Pampering Your Pet, Just Because They Deserve It!

September 29, 2020

 Your pet is a cutie pie, and because of this, they deserve the world, don’t they? Sure, they misbehave or cause a ruckus from time to time, but all in all, they’re your ever loyal and loving companion, and you wouldn’t be without them! 

Seeing as your pet is here on Earth simply because you want them around, it’s time to bring out the big pampering guns, and let them know just how much they’re loved. So, if you’re in need of a few simple yet efficient pampering ideas your pet will love you for, feel free to read on below. 

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Buy Some Amazing Toys

Toys may be the bane of your existence, but for your pet, they’re going to be a squeaky and chewy delight they’ll forever be playing with. And because of this, it might be time to invest in a couple of new toys, and maybe even that expensive one you’ve been thinking about getting your pet for a long while now… 

Your pets need enrichment, on a regular basis, and if they’re starting to act a little bored (or more mischievous) than usual, it’s time to switch out their current toys for some new models. 

Serve Up Some Luxury Meals

Luxury meals are always going to be the highlight of your pet’s day, simply because eating is one of the main enrichments an animal is going to enjoy. They can smell good food, and often enough, they’ll sit down in front of you and beg for a few table scraps, and they’ll do anything for treats! 

So when it comes to pampering your pet, be sure to serve them up something new and tasty. Look up some homemade pet recipes; they don’t take long to prepare, and your pet will love you even more for cooking them. Even just swapping to a new type of food, with a rich formula, could do your pet the world of good - after all, there are many benefits of high protein dog food, and your pooch will be chowing down on a food fit for a king if you pour it in their bowl! 

Have a Proper Couch Cuddle Session

And finally, there’s nothing quite like sitting down with your pet and having a good cuddle or petting session. Sure, with animals like cats, it’s very much up to them how they feel about being petted, and be sure to never take your fish out of the tank, but you could very well take any other animal and sit it on your lap.

They’ll be more than happy to hang out with you or take a nap on you because they love you more than anything else in the world. Revel in that for a little while, and make sure your pet knows just how loved and safe they are when they’re with you. 

Pampering your pet is always going to be a top priority, simply because of how much your pet gives you in return!

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7 Tricks To Help You Take Professional Quality Photos On Your Phone

September 24, 2020

Smartphone adverts are always talking about how amazing the camera is and showing examples of professional-level photos taken on the phone. But a lot of people find that, even with the best smartphone camera on the market, their photos still come out blurry or dark and they have to take ten shots before they get a good one. You might assume that the photos that you see on adverts are taken by a professional and your photos will never match up to that. However, that isn’t the case because smartphone photography is not as daunting as it seems and anybody can take good photos if they know what they are doing and they practice. If you want to take professional quality photos on your smartphone, here are some great tricks you can try. 

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Clean Your Lenses 

This is quite an obvious tip when you think about it but most people don’t consider cleaning the lens before they take a photo. The thing is, your phone is constantly in your pocket or your hands all day so it gets dirt and grime on the lenses. This shows up on your photos and makes them look blurry, so you need to clean the lens if you want to make sure that your photos are crisp. Be careful when cleaning the lenses because they’re quite delicate and they can easily get scratched, which will ruin your photos for good. You can use a special lens pen or a can of compressed air to remove dirt and grit and then gently clean the lens with a microfiber cloth to avoid any scratches. 

Upgrade The Lenses 

If you are looking for some great accessories for your smartphone, you should definitely consider investing in some new lenses. You can buy a whole range of different lenses that easily fit on the back of your phone, giving you a wider angle and better zoom capabilities. With the right lenses attached to your phone, it can be just as good as a proper camera without the big price tag. You can get some great sets that are nice and portable so you can put them in your bag and get them out when you want to get some great photos. 

