Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts

May 6, 2020

Finding Savings in 2020!

This post is sponsored by Optum Perks but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Life is bonkers right now, but at the same time I feel like I'm kind of finding my way in this 'new normal'. I'm adjusting, I suppose; I've found a new hobby in gardening, I've spent whole afternoons huddled up in blanket forts playing with my toddler, I've run through sprinklers like a kid again. I've also done more adult things like reorganizing my office, sorting through and donating clothes, and I even started redoing our budget.

While redoing our budget and trying to save us some cash, I found some really interesting new ways to save - Optum Perks is one of the ways that I feel like would be valuable to almost everyone. We ALL have taken prescription meds at some point, right? I mean, we all know the costs usually associated with these medications and now... we all can use Optum Perks to save, of course - prices are subject to change over time!

What exactly is Optum Perks? From antibiotics to your daily meds, Optum Perks will help you save some cash and provide you with a prescription coupon to save on almost all FDA-approved medications, outside of your insurance plan! Not only is it amazing that you can save, it's super easy to work the website to find a coupon. All you have to do is take 3 SUPER easy steps: search for your medications, find a deal that suits you, and save when you pick up your prescription from the pharmacy! I saved so much on a prescription - a full $18!

Want to save up to 80% on your prescriptions? With no memberships, no fees, and access to almost all pharmacies (including over 64,000+ nationwide)! Speaking of pharmacies, I know we all are weary to go 'inside' a store right now - luckily you can still use the savings from Optum Perks in the drive-through pharmacy too! Just present this card & get your prescription savings!

Beyond medication savings, I've also been utilizing these different ways of finding savings:

  • I'm using our banking app to add "coupons" via our card and we've scored a few rebates that way! I've also set up a savings account and it automatically saves for us by rounding up to the nearest dollar each time we spend and inserting that in our savings account - such an easy way to make sure we are storing away some cash in this crazy time in our life.
  • Instead of paying for multiple music services we usually used in the car, we decided to cancel those and started using a piano teaching app instead. So we cut back on entertainment spending and we all are learning a new skill out of the deal too!
  • Lastly, we have officially learned to be adults and started meal planning a little better. Instead of just buying blindly and making what we have, we've started planning ahead for meals and saving on groceries by hunting for deals while shopping online!

So tell me, what have you been up to during this time of change? How have you been saving some change? I'm eager to hear how this new way of life is going for you!

January 27, 2020

18 Fun Date Night In Ideas - Date Your Spouse Without Leaving Your House!

One thing that I've heard from many couples, that we try to follow, and I also give the advice to others is that you always need to continue to date your spouse. Don't ever lose that special spark between the two of you by always kindling that fire with fun times and special moments shared.

Dating your spouse sounds great, right? But we all know finding the time and hiring a babysitter isn't always a possibility. Here's the thing, dating doesn't have to be complicated. You don't have to do anything special. It doesn't have to mean getting gussied up and going out on the town - you can date your spouse at home.

Here's 18 ways you can plan the perfect date night in:

1. Turn your living room into a cozy indoor campground and snuggle up while telling stories.

2. Create a craft night - get creative with your boo and let it flow.

3. Get boozy and have a little cocktail sampler night, trying new beverages or your old favorites.

4. Set up a picnic in the backyard during the day and spoil each other with some foods that remind ou of your first dates.

5. Have a game night and let the competition heat things up.

6. Try something new with a little taste testing of something completely new for you guys, whether that be sushi or a new take on Korean bibimbap.

7. Stargaze and make wishes on 'shooting stars' even if you don't see any.

8. Take a trip down memory lane and look at old photos or pictures.

9. 'Go to The Game' in your own home, just DVR or watch a game live and chow down on hotdogs and nachos, maybe even surprise hubs with a beer in a cup that features his favorite team if you're feeling fancy.

