Monday, December 19, 2016

3 Ingredient Smoothies


By Aryanna LaMarco

Blueberry Smoothie: 1/2 banana, 1 cup blueberries, and 1 cup of (soy) milk.

Mocha Coffee “Smoothie”: 1/2 cup of milk, 2 scoops of cocoa powder or protein cocoa powder, 1/2 cup cold coffee.

Banana Smoothie: 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1 scoop of cocoa powder, 1/2 frozen banana.

Almond Banana Smoothie: 1 cup almond milk, 1 tbsp. almond butter, 1 frozen banana.

Pina Colada Smoothie: 3/4 cup frozen pineapple, 3/4 cup of coconut milk, 1/2 frozen banana.

Refreshing Berry Smoothie: 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup frozen raspberries, 2 cups cubed watermelon.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie: 1 frozen banana, 10 frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup soy milk.

Tropical Green Smoothie: 3/4 cup frozen mango, 1 cup coconut water, 1 cup kale.

Creamy Avocado Smoothie: 1/2 avocado, 1 frozen banana, 1 cup milk.

S'mores Milkshake:  3 sliced frozen bananas, 1/4 cup chocolate almond milk, 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoon sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, mini marshmallows, and hot fudge sauce. Blend banana and milk together until thick and smooth. After, mix the graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder, and sugar into the bananas. Top with hot fudge and mini marshmallows if desired.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

New Year's Fun Facts

New-Years-Eve-By-The-Numbers-v6_opt
Source: WalletHub

Thursday, December 1, 2016

MARVEL Contest of Champions: World AIDS Day


In observance of World AIDS Day on December 1, 2016, MARVEL Contest of Champions has partnered with (RED) to help end AIDS by 2030.
From now until December 6, 2016, players can join their favorite Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains in the worldwide fight to end HIV/AIDS by downloading MARVEL Contest of Champions for free from the App Store and opting to purchase the (POWER PACK)RED package. 100% of the proceeds goes to the Global Fund to support HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, counseling, and testing in sub-Saharan Africa.
The (POWER PACK)RED package will only be available until Tuesday, December 6 and includes:
·         3-Star Daredevil (Classic)
·         3-Star Elektra
·         2x Tier 5 Skill ISO-8
·         1x (POWER PACK)RED TICKET*

*The (POWER PACK)RED TICKET, which can be used to unlock a special in-game quest that, when 100% mastered, guarantees a 3-Star (CRYSTAL RED) for Elektra, Daredevil (Classic), Iron Man, Red Hulk, Hulkbuster or Guillotine!
Marvel Contest of Champions is proud to be a Games for (RED) partner.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

