Top 5 things I can’t live without

What are the 5 things that I can’t live without?  I am about to tell you.

**This post contains affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure Policy.**

  1. I love my Gorilla Grip Bath Mat!

I can imagine you might be thinking…a bath mat??  Yes, when you take a shower half asleep, the last thing that you want to worry about is falling!  I love it!

Plus, the color I have is bright (although they do have other colors available).  When my parents came to visit, shortly after I had bought it, they commented on how they loved it too!

Yes, I know a bath mat wasn’t what you were expecting, but it is one of those things that I don’t have to worry about after buying.  You can throw it in the washer and then put it right back in the tub. 😉

 

  1. Have you heard of BackJoy? Well my friend, I love this!

I bought it a few years back (no pun intended) and leave it in the car.

Unfortunately, a year ago, I was in a car accident that caused me lower back pain.  Thankfully, I can use the BackJoy to drive to work and then carry it inside to use on my work chair.

It is meant to help you sit up straight and keep your posture.  I don’t know about you but sitting at a desk all day usually causes me to slump over.

Posture?  What the heck is that?  Lol.  But, with the BackJoy, I can have the help of sitting up straight.  And of course, I bought it in purple. 😊

 

  1. Who doesn’t love soft and supple lips? I use Baby Lips Lip Balm by Maybelline…I may or may not have one on my night stand, bathroom, and 2 in my purse!

I love this lip balm!  It is creamy, smooth, and not sticky.  Since there are so many colors/tints, I usually wear it alone.

I feel like this is my “chip” commercial, I can’t just buy one!

 

  1. Speaking of soft and supple, I use my doTERRA Hand & Body lotion every day.

This lotion is perfect for those of us who have sensitive skin who prefer an unscented lotion.

Yes, this lotion is unscented, and it is super hydrating.  Plus, it does not leave you with that sticky feeling.

 

  1. Great makeup product, Physician’s Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Stick. This is perfect for those of us who are short on time and want that natural look.

Now this I use almost every day.  (I can’t say every day because let’s be honest, on the weekends, makeup is the last thing on my mind, lol.)

It has concealer and foundation all in one.  I love that it is super creamy and easy to blend with a wedge (you can use your fingers too).

 

I hope that you try one (or more) of these products.  I love them and hope you love them too!

Let me know in the comments or on Facebook if you try any of them!

Keep your motivation going for the year

**This post contains affiliate links.  Please see my Disclosure Policy.**

I know, you may be thinking, “How am I going to stay motivated for a whole year?”  I will give you the advice I have been given, Baby steps.

What you want to accomplish this year?

Do you want a promotion, a better job, a better relationship, to lose weight, to gain muscle, or maybe to pay off your debt?  Yes, they all sound daunting, but if you take baby steps, they become more manageable.

Everything is about taking baby steps toward a larger goal.

Do you want to lose weight?  How much weight do you want to lose?

What are the small steps you can take to lose that weight?

You can stop eating after 8 pm (or whatever time works best for you).  You can create ways to exercise (for free), such as walking around the block or dancing at home with loved ones (or alone while singing to your favorite song.

I can’t be the only one that does that, right?).  😊

Take baby steps to start losing the weight slowly.  Plus, you know that it will stay off this way.

Now, I am sure that you have heard this before…figure out your why?

Why do you want to lose weight?  Why do you want a better job?  Why do you want to pay off your debt?

You don’t need to tell anyone, not even me 😉, but figure out what your “why” is and please be sure it is an honest answer.

Saying, “I want to fit in jeans from high school” is not the honest answer.  It may be nice, awesome even to fit into those jeans again.  But, that is not your true why.

Don’t get me wrong, fitting into jeans from high school would be amazing, but I digress.

Your true why should be something to the effect of: wanting to feel good in your skin, or wanting to climb two flights of stairs without being winded.

Think of your true why.  Then, think of telling your best friend (you know, the one who can see when you are just throwing “fluff” out there, lol).  Once you have found that true why, run with it!

So, now you are thinking, I have my goals, my true why…what’s left?

