Thursday, August 31, 2017

My Grandma and Cars.com Lessons for First-Time Buyers


Today's post is an emotional one because it makes me think of my grandparents. My Grandpa Bill died a year and a half ago, and his wife, who my kids called Great Susie, died Sunday. When I think of them, I think of my grandpa buying used cars pretty regularly so they always had something nice to drive. He would spend a lot of time sleuthing out car deals, but this was in the days of ... wait for it ... NO INTERNET! How easy it would be for him to find quality used cars at a deal today!

I have great memories of riding in the back of some lovely four-door classy cars listening to the latest pop music and heading to the local mall, Indian Springs, for some Smak's burgers for lunch then Cone-a-Copia for dessert, followed by some Fun Factory game time and probably even a movie. My grandma was super cool like that. I also remember the days before seat belts were mandatory and a bunch of us would cram into some big car and I'd sit on my Great Aunt Eva's lap eating her Tic Tacs and heading to Metcalf South Mall (now torn down ... so sad).

So fast forward to NOW. I have five kids who are going to be car hunting, which is hard to believe. My oldest is 16, about to get his restricted license (one step away from the "real" thing) and likes to work and make money. This means he is saving for his first car.

Grandma Stump with my oldest son Joel
Enter Cars.com because otherwise I wouldn't have a clue where to start. They aren't just there to sell you cars; they are also there to inform you about things like car seats, multi-car comparisons and lessons for first-time buyers! I was super interested in this last article, and was happy to see it had people sharing their mistakes and wisdom from when they bought their first car.

Look, I bought my first car at age 16 from my PARENTS ... Mom got a new 1984 maroon Chevy Cavalier and there was a 1978 yellow Chevette STICK SHIFT just waiting in the driveway for me to purchase in installments from my parents with my waitressing/hostessing money from Waid's Restaurant.
My Waid's uniform.

I was lucky. My kid doesn't have any hand-me-downs and will have to go hunting for himself. I love that he has places like Cars.com to check out with us so he can get the best bang his buck and find someone reliable and safe.
Yeah, baby. I was hot stuff driving around town in this puppy, riding that clutch and grinding those gears.
Tell me about YOUR first car and your plans for your kid's first car!


*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

5 Tips to Make Moving Easy


Moving home can be a stressful experience, even if everything goes smoothly, you still have a lot to do before and after the big day. Trying to organize your move so that it becomes less stressful is something everyone should do, but where do you start?

There are many easy things you can do that will make your life much easier, and they won’t take much time at all.

Choose Your Moving Crew
Having a company move your house for you is one of the best things you can do. Not only will it be quicker because they are professional, but it will also mean less anxiety and stress to get it all done in one day.

Companies such as Small Moving Inc can move you with little fuss and no stress. They will also be insured in case of damage, which you won’t have if you do it yourself.

Pack an Overnight Bag
Just as you would if you were going away for a weekend, pack a bag with all the essentials you will need for the night and the next day. Then, if you are too tired once you have finished moving, you won’t have to sift through all your things to find what you need.

Another good idea is to make sure the bed is the first thing put together and ready to go. Therefore, you can just crash out at the end of the day without late night panic and dread.

Pack the Items You Need First in a Clear Box
Make sure that you pack all your essentials in a clear box so that it stands out from the rest of the boxes. In there, you should place your toilet rolls, tea or coffee things, kettle, phone chargers and anything else you will need.

Try to make sure that this box is one of the last to go on the truck, or take it in the car with you. That way, when you arrive, you will have it all ready instead of waiting for it to be unpacked.

Padding for Your Breakables
If you don’t want to spend a fortune on bubble wrap, there is a good idea that will still protect your breakable items. Wrap them in clothing and tie them with string, then you can pack them, and they will be protected. If you need additional protection, roll up socks and gloves and tuck them in the corners or gaps.

It is also a good idea to tape mirrors or glass so that if they get broken, the pieces will be contained.
  
Label Your Boxes
Although this is a sensible thing to do, a lot of people don’t write on the boxes where they will go. It makes it much easier for the crew to place them in the right room, and it means you won’t need to move them around later.


