Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Oct 19, 2017

Get An Early Start On Your Holiday Shopping With Our $100 Fall Giveaway

I can't believe that we are nearing the end of October already. I always say that once November comes, you might as well kiss the year goodbye. The time goes so quickly and the holiday season gets into full swing. I am not ready! Are you ready? In the event you're ready to get some early holiday shopping out of the way, we have a great giveaway for you. I've teamed up with a group of fabulous bloggers to give you the chance to win $100.

It's so easy enter. Check out the details below. 

How to enter: There are 10 Instagram accounts. Follow one or all but the more accounts you follow the more entries you’ll receive. If you’re already a follower of an account, claim that entry! This giveaway starts October 20 at midnight EST and ends November 4 at 11:59 PM EST. Entrants must be USA residents and at least 18 years old. One winner will be randomly selected from all qualifying entries and contacted via the email they provide. The email will come from joannegreco at gmail. The winner has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The prize is $100 in Paypal or Amazon online gift card, winner’s choice.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Oct 18, 2017

How to Minimize Health Risks When Using Harsh Cleaners in Your Home

As our knowledge of chemistry advances, we find better and better ways to efficiently clean our surroundings, especially our homes. However, unbeknownst to many of us, these cleaning agents may be doing harm not only to the harmful microorganisms they claim to eradicate, but also to our health and the health of our loved ones. Discover what you can do to protect yourself and your family from possible respiratory problems caused by these chemicals.

Know Your Products
Image via Flickr by yourbestdigs
The best way to protect yourself is by knowing the enemy which, in this case, are the harsh chemicals. For example, resources across the web talk about harsh chemicals causing breathing problems.

Before you buy a cleaning product, read the labels and find out if the chemicals included can cause health problems. Learn to look for signs such as a danger or poison label. Some may have a label that notes the ingredients are corrosive or may cause burns.

Wear Protective Gloves and Mask

If you can’t avoid using certain chemicals, then you should take steps to physically protect yourself. Wear a plastic apron if available so that you will not get soaked with corrosive chemicals when you clean. Use gloves and a mask not only when you are using chemicals, but also when you are uncertain of the chemicals included in your cleaning products.

Ensure Proper Ventilation

Most chemicals can harm you when you breathe the fumes they produce. Cleaning products can contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Even under room temperature, they can evaporate and turn to harmful fumes. Wearing masks can protect you, but ultimately, proper ventilation is essential. Before cleaning, open doors and windows to allow harsh fumes to escape.

Clean Your Home Regularly

If you clean your home regularly, dirt, bacteria, and molds are less likely to accumulate. Do not fall into the habit of cleaning only once in a while. In these cases, you may be tempted to use stronger and potentially more harmful chemicals to ensure a deeper cleaning. Cleaning regularly also gives you an opportunity to find out whether the products you use have not expired.

Follow Safekeeping Procedures

When you need to store cleaning products in your home, follow the instructions on the label. Make sure that these containers are tightly sealed and out of the reach of children and pets. Make sure you know which products to store in well-ventilated areas and which are better placed in locked cabinets. Place flammable products such as paint thinners in cool, dry areas.

While you need to have a clean household, taking care of your health is important. You can take many steps such as making your own household cleaners instead of using store-bought products. Consider searching for more ways to reduce the use of chemicals; you can also talk to other families in your own community for different ideas and suggestions. By following the tips presented above, you can minimize the health risks brought about by using harsh cleaning agents in your home.
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Oct 17, 2017

Local Food Find: Famous Toastery Columbia, SC

For several months now, I have been following a restaurant on Instagram called Famous Toastery Columbia. For some reason I assumed that it was located in downtown Columbia or even further away. Turns out that it is super close to where I lived, so the husband and I went for a breakfast date. Being newbies, we were overwhelmed by the menu. They have a lot of options for breakfast including everything from shrimp and grits, to pancakes, French toast, and omelets. Unlike most breakfast joints, Famous Toastery serves up the perfect brunch-worthy cocktails. Deciding what to order was hard. 