Implementation.

You EXECUTE each of your goals!

Again, you are thinking, but HOW am I going to do this?

One baby step at a time.

You can write it in a planner, a journal, your phone, on the fridge…whatever works for you.  But, make sure that it works for YOU!

I found a planner that is cute and undated, if that works for you 😉

There are so many great ways to become and stay organized, but if you don’t like them or would never use them, why start now?

For example, I love paper journals, planners, notes!  The pen flowing on paper, using different colors and different types of mediums, but I know it doesn’t work for me.  I end up with paper everywhere and I can’t find the “right one” when I need it. ☹

But, I have realized that digital is the way for me to go.  I use the calendar on my phone with “appointments” of events to be completed.  I set reminders for each, so I don’t “forget”.  Plus, I see the event that needs to be completed.

Now after all of that, you might be wondering, “How am I going to STAY MOTIVATED for an entire year?????”.

The answer is, by Rewarding yourself after milestones.

Another example, you want to lose 40 pounds this year.  Create a milestone that is manageable, but enough to make a visible difference.

For example, every 10 you lose, do something nice for yourself (without using food, that would be counterproductive).

In this case you could do something nice for yourself at home.  Maybe you give yourself the night off from cooking, and tell everyone dinner is cold cereal, lol.

You spend a few hours reading a book (that you already own, or downloaded for free, or borrowed from the library).

Amazon is offering a 30 day free trial of Kindle Unlimited.  After 30 days, it is $9.99 plus tax, but you can cancel at any time.
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Another idea is to give yourself a mani/pedi, if you have the polishes, remover, etcetera on* hand.

I love color and sparkle!  It makes me feel good.

My favorite idea to share, is to invite your girlfriends over to have a good time laughing and chatting.

The point in this is to give yourself a “treat” (without adding calories), to help remind you about completing a milestone.

Let’s be honest, losing 10 pounds takes serious work and dedication.

But if you really want it, and you accomplish it, then you deserve to be validated and reminded of that accomplishment.

What are some ideas you have for rewarding your milestones?

 

Cute DIY Gifts to Give

Well, we have about a week until the big day.  Now it’s time to DIY last minute gifts.  So, we are going to talk cute DIY gifts to give.

Create a Positive Thoughts in a jar or container for the friend that may need the occasional reminder that all days are not always negative.

On the jar/container, write on a sticker/label: Positive Thoughts.  On cardstock, write different Positive Thoughts you know the recipient would connect with, fold them up, and add to the jar/container.

Feel free to use any/all from my Positive Thoughts page 😊

You can decorate the outside of the jar/container with stickers or labels or just add a pretty ribbon.  This time I would suggest a pretty gift bag, this one is better to be a surprise. 😉

Oh, and you could add the chocolate pretzels or chocolate spoons to the bag too, see below.

Make your own sugar scrub for the friend who is always concerned about her skin.

Find/buy an airtight jar (wash thoroughly), combine ½ cup of white sugar, ½ cup of coconut oil (organic or virgin is your choice), 1 teaspoon of real vanilla extract, and ½ teaspoon of vitamin E (if you don’t have the liquid vitamin E, you can use capsules by cutting a slit).

Wrap it with a pretty ribbon, and put it in a clear cellophane bag, so the gift is visible.  (Don’t forget to add a label with the information: Use a small amount to scrub, then rinse thoroughly.)

Create a bookmark, add it to your book lover gift idea from last week.  Here are a couple of cute ideas.

1) Pick up paint sample cards from big box stores or home improvement stores.  Use a hole punch, punch a hole in the top of the card, and add a ribbon or tassel.  You can trim the sides with the color name/numbers or leave them.

2) Another idea is to use cardboard or cardstock and cut a rectangle (anywhere from 6 to 9 inches is enough) and decorate it.

Use what you have on hand: washi tape, permanent markers, or stickers.  Of course, you can use them all too, lol.

Create something one of kind that reflects their style.  It could be a theme or even a phrase they always use.

Chocolate covered pretzels, these are my personal favorite.

