Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Nov 22, 2017

What to Do if Your Furnace Short-Cycles

You most likely already need to use your furnace, at least occasionally. Hopefully, you performed the annual furnace maintenance. This kind of maintenance is very important for proper functioning of the heating system throughout the heating season.

Your furnace was dormant for the better part of the year, so it definitely needs some attention prior to everyday use to prevent breakdowns. If, however, you do experience problems with your furnace, you need to act quickly. You don’t want to be left without heating when proper winter sets in. Contact a professional and experienced heating service like One of the most common problems with furnaces is short-cycling. So, what is short-cycling and how do you recognize it?


Chances are you have heard about this problem associated with air conditioning units, but it can just as easily happen to the heating systems and for the same reason. Namely, short-cycling happens when your furnace starts and stops too quickly and too often.

There are several possible reasons why this could happen. In most cases, you should able to identify the problem, but fixing it is probably out of your hands, and you will probably need professional help.

Your Furnace Is Oversized 

This problem should be evident from the first time you turn on our new furnace. You may think that bigger is always better, but it doesn’t really apply to furnaces. You don’t want the biggest thing on the market, you want something appropriately sized for your home. If you have miscalculated and gotten a furnace which is too powerful for your home, the result is short-cycling.

Essentially, your furnace is too effective at heating your home. However, that comes with a drawback. It means that your furnace will not be as economical doing it. It will expend too much energy in a short time, then stay inactive for a period, and then repeat that process. A more economical setup is an appropriately sized furnace which will work continuously. Not only will it be more economical, but it will also help with reducing the wear and tear, so your furnace will serve you longer and it will be less likely to break down.

Overheating Issues

Another reason why your furnace keeps turning on and off so frequently may be due to overheating. Your furnace may be shutting down automatically to prevent any more severe damage. One of the biggest concerns with this issue is carbon monoxide leaking into your home. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, so the only way to figure out whether it is in your environment is to have a carbon monoxide detector close to your furnace.

The main cause of overheating is the restricted airflow, whether it is a dirty air filter or a blockage in the vents. This will trap very hot air near your furnace and cause some physical damage to your heat exchanger, leading to the problems listed above.

Thermostat Issues

Maybe your furnace is not to blame, maybe it is getting confusing inputs from your thermostat. The thermostat tells the furnace when to start and how hot it should run, so if the problem lies in the thermostat, your furnace can experience a whole range of problems, including short-cycling.

You can test this by setting your thermostat to different temperatures and monitor the changes. However, ultimately, you will need a skilled professional to come and take a look at the problem.

Short-cycling is not only a nuisance, it could be an indication of much more serious problems, which is why you should treat it seriously and consult your heating technicians as soon as you determine that there is a problem.

To contact Action Air Conditioning & Heating of San Diego
4455 Murphy Canyon Rd Suite 100–5,
San Diego, CA 92123, USA
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Nov 20, 2017

Be Prepared For Those Holiday Germs + $25 Visa GC Prize Pack Giveaway

This post has been sponsored by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

The holiday season is officially here! Many of us are busy shopping, and getting our homes prepared for entertaining. It's a hectic time of year, that's for sure. It's also that dreaded time of year again-- cold and flu season. It seems like your child can go from being perfectly healthy and energetic, to feverish and sniffling in a matter of minutes. I have seen this happen way too often over the years, and have learned to do all I can to prepare for those moments.

We always keep some cold and flu supplies on hand year 'round. To help relieve some of those symptoms, we include these items in our cold & flu survival kit:
  • Digital thermometer
  • Extra toothbrushes so you can toss the old one out 
  • Vaporizer  
  • mentholated rub, clean washcloths, flexible ice packs stored in freezer 
  • books and movies for entertaining your sick little one
  • a washable plush toy and blanket 
  • paper drinking cups that are disposable so germs don't hang around 
  • extra tissue boxes around the house
  • A variety of children's *medications including: Children's Advil, Children’s Robitussin DM Day/Night Pack, and Children's Dimetapp. *Remember to follow instructions on packaging for correct dosage. 