10. Give each other some touch therapy! Google proper massage techniques and start rubbing!

11. Let your milkshake bring your boy to the yard, make special milkshakes or smoothies and sip with your sweetie.

12. Get into some Karaoke - Sing your heart out with no judgement, just check out youtube for your favorite songs and get to groovin' to your fav tunes!

13. Have an exclusive book club meeting, grab two of the same copies of a book from the library and read it together during the week and spend your 'date night' discussing.

14. Learn more about each other, take some personality tests online and share your results.

15. Plan your next vacation together, dream up the wildest places you could visit together or actually start booking the tickets - the choice is yours, just dream big together.

16. Redo something together, whether it's painting an old piece of furniture or reorganizing the pots and pans in your cabinets - spice things up by redoing something and making it feel new.

17. Stretch it out and renew yourselves together with some Yoga fun. Whether you are seasoned yogis or you've never even attempted to stretch, be sure to give this flexibility encouraging activity a try.

18. Make it a spa night with a bath bomb, face masks, and maybe even a steam facial - pamper both of yourselves with self-care.

January 12, 2020

45 Healthy Coping Mechanisms - Teach Yourself & Your Child Healthy Ways to Cope

Life isn't always fair. I think we all grow up with this knowledge and yet, it's a hard lesson to learn for nearly everyone. No matter how perfect your life is, we've all dealt with set backs, disappointments, failures, and some of us have even suffered loss and trauma. Everyone has been through the "struggle" at some point, in differing measures, but we've all been effected. The thing is, some of us wear that stress and those failures for life and some of us have bounced back and live healthy productive lives. The choice is yours and it's all about how you COPE with the unfairness of life that makes the difference.

As you likely already know, "coping refers to the human behavioral process for dealing with demands, both internal and external, in situations that are perceived as threats" - according to the AlleyDog Psychology Glossary. Whether these threats are self-inflicted by our egos, or some troubling situation that has been imposed upon us by another - a threat is what we perceive as any form of stress, essentially.

Teaching ourselves and our children how to cope effectively will help us all to be a little less stressed and happier in our daily lives. While it's easier to talk the talk than walk the walk, I've compiled a list of 45 different ways you and your kiddos can learn to stress less and deal with the situation at hand in a positive and productive way, whatever that situation may be.

45 Healthy Coping Mechanisms

1. Ask for help

2. Go for a ride (or a walk)

3. Practice yoga

4. Create art

5. Practice gratitude

6. Blow bubbles

7. Listen to your favorite music

8. Use positive self talk

9. Journal

10. Hug a tree

11. Practice your sport of choice

12. Breathe deeply and mindfully

13. Eat a healthy snack

14. Drink water

15. Cuddle or play with your pooch

16. Be like Elsa & let it go

17. Smile and laugh out loud

18. Use essential oils

19. Bake something special

20. Use positive affirmations

21. Sing and dance

22. Take a nap

23. Take a shower or bath

24. Stretch

25. Learn something new

26. Read a book

27. Do something kind for the Earth

28. Look at old photos or take new ones

29. Garden

30. Visualize your happy place

31. Do a puzzle

32. Ask for a hug

33. Create origami

34. Clean something up

35. Jump around

36. Hang out in a hammock

37. Do something kind for a friend

38. Play a board game

39. Cry

40. Pray

41. Dance

42. Watch a movie

43. Lay in the sun

44. Plan something for the future

45. Scream

January 3, 2020

Fight & Cure Viruses This Winter with Remedies That Actually Work - Fight the 2020 Flu Bug!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, regardless all opinions expressed below are my own.

There's a pretty gnarly flu bug floating around the nation, we managed to catch it while flying back home to see family and we've fighting it since.

It basically took our house hostage, for over a week, but I am finally adjusting back to life without waking up hacking every night again, D is still fighting her cough but mostly her normal self, and hubby is still recovering - but overall we BEAT the bug and I wanted to share how since we know what a doozy this really is.

This flu is different than others, we actually never got the elevated fever but had all the other symptoms to a tee. So know that if you don't have all the "influenza" symptoms, that you may still have the flu - or a similar virus.

