The one thing you never knew was ruining your outfit.

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The shine is so beautiful on this I think ill have to upgrade my camera to catch it.

Are you like me?  When I go out, I spend a ton of time picking out the right outfit.  Then the right accessories, then the hair.   When I know I will be leaving for a few hours I also always have a hair tie with me.  You never know when you are going to hit wind, rain or just need to throw it up.  For years I had never thought a thing of throwing a hair tie around my wrist and heading out.  Till one day I looked as I walked by the mirror and realized that the one hair tie just ruined everything I was going for.

Then one day I was scrolling Facebook and realized that I was not the only one.  There was a company called Maria Shireen that was already on this problem for us.  They make great bracelets that hold your hair tie in a fashionable way.  Even better the come in a ton of different designs and there are even a few for charity.  I also love that I can get them engraved.

So of course, I had to get the rose gold one and the breast cancer one.  These are so easy to use, it did take a few minutes getting used to using them and getting the hair tie on.  In no time I was slipping them off and on without any effort, it was just automatic.

As you can see from the pictures they look great with the hair ties on them and without.  I love that I can match them to my outfits and they are easy to change.

If you are ready to stop running your carefully thought out outfits make sure to check out Maria Shireen you will not be sorry.

I got these at a discount for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links

Safety Gear Every Dog Should Have


Safety is something we often think about in hindsight. Unfortunately, this is usually after something has gone wrong.

In this article we will take a moment to review some gear that will help you give canine safety some preventative consideration. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list, rather, we hope it will get folks thinking about how to keep their dogs safe.


Nighttime Visibility

Sometimes walking or exercising our dogs in low-light situations is unavoidable due to our busy schedules. Those of us that enjoy taking our canine companions along for outdoor adventure also regularly have our dogs out-and-about in the evenings or early morning.

It is easy to overlook how important visibility is until it is too late. Your dog might slip the leash to chase a cat and run right into traffic. If cars or cyclists can see your furry friend, it can prevent a terrible accident.

Reflective vests are one way to go. They definitely work if they are directly in the line of bright lights. However, drivers often neglect to turn on lights soon enough, and cyclists rarely have them at all.

An inexpensive fix to this situation is an LED dog collar or harness. Most of them recharge using a USB port and give you hours of high visibility in low light conditions. It is a no brainer for those dogs that are regularly outside at dusk, dawn or evening.


First Aid Kit for Dogs

You can go out and buy a special dog first aid kit, or you can supplement your household or car first aid kit to be canine friendly. Either way, being prepared for an emergency at home or on the road is considered basic safety gear for dog owners.

Make sure your kit includes (in addition to regular human first aid items):

  • Hydrogen Peroxide – You can use this to make your dog vomit if they ingest something poisonous.
  • Styptic Powder – Use this to stop bleeding fast. Really helpful if your dog pops a toenail on the trail.
  • Muzzle – Dogs in pain can sometimes defensively bite people or other dogs.
  • Extra Leash – Being able to restrain your dog is priority number one in an emergency.
  • Vet contact information – If traveling, update this with the nearest vet to your location. Otherwise, keep your local vet’s information in the kit.
  • Medications/Medical Conditions – Make sure that you have a record indicating what regular medications or medical conditions apply to your dog.


Orthopedic Dog Bed


It is a misconception that just because your dog will sleep on the floor that they should sleep on the floor. In fact, our canine friends benefit from a supportive bed just like people do.

Cheap dog beds are often aesthetically appealing but offer little actual support for your pal’s joints. To really do right by your pooch, consider an orthopedic dog bed. These beds offer much more in the way of real support for your canine.

Although pricey upfront, these beds will last longer than their cheap counterparts. They also give you a no-guilt reason to kick the mutt off the bed so you can get a great night’s sleep too!


Harness Verses Collar

Probably the most important thing you can do to protect your dog’s safety is to make the switch to a harness and ditch the collar. Some folks are resistant to harnesses because they do have a little learning curve in terms of getting them on and off. However, if you switch over you will be a pro in no time!

