Friday, March 24, 2017

Product Review: Home Basics Two-tier Dish Drainer


Zulily.com is another one of my favorite websites to shop from. I like to find great bargains there. At the beginning of February I was working on getting my kitchen organized and trying to increase counter space, so I picked up this attractive two-tier dish drainer from Home Basics.

It was easy to assemble: had it together in less than five minutes. This dish drainer definitely takes up less room on the counter than our previous one and doesn't require a separate tray. The trays slide in under the chrome-finished wiring on each tier. You can dry cups on the outside and the silverware holder clips on the outside so it doesn't take up inside space.


My one fear is that when it comes to holiday dinners it won't be very helpful. Even now, I need to put a towel down on the counter if we have several pots and pans to air dry. So while it makes more room for prep time, once the dishes are washed you lose that counter space to clean dishes.

I'm still glad I bought it. The old one needed replacing, and since I bought it for only $18.99 it was worth trying.


This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Why I Love Boxed.com



Have any of you tried boxed.com? From the moment I heard about it, I've been hooked. Why?

I Save Time

I know buying staple items like paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, and even non-perishable food items like pasta are more expensive when you buy in small quantities at the grocery store. I've considered a membership to BJ's or Costco, but that means I have to make time in my already jam-packed schedule to shop at another store, deal with the hassle of finding what I want, and then drive back home--which is 25 minutes away.

With Boxed.com I sit down in the comfort of my own home and order the bulk items I need. A couple days later everything arrives on my doorstep.

I Save Money

Not only do I save money on everyday items I buy all the time, Boxed.com offers: free shipping on orders over $49 and cash rewards that can be applied to future orders. If a friend signs up through this link, my friend receives $15 off their first order of $60 or more and I also receive $15 in Boxed.com credit. There is no membership fee and they don't limit what type of credit card I can use.

Free Samples

When you place an order with Boxed.com you are eligible to receive two free samples. This month I chose some Easter candy and Dove deodorant.

Boxed.com is going to give Amazon's subscription service some good competition. There are a few items I've already found cheaper on Boxed.com. Online bulk shopping services like Boxed.com are also going to make things challenging for big bulk warehouse type stores.

Why would I do this?


When I can do this....







Friday, February 17, 2017

Coming in April: Big Red by Ellie Dias



Letting go of stuff can be harder than you'd think...even when it’s jammed into a suitcase the size and color of a fire engine.


Seeking to experience simplicity and contentment in the “Happiest Place on Earth,” Dias planned her trip of a lifetime to the Himalayas to the nth degree.

Little did she know that nearly every step would be fraught with challenges, mishaps, and detours. Everything that could go wrong on her spiritual journey did. It was a fiasco that left her wondering whether the Universe—via her Big Red Suitcase—was trying to teach her something.


Ellie Dias, a devotee of Buddhist philosophy, introspection, and yoga, has a graduate degree in Education with a concentration in biology. Her career has been focused on health and wellness as a pediatric nurse, clinician working with families whose babies were at risk for SIDS, a division Vice President of a women’s health care company and a professor. Teaching Anatomy and Physiology, she merged her understanding of the human body with her sixteen-year practice of meditation, incorporating it in a classroom setting.

Writing a book had been percolating in the back of Ellie’s mind, but life got in the way until she was inspired by a solo journey to the Himalayas. Her debut book, Big Red: How I Learned Simplicity from a Suitcase, is a story of challenges, perseverance and humor as she struggles to jettison her Western ways halfway around the world while lugging a 95-pound suitcase—full of what she is convinced are the bare necessities. Common sense should have told her how completely inappropriate all of her “must-haves” were for spending three and a half weeks in the farmlands of Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, and the Nepalese jungle.

Ellie participates in a book club, writing critique group, and is a member of Sisters in Crime. An artist of water color and pastels, she lives with her husband Ron and dog Roxie in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. She has two children, Michael and Michele and two beautiful grandchildren Aidan and Sebastian Dias. She is currently writing her first novel.


Visit Ellie online at http://elliedias.com/

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Feb 13


Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Happy Monday! Hope yours is a little less white than mine...


This was what my front yard looked like before yesterday's snowstorm that dumped an additional five or so inches on top of that. I guess Old Man Winter is making up for our lack of snow by sharing it all at once. We are due for a tiny bit more on Wednesday. 

Believe it or not, I was actually out driving to appointments yesterday. Old Reliable--my Chevy Tahoe--picked up a rock on Saturday and I can't get the tire fixed until today, so I was driving my husband's car instead. Narrowly avoided a telephone pole. Was saying prayers of Thanksgiving when I got home safely. 

Other than the snow making my crazy schedule more challenging, I've entered into a coaching program that I take once a week on Mondays. It got cancelled today--like a lot of things. I'll be glad to see spring. 

Here are the books that arrived recently.



I'm really excited about Charlotte Hubbard's latest, A Mother's Love. I'm all into getting and staying organized, to I figured Organizing for Your Lifestyle by Jane Stoller would be a helpful read. The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow by Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson was a blog giveaway win. 

