Garden Gnome Gift

Standard
Garden Gnome Gift

Howdy! For my mom’s birthday, my sister, Kristen, treated her with a gift card to All Fired Up, which is a paint your own pottery place. It was such a sweet and thoughtful gift and they went together to create some masterpieces a few weeks ago. During that time, it was also my dad’s birthday, and my mom decided to make him a present at All Fired Up to celebrate. It was so cute I could hardly stand it and my mom did much better than we all anticipated at painting the prezzie. Take a look:

As all of you know, my dad is an avid gardener. Not only that, but he loves garden decor, as well. Birdhouses, bird baths, bird feeders, decorative pots, garden gnomes – you name it! It makes for such an eclectic and beautiful space in our backyard and I always look forward to when everything begins to grow in the spring to fully showcase his craft.

Sweet JANE, knows her hubby well enough to know that he would love to have a new gnome to add to his collection and used her birthday gift to hand make him a birthday gift. Like I said, it was so cute I could hardly stand it. Unfortunately, the weather outside is so crummy that CHARLES doesn’t want to take the gnome out for a little jaunt just yet. So, a few mornings ago, I found the cheeky little guy poking out from one of my dad’s extra flower pots for safe keeping. Freaking adorable!

My mom used a gift to make a gift and not only did it turn out wonderfully, but it also inspired her to take a pottery class with Kristen. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving!

Who else enjoys painting or creating pottery? What do you use to decorate your garden? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Advertisements

Learn To Live For Today And Plan For Tomorrow

Standard
Learn To Live For Today And Plan For Tomorrow

We all walk a fine line with our finances. We don’t want to spend our time doing nothing, we want to enjoy ourselves and experience life’s little luxuries from trips away to fun purchases. If you constantly favor saving over spending, you’re going to have a pretty boring life. At the same time, though, we have to prepare for tomorrow. We need to think about making sure that we are going to be financially secure ten days, ten months, or even ten years from now.

It seems that we are under constant pressure to plan for tomorrow. Just look at the housing market. As soon as you hit your twenties, there will be people around you, telling you to buy a home. A home gives you some form of financial security sure, but it also ties down your finances. Now, for years, you’ll need to fit in mortgage repayments into your budget. These can be incredibly expensive and will make paying for those luxuries that you love just that little bit harder. As such, it might be wise to not buy a home until you have the income where you can easily cover this cost and still live a full life. Or, simply prepare to accept the fact that, at least for a short time, you won’t be able to afford those fancy trips or that new car. You can learn more about whether you can afford to buy property on www.cnbc.com.

The lesson here, is that it’s a balancing act. It’s about balancing what you need with what you want. It’s about balancing what you must spend with what you’d love to purchase. It’s about planning for the future while still enjoying the present so that one day you’ll be able to look back at the past with no regrets. So, let’s explore some of the ways you can do this, and we can start by thinking about budgeting:

How Should You Budget?

Budgeting is actually easier than a lot of people realize. You need to start by working out exactly what you make per month. This is the total amount you have to play with, and it should include all of your incomes. So, if you have a side hustle, make sure that this is counted. Unless you would rather see that as extra money.

Then, subtract all of the costs that you are aware of. This includes bills, rent, mortgage repayments as well as an average food cost. So, you might budget fifty a week or more for food. Now, the amount you have left should be halved. Half of this must go into savings. Set yourself a goal to save each month and put this as a direct debit on your account. Just like a tax, it will leave your account at the end of each month. This cuts out the choice of hanging onto it and spending it. Congratulations, you’ve just made a smart choice on how to prepare for your future.

The other money you can spend however you like. Put it towards your holiday, use it for presents or nights out. It’s your choice, but you have to remember that this is all you have to spend. Now immediately, you might notice a problem. There isn’t actually that much to spend is there?

time1

Budgeting is key!

Play With The Numbers:

This is where you need to start cutting costs on things that you need so you can afford things you want. An example of this would be something like energy bills. We all have to pay energy bills, but they should be more manageable if you can go a little more green. Make changes to your home to save energy, and you’ll have a little extra to spend each month. It won’t be much, but it will make a difference. Since you have already set a target, add that to your spending budget for now.

