Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fun With The Color Pink!

In honor of my latest giveaway, which features a pink athletic top and also because it's the only color category I am currently boarding on Pinterest, I wanted to see what came up when I explore the color pink in the fashion world.  I'm not talking about walking around the city with 'Pink' plastered on my butt, that's so 2010.  (HeeHee!)  And of course, we really need to get away from the fact that Paris Hilton practically ruined wearing pink because she wore it so much for the last 10 years!

I think that splashes of pink are beautiful and I apparently am all for it.  My 'Pink' Board on Pinterest, like most of my other boards, was not planned. It was a subconscious affinity for the color that I never would have thought I had partiality to, were it not for that social media phenomenon.  So YES for self-discovery, be it on Pinterest or anywhere else for that matter! 

 I've definitely got to give this shopping lady some credit for wearing the most pink at one time.  She is obviously trying really hard, and I give a thumbs up to anyone who tries!  You go, Granny!

Pink Credits:
Binka Live Love Tank $55.00                                                                                                         
Pink Skinnies Rag & Bone, $187.00
Pink Bandage Dress, Guess, $89.00
Shaun Leane Cherry Blossom Studs, $200.00
Peep-Toe Pumps,, $43.00
 Tony Burch, Pink Sandals, $157.50
Bamboo Lace Robe, Pink, $86.00
Blake Lively in Michael Kors

Thursday, June 28, 2012

An ActivewearUSA Review + #Giveaway

"One of these days I'm going to be so fit!"  I've been saying that all my life.  I've always had this ideal image that I've been trying to attain. I've never hit that image in my head, but along the way, I feel like I've gained something even better.  I love to be active and exercise!  Sometimes I run.  No, I don't do marathons, or even 5Ks but I love running with my dog!  Sometimes I bike.  Last Saturday I did 33 miles, which about killed me...but I loved it!  Sometimes I do yoga.  I am pretty limber, if I work up to it.  By the end of a class I can almost touch my head to my knees!   I  like to hike.  I take my dog for walks and hikes in the hills around our town!  The right workout clothing makes exercising that much more enjoyable.  It's great to feel good about what you're wearing! is a place where you can find the exact right sportswear for you, no matter what the activity!  Founded by Avi Woolman, a wife, mom, fitness enthusiast, and entrepreneur, it is their goal to offer the largest selection of quality, high-performance, stylish women's activeewear, footwear, and accessories.  I believe if they haven't done that yet, they are awfully close!  They have a huge selection of everything, including dance pants! You can shop by category, by sport, or by brand!
I randomly looked up Workout Pants and came up with several different types, but there are literally hundreds of choices!

For this review, I was asked 3 questions:  What is your size?  What are your favorite sports activities?  What is your style - crazy, floral, conservative, black?  My answers were:  Size - Medium (8 - 10), Favorite Sports - Yoga, hiking, biking, running,  Style - Floral.  Based on those answers, my Customer Service Rep sent me this gorgeous top!  I was really impressed.  Here are some ways that I can wear it! (Click for a larger view)

I like it because it has lots of support in the top and is flattering in the waist because of the shirred sides.  So I definitely feel comfortable exercising in it and I also feel like I can wear it as a casual top.  Bonus!  Needless to say, I was very impressed with my Customer Service Rep and how she was able to find something for me that I liked. 

To show you that ActivewearUSA has something just for you, one Gal Pal will be receiving a personalized item of choice based on the same 3 questions I was asked above!  So start thinking about your answers and in the meantime, enter the giveaway! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Blogger Sign-Ups Now For $300 Giveaway Event!

Get in on this great Blogger Giveaway Event over at A Thrifty Diva!  There will be 2 winners, each winning $150 PayPal Gift!  You know entries will be through the roof!  Why not get in?  Just tell them that A GAL NEEDS...sent you, please?  That would be so nice of you!  Make sure you are available to post for July 1st!  It goes from July 1 - 18! 

