Wednesday, July 18, 2012

$$ Extra $$ Income With NOVICA Live!

I’ve been a Novica fan for awhile now because, simply put, they have really cool and amazing stuff!  I especially love their pottery!  I love beautiful pottery vases and decorative items.  I ordered two beautiful pottery vases from the Castillo Family in Mexico and two beautiful bird carvings from Peru.  

 I also ordered a batik robe from Bali and a pair of Amethyst Dangle Earrings from Shri Lanka.  

I absolutely love all these items, was totally 100% satisfied and would gladly give my recommendation for any one of them! I would eventually love to get some Garnet Dangle Earrings  and some Amber Earrings to add to my earring collection. And to further feed my NOVICA addiction I would love to have one of their Silver Pendant Necklaces and one of their Silver Cocktail Rings 

Novica works with National Geographic Magazine, giving talented artisans around the world a place to express their artistic talents and have access to the world market.  There are thousands of unique hand-crafted items on their site to shop for.   The gift ideas are endless. 
Novica is proactive about telling the stories of the artisans who create the beautiful artwork found at their website.  Each piece of work comes with a personally written note from the artisan who made it.  I love how the work comes wrapped beautifully enough to give directly to someone as a gift. 
Novica doesn’t charge the artists for listing items on the website.  Each artist is fully independent and is free to raise or lower prizes to his/her own choosing.  This process allows the buyer to eliminate any middleman and it benefits both buyer and seller. 
A new ground level program that Novica has for home business builders is NOVICA Live!  Basically, it’s the opportunity to bring the actual art into people’s homes and tell the story behind it, giving people learning about NOVICA  a hands on experience.  I’ve heard it’s really easy to do~ basically you show a dvd of some of the artisans making their craft and then you get to tell the stories about the artisans and their lives. It’s a refreshingly different kind of experience because you are not simply selling products, but you’re  making a difference in the lives of people across the globe. You are lifting people out of poverty, you’re  saving the arts and traditions in these countries and you’re allowing these talented artisans a chance to fulfill their purpose. The company makes it easy for you as consultants because they provide all the tools to be successful.
Commission on sales is 20-30% depending on your volume. That goes up to as much at 37% once you make rank. You can find out more about it on the site.  You can make A LOT of money if you build your team and help them be successful.  Plus, can you imagine all of the beautiful NOVICA items you would have at your disposal?  Yummy!  Believe me, I’m very tempted myself!  Another really great thing is shipping is FREE! It comes directly from the country to the customer so you don’t have to deliver product and neither does your host. Mercy!  You just might find me doing this someday really soon!  It is only $199 to start up, giving you $400 worth of products and $150 in training materials to get started immediately.   Plus there are great incentives and price discounts for you to build up your show inventory, if you so choose! 
     If you decide to be a Novica Live Consultant, would you let me know so I can be excited for you?  And if you decide to do it, would you also let them know that A GAL NEEDS…blog (with my link) referred you?

Find Novica on Facebook and Twitter


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tricks That Will Boost The Metabolism

I work at a remedial high school in the Behavior/Special Ed Unit.  Before the school year ended, we had a writing assignment in English.  The subject was 'If Wishes Came True"...Here is one girl's response:
"If wishes came true I would eat whatever I want and not gain any weight.  I would be so happy...I would eat McDonalds all i want, whenever I want...french fries and popcorn would be my snack every day.  I would eat all of my favorite foods every day.  I bet the world would be alot happier if this wish came true. No one would have to worry about their figures anymore.  It would be an almost perfect world.  I'm getting hungry just thinking about it."
Well, girlfriend, I think you hit it pretty close for me!  Eating is one of the best things ever.  Unfortunately my appetite is bigger than what my metabolism can handle.  If I were to give in, there would be hell to pay on the scales, and believe me, it's happened a lot.  I envy those people who actually CAN seem to get away with eating whatever they want and still wear size 4 skinny jeans.  
But there is some good news.  I can almost level the playing field with those metabolic miracle chicks by incorporating a few tricks of my own.  Then when the craving is unbearable or the occasion warrents, I can indulge without the event ruining me for the next month and beyond.  Here are a few things I've discovered that really do work:

Don't Eat After Dark -  New studies reveal that to burn the most fat, you need to go 12 hours without eating—say, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. So it's smart to time your calorie intake accordingly.

