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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Local Specials

Gazoodles is having a 20% off sale on all Christmas apparel...it is a great time to buy for this year or next!

Spooneez and Mom Agenda are still offering free shipping so if you are buying gifts you can have them sent directly to your friends and family. These make make great gifts!

Westgate Dermatology and Laser is having some holiday specials as well.

And don't forget the other special offers for readers of Kidding Around In Town from Myself Belts and Winston-Salem Foot solutions

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Great Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

My friend at The Good Stuff Guide has complied this great list of gifts for "The Hostess with the Mostest" which I actually think would make really neat Holiday gifts as well. She has out a lot of time into making this list so please take a look!

School is out but work is not!

What to do? Well, here in the Piedmont Triad there are a number of options.

Salem Gym is offering a Holiday Gym Camp which will cover Dec 21-23 and then start back up on Dec 28 and end on the 30. The camps start at 9:00 am and end at 5:00 and if you can find a way to manage the times it looks like a lot of fun!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Holiday Travel With Kids

I have written a new post and have moved the content from this one to a new page.  Here is the link
Sorry for the inconvenience!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Triad Restaurant Week

My favorite! This is an awesome time to go out to eat with your hubbie and/or best girl friend! Restaurant week is the one week in the entire year that you can eat at your favorite restaurants in the Piedmont Triad and still be able to afford a sitter for the kiddos! During Triad Restaurant week you can eat a 3 course fixed price menu for $20-$30 at some of my most favorite restaurants like Marisol, Mozelle's, Bernardin's and 1703 to name a few! Please go out to eat not only for your own sanity but also to show support for restaurant week and your own local businesses! Have fun!

Kumon Math and Reading Centers

Have you ever heard of Kumon Learning Centers? I had not either until I met Jaya Soma. She is the owner of the two centers that serve our area. Kumon is a place kids can go to learn math and reading skills above and beyond what is taught in school. This is not a tutoring center which is what some people think. Kids can go to the center after school and work with the Kumon staff to learn extra math and reading skills. I thought I would talk about this since there may be some parents who would be interested in such a place.

In the words of Jaya, "Kumon is an after school supplemental education program in Math and Reading where kids work on getting their foundation strong. In Math we start from counting and go up to calculus. In Reading we start with basic sounds and go up to critic reasoning of passage. We also have the Junior kUMON program which gives a good head start before kindergarten."

You can learn more about them and see where the center closest to you is by visiting their site.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Want to be in my Weekly Newsletter?

If you are a business in the Piedmont Triad, NC area or on the Internet who is having a sale, special event or some other type of a promotion that you think mothers or parents would be interested in please let me know! I would love to talk about it in my weekly newsletter. Just click on "contact us" and send me an e-mail with the details. My readers love to find out what is going on!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Michele's Day Spa - Lipomassage

I read about Michele May in Forsyth Woman and I knew I had to meet her. Boy am I glad I went into her spa. From pedicures to facials and everything in between Michele's Day Spa has it all! Talk about being a "one stop" for a busy mom! Michele is such a nice person with a passion for what she does. To me this is important because if I am going into a place to have something like lipomassage done then I certainly want a sweet and “motherly” woman helping me along the way.

And have you ever heard of Lipomassage? I have always been curious about it and it seems that Michele is the only one in the area who even has the machine that does it. Well, “LIPOMASSAGE™ by Endermologie® is a non-invasive treatment that manipulates the connective tissue through mechanotransduction, resulting in slimming, cellulite reduction and anti-aging. The benefits go far beyond aesthetics to encompass your total physiological wellbeing” (http://www.lipomassage.com.au/lipomassage/ ) Anyway, as Michele describes it lipomassage can essentially get rid of the pockets of cellulite that you have that diet and exercise do not seem to be touching…Sounds great to me! Please stop in and say "hello" to her!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

What is Laser Hair Removal?

