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Tips to Maximize the Space in Your Home

Space. We all want more of it, but we’re probably not using the space we have in the best possible way. In our day-to-day lives, our homes are one of the biggest areas where we feel the need for extra space, and often it’s because we’re living in clutter and haven’t considered ways to maximize what space is available. There are a number of ways to make the most of the space you do have. These are listed below.

Tips to Maximize the Space in Your Home

Donate

Most of us have too many items that we no longer use and that would be appreciated by someone less fortunate. Remembering the rule of if you haven’t used it in the last year, it’s time to let it go, will help you reduce unused belongings and clutter. From clothes, books, CDs, toys, games and other miscellaneous goods, if you aren’t using them, donate them to someone who will.

Hold a Garage Sale

When was the last time you held a garage sale? If the answer is never, it’s time to change that. Holding a garage sale is a great way to clear out some of the items you no longer use or need and earn a bit of extra cash. Garage sales also help you evaluate what you can and should part with, freeing up extra space in the process. If you choose to part with large items like furniture, you can use the cash you’ve earned to from the garage sale to go towards more compact and space saving designs.

Rearrange and Reconfigure

Often our homes feel crowded due to the configuration of our furniture and personal items. Try rearranging furniture including sofas, beds and bookshelves to open up the area and make it feel larger. Rearranging your furniture along the outside perimeter of the room can go a long way to free up more floor space, as will moving the bed into the corner of a room. It’s also worth making a point to move any furniture away from areas that restrict the flow of foot traffic, especially near doorways.

Store

Lets face it, sometimes there are many items you don’t really have the space for, but you just can’t part with. The solution? Store them. Whether it’s through renting a storage unit in a facility such as Fort Knox Storage for larger items (check out this URL for more information), or purchasing smart storage solutions like shelving and cabinets to store smaller belongings, storage is your best friend to create more space. After all, in any home, there is only so much space to display items at any given time. To free up square footage, store the rest until you need it most.

Our homes are our castles, but when castles become cluttered, these tips will help maximize the space available so you can regain control and avoid becoming overwhelmed by your belongings. What other strategies are there to increase the sense of space in the home? What hasn’t worked for you and your home? Share your tips and stories with a comment below!

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Winner of CroisiEurope’s Photo Tour Summer Internship Sets Sail

Winner of CroisiEurope’s Photo Tour Summer Internship Sets Sail

 Christina Guan from Simon Fraser University, outside Vancouver, will be documenting her journey through 14 countries aboard 10 CroisiEurope river cruises

CroisiEurope has chosen Christina Guan for their Photo Tour Summer Internship, a journey of a lifetime which begins today in Paris. A fourth year student at Simon Fraser University, Christina will spend the next three months aboard 10 of CroisiEurope’s ships documenting her journey through 14 countries in Europe and Southeast Asia. While on-board, Christina will sharpen her writing and photography skills by creating original content and capturing photos of her trip for the CroisiEurope Photo Tour Blog and on Facebook,Instagram, Google+ and Twitter.

Christina Guan

Christina is a senior at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada studying communications and business. Growing up in Vancouver, Christina developed a love of travelling, photography, gelato and storytelling. In addition to writing and photography, Christina loves graphic design and video production making her the perfect candidate for CroisiEurope’s photo tour internship.

Over the next three months, Christina will travel on river cruises through France, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia and Montenegro before continuing on to Vietnam and Cambodia.

To follow Christina on her journey with CroisiEurope this summer be sure to check out the blog at: http://www.croisieuroperivercruises.com/travel-journal.

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Toddler Discipline Tricks That Work

Educating your children tends to be a real challenge, especially if it comes to your first toddler. Toddlers usually demonstrate their independence from an early age and that is why parents should find the right approaches and more importantly, they need to acquire some basic discipline tricks.

There have been many discussions about the role of the discipline for educating the toddlers, however, the truth is that everything remains strongly individual. You need to be careful in order not to spoil the toddler and, on the other hand, you also need to make the child disciplined and responsible towards its duties.