Set The Focus Manually 

Most smartphone cameras have an autofocus feature and it works pretty well in some situations. However, if you find that your subject still looks a bit blurred, even though you have cleaned the lenses properly, the autofocus may not be working as it should. It doesn’t always get it right and sometimes it focuses on the wrong thing, so it’s best to set the focus manually if you want to get better photos. Setting the focus on a normal camera can be tricky and it takes a lot of practice, but on a phone, it’s so easy. Simply line up your shot and then tap the screen where you want it to focus. You will see a yellow square or circle on most phones to indicate where you are focusing. This one simple trick will drastically improve your smartphone photos.

Use Night Mode 

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Taking photos at night is difficult and most people find that they come out dark and blurred. But a lot of phones these days have a specific night mode to help you get better shots in the dark. The night mode iphone is the best example but other phones have a pretty decent alternative as well. When you use night mode, the phone actually takes a collection of photos over a certain time period, depending on how dark it is. The phone automatically works out how much light there is and adjusts to improve the photos, giving you the best one at the end. On iPhones, it will switch on automatically when needed but on other phones, you may have to go into the settings and activate it. 

Learn To Adjust Exposure 

Terms like exposure can seem daunting to people that aren’t professional photographers but it’s not as complicated as you think. Exposure just means the amount of light that the camera takes in, so it’s basically the brightness level of the photo. If you let more light in, the image will be brighter. When photos turn out way too dark or too bright, that’s because you haven’t got the exposure right and you need to learn to adjust it. The good news is, this is so simple to do on a phone. Usually, when you click the screen to focus the image, you can then swipe up and down to adjust the exposure. When the brightness level is just right, you can take the image and the colors in your picture will be a lot more vibrant. 

Use Portrait Mode For People

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If you are taking a picture of somebody, you should always use the portrait mode. When you see high-quality portraits taken with a proper camera, they always have a blurred background and a crystal clear picture of the subject. You might assume that you can’t recreate that on a smartphone but the portrait mode allows you to do just that. It’s a great feature that often gets overlooked and it allows you to take some really amazing photos, so you should play around with it. If you decide that you don’t like the blurred background, you can easily remove it as well. 

Learn To Edit Photos 

All of the amazing photos that you see didn’t come out like that right away, they’ve probably been edited. If you want to improve your photos, you should learn a few editing tricks. Most phone cameras have a built-in editing tool that allows you to change the brightness, add filters, crop bits out and sharpen up your images. Making a few simple edits can really improve your photos and make them look professional. However, it’s important that you don’t go overboard because too much editing makes the photos look fake and ruins them. 

If you use these simple tips and tricks, you will be taking professional-quality photos on your smartphone in no time.                               

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5 Quick Tips to Make Your Kid's Party Go Smoothly

Kid’s parties are getting smaller at the moment, and you’re probably thinking about throwing the next one at home. If you find organizing parties a little stressful, don’t worry, it can be simpler than you think. You just need to divide it down into five areas and tackle each one individually. This will make it a lot more manageable. If you’re getting ready for a kid’s party but you don’t have much time to prepare, here are a few quick tips to make it go smoothly.


Take a break from cooking for your family and hire the best catering service. Making all that finger food is incredibly time-consuming. Give yourself a break this year and order in. You’ll find a lot of your favorite places are doing home delivery at the moment to boost business, so you might get some great deals. You can even order a birthday cake. If you want to prepare the food yourself, you could get other family members to help out. Make it into a game if you get the kids involved.


Now that you’ve splashed out on the catering you could try a bit of DIY for the decorations. You could make this a project to do with the whole family or even just for the kids. Find some used items and materials in the house that you can repurpose into decorations. This is an incredibly satisfying and thrifty project. Your kids will love decorating the house themselves, also it’s more environmentally-friendly than buying rubber balloons and cheap plastic.


If you have the right games, and the right company, you don’t need anything else for your party. Here is a selection of party games for all ages, you can choose the ones depending on the number of players and equipment needed. There are plenty of games you can play which don’t require any equipment at all, saving you money and time tidying up afterward. Keep it simple, and your party will more likely be stress-free.

