DealDash Travels: Mystic, CT

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If you are looking for a fun trip to take with the kids (or even by yourself!) Mystic, CT is a great choice. There are lots of interesting attractions for young and old alike.

You might be familiar with Mystic, CT from the classic 1988 movie Mystic Pizza starring Julia Roberts. While Mystic does have excellent pizza, they also have a host of other fun and engaging activities for all ages.

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Mystic Aquarium – Let’s start out with my favorite, the Mystic Aquarium! The Mystic Aquarium is home to the North East’s only Beluga Whales. The photo above is my daughter interacting with a Beluga on our trip to the aquarium this summer. The Mystic Aquarium also has penguins, sting rays, a 4-D theater, and an extremely interactive bird exhibit that allows you to enter the bird enclosure to feed and hold the birds, if you are able to catch them. The Mystic Aquarium gets an A+ in my book for fun and entertainment.

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Olde Mistick Village – The Olde Mistick Village isn’t worth a trip on its own, in my opinion, but it shares a parking lot with the Mystic Aquarium, so it’s definitely worth a look if you are visiting the aquarium, anyway. The Olde Mistick Village is a quaint little collection of shops located in a small walking area with some green areas, a very small duck pond, and a few restaurants. If you’re looking for a unique gift to bring back to someone from your trip to Mystic, you might be able to find it here.

Image result for mystic-seaport Mystic Seaport – Mystic Seaport is an excellent large indoor/outdoor maritime museum. Mystic Seaport was founded in 1929, and is the resting place of the Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaleship in the world. Expect to spend at least a half day, or even a full day at Mystic Seaport. Mystic Seaport has a ton of activities, especially in the summer season, including a re-created 19th-century seafaring village, a working preservation shipyard, gardens,  a planetarium, and a children’s museum. You can also take a boat tour and explore the historic Mystic River from May through October. Mystic Seaport didn’t sound very fun and exciting to me when I was reading about it online, but when we visited in person it was actually very fun. The children’s museum was probably my kid’s favorite part, and I enjoyed the planetarium very much.

I hope that this article has gotten you excited to travel and explore. If you can’t make it out to Mystic, CT, why not take a short trip to somewhere closer to you? If you’re going on a trip, I suggest stocking up on gift cards from DealDash. Gift cards are great to take when you are travelling, and if you bid on gift cards on DealDash you can earn clock time for being the highest bidder. If you don’t win you can just BIN (Buy It Now) for face value, get free shipping, and get all of your bids back to use another day. Here is a link to get gift cards from DealDash. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

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DealDash Makes: Lip Scrub

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Winter is just around the corner, and I don’t know about you, but my lips get extra dry in the cold weather. Let’s see what we can do to stop the damage before it even starts.

If you’ve never used a lip scrub before, you’re in for a treat. Lip exfoliation can help remove the dry, dead skin covering the lips, and reveal your soft lips underneath. Lip scrubs are easy, quick, and inexpensive to make. Though it can be slightly addicting once you start, it’s important not to use this scrub to much-our lips are fragile after all. Once a week is more than enough to keep your lips soft and healthy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs of sugar – white or brown is OK, I prefer the “Sugar in the Raw” brand
  • Approximately 1 Tsp of coconut oil – if this is not enough to make your sugar stick together add more little by little until you have reached your desired consistency.
  • 5 drops of vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Mix the sugar with enough coconut oil to get it to stick together
  2. Add in the vanilla extract, stir
  3. Once a week rub the scrub onto your lips in small circular motions for about 1 minute
  4. Let it sit for 1 minute, and then wipe off with a damp washcloth
  5. Apply a moisturizing lip balm after each use

This recipe can be adapted to fit your own tastes, for example, you could use white sugar and add 1 drop of the food coloring of your choice if you would like to make a pretty scrub to use as a gift. In fact, you could make up a large batch of this, put it in pretty containers from the craft store, tie ribbons around the top, and give them as gifts this holiday season.

This lip scrub should last for a few weeks stored at room temperature, and even longer if you refrigerate it. If you do put it in the fridge, though, make sure you give it a good stir before you use it.

I hope that you will find this article helpful in the upcoming chilly weather. If you enjoy skin care and beauty, DealDash has a wonderful category called Fashion, Health, and Beauty which you will enjoy browsing. Just click this link right here and it will take you to DealDash. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

 

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DealDash Cooks: Hot & Sweet Pork

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Some sweet and spicy pork sounds delicious for dinner tonight. This recipe is delicious and also low in fat and calories.

Before I became more interested in cooking, whenever I heard “pork” I immediately thought “fattening.” Surprisingly, though, 3 ounces of pork is only around 200 calories. I am a big eater, though, so I probably eat twice that as a serving size. However, ounce for ounce it’s very similar to chicken, which I have always thought of as low in calories. This recipe has around 400 calories per serving, and around 13 grams of fat. Even more important than that, though, it’s delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pork tenderloins with a combined weight of around 1.5 pounds
  • 1 can of Mandarin oranges
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 can of pineapple chunks
  • 3 Tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • juice from 1/2 a lime
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. In a bowl, coat the mandarin oranges, pineapples, and onions with 2 Tbs olive oil (saving 1Tbs for later)
  3. Take half of the bowl contents and roast them for 10 minutes on a baking sheet
  4. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, garlic powder, and chili powder
  5. Heat the remaining 1 Tbs of olive oil in a pan, and brown the pork loins (about 7 minutes) salt and pepper to taste
  6. Add the pork to the baking sheet with the roasted oranges, pineapple, and onion, then pour the ketchup mixture on the top and roast for about 16 minutes.
  7. Toss the remaining unroasted  oranges, pineapple, and onion with the lime juice and cilantro, serve with the pork.

I personally would serve this on top of a bed of white rice, but you could also just serve it as-is, it’s your choice. This is a quick, easy, and healthy dinner that everyone can enjoy. I hope you like it!

If you are browsing DealDash while you are waiting for your pork to finish cooking, check out the Kitchen & Dining category. DealDash has everything you need for the kitchen. Just click this link right here to check it out. DealDash is fun for everyone. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

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DealDash Debunks Cleaning Myths

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There are lots of “old wives tales” that relate to cleaning, but some of them are not true, and not only that, some of them can actually make things worse. Let’s take a look…

There are many myths floating around about cleaning that have been passed down from grandmother to mother to daughter to friend, etc. Sadly, not all of these cleaning tips are correct. Some of them even cause more work for you. Here are a few cleaning myths, and what you can do instead to make your home cleaner and your life a little easier.

  • Myth 1 – Vinegar cleans and disinfect everything. This is a myth that I have believed in for pretty much my whole life. Unfortunately, unless you use straight vinegar out of the bottle it doesn’t really have the cleaning and anti-bacterial properties that you thought that it had. If you are using just a cup of vinegar to 5 cups of water in a bucket, then you really aren’t cleaning as well as you thought that you were. You can definitely still use vinegar as a cleaner, but you need to use it full-strength. I keep a bottle of straight vinegar under my kitchen cabinet, and deal with the smell when I use it. However, please don’t use it on wood or stone – it can actually damage the surface. For wood and stone, please use the appropriately labeled cleaner for the job.
  • Myth 2 – Use newspaper to clean your windows. No, don’t. The newspaper can get soaked and leave small pieces behind, and sometimes the ink can transfer onto your windows or sills. Not only that, but the ink will definitely get on your hands, and personally, I dislike the smell of wet newspaper. Instead of newspaper, you can use microfiber cloth for the best results, or you can use a regular washcloth, or a disposable shop towel or paper towel.
  • Myth 3 – Hand washing is cheaper and better for the environment. Not so – hand washing your dishes actually takes more water (about 5,000 gallons per year more) and it doesn’t really get your dishes any cleaner. In fact, the dishwasher gets the dishes much cleaner because the dishwasher uses a much higher temperature and actually sanitizes them instead of just cleaning off the food.