The advantages of a harness are well worth a few extra seconds at walk time. First, a properly fitted harness is nearly impossible for your dog to slip while out on a walk. This means that no matter how tempting the distraction is, you have firm control of your pup should they decide to try to make an escape.

Second, collars can lead to neck and spinal injuries. This is especially true if you have a strong puller on your hands. It is not uncommon for a rambunctious puller to do permanent damage to their windpipe or esophagus because of the pressure point an around the neck collar creates.

Do your dog a favor and make the switch!


Your Dog Deserves It!

Thinking about safety for your dog is just another way that you can thank your furry friend for being a vital part of your family. Taking a little time now to prepare for emergencies or prevent injury can go a long way to making sure your pooch lives a happy and fulfilling life.


Author Bio


Mat Coulton has worked with dogs for just under a decade and is the founder of Wiley Pup, a doggy lover’s website that provides great tips and advice for pet parents everywhere.


How to Create a Stunning Backyard

Our homes can be the pride of our lives, but it’s not just the interior that matters; the exterior can also be just as visually stunning as the inside with enough planning, time and care. If you’ve never designed a yard before, it can be more difficult than designing a room, as there are more aspects to tie together. Here are some tips to help you design a classy and beautiful backyard.

Choose a Theme

Just like interior design, it’s crucial to choose a theme for your yard. You can incorporate bright colors to give a lively and happy feeling to the space, or more neutrals and whites to create a sense of elegance and class. There are many different themes that you can choose from, such as a beautiful Japanese Zen-style yard, a cottage yard or a woodland theme yard. Choose plant pots, furniture and possibly paint to tie all aspects of your yard together, and create one cohesive theme. If there is not a style that appeals to you, you can create your own theme, but be sure to make careful decisions to ensure so that everything fits together well.

Choose the Right Plants

Plants are essential for a backyard. Whether you only have a few in plant pots or you plant all around with various types of plants and flowers, picking the right plants for your theme is essential. If you don’t want to overcrowd the floor space, use a trellis against a wall to incorporate different types of vines to really give a beautiful rustic, cottage look. There are hundreds of different plants that you can choose from, from bright colors to elegant, simple flowers, and there is something that is perfect for everyone. Don’t just settle for plants alone. Growing vegetables and herbs is very rewarding and can look just as good – and very impressive to visitors.

Garden Decorations

Decorations can be a crucial part of a backyard theme and there are options to suit everyone. For a very serene and classy look, there are many beautiful fountains and water features that can be added. Listening to the noise of running water can be very relaxing and may even attract wildlife, such as birds. If you have a high budget and a lot of space, you can build a running stream with a small bridge leading over it, for a stunning oriental look. Even the type and style of plant pots that you choose can have a large effect on the outcome of your backyard, so don’t settle for any plain old pot. Backyard furniture is just as important, as you can opt for a vintage or rustic style, and if you can’t find furniture to match the theme that you are creating, you can always buy paints or stains.

With these features, your backyard will have a great sense of style. Incorporating even one aspect on this list will make your backyard stand out and match the elegance of your home.

How to be a Great Role Model for Your Kids

How to be a Great Role Model for Your Kids

If you want your children to be healthy, happy, self-confident and successful, it’s important to ensure you present these traits in your own life and practice what you preach. Children base much of their behavior and attitudes to the world around them on what they see at home and will invariably follow your lead in many aspects of their lives. Here are tips to help you be the best possible role model you can.

Be accepting of others

In a world where intolerance of the beliefs or behavior of others is the root cause of thousands of deaths and injuries, it is important to ensure your children grow up with non-judgmental attitudes towards those of a different culture or race of who choose to express themselves in ways you may find odd. Explain to your children that, even if you don’t like the way someone dresses or goes about living their life, the choice they are making is their own and this needs to be respected.

Banish negative thought

You may not like the shape of your nose, curse your curly hair on a daily basis, or look upon your pear-shaped body with despair, but if you want your children to grow up being comfortable in their own skins and to have positive body images, you need to keep these thoughts to yourself.

Demonstrate healthy choices

Making healthy food choices and getting the right amount of exercise not only improves the quality of your own life but can also set a great example to your children. Rates of childhood obesity have tripled since the 1970s. Overweight children are more likely to become overweight adults and are at greater risk of developing a wide range of health issues.

