DealDash Helps: Inspire Us

DealDash is a company that strives to be fair and honest. What could be more inspiring than that?

DealDash has a certain knack for inspiring people. Here are a few tips to help you be a more inspiring person. Do it for your family, for your friends, or for your co-workers. Everyone admires a person who they find to be inspiring.

What do you find inspiring? One of the things that I find the most inspiring personally is hope. Hope for the future, hope for life to be fair, hope for peace for the world and all of us in it. To be inspiring to people you have to give them hope. To give another person hope you need to show them that even if things are tough right now if they persevere there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, or a reward for the struggles that they are sure to face. Be inspiring by being realistic to challenges but having hope and faith that things will improve in the long run.

Think of any inspiring story that you have heard on the news or read about in the paper or online. What do all of these stories have in common? They have a real-life hero that isn’t afraid to do the right thing even in the face of adversity. To inspire people you have to be the best that you possibly can be, and act as a leader that people can look up to and feel comfortable following in your footsteps, trusting that you will do the thing that is best for everyone and not just yourself.

Who do you find inspiring? If you aspire to be a power bidder in the online auction world of DealDash then you should watch the auctions as much as possible and pick out a few bidders that you find inspiring and try to emulate their bidding style and their success. Why not start right now? Just follow this link to DealDash and get started! Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Avoids Damaging Exercise

Everyone talks about how healthy exercise is for your body. However, did you know that there are some exercises that can damage and age your body prematurely?

When someone says “exercise” you probably picture someone in the gym in excellent health, as fit as can be, and enjoying the activity. This is only one side of the coin, though, because believe it or not exercise can harm your body and age you prematurely if you aren’t careful and aware how you are treating your body.

For example, if your favorite workout includes exercises that put a lot of strain on your shoulders such as overhead presses with free weights you might want to limit them or do alternate exercises as you age, because rotator cuff injuries, torn tendons, and other shoulder injuries become much more commonplace. Alternately, you might want to try a lower weight but more reps. This will still give you a great workout but reduce the chance of a shoulder injury.

Another workout that you might want to limit is HIIT (High-intensity interval training), even though it can provide you an awesome workout it can put a lot of strain and wear on your body. If you insist on doing HIIT, then try to limit it to only a couple of times per week with a few days in between sessions to let your body heal itself.

Speaking of putting a lot of strain and wear on your body, exercising strenuously every day can be counter-intuitive, because before long you will most likely suffer an injury and have to wait days or weeks for it to heal. It’s wonderful to want to move your body every day, try alternating cardio, weight training, and something as simple and easy as walking or riding your bike every day.

If you are looking for some new exercise equipment for your home so you can skip driving to the gym every day check out DealDash. DealDash offers auctions on a large variety of work out and sports equipment such as treadmills and exercise bikes, but they also have golfing equipment, tennis equipment, and more. Just check out the Hobbies, Toys, Outdoors, and Games category and see how much you can save! Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Helps: Keep Hobby Costs Low

No matter what your hobby, from photography to knitting and everything in between you can always find ways to cut costs. Let DealDash help you save some money.

Hobbies can be expensive, especially if you are just starting to be interested in a certain hobby. Almost every hobby that you pick up will require you to buy at least something to get started. Some hobbies, like photography can be extremely expensive; other hobbies such as doing hand embroidery or puzzles only require a small amount of money to get started. If you aren’t 100% sure what hobby that you are interested in it might be smart to try out a few hobbies that only need a few inexpensive supplies to get started instead of trying out the more expensive hobbies first.

If you are definitely set on one of the more expensive hobbies there are always ways to save money. For example, if you are positive that photography is the hobby for you, then try to buy all of your supplies on sale. As someone who DealDashes, I’m sure that you know that you can get most photography supplies cheaper on DealDash! If you go to the Electronics and Computer category on DealDash you can choose what supplies that you are interested in and stay on budget.

Perhaps you are still trying to choose a hobby and can’t decide. Instead of randomly picking a hobby that you aren’t sure about you should make a list of some things that you enjoy doing, and soon enough you will see if there is a theme present that you could turn into a hobby. For example, if you make a list that has nature, hiking, outdoors, and animals on it you might enjoy birdwatching or plant identification. If you’re more of a homebody and your list includes those same things you might enjoy gardening or maybe even bee keeping! No matter what hobby you pick be sure to do your research on brands and prices. Try to buy the bulk of your supplies on a holiday weekend such as 4th of July, Labor Day, Black Friday, etc. Most places (including DealDash!) usually have extremely good deals on holiday weekends.

DealDash can help reduce your hobby costs dramatically by bidding on and winning gift cards. Most hobbies require you to buy supplies regularly, and if you can acquire any of those supplies at a place that DealDash offers gift cards for such as Wal*Mart, Target, K-Mart, or so many others you can bid on them and get a great deal, or BIN (Buy It Now) and pay face value for the gift card, get free shipping, and get to keep the clock time that you spent as the highest bidder.

I hope that you found this article helpful for money-saving ideas for your hobbies. Think about my suggestions and head on over to DealDash to save some money on your hobbies. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Dinner as a Family

Most people would agree that eating dinner as a family is important. However, with today’s busy schedules it’s hard to find the time.

With all of the soccer games, one or both parents working late, and tons of homework it’s hard to eat dinner together. However, since it’s important you and your family should schedule family dinner on your calendars at least once per week, but preferably more. Write it in on the calendar just as you would any other appointment, and stick to it!

Preparing dinner, setting the table, and cleaning up after dinner should not be left for one person to do. Ideally everyone would work together to prepare dinner, set things up, and clear it all away and wash the dishes. Or if your family is planning on doing regular weekly family dinners then it might make more sense for you to pick one or two people to be responsible for everything one week, and then swap the next week. The way to get everyone involved would be to pair an adult or teenager with a younger family member so everyone can get used to all of the work that goes into preparing dinner for everyone. After all, they will have their own families to take care of one day.

Finally, when the dinner is on everyone’s plates don’t just eat and ignore each other, share your day. Ask questions about other family member’s days. Discuss future plans together, brainstorm answers to problems, get to know what’s going on in each other’s lives. Children and teenagers who feel like their parents really listen to them are less likely to get into trouble because they want their parents to be proud of them, they don’t want to be a disappointment. It’s important, trust me.

Oster 8-Inch Belgian Waffle Maker

If you are in need of some new kitchen items to help make dinner preparation easier be sure to check out DealDash. DealDash has everything from food processors to waffle makers, to stand mixers and more! If you gave one of the younger family members the job of setting the table and you are now missing a few dishes due to mishaps DealDash has you covered on that as well! Be sure to visit DealDash and check out all of the awesome current and upcoming auctions. While you’re there, how about checking out the family games that are up for auction as well? A family game after family dinner = One great night! Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Helps: Choose a School

If you are able to choose your child’s school for the upcoming school year, now is about the time that you need to give them the decision. DealDash would like to extend a helping hand to assist you.

It can be a huge decision to find and choose the right school for your child. The school you choose can have an impact on their first friends, hobbies, favorite subjects, and in some cases even if they enjoy school or not!  By knowing what to look for and weighing the pros and cons of each, you can make sure you make the best decision that you can.

My daughter is starting her first year of school in September, and I have made the decision to send her to a private Christian school. My son is twice her age and attends the local elementary school, and armed with the information that I have I have decided that the private school is better for her extremely sensitive personality. My friend’s son is the same age as my daughter but lives in a different town, and in her town they have a choice of 5 different elementary schools to choose from. Together she and I put together lists of what was the most important to us in terms of locality, languages, math/science based, music programs, sports, class sizes, and other factors.

Choosing your child’s first school, or in the case of high school students who get to choose if they will go to a traditional high school or a trade-based school is a huge decision that you don’t want to make without knowing all of the facts. After making your list of what are the most important things to you regarding school the next step is to look at what schools are available to you and weed out the ones that you are definitely not interested in. After you have cut down the list to a few (2 or 3) choices then the next step is to make appointments to go visit the schools in person.

