it is.... a blog post with all the reasons why I will RSVP No, regardless of what alternatives there are.   No matter what it is, or who you are, my response will always be NO.  And since lots of people still have other suggestions like "just come for the food" or "you don't have to buy anything", my points below still explain why it won't fly for me.

[1] It's Not In My Budget.
No,'s NOT in my budget.   If you know me at all you know I have a cash envelope system and everything in my bank account is put into categories.   Every dollar of each paycheck is accounted for with none left over. I DO NOT allow a free spending category for anything that is offered at an in-home or online party.  My next point will explain more why I don't need to, but for now just let me be clear that I literally do not have the money to spend on anything other than what I normally buy.

[2] I Don't Need It.
I get my food from my garden or giant, and I make my own rubs, sauces, etc so I don't need to purchase pre-packaged ones that are more costly.  I have plenty of purses and totes from over the years.  I don't use anything on my nails so I don't need Jamberry because I'll never use them.  I am so stocked up on makeup from being a blogger that it's absolutely absurd for me to even consider buying more makeup.  My makeup also works just fine for me.   I have every piece of jewelry I'll ever need for now and I actually don't even wear jewelry that much so buying any more is a total waste.  I don't really use air freshners or wax melts in my home.  I don't need to.  If anything I am fine with the all natural soy candles I get from blogging here and there or as gifts around the holidays.   I don't need any supplements. I just don't. I shouldn't have to explain that. The answer is no.

[3] I've Tried Them.
It's not my first time using or hearing about whatever it is you are selling.   I've tried the tote bags and I was never a fan.  While the food is good, I like making my own things.  The jewelry is okay, but not worth the money for the 1 or 2 times a year I end up wearing it.  I'm just not a fan enough of any of it to buy it. 

[4] I Had a Spending Addiction.
I was able to rack up thousands and thousands of dollars on my credit cards just buying stuff I didn't need.   It was an actual addiction. I've come a long long looooong way and I do not need to be tempted again.  And I say that beacuse it is tempting.  Because I will feel obligated to buy something even if you tell me I don't have to.  Of course then I always say "then what the hell is the point of me coming."   But still,   it's too tempting for me to sit there for a couple hours and NOT buy something just out of habit. 

[5] If I go to One, I Have to go to All.
Do you know how many things I get invited to? A LOT.  Seriously.  If I go to one, I have to go to others.  Everyone knows by now that I'm not a fan and that I really never go.  So if I change that and make one single exception, then that opens up the gates. I just can't do it.  I can't do any of them.  Even if you are my good friend, I'm sorry but I just can't.  And the whole reason I never have gotten into those is because I don't want to invite people to them because I know how it feels. 

[6] I Don't Enjoy Them.
There, I said it.  I'm sorry but I don't enjoy them.  I'm not big on a social gatherings anyways.   If you really want to spend time with me let's set a date for dinner.  I really don't enjoy these in fact, I'm sorry to say but I feel it's a waste of my time and my time is VERY valuable to me.  When I'm not at work, or working on my part time job (my blog), I soak up every free minute I have to just relax and do whatever I want to do.  I feel super uncomfortable at them and I can't justify letting myself feel like that.  I feel awkward, I feel pressured, I feel insecure. 

[7] No I can't Blog Your Company.
When I blog about brands it's neutral brands that are just one company and one seller.   It's unfair to my friends and readers for me to try to influence anyone to buy from a specific person, especially when I'm not truly passionate about the product. I can't lie to my readers and I won't.  I am known as a blogger that finds deals wherever she can and I can always find comparable products at better prices so what kind of person would I be to lie just to promote your company?

So there....I got it all out and I really hope this post makes sense to people that feel the same way and to the people that wonder why I always RSVP no.

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Don't Fall for These Common Tax Myths

I’m no fan of tax. Very few people are. People don’t even like to think about taxes. And that causes a lot of myths and misconceptions to float about in the minds of taxpayers. Some of these myths are a little silly. Some of them can cost you a lot of money. Some of them could get you into serious legal trouble.

So what are some of the biggest, strangest, and most common myths about tax out there? Today, we’re going to be taking a look at just a few.

I’m paid in cash, so I don’t have to report it

I’m not quite sure where people get this from. Actually, maybe I have some idea. On television shows and in movies, you sometimes get characters asking for cash so they don’t have to report it to the IRS.

