Get Prepared for Next Winter, Right NOW!

3 tips to make next winter a little easier

Spring has sprung, as they say, meaning that now is the perfect time to prepare for next winter.

Why? Well, just think about it. While you don’t want to be one of those irritants who crows about Christmas as soon as the last one is over, preparing for the cold snap now, when some stock is out of season and therefore cheaper, will save you cash and let you beat that winter rush.

You know the winter rush, right?

It’s that time when you’re walking through the town centre and people in shops look more like looters than customers. Panicked staffers on checkouts; clamorous customers pawing at the last iPads on store shelves– the winter is a nightmarish period of time to shop.

Which makes now the perfect time to get your winter preparations out of the way! You’ll meet calm people on shop checkouts, mingle with polite customers and, if you’re lucky, pick up some bargains.

 

1. Warm Your House Early

What is really irksome in the lead-up to winter is when the freezing cold kicks in. You’ve got ice cubes for feet, the big chill in your living room, and no heating to get you through it.

For a start, try getting new, preferably double-glazed, windows for your house. They’ll be easier to install in the springtime and will retain heat more cost-effectively than blasting a radiator on.

After which, make sure your home is adequately insulated and that your heating systems are top of the line. That way, you won’t have to suffer in the cold when winter comes.

We have new windows in our house, but that didn’t help when we ran out of wood pellets for our pellet stove in February! We will definitely be buying an extra ton of pellets this year because running around in the cold, looking for bags of wood pellets to buy was NOT FUN!

 

2. Pick Up a Christmas Bargain

It’s already been mentioned but, by crikey, shopping during Christmas time is stressful. Just walking down the high street makes you feel like a salmon trying to swim downstream when another thousand salmons are swimming up against you. And those salmons have Christmas shopping that they’re constantly bashing into you with, bloody hypothetical salmons.

So, the lesson is to get your Christmas shopping out of the way quickly, picking up bargains all through the year, to beat that festive stress.

 

3. Get Stocked Up

You see it like an annual event on the front of newspapers – “COLDEST WINTER IN A CENTURY”, exclaims the newsstand every winter.

Although they’re mainly setting out to scaremonger and sell papers, the tabloids are right that, as climate change causes fluctuations in weather, the temperature is becoming bitterer in those winter months.

To remedy this, you should stock up like it’s the coming apocalypse. Buy grit-loads of grit, keep provisions of tinned foodstuffs and maintain a backup generator in case the wild weather blows out your main power supply.

After which, you needn’t worry about the winter weather again…

May Designs FREE Monogram Gifts till March 23rd!

may designs

 

Give the Perfect Gift with May Design’s

New Radiant Orchid Collection for Spring 2014!

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring! What better way to welcome the promise of warmer weather than with this season’s hottest color, Radiant Orchid!

May Design’s new Radiant Orchid Collection is vibrant, colorful and would make a charming gift for anyone! Think ahead to Mother’s Day and Easter!

You can stay organized with May Design’s fresh and feminine prints in a happy pop of purple. With design names like Bike Ride, Wild Flower, and Swan Lake, these cute notebooks, cards, and diaries make the perfect gift for anyone looking for a dose of Spring.

From notebooks to cards, every aspect of May Designs is customizable, which includes adding a fun array of elegant monograms and novelty cover patterns. Each May Designs notebook offers a choice of useful inside pages ranging from agendas and journals to grocery lists and budget planners, all neatly clad in soft canvas covers.  Plus, May Designs individually stitches down the spine of each book for not only an eco-friendly binding solution, but a more durable, water-resistant canvas cover that can easily withstand being dropped or squished.

may2may1

I think her designs and products are adorable and would make a great gift for anytime of the year like a birthday, baby shower, wedding gift, graduation present or for holidays like Mother’s Day and Easter.

Get FREE Monograms on all books and notes until March 23rd! No coupon code needed!

 

Visit www.maydesigns.com to browse the collection!

