Friday, March 9, 2018

Kid Food Nation Commercial Behind-the-Scenes

We have just wrapped up the filming yesterday afternoon (March 8th, 2018) with Corus Entertainment Inc. on the Kid Food Nation commercial for Global TV. As a Kid Food Nation winner for the first season, our son Brandon, along with another fellow BC winner named Oliver, were invited to film a commercial to spread the word to other kids (and their parents) about healthy eating and to submit their own original recipe at kidfoodnation.com.

Visit Brandon's blog at "Brandon's Adventures" on his thoughts about
his KFN commercial filming experience.

I think the kids interacting with each other and preparing their recipes together were so adorable.  Brandon's winning recipe was the "Cheesy Quesadilla". Oliver's winning recipe was the "Salmon with Roasted Vegetables".

Final edits will be aired near the end of March. Be sure to keep an eye out during the morning news as well as the evening news on Global TV. Special thanks to the following professionals for making this happen: Cherene Dyer-Kambeitz (Senior Writer, Producer and Director)

Kids, submit your recipe and enter for a chance to win a trip to Ottawa to attend an amazing gala!


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

First Look at Disney's "Christopher Robin"

Take a look at the teaser trailer for Disney’s “Christopher Robin,” coming soon to theatres. In the heartwarming live action adventure, the young boy who embarked on countless adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with his band of spirited and lovable stuffed animals, has grown up and lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside.

Disney’s “Christopher Robin” is directed by Marc Forster from a screenplay by Alex Ross Perry and Allison Schroeder and a story by Perry based on characters created by A.A. Milne. The producers are Brigham Taylor and Kristin Burr with Renée Wolfe and Jeremy Johns serving as executive producers. The film stars Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin; Hayley Atwell as his wife Evelyn; Bronte Carmichael as his daughter Madeline; and Mark Gatiss as Keith Winslow, Robin’s boss. The film also features the voices of: Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh; Chris O’Dowd as Tigger; Brad Garrett as Eeyore; Toby Jones as Owl; Nick Mohammed as Piglet; Peter Capaldi as Rabbit; and Sophie Okonedo as Kanga.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Duchess of Cambridge Steps Out in Séraphine

NEW YORK, NY - February 28, 2018 - The Duchess of Cambridge wore Séraphine's Royal Blue Tailored Maternity Dress ($169) during her visit to the first annual Royal Foundation Forum yesterday. This is the Duchess' third time wearing this style!

Séraphine's Royal Blue Tailored Maternity Dress is designed to accentuate the empire waist with stylish gold button detailing under the bust. This dress is a favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge, who has worn it several times throughout her third pregnancy. Made in premium stretch woven fabric, it will adapt to your growing curves throughout your pregnancy.


Monday, February 26, 2018

Disney's Lady and the Tramp Signature Collection BluRay/DVD {Review & Giveaway}

Experience the timeless tale three different ways along with all-new bonus features! We are proud to announce that this February, Disney's cherished animated classic, "Lady and the Tramp," joins the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection. Every member of the family will treasure this timeless tale—loaded with three versions of the film, classic bonus material and three all-new features—when it heads home on Digital Feb. 20 and on Blu-ray on Feb. 27.

The Walt Disney Signature Collection edition offers three exciting ways to watch Lady and the Tramp—the original theatrical version, sing-along mode and Walt’s story meetings—both Digitally and via the Multi-screen Edition (formerly the Blu-ray Combo Pack). The Multi-screen Edition includes Blu-ray, DVD and a Digital copy, giving in-home consumers the flexibility to watch the film on different devices. In addition to classic bonus features, all-new extras invite viewers to enter Walt Disney’s original office suite on the Studio lot, discover Walt’s personal passion for pups, and receive a celebrity-hosted spaghetti and meatballs cooking lesson.

Bonus Features:

BLU-RAY BONUS EXTRAS (Bonus varies by format):

Film Versions - 3 Ways to Watch the Movie
* New Sing-Along Version
* Inside Walt's Story Meetings
* Original Theatrical Version

Stories from Walt's Office - Learn about Walt through his trinkets and treasures

Walt & His Dogs - Meet the canine characters Walt loved

How To Make a Meatball and Other Fun Facts About Lady and the Tramp
- With "Oh My Disney" star Alexys Gabriele and Teen Chef Amber Kelley!

And more!

Now a celebrated part of the Walt Disney Signature Collection, Lady and the Tramp captivates audiences of all ages with brilliant animation, remarkable songs and new Bonus Extras!


