Saturday, September 4, 2021

Unpopular Or Popular Opinion


If anyone has learned anything over the past year and a half, I would like to think that the majority would say that they started to question the government, science, world leaders, and any other authority figures we have who are out there making decisions for us. 

What do we believe anymore? Do you follow what the majority of society follows? What is the majority of society? There is more to life than social media and the Internet so, can you actually make decisions based upon the comments and "friends" and Tweets that you see on your Facebook or TikTok pages? Do you ever sit and wonder, who are these people making decisions for me and my family? Are they really "experts"? Who gave them that title? What about the other "experts" who have already come out in opposition to the "experts" we are told to follow? 

Prior to the pandemic, I've always had a million questions each time anyone I have never met who has a whole lot more money than I do, who works for a group of people who are so out of touch with "regular" people, and sometimes, never even communicate or go anywhere near "regular" people, get to sit in big, fancy chairs, at big, fancy tables, eating and drinking fancy foods and determine what would benefit me and my children and my neighbors the most. Some of these so-called, "experts" have no experience whatsoever in the field they claim to be an expert in. (For example; the current Secretary Of Health in PA isn't even a medical doctor. She's an attorney with "experience in health care policy". 

Sometimes, it's very easy to follow the money and find who benefits from what. Especially within the Federal Government. (and the state and local governments.) If you really have the time to check who donates to who and what each line in these bills really says, you'll see how mind-boggling it all really is. So, when I read a number of news reports each day regarding the FDA and vaping products, I have to ask myself the same questions as I would with anything else. Whether you vape or smoke or partake in something that others may not see as being healthy or appropriate or safe, it should concern you when so many people are jumping in to decide whether or not these companies should be allowed to manufacture and sell their products. Will they eventually rule and regulate every little thing? So much that I have to wonder what's next? What happens when they finally regulate everything? Will they dismantle or will they come after another industry next? What happens when they attempt to regulate your favorite foods? Vitamins? Coffee? Medication? 

I completely understand the whole point behind the FDA and I understand that somebody must test and regulate a variety of products. Of course, it's necessary for someone to tell us why something is or isn't safe and whether or not these products should be marketed or sold to anyone or which age group, etc. That all makes perfect sense and in many cases, I feel that we should be grateful for this. 
I also have to question what will happen in a few years? Will they change their stance? Will they claim something is or isn't good and cannot be approved? Only to come back out a year later to say they found that the opposite is true? If the FDA is based on science and science changes from time to time. why are they the be all, end all on everything? 

When a responsible company is selling Smok Nord starter kits or Smok Nord Vape Kits and they are abiding by all of the laws and posting the warnings, not posting health claims, will they have the same opportunity as a much larger company? 

Another question I have in every case that the FDA has is, will they only approve the bigger businesses and their products? Or will they authorize the smaller brands also? Will they authorize the marketing of brands such as; Smok Nord
I think that the public's perception of these organizations such as; the FDA, has changed recently. Some have been questioning them for much longer than this. 

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Why You Need To Start Using Eley Water Hoses

 Do you even know what your garden water hoses are made from? Is your current water hose drinking water safe? If you have no idea what materials your garden hose is made of, or if it is drinking water safe and why it should matter- then it may be time for you to consider something better and healthier. Here are just a few facts about why you need to start using Eley water hoses

Why Eley Water Hoses are Drinking-Water Safe and Why It Is Essential

Many hoses today are made out of polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC. PVC uses lead as a stabilizer. PVC hoses often carry a warning; for example, all PVC hoses are required to have a warning label in the State of California. Unfortunately, this warning is either printed in virtually unreadable, microscopic font or on the underside of a label, which is easy to miss until you bring the hose home. Or, worse, hoses that leach lead don't come with a warning at all. 