A Thrifty Diva

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rivers And Treehouses

     Have you heard about Tremain Albright in Bonner's Ferry, Idaho who built a beautiful treehouse in a tree on his property overlooking the River, even getting a variance so that he could build it?  Of course, the Army Core of Engineers decided that it needed to come down because it "Could" impede river flow if it "Did" fall down.  It looks to me as if that treehouse isn't going anywhere, nor the tree, for a really, really long time! I saw a picture of the tree and small it isn't!
     It's kind of like me going out to drive my car.  I "Could" hit someone if I "Did" drive over the yellow line.  First of all, that's not going to stop me or others from driving, and second, that's why I took and passed the driver's test!  Furthermore, the Core of Engineers made it even more difficult to oppose them by tying it to money given to the city, Bonner's Ferry.  Originally, the town supported the treehouse owner and his right to keep it.  But now, if the house doesn't come down, the town may not be getting the $128,000 of Fed money for levee repairs this year.  I guess the treehouse goes.  It's crazy how the government decides when and how to get involved in private citizens' lives.

     More close to home is the Provo River debate where I live.   The Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission, a federal agency, is ready to take lands around the Provo River Route by means of eminent domain, and turn them into marshlands so that the June Sucker can survive.  The June Sucker is a little fish that is native to Utah Lake and was declared endangered in 1986.  Never mind that it has been coming back recently, thanks to fisheries planting them into the lake every year, plus the predatory carp are being extincted from the lake to the tune of 5 million carp per year.  (Ironically, these carp were originally planted in the lake by the Government in the late 1880's!) 
     So already many things are being done and lots of money is being spent to bring about the preservation of this little, teeny, fish.  Now, even more money will be spent--taxpayer dollars--to save this fish!  And really, not a lot of support for it here in Provo, UT.. Certainly not from the dozens of farmers whose lands will be effectively  taken from them or if not, dictated to on how they will be used.  Certainly not the people who live surrounding the greater Provo area.  Marshlands means mosquitoes and we've got enough of those already, thanks!  And certainly not any citizens who realize that this is another earmark by the government, using tax dollars that could be used better in some other way than disturbing life as we know it here in Provo, UT!  

      One good citizen looked at it this way:
"The June sucker restoration plan hinges on constant intervention by man.
Utah Lake would cease to exist if it weren't for structures on the lake's outlet which prevent continued downcutting through the old Lake Bonneville sandbar. If allowed to return to a natural ecosystem, the lake would naturally disappear. In geological time, lakes are short-lived.
The other component is continued removal of carp, in perpetuity.
If either of these steps is terminated, the June sucker is doomed. This is hardly a natural ecosystem. This whole endeavor only will delay, at great cost, what nature will do anyway."
So, like Tremain Albright in Bonner's Ferry, ID whose beautiful dream of a little, harmless getaway overlooking the river could be doomed, a way of life for a town soon could be but a memory.  But there is still some time to try and influence government intervention.  Please sign the petition here and help Save The Provo River and save taxpayers 20 - 30 million dollars! 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Back Support