Parental influence is a key factor. Studies show that around half of all children with one obese parent will become obese themselves. For children with two obese parents, 8 out of 10 will go on to become obese.

Giving up tobacco and switching to e-cigarettes instead is another great way of showing your children you are aware of the harm traditional cigarettes cause, both to yourself and in the form of second-hand smoke. Switching to vaping means you are no longer taking carbon monoxide or tar – two of the main toxins in conventional cigarettes – into your body. With a wide range of vape devices and liquids on the market, such as the ones at this website, you also have far more choice and variety available to you in terms of style, flavor and strength.

Teach resilience

Life can be tough at times and not everything works out the way you want it to, but it’s important to show that you can bounce back from adversity and overcome difficulties. You can’t expect your child to deal well with a move to a new school or community if they see you struggling with the same set of changes.

Always strive to create a family life that balances out hard work and study with times set aside for fun and relaxation. Although you may have a demanding job, it’s important that you are generous when it comes to giving time, support and guidance to your children as this will make them feel included, capable and motivate them to succeed themselves.

Last minute holiday gift ideas

Last minute holiday gift ideas

You’ve wrapped the gifts under the tree, got the turkey ready, prepared your Christmas sides and done the last minute visit to your superstore, but then you find out that your niece and nephew are coming at the last minute. Normally you would have some extra gifts stashed away in the back of your closet, but this year you aren’t sure if those hidden goodies will fit – or more importantly, that they will even like what you have at home. However, worry not. You can make your own last-minute gifts if you are seriously stuck for time, to give your recipients a truly unique and different present. If you have some more time on your side, then you may still be able to order your gifts online if you can’t face waiting in line or sitting in traffic along with hundreds of other last-minute Christmas shoppers. These ideas will help you feel inspired, and get you out of a difficult situation at the last minute.


Winter clothing

A woolly scarf, cute bobble hat or even a pair of stylish gloves are presents that are easy to purchase, plus they need not cost the earth if your Christmas budget is already stretched this year. Sites such as Nickis have a range of designer, stylish winter clothing options that will put a smile on the surliest of faces. Make sure that you buy clothes one size bigger, so that kids can grow into the items that you buy them, rather than it lasting only one season. Winter clothing is a great gift idea if you are stuck for time, or buying for hard to please family members.


Baked goods

If you don’t have much time to spare, or can’t make it to the shops, then getting back to the kitchen and raiding your store cupboards could get you out of a tight spot. All you need is some flour, butter, eggs and milk and you can start creating and baking some delicious treats or cookies for your unexpected guests. If you have half an hour to spare, dash down to your local store to grab some cinnamon, oatmeal or even chocolate chips so that you can make a variety of cookies to give your nearest and dearest. Be sure to check any allergies or dietary requirements if you aren’t sure.


Home accessories

If you are crafty, creative and enjoy making gifts that are truly personal or a bit different, then why not make some home accessories? Blankets, homemade photo frames and even painting your own plates or mugs is a great way to give those hard to please recipients a present that is truly special and unique, plus every time they use these items they will think of you. So grab your knitting needles and glue, and get creating.

If you are stuck for time and want to give a gift that is a bit unique and special, then why not consider getting back to the kitchen or feeling creative? You are sure to bring a smile to even the glummest of faces!

Kick off the party right with HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Trays

    • “I received free product in exchange for my honest review

We love a great Football party.  What makes it even better is when we have some great easy food.  When it comes to football I have to admit I actually don’t watch the game I am in it for the commercials the others though are totally in it for the football.  I love that a simple get together can turn into a great day not only for me but for my little guy too.

I love that everyone that comes to our party is a fan of a different team. We all are rooting for someone different.  Even if our team is not in the game the outcome will affect the team we root for in the long run.


For a great football party, it really does not take much.  A few drinks I like an ice-cold soda myself.  A few snacks that can fill everyone up but not over fill them like the HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Trays.  A few decorations and of course a table cloth.  Why is the table cloth different, because if you can get a toss away one you can just roll up and toss it clean up is so easy.


