Tuesday, March 31, 2015

NailMedic for Natural Nails

One of the latest trends in fashion this year is a return to a natural look. You may have seen my post earlier this year with my natural makeup and now the trend has extended to nails. I absolutely love having my nails done however running around doing household chores and things can wreak havoc on a manicure. For a few months I was rocking with acrylic nails but the upkeep can become cost prohibitive, so I’m more interested in returning to my natural nails. As luck would have it, when I decided to make this transition I was introduced to Nail Medic by Pretty Woman.

Nail Medic is a three phase system to help strengthen nails and give them a healthy natural appearance. Depending on your needs you can choose the product from each phase (there are 5 available in each phase) that works best for you. For phase 1 I was sent buff & shine nail surface smoother, Phase 2 - shea treatment nail & cuticle intensive moisturizer and for Phase 3 - nail blur fine line & ridge filling base coat. These are actually excellent products for my needs because once acrylic is removed, natural nails have a tendency to be weak and easily broken.

I plan on using Nail Medic for the next month to see how it helps strengthen my natural nails. I am excited about the products because they each are reasonably priced at $7.99 and available exclusively at Walmart. I now have an affordable option to strengthen my nails as I repair the damage from using acrylics.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Skylanders Easter Basket - DIY

It is hard to believe that Easter is just around the corner. This year is truly flying by! I have already prepped an Easter Basket for my son using items that are available at Walmart. My son is a huge Skylanders fan, we have Skylanders Giants, Swap Force and Trap Team so I just know he is going to be ecstatic when he receives his basket this year! I choose 6 megablocks featuring characters from the game($2.00 each)  and added them to Skylanders pail ($4.98) that I found on the 20 foot wall of licensed themed merchandise at Walmart

Check out the video of my finalized Skylander Easter Basket below:

There are a large variety of items there, including Frozen, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Paw Patrol. In addition to toys, you can find stationary and games depending on your child’s interests. If themed baskets aren’t your cup of tea, you can find a wide assortment of traditional willow, bamboo and woodchip baskets($7.98)  to suit your needs.

Of course I had to add a little bit of candy to his basket and found our favorites - Sour Patch Kids but instead of kids they are bunnies! I also added some Sour Patch sugar free gum. 

As a fun activity on Easter I plan on letting him try Mystery Peeps($1.00) to see if he can guess the flavor. I admit I’ve already sampled them and am totally in the dark about the flavor! 

We of course are going to decorate some eggs and I am really looking forward to trying out the Spraytastic! egg decorating kit found exclusively at Walmart.

What fun things do you have in mind for your child’s Easter basket this year?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Galaxy s5 S Health app keeps me healthy! #vzwbuzz #connectedlife

Compared to most people I think I live a fairly active lifestyle. Of course, this is contingent upon my mood, sometimes I’m more active than others but overall I’d say I’m more frequently active than not. One of my favorite ways to stay on top of my activity is to wear an activity tracker but sometimes that isn’t feasible. If you’ve seen them, they aren’t the most fashionable things around! But the one “accessory” that I am pretty much never without is my phone. My Galaxy s5 is always with me, as a social media professional, it is important that I am always connected. This actually translates into a bonus for tracking my activity because my phone came loaded with S Health, an app that tracks not only my activity but everything from my heart rate, to the food I eat and of course calories burned. Admittedly, I haven’t explored all of the options but my favorite is the activity tracker.

The phone sets the daily goal at 10,000 steps. This is number that health professionals  recommended for daily activity. Of course you have the option to change the goal but 10,000 which is approximately 5 miles daily works for me. I don’t have to do anything for my steps to be tracked, it is automatically done by my phone. I love it. I can look and see if I need to add more steps or when I am doing my favorite form of exercise - dancing, I can see how far I go.

For the past few weeks I’ve been doing the equivalent of a half-marathon 13.1 miles (and some) on each Saturday. The first weekend I danced the day away and surpassed my goal and last weekend I took a couple of long walks with my girlfriend and we did 15 miles. The thing is, we walked and talked. The time went by quickly and we had a ball.

I am thinking about improving my eating habits - I went to the doctor and believe it or not my blood pressure was high! I attribute it to my weight gain, I’m up about 12 pounds so I need to do something about that. I plan on starting to take pictures of the food I eat and tracking it in S Health, hopefully this will keep me more accountable. I like having S Health in the palm of my hands and I can only improve on utilizing it to get myself together!