Include Some Form of Weight Lifting Each Week 
Muscles are your biggest metabolic engine. The more of them you build, the more calories will be directed to keeping them strong. Lifting weights, practicing yoga, and incorporating core exercises that efficiently work large, connected groups of muscles in one swoop will translate into a higher metabolism all day.”   Putting on just 5 to 10 pounds of lean muscle mass will rev up your resting metabolism -- the number of calories your body burns to maintain life -- by roughly 100 calories, each and every day

Include Some Form of Interval Training Each Week In a landmark study published in the journal Metabolism, researchers found that short, intense bursts of exercise resulted in considerably more fat loss than sustained activity. “ Interval training [varying fast spurts of exercise with slower recovery periods] increases your metabolic power,” says Dr. Mark Hyman, author of Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss. “When you exercise this way, your mitochondria, the little engines in your cells that burn calories, run hotter all day.” Interval training can be incorporated into almost any routine. For example, instead of jogging, try running all-out for one minute and then walking for two, repeating the cycle for 30 minutes

Get Enough Sleep
When your body is sleep-deprived, it produces mass quantities of grehlin, the hunger hormone, driving you to crave more sugar and carbohydrates.  A recent study from Case Western Reserve University found that, on average, women who sleep for 5 hours or less per night are 32 percent more likely to gain weight and 15 percent more likely to be obese than those who get at least 7 hours.

Eat Every 2 or 3 Hours Eating three large meals a day is terrible for your metabolism because you have three peaks in your blood sugar/insulin response and the rest of the time you are in a valley that is not good for your insulin response. The key is to make sure each meal is well balanced and contains the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and a small amount of fat.

Supplement with Omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids,  largely found in fish oil and flaxseeds, increase the number of fat calories your body burns every day. Fat burning foods are essential for people who decrease calorie intake and exercise but still have trouble losing weight due to often genetic metabolic conditions. They are great antidotes for this problem.

Supplement with Chromium 
Make sure you’re getting enough chromium in your diet to help your body burn more calories. Chromium, which is found in tomatoes and in a supplement form, also boosts the way you burn fat. According to MedlinePlus, meat, eggs, green pepper, apples, banana and spinach are also good sources of chromium. When you supplement 120 mcg of chromium daily, your body benefits by revving up its metabolism

Get Out of your chair every 20 minutes - Whether it's TV watching, blogging, entering contests, playing video or computer games or driving, we sit way too much. Between 1980 and 2000 exercise time stayed the same, but sitting increased by 8%. Obesity doubled.  When one sits, the electrical impulses in the legs shut off, calorie burning drops to 1 calorie burned per minute and enzymes used to help burn fat drop to 90%.  Just by setting a timer for 20 minutes, you can keep track of how long you sit and just walk around for a little bit to break up the time you are sitting without interruption, which seems to be the culprit.

Fight Inflamation 
Experts are starting to point to inflammation as an influence on metabolism. Inflammation is simply the body’s immune response, activated during illness, allergic reaction, or when too much glucose, fat, or carbohydrates enter the system, explains Dr. Hyman. When the inflammatory response switches on, a group of receptors located on the fat and liver cells activate and start redirecting energy toward storage, rather than use. Until the body determines the “crisis” is over, metabolism will slow down, and more calories will go to fat cells. You can keep inflammation down by sticking to low-sugar foods, lean proteins, and healthy fats.  Meals high in antioxidants and fiber bring the inflammatory response down even more.

Break Up Your Workout Sessions 
A University of Pittsburgh study found that women who did four separate 10-minute workouts during the day lost thirty percent more weight than women who did one big 40-minute workout a day. Scientists conclude you can lose more weight and keep your metabolism moving faster by doing smaller, shorter workouts.

Control Stress as much as possible Keep stress levels in check by managing your time, focusing on the present and not over-committing. Many studies have found a link between high levels of stress and weight gain. You don't have to commit to regular yoga classes or meditation sessions to manage your stress.  Just know your limits and know that the world isn't all on your shoulders, you can share that responsibility.  It will help you be more productive in the long run.

Drink Plenty of Water 
In a small German study, subjects who drank 16 ounces of water at a time experienced a 30 percent increase in metabolic rate during the following hour, burning an extra 24 calories. The researchers recommend cool water because the body expends extra calories warming it up to your body temperature.  If your body is not properly hydrated it may not be able to perform certain vital functions.  This can lead to a reduction in your BMR.  Therefore, you need to make sure you are drinking enough water to maximise your metabolism.  I find that keeping a water bottle at your desk and topping it up regularly plus making an effort to drink extra water while exercising helps me stay hydrated throughout the day.

