The Blog Workshop – Where Blogging Meets Business

TBW Community

The Blog Workshop is great learning community for bloggers and vloggers (like you and me!).  

The Blog Workshop is “Where Blogging Meets Business.”

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The Blog Workshop provides information to take their blog/vlogs to the next level!  Through the The Blog Workshop Community, where members can discuss a multitude of topics, to educational workshops, and annual conferences, The Blog Workshop is helping to bridge the gap between bloggers and influencers, brands, PR Pros, and much, much more!  

Community Signup

A very important part of The Blog Workshop is the The Blog Workshop University.  Their mission is to facilitate the learning of bloggers/vloggers so they can become the the forces in the blogging industry, arming bloggerpreneurs and blogging scholars with the knowledge  and skills to better serve brands and sponsors.

Check out The Blog Workshop’s upcoming  Surviving S.E.O. Workshop, on June 26th, 8-9pm est.  S.E.O. (Search Engine Optimization) is an ever evolving, so learning and keeping up with current trends can be quite difficult.  The Surviving S.E.O. Workshop, led by Dan Morris, will discuss descriptions, categories,  tags, plugins, keyword research, content structure  for effective S.E.O, and much more! 

Crowdtap Old Navy Activewear Sample & Share Review

Old Navy Active Top & Bottom

As an active member of Crowdtap, I was fortunate enough to be chosen to be a part of the Old Navy Style Council and receive two vouchers for a Free Old Navy Activewear Top and Bottom – one for me and one for a friend  I have been an active member of Crowdtap for a few years now – the surveys and activities are fun, as are the rewards, and I like that my input is valued by the Crowdtap Team.  And the best part is when you complete some activities, a donation goes to the charity of your choice (mine is Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation).  

Interested in joining Crowdtap?  Check it out HERE!

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Going to Old Navy and checking out the Activewear Line was great!  I loved just about all the Activewear products, it was so difficult to choose just one top and bottom for each of us.  I was very impressed with the cleanliness, how orderly and stocked the store was!  Especially the Activewear section!  See these great photos I took below!

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The Old Navy Activewear Line has line has lots of vibrant colors, but we decided to keep it pretty tame…

I decided to get  a magenta compression tank and black yoga pants with a magenta waist band… And my friend decided to get a grey long sleeve running top and black shorts (not necessarily to be worn together I think!)…

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We had a great time shopping, spending quality time together, and of course, getting some Old Navy Activewear so we have no excuse not to exercise on a regular basis!

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NaBloPoMo June 2013 – Theme: Roots

So we’re going to try this again. And succeed!
 

June’s NaBloPoBlo theme is ROOTS.

“Roots.  They’re the stories that ground you, the foods that returns you, the music that comforts you, and the people who know you.  Everyone has roots that influence them even if they don’t consciously know them or can’t access them.

This month, we’re going to explore your roots.  Were going to look back on the people in your family, the places where your ancestors have lived, and the culture that has been passed along to you.  We hope you get curious enough to explore your family tree, or maybe even end up planning a trip to a town where your ancestors once lived.”

I look forward to this challenge to writing and exploring my ROOTS.  I hope you are too!  Stay tuned!

FREE Credit Score & Monitoring with Credit Sesame!

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Just like cleaning your home on a regular basis, your finances need to be cleaned up regularly too!  With it being spring cleaning season, isn’t it time to take a fresh look at your finances and get your credit in tip-top shape?

Did you know that a recent FTC study found that over 20% of Americans or 40 MILLION credit reports have reporting errors  - that are costing consumers like you and me money in credit card interest and loans?  Start your financial spring cleaning by ensuring that your credit report does not contain any erroneous information that could be detrimentally impacting your credit score.  

