Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 447 – Plus Holiday Updates

Hi Friends! Welcome to this week’s linky party!  I wanted to take a moment this week to make a few notes about the upcoming holiday season!

Holiday Gift Guide – As always, I will be sharing a few products and gift ideas for the holiday season.  I welcome small businesses, Etsy shops, and more to submit your company or product for this year’s gift guide.  While I do write a lot of sponsored posts to generate income for my family, I also do a lot of product reviews in exchange for free products.  I’m also happy to present reader giveaways, so if you’d like to see your product here, please pitch me!  For a full media kit or other inquiries, just email me.

Support Me On Etsy – I also have an Etsy Shop where I sell hand stamped jewelry and ornaments.  I’ll be posting soon about some of our more popular products for the holidays, but I just wanted to make a general announcement and reminder about my shop.  Right now I’m running a sale on my hand stamped ornaments.  They are 15% off, and this includes custom pieces!  And I’ll be announcing other sales and coupons as they are available.

Hope you have a great weekend! Enjoy the linky party!

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet HomeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Lisa at Condo BluesTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small ThingsPin

Penny at Penny’s PassionTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

Lauren at All About That Mommy LifePin | Inst

Jennifer at Busy Being JenniferTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst

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If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

You can show your love for this week’s favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week’s favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week’s linky party! [Read more…]

Hardly A Blessing! Coping With Modern Allergies

As parents, there is nothing more debilitating than seeing our kids succumb to illness. Not only does it upset them, but it makes life very difficult for us. If we work full-time jobs, or we have a million things to do in the home, we’ve got to put everything to a halt to ensure that our kids feel looked after and that we’re doing everything for them. But, when we address the issue of illness in our kids, especially if they have chest complaints, colds, and flu-like symptoms all of the time, have you given thought to the reasons behind this? It seems that now, allergies are more prevalent than ever, in us as well as our kids, so when addressing why our kids get ill so often, allergies may prove to be the big reason. So how can we get to the root of it, but also ensure that we and our children live a life free of allergies and illness?

 

Starting In The Home

The best place to begin when making sure you are allergy free is your immediate home environment. After all, this is where we spend most of our time, and when we are raising our kids, we can learn how to nip certain issues in the bud before they get worse. Predominantly, as far as allergies are concerned, it boils down to one simple thing, dust! How do you get rid of more than your fair share of dust in the home? Having a proper cleaning regime! Having an effective cleaning regime isn’t just about ensuring you have good habits, and cleaning on a regular basis, especially if you have pets, where the amount of dander and the hair they molt will have a bearing on your chest, not to mention your children’s predilection towards allergies. Allergies become a major problem early on in life, and to ensure that we are doing everything we can for our kids in the home, on top of a decent cleaning habit, it’s about making sure that our home is breathable. This could mean ensuring your AC repair schedule is up-to-date, as well as your HVAC systems, but also making sure that there is enough “good quality” air in the house. This means checking your house from top to bottom for mold, damp, and other issues that can cause breathing problems. The effects of mold, especially the low-lying types like toxic mold, and undetectable allergens in the air need addressing, and can be fixed with an air purifier, but also by repairing any cracks that allow moisture to seep in.

 

Looking At Our Diet

Our diet is another aspect of allergies that need addressing. With a lot more focus now on allergies to gluten as well as lactose and nuts, which has resulted in a more diverse range of products in our supermarkets, a lot of us have, not necessarily an allergy, but an intolerance. These result in minor symptoms of allergies. And this is something that we should all look at. The fact is, a low-lying intolerance to something like gluten doesn’t just make us sneeze and sleep a little bit longer, it actually makes us miserable. You may know people that are constantly sniffy, and while you might dismiss them as being ill all of the time, very simply, they may have an intolerance to something. If your children have constant runny noses, or they tend to sleep in, or generally feel run down, an intolerance might be the root cause behind this. Making the necessary changes to their diet isn’t too difficult, once you get the hang of it, especially as there are numerous alternatives to wheat and dairy in the store nowadays. But if you suspect yourself or your child of having an intolerance to something, the best approach is to eliminate that item from your diet for at least 4 weeks and keep track of the symptoms as you go. You can then reintroduce the item, and see if it makes any difference. This can be a long-winded approach to identify any specific intolerance, but if it’s making you or your child miserable, you will see a big difference in their disposition. For example, an intolerance to wheat has been linked to depression and anxiety, primarily due to the impact gluten has on the gut-brain axis.