Don't Under-Eat 
Undereating causes your metabolic rate to drop and your body to hold onto fat. Most nutrition experts recommend that the average, active woman consumes at least 1,800 calories daily. But watch out for underestimating the calorie count of "healthy" foods. Even some salads are packed with extra calories.

Drink Green Tea
There are varying reports on this, but Research reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that green tea helps to burn up to forty-three percent more calories a day. Another study showed that men who drank green tea for three months lost almost twice as much weight as those who didn’t drink the brew.

I suppose I no longer have any of the above excuses to be fat, including that my metabolism is really bad.  I better put my money where my mouth is!  If you know of any other great tricks for boosting the metabolism, please do tell!  



Monday, July 16, 2012

Classical Stretch, PBS Season 8 #Giveaway

 I have teamed up with 3 amazing bloggers to bring you this great giveaway:

 Are you a busy mom, a rushed student or someone who is recovering from injury, surgery or illness?  In all 3 cases, you definitely need to explore Classical Stretch because you will greatly benefit! 
Classical Stretch is a unique approach to physical fitness and over-all body wellness. This innovative training technique targets the muscles and joints from many different angles and planes of motion.
Classical Stretch combines profound stretch of the muscles and at the same time forces the core muscles to contract eccentrically. This unique technique creates conditions for the strengthening of the muscles without muscular hypertrophy, helping participants to achieve the slenderized muscle. It also creates conditions for body fat loss in targeted areas. A stronger, better-balanced and more fl exible body encourages an individual to use his/her newly possessed recourses by engaging in more active everyday life leading to overall body weight loss and better health.
--Dr. Andre Kulesza PhD Physical Education, Sport Science, Biomechanics
 Miranda Esmonde-White, the creator of Classical Stretch, has spent most of her life dancing and sharing the artistry of dance with others.  A former ballerina, Miranda has used her understanding of movement to create a stretch and strengthening fitness program, which targets the needs of everyone from women and men of all ages to elite athletes.
   Classical Stretch is an exercise system that is transformational for women 25 and older.  It fuses its unique movements with elements of Tai Chi, Yoga and  Ballet.  The founder, Miranda Esmonde-White is a lifetime dancer and ballerina.  Her exercise system evolved in her studio as she studied her own movements and those of her students.  She became known for healing musculoskeletal issues such as back pain and leg problems and for toning, lengthening and slenderizing her students' bodies. 
  Filmed in Jamaica, currently in its 8th Season on PBS and in filming for Season 9, Classical Stretch and Miranda Esmond-White is a Canadian success story and crosses over into the US and beyond!  She has many testimonials and many disciples of her method.
Rushed Students:  This is a full-body workout that will produce results in just 28 minutes per day.  If you don't have time to do anything else, you should stretch to keep the muscle tone and flexibility that only too soon (starting at age 25) you will start  to lose.  Yes, if we don't use and stretch all 600 of the muscles in the body, they will start to atrophy that early! 

Busy Moms:  In just 28 minutes per day, you will start to notice your body lengthening, thinning, and getting stronger.  Your energy will increase and you will be motivated to continue!  Try the Classical Stretch 30-day Boot Camp, doing one or two episodes everyday for 30 days, and watch your pant size go down!  

Recovering Patient: A bonus of this program is that it is  rehabilitative in nature for those who are suffering with multiple ailments such as back injury, leg pain, surgery, scoliosis and more.  

It's hard to imagine that something that takes such little time can produce such great results.  But try it,and be surprised at how thoroughly worked-out and energized you feel at the end of the workout!  Of course, like anything worth achieving, it takes practice and perseverance. Good thing it is an enjoyable thing to do!  Here are a couple of the many testimonials found on the Classical Stretch Website!

"I started doing Classical Stretch on PBS last September when my son started school. I have been doing it 3-4 times per week for 10 months and look and feel better. I was not overweight before but needed to tone. I have lost 5 pounds and several inches from my waist and legs. I can wear a size 4-6. All of my clothes are too big. "

"I am 40 years old, have had a baby and can wear clothes I wore when I was in my 20's. I might even wear a bikini this year. I also used to have alot of back pain and tightness. I now rarely have back problems and when I do I can cure myself with Classical Stretch. Thank you so much."

