Thursday, February 11, 2016

6 Last-Minute Valentine’s Day Spending Hacks

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this post, free of charge,from Andrea Woroch, for blog posting purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

valentines day gift button


Did you just go 'oh-oh' that's SUNDAY?

Like 3 days away?

<insert scream>

Well before your go spending like crazy, consider these tips from Andrea!


With just a few days left to plan a romantic Valentine's Day celebration, you may be scrambling to secure reservations at a new restaurant in town or find the perfect piece of bling to woo your honey. Regardless of what you're planning to do or buy, it's important to keep costs in mind before you blow your budget.

According to the National Retail Federation's Valentine's Day Consumer Spending Survey, the average person will spend $142.31 on candy, flowers, apparel and more, with total spending expected to reach $18.9 billion. What's more, men will spend nearly $190 on Valentine's Day gifts and festivities this year, nearly double the $97 women plan to spend.

If roses, jewelry, spa treatments and a night out is on your agenda, consider these six Valentine's Day spending hacks to show both your beau and your budget some love.

1. Look beyond roses from the florist.
While roses are considered the traditional symbol of love and romance, prices on these red and pink favorites nearly double on Valentine's Day. You'll save money by opting for a mixed spring bouquet (I actually prefer them-they tend to last longer!) of other pretty petals that look just as beautiful and will even stand out more for originality. Head over to a grocery store for pre-arranged bouquets for nearly 30-percent less than the local florist.

2. Save on sweets by waiting, or make your own.
If you can put it off, wait to pick up candy and chocolate on Feb. 14 when most stores will discount the leftover goods. If you have time, consider baking your own sweets. From heart-shaped rice crispy treats to cherry-flavored cupcakes to chocolate-covered strawberries, your honey will appreciate the extra effort you put into making this special gift!

3. Buy bling online.
Shopping online for jewelry gives you access to a bigger selection and often better prices. Plus, many e-stores will be offering free delivery or discounted rush service to ensure you get the gift in time. What's more, many of these sites have coupon codes for extra savings which can be found on sites like CouponSherpa.com. For example, you can save 25% off at Blue Nile, $25 off plus free shipping with a Kay Jewelers coupon code, or an extra 15% off sale jewelry from Macy's.

4. Pick up discount spa gift cards.
A couples' massage is a nice treat for you and your sweetheart but expect inflated prices this weekend. Before you book, check sites like Gift Card Granny for discounted e-gift cards to SpaFinder where you can save over 22 percent. Warehouse stores like Costco also sell gift cards to the online spa-finder service at a discount, offering $100 worth of e-gift cards for just $80.

5. Head to the dollar store.
Your local dollar store is the perfect place to pick up inexpensive greeting cards (50 cents versus $5 or more), gift wrap and even a vase for flowers. You're looking at saving over 70% without compromising on your romantic sentiment. Remember, it's what you write in the card that matters most anyway!

6. Plan a free date.
Valentine's Day shouldn't be based on how fancy of a restaurant you go to or how much money you throw down. It's all about spending quality time together, which you can do in a variety of ways for little cost. In fact, some of the most intimate dates are free! Check out these 12 frugal date ideas and make your plans now. 

SO what are YOU planning for this Valentine's Day??


About the Author:
>Andrea Woroch is a money-saving expert who transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers by sharing smart spending tips and personal finance advice. As a sought-after media source, she has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Dr. OZ, New York Times, MONEY Magazine, Consumer Reports, Forbesand many more. In addition, Andrea's stories have been published among leading publications and sites such as Yahoo!, AOL Daily Finance, CNN Money, Huffington Post, LearnVest and New York Daily News. Check out Andrea's demo reel or visit her website at AndreaWoroch.com for more information about booking an interview or requesting an original written article. You can also follow her on Twitter (>http://twitter.com/#!/AndreaWoroch) or 
Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AndreaWoroch?fref=ts) 
for daily money tips.

History Corner: How LONG have You Been Using Post-it Products? (giveaway)

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this info and giveaway, free of charge,from Post-it,for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about them.



valentines day gift button



What do a boom box, 
a Kodak digital camera, 
and the Sony Walkman, 
all have in common?



If you answered Post-it! You were right!

 All three were all invented within the same decade as the Post-it Note, some 35 years ago!


Yup, Post-it Brand is celebrating 35 years of the iconic Canary Yellow Post-it Note! 

The Post-it Note is a simple reminder that has never gone out of style since their introduction! 

post it then and now image

Over the last 35 years, the Post-it Brand has helped great ideas take shape starting with a simple, practical reminder. Since the introduction of the original canary yellow 3 x 3 Post-it Note in 1980, the Post-it Brand has evolved into an assortment of products that transform lives by making communication and organization fast, friendly and easy. 

office post-it collage

Now keeping organized and having viable communication solutions are as easy as grabbing an item from the Post-it Brand of products! They even have an app now!

color collections of post-its

From the Post-it Brand World of Color collections, inspired by the style and cultures of nine exotic destinations around the world (like the ones above), to the array of bright and bold colors of Post-it Flags and Tabs, the Post-it Brand is continuing to help ideas of all shapes and sizes come together since the invention of the original 3 x 3 note. 

