12/20/12

The Value of Abdominal Exercise and Vitamins during Pregnancy

Almost all women who are pregnant can see the value of abdominal exercise during pregnancy. Even if one has never exercised before, it is generally safe to start mild exercises during pregnancy. These exercises will help prepare for the demand to a woman’s body during labor. Most women can participate in abdominal exercises during pregnancy, with doctor’s permission, to strengthen the stomach walls.

After labor and delivery, a woman with a strengthened stomach experiences a much faster recovery time. Abdominal exercise and vitamins, only as recommended by your doctor, during pregnancy, will also improve your appearance during the changes that occur within your body. Your doctor will tell you that without the proper vitamins your body can experience problems.

Basic Abdominal Exercise during Pregnancy

The side crunch – Laying on your left side, relax the right arm behind your head; then extend your right leg; next pull the knee upward towards the right elbow. Repeat this exercise daily for at least 3 sets of 25 repetitions. Then turn to the right side and complete the same movements. This exercise can be done three times a day. Start slowly and increase the number of repetitions from 5 up to 25.

After the first trimester, only execute the modified abdominal exercise during pregnancy. During the second and third trimester, it is NOT advisable to do any exercise lying on your back. The increased pressure from the heavier uterus on the vena cava (the main source of blood) can cause compression, producing the higher blood pressure and limiting the amount of oxygen going to the baby.

However, almost all abdominal exercise during pregnancy can be quickly modified by laying first on one side and then the other side to achieve the best strengthening.

Use Kegel for Abdominal Stretches

Kegel exercises will enhance your pelvic floor muscles. Simply squeeze the pelvic muscle 20 times, 4 or 5 times a day. It is the easiest exercise; you just have to do it. Kegel's can be done in the car, shopping, sitting on the couch when watching TV, sitting, standing, or walking --just squeeze.

As with all exercise, be sure to drink plenty of water (a minimum of 8, 8 oz glasses) to prevent dehydration. A full glass of water with your vitamins will help prevent nausea. You will overheat more quickly because of the pregnancy. Water will re-hydrate the body and flush away all impurities that can cause muscle cramping.

--guest post
Paige One enjoys writing about a variety of topics, from fashion to fitness.

Disney Releases for 2013

Mark Your Calendars!!!
March 8: OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

May 3: IRON MAN 3 (Marvel Studios)

June 21: MONSTERS UNIVERSITY (Disney/Pixar)

July 3: THE LONE RANGER

September 13: THE LITTLE MERMAID 3D (Walt Disney Animation Studios)

October 4: DELIVERY MAN (DreamWorks Pictures)

November 8: THOR: THE DARK WORLD (Marvel Studios)

November 27: FROZEN (Walt Disney Animation Studios)

December 20: SAVING MR. BANKS

Current Giveaways


12/19/12

Pursenal Butler Handbag Organizer - Review

Keep your purses off the floor with the Pursenal Butler! This handy purse holder is available in black, brown, silver, pink and antique white. Designed to hold up to 12 purses and 100 pounds, the Pursenal Butler helps you organize your handbags, scarves, hats, and shopping bags. It's adjustable for your longer-handled purses and is as fashionable as it is functional.
I love my Pursenal Butler because I've become quite the collector of handbags and have way too many (shhh, don't tell my husband). My bedroom is upstairs so I keep the Pursenal Butler downstairs with my favorite purses hanging on it, that way I can find them quickly and easily. The shaped hooks also help protect the shape of my purse handles. This darling purse organizer would be a wonderful gift for any female! It would be very cute in a college dorm room, a walk-in closet, or next to the bedroom dresser.
Visit pursenalbutler.com today because they are having a sale! Be sure to like them on Facebook so you're first to hear about new specials and promotions.
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

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Installing Preformed Pond Liners Can Be Fun for the Entire Family

If you are considering adding a garden pond to let your children have fun in the outdoors, then you can use a preformed pond liner. It is an interesting way of letting your children play with water and just have a ball while you can manage your daily routine chores. The preformed pond liners offer the firm base and support for holding garden water and also add up to the beauty and charm of the outdoors. Every mother wants the free time in the day and with your kids busy with this pond, you will surely have plenty.

