Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Giveaway Winners!

Good morning everyone! The winners of the Fall Giveaway are…

#1:

Jessie 09/26/2011 08:54 AM

I love summer - long days, warm weather, vacations, and ice cream!  What could be better?

and…

#2:

Thescrappyhousewife Yesterday 01:41 PM

Summer is my favorite season by far. Love the warm weather!

 

They will each be receiving a set of Halloween Countdown Blocks.

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They will have 48 hours to claim their prize! If I don’t hear back from them in 48 hours, I will choose another winner.

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway!

Don’t forget about the upcoming series in October…

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Will you be following along?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

31 Days to a Peaceful Home

Can you believe that there are only a few days left of September? October brings us all things Fall! You have already heard me rave about Fall over here. (FYI—Today is the last day to enter the giveaway!)

I have been dying to make all of the pumpkin treats that have been floating around on Pinterest, but I can’t seem to get my hands on some canned pumpkin!!

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I finally got around to making some Pumpkin Spice Syrup for my coffee with a lone can of pumpkin that was in my pantry!

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I highly recommend it!!

Anyways…back to OCTOBER! October also brings The Nester’s annual “31 Days” series!

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I will be participating this year for the entire month of October. I have still been following along with the {31 Days to Clean}, but I decided not to post about it after all. I was having a hard time posting about it without giving away the contents of the e-book. I didn’t think that was very fair to Sarah Mae.

So…coming in October….drumroll please….

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{31 Days to a Peaceful Home}

At the beginning of the {31 Days to Clean} challenge, we were instructed to come up with “mission statement” for our home. The main goal that I realized was not to have a perfect, immaculate home…but rather a “peaceful home”.

I already have all of my “rough-draft” topics ready to go…I just have to attempt to have the posts ready to go each day! Yikes!

So…what does a “peaceful home” mean to you? I would love your feedback on this topic! Do you have any great tips? I will be sharing tips from readers throughout the series too! I have some changes that I have made in the past as well as changes that I plan to implement over the course of the 31 days that I will be sharing with you.

Would you like to follow along? On some days, I will present you with a challenge that you can implement in your own home. Other days will just be some of my thoughts on how to develop a “peaceful home”. I will have a linkup posted throughout the month where you can link your posts about creating a peaceful home…or your own 31 days challenge. I will be sharing some of the links throughout the series as well as some of my favorites at the end of the month.

If you would like to follow along, just grab my button from the sidebar!

Leave me a comment letting me know if you will be following along with the 31 Days series over at The Nesting Place!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Dr. Wangari Maatthai

I was saddened this morning to hear of the passing of Dr. Wangari Maathai.

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She was a Nobel Peace Prize winner and the Global Ambassador for Shaklee’s A Million Trees. A Million Dreams. Campaign.

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Shaklee began a tree-planting campaign across the United States and Canada on Earth Day 2006. Earth Day 2009, Dr. Wangari Maathai, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and CEO Roger Barnett plant the 1 millionth tree at the Shaklee World Headquarters in Pleasanton, California.

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"Shaklee led the way in achieving carbon neutrality in 2000 and has mobilized its networks to plant a million trees for the planet, which is not only a great achievement, but an inspiration to all of us—especially in the corporate sector"

– Dr. Wangari Maathai

Take a few moments to watch this inspiring video of Dr. Wangari Maathai’s involvement with Shaklee!

In honor of Dr. Wangari Maathai

Go Green Expo 2011

The Newport News Master Gardeners Association and the Virginia Cooperative Extension sponsored a fabulous event this past weekend!

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Here’s a peek at some of the topics presented at the education stations:

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In addition to the education stations, there were

  • over 30 eco-friendly product and service vendors
  • special state and city representatives discussing green initiatives
  • a garden marketplace with plants, garden accessories, and baked goods
  • live music
  • raffles
  • rain barrel workshops
  • a fun kid’s zone (including the very popular worm station)

I was very excited to be able to participate as a vendor this year…

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I probably needed 2 tables for all of the products that I brought along, but it worked out OK.

I was very thankful to have access to electricity so that I could have some of my favorite Shaklee videos playing.