These are just a few of the things you can do to make moving day easier. If you can keep organized as you are packing, you will find it will take less time to unpack at the other end. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The dos and don’ts of buying vintage furniture – What to look out for and how to get the biggest bang for your buck


Buying furniture is always a tricky task, regardless of what kind of furniture you’re aiming to buy. It is due to all the different aspects of it that you need to keep into consideration. Will it fit in your living room? Will the colors match the ones that are already running across your hallways? How well will that new Mid Century Modern Dining Table match with the rest of your furniture? All these questions are often unanswered until the decisive moment of purchase. But not having a plan beforehand leads most times to scenarios in which people are unhappy with what they’ve bought. It is avoidable, and you can make sure that whatever you purchase from the local antique store or online will have a solid spot in your home. Both you and your guests will appreciate the beauty of a properly managed vintage piece of artwork. To do this, you just need to pay mind to some simple tips and keep a couple of others into account as well. With that said, if you’re ready to venture into the land of vintage furniture and get a better idea of what you need to do before buying, let’s carry on and start digging into the solid advice we’ve prepared for you.

Look beyond the first impression
First impressions are of course crucial and once made, they cannot change. However, when it comes to furniture and especially vintage furniture, you should try and look past those first impressions. What may look unattractive or unpolished right now could turn into something entirely new (so to speak) that will do wonders for your interior décor. You like that vintage chair but don’t agree with the color it has? Or maybe the paint is chipped off in many places, completely ruining the integrity of the piece. These are scenarios in which you should get that chair, keeping in mind that it’s only a fresh coat of paint away from being a perfect addition to your vintage collection. The same thing can go for any furniture.  Try to look into the future when you’re looking at vintage furniture, and try to assess what it would look like with a bit of maintenance.

The bones of furniture piece are the most important
This kind of ties in with the previous bit of advice, in the sense that you shouldn’t judge the integrity of a piece of furniture by its exterior appearance. Just as a chair can be re-painted, so can glass, tapestry and any other kind of material see improvement at the hand of a talented, contemporary artisan. Keeping this in perspective, the most important part of any furniture is its bones. To be more precise, we’re talking about what could refer to as the skeleton of that furniture piece.  The part of it that holds everything together is the most important one, and as long as that one is in good health, the overall furniture piece still has a chance to play a valuable role in your home’s décor.

Measure before shopping, don’t shop before stepping
This one is pretty self-explanatory, as it refers to the necessity of measuring the space you have in your house or apartment before you set out to buy more furniture. There’s no use for a beautiful closet or dining table if you don’t have room in your home for it. Therefore, making sure that you would have a place to put it in is essential when going vintage shopping. Even more so that regular furniture, old furniture might require some extra breathing room around it in support of its more fragile state or the aesthetic it’s trying to pull off. Take a good measurement tape and see precisely how much room you can spare before going to your local vintage furniture shop. 

Once you are ready to spend your money, however, don’t contemplate too much on where everything is going, either. While it is important to assess the relationship between space and the actual furniture, you should also trust your heart.  If you like something and you know you have the room for it, buy it. You can figure out precisely how it’s going to go inside a room once you get there.

Expand your shopping horizon
We previously mentioned shopping from your local shop. It brings us to another vital topic, which is getting into the habit of checking more markets for quality and beautifully crafter vintage pieces. It’s not just the local shops of specific interest that hold important pieces, but also the various vendors you can find online. There are countless shopping opportunities online, with many different vendors offering incredibly beautiful and rare pieces that would do wonders for your vintage collection.

Right now, you might be wondering just what kind of merchants you can find online. The beauty of the online medium is that it has no boundaries and you can find anything if you look in the right places. You can visit antique shops that have an online website, where they display larger stocks of available furniture, which isn’t available for display in physical stores. You can also get in touch with individual vendors that want to sell a vintage piece inherited from their great, great aunt. Many people sell many things for different reasons, and having access to the platform on which they decide to auction them is highly beneficial for you.

Beware of cheap fakes
Usually, when it comes to antiques, if a price is too good to be true, that’s because it is. Many people thrive off of selling cheap knockoffs to unsuspecting people that just like the idea of owning vintage furniture. To protect yourself from these people, it’s important to take the time and examine the merchandise you are thinking about buying. It’s a lot easier than you might think, especially with the modern tools we have at our disposal today. If a vintage piece of furniture is authentic, it should bear the mark of its original designer somewhere on it. Look for this mark and once you find it, use your phone to Google that designer and get more information about them and the furniture you’re trying to buy. If the vendor you are dealing with seems offended or actively protests to your inquiries, you should consider looking for furniture somewhere else. An honest vendor that sells the real deal will not mind you being cautious. In fact, they will most likely understand why you need to do it, as they should be even more accustomed than you when it comes to the dangers of cheap fakes.

