Three Tips for Healthy Teeth in Kids

Three Tips for Healthy Teeth in Kids

As a parent, keeping your child healthy and well is one of your top priorities. This should also include looking after your child’s teeth; a huge 42% of children between the ages of two and eleven will experience tooth decay, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Although children will eventually lose their primary teeth and go on to get their full set of adult teeth, problems such as decay during the early years can have a long-standing effect on their dental health for the rest of their life. Here are some of the best things that you can do to keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy.

Tip #1. Brush and Floss

Teaching your child good dental hygiene habits from an early age is important for looking after their teeth and promoting good dental health for life. As soon as your child is old enough to brush their teeth and know not to swallow their toothpaste, you should upgrade to fluoride toothpaste, as that will offer the best protection against cavities and decay. If you’re worried about the potential side effects of using a fluoride toothpaste, you can put your mind to rest by reading this information about fluoride from ilikemyteeth.com. You should also teach your child how to floss their teeth; you can do it for them until they are old enough to do it themselves.

Tip #2. Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks

There’s no denying that many kids enjoy sugary foods and drinks, but allowing them too much can lead to serious tooth problems. As a parent, you are at an advantage when your child is young, in that you can get them used to eating healthy foods and drinking water, helping to instill healthy eating habits for life. One of the biggest causes of tooth decay in children is allowing the child to go to bed with a bottle or sippy cup full of milk or juice; the liquid will sit in your child’s mouth all night and create the ideal breeding ground for bacteria, leading to tooth decay. Instead, the best option for a drink at night is always water.

Tip #3. Visit the Dentist Regularly

Many parents worry about taking their child to the dentist, especially parents who may themselves be nervous or even afraid of getting in the dentist’s chair. However, bear in mind that even if you have had a bad experience at the dentist yourself, it is paramount to your child’s dental health that they begin having check-ups as young as possible. Choose a reputable pediatric dentist who will be able to help put your child at ease and make it into a fun and enjoyable experience for them. Remember that the earlier your child becomes used to their regular dental check-up, the less stressful it will be for both of you.

When it comes to looking after your child’s health, dental care should be a top priority. Did these tips help? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

How to Celebrate Graduating from an Online Degree

How to Celebrate Graduating from an Online Degree

More people than ever are choosing to study an online degree such as an online MHA program from Ohio University once they have had children. Online study gives you a chance to further your career, return to work after a break, be a great role model for your children, or just to take a bit of time away from family for yourself. It’s fantastic. Managing to graduate while looking after your family and maybe even holding down a job is something to be proud of and to celebrate. However, without a traditional graduation ceremony, many graduates watch it pass by without much fanfare. Here are some of the best ways you can celebrate your fantastic achievement.

Take a Vacation

You deserve a proper break after all your hard work, especially if you’ve just finished exams or handed in final assignments. Either go on a fun family vacation and enjoy having some time together or treat yourself to a relaxing spa break. Let someone else look after you for a change.

Go for a Family Meal

If you haven’t got time or can’t afford a vacation, at least go out for a family meal. Don’t cook, don’t tidy up; get waited on instead. If you’ve got a favorite family restaurant or eatery, go there; if not, try something new. Just make sure you enjoy yourself and have a big dessert!

Announce it to the World

Let everyone know. You deserve some recognition for all your hard work. Ring or text your friends and family to let them know that you’ve officially graduated. If you want even more people to know, announce it on social media and put your new qualification in the ‘about me’ section on Facebook. Don’t feel embarrassed. Instead, be proud of your achievement and let people congratulate you. Who knows, you could even inspire someone else to do the same.

Get a Great Job

The best way to celebrate all your hard work, time, and effort is to get a fantastic job. You don’t have to start looking straight away if you fancy a bit of a break from it all, but the sooner the better. Graduate jobs can be tough to secure, so make sure you tailor your CV to every job you apply for and include all of your relevant key skills and experience. When it comes to getting a job, you might find your online degree works to your advantage. Studying online shows you’ve got fantastic organizational skills and that you’re very committed to success.

Relax

Take a few days to relax. Go shopping alone, spend the day with your family, read a book, or go for a run. Whatever you find relaxing, do it. Just make sure it’s something that helps you to unwind and feel good about yourself and what you have achieved.

If reading this has inspired you to start a higher education degree yourself, check out where you could study for an online MHA degree that could one day lead to a fantastic job.

The Best Budget Laptops for Your Everyday Needs

The Best Budget Laptops for Your Everyday Needs

Smartphones are becoming more and more capable by the day. The latest generation of smartphones is capable of doing anything from document processing to emails and social media. They can also be used to play games and stream movies no matter where you are.

Despite the practicality and performance of modern smartphones, however, there are still times when it is much simpler to open a laptop and get things done. You don’t have to invest a lot to get a laptop that will handle everyday tasks without a problem. Here are the top picks to consider.

Asus VivoBook E200HA

The Asus VivoBook E200HA is a nifty little device that can help you with virtually anything without breaking a sweat. For starters, it is powered by the Intel quad-core Atom processor, so you can juggle between tasks and apps swiftly. It is also very well-built, plus you can rely on its 12-hour battery life if you need to go mobile.

The Asus VivoBook is also a great laptop for those of you who are going back to school. If you’re taking an online nursing program from reputable names such as ADU Online, you can access the online learning platform, work on course assignments, and complete exams using only this laptop and a working internet connection.

The Asus VivoBook is also very compact. This means you can study for your online BSN degree at that local coffee shop you like so much without having to carry a laptop charger or lump around a big and heavy backpack.

Microsoft Surface 3

The Microsoft Surface 3 is a smaller, more affordable version of the Surface 3 Pro. It is an older device, but one that’s still capable of handling everyday tasks swiftly. It also comes with a complementary subscription of Microsoft Office 365, so you can use the device to edit documents or work on spreadsheets out of the box.

