A Brief Health & Fitness Update

Friday, August 31, 2018

When I last posted about a month or so ago I had lost weight but was loving the curves I still had. 

I'm  here to update you but I don't know what I weigh.  And I don't care. I stopped looking.  I stopped obsessing.

I eat because I love food.   I enjoy it.  I don't gorge or binge eat anymore.  But I still eat.

I took a break from exercise and strict dieting to just enjoy my summer and enjoy life.  And it's worked. I think I look fine and I feel AMAZING!

This is so typical of me, always back and forth, up and down.  But I think I'm finally happy now.  As long as I have a little bit of a belly I'll just have to deal!

4 Mistakes People Make After A Car Accident

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Even the most cautious drivers are at risk of ending up in an accident at some point in their lives. You can be as careful as you like on the road but you never know who else is out there and you can’t predict what they’re going to do. If you do find yourself in a car accident, it’s essential that you react in the right way and take the proper steps in the immediate aftermath, otherwise, the situation will end up being a lot worse than it needs to be. These are the most common mistakes that people make after an accident and how you can avoid them.

Not Calling The Police

You need to call the police as soon as you get into an accident, regardless of how small the accident. People often think that they don’t need to get the police involved if it’s just a little scratch but that’s not the case. If you
hit somebody and drive off, you’re breaking the law and you’re going to get found out. The police also need to be there to take statements and make judgment about who was to blame for the crash. If there is a dispute about who’s insurance company should be covering the costs, you’ll need those police reports.

Not Taking Enough Photos

If you’re in an accident because of somebody else's bad driving, you’ll want to make a claim. In order to do that, you’re going to need evidence of the damage as well as any injuries that you might have sustained during the crash. If you don’t have any proof, it’s just your word against theirs. What you need to do is take plenty of photos of the car and your own injuries and take them to an
auto accident attorney to look at. They’ll be able to tell you whether you’ve got a case or not and help you set the wheels in motion.

Not Seeing A Doctor

Taking photographs of your injuries is important but you need a professional to vouch for you. It’s not just about the initial injuries, it’s about how your ability to get on with your everyday life has been affected by the accident. You might need treatment for your injuries as well which is why it’s essential that you go to see a doctor right away, even if you don’t feel like you need to. They’ll also be able to give you an official report of your injuries which you might need later on when you’re making a claim.

Going Straight To The Insurance Company

You need to report the accident to your insurance company soon after the crash but don’t go straight to them before seeking legal advice. They’ll be looking for ways to avoid paying you so when you try to make your claim, you need to make sure that you’ve got all of the right information etc. By speaking to a legal professional first, you can ensure that you’re doing everything right.

If you’re making these mistakes in the aftermath of a car accident, the whole experience will be a lot more difficult for you.

Pixie & Grace Birthday Recap

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My two original girls are a year older and I want to cry. Pixie I had since 2005 and I got Grace 2 years later in 2007.  They were an adorable little duo for a couple more years before I got Stella in 2010.  Anyways, they've always shared a birthday a week apart with Pixie on August 31st and Grace on August 24th and since they are the best of buddies I always have a joint celebration.

This year the gift was courtesy of Chewy - the Goody Box - Grain-Free Box for Dogs.

I was super impressed with this box!  Each selection of food and treats is handpicked for dogs and every box contains 5 or more full size goodies.  All the brands of products are premium brands that are grain-free.  It's a great way to sample different products and foods to see if your dog is ready for a change or just an occasional treat. And these boxes always come with free shipping and make a great special occasion gift!

Inside this box was:
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Wet Food - White Fish & Sweet Potato formula in Broth
This was a big hit with Pixie as she has hardly any teeth so food like this that comes in a broth makes it easy for her to consume.  The highly digestible grain-free formula is great for keeping things running through her system smoothly.  She loved the flavor!

Solid Gold Chewy Dog Treats in Turkey, Sweet Potato and Cinnamon
Again, a great treat option especially because it's easy on Pixie and Grace's little teeth. It's full of protein in the first ingredient (Turkey) and the sweet potatoes give the girls some good fiber.  There's even pumpkin and kelp in this recipe!  It's great for senior dogs with sensitive teeth, too!