If you encounter any resistance to seeing the school, meeting the teachers, or receiving a tour then you should probably ask yourself if this particular school is a good fit for you and your family. The school that I enrolled my daughter in had an open house, and after attending the open house they set up appointments to see the teachers in action. If the school that you are considering isn’t open to that then I would suggest that you keep looking elsewhere.

When you have secured appointments at the schools that you are interested in, be sure to bring a list of questions that you can ask the faculty. Try to remember to write down your questions as they come to you, once you are at your school tour you might not be able to remember them all.

After you have taken your tour, asked and received answers to your questions, and made your final decision about the school be sure to fill out all of the enrollment paperwork, pay fees (if any), and get copies of your child’s vaccination records to give to the school. If you skip any of these things your child might be denied entry to your first choice of school. Also be sure that you have a second choice of school on deck, just in case your first choice doesn’t work out for you.

I hope that this article has helped get you thinking about your child’s educational experience. Once you have made your decision about the school head on over to DealDash. DealDash has many wonderful toys, furniture, and educational items for kids in the Hobbies, Toys, Outdoors, and Games category. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

 

DealDash Saves on Entertainment

If you’re like a lot of families you are probably spending too much money on entertainment. Let DealDash help reduce your expenses.

One of the biggest expenses that can go under the “entertainment” category is going out to restaurants for dinner. Most items that you get from a restaurant you can easily make at home for significantly less money, you can make them healthier, and cooking with your family can be considered a form of entertainment as well. If you need some new kitchen items be sure to check out DealDash’s Kitchen and Dining category.

Another big entertainment expense for families is video games. New video games can cost upwards of $40, $50, or even $60. Add the big price tag to the fact that once you have beaten said game you will probably never play it again, it’s a big expense. You can cut the costs of video games for your family in a few different ways. You can only buy used or older games, you can use one of the game rental services, or of course you can bid on video games on DealDash! Just check out this link right here to be taken to the video games on DealDash.

If you have kids, especially school-aged kids, you’re probably going to hear a chorus of “I’m borredddd, I’m borreeddd, why are things different???!” The thing that you’re going to have to do to counteract that is to pack their schedules full of activities. These activities don’t have to be expensive, or cost any money at all. You can consider doing some good for your community while entertaining your kids by volunteering. As someone who used to volunteer at an animal shelter, I can attest to the fact that people can (and do) bring their school-aged kids in to volunteer. There are plenty of things that older kids can do to volunteer at an animal shelter such as brushing dogs, feeding and watering the animals, and taking the dogs for walks.

Another fun thing to do with the kids that my family loves to do is going to pick fresh fruit at the local orchards and farms. While it does cost money it’s money that you would be spending at the supermarket anyway, and you get the added benefit of entertaining your family.

In case you didn’t know, DealDash is commonly referred to as “Entertainment Shopping,” meaning that you are buying things online but you are getting the benefit of having fun while you are shopping. DealDash can be called entertainment shopping because even if you don’t win the auction you can always BIN (Buy It Now) the item for retail value and get all of your bids back as well as free shipping. Go entertain yourself now on DealDash and see how much you can save. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

Improve Your Outlook with DealDash

Everyone gets the blues now and again. Here’s a quick guide from DealDash on how to improve your mood and outlook on life.

The first logical step in trying to improve your mood and outlook is to identify if there’s something in your life that’s making you unhappy. Do you need more “me time”? Are you unhappy with your job? Are you lonely and need to make a few more friends? Once you have identified the problem (or problems) in your life that are making you unhappy is to try to think of a way to fix them. If you can’t think of any specific problem in your life that is making you unhappy then you might have a touch of depression, which you should speak to your doctor about, they can help.

If you have identified a problem, though, then the next step is thinking of a way to alleviate the problem. Let’s use the examples above just to get you thinking.

If you are a busy Mom and are in need of some serious “Me time” then the obvious plan of action is to get your partner to take the kids out (or you go out!) on a regular schedule so that you can get some “me time”, and if it’s on a regular basis then it’s much easier to be happy on a day-to-day basis because you have a set date to look forward to. If you don’t have a partner, or if they are not able to take the kids for you then you could hire a babysitter, or even swap babysitting with another Mom so you can both get some “Me time” in, and not have to pay for a babysitter.

If you’re unhappy with your job it’s time to figure out why, and what you can do to improve the situation. Some options might include telecommuting a few days per week, or doing 10 hour days 4 days per week and having 3 day weekends. If those aren’t options for you, perhaps you might want to think about looking for a different job that suits you better, or even going back to school if you feel that you are in the wrong field altogether. Most community colleges and trade schools have classes on nights and weekends, and almost all colleges have online classes that you can take to further your education.

In the last example loneliness was the problem. If you’re a shy person who has trouble making friends now that you’re an adult out of school then activity clubs are a possible solution for you. There are many places online that you can join different activity groups in your area that have regular meet-ups where the ice is already broken for you because you have a common goal. There are groups for every activity, from sports to crafts to cooking to Legos. This won’t guarantee that you will make new friends, but it’s a step in the right direction.

Personally, when I am feeling a little blue there’s nothing that perks me up like doing some bidding on DealDash! The fun and excitement of bidding coupled with the joy of winning always makes me feel better when I’m a little down. If you’d like to go get “bid happy” on DealDash then just follow this link here and see how much you can save. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Cooks: Slow BBQ Chicken

Originally hailing from the South, I love BBQ! If it’s too hot in your kitchen this summer to cook, just use the slow cooker.

When you say Southern BBQ most people automatically think about pork. However, chicken can also make an awesomely delicious BBQ sandwich. The slow cooker is perfect for cooking BBQ, as the key cooking phrase of anyone versed in BBQ is “Low and Slow”, which is exactly what the slow cooker does.

Here is the recipe for cooking delicious slow cooker BBQ chicken, and also some dessert ideas.

Ingredients

  • 4 Boneless/skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (18 Ounce) bottle of BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray’s or Stubbs, personally)
  • 1/4 Cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon red pepper flakes (if desired)

Directions

  • Whisk BBQ sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl until the sugar dissolves
  • Put chicken breast halves in a slow cooker.
  • Pour sauce mixture over the chicken.
  • Cook on Low for approximately 6 hours.
  • Shred the chicken breasts with 2 forks
  • Serve on buns

As for dessert my family always liked to pair an ambrosia with BBQ. Here is a quick and easy Pink Ambrosia recipe:

Ingredients

Directions

  • Mix sweetened condensed milk, whipped topping, and vanilla extract together in a bowl
  • Fold cherry pie filling, pineapple, fruit cocktail, coconut, walnuts, and mini-marshmallows into the condensed milk mixture
  • Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight
  • Mix very well before serving

If you are in need of a new slow cooker to make BBQ chicken (or anything else, for that matter!) then head on over to DealDash. DealDash has a large selection of slow cookers at this link right here. DealDash also has just about anything else that you might need to make your recipes a success. Head on over to DealDash and check out the Kitchen and Dining category, which you can find right here. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

Crock-Pot 4-Quart Cook & Carry Slow Cooker

DealDash Cleans Up Your Carpet

Aren’t carpet stains the worst? Well, DealDash is here to help you with some tips to get the stains out.

Picture it, you’re having a party, the snacks and drinks are flowing freely, and you hear “Oops!! My wine!” You inwardly sigh and go get paper towels to at least do a little damage control. The next day you see what an awful stain it really is, and you wonder how you will ever get that stain out.

Or perhaps parties aren’t your thing. Maybe you have your grandchildren over for a visit while their parents are busy. You decide to be the “Cool, fun Grandma” and let them get out the paints. Soon enough you hear “Whhhaahhh Grandmaaa I made a messsss!” Just like in the example above you do a little damage control in the moment and try to deal with the stain later on.

DealDash is here to help, no matter what your situation or stain there are some ways to (hopefully) completely remove it, or at least make it much less noticeable. Here we have a list of some of the most common stains and the best ways to go about removing them.