What is Laser Hair Removal?
Laser hair removal is a medical procedure that uses laser light – an intense, pulsating beam of light. Laser hair removal works by passing this light beam through the skin to the hair follicles where hair growth originates. The laser targets dark pigment, called melanin, in hair. When the laser beam is absorbed by the melanin in the hair follicle, the heat generated destroys the hair follicle instantly.

Why it’s done
Laser hair removal is used for people who want to remove unwanted body hair. Common treatment locations include the legs, armpits, upper lip, chin and bikini line. However, it is possible to treat unwanted hair in almost any area of the body.

At Westgate Dermatology we use the most advanced Laser, Candela GentleLASE. Five to seven treatments will usually achieve permanent hair removal for most patients, although two or three treatments for some patients is sufficient. Check out our website for more details http://www.westgatedermatology.com/

How should you prepare?
Before scheduling laser hair removal, you will meet with your doctor to discuss the factors that determine whether the procedure is likely to work well for you.

Please keep in mind, if you have a tan from sun exposure or sunless tanning products, you must wait until the tan fades completely before undergoing laser hair removal. Avoid sun exposure four to six weeks before treatment.

Laser hair removal is most effective if hairs are visible but shaved short. You can shave three days prior to the procedure. Avoid waxing or plucking hair and electrolysis three weeks before treatment.

Cost
This treatment is not usually covered by medical insurance. The cost depends on the number and the size of the areas treated, and the time required for treatment.


Results
Studies show that for suitable candidates, hair removal lasers can reduce hair counts by 70 to 90 percent. Results can vary from person to person. Multiple treatments prolong the duration of hair loss, but hair regrowth is possible. Expect to undergo five to eight treatments spaced four to eight weeks apart to achieve maximum reduction of hair. Then, you will likely undergo periodic maintenance treatments. (However, some patients are very pleased with the results after two or three treatments).

To reduce your risks, choose a qualified, trained doctor who is board certified in dermatology or a similar specialty. Your doctor should meet with you before the procedure and determine your treatment plan. We do not recommend a spa, salon or clinic that allows nonmedical personnel to perform the procedure, without a Doctor present in the clinic. Studies show that 78 percent of all complications occurred in nontraditional medical facilities, such as free-standing medical spas and laser centers in shopping malls.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cash For Halloween Candy!

My oldest has been going to Dr Tina Merhoff since she was 18 months old and thanks to she and her staff she loves the dentist (which is more than I can say for her dad)! If you have not chosen a dentist for you child I encourage you to give them a try.

The "Cash for Candy" event is a great time to go and see what they are all about while at the same time getting rid of all of that unwanted Halloween candy, helping a great cause (did I mention they are going to ship the candy off to the troops?), having fun with your kids and getting a few bucks for you piggy bank! Win, win, win!

Where Can I Get a Flu Shot in the Triad?

Piedmont Triad Family Medicine has flu shots and will give them to anyone who has commercial insurance whether or not you are a patient! Personally, I have not been a fan of taking a toddler to a CVS or Walgreens to get a flu shot. Maybe it is just me but I would like to take my baby to a real Doctor to be vaccinated so I was very pleased when I found out that they will give the shots to anyone who has commercial insurance. Not to mention the staff there is among my most favorite people ever! Call them at (336) 993-2224 for details.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Adult Onset Acne

Acne is one of the most common skin diseases, affecting at least 90 percent to 95 percent of the population at one point in life. While it is most prevalent among teenagers, acne is surprisingly common in adulthood. Some studies indicate that the number one chronic condition of the American female between the ages of 30-40 is indeed acne. What’s surprising is that acne may not start for the first time until women reach their 30’s or 40’.

Understanding ACNE
Acne generally occurs on the face, but is also found on the neck, chest and back. Inflammation in the hair follicles and over-active hormone-sensitive glands within the skin are the usual contributing factors that cause acne. Bacteria are involved in the inflammatory response.
Unfortunately, the inflammatory nature of acne can cause more damage to your skins structures, making the visible manifestations of acne worse over time. Increasing hormone levels, physical or emotional stress can also contribute to acne.