My husband already had the idea of pancakes stuck in his head so he went with the apple cinnamon pancakes paired with turkey sausage, and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. The word lobster caught my eye from their weekend special menu, so I went with the lobster scramble with potatoes on the side. I also splurged and got a Bloody Mary because I was feeling a little fancy. 
Isn't this cocktail so pretty? It was so delicious and full of zesty, spicy goodness. 
Our server brought over a small basket of homemade cornbread with a delicious apple compote type concoction. We decided to only take a nibble to save room for our meal. Trust me, I would have devoured all three pieces if I could! We didn't have to wait very long for our entrees to come out. Everything was presented so nicely and the server was super sweet and accommodating. 


I'm a huge potato lover so I had to take a bite of that first. Oh man, it was perfectly cooked with the right amount of seasoning. The lobster scramble was everything I hoped it would be. It had nice pieces of lobster nestled inside the soft scrambled eggs, along with some veggies. I loved this dish! The hubby was so happy with his pancakes and turkey sausage. We both were impressed with that made-from-scratch taste you normally don't get from most chain places. We were also pleased to see how many non-pork and non-meat options were available. Perfect for vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. 
We will definitely head back to Famous Toastery, northeast Columbia location to try out some of the other menu items. The food, drinks, and service were all excellent. It's a perfect spot for a girl's brunch. I know my daughters will love it! If you're ever in Columbia, SC, you should check out Famous Toastery for yourself! There are also locations in a few other states as well. 

I did not receive any incentive to post this review. We simply enjoyed our meals and wanted to share our review with you. Thanks for stopping by today. 
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Give The Gift Of Khortytsa Vodka This Holiday Season


The holiday season is quickly approaching and will be here and gone before you know it. It's time to start making those gift lists for family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. One of my favorite gifts to give to my over-21 friends is the 'gift of spirits'. Vodka is one of the most popular adult beverages that is the base of many of the cocktails we love. Whether it's a martini, mule, or in a Long Island iced tea, you have to start with the good stuff.


I was introduced to brand I have never heard of or tried recently. Ukraine’s famed Khortytsa (KHOR) Vodka is the world’s third-largest vodka brand and is now widely available in the American market. They offer a few different varieties and I received a cute gift pack with a bottle each of the Platinum and Pepper Honey Hot varieties.


The packaging makes this an excellent choice for easy gift-giving. You can simply add a bow or put it in a decorative bag, and you're done! If you want to make it a bigger gift, you can include items for mixing such as cranberry juice, tomato juice, a jar of olives, or a nice glass for serving.

My favorite way to enjoy Khortytsa Platinum vodka is shaken with either 100% cranberry or pomegranate juice, garnished with an orange slice. It is super smooth and kind of 'hits you' after the fact. Any vodka lover would enjoy the sophisticated and smooth taste. I am often surprised that a vodka at a lower price point can actually be this smooth.

Here are some details about each variety:

  • This holiday season, the brand is available in a variety of gift boxes that feature a 750-mL bottle and a 100-mL sample.
  • Khortytsa Platinum, which is the most popular item in the line, is available in a handsome gift box with a 100-mL sample of Khortytsa Platinum for a suggested retail price of $14.99.
  • Khortytsa Honey Pepper, which offers a spicy zing to a variety of cocktails, is also available in an attractive gift set with a 100-mL on-pack of Khortytsa Platinum for the same price.
  • A gift pack of Khortytsa Ice, specially formulated to be served frozen -- with the bottle turning blue when chilled -- features two branded shot glasses for $14.99.
  • Finally, Khortytsa De Luxe – the line’s “super premium” vodka for connoisseurs -- has a stunning new gift box for a suggested retail of $19.99.

I am really loving these prices, especially for gift-giving. I can really stay within a reasonable budget.

For more information on Khortytsa Vodka, as well as recipes visit www.khor.com. Be sure to follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for product updates and promotions.
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Oct 7, 2017

Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Are Ninja Approved #LoveLittleBites

Today's conversation is *sponsored by Entenmann’s® Little Bites® and all opinions are my own as always. 