Keep a unified design in mind
No matter how diverse your collection of vintage furniture might get, it’s important always to have a central design concept in mind. It can get colorful and hectic from a design point of view in a room, once you start adding elements from different time periods, made by various artists and so on. The key to making everything look beautiful together is to find common elements that bind them together. For instance, it doesn’t matter if you have furniture from 5 different eras in your living room and if they feature radical design concepts all across the board. As long as all of them pertain to a blue color scheme, they have something in common that makes them look great from afar.


Now that you’ve read some of the most important things to remember before going shopping for vintage furniture, you can properly buy and stay away from shady deals. There are a lot of people that have started their passion for buying vintage furniture with a flop, so you not adding to their numbers isn’t by any means a tragedy. You know what to look for, you know who to look for, and you also know where to look for them. With these tools at your disposal, you will be quite surprised at how easy it will become for you to populate your entire home with some of the finest vintage pieces available on the market, on any market. Before you know it, you will barely have room for a candlestick, thanks to all the valuable things you were able to spot and pick up along the way.

August Swagbucks SWAGO! Earn up to 500 SB


Swagbucks is holding their Swago promotion starting Monday, August 28th at 9am PDT! It's just like bingo, but in this case you're filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you're thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it.    

The best part is that the points you get can be used to get free gift cards to places like Amazon, or PayPal cash! 

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points - if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 500 SB bonus! That's enough for a $5 gift card in their Rewards Store.  

Click here to sign up and get started! If you sign up through my link and earn 300 SB before the first of next month, you'll get a bonus 300 SB!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Sign up for Hulu, get Mad #Swagbucks!!! This Weekend Only!


*Personal note: my family has been with Hulu for years and we love it. My oldest son watches all of his CW shows on there and I get to watch all the old Housewives when I get a moment to just relax. There are also a lot of great movies on there. And cartoons. And documentaries that we love for homeschooling.

If you're a TV lover, Hulu is running a special on their offer through Swagbucks this weekend only: You'll get $30 (paid in the form of points called SB) for trying Hulu for a month. That will cost you $7.99, so you're making $22 on the deal! 

Hulu has tons of current and classic programming, movies, brilliant original series, and more. Here's how you do it: 

1. Click this link. You need to be a Swagbucks member to take advantage of this offer, and if you don't have an account you can create on here, which takes 30 seconds.
2. Click "Continue" and sign up for Hulu
3. Enjoy Hulu! You should have your points within 30 minutes. You must be a first time Hulu member to receive SB for this offer.

Haven't tried Swagbucks yet? They're a site where you earn points (called SB) for doing things like online shopping, watching videos, taking surveys, and discovering deals and services you might like to try (like Hulu!). You then take those points and turn them into free gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.

This is a great time to join because when you sign up through the link above and get your 3000 SB, you'll get a bonus 300 SB at the beginning of September. So that's $30 (3000 SB) for trying Hulu plus your $3 (300 SB) bouns, which gets you 3300 SB, which means you make $25 total for trying Hulu!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

8 Foods that Are Aphrodisiacs to Get You in the Mood

Many of us will enjoy a romantic meal together as part of a date or a date night for married couples.  Food has long been known to do more than just fill our bellies and give us energy and some foods are known as aphrodisiacs.  But which ones really do help get you in the mood and why?

Hot chilies

This one might sound a little crazy but eating hot chilies releases epinephrine (adrenaline to most of us) that pushes up the heart rate.  This makes the body release endorphins, those natural opiates we all have in our bodies and this makes us feel good.  But don’t be tempted to try eating them off one another’s skin – that same stuff can burn badly.  If you want some bedroom fun, buy something from Pleasure Delights and leave the chilies on the table!

Asparagus

This is another food that you just wouldn’t think could help get you in the mood.  But it can for two reasons – one is that it contains a high amount of Vitamin E and this increases blood and oxygen flow in all important places.  The other is that it has lots of potassium in it and this is linked to the production of sex hormones.  Plus, there is that funny visual element to the food that is good for a giggle…

Bananas

Bananas are ones for the guys because they contain an enzyme called bromelain that has been shown to boost the sex drive.  Bananas also contain potassium, riboflavin and vitamin B2, all of which help to keep energy levels up when you need them most.