Last but not least a few good friends to spend the day with.  I have never had a problem when its just me and hubby watching, but when we can fill the house will family and friends it makes the game a fun adventure.


Thank you, HORMEL GATHERINGS, ® Party Trays for helping make this a fantastic party.  We got our great HORMEL GATHERINGS® Party Trays   and supplies from our local Walmart store.


Cool Food Industry Jobs You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

When it comes to working in the food industry, it can be hard to think of jobs beyond that of server, barista, and sous chef.  After all, this is probably what pops into your mind when someone you meet says they work in foodservice.

In addition, you are probably familiar with the concept that most positions in the foodservice industry require an understanding of food handling safety.  

For instance, in Texas, you must complete Texas food handlers training for any position that requires you to work with unpackaged food, food equipment or utensils, or food contact surfaces.

However, there is a lot more to foodservice than just serving people their dinners and learning food safety.  

In fact, there many opportunities available for those with additional culinary knowledge to show off their skills to food lovers of all kinds.

If you are looking to change up careers, or just try something new, keep reading to find out what kind of unique culinary jobs there are that are far from being a server, barista, or sous chef.


1. Craft Brewer

For those with a love for all things beer, you can always become a craft brewer.  Craft your own beer, wine, or cider and serve your community a local brew.  People love to support local small businesses, and this happens to be a great one to get invested in.


2. Restaurant Designer

People with a love for architecture, interior design, and food can make a killing as a restaurant designer.  After all, those who own restaurants often need help bringing the overall concept of their restaurant to life.  

Needing help with things like building design, menu creation, business branding, and marketing are all things a successful restaurant designer helps with.


3. Vegan Chef

Sustaining a healthy lifestyle has become a staple concept for people across the world.  Whether it be because of allergies, a distaste for processed foods, or an environmental reason, people are consuming foods in new ways.

One such foodservice job that is taking off, but requires a special set of skills, is becoming a vegan chef.  Being a true vegan requires passion and inspiration.  If you have that, you can share it with others who feel the same.


4. Molecular Gastronomist

Do you have a special spot in your heart for things like chemistry and physics?  If so, getting into avant-garde cooking is just the job for you.  

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Using science to create new textures and tastes, you can help with the creation of unique foods that people will love, such as clear raviolis, faux caviar, and crab ice cream.


5. Food Photographer

If you have a knack for the visual things in life, becoming a food photographer may be perfect for you.  Taking pictures for magazine spreads, online advertisements, billboards, and more is a great way to share your passion for food and photography all at the same time.  And, if you market yourself enough, you may find yourself working with some of the top chefs and restaurant owners in the world.


6. Holistic Health Coach

Helping people get healthy is something you may feel strongly about.  Food can help fight disease, improve moods, and make people healthier.

If you are interested in getting into holistic healthcare, consider the food industry side of it.  Working with superfoods, herbal supplements, and wellness regimens, you can make a difference in many people’s lives.

In the end, there is more to the foodservice industry than being a server, coffeemaker, or sous chef.  Not that those positions are inherently bad, just that there are more opportunities out there than you could ever imagine.  

And, without knowing this, you risk missing an awesome job opportunity that makes you happy.  

What do you remember about Holiday get togethers #StephensGourmet

This post was created with Stephens Gourmet and Mom It Forward Influencer Network 

All opinions are my own

I grew up in a huge family so I am used to the holiday being full of family, no matter what day it was someone in our family had something going on.  Decorating, cookies, ginger bread houses, making ornaments and so much more.  Now that I live far from my family it’s is so much harder.  Going from a huge family to just us we have to keep the traditions alive for my little guy.  I love that my whole family still helps keep them alive.  There are always packages coming so we can join in with them.  We do them in our hose on the same days they do them in their home.

One of my favorite traditions has always been decorating with my family.  No matter how busy any of us were we always got together to decorate the house watch some holiday movies and drink hot coco.  This was our tradition.   Traditions are big for me I want to keep them alive for my little guy and one day my grandkids.  This year my parents even came to celebrate with us.  My son was so excited, of course he is young so we let the hot coco cool off before we gave him some.  He loved it.

