Today’s link round-up has holiday decorations, recipes, and more.
Oh So Pretty shared the ultimate DIY candle guide you can use to make gifts or your own home décor items.
Lia Griffith showed us how to make beautiful little gold ombre trees.
DIY Network shared their 10 most popular Christmas pins of 2013.
Mind Body Green shared a recipe for a kale salad to enjoy all year.
Choosing Raw has a recipe for an iced pumpkin spice latte that looks delicious.
Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons shared a recipe for a Christmas Rudolph chocolate-caramel pie.
Photo credit: Oh So Pretty and Crafts Unleashed
Do you plan regular date nights with your spouse? My husband I were together for seven years before our son was born. I definitely agree that it’s easier to plan special dates pre-kid, but even married parents need time alone together!
If you can’t afford a sitter, get takeout from your favorite restaurant and have a picnic after the kids go to bed. You could watch a movie together in the living room or snuggle up under the stars outside.
If there’s a community college or rec center nearby, consider taking a class together. A cooking class is a great choice because you’ll have fun and learn a new skill. Mastering a foreign language for that trip you’ve always want to take could be an option as well.
If you’re more the athletic type, you could try working out together. A competitive game of tennis or one-on-one basketball burns calories and releases endorphins that put you in the mood for some post-workout loving.
Not all men are going to be open to the idea, but a date night with a home spa theme can actually be kind of fun. Take a bubble bath together, give each other massages with scented oils, or do his and hers pedicures. (You can skip the actual nail polish part if your husband doesn’t have very steady hands, although I’ve heard that Incoco’s pedicure nail polish strips are supposed to be easy enough for a guy to use.)
My favorite date night idea, however, is strip Scrabble! Urban Dictionary says the rules of strip Scrabble are:
My husband and I are pretty evenly matched at Scrabble, so this is always an interesting game for us.
What are your favorite cheap date night ideas?
Photo credit: Amazon
Kim Kardashian is tweeting mad over rumors that she underwent cutting-edge cosmetic procedures to get her figure back following the birth of her daughter.
The 33-year-old Kardashian has said she’s lost 50 pounds since the birth of North West by following the Atkins Diet, but a Life & Style magazine report suggests she didn’t achieve that weight loss without some extra help. The magazine reports that they have proof that the star has been getting secret cutting-edge cosmetic procedures to get her figure back.
According to Life & Style’s source, the reality star has been seeing the Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Simon Ourian, at the discreet and upscale Epione clinic in Beverly Hills where they say she’s had work done including a fat-reducing ultrasound procedure on her stomach that costs up to $5,000 a session as well as fillers and Coolaser treatments that chill the skin and then use light pulses to vaporize skin cells. This procedure is used to removed stretch-marks, saggy skin, scars, and wrinkles. According to the insider source, the Epione clinic can also use ultrasound to melt a layer of fat just beneath the skin.
Kim says it’s not so, and tweeted “I am very frustrated today seeing reports that I got surgery to lose my baby weight! This is FALSE.”
I don’t know what’s true, but I do know this is the price people pay for celebrity. If she’s getting treatments to lose weight, it could put a dent in the rumored post-baby weight loss book she’s said to be writing. Even if she isn’t writing the book I can understand why she wouldn’t want to have that news burn a path throughout social media.
Women want to be a “natural” beauty and once you have work done, that’s no longer the case. While Kim has another rumor battle to fight, the thing I learned from all of this is that there may be hope for getting rid of stretch marks after all. Never thought Kim Kardashian’s life could have taught me something that might have some value.
Photo credits: ModaMob
If you’re a whiz at math, fluent in Spanish, or an awesome writing coach, tutoring can be a great way to make some extra money in your spare time. You can look for potential clients at local schools or colleges. I’ve also heard of people offering their services for homeschooling families who need help mastering a specific subject area.
If you can’t pick up clients locally, you can try working for a company that hires tutors online.
I was a virtual tutor through Brainfuse for about a year after my son was first born. I tutored elementary and junior high school students in science and English. All tutors for the company have to have a four year college degree, although you don’t necessarily need experience as a teacher. (I have a BA in journalism.)
There are several preliminary tests and interviews you have to go through before you are hired. You also need to give them permission to do a background check.
My experience as a virtual tutor was fairly positive. The only reason I quit when I did was that I landed a slightly better paying writing position that offered more flexibility in terms of managing my schedule. As a tutor, I needed to commit to certain blocks of time to meet with my students. Writing, of course, can be done in between your child’s napping.
Another company I’ve heard good things about is Tutor ABC. This company provides English tutoring to adult ESL students. Your sessions are conducted as webcam chats. My friends who have done this say it’s interesting work, but it can be tricky to manage because of the time zone difference.
When I applied for a position with this company, I found that their peak hours ended up being in the middle of the night in my time zone.