10 Top Holiday Energy + Sleep Tips


  1. You can have your cake and eat it too. There are health benefits to pleasure, so enjoy your dessert, but in small quantities—not as the main course. Shocking factoid: 85 percent of the pleasure is experienced in the first few bites. Also, it takes 15 minutes for the brain to experience the satiation response, so wait 20 minutes before going back for seconds. Small dessert servings=pleasure without guilt!
  2. Chocolate is a health food, but it’s rich, so go for quality, not quantity. Enjoy a square of premium chocolate and savor the sensation as it melts in your mouth. Apply a little mindfulness to the holiday food experience and you’ll enjoy the sweetness more deeply and feel satiated and satisfied. In this case, less is better.
  3. Russell Stover makes dynamite sugar-free chocolates. Also, high-end Abdullah chocolates (with sugar) are just so good you won’t need much to feel satisfied. They also have an excellent sugar- free line.
  4. Stay away from “energy loan sharks” like sugary, caffeinated drinks that give a temporary boost but end in a crash, and often insomnia. They do give quick energy but then take away twice as much by dropping your blood sugar.
  5. An excellent alternative? Find healthy sources of energy that make you feel good throughout the day and improve overall health. I recommend D-ribose (5 gm per day) mixed with the Energy Revitalization System (replaces 35 vitamin pills in a single scoop) to start the day off with a healthy, legitimate energy source that supports you for many hours. Two studies (by Dr Teitelbaum) showed that ribose increased energy a dramatic average of 61%! You often can’t get enough energy-making vitamins and minerals from the Standard American Diet (SAD), especially B vitamins and magnesium. Most people are amazed at how much more energy they feel after taking a high potency B vitamin with magnesium as found in the Energy Revitalization System.
  6. A quick fix for getting energized is to drink 12 oz. of cold water. Most of us don’t drink enough water and are actually dehydrated. So instead of reaching for a soda, try good old H2O. The cold water also acts like a bracing splash of cold water on your face—only for your whole body.
  7. Make time for sleep by entering it in your appointment scheduler. Schedule sleep as a priority and you’re likely to take it more seriously.
  8. Cut out things you don’t enjoy—the stuff that doesn’t make you feel good. To that end, consider cutting back on the 24-hour news cycle that rehashes election fallout featuring endless rants by “talking heads.” Just flick the “off” button and you’ll probably feel more relaxed immediately and ready for sleepy-time.
  9. Try natural sleep supplements like Revitalizing Sleep and Terrific Zzzz before you go for sleeping pills or antihistamines that knock you out and often leave you feeling groggy the next morning.
  10. Avoid “energy vampires” who leave you feeling drained after speaking with them. Don’t be afraid to say “no.”
For more energy/sleep tips, visit www.endfatigue.com and www.vitality101.com, as well as the smartphone app Cures A-Z.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ahead Drumsticks

advertisement

Woodwind & Brasswind has a wide variety of instruments for you to choose from, including these ahead drumsticks. They are not just beautiful in black and white, they are ergonomic. The alloy core gives the weight balance the perfection the drumsticks need. Vibrations are reduced. The super hard polyurethane covers not only protect the sticks from any damage, they also protect your drums. There are four models to choose from.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Alto Recorder

advertisement

Yes, Guitar Center has Alto Recorders! Get this nice alto recorder, Yamaha YRA-28B Alto Recorder with Baroque Fingering. This instrument is made up of two separate pieces. It is one of the many beautiful, high-quality instruments guitar center has. Shop here for great deals, free shipping options, and so much more. Check out all of the classroom Yamaha recorders at Guitar Center.

Guitar Parts

advertisement

Guitar Parts at Musician's Friend! Get all of your fretted instrument pickups here. Best prices. High-quality products. Awesome coupon codes and deals. Play your acoustic guitar through an amp with these pickups by Seymour Duncan, EBOW, Fishman, Dean Markley, Fender, and more. At Musician's Friend you have 995- almost a thousand - fretted instrument pickups to choose from! The best guitar parts around.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Dads and Grads Gift Guide 2016


Do you need a gift for dad or your graduate? Celebrate your father or your student with these incredible gifts for him and her!



Perry Ellis Red eau de toilette spray is a moderately priced men’s fragrance at only £22 per 100ML bottle. It is an oriental spiced fragrance - a perfect father’s day gift with a defined and manly smell that your dad will be sure to love! Its longevity is respectable, and will become a permanent addition to your dad’s collection. It offers a range of different fragrances from lavender and coriander; base notes are patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, musk, red cedar and oak moss. Compared with many other well-branded fragrances, this definitely stands up there, being compared with Acqua di Gio.






   
The Jabra SPORT Pulse wireless headphones are pricing at $199 on the official Jabra website. Also, these headphones offer a built-in heart rate monitor as well as being sweat and water resistant. The Sport Pulse Wireless has an uncomplicated design that sits around the neck to make certain they do not interfere when running. A convenient button on the left earpiece brings up the Jabra Sport companion app on your connected device updating you with your current fitness levels.


