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Jan 21, 2019

Be Prepared for Winter Driving by Doing These 5 Things

Today's conversation is sponsored. All opinions are my own as always. 

With cold weather on the way in many areas, it is essential to prepare your car, truck, or SUV for the winter months ahead. You also need to do this if you will be traveling through cold weather. If your vehicle is not ready for the drop in temperature, you could pay the price for not being prepared.


What should you do to get your car ready? Here are a few top tips.


1. Get your battery checked

There is nothing worse than being stranded during the holiday season at a shopping mall or on the side of a highway. It is important to get your vehicle’s battery checked, especially if it is over three years old.

An expert will see if there is any corrosion around the battery’s connection points and if it is up to the task of keeping your car going during winter.

2. Antifreeze

Your vehicle should have a 50-50 antifreeze and water mixture inside its radiator. Antifreeze may even “look healthy” but still need replacing. The antifreeze’s important additives could be worn out, which means it won’t protect your vehicle.

Experts say you should replace the antifreeze every two years, which should prevent any problems. It is always best to get your antifreeze checked when you get an oil change. Then, it can be replaced as soon as any signs of breakdown are identified and you can avoid any larger problems.

3. Tire pressure

When snow and ice hit the ground, it is difficult to get good traction on roads and highways. Having the correct tire pressure allows your vehicle to have the best possible traction in snow and ice.

With colder weather comes a drop in the air pressure of your tires. Look in the owner’s manual of your vehicle to see what the correct pressure is and make sure you top it up.

4. Oil change

It is important to make sure your car has the right oil for colder months and getting it replaced as the seasons change is important. Certain types of oil perform better in certain conditions. Your mechanic can let you know if a change is recommended. You need the correct thickness of oil as colder weather makes oil run thicker. Your vehicle’s life-blood can’t work properly if it is too thick, so make sure you get it changed if you are due.

5. Wiper blades

It seems simple enough, but if you can’t see the road or vehicles in front of you, there’s a great risk of an accident. The more it rains, snows, and sleets, the more use your wipers will get. Extreme weather situations make it increasingly important to have wipers that have a significant amount of life left.

Experts say that wiper blades should be replaced after just one year. So, make sure you have new ones ready to go. Just a few steps can keep you safe during the winter months. It may cost a little bit of money up front, but it will save you much more in the long run.

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Jan 15, 2019

Breakfast Idea: Blueberry Lemon Bread

Every day is a struggle when it comes to finding new meal ideas. Breakfast is usually a challenge for the working adults in my household since no one is trying to get up early time is valuable. Having easy, grab-and-go options work well. We all prefer something that is homemade over prepackaged, of course. I purchased some blueberries for snacking the other day, and sadly they were too soft to enjoy. Just like when you have over-ripe bananas, you simply must make banana bread. This time around, I made a scrumptious blueberry lemon bread. You probably have most of the ingredients on hand already, so this one is a winner. 

Ingredients: 

1 cup fresh blueberries
2 tsp all-purpose flour
1/3 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar (you can use less if you prefer less sweetness)
2 large eggs
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract (optional)
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder

Directions:

Heat oven to 350° and grease loaf pan or use parchment paper if you prefer minimal clean up.

Lightly toss blueberries with 2 tsp flour to coat (set aside).

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition. Mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and extract. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt.

Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternately with the milk. Fold in the blueberries. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes. You can test with a toothpick to know if it is baked through. Cool and slice. This bread is best enjoyed when it is cooled down all the way.

Check out these other recipes: 

4 Ingredient Greek Pasta Salad
Shelly's Easy & Moist Meatloaf

Thanks for stopping by today!
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Jan 14, 2019

Bringing Back Style to Your Mommy Wardrobe

Unfortunately, not all mothers today are known for their fashion sense. After all, moms are generally perceived to be ‘behind on the times’, or too exhausted from childcare to care about their own sense of style. Well, it's long past time since society ditched these stereotypes, even if there is a very faint ring of truth to them.

A mom’s self-esteem can have resounding effects on their young daughters, so if you are wanting to get back in touch with your groove, do it! There’s no reason as to why mothers shouldn’t look as good as anyone else, so it’s time to get to work.

Here’s how you can bring back some rejuvenated style to your mommy wardrobe.

Colors That Pop…And No Flowers!

