Ask Away...: June 2018

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Reasons To Consider Wearing Hair Extensions

If you have ever considered the idea of buying some hair extensions but were not sure if they were worth the cost, you might be happy to hear there are more reasons to take the plunge than you would have originally thought. Everyone will purchases them for their own personal reasons. However, if you do decide to buy extensions online, purchase them from reputable companies such as On their website, you can shop with Eden hair extensions to buy clip in hair extensions online Australia and feel confident in your purchase. If you are still on the fence, below are some great reasons to finally get some.

The Length Of Your Hair

Many people have been sad to realize that their hair seems to only grow to a certain length. This can be frustrating when you want really long and full hair. Even when you do get your hair to a certain length, you will notice that it gets really thin towards the ends. Thankfully, you can have the thick and long hair you have always dreamed of within minutes using hair extensions. When you are looking to have longer hair for a night out, you can get the clip-on type to add to your current hairstyle.

Bad Haircuts

Most women have gone through the unfortunate event of getting a haircut that they were not so thrilled about. It can be depressing knowing that you will have to wait a long time for your hair to grow out. In the meantime, hair extensions could give you the ability to have your hair the way you want it while your real hair continues to grow. You don't have to be embarrassed with your regretful haircut.

New Color

It can be exciting to think about trying different colors and styles. However, making the actual change can be too scary and most people won't go through with it because they are afraid it won't turn out good. If you are wanting to experiment with different colors or styles, hair extensions can give you that without making permanent changes. With different extensions, you can play around with any color or style you want and not have to worry about being stuck with it if you don't like it.


A lot of women suffer from hair loss and thinning hair just like men do. Unfortunately, dealing with this can take a big hit to your self-confidence. If you are wanting to gain some of that confidence back, there are special hair extensions that are made specifically for thin hair. Using hair extensions can help to make you feel comfortable in your own skin again. For those that just have thinning hair, extensions can add some thickness to your style and make your hair look luxurious. You can quickly and easily get the volume you desire.

Try New Styles

If you love to change up your hair styles each day, you will find that adding extensions will give you many more options to play with. When you have short, thin or unruly hair, adding some extensions will give you a lot more hair to play with and style. You can add more colors and thickness to even the most simple hair styles. Your ponytails will be longer and thicker. Your bun can be bigger and more full-looking.

Special Occasions

For those that are not looking to change their hair each day, they can certainly add some extensions for a special occasion. Weddings, birthdays and other special events are the perfect opportunity to style your hair in a new way that will have everyone loving your hairdo.
When you are not happy with your hair or are wanting to find new and exciting ways to style it, hair extensions are the best way to go. You can try just about anything you desire when you have extensions to use. They are quick, easy and non-damaging to your current hair.
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Rocky's 14th Birthday!

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My sweet little man Rocky turned 14 on Monday!  I am so proud of him and what a good little boy he is but also it was a great way to celebrate his health despite having a heart condition for several years now.

Rocky may be 14 but he acts like a puppy.  He has so much energy and loves playing and enjoying the sunshine.

Here are some shots from his special day!

So to celebrate I made him little muffins! All the dogs got to enjoy them and they are packed with all natural ingredients that are safe for dogs.  I found the idea in a Hungry Girl magazine!

One of Rocky's gifts (aside from kisses and an entire day with me) were Blue Buffalo Sizzlers from Chewy.  We are big fans of Chewy AND Blue Buffalo and rocky loves bacon-style treats. They're made with real pork and have no artificial flavorings.  They give Rock man the taste of home-cooked bacon and have no by-product meal or corn, wheat, or soy.  They even have oatmeal and skim milk. Rocky loves these and they are easy for him to chew.

So make sure you wish Rocky a Happy Birthday! <3

3 Regular Expenses That May Help Your Family In The Long Run

Most financial advice is built around the same idea; save money, spend less. It’s a straightforward concept, if you save money, then you’ll have plenty lying around to help in difficult financial situations. Well, what if I told you that some monthly expenses may actually help your family in the long run.

