Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wordless Wednesday- Getting Back on Track

Happy Wednesday, and Happy New Year's Eve day! I wish I could tell you that I knew what my plans were for this evening, but I don't. Not yet, anyway. All I know is that we'll gather 'round with family and friends, and enjoy yummy snacks and cocktails! I have been enjoying yummy treats this holiday season, and I have to say, I have gotten way off track with my diet and exercise routine. My plan is to get right back into a better, healthier routine. It's not really a resolution or anything, since I believe that overall good health, wellness, fitness, etc- is and ought to be a way of life. The tough part will be avoiding all of the bad stuff (foods and habits) while we're on vacation! My mom made me a super cute yoga bag for Christmas, so I plan on bringing at least one of my mats with me.

Enjoying some of my Christmas gifts- a new top, new scarf, new lip gloss.

Another favorite Christmas gift- yoga socks!

My annual post-Christmas cold has already settled in. I, along with several other members of my family usually wind up sick, shortly after Christmas. My main issue this time around is with my throat being very sore. So, I am taking it easy, drinking a lot of water with lemon, and hot tea, just trying to feel better, because I definitely need a bit of energy to take down Christmas decor, and then pack for our trip.

I am looking forward to just being away from it all for a few days, with my family. We'll be able to do a lot of things that B will enjoy, such as visiting some cool attractions, so I'll look forward to sharing our adventures with you. Oh, and shopping- there will be shopping!

I would love to hear about your plans for New Year's Eve or New Year's Day! 
Do you have any resolutions?

Calico Critters #Giveaway

Review written by Kelly's Thoughts on Things

 When my daughter was small she had every house there was, the upstairs hall or the loft. And she would play with all of them. Now they have some really cute ones. The Calico Critter Cozy Cottage Starter Home, this is so cute she would have loved it and played with it. Calico Critters of Cloverleaf Corners are timeless, classic toys that delight children and promote wholesome family values. Calico Critters Cottage is a perfect way to start a Calico Critter collection! 

This cozy cottage comes fully assembled and ready to play with and everything you need for hours of pretend play fun. Over 10 furniture pieces and accessories including Bell Hopscotch Rabbit, bed with matching sheets, round table with chairs, kitchen counter with sink and oven, movable ladder for easy access to each floor, cookware and yummy food! The animals are adorable and she loves that she can change their clothes. This is a great alternative for a girl who doesn't particularly like dolls, but likes the playhouse and dress-up ideas! The house is small and portable but very flexible. The upper floor can become an addition to the back or the front of the house. Calico critter toys are very well made. Perfect way to start a Calico Critters collection. This Cozy Cottage comes fully assembled and ready to play with everything you need 4 hours of pretend play fun. Includes Bell Hopscotch rabbit, bed and comforter set, round table with chairs, kitchen counter with sink and accessories, TV set with 3 picture slides and moveable ladder for easy access to each floor. 
You can add-on to your cottage with some of the other things they have. Make it a big town. Over 15 furniture pieces and accessories Includes moveable, reversible floor Assembled and ready to play House measures 12" x 10.75" x 8" Ages 3 and above Critters, but they are still homeless, they need a shelter, and the cozy cottage is a good deal. Customers, who think a generic house would be better, might be also right, but for that matter, someone with wood working skills could make a house for Calico Critters by himself. The main thing is that in child's imagination even a little house like cozy cottage is a completely different game, on a better level, and it makes her so happy!    

 Promo code for $10 off the Cozy Cottage from our website. They can redeem the code at checkout from our website here:…   
Connect more with Calico Critters-Shop|Facebook|Twitter   

Now for the giveaway one of my readers will get a chance to win one of these for themselves. This Giveaway is open to US residents only, ages 18 and older. The Giveaway will run from December 31, 2014 until 11:59 pm EST on January 17, 2015. One entry/winner per household. This blog is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Enter using the Giveaway Tools Form Below. 

Good Luck!  

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Dry Spray Antiperspirants Keep You Feeling Fresh! #TRYDRY

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Have you ever had an embarrassing mishap with your deodorant? I sure have! Just a couple of weeks ago, I was pulling on a black dress that I needed to wear to a Christmas function, and I got the back of the skirt portion stuck under one of my arms, as I tried to wiggle into the dress. Of course, I didn't realize that I had white residue all over the back of my black dress, until I had already left the house. Thankfully, a sweet lady pulled me aside to discreetly let me know about my little problem, and I was able to clean most of it off with water in the restroom. Talk about feeling mortified!  I vowed that I would never let that mishap happen again.

