Monday, July 6, 2015

Life After Setbacks + Motivating Monday Link-Up

It's so hard to pick yourself back up after an epic fail. Don't I know! Especially after my 4th of July eating weekend. What a joke! You'd think that because I had finally reached a fairly good milestone for me (I lost 1 lb. last week! Woo hoo!) that I'd be so so careful over the weekend. But nooooo, I took that as permission to indulge myself! I must admit that we had a great time! We attended the 'Stadium of Fire' Fireworks show and concert starring 'Journey'! And before that, had a wonderful meal and desserts galore! It should NOT have been a big deal to pick it back up and go forward the very next day. But even today, Monday July 6th, I'm struggling to keep it together. After all, look at all those leftovers--the potato salad, the punch bowl cake, the meat, the pie, etc. etc. I blame holidays for my diet fails! Seriously, every time I get close to succeeding, a holiday or birthday rolls around!

But failed diets are probably the least important of all less-than-fun turns of events in life. I love this quote attributed to J.K. Rowling. She said, "Is fat really the worst thing a human being can be? Is fat worse than vindictive, jealous, shallow, vain, boring, evil, or cruel? Not to me!" Agreed!

Back to less-than-fun turns of events--What about that raise or cash windfall that never materializes? What about an unexpected illness that happens in your family or to yourself? What about a car or some other kind of accident? The ever-dreaded natural or man-made disaster that throws everything off?

It's still so close to the 4th of July. I'm wondering, are we a better nation than ever? Or are we a nation that has already seen its best days? Regardless, we have military personnel who have put their own lives on hold so they can serve us. It is really inconvenient to find oneself suddenly, for instance, missing a limb. One day  you're walking, the next day nothing works. But so often we sub-consciously think "Well, that's what they signed up for" and move along. But it's not what they signed up for. They signed up to come back home after their turn in the field. They sign up to be able to continue their lives once they finish serving. They have to pick it back up somehow too and that's one of the most difficult things a human being has to face. Not only is the body wounded, but so is the mind. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is real, apparently. Consider this true story of two brothers, both coming home from the military wounded and battle-scarred.(Christian references included) photo credit

Today is Motivating Monday!  We all need a little motivation!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for motivating, mostly non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos!  If I happen to find a great one, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MotivatingMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  Sometimes I miss some amazing posts.  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Don't be shy--I'm really very supportive!  Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase!

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Art Of Appreciation + #MotivatingMonday

Every day we have the ability to choose how we will look at our day. How many times do you make a note to yourself  about the little and big things that you are so lucky to have? I just recently was able to obtain something that I had almost given up having. It's pretty simple, but it's something that I relish and appreciate. I feel good that I can appreciate small things!
On the other hand, a woman that I really love in my own family, just got the word she has breast cancer. I'm so very saddened by this news. I know that she will be going through the hardest test she has ever faced, both she and her family. But I know she will come out of it strong. She has that positive attitude and it will turn her towards her family more than ever and she will appreciate the little things. She will surround herself with joy, beautiful things, and love. She will help to make our family stronger.
 My heart hurts when I hear of the things that people have to go through. But I am so amazed at how good and generous others are. It helps to lighten loads; For instance, there is a post trying to go viral on Facebook about a woman with terminal cancer, who got to go see her favorite baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds. She got to sit on the sidelines and people knew her situation. But the only player that came out to see her was Skip Schumaker. He signed a ball and took some pictures with her. It absolutely MADE her day, week and last month. She died soon after that. Right now her sister-in-law wants to make a picture taken with Skip go viral.  This guy is someone who appreciates the things he has and then turns around and helps others do the same. If you'd like to share the post, please click here!

picture credit
 Today is Motivating Monday!  We all need a little motivation!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for motivating, mostly non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos!  If I happen to find a great one, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MotivatingMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  Sometimes I miss some amazing posts.  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Don't be shy--I'm really very supportive!  Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Softest Robe On The Planet + 20% Discount Code

I've hit a new milestone as a review blogger. I'm reviewing the softest bathrobe in the world! And it only took 5 years! Yes, I call it moving slowly and deliberately!
When I first began blogging, I really wanted to review a robe, a plushy white robe. Don't ask me why, but for me, if a company would let me review a robe, then I would be legitimate as a blogger. Now there are a lot of companies out there that make white bathrobes. But do you think that I could persuade any reputable companies, at the time, to let me review a bathrobe from their company? Not a chance. But plenty of ear buds, office supplies and health supplements! I'm kind of glad I was patient!

When I was given the opportunity to work with Cariloha once again, I knew exactly what I wanted to review--their plush white bathrobe, which  is the gold standard for bathrobes. And they even say it on the tags, "Softest Robe On The Planet."

