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5 World Cup Facts

by Laurie on June 29, 2014

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_FIFA_World_Cup

1. This is the first World Cup that has goal-line technology. It sounds super fancy, and it really is but the whole point is to ensure the referees don’t miss a goal. There will be 7 cameras focused on each goal! When a goal is scored, a computer registers it and alerts the referees through a wrist watch they are wearing.

 

2. This is the second time that Brazil is hosting a World Cup. They previously hosted in one in 1950 .

 

3. This 2014 World Cup is the most expensive World Cup in history. It cost Brazil an estimated 14 to 16 billion dollars. (Yep, you read that right!) It is more than double the cost of the past two World Cups combined. Now that’s a lot of dough!

 

4. The World Cup champion is in for a whopping prize of 35 million dollars. Don’t feel bad for the runner up though because they walk away with a cool 25 mil! (Third place gets 22 million while fourth gets 20 million. Not too shabby!)

 

5. The referees are using vanishing spray for the first time as a marker on the ball or the field. It appears as a white mark that “vanishes” after a minute to clear up any confusion about where to kick.

Push Off Procrastination

by Laurie on June 15, 2014

Its getting hot out there! Time for short shorts, flip flops, and a little vacation from the daily grind. This summer is the perfect time to cross those things off your list that you’ve been putting off all year. Here are 5 common things we procrastinate about as well as your new summer to do list:

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1. Read that bestseller book. You know- the one that all your friends have read and can’t stop talking about. Get it

done and join the conversation.

 

2. Organize you photos.With so much technology these days, your pictures are probably all spread out between phones and cameras. It’s time to gather all those pics into one place and create an album of your favorites.

 

3. Get your closets organized by selling or giving away your old clothes. Let’s be honest. You probably wont wear that
old t-shirt again and its taking up some valuable space in your home.

 

4. Saving for retirement. Take some time to start up a IRA or 401(k). You’ll be glad you did.

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5. Work out. What better time to start getting in shape than bikini season? Moving will get you feeling good and give you energy to accomplish the other things on your list.

 

 

 

 

Skin Care Inside Out

by Laurie on June 3, 2014

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Want beautiful skin? You are no alone! There is a reason why the beauty industry is expected to be worth a whopping $265 BILLION DOLLARS by 2017. People are so busy shmearing on every new “miracle” cream in hopes of getting that Hollywood “glow”, even if there is no science to back it up.

 

I have 5 suggestions that can significantly improve your skin and overall health. And its not anything you apply to your face but rather foods you can eat. That’s because your outsides reflect your insides. If you are not putting the proper nutrition in your body, it will show on your skin. Of course, you can always use Hollywood’s secret; makeup.

 

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1. Grapefruit: Has loads of vitamin C which is necessary for the skin to produce collagen. You may have heard this word being tossed around but not know exactly what it means. Its pretty much the stuff that keeps your skin looking smooth and not wrinkly. Vitamin C can also be found in many other foods such as strawberries, kiwi, red pepper, broccoli, and spinach.

 

 

2. Sweet Potato: Contains tons of beta-carotene, an antioxidant as well as an anti-inflammatory, so it can help ward off acne.

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3. Avacad0: It contains omega 3 fatty acids (which I am sure you have heard of). Its great for keeping skin moisturized and looking healthy. This can also be rubbed on your face if you are really missing those creams!

 

 

4. Almonds: Contains vitamin E which keeps good things like moisture in your skin, and bad things  like free radicals out.  Its great for sun protection.

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5. Watermelon: Contains tons of water to keep you hydrated as well as vitamin C and lycopene to prevent wrinkles. And so refreshing!

 

 

 

Enjoy eating your way to beautiful skin!

In Memoriam

by Laurie on May 25, 2014

5 things you can do this Memorial Day to honor those that fought for our freedom:

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1. Observe a moment of silence at 3 p.m.

2. Wear patriotic clothing like a pin or the colors of the flag.

3. Spend the day at a historical landmark. You can find one at military.com

4. Help veterans or the families of the deceased by sending a donation.

5. Attend a Memorial Day parade.

 

Baking Soda-Not Just For Baking

by Laurie on May 16, 2014

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So last week I posted on tips to clean those dirty dishes piled up in your sink. One of the biggest helpers to tackle that mess is baking soda. It has since occurred to me that baking soda has so many uses aside from baking! Here are just a few that may surprise you:

 

1. Mix it with hydrogen peroxide to make a toothpaste that will also whiten your teeth.

 

2. We know that baking soda helps neutralize odors so why not try using it as a deodorant.

 

3. You can use it to relieve heartburn or indigestion.

 

4. Put it on insect bites to stop itching and/or pain.

 

5. Help flowers stay fresher longer by adding some baking soda to the water in the vase.

 

 

The number of uses for baking soda is endless! If you have any ideas-please comment and share your ideas!

The Dirt on Dishes

by Laurie on May 9, 2014

So you know how it is. You have a crazy day and by the time you get home, all you want to do is collapse on your bed as soon as you wolf down your dinner. So that’s exactly what I did last night. But then I woke up to this lovely scene in my sink:

 

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Ok, maybe it was a few nights of skipped dishes…

 

Ugh! I feel so lazy to  tackle this mess but the more it sits, the more difficult it will be to get that grime off. Here are my top tips for getting your dishes to sparkle again.

 

1. Soak Em. Fill up your sink or a basin with warm soapy water and let your dishes sit a while. This will help soften the stuck on pieces so you won’t have to scrub that hard when you eventually wash them.

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2. Clean dishes with a combination of  baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and that gook will come right off.

 

 

3. If you have pots or pans that have been burned, boil water and baking soda in the pot. It will loosen the burned spots so you can easily wash it after it has cooled.