ONE (1) lucky reader will have the opportunity to win their very own copy of Lady and the Tramp Blu-Ray/DVD. Contest is open to Canadian residents only, excluding Quebec, 18+ (ends March 21, 2018 at 12am PST). Winner will have 48 hours to respond to claim their prize. Good luck!

{Please wait while Rafflecopter entry form loads...}

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of other consumers. No other compensation was given.


Friday, February 16, 2018

Marvel Music and Hollywood Records Present Marvel Studios' Black Panther Original Motion Picture Score Soundtrack

Marvel Music/Hollywood Records are releasing the digital album of the Black Panther score, composed by Grammy®-nominated composer and songwriter Ludwig Göransson, on February 16, 2018.

The film is directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Jeffrey Chernov and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole wrote the screenplay. Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” hits U.S. theaters on February 16, 2018.

“Black Panther” marks Göransson’s third collaboration with director Ryan Coogler (“Creed,” “Fruitvale Station”). The Swedish-born composer wrote the original songs for “Creed” and has also produced albums for Childish Gambino, Haim, and Chance the Rapper.

Göransson recorded the score in London with a 132-piece western classical orchestra, African percussionists and a 40-person choir. Göransson said, "After reading Ryan’s first draft of the script, I quickly realized that the only way I could properly score ‘Black Panther’ was to travel to Africa to record, research and learn from as many musicians I could find. I was introduced to Senegal’s most incredible musicians and storytellers, and from there it all started to come together. One of the instruments that especially caught my attention was the talking drum, which together with West African sabar drums and ceremonial rhythms, became the foundation for the score.”

Göransson infused a wide array of African instrumentation into the score and character themes. Speaking about the score’s creation, Göransson notes: “The talking drum is used for T’Challa’s main theme, with one hit per syllable of his name played on the drum. For Erik Killmonger’s theme, the name was sung and screamed into a fula flute to convey the “musical interpretation of the character’s ferocity.” Sabar drums were used to “propel the story and to highlight both the country of Wakanda and T’Challa's movements, especially in his fight scenes.” Sabar drums are used in traditional African wrestling “making them perfect for the action scenes.”

Göransson’s biggest challenge was to blend a western classical orchestra and modern production with traditional African rhythms and harmonies. He adds, “Together with Ryan Coogler, we worked out new ways of combining the three elements into something traditionally authentic and truly unique, that I hope embodies the heart and soul of Wakanda."

The “Black Panther” digital album is available for pre-order HERE. The soundtrack can be streamed HERE .

About Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther”

Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

“Black Panther” stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, with Angela Bassett, with Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis.

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit marvel.com. © MARVEL


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Incredibles 2” Super-Special To Debut Tonight

Incredibles 2” unveiled a trio of teaser posters this week—the final poster is now available. See the images below.

Plus, TUNE IN to the Walt Disney Studios Canada social pages TONIGHT (February 14, 2018) to catch a Super-special look at “Incredibles 2.”

In “Incredibles 2,” Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose superpowers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.

Written and directed by Brad Bird (“Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille”) and produced by John Walker (“The Incredibles,” “Tomorrowland”) and Nicole Grindle (“Sanjay’s Super Team” short, “Toy Story 3” associate producer), Disney•Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” busts into theatres on June 15, 2018.


Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to help bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home when a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot that only the Incredibles can overcome together.


* Released in 2004, “The Incredibles” grossed more than $633 million worldwide. Earning more than $70 million opening weekend, “The Incredibles” posted the second-largest opening at the time for an animated feature. 

* Director Brad Bird helmed “The Incredibles,” which won an Academy Award® for best animated feature film of the year. Bird also directed Pixar Animation Studios’ 2007 Oscar®-winning film “Ratatouille,” as well as 2011’s live-action film “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” 2015’s “Tomorrowland” and 1999’s BAFTA-winning animated film “The Iron Giant.”


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Crème Lipstick {Review}

First of all, the package/lipstick casing is pretty cool! I received a KatVonDBeauty StuddedKiss Creme Lipstick in a bold, red shade called "Misfit". It was a random color I that was sent to me as part of the Influenster Program. It's a nice color choice, but I still prefer more natural/neutral shades. It feels lightweight and long-lasting. I also like the mild sweet scent.

Disclosure: I received samples of the above product(s) for my review in this post as part of the Influenster VoxBox Campaign. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of other consumers. No other compensation was given.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Looking to boost your budget in February?

Looking to boost your budget in February?

All throughout this month you can earn big bonuses at Swagbucks, the rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.

