12.20.2014

5 Ways I'm Getting Ready for New Years Eve + SmileBrilliant Giveaway

New Years Eve is one of those nights that I just have to go out. Whether it's to a house party or out to eat and have a drink, there's just something so fun about welcoming in the new year out and about while looking my best. I will be 30 in 2015 so for some reason it feels like an extra special New Years Eve for me - the last year of my 20's will be behind me and on to my 30's (which I've heard is pretty awesome). So here are 5 things I'm getting or doing to help me look and feel my best for this New Years Eve.

1. A great dress and more specifically, one that fits well. I have a closet full of things I try my hardest to squeeze into, but it just doesn't work. While I may make it fit, I'm never really all that comfortable. I have the perfect dress that I wore earlier this year, and while I normally wouldn't want to re-wear, I'm totally going to this year because 1. It's sparkly and 2. It fits :)


2. A good girdle. A girdle is a bit like a security blanket for me. It's warm, which is nice for winter (not so great for a summer soiree, though), and it keeps everything smoothed and tucked. I learned the goodness of a girdle long ago in college and I've never looked back. Even in my skinnier days I wore one. While many think they're uncomfortable, I actually feel more comfortable in it cause I'm not worried about something slipping out, panty lines, etc. I realize girdle sounds like an old lady word...shapewear is probably a better term. Embrace the shapewear while it embraces you!

These are my 3 favorites, but I seriously have at least 5 more.
3. Learning some good makeup tips. As much as I try to kill it with hair and makeup, it's not something that comes naturally to me. Pretty much any time I go out requires me watching about 30 minutes worth of YouTube videos for hair and makeup tutorials. Which I then have to re-watch about 20 more times to get it right and then I'm late. Regardless, there are some seriously amazing videos out there and they've saved me many times from having my hair in a slumpy ponytail.

4. Working on my fitness. Good shapewear can only go so far so I've really been upping my game on working out and eating well. The #Flab2FabFitmassChallenge is going amazingly well and I'm already down a few pounds and feeling a lot less bloated. While I oftentimes want to just lay on the ground and never get up during the workouts, I push on and finish. Granted, I'm not just doing this challenge to look good for NYE, I want to look good and feel healthy period, but it's certainly a great time of year to get started.

5. Making my teeth look their best. Ever since Starbucks put out those Chestnut Praline Lattes, I just can't stop drinking them. Pair that with my usual red wine and my teeth need a little bit of help. I wanted to get my teeth whitened at my dentist, but it's so expensive and I certainly don't want to throw down that kind of money after Santa has just hit my house. This year I recruited the help of SmileBrilliant and the results have been great. Their kits are like getting it done at the dentist, only you're not paying anywhere near the price and you can do it in the comfort of your own home. You make your own teeth imprints to send to them and they mail you back perfect molds of your teeth to use for whitening. My teeth are noticeably brighter and whiter now since using this and I didn't have to spend a small fortune to do so.


             

          

I cannot wait for NYE and can't believe in less than 2 weeks it'll be 2015! Are you doing anything fun for NYE this year? Please share what you'll be up to and...

SmileBrilliant! has offered 1 fan a chance to win a teeth whitening kit for yourself!

12.19.2014

DIY Waterless Diorama Style Snow Globe


A few weeks ago I made one of these for Outnumbered 3 to 1. I've had the one lone snow globe on my mantle and I just couldn't help but make more because they're so easy to do and they're so cute! While my original snow globe only had the tree in it, I wanted to get some other stuff to put inside of my next one to make it a bit more festive.

To make all you need is:

12.18.2014

#Flab2FabFitmassChallenge and Racing Goals for 2015

2014 has certainly not been a year full of fitness for me. I did spend a fair amount of time in the gym earlier this year and managed to get in a race, but my back injury in May really threw me out. To be honest, I was actually scared to get back in the gym that I would hurt myself because I never wanted to experience that pain again. I did diet from July - September and lost weight, but the gym definitely would've helped.

Now, I'm back to it. One of my favorite IGers, Kelly, who blogs at Fat Girl Gone Fit, is truly inspiring and pretty bad ass. She's lost an incredible amount of weight, did a competition, and just seems like a down to Earth, cool chick. She offers coaching and I've always been too scared to sign up, but a few weeks ago she posted this challenge and I figured why not. 4 weeks is certainly not going to kill me and I can do anything for such a short amount of time.