What’s good about the Surface 3 is the hybrid design. It can be used as a tablet or a laptop with the included keyboard cover. The 10.8-inch form factor is perfect for maximum portability. You also get good battery life. The only downside this device has is the awkward keyboard cover. As long as you’re not planning to work with the Surface 3 sitting on your lap, the hybrid 2-in-1 is worth considering.

13-Inch MacBook Air

Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air has just been refreshed. It is now cheaper and comes with a newer processor. It is also the only macOS option on our list and it is the most expensive of the three. Nevertheless, the 13-inch MacBook Air is a capable device that you can use for years.

The battery life of this Apple laptop is superb, offering 12 hours under normal use. It also charges quickly and the charger itself is compact enough to carry around. You also get a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM, making this the most capable device on the list.

The main advantage of using the MacBook Air, however, is the macOS and its super-smooth user experience. Everything runs well, you have all the apps you need for the tasks you need to handle, and you will find both the trackpad and the keyboard on this laptop to be an absolute joy to use.

My First Kia Press Trip Experience #TheNewKia #KiaFamily

My First Kia Press Trip Experience

Two weeks ago I was in San Diego for the first time with Kia Motors of America. It was my very first press trip with a car company, and I was beyond excited, but I was also very nervous. The flight out was pretty cool, I ended up with a seat with no one in the middle seat. It was cloudy and chilly the entire time we were in San Diego, but fun was on the agenda.

Disclosure: Kia invited me to a blogger event to learn about their eco-dynamic line of cars. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Our hotel for the event was the Hard Rock San Diego. I walked in the there was a special check in table for Kia Influencers in the lobby area. Someone grabbed my bag immediately while I was checking in with the Kia Team. I got all the details about the event and found out a bit about the events of the day. I headed up to my room and I was floored. Check out my mini room tour below.

Isn’t it simply amazing? I just loved this room. It was so spacious and roomy, and the best part is the Hard Rock added curtains so I could section off the room when it was time to sleep at night. I felt like a complete rock star.

The Hospitality Suite Was Rocking

Photo Credit: Cielo Roth Photography
Photo Credit: Cielo Roth Photography
Photo Credit: Cielo Roth Photography

The Hospitality Suite was always stocked with lots to eat and plenty of cool things to do. I loved that Kia went above and beyond to accommodate those with food allergies. I’m allergic to onions, and I never had to guess what I could or couldn’t eat. Each dish had a label for not only my onion allergy, but gluten, dairy, and if you needed something specific the Kia Team was always on hand to help.

Photo Credit: Cielo Roth Photography

Although I’m not crafty I spent some time in the craft room trying to decorate a guitar with my blogger buddy Jay and another blogger. They did a much better job that I did of course. LOL.

Got Changed for a Night Out on the Town

After hanging out in the hospitality suite, I changed and headed to the lobby to get ready for dinner that night. While in the lobby we socialized and met a few of the other influencers attending the event.

Sneak Peek at the Stinger

The brand new 2018 Kia Stinger was sitting in the lobby for people to admire during the event. It’s such an amazing car. I can’t wait to learn more about this beauty. According to insiders, this baby can reach speeds of up to 167 mph.

Night One in San Diego

The night started with a very funny ride in a Pedicab to the restaurant for dinner that night. We were in the heart of the Gaslamp district, and our meal for the night was a special tasting curated by one of the Kia reps John.

Special drinks were featured on the menu that was specific to certain time periods. I tried three of the five drink specials and a glass of local wine.

A Taste of San Diego

I tried a few of the options for dinner, my favorite was the Greek Salad. Who knew roasted tomatoes tasted so good. I even went back for seconds. The big winner at my booth for the night though were the fries. They were simply delicious. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel in another pedicab and spent a few hours in the hospitality suite just relaxing and chatting with other bloggers.

Day Two Ride & Drive

Day two we were up early for breakfast then a Kia Brand Immersion presentation. After learning about the Kia brand and three cars from the eco-dynamic line, we headed out for a ride around San Diego.

Free Krispy Kreme

There was talk about free donuts leading up to the event and our first stop on the list of places that Kia recommended was Kia. We walked in and was told to order anything we wanted. I tried a new donut on the menu and of course a regular glazed donut. It was delicious.

Lunch at Tin Fish

Lunch was delicious but I was still full from breakfast and donuts that I didn’t get to really enjoy much of my lunch that day. It was however very delicious.

Closing Night

Photo Credit: Cielo Roth Photography
Photo Credit: Cielo Roth Photography
Photo Credit: Cielo Roth Photography

Karokee was the reason why I was so scared for this event. I thought I would be teriffed to participate. I didn’t want to feel left out and was hoping there was no pressure. The final photo sums up how I felt the whole night. I sang so many amazing songs from that seat. I danced, and waved my hands in the air. I had loads of fun. I even backed Jay up on the stage for “I Love Rock & Roll”. It was nothing I thought it would be and I wish all events has killer Karokee with a live band. It was so much fun and a great way for everyone to get know each other. Sadly it was on the last night, but so much fun.

Goodbye San Diego

The last day arrived and it was time to say good-bye to San Diego. I headed to breakfast with Jay and we ran into Afropolitan Mom, so we joined her for breakfast before getting on the shuttle and heading to the airport.

Photo Credit: Cielo Roth Photography
Photo Credit: Cielo Roth Photography

I had a blast at #TheNewKia event. Everyone was amazing. It was great meeting and hanging out with influencers on all kinds of platforms. It was easily one of my favorite press trips of all time, and I can’t wait to party with my new Kia family again.

