Tuesday, December 9, 2014

7 Things A Gal Should Consider When Getting An Oil Change

Changing your car's oil is such a mundane but necessary chore! Ughh!  To keep your car in tip-top condition, you should change it every 5000 miles on average. If you're a single gal, or even if you're not, chances are you're not going to want to do it solo, even though many people say it isn't all that difficult!  My props go out to you if you do!!!  What you might want to think about is finding a reliable place to do that maintenance for the best bang for your buck.  Because I have had both good and bad experiences taking my car to get the oil changed,  I came up with a few things to make sure that trip is as easy on your pocketbook and time as possible!

1.  Make Sure They Specialize In Oil Change - Once upon a time, I got my oil changed at a Muffler Shop that says they also do oil changes.  Judging by the length of time I waited, they must have learned it on the job and I was their first customer!  I was in their waiting area for over an hour and a half.  That is way too long to be waiting for an oil change.  In my opinion, the maximum time you should be expected to wait for a standard oil change is 45 minutes.

2.  Read the Reviews - Nowadays people are more than happy to share whether or not they had a good or bad experience on Google+ and other review sites.  Look up your intended garage and see what others are saying. Also don't be afraid to place your own review for others to benefit! 

3.  Ask What the Expected Wait Time Will Be - In light of how long I waited,  I always inquire the approximate time I will have to wait.  If they go much past 15 minutes beyond the expected time, they will definitely get a star off of their online review and I will tell them so. 

4.  How Busy Is It?  If you are the only customer in the shop, that's not a good omen.  On the other hand, if the place is overrun the chances of getting their best service isn't the greatest.  Case in point:  Once I took the car to my local Walmart.  It was crazy busy and the next time my husband tried to change the oil, he couldn't get the oil plug off.  They had wrenched it on so tightly that the threads were stripped.  Not a great service if you can't go back and do it yourself.

5.  How convenient is it to where you are?  It doesn't make sense to drive over 15 minutes out of your way.  I say 5 minutes is a reasonable time to drive and not much more.  If it's a few minutes off my route to or from work, from my house or from where I shop and eat, that would be an acceptable distance. Unless, of course, there isn't a place within miles...then make a day-trip of it and do the shopping, appointments and errands as well.

6. How Welcoming Is It?  Face it, you want to feel wanted where you are paying good money for a service.  Granted, you may not get complimentary herbal tea or an essential-oil sensory journey while you wait, but the lobby should be nice, the personnel should be friendly and answer your questions AND they should have vending machines, bathrooms and a t.v., don't you think?

7.  Price - Last but not least, the price should be reasonable.  You can call around and find out what the different auto centers charge for an oil change.  Sometimes it may be worth paying a little bit more if any of the above considerations are important to you.  If not, by all means, get the lowest price possible!  Bottom line, you should feel that getting an oil change is worth the time and money you spend for an essential maintenance on your car!

Once you find a place that may be to your liking, let them know that you are planning on being a regular customer and that you would be pleased to recommend them to your friends if you continue to like their service.  Make sure they know that you are potentially there for the long-term.  If they are wise, they will aim to please!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Mixture Of Nature And Suburbia In Sandy #Utah

I'm a native California girl but that was a long time ago...when you could walk on the San Joaquin River levees and trails alone and not be afraid of being accosted by exhibitionists, transients, pick-pockets and more.  (The last time I visited, it was a exhibitionist, yikes!)  It's still beautiful, don't get me wrong, but those days are gone for me.

It seems like I've always lived in beautiful places, like the 10 years I spent in Floyd, VA, so green, so humid, so close to the Blue Ridge Parkway...I loved it so much!

Now it's Utah that I call home, and I love it here too!  I lived for several years in Provo, UT.  It's a college town, home to BYU and UVU.  Then we moved north to the Sandy/Draper area.  At first I wasn't sure I'd like it.  I'm sort of an introvert, who loves to get away to nature.  I crave places that aren't crawling with people.  I need places to be able to walk and be by myself, to meditate and reflect and let my dog roam while I'm doing so. 