My hubby has found himself in his own embarrassing situations regarding his deodorants. He works in home remodeling by day, and is a musician by night. He usually showers in the evenings, after coming home from a long day of sweating and working super hard on old homes. He has said in the past that he hasn't been able to find a deodorant that dries well, and that keeps him fresh and dry through the evening, and through the next day.

Degree Men, and AXE Dry Spray- plus, hubby picked up a surprise for me- the Degree Women's Dry Spray!

Hubby was definitely in for a little treat, when we were sent a pack of not one, but two Dry Sprays! We received the AXE White Label Dray Spray, and the Degree Men Dry Spray. Neither one of us had ever had any previous experience using a dry spray deodorant before, but we were both intrigued, and couldn't wait to see how these two measured up. Hubby has been a long time fan of a gel stick deodorant, but was ready and willing to try something new.

Hubby first tried the Degree for Men Dry Spray. At first, he said it felt kind of strange to be spraying his deodorant onto his body, but once he got used to it, it was pretty awesome. Hubby loved the ease of application- just aim, and spray. You do, of course, have to hold the spray bottle a good bit of distance away (6 inches or so), but hubby felt that he was able to spray it on evenly, and that he had a fair amount of control doing so. He loved the scent, and said that he still felt and smelled fresh the next morning. The Dry Spray never felt wet on his skin! The Degree Dry Spray even got him through a full day of work, and through the next evening, without the stinkies! The Dry Sprays boast that they last up to 48 hours, and we put them to the test, and were pleasantly surprised by the outcome!

A couple of days later, hubby tried the AXE White Label Dry Spray. I have to admit, I was nervous that the scent might be overpowering, but I was surprised that I actually really liked the scent of the AXE Dry Spray. Hubby liked it too, but determined that the scent was a bit too strong for work, so he's reserving it for weekends and date nights. He loved that it was easy to spray on, felt that he had the same amount of control as he did with the Degree Dry Spray, and loved that he felt fresh and clean for the following 48 hours.

Hubby's experience with these new Dry Sprays has been so positive, that I really wanted to try one of the women's dry sprays for myself! I can't wait to share my thoughts on the ladies spray! I think they'll definitely come in handy for me when I start to stress sweat, when getting dressed, or when on vacation or at the beach (when we sometimes don't shower until the end of the day).

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Want them? Get them!

Ready to Ditch the Ick? The NEW Dry Spray Antiperspirants from Degree Men, Degree Women, Dove, Dove Men+Care and Axe, available at Walmart. Head on over to Walmart to watch a quick video, and reserve your very own sample to try it out for yourself!

What are your most embarrassing deodorant moments? Ready to try Dry Sprays and make those moments a thing of the past?

Disclosure: The above featured content is a sponsored post on behalf of Global Influence Network, written by me. Compensation was received for sharing this information, and my honest opinions.

Tip Tuesday- Make Ahead Frozen Lunches

Make Your Own Frozen Lunches

So the holidays are over and if you're anything like me, your wallet is a lot lighter! Today I've got a great tip to save you a little extra green by adding flavor and health to your lunch.

I make my own frozen healthy lunches. This way I know exactly what is inside it, I can season it how I like, and I don't have to worry about insane amounts of sodium! Have you looked at the nutritional information on any of those frozen "diet" meals that you find at the store?

510mg of sodium?! Thats just for a few bites of stuff to throw on a salad!
This one has 440mg for literally 8 bites of pasta. 
My lunches are usually under 400 calories and are jam packed with flavors I love. They cost around $2-3 a meal.  Each meal always has a protein, a veggie, a starch, and a fruit, occasionally there is a dairy. Here are just a few of them for you to check out. 

Grilled garlic and herb chicken with broccoli, cauliflower, and white rice.  I use Mrs. Dash flavorings on my chicken so there is no sodium but tons of flavor. I know brown rice is better for you than white rice but I can't stand the way brown rice tastes. I also really like to use these separated microwave safe bowls so I can keep things apart if I want. 

My husband LOVES my frozen burritos. Our freezer actually looks like a Quicky Mart because we have so many frozen burritos. These burritos have ground turkey flavored with salsa and Mrs. Dash chili lime seasoning, low sodium black beans, and frozen corn. I wrap them each in a medium fajita shell and top each one with half a slice of cheese. 

