Saturday, April 12, 2014

Developing Positive Habits in My Life #QuakerUp

Through out this campaign with Quaker Oats, I've explored different tips, products, and techniques to create a happier version of me. From being more active to trying new recipes, I've really developed some great, long lasting, and habits during this campaign with Quaker. Their wholesome, tasty, and affordable products are a staple in my household (as you can see above), and I think they help me stay motivated and focused on my journey.

My favorite products would have to be the Quaker Real Medleys Bars, Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats, and Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal. The bars are perfect on the go, and I literally have them stashed all over my home and office at work (and even on my vanity area in my master bedroom in case I need a late night snack while watching TV!)

Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats are extremely versatile—they can be used for oatmeal, baking, or other snack recipes (like creating honey oat clusters to top salads or Greek yogurt). I always have oats in my baking pantry because they instantly add texture and flavor to almost any dessert dish.

At work I sometimes don't have time to leave the office for hours and hours, so I love snacks and meals that I can whip up in no time. Quaker Real Medleys Oatmeal+ comes together in just a few minutes, and it is essentially comfort in a cup. It's warm, sweet, creamy, and so satisfying at any time of the day—not just for breakfast.

Being a part of this campaign has really helped me feel empowered to make better changes and choices in my lifestyle. This series of changes helps me reach a variety of my goals such as eating out less, saving money, and being more active. Naturally, Quaker's products help support my endeavors and I also know that their delicious products are enjoyed by other members of my family (even Pee Wee who adores licking the oatmeal bowls).

No matter what your lifestyle goals are, I encourage you to try some of Quaker's tasty products whether it is for your next family game night or your next cookie exchange. I also hope you'll stay tuned to my blog for more updates about my journey to reach my goals—there's definitely more to come!

No matter what your lifestyle, Quaker has the right product for you – from breakfast to snacks to hot cereal and bars – life can get crazy, but you can get Quaker. For recipes, product information, and so much more, visit quakeroats.com! Comment below for a chance to win $100. Official Sweepstakes Rules

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Quaker. The opinions and text are all mine.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Boosting Curb Appeal via Landscaping

We bought our house in October 2010 and have slowly revamped the interior to our taste. It's more modern, sleek, and I absolutely love it. Unfortunately, this means that we've totally neglected the outside of the house for nearly 4 years. Curb appeal is important whether you're house is on the market or not, and it's the first impression that people get of your home when they visit. Our first impression needs some improvement.

Now that spring is here (yay!), Daniel and I are going to invest some time and energy into creating a mulch area for some shrubs/hedges. The previous owners didn't leave us with much to work with other than some random weeds, trees, and lots of rocks.

This tree covers up a bulk of the front of the house, plus it's surrounded by random weeds that weave through the rocks. There's also that weird plant over by the porch that adds absolutely nothing to the landscaping.

Over the next few weeks we're going to totally gut this area and rid of the weeds using Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer. What I love about this product is that it's affordable (plus they have coupons on their Facebook site), only kills plants/weeds that you spray the product on (it's not absorbed into the soil therefore it won't kill nearby plants), and you can get results in as little as three hours. Ultimately, Spectracide products seem straightforward and perfect for those of us who like to DIY projects around the house.

I've scoured Pinterest for ideas, and I've started a new Outdoor Curb Appeal board that you can follow. I'll be pinning inspiration photos as well as any helpful tools or hints I find during the process. Here's my favorite inspiration photo so far:

I love how green, lush, and simple the landscaping is. While I love flowers, I cannot commit to high maintenance landscaping, so I really think timeless simplicity is my mantra.

I hope you'll stay tuned to see our progress. We consider ourselves weekend warriors (RAWR!), but outdoor landscaping is totally new to us. If you have tips or suggestions, please do share. Hopefully some elbow grease and dirty fingernails will help add some much needed pizzazz to our home.

To all of my yard warriors, whether you are after a total yard overhaul or just want to keep your yard looking its best, visit the Spectracide Facebook page for tips and savings to get started.  

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Spectracide. The opinions and text are all mine.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Home Made Simple TV: Must See TV

Ok, so you all know that I have a total weak spot for DIY home and garden type shows. I will not think twice about wasting an entire day, Christmas vacation, or weekend binge watching these shows. They're full of ideas, inspiration, and just general eye candy for the home. However, some of the shows I have been known to watch are a little too extravagant, so I mostly watch to lust over the rooms.

