Wedding Makeup Trends for 2018

While weddings are one of the happiest moment a couple can have together, they can also be extremely stressful, especially for the bride.

As the bride, you want to look elegant and beautiful. To achieve that bridal look, you’ll have to keep up with the current trends in the bridal beauty community. Luckily, there are many sources out there with a variety of information and inspiration on what you can do to feel beautiful on your special day.

Sometimes the amount of information presented on these bridal sites and sites like Pinterest can be overwhelming for a bride-to-be. You can rest easy though as this article contains the latest bridal beauty trends for 2018.

Messy Hairstyles

You may be familiar with brides doing their hair up into tight, intricate braids and buns, but this bridal season has seen more free-flowing locks and updos that don’t look so maintained.

Braids are still big, but you’ll find them not as tight as they once were. With strands framing the face, braids can look romantic but effortless. These messy updos look un-fussy and contemporary, allowing you to add an edge to the classic looks from the past.

You can easily get the messy hair look by taking a hairstyle you may already have in mind and asking your hairstylist to add some texture to it. Styles that are popular right now include simply wearing your hair down, braiding it into a side swept and loose fishtail braid, or having it in a bun.

Your hairstylist or you yourself can create texture by adding waves to your hair before pulling into an updo or teasing it. If you’re doing your hair yourself, sites like https://hhbeauty.com can provide you with insight into what hair products can help you achieve the look.

Minimal Makeup but Strong Brows

Heavy makeup has long been the look that people went with to achieve doll-like skin on their wedding day, but brides have been embracing their natural features this season. The components of this no makeup look include dewy, glowing skin with slightly flushed cheeks and the lipstick color of a fresh-bitten lip.

While minimal makeup is being applied to most of the face, the brows are getting more attention. Bold brows frame the face and can really make the rest of your features pop. They’ve been popular in general beauty circles for a while now, so it makes sense that they’ve transitioned into bridal makeup.

To get this natural look with bold brows, you want to focus on three things: skin care, highlight, and the shape of your brow. Skin care is important because the healthier your skin is, the less makeup you’ll need.

Make sure you’re cleaning, exfoliating, and moisturizing your skin regularly in the weeks leading up to your big day. On the day, apply concealer, tinted moisturizer, or light foundation to hide any trouble spots or blemishes. You can achieve the look of dewy (not shiny) skin by applying a hint of highlight on the cheekbones, just below your brow, and the corner of the inner eye. Make your brows stand out by gently filling them in, following the shape that you want. Apply powder over them to make them last all day or night.

Brown Eyes and Pink Lips

In keeping with the natural trend, brides are going for simple matte browns for the eye look with a bit of eyeliner. It’s a look that will make your eyes pop without being too out there. For your lips, you’ll want to go for pink and glossy to get that fresh-bitten look mentioned above.

To achieve this look, dust whatever brown you prefer over your eyelid. Feel free to add a bit of darker shades to give the look some depth but don’t go too overboard. Go with whatever eyeliner look best suits the shape of your eyes. Lastly, you’ll want to avoid brown mascara. You may be tempted to match the eye shadow, but nothing will make your eyes pop more than solid black.

Pink on the lips bring out the natural colors of your lips. Many people are afraid of pinks as they can be too bright, but the wide range of lip colors out today should make it easy to find a pinkish color that suits your skin. If you’re still not convinced, corals can also work well.

The Bottom Line

While you’ll want to look your best for your big day, it’s important to remember that you feel comfortable as well. Go with makeup that makes you feel your best even if it’s not necessarily on trend.

Best Tips and Tricks to Put Your Baby Back to Sleep

As the time approaches for your baby to come into your life, your enthusiasm grows, but so do the worries and the questions. You ask yourself if you’ll be able to keep up with the new tasks, especially if it’s your firstborn. In fact – and this is without any intention of troubling new parents – some questions and worries remain even at your second or third pregnancy.

