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Get ready for spring with flirty florals and holiday decor

 

Spring! It’s FINALLY here, although you wouldn’t know it because right now it’s cold and dreary outside. That’s OK. I know that sunny skies and warmer temperatures are going to be here soon.

I’ve been ready for spring for weeks now. I have been slowly replacing items in my wardrobe with warmer weather items. I’ve packed away my boots, sweatpants and heavy coat. I more clothes around in my closet so current seasonal clothing is in the front (easier to access) and out of season clothing and accessories are in the back of the closet.

I have also been adding some spring-like decor around our home so that we can get into the warmer weather mindset. No more snowmen. Instead I have out my Easter bunnies and artificial (but very realistic looking) floral arrangements.

I LOVE! LOVE! LOVE shopping for seasonal decor at T.J. Maxx. It’s my “go-to” destination for decorations, accessories and more.

I haven’t had a chance to swing by my local T.J. Maxx yet, but last year I pick up some adorable Easter decorations for our home.

Are they not the cutest bunnies? I love them!

I’m excited to see what other goodies T.J. Maxx has for Spring/Easter this year. I was hoping to stop by this weekend but I’ve been “under the weather” for a while now and I haven’t been able to get out much except to go into work.

What I love about T.J. Maxx is that every time I visit they always have new items available. There is always something new to discover.

A word to the wise – if you see something you love don’t wait to buy it. It might not be available the next time you go.

T.J. Maxx doesn’t just have Easter decorations. They also have lovely decor for the spring as well as every day (non-seasonal) items, accessories and decor.

If you are looking to jazz up your spring wardrobe too, look no further than T.J. Maxx. T.J. Maxx is literally your “one stop shop” for home accessories, clothing, shoes, handbags and so much more.

I have been trying to lose weight. I have lost about 40+ pounds the past few months. I am about 34 pounds away from what I was when I got married. Yeah me!

My “goal” is to at least fit into something that doesn’t contain a lot of “X’s” in it (meaning no XXL, XXXL and so forth). I’ll even settle for just one “X” (XL), but ideally no X’s.

I have been hesitant to buy a new wardrobe because I am still trying to lose weight. Once I get to a comfortable place (I have a target weight in mind) I’ll donate my bigger clothes and shop for a new wardrobe. For the time being I am just buying a new article of clothing here and there when I need it.

When I do finally need to replace my wardrobe I am heading over to T.J. Maxx. There I can find fashionable, trendy clothing at great prices.

They even carry designer labels.

My daughter loves to come with me to T.J. Maxx so she can oogle over the designer bags. She’s a “bag-o-holic.” She can’t have enough bags. LOL!

To find a TJ Maxx location near you visit TJMaxx.com. You can also check out T.J. Maxx on social media.

Do you shop at TJ Maxx? Do you like to switch up your home’s decor to reflect the seasons? Are you looking to jazz up your spring wardrobe?

Kimberly

“I received a gift card in exchange for my participation. There was no other compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Fashion Goals – Century 21

 

Me at my “goal weight” (around 175)

I have been overweight all my life. I have tired just about everything to lose weight – Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, Optifast, hypnosis, cabbage soup, pills, bing/purging, staving myself, exercising like a crazy person… nothing worked. I’d lose weight but the moment I stopped I’d gain the weight back – and more. I even had weight loss surgery (Roux-En-Y Gastric Bypass) back in 1991. At that point I was 364 pounds. Seeing as how I’m only 5’3″, that was A LOT of weight.

After surgery I dropped down to 178 pounds. I was happy at that weight. I looked and felt great. I was even able to wear clothing that didn’t include a lot of X’s (XXL, XXXL, XXXXL…). I was able to wear a large. I was able to shop in regular clothing stores.

My weight eventually ballooned to the 270-280 range, eventually settling in the 250-260 range.

Fast forward to today. For some odd reason I have been losing weight without really trying. I do make a conscious effort to watch what I eat and drink. My husband also thinks it’s because I run around a lot at work. Whatever the reason is, I am happy that I have been able to drop some weight. Currently I am about 34 pounds more than what I was when we got married. I actually was able to fit into the dress I wore at our wedding. That was a great feeling.

(Left) Me about 3 years ago. (Right) Me recently. You can see in my face that I’ve lost weight (I don’t have a body shot of me currently).

My overall goal is to get down to 178 again (maybe 175). I’ll be over-the-moon if I can drop below 200 pounds. I have been over 200 pounds for the past 20 years.