I hope that you found this article helpful. DealDash has many cleaning supplies that you can use in your everyday cleaning. Why not bid on them on DealDash? If you don’t happen to win, you can always BIN (Buy It Now) and get all of your bids back. Check out DealDash right now at this link right here. Good luck and happy bidding everyone.

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5 End of Summer Ideas from DealDash

There is just a little bit of summer left before the kids go back to school, here are 5 things that you should do before summer is over.

It’s been a great summer, but all great things must come to an end…At least until next summer, anyway! Here are 5 things that you should definitely do before summer has officially come to an end.

  1. Go to the beach!! Have you been to the beach yet this year? If you haven’t, it’s definitely time to go. I personally haven’t been this summer, I stayed at home with my baby when the rest of the family went, so this is something that I am going to have to correct over the next few weekends. It’s getting slightly less hot here in New England, so I think it’s about time that the baby gets his first trip to the beach!
  2. Have a picnic. Picnics are always a great time. I personally like to go to a place called Salem Willows, they have a little boardwalk area, a lot of picnicking space, benches, trees, and even a view of the water. It’s a wonderful place to bring a picnic lunch, walk around, and then to go the boardwalk and get ice cream.
  3. Shop for summer clothing for next year. They are starting to put the fall and winter clothing out in the stores now, so it’s a great time to shop the clearance racks for summer clothing that you and your family can wear next year. I was just at Target tonight, and I was able to get many, many t-shirts, shorts, sandals, and dresses for my kids for insane deals, from $1-4 dollars! It was amazing. Now is the time to do your shopping, though, if you wait too much longer all of the best deals will be gone.
  4. Have your friends over for a BBQ. A BBQ is a fun and relatively inexpensive way to have a party with your friends. All you need is some frozen hamburger patties, hot dogs, buns, chips, and some beer & soda and you are all set! You can minimize the mess by using paper plates, plastic utensils, and solo cups. It’s not the most eco-friendly way to party, but all of those items are recyclable, anyway.
  5.  Have a backyard camp out with your kids.  I am personally not one to “rough it” in the outdoors too much, but camping in your backyard is a great compromise with your kids if they want to go camping. You can pitch your tent on your deck or in your backyard, get out the flashlights and tell spooky stories, enjoy the sights and sounds of the night, look at the stars…And still be able to go inside and use the bathroom, win-win!

I hope that this list has you thinking of some ways to stretch out the fun just a little bit more this summer. Now that you have a few ideas, you might need to buy some supplies. DealDash has Target gift cards, BBQ grills, and camping supplies. It’s always fun to play and win on DealDash, just click this link right here and you can get started. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

Rubbermaid 5-Day 50-Quart Wheeled Cooler

Missing Your Family with DealDash

Everyone loves spending time with their family, but what about when one of your family members is far away? Here are some ideas from your friends at DealDash.

If you are missing a family member the emotions can be a little tough to deal with. It’s especially difficult if you are missing your child or your parent – someone who you are used to spending every day with, enjoying their company. The most important thing to remember is that it’s okay to feel a little sad when you think about them and miss them.

If the person is far away but still has access to their cell phone, computer, laptop, iPad, or other electronic device it will make things easier on everyone if you both learn how to do video chats with each other. If you have an iPhone or iPad then FaceTime should already be installed. If you have an android, or if you are using a computer, then there are a few different options such as Skype or Google Hangouts. There are lots of different options out there, and most of them are free to use. Video chatting isn’t exactly like having your loved one by your side, but it’s a great solution to be able to “see” them and hear them, versus just chatting on the phone. At my house we FaceTime Grandma and Grandpa every night while I am making dinner, so the kids can have a great relationship with them even though we live a few hours drive apart.

If you are feeling a little lonely for your family, why not send them a quick text? If you can’t think of anything to say other than “I miss you.” How about a quote? I found a lot of nice quotes just by Googling “Missing Family” such as “Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life” If you sent your Mom or your Grandma a quote like that, I bet they would be thrilled!

If you are missing your family but don’t have a way to Skype or Facetime with them, DealDash can help. DealDash always has the latest iPads, iPods, laptops, and cell phones available for auction. Be sure to check out DealDash’s Electronics & Computers category located at this link right here, and get ready to bid! Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Recipes: Healthy Granola

Granola is a very popular food that you can use for breakfast, brunch, or even a trail mix-type snack. The thing is, it’s not always healthy…

Granola is delicious and can be very healthy for you, however if you buy the kind that they have in the supermarket it can be filled with extra fats and sugars that you might not even notice unless you really scrutinize the nutrition label. Luckily, though, if you make the granola yourself it can be very heart-healthy. Heart-healthy foods are those that contain heart-healthy unsaturated fat such as nuts, olive oil, seeds & berries, or oats. Heart-healthy foods can also be low in fat.

To make your healthy granola mix you can combine ingredients such as almonds, oats, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and other delicious and healthy things to make a delicious treat for yourself and your family.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/3 cup dried apples
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
  2. Make your binder by combining the ground flax seed and water, and allow the mixture to sit, stirring occasionally, until it thickens to the consistency of an egg.
  3. Chop your nuts into smaller pieces either with a knife or a food processor.
  4. Add all of your dry ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix well.
  5. Mix together the oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and almond extract.
  6. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients, along with the flax seed binder.
  7. Stir well until everything is well coated.
  8. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and pour the granola mixture onto the parchment covered baking sheet. Using a drinking glass with a flat bottom, press the mixture into the sheet, creating an even layer.
  9. In your pre-heated oven, bake for about 40 minutes, just until the edges are golden-brown.
  10. Remove the granola from the oven and let it cool to room temperature.
  11. Store your granola for up to 10 days. Enjoy with fruit, yogurt, or by itself.

I hope that you enjoy your healthy home-made granola. It makes a great snack for the kids to take to school. If you need any new kitchen knives or a food processor be sure to check out DealDash. DealDash has all of the kitchen tools that you’ll ever need. Here is a link to the Kitchen and Dining category. Good luck and happy bidding everyone.

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DealDash Hangs the Laundry

Some people might say that hanging the laundry outside is ridiculous to bother with when you have a nice dryer inside. But there’s just something about laundry dried outside…

I get it, I get it – you have an expensive new dryer that you got when you bought your new HE washing machine. Why would you hang your laundry outside when you have a nice dryer inside? A few reasons, actually. Here are some of the benefits of hanging your laundry outside to dry in the spring, summer, and fall.

  • It’s cheaper! Things being cheaper is my main motivation for a lot of the things that I do. If you are drying your clothing in your washing machine you are using either gas or electric, and you are most likely making your house a bit hotter as well, which means your air conditioner has to come on more often as well. If you hang your clothing out to dry after they are washed you eliminate both of these money-wasting activities.
  • The sun is anti-bacterial. If you have a child who has “accidents” in either their under wear or in their bed, hanging them out to dry in the sunshine can completely remove the scent if there is any left behind after washing. Also, if any of your laundry got a little bunched up while it was washing, and didn’t get 100% clean, the sun will take care of the rest.
  • You don’t need dryer sheets. I know that I am in the minority, but I hate dryer sheets. I hate how they smell. I hate their waxy feel, and I hate how they seem to leave a little bit of a film on your bath towels that makes them less absorbent. When you hang your clothes out to dry on the line it eliminates the need for the dryer sheets, which makes me very happy.

