Great Amazon Finds

I love to shop. Like most ladies, I love to go to the store and, if time allows, browse through the latest items in fashion, makeup and home decor. Picking up the different products and imagining what that outfit will look like on you, or how cute would this picture look on the wall, and what concealer would work best to hide those dark circles. These are all things that a lot of us truly love to do. However, due to circumstances of most of us having hectic schedules, and now the limitations from the current pandemic, going to browse through the stores is becoming more of a thing in the past and online shopping is increasing more and more each day.

Who reigns supreme in the online shopping world? Amazon, of course. Amazon has quickly become the one stop shop where you can find anything and everything your heart desires. I will admit, it has quickly become one of my favorite things to do. I love to sit and browse on Amazon. Honestly, you can find anything on there and the best part, at a good price. Another positive is that they ship very quickly also. I may order something on Monday and in most situations, it will be at my home by Wednesday. Pretty amazing for sure.

Amazon has quickly become one of the best places to shop, and has become so popular that videos and list of great Amazon finds have become very successful. People love to find great new things!! Therefore, I wanted to share a few items that I found on Amazon that I highly recommend. Check them out, I think you will love them too.

The first item I found on Amazon that I love, has quickly become an item that I now do not understand how I ever lived without it! It is the Rub-a-Way Bar Stainless Steel Odor Absorber!! This little bar is like magic. Just simply by rubbing the bar, with or without water, can remove odor from your hands. Don’t you just hate when you cut onions or garlic, the smell stays on your hands even after you wash your hands repeatedly. The smell just lingers on there. With this little gadget, one use is all it takes and the smell is completely gone!! Not only does it work great, but it also comes in with a very low price tag. I highly recommend this little guy, especially if you are someone who cooks often and loves to use onion and garlic in your dishes. Hey, forgot to mention, it works great on fish odors as well!!

Next, are these beautiful bedside wall light sconces. I absolutely adore this product. Before purchasing, I had the traditional bedside lamps the sit on the nightstands beside the bed. However, after my husband was diagnosed with sleep apnea and had to begin using a C-PAP machine, I found that the table lamps did not allow enough room for the machine to be placed beside the bed. So I browsed through Amazon for other options and found these lamps that could be mounted on the wall and no wiring was needed. They plug in!! The head is adjustable and is perfect to adjust your light for reading in bed, and I love the extra room is provides on my nightstand now. Best of all you get a set of two for a great price.

The last item I want to share today are these adorable Rae Dunn laundry storage baskets. I love all Rae Dunn products, and these are no exception. They are not only super cute, but make for ease in transferring clean or dirty laundry from room to room. Very durable with handles on both sides for easy carrying. One basket is somewhat larger than the other, and if you are looking for large baskets, these are not for you. They are smaller in size, but still will hold a good amount of laundry to carry into rooms to be put away. I LOVE the look and ease of these. Check them out.

Again, I am an Amazon fan, and have many products to share. Those will come, hopefully, in future posts. Also, I can’t wait to browse and find more new and exciting things to try too!! I hope you check each of these products out. All these I would say are GOOD STUFF!!

I hope this finds each of you healthy and safe. May you be covered with many blessings today.

Love and hugs,

Jennifer

Cute DIY Ideas for Summer

I have a confession. It is going to be shocking to some, and I may even lose a few friends over this one, but I must get it off my chest. I do not like Summer, I mean I really do not like it. I get it, most people think I am crazy because of my deep-rooted aversion to summer. However, I just don’t like it. Let me explain myself before everyone gets to mad at me. The number one reason is because, I really dislike critters. By critters I mean, bugs, snakes, and all the creepy-crawlies. I have a deep rooted fear of all the above. You will be able to tell if you get to close to me outside in the summer. You may hear a lot screaming on my part if one gets to close to me. I am terrified!! So with Summer, that means more critters, YUCK!!

Another thing I really dislike about Summer, the HEAT!! Yes, again I know most people think that I am crazy on this one as well. However, I hate the heat and humidity. Especially now as a middle aged woman, the heat for me anymore is just unbearable. I hate it. Although, don’t get me wrong I still love going to the beach, listening to the ocean, and having sand between my toes. At the beach, there is a nice breeze to keep the heat more tolerable. I’m talking about the heat and humidity that is so extreme you start sweating the second you step outside. That heat. No fun for me. I prefer Fall, with the warmer days in the seventies and the cool evenings . That is much more my speed.

So as God intended, the seasons all come and go, and here we are again facing another Summer, and even though it is definitely my most disliked season, I still look for ways to make the best out of it. I have a Southern home with large porches and I am always looking for cute ways to decorate them every year. If I have to be outside in the heat and humidity then I need to at least have a cute place in the shade to sit. Every summer I like to go out and and buy fresh new flowers and plants to put on my porches. One of the things that is a plus about the season is that we are able to have such pretty things outside that helps bring some character to our homes, and it does feel like it brings our plain homes to life with all the lovely additions. I also like to look for other things that I can bring in along with my flowers to make my porches feel cozy and welcoming.

