Boxycharm this month was an interesting collection with some real hits and some terrible misses.

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Drinking tea

Becoming an adult is the classic “grass is always greener” scenario. When we're young, we pine away for the days when we’ll be grown up and seemingly able to do, eat and watch whatever we want. But, now that we've officially entered into the realms of adulthood, we may wish to go back to the often carefree days of our youth.

While you might feel at times like you're still a kid inside the body of a grownup — and find the challenges of “adulting” difficult — you can still embrace your life as a grownup, while still honoring your inner child. Check out the following tips that will help you do just that:

Trade in Impulse Buying for Planned Shopping

When you were a kid, you might have taken your allowance money and immediately spent every penny on candy or toys. While it can still be fun to splurge on things that you want instead of need, as an adult, it’s important to spend your hard-earned money a bit more wisely. Rather than heading to the mall on payday to shop ‘til you drop, think about what essentials you really need to keep on hand — and have fun shopping for those.

A great example is essential clothing items. Stock up your favorite jeans, capri pants and those oh-so comfy T-shirts you wear on your days off. Or, instead of buying some gadget that will ultimately end up collecting dust on your shelf, spring for an extra set of tires for your car. Websites like TireBuyer have a great selection of tires at affordable prices — and they will deliver them right to your door. Other essential items to stock up on include batteries, light bulbs, paper products and more. If you notice any of these on sale, buy some extras and use your savings for an occasional splurge.

Put Away Your Phone at Bedtime

Your smartphone, tablet and laptop are chock full of short-wavelength blue light — the same type of light found in the morning sunlight that helps us wake up. As Entreprenuer notes, if you consistently catch up on texts or watch a movie on your laptop before bed, the blue light is probably messing with your body’s ability to produce melatonin and get a decent quality of sleep.

To embrace your inner adult, put these devices away after dinner and return to the days of your youth when you enjoyed a good book or maybe some relaxing coloring before bedtime. Choose books that you want to read — not only those you feel are “good” for you — and stock up on a few grown-up coloring books, magic markers and colored pencils. Your adult body will thank you for the better nights of sleep — and your inner child will feel like it has traveled back in time.

Start a Retirement Savings Account

Retirement might seem like it’s light years away, but do your adult self a favor and start planning for it now. As All Day notes, most people start setting aside money for the future when it’s too late, so talk to a banker about starting an IRA, and if your employer offers a 401K plan, sign up for it.

While you're busy saving for your golden years of retirement, honor your inner kiddo by buying a bright and cheery piggy bank and putting all of your change into it. At the end of a month or two, count up what’s in there and spend it on something fun, like maybe a dinner and movie night with your spouse or a good friend.

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Have you ever wondered what type of dog is the right breed for you? Check out this flowchart to find the perfect dog for your household.
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If you are having a problem with pests in your home you may be wondering whether it's best to employ barrier control or baiting to resolve it. The answer to that question is not completely straightforward. The method of control that is chosen is often dictated by the details of the individual situation. If you speak to a Corpus Christi exterminator they will put their experience and expertise to use advising you on the best solution for your particular problem.

We are going to take a look at what they might tell you about both means of pest control. Hopefully, this information will be of help when it comes to making a decision regarding pest control in your property.

Using a liquid barrier

If you want to protect your home against pests such as termites you may want to consider using a liquid barrier solution. This type of solution is used to treat the soil around and under your home. If there is concrete present this may involve drilling through the concrete to gain access. This drilling can take place both inside and outside of your property and it can be a disruptive process.

The good thing about barrier protection is that it can work at a quicker pace than using baits; this because it can obviously take time for pests to locate and feast on baits. If you need a quick solution to your pest problem then using a liquid barrier may be a good idea.

Termite Damage Termite Damage

Using baits to get rid of pests

Baits are definitely a less intrusive means of pest control; there is none of the drilling and upheaval that can sometimes be associated with using a liquid barrier. One thing you do need to consider is that the use of baits normally necessitates more visits from the pest control experts. This is because baits need to be replaced and pest activity needs to be checked.

This usually means that pest control using baits is the more expensive option. You should not let this put you off as this might be the most appropriate method for your circumstances.

As you can see, there are two very different methods which can be used to control pest activity in your home. Both of these methods can have effective results so you should really trust the pest control professionals when it comes to deciding which method will work better in your circumstances.

One thing you should never do is just leave pest control to chance. Pests such as termites can cause a considerable amount of damage if you allow them to infest your home. It's always better to have regular checks carried out and invest in a pest control method that will work for your property, if you do this you can have the peace of mind of knowing that your property is protected. You should not be faced with the trauma and cost of damage caused by pests.

 

 

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I have wanted to give planning in a traveler's notebook a try for quite some time and I am LOVING it!

 

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dermaroller1

When it comes to skincare treatments, the options are practically limitless. However, there are certain tried and true methods that the majority of people turn to when they need help with their skin. Among those methods are laser treatments and Dermaroller devices.

Differences Between Laser Treatment and Dermaroller

Much like laser treatments, Dermaroller procedures have many uses in the skincare industry. However, those uses vary a bit. For example, lasers are typically used for precise treatments of a small area of skin, such as the treatment of a small scar or wrinkle. Although, there are some types of lasers that treat the skin as a whole by getting down into the deeper layers and encouraging cellular repairs through the use of the body's own natural collagen.

Dermaroller procedures can both encourage collagen and increase general blood flow to certain areas of the skin. For those and similar reasons, Dermaroller can sometimes be effective at regrowing hair in balding areas, while skincare lasers equipment is usually used to get rid of unwanted body hair.

Dermaroller and Laser Treatment Similarities to Consider

Even though they are used in opposite ways in the world of hair removal or growth, lasers and Dermaroller procedures can treat similar skin conditions as well. For example, both can be used to treat wrinkles and scars in certain situations. Both can also be used to remove blemishes on the skin's surface. Additionally, Dermaroller devices and laser machines can both be used to create delivery conduits for creams and lotions that can fortify your skin's defenses.

