5 Zen-Tastic Books To Read For Your Wellness From @MangoPublishing

According to Forbes list of 10 Wellness Trends You Have To Try In 2019, “finding big meaning in small rituals”, “unplugging from the digital world” and “workouts for the soul” are just some of the ways you can add some Zen to your life.

In my opinion, you can never have too much Zen. For example, I recently created a meditation space for myself that I call the “Zen Spot“…

…..as well as a little “Zen Den” for my daughter to read/relax in.

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After creating a little Zen Spot of my own (see last post), I was motivated to give our 7 y/o daughter one. She is going to be so surprised to see this relaxing #readingnook I created in her room! I just moved some things around (like the dollhouse she hardly plays with), hit up a few of my fave neighborhood stores for some sale items(see instastory to see from where) and VIOLA!💫 ——————– Do you have a dedicated reading space in your home for yourself or child? 📚 —————– #SobeSavvy #Lifestyleblogger #MomBlogger #raiseareader #reading #readingspace #kidsroom #kidsroomdecor #girlmom #girlroomdecor #DIY #happyhome #organization #readingismagic #diversebooks #readingisfun #mondaymotivation #booklover #momlife #RaleighBlogger #Raleighmoms #bookstagram #childrensbooks #outandaboutAvareads

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Did you know reading is a key wellness practice? It is proven to reduce stress, build empathy, and even lessen sugar cravings! It’s nice to have these peaceful nooks at home to which I recently added these 5 Zen-tastic Books To Read For Your Wellness from Mango.

THE MAGIC OF CRYSTALS & GEMS

As someone who has been gifted stones and have always admired the beauty of crystals, I was intrigued by this book. I wanted to learn more and discover what lies behind or shall I say within these gems. This book is a fun, entertaining and enlightening guide to the magical uses of crystals and the powers of stones.

GODDESS POWER

What is the divine feminine? Who is the goddess Oshun? Why is “herstory” an essential part of our cultural legacy? Goddess Power is a book that will answer those questions and more! Informative, Inspiring , Insightful and Important~ these are just four words that I would use to descibe why I enjoy this book.

WOMAN’S BOOK OF PRAYER

No matter when or how you pray, this book was written to show you the way thru words of encouragement, inspiring quotes, poems and meditations. Becca Anderson has done an amazing job at gathering a year’s worth of prayers by and for women for every occasion. I have found that reading from this devotional each day has impacted my spirit in a positive way.

ZEN DOGS

Our daughter wants a dog but since that is not happening anytime soon, she was happy to receive this book filled with adorable photos of mindful mutts and dharma dogs! Zen Dogs offers key lessons on how to live in the now. Dog lovers will enjoy reading the timeless teachings of Buddhism, meditations and eternal truths while enjoying the pictures of so many cute canines.

SUPER AGER

As a 45 yr old Mom of a 7 year old, it is important for me to prepare for my second half of life. I want to do everything I can to not only age with grace but to live long and prosper. It’s every parents wish to be here for as long as we can to see the growth of our children. Super Ager is a ‘how-to’ book that compiles a comprehensive look at what others are doing to be healthy at age 100 and beyond! I’m ready to increase my lifespan and my healthspan with this book.

📚SobeSavvy Tip: Find these great books and more from amazing authors at >>>> Mango.

I am so looking forward to curling up with these books and learning from each of them. So if you don’t hear from me, I’ll be somewhere reading. Which one of these books would you add to your collection or gift to someone?

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❤ Make a Heart Healthy Dinner at Home for your Valentine with Ungraded Produce @ungradedproduce

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary box of goodness from Ungraded Produce in exchange for my honest review.

Did you know that February is Heart Healthy Month? Time to focus on keeping our hearts healthy through exercise and healthy eating habits. You know the saying..Happy Wife,Happy Life. Well this month, we’ve remixed that saying to ..A Healthy Husband and Wife leads to a Happier & Healthier Life. So I’ve partnered with Ungraded Produce to share a healthy husband and wife meal idea just in time for Valentine’s Day! ❤

Ungraded ProduceWho Are They?

They are a produce delivery service that provides customers with an easy way to fight against food waste. Fact: 1.2 million tons of food go to waste in NC each year! Founded in June 2015 by Courtney Bell, Ungraded Produce saw an opportunity to connect consumers with a supply of delicious but imperfect looking produce at 30-50% cheaper than supermarket alternatives!

■ What Do They Do?

Fact: 20% of the produce grown in the US gets left in the field or tossed for being “ugly”.

Ungraded Produce is working to fight these statistics by rescuing produce, packing/delivering it to the customer’s door and making an edible impact against food waste!

■ How Does It Work?

Fact: 40+ million Americans lack access to a convenient and affordable source of fresh produce.

With Ungraded Produce you get farm to door service when you get a subscription. Boxes ranges from 5-15 pounds and you have the option of weekly or biweekly delivery options. At any time you can cancel,pause or change products at any time!

*SobeSavvy Tip: New Customers SAVE $5 on your first box with promo code (HEALTHYNC)

Register at www.ungradedproduce.com

With your subscription, you are joining in the fight against food waste! Note: They deliver to most towns that border Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill only.