It’s important, as adults, to seek treatment that is customized to your needs. One mistake many adults make is using the same product that their son or daughter uses. Traditional acne products that are used for teenagers with oily skin oftentimes may be too drying and irritating for adults. Excessive drying of the skins surface with harsh topical products may only serve to aggravate acne inflammation.

Instead, patients may be best served talking to their dermatologists to seek out prescriptions to complement topical products. In addition, a few dermatologists can offer in-office procedures such as LED, photodynamic therapy (PDT), laser, topical chemical peels, and Blu-U Light.

Licensed Aestheticians may also help acne issues. Deep cleansing facial treatments, microdermabrasion and chemical peels will help unclog the pores, encourage exfoliation, and smooth skin texture.

One very effective procedure rarely talked about is acne surgery. This process involves either an injection of diluted cortisone to the acne site or drainage of the site but in most cases both options are used to best treat the patient’s acne. The main purpose of this procedure is to minimize scarring potential while allowing the patient to experience an immediate improvement in pain and appearance, usually within 24 hours.

Be sure to avoid all in office procedures if you are currently taking oral isotretinoin (or generic brands as Accutane is currently y off the market), and for at least six months to one year after the course is finished.

A home care regimen can also help. Ask our dermatologists about at-home products that will help stop the inflammation, kill bacteria, and help repair the damaged skin and pores.
Here are some additional steps that can help you successfully manage your acne at home:

1. Eliminate pore-clogging products. This includes certain facial creams, sunscreen and makeup. Look for the term “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic”. Only use oil-free makeup
2. Control oil production without irritating the skin barrier. Your cleanser should be ph-balanced and contain ingredients that do not strip the necessary skin barrier oils.
3. Do not use harsh scrubs or cleanse the skin more than three times a day. These practices can contribute to inflammation and make the condition worse. Use only gentle exfoliants to purge microbes and dirt. Ask our physician or myself about products with beta-hydroxy acid (such as salicylic acid or willow bark extract), retinol, benzoyl peroxide or azelaic acid.
4. Heat, humidity, sweating and stress can worsen acne.

Because every person’s skin and body is unique, it takes time to determine the precise combination of factors that will clear the acne. Remember, successful treatment of acne will require diligently following the recommendations of your dermatologist and skin care professional, along with lifestyle changes you may need to make. For more information please refer to our website: http://www.westgatedermatology.com/

New Disney Deals!

Walt Disney World

Disney is offering a new deal that’s too good to pass up. Book a 4 night/4 day room and ticket package at a moderate, deluxe or deluxe villa resort and get 3 more nights with tickets free! Choose a value resort and book 5 nights/5 days and you’ll get 2 nights free. Book through December 20th for travel most nights Nov. 1-24, 2009, Dec. 8-24, 2009, or Jan. 3 – March 27, 2010.

Sample Pricing:
*$1,628 for a family of four (2 adults, 1 junior, 1 child) staying at a select Disney Moderate Resort in a standard room for stays most nights Jan. 3 – Feb. 11, 2010. That’s like paying $59 per person, per day.
*$1,441 for a family of four (2 adults, 1 junior, 1 child) staying at a select Disney Value Resort in a standard room for stays most nights Jan. 3 – Feb. 11, 2010. That’s like paying $52 per person, per day.

Disney Cruises
You can look forward to winter and spring with this valuable offer. Kids age 17 and under can sail free on most 3- and 4-night cruises with two full-fare Guests in the same stateroom. Government Taxes and Fees not included.
Travel Dates:3-night cruises: Jan. 7 – April 15, 20104-night cruises: Jan. 10 – April 11, 2010
For more info on these and other offers, please contact us today!

