Monday, October 24, 2016

America's Middle Class + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

We are getting ready to vote here in the U.S. and I have never felt more dismal about the whole thing. I feel like so many things are wrong with how the government governs. I feel like too many burdens are being placed on the backs of decent, hard-working middle class Americans. I feel like we are being lied to by everyone in government. I feel like once the middle class goes, America goes. These are just two stories coming at me TODAY, not even scratching the surface, but still more than I want to even think about. 
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1) The pentagon promised 10,000 California National Guard veterans bonuses of varying amounts, the most being $25,000, if they would reenlist. They did this because California was severely short of recruits in the conflicts of Iraq and Afghanistan. These were veterans who had already served and were not obligated in any way to reenlist. But they did, with the good faith that if they put out this one extra sacrifice, they would be rewarded. After all, they were already trained and proven, so they would save the military money. Now 10 years later, the government is telling them to repay the money or be subject to aggressive collection. It doesn't matter what the reason is, I feel that it's immoral to go after veterans who kept their promise to defend our country and then take back what was promised them for doing so. Many of these men had served multiple tours and were doing so again in order to somehow support their families doing what they had been trained to do. This of course is the middle class being picked on. If you want to sign a petition protesting it, go here!

2) We have just learned that Obama Care premiums haven't peaked. Not by a long shot. They are going up by double-digits! If you are one of the middle class, who either doesn't have access to job provided insurance or you need additional coverage for existing conditions, etc. you are getting gauged! Middle class folks are getting upset and I can see why! Consider this frustrated voter:
"If you don't think it's real I'll give you a personal example. My company sponsored insurance went from me paying around $550 per month to about $1400 per month. That is ridiculous! Seriously? Who pays that? We had to switch to a lower coverage, higher deductible plan just to get our premiums back to what they were. This Obamacare has destroyed the health care market. And he calls it a growing pain? Easy to say when you're a millionaire with every perk life has to offer. He's destroyed insurability for the middle income. The class that all these presidents vow to help. We are the cash cow that lines the pockets of the elite. We work hard so they don't have to. It's sickening..."
 I don't have the answers. But for a system to be failing so dismally in so many areas, there is only one thing that screams out to me...There is widespread corruption on every level of government, and every level of corporate America, and it has spilled into the citizenry because we have been fed lies of complacency. Wake up America before it is too late! Or is it already too late and we will be facing the consequences in November?

Like fall leaves clinging to the rocks in the rushing water, so are the middle class fighting to just hang on and not be swept away by the headlong tide of governmental control and greed! Are you a middle-class American? How does it feel to be an endangered species?
Image Credit - Jan Munger
Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--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, October 22, 2016

'Peanut Butter Perfection' #Giveaway

PB Crave is simply the best peanut butter out there! Their 4 gourmet flavors add a depth and sophistication to the peanut butter we all know and have gotten bored with!
Health Benefits: Peanut butter is a super food, with extremely high protein content and is naturally gluten free! PB Crave uses that natural nutritional advantage and goes even further by eliminating hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, added sugars, and high fructose corn syrup.

Taste Factor: PB Crave is artisian-crafted, using quality all natural ingredients like Belgian Chocolate, organic honey, bananas, raspberry, white and dark chocolates, and more! Read my personal review here!
The 4 delicious flavors are Choco Choco, Coco Bananas, Cookie Nookie, and Razzle Dazzle. There are so many great recipe ideas on their website, like these Peanut Butter Pumpkin Spice Truffles!
 Philanthropy: PB Crave is dedicated to support alleviating childhood hunger throughout the world. 2% of every purchase goes to Project Peanut Butter, an organization dedicated to helping children and building stronger communities!
One winner will receive a 4-jar set of PB Crave, including all 4 of their delicious flavors. Giveaway runs from October 22nd through November 11th! Winner will be selected with Rafflecopter Random draw and notified by e-mail on November 6th. U.S. only, must be 18 years or older, one entrant per household, and previous winners of any contests by PB Crave are ineligible! This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or any other social media site. All opinions are 100% my own. I did receive samples to complete my fair and honest review. Please enter in the Rafflecopter below! Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 20, 2016

"Little Haunts" At 'This Is The Place Heritage Park' Flash #Giveaway

Little Haunts is going full swing at This Is The Place Heritage Park, one of Utah's most family-friendly and fun state parks! I've enjoyed the park many times and each time have enjoyed it just a little differently! This is the not-so-scary place for kids and their families to go for a ton of fun in a safe and friendly environment! Trick or treat around the village, ride the trains and ponies, pan for gold and dig for treasure in Prospectors Pit, hear Halloween stories from the story witch, and see amazing creatures in 'Creature Encounter'! Wait, there's more! Get up close and personal with 'Birds of Prey' and get noticed in the costume parade. But don't worry, you don't have to be in a costume to join in the fun! The candy cannon will be blasting out loads of yummy taffy, plus face painting and fun games like Tug o' War, Stick Pony, Bean Bag Toss, and much more! For more info call 801-582-1847.