 With Valentine's Day just around the corner there’s no better way to show your love and gratitude than with Post-it Notes! After all, they have new items in their collection that are PERFECT for use for the holiday:

valentine collection of post-it products


Valentine’s Day is all about romance so don’t forget to do something nice for your significant other. Why not show how much you care in an easy and inexpensive way with Post-it Brand? Can't you just see an engagement question being left with a charming photo on the Post-it Dispenser, with the question on one of the ring notes? Or how about a Taxi made of Post-it Notes (shown below) leading your intended on a scavenger hunt for their special Valentine's Day present? Oh yes, Post-It Brand can help you ask even the biggest of questions!

post-it valentines idea ideas

You don't need to ask THE question though! Why not leave a trail of Post-it Notes leading to a surprise or stick Post-it Notes with sweet messages in surprising places for your loved one to find throughout the day? Or make a last minute Rose Bouquet out of Post-it Notes, OR a fun Pinwheel Bouquet, for your hubs?  

boquet collage

Or how about a flower tree on the wall with each petal stating why you love them? Talk about sharing your love! As you can see there are SO many ways Post-it Notes can liven up the day by sending small mementos of your love, or by helping you to share a large display for the world to see!

So when you're planning Valentine's Day at the office for tomorrow, or at home this weekend, be sure to include Post-it products in your plans!

Now how about something special to celebrate Post-it Notes 35th Anniversary?

flashing Win


Giveaway:

One Lucky BTHM reader will win a box of Post-it Notes, Flags and Tabs.





And don't forget to get your COUPONS to help you save money on your unique Valentine's Day uses for Post Its!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Do You Need a First Communion Dress for Your Darling?



If you do, then you NEED to enter this great new giveaway from Sophia's Style!


You can win a simply stunning 
White Sequined Sparkly Ruffle Organza Communion Dress by Rain Kids!

shopias stye giveaway

 The amazing white dress has a halter neck, detailed sequin top and sparkly ruffle organza skirt. Plus a corset on the sides to adjust for size. Matching satin jacket is included- it's an $140 value!

Enter HERE!

Book Review: Northwoods by Bill Schweigart

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from Random House, via Netgalley, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it



Some borders should never be crossed. From the author of The Beast of Barcroft comes a waking nightmare of a horror novel that's sure to thrill readers of Stephen King and Bentley Little.




Synopsis:

Ex–Delta Force Davis Holland, now an agent for the Customs and Border Protection, has seen it all. But nothing in his experience has prepared him for what he and the local sheriff find one freezing night in the Minnesota woods.

Investigating reports of an illegal border crossing, the two men stumble across a blood-drenched scene of mass murder, barely escaping with their lives . . . and a single clue to the mayhem: a small wooden chest placed at the heart of the massacre. Something deadly has entered Holland's territory, crossing the border from nightmare into reality.

When news of the atrocity reaches wealthy cryptozoologist Richard Severance, he sends a three-person team north to investigate. Not long ago, the members of that team—Ben McKelvie, Lindsay Clark, and Alex Standingcloud—were nearly killed by a vengeful shapeshifter. Now they are walking wounded, haunted by gruesome memories that make normal life impossible. But there is nothing normal about the horror that awaits in the Northwoods.


Review:

Do you remember the first time you read a Stephen King or Dean Koontz book? Remember that thrill of the unknown, how what appeared to be something so simple, was so evil and wrong? Then THIS is the book for you! Schweigart brings back the horror story based on ancient folk lore and myths. Remember what Joseph Campbell said? All myth is based on a kernel of truth? Schweigart takes that idea, takes an ancient myth, and develops an unique story that will have you turning the pages, while keeping the lights on! He doesn a great job taking you back and forth from Minnesota to Wisconsin, to a world gone amok, with an unexpected team there to save the day! The book will leave you thinking about what crawls in the woods at night!

This is the second book in the apparent series (the first being The Beast of Barcroft), and based on the ending, there is a timeline for a third book.But you do NOT need to have read that book, as you get enough info to have an idea what is going on. I can't wait to get a hold of the first book, to see what happened there, and a third book will make me very happy! 


About the Author:

Bill is a former Coast Guard officer who drew from his experiences at sea to write the taut nautical thriller, SLIPPING THE CABLE. Bill currently lives in Arlington, VA with his wife and daughter, who along with their monstrous Newfoundland and mischievous kitten, provide him with all the adventure he can handle. Check out his website for more.

