Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Say Goodbye To Stressful Gift Shopping

We’ve all been there. We’re rushing around at the last minute trying to find a suitable gift for a friend or racking our brains for weeks trying to think of novel ideas for our other half. Sometimes, you know exactly what you want to buy somebody special. Then in other cases, finding that perfect present can seem like an impossible task. Today, there’s more pressure than ever to impress with innovative thinking or personal touches, and this can make shopping even more stressful. If you’re keen to eliminate stress from your gift search, this guide should prove helpful.

Set a budget
Many of us buy numerous gifts over the course of the year. You’ve got Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day before you even start thinking about birthdays. Before you start shopping, it’s always wise to set a budget to prevent overspending and ensure that you’re spending the same amount on friends and family members. Sometimes, you may want to spend a little more than others, but it’s a good idea to have a rough idea in mind. Once you’ve got a budget, this will help you narrow down your options and find some suitable, affordable options. Work out a budget based on your finances rather than what you think you can afford or you want to spend. Check your statements, and figure out what you have available.

Put yourself in their shoes
Whenever you shop, it’s easy to get distracted and start thinking about what you like. When you’re looking for gifts for other people, always put yourself in their shoes. Would they actually like what you’re considering, or is it something you’re much more likely to choose for yourself. If you have a similar sense of style to your mom or your sister, you can search for items of clothing or pieces of jewelry you love, but if you’re very different or you’re shopping for your kids or your partner, always base your search on their personality and their hobbies and interests.

Think about what they would buy
If you don’t like giving money as a gift, and many of us don’t, think about what that person would buy if they did have cash in their wallet. Do they love fashion, sport, music or makeup? Do they put all their money towards the latest gadgets or games? Or are they partial to a bit of pampering? You can use their passions to choose gifts that you know will be a success. Think about what they like to do in their spare time, and what interests and excites them.

Shop online
Is there anything more stressful than waiting in traffic and then trying to dash around the store trying to pick something out at the last minute? If you can only make it to the mall on a Saturday, you’re going to be waiting in line, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll find what you want. You may also have to factor in trying to find child care or braving taking the kids with you. One solution to all these problems is online shopping. If you choose to do your shopping on the Internet, you can browse from the comfort of the sofa, and you don’t have to worry about finding time to get to the shops, hiring a babysitter or running out of time.

When you’re shopping, you have a much wider choice of retailers online, and if you find something you like, there’s every chance that you’ll be able to find a stockist that can dispatch it straight away. You can use search engines to look for specific items or try and get some inspiration from virtual window shopping. If you’re looking for men’s jewelry, for example, you can consider options like Frost NYC mens gold bracelets and compare a number of different products at the same time to help you make a decision. You can also access gift guides if you’re short on ideas and online magazines and galleries if you need tips when buying makeup, clothing or accessories.

Shopping online isn’t just convenient. It can also save you a lot of money. Comparison sites enable you to see prices from different retailers, and you can often access discount codes and promotions online, which may not be available in-store. If you’re buying a blender for your mom or some new hair straighteners for your sister, for example, once you’ve selected a make and model, you can type in the information, and you’ll be presented with a list of retailers and prices. All you have to do is click on the best offer, and place your order.

Write a list
The most stressful part of gift shopping is often having to find something at short notice. If you’ve got a big family or you have a full-time job or kids to look after, it can be difficult to keep track of the days, let alone remember every birthday or anniversary. Make sure you have every occasion or special date written down in your diary and write a list at the beginning of each month to ensure that you know what you’ve got to buy in the coming weeks. Although it’s possible to get next-day delivery on many items, it’s better to be organized to avoid last-minute panics.

It can be really enjoyable to shop for gifts if you have an idea of what you want and you’ve got plenty of time, but shopping for presents can also be stressful. Everyone has that one relative who is impossible to buy for, and it can be really tricky trying to keep up to date with birthdays if you have a large circle of friends or a big family. The aim of this guide is to help you eliminate the stress of shopping by enabling you to plan ahead, set a budget, and find easy ways to access gifts your loved ones will adore. Be organized, and take advantage of the convenience and ease of online shopping. Think about what your loved ones like, and how they would choose to spend their money.