As a bonus, when you sign up through me this month, you can earn a $3 bonus! Here's how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before March. You'll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it!

3. That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned [GIVE EARNED SB AMOUNT, WHAT YOU SPEND IT ON]


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Best Hair Tips for Girls with Natural Curls

International Stylist and Curl Master Creator of The Doux Gets Real About Real Hair

People with wavy or curly hair are always looking for new products, tips and tricks to lock in their desired look. Whether they want to blow it straight, create looser curls or maximize their tighter coils, Maya Smith, Celebrity Hair Stylist, salon owner and creator of The Doux, the “Indie” haircare line with cult following available at Target is truly the master. Here she shares her best tips for girls with curls who want to revel in their natural hair and create a style they love.

Understand the battle between oil and moisture.

The first thing people must understand is that there are opposite things going on at the same time. “Due to the shape of curly haired strands, the hair tends to be under moisturized. On the other hand, the curly haired scalp can get very oily. Managing these opposite demands is the struggle of girls who wish to keep their curls. The key here is knowing how best to address both,” explains Maya who led the movement for women to transition from relaxers to natural curls.

Be gentle when washing curly hair.

According to Maya, kinky, thick, coiled textures tend to appear “tough” and strong enough to withstand heavy manipulation. “In my experience, these hair types are actually the most delicate, and should be handled with care, she recommends.”

Step One: Pick your products wisely.

Maya applied over 2 decades of research and development based on working knowledge of hair texture and listening to what people wanted. “I created The Doux™ SUCKA FREE Moisturizing Shampoo and FRESH RINSE Moisturizing Conditioner as the one-two step that delivers both deep cleaning plus exceptional nourishment necessary for styling.” It’s now available in Target stores and the full product line is available online at www.thedoux.com.

Step Two: Prep for shampoo.

Maya’s professional instructions for curl mastery begins with rinsing hair thoroughly with water for a minimum of 30 seconds. “This helps to eliminate any water-soluble product buildup, such as hair gel or heat protectant. It also helps you save shampoo! Assuming you’re shampooing in the shower, letting the water run over the hair in a downward motion helps prevent further tangling, and allows the hair shaft to swell and the curl pattern to fully rebound.” For those with extremely thick hair, Maya suggests separating hair into 4 sections prior to wetting the hair for increased manageability.

Once the shampoo is applied, Maya recommends light manipulation at the scalp, going from the crown of the head to the nape of the neck. “Squishing” the hair up toward the scalp is a no-no. “Shampooing this way can cause unforgivable tangling and matting. I recommend repeating the shampooing process at least once.”

Step Three: Condition and comb through like a pro.

If your scalp was properly shampooed, conditioning is easy. “This time, you’re focusing on your thirsty ends first, working upward toward the scalp. Gently detangle with a wide-toothed comb or detangling brush (our favorite is Felicia Leatherwood’s “Brush with the Best” detangling brush) before rinsing, starting at the ends, working up toward to the roots. Remember to rinse with cool water which snaps cuticles shut, locks in moisture, makes your hair shinier and reduces frizz.”

When it comes to “co-washing” or “conditioner washing” Maya equates the popular trend to washing your clothes with fabric softener. “In my experience, co-washing causes build-up on the hair, coating the cuticle and impairing the hair’s natural ability to absorb water. Oils, waxes, and product residue harden on the hair shaft, making it more brittle and less porous over time. When the hair can no longer effectively absorb water, the elasticity of the hair is compromised, leaving the hair “crunchy” and stiff, where it is more likely to break. The result is hair that feels dry and brittle, no matter what product you use to moisturize it,” explains Maya.

One of the things Maya Smith and her team of stylists are known for is their ability to restore hundreds of their clients’ curls, simply by getting them to trade in the co-wash for a gentle, pH-balanced moisturizing shampoo, like The Doux’s SUCKA FREE which properly cleanses hair of product residue. “Once you have the hair thoroughly clean it “drinks” up the necessary amount of moisture, and returns to its natural softness,” Maya clarifies.

Avoid alcohol and kick the crunch to the curb.

Styling products high in alcohol give curls a crunchy feel. They suck up every last bit of moisture. Hair spray tends to contain the most alcohol, while gels, mousses and anything that provides hold or lift come in second. “I recommend water-soluble gels that don't feel sticky on your skin, and aerated mousses or foams that resemble beaten egg whites, to give hair fullness, control, and non-brittle curls,” Maya says.