Dark chocolate

There are reasons why we give dark chocolate as a present for Valentine’s Day and other romantic occasions, even if we don’t know what they are.  Chocolate contains phenylethylamine which is a stimulate that makes use excited as well as boosting our sense of well-being.  Plus, chocolate contains caffeine and we all know that gives us a boost.  Aim for 75% or higher cacao content to get the best from the snack.

Pomegranates

Pomegranates are very popular at the moment due to their status as a superfood and some of those benefits help them be an aphrodisiac too.  They contain a huge number of antioxidants that can do anything from decrease inflammation to prevent plaque building in the arteries.  But for our topic, the increased blood flow is one of the main benefits.  In fact, some studies have shown that pomegranates can be a natural way to help with problems such as erectile dysfunction.

Salmon

Salmon is popular due to its Omega-3 fatty acid content and this helps with heart health – ensuring a good, strong flow of blood.  But it also contains elements that are required by the body to create vital hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

Watermelon

Watermelon is a popular summer fruit but is easy to find at all times of the year and is great because it contains a phytonutrient called citrulline.  This increases the nitric acid in the body that boosts blood flow, blood vessel relaxation and even improves sexual arousal.

Strawberries

The aphrodisiac properties of strawberries have been known since the times of Ancient Greece in fact, the goddess whose name leads to the term aphrodisiac – Aphrodite – was said to have cried strawberries when she learned of her love Adonis’ death.  A nice story but the reality is that strawberries are full of Vitamin C which helps the production of sex hormones as well as boosting chemical neurotransmitters – these increase libido.  It even helps the immune system so that cold you have been suffering with doesn’t spoil the mood as much.

Being Smart About Summertime Bugs!


To most people, summer entails pool time, barbecues, road trips and county fairs. To a few people however, summertime means one thing: bugs.

Nobody wants to go outside and almost immediately be swarmed by thousands of disease carrying mosquitoes, and other creepy crawlies, that simply want to feast on your blood.  Okay, so maybe that is not their intention, but we all know the worst is having to slap yourself in the face when a bug buzzes close to your ear, or waking up the next day itching in some awkward spot, that you were unaware got bit the night before.

That is not my idea of summer and I don’t think it is yours either.  Many people have their go-to deet-infused insect repellent, but today I want to go over some natural options to help increase your chances of keeping the bugs away.

Small Glowing Objects

Everyone knows that bugs are attracted to the flame.  The same goes for mosquitoes and our phones.  Most people don’t realize it because it is so instinctive and habitual, but checking your phone every five minutes at a campfire is actually attracting bugs right in front of your face.  Make it a point to actually enjoy your time in nature or with family and friends, rather than checking social media profiles or the news.  If you are going to be “that guy or girl” at a gathering, try to check your phone while walking, as to not attract bugs to yourself or others.

One of the better things to have outside in the summer are the standing citronella or oil filled candles.  Strategically placing some of those in a circle around your gathering will greatly increase your chances of not being bitten.  Supplementing those with an electronic bug zapper will be even better.  Most bugs will be attracted to the flames but will not fly into them.  Having a bug zapper in your gathering will catch many of those attracted to the various lights and scents of your gathering.  Some of the best bug zappers out there emit carbon dioxide, other scents, or non-toxic pheromones like octonel, that attract mosquitoes to the zapper.  If you are going to buy a good bug zapper for your outdoor venue here are a few other things to keep in mind:

     Buy one rated for outdoors.  Bug zappers that are rated for both indoor and outdoor use are often not robust enough to cover a wide area outside, plain and simple.

     Buy one that is either propane fueled or corded. These models stay in use longer, are typically quieter, and the added power means more heat for luring in bugs.  Cordless models do not typically have extra features like pheromone release or that extra heat and light.

     Buy one with easy to clean components and extra security features.  You definitely want a bug zapper that has a pull out tray or easy to clean grids.  Also, always get one with a guard over the electrified portion of the device to prevent someone from accidentally touching it.

Perfume, cologne, laundry detergent, lotion, body washes, etc.

Certain unnatural scents and ingredients in popular everyday products attract all kinds of airborne critters.  When you are going to be outdoors for an extended period of time, it is best to not practically invite the bugs to feast on your exposed skin.  When showering in the summertime, try to find a good citronella or unscented soap brand that is known for not attracting bugs.  The same goes for lotions, shampoos and body washes.  Prell is one such shampoo that is relatively scentless and does not attract most forms of bugs. 