The problem is that these characters are often criminals. When they say they don’t “have to”, what they mean is that it’s harder for the IRS to trace. After all, if it’s not going straight into your bank account, how’s the IRS to know? The problem comes when you start showing up with assets despite not having paid from a bank account. Then the IRS are going to know you have an unreported source of income. Remember: if it’s income, you have to report it!

You can’t negotiate with the IRS

Look, I don’t particularly like the IRS. But to suggest that everyone who works there is some heartless monster who will grab your cash at any cost is a bit of an exaggeration. The problem is that most people seem to have this image.

This can lead to a variety of behavior. It can lead them to not pay taxes due to a perceived moral high ground. It can lead them to believe that they can’t simply talk to the IRS if they have a problem. But the IRS is made up of actual people who may be willing to work with you if you have a problem. If you want to negotiate or dispute something, get in touch with them. Work with a highly praised tax lawyer and your chances of success will be much higher.

Income tax is illegal, voluntary, invalid, unconstitutional, etc

Listen to all the libertarian or voluntaryist arguments you want. Clutch onto your copy of Atlas Shrugged as tightly as you please. The fact is, however you feel about it from a moral standpoint, the law requires you to pay tax.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have anti-tax points of view. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t maintain a blog filled with daily diatribes against taxation. But it does mean that you need to pay tax. Many tax protestors will claim that filing tax returns is, by law, completely voluntary. But these arguments tend to be held up by nothing more than rhetoric and skewed semantics. Trust me: I sympathize. But by using false pretenses to avoid paying tax, you’re only going to get yourself into trouble. I know the founding of America was rooted in a revolt against taxes. But tax is the law!

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Grace's 9th Birthday Celebration

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Last Wednesday was Grace's 9th Birthday!! I can't believe it!  She was the 2nd Chihuahua I got and she's my special girl.  She can be shy and cautious of new people at first but she is my little sidekick and is always right at my feet!

I do the same thing each year for each dog. I decorate, get some snacks, and get 1 toy as a gift.  

Grace loves long toys and for some reason she loves fox toys.  So of course to add to her huge collection, I got her a fox toy!

So for the treats I got a little mini donut shaped treat and some little doggie peanut butter cups!
Grace loved them, meanwhile her siblings were super jealous!
And of course I even got a gift for myself! Dog Waste Bags from Chewy! Because honestly, every dog owner needs them, especially in a large supply!

I love the Frisco brand! They are super strong and leak proof which is an extremely important thing for the person doing the clean up.  The dispensers are awesome too!

Do you celebrate your dog's birthday?

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Why Steam Cleaning Your Car is So Important

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I've had good ol' Cuppy, my 2006 Honda Civic for 10 years now.  I have made it a priority all this time to keep her clean both inside and out.   Some people may laugh and think it's unneccessary but I have a few reasons why it's so important to me.

|It saves me money.|
First of all, I will NOT pay someone else to clean my car.  So instead, I do it myself and it's super easy because I obviously own a hose to clean the outside and for the inside, I now have an AutoRight Automotive Steamer! I can do it all by myself.
This thing is awesome!!! You have to understand how important it is to clean the interior of your car especially because of the soil and oils that become embedded into the surfaces.  The heat of the steam from the steamer loosens the bond between the dirt and the surface it's on so it's easy to wipe it off with a cloth. 
Even if you have leather interior, the heat of the steam opens the pores and the evaporation of the steam lifts the dirt and oils out where you can wipe them away.  Once you deep clean it, you can even add fabric or leather conditioners to your cleaning routing so that the longevity of your interior is increased.  The steam is 290 degrees and is powerful enough to disinfect surfaces from germs and bacterie but it still won't damage your interior. 

I love how easy it is to use.  The portable size makes it very convenient.  All I have to do is pour distilled water into the canister and replace the cap and then I plug it in and turn it on.  The heating element boils the water and creates steam within 8 minutes! Then I just pull the trigger and the steam comes out wherever I aim it.  And the best part is that I can run it for 30 minutes before I have to refill the canister. 

This SteamMachine comes with so many things like an 8-foot long hose which makes it so easy for me to move around with it.  It also has an 8 foot power cord and plenty of attachments like a microfiber towel, nylon brush, and a crevice tool!