Wine – Wine is notorious for staining the carpet. It’s fairly simple to treat if you deal with it immediately, though. Immediately put salt on the stain, then blot with club soda, then finish with a rinse of lukewarm water.

Blood/Coffee – Blood and coffee are removed in the same way. After blotting up the excess blot or spray with hydrogen peroxide then clean with a sponge and warm (dish)soapy water.

Gum – You can remove gum the same way that you can remove it from hair. Put ice on the gum long enough for it to become hard and semi-frozen, then peel it off.

Ketchup – Kids love ketchup and are messy, which is a bad combination for your carpet. Mix 1/2 a tablespoon of ammonia with 1/2 a cup of water and blot until gone. Finish up with a rinse of lukewarm water.

Wax – You can remove candle wax from your carpet by letting it dry, then placing a brown paper bag (like from a grocery store), and ironing the wax. If there is a lot of wax then you will have to repeat the process with fresh bags until the wax is removed.

If you are still having trouble with stains after trying these tips and tricks DealDash has a great spot and stain remover that’s made by Bissell, as well as a huge selection of vacuums made by various well-known brands. If you’d like to see the Bissell stain remover just click this link here, and if you would like to see the selection of vacuum cleaners then just click here. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

Bissell Homecare Spotlifter Portable Deep Carpet Cleaner Vacuum

DealDash Pet Talk: Hamster

Most kids would love to have a pet. Sometimes it just isn’t practical to have a cat or dog. How about a hamster?

I admit it, hamsters are not as exciting a pet as a cat or dog. However, they can be great fun, especially for younger kids. They have all of the great hallmarks of a perfect first pet; they are inexpensive, their habitat can be easily purchased and not very expensive, and they are easy to keep as a pet.

There are different breeds of hamster, but if you are going to your local Petco you will probably see short and long-haired European hamsters. When you get your hamster they will probably be a baby or young hamster, not yet fully grown. When they are adults they will be around 5 inches long and can live between 2 and 3 years with good care.

When you are shopping for your new pet hamster be sure to look for one that has bright clear eyes, is active, and doesn’t have any kind of moisture or wet look neat it’s tail. The best way to pick a great pet is to make sure that you get the healthiest one that you can find.

As I said before, the hamster and it’s supplies are fairly reasonably priced, and they don’t need a lot of accessories to be happy. The hamster itself should be between $12-20 if you go to a chain pet store. Below I will list the supplies that you will need to get your new little furry buddy off to a good start.

  • Cage
  • Bedding – high quality paper bedding, crumbled paper bedding, or hardwood shavings. Cedar-based products are not suitable. They can give your furry friend a respiratory infection.
  • Water bottle & food dish
  • Food (prepared hamster pellet diet as well as fresh fruit and timothy hay)
  • Wheel (for exercise)
  • Chew sticks

That’s all you really need to get started. I would suggest getting the biggest cage that’s reasonably priced and can fit easily where you plan to keep the cage. Hamsters love to run and climb, so multi-level cages with tubes are recommended but not required. When you are looking for a cage be sure that it’s made for hamsters and not a larger animal such as a guinea pig, because  a hamster can easily squeeze through the cage bars if they are spaced too far apart.

I hope that you found this article helpful to get your family a new little friend. If you’re looking for pet supplies DealDash has you covered! Check out DealDash’s pet section at this link right here. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Helps: Pack for Vacation

  A lot of people have trouble figuring out what to pack for a vacation. Some people bring too much, others not enough. DealDash is here to help.

Let’s assume that you are going on a 1 week vacation to somewhere warm with a beach, since that seems like the most common vacation that people seem to take. The goal is to get everything to fit into one suitcase and one carry on. Here’s what you’re going to need:

Toiletries:

  • Toothbrush/paste/floss
  • Hair brush
  • Razor/shave cream
  • Lotion
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Sunblock
  • Hair mousse/spray (if needed)
  • Medication (if needed)
  • Contacts/solution (if needed)
  • Make up (if needed)

When you are packing your toiletries for your 1 week vacation you can skip buying those “airline approved” 2 ounce bottles. Just pack what you actually need. You don’t really need a whole bottle of lotion for a quick trip. Try packing your toiletries in smaller containers such as in contact lens containers.

Clothing

  • 1 shirt per day
  • 1 pair of pants, shorts or skirts for every two days
  • 1 pair of underwear/bras per day
  • 1 pair of socks per day
  • 3 undershirts/tank tops that can double as PJs/loungewear
  • 3 pairs of lightweight shorts that can double as PJs/loungewear
  • 1 dress (if needed)
  • 1 bathing suit (if needed, you should rinse and hang it up in the shower daily)
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 1 pair of sandals

You will want to choose neutral colors or jeans for your bottoms so you can mix and match them with all of your tops. I would suggest mixing up the tops, such as one dressy shirt, a couple of sleeveless shirts, a couple of short sleeve shirts, and perhaps one long sleeve shirt if your destination has the possibility of being cold or windy if it happens to rain on one of your vacation days. Shoe-wise, be sure to wear the sneakers on the plane instead of the sandals. They are heavier which will keep your luggage weight down, and they are also safer in an emergency.

My other suggestion to you may seem slightly wasteful, so please only use it if you feel comfortable. I love the concept of “disposable clothing.” When I was packing for my 3 week trip to China a few years ago I had the idea of bringing my oldest underwear, bras, socks, PJs, and t-shirts so I could just throw them away at the end of my vacation so I would have room to bring back more souvenirs from my trip. I didn’t end up actually throwing them away as I had planned, though, I simply left them folded on top of the dresser in my hotel room. I figured that the hotel staff might either donate them or cut them up to use for cleaning. Either way, I was able to clean out my closet and make room in my suitcase, win-win!

Miscellaneous

  • Phone/ipad/ipod charger
  • Snacks
  • Baby wipes (so useful even if you don’t have kids!)
  • Hat

If you are in need of a new toiletry bag or even some new luggage be sure to check out DealDash. They have all kinds of things that will help you pack for your vacation. Check out this link and see how much you can save! Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

2 PC. Pink Giraffe Cosmetic Set, Luca Vergani

 

DealDash Speaks On: Outdoor Ponds

 

When you hear the phrase “outdoor pond” does your mind conjure up a fabulous mansion? The good news is that you can have a pond on a budget in your own backyard.

The great thing about an outdoor pond in your backyard is that you can choose if you want it to be an extremely budget-conscious small one, a medium-sized one, or go all out and break the budget with an extremely large and fancy one. What’s also nice is that you don’t have to get everything all at once. You can start your project, complete the basics, and then add-on more decorative or additional items later on.

Building your own backyard pond can be a bit labor-intensive, but if you put your mind to it (and don’t plan too big of a pond) you can knock this project out in a weekend. Read on for a quick primer of installing your new outdoor pond.