 

Puro Sound Labs IEM100 In-Ear Headphones 

If your dad or grad isn't a sports person, these are the in-ear headphones they'll want - the Puro Sound Labs IEM100. With these headphones you can listen to music and phone calls at a safe and healthy noise level with an amazing sound quality. The IEM100 healdphones feature a safe listening volume lock (85 decibels), 5 pairs of ear tips for comfort, a noise blocking seal to nearly eliminate ambient noise, and Puro Balanced Response. Comes with travel bag


 



The Duke Cannon Working Man’s Supply Can gift set has everything a man requires for just $75! It is compiled in a military fashion into an authentic ammunition can packed with essentials such as a grooming kit, along with a flashlight screwdriver tool. The man’s can also includes a big ass brick of soap, accomplishment (bergamot/black pepper scent); heavyduty hand soap made with pumice for removing dirt, grease; tactical soap on a rope (mesh scrubber with military spec paracord); working man's face wash (citrus scent); bloody knuckles hand repair balm (unscented) and cannon balm tactical lip protectant.
 

The Audio-Technica headphones are among the better quality headphones on the market, up with the Beats and Sennheiser. Its design is of high quality, with an aluminum frame making it very robust and aesthetically appealing. An advantage of these headphones over others is that the headphone remembers up to eight different wireless devices, making it easy to connect. The ATH-SR5BT has strong 45 mm drivers and a range of controls to rewind effortlessly, replay, and control the volume, among other controls that can be easily navigated.
The Net Effects Traders Brooklyn bag is the class over-the-shoulder messenger bag offering sparse room to carry everything you need. This bag offers an exterior compartment zip allowing you to fit small pocket items such as keys, or a phone, while having a big interior compartment offering the perfect size for a laptop, books, or folders. The strap is also adjustable for any sized person. 



The Empire Kilx Clutch Wallet for the iPhone 6/6S case is an essential accessory for your phone! It is an all-inclusive accessory having room for your cash, cards, and an additional pocket which can be used for change. The beauty of this is there is no longer any need to pocket your wallet, receipts, and pocketbook, leaving you to feel unorganized – instead, carry it all in the Empire Kilx Clutch wallet! The Clutch wallet is securely fitted in a protective slim-fit case with complete access to all ports so you can use the camera, speakers, charger port, and audio jacks. Another benefit of this essential accessory is it is made with the highest quality faux leather materials to assure you of how robust it is!  
 


Empire Kilx has modified its traditional phone cases, combining its traditional snap-on case, with a sleek 100% genuine leather and protective microfiber case. It is an all-inclusive accessory having room for your cash, cards (3 slots), and an additional hidden pocket which can be used for change. The protective outer shell gives you access to all ports allowing you to use your phone functionally, to charge, change volume and press the home and off button. As always, Empire Kilx offers a 1 Year Manufacturer Warranty.


The UA charged ultimate trainers are extremely lightweight, yet still maintaining a high level of support. They almost act as a ‘second skin’. The external TPU counteracts as a shock absorber and locks your heel in a position ensuring your feet do not move about within the shoe. The design has gone beyond any other sports footwear, offering an innovative lacing system providing an unmatched “lockdown” fit, so your feet are firmly in a position avoiding injury and increasing speed. Another design feature is the full-length Charged Cushioning sock liner providing ultimate comfort and fit for your feet. The last brilliant addition to these trainers is the rubber outsole providing traction with flex grooves for added flexibility where you need it most such as a MUGA or AstroTurf, which also means you are less likely to slip in wet conditions. 



Ditto is an innovative wearable piece of technology, offering multiple functions useful to your day. It is tethered to your phone, via a simple accompanied application on a smartphone. It attaches to an article of clothing and notifies you of various things. One such example is that it notifies you of an incoming call, message, or other notification. It also has a silent alarm, useful to prevent waking your partner and yourself up – it simply vibrates on your clothing and makes a small buzz. Another brilliant feature is that as it is tethered to your phone, whenever you leave it behind, the Ditto notifies you – never lose your phone again! Lastly, the best feature is that it never runs out of charge! There's no buttons, no cables, no inconveniences!



The Foster Grant Eyezen Digital glasses are available for only $34.99 offering a range of stylish glasses. The purpose of the non-prescription glasses is to reduce stress for your connected life in the increasingly computerized and digital world that places strain on our eyes. These glasses use the latest technology to minimize blue light when staring at screens, and therefore reduce eye soreness. 