Mosquitos, in particular, are drawn to heat, sweat and general dinginess.  That means that areas like close to your feet are always susceptible to being bitten, regardless if you have socks on or not.  Having dirty socks or shoes actually attracts more mosquitoes than say, a strong floral scent.

What you eat is what they crave

Certain foods attract bugs and certain foods attract bugs as you sweat.  Sugary foods and beverages will always be on the top of both those lists. 

Avoid eating things like bananas or lemons, as they have pheromones that attract bees and mosquitoes.  Salty things like peanut butter can attack many types of ants, but today we are mostly concerned with the airborne bugs.

Always compare your list of foods and beverages to the umpteen amount of lists available on the internet of what attracts and repels the types of bugs that are prevalent in your area.  Just keep in mind that many things like fruits, juices and most alcoholic drinks contain sugar in their natural makeup, and that attract bugs.  Many species of insects, especially the airborne ones, can detect a scent from miles away, and will move accordingly.


A few other tips are to avoid things like leaving empty cans of beer all over your gathering or eating a box of movie candy just before going outside.  Clean up any spills and put the tops back on beverages while unattended.  Be smart about it.  And most of all: be pragmatic.  If you got bitten up after eating or drinking a certain thing, don’t do it again!  

Day Trips Around Pune for Soul Travelling

You might have heard that Pune is the perfect place for partying; the night life of Pune can allure every fun-loving creature. If this has made you believe that Pune is full of noise and you can’t have your peace of mind there, then I’m sorry to say you are mistaken, my friend. It is a city that attracts people with its liveliness, as well as the captivating natural beauties.


Pune is the perfect blend of party culture and serenity!

If you want to come out of the hustle and bustle of Delhi to enjoy nature in solitude, then keep your bag packed. Go to the Yatra portal and book yourself a flight ticket from Delhi to Pune.  
Here we are giving you the top 5 options for soul travelling Pune within a day.

Duke’s Nose Trek    
What can be better than trekking for having a closer look at nature? Duke’s Nose is a cliff that is called nagphani due to its structure that looks like a snake’s hood (Britishers named it after the big nose of Duke Wellington). Here you can get teamed up with an expert team of explorers to guide you and take care of your safety. Trekkers from all over the world like to flock here because of the breathtaking view is seen from the top of the cliff. It is needless to say that you should have lunch and water in your backpack before starting the trekking journey. If you are going aloof the city crowd, you cannot expect any lavish restaurant ready to serve you at the cliff, right?

The Segway Ride in Lavasa (only for experienced riders)
If you are an experienced rider of the self-balancing vehicle, nothing else can be more exciting and relaxing at the same time. You get to ride the adventurous vehicle while exploring the scenery of nature. The fun here gets multiplied several times due to the man-made hill station you get to roam around. If you don’t have any experience, then don’t get disheartened just start your training!

River Rafting at Kundalika River  
There are many of us who find the beauty of flowing water more alluring than the hills, valleys and trees. If you are one of them, then you’ll surely want to ride the water currents and feel the beauty of nature splashing around yourself. Kundalika River Rafting Adventure is one of the favourite hotspots for escaping the crowd. It ideally takes 3.5hours to cover the stretch of 14Km but this fraction of time will add lots of memories in your soul for a lifetime.

Bike Riding Expedition in Satara Circuit
Most of the youths have become so accustomed to adventure and speed that they want to be close to nature but without getting down from the wheels. This expedition can be a glimpse of paradise for those adventurous youths. The expedition normally starts around 6:30 AM and ends around 7:30 PM. You can zoom all your way through the slopes and terrains (may also be done with private cars). The best part of this expedition is that you don’t need to carry your lunch with yourself; just carry your enthusiasm, and everything else will be taken care of in the package you choose for the expedition.

Paragliding and Joyride in Kamshet
Does adventure to you mean floating in the air? Do you see birds as your soul-mate? (Don’t take this literally!) Then nothing can give you more pleasure than Paragliding and Joyride over the beautiful Western Ghats. All the measures of safety will be taken care of while giving you the thrill of hanging in the air. You can also ask to customize this ride for special occasions like birthday or anniversaries.