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I tried to separate the products into 4 categories by using some frames…

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I also held a drawing for some of Shaklee’s kitchen products:

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The winner of the drawing won 1 package of Shaklee’s Dish Washer Automatic Concentrate

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I love this product!! I only use 1 scoop instead of the suggested 2 scoops and my dishes come out sparkling clean…even without a rinse agent. That means that I am getting 96 loads from this one bag!! Many dishwashing detergents are having trouble with the performance of their new phosphate-free formulas. Shaklee’s has always been phosphate-free and works better than any of the brands I used before Shaklee. That is why I chose to give this product away.

I also included the liquid Dish Wash Concentrate. I only need a couple drops to clean my hand wash dishes…it’s so concentrated! One bottle lasts me around 9 months! Pretty impressive, right?

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Everyone I spoke with was so impressed with the cost-effectiveness of the cleaning products. The Scour-Off was a big hit too! Everyone loved the natural scent of the cherry pits in the Scour-Off!

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Overall, the event went very well! I look forward to participating again next year!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Fall and a Giveaway

Happy First Day of Fall!

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Last weekend, we had some very “fall-like” weather here in Virginia Beach. Even though it was rainy, I loved it! Fall is my favorite time of year…pumpkins, hayrides, corn mazes, sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, Thanksgiving, hot chocolate, etc… I love it all!!

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Since it felt like fall last weekend, it gave me motivation to get up in the attic and pull down the fall decorations. I didn’t get around to actually putting them up until today though. Except for this one…

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I put that one up right away! I can’t believe how much my daughters’ hands have grown in the past 2 years!!

In honor of the first day of fall and also because Halloween is quickly approaching, I am going to do a giveaway!!

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I will be giving away 2 sets of Halloween countdown blocks. Since I want the winners to be able to get a full month’s use out of the countdown blocks, I am only keeping the giveaway open until next Tuesday, September 27th, at midnight!

There are 4 ways to enter. Please leave a separate comment for each entry!

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite season is.

2. Follow A Home Made by Kiki via Google Friend Connect on the right sidebar. If you are already a follower, just let me know in the comments.

3. “Like” A Home Made by Kiki on Facebook. If you already follow this blog on Facebook, just let me know in the comments.

4. Post about this giveaway on your blog or Facebook and leave me a link to your post in the comments. You can also Tweet about the giveaway. You can do this once every day until the giveaway ends, but you must leave a comment on each day that you post!

This giveaway is open to US residents only. The winners will be contacted via e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Shaklee’s New Referral Program

I was So Excited when Shaklee announced its new referral program. I love that we have a way of thanking those of you who share your love of Shaklee with your friends and family!

If you are like me, when you first started using the Shaklee products you probably wanted to tell everyone you knew about how awesome the products are.

I have had some of my Shaklee members ask me about how the program actually works. I want to show you the quick step-by-step process to earn some free products! Who doesn’t like free products, right??

First, log in to your MyShaklee page.

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Once you log in, you will see this screen:

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There are 2 places where the referral program is mentioned on this first page. Click on either of these links to get started on the referral process.

The next screen will provide you with your unique personal referral code!

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If you click on “How to use this link” underneath the referral code, you will see very good instructions on the best way to use your referral code!

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This pop-up window explains how to use your unique code in Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, e-mail, instant message…and many other ways that you communicate with your friends each day!

Directly above your referral code, you will see buttons that allow you to post your code on Facebook or Twitter with the quick click of a button!

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Shaklee will automatically add your unique code into your Facebook post or Tweet. Super simple, right??

If you click on “Program Details”

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…you will see a pop-up screen with all of the details of the program. Basically, you must be a member, your referrals must be new Shaklee customers, they must make a $25 purchase, you are only eligible for one $25 credit for each person that you refer, etc…

You can also share your code via e-mail

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There is a default message already in the message box, but it’s definitely better if you personalize your message to let your friends and family know which products you love and what kind of experiences you have had with the products!

Once you e-mail your referral link from this page, you will see a confirmation message

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If you are like me, you want to know what the e-mail looks like that your friends and family will receive. Anyone like me out there??

This is what your friends will see when they open their e-mail…

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They will see a reminder that they will receive 15% off of their first order now just by ordering through your link…even if they don’t purchase a lifetime membership! What a deal!

