DISCLAIMER: A huge "thank you" to Cost Plus World Market for sponsoring this post.
'Tis the season to go shopping fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la... alright folks, lace up your sneakers, make your list, check it twice, it is time to do some shopping. With Halloween in the rear view, we can start talking about holiday shopping without getting glared at by all the "it's-too-soon scrooges".
To kick off the holiday shopping season, your local Cost Plus World Market store is excited to bring you this year's iteration of their super fun in-store game, the Golden Bell Scavenger Hunt. Playing is easy! Every day beginning today, November 1st through Sunday, December 9th your local Cost Plus World Market store will hide 8 Golden Bell pieces throughout the store, your job is to find them.... well, one of them anyway.
Each day at 8 a.m. cst I will share a clue on my Facebook and Instagram pages. Use the clue to help you find a Golden Bell piece and you could receive a reward. Find (1) Golden Bell piece and bring it to the nearest store associate to exchange for a reward coupon worth $10, $20, $25 or $50. (Reward is valid only on the day it is awarded) Limit (1) reward per person throughout the Promotion Period (11/1/18 - 12/9/18) regardless of store location(s) visited. EMPLOYEES and DESIGNATED SHOPPERS NOT ELIGIBLE.
So easy even a cat could play... but no worries, cats are ineligible for prizes. Keep reading below for today's clue as well as my top 10 picks from the new gold ornaments collection at Cost Plus World Market.
Without further adieu, here is your first clue...
While you're at your local Cost Plus World Market store, hunting for the golden bell, you might wanna scope out these golden beauties as well! Every year since I have been a CPWM ambassador, I visit my local Nashville West Cost Plus World Market store and buy each of my kids a new ornament for our tree. It's become a tradition they look forward to every year. I try to make the ornament something personal to each kid and their interests or hobbies or just something that reminds me of them. Here are a few I have my eye on this year...
For a list of rules and regulations, please see this page.
One of the best tips I give friends when they ask me about how to stick with the keto way of eating is: Always have something prepared for when you don't feel like cooking. It's no secret that keto involves a lot of cooking. Most everything I eat is "real food", nothing boxed or prepackaged, so it can get a bit tedious, that's why meal prepping is such a great idea.
I have seen several iterations of this recipe online but never tried it until now... why did I wait so long. These meatballs were amazeballs, but don't take my word for it, try them yourself. They're super easy to whip up and store well in the fridge.
All you need for this recipe is a pack of chicken thighs, an egg, a meat grinder, some seasonings and an oven. I used Montreal chicken seasoning and a little sriracha sauce, but you could use whatever you want.
DIRECTIONS: After grinding your chicken (or buy pre-ground), mix up the chicken, egg, and seasonings and scoop out rounded balls with a tablespoon onto a silpat lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 18 minutes or until done (160 degrees) . The 2lb pack of chicken thighs I used made 18 tablespoon sized meatballs and you can find the nutrition info below.
DISCLAIMER: A huge "thank you" to Savings.com and Physician's Formula for sponsoring today's post.
Unless you've been living under a rock (or in the southern hemisphere) you've probably noticed it is hot outside. Not the normal hot, but the kind of hot that quite literally makes it feel like your skin is melting off. The kind of hot that makes you think maybe the nudists have the right idea. The kind of hot that makes you never wanna leave the house, unless it's to go grab ice cream and several box fans. Instead of becoming a home-bound recluse for the next couple of months, you must learn to work with the heat instead of against it.
For example, try to do all of your errands in the late afternoon, when the heat is only mildly oppressive, instead of sweltering. Try not to wear any sequins or reflective clothing as to avoid baking like a potato in tin foil when you are out. And for the love of all that is holy, please do not pile three layers of foundation on your face, because trust me, when it starts to melt, it is not pretty, honey, not pretty at all!
Since most of what you apply will probably melt off anyway, why not save your time and sanity and just go for a minimalist sun-kissed look this Summer?! With the help of these new products from Physician's Formula, you can have an awesome Summer glow in just about five minutes.
Say "hello" to your new bffs! These new "butter" products from Physician's Formula are just what you need to create a quick, sun-kissed look and if you keep reading there might be a $4 coupon at the end of this post too. (SPOILER ALERT: There IS a $4 coupon at the end of this post)
First things first, start with a clean, freshly washed face. This is a crucial step for summer skin. Not only do you need to exfoliate more in the Summer, but you also need to keep all those nasty bacteria off your face, 'cause when they mix with heat and sweat it makes the perfect breeding ground for blemishes and nobody want to be hot, sweaty AND broke-out this summer, so just wash your face.
