Ask Away...: August 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Pixie & Grace's Birthday Celebration!

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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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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Floral Fashion: Making It Fashionable, Not Frumpy

You can always find a good floral print when you're shopping for clothes. They never really go out of fashion, even if how and where to wear them might change. The thing about florals is that they offer so many options, but it can be so easy to get them wrong. If you're not careful, your floral patterns can end up looking less cute and colorful and more frumpy and old-fashioned. You don't want your floral prints to give you the grandma look, even if you're not averse to a bit of vintage style. So how do you make flowers look good?

Choose Colors Carefully

If you want to avoid the wrong look when you choose a floral outfit, start by finding the colors that suit you. There aren't any colors you need to avoid completely, apart from the shades you know don't suit you, but you should think about colors in combination with patterns and with what you're wearing. For example, light and pastel shades can look super cute, but a huge floral pattern can look pretty old-fashioned. Bolder shades are better if you want to make sure you look more modern, whereas darker colors can give you a stronger look.

Examine Size and Layout of the Print

It's important to think about the size of the floral print you wear too. Tiny flowers can be cute for a ditsy tea dress look, but in some styles, they can be a bit too casual or make you look like a little girl. Larger flowers can make a great statement, but you need to avoid an out-of-date look. The layout of the print is important too. The flowers could be evenly spaced with small or large gaps between them, or they could be clustered at the hem of your garment and burst upwards. Some florals have other motifs woven through them or feature whole plants.

Mix Up Your Floral Items

There are lots of ways you can wear florals in your outfits. Shop at online dress boutiques to find some beautiful dresses if you want to make flowers a key part of your outfit. There's also the option of floral tops and skirts, or a jazzy pair of floral pants. Accessorizing with floral patterns and motifs is a great idea too. Shoes, tights, jewelry and more can benefit from the addition of a few flowers. Floral embroidery on a bag or jacket also looks great. In fact, leather (or faux leather) jackets with floral embroidery have been a big thing this year.

Don't Go Overboard

Florals can be beautiful but, like everything in life, they're usually better in moderation. If you're putting together a floral look, don't go too overboard and cover yourself in flowers. Too many floral prints and motifs and you could end up looking like a bunch of flowers yourself. You don't have to be subtle, but you can also avoid using flowers too much.

Floral prints are awesome to include in your outfit. You have so many options to find a floral look that works for you.

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5 Steps To Protecting Your Home While You’re Away

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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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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

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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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Monday, August 28, 2017

Five Ways to Add Pizzazz to a Dining Room’s Decor

 Is the décor of your dining room looking a little stale lately? If so, there are plenty of things you can do to refresh the look of the décor. Sometimes making just a few little changes can give a room a new lease on life. Look at five ways to give your dining room a dose of pizzazz. 

 Get a Table in a Different Shape 
 If you have a rectangular dining room table, try switching it for an oval or round table. This is an easy way to create dramatic change. Or, if you like the shape of your table, get one with the same shape and a different leg design. A design that features crisscrossing legs or legs positioned in a non-traditional way. This simple detail adds to the renewed look of a room. Joybird furniture is a good example of a resource for unique dining room tables. 
Garner a Set of Unique Chairs 
 If you like the look of your traditional dining room table, you can jazz it up a bit with some unique chairs. If you have armchairs around your table, try looking at some armless chairs. Look at the height of your table to determine whether a set of taller chairs would be appropriate. Consider dining room chairs featuring fabric in a bright color. When it comes to dining room chairs, there are all sorts of creative options available to you.  
Change the Color of the Walls 
 Have the walls of your dining room always been the same color? If so, think about changing the paint color or the wallpaper design. Furthermore, use your wall color to make your dining room appear larger. For instance, painting the walls in cream or a pastel blue or yellow really helps to open up the space. Plus, any natural light flowing in from a window or a skylight will reflect off the walls contributing an airy atmosphere to your gathering space. Today’s dining rooms are well-lit, colorful and welcoming to guests.  
Switch Your Light Fixture for a New Style 
 A hanging light fixture in the form of a chandelier is appealing in a dining room. If you love having your chandelier try choosing one in a different color or style. Or, switch your traditional lighting for three or four pendant lights with shades designed in blown glass. Be sure you choose a light fixture that you can adjust so you can set the tone.  
Put Up One or More Mirrors 
A mirror is a familiar sight in a dining room. Add a mirror with a decorative frame to the décor or find a collection of small mirrors. Mirrors are available in many styles and designs that fit with either a casual or formal dining room. In addition to being attractive, a mirror reflects natural light adding to the inviting tone of the space. In some cases, a mirror can even make a dining room appear larger than it actually is. Joybird is one resource for well-designed mirrors. Finally, whether you change the entire décor of your dining room or just give it a few tweaks here and there, it can help to refresh the look of your entire home!