It would help if you started using Eley water hoses because they are not made from PVC and are 100% drinking water safe. Additionally, Eley water hoses do not have other chemicals lurking in the hoses found in a home improvement warehouse isle. Eley water hoses are: 

BPA free. Some garden hoses can contain BPA, which is typical for plastic goods. According to several studies, BPA can affect your health. For just one example, it has been linked to increased blood pressure. This is caused by plastic hoses that are left under the sun's heat, which then reacts to the plastic. There is a high chance that if you do not know what your garden hose is made from and leave it filled with water under the sun, it could become contaminated with BPA. 

Lead-free. Eley hoses and even components are lead-free. Some hoses have been found to contain more than 100ppm of lead, which is unacceptable, as even the tiniest amounts of lead can lead to dangerous health conditions. There's no safe limit for lead. 

Phthalates free. Did you know that it is estimated that roughly 75% of garden hoses on the market today still contain phthalates? Phthalate is a type of chemical that is still added to many cosmetics and plastics as it makes them flexible and soft. This chemical can cause damage to the endocrine system, lower intelligence and even cause behavioral changes, hormonal imbalance, and sterility in men. 

Additionally, sometimes even the metal fixtures do not adhere to safety standards with other water hoses. In some cases, the hose may be completely safe but the connecters may contaminate water. This is why you need to start using Eley water hoses and reels today. They meticulously ensured every part of their hoses is BPA, Lead, and Phthalate free. They also provide any metal components that are free from these dangerous chemicals as well. Eley water hoses are 100% drinking safe for you, your pets, your family, and your garden. If you aren't already using an Eley water hose and reel, switch today! 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Don't Forget Your Makeup When You're Spring Cleaning


Spring is in the air! (Or maybe not, depending on where you are.) But, even if it's raining or chilly or if you're in PA and they're calling for snow, it is time to start organizing and clearing out the old and bringing in the new. 

I spend a few months each year just stocking our freezers, making jams, freezing farm-fresh vegetables and fruit. Almost like I'm preparing for some massive blizzard that will keep us inside for a month or so. This is just something I'm used to since I was little and I'm sure there are plenty of others out there who have their own traditions. Some things are just easy to overlook and makeup is typically forgotten when it's time to refresh and renew. 

How To Spring Clean Your Makeup Bag

If you have a large makeup bag (or even a makeup drawer) this could take a little bit of time. I promise that the most fun will be replenishing your colors and any face makeup that you need for spring!

Obviously, if there are colors that you typically use for the winter that you wouldn't wear for springtime, you'll want to make that transfer. Maybe even change the bag itself depending on your style. Definitely throw your bag away if it isn't going to be easy to clean. Fortunately, these don't have to be so expensive to replace! 

Foundation should be one of the first to go! You may use a different formula for winter than you would for the warmer and sunnier months. Even if you don't, it's a good idea to remember that makeup does indeed expire. I usually keep foundation for a year. Some might say 18 months and some may say even less than a year. If you aren't expecting to go back to it for the upcoming fall or winter seasons, just throw it away and splurge on something new! 

Mascara and eye makeup also don't last so long. Even though I'm guilty of keeping eyeshadow and even mascara well beyond the date I should, you may as well just toss it and add that to your list of things you must buy ASAP! 

We don't have any rules or regulations for expiration dates to be stamped onto our face makeup here in the US. You will find some brands will stamp that onto the container or package anyway. But, if you don't have a date, just keep in mind that mascaras and liquid eyeliners are only going to be safe and effective for about 3 months. Pencil eyeliners are different and can last for a year. The same rule applies to cream shadows, cream blushes, and any other cream or liquid-based makeup products. If you are constantly touching your blush, whether cream or powder, you should probably just throw it away and count on replacing it. The liquid and cream versions tend to harbor bacteria the most. The powder can too, if you're constantly using your fingers or if you don't often clean your makeup brushes. 

Lipstick and other lip products are typically good for a year after you've opened them. So you should be safe if you recently purchased a dozen lip color or gloss shades from your favorite brand because they're not coming back! As long as they aren't opened and used, you should be good to keep those in your backup drawer! 