You can also think about boosting your income. What you’re looking for here is a passive income. There’s no point in taking on a second income to enjoy your spare time if you’re going to end up with no time to spare. There are various options for passive incomes from the stock market to property. Research a few and find out which one will benefit you and suit you the most. If you’re good with numbers, you might want to consider forex trading, which is basically investing in the value of different currencies. By predicting patterns, you can make a fortune in this market without even trying.

time2

Flickr Image

Preparing For Disaster:

Of course, your budget is based on your income. Any hit to your income will kill both your spending budget and your savings. Worse still, it might mean that you have to use your savings to cover expenses that you can no longer afford. You can see how this would be an issue. Suddenly, you don’t have any money in your account for the future. This is where great budgeting advice that is found on www.lifehacker.com comes in handy. But how do you handle this situation?

You have to prepare for any disaster that can be foreseen. You’re probably thinking, wait a minute – unexpected costs can’t be foreseen. That’s why they’re unexpected. It’s not true. You might not expect to develop a disability, but you can forsee that it’s a possibility so you should plan for it. Anyone could develop a disability. You might be involved in a car accident, you could fall at work, or it may even develop due to biological causes. Since it could happen, you should plan for it. According to www.insurestat.com, doctors should definitely do this because anyone working in the medical field who develops a disability will probably be unable to work. As such, they should protect their income. You can protect your income with disability insurance and guarantee that you are always on roughly the same level of pay. Regardless of whether you can work or not.

This isn’t the only disaster you need to prepare for. You have to consider the worst-case scenarios that could impact your finances. Medical bills, for instance, are one of the greatest causes of debt in the USA today. You can plan for this by buying into the right health coverage plan that provides everything you might need.

time3

Insurance is a must.

Don’t Always Wait For Tomorrow:

Tomorrow doesn’t always come. Or rather, you can miss too many tomorrow’s and before you know it you’ve run out of time to do what you want. This may sound morbid, but you could die tomorrow. So, you might constantly be putting off that holiday to a point where you can easily afford it and when you’ll still have savings. But what if that day never comes? Most people do live their lives on an average, basic income. They never reach that 100K a year paycheck, and yes you can wait until retirement and use your 401K. But, after you’ve retired, you might not have the energy or the health to do everything you wanted. Don’t let life pass you by while you wait around for the right moment to do something.

time4

 #justdoit

Live For What You Love:

Finally, you need to make sure that you’re not spending your hard earned money on things that you don’t want and that you don’t need. This happens all of the time. We’ve already mentioned one example, and that’s property. Buying a home can be right for some people. But, if you are still moving around and haven’t settled, it’s just a waste of money and adds plenty of stress to your life that you don’t need. Instead, you should continue to rent. While it might be dead money, it can be far cheaper than purchasing a home that you may never pay off.

Ultimately, you have to live your life in a way that makes sense for you and financial purchases should be part of that decision. Some people spend their whole life traveling around the world, work by freelancing, and never once think about settling down into a comfortable routine. This site, www.justonewayticket.com, has some great advice on spending your life traveling. Could this be the lifestyle of your dreams? Perhaps! And as long as you have a plan for tomorrow, you can live however you want to today.

time5

#goals

Featured Image By: Maxpixel

Why Is Building A Strong Brand Important?

Standard
Why Is Building A Strong Brand Important?

When it comes to branding, there are quite a few reasons why it makes sense to devote resources toward a strong portrayal of operations. Good branding will make your business more profitable, collaterally remunerating you for the cost of implementation. The following are five considerable points that can help put this reality into perspective:

  • Reputation Expansion
  • Investment
  • Conversion
  • Employee Satisfaction
  • Advertisement Stimulation

Reputation Expansion Is Facilitated Via Brand:

When you’ve got a strong brand, that’s going to give you a strong reputation. Think of common brands that you’re familiar with presently. Starbucks. McDonald’s. Nike. Apple. Windows. Google. Amazon. Each of these companies has a solid brand with recognizable logos, slogans, marketing, and products. They have solid reputations.

