Ask Away Blog: August 2017

Pixie & Grace's Birthday Celebration!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

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 Oh be still my heart, my babies are growing up! Pixie is now 12, Grace is now 10, Stella will be 8 in November, and Rocky is 13.  AHHHHHHH! I can't believe how old they are getting. Age is just a number though, because they are all spunkier than ever. As long as they are healthy and happy it doesn't matter how old they are!



As I usually do, they got a little celebration cake (Pixie's birthday is the 31st and Grace's is the 24th so we always do joint celebrations) and some new toys!


They also got introduced to new food in the beginning of the month and all 4 pups are doing great on it!


I got Nutro Wild Frontier from Chewy and the dogs are loving the chicken flavor! The Wild Frontier Open Valley Recipe Line offers a grain-free high protein diet that works great with your dog's natural instincts.  Protein helps fill them up and no grain means you don't have to worry about allergies or sensitivities that A LOT of dogs deal with. 

The size of the kibble is perfect.  The dogs love the flavor and I love that it contains ingredients that help build muscle and work with a dog's metabolism to keep it healthy. So no corn, gluten, grains, soy, etc. and since my dogs are getting older it's nice that this type of food provides fuel for their energy levels. Maybe that's why they definitely act younger than they are.  And of course there are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.   This food is great and it's priced very fairly!


Also, if you follow me on social media you may have noticed I've been letting the dogs wander around in the yard with me a bit more often than usual.   Well, mostly Grace... but with that comes the fear of something happening to her.  Generally she stays right by my side and she has her collar and leash on but if she ever gets into a fearful panic, trust me she can find a way to escape.


That's where PABY comes in. PABY is a Real Tiem Tracking for your pet that uses both GPS and Wi-Fi.  You attach it to their collar and you can not only see them in the app if they get away but there's even a way to sound an alarm and activate an LED light. How useful would that be at night? VERY!  



The PABY kit comes with a tool to help you change the SIM and also change the elastic band. I personally think the size of the PABY unit is perfect even for a dog of Grace's size (10 lbs).  The PABY kit comes with a collapsible bowl as packaging which is super useful.  There's also a charging cable so remember to use it so your pet can ALWAYS be tracked!   I really like how lightweight PABY is and the fact that it's water resistant. 




They come in a few different designs so obviously if you have a male dog you don't have to panic that you HAVE to use a pink PABY! And in case you are wondering, I didn't have any issues with it falling off of Grace's collar!

The PABY app is really cool.   You first have to setup a profile for your pet, which means choosing their breed and entering their basic info like weight and age.


Now these screen shots were taken in the beginning of August on my old phone, which went downhill quickly.  So I had no choice but to get a new one, and when I did, I just redownloaded the PABY app and all of the info was in there still, which was very nice! That's why I like apps for something as important as this. 



After I set Grace's PABY unit up the next screen that pops up is really cool because it shows stats like how active your dog is and how much exercise it has based on the recommended amount. 


As the device was connecting I could already see a map of where we were standing while on our walk and I have to say it was pretty darn cool! For years I've said "Wouldn't it be cool to have a GPS tracking device on dogs so that if they run off you can see where they are in real time, instead of hoping someone finds them and takes them to the vet to scan their chip?" Yea, this is real now! This is also really cool for a dog owner that has a HUGE property and has a dog that sometimes runs off to a secluded area to do whatever it is they do.   If you have a dog that runs off on a regular basis in your neighborhood, BOOM - this device is for you!
 


Another great feature are the Custom Safety Zones. You can actually set safe zones using a virtual fence feature.  This means if your dog goes out of the safety zone you'll get a notification and another one when they enter it. And if you have several dogs you can manage them all from the same PABY app!
 
Oh and I know I'm talking about using PABY for dogs but you can definitely use it for cats and that's HUGE because cats LOVE to roam the neighborhood. 
 
Obviously with any technology there will be things people like and don't like but overall I think PABY is brilliant!  It's a must have for every dog owner even if your dog doesn't go outside much (3 of my 4 just use potty pads so they only see the outdoors if I take them for a walk) because in that one instance where they run away you want to be as prepared as possible.  So yes people, there's finally a GPS tracking device for pets!!!!

Overall, the girls had a great birthday.  Do you celebrate doggy birthdays in your household?










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5 Steps To Protecting Your Home While You’re Away

Wednesday, August 30, 2017




It’s hard to come to terms with, but summer will be coming to an end soon. The time has come for families to take their last summer getaways and start getting ready for school again. Before you head out on your last trip to Disney World, it’s so important to make sure that your home and belongings are protected from burglars. Follow these 5 steps to ensure that you have peace of mind while you’re away.

1. Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on things.

Try the “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” method. If you promise to watch out for suspicious activity around your neighbors’ homes, they will likely be happy to do the same for you. Leave your number with them so they can call you and/or the police if they notice anyone snooping around your house.

2. Keep your yard trimmed and tidy.

One obvious way for burglars to find out if a home is empty is for the lawn to be overgrown. Ask a trusted friend to come over once a week if you’re gone for an extended amount of time. They can trim your lawn and take out the garbage so it’s clear that someone has been around caring for the home.

3. Set up some timed lights.

One of the easiest ways to make it appear as if someone is home is by using timed lights. You can find great ones that are inexpensive and they’re so easy to set up! Simply pick a time you’d like them to turn on and you’re all set. From the outside, it looks like someone is inside, making a burglar much less likely to pursue your home.


4. Get security devices.

From security cameras to motion sensors, there are so many devices you can get to protect your home. The wonderful thing about these new technologies is that you can often control them from anywhere in the world via an app! Even just having a sign warning of a security system in your front yard is proven to deter burglars. There have been some awesome deals on home security systems lately, like the DIY system called SimpliSafe at Best Buy.


5. Avoid oversharing on social media.

Although it can be tempting to share your fabulous trip on social media to all your friends, it’s a good idea to hold off until you arrive back home. You never know for sure who’s following you, so you wouldn’t want to make anyone with bad intentions aware that you won’t be home. Be sure to check your privacy settings and see if what you post has geotagging as well. The best time to show off your wonderful photos of the beach is when you’re back home reminiscing!











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Why I'm Shouting "CBD for Life!!"

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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I am absolutely ECSTATIC to talk to you today about an amazing brand called CBD for Life. And before I explain why, let me explain what CBD for Life is and what the benefits of CBD are.


First off, CBD stands for Cannabidiol.  CBD for Life is a line of natural luxurious and highly effective CBD infused pain management and beauty products.  They use 99% pure CBD extract that comes from industrial hemp (the stems and stalks to be exact).   They use formulas that combine the CBD with other natural ingredients like essential oils, to help reduce pain, inflammation, and stress.  Their beauty products are designed to promote anti-aging, rejuvenation, and vibrancy.  The company has been around since 2015 and they are right on time considering how common it is for more people to catch on to the benefits of CBD.




CBD is packed with vitamins, omegas, and essential fatty acids that have beneficial impacts on skin, hair, and the body.  CBD has been proven to work naturally with the body's endo-cannabinoid system to create ideal overall health.


For beauty products, CBD naturally helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, irritating skin conditions like acne and psoriases, and clinical studies have shown that CBD helps the body regulate dry skin! 


The anti-inflammatory properties help your body combat aches and pains when ingested and applied topically and work great for replenishing your muscles after a hard workout. 


CBD for Life is based out of New Jersey and it's a woman owned and operated company!!! Their products are 95% naturally derived and are free of GMO’s, parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, artificial coloring and are never tested on animals.  Plus, all their products retail for under $35.00.

Now, what did I think of their products?   Well, let me tell ya!










CBD Rubs: So the Rubs are pretty self explanatory. Got sore muscles? Use the Rubs. You just apply a small amount to the muscles that hurt.   Let me tell you after an entire weekend of using loppers to destroy the weeds and shrubs down by the pond, I could barely use my arms and hands. I cramped muscles that I never even knew I had.   Right away, I applied the CBD Rubs and within about 20 minutes I realize the pain was barely there.  I used them on and off for the next few days until the sore feeling was completely gone and my muscles had healed.  It was much better than using an anti-inflammatory pill from the drugstore, I can tell you that! The Rubs come in Original and Lemongrass. 



CBD Face Cream: The CBD Face Cream really left my face hydrated and gave me a nice glow.  The hemp extracts are great for your skin! I applied it once in the morning and once at night after I washed my face.  It rubbed right in, and it was very pleasant.   I love the nice high quality containers the rubs and the face cream come in as well. 




CBD Eye Serum: CBD for Life has an AMAZING Eye Serum that helps with anti-aging and minimizing lines and reducing dark circles and puffiness.  It's SO lightweight and not greasy at all, which is the main reason I never used eye creams before. I couldn't stand the greasy, gunky feeling.  Like the Face Cream, I used this in the morning and at night.
CBD Oral Spray:  Their Oral Spray is truly the easiest and most convenient method I've ever used to get highly effective and fast absorbing use of CBD.  It's known to help with pain management, anxiety, stress, arthritis, and inflammation.  Whenever I felt sore, stressed, or anxious, I'd whip this baby out of my purse and give my mouth a spray or 2 throughout the day.  It worked quite well and was very discreet.
CBD Lip Balm: I love this Lip Balm! It really hydrates my lips and has a slight tint.  My lips can get really dry and cracked, espeically in the summertime so this is perfect!  It's glossy and smooth and lasts a really long time!
CBD Pain Relief Spray: If you are an active person (or you deal with pain a lot), you will be very grateful for the Pain Relief Spray. You'll get great pain relief without having to take prescription pills.  It's so simple to use. You just spray on and let it do it's thing, no need to rub it in! This came in handy for the day after my workouts.