One of the most often heard topics from mothers-to-be is the one related to the art (and science!) of putting the babies to sleep, mainly after they had woken up in the middle the night. From my experience, I must tell you that there are a few tricks all moms should know about and put into practice. But consider that every child is different, so they may not work on yours. Try them one by one, see which method gives the best result and stick to it. Here are my tips for you:

Minimize direct eye contact

Every time you make eye contact with your baby, you encourage him to feel happy and thus snap out of the sleep mode. Babies are motivated to get up when you look straight into their eyes. I know you love your little one and you adore every minute spent with him, but remember that if you want him to go back to sleep, you need to minimize or even avoid direct eye contact. You should also avoid talking to him passionately or singing a favorite song. Put the child back to sleep by whispering calming words to him in a soft voice, while gently caressing his belly.

Cut out the lights

If your little one wakes up during the night and you go to check on him, don’t turn on the lights in his room or carry him out into a dazzlingly lit space. Shifting from dark to light will only tell him that it’s daytime, hence, time to be awake! Stay with him in the dark bedroom and try to convince him to go back to sleep. According to several reviews I read on topmattress.com advisors, darkness is the best ally of peaceful sleep for both adults and children.

Late-night feeding

The method of late-night feeding is a bit debatable, as some experts think it shouldn’t be used, while others recommend it. My advice is to try it and see if it works for your child. A late-night feeding has to take place between 10 p.m. and midnight, and it should be done by keeping the lights dim. Gently pick up the sleeping baby out of the crib and help him feed even if he’s still half asleep. Once he’s done, put him back in his bed, but without burping him.

Use white noises

Trying all sorts of white noises may help you identify the sounds which send your baby to sleep. Some say they use random noises; others prefer rhythmic sounds (such as the falling rain or a heartbeat pace). White noises also help grow-ups fall asleep sooner, so I think it’s only natural that they do the same for our little ones.

Give your baby a gentle massage

I tried many methods of putting babies to sleep, but the massage trick works almost every time. Ten-fifteen minutes of gently rubbing their feet or caressing their belly, while talking to them in a soothing voice, will make them feel incredibly relaxed and lead them back into the world of dreams.

By James

Should You Buy Your Mattress Online?

Here’s a question you never thought you would ask yourself five years ago: Should I buy my mattress online? The answer would most probably have been no.

But why?

The answer is simple. You spend about one-third of your life in bed and what you sleep on is a very personal and important part of your life. Another thing is that you can’t test the mattress when you order online. There’s simply not enough incentive to do it.

Wrong – firstly, buying a mattress at a bricks-and-mortar store is a hassle. You have to drive out there, avoid irritating salespeople and when you do find a suitable mattress, you have to wait for it to be delivered. And many people have picked up on that and have decided to try out the online option and surprisingly there are many happy customers out there.

But for our purposes, let’s have a look at the pros and cons and ultimately you can decide after having read this article if you are willing to give it a go.

Pros

You will know what you are looking for

Now, you may think that this is a bizarre thing to include in the positives. Strangely enough, it isn’t because customers that bought online are far more knowledgeable on the subject matter than those people that went to a store. The latter group relies one hundred percent on the salesperson for information. The former will have gone to a website like mattressmatchers.com/ to do their research.

It’s no hassle whatsoever

You’ve done your homework and know what type of sleeping surface you want and where you want to buy it. All you need to do now is click the purchase icon and enter your payment details, and you’re done. As promised, the following day your mattress is delivered.

Phew – You didn’t have to drive, haggle with a salesperson and navigate your way around a cavernous store and still you are sleeping like a baby.

E-tailers offer great discounts

You can sometimes save up to 20 to 30 percent if you buy online.

Great customer service

Online retailers go out of their way to make you happy. Not only are their websites easy to navigate and the buying experience is simple, but also the aftersales customer support is excellent. Companies like Rest Right Mattress are known to have amazing customer service. Let’s put it another way; they really don’t want a one-star rating so if you don’t like your mattress, they will do their utmost to get you a replacement.

You get nice long trial periods

While most traditional sales channels offer 30-day trial periods, you will get a whopping 100 days if you shop online.

Cons

What do you do with the old one?

If you purchase the old-fashioned way, the chances are far larger that you will be able to get rid of your old mattress when the delivery team arrives with the new one. E-tailers do not have this service.

No touchy feely

Sure, you got the 100-day trial period online but had you bought in-store, you could’ve tested a whole bunch of mattresses beforehand.