Materials needed

  • Shovel
  • Tape measure
  • Flexible pond liner
  • Water pump
  • Filter
  • Edging stones
  • Heater (optional)

Directions

  • Use your shovel to remove the grass in and around the area where you want your pond to be located. Remember to remove the grass 6 to 12 inches beyond the perimeter so you’ll have a flat surface.
  • Starting along the outside edge, dig out the edging to a depth of around 10 inches. Then remove all dirt within the pond area by layers, digging from the center outwards. Dig out an extra 2 inches deeper for an underlayment. Most people use sand. If you live in a colder climate be sure to create a spot to overwinter plants and fish. In cold areas, you need a zone that won’t freeze to keep your fishies happy. It should be 3 feet deep and 3 feet wide. Don’t place a fountain or pump in this deep zone. Alternately, you could skip the no-freeze zone and purchase a pond heater that you would need to use as soon as the night-time temperatures drop to anywhere near freezing. The top of the finished edging should be 1-2 inches above the area outside your pond to prevent runoff from entering the pond.
  • Be sure to inspect the hole for sharp stones or roots and remove them. Flexible liners can easily puncture from rocks, gravel, and other sharp objects. Cushion the liner with an underlayment of some kind. Options include 2 to 3 inches of sand, fiberglass insulation material or newspaper. Place your chosen material in the bottom of the hole and on any shelves cut into the sides of the pond. Also, pack damp sand into any holes in the sidewalls where large rocks were removed.
  • Using a partner, drape the liner loosely into the hole with an even overlap on all sides. Then weigh down the edges with a few of the pieces of edging that you are planning on using when the pond is complete. Once the liner is in place to your liking, fill the pond with water. As the pond fills with water, adjust the liner to conform to the sides of the pond, and smooth out as many creases and wrinkles as possible. When the pond is full, trim off excess lining with sharp scissors. Leave enough liner around the pond rim to extend underneath and a few inches behind the first row of edging stones.
  • To keep the liner in place while adding your edging stones, push long nails through the liner into the ground every foot or so around the pond rim. You can use natural flat stones that you find yourself for the edging, or you can purchase stones. You can even use driftwood, or bricks. To prevent your stones (or bricks or driftwood) from moving, mortar them in place. Mortar comes premixed and is fairly inexpensive.
  • After the liner is installed and the water has been filled then you can add your pump and filter. Please consult your local pet shop to figure out what sort of living animals that you would like to put in your pond, anything from cheapie feeder goldfish, frogs, koi, etc.

I hope that you found this article about backyard pond installation helpful. If you would like to save some money with your project be sure to check out DealDash. DealDash offers both Lowe’s and Petco gift cards up for auction regularly. Check out the Gift Card category on DealDash and see how much you can save! Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Helps: Repair Your Hair

The summer is great in a lot of ways, but all of that sun, pool chlorine, and ocean saltwater can wreck havoc on your hair. Here are some ways to fix the problem.

Full disclaimer: It’s not really possible to “heal” your hair, since hair is really just dead keratin. However, there are ways to bind your split ends together to make your hair appear more smooth and healthy. These treatments are also helpful in protecting the growing hair that is closer to the scalp.

The first step in doing damage control on your hair is switching up your shampoo and conditioner. You don’t have to buy the most expensive shampoo and conditioner out there, you just need to pay attention to the ingredients. Choose a shampoo and conditioner that promotes low pH balance on their labels. They’ll help keep moisture locked in, which is key in getting your dry, damaged, brittle hair to look healthier. Also look for products that say, “intense moisture,” “anti-aging,” or “thermal protection.” Also, you might want to opt for shampoos and conditioners that have oils in them. Avocado oil, argan oil, and olive oil are all good for moisturizing dry, brittle hair.

Once you have picked a great shampoo and conditioner it’s time to pick a deep conditioning treatment. There are plenty of them out there, but I find it more beneficial to make my own hair mask. Here is a super simple and easy to make hair mask. There are only 2 ingredients! Egg and avocado. Here’s what to do:

Ingredients

  • ½ an avocado (Pro tip: Use a mushier avocado)
  • 2 egg yolks

Directions

Mash the avocado into a paste and mix well with the egg yolks. Apply to wet or dry hair and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing and washing hair. Done!

Sometimes there’s nothing more that you can do to fix things and it’s time for a haircut. So if your damaged hair has a straw-like texture and good hair days are just a thing that other people have, the first thing you can do to make it look better is to get a trim. To achieve good results, you don’t have to get a super short cut; you can leave some length and treat the remaining damaged hair. If you’re the sort of person who looks good with a pixie cut or super-short bob, go for it! That way you can get rid of the bulk of the damaged hair and start fresh.

If you are in need of a new hair dryer (be sure to dry on low with a diffuser for maximum hair health) or any other beauty product be sure to check out DealDash’s Fashion, Health, and Beauty category. DealDash has everything you need to keep you in style. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

Revlon Pro Stylist Dryer

DealDash Cooks: Favorite Cold Drinks

As much as I love hot tea and coffee in the winter the summer has an amazing drink selection as well. Here are a few recipes for delicious drinks your family will love.

Vietnamese Sparkling Limeade – This is definitely my top pick for drink of the summer season. It’s delicious, refreshing, and not very high in calories.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (I like the “Sugar in the Raw” type)
  • 1/2 cup very hot water
  • 1 handful of fresh mint taken off the stems
  • 8 limes, halved for easy juicing
  • Ice
  • Sparkling water (cold)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and the hot water until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Place a few mint leaves at the bottom of a pitcher and crush with a wooden spoon.
  3. Juice the limes into the pitcher, add the sugar water.
  4. Fill 4 glasses with ice. Pour in the limeade and top with sparkling water.

Alternately, if you’re running short on time, you can add crushed mint, the juice of 1 lime, ice, and fill the rest of the glass with Sprite. It’s not quite as tasty, but it’s quick and easy.

Watermelon Lime Slush –  I love slush drinks. This next drink is one of my favorites for the hottest days.  You can follow the recipe for kid-friendly slush, or add some vodka, rum, or tequila to appeal to the older but young at heart.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Juice of 1 lime

Directions

  1. Combine watermelon, sugar, lime juice and 1 cup ice in blender until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately.

Peach Iced Tea – I have shared my recipe for Southern Sweet Tea before, but here is a delicious and super easy peach iced tea that will be a hit at your summer BBQ!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 peaches, halved and pitted
  • 4 black tea bags
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
  • Water

Directions

  1. Bring 3 cups water and the sugar to a boil in a pot.
  2. Add the peaches and vanilla bean (including the seeds). Simmer over medium heat for about 30 minutes.
  3. Discard the vanilla bean. Pour the peaches and syrup into a blender and puree until smooth.
  4. Strain the peach puree through a sieve/fine colander into a pitcher.
  5. Bring 4 cups  water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, add the tea and steep for 10 minutes.
  6. Add tea to the pitcher with the peach puree. Stir to combine.
  7. Refrigerate until cold.
  8. The pulp from the fruit may have separated from the tea during chilling, so be sure to stir it before serving.
  9. Pour over ice cubes

If you’re in need of a new blender or food processor to make your summer drinks this year be sure to visit DealDash. They have blenders, food processors, and even margarita machines! You can check out the Kitchen and Dining category at this link right here. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

 

 

DealDash Teaches: Building a Sandcastle

Summer is in full swing here with temperatures in the mid-80s. I think it’s time to build a sandcastle.

Building a sandcastle is one of the most fun things about going to the beach, especially if you live somewhere that the water never truly warms up. I grew up in North Carolina very close to the beach, so I have spent my entire life making sandcastles. The weather in southern coastal North Carolina is very mild, and my family would go to the beach regularly from April until November. My kids don’t have it as lucky, Massachusetts may be coastal, but the beach season is significantly shorter.

Since I have been trying to teach the kids how to build a proper sandcastle I thought that I would write-up a quick instructional article. So if you want your sandcastle to go from looking like this:

to looking like this:

read on…

Most people are ill-prepared when they attempt their sandcastle, bringing maybe a bucket and a trowel. You don’t need many supplies, but you do need a few more than that. You need the aforementioned bucket and trowel, but you should also have something to tap the air out of the sand such as a bigger shovel or a largish flat rock, another bucket with the bottom cut off so it’s more of a large plastic tube than a bucket, a spoon, a plastic cup (like a red solo cup), and a paint stirrer.

The first thing that you will want to do is a little planning. Map out on the sand where your castle is going to be by drawing lines on the sand with your paint stirrer. Don’t bite off more than you can chew by making it too huge. Start on the smaller side until you get a little more confident in your building skills.

After you have mapped out the footprint of your castle then begin heaping sand into the outline of your castle from outside of the lines. Then with the back of your larger shovel pack the sides of the sand mound to form your castle walls. Make them higher than the center of the mound, creating a bowl shape to hold water. Keep packing until you get the height you want.

After you are done packing the sand use your bucket to fill up the bowl shape with water. Place a large bucket with bottom cut off on the mound. Fill three-quarters up with sand. Pour in water, climb in, and stomp. Tap sides with your shovel or flat rock to remove air. Repeat until bucket is full, then lift it off.

