Saturday, July 9, 2016

How to Creatively Cover a Fuse Box

I have recently been working on making my laundry a nice practical place to "work".  I started by adding a few shelves, a shoe rack, and some other little things to help inexpensively spruce it up.   Working with a small budget, I found wonderful pictures and decor that go with my "vintage/retro" theme at various garage sales.  

Besides the paint and the folding table everything is finished.  Everything but our unsightly utility/fuse box.  Since we do not have a basement (boo), our fuse box is located in our laundry room...right smack dab in the center of the wall...a total eye sore, IMO.  Not only is this box huge but it is oddly shaped. Measuring 27.5" tall  and 15.25" wide.  Too big to cover with a regular size frame yet too small to use a poster frame.

After much research and many many Pintrest pins, I came across an neat idea from Nesting on a Budget and tweaked it to fit my needs using the supplies I had on hand,  

Supplies Needed:

Canvas (you may need more than one)
Frames (I bought mine at the dollar store)
Craft Glue
Staple Gun

**Before you start be sure to iron your material or you will have creases.  

1. Line up your material with your canvas, leaving at least a one inch excess on all sides.  
2. Wrap your material around your first edge and staple from corner to corner.
3. Pull the opposite edge tight and staple from corner to corner.
4. Wrap the last to edges, tuck the corners and staple.
5. Glue frames to the material covered canvas and let dry.  Make sure you use enough glue.
6. Attach hinges to the canvas 
7. Add your magnets to keep them from swinging open.
8. Attach hinges to wall 

And that's it!

Simple yet elegant. 

I am not super crafty so I am very proud of how this turned out.  And although I am unsure if it will stretch nicely, I am considering wrapping both canvas' together.  

What are some creative ways you have covered eyes sores in your home?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

How To Quit Smoking

Smoking is a hard habit to break, just ask my husband who has been struggling with a nicotine addiction for nearly 2 decades.  Over the years he has tried nicotine patches, prescription medication, vaporizing cigarettes, and even cold turkey, but nothing worked.  So when I saw the opportunity for him to try a laser stop smoking program, we had to give it a shot.

This type of laser therapy is a completely painless procedure designed to reduce withdrawal symptoms due to the effects of nicotine.  During the laser treatment to quit smoking a technician lightly applies a laser wand to 33 key areas on the ears, face, hands and wrists.  The entire procedure is super quick.  In just one visit to the Alpha Lifestyle Center of Birmingham, you can be on your way to a new lifestyle. 

From the moment we walked in for my husband’s appointment I knew we were going to have a wonderful experience.  Everything from the welcoming lobby to the beautifully decorated treatment rooms a relaxing atmosphere was created, making it very hard for us to leave.  When we arrived we were immediately greeted by his laser technician.   After completing the simple questionnaire my husband was taken to a treatment room.  Both before and after the procedure all of the questions we had for the technician were fully answered, we did not feel rushed at all.  I absolutely love that the staff at Alpha Lifestyle Center not only educate you but they truly want you to succeed.  They provide all of the tools that you need to move forward and become a better you. 
In the treatment room you will be asked to watch an introductory video to prepare you for the road ahead.  My husband said the entire experience was completely relaxing and painless.  You may feel the slight pressure of the wand but it does not hurt.  When we left, my husband said he felt relaxed and ready to start our day.   One laser treatment costs $295.  Included in the price is a free booster which is offered to help with cravings within 8 weeks from the time of your original treatment.  However, in order for the booster to be effective, you have to remain completely nicotine free.  I am thankful to know that they are very understanding and realize that setbacks do occur so they offer a second laser treatment at a heavily discounted cost, however, that cost increases after 8 weeks from your first appointment, so if you happen to relapse, do not wait.

Unfortunately my husband had a relapse before the 8 week period.   I found out later that he was not fully ready to quit and was just doing this treatment to appease me. To succeed, YOU have to want to quit.  It has to be for you, not anyone else.  If you are not fully committed to changing your lifestyle wait until you are before making an appointment.  Overcoming an addiction is not easy and requires some hard work on your end.  That being said, my husband and I both feel that if you are truly ready to quit and put forth the effort, this program will help.  We are definitely going to try again when he is ready.  