Your brand can be a “name-brand”, or a “household name” in terms of reputation with the right marketing, PR, and service delivery over time. Design a solid brand that is recognizable, likable, and dependable. This is one of the best ways to build reliable reputation.

A Good Brand Is More Likely To Be Invested In:

Investors are trying to grow their money. If your brand is fledgling and unknown, that doesn’t inspire confidence. You’re a lot less likely to acquire the investment you desire. One solid investor can totally overcome the cost of appropriate branding, so allocate resources toward the deliberate establishment of your brand.

brand

Strong Brands Convert More New Customers:

When you’re a highly visible, reputed, strong brand with investors, you’re likely to convert more new customers. They will have heard about your brand beforehand, and sometimes will simply be visiting you to see if what they’ve heard is true. A strong brand acts in a marketing capacity.

brand1

Employees Are More Satisfied With A Trusted Brand:

When you’ve got a solid brand, those working for your company are more likely to have a respectful attitude, and consider themselves lucky to be a part of your enterprise. A solid brand actually inspires employees to deliver better work, and to themselves be more dependable. A weak brand is much less likely to inspire that kind of confidence.

Branding Stimulates Advertising:

The right kind of brand will act like an advertisement lightning rod, if you will. This is because successful branding has a definite PR/marketing element to it. You’ve got to attend social events, you’ve got to design materials with your logo and slogan prominently portrayed thereon, and you’ve got to push yourself across the worldwide web.

There are a great deal of diverse techniques characterizing today’s marketing world, and though the web, and particularly social media, is one of the best ways to advertise. However, there’s still a lot to be said for things like merchandise, baubles, trinkets; you get the idea.

If you’ve got your logo and slogan printed on a variety of free merchandise, this can organically help to spread your brand. Certainly you want to build your brand’s online reputation as securely as you build its non-digital persona; but there are things worth doing which affect the real world, and can also be quite lucrative for your business.

There are more options than you might expect out there in the mainstream, and you can even acquire branded marketing goods from non-traditional providers — the Teehive prints your logo on tablecloths, for example; as the site says: “Whether you have a design ready, an idea in mind, or have absolutely no clue what you are envisioning for your custom merchandise[,] our expert designers are here to help you every step of the way.”

A Strong Brand:

The stronger your brand, the more visible it will be. Provided your operation runs with the requisite integrity, professionalism, and output, you’re likely to see your brand attain the strength it needs to survive in a complex, transitioning, unpredictable business environment.

Beauty Scenario Tag

Standard
Beauty Scenario Tag

Hey everyone and happy Hump Day! While browsing through my WordPress beauty feed, I noticed a Beauty Scenario Tag post by Fridoline and it looked like so much fun that I had to join in! Here we go:

You have to get rid of all your foundations and you can only keep one high end and one drugstore, which do you keep?

Much to everyone’s shock when I tell them this, I don’t wear any type of foundation or concealer products. I consider myself very lucky and my pasty pale complexion is one of my favorite things about myself.

You go for an interview and the lady interviewing you has lipstick on her teeth. Do you approach the subject or ignore it completely?

Oh wow… I have no idea how I would handle this. I actually don’t think that I would say anything. If a total stranger told me that I had lipstick or food in my teeth, I would feel so embarrassed. I think that it would be better if she found out herself or if a coworker who she knows better pointed it out. But, that’s just me.

You’re not feeling yourself and need a pick me up. Which lipstick do you put on to make yourself feel beautiful?

NYX’s Pure Red Matte Lipstick, of course. It’s my go to shade and is fifty percent of the reason why my nickname is Lil Red. (The other half being my red hair, obvs lol.)

You go back in time for a day to your teenage years, how would you do your hair and makeup differently?

When I was a teenager, I actually didn’t wear a lot of makeup. Maybe if I did, I would be better at applying it now! Ha. But, I had long hair as a teen and I wish that I dyed it red, because I think that it would have been so pretty. I’d love to see what it would have looked like, because it is so difficult for me to grow my hair out now.