I did my pre-assessment test and let's just say it wasn't pretty. I have become almost embarrassingly out of shape. I'm ready to change that though. I've done 3 days of workouts and woah. On paper they don't seem so bad, but 3 circuits of monster climbers, planks, and toe touch crunches later and I was feeling the burn!

She doesn't give an eating plan with this, but you send her your info and she gives you a calorie goal and macros if you'd like. I'm at 1500 calories with a macro breakdown of 150g carbs, 113g protein, and 50g fat. This is flipping all my Keto right on it's head, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss my low carb way of eating, but I'm going to try this. Today happens to be a rest day and I will admit I plan to keep my carbs pretty low and my fats high today since I'm not working out. Bring on the butter, please!

I've also decided to do 15 races next year. I really wanted to do 30 since I will be 30, but I think that might be a bit unrealistic for me and it would get expensive quickly. So I'm putting it here to keep myself accountable. I'm actually really ready to start hitting the pavement again and I know it's going to be a great year to race. I've already got 2 that I'm doing, The Pig Run and the 5k they offer on the Disney cruises.

How's your holiday weight going - gaining, losing, maintaining? Any race goals for 2015?

12.17.2014

Outlook Baby Must Haves Giveaway


Whether you are expecting your first or fourth child, you know there will be things you will need to help you make it through those early months with ease. Outlook has everything your baby needs to make those newborn months easier. New moms often need those little things the most. Things that add just a little extra peace of mind, safety or comfort are usually the ones moms love the most.

We love the Outlook Sleep Pod for new babies. This cover works on car seats, strollers and baby carriers to protect your baby from wind, rain and sun. This is a great adjustable cover that works to shade your child, give them dark for rest, or simply protect them from the elements as you go in and out of stores. While it is most often used for infant seats, it is adjustable to fit on strollers for children up to 4 years old! This is a great investment that will give you peace of mind and will offer a little extra comfort for your baby.

Another great addition to a new mom wish list is the Cotton Stroller Liner available on Outlook. If you like to offer a bit of extra cushion and fashionable flare to your stroller, these are perfect. Available in multiple patterns like chevrons, stripes, and even a cute bird print to match the hottest looks in baby gear, they are simple to change in and out. Strollers are often rather hard and uncomfortable for your toddler to sit in. These cotton stroller linens offer some extra comfort while upgrading the stroller to a more fashion-friendly look. Not only do they work in strollers, they are perfect for car seats and baby carriers too!

As long as you are looking for ways to keep your baby or toddler comfortable, don't forget the Car Window Shades from Outlook. This a must have in the summer months, especially here in Florida where it gets incredibly hot and sunny. Nothing is more important than keeping your babies happy and safe. These shades come in various sizes that will fit perfectly into your car window. Not only do they offer shade for an easier ride, they offer protection from the sun’s rays. No sunburn or irritation for your babies when these are on the windows.

Outlook has all of your much needed accessories for that new baby. Not only can you give your children a safer experience, you can make it more comfortable for them in the process. Invest in these and other great baby and child care accessories on Outlook.

One winner will receive an Outlook Sleep Pod, Cotton Stroller Liner and Car Window Shade Single.

Giveaway ends December 30th at 11:59pm, open to US residents, ages 18+. Only one entrant per household, per address. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Enter using the giveaway form below. Good luck!

12.16.2014

New Fitness Challenge and Working Out with Cynergy Fitness Resistance Bands


I received a sample for review. All opinions are my own.

The holidays are in full swing and as much as I had hoped not to gain any weight, I definitely did. Thanksgiving was hard for me to not gain weight since we were out of town for a week so healthy eating wasn't always an option. Granted, at a certain point I just gave in to the weight gain and decided the world wouldn't end if I had an extra piece of pumpkin pie. Thankfully, getting through Christmas with little to no weight gain is much easier for me since I'm the one cooking. 

I decided to start a fitness challenge with one of my favorite IGers (will post about this later in the week) and while I don't need access to a gym, having some small weights or resistance bands is helpful. I had to go with the resistance bands from Cynergy Fitness because they give so much variation and they can go with me wherever I choose to workout.


Each set contains bands that can grow with you. You can use them together or separately making it a total of anywhere from 4- 75lbs. The set also comes with 2 handles, 2 ankle straps, and a door anchor along with the bag making it easy to use these anywhere (like outside when it's sunny and 70 degrees in December - hello, Florida). 


