10/18/13

One Simple Change to Save You Money

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Right now, the weather in Texas is dreamy. We're having cool morning breezes, warm afternoons, and chilly nights. It's the time of year my pocketbook loves most, because we require no air conditioning and no heating, which saves us well over $200 a month. If you live further north, you may already be using your heater and I know some of you have had your first snowfall of the season. One simple change you can make this year that will save you money on energy costs, is to replace your old thermostat with a programmable thermostat. It allows you to set different temperatures for different times of the day and night, for when you're away from the home, and when you're sleeping under heavy winter blankets. Some programmable thermostats even have a "zoned system" so you can set different temperatures in multiple areas of your house so you're not spending money to heat unused areas.
Do you already have one in your home? Great! Well, here's some money-saving information about your programmable thermostat that you may not know. The location of your thermostat in your home can actually change the efficiency of your HVAC system. Your thermostat should always be located away from all vents and heating and cooling units. If it's too close, the on/off cycles will be shorter, which causes the system to start and stop more often, which in turn causes your energy costs to go up. Plus, your heating/air conditioning system is going to wear out much faster, which can cost thousands of dollars to replace. The very best location for a programmable thermostat is in an open hallway where it can regulate all of the rooms in your house as equally as possible.

In our last house, a two-story house, our programmable thermostat was centrally located downstairs. It would have been perfect placement for a one-story house, but the downstairs was always very drafty because of doors opening and closing all day long for the kids and the pets. This caused our heat to kick on every time the downstairs temperature fell beneath our temperature setting. The upstairs was almost always too hot, because the thermostat couldn't regulate the second floor, plus heat always rises. Had I understood the importance of where a programmable thermostat should be, I would have contacted the HVAC experts at a local energy company, like Bigham's One Hour in Santa Rosa, for an inspection and possible relocation to better meet the needs of that house. Our current house is a one story house and the programmable thermostat is already centrally located, so I'm hoping we'll see some savings on our heating bill this year. And we can always throw on an extra layer of clothing and snuggle to keep warm!

Mugging! Baking Mixes in a Mug by Shirley J - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
I am SO excited to share Mugging! by Shirley J with you. Taking cake in a mug to a whole new level, Shirley J has created a line of incredibly delicious baking mixes that allow you to bake a treat in the microwave in 90 seconds. Each packet is a single serving, so it's perfect for a quick snack, breakfast, or dessert for one.
There are eight fabulous flavor mixes to choose from - Chocolate Brownie Cake, Old-Fashioned Yellow Cake and Cobbler, Country Style Cornbread, Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownie Cake, Pumpkin Spice Bread, Walnut Bread, Quiche in a Cup, and No-Pan Pancake. I could hardly wait to get started baking and tasting!
My first Mugging! was the Quiche in a Cup. I've never actually made quiche because it's one of those meals that falls under the "way too much work for me" category. I was truly AMAZED at how easy it was to make my own little personal quiche! In under three minutes, I mixed and baked a mini quiche that was heavenly. It was light and fluffy, cheesy and satisfying.
The single serving idea is a great way to follow portion control guidelines. When something tastes this delicious it's easy to overeat, but when the mug is empty I know I'm done. The quiche filled me up for breakfast and I wasn't hungry all morning. You don't have to limit yourself to the basic packet either. Try adding some bacon or ham pieces, or diced peppers and onions, or use a spicy jalapeno cheese in it!
Next up, I wanted to try the Chocolate Brownie Cake. This Mugging! recipe calls only for water and the Shirley J packet mix. Of course you can always add more yummy things like chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, or even some mini marshmallows. I wanted to try it straight up so I could taste the original creation.
My Chocolate Brownie Cake came out looking exactly like the one in the tutorial above from the Mugging! website. That kind of thing NEVER happens for me. Then I let it cool down; okay, AFTER I ignored the directions to wait a few minutes and thereby burned the tip of my tongue in my impatience, I let it cool down. You can add frosting if you want to, but trust me you really don't need it.
Look below at the scrumptious, moist cake I made in just 90 seconds. It's easy and fun; imagine the fun your kids would have making their own No-Pan Pancake for breakfast. Keep a mug and a couple of Mugging! mixes in your office desk drawer for those days you can't get away for lunch. Honestly, if you are looking for a gift for ANY one for ANY reason, give them a Mugging! Gift Set. They will thank you again and again. I can hardly wait to try the other mixes and I'll share my thoughts on them in another post later. That Pumpkin Spice Bread is calling my name...
Visit www.shirleyj.com for more information and to check out her entire line of baking products. I highly recommend these products. Place your order before the holiday rush! There are recipes on the site too. You can also follow Shirley J on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Then enter below to win the absolutely adorable new Santa Mustache Mug, plus a Quiche in a Cup mix, Brownie Chocolate Cake mix, and flavor choice of another mix!