Sandy is in Salt Lake County and close to many fun events and shopping areas.  But I was so happy to find that it also has a slice of the most beautiful nature around and the solitude I love is right in my back yard!  As a matter of fact I really consider Dimple Dell equestrian, hiking jogging and recreation area my backyard.  Dimple Dell is an expansive park offering hiking, biking & horseback riding along with ponds, streams & picnic areas.  It is like a huge nature park in the middle of the suburbs  It goes for miles and has many trails.  There are many entrances to the park.  One trailhead entrance is right by 24-Hour Fitness in Sandy at 10365 S 1300 E.

I frequent just a small part of Dimple Dell, just enough to fit in a 50-minute walk with my border collie, Evee,  several times a week.  I have carved out my own route, one that I know isn't too well-traveled. 

I even have my own private bench to take in the gorgeous mountain view! 

Another great thing about living in Sandy/Draper area are the many places to bike.  I like to bike on Wasatch Blvd, where you can get gorgeous views of the city below or bike towards Little Cottonwood Canyon.  The Pepperwood Area towards Draper is also gorgeous to bike through and there are several parks and mountain biking trailheads you can take.  I like going earlier in the morning because the traffic is a little heavier during the day and unfortunately there aren't designated biking lanes for some of the way. Most drivers, however, are very considerate, if you don't hog the road.  I also recommend using lights both on front and on back of your bike, or a reflective vest or a light on your helmet.

If you are in a crowd-loving mood we have plenty of places and events here for that as well!  As a matter of fact, Sandy specializes in events and venues of all kinds!  The shopping is amazing.  Just get off I-15 at 123rd South and you have restaurants galore and the South Town Mall is right there, with Dillard's, Macy's, and R.E.I. to name just a few.  Both Trax and Frontrunner Trains are accessible in both Sandy and Draper, heading as far north as Layton and south to Provo (Frontrunner only). 

Loveland Living Planet Aquarium - This 9th largest aquarium in the United States is located here in Draper at 12033 South Lone Peak Parkway.  It is a childhood dream come true for founder and CEO, Brent Anderson.  As a child, he was given a book about the sea from his grandma,  It awed and inspired him so much that as an adult, when asked what he would do if he knew he couldn't fail, he knew he had to bring his youthful dream to reality.  The Aquarium has 4 main galleries - North American River Otter Exhibit, Ocean Explorer, South American Explorer, and a 300,000 gallon shark tank! 

Sandy Amphitheatre - Located on the corner of 9400 South and 1300 East, this Amphitheatre is open during the summer and has amazing concerts!  It has a capacity of 2,750 and allows people to bring in their own chairs.  It is a truly unique concert experience!  I live so close to it that I can hear the music in the evenings when I'm sitting outside on the porch or have the doors and windows open.

Rio Tinto Stadium - Soccor has become a big deal in Utah, ever since REAL Salt Lake made Rio Tinto Stadium their home.  This is located on 9256 S. State Street in Sandy.  I've been to a game and it's packed! 
As you can see, the area where I call home has a lot to offer!  You really ought to come and explore!  And let me know when you come...we'll do lunch!

Monday, December 1, 2014

#Football, #Thanksgiving and #Motivating Monday Link-Up

Whew!  I need just a minute to breathe!  It's been from one event to another and I'm left breathless!  We had been going to a lot of football games right before Thanksgiving because that's what you do when your son is on the football team during his senior year of high school.  What was really an added bonus is that his team was going for their 3rd straight State Championship!  They just kept winning!  So we kept going!  The season finally ended, at the University of Utah Rice-Eccle's Stadium.  It was truly tense because during the 1st half, Roy was going full tilt and wouldn't even let Timpview score.  It was 8 - 0 at halftime.  But Timpview re-grouped and somehow figured out what it was they were supposed to do.  At the end of the game, it was 28 - 8 Timpview!  So proud of my son who was part of the defensive line and battled it out to prevent more scoring from Roy.  Below are pictures of me with both of my amazing sons during the championship game!  Love them!
During the game