Children's Advil Suspension does the trick when this little guy gets a fever, or feels a bit achy. It's good for kids as young as 2 and up to 11. Children’s Advil comes in several great-tasting flavors, including: Sugar-free Dye-free Berry, Bubble Gum, Grape, Blue Raspberry, Fruit and Dye-Free White Grape flavors.

It's virtually impossible to keep our kids away from germs, especially during the holiday season, but they can get some relief with Pfizer Pediatric medications. You can visit the Sick just got real™ site for cold and flu relief tips, as well as product information and money-saving coupons. You can even use their helpful "Sick Sense Relief Finder" to search your child's age, and specific symptoms to find out which medication they need.
One lucky Mom Files reader will win a prize pack including: a $25 virtual Visa gift card and (1) Children's Advil® Suspension (various flavor), (1) Children’s Robitussin ® DM Day/Night Pack and (1) Children’s Dimetapp® Cold & Cough. Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and ends on November 302017. Must follow rules in Rafflecopter. One winner will be chosen randomly. Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!
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Bedding Styles for Winter 2017

Sleeping well is one of the most important and influential factors in our lives. From well-aired, pleasant sleeping room, to a comfortable, spacious bed, super comfortable, anatomical mattress and pillow, all these elements play an important part when it comes to our sleep quality. You can learn more about that here

Of course, don’t forget the bedding, which should be made of good material, but also well designed. If you’ve seen to the health and comfort aspects, you’ll probably want to pay some attention to aesthetics and make sure your bedding in is in line both with the rest of your interior design, but also with the latest trends. After all, knowing everything is perfectly matched will probably help you sleep tight. Here are a few suggestions for this season, so hopefully, some of them might fit in with your current style. Or if you’re reinventing your bedroom experience completely, they might inspire you and give you ideas for other parts of your home.

All White

This is an ever-green classic, no way you can make a mistake with this. Whether the bedding is just another element in the all-white room, or just set as a contrast to the environment, it will look good anyway. In the first place, it invokes peacefulness and cleanliness, what’s cozier than falling asleep in white, clean, soft, fresh-smelling sheets?

In case we’re talking about all-white surroundings, make sure to use different nuances of white, different patterns, textures and materials to prevent a too sterile, hospital-like appearance.

In case white bedding is used as contrast, it’s really difficult to make a mistake there. For instance, you can try using the monochromatic palette to get a classic aesthetic. One thing is sure, it will bring lightness and vivacity into your bedroom and will fit in well into both modern and more vintage designs.

Ordered Chaos

If you’re more into eclectic style, you’re probably more than happy with this year’s fashion trends which suggest mixing and matching patterns, and which applicable not only when it comes to clothes, but also when it comes to bedding.

If this is your thing, you’re probably already a master in mixing patterns, however, you’re planning your first design experiment in this direction, here are some basic rules. First of all, do not mix more than three patterns, everything more than that is simply considered too much and can hardly look good.

Next, follow the golden ratio of 60/30/10, meaning you choose one dominant pattern which should cover 60 percent of the surface, for instance, you can use it for the quilt, then the second one which should take up around 30 percent, and finally, the third, boldest option for the remaining 10 percent, which you can use for throw cushions and similar details. Be sure to avoid repetitiveness by choosing patterns that vary in scale and type.

Also, make sure to incorporate this explosion of patterns and colors into a monochrome environment. A consistent color palette in the patterns can also help match them more smoothly. 

Clean Lines

A clean contemporary style is another trend that came back both in fashion and interior design. It can be seen in sleek lines of duvets and covers. It might seem like a completely opposite of the above mentioned pattern mixing, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be.

Main traits of contemporary style are sharp edges and high contrasts, but also using geometric patterns. So the major difference between the two styles lies in visual lines they create. In order to follow contemporary style, choose bedding that features solid color or sharply defined shapes with clear edges. 

What’s more, this trend might work best if your furniture is of similar design with similar angles, so you can have these lines somehow echo through the interior.

Hopefully, at least one of these styles can at least give you direction what to try and explore to bring a new life into your bedroom, and definitely into your life as well.

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Four Reasons Teaching Can Be A Great Career Change For Moms

If you're a mom who has chosen to stay at home with the kids during the early years, it can be quite tempting to consider retraining so you can have a new and better career once you do return to work.