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Best Way To Get Your Kids To Shower! HotelSpa 3-Way Shower Combo Review

Having your child shower independently is a huge relief, well it was for me anyway!  No more sitting on the toilet lid or kneeling on the hard floor beside the tub while they sit in the bath and play.   My daughter has always loved to shower, and here's why…a 3-Way Shower Combo.  Though some children are reluctant to shower on their own, this is a sure fire way to get them excited about this new type of independence .  Having a hand-held shower head makes the shower fun for the kids and easier on you.  It also helps if you give it a fun name like, "The Water Bender" (which is what we call it in our house).  

I have been through many different types of showers sets and I am here to tell you that they are not all the same.  With that in mind, I do not recommend getting the cheapest you can find.  If you do, the diverter will more than likely break within the first year, leaving the entire unit pretty much useless. 

My favorite combo by far is the Hotel Spa 30 Setting 3-Way Shower Combo sold by Sears.   I have found this set to be the highest quality for an affordable price.  The instructions were very descriptive and easy to follow which made installation a breeze.  It took me maybe 5 minutes to remove the old and install the new.  Just remember to hand tighten only.  I love not needing tools!  If leakage occurs, you may need to add the included thin washer.  If the washers do not stop the leakage, they have included a small roll of plumbers tape which is only to be used on the shower arm thread.  I love when companies provide "just in case our customers need it" pieces.  

The sleek design and beautiful chrome/brushed nickel finish blend perfectly with our bathroom d├ęcor.  Unlike our old shower combo the flexible hose is great and makes showering so much easier. It also keeps the handle both straight and still in the cradle.  What I like best about this particular shower set is the handle switch feature.  When M is showering by herself she is able to turn the water flow to a drizzle while she shampoos her hair and washes her body.  This not only saves water but it keep the handle from spraying outside of the shower when she sets it down.  The water pressure as well as all of the settings make showering so much more enjoyable!

Why Hotelspa? 
 • Choose from 30 full and combined water flow patterns 
• Stunning Exclusive 2-tone Design 

• Matches both Chrome and Nickel bath fixture decor 

• 6-setting 2-tone Chrome Face 4"" Shower Head 
• 6-setting 2-tone Chrome Face 4"" Hand Shower 
• High-power Precision SpiralFlo dial design 
• Settings of each shower include: Power Rain, Pulsating Massage, Hydrating Mist, Rain/Massage, Rain/Mist and Water-saving Economy Rain 
• 3-zone Click Lever Dial with Rub-clean Jets 
• Patented 3-way 2-tone Water Diverter with Anti-swivel Lock Nut 
• Angle-adjustable Overhead Bracket 
• 5' Super Flexible Stainless Steel Hose 
• Conical Brass Hose Nuts for easy hand tightening 
• Tools-free Installation. Connects in minutes to any standard overhead shower arm, no tools required 
• Lifetime Limited Warranty

Overall, I love the quality and features of this shower.  Despite receiving for my honest review, I think that this brand is one of the higher quality choices and the price is reasonable. I also thinks its great that guarantee fast, guilt-free delivery for any missing or defective parts, including washers!  

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Save Lives With The Drop Stop!!

We’ve all been there, you are driving down the road, hit a bump, and hear something fall between your seat and the center console.  You instantly shake your head and start digging.  This not only super frustrating, but it is potentially very dangerous.  Distracted driving is almost as bad, if not worse than drunk driving and can result in the same fatal conclusion.  If I am being completely honest, at first I was a bit skeptical about the integrity of the seatbelt being compromised with something being shoved down over the latch.  However, after seeing the police department and my AAA auto insurance company behind it and realizing that both the latch and the seat move freely my mind was at ease.  I cannot believe it has taken this long for such a genius invention.

How Can The Drop Stop Benefit you?
The Drop Stop has the potential to save:

  • lives
  • time
  • frustration
  • money by preventing accidents which increases policy rates.

