Thursday, January 10, 2019

Back To Basics With Hand-Dyed Textiles [Review]

Well hello, hello! Happy New Year! I am happy to get started after a much-needed break over the holidays. I hope you had an amazing holiday too!

Getting started again is always hard because I do get a little bit rusty with the whole blogging thing, which is why it's risky to take a break. Some bloggers I know have taken a break, fully intending to return, but sadly, never do. But not this gal, because a gal needs to blog!

I can't count how many times I've been in the midst of an activity that I'm doing and think about how I'd love to share it with my readers! 

Today I'd like to share with you an Etsy Shop that makes the cutest hand-tied and dyed products.  Using natural dyes and non-treated fabric, the shop is called Practical And Pretty!

The dyes are used with the following natural substances:
  • Light pink is made with avocado pits and skins
  • Hot pink is made with dried cochineal
  • Yellow is made with turmeric
  • Blue is made with indigo
  • Purple made with logwood extract
I gave some tea towels as gifts to a new mom and they were really much appreciated! The towels are quite large and I  think she could use them as swaddle wraps, burp cloths, or regular towels. 

Below is a cute baby set of a Swaddle and Onesi using indigo!
This beautiful  throw was dyed with avocado pits. It's a sort of grayish pink that is hard to duplicate! Who knew you could find a use for the pits of avocados? 

Follow Practical and Pretty on  

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Fun To Fantastic $100 Del Sol Cash #Giveaway

This site receives product, payment, and/or samples for review purposes. Affiliate and non-affiliate links are used for reference purposes. Thanks so much for your support of A GAL NEEDS...
Del Sol is a company that makes you smile. It's a gift that makes you light up and say, "That made my day!" Using exclusive color-changing technology, Del Sol puts their special brand of fun into everything they make. They make something that would normally be fun into something fantastic! 

For instance, with their color-changing clothing--They have everything from teeshirts to hoodies! They are made with the finest fabrics available and they guarantee that their clothing will change colors in the sun for the life of the fabric! Below, I'm loving my Del Sol Flamingo tee and lifestyle sunnies!

Something that is really exciting to hear is that they have just rolled out some new lines---perfect for Christmas gift-giving!

Their new skateboards are the bomb! They change colors beautifully and will be the talk of the neighborhood!

 And what a great idea to put color-change technology into charm bracelets! With 25 charms to choose from, it will be easy to find something that is individual to you!  

One of my personal favorites are the Solize Sunglasses in lifestyle, aviator, and fashion styles. The guarantee is that if your sunglasses are damaged or lost, you are guaranteed a free replacement pair! They are UVA/UVB and polarized! So awesome!

Check out their website and see what other great gift ideas and bargain prices that are available! You'll love it! 

I'm excited to be able to partner with Del Sol to give someone $100 Del Sol Cash. It will be awarded with an exclusive discount code to spend for whatever you would like at Del Sol! It would make a great Christmas present and there would still be enough for you as well! Enter below in the Rafflecopter form below. Open to U.S. and Canada, Ends November 20th at 11:59 MST See below for full disclosure. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Affiliate links may be present. No Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, nor any other social platforms are involved in any way!
Must be 21 or older to participate. Winner will be contacted by e-mail
after 11/20/18.  1 entrant per household please and must be a resident of U.S. or Canada. Must respond within 48 hours. Entrants with invalid entries will be disqualified. Sponsor, Del Sol, is responsible for delivery of prize. Thanks for entering and good luck!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Fear Of Failure Causes Anxiety + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

This past September was National Suicide Prevention Month. I, like too many others, have had personal experiences where suicide has touched me personally, or has been way too close for comfort. 

But I've had far more experiences where, although no suicide was involved, the impact of stress and anxiety have affected lives and could easily have ended in suicide. These are stories about teen anxiety that need to be told in the hopes that we can start to recognize and prevent what could happen later on.

In my 9 years of working within the school system, I have been close enough to teens to see what motivates them. I have followed some of their lives and have somewhat of a sense of what can make a teen feel pressure, anxiety, worry, and the need to fight or take flight! I will be sharing one story now and more later about some things that definitely make a teenager anxious and feel stress. Maybe if we can recognize some of these situations, we can be of help!

Fear Of Failure
I knew A. when she came to our unit fresh from a detention center.  She was smart, but had decided that school was not the way she would be successful....

Something that filled her with anxiety and dread was math. At some point along the way, someone or something had convinced her that she couldn't understand or do it. At all. In anticipation of math, she would begin to hyperventilate and would start to panic. The only way she could get through a math lesson was if she had someone right there helping her through ALL the problems, which doesn't happen often in a busy classroom. More often than not she would refuse to work, throw her materials, and leave the room with angry words hurled at whoever happened to be around. Gradually, she was able to get help and encouragement. She learned to retain some of the things she was being taught and she became more confident, thus feeling less stress when she was asked to do math problems on the board or at her desk. She got the assistance she needed that year because she made it crystal clear about how she felt about math and, luckily, there was someone available who was willing to work with her. 