 

 

How You Can Help Your Parents Financially Without Getting into Debt

How You Can Help Your Parents Financially Without Getting into Debt

Your parents have looked after you throughout your childhood and likely well into your twenties or thirties and there will come a point when it’s time to return the favor. Unfortunately, parents do get older and it sometimes means they are not independent enough to do things for themselves – and handling financial affairs is usually one of them. Some parents do not plan for their lives when they get old and require care to live, so it could end up being your responsibility to care for them financially. It’s certainly not easy and there are many points to consider beforehand to ensure you don’t fall into debt yourself. Here are a few tips to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Talk to Your Parents about the Possible Care They Need

It could end up costing more than $3,000 per month to pay for home care services to help your parents so it’s always wise to talk to your parents to see if they have any insurance or savings that they can contribute to the costs. If your parents suffer from illnesses such as dementia you will need to do your own research and oversee their financial affairs. Before working out the costs, it’s important to understand what care your parents may need, as sometimes it’s possible to offer the care yourself around work or at least share the responsibility with siblings.

Plan Your Own Finances with Your Spouse

Before you even look at your parents’ finances, it’s important you are in complete control of your own. Discuss with your partner and sit down and plan to see what you can afford to spare every month without getting into debt yourself. There could be times when you have no choice but to go into a negative balance to help fund your parents care, but it’s always important you try and avoid it at all costs.

Take on Full-Time Care

It’s not always a viable option, but if your spouse earns enough to cover your own bills and you live comfortably it could be more viable to quit your job and care for your parents on a full-time basis. You will save thousands every month and you know your parents are going to get the care they deserve. If you have the finances available it could even be an option to study for an online nursing degree to obtain your master of science in nursing, which could benefit you further.

We all hate the thought of our parents getting so old that they are unable to care for themselves properly. Unfortunately, it’s a reality and most of us will have to go through it with them. We can only do so much for our older parents when it comes to finances, but we also need to make sure we don’t suffer with them and we try and get as much help as possible when it comes to friends and family, rather than relying on professional homecare services.

Tips for Keeping Children Hydrated During Summer Pool Season #ad #HydrateYourSummer

Tips for Keeping Children Hydrated During Summer Pool Season

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HydrateYourSummer #CollectiveBias

We are officially on summer vacation in my house and the kids are ready to plan out their summer schedules. For them, that means when they get to go to the pool and for how long. With temperatures already on the rise, I’m more interested in a way to beat the heat and keep them hydrated. Getting kids to drink water or even any beverage while they are playing at the pool can be difficult. I’m always looking for ways to make sure they get their required fluids. If you’re looking for ways to keep your children hydrated during the summer, check out these tips.

Four Tips For Keeping Children Hydrated During Summer

If I’m being honest drinking the recommended amount of water is hard for me, so I know it’s even harder for my kids. One of the ways we get our liquids in is by looking for other kinds of water. We’ve recently added vitaminwater Zero and Powerade Zero to our list of products we need to have on deck at all times.

We recently stopped by Safeway to stock up on vitaminwater Zero and Powerade Zero since they were having a good sale. We got the six packs of vitaminwater Zero and the 8 packs of Powerade Zero. I also picked up some individual bottles of the vitaminwater Zero in flavors that wasn’t available in the six packs. Now here’s my four tips.

Freeze Beverages  

Nothing beats the summer heat like a cold beverage. We always freeze bottles of water and other beverages the night before heading out to the pool or beach for long hours. Frozen beverages keep cold for hours, so when the kids get thirsty they have a nice frosty drink to enjoy. It helps to cool them down a little and give them some more time outside.

Pack Lots of Extras

Our big family always pack lots of extras when we are heading to the pool. With six people we need to make sure we have enough for everyone to enjoy. We make all the kids carry their own backpacks with a towel, a snack, and of course, their beverage on longer trips, when we are only going for a short period of time I pack one bag with all our essentials. I always keep extras so the kids can drink as much and they like without having to worry about running out.

Make Popsicles

When it’s hot a frozen treat is always the best way to go. You can easily freeze your vitaminwater Zero and Powerade Zero in a popsicle mold and take them with you when you’re heading out to the pool. They can also be a good snack during the day. The kids can also help with making the popsicles, making it even more fun for them to enjoy them once they’ve frozen.

Try Hydrating Fruits

Another way to beat the heat is to include hydrating fruits to your snack options. Skip out those sugary treats and take fruits like Watermelon, Grapes, Pineapple, Strawberry, Orange, Peach, and more. I love making my Summer Berries Fruit Salad as a healthy and cooling snack during the summer. It stays well in a cooler and everyone always loves the variety of fruits I add.

Bonus Tips

Here are two additional tips that could help you get your kids to enjoy drinking more water when heading to the pool. Get them their own water bottle. Maybe try one with a special character they love. Encourage them to drink all of the water at least three times a day in the bottles. Once they get in the habit of carrying the water bottle they won’t be able to go anywhere without them. Another tip is to include fruits in your water. Keep a jug in your refrigerator at all times to encourage the kids to drink that instead of juice.

The next time you’re heading out to Safeway or Albertsons be sure to look for the Summer Hydration display in the skincare section. Buy participating products at Albertsons or Safeway and get a text to win code for a chance to Win a Trip for 2 to a Wellness Retreat in Palm Springs, CA!

Say Hello to the Eco-Dynamic Kia Car Line #TheNewKia

Say Hello to the Eco-Dynamic Kia Car Line

Last week I was in San Diego for the first time being treated like a rock star. It was my very first press event with a car company and Kia Motors of America welcomed me along with 50 plus influencers into their family for a fun filled event. I arrived pretty early in San Diego for the event so I had the chance to see the fleet of cars awaiting our arrival.

Photo Credit: Cielo Roth Photography

Let me tell you that Kia has done a lot over the year to improve their brand image with the consumer. They have worked hard to achieve all their awards and ratings. I got a small taste of #TheNewKia by previewing their Eco-Dynamic Line of cars.