Dip large pretzel rods in melted chocolate (milk, dark, or white).

Lay them on a sheet of parchment paper to dry.  Feel free to add red or green sprinkles or decorate with more chocolate.

If decorating with chocolate, I suggest using a different chocolate than you originally dipped, for presentation purposes (aka it looks prettier).

Also, if you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a zipper bag and cut the corner for easy decoration!

Once the chocolate is dry, take the large pretzel rods, put them in a cellophane bag, and wrap with a pretty ribbon.  They will be the perfect eye candy! (pun intended)

Chocolate covered spoons are almost the same as the chocolate covered pretzels above.

Dip your plastic spoons (use silver or gold plastic spoons for extra charm), in melted chocolate.

Add mini chocolate chips, sprinkles, or crushed candy canes before they dry.

Wrap your dried chocolate dipped spoon in cellophane and add it in a dollar store mug.  Perfect gift for a coworker!

I hope you enjoyed reading through these cute DIY gift ideas!

 

Have a Merry Christmas!

Strapped for cash? Gifts on the cheap!

Are you all “shopped” out?  Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone.  Do you have people on your list that you would love to give/gift something to, but now you are strapped for cash?  (Okay, maybe you were strapped for cash before and now you are really feeling the belt tightening.  Or is that from too much turkey?  Lol.)

I realize that giving expensive gifts is sometimes held as the normal.  But, I want you to think outside that box.  Here are some ideas for gifts on the cheap.

For the movie lovers, you can buy a $5 Redbox gift card, microwave popcorn, a candy bar (unless they don’t like candy, then please send the chocolate to me, lol), and put it in a cute container.  Side note, if you don’t have a cute container, there are great things at the dollar stores.  Total spent, less than $10!

For the party girl, buy her a cute pair of earrings and depending on the price, a matching necklace!  I know you are thinking, but you said, “on the cheap”!  Yes, and right now (December) there are so many stores with coupons for $10 off and 40% off.  So, your job is to do your research.  Go online and search out a few stores you know she would like the jewelry from, and see what coupons and discounts they have available.  I know that you can find some great jewelry for under $20. 😉

For the book lover, a $10 gift card for a book store or a discount book store (make your money go further), a cute bookmark (you can even make your own on the cheap), and a cute scented candle (you can also make this, but right now there are so many on sale, so I’ll let you decide), and you have spent less than $20!

For the mom who never has time for herself, scented lotion (again one of the many things on sale right now), cotton gloves (yes, the dollar stores have these), warm and fuzzy socks (also on sale right now), a cute scented candle, and a $5 Redbox gift card (which is actually for the kids to watch a movie or play a video game and the mom to have “quiet time” to use the lotion, gloves, socks, and light the candle).  It will be less than $20 and you will have a very grateful mom!

I am trying to get you to think outside the expensive gifting box.  You don’t always have to give grand gifts to people.

Your true friends will always when cash is low, but love is high. 

Think big impact, with low out of pocket cost.

There are so many things that you can make at home, with the help of the internet and all those crafty people online.  (Unless you are already crafty, well then, you don’t need me to remind you how much you can save by creating your own gifts.)

And don’t forget, you can always go back to basics…baking!  If you are a baker, it really is cheaper to make your own cookies, fudge, and chocolate covered pretzels.  Plus, if you make big batches, you can get the cost down even more!  Buy pretty dollar store plates or containers and it is a beautiful and delicious gift that comes from the heart, and your kitchen, lol.

Whatever you decide, I hope I helped get those creative juices flowing of how to gift outside of the normal “expensive” gifts.

To Cyber Monday or Not to Cyber Monday?

Here is the truth, I have gone to “Black Friday” sales a whopping 2 times.  The first time was fine, but the second time someone pushed my Mom.  Um, not cool.  After that, I was ready to throw in the proverbial towel instead of worrying about saving money.  But, then Cyber Monday came along!

Now, I having been shopping, almost every year, on Cyber Monday.  I prefer the safety of my home and the relaxed feeling of perusing the virtual aisles.  Plus, I can take as long as I want to mull over an item without worrying someone will rip it from my hands.