■ Why Should You Subscribe?

Make your health your wealth and priority this year. Treat yourself and family to affordable, easy, sustainable fresh fruits and vegetables. It is also very convenient to receive this special delivery right to my door! In my Large Mixed Produce Box, I received 15 lbs of FRUIT|honeydew melon, apples, tangerine mandarin oranges, bosc pears + VEGETABLEs|vidalia onions, spaghetti squash, poblano peppers, carrots, brocolli, tomatillios

■ How do I plan to use my box?

So far, I have made fresh juice from carrots and oranges in the morning!

My husband has entertained us with his Ungraded Produce juggling pre-dinner show…

…and together we have made a romantic dinner at home using all the unbelievable goodness from Ungraded Produce. Want to make a heart healthy dinner for your Valentine? ❤ Check out what we made using Ungraded Produce.

SANGRIA | Red wine in moderation is healthy right?! I added pears,apples,honeydew melon and voila..you are ready to raise a glass and toast to your Valentine.

DINNER | With the help of my friend Google, I mashed up a couple of recipes and came up with a delicious and healthy entreé to serve for our romantic dinner at home. First the sauce…

ITALIAN GREEN TOMATO SAUCE..inspired by this recipe>>here. After roasting the tomatillos, I added them to a blender to make a sauce to use for my spaghetti squash pasta.

SPAGHETTI SQUASH PRIMAVERA inspired by this recipe>>here. First let me say thank you to whomever came up with idea to put the directions on how to make spaghetti squash in the microwave right on the label! Such a time saver.

After washing, dicing, slicing, sauteing, seasoning the veggies, it was time to add the green tomato sauce, the parmesean cheese, the spaghetti squash and L-O-V-E ❤!

The table was set for a night and meal he’ll never forget. I took a cue from Johnny Gill and ..🎶 put on my red dress, slipped on some high heels, and some of that sweet perfume 🎶..and My, My, My our meal was so good tonight! We enjoyed our romantic dinner at home made with Ungraded Produce. I hope you are inspired to subscribe and make something healthy and special for your Valentine too! ❤

■ Do you plan to dine in or out for Valentine’s Day?

■ Have you used Ungraded Produce service before?

Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading! ❤

January is #NationalTeaMonth! Want to Celebrate & Host A Tea Party? Here’s 5 Quick Tips +Book Giveaway

5 Quick Tips for Hosting A Tea Party |SobeSavvy.com

Disclaimer: Thanks to our friends at Honey Smoked Fish Company and Mango Publishing for sending product for review to facilitate this blog post. Opinions are 100% my own.

Hi, my name is Leslie. My favorite color is purple, I like to dance like no one is watching and I am a tea lover. I decided to start a new tradition to celebrate the holidays and welcome the New Year by hosting a tea party in my home. You can find me enjoying tea anytime of the day not only for wellness but it also it provides me with moments of serenity. Sipping a cup of tea encourages you to focus, slow down and relax because you don’t want to drop hot water on you, right?! This time, I wanted to catch up with a couple of friends and invited them over for an intimate gathering of just ladies enjoying tea together. The holidays/New Year and the fact that January is National Hot Tea Month are just some of the many reasons to celebrate! Throwing a holiday tea party was so fun and easy to do. Here are my 5 Quick Tips for Hosting a Tea Party:

1. SEND THE INVITE

Facebook is a great way to make a quick invite to guests, track RSVPs, set reminders and communicate with invited guests. I sent the following customized invite:

The mug exchanges were so much fun! Everyone got a chance to take home a new mug to enjoy during tea time. My friend who loves to shop local, gifted me a beautiful, handcrafted mug from Gather. I just love it!

2. CHOOSE A THEME/BUY DECOR

I chose to do a holiday theme as it paired well with the time of year. Also, I love being festive and spreading cheer! My local thrift store was the perfect place to buy decor like matching tea sets, mugs, saucers, cloth napkins, tier stands, a red table runner and this cute sleigh which served as something to hold some of my tea bag selections.

3. PLAN YOUR TEA MENU

Although, I planned to have a variety of tea on hand (along with Mimosas), I created a poll on the Facebook invite page to ask guests: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF TEA(s)?

Since I received a variety of answers, I decided to serve an assortment of teas like earl grey, english breakfast, mint tea, lemon lift, hibiscus tea and more. My personal fave of the day was Ginger Tea from NC’s own KimBees !

4. SERVE SAVORY & SWEET EATS

Sandwiches and Desserts are mainly what I served to nibble on while we sipped our tea. I also had a crab balls and coconut shrimp from BJ’s as an appetizer. World Market is my jam for entertaining especially when you want foods that are quick and delicious. For the tea party, I grabbed the last Amaretto cake (another customer put me on to how amazingly good these are..and she was right!) and I randomnly found these macaroons while in line at Ross. I served it on a cupcake stand along with some crackers, cream cheese and pepper jelly.