She adds that she created The Doux so it can be used on hair that is worn curly or straight. “Our clients purchase one set of products, and apply them differently to achieve the style they want. If you’re rocking curly hair today, you’re using The Doux’s Mousse Def and Bonita Afro Balm for softness and definition, and The Light for shine. If you’re wearing a blowout, you’re still using the same products, but applying them less liberally, and using the shine mist as a heat protectant. It’s super simple and easy to follow once you’ve seen the results each of them deliver,” Maya explains.

Blow-Dry with a diffuser or hooded dryer.

Maya’s first choice for curly styles is to air dry. “If you don’t have the time to air dry then dry with a diffuser or hooded dryer on a low heat setting. A regular blow dryer nozzle disrupts the curl pattern and focuses hot air on one small section at a time while a diffuser, dries curls evenly for a full, uniform look,” she explains.

Maya recommends always applying a heat-protecting product, then flipping your head upside down using a diffuser at the roots and mid-length making sure to dry the area completely to lock in volume. “It’s important to leave the ends for last, and leave them only semi-dry. Air drying the ends is your best option.”

Care for the curls you were born with!

About Maya Smith:

Maya Smith is an International Master Stylist and Founder of The Doux Salon and haircare line now available in Target. With over two decades of styling experience Maya dedicated two decades to cracking the code on curl care, maintenance and expert styling. When it comes to caring for one’s natural hair and styling it, Maya is the best there is.

While still in high school, Maya got her hair cutting license and graduated from beauty school. Soon after graduating high school, Maya began following her passion and worked as an assistant for celebrity stylist Tracy Johnson. She learned from Johnson and progressed as a hair stylist for celebrities and entertainers. Years later the military wife would relocate to Germany, where Maya opened up her first salon The HoneyComb, a mecca for textured hair care for women from all over Europe, The UK, and as far as Africa. Maya's unique system of textured hair styling sparked the development of The DOUX® haircare products, first launched overseas, and distributed throughout Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Currently, Maya leads a carefully selected team of stylists at The DOUX® Salon in Macon, Georgia and on Christmas Eve 2017, celebrated the arrival of The DOUX® in Target stores nationwide. Maya Smith, wife, mom of 5 and savvy business woman is an example not just for women of color but for all women who believe their gifts can impact the world, striving for entrepreneurial endeavors with grace, ease and hustle.


Secrets World Tour - Live in Vancouver March 4

SECRETS will be hitting the road this spring is support of their self-titled album, out February 23rd via Made in the Shade Records. They will be stopping at 333 in Vancouver on March 4th, 2018.

Late last year, the band released "Incredible", followed by "Five Years". Secrets is the follow-up to 2015's Everything That Got Us Here.

SECRETS is composed of Richard Rogers, Wade Walters, Michael Sherman and Connor Brannigan.

SECRETS are set to head out on a headlining world tour, kicking off February 22nd in San Diego. The tour will coincide with the release of their self-titled album, out 2/23 via Made In The Shade Records. Pre-order information on the record, as well as tour dates, can be found here: www.secretsofficial.com

Late last year, the band released "Incredible", followed by "Five Years". Secrets is the follow-up to 2015's Everything That Got Us Here.

SECRETS track listing:
1. Sixteen
2. Fourteen
3. Incredible
4. Strangers
5. Five Years
6. Mouth Breather
7. Lost Cause
8. Last Time
9. Chemical Reaction
10. 03.17.16
11. The End
12. Let Me In

Upcoming tour dates:

2/22 - San Diego, CA @ Soma
2/23 - Mesa, AZ @ Underground
2/24 - Anaheim, Ca @ Chain Reaction
2/25 - Henderson, NV @ Eagle Aerie Hall
2/27 - Berkeley, CA @ Cornerstone
2/28 - Sacramento, CA @ Holy Diver
3/1 - Portland, OR @ Analog Cafe
3/2 - Spokane, WA @ The Big Dipper
3/3 - Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
3/4 - Vancouver, BC @ 333
3/7 - Edmonton, Canada @ The Starlite Room
3/8 - Calgary, Canada @ The Gateway
3/9 - Saskatoon, Canada @ Amigo's
3/10 - Regina, Canada @ The Exchange
3/11 - Winnipeg, Canada @ The Good Will
3/12 - Saint Paul Park, MN @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall
3/13 - Berwyn, IL @ The Wire
3/14 - Ferndale, MI @ The Loving Touch
3/15 - Windsor, Canada @ Windsor Beer Exchange
3/16 - London, Canada @ Rum Runners
3/18 - Hamilton, Canada @ Club Absinthe
3/19 - Kingston, Canada @ Overtime
3/20 - Montreal, Canada @ Bar Le Ritz
3/21 - Ville De Quebec, Canada @ L'anti Bar & Spectacles
3/22 - Ottawa, Canada @ Maverick's
3/23 - Toronto, Canada @ Hard Luck
3/24 - Dayton, OH @ Rockstar Pro Arena
3/25 - Wichita, KS @ Rock Island Live
3/26 - Denver, CO @ Marquis Theater
3/27 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Loading Dock
3/29 - Tijuana, Mexico @ You Revolution
3/30 - Monterrey, Mexico @ Cafe Iguana
3/31 - Guadalajeara, Mexico @ Palindromo
4/1 - Cuauhtemoc, Mexico @ Gato Calavera
4/13 - Johannesburg, South Africa @ Sundowners
4/14 - Pretoria, South Africa @ Arcade Empire
4/21 - Zonnebloem, South Africa @ Mercury Live
5/5 - Manila, Philippine @ Pulp Summer Slam
5/11 - Adelaide, Australia @ Crown & Anchor Hotel
5/12 - Melbourne, Australia @ The Evelyn Hotel
5/13 - Sydney, Australia @ The Bald Faced Stag
5/17 - Islington, Australia @ The Small Ballroom
5/18 - Brisbane, Australia @ The Brightside
5/19 - Auckland, New Zealand @ Whammy Bar
5/20 - Wellington, New Zealand @ Valhalla Tavern

Website: http://secretsofficial.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/secretsofficial/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SECRETSofficial
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/secretsofficial/


Friday, January 19, 2018

Healthy Snack Ideas for Family Movie Nights

I'm not a fan of the cold, winter weather, but what I like is staying warm and cuddled at home on the comfy couch (or bed) and planning family movie nights. It's also a great time for family bonding. We get to stay comfortable in our pajamas and make our own delicious snacks without spending a whole lot. It's definitely more relaxing at home.

Did you know that January 19th is National Popcorn Day?

I know the first snack that comes to mind when we think of movies is popcorn. Many people think of it as junk food, but is popcorn healthy? Actually yes, because it is still a whole grain and is high in fibre. Movie theater popcorn, however, is high in fat and sodium. For a healthier option, you can skip the grease and butter and use a bit of extra-virgin olive oil instead (or just plain popcorn). You could also use less salt when making it at home.

Here are some of our creative healthy snack ideas for our family movie nights (in addition to popcorn):

► Homemade Apple Chips

Homemade apple chips are all-natural with no added sugar nor any preservatives. You will need to make this ahead of time. Since I don't have a dehydrator, I used a regular oven to bake these.

How to make apple chips using an oven: Place apple slices on metal baking sheet with oven set to 225F. Bake the apples for about 45mins to 1 hour until dried and edges are curled up.

► Veggies and Dip

Very simple -- just slice some cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, celery, etc. That day, we just used cucumbers and baby carrots. We created homemade veggie dip using mayonnaise, sour cream, dried vegetables, and some seasoning.

Whole Grain Crackers with Strawberry & Almond Butter Topping

These snacks are very healthy and high in fibre. Don't forget to drink liquids too because too much fibre in the diet can cause constipation.

Any kind of finger food or bite sized snacks work. We like sharing a bowl of fresh fruits and berries to have sometimes.

Besides food, our must-have movie night essentials include blankets and pillows on a comfy couch.


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Free DesignEvo Logo Maker {Review}

I was recently introduced to DesignEvo, a free online logo creator that helps you create unique and professional logos.  No creative experience necessary.

I decided to try it out for fun and see what I've come up with. It was easy to use and I was able to resize and place my text wherever I like.


* 3000+ fully customizable logo templates.
* Over one million icons available to search through.
* Hundreds of text fonts and shapes to choose from.
* Freely customize a logo with powerful editing tools.

Logo made with DesignEvo

It's not completely free, but it is only free to download low resolution of the file.  If you really like the logo you've made and seriously decide to use it for high quality prints, you have an option to choose between two package fees: Basic or Plus. See the chart below:

If you want to just have fun trying it out, go to www.designevo.com and let me know what you've come up with. Comment below and describe which designs are your favorite.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Motivational Monday: Don't Give Up

It's Motivational Monday! Think positive. Have faith in yourself. You got this!