Low Musical Photography

If all that seems like a difficult task to you, do not feel discouraged but take a look at the following lines. These fresh ideas will certainly help you to establish discipline without imposing tyrannical methods.

The strategies presented by Kathlen, owner of TenancyCleaning Highbury. They have proven their efficiency, so do not hesitate to try them if you want to make your parenthood more effective.

Be Diplomatic

If diplomacy is not your thing, then you certainly will experience a lot of problems with the toddlers. No matter how angry you are, do not hurry up with punishments but try another approach. Being diplomatic does not mean to forget about the discipline – it only means to be patient enough and to find tricky ways in which to predispose the toddlers to behave in an appropriate manner. Many toddlers use crying as an excellent method to manipulate their mothers and fathers and I assure you that this works just perfectly, especially if the parent is tired or irritated. In case you do not want to be caught in such a trap, practicing diplomacy is the best you can do here.

The Role of the Incentive

Offering an incentive is a great trick if you want to win the battle without shouting or punishing the toddler. This could be a little present at the end of day or a tiny surprise – it does not matter, the essential moment here is to make sure that the child will accept this as an incentive. This method is excellent for educating toddlers and for teaching them on some basic habits. Escape from the conventional methods for establishing consistent discipline and try this innovative decision.

Include Various Games For the Toddlers

Everyone knows that toddlers adore games but what about those games that will really teach them how to follow certain rules? You may think that such games have nothing in common with discipline but I assure you that many activities that have set rules, teach kids how to be more disciplined from an early age.

Communicate With Them As Much As Possible

Do not consider toddlers too little for communication. If you want to establish discipline, you had better try to explain them that good kids listen to their mothers and fathers. Of course, use simple examples to illustrate your thoughts and you stand greater chances to achieve success when teaching your children how to behave.

As a parent, you will always have some doubts whether you educate your child in the right way but what you need to do is find an equilibrium that will allow you to be rigid and supportive at the same time. It is not always easy to manage with all the tasks that parenthood require, but do not feel disturbed by this fact. Trust these valuable tips and try them, whenever you observe appropriate occasion. Try to be more persuasive without shouting at your toddlers and arm yourself with a lot of patience and commitment. Finally, follow your instincts when establishing the discipline and remind yourself to give all the love to your toddlers.

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Wizard World Con Attendees To Receive ‘The Walking Dead #1′ Limited Edition

Wizard World Comic Con Des Moines Attendees to Receive ‘The Walking Dead #1′ Limited Edition Exclusive Variant Cover By Phil Hester, June 12-14

‘The Wretch,’ ‘The Coffin’ Creator, Iowa Native Has Drawn 11th Cover In 2015 Series Available At Iowa Events Center For Full-Price Attendees; VIP Fans Get Additional B&W Sketch Cover At Registration

DES MOINES, Iowa, May 26, 2015 — Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and Skybound, Robert Kirkman’s imprint at Image Comics, today announced that The Wretch and The Coffin creator and Iowa native Phil Hester has drawn the 11th in a yearlong series of Limited Edition Exclusive Variant Covers of The Walking Dead #1 comic, to be provided free to all full-price attendees at Wizard World Comic Con Des Moines,June 12-14. Skybound’s The Walking Dead created by Kirkman, the groundbreaking, Eisner Award winning comic book series, continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

The exclusive The Walking Dead #1 edition will be produced in extremely limited quantities and is available at registration to fans at the Iowa Events Center only while supplies last. VIP attendees will receive an additional black & white sketch version of the comic.

'The Walking Dead #1' Limited Edition

Hester has been making comics for over two decades, beginning while a student at the University of Iowa. He spent many years on the indie comics scene, culminating in his Eisner Award-nominated series The Wretch . Phil broke into the mainstream with a long run as penciler on DC’s Swamp Thing. He also drew Kevin Smith’s revival of Green Arrowwith long time inker Ande Parks. He created The Coffin with artist Mike Huddleston, and Firebreather with artist Andy Kuhn, now a television feature for Cartoon Network. Phil lives in rural Iowa with his wife and two children.