 

Keeping On Top Of Illness

Sometimes, when we’re allergic to something, and we’ve tried every single option, we have to learn how to minimize the symptoms. This can be done in numerous ways. Naturally, over the counter medications will work for allergies like hay fever, but if you are struggling to allocate the source, having a few handy potions and recipes will help you when you are really struggling. While there’s a lot of talk about gut bacteria at the moment, drinks like kefir and kombucha have been shown to increase probiotics and good gut bacteria, which will naturally help you to combat illness. In addition to this, there are some approaches that you may find a little unorthodox, cold showers being one idea that many will find difficult to cope with. But cold showers have been shown to increase your white blood cell count. White blood cells help you to fight infection, and there have been various stories about people who have cured their allergies with cold showers. In fact, there’s one story about a girl who had chronic migraines, and found that the one cure was to go swimming in the freezing cold sea. While we’ve covered gut bacteria, white blood cells, the food part of tackling allergies is about knowing which foods fight infection. It depends on your own specific intolerances, but garlic and onions, as smelly as they are, can form a very potent defense against colds and flu. But in addition to these, you need to consider what state your immune system is currently in. An allergy is, in essence, a symptom of a compromised immune system. This means that we need to work at building up our immunity in specific ways. While you can address your diet directly, especially if you’re focusing on foods that deplete your immune system, like sugar, and food you are unable to tolerate, but by constantly working at improving your immune system through other approaches, like exercise, you can build up a strong immunity, and hopefully emerge allergy free.

 

Ultimately, working at removing allergies is about exerting control over the environment we spend most of our time in. In the home, we can minimize exposure to certain foods, dust mites, and mold, but when we are venturing into an environment that we have no control over, such as in work, or the school, we need to implement the best practices at minimizing these symptoms. And while our kids are going to be exposed to many different toxins, via wheat, a bad AC system, or other numerous factors, it’s about giving us and our kids the necessary tools to minimize the fallout. For example, if you have a child intolerant to gluten, and they accidentally eat some, a supplement like activated charcoal, when taken early enough, will reduce a lot of the fogginess and other negative symptoms. Coping with modern allergies isn’t easy, because it seems that there are more than ever. And while we can’t control the environment outside of our home, it’s about making sure we know the triggers in us and our children, but also, making sure that we don’t live with these allergies so much that it makes us miserable.

 

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Fashion Reivew from prAna

Disclosure: I received free products to facilitate this review. The opinions are my own.
fashion review

It is mid October, and I am excited to finally have some weather in the 70s and 80s!  That combined with cooler temperatures in the night means it is time for me to break out my fall wardrobe.  Recently I had chance to take a look at some fashion pieces from prAna.  Their products are environmentally friendly and made with sustainable fabrics like cotton and hemp. They have some lovely offerings from their hemp line that are just perfect for the fall and winter season!  And I’m very excited to show you what I got from their site!

(By the way, you can get 15% off at prAna when you use my coupon code: PHJR18)

fashion review

I chose the Cozy Up Zip Up Jacket in Equinox Blue Heather.  I chose this item because, as a mom I need comfortable clothes that I can wear around the house but that also transition well to outerwear, and I have always loved hoodies!  They are also great because you can wear them as a part of an outfit or wear them as a jacket.  It is made of Hemp/recycled polyester/Tencel ® lyocell fleece blend.

 

fashion review

First off, I love the color.  Secondly, I am very impressed with how soft the fabric is, especially the fleece on the inside.  And I can tell it will be very warm when winter weather comes.  The fabric also feels and looks very strong and durable.

I can definitely see myself wearing this as an occasional jacket out of the house or as a daily wear item, especially in the mornings or evenings when it is coolest in our house.  And I can see myself wearing this item for a long time.

I also chose the Leda Pant in coal.  I absolutely love the color grey, so I was immediately attracted to the color of these.  I’ve also ONLY RECENTLY started wearing skinny jeans and leggings and so I thought these would fit in well with my collection.  I really like the ribs in the fabric and the fact that they are high-rise; this is very different from anything else I have in my wardrobe.

