Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years Eve Giveaway

Hey neighbors!

Here is a really nice giveaway to start the new year off right.  As we make a few changes here and decide which direction to take with a few new ideas we thought we would give you a GREAT giveaway to enter, that we sponsored.  It is a Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh giveaway.  You might be wondering just what that includes, so let me tell you!

First is a travel size, Gold Bar of soap.  Maybe I don't have you very excited yet, but the next two items are essential oils, which just might make some of you a little more excited!  The winner will receive along with the Gold Bar of soap a 5ml bottle of Frankincense and a 5ml bottle of Myrrh.  How great is that?

I personally love to diffuse essential oils throughout my home.  Not just for the scents, but I use different oils to help with colds, sleep and other things.  So this year, just as the wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the young Christ, we would like to give this gift to one of our neighbors.

The giveaway will last the usual two weeks, but be sure to enter early and often.  Oh, and be sure to share this giveaway with others!  Hoping this is the start of a GREAT new year.  See you next year!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Brilliant Ways To Feed Your Fitness

Making the decision to get fit is a life changing one. It marks the moment when you are going to change the way you approach your life. It’s an exciting time too. You are full of the possibilities that lie ahead. You know it may be a struggle, but you are determined to see it through. On the other side of the line is the all new fitter, healthier and more energetic you.

But exercise is only one-half of the equation. If you are not giving yourself the correct fuel and food, you won’t get the results that you deserve or want. Take control of what goes in and find good ways to feed your fitness.

Get the knowledge

You will be empowered by finding out how food affects your health and your ability to train. There are some great nutrition sites that contain a wealth of information. Use them to give yourself the information. Know what the food groups are. Distinguish between proteins such as meats and nuts. Understand the difference between the carbohydrates and sugars. Learn about fruits and vegetables and the vitamins and minerals that each one can give you. Be able to distinguish low GI foods from their lightweight counterparts.

Above all learn to read labels. This means not falling into the low-fat trap. All fat is not the same. Healthy fats, such as those contained within meat and dairy products are good for you. Manufactured fats are not. So called low-fat foods are often loaded with hidden fats and starchy sugars. Try and stay away from these.

Take your education shopping and into the kitchen

Start to be aware of the types of food you are buying. Buy fresh wherever possible and stay away from processed foods. Shopping at the farmer’s market will allow you to buy food and vegetables that are fresh and often organic. Every season has its vegetables, and you will be healthier if you eat what is in season and what has been produced locally.

Stock up on grains and pulses. Swap white and refined products such as pasta and rice for their whole grain counterparts. This will mean all the goodness has not been stripped out of the product. Buy fresh where you can. Any fruit or vegetable that has been chopped up and stuck in a plastic tray for days on end is going to be devoid of any real benefit. Swap white sugar for brown or use honey as a sweetener.

Learn to cook and prepare your food healthily.

Get some basic kitchen equipment that will make it easy for you to make real juices and smoothies. A state of the art blender is a must. Take a look at the best. Understanding how the Vitamix 7500 compares to the 750 will enable you to make an informed decision. Invest in a steamer for healthy cooking. Try and avoid frying or deep frying food as much as possible. Simple tricks with your food steamer can infuse your food with flavor. For example, use fish or chicken stock instead of water. Use plenty of fresh herbs and seasoning.

Incorporate your knowledge with your exercise regime. Make sure you are giving your body the energy it needs to get to most out of your training. You’ll not only lose the weight you want, but you will sparkle with energy and wellbeing. Once you educate yourself about your food, you will never go back to unhealthy ways.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

World Vision Gift Ideas #HGG2015

Hi Neighbors!

We have included World Vision in our Holiday Gift Guide for the last couple of years.  They have gifts that you can purchase, that also aid people in other countries that are fighting poverty.  If you purchase a gift your funds will go in to their, Where Most Needed Fund.

One of the gifts available is the beautiful Balinese Multi-strand Necklace that I received.  Also available is a beautiful scarf, Mango Wood Beaded Bracelet and an African Soapstone Box.  By purchasing a gift for others through World Vision, not only will you receive a gift to give, but you will be helping someone else.