Photo Credit: Cielo Roth Photography
Photo Credit: Cielo Roth Photography

The line includes the Kia Optima Hybrid & Optima Plug-In Hybrid, the Kia Soul EV, and the Kia Niro. My family and I had the Kia Optima out for a spin before but none of the cars in the eco line. I was excited about getting out and try these cars with my teammate Jay of Jay’s Sweet and Sour Life.

We started our second day in the city learning about the Kia Brand and all the cars that we were going to be driving and exploring with. Each one offered unique features that make them worth considering. Driver living in California receive an extra tax credit of $1500 along with the $4545 credit drivers receive from the federal government. Additional perks include HOV lane access, saving on travel, and more.

The Niro is classified as an Urban Crossover Hybrid Vehicle, that employs an evolved hybrid system which contributes to a dynamic driving experience, while also providing superior utility and eye-catching looks.  The Niro offers bold, crossover style and utility while providing exceptional fuel economy –up to 50 mpg combined. The Niro has all the perks of being a hybrid without the look. It’s smaller battery design means there’s more space in the cargo area to hold groceries, luggage, golf clubs, or whatever you’re planning to carry. Additional features include Standard UVO3 with Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and a 7-inch touchscreen and available Smart Cruise Control, Navigation and a Harman Kardon® premium audio system. This car also hold the Guinness Record for doing 76.6 MPG, the lowest fuel-consumption by a hybrid vehicle driving coast-to-coast.  While you may not got those results you can expect about 50 MPG with this car. The Niro is priced starting at $22,890 standard and varies in ranges up to $29,650 depending on model and additional features.

Jay and I spent the most time in the Kia Optima Hybrid. It was the first car we took out that day and we choose it for our scenic tour of San Diego. I really liked this car, although it wouldn’t fit my large family of six, I think it would be a great car for hubby to use for work.

The Kia Optima Hybrid was completely redesigned for the 2017 model year. The battery was also repackaged allowing more cargo room in the trunk and has a 60/40 rear seat split. If you’re using this for a family car the Optima Hybrid brings convenience offerings such as the Hands-free Trunk Open feature with Smart Key, a Wireless Phone Charger and Surround View Monitoring (SVM) to aid parking maneuvers. The Optima Hybrid ranges in price from $25,995 – $30,990 and it averages 39 MPG city/46 MPG highway (42 MPG combined).

Photo Credit: Cielo Roth Photography

The last car available for the Ride and Drive event was the Kia Soul EV. We didn’t spend much time in this car but from the short time we did spend in the car, I could tell it was another great car. The Soul EV is Kia’s first mass-market zero emissions, battery electric vehicle and, for 2017, it’s better than ever. Offered in three trims – Soul EV-e, Soul EV, Soul EV+ (plus), it includes a long list of standard equipment at affordable price points. The Soul EV has a fast charge feature that allows you to charge up to 94 percent of the battery in under one hour. That’s perfect for people that are on the go with limited time. UVO eco is the new connectivity and control app system (only on Soul EV and EV+) that offers more features than ever before, including: immediate HVAC control; on-demand vehicle diagnosis, Speed Alert; Curfew Alert; Geo-Fence Alert; Location POI; Google local search; and Trip Info for app and MyUVO.com. The Soul EV ranges in price from $32,950 – $35,950.

Photo Credit: Cielo Roth Photography

To learn more about the new Kia and all their cars visit their website. If you were ever thinking about getting a hybrid check out these cars and learn why they are definately a smart buy.

New Black Panther Trailer and Poster #BlackPanther

New Black Panther Trailer and Poster

Last week the new Black Panther poster dropped and I totally lost my mind. I’ve been waiting on the press site to update with all the Black Panther goodness for months now. I can’t believe that we officially have content to show you guys about this film I can’t wait to see next year.

When I saw the poster I was pumped. I mean come on it already looks amazing. My birthday is the day after the movie releases in theaters and I am already making plans to spend my birthday around seeing the film. The trailer dropped later that night during the NBA Finals. I didn’t stay up to watch the game but I woke up early to tags letting me know about the trailer.

I’ve already watched the teaser trailer at least 50 times and I know I’ll be watching it over and over until another is released in relation to the film. I’m beyond excited. But I’m not the only one. It looks like “Black Twitter” and my peeps on the interwebs are ready for the film as well. Check out some of these hilarious memes and tweets about the upcoming film.

Even other actors from the MCU shared their excitement about the trailer. They are just as excited as the fans to see the film. Epic!

Black Panther opens in theaters on February 16th, 2018. I know where I’ll be opening weekend. What about you?

Easy Ways to Keep the Costs Down When Planning a Summer Wedding

Easy Ways to Keep the Costs Down When Planning a Summer Wedding

An average American couple spends more than $26k on their wedding. That’s a huge amount of money, which could be better used as a down payment on a house or a lump sum payment on student loans. Despite the cost, many couples get carried away when planning their wedding. They see celebrity weddings and think “I want this too!”

It’s understandable, of course. Who doesn’t want a glass palace in their back yard or a dreamy ceremony on an idyllic beach in Mauritius? We all do, but sadly, most of us can’t afford to spend a fortune on the big day. We might be willing to pay extra for a ‘design your own ring’ service because an engagement ring is very important, but when it comes to designing a bespoke wedding ceremony, the cost is very much at the forefront of most couples’ minds.

The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune on a huge wedding. In fact, evidence suggests that the more a couple spends on their wedding, the more likely they are to get divorced within a few years.

The problem with opulent, expensive weddings is that it is easy to lose sight of why you are getting married. Marriage is a massive commitment. This is your chance to shout out to the rest of the world that you love this person above all others and want to spend the rest of your life with them. Nobody walks down the aisle lightly, or at least they shouldn’t. Whether you are religious or not, marriage is not something you should take flippantly.