If you're currently fighting it, know that "this too shall pass" and persevere... and this is a given, but if your symptoms become abnormally bad be sure to visit your doctor too!

With that said, let me start by saying, I'm not a medical professional - BUT this is what worked for us:

1. Electrolyte Water to help keep your body hydrated, even when nothing else sounds good.

2. Elderberry Syrup to help boost your immune system (for the family).

3. Zinc Tablets to help shorten the symptoms (only for the parents).

4. Emergen-c or Airborne drink mix to offer immune support and boost your vitamin C, allowing your body to fight off the virus quickly.

5. Essential Oils are a must, we set up our diffuser and use some of our favorites from Eden's Garden to help make breathing easier (be careful with oils and research before use).

6. Cool Mist Humidifier is a necessity, if you are dealing with a cough. I would not have been able to sleep without ours and it has helped ease D's symptoms as well.

7. Fresh Cool Air is a given, but something that helped our family greatly. Any time D is experiencing a rough night, one of the first things I do is step out on our back porch and let her take some deep breaths. It always helps calm her coughing fits and my own as well.

8. Steam Showers on the other hand, have also helped us immensely. Without steam showers I don't think any of us would've been able to sleep this week.

9. Theraflu pods were a life saver for myself. D obviously can't drink these, but being able to have one of these warm drinks (with some meds also in it) seriously healed me so quick. I went from being miserable to feeling human within an hour, every single time I drank one.

10. Rest is another given for fighting the bug, but one that truly helped our family so it's something I feel I need to mention.

11. Nose Frieda is a nose suction device that your kid will HATE, but will make them feel better within seconds. We suction D's nose and she can instantly breath easier, even if she is fuming mad.

12. Similasan Kids Cough & Cold Relief was another life saver for us with D. We have both the day & night formulas now and swear by this brand, it's a natural cough syrup that has helped her in the past but especially helped fight this bug and it's safe for any kiddo ages 2+.

So tell me, have you caught this terrible bug that's been spreading like crazy across the nation? I hope not, but if you have - I'd love to hear how you "survived" it and what helped you the most!

And to those of you that encourage others to get the flu shot, that's your choice - but it's one we opt out of year after year, after contracting a terrible case of the flu after receiving the shot years back. I'm not saying anything against others who choose to get it, we just don't in our house and even after experiencing the flu again - I still hold true to my decision.

December 26, 2019

2020 Will Be Your Best Year Yet - Quotes to Remind You!

Make this year your year.

2020 is going to be here in less than a week and that means you have one week to prep yourself to make this year the most amazing one yet.

Here's a few fun graphics I made to motivate you through the year, be sure to save them, share them, and remember them always!

This will be your best year yet, be ready!

This will be your best year yet, be ready!

This will be your best year yet, be ready!

December 10, 2019

Who Wants FREE Starbucks?

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link, that means when you click through you are helping my family - you won't be charged anything for this, it just takes a percentage from your sale and adds it into my account! Regardless, this whole post is all my own thoughts.

Oh hey girl, you want to grab some coffee?

Grab a friend and go (on Thursday)!

This month, the merry just got merrier and the under-caffeinated just got friendlier.

That’s because Starbucks, everyone's favorite, is hosting a pretty hopping Happy Hour! This special occasion is actually happening every Thursday from 2–7 p.m. at participating stores.

Hit up a friend and plan a coffee date, you need to celebrate with their Happy Hour special! Thursday's only you can buy one, get one free handcrafted drinks, in their grande size or larger.

Meet your bestie, hit up your old homeroom buddies, catch up with an old co-worker, or just take a break with your spouse. No matter who your lucky buddy is, it's time to celebrate the holidays with Free Starbucks!

Just download the Starbucks® app, and then watch your inbox on Thursdays for your Happy Hour coupon.

If you don't have the time to run to Starbucks, check out these epic deals on Starbucks via Amazon.