There’s more DIY

The bricks-and-mortar option includes a team that builds everything up. Ordering via the internet means that you have to do all of the work yourself. Remember those fun moments assembling an Ikea cupboard with your loved one? He or she is mostly probably still growling at you when you both stare at the offending item you built together.

Buying in-store has the whole shebang

Usually, the store will have everything from the bed frame to the pillows and duvets. It’s just easier as an all-in-one option. However, many e-tailers like Caspar are starting to offer accessories.

Summing up, all there is to say is that it is up to you. Both avenues have their advantages and disadvantages. Your mattress is the most used piece of furniture in the house, so make sure you are comfortable with the way you bought it.

By James

Why I Decided a Pet Was Worth the Trouble…Again

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

If you ask my son about his siblings, he’ll tell you he has two sisters and two brothers. The sisters are both regular human girls, but the “brothers” he’s referring to are our cats, Edmund and Phil. And the funny thing is he isn’t the only one who thinks of the cats as important members of the family. We all love these little guys more than I ever dreamed possible. I never knew I was a cat person until we rescued Edmund from a shelter two years ago.  He was a sweet, playful little kitten and we all loved him from day one.  He brought so much fun and joy into our household.  It left us wondering why we hadn’t adopted a pet years earlier.   But we were perfectly content with one pet and never even considered adopting another.  We had no idea that it wouldn’t be long before we took the plunge again.

One day, we were outside and a tiny gray tabby cat just wandered over to us looking completely adorable.  He was friendly and affectionate with beautiful green eyes and the softest fur ever.  The kids were all so excited and begged to keep him.  I was certain my husband wouldn’t want to mess with adopting another pet, so I dismissed the idea and started asking around the neighborhood to try to find his owner.  After all, we already had a cat.  What if they didn’t get along?  And adopting another pet means vet visits, added expenses, more responsibility…It just seemed like too much trouble.

No one claimed him, and he took up residence on our back porch and made himself right at home, while we were still trying to find him a home somewhere else.  Thinking he was a girl (we hadn’t bothered to check), my son named him Phyllis.  My kids would call him and he would jump right up on their laps and purr like crazy.  My youngest would pick him up and he would just stay on her lap looking absolutely content.  He never scratched or snapped at anyone.  He would playfully chase strings as long as someone wanted him to, keeping my kids entertained for a long time.  Everything about this cat was wonderful.  After several days of this, my husband and I both agreed that he would be worth whatever it took to make him ours.   And we’re so glad we did!  He loves everyone in the family and appreciates all the affection we can give.  We weren’t sure how Edmund would handle it, but after the first couple weeks, Phil (as he is now more appropriately called) and Ed became best buddies. They play together, eat together, and follow each other around.   Edmund actually seems happier now that he has Phil around.

But aside from the fact that they look very similar, they are as different as can be in every way.  And that’s one of the best things about Phil!  He’s not just another cat like the one we had, he’s a completely different cat with his own personality and habits.  Edmund prefers to relax in quiet places, while Phil loves to play with balls, string, or anything he can chase around.   Ed finds a hiding place when he’s had enough attention, and Phil never seems to get tired of being around people.   Having two cats that are so different is a tremendous blessing.  While one is sleeping next to my daughter as she reads, the other is playing with my super energetic son.  Phil’s playfulness is the perfect complement to Edmund’s seriousness.

Even their taste in food is different. That’s one reason 9Lives® wet and dry cat food varieties are just right for our cats. For wet food, Edmund prefers the Meaty Pate selections, with smooth ground meat, fish or poultry, while Phil devours the Hearty Cuts made of tender, meaty morsels with rich gravy, flakes of fish, and savory shreds.

Check out DollarGeneral.com to find coupons and save on 9Lives® wet and dry cat food for your own feline family members! You’ll find great savings through 5/31/18, and there are so many varieties your cats won’t be able to resist. They also offer specially formulated dry food to meet the nutritional needs of cats in every stage of life. Plus Care helps support digestive health and a strong immune system for older cats like Edmund, while Daily Essentials provides nutrition to support heart health, vision, strong muscles, and healthy skin and coat for cats of all ages.

We love to support companies that give back in some way, and the 9lives spokescat Morris has visited countless schools to promote kindness to animals.  He also launched an initiative to save animals in need of homes.  Check out his Facebook page here.  These are causes our family can feel good about supporting every time we purchase 9lives products.  Our local Dollar General Store carries a great variety of 9Lives cat food, so I can always find all the wet and dry food types that both of our cats love.