Once they click on the “Show Now” link, they will be brought to a unique referral site where they can shop, join, or learn more about Shaklee!

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They will also see the special offers that we have available…such as a FREE LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP with the purchase of Vitalizer!

Ok…here’s the best part…

When one of your referrals (who shopped through your unique link) purchases a minimum of $25 in products (not including tax or shipping/handling), you will receive an e-mail notifying you that a $25 product credit has been added to your account at MyShaklee.com. You will have one year to use your product credit.

So…what are you waiting for? Start sharing your love of Shaklee with your family and friends.

Help them create a safe and healthy home for their families!!

Does this sound like a great program to you, but you aren’t a Shaklee member yet? Here are some quick facts about a Shaklee membership:

  • A one-time fee of $19.95 will provide you with a lifetime Shaklee membership.
  • You will never have to pay a renewal fee.
  • There are no minimums to maintain!!
  • You will receive 15% off of all your Shaklee purchases!
  • You will be eligible for some unadvertised special offers…contact me for the details! Trust me…you want to know about these!!

Are you interested in helping other people live healthier lives and make money at the same time?? Contact me today! I would love to set up a time to talk with you to see if you would be a good fit for our team! This is a great opportunity to set your own schedule and have the flexibility to spend more time with your family! I would love to share this great opportunity with you!

As always, please contact me with any questions!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Maintaining Health and Wellness



Thanks to Walgreens for sponsoring my writing. Help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote.

What is "wellness?"


As an RN, I am a strong believer in the importance of prevention! As a parent, I also try to implement prevention of illness in my family's everyday activities.

Handwashing:
I make sure my kids wash their hands before school/daycare, after school/daycare, before eating, after play dates, etc… I feel that this is one of the easiest ways to prevent illness in my home!
Activity: 
“Regular exercise can cut the number of cold and flu episodes occurring over the course of a year by 25 to 50 percent!”

Plenty of sleep: 
Sleep deprivation nearly doubles the risk of getting a cold or flu”.

Flu vaccination:
The CDC says that flu vaccine is the single best way to prevent influenza!
Walgreens has already started advertising the availability of the flu vaccine at their pharmacies!
 
Both of my girls have already received their vaccinations this year (so thankful to be able to check that off of my to-do list!)...now I just need to make the time to go in and get one for myself!

Healthy Diet:
A healthy diet can boost your immune system to help prevent infection and illness. A healthy diet needs to be in place before you get sick rather than waiting until you get sick. Include more colorful fruits and vegetables….they contain Vitamin C and D. Vitamin D has recently been shown in studies to help prevent the flu specifically! What if you have a picky eater? That brings me to my next point!

Vitamins:
My 6 year old is a very picky eater. I know that she does not get all her nutritional needs from her diet! Also, many of the fruits and vegetables that we buy do not contain the amount of nutrients that we think they do. In most cases, they are grown thousands of miles away, picked before they are ripe, treated or frozen/canned. Many are grown in fields that are over-used and therefore the soil does not contain the nutrient level that it used to years ago.

While I totally agree that we should maintain a healthy diet with the right amounts of fruits and vegetables, I still give my children multivitamins so that I know for sure that they are getting the vitamins and minerals that they need every day. They love taking their vitamins every day and make sure and remind me when I get so busy that I forget!

As you can see, these steps are all pretty easy to implement! Prevention is key! How do you promote wellness in your family?

Don't forget to help Walgreens help others! Visit their Facebook page here to learn about their charitable partners and decide which cause Walgreens will donate to with a quick vote. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

{31 Days To Clean} Week 1

So… I mentioned last week that I was going to be participating in the {31 Days to Clean} series going on at Homemaker’s Challenge.

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Well, then the first week of school happened!

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I love getting back into a routine once school starts (routine has been pretty non-existent over summer break)…but this week lacked even the slightest resemblance to a “back to school routine.”

I tried to follow along as closely as I could, but I will definitely have to catch up on a couple of tasks that I didn’t quite finish up on.