For my savory bites, I was excited to partner with Honey Smoked Fish Company and introduce guests to their delicious and nutritious Honey Smoked Salmon! It is perfect for entertaining because it is fully cooked & ready to eat, fresh and flavorful straight out the vacuum sealed package. Serve it with olives,cheeses, peppers, capers, toast points and you have the makings of a perfect charcuterie board.

There are so many ways to enjoy this superfood protein which comes in four delicious flavors: Original, Cracked Pepper, Chipotle & Lime, and Cajun Honey. One of my favorites for entertaining is using it in a deviled eggs recipe. It was a crowd pleaser when I served it as an appetizer for my last Get Hooked on Honey Smoked Salmon at home tastings. After realizing I did not have enough eggs to pull it off this time, I made an egg salad instead and combined it with Honey Smoked Salmon to make a Honey Smoked Salmon Egg Salad Sandwich.

Here is my recipe:

INGREDIENTS | Chopped hard-boiled eggs, Original Honey Smoked Salmon, flaked with a fork, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, onion powder, paprika,salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS | Mix ingredients together. Spread on whole wheat or rye bread. Cut into 4 squares. Enjoy!

SobeSavvy Tip: Visit their online website >>HERE to see recipes and all the benefits of getting creative using the Superfood ingredient of Honey Smoked Salmon! Take a look at these fun facts!

5. GIVE “TEA-SPIRATION”

No matter what I am hosting at home, I like to give guests a thank you gift. Just a little something to take home and remind them of the wonderful time we had together. This time everyone received a book from award-winning blogger of The Cup of Life, Lu Ann Pannunzio, titled TEA-SPIRATION Inspirational Words for Tea Lovers.

This book is “steeped in wisdom” and aims to create a quiet movement where one can experience devotions, comfort, inspiration and the simple joys of life while reading and sipping a warm cup of tea. It is such a unique gift for women as we all need to be reminded to slow down and relax from the daily grind.

My friend and tea partner in crime has already made TEA-SPIRATION book a part of her daily ritual! Love it!

#SobeSavvyGiveaway | Do you love tea or know someone who does? I would like to gift you a book of your own to keep or share!

•Enter to win (1) TEA-SPIRATION Inspirational words for Tea Lovers book. Comment below in this blog post your favorite tea! Bonus entry if you comment on this Instagram post also! ⤵️

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Raise you hand if you are a #tealover 🙋‍♀️ like me?  I decided to start a new #tradition over the holidays and welcome the #NewYear by hosting a #teaparty in my home. You can find me sipping #tea anytime of the day not only for #wellness but it also it provides me with moments of #serenity. Throwing a #holidaytea party was so fun and easy to do. We did a #teamug gift exchange and I received a lovely handmade one from local store @gathergoodsco ! I served a variety of teas including NC's own @kimbeestea and made sandwiches using Honey Smoked Salmon from @honeysmokedfish Get the recipe and more today #ontheblog, I am sharing 5 Quick Tips for Hosting a Tea Party + Giveaway. ——– #SobeSavvyGiveaway | Do you love tea or know someone who does? I would like to gift you a book of your own to keep or share! •Enter to win (1) TEA-SPIRATION Inspirational words for Tea Lovers book • Follow @SobeSavvy • Tag a tea lover • Bonus entry if you comment with your fave tea on the blog post also. LINK IN BIO! Winner chosen by random.org on Wed. JAN 9, 2019 at Noon. Good Luck! ———– #hottea #hotteamonth #nationalhotteamonth #teatime #theteacupoflife #tealove #instatea #wellnesswednesday #winitwednesday #teas #teabook #bookstagram

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Winner chosen by random.org on Wednesday Jan 9, 2019 at noon/EST!

Good Luck!

#GiftIdeas|Giveaway @Root7products G & T Cocktail Set, Books from @DrinkLikeLadies @CherylCharming + @TopoDistillery Gin Recipes

Tis the season of celebrations, traditions and holidays. Raise your hand, or glass if you enjoy a good cocktail to kick off the festivities? 🙋‍♀️ Well today I have something for you or the cocktail lover in your life!

I am hosting a #SobeSavvygiveaway for this really stunning gift set. It’s an amazing invention by leading drinkware brand Root7. It allows at home mixologists to make their own gin & tonic creations.

Root 7 G & Tea Cocktail Set | photo credit www.Root7.com

The Root 7 G & Tea set is a fun, stylish and uber-unique way to mix and serve a cocktail for two. With a spectacularly chic design it’s ideal for master mixologists and fashionistas.

Root 7 G & Tea Cocktail Set | photo credit www.Root7.com

The set is made of high-quality rainbow tinted borosilicate glass with a shimmering gold pattern, which enhances any table setting and balances beautifully with your lighting.

Root 7 G & Tea Cocktail Set | photo credit www.Root7.com

The teapot comes with a filter basket keeping fruity lumps and pips out of the tea cups. If gin isn’t your cup of tea, then it can be used with real tea, so little fingers up and drink in class. It’s also perfect for any other cocktail and certain to be the centerpiece of any gathering.