We’ve only had Phil for a few months, but it’s hard to imagine life without him.  He’s not just another cat to us, he’s really become a treasured member of the family.  Now the reasons we had for not wanting to take on another pet seem trivial as we watch how much our kids love Phil and how much joy he adds to all our lives.  Just look how adorable he is!

If you’re considering adopting a pet (or like us, another pet) I can tell you it’s worth the trouble.  The little bit of extra work and cost it takes to have him is nothing compared to the joy, excitement, affection, and comfort that this little guy brings to our family.  Plus my son is pretty happy to have as many “brothers” as sisters now 🙂

Have you recently adopted a kitty of your own?  Tell us about it, or share a photo of your sweet new family member.  And don’t forget to go to DollarGeneral.com to find great savings on the 9lives wet and dry food your cat will love.

Keeping Children Healthy

As a parent, you worry about your child daily. It’s only natural that you want what’s best for them. The good news is that there are many ways to keep them happy and healthy.

Sufficient Amount of Sleep

Sleep is something that no human being can do without. When you don’t get enough sleep you simply aren’t you. You may feel tired, grumpy, disconnected and lose the ability to focus. Sleep is very important to children and because of this, they require more than adults. It helps with not only the development of the body allowing them to grow big and strong but also, with their mind. Making sure that they have a scheduled time for bed and a bedtime routine that lets them relax will ensure that they get the needed rest. Additionally, they need a comfortable place to lay their head and their body. Starting as early as a newborn with a baby mattress that provides support and comfort is essential.

Play an Important Role

One of the best ways to keep your child healthy is to be a large part of their life, their security blanket. When you have a good relationship with your children they tend to avoid getting mixed up with the trouble, like drugs and alcohol, at a young age. Eat meals together, plan small activities for the weekend and make an effort to ask daily how their day was. This showing of love, affection, and support will let your child know that they have a safe zone called home.

Protective Clothing and Gear

Children are notorious for getting colds and cuts and scrapes. A way to reduce the number they receive is to keep them protected. When the seasons change from fall to winter having a warm coat, a hat and gloves and insulated waterproof boots are beneficial. During the summer months wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen protect the skin from potentially harmful rays of sun that can cause sunburn or other irritations to the skin. Additionally, if your child enjoys riding their bike or performing tricks on their skateboard, make sure that they have the proper gear to protect their head and body from serious injuries.

Keep Them Active

With the age of technology in full bloom, many children are not getting a sufficient amount of exercise. They get preoccupied with playing games on their Xbox or their iPads. As a parent, it’s crucial to make time for fun physical activities that get their heart rate up and their body sweating. This will help them build strong muscles and bones as well as a healthy heart rate.

Healthy Indoor Environment

If your child seems to have frequent colds or allergy symptoms it may be that the indoor air quality is not good. Smoke, pet hair and dander, chemicals in everyday cleaners and dust mites are just a few pollutants that can cause health problems on children and the elderly. Luckily, there are several ways to improve it. Performing regular cleaning on room’s vents, changing out the furnace and air conditioning filters and vacuum, sweep and mop floors and carpets often. Additionally, if someone smokes in the home ask them to move their habit outdoors. When spring and fall arrive add instant freshness by opening the window to let the fresh air inside.

Monitor What They Do

Keeping children healthy isn’t just about their physical appearance. Mental health is just as important. Today, children have access to the world-wide-web and many of the things they can view with a simple click of a mouse are not kid-friendly. Another concern for many parents is social media. If something happens at school it instantly appears on sites like Twitter or Facebook. Unfortunately, children don’t realize how much their poking fun at another can cause mental anguish to the receiver. Monitoring your child’s activities and restricting their access to these sites can help to alleviate some of the pressures on today’s kids.

Keeping children healthy is a full-time job for parents. However, if you put systems in place like well-balanced meals, fun physical activities, a scheduled bedtime and engage in every part of their lives, you’ll do the best job that’s possible and gain peace of mind.