Feeling excited? Take a weekend break and come to Pune to enjoy a soulful and adventurous day. Moreover, yes, make sure to book your flight ticket from Delhi to Pune in advance.

Friday, August 18, 2017

How to Get Your Retail Business Off the Ground Using Pop Up Leasing


Have you got a burning desire to start your own retail business? If so, you need to prepare properly and put in place steps that will allow you to get up and running as quickly as possible. Generating momentum and a buzz around your new venture will give you the energy and the confidence to create and grow a business you can be proud of. You can do this as follows by using one of the many pop up leasing solutions that are currently available.

Put Your Products in Front of Your Target Market

When you've decided what products you will offer to the public, you need to find out where the people who will be interested in your products hang out. In some cases, it may be easier to find these people online, while in other situations, your perfect shoppers and customers may visit your local mall each week.

In the case of a shopping mall, it is possible to reach huge numbers of shoppers through one of the many Pop In Retail solutions like Westfield POP, which gives a retailer the opportunity to display their products in front of the 335 million shoppers who pass through their doors every year.

Local Promotion of Your Pop Up Store

In most cases, pop up retailers initially sell to local shoppers and customers. As soon as you make the decision to start your retail business, it's essential to start getting the word out about your new business and let people know where your pop up shop is located.

You can start this process by telling as many of your friends and family members as possible about your business and ask them to spread the word. In the run-up to the launch of your retail pop up store or stores, you then need to start professionally marketing and advertising.

Typical ways you can do this include the development of a high-quality website, the creation of branded social media pages, and the designing of professional-looking, traditional marketing materials such as leaflets, posters, signs, and any other items that will attract the attention of potential customers and shoppers.

Displaying Your Products

Before you decide to use this type of business solution, you need to think carefully about how your products will be displayed in front of shoppers. Ideally, you should develop a brand that people become familiar with and will instantly recognize whenever they pass your store. If you can master this aspect of your business, you find that more people will return to buy your products in the mall you are located in and your customers will also refer other people to your retail business.


Every retailer has to start somewhere and most of the leading retail entrepreneurs started their businesses from humble beginnings too. However, it's vital to get off to the best possible start and make intelligent choices before you begin to trade. Using a pop up retail solution is one effective way to give yourself and your new retail business the best possible chance to succeed. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Swagbucks Swag Luau Team Challenge


Put on your lei, enjoy some Slack-key guitar, and get ready to eat some Kalua Pork, because Swagbucks is holding a Luau Team Challenge to help you earn free gift cards! For those of you who don't know what Swagbucks is, it's a website where you can earn cash back on everyday tasks you do online like shopping, answering surveys, discovering deals, and watching videos. You can even earn for searching the web! 

If you've never tried Swagbucks before because you didn't know where to begin, their Team Challenges are a great way to learn the ropes! The challenge, begins Monday, August 14th at 8am PT, but you can pre-register starting on Friday, August 11th!

Here's how you can join the challenge and the site:  

1. Click here to join the challenge and be assigned to a team.
2. Starting August 14th at 8am PDT, in addition to earning SB you'll contribute points to your teams total as you complete different activities on Swagbucks.
3. Check back on the page often to see the scores and what you've contribute so far.   

All members who participate and contribute at least 600 points to their team’s total will receive a SB bonus in the form of a SB Swag Up Rebate on their next gift card! 

Not only that, but if you sign up under me this month and earn 300 SB before September 1st, you'll get a 300 SB bonus!

Members of the 1st place team will receive a 100 SB Swag Up Rebate, members of the 2nd place team will receive a 50 SB Swag Up Rebate, and members of the 3rd place team will receive a 30 SB Swag Up Rebate. Your SB Swag Up Rebate will be made available on Friday, August 18th at 2 pm PT and will expire on Thursday, August 31st at 11:59 pm PT.

Monday, August 14, 2017

7 Tips For Consolidating Debt On Poor Credit


Many of us have a mound of debt that we don’t know how to repay, and it can be hard finding a debt consolidation solution when you have bad credit. If you have problems repaying your debts, you may have done damage to your credit score, and it’s for this reason you need a consolidation loan – but this could also be the reason that you are battling to get one. Let’s look at a few resources that can help.

Credit Scores and Debt Consolidation Loans

Did you know that you can use debt consolidation loans from Debt Fix to pay off your debts and replace them with just a single loan? By doing so, you can lower your monthly payments or even seek a cheaper interest rate. However, qualifying for another loan when you have poor credit can be tricky. You may need to accept a few trade-offs to secure your loan, such as loan fees, higher interest rates, or limited options in terms of loan types.