Second, K.I.S.S. ... keep it simple, stupid. It's summer, it's hot, you will likely be wearing sunglasses anyway, so I suggest keeping it super easy and going with a couple of coats of a waterproof mascara, no shadow, and a little highlighter over your brow bone for a nice effect. The new cream-to-powder butter highlighter from Physician's Formula is available in five shades and is super lightweight and blend-able and goes on so easily you can use your finger to apply it. (a clean finger, never use dirty hands to apply make-up, especially near your eyes)
I used the champagne color and it is perfect for my fair skin tone. I am a natural strawberry blonde who burns easily, (but eventually tans) and this golden shimmery highlighter is everything! The feel is super light and it didn't take much product to get good coverage, as it is super pigmented.
Next, instead of piling up layers of foundation, why not just use a simple tinted moisturizer (with SPF, skin cancer is no joke, guys). And for the nice, sun-kissed effect, try Physician's Formula butter bronzer; it is available in four shades, so you can be sure you will find one that works for your skin tone. I suggest using a sponge wedge for this product and you can apply it as more of a contour or as an all over hint of color, just make sure to blend well.
So now we have about two minutes left and we still haven't done anything with our lips. While I prefer just a simple shimmery gloss, you could also go with a really pretty nude lip and a coat of gloss on top. I definitely recommend looking for a lip color with SPF. Your lips can burn just as easily as the rest of your face and the results can be very gnarly. Do yourself a favor and splurge on lip products with SPF, even if it is just a lip balm type product. (Oh, and remember if you want it to work, you have to wear it, it's not magic)
Now, for the most important part of your sun-kissed summer glow look... your attitude. Yes, I am going there. No matter how beautiful you are with or without make-up, the thing people will notice and remember most is your attitude and how you treat them,
Now for the coupon I promised you... oh, and if you get the Valpak mailer in your area, keep an eye on your mailbox for another $4 Physician's Formula coupon. You can redeem these coupons at your local Rite Aid or anywhere else that accepts manufacturer's coupons.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical professional or a tick expert, just a southerner who hates ticks.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've no doubt read or heard about how bad the ticks are this year. On Facebook Moms' groups, I'm seeing stories daily of people finding ticks on their little ones and asking for advice on how to remove them or what to do once the tick is removed. My answer: try to prevent the bite in the first place. Of course, no method is foolproof when it comes to trying to outsmart bugs and critters, but you can't just roll over and give up, you gotta give it a fighting chance.
First things first, know your enemy. Ticks come in many colors and sizes, but the most common is small and brown, which makes them terribly hard to see, especially if they get into your hair or on your pet (which can then be brought into your house). If you have pets that play outside, it is imperative that you treat your yard for fleas and ticks. There are several eco-friendly products out there, you just have to look for them. Or you could get a small flock of chickens... or opossum, I'm not judging. Chickens and opossum are both well known for eating their weight in ticks.
Ticks live primarily in the grass, but you don't have to live in a rural area to be potential tick breakfast. Ticks are known for spreading several serious diseases, the most common being Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. The well-known bullseye type rash associated with some tick bites might even be the first sign you or your loved one was bitten. This rash can take 3-30 days to develop and always warrants a trip to the doctor for treatment.
According to the CDC... "The rash seen with Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) varies greatly from person to person in appearance, location, and time of onset. About 10% of people with RMSF never develop a rash. Most often, the rash begins 2-5 days after the onset of fever as small, flat, pink, non-itchy spots (macules) on the wrists, forearms, and ankles and spreads to the trunk. It sometimes involves the palms and soles. The red to purple, spotted (petechial) rash of RMSF is usually not seen until the sixth day or later after onset of symptoms and occurs in 35-60% of patients with the infection."
Now that we know what we're looking for, where do we look? Well, in short, everywhere that is covered in skin. No, seriously, everywhere... yes, even there. I remember as a child, coming in from playing in the backyard my Mom would do a tick check in my hair and behind my ears, as I got ready for my bath. I didn't realize at the time how important that little ritual was, but I am so appreciative my Mom did.
According to this fun infographic from WebMD, ticks like to hide in all the creases and crevices you might forget about, so make sure to check your child (and yourself) thoroughly. And don't forget about Spot and Fluffy. Your pets can definitely be an unknowing participant in the tick's master plan.
As the old saying goes, "sometimes the best defense is a good offense". In this case, the offense is the offensive smell of the tea tree oil in the tick repellent I am about to tell you how to make. It is super easy, kid-safe and all natural. And, if you already have a basic essentials oils collection, you likely already have all the ingredients you will need to make it at home.
