Hello Bar Newsletter Sign up

Floating Social Share buttons

Monday, November 24, 2014

100 days of Christmas - day 60 - Christmas advent activities

Each year we do a Christmas Advent with activities. My kids look forward to it each year. We don't always do the same activities but there are certain ones that we always do. This is about the time I start working on our list of activities. We start our Advent on Dec. 1st and we do 1 activity each day. Here are some great ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

6 must read Christmas books for toddlers

How to make a snowman kit

Metallic advent calendar

Christmas Eve traditions

Yummy Marshmallow Snowman Craft for kids

Felt Christmas tree craft

Santa candle holders

Upcycled DIY advent calendar

44 Christmas Traditions

An advent calendar of Christmas books

Christmas Advent Scripture cards

Gratitude board

I would love to hear what is on your list to do this Holiday season!!!

100 days of Christmas - Day 59 - Black Friday tips

Black Friday is coming! EEK! Can I tell you a secret? I haven't even made my shopping list this year yet! Yes, I am one of those crazy Black Friday shoppers. It is the only thing that my Mom and I do together without the kids or the rest of the family. Just the two of us go out. It is really fun because we get to visit and reconnect in all those long lines.  I normally have my list made out well in advance. I love using this site to get all the deals! It is important to have a plan amongst all the madness! I am a good bit behind this year. So what did I do? The same thing I always do. I turned to my trusted blogger friends. Here are some of my favorite posts.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

100 days of Christmas - day 58 - Secret Santa & Gift exchanges???

I love my Lilla Rose sister consultants! My upline is simply fantastic! They make sure that we all feel close and connected even though we are miles apart. They are always so encouraging and supportive. Lilla Rose has blessed me in ways I would have never imagined. It is certainly not like any other direct sales I have ever come across. I absolutely love it. My upline hosts a gift exchange every holiday season. It is so neat to get to know each of my sister consultants in this way. Well they found this incredible site to use this year that made things soooo much easier! 

Elfster allows you to make a wish list. It makes it so much easier to keep up with the things you would like as gifts. I don't know about you but when people ask me what I would like I can never think of anything. So now when I see something that I like I just log in to Elfster and add it to my wish list. I have done this on Amazon for some time but Elfster makes it so much more fun! People can ask you questions anonymously to get to know you better and to get an idea of what to get you. You can also create separate wish lists for your children or perhaps separate your own list by category. You can even follow people's wish lists. It will even pair the people up for you. It is the modern way to do gift exchanges. It takes so much work off of the organizer!

So when you first log in you will see your dashboard. It is fairly easy to navigate. You can link it to your facebook and your blog if you have one. Then it has a place for you to see the recent activity, check in on your friends and check your messages. It will also list any exchange groups you are participating in as well as give you the option to start your own. To see the groups activity you just click on it. You can also then chat openly with in the group with everyone. It will also tell you if anyone in the group has upcoming birthdays and what they have recently added to their wishlists and any other conversations that are going on. 

Back on your main dashboard it will have new gift suggestions. Under that you will see all of your wishlists. You just click on them to edit or add to them. You click on add to wishlist to start adding. You can search for things within the site or click on the second tab and add a link to an outside source. If you click on the third tab you can add text. You can also click on items that you see others adding to include it in your wishlist. There is another neat service that makes this great for families as well and not just for gift exchanges. When someone purchases something from your list they can mark it as purchased that way you don't end up with duplicate gifts. I don't believe that you can see it when someone marks something on your list as purchased so they won't ruin the surprise. It is so much fun! I hope that it will help to simplify your gift exchanges and family Christmas gift list as well! You will never have to wonder if they are going to like what you purchased or not. Do you have any other tips on gift exchanges that you would like to share???

100 days of Christmas - Day 57 - Junior Rangers subscription service for kids giveaway

Did you all see my post on non-toy gift ideas for kids? Well today I cam across this great subscription service! I am super excited to share Junior explorers with you! This will fit in so well with our family. It encourages kids to explore nature and wildlife. You receive monthly kits with hands on activities. Then you continue the fun online. So you get the best of both worlds. It looks like so much fun! Best of luck to you on the giveaway! I wish you could all win! While you wait to see if you win be sure to head on over to their website  & check them out! 
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

100 days of Christmas - day 56 - Holiday Fashion tips & a giveaway!

Some of you may remember when I did the giveaway for the Darcus Tori CZ ear rings. I love these ear rings. I wear mine all the time!