     For about a year I’ve been dealing with some interesting back issues.  Yes, literally my lower back!  And no, it's not because I am overly endowed in the chest area!  What happens is that my back goes through periods of time where I can hardly move at all, like my muscles have given out.  I never know when it will happen because it isn't connected to some sort of wrenching or specific incident.  It’s not a sharp pain.  It’s more like my lower back just turns to mush and there is nothing there supporting me.   It feels fine when I just sit or lay down. It is when I sit or attempt to get up after laying down that it gives me problems.   I can bend over from standing with ease, though.  I wondered at first whether or not it had anything to do with ‘Aunt Flo’ coming to visit.  (I can't believe I just mentioned that)  But this most recent bout has nothing to do with that.  It has been 5 days now that I'm walking around very gingerly, not bending or lifting much at all.  I’m definitely tired of it.  I suppose it will go away eventually, like it does every time.  But oh, how it messes with my plans!  I don’t feel like doing anything, much less exercise when I feel like this.  I recently talked with a friend who has the same thing happen to her.  She also has a boyfriend who is a physical therapist.  He says that it is very commonplace in women to have back issues periodically.  He said the best thing to shorten the duration of the flare-up is to put ice on it.  So instead of pain for 5-7 days, one can shorten it down to 2-3 days.  Next time, I'm trying the ice!  
     It makes me appreciate my body, though.  When I am feeling well, I am able to do so much!  It is a wonderful vehicle to take me through life.  I definitely want to take care of it more.  So with that said, here are a few things I promise to do for my body this summer.  I’m not getting all crazy, but just these few things should help a lot!
      I’ve been sitting at my desk entirely too much.  I know it and my butt knows it.  My butt is yelling, “Get off me!”  So, I will.  I promise to faithfully get up and walk or do other things every hour.  Sometimes I get so involved in what I am doing at my desk that time can really go by quickly.  But even  right now, I am standing up as I type.  There is no reason to be sitting so much! 
     I will drink more clean, fresh water.  The benefits of drinking good water are so many.  But the thing that interests me right now is that sometimes dehydration can masquerade as hunger.  Our bodies are made of 68% or more of water.  I’m sure that the body needs water way before we are thirsty and that could easily be mistaken as hunger.  There is a new bottled water that is out and it is flavored like herbs and fruits.  I could sip on it all day long!  It’s called Ayala’s Herbal Water and it is wonderful.   Right now I'm loving the  lemongrass mint vanilla!  It is so refreshing!  My husband, however, doesn't quite share my view.  He thinks that the stuff tastes like cough syrup.  Not even!!  Men, sheesh!
      I’ve recently learned how important stretching is.  And this coming from the gal who could drop straight down into the splits without the bat of an eye just a year ago.  I can still do the splits. It's just getting out of them that's the killer for me.  It hurts!  Plus I don't drop down into them anymore.  I ease myself down into them.  But being limber isn't whether you can do the splits or not.  It's your hips, your hamstrings, your pectorals, your back!!!  If you want to stay young and not age, you need to stretch and work every one of the 600 muscles found in the body.  And especially  in view of my back issues, stretching can be one of the weapons in my arsenal to keep myself pain-free.  So, I am incorporating stretching in my daily exercise routine.  If I don’t do ANYTHING else, I will stretch.  It’s that important.  A program I’ve found recently is called Classical Stretch.  It is amazing.  The premise of the method is that without regular stretching our bodies start to atrophy as early as in our twenties.   By doing regular stretching, at least 25 minutes a day, we can alleviate the aging process our bodies go through because of non-use of our muscles and bones! 
     I want to spend more time outdoors.  The weather is beautiful right now.  I’ve got a great bike and a dog who absolutely loves to spend time with me.  I feel like being outside frees the mind, invigorates the body and rejuvenates the spirit!  So out I’ll go. 
     I don’t know how much, if any of this will ultimately help my back, but I know it will help me be a better mom, wife, friend and person!  

Disclaimer:  My post, my opinion, yours may vary!  No compensation  was received,

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A #Giveaway + 50% Coupon Code - Fold Flop Sandals

 Fold Flops are foldable flip flops that can go anywhere and offer style, comfort and convenience! I like them because they look like regular flip flops, except they can be stowed away in a small purse because of the fold-able technology. They even come with their own bag!
They look great with dresses or jeans!  They can be worn in the shower at the pool and can easily be fit into a beach or gym bag!  Fold Flops also have a cushioned inset to maximize foot and arch support and provide high-level comfort!

In July, Fold Flops will be 1 year old! The inventor of Fold Flops, Mary Kiser, conceptualized the idea of Fold Flops when she was in Paris, waiting for the subway, in 4-inch heels.  She had been on her feet the whole night but she couldn't take off her shoes because of broken glass on the pavement. By the time she reached her car, her pain was through the roof!  She longed for her flip flops....and from there was born the idea!  You can hear it in Mary's own words and some of the words of her dog here!

Fold Flops are easy to care for.  They are waterproof and UV resistant. Just throw them in the washer or dishwasher and they will clean right up!  These are must-haves for summer vacationing!  And let's not forget that these are also for men! Colors come in black, red, champagne (the color I chose), pink and blue.
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Zip-up bag with Fold Flops inside!
I have an amazing Coupon Code for you.  When you purchase these (and I'd suggest at least 2 pairs), enter "AGALNEEDS"' at check-out and you will receive 50% off your purchase!  How exciting is that?  This is for a limited time only, so hurry!