Keep tabs on your credit report activities and your credit score by signing up for FREE credit monitoring and score services from Credit Sesame, so you can easily protect your good financial standing.  With Credit Sesame you will receive FREE:

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This Memorial Day Adopt a Soldier through Soldiers’ Angels

This Memorial Day weekend, as you are enjoying your cookout, hot dogs and hamburgers with family friends, let us not forget the true meaning of Memorial Day.  No, it’s not the holiday marking the beginning of summer and summer vacations…Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who have lost their lives while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

I thought this would be an appropriate time to introduce to you to an organization I have been volunteering with for a few years now – Soldiers’ Angels.

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Soldier’s Angels is a volunteer-led nonprofit with a mission of providing aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Forces, Coast Guard, and their families and to enable the Soldiers’ Angels volunteers to improve the lives of a growing veteran population.  “May No Soldier Go Unloved,” says it all about Soldiers’ Angels.

So what I have done to help Soldiers’ Angels?  Adopt a Soldier.

When you adopt a soldier you commit to sending a card or letter each week, and a minimum of one or two care packages a month.  This is one of the most important things that can be done help bring home a healthy hero; it’s important for each of them to know they are loved and supported, and letters and care packages prove just that.

Care packages do not have to be expensive – I put mine together myself – snacks, hygiene  products, magazines, games, etc.  But note this is a serious job and commitment!  Our soldiers need us!

Interested in adopting a soldier through Soldiers’ Angels?  I hope you are!  Find out more HERE.

Label Lessons eBook Review

Label Lessons

As a Naturally Savvy Blogger, I had the opportunity to review the eBook Label Lessons:  Your Guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart. The eBook is is 31 pages long, so its a user-friendly, quick read, that is full of great information. I have found myself going back to the eBook and using it a reference guide, as it gives so much imperative information about not only food, but also supplements and personal care items too.

Label Lessons teaches regular people, like you and I how to properly read product labels.  It also contains information on how to cleanup your diet and eliminate some of the worst offenders, and eat healthier.  It compares labels you with national labels you are familiar with and tells you which ones are actually the healthy ones.  It provides healthier alternatives and why you should choose them.

Get your FREE eBook copy:  Label Lessons: Your Guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart

Naturally Savvy will donate $1.00 for every share of the eBook via the link above to the Holistic Moms Network.  Label Lessons also provides downloadable coupons for all the healthy products featured in the eBook, and you will have a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree to the Natural Products Store of your choice.  Note that the coupons and donations close June 22, 2013.

The Press Release for Label Lessons:

Helping consumers better navigate the aisles of their supermarkets for healthy food alternatives to mainstream products.  Label Lessons takes the conversation further, looking at supplements and personal care items as well as food, and how to understand product labels.

“My passion as a mother of three is teaching people how to read food labels so they can make the healthiest choices for their families,” says Donsky, adding, “many of us don’t know how to properly read food labels or how to cut through the marketing claims and understand every ingredient in the products they’re purchasing.  Label Lessons aims to help us make better purchasing decisions.”

The book will be accompanied by a series of Naturally Savvy alternagraphics, distributed through social media, which compare products in key categories, giving consumers healthy alternatives to popular mainstream products such as breakfast cereals and spreads, breakfast and snack food, as well as feminine hygiene products and vitamins.

The eBook is free to download. “This information is really important; more than one-third of US and Canadian children are obese.  We simply have to get this out there to as many families as possible, so we decided to make the book free to download,” says Donsky.  For every time Label Lessons is shared, Naturally Savvy will donate one dollar to the organization Holistic Moms Network (up to $10,000), which has a unique mission aimed at teaching parents how to live a more natural and healthy lifestyle.

Disclosure: Naturally Savvy provided a eBook download to me for free (as it is for everyone who would like to download it) for review purposes.  I received no compensation for this review. All opinions are my own and was in no way influenced by Naturally Savvy nor was I obligated to provide a positive review.

pur-Absorb Iron Supplement Product Review

pur-absorb iron

Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia in which a person’s blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.  As the name implies, iron deficient anemia is caused by insufficient iron – without iron the body cannot create hemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells that allows them to carry oxygen.