With weight loss comes loose clothing. Recently I purchased a lot of clothing from an online shop that specializes in plus size clothing. I purchased the size I normally do, 3X. I did order a few 2X. I even accidentally purchased a size 1X top. I was SHOCKED when I tried on all the clothes and they were ALL too big on me – except the top that was 1X. Now I have to return all that clothing. That is a GREAT thing!

Things I’ve love to be able to wear some day soon.

Plus size clothing is so expensive. I am anxiously waiting for the time where I can walk into any store and purchase clothing and not have to shop at specialty stores or in special sections. I can’t wait to pay for AFFORDABLE clothing instead of over priced plus size clothing.

My goal is to shop at one of my daughter’s favorite stores – Century 21. Not to be confused with the Real Estate company. I thought my daughter was nuts when she said she wanted to look for a Century 21 store in New York City once when we went to visit.

Century 21 (or C21) is a department store that not only carries trendy and affordable clothing, but they also carry home goods, tech products, shoes, handbags, beauty products and more. They also carry products for men and children.

My daughter and one of her friends made a trip to the city once to specifically shop at Century 21 and she came back with a lot of great clothing that didn’t “break the bank.” When I checked them out online I saw that they do carry clothing for larger size women including large, extra large and XXL.

Not only do they carry trendy, stylish fashions, but they also carry designer labels like Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Betsy Johnson, Givenchy, Michael Kors, Jessica Simpson and Ugg, to name a few.

My “game plan” is to set aside a few dollars here and there. When I get under 200 pounds I am going to donate all my larger size clothing and take my daughter to New York City and shop at Century 21 for a new wardrobe. I’ve never been able to wear (or afford) designer labels, so it will be a lot of fun to FINALLY have the opportunity to do so. Talk about a fun day out.

I want to donate my larger clothing to force me NOT to put weight on again. Besides, once I see how lovely I look in beautiful clothing, and feeling better about myself and the way I look, I hope that will inspire me not to put weight on again.

My daughter is already anxious about going. She has been setting aside money too. She asks me almost every day if I have got under 200 pounds yet. Not yet… but hopefully in the next few months.

Century 21 has stores in the New York City/Tri-State area, and a location in Sunrise Florida (not far from Miami). It’s OK if you don’t live near a Century 21 store. You can shop online at www.C21Stores.com. They even ship internationally.

The brand is also available on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website.

Have you ever shopped at a Century 21 store?

Do you think you’ll check the store out (online or a retail location)?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with C21 to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Time for a change? Check out what’s new from VITA Good Life

 

How often do you switch things up around your home? Are you someone who hasn’t painted a wall or purchased new curtains in ages, or are you someone like me who likes to changes things up every couple of years?

Maybe its the Gemini in me, but I get bored with thing quickly – including home decor, wall colors and furniture. Needless to say my husband is not too keen on indulging my whims by repainting rooms. Thankfully I haven’t had the urge to repaint a room in a long time – except the bathroom. We bough paint for the bathroom going on four years now and he has yet to paint it.

We live in a teeny, tiny condo. There is only so much space to do things. Adding and/or replacing furniture is not that easy to do, so I usually focus on home decor items (lamps, decorations, throw pillows…) rather than furniture. Trust me, if replacing furniture was that easy I’d have a new desk by now.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to make changes in your home. Even the slightest things like rearranging furniture placement or adding a colorful throw rug can really make a difference.

I tend to go for colorful things. I think color makes things happier and more “people friendly.”

When was the last time you replaced your bedding? Not even for aesthetics, it’s probably a good idea to replace your bedding every few years to keep it looking good. Time and use can wear away at the fabrics making them look dull and gross. Plus age and use can make things less soft.

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My husband and I are forced to sleep on a sofa bed in the living room. We don’t have enough bedrooms so we made the sacrifice to give up our room.

I won’t even begin to tell you how uncomfortable sleeping on a sofa bed for the past 15+ years has been. Not only that, sofa beds are no pretty to look at. That is unless you add some colorful and comfortable bedding.

Bedding can’t help with the thin mattress and that darn bar that digs into your back at night – but it can make looking at an ugly sofa bed better.

We swapped out our old bedding for the Alegria 7 piece Comforter Set by VITA Good Life. VITA Good Life is a new brand that recently launched.