You can now use your paint stirrer to carve out walls, ledges, and doorways. You can use your plastic cup to add additional turrets to your castle, and use the spoon to dig out windows.

You’re done! If you would like to add any additional details such as shell decorations or cutting in brick designs with the paint stirrer now is the time. When you’re done be sure to take a picture of your sandcastle because like time, sandcastles are fleeting.

If you’re in need of a shovel or trowel DealDash has you covered. Just click on this link here and it will take you to a selection of shovels. DealDash also has waterproof cameras that are perfect for taking to the beach. Just click here and you can peruse your options. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

Bell+Howell Splash 12 MP Waterproof Digital Camera

DealDash Stays on Task

Time management is an important skill to have, especially if you have work and family obligations. Let DealDash give you tips on how to stay on task and get things done.

What are some of the reasons that you can’t seem to fit everything in your day? I have thought about what affects me, and the list that I have come up with is:

  • Checking my email on my smartphone 20 times per day
  • Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram
  • People interrupting me when I am trying to work
  • Not being organized enough
  • General distractions

Your list of time management roadblocks might be similar to mine or completely different. The way to go about solving these problems is fairly similar though. Read on, and picture yourself taking these positive steps to staying on task.

Looking at my list of time suckers I can knock the first two off by being less glued to my phone. Do you have an email and social media problem like I do? Then set a reasonable amount of “reward” minutes that you can check your email and social media per hour, or after you are done completing a project. If you find yourself “cheating” and looking at your email and social media when you aren’t supposed to then you might have to take action and purposefully leave your phone in the car or in another room.

The next item I have on my list is people interrupting me when I am trying to work. Those people who I am referring to are my kids – but in your situation it could be your chatty co-worker, your spouse, or a friend who likes to talk to you while you are working. My answer to this particular problem is headphones. My kids have learned that when they see my big Beats headphones on while I am typing on my Chromebook that conversations with Mommy are off-limits. If a 4 & 8-year-old can learn this your co-workers and spouse can, too!

Next on the list is the fact that I am sometimes a bit disorganized. The papers and clutter are easy to organize with a few organizational items, but my main problem is disorganized thoughts. For this problem I actually text and email myself regularly. Trust me, it helps.

Finishing up the list is general distractions. Personally, this is the most difficult time management problem for me. Since I am lucky enough to work at home there are 10 different distractions going on all at once, from the delivery person ringing the doorbell, my phone ringing with telemarketers, dishes piling up in the sink, the list goes on and on. My way to combat this is making a “To Do” list every day with the most important things at the top. I might not get through the entire list every day, but it’s a step in the right direction.

If you would like to use some of my strategies to stay on task such as using headphones be sure to check out DealDash. You can get your very own Beats headphones at this link right here. If getting your things organized is what you think will help you then check out this link right here, it will take you to some items on DealDash that will help you avoid the clutter. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

 

DealDash Helps: Clean Your Fridge

What’s something that really needs to be done at least every six months that everyone dreads? Let DealDash show you a quick and easy way to clean your fridge.

Cleaning the fridge is an important part of home maintenance. Having a clean fridge helps keep food fresher and helps keep foods that absorb odors as odorless as possible. No, just sticking a box of baking soda in the fridge doesn’t count as cleaning it. But keep that box of baking soda handy, you can put it in the fridge after it’s been cleaned and sanitized. Here is a quick step-by-step lesson on fridge cleaning:

  1. Take all of the food out of the fridge. Be sure to have a clean countertop that you can keep all of your food on while you are cleaning the fridge. Be sure to have a trash bag available as well, you will probably be throwing out a few things. As you are removing the food be sure to check the expiration dates on everything including all of your condiments. Throw out anything that’s expired.
  2. Remove all of the removable parts, like the shelves and drawers. Fill a large vessel such as a tote with warm water and regular dishwashing soap and leave these parts to soak before wiping and rinsing.
  3. Wipe all surfaces down with a combination of dishwashing soap and warm water. Use a sponge that you don’t mind throwing away after you’re done. I personally like to use my dish sponge that sits on my sink, then I just toss it after I’m done cleaning the fridge and put a fresh sponge out.
  4. If you have any stubborn crusty areas or even stains, mix a small amount of  that baking soda that I told you to keep handy with a little water to make a thick paste. Apply the paste to the stain and leave for an hour before wiping with a your already damp sponge.The baking soda should loosen the stain, making it easy to scrub clean.
  5. Stick the box of baking soda in the back to help absorb any odors.
  6. That’s about it, time to put back everything that you took out to clean the fridge. Keep a wet rag or sponge in your hand as you put things away, give them a quick wipe as you are putting them back.

See, it’s not so bad! If you are in need of fridge cleaning supplies such as dishwashing liquid or the tote that I mentioned that you need to soak the shelves in be sure to check out DealDash. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Does Backyard Campouts

When I asked my daughter what she wanted to do this upcoming weekend her answer surprised me. She said she wanted to have a backyard campout.

My son used to request backyard campouts when he was younger, but my daughter was always too scared to participate. I guess this summer is going to be filled with fun nights of camping out in the backyard. It’s the perfect compromise of sleeping out under the stars, yet be close enough to a bathroom, kitchen, and a bed if it starts raining!

If you’ve never had a backyard campout it’s pretty simple to do. All you truly need is a tent, some sleeping bags or blankets that you don’t mind going outside, and some kind of lighting for the little ones. We do our backyard camping on our deck, so we cheat a little bit and just turn the deck light on. However, if you have older, braver kids then you might be able to get by with a camping lantern or even flashlights.

One of the best parts about backyard camping (other than the aforementioned bathrooms!) is playing games and telling stories. Here are a couple of fun games that you and your family can play while you are backyard camping.

  • Obstacle Course – You can easily turn your backyard items into a fun obstacle course for little kids, big kids, and even adults. You can let them jump over low hedges and bushes, do a tightrope walk on the garden hose, crawl under the deck chairs, do a lap around the whole house, and then back to the start. You can make this into a race, and even more fun than a single person race is if you team up a little kid with an older sibling or parent. It’s fun to see the older kids working with the younger ones.
  • Photo Bug Hunt – Photo bug hunt is exactly like it sounds! Make a list of easily found and identified bugs such as ladybug, ant, bee, spider, moth, etc. and send the kids or teams out with a camera or camera phone and see who is the first to bring back pictures of all the bugs on the list.
  • Bean Bag Ladder – Using a ladder from your shed or garage tape a paper declaring the number of points each step will receive. Make a line on your grass with tape, spray paint, or a garden hose. Have people stand behind the line and toss bean bags onto the ladder steps. If you have little kids playing this you might want to have a closer throwing line for them to make things more fair. If you don’t have any bean bags you can always fill up some ziplock bags with rice or beans, and if you double ziplock it they should still be intact enough to withstand the game so you can still use them to cook with after you are done with them.

 

Grab a ladder from the garage and play bean bag toss.

If backyard camping appeals to you then head on over to DealDash and pick up some camping supplies. DealDash has tents, sleeping bags, and plenty of other things that you can use for your backyard campout. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

Summer Exercising with DealDash

The summer is a great time to start your new exercise program. The weather is beautiful, let’s go outside with DealDash!

If you live in most parts of the US then you are used to cold, windy, snowy winters. Now that it’s beginning to feel like summer it’s a great time to get in some exercise while the weather is nice. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Swimming – Most people love to swim, and it’s a very good low-impact workout. Even if you are elderly or have trouble walking most people are still able to swim, float, or do water aerobics in the water without any extra pain. If you are in good shape anyway then a nice swim can be your reward after a vigorous work out. Swimming is also a wonderful way to get your whole family involved in exercise. If you have any smaller kids that aren’t able to swim yet, then that’s a bonus for your workout, since you will have to carry, push, and pull them around the pool.