First of all, the {31 Days to Clean} e-book doesn’t just focus on the cleaning tasks that need to be done around the house (referred to as the “Martha challenges” in the book). It also focuses on the meaning behind the housework, or the “Mary challenges”.

This week, I had to take a step back to determine why I clean my house…the true driving force behind the vacuuming, dusting, etc… I want my home to be a peaceful place where we can relax…a place that is inviting and comfortable for our guests. I thought about my priorities and just really tried to put some purpose behind the process!

Most of the “Martha challenges” this week centered in the kitchen. I don’t know about you, but even if the entire house is a disaster area…as long as the kitchen is cleaned up (dirty dishes in the dishwasher, counters wiped clean, floor swept, etc…), I feel much better!

I already have a pretty good routine going to keep my fridge and freezer cleaned out.

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I quickly go through my fridge and freezer every Thursday and get rid of anything that is past its prime and make a note of items that are nearing their expiration (I try to include those in the menu for the next week to avoid wasting them). I do a quick wipe down of the shelves and drawers (definitely not a deep cleaning at all) and this tends to keep the fridge pretty clean.

I also recently reorganized the pantry so it didn’t need too much attention this week.

I skipped over the challenge to clean out all of the kitchen cabinets because I knew that this week just wasn’t going to work for that. I need to put shelf paper down in all of the cabinets and really move things around…you’ll have to watch for a post on that in the future!

I decided to post about how I cleaned my oven this week. It seriously needed it bad!! Remember the pictures I posted of the rainbow cake that I made?

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Obviously, my oven definitely needed some attention!

I don’t use typical oven cleaner in our house. Did you know that oven cleaners are one of the most toxic cleaners that people have in their homes…yikes!

“Wait”, you might be saying, “I have a self-cleaning oven so I don’t have to deal with oven cleaner anyways!!”

Would you use something that had this disclaimer on it:

Do not run the self-cleaning cycle on ovens when birds are around. Self-cleaning ovens are lined with PTFE (Teflon) and reach 900 degrees Fahrenheit during the self-cleaning cycle and emit gasses into the air that kill birds rather quickly. {via the Avian Web Site}

OK…I understand that we are not birds, but seriously?!? No thank you! I remember the last time I used my self-cleaning cycle a couple of years ago (after the girls were in bed, thank goodness)…my eyes were watering and my throat was itching. Bleh!

So, instead…I use one of my favorite “weapons” from my cleaning arsenal, Scour Off.

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{Here’s an exclusive scouring cleanser that sets a new standard. It’s a paste, so it doesn’t form dust clouds. It cleans stuck-on messes. It even cleans burnt-on food in your oven. And it doesn’t burn off your nose hairs in the process.}

Scour Off is made from natural mineral abrasives and biodegradable cleaning agents. Want to know the best part? It contains cherry pits…so it smells like cherries while you are using it! I’ll take cherry scented cleaner over burning teflon any day!

Well, does it work? Definitely…and here is my proof. It has been a long time since I have cleaned out my oven. I keep meaning to do it, but for some reason it is just one of those things that never gets crossed off of my “to do” list.

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I know…horrible!

Here’s the thing…I started this at 7:30 at night. My goal was not perfection or for my oven to be immaculate. I just wanted it to be presentable and for it not to make me cringe every time I opened the oven door!

Here is what it looked like after just 5 minutes of scrubbing the door…

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Just ignore the inside of the oven in the above picture…that is coming next…just focus on the door! Here is a close-up of the inside of the oven…

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Once again…I know, gross!!

I spent another 7 minutes scrubbing the inside of the oven…

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Much better! The key to the Scour Off is to use lots of water! I know it goes against everything you know about cleaning with a scouring paste, but it’s the truth! It should be very sudsy, like this…

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(This is my stovetop which I also took a couple minutes to clean since I already had the Scour Off out. Remember the clam chowder incident??)

So, after just 12 minutes and with just a little elbow grease, my oven now looks like this…

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Hopefully I will be able to keep up with next week’s challenges better than this week. It’s not too late for you to get a copy of the e-book and follow along! Can’t wait to go around and see all of the posts that are linked up for the {31 Days to Clean} challenge!!

On another note, the winners of the Basic H2 giveaway will be contacted by e-mail this weekend!!