That’s right, spending money may be a great way to help your family remain financially stable and organized, as well as allowing you to handle other aspects of life too. So, here are some expenses you may want to start making:

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Subscription Food Services

This is a very contemporary expense as it’s not something we’ve seen until recently. Basically, it refers to these online subscription services where you order meals, and the ingredients get delivered to your door. It’s a bit like ordering groceries online, only you get the ingredients for meals and nothing else.

Right away, I can see you wondering how this is a good expense to make. Well, think about how much money your family wastes on food every day. How many things are you constantly throwing away because they don’t get eaten? Even simple stuff like tins of pasta sauce of vegetables gets chucked because you bought too much. I saw a report on CNBC earlier this year that stated we waste an average of $1,500 on food every year!

Therefore, if you subscribe to a service that delivers set meals with the right amount of ingredients, you’ll minimize food waste. This is good for the environment, but also good for your family's bank balance too!

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Hiring Help Around The Home

The modern family is different to families of the past. Nowadays, both adults in the family work and the children go to school, etc. The result is a family that’s rarely in the house during the day. You also end up with a hectic life, which means things like home maintenance take a back seat. As a result, you could end up with a very messy home that makes you feel stressed as you never have time to clean it.

Now, this is where my idea comes in, as it may benefit your family to hire some help. Whether it’s a gardener or a cleaner, they can assist you with household tasks while you’re at work. This ensures your home stays well maintained, which can relieve so much stress and improve the quality of your life. There are things to consider when hiring someone, mainly their track record and the legality behind their work status. There are law firms out there like Davis & Associates that can help you with the legal side of things, to ensure you don’t accidentally hire illegal workers. As for their track record, consult families they’ve worked for before to be sure they’re trustworthy and do a good job.

It may seem like a needless expense, but this can benefit your family in the long run. It gives you time to focus on more important areas of your life; like working and looking after your kids. Plus, if your house is well maintained, then it means there’s less chance of problems occurring that lead to expensive repairs. So, it could theoretically save you some money even though you’re spending some.

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Credit Card Payments

A credit card can be beneficial for your family. You might not think this is an expense, but I’m counting it as one because you will have to pay off your balance every single month. For me, it’s a very smart way of controlling how much money you spend from month to month.

You see, when you get a credit card, it’s ‘loaded’ with a set amount of money. This is your credit limit, and you can’t spend more than it in a month. A good idea is to set yourself a limit to ensure you’ll never spend more than you’re bringing in. Then, use your credit card like a normal debit card and pay for things.

Hopefully, this should help you become more aware of your spending habits as you always have the limit in the front of your mind. It can prevent you from going crazy and spending loads - which you might do if you had a debit card. At the end of each month, you simply pay the credit card balance in full, and you’re good.

At first glance, these expenses may seem like luxury things to spend money on. However, when looking deeper into it, you realize they can help your family in many ways. Whether it’s reducing stress, saving money, or avoiding waste; there are benefits to making a few regular expenses.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

How To Grow Your Snapchat

Ahh Snapchat.  If you know it then you probably either love it or have no clue how to use it.  If you don't know it then let me school you a bit.

Before Facebook stories and Instastories there was Snapchat.  Snapchat lets you take videos and post them to your own feed or chat directly with someone.  Originally the snaps had to be only 10-15 seconds but now they can go much much longer.  They have really cool filters and overlays as well as a maps feature so you can see where your friends are.  I didn't use Snapchat at first and then last year I caved.  I realized that for someone that likes entertaining people it's perfect!  Some people post their daily life on Snapchat which is sort of what I do but I also do funny rants and film silly moments in my life. 

So here are a few basic tips to help grow your Snapchat channel.

If you want people to follow you, you need to tell them to.  Share the FOLLOW ME image from Snapchat settings on all social media channels on a regular basis, asking people to follow you and telling them what kind of content they can expect.  Type out your username as well.  You can also promote your Snapchat by telling folks to follow you in order to see what happened.  Sometimes if I have a hilarious conversation with my husband, I post on social media that if people want to see it, they have to follow me on Snapchat. It usually works.