Root 7 G & Tea Cocktail Set | photo credit www.Root7.com

Available on Amazon.com, this is a wonderful gift idea for a cocktail/tea lover and makes a great hostess gift! Or maybe you want to keep for yourself to make a ‘hot toddy’ to keep you warm. Watch this YouTube video for more info about Root7’s G & Tea set:

If that doesn’t inspire the mixologist in you, then perhaps these next two items (that I am also including in this #SobeSavvygiveaway) will. Check out these cocktail books both written by women authors who are passionate about sharing their cocktail knowledge.

Drinking Like Ladies | website

What I like about this book is how it pays homage to the accomplishments of women in history while giving you creative cocktails crafted by female bartenders. Cheers to the authors, Kristen Amann and Misty Kalkofen who sought out to dismantle the patriarchy one cocktail at a time!

The Cocktail Companion |website

What I like about this book is the fun facts about each type of alcohol. For example did you know that Gin is just vodka after its first distilling? The herbs and botanicals are added during the second distilling. It is fair to say that gin is flavored vodka! The photography in this book is beautiful also.

We love to make cocktails at home using TOPO Organic Spirits, which is locally distilled in Chapel Hill,NC. Their award winning TOPO Piedmont Gin is made from 100% North Carolina wheat and well balanced, which makes it easy to drink.

Here are some G & Tea Time recipes from the website that I plan to make using TOPO Piedmont Gin :

Photo Credit Root7.com

GIN & TONIC
All you need to do is put the ice into the bottom of the teapot, fill with gin and tonic and then place ingredients into the filter compartment and leave to steep for 5 – 10 minutes depending on how strong you want the flavours to be.
Easy:
‘Gin’gle Bells
  • Earl Grey Tea – 1 bag (scoop)
  • Lemon Zest – 1/2 Lemon
  • Cinnamon Stick – 1 stick
  • Cloves – 6
  • Tonic- 500ml
  • Gin – 100ml
  • Orange Zest – 1/2 Orange
  • Ice – handful

Medium:

Gin & Apple Pie
  • Green Tea – 1 bag (scoop)
  • Tonka Beans – 5
  • Vanilla Pod – 1
  • Gin – 100ml
  • Apple – 1/2 cut into slices
  • Cinnamon – 1 Stick
  • Muscovado Sugar – 3 teaspoons
  • Tonic – 500ml
  • Ice – handful

Harder

Vesper Mar’tea’ni
  • Breakfast Tea – 1 bag (scoop)
  • Gin – 100ml
  • Lemon Grass – 1 stick
  • Lillet – 50ml
  • Hibiscus – 2 flowers
  • Lime Zest – 1/2 a lime
  • Tonic – 500ml
  • Ice – handful
    Follow @Root7products for more recipes and cocktail ideas.

    #DrinkDifferently

    Enter my #SobeSavvyGiveaway for your chance to win:

    • a G&Tea cocktail set from Root7

    • ‘Drinking Like Ladies’ book

    • ‘The Cocktail Companion’ book

    Comment below your favorite cocktail or tea! BONUS entry- Follow @SobeSavvy on IG. Winner will be chosen randomnly Dec.6, 2018 at noon. Good Luck!

    4 #Books To Make Holiday #FamilyTravel Easier + #ChildrensBook Giveaway

    *Disclosure: This content uses some affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy for more info: here

    Do you pack books for yourself or family when you travel? I do. No matter if it’s by plane, train or automobile each member of my #HeighPartyof3 will have some type of reading material or activity book. We are heading up to Charlotte, NC for Thanksgiving weekend and I have already started packing up what books my daughter will read on the roadtrip and keep her entertained during our hotel stay. Sure she has a tablet and my husband has his kindle, but there is still something special about having and holding a book. Here are 4 Books To Make Holiday Family Travel Easier:
    Football Freddie and Fumble Dog by Marnie Schneider, Goldie Grace, Illustrated by D.Moore

    Description: Football Freddie and Gameday in the Carolinas is a book that follows Football Freddie, a football loving girl who also loves to learn, as she travels around the Carolinas taking in the sights, ending her trip at a Carolina Panthers game in Charlotte.

    This book is beautifully illustratrated and includes dome fun facts about the Carolinas and even some Charlotte stops, which is right on time since we will be visiting there in a few days! Our daughter is including this book in her #outandaboutAvareads series to enjoy along the way.

    *Available at Amazon.com >here
    Color My Washington DC by Elina Diaz

    Description: Color Washington, D.C., the way you want to see it… Color your journey through the capital of the United States. Color elaborately hand drawn pen and ink illustrations of some of the most iconic destinations in the District—from to the White House, down through the National Mall and across to the Washington Monument, enjoy all the treasures this city has to offer. Each page contains facts about the District of Columbia, so regardless if you’re a Democrat or a Republican or a first time visitor to Capitol Hill, you’ll have your own relaxing coloring experience for years to come.

    I am from the DMV area and enjoy traveling back to DC to see family, friends and share our #soDMVsavvy highlights. With this book, I get to learn more about the city while coloring. When my daughter pulls out her coloring books in the hotel, this is the one I will use!