It is easy to install a preformed pond liner. One does not have to worry about a lot of things except digging the right amount of soil and leveling it right. The first step in the process is to dig out the soil that fits the liner the best. Start digging soil till you reach a level that suits the height or depth (whichever way you may look at it) of the liner. Secondly, one needs to adjust the liner in the dugout area to see if the level and the size fit properly. Thirdly, the soil at the base of the pond liner should be leveled properly. One cannot simply place it on soil with rocks and roots. They need to be leveled to a smooth surface first. Then the area around the liner is adjusted with more soil so that the preformed pond liner adjusts and is placed properly in the dugout area.

Lastly, ensure that you fill the base with a few inches of water, i.e. before placing the pond liner on the soil; fill the space with a few inches of water. After that you can gradually place the pond liner in the dugout region and adjust. The pond liner in due course of time fits well and does not move much or dislodge from its position.

The use of a preformed pond liner helps in creating a small garden pond for you. You can decorate your garden, add more color and life to it, call your children to the garden to get them interested in some nice hobby and also add beauty to the garden. Such preformed pond liners are easy as they stay intact because of their lack of flexibility. As a mother, you will definitely have something common with your children, water and a lot of playtime in the open. You can relax, unwind and play along with them.

--guest post
Paige One enjoys writing a variety of articles: from fashion to fitness, and even interior design!

Going Green with Cleaning Products

I've been working on my annual simplification chore this week. It's the week where I go through each room and closet to gather up those things we aren't using, so I can donate them to charity before the end of the year. It allows me to simplify my life and claim a tax deduction at the same time. So far, I've made it through the kitchen and pantry and I already have several boxes ready to go. I also found at least a box of old cleaning supplies that I don't use anymore. There are so many poisons in cleaning products and in the last year, I've tried to make "greener" choices. I know many of my friends are also buying more environmentally-friendly products too. I wondered if this switch to greener products was having any effect on the products that cleaning companies use when they provide services, so I started surfing around to see what was available. I found a great website that not only provides green cleaning services, like Green Choice carpet cleaning Maryland, it also provides lots of valuable information about cleaning supplies.
I learned that most cleaning services use Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS): A skin and eye irritant, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): Created as a non-irritating replacement to SLS, SLES was quickly classified as a carcinogen by the EPA. In fact, according to the EPA, SLES causes an increased incidence of cancer in controlled animal studies, and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS): a toxic ingredient commonly found in carpet cleaning products such as Scotchgard. PFOS was outlawed by the EPA in May 2000, but was replaced by Perfluorobutanesulfonic Acid (PFBS), a precursor to PFOS that is still commonly found in cleaning products to this day. The GreenChoice brand green rug and carpet cleaning products ingredient list includes: Purified Water, Coco Glucoside (from coconut oil and fruit sugar), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (from coconut oil), Sodium Citrate (rock salt), Ethyl Alcohol (from corn), Essential Oils, Potassium Sorbate (biodegradable food-grade preservative). Knowing what they will and won't use for their carpet-cleaning services will help me make better informed decisions about my own home.

Winter Staycation Ideas

I'm really looking forward to my winter break. I can't wait to sleep late, hang out in my pajamas until noon, stop trying to set up an online payroll account for my neighbor, and leave dirty dishes in the sink. I'm going to stay up too late, drink too much coffee, and spend lots of time just relaxing in my house. I've got a week and a half off work and anyone who knows me, know I'll probably be bored by day two. Since we're staying home for Christmas, I decided a list of Winter Staycation Ideas would be a great post. If you can add to the list, I'm sure I could use some of your great ideas too!

Computer Entertainment
Although I may end up a working on my blog a bit, my computer will help me relax a bit too. Maybe I'll pay some attention to my neglected farm game. I know I'll be entering lots of sweepstakes during my break. I'm planning on checking out some gaming sites too to play some blackjack and slots. My husband wants me to learn to play poker so I can play it with him.

Television Entertainment
My husband often confiscates the remote control to watch his crime shows, but if I can I'll be sneaking in some episodes of home improvement shows. I've got several movies laying around here to that I can watch.