Phil’s more recent work includes writing Kirkman’s Invincible Universe, IDW’s THUNDER Agents, and Dynamite’s The Shadow , as well as drawing DC’s Batman Beyond and The Flash TV comic. He has also written Mythic for Image comics.

The artists for future books will be announced as they are selected. A similar series in 2013 featuring exclusives of The Walking Dead #1 proved to be wildly popular with fans. The full schedule of 2015-16 Wizard World shows is available at http://www.wizardworld.com/wizcon.html.

The Wizard World Comic Con Des Moines celebrity roster includes “The Walking Dead” star Michael Cudlitz (“Sgt. Abraham Ford), as well as William Shatner (“Star Trek,” “T.J. Hooker”), Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Billy Dee Williams (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Brian’s Song ), Cassandra Peterson (“Elvira, Mistress of the Dark”),Jewel Staite (“Firefly,” “Stargate: Atlantis”), Alex Kingston (“Doctor Who,” “Arrow”), WWE® Superstar Seth Rollins™ and Diva Paige™ and many others.

In addition to Hester, Artist Alley in Des Moines will feature Neal Adams (“Batman,” “Green Lantern”), Mike Zeck (“Spider-Man,” “Punisher”), Michael Golden (“Spider-Man,” “Daredevil”), Arthur Suydam (“Marvel Zombies,” “Army of Darkness”),James O’Barr (creator, “The Crow”), Renee Witterstaetter (“She Hulk,” “Avengers”), Dean Haspiel (“Bored to Death,” “Billy Dogma”), Kenneth Rocafort (“Superman,” “Action Comics”) and more.

Wizard World Comic Con events bring together thousands of fans of all ages to celebrate the best in pop-fi, pop culture, movies, graphic novels, cosplay, comics, television, sci-fi, toys, video gaming, gaming, original art, collectibles, contests and more. The 12th of 26 events currently scheduled on the 2015 Wizard World calendar, Des Moines show hours are Friday, June 12, 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, June 13, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, June 14, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

For more on the 2015 Wizard World Comic Con Des Moines, visit http://www.wizardworld.com/home-desmoines.html.

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Canine Flu is Spreading

Canine Flu is Spreading — now in 13 States

Canine Flu is now in Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin and Texas

What You Can Do to Keep Your Pet Safe and Healthy

Puppy Home

Flu season may be winding down for humans, but there have been thousands of reported cases of canine influenza in the last several months. To help dog owners better understand the virus, here are some key facts from the American Veterinary Medical Association:

What is canine influenza?

Canine influenza (CI), or dog flu, is a highly contagious infection caused by an influenza A subtype H3N8 virus first discovered in 2004.

What are common symptoms of the infection in dogs?

In the mild form, the most common sign is a cough that persists for 2-3 weeks. However, some dogs can develop signs of severe pneumonia, such as a high-grade fever (104°F-106°F) and faster breathing. Other signs in infected dogs include nasal and/or ocular discharge, sneezing, fatigue, and refusing food.

Is every dog at risk of infection?

All dogs, regardless of breed or age, are susceptible to infection.

How does it spread?

Canine influenza is spread from dog to dog through the air, contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes), and people ineracting with infected and uninfected dogs. On surfaces, the virus is alive and can infect dogs for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on hands for 12 hours.

Can veterinarians test for canine influenza?

The most reliable and sensitive method for confirmation is serologic testing. Antibodies to canine influenza virus can appear in blood as early as 7 days after symptoms begin, and the virus may be identified in nasal or pharyngeal swabs during the first 4 days of illness.

Any treatment options?

In May 2009, the USDA approved the first influenza vaccine for dogs. Trials have shown that it can significantly reduce the duration of illness, including the incidence and severity of damage to the lungs. Dog owners should consult with their vet to determine whether the vaccine is appropriate for their dog.

Can canine influenza infect people?

There is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted from dogs to humans.

What can dog owners do to help protect their pet?

Some pet owners are steering away from dog parks and other areas where other infected dogs might gather.