It's October, and many of us are getting into the fall festivities with Halloween on the way! Whether it's pumpkins on the porch, scarecrows on the driveway, or a festive wreath on the door, the fall season is here. Candy is one of those things that is in abundance with it being Halloween time. My little guy does not eat candy (crazy, I know!), but enjoys the occasional treat. Entenmann’s® Little Bites® pumpkin muffins are the perfect treat that he actually enjoys. 
Little Bites pumpkin muffins are available for a limited time, so we will have to stock up while we can. I am not the biggest pumpkin fan, but these little muffins really are delicious! They are baked soft and moist using real pumpkins, and are only 180 calories per pouch. They never contain high fructose corn syrup or trans-fat, which makes this mom very happy. Of course, portion control is always a good thing. I just have to make sure I indulge in one pack, and don't try to sneak a second. Who can resist those little moist, delicious bites of yumminess? I know I surely can't! My son has become the latest Little Bites pumpkin muffin fan. Look at that sweet face šŸ˜ƒ
We love some of the original varieties of Little Bites including blueberry, chocolate chip, and fudge brownies. It's the perfect grab-n-go breakfast, lunchbox snack, and would be perfect for class parties or as Halloween treats. I'm always down for non-candy treats. Any kid would love Little Bites in their Halloween sack.


Be sure to connect with Entenmann’s® Little Bites® on their website, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Giveaway: One lucky reader will win a $25 Visa digital gift card (for online purchases only) and (3) coupons for $5.00 off the purchase of any Entenmann’s® Little Bites®. Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and will end on October 22, 2017. Please follow all rules in the Rafflecopter widget and be sure to use a valid email. One winner will be selected and contacted via email to claim prize. Please be aware that Mom Files is not responsible for any lost, stolen, or damaged prizes. Good luck!

*The coupons for product redemption, information, and gift card have been provided by Entenmann’s® Little Bites® so that I could try the product and share my thoughts and information about Entenmann’s® Little Bites®. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Entenmann’s® Little Bites®
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Oct 4, 2017

Signs It's Time For A New Water Heater

A household water heater works behind the scenes in every home. This appliance doesn’t get nearly the credit it should for keeping our lives running smoothly and comfortably — hot showers to name one benefit. For something that's not particularly glamorous, when this appliance fails, it’s guaranteed to cause a bad day for everyone. Watch out for the following four signs it’s time to call the pros and consider installing a new, energy-efficient water heater.

Hot Water Is Not Consistent
Image via Flickr by r.nial.bradshaw

Have you been finding yourself taking quicker showers and skipping your leave-in conditioner treatment? Are your dishes not getting clean when the dishwasher finishes a cycle?

First, check to see if you've tripped the circuit breaker or if the water heater pilot light is out. Are both OK? Next, have a home services specialist take a look at your water heater to decide if the heating coil needs replacement. If it does not, you may need to find a new water heater for your home.

You Can't Remember When Your Water Heater Was Installed

Some appliances can operate for a long time, but a water heater isn't one of them. The age of your household unit can indicate the likelihood that it will need replacement. Think about when your water heater was installed. If the installation date is beyond your memory — or longer than 15 years — you're likely facing a replacement.

You're Hearing Noises

Can you hear a musical serenade coming out of your water heater when you turn up the heat on your shower? Have you noticed that your previously clear water is murky, rusty, or sandy? Does the water have a metallic taste? Sediment and residue from hard water can cause a knocking or popping sound as the water heats. Hard water can also leave a residue in pipes, taking a few years off the life of your water heater.

If you’re hearing knocking or have sandy water, a technician can flush the system as a first step before fully replacing the unit. If your water has become rusty, the rust is a sign that the inside of your unit is breaking down and particles are entering your household water.

Your Water Heater Is Leaking

Have you noticed a small leak or small amounts of water near the unit? If so, you'll want to call a service tech as soon as you can. A slow leak can quickly turn into a flood — and nobody wants to deal with that mess.

Maintaining your water heater never seems to top our list of to-dos until an emergency arises. Watching for the above signs and calling a service tech to inspect your water heater are critical to saving yourself the headaches of a cold shower. You don't want to face that reality on the morning of an important job interview or the day your super-critical in-laws arrive.

Beyond keeping your shower hot, consider the energy efficiencies gained with a new unit. The money saved could be enough to splurge on a new pair of shoes. Who’s the hero now?
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Keep Your Family #GermFree24 With Zoono GermFree24

CLOSED
Today's conversation is sponsored by Zoono USA. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

If you're a mom, you know how much effort goes into planning and packing for a trip or quick getaway. It might often times look like you're going away for two weeks when it's just a weekend trip. I mean, you can't leave home without all of the essentials, right?

It's almost the same situation for when we get ready to leave the house just to go to the grocery store. Moms have to make certain to be prepped for those just in case moments. We have experienced times where we took our little one out for a quick grocery run, and he came home sick out of the blue. I mean, we homeschool so how did he get sick? Germs can linger anywhere and it's unfortunate that you can come in contact with them without any clue.