Among the many fun activities this year will be a coloring page contest, where the winners will be selected after the last day of Little Haunts, October 29th, and notified on November 1st. One winner from each age group will be selected and gifted with 6 passes to 'Candlelight Christmas', another amazing event at the park, and a gift bag for the winner. Get more details here!

NEW THIS YEAR: Halloween Costume Contest!!! One winner will win a year's pass to 'This Is The Place Heritage Park'! This is such a great prize because it includes all of the amazing activities and events running throughout the year at no charge! Just take a picture of your costume(s) and use the tag @thisistheplaceheritagepark and #thisistheplaceheritagepark It can be from Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Better yet, you can post on all 3 sites to get your story out!!! Don't forget to mention 'A GAL NEEDS...' to get $2.00 off each pass you purchase!
Now, I want to make sure the late-comers get a chance to get in on the action, which is why I am running a Flash Giveaway for 2 winners to win passes to the very last day of 'Little Haunts' on October 29th! Read the instructions below and enter for your chance to win! Winner will be selected and notified on October 28th!! Good luck!!
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 17, 2016

Choosing Happy + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

I am in quite a quandary right now. I enjoyed the best summer vacation--I got to blog, travel, relax, enjoy family, get creative, and develop myself as a person. Then the school year began and although I like my job, I don't love it. And when things get hard, like when one of our staff is gone and we have to do double duty, then I really don't love it. (In fact, it approaches intense dislike) That is why I've been absent here for awhile. When work gets stressful, my routine suffers. I neglect my health more because I don't take the time to plan my eating routine and work out, etc. My husband starts acting really needy because I don't have time or energy to give him the attention he seems to crave. And my blogging suffers because I am tired and am basically in survival mode. 
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Right now, I need to make sure that I have the right mindset because the most important thing for me is that I am happy during stressful times. If it means I need a pint of Haagen-Daas chocolate ice cream, (which I did "need" today) in order to survive and feel like I am happy, then that is what I'm going to do. However, if over the course of a week, my pants start feeling uncomfortably snug, am I doing a myself a favor? I think not. But are these stupid little stresses even worth worrying about? 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Peanut Butter Grown-Up Style! #Recipe and #Review PB Crave

I grew up eating peanut butter! The taste was so delicious and I'd eat it by the spoonfuls if I wasn't enjoying it in sandwiches and cookies. I must have eaten too much of it, though, because it became one of those flavors that made me say.....meh. I has lots of protein, which is a good thing, yada yada yada!
 One thing that kinda turned me off, however, was finding out that many commercial brands have hydrogenated oils in it, which pretty much neutralizes much of the good in it.
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Then I heard about Peanut Butter Crave, with their 4 yummy flavors and I decided to give it a try! You've got Razzle Dazzle--raspberry jam and organic honey mixed into the peanut butter, Coco Bananas--Bananas and cocoa in the mix, Choco Choco--a chocolate lovers version, and Cookie Nookie--my personal favorite 'cause it's chocolate chip cookie dough mixed in!

What was especially appealing is that it doesn't have hydrogenated oils or artificial flavors for starters. You still have the amazingly high protein content, and of course it is gluten free and has no high fructose corn syrup, or added sugar. Maybe I could become the fan I once was, back in the day! 
After all, peanut butter has reached the status of super food because it is a rich source of niacin, folate, vitamin E, along with other essential nutrients and minerals. It is also high in protein and fiber! It wouldn't hurt to try and fall in love with it all over again!
Long story short, I love this stuff and feel like it's a guilty pleasure. PB Crave was created by women, who have very discriminating taste and created some amazing flavors that make the old, familiar taste of peanut butter a new taste sensation, thus making it exciting again!!! I really enjoy their website because they have great recipes for snacks, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, using all of their awesome flavors!
Easy Recipe
I made 'Overnight Peanut Butter And Chocolate Oats' because it used my favorite flavor, Cookie Nookie! It was delicious! And with 20 grams of protein in a single delicious serving, it is a smart move in the morning! To make it, mix all the following ingredients together!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Tom's Boots & Shoes On Sale! Last 13 Hours!

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Tom's Boots and Shoes are drastically discounted today only! Make sure to take a look at what's left! Everything is going fast! If you would like to get in on Zulily Finds and make sure you have the best selection, sign up for their Fashion Friday and Flash Deal Alerts!