Swim N' Play 15ft x 36in Above Ground Pool with Port Hole

Jogging/Running – Jogging and running are excellent ways to burn calories and get toned. If you love to jog or run but have been snowed in all winter then now is the time to tie up those sneakers and get outside! Please remember, though, it’s best to run in either the early morning or evening when it’s cooler outside. Sun stroke is no joke! Be sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated.

Walking – If you’re not up to jogging or running how about taking a nice long walk instead? Walking is awesome for your cardiovascular health, it’s low-impact, you get to take in the sights and sounds of nature, and it can be a lot of fun if you have someone to go with you. If you have a partner to walk with it makes the time go by much quicker and you will be able to walk much further than you would on your own. Alternately, if you can’t find a human walking companion, how about adopting, fostering, or borrowing a dog to walk with?

I hope that this article has inspired you to get out and get moving in this wonderful summer weather. If you need any sports equipment or exercise equipment DealDash has it all! Just click on this link here and it will take you to the Hobbies, Toys, Outdoors, and Games category on DealDash.

DealDash Cooks: Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake is my husband’s favorite dessert. Lucky for me strawberries are in season and are on sale everywhere.

Strawberry shortcake is not only delicious but also one of the lighter and marginally healthier desserts that you can have. There are a few different ways that you can make strawberry shortcake. The easiest way, of course, is to get the premade cake cups, fill with fresh strawberries, and put whipped cream on top. However, I feel this is the least delicious way to go, that making your own cake ensures that your strawberry shortcake comes out as delicious as possible.

Here is a very simple and easy recipe for strawberry shortcake that will guarantee your family wants seconds on dessert!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, stemmed and quartered
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Whipped Cream (recipe down below)

Directions:

  • Mix your strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar and refrigerate while juices develop, at least 30 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium-sized bowl
  • Add the heavy cream and mix until just combined
  • Place mixture in an ungreased 8-inch square pan and bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes
  • Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool slightly. Cut into 6 pieces and split each piece in half horizontally
  • Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then place the shortcake on top
  • Spoon more strawberries over the top and serve

    See, wasn’t that easy? If you want to relax now go ahead and use whipped cream from a can However, if you want to go the extra mile here is the recipe for home-made whipped cream:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Directions:

  • Using a mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

    That’s it! Simple, right? Now that you have made your dessert and have some spare time you can go check out DealDash. They have everything that you need for your kitchen and more! I can tell you from personal experience, making home-made whipped cream is 100% easier with a KitchenAid stand mixer instead of my old-fashioned hand mixer. If you would like to check out the Kitchenaid mixers or anything else for the kitchen just click this link here. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

KitchenAid Artisan® Series Aqua Sky 5 Quart Stand Mixer

 

DealDash Demystifies Laundry

Are you a laundry expert? As the person responsible for the laundry of 5 people on a daily basis I have to be an expert!

Here are a few tips and tricks about doing laundry that I have learned throughout the years. Some are common sense, but others might surprise you. Read on…

Towels – Towels are a tricky piece of laundry. The first thing that I ever learned about washing towels is only wash towels with other towels. If you wash your towels with your other laundry you are asking for a linty mess. Other than the lint, you should wash your towels by themselves because you shouldn’t use fabric softener when washing your towels. Why? Because fabric softener will make your towels less absorbent over time. If you would like to do a “reset” on your towels and remove all of the left over fabric softener just wash a load of towels the first with vinegar and hot water, and then a second wash with baking soda and hot water. I would also suggest that you might want to get some “dryer balls”, they are round with rubber spikes on them to remove some of the static without using fabric softener sheets. I have some that are adorable hedgehogs!

Fading – There are a few ways that you can slow the fading of your clothing, the first way is to add a teaspoon of salt into your wash! Yep, just toss it right in there! You should also wash (and dry) your dark clothing inside out to help prevent fading.

Shrinking – To prevent your jeans from shrinking let them tumble dry on LOW for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes they won’t be soaking wet anymore, just hang them up with a pants hanger and let them dry the rest of the way hanging up.

Sweaters – Most people know that they shouldn’t put sweaters in the dryer to prevent shrinking, but did you also know that you shouldn’t let them dry on hangers, either? You should lay your sweaters flat to dry. It will prevent the bumps on the shoulders that form when the sweater is dried on a hanger.

Of course, the best tip of all is to get your laundry supplies on DealDash! DealDash has laundry detergents, stain pre-treaters, hampers, laundry bags, and even portable washing machines. Just click this link here and it will take you to all of the great laundry-related items that DealDash auctions off regularly. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

Tide 2X Ultra Free Tide 2X Liquid Laundry Detergent

Learn About Retro Gaming With DealDash

I grew up in the 80s and 90s, and have a very soft spot in my heart for retro video games. Here is a quick overview of some of the most popular game systems.

Atari 2600 – The Atari 2600 was originally called the Atari VCS (Video Computer System) and was released on September 11, 1977. Later on, in 1982 it was re-named the 2600. This was the video game system that was around my house when I was a baby and small child. I have fond memories of playing Pole Position and Pac-Man with my dad on our Atari 2600. The Atari 2600 was discontinued in January of 1992, which is amazing to me that it was still being sold until then, seeing as how the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) was released in the US in 1985. You would think that the Atari 2600 would have been completely obsolete when the NES took the shelves.

NES – The NES was released in the US on October 18, 1985, and I became the proud owner of one on Christmas of 1986. Six year old me was ecstatic, as I had already played on a friend’s NES and become a huge fan of Mario. Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario 2, and Super Mario 3 will always be my favorite video games. There were other great games released for the NES such as Legend of Zelda and Contra. The NES had a great 10 year run, however on August 14, 1995, Nintendo discontinued the Nintendo Entertainment System in both North America and Europe.

Sega Genesis – The Genesis was released in the US in 1989, and had some very popular titles such as Sonic the Hedgehog and the Mortal Kombat franchise. The Genesis was discontinued in 1997.

Super Nintendo – We have come to my favorite game console of all time, the Super Nintendo! The SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) was released in 1992 in the US, and I am happy to say that I was able to convince my parents to get me one immediately. The SNES has some amazing games that are still really fun to play even though it’s been 24 years since the SNES came out, such as Super Mario World (my favorite game of all time), Sim City, and Donkey Kong Country, and Super Mario Kart. Sadly, the SNES was discontinued in the US in 1999.

There you have it, an overview of the “grandfathers” of today’s game consoles such as the Wii U, Xbox ONE, and Playstation 4 consoles. I hope that you enjoyed reading about the game consoles of the 80s and 90s. If you’re interested in picking up a modern console or video game be sure to check out DealDash! They frequently auction off game consoles, games, accessories, and game gift cards. Check out the Electronics and Computers category at this link right here and see how much you can save! Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Makes: A Teacher Gift

Depending on where you are located school should be over for the summer soon. With the last day of school right around the corner we should make a teacher gift.

My son is in first grade, and his last day of school is coming up in just a couple of weeks. He has a hard time at school, and the teacher and assistants do an excellent job of following his IEP and assisting him in any way possible that helps him be able to learn like an average child. For this caring and concern I think that it would be nice to have him make his teacher a gift for the last day of school. Do you know of a special teacher that could use a little recognition?