Rios Clementi Hale Studios, the Los Angeles based award-winning multidisciplinary design firm, has just launched VITA Good Life – a brand born to spread happiness, with designs that celebrate the power of bold colors, patterns, and creativity.

“We created VITA to celebrate the multi-cultural fabric that makes up our native Los Angeles,” shares Mark Rios, Founding Partner, Rios Clementi Hale Studios.

The line has launched with 6 affordable bedding designs; 3 comforter sets and 3 quilts sets. The comforter sets include 7-pieces – 1 comforter, 2 shams, 3 decorative pillows, and 1 bed skirt. The quilt sets include 3-pieces – 1 quilt and 2 shams. The comforters and the quilts are both reversible and feature bold patterns in vivid hues inspired by the lush flora of the tropics, the seductive colors of the Mediterranean, and the vibrant spirit of Los Angeles.

“Our exciting new VITA fashion bedding line was introduced to several key retailers at the recent New York Home Fashions Market. They universally embraced the concept enthusiastically and noted it’s fresh universal appeal. We expect to have strong distribution across major market regions for Spring 2017 and an expanded offering available for the Fall season,” adds Bob Moran, EVP Sales & Merchandising, Inovatex.

The Alegria Comforter set that we have was inspired by classic Latin art and architecture. The set includes decorative pillows that add bursts of color and texture to complete the look.

I love this set! Not only is the comforter super soft and snuggly, but it’s also kept it’s shape very well. In the past we’ve had comforters that end up going flat after you wash them and use them a while. So far, so good with this comforter. It’s just as wonderful as it was the first day we used it.

I LOVE the colors and patterns in this set too. It’s very cheery. I love colorful things.

The throw pillow are awesome. When not in use we put them on our couch to add a pop of color. Our couch is navy blue, so it really needed the pop of color that it gets from this set.

It’s hard to tell from the photos but the small rectangular pillow has tassels on all four corners.

For some reason the round pillow is my family’s favorite. Someone is usually lying their head on it or snuggling with it.

Because this set is so colorful I don’t see why it couldn’t work in just about any bedroom. This set is good for adults as well as children and teens. I think it appeals to all age groups.

VITA Good Life comforter sets are available in Twin, Full/Queen, King, and Cal King sizes. Retail prices range from $59.99-$79.99.

Here are some other lovely comforter and quilt sets from VITA Good Life.

You can check out 3 piece quilt sets here, and the 7 piece comforter sets here.

For more information you can visit the official website, www.VitaGoodLife.com.

You can purchase the products directly from their website. You can also find VITA Good Life products at Walmart.com.

Be sure to check out VITA Good Life on Instagram too.

What do you think of the VITA Good Life sets? Do they look like something you would like to see on your bed?

How do you change up the look of a room in your home?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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The incredible Lemon

 

Are you a fan of lemons? I know that not many people are because lemons are extremely sour.

When our son was little he would eat lemon slices. The sour and bitter taste didn’t bother him one bit. I guess that is why he can tolerate extremely sour candies. Blah! I can’t eat those things.

I like lemons when they are incorporated into recipes. I also prefer lemon juice in my tea instead of milk, cream, sugar or honey. A dash of lemon in my hot (or cold) cup of tea is very refreshing.

Did you know that lemons are good for you? Lemon juice, and even the skin, has health benefits that you shouldn’t overlook, even if you are not a lemon fan.

Lemons are low in fat and calories, as are most fruits.

Lemons provide you with important vitamins and minerals like Folate, Niacin, Riboflavin, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitaamin E, Vitamin K, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc. Lemons don’t provide you with huge amounts of some of these vitamins and minerals (you’d have to eat a lot of lemons), but lemons are a tasty way to get these important vitamins and minerals into your body.

Lemons do contain more potassium than grapes are apples. Potassium is important for heart health.

My lemon squeezer

Lemons are part of the citrus family and are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for a healthy immune system.

There are plenty of other health benefits associated with eating lemons (or drinking their juice). Some have some scientific basis, where as others are unfounded but many people to be true. Here are just a few examples.

  • Lemons can help restore balance to the body’s pH level.
  • Lemon juice added to a large glass of water in the morning is a great liver detoxifier.
  • Lemons have powerful antibacterial properties and can help destroy bacteria that causes such diseases as malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases.
  • The citric acid in lemon juice can help to dissolve gallstones, calcium deposits, and kidney stones.
  • Lemon can aid in digestion and help to regulate your bowels.
  • Lemon juice can help boost your metabolism.