Not all kids are able to verbalize their fear and trepidation when they run into academic hurdles. Sometimes they will take the fail, rather than turn attention on themselves and their problems. Unlike A. they are not squeaky wheels that will get the grease!
 Today is "My Post Monday!", a curation of the week's best original content. It's all about posts from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  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(Affiliate links welcome)   

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Sun Therapy á la Del Sol {Review}

This summer has been crazy! We have had more wildfires than I remember in recent history! The winds have been high and the smoky air has been bad! It has also been the driest September on record here in Utah. There is rain in the forecast and I can't say I'm disappointed! 

But I'm sure there will be sunny days again soon. One reason I love a sunny day is because of fun color-changing looks from Del Sol. The sun makes a perfectly fun look turn into something fantastic! It doesn't matter whether you're in the dead of winter in Wyoming or in the heart of the tropics in St. Tropez, as long as the sun is strong enough to also make a shadow, it's strong enough to turn Del Sol products into an amazing array of color in less than 60 seconds! 
Just being in the sun for 20 minutes, enjoying the feeling of being nourished and warmed is so therapeutic. Scientific studies show that 20 minutes of good sunlight is great for your health!
This site accepts product samples for review purposes. Affiliate and non-affiliate links are used for your reference. Thanks so much for your support of this site!

Do you know someone who might need a little bit of cheering up? Maybe a good dose of sunshine is what they need! I'd love to hear about someone you know who needs encouragement to come out of the artificial light one finds indoors to the nourishing light of the sun! It could make the difference between crippling depression and being fully functional and happy! In other words, Del Sol would make a great gift! The gift could be as simple as a nail polish, starting at $10.00 to the most awesome sunnies ever--Solize Sunglasses!

The new looks are so much fun this year! Check out the new colors of nail polish this season!

And look at me enjoying my Solize Sunnies called "Summer's Gone"  and my Watercolor Flamingo Tee! This was taken more towards the evening, but the colors still came on strong! 
I've got to tell you about the most awesome guarantee for a pair of sunglasses that I know of. It doesn't matter what happened to your Solize sunglasses. If you lose them or break them, you are guaranteed to get another pair. Simply copy the guarantee code, select a new pair, pay for
shipping/handling and you'll receive your new sunnies in the mail. It's that easy! It's quite a guarantee for polarized, stylish and glare-resistant shades.
One of the most popular items at Del Sol is the nail lacquer. It is the most colorful, stylish, and long-lasting polish anywhere. The secret is to apply a primer under and a top coat over the color. You will have a manicure that will last for days! Each bottle of color is $10.00, which is quite a good deal because it is actually 2 colors!

One more thing! While supplies last, you will receive a free trick or treat bag that changes color with a $10 order! And if you want 35% discount on your entire order, use this link to shop!  I think you'll agree that Del Sol really does turn fun into fantastic!!


Monday, September 24, 2018

#Utah Kids' Club Ultimate Halloween Packages

I'm passing this info along to my Utah readers! I'm always appreciative of organizations that compile huge discounts to many different fun places and offer them for one low price! So much food & fun packed into one reasonable price!
This post is in partnership with Utah Kids Club
The Utah Kids Club has been going strong for over 10 years now. For the past 3 years they have offered families a Halloween Package that is such a great discount that it has completely sold out! This year will be no different, as they are offering this Ultimate Halloween Package to be used for a full 30 days to any one of the venues named here, and much more! They have only 2000 of these and once they are gone, they're gone!

·         1 FREE Ticket to Castle of Chaos, Haunted House! ($25.00 value)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Fear Factory Vip Ticket ($35.00 Value)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Dead City Haunted House (Utah's Newest Haunt $25.00)
·         1 FREE Ticket to SLC and Ogden Ghost Tours ($20.00)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Fall Harvest at Cross E Ranch ($11.95 value)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Tracy Aviary ($11.95)
·         1 FREE Ticket for Clas Ropes Halloween River Cruise ($8.00 value)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Bricks and Minifigs Halloween Trick-0-Treat Derby ($5.00)
·         1 FREE Ticket Ticket to Little Haunts at This is the Place, Heritage Park (12.95)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Obstacle Warrior Kids ($12.00)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Dartside ($10.00)
·         1 FREE Ticket to Pinners ($8.00)

PLUS Major Halloween Discounts with your Utah Kids Club Membership card:

·         $13.00 Off Frightmares at Lagoon
·         30% Pumpkin Nights
·         50% Off Ogden Dinosaur Park, Carnivore Carnival
·         40% Off tickets to Grimm Ghost Tours!
·         40% Off Hidden Chambers, Escape Rooms
·         40% Off Castle Of Chaos Murder Mystery
·         40% Off Castle of Chaos Escape Rooms
·         40% Off Escape Key, Escape Rooms
·         50% Off Haunted Train Shoppe
·         55% Off Trick-0-Tre
·         $3.00 Off Each Cornbelly's Ticket
·         $2.00 Off Hee Haw Farms
·         $2.00 Off Each Little Haunts Ticket
·         $5.00 Off Each Sleepy Hollow Ticket
·         $2.00 Off Each Provo Corn Maze

AND Even More Halloween Discounts

Click here to register and save $10.00! Oh, and Happy Halloween!