For more information about canine influenza virus, visit https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Reference/Pages/Canine-Influenza-Backgrounder.aspx

 

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HUMILITY… A LOST ART

HUMILITY… A LOST ART by Virginia Burton Stringer

One of the worst injustices, in today’s society, is the loss of humility. A sense of entitlement seems to be pervasive, from toddlers demanding toys in the store aisles, to teenagers, who expect parents to foot the bill for limousines and hotel rooms on prom night. It’s as if the world owes these youngsters a living, with no responsibility from them. A key indicator of this phenomenon is the universal response, from the Millennials and those much younger, to a simple, “Thank you”. It always seems to be, “No problem,” as if it could have been a problem to perform some simple act of kindness or render a service, but he/she is giving us all a break. The response should be, a gracious and humble, “You’re welcome.”

In our efforts to make sure our children have high self esteem, we have constantly bolstered them with words of praise, fearing the least little negative will permanently scar their delicate psyches, beyond repair. This has led to a generation of people parenting yet another generation, who has no concept of unpretentiousness.

Humility is defined, by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, as “the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people: the quality or state of being humble.” Synonyms include meekness; modesty; demureness, while some antonyms are arrogance; conceit; egotism; haughtiness; pomposity… shall I go on? Our attempts to insure our children are confident and capable of caring for themselves, as adults, has taken an unexpected swing in the opposite direction. In addition, our children are constantly bombarded with media depictions of brash, brazen entertainers performing in music videos, movies, social media creations, YouTube… it must be tough being a kid, these days, influenced by it all, while navigating toward social acceptance and adulthood.

Just Maagy

Princess Maagy, the title character in my new novel, “Just Maagy”, is a spoiled brat, who demands what she wants with a stomped foot. However, when her father, King Henry, takes her to the Summer Castle, she is forced to live like an “ordinary person”, rather than a royal, and quickly learns the meaning of humility. She learns that, in order to lead a nation, one must first learn to follow instructions, do “ordinary” work and understand the people for whom she will be responsible, when she is the queen. She learns that the job is more than wearing the crown.

This is where we are failing our children, today. We have spent so much time bolstering their egos, we have neglected to teach them that humility is not a sense of worthlessness, but rather, a tool for growth and development. Scott H. Young wrote, in his March 2009 article, “Humility is More Important than Confidence”:

Humility is an asset for self-improvement. By remaining humble, you are receptive to opportunities to improve… Beyond personal success, humility is also a virtue for inner well-being.

So what now? I say, begin by teaching young children simple acts of caring… like feeding the dog… and then explaining how giving him food is such a simple task, but so important. Encourage random acts of kindness, like opening the door for someone or offering to carry a heavy bag or giving up a seat on the transit to an elderly person. Make sure young ones understand that helping with chores and taking care of their own space is the least they can do. Inspire children to volunteer and donate to charity… to give more than they receive… and always be mindful that no matter how smart or privileged or talented they are, there is always room for improvement, not to mention, it can all be gone in a heartbeat… and that is a truly humbling concept.

Virginia Burton Stringer

Buy Just Maagy on Amazon.com, author Virginia Burton Stringer.

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Never Too Old For Sandbox Playtime!

This year’s weather has just been odd. Colder and wetter to be exact in the Midwest. While normally I am a big fan of the rain, the excess of it lately has put off our outdoor activities like planting and bring out the water and sand toys. Mother nature must have known we were going wild being suck indoors and gave us a beautiful Memorial Day.

Never Too Old To Play In The Sandbox

Monday was filled with dad cleaning the yard and pressure washing the house and mom pulling out the outdoor toys and planting a color array of flowers, while the kiddos played in our new Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sandbox and having a water fight midday. Seriously, one is never too old for sandbox playtime and this is one of the activities that my pre-teens and younger boys all agree on.