Also, I have a pair of Fold Flops to give away to one Gal Pal!  Just use the Rafflecopter form below for some easy, easy entries!  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My Experience With Xtreme Fat Loss Formula #Review

My metabolism has slowed down over the course of the past 10 years.  It's actually astonishing to realize how much it really has!  I used to be able to eat anything I wanted as long as I exercised regularly and watched my calories if I ever started to gain weight.  Then I noticed that I was eating less, but gaining more and when I tried to take care of it with exercise, it didn't work.  So I tried exercising harder.  I just ended up with strained joints and injured tendons and no energy.  I became resigned to the fact that I might end up being chubby whether I wanted to be or not.  That thought was a real morale destroyer.  "Well, I might as well enjoy eating and not worry about it", I told myself.  Have you ever thought that way?  I totally did.  It's just life.  But I might have found a way to get the morale back and the motivation going again.  It's called Xtreme Fat Loss Formula. I found it when I was visiting my local Women's Expo.

To me, it's a 4 oz. bottle of fat-melting water.  You just spray about 5 sprays 15 minutes before you eat a healthy, balanced, low-fat meal and that's it.  You'll start losing weight!  It's so motivating to get on the scale after you have done a good job with eating to be rewarded with a loss on the scale.  Furthermore this formula is natural with no chemicals and it's FDA approved!  It uses a process called Molecular Frequency Encoding Technology.  To read more about it, check it out here!

I've noticed that summer can be a hard time to diet because of all the friends and family get-togethers, the barbeques and on-the-go eating that can happen because it's warmer and we want to get out of the house!  So, since I've been using the formula,  my weight goes right back down after a weekend of decadent eating.  It's really quite amazing.  Before, those weekends would spell total and complete disaster and would mean a gain of 2 permanent pounds.  So basically I was looking at a gain of 10 lbs. per year because I couldn't bounce back after any diet deviations.  I know it won't be happening this year, plus when I get a temptation-free period of time, I will actually be able to lose weight!  Hallelujah, Praise, and Amen!  Thanks to Xtreme Fat Loss Formula!

Disclaimer:  My post, my opinion, yours may vary.  I was provided product to relate my experience!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Here's Wishing Rafa Good Luck!

I'm a die-hard Rafael Nadal fan. He stands to win his 7th French Open Title, putting him ahead of all others! Right now he is tied with Bjorn Borg for 6 French Open wins! So tomorrow is his big day against the great Novac Djokovic, who may just be known as the greatest tennis player yet! It's so hard to believe that they keep besting each other. Roger Federer is just an incredible tennis machine, as is Rafael Nadal. It's just that he is so endearing and humble, with his cute Spanish accent. I just want to see him win at least one more French! So here are my positive vibes going out to him, before the match! Sorry I couldn't be there, but I'll be right there on my couch, crossing my fingers and watching with bated breath! My excuse for putting up some pics here!
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Raspberry Ketone #Weightloss #Giveaway & 60% Discount Code!

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 Summer may not officially start for a couple more weeks, but most of us are already looking to stay cool .  One of those ways is to wear fewer clothes and that means that we are now looking at our bodies and some of us are saying, uh-oh, I need to do something about this, and fast!  We've gone the caffeine route, the metabolism boosters with questionable stimulants route, the energy drinks and so now, here is a way that maybe is the best, because it's natural and has no side-effect...unless you are allergic to raspberries!  It's called Raspberry Ketone from Daily Nutrition, a cutting-edge company dedicated to finding the best and most effective nutritional ways to lose weight safely and have incredible energy at the same time! I'd normally be a little bit suspicious about something like that because I've heard it all about a lot of foods - from grapefruit to pickles to fish.  But then I listened to this strong recommendation from Dr. Oz and I've changed my mind.  I'm taking Raspberry Ketone right now and what I've noticed is that I'm not hungry or craving!  On top of that, it is supposed to make your metabolism much more efficient in terms of burning fat!  So here I am, once again, super motivated and hopeful that I will lose that 10 lbs I put on and just can't seem to lose!  If  you're in the same boat, I suggest you take a listen to this video from Dr. Oz as he explains about Raspberry Ketone.