 

ABOUT MAY DESIGNS

Mica May, the Mompreneur behind May Designs, made the switch from designing logos and websites to running a multi-million dollar stationery company, May Designs. On a whim, she started creating notebooks with patterns and useful inside pages, and within four years, she had not only had three children but had built the company into what it is today, a nationally recognized brand!

 

JORD Wood Watches Giveaway & Review

JORD wood watch giveaway

We are excited to team up with JORD Wood Watches to offer our readers a chance to win one of their amazing and stylish wooden watches!

JORD wood watches are hand crafted from 100% natural wood. JORD watches are designed to take people back to nature and far away from today’s metal and rubber. You can view their fashionable and unique watches at www.woodwatches.com

Check out a few of their most popular watches here:


I normally don’t wear watches because I find them to be heavy and uncomfortable. Such is not the case with JORD Wood Watches. The Ely Maple Watch that we are giving away to one lucky reader is lightweight, feels comfortable and natural on my wrist and looks great! A really unique fashion statement that is just my style. I know you will fall in love with JORD watches too.

Don’t forget Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are coming up and these watches would make a great gift idea as well!!!!

ENTER TO WIN:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dear Santa, Here’s My List!

Dear Santa,

I don’t want a lot this year. Just a few select accessories, some comfy maternity pajamas for my growing belly and a nice pair of slippers.

Dear Santa


Lastly, I would like a Dodge Caravan Minivan for my growing family.

Thanks!

The Fashionable Housewife

How to Get the Best Deals At Nordstrom

NordstromLogo

Do you ever browse the Nordstrom site looking at all the goods and wishing you could buy them all? Sometimes, it can be depressing not to have the money to buy that North Face jacket you wanted or those Rag and Bone jeans that you know would look adorable. However, there are ways to shop at Nordstorm without spending all your hard earned cash in one hit.

Nordstorm Coupons

One of the easiest ways to save money with the premier fashion retailer is to use Nordstorm coupons. These coupons offer the users the chance to purchase their favorite top, pair of pants, boots or accessory at less than full price.

The amount of discount differs from coupon to coupon and the coupons are not available all the time. There could be coupons for 20% of anything in the Nordstorm store or coupons for $50 off a particular item. The options are endless, but each coupon is only valid for a certain amount of time. If the shopper sees a coupon that they could make use of, it is better to use it than lose it.  You don’t know when the next opportunity will arise.

Coupons are generally issued online via a coupon site. Users will use a coupon code at the time of checkout when they purchase their Nordstorm item. The Nordstorm site will read the code and deduct the correct amount from the sale.

Nordstorm Gifts

In truth, anything could be used as a gift from Nordstorm. However, there is a specific gift section which highlights some products that would make excellent presents for friends, family, co-workers and even your boss.

Nordstorm coupons can be used for gifts just in the same way as any other product in the store as long as the coupon says so. At certain times of the year, when it’s coming up to a holiday season for example, there might be special offers on products in the gift section. If this is the case, customers can check if Nordstorm coupons are still valid to use in conjunction with the other offer.

 

 

Savvy Shopping

To find a good deal, it’s necessary to think ahead. Always be prepared for the sales. If there is an item you’ve had your eye on and you think it might be in an upcoming sale, it’s important to keep checking back with the site. Sale items rarely last long at Nordstorm due to the quality of the products.

Some items such as purses and jewelry can be snapped up in duplicate during a sale. If you love it then others will love it too. Buying accessories at a discount price to sell on at a later date means that not only can you save money at your favorite store, but you can make a little money too.

Look Out For Free Shipping

Quite often when you get a deal online, it hardly seems worth it for the shipping fees. Always check the shipping policy and if there is a charge, try to coincide your order with a free shipping offer to make the most of your purchase. If this isn’t possible then try to order more items. This might seem slightly counterintuitive, but the fact is that if you have to pay for shipping then you might as well get more items included in that one cost.

Sign Up for the Newsletter

If you’re a true Nordstorm fan, then it’s definitely worth signing up for the Newsletter. This will tell you all about the latest offers that Nordstorm has so you can be sure to make the most of every sale that comes up.