You can make this two ways, one recipe is for a rollerball and the other is for use in a spray bottle. I prefer the rollerball because I feel it is thicker and the slightly greasy texture makes your skin a harder target for the tick to cling to. (Or at least I have convinced myself of this, it might just be anecdotal, who knows) It's also super handy to toss it in your purse or backpack.
For the spray bottle version, the recipe is... 2 oz Tea Tree oil (safe to apply neat aka directly to the skin), a 2:1 ratio of a carrier oil (I use almond oil, but fractionated coconut would work too) and water. I also add a splash of 99% isopropyl alcohol (I have used PGA in a pinch) as a preservative. Add a few drops of lavender and some lemongrass for added benefits, but you could totally use just the tea tree if you're sensitive to the other two.
The recipe for the rollerball is the same, minus the water and the alcohol. Mix it in a glass jar or bottle and transfer to a rollerball. Use generously whenever you go outside until after the first or second frost when all threat of ticks is gone. Always remember to mix and store your oils in glass, as some oils will react with plastic.
You could also add some tea tree oil to your favorite pet shampoo, it's safe on their skin too, just make sure they don't lick the shampoo while you're applying it.
Have you heard the great news about our Lord and Savior, Keto?
Every time I talk about eating low carb or doing the keto diet, I feel like one of those TV preachers. Even after falling off the proverbial wagon, keto takes me right back; keto never gives up on me, even when I gave up on keto. Keto knows me better than I know myself.
I will spare you all the "rules" of eating low carb or keto, since you probably found this post from a Google search, I'm going to assume you are already familiar with the ins and outs of low carb dieting, but for those who aren't, here's a very brief synopsis... Your body typicially uses carbs for fuel, but when it doesn't have them, it starts to burn fat when you reach a state of metabolic ketosis; not to be confused with diabetic ketoacidosis. When you burn fat, you lose weight, it's a very simple concept.
I started keto over a year ago and had lost about 40-50ish pounds, then I fell off bad around the holidays (yes, the holidays that were five months ago) and gained about 20 lbs back, but I'm re-dedicating my life and body to keto in a major way, starting with meal planning.
For me, half of the success of eating keto is having a plan. (The other half is not cheating, which is the really hard part.) In an effort to stay on track, at the start of the week I sit down and Google yummy recipes I want to try and add them to my weekly menu. Some are hits and some are misses, but this recipe is already back in rotation this week. It's super easy and so delicious, even my super-picky-husband-who-hates-when-I-try-to-turn-cauliflower-into-potatoes, raved about this dish.
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 Cup diced onion
Minced fresh garlic (to taste, or 1 Tbsp)
1 head cauliflower (rough chop)
2 Tbsp Better Than Bullion (chicken flavor)
4 cups water
1 Cup heavy cream
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp Onion powder
4 Strips of bacon, fried and crumbled
Fresh green onions (sprinkle)
1/2 Cup Shredded cheddar (or Monterey jack, whatever)
Here's a very basic weekly menu planner I made a while back. It's simple and cute and you're welcome to download and use it. ; )
Not so many moons ago, I used to dread "that time of the month". I was having a really hard time with my PMDD symptoms and it felt very hopeless and I wasn't sure what to do or where to start to get myself back to good again. My period felt like the enemy. After a ton of reading and a little trial and error, I was able to find a regimen of supplements that have made a world of difference.
I wrote about it last year, but the tldr (too long, didn't read) version is... Krill oil is pure magic (as long as you're not allergic) and your body requires a lot of ALAs, DHAs and GLAs to support the brain to function properly. I talk more about the sciencey stuff and how and why it works in this post about natural help for PMDD symptoms. If you suffer from PMDD or any of the PMSy type disorders, I highly advise giving it a read.
Since I've been taking the supplements and I have reached a new "headspace", my entire attitude about my period has changed. Instead of dreading it, I have come to accept it and actually look forward to getting a break for a couple of days. I have come to view my period as my body's way of telling me everything is still running smoothly and I use this time to pamper myself in ways I normally wouldn't.
I try really hard to listen to the subtle cues my body gives me and give it what it needs to feel better and function better. This includes lots of self-care the week before and the week of my period. Does this mean I just stop living and eat candy all day... no, but don't we all wish?! Life still goes on, even during your period. (that sounds like an amazing ad campaign)
The dishes still get dirty, the kids still need rides places and they will probably want to eat a couple or three times a day, so giving up is not an option. Since cloning yourself is still years away and sister wives are illegal, you're just gonna have to find other ways to still "git 'er done" while your insides are slowly becoming your outsides.