The availability of online degrees that can allow you to study from home, full or part time, has made it very easy for moms who want to find a new career path to get qualified while they're at home with the family, but what career should you choose? With anything from accounting or an MBA, nursing or hospitality management available from online colleges like the University of Cincinnati, you really do have a wealth of options.

Here, we take a look at why a really good choice can be getting an online masters in education and becoming a teacher:

Match Schedules with Your Kids

In most jobs, it can be hard to find a good time to do things like take vacations as a family, as getting time off work during school vacations can be something of a battle – everyone wants it!

However, as a teacher, your schedule both on a day to day basis and when it comes to vacations will be fairly similar to your school age kids, making arranging family time much easier.

Learn to Teach Your Own Kids in New and Interesting Ways

Not all learning happens in the school environment, and as a parent you are sure to want to be able to teach your children interesting things and get them excited about learning. As you study for a masters in education, you'll gain some great insight into how kids learn, and be able to use this at home as well as in the classroom.

Use Your Existing Knowledge

Depending on what age group you want to teach, there is demand for all kinds of specialisms. This means that whatever your existing background and first degree are in, you can use that knowledge combined with what you learn in doing your masters in education online to become a specialist teacher in your original field, for instance science, IT, language or even things like art and music.

This means that while you are retraining, you are not losing the benefits of your past studies or experience.

Make a Difference to Children

As moms, we tend to empathize a lot with children and want to help and nurture them – even the ones who aren't our own! As a good teacher, you can inspire and motivate children, help those with difficulties at school, and become an important role model for them. Not all kids have good people to look up to and teach them, and so this is something you can take on as a teacher.

If you are looking for a career change that is rewarding, interesting and also has some practical benefits now that you have started a family, then teaching can be the perfect choice, and getting qualified has never been easier!
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Nov 16, 2017

Spread Some Holiday Cheer With William Chris Vineyards Wine

Looking to spread some cheer this holiday season? One of my go-to gifts every year is the gift of spirits. Wine is a great choice and is always very well received. Me and my husband are still exploring different wines and trying to figure out what we really like. When two bottles showed up from William Chris Vineyards, we knew we had to do the right thing and give 'em a try. 

We received a bottle each of the 2015 Enchante and 2016 Roussanne varieties. The Enchante is a beautiful red blend containing 73% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petite Verdot. It has complex berry flavors, and goes so well with the pasta dish we had that night for dinner. We drank this one at room temperature, because we feel like you can get a better overall taste that way. 

We enjoyed it a whole lot and I know any red wine lover would give it high praise. The plus for us is that it didn't taste like an oak barrel with a touch of fruit like many reds can. This Enchante is definitely a must try for wine lovers and wine-curious people alike. It retails for $45 and is everything you would hope for at that price point. My husband mentioned how great this would be as a corporate gift. I agree! They offer some very nice gift sets.

The Roussanne is a lovely white wine that we enjoyed chilled. It has a light floral, honeydew taste. I really loved it a whole lot. It was one of those wines that made me feel cheery and happy. Seems like a great choice for holiday gatherings, or a girl's night in. I give my next door neighbors wine every year during the holidays, and I know they would love this one! I read on the website that this wine would pair well with Shellfish, Lobster,  Bouillabaisse, Mashed Potatoes, Turkey, and Rich Pureed Soups.

Getting to know William Chris Vineyards

At William Chris Vineyards, they focus on low impact 100% Texas grown wine. Owners and winemakers, Bill Blackmon and Chris Brundrett, knew each other, but it wasn’t until they sat down together at a Hill Country bar one night that they discovered they shared a similar philosophy for winemaking.

They believe that the way to put Texas on the map as a respected wine region is to promote wines made exclusively from Texas grown fruit. Wines that make California and France recognizable come from the unique terroir and growing conditions of each region. They believe that for Texas wines to distinguish themselves, they also should represent the terroir and growing conditions of the Lone Star State.

Not only did they believe that the grapes needed to be Texan, they also believe that to grow the best fruit, much time among the vines is required. So walking multitudes of “footsteps in the vineyard,” Bill and Chris carefully inspect the fruit of every vintage.