After the game with my Senior
  I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I did it all this year.  Usually we go to the relatives to enjoy a good buffet meal, but this year everyone did their own thing.  We enjoyed the more low-key and intimate atmosphere.  I felt really good about what I made, including a turkey and ham, trifle, sweet potato casserole with brown sugar and pecan topping, various pies, rolls, stuffing, turkey gravy the obligatory cranberry sauce, rolls, etc.  There were no family blow-outs even though we did have some lively discussion on several current events in the news!

Guess what?  Today is Motivating Monday!  We all need a little motivation!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for motivating posts, tips, pictures and videos!  I'm especially looking for Christmas posts and if I happen to find yours, I'll link it up and let you know!  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!

A Perfect Southern Utah Adventure + Utah Adventure Package #Giveaway {$500+}

Hi, I'm Kendra from the blog The Things I Love Most!  I'm excited to be blogging here at A GAL NEEDS...! I am also really excited to be a part of this Blogging Roundup of 14 Utah Blogger sharing 14 Utah Adventures! I love Utah!  I was actually born and raised in Utah County, but moved to Southern Utah with my husband and children about 8 years ago!  We absolutely love it here, and are tempted, sometimes, to never move back. (Although we still really love Utah County). We have learned to love the heat and don't really like snow very much anymore, except for when we are visiting!

When we first visited Southern Utah to see if we wanted to live here, we fell in love with it right away! It's kind of the best of both worlds in my opinion.  We have amazing Red Rock, Beautiful Pine Valley Mountain not far out of town, and if you want snow in the winter you only need to drive a half hour north to Cedar City!  When most people think of Southern Utah they think of the big places like Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park.  Both of which are amazing places and if you haven't ever been there, you totally need to go! Today I am going to share with you some great places to visit if you were going to go to St. George for a weekend and wanted some fun things to do as a family or even just as a couple!
  • Pioneer Park - (aka Dixie Rock) - This isn't a park with a playground, it's a big 52+ acre area with some great hikes, picnic tables, amazing views and more.  My favorite view is when you get on top of the Dixie Rock and you can see the whole valley, including the spectacular St. George Temple. There is a really cool slot canyon to climb through that's kind of hard to find but it is well worth the search.  Ask someone you see if they know where it is!  This area is free.

  • Snow Canyon State Park - This is a hidden gem in Southern Utah. You could camp here and spend days.  I've done most of the hikes in this park! Our favorite place to go here is the sand dunes! The kids have so much fun playing and rolling down the big hills of sand! They also have fun biking paths and some great hikes you can do with or without kids.  Make sure you find the caves, they are really cool, but not easy to do with children. This place is amazing because you see red, black and white rocks all blended together!  There is a fee to enter the park unless you have a state park pass.
  • Red Cliffs Recreation Area - This place is amazing, and only a couple miles away from my house! We love to go here and let the kids play!  It's a great place to camp, hike, rappel, and when there is water flowing, a fun place to play in the pools at the end of the hike!  There is a $5 fee for day use.
  • Oak Grove - If you need to get up in the mountains and enjoy a cool evening out of the St. George heat this is the place to go! It gorgeous and very peaceful! There is a $5 fee for day use. 
  • Pine Valley Recreation Area - We love to camp, hike and go to the reservoir up in Pine Valley. We recently camped up there in October and the weather was great! The retirement town is nestled in the mountain of Pine Valley. If you go, make sure you visit the church there.  The architecture is amazing! There is a day use fee, and it is only open from May to October each year. 
  • Kanarraville Falls Hike - This hike can be done with children although you may not be able to go all the way to the top unless you have some tough people to carry the kids up the hard part, which is what my husband and our friends did. .  The hike is mostly in water, which was about shin deep on me.  At the top are some fun natural watersides and really amazing slot canyons that you walk though.  There is a parking fee of $10, but it is worth it!