You ask your hairdresser for a shoulder length Pixie Lott hair cut, but they hear wrong and give you a pixie cut.

Do you:

A) Smile, say thank you, leave and call your mom hysterical.

B) Cry in the chair and things get awkward.

C) Complain to the manager and demand a refund.

OR D) So, I had no idea who Pixie Lott is and I had to Google her. Her hair is very pretty, but it’s not me at all AND I look great in a pixie cut (#humblebrag) so I don’t think that I would have been too upset.

HOWEVER, since that’s not an option, I would probably go with C. I would be very nice about it and say “this is not what I wanted at all and I don’t think that I should have to pay for it”. At the end of the day, it’s your hair that got messed up, so paying for someone’s mistake just adds to the suckery of it.

Your friend surprises you with a 4 day city break and you have 1 hour to pack. Which ‘do it all’ palette do you pack in your makeup bag?

I don’t own any palettes aside from my Elf Nude Rose Gold one, so I guess that’s the one that I would be bringing, lol.

Your house has been robbed, don’t worry everyone is safe, but your beauty stash has been raided. What’s the product you really hope is safe?

Since 99% of my makeup is drugstore brand, besides for my Better Than Sex mascara, I wouldn’t be too disappointed about anything. But, I would be kind of pissed if the Tarte Lip Paint sample that I got for my birthday from Sephora got messed with because it’s an exclusive shade for the Beauty Insider members and I freaking love it.

Your friend borrows your makeup and returns it in awful condition.

Do you:

A) Just pretend you haven’t noticed.

B) Ask them to repurchase it.

C) Secretly do the same to something of theirs.

Can option D be “none of the above”? Lol, I’m not really keen on letting anyone but me use my makeup.

Thanks again to Fridoline for this fun tag! It was a hoot. How would you answer some of these questions? What is your holy grail beauty item? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Key Parts Of A Kitchen Redesign

Standard
Key Parts Of A Kitchen Redesign

There is no doubt that the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house, and if you are planning on redesigning yours in the near future, then you will want to ensure that it is as functional and attractive as possible. In this blog post, we are going to take a closer look at just a couple of the main ways that you can achieve these twin goals to create a room that you can be truly proud of:

Style and Design:

First, you need to choose between a vintage or a contemporary space, and whether it is going to be state-of-the-art or homelike. Remember, you want to choose a design which stands the test of time, as it is highly likely that you will be keeping it this way for many years to come.

Layout:

Once you have the design sorted, it is time to consider the layout in more detail. As a general design principle to follow, you should think of the room as a triangle of the fridge, the sink, and the stove or cooktop. If you plan this space well enough so that you can move between the points with ease, then this will make the whole meal preparation saga so much more straightforward.

Cupboards and Countertops:

Do you want to keep your current cupboards or would you prefer to refinish and reface them? Also, you should consider what types of cupboard are going to give you maximum storage space. As for the countertops, these will need to be able to withstand a great deal of wear and tear. So, as well as aesthetic appeal, you should also be thinking in terms of their physical features such as being water resistant and hard-wearing to get the most bang for your buck.

Kitchen Devices and Appliances:

Whatever types of kitchen devices and appliances you choose will need to be long lasting. You should also consider energy efficiency, as this will help to make your household bills cheaper. Some of the essentials include a fridge (Check out Bosch Refrigerators for some good options!), a stove, and a microwave. But there are plenty of extras like wine cooling devices and dishwashers, which can help to make your life that little bit easier.

Lighting:

Without the right lighting, your kitchen area can end up looking drab and dingy. As well as the overhead lights, you should also check out the other kinds of task lighting like In-built uplights, which can make food preparation so much easier.

The Floor:

Every kitchen should have a floor which offers both style and elegance. But it should also have some practical features like being slip-resistant, easy-to-clean, and difficult to scratch and damage. You’ll be doing a lot of walking back and forth in the kitchen, after all!

key1

 So swanky!

Take your time when you are redesigning your kitchen, as you want to make sure that you get everything just right. These are a few of the key parts of the task that you have in front of you to give you a helping hand!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Smile!