Hartz Bug Eyes Dog Toy
Grace loved this darn thing.  She's a chewer and this is great for tough chewers plus it's hilarious to watch the eyes pop out!

Merrick Power Bites Beef Chewy Dog Treats
Another great treat because it's soft and easy on aging dogs and their mouths. All of my dogs seemed to go wild for these treats and loved the beef flavor.  They are a great training reward because of their small and convenient size.

Nulo Freestyle Trainers Duck Recipe
These are another great training reward and they come in handy when Pixie is out on her therapy pet visits.  These treats have duck as the first ingredient as well as blueberries, cherries, honey, and chickpeas.  There's a lot of great nutrients in these and it's only 2 calories per treat so I don't have to worry about making Pixie put weight on.

K9 Natural Meat Mates
This is a delicious food topper and it's great for using on days when my gang seems picky.  It uses just a single source protein that's sustainably farmed from New Zealand. I love freeze dried items because it's less mess for me to serve to the pups.  Regardless, these guys LOVED this topper!

Make sure to wish Pixie and Grace a happy birthday!

5 Ways I'm Living A More Conscious Lifestyle

Monday, August 27, 2018

I received compensation from Bayer Consumer Health, makers of MiraLAX® to write this post. MiraLAX® is a laxative used to treat occasional constipation.  All opinions are entirely my own.  #ReliefMadeEasy #CollectiveBias

I used to be one of those people that just flew through my day and didn't make it a point to properly care for myself whether it was physically or mentally. Of course I was younger then and I was probably more resilient but nowadays I am totally embracing a more conscious lifestyle where I'm taking better overall care of myself.

The ways in which I have become more conscious of how I live are actually pretty basic and if you want to start living a more conscious lifestyle you can definitely learn from me.

||Staying Hydrated||I know how important water is for the body so I make it a point to drink 6-8 glasses a day out of a giant water bottle that I keep at my desk at work. I fill it up about 3 times a day and I make myself drink to certain levels on the bottle by certain times of the day. I am a creature of habit and I love routines so now that drinking water at certain times is part of my daily routine it makes it easy to get the recommended amount. Water keeps my skin clear and gives me energy throughout the day without feeling worn out and overheated. I also notice I don't mindlessly snack on junk food throughout the day because my stomach is full with water. 

 On days I don't drink enough water I feel very hungry and very groggy. Even on weekends now I make sure to keep up with my water intake. If I get sick of regular water I drink flavored water so that I can't use the typical "Water is boring" excuse.

||Eating A Proper Diet||
Gone are the days of me eating frozen dinners and fast food. I make sure to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner AND I choose healthy WHOLE food options. When I am eating real meats, fruits, veggies, and grains and avoiding processed foods I notice that I feel better overall and it's easier for me to stay active by working out and continue keeping fit.

I actually enjoying cooking and so I prepare my dinners and I skip dessert. Instead I'll munch on some fruits so I'm getting natural sugars rather than added sugars.

||Getting Enough Sleep||
I go into lights out mode immediately at 10pm. I have my cell phone set up so that it blocks any incoming notification sounds until my alarm goes off the next morning. I found that when I get a full 7 hours of sleep I wake up feeling refreshed and can get through my day with plenty of energy and focus. I do the same activity to wind down every night before bedtime and I stick to a very similar sleep schedule.

If I don't get enough sleep I make sure to take it easy the next day as much as possible. I have learned to listen to my body and it's needs.

||Limiting Stress||
Everyone gets stressed from time to time but a lot of it has to do with how you allow things to affect you on a daily basis. Overtime I've become a master at staying positive and actively choosing not to let trivial things get me bent out of shape. When my stress levels are higher my body doesn't feel good and I begin a negative mood spiral which makes me unpleasant to be around. So now when I encounter something that begins to stress me out I ask myself if this is really a big deal or if I can quickly conquer it.

||Staying Comfortable||
All of the above things have really helped me but by far the biggest way I'm living a more conscious lifestyle for myself is by staying comfortable when it comes to relieving occasional constipation. My go to solution for that is MiraLAX® because it works with your body's natural process to give you effective relief from occasional constipation. MiraLAX® works with the water in your body, providing a gentle experience without harsh side effects. Obviously you should always use it as directed. MiraLAX® is different from stimulant laxatives that make your body go by forcefully stimulating the nerves in your colon.