Consolidating Student Loans
If you are trying to consolidate your student loans, you are in luck. Overall, these loans are harder to get rid of compared to other debts, and it makes them a lot less risky for lenders. For borrowers, it means more flexible and often lower credit requirements to qualify for a consolidation loan.

Lenders that offer lower credit score minimums
If you’re looking to consolidate your loans, and you have a poor credit rating, take note that different lenders usually have different credit requirements and there are many who may be willing to consider you.

Secure a Co-signer
Many lenders out there will not offer consolidation loans for people with poor credit, but they may well approve your loan application if you have a co-applicant who has good credit. In order to get a co-signer for your loan, you will need someone who is willing to co-sign for you, and a lender who accepts co-signers. Ask your partner, or a family member who has good credit to co-sign the loan for you and you may have a much better chance of approval for your debt consolidation loan.

Talk to a credit union
Credit unions at considered not-for-profit financial institutions at serve the community. The unions often offer debt consolidation loans for people with poor credit ratings, and you may well secure a low rate.

Non-profit consolidation
There are a few non-profit organisations that help people get out of debt when their credit rating is bad. They usually offer free debt assistance and credit counselling.

A secured loan
If you have a few assets, consider borrowing against them with the help of a secured loan in order to consolidate your debts. With such a loan, your asset, like your car, is collateral the lender uses to guarantee your loan.

Try again later
Finally, spend the time repairing your credit rating and then try again for a debt consolidation loan. If you’re able to raise your score even a few points, you may improve your chances of approval for a loan.

Those are tips on how you can consolidate your debts even when you have bad credit score. Don’t hesitate to consult experts about your financial situation.

Top Ten Tips for Vacationing with a Preteen


The awkward teenage years seem to start much earlier than they used to. Ten years ago, preteen and tween weren’t words we were overly familiar with. We were teenagers at 13. Everything changed at 13. Now, kids as young as 9 and 10 are entering the preteen years, and starting to act like teenagers. They start wanting to do grown up things, refusing to play with toys, being moody and acting out. This has its advantages for us as parents; growing up sooner often means we can give them more responsibility and do things we enjoy with them. However, it can make vacationing tough. Here are ten tips to help you make the most of your family holidays, while you still get them!

Let Them Help

Let them help with every part of planning your break. Look at destinations together; ask where they want to go and why. If you’re not on the same page, try to find a compromise and let them choose some of the activities you will all do while you are away. As kids get older, they want to be listened to and to feel like their opinions matter. Involving them will help to make sure you start the vacation right.

Give Them Responsibilities

Give your preteen some responsibilities. Let them know that you are there if they need help, but that it is their job and that you trust them to do it well. The responsibilities you choose to give them will depend on their age and level of maturity, but some options include:
·         Packing their own bag
·         Packing snacks for everyone on the journey
·         Packing their hand luggage
·         Planning the route to the hotel
·         Planning a day out while you are away
·         Writing an itinerary for the journey or week

Go Shopping

Whatever their gender, preteens are just starting to develop their own style. This might mean the clothes they wear seem to be changing a lot, but it’s important to give them the freedom to experiment. So, take them shopping for some new holiday clothes and let them pick things out for themselves. Swimwear can be tricky, especially for girls. You might want to send her out in a baby’s swimsuit but she’ll want to try something more grown up. Teen swimwear is a great option for you both.

Plan Activities

Having activities to look forward to will make the idea of going away as a family much more appealing for your preteen. Look online together and plan some interesting days out. You can probably even book some activities online before you go.

Set Them Tasks

Give them fun challenges for while you are away. Things like posting a photo journal online, writing a diary of your days out, collecting objects, scavenger hunts, and wildlife spotting are fun ways to stop your preteen from getting bored.

Take a Friend

If you can cope with two children, offer to take one of your preteen’s friends with you. Children are often exceptionally well behaved around their friends’ parents, which could rub off on your own. At the very least they’ll have someone to talk to and have fun with, and you won’t need to worry about keeping them interested.

Allow Screen Time

It can be tempting to ban devices on your vacation. However, this could just make your children (and partner!) grumpy and annoyed. Let them have a set amount of time every day when they’re allowed to play on their devices or chat with their friends. This way they’ll be happier to put them away for family time.