Crafting Entertainment
I am definitely falling behind on my scrapbooking, so I'm going to spend some time making scrapbook pages for my boys' books. Finding time for doing the things I enjoy can be a challenge, so I am determined to make my staycation void of as much housework as I can.

Kitchen Entertainment
When I'm working I just don't seem to have time for baking, so I'll be making my Christmas recipes next week too. I've got a great recipe for seven layer cookies approved by everyone in my family, so that's on the list. I'm also thinking homemade bread and cookies.

What else should I do?

Win Two KitchenAid Mixers

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Three Spectacular Solutions for Beauty Supply Storage

With the growing popularity of high-end beauty products in department stores and beauty supply stores, our bathroom drawers, cabinets, and closets likely have many different types and offerings for beauty supplies cluttering their shelves. Many different items are now available to enhance your appearance from hair supplies like barrettes, styling combs, human hair extensions, to make-up and skin care supplies like lotions, face washes, masks, and exfoliators. Don’t waste time trying to find the perfect product or tool for your beauty regimen. Try a few helpful hints for decluttering and organizing those beauty supplies, so they’re readily available when you need them in a pinch.

Instead of just dumping everything into a drawer, invest in flat drawer dividers to give your products some space. If your drawers are old or plain, invest a few dollars in some contact paper in a pretty pattern and cover the inside of your drawer with it. Grab a clear plastic divider to let the beauty shine through, and you’ve got a pretty little drawer for all that pretty makeup packaging. The beauty of it will make you want to keep the drawer organized. Rather than letting your beauty products sit on counter tops after getting ready in the morning, take a few seconds to put everything back in its place. The clean countertops will add peace to your home when you return after a busy day of work or chasing after kids.

If your bathroom lacks drawers and cabinets, there are some great wall solutions that can aid you with keeping everything organized. Many women have opted to invest in spice racks for storing bottles like face wash, lotions, or hair products. A beautiful metal tray serves well to hang on the wall. Glue magnets on the back of all your makeup and you can stick them to the metal tray to display all that beautiful packaging and keep your products off the counter. It’s easy for clean-up too.

If you have cabinetry and out-of-sight storage, don’t just throw all your products on a shelf. Invest in some shoe-box sized containers, and separate products into different categories: make-up, other facial products, hair supplies, and soaps and lotions are just a few possibilities you could use to create better organization. When you’re better organized, you can spend more time enhancing your beauty and putting forward your best face to the world!

Perfect Locks is a web site that offers a variety of Indian hair extensions and more! Learn more about Perfect Locks by stopping by their About Me section on the site and don’t forget to check out their Facebook and Twitter page as well. Plus, browse the huge hairstyle picture galleries and read up on the latest fashion, beauty trends and tips on their blog.

--guest post

12/18/12

New Year's Eve Entertaining on a Budget

New York Times best-selling author and lifestyle/entertaining expert, Cheryl Najafi encourages you to simplify your lifestyle by ‘breaking the rules’ of proper entertaining. Here are some of her fabulous ideas for New Year’s Eve entertaining ideas on a budget:
  • Buy gold or silver ornaments on sale after Christmas.
  • Use gold confetti or metallic shredded gift filler (crinkle paper) on the buffet tables to add a festive feel.
  • Take a clock off the wall and use it to toast every hour until midnight.
  • Make a holiday sparkling punch to serve instead of champagne.
  • Try buying Prosecco instead of champaign. Less expensive and gives Nice bright citrus tones.
  • Buy a large cheese cake or layered cake (freeze the layer cake for easy cutting the night before—it will thaw in the glasses) cut into 1x1 inch squares, put in shot glasses with a dollop of whip cream. Your cake will go soooo much further.
  • Prepare comfort foods like sloppy joes or shredded chicken and make it decadent with mini rolls—looks elegant but is inexpensive.
  • Shot or martini glasses with mashed potatoes make for perfect vessels for a mashed potato bar. Again, these look great and don't cost anything to make. You can find disposable glasses for easy clean up.
For more great ideas, check out Cheryl's book at the link below!

12/17/12

Time is Running Out - Holiday Gift Guide

Don't miss out on the perfect gift!
Time is running out.
Click HERE to see great gift ideas
for her, for him, for kids, and for pets.