There are still a couple of months left that you can hang your laundry outside before it gets too cold. Take advantage of the free sunshine and fresh air and get out there! After you’re done hanging the laundry, come back in and check out DealDash. DealDash has Tide liquid, Tide pods, and even small washing machines up for auction! Check out this link right here and see the laundry supplies. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Budgets for a Trip

We are getting towards the end of summer, the next opportunity to take a fun trip might be during spring break. Let’s try to budget for a trip.

I love taking trips – from a short weekend somewhere local to a multi-week journey, count me in! However, since I have small children, things just aren’t quite as simple anymore, and we will need to budget the amount of money we plan on spending. If we don’t take the time to set up a budget beforehand and save up some extra money we might find ourselves putting things on credit cards and creating debt, which is definitely not a positive! Let’s look at how to set up a travel budget by planning the forecasted expenses for transportation, hotel, food, entertainment, and souvenirs.

The first step to saving and budgeting for a trip is of course…saving money! Open a savings account specifically for your travel plans. You can easy open up a savings account with an online bank with $100 or less. Try having a yard sale and selling off some of your extra things to get a head start on your vacation fund. You could also take on some extra jobs from home such as mowing lawns or watching children to earn a little extra cash. There is frequently a need for babysitters for elementary school children from around 3PM-6PM, when the kids get off the school bus until the parents get home from work. If you have kids the same age it might be an easy way to pick up a few extra dollars a day to put into your vacation fund. Also try to cut spending where you can, such as limiting dinners out leading up to your trip.

Frequently the most expensive part of a vacation can be the travel costs – a taxi to the airport, airfare, a taxi to the hotel, etc. For your vacation budget, include forecasted airfare, taxis, shuttle services, and any other expense related to transportation while you are away. The hardest part of this is to figure out what your airfare might cost months down the road, but try going online to research the rates for the times and destinations you are planning to travel. You can also try to see what the airfare rates were the previous year, it might help you determine what the costs will be the following year.

Budgeting for hotel expenses is similar to airfare – it’s hard to determine so far in advance. Check the hotel rates were the previous year, it might help you determine what the costs will be the following year. If your budget comes up a bit short try to think of some extra ways to get more for your money such as using online coupons, joining a hotel loyalty program that earns you free nights, or even staying at a hostel.

Finally, another huge expense for any trip is for restaurants, food, and drinks. If you are able to get a hotel that includes free breakfast you can fill up in the morning, and be able to eat a much lighter lunch. Then you only have to worry about a bigger expense for dinner. Also, try to limit your alcoholic beverages to just 1 or 2 with dinner. Some hotels even offer a free “cocktail hour” where you can get free wine, beer, and snacks.

If you’re looking to travel, you will definitely need some luggage. DealDash has some amazing luggage that you can win for a great deal. Just click on this link right here and you can check out the luggage. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

 

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DealDash Reduces Water Waste

It’s been a long hot summer this year, and we are experiencing quite a drought. Here are some helpful ways to save water.

Did you know that out of all of the water here on Earth only about 30% is good for drinking or household use? That’s right! When thinking about this small percentage it really encourages you to try to save water where ever you can. Every little bit helps.

My town and the towns around me are on a partial water ban – we can only water our lawns on Saturdays before 9AM and after 5PM. It really makes a huge difference in our water bill, so I know that we are saving water that way. Unfortunately some of the people in our neighborhood are cheating and still using their sprinklers. Does your town have a water ban in place? If you see your neighbors cheating and you are only friendly terms with them, I would suggest asking them in a very friendly way if they are aware that there is a water ban in place. They just might not be aware of it.

Another way to save water is to buy a rain barrel (or just a large plastic garbage bin) and collecting rain. It might not be raining much this summer, but it does rain occasionally, and you could use the rain that you are able to catch in your barrel for watering your plants and flowers instead of using town water. Just be sure to keep the lid on your barrel when it isn’t raining so you don’t attract mosquitos, and it will also keep you water from evaporating in the heat.

And finally, if you are a person who loves to take a bath save that for the weekend and take showers during the weekday instead. It will save a ton of water, and you will have a nice bath to look forward to on the weekend. As a treat for yourself for making the switch to showers during the week, get yourself some nice bubble bath for your weekend tub time, it will make it even more special.

I hope this article has gotten you thinking about ways to save water. If you would like to purchase a new rain barrel or garbage barrel, sprinkler, hose, or anything from Lowe’s you should check out the gift card category on DealDash. DealDash has a huge selection of gift cards. You can browse the gift cards at this link right here. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Recipes: Baked Potato Chips

Who doesn’t love potato chips? Salty, crispy, potato-y goodness abounds! Unfortunately, traditional potato chips are full of fat, oils, and calories. Here’s a recipe for baked potato chips that is much lighter than the original.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Russet potatoes
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven – 400 degrees is just right
  • Scrub the potatoes completely, rinse, and pat dry. Using an extremely sharp knife, Slice the potatoes very thin (about 1/8″ or thinner.)
  • Place potato slices in a large bowl and toss well until coated with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Arrange the seasoned potato slices in a single layer on a cooling rack placed on top of a baking sheet to allow even cooking on both sides of the potato slices. If you don’t have a cooling rack, then line your baking pan with parchment paper, and flip them after 10 minutes. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes until the potato slices are browned and crisp. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. They are best served soon after.
  • You may season them again with salt and pepper while they are cooling.

If you would like to try different flavors, here are a few ideas:

Salt and Vinegar – After thinly slicing the potatoes, place them in a large bowl filled with vinegar, and set aside for a least 2 hours. Please note, the longer they soak, the more vinegary the flavor. Drain potato slices and toss with oil and salt.

BBQ – BBQ chips are easy! Just substitute 2 Tbs of BBQ seasoning in place of the pepper when you are seasoning the chips.

These chips are delicious to eat, and fun to make! If you were feeling very industrious, it would be easy to double, triple, or even quadruple the recipe to make a large amount of chips for a party.

This recipe calls for a very sharp knife. If your knives are less than sharp lately, why not get a new knife on DealDash? DealDash has all of the latest knives and cooking accessories. Just check out the Kitchen and Dining category at this link right here and see how much you can save. Good luck and happy bidding!

Farberware 17 Piece Wave Edge Carousel Set

DealDash Talks: Bullies

I had an experience today with my daughter being bullied at the local indoor mall play area. Let’s look at bullying and how you can help.

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among people, typically school-aged children (but can continue into adulthood) that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying can be mental, such as making threats, spreading rumors, or physical such as attacking someone physically or excluding someone from a group on purpose. Obviously these are not good things for our children and grandchildren to be doing to each other, so what can we do to reduce the bullying?

Bullying can threaten students’ physical and emotional safety at school, on the playground, or at the mall, as my daughter experienced today. If the bullying happens at school it can negatively impact their ability to learn, which is a terrible shame if it makes the bullied child start to dislike school. The best way to combat bullying is to stop it before it starts. Parents, teachers, grandparents, school counselors, and others can help prevent bullying. They can help kids understand the negative affects of bullying, and model how to treat others with respect.

If an adult witnesses an act of bullying it’s important that they stop the bullying immediately. The bullies need to be told that bullying of any sort will not be tolerated and that it needs to stop immediately. The adult should then help the bullied child feel safe and ask what they need to be able to make that happen. In school that might mean changing classrooms or lunch periods.

Sometimes the child that was bullied feels ashamed, or that it was their fault that they were targeted. It’s important to reassure them that it wasn’t their fault, and help them think of steps that they can take in the future to minimize or eliminate the bullying.

Consider this your Public Service Announcement against bullying. Talk to your children and grandchildren to make sure that they feel safe at school and at their other activities such as sports practices and at the playground. It’s very important to stop bullying, that’s why many elementary schools now do an “anti-bullying” unit during the school year.