This robe is so luxurious that I'm not sure I'm even going to wear it for awhile. I will just bask in the fact that I have this robe. I'll pull it out, and run my hands over the plush bamboo fabric and just admire it. I won't wear it for at least a week or two. I suppose I'm still getting used to the fact that I even have it. Strange, I know. I put it on for a second just so you could get an idea of what it looks like. I ordered the S/M, and I'm 5"5.
You should see what other amazing products Cariloha has though! For instance, they have a new 2-in-1 dress that can be worn as a cute skirt or a tube dress with spaghetti straps. In the men's department, they have a whole new selection of graphic tee shirts that are so soft and 3 degrees cooler than cotton! And so much more!

Right now you can take 20% off all items at Cariloha, even clearance items, when you use GALNEEDS20 at checkout! Good thru July 15!

Friday, June 26, 2015

This Is The Place Heritage Park #Giveaway {$100 Basic Family Pass}

Welcome to the BeUtahful Summer Adventure Series, hosted by A GAL NEEDS...We are featuring some of the best attractions in the state for tourists and locals alike!  

Giveaway - Sponsored by This Is The Place Heritage Park
Hosted by A GAL NEEDS...
Special Thanks to our Co-Host, Garden Inspire
And thanks to the great Utah Bloggers helping to promote this event!
 We are giving away a 1 year family pass with a retail value of $100! 
This Is The Place Heritage Park has been around for a long time! Originally established to pay homage to the founders of the state of Utah, with gorgeous memorial statues lining the drive around the park, it has evolved into much more! Families from near and far come to the park to enjoy the many amenities offered to visitors.  

On any given day in the summer, you can visit so many different places within the park! For the entire summer you can ride trains, pan for gold, meet the farm animals and ride ponies! Interact with the Blacksmith, Tinsmith and Saddle-maker! Card and spin wool, make take-home crafts, do pioneer chores, play old-fashioned games and so much more! Visit the Native American Village and see the Native Dancers.

Read about Helena's experience at the park here!

There are also many special events throughout the year and the park is open on a daily basis from April thru October.

Special Events For 2015:

Baby Animal Kick-Off April 2-4
Little Haunts - October 15-17, 24, & 31
Haunted Village Oct 10-31
Christkindlmarkt - Dec 3-5
Candlelight Christmas - December 7-23 & 26
Huntsman Day - June 12
Mountain Man Days - June 12-13
Liberty Days - July 4 
Pioneer Days - July 24 

And "this is the place" for weddings! There are nine venues to have the wedding of your dreams!
"TITP was the perfect venue for our wedding reception. It was cozy but elegant and had a unique feel to it that we couldn't find anywhere else. The staff made us feel like family and helped to make it the perfect day" - Chrislyn Woolston

One winner will receive a one-year basic family pass. This pass includes:
  • FREE general admission, Pony and Mini Train Rides
  • FREE admission to these Special Events - Mountain Man Camp, Liberty Days, Pioneer Days, & Little Haunts
  • Monthly “This Is The Place Messenger” e-Newsletter telling of other events and happenings at the park.
  • 50% discount to Haunted Village
  • $20 per person admission to the October Witches’ Ball
  • 10% discount on purchases at Heritage Park Gift Shop and ZCMI Mercantile Store
 What a great prize for someone and their family! Time for the giveaway! The only required entry is to leave a comment about what you love to do in the summertime! All other entries are completely optional, but the more entries you complete, the greater your chances of winning this amazing prize!

Sponsor is responsible for delivery of prizes, not participating bloggers. This blog received no monetary or other compensation for the facilitation of this giveaway. Enter the giveaway in the Rafflecopter below. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway picture credit 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Birthday Party With An Awesome Horseback Ride

Thanks to 'This Is The Place Heritage Park' for providing us with a horseback ride for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own!

The all-important birthday party. It shows your kids that you love them, but parties can be hard to plan and time-consuming. It was my nephew's 7th birthday celebration and we decided to let him invite two friends plus his brother to come along for a horseback ride at 'This Is The Place Heritage Park' in SLC, UT! We had a fleeting thought about whether the horses would be gentle enough, since some of the boys hadn't ridden a horse before but other than that, we were stoked!
It was a gorgeous June morning and we arrived at the horse stables after picking up our admission bracelets at the Gift Shop. We met up with James, the cowboy in charge! He had the horses saddled up and ready to ride. 


 He then helped us up on our horses. All of the horses were so patient and well-behaved! After everyone was saddled up, we were on our way!

We passed through the Pioneer Village

We passed by a Pioneer Cemetery
We saw gorgeous views!
 The boys were thrilled and learned how to manage these gentle horses. It was a fun education and we all enjoyed it thoroughly!