Once you start getting carried away with planning a huge wedding, the true meaning behind the ceremony is lost. You turn into Bridezilla and start obsessing over cakes, wedding dresses, rings, and guest lists. A simple wedding rapidly turns into an expensive ceremony and reception for 600 guests, most of whom you barely know from Adam. Is that really what you want?

If money is no object, then, by all means, spend as much as you like on a wedding. However, if you are up to your eyeballs in student debt and struggling to find enough cash for a home down payment, then read on for some tips to help you save money on your dream wedding.

Rings

You need three rings: an engagement ring, and two wedding rings. Since your rings last forever, this is not a time to look for a bargain bin steel band. Like many things in life, you get what you pay for, so the more you spend, the bigger the diamond (if that’s what you want).

One way to save money on rings is to look for vintage rings or use a family heirloom. Plenty of couples re-purpose a family ring as an engagement ring. Do you have a beautiful ring passed down from your grandmother? If so, have the ring re-sized and turn it into your engagement ring. The fact it comes with a history only makes it more attractive. You can add your own history to the ring before passing it down the family tree to your daughter or granddaughter one day. How romantic is that?

Bride’s Dress

For a bride, the wedding dress is a critical part of the whole ensemble. After all, all brides want to look fabulous on their wedding day. They want to be the center of attention for all the right reasons. Wearing the right dress is crucial, but with couture wedding dresses costing tens of thousands of dollars, you may be wondering how on earth you can look beautiful without spending a fortune.

The good news is that you don’t need to blow your budget on a dress.

Your first option is to wear a wedding dress worn by your mother or grandmother. Don’t expect a modern style, but depending on the age of the dress, you could end up with a charming vintage gown. The dress may need a few tweaks to make sure it fits you perfectly, but paying a seamstress to carry out alternations is a lot cheaper than paying for a wedding dress from a bridal store.

The second option is to look for a second-hand wedding dress. For this look on eBay or Gumtree. Most wedding dresses have only been worn once; some haven’t been worn at all, so you could snap up a bargain. Check the details of the listing carefully before you buy, to ensure the dress is the right size. If the dress is pre-worn, have it professionally cleaned so it looks and smells fresh on the big day.

Bridesmaids

If really you want to keep costs down, avoid asking ten of your best friends to be your bridesmaids, or suggest they pay for their own dresses. Alternatively, look for some cheap bridesmaid dresses online.

Bridesmaids don’t need to have matching dresses. Choose a color and look for dresses that suit the bridesmaid’s body shape. Plenty of bridesmaids are happy with simple dresses bought off-the-peg that can be used again, which helps to keep the costs down. Your bridesmaids don’t need to follow you down the aisle in yards of silk and satin. The simpler their outfits are, the more you will stand out.

The Wedding Cake

Wedding cakes are a significant part of a wedding budget. A three tier hand-made cake can easily cost several hundred dollars or more, depending on how elaborate the design is. Instead of paying a wedding cake store to bake you a bespoke cake, ask a relative to do the honors in lieu of a wedding gift. As long as they are handy in the kitchen, you should end up with a tasty cake.

You can also save money by opting for a sponge cake instead of a traditional fruitcake, but you won’t be able to have a multi-tier creation. If you are not too fussed about a traditional cake, create a cupcake tower instead. Frosted cupcakes decorated with flowers will look fabulous.

Venue

Booking a wedding venue is going to set you back a lot of money. Most hotels and wedding venues are expensive. The best way to save money is by having your wedding reception at home or somewhere that’s free.

Clearly, that is going to be difficult if you want to invite 500 guests, so to keep costs down, trim the guest list to close relatives and close friends. You need to sit down with your fiancé and work on the list together. Remember the rule: no ring, no bring. Banning kids from the ceremony will also save you money, but be aware that you risk upsetting couples with children, as they might not be able to organize childcare.

Once you have a guest list, start thinking about whether you have the space to have your reception at home. For a small and intimate gathering, a reception at home is perfect. Tidy up the garden, borrow extra chairs and tables, and string up solar lights for when the sun goes down. If there is any chance the weather won’t be suitable for an outside party, look at hiring a small marquee. You don’t need to splash out on a crystal palace like Pippa Middleton. Ring around a few local marque companies and see what deals they have. It will be far cheaper than hiring a venue for the day.

Decorations

Wherever you elect to hold your wedding, the venue needs to be decorated. Again, there are plenty of ways to save money on table decorations, flowers, and anything else in keeping with your theme. Fresh flowers are expensive, so unless you can harvest a large number of blooms from your garden, consider using fake flowers or dried flowers instead.

Brides often discount the idea of fake flowers because they look cheap and nasty, but if you look in thrift stores for silk flowers, you may find more than enough to create some pretty floral garlands. Use ivy and other greenery to embellish your floral displays. Create small posies for each table using handpicked herbs and dried flowers. If you have children, ask them to help make decorations, such as paper garlands or paper flowers. Weave string lights into your garlands and light candles in the garden. It will look super pretty once the light fades.

Food and Drink

Professional caterers are not cheap, so the best way to save money is by preparing your own food and drink. For a summer wedding, a BBQ is perfect. Alternatively, roast a hog over a spit and provide bread buns, dips, salads, and a range of desserts.

To keep the cost of alcohol down, buy in kegs of beer rather than trays of cans. Make your own homebrew or wine and create some exciting fruit punches using whatever alcohol you have to hand. Throw in some chopped up fruit, and it will be tasty and refreshing. Don’t forget to provide soft drinks for anyone who doesn’t drink.

With the right preparation, you can have a fabulously cheap – and memorable – summer wedding!

