May 29, 2014

Early Summer Road Trip: What We Did In MEMPHIS!

If you saw yesterday's post, you know that Dave and I recently took a road trip to Memphis. To be completely honest with you, neither of us had ever considered Memphis to be much of a destination... and we had never considered going there before. So why Memphis? Dave is a big Elvis fan and it's a nice distance from Minneapolis. That's it!

I never expected to be surrounded by so many fun and interesting things to do. I didn't expect that we would run into so many people - young and old - from all over the world. I didn't expect to become emotional from witnessing some of the attractions.

As I mentioned yesterday, we had booked 2 nights at the Vista Inn & Suites prior to leaving Minneapolis. For this road trip, we were trying to be careful financially and didn't want to spend more than we had to on hotels. The Vista Inn & Suites was fine for what we needed! The room was small, but clean. The staff was friendly and accommodating. The pool was ok - it probably could have used a little skimming and it wasn't heated, but on the hot days it still felt really good!

May 28, 2014

Early Summer Road Trip: Minneapolis to Memphis

When the days get warm, it makes me want to get away from it all and relax a bit. We decided to take a road trip, but we had a limited amount of money to spend - and only about 5 or 6 days that we could be away from home. There wasn't really anyplace specific that we wanted to visit, so I started surfing for ideas.

Starting in Minneapolis, I really wanted a destination that we could reach in 2 days so we weren't spending our entire vacation time in the car. With the help of a free app called Roadtrippers, I found out that Memphis is just over 850 miles from Minneapolis - making it the perfect ROAD TRIP destination!

May 26, 2014

As Is by Rachel Michael Arends {BOOK REVIEW}

AS IS by Rachel Michael Arends

What a fun summer beach read! AS IS is about a Martha Stewart type TV show with a happy couple and their perfect life... the show is even named "So Perfect!" The stars lives completely fall apart when it comes out that their perfect life is a sham.

The story is written from the perspective of each character, which makes it easy to see things from their point of view and the main characters - Armand and Gwen - are very likable!

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes {Book Review}

I AM PILGRIM by Terry Hayes

700 pages of ups and downs, twists and turns, and complicated action that you won't be able to put down. Truly a MUST READ for any lover of suspense.

In Terry Hayes' debut "Pilgrim" tracks a terrorist all across the world, but the story starts with a gruesome murder mystery in New York City. The victim is found with every trace of her identity destroyed; her body face-down in a tub full of acid, teeth pulled, fingerprints removed. Readers learn all about the retired spy who is called in to work on the case and are taken from New York City through Europe and the Middle East.

10 Years Younger in 10 Weeks by Thorbjörg Hafsteinsdottir {BOOK REVIEW}

10 Years Younger in 10 Weeks by Thorbjörg Hafsteinsdottir
I started this book by, as they instruct, taking the online quiz to check what my biological age is. Not my chronological age - I know that - but how old my body is. I was shocked to see that my biological age is 28 years older than my biological age, making my biological age 71. REALLY? 71? And I consider myself to be a relatively healthy person! I had a lot of work to do.

The book advised that I follow the entire program to try to improve my health and I was ready to go after receiving that bad news. You start by tracking all of your food as well as your moods and any aches and pains you have. I love that they have downloadable journal pages online. It makes it super easy!

May 20, 2014

Win A Family Vacation and Travel With Atlantic Luggage! SUMMER VACATION!}

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Atlantic Luggage for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's been a long time since I have been shopping for new luggage and I am absolutely amazed at how much things have changed! Remember back when we actually had to CARRY our suitcases? Now not only do suitcases have 4 wheels (spinners!) that roll in any direction, but with the Compass® Unite™ Spinners Collection from Atlantic Luggage goes beyond that. 

It actually CONNECTS back-to-back so that you can push two bags with one hand! That makes it the perfect collection for a family that travels together.

May 17, 2014

Finding the Time To Do What You Love

There are things that you NEED to do every day, and things that you WANT to do... those things that feed your spirit and make you feel great! Those things that you enjoy so much that the time flies by when you're "working" - you know what I mean!

The problem is that those things that you WANT to do are often pushed to the bottom of the list and our time is most often filled with the things that MUST be done! So how do you make sure that you find time to do things that you love?

Keep reading to find out how!

May 16, 2014

Apple Almond Crumble Recipe from The New Low-Carb Diet Cookbook

As you know from past posts, (here and here) my husband and I have jumped in to the low-carb movement, mostly to cut back on processed foods and sugar. The book "The New Low-Carb Diet Cookbook" has been such a great resource for me! It's a diet plan cookbook, but really similar to the other plans out there - EXCEPT for my favorite rule - "NO CARBS AFTER BREAKFAST" - because to me, breakfast without carbs is just plain awful. After about 3 days, I couldn't eat another egg! This plan is so much more sustainable!

Keep reading for the "Almond Apple Crumble" Recipe!

May 15, 2014

Build A Better Bed for Summer!

Once the nights start getting warmer, it's time to pack up the quilts and duvets and opt for something lighter!

Lightweight layers in neutral colors make up the perfect summer bed, and adding a pop of color with a pretty pillow makes it uniquely yours!

Here are some of my favorite looks for summer beds and a few resources you can use to build your better bed for summer!

