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Making Your Own Book Of Love With Blurb

Published February 2, 2015 by suejansons

Even if you’re not in a romantic relationship (or if you are and just want to do something special for yourself), you can still make a book that’s all about love—the things that YOU love. It’s about time you did something for yourself, right? Get some inspiration here.

Here’s how you can go about it:

First, figure out what you’re writing about. Are you passionate about photography? Cooking? Your kids? Your pets? Design or fashion? If it’s more than one subject, could they work together? For instance, if you love cooking and also enjoy taking great photos, you’re definitely in luck when it comes to documenting your creations.

Once you’ve picked your subject, start collecting your material. If you aren’t the greatest photographer in the world, ask a talented friend to take pictures or use an app like Instagram to make your photos gorgeous. The hard part might be picking your absolute favorites—I know I have a hard time not including almost every shot I take.

Next, either start your book online or download Blurb’s handy book-making software and start laying out your book. You can use just your photos or add text (like captions) or even just write about what you love. Here’s a tip—use stories from your blog or emails you’ve sent as written material.

Once you’ve arranged your content on your pages, check to make sure everything’s just right and hit order. You’ll have a book that’s all about what you love and a Valentine’s Day gift (for yourself). Want to see some examples of great books? Check them out here.

My husband and I made a book before we got married and we absolutely love it! Hope you create something you love, too!

(All opinions are my own. If you purchase a book using my links, I may be compensated.)

 

 

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Skin Care Is Important Part 2

Published February 1, 2015 by suejansons

Make up remover

This is my 2nd installment of my skin care series. This one deals with make up remover. We all know how important it is to remove make up, not to mention dirt and oil from our faces. It is especially important as you get older. So ladies, no matter what your age, get into good skin care habits now! You will be so glad you did!

Whatever you do, do not use soap! This is worse than not removing it, in my opinion. Soap is very drying and removes the moisture from your skin. No Bueno! If you are using soap, stop immediately! I am following up with the cheapest, most awesome makeup remover! You will swear by it once you try it!

I used to use Mary Kay make up remover. I will tell you this. It is a great product! For a long time, it was the only product I would use to remove makeup. There is only one problem. It cost too much for me. I have a few friends that are Mary Kay consultants, and I know that all the Mary Kay products are great and I feel like they are worth the price, but my budget disagrees. Sorry my Mary Kay friends!

So I scoured Pinterest and found a few recipes for making your own make up remover. Most of them used the same ingredients, which made me feel good about trying them. And the best part is that it literally costs pennies for each batch you make.

What you will need is:

Baby Shampoo (About $4 for the large bottle)

Baby Oil (About $4 for the large bottle)

Water (Free!)

Container (Depends on the size, and you could use something you already have in your home. I paid $ 1.79 for a 3 oz bottle)

Super simple, right? And all the ingredients still cost less than one bottle of a quality make up remover. So, I purchased all of these items and started experimenting. The first batch worked well, but I didn’t think that it had the same feel as I was used to and liked. So I continued mixing batches until I found the right combination.

So here is my tried and true recipe! And you can always experiment yourself to make it the mix that you like.

Put the following in a container to store and use.

Two Ounces Water

1 Teaspoon Baby Shampoo

2 Tablespoons Baby Oil

Shake well to mix ingredients. Always shake before use. For larger containers, just double your batch.

I have also seen where people add these ingredients into a mason car and keep the cotton pads in the container. I personally prefer to keeping it in a bottle.

I have one other important tip that I would like to share. Always use cotton pads. Never use tissues. And always follow up with a good quality moisturizer.

Watch for my next installment in my skin care series coming soon!

Have a tip to share? Want to see a specific topic? Please comment below!

 

 

 

 

Striiv Touch Equals Motivation

Published January 14, 2015 by suejansons

So on New Years Day, I posted how I was going to become more active. You can read that here. Well, I am happy to report that I am sticking to it thus far! I have been taking our dog for walks nightly, as long as it isn’t pouring. I have also gone to Disney four times since Christmas, which ALWAYS equals a lot of walking. And let’s not forget I am walking a 5K in April!