New COCO Trailer and Poster

New COCO Trailer and Poster

This fall Disney/Pixar is heading to Mexico to dive into a world that’s different and had never been explored by the living. Growing up in Trinidad we never celebrated Halloween but instead All Saints and All Souls day. We celebrated on the last day in October and the first in November by visiting the graves of family that passed on and cleaning up the grave sites. We also leave sugar cane and mangoes on the grave sites so our ancestor’s spirits can take back. Since I learned about COCO I was excited to see how this movie and learn about another culture’s tradition.

ABOUT THE MOVIE

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself magically transported to the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on November 22nd!

CHARACTER & TALENT LINEUP REVEALED

MEET THE EXTENDED FAMILY FROM DISNEY·PIXAR’S “COCO”

Upcoming Film Features Generations of Characters and All-Latino Voice Cast

 

FROM THE LAND OF THE LIVING

  • ANTHONY GONZALEZ (“Ice Box,” TNT’s “The Last Ship”) lends his voice to MIGUEL, a 12-year-old aspiring musician who struggles against his family’s generations-old ban on music. When a magical mishap lands him in the Land of the Dead, Miguel seeks out his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz, to help him return to the Land of the Living before it’s too late.
  • ANA OFELIA MURGUÍA (Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Bandidas”) voices Miguel’s cherished great-grandmother MAMÁ COCO. She is very old and fragile, but that doesn’t stop Miguel from sharing his daily adventures with her.
  • RENÉE VICTOR (“Weeds,” “The Apostle”) provides the authoritative voice of ABUELITA, Miguel’s grandmother and the ultimate enforcer of the Rivera family’s ban on music. She loves her family very much and will do anything to protect them. But when she gets angry, she wields a mean slipper.
  • JAIME CAMIL (CW’s “Jane the Virgin,” Disney Junior’s “Elena of Avalor,” “Secret Lives of Pets”) is the voice of PAPÁ, Miguel’s supportive father who hopes that someday Miguel will join him in the family shoemaking business.
  • SOFÍA ESPINOSA (“Gloria”) provides the voice of Miguel’s loving MAMÁ who gently encourages her son to embrace their family’s traditions.
  • LUIS VALDEZ (“Which Way Is Up,” director “La Bamba” & “Cisco Kid”) is the voice of TÍO BERTO, Miguel’s uncle, a hard worker in the Rivera family shoemaking business.
  • LOMBARDO BOYAR (“Happy Feet,” TNT’s “Murder in the First”) lends his voice to a friendly MARIACHI who Miguel encounters in Santa Cecilia Plaza.
FAMILY REUNION — In Disney•Pixar’s “Coco,” Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) finds himself magically transported to the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead where he meets his late family members, who are determined to help him find his way home. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017. ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

FROM THE LAND OF THE DEAD

  • GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL (Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle”) helps bring to life HECTOR, a charming trickster in the Land of the Dead who is forced to enlist help from Miguel to visit the Land of the Living.
  • BENJAMIN BRATT (FOX’s “Star,” “Doctor Strange”) is the voice of Miguel’s idol ERNESTO DE LA CRUZ, the most famous musician in the history of Mexico. Revered by fans worldwide until his untimely death, the charming and charismatic musician is even more beloved in the Land of the Dead.   
  • EDWARD JAMES OLMOS (“Blade Runner,” “Stand and Deliver”) lends his voice to CHICHARRÓN, a curmudgeonly friend of Hector’s who is sadly being forgotten—an unfortunate condition in the Land of the Dead.
  • ALANNA UBACH (“Meet the Fockers,” Bravo’s “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce”) provides the voice of MAMÁ IMELDA, Miguel’s great-great-grandmother, the matriarch of the Rivera family and the founder of their successful shoemaking business. Miguel meets Mamá Imelda in the Land of the Dead and discovers she does not share his passion for music. 
  • SELENE LUNA (“My Bloody Valentine,” “Celebrity Wife Swap”) voices TÍA ROSITA, Miguel’s late aunt who resides in the Land of the Dead.
  • ALFONSO ARAU (“Three Amigos,” director/producer “Like Water for Chocolate,” director “A Walk in the Clouds”) is the voice of PAPÁ JULIO, Miguel’s late great-grandfather who he meets in Land of the Dead.
  • HERBERT SIGUENZA (“Larry Crowne,” “Ben 10: Alien Swarm”) lends his voice to both TÍO OSCAR and TÍO FELIPE, Miguel’s late identical twin uncles who he meets in the Land of the Dead.
  • OCTAVIO SOLIS playwright “Lydia, Santos & Santos”) is the voice of an ARRIVAL AGENT in the Land of the Dead’s Grand Central Station.
  • GABRIEL IGLESIAS (“Planes,” “The Nut Job,” “The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature”) provides the voice of the HEAD CLERK in the Land of the Dead’s “Department of Family Reunions.”
  • CHEECH MARIN (“Cars 3,” “Tin Cup,” CBS’ “Nash Bridges”) is the voice of a CORRECTIONS OFFICER in the Land of the Dead.
  • BLANCA ARACELI (“The Bridge”) voices the EMCEE for a colorful talent show in the Land of the Dead.

Ozeri Elite Chef Ceramic Knife Set Review

Ozeri Elite Chef Ceramic Knife Set Review

When I first ventured out on my own with my then boyfriend, now husband to live on our own we had to buy all the things you need for a home. Starting out we decided to go the affordable route without even researching the products we were buying. Within a few months, our pots started to scour and burn our food, and our knives started falling apart. Handles broke off and some of them started to rust. We learned a lot since then so when Ozeri send me their Elite Chef Ceramic Knife Set to review I jumped at the chance to try them out and share my thoughts with my readers.

