It seems that every year there are more people to shop for – maybe some new additions to the family, new friends, coworkers, etc. Throughout our own budget-friendly shopping, we have found some great sites that offer quality items at a discounted price. We hope these provide some inspiration!
Offers everything home goods – from kitchen and cooking essentials to bathroom storage solutions. These are all quality goods that are offered at a steep discount for a limited time – with daily updates on sales. Sign up for their emails and you’ll get sales delivered to your inbox daily.
A site that offers literally everything – Google tablets, jewelry boxes, cell phone accessories, and more – all for extremely cheap, discounted prices. This site is a bit of a hodgepodge of stuff you never knew you needed, so it’s a great place to look for those hard-to-shop-for people on your list.
Like Wayfair, Joss & Main offers discounted home goods, though focusing more on designer home goods, decor, and furniture. You will definitely be able to find those unique art pieces or knick-knacks for your list, and probably a lot more for yourself!
Just like your local department store, Hayneedle offers home goods, toys, and sports equipment, but at huge discounts. This is a great site for finding gifts for the children on your list.
More Sites to Check Out: ModaOperandi.com – MyHabit.com – BowandDrape.com – Fancy.com.
Black Friday is only a week away, kicking off the official holiday shopping season this year. If you’re still looking for gift ideas for those hard-to-shop for loved ones, here are a few more items to consider. Huffington Post compiled a list of some must-have gadgets to keep an eye on.
1. The Tile App (~$20)
The Tile is a blue-tooth enabled device that looks like a small, square tile and attaches to any item (such as a phone or a purse). The Tile can sync up to an app on any iPhone or iPad and enables a GPS-tracking feature that can help you find your valuable if it is ever lost or stolen.
2. Touchscreen-Friendly Gloves (~$75)
We’ve all dealt with the discomfort of cold hands for the sake of using our touch-screen devices, but now we don’t have to! These gloves conductive fingertips allow us to keep our hands warm while we use our touch-screens this winter.
3. Unbreakable iPhone Screen Protector (~$25)
The Rhino Shield is a slim, transparent screen protector that can handle five times as much punishment as the leading screen protectors on the market.
4. Candy-Colored Power Tube (~$40)
This lightweight and portable tube provides and easy way for you to charge your electronics on the go. Comes in multiple colors!
5. Q Card Case (~$40)
The Q Card Case is a slim wallet that doubles as a phone cover, so you can keep your cards, money, and phone all in one place.
*article from Health Magazine
1. Cut the Clutter
Keep items that bring forth good memories or that make you smile, but get rid of all the unnecessary little knick-knacks that just bring stressful thoughts or that overwhelm your senses.
2. Use Cool Colors
Instead of painting your walls dark red or a sunshine yellow, go for light blues and greens. While the warmer colors press in on your vision, keeping your mind active and stressed, the cooler colors will help to calm your thoughts and bring feelings of peace.
3. Embrace Space
A stuffed room can make you feel tense, so make sure you leave at least 2 1/2 feet of walking space around furniture.
4. Invite Nature Indoors
Open your curtains and let some natural light indoors. Invest in a few houseplants that bring some natural colors and life into the room. These will bring a feeling of new life, growth, and fresh air into the room.
5. Balance It Out
For each harsh surface or material (think glass, metal, or plastic), balance it out with a soft material (like fabric, wood, and cushions) to keep the room from feeling harsh or uninviting. Soft materials bring a feeling of comfort into a room, while the harsher materials provide a sense of stability.
*Written by Alexandra Jacopetti for Social Media Today.
The whirlwind world of social media is like Pandora’s box – it holds powerful tools that can seriously boost your business to attract new customers, retain loyal ones, and engage the digital world…or it can be a heap of resources wasted if you don’t use them properly. Inevitably, with new means come misconceptions; you may be throwing your hands up at how to use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to their maximum potential to build your brand and bring in profit. Never fear: here are five of the major myths debunked.
Myth 1: Social media is a weekday job
You may be on a 9-5 shift during the week, but social media outlets run 24/7 and move at greater speeds than your copy machine. Make a point to engage with your followers during off-hours, morning, noon, and night. That doesn’t mean you have to post 12 pictures a day on Instagram, but remember that followers check their feeds at all hours. A social media expert at SocialMediaToday.com found that you might actually have more success if you engage on weekends and odd hours.
Myth 2: I don’t have enough content to feed the outlets
As mentioned above, social media outlets are fast-moving trains speeding on a never-ending track. Content gets posted, pushed down, and becomes irrelevant before you know it. This may seem like wasted effort, but in actuality, it can serve as a way to re-post the same content in different ways to build concepts and values that your brand represents. The key is to not make it repetitive. People miss things, forget them, or don’t respond to how you express them. If it’s evergreen content, then it’s always useful! Just put a new spin on it when you re-post it a few weeks later.
Myth 3: I can’t show personality
Your content should be mainly targeted at your demographic and within your industry, but don’t be afraid to show some personality. There are real people behind your brand and real people following you. Even if it doesn’t directly relate to your product or service, throwing in some humor through office pictures, memes, or interesting news articles can humanize your brand’s message.
Myth 4: My target demographic is older, so social media isn’t worth it
Contrary to what you may think, the older crowd is quite active on social media. According to a 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 52% of online boomers and 32% of online seniors are on social networking sites, especially Facebook. Not broadening your brand to older age groups or ignoring their presence on social media outlets will severely limit your company’s potential for growth.
Myth 5: Social media marketing doesn’t drive bottom line results
This may be the biggest misconception about social media and its effectiveness. Engagement and connection with your followers is key, but you can generate even more value than that. Social media creates leads and inspires new customers. Fact proven: companies that use Twitter average twice as many leads as companies that don’t, companies with more than 1000 Twitter followers get 6x more traffic, 45% of marketers note social media has a below average cost-per-lead compared to other channels…and the research goes on and on (SocialMediaToday.com). Case in point, putting the effort into social media marketing is worth it – the proof is in the profit.