This car charger is the best on the market. Not only is it 24K gold plated, but it can fully charge two iPads in just 3.75 hours – twice as fast as any other charger. Another added benefit to this is that it enables you to locate your car easily in a busy area or car park when the engine is turned off using a companion ios/android app. Furthermore, it doesn’t even require mobile signal! ZUS is the only USB car charger to meet US Military MIL-STD-810G High-Temperature Standard. It is developed from the highest grade German Bayer PC with all metal parts coated in Titanium. Plus, it has an advanced ZUS cooling system that results in 35% less heat production. ZUS can last two times longer than typical USB Car Chargers. Save your investment by top quality.



The Jetty Long Sleeve Henley sports is a casual open v-shaped neckline shirt offering a great warmer alternative to the classic V-Neck. The perfect fit is produced by following a few simple steps: The Jetty is sewn and cut, then dyed with a garment softener. To deliver a trendy and versatile color, a dark-blue is rinsed over the existing charcoal color, producing the Jetty Long Sleeve Henley original color. The process of garment-dyeing helps eliminate shrinkage to ensure the Jetty Henley fits the same after every time you wash it. The process also involves commercially washing and drying the Jetty long sleeve first, resulting in a softer feel and richer color.



This easily transportable bag is a must-have toiletries stash. It is a smart-size organizer designed specifically for a post-workout refresh. The underside of the bag repels water and protects the bag from gaining a bad odor. The bag features many zippered pockets ensuring all your gym kit is well organized. The bag has advanced microbial treatment, preventing any bacterial growth from the gym. The bag’s design has been thought out specifically to make everything convenient. It has a top grab handle so you can conveniently hang it inside a locker; because chances are you’ll set this on something wet. The TPU-coated fabric is for even more water-resistance and odor protection. The Eagle Creek Pack-it Sport is also machine washable and Ultralight with water-resistant fabric, and Agion Antimicrobial treatment helps contain odor and prevent microbial growth on the Sport organizer.



Mohu was the first to re-think and redesign how the traditional indoor HDTV antenna should look delivering the world’s first paper-thin HDTV antenna called the Leaf. Mohu’s done it again with the new Curve 30, taking antennas to the next generation of aesthetically pleasing development in technology. Mohu Curve 30 brings an original look to indoor antennas, while maintaining the same unchampioned performance as the great Leaf antenna. The Mohu Curve is both highly useful and attractive. It’s designed to be effortlessly plugged in and set up, the Curve 30 allows you almost instantly to enjoy free access to available over-the-air TV broadcast channels in crisp, clear full 1080p HDTV.


Hang-O-Matic is the easy wall hanging tool. Hang your pictures, mirrors, shelves, TVs and much more in three easy steps. The Hang-O-Matic has a built-in leveler and built-in metal pointers that mark the wall and tell you exactly where the nails need to be.

Share your Father's Day and grad gifts in the comments below. What did you buy? What did you receive? 

 
Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through these links.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Celebrate Father's Day with Ashley Chloe's #SuperDad Giveaway!

Enter to win the SuperDad Giveaway from Ashley Chloe! Win a Helix Cuff valued at $199, a Moment Lens valued at $250, and a Holga Digital Camera valued at $80! ENTER HERE!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Digital Snake

advertising

Get this best seller from Musician's Friend today: the Behringer S16 digital snake, on sale for a low price with free shipping. If you are digital mixing, you need this digital snake. This powerhouse takes the burden off of your FOH (front of house) for your convenience. Features on the Behringer S16 Digital Snake include 16 programmable mic preamps, 8 analog servo-balanced XLR outputs, AES50 network ports, and so much more! Click the link to check it out for yourself. Grab yours before the sale ends.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

dtar

advertisement

Guitar Center has all of your dtar needs. Dtar is a brand name and an acronym that stands for Duncan Turner Acoustic Research. Dtar sells pickups, preamps, amplifiers, accessories, and more. Guitar Center currently has a wide variety of Dtar brand products for sale. The best sale right now is the Dtar Mama Bear Digital Acoustic Guitar Preamp, which is on sale for $349.30! Free shipping on orders of $25 and over. Free shipping to stores. Find a location near you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Earth Day Gift Guide

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day is April 22nd, but we should celebrate our habitat all year long. Here are some awesome Earth Day gifts. Treat yourself and stash away some gifts for upcoming holidays and birthdays.