Have an idea or two?  Share it in the comments.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Time To Do More With Those Walls

We spend so much time spotting great pieces of furniture that can make living a lot easier, not to mention to dictate the style of a room, but there’s a common mistake you will seeing in a lot of new homes. That mistake is keeping walls bland, blank and boring. It’s time to sort it out and give your home a bit of life at eye-level.

Colour is a big deal
Painting the wall or choosing a wallpaper isn’t always the best place to start from when it comes to dictating a colour scheme for the room. The best place to start is with the furniture you want in that room, then choosing colours to collaborate with them. However, thinking a bit more about the way you colour your walls can have some big effects. For instance, you might like darker walls to go with a darker colour, but having one of them painted white can ensure that plenty of light travels through the room without getting caught up in nothing but dark corners. Colours fit different rooms in different ways, as well. In the bedroom, you want pastels or lush red that say relaxation and comfort. Meanwhile, colours in a bathroom should be crisp, fresh and bright to give it that clean feel.
Windows need form, not just function
Windows should never be left blank. We’re not just talking about decorating window sills, either. You need to think about what the treatments say amongst the rest of the room. There are a lot of curtain and treatment styles, but if you want more natural light or a minimalist look, you might not want to go for them. But even without curtains, options like window tinting can let you lend a variety of styles to the glass itself. A clear window with only some blinds is very rarely a good look.

Think focal
If the wall doesn’t have any natural features like a window or a fireplace, it can be the perfect place to put your own focal points. There are usually decorative pieces that draw the eye and use the rest of the room as a frame. However, placing a focal point like a piece of art means thinking deeply about the dimensions of the room. A wall-placement guide can ensure that you’re not placing it in a way that makes it draw the eye unnaturally.
Make it a place to express yourself
One such element that can make a great focal point is using the wall to give the home a bit of your own personality. This might mean family photos and personal effects, or it can mean giving your hobby a place to shine. For instance, if you’re into music, then a bare wall can be just right for making a display out of some records.
With the tips above, your walls are finally going to have something to say. Good wall d├ęcor adds dimension to the room. Without it, it doesn’t matter what style you’re going for. Those blank spaces are going to make the room look all too empty, anyway.

Weaning Babies - From Momma's Milk To Sold Foods


At some point, your child will need to be introduced to solid foods. More often than not, this occurs around the six-month mark, but some babies may stick with their momma’s milk for longer. Not sure if your child is ready? Look out for these signals.

  • They can sit up and hold their head on their own without any support.
  • They develop hand-eye coordination and can look at and pick up food all on their own. They should also be able to put the food in their mouth without any help from anyone else.
  • They swallow their food. Babies who aren’t at this stage will get a lot of food around their mouth, as they will push it out with their tongue.

If your baby has been showing the above signs, then it is time to wean them off milk and onto solid food. Here are some tips that can help you make this transition easier for them.

Set Up A Routine

It is very important to now set up a mealtime routine for your baby. For instance, always make sure that their highchair is ready for them before you sit them in it to feed them. It’s also a good idea to get the baby’s food ready before you bring them to the table. Otherwise, they could end up bored and could start to get fidgety or even start crying.

Always Choose The Best

Now that they are eating more than just milk, you need to be careful that you are always buying them the best quality food and ingredients that are packed full of nutrients. You might even prefer to only feed your baby organic food. If you are wondering what's the best organic baby food, you will find lots of advice online in Internet forums and on review websites. Babies are just like us and will need plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in their diet, so try and aim for at least five portions a day.