    *Purchase at Amazon.com >here

    48 hours in North American Cities

    Description: 48 Hours In…North American Cities | How to Enjoy the Perfect Short Break in 20 Great Destinations By Simon Calder

    Every Saturday in The Independent’s award-winning Traveller section, our “48 hours” stories explore new and exciting city-break itineraries. Now, 25 years after the series was first launched, we’ve produced this special, designed to help you get the most from a visit to a selection of 20 key North American cities. Among them, you can choose from New York’s dizzying nightlife, the rollercoaster thrills of Orlando, the Hollywood glitter of Los Angeles or Vancouver’s great outdoors. We’ve also included a range of accommodation options to suit your budget.

    We love weekend getaways! While my husband and I both have a background in working in a Travel agency (it’s how we met actually), we still like referring to books on what to do in certain cities. Our family just came back from a 3 Day Vacation in Orlando and this book gave us some ideas outside of the Disney box!

    *Get your copy on Amazon.com>here

    BigFoot Fun Book!: Puzzles,Coloring Pages, Fun Facts! by D.L.Miller

    Description: The idea of the book brainchild of Pennsylvania artist D.L. Miller, was to marry fun activities along with learning. “Children have the opportunity to have fun while learning about the world around them with BigFoot,” says Miller.

    The activity book is a treasure trove of engaging activities such as mazes, word search games, dot-to-dot pictures, coloring, and of course his classic seek-and-find activities. As with his other BigFoot books, the activity book is intended to help children learn about the world in an engaging and exciting way. As an added bonus, the book also includes animal stickers.

    This book, which is recommended for children ages 5-12 years old, grade level:4-6 , is 136 pages of fun for my 7 yr old 2nd grader. The variety of educational, fun and interactive activities is why we parents love this book for our daughter. It keeps her engaged and gives a good balance between playing with apps on the tablet doing an activity in a book. She enjoys the Bigfoot seek and find series, which you can find out more information at IFoundBigFoot.com

    *Available at Amazon.com >here

    SobeSavvy Tip: Enter my #SobeSavvyGiveaway to recieve a copy of the BigFoot Fun Book!: Puzzles, Coloring Pages, Fun Facts for a child in your life! Comment below in blog comments with ” I Found BigFoot” to enter. One winner will be selected randomnly. Contest ends Monday, Nov 26, 2018 at noon. Additional entry if you comment in this IG post also ⤵

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    #GiftIdeas For Her | Four #Books To Give Every Female Bookworm

    *Disclosure: This content uses some affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy for more info: here

    Do you have any female bookworms on your ‘Nice’ list this year? This holiday season, give a unique gift that they can enjoy all life long…a book! Books make wonderful gift ideas for her especially when they provide helpful information. Here are four books to give every female friend, family, co-worker, bookworm that you know!

    For your workout buddy and any woman who loves wellness gifts 📘A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils: Recipes and Practices for a Natural Lifestyle and Holistic Health by Hayley Hobson

    Homeopathic medicine and alternative medicines are gaining in popularity daily. A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils by Hayley Hobson can become your first step to a healthier life—your first step to holistic health. Hayley is an internationally known author and inspirational speaker. She presents uplifting and educational programs in over 50 countries and promotes a holistic path to wellness by incorporating the use of essential oils with a regimen of exercise, healthy eating, and mental and emotional wellness practices. As a coach, she passionately empowers others to live their dreams and create lifestyle transformations by supporting them in becoming the best possible WHOLE versions of themselves. In her book, you will find real life stories and natural lifestyle principles. You’ll discover why we get out of balance in the first place—and find out how to fix it. You’ll learn about Hayley’s signature recipes and their specific purposes, helpful remedies and daily changes, safe handling and usage, and much more.

    Buy on Amazon: here * and pair it with an essential oil set * as a gift idea!

    For the woman who is #perfectlyflawed and on a healthy lifestyle journey 📙Be Iconic: Healthy and Sexy at any Age by Dr. Eudene Harry

    Opening up the conversation of true beauty and acceptance, Eudene Harry MD writes her latest book, Be Iconic: Healthy and Sexy at any Age. Discussing that your diminished self-worth and confidence shows up in a variety of ways—the extra weight you carry, the sleepless nights, the chronic illness, and your lack of joy—Dr. Harry offers an all-encompassing guide to your health.

    In this motivating and inspirational workbook, Be Iconic explores:

    • Sexy doesn’t mean perfect! 5 ways to know what makes you sexy

    • How patterns of negative thoughts diminish your health

    • The connection between beauty and sleep

    • Tips for beautiful hair for the aging woman

    • Minimally invasive techniques to love the skin you’re in

    • And, so much more!

