May 07, 2021

Rethinking things during a global pandemic

I feel like this global health crisis has made so many of us rethink our lives - what we value, what we enjoy, where we spend our money, where we live, what we need in life and more. In a time when there are so many uncertainties we've had to change the way we live, and that may include changing how we approach money or the home we live in.

Many of us have gone from a daily commute to working from home which created a challenge all of its own. If you were used to working in a quiet remote office, it would be quite an adjustment to working on the kitchen table surrounded by loud children, or noisy neighbors. Many people have had to rethink their living arrangements because this turned out to be a longer term situation than many of us had originally thought. Some people had a smaller living space, but now need a home office so they're looking to purchase a larger home. Or perhaps you're in the opposite boat, and were in a large home which you now can't afford due to financial strain of this pandemic and you must downsize.  A third scenario would be maybe you have the space, but just need to reallocate how your space is used. Your former dining room may need to become your office for the foreseeable future. There are many ways to create a home office so you can remain in your current home. You have to think about your living situation to determine which is the right decision for you.

I have always been a planner and saver and in times like these I am grateful for my Plan B's and Plan C's, but not everyone thinks like I do. This is why being wise with the money you have, especially when planning to purchase a home, this is crucial!  There are many ways to make your money go further and ways to stretch the money you have. Stopping unnecessary entertainment services, perhaps going from two cars to one is not a feasible option, or perhaps lowering a cell phone plan because you're all together now would be an option. The first step should be eliminating all non essential costs so you know what you have to work with moving forward!

If purchasing a new home is in the cards for you, either because you can't maintain the home you have, or because you need more space than you have, there are many sites that help you calculate what your mortage would be and see what you can afford. Look at your costs each month against your bills and expenditures. The amount you have to spend may be less than before this pandemic, but you should work within your means and only look at homes you can easily afford. I feel it's always smart to plan for an emergency, so you aren't stuck when one arises.

So regardless of the situation you find yourselves in, this health crisis has made all of us stop and think about our lives. What is working? What is not working? What do we need to change? If you need to make some big changes in your life, it's always helpful to do research, talk to trusted sources, and make decisions when you have ALL the information. 

Stay safe and keep on going!

March 15, 2021

Ready to Live Again!

Sometimes you just want to dress up, even if there isn't anywhere to go, but 2020 really took a hit on my wardrobe and how I put myself together. I'll be honest, there are items in my closet with the tags still on, that I purchased before the pandemic hit. There are cute items that I really wanted to wear on my next mom's night out or outing with my family, but come March 2020, as many of you know, things came to a screeching halt for many of us. What used to make many of use feel pretty or put together went out the window and were quickly replaced by sweatpants and slippers. No more LBD's, no more sexy heels, fancy hair do's, glam makeup etc. Sometimes it was hard to feel like myself without all the pizazz.   

Now, as the pandemic winds down (fingers crossed), and things open back up, you may be anxiously waiting the day when you can walk back into a store and actually try things on (foreign concept; I know), especially if you love shopping and posting the perfect OOTD pics on the gram.  Perhaps you miss enjoying fine cuisine and the company of good friends. I personally miss the days of testing makeup products in stores like Sephora and Ulta, to pick just the right shade. Everyone has an area where they can't wait for the "normal" to start again. Hopefully that day will come soon, and we can enjoy the things we once used to without abandon!

February 25, 2021

When Twilight Breaks - By Sarah Sundin

 

Munich, 1938. Evelyn Brand is an American foreign correspondent as determined to prove her worth in a male-dominated profession as she is to expose the growing tyranny in Nazi Germany. To do so, she must walk a thin line. If she offends the government, she could be expelled from the country--or worse. If she fails to truthfully report on major stories, she'll never be able to give a voice to the oppressed--and wake up the folks back home.

In another part of the city, American graduate student Peter Lang is working on his PhD in German. Disillusioned with the chaos in the world due to the Great Depression, he is impressed with the prosperity and order of German society. But when the brutality of the regime hits close, he discovers a far better way to use his contacts within the Nazi party--to feed information to the shrewd reporter he can't get off his mind.

This electric standalone novel from fan-favorite Sarah Sundin puts you right at the intersection of pulse-pounding suspense and heart-stopping romance.

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I must admit that as a kid history class was my least favorite of all. I did not enjoy learning about the wars and battles and timelines and dates, but as an adult I can't get enough historical fiction novels, especially written by Sarah Sundin. She brings the characters and places to life. It truly makes me feel like I'm in the book, invested in the characters (of course, without all the danger of actually being there). She is a very gifted writer, and I jump at the chance to read any new book she comes out with!

