Why You Should Enroll in Summer Camps Like British Soccer Camp This Week!

Legalese Nonsense: One of the kidlets will get to attend this soccer camp thanks to British Soccer Camp and USFamilyGuide, and you get to get some brilliant ideas and get ahead of the schedule with this post. I love it when everyone wins!

So I don’t know about you—but this is what we did today!

Since even here in Texas we’re enjoying snow days all week long, you might be wondering why I’m jumping ahead of myself and talking about summer. (although for those of you in the Northeast who have had major blizzards all winter you’re probably thinking about, or at least dreaming of, summer right now too!)

That’s not the reason I’m putting it on my to-do list for this week, however. Now that Valentine’s Day and Amber’s birthday are over the next big events on the agenda are Spring Break and Easter. And I don’t know about you but it seems like every year after Spring Break rolls around I blink and it’s summer! Every year I have great intentions of signing the kids up for sports camps, and then I always miss the discount for early registration, or by the time I look into it they’re full, or we’ve already planned a vacation that week.

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Become Even More Gorgeous by Adding These 4 Steps to Your Beauty Routine (that have nothing to do with makeup!)

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

I think that every woman is beautiful in her own way and for her own reasons. I also think, however, that we can and should enhance every bit of that! You already know what a huge fan I am of makeup, but I know many women aren’t, and I do think that many times some of our most powerful ways of playing up our beauty have nothing to do with makeup, so today I wanted to share with you some of my “secret weapons” that I use to help play up my own version of beauty!

Become Even More Gorgeous by Adding These 4 Steps to Your Beauty Routine (that have nothing to do with makeup!)

1. Get Your Teeth Sparkling White As an avid coffee drinker I’m always battling stains and yellowing on my teeth. There’s no way I’m giving up my four cups a day, however, and so the best option for me is to use other methods to get my smile looking gorgeous.

While I was perusing the toothpaste aisle to stock up lately my eye was caught by the pretty, red boxes of all the Colgate® Optic White® toothpastes. While many of them looked great the Colgate® Optic White® Express White Toothpaste caught my eye because it promised whiter teeth in just 3 days*, just by brushing (perfect for this busy mom who has no time to hassle with the other whitening treatments out there). When I picked up the box I learned that it has 2 times more of the professionally recommended whitening ingredient (vs. Optic White Sparkling Mint TP). That sounded great to me, and I’m so happy with the results!

2. Keep Your Lips Smooth & Soft I often play up my eyes and skip lipstick, but even if you’re not using makeup on your lips they’re a part of your face you should never neglect! Especially once your teeth will be gorgeous and white with your new toothpaste and this part of your face will be getting a lot more attention!

I take care of my lips by using a chap stick daily, especially during the winter when it’s a lot dryer and with all the indoor heat. To combat any chapped lips that you do end up with you should “exfoliate” your lips about once a week either with an old toothbrush or a washcloth–just wet and rub all over your lips–it’ll gently peel off old skin and leave you with gorgeous, soft, supple lips!

3. Curl Your Eyelashes! This is another step that you might do in conjunction with makeup–but don’t have to! Eyelash curlers are inexpensive and instantly make your eyes look larger and wide open! They’re one of those things that if I could only bring a few things with me to a deserted island, I’d pick!

4. Wax & Tweeze Your Eyebrows (and possibly the rest of your face, too). Part of my beauty is my super thick, pretty hair. However when you are blessed with super thick, coarse hair it isn’t *just* your head that’s “blessed” with it! If you have light, thin hair waxing or tweezing might be something that you don’t even have to think about, however, if you’re like me it is something that you absolutely should do! I used to have big, thick, “caterpillar” eyebrows and fuzz everywhere else all over my face. No good! Thankfully I discovered the wonder that is getting my face waxed at a Spa or Nail Salon. Just about any of them offers the service and trust me–one “big” hurt with waxing beats a million little “ouches” with tweezing at home (though I do tweeze in between visits). I’ve actually gotten tons of compliments on my gorgeous eyebrows, thanks to taking care of them!

There you go–my 4 best Beauty Tips that don’t involve makeup! What secret weapons are in your Beauty Arsenal that have nothing to do with makeup? Let me know in a comment!

 *For best results, use as directed for 4 weeks.