And I also love the feel of the fabric.  It is 53% Hemp, 2% Organic Cotton, and 5% Spandex.  It feels very comfortable and soft, and it feels very durable.  These pants also seem as they they will be way warmer than the thinner cotton pants.  I could actually see myself wearing these out in colder weather, unlike a lot of other legging and skinny jeans.

They fit great!  I’m short and skinny, so I got the XS.  One reason I’ve not wore much “skinny” fit pants in the past is because I am so short.  All pants are usually long on me, and I hate them bunching at the bottom, but these seem to be the perfect length, so I’m happy about that!

These pants are also very versatile.  On the prAna site the models wear the pants as workout gear, and they would definitely be great for that.  But I love the idea of wearing these with other outfits.  In my photos, I decided to wear them with a flannel button down shirt.  Plaid is really in style this year, and I thought the colors of this shirt would go well with the grey pants, and I was actually impressed with how they went together.  I also think these pants would look great with a pullover sweater or a cardigan.

And I have to throw this in: When my husband saw these pants, he said I looked hot, and that these were his new favorite pair of pants for me.  That definitely made me feel good, and I have to say, these may be my new favorite pair of pants as well!

 

fashion review

I’d love for you to check out all the great things prAna has to offer!

Coupon Code: Get 15% off at prAna when you use this coupon code: PHJR18

Tell Me What You Think:  I’d love to hear your thought on this brand!  Please leave a comment on this post.

Low-Carb Diet May Lead to an Early Death: Know How to Eat Your Carbs Right

 

 

There are many articles that praise the low-carb diet as one of the most effective options for weight loss. However, recent studies show that both low and high-carb diets can increase the risk of early death (USA Today). The key to an effective weight loss diet for your family is to eat the right kind of carbs. This will ensure that you get enough energy to stay healthy and don’t put your future at risk.

Best Carbs to Eat for Weight Loss and Health

The best carbohydrates to eat are complex ones that your body takes time to process. Note that you will need to not only add some specific foods to your diet to get healthy carbs. You will need to replace some of the things you eat with these ‘good’ alternatives. It’s as important to not eat ‘bad’ carbs as it is to eat enough of the ‘good’.

Best carbs to add to your daily meal plan include:

* Fruit juices (freshly squeezed)

* Fresh fruits and vegetables

* Whole grains

* Nuts

* Root vegetables

All these foods are staples of the healthy diet because they contain a variety of micro and macronutrients. This means they do not only give you complex carbs but also fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They are also the basis of any list that tells you what to eat to lose weight fast. It’s the high nutritional value of the foods that makes them good for weight loss. And complex carbs are a key factor in this, because they ensure that the foods are filling.

Carbs to Avoid on a Healthy Weight Loss Diet

Processed, this one word sums up all the carbs your family should avoid to stay healthy. You also need to avoid them to lose weight because they bring nothing useful but calories. This means that foods with processed carbs are fattening but not filling as they don’t provide you with all essential nutrients.

To make your diet as healthy as possible, you should replace processed simple carbohydrates with their alternatives listed above. For example, this means dropping sodas for natural juices and white bread for whole grained one.

Note that a diet high in processed carbs is not only bad for your weight. It deals a lot of damage to your general health and is one of the contributing factors to the current epidemic of type 2 diabetes (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition), among other things.

‘Bad-carb’ foods that you should avoid above all others while on a weight loss diet are:

* Coffee drinks.

Black coffee is good for the diet because it stimulates metabolism and has few calories. However, coffee drinks with milk, sugar, syrup, and/or whipped cream contain too many fats and sugars.

* Pastries and white bread. Anything made from refined white flour is to be avoided as extremely fattening. Bagels and other pastries are the main offenders because they contain about 300 calories and 50 grams of carbs in one serving.

* Preserves, jams, and jellies. Any kind of sugary fruit that comes from a jar most likely contains way too much sugar to be healthy. If you want a healthy alternative to put on your toast, blend frozen or fresh berries with a handful of nuts into a paste.

* Yogurt with fruit at the bottom. By the same principle as jam, yogurt with fruit on the bottom contains too much sugar because it literally contains jam. Yogurt that’s good for weight loss is plain unsweetened or Greek.