Personal Experience
The Drop Stop could not have arrived at a better time.  I went shopping the other day and thought I lost my debit card in the store.  I quickly jumped out of line, frantically searching the store for my card, hoping no one dishonest had found it.  After a stressful 20-minute search, I gave up and went back to my car.  Before calling the bank to cancel my card I decided to check my car and found it down in between the seat and center console.  Apparently it slipped out of my coat pocket while I was driving.  I could have saved myself a ton of time and stress had I used the Drop Stop. 

Why The Drop Stop?
The patented Drop Stop prevents keys, phones, change, jewelry, makeup, pens, gum, and more from falling between the seats. 

  • Easily fits between your seat and console to prevent lost items and accidents
  • Moves with the seat yet stays securely in place
  • Prevents anything from falling between the seats
  • Designed to fit all cars or trucks
  • Easy one time install
  • Made with high grade Neoprene-so it will not fall apart
  • Durable and easy to clean
  • Blends with any color making it nearly invisible once installed

DID YOU KNOW THAT 80% of all crashes involve the driver looking away from the road within three seconds of the onset of the event?

Bottom line
The Drop Stop works!  I feel that this product will definitely keep drivers more focused on the road and less focused on fallen items.  No more scrambling to find those fallen objects and no more finding month old stale fries between the seats.  I do wish, however, that there was a tiny lip at the end to keep your things from falling down The Stop and into the back of the car.  Still, it is a genius product that every car owner should have.  Since it is nearly invisible once installed, you do not have to worry about it not looking right in your car.  As Marc N., one of the co-inventors says, “You put it in and FUGAPABOUTIT!…well until it catches something.

Convinced that The Drop Stop is right for you?
Order yours online today or visit your local Walmart where you can also purchase it.  With a 60-day money back guarantee, what have you got to lose?

Win It

Thanks to the awesome team at Drop Stop, we are giving away a Drop Stop package to one lucky Party of Four reader!  Enter using the simple form below.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

DKnight Magicbox II Bluetooth 4.0 Ultra Portable Wireless Review

This past week I recieved the DKnight Magicbox II Bluetooth 4.0 Ultra Portable Wireless speaker with built in speakerphone from Amazon.  At first I was a tad skeptical because speakers I have used in the past have been a total waste of money.  They were big, bulky, and the sound quality was less than mediocre.  However, after reading other reviews about this particular speaker, I was eager to give it a try.  I am so glad I did.  This speaker is like no other.  With its clear sound, long battery life, and sleek design the Magicbox II is a nice speaker.

After it arrived it was only minutes before it was connected to my smartphone and the girls and I were dancing around the house. The first thing I notice was the sound quality. It was nice and crisp without a lot of crackle. The bass is just ok; not great but better than other speakers I have tried. Though I did not hear much a difference, it was nice that the DKnight came with a "bass pad" intended to provide more bass(but this could just be the placement of the speaker). Its rechargeable battery not only lasts up to 12 hours but it takes as little as 3 hours to fully charge. The charging cord is a tad short but this seems to be a common problem with most bluetooth speakers.

Being rechargeable and the sound quality are not the only awesome features the Magicbox II offers.  It works all throughout our house, which is awesome because that means I leave my phone in another room and still listen to music while in the shower without having to worry about the moisture of the steam ruining my phone.
I love that this speaker is easy to pair with any smart device.  It even has a neat ‘call answering’ feature right on the speaker.  While you need to be pretty close to the speaker for the person on the other end to hear you well, I do not see it being any different from any other speakerphone.  Just be sure to turn the speaker as the microphone in on the opposite side of the speaker.  With the buttons you can also end a call, refuse a call, or callback.    If your device is not equipped with Bluetooth technology, no worries, you can still use the speaker by connecting them with the inline jack provided.  

Overall,  the DKnight Magicbox II Bluetooth 4.0 Ultra Portable Wireless speakeris is a very nice speaker and would make a great gift for that music lover in your life.  You just can’t beat a user-friendly, portable, rechargeable, long lasting, high quality, Bluetooth speaker!  Well worth the money!