The other great thing about Cyber Monday, is that most places will offer free shipping.

[Side note:  I have a real problem paying for shipping.  I have an Amazon Prime Membership which I LOVE!  I can buy almost anything with free shipping.  In case you are interested, Amazon Prime has a discounted monthly membership fee (see banner ad at the bottom of this post).  If you sign up through the banner ad below, I will receive a small commission.  But, I highly recommend Amazon Prime because I LOVE and USE it. (A lot more than I would like to admit, lol.)]

Cyber Monday started as the Monday after Black Friday.  But, stores are pushing daily in store sales (some are also offering the same prices online with free shipping) as early as the beginning of November.  Of course, their goal is to get as much of your money as possible.  Your goal is the opposite, well I hope it is the opposite. 😊

What sales are the best for you and your family?  Or what is it that you can afford to purchase right now?  Hopefully you are ahead of the curve and made your “gift list” a few months ago.  If not, start right now.  What gifts will you be buying?  Are there any that make the “Cyber” list, such as:  televisions, popular toys, blankets, or small appliances?  If so, start searching now because those are the items that will be on sale now through Cyber Monday.

Now, if you don’t have the money quite yet to shop Cyber Monday, I would suggest waiting until Friday, December 15th.  Why would I wait until December 15th?  That is FREE SHIPPING day!!  Whoo hoo!  Do you see my virtual confetti???  Lol 😀

There are literally 100s of stores that will be offering free shipping on that day.  Plus, there is NO minimum and you will receive your purchase by December 24th!!!!

My goal, for this article, is to help you save as much money as possible on Christmas gifts.  So, do your research for your gift list and decide if your items will be on sale during Cyber Monday sales.  If you must wait, be sure to shop on Friday, December 15th for free shipping with no minimum!!!

Hope that you can save a bundle on Cyber Monday or Free Shipping Day!

(Remember, if you click through the banner ad above, Amazon will give me a small commission.)

Random Acts of Kindness

Random acts of kindness, who doesn’t love them?  You can hold the door for a mom pushing a stroller, let someone checkout before you who has 30 items LESS than you do, lol.

You don’t have to go out of your way, or even spend any money.  But, you should only do them because you WANT to, not because you expect something from that person.   Some people don’t recognize these acts things as kind.  Some people expect things to be done for them, which is a whole different topic.

Even doing something small, such as letting another driver into your lane without being “asked”, could initiate that person to do something that they may not have even considered, being kind to someone else.

I know we have bad days.  But, I know that being nice for the reason of being nice makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

No, we can’t help everyone, but we can help one person at a time.  That one person could help another and another and so on.

Why do I want you to do one nice thing for someone?  It’s nice to be nice.  Yes, it is a bit cheesy, but I believe if you do good things, good things will happen to you.

You can start (or continue, if you already to this) to do good out in the world by doing small acts of kindness and/or random acts of kindness.  Even if only for those moments in time the world is a better place, doesn’t that sound like a good thing?

I want to challenge you to do 5 random acts of kindness this week.  They can be something as simple as smiling at someone who may be having a bad day.

Don’t overthink it!

A few examples:  smiling at a stranger, holding a door open, even telling someone how great they look, are things that won’t cost you a penny.

Now of course, if you have the means, you can offer to take a friend out to lunch, or pay for the person’s coffee/meal behind you in line.

I hope that you are inspired to do something kind randomly this week.  If you do the challenge of 5 RAOK (random acts of kindness), please leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.

How to save money on your bills and spending habits

There are so many ways to save money on your bills and spending habits.  I will only be touching on a few today.

Let’s start off with an easy bill, your cell phone.  We all have one, and most of us can’t live without it!  Are you on a plan?  If you are, call your cell provider and ask them if there is a cheaper plan.  Tell them you are thinking about switching to another provider.  (See this route below.)  Most of the time, they are willing to offer you a discount, either a different plan available or sometimes they will offer $20 off for being a great customer or longtime customer.

Either way, a savings of $20 a month, is $240 a year!  What could you do with an extra $240 a year?