Artwork credit to chibird.com


Monday, January 8, 2018

January Swago with Spin & Win (Intl)

The digital rewards site Swagbucks is offering big payouts during their January "Swago" promotion starting Monday, January 8th at 9am PT and running until Monday, January 15th! Swago is just like bingo, but in this case you're filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you're thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. Here are a few tips:  

  • Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of our popular stores!  
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.  
  • You have until 12pm PT on Monday, January 15th to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.  
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.  
  • Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you'll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!

The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until 11:59pm PT on Monday, January 15th to use all your spins.  

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points - if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 500 SB bonus, which is enough for a $5 gift card from the retailer of your choice.   

Click here right now and click "Join" to get started! If you don't already have a Swagbucks account, you'll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if you earn 300 SB before the first of January, you'll get a bonus 300 SB!


How to Make New Year’s Resolutions that Stick

Every year we begin a new year resolving to do (or quit doing) something and expect to be the game changer in our lives. For some it’s to workout, lose weight, cut out all carbs and sweets. For others, it’s a promise to save more money and get finances on track. Regardless of what you resolve to do, according to Dr. Sanam Hafeez, there is a way to set yourself up for failure or success. The mindset we are in when deciding on a resolution determines it's stickiness. Below Dr. Hafeez, a New York based neuropsychologist affiliated with Columbia University, shares key insights on how to make New Year’s Resolutions that stick.

1. Envision the end result and reverse engineer it.

According to Dr. Hafeez, neural pathways in the brain can be changed through a combination of visualization and aligned action. She encourages people to journal about what it is they want. Write it all out. “How would life improve? What would all the benefits be? Cut pictures out of magazines of what you want and post them to a wall (or if appropriate, the refrigerator). Get very clear on what you think you will feel like once you see results,” she recommends.

2. Get clear on your triggers.

Set yourself up for success by understanding what may potentially get you off track. “Sticky resolutions come with planning. If you want to lose weight then begin with clearing out your fridge and cupboards of junk food. That in itself is an action that will tell your brain that you are serious. Get recipes and write out a new grocery shopping list. Writing plans, micro goals and ideas that serve the greater accomplishment you're reaching for creates “buy in” from your brain, says Hafeez.”

For the people resolving to save more money Dr. Hafeez says to evaluate when and why you spend. If you notice you spend $40 a week on coffee, think of alternatives. “You don’t want to cut yourself off from anything cold-turkey. The brain doesn’t respond well to deprivation. It sends brain chemicals that signal displeasure which is what makes resolutions lose their stickiness. Shift to a possibility or curiosity mindset. Asking yourself, what can I do to save $5 per day invites in inspired thoughts and creative ideas,” explains Hafeez.

3. Pace yourself.

“The reason why resolutions don’t stick is because people set the bar way too high and expect achievement way too fast. Think of every week as a win! Break it down into weekly chunks and train the brain to value quick accomplishments,” she advises. The people who resolve to lose weight and get more exercise won’t stick to it if they don’t celebrate small milestones and try to do too much too soon. Resolve to lose 1 to 3 pounds per week. Do this by cutting out soft drinks or juices and drinking water instead. After 10 weeks you''ll be 20 pounds lighter with great skin just because you did one thing week by week until it became your new normal.

4. Trick your brain by making it fun.

“Our language and self-talk is everything and determines if our resolution will fade or will become something we’re still doing in June,” says Dr. Hafeez. “When someone resolves to change their diet, exercise and lose weight they already envision how difficult it is going to be so they are already dreading it before they started. However, shifting the brain to doing something fun that is in line with the goal gets you more committed," she adds. Create a playlist of great music to work out to. Look up recipes on Pinterest to build your new shopping list. When you do the advance preparation that is more fun, and take small steps towards building the new lifestyle to support your resolution, you’re setting yourself up for a win.

5. Fuel your resolution with greater purpose worth committing to.

If you want to resolve to save more money, it’s is helpful to have a clear purpose for the money you plan to save. Resolving to save more money is vague making it hard to remain on track. Saving more money to take an amazing vacation or to purchase a home or car is something tangible you can stick to. “It’s common for people to commit to doing something when they connect it to a greater purpose beyond them or an experience they want to have. This explains why lifetime smokers can instantly quit when they learn they are pregnant. It’s not about them anymore. We see the man who is 75 pounds overweight lose weight when his daughter gets engaged. Whenever we can connect resolutions to a bigger purpose our minds get on board, and when the mind is all in, resolutions stick,” explains Dr. Hafeez.

About Dr. Hafeez:

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens.

Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.

Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or www.comprehendthemind.com