Another option you have with World Vision is actually purchasing a gift for donation to help a child, family or community.  You can choose animals, medicine, clothing, help with education, water, etc.  There are many options to choose from in the World Vision catalog.  Your family can get together and choose one item to donate together, or perhaps more than one of you could each pick something to donate.  Let your children be involved in helping someone else this holiday season.

Be sure to visit the World Vision website and see if there is something your family can do to help.

World Vision Facebook page at / WorldVision
Twitter at @WorldVisionNews and/or @WorldVisionUSA

One neighbor will receive a necklace like mine.  Thank you for stopping by, see you soon!

Baby Jack and Co. Sensory Blankets! #HGG2015

Hi Neighbors!

I am so excited to share this sensory blanket from Baby Jack Blankets!  If you have ever had a child who had a special blanket that they carried everywhere, you will understand when I say this is the one!

I personally love the print on this blanket.  It is Baby Jack's Prayer Baptism Lovey.  It has crosses and stars on the front of the blanket, along with 2 Bible Verses.  The first is: For this child I prayed, And the Lord Answered my prayers. I Samuel 1:27.  The second one is: You will shine like the stars in the sky. Philippians 2:15.  They are not KJV which is my preference, but I still like this blanket.  What a unique gift idea for the holidays, birthday or for a baby shower.  The opposite side of the blanket is the softest material!  It is also textured, with small raised dots.

Around the edge of the blanket are sensory tags.  Each one feels a little different.  Some are really soft and silky, some are crinkly, some are narrow and others are wider.  Also attached to the side of the blanket is one teething toy link.  The toy link will allow you to attach the "lovey" to a car seat, stroller, or shopping cart, so your child will not loose their blankie.  You can use the link to attach a special toy if you wish.

I am really impressed with the quality of the Baby Jack & Co. sensory blankets.  The Prayer Baptism Lovey is 14" by 18" which makes it the perfect size for carrying and cuddling.  Baby Jack & Co. make the blankets in varying sizes and prints.  Some of them come with a small stuffed animal or toy attached.

I love being able to share this unique gift idea with my neighbors!  Come back for a visit soon!

Juxtabo Game For Family Fun!! #HGG2015

Here's a fun game for people who enjoy puzzle games, chess, or checkers. Juxtabo is a 3D game that changes every time you play-because you create the board!

We received a Juxtabo game for review, and tried it out recently. There are multiple ways to play, but we started with the basic 5x5, meaning you can have up to 5 pieces across, and 5 pieces down. Gameplay is fairly simple, but it gets more difficult the longer you play-and with more people playing! That's because you build up on the board, changing a piece into the color you need. The goal of the game is to complete a pattern on the challenge card, but everybody has their own challenge cards (2 per player). So while you're trying to complete a pattern, the player next to you is working (possibly) against you trying to complete their own! Yes, it's easier to play with just a couple, but it's much more fun with a group.

Juxtabo is definitely not a mindless game, as you have to actually plan out where to "build" your pattern. Perfect for those chess players who have their moves (and their opponent's moves) planned out several moves in advance! Yes, we have a couple like that in the family, so we will probably end up with some challenges on our hands with Juxtabo! If you have any chess or puzzle game fans, this would be the perfect Christmas present! Be sure to check out Funnybone's other products too, because they have some other games that look like a lot of fun as well.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Smart Games For Christmas Gifts!! #HGG2015

Games are a favorite with our entire family, but I especially love games that educate or work your brain while you're playing. I just discovered an entire website devoted to this type of toys and games, and we were actually able to review one of them, the IQ Twist.

IQ Twist is a logic game for one person that really does make you think. Definitely not a mindless game you can play on your phone without engaging the brain! I enjoy games we can play with the family, but this is handy for road trips, sitting at the dentist's office, or just for some quiet time alone. It's very easy to get the hang of, and has levels for beginners up to super-smart people! It comes in a handy case that makes it easy to toss in your purse or luggage, without fear of losing any pieces. 

To play, remove the twisted playing pieces, and set up the "board" by placing pegs in according to a challenge shown in the book. Then put all the twisted pieces back on the board, until you have all the pieces on. Sounds easy, but there's only one possible solution, so it's not as easy as you think. This is going to be so much fun to use on our upcoming road trips, and I know all the kids are going to want to take a turn at it. 