Pilot Bottle 2 Pen Gel Roller Pens
These pens are made from 89% recycled content (plastic bottles, which make up about half of all of the recyclable waste)
Refillable G2 Ink Refills
Comes in black, blue, green, and red

Aardvark Eco-Flex Flexible Paper Straws
Aardvark is doing a BOGO (buy one get one free) for the Sea Turtle paper straws on Thursday and Friday in celebration of Earth Day!
Made in the USA
Biodegradable
Compostable
Chlorine Free

Everyone by EO is an excellent organization that makes a variety of eco-friendly products: hair, body, bath, hands, face, and more. The essential oil blends are so good. Check out my favorites:

Everyone by EO Hair Shampoo 
Sulfate-free
Not tested on animals
No synthetic fragrances
GMO-free
Certified gluten-free

EO Body Lotion Grapefruit & Mint
NON GMO Verified
Not tested on animals
Certified gluten-free
No synthetic fragrances
No parabens
No phthalates
No artifical dyes or colors
No polysorbates

EO Organic Deodorant
USDA Organic
Cruelty free
Certified gluten-free
No aluminum salts
No propylene glycol
No zinc salts

EO Pure Essential Oil Relax
The relax blend contains ylang ylang, orange, lavender, vetiver, and frankincense.
Comes with a dropper

Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser
Paraben free
Phthalate free

Schmidt's Natural Deodorant Lavender + Sage
Vegan
Cruelty free
All natural
Schmidt’s will be offering consumers a 15% discount on all orders beginning on Earth Day 4/22 through 5/22. They will donate 15% of each purchase to Clean the World. The nonprofit turns slightly used soaps and plastics from hotels into brand new bars of soap!

Manduka yogitoes Yoga Mat with Skidless Technology 
Shop Manduka for yoga mats, yoga towels, men and women's yoga clothes, and a wide variety of yoga gear.
Check out the yogitoes Chakra Collection for slip-free mat sized Yoga towels. Use alone or on top of your mat.
Stays in place
Hygenic
Made from 50% recycled fibers
Absorbent
AZO, lead and heavy metal free dyes

JAWS - Just Add Water
The JAWS hone cleaning kit is just $19.99, and comes with 4 reusable bottles with trigger sprayers, and two refill pods. The pods include glass cleaner, daily shower cleaner, kitchen cleaner/degreaser, and hardwood floor cleaner.
One pod with water creates the cleaner
Reusable bottles and trigger sprayers
Non-toxic solution
Biodegradable solution


Spreadshirt Earth Day T-Shirts
Spreadshirt has a wide variety of tees, sweatshirts, tanks, baby clothes, mugs, water bottles, and more to choose from. Choose a design already made, or create your own!


Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through these links.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

World of Warcraft (WOW): Traveler

World of Warcraft has partnered with Scholastic, the largest children's book publisher, to create a series of books for kids ages 8-12.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Different Types of Mascara Wands and How They Work

By Aryanna LaMarco

Straight Brush Wand

The straight brush wand is perfect for larger eyes, with a lot of lashes. But if you have smaller eyes or fewer lashes you will find it will be quite hard to control and might want something with a bit more accuracy. The straight brush wands are usually enormous, which is perfect for making sure each eyelash is covered with mascara, and will help curl every eyelash. The straight wand is ideal for daily wear, for it isn’t very dramatic.

Comb Wand

Comb wands are tiny and the bristles are made of plastic. The wand itself looks like a comb. The comb wand is very useful for avoiding clumps or too much product on your lashes. They do a great job at curling and lengthening the lashes, but not so much at adding volume. If you do not have naturally thick eyelashes I would still use this one, put baby powder on the lashes after, and add a second coat of a different volumizing mascara. The comb helps clumps and separating the lashes, and the curl is great. The baby powder just gives the mascara something to hold on to, avoiding clumps.