Have you thought about changing cell providers?  Do your research!  Check all the other providers with great coverage in your area.  Yes, they ALL say they have the “best” coverage.  The reality is different parts of the country will have better coverage through one provider over another.  Ask friends, co-workers, or family, which provider they have and if they have any issues, big or small.  After doing your research, decide which provider would best suit your needs and see what they have available.  Do they have contracts or not?  Do they have a better plan or contract?  How much will you save?

After you try this with one bill, and create a monthly saving of $20 a month, for example, it will probably motivate you to want try this with the rest of your bills.

[By the way, if the sheer amount you could save in a year doesn’t motivate you to try, you could send me the $240 every year. 😉  Just kidding.]

Thankfully, now most cities allow you to choose your electricity.  Is there a cheaper provider in your area?  What are they rates per kilowatt?  What is their monthly fee, if they have one?  Do they have free weekends or nights?

Cable, if you have it, (I dropped cable years ago) you can call the other companies and see what specials they currently are running.

[I have been using Hulu for almost a year now, $11.99 a month with no commercials.  For a free 30 day trial, go through my link.  Disclosure:  I do receive a referral fee, if you sign up after the 30 days.  I love Hulu.  They have some of my favorite current (and old) shows.  Plus, I don’t have to watch commercials!]

Internet, is one thing I personally cannot live without.  I am under a contract, but I always call before the contract is up to see what “new” contracts are available to me.  Therefore, saving money every year.

Spending habits, well to me, these are so easy now, especially when you have a smart phone.  Figure out what you spend most on.  Is it fast food, eating out in general, groceries, or maybe a daily cup of coffee.  So many places now, have apps for their business/products.  You might even have already installed these apps on your phone.

What is the most important thing about those apps?  Using them, of course!

Don’t JUST download the app, use it to YOUR benefit.  See what benefits they have for not only using it, but using it often.  Maybe they have a “club” or a “reward” promotion within the app.

Yes, this means more research for you.  But, at the end of the day it can add to your savings for the year.  For example, let’s say you buy 6 cups of coffee per week.  If you use their app and it saves you $1 a cup.  How much would you possibly save per year?  $312!

Hopefully by now you are excited about how much money a few of these ideas could save you in a year 😉

Strengths of a Woman

I had intended on posting about saving money, this week, but I realized something that needed to be addressed sooner. 

[Don’t worry, I will still have the post about saving money next week!]  

The other day, I was being disrespected by a co-worker.  (Sadly, it is nothing new from her.  She is always trying to bring other women down.)  But, it made me realize something. 

We, as women, should be pulling each other up, not tearing each other down.   

We should be reminding women about their strengths and positive traits. 

Think about a woman in your life.  Tell her thoughtful words about her strengths and/or positive traits, and mean it with all your heart.

Tell her what a strong woman she is because of all the hard times that you have seen her push through.

Tell her that you admire her perseverance, because you watched her push forward through something most women wouldn’t.

Tell her you admire her huge heart, because you have seen what she does for others.

This is not about a “pat on the back”, this is about reminding women that they have truly been: strong, kind, loving, selfless, resilient, and so much more. 

We should take the time to lift each other up. 

Words have SO much power.  Especially when those words come from your heart.  And especially when those words are said for no other reason, but love and compassion for that person.

So, this week I challenge you.  Find 5 women to encourage.  Sing their praises, when they would least expect it, and see their reaction.  What, if any, change in their demeanor or day, does it make?  (Don’t tell them about the challenge, of course.)

Please comment here or on my Facebook page and share if and how you encourage another woman (or women) with words from your heart.  If you would like to share, what was their reaction when you did?   

Hope to hear from you and how you did on the challenge soon! 

Side note: As it does not snow here, in this part of Texas, I am sending you a picture of snow.  So, I hope you feel the “love” I send you!  (If we had snow I would totally be out in it drawing my own heart in the snow!)

Don’t be discouraged

For this week’s post, I wanted to reference my new Positive Thought, the picture of a lock and keys.