Monday, September 17, 2018

Both Beauty And Terror + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

Many Americans are living with the perspective that the glass is either half empty or half full. I'm not sure who gave this visual about how to look at life, but it's a classic U.S. philosophy. Of course, it teaches us that we should look at life positively rather than negatively. And it really is a great way to view general. When you're in the midst, though, of something earth-shaking, life- changing, and extremely hard to go through, I'm not sure that the half-full glass visual is what we're going to automatically go to for inspiration, because sometimes life just sucks!

There's no way to sugar coat it, no way to view it for anything than what it is.  As humans we are conditioned to avoid pain and suffering at all costs. But a quick check of the headlines shows that we can't avoid it. Poverty, illness, addiction, corruption, hatred, natural and man made disasters surround us on all sides.

Image - Jana Herzogova
It is easy to look at that, become fearful, and not be willing to take any kind of risks for fear that something bad will happen to you! But what kind of life would that be? 

My choice has always been to live life, have experiences, and take the random consequences of my own actions. Sometimes my risks turned out well and I had amazing and fulfilling adventures. Other times, my choices turned out to be not-so-great and I had to live through the consequences. 

For example, no one forced me to go with a group of experienced 4-wheel riders on my first-ever ride on an ATV. I had lived through enough adventure to know that a possibly really fun time was in store. Unfortunately for me, that ride turned out to be short-lived, as I crashed into a sand mound at a higher speed than what I obviously was able to successfully maneuver. My helmet, which was incorrectly fastened onto my head in the first place, flew off. My head was propelled forward, and my face hit the metal steering column at the same speed I had been initially traveling, about 50 mph, Nose shattered, blood spurting, and me screaming in pain was the result. 

My nose was shattered in multiple places, the skin totally peeled off the face, and unsightly, jagged cuts continued down to just above my mouth. 

I thought I was going to be a freak show for the rest of my life. But time has a way of healing, and most of the time no one even has a clue of the trauma my face went through 10 years ago. 

Granted, I've never gotten back onto a 4-wheeler again, which is probably a weakness on my part, but at least I can say that I've had the experience. 

I feel like I learned so much from just that one experience. I can take that with me and be able to empathize with many people who have gone through the same thing or even worse than what I went through. And I definitely have a sense of gratitude for a brain that wasn't damaged, a face that almost completely recovered, and a nose that is just a tad shorter than what it used to be! Not to mention, greater faith in the power of prayer and giving up control to God and letting Him decide what I might be able to learn through all of this. 

What have you decided to experience, regardless of the outcome and what did you learn as a result? 
Add caption
 Today is "My Post Monday!", a curation of the week's best original content. It's all about posts from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  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(Affiliate links welcome)  

Saturday, September 15, 2018

A Hair Update at Amber René Salon & Spa

I finally got my hair cut, after promising my husband I'd do it at some point in the future. He had started asking me to think about cutting my hair shorter. "It's time...." "You would look so good with short hair!" "I can just picture you with your hair at this length...." (shows me with his hands at chin length) I told him that one day I would walk in and surprise him because my hair would be short. 

That day came at the first part of August. I was past due for my 6 week trim and was really sick of my hair. Plus, it was hot!! So I walked into my local hair cutting franchise, where you don't schedule an appointment, and get who you get. I told the stylist to cut some length off and make it more layered. Well, she went to town on the length, but left much to be desired with the layering. I went home devastated but self-righteous. "Well, I got my hair cut, hope you're happy!" was my attitude as I showed off my piece of work to my husband. 

A few weeks went by and I kept meaning to go get it styled at a "real" salon, where you actually meet your stylist and can come back if you like her. I finally made an appointment at a salon that I'd heard great things about, and had great reviews--Amber René Salon & Spa. 

Here's what happened, long story short! I went in with this:
And came out with this, thanks to Katelyn at Amber René!

This is me after a long day at work and not having time to do my hair to attend a concert.
So although I said good-bye to this,
I feel like I will really like this new shorter and sleeker style for now. I like the fact that I can always grow it out at some point! It feels sleeker, edgier, and it is so much easier. 

I really liked the atmosphere of the Salon, where it was bustling for sure, yet had a very relaxed and casual atmosphere. I loved my stylist, Katelyn, and I even met the owner and Salon Coordinator, Amber and Kaycee! They were so kind and posed for a shot!
I was given a free service in exchange for this honest opinion of my experience!

 I learned from this experience that a good haircut needs to be done by an experienced stylist and those stylists usually are found in a reputable salon such as Amber René Salon & Spa.

Of course, I live in Utah, so if you live somewhere else, make sure you get references and read the reviews to find a great salon. But if you live in my neck of the woods, I'd love to recommend Amber René Salon & Spa. If you are booking for the first time, you get 30% off your service! Make sure you mention that Helena, from A GAL NEEDS...sent you!
Find Amber Rene Salon on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!