Considering all of the rain we have had and the predicted forecast saying more is too come, we decided that the Cozy Coupe Sandbox would work wonderfully on the  front porch. This way even when the weather is not as pleasant as we would like, the kids could still play. This box also comes with a hand lid to keep it dry when not in use. The lid is lightweight which has a pro of allowing even my 5 year old to maneuver it. However in the same sense the weight is a con since it can be lifted and carried off by a big wind. Another reason we opted for a porch placement.

Summer Sandbox Fun

The Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sandbox can hold up to 350 pounds of sand. That is pretty amazing in itself. We only added three 40 pound bags and have lots of room to spare. I plan to add one or two more this week to give them more to build castles and other creative structures with.

While we have many sand toys, one of Low’s favorites is the Dirt Digger also by Little Tikes. I have to agree since this truck is tough stuff. Ours has been rained on, sat on and even rolled down the stairway and it still looks fairly new. Every wee one should have a Dirt Diggers 2-in-1 Haulers Excavator of their own. [Read more…]

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A family day walk with The Piggyback Rider

I was excited when my children were old enough to walk and hike the trails beside my husband and I. For me this meant a little less back pain and sweat combined with additional smiles and family fun moments. Though it never fails less than a mile into it, one of my three older one clunk out and the carry me routine begins. Don’t get me wrong, I love to hold them but at 60+ pounds walking a mile or more back to the car with one of them on my back is a hard road to toll. Taking my personal experiences into consideration I was overly excited to try out the Piggyback Rider.

Appropriately named the Piggyback Rider™, this ingenious carrier is, quite simply, the last child carrier that you will ever need to buy. Made for children aged 2 ½ to 7 (and up to 60 pounds), The Piggyback Rider™ is quality and simplicity at its finest. Weighing less than three pounds and the size of a rolled towel, the Piggyback RiderTM bonds parent and child in active transport that is natural and instinctive. Rather than a seat attached to a frame or wheels, the brothers Jonny and Wayne Lifshitz designed a backpack with a shoulder mounted foot bar for a child to stand on, four integrated grab handles for a child to hold, and a safety harness to secure the child. The foot bar rests just below adult waist level, allowing the child to stand perched on the adult’s back and be engaged in active transport, rather than sit (and fall asleep). The Piggyback Rider™ is built strong and sturdy, made with high quality climbing buckles, webbing and a tempered aluminum bar. To boot, the entire carrier comes in a convertible multipurpose storage bag/mudflap!

Traditional piggyback rides require no special technique or training and involve complex frictional forces between carrier and rider, according to a study presented in 2009 at IEEE/RS-J International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems. The Piggyback Rider™ preserves these natural features and allows the adult to stand much straighter than the typical 30-40 degree slouch associated with the old-fashioned carrying method. Better yet, your little hanger-onner has a bird’s eye view over the landscape and crowd. The simplicity and ease of carrying a child with the Piggyback Rider™ is a revolution in child carriers – lightweight, natural and engaging. Now, when carrying Junior around the mall, through the amusement park, to the game, through the city or along the hiking trail, Mom or Dad can walk upright — with posture the envy of their peers! And now there’s also no more choking, eye gauging, hair pulling, tired arms.

Check out some of these features:

  • The foot bar has textured grip tape to ensure traction on the shoes;
  • The child’s harness is clipped to the adult carrier at two points and the back has a neoprene panel for comfort;
  • Each Piggyback Rider™ comes with a multi-purpose storage bag that converts to a mudflap.
  • Kids stay awake and remain engaged in the bonding adventures while riding the Piggyback Rider™

Older children love the height advantage, rest from walking and most of all the quality time with their parents. The Piggyback Rider™ has unlimited year-round use, while hiking, touring, shopping, walking, watching, exploring, wandering, bonding at amusement parks, carnival, sporting events, malls, markets and everywhere else you may go. And, in the end, it’s about more than just getting there; it’s about an active interaction between parent and child, bringing you closer together in any adventure or outing.