    To learn more visit, www.drharrymd.com

    Now available on Amazon: here * and gift it with this motivational wall art !*

    For your crafty chicks, DIY gal pals and any hostess with mostest 📗Cooking, Baking and Making: 100 Recipes and DIY Ideas for All Seasons and Reasons by Cynthia O’Hara

    From the creative mind of the “Harried Housewife” blog comes a beautifully packaged one-stop-shop book bursting with DIY recipes and ideas for the entire year! Cooking, Baking, and Making includes 60 DIY recipes with bonus designs and 40 DIY ideas that tie your home together for all 365 days. For spring, serve Herbed Cucumber Tea Sandwiches and a make a Spring Centerpiece as you watch the flowers bloom. In the hot summer, delight your guests with Fresh Berries and Cannoli Cream and make your own decorative coasters. In autumn, admire the turning leaves as you bake Dilled Beer and Cheddar Bread and make Autumn Harvest Potpourri. And in winter, enjoy Creamy Eggnog Cupcakes and make Festive Votives while snuggling by the fire. Cynthia O’Hara presents incredibly user-friendly projects and dishes that make replicating her flavors and designs as natural as the changing of the seasons. The Harried Housewife has written articles and developed a wide variety of recipes that reflect a simpler time and are ideal for budget-conscious families. The “Harried Housewife’s Recipe Box” column is syndicated nationally in regional newspapers.

    Get this book on Amazon: here * and pair it with these cute apron sets for a great gift!

    For the Mom friend or little girl in your life who has an interest in ancestry 📘Famous Family Trees by Kari Haug

    Explore the fascinating family histories of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Charlotte Bronte, John F Kennedy, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Maria Tallchief, and many more with 30 family trees from around the world.

    This accessible, visually-stunning compendium of family trees features some of history’s most loved — and loathed — famous faces and is great fun for the whole family to explore.

    Genealogy and history combine to make a fascinating, fact-filled treasury of family trees belonging to famous people throughout the ages. Spark conversations with children about their own family histories this holiday season.

    Purchase on Amazon: here * and add this family tree picture frame to give as a unique gift!

    As you can see there are amazing gifts for every woman, mom, sister, girl, friend on this list. I found these books to be helpful, inspiring, empowering and encouraging. I am grateful to have received these review copies to add to my bookshelf and to share these thoughtful gift ideas with you!

    📚What Books Are You Reading?📚 Are you gifting books this holiday season?

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    How To Make An Old Coffee Table Feel Brand New with HomeRight Finish Max Paint Sprayer + Shelter Review

    *Disclaimer: Although I received complimentary products from HomeRight to facilitate this review, the opinions are 100% my own.

    Fall is here! Which for me means getting the house ready for football watch parties, out of town guests during the holidays and more time for me to be cozy on the couch watching my favorite fall tv shows. One day while lounging on the couch, I noticed my coffee table had taken quite the beaten. Scratches and chips and scrapes..oh my! It definitely was not appealing to my eyes.

    I realized that a simple makeover would be all that I needed to give this old coffee table a brand new feel. After hearing great things about HomeRight from my DIY friends, I knew this company had an array of products to help anyone, novice or expert, with any Do It Yourself paint jobs.

    Since my coffee table had withstood some years being subjected to the trials of having a now 7 year old use it for everything, from game table to a snack table, it needed to be brought back to life. I decided on a quick fix to do the trick. A new paint job is what was required and these are the HomeRight tools I used:

    Finish Max Paint Sprayer

    This lightweight marvel got the job done quick and it was easy to use! Per their website….”The Finish Max sprays a smooth, factory-like finish with no compressor required. This paint sprayer is ideal for small to medium projects (furniture, crafts, dressers, cabinets, etc.). Spray oil or water based materials such as: chalk type paint, milk paint, latex paints, enamels, primers, clear sealer, polyurethane, stain and varnish.”

    Prior to painting, I chose to sand the table down and clean the surface. I went with a black satin enamel 8oz. paint by Americana Decor. After thinning it out with a bit of water, I filled up the paint resevoir and screwed it onto the sprayer. The Super Finish Max paint sprayer comes with 3 size nozzles for any of your painting needs large or small.

    Medium Paint Shelter

    Ever worked on a painting project and got debris and paint spots everywhere? HomeRight has the solution to that problem. It comes in the form of a spray shelter. You do the actual painting inside the shelter. It catches all overspray and prevents the wind from carrying the spray mist onto unwanted surfaces. It comes preassembled and literally just pops open from the compact carrying case that holds it. They have small, medium and large. This made my job that much easier and ease of mind is what I like! No mess, no stress.

    Now that everything was up and ready to go, it was time for the ‘Mom and Daughter DIY Corner’ show. That’s what my daughter, #outandaboutAva calls it everytime we work together on a fun craft or DIY project. We turn on some music and have a paint party! If you missed my Instagram instastory, here is some of the fun we had using HomeRight products:

    From start to finish, I was done in just 20 minutes! I let the coffee table dry right in the shelter, which also protected it from getting anything on it during the drying process.

    Overall, I was pleased with the finished look. Thanks to the Super Finish Max Paint Sprayer, I used just one coat of paint and achieved this smooth, evenly applied painted coffee table. Now I can sit back, relax on my couch and enjoy my beautiful, scratch free coffee table.

    Got an old coffee table or any piece of furniture that could use a new paint job? HomeRight has products that are simple, easy to use and gives a quality look to any DIY project. Makeovers are fun when there is no mess and no stress. This coffee table had scratches galore but not anymore thanks to a fresh coat of paint that I applied using HomeRight Super Finish Max Paint Sprayer inside the HomeRight Medium Paint Shelter. I highly recommend these products for your next DIY painting project!