May 12, 2014

Do You Want To See the World Wide Web UNRESTRICTED?

Do you frequently travel outside of the United States and want to access Netflix or Google Voice from your remote location?

Are you one of my regular readers from Canada, (hi, eh?) Australia, (g'day!) Germany, (guten tag!) or Sweden? (god dog) Would you like to access Hulu, Pandora, Google Voice or shop on-line and get US pricing but you can't because you're not in the US?

Are you concerned at all about all of the news lately saying that our internet activity is being tracked, recorded, used by corporations, etc.

This post is for my readers who like to think a bit outside of the box. Those who like to see the world or see things from around the world. Those who want to keep their business exactly what it is - THEIR BUSINESS!

Keep reading to learn all about TunnelBear!

May 10, 2014

Nurturing YOURSELF This Mother's Day

Ask any mom with little ones what she wants for Mother's Day and if she's honest, she probably would say that what she REALLY wants is a day off!

Breakfast in bed would be great, then have the kids go off with their dad for the entire afternoon and leave mom home alone with good book and a bit of peace and quiet!

You can't really send your family packing on Mother's Day, though, can you? Mother's Day isn't really FOR mom's... it's for kids. It's a day for kids to show their mom's how much they love and appreciate them, and that is absolutely precious. Those memories will bring you a lifetime of joy, so enjoy your day!

May 9, 2014

Pizza On The Grill: 100+ Feisty Fire-Roasted Recipes for Pizza & More - Recipe and Book Review

This time of year I get SO tired of soups and stews... I start craving salads, marinaded meats on the grill and fresh fruits and vegetables. It's so much easier to cook in the spring and summer months - just throw something on the grill, whip up a salad and you're good to go! But sometimes you want to try something a little different. That's where some of the best new cookbooks of summer come in!

by Elizabeth Karmel and Bob Blumer from Taunton Press
Released April 8, 2014

May 7, 2014

Marta Oulie: A Novel of Betrayal by Sigrid Undset {Book Review}

Marta Oulie opens with the words, "I have been unfaithful to my husband." Back in 1907 in Norway, those words completely shocked readers of the first edition of Marta Oulie!

The story of a young woman's love life, early marriage and raising her young children, Marta Oulie could have been written about a young American woman in 2007 instead of 100 years prior. It's a timeless, thought-provoking story that would touch the heart of any woman who has ever been in love, been unhappy in love, and has felt as if she must have made a terrible mistake. She says:
"We keep learning all of our lives - but God help us what we learn. To understand everything is supposed to mean to forgive everything; if so, then may God spare me from those who forgive too much.

May 6, 2014

Toss Your Old Nail Polish! There's A Safer Option!

Since 2006, the idea that nail polish can be harmful to your health has been studied pretty extensively... especially polishes that contain what's known as "the toxic trio" in leading nail polish brands. The trio contains a known carcinogen, formaldehyde, (used as a hardening agent) and two materials that have been linked to genetic defects: toluene (used to evenly suspend color) and dibutyl phthalate. (adds flexibility and sheen)

Many companies voluntarily removed these chemicals from their polishes, but some companies didn't actually change their formulas - instead they just changed their LABELS and continued to use the toxic chemicals!

May 5, 2014

Biggest George Clooney Prank EVER?

People Magazine May 12, 2014
I don't typically post things like this, but I've been thinking... What if George Clooney isn't really engaged, but is actually pulling off his biggest, most elaborate prank yet?

Think about it. The perpetual bachelor is suddenly engaged and the entire world is shocked! The People Magazine cover reads "Engaged At Last!" and Amal is the envy of women everywhere.

May 3, 2014

Saturday Sweatpants: Elevate Your Weekend Style {20 Great Sweatpants Looks}

My favorite trend for spring 2014 is sweatpants. Hello, yes, SWEATPANTS! I love lounging in sweats on Saturday mornings, and I don't usually change as the day goes on but I end up running errands, cleaning the house, walking the pooches, all in the same sweats.

I know that I need to elevate my weekend style, only because when I look shlumpy dumpy, I FEEL shlumpy dumpy. I have a pair of royal blue sweatpants that I cut off mid-calf because they were way too long on me and I wear them year-round. During the winter I wear them with shearling boots and during the summer I wear them with flip-flops.

I know that it's time to retire the royal blue sweats, the faded black yoga pants, and the leggings that pilled in the wash and find something new! Here are some of my favorites from the spring runways.

Yes, you heard it - RUNWAYS!

May 2, 2014

An Exquisite Estate Sale Featuring Gucci, Chanel, Vintage Jewelry and Bags - MUST SEE!

The first estate sale that I ever went to, let's say that it took me DAYS to recover... I was horrified that the elderly couple that lived down the street had worked hard their entire lives and built a nice home for themselves only to have strangers digging through their closets, cupboards and drawers. All I could think was, "Is that really what life comes down to?"

I have since come to terms with the idea of estate sales and I actually quite love them! I enjoy walking through and imagining the people who lived in the home and the kind of life they lived. So much that I subscribe to and receive email updates on upcoming sales.

To say that the headline of a sale that starts tomorrow caught my eye is an understatement. "GLOBAL EMPIRE OWNER SELLS ALL" leaves SO much to the imagination! I clicked on a few pictures and decided that this was a sale that I couldn't miss!