This is one of Josh's frozen meal so its got more meat than I would pack myself. This one has chicken breast cooked in 98% fat free soup, cornbread stuffing, and butternut squash. If this was one of my meals it would have double veg and no stuffing because I don't really like stuffing. 
I hope this tip can save you some money and some sodium intake. Just freeze the lunch and use it when you need it. Depending on how frozen the lunch is, it cooks in 3 to 6 minutes. Enjoy!!

What are some of your make ahead meal tips? We'd love to hear them!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Show Your Holiday Style in oka.B! #Review

I love dressing up for the holidays. One of my favorite Christmas traditions (when I was a little girl), was going shopping for a Christmas Eve dress with my sister, and our dad. It was something super special that we looked forward to each Christmas. I still loving getting dressed up for Christmas Eve service. I'm on my own as far as the dress goes, and no matter what I wear, I need to be comfortable. I direct a children's choir, and share my own special Christmas Eve music through singing, each year, and am on my feet for several hours. After the Christmas Eve service is over, we head to a Christmas Eve dinner at my in-law's house, which involves more standing. As much as I love these wonderful Christmas Eve traditions, I know that if I don't wear sensible shoes, I will be miserable.

OKA b. ShoesThatLoveYou - Cute & Comfortable Shoes

Thankfully, sensible and comfortable meets stylish and chic, with oka.B! oka.B believes that comfort and fashion shouldn't be mutually exclusive. Have you ever dreamed of owning a sandal or shoe that fits great, looks great, and feels great? oka.B brings customers all of the above, with sandals and shoes that even doctors approve of! oka.B started out with two basic styles- a slide, and a thong, which were designed to incorporate the feel of a spa shoe, integrating the principles of reflexology, and ergonomics. Today, the line has expanded to dozens of styles and colors, with beautiful adornments, including pieces like ribbons, baubles, natural seashells, and more. 

The first time I ever saw an oka.B sandal, was at the beach in North Carolina. Beach boutiques are notorious for having beautiful, unique clothing and accessories. My sister and I fell in love with oka.B and made plans to add a pair of sandals to our collections.

I was fortunate to connect with the wonderful team at oka.B, right before Christmas. They kindly sent me a pair of their beautiful flats to try out, and I couldn't wait for them to arrive. The oka.B shoes came to my door just a day or two before Christmas, which was perfect timing, because that meant that I would have a new pair of black flats to wear on Christmas Eve, and I could expect to be kept very comfortable.

My oka.B flats were packaged in this gorgeous almost Tiffany blue shoe box. I was more than pleased to discover that oka.B shoes and sandals are made in the US.

When I opened the box, I discovered beautiful cherry blossom branches. The box in itself was really cool. The lid was magnetic, and the front of the box expanded, sort of like an accordion.

My oka.B's were neatly wrapped in oka.B tissue paper. I felt like I was opening up a beautiful Christmas present.

Ta-da... here are the gorgeous slingback flats I received from oka.B!

I was sent the beautiful Kennedy Slingback in Licorice, with black bucket. These black slingbacks looked not only stylish, but super comfy and chic. Slingbacks just so happen to be one of my favorite shoe styles, so I was pretty thrilled with this selection. I have a pair of black flats that I have loved and worn for six years or so, and they are falling apart, so I was ready to pass the favorite flats torch to oka.B.

Check out the bottom of my oka.B Kennedy Slingbacks... obviously, I love the 'O' on the heel, and the adorable hearts for support and tread.

Look at how flexible these shoes are- I can fold them up, in my hand. Talk about comfort!

The inside of the oka.B flats and sandals are designed to work like a spa shoes, massaging your feet, as you wear them! What a great idea!

I love the added detail of oka.B shoes. They have add-ons to match just about every style and personality! The black bucket buckle adds just a bit of sass to my new shoes. They are simple, and classic.

I worried that the slingback might make the shoe seem tight, but when I tried them on, I realized that I worried for nothing. 

The slingback was well-fitting, and kept the shoe in place on my heel, which I was glad for. There's nothing worse than stepping out of your shoe! I loved the flexible, comfortable fit of the Kennedy Slingbacks by oka.B, right away. 

As soon as I slipped into the Kennedy in Licorice by oka.B, I was in love!