Baskin-Robbins Holiday Ice Cream Cakes - Review

Brighten up your holiday table with a delicious Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream Cake! You can choose from a jolly Santa, a frosty Snowman, or a mischevious Elf design. These dome-shaped delectable desserts can be customized with your favorite ice cream flavor, including the December flavor of the month - mint chocolate chip.
Each holiday ice cream cake has a layer of cake, a layer of ice cream, then decorative icing on top. Big enough to serve up to 12 people, these are perfect gifts to take to a hostess this season and each makes a beautiful table centerpiece for holiday dinner.
I visited my local Baskin-Robbins and pulled this adorable Santa ice cream cake from their freezer to take home. The young lady working there was kind enough to come over and carry it to the register. She was very friendly and encouraged us to let it sit out a few minutes before cutting.
I could hardly wait to cut into it to see what flavor was lurking behind Santa's jolly grin. Luckily the ride home was just about enough time for it to soften a bit and we cut into an amazing marble of chocolate and vanilla with a ribbon of caramel running through it. YES PLEASE!!!
It's absolutely scrumptious, from the cake to the ice cream to the icing on Santa's beard. Everyone in my family had a piece (my husband had two) and we all agreed that Baskin-Robbins made this dessert extra special.
Visit the many Baskin-Robbins nationwide locations and order a Holiday Ice Cream Cake. Your family will be as excited as mine! You can find your closet location at www.baskinrobbins.com. Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter too.
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

VTech InnoTab 2S Wi-Fi Learning App Tablet - Review

You cannot imagine the joy in my preschool classroom over a tablet made just for kids! The VTech InnoTab 2S is designed for ages 3-9 years old, available in blue or pink. Children can sign in under their own name and select activities from the many icons for music, games, e-reader, art studio, and more. There's also a camera and video recorder built right into the InnoTab 2S!
When it first arrived, I hooked it up to my laptop and registered at www.vtechkids.com. From there I was able to download all kinds of great apps. One of the kids' favorite apps is Sort the Seals. I was even able to apply a winter theme to the home screen. At the website, I found the Online Learning Center and VTech University too. There are also cartridges available for the InnoTab 2S and we received the Read, Play and Create which the kids loved. I love the rubber corners because children can sometimes be a bit rougher on electronics but this one holds up very well to my preschoolers!
The InnoTab 2S talks to the child, offering them choices and helping them navigate. It's very user friendly, comes with a plastic stylus, and even has a built in easel stand. Some of the games are even motion-activated and the children tilt the InnoTab 2S to play. The music app allows you to load any music on it you want, so I loaded it up with children's music. The music app even has animated colors to go with the music. As a preschool teacher, I'm completely impressed and thrilled with the VTech InnoTab 2S and have already recommended it to all the parents of my students.
Reviews from the preschoolers: "Miss Lisa, you have the best toys!" and "You think Santa will bring me one?" and "This is cooler than my sister's game!" Your kids are going to love it too! Visit VTech to learn more about the InnoTab 2S.

Disclosure: I have received VTech InnoTab 2S to facilitate my review.

Apollo Electronic Cigarette - Review

If you're looking for an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, Apollo Electronic Cigarettes has a starter kit that contains everything you need to stay charged while you're on the go! The Standard Starter Kit includes 1 Portable Charger Pack (PCC) which charges your ecig battery on the go, 2 long-lasting lithium batteries, 1 handy USB charger and 1 wall adaptor, 1 FREE pack of 5 cartomizers in the flavor of your choice.
Things I love about Apollo ecig products:
  • The Portable Charger Pack is a genius idea, charging batteries and providing a protective case for me at the same time.
  • The Tobacco flavor cartomizer and the Coffee flavor cartomizer taste amazing.
  • The Jewel Case is sharp-looking and designed so that I can carry a battery with a cartomizer attached, plus an extra battery and cartomizer.
  • The black batteries with the blue tip are so fashionable.
  • The box the Standard kit comes in is a great storage box for everything Apollo.
  • The wall adaptor plug folds in several directions.

