Ask Away Blog: December 2017

Friday, December 29, 2017

4 New Year's Resolution Ideas for 2018 + An Old Navy Giveaway








2018 is almost here and despite how cliché it is, you can always use another excuse to make some resolutions, right?   So today, I'm sharing with you a list of 4 great resolutions




[1] Embrace the KonMari Method.
A couple years back I revamped my entire life AND home with the KonMari Method.  You can read all about it here and see how it changed my life.   And you can see how each category of my possessions was covered here. Basically, the KonMari Method involves keeping ONLY what you love or absolutely need. If it doesn't bring you joy you can let it go.  It was life changing for me. There's no more clutter in my home.  Everything has a place and I know where it all is.  There's no more cleaning up before people come over.  The book is the first step and once you read it you can begin the process.  Make sure you read up on the posts I linked to because it'll get you really motivated!




[2] Fix Your Finances.
Not only have I wrote a book about how to get your finances in order but I have an entire blog post dedicated to getting on a budget and one for paying off debt using spreadsheets and tracking.  Working on being debt free is so exciting.  My finance posts and downloadable spreadsheets for purchase can really help you.  My book is a super easy read and I made it in the most down to earth way possible.   If you're sick an tired of feeling like you have no money and always stressing about it, you need to fix your finances!


[3] Get vital documents in place.
I made several posts about this type of thing - one here about my living will and why everyone needs one, and one here will I explain why wills and living wills are crucial at any age. You can have these documents made through a website called Rocket Lawyer for a VERY small fee.   You never know what can happen to yourself at any given moment and the best thing you can do for yourself and everyone else in your life is be prepared. Have plans in place, have directions, and be comfortable talking about it.


[4] Adopt healthier everyday habits.
You don't have to drastically alter your life all at once but it's always a good idea to make permanent small changes that you basically ease into. I made a post here about some of those things like drinking more water, eating REAL food, and being more active simply by walking twice a day on breaks. You can still enjoy life but just make slightly better decisions.  Maybe cut back portions a little or try to eat more fresh foods instead of packaged foods.




What changes are you working on this year?
GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $150 Old Navy Gift Card

Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 1/19 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!







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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Books I Recommend Your Read [December]

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White Bodies by Jane Robins

This was a very interesting read about a sister who is worried that her twin is in an abusive relationship.  She's a snoop by nature and she uncovers some scary things about what's really going on in her sister's relationship.  Then someone ends up dead and as you read you feel like anyone could have done it! Great twist at the end too!

The River at Night by Erica Ferencik
This was a great and easy read about 4 women that decide to go on a treacherous white water rafting excursion, wreck, and end up stranded. There are a few horrific tragedies that occur while they are stranded and it's a fight for survival.   Great thrilling book by an author I never heard of before this book. 



When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Whalen

This book was about a town named Worthy and follows the different stories and viewpoints of several people involved in a tragedy, a scandal, and some other really sad but realistic things.   Everyone seems to intersect in some way and it shows how they are all impacted after the main tragic event.





The Child by Fiona Barton
This interesting read covers the lives of several people as an infant's body is discovered in their town.  One of them is the mother, one of them is a reporter, and one of them has a special involvement. I love how this book twists and turns.


Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
This book is amazing and there's even a Netflix movie about it. It's a book that tells the story of a white family back in the 40's when black people were still disrespected.   Two brothers butt heads and everything comes to a big explosion when one of them gets too friendly with a local black man.  This is a great book about racism and poverty and struggling to make ends meet with back breaking work. 


When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
This book kind of takes place in a distant future where there is no longer a line between religion and politics.   It's like everyone is brainwashed by religion.  And if you commit a crime like Hannah, the main character (She had an abortion after having an affair with a married priest), your punishment is that you are stained red all over your skin for a certain duration of time.   Hannah and her friend Kayla are trying to find a new world and a better life.






GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $200 Amazon Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 1/17 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas 2017 Recap




I had a grand old time this Christmas and I have some fun snapshots to share with you.











Of course the dogs were in their festive outfits.  