FAB FIT FUN – Monthly Subscription VIP Box

fabfitfun

FabFitFun

If you haven’t heard of FAB FIT FUN yet, then quite frankly, you’ve been living under a rock. It’s the most popular and BEST monthly subscription service you can subscribe to right now. If you sign up for FAB FIT FUN, you will receive a VIP Gift Box of carefully curated seasonal items four times a year. Each box is just $49.95 and has at least $175 or more worth of products inside.

For example, the Fall box included…

  • -Gorjana Scarf: A light, airy and totally whimsical canary scarf
  • -Starlooks 5 Shade Eye Shadow Palettes
  • -barre3 Standing Slim: Members also get a one-month promo code to access over 100 barre3 online workouts
  • -Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Cleansing Foam
  • -SPA Ritual Nail Polish in Clarity Diamond Glitter

…… and much more

Click here to sign up for your VIP Gift Box!

This would make a great gift idea! Just sign up for a friend or family member so they can enjoy a year of amazing items!

My favorite items in this month box? Definitely the gorgeous Gorjana scarf and the Spa Ritual Nail polish!

Spa Ritual

I used it on my accent nail (shown above) and it looked fabulous with the sparkly blue nail strips I was already wearing. Click here to “Like” this picture on instagram!

Cookbooks You Need For The Holidays And Tips To Stay Healthy

Hey all you domestic little home makers! I put together a list of my fav new holiday cookbooks that you will want to check out before you start making your menu for Thanksgiving.

european cookiesEuropean Cookies for Every Occasion

Allright first of all, I love cookies. That said, it would be hard to find me a cookie cookbook I didn’t like. This one appeals to me though because of all the gorgeous pictures! I like pictures in my cookbook because then I know what to aim for and I like having a visual in mind when I’m trying a new recipe. My professional chef brother in law prefers his cookbooks without pictures but poo poo for him. I like me some pretty pics to look at. (Yay Pinterest!)

Secondly, of course, the recipes in here are amazing and easy to follow instructions make this book great for beginners (or busy, distracted moms!). If you want to wow your friends and family this Christmas with fancy baked treats then this is the book for you. The book by itself would obviously make a great gift, but I personally prefer to bake things as gifts and then put together “food baskets” as Christmas presents. Yes, I’m “THAT” person!

From Chocolate Crescents and Lemon Bars to Jam Blossoms and Cherry Kisses, European Cookies for Every Occasion includes cookies for every skill level. Each recipe includes easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions to make sure you succeed in making the perfect cookies for the holidays as a special treat for your guests or to give as a hostess gift.

Along with more than 200 full-color photographs, the book also includes tips on setting up your kitchen and techniques for working with marzipan, melting and molding chocolate, and handling dough so that your cookies will come out perfectly every time.

Price: $15.99 ($9.99 Kindle Version)

Buy It: Amazon.com


new england recipesChef Daniel Bruce Simply New England: Seasonal Recipes That Celebrate Land and Sea

Being from New England and having grown up here my whole life, I think this cookbook is pretty dang cool. Just in time for Thanksgiving too! With 125 original recipes and 158 color photographs, you will be baking away from now until Christmas.

In this beautiful cookbook, chef Daniel Bruce of the Boston Harbor Hotel highlights food that is deeply rooted in New England soil with dishes that are respectful of their ingredients and simple to prepare; dishes that he enjoys cooking at home and sharing with his own family and friends.

“Great food doesn’t have to be complicated,” says Bruce. “These are dishes that I make over and over again because they taste good and they work. I hope they will become part of your personal culinary history as well.”

Price: $24.80

Get It: Amazon.com


deliciously holistic book coverDeliciously Holistic: Healing Foods Recipes And Lifestyle Tips To Help Increase Your Energy And Immunity!

Some people think to themselves “Oh, it’s the Holidays! To hell with my diet! I’m going to enjoy myself!” Ya know what I have to say to that?! HAHAHA! How much are you going to “enjoy” yourself when you find yourself 10+ pounds overweight come January 1st? How much are you going to “enjoy” yourself when you have to spend $50+ month on a gym membership instead of treating yourself to a nice pair of shoes? Hmmm????? I stuck to my diet so well last year during the holiday season that I actually LOST 3 pounds over the holidays AND I still got to taste EVERYTHING.