Don't Forget To Clean Your Brushes!

This is an easy thing to forget. But it should be a habit by now and if it isn't, try your best to get yourself into the habit of cleaning and sanitizing your brushes on a regular basis. Just be sure to definitely clean them when you're spring cleaning! 

If you aren't already separating your brush collection from the rest of your makeup, do it now! Grab yourself another bag to store your brushes in so they aren't getting contaminated with anything from your makeup! I'm certainly not a germaphobe however, makeup and all of your tools and brushes should be cleaned and sanitized almost like medical equipment. These things touch your face and if you're not keeping after it well, you could cause some potentially very harmful bacteria on places you may have never thought of. 

It's easy to forget things such as, not storing your makeup brushes in the bathroom. Bathrooms tend to get very humid and hot and icky and this could be damaging to your brushes and essentially, your skin. Brushes should be kept in cool, dry areas. 

Shampoo works very well for brush cleaning. Especially baby shampoo! This should be done at least once a week. Besides keeping bacteria and germs away from your brushes and your skin as much as possible, this will also help to clean any leftover makeup so you can always be assured to have the cleanest and the most absolutely flawless makeup application! 

Now For The Fun Part! Replacing Everything!

This should usually be the best part of your spring cleaning anything! Of course, you'll want to check for sales and deals and always sign up for email newsletters for your favorite brands. If you're a new customer, you are usually rewarded with a discount of some kind. Not to mention, they will email you about any special promos, and a lot of the time, these can include free gifts with purchase! 

If your favorite brands or favorite online shops offer any rewards programs, make sure to sign up! Rewards points are earned for purchases, sharing a special link with friends, and even birthdays. Just make sure to read the fine print. These points do tend to expire but you may be able to score an additional 20% sale or a $20 gift certificate depending on how much you're spending. 

Don't forget to use any cash-back rewards programs you might belong to so you can get as many deals as possible! I usually shop for clothing, makeup, sneakers, etc every 6 months. So, it definitely helps when I can count on a sale, rewards program, and a cash back reward! (This will just make it all that much easier to shop some more in the very near future!)

Friday, February 5, 2021

Under The Barnyard Light Review And Giveaway

 ** I received a copy of this book for free in return for my honest review. ** 

We are very grateful for being given the opportunity to read, Under The Barnyard Light! This is so beautifully written and with such magical illustrations, you will surely be reminded of some of your favorite stories when you yourself were little. Of course, there are a number of children's books that are worthy of mentioning when it comes to recommending to family and friends. But, there is something about this book that makes it oh so special! 

Under The Barnyard Light was written by Carla Crane Osborne and illustrated by Brandon Dorman
Carla grew up on her family farm and also tended to the animals. (Yes, she also has red hair. Much like the little red-haired girl in the story!) 

Children will enjoy following this little girl while she's taking care of her chores which involves preparing her farm animals for bed. This includes feeding the calves and taking care of her horse, Dandy. It is written in verse which fits so well with the enchanting illustrations. 

We especially enjoyed this book because it includes 2 of our most favorite things! Little cows and snow! Well, I usually love snow quite a bit however, we've been getting hit with snow almost every day for a couple of weeks, I'm starting to get a bit anxious for spring! It's actually snowing right now as I type this...

While we don't live on a farm, we visit local farms quite frequently and purchase a majority of our groceries from local farms, farm stands, and farmer's markets. I am very thankful that we are so blessed to be surrounded by so many farms! We see the hard work and dedication involved with running a farm and appreciate every one of them. (We also get to see lots and lots of cows along the way!) 

You can enter below to win 1 of 2 copies of Under The Barnyard Light, for your own bookshelf! 

Good luck!

Creating The Perfect Backyard Paradise


There’s something about the appeal of a beautiful backyard. It’s relaxing, it’s beautiful to look at, and more importantly, it’s much easier to get a backyard oasis than most people think. In fact, with a few simple tips and tricks, creating a backyard paradise can be done in one weekend or even less.

