Saturday, October 18, 2014

How Much Are You Spending On Energy Vampires?

Did you know that even when your electronics aren't switched to on, they can still zap electricity, draining your wallet?  The Department of Energy claims that vampire loads are responsible for approximately 5% of your energy bill, costing electric customers more than $3 billion, yes BILLION per year.

If you want to know what items are energy vampires, turn off your lights at night and see what lights up.  Many "standby" lights are guilty of draining energy.  A quick and easy fix is a power strip that cuts off the power completely when not in use.

Visit Duke Energy for a cool little form that can give you an idea of how much you can save each year by truly turning these items off when not in use.

Tips to Avoid a Deer Collision

Fall is here and the deer are frolicking!  Mating season tends to spike from October through December, so they are on the move more than any other time of the year.  Unfortunately, they don't have any street smarts, so deer collisions happen frequently.  However, there are some things you can do to avoid hitting one.

  1. Be most cautious at dawn and dusk--the times the deer are most active.  Unfortunately, they are also harder to see at these times.  But don't be fooled, sometimes they are out at anytime.
  2. Be aware of the area you are traveling.  If there are farms or wooded areas alongside the road, there are likely deer nearby.  However, these days, they are also showing up in neighborhoods in town.
  3. If you see one, there are most likely more.  Deer like to travel in groups.
  4. Don't swerve.  Just hit the brakes firmly.  Often times, swerving causes you to lose control of the car and end up in an accident that would be worse than hitting a deer.
  5. If you see deer crossing signs, be forewarned.  The signs are up for a reason!

#Giveaway: Good Earth Natural Organic Beauty Products! #organic #natural #beauty

Disclosure:  I received products in exchange for an honest review.

The older I get, the more concerned I am with my health and with all the chemicals we expose ourselves too.  I see research after research that demonstrates the negative effects of these chemicals.  So, I am starting to explore more natural products when it comes to skin care.  I recently learned of a company called Good Earth Beauty.

Good Earth Beauty is an online beauty shop that carries only natural and organic beauty products that aren't tested on animals.  The staff personally tests all products that they chose to sell.  They carry cosmetics, bath & body, hair care as well as items for babies, pets and more.  They also sell gift cards (great idea for Christmas!).

I tried a couple of Good Earth Beauty's exclusive products.  The first was Jasmine Exfoliating Body Scrub.  I found it to be on the dry side, but just added a bit of water on my loofah and it was perfect.  Not only did it do wonders for sloughing off old skin cells, it also did a wonderful job of moisturizing.  It is made with Fair Trade Organic Sugar, Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia Nut) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil , Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut Oil), Fragrance Oil, Glyceryl Monocaprylate (and) Glyceryl Monoundecylenate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E).  No icky chemicals!

I also tried the Bentonite Clay Detox Soap.  I love this soap!  It feels silky to the touch once wet and is great for shaving.  It makes my skin feel balanced and clean and moisturized.  Bentonite clay is said to be detoxing and is frequently used in mud masks to pull the impurities and toxins from the body. I don't know if it does all that, but it sure makes my skin feel wonderful!  The soap is blended with lavender, litsea, and patchouli essential oils for a wonderful fresh smell--in fact, I can't keep my nose out of the box while I write this.  My only complaint is that the edges are squared off.  Rounded off edges are easier to glide over the skin.  The ingredients for this are: saponified organic olive, coconut, palm oil and shea butter, bentonite clay, essential oil blend.

A really neat thing about this company--shipping is always free!  No code needed!  They also include free samples with every order.  If there is something in particular you would like to sample, you can email them and they will do their best to accommodate your wishes.  Right now, if you use code Anna10 at check out, you can also get 10% off your order.  I think I am hooked!

Remember, it's not too early to think about Christmas gifts.  These products would make wonderful gifts!  Make sure you enter the giveaway below so you can try these products yourself!

Disclosure:  I received products in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Goodbye to a Wonderful Old Friend

My husband was recently in an auto accident where his truck was totaled.  We had to say goodbye to our old friend.  Our 4Runner was nearly 18 years old and had well over 200,000 miles on it.  We bought it almost 11 years ago--just before my oldest daughter was born.  We paid cash and have never had a payment on it.  We have traveled many trips in it and have many memories with it.  My husband had many deer in the back.  It was reliable.  We had it for 9 years before we discovered it had a check engine light.  We only had three small repairs on it.  Unbelievably, it was still worth $3500!