Eat Together

By eating together at the same table, you are showing your child that mealtimes are social and fun. You will also be setting a very good example of the things that they should be eating. So make sure that your plate is always filled with healthy food, and that you are visibly enjoying it. Encourage your child to take a taste of whatever is on your plate, as it will encourage them to enjoy their food and will prevent them from becoming fussy eaters.

Two Courses

You should offer your baby two courses - a savory one followed by a sweet dessert. Make sure that they know that they won’t get the sweet course if they do not eat all their main. This can be a great way of getting your child to clear their plate and eat all their veggies! It also helps them get a lot of variety in their diet.

Weaning shouldn’t be too difficult. But if you and your baby do struggle, you can always speak to your family doctor about it.

Be Smart, Be Insured: Insurance You Can't Live Without

OK, so none of us like having to part with our hard earned cash. Having extra bills on top of bills is, well, not entirely appealing. But, when it comes to protecting your income, and your interests, sadly insurance is one of those things that you can't live without. Whether it’s at home or work, some insurance policies are simply worth taking out. After all, it’s better to have it and not need it, than be caught short.

Insurance is imperative for peace of mind, security and to reduce anxiety. By ensuring that you have a financial back-up, you are being smart and making sure that you are protected against any eventuality. And, if money is tight, you can rest assured that you don’t have to worry about the small things. Let’s face it, things go wrong and often there isn’t always the cash there to buy a new car in the event of an accident, or fix the roof when a leak has occurred. While it may seem like an expensive insurance is an assurance.

Some policies are needed for legal reasons; others to ensure that you have peace of mind. Let’s take a look at some insurance policies that you just cannot live without.

Car insurance

Car insurance is becoming more and more important. Not only that, but it’s also a legal requirement. That doesn't mean that you have to spend a fortune. On the contrary, shopping around for your car insurance is smart. Car insurance from Money Expert, or other comparison sites means that you can find the best deal for your budget. While car insurance is a legal requirement, it can also ensure that you are protected in the event of an accident or incident. What’s more, it can cover your expenses if you find that your car has been stolen or subject to criminal acts. Financial support is vital when it comes to your vehicle, because cars are expensive and replacing and maintaining them can be a huge drain on your resources.

Of course, you don't have to spend out on car insurance to make sure that you are covered. Make sure that you have the level of cover that is most applicable to your circumstances. Third party, third party fire, and theft and comprehensive cover all offer different levels of cover but come at different premiums. Consider the age of your car as a starting point, and the area in which you live, to ensure that you get the best deal. While car insurance is a legal requirement, it pays to be savvy and shop around.

Life insurance

Life insurance is one of those policies that people think about but often fail to take out. At the risk of sounding like a doom monger, it’s vital that you think about the future and how your family would be provided for in the instance that you were not around. Life insurance is a good way to make sure that your family is comfortable in the event of your passing. Providing inheritance is something that many parents want to do; after all, if you are not around to care for your children emotionally, ensuring that they are financially stable is the next best thing. That aside, some policies also enable the beneficiaries to pay off existing debts such as car loans or credit card bills. It offers a level of financial security to your family in the long-term.

No one wants to be a financial burden in the event of their passing.

Health insurance

While no one plans on being ill, it is a large worry for many people, especially if there is a family history of illness. Health insurance often covers certain aspects that life insurance doesn't. Private health insurance has many benefits, including private hospital stays, access to drugs and medications that may otherwise not be available to you as well as shorter waiting times. While health insurance is less popular in the UK, it is starting to become increasingly more important.
Policies should cover you from diagnosis to treatment. This means that as you are subject to lesser waiting times, your recovery time will be speedier. If you have pre-existing conditions, it may be harder to get cover, but it’s certainly worth investigating. While no one plans on being sick, it is important to investigate even as research. Policy types include single, joint or family plans so you can make sure that the whole family is protected. Health insurance is more prevalent in the USA, but in the UK it is becoming a worthwhile way to invest money, especially with extended waiting times and ‘postcode’ lotteries hitting the headlines of the media. It