How the Dermaroller Process and the Laser Process Differ

Another way in which the Dermaroller and laser processes differ dramatically is in how the actual appointment is conducted. If you make a Dermaroller appointment at your local clinic, they won't be treating you with a light or heat-based device like a laser. Instead, you will be treated by a technician who will roll a hand-held roller device across your skin. That device will be covered in teeny tiny needles, which will break through your skin during the rolling process.

Obviously, having your skin punctured by a bunch of tiny needles sounds painful, but your technician will reduce the pain by numbing the area first. Nevertheless, you should expect a little temporary bleeding or oozing during and directly after the treatment. That's why, even though at-home Dermaroller kits are sold in stores, many people would rather have someone else treat them in a clinical setting, as opposed to treating themselves.

Dermaroller's Healing Process and What Results to Expect

When you have a Dermaroller treatment, you should expect it to be the first of many. You probably won't see the full results that you want immediately. However, that doesn't mean that you should schedule multiple appointments close together. The reality is that your skin could take a few weeks, or even over a month to heal itself fully after one treatment. Only when it is healed up properly should you go in for a second appointment.

If the Dermaroller process still sounds confusing, the best course of action is to schedule a consultation at your local skincare clinic that offers micro-needling through the use of a Dermaroller device. The clinicians there should be able to assess your skin and explain exactly what type of treatment you need. They can even give you a rough idea of how many appointments you will need and how spread out they should be.

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Project 10 Pan

January 5, 2017

in Beauty,Videos

I decided to start the new year off with a Project 10 Pan. This is a project pan where I will be trying to completely use up 10 makeup products.

 

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(Family Features) Families across America want to make sure that they’re starting the day strong, and getting enough high-quality protein in the morning is a simple way to do so. A breakfast with protein is a great way to energize the morning, and adding it to your family’s routine doesn’t have to be complicated.

Simply add an 8-ounce glass of milk with 8 grams of natural protein plus other essential nutrients to your favorite breakfast foods for an easy, delicious way to help meet your morning protein goals.

Kids already love milk and it’s a naturally nutrient-rich, wholesome food that moms can feel good about pairing with breakfast. Plus, experts recommend 25-30 grams of protein for adults at every meal – so getting a high-protein breakfast, including milk, gives moms the energy they need to cross everything off their to-do lists. Parenting expert, pediatrician and mom of three, Dr. Tanya Altmann, recommends serving milk at breakfast for a source of high-quality protein in the morning.

“The morning is a great time to bring the family together and start the day off with a tasty breakfast. As a mom of three, I need breakfast options that are quick and easy but also nutritious,” Dr. Altmann said. “Serving my children whole-grain cereal and milk, healthy oatmeal with fruit or a smoothie made with milk guarantees that my family will get high-quality protein and other essential nutrients to start their day off strong.”

Bring a smile to your child’s face with this charming twist on a breakfast standard. Simply make instant oats with familiar flavors – cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar – and top the bowl with a friendly bunny face. For more recipes and ideas, visit MilkLife.com.

Bunny-Faced Microwave Oatmeal
Recipe courtesy of Tiffany Edwards of Creme de la Crumb

  • 1/3       cup instant oats
  • 3/4       cup fat free milk
  • 1/4       teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4       teaspoon vanilla                                                           
  • 1          teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2/3       small banana
  • 2          fresh blueberries
  • 1/2       small strawberry
  • chocolate syrup (optional)
  1. In microwave-safe bowl, stir together oats, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar. Microwave on high 30 seconds-1 minute and stir.
  2. Cut banana in half crosswise. Cut 1 1/8-inch thick coin slices from flat end of each banana half. Place slices in upper-third of oatmeal bowl, side-by-side, to make eyes. Top with 1 blueberry on each banana slice.
  3. Place remaining banana halves at the top of the bowl, hanging off edge, to create ears.
  4. Place strawberry in the middle of the bowl to make the nose then drizzle chocolate, if desired, to make mouth and whiskers.
  5. Serve with 8-ounce glass of milk.

Nutritional information per serving: 320 calories; 2 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 18 g protein; 59 g carbohydrates; 5 g fiber; 190 mg sodium; 550 mg calcium (60% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.

SOURCE:
MilkPEP

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I have decided to do a Pan that Palette for 2017. Actually, I'm going to try to pan two palettes.

 

The first is Too Faced Matte Eyes

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The second is Urban Decay Ammo

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Check out the video for more details. And for a special giveaway!

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE – Urban Decay Ammo Palette Giveaway

ammo

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Looking for a vacation to escape the cold? Try out a timeshare resale rental in popular vacation destinations like New Orleans, Branson and Orlando. Timeshare resale rentals are available online for as little as $100 for one week! Great for those who’ve had their bank accounts drained from all that Christmas shopping.

How is this possible?

More than 9 million people own timeshare in the United States. Occasionally these owners aren’t interested in using their timeshare and would prefer to rent it out for some extra cash instead. Since the timeshare owner will be renting the timeshare out themselves without the help of their resort they’re often willing to offer a rental price well below market value. This is how you can save some serious money!

The Deals

BuyaTimeshare.com has been in business since 2000 and has assembled thousands of timeshare ads on its website from existing timeshare owners looking to sell timeshare now.  A search on their website shows the following deals in New Orleans, Branson and Orlando available now.

New Orleans

Wyndham New Orleans at Avenue Plaza Hotel & Pro Spa – $100 for one week in a standard unit. This resort is in the Garden District near the St. Charles street car, which takes passengers to New Orleans’ most famous attractions including the French Quarter, Jackson Square and more. Amenities at this resort include a swimming pool, hot tub, rooftop sundeck, on-site restaurant and more.

Club La Pension – $500 for one week in a standard unit. This newly remodeled and refurbished resort is in a prime location of the French Quarter. It’s lite on amenities, but does have a rooftop deck.

Branson

Wyndham Branson at The Meadows – $350 for one week in a standard unit. Located near Branson's famous 76 Strip, you’ll be close to Branson’s top shows and attractions. This resort is perfect for families and offers swimming pools, fitness room, game room, BBQ area, hot tubs, basketball courts and more.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations Holiday Hills – $300 for one week. 2-bedroom 2-bathroom unit. This resort is located on a golf course and offers amenities such as an arcade room, pool, fitness center, hot tubs, tennis courts and more.