When my daughter feels sad I always like to get her a small present to cheer her up. DealDash has lots of awesome toys that little girls love. If you’re shopping for a little girl be sure to check out DealDash. The Hobbies, Toys, Outdoors, and Games category is located at this link right here. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Health: Vitamins

Taking vitamins can be a great way to boost your health and well-being. Even if you eat your fruits and veggies you still might be missing some vital nutrients in your diet.

You need vitamins and minerals in any diet, and research from many various sources suggest that they may help prevent cancer and heart disease, and other less dire health problems such as anemia. You might think that you are getting all of the vitamins that you need from your food if you are eating a healthy diet, but you might not be getting enough.

Here are some of the vitamins and minerals that you should be getting daily. Check your diet, and be sure to take a vitamin supplement if you feel you aren’t getting enough from your food.

Beta-Carotene – Beta-carotene is found in sweet potatoes, carrots, and red, yellow, and green peppers, in addition to other foods. This antioxidant is converted in the body to vitamin A and is important for healthy vision, a functioning immune system, and good skin. Be sure that you are adding in some healthy peppers into your diet such as on your pizza, in your stir fry, or even on your salad.

Calcium – Calcium is mostly found in dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, but it can also be found in kale, and even sardines! Calcium helps to maintain healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis.

Folic Acid – Folic acid is important for adults, but especially important to women who are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. Folic acid prevents neural tube defects such as spina bifida in babies, is found in fortified breakfast cereal, dark green vegetables, beans, citruses, bread, and pasta. That’s right, bring on the pasta, it’s got folic acid!

Iron – Iron is important to having healthy blood and preventing anemia. Liver and organ meats are high in iron, but you can also get iron from lean meats, seafood, nuts, and green, leafy vegetables.

There are many more important vitamins and minerals needed in a healthy diet. If you can’t maintain your vitamin intake by food alone then it’s time to look into a multi-vitamin. There are all different types of multivitamin that are meant for different stages of life such as children’s, adult’s, prenatal, senior, and more. All of these types of vitamins are sold at CVS. If you’re looking for a CVS gift card, DealDash is the place to go! DealDash frequently has CVS gift cards up for bid. Here is a link right here to go check out the auctions. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Builds a Better Office

Do you wish that you had a perfect office? Looking at pictures of offices online it seems that everyone works in an ideal space. Here are some ideas for making your personal office space more picture perfect.

If you have an office that you are currently in now – look around. What are some things that you love about your office, and what areas could use improvement? Sometimes all it takes to change something “OK” into something great is just a few small modifications.

Plants, plants, plants. If you don’t have any plant life in your office space, I advise you to stop working right now, go to the store, and pick up a plant or two. I personally prefer Bonsai Trees, Air Plants, and Succulents. If you aren’t great with keeping plants alive I suggest the Air Plant. You just need to mist it occasionally and it will live practically forever.

Sit comfortably. If your office chair is not the most comfortable chair that you’ve ever sat in, I suggest that you put “office chair” on your shopping list. You may need to go to many, many store before you find the perfect office chair. However, when you find one that is comfortable, fits your style, and is compatible with your budget – buy it! Sitting for hours can be hard on your body (and your soul) if you are uncomfortable. Make comfort a top priority.

Decorate. Are your walls bare? Or even worse, do you have horrible art up that you don’t even like? Think for a few days or even weeks what your personal style encompasses. What sort of feeling are you trying to project at work? Are you going for serenity (such as massage) or aggression (high pressure sales), or something in between? Figure out what sort of tone that you are going for…And go for it!

I hope this article has given you some ideas of how to make your office space more comfortable and perfect for you. If you’re in need of any office equipment such as computers, desks, or even office chairs come check out DealDash. DealDash has everything that you need, try the Electronics and Computers category at this link right here. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

Flash Furniture Mid-Back Mesh Computer Office Chair

DealDash Pets: Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pigs are adorable and can make a great pet for kids and adults. They are fairly easy to take care of, and can be lots of fun.

Guinea pigs are cute, cuddly, easy to care for, soft, expressive, and even make little squeals of delight when they are happy. Guinea pigs are a compact pet, weighing only about 1.5 – 2.5 pounds when full-grown, and measuring between 8 – 10 inches in length. They typically live approximately four to five years, but it’s possible for them to live as long as eight years. Guinea pigs only need a few supplies, and a lot of love and attention from their family members.

Here are the things that you will need to get started with your new Guinea pig friend:

  • A house. There are many commercially available cages and condos out there. While Guinea pigs don’t need quite as much space as a larger pet, be sure to get as big a cage as space and budget allows, shoot for approximately 7 square feet. Also, there are two other things to look for in a cage; The tops must be open, as in there is space between the bars to permit easy air flow, and the bottom needs to be solid. It can be made of metal or plastic, but it absolutely cannot be wire, wire can hurt guinea pig feet and lead to infection.
  • Water bowl or water bottle. A large heavy bowl works great, and as an added bonus you can just pop it right in the dishwasher when you are doing the dishes. use water bottles. Water bottles are designed to hang on the side of your cage and provide water from a metal spout. The spout contains ball bearings that prevent water from flowing unless they are actively moved out-of-the-way by your pet. These are not as easy to clean, but they are very popular with Guinea pig owners.
  • Food bowl or dish. As with the water dish, a large heavy bowl works great.
  • Shelter/Hutch. When guinea pigs are startled their natural instinct is to scurry into a dark, enclosed space. It’s therefore important to provide your guinea pig with some sort of covered shelter. You can get a very inexpensive plastic one at the pet store, but be sure that it doesn’t have a bottom on it, this will just get dirty.
  • Bedding. Aspen wood shavings are fairly absorbent, easy to find, and safe for use with guinea pigs.
  • Hay. Hay is a large part of a guinea pig’s diet and should be available all the time. Timothy hay is the best hay to give your guinea pig.
  • Food pellets. Make sure that you get the food pellets specifically for guinea pigs and not other small animals.

DealDash often has animal supplies up for auction. DealDash carries dog, cat, bird, fish, and small animal supplies. Just click right here and it will take you to the area of DealDash where pet items are located. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Helps: Be the Best Employee

If you’re an employee who is just another face at a large company you might feel like no one notices you. Here are some ways that you can stand out to your employer and be the best employee ever.

No matter if you are in an entry-level job or you have been working at your company for a while, all employees use the knowledge and skills that they have built up over their career to earn money for themselves, their families, and their employer. Throughout the years, an employee can increase their value to a company to a point where they become indispensable.

The first thing that you should do on your road to becoming an excellent employee is to go beyond being good at your job; be the best at it. Becoming an expert at your job and in your industry will endear you to your employers. Read and learn anything and everything that is even remotely relevant to your job. Strive to become excellent at your job, and become the person that all of the other employees come to when they need to know something about your company or industry.

In the same vein,  it would be a great idea for you to learn about the jobs that are higher up the corporate ladder than yours. If you can, it would be an excellent idea to try to find a mentor within the company. This mentor can provide you with advice and personal anecdotes of the best way to work your way up in the company. It is not only advantageous for you, but it can help the mentor with their career as well, because it shows your superiors that you have a desire to learn and your mentor has a desire to foster knowledge and help others in the spirit of your company.

As well as finding a personal mentor it can also benefit you and your company for you to build up a large professional network. A professional network is a valuable tool that can be used to increase awareness of your company, as well as strengthening your own value at work. Your goal should be the “go-to” person at your company when introductions are needed to other companies in your industry.