Party favors

Kids love party favors, but if you’re not sure what to get, try these awesome party favor ideas. It all depends on your budget and kids’ interests of course. You could have your kids make them as a craft activity during the party. This might be a nice idea, especially for small numbers. Then they can keep what they’ve made as a souvenir. This is also a good way to keep them quiet if you want to avoid more chaotic activities. 


Planning the guestlist might be a little easier at the moment due to the current restrictions. You can keep checking updates about considerations for gatherings. It’s likely that you’ll be restricted to a smaller group. Stick to family or a couple of close friends. Whoever you decide to invite, make sure you’re prepared to have fun safely together. 

With great catering, fun games, and whimsical decorations, you’ll have all you need for the perfect kid’s party, and hopefully, as stress-free as possible.

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We're Obsessed With Wellness. So Why Don't We Live Healthy Lifestyles?

September 23, 2020

According to The One Brief, 80 percent of millennials say that physical wellbeing is among their top life priorities. Young people want to achieve health more than practically any generation that came before and spends inordinate quantities of time browsing blogs and consuming content, telling them how to get there. 

But here’s the weird thing: we already know what we need to do to make ourselves healthy. It’s no big secret. Simple things like eating right and getting sufficient sleep all play a massive role in determining our long-run health and the rate at which we age.

And yet, when you look at the behaviors of the people around you (and perhaps even yourself), you don’t find a firm commitment to health. Instead, you tend to see lifestyle patterns scientists have been telling us for years lead to disability and disease. 

So what the heck is going on here? Why don’t we all live healthy lifestyles, even though they’re something we seem to want? 

We Don’t Think About Wellness Holistically

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When it comes to wellness, we have a habit of breaking it down into different categories. Sleep, diet, and exercise all become central topics of interest, and we focus on each of them individually with great passion and vigor. 

Interestingly, though, they all feed into each other. If you have a sugary, fatty meal containing thousands of calories before you go to sleep, the quality of your rest will suffer. And, when you wake up the next morning, you’ll feel tired and less inclined to engage in exercise. 

A lack of exercise can then lead to weight gain, which can further harm your sleep, and so on. 

Instead of categorizing health aspects, we should instead try to view them as a series of broad, related lifestyle interventions. Eating and sleeping might seem like two fundamentally different activities because of their content (one involves chewing things; the other, falling unconscious and dreaming). But the goals of those two activities are identical - to achieve better health. Thus, they both complement each other and relate through multiple channels. Often, though, we treat them as if they're separate, undermining our efforts. 

We Want Results Now

Achieving health is a medium-term process. It’s something that most people begin to experience within a few months of changing their lifestyles. What’s more, improvements happen gradually - almost imperceptibly. We often find ourselves several weeks into a health kick feeling better, but not really appreciating just how much. 

The problem is that we want results now. Spending all day eating nothing but salad and veggies feels like a chore. And so when we do it, we expect to see differences emerging almost immediately. 

Unfortunately, that’s not what happens. Instead, it usually takes the body several weeks to adjust to the changes that we make. And it is only over the long-term that profound differences start to show up in our physiology. 

Take a look at some of the weight loss transformation that people post online. Not only do they often take a couple of years, but the aesthetic differences are almost always backloaded. It is only during the last few weeks of dieting when fat recedes sufficiently to reveal the structures of the face, the person looks different. 

Wanting results now is a sure-fire way to avoid wellness long-term. A better approach is seeing it as something that you live, instead of something you do. It should feel automatic, like cleaning your teeth or making the bed - not just a chore you have to grind out daily. 

We Don’t Understand Wellness

Here’s another thing that often goes wrong: we don’t fully understand wellness. 

This argument might sound a little strange, given our conversation earlier. But when you think about it, it makes sense. 