There's a great way to combat germs before they take over by using Zoono GermFree24 Hand Sanitizer.


This hand sanitizer is an FDA-compliant, water-based formula that kills 99.99% of germs on contact and keeps killing them for up to 24 hours. Yes, you read that correctly, 24 HOURS! It bonds to your skin’s surface and sets up a nano-molecular layer of “pins” that physically impale and destroy germs on contact. Can you believe that it stays on even with hand washing or sweating? This is so far from your traditional hand sanitizer that stops working the moment water hits your hands.


GermFree24® has been proven to provide long-lasting antimicrobial protection against a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses (such as influenza), fungi and mold. Over that time period, you might touch hundreds of surfaces, each covered with tens of thousands of microbes, half of which will stick to your hands. Here’s a breakdown on some of the germs you may encounter over a 24-hour period:

  • Doorknob: 8,643 bacteria
  • Computer mouse: 79,000 bacteria
  • Remote control: 17,000 bacteria
Yikes! That's a whole lot of icky germs and bacteria and think of how often you come in contact with those everyday items. My son loves that it doesn't have a bad scent since he's very sensitive about smells. It's also not sticky at all and leaves no feeling of a film on your hands. The fact that you only have to use it once a day means you are using less, which makes it a great value. 

Zoono products are available on Amazon. You can currently purchase Zoono GermFree24® 50ml Foam Hand Sanitizer ($6.99) here, and the 9ml Spray Hand Sanitizer ($13.99 for a 4 pk) here. I keep the spray in my purse for when I am on-the-go and is perfect for travel. I think this is the perfect hand sanitizer for teachers to keep in their desk for their personal use. It's great for the workplace as well. They make wall dispensers that I wouldn't mind having in my house. 

Reader giveaway: Would you like to try Zoono GermFree 24 for yourself and your family? Enter to win a gift pack for Zoono GermFree24® 50ml Foam Hand Sanitizer, and the 9ml Spray Hand Sanitizer as well as a $25 virtual Visa gift card so you can stock up on more Zoono products for the flu season. Enter below: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and will end on October 16, 2017. Please follow all rules in the Rafflecopter widget and be sure to use a valid email. One winner will be selected and contacted via email to claim prize. Please be aware that Mom Files is not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged prizes. Good luck!
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Sep 29, 2017

Find Out Why Circle K's Simply Great Coffee Will Make You Ditch Your Barista

CLOSED- Winner is Shayla D
Today's conversation is sponsored by Circle K, and all opinions are my own. 

National Coffee Day is September 29th, and I want to let you know the scoop on where you can get some GREAT coffee without the big price tag. Introducing Circle K's Simply Great Coffee. The name truly says it all! You can get a coffeehouse quality coffee beverage without the long wait in line, or the interaction with a barista. This is especially great for those who prefer less people-ing.


The Simply Great Coffee line of specialty coffees includes: espresso, cappuccino, latte, americano, mochaccino and hot chocolate- All under $3!  They are all prepared with freshly ground beans and fresh milk. 
  • Small (12 oz.): $2.29
  • Medium (16 oz.): $2.69
  • Large (20 oz.): $2.99
  • Espresso (2 oz.): $1.29


Their state-of-the-art machines are quite impressive and what you might find in fancy coffee shops, except you can have your coffee in-hand in under a minute. It's very user friendly and the coffee is fantastic! I tried the americano and it's very smooth with no bitterness or cheap aftertaste. They have a full bar complete with any sweeteners or creamers you might want to add. I don't think I have ever been in that well-known, overpriced coffee shop and made it in and out in less than 3 minutes. 


To celebrate the launch, Circle K will serve free 12-ounce cups of Simply Great Coffee beverages from 6 to 8 a.m. during the first two weeks of October. You can follow along on the Circle K Southeast Facebook page to learn which stores will offer free samples each day. That would be perfect on the way to the carpool line for drop off or before heading into work. Who doesn't love FREE coffee?! 

Would you like to try out Circle K's Simply Great Coffee for yourself? Enter below to win a $25 Visa gift card or PayPal cash (winner's choice) so you can taste why it is called Simply Great Coffee. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Be sure to connect with Circle K Southeast on Facebook and Instagram for the latest updates and promotions.
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Sep 27, 2017

Why Your Child Will Love Magic Sketch!