Orlando

Westgate Leisure Resort – One week for $500. 2-bedroom 2-bathroom unit. This resort is just 10- to 15- minutes from Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld. Amenities include pools, hot tubs, fitness center, volleyball court, game room and more.

Westgate Palace – One week for $400. 2-bedroom 2-bathroom unit. This lakeside property is located near Universal Studios® theme park and Islands of Adventure ®. Amenities include a heated outdoor pool, pool bar, hot tub and more.

As you may have noticed, many of these timeshares are 2-bedroom 2-bathroom units. Perfect for families, traveling couples and any type of larger group.

If you’re not interested in any of these locations, that’s ok. BuyaTimeshare.com has ads from owners all over the world looking to sell or rent out their timeshare. Just submit your offer on an ad, wait for a response from the owner, and enjoy your cheap vacation. If you have any questions please feel free to ask them in the comment section below.

 

 

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I didn't reach my goal of reading 30 books in 2016. I only read 23. I was terrible at posting reviews. So I will put up reviews for the books I haven't yet. I will also link to those reviews I have done.

2017 Goals:

I am going to aim for 30 books again in 2017. I want to finish the Discovery of Witches Trilogy and the Dan Brown books. I would also like to read some more of The Hollows series. I also have on my shelf The Other Einstein, What Remains of Me, Dark Matter, Midnight Texas, and several others. I also have the goal of posting reviews when I finish a book a not a year later!

Books read in 2016

What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman

w492001

The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz

The Girl in the Spider's Web

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Levoy

Ghettoside

Pretty Girls by Karen Slaughter

Pretty Girls

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches

My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout

My Name is Lucy Barton

No One Knows by J.T. Ellison

No One Knows

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskins

The Life We Bury

The Night Charter by Sam Hawken

The Night Charter

Remember Me This Way by Sabine Durant

Remember Me This Way

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

I Let You Go

The Widow by Fiona Barton

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Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica

Don't You Cry

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

The Paying Guests

For a Few Demons More by Kim Harrison

For a Few Demons More

Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs

Bones Never Lie

Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs

Speaking in Bones

Bones on Ice by Kathy Reichs

Bones on Ice

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

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The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown

The DaVinci Code

The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman

The Velvet Hours

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Angels and Demons

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Ipsy December 2016

December's Ipsy Glam Bag was pretty good.

The bag

Ipsy December 2016

NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in  Punk Heart $6

NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in Punk Heart

REN Clean Skincare Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask Full Size $55, Sample Value $13.50

REN Clean Skincare Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask

Marc Anthony True Professional Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco Deep Hydrating Treatment $3

Marc Anthony True Professional Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco Deep Hydrating Treatment

Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer Full Size $26, Sample Value $12

Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer

Ciaté London Liquid Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick in Pin Up Full Size $19, Sample Value $6

Ciaté London Liquid Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick in Pin Up

 

The bag cost $10 and was worth $40.50.

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Boxycharm December 2016

December 22, 2016

in Beauty,Videos

Boxycharm December 2016

I am always so stinkin' excited when my Boxycharm arrives. The box costs $21 and I always get well more than that in value.

The item I was most excited about was the eyeshadow palette I heard rumored to be in the box.

The Buff Collection from Pure Cosmetics retails for $50.

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On the left is Urban Decay's Naked 3. On the right is Pure Cosmetics Buff Collection. The only real difference is that my Urban Decay palette looks used. If you don't have Naked 3, this is a huge score. If you do have Naked 3, this probably isn't special.

The product I was the most excited about was the Butter London Nail polish in Ruby Murray. Retails for $15.

ruby_murray_300x300

The Mini Makeup Eraser is something I've seen and been curious about. Retails for $10. Does great with face makeup, but I was uncomfortable about how hard I had to scrub to get eye makeup off. It does remove it all though. It will need to be washed after every use so if you want to use this daily, expect to buy several.

makeup-eraser

Ofra liquid lipstick in Napa Valley retails for $19.90. I love the formula of Ofra liquid lipsticks, but I cna't imagine anywhere I can wear this color. Also stains your lips.

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The last item was an Iby Beauty lip liner in rosebud that retails for $14. Beautiful color. Soft pencil.

iby01-41308_rosebudpencil

This box had a $109 value. Overall pretty good box.

 

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I recently received Maybelline's Colossal Big Shot Mascara from Influenster to review. This is a product I have barely even glanced at in the drugstore because I have been extremely disappointed with all of the Maybelline mascaras I have tried in the past. Falsies, Big Eyes, Pumped Up – all huge duds.

But I'm willing to give any makeup product a try. Especially when it's free.

Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara

Maybelline claims this mascara will give you 9 times the volume in one coat without clumping.

Let's be honest. Who uses just one coat of mascara?

I tested this with my standard two coats of mascara. And I'm impressed. The formula isn't too dry. It isn't too wet. You do have to wipe excess off the tip of the wand, but I have to do that with just about every mascara. But I got a lot of great volume. While this doesn't approach Too Faced Better Than Sex volume, it is a great drugstore alternative to most of the high end mascaras that claim to give lots of volume. The best part is I also get a lot of seperation from the wand. No spider lashes. But Maybelline does have a Colossal Spider Lash if that is your thing.

Blue Christmas Eye Look

See that volume and seperation? Eyeshadow is Too Faced Matte Eyes palette and Urban Decay Ammo palette.

This mascara costs $8.49 at Walgreens and has most likely replaced my holy grail daily mascara. It's so easy to use. No fancy wiggling. Just apply (two coats) and go. I also like this for my lower lashes. I havent had any problem with flaking or transferring. However, if you wear a very emoulient concealer and don't set it with powder, you will notice some transfer immediately after application.

This mascara is well worth purchasing.