November 12, 2019

The Best of the Best: Disney Plus Movies & Shows Available to Stream NOW!

With the launch of Disney+ bright and early this morning, it's only fitting that I make a best of the best list of things available to watch on the app! I mean, I was so excited to start watching I had trouble sleeping last night - but sadly, we kept getting streaming errors this morning. It's finally working now, but I had to keep my disney brain occupied and decided to make this epic list of Disney movies you need to watch on Disney+!

So go ahead and make some snacks... and get ready to binge watch some amazing-ness! This list is just a SMALL sample of all that will be available and I'm not even going to lie... I want to watch each and every movie/show!

So my fellow Disney fannatics, check it out... and let me know which movie (or show) you are planning to watch first! Oh... and if you sign up now... you'll get your first week free!

  1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  2. Pinocchio
  3.  Fantasia
  4.  Dumbo
  5. Miracle on 34th Street
  6. Cinderella
  7. Alice in Wonderland
  8.  Peter Pan
  9. Lady and the Tramp - The Original
  10. Sleeping Beauty
  11. 101 Dalmatians
  12. Mary Poppins
  13. The Sound of Music
  14. The Jungle Book (1967)
  15. The Aristocats
  16. Robin Hood
  17. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  18. The Muppet Movie
  19. The Fox and the Hound
  20. Spider-Man (1981)
  21. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
  22. Three Men and a Baby
  23. The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  24. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  25. Oliver & Company
  26. Chip 'n' Dale: Rescue Rangers
  27. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
  28. Turner & Hooch
  29. The Little Mermaid
  30. The Rescuers Down Under
  31. Three Men and a Little Lady
  32. Beauty and the Beast
  33. Newsies
  34. Sister Act
  35. Honey, I Blew Up the Kid
  36. Goof Troop
  37. Aladdin
  38. The Muppet Christmas Carol
  39.  The Sandlot
  40. Hocus Pocus
  41. The Nightmare Before Christmas
  42. Thumbelina
  43. The Return of Jafar
  44. The Lion King
  45. Iron Man
  46. Fantastic Four
  47. The Santa Clause
  48. Spider-Man
  49. Heavyweights
  50. A Goofy Movie
  51. Pocahontas
  52. Toy Story
  53. James and the Giant Peach
  54. Aladdin and the King of Thieves
  55. Mighty Ducks
  56. 101 Dalmatians
  57. The Brave Little Toaster to the Rescue
  58. Hercules
  59. Pooh's Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin
  60. Recess
  61. Flubber
  62. Mulan
  63. The Parent Trap (1998) - The remake
  64. A Bug's Life
  65. Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century
  66. Doug's 1st Movie
  67. 10 Things I Hate About You
  68. Smart House
  69. Annie
  70. Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas
  71. Toy Story 2
  72. The Tigger Movie
  73. An Extremely Goofy Movie
  74. Even Stevens
  75. 102 Dalmatians
  76. The Emperor's New Groove
  77. Lizzie McGuire
  78. The Princess Diaries
  79. Monsters, Inc
  80. Kim Possible
  81. Lilo & Stitch
  82. Tarzan & Jane
  83. That's So Raven
  84. Piglet's Big Movie
  85.  Finding Nemo
  86. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
  87. Freaky Friday
  88. The Cheetah Girls
  89. Brother Bear
  90. The Incredibles
  91. Pooh's Heffalump Movie
  92.  Chicken Little
  93. Kronk's New Groove
  94. The Wild
  95. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  96. Cars
  97. Meet the Robinsons
  98.  Ratatouille
  99.  Iron Man
  100. WALL•E
  101. Tinker Bell
  102. The Princess and the Frog
  103.  Alice in Wonderland (2010) - live action
  104. Tangled
  105. Winnie the Pooh
  106. Wreck-It Ralph
  107. Monsters University 
  108.  Frozen
  109.  Big Hero 6
  110.  Inside Out
  111. The Good Dinosaur
  112. Zootopia
  113. Moana
  114. Puppy Dog Pals
  115. Vampirina
  116. Encore! - Disney+ exclusive
  117. The World According to Jeff Goldblum - Disney+ exclusive
  118. Noelle - Disney+ exclusive
  119. Lady and the Tramp - Disney+ exclusive
  120.  The Mandalorian - Disney+ exclusive

November 10, 2019

The Best of The Best - Podcasts You NEED to Be Listening To!