  • The Virgin River- We love to go down to the Virgin River and let the kids play. There are lots of place to enter the river.  It's free and fun!
  • Warner Valley Dinosaur Track Site - We always take our friends that come visit to these awesome dinosaur tracks!  My kids love to sit in them and imagine what it was like when dinosaurs lived on the earth!  It is free and a very short hike to the tracks.

If you aren't in the mood to hike all weekend, St. George has some great parks, and some amazing splash parks.  Here is a link to all of them!  Our favorite park, when it's not busy season, is the St. George Town Square with a fun man-made river, carousel, children's museum, library and fountain, also visits Judd's old country store and get some yummy soup and old fashion candy!

There are also some great lakes to visit that don't cost too much that are both about 15 miles outside of St. George in the Hurricane area!
  • Quail Creek State Park - There is a place that you can walk down in the parking lot to avoid paying the state park fee. They don't mind.  Mostly the fee is for boaters and campers.  The beach here is more rocky, so if you don't want sand all over in your car, then this is the beach for you!
  • Sand Hollow Lake State Park - I love this lake, but my husband hates red sand all over inside our vehicles so we don't go here as often, but when we first moved down here we were there every weekend in the summer
There are a lot of places to camp, but if you aren't very excited to camp our favorite hotel is the Holiday Inn Express in Washington.  They have very nice rooms, serve a great breakfast, and have a nice pool!

I would advise that if you are planning a St. George weekend trip, check the St. George City Calendar to make sure it isn't a busy week. St. George holds a lot of big races, and the Senior Games each year The city is very packed during these week. There are plenty of weeks throughout the year that are perfect to come!

"14 Utah bloggers, 14 Utah Adventures! To get more entries towards this $500+ Adventure, Click this link to go to the next exciting Utah adventure!"  Prizes include:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gorgeous Crystal Hand-Beaded #Bracelets by Sashka and 20% #CouponCode!

How would you like to receive a beautiful set of bracelets to brighten up your wardrobe for the holidays? I received these beautiful bracelets in the mail and was so impressed by the beauty and quality of workmanship! These would make the perfect gift, whether you give just one or a whole set of them!  The price is certainly reasonable, at $12.00/bracelet!  And with free worldwide shipping, it's hard to say no!

Sashka Bracelet Co. gets its beautiful products from the women artisans in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal.  They are hand crocheted with crystal and sterling silver beads that give the bracelets a delicate sheen or sparkle when you move and when they hit the light.  They are designed to roll over the hand with ease.  If, by chance, they are too big, you can place them in warm water to shrink them.  I had no problem with them.  They rolled on my small wrists easily and while being loose, they never came off.  The only issue was that the turquoise bracelet bled on my skin when I first wore it, but after that first time, I had no problem.  

There are so many color combinations and the 4 bracelets I chose were so fun to mix and match.  I usually take the multi-colored bracelets and pair them with the one solid green one.  I like to wear the blue and purple bracelet above with an outfit that wouldn't work unless I wear that specific bracelet with it.  I've got my eye on more of these bracelets because the quality is so excellent and the colors are so vivid!  
"Sashka Co. Bracelets roll over any size hand for a perfect fit. Our glass beaded bracelets are hand crocheted by skilled artisan women in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. Your purchase empowers women in need through fair trade. Free Worldwide Shipping!"

Right now you can get 20% off your order!  Just enter the code Shop20! How's that?  A great deal and it's not even Black Friday yet! 

Follow Sashka on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sabbatical Sunday Link-Up

I've changed the title to this link-up.  It used to be Sabbatical Sunday "Weekly" Link-up, but since I've totally missed posting it for 3 weeks in a row, I think it should be Sabbatical Sunday -Whenever I Get Around To It - Link-Up. 

But seriously, life just gets too crazy and I get too tired and then what goes out the window?  My blog.  I know, how am I ever going to be one of those big-income, big-time mom bloggers if I can't even stay current?  Just forget about it, I'm destined to be mediocre.  I need to embrace it.  Jesus loved the humble folks! 