Check out Smart Games for even more fun games to challenge your brain! You can shop by age or type, and these would make great Christmas gifts for children and adults alike!

The Best Personalized Gifts to Buy This Christmas

It’s only a week until Christmas, so you should have your shopping nearly done by now. For many of us, Christmas shopping doesn’t get done until the very last minute. If you’re still struggling to decide what to buy for your friends and family, here are some ideas for you to consider.


For Him

Men are definitely harder to buy good gifts for than women, so this can make finding the right personalized gift more difficult too. There are actually many options for you to consider. If they like to think about their style and how they look, think about one of these ideas. One of the best things for a man who cares about style is a personalized pair of cufflinks. You could also get him a watch that is engraved with a personal message. There are many other items in the men's department that can be personalized in the same way, so take a moment to look at all the options out there.

For Her

Personalized jewellery is a good option you can choose for women, but that’s not the only option out there. You can also buy them something that’s a little luxurious or a gift that makes the home look a little nicer. There are plenty of decorative household items that can carry a personalized message for someone important in your life. And if you’re buying something for your wife, getting a personalized bathrobe is a good idea. If you buy a high-quality one made from Egyptian cotton that has their name or initials embroidered on it, it can make an amazing gift.

For Children

A personalized gift for your child, grandchild, niece or nephew can be the perfect gift to get. Children like the idea of having something that is personal to them. So, what are the best options for children’s personalized gift? Well, it all depends on the age of the child and what their interests are. If they love sports, you could buy them the jersey of their favourite team with their name printed on the back. If they’re a little younger, you could buy them a toy or teddy bear with their name embroidered on them. There are also items like pillows and clothing that can be easily personalized. For more interesting ideas, browse Zoey's Personalized Gifts online. You’ll be sure to find something suitable

For the Parents

Buying gifts for your parents can sometimes be a little difficult. What can you get them that they haven’t already got? It’s not an easy question to answer. You can get photos of the family and have them framed or printed on canvas. This is a common gift, especially if you have children. Grandparents love to have framed photos of their grandchildren around the house, so this is an idea to consider. You could also think about what your parents like to spend their time doing. They might like to do puzzles or crosswords and challenge their mind. Put together a gift basket with several of these items. Or have a family photo made into a personalized puzzle, you can find companies that do this online. If you keep searching there are many unique ideas out there.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

3 Amazing Vacation Ideas for The Wandering Family

Hi Neighbors!

Let’s be honest about it, family travel can sometimes become boring. For any parents with a passion for travel, going on beach holiday after beach holiday, can become a little dull. There’s so much more to traveling than exploring cities, sunbathing, and browsing tourist attractions.

Many parents don’t realize it, but when it comes to making family travel more enjoyable, the key is to think outside the box. The vacations marketed at us moms and dads are always at resorts that have been specially created for families. The problem is that these places don’t offer authentic family travel. If you want a vacation with a difference, you need to get creative.

To give you a helping hand, I thought that I would share three amazing vacation ideas that are a little more exciting than your average family trip.

1. Hit the slopes

If you’ve never taken your children skiing, a ski trip could be the perfect vacation. Unlike most other family-friendly vacations, skiing is a lot more exciting and perfect for kids with a high amount of energy. Even the most energetic kids will be tired out after a few hours on the slope.

There are ski resorts across the world, from Canada to France. So whichever corner of the globe you fancy heading to, there should be somewhere to ski there. Of course, one of the best areas for skiing is in the Canadian Rockies, so if that’s an option, opt to take the kids there.

2. Take a road trip

family travel.jpg

If you’re a family that loves exploring and gets bored staying one place, a road trip could be perfect. The amazing thing about traveling from place to place is that there’s always something new to see and do. There are so many places that you can go via road. From central Europe to Australia, you can see most of the world from the window of your motorhome.

Invest in an RV or travel trailer, map out a route and drive your family on the trip of a lifetime. For families who love to see as many different places as possible, road tripping could be ideal. Thanks to newer designs, travel trailers are now much more spacious and comfortable, so are ideal for families of all sizes.