Sometimes life is busy and stressful and your body just gets thrown off and when that happens I love having the option of MiraLAX® in bottles as well as MiraLAX® Single Dose Mix-In Pax®.

The awesome thing about the Mix-In Pax is that you can mix them into any hot or cold drink even if you're on the go or away from home so it's always convenient and discreet. I usually keep a few of them in my purse or in my desk at work.

And the MiraLAX® itself can even be mixed into smoothies.  This is great because I love smoothies in the summer time.

You can find MiraLAX® and MiraLAX® Mix-In Pax at Rite Aid in the laxatives aisle like I did.  You can even save on any Mira-LAX® product with this coupon.

So as you can see, with some gradual lifestyle changes you can definitely begin to embrace a more conscious lifestyle and you will reap a lot of benefits! I feel so much better about myself both inside and out.

Books I Recommend You Read [August]

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Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott
This was a book that was hard to put down because I just wanted to find out what was really going on.  A group of lab partners are gunning for the positions of being able to work on a new study of an affliction that causes some women do act out in rage.  Kit (the main character) suddenly sees someone from her past (Diane) is now joining them in the lab.  Diane told her a very very big secret years ago and Kit has been tortured by it. When Kit accidentally spills the beans to someone who then ends up dead, everything begins to unravel quite quickly.  

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
This is an eerily realistic story about a mom whose daughter seems to be a psychopath even at age 4. She refuses to speak except she utters horrible things to her mom when dad isn't around. As the book unfolds we see how much of a master manipulator this child is and we can only hope her dad will see it too.

The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall

In 1949, dutiful and ambitious Charlotte's dream of a career in advertising is shattered when her father demands she help out with the family business. Meanwhile, Charlotte is swept into the glamorous world of the Miss Subways beauty contest, which promises irresistible opportunities with its Park Avenue luster and local fame status. But when her new friend―the intriguing and gorgeous fellow-participant Rose―does something unforgivable, Charlotte must make a heart-wrenching decision that will change the lives of those around her forever.
Nearly 70 years later, outspoken advertising executive Olivia is pitching the NYC subways account in a last ditch effort to save her job at an advertising agency. When the charismatic boss she’s secretly in love with pits her against her misogynistic nemesis, Olivia’s urgent search for the winning strategy leads her to the historic Miss Subways campaign. As the pitch date closes in on her, Olivia finds herself dealing with a broken heart, an unlikely new love interest, and an unexpected personal connection to Miss Subways that could save her job―and her future.
The Subway Girls is the charming story of two strong women, a generation apart, who find themselves up against the same eternal struggle to find an impossible balance between love, happiness, and ambition.

The Wife by Alafair Burke
This book had me up and down emotionally. I became frustrated and angry with the characters as they transformed.  What at first seems like a husband that went astray, and killed his mistress when word got out, may actually be way deeper than anyone realizes. And is his wife a victim or is she in control of a lot more than anyone knows?

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning
A nice easy read about a girl that lost her best friend and is now in a dark place.  Then one day she sees someone that looks like her friend and they both meet some guys.  This book has lots of magic and plenty of secrets.

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch
 This book is about a soldier that helped overthrow the oppressor of an island ruled by religion.  Adjusting to life after the war is difficult and when someone goes missing everyone tries to figure out what happened and how to solve it.

Stella the Therapy Dog

Friday, August 24, 2018

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So it's been a little over a month since Stella became a therapy dog with KPETS just like her sister Pixie. She
has been to several places now and seems to be getting right into the swing of things.  I think she's a natural.   However I wanted to highlight some important things especially when it comes to little dogs like Stella.

Doing therapy work basically means Stella gets lots of attention and interaction with people which seems easy enough but it can be exhausting for any dog and it seems to wipe smaller breeds out even more quickly.  I always look for any calming signals from Stella to show me that she is starting to get bored or overwhelmed and is ready to leave.  Sometimes she'll do that by licking her lips a lot or yawning a few times in a row.   I make sure to reassure her that she's a good girl and then I start to withdraw from what we are doing so I can exit with Stella.

