Archive for the 'Tips and Advice' Category

Guilt-Free Holiday 21Nov12

I know everyone is probably tired of hearing all about Thanksgiving by now. So I thought today instead we might discuss what to do to not feel guilty about taking a full day off and relaxing with our families and not thinking twice about eating too much and indulging in our favorite foods. What’s the point of having a holiday to lay low if we are worried about everything?

For those of you like me, who do not want to let one day of indulgence throw you completely off your healthy track, I have a few suggestions for you to have a guilt-free holiday. First, make sure to stick to your routine as much as possible. If you generally workout once a day, keep it up. inmotion ellipticalGranted, if you are like me and have to travel several hours to get to where you need to go for Thanksgiving, you may have to miss a day. I am lucky and my mom knows exactly what I need, so she went ahead and signed me up to take a boot camp class at her gym on Thanksgiving morning. This way, I can start my day off right, and then after my workout I will not feel so guilty about lying around on the couch all day.

There are also some of you may wake up as early as possible to get in as much shopping as possible on Black Friday. Yes, walking around the mall and running around finding the best deals might count as cardio, but I have an InMotion Eliptical at my parents’ house so I can just on that to get in an extra work out after my shopping.

The workouts you end up fitting in over this holiday weekend may not necessarily be your normal workout, Versa-Bell II 25 lb. dumbbellbut at least it will be something to keep your body moving. Make sure to utilize the resources you have. If you are going away, see if there is a gym you can go to as a guest, or if the people you are staying with have any dumb bell weights for you to use or maybe even a working treadmill to squeeze in a quick workout. manual treadmillDon’t forget, jumping jacks, crunches, pushups, wall sits, squats, lunges, and stretching, can all be done right in front of the television. What do you plan to do to stay on track this Thanksgiving holiday weekend?

Last Minute Thanksgiving Prep 20Nov12

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is this week? I just cannot believe that in just a few days I will be hanging out with family and friends watching football and parades, eating and drinking, and of course Black Friday shopping! I hope that all of you who are taking on the huge responsibility of hosting Thanksgiving dinner have managed your time and are prepared for this holiday that is so quickly approaching. Since the time is sneaking up on me, I thought it might be for you as well. And while I know we have discussed Thanksgiving Day planning, I thought today would be appropriate to discuss everything to do that has become last minute.

When it comes to planning and organizing for a big family and friend feast like Thanksgiving, some items simply slip our minds. Two things I think frequently stress people out are decorating for Thanksgiving and cleaning. Of course we want our homes to look perfect for the holiday but with the cooking, shopping, and preparation, cleaning and decorating get pushed aside sometimes. I am here today to help you get your whole house in the Thanksgiving spirit without taking too much time away from everything else.

ez covers Let’s first talk about decoration. If you are not crafty, and if you have no time, consider EZ Covers. With the EZ Covers you can change the whole look of your dining room from normal to Thanksgiving festive by covering your chairs in a different color fabric.

Second, let’s talk about cleaning. If you find that you do not have the time to scrub your hardwood or tile floors after making a mess in the kitchen cooking, robo floor sweeperno need to worry. The Robo Floor Sweeper can take care of that for you while you do whatever else you need to get done. The Robo Floor Sweeper can clean the floor while you put the EZ Covers on the chairs, and make any other last minute change you need to complete. Robo Floor Sweeper is just like having an extra person in your house for you to help with the cleaning. I love it when I can check items off of my “to do” list even when I do not have to “do” them myself!

So I am sure you are all very busy and very excited about the upcoming holiday. I know it can be a lot of work if you are the host of the party, but I truly believe it is all worth it in the end. I do hope that my easy cleaning and decoration tips help make your planning a little bit easier. I hope you have a great holiday! Happy Thanksgiving!

Looking Forward to the Fall Season 06Aug12

Well friends, another summer weekend is gone, and another work week begins. I know it has been August since the middle of last week, but it just dawned on me this past weekend how quickly this year is flying by. I could not believe my eyes when I was in the store and items to decorate the house for fall, Halloween, and yes…I even walked past one store that was actually already selling Christmas tree ornaments! Now, the stores are trying to rush my year (that is already going by very quickly) away, but I am still trying to enjoy the last bit of summer…though there are so many great things to look forward to.

twist n clip

While I know the summer is great and there is nothing quite like the sun staying up longer making our days last, sometimes the end of summer and beginning of fall can be such a great time of year as well. Two awesome things that typically begin in the fall are football and camping. Yep, the end of the summer is the time to start thinking about the sports and camping items to buy for this coming season. Those of you who like camping probably cannot wait for the cooler temperatures to settle in so the time spent camping, hiking, eating, and sleeping outdoors won’t be full of thick humidity and mosquitoes. This crisp, cool temperature of early fall is the best time for you to enjoy the great outdoors. Aside from camping, fall means football. Now, if you do not enjoy football, I am sure someone in your life does. People like to play football, watch football, talk about football, and even get so involved, play fantasy football. I guess I, too, can start to get excited for fall.