I have a hard time keeping motivated, as I am sure many people do. In order to help me stay motivated, I got myself a Striiv Touch band. It is a lot like the Fitbit, which my hubby uses, but it has a couple of features that I really like that the Fitbit does not. The first feature is a game. Yes an actual game that you play on your smart phone. It is called My Land. I have to admit that it is not the most exciting game, but in order to level up, you need to walk to get energy. And you need energy to grow things and to level up your plants, etc.

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You need to grow plants and build buildings in your world and you can get all sorts of mythical creatures to live there. Right now I have a lemur, and ostrich (neither of which are mythical, lol) a fairy, a dragon, and a few half men half horse creatures. I have only been using the band since Sunday, and Sunday was not a very big walking day. At least not after I got the band. I am competitive enough to want to do well in the game. LOL

The other really cool thing that Striiv does is it will donate water to places where clean water is hard to come by! In the app, you can hit the Walkathon button and all your steps go towards a water donation. I have not tried it yet because I am saving it for when I know I am going to walk a long time. So the next time I go to Disney, I plan on getting a LOT of water donated. So cool!

Those are just two features that I have not found in another pedometer type band. There are plenty of other great features too. For one, you can set up your own goals for steps or distance, and calories to burn. Mine came with the preset of 10,000 steps, but during the week, that isn’t happening for me. I work a desk job with little opportunity to walk far. So, I have my goal set for 3000 steps. My hope is that once I improve my stamina, I will be able to walk longer in the evenings. Right now I walk at least a mile in the evening.

Striiv Touch also tracks your sleep. This has been an interesting feature for me because I know I do not sleep very well. I can see from the data that I am very restless for a lot of the night. I hope that when I walk longer, it will make me more tired and I will sleep better. Only time will tell. But, it is interesting to see when you are in deep sleep and when you move around. The only thing I have an issue with as far as the sleep mode goes is that you have to place the band into sleep mode and take it off that mode in the morning. It would be so nice if it would be intuitive and switch modes by itself. I know the next Fitbit is supposed to have this feature.

With the Srtiiv app you can add friends like many other fitness apps. It allows you to chat and even keeps track of who is walking the most and reached their goals. All in all, I am really happy with all the features.

I definitely recommend the Striiv line of fitness bands. I am very happy with mine, and I can’t wait to walk at Disney and reap all my energy in my game and donate water! LOL But, I will say this. Whatever you do, go out and move. It doesn’t really matter what fitness band you get, or if you even get one! Just get out and walk. Breathe some fresh air, move your muscles. I feel quite a bit more energetic already and  I haven’t been walking regularly for very long.

Hope you are having a fantastic day!  Stop by again soon!

Skin Care is Important! Part 1

Published January 12, 2015 by suejansons

As my mother would say, I am not a spring chicken anymore. The older we get, the more important skin care becomes. The number one rule of skin care is moisturize and sun protection! It really is the foundation of healthy skin.

When I was planning my wedding, I went to a bridal expo and was invited to a bridal pampering session. Moisturizing was the theme of the day. As you get older it becomes more apparent. Your skin changes and it takes more work to have your skin looking fresh and youthful. It was during this time that I really paid attention to the experts about skin care.

With all that being said, you really need to be choosey about your moisturizer. And ladies (and gentlemen) you are never too young to start taking care of your skin. The sooner you start, the better your skin will be as you get older. You also need to find the right moisturizer for your skin. It makes a difference if you have dry, oily or combination skin. And, I am sad to say, it also depends on your age.

You know I am one to save money on anything I can, but I must tell you that this is one product that you do not want to skimp on. I am over 40, so I need added age fighting ingredients. I was so excited when I was chosen to try InstaNatural Youth Express Vitamin C Moisturizer! It has everything I was looking for! It uses many age fighting ingredients and antioxidants, which I love. It contains Vitamin C of course, as well as Niacinimide, Hyaluronic Acid, Peptide Complex and MSM. You can get it on Amazon here.  And, a little of this moisturizer goes a long way so it will last you a long time.

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But of course you want to know how it works, don’t you? The lotion is very rich and smooth. You only need the size of a pea to cover your face. You can always put on more, but you cannot put extra back. The first time I used it, I definitely used to much, but I also put it on my hands so I was actually able to really get a sense of how well it works. And the product is long lasting. Even through washing my hands a couple of times, my hands still felt soft and hydrated.

After about a week, I found that my fine lines were less noticeable. I am really excited about using it for a while. I just wish it included sun protection.