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the-best-2016

These are the top articles from this blog for 2016

10. Pizza Rolls – Kid Friendly Recipe

Pizza rolls

9. Jamba Juice Orange Dream Machine Taste Alike Healthier Recipe

orange dream machine jamba juice

8. Rental Decorating – Home Office

home office

7. Chili's Cinnamon Apples

chilis cinnamon apples

6. Cooking with Campbell's – Stove Top Chicken Casserole

stove top chicken casserole

5. Rental Decorating Tips on a Budget

Rental Decorating Tips

4. Rental Decorating – Living Room

living room pillows

3. Rental Decorating – The Kitchen

small spaces kitchen

2. Rental Decorating – The Kitchen Part 2

Shade_Kitchen

1. Homemade Chips and Salsa – Daniel Fast Recipe

homemade salsa

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German Potato Salad

December 16, 2016

in Recipes

german-potato-salad

We all want to feed our children the best and healthiest meals. But let’s face it: sometimes it gets tough to find a food that our kids love, that isn’t filled with preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, and that is also packed with nutrients.

Really, does such a food actually exist? One that satisfies little tummies (and their eyes) as well as our never ending desire to do what is best for our families?               

Enter the humble potato. An excellent source of vitamin C, more potassium than a banana, a good source of vitamin B6, it’s fat, sodium and cholesterol-free and jam-packed with energy to keep your family going all day.

Summer time brings memories of barbeques, hot dogs, burgers, and of course, the classic potato salad. That’s great for warmer weather, but we went searching for a recipe that was

a little more filling, a meal on its own, that (preferably) didn’t break the bank and could be made in as few pots as possible (who has time for dishes, seriously?).

Sounds like an impossible task, but we did it! A perfect, easy lunch for a chilly day or as accompaniment to an evening meal: German potato salad. This dish caught the eye of the early American pioneers who watched fellow European immigrants create this dish and it is still popular today.

Don’t let the name fool you, German potato salad is a whole lot less like a salad (no crisp iceberg lettuce leaves, for example) and more like a meal in itself (and with a simple omission or substitution, will satisfy vegan and vegetarian families, too). It’s also fairly quick to make (minus the time spent waiting on boiling water and cooking potatoes, so start at least 30-45 minutes before you are ready to eat) and probably uses ingredients that are sitting in your kitchen cupboard right now (bonus, no added trip to the grocery store).

To recreate this recipe, you will need half a pound of bacon (leave out or add cheese if you prefer), half a large onion (finely chopped), 1/3 cup of white vinegar, ¼ cup sugar, Djon mustard. a pinch of salt, and a handful of chives for garnish. Just a note, Djon mustard does have a sharp, strong flavor so either use just a small amount to taste, omit entirely, or use a milder yellow mustard as a substitution.

Start with 6-8 good potatoes such as Yellow Finn, Yukon Gold, or red potatoes that have a higher moisture content and holds up better to chopping and tossing (with dressing).

Cut potatoes in half (to speed up cooking time), place in a pot (find the safest cookware for your kitchen here) and fill with enough cold water to completely submerge potatoes plus an additional two inches.

(Handy tip: always start by placing potatoes in cold water and then leading to a boil. Adding potatoes to already-boiling water will leave them unevenly cooked).

Add salt directly to the water (try sea, Himalayan, or Kosher salts which contain beneficial trace elements unlike table salt, which has been super-heated and any valuable ingredients destroyed) and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Don’t be tempted to leave out this step: adding salt early in the cooking process will bring out the most flavors; even adding salt to already-cooked potatoes will not have the same effect.

(Tip: Did you know that using traditional nonstick pots and pans on a high heat can destroy the nonstick coating and release toxic fumes? Always use the low and medium settings on your stove when using that nonstick cookware).

Continue cooking until potatoes are soft enough to be pierced easily with a fork (about 15 – 20 minutes); watch the potatoes carefully; over cooking potatoes will cause them to be mushy and undercooking may leave the potato inedible. Then drain water and slice cooked potatoes (caution, the inside of the potato will be hot, and steam can burn, so be careful if little hands are helping you in the kitchen).

In a separate skillet, cook the bacon (if using) until crisp. Remove bacon from pan (keep some oil in the pan), drain off excess fat on a paper towel, cool, and break into small pieces. Add onion to the fat and cook for several minutes.

Add in vinegar, sugar, mustard, and salt to the onion mixture and then once fully combined add the sliced, cooked, still-warm, potatoes to the sweet and tart mixture, and toss to coat.

Vinaigrette dressings, such as the one we have made here, go well with warm potatoes and coat them easily, and add flavor, but mayonnaise-based dressings, such as that used in traditional potato salad recipes, are best used only on cooled potatoes. Always leave potatoes to cool for at least half an hour before adding a mayonnaise will become oily.

Transfer to a safe cooking dish for serving or dish onto plates and serve immediately. Top with the bacon (if using) and garnish with the fresh, chopped chives.

Mmmm, a perfect, filling dish for your whole family; serve warm on its own, with a small salad, vegetables, or as a side dish and watch your children gobble up all the natural goodness and deliciousness of the unassuming potato. You can thank us later!

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Before you can begin planning out your brand-new kitchen, it's very important that you come up with a realistic budget. Of course, you can't do that unless you understand all of the expenses which go into that budget. It's easy to include aspects such as contractor fees, time, and materials, but there are many other hidden expenses that homeowners often forget to account for when budgeting. Needless to say, this can lead to some very rude awakenings once the project is already underway.

To help you be as prepared as possible, here are the six most often overlooked aspects of a kitchen remodeling budget. Be sure to include all six when you do your own planning.

51080095 - woman with carpenter looking at plans for new kitchen

A Cost Breakdown

Here's how the average homeowner can expect their budget to be distributed:

  • Kitchen cabinets – 40%
  • Appliances – 8%
  • Lighting – 4%
  • Labor – 20%
  • Flooring – 6%
  • Countertops – 12%
  • Wall Covering – 3%
  • Fixtures and fittings – 3%
  • Miscellaneous – 4%

As you can see, the cost of new kitchen cabinets will eat up the largest portion of your budget, but you still have a long way to go once you select those cabinets. Try to keep your expenses within these ratios, to make sure that you are not overshooting your budget, or spending too much money on the wrong aspect of your kitchen.

Relocation Expenses

Homeowners who have never gone through a kitchen renovation before may not have a grasp of just how disruptive and lengthy the process is. You will be without the use of your kitchen for months, and one of the main rooms in your home will be turned into a construction site – complete with all the dust, noise, and hazards that term implies.