Win a Mugging! Prize Pack 
Giveaway is open to US residents, ages 18+. To enter, just fill out the form below. This giveaway ends at midnight on 11/3/2013. The Mugging! Prize Pack includes: Santa Mustache Mug, Quiche in a Cup, Brownie Chocolate Cake, and winner's choice of one more Mugging! mix. Good luck!

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The Importance of Casters

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Hospital attendants who transport patients to various places in the facility have a lot of responsibility to shoulder in their daily work. They must transport each patient to a particular destination in a timely way while keeping the patient comfortable. That's why a gurney with swivel casters is such an important piece of equipment for a hospital attendant.
Here are some of the benefits of having swivel casters on a hospital gurney.

First, swivel casters help a hospital attendant to steer a gurney. The easy movement of the casters allows the person to take the gurney around corners without risk of tipping. This can be especially helpful when transporting a patient around a set of winding, crowded hallways on a particular floor of a hospital. A hospital attendant must be able to steer the gurney into elevators and around corners in a manner that is safe for the patient as well as others walking the halls of the hospital.

Next, swivel casters on a gurney help an attendant to give the patient a smooth ride. If the gurney can be turned, backed up and otherwise maneuvered with ease, the patient doesn't experience a lot of jerky movements. Once again, this is of critical importance to the patient. Perhaps the patient is in pain from having surgery on his or her stomach or chest. A bumpy ride on a gurney to the x-ray department or elsewhere can put a patient in more pain. A gurney that can be moved in an easy, relaxed way is a benefit to both patient and attendant. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities that use gurneys and other forms of moving tables should note that Accesscasters.com offers swivel casters that are quality-made.

Finally, swivel casters on a hospital gurney usually have brakes on them. This is important because an attendant may need to stop the gurney in order to let someone pass in a narrow hallway. The gurney has brakes so it will not move or even slide a little bit forward. This gives the patient an extra element of safety when it comes to being transported around the hospital. In addition, when the attendant returns with the patient to his or her room, the patient may need to be lifted back onto the hospital bed from the gurney. The brakes will ensure that the gurney doesn't move and put the patient at risk of sliding off.

Which Bug Makes You #BugOut Most?