Set a Theme
Decide the stuff you want to post and keep it light.  Don't do any huge sensitive topic debates, inappropriate rants, etc.  Know your audience.  My audience varies but the majority can handle a little cursing from me.  My theme is me using hilarious filters to pretend I'm a made up person, doing Friday Rants where I bitch about stuff that most people can relate to, silly videos of my dogs, and quick stories of embarrassing moments that happen to me throughout the day. 

Interact with Others
When people follow you, follow them back.  If they respond to a video of yours, acknowledge their response and say something back.  Watch their videos and respond to them.  You need to interact with people or they won't want to follow you.  

Share Relatable Content
People love to see stuff on social media where they can think "OMG I totally get that!".  Share things you know people can relate to.   You know, things like "that awkward moment where you put on two different socks and don't realize it until you're at work" with a photo of your mismatched socks.  Trust me this is what keeps people coming back. Nonstop snaps of your face aren't really relatable sorry.

Also, if you have Snapchat make sure you follow me! My SC name is ELLENR886! I promise it's worth your while!

You can also screen shot or take a photograph of my code and then follow me that way.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Tips for Staying Cool at Summer Weddings

Summer weddings are great! They're outside, there's great scenery for photos, and the lighting is always great even at night.  But if you're a guest to a summer wedding and you aren't prepared for the heat then you can really be miserable.

So today I have a few tips for you to follow when you're attending weddings this summer so you can stay cool, comfortable, and enjoy your time.

Wear Light Colors (but not white!)
If you wear a black dress or a dark blue dress you are going to regret it once the sun starts beating down on you. Dark colors attract the sunshine and you'll start to feel really overheated.  You can wear white if there's a pattern on it (floral is always nice for a wedding), or stick to pastel colors.  But seriously do NOT wear an all white dress or you are committing a major faux pas!  

Go Sleeveless
If at all possible, opt for a dress that has very short sleeves or none at all.  If you're concerned about getting a chill later in the evening or if the reception is inside, just bring a cardigan along. 

Hair Up
Since you may be sweating, your hairstyle can get ruined as it gets stuck to your neck and back so it's always a good idea to wear your hair up for an outdoor wedding especially in the hot months.  If you wear it down, bring along hair ties so you can put it up once you start dancing the night away.

Body Wipes and Mini Deodorant
You know that adorable little clutch you are planning to wear to the wedding? Well, load it up with some body wipes, powder to touch up your facial makeup, and a mini stick of deodorant so you can reapply in the bathroom and ensure you smell fresh all night long. Weddings and receptions can span an entire half a day so it's ALWAYS a good idea to freshen up halfway through.

Open Shoes
Most people complain that if their feet are hot, the rest of their body begins to overheat.  So wear open toed shoes or sandals.  Even flats and pumps that cover your toes can get hot and stuffy and start to stink.

How do you handle weddings in the summer heat?

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Everyday Finance Advice For New Parents

Whether you have just become a parent or you’re on the way to becoming one, there are certainly some things keeping you up at night. The thought of having a baby is, on the one hand, the most wonderful and precious experience on an emotional level, while, on the other hand, it can be a pretty unsettling and daunting experience from a financial point of view.

Therefore, the experience of having children is a great adventure, and at the same time, a huge responsibility. Not only do you need to nurture and teach your child, but you will also have to consider planning and investing in their future financially.

As a parent, and you surely know this already, you will be the one that’s fully responsible for the financial security of your child. Thus, you will need to take care of their health care costs and educational costs. Furthermore, you will have to invest in their academic future and make sure to provide them with a path of being financially secure and independent.

In order to do all this, here are some of the crucial financial pieces of advice for you to follow.

1. Set up your financial goals and priorities

Once you become a parent, you might notice that your goals have shifted. So, it is highly recommended that you get a clear picture of what your priorities and goals are.