    3 Summer Break Books to Intrigue, Inform, Inspire Your K-2nd Grader #outandaboutAvareads #books

    Disclosure: This content uses some affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy for more info: here

    Can you believe Summer’s here? I have been asking myself where has this year gone and what shall I do to keep my child from being bored during Summer Break? While my daughter is ready for some time off, I know the importance of keeping her mind active. Ever heard of the “summer slide” where kids lose some of their academic gains from the school year? Well, I plan to avoid that by encouraging my child to read. However, because my daughter loves to read, I really don’t have to do much encouraging. In fact, you may have seen her #outandaboutAvareads series on my Instagram!

    Recently, some authors/publishers have contributed to her summer reading list and she is excited to read these books at home, by the pool, or in the car during our family roadtrips!If you are looking for things for your child to do this summer, remember reading is a great way to keep kids engaged over summer break!

    Today on the blog, SobeSavvy.com, I am sharing some new children’s books to add to your child’s summer reading list that will Intrigue, Inform and Inspire! Take a look at these three books:

    *INTRIGUE | THE CASE OF THE PINCHED STRADUVARIUS by Elaine Loeser

    #outandaboutAvareads

    The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius is a unique whodunit – a mix of television script and comic book presented in a fun way! This picture book shows kids how using their brains and working together can solve problems. Miles and Fargo are your average turtles. They swim, lounge around and fight over the one rock in their tank. But Miles and Fargo are different in one major way: like Jimmy Stewart’s character in the iconic 1954 film “Rear Window” or Dr. Anna Fox in “The Woman in the Window,” they witness a crime from the window of their NYC apartment and manage to solve it – without leaving their tank.

    The story is told in an all-dialogue format, with icons representing the characters in the story so kids can identify with them more closely. It’s written by Elaine Loeser – former writer for the long-running NBC drama “Law & Order” – with wonderfully vibrant illustrations by Greg Arvanitakis. Elaine’s husband acquired the real-life turtles while they were living in Los Angeles and they spent their first months living in their tank in Pasadena, overlooking Dodger Stadium.

    In The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius, while looking out the window one day, Miles and Fargo witness a little girl’s violin stolen by a bad man, who snatches the instrument and runs away. After watching carefully, the turtles enlist the services of Bogie and Bandit, the dogs who live in the apartment with them, to do the investigative legwork during their walks. The dogs get all the credit when the violin is found. But that’s ok with Miles and Fargo. They did the thinking. The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius is the story of how they manage to solve the crime and bring the thief to justice, thus becoming: Miles and Fargo, Turtle Detectives!

    For kids, parents and teachers alike, it’s a fun story that introduces readers to Miles and Fargo, their background and how they become the Holmes and Watson of the reptile world. It also teaches kids about introverts (the turtles) and extroverts (the dogs.) The Case of the Pinched Stradivarius is ideal for readers ages 3-10 and is available on Amazon.* Learn more about the book on turtledetectives.com, Facebook and Instagram.

    *INFORM | LIKTOON’S BOAT by Radha Rai

    Liktoon’s Boat is an endearing and educational book to help promote financial literacy among children. Written by North Jersey financial expert, blogger, mom and author, Radha Rai, this book provides introduction to basic mathematical and financial concepts. Liktoon’s Boat takes children of all ages to a make-believe world of adventure, entrepreneurship and challenges, where dreams are accessible with the right financial planning.

    For more information on Liktoon’s Boat visit Liktoon.com, or visit Rai’s blog at Missfingy.com/. Liktoon’s Boat is available at Amazon* as well as other fine booksellers.

    *INSPIRE | JUST BE YOURSELF by Karen Stone

    Just Be Yourself: A Ladybug’s Journey is a new children’s book written by Karen Stone to inspire kids to be happy with who they are and build a positive perception of self. As children grow up, they will face various challenges and struggles, author Karen Stone wants to make sure a negative self-image will not be one of those issues.

    In “Just Be Yourself,” Stone introduces readers to a unique story that follows an unsure ladybug in the Happy Peaceful Forest. The ladybug questions why she is the only one in her family without a special crown and sets out to reach the shiny purple castle to find her answers.

    Along the way she meets various animals that impart lessons of self-assurance and empowerment. At the end of her journey, she realizes that to receive her crown, she simply needs to find confidence and happiness in her own heart.

    “I want to enable children to build a foundation to be happy with who they are for the rest of their lives,” Stone said. “Just Be Yourselfteaches children to be confident with their own attributes, skills and appearance so they can build a positive self-image.”

    For more information, please visit www.kstone11.com. “Just Be Yourself: A Ladybug’s Journey” by Karen Stone is available at Balboa Press, Barnes and Noble and Amazon*.

    📚What Books Are You or Your Child Reading This Summer?📚

    CONNECT WITH ME Facebook |YouTube| Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

    #BeautyFinds | Five Summer Beauty Essentials Under $15

    Summer Beauty Essentials Under $15 | SobeSavvy.com

    Disclosure: This content uses some affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy for more info: here

    Summertime for me means:

    • random family road trips (like the one we took this Father’s Day Weekend to Asheville,NC to see the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. (Catch a glimpse of it’s beauty in my instastories on Instagram)

    • finding ways to beat the heat

    • enjoying more outdoor fun!