The teacher gift that I want to make with my son is inspired by the “diaper cake” phenomenon that has come about for presenting to new Mommies at their baby shower. This gift can be on the cheaper side, mid range, or more expensive depending on where you purchase the supplies to make the “cake”. Here are the supplies needed:

  • Small (square) box of tissues
  • 1 – 6″ round (approx 3″ tall) box w/lid
  • 1 – 8″ round (approx 3″ tall) box w/lid
  • 1 – 10″ round (approx 5″ tall) box w/lid
  • 12″ cake board
  • 15 2 packs glue sticks in their packaging
  • 3 yds ribbon
  • 16 boxes 24 ct crayons
  • 10 – 1 subject notebooks
  • 4 – packs of note cards
  • Hot Glue gun, hot glue sticks

 

Instructions:

  1. Using the hot glue gun, hot glue the larger round box to the cake board
  2. Using the hot glue gun, take your largest round box and hot glue the crayon boxes around it, then hot glue the ribbon around the boxes
  3. Using your hot glue gun, take your medium round box and hot glue the medium round box on top of the larger round box
  4. Using the hot glue gun, hot glue the glue sticks around the medium round box, then hot glue the ribbon around the glue sticks packaging
  5. Using the hot glue gun, hot glue the smallest box on top of the medium round box
  6. Using the hot glue gun, hot glue the notebooks around it, then hot glue the ribbon around the notebooks
  7. Using the hot glue gun, hot glue the tissue box on top of the smallest round box
  8. Using the hot glue gun, hot glue the packages of note cards around the box, then hot glue ribbon around the note cards
  9. Using the hot glue gun, hot glue the remaining packages of crayons around the top of the tissue box, then hot glue the ribbon around the crayon boxes

That’s it! Whew! It sounds a lot more complicated than it really is, it’s a quick project that you and your child or grandchild can do together to make their teacher smile. The great thing about this school supply cake is not only is it awesome looking, it’s an extremely useful gift that they will be able to get a lot of uses out of in the following year and be able to save a little money by not having to buy quite so many supplies.

Of course, if you aren’t really the crafty sort, that’s OK, too! Just head on over to DealDash and you will find lots of nice items that would make a great teacher gift for the end of the school year, such as luxurious candles, gift cards, and so much more! Just click this link here and go see how much you can save! Good luck and Happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Picks the Right Knives

Sometimes it’s difficult to know exactly which knife that you should use for the job. Here is a handy guide to help sort things out.

  • Chef’s Knife – This knife is your everyday “go-to” knife. You use the Chef’s Knife for all of your basic preparation such as chopping, slicing and dicing, and mincing.
  • Utility Knife – The Utility Knife is very similar to the Chef’s Knife, but the blade is a bit slimmer. This is a very useful knife to have around for everyday jobs such as slicing the meat off of a rotisserie chicken.
  • Paring Knife – This little fella is a huge help in the kitchen with peeling off the skin of veggies, trimming, and slicing veggies up for a snack.
  • Bread Knife – I’m pretty sure you can guess what this one is for! It’s also great for slicing tomatoes without bruising them.
  • Santoku Knife – This knife is a hybrid between a Chef’s Knife and a meat cleaver. This knife is great for those difficult cuts of meat, slicing, and chopping.
  • Carving Knife – This knife’s main job is to carve large cuts of meat such as your Thanksgiving turkey or ham.
  • Steak Knife – Again, I’m pretty sure you can guess how these are used.

There are other types of knives, of course, but these are the most common ones, and the ones that you are most likely to find in a knife set. There are also usually a pair of kitchen scissors and a honing blade to sharpen your knives, as well as a butcher’s block to keep the knives in.

Farberware 20 pc Carousel Cutlery Set

If you are looking for a whole new set of knives, or maybe to just replace one of yours you should check out DealDash. DealDash has some great full sets of knives as well as some singles available for bidding. You can check out DealDash’s knives at this link right here. DealDash also has a lot of other great kitchen items in their Kitchen and Dining category, which can be found right here.

I hope that you found this article helpful in choosing which knife is right for the job! Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

 

DealDash Travels: Wilmington, NC

Wilmington, North Carolina! “Why would I want to go there?” you might ask. Well, let me tell you all of the great things about my hometown.

The main reason that a lot of people like to travel to Wilmington is the beaches. There are three main beaches – Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach, and there is also the beautiful Cape Fear River. I grew up going to Wrightsville Beach. I would say that Wrightsville is the most popular beach around town, Wrightsville Beach is North Carolina’s most accessible beach and known for its clear blue waters and spacious, clean sands. The water sports are amazing here, from Kayaking or paddle boarding, and even surfing. You can also fish, either from the pier, a boat, or even right from the sand.

Wilmington isn’t just about the beach, though. Actually my favorite part about Wilmington is its historic downtown area. The streets are cobblestone, there is some amazing architecture to check out, there are horse drawn carriage rides, trolley tours, ghost walks, paddle boat rides, and even a boardwalk that runs alongside the river. There are also lots of activities that go on downtown, especially in the summer, such as outdoor concerts, the Azalea Fest, fireworks, farmer’s markets, and more. Downtown Wilmington is also where my favorite coffee chain was started, Port City Java. There is nothing better than a summer evening walk along the river, and then a delicious mocha shake from Port City Java.

If you’re a golfer Wilmington has some courses you could enjoy, or you might want to take a side trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. Myrtle Beach is a little over an hour’s drive from Wilmington, and has over 100 courses for you to try. Myrtle Beach also has some great family activities if your family is not interested in golfing with you.

Early or late summer in North Carolina are the perfect times to go, the weather should be in the 80s, perfect for going to the beach. If you’re a brave soul like I was when I was a teenager, you can swim from approximately May through October. Wilmington is an awesome vacation destination, give it a try!

If you’re looking for luggage for your vacation this summer be sure to check out DealDash! They have luggage sets as well as single pieces. If you’re going to be travelling by plane don’t forget your TSA compatible luggage locks, DealDash has those, too! You can check out DealDash’s luggage and lock choices at this link right here. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

 

DealDash Cooks: With Kids

When looking for recipes you probably don’t take into account how easy they would be for kids to make. However, kids love to cook. Here are a couple easy recipes to start.

My two older kids are 4 and 8, and they both love to help in the kitchen. I think that making Christmas cookies was one of the highlights of their Christmas season. Sometimes cooking with kids can be a lot more work than cooking by yourself, but when you have some extra time why not let the little ones have some fun?

Peanut Noodles with Chicken – This is an Asian-inspired recipe that reminds me of a simple version of Vietnamese Fresh Summer Rolls, but without the wrapper. I can attest that kids love the combination of peanut butter, noodles, and chicken! If your kids are too little to be able to use the vegetable peeler by themselves put them to work shredding the chicken with a fork.

Ingredients:

  • 18-ounce package thin rice noodles or sticks
  • 2 to 2 1/2-pound rotisserie chicken
  • carrot
  • seedless (English) cucumber
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

Directions:

  • Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let soak until soft, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain with a colander or large strainer.
  • While the noodles are soaking, shred the chicken meat, discarding the skin and bones.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to make long strips of carrot and cucumber.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, and 6 tablespoons water until smooth. If you are having trouble with the consistency of the peanut butter you can put it in the microwave for about 20 seconds to get it a little softer.
  • Divide the noodles, chicken, carrot, and cucumber among 4 bowls. Drizzle with the dressing.

Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and Sour Cream – I am personally not a fan of broccoli, but every kid (and most adults) that I know love it. In this recipe, my kid’s favorite part is poking the potatoes with the fork. Just make sure that they are extra careful not to poke themselves!

Ingredients:

  • medium russet potatoes
  • 16-ounce package frozen broccoli
  • tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Kosher salt and black pepper

Directions:

  • Prick the potatoes several times with a fork. Microwave on high until tender and a fork easily slides into the center, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a bowl and cover with a piece of aluminum foil to keep them warm.
  • In a medium microwave-proof bowl, combine the broccoli, butter, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stir once, then microwave until hot, 3 to 4 minutes more.
  • Split the potatoes (be careful of the steam). Top with the broccoli mixture and sour cream and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon pepper.

I hope this article has inspired you to do a little cooking with your kids or grandkids. If you need any items for around the kitchen be sure to check out DealDash’s Kitchen and Dining section located right here. DealDash has many wonderful useful and decorative items available for bid 24/7. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Helps: Budget Road Trip

Summer is a perfect time to go on vacation, but what if you don’t have the money? Budget road trips can be just as fun.

Normally my family goes on a vacation every year. We’ve been to Bermuda, San Diego, Tampa, and Montreal to name a few. However this year we have a new baby so we decided to stay a little closer to home. While planning our summer vacation this year I noticed how much money we were going to be saving by not going too far outside of New England. As a challenge to myself I decided to see exactly how frugal I could be in my vacation planning and still show the kids a great time. On to the savings!