Social media outlets are the perfect places to create a platform for your business and showcase it for current and potential customers, you just have to know how to use them – and that means knowing the truth behind the myths.
*Article was not originally written for Abby’s Blog and does not belong to Family Best Care, LLC. Please visit the original source (linked above) for ownership information.
Though it may seem like there are peak times of the year in which being healthier becomes a larger priority, there really is no time of the year when people aren’t trying to eat healthier or work out more. Unfortunately, fitness and health tends to take a backseat to our jobs, hobbies, and finances.
A recent article on Health.com has pointed out some free (and easy!) ways to get healthier that will work with your schedule and your budget.
1. Borrow Fitness DVDs from the Library
Instead of buying pricey fitness DVDs, growing tired of them, and having to buy more, try borrowing them from your local library. Most libraries offer free memberships, and when you get tired of the DVD you can simply swap it for a new one.
2. Try Out Yoga Online
Many sites (like Yoga Today
) offer free streaming yoga lessons and cheap downloads. Take a look at your smart phone, too – there are numerous free apps that offer yoga videos and poses to try out.
3. Tweet for Discounts
Follow your favorite stores on Twitter, or sign up for their email or text alerts. You’ll know about sales and special offers before anyone else and could save a bundle!
For more great tips, check out the full article here
It’s October and Fall is now upon us! Halloween is right around the corner and it seems candy and pumpkins are everywhere. While you’re scrounging around for some creative holiday recipes to serve at your Halloween party, Thanksgiving dinner, or even Christmas, take a look at these great pumpkin-based recipes:
Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
Ingredients: 2/3 cup flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 15 oz pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 3/4 cup half and half
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or silicone liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla and half and half until well combined. Add in dry ingredients and whisk until no streaks of flour remain and batter is smooth. Fill each muffin cup with approximately 1/3 cup of batter. Bake for 20 mins. Cool cupcakes in pan. They will sink as they cool.
Chill cupcakes before serving. Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Ingredients: 4 cups flour, 2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup butter or margarine, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup water, 15 oz can pumpkin, 1 cup& 2 tbsp miniature semisweet chocolate chips, 2 tbsp chopped pecans, 2 tsp sugar
Heat oven to 350F. Grease bottom only of two loaf pans with cooking spray. In medium bowl, stir flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until mixed; set aside. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter with electric mixer on medium speed 1-2 mins or until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in water and pumpkin on low speed. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed about 1 min or until moistened.
Stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips. Spread evenly in pans. Sprinkle tops with remaining chocolate chips, pecans and 2 tbsp sugar. Bake 1 hour 5 mins or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 mins; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely (about 1.5 hours).
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Ingredients: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp salt, 4 tbsp butter, 1 heaping cup pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 1 egg, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup golden raisins
Cinnamon Sugar Mixture: 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg
Cream Cheese Frosting: 1/4 cup softened butter, 4 oz cream cheese, 1/2 lb powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 400F. Generously grease 12 muffin tins. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in butter with two knives or a pastry blender until all incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix together pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg and vanilla. Pour pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Add raisins.
Fold gently until mixture is just combined. Pour into greased muffin pan, each tin 1/2 full. Sprinkle generous amounts of cinnamon sugar over the top of each unbaked muffin. Bake for 25 mins. Allow to cool in pan for 15 mins, then remove and allow to cool completely. Ice with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting: Mix all ingredients on high until soft and whipped. Icing will soften at room temperature.
If there is one thing that we all want it’s to be successful. It’s human nature. No matter where we are in our life, humans will always strive for more – a better position, more money, a bigger house, etc. Our dreams come true and then we create new ones.
Some of us seem to struggle more than others to achieve our dreams, while more still never get to see their dreams come true. It’s important that you not to give up hope if your dreams have yet to come true! To help you along, here are some people who are now wildly successful – but haven’t always had such good luck. Perhaps one day you will be able to tell a similar story.
1. Bill Gates
One of the most well-known and wealthiest men in the world, Bill Gates, became wildly successful through Microsoft, but his first company didn’t work out so well. Traf-O-Data (a device which could read and process traffic tapes) was a miserable failure that ended up helping Bill and his partner to come up with the technology that began Microsoft.
2. Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey once revealed in an interview that when he was fifteen he had to drop out of high school to support his family – who at one
point were living out of a van. He didn’t let that hold him back from his dreams of being a comedian, however, and is now one of the best comedic actors of the era.
3. Benjamin Franklin
Despite having to drop out of school at age ten, Benjamin Franklin continued to pursue knowledge through reading and self-teaching. Thanks to his perseverance and determination, Benjamin late went on to invent the lightning rod and bifocals – and of course become one of the founding fathers of the United States.
4. Stephen King
Though he is now possibly the world’s most well-known author, Stephen King’s writing career didn’t start out glamorous. His first novel, Carrie, was rejected by publishers a reported 30 times. He had actually given up on the book until his wife convinced him to give it another go.
5. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah, another household name, hasn’t always been on top of the world. She had a humble beginning like the rest of us, but fraught with sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, and the death of a child. Not letting this stop her, Oprah went on to work hard in school and earn a full scholarship to college – putting her on the path to the force she is today.
Now, we may not all become one of the richest people in the world, or a household celebrity – but we can look at these stories above and realize that the key to realizing our goals in life is simple (at least in theoretical form!): always remember your goal, don’t give up or let anything stand in your way, and refuse to be the victim. Everyone has circumstances in life that could keep them from the things that they want, but it is those who are determined enough to move past those circumstances that end up getting what they want from life.