By Monique

OREO Mint Chocolate Candy Bars Giveaway at Walmart

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

Did you know that OREO has a special flavored candy bar made with crunchy bits of OREO + mint creme filling + rich Milka chocolate candy? YUM! These OREO Mint Chocolate Candy Bars have delicious bits of OREO Cookie mixed in smooth, mint flavored creme filling and are coated in European Milka chocolate candy. You will want to be sure to stop by Walmart and pick a few of these OREO Chocolate King Size Bars while they are on Rollback for only $1!

While you are in store at Walmart picking up your $1 Rollback OREO chocolate candy bars, be sure to look and see if your store has the demo going on for the 1 Million Sample giveaway. During Easter weekend* participating Walmart stores are giving away these bars while supplies last. *March 29 – April 1.

Check the demo locator below to see if your local Walmart is participating!

 

+Limited to one sample per customer.
++Limited supply available.
+++All times/events are subject to change.

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Dental Crown Fitted?

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Dental Crown Fitted?

There is no pain quite the same as that caused by your teeth. Whether you’ve cracked a tooth, developed an abscess or your tooth is simply eroding.

The fact is that you are likely to need a crown at some in your life. According to recent research there are 11 million newly decaying teeth every year!

A good dentist will fit a permanent dental crown; this may feel a little weird at first but it should last a lifetime. Of course you’ll need to care for it in the same way that you do your other teeth.

What It A Crown

In short a crown is a cap that is placed over your tooth. It is uniquely shaped to fit your mouth and match your current bite / tooth line.

It can be undertaken to restore the look of your tooth and its strength. You will usually have to visit the dentist twice to have the procedure completed.

The first step is to ensure your damaged tooth can support a crown. This means verifying the roots are strong enough. At this visit it is common for the dentist to file your tooth; ready for fitting the crown.

If you have a lot of damage to your tooth it is possible they will fill it before shaping it.

You then have a dental imprint undertaken to get the exact profile of your teeth.

The second appointment is after the lab has used your imprint to create the crown. The dentist will then use special adhesive to join the crown to your tooth. After a short period this should feel and behave like any other tooth in your mouth.

The Cost Of Your Crown

The average cost of a crown in Australia is between $1,000 and $2,000. This is not a cheap option!

Fortunately there are options that can make this affordable to you:

  • Finance

Most dental practices will offer a finance arrangement to allow you to have the dental work done but pay for it in a set number of installments. This can help to ease the burden when you really need a procedure completed.

It will not reduce the cost of your crown but it will make it affordable.

  • Insurance

The better alternative is to have dental insurance. There are a variety of companies which can offer you competitive dental insurance.

A good scheme would be one that offers you approximately 40% of the cost of your dental work while keeping your premiums for the year under $100.

You can pay more and get complete cover but this could be considered a waste of funds if you don’t need any treatment for several years on the trot.

40% of your $1,000 bill makes it a more attractive and affordable $600.

The real answer to how much does a dental crown cost is actually how much are you prepared to spend each month on dental insurance. The higher you premium the more complete your policy will be and the cheaper the crown; at the point of purchase.

There are also exemptions if you are a low earner; you’ll need to check with the health authority in your area.
By James

Things To Be Aware Of As a Homeowner In the South

 

Legalese Disclosure Nonsense: This post on Things To Be Aware Of As a Home Owner In the South is brought to you today by Terminix a great company for commercial pest control services as well as homeowner services in a wide range of areas including san antonio exterminator services. As always, all tips, tricks, and soggy neighborhoods are my own!

As you might remember, we purchased our very first home a few years ago. The experience was an eye-opening one, especially after years of apartment and condo renting. Thankfully, we were able to be alongside my in-laws for their most recent home purchase and were able to learn some valuable things from their experience before we signed the dotted line on a home of our own. Coming from Wyoming, I never would have thought about their being southern specific items to consider when being a homeowner. Maybe you never have, either, so today I’m running down my list of top things you need to be aware of as a homeowner in the south.

#1 Make Sure To Stay on Top of Pest Control

We actually learned this in North Carolina where I saw my very first cockroach *shudder*. When it comes to living in the south there are more creepy-crawly critters than you can shake a bluebonnet at. While most of these are harmless (like the ones above that Tyler gleefully collected #suchaboy ) others are not so nice. Keeping your home clean, all food secured, and on top of a normal pest control maintenance system is crucial to a happy, healthy home down south. Often checking for pests will be a part of the home inspection before you purchase, but in the South, bugs are just going to happen. Keeping a list handy of treatment for cockroaches, fire ants, and wolf spiders is essential.