Using resistance bands is a lot easier for me since I'm fairly new to lifting and doing body weight exercises. Once upon a time I was a runner, but I want to start slow with this to ensure proper form so I don't hurt myself and resistance bands are perfect for that. Regular exercises that utilize only your own body weight are awesome too like push ups, squats, and lunges. I just like to add a little extra umph to my workouts so it's resistance bands for me :)

I love that I have my own workout system at home and it fits in one small bag. There are so many different kinds of workouts I can do with these bands and I can definitely feel a difference after using them. I also like that I can use them with workout videos like P90X. If you're looking for a great way to supplement your workouts, definitely check them out.

Cynergy Fitness Resistance Bands are available for purchase on Amazon. Be sure to use this coupon code to get them for 50% off: H8EFNSS2


12.15.2014

Breakfast and Snack Time Made Healthy with EnviroKidz

I received a sample for this review. All opinions are my own.

When looking for cereals and snacks to buy for my son, I try and find ones that are not only wholesome, but I look for organic as well as Non-GMO verified products. It's not always easy to find products like this that taste great though - and my son is certainly picky.  Thankfully, EnviroKidz has a variety of choices that are not only organic and good for you, but taste great, too.


My son is obsessed with their cereals. Most mornings he asks for the Peanut Butter Panda Puffs. He's a big peanut butter fan so this is a clear winner for him. I often find my husband eating the Chocolate Cocoa Chimps as an after dinner snack. I personally like the Cinnamon Jungle Munch and it's my son's second favorite. All three of these cereals a great though because they're full of flavor and all natural ingredients and the best part is they don't get all soggy in the milk.


My son has recently gotten into granola bars as well. Being the picky eater that he is, he was never interested in eating bars because there were too many "things" in them that he claimed to not like. When I offered him one of the Berry Blast Crispy Rice Bars he told me his best friend at school eats them and he happily ate it right up. He won't even try other kinds of bars.


EnviroKidz bars are the only kind I can get him to eat which is fine with me since they're full of organic, real ingredients, and they keep him full for a while. He loves taking one with us to the park and often asks to have one put in his lunchbox. There are many times that I sneak one of these bars for myself whenever I need a quick snack on the go, and I have to admit they're really tasty!

As a mom, I love feeding the EnviroKidz products to my son. Knowing that they provide a good, wholesome meal or snack for him is exactly what I look for when shopping for food for him. I really like that their products are easy to find in stores near me and that they're a family run, independent company.

Connect: You can connect with EnviroKidz on their websitePinterestFacebook and at @EnviroKidz on Twitter.

12.11.2014

Creating the Perfect iPhone 6 Gift Cases This Holiday Season

Scratching your head over the perfect gift to accompany your personalized Christmas cards this year? The iPhone 6 has released just in time for the holidays, and many have snatched them up quickly. This creates the perfect gift opportunity for you – instead of spending countless hours at the mall fighting the crowds, why not create custom iPhone 6 cases online for the loved ones in your life who have the new phone?

If you do decide to go this route, there are a few things you should know, namely that the new iPhone models feature a 4.7-inch screen and a 5.5-inch screen – the larger of which is a drastic departure from the 4-inch screens available on the iPhone 5 and 5s. So what does all of this mean in terms of creating a custom iPhone 6 case? Here are a few things to consider:


·       You can more clearly display photos. While it’s important to get a case to protect your loved one's phone from scratches, dents, and dings, a case also is a great way to communicate personal style. A larger case naturally means larger photos on display when you customize a case – and that makes the communication loud and clear.

·       There’s a possibility of new designs. When designing a new iPhone 6 case, you have the option to use one of a number of pre-designed templates. Who knows what manufacturers will come up with next now that they have more space to work with? This holiday season, we may see a variety of new collage options in particular, since there’s space for more pictures and a variety of different positioning options.

·       You’ll want to choose photos that look good at a larger scale. Of course, you’ll always want to select pictures with at least 300 dpi (dots per inch) to maintain a good resolution and avoid images that look blurry or “chunky.” But in addition, you’ll have to consider how an image will crop and look on the bigger case. For example, any white space will be much more apparent on a larger case than it was on the smaller iPhone 5 or 5s case. Be sure to crop out anything extraneous that you don’t want in the photo, but make certain that whatever part of the image is left will look good on its own and enlarged.


Before you get too overloaded with friendly Christmas greetings, events on your calendar, and other items on your holiday to-do list, get some of your shopping done from the convenience of home. Get creative and have fun using the extra space given by the new iPhone 6 cases.


Author Bio: Heather Hewitt is a seasoned writer and guest author who enjoys connecting people with thoughtful products, services and ideas as they relate to crafting, photography, gift giving and personal expression.