Home insurance

Picture the scene: it’s Christmas day and the boiler breaks. Or, it’s your child’s birthday, and there is a flood. It’s hard to picture isn’t it, as it's one of those things that we don't think will happen to us. Home insurance is widely ignored by many, but it’s so important to have a level of cover that protects you from any eventuality. Homeowners policies not only cover accidental damage but in some cases can protect you from incidents involving inclement weather, vandalism, and theft. It’s all about having peace of mind. After all, the cost of replacing items in the home can run into tens of thousands. It’s simply not financially viable to not have home insurance. Home insurance can ensure that you are protected against every eventuality, and it’s relatively inexpensive too.

Premiums can be incredibly cheap but do check the excess payments so that you are getting a good level of cover. After all, if something is too good to be true, it probably is. Read through what you are covered against and go for a comprehensive level of cover. This is particularly important if you live in an area that is subject to harsh weather conditions.
Be Smart, Be Insured: Insurance You Can't Live Without
As the joke goes; needing insurance is like a parachute. If it isn’t there the first time, the chances are that you won’t be needing it again.

New Pet? Get the Family and Home Ready!

The arrival of a pet is a wonderful thing. It means you and the family essentially have another family member. That is how close they become and how they grow into the family. There are however, a variety of things you need to consider and possibly purchase as a new pet comes into your home. These can, of course, vary from pet to pet, but you do need to put some thought into purchasing these items.   Some of the items on this list may have already been bought or at least thought of, if not, think about them and whether you need to obtain some of them to before the arrival of your new pet.

Give Them Their Own Area

They will need their own area. This will be based on their size of course, and indeed the type of animal. Cats tend to sleep wherever they want, but dogs like to have a bed, a place they can call home. Consider a luxury dog lounger , they can use this in their own area to lay on as they wish. You need to give a pet space sometimes, and just like humans, they will need their own space to nap and sleep. Assess your home, what kind of areas are available? This could indeed dictate the size of the dog you buy, or indeed whether you can buy a dog at all. A porch is a good area, or any kind of corner that is out of direct sunlight.

Are There Any Allergies?

You need to consider this before you buy a pet. If someone is allergic to a certain animal it can be awful. They will be constantly sneezing, coming out in rashes and generally having a bad time of it. To avoid this you could consider going to a pet store and experiment,  playing and touching with some of the pets there. This will let you know whether you or a family member is allergic to pets. Don’t buy the pet before checking or you could end up in a situation where you may need to find a new home for the pet. Some allergies that are really light can go away after a time or with the aid of antihistamines but you’ll never know how bad it actually is until you are around an animal.

Will They Need Shots

If the puppy or kitten or whatever you are getting is young, then you may need to get the correct shots for them. Certain vaccines are mandatory, such as a rabies vaccination, others are optional. Before settling down with your pet you need to do this as a matter of urgency. It can stop them from becoming seriously ill at a vulnerable time of their life. Consult a vet for further information as each pet or breed can need shots for different things. Some may need a one vaccine, others may need a yearly vaccine or one every few years. Whatever the case, you need to find out about it or risk your new family addition getting seriously sick.

They are of course other things to consider before purchasing a new pet.  Take time to sit down and consider the things your new friend might need.

#Cruising with HydroChic!

Hey all!!

My daughter loves her modest swimwear from HydroChic!!  She took it on the cruise, and used it around the pool, but really enjoyed it when visiting the private island of Coco Cay.  Just look at the pictures of her and her young friend enjoying the beach!!

The whole swimsuit is made of a chlorine proof polyester.  Since she was going to be using it in the pool and on the private beach we decided this was the perfect fit.  We chose the Aqua Adventure Border Skirt with a matching v-neck top.  The skirt has attached leggings, to help with modesty.  The matching swim shirt is v-neck, with short sleeves.  She chose a black swim skirt with bright coral trim.  Very sharp looking if I may say so.  The Adventure Shirt is a color co-ordinating black with bright coral and radiant yellow trim.  Also included was a very nice swim/sports bra for under the shirt.  One of the things my daughter liked best, beside the most outfit, was how quickly it dried, and that it did not cling to her when she came out of the water.