Bold colors are more than just bright and vivid. They scream energy, youthfulness, and fun – words that moms aren’t typically always associated with. Moreover, by wearing clothing with brighter colors, you show a strong sense of style too, demonstrating that you’re happy to be seen around town and away from your duties for the day.

That said, stay away from floral designs and busy patterns at all costs. These literally shout ‘Mom’ to the world, as do faded and muted colors. Go for something contemporary – not from the Junior's department (unless you’re a young mom), but at the same time not too mommish. There is a balance involved there, so take the time to really comb through your options and pick out something that’s most ‘you’. When in doubt, you should ask the store clerk for assistance.

Figure Hugging Clothes

Baggy sweatpants and vests should head straight into storage; it’s time to slip back into something more flattering. Many dresses, jeans, and other pants and t-shirts out there are finely crafted to really accentuate the wearer’s figure, so don’t be afraid to venture out on these kinds of clothing.

Remember, such clothes will make you feel much less like a bum, and perhaps get you back in touch with your more trendy and feminine side. Figure-hugging outfits make you look confident within yourself as if you have nothing at all to hide; and why should you?! Treat yourself and flaunt what you’ve got!

Accessories

Accessories are a key part of completing any ensemble you throw together. They can just be those neat finishing touches, or alternatively, simply give your hands something to do and hold if you’re anxious about getting back out there. For example, a cool wallet from Radley merges both things together very well, giving your outfit an extra boost in the casual department.

As a mom, try not to be afraid to incorporate some practical features into your wardrobe. Being stylish isn’t always about being ‘flash’, sometimes it’s about being prepared and hands-on too, whether it’s for spending at the mall, or picking up the bar bill with your besties. If you’ve got all your bases covered, which a wallet largely helps with, you’ll certainly be more of a cool-looking mom!
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Jan 10, 2019

Tips for Recycling the Right Way

While recycling is a great way to be environmentally friendly, you should know there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about recycling materials you use every day. The reason it’s best everyone knows how to go about recycling is so you don’t end up doing more harm than good. Here are a few tips to level up your Earth-saving endeavors.

Throw Away Disposable Coffee Cups

Before you toss the coffee cup from your favorite coffee shop into the recycling bin, know that those cups often cannot be recycled. This is due to the polyethylene film lining the cup, which is what makes it liquid proof. That said, you may live in an area that can now recycle such cups. Be sure you check with your local recycling program to know whether to toss these cups in the recycling bin or in the trash.

Plastic Bags Cannot Be Added to Recycling Bins

It may crush you to learn that all those thin plastic bags you get from the grocery store cannot be mixed in with other recyclable materials, but it’s true. It’s not that these plastic bags are impossible to recycle, just that it’s more trouble than it’s worth trying to run the bags through recycling equipment. It’s not unusual for them to jam equipment.

Rather than put plastic grocery bags with the rest of your recyclables, check to see if your city has a special recycling program for plastic bags. Your local grocery store may even collect plastic bags that are otherwise destined for the trash.

Be Careful With Pizza Boxes

After you finish devouring your pizza, think twice before tossing it into the recycling bin. Any grease that soaks into the cardboard essentially contaminates the material and makes is less viable than grease-free cardboard. That said, it’s okay to add the box to the recycle pile if it just has a few crumbs on it. You can also tear off the top of the box if it’s clean to put in the bin and toss the greasy bottom half into the trash.

Plastic Bottle Caps Are Okay

In the past, it was advised that you not try to recycle plastic bottle caps. This was mainly because caps and their bottles are made of two different types of plastic that don’t melt at the same temperature. Recent technology has changed that for the better. You’re now free to leave plastic caps screwed onto their bottles.

You May Not Be Able To Recycle Yogurt Caps

At one point, China took care of roughly half the world’s recycling, but they’ve dramatically scaled back their efforts. This has left a vacuum and resulted in more than a bit of confusion about what to do with certain plastics, like those used for yogurt cups. Plastics numbered three to seven may not qualify for your area’s recycling program. Before tossing butter tubs, yogurt cups and bottles of vegetable oil into your recyclables pile, look to see what number is in the triangle on the bottom. Do some digging to see what plastic numbers can be recycled. There may also be a renewable resource company like the Cadiz Water Project in your area making an effort to recycle yogurt cups and other plastics.  