Although this Thanksgiving pack might not make it on time, it sure would be great for Christmas or New Year's. Click the image for pricing and purchasing info.

You can truly taste the 'fruits of their labor' and love that goes into their products. To learn more about William Chris Vineyards wines, check out their website. If you happen to live in the Hye, Texas area, you can register to attend wine tastings. Oh how I would love to do that! You can also follow their social accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Nov 15, 2017

Crown Reef Resort & Waterpark Myrtle Beach Is Your Off-Season Family Vacation Destination

Although the weather is cooling down quite a bit, it never stops my family from traveling to Myrtle Beach. The beach is my family's happy place, and not matter the weather, you can find us there numerous times throughout the year. Our favorite months to visit are between November-March during the off-season. Most people assume because it's colder during that time, that we are nuts. What they don't realize is that Myrtle Beach has so much to offer year 'round. 

Our latest Myrtle Beach adventure landed us at the Crown Reef Resort & Waterpark. When we first pulled up to the resort, we were in shock by how enormous the property was. Check-in is done across the street at their conference center. The process was very quick, and the staff members were quite friendly and happy to answer all of our questions. We received our room keys, wristbands for the pool and waterpark, as well as a much needed map of the property, We headed back across the street to their oceanfront property to park in the covered garage. 

We stayed in the third building on the eleventh floor. It was the perfect spot that offered amazing panoramic views of the entire beach! As we entered our oceanfront suite, we were greeting with a lovely beach bag filled with some goodies for my family. It was such a nice, personal touch! We immediately noticed the pretty towel swans that were placed on both of the queen beds in the bedroom. 

The bedroom was spacious and had plenty of storage space for our clothing and personal items. It had a flat screen television, as well as its own heating and air conditioning unit. There were ample pillows and extra blankets for the living area beds. 
As you leave the bedroom, you walk into the kitchen area with a full bathroom on the opposite side. The bathroom was a good size and it had ample vanity space, light, and a  separate door for the toilet/shower area. I wasn't sure how 5 people were going to share the one bathroom, but we managed just fine. There were plenty of fresh towels available for us. 

We really loved the full kitchen. It helps a lot when you are traveling with a larger family since eating out can really add up. We brought some of our own groceries and made good use of all the appliances. It comes equipped with all of the basic pots, pans, dishware, utensils, and drinkware. It's like having a piece of home on vacation, and is such a great convenience. 

Once you exit the kitchen, you enter the living and dining area. The space was large enough for all of us to gather, yet had a warm and cozy feel. The sofa bed and murphy bed were perfect for extra sleeping space. This unit could sleep up to 8 people. Once you were up in the morning, all you had to do was push the bed back into the sofa and the murphy bed back up in the wall. Makes me want a murphy bed in my own house, because it is such a space saver. 

Let me tell you, the views are incredible. You can't get any better than standing out on your private balcony taking in the sights and sounds of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. It's the best thing ever! Life has been so stressful lately, and just sitting out there looking at the moon at night and the sunrise in the morning was therapeutic.  

We didn't come all the way to Crown Reef Resort just to sit in our room, we came for some family fun. Having two adult children with their own busy lives, it's not often we get to all come together for some family time. We ventured around the property to check out all of the amenities, and were blown away. There is SO much to do to a point where you really have no reason to leave the resort at all. Crown Reef has so many beautiful pools, whirlpools, sun decks, and the longest lazy river in Myrtle Beach. I wish I had my waterproof cover on my phone so I could have taken some video while we were in there. It was awesome! 

During the warmer months, they have a walk-up poolside bar offering a variety of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Whether you want a frosty hurricane or just a simple diet cola, they've got you covered. So as you're sipping on your beverage, you can listen to the sounds of the ocean while relaxing. If privacy is more your thing, you can head up to the sun deck and enjoy the oceanfront views from above. 

The pool areas were all so beautiful and very well kept. We noticed a lot of friendly staff members everywhere we went. You can tell that a lot goes into running that place. They had so many patio chairs so there was ample space to accommodate a lot of people. I could totally see having birthday parties, graduation parties, or other big events there. It is very family friendly, so that is a plus.