3. Camp under the stars

Are your kids nature mad? How about planning a camping trip? It might be a little more basic than your average vacation but for kids, sleeping under the stars is often, the ultimate dream. While you could stay at a campsite, for a more authentic and adventurous trip, camp in the wilderness. As part of your vacation build up, you and your kids could even attend some wilderness survival training.

The best thing about camping is that not only is it exciting for the whole family, but that it's also affordable. So if money is a little tight, camping under the stars is the perfect family vacation. The kids can run around and explore, and you can sit and relax, free from the distractions of everyday life.

There you have it, three incredible vacation ideas that are perfect for families who love to travel.

Stop in again soon!

Travelling Days: The Top Places To Visit In Italy That Aren’t Rome

Hi Neighbors!

Like all major cities, Rome monopolizes most of the tourism in Italy, and for good reason. Rome is an ancient city that is full of culture and attractions that you cannot miss, from the historical sites to the unmissable Colosseum. Visiting Rome is a once in a lifetime experience that everyone should try if they get the opportunity. However, there is more to Italy than this great city, and it is time to become more aware. Traveling Italy is not about just taking in one city or one place – it is about taking in as many as physically possible.


What do you associate Italy with the most?  One of your answers might be the Mafia because they are ingrained in the minds of many people as being Italian. Sicily is the birthplace of the Cosa Nostra and the best place to experience the customs that you see in the movies. To this day, the mafia is still a big part of life on the island, which is one reason to visit. Plus, the rolling hills and the archaic stone towns that occupy the lands are a sight for sore eyes. If you want to experience the ‘real’ Italy, Sicily is the place.


Pompeii is an immortal part of European history. Even though it happened more than a century ago, the tragedy in 79 AD still holds long in the memory. The city was hit by a volcanic eruption from Mount Vesuvius, and the lava and ash from the eruption have preserved the city. To this day, you can walk around the city and see life as it was in 79 AD as the area is in stone. Herculaneum is a less known site that was hit by the eruption, so check that out as well if you have the time.

The Italian Lake District

Have you ever been to the Lake District in the UK? Well, the lakes in Italy are nothing like their British counterparts! For starters, the weather is far nicer, as you would imagine. Plus, the lakes are not surrounded by huge hills and mountains, more cliffs and coastal precipices. In all honesty, the Italian Lakes are incredibly beautiful and need to be on your bucket list when you visit Italy.

The Rolling Hills Of Umbria

Have you even heard of the rolling hills of Umbria before? Not many people have as they are a well-kept secret. Although people refer to it as Tuscany’s poorer cousin, that is not a slight on the area. As the name suggests, the area is full of hills and amazing countryside scenery that most do not associate with Italy. If you want to take a break from the likes of Rome, Turin and Venice, the Umbrian Hills is the place to visit.


You cannot take in Italy without going to the most cultural place in the whole of the country. Florence is home to the best in art and culture thanks to its history. A plethora of the greatest artists ever to live called Florence home, from Galileo to Dante. And, there is the royal history of the Medici that you cannot miss.

Cremo Superior Shaving and Skincare Supplies #HGG2015

Here's a great idea for men and women alike this holiday season-especially if the guys in your life are as hard to shop for as mine are! Why not introduce them to Cremo Cream, a company that specializes in superior shave cream and skincare supplies?!

We received a few of Cremo's products' the Shave Cream, Moisturizer, and Face Wash. The face wash and moisturizer are for men or women, and the shave cream is designed for guys, but they do have a women's shave cream available as well.

The shave cream is very unique; it has "impossibly slick" water-activated molecules that reduce razor irritation and nicks during shaving! It's perfect for people with sensitive skin, but will honestly be appreciated even by those without sensitive skin. This is a very rich, luxurious cream that doesn't foam and fluff-instead, it's a thin layer that actually protects your skin during shaving, and allows for a super-close, yet super-comfortable shave. You do need to follow instructions for the best results, but it's basically what most people probably do anyways. The important part is to make sure you're using very hot water, and use only the amount of cream needed-the less you use the better! Because this is so highly concentrated, it actually lasts longer-up to the amount of two or three cans of typical shaving cream!

The face wash is another product with superior benefits. It cleanses skin without the use of harsh soaps and detergents, which means you get clean, healthy skin without stripping or drying. I love that it's made with botanical oils (like lavender!), so in addition to cleansing you're also nourishing your skin! This works great, and definitely gives you a clean feeling without that nasty tight, dry feeling.