And here is an example of Miranda, guiding you through a workout. She is very knowledgeable about human anatomy and shares helpful tips throughout the workouts to educate as to why you are doing the particular stretches.  

Classical Stretch 2009 TV Series from Esmonde-White House on Vimeo. Someone will win the 2 dvd set of Season 8 of Classical Stretch with Miranda Esmonde-White, a value of $64.95 + shipping! This Giveaway is open to US and Canada! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ugglebo Clogs {Review and #Giveaway $180 ARV}

     I found the greatest clog company. If you want authentic Swedish Clogs that are cute, stylish and well-made, you want to check out Ugglebo Clogs.  I ordered these cute Etna clogs and I love them!  I had a couple of outfits that needed the right shoe and when I saw these, I knew I'd found them.
   I've always loved clogs and have owned at least 5 pairs at different times in my life. Some have been more well-made than others. The last pair that I owned fell apart. The sole came unglued from the heel. But these are so well-made that I won't have that problem. They are also comfortable.  It goes to show that wooden shoes are very comfortable if they are well-made!  Ugglebo crafts their footwear using the finest leathers, wooden bases, and metal hardware available throughout the world. 
    When the shoes arrived, they were not in a shoe-box.  They were neatly wrapped in butcher paper and I thought it was wonderful because it saves the trees when you don't use a whole shoebox.  
   The color wasn't the exact red that I saw on the website.  In fact, I would call it more maroon or burgundy.  But I love them!
   I love the selection they have.  They have high-heeled clogs, mid-heels and low heels.  And they have the most amazing boots. 
   You can buy Ugglebo Clogs in a variety of locations around the world or directly from their website!  The average price is $179.00, but several styles, including my Etnas, are on sale right now for $116.35!  And if you buy two pairs, it's free shipping!
   Or you can win a pair right here!  Just fill in the entry form below and see how the draw falls!  Good luck!  You're going to love your Ugglebos!  This giveaway is open to U.S. entrants 18 and over!
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

SmartSilk Bedding! Review and #Giveaway

I am thrilled to do a review on some special pillows and a special company!  I'm such a pillow lover. I prop myself up with them when I read, I put them over my head when the morning light is too bright, I elevate my legs with them when they are tired, I lean against them when I am laying on my side! Yep, I love pillows, and these are special. Because of the natural properties of silk combined with unique and patented technology, I was afforded a better night's sleep. I was able to sleep through the night and be free from any kind of discomfort, temperature changes, coughing and allergic reactions!   These pillows feel like down pillows, but are so much better! No down feathers sticking me!
What makes SmartSilk™ unique?

  • Millions of strands of silk are in their pillows and other bedding.  It is stretched into sheets and laid layer upon layer into the perfect thickness! 
  • 100% cotton outer shells.  All SmartSilk™ products are encased in 100%, preshrunk, breathable, soft cotton 
  • Chemical Free.  SmartSilk™ products are boiled and cleaned using mild soaps
  • SmartSilk™  does not harbour odors.  It is an inhospitable surface to dust mites and allergens and resistant to mold and mildew.
  • SmartSilk™  is naturally flame retardant, although no chemicals are used nor any special treatments.
  • A natural heat regulator. SmartSilk™ naturally adjusts to the body, creating the perfect temperature. You won't need to kick off the blanket in the middle of the night, sleep with one leg out or flip the pillow around looking for the cool spot. When your body begins to overheat, our breathable silk and cotton allows air to smoothly circulate without compromising warmth.

  • Smart Silk products are naturally moisture-wicking. This is especially good news for those of us, ahem, who experience occasional flashes of heat during the night, I'm sure because it's summer and all...but anyway, it sure keeps me you cool!
 If you are one of the 50 million allergy sufferers in North America, this bedding is a must for you. It is the first all natural bedding to be certified asthma and allergy friendly. It is scientifically tested and proven to be an effective barrier against dust mites, allergens and pet dander, as well as resistant to mold and mildew growth! In addition to pillows, they offer mattress pads, comforters/duvets, and pillow protectors!
They are delivered vac sealed and they almost look flat, but when opened, they plump out very nicely and feel so soft! All of their products are environmentally friendly, machine washable with cold water and can be tumble dried on a low heat setting. They also include a 10 year warranty on manufacturer defects along with a 60 day 100% money-back guarantee.