Due to the current state of the economy and the limited choices for shopping this year, I had to make the decision to shop on a pretty tight budget when I was looking for things to spruce up our home. So I decided to look into some DIY projects that would not only help pass some time during this quarantine, but that they also would be wonderful additions to our home. So, of course, I head straight to Pinterest. Y’all, let me tell you, I don’t know what I ever did without Pinterest. It is by far one of my most favorite things of all time. I feel like everything I do is linked to Pinterest in some way. Cooking, cleaning, craft ideas, life advice, you name it I use it. It is there where I drew my inspiration for my porch additions this year. I love doing DIY projects and I love saving money, so all around I had so much fun creating these projects.

My first project was so easy and it turned out super cute. The total cost was around 35.00. I drew inspiration for this project from Pinterest. I was able to snag a palette from a local store that had discarded it, and brought it home. Then after that, just painted it with some black spray paint. I really like the farmhouse, rustic look so I decided only to spray paint the palette with one coat of paint because I wanted some of the natural color showing through. Of course, anyone could spray paint it with more than one coat for a richer darker look, or even a different color. This could be anything you wanted it to be. After that I stenciled a little Welcome sign on the top and it was ready for the plants. I wanted to add some color on to the black so I picked up these colorful hanging pots from Amazon. I added in some flowers and there you have it. It turned out so cute and colorful and I just love it. It definitely adds in a sweet touch to our porch.

The next two projects were just as easy and cheaper!! As you may know if you have read my blog, I also love to cook. Therefore, I was looking for a way to grow some fresh herbs without spending money on one of those in home expensive herb gardens or buying pots to sit everywhere. So again, I looked on Pinterest and saw where you could plant herbs using a palette!! So once again I got a free palette spent money on spray paint, mesh backing, decorative signs and the plants themselves, that is it!! My husband added a few pieces of scrap wood underneath to keep the soil from falling, I spray painted the palette, added the soil, planted the seeds, then hung the small chalkboard signs I found on Amazon with small tacks and there you have it a DIY herb garden. As you can tell from the picture, things are growing well, and I look forward to having some fresh herbs to cook with.

The chalkboard sign on the bottom was the cheapest project of all. The only money spent was for chalkboard paint, and the paint color of your choice for the border. Y’all, I like getting by cheap!! The sign is actually an old cabinet door we had laying around. So all you do is paint around the edges, then add in some chalkboard paint in the center, and you have your very own homemade chalkboard sign!! Super cute and easy !! Add a new saying everyday and I am sure you will make your guest feel welcome.

The last DIY project is my absolute favorite!!!! I am absolutely in love with the Porch Swing Bed!! Now, this is the one project I did not build myself. I also tried really hard to get my husband to build it as well, but he was too afraid to give it a try, since (I will put it the nicer way) he is not a handyman. So, I enlisted the help of my mother and uncle, who both are great with DIY and building things and they got started. I found a very simple plan on plankandpillow.com that my family used to build it. Then once they were done I painted it, added in a twin size mattress, sheets, and decorative pillows. My uncle then hung it securely with some rope, and the bed swing was complete and I am in love!! I have wanted one for so long, but the price of the swings online or in the stores kept me from getting one. Now, I have one for just a portion of the price you would pay retail for. I could not be happier with this one. I will admit, I have already taken a couple of naps in this one.

So even though Summer and I do not jive, I have still found a way to bring joy to the season, my family, and my guests. I hope each and every person that visits my home finds it is not only welcoming and cozy, but that will be blessed when they are here. The heat of the Summer may get to all of us, but at least we have a pretty place to cool off and drink some sweet tea.

I hope each of you are covered with many blessings today, and may you find a way to bring light into any season.

Love and hugs,

Jennifer

Fitness over 40

Exercise. One of the few words out there strikes up a love/hate relationship for most individuals. Some people love to exercise and some people hate it. Or, if you are like me, it really is a mixture of both. I have noticed over the years that my opinion of exercise has evolved. When I was a teenager and in my twenties, exercise was not done for health reasons. For me, it was purely for vain reasons. I wanted to look cute in that bikini every summer! Now that I am in my forties, my perspective has shifted, as I am sure it does for most people. Do I still exercise for vain reasons? Absolutely!! Just because I am in my mid-forties, does not mean I do not care how I look. I still care how I look in that bathing suit or cute pair of jeans or shorts. However, exercise for me now is much more. It helps me care for my body not only physically, but mentally as well.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20.

Y’all, let me tell you. When you take time to exercise, even it is just 20-30 minutes a day, it will make the biggest difference. Even if you don’t notice a huge transformation physically(which you should), but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually you will be changed. There is enough outstanding evidence out there of the importance of exercise for your health, and you will also find research of the importance of it for your mental health as well. In both aspects, especially as you age exercise should be an essential part of your life.