I hope that some of these ideas help you in becoming the best employee ever. DealDash has some excellent oil paintings, sculptures, and other art that would look great in your office. Just check out this link right here and you can browse the selections. Make sure that you don’t do it on company time, though! Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Helps: Reach for Goals

I am personally working on meeting my personal goals more consistently, and I learned something recently that I would like to share with all of you.

Maybe I am just behind the curve, but I learned about something recently that has quite literally changed my life, and I thought that I would share it with you. If you are having trouble meeting your own goals, whether they are personal, professional, or somewhere in-between the S.M.A.R.T. system can help you.

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, Time-bound. Let’s go through the acronym and see what each part means.

S – Specific. You need to think about what your specific goal entails, and how you can go about accomplishing it. No matter if your goal is a personal one such as losing 20 pounds or a professional goal such as getting your sales up by 10%, be specific.

M – Measurable. You goal needs to be measurable, as in, not just “lose weight” or “increase sales.” How will you even realize if you are making progress towards your goal unless you have a specific and measurable goal?

A – Action-oriented. Even if you have thought of a well-defined goal it could prove difficult to achieve without a clear plan of action for you to follow. When you are thinking about your goal and making your plan, be sure that you include action-oriented steps as part of your goal achievement plan. That way you’ll know what you’re trying to accomplish and, more importantly, how you’ll get there.

R – Realistic. There are few things more discouraging than not being able to meet a goal. However, if you are setting the bar too high for yourself then you are setting yourself up for fail. For example, saying that your goal is to lose 50 pounds in 1 month isn’t realistic. If you set your goal to something more realistic such as 2 pounds per week you have a much greater chance of success.

T – Time-bound. Be sure that there is a firm time-limit to accomplish your goal. If you’re having trouble deciding how long to give yourself to accomplish your goal pick an end date. After you have set a firm deadline for yourself, work your way backwards to determine when you need to begin working towards your goal, and when milestones along the way must be met.

I hope that this article will help understand a better way to accomplish all of your goals, one at a time. If you’re in need of anything to help you accomplish your goals such as a laptop to make your plan, or a watch to keep you on track, DealDash is here for you! Just click on this link right here and it will take you to DealDash to browse the auctions. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Skin Care: Vitamin C

Every so often a new trend comes around in skin care. Right now the “it” trend for skin is products with Vitamin C. It’s delicious and nutritious for your skin.

“Anti-aging” “Lightening” “Brightening” these are just a few of the claims associated with using skin care products with Vitamin C in them. How true are these claims? Let’s take a closer look and see.

Vitamin C’s skin benefits are mostly due to its benefits in supporting healthy collagen. Collagen works closely with elastin to support the skin. In layman’s terms, it comprises the framework that provides form, firmness, and strength to the skin, while elastin is what gives skin its flexibility. Think of collagen as the peanut butter to elastin’s jelly. Unfortunately, the amount of collagen in your skin declines with age, and its accelerated by many different factors such as sunlight, smoking, free radicals, and inflammation. Luckily, vitamin C can help a bit with your collagen. When vitamin C is topically applied to the skin, it provides a skin-rejuvenating effect by improving collagen synthesis in the skin that slows down with aging, and also limits skin damage from free radicals.

Does it have to be topical? Yes. While ingesting vitamin C is definitely healthy for your body it doesn’t really do much to help your skin. Amazingly, when you apply topical vitamin C to the skin it is 20 times more effective than oral ingestion! Don’t toss out your oranges and grapefruits just yet, though. Vitamin C plays an important part of keeping your body healthy inside as well. Why choose? Ingest and topically apply vitamin C for excellent health inside and out.

Now that you know that vitamin C can help you with your collagen, you might be wondering how you should incorporate Vitamin C-based skin care products into your daily routine. Vitamin C-based products come in a variety of different types of formulas. You can find vitamin C in creams, lotions, serums, face oils, and other types of treatments. Pay attention to the label, look for a concentration of vitamin C at about 10-20%. Anything less and it won’t be as effective, and any more and you may irritate your skin.

I hope that this article has given you a few new ideas about skin care. DealDash has some great beauty and personal care items in their Fashion, Health, and Beauty category. Visit DealDash at this link right here and see all of the beauty products available. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

Spa Sonic Skin Care Face and Body Polisher 7-Piece Kit, Pink

DealDash Crafts: Room Sprays

Would you like your home to smell amazing, but you have pets or little kids that make it smell not so great? Are those pets and children also the reason why you don’t want to use too many chemicals in your home? Try making your own room spray.

Making your own room spray for your home is really very simple. You can use many different essential oils to make an almost endless variety of scents. I’ll give you a basic recipe to get started, you only need a few things and you will be on your way to a great smelling home with no harsh and irritating chemicals.

Materials:

  • Small spray bottle – they have these in the travel section at Target and many other stores. Glass or plastic is fine.
  • Witch hazel. You can also use vodka, but why waste vodka?
  • Distilled water
  • Mason jar or other similar jar with a lid
  • Small funnel
  • Essential oil(s) of your choice

Directions:

  1. Add 2 ounces of witch hazel to your mason jar.
  2. Add your essential oil(s) to the witch hazel. Put 20 drops of any of your oils.
  3. Shake, shake, shake!
  4. Using your tiny funnel, pour the mixture into your spray bottle. Add an additional 2 ounces of distilled water.
  5. Add a label outlining how many drops of which essentials oils are inside in case you would like to make the same mixture again.
  6. Spray, then breathe in the nice fresh scent of your home.

If you are having trouble figuring out which essential oils to use in your room spray, here are a few ideas:

  • Citrus & Mint –
  • 8 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 12 drops wild orange essential oil

 

  • Freshening and Deodorizing-
  • 4 drops tea tree oil
  • 8 drops lemon essential oil
  • 8 drops eucalyptus essential oil

 

  • Relaxing in Bed-
  • 8 drops lavender
  • 12 drops vanilla

If you aren’t sure you are going to like the scents that you are mixing up or not, just add 1 drop of each of the oils at first, and if you aren’t crazy about the scent that it makes when it’s mixed together then just finish off the 20 drops with the scent that you like better. It won’t be as exciting a mixture, but it will avoid having to throw out your mixture, as 1 drop of an oil with 19 drops of another oil will smell almost 100% like the 19 drops, with just the slightest hint of the 1 drop’s scent.

I hope that this article has gotten you thinking about what sorts of yummy scents that you can make into room sprays for your home. If you haven’t yet purchased any essential oils, they are available at a great price from both Target and Wal*Mart. Conveniently, DealDash offers gift cards for both Target and Wal*Mart for auction. Go ahead and check out DealDash’s Gift Card category for Target and Wal*Mart gift cards. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Cooks: Kid’s Snacks

Kids love to snack between meals, but sometimes the easiest snack food is just not healthy. Here are some fast and fun snacks kids will love.

No matter if your kids are tiny or big, they all love to snack! Some of my kids favorite snacks are fruit snacks, chips, and other unhealthy things. To try to combat the unhealthy snacks I try to make healthier choices for them with an element of fun. Here are a few ideas for some healthy kid’s snacks.

Grape Dolphin – As you can see in the picture above, the Grape Dolphin is super simple to make. Take a banana and cut it in half horizontally. Take the half of the banana with the stem and cut the stem vertically. Stick a grape into the “mouth” that you made. Stick it in a small bowl. Scatter grapes around your dolphin. Enjoy. Please remember, if you have kids 3 or younger to cut all of the grapes in half vertically to help prevent choking.

Frozen Yogurt Drops – Take any flavor of Greek yogurt and put into a ziplock bag. Slice off one corner of the bag and squeeze out into quarter sized drops onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Freeze for about 2 hours. Store in a tupperware container in the freezer until ready to use. These can be kept in the freezer until the original expiration date. These are a delicious ice cream-like treat that is good for you – especially if you use the zero fat type of Greek yogurt.