These are just a few benefits to consuming lemons or lemon juice. Like I mentioned before, come claims do have science to back them up. Others are things that people say and believe to be true. Regardless, I enjoy lemons – in my tea, a glass of water and in recipes.

I use a lot of lemon juice throughout the week (mostly in my tea). I used to buy those little lemon shaped squeeze bottles but I found that I went through them too quickly. Juicing fresh lemons is too time consuming and messy. I only use real lemons if a recipe calls for it.

I like Santa Cruz Organic 100% Lemon Juice because it not only comes in a nice sized bottle (which means I won’t run out of it so quickly), but it’s also organic. My family and I have been slowly transitioning to more organic products. Our daughter is way ahead of us in that aspect (she will only eat organic foods).

You can enjoy Santa Cruz Organic 100% Lemon Juice to create mouth watering marinades, zesty salad dressings, cakes, pies and of course beverages like ice tea and lemonade. Lemon juice is very versatile. You can even clean with lemon juice. I use a little bit of lemon juice in a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for a minute and let the lemon scented steam clean, deodorize and refresh our microwave.

When I was a teenager (a million years ago) I would use lemon juice to add highlights to my hair. It does work but I don’t recommend it. It’s messy, sticky and not exactly good on your hair.

You can even freshen up your home with a bowl of lemons. They are nature’s air fresheners.

If you are unfamiliar with the Santa Cruz Organic brand, here is some additional information.

As a pioneer organic brand, Santa Cruz Organic® was the first to have a wide range of organic, 100 percent juices and blends and the first juice processor to use all organic fruit sourced from growers certified by an independent, third-party certification organization.  With a history of developing innovative products, Santa Cruz Organic currently offers more than 60 organic items ranging from organic fruit juices and lemonades to organic fruit sauces, chocolate syrups, peanut butters and fruit spreads.

All Santa Cruz Organic products are Certified USDA Organic Non-GMO Project® Verified.

You might have seen their products in the organic section of your local grocery store.

If you are into lemons, and enjoy lemon juice, you should pick up a bottle or two of Santa Cruz Organic 100% Lemon Juice. It’s great to keep on hand since lemon juice has so many wonderful benefits and uses.

If you are interested in learning more about Santa Cruz Organic, you can visit their official website, www.SantaCruzOrganic.com for more information. The brand can also be found on social media.

Are you a fan of lemons? What is your favorite way to enjoy lemons/lemon juice? Have you noticed any health benefits from consuming lemons/lemon juice? Feel free to share your thought. I always love to hear from readers.

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Santa Cruz Organics to bring you this information. I received free product samples and compensation. The opinions expressed are my own (unless otherwise noted) and not influenced in any way.

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Check out the new Softsoap Hand Wash Plus Lotion

 

Our daughter not exactly enjoying winter.

There are many reasons why some people dread the winter months – snow, shoveling snow, driving in snow, frigid temperatures and the spread of colds and the flu are just a few reasons. For me, I can’t stay how the indoor air dries out my skin. That is the worst!

My hands get especially dry in the winter, so much so that they split open and bleed. Ouch!

I work with young children, so I wash my hands many time per day when I am at work. Washing your hand often can also cause your skin to get dry. I try to apply lotion a much as possible, but I don’t often have the time.

I have no control over the hand soap at school where I work. I have to use what is provided to me. When I’m at home I prefer to use soap that has some kind of a lotion aspect to it, to provide my skin with the extra lotion and moisturizing that it needs.

Soft Soap recently sent me some products from their newest product line, Softsoap Hand Wash Plus Lotion. Their new unique formula is made with a touch of lotion to lock in moisture and leave your hands feeling clean and soft. This is exactly the type of soap that I need in my home to help keep my hands moisturized and prevent them from getting so dry that they split and crack.

Soft Soap sent me three bottles of their new hand soap. It’s available in three lovely scents – Orchid and Coconut Milk, Aloe Water and Lime, and Shea and Coconut Butter.

I enjoy using scented products. I found these three products to smell very nice. Shea & Coconut Butter reminded me of spring time. It has as clean, fresh scent. It does have a touch of coconut scent to it, but not too strong. The Aloe Water & Lime also had a clean, fresh, spring-like scent to it. My favorite scent of the three is the Orchid & Coconut Milk. It has a more floral scent than the other two. It’s also clean, fresh and spring-like, but this scent stood out to me the most. The scent even lingers on your skin for a little bit after you use the soap.