Sometimes, we want to give up.  Why?  Well, we become discouraged when life seems too hard to handle.

Life isn’t easy.

If someone ever told you life was easy, they were lying.  Generally, most of us will have to work hard to reach our goals in life.

But, hard work is worth it.  Once you finally achieve the goal you were aiming for, you will look back and say, “It was worth ALL the hard work!”

It is almost insane how you have the ability to change your life if you work hard.

If you don’t want to stay at your current place of employment (no promotions available, no raise in sight, etc.), no problem.  You can update your resume and apply for another one!  Or you can start your own business and become your own boss!

If you don’t like where you live (too expensive in your area/city, rough neighborhood, etc.), no problem.  You can apply for another job (see previous paragraph) that pays much more.  You could also apply for a second job to add more income.  Another option is find new ways to save money on your bills and/or spending habits (see my post in two weeks 😉).

My point is, if you do the work, hard work, you CAN create your ideal life.

Of course, I understand not every circumstance can be immediately changed.  There will be phases in your life where change is not feasible.  This could be due to lack of financial means or even lack of time.

And that is OKAY!

But, remember you can work towards change when you have the means and/or time.

During this phase of your life, when no immediate change is in sight, please try to keep positive thoughts in the forefront of your mind.  Come and visit my Positive Thought page and see which thought rings true to you and your current situation.

Don’t be discouraged by the negative.

It is easy to tell yourself:  I can’t; There is no money; There is no time; That isn’t for me.

But, it is harder to say:  I can do this; I will find/make the money; I will find/make the time; This is for me.

I speak from experience when I say, it is easy to be discouraged by the negative.  So, please keep those thoughts positive and keep your head up.

YOU have the ability to change your circumstances, even if it isn’t at this moment.

And make sure to read my next post about how to save money!  Every little bit helps!

 

ME Time

Since I was discussing Healthy Boundaries last week, I decided that I should also address something else equally important, ME time.

Now, this isn’t ONLY for mothers, this is for ALL women.

We should MAKE time for ourselves.  But, I know, between any (or all) of the following: work, kids, your partner/spouse, bills, grocery shopping, and washing clothes, you are thinking, “Where do I have time for ME?”

First, let me take a step back and explain a little.

If you would have suggested to me that I needed time for myself (Me Time) when I had my first child, I would have said something to the effect of, “Why do I need that?” or “I don’t have time for that.”.

But, NOW I completely understand why it is truly important to make time for YOU.

You may be any (or all) of the following:  an entrepreneur, an employee, a mother, a partner/spouse, a daughter, a chef (or short order cook, been one of those myself, LOL), a maid, a taxi driver.  I could go on, but you get the point.

Those are all important titles of what you are, but they require YOU to be in tip top shape to contribute ALL of your attention and energy.

So, I am asking you to start small.  Take 5 minutes (when the kids are napping, on your break at work, or even in the parking lot of the grocery store) and do something that relaxes or invigorates you.

Relaxing for you may be: reading a book, meditating, journaling, or yoga.  Find whatever relaxes YOU!

Invigorating for you may be: singing and/or dancing to your favorite song, exercising, or maybe watching a positive video.  Find what invigorates YOU!

Once you have spent 5 minutes relaxing, or being invigorated, you will not only feel better, but you will be more welcoming to others as you are in a better head space.

As I said, start small with 5 minutes.  You can work your way up to 30 minutes.  You will reap the benefits of being able to give more of yourself because you will feel renewed and reenergized.

I understand, from experience, that 30 minutes may sound unimaginable to you.  But, it really isn’t.

Once you start with those 5 minutes, you will feel the difference.  Try 10 minutes in a week or two, how does that feel?  Move to 20 minutes in another few weeks.  Before you know it, you will habitually set aside those 30 minutes for ME time.  How amazing will that feel?

You should make YOU a priority of your life.

Hope you take some time today for ME time!

Also, if you want a “pretty” journal, try this one from Amazon.

This is an affiliate link, but I will only recommend items I would actually use myself.  (I love journals, but please don’t ask how many I have!  Lol.)

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