 

I was also given a bottle of Vitamin C Serum. This is like the super booster to the moisturizer! It contains argon oil, which has become popular of late. Experts are raving at the results of using the oil regularly. If you want to find out more about argon oil, I read this article. Many people feel like it is such a great product that they are using it without moisturizing. There are other oils in this serum as well, which also have restorative benefits. They are Sea Buckthorn oil and Rosehip oil. It also includes many of the same anti aging ingredients that are in the moisturizer. You can get it here. It is selling for $ 16.75, but worth every penny in my opinion. And just like the moisturizer, a little goes a long way.

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I started using this product just around my eyes at first because that it what I thought the product was for. I have since found out that you can use it on your entire face. I cannot wait to see the results of that! I have seen a difference around my eyes already. The skin tone is evening out and my lines are fading. I cannot wait to see what it does all over!

The serum has a pleasant scent. I believe it is the pomegranate, which I love.

I use both products after I cleanse and tone my face. I have really seen a difference since using these products.

I have received these products for free to test, but all opinions are my own. You can check out these and other products from this company at their website: http://instanatural.com

Instanatural

 

Of course, you want to make sure you get the most of your products, so here are some tips for applying moisturizer. There tips also work for the serum!

1. Wear sunscreen every day. Try using a moisturizer that has SPF, that way you don’t have to add an extra step to your morning routine.
2. Never sleep with your makeup on. Washing your face at night will prevent any dirt and impurities from seeping into your skin and causing breakouts.
3. To lock-in extra moisture, apply your moisturizer when your skin is still slightly damp.
4. Clean your makeup brushes. Not only does old makeup start to build up on the bristles, but dust particles will stick to them as well. Be sure to wash your brushes at least once a week using any hair shampoo you have handy. You will notice quite the difference in makeup application and the clearness of your skin. Especially with sensitive skin, also make sure to use synthetic brushes (such as Tweezerman brush iQ).
5. Drink no less than 8 glasses of water a day. Hydration is important on both the inside and out. Use our Hydrating mask twice a week to infuse moisture to the skin. The Spirulina Extract in this face mask provides a reservoir of water which it releases into the skin when needed.

If you want to know how to add hydrating foods to your diet, you can check out my post about that here.

Do you have additional tips for applying moisturizer? I would love it if you shared!

 

 

 

One Way To Save at Disney and More!

Published January 4, 2015 by suejansons

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If you have gone to Disney World , or any theme park for that matter, you know that you can spend a lot of money quickly. We have annual passes, which saves us a lot of money on entrance fees and parking, but it is easy to spend $100 for a day on food and drinks alone. If you follow me, you will know we are on a budget, so I try to save EVERYWHERE I can. I found this great app called ShopKick. I downloaded it to save meney during my regular shopping trips. By accident, I found that just about every purchase at Disney gives me kicks! ShopKick gives you kicks (or points) for walking in stores, scanning products, and purchasing items you would buy anyway. You can trade those kicks  in for gift cards. Pretty cool concept, in my opinion! You can download it here!

When you load the app, you then connect your credit and debit cards to your account so that purchases at participating stores are given kicks. BIG NOTE! If you use a debit card, you must use it as a credit transaction or it does not count towards purchases. I found this out the hard way.

Some stores give you kicks just for walking in. If you open the stores list on the app, it let’s you know which stores give you kicks for walk ins. In my area, Target and WalMart almost always give you kicks. Just have the app open when you walk in and your app will say hello and let you know how many kicks you got.

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Another way to get kicks is by scanning products. Just go to the store list, click the store you are at and it will give you a list of products to scan and the amount of kicks you will get for the scan. Just hit the scan icon of the product and the app lets you take a picture with your phone. Really easy.  Honestly, I am not sure why they do this, but it gives me points, so I do it. LOL. I can tell other people scan products too because many of the scan items already have the barcode facing out. Pretty funny really.

shopkick

The above picture is a sample of some of the stores and scan kicks you could get. Keep in mind that the picture shows high value scans from the holidays. These are not typical. But I say, if you are going there anyway, it is just a bonus, so it doesn’t matter to me how many kicks they are giving. During the holidays, the walk in points were 100 for many stores. Now they are at about 30 depending on the store.