Fun at night fall

When it arrived and we pulled it out, read the instructions and even immediately after putting it on there were the wheels of second guesses on how a product so light and to the point could work for long periods of time. Our first test was right in our front yard. My husband ran, jumped and swung my oldest daughter whom is 7 and 64 pounds from side to side, up and down and every which way. Not only was she held safe in place by the Piggyback Rider’s design and her ability to stand on the bar provided but she had an amazing time doing it.

Next we took it for a longer run, walk and hike over a few rough trails with my five year old son in tow. He as well had a wonderful time though after about an hour he was tired of standing in one place and holding on, so we let him down for a little run time. The amazing thing is that even after that hour my hubby had not even broke a real sweat. Even though my son is pushing the 50 pound mark, he hardly noticed the difference. Only complaint was that it make him want to lean forward which is more of a reaction rather than need from use.

Beginning of a long walk

Over the course of several months, we have used the Piggyback Rider on at least a dozen occasions including hiking, shopping and event walking through the amusement park. This is honestly one of the best ways to keep up with a young child who like to run away in crowded spaces. We know where our youngster is at all times when using the Piggyback Rider and both parent and child enjoys the use a great deal. In fact I think it helps me burn a few extra calories along the way.

Would we buy the Piggyback Rider again? YES! It has been the easiest product of this type to travel with, light weight, portable solution for carrying along our older children (ages 5-7). It works and is a lot of fun for them and easy on me as a parent to use.

BUY IT: The Piggyback Rider is available on Amazon.com. It is also available at select retailers in the USA.

 

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The Zombie Apocalypse Gift Guide

Zombie Apocolypse Gift Guide - 20

The Zombie Apocalypse Gift Guide

We know the Zombie Apocalypse is coming, better get prepared for it now before it’s too late. Have someone on your list who is into all things Zombies? Here’s a few things that make their Wish Lists over on Amazon. Happy Zombie Hunting!

Zombie Defense Solutions: 3-Day Survival Kit $31.00

Zombie Cleaver Clutch Handbag $29.99

 

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead $9.99

 Zombie Survival Tin Lunch Box $11.40

Zombie Cajun Hot Sauce Gourmet Food Gifts Basket Set $19.95

Harcos Labs Zombie Jerky Teriyaki $8.28

Spike Bracelet $15.95

MRE Complete Meals w/ Flameless Heaters for the Zombie Apocalypse $34.95

Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit in a Sardine Can $12.95

Emergency Zombie Apocalypse Viral Toxic Poison Chemical Biohazard 16″ $7.75

 Sportsman Tactical Scenario Vest $45.68

Shock and Awe Zombie Killer Knife $11.99

Multipurpose 5-in-1 Survival Shovel $22.10

Powerful Flashlight 3.8 M Volt Stun Gun $24.99

Zombie Survival Kit $95

Zombie Survival Kit- Advanced Tactical Sling Bag $69.99

Zombie Outbreak Playing Cards $6.63


Zombie Survival Guide Deck: Complete Protection from the Living Dead $11.72


Zombie Survival Can Energy Drink $6.88


NcStar Crossbow with Red Dot $38.86

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No Time To Cook? Go With A Classic For Dinner!

As a busy family, mealtime is often limited by the time we have to prepare. While I do like to plan ahead, on occasion life just gets away from us and I am searching for something as quick as it is yummy for dinner. This is one of the reasons I keep HORMEL® Chili With Beans in my pantry. By adding a few common extras, I can deliver a state loved meal to the table in no time.

hormel_chili-sponsor

Take today for example. This is the first weekend day in weeks that we have had sun instead of rain. So, my family took advantage of this and got busy on yard work. Not to mention a little outdoor playtime. Between the weeding and planting, time just moved on by and before you knew it, it was time to start getting baths and ready for school and work the next day.

HORMEL Chili Hotdog

Instead of stressing out with a time consuming dinner, my husband popped a few hotdogs on the grill. I heated two cans of HORMEL® Chili No Beans, shredded some cheddar cheese, sliced an onion, made a quick cole slaw and pulled out a bag of potato chips. In 15 minutes, we had a classically delicious meal with easy clean-up.

For additional recipe suggestions visit HORMEL® Chili Facebook and make sure to grab your HORMEL coupons here!