Why I Broke Up With My Contract Cell Phone Company After 12 Years

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser who offers Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web. All opinions are mine alone. #MaxYourTax #CollectiveBias

Dear Contract Cell Phone Company,

I’m sorry to do this to you, I really am. The truth is, I have a feeling that you knew that this was coming for awhile now. I mean, my hubby already broke up with you awhile ago, and I even encouraged my sister to dump you. Since then I talked my younger brother and sister-in-law to cut ties as well. In spite of this I’ve held out, the longest, clinging on to the good times and memories of what we once shared together; but now it’s time that we have to call it for what it is, and let each other go our separate ways.

To be quite honest, it’s not me, it’s you, but as you might have guessed the main reason is that I’ve met someone new. Just like my husband I met Walmart Family Mobile and the  ZTE ZMAX phablet in, well, Walmart (what can I say? It seems to be where I fall in love). With their good looks and flashy low prices I couldn’t help but stopping and gazing into their options for awhile. You know you just haven’t been meeting my needs lately–all those high prices and a glitchy phone far before my “free” upgrade rolled around (Oh yeah, something I’ve been wanting to tell you for awhile–calling an upgrade “free” and then charging me an activation fee is kind of a jerk move, I’m just saying. Walmart Family Mobile requires a $25 activation card, but at least they’re honest about it).

These guys looked like everything I’d ever dreamed of–ridiculously better on my wallet than you, and a whole lot bigger and stronger than you, too. When I gazed into the super big screen of the ZTE ZMAX  on roll back for $179.00** that offers Walmart Family Mobile’s new 4G LTE Speeds at just $29.88/month (for the first line) which gives me Unlimited Talk, Text & Data service plan which includes up to 500MB, I began to compose this Dear John letter to you in my mind. If I hadn’t been wanting a tablet lately I might have considered the ZTE Zinger which made my penny pinching heart pitter-patter just a wee bit with it’s crazy low rollback price of $19.84**. But I knew that I would be happier with the ZTE ZMAX in a long term relationship, and so picked him and and took him home (just to get acquainted, you know I’m a proper lady).

You see, the timing is really perfect, I wanted to wait till after Valentine’s Day to dump you (because I’m not that heartless) and, well, to be honest now it’s Tax Return season and what could be more perfect than to use my return from last year for a perfect tax write off for next year? You’ve been with me so long that you must know how I reason by now.

Sure enough Walmart Family Mobile was a perfect gentleman when I got them home, and activating my new relationship err, phone was easy as can be, no waiting in long lines and haggling with salesmen while children bounced off the walls like what you subjected me to every time we got an upgrade together.

The better we got to know each other the more compatible I could see we would be–my new phone is big, bright, and beautiful, and the fact that it’s Android and plugged in with Google (which my life revolves around on a continual basis right now) was just one more reason to get serious with him, and to dump you along with my non-android-several-models-back-phone that the top button hasn’t worked on forever.

I guess I’m just saying all of this because I want you to be happy for me, and for you to go on and live your life and be happy with those poor customer’s you’re still duping. I know you’ll be seeing me around with my new partner, and as you see me tapping the screen and smiling I just want you to know–this was best for both of us.

Ok, ok so it’s the best for just me, but I’m alright with that.


Your Ex Customer Nicole

**Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of this posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to http://cbi.as/aafid or your local Walmart for current pricing.


Having “Me Moments” is Crucial to Being a Good Mom–Here’s Why!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser Müller® Ice Cream Inspired Yogurt. All opinions are mine alone. #MullerMoment #CollectiveBias

Having a Me Moments is Crucial to Being a Good Mom and Wife--Here's Why! #ad

Having “Me Moments” is Crucial to Being a Good Mom–Here’s Why!

As a work from home mom my life is full of this…

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How To Survive a Road Trip with Your Family

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

How To Survive a Road Trip with Kids Without Wanting To Run Away Forever!

Now, let’s be honest. I know that you have the best kids EVER and you love them to pieces! However once you add a small vehicle, 2,0000 miles, and all your family into the mix, things change a bit. By the other side of that journey you will usually not only be utterly exhausted, stumbling numbly out of the vehicle, you also just might be thinking of a how much you want a vacation, you know, a REAL one, just you, alone, on a deserted island, far…far….far…away…..never, ever, ever to return.

I’m here to let you know that it really doesn’t have to be that way! I like to say that Amber had her first road trip when she was 5 days old and she hasn’t stopped since then.

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