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Books I Recommend You Read [August]

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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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Friday, August 25, 2017

Outfit of the Day: Paisley Pretty

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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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Outfit of the Day: Tie Dye + Tassels

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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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Revitalise Your Home Without Drastic Renovations

When your home is feeling dull, old and worn out, there are two main options: renovate or replace. Renovating your home can be a massive hassle unless you have experienced contractors working for you. In that case, it’s going to cost you a lot of time and money. Depending on what kind of renovations you aim for, you might be forced out of your home for a while as they fix up the house. Replacing your home (in other words, moving) can be equally as annoying. There’s a lot of money involved, you’ll have to move all of your belongings and it might cause problems with your work or your family.

Luckily, there’s a third option that many people actually omit: revitalising your home.

Changing your decor

Your decor is perhaps the most important thing that defines the look and feel of your home. If you want to give your home a new look and feel, then it’s a good idea to change the decor now and then. This could mean painting the walls, it could mean switching out seasonal decorations or simply rearranging the furniture now and then. If you like the idea of switching your decor, then you need to keep in mind that your current furniture arrangement can affect your success rate.

If you want to change your decor on a regular basis then you need to declutter and organise your home in a way that allows for it. For instance, make sure that your have as little furniture as possible so that if you need to replace the carpet or paint a wall, you can easily move the furniture out of the room or away from the area you want to work in. If you want to add more decor or change it on a regular basis, then don’t use anything permanent.

The more free-moving your furniture is, the more freedom you’ll have in changing your decor more frequently. This will revitalise your home every time you make minor changes, giving you the feeling of a fresh and new home whenever you feel like it. This is far cheaper than renovating your entire home. The secret is to ensure that your furniture can be moved at will so you can rearrange it however you like.

Decluttering your home

One of the ugliest things in a home is clutter. It doesn’t matter if it’s a bookshelf filled with dusty tomes or a cupboard that hasn’t been cleaned out for a year—clutter can strangle us and make us feel trapped. Decluttering your home is the perfect way to clean out the mess and make your home clean, inviting and new.

Don’t forget to clear out every single room in your home. From clearing out the garage to tidying up the living room, no room should be left untouched by your crusade to clear out the clutter. Here are a couple of tips you can follow to help you declutter the home:

  • Clear out a space to put all your items - be it a dumping ground in your garage or a large empty room, you need to designate a space in your home where you place everything that you plan to put back into your rooms. For instance, you might need to move out some furniture so that you can clean the carpets, or you might want to move a shelf from one room to another
  • Keep a schedule - it’s hard to determine how much time it takes to really clear out a certain room or piece of furniture, but make sure you assign a date or weekend where you plan to declutter so the rest of your family members know
  • Get a box for papers - loose bits of paper, letters and so on need a dedicated box or folder. This will help you organise your documents later when you decide if you want to throw things away or keep them
  • Store uncertain items separately - as you declutter, you’ll find many items that you’re unsure if you want to keep or not. Create a separate pile or put them into another box so that you can decide later if you want to keep them or not
  • Don’t forget your wardrobe - it might not seem like the most common place to declutter, but you’ll be surprised at how many clothes you own that no longer fit you and could be either sold or given to charity
  • Learn to live with less - be it useless kitchen appliances or excessive amounts of books, there are things you can comfortably live without. As you declutter, ask yourself if you really need certain things. If you don’t, then get rid of them and say goodbye to clutter so you can learn to live with less.

These are just a few tips, but it should be enough to get you started on decluttering your home. This is one of the most important steps to help you revitalise your home and give it a new feel.

Get rid of what you consider ordinary

Are you used to cleaning up your carpets and vacuuming them? Then get rid of it and replace it with hardwood or laminate flooring. Are you used to dull-looking floors? Then treat yourself to a hardwood floor refinishing service. Whatever you’re used to, it’s a good idea to either get rid of it or change it so that it’s barely recognisable. This is a fantastic way to revitalise your home and give it a fresh new feeling. It could be as simple as rearranging your furniture or you could get more complicated by changing your decor.

Hopefully, this article has given you some fantastic ideas on how to revitalise your home. It’s not the easiest task, but it’s certainly one that demands a bit of planning and some real considerations. However, it won’t cost you as much money as a full renovation and it’s easy to follow these tips in your own time.

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