I love that this supplement has absolutely no artificial ingredients, 100% FDA approved and safe!
Basically, here is what you can expect from Raspberry Ketone:
  • Potent Fat Burner
  • Effective Appetite Suppressant
  • Works Quickly, Proven Results
  • Affordable Prices
  • Tremendous Weight loss results
  • Increase in Focus
  • Energy Throughout the day
  • No Crash
In addition, there are some other proven natural fat-fighting ingredients added to Daily Nutrition Raspberry Ketone to help the weight loss process even more!

                                                                                                    Follow Me on Pinterest
Daily Nutrition will give one Gal Pal a bottle of Raspberry Ketone to try out and for the rest of you, an incredible discount code of 60% off the purchase of this product!  Just use agalneedsketones when you check out here!  Kick-start your summer weight loss program with this great product by entering below to win a bottle or by using the coupon code!   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Not So Well-Kept Secret, Living In Utah

      I've lived in some great states.  I can't say I have experience with the whole U.S., but I know I've lived in some of the best.  I was born and lived in Craig, Colorado for my early childhood years.  I remember the beautiful, peaceful summers, the cold winters and my Grandmother's beautiful garden with the hollyhocks, rhubarb, and corn. Follow Me on Pinterest

I've since been back and spent time in Winter Park and love it for vacationing.  
      I called the California San Joaquin Valley home during my pre-adolescent years all the way through early adulthood and absolutely loved it.  The smell of California Sycamore Trees in Fall burns a memory in my mind forever.  
    Small town Virginia was the lush, green state that I lived in for 10 years.  The people were lovely and I got my college degree there.  I have some wonderful memories.  I've been to the Smoky Mountains several times and I drove the Blue Ridge Parkway on a regular basis because it was right around the corner from where I lived.  So very beautiful!  
       Now I live in Utah and I think I've found the place where I'll probably spend the rest of my life.  Why?  Here are a few reasons. 
      Utah also has beautiful country.  The mountains here are so spectacular!  In some places they are barren and brown, but in other places, like where I live, they are full of color because of all the trees.  I think the mountains in Little Cottonwood Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon are gorgeous and remind me of the Alps!

There are many places to hike, bike, fish, and sight see, including 5 National Parks and who knows how many state parks--a lot!  Just because there is no ocean doesn't mean there is no water.  The lakes here are clean, clear and ready to be fished or boated on.  I take full advantage of all this nature and take my Border Collie named Evee on amazing hikes in the nearby mountains and I also go on beautiful bike rides on my local river trail that meanders for 15 miles along the river and into the canyons.  But I'm also really near to the conveniences of civilization, since I live in a metropolitan area of over 300,000 people.  It's amazing how I can feel like I'm in the middle of nowhere with all of that hustle and bustle so nearby.  And did you know that there are now fireflies here?  Yep, they were just discovered here in Utah this June!  The magical lightning bugs that I loved in Virginia are now here in Spanish Fork, UT.
      The people here are generally very good.  How do I really know that personally?  Well, let me tell you and confess at the same time.  I have a terrible habit of leaving things behind.  I don't know how many times I have left wallets, credit cards, cameras, sunglasses or any number of things at public places.  Almost every single time I do this, people will return them.  Just last week I left my debit card at the local Cold Stone Creamery, one of my favorite places.  I knew that I had probably left it on the counter when I was being handed my ice cream. I guess I got a bit too interested in the ice cream rather than take care that my card was safely back in my wallet.  I walked out of the store, oblivious that I left it and didn't miss it until a day later.  I figured I left it there.  But my vast experience with this type of thing let me go about my business without much worry.  In fact, I didn't get around to calling the establishment until a couple days after I missed it.  When I did call, sure enough, they had found the card and saved it for me.  I had my husband pick it up while he was out doing errands.  I'm just grateful that people here are so decent. 
       Along those same lines is the fact that Utah has the highest volunteer rate in the nation.  This was found by the Census Bureau, now for 6 years running.  And with all that volunteerism are the programs that are kept running for the elderly and for school age children.
'Meals on Wheels' is one program that uses a lot of volunteers, as does 'Parks & Recreation' and one really important one, The Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City.  Every year it allows visits for approximately 60,000 elementary students free of charge and gives out 500 Astronomy Teaching Kits to their teachers.  Last year Salt Lake County had 20,000 residents that volunteered, which is the equivalent to 457 full-time employees!
      And have you ever had fry sauce on your french fries?  I'm pretty sure this is a Utah thing.  Basically it's a combination of mayo, ketchup, and maybe some liquid smoke.  It's in all the restaurants and it's pretty good, if not very healthy.  A good brand of fry sauce to try out is Some Dude's Fry Sauce!  Careful, though.  It's addictive!
     There you have it, just a few reasons why I love living in Utah.  But could you keep it a secret?  I want it to stay this way!