CBD Foot Cream: Ahhh, Foot Cream.  Who can survive without it? Not me! My feet are always sore, achey, and tired so nothing makes me happier than sitting down to watch TV and rubbing this in my feet.  After a night out in heels, it was the relief I needed! The inflammation didn't last long thanks to this cream!
CBD Face & Body Cleanser: This Face & Body Cleanser is just what I've been looking for.  A great way to clean my clogged pores and it's definitely a must use, especially if you have the face cream to use afterwords.  It worked itself into a very nice lather and didn't feel thick or gunky.
CBD Hand & Body Massage Lotion: If you like pampering yourself, you need to try the Hand & Body Massage Lotion! My skin was super soft and luscious for days after using this.  It really felt invigorating whenever I'd rub it on my arms, legs, and hands.  I can't wait to use this in winter when the weather normally dries my skin out.


They also have a Shampoo and Conditioner that are absolutely fantastic. I'm all about using all natural products on my hair, but WOW!  The shampoo really left my scalp feeling refreshed and it actually helped get rid of my itchy dandruff. I had been using a dandruff shampoo before this, but no more! Those omega acids really do their job and it didn't weigh my hair down at all. And it's safe and gentle for all hair types, even mine which is dry and color-treated.  The conditioner smelled amazing and had all the same benefits of the shampoo. It left my hair sleek and shiny and I noticed I had less tangles after getting out of the shower. Ladies! YOU NEED THIS!


I really hope that I've educated you on the benefits of CBD and I hope you'll give some of these amazing products a try. I promise you, you will be pleased because the results speak for themselves!



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Books I Recommend You Read [August]

Monday, August 28, 2017

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Another great summer month of reads! Check 'em out.



The Age of Miracles by Karen Walker

This was a fun read about a girl coming of age during a scary time on Earth where the rotation is slowing so the days and nights last a really long time.   The environment and setting is described so well that I feel like I'm there the whole time I'm reading.   The main character is trying to find herself amongst a changing world and family and personal troubles.   I really hope they make this one into a movie!


A Beautiful, Terrible Thing by Jen Waite

This book is a memoir about Jen's marriage to psychopath and the damage it did to her.  It details how she got away but most of all it gives great insight into the abuse of relationships with psychopaths and sociopaths. I could hardly put it down!


Here and Gone by Haylen Beck
Wow what an amazing fictional crime read.  This had me on edge till I could finish it. A woman is pulled over and arrested and her kids are taken by the police officers, yet no one believes that's what really happened.   She has to find a way to save her kids and prove her innocence before they become victims of human trafficking. 



Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
I don't even know how to explain this book except in the most basic way. It takes place over a 3 hour period and it's about a mother and her young son at the zoo before it closes. As they go to leave, they hear gunshots.  Basically it's an active shooter situation and this book details how this woman uses her maternal instincts to save her sons life through the ordeal. I couldn't put it down and read it in 2 hours! 


MISSING: The Oregon City Girls by Linda O Neal 
A great true crime read about 2 girls that went missing in Oregon in 2002 and how a PI (and the step grandmother) of the one girl helped bring the man who did it to law enforcement. Beautifully written.


The Year Without Michael by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This book is actually 30 years old but it's a heartbreaking look at how a family copes after soon-to-be 9th grader Michael disappears. It covers a year with the family's pain and how they argue, mourn, get angry, and eventually come to terms with what's going on.


Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

WOW! What an awesome book.   A meteor hits the moon, knocking it closer to the Earth which throws everything off. Tsunamis, earthquakes, crazy weather.   It's basically like the end of the world. The book is told through journal entries of a 16 year old girl and how her family takes it day by day.  Bittersweet and very realistic!



Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown
This is an easy and thrilling read about a woman who disappears and is then presumed dead after going on a hike.  Her family tries to cope for the next year while experiencing some strange thoughts that maybe things aren't what they seem. Great twist at the end too!