January 27, 2021

GIVEAWAY: Sesame Street – Elmo’s World DVD

 

Los Angeles – What do elephants, drawing, grandparents, and chickens have in common? They’re all things Elmo loves! Everyone’s favorite furry red monster stars in Sesame Street – Elmo’s World: Things Elmo Loves, available on DVD and digital download on February 2, 2021 from Shout Kids and Sesame Workshop. The release is packed with episodes from Sesame Street’s beloved Elmo’s World segment, each exploring a different topic to spark kids’ curiosity. Also included -- the full-length feature Elmo Loves You!, with celebrity appearances from Trisha Yearwood, John Legend and R.E.M.

Each engaging Elmo’s World segment in this collection offers young viewers lessons to help them grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.

Experience over two hours of fun with Things Elmo Loves. Little ones will learn along with their friend Elmo as he discovers the world around him, in segments covering…

·        Emotions
·        Grandparents
·        Bus Drivers
·        Drawing
·        Fruit
·        Supermarkets
·        Toys
·        Hair
·        Dog Walkers
·        Chickens
·        Scientists
·        Nursery Rhymes
·        Balls
·        Elephants
·        Games

Bonus Feature:
·        Elmo Loves You! (Full-length feature)

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WIN IT: Win a copy of Elmo's World on DVD

HOW TO ENTER: 

December 01, 2020

GIVEAWAY: Lauren Daigle Holiday CD and TV Special!


I personally love the sound of Lauren Daigle's music. Anytime one of her songs start to play I recognize it right away because of it's easy and soothing sound. She definitely has a signature sound unlike many other artists out there right now. That's why I'm excited about a Christmas collection and holiday special coming soon. On December 6, 2020 at 9:00 pm ET | 6:00 pm PT  you can catch her first full-length Christmas television special, “Christmas Under The Stars with Lauren Daigle,” on BYUtvYou’ll hear Lauren’s Christmas memories and the influences of New Orleans Jazz in her renditions of Christmas classics and beloved originals from her Christmas album Behold in this intimate concert experience. So, gather the family, roast some chestnuts (or at least pop some corn), and enjoy “Christmas Under The Stars with Lauren Daigle” on Sunday, December 6 at 9 p.m. ET | 6 p.m. PT on BYUtv. You can also stream the program for free on the BYUtv app anytime after the premiere.


I had a chance to screen the special early, and it has a blues and Louisiana flare to it, which is not typical of her previous songs, but if you enjoy that style, you'll enjoy this holiday special!

WIN ITLauren Daigle CD: BEHOLD, A Christmas Collection

HOW TO ENTER: a Rafflecopter giveaway


November 23, 2020

Crayola DIY Pour Paint

Pour out a colorful masterpiece with Crayola Washable Paint Pour Art Set! Paint pouring is the fun, easy way for even novice painters to achieve beautiful works of art. And there’s no cause to worry either with the included less-mess paint tray. Even the occasional “oops” is no problem with Crayola Washable Paint. It’s a truly magical and fun art activity for kids and adults! Features (10) 2 oz Paints (5 colors), (3) 6 x 6 Canvases, Paint Tray, Beaker, Pouring Base, Strainer, and 3 Stir Sticks. Once you've decorated the 3 included canvases, refill your collection to keep the fun going! This paint set works with any standard painting canvas (sold separately).
My kids had a BLAST with this art project. I rarely let them get "messy" so this was so much fun for them. I've actually been wanting to try pour paint myself so we all got involved with this art project.


My youngest went first (age 4) and picked green, blue and white and this Earth-like print was the result. It was really easy to do and the instructions were easy to follow (which I've summarized below):

1. Mix paint and water

2. Pour into a cup (layer the paint colors. We did blue, green then white)

3. Pour cup of paint out on canvas and start tilting the canvas to spread the paint around. EASY!

 

Buy it here: https://go.magik.ly/ml/12yzb/

Thank you to CRAYOLA for a chance to try out this fun art set!

November 05, 2020

Book Review: Burden of Proof by Davis Bunn

Three weeks after his twenty-third birthday, Ethan missed the chance to save his brother's life when he was murdered on the steps of the courthouse in Jacksonville, Florida. Ever since that fateful day, Ethan has sensed a deep disconnect between the man he should have been and the one he has become. His days play out a beat too slow, his mind replaying the scene of his failure again and again.

October 30, 2020

Unique Gift Ideas

I realize that much of my Youtube page's content is dedicated to makeup, skincare and overall beauty, but I wanted to provide you with some non-beauty gift ideas for the people on your list. Perhaps there's a gym buff you're having a hard time shopping for, or a creative child that already seems to have everything, or a busy mom on the go who always has her hands full, and you just don't know what to get them. Check out these great unique gift ideas below:

The first gift suggestion would be bags. In this eco-friendly day and age, people are always looking for ways to re-use and re-cycle and preserve the world we live in, so why not buy some re-usable shopping bags or totes. I feel like I NEVER have enough tote bags. I take them when I run errands, to the beach, to play dates, for overnight excursions (pre-COVID of course) and more. I feel like everyone I know could always use a tote bag!