If you have a pool in your backyard, you’re already one step closer to your perfect backyard paradise and with a few tweaks, you can make it just right.

Install a screen. Pools are fantastic, but one thing that they all need is a screen surrounding them. This is for a couple of reasons. First, you don’t want random things like leaves and twigs getting into your pool, it’ll make it more difficult to clean, and you’ll have to clean it more often. Second, a screen will help to keep your pool cooler during the warm summer months. A good pool screen will help block some of the UV rays and ultimately keep the pool temperature lower during those warmer summer months when you’ll really want to use your pool. Third, it’s a good safety measure. In many states, you’re required to have a fence or screen around a pool to ensure that no one will accidentally drown, and having a screen means that no one outside of your household is using your pool unless you let them. This cuts down on liability for you. Finally, it keeps bugs out! Sadly, as much as we love summertime, it’s also when all the bugs come out in full force and mosquitos can definitely interrupt a fun summer night in the water. This patio screen from Quality Window Screen is a great option to use for a quick DIY screening. It’s a fiberglass screen, making it good for a high-frequency area, which we know your pool can and backyard can be, especially during summer. It also is heavy-duty, so you can rest assured it will hold up during bad weather.

Add greenery. If you find that your backyard is a bit…boring, then add some plants and flowers to really bring it to life. A pool is nice, but it can look even better if you add some plants around it and have some plants on the patio area as well. A few trees in large pots can look wonderful near the back edge of the pool, and some flowers can be just the right pops of color necessary to bring your patio to life.

Choose comfortable furniture. The furniture needs to be comfortable, while also looking great at the same time. Depending on the available space, a small patio set for two may be enough whereas if the space is larger, that and lounge chairs or small poufs can be added for a lovely touch. The poufs can be moved all around the patio, making it easy to chat with friends and family. A fire table is a great addition as well, making the patio area work for all seasons, rather than just catering to the warmer weather that summer brings.

 Add lighting. Adding some simple string lights can take a patio and backyard from basic to amazing with very little effort and money. Edison bulbs are very popular right now and look fantastic strung up around a screen porch area. By adding these, the variability of the backyard can be expanded, as it now can be the perfect setting for a romantic date night, as well as work for a poolside movie night for the kids.

Create an outdoor cooking area. Whether you build out a firepit outside of the screened patio area or you have the ability to add a kitchen area complete with a built-in grill and mini fridge, you’ll want a small area for outdoor cooking. With a firepit, hot dogs can be roasted along with s’mores for a fun family night in the great outdoors, while still staying in. With an outdoor grill, whether built-in or not, burgers, brats, and hotdogs can be grilled up quickly and easily, allowing the family to get the most out of the great outdoors. With a mini fridge tucked away, drinks can easily be grabbed without having to worry about wet feet from the pool going in the house.

Working with a large or small budget, all of these can be completed, it’s just a matter of the budget and space. Each one of these tips is designed to update a backyard space into a true paradise. 

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Jordan's Skinny Mixes Margarita Collection Giveaway


Jordan's Skinny Mixes Margarita Collection Giveaway

Welcome to the Jordan's Skinny Mixes Margarita Collection Giveaway

3 Winners will Jordan's Skinny Mixes Margarita Collection

Sponsor: Skinny Mixes

~ ~ ~

Host: Michigan Saving and More

A big THANKS to all the promoting Bloggers!


Now is a great time to start planning for any picnics and backyard parties! (I know, some of us are still buried under quite a bit of snow and some of us have some dismal spring outlooks!) But, nonetheless, sometimes planning can help lift your spirits!

February 22nd is National Margarita Day, and we feel like celebrating! Three lucky winners will each win Jordan's Skinny Mixes Margarita Collection, a delicious assortment of their best-selling non-alcoholic Skinny Mixes in a delightful gift box containing (3) 12.7 fl. oz bottles of each flavor- Classic Margarita, Strawberry Key Lime & Blood Orange. Plus, a 32 fl. oz. bottle of Jordan's Skinny Margarita Mix! Just add your favorite tequila or drink it as is!