About the Ozeri Elite Chef Black Ceramic Knife Set

A necessity for the serious chef, the Elite Chef Black Ceramic Knife Set includes 3 ultra-sharp 100% ceramic knives that slice through fruits, vegetables, and boneless meats with unmatched ease. Coupled to perfectly balanced ergonomic handles, the Elite Chef Ceramic Knives render a wide variety of cutting tasks effortless, from chopping, to mincing, slicing and dicing. These distinctively shaped knives utilize the purest ceramic, with each blade close in hardness to diamonds and able to preserve its razor-sharpness 10 times longer than traditional steel blades. Unlike metal knives, the Ozeri Elite Chef Black Ceramic Knives do not corrode, rust or leach metal ions into food. They are impervious to moisture, oils and acids in common foods, and preserve their freshness despite long-term exposure to such foods. Finished with a reflective black veneer, each Ozeri ceramic knife weighs less than half of an equivalent metal knife, thereby reducing fatigue and pain associating with preparing big meals and repetitive cutting. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.

This set was a great addition to our current knives. My sister gifted me a really nice set over the holidays so I had mainly been using those. These came at the perfect time. I love that they offered three different sizes of the knives so you could have various options. I used the smallest for everyday cutting of small fruits and veggies. The second knife I used to cut up chicken breasts for salads and more. The larger knife I used for cutting potatoes and if I have to cut into larger pieces of meat.

These are very durable knives and the price is also very attractive if you’re just starting out. You can gift them to college students without breaking the bank. You can purchase multiple sets to use in your home as well.

You can purchase the Ozeri Kife set on Amazon and other online retailers.

Ozeri Rev Digital Bathroom Scale Review

Ozeri Rev Digital Bathroom Scale Review

Ozeri recently sent me a few of their products to review. I ended up with two scales in my review package. I’ve already shared my thoughts on the Ozeri Touch II scale and now I’m sharing about the Ozeri Rev Digital Bathroom Scale.

This is another great scale from Ozeri. I had an older model that was very similar to this scale but this one is a much better design.  It has the option of using a neddle to show the weight as well as a digital read out.

The Ozeri Rev Digital Bathroom Scale with Electro-Mechanical Weight Dial is the world’s first weight scale to incorporate a synchronized electro-mechanical Dial and LCD that automatically illuminate and point to your weight in lbs and kg, for easy-to read results in all light conditions and from any angle.

Boasting a visually arresting design, the Ozeri Rev scale features a huge 5.5 inch mechanical dial display with an integrated digital blue-backlit LCD, accented by stylish chrome to create a distinctive retro look, yet with the accuracy of modern technology. This professional quality scale features an oversized platform made of impact-resistant tempered glass with slip-resistant feet for ideal stability, and a new built-in alarm that reminds you to measure your weight at the same time each day.

This is another well-designed scale. It has a nice width for you to stand on while weighing yourself. The surface is slip resistant so when you are using it out of the shower you are fine. It’s sleek and slim so you can easily store it away in small spaces. The product also has short legs on the bottom to help it remain sturdy. It operates with three double a batteries, and has a low battery indicator so you know when it needs to be changed. It makes a great scale and it’s so easy to use.

You can purchase the scale from online retailers like Walmart, Target, and Amazon.

Ozeri Touch II Digital Scale Review

Ozeri Touch II Digital Scale Review

I’ve been in the market for a new scale for a while. My previous scale finally gave out and we were without one for about three months. My husband had been working out and losing weight and he wanted to track his progress. Our previous scales were both Ozeri, so when they reached out and offered to send me a product for review I of course choose a scale.

Ozeri Touch II

I choose the Ozeri Touch II Total Body Scale because it provides instant adult and infant weight measurements, and calculates body fat, hydration, muscle mass and bone measurements. Embedded with StepOn technology, it automatically powers on upon contact and features 4 touch sensitive buttons for easy operation. It also features 4 icons that automatically illuminate on the screen for body fat, hydration, muscle and bone measurements.

Ozeri Touch

You can toggle between pounds and kilograms for weight. It’s a very sleek design and super easy to use and put away. The Ozeri Touch includes built-in memory for up to 8 users with auto recognition technology for shared use at home, the office or the gym. Each profile stores weight, gender, height, and age data so that your family members can each track their progress.

Ozeri Scale2

The Ozeri Touch Total Body Scale displays all results on its easy to read high-contrast LCD screen. It utilizes 4 latest generation GX sensors to capture weights up to 440 pounds (200 kilograms) with one of the industry leading accuracy. With its innovative Tare feature, the Ozeri Touch Bath scale also eliminates all the stress with weighing an infant or pet. Simply step on the scale to record your weight, step off and back on again while carrying your infant or pet, and the scale accurately displays both weights on separate sections of its bright LCD.

This is a great scale for anyone in the market for a new bathroom scale. I’ve been loving it so far. My husband loves the ability to check on his BMI and being able to keep track of his progress over time. You can purchase the scale online from retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon.

Avoid the Stress That Comes with Driving with a Newborn

Avoid the Stress That Comes with Driving with a Newborn

Driving can be stressful at the best of times, but traveling with a newborn baby puts more pressure on a motorist. You are responsible for your own life and the life of your child, as well as the lives of other road users, so it’s essential to find ways to avoid the stress that comes with driving with a newborn. Below are some of the ways you can do this.

Safety is Vital

Safety should be your number one concern when you have a baby in your car. You should invest in a high-quality, safe car seat that is suitable for a younger baby. It should be installed securely and placed in the appropriate part of your vehicle.

Consider the Timing

A newborn should not be in a car seat for prolonged periods of time. Many of their muscles and bones are weak, so sitting in the same position for too long can affect their neck and other areas of their bodies. Dehydration in warm conditions can also affect the well-being of your baby. You should be aware of how long each journey you take with your child will last and take regular breaks if you are going to be away from home for longer amounts of time.

Be Prepared for Anything

Things can go wrong inside your car and on the road ahead. This is why it’s vital to always concentrate on the road and be aware of possible incidents that could take place while youre driving. If you get distracted by your child or something that happens inside your car, you may lose focus and this could lead to a serious accident, which could have been avoided.