What did the mailman bring you last week? Any other fun news you would like to share? 

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Book Review: Your Body, Your Style by Rani St. Pucchi

Looking for some helpful, quick fashion tips to make an immediate difference in selecting the best colors, prints, and styles for your body? Then you need to buy a copy of Your Body, Your Style by Rani St. Pucchi.

Award-winning couture fashion designer Rani St. Pucchi shares decades of experience in this informative guide that you'll be able to implement without much effort. Within a day I had started make changes that brought about positive results.

St. Pucchi shares the defining moment that changed her life forever and credits her parents for introducing her to the world that would become her destiny. After a discussion of body shapes, she shares dos and don'ts for each shape, dressing for your age, the importance of proper fitting undergarments, what and how to pack, how to organize your closet, defining your personal style, and more. Perhaps my favorite part of the book--other than the color photographs of her work--is the 101 styling tips.

When I make my annual spring/summer changeover I'll be implementing some of the more time-consuming changes, like laying out all my clothes by color and finding out which colors work best for my skin tone. I've never really been into fashion or thought much about personal style, but Your Body, Your Style by Rani St. Pucchi has definitely piqued my interest. I see a new, more fashionable me right around the corner.

Highly recommended!

Publisher: Koehler Books (October 15, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0997697717
ISBN-13: 978-0997697711

I received a copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Book Spotlight: Your Body, Your Style by Rani St. Pucchi



Rani St. Pucchi, a trend-setting designer whose designs have been recognized in Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Bride, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot, can help define the style that flatters you most — no matter what age or stage of life you are in or what your body type is.

Women from all over the world have clamored to have a private consultation with Rani so they may benefit from her expertise and regain their self-confidence and shine.

In Your Body, Your Style, Rani shares with you her knowledge of the female form and guides you to find simple solutions to your most pressing body concerns. The focus is on you — and how you can make yourself more confident and appealing in almost every situation — simply by making a few changes and different choices in planning your wardrobe.

Once you embrace your unique attributes and dissolve your bad relationship with your body, you’ll be amazed to find how irresistible you are to others!

This simple and friendly guide reveals:

* What clothes and silhouettes are best for your specific body type
* Simple techniques to determine which colors flatter you most
* Solutions to common lingerie issues and the importance of fit
* The one dress that is a chameleon, and how to transform it into different looks
* How to travel stress free by planning your wardrobe well
* 101 styling secrets, professional tricks and fashion tips

RANI ST. PUCCHI is an award-winning fashion designer, an author and relationship expert. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

Book Excerpt:

When choosing your clothes remember that clothes are meant to flatter your body, not your body to flatter your clothes. Work with your body instead of critiquing and judging it.
Now that you’ve assessed your body type, let’s delve into what would look most flattering and what you would be smart to avoid.

Hourglass
DO: Focus on your waist when choosing your wardrobe. Dress to flatter your beautiful curves by wearing clothes and accessories that emphasize the thinnest part of your waist. Draw attention to your waistline by wearing belts that cinch the waist. V-neck dresses and tops are typically quite flattering.

DON’T: Avoid ‘boxy’ clothes and those that are shapeless or drape-y since they tend to add bulk and make you look heavy. Don’t go braless when wearing a V-neck dress or top. Wear a supportive bra instead so that your chest is lifted and perky instead of droopy and sagging. You have admirable curves so embrace them and show them off.

Apple
DO: Direct attention away from your waist by wearing clothes that accentuate your bust and hips instead. Shirts, blouses and dresses with slight V-necks are flattering. Long sleeves or dresses with sleeves help draw attention from your waist, shoulders and arms. V-necks draw attention to your neck and bust. Tops that drape over any curves work well. Wear bottoms just below your hipbone to help draw attention away from your mid-riff. Dark colors help camouflage the heavy areas.

DON’T: Avoid dresses and belts that cinch the waist. Stay away from skinny and straight leg pants as they emphasize the hips. Choose slightly flared pants instead. These help balance wide shoulders and a heavy upper body.

Pear
DO: Wear clothes that emphasize the upper body, that add to your shoulder and bust area and that make your hips and butt look slimmer. Tops that accentuate shoulders such as the current trendy off-shoulder blouses are perfect. Wear straight-leg pants with heels. Wearing a bra that adds to or enhances your bust is recommended.

DON’T: To minimize the lower half avoid pants or tights that narrow your legs. Flared pants can make your legs look thick, even bow-legged.

Ruler
DO: Wear clothes that create curves, by focusing on the upper and lower part of your body. Cinch your waist to exaggerate curves by wearing belts, flared skirts with fitted belted waistbands. Dresses or tops with embellishment at the bust, or with frills and ruffles at the top, will add some volume to make your chest look bigger. Skinny jeans, mini skirts and bright tights that show off your great legs and add more shape to a straight body are recommended. A bra that adds a cup size will help balance your angular feature as well.