You can purchase one from AutoRight here for $129.99.

|It keeps her fresh.|
Do you realize how stinky and musty a car that hasn't been deep cleaned can smell? So trust me when I say that you will be so much happier to have a clean, less germy, and less used interior if you properly take the time to steam clean it throughout the year.

|It keeps me satisfied.|
Some people are obsessed with that new car smell.  That means they want to buy a new car every few years.  For me, I want to get the most bang for my buck and stretch it as long as I can so I hope to keep this car till she is run to the ground.  Everytime I get in my car, I smile because she is fresh and clean just like she was when she was new.

|It shows pride of ownership.|
Obviously when you pay for something that you own, you should take pride in it and take good care of it.  I am so proud that my car is paid off and it's really ALL MINE.  So I want to take care of it and keep it running for as long as possible.

What do you do to take care of YOUR car?

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

One For The Men: Office wear And How You Can Totally Rock That Look

Office wear never used to be so varied for men. Years ago there was never the amount of choice or options there is today. A man wore a suit to the office, a shirt, and a tie. That may have been the extent of the styling. But now, things are different. It is much more exciting for a man to dress for the office these days. How you dress is a perception of you and your personality, now a suit and the details can tell that story. Want to know how you can totally rock that look? Here’re a few pointers to help you out.


The suit as you have never seen it before

Gone are the days where a suit was worn would look the same as someone stood next to you. This piece is now something that can transform your overall look. Suits now take into consideration your body shape. Not everyone has the same appearance. Which is why a suit cannot be a one size fits all. This is where considering something more individual could be a great way forward. Having something tailored could make the difference. Companies like Michael Andrews Bespoke can offer great services. These days the look of the suit is far different from the average black or navy options. We have striking blues, transforming greys, and some offer different options like plum. A suit now is a statement, not just a piece of clothing you wear. This is vital for making your presence known in the office environment.

Rock those accessories to transform an everyday look

It’s not just about the suit, though. But what you wear with it. This is why your accessories are just as important. From a dashin pocket square for a sophisticated look. A dazzling tie that can be a real statement piece. Even the littlest of things like cufflinks and tie pins can all make a huge difference to the overall look. Don’t forget these essential items when styling p your office wear.

Footwear is key for pulling off the style

Of course, a great shoe will always pull off a suit. But sometimes it;s not just about the shoe but more about their appearance. Scuffed up marks and unpolished shoes will always bring you appearance down a notch. So don’t let yourself down over the minor details. Make sure every part of your look is polished and well presented.

Don’t forget those little details

It’s all in the detail. As some would say. This is why making sure you have an eye for these details is important for completing your office wear look. Your hair needs to be smart, your face alert and awake. Clean shaven or with trimmed stubble. It all needs to look polished. Even your choice of cologne can make a big difference to how someone reacts to your look. The details matter.

It is all in the mind

Finally, it is all well and good having the right clothes, but it needs that extra something for you to pull it all together. That is confidence and belief. You need to have that confidence and motivation to succeed to have that general demina about yourself. All of which is a mindset. So keep positive and make sure you are oozing with confidence.

I hope this helps you transform your office wear look.

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How My Avocado Bag is Starting an Addiction

So the other week, I went to DSW to look for shoes because I had a $5 off coupon for my birthday.   DSW is always hit or miss for me. Sometimes I find nothing, sometimes I find everything.  Well, this time I spotted this adorable little avocado in the handbag section.  Turns out it was a Betsey Johnson Clutch.

So I posted it on my Facebook and it was a big hit and I was quite happy that I purchased something (ANYTHING) with my coupon.  

That night I kept looking at the clutch and how cute it was.   Then the next day I went online to Amazon and found a ton of other's. 

Seriously.... they have an oven, a burger, a shake, a rubik's cube, a taco, and pretty much anything and everything.  Now I can't stop thinking of those adorable little clutches and how perfect they would be to collect and use.  Seriously. 
(Click on each one if you want to go to the Amazon page).



How cute are they and which one should I get next?!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

My Living Will & Power of Attorney & Why YOU Need One

A couple of months ago a co-worker of mine needed me to sign as a witness on her living will.   I asked her where she got it from (assuming she had to go see a lawyer, etc.) and she said (By the way - this isn't a sponsored post, I'm writing this because I think it's very important).  For $5 you can purchase the form and print it and have it filled out.   They also advise you on the requirements depending on the state you live in. So one of the recommendations is that you give your physician a copy for their files.  So at my last check up, I handed it over and my doctor was super impressed.  She told me that most people at my age don't have one, and it's foolish NOT to.  That was all she needed to say to make me want to write a blog post about this.