Jordan's Skinny Mixes Margarita Collection


32 fl. oz. bottle of Jordan's Skinny Margarita Mix


With only 5 calories per serving and zero sugar, Skinny Mixes are the perfect way to enjoy Margaritas-On the Rocks, Frozen, Virgin & more! Each flavor has been lightly and naturally sweetened with no artificial sweeteners and no artificial flavors. Gluten-free and Kosher. Made in the USA.

To discover all of Jordan’s Skinny Mixes and Syrups, please visit



This giveaway/sweepstakes is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This Giveaway is valid to continental United States residents only, Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 2/26/21. The winner will have 48 hours to email their information back to las93063 at gmail dot com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The giveaway is not valid where prohibited! By entering you are authorizing us to collect the information on the form below, this information is used only to contact the winner! No purchase necessary, Void where prohibited by law, and the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Winners are chosen randomly by the Giveaway Tools program. The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contest are responsible for prize fulfillment. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Laura Smith at las930 (at)gmail (dot) com. If you take an entry you must stay following for the entire contest or you will be disqualified.


Thursday, December 10, 2020

Get A Head Start On Next Summer's Vacation Plans


Depending on where you are in the country (I'm in PA.) or in the world, you might be getting ready for some bitter, cold weather or you already had a snowstorm or two. Or maybe you're one of the lucky ones who live somewhere where you don't see snow and ice and temps below freezing! Wherever you call home, you might be looking to get away for a few days or a few weeks. If you are planning to take a vacation, now is the best time to start planning! (and saving!) 

Pick A Destination 

This might be the hardest part of the whole adventure. Of course, this will depend on your budget and the time of year you're planning to visit but this could end up being a tough decision! Especially if you have a kid or 3 and you have a few other people who might have different ideas than you. 

You'll want to definitely do your research! Check out rates, availability of rooms or space, and definitely find out when their off-season is. If you can pay half the price to make reservations a week after Labor Day, that might be the deal-breaker right there. We often go to different campgrounds after Labor Day so we can get the less expensive cabin. Oftentimes this was a great opportunity to add a few nights onto our original plan or we would just have extra spending money to take along. (Well, in one case, it ended up being transmission money for my Saab and tow from Connecticut back to PA.) Either way, there is always a reason to save money where you can. I'm sure you can think of something to do with it! 

Start Planning

So, you have your destination and you checked out reviews on every hotel, vacation rental, bed and breakfast, cabin, and RV park so what's next? Check out the best vacation spots, museums, find your restaurants, shopping malls, maybe you planned and chose your destination around an event. It is never too early to plan an itinerary. (Unfortunately, due to the current situation, you may not be able to set anything in stone so you may want to check out cancelation policies and plan what you can. You can always go back to this once you know what the current situation is wherever you may be going.) I'm not digging any part of this shutdown so I am going to pretend that by next spring, all will be well and we are planning anyway with the expectation that we will be allowed to visit anywhere! 

I've always found that the best way to find the best spots in town is to start searching for local groups on Facebook and start searching Google for local, small-town dining, shops, even right outside of the town if need be. I tend to always favor small businesses and prefer to give them as much business as possible. Even at home. But, they also don't charge outlandish prices. They're not tourist traps. Usually. So, you can save a fortune maybe driving just a little bit outside of your vacation spot but you could potentially save $5 for that Alabama Slammer (OK, maybe $20 on 4 of those...) and you could get a much better quality meal that will only cost you half the price! 

Be sure to check reviews, check for coupons, discounts, and collect addresses, phone numbers, map everything out so you know where you're going when you get there. You probably won't have a printer with you but if you print those half-price coupons off before you leave, you could save a whole dinner's worth of money before you head back home. 