I think our football season is just about done.  Timpview High School won their last play-off game.  Now it's the big one.  The state championship game is next week!  I'm so excited!  

  I like to take a break from the regular routine on Sundays, including my blog.  It gives me a chance to clear my head, re-set priorities and appreciate the many blessings I've been given.  I go to church, I reflect, and I try to find ways to inspire me to be a better mom, wife, Christian, and person.  Sundays are my day to take a sabbatical!  If you have a post that you'd like to share that is a little different from the ordinary weekday post, feel free to link up here!  We'd love to have you!  If you post a link, won't you take some time to check out the other links and follow, comment or share!   

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Amazon Gift Card #Giveaway - $125, $75 and $50 Awards!

To Celebrate National Bladder Health Awareness Month, we're Partying and doing a GIVEAWAY, Everyone is WELCOME but ladies 35+ are encouragedUm...I sometimes laugh so hard that I pee!  Does that happen to you?  Well, as they say, pee happens!
Always is the gracious sponsor of the twitter party!!
Your Life After 25 is the gracious sponsor for the Amazon OR Paypal giveaway!!
Now to the giveaway!! There will be 3 prizes!
1. $125.00 Paypal or Amazon Gift Card
2. $75.00 Paypal or Amazon Gift Card
3. $50.00 Paypal or Amazon Gift Card
Giveaway Rules:
Open to US & Canada.
• Winners will be chosen at random through Giveaway tools.
• Giveaway ends Dec 12 at 11:59pm ET.
• Winners will be notified via email or Twitter DM.
• Each winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.
• Mom Powered Media & associated bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.
• Must be 18 years or older to enter.
• Unlimited Entries
• Void where prohibited.
• Entering the giveaway means you agree to terms above! 
Enter here at A GAL NEEDS... and your valid entries will be counted at the time of the winning draw!  Good luck! 

Entry-Form Disclaimer: The participating bloggers may have been compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact natasha@mompoweredmedia.com if you have any additional questions or comments. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

$250 and $100 Crate & Barrel Gift Card #Giveaway!

Sponsored by: Agent Ace

Hosted by: Mom Powered Media
Enter here at A Gal Needs...and your valid entries will be counted at the time of the winning draw!  Good luck! 
 Agent Ace is the new way to find the best real estate agent.  When you've thought about buying a home, how did you figure out who would help you with that?  Did you find someone who you felt you could trust to get you what you wanted from it, whether that was a good price on a new home or the best sale of your old one?  A lot of homeowners and potential buyers will just pick a random agent from a list online without a lot of background on what they're best at.  It's like throwing a dart at the Yellowpages.  With just a little information from you, Agent Ace can match you with the best agent to sell your home or buy a new one.

They're not a service who bases their list on whoever pays the most in your area either, so there's no worry about what goes on behind the scenes.  For those of us in the market, Agent Ace a completely free service.  Their innovative, patented technology — the Agent Connection Engine (ACE) — makes an unbiased evaluation of every agent who has bought or sold a home just like the one you’re trying to close on based on the information you've provided. They gather and analyze years of past home sales data from ALL the real estate agents in your state, not just a small network. Then they promise to recommend the single best agent for your needs — based on facts.

Agent Ace is free, easy to use, and there’s no obligation to use any of the agents they recommend. You're not locked into anything if you don't find someone you think fits or if maybe you decide you're not ready yet.  They make up to 3 agent recommendations for buying and 3 for selling so you can choose the best fit for your needs and your style. Once they identify your best agent, the experienced Agent Specialists will screen them and confirm that they can fully commit to you.  They do the initial contact and the sometimes awkward "Hey, can you take a new client right now?" questions for you.  Once they’re sure it's a great fit, your recommended agent will give you a call within 24 hours (but usually sooner). It’s as easy as ordering take-out.