Symptoms of iron deficient anemia include shortness of breath, feeling fatigue, a general lack of energy, and a decreased ability to concentrate.

Personally, I have struggled with iron deficient anemia since my late teens.  When I was first diagnosed, I put on a regimen of iron pills.  They work to counteract the anemia, however, the side effects are not pleasant – constipation, bloating, and heavier periods to name a few.  I stopped taking them after a while and instead enriched my diet with food high in iron: dark leafy greens, red meat, enriched grains, raisins, and beans.  That has only helped so much.

As a Naturally Savvy Blogger, I was introduced to a different kind of iron supplement – pur-Absorb – and I would like to share it with you.

pur-Absorb is unique to the iron supplement market for many reasons:  pur-Absorb is a 100% naturally occurring iron-rich spring water that has an over lower dose of iron than conventional iron supplements, and has high absorption rate of over 40% (conventional iron supplements average 18%).  pur-Absorb has been scientifically shown to contain a type of iron that our bodies readily absorb with little difficulty.  pur-Absorb comes straight from the Trefriw Wells Spa in the Snowdonia Mountain Range in North Wales, United Kingdom.

Each packet contains 5 mg of naturally-occurring elemental iron, in a mineral spring water form which is packaged right at the source (after filtration).  For over two hundred years, this iron-rich water has been bottled and used as a natural iron supplement.

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You can take pur-Absorb straight from the packet, or by diluting the packet in water, adding to orange, apple, pineapple, or tomato juice (grape juice is not recommended).  Also, you should not take it with milk, as it reduces absorption by up to 50%.

I first tried pur-Absorb right out of the packet.  I wasn’t the most pleasant drink (shot) in the world, but it was definitely tolerable.  The next day I tried the packet mixed in cold water, and I could hardly tell the pur-Absorb was in the water at all (I partly attribute this to the coldness of the water).

The recommended way to take pur-Absorb is with orange juice.  I don’t care for orange juice, but I love light apple juice, so that’s what I tried next.  With the juice, I could not tell the pur-Absorb was mixed into the juice at all.

I’ve been using pur-Absorb foroticed about two weeks, and I have had no gastro-intestinal side effects.  I have also noticed that I feel less fatigued and have more energy.  Although I have not had my iron levels tested, I am confident they have risen.

To learn more about pur-Absorb, visit their website and see if this iron supplement would be appropriate for you too!  You can find pur-Absorb Iron Supplements at drugstores, and you can also purchase it online on through Nelsons Natural World.  A 28-count box has a suggested retail price of $19.95.

Disclosure:  I was provided a sample from Naturally Savvy and pur-Absorb for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.  As this is a supplement, please discuss any changes to your supplement program with your healthcare provider before starting to use it, for health safety reasons.

ABC’s About Me…

Here are the ABC’s about me!

 

A. Age?

33. Going on 25 =)

B. Book?

Favorite?  This Much I Know Is True by Wally Lamb

Currently Reading? This one is very exciting… Marketing Handbook for the Design & Construction Professional

C. Cake or Pie?

I have to decide? Deep Dish Apple Pie (warm with vanilla ice cream)

D. Drink of Choice?

Cold Water.  Otherwise, light apple juice.

E. Essential Item?

Tie between makeup bag (sad, I know) and my cell phone.

F. Favorite Color?

Purple! (no, not red)

G. Game to play or watch?

No sports please.  Rummy, Rummikub or Sorry.

H. Hometown?

Laurel, Maryland

I. Indulgence?

Sweets, the sugary kind.

J. Job?

Director of First Impressions at a small architectural firm.

K. Kids?

Two fur babies – both rescues.  Zeke is a seven year old German Shepherd mix and Zihna is three years old and a pure bred German Shepherd.

L. Life isn’t complete without?

My loving husband Jon, my daddy, my step-mom Annie, Zeke and Zihna, my family, friends, and my faith.

M. Music group or singer?

Rod Stewart.

N. Number of siblings?

None.  Only child.