Strawberry Ladybugs – These are definitely a cute treat for kids – they even have chocolate! To make them just cut strawberries lengthwise, insert a few chocolate chips, and arrange on a plate with a blueberry at the top for a head. Please see the picture below:

As you can see, you can have a lot of fun with your kid’s snacks and be healthy at the same time. Most of these treats need a sharp knife to prepare. If you need a new sharp kitchen knife be sure to check out DealDash’s Kitchen and Dining category located at this link right here. In that DealDash category you will find a great selection of wonderful sharp kitchen knives. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Helps: Decipher Food Labels

If you don’t have a degree in science or nutrition then you might find food labels a little difficult to understand. Let’s take a look.

When you’re at the supermarket trying to decide what to put in your cart it’s a little bit too late to be doing research on the subject of what’s the healthiest for you and your family. Here are some tricky food labels that you can figure out now and use your newfound knowledge later when you are shopping.

Whole Grain/Whole Wheat – Whole grain and whole wheat look and sound very similar, but are the same thing? No! They are not the same. The difference is that whole wheat means that the bread is made from the entire wheat kernel. Whole grain means that the bread can be made of any whole-grain kernel. That grain may be wheat or it could be another grain such as oats or barley. The bread might even be made using a mixture of different whole grains.

What does this mean to you? If it doesn’t have 100% in the title then you are better off skipping it all together, no matter if it is whole wheat or whole grain. For some strange reason bread (and pasta) companies are allowed to put that a product is whole wheat/grain even if it’s almost entirely made of white flour, as long as it has 1% or more of wheat in it. Stick with the products that say 100% whole wheat or grain and you will be getting the best for your family.

Sugar-Free/No Sugar Added – If the choice is between sugar-free and “no sugar added” then go with the no sugar added. No sugar added means that no additional sugar was used when making the product, but it could still have healthier sugars included in the product such as from fruits. Both of these categories might also have artificial sweeteners added such as Splenda, Equal, etc. Keep a lookout for these in the ingredients, especially if you are a diabetic, because they can affect your blood sugar even if they aren’t technically sugar products.

Low Sodium/Reduced Sodium – If you are faced with a label that says either low sodium or reduced sodium, go with the Low sodium choice. Reduced sodium just means that there is 25% less sodium than the original food, which really doesn’t mean much if it was a food that was sodium-heavy to begin with such as Ramen Noodles. Check the actual nutritional label, and try to keep your sodium intake less than 2,000 mg per day. If you realize that you have eaten way more than your daily allotment please be sure to drink some extra water.

I hope that this article has gotten you interested about figuring out food labels. Check out DealDash for your kitchen needs such as pots and pans, knives, blenders, cutlery, or anything else you might think of. Check out the Kitchen and Dining Category on DealDash at this link right here. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

Ninja Mega Kitchen System

DealDash Helps: Organize the Office

It’s irrelevant if you have a home office or an office away from home, life is easier when things are organized.

Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about organizing your office space while maximizing your work output. Let’s face it, when things are disorganized it’s hard to keep your focus on the tasks ahead of you. In this article we will look at some ways to keep the elements of your office organized.

What is the most common item to be messy in an office? Any guesses? It’s a bit old-fashioned these days, but it’s actually paper! Paper messes in offices come from many different sources such as mailings, advertisements, contracts, business notes, faxes, and believe it or not some people even print their emails! With all of these various and sundry papers sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to organize them. A filing cabinet is one solution, but my personal favorite solution to this problem is to scan in the papers and get rid of them all-together!

It’s easy and eco-friendly to go (mostly) paper-free. All you need is a scanner, a computer, and a recycle bin! First, separate out the papers that you absolutely have to keep, but this should be a very small pile. Next, sort out a pile of papers that are semi-important that you will scan in and then recycle. The last pile is just junk paper that you will recycle without even scanning in. If you are in need of a new scanner or printer be sure to check out the selection on DealDash. You can see the selection right here in the Electronics and Computers category.

Another problem area organization-wise is writing implements. Whether it’s pens, pencils, markers, or dry erase markers you need to find a solution to keeping all of these different items organized. May I suggest something a little “different?” How about a cutlery tray? You can get a lovely wooden cutlery tray that has either pre-determined sections, or there are other trays that you can move the sections around to suit your needs. It’s a quick and easy solution to a common problem in an office setting. Bed, Bath, and Beyond has some very nice wooden cutlery trays and you can even get a gift card to purchase one on DealDash. Just click this link right here and it will take you to a few different denominations of BBB card on DealDash.

I hope that this article has you thinking about ways that you can improve your office organization. If you need more inspiration be sure to check out the auctions on DealDash. DealDash has lots of organizational items. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Helps: Ease Anxiety

Are you one of the over 40 million Americans that have anxiety? Here are a few tips to help get a little relief.

Approximately 10% of Americans have an anxiety disorder. Luckily there are a few things that you can do to help yourself feel a little better. If none of these suggestions work for you then you should probably visit a doctor so you can get some help.

The most popular thing to ease anxiety is exercise! Luckily it doesn’t have to be strenuous, even just a brisk walk around the neighborhood or (even better) in a park or on a wooded trail can make your anxiety melt away. If you aim for about 30 minutes of exercise per day then you can not only feel less anxious but get more fit as an added bonus.

Another great way to ease anxiety is to spend some time cuddling your cat or dog. Just spending a few minutes petting an animal can make you feel much better. If you aren’t permitted to have pets where you live then an easy and cheap solution is a betta fish. You can get a betta fish, its habitat, and some food for less than $20 at your local pet store. Watching a fish swim can be very relaxing. No pets? No problem! You can spend time at your local animal rescue/Humane Society volunteering a few hours per week. This is a win-win situation for both you and the animals that you are helping.

You can also ease anxiety by reading a book. Some people might be able to use a textbook or a non-fiction book to relax, but personally I love to read a good novel to escape the world. Try to find something lighthearted and engaging for the best anxiety relieving benefits.

Lastly, another wonderful way to ease anxiety is coloring. Adult coloring books have become quite trendy as of late, you can get them anywhere from your local big box store, a bookstore, or even the craft store. You can color by yourself, or if you have kids or grandkids you can all color together. It’s a great way to ease your anxiety and spend some quality time with your family as well.

I hope that this article has helped you try to think of some ways to ease your anxiety, which will help you feel much better in your daily life. Another great way for me to ease my anxiety is to bid on DealDash! DealDash has hundreds of awesome items up for bid every day, go take a peek and see how much you can save. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Teaches: Bonsai Trees

Japanese Maple Bonsai

Just about everyone has heard of “Bonsai Trees,” and picture tiny little gnarled pine trees. Did you know that technically any tree can be a bonsai?

Bonsai is a Japanese term which, literally translated, means “planted in a container.” You can take any tree, plant it in a container, and technically it is a bonsai! Most people probably associate bonsai trees with Japan, but the practice actually was started in China, and Japan merely adopted the practice.

I have always been interested in bonsai trees, but I had never attempted to care for one until recently. In this article I will share with you some of the things that I have learned about bonsai trees and perhaps you would like to give bonsai maintenance a try!

“Where will I get this tiny tree?” you might ask. Well, you can get them just about anywhere that sells regular plants such as Lowes, Wal*Mart, or your local garden center. All of these places have lower priced (and lower quality) trees. If you are willing to spend a little bit more for a higher quality tree then I suggest that you order one online.

