Tuesday, May 26, 2015

One Thing You Can Do to Make Parenting Easier

Parenting is difficult. There really isn't an instruction manual. We aren't required to get a license. We don't always know what to do. My advice when it comes to parenting is to read and learn all you can from others. Then decide what approach is best for you and be flexible. One great resource for parents is Parents magazine. Right now, you can get a free subscription--NO STRINGS ATTACHED--compliments of  Click HERE to get your subscription.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Gym Bag Necessities

Disclosure: I received sample products so that I could share my unbiased opinions. Links contained in this post may be affiliate links.

Spring is flying by and before you know it, summer will be here. I know for many women, they are hitting the gym hard to get their workouts in before bathing suit season. I have reviewed must have necessities for your gym bag.

The first, and my favorite, is Burt's Bees Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser with Daisy Extract. I am a huge fan of Burt's Bees skin care products, and there are no exceptions with this one. I admit, I am lazy when it comes to removing make up. I hate having multi-steps to clean my face. By the end of the day, I want to wash it and go to bed, so using a makeup remover before washing is out of the question. This product allows me to skip that step and just wash. It easily removes makeup along with dirt and oil. It is soft and silky to use and my face feels great afterwards. It claims to even skin tone (when used as part of a regimen with other Burt's Bees products) and create a brighter, more luminous complexion.

Scunci Everyday and Active Reversible Stretch Headwrap is cute and functional. And not only can it be worn to the gym, but for every day. It's unique design includes a back braid. I also love that it is reversible, making it two headbands in one. This headband also did not slip on my hair like so many do. Completely adorable!

 KMS California HairPlay Makeover Spray is a must-have! Don't have time to wash your hair? Use the HairPlay Makeover Spray to dry clean for a quick fix. My hair felt fresh and clean. Or did you just wash and hair is to silky to hold your style? Use the spray all over to increase texture and bulk. Kms California Hair Play Makeover Spray is great for all hair types, especially fine or limp hair. I can't live without dry shampoo (especially when camping).

Rimmel Wonderful Wonderlash Waterproof Mascara is a must-have for the summer months.  Love the fine brush on the wand--it really separates your lashes for a nice, thickening coverage.  Formulated with Argan Oil, this waterproof mascara is clump free. I do still prefer my department store mascara a bit better, however, it is not waterproof. Retails for $5-$10.

NYC Smooth Skin BB Cream Instant Matte refines your skin instantly. This long-wearing creme has a matte finish. I like BB cremes over traditional foundations because they generally feel much lighter on your skin. the NYC BB creme has great coverage and reduces shine. It feels a bit heavier than my current BB creme, but does a nice job. Retails on Amazon for $17.46 for a 3 pack!

You definitely want a spot for Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths in your gym bag. There are days that I need to make a quick stop at the grocery before I go home and shower. The Ban cloths are perfect to freshen up with. I also love to carry these when I am out an about, say at a festival or other outdoor activity when it is hot and sweaty out. A quick wipe with a cloth and you feel cool and refreshed. They are even safe to use on your face.

You know what is in my gym bag. Now, what is in yours?

Disclosure: I received sample products so that I could share my unbiased opinions. Links contained in this post may be affiliate links.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Amazing Hike at the Arc of Appalachia, Ohio #hiking #ohio

We recently made a camping trip to Paint Creek State Park in Ohio.  This is a beautiful area with rolling farm lands with the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains as the backdrop.  We spent one morning hiking in the Arc of Appalachia area, a preserve system.  We hiked at the Highlands Nature Sanctuary. There is a small museum there, which is really more of an information center.  Hiking around the center is free, but the area does have trails that require a $35 membership decal.  We just hiked the free trails this trip, which were fairly easy, but did have some steps that wind into the Rocky Fork Gorge.

We saw small caves on our hike, a small waterfall, many wild flowers, numerous species of birds, geese, fish and a water snake.  Here are some photos of our hike and we definitely plan to go back and do more hiking in the area.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

You Can't Sit with Us--Mean Girl Makeover #bullying #Book

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  Links in this post may  contain affiliate links.

Mean girls.  Unfortunately, they are out there.  We may think our daughters are okay because they don't say anything, but many times, children won't say anything for a multitude of reasons.  They may think telling will make it worse for them.  They may feel that nothing can be done.  Or they may simply be embarrassed to tell what is going on.

Unfortunately, mean girls don't very often change.  And even if they do, there might be another girl down the line.  Even as an adult, I have had to deal with mean "girls" (who are now grown women).  So it is vital that girls learn how to best deal with mean girls.

The book You Can't Sit with Us--Mean Girl Makeover by Nancy Rue is a young adult fictional book that follows the story of Ginger Hollingberry as a new student in the 6th grade.  Kylie has it in for Ginger and even though there is a strict new anti-bullying code, Kylie manages to sneak under the radar and the bullying continues, in part via social media.  Ginger is alienated from her friends and fears telling others what is going on because of threats from Kylie.  It takes a serious situation for Ginger to finally let her father know what is happening.  With the support of her friends, father and mentor, Ginger learns ways to cope with bullying and to feel more confident about herself.