Just have to share a couple other pictures from their day on the island.  They walked a trail and ran into these lizards.  One of our young, male friends wanted to bring one home.  He probably would have if he had been allowed.

Above is a view of the ship from the island.  Amazing how huge she actually is.

So, since spring is in the air and summer is just around the corner, take time to check out HydroChic and order your new swim skirt and matching top.

The one on the left is my daughter, the one on the right is a young friend.

Another great idea I will share, my daughter has been wearing her Swim skirt and swim top for exercise.  They are just so comfortable, and allow her to move freely.

Follow HydroChic on their social media too!
Twitter - HERE
Facebook - HERE
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Pinterest - HERE

Thanks for stopping by today!!  Remember to visit HydroChic, and I will see you again soon!!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Fostering A Dog: A Smooth Transition For Pup And Owner

If you have been thinking about getting a new family dog, you might have already considered fostering. There are lots of dogs in pounds and animal shelters, all of which are waiting for a loving owner to take them to a new home. Everyone's a winner - a family gets a cute new pet, and the dog can now enjoy a safe and comfortable life.


Unfortunately, though, fostering a dog doesn’t always go as planned. Some dogs don’t get on with their new owners, or families just fail to consider all of the responsibilities that come with a new foster dog. There are ways you can make the transition from the animal shelter to your home easier for the dog, which can help it settle in. Here are some useful tips for a smooth transition.

Prepare Your Home

Your new dog will be very curious once he gets to his or her new home. He might spend most of his first few days sniffing around to see what’s what! But their curiosity might take them too far, and they could end up knocking off decor and damaging furniture. So it’s a good idea to look around your house before the dog arrives and see if there are any problem items that should be removed and placed somewhere where the pooch won’t be able to reach them. If your foster dog is going to be quite young, you should also move anything that they might want to chew as well. So put your slippers into a closet!

Buy The Necessary Equipment In Advance

Don’t wait until your dog arrives home to buy all the things it will need, such as food and water bowls and a leash. You should buy them in advance so that you have everything ready for them as soon as you bring them home. You can find the best dog beds for labs and large dogs in 2017 reviewed online on various sites. These websites will also have information on beds for smaller dogs as well. As well as a good bed, your dog will need a collar and leash that are comfortable and safe. Ideally, get a glow in the dark leash, as this will keep you both safe during nighttime walkies.

Prepare The Yard

Homes with a garden or yard are perfect for pups as they will have plenty of space to run around in. But, if you don’t prepare your outdoor space well enough, it could turn into quite a dangerous area for your new friend. You should check the fence or hedge boundaries to make sure there are no large gaps which your dog could escape through. It’s also a good idea to cover up a garden pond if you have one. You should keep the dog on its leash for the first few times you take it out into the yard. This allows it to explore safely while you are watching. Some plants are hazardous to your dog’s health, so be sure to find out what plants grow in your state that could harm your dog and have them removed.

Fostering a dog is a wonderful thing to do - and you now know how to make your new pooch feel right at home!

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Gospel of Mark DVD Released!

Hey neighbors!!

I was given the opportunity to receive the newly released DVD, The Gospel of Mark by Lionsgate.  I am pretty impressed.  Now, I want to say upfront, I am a KJV only person, and this is from the NIV.  Honestly though, it is like having someone tell you the account in their own words.  The narration is supposed to be word for word from the NIV.  Yes, in my mind I did some correcting!  LOL!

The scenery in the DVD is amazing!! It was shot on location in Morocco.  Even my husband stopped what he was doing to watch for a short time.  The movie was released on March 14th, so it is already available for purchase.  You will find it at Walmart for $14.98.  The DVD also has quite a few bonus features.  See below.