Smart Silk would like to give one of my Gal Pals the same two pillows I received! What a great gift! This will get you started on the road to having "silk-filled bedding for a healthy bed and body!"  All you need to do is enter below! Open to US and Canada!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 6, 2012

Free Blogger Op - Classical Stretch Season 8 DVD Giveaway

 Classical Stretch/The Esmonde Technique PBS Season 8 "Anti-Aging Series"

Classical Stretch is an exercise system that is transformational for women 25 and older.  It has unique movements as well as elements of Tai Chi, Yoga and  Ballet.  The founder, Miranda Esmonde-White is a lifetime dancer and ballerina.  Her exercise system evolved in her studio as she studied her own movements and those of her students.  She became known for healing musculoskeletal issues such as back pain and leg problems and for toning, lengthening and slenderizing her students' bodies. 

Currently in its 8th Season on PBS and in filming for Season 9, Classical Stretch and Miranda Esmond-White is a Canadian success story and crosses over into the US and beyond!  She has many testimonials and many disciples of her method.
If you are interested in participating in this Giveaway, please fill in the form hereNote:  Classical Stretch is also interested in working with individual bloggers who participate in this event! 
The Giveaway will run from July 16th - August 6th (3 weeks).  Participants will receive 1 free Twitter or Facebook link.  Participants who post a teaser post before July 8 will receive a Facebook and Twitter link!  All other links will be $1.00.  I will e-mail the html code between the 13th and 15th.  Announcements and updates will also be on the Facebook Group.  This event is hosted by me, A GAL NEEDS...and co-hosted by A Thrifty Diva!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Nutorious Nuts and Ayala Herbal Water! #Giveaway

This is part of the Made In America Giveaway Event hosted by Woven By Words and Joy of Mama Joyner!  We've teamed up with over 40 other bloggers to bring you some great prizes, but best of all every.single.prize is made in the USA!  Not only will you be entering to win some amazing prizes, but you'll also become aware of how many American made products and companies are out there!  Let's all get educated on these awesome companies, and start supporting those who are committed to keeping Americans working!!


There once was a gal named Helena
Who folks say was such a complain-ah.
She ate some nuts called Nutorious,
And washed them down with water called Ayala.
Then she took them to a party,
where they all then said, "She's such a play-ah!" 

Pardon the verse, but seriously these two items would be a fabulous addition to any party!  Even though these are two separate companies, they have a lot of  similarities.  They were both created by women, both companies are proudly made in the U.S. and both are winning awards for their great quality, taste and ingredients. And I've got both of these to give to one lucky Gal Pal today in a giveaway! 

                                                                          Nutorious Nuts   

These come in 6 different varieties, Pumpkin Palooza being the newest creation, and they are all delicious!  Like it says on the package, these nuts will be addictive, so beware!  Almonds, Walnuts and Pecans are the nuts and the different flavors are amazing!  I know when these nuts arrived, my husband was all about trying them. We weren't disappointed when we tried them, either.  They are delicious.  I tried all 6 flavors in the 4 oz. snack size. You can eat them straight out of the bag, or you can put them on top of desserts like ice cream (Ooh La La Original), blend them in salads (cranberry orange tango), put them in your oatmeal (Pumpkin Palooza), or bring them to a summer party (Blueberry Lemon Meringue).

Ayala's Herbal Water      
Again, in 6 flavors and I loved it.  It made drinking my daily quota of water very enjoyable indeed!  My personal favorites were Lemongrass Mint Vanilla and Ginger Lemon Peel!  They would be great at parties as an alternative to alcohol or even soda!  That is the goal of the creator of Ayala's Herbal Water, Dr. Ayala Laufer-Cahana, M.D.  An accomplished physician in pediatrics and medical genetics, Dr. Ayala's love of gardening and culinary exploration led her to conceive Herbal Water in her own backyard herb garden.  Herbal water is the first nationally available USDA Organic Certified flavored water!  Truly unique!  It's amazing that this water has zero calories because it tastes so good! 
Let's hear it for US Companies headed by women!  Enter the giveaway below by liking Ayala's Herbal Water and Nutorious Nuts on Facebook. Then proceed to the optional entries after that.  Do as many or as few as you'd like!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Grand Prize for this Event will be a Kayak from Lifetime Products plus $100 PayPal cash!  Enter for that over at Woven By Words or Joy of Mama Joyner!