So anyways... you are probably wondering a few things so let me answer them...

What IS a Living Will?
A Living Will is pretty much a way to put on paper, your end of life decisions.   On your Living Will you get to choose what treatments you do or don't want, what medications you want, and if you want to be kept alive by artificial means...aka do you want someone to pull the plug? Sorry that I'm so blunt but it's the best way to ring a bell for you. 

Why do you need one?
If God forbid you get into an accident, or come down with a terminal illness at ANY age, and you are unable to speak or communicate your wishes, they are already written out for those taking care of you. 

When should you get one?
Now. No matter what age you are.  If you are going to be having surgery or be hospitalized soon, it's also a good idea to get one, especially if you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Who should you designate?
With a Living Will you get to appoint someone to make decisions for you, still being based on YOUR needs and wants that you specified at a time when you were of sound mind. 

What is a Power of Attorney?
A POA allows you to choose someone you trust to make the big medical decisions for you, should you not be able to make them yourself.  A Living Will covers things that happen as you are likely on your way out, but a Power of Attorney covers healthcare decisions at any time.  On a Power of Attorney you can choose what treatments you may or may not want, like dialysis or a blood tranfusion. 

Why do you need one?
If you are incapable of making decisions yourself some day, someone is given direction to make them for you.

Who should you appoint?
Obviously, someone you trust.  With a Power of Attorney you get to designate an agent to make these decisions so make sure it's someone you respect and trust to do the right thing. 

For both a Living Will and a Power of Attorney, make sure whomever it is respects your moral and religious beliefs and is also comfortable being the decision maker.
You can also select an alternate in the case that your first choice is unable to make any decisions or carry out your wishes.

Do I need to update these documents? Yes, as your life changes. If someone you designated to make decisions passes away, you should obviously change it.  If you get married or get a divorce, you should change it. 

So basically I'm being a good friend and advising you to do this because it takes less than an hour of your time to fill out and then all you have to do is get people and witnesses to sign.  It's extremely important to have these documents so GET THEM!!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Pet Stuff EVERYWHERE + A Coupon Code for 15% OFF

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I love shopping for my pups, no matter what it is.  Food, toys, leashes, bathing all excites me.  The only obnoxious thing is having to get everything from different places.  Well, that is no longer an issue because there is PetOverstock! PetOverstock is a website where you can get a variety of pet merchandise at a great price.  There are plenty of money-saving offers like tax-free products in the US and even free shipping on orders over $49.  They also offer extra customer service and are always just a phone call or a click away.

Leashes - These aren't just any leashes...these are LED leashes!! Not only does it keep my pups safe at night but the LED light helps with visibility and it has a water-resistant design so it's safe to use if you and your pooch have to step out in the rain!  There are 3 modes for the LED - constant, slow-flashing, and fast-flashing.  And the batteries that come wtih it give you up to 72 hours of continuous use.  How awesome is that?   
How freakin adorable is this little Blue Camouflage Backpack?  It's perfect for toy breeds and has an awesome harness style so it's very functional.  The zippered storage pockets can hold treats, waste bags, or anything else. 

Rocky informed me he was going on a hike shortly after we put this on. How cute is he?

There are some really cool toys available on PetOverstock! I love the variety of them and there are different ones to meet different needs for your pet.  The little frisbee raccoon toy is a big hit with Grace because she likes to chase after things like that. And the little turtle is so adorable and Rocky likes to toss him around.  

The squeaky tire is Pixie's favorite and the squeaky bird is a hit with Stella who runs in circles after she shakes it. The Nerf footballs are excellent for highly active dogs!

There are soooo many treats to help keep your pet occupied and satisfied.  I love the samples I received and the dogs have been enjoying them and the great flavor.   Treats and chew toys are a great way to occupy your pooch when you want to get things done around the house without them getting in the way.

How cute is Monkey Man?!

There are great shampoo products as well including ones to meet different needs like dry skin, flea control, and sensitive skin.

This is by far one of my favorite finds from PetOverstock.  It's always a struggle to brush my chihuahua's teeth and this Clean Teeth Gel allows you to do it without a toothbrush.  You can just put it in their mouth and let it do the work!  It's made it much less stressful for them and me.

Are you ready to save?  Well, great because you can get 15% off using the code ASKAWAY! 

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