Today’s post is sponsored by HORMEL® Chili, but my love for their chili is all my own!

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How to Plant a Rooftop Garden

Rooftop gardens are a huge trend in buildings – and rightly so. Whether you’re just discovering rooftop gardens, or have had a garden on your rooftop for years, this infographic from www.custommade.com, entitled “How to Plant a Rooftop Garden”, has everything you need to know in order to cultivate a successful rooftop garden.

From weight concerns and placement, to irrigation and waterproofing, this infographic covers all the basics. You’ll also discover suggestions on plants, sun exposure, and wind protection.

This spring, create your own amazing rooftop retreat with help from this infographic from custommade.com entitled “How to Plant a Rooftop Garden”.

Click to Enlarge Image

Raise the Roof: How to Plant a Rooftop Garden

Raise the Roof: How to Plant a Rooftop Garden
Infographic by CustomMade

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American Gift Doll Sweepstakes

American Gift Sweepstakes

One winner will receive their choice of American Gift doll and book. [Read more…]

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5 Ways To Clean Out A Cluttered Home

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of DairyPure Milk for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

It is a proven fact that clutter can cause a decline in mood. Now who wants that? Not us, said my family and we began a mission to clean out our cluttered home, removing everything that wasn’t necessary in our life.

5 Ways To Clean Out A Cluttered Home

5 Ways To Clean Out A Cluttered Home

1. If it is stacked up or piled up, it goes.

2. Remove any clothing and shoes you have not worn in the last two years.

3. Clean out the food pantry.

4. Just say no. One of the easiest way to declutter is to stop adding to it.

5. Use what you have before you buy more. Like enjoying snack time with a peanut butter sandwich and DairyPure milk available from your local dairy, a simple choice for moms (get DairyPure Recipe inspiration on Pinterest).

Snacktime with DairyPure milk

Huge thank you to DairyPure for inspiring today’s post. DairyPure milk is the only milk backed by an exclusive 5 Point Purity Promise:

  • No artificial growth hormones – “No significant difference has been shown between milk derived from cows treated with the artificial growth hormone rbST and non‐rbST‐treated cows.”
  • All milk is tested for antibiotics
  • Continuously quality tested to ensure purity
  • Only from cows fed a healthy diet
  • Cold shipped fresh from your local dairy

Learn more about DairyPure and connect with DairyPure on Facebook.

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What tips can you offer to help others declutter their home?

Visit Sponsors Site

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5 Tips For Working From Home With A Toddler

If you work from home and have children at home you know how hard it can be to juggle both your work and your home life. It is often made doubly hard by the age of your children, and their individual needs. Here are 5 Tips For Working From Home With A Toddler that are sure to help you stay on top of your game, and give your kids the quality time that they need.

5 Tips For Working From Home With A Toddler

5 TIPS FOR WORKING FROM HOME WITH A TODDLER

Turn Off The Noise. Help yourself focus better by turning off the music, tv and sounds around you. Focus on your work instead to get projects and tasks done in a more timely manner.

Create A Realistic Schedule. While you would love to have a typical 9-5 work day, when you are juggling both a work at home job and a child that typically isn’t going to happen. Become realistic about their needs as well as your own and set your office hours to reflect that. If you have to have extended evening “work” time to make up for early morning naps, play time, and snack time, then work toward that. Don’t set yourself up for failure by limiting yourself to a standard schedule.

Include Them In Your Office. Even though many work from home jobs don’t allow for small children to “help” with the work, there are ways you can incorporate them into your daily office routine. Create a kid corner in your home office with their own “work” to do. Puzzles, toys, a children’s laptop or tablet are all great ideas. Chalkboards, dry erase boards and felt boards are all great items to have to occupy their time.

Work Smarter Not Harder. This one is often a tough one for all of us to grasp, but it is especially important in issues when you are trying to juggle work and home life. Figure out what work practices are the most profitable for you and make it your goal to focus on them.