These two boys were so excited to hop into every one of the pools!

One of the favorites of Crown Reef is the waterpark. The Crown Reef Resort Waterpark towers nearly 40 feet above the ground and features a 278-foot long two-person tube waterslide, a single-person 302-foot long waterslide and an 8-foot tall 20-foot long slide for the little ones! We put in a lot of steps that day making it up the stairs so we could slide over, and over again. The adults all felt like big kids. We all laughed ourselves to tears because we were having so much fun!

And if the pools weren't enough, the arcade at The Town Center gave us even more giggles. They had so many fun games for all ages. My family enjoyed shooting some hoops, doing a little target practice, and some fun classic games like air hockey and skee-ball. There is a kiosk in the front of the arcade where you can load a game card right from your credit/debit card or by using cash. The girls stopped by the Swirl Ice Cream And Sweet Shop for a couples scoops of their favorite ice cream.
If you're hungry and need a bite to eat, they have you covered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Loco Gecko Beach Shack offers oceanfront dining for lunch and dinner. They have plenty of choices including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and wraps. They have a full bar, and even flat screen televisions where you could watch the game and feel the cool ocean breeze at the same time. They have these cool clear doors that can be lowered or raised like garage doors if it gets too chilly. The fact that they are clear does not obstruct your ocean views.

You can grab breakfast at the Grab n’ Go Grill and Coffee Bar. They have quite a spread with plenty of choices to satisfy everyone's taste. The service was excellent, and the staff was so friendly and attentive. It was so nice to enjoy my morning coffee and breakfast while looking out at the beautiful beach. Again, you really don't have to leave the resort if you don't want to. We stayed put our entire stay. Everything we needed was on site. They even offer laundry facilities, and have a little store where you can purchase snacks and other items.
Crown Reef Resort gets 5 stars from my family and here is why:
  • Family-friendly and clean environment 
  • The entire resort is oceanfront, including dining areas
  • Courteous and helpful staff
  • Excellent location, and close to attractions and activities
  • Rooms and suites offer many conveniences of home
  • Parking and elevators weren't a problem
  • Great value for the rates they charge
  • Plenty of amenities, and the best pools we have ever seen at Myrtle Beach
  • The beach access was much nicer and easier to maneuver compared to other places we have stayed. 
  • Reasonably priced food and drinks
If you're thinking of a beach destination for an off-season vacation, Crown Reef Resort in Myrtle Beach is an excellent choice. The weather is a lot better than the northern states, and you will have to beach all to yourself (or so it feels). If you are a Groupon member, you can find some amazing deals for Crown Reef, so be sure to check it out. We were not disappointed with our stay, and look forward to going back early next year.

Be sure to stop by the Crown Reef Resort site so you can book your vacation. Follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Be warned: seeing all of the beautiful photos from the property will make you want to hop in your car and GO! 

Disclosure: Many thanks to Vacation Myrtle Beach and Crown Reef Resort & Waterpark for hosting our family. All opinions stated are my own. 
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Nov 13, 2017

Give Books That Are More Than Books This Holiday Season

If you're in the beginning stages of your holiday shopping for the kids, make sure you don't forget to grab some new books to add to their library. I know that we live in the technology era, but nothing can compare to a physical book. This year, my son is the lucky recipient of books that go beyond actual books. These books offer a more in-depth way to learn about animals, science, and people, and not just with words and pictures.

The first set of books are called the Creature Files which includes: a necklace with realistic looking animal teeth or claws. Your kids will love learning about reptiles, dragons, dinos, and predators. Next, are the Amazing World  books that come with glow-in-the-dark stickers for your child's walls or ceiling. They all have vibrant photos along with plenty of fascinating information. These books are perfect for kids who are real animal-lovers, like my child is.

The other collection of books are called Inside Out, and happens to be our favorite. These books take you inside sharks, mummies, the T-Rex, and the human body. It is so fascinating to flip each page to reveal the different layers inside of each subject. It is a great teaching tool for a homeschooling mama like myself. I admit, the three-dimensional feature of the Human Body book captivates grown-ups as well.
What's even better about the Inside Out collection is that you can even see the back of each layer. Although it is well made, I'd still recommend keeping these away from smaller children since they can tear the edges if they tend to be rough.