I think the older we get the busier we get. Once you have a spouse, a job, kids, errands, extracurricular activities, the time for exercise seems to diminish. This is why making exercise a priority is so important. When we put it up there on the list of things that have to be done for the day, then we will more than likely do it. It may mean that our schedules have to be navigated in order to incorporate exercise in. Whatever it takes, it needs to fit in. Don’t let excuses enter in. Be strong, be committed, make time for you.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women over the age 50, and as we age and estrogen levels decline, the higher we are at risk for cardiovascular disease. A steady workout routine of combining both cardio and strength training will help lower a woman’s risk of heart disease. Lately, my favorite go to workout has been my beloved Peloton bike combined with weight training. Yes, I know the Peloton bike is an expensive piece of exercise equipment, but it has been totally worth every penny spent. It challenges me in ways that I never expected, and by far is the best cardio workout I have ever done in my life. It is what I like to call, good stuff!! If you can purchase one or hope to in the future, I encourage each of you to take the leap and do it!! You will not be disappointed. Along with the bike, you can also download the Peloton app, which includes access to Peloton users of numerous other exercises such as cardio, strength training, yoga, and more. I love it and honestly, cannot live without it.

Along with the cardio, I also try to incorporate strength training into my normal exercise routine. I do this by doing typically a 20-30 minute cardio session, then a weight training session for about 30 minutes. Each day I try focus on different areas of the body, for example, one day will be leg day, one day will be arms, etc. I do this combination of exercises 3-4 times a week then the other 2-3 days I will include a more low impact regimen, this may include yoga, pilates, walking, dancing, or anything that is more low intensity. Then I rest typically 1-2 days week where I allow my body a break. This routine works well for me and if I am in a hurry I can usually cut the time to even about 40 minutes. Yes, that is all it takes, 40 minutes to an hour of your day to do something for you. To not only care for your body physically, but mentally to be stronger as well.

I am blessed to have a small gym in our home. We saved money for months and decided one year for Christmas, that instead of other gifts we would make a room in our basement into our very own gym. My older daughters are very much into fitness, and my younger two have started training for their sports teams, soccer and cheer, so it was a win for all of us to have the gym. We all use it and we have saved a ton of money in gym membership fees. The best thing about it, it is open and there anytime I want to use it!! It has made a huge difference in my fitness journey. I no longer dread finding the time to go the gym, but instead I have the opportunity to exercise when I want to. Yes, I understand a lot of people may not have the space or money for an in-home gym. I totally understand. I will tell you it was a huge sacrifice on my whole family’s part to get one. However, like the Peloton bike, it was a sacrifice that was well worth it for all of us.

You don’t have to have a Peloton bike or home gym. Get some dumbbells or resistance bands for strength training, go for ride outdoors on your bike, or go for walk. The only thing that you truly have to have, is commitment. A commitment to yourself, that everyday you are going to get moving in some way. That you will become stronger both physically and mentally. Yes, your mind and body will play tricks on you and some days you just will not have the heart to exercise. You know what? That is ok. We all have those days and it is normal. However, make sure the next day you get up stronger and decide that today you will be better than yesterday. Today is your day to love yourself from the inside and out. Give yourself a healthy heart, healthy mind, and strong bones and watch the quality of your life soar. Be strong, be courageous, be fit, and just fee good about being you.

I pray each of you are healthy and strong today. I also pray each of you are covered in many blessings today.

Hugs,

Jennifer

Laundry Game Changer

Y’all, let me tell you there are not to many products out there that make me want to jump up and down and shout to the rooftops because of their awesomeness. As a wife, mother of four daughters, and dog owner, I have tried a lot of products that claim they are the best of the best, and that they will make my life easier. I’m sure most of you can relate, that as a mother we will try just about anything that claims it will help make things easier. Am I right? There has been several of these products they have lived up to their hype, and several that have been total flops.

Well, I had to share the love I have for a product with all of you. I swear, it is probably one of the best things I have ever purchased!!! This product will change your laundry game!! I promise. I felt like this was a good time to tell you about this product since everyone will be inside for some time and will have plenty of time to catch up on those piles of laundry. I also thought people may have some time to do some online shopping and start getting things ready for Spring. So you must check out the R&B 100D Narrow Wire Laundry Cart which I purchased from Amazon.

I am telling you this cart is just FABULOUS!! The quality is outstanding, it is sturdy and the wheels roll smoothly and easily. It can be taken from room to room with no difficulty, or just rolled around in the laundry room for easy folding. My mother has arthritis and back issues, she now wants to purchase one for her home because she has difficulty carrying a typical laundry basket due to her medical issues.

I laugh at myself that my life has resorted to getting excited about a laundry cart!! Wow, I sure have an exciting life, huh? Seriously though I am in love with this cart!! With a family as big as mine, and pets, I have a huge amount of laundry. I actually feel like most of my time is actually spent in my laundry room. This has really helped me achieve my laundry task with ease for sure!!! I love it so much I’m considering buying another one.

When I find some good stuff, I just have to share it with my readers. And trust me when I say, this laundry cart is good stuff!!

I pray each of you are covered in blessings today.

Love and hugs,

Jennifer