So I'm late to the game but I'm so obsessed with podcasts lately, from binge-listening while working to trying to sneak in a few minutes while D is running around outside with her dad in the mornings -  I'm constantly listening.

I personally tend to listen via itunes on my computer and on my old school ipod, but I know there's all kinds of apps you can use to listen to your favorites on. This list can all be found on itunes, but I know several of these shows are available on other platforms as well!

Beyond HOW you listen, I know a few of you are wondering why should you listen? The main reason I can give you, is that these shows are life changing... all in different ways!

So let's get started with the best of the best... (and be on the look out for more of these "best" lists in the future)

1. My Favorite Murder - HILARIOUS... and outrageous. Murder and comedy don't seem like they would tangle together well, but these two genius ladies have created a cult-like following and the most epic podcast. If you like true crime, start with episode one and listen through. I'm only about 130 episodes in... but I'm in awe of these ladies and their comedic talents and their story telling abilities.

2. Creative Processing with Joseph Gordon Levitt - Another genius creation, made by the famous man, JGL. He has done so much with his life, always finding a way to help others express creativity and this podcast is just another epic creation. He interviews some amazing people and gets their input on challenging questions posed by his audience. I enjoyed listening to every episode in his first season and long to hear season two, ASAP!

3. Raising Good Humans - If you're a parent, this podcast is going to be LIFE for you. Get parenting tips and be the best mama (or dada) to your little one with the helpful advice she offers. From handling tantrums to helping kids learn, I love her input on challenging parts of parenthood.

4. Seriously, Let's Be F***ing Honest - While this podcaster 100% has a potty mouth, she can help you learn to be a better you... starting at episode one. Give it a listen... and let's get honest about a little bit of everything.

5. Office Ladies - If you love The Office, you will LOVE this podcast. Angela and Pam changing up the game... and making podcasts even more hilarious.

6. The Expand Your Awareness Podcast - If you like mindfulness and learning about complex theories, this may be the podcast for you. I've questioned the world around me after listening to episodes of this and that's exactly why I love it.

7. The Business Life & Joy Podcast - This podcast is seriously life changing for small business owners and/or bloggers. She's so knowledgeable and encouraging - it's definitely worth a listen if you are ready to make some changes and lead a happier life.

8. Great Women of Business - I didn't expect to love this podcast as much as I did. It has limited episodes, but OH MY LANTA, it's amazing. Learning about so many amazing women and the way they have succeeded, through all kinds of struggles. It's truly encouraging and something every woman needs to hear.

9. The One You Feed - This was my hubby's recommendation, but it's also another inspiring podcast that makes you think. Whether you're analyzing deep thoughts along with him or wondering how you can change the world, this podcast is different and enchanting. I promise you'll enjoy it.

10. The RobCast - This one is definitely one I knew I would love immediately, without question. I first head Rob Bell preaching back in my high school days. He shared messages that were DIFFERENT, he wasn't demeaning or condemning, but optimistic and eager to teach... and that changed my life. Now that he isn't on stage, but still behind a mic, nothing has changed. Listening to the RobCast has been a learning experience, over and over again, each time I press play.

11. Crime Junkie-Another one to check out if you are a tru crime fanatic is Crime Junkie. This was the first podcast I ever binge-listened to and it'll always be one of my favorites. It's much more serious than most of my other favorites but it's been one that keeps me coming back again and again for each episode.

Beyond that, I know there are HUNDREDS more that I need to hear... so tell me, what is your favorite podcast to listen to?