First of all, forget flying. We were originally thinking about going to Salt Lake City, but plane tickets alone for my family of 5 was going to be in the range of $4,000 for the times we wanted to go, so we decided that this year was going to be a road trip only kind of trip. When you are thinking about road-tripping on a budget, the first thing that you want to think about is what is the maximum distance that you are willing to travel, or even more budget-friendly, what is the maximum distance that you can travel in one day so you can avoid staying in multiple different hotels.

The maximum distance that we decided on was 500 miles, which is a full 8-ish hours of travel. So then we looked to see where we could go in that mileage range and came up with New York, Washington DC, Maryland, Philadelphia, and Providence.  This is really easy to look up using Google Maps.

How will we get a discount on our gas? By using DealDash, of course! You can get a Shell gas card from DealDash by bidding, and if you don’t win you can always BIN (But It Now), get all of your bids back, keep the clock time that you earned by being the highest bidder, AND get free shipping on your gift card. Shell also has a loyalty card that you can get for free, and it will give you .03 off per gallon every time that you use it. It’s not much, but it adds up! If you would like to bid on a Shell gift card you can click this link right here and it will take you to the Shell cards on DealDash.

Now that the gas is taken care of, how about hotels? DealDash offers a variety of hotel gift cards that you can bid on. The hotel gift cards are the same deal as the gas gift cards – if you don’t win you can always BIN (But It Now), get all of your bids back, keep the clock time that you earned by being the highest bidder, AND get free shipping on your gift card. You can check out all of the hotel gift cards that DealDash has at this link right here.

I hope that this article has inspired you to think about going on a budget road trip this year with the help of DealDash. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

 

 

 

DealDash Makes: DIY Summer Fun

Since you’re a fan of DealDash, you probably like to save money. Here are some fun things you can make for your kids or grandkids to have some fun this summer.

Playdough – Playdough is super simple to make, and kids can have hours of fun using it. My daughter begs to go outside on the deck every day and play with her playdough. Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)
  • food coloring (to your desired color)

Instructions:

Add the water, salt and food coloring first. Heat and stir while the salt dissolves, then add the flour, oil and cream of tartar and continue to stir for about 5 minutes. Turn off the stove and let sit for another 5 minutes or so. Then add your coloring. All done!

Bubbles – Bubble solution is inexpensive at your local store, but it can be even cheaper to make at home, AND you get the added benefit of the fun of making it as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Liquid dish soap (Joy or Dawn brands work best. Try to find one that doesn’t say ‘Ultra’)
  • 6 Cups Distilled water (tap water is okay, but distilled water makes the best bubbles)
  • 1 Tbs Glycerin or 1/4 Cup light corn syrup
  • Clean container with lid

Directions:

  1. Add water into container, then pour dish soap into the water and slowly stir it until the soap is mixed in. Try not to let foam or bubbles form while you stir.
  2. Add glycerin or corn syrup and add it to the container. Stir the solution until it is mixed together.
  3. You can use the solution right away, but to make even better bubbles, put the lid on the container and let your super bubble solution sit overnight. All done!

Kid’s Tent – If your kids want to have a camp out in the back yard, or if they just want a private and shady place to play during the hot summer day then make them a play tent! It’s easy and your kids will be impressed.

Ingredients:

  • Hula hoop
  • Shower curtain
  • Shower curtain rings
  • String/rope
  • Branch to hang it on

Directions: Using the shower curtain rings attach the shower curtain to the hula hoop. Tie 4 lengths of string equidistant around the hula hoop. Hang on branch. All done!

4. Hang a shower curtain on a Hula-Hoop for another type of tent.

Now that you’ve saved so much money on outdoor activities for your kids, how about heading on over to DealDash and bidding on some toys that they can use inside when it’s raining out? DealDash has lots of fun things for kids, just check out the Hobbies, Toys, Outdoors, and Games category at this link here and see how much you can save! Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Decorates: Picking Paint

One of the best things about moving into my new house last year was getting to pick the paint color for every room. If you’re looking to refresh your room colors, read on.

When coming to my house for the first time a lot of people tend to comment on the colors of the rooms of my house. They are all different colors, but somehow it’s all pulled together and looks cohesive together. The yellow leads into the beige which leads into the blue which leads into the gray. If you have ever been interested in getting rid of your plain white walls let me give you a quick primer (primer, get it?!) on how you can turn your “Blah” into “WOW!”

Most newer homes feature open floor plans, and that is the case in my home. After coming in the front door you can stand in any of four connecting rooms—kitchen, family room, playroom, and dining room—and see portions of the other rooms. Each of the rooms is a different color as I mentioned before, but to tie everything together all of the molding is the same shade of bright white. I also have continuity by using the color brown as an accent in all of the rooms. Both the playroom and the family room have the same shade of brown microfiber couches, and my kitchen countertops, island, and dining room table are all brown and white granite. The key is to pick a color that blends well with all of the room colors that you are interested in and be sure to use your chosen accent color prominently in each room.

When we were working with our real estate agent to help us choose our colors to give to the builder she taught me a secret that I will now share with you. She told me to go to the hardware store and pick up paint chips with multiple shades of the colors that I wanted in each room, and to circle the shade of each color that I was interested in. After giving them back to her she crossed out all of my circled shades and picked the one that was 1 shade lighter than the ones that I had chosen. Why? Because when you look at a small paint chip versus the color being painted on the wall the wall color tends to be darker and more pronounced than on the paint chip. When she first did this I was unhappy, but when we came back a few days later to see the paint on the walls, it was amazing! Once the walls were painted they looked exactly like the colors that I had originally chosen.

Another great way to get your rooms to flow together when painting all of the rooms different colors is to have a common theme when decorating. DealDash has recently partnered with some amazing companies that have some beautiful paintings and decorative items. If you are doing some redecorating be sure to check out DealDash’s items for the home at this link right here. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Crafts: Scrapbooking

Scrapbooking can be a fun and rewarding hobby. There are so many different ways to scrapbook it can be a little daunting to get started.

The best thing about picking up scrapbooking as a hobby is that there is basically zero learning curve. You can decide that you want to make a scrapbook, buy supplies, and have your scrapbook made by the end of the day. Scrapbooking is great for people who like immediate gratification, because unlike sewing or knitting where you might work weeks on a project scrapbooking can go as quickly or as slowly as you desire.

However, even though you can put a scrapbook together by just throwing everything on a page and calling it “done” you will be a lot happier with your results if you take the time to do a little research, pick your scrapbook layouts carefully, and take your time with your scrapbook.

Let’s talk about how to put together a simple but eye-catching scrapbook page. Most scrapbook layouts have a few common elements. Let’s check those out!

 

  • A colorful background page – This is the paper that you will attach everything else on to. It can be blank, but most people choose a fun pattern or theme.
  • A main picture – it can be anything from your baby, a pet, another relative, a car, something in nature, anything!
  • A title – you don’t have to put a title, but most layouts have a title such as “Baby’s First Bath” or “My Sister Lisa.” It doesn’t have to be at the top like a book page, it can be anywhere you like.
  • Embellishments – These are little “extras” that you use to decorate the rest of the page. You can use stickers, ribbons, flat gems, buttons, etc. You can use anything you like, but the flatter the better, because eventually you will want to put these loose scrapbook pages into a book.

There are lots of other things that you can use to make your scrapbook layout such as photo mats to go behind your picture, photo corners to put on the edges of your picture, borders for your page, and lots of other things. Change things up! Make some of your layouts fancy, make some plain, make some that are somewhere in the middle. Scrapbooking is all about making your individuality shine.

Bind-It-All Machine V2-Pink

There are some great tools that you can use to make your scrapbooking experience more fun such as a Cricut cutter machine or even a binder to put your pages together. DealDash has some wonderful crafting items up for bid. Check out the Hobbies, Toys, Outdoors, and Games category and see what you can find. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!