When we bought another used 4Runner, one that was much nicer, we quietly argued on the way home from the dealership over who had to drive the new 4Runner.  He won the argument.  We referred to the new one as 007 and the old one as '97.

As strange as it may seem, we both were attached to that old 4Runner.  It was sad to see it towed off.  Later, my husband went to clear his stuff out of the truck.  When he returned home, he said, "I know cars don't have feelings, but it looked pretty lonely over there in the corner of the lot.

Rest in peace, '97.  You will be missed.

See How I Got Paid to Shop: My Big Fat Check from Ebates

I know I have told readers about Ebates before, but I wanted to show you my proof.  I get paid when I shop online.  See, I like to shop Kohls online for certain things, like my fitness shoes, kids hiking boots, etcetera.  I wait till I have the 30% off code, visit Ebates first, search for Kohls and then click to the Kohls website from there.  Automatically I can earn anywhere up to 6% cash back.  Every little bit adds up!  When I order prints from Shutterfly or Snapfish, I stop at Ebates first.  If I buy off eBay, I stop at Ebates first.  Sometimes even Amazon has deals.  And now, if you sign up and refer 3 friends, you can earn $75 cash back.  They can send you a check, send it to a Paypal account or other options.  But you do get the money!  It is free to join--no costs at all!  Here is my referral link (meaning I can earn money if you sign up--but remember, this program really works)--Click HERE.

Is Your Pet Ready for Halloween #dog #cat #Halloween

Product Details

Disclosure: Links in post contain affiliate links while still offering you great, low Amazon prices.

Is your pooch or other pet ready for Halloween?  If not, you may want to Shop Best-Selling Pet Halloween Costumes at Amazon.  Seriously, who can resist Underdog?  They have a ton of great costumes--take a look for yourself!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

St. Tropez Wins Self-Tanning Awards from Allure (and Me!) #tanning

Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse
Disclosure:  I received product to try to facilitate this review.  I did not receive any compensation nor was asked to write a favorable review.  All opinions are my own.  Links in post may contain affiliate links.

I used to be a sun goddess years ago.  Tanning beds, baby oil, the whole nine yards.  But as I got older and we all learned more and more the negative effects of the sun, I started being more careful about my skin.  However, I do still love the tanned look.  Over the years, I have tried different self-tanning products, some with decent results.  Others, not so good.

I just tried St. Tropez Self Tan Express.  This self-tanner claimed two Allure awards including “Best Self Tanner” and “the Best of Beauty Breakthrough Award.” (The Awards will appear are in the October issue of Allure.)

This product is a bit different from other products I have used.  It is a foaming mousse product. The application idea is the same--cover elbows, knees and ankles with lotion first--then apply self-tanner.  The self-tanner is in a foaming pump container.  I put it on a mitt and rubbed it in in a circular manner.  It has a tint to it, so it helped in applying to make sure I got even coverage.  Then, after allowing it to dry, I went about my day.  For a healthy glow, you rinse after an hour, for a golden bronze 2 hours and 3 hours for a dark tan.  The tanning continues for eight ours after you rinsed.  I rinsed after 3 hours.  I could tell I had a bit of color at the time.  By later in the evening, it looked as if I had a pretty nice tan.  In fact, the next day my friend was over and I was in shorts and a tank exercising.  She asked me if I go to a tanning bed or use a self-tanner.  When I told her, she said, "You look amazing.  You look like you have been to Florida!"  I also liked the results.  I couldn't find any streaking.  I wouldn't say I have a deep dark tan with the one application, but a nice, even tan.

The pros:
  • Easy application
  • Loved the results
  • Natural looking tan--color was not orangish
  • Doesn't have a strong self-tanning odor
The cons:
  • You need to rinse after 1-3 hours
I also tried the St. Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Anti-Ageing Multi-Action Face cream.  It tans, firms and moisturizes.  It contains the powerful peptide Matrixl Synthe 6 which can minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  It hydrates for up to 24 hours.  It is Paraben free and is not tested on animals.  I liked the fact that it feels like a moisturizer but gives you a nice, natural glow over time.  Another favorite of mine!  And not just mine--this was an Allure Best of Beauty Award for best facial tanner!

So, if you are looking for a nice self-tanner that gives you great color and coverage without streaks, you may want to give this a try!

Disclosure:  I received product to try to facilitate this review.  I did not receive any compensation nor was asked to write a favorable review.  All opinions are my own.

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