There's no denying that we live in the digital era. Everything from ordering our groceries, asking Siri or Alexa questions for help, and scheduling our doctors appointments can be done instantly from our digital devices. There are some things that can not be replaced by technology and that is good old-fashioned play time. Kids really need to be engaged in hands-on activities that encourage using their imagination to really learn and grow. 


We recently received the Magic Sketch for review, and my son was thrilled when we opened the box. Magic Sketch is a very simply yet super cool art tablet. There is no real assembly involved, so your child can start using it right away. Magic Sketch comes with a battery already installed, and lasts for years. This means your child can doodle and erase as much as they want! 


How does Magic Sketch work?

You simply use any of the included writing instruments or art tools to write or doodle on the the liquid crystal screen. There are templates included that offer a variety of games, drawing stencils, and learning stencils to practice handwriting, math skills, and more. The stamps and roller are very fun for learning patterns and repetition for younger kids. 

When your child is done drawing or writing, they simply push the button on the top and everything is magically erased!  


My son loves Magic Sketch as a tool to use for practicing or working out math problems. It is super convenient to use during his homeschool lessons. He is not big on art, so he enjoys using the drawing templates to trace pictures and shapes as well as creating his own works of art. Magic Sketch is very helpful to encourage fine motor and writing skills in younger children. The templates are easy to take out and replace, so kids can use it independently depending on their age. Another great thing is that you can make your own stencils according to what your child is interested in or learning at the time. 


Perks of the Magic Sketch
  • No messy markers or crayons involved
  • Perfect as a practice tablet for homeschoolers
  • Great for travel and long road trips
  • Kids can entertain themselves and parents don't have to supervise
  • It's waterproof, unlike traditional tablets
  • No recharging ever, and long battery life (7 years!)
  • Makes a great gift for birthdays or holidays 
Where can you get Magic Sketch and what do you get? 


Each Magic Sketch retails for $29.95 and includes:
  • Magic Sketch
  • Protector Guard
  • 1 Roller
  • 3 Stamps
  • 20 Learning Stencils
  • 20 Games Stencils
  • 20 Art Stencils

You can purchase it here and this is expected to be a HOT item for the 2017 holiday gifting season. My child loves his Magic Sketch and I think yours will, too. Any child would love to find this under the tree! Just be warned: Adults LOVE Magic Sketch, too! 


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Sep 26, 2017

Why Is Your House So Dusty?

A little light dust is normal, but if you find a thick layer of dust that accumulates seemingly overnight, despite your best efforts to keep your home clean, you have a problem.

Dust consists of dirt, dead skin cells, hair, pollen, insect parts, pet hair, and dander. Additionally, dust can often hold hazardous chemical residues including flame retardants, phenols, and phthalates. Medical specialists have linked these chemicals to hormone issues and cancer.

Find out the reasons your house may be accumulating so much dust.

Image via Flickr by Dan4th
Leaking HVAC Ducts

Gaps around fittings, holes, and unsealed joints between duct sections allow warm or cooled filtered air to escape and dirty unfiltered air to enter, complete with dust and other contaminants.

An HVAC technician can perform a pressure test on your HVAC system to identify leaks. You can use foil tape, mastic, and fabric tape to seal minor holes and gaps. A qualified HVAC technician will need to repair more significant leaks. After repairing and sealing all the leaks, a technician needs to thoroughly clean the ducts to remove any traces of mold and the inevitable accumulation of dust and dirt.

Inadequate Air Filters

Air filters which are the wrong size or type will not prevent dirt, dust, and other contaminants from entering your HVAC system. A clean, correctly sized proper air filter will promote ideal indoor air quality (IAQ) in your home.

Rather than buying an air filter blindly, use a tape measure to check the length and width of the grill where you insert the filter. If you are unsure whether you have the correct size, check with an HVAC technician.

The other measurement which is important when selecting an air filter for your home HVAC system is the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV. This measurement refers to the mesh density in the filter, with 12 being the finest available for residential use and four being the most coarse. If the mesh is too coarse, it may not adequately filter smaller contaminants, but if the mesh is too fine, it will not allow enough air to flow through it, leading to problems with your air quality.