Christmas fashion

SO I thought I would give you a few simple tips to Holiday fashion. If you get a simple a-line maxi in a solid festive color it is easy to dress it up or down. Not to mention it is super comfortable. Many maxi's are strappy or tank top styles. I am a huge fan of layering! Just find a comfy and stylish sweater to put over it. If you need to dress it up more you could go with a peacoat. Heels are gorgeous but if you are going to be doing the cooking and entertaining then flats are the way to go! You want to be comfortable. You would be amazed how cute the flats are these days. The easiest way to dress up your outfit is with accessories. Don't forget some Lilla Rose Hair jewelry for your hair! Darcus Tori is doing a super generous giveaway right now! Someone is going to win a $500 shopping spree and be able to choose a ton of accessories for this holiday season! Best of luck to you!

Healthy changes & an easy way to get your kids to eat their veggies!!!

So if you follow me on Instagram then you know I have been trying to make healthy lifestyle choices this year. One of the main things I have done is start drinking Fruit & veggie smoothies! I can't even begin to tell you the major difference it has made in my life! So I was beyond excited to review this book!

Studies have proven that we get the most nutrients through eating raw veggies, not cooked. In addition to that when you blend them they are absorbed into your system 90% quicker than normal chewed foods. Since I started my smoothie journey my energy levels went up significantly. In addition to that the smoothies taste so much better than raw veggies in my opinion. Even my kids love drinking these. Not to mention it makes menu planning so much easier because I know we have already gotten most of the nutrients and vitamins we need from a simple smoothie in the morning. Making smoothies doesn't even take as long as cooking pancakes for breakfast! There are less dishes to do too!

There were some health benefits other than the energy boost as well. Things that I didn't really expect. It improved my skin so much. My acne issues greatly reduced. I have noticed some slight weight loss but not a significant amount. Keep in mind slow and steady is the healthy way. I am concentrating on being healthier for my energy levels and for my kids. I want to be around as long as possible for them. We only get one body so we need to take care of it! I wish I had realized this much earlier in life. My parents didn't teach me to eat healthy. As a matter of fact my Dad spoiled me. If I didn't like what was cooked he would get up and cook something just for me. I may have been a Daddy's girl. I want to teach my kids better and so far we are on the right track. Two of my kids favorite foods are veggies! One loves Okra and the other loves Broccoli. My boys will eat pretty much you put in front of them. The girls have one or two things they won't eat but overall they are not picky. 

I love that this book explains how and why the smoothies are beneficial in a simple and straight forward manner. It also suggests starting out by using more fruit then veggies but slowly try to shift to less fruit. Your taste palate will change. We have become used to sweet and sugary processed foods. Then it goes on to give you fantastic recipes! My favorites are the Apple & Spinach smoothie and the Kale Blueberry smoothie. These are just my favorite two. There are a ton of recipes and what each smoothies health benefits are. I love that it is an e-book! I added it to my kindle reader on my phone and Ipad. Both of which are normally on me. I keep my Ipad in my purse. So if I am out and decide to stop by the store I always have the recipes with me. If you are just starting out on the smoothie journey or thinking of trying it, I definitely suggest this book! After all it is only $3.49! You can find it at the link below. 

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

100 days of Christmas - Day 55 - Getting the house ready for Holiday guests

Getting the house ready for guests is probably on many peoples minds this time of year. So here are a few tips to help. One thing that you can do is to make a nice welcome basket to put in their rooms. This doesn't have to be expensive. You can get the basket itself at the dollar store. Then put some of their favorite snacks in it and maybe an activity book or two. You could also include some of those essentials that people often forget like toothbrushes and so on. Your imagination is the limit! Here are a few posts from some other friendly bloggers to point you in the right direction. Enjoy!

The Bathroom is always the room that I spend the most time on when we have guests. Maybe it is because I have two young boys so it needs lots of attention a lot of the time! LOL! So here are two things you can do to make the bathroom inviting to your guests!

A welcome basket for the Bathroom

These Holiday Potpourri jars are great for making the house smell great and they look nice too. We have lots of pets so I am always trying to make sure it smells the best it possibly can for our guests.

Don't forget to enter this giveaway for a great Scentsy warmer too! 

These are just a few tips to get you headed in the right direction. Have fun decorating your home for the holidays like you normally would. Be sure to plan fun things to do but keep them laid back and allow your guests plenty of down time. What tips would you add to this? How do you make your guests comfortable?

If you need decorating tips, menu tips, or even tips on gifts & holiday budgeting please browse the rest of my 100 days of Christmas series. There are some great giveaways for you too!

Tips on reducing your Tiger stripes from your little blessings!