These books from Quarto Kids books are available to purchase from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. They all retail for $14.99 and are recommended for ages 8-10. Competing with technology is hard, but these books really do capture a child's attention. My son is enjoying his books, and that makes me so happy!

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Wood Smarts: How to Find the Right Table Saw

Attempting to find the best table saw can be a little overwhelming at first, which is okay. There are a lot of options out there, making this choice that much harder. The following guide will help you find the kind of table saw that you need.

Know Your Saws

The first thing you should know is that there are three main categories of table saws. The first category is the cabinet saw, which is considered the largest of the bunch. Of course, this table saw is normally the most expensive, but it comes with several perks like a heavy cast iron table. The precision on these tables is admirable, and their durability is impressive.

The contractor's saw is the second category you should remember. This is a portable saw that can be taken to your job site if needed. The price is reasonable, and it comes with several noteworthy features such as a belt-driven blade, making continuous cutting quite dependable -- search online before you make any purchase by reading some portable table saw reviews to help you understand the benefits of owning a portable table saw.

The last category to consider is the hybrid saw. Some hybrids come with a cast iron main table, which increases accuracy while others are constructed with lighter materials such as aluminum. This makes hybrids versatile. This is perfect for those who need a little bit of both.

Understand the Voltage

You need to know your voltage requirements and how much power you can actually handle. Cabinet saws use 220-volts, which usually means that you do not have to worry about the saw slowing down on you during heavy jobs.

Hybrids can be switched between 110-volts to 220-volts while contractors normally stick to 110-volts.

You want to stick to 110-volts if you travel a lot or if you are not sure that you are going to have access to enough power to ensure that the 220-volt cabinet saw works efficiently.

A Good Fence

Knowing the kind of table saw you are going to get and if you have enough power to work the tool are just some of the factors you have to consider. You also have to ensure that your table saw's fence is accurate, which will make your job easier.

You do not want a fence that bends because it can be dangerous to you. Fences that are not as stable as they should be may cause the wood to bind with the blade's metal, which can lead to those jolting kickbacks.

One of the most effective types of fences is called the T-style fence. The reason most enthusiasts like the T-style fence is because of its construction.

It normally comes with a heavy bar, though sometimes it comes with a square tube that is locked on the front of the tool. The fence can be easily adjusted, and it is quite wide. The fence's locking mechanism is one of the best, making it pretty dependable.

This is just one example. In the end, you just want to make sure that your fence is as sturdy as possible when choosing your table saw.

Consider Dust Collection

You know that woodwork leads to dust, so making sure that your table saw comes with a collection system is important. Most cabinet saws come with a dust collection system, but this does not apply to other types of saws.

For example, contractor's saws do not normally have a dust collecting system because these tools are made to be used outside. Naturally, the saw dust does not need to be collected since it will just end up falling to the ground.

Angles Perfected

The next thing you want to pay attention to is the miter gauge. This aspect of your table saw needs to be sturdy but also adjustable when needed.

You need to make sure that the miter gauge does not move when locked in place, or you will not cut good angles. Be sure to glide the miter gauge before purchasing to make sure that it glides smoothly. This ensures that your cuts remain accurate.

These are just some of the things to look for besides good safety features. Some of the most important safety features you want for the table saw is blade guards and anti-kickback technology. Hopefully, the tips in this guide help you find the tool that fits your needs

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Nov 11, 2017

Say Yes To A Dress With Pockets!

Ladies, do you ever wear a dress and wish it had pockets? I sure do! I like to be able to have my phone on my person at all times, and often times dresses hinder you from that option. This 'vibrant garnet' dress from eShakti is everything I could want in a dress. Not only is it beautiful, it is the most comfortable dress I have ever worn. 

