Lesley Ann is a stay-at-home mom and started couponing when her son was one. She considers herself a “realistic couponer, ” although she does enjoy the occassional freebie! Lesley Ann uses her couponing savings to try and justify her home
Lauren is a senior in college studying Business Administration. After quickly realizing the expenses of college, Lauren began couponing. Even with a limited time schedule, she has found ways to make couponing fun and easy. Deals on everyday items and
Did you know that extreme heat during the summer months can cause power outages? If the power does go out, it’s important to know how to keep your food safe from spoiling. Below is some great information from this article on food safety from the American Red Cross…
What you will need if the power goes out for more than TWO hours (perishable foods cannot be stored at above 40 degrees for longer than that)
A cooler for the items in your refrigerator (see my favorite cooler pick below). Pack your refrigerator items in the cooler surrounded by ice and keep the temperature below 40 degrees. For your freezer, if it is half full, it will stay good for 24 hours. If your freezer if completely full, it will stay good for 48 hours.
A “digital quick-response thermometer” (my fave pick below and the #1 best-selling instant-read thermometer on Amazon). You can use this to check the temperature of the inside of your cooler and also the inside any food that you are preparing.
This past weekend was my SIXTH time to Vegas! You would think by my sixth trip that I would have seen it all, but Vegas always has surprises in store!! So here is the best and worst of Las Vegas (for this trip, at least)!
This time around, we stayed at a new hotel (for us), The Palazzo. It’s the sister hotel of The Venetian, which we stayed at last time we went. The Palazzo and The Venetian are all-suite hotels, which we love. As we get older and needier (lol) we have a need for a larger room and more space. Unfortunately with more space in the rooms, comes larger parties in the adjacent rooms. I believe next time we will stay some place a little more expensive to avoid the parties in the rooms! But Vegas is Vegas, so you never know!
I will say this…when we stayed at The Venetian we had no issues. The Palazzo, on the other hand, I had some issues with. One of them being holes in the sheets. There is NO excuse for holes in the sheets. Here they are…
Our town car driver told us the hotel with the best service was the Wynn. He said Steve Wynn holds his employees to a very high standard. Maybe we’ll try them next time. Vegas Fact: Did you know Steve Wynn built the sister property, the Encore, as a present for his wife? Must be nice!
Shopping at these two hotels is abundant! The Grand Canal Shoppes are situated around the “Canals of Venice,” where you will occasionally see a boat floating by with a couple (who spent way too much money to go on a boat ride in a fake canal), along with their singing guide (who is usually pretty good – sounds even better after you’ve had a few drinks!) Here’s me at the shoppes. My favorite store was Chapel Hats!
FOOD & ADULT BEVERAGES
I had a slight obsession this trip with Wolfgang Puck. We ate at three of his restaurants (one at the Canal Shoppes, one at Caesar’s Forum Shops, and the other at MGM Grand) and the man does not disappoint! Please know that I am not a foodie and if anything am slightly picky. This man turns an ordinary cuban sandwich into extraordinary! And the sauces in his pasta dishes are to die for. Fabulous, fabulous!
Beer – 24 taps with pipes flowing over your head. A beer and liquor menu on a convenient iPad! All at the Public House in the Canal Shoppes. Here’s a pic of those beer pipes and taps…
Shows & Attractions
We tried quite a few new things during this trip! We saw David Copperfield, which was fantastic. I remember watching him on tv as a kid – making the Statue of Liberty disappear and walking through the Great Wall of China. The theatre was intimate, which made up close viewing of his illusions that much better! It was almost like people weren’t clapping after he got done because everyone was just dumbfounded. He is the greatest magician and illusionist of all time. It’s a must see. Sit up close to the front if you want to participate in the show. Vegas Tip: This show let out at the same time as a major boxing match and a few other shows (all at MGM Grand). If this happens to you, walk to the Tropicana if you need a taxi. The line will be WAY shorter!
So check out this picture…
It’s me with a 16 glass sampler of Coca-Cola products from around the world. For only $7! This made me so happy for some reason! I had such a blast sampling all of these tasty beverages, and one that was totally disgusting. But I’m not telling you which one!!
And then next to the World of Coca-Cola was the M&M World. 4 floors of M&M products, but the highlight was this…
All of those tubes are filled with delicious flavors of M&M’s!!! A chocolate lovers dream… My inner child came out and I was giddy filling up a bag with a whole bunch of flavors to take home. LOVED IT!