Take Care Of Everything At Home

Even if you're 9 months out, you may want to consider setting up any arrangements necessary for pets or even if you need someone to check in on your house or check your mail. It probably wouldn't hurt to have backup plans too. (Trust me, this happened to us a few times when a friend ended up backing out last minute.) 

You'll probably need a new pair of sneakers or some swim suits for the kids, maybe a few new tankinis for yourself, or a new bag to stuff everything into. So, start checking for sales during the holiday season! I often find the best deals from Cyber Monday the whole way through the New Year. I even stock up on shower gels, snacks, fancy candy, things I wouldn't otherwise buy any other time during the year. But, when they sell for half price or offer free gifts and free shipping I will buy up to last as long as possible! Actually, this would be a great time not just for swimwear but for toiletries and games and puzzles for the kids. All of these things are useful when traveling. 

Years ago when I first started actually using a computer and a printer., (Just 15 years ago! I was way behind on all of this Internet stuff!) I quickly realized how important it was to have a bank bag or an envelope stuffed with any pamphlets or maps from any of the places we were planning to visit. As well as coupons, any gift cards, frequent dining or gas station perks cards, a few blank checks, just in case, an emergency credit card or 2, medical insurance cards, anything I knew or thought we might need going into this bag. It was so helpful to have this so handy (in the glove box). That way, if we were going by a gas station or a chain restaurant, I could quickly find everything and save money too! If you are using a bank bag or a small bag of some kind and you have vitamins or prescription medication, this is the perfect place for those bottles too! Everything is just right within reach and depending on the size, you could easily fit this into your own bag when you stop on the way or are going into a restaurant. I also always throw a few oddball things in there like an extra lip gloss or 2 and a chapstick as well as some bandages, allergy meds, basic first aid kind of stuff. 

Another maybe strange habit I've always had or maybe it's not so strange but, I always think about how exhausted we are when we do finally arrive back home from vacation. The absolute last thing I want to do is have an overflowing hamper and a sink full of dishes! I am usually the last one to sleep on vacation eve because I am busy writing checklists to make sure we packed everything and then I catch up on laundry, clearing out the fridge, making sure drinks are stocked up so we don't have to run anywhere after we are home, and making sure the sinks are cleared out and everything is tidy. I feel a lot better coming home to a neat and tidy house. Where I don't have to do anything. But unpack and make a pot of coffee and fall asleep on my laptop. Of course, these are things you would do right before you leave rather than 7 or 8 months ahead of time! But, I figured I would add them. Just in case. 

Save Your Money

This is sometimes the most annoying part of vacation planning but if you throw a few dollars in a jar each week or you automatically deposit a few bucks into a savings account online or you just save all of your change, this will add up fast and could end up being all of your spending and shopping money while you're gone! (I'm assuming you've already paid for your stay when you reserved.) The next step isn't so bad. You just have to create a plan and a budget and stick to it! 

Years ago when my husband and I first started out and we had just 1 child, I was very cautious about our spending money on vacation and I would write up a piece of paper with exact amounts of money we had to use for each day. For instance; We're going to be out for 3 nights and 4 days so we need 4 days worth of food money and 2 days worth of spending money and the gas money for days 1 and 4. I would gather all of the coupons and discount cards I could find and then simply divide the money up into categories. I love to "overestimate" everything. Even if it's just a $5 overage. This way there is always extra. (I do this with my bills too!) Say my truck payment is $533 a month. It's actually $550 so that's how much I make sure is in the bank to cover that bill. I do this with each bill so this way I am always just a little bit ahead. (Same deal for vacation money just on a smaller scale.) 

One last thing! If you're saving coins, be sure to check with your bank first before paying an outrageous price like 8% at the grocery store. We have a very small bank but they do allow for us to drop off loose or rolled up coins and then pick up later in the day or the next day and they don't charge us anything! 8% may not seem like a lot but it could end up being 2 large pizzas worth when you're counting out a few hundred.