Imagine my surprise when I came across Home Made Simple TV on the OWN network. I DVR'd an episode that aired last Saturday (April 5), and it was my first time tuning in…but totally not my last. Home Made Simple TV fills a void in the home and garden DIY/makeover genre that has been empty since Trading Spaces went off the air. However, Home Made Simple TV seems to deliver design that is both accessible and affordable while not being OVERLY trendy like Trading Spaces used to be.

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The episode I watched was titled "All-Star Hangout Space", and other than providing me inspiration for a few projects I'm in the midst of, it was really touching to see a family want to do something for dad. Usually it's all about mom (and moms rock!), but it was nice to see a dad centric episode that wasn't a total man cave. Soleil Moon Frye is the host, and she adds a positive, uplifting vibe to the whole show without being irritating.

My favorite things about the episode/makeover were the gorgeous gray/taupe wall color they chose, the easy projects they featured that are manageable for most anyone regardless of skill level, and how they made the TV the focal point of the living room by moving it over the fireplace. I've been trying to convince the hubby that we should do that, so it's kind of nice to have some proof. (hint, hint!) They take it up a notch by making it a TV that can be hidden via a piece of art. Now that's swanky.

But, the BEST part of the episode is the AMAZING shimmer wall they made that I want to replicate all over the place. You can view the instructions here.

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Isn't that gorgeous?! It's definitely sort of like those super luxe metallic high end tiles that I drool over, but without all the money and tile work. Totally have to do this in my foyer revamp, let me tell ya.

If you're like me and cannot get enough DIY makeover ideas, then add this show to your TV viewing schedule or DVR. Home Made Simple TV airs on Saturdays at 9 am EST/ 8 am CST on the OWN network. You can also keep up with them on Twitter via an upcoming Twitter chat (which are SO much fun, y'all, like seriously!) on Thursday, 4/17 from 8-9 pm EST. I'll probably chime in and tweet along!

What are your favorite DIY makeover shows on TV? Will you check out Home Made Simple TV?

Home Made Simple is my new Saturday morning routine and design destination! Be sure to tune in on Saturday mornings at 9am/8c, only on OWN. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Home Made Simple TV. The opinions and text are all mine.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Travel Tips for Staying on Track #QuakerUp

Challenges are a part of everyday life, and thanks to Quaker Oats and the yummy products they've provided me to try, I've been able to conquer some challenges in 2014. Recently I went out of town to New Orleans for a work conference. Traveling is always hard on me because it's challenging to stay on track in regards to food. There's the tasty and abundant conference food, plus being away from home means I have to eat out. However, I've got a few tricks and tips that help me stay goal oriented and on track when I travel.

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-Anytime I travel, I always take a pair of chic sunglasses, blingy jewelry, techie stuff, and my fave lipstick with me. They're my travel essentials. Nowadays, I also add delicious and wholesome snacks like Quaker Real Medleys Bars to my travel bag. They're perfect for when you're on the go. Personally, I eat every few hours, so this is an great snack option for me. It's chewy, delicious, and hits the spot!

-Want to tour the city you're visiting? Use your feet! Sure there are plenty of tours where you sit on a bus and drive around, but when you're traveling try to find a walking tour. Sometimes they're free, and you get extra activity in your day. A good source for walking tours can usually be found on review sites/Google. If you can't find a walking tour, try walking a few blocks around your hotel. You'll probably find some hidden local hot spots that you might not discover via a bus/taxi. Most smartphones have apps that can help you discover places within a 1/4 mile area!

-Half your meals: traveling adventures usually lead to exciting and new culinary treats. Rather than abstaining from every single tasty dish, simply split it in half. You won't feel deprived, and if you have a microwave in your hotel room this strategy could save you money. Or if you're traveling with a friend or special someone, see if they would split an entrée with you.

Those are my top three strategies for staying on track when I travel. The Quaker Real Medleys Bars are my go to individually wrapped snack lately. And as you can see below, these bars have lots of tasty ingredients like fruit and oats.

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So whether you're traveling near or far, Quaker Real Medleys Bars are perfect for your entire family. My husband loves these bars as much as I do!

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Quaker Real Medleys Bars are made with real fruit, real nuts and multi-grains. These bars will give you the fuel you want to take on whatever challenges the day may bring. To learn more about Quaker Real Medleys Bars and other delicious Quaker products, visit quakeroats.com! Comment below for a chance to win $100. Official Sweepstakes Rules

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Quaker. The opinions and text are all mine.

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