I also liked the Apollo vanilla flavor cartomizers, but I didn't really care much for the cherry flavor cartomizers. Honestly, that's one of the great things about ecigs over traditional smokes - there are flavors to suit every taste! Each cartomizer offers about 200 puffs (about 15 regular cigarettes) plus you get free shipping, 30 day money back guarantee, and a one year warranty.
Electronic cigarettes have been a fabulous alternative to traditional cigarettes for me because there is no stink, no ashes, no cigarette butts, plus I can smoke almost anywhere because there is no smoke, just vapor! It's been over two months since I had a traditional cigarette and I'm so glad I quit that stinky bad habit.
Check out www.apolloecigs.com and discover the wide variety of electronic cigarette products, from the Variable Voltage Ecig to disposables and even ecigars! You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. When I visited their website today, I noticed they are offering a limited time special discount so be sure to check it out!
Disclosure: I received these products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Winners List Updated

Thank you for entering my giveaways!
Here are the newest winners!
All winners chosen via Random.org.
Enter more giveaways HERE!

The 3 Day Test DVD - Debra Hall

Fagor Slow Juicer - Peggy Contestal

Vinyl Disorder Wall Quote - Dee Seahawk

Green Smoke E-Cig Pro-Kit - Mary Calabrese

$25 American Express GC - Tracy Simms

$50 Giftcard.com GC - Samantha W (bege...@yahoo)

Looback Gold Ring - Rhonda Laney

Looback Frog Ear Cuff - Jessica Marie Robinson

$40 Novica GC - Wild Orchid (wildor...@gmail)

Torani Prize Pack - Michelle Pickett

Naked Princess Lip Gloss - Elle Tucker

Mrs. Smith's Pie - Deb C (missd...@earthlink)

Strike a Match - Leah Carty-Blanton

Jesus Rx - Pam (sweet...gmail)

Fit a Flat 1 Step Kit - Sandy VanHoey

Hands-On Discovery Lab - Michelle Pickett

Green Smoke Electronic Cigarette Special Offer

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12/16/12

Win $50 Paypal or Amazon - Blood Oath Book Blast

Blood Oath by T.L. Clarke

The battle against pure evil begins. Friendships are betrayed. Rivals bond...and powers collide. Before I discovered that I was born into a secret society called the Eternals, blood-oath Warriors sworn to track and slay the dark and evil creatures that walk the shadows of the earth, the only major thing that I, I mean we--that's me, Jessica, Rosalinda, and Zora--cared about was starting our freshman year at Vineswell Academy, the prestigious boarding school for girls. But that was way before the blinders were cruelly ripped from our eyes and cold reality slapped us on the back of our heads with a chain of not-so-nice realities, like the fact that everything we knew about our mothers was all lies, essentially smoke and mirrors designed to hide their very secretive lives as Circles, women Warriors inside the very deadly world of the Eternal Warriors.

Excerpt
            “Your wicked magic will not work on me, Eternal. The choice is simple. Break the curse.” His voice was smooth like honey, coaxing and very mesmerizing.

            I laughed bitterly. “Using the enthrall spell will not ease the pain of my final decision.” Part of me was quaking in my shoes, but the other part was
irrationally calm. The conflicting emotions were tearing me apart. I looked at him with more calm than I was actually feeling as I continued, “I cannot give you what you want. The curse remains until sacrifices are made.”

            What in the world was I saying? I was practically sealing my death by telling him no. The Gabrielle side of my brain was screaming to just tell him what he wanted to hear to save my life, but the soul that was currently possessing me was saying quite the opposite.

            Tears slipped down my cheeks. “What shall your sacrifice be?”

            “You,” he responded in a voice laced with pure venom.

            I watched unflinchingly as his swords roared with flames, slicing smoothly into my body. Fire encircled me; wicked flames licked my skin without mercy, burning me from the outside in. I gasped with pain, banging against the shell of my body with all my might, but I was unwillingly trapped inside of the fiery tomb of pain. I silently begged
for escape as the heat smothered me, until the rational part of my brain screamed furiously that this was just a dream; just wake up, and it would be over. Or would it?

            “Gabi!”

            I heard my name being called, but it was distorted and warped, like it was being called through a wind tunnel.

            “Gabi, wake up.”


ENTER BELOW TO WIN!

Free Shipping Day December 17

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