I noticed that I felt like I could move my toes- they weren't super constricted, which was nice. The shoes flexed and moved with my feet, keeping them cushioned and comfortable with every single step. I knew that these oka.B's would keep me comfy all night long. Our Christmas Eve is always a little crazy- we're so involved in what's happening at our family church service, and then we head to my in-law's to enjoy dinner, and then everyone (except for me and B), heads back to church for the second Christmas Eve service. I directed the little children's choir and had my own solo to sing at the first service, so my feet needed to be super comfy. I made the mistake of wearing boots last Christmas Eve, and was definitely sorry for it. 

I loved the way my oka.B flats looked with my dress for Christmas Eve.

Surprisingly, a lot of people noticed my shoes, and asked about them. When we dined with family that same evening, I showed them how awesomely flexible and super adorable the oka.B slingbacks really are. My grandfather-in-law was impressed by their flexibility! I have a bad knee, and often worry how the shoes that I wear will affect my knee. I had no discomfort whatsoever in my oka.B's, which I was so pleased about, because that meant that they would be perfect for my upcoming vacation! Their light weight, and flexibility make them packable, and perfect to slip on at any time!

I loved wearing my oka.B's on Christmas Eve!

oka.B's are casual, yet elegant. I wore them on Boxing Day, for a casual get together with family and friends, and will probably wear them on New Year's Eve, as well. They look great with a skirt or dress, casual pants, or jeans! My best friend is getting married in the fall of 2015, and I would love to gift her a white pair of flats for her wedding day! oka.B's are perfect for your day to day fashion, special occasions, great for travel, for moms on the go, or for the student, or career gal!

Check out a few of oka.B's styles that I would love to add to my closet...








I know that I am going to enjoy my oka.B Kennedy Slingbacks this winter. I can even wear them into the spring season, though I have a feeling that I will be wanting more colors and styles. I love sandals during the late spring and summer time, so I'll look forward to seeing what oka.B introduces this spring, and hopefully, I'll be able to share some of their new styles with you all!

If you are on your feet for an extended period of time during the day or night, or have a special event coming up, I highly recommend oka.B sandals and flats. They will keep your feet comfortable all day long- you might not want to take them off!

Want them? Buy them!

Head on over to oka.B to browse their entire collection of flats and sandals. Many styles are currently on sale, from last season, so be sure to take advantage of being able to purchase some of the sandal styles for $25.00! You can shop by style, or color (32 colors to choose from!), or by price. oka.B's keep their prices super affordable, so you can build on your collection! Remember- oka.B's are proudly designed and made in the USA!

You can connect with oka.B on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter, and sign up for the oka.B newsletter to stay in touch.

Special thanks to our friends at oka.B for allowing me to review and share about their wonderful shoes this holiday season! I can't wait to see what the new year will hold!

Stay stylish,

Sunday, December 28, 2014

#McFARLAND, USA - Brand New Trailer Now Available!

Based on the 1987 true story, “McFarland, USA” follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California’s farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school. Coach White and the McFarland students have a lot to learn about each other but when White starts to realize the boys’ exceptional running ability, things begin to change. Soon something beyond their physical gifts becomes apparent—the power of family relationships, their unwavering commitment to one another and their incredible work ethic. With grit and determination, the unlikely band of runners eventually overcomes the odds to forge not only a championship cross-country team but an enduring legacy as well. Along the way, Coach White realizes that his family finally found a place to call home and both he and his team achieve their own kind of American dream.

Check out the official trailer...

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McFARLAND, USA is rated PG and opens in theaters everywhere on February 20th!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Memories 2014

Happy day after Christmas, also known as Boxing Day! We were sort of MIA yesterday, and also on Christmas Eve day, as we were crazy busy. We spent our Christmas Eve day enjoying brunch with my bestie, and her fiance, and then we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening at church, involved in worship. I was able to take a few photos to share...

B and me- ready to head to church for Christmas Eve services.

Daddy, helping B put his new shoes on for church.

I was able to get at least one nice family photo of the three of us!

B, enjoying our Christmas Eve tradition of popcorn and a Christmas special.

The next morning, we woke up and discovered that Santa had indeed been to our house!

Empty milk glass and just a few crumbs left on the cookie plate- plus a note!

B loved his 'Santa gift!'

B also really loved his new Paw Patrol shirts and toys.

Here's B, playing with new LEGOs at Ampa and Papa Willi's house on Christmas morning! Check out his Darth Vader hat!

And look what Santa brought me- a new Nikon camera! I must have been extra good this year!

We can't wait to share even more holiday photos and memories with you through out the week ahead! We'd love to hear how you spend your Christmas!