Most people, for instance, don’t understand the real power of lifestyle interventions. They think that it’ll make them healthier, but they can’t form an accurate picture of the extent of the health gains. Diet and exercise always seem like things that tinker around the edges of our health, instead of revolutionizing it entirely. 

As this website suggests, there is still massive confusion around individual chemicals in some food or food-like substances. Popular culture (and even the law) doesn't quite know how to approach the subject. 

The truth, though, is that these interventions are much more potent than popular culture knows. It’s not that eating fruits and vegetables is “good for you.” That’s the understatement of the century. It’s that these foods contain powerful chemical signaling that impacts genetic expression. It’s part of the reason why people who follow healthy eating long-term often look profoundly different from their peers. 

We Don’t Understand Our Bodies

There’s also an argument which says that we don’t really understand our bodies, even though we experience them directly. For instance, many of us get so used to feeling tired and lethargic all the time that we begin to consider it a normal part of life. We forget that it’s not. We often think we are well, even if we have continual bouts of anxiety or our stomachs regularly give us grief. 

Some of us have never experienced what it feels like to achieve bodily wellness, so we have nothing to compare our current state. We assume that how we feel is just a normal part of life, even if it isn't.

There are other ways to improve our overall health and wellbeing. For example, Gundry MD has a range of dietary supplements that can help to improve various aspects of our health, such as gut and digestive health, and there may even be some Gundry MD offers available that can help us save some money on these supplements so they don't have to cost us a lot either.

We Don’t Want To Do The Work

Finally, many of us simply don’t want to do the hard work involved in achieving wellness. It requires a real commitment that both takes up time and energy. It doesn’t happen automatically. 

First, you have to research the subject and find out what you need to do. Then you need to apply it practically in your life by changing the foods that you eat and altering your work schedule. And on top of that, you have to fight against your urges to do things that could potentially hurt you, many of which are pleasurable. 

So that could be the situation we’re in right now. We all want wellness. But actually getting there is difficult for a host of reasons we don't yet understand. 

Stay Fortified This Fall Season with Superior Source Vitamin + GIVEAWAY

September 22, 2020

Special thanks to Superior Source Vitamins for sponsoring this post and giveaway. Please see the terms and conditions on the giveaway widget for more information.

Happy first day of fall ya'll! I hope you all are doing well! We have had a cool front move into Georgia and I can tell you I am loving it! Fall is the perfect time to get out with our family and friends and spend time doing fall activities. But does the change of seasons mean we’re more susceptible to colds, flu, or other respiratory problems? The short answer is YES! And added to that most of us are all worried about the unknowns of COVID when it comes to our health also. That's why it's a great time to Stay Fortified This Fall Season with Superior Source Vitamin.

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We are also teaming up with Superior Source Vitamins to giveaway ONE SSV Vitamin 5-Pack($65 Value).
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  • Vitamin D3 – 5,000 IU
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From our home to yours wishing everyone a safe, healthy, and happy fall! For more information on Superior Source Vitamins please visit them on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. You can also find them by visiting the store locator or shopping online

You And Your Family Can Help Save The World: Here's How

September 16, 2020

Are you thinking about giving back to the world? Many experts agree that there are psychological benefits of ensuring that we give just as much as we receive. You also need to make sure that you’re protecting the world that needs to support your children and your children’s children. But how do you approach this the right way?

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Choose A Charity 

First, you might want to consider donating money to charity. To do this, you need to choose a charity and you can select a charity with a cause that is near and rather dear to your heart. There’s a charity for everything these days so it shouldn’t be difficult to find one that matters to you. The big benefit of giving to a charity is that it helps others and helps you understand the value of money. This can also be something that you share with your children. 

Give Your Time 

In many ways, if you have it it’s easy to give your money away. But what about giving your time. You can do this by exploring some of the local causes that need support. This could be as simple as helping to build low-income housing. Many people don’t realise that housing projects like this often rely on the support of volunteers. If people like you don’t help, it simply won’t get built and that’s always going to be a massive issue. This is also something that you can get the whole family involved with. 