This post brought to you by The Orkin Ecologist. All opinions are 100% mine.
Bugs are creepy, crawling, scary, and disgusting to a lot of people, including me! The one that scares me most is spiders. Orkin doesn't fear bugs; instead they study them. The top 10 bug phobias according to the Orkin Ecologist are Arachnophobia (fear of spiders), Apiphobia (fear of bees), Myrmecophobia (fear of ants), Entomophobia (general fear of insects), Isopteraphobia (fear of termites), Katsaridaphobia (fear of cockroaches), Mottephobia (fear of moths), Spheksophobia (fear of wasps), Scoleciphobia (fear of worms), and the fear of all flying objects (which has no scientific name, and that kind of bugs me).
Even though I know spiders are good for the environment, and even though they eat other bugs that drive me crazy ( like mosquitos and flies), I totally #BugOut about them. No matter how small a spider really is, something likes this:
really looks like THIS to me!
Orkin has been studying bugs (even spiders!) for 100 years because knowing your enemy is half the fight. Their scientists help find the best ways to control pests so we can keep them out of our homes. They even created the "Ecologist Site" to help inform, to educate, and to celebrate science and the uniqueness of bugs. It is a fantastic resource for science lovers (and spider haters) of all ages. You can also follow the Orkin Ecologist on Facebook and Pinterest! If you have a fear of bugs or a fascination with bugs, you should definitely check them out. Teachers and homeschooling parents can share the information and photos on these sites with students. They offer tons of ideas and examples for great teachable moments and knowledge is the best way to discourage phobias early on. When I was teaching preschoolers, I had several who were fearful of bugs, so I had to swallow my fear to avoid inflicting my fear onto them. We used bug jars to collect bugs and magnifying glasses to see them up close. We made craft bugs and sang songs about bugs. It was definitely successful in calming their bug phobias. But I still hate spiders!
Which bug makes YOU #BugOut most? Leave a comment below or tweet with the hashtag #BugOut.
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New Winners on Planet Weidknecht

Congratulations to the newest winners!

Marti Tabora - Planet Weidknecht Tshirt

Helen May - Planet Weidknecht Tshirt

Tammy Schiff - $50 Gift Certificate to Uncommon Goods

Michelle Pineda - Zymbol Bracelet

Thanks to all who entered!
The more you enter, the better your chances of winning,
so go enter my current giveaways

LoadedShirts - 2nd Amendment Gun Shirt - Review


Disclosure: I received this shirt at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
I don't think I've ever seen my husband happier to review a shirt for me! If he weren't always so composed, he probably would have jumped up and down like a three year old. Johnny has worn this shirt at least once a week since we received it. We are staunch supporters of 2nd Amendment rights in this Texas home! He loves opportunities to make a statement about it. LoadedShirts.com is now his favorite clothing store. This AK-47 Nutrition gun shirt is just one of many they offer.
Their incredible collection of gun shirts includes shirts for men and women. Shopping at LoadedShirts.com means you can shop in the privacy of your own home, with no NSA security cameras watching your every move! Just choose the statement you want to make, pick a shirt color and size, and place your order. They even have some great bumper stickers to warn tailgaters that you know your rights.
The quality of these shirts is excellent, which is necessary when you have a fashion-forward gun lover in your house who wants to wear it often. Johnny has gotten TONS of compliments about the shirt and lots of people ask where he got it. Stand up for your 2nd Amendment rights! Shop HERE today!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Dorm Decor for Dudes - featuring Walls Need Love

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
When my boys went to college this fall, there was a distinct difference from when my daughter went. Whereas she needed tons of room decor to make her space feel like her home, the boys were content to just unpack their boxes and stick stuff wherever it fit. It was nice NOT to have to spend a fortune on foo-foo stuff for a change. But regardless, dorm room walls are blank, drab, and boring. Ryan's college strictly forbids nails in the wall, so picture hanging is a challenge. Walls Need Love is the perfect solution!
Their wall decals are stunning enlarged photos (and more) that adhere right to the wall. They are so simple to install - just peel off the backing and smooth the decal onto the wall. When it's time to move, they easily peel off with absolutely NO damage to the wall and no remaining residue (can you say room deposit refund?). They can even be used again and again!
Their selection is huge with hundreds of beautiful scenery shots, cool urban scenes, inspirational quotes, wall maps, and even chalkboards. Walls Need Love will even custom-make something for you! Ryan chose Canyons, a breathtaking view of red canyon walls. Isn't it amazing?
Visit www.wallsneedlove.com to discover how easy and affordably you can change the look of an entire room! Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for more great design and decorating tips and ideas. Then go HERE and enter to win a $25 Gift Card from Walls Need Love!

25 Stupidly Easy Recipes for Fall

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Free Fall Fashions - Legwear Giveaway for Ladies

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10/17/13

Heather's First Halloween - Throwback Thursday #TBT

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It's Throwback Thursday!

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Take a stroll down memory lane with us and join in!