After the ride we were free to explore the village and park. One of the things that really capped off this birthday celebration was panning for gold. The boys were enthralled with the historical skill of finding gold by sifting sand out of a pan and finding gold at the bottom. There was gold a-plenty!
We also "happened" to find some curious rocks and found out they are called geodes. There "happened" to be a way to split them open, revealing beautiful, shiny centers! By this time, the boys thought this place was the mother lode of treasure hunting! Each boy got to take home his own geode! They made perfect party favors!

 From there we went and ate lunch at the Huntsman Hotel and watched the kids cool off at the Splash Pad! 

 There was much more to do than we had time for that day, so we hopped on the train and headed back.

I'd say the birthday celebration was a success!  It wasn't too exhausting to plan, the kids were engaged, and the party favors were epic! This place is awesome!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Injury And Pain Recovery Wth NatraCure Featuring PolyGel

We have a lot of pain going on at our house! Just for starters, my husband has an old back injury and he gets back flare-ups regularly. I have been dealing with shoulder pain from an injury that won't seem to heal properly, and my son has knee problems, stemming from his high school football position on the defensive line.

With the prohibitive cost and low availability of good medical insurance and the difficulty of  getting a doctor that one feels good about, more and more people are turning to at-home medical treatment wherever possible. Our family is certainly in that category. If we can take care of something at home vs. going to the doctor, we're going to do it.

Most injuries require lots of  diligent care, as well as time and patience for them to heal. For instance, any kind of inflammation is going to require alternate regimens of heat and cold, the most widely recommended treatment. Coupled with that, compression is a real benefit because it delivers the heat or cold deep into the tissues for better pain relief. With all of the injuries in my family, inflammation is the main problem. Hot and cold treatment is what is needed on a regular basis. There really isn't much else to do, other than get medicated for pain, (which has its own risks) and get physical therapy (which can be costly and time-consuming).

I was thrilled to find out about a company called NatraCure, a company that has created a line of ThermoActive Cold/Hot Compression Aids. It utilizes a special gel called PolyGel with revolutionary properties. What that means is that now advanced injury treatment, once virtually impossible to get outside of a hospital/ER or doctor's office is easily obtainable for in-home use! Until recently, PolyGel had primarily served the medical industry, where their products were prescribed by thousands of orthopedists and podiatrists across the U.S. But with NatraCure, the same technologies offered to doctors have been adapted for consumer use. So no prescription is required!

For instance, we were able to order and use the NatraCure Hot/Cold & Compression Knee Support for my son, who has knee pain associated with a football injury. Aside from physical therapy, there really isn't much he can do other than to manage the pain. The Hot/Cold & Compression Knee Support is excellent because since he is in the later stages of injury, he needs heat that is uniform and adds constant pressure. It really works well and we are thrilled to have such a great aid in pain management, ultimately healing him of knee pain.  This would also be great for chronic conditions such as patella tendonitis, chondromalacia, and bursitis, alternate therapy where heat and cold are needed in repeated intervals, after physical therapy, household accidents, or pre and post sports activity.
 The PolyGel is unique because it can be both heated and cooled. It retains the temperature for longer periods of time and doesn't require as much gel, so it can conform to the point of injury better.

This system was about $100 and will literally save us hundreds of dollars in pain management, physical therapy and medical costs on just the one injury. Of course, as other knee injuries inevitably come up, we can use it on those as well! The Hot/Cold & Compression Knee Support's built-in compression system and included PolyGel pack provide targeted hot or cold treatment with quick, easy operation, ideal for treating the pain and swelling associated with arthritis, household accidents, sports injuries, or chronic pain conditions.

NatraCure has other innovative options as well, based on individual parts of the body, from head to toe. There are many heat and cold therapy aids available on the market. But this system is way ahead of the game because of the PolyGel and the accompanying compression technology. I figure why settle for partial treatment, when you can have what a doctor would provide? It's the difference between being cured and putting a temporary band-aid on something.

I recommend NatraCure Hot/Cold & Compression Products for every household. There is nothing like it!
Some products are available on Amazon! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Knowing Your Worth In The Workplace + #MotivatingMonday

In a cancer center somewhere in the U.S. and certainly not in my state, a director of radiology for oncology makes all new female employees--from nurses to department managers--sing  'Like A Virgin'. It  resembles hazing of sorority and fraternity newbies, except this is the workplace! He is also a married alcoholic who is having an affair with one of the hospital employees. When he travels with his mistress he is in the habit of asking one of the department managers to bill the trips, along with food and alcohol, to the hospital. At times, he is unable to take care of his patient load because he is too drunk to come in. But no one ever crosses him on any of it, until once he crossed the wrong person.