Choose Products And Companies Carefully 

You also need to make sure that you are choosing the companies that you buy from and the products you use carefully. It’s important to be aware that in terms of giving back to the world, not all companies are equal. Some do a lot more than others. If you make the right choices with the companies you choose, then simply buying a product can help the world. For instance, cruelty-free lip liners from Dose of Colors help ensure that looking beautiful doesn’t mean that you have to contribute to industries that hurt animals. 

Go Green 

Of course, one of the best ways to help save the planet is to make sure that you are going green in your personal life. You should be making changes such as using energy-efficient light bulbs. You could also think about whether it’s time to buy a hybrid or EV car. Global warming is becoming a greater threat according to the experts. If every person on the planet starts doing their part, we might be able to turn things around. Make no mistake though, it’s going to take all of us to make a dent here. 

We hope you see now that there are a few ways to guarantee that you are helping other people and giving back to the world. Remember, these don’t have to be massive gestures. Small steps can go a long way and ensure that you are doing your part for the planet and the people who live on it. 

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Back to School with Lugz

September 15, 2020

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Hello, friends! Welcome to September! Did you guys go back to in-person school? We did! This year we have our oldest, Caide in technical college for cybersecurity, Sarah is a senior in high school, and Wade in middle school as a 7th grader. To say this school year has been stressful and challenging is quite frankly an understatement for our family! But we deal and roll with the punches. As much as I have enjoyed having all my kids home on their expended break they really wanted to go back.

Wade sporting his MEN’S STRIDER 2 CHUKKA SNEAKER and Sarah in her WOMEN’S CLIPPER 2 SLIP-ON SNEAKER both courtesy of Lugz.

September 8th was here, we had all our supplies and headed back. BOOM! On the second day of school, Sarah was hit with a 14 day home quarantine! SHE IS NOT SICK, but she was exposed to someone who tested positive in one of her classes. So 124 kids were sent home on that 2nd say to self-quarantine. The hard part has been that Wade is still in school so you know the madness that can cause when one gets to stay home. Plus I'm the one on driver duty again! Bless it! If you don't know the joy when you have a child that is old enough to drive and to don't have to get in that school drop-off line in the morning or pick-up line in the afternoon? Yes, parents, it is as awesome as it sounds! But I digress let's talk about the real star of the show! Wades' new Lugz shoes! 

The newly updated Strider 2 is the ultimate fashion sneaker that will keep you going all day. Slide your feet into these lightweight vulcanized wallabies and go. They are currently available in 6 colors that are perfect for the autumn and the BER months! 
  • Canvas upper in a chukka sneaker boot style with a moc toe
  • 2-eye lace-up closure
  • Padded collar and tongue for increased comfort
  • Breathable lining with a cushioned insole
  • Heel pull tab
  • Durable rubber outsole
Wade loves these sneakers...Ummm boots! They are truly the best of both worlds! So stylish and comfortable! They are also made to take the wear and tear only a 13-year-old boy can dish out! They are also easy to keep clean with just a damp washcloth.

BathTime bonding with Baby Magic

September 4, 2020

This post is sponsored by Sivan Social. All comments and opinions are my own.

Hey there friends! I hope you all are having a fabulous week! Whether you are a 1st-time parent or a seasoned veteran you know how important bonding with your baby can be. But have you ever considered how fun BathTime bonding can be? BathTime should be relaxing for you and your baby and it's also a great way to establish a routine. When my 3 were little they always loved bathtime and it was a great way to lead into its almost bedtime.

Bathtime is a great way to engage with the baby:

1) It's a great time to give your baby a massage. Massaging baby is a great time to help calm your baby down. It helps their little bodies relieve stress and can also help release gas.

2) It's a good time to sing and just chat with your baby. Baby chit chat is fun! They always have so much to say and they love the sound of mom and dad's voice.