Hoppy Halloween!
This was Heather's first Halloween (1991) and she was 11 months old.
She had a fascination for bunnies (bun-bun as she called them)
as you can see by the multiple bunnies in the red wagon behind her!
She was excited over the bunny costume in the store, but hated wearing the hat!
I wonder who ate all her Halloween candy that year?!?

Adagio ActiviTEA Portable Tea Infuser Tumbler and Teas - Review


Disclosure: I received products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Drinking tea is so good for you (and for me)! It's good for your bone strength, brain function, tooth health, and weight loss. It helps prevent arthritis, cancer, and stroke. It helps you lose weight, fight depression, and strengthens your immunity. Isn't it great that something SO delicious is so beneficial? Adagio Teas knows the benefits and strives to make the most delicious teas.
Their farm-fresh artisan tea comes in a wide variety of flavors and I received three to try out in their new ActiviTEA Portable Tea Infuser Tumbler. The portable tumbler comes with three simple parts...a stainless steel infuser, a screwtop lid, and a double-walled borosilicate glass that maintains temperature. It even has an attached flexible strap.
The ActiviTEA tumbler couldn't be simpler to use. Just fill the tumbler with hot water, choose a flavor of loose tea or a tea bag, place it on the steel infuser (which looks like a tiny colander), put the lid on the infuser, and screw the lid/infuser combo securely onto the tumbler.
Then, just flip the entire tumbler upside down and let the tea steep. I steeped mine about fifteen minutes. I did turn it up and down about halfway through the time, just to make sure I was getting all the taste from the tea that I could.
Once you've achieved the color/strength you like most, flip it right side up and remove the lid/infuser combo to dispose of the tea bag. The lid can then be screwed directly onto the tumbler. I love the tumbler and the only thing I would change would be to put the strap on the top part of the lid instead of the infuser, because once the infuser is removed, so it the strap.
Adagio sent me three teas to try in my tumbler...a peachy oolong tea (used in my photos) that came in a tea bag, a mango black tea and a mango green tea (both of which are loose teas). The peachy oolong tea and mango green are really good, but my absolute favorite is the mango black tea. It's their best-selling tea!
Visit www.adagio.com to see their huge line of artisan teas and other related products. They even offer free shipping for orders over $49. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. This Tumbler and a few selections of teas would make a wonderful gift for someone!
Mango Black Tea
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Little Ghosts and Goblins LOVE Pirate's Booty

Disclosure: I received products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Ahoy, mateys! Look at the special treasure I'm handing out this Halloween! Parents can swap sugar-laden candy treats for Pirate’s Booty, a deliciously baked, all-natural snack that kids love and moms can feel good about adding to the Halloween treat bowl! Pirate’s Booty has less fat and fewer calories than traditional Halloween candy and zero grams of sugar.
Pirate’s Booty is also gluten, peanut and tree-nut free, so it’s safe for trick-or-treaters or classmates with these common food allergies. Pirate’s Booty is made without trans-fats and ingredients you can’t pronounce. Plus, the Pirate is already dressed for the occasion!
This year, it will be easier than ever to pass out Pirate’s Booty, as Target and Super Target stores across the county will be offering special Halloween 20-packs of half-ounce, 65-calorie bags of Pirate’s Booty Aged White Cheddar. The Halloween 20-packs of Pirate’s Booty will be available from mid-September through October.
Pirate's Booty is amazingly delicious and hopefully I won't eat them all before those little ghosts and goblins come knocking on my door this Halloween. They might make me walk the plank!

Seeking Bloggers for Gift Card Giveaway Hop

Join us for the 
Gift Card Giveaway Hop
from December 2 - 10, 2013

By adding your blog link below, you agree to:
Post a dedicated giveaway for this event, from December 2, 2013 at 12:01a.m. until December 10, 2013 at 11:59p.m. Giveaway may be company-sponsored or self-sponsored. Giveaway prize must be a GIFT CARD worth at least $25.00. Blogs without giveaways posted by noon on December 2 will be removed from the linky list. Signups close on November 30.