#2 Pay Attention to Drainage

This is really more one that you should really know about *before* you purchase a home, but there are ways to help it after. When you’re not somewhere like Wyoming, like the south, it happens to rain, and when it rains, it tends to DUMP rain. While the ground is good at soaking it in, it does mean that if your neighborhood isn’t designed with a well thought out draining system, or you’re somewhere like the bottom of a hill, come fall & spring your yard is a swampy, soupy, muddy mess. This is one of those things that you wouldn’t think about when you’re house hunting unless you’ve dealt with the problem of a soupy, muddy, flooded yard.

#3 Home Warranty Insurance is Worth It

When you’re shelling out for a mortgage and utilities, and everything else life throws at you it’s tempting to skimp where you can. Home warranty insurance covers things that typical Homeowners insurance doesn’t–usually your appliances, air conditioner, etc. In the south, having the ability to call up a repairman when your AC goes out in July and have them out within in a few hours and only paying $60 out of pocket is worth its weight in gold. It’s up to your budgeting style if it works better to put money into an emergency fund each month to cover these homeowner associated costs, or if it might be worth it to pay the money to have it taken care of when things come up.

These are just a few things to consider whether you’re a first time home buyer or have been in your home for awhile! Do you have any southern living tips and tricks? Leave them in the comments!

Why You Need to Think About Summer Camps Now

It’s spring break this week here in Texas and it just hit me that means that we only have a few months left of school! (Woo hoo!) With that revelation, it also hit me that it’s time to start planning for summer vacation & summer camps. After all, it was *just* Christmas, (right?!) so that means that it will be here before I get a chance to catch my breath.

This spring we’re doing the exactly the same thing as last year and opting out of sports for now (missed my mentality behind that? Go read Why It’s Better to Do Sports in The Summer (even in Texas).

You might remember that Amber did British Soccer Camp last summer and she absolutely loved it! It’s no surprise since British Soccer Camps are the most popular soccer camp in the US. This year I can’t wait to have her and Tyler enjoy it again thanks to the folks over at USFamilyGuide. Thanks to them, I also get to share a great offer with all of you, too! Here’s the scoop:

REGISTER FOR CAMP & GET A JERSEY, BALL, T-SHIRT & NEW SKILLS APP AND 20 FREE VIDEOS!
Enroll in the most popular soccer camp in North America! British Soccer Camps have programs for all ages and abilities and feature an innovative curriculum full of skills, drills, and thrills! Register now and you will not only get your free British Soccer game jersey (value $34.95) shipped to you for free immediately, but you will also get our brand new skill development App and 20 videos to help your child practice at home. Your soccer ball, T-shirt & poster will be given out at camp. USE CODE BSC18 at check out to get free shipping.
Click Here To Enroll

 

Easy Ways To Fill Your Holiday With Warmth & Joy

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #LayerOnLove #CollectiveBias

Easy WAys to Fill Your Holiday With Warmth & Joy Ad

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!!!

Right???

While this month *should* be filled with warmth and joy, it can easily spiral into stress, discontent, and exhaustion. So today’s post is all about taking just a few moments to re-align your focus onto what really matters. This includes making sure that your family is filling your month with that warmth and joy that truly bring the most wonderful time of the year.

As we get started we’re going to focus on the word Easy. For so many people work this month is at its all time busiest thanks to retail, marketing, and year-end scrambles. After you clock out don’t forget to throw in the programs, the purchases, parties, traditions, expectations, travel, doing good, a sickness or two, (are you getting exhausted just reading that list???)

Well, the last thing I want to do is make you feel like you need to add one-more-thing to your schedule. Also, quite honestly, the fact is that adding warmth and joy is often found in embracing things the easy way!

So now that you can take a deep breath and let it out, here are my best ideas!

Coca-Cola One Warm Coat Ad

Start a new holiday tradition of giving back

This is the best time of year to focus on what we’ve been blessed with, and to pour that blessing out towards others. However, even giving back can quickly become all too easy to get overwhelmed with. On top of everything else that is going on, doing good can become something that’s another complicated, expensive “to-do” list item. Which means that it’s no longer about helping others, it’s about getting unhappy and stressed.