To purchase your very own just click here and you will be redirected to the product page on Amazon.  Order soon because right now this speaker is 73% off!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Picking Great Headphones: Mixcder Bluetooth Headphones Review

I constantly find myself rolling my eyes at my husband when he watches YouTube or listens to music on his phone.  It is always super loud and it startles the baby so I was couldn’t pass up the opportunity to review Ausdom Mixcder M05 Bluetooth Over-ear Headphones. These headphones are amazing with a capitol A! They have great sound quality and are incredibly comfortable.  Since these are very user friendly my husband uses them all the time.  The padded head band, swiveling ear cups, and pressure relieving ear cushions allow for superior comfort and perfectly fit both kids and adults. 
These paired to both our phones and computers with ease.  Although we were unable to sync these with our PS4 (due to a Sony issue), they easily connect with the audio cable allowing for crystal clear gaming for Hubby and silence for me.  Being wireless with a 32 foot range makes them perfect to use during travel, around the house or while exercising.  Charge time takes only a few hours and last for up to 20 hours talking/music time and more than 250 hours of standby time.  All of the buttons are conveniently located on either side of the earpiece so changing the volume or the song is simple.   I appreciate the fact the when powering on/off there is both a verbal and a light indicator, letting you know when the headset is on/off.

However, the absolute coolest feature is the built in microphone for hands-free calling.  When receiving an incoming call your track stops and you have the option to pick up or ignore.  Once one has been selected and the call has ended, your track will continue.

I wouldn’t say that these are noise-canceling headphones but they do block out 98% of outside noise making your listening experience more enjoyable.  And the sound does not travel outside of the headphones so my husband is free to listen to whatever, whenever, and at any level. 

They conveniently fold flat so it can be stored safely in a mesh bag (which is included).  For the price it would have been nice if a protective carrying case was required as I have seen this with other brands.  Since one is not provided, I strongly recommend protecting your investment and getting one.  It can be purchased on Amazon for $15.99.   If for whatever reason your phones bluetooth acts up you can still use your headphones conventionally with the (included) auxiliary jack as previously mentioned.
I absolutely love the Mixcder Bluetooth headphones.  These are truly the most comfortable headphones that we have ever owned.  Everything right down to the packaging is super high quality.  They would make a great gift for anyone.  Definitely a 5 star rating!  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Disclosure of  Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Simple Tips for Cooking with Your Children

Cooking with kids can be fun but it can also be quite daunting if you are not prepared.  Here are a few simple things you can do to make cooking with your children stress free.

Prepare: Before you even call your child into the kitchen, make sure that you have everything ready for a smooth and fun baking experience.  Start the oven (if necessary), have the recipe out and available, and gather ALL of the ingredients needed. 

Measure Ahead: Depending on your child's age, measure and lay everything out in the order they are needed.*  For older children or children just learning their numbers, this may be a great opportunity for them to pour and measure with you, but this is time consuming and requires lots of patience. 

*If you run out of measuring spoons or cups, you can always measure and pour into other containers.

Allow for Mistakes: Mistakes happen (especially when allowing your child to measure) and that's ok.  By leaving extra ingredients aside, mistakes can be easily fixed.  If a mistake is made, make sure your child knows that it is okay and encourage them to try again.

Don't Stress about the Mess
Let your child pour and mix.  There will be a mess, just remember your child is having a blast.  You can always clean up later.  Have your child place the dishes in the sink as they use them.  This keeps the counter clear and makes clean up less overwhelming.  Then while the food is baking the two of you can empty the sink together! 

When you are ready to start cooking have your child wash their hands and explain the first step.  If your child does not like to get messy, be sure to have some gloves handy.  My daughter doesn’t mind getting messy but enjoys wearing gloves anyway.  You can make this experience extra special and super fun by wearing aprons & chefs hats and pretending to be cooks in a fancy restaurant!

IF your recipe calls for:

·        The ingredients to set for a while, maybe play a game or clean up together while you wait.

·        An ingredient to be melt or defrosted, maybe let them push the buttons on the microwave.

·        Eggs and your child is on the younger side I would recommend cracking the eggs ahead of time and placing them in a bowl.

Sometimes it can be hard to let go of control in the kitchen, especially with kids, but once you push past that it is so much fun.   
What are some tricks that work for you?