Look at the chunks of candy cane #yummy

Hot coco has always been my go to drink.  When I get a choice of anything hot coco is my first.  I remember as a kid sipping hot coco with my family laughing and having fun. When I was sick my mom would make me hot coco and I would always feel better.  It is a truly soothing and familiar taste.  I love that now that I am an adult it brings me right back to my childhood, when everything was easy and fun. Stephen’s Hot coco has helped bring this year together.  They had some fantastic flavors and they were easy to make.  I like the creamer hot coco so I made mine with milk.  My family likes it a little richer so they made theirs with water.  It was a great balance for the whole family.

Some of Stephen’s Gourmet signature cocoa flavors include:

  • Salted Caramel
  • Candy Cane
  • Mint Truffle
  • Dark Chocolate
  • S’mores

To see all of our delicious and unique cocoa flavors visit here
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What to get your little reader this holiday season


Do you have a little one that loves to read?  Then checking out Bookroo is a must for you.  This is a fantastic subscription box that your little one will jump up and down for.  We have a rule in my house I may say no to toys but I will never say no to a new book for my little guy.  I love reading and I want my little one to love books too.


Bookroo is awesome you can pick from board books or picture books.  You can also pick your subscription length.  So, if you want to send your little reader 3-month worth you can do that.  They have always come with cute and interesting books that my little guy has loved.

I love that now you can get your kids a great gift for the holidays or any time of the year that is not just a bunch of toys.  Don’t get me wrong even I enjoy a great toy, but as a parent they really stack up and my son does not even remember he owns half of them.  The books on the other hand he remembers these and every night he is all excited to pick one for us to read.


If you are looking for a great gift this holiday season make sure to check out Bookroo they are great books and it won’t break the bank.  My son also loves that they come wrapped so he gets to open new presents every month.

I got this free in exchange for an honest review

Fundraising Ideas Kids Can Help With

One of the hardest lessons a parent can teach kids is about sharing. Unfortunately, the problem seems to be that many parents aren’t prepared to help their children grow beyond the ‘me-me-me’ stage that is a normal part of the development of children. In fact, there is even a poem about this stage in a child’s development called The Toddler’s Creed that explains this mindset perfectly. “If I want it, it’s mine,” and so the story goes. If you are looking for creative ways to help your child get through this stage of his or her development, teach them early on that others have needs too, and sharing is a nice thing to do.

On Modeling Behaviors You Want Them to Learn

Learning to get their needs met is a natural stage in child development, as mentioned above. The way most children do this is “I want,” or “Gimme!” Don’t be alarmed the first time your toddler stubbornly insists that you or a playmate give something over that he or she wants. This is the first stage in learning to get their needs met, but it is now up to you to help them move beyond the “Gimme” stage. Many parents teach by example while explaining what it is they are doing. A child may not respond as you’d expect, but they are learning the logic behind sharing.

Fundraising to Raise Awareness

Some parents are actively involved in their communities and, as a result, are committed to working on fundraising programs. From selling candies for the church to selling Christmas wrap and cards door to door, there are many things a kid can learn to do from a very early age. Many parents are involved in raising money for childhood illnesses and diseases. Fundraising to help cure pediatric cancer is huge with parents who are thankful that their children are healthy and whole.

Fundraising Ideas Kids Can Help With

Above all else, it is important for kids to stay safe while helping raise funds for the less fortunate. With that said, there are a number of things kids can safely do. Kids can:

  • Walk for the cure with pledges according to distance walked.
  • Help with bake sales – baking and sitting at tables with parents.
  • Spelling bee competition with pledges for each word spelled correctly.
  • Recycling with the proceeds going to their favorite charity.
  • Car washes for older kids.
  • Donations for buttons and badges for their favorite charity.

There are, in fact, a great number of ways a child can get involved in fundraising. Whether your children choose the charity they want to raise money for or help you with your pet projects, there is much they can do to learn the importance of sharing. Not only will you raise money for your favorite charities, but your children will be advancing through developmental stages. They learn to share from modeling your behaviors and they learn the joy of sharing. Fundraising is the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes, so have fun finding ideas your kids can help with and you will be proud of the progress they make.