If you have any little ones on your shopping list and you're stumped on gift ideas, then I'd check out this next idea. They are crayons shaped like letters. These crayon letters spell out the child's name. I know all three of my kiddos love anything  customized AND they also all love to color and be creative. It would be the perfect gift for any artsy kids on your list, and it would likely keep them very busy for quite awhile!

If you have someone on your list that loves healthy eating, or protein shakes, or shakes in general, then you need to check this out. It's the magic bullet. It's a system of caps with blades and cups that lock into a motor. You simply fill the cups with fruit/ice etc, cap it, and lock into the motor and it purees your shake. Easy! My husband and I actually have 2 sets of these and we use them almost every day. My husband is a gym buff and makes protein shakes in it. I prefer to do cardio at home and follow with a fruit smoothie. The kids love banana swirl (pureed frozen banana with some cinnamon). It's fast and easy to clean! I have even pureed soups in this and made baby food with it. So many uses for this product. I love it and I think your friends and family would too!

I hope you enjoyed hearing a few of my unique gift ideas, and hopefully it made your holiday shopping a little easier this year.

This blog post was sponsored by Responsival

Book Review: The Key To Love

The only thing Bri Duval loves more than baking petit fours is romance. So much so, she's created her own version of the famous Parisian lovelock wall at her bakery in Story, Kansas. She never expects it to go viral--or for Trek Magazine to send travel writer Gerard Fortier to feature the bakery. He's definitely handsome, but Bri has been holding out for a love story like the one her parents had, and that certainly will not include the love-scorned-and-therefore-love-scorning Gerard.


Just when it seems Bri's bakery is poised for unprecedented success, a series of events threaten not just her business but the pedestal she's kept her parents on all these years. Maybe Gerard is right about romance. Or maybe Bri's recipe just needs to be tweaked.

Novelist Betsy St. Amant invites you to experience this sweet story of how love doesn't always look the way we expect--and maybe that's a good thing.

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My thoughts:
I personally love all stories that involve Paris or bakeries, so I knew I would enjoy this book. It's about a women whose mom used to bake in this quaint bakery in a small town, so she doesn't want it to close because it's the only link left to her mother. When a writer comes into town threatening to write a bad review and forcing the bakery to close they become enemies. The relationship plots are semi-predictable, but I enjoyed it because of the subject matters - France, Bakeries, and relationships!

October 27, 2020

NIV Beautiful Word Coloring Bible Gift Set For Girls - GREAT GIFT IDEA!

Created especially for girls ages 8 to 12, this beautiful Bible, sticker sheets and coloring pencil set provides the tools for young artists to express themselves. 

Girls will get creative through coloring and journaling in the NIV Beautiful Word™ Coloring Bible for Girls. Included are pencils to color, blend and shade the detailed line art surrounding hundreds of inspiring verses. This Bible gift set is perfect for the special young girl in your life and will become a cherished keepsake full of personalized creative expressions of faith.

Features include:

 Complete text of the accurate, readable and clear New International Version (NIV)

 Over 600 verses illustrated in ready-to-color line art

 Four colored pencils

 Six sheets of stickers designed for girls

 Thick white paper for writing and doodling

 Lined, wide margins for notes and reflections

 Satin ribbon marker

 Beautifully debossed and screen-printed cover

 Exclusive Zondervan NIV Comfort Print® typeface in a readable 8-point print size

I can't wait to give this to my daughter when she's a little older. For one, she LOVES to draw and color. It's her absolute favorite thing to do. Given the choice, that's what she would pick over almost anything. Second she didn't have exposure to faith and the Bible for the first 5 years of her life, so these stories are still somewhat new to her, and she loves reading them and discovering new characters and miracles.  Third, it's full of beautiful pictures, so who wouldn't love that?


Buy it here: 

https://www.zondervan.com/p/beautiful-word-bible-for-girls/coloring/#new

#beautifulwordgiftset  #FlyBy

Many thanks to Telling Ministries LLC and HCCP for providing this product/product information for review.  Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.


October 21, 2020

Who wants to see some holiday shopping gift ideas?

 I can't believe that October is already almost over. The year of 2020 has flown by, that is for sure! It has been an odd and interesting year to date with the pandemic, stay at home orders, virtual learning and so much more. I know many of you come to my blog and Youtube page as an outlet or a stress reducer. Others come for the giveaways and reviews, and some have told me that my voice puts them to sleep, so there's that too! :) For whatever reason you are drawn to my pages, I hope you'll enjoy the holiday gift guides we have coming your way soon!!!



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