Not only do you need to take care of yourself financially, but now you’ll need to think of your child, too. Starting from the groceries and accessories for the baby, you will see how your expenses will suddenly increase. Make a realistic plan of what the absolute essentials are and how much money you need in order to make everything work smoothly. 

2. Set a budget

Now that you’ve made a plan to cover all the new costs and expenses, start working on a budget. It’s very important to make a realistic budget. A bigger family size equals to an increase in your costs. What you need to do is make a monthly budget for the added expenses. And, most importantly, stick to it. 

3. Track your spending

You have to stay on top of your spending. Once you’ve come up with a budget, you’ll want to make sure that everything goes as planned. In case some changes come along the way, by tracking your spending, you’ll find it extremely easy to adjust to them. So, making some adjustments and tracking the budget will be essential for you to stay on top of the parenting game. Quickly enough, you’ll master the skill of budgeting, and you will definitely know what works best for your family. 

4. Think in advance

Living in the moment might be fun and interesting, but when you have children, it’s best to think and act in advance. It’s better to act early and prevent possible problems and issues that may come along the way unexpectedly. So, think about establishing an emergency fund. This fund will certainly come in handy. For instance, you might need to cover some unexpected medical costs. Thus, if you have set some money aside, you will be much more peaceful. That’s how you can make it easy for yourself even in the unanticipated situations. 

5. Put the baby first, but still...

As it was mentioned, having children can be costly. There are going to be so many different things to think about, such as food, clothes, education costs, etc. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to prioritize those costs over your own financial goals. Having a baby doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to forget your dreams of a new home, vehicle or a dream vacation. Learn how to balance everything, and you won’t have to be frustrated and losing sleep over this.

The good news is that you can always rely on a låne penger (eng. consumer loan). That’s right - you are not alone in this. In case you find yourself struggling, don’t get discouraged. Getting a consumer loan is a great thing, as it is fast and easy. Just think about it. Find out how much you need. Stay realistic with your options and stick to the plan. This way, you can have it all. It’s that easy!

All in all, having a baby is a wonderful thing. It can change your life in so many ways that you might not even imagine. The key to keeping things balanced is to pace yourselves. You don’t have to deprive yourself or to lose yourself in order to have a child. You just need to set your goals, make a budget, stick to a plan and that’s it. Also, if there comes a time when you struggle to keep it together financially, there’s always a solution. Getting a consumer loan might be an ideal one for you.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

4 Rules to Follow to Protect Your Hair in the Summer

Does summer make your hair dry and brittle? Does it fade your color and make your scalp uber oily?  Well, there are some rules about protecting your hair, especially in the summer, that you should definitely be following if you want your hair to look gorgeous and your color to stay vibrant.

I swear we are so high maintenance.  We can't even go swimming without worrying about effects on our hair but that's just how it is if you wanna take care of your hair and skin.   Not to mention the sweating and greasy scalp that comes from the really hot and humid days.  You want to shower every day and wash your hair, but that's not the best thing for it.  So what do you do? Well check out these rules!

I know it would be so nice to be like a kid again and just dive headfirst into a pool on a horrifically hot and humid summer day, but unfortunately that's a no-no if you want to protect your hair.  Not only is chlorine an extremely harsh chemical when it comes to skin and hair, but if you have your hair colored it can really mess up the color.  If you love swimming, purchase a swim cap to cover your scalp completely.  If you

Rule #2: COVER UP
If you are going to be out in the sun for a long period of time, cover your head.  Whether it's a fashionable hat, a head scarf, or an umbrella, make sure you are protecting it from the direct rays of the sun. Not only does this prevent your hair color from fading in the sun but it also prevents a nasty sunburn on exposed parts of your scalp.

Whenever you heat style you should be using a heat protectant spray and whenever you plan to be in the sun you should consider a UV protecting spray product.  You can find them from a variety of brands at any beauty store or drug store.  They usually offer UV protection as well as nutrients and ingredients that your hair needs to be strong and also gives it a nice smell.