This year I’d love to share an amazing option to give back in a way that is meaningful, affordable, AND easy! Last year Coca-Cola worked with One Warm Coat to provide a layer of love for over half a million people in need. This year, they’re doing it again and want to make it easier for you to get involved.

So what is One Warm Coat? For most of us, when the temperatures drop too low for short sleeves and sweatshirts, we solve the problem by tossing on our heavy jackets. But for the nearly 15% of Americans living in poverty, a winter coat is something “extra” that isn’t in the budget.

Growing up in Wyoming with the brutally cold winters, I cannot imagine anyone going without a heavy winter coat. I was very surprised, however, when we moved to the south at what a necessity having one still is! During the winter months, the weather fluctuates wildly, and the added humidity makes it feel like those lows cut right through to your bones without a warm coat.

One Warm Coat’s mission is to provide anyone in need with a warm coat free of charge. They are doing all they can to make sure that this necessity is no longer something those in need have to try to make due without! This year there are two amazing and easy ways that you can help Coca-Cola at Walmart’s “Layer On Love” program!

The first brings joy to you and others! Because, after all, holiday surprises don’t always come in big boxes with bows.

By purchasing Coca-Cola™ products at Walmart during your holiday shopping trips you help support the company that supports this amazing cause and program!

I picked up Coca-Cola™ Classic. It’s a treat that I always love to enjoy during the holiday season, and knowing I’m helping do good just makes it that much sweeter!

You don’t have to stop there, though! There’s another easy way to give even more warmth and joy. Coca-Cola at Coca-Cola at Walmart is already getting the snowball rolling by helping to donate 500,000 coats, but you can help them to donate even more! You don’t even have to leave your house, just follow these simple steps!

Text “LOVE” to 501501 to donate $5 to One Warm Coat

With just a few moments of your time you can help donate to this awesome cause. It really doesn’t get much easier than that! I’m always amazed at how much joy giving back brings my entire family. It is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season the right way and really does add such warmth to our lives!

Another way to add joy and warmth to the holiday season is by creating and celebrating yearly traditions. In this social media age, it’s so fun to find out what other family’s traditions are, and get inspired by new recipes and ideas that can add even more fun to your holiday.

Now here comes the however…(are you sensing the theme of this post yet?!) While so many of these things are good and amazing, at a certain point having too many takes away the joy.  It can be so easy to get caught up in feeling like you HAVE to do ______  to make the season magical. Because if you don’t it’s going to be an epic #momfail, right?! After all, *everyone* else is doing it for their families.  So you shoot for the stars and do all-the-things. So what happens when you’re worn to a frazzle and all your time, money, and efforts meet with a lukewarm response from your over-booked-and-over-holidayed family? Well that, my friends, is the recipe for how NOT to have a holiday filled with warmth and joy. That’s why my next big point is to:

Only Do Traditions You All Love

This year take a deep breath, step back, and take a quick look at your current tradition list. It might even help to jot them all down quickly. Once you have, as you look over each one pay attention to your initial gut reaction. Does it make you excited? happy? eager? Does it put that merry little twinkle in your eye just thinking of how your family is going to respond? Or does it fill you with an overwhelming or exhausted feeling just looking at it?

I now give you permission to cross out each item that fills you with those negative feelings. Pow-wow with your family after you’ve done your initial list to get their feedback on what they’re most excited about this year. Is one of the crossed off items on your list one that your family does love even though you don’t? There’s probably a way to tweak it so that it’s simpler or less expensive. Just by talking you might be surprised at what they have the best memories of, and what things no one really enjoys.

Soon you’ll have a manageable list of easy traditions that everyone can love and appreciate. Also, scaling back also gives you a schedule that is not so overfilled so you have time to anticipate and savor them!

There you go! I promised it would be easy! Add these steps and actions into your holiday this year to help make a real difference, and to fill your lives with warmth and joy!

Don’t forget to help Coca-Cola™ at Walmart’s “Layer On Love” program by picking up your favorite Coca-Cola drink for all your holiday occasions!

Make giving back easy this year when you Text “LOVE” to 501501 to donate $5 to One Warm Coat!