 

 

4.  Sounds strange but you can place a dryer sheet in the dirty dish with a little bit of water and let it sit for a half hour. Then just rinse as usual.

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5. Scrub your cookware with lemon juice to get out stains or discolorations from the food.

 

 

 

Happy Cleaning!

Happy Mother’s Day!

by Laurie on May 6, 2014

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Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 11th, and it is fast approaching. If you are wondering how to spend the day, here are some things that you can plan to do with or without the kids. The most important thing is to enjoy yourself and do what makes you feel loved and appreciated.

 

 

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photo courtesy of shutterstock.com

 

 

1. Sleep In! Go on and pass off your motherly duties to someone else for the day and enjoy a couple more hours of zzz’s.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Spend some quality and stress free time (with or without your kids) outside in nature.  You can go to the park or even enjoy a relaxing picnic under a tree.

 

3. If you choose to hang out with the kids, taking professional pictures is an awesome way to cherish the day and have as a keepsake for years to come.

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photo courtesy of lecachetspa.com

 

 

4. Have a spa day. Enjoy a relaxing massage or mani pedi. If you’re short on funds, just light candles, put on some low music, and take a long bath at home while the kids are out.

 

 

 

 
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5. Take the night off from cooking and go out for a fancy dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Spring into Shape

by Laurie on May 1, 2014

So it has been officially Spring for a while now (even though in some places the weather has not exactly been informed). Before you know it, Summer, synonymous with beach season, will be here. See, during the Winter months, we are practically in hibernation under big sweaters and puffy coats, and now suddenly we have to be fit?

I am not a big dieter because I believe in trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle so I have some tips that you can implement all year long. It’s not necessarily about losing weight but feeling good inside and out. Enjoy!

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Photo Courtesy: http://skinny-rules.com/tag/portion-control/

 

1. Eat on a smaller plate. The same amount of food will look like less on a bigger plate and trick your mind into thinking you need to go back for seconds. There is no reason to starve yourself but moderation is key to staying fit.

 

 

2. Be sure to eat breakfast in the morning to jump start your metabolism. In the same vein, eat smaller meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism going. Also, if you avoid that starving feeling, you are less likely to reach for something unhealthy just because its there.

 

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Photo Courtesy: http://www.quia.com/jg/2389614list.html

 

3. Don’t eat after 8 o’clock (7 if you wanna be really careful) because we all know that later in the day, our metabolism slows down and can not digest our foods as efficiently.

 

 

4. Don’t eat while doing something distracting, like watching TV or working. You won’t even realize how much you are eating and more importantly wont enjoy your food

 

 

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Drink Up!

 

5. Drink lots of water. It will help keep you fuller longer without the calories, cleanses your system, makes your skin glow.. Need I say more? The benefits are endless!

 

 

Sell Your Stuff

by Laurie on April 24, 2014

Money

“Money Money Money Money….”

Some of us may still be feeling the financial blow from having to pay in taxes to the IRS. If you are not one of those people, consider yourself lucky and consider me jealous. In any case, I’m sure you can still use some extra spending money. Why not take this opportunity to get rid of things you no longer have use for. You can make some quick cash and clear some space in your home while you’re at it!

 

1.  Electronics

They could be old, broken, or you may just have gotten the latest iphone and don’t have use for your old one anymore. Check out Gazelle.com and see what you can get for it.

 

2. Clothes

Search consignment shops in your area or sell your clothing on craigslist or ebay. You can also get cash for vintage pieces you may own on sites like etsy.com

 

3. Books

There are so many options to sell used books online these days. You have your pick of Amazon, half.com and many more.

 

4. Gold or Silver Jewelry

You can take these kinds of items to pawn shops or sell online at a cash for gold. Many of them also accept silver and platinum but take your time and shop around first for the best deal.

 

5. Photos

Okay so pictures are not exactly taking up so much space in your home, especially if they are saved to your computer or flash drive. But why not make some money off of them if you can? Check out sites like foap.com or twenty20.com that will pay you for your pics. Best of all,they won’t have exclusive rights to them so you can sell them again to another site.

 

I hope these tips are helpful. Now let’s go get that cash!

 

Non-Taxing Tax Tips

by Laurie on April 4, 2014

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If you are like me, and for your sake I hope you aren’t, but you are probably scrambling to get your tax papers filed before the looming deadline of April 15th. Well we are not alone! Did you know that that the IRS receives about 20% of individual returns in the last week before the deadline? That’s roughly 30 million tax returns!

It can be complicated to get all the necessary documents together but if you follow these 5 tips, hopefully filing your taxes will be less “taxing” on you. (I couldn’t help it-it was just too easy!) I must mention that I am not a tax professional so please contact one if you have any questions.

 

1. If you really just can’t hack it before the deadline, don’t worry. You can file an extension which will grant you an additional 6 months time. All you have to do is file a IRS Form 4868 free of charge.

 

2. If you  earned $58,000 or less this year, you can file for free using the IRS Free File system. In any case, you should try to use an electronic system like IRS e-file which is great for accuracy.

 

3. Don’t lose out on deductions like children under 17, tuition, or large medical expenses. You can also deduct if you have a home office. Just be sure that the room is used exclusively for your work and doesn’t double as a bedroom or anything else.

 

4. If you lost your job in 2013 and received unemployment money, it is taxable. Taxes are not withheld before you are paid, unlike a job, so don’t forget about it. You may have to pay in.

 

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photo courtesy of www.cityofchicago.org

5. This may sound pretty ridiculous but don’t forget to sign and date your return. Of course if you file electronically you will need to sign it with a personal pin number. Can you believe that half of returns are not signed when the IRS receives them?  Probably not because I just made that up but I’m sure you wont forget now so my job is done!

 

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