I really enjoy using the Cremo Moisturizer, especially with the cold and windy weather we're experiencing. This is one of the lightest moisturizers I've ever used, yet it really des moisturize skin.  It doesn't leave it greasy or heavy feeling, and doesn't have that sticky feel some moisturizers do either. A little bit goes a long way, and you will notice how much smoother and softer your skin is after a couple weeks of use. Again, this has ingredients to nourish your skin, including the natural anti-inflammatory triple-A complex, and plant amino acids.

Check out Cremo's complete line of shave and skincare products, and make someone happy this Christmas season when you give the gift of a superior shave and/or skincare routine!    -- learn about our products, ingredients and story -- search by product & zipcode for stores & online   -- buy from us -- 100% rebate program  Share pics with us

One neighbor will receive some Cremo products!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

BabySitter On-The-Go High Chair! #HGG2015 #Giveaway

I'm really excited to share this amazing product with all you mothers -or grandmas- out there! Baby's Journey is a company that specializes in products for baby. Nursery accessories, travel gear, bath time necessities, gates, and more. One of their most unique products is called the BabySitter. This handy little portable pad quickly converts any chair into a high chair for baby! This looks like just a car seat liner, but you'll quickly see how to strap it into any chair, and it turns that normal chair into a safe place for baby to sit. One strap goes across the back, and one strap goes under the seat, and these are both adjustable to fit multiple types of chairs, but you can also tighten as needed to make sure baby won't slip.  The BabySitter also has adjustable shoulder straps, so baby can use it from six months to two years.

The BabySitter is perfect for use at restaurants, a friend's house, or for anyone who is on-the-go or travels a lot. It's easy to strap in to any chair, and clean-up is just as easy-simply throw in the washing machine! This would make a wonderful gift for any mama this holiday season!

Restaurants, grandma’s house, and play dates… don’t go anywhere without your BabySitter! The portable pad securely straps baby to chair, quickly converting any chair into a high chair for meals on the go or even at home. Lightweight and easy to clean, this reliable BabySitter is truly a lifesaver.

Journals For All Occasions! Recipe Journal Review #HGG2015

When you hear the word journal, you probably think of a book where (normally) girls write down their dreams, events from the day, and hopes and plans for the future. However, Journals Unlimited offers a wealth of journals for all different occasions and themes, and for all different people!

We received the Recipes Cooking Journal for review, and this is something that will come in very handy! I love collecting recipes from friends, various websites, Churches we visit...anywhere I can find a good recipe. I have a stack of recipes that have been given to me, or I've printed off a website, and now I actually have a book I can organize and write them down in so the whole family can use them! This Cooking Journal has categories for Appetizers, Main Dishes, Sides Soups & Salads, and Desserts. The pages are nice thick, sturdy paper that won't get ripped or torn easily. 

I like the setup of the recipe journal, in that each page is for a single recipe. There's plenty of room to list all the necessary ingredients, give clear instructions for preparation and baking/cooking, notes about freezing, reheating, etc, and on the back of the page, notes for you to write down extra information about the recipe, maybe a favorite memory around the recipe, or even a note about who gave you the recipe. This isn't just your typical recipe book, this really turns it into a journal, something that will be loved and passed down for years!

Be sure to check out Journals Unlimited's great selection of themed journals for the holidays. They have journals for road trips, birthdays, camping, cruising, boating, dining out, prayer journals, golfing, running, and so much more!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Home Spa Sprays For the Holidays! #HGG2015

Hey neighbors!

Have any of you ever tried the Home Spa Shower Sprays?  I just recently was able to try 4 different scents!  They are wonderful!  They come in Lavender, Tangerine, Eucalyptus, and Pink Grapefruit.  They are sprays that you can use in your personal shower or bath.

I tried the Tangerine scented shower spray first.  It is so relaxing.  I started my shower to build up a little steam, and then you spray a few spritzes into your shower.  It smells GREAT!  I add a few more squirts after I have been in for awhile to keep the scent strong.  The same idea works with your tub.  Fill your tub with nice worm water, spray a few squirts of your favorite shower spray scent and enjoy!