Standard
Smile!

Hi everyone! On Friday, I went to visit the Akron Zoo and couldn’t stand the cuteness of one adorable animal in particular – the puffer-fish! I seriously could have stood in front of their little home for hours watching them float around and being simply charmed by their tiny smile. Take a look:

fishie

Cheese!

It was hard not to be totally enamored by this little guy, so much so that I basically bellowed “HE’S SO CUTE” to no one in particular. In fact, I was so busy watching him, that I didn’t even notice the little girl standing beside me who yelled “HE’S SO CUTE” just like the goofy redhead who screamed it seconds before. Of course, I had to acknowledge the little lady with great taste in fish so I turned to her and replied with, “HE IS SO CUTE”!!! It was really something. :’)

If you’re having a down and out Tuesday, just remember that puffer-fish are adorable creatures with a tiny smile and that should brighten your day right up. If your day is going fantastic already, make it even better by remembering this little post. 😀

What is your favorite animal? Which animal smiles do you go gaga over? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Flickr

Dancing As A Way To Keep A Healthy Lifestyle

Standard
Dancing As A Way To Keep A Healthy Lifestyle

If you are looking for some low-impact activities that can be beneficial to your health, you might want to go for something that offers a good balance of strength training and cardio. Dancing offers a good way to have fun while keeping your body fit and healthy. It has many benefits, like some of the following. But, before you decide to take dancing lessons, you need to buy the right uniforms. You can either shop at a physical store or buy online from sites such as Just for Kix. Let’s get to it:

Boosting Cognitive Health:

Dancing has been used effectively to treat people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, studies have shown that dancing boosts your memory. When it comes to the health of your brain, learning how to dance engages the major parts of your brain: cerebellum, motor cortex, somatosensory cortex, and basal ganglia. According to a certain study, out of all of the activities that elderly people partake in, only dancing was shown to reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Improving Lung and Heart Health:

Different types of dance offer an aerobic workout that aids in strengthening your lung and heart muscles and this averts chronic conditions such as heart disease later in life. The harder you breathe and the faster your heart beats during dancing, the better the workout your cardiovascular system gets. If you have a strong heart, it will be able to pump blood throughout your body with less effort, lowering your chances of suffering from stroke and high blood pressure.

Alleviating Stress:

Dancing is an activity that provides the brain with double the pleasure because it involves listening to music and physical movement. If you have a dancing partner, your stress levels will decrease as your serotonin levels increase. This allows you to leave your worries behind as you focus on dancing with your partner. And, as exercise and music therapy gets into your brain, you will develop a positive mindset that reduces anxiety and stress.

Encouraging Social Interaction:

Dancing is a social activity that allows you to interact with other people. Social engagement improves your outlook and mood whilst reinforcing strong brain health. When you interact and converse with other people, you reinforce the brain’s neural pathways; this helps your brain cells to communicate effectively into old age.

Enhancing Flexibility:

The stretching, warm-ups, and reaching that occur in dancing will aid in loosening and lubricating your joints as well as strengthening your muscles. Stiff and tight muscles result in the inflammation, pains, and aches that happen during injury recovery and aging. When you increase your muscle pliability, you will be optimizing your coordination and preventing injury.

Strengthening Muscles and Endurance:

Activities like dancing usually tone and strengthen the key muscle groups: core, legs, arms, and back. The moderate movements burn calories, make you sweat, and aid in muscle growth. When you exercise, microscopic tears occur in your muscle tissues and this tells the body to rebuild the muscles bigger and stronger.

Increasing Spatial Awareness and Balance:

The coordination that you need to dance promotes your agility while improving your balance skills. This is very important for older adults because they need to retain their mobility to prevent debilitating falls. Although they can just install staircase railings and suction grab bars to hold onto, exercises like dancing strengthen their spatial awareness and agility, which helps in all aspects of life.

dance1

Dancing has a wide variety of benefits for people of all ages. You do not have to start dancing when you are worried about your health; you can do it at any point of your life. The earlier you begin, the better you will be – and it’s fun!