DON’T: Avoid boyish/manly clothes. Baggy jeans, flared pants and track clothes will make you look like ‘one of the boys’. For working out, wear feminine track clothes that accentuate your waist but are not too snug on the top and bottom halves.


Inverted Triangle
DO: Keep your attention on the waist and hip area by wearing clothes that are flared on the bottom but snug on the top. Strapless tops and dresses with sleeves are perfect. Flared pants and pleated skirts are flattering.

DON’T: Avoid skinny pants and too tight skirts. Dresses or tops with ruffles and flounces, or that are off-the-shoulder, will make you look top heavy.


Many women are a mix of two body types and don't necessarily fall into one category or another. In which case try incorporating tips for each body type and see what looks best on you. When you fall between two types, compare the type you seem closest to and pick styles that lean towards that. Ultimately you will know what feels good and what flatters you the most. After all, there is no right or wrong way to dress. Your comfort and your confidence is what matters most.

Self-confidence is the best outfit, rock it and own it.


PURCHASING LINKS: Amazon and Barnes and Noble




Thirty years ago, Rani St. Pucchi took the bridal world by storm, despite having no formal training in fashion. She is an award winning couture fashion designer and founder of the world-renowned bridal house St. Pucchi. A passionate and dynamic entrepreneur who launched her global empire in the United States in 1985, Rani’s vision was to create an avant-garde bridal and evening couture line with modern styling and classic details. That vision has been realized today.

Renowned for infusing her creations with touches of magnificently colored jewels, exquisite hand embroidery, delicate beading and sparkling crystals on the finest silks and laces, these inspired designs with innovative draping evoke the timeless elegance every woman desires. As one of the foremost designers to introduce exotic silk fabrics and hand embroidery, Rani is applauded for being a pioneer in bringing color to the United States bridal scene, having learned that white does not flatter everyone.

Rani has been recognized and nominated on multiple occasions for her design talent and won numerous awards as a Style Innovator. In addition, she has been honored with the Best Bridal Designer Award at the prestigious Chicago Apparel Center’s DEBI Awards (Distinctive Excellence in Bridal Industry).

Rani is famous for designing the wedding dress worn by “Phoebe” as she captured the hearts of millions when she said “I Do” in a unique St. Pucchi Lilac corset bodice A-line gown on the finale of the hit television show Friends.

Her range of avant-garde designs are worn by the world’s most discerning brides, including celebrities and style icons such as New York Giants’ player Aaron Ross’ wife, Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards; Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo’s wife Candice Crawford; Actress Tara Reid; Jason Priestley’s wife Naomi Lowde; actress Candice Cameron and Grammy Award winning country music singer Alison Krauss, who donned a specially designed Chantilly lace and silk gown at the Country Music Awards.

Rani has enjoyed much media attention. Her signature designs have been recognized in high profile media such as Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Brides, Inside Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot.

Rani’s real passion other than the world of design is to help women who have suffered abuse and those who are struggling to find themselves. On her quest to empower women to be their best selves, she is passionate about helping them find their voice through building their self-confidence. She believes that confidence must start with a woman’s love and acceptance of her body.

Renowned for her savvy knowledge of a woman’s form and fit, Rani is eager to share her knowledge of more than three decades with all women so they can make better styling choices. In addition to the book you are reading now, Rani is the author of four upcoming books: The SoulMate Checklist: Key Questions To help You Choose Your Perfect Partner; Seven Types of Men To Avoid: Recognizing Relationship Red Flags; Designing with Heart: A to Z Guide to Bridal Designing; and Unveiling: A Celebrity Fashion Designer’s Story, a Memoir of her Life Journey.

Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Rani now happily lives in Los Angeles, California.

WEB & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE



Review Coming Soon!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Mailbox Monday - Jan 30


Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

The month has flown by around here. I can't believe it is almost over. One of my Christmas trees is still up. What has been going on in my busy little world?

We gained a new family member......



This is Theo. We love him. The cats hate him. He's a puppy and he's still learning, so everyone is adjusting.

Career is going well. In 2016 I increased my business 66% over the previous year and I've set an aggressive goal for myself for 2017. This month I had a closing and have a buyer under contract in town. Looking forward to another closing in a few weeks. I also listed two commercial properties for lease. 

Our company unveiled a cash back program for sellers listing their homes with Real Living. It's a great program and they will have an ad running during the Super Bowl. Go Pats!




My father-in-law has been very ill. We brought him home from the nursing home two Mondays ago and I had to rush him to the hospital Tuesday. After days of antibiotics and fluids he pulled through and is now in rehab. Taking care of my in-laws has definitely made life challenging, but family comes first.

As for reading, not much going on around here, but I did receive two books last week. I won this first one from Virginia Vaughn. 


This next one I received from Bill Fields when I signed up for an eight-week training program with him. I've worked with Bill before. He has a lot of great advice and he's helped me to put some habits into place for my business to run more efficiently. 


That's it from my neck of the woods. Hope all is well with you. Feel free to share what was in your mailbox last week.