Disclosure: I am a Verizon lifestyle blogger, I am occassionally sent products to use in my daily life and write about them. All opinions are my own and no other compensation is received.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Annie movie night

My son and frequently have movie nights. I admit that sometimes when he picks out the movie it is one we’ve seen a dozen times and I end up doing more sleeping than sharing quality time. However, there are movies that are winners that both of us derive equal amounts of enjoyment from and this is when the magic happens. I was excited when Walmart sent me the newly released Annie blu-ray DVD combo pack which includes the Sandy the dog plush toy (available only at Walmart) I was quite sure we had a winner.

My son didn’t know anything about Annie before seeing the movie. I of course am familiar with the musical, it was the first musical I did in elementary school.  I was ecstatic about sharing the story of an orphan (in this adaptation a foster child) who inevitably is adopted by a rich man with my son.  The newest Annie is especially exciting because she is played by Quvenzhan√© Wallis and the Daddy Warbucks character, named Will Stacks is none other than Oscar award winner, Jamie Fox. I personally loved this movie, the singing and acting were fun and exceptional but most importantly, we were able to see people that looked like us on the big screen playing positive roles.

I think it is so important for my son to see these types of images in the media because so often people of color are not portrayed this way. My son is too young to really be influenced by the negative images but I know it is only a matter of time before he is inundated with them so I want to ensure that he has a positive foundation. I enjoyed the exploration of illiteracy and pointed out to my son how at the end of the movie Will Stacks and Annie were at the ribbon cutting for their literacy center. Not only was this a story of a young girl growing up in the foster system attaining wealth but more importantly education and a family.

My son and I made the most of our movie night by enjoying his favorites - popcorn and some pizza

We also made great use of the sing along printables for the movie that are available courtesy of Walmart. It was hilarious because this was the very first time my son saw a musical adapted into a movie. We’ve seen several live musicals, but a movie is another thing entirely. He couldn’t wrap his mind around why the adults were bursting into song at random moments during the movie! He said to me “Mommy, I understand why the kids are singing, but why the adults?” Too funny!

We really had a ball during movie night featuring Annie and I am looking forward to doing more interactive movies with him in the future. It will keep both of us smiling and me from falling asleep!

The Annie Blu- Ray DVD combo pack gift set  is available exclusively at Walmart  for $24.96 and you can get printables of coloring pages and most importantly (to me) lyrics to several key songs in the movie HERE!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Easy Easter Egg Wreath {DIY}

All of my adult life I had a desire to be a mother however motherhood for me was contingent upon being married, owning my home and having a great career. I also had personal goals to accomplish before family life, most specifically living as an ex-pat in a foreign country and putting my Masters degree in International Affairs to good use. I am a person who sticks to her goals and I accomplished all of them. When I had my son I decided to focus on raising him as my mother did with me and I was able to take my career in a different direction that enabled me to stay home and earn money too. Being a professional blogger has been a huge blessing for me.

As a homemaker I am able to cook, do crafts, travel and truly “l live my life like it’s golden” as I take care of my son. Although I am no longer married, I still am able to work from home and raise my son. I’m doing more than I ever expected and having a grand time doing it. Although I’ve always known I was creative, years ago if you mentioned I’d be the “mom” decorating her home for every season, I’d look at you cross-eyed! But now, I absolutely love to do little crafts to prepare my home for the holidays. Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, you name it, I’m crafting or cooking up something to celebrate!

Easter is right around the corner so I put my creative juices to work and with a little help from Pinterest found an easy and inexpensive Easter Egg Wreath (less than $5.00!)  to share with you. I purchased my supplies from Walmart -

2 packages of 42 pastel plastic eggs ($1.98 each)
1 package Easter Grass ($.38)

I already own a glue gun and if you are crafty like me you need one too! If you don’t have one you can purchase the small Ad Tech hi temp glue gun that I have for $2.97. I used cardboard that I had around the house as a base for my wreath and ribbon that I had on hand to hang it on my door. This craft is very easy, simple and quick to make!

To start, I used a 12 inch cake pan to draw a circle on the cardboard and used an 8 inch cake pan for the inner circle. I cut it out with my craft knife but of course you can always use scissors if you don’t have one. Once I had my base I started gluing the plastic eggs butt to butt on the cardboard. I went completely around the circle until it was filled. 

I placed hot glue in the empty spaces and filled them with grass. Next I added one more layer of eggs randomly and added a little more grass. Finally I used my ribbon to tie the wreath to my door.

Now I have a pretty wreath to greet family and friends when they stop by my home during the Easter season!

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