Camping and football – two excellent things to look forward to for this upcoming season. I feel like someone in everyone’s life likes one of these two activities. Outdoors and sports are great activities to do with friends and family – they really do build a great sense of community. They also can help the kids learn teamwork, and it keeps them outside, active, and off the couch – how can that be a bad thing? Whatever the reason, sports and camping are fun fall activities. I hope you find yourself getting ready to enjoy them soon.

Gifts for Fathers Day 13Jun12

I hope everyone has started planning for the big weekend this weekend. This weekend is Father’s Day. This weekend is the weekend we get to take care of our dads, our pseudo dads, our husbands who are the fathers of our children, and our friends and/or family who have recently become dads. It’s Father’s Day, and for me that means my dad (for this one day of the year) has to let me take care of his and he has to accept (and love) his Father’s Day gift from me.

Gifts for Fathers DayNow, let’s be honest, most of the dads in our lives have a hard time accepting gifts and other people doing for them because they always (and enjoy) doing everything for everyone else. But we get this day to celebrate them, and I think, secretly, they actually enjoy the attention we give them on Father’s Day as much as they might say, “Don’t do anything special,” and (my least favorite line) “Do not get me a Father’s Day gift.” My dad knows none of these things are options. He can fight with me forever on it, he knows it’s a waste of his breath. If you’re anything like me, you love buying gifts, but finding the perfect gift is important – and with as difficult as dads can be, it is even more difficult to buy the perfect gift for dad. So, let me let you into a little secret, visit Gifts for Father’s Day from Taylor Gifts. On this page you’ll be able to find Father’s Day gifts for all of the dads in your life of all interests – no matter how hard it is for them to accept the gift we give.

Now after the hard part of buying a Father’s Day gift is done, what’s next is to give him the gift in the most special way he will allow. My dad doesn’t allow much. So this year, it’s just going to be a simple brunch with the whole family. I think my dad does the whole Father’s Day stuff to make the rest of us happy, but to be honest, I am happy that I get to celebrate my dad. My dad very rarely let’s me give him gifts, so this is one of the two days in a year he will accept my gift to him. I hope you all have a nice Father’s Day this year with all of the dads you celebrate with.

Ultimate Tote Bag 19Mar12

Do you guys every have those days when you leave your house at 7 in the morning and don’t get back home until well after 11 at night? This very rarely occurs in my world. I generally allow myself time, and create a schedule in which I can check back in at home, maybe change my outfit from daytime to evening, sit down to check my email, or do whatever it is I need to do at home. The other Saturday, the opportunity to go home simply did not happen.

I had a million errands to run during the day, and an event (luckily it was a casual event, not fancy) to go to in the evening. Fortunately, none of this was a surprise, and I knew in advance that there would be no time in between running errands and going out to stop at home for a break in between. Let me tell you the few things I learned:

1. It is very difficult to come up with an outfit casual and comfortable for the day that can also be worn to a party at night

2. Even though you charge your cell phone the night before, you still should have an extra charger with you just in case your phone starts to die

3. Bring snacks in case your dinner plans get shifted to no dinner or late dinner

4. Flip flops are okay to wear to any event

5. No matter how heavy it might get, bring a tote bag to carry your regular wallet, cell phone, keys, lip gloss, and chap stick; but also bring with you a small brush, a light jacket or cardigan in case it gets cold, touch-up makeup, and a small brush in the tote bagTOTE BAG

I have to tell you that I did all of these things since I did think ahead to my busy day, and I am not sad for one minute that I planned for the full day 100%. I guess no one really thought anything of me having a larger tote bag instead of a purse because no one asked me why I was carrying such a large bag or even asked me what was in it. It seems I may not necessarily be the only one who has had to plan for such long days. I will say though, while I was able to do it, I would still much rather have a chance to go home to break up the day.

Kitchen Organization 21Feb12

It has been something I should have addressed a long time ago. I have avoided it because I just didn’t want to think about how to go about resolving the problem. I wanted to continue to ignore the clutter, and just pretend like it would eventually be okay when I move one day. But my kitchen is small, I like to cook and serve, and I have too much stuff and not enough cabinets in the small kitchen.