If you have a teaching degree or can handle tutoring tough subjects like physics or calculus, Smart Thinking seems to get very positive reviews online. I’ve never been able to get past the initial application process with them, however.
If you’ve ever tried working as an online tutor, what was your experience like?
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
If you love trying out new products and sharing your opinions, writing reviews for Viewpoints can be a fun way to earn extra money.
Viewpoints is a website that visitors can use to search for “real people” reviews of various products. If you sign up for a free account, you can contribute your own reviews and earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards. Each qualifying review needs to be at least 700 characters, which is roughly 350 words.
Occasionally, Viewpoints has special promotions where reviews in certain categories are worth more. From what I’ve seen as a newish member of the site, the special promotions give you 100 points per review instead of the typical 25.
My first experience with Viewpoints was writing reviews in the beauty products category. I received 100 points in my account for each review and was able to cash out 500 points for a $5 Amazon gift card. The gift card code was displayed immediately after redemption, so I was able to add it to my Amazon account right away.
It took me about 40 minutes to write my reviews, so Viewpoints wasn’t a huge money maker. However, if you’re looking for an easy side project to help you earn money to put towards Christmas shopping or buying birthday presents for your kids, Viewpoints might be worth considering.
Even earning $10 a week in gift cards would give you $520 to buy presents with at the end of the year.
Your reviews for Viewpoints need to be honest and reasonably coherent, but they don’t need to be professional quality writing. I probably could have written mine a little faster, but I’m fussy about what I post online even if it’s not one of my regular paid gigs. If you can let go of your perfectionist tendencies, you’ll definitely make more with this site.
If you’ve ever tried writing for Viewpoints, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this opportunity!
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Todayâ€™s link round-up has a turkey bow headband, raisin pretzels, burlap homemade ornaments, a Thanksgiving turkey pizza, and more.
Chocolate Covered Katie showed us how to make Glazin Raisin Pretzels.
Happy Hour Projects showed us how to make a turkey bow headband.
DIY Network shared some favorite mustache crafts for Movember.
Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons showed us how to make a Pillsbury Thanksgiving turkey pizza.
A Pair & a Spare showed us how to make a DIY leather clutch.
Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie, Crafts Unleashed, and Lil’ Luna
Jessica Simpson caught a lot of grief when she gained 70 pounds with her first child, daughter Maxwell, who is now 19 months old. She admitted that with that first pregnancy she didn’t pay attention to her weight, so after the baby was born the scale delivered a hard truth.
She worked to lose that weight and even signed on as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers, but before she dropped all that weight she found out she was pregnant again.
Simpson gave birth to her second child, son Ace, in June, and while she didn’t gain as much the second time around, she still gained more than she had hoped. In an interview with Us Weekly she admitted, “I am just one of those pregnant women who gains a lot of weight,” but she was not resigned to staying overweight.
With 19-month-old Maxwell to chase after and a new infant, Simpson knew she needed an eating plan simple enough to fit into her busy life. She wanted a plan that would offer guidance as to what to eat, but also a plan that would offer the support she would need.
She turned back to Weight Watchers because it works, and on November 8th she debuted her slimmed down figure on Instagram. In the pic, the 33 year old mom is wearing tight dark jeans, a fitted button down white blouse and a beautiful smile as she walks through a grain field.
She looks great and is happy with the results. She posted, “Couldn’t stop smiling on set for my new @weightwatchers campaign today! #happy.”
I’m happy that’s she’s dropped the extra weight. I know how I felt when faced with the reality of baby weight, and I didn’t have to deal with a bunch of fair-weather fans talking about my weigh all over social media. I felt sorry for her when so many turned on her just because of her weight.
We need to remember that celebrities are people, too.
Photo credit: Instagram
Todayâ€™s link round-up has a few DIY projects and some delicious treats to enjoy during the holiday season.
Delineate Your Dwelling created cute kitchen art with string.
The 36th Avenue shared a simple furniture makeover that can make a huge impact.
Mom Spark showed us how to make faux leather placemats.
Sum of Their Stories turned an old bracelet into a new statement necklace, proving that if one piece of jewelry breaks, you can always reuse the pieces.
Lamberts Lately showed us how to make no-bake cake batter cookie bars.
Enjoy the View shared a delicious sugar-free peanut butter pie recipe.
Todayâ€™s link round-up has a couple of delicious meals, inspiration for cake decorating, and some DIYs.
The Casual Craftlete shared a recipe for cream cheese chicken enchiladas.
Kiddie Foodies made a pumpkin-shaped eggplant grilled cheese sandwich the kids will be happy to gobble up.
The 36th Avenue shared a delicious Pumpkin Cinnachips Blondies recipe.
I Love to Create Blog showed us how to make a feather stamped tee and bag.
Crafty Journal made a gorgeous butterfly angel and shared the how-to.
The Pin Junkie showed off a cute fall painted picture craft that you can do with materials from a dollar store.