In an effort to avoid this altogether, many families choose to relocate for the duration (or at least for a portion) of the remodeling project. You can do this in a number of ways: a hotel, an apartment, strategic vacation timing, or by staying with family or friends. Each of these will have some kind of expense associated with it, so remember to include those expenses in your budget.

Unexpected Construction Obstacles

Experts recommend that you have a plan to cover unexpected expenses that might come up once the kitchen remodeling contractors begin work. In some of the worst cases – such as the discovery of termite or mold damage – your repair expenses might even eclipse the cost of the renovation itself. Discoveries of that magnitude are quite rare, but not impossible. Much more common would be the finding of outdated electrical wiring, corroded plumbing, leaks, or structural issues.

Make sure you have a plan in place to come up with the money required to address these issues.  In other words, don't put every cent you can possibly borrow into the renovation. Leave yourself a lifeline in case of emergency.

Financing Options

Most homeowners choose to use a home equity loan or a home repair mortgage to cover the cost of their kitchen renovation, but there are many different options available. The most important aspect of any loan that you take out is that you understand the terms and conditions.

For example, if you plan to borrow the necessary funds out of your retirement plan, make sure you are aware of any penalties or taxes you may have to pay to do this. It could be a substantial amount of money, and if you have not budgeted for it, you might be stuck.

Another pitfall of some financing options are adjustable interest rates. The monthly payment that's perfectly affordable right now could change in a year and become totally untenable. Thoroughly discuss every aspect of your loan before signing.

No-Kitchen Meal Expenses

You will be without the use of a functional kitchen for weeks, if not months. This usually means that families wind up dining out a lot. That kind of expense can add up, especially if you are purchasing meals for a family of four several times per week.

Do your best to account for these expenses, and come up with a plan to mitigate them if possible.

DIY Homeowner Work

Last but not least, something that might actually lower your costs rather than raise them – DIY homeowner work. If you are comfortable and skilled enough to take on any part of the kitchen remodeling process yourself, you will save a significant amount of money. Talk to your kitchen remodeling contractor about what you plan to contribute to the job, and find out how much it will save you.

A solid budget is the key to a successful home remodeling project. Remember to account for these 6 often-overlooked expenses, and you will have a more realistic expectation of what to pay.

Author Bio

Niv Orlian is an online marketer and the Co-Founder of DO Online Marketing, a Chicago based company that helps local businesses, acquire, manage, and retain local customers online.

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Nail Polish Declutter

December 13, 2016

in Beauty,Videos

This is the final leg of my declutter series. Nail polish. I have way too much nail polish and I managed to cut down by more than half!

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Project Polish Update #2

December 1, 2016

in Beauty,Videos

My goal is to finish an entire sample wheel of polishes. I'm actually really surprised at how fast the project is moving along.

 

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Holiday Stress Relief 101

November 30, 2016

in Lifestyle

sporty woman with heavy steel dumbbell from back

Festive lights? Check. Carolers? Check. More family gatherings than you can count? Check. A stress headache that just won’t go away? You know it. The holidays are upon us and with them comes wonderful foods and family traditions as well as a heaping helping of stress and tension.

If you start experiencing a general sense of dread the moment holiday decorations start appearing in department stores, you should attempt to pinpoint the source of your stress. Do you hate traveling? Is it a particular holiday party? The cooking? Your cousin Gerald?

Once you’ve figured out what is causing you to sneer at every Santa hat you see, decide whether it is something you can eliminate from your holidays. Can you stay home this year instead of making stops at every relative’s house? Can you order your holiday meal in, simplify the menu or delegate the cooking to other family members? If the source is something you can’t eliminate, like your cousin Gerald, ask yourself whether there is any way you can neutralize the stressor (Can your partner run interference?). Just the act of recognizing the cause of your tension may enable you to better enjoy the non-offending aspects of the holidays.

For most people, though, the stress of the holidays comes not just from a single source, but is more a cumulative effect. If this sounds like you, take a look at these four easy tips for making your holidays a little less stressful and a little more merry and bright.

1. Limit Gifts

It’s easy to get caught up in all the sales and shopping and forget that the season is not actually about giving and receiving gifts. Instead of spending all your time hunting down the perfect gift for every friend, co-worker and family member, float the idea of only buying gifts for children this year, having a white elephant party or pooling money for a group experience like Escape the Room or a fancy dinner. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your loved ones will jump at the chance to pare down their holiday shopping lists, too.

2. Hit the Gym

Although exercise is usually the first thing to fall by the wayside when you are busy, the holidays are not the time to forgo your workout routine. In addition to allowing a little guilt-free indulgence in those holiday goodies, exercise is a natural stress reliever and the endorphins you produce in the gym will provide a much needed mood booster. If you don’t already have a membership, join a gym that lets you fit in a workout whenever your busy schedule will allow.

3. Disconnect

Be honest, seeing all of your friends’ perfectly curated holiday pictures on social media is not bringing you holiday joy. Instead it's making you feel pressured to keep up and then inadequate when you can’t. Give yourself the gift of a break from social media this holiday season. You’ll feel more engaged and present in your festivities and less likely to feel bad that your decorations aren’t as perfect as someone you haven’t seen in 15 years.

4. Just Say No

There are some gatherings that you can’t, and don’t want to, get out of. But for those events that are not mandatory, consider whether they will add to or relieve your holiday stress. If it’s the former, bow out. Try saying no to a couple of invites this year and see how you feel. You can always rejoin next year if you miss them.

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(Family Features) Want to spend more time with loved ones this Thanksgiving? Ditch the perfectly timed oven schedule and put your slow cooker to work. It’ll deliver the familiar flavors of your favorite holiday stuffing, sauces and desserts in a new, more convenient way.

“Take advantage of the hassle-free slow cooker for sides and desserts and leave the oven free for your turkey,” said McCormick Kitchens Executive Chef Kevan Vetter. “Top a mixture of apples, brown sugar and cinnamon with seasoned oat crumbles for a warm Oatmeal Apple Cobbler – an ooey gooey dessert that will fill your kitchen with an irresistible, sweet and spicy aroma while it slow cooks.”