I have been storing serving pieces, baking dishes, and small appliances that I do not use every day on top of the refrigerator and on top of the cabinets that don’t reach the ceiling. The other week, I opened the freezer door and a serving plate (luckily small and plastic) came tumbling down on my head. I knew at this moment that I needed a better solution to the lack of storage in my kitchen. Since it is not a home that I own and just an apartment I rent, I cannot redesign the kitchen to put in new cabinets that I like that will work for me. But I can search through different kitchen organization products to find some way to make my kitchen more manageable.

slim slide pantryThere are different ways and things to do in order to organize things better. My mom has something similar to the slim slide out pantry built into her kitchen, and she uses this for her spices – brilliant! No more digging around in search for the spice you need in a cabinet above your head! For me, I need more help in the serving pieces and appliance storage. four tier shelf” width=For this, I found the perfect product: a four tier shelf. I can keep it just outside my small kitchen, it holds everything so I can see what I have, and doesn’t take up too much space from my living area. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this before!

8 Pocket Coupon Organizer 26Jan12

We are getting near the end of January. Have you kept your resolution for a full month? I am especially interested in those of you who chose to save more money. What are you doing to save more money and how is it going?

8 pocket coupon holderEvery day and I am bombarded with emails from my favorite stores. It takes everything I have not to look at all of them and shop every day…because who doesn’t like 30% off? I also joined several groups to receive emails about discounts on places and things going on in the area. Of course, I will never stop clipping coupons and saving them in my coupon holder for all of the hard copy coupons I get in the mail and particularly for the grocery store.

In addition to coupons, I have just been better about not purchasing things I don’t need, keeping up my coffee savings account, buying things on sale at the grocery store, and making sure to use what I have in the house before I buy new food items that will go bad. Tell me what your plan is and how it’s been going.

Slim Away 06Jan12

How is your New Year’s resolution coming along? Have you stopped smoking, started eating healthier, paid off that lingering credit card debt, been to the gym at least three times this week? Probably not.

We’re only one week into the New Year and you might be feeling as if you’re behind your goals already. It’s easy to feel that way when you have a big goal to meet. It’s always a good idea to break your goals down into smaller manageable tasks. If you’re trying to eat healthier, start with focusing on cutting out one snack a day, or be prepared with a yogurt or almonds instead of grabbing whatever chocolate-coated candy bar is calling your name from the vending machine.

SLIM AWAY” width=Maybe you’re doing all the right things but still not seeing the results you want yet. We all need help with our goals. If you have a few extra inches around your midsection that just aren’t budging, Slim Away will instantly show off the slimmer, trimmer you. It not only helps you look trimmer right away, but locks in body heat to help stimulate weight loss around the waist while you wear it! Slim Away is thin enough to wear under your clothes, so no one will know your weight loss secret, and it’s fully adjustable so as the inches melt away you tighten and continue to lose weight.

Keep trying to meet your New Year’s resolutions and goals. Small steps are the key. How are you all doing with your resolutions after one week?

Tread Ahead 02Jan12

TREAD AHEADWhere I live, it’s that time of year; time to get ready for snow. We can really never be too prepared. The worst part is when your car gets stuck in the snow, and there is no shovel to help dig out the car. A new item I found might be just what I need to add to my snow emergency kit that I keep in my car, Tread Ahead.

Have you used the Tread Ahead yet? What do you think? How much easier would life be if we didn’t have to chip away the ice that forms under our car tires anymore? With Tread Ahead, all that has to be done is to place the Tread Ahead beneath the front of the tire stuck in the snow, and the car will out! The Tread Ahead could really help out in tricky situations if the car gets stuck, like mud, snow, ice, plus there is a built in handle and ice scraping edge to clear your windows.

The Tread Ahead can be used in more than just snow situations. You can use the Tread Ahead to help get out of mud and up ice as well. The Tread Ahead might be just what we all need just in case this winter.

Save Money In 2012 29Dec11

In keeping with a New Year’s resolution theme, I thought today we might talk about another popular New Year’s resolution favorite: saving money.

There are lots of ways to cut back and save. I have been finding more and more little shortcuts that allow me to save a little bit of money, but do not make me feel like I am missing out on life and things I enjoy. For example, I now have a travel coffee mug. I have not given up my favorite little independent coffee shop coffee, but I have cut down from 5 days a week to 2 days a week and I brew my own on the other 3 days. Is it saving me millions of dollars? No. But, I am putting $3 into a “coffee savings account” every time I bring my own coffee to work in the morning. Let me tell you what, $3 three times a week is $9 a week – multiplied by 52 weeks in a year equals $468 savings every year! I’ll take it!

MINI FIREPLACE” width=There are many other ways to save some extra cash throughout the year. For example, heating cost in your house. Instead of raising the heat every time someone in one room gets cold, you might consider something like purchasing a mini metal fireplace heater to warm up that room a little more without raising your energy bill by raising the heat in the whole house. Also, don’t think of that spare change and “useless.” Save those pennies and you’ll see MONEY MISER
how much they add up. You can even make it easier by using a sorting bank that will sort your coins for you into coin wrappers so once it’s full you can take it to the bank and fill up your bank account!

What other ways can you think of saving money for your New Year’s resolution? Happy savings!!