Rule #4: TIE IT BACK
If you're going to be in a pool, around salt water, or around dirt and mud, tie your hair back.  It will keep it from getting dirty and tangled and you won't have to wash it excessively during the summer which causes it to dry out.  Consider using dry shampoo to help cut back on grease and oil so you can longer in between washes.

What steps do you take to protect your hair in the summer?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Why Your Debt Situation Isn't as Desperate as You Think

When you find yourself with big debt problems, it’s very easy to feel desperate and despondent about the whole situation. However, it is possible to turn things around and get out of debt if you're willing to make changes and take the right approach. So rather than assuming that your debt problems are near inescapable, you should adopt a more realistic and positive mindset going forward. That might sound hard to do, but here’s why your debt situation isn’t as desperate as it seems.

You Can Find Free and Independent Advice

If you don’t know where to turn but you need help with tor situation, it makes sense to talk to someone willing and able to offer professional, free and independent to you. This is more than possible thanks to debt advice charities. You can call up with help and you’ll know that they’re helping you, not working for a bank or creditor because those places often don’t have your best interests at heart.

Take Steps to Reduce the Interest

Reducing the interest you pay on your debts is one great way to help you get out of the situation you find yourself in. By moving money around and maybe combining your debts, you’ll be able find the most favourable interest rate possible and that’s what matters more than anything else. You’ll find it much easier to reduce your debts if the interest on them isn’t as large as it might otherwise be.

There Are Restructuring Options

However bad your debt situation looks right now, there are ways to turn things around, and one of those ways involves restructuring your debt and making it easier for you to pay off going forward. Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one way of doing this, so don’t be scared off by the name. It is also referred to as a wage earner’s plan and it’s not what most people think of when they hear bankruptcy, so it’s worth looking into.

You Could Refinance Your Home

If things are really getting on top of you but you’re a homeowner, you should make the most of that fact and refinance your home. It will allow you to release some equity, providing you with a little more room for manoeuvre, which can only be a fit good thing. But don’t take this decision lightly.

Your Lifestyle Can Change

Many people find themselves in financial difficulties because they’re allowing their lifestyles to get a little too far out of control. By changing how you live your life and how you spend your money each week and month, you might be able to make your financial problems look a little less desperate than they do now.

As all of these points should prove to you, getting out of your debt situation and turning things around is more possible than you assume. If you take the right approach and take logical steps towards where you want to be in your financial life, you’ll start paying off your debts in no time.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Cleaning Outside My Home with Mean Green Super Strength

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Winter was spent cleaning the inside of my home top to bottom and Spring was spent purging and organizing.  But now that Summer is digging it's heels in, it's time for me to show off how I cleaned the outside of my home.  We have several outdoor living spaces now since we have a patio, a garden bed area, AND a screened in porch so there was lots to do.  Not to mention we have a garage that my husband is always in so we like to keep that area nice and clean as well. 

For cleaning outside the house my go to product is Mean Green Super Strength Cleaner & Degreaser.  It's a strong multi-purpose cleaner and degreaser that can cut through grease and grime on most surfaces.  It's great because even though it's super powerful it can still work on delicate surfaces like fabric but also a surface as tough as concrete.  I can use it inside the home too (and I have) but it's definitely the star product for outside the house. 
A nice clean swipe where Mean Green annihilated the pollen, dirt, and grime from an entire Winter and Spring season

Patio Furniture || Patio furniture gets DISGUSTING especially with all the pollen in the air from Spring.  I use Mean Green Super Strength on a nearly weekly basis to scrub down the patio chairs and the table.  If we're going to be eating and drinking off that table I can't have pollen everywhere getting on my food.

It's also great for spot cleaning stains that randomly appear (thanks a lot dogs!) on the patio furniture cushions. 