 Two visiting physicians from two prestigious hospitals were in a meeting with the offending director and a fairly new female department head. She had very good credentials and had, in her short time at the hospital, contributed much to the department. To her dismay, her director requested her to sing "Like A Virgin" in front of the two visiting physicians. Rather than give in, she told him that she most certainly would not and walked out of the room. One of the visiting physicians followed her and apologized profusely. She said, "You don't have to apologize, you didn't do anything wrong!"  To which he said, "I'm apologizing for my gender. It's embarrassing to think that any man would think it's OK to treat a woman like that." Not long after, the woman gave up her position because, although she was highly esteemed at the hospital, no one would risk taking steps with this director and she wouldn't work there, under those circumstances.

I have nothing but admiration for this woman, who rather than give in to something that was a direct affront to her sense of dignity and worth, chose to leave the position. She had no sooner made this decision, when another hospital was actively recruiting her. She is now in a much better situation, where she can serve without being humiliated and asked to do things against her better judgement.

Know Your Worth

1. You Don't Have To Do It If It Makes You Feel Uncomfortable.  Like this woman,  don't feel obligated to do humiliating or embarrassing things just because your superior asks you to. There are discrimination laws, sexual harrassment laws in place if it falls into any of these categories. You are worth it!

2. Bosses Need To Be Accountable,Too. I thought it was so funny that no one was willing to hold this director accountable. Apparently this had been going on for a long time. When you know of a superior officer or boss who is not held to the same standards as other employees, it's time to find some accountability! It can be tricky and sometimes the job site has put up with things like that for so long, no one wants to change. But at least recognize it for what it is and look at your options. Can you afford to stay in a hostile work environment, where double standards are the norm?

3. Help others to recognize demoralizing behaviors and treatment. If people tolerate demeanig behavior towards others, be assured that it will spread. Instead of thinking, "Wow, I'm glad that didn't just happen to me" or "Better her than me", stick up for your fellow employees. So often employees on the same level feel like they need to compete rather than help one another. It contributes to the creation of a hostile work environment where bad behavior is accepted rather than condemned.

4. Always have a back-up Plan. Keep yourself up-to-date on training, job skills, and work experience. Have someone who can give you a good recommendation if you choose to leave. Keep your ear to the ground for other possible opportunities and make sure to find out what the work environments are like if possible.

Notice that none of  the above tips are gender or race specific. Employee mistreatment happens across all genders and all races. If you can realize that you have worth and so do your fellow employees, you can help to create a workplace where everyone feels comfortable and can be their most productive.
 Today is Motivating Monday!  We all need a little motivation!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for motivating, mostly non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos!  If I happen to find a great one, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MotivatingMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  Sometimes I miss some amazing posts.  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Don't be shy--I'm really very supportive!  Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

'Balmy Bamboo Summer' $100 #Giveaway

The sticky, sweaty days of summer demand comfort. Softness, coolness and breathability all come to mind. Your clothes should have those qualities. Cotton is the most popular choice for summer, but the best choice is bamboo! Bamboo is the softest, coolest, most renewable resource on the planet. 
Welcome to the 'Balmy, Bamboo Summer' Giveaway, where 1 winner will win $100 to Cariloha, makers of ridiculously soft clothing, bedding, and bath accessories!  Hosted by A GAL NEEDS... and Co-Hosted by Parenting Healthy! 

Caribbean style and Hawaiian aloha were the inspiration behind Cariloha – a combination of the two words. With more than 20 years vacationing, working and serving in the Caribbean and Hawaiian Islands and the cruise ship ports throughout the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexican Rivera and Bahamas, the Cariloha team became steeped in the culture and lifestyle of the islands and the beachfront shopping experience.

We wanted to take our love of the Caribbean and Hawaii with us everywhere, and we realized that we weren’t the only ones who wanted to enjoy the islands day in and day out. Now you can feel like you're on vacation everyday with Cariloha bamboo clothing, bedding and bath.

20% OFF Special!  Special Discount Code - Receive 20% off on all Cariloha products now through July 12th when you use GALNEEDS20 at checkout! 

Giveaway - One winner will receive a $100 Gift Code To Cariloha! 
Open to U.S only, age 21+, one entrant per household. Remember the more entries you complete, the better your chances are for winning!

Thanks to the great bloggers who are participating in this giveaway. Please consider liking all the participating bloggers on Facebook. They work hard to bring you this event and others like it! You wouldn't want to miss out on any future events! Sponsor is responsible for delivery of prizes, not participating bloggers. This blog received no monetary or other compensation for the facilitation of this giveaway. Enter the giveaway in the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

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