3) As baby gets older bathtime can turn into playtime! That's right, add a few toys and sing a few songs!

Baby Magic offers great products for bathtime and beyond. It is the trusted product I used with my 3 littles and still use to this day. Yes, even as an adult I still love the way it smells and leaves my skin feeling. It's pure and gentle and free of those things that can be so very baby for sensitive skin. 

Did you know?

  • Baby Magic has been loved by protective parents for over 65 years.
  • Baby Magic nourishes baby's skin with wholesome ingredients.
  • Dermatologist recommended for the baby's delicate skin.
  • Free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates & dyes.

Pick some up today at a retailer near your or on Amazon.

**Coupon limit 2 prints per user. Coupon expires 12/31/2020.**

You can also find an additional $1 off Baby Magic coupon from Valpak so be sure to open your Valpak envelope to see if you received one! is also hosting the #LoveWithBabyMagic giveaway where you have a chance to win a $100 Visa e-gift card from Baby Magic!
  • Valid Tuesday, September 1st at 12:00 AM PT to Wednesday, September 30th at 11:59 PM PT.
  • Ten (10) winners will receive a $100 Visa e-gift card.
  • Users enter the giveaway by heading to the Grocery page on and submitting their email address on the form on the page.
  • The winners will be chosen through a lottery drawing and notified on Thursday, October 1st via the email address they used to enter.
  • See complete Official Rules for entry instructions, full prize descriptions, restrictions, and other important details.
Win a $100 Visa e-gift card from Baby Magic.

5 Quick Ways To Improve Your Diet And Your Health

September 2, 2020

A healthy diet is its own reward. Yet many people are still trapped by the lure of convenience foods, takeaways and sugary snacks. Some just don’t know the best ways to go about changing their diets for the better. So what are the best ways that you can change your diet and make an effort towards a healthier lifestyle? Well here are 5 ways to improve your diet quickly and easily for long-term health.


Eat Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason. It kick-starts your metabolism and gets your body fired up and ready for the day. Plus you get the energy needed to really get your head in the game from the outset. Always make the point of having a healthy and full breakfast before going about your day. Swap out your cereals for some eggs and bacon. Yes, there may be more fat but once you cut down on sugar your body will thank you for the increased energy from the fats.

Swap out sodas for water

Water is essential to life. So you should be drinking it throughout the day. Swap your sugary drinks and sodas for 4-6 litres, at least, of water each day. Now once summer comes around this number will probably double as you sweat more and more. Aim to get around half a litre every hour or so, especially during work, and you will notice your mind and body improve very quickly. Most hunger pangs people get are due to dehydration. You’ll be eating better in no time once you start drinking more water.

Cut out sugar

Fat isn’t the enemy. Sugar is. Sugar is arguably the biggest addictive substance on the planet and large quantities cause a ridiculous amount of health problems. Make a concerted effort to cut out as much sugar as possible. Especially added sugar. This means cutting down chocolate and jelly sweets as well as sugary snacks and drinks. It can be hard to get away from sugar at first but you will be grateful you did after a week or two.

Stop eating convenience food and takeaways

High in saturated fats and sugars, convenience foods and takeaways are just no good for anyone. If you find yourself relying on them too much then start making a meal plan that limits the convenience food that you are buying. If you must have a takeaway, why not consider making one yourself? It’s a much healthier option that can keep the cravings at bay whilst learning to cook something new. Plus you save money as well. Convenience food is not convenient for your wallet.

Eat more fresh fruit and veg

Fresh fruit and veg are one of the major items that most people are missing from their diets. The vitamin and mineral deficiencies many suffer from can be helped by a varied diet of regular vegetable options in their meal plan. Any fruit or veg is good so aim for your 5 decent sized portions each day. You don’t have to go with organic but it’s always an option for you. If you’re set on organic fruit and veg and want to get the kids eating healthier as well, then an online store like tastyganics can help you find the best quality organic baby food and formula for a good price.
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