Under the Hood of My Car || In addition to the Mean Green Auto & Garage to do the initial degunking of the grime and grease in my engine bay, I do a weekly cleaning with Mean Green Super Strength.  I just spray it on a microfiber cloth and get any dirt off the plastic parts under the hood. 

I know most people probably don't care about how it looks underneath their hood but I do because when James works on stuff on my car, it's cleaner for him to maneuver his fingers around without getting covered it oil and grease.

Vinyl Fencing || So we got this beautiful vinyl privacy fence to go with our patio that will be completed this month and it's white, which means it will get dirty and we will need to keep up with cleaning it.   While we will pressure wash using Auto & Garage, I like to spot clean it with Mean Green Super Strength.  It's great for bird droppings, random overspray dirt that comes from hosing off the chairs of concrete, and just overall dirt and pollen from the air.

Storm Door || The storm door is white so of course that means dirt and grime gets stuck easily and shows very obviously.   It's super easy to just give it a quick wipe down with Mean Green Super Strength and then it looks brand new!  

Keeping the outside of my home clean and attractive is just as important to me as the inside and that's why I'm so glad I have a versatile cleaning product like Mean Green Super Strength as well as Mean Green Auto & Garage.

Monday, June 11, 2018

6 Practical Facial Skincare Tips for Summer

Summer is here and while it's nice that you can do more things outside of the house, it can really take a toll on your skin.  Different seasons call for different skincare advice since you're battling different amounts of humidity and different activity.   So check out these 6 practical skincare tips for your face and keep that glowing face of yours beautiful and healthy all summer long.

I know it's the most commonly spouted bit of advice but there's a reason for that.  Not only can unprotected skin get burnt to a crisp, but it can increase your chance of skin cancer, wrinkles, and sun spots.  This doesn't mean you can't enjoy being outdoors, just be smart.  Even when I lay out for 15 minutes on a random Saturday, I am covered in sunscreen especially on my face.  Even if you have makeup on that says it has an SPF, it may not be enough. Be smart and just apply sunscreen! There's even special formulas that work with difficult skin on the face that prevents breakouts.

If you don't think drinking water is important for your face, just google what a dehydrated persons face looks like.  It's always important to drink several glasses of water each day especially if you're outside in the sun or doing physical activity that makes you sweat.  Remember that sweat is water leaving your body so you need to replenish it.  A hydrated face has a nice complexion, fewer breakouts, and a nice glow!

If you are going to be out in the blazing sun with little to no shade around you, consider wearing a sun hat.  You know those gorgeous big beige hats that are actually pretty fashionable? Well, not only will you look pretty but you'll protect your head from sunburn and sweating profusely. 

Sunglasses are a fashionable way to prevent squinting and sun damage.  Both of those things can cause wrinkles and fine lines so why would you want to be walking around struggling to see?  Look for sunglasses that block out enough light that you can still drive safely without being bothered by reflections off of car windows around you. Again, this is another way to be fashionable and sun smart.  

In the winter, washing your face too much can actually dry it out but in the summer you're sweating a lot more and your pores can get clogged.  If you notice your face is extra greasy and oily or that you're getting more breakouts, consider washing it twice a day.  For me, my skin is still dry in the morning so I just rinse it and blot it dry with a towel.  But in the evening after I remove my makeup with special oil-based remover wipes, I do a thorough cleansing and scrub all of the debris off my face so that it can't clog my pores and cause breakouts.

Some people think that since you sweat more in the summer you don't have to moisturize your face as much.  That's not true at all.  Especially if you've been in the sun, your skin needs to be hydrated with a good moisturizer that won't clog your pores.  Every time you use a cleanser on your face you should always moisturize afterwards since cleansers usually leave your skin dry.

What do you do in the summer to take extra good care of your face?

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Simple Tips for a Stress Free Vacation

Tis the season for vacations and extended weekend getaways and for most of us that means time to relax in the sun.  But for some of us, vacations can end up  being very stressful not just before but during and after.  So today I put together some very simple but super important tips that should help your vacation go smoothly and make the transition to and from vacation much more easy.  