For more time-saving tips and recipes for your Thanksgiving feast, check out McCormick.com and visit McCormick Spice on Facebook and Pinterest.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2/3       cup sugar
  • 1          seedless orange, peeled and sectioned
  • 2          McCormick Bay leaves
  • 1          McCormick Cinnamon Stick
  1. Place all ingredients in 4-quart slow cooker. Cover.
  2. Cook 3 hours on high, stirring every hour. Uncover. Stir well.
  3. Cook, uncovered, 30 to 45 minutes longer on high or until slightly thickened.

Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Servings: 12 (2/3-cup servings)

  • 1/4       cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2          cups chopped celery
  • 1          cup chopped onion
  • 1/2       pound mild (sweet) Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1          cup Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Rubbed Sage
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Crushed Rosemary
  • 10        cups cubed French bread (1-inch pieces)
  1. Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add celery and onion; cook and stir until softened, about 5 minutes. Add sausage; cook and stir until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  2. Spray inside of slow cooker with no stick cooking spray. Add stock and herbs; stir to blend. Stir in bread cubes and sausage-vegetable mixture. Cover.
  3. Cook 45 minutes on high. Uncover and stir. Cook, uncovered, 30 minutes longer.

Slow Cooker Oatmeal Apple Cobbler
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours
Servings: 10

Apple Filling:

  • 5          medium Gala apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1          cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4       cup all-purpose baking mix, such as Bisquick
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon

Oatmeal Cobbler Topping:

  • 1          cup all-purpose baking mix, such as Bisquick
  • 1/2       cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2       cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3       cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2       cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces
  1. Spray inside of slow cooker with no stick cooking spray. For the Apple Filling, toss apple slices, brown sugar, baking mix and cinnamon in large bowl. Place in slow cooker.
  2. For the Cobbler Topping, mix all ingredients, except butter, in medium bowl. Cut in butter with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over Apple Filling. Cover.
  3. Cook 3 hours on high.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Sauce
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours, 35 minutes
Servings: 16

Pumpkin Cake:

  • 1          package (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
  • 1          can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1/4       cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1/4       cup milk
  • 2          eggs
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1          cup chocolate chips

Caramel Sauce:

  • 1          cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • 1/4       cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice
  1. Spray inside of 6-quart slow cooker with no stick cooking spray. For the Cake, mix all ingredients in large bowl. Pour into greased slow cooker. Place towel over slow cooker and cover with lid.
  2. Cook 3 1/2 hours on low or until cake is almost set.
  3. Meanwhile, for the Caramel Sauce, cook and stir all ingredients in small saucepan on medium-high heat 5 minutes or until sauce is smooth.
  4. Carefully remove slow cooker insert and place on wire rack. Pour 1/2 of the Caramel Sauce over the cake. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes to cool slightly. Serve cake with remaining sauce and ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
  5. Substitution: Use 1 cup chopped candy bars in place of the chocolate chips.

SOURCE:
McCormick

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While old, flickering, decaying lighting is a staple of haunted house design, it’s not what you want in your beautiful, contemporary home. Whether you’re preparing for your year-end decluttering or you’re just in the mood for an update, be sure to take a look at your lighting. While some light fixtures will last for decades, others may only last five years – but that’s certainly not taking style into account. Below are three reasons your lighting may need to be updated.

Dated fixtures

While Victorian and Craftsman homes are enviable, the dated décor inside of them isn’t always so. Track lighting is commonly labeled as dated, as it interrupts the flow of a ceiling. Much like track lighting, monorail lighting is fixed along a track. The main difference is that monorail lights have movement. You can also update your track lights with fun pendants, as opposed to the fixed, canned lights.

Even if your light fixture itself isn’t dated, the types of bulbs you’re using may be. Try ditching your old incandescent lightbulbs and updating to more environmentally friendly lightbulbs, like light-emitting diode lightbulbs (LEDs) or compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). Not only will you save on your electric bill, but you will also be reducing your carbon footprint and helping the environment.

Broken fixtures

We’ve all heard the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But what if it is? Well, if you’re following the same logic, if it’s broken, fix it! While some people may resort to calling an electrician to attempt to fix broken lighting, this may not be worth it. Some fixtures, if they’re hanging loose or maybe a little glitchy, can be easily fixed. For example, if it it’s a dead lightbulb that needs to be replaced, replace it. You can even upgrade to eco-friendly lightbulbs as mentioned earlier. Other fixtures may require more work. Tread lightly on any lighting-fixture projects that require extensive repairs; you’re better off replacing or upgrading the piece unless you have extensive knowhow.

If you’re trying to save a 20-year-old chandelier that has a relatively low value and does not enhance the space, you may be better off ditching it. With the immense technological advances in home lighting and appliances, a new fixture can bring your home into the 21st Century and give the space a much-needed, yet unexpected, facelift. Plus, the new fixture will likely last longer and have a warranty, so you won’t have to worry about additional issues in the near future.

Heinously hideous fixtures

While some home lighting can be saved, other light fixtures simply can’t be resuscitated because they’re just awful-looking. When it comes to your home lighting, the last thing you want is an ineffective piece that also looks like it belongs at the bottom of a landfill. Between bad DIY or makeshift fixtures and kitschy lights that belong in a museum or with your grandmother’s eclectic figurine collection, some lights desperately need to go. If this is the case, you do have options. Ideally, you would rip them out and replace them with beautiful statement-makers, but sometimes the budget isn’t always there; in fact, that could be the reason you have that DIY DVD case infuser stuck in your ceiling. Rather than making the problem worse, you can temporarily cover it. That won’t make the problem go away, though, so your best bet is finding high-quality and affordable fixtures. Modernizing now will certainly save you a headache later.

Even if you’re not updating your lighting right now, keep the above tips in mind; you never know when the lights will go out.

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Pineapple Glazed Ham

November 20, 2016

in Recipes

Merry Made Easy

Simple tips for holiday entertaining

(Family Features) The holidays are the time of year when families and friends come together, and when special moments and memories are plentiful. This year, instead of just letting the holidays happen, make them happen by embracing the season.

No matter how or where you celebrate, sometimes you need a little inspiration to pull it all together, especially when entertaining. Chef, restaurateur and co-host of ABC’s “The Chew,” Carla Hall offers these tips to help you savor every joyous, frenzied moment.