This book, although fictional, covers the topic of bullying in a very accurate light.  From fears victims may have from telling to sly ways bullies operate, the readers gain a better understanding of the topic.  Most importantly, readers are presented with ways to not only cope with bullying, but ways to feel better about themselves.  The book does bring in Christian elements, but is not so heavy that it would be a turn off to the reader.  As this follows a 6th grade girl, I think the book is most appropriate for 5th-8th grade students.  I would also suggest parents read this book.  Reading the book together could be a springboard into conversations about real life situations.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  Links in this post may  contain affiliate links.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What Does it Take to Cross the Finish Line?

I heard an inspiring story on the news the other day.  A woman by the name of Asia Ford came in last place in a 10K race in Louisville, KY.  As a grossly overweight mother, she was determined to lose weight so she could take care of her children.  She began a boot camp and began training for the 10K.  She was losing weight and was determined to complete this 10K no matter what.

Around the fourth mile, she began having trouble breathing. Lt. Gregory saw that she was in distress and asked if she wanted a ride to the finish line.  Asia's determination to finish the race set in.  Lt. Gregory joined in, hand-in-hand with Asia and her son to finish the over two miles left.

Coming in last place meant nothing to Asia.  Crossing the finish line is what counted.  But quite  possibly, she couldn't have done it alone.

The story touched many.  Maybe because it really isn't a story about racing, but a story about life.  How many times have we needed someone to help us cross the finish line?

The true beauty of the story is this--Lt. Gregory offered a hand without question.  He didn't question why she was overweight.  Why she let herself get that way.  Why she was trying for a lofty goal.  He didn't judge her.  He didn't put her down.  He didn't ridicule her or taunt her.  He didn't question why this was important.

He simply offered a hand to help her to where she was going.

A simple lesson we can all learn.

Who can you be a Lt. Gregory to today?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Confessions of a Prodigal Son #Christian #movies

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post, however, as always, all opinions expressed are mine.  This post contains affiliate links. 

I can't remember how I learned of the Christian movie, Confessins of the  Prodigal Son.  It seems I heard about it shortly after I saw God is Not Dead.  Somehow, I started following Confessions of the Prodigal Son on Facebook  and looked forward to the movie's release as it seemed to have a powerful message about coming home to God.  I think early on, I saw a clip of the movie so before I go any further, I want to share one with you, so you can understand why I found this intriguing.

Maybe now you can understand why I jumped at the chance to view this movie before it's release date.

So many young people go through a phase as they transition to adulthood where they think they know it all.  Where they don't want to be told what to do.  Sean, in his first years of college, wants everyone, including his Pastor Father, to stop telling him how to live.  Then he lives the way he wants, does what he wants, all in the hopes of finding happiness.  Drinking, parties and a girl.  It's when he finds he has lost everything, that he has decisions to make.

This is a story of life.  I think so many viewers will be able to relate to this film.  Either they were a similar situation to Sean in their past or maybe they are still in it.  It's powerful message is that once we recognize our life is a story, we have choices.  Is our story worth being told?  Other powerful messages include that we all have to walk through something in our life and that many times, we live in a broken world that we have created for ourselves.  But, we can always go home to God.  It is a story of redemption.

As a counselor who has dedicated my life to helping young people, I truly believe that the messages in this film are so influential people will realize that they have the power to write the story of their lives.  And just because they don't like what is happening now or in the past, they can write a different ending.  I would recommend this film for high school age students and up and a great film for parents and young people to watch together.  It is also a great film for youth groups.  Don't get me wrong, I also think this is a great film for adults.  Even those who think they are living a decent life as it really gives you pause to think--What makes your story worth being told?  I even evaluated my life and my story.

Although I think historically, Christian films are not the greatest because of the lower budget, they definitely are getting better.  This film is a perfect example.  It also has a nice sound track.  The DVD will be released tomorrow, March 24th.  For $8.99 on Amazon, Confessions of a Prodigal Son is one film you don't want to miss, especially during this Easter season.

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post, however, as always, all opinions expressed are mine.  This post contains affiliate links. 

Coupon for Fazoli's Snacks @FazolisSnacks

Disclosure: I received coupons in exchange for this post.  As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

When I moved to this area, I right away learned of a little restaurant that is very kid friendly--Fazoli's.  They actually started out not far from Cincinnati in Lexington, KY, in 1988 and have since expanded to 26 states with over 200 restaurants.  And now, they are adding to their success with a line of frozen appetizers and snacks that have the same restaurant quality people have come to love.  Their products are made fresh and frozen quickly to preserve the great taste and quality.  They offer Six Cheese Toasted Ravoli (yum!), Lasagna Fritata, Chicken Alfredo Flatbread, Parmesan Boneless Chicken, and Mozzarella Stuffed Mini Breadsticks.  As they say, from freezer to fantastic!  My kids go nuts for these and I love having something warm for them for an after school snack.

Anyway, they were recently chosen to compete in a Favorite New Product Poll for Refrigerated and Frozen Foods and you can vote for Fazoli's Snacks by visiting HERE.  You can also get a 50¢ off coupon by visiting HERE.  You can find Fazoli's Snacks at Walmart.

Disclosure: I received coupons in exchange for this post.  As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

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