Meet Zuri. We met her on our Not back to school field trip to Noah's Ark. I am super excited to post about our trip but it will probably be after Christmas due to the awesome 100 days of Christmas series I am doing for you all. Zuri the white tiger was our favorite part of our trip. Our family as a whole has always been drawn to white tigers.  They are just so pretty with their stripes. My tiger stripes are not nearly as pretty.

Do you have tiger stripes too? In case you didn't know, that is a nice way of saying stretch marks. It is truly a miracle what a woman's body goes through with a pregnancy. The stretch marks are almost like proof that we survived it. However, they can be very annoying and cause a lot of women to be insecure. So today I am going to give you some tips on reducing your stretch marks.

The best thing to do is to try to prevent them or at the very least reduce them during your pregnancy. The best way to do that is by using a vitamin E oil or almond oil as a moisturizer on your stomach. This will give your skin more elasticity and reduce them. When I was pregnant I didn't put much stock into that little tip and let me tell you now I am a huge advocate of it! So what if you were like me and ignored that tip? Or maybe you did take the advice but still have some stretch marks that you would like to reduce?

So if you already have Stretch marks or even if you are trying to minimize them during pregnancy, one of the best things you can do is take vitamins, preferably vitamins that contain vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin C, & vitamin A. These are all proven to be good for your skin and improve the elasticity. 

2. Exfoliate
Regular exfoliation will help tremendously! You can see my favorite Sugar Scrub to use for exfoliating here.

3. Moisturize
Keep your skin moisturized is of course going to help with elasticity. My favorite thing to use is this stretch mark & Scar cream by Insta-natural. Mostly because it includes all of the vitamins I mentioned earlier, plus some, in a topical form. I mean it is after all meant to reduce stretch marks & scars.

4. Massaging
So if you are doing steps 1-3 then this is already kind of built in. Believe it or not massaging on it's own has major benefits. It increases blood flow to the areas which increases the flow of nutrients and vitamins. That means it will accelerate the healing of your stretch marks. 

So I hope you have found these tips helpful. I would love to hear how it goes. 

This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase through them I may be compensated. I appreciate your support.
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

A new favorite to add to my skin care routine!

Instanatural was ever so kind as to send me these great skincare items to review. You all know how much I love skin care! I think it is super important! If you are good to your skin, it will be good to you! So who wants to find out what I think?

Vitamin C Serum 20% with Retinol 2.5%, Salicylic Acid 2%, Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, Tea Tree Oil and MSM - Anti Aging AND Skin Clearing Serum for Face, Acne & Blemishes - Best For Men and Women For All Skin Types - Also Reduces Appearance of Fine Lines, Winkles, Sun Spots, Age Spots, & Skin Discoloration

This serum is my beloved Vitamin-C undercover! If you have been hanging around the blog for any amount of time you know that I love Vitamin-C serums! This one contains 20% which is the perfect amount. Studies show anything over that is really not any more effective. This also has Tea tree oil in it which I am a big fan of. My 5 year old suffers from Chronic Blepharitis and Tea tree oil is a great treatment for it. He started having issues with it when he was about 2 and a half. It has majorly improved since we started using Tea tree oil. It is great for treating acne as well and is not nearly as harsh as most acne treatments. It will not cause your skin to be dry and flaky. It also has retinol which is an anti-aging agent. It will help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It has some other great things in it as well. I am just touching on the highlights. I did find this serum to be gentle. It was effective though and helped to even out my skin tone as I have come use to with any Vitamin C serum. It also seems radiant and smooth! I feel great about my skin and this serum! I would definitely suggest it!

Their Hyaluronic Acid serum contains many of the same ingredients as the anit-aging serum and is packed with anti-oxidants as well. They are both all natural with no parabens or anything like that. The main difference it seems like to me was the tea tree oil. This serum is fantastic but I do lean a little more towards the anti-aging serum because it is a tad more aggressive towards acne prone skin like mine. If you don't have acne prone skin then this serum would be fantastic for you!

I have never used a facial toner before so I was super excited about trying this one. The first thing I noticed is this stuff seriously smells amazing! It just made me feel like I was in a spa somewhere. It was just as refreshing once I put it on my face! It is 100% pure natural rose water! It seems so simple but it is super effective! It tightens and tones your skin. It will help with damaged skin (such as acne) and will even help with sunburn! It will also make your hair soft and silky. I was amazed by the uses of this little miracle bottle! I will definitely be adding it to my favorites list! I will be posting my top 10 skin care finds for 2014 the week after Christmas so be on a look out. I can tell you this is one thing that will definitely make it on the list!

So I want to know. What are your favorite skin care items??

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

This post does contatin affiliate links. Should you decide to purchase through them I may be compensated. However, all opinions and thoughts expressed are 100% my own. I appreciate your support.