If you ever get into pet therapy make sure you always listen to your dog and their needs.  Even if we can only do a 15 minute visit that's fine because it's all Stella can handle.  The dog is always the boss.  There's no point in forcing them to keep going when they are done with it and in fact that can cause issues because they can be a little less friendly with people.

Since Stella is a hard working gal I mad sure to get her on a great food.  Nutro Ultra Grain Free Dog Food from Chewy is great for Stella since she gets itchy very easily and I really do believe it has to do with grains in her food.  Stella LOVES the Beef Potato and Spinach Recipe and I love that the first ingredient is ALWAYS real beef.  She has a really shiny coat and her digestion seems a bit more on track with this food.  And since Stella had issues with an ACL injury before, it's important that I give her a food that has vitamins and nutrients to help build up strong bones and joints.  
moment with Nutro Ultra Dog Food.

I'm also glad there's no by-product meal, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial flavors and preservatives.  Sometimes I even mix a little wet food in with her dry kibble.  And of course this food gives me great peace of mind because it's made in the USA and is sourced from trusted farmers and suppliers when it comes to ingredients.

I'll continue to post updates on how Stella does as a therapy dog!    

How To Grow Your Email Subscribers

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

As a blogger or even a small business owner, you should know by now how important it is to have an email newsletter whether it's daily, weekly, monthly, or on an as needed basis.  Email newsletters keep your fans and readers informed when they can't make it directly to your website or blog or see you on social media.  The email gets directly to them in their inbox so they practically HAVE to see it.

So today I wanted to go over a few tips to help you grow your email subscribers.

1. Ask people to sign up.
Yes, it's as simple as that. Some people may not think to sign up until you ask. So post it on your social media along with a link to sign up at.  At the end of each blog post, make a one liner explaining why people should remember to subscribe to your newsletter. 

2. Offer something in return.
It can be a free printable, access to a cool tutorial, or even an ebook.  It always makes the offer to subscribe way more appealing when someone gets something in return.  You know how when you visit a kiosk somewhere and they tell you that you'll get a free pen for giving them your email address? Isn't that more appealing than if they gave you nothing?

3. Set an appropriate schedule.
Some people get annoyed with a new email every time you make a new blog post so set a decent schedule of a daily or weekly email that goes out.  If you post often then a daily or weekly email should be suffice.  If you post a couple times a month, a monthly email may be suffice.

4. Make it a bonus entry for a giveaway.
When you run giveaways on your blog or website, make sure you ask them to subscribe to your email newsletter for an extra entry.  It's a great way to stack new subscribers. Make sure they don't have to do any work of tracking down the place to sign up.  Just give them the link that takes them directly to the sign up space.

5. Let them know what they're signing up for.
It's ALWAYS a great idea to entice potential sign-ups but simply letting them know what they'll get.  If it's a daily email with beauty tips and a recap of your week's blog posts, LET THEM KNOW.

What makes YOU more likely to subscribe to someone's email list?

Keeping Calm with ThunderWorks

Monday, August 20, 2018

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I don't know about your pets but 3 of my 4 Chihuahuas are NOT a fan of fireworks and thunderstorms.  I mean they become little babies and follow me around trembling.  If I'm not home they'll hide.  Some people ask how I know they are showing signs and symptoms of anxiety. Well, it's easy.  Stella goes to a corner and stares at the wall. 

Grace pants excessively, holds a paw up, and gets real restless.  Or if I'm around she'll want to be snuggled right up against me.

Rocky puts his ears straight up and back and he will tremble and stare at me with buggy eyes. 

Oh and Pixie? She doesn't care. Not one bit.  Nothing phases her.

It's heartbreaking to watch and I always say I would try anything to make it easier on them.  So I did.  And I am so happy with the results from using ThunderWorks products. 

The first thing I tried is the Dog Pheromone Diffuser Kit. This uses calming pheromones to mimic the natural pheromones emitted by dogs and cats to calm themselves. It was actually tested to be over 90% effective for reducing anxiety and unwanted behavior that sometimes comes along with it. I'm lucky I don't see this in my dogs but some people have dogs that can get destructive or noisy.  This is a totally drug-free way to help your dog (or cat) feel less-stressed and safer.  You can use it in any room that your dog or cat uses the most.  It's great for problem barking, keeping pets calm when socializing or training, destructive chewing, loud noises like thunder and fireworks, and uneasiness that comes from being in a new home or environment.