A FEW INTERESTING THINGS I RAN ACROSS…
So, did you know you can get an IV in your room if you need a little pick-me-up at the MGM Grand?! You can! I hope these people have a nursing background!! Here’s the ad…(and check out the guy on the far right trying to look like Bane from the last Batman movie. Interesting…)
Museums, culture and history in Vegas? It’s true! We checked out the Leonardo DaVinci exhibit at The Venetian. It was very interesting and I had no idea of his scope of work, but I was hoping for some actual paintings or inventions. Nothing at the exhibit was done by him, just examples. If you are looking for an art exhibit, the Bellagio does have fine art exhibitions on a rotating basis.
Every summer we hear on the news of pets that have died from excessive exposure to the heat. Keeping your pets safe in the heat is so important…and so easy! Here are some tips on how to help your furry friends when it’s hot, how to spot an animal in distress, and some products that might help as well!
Exercise Early or Late
Go early in the morning or late in the evening for runs or outside exercise with your pet.
Shorten your distance and limit the amount of time you spend exercising.
Walk your pet in the grass – hard surfaces can burn those precious paws!
Take water for you AND your pet.
Provide shade outside (NOT in a dog house!)
If your dog has to spend time outside, it must be in the shade with access to cool water.
Shade provided should not be in the form of a dog house. Temps in those little houses can actually be worse than outside in the shade!
Humidity + Heat + Urban Living = BAD NEWS!
Heat is bad enough, but when you add humidity, it makes it even harder for your pet to breathe. And if you live in the city, pollution will make the conditions even worse.
Check your local news station for ozone alerts before you head out.
When I was traveling almost every weekend with Hilton, I would sometimes stay in one hotel one night and another hotel the next night! I had to learn (very quickly!) how to pack and repack, which meant staying organized while I was traveling. Even though I don’t travel as extensively anymore (thank goodness!), I still use those principles when I go on vacations with my family. Our trips run smoother when everything is in order!
Here are my top tips for staying organized while traveling:
1. Pack efficiently – What does this mean? It means organizing your clothes and folding them compactly. I personally prefer to have a stack of shirts, a stack of shorts, stack of socks, etc. Or, you could stack by outfit (one shirt, one short, one pair of socks, etc.). If you are not good at this, there are many products that can help you!
I LOVE these slim organizing bags. They have mesh “windows” so you can see what you packed in each bag and also have a carrying handle so you can easily take them out of your suitcase too. And I love that they come in 11 colors! eBags Slim Packing Cubes – 3pc Set
One other thing I do (which most people do as well, but I do a tad bit differently) is take just enough shampoo and conditioner. But I always put shampoo in a blue travel bottle. Why? Because shampoo rhymes with blue, so I’ll never get my shampoo and conditioner mixed up!
Here are some of my favorite travel bottles. They are equipped with suction cups for the shower wall, they have a no-drip valve, and they are BPA free. You can also use them for food!
2. Leave Room for Souvenirs – There is nothing worse than going on a great vacation and having no place to put those special treasures that you’ve found! If you need to, take a bigger suitcase, just make sure you are within the baggage guidelines of your airline.
3. Unpack When You Get to the Hotel – As soon as you get to the room, unpack! Make your home-away-from-home feel like home by hanging up all of your clothes. Get out your bathroom toiletries and set them up like you do in your own home.
4. At the End of the Day, FOLD YOUR DIRTY CLOTHES! – Some may find this hard to do, but if you packed it so efficiently in the first place, you’ll need to pack it just as efficiently to take it home. Otherwise, you’ll have wads of clothes that will take up more room than when you packed them in the first place. And if you really want to be organized, fold them and put them into stacks of how you would wash them when you got home – whites, darks, etc. This will make coming home with all that dirty laundry, MUCH simpler.
As a former Disney intern, I have seen so many families enjoying their vacations! I have also seen what happens when a child gets lost or when someone decides to jump off a ride while it’s in motion. Because of the latter, I’ve made a list of a few things to remember while you are at theme parks this summer.
1. Stay Together – Unless you feel like your kids are old enough (and more importantly, MATURE enough) to explore the parks on their own, you need to stick together. Have a plan if you somehow get separated in a crowd. When theme parks are super crowded in the summer it is so easy to happen, especially during the fireworks show or a popular parade.