Another perk of the ShopKick app is that they let you know about sales and deals going on at partner stores. I assume these are advertised deals, but I like the fact that you can go to the app, open the store you want to see and see all their top deals in one place.

So my post is about saving at Disney. We went to a Disney Park twice over the holidays. I did not tally up every penny we spent, but I know that we spent about $ 150 between the two days. As I said, all purchases gave me some points. I received a total of 930 kicks during our two visits. In my research, it looks like you get $2 for every 500 kicks, so I have earned almost $ 4 for my two visits. Sure, it may not seem like a lot, but  you would be spending this money anyway. Why not get something back for it? And the more you spend, the more kicks you get, so I feel a little less guilty when I spend money there. We got kicks for drinks, food and merchandise, which I think is pretty cool. One more word of caution. You must wait 30 days for purchase kicks to become available for redemption. But I am a patient women and looking forward to getting my gift cards! I am saving my kicks for a higher value gift card to Macy’s. So excited!

Even if you don’t go to Disney, this app will help you save. If you are a shopaholic, you will rack up the kicks really fast.

Download the app today here and start earning some gift cards! Happy shopping!

 

 

Instant Glamification

Published December 6, 2014 by suejansons

glamst 7

There is a new app on the market that will be taking the world by storm! It is called GlamST. You can download it free by clicking here https://itunes.apple.com/uy/app/glamst/id917490858?mt=8

It allows you to try on make up before you buy! How awesome is that? All you have to do is take a selfie using the app, choose your eye and hair color, skin tone and age. Then you define your features within the picture. Now all you have to do is choose the look you want!

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They have the most popular look to choose from, as well as the hottest celebrity looks.

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Simply choose the look you want and the app does the rest!

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And you can choose all the looks you want in minutes! It is just that easy! It also allows you to choose between a daytime and nighttime look with each option you choose.

Want to know an even more amazing feature?

Click the bottom make up icon and it tells you what make up will give you this look! And you can choose your budget too! And because it knows your eye color hair color and skin tone, the colors will look good on you! Seriously, the app gives you everything you need including the shades!

glamst 6

I have been using the app for a few days now. I have been having a lot of fun with it. I tried all of the looks available and I already have my must have and wish lists going! There are some looks I never would have imagined trying in real life that actually looked good! For instance, I always use a light shadow on my lids. I tried the Eva Mendes look which has darker shadow on the lids and I really, really like it! Needless to say, I am going to get those items to make that look for a Christmas party I am going to this weekend! I cannot wait!

I think this app is great for everyone. If you love makeup and like to experiment, this is a painless way to do so. If you are a mom that rarely wears makeup, this is perfect way to learn how to apply particular products to get the look you want when you finally do get to go on a date night.

For those of you that love to post selfies (and you know who you are) you can upload your favorite looks right from the app, and you didn’t even have to do any work!

So, check out this app! It is lots of fun! I want to thank BrandBacker for giving me the opportunity to play with this app. All opinions are my own.

http://glamst.com

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Would you try this app? Let me know in the comments below!

That Night A Book Review

Published June 9, 2014 by suejansons

I was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of “That Night” by Chevy Stevens from Chatterbox. I love to read so I was very excited to find out I was chosen. And psychological thrillers are definitely my thing.

that night

The story is about a girl just 18 that was accused of killing her sister. She was bullied in school and tried her best to stay out of trouble, but trouble seemed to find her. She had a boyfriend that had a bad reputation because of his dad. That didn’t help matters either. One night her life changed, and not for the better. She and her boyfriend were accused of murder. Unlike some stories, the two kids were sent to jail for a very long time.

After 10 long years, they get released, however they still have the stigma of their conviction. And they aren’t allowed to see or speak to each other. But they have to clear their names. Can they do it without losing their parole? They have to learn how to deal with regular life again. Parole officers, former classmates, and Toni’s parents, who still think she is guilty.

It is definitely a page turner. Once I started, I had a hard time putting the book down. I thought the plot was very well thought out and the ending was definitely a great twist. I never would have figured it out.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I think it is a great book for teens on up. I let my stepdaughter read the book. So far she likes it.

I love how Chevy Stevens tackled bullying and the effects it can have on peoples lives, even as adults. I highly recommend this story and I look forward to reading more of Ms. Steven’s books.

Have a Scentsational Day!

Sue

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