Drafts

Older houses often have small gaps under doors or around windows which can allow outside air into the home. In addition to compromising the efficiency of your heating and cooling, these drafts also bring dust and other contaminants into your home. Many hardware stores carry assorted draft sealant products to repair these gaps.

Debris Transfer From Outdoors

Each time your family or visitors enter your home, they bring with them pollen, debris, and dirt from outside. Using a doormat to remove excess dirt from shoes and perhaps taking shoes off before entering the home will greatly reduce the amount of dirt and debris being bought inside.

To combat dust in your home, check your ducts for leaks, look for the correct air filter, and maintain your HVAC system. Taking steps like these can help you keep dust in your home under control.
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Sep 22, 2017

September 27th Is Math Storytelling Day

Monday, September 25th is Math Storytelling Day and here are some great short stories to share with your kids. These are courtesy of the Numbers Lady, Dr. Rebecca Klemm. You can check out her site here
Thanks for stopping by today!
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Sep 19, 2017

Update Your Home Without Major Renovations

When you think of updating your home, it may evoke visions of sledgehammers, rubble and rooms being stripped back to the bare bones. Not a pleasant thought. But did you know that there are ways that you can completely change the dynamic of your property, without even opening your tool box?

Update your interior doors

You pass through them every day, and are an integral part of every home. But it’s surprising how many people forget about how much of an impact an internal door can have. If your doors are scratched, scuffed or seen better days, then it may be worth repairing them yourself. Or if you’re hoping to completely change the look inside your home then consider purchasing a new style. You can find a range of internal doors from doorstore to help give you some inspiration.

Create an open space

With formal dining rooms and closed off areas seemingly going out of style, the open plan home seems to be the way to go. How can you do this without tearing out walls, you ask? Making your home seem open and airy can be easier than you think.
Sometimes it’s as simple as getting rid of bigger, bulkier furnishings, or moving furnishings around the room to see what placement gives the most open space. Another trick of the eye that gives the illusion of open space, is mirrors. Mirrors when placed opposite windows reflect light into the room and make the room seem more open.

Introduce new lighting

A poorly lit room, is dark, dim and not very welcoming. It can also be downright depressing! A well lit room can bring out your personality and bring a room to life! After all, who wants to sit in the dark? There are numerous ways to add lighting to your home, the most obvious would be to purchase some high quality floor lamps or table lamps, and place these strategically in dark corners or place them on side tables, in order to give a room that warm and welcoming feeling.

Update your handles and cabinetry

If your kitchen is looking a little dated, or your bathroom is more old fashioned then you would like there luckily there are small, easy changes you can make to bring it back to life and into the current decade. One way to do this, is to update and change the handles and draw pulls on your cabinets, cupboards and door handles.
There are numerous finishes to choose from such as bronze, brushed nickel, aged copper, and shiny stainless.  With so many modern choices on the market it may be hard to decide what best suits your home!

Still uninspired? Then clean!

If this still leaves you a little uninspired or perhaps won’t evoke as much change as you would like, then sometimes it pays to go back to basics. And start, with a good deep clean.
A deep-clean can enhance our mood and make our home more liveable (and more importantly inspire us to do more).
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Sep 18, 2017

Fall Giveaway $100 PayPal or Amazon

Whoohoo, we are finally heading into the fall season and I am super excited about it! There are so many fun festivals and events already in the works in my city, and surrounding areas that are fall-focused. I know we most look forward to the South Carolina State Fair which Starts in early October. I can already smell the elephant ears and buttery corn-on-the-cob! 

Sticking with the fall theme, I have teamed up with a fabulous group of blog friends to bring you another great giveaway to put some extra cash in your pocket as we head into a new season. Check out the details below and enter today. Good luck! 


How to enter: There are 10 Twitter accounts. Follow one or all but the more accounts you follow the more entries you’ll receive. If you’re already a follower of an account, claim that entry! This giveaway starts September 19 at midnight EST and ends October 2 at 11:59 PM EST. Entrants must be USA residents and at least 18 years old. One winner will be randomly selected from all qualifying entries and contacted via the email they provide. The email will come from joannegreco at gmail. The winner has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The prize is $100 in Paypal or Amazon online gift card, winner’s choice.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Sep 17, 2017

Southern Caviar aka Black Eyed Pea Salad Recipe

Over the years, I have been to several events where a special dish called "Southern Caviar" was on the buffet table. I have tried it a few times and loved it so much. If you've never tried it before, it's a flavorful and fresh dip/salsa/salad that you eat with tortilla chips. I recently got to thinking about making it myself and did a Pinterest search for recipes. I was overwhelmed by the amount of recipes that popped up. I think I gave up after viewing so many and finally decided on one that really looked delicious. 