It looks like your average air freshener/diffuser plug in so your guests probably won't even see it.  It's nice and discreet and only your dogs can smell it.

It goes good with pretty much any room d├ęcor so don't worry about that.  Once I started using it during the really bad thunderstorms we had a couple weeks ago I couldn't believe the difference.  Rocky kept sleeping, Stella stirred a bit but didn't go to a corner, and Grace didn't even react to the thunder.  It was loud too so this wasn't just a small storm that they may not have heard.

See? Grace doesn't even notice it's there.   I really love the fact that I don't have to dose my dogs with any medications or drugs to keep them calm and relaxed during scary and stressful moments anymore. 

The Thunderessence Dog Calming Essential Oil Drops were another awesome solution. These are 100% natural essential oils from Lavender, Chamomile, and Egyptian Geranium.  These are common oils that have been used for calming and health benefits in both humans and dogs.  They are perfect for at home, vet visits, car rides, and pretty much any stressful scenario. I actually like to put a drop or two right in their bedding at home or in their car seat blanket when we are travelling.  It's made vet visits so much easier and if I put a drop or two in their bedding when I know a thunderstorm is on it's way it seems to help them stay calm and happy and barely affected by the thunder.

You have to check out ThunderWorks anxiety products today so you can ensure your pets will be happy and stress free no matter what!

Crafting The Outfit That Will Help You To Nail That Job Interview

Friday, August 17, 2018

There’s no feeling more exquisitely terrifying than being called in for an all important job interview. This is an opportunity that could forever alter the trajectory of your career. It could unlock a new era of better pay, more reasonable conditions and more enjoyable work… Or it could be yet another false start that sees you bumped back to where you started, muddling through a job you’ve long fallen out of love with. While you will likely spend a lot of time preparing, learning about your prospective new employer, researching some salient facts to bring up and rehearsing your answers for questions you’re likely to be asked… Spare a thought for what you’ll be wearing.

What you wear matters

It might not be the dealbreaker, but what you wear makes a substantial contribution to the first impression the interviewer has of you. And, scary fact, it only takes
7 seconds for them to form that first impression. Once that’s made it can be pretty hard to unmake. Here are some ways in which you can subtly convey your confidence, professionalism and success in your outfit without coming across as a poser or narcissist...

Show your class

To paraphrase from a late ‘90s Oscar winner, if you’re to be successful, you have to project an image of success. Desperation is not an attractive quality in a candidate. You don’t want to look like you need the job, you’re doing pretty well on your own. Show a hint of class without being too ostentatious. A discrete flash of diamond from Blue Nile; check out
http://yourdiamondguru.com/reviews/blue-nile/, a slight hint of expensive perfume or glimmer of platinum on your hand can all convey class and success without being too showy.

The suit

Again, one can go too sharp with a suit at a job interview. Sure, the power suit is making a comeback, but you don’t want to blow your potential future away with the size of your shoulder pads. It’s best to be conservative with your suit and add style and character to your ensemble elsewhere. A dark two piece is always a winner. Gray, navy and black are all fine choices and you can add warmer and more vibrant colors in what you wear underneath.

The shoes

As tempting as it may be to own the room in your 5 inch heels, it’s generally recommended that you keep your heel length at no more than 2.5” even if you’re very petite. Overdo it with the heels and not only could it look like you’re overcompensating for an insecurity, you’ll be less comfortable and the way in which you walk could be impaired. Opt for a close toe pump and if you’re wearing a skirt, wear a nude pantyhose that is close in color to your natural skin tone.

Hair, makeup and nails

When it comes to hair it’s best to keep it conservative and natural. While bangs are okay, they should not cover your eyebrows as these account for a great deal of your expression. Choose neutral tones in your makeup, especially your lipstick and try not to deviate from your natural complexion. Keep your nails well manicured and trimmed down and by all means use color but avoid colors that are too bold.

Now you’re all set to knock ‘em dead. Good luck!

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