Simply smarter shopping: Having an open mind at the grocery store often means having better options in the kitchen. When shopping for a recipe, look for the best ingredients, like seasonal produce, even if it’s not called for in the original dish. At stores such as ALDI, you’ll find hand-selected holiday items that won’t break the bank and can make your celebrations special and memorable. From premium, affordable ingredients to cookware you’ll need to perfect those show-stopping recipes, you can find everything you need at ALDI to make the holidays happen without busting your budget.

Flour power: When cooking with flour, try whisking the flour in the bag before measuring. When you loosen the flour, you get a more accurate measurement, which can lead to better tasting food.

Cook now, enjoy again and then again: You can also stay ahead of the game by cooking more than you need. For example, if your recipe calls for stock or fortified broth, increase the amount and save for later. It’ll come in handy when you need to make the gravy. If preparing a vegetable side dish, use your leftovers to create a delicious omelet or strata.

Make ’em sing for their supper: The centerpiece of any home is the kitchen. It’s where everyone comes together to make holidays happen, so try including the whole family in the process. Give family members some fun and easy tasks to help you out. They can help scrub and peel vegetables, set the table and be your special taste testers. It’s a great way to make memories during the holidays, and can give your family members a lesson in creating delicious recipes, like this Pineapple Glazed Ham.

Visit aldi.us/holiday for more tips, tricks, recipes and fun ideas on how to make the most of your holiday season.

Pineapple Glazed Ham
Recipe courtesy of Carla Hall
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35-40 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1          Specially Selected Spiral Cut Double Glazed Ham
  • 1          cup pineapple juice from Sweet Harvest Pineapple Slices
  • 1/4       cup Specially Selected 100 percent Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1          tablespoon Tuscan Garden White Vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon Burman’s Dijon Mustard
  • 1          cinnamon stick
  • 1          teaspoon whole black peppercorns from Stonemill Peppercorn Grinder
  • 1/2       teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
  1. Heat oven to 375° F
  2. In 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish, place ham cut side down.
  3. In small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring remaining ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain steady boil and cook, whisking occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to 1/2 cup.
  4. Pour hot glaze over ham, distributing evenly. Bake 35-40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes, until well-glazed and heated through.
  5. Transfer ham to serving platter. Strain pan sauces; transfer to serving dish. Pass pan sauce with ham.

SOURCE:
ALDI

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Are you looking for the perfect eyeshadow palette? Look no further! Here are all of my recommendations for the best eyehadow palette for any occasion and price range.

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This book has been on my reading list for a very long time. It was just so hyped up in my mind that I was afraid to read it especially after a recent experience with another book that was highly anticipated and left me disappointed, The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters.

My Audible credit came available and I just happened across the audiobook for The Alchemist read by Jeremy Irons.

Jeremy Irons

I absolutely ADORE Jeremy Irons and I figured I would quite enjoy having this lovely man read to me in his lovely voice. I was right. I highly recommend the audiobook. I do apologise but this is not sponsored in any way and I do not have any kind of coupon code you can use.

Anyway, the story…it was everything I had hoped for and more. This is a story about treasure hunting. An Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids.

But this is not a story about Santiago finding riches and wealth beyond his wildest dreams. Instead, it is a story about the treasures we have within and the hard work and struggles we have to go through to dig for those buried treasures.

This is a story that will teach you that hard work is the way you earn your dreams. That love isn't a prison, it is as big as the world and just as free. That sometimes you have to travel far from home to realize what you left behind. That the power of dreams, the power of will and the power of love are transforming. But just as transforming is listening to our own hearts.

I can not recommend this book enough.

Many have commented that my rating system is too harsh. That books I give 3 stars would get 4 on other scales and a 4 star book should get 5 stars. But it is books like these that is the reasoning behind the rating system.

5 stars

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Eyeshadow Declutter

November 16, 2016

in Beauty,Videos

The most stressful and nerve wracking makeup declutter is finally here. Eyeshadow is my favorite makeup product so it is so difficult for me to part with anything. But what good is an eyeshadow palette doing just living in a drawer?


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Starting your own family traditions enables you to create valuable memories that you and your children can cherish for a lifetime. Typically, traditions are carried down from generation to generation, but when creating your own they often happen by accident. For instance, they can be sparked by a funny situation that is fondly remembered and desired to be recreated year after year. On the other hand, it can be a connection to a place that your family visits and want to return to annually, monthly or seasonally.

If you're thinking of starting a family camping tradition, begin by planning your trip well in advance to ensure that it creates a tradition that lasts for years to come. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Where and When

You and your family can create traditions starting from the very beginning — the planning process. Initiate fun ways of choosing the destination of your trip to boost the energy of the group from the get-go. Perhaps you choose the dates of your adventure to be a certain week of the year so that you all have something to look forward to and plan for. For example, scheduling to leave two weeks after school lets out for summer vacation and holding on to that same date every year.

The destination could remain the same, allowing you to create new memories in the same beloved area. You could also create a method for choosing the destination that everyone looks forward to, such as throwing a dart at a map or a game of rock, paper, scissors to see who is going to decide where you will be pitching the tent for the upcoming camping trip.

Learning New Skills

Creating bonds among members of the family can often be achieved by teaching a new skill or sharing knowledge with one another. When you reflect on your own childhood memories of catching your first fish or the first time you shot a gun, those are the memories that you are wanting to create for your own family. Teaching your family useful skills, such as using a gun and gun safety, will stick with them throughout their lives.

Another skill to consider is geocaching. Plan a geocaching trip where everyone has to use GPS coordinates to find treasures that one of the family members hides around the camp. It teaches everyone how to use maps, compasses and perhaps even a GPS unit, if you bring one.

Get your family excited about the new skills they're going to learn by taking them shopping to pick out shooting supplies, fishing gear or a GPS unit.

Friendly Competition

While relaxing around the camp fire may sound fun for the parents, the kids will likely need a little more action. There are many camping activities and games you can play, and a little bit of friendly competition is a great way to get the family involved. For example, an annual volleyball competition, horseshoes tournament or three-legged race gives everyone something to look forward to, as the losers will be inspired to beat the winners and the winners will want to defend their title — and keep the bragging rights.

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This will be my last Sephora Play! box. Check out my video to hear why!