    Today on the blog, SobeSavvy.com, I am sharing some Summer Beauty Essentials that will help you stay fresh, dry, protect you from harsh sun and make those bugs fly on by!
    Since they are all under $15, you can save money and have more to spend on summertime fun!

    * John Frieda® Beach Blonde Sea Waves® Sea Salt Spray, $10.99

    I am by no means a natural blonde, but I do have a fun wig that I rock sometimes in the summer. You can get the ultimate beach waves with Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray. Infused with an ocean-fresh coconut fragrance, this sea-salt spray provides subtle volume and fullness for an effortless, matte-textured style. Suitable for all hair types and shades, including color-treated hair. Shake well before use and mist product thoroughly into towel dried or dry hair, combing through to distribute.

    *Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Picaridin, $14

    Yesterday, my family hit the hiking trails but not without applying Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard! I definitely won’t leave home without this. Don’t let bugs get in the way of your summer fun. Protect your family when mosquitoes are most active with this fast-drying, dependable insect repellent. The non-greasy, DEET-free formulas provide long-lasting protection against deer ticks (that may transmit Lyme disease) and mosquitoes (that may transmit West Nile Virus). Available as Aerosol Spray, Pump Spray and travel-friendly Towelettes. Available at www.avon.com.

    * Nubian Heritage’s 24-Hour Aluminum-Free Deodorants, $8.99

    I love using Nubian Heritage’s line of skincare and bath products. They use organic, fair trade shea butter as well as other natutal ingredients. Their deodorants are available in seven of the brand’s best-selling all-natural fragrances, as a healthier alternative to feeling fresh and smelling great! Available at The Vitamin Shoppe and online at vitamineshoppe.com.

    * Hotheads’ Mini G Hairbrush, $9.38

    Good things really do come in small packages! The Mini G conveniently fits in your handbag, gym bag or travel bag. Use it with your favorite dry shampoo to refresh tired locks. It’s the perfect little brush to distribute your leave-in products before heading out into the sun. Great for detangling after a swim, the Mini G also helps remove sand debris from the scalp and hair. Finishing your day at the beach using the Mini G will reduce frizz and help create the perfect ponytail. Available at HotheadsHairbrush.com.

    * Ola Tropical Apothecary Body Mist, $10

    The secret ingredient in Ola Tropical Apothecary’s Deep Sea Body Mist is…the water. Found at 3000’ below the ocean surface off the Kona Coast, each Body Mist contains over 90 trace minerals, and is high in calcium and magnesium. A few simple spritzs to hair, face and skin instantly hydrates and moisturizes. It comes in 2 ounce sizes and available at HawaiianBodyProducts.com.

    I packed some of these products in my travel bag along with a few of my everyday beauty essentials. Perhaps these products will make it into your suitcase to kick off Summer 2018!

    Have you tried any of these products before? Do you have a summer beauty essential product that travels everywhere with you? Share below and Happy Summer 2018!

    Introduce your child to #stemlearning fun with Botley the Coding Robot from @learninghandson #learningresources

    Disclaimer: I received this product from Learning Resources for review, however the opinions are 100% my own (along with my kid’s two cents)

    Various studies have shown that kids younger than 9 spend an average of two hours a day watching or playing
    a device with a backlit screen. I am one parent who is constantly seeking ways for my daughter to disconnect and spend less time with tablets and more time in “real life”. I enjoy finding ways for her to expand her S.T.E.M. knowledge and I recently learned of a company whose mission is to help kids build educational skills!

    #outandaboutAva unboxing the latest stem learning toy from Learning Resources, meet Botley the Coding Robot! | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

    Learning Resources has been the leader in educational toys and for over 30 years, they have made learning fun for girls and boys! You can have any of their products conveniently delivered to your door as they are available to buy on Amazon. We recently got the chance to meet

    Botley the Coding Robot for my 6 year year old, fondly referred to as #outandaboutAva on the blog, to learn more about coding in a fun, friendly way

    .

    Her first reaction was..”look at Botley, it’s so cute”. She loved the name and its design. Her and her Dad got right to reading the instructions, which was very easy to follow. This toy is ready to use right out the box.

    No screen, app or download is needed. This colorful and charming little brains on wheels is programmed solely via a remote control programming transmitter.

    My daughter can input various directions in various order commands. Once she finalizes his route, she hits transmit and Botley starts rolling per her pre input commands.
    Botley has sensors that can avoid and stop prior to objects
    or walls. Botley also makes quite a few delightful sounds and robotic laughs. Whether looping commands or one steps, Botley makes coding so much fun! If you are looking for the perfect entry to coding for your child starting at age 5, consider making Botley the Coding Robot the newest member of your child’s toy family

    !

    #outandaboutAva gives Botley the Coding Robot from Learning Resources a BIG Thumbs Up! | Photo Credit: SobeSavvy.com

    For more information, go to www.learningresources.com