 
 
Christmas Eve my parents, brother, and grandma came over for cheese balls and Christmas cookies made by my mom.    I gave my mom and Grandma both a wedding album of photo prints of our special day.  



The dogs set out cookies, milk, and a note for Santa. 












And the next morning....

They got gifts! 
 



 
 Then it was time to prepare a Christmas Feast!


 I love my table setting this year!



 I got Sperry Winter boots, Narcisco Rodriguez perfume, a lap desk, gift card for getting my nails done, curling wand, and pepper spray!!
 













Then the day after Christmas (aka today) Stella went to the vet with me because she's been limping really bad the past few days.   Turns out she has what is comparable to a torn ACL in humans.   It needs to heal.  So after $300 some dollars in x-rays and medication she has to rest for the next 8 weeks, lost about a pound, and I bought a ton of random rugs to go all over the hardwood floors for her. OH MY!  Never a dull moment. 

How was your Christmas? What did you get? 








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Friday, December 22, 2017

Merry Christmas from My Family to Yours (+ a J. Crew Giveaway)







 I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to all of you.  I love my readers and I have big plans for this blog in 2018.  I need to step my game up and post more and post BETTER.


Thanks for sticking with me this long and I will be signing off until Wednesday when I come back with another giveaway!






GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $150 J.Crew Gift Card
 
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 1/12 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!














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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Things to Remember This Week & Target Instagram Giveaway ($150)






Before we officially jump into the holidays I figured I'd remind everyone of some things to keep in mind as we enter the chaos the next week or so will bring.



One cheat week won't hurt// Seriously live it up and eat all the food! People go to great lengths to make delicious food for you to enjoy so live it up!


You don't have to LIKE your family// So your racist uncle is going to be sitting near you at the dinner table this year....take a deep breath and remember that just because they're your family doesn't mean you have to like and agree with them.


Teach children to be grateful// Between sessions of intense present opening, make sure you remind your little ones to be grateful and to thank anyone and everyone who got them a gift.  Also try to have them watch as other people open gifts, so they understand that it's not just about THEM THEM THEM.


Be kind and slow down// Take a few extra moments to take it all in and enjoy it.  It'll be over before you know it.






And now.....


GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $150 Target Gift Card
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 1/10 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!










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How My Dogs Celebrate Christmas








Obviously I don't have children but that doesn't mean I don't have "kids" celebrating Christmas in my house every year.   Yes, that's right the dogs get gifts for Christmas!    So anyways, in case you were wondering - here's how my pups celebrate the holidays.

Santa Photos
This is a tradition that started when Pixie was just 2 years old.  She enjoyed visiting people and pets at the local pet stores and I'd always get her photo taken.  Over the years Grace has basically let it be known that she isn't a fan of photos with Santa so I usually just take Pixie and Stella.  However, this year we may have to skip it altogether because I'm just too darn busy on the days Santa's in town for them.

Stockings Hung
My pups each have their own stocking complete with a photo of themselves on it.  Every year on Christmas morning I make them open the gifts inside.  They seem to enjoy it even though they get confused and try to open each others. 

Gifts Galore
I also give them several wrapped gifts.  This year their gifts mainly include treats.  I'm especially excited about Tylee's Jerky from Chewy. These are 100% pork sirloin and they are great when I have to give the dogs something to occupy them and keep them out of my way if I'm cooking or cleaning or have company over. Sometimes I tear them into little pieces and use them as training rewards. These are human-grade too which means I basically would enjoy them if I decided I wanted a snack. LOL! ;-)   The dogs already love jerky type treats and I just want to keep them happy and healthy!





Christmas Dinner
My gang LOVES eating different during the holidays.  I usually spoil them by giving them different food and this year it's Victor Canned Food from Chewy! I went with the beef and veggie entrée in this all natural food. It's packed with vitamins and minerals so I know my gang will have a nice nutritious dinner. Rocky is my pickiest eater and I am confident he'll have no issues devouring this.   I tested some out with them and mixed it in with their regular food and it was gone in 10 seconds!

How do your four-legged kids celebrate the holidays?



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