The original recipe from this site calls it Cowboy Caviar or Texas Caviar, and I used it as a guide to make my own version. When I made it I was afraid because it was A LOT. Trust me, we didn't have a whole lot left over once the family tried it. It is so good that you can't stop eating it. The best part is that it's easy to make with no cooking required. Check out the recipe below. 
Ingredients:
2 cans of black eyed peas (drained and rinsed)
1/2 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 bag of thawed frozen sweet corn
1/2 cup of finely diced cucumber
1/2 of a small red onion finely minced
1 jalapeno seeded and finely minced
1 stalk of celery finely diced
2-3 Roma tomatoes chopped
chopped cilantro to your taste
Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp of sugar

Place all ingredients into a large bowl and add the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and, cracked pepper last. Toss it together and *serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

*You are supposed to let it sit in fridge for a couple hours, but some of us could not wait. It is also good with the scoopable variety of tortilla chips or corn chips. This would be perfect on top of white cilantro rice and then topped with chopped avocado as a vegetarian bowl. Yum!

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by!

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Sep 16, 2017

Wireless In-Ear Headphones From Audio-Technica Review

Do you find yourself having to take phone calls at the most inopportune times? Although I do not drive as often as my daughters and husband, it seems like my phone always rings when I am behind the wheel. I usually will quickly answer the call and tell the person I will call them back because I refuse to drive with a phone in hand. We have those pesky in-ear corded headphones that always seem to be a tangled mess the day you need them. Those days are now long gone. Now we have the most amazing wireless in-ear headphones with noise cancelling technology that are ready for you to have a safer driving experience. 

Introducing the QuietPoint® wireless in-ear headphones from Audio-Technica. They combine their proprietary active noise-cancelling technology with Bluetooth® wireless technology to give you greater freedom and listening pleasure in areas of high ambient noise. 

My husband is the lucky recipient of these headphones and he will be the first to tell you that these prevent nagging from your wife. You see, I always have to get on him about not talking while driving. His line of work requires him to be on the phone for a great portion of the day, even after hours. I feel better knowing that he is hands-free for when he has to work on the go. And let me tell you, the sound quality when he calls me using them is crystal clear! You would never know he had bluetooth headphones on. 

These high-end headphones come packaged beautifully and includes silicone eartips (XS/S/M/L), 1.0 m (3.3') USB charging cable, airplane adapter, and a protective pouch. 

Here are some specifics: 
  • QuietPoint® active noise-cancelling technology reduces environmental noise by up to 90%
  • Reliable Bluetooth® wireless technology with in-line mic and controls for answering/ending calls, controlling music & video playback and adjusting volume on Bluetooth wireless devices
  • 13.5 mm drivers offer a premium listening experience
  • Connects to two Bluetooth wireless devices simultaneously; remembers up to eight devices
  • Employs aptX® sound-improvement technology, specifically created to yield the best-possible audio performance over Bluetooth transmission
  • Included 1.2 m (3.9') cable with 3.5 mm stereo mini-plug allows wired use of headphones when battery has lost charge or in Bluetooth-free zones (e.g., in airplanes or hospitals)
  • Lightweight, portable design is ideal for travel
  • On a full charge, internal battery provides continuous use for up to 8 hours (Bluetooth wireless and noise-cancelling), 13 hours (Bluetooth wireless only), 24 hours (noise-cancelling only), or 100 hours (standby)



My husband never leaves home without his headphones now. He loves that they are super lightweight and don't look tacky like some of those clunky ones do. That's perfect since he works in a professional environment. He said that they connect with ease and the charge lasts a long time. Of course he loves using them to listen to music and podcasts. 

These wireless in-ear headphones by Audio-Technica would make the perfect gift for new drivers, college students, or for spouses who think you nag (giggle). They would make the perfect gift for the holidays. I feel confident that anyone would love them. You can purchase them here for $129.99. If you spend $49 or more, you can receive FREE* shipping! *applies to standard-priced goods only. 

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