Curved Wands

Curved mascara wands are ideal for people with stick straight eyelashes. When using the curved mascara wand use the side with the curved side going against your eyelashes. This will lift your eyelashes even more. The eyelashes will be curled more in the middle and end, making your eyelashes look more open, thus making you look more awake.

Tapered Wands

Tapered mascara wands mean the bristles are shorter near the top and get bigger. The larger side will cover more eyelashes and curl them more, giving your eyes a cat eye effect when you use it. Using the tapered wand in a zigzag motion will help add volume and lift. Also, by wiping off the excess mascara, you can use the top of the wand to move around each lash or coat ones that aren’t coated enough.

Spherical Wands

The unique look of spherical wands might intimidate you, but are very helpful for perfectionists, who want to touch up on their mascara. It is very similar to a comb wand, for it has plastic bristles that separate and coat each lash. But if you are not careful, you are more prone to getting mascara on your lid, especially if you have hooded eyes.

Plastic Bristle Large Wands

These huge wands with multiple plastic bristles are great for those with not as much eyelashes. The large number of plastic bristles help coat each lash. Also, the size of the wand and the variety of bristles make sure each eyelash is coated and curled. Using this wand in a zigzag motion will help get a lift and more volume. These wands are one of my favorite wands because it’s similar to the comb wand, which helps reduce clumps, and gives length. It’s also similar to the straight brush which helps with volume and getting every single lash.

The Bottom Lash Wand
The bottom lash wand is tiny, and the bristles are small too. This helps a lot for not transferring product onto your bottom lid, which is a big problem for getting your bottom lashes. Using a zigzag motion is crucial, it will help the eyelashes get in between the bristles, so they hold on tight to the wand and won’t guide product to your skin. This is great for getting the shorter lashes near the tear duct, also.

Vibrating Mascara Wand

This mascara wand is a bit odd and is new by Landcom. The vibrating mascara wand is controllable by a button on the cap of the mascara. The vibrating helps add volume, and curls the lashes, and will also help with clumps. It will move around the eyelashes to make sure each eyelash is definitely covered. It only takes three strokes to get the same look as multiple coats of mascara with a different wand.

5 Bonus Mascara Tips

  1. If you have product in the wand, but it seems dry, fill a cup with hot water and put your mascara in the cup for several minutes. It should melt down the mascara
  2. Another way to break down the dried up mascara is adding a couple of drops of eye drops into your mascara. Using water is too thin and won’t dry fast enough. The eye drop product is thicker and won’t keep the mascara from not drying on the lashes unless you put too much eye drops in your mascara.
  3. To avoid mascara from drying in the first place, when getting the product on the mascara wand, do not submerge it multiple times in the product. Just submerge it once, and twist multiple times. Plunging the wand in the product will push air into the mascara, making it dry faster.
  4. Use baby powder in between mascara coats to give the mascara something to hold onto. This will help avoid clumps, and will make your mascara look twice as voluminous.
  5. Use a blow dryer on your eyelash curler to add heat. Wait for it to be warm so you can touch it to curl your eyelashes. This will help curl your eyelashes faster, and will keep them curled longer.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Elaj Eczema Relief Ointment Review

 
Elaj - Eczema Relief Ointment

I have been suffering with eczema on my feet since I was 16-years-old. Now that I'm in my mid-thirties, I noticed some problems with little red bumps on my arms, elbows, knees, and thighs. It wasn't as bothersome as the eczema on my feet, but I wanted to know what it was. After some research I found that Keratosis Pilaris fit the symptoms.

I started using over the counter treatments for eczema that contain colloidal oatmeal as the main, active ingredient. I noticed that the more the cream had of this active ingredient, the better it worked. Unfortunately, nothing I tried worked that well. It would help a little with the itching, burning, and skin peeling. Eczema symptoms are painful, annoying, and just plain gross. I felt like I just had to live with it.