I placed one bottle in the bathroom and another in the kitchen (the third bottle I am saving for when one of the other two runs out).

We’ve been using the soap for a couple of weeks now and I have to say that I do notice a difference. From the first time I used it I could feel that it has a soothing effect on the skin. My hands don’t feel dry and tight after I use it (like they do with the soap at work). They feel like I washed my hands and applied lotion to them, but I did it all in one step (simply washing my hands).

A little goes a long way with this soap. One pump is all you need. My kids are used to using multiple pumps with other soaps that we’ve used in the past. I have to keep reminding them to use one pump, otherwise we’ll finish up a bottle in a day or two.

When you wash your hands with Softsoap Hand Wash Plus Lotion you’ll notice that the soap doesn’t lather like other soaps. It has a more creamy texture and appearance to it. I have yet to see any soap bubbles come from it. I think that has to do with the lotion that is added in with it.

So far I am very impressed by the Softsoap Hand Wash Plus Lotion. I will definitely be purchasing this again once the bottles I received to review run out. You can find it where ever liquid hand soaps are sold. I would also purchase this year round and not only in the dry, winter months. I enjoy the fragrances and I like how my hands feel after I use it.

If you would like more information about Softsoap Hand Wash Plus Lotion and other Soft Soap products, visit SoftSoap.com.

Have you had the opportunity to try out the new Softsoap Hand Wash Plus Lotion yet? Which fragrance sounds most appealing to you?

Kimberly

*I was sent free samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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AnySharp Pro – A “must have” for any kitchen

 

I will be the first to admit that I’ll will look for a bargain before spending a lot of money on certain household items. When you live paycheck to paycheck like most people, it’s not always easy to splurge on high priced items.

Sometimes the less expensive products are just as good as their brand name counterparts. Other times “you get what you pay for,” and when you buy cheap – you get a cheap product.

When my husband and I first got married we purchased a knife set for our kitchen. We thought the knives we purchase were sufficient enough. We quickly found out that buying inexpensive knives was not a smart move. They barely lasted us a year. They were not sharp enough, and twice the metal part came out of the plastic handles.

We have since acquired high quality knives. What a difference they made. Now cutting fruit, vegetables, meats and baked goods is a breeze.

When you have quality knives, you need to take good care of them. One thing you most defiantly need is a knife sharpener.

We had a knife sharpener. I won’t mention the brand, but it works very well. We’ve never had an issue with it. We even use it to sharpen scissors. The only problem with it is that it took up a lot of space in the drawer. It even took up space in the cabinet.

We also had one of those long, metal one that you rub the knife against, but it made me too nervous to use. I was afraid I was going to cut myself when I used it.

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We live in a teeny, tiny condo. We often refer to our condo as a “shoe box” because there are times we truly feel like we live in one. Space it literally at a “premium” in our home, so we don’t have room for too much stuff. Especially stuff we only have a need for a few times per year.

Recently I was sent to review a kitchen product called AnySharp Pro.

AnySharp Pro can take any knife – including ones with serrated edges – and get it razor sharp in just a few seconds. The best part is that it’s very small and takes up hardly any space at all. It’s about the size of a traditional kitchen timer. It’s so small that I have no issue finding a “home” for it in our tiny kitchen (it’s currently in the drawer with our eating utensils). AnySharp Pro is also lightweight and very portable.

AnySharp Pro has a suction cup on the base to keep it snug and secure while you are using it. To use, simply swipe your knife’s blade through the groove on the AnySharp Pro. I usually go back and forth 1-2 times and the result is a super sharp knife. You don’t even have to apply any real pressure. Only a light pressure is needed to sharpen your knife with AnySharp Pro.

AnySharp Pro is also available in nine different colors to match any kitchen decor including Pink Cream, Pistachio, Almond Cream, Royal Red, British Racing Green, Royal Blue, Orange Zest, Citrus Lime, and Metal. I have Orange Zest.

I like that I am able to keep our valuable knives sharp, from our inexpensive knives to our super expensive ones. AnySharp Pro works on almost all knifes.

For more information visit AnySharp.com. You can also check out the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

AnySharp is sold at several retails including Amazon.

Do you have a quality knife sharpener for your knives? When was the last time you sharpened your knives?

Kimberly

*I received a free product to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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