The Goddesses by Swan Huntley
Oh my God I'm obsessed with this book!  A woman, still working through her husband's affair, relocates with him and their 2 twin boys to Hawaii, where she meets Ana, a free spirit with a crazy story.  She becomes so engrossed in her friendship with Ana and it takes a major toll on her family, especially when Ana comes to live with them.  Things take a really really really dark turn towards the end.



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Outfit of the Day: Paisley Pretty

Friday, August 25, 2017





It was a hot and sticky day the other week when I wore this dress. I love it though because it has a built in support for going braless. I was in heaven!





I love the colors and normally I'm not even a fan of paisley but when you have gorgeous colors and the right style dress, it is one of my favs!


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Outfit of the Day: Tie Dye + Tassels

Wednesday, August 23, 2017




So this is the outfit I wore for my birthday on the 13th.  I absolutely adore it and found it at Ross Dress for Less.   It's the perfect fit and so comfy!



I love the details on this dress and the colors go so well together.  This is perfect for a boho chic look for an evening outdoors with friends in the summertime!


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[Planning Our Wedding] Getting Crafty, Rentals, and License

Tuesday, August 22, 2017







So we are 2 months away from our big day! How exciting!   Everything is still going smoothly but the real work must begin!

[Getting Crafty]
I have decided I'll be making the signage for our reception so I have started to acquire some supplies to do that and I've brainstormed some ideas.   By signage I mean the little things that people keep near tables or to announce the hashtag.   With supplies from the Dollar Store it will be cheap and I'll be proud to say I put in some effort, since I'm not very crafty besides this.

[Rentals]
With RSVPs pretty much finished it's time to figure out how many chairs and tables we will have to rent.  I told people to bring their own camping chairs as well. Since we have 100 people estimated (or just under) I figure 50 chairs will work.   Then we will have some tables to eat at as well as for the food, gifts, etc. to go on.  I'm thinking maybe just 10 tables need rented. 

[LICENSE!!]
We went and got out license and booked our judge! How exciting.  We will be officially married privately a few days before the reception. I'm so excited for Fall and so excited for this time for us!

Check back next month because I'm going to be so close to being done with all wedding stuff and I can't wait! Doing it this way really has made this so easy and much more enjoyable.



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5 Must Haves for Every Woman

Monday, August 21, 2017

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I know there are plenty of lists out there of all the must-have products but I decided to put together a list of the most basic things that will transform your life if you have them. 

[1] A Portable Lint Roller
Seriously, even if you don' t have a pet, you're bound to have a need for a lint roller.  Sometimes it's your own hair, sometimes it's just fuzzies from your outfit, and sometimes it's animal hair.  Either way, Flint is your new best friend!

Flint is a retractable lint roller that comes in an adorable case (you can choose the color) and fits conveniently in your purse or desk drawer! You just twist the base like you would a lipstick and the roller extends.  When you're done, press the top down.  When it's retracted the paper will stay clean and the Flint can be reused and will never get stuck on anything it shouldn't.  When completely done, just pull out and put a replacement roller in.   Flint is reusable, recyclable and refillable. You can use each sheet more than once and the core of Flint is 100% recycled. 
[2] Amazing Bath Towels
Every woman, whether she has her own place or not NEEDS to feel luxurious when she's tending to herself.  Just think about it.  As soon as you step out of the shower, you want a nice soft luxurious towel to dry off and wrap around yourself, right? I am just in love with Micro Cotton, available at Macy's.  They make some of the most soft and absorbent towels out there!



 
And if you love bright colors to decorate with, these towels will be great in your bathroom!  

 
These towels are made from soft and super absorbent Annur cotton and have a clean woven pattern at the hem.  I just absolutely love these!




 


[3] Battery Charging Phone Case

I use my phone A LOT, I mean come on, we all do.   Nothing is worse than your battery dying and you go into a panic. When I was in New York for a blog conference a few years back I didn't have one of these. Well, right before I was supposed to leave to catch a subway train, it died and I was in a panic because I had no clue where I was going and when to tell my friend to pick me up later.  It was a bizarre and scary feeling and so immediately after that, I invested in one of these suckas!  


[4] A Way (any way) to Organize Shoes
Shoes are a staple to every woman's closet so trust me when I say that you MUST have a nice way to organize them.  Whether it's a little shelving unit, clear plastic shoe boxes with photos on the side, or even these gems, Shoe Slotz. It makes your life so much easier when it comes to choosing what to wear, I assure you!

[5] A Shopping Fund
Because, DUH! Stashing money aside is ALWAYS a good idea, but even more so when it's for something specific.  So if you get change back from the store, add it to your shopping fund.  Any gift money you get, you know where to put it.  Every few months you'll be pleasantly surprised to find a little allowance for you to spoil yourself!



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