Then, the people at Elaj sent me a sample of their eczema cream for review. I wasn't too excited considering nothing else worked that great, but it was nice to try something that might work. Three days ago I tried it for the first time. After getting out of the shower I applied it to my arms, elbows, legs, knees, and feet. The healing started immediately. I felt no itching or burning. After the second application I noticed the skin on my feet was actually healing. It was smooth, not peeling (ew). I also noticed that the bumps on my thighs and arms/elbows were nearly gone. I've applied it three times in as many days, and I am hooked. My skin is healed. I do not itch. The red bumps are almost completely gone. My skin isn't peeling. Even my toenails look healthier! Elaj Eczema Cream is the real deal. I'll be buying this for my eczema from now on!

Disclosure: I receive products in exchange for writing reviews. There may be affiliate links in this blog. I'll earn a commission if you buy something through these links.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

6 Last-Minute Valentine's Day Spending Hacks

According to the National Retail Federation's Valentine's Day Consumer Spending Survey, the average person will spend $142.31 on candy, flowers, apparel and more, with total spending expected to reach $18.9 billion. What's more, men will spend nearly $190 on Valentine's Day gifts and festivities this year, nearly double the $97 women plan to spend.

If roses, jewelry, spa treatments and a night out is on your agenda, consider these six Valentine's Day spending hacks to show both your beau and your budget some love.

1. Look beyond roses from the florist.
While roses are considered the traditional symbol of love and romance, prices on these red and pink favorites nearly double on Valentine's Day. You'll save money by opting for a mixed spring bouquet of other pretty petals that look just as beautiful and will even stand out more for originality. Head over to a grocery store for pre-arranged bouquets for nearly 30-percent less than the local florist.

2. Save on sweets by waiting, or make your own.
If you can put it off, wait to pick up candy and chocolate on Feb. 14 when most stores will discount the leftover goods. If you have time, consider baking your own sweets. From heart-shaped rice crispy treats to cherry-flavored cupcakes to chocolate-covered strawberries, your honey will appreciate the extra effort you put into making this special gift!

3. Buy bling online.
Shopping online for jewelry gives you access to a bigger selection and often better prices. Plus, many e-stores will be offering free delivery or discounted rush service to ensure you get the gift in time. What's more, many of these sites have coupon codes for extra savings which can be found on sites like CouponSherpa.com. For example, you can save 25% off at Blue Nile, $25 off plus free shipping with a Kay Jewelers coupon code, or an extra 15% off sale jewelry from Macy's.

4. Pick up discount spa gift cards.
A couples' massage is a nice treat for you and your sweetheart but expect inflated prices this weekend. Before you book, check sites like Gift Card Granny for discounted e-gift cards to SpaFinder where you can save over 22 percent. Warehouse stores like Costco also sell gift cards to the online spa-finder service at a discount, offering $100 worth of e-gift cards for just $80.

5. Head to the dollar store.
Your local dollar store is the perfect place to pick up inexpensive greeting cards (50 cents versus $5 or more), gift wrap and even a vase for flowers. You're looking at saving over 70% without compromising on your romantic sentiment. Remember, it's what you write in the card that matters most anyway!

6. Plan a free date.
Valentine's Day shouldn't be based on how fancy of a restaurant you go to or how much money you throw down. It's all about spending quality time together, which you can do in a variety of ways for little cost. In fact, some of the most intimate dates are free! Check out these 12 frugal date ideas and make your plans now.

Andrea Woroch is a money-saving expert who transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers by sharing smart spending tips and personal finance advice. As a sought-after media source, she has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Dr. OZ, New York Times, MONEY Magazine, Consumer Reports, Forbes and many more. In addition, Andrea's stories have been published among leading publications and sites such as Yahoo!, AOL Daily Finance, CNN Money, Huffington Post, LearnVest and New York Daily News. Check out Andrea's demo reel or visit her website at AndreaWoroch.com for more information about booking an interview or requesting an original written article. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook for daily money tips.