The Eucalyptus is great too, especially the last few days when a few members of the family have been dealing with some sinus pressure and congestion.  Stand in a nice warm shower, spray the Eucalyptus and breathe.

The Lavender is for those times you just want to relax.  Grab a good book, fill your tub with warm water and enjoy the scent of lavender.

Just finish a workout?  Feeling a little under the weather?  Try the Pink Grapefruit Shower Spray for a refreshing pick me up.

Home Spa is a 100% natural spray.  They use top quality ingredients to allow you to experience the spa atmosphere at home in the privacy of your own tub or shower.  The spray bottles look nice too, so you can leave them on the side of the tub, or sitting on a nearby shelf.

I am actually sharing mine.  Yes, I said sharing.  My daughters are enjoying the occasional spa experience too!  My 15 year old loves anything that encourages relaxing in a tub of hot water with a book!

These would be perfect for creating a spa gift basket.  Throw in a scrubby, a good book, maybe a small tub pillow...  I know I would enjoy a gift like that!

Be sure to follow their social media pages too!
Facebook - HERE
Twitter - HERE

Now neighbors, here is the really great news!  Home Spa is hosting a giveaway and one neighbor will receive a shower spray pack.  So don't wait around, hurry up and enter.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Wooden Games For Christmas From!

Playing games are one of our family's favorite ways to spend time together. Whether it's the whole family getting together for game night on Friday, or a few of us pull out a game on a whim during the afternoon, we LOVE games! Recently we received a new game to learn and enjoy, called Aggravation. Yes, a game called Aggravation, and it is both fun and aggravating at times!

The game is a very basic-looking game, but it is so well made-a solid wood board, and marbles for the playing pieces. Not some cheapo cardboard game board, and little plastic pieces. This is a game that is built to last, and your family will enjoy playing it for years! There are two ways to play; if you have 4 or 6 players, you can play "partners", but we have been playing the standard way, every man for themselves. To play, set up your four marbles in the starting area (each color has their own area with painted holes), then roll the die. Players need a 1 or 6 to move from the starting area to the starting hole (another painted hole), and then moves around the board clockwise. The winner is the first player to move all 4 of their marbles around the board to the home area. 

The aggravation comes in when a player lands on another player's marble-which knocks the opponent's marble back to their starting area! Yes, this definitely can get frustrating if you're the one being knocked back to start-but fun for the one doing the bumping! Game play time varies, depending on the number of players, and the amount of times someone gets bumped back to the starting area. The fun part is that you can play with just 2 people, or up to 6. It's good, clean fun for the whole family!

Be sure to check out this holiday season, as they have a great selection of board games, croquet games, handmade toys, doll furniture, scooters, playsets and more! You can shop for the whole family on this one website!

Bring Your Favorite Perfume Anywhere With Travalo! #HGG2015

With all the travel our family does, one thing that comes up every once in a while among the girls is how to bring their favorite fragrance along on trips without the risk of a bottle breaking or leaking. Last year one of them actually brought her favorite perfume on a trip, and it made it to the hotel okay-then sister knocked it off the bathroom counter, and it shattered all over! Not one of the best parts of that trip, and because I'm sure many of you have experienced a similar situation while traveling, this product I'm going to share with you would make the perfect gift for any lady this holiday season!

I received the Travalo Classic Excel for review. For those of you who have never heard of Travalo, it's a one-of-a-kind product that allows you to bring your favorite perfume anywhere, without any risk of breakage or leaking! This little bottle is only slightly larger than a tube of lipstick, yet holds 65 sprays of perfume-plenty, even for a 2 week vacation! I love that the Travalo has no glass, it's made from aircraft grade aluminum, so breaking it is practically impossible! It's also approved for carry-on bags while flying. The Travalo also has a little "window" that allows you to see how much perfume is left inside, so you can refill as needed.

Filling your Travalo bottle with whatever fragrance you'd like is very easy. Simply pop the little spray piece off the top of your perfume, sit the Travalo on top, and pump. There's no pouring involved, no spilling, no waste of any perfume. Simple and easy, the best way to take your favorite fragrance anywhere and everywhere you go! Believe me, you might find a similar product somewhere, but you won't find one as durable, sturdy, and easy to use as the Travalo!