Give Them Some Space

The preteen years can be a battle. They’re not really old enough to go off on their own completely, but they want to. If possible, let them have their own bedroom, and give them a little bit of space when you are at the resort, but only if it’s something you are comfortable with.

Choose Your Battles

Parenting is often about choosing your battles. Let them get away with some things if it isn’t worth the argument and they might be more inclined to bend for something you want to do later.

Let Them Be Kids

When they are on holiday and meeting new people, you might find they start acting more like children than they do at home. They might want to play in the park with their new friends or mess about in the pool. Don’t make a big deal out of this or they’ll be embarrassed and stop. Just make the most of it.


As your kids enter their teen years, you may find that your family vacations come to an end. Soon, your children will be wanting to go away with their friends, leaving you behind to worry. So, while the preteen years can be difficult and awkward, make the most of them and be sure to have a great vacation.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Kerrie's Forget Chick-fil-A Chicken Salad


Kerrie's Forget Chick-fil-A Chicken Salad

Alright, people, we don't have to argue about what Chick-fil-A and what it is not. We don't have to talk about money to hate groups or pro-family groups or kiss-ins or anything like that. That's all in the past. You don't have to get into that debate AT ALL, friends. Because now you have my chicken salad, which will do just as nicely as Chick-fil-A's. Happy eating!

You will need
3 boneless,skinless chicken breasts
10 eggs, hard boiled
1 cup mayonnaise (maybe more)
Chopped celery if you're into that kind of thing
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup dried, chopped berry assortment you can buy in a bag at the store
Pepper to taste
Garlic sea salt from a grinder

1. Cook chicken how you like. If you have time, go for the CrockPot because the chicken will be tasty tender. Chop it up tiny and toss it into a large bowl.
2. Peel eggs, chop them and toss them into the bowl.
3. Mix in the rest of the ingredients (chop up almonds and berries first).
4. If you like other stuff, toss it in. If you don't, leave it out.
5. Feel free to experiment!
6. Castigate me in the comments section for how poorly written my recipe is :-)

Originally posted 9/7/12

Check this out!


Thursday, August 10, 2017

How to Decrease Your Risk of Heart Disease


Heart disease in the number one cause of death across the world, and kills more than 610,000 people in America alone every year. Fortunately, there are ways you can improve your health to decrease the risk of heart disease. Read the following five helpful tips to creating a healthier heart.
Quit Smoking
Many people often refuse to quit smoking cigarettes as they are addicted or enjoy the act too much. However, smokers are twice as likely to have a heart attack in comparison to non-smokers. Not only that, but a heart attack is much more likely to result in death. Don’t take any chances with your heart’s health and put the cigarette out for good.
Lower Your Blood Pressure
Did you know that more than 50 million people in the US are living with high blood pressure? As a result, it is the most common cause of heart disease in America. There are many ways you can lower your blood pressure.
For instance, enjoying a healthy diet and regularly exercising can prevent hypertension. Visit carenow to find out how you can naturally lower your blood pressure.
Improve Your Cholesterol
High cholesterol can play havoc with your heart’s health, as you are more likely to develop heart disease if you have a total cholesterol level over 200, or if your triglycerides are over 150. It is vital you take steps to lower your cholesterol levels by enjoying a diet that is low in cholesterol, refined sugars and saturated fat. You should also aim to consume foods that are high in fiber.
A Healthy Diet Plan
A healthy diet plan can create a healthier, happier heart, so you can enjoy many years to come with your friends and family. Aim to eat more fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and plant-based ingredients every day.
Also, consume fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can improve heart health, such as salmon, mackerel and tuna. Consume lean meats in moderation, such as chicken or turkey.
Lose Weight
Carrying extra weight is no good for your heart’s health, mood or energy levels. Reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease by shedding excess weight, and discuss with your doctor to identify the healthiest weight for your height. In addition to decreasing the risk of heart disease, it can also prevent other health conditions, such as diabetes or gout.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
Everyone will experience stress or anger from time to time. Yet, if it is a persistent problem, then you must take action to manage your emotions or risk the development of heart disease. Take a deep breath to calm down and lower your blood pressure. If the problem persists, we recommend talking to a doctor or considering an anger management course.

People of all ages and backgrounds can develop heart disease at any stage in their lives. Ensure you live a long and healthy life and start following the above tips from today. 

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