Disclaimer: This is my own post, my own opinion.  Yours may vary!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Keranique Volumizing Shampoo, Conditioner and Mousse #Giveaway (ARV $89.95)

      Having thick, beautiful, healthy hair is such a gift!  There are many reasons that women don't have the thick, beautiful hair they once had or maybe never even had.  Men and women are basically different when it comes to skin and hair care. So using a man's hair regrowth treatment to get thick hair wouldn't be the best option. Whether you want fuller, thicker hair, healthier hair or actual hair regrowth, Keranique has the solution for you!   Keranique's scientific formulation is for females who suffer from hair loss, thinning hair, and bald patches. It is an advanced hair therapy for regrowth, specifically formulated to treat thin, dull or lackluster hair for women of all ages and hair types!  And  Keranique contains the only FDA approved ingredient for thinning hair called Minoxidil!  Engineered specifically for women, these products deliver outstanding results for all hair types.  The Keranique haircare system follows a simple three-step process:  cleanse, condition, and treat.
     If you are just looking for thicker, fuller hair you would want to try the Thicker, Fuller Looking Hair Kit!  It includes Revitalizing Shampoo, Volumizing Conditioner, Follicle Boosting Serum and Volumizing Lifting Spray. While the kit certainly isn't cheap, retailing at $159.90, the results are indeed very good!  I was able to try 3 of the products and I was very pleased with the initial results.  (See my review)
      If you are actually looking to regrow your hair, you would want the Hair Re-growth Kit!  It includes Revitalizing Shampoo, Volumizing Conditioner, Hair regrowth treatment and Volumizing lifting spray.  Again the price is $159.90 and it includes everything you need for a successful treatment plan to get your hair back! 
                            Here are some things that actual customers said about this product!  (Reviews from DermStore)
 "I started using Keranique Revitalizing Shampoo about 6 months ago...since then my hairline has actually stated to grow back hair feels stonger and thicker than before. I am very happy to see these results and will continue to use this product."  Review posted 5/25/2012
"Makes my hair soft and shiny.I use it every day and there is no build up.I have been using Keranique for over a year now and notice a huge difference in the amout of new growth and the over all strength of my hair. I love it! :)"  Review posted 1/23/2012.
"I just purchased Keranique the whole kit Shampoo, conditioner and volumizing spray and I love it. I have very thin hair and after I used this product I feel this is the product I want to contiue to use.It gave my hair shine, lots of volume and silky looking. I will most definetly buy this shampoo and conditioner again and I highly recommend it. It is pricey but I have tried many other products and I have not had the results I just had with Keranique..."  Review posted 1/16/2012

Now it's time to host a giveaway for 3 of  these great volumizing hair products.  Keranique has generously offered to give one Gal Pal three of their products, the Revitalizing Shampoo, the Volumizing Conditioner, and the Fortifying Mousse!  (ARV $89.85)  I can tell you that you will really love these products, just like I did!
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a Rafflecopter giveaway