Friday, June 25, 2010

My Style Makeover Update

I have officially started on my style journey! You can read my winning entry and more info on the contest here. Here's a little video of me at the end of Style Camp with Karen Hughes of Image Assets. Now that I know my style personality and have a better idea of my porportions and how to dress them, the next step is a closet analysis & a color analysis. I'm hoping to do a more complete post on my style personality and this whole process soon, so watch for that!

I feel like I should note that in this video, I'm wearing the item I brought as an example of something I own that I don't wear often because I don't think it works for me. I'm still not convinced it works for me. What do you think?

Get Fit for Less!

Bathing suit season has arrived! With a week left before the Fourth of July weekend, this is the perfect time to let good deals motivate you to get healthier this summer.

Free Trials
Need a tune up to be ready for the Fourth? Many gyms give free trial periods to let you get a feel for the services they offer. The Metro Atlanta YMCA offers a 7-day free pass for first-time guests at any of their locations, including the Decatur-Dekalb and East Lake YMCAs. Curves on North Decatur Rd. and Snap Fitness in their Decatur and 10 other metro Atlanta locations also offer a week free.

Go Local Deals
Not only does Snap Fitness offer a free 7 days trial pass, but if you have the Go Local Card you get $10 off the enrollment fee at the Glenwood Park & Inman Park locations.
Read my previous article about the Go Local Card for more information and go get one because the health & fitness deals include 10% off all charges at Condition Kettlebell Gym on Auburn Ave. and great discounts to make sure your mind & body are healthy at places like Dragonfly Reiki on E. Parkwood Rd., Decatur Healing Arts on New St. and Bikram Yoga Decatur on Clairmont Rd.

Free personal training
Looking for one-on-one attention? Most personal trainers will offer one free session so that you can get to know their personal style. Though I don't encourage constant hopping to new trainers just to get free sessions, if you're looking for a personal trainer, make sure you look for one that gives you the first session free.

Decatur Active Living
The City of Decatur has a terrific Decatur Active Living program to help inspire you to get moving. Aside from attending their great free and cheap offerings, follow the Decatur Active Living blog for updates and news.
In a brilliant partnership, the City of Decatur has joined forces with the Kaiser Permanente Corporate Run/Walk which will take place on September 16 in Downtown Atlanta. Join "Team Decatur" and train for the 5K through free classes, full training programs and fitness walks.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Whether you love soccer or barely know what the keeper does, the World Cup is a fun, international event to follow and a great excuse to throw a party! With a few more weeks left in World Cup 2010 in South Africa, here are some ways to fake enthusiasm if "football" isn't your thing OR if you're a huge fan, here are ways to celebrate the world's largest sporting event without spending the money on a jersey.

Drink like a South African
If you have not tried Amarula, a South African cream liquor, then the World Cup is a great excuse. Made of the Marula Fruit, it is similar to Irish Cream but with a slight fruitiness that is great with milk & ice. I hear it's also quite good with soy milk, which basically makes it a health beverage in my book. It's available at most liquor stores (next to the irish creams), comes in a nice bottle with an elephant on the label that makes a perfect gift, and it's only about $18.
Amarula too expensive for you? Then grab a six-pack of Miller Lite! South African Breweries (SAB) acquired Miller Brewing in 2002. Also look for the more authentic Castle Lager, the original SAB brew.

Celebrate like a South African
Have you heard all the fuss about the vuvuzela? This South African horn is behind the droning buzzing noise heard in the background of every World Cup game this year. It's a fun word to say, so if the game isn't your thing, you can always talk about the vuvuzela. If you'd like to bring that celebratory noise to your own party, there are quite a few free iPhone applications, some even where you blow into the microphone like you're blowing into an actual vuvuzela! If you can't stand the sound that makes you think the tv is broken, and you happen to be a bit of a techie, there are ways to filter out the horns and enjoy a vuvuzela-free game.

Watch the World Cup
With the games being broadcast on ABC & ESPN, which are available on basic cable, you can watch the game at home, the gym or at countless bars and pubs. Use "watching the game" as an excuse to support a great charity and visit a bar that is participating in the Atlanta International Soccer Fest where a portion of proceeds from your food & drink will go to SOS Children's Villages, an international nonprofit building family-like community homes for orphaned and abandoned children.

Vuvuzelas in Atlanta?
Want to see Atlanta host the World Cup in 2018 or 2022? Atlanta is one of the cities listed in the US bid, so you can sign the petition to show your support.

Enjoy the games!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Beat the Dirty, Hot Summer Blues

Summer is already here and somehow I skipped right over spring cleaning! Since everything is lighter and simpler in the heat of the summer, here are a few frugal finds to keep your house clean & airy!

Beat the Heat with Fresh Air

Can you remember the last time you replaced your air conditioner's filter? According to the A/C tech who was holding my embarrassingly filthy air filter, it should be changed every three months. With the summer growing hotter, it's worth the small investment for fresh air. Mine cost only $3.99 from Home Depot on the suggestion of the previously mentioned A/C tech that as long as I replaced it every three months, it was not necessary to buy the more expensive filters. That's what I like to hear!

Need a fan that doesn't mess around? Smith Ace Hardware on E. College has three-speed box fans for $10 (through the end of June) and at only 4 inches deep, it doesn't take up the whole space it's trying to cool. I can smell the fresh & frugal air already!

Housecleaning Shortcuts

I really never like vacuuming, but it's especially hard to get motivated in the summer. Enter: Swiffer and Febreeze. Request your Home Made Simple Coupon Booklet with over $30 in coupons on Proctor & Gamble home products like Mr. Clean, Dawn, Swiffer and Febreeze.

I've been having a little too much fun cleaning my kitchen with the new Soft Scrub Total Kitchen Cleaner. As a member of the Soft Scrub Club I received a free bottle and it turned out to be well worth the jests from my husband for being a member of something called the Soft Scrub Club. Their kitchen cleaner sprays and foams and even sprays upside down which means I can spin the bottle like I'm a wild west gun slinger and still clean the stove. That's important to me in a kitchen cleaner. Try it for 75 cents less by printing your online coupon.

I'm already working up a sweat just from writing about cleaning! Enjoy the summer!