Simply Earth Essential Oils Help You to Simple BE!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received these products, free of charge,from Simply Earth, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it



valentines day gift button


Isn't it amazing how you can try something and suddenly you realize you have a carrier full of the product and you're the one out converting everyone! LOL

In my case it has been trial and error, and a lot of self- research to find the essential oils that work for my family. We aren't totally converted, as in we use them for everything, cleaning and laundry, etc. BUT we do use them a LOT more than I expected we would!

I recently got to check out some more of the great oils from Simply Earth, which I really love as they all come in amber-colored bottles (to protect them from harsh sunlight) and feature Euro dropper cap styling, for ease of use from the moment you open them. The 15 ml bottles seem to last forever too! Plus with their 100% guarantee, if you don't like an oil, as it smells off or not what you expected, you can return it for a full refund! Not many companies offer that anymore!


Frankinscense- yes THAT Frankinscense from the bible story!

This steam distilled version is made from the resin of the Boswellia serrata plant, from India. This means you get a much truer scent from the oil, but it is the milder version.

Frankinscense works really well with stronger scents like Basil, Bergamot, Cardamom, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Cinnamon Bark, Clary Sage, Coriander, Geranium, Ginger, Myrrh, and Vanilla. This is because is has a woodsy,warm smell, and needs scents to compliment that. 

We like using it together with Lavender and Peppermint to help make scars and bobos heal faster. It can also be used as an astringent on blemishes, to help ease the flare up. Making it great to have on hand for teens. It is quickly becoming one of my go-to oils!


Grapefruit
This oil is cold-pressed from fruit peels from the fruits of the Citrus paradisi family, right here in the USA .

The scent is NOT overpowering like you might think, but rather more of a mild scent. 

Obviously it will blend well with other Citrus oils, particularly bergamot and yuzu. We also like to add Lemongrass and a touch of Lavender to it for in a rollerball, for a quick pick me up, when you just can't get moving in the morning! It also makes for a pleasing room spray, when added to water! 




Lavender- steam distilled from Eastern European Lavandula angustifolia 
this lavender has a very pleasant smell and is one that you know and love!

We use lavender in just about EVERY mix we make! We use it for linen spray for before sleep, as a lavender spritz on clothes before ironing them, placing a little on a wet washcloth with clothes in the dryer for a wonderful smelling load, mixed with tea tree oil and argan oil, for a frizz controlling silky hair conditioner, and in the spray bottle I use in the morning on Miss Grace's hair to keep it in place for school!

But you can also use it directly on cuts to help them heal faster, on itching skin conditions like eczema to control flareups and in a diffuser to help give you a calm nights rest! 

If you want to make our 'Wake You Up Room Spray"- just take a large spray bottle of water and add 10 drops of Lavender, 8-10 drops Bergamot, 8-10 drops of Grapefruit, and 6-8 drops of Lemon, for a bright cheery spray that will enliven any room!


Myrhh- Yup- the OTHER bible story scent! Miss Grace giggles every time she 

hears its name- which makes sense if you think of it in a 'puny' way- LOL.  

This version is also steam distilled from the gun resin of the Commiphora myrrha plant from Somalia.

It is milder than the Frankinscense, but also has a rich, warm, almost balsamic smell to it. 

It blends well with similar oils as Frankincense, as well as stronger muskier scents like Palmarosa, Patchouli, Rose, Rosewood, ans Sandalwood. So far we've used it in the diffuser and in room sprays, along with the Frankinscense, Lavender, Bergamot, Grapefruit and a touch of vanilla, and it really makes your room smell totally lovely!



Rosemary- The Simply Earth version is from the Rosmarinus officinalis leaf, from plants in Spain, It is also steam distilled. 

The Simply Earth version has a very strong, almost camphor scent to it. This is not a subtle rosemary! 

It blends well with just about any oil we've put with it, especially Bergamot, Frankincense, Lemon, and Peppermint.  It is a very good astringent and is perfect for deoderizing laundry and using in your cleaner mixes. 



If you want an amazing diffuser blend or roller blend, to carry with you for an all day pick me up, try this blend:  5 drops Bergamot, 5 drops Grapefruit, 3-5 drops Rosemary and 5 drops Frankinsence, added to your favorite carrier oil, and then added to your roller ball. It's lovely and you can use the same blend in a diffuser, just allow for more drops, depending on your size diffuser!


Love others, change the world

The other thing that REALLY makes me love is Simply Earth is that when you buy from Simply Earth, 13% of ALL profits go to ending human trafficking. Sp when you buy from Simply Earth, you'll not only be giving someone a gift they will love - you'll be changing lives. Now that's a gift we can ALL love

So let your love stretch a little further this Valentines day by shopping Simply Earth, and giving a gift that will keep on giving throughout the year!


And now how about some reader LOVE?



flashing Win

One reader will win a set of 6 of our favorite essential oils from Simply Earth,
in a lovely wooden box:
Bergamot, Frankincense, Lavender, Myrrh, Rosemary & Peppermint


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