  • “Deconstructing a Scene” Featurette 
  • “Building Jerusalem” Featurette 
  • “Composing the Gospels” Featurette 
  • “Filming the Gospels” Featurette 
  • “Narrating the Gospels” Featurette
Run time is approx. 123 minutes.  You can easily view the entire movie in one sitting, or for slightly younger children, you could view it in smaller increments of time.

SOCIAL: #TheGospelOfMark

This is definitely worth you time.  It starts with Christ's ministry beginning and follows through to His resurrection.

At the Fence is being allowed to give away a copy of The Gospel of Mark.  Be sure to enter.

“This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for The Lumo Project. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ready for Some DIY Spring Cleaning?

Hey neighbors,

I am so ready for spring.  I mean, we have been going from nice spring temperatures to snow and then back again to short sleeve weather.  This has all happened in a period of a few days!!  All I want is for spring to finally arrive.  I am anticipating spring cleaning and some minor DIY repairs around the home.

We have so many things to do this spring.  Since we have been concentrating on the structure of the home and re-siding, now we have to catch up on some other things.  Most of these are DIY.  Simple easy to do, but often forgotten.  We have double hung windows, which makes one of the first jobs easy.  Cleaning the windows both inside and out.  We will also remove the screens and hose them off.  I think we have a billion windows!! LOL!


I am also wanting to do some landscaping since we are done re-siding.  Now I can remove all the weeds around the home and fences.  I am wanting to make some small flower gardens, as well as plant a vegetable garden for my daughter.  We will of course be planting a few bushes too!  I love rose bushes!

Another GREAT thing to remember is to change all filters.  We also vacuum out the areas around the filters and vents.  When we do this, it is also a good time to schedule a visit to have our furnace and AC cleaned.

Feel free to share in the comments some spring cleaning you are planning on implementing.

Monday, March 13, 2017

How To Decorate Your Home On A Budget

When you find your ideal home, it’s like a dream come true – you’ve saved and budgeted for so long that finally finding your new house feels incredible. But for many people, that’s when the financial problems really begin. Here are some tips to make sure that you stay financially safe as you make your new house into your new home…
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Make Sure You Prioritise
First of all, you need to remember that you can’t tackle everything at once. Moving house itself is hugely expensive with taxes and with movers’ fees (or with the cost of pizza and beverages if you asked your friends to help you move instead of hiring the professionals!). It’s also incredibly stressful – so if you need some time out to reevaluate exactly what you need to do when you’re finally in your new place, then make sure you take it, so that you end up making the best decisions. Remember that you need to start with the chances that your family really needs to make. You might not like the colour of the walls in your new dining room but if your bathroom is barely useable than you need to think about renovating that first instead.
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Stay Within Budget
It is absolutely crucial that you make sure that you stay within budget. Make sure that you make a list of your incomings and outgoings so you can see exactly how much you have to spend. Renovating and redecorating a house is stressful enough without having money problems as well, so make sure that you go for well priced products and that you shop around. Rooms like the bathroom and kitchen can be particularly expensive to change, so shop around for things like concrete crib benchtops at a good price, or for your new sink fittings. Compare different places before you make your final decisions.
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Get Recommendations
If you’re hiring workmen to do some of the decorating and renovations for you, first of all – good call. Not many of us can decorate a house to the same high standards as people who have actually been trained to do it, and it’s always a good idea to pay a little more for high quality that will last for a long time. But it’s important to make sure that you hire a company that has a good reputation. If you’re in a new area, ask your neighbours if they have any recommendations, and invite multiple companies in to get quotes from all of them. It’s important that you use a company that works well for you.
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Go For Simplicity
Finally, remember that if you’re going for easy elegance, simplicity is key. Go for neutral colours to begin with. That might not sound too interesting but the truth is that they can last for much longer as you can change accessories like drapes, rugs and cushions whenever you want to go with neutral walls and floors, changing the whole vibe of the room. The basics of every room should be simple, sleek and sophisticated – other than that, feel free to go nuts!