When you are picking out your tree be mindful of the species of tree, what that particular tree’s sun/temperature requirements are, and your geographical location. For beginners who would like an inside tree, try a Ficus, Carmona or a Chinese elm. For beginners who would prefer an outdoor (or indoor/outdoor) then try  a Juniper, Pine tree, or a Japanese maple. I personally have a Juniper, and I have been moving him outdoors for a few days per week, and indoors for a few days per week. Since I live in New England I will have to totally move him inside once the winder gets underway.

The biggest tip that I can give from what I have learned so far is that bonsai trees require a lot of water! You might even need to water your tree every day if its soil feels dry. I was given some advice from the place that I received my bonsai from – every 2-3 days get a tub of water, fill it about 2 inches deep, and stick the whole bonsai container in there for a few hours. This will allow the roots time to suck up all of the water that they need, and you won’t have to deal with any soil displacement from using a watering can.

I hope that this article has gotten you interested in caring for a bonsai tree or any plant. DealDash has a large array of gardening supplies up for bid. If you need any gardening supplies be sure to check out DealDash. Just click this link right here and it will take you to some great gardening auctions on DealDash. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

Wisteria Bonsai tree

DealDash Helps: Tiny Calorie Swaps

Most of us Americans could stand to lose a few pounds. Here are some handy tips on how to reduce your calories by making tiny lifestyle changes.

Are you a little overweight? Could you stand to lose just a few pounds? I know I could! Here are a few of the sneaky little ways that I have discovered to cut a few calories here and there throughout the day. If you save 10 calories here, and 20 calories there it doesn’t take long to add up to a fairly significant savings by the end of the day.

Swap your plate. If you’re eating dinner on a large 12″ size plate swap it out for a 10″ sized one. Most people just automatically fill their plate with food, so filling in 10″ versus 12″ is a savings in calories.

Ditch the soda habit. A 12-ounce soft drink has about 150 to 180 calories. If you down two or three a day, you’re getting lots of extra calories. If the main reason that you like drinking soda is the carbonation, try drinking seltzer water instead. If plain seltzer water isn’t you thing, you can add some orange or cranberry juice to make a delicious drink. It’s more calories than the plan seltzer, but less than a can of regular soda.

Eat what you like…With a friend. Do you love ice cream? How about cheesecake? Fudge? Me too! The easiest way to save half of the calories on delicious desserts is to share them with a friend. When I go out to dinner with my husband we almost always order 1 dessert and share it. He doesn’t really care for sweets, and I don’t care to eat 1,000 calories in one sitting on a piece of cheesecake.

Switch to skim. Skim milk, that is. If you enjoy milk in your cereal, milk in your coffee, or even just a glass of cold milk then stop buying whole milk and start buying skim milk. If the change is to abrupt for you, then step it down by choosing 2%, 1%, then skim.

Eat popcorn instead of chips. If you swap out your greasy, salty chips for some fat-free popcorn you have saved lots of calories. If you switch to air popped you will save even more. Popcorn is delicious, addicting, and almost guilt free.

Make it with mustard instead of mayo. If you love to make sandwiches or chicken salad or tuna, skip the mayo and try using some delicious stone ground mustard instead. If that is too extreme for you try using a 2:1 ratio of mustard to mayo. You will still save calories and it will be even more delicious.

I hope that this article has got you thinking about some small ways to cut calories without disrupting your lifestyle too much. If you’re looking for a scale to track your progress check out DealDash. DealDash has a few different types of scales up for bid. Just click here to be taken to the scales on DealDash. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Helps: Better Sleep

Sleep is a wonderful thing. As the mom of a six month old I don’t get much of it. Here are some tips and tricks I have learned to make the most of the sleep that I am able to get.

Trust me, I know sleep deprivation. I used to work 3 overnight shifts per week in addition to taking care of kids during the day. I was a wreck, pretty much all of the time. There are some long-term effects of sleep deprivation such as weight gain, depression, and even hallucinations. Sleep is absolutely 100% vital to your well-being, and having restful sleep helps your body to re-energize and heal itself. Here are some tips to getting the best night’s sleep possible.

  • Have a regular sleeping and waking time. That’s not to say that you can’t vary it by an hour or so, but try to keep things as close to a schedule as possible, even on the weekends. The goal is to get approximately 8 hours of sleep, so if you need to get up at 6:30 for work, looks like you’re going to bed at 10:30. However, some people (including myself) actually do better on 7 hours of sleep. Play around with your schedule at first, and write down your sleeping and waking times, and how rested you feel on a scale of 1-5. If you start noticing a pattern of feeling really rested on 7, 8, or 9 hours of sleep then you have found your sweet spot, and adjust your sleeping and waking schedule accordingly.
  • Don’t use your phone, computer, iPad, etc. for about an hour before you would like to go to sleep. The blue tones in the light that is emitted from these devices help keep you awake. There are special glasses that you can buy to counteract this, or you could also just turn the device’s screen down to minimal brightness, but it’s really easier to just ditch the electronics for an hour before bedtime. Use this hour to catch up on a book, take a warm bath, have a snack, or chat with a friend.
  • Be sure that your bed is as comfortable as it can possibly be. Do you need some new pillows? Maybe a lighter or heavier comforter? Maybe even a new mattress altogether? Figure out how you can feel total comfort in your bed, and sleep should follow.

I hope that this article as given you some ideas on how to get more restful sleep. If you’re in need of new pillows, bedding, soft lighting, or anything else for your bedroom be sure to check out DealDash. DealDash has all of these items and so much more. Check out the Home, Garden, and Tools category at this link right here and it will take you to the home section to browse the auctions. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

 

DealDash Teaches: Poison Ivy

Identifying Poison Ivy and its nasty friends Poison Oak and Poison Sumac can be difficult for someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time outdoors. Here’s a quick and easy guide.

If you and your family are spending some time outdoors this summer, anywhere from your own backyard, parks, wooded areas, lakes, etc. it is very important that you are able to tell the difference between the poisonous plants and the regular plants.

The quick identifier has always been “Leaves of three, let it be.” However, did you know that the leaves of Poison Ivy aren’t always even green? The leaves actually change colors as the seasons change.

  • Reddish in the spring
  • Green in the summer
  • Yellow, orange, or red in the fall

Poison Ivy is extremely common, you can find it in every U.S. state, except for Alaska and Hawaii. Since it’s so common it’s important that you are able to spot it, otherwise you are going to have a very itchy time. Below are some pictures of Poison Ivy so you can familiarize yourself with its different appearances.

Poison Ivy is the most common, but it has a nasty cousin called Poison Oak. It’s quite similar to Poison Ivy,  it also grows in three leaves. They are shaped in lobes that look like the leaves of an oak tree. Depending on where you live they grow a little bit differently. The plant grows in low shrubs in the eastern U.S, but on the Pacific Coast, it grows in long vines.

Poison Sumac is also a cousin of Poison Ivy, but it is a little different to identify. Poison Sumac’s leaves grow in groups of seven to 13 along its stems. Luckily, Poison Sumac is less common than the other two. Poison sumac is most common in the Midwest, however it can also be found up and down the East Coast.

I hope this quick guide has helped you become more aware of some of the poison plants that we have lurking about in the outdoors. If you are planning on spending lots of time in the outdoors, you should check out DealDash! DealDash has a category called Hobbies, Toys, Outdoors, and Games that you can find at this link right here. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

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DealDash Kids Craft: Dying Pasta

Making dyed pasta for kid’s crafts such as jewelry and posters is easy, fun, and a great project to do with your kids or grandkids.

Everyone who has an elementary school kid has probably received a dyed pasta necklace at some point, whether it was for Mother’s Day, Easter, or just from art class at school. Why not have the same kind of fun at home with your kids by making dyed pasta for jewelry, posters, learning to count, etc.