2. Everyone Needs Identification – Put armbands on your young children that they cannot remove, with their name and phone number (like the ones below). Tell them if they get lost to go immediately to the nearest cast member with a name tag. I personally do not recommend having a meeting place with younger children. Theme parks are huge, and it’s best to stay in the same general area then wondering around trying to figure out where the meeting place is. Cast members at the parks are well-trained and know what to do when children get lost.
3. Evaluate the Rides – I was on Disney property when someone got extremely scared on a ride, jumped out, and in turn lost his life. PLEASE evaluate the rides before you put your children on them. Every ride is different and if you have any questions about the ride, ask a cast member working the ride. If you have any hesitation or gut instinct telling you that your kids might be scared, please don’t ride, or test it out yourself first without your kids.
4. Hydration, Sleep and Sunscreen – Simple, right? Can I tell you I got wheeled out in a wheelchair once because I didn’t get enough sleep and wasn’t drinking enough water? You would have thought that I was smart enough to know this! Dehydration can happen very easily – keep hydrated. I personally love Smart Water. Reapply sunscreen and make sure it is waterproof and sweat proof! And please make sure everyone in the family gets enough sleep. Don’t leave the theme park at 11pm and wake up a 6am so you can do early park entry. Everyone will be in a better mood (and more alert) when they get enough sleep!
We just got back from a great weekend trip! First, I’ll talk about the cool (ok I should say hot!) place we went and then I’ll recommend some great travel games for kids that helped keep us occupied over the weekend!
Below is a picture of me at what might look like the beach…but it’s the desert! It’s White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. Huge dunes of gypsum sand occupy 275 square miles of desert! It’s beautiful! It’s about an hour and a half away from El Paso, TX.
But you know what the best part about this national park is? That you can go SLEDDING down these dunes! You just rent sleds at the visitor’s center. You can also buy wax for the bottom of the sled. The dunes at the far end of the road are the steepest and best for sledding.
Try walking up this mountain of sand in the 100 degree heat – whew! We had a LOT of fun. I would recommend not going in the summer, but if you have to go at that time, go early in the morning when it’s cool. This time of year they open at 7am. Did I mention the first atomic bomb was tested just 60 miles north of here??
So what kept us occupied over the weekend, other than sledding down sand? Magnetic travel games for kids! I swear to you I played tic-tac-toe for almost 30 minutes on the plane with my child. I’ve never seen him so interested in this game. I think it was different because he could stick on the pieces and take them off…over and over and over!
The Lego Movie has been released! Know a special little one who loves this movie? I do! Below I have listed the stores selling the DVD, then listed the prices from least expensive to most expensive. This way you can choose the store you want to purchase from and get the best deal! :)
The Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale for Men is on now! Save up to 40% on some great looks for the men in your life, from Lacoste and Tommy Bahama, to Polo Ralph Lauren and Burberry! And don’t forget free shipping, free returns! Here are just a few of their items on sale…
Classy Mom Look returns! We were a little under the weather last week, but we are back!
Most people think I’m crazy for having white couches, so I will touch on that today, along with everything from my outfit, my lipgloss and my pillow fabric!
This tank has the perfect amount of sequins on it. I don’t like to wear a whole lot of bling. Got to keep it classy. Found here on sale, plus an extra 40% off with code THANKS through June 17!
Classic roll-up shorts that go with almost any top! Found here, plus 40% off with code THANKS through June 17!
Similar short found here with hook-and-bar and zipper closure instead of button and zipper.
Rockin’ it with a 4″ heel! Found here, plus 40% off with code THANKS through June 17!
Similar criss-cross wedge found here on sale for half the price!
My favorite lip gloss for many, many years. Elle magazine’s Hall of Fame for Best Beauty Products! It looks like it’s black, but goes on much lighter. Love it! Found here with free shipping, free returns.
It’s a hot topic that I have a young child and white couches. I think I just wanted a white couch so badly that I didn’t care! These couches are actually covered in “performance fabric”, which means if anything spills on it (or if someone gets sick on it, which was the case once…) it’s supposed to come off. And in my experience it has!
Found here. Fabric is Natural Baxter (Grade H). Stain color on the bottom of the couch is Northwood.
The pillows on the ends are actually made of the same fabric, found here. 100% linen. I bought the fabric directly from the furniture store and had the pillows made by someone else. I had the seamstress put one pattern of the fabric on one side, and the other pattern on the other side. See how it’s the same fabric? I did this in case I decided to change my mind!
The pillow in the middle is made with Sunbrella fabric found here.