Dark Gray Suede High Desert Wedge $98.00 $59.99

Chocolate & Orange Suede Stripe Leila Ankle Boot $98.00 $64.99

Taupe Crocodile Suede High Desert Wedge $119.00 $74.99

Multicolor Geometric Knit Classics $69.00 $34.99

Gray Suede Moroccan Classics $79.00 $49.99

Red Suede Rope Sole Classics $79.00 $49.99

Black & White Suede Tiles Rope Sole Classics $98.00 $59.99

Monday, September 26, 2016

Why I Sometimes Prefer The Family Dog Over Humans

We have been dog-owners for a long time! My first dog was Duke, our German Shepherd. I was around 16 years old and didn't really appreciate Duke because although he was lovable and friendly, I didn't fancy him jumping up and licking me with his "disgusting" slobbery tongue. He just wasn't my cup of tea....until I got older and learned that he could accompany me on walks and runs. We soon became fast friends. I remember how sad we all were when my dad finally had to put him down because of hip dysplaisia. It wasn't until I got married that I rediscovered dogs and the wonderful friends they are. I've brought a few puppies home, to the surprise of my husband and delight of my sons. 

For the last 14 years we have been border collie owners because they are so smart and we both had to agree on one breed. If you can weather the puppy stage with nothing more than a few things chewed up, border collies make the best of friends, as I imagine any other breed does, depending on the characteristics that you prefer.
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Once in awhile my husband gets mildly resentful of how much our dog, Evee, and I get along and my sometimes seeming preference of her over him. He has actually said that sometimes he gets jealous! Imagine that, preferring my dog's company over a man! Here are a few reasons my dog may sometimes get the nod before some humans!

1) No sarcastic comments - Granted, there are usually no comments from Evee, but the sarcastic kind especially are not to be found. I find that very relaxing and refreshing after being at work at a high school! Evee has her own way of telling me where to place my priorities and usually that is by her body position. She literally blocks me with her body from things I may be doing that don't involve her! I somehow find that cute! Now if my husband were to do that....

2) Doesn't bargain for my love - My dog loves me unconditionally, and if I don't feel like being warm and fuzzy at the moment, or the whole day, she will wait patiently until I feel up to it and will love me no matter what.

3) No idle chit chat - A friendly lick, nuzzle, or thump of the tail on the floor is sometimes all I really need or want.

4) Submits to my rules - If I decide that today is an outside day, then outside it is! My chair is my chair and that is that. No sitting in the car front seat and no eating people food (unless it's a special occasion, like leftovers! heh heh) No questions asked, she's happy to oblige. She knows she gets lots of special things and knows that rules are necessary for mama's well-being and happiness!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Most Versatile Skirt From Cariloha Bamboo

I've had a great skirt to relax, go places, and be comfortable in this summer. But the great thing about it is that it can carry me all the way through fall! It's the 'Bamboo Burnout Reversible Skirt' from Cariloha!

It's so comfortable!

It's casual yet nice-looking
Best of all, it's reversible! That means I can get a few more looks from it!
I can see myself throwing on a vest and some boots for a great multi-season look!

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I love getting mileage out of my money, I like getting quality items, and I like the feel of bamboo! The skirt is so comfy to do anything in and no worries about modesty. The double thickness  of soft bamboo takes care of any transparency issues. Plus, bamboo is naturally odor and allergy resistant! Go check it out!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What Your Gums Could Be Trying To Say To You!

Let's talk about the health implications of the mouth shall we? I'm not talking about the whiteness of the teeth or the minty freshness of your breath. It's the oral bacterial climate in the mouth that is an indicator of your overall health and predictor of future problems that may erupt. 

Gums Can Tell You Things. Your gums should be considered one of the key indicators of your health. They really do tell a story, if you have the information to interpret it. First of all, have we all heard that gum disease not only means your teeth are in danger, but that you may have inflammation in other areas of the body? When your mouth is out of balance, you are at risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer's, to name just a few. Advanced gum disease can raise your risk of heart attack by 10 times, AND if you get a heart attack stemming from gum disease, 9 out of 10 times it will be fatal.

Monday, September 5, 2016

#MyPostMonday Link-Up #27 The Week's Best Original Content

I used to think that once I met my husband and got married, that my life would be set and I would achieve my happily-ever-after. Wow, was that delusional or what? I had so much living yet to do and so many experiences that would make me the awesome, cynical, sometimes-depressed, introverted, and opinionated person that I am. And I know that I'm not even close to done yet! I love the photo below because it really illustrates that one may have done quite a bit to be where they are at an exact moment, but we are certainly not ever done! I believe in continuous movement. Whether that is going backwards or forwards, it is constant. I am the one that will choose which way I want to go!!

Image - Colleen Awsumb
Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--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!)