O. Oranges or apples?

Apples.

 P. Phobias/Fears?

Heights, Speaking in Public, Escalators.

 Q. Favorite Quote?

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”           – Dr. Suess

 R. Reason to smile?

Waking up everyday to a blessed life.

S. Season?

Autumn for the fabulous weather, breezes, Thanksgiving and beautiful changing colors on all the foliage.  Winter for the cold weather, the snow, the holidays and time with loved ones.

 T. Tattoos?

Two.

 U. Unknown fact about me?

Hmmm… I am left handed and can write forwards, backwards, and with my right hand.

 V. Vegetables you love?

Broccoli and Brussell Sprouts. But I like most all of them.

 W. Worst habit?

Sarcasm.

 X. X-rays you’ve had?

Way too many to count.

 Y. Your favorite food?

Warm Brownie, with walnuts and vanilla ice cream. Tied with my dad’s homemade Beef stew.

 Z. Zodiac?

Pisces.

 

NaBloPoMo May – Day 1

NaBloPoMo May’s Theme is COMFORT

Merriam-Webster defines COMFORT as:

  1. (transitive verb) a, to give give strength and hope to;b. to ease the grief or trouble of
  2. (noun) a. strengthening aid; b.a feeling of relief or encouragement; c. a satisfying or enjoyable experience; d. one that gives or brings comfort

Day 1: Did you have a favorite stuffed animal or lovey as a child?

To start, I love stuffed animals.  Growing up, I had many stuffed animals.  Even as a teenager and a young adult, I still collected stuffed animals.  I have now since given away and donated much of collection, keeping only the ones that have are truly special to me.  I will however, find myself purchasing a stuffed animal once in a while (but now I will only get one if it has meaning, e.g. a german shepherd with proceeds going to a good cause).

When I was a very young little girl, I had a small stuffed elephant I would carry around everywhere with me.  Actually, I still have him, tucked away safely with my other valued mementoes from the past in my keepsake/memory chest.  I don’t remember ever naming my little elephant, he was just my elephant, and very special to me.  You could wind him up and he would play music… I can still hear it in my mind, but he doesn’t do that anymore.  When I was about four or five, I accidentally dropped him in toilet, and my parents tried to wash him in the washer.  All of the water broke the mechanisms that made him play music  So tragic, I know.  He also used to be really, really soft, and after that incident, he started getting pills on him.  But none of that stopped me from carrying him around everywhere. I think once I started kindergarten, I stopped carrying him around so much.  But my little elephant brought me comfort.

Even though I was an only child, I had lots of cousins (my mom had three sisters and four brothers, so we have a large extended family on my mom’s side), and when I younger, my grandma would give each of us grandkids a small Christmas present every year.  When I was eight or nine (I think) Grandma gave me a teddy bear for Christmas.  This teddy bear became very special to me over time, and became my favorite teddy bear.  I would sleep with him every night, and he would console me when I was upset.  Just like the elephant, I never gave my teddy bear a formal name, he was just my teddy bear.  As the years went by, he became more and more special…even as a teenager and an adult I admit taking my teddy bear with me on overnight trips.  I still have him, and now instead of sitting atop my bed, he sits atop the guest bed.  You can tell he’s been comforting me for years…his stitching is starting to come apart and his leg being partly held on by a safety pin.

Here’s my teddy bear:

teddy bear

Did you have a favorite stuffed animal or lovey as a child?  

Please leave share with us by leaving a comment about your childhood favorite stuffed animal or lovey.

Thanks!

Happy Easter from Hershey Wishes and Kisses!

Happy Easter from all of us at Hershey Wishes and Kisses

- Crimson, Jon, and of course our two beloved adopted German Shepherd rescues Zihna and Zeke.

Happy Easter from the Dog

On this Easter Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection of Lord, Jesus Christ.

And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from Heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.  And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.  But the angel said to the women,”Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here, for He Is Risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.  See, I have told you.”  - Matthew 28:2-7

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