Purchasing a GPS system is a good idea to ensure that you can focus on the road without worrying about the road signs and whether you’re on the right road.

Plan Parking Ahead of Time

It’s vital to plan each trip you undertake when you have a newborn in the car with you. Finding parking, in particular, has the potential to increase stress levels and waste a lot of precious time. With Your Parking Space you can find and book parking spaces all across the UK. This means that as parents you’ll have a parking space available when you reach your destination, saving you the hassle of driving around in circles looking for somewhere to park.

Keep it Simple

Ideally, you want to have as few distractions as possible while you are driving. Typical distractions that can take your attention away from the road include your childs toys or a bottle that fell on the floor of your car. A parents natural instinct is to turn around and pick these items up, but this can have serious consequences. The Think Road Safety campaign group have plenty of advice that’s worth looking at.

Instead, your child should have as few items as possible with them when they are in the car. You should also ensure that you have a clear view of your child at all times so that you can regularly keep an eye on them and drive safely at the same time.

Driving a vehicle with a newborn on board can be a stressful situation. However, if you follow the tips above you can reduce the risks involved and ensure that you and your baby always travel safely.

Marvel to Offer Epic Experiences for D23 Expo Attendees

Marvel to Offer Epic Experiences for D23 Expo Attendees

If you’re a Marvel fan and you’re planning at trip to D23, you’re in for a treat. One of epic proportions according to the most recent announcements made by Marvel. I’m super excited about the upcoming releases from Marvel. I’ve been waiting for Black Panther to drop forever, and I super excited to see how Thor will tie into the final chapters of Avengers. If you’re on the fence about attending, check out these awesome event planned for Marvel fans.

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Photo Credit: Disney

Marvel will make its way to D23 Expo’s show floor from July 14­–16 with an exciting look at its upcoming film titles in the Marvel Studios Pavilion, featuring an array of props and costumes from the Studios’ upcoming slate, including Thor: RagnarokBlack Panther, and more. Fans will also be able to enjoy the all-new console and mobile Marvel Games, plus incredible exclusive content and announcements throughout the weekend!

Thor Ragnarok

In Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first, he must survive the Grandmaster’s gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk. Fans will get an up-close look at the costumes and props from Thor: Ragnarok, as well as photo opportunities with exclusive set pieces from the film.

black panther
Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War Black Panther/T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) Photo Credit: Film Frame © Marvel 2016

The incredible costumes from Black Panther will also be on display. Black Panther follows the journey of T’Challa after the events of Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War, where he returns to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country’s new leader.

 

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Photo Credit: D23

 

In addition to the exciting props and costumes on display, Marvel Studios will host multiple giveaways and events within its pavilion space in Hall B. Fans will get the chance to meet with Marvel Studios’ filmmakers, development team, and talent. Exclusive artwork will be given away daily, along with other surprises. Details on talent appearances and special signings will be made available on the D23 Expo app.

 

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Photo Credit: D23

 

For the first time at D23 Expo, guests will be able to get their hands on the hottest new console and mobile games featuring favorite Marvel Super Heroes, playing as the world-famous Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Spider-Man, and more!

  • LEGO®Marvel Super Heroes 2 is an all-new, original adventure and sequel to the smash hit LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes. Bringing together iconic Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains from different eras and realities, along with signature LEGO humor, the latest epic adventure from TT Games transports players into a cosmic battle across myriad Marvel locations ripped from time and space into the incredible open hub world of Chronopolis.
  • Adding to the infinite excitement of D23 Expo, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will offer attendees hands-on opportunities with the next era of the highly revered action-fighting game series. Marvel and Capcom universes collide like never before as iconic characters team up for action-packed player-versus-player combat. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite features a variety of exciting and accessible single-player modes and rich multiplayer content for new players and longtime fans alike and will be released on September 19, 2017, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
  • Gazillion will offer a chance to play Marvel Heroes Omega and win fantastic prizes. Marvel Heroes Omega combines the core gameplay style of Action-RPGs and MMOs with an expansive library of heroes from the Marvel Universe. With thousands of hours of character progression and rewards, Marvel Heroes Omega comes packed with tons of replay value and a steady stream of new challenges with regular updates.
  • Netmarble is bringing its best to D23 Expo with MARVEL: Future Fight. Featuring 120 Marvel Super Heroes to choose from, players create teams of their favorites to fight for their future. D23 Expo attendees can try their hand at saving the universe.
  • Marvel Puzzle Quest is where the best in match-3 puzzle gameplay meets Marvel’s biggest Super Heroes and Super Villains in the most epic puzzle adventure game available on your phone, tablet, and PC. Marvel Puzzle Quest combines favorite Marvel characters with deep RPG leveling, player-versus-player tournaments, Alliances, and much more. Guests can unleash their inner Super Hero and wage war against their enemies. Learn more at www.marvelpuzzlequest.com.
Cup-o27-Joe
Credit: D23

Marvel will present incredible panels during D23 Expo, including the fan-favorite Cup o’ Joe on Friday, July 14, at 1:15 p.m. in the D23 Expo Arena, featuring Chief Creative Officer of Marvel, Joe Quesada, in a no-holds-barred panel of everything Marvel! That same day at 6 p.m. on Stage 28, Marvel Animation presents a surprise-filled panel of sneak peeks, special guests, exclusive footage, and big announcements about the future of Marvel Animation on Stage 28. Details will be available on the D23 Expo app.

Tickets for D23 Expo 2017 are available for $81 for one-day adult admission and $59 for children 3–9. Members of D23: The Official DisneyFan Club can purchase tickets for $72 for a one-day adult admission and $53 for children 3–9. Multi-day tickets are also available. For more information on tickets and D23 Expo 2017, visit D23Expo.com.