If you're even considering getting into the housing market for your dream home, whether to buy or sell, you can check out Agent Ace's amazing system from the comfort of your home (in your pajamas) at AgentAce.com.
Speaking of Dream Homes, Agent Ace wants to help you decorate yours.  Two lucky winners are going to receive Crate & Barrel gift cards!  The grand prize winner will receive a $250 gift card and a runner up will receive a $100 gift card.  The sweepstakes is open to residents of the US through November 24, 2014.  Enter using the form below and Good Luck!

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. No purchase is necessary to enter. One entrant per household, per address. Void where prohibited by law. Winner(s) will be contacted by email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this sweepstakes. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Crate & Barrel, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact brookedoesitall@gmail.com if you have any additional questions or comments.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

3 Reasons You Might Want To Re-Think Gym Membership

I've been a member of my local gym for quite awhile and have quite enjoyed it.  But I think maybe my days of  gym membership may be over for a few reasons. It's called time and money and health.


My Time is so valuable these days that taking even 15 minutes to prepare for the gym (you know you can't go there looking bad) and then to travel the 5 minutes both ways, making that almost a half hour, is more time than I have to spare, especially if presented with a better alternative.  If I can save an hour and a half per week by cutting out travel and prep time, then I'm all for it! 


My gym charges $28 per month for membership and that is because we have preferred status since being members for over a year.  But even that seems too much.  Yes, I like the classes, the pool, the sauna, and the weights and the spinning room.  But how much, honestly, did I use any of these things?  Probably the most-used amenities were the classes.  I love yoga and dance.  So I really enjoyed going to those classes.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to attend them as much as I wanted because, of course, they aren't scheduled around my hectic life.  Instead, I had to schedule my already hectic life around them.  If I can wrangle a better price for classes, I'd like to do it!


I don't want to risk getting any sicknesses right before the holidays, or anytime for that matter.  It's a well-known fact that bacterial, viral and fungal diseases like Athlete's Foot are rampant in popular gyms.  Things like Staph and Strep are lurking in the showers, on the floors, and on mats and equipment.  You can always wipe equipment off with anti-bacterial wipes, but it only takes one bad exposure.  So why risk it, especially since it's $30 that I can be saving towards Christmas? 

One alternative is to do your exercising at home or with friends.  There are a lot of programs cropping up that you can do at home.  Beach Body is one.  I've gotten on that wagon, but I feel so bad when I end up breaking my promises and commitments to my coach and group because of unforeseen circumstances.  Even the food groups are stressful because you have to come clean about what you ate that week.  I don't like the pressure I feel to actually lie about my success to save face over a bad eating week.  And I don't like the pressure I feel to buy their shakes and videos, etc. 

Daily Burn is another option.  I like the idea that Daily Burn is more anonymous, yet still very supportive.  It's the future of online workouts. They have the whole package. You can achieve your goals with their variety of workout videos, community support, and more. You can try it free for 30 days. After that, it's only $10!  You can also opt for a $15 package that includes nutrition plans. There are a couple different landing pages loaded for their various products such as Yoga, Inferno, and Move! a dance aerobics workout.  Click the pic below for more details!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Motivating Monday Weekly Link-Up

Yesterday was the best!  I love our family get-togethers!  It was my adorable nephew's 3rd birthday.  Everyone was there and the food flowed.   I brought my usual punch bowl cake and Natalie brought the birthday cake.  In addition we had some amaazing ribs, salad, baked beans, bbq'd corn and other yums. 
   Natalie's cakes are not only works of art, but they are gluten-free, so that our gluten intolerant uncle/relative, Dayne, can also participate in the festivities.  It is a courtesy that apparently even his immediate family doesn't extend to him, so it's really nice that she does that.  Plus, it was fetching delicious!

Even though it's my nephew's birthday, some of  the other cousins were as excited as he was.  They like to check out the gifts, get in a little play time with them as well and maybe even help blow out the candles!

 Anyway, today is Motivating Monday!  We all need a little motivation!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for motivating posts, tips, pictures and videos!  If I happen to find yours, I'll link it up and let you know!  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!