Hire A Babysitter. While it may not be affordable for everyone, hiring a babysitter to help you out at least one day per week will give you the freedom you need to get projects done without interruptions. Check with local teens during summer months for inexpensive help, or look into local church “moms day out” programs that give you a few hours to one day a week of child care with ease.

Working from home is becoming a more and more popular way to make a living for men and women alike. Whether you are working for someone else as a virtual assistant or running your own home business, it can be tough with kids underfoot. These 5 tips for working from home with a toddler can help you stay focused, be productive and conquer your to do list.

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Gift List For Her: The Things You Really Need

Mother’s Day may have passed, but that doesn’t mean that the celebrating should end. Nothing says “I appreciate you every day of the year,” like being surprised with the perfect pair of sunglasses, or a new set of headphones. Seriously—it may not be diamonds and roses, but sometimes a practical present hits the spot. In lieu of that, I’ve teamed up with Goodshop, an online “coupons for good” company, to put together a spunky Gift List For Her. Print this out and sneak it onto your husband’s desk. You’ll thank me when that new set of dishes you’ve been eyeing magically appears on your kitchen counter. Until then, happy dreaming!

For The Jetsetter

You know you are a jetsetter at heart if you are always somewhere exotic— whether it’s off bird watching in the Amazon or sipping Piña Coladas on a beach in Hawaii.

Be treated to this Rio Printed Cosmetics Bag from Vera Bradley – sure to be an essential no matter where she jets off to next. Save up to 70% on travel accessories and raise 2.5% of your purchase to support a cause.

For that afternoon safari or sunbathing session you’ve got planned, get gifted this pair of Adeline Seaglass Champagne Glasses from Toms and get $5 off on your purchase.

great gifts for her purse and sunglasses

For the Master Chef

Cooking is truly an art-form, and for any of you who call the kitchen your studio—these are the perfect gifts for you.

Give your amazing preparations the display they deserve with this West Elm Potter’s Workshop Tableware Set. Earn 1% of your purchases for your cause and get 10% off by
signing up for emails.

You could also be gifted this Floral Lace Vintage-Inspired Apron to help you feel beautiful while starting on her new recipes. Combine your gift with other Sur La Table purchases for 20% off.

gifts for her tablewear and apron

For The “Woman-trepreneur”

Sometimes, you just have to move at a million miles per minute. A slow day is one where you’re juggling your own business, a book tour, and four excitable children—all with a smile on your face.

Help keep the energy up all day with a Personalized “Love You Mom” Coffee Mug from Zazzle and get 30% off at their Mother’s Day Gift Center.

Alternatively, brighten up your workspace with this trendy Spring Branches Decal from Fab.com and save 10% on any order. 3.5% of your purchase amount goes to support a cause.

gifts for her coffee mug and wall decals

For The Athlete

Whether you’re signing up for the latest charity marathon or sneaking out early for a morning tennis match, you make fitness a priority.

Help keep track of your work out – and look stylish while you do – with this Water Resistant Aberdeen Watch from Adidas. Get up to 40% off and 4.5% of your purchase is donated to a cause.

Meanwhile, these Inspire Sports Earphones from Athleta (with this free shipping deal) will allow you to pair your favorite tracks with your training.

gifts for her watch and earbuds

For The Fashionista

And then, there are the days where you are the belle of the ball. Everything falls just right, and your earrings sparkle in that perfect way.

If so, you’re sure to love this pretty pair of Hazel Heels from Ruche for your next night out, and you’re sure to love their free shipping offer.

Or offer her a perfect pairing for her new summer dress with this Multi Garden Floral Scarf from Lands’ End. Get a 25% off coupon and earn up to 4% of your purchase in donations.

gifts for her scarf and heels

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About Goodshop

Headquartered in San Francisco, Goodshop.com makes people feel good about their online shopping. It provides the best coupons and deals at thousands of stores including Amazon, Staples, Macy’s, and Expedia AND donates a percentage of nearly every purchase back to the shopper’s favorite charity. Launched in 2006, the Goodshop family of sites has raised nearly $12 million for its partner causes.

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