Ever since I hit my 40s, my body has changed quite a bit. The days of a flat tummy and slimmer figure have been replaced with a pouch and curves. I usually feel self-conscious in certain garments, especially dresses. This keyhole front cotton knit dress fits as if it were made for me, and it actually was! eShakti makes custom dresses to give you the perfect length and overall fit you desire. 
Whether you prefer long sleeves, cap sleeves, or no sleeves, you can choose what works best for you with eShakti. Do you like full length dresses? You can customize your dress length as well. For a very specific fit, you can enter your exact measurements and get what you need. I went with one of the standard dresses and opted for the knee length, three-quarter sleeve, and of course the best part: pockets! I did go up one size for *ahem* comfort. It was a great decision! The material is heavier than I expected, and it's super soft. This dress is versatile and can go from the workplace to an evening party. 

This beautiful dress is so flattering on my body type and makes me feel confident. The keyhole in the front gives a sexy touch without being too revealing. My husband loves this look on me. I can see it being worn quite a bit, and I will order another one in black. If you are looking for a comfortable, high-quality dress that won't break the bank, you should give eShakti a try.

They offer a lot of deals including a new customer special of $25 off your first purchase, plus free shipping. The site is user-friendly, but the hard part is narrowing down your choices. I could browse on there for a full hour or more!

Check out eShakti on their website as well as their social channels: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Nov 8, 2017

Snowland Returns to Great Wolf Lodge at Charlotte/Concord

If you're looking for somewhere to visit with your family this holiday season, Great Wolf Lodge at Concord is hosting its annual Snowland celebration. It runs from November 26th to January 1st. The resort is transformed into a winter wonderland complete with indoor snow showers and spectacular decorations.

Great Wolf Lodge’s month-long winter celebration, Snowland, offers festive activities from visits with Santa and Mrs. Clause to indoor snow showers to a Polar Wolf Walk. For a truly delectable experience, visitors are invited to dine inside the resort’s life-size gingerbread house. Other activities are Santa’s Letter Depot, North Pole University with holiday themed projects and the Great Clock Tower Holiday Show and Story Time.

Featuring more than 5,000 candies, 600 pounds of gingerbread dough and 1,320 pounds of sugar, the life-size gingerbread house is baked, iced and candied to absolute perfection, setting the scene for a memorable holiday feast. The appetizing walls of the lodge-baked abode have as much heart as taste, as the proceeds for each meal go to Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Guests can opt to stay in festive Snowland Suites, complete with twinkling lights, glimmering garland, a fully decorated tree, oversized snowflakes and a copy of Great Wolf Lodge’s story book, “Unique as a Snowflake.” As a special treat, Wiley and Violet the Wolf hand deliver cookies and milk to each Snowland Suite nightly to help guests end the day with a super sweet surprise.

Adults can receive their own special delivery of Wine Down Service. The menu, developed by Great Wolf Lodge and The Wine Group, features both sweet and savory culinary treats with wine pairings that can be delivered to the guestrooms after children go to bed. To avoid waking up the kiddos, a “pack member” sends a text announcing the delivery is on its way rather than knocking.

Here are some of the fun activities they have in store: 

  • Cookies with Mrs. Claus, where children decorate cookies in the life-size Gingerbread House with Santa’s leading lady.
  • Hot Cocoa with a Great Wolf Kid for an afternoon sip. Kids can customize their cocoa by adding fun toppings, or a favorite adult libation for the parents.
  • The Snow ‘n’ Glow Dance Party, the chance to prance and dance the evening away with neon glow sticks under falling snowflakes.
  • Festive Family Flicks, a time to wind the night down by cozying up with the family and watching a holiday movie in the Grand Lobby.

About Great Wolf Lodge:

Great Wolf Lodge is North America’s largest family of indoor water park resorts, and through its subsidiaries and affiliates, owns and operates family resorts under the Great Wolf Lodge brand.  Great Wolf Resorts is a fully integrated resort company with Great Wolf Lodge locations in: Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; Sandusky, Ohio; Traverse City, Mich.; Kansas City, Kan.; Williamsburg, Va.; Pocono Mountains, Pa.; Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada; Mason, Ohio; Grapevine, Texas; Grand Mound, Wash.; Fitchburg, Mass., Charlotte, N.C.; Garden Grove, Calif. and Colorado Springs, Colo. Additional resorts planned include Bloomington, Minn. (late 2017), LaGrange, Ga. (late spring 2018) and Gurnee, Ill. (summer 2018).
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