Make A Packing List
Seriously I can't believe how many people DON'T do this.  A packing list is a surefire way to NOT forget anything important.  Run through your trip on a day to day basis like what you will want to wear, where you will go, what daily routine you will keep up (hair, makeup, etc.) and that should help you compile all the items and pieces of clothing you will need.  Type or write a list so that you can cross stuff off as you pack it.  Think of everything even emergency situations where you might need something you didn't pack like extra underwear, first aid supplies, or spare sunglasses. The whole act of making a list usually helps people feel less anxious about packing since you get your brain organized instead of just letting all the random things you "need to remember to pack" float around in your head.

Plan Your Outfits
This goes hand in hand with packing.  Look at what the weather will be like and the places you are planning to visit then dress accordingly.  It makes it easier to pack enough clothing so that you have different options too. 

Plan Meals
If you are going to eat out every day that's fine but some people like to bring stuff along so make sure you plan out your packed meals and any extra snacks.  Then try to plan out where and what you'll be eating on what days when it comes to eating at restaurants.  Don't be afraid to make reservations either so you're guaranteed a spot and your vacay goes as planned.

Schedule an Extra Day Off
Some people don't do this and I notice they are super frazzled when they come back to the office the day after their vacation.  They didn't have any time to decompress. When I travel I always take an extra day off for after I get home so I can unpack, run any errands for the upcoming week, and decompress and readjust to my normal routine.  It makes such a difference on my first day back at work.  Whenever I don't do that I often feel run down and sometimes I even get sick. 

Stick to a Budget
Figure out how much money you want to spend then use those amounts to determine what activities you'll do and how much money will be used on each event.  This also helps you decide whether you should eat out for every meal or plan a few nights in where you cook so that you can save money.  Also knowing how much you have to spend keeps your shopping in check.  If you don't have money allocated to go clothing shopping - DON'T DO IT! Sticking to a budget will help alleviate that constant nagging anxiety where you ask yourself "Crap, how much have I spent so far?".

Plan Activities and Down Time
Vacations are supposed to be relaxing and scheduling your activities and plans will help them go more smoothly.  You'll have an idea of timing and schedules and if you decide to not do something you planned on, that's okay too because it just means you'll have more down time. Do a little research on what activities are available in the area you'll be and make reservations or other plans so that everything goes smoothly and on time.

Notify Police and Neighbors
You should always let your local police know when you'll be away.  They can come and do daily perimeter checks around your house making sure no one entered while you were gone.  It's also a good idea to have a trustworthy neighbor aware that you'll be away so they can keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.  Always ask a neighbor to bring in the mail and newspaper so it's not obvious you're away.  And it doesn't hurt to ask them to do a walk through in your house every other day just to make sure nothing happened like a leak, etc.

With these simple but important tips in mind your vacation plans should go off without a hitch!

Do you have anything you MUST do before or during a vacation to keep it stress free?


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

4 Unique Father's Day Gift Ideas

Father's day is June 17th so you still have some time to get the perfect gift.  But after all these years, I struggle to find something that's fun and different but still practical.  So I decided to put together a few unique ideas.  

All You Can Eat Crabs/Wings
Dads love food and they love it even more when there is no limit so look for specials in your local restaurants for all you can eat crab or chicken wings.  A lot of times breweries and vineyards will have these types of events too.  You can either do it around Father's Day or just gift him the tickets to go at a later time that works for the both of you.

Steak Delivery
Yep, that's right, you can use a variety of online services to order steaks for your dad.  They can come as just steaks or even with the sides he would want with his meal and you can choose all different quantities.  Omaha Steaks has plenty of fun packages to choose from that you can either have delivered to your home and have your dad over for dinner or just have it sent to him to eat at his leisure. 

Sports Game Tickets
If your dad loves sports, gift him the experience of attending a game in the future with you.  Even if you aren't a fan of sports but he is, it will mean a lot to him that you go along.  Sometimes you can even splurge and get deluxe seating or a ticket for unlimited beer and buffet!