1. Get your mind right!
Make peace with your period. It is what it is and it is just a phase of your life you have to experience, make the best of it. Educate yourself. When you have respect for someone or something, you will treat them with more kindness. The female human body is an amazing machine. It sounds very cliche', but we are strong, magical beings capable of amazing things. Embrace your power and use it for good.
2. Stock up on supplies before you need them!
Simple enough. Even if your periods are irregular, keep supplies on hand, because no one wants to have to make a Target run on the most blessed day of the month. Don't forget the aspirin... and chocolate. No, seriously, there's something in chocolate that helps with cramps... or something like that. Who cares, get the chocolate. The good stuff. The darker, the better.
3. Schedule any important appointments for the week after your period.
Be it oil change or parent teacher conference, schedule it for the week after (or weeks before). Get an app or go old school with a calendar, but keep track of when to expect your monthly visitor and you will be much more prepared for whatever life throws at you... or not, but at least you won't be sitting at the quickie lube while you'd rather be at home under a fluffy blanket with your favorite pajama pants on.
4. Take your vitamins!
Mom was right, you should totally take your vitamins. Your body goes through a lot of changes in the days building up to your period, give it the proper vitamins and minerals it will need to function effectively in the coming days. If you're feeling sluggish, consider an Iron supplement, but be careful of the type of Iron. Some are not very well absorbed by your body and can actually do more harm than good.
5. Eat well!
It goes without saying you should always try to fuel your body with the best, most nutrient-rich foods all the time, but this is even more important during your period. Do your best to avoid simple carbs and refined sugars. Instead, try to eat more protein, healthy fats and dark leafy greens and don't forget to up your water intake.
Treat yourself to some healthier takes on old fashioned comfort foods. Something easy to fix and warm in the belly always sits well with me. Soups, stews, a whole pan of mac and cheese.... whatever, I'm not judging.
6. Get plenty of rest!
With the loss of blood comes loss of Iron and other nutrients that can cause a feeling of fatigue, tiredness and general crappiness. (That's the technical term) To help with these symptoms, try to get plenty of rest.
With small children at home this can often seem like a fantasy, but there are ways to sneak in a little rest here and there, like, for example, a short cat nap in the bath might be just what you need. (kidding... kind of) A warm Epsom salt bath can be both relaxing and therapeutic.
Magnesium is a known muscle relaxant and the warm water will soothe your achy body and the closed door means your partner will have to handle any "issues" that might arise.
If you truly can't squeeze in a full-fledged nap or a hot bath, take a little break, even fifteen minutes off your feet will often give you the little boost you need to continue through your day.
7. Be comfortable!
Wearing loose fitting, comfy clothes is a great tip, but why stop with just comfy clothes. Be comfortable in every aspect of your day. Fluff your favorite blanket in the dryer and use it to snuggle with while you're taking a break, catching up on your favorite TV show or book or blog. (wink wink)
Make sure your favorite pillowcase is on your pillow and spritz it with a little bit of lavender water. Light your favorite incense or candle; diffuse your favorite oils, whatever you need to make your space comfortable. Go outside, breathe in the air, listen to the birds singing, feel the sun on your face (assuming it's not raining or Winter or Midnight).
8. Keep your brain busy!
Using your brain will help keep you from focusing on any cramps or other symptoms you might be feeling and when your physical energy starts waning, you can just take a brain-break and recharge.
Read a book, listen to some music, plant a seed in the dirt, learn about a topic you've always wondered about. Take a virtual vacation. Pop in some earbuds and listen to a guided meditation. Write a letter to an old friend, send a birthday card to your bestie who lives out of state. Pin some new sewing ideas to your Pinterest boards. Do some meal planning for next week. Play a game of solitaire.
9. Don't be so hard on yourself!
We can't all be beautiful graceful yoga models running through fields of sunflowers during our periods. Some of us get break outs, or cold sores or the ever-so-pleasant diarrhea and gas and some of us might even stop adulting the entire week of our periods. Whatever you need to do to survive the week, do it. This is why we planned ahead in tips 1-3 above, so we could auto pilot through "hell week" and also why God created dry shampoo. (told y'all she was a girl)
10. Don't be afraid to ask for help!
Ok, let's face it, even with the best essential oils, the softest blankies, the cheesiest mac and cheese ever and all the krill oil and aspirin in the world, sometimes, our periods are just quite literally unbearable.
The thought of getting up one more time to fix a kid some lunch sounds akin to walking cross country ala Forrest Gump. I get it, I really do. That's when it's time to call in reinforcements. Dad, older siblings, Grandma, friends from a Mom's group. I don't care who you have to enlist, never ever be afraid to ask for help... ever.
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