Why not try something different this year instead of the same old vicious circle? Learn how to eat healthy foods that make you feel good and you’ll be less likely to let loose and eat junk for the next 2 months.

In “Deliciously Holistic”, holistic chef and certified healing foods specialist, Shelley Alexander, provides everything needed to prepare delicious, healthy foods that nourish, strengthen, energize, and helps heal the body. Deliciously Holistic demonstrates with 154 mouth-watering recipes that good nutrition never has to be at the sacrifice of great taste! This beautiful, colorful cookbook includes a comprehensive shopping guide; seasonal meal plans; vibrant color photos of prepared foods; and recommendations for useful online resources. This book also provides information about how to use healing superfoods; tips to improve digestive health; how to stock a holistic kitchen with the best proteins, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, natural sweeteners, healthy oils, and beverages; along with a bounty of recipes using healing foods.

Price: $22.31

Get It: Amazon.com


Tips For Staying Healthy During The Holidays

shelley alexander

Shelley Alexander

Wondering how you are going to bake all those delightful treats and Holiday meals and still stay healthy? No worries! Holistic chef and certified healing foods specialist Shelley Alexander, author of “Deliciously Holistic,” (www.aharmonyhealing.com), a new, full-color cookbook featuring more than 154 of her favorite healing foods recipes and 50 pages of holistic lifestyle tips to increase energy and immunity, offers six tips for quick and convenient healthy eating during the holidays.

  • When shopping, check labels and avoid foods with a long list of ingredients. The best whole foods have one or just a few unprocessed or minimally processed, easily recognized ingredients, Alexander says. Among ingredients to avoid: chemicals, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, nitrates, MSG, genetically modified ingredients and preservatives (indicated by the initials BHT, BHA, EDTA and THBQ.)
  • Set aside a few hours each week to prep foods to eat in the days ahead. Cut up produce and store it in airtight containers. Lightly wash produce before using with natural vegetable wash or use one part white vinegar to three parts water. Make several homemade vinaigrettes or dressings to last all week so you can make leafy greens and vegetable salads in minutes. Clean and marinate enough meat or poultry for dinners over the next few days.
  • Start your day with a green smoothie. Cut and freeze organic fresh fruit to use in green smoothies. You can also buy frozen fruit that’s already cut up. Add organic kale or spinach, coconut water or nut and seed milks plus natural sweeteners such as dates or stevia for an energy-boosting beverage.
  • For your holiday dinners, plan on making at least three to four dishes that are both delicious and nutritious. Good examples are pasture-raised, wild turkey with sage and garlic, baked wild salmon with lemon and herbs, steamed greens, roasted heirloom root vegetables drizzled with balsamic glaze, pureed winter squash soups, and desserts made with seasonal fruits, spices, and healthy sweeteners like coconut sugar or raw honey.
  • Invest in a dehydrator. Dehydrate fruits and vegetables and raw nuts or seeds that have been soaked in unrefined sea salt water (which removes anti-nutrients, kick-starts the germination process, and increases key vitamins), and you’ll have plenty of on-the-go snacks with a long shelf life. Dehydrators are convenient and easy to use; Alexander recommends Excalibur.
  • Make batches of fermented vegetables twice a month. Alexander recommends eating fermented vegetables every day to keep your digestive system healthy. They’re loaded with probiotics – the good bacteria your intestines need. Mix a variety of organic vegetables such as carrots and celery into brine with warm filtered water, unrefined sea salt, and cultured vegetable starter or liquid whey, and mix with shredded cabbage heads. Pack the mixture into sterilized glass jars and allow the vegetables to ferment for five to seven days. Once done fermenting, store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Food For Thought…

“Stick to whole, healthy foods this holiday season, and you’ll feel so good, you won’t want to go near the buffet table at your office party,” Alexander says.