September 12, 2019

Skinny Spicy Blue Jalapeno Margarita

Sometimes a girl just needs something spicy... with tequila. I'm that girl, nearly 100% of the time so mastering a spicy blue marg was a must!

If you're also a girl that needs something tasty and delicious with the tang of blue curacao, then step right up. I'm slinging some goodness today and you're going to want to try this recipe, I have no doubt about it.

Warning: Things get a little spicy if you don't de-seed the jalapeno... and sometimes they are still pretty HOT even without the seeds! It's never unpleasant, but you must like spiciness to fully enjoy the flavors of this margarita!

Spicy Blue Margaritas

1 and 1/2 limes juiced
1 slice of lemon squeezed
1 jalapeno de-seeded and sliced into rings
1 tbs agave
2 cups of ice
3 oz tequila
1 oz blue curacao

Pour all ingredients into shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds then pour into margarita glasses. Leave the jalapenos in for an extra little kick.  

Serve & enjoy responsibly!

Delicious and surprising, this blue jalapeƱo margarita will be your new favorite! Be sure to share this recipe with your favorite mixologist today!

September 6, 2019

Some of My Favorite Feel Good Foods

This post is sponsored by on behalf of Conagra Brands.

As you may or may not have noticed, I've lost about 35lbs recently and I'm doing everything I can to keep that weight off... while still trying to enjoy myself and the foods I eat. It's been a task learning what triggers my weight gain and finding things that actually taste delicious, but luckily Babbleboxx had my back this month and they introduced me to 4 new items I'll be regularly adding to our grocery list! Want to know my new favorite foods that help keep me on track with my goals?

Well, I've got excellent news - that is what's happening right now! We will start with something that I legit adore - the Evol Fire Grilled Steak Bowl. It's the perfect mixture of deliciously tender steak (raised without antibiotics) with black beans, white rice, red and green bell peppers, roasted corn, and cheddar cheese, all mixed with an INSANELY tasty cilantro lime pesto sauce... and the best part? I can quickly heat these up for both hubs and I because it's GLUTEN FREE too!

Evol's commitment to quality is so obvious in every single bite and luckily they minimally use sugar so I never worry about munching down on all the delicious bowl options they offer... and did I mention they also have some amazing vegetarian options too?

Speaking of no worries, I love the Gardein Nashville Hot Chik'n Tenders I received so much for several reasons - I mean not only are they insanely delicious, they are certified vegan - something I absolutely love! Whether I'm looking for a delicious choice for meatless Monday's or a snack any day, these are definitely always going to be on my grocery list and stocked in my fridge!

The tenders are the perfect non-GMO verified snack, especially paired with ranch, and since they are powered by plant protein I never feel any guilt eating them! Plus they are absolutely spicy enough to knock your socks off - something I can totally get on board with!

Next on my list of new favorites, the Healthy Choice Grain Free Power Bowls with Spicy Beef Teriyaki. Braised all-natural beef with tons of veggies, served on even more veggies (delicious riced cauliflower), all in a sweet and spicy teriyaki sauce - what's not to love?

All the Healthy Choice Grain Free Power Bowls are actually favs now, with 18-20 grams of protein and 5-7 grams of fiber per bowl - they have just what I need to power through my day and feel no guilt about what I chose to fuel my body!

Another no-guilt addition to our food routines may just be the best on the list, the Udi's Sweet Potato Crust Chicken BBQ Pizza is seriously the bomb dot com. The Sweet potato crust is unexpectedly crispy in just the right way, topped with the most amazing mozzarella and smoked gouda cheese, sweet BBQ sauce, and white meat chicken - it's seriously gourmet quality!

The thing is, I can quickly pop in it in the oven and not even stress, plus since it's certified gluten free so I can feed it to my family without worrying about allergies. That's a win in my book.

So tell me, how do you keep your eating habits in check? Leave me a comment and let me know!