5 Tips to Use When Shopping for Your Plus Size Wedding Dress

Dress shopping is stressful to all brides, and when it comes to the plus size brides, it is traumatic. We have all had a snippet of the mean store attendants for bridal shops when it comes to plus size brides. Thankfully, we have the right place for you, at Madame bridal, you’ll find the plus size Julietta collection. Here there are no mean attendants, you are safe. There is a significant variation in the plus size dresses available. The selection goes from size 14 all the way to size 32. Just because you are not petite, it doesn’t mean you can’t have the dress of your dreams.

Here are tips laid down for you, to use when you are getting your dress:

1. Call ahead.

Do not be ashamed of asking stores if they have your size. Pick up the phone and ask for your size. It’s your big day, and nothing should come before that. Ask them if they are able to work with you. There economic shops which can only afford to carry just a sample dress and usually prefer working with average sizes. For instance, if a bride ranges from size 2 to 22, they will only carry size 10. If you find a friendly and confident attendant you think you can work with, you are lucky, if not, keep calling until you do.

2. Chain wedding dress stores are a good choice.

These stores usually don’t have the best reputation, which is so unfair, since these stores are always packed will all size dresses and designs. When you get there, find someone who is excited to work with you and let them guide you. You know your body, they know the dresses, put this together and find the best.

3. Take over.

Make sure the salesperson does not control you in what you are getting. You might end up getting what you don’t want. These people have been trained to be convincing. Be the leader of the conversation and not the other way around.

4. Don’t worry about the size.

Some stores don’t use the correct sizes. If you feel like you can fit into the dress, try it on, if it fits well and good!

5. You can make adjustments.

Don’t be troubled to ask whether changes can be made on the dress. You might find your dream dress but only a slight detail is missing, like its sleeveless and you want it to have sleeves. This should not hinder you in getting it. If you don’t feel comfortable in some of its features, as for adjustments, it not a big deal!

6. Do not allow disrespect.

If the salesperson is being rude and is trying to body shame you. Do not cause chaos or draw attention to yourself, tell the salesperson to shut it down, and add that its none of their business. Ask for another salesperson, and report this to the management later. You don’t want someone else to be treated in the same manner.

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 446

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet HomeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Lisa at Condo BluesTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small ThingsPin

Penny at Penny’s PassionTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

Lauren at All About That Mommy LifePin | Inst

Jennifer at Busy Being JenniferTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst

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If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

You can show your love for this week’s favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week’s favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week’s linky party! [Read more…]

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 445

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet HomeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Lisa at Condo BluesTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small ThingsPin

Penny at Penny’s PassionTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

Lauren at All About That Mommy LifePin | Inst

Jennifer at Busy Being JenniferTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

You can show your love for this week’s favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week’s favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week’s linky party! [Read more…]

Mama’s New Helper: DEEBOT OZMO 610 – Robot Vacuum Review

Disclosure:  I received a free DEEBOT OZMO 610 for review.  Affiliate links may be contained herein.  The opinions are my own.

Over the years I’ve had the chance to review a LOT of great products, including cleaning products and tools, but I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about a product review than I am about the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO610 2-in-1 Multi-Surface Vacuuming and Mopping Robot.  This is robot vacuum has become a LIFE SAVER at my house!

A few months ago, I wrote a post about cleaning the floor, and I specifically talked about how having a baby, especially one who is now crawling around, multiplies your need to clean the floor a hundred times over.  (And yet, when you have a baby, your time for cleaning seems to be cut in half, or worse!)  But with the DEEBOT OZMO 610, I am able to clean the floor every day!

Here are a few features I love:

  • Remote control or automatic control.
  • Quiet when running.
  • Easy set up via your cell phone or mobile device.
  • Schedule your robot to clean on specific days and time.
  • Works on any hard surface or carpet.
  • Features a place to put liquid cleaner for mopping.
  • Easy to open.
  • Smart navigation and returns home.

The ability to schedule your cleaning is key for us.  Between 5pm and 6pm, I am always giving the baby his dinner, and so I’ve got the vacuum set up to run at 6pm.  It starts off in the kitchen; meanwhile I pick up Thaxton’s toys in the living room, so that it can clean in there and our hallway next.  (By the way, Thaxton loves the vacuum too.  He’s scared of other vacuums and appliances that make noise, but he loves to sit in his Pack n Play or his Jumperoo and watch the vacuum do its thing!)