Drive Experiences
There are plenty of places in almost every big city nearby that allow you a chance to ride in a fancy sports car.  Some places even let you drive them in a closed course.  If your dad loves cars then this is probably a good gift idea for him! If it's a place that isn't local consider taking a weekend trip with him!

These aren't the most unique ideas but they are different than a tie and a card, that's for sure!

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Tips for Keeping Your Home Clean When You Have Pets

When you’re a mom, keeping your home clean can seem like an impossible feat. You may feel like you’re constantly picking up and trying to keep things clean, especially if this is a big priority for you. Even when the entire family pitches in on cleaning, it’s still a big job. Adding a dog or pet to that can make things even more challenging.

When you’re a dog or pet owner, your four-legged friends might have a habit of making huge messes, plus there tend to be ongoing problems like fur and odors.

So is it possible to have a home that’s kid and pet-friendly, but is also clean and well-maintained?

The answer is yes, with tips like the ones below.

Make Sure Your Dog Gets Plenty of Exercise

The more exercise you can make sure your dog gets outside, the less likely you are to see accidents and destruction happening in the house. For example, if you’ve ever gone to work for the day and you’ve come home to find your dog has destroyed the sofa, it may be because your dog was feeling anxious and wanting to get outside.

If you are busy during the day or you’re away from home, there are dog walking services that can be extremely beneficial. For example, according to Wag! Walking service, some of the benefits include an activity report after each walk. This will help you prevent a lot of the biggest messes your dog might make throughout the day when you’re not around.

Keep Your Pets Clean

Once you have a plan in place to keep your pet happy and well-exercised during the day, it becomes more about maintenance to keep a clean and simultaneously pet-friendly home.

Keeping your pet clean can help your entire home stay cleaner. You want to rinse your dog off with plain water on a regular basis and find a place in your home where you can contain your damp dog until he or she dries. Occasionally, you’ll also want to do a full bath with dog shampoo.

Many dog breeds also require regular trimming and de-shedding, which will mean visits to the groomer. You can also brush your dog daily outdoors to keep some of the extra hair at bay that might otherwise end up on your floors and furniture.

Along with cleaning your pets, make sure you’re regularly cleaning the places they lie. In particular, don’t forget to wash your pet beds. Make sure you choose options that are washable, and you might wash them as often as weekly because they hold odor.

Invest in a Great Vacuum

When you’re a family with pets, having a high-quality vacuum cleaner is a must. You want a vacuum cleaner specifically designed to pick up pet hair, dander, and allergens. Some of the features to look for include very strong suction, a good brush that pulls the hair off with some force, and also a good filter.

Ideally, you might want a versatile vacuum that can go across all floor types, and you need to make sure you’re regularly cleaning your filter. If your filter gets clogged, it’s going to spread the smell of your pet throughout your home.

Before vacuuming, sprinkling baking soda on the carpets and rugs can help eliminate odors.

Along with a traditional vacuum, some pet owners have found that having a robotic vacuum is a great option for them. A robotic vacuum can be programmed and can continuously work on keeping up the pet hair and dander and maintaining clean floors. A robotic vacuum isn’t going to do all the work, but it can help you house stay cleaner in between regular vacuuming and mopping sessions.

Organize Your Home’s Entrance

Dogs and pets in general can track in quite a bit when they come in the door after playing outside or being taken for a walk. Try to optimize your entrance to keep as much of the mess contained there as possible.

For example, you should have one container where you put all of your dog’s supplies, so they’re not being dragged everywhere. It can also be a good idea to use grooming wipes, and keep them in the entranceway. Grooming wipes can help eliminate odors and allergens from your dog’s fur.

There are also mats that are specifically designed to soak up dirt, mud, and water from pet’s paws.

Finally, you’ll want to keep odors at bay at all time. There are different options from essential oil diffusers, to the use of activated charcoal products that absorb bad odors.

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