Before you get started with the pasta dying experience, you should decide what projects you would like to do with the pasta so that you know what type of pasta to use. Then you can gather the macaroni, rotini, wagon wheel, penne or bow pastas and dye the exact ones that you need for your project. After you have decided what pasta shapes that you would like to dye, here’s how to make it happen:

Ingredients:

  • Pasta
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Food coloring

Directions:

  1. Take out some solo cups or disposable bowls – 1 for each different color that you would like to dye your pasta. You can use non-disposable bowls, but be warned that the dye might stain your bowls.
  2. Fill the solo cups or bowls about 1/2-3/4 the way full with the pastas that you would like to use. Depending on the pasta shape that might be a lot (macaroni) or a little (wagon wheels).
  3. Fill the vessels almost to the top with (rubbing) alcohol. Be very careful if you are doing this project with kids that they don’t drink any!!
  4. Add your food coloring to the cups. If you want darker colors use a lot, if you prefer lighter colors, then use a little. It’s your call!
  5. Let the pasta soak overnight – or 8 hours if you are doing this in the morning.
  6. Stir occasionally to ensure all of the sides are coated with coloring.
  7. Strain the pasta, dumping all of the colored liquid out.
  8. Let each color dry on separate paper towels. Be careful that the color isn’t leaking through and staining whatever is underneath. If need be, put a piece of cardboard underneath. Drying will take a couple of hours.
  9. All done! Now you can feel free to let your imagination run wild and use up your freshly dyed pasta. These keep well in an airtight container or ziplock bag for a while, so don’t feel any pressure to use them all right away. Please don’t eat them after they have been dyed.

If you’re not into making your own dyed pasta jewelry and prefer the real thing, head on over to DealDash. DealDash has necklaces, bracelets, and earrings up for bid daily. Check out this link right here and it will take you to the jewelry on DealDash. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

 

DealDash Feeds the Baby

As the mom of a 6 month old I am just starting to feed him baby food. It’s the messiest!

I am working on some ways to help keep the mess to a minimum. The first one is to stop using baby wipes on his face and hands! They just don’t work that well, smearing the food around rather than wiping it off. I bought some good quality bamboo baby wash cloths and use those during mealtimes instead. It seemed that the baby wipes were irritating his skin, and it’s much better since switching to the wash cloths.

A good high chair is helpful for trying to keep the mess at bay. The Graco DuoDiner 1 High Chair (pictured below) is great because the seat pad is wipeable or machine washable, depending on how messy that particular meal was. I was surprised to find that not all high chair pads are machine washable! Speaking of cleaning, the dishwasher-safe, pull-out insert makes clean up hassle-free. I personally try to just wipe everything down as soon as I’m done feeding the baby so nothing gets all caked on and yucky. The insert makes it quick and easy. If you’d like to check out the DuoDiner 1 High Chair on DealDash the link is right here.

Graco Childrens Products DuoDiner LX 3-in-1 High Chair

Another thing I would like to do is to start making my own baby food. It might not make things less messy, but at least I would know exactly what I was cleaning up! I’ve never tried to make baby food before, but from doing some reading it seems that you just need a food processor. DealDash has a good selection of food processors that would be perfect for making baby food. They have cheaper ones such as Ninja Master Prep, which is less expensive because it’s quite small – but it would be the perfect size to make baby food! If you’d like a more high-end food processor DealDash also has the KitchenAid KFP0922CU food processor which will slice and dice anything that you throw into it. Regardless of which food processor you pick rest assured that the baby food that you make at home will be tastier and more healthy due to the fresh fruits and veggies that you use to make your little darling’s meals.

Babyhood is such a fleeting thing, I can’t believe that my baby is just about halfway done being a baby and will be moving on to toddlerhood soon. Give your kids a hug, everyone, and then check out DealDash. DealDash has lots of items for babies, kids, and even teenagers in the Hobbies, Toys, Outdoors, and Games category. DealDash loves kids! Just click this link and check it out. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Sorts Legos

“Ouch!!” That’s what I say at any given time when I attempt to walk across my kid’s playroom. Legos. Legos everywhere.

When I was a kid way back in the “dark ages” of the 1980s, most kids had a container of Legos consisting of bricks, platforms, and maybe if you were lucky you might have a few doors or windows. Kids today have all of that and 1,000 times more. There are Lego sets for just about anything – Disney princesses, Minecraft, The Simpsons, Ghostbusters…You name a theme and there is probably a Lego set that goes along with it. That’s great for kids (and the adults that love Legos), but what about the poor frazzled mom that ends up cleaning up all of the Legos so her robotic vacuum cleaner doesn’t accidentally eat them and choke?

Organization. Say it with me, “Organization.” That’s exactly what you need if your house is overrun with Legos. Sometimes it can be so overwhelming that you don’t even know where to start. Let me help you with that.

You’re going to need containers. The first thing that you should do is decide how many different categories of Lego pieces you would like to sort your collection into. How specific do you want to be? For me, personally, I like to have a Minifigures bin, a plain bricks bin, an “odds and ends” bin, and bins for each complete set. How you would like to categorize your Legos is up to you; for me, less categories is easier.

There is an amazing tool for Lego sorting that you can purchase called the BOX4BLOXwhich sorts the LEGO through a series of trays that have different sized grids in the bottom. After you have sorted them by size, you could even sort by color if you want to be extremely thorough.

If you don’t like the idea of putting each category into bigger bins, how about getting creative with your storage options? You could get a container that has multiple drawers that are normally used for hardware or auto parts and place all of your little pieces  snugly in its compartments.

For a true Lego fan there are never enough Lego sets! Luckily, DealDash always has tons of Lego sets up for auction. If you’re into the Creator sets you are in luck, as DealDash sometimes puts rare sets up for auction. Just click this link here and it will take you to the current offerings of Lego from DealDash. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!

DealDash Talks Metal Recycling

When most people think about recycling the first thing that comes to mind is paper, closely followed by plastic water bottles. Did you know that you can recycle many different types of metal?

Most people are familiar with aluminum can recycling, and amazingly an aluminum can goes from being tossed in your recycling bin to being back on the store shelf in 60 days! That is very helpful for the environment, since the recycling process for an aluminum can is so fast there is no need to mine for new materials. Not only does that save our resources, but it also saves gas and manpower as well that can be used for other things.

If you’re curious about the process of how aluminum metal is recycled, it’s pretty simple. First the different types of metal are sorted by magnets, and the aluminum is shredded, washed, and cut into chips, which are in turn melted down. After they’re melted down and formed into small aluminum bricks they are ready to be made into something new! Usually more cans, but they can also be made into aluminum foil,  bike frames, staples, nails, computer parts, golf clubs, ladders, mailboxes, faucets, pots and pans, and even car rims and car trim. It’s amazing how many everyday items are made out of aluminum. Now doesn’t that make you want to recycle your aluminum cans?

Did you know that you can recycle metal products other than just regular aluminum cans that food came in?  You can’t just throw them in the bin, but goods containing precious metals like appliances and phones can often be recycled as well. You just need to find your local scrap yard or e-cycler to get them on the road to being recycled. Or better yet, if they are still working, why not donate them to a charity store? Some of the bigger thrift stores won’t take appliances and computers, but the smaller non-corporate shops as well as the church second-hand shops usually will. Just be sure to call before you bring in anything large to make sure that they have room for it. Saving the Earth while helping other humans – it’s a win-win situation.

Speaking of winning, how about heading over to DealDash? They have plenty of products that have been made from aluminum such as bikes, pots and pans, and mail boxes! Just click this link right here and it will take you to DealDash, look around and see how much you can save. Good luck and happy bidding everyone!