I usually have the other rooms closed off, but once or twice a week, I make sure there’s no clutter in the floor of those rooms so that it may run in there as well, and I also try to use the mopping function about once a week.  It just takes a minute to put a little cleaner in DEEBOT, and I love being able to smell the fresh cleaner as he mops in our kitchen.

DEEBOT is also have easy to empty.  We have messy pets and people in our home, so I empty DEEBOT after each use, and I am always amazed at how much trash has been picked up.  When I see how much trash there is (especially if we let DEEBOT skip a day or two), it actually freaks me out a little bit, and I can’t believe we used to vacuum only once a week!

This is an amazing product!  I am so pleased with how much cleaner my floors are, and I am thrilled that it’s able to happen without me having to do a bunch of work or take a lot of time of my day!

This product is available at Target and other retailers, and I definitely recommend it!

 

 

 

The Way You Should Decorate Your Simple Sweet Home

Your home is, no doubt, your paradise on this earth. No matter how much you are fatigued or tensed, you tend to go home to get comforted and that you do achieve as soon as you enter your paradise. Now, to beautify this small paradise more and more is your natural tendency and you always feel proud of keeping it well maintained and even growing further. In spite of being so much enthusiastic and energetic to decorate your simple sweet home, you sometimes fail with the impressive ideas to do so. You get a bit confused about what to do and what not to because of too many options available to you. Then you try to find someone with unique ideas to help you decorate your house. Interior designers brentwood ca may be a good choice in this regard. Realizing the worth of this very valuable passion, we have paved the best way to your home décor. Here it goes as follows.

Get Your Windows Dressed Up

Windows not only require durable moldings but also nice dressings if they are meant to impress others. Always select beautiful soft material to dress up the windows and keep changing these curtains after regular time intervals. It will always give a decent look to your durable windows.

Keep a Thorough Cleanliness

‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ we all know and believe. So, do follow this maxim and always keep the whole house neat and clean. Removing dust from various surfaces not only keeps your spirits high but also maintains a softer décor. The most beautiful aspect of this game of cleanliness is that it will not cost you a penny, but will keep you healthy and fit as well.

Change Old- Fashioned Lighting

With the passage of time, very old light fixtures begin to tease our eyes and also cast a poor impression on our guests. Great designers like Holmby Hills interior designers always replace them with the new attractive and affordable models. Likewise, badly positioned tube lights and chandeliers also need elimination on urgent basis. No need to worry about; the market is full with all such lovelies.

Adopt Seasonal Decor

Another very inexpensive yet impressive and influential way of embellishing your house is to decorate it with the seasonal stuff such as cushions, throws, etc. These decorative articles update the atmosphere of your rooms as per taste of the respective season. Moreover, these decorative accessories are quite easy to change besides being essential for comfort and style.

Relocate the Setting of Things

Humans can never stick to a single taste, but always tend to keep making small changes just to rotate their mind sets. Sometimes, it does happen that the same stereotype setting or the order of things or furniture articles begins to bore us and we start losing our charm in our own house. Hence, the simple act of relocating a furniture article can give your whole décor a new life and impression. Light fixtures, frames, area rugs and occasional furniture may also be dealt in the same way.

Add Area Rugs and Plants

Area rugs and carpets are the items that bring comfort, conviviality and contrast besides providing superb decoration. They are also responsible for dividing the whole space very skillfully and artistically, thus enhancing the beauty of the whole area. Plants, our natural companions, are always a great source of beautification and ornamentation anywhere. Additionally, plants also keep us healthy through fresh oxygen. These must be pampered if you want to keep a good décor at your home.

The above said is the golden way to decorate your simple sweet home or paradise.

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 444

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet HomeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Lisa at Condo BluesTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Amy at A Day of Small ThingsPin

Penny at Penny’s PassionTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

Lauren at All About That Mommy LifePin | Inst

Jennifer at Busy Being JenniferTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst

|

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

You can show your love for this week’s favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week’s favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week’s linky party! [Read more…]