Products in the box:

All products are sample size. Price listed is for the full size product.

Verb Leave-in Mist $14

Too Cool for School Egg Mellow Cream $36

Skin Inc Pure Revival Peel $55

Nudestix Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil $24

Smashbox Always on Matte Liquid Lipstick $24

Tom Ford Orchid Soleil $82

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The first look in the video is a modern grunge look perfect for fall. Then we will build on this super simple look and turn it into an old school 90s grunge look. Both are incredibly easy looks to do!

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Boxycharm October 2016

October 26, 2016

in Beauty,Videos

Boxycharm October 2016

Products in the box:

Luxie Beauty Eye Blender Brush Pack $36.00

Temptu Shimmer Bronzer $29.50

Briogio Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant $24.00

Starlooks Ultra Matte Lip Paint $19.00

Iby Beauty Three's Company Trio Eye Shadow $19.00

This box cost $21.00 and was worth $127.50. Check out Boxycharm here.

 

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Little Indonesian boy kissing his mom, who is working in office Little Indonesian boy kissing his mom, who is working in office

You already juggle so much for your family on any given day. But that desire for something more is nagging and the drive to make a positive impact by creating your own business is hard to ignore. But while all moms can multi-task, we aren't all cut out to be entrepreneurs.

It takes a specific personality to thrive in that kind of chaos. If you possess the following personality traits, the mompreneur track just might be the right move for you.

Eager to Learn

A true love of learning about anything and everything is a key quality that the majority of entrepreneurs share. In fact, in the most recent Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, a love of learning was identified as the number one trait shared by 84 percent of the 50,000 entrepreneurs surveyed.

A love of learning is essential for entrepreneurs because, no matter what your industry, you need to know a little bit about nearly everything in order to successfully run your own business. Sure, you can hire experts to handle the bookkeeping, accounting, technology and financial planning, but in order to properly manage a team, it's in your best interest to have at least a baseline knowledge in every area that you trust someone else to run for you.

With the business landscape around us changing and evolving frequently, your company needs to be nimble and adaptable to keep up. One of the most effective ways to facilitate this is to stay on top of the latest industry developments and learn new ways to differentiate your company from the competition.

Proactive

You need to constantly think a few steps ahead to avoid problems and turn challenges into successes. By being proactive instead of reactive, you control the fate of your business. You are more likely to make intentional steps towards positive progress. With the belief that you create your own reality and have the ability to control it, you're able to find more opportunities to shift the tides in the direction that will best benefit your brand.

Not Afraid of Risks

Owning your own business is not for the faint of heart. There are no guarantees of success, no consistent paychecks (at least in the beginning) and the responsibility to succeed falls squarely on your shoulders. For many, this is too much risk to handle. But for those with a true entrepreneurial spirit, these potential downsides act as challenges and make you all the more excited to prove naysayers wrong. Entrepreneurs are true believers in the notion that you cannot reap big rewards without taking big risks.

If you need a little bit of help getting comfortable with taking risks, there are some less risky options for testing your entrepreneurial abilities. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. For instance, you could test the waters by starting your own business with an established company like Amway. For many this is an excellent way to try their hand at owning a business with the support and guidance of an established brand. It's essentially a way to earn an income while educating yourself on the best entrepreneurial practices.

Resilient

Even the most successful businesses experience failures from time to time. It's how you deal with these challenges that really reveals your true potential to succeed. Entrepreneurs understand that failure is inevitable and they look at it as an opportunity to learn from mistakes and turn that negativity into something positive.

Confident

As an entrepreneur, you need to be confident in everything that you do. Without a strong sense of self-assurance, how can you expect your staff to trust that your next big idea will be a hit? A lack of confidence will also make it nearly impossible to secure funding for your business, so a strong belief in your brand's imminent success is crucial.

In a recent study of entrepreneurs, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation found that 91 percent of entrepreneurs surveyed were confident that their business' profitability would increase in the next year. This kind of attitude is critical to keep everyone on your team committed to taking your company to the next level.

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Ipsy's September theme was Glamazon. And the bag did not dissapoint.

ipsy

Products in the bag:

Eyeko Eye Do Eyeliner, Full Size $20, Sample Value $10

eyeko-eye-do-liquid-liner

IT Cosmetics Superher Mascara, Full Size $24, Sample Value  $13

it-cosmetics-superhero-mascara

NUXE Moisturizing Mask Crème Fraîche de Beauté, Full Size $25, Sample Value $8

nuxe-moisturizing-mask

Christie Brinkley® Authentic Skincare Complete Clarity Daily Facial Exfoliating Polish, Full Size $34.95, Sample Value $4

christie-brinkley-complete-clarity-daily-facial-exfoliator

Seraphine Botanicals Guava Butter, Full Size $24

seraphine-botanicals-guava-butter

The bag cost $10 and had a value of $59.

 

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Wicked Summer

Wicked Summer by Roma Brooks is a Cape Harriet Novel. The Bloom family travels to Cape Harriet, a seaside town in Virginia, for a summer vacation that should create lifelong memories as they celebrate Mary's 60th birthday.

 

Before I get into my review of the book, let me recommend to you that you have a snack handy while reading this book. The food described in the pages sounds simply amazing and I found myself not only reaching for snacks, but spending more time on Pinterest looking for recipes beyond the usual make four kids happy meals we usually eat at my house.

 

The story focuses on four women, Mary and her three daughters. As with most families, all of the sisters are wildly different from one another, but the characters are all believable. The only character I had trouble relating to was Iris. And I don't think that's the writer's fault. I think it's just because I don't have a single bone in my body that is that mean or negative.

 

The women are full of secrets we find out as we learn their stories. They fight. They learn. They grow. Meeting and spending time with these women was the perfect end of summer read.

 

What I enjoyed about this book was it was realistic. When you get four grown women together who are all related, and the matriarch of the family hopes the vacation will bring the family closer, there will be tension. And lots of it.

 

With believable characters, a smoothness and ease to the prose and a vacation spot that I'm pretty sure I might never come home from if I went, I do recommend that you pick up this book for a light, fun read that just may change your opinion of your sister(s) or your mother.

*I did receive a copy of this book for free from the author to review. All opinions are my own.

4stars

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