Styrofoam Is Still Out of the Question

Frustrating as it may be to learn, but Styrofoam is still considered non-recyclable. The main reason is the material is easily contaminated. While it may be clean when you add it to the recycling bin, it can pick up contaminants on the way to the facility. Those contaminants don’t come out easily, and Styrofoam isn’t very marketable.

Do an occasional check so you always know whether you’re doing as good with recycling as you think. The right information goes a long way in saving resources and time. Hopefully, these tips can aid you in your quest to be more environmentally conscious.
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Jan 4, 2019

Check out the New LEGO Movie 2 Set


Enjoy an epic 360-degree play experience—and prepare for an alien invasion—with THE LEGO® MOVIE 2™ 70840 Welcome to Apocalypseburg! construction toy. An advanced building set, it has over 3,000 pieces and presents an awesome challenge even for master builders.

This THE LEGO MOVIE 2 set features a section of the Statue of Liberty with a chill-out room in the head, café, Scribble Cop’s office with a chair-kicking function, armory, barber’s/tattoo parlor, Lucy’s hideout, Fuse’s workshop, rooftop diner, gym, spa, lookout platforms and loads more! This action-packed toy also comes with 12 THE LEGO MOVIE 2 minifigures to role-play and reimagine your favorite scenes from the blockbuster film.

Check out some of these amazing specs on this new set:


  • This creative toy includes 12 new-for-January-2019 THE LEGO® MOVIE 2™ minifigures: Emmet, Lucy, Batman™, Scribble Cop, Harley Quinn™, Green Lantern™, ’Where are my pants?’ Guy, Larry the Barista, Chainsaw Dave, Mo-Hawk, Roxxi and Fuse, plus a rat figure.
  • This huge Apocalypseburg construction toy has removable modules for easy play and features a section of the Statue of Liberty, café, Scribble Cop’s office, armory, barber’s/tattoo parlor, Lucy’s hideout, Fuse’s workshop, rooftop diner, gym, spa and more!
  • The Statue of Liberty section of this THE LEGO® MOVIE 2™ playset features a buildable torch, opening Lady Liberty head with a chill-out room including a buildable telescope, and 3 lookout platforms.
  • The Coffee Unchained café features a service counter, cash register, buildable coffee machine with 2 coffee pumps, table and seat, and an outdoor table with a parasol and 2 seats.
  • Scribble Cop’s office features an opening jail door and chair-kicking function.
  • Armory features a mannequin, goggles, 3 minifigure helmet elements and 2 buildable weapons. 
  • Barber’s/tattoo parlor features a barber’s chair, buildable tattoo machine and hair-cutting tool elements.
  • Lucy’s hideout features a buildable bed with a secret compartment containing various fun elements including a love letter from Batman™. The room also features weapon storage and assorted elements including new-for-January-2019 barbed wire.
  • The removable roof of Lucy’s hideout has a buildable seat, engine truck front and water tower.
  • Fuse’s rooftop workshop features a buildable tool chest with a buildable fire extinguisher.
  • Rooftop diner features a buildable V8 engine deep-fat fryer, table, oven, ketchup and mustard dispensers, plus frying pan and food elements.
  • Train-carriage-shaped gym features a buildable punching bag with alien invader decoration and a weightlifting bench.
  • Truck-shaped spa features a buildable hot tub and shower.
  • This THE LEGO® MOVIE 2™ toy building set also includes Chainsaw Dave’s surfboard rack with 2 surfboards, lookout area with a buildable telescope, an opening sewer and various ladders. 
  • Weapons for THE LEGO® MOVIE 2™ characters include Lucy’s crossbow.
  • Accessory elements include Emmet’s 2 coffee mugs, Lucy’s quiver, plus 6 new-for-January-2019 Skeletron head elements (1 as a basketball; 1 on a signpost; 1 as engine decoration; 2 as hair mannequins; and 1 on the armory mannequin).
  • Recreate fun-packed scenes from THE LEGO® MOVIE 2™ with this awesome Statue of Liberty toy.
  • This new-for-January-2019 toy measures over 20” (52cm) high, 19” (49cm) wide and 12” (33cm) deep.


Available directly from LEGO Stores & shop.LEGO.com from Wednesday 16th January, 2019
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