You do not need to post in advance of the giveaway hop, but if you'd like to add the button to your sidebar please link it to this post so that others may join in too.

Please also join the Weidknecht Events Facebook Group at:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/WeidknechtEvents/

Your giveaway post (on December 2) must include:
Gift Card Giveaway Hop button
Link to the hosts http://www.weidknecht.com and http://leahsaysviews.com/
Provided linky list of all participating bloggers
Your giveaway and contest form

Sign Up Here:

Shabby Apple Vintage Style Clothing - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received a dress at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
It's time to start shopping for all your new fall fashions. I love Shabby Apple! They have a huge selection of vintage clothing including dresses, tops, bottoms, shoes, and accessories. I usually end up spending about an hour just browsing the website. Their clothing is always tasteful and very classy. I chose this beautiful plum A-line dress, called My Vow To You, which is actually part of their bridesmaids dresses collection. The deep color is rich and perfect for this time of year!
The material is 95% polyester and 5% spandex, so it's amazingly comfortable to wear. It is machine-washable too, which is usually a requirement in the clothing I buy. Two features I love in this dress are the pleated skirt (which helps hide an extra few pounds) and the side zipper (which makes getting dressed easier). The solid color means I can accessorize with just about any color or pattern of belt, scarf, or blazer. This dress runs a bit small, so I chose the size above what I usually wear and it fits the way I want. I love my new Shabby Apple dress! Go check out their fabulous line of clothing and follow their social media accounts so you can be first to hear about new fashions and special sales. Then enter below to win!
on Facebook ~~ on Twitter
on Google+ ~~ on Pinterest ~~ on Instagram

Shabby Apple Giveaway!
Enter below to win your choice of any Shabby Apple vintage clothing item from this list: Snapdragon, Heart of Me, Dressage, Grand National, Hackney, Captain, Admiral, Cut the Cake, At Last, At First Site, My Vow to You, Maid of Honor, Together Forever, Ever After, Save the Date, Moon River, Ski Bop, Some Like it Hot, Tiber, Andes Skirt, Jetty Skirt, Ballerina, Nantucket, Boogie Woogie, Marigold Skirt, Lime Ricki Skirt, Park Picnic Skirt, Hully Gully Skirt, or Newcomb Skirt. Giveaway is open to US residents, ages 18 and older. Giveaway ends at midnight on 10-31-2013. Good luck!

Stampin' Up! Everyday Occasions Kit - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received a kit at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
As a long-time scrapbooker, I am very familiar with the brand name Stampin' Up! They always offer high quality stamping and scrapbooking products. The brand-spanking new Everyday Occasions kit is a collection of products designed to make card creating simple and quick.
The Everyday Occasions kit comes with cards, envelopes, papers, die cuts, stickers, stamps, inks, yarn, adhesives, buttons, envelopes and much more. The colors are all complementary and can be mixed and matched in hundreds of different ways.
If you are new to stamping and card making, it even comes with a full color sheet of ideas and examples to get you started. It is a fabulous way to make your gifts even more personal for birthday, love, thank you, for you, congratulations, and thinking of you.
I'm THAT person that always forgets until the last minute to buy a card. Now I can use my Everyday Occasions kit and make a card in just minutes. The handy storage box stores all the supplies in one place so I can find exactly what I need. I can even make up a bunch of cards in advance and keep them in the box until the occasion arises.
I love this kit and I know you will too! Everything in the kit meets the same high quality standard of every Stampin' Up! product. Do you keep greeting cards you've received? Many store-bought cards end up in the trash, but handmade cards are a treasure.
You can buy this Everyday Occasions kit HERE 
and be sure to enter below to WIN the kit! 
*PSST...This is a great gift idea!
Here's my first card and envelope made from this kit!

Stampin' Up! Online

on Facebook ~~~ on Twitter
on Pinterest ~~~ on YouTube

Win the Everyday Occasions Kit from Stampin' Up!
Open to US residents, ages 18+
Giveaway ends at midnight on 11-3-2013.
Good luck and happy stamping!