Amber Bruner
Travel consultant
Ship to Shore Cruises & Travel
Phone:919-522-9020
shiptoshorecruiseandtravel.com

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Dixie Classic With Kids

How to get the most out of the Dixie Classic Fair with your small children:

My husband and I took our two little girls to the Dixie Classic last Saturday. Being a Saturday and only the second day they were open we were prepared for the worst. Much to our surprise the trip could not have been better or gone more smoothly. What follows is a step by step guide on what to do:
1. Get going early. The fair opens at 9:00 am and if your under 5 lovely is anything like my lovelies then they are definitely up and going long before that. Get em’ up , feed them breakfast and then pack a small bag.
2. Inside your bag I recommend taking a few bottles of water (I am not sure if they officially “allow” this but they will let you take a bag in and do not ask to look inside it if you have small children. I like taking my own water not to rip the fair off but because my girls like their water not too cold and they tend to spill I often… I would also take plenty of wipes for all of those sticky goodies you will be getting into and lastly put an extra pair of clothes in for your sweet and always very neat (right??) little one. You don’t need any food since the folks at the fair definitely have you covered in that area.
3. I strongly encourage you to take a stroller even if you don’t usually use one. There is a lot of walking and if you don’t you may wind up doing a lot of carrying.
4. Make sure you have cash. We spent about $100 for our family of 4. The older your kids are the more you will spend so go to an ATM before you get there since while they do have ATM’s in there it may not be for your bank and I hate paying those fees.
5. We got there between 9:30 and 10:00 and got a very front spot at the West gate entrance which is where we always go in. I say the earlier the better! FYI kids under 5 get in for free!
6. As soon as you enter go to see the sheep and swine that are right there. Some of them will be sleeping and they are so cute not to mention that you will probably be the only ones in there besides their care takers!
7. Next, buy tickets for the rides. This is expensive since it costs $1.00 for each ticket and the average cost is three/ride. I would buy about 24 tickets/child seriously.
8. Now start riding. I would ride a couple of rides now since the lines are non-existant. This is the time when the fact that your darling ate breakfast will really be key.
9. After a couple of rides go and get a snack. We got a fried Snickers and all shared bites since the girls don’t really eat that much all at once. Make sure everyone has had a drink.
10. Go see more stuff. I would go walk around and see more animals since it is still not really crowded. I would also ride more rides.
11. Repeat steps 8-10 eating a little and riding a little since you don’t ever want to get too full to ride but you do want to enjoy the food! We like doing this because it allowed us to do so much more in terms of eating more types of the food since the amounts were small and riding more of the rides since the lines never really did get long.

We left at about 1:00 which was much later than we thought we would. I would say that if you try and get out by about 12:00 you may miss the big crown all together!
I had taken pictures of our day but I had some technical difficulties with uploading them since I used Tyler’s camera but I hope I have described it well enough!

Enjoy yourselves and stay safe!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Workout Tip for The Week

Jillian Michaels's and the “30 Day Shred”

All of my life I have been a believer in the value of physical fitness. Before the birth of my first child I was a regular at the YMCA and spent a whole hour of my time there just doing cardio on the elliptical. On March 10, 2006 all of that changed. The arrival of our first daughter was perfectly timed with the half way point of a very intense two year, full time, masters program in which I was enrolled while also working full time. By June I was realizing that the time I spent in the gym was a thing of the past. We then invested $4000+ in an elliptical EFX and off I went into doing it in my basement. Now I am a lover of the elliptical for many reasons, you can work out when you are hurt because of how kind it is to your joints, it burns the crap out of calories and it targets the areas I need the most. So for the last 3+ years I have been religiously been doing my EFX four times a week (no, I don’t do it for an hour anymore).

Several months ago after dropping my daughter off to Montessori School I noticed a woman dropping her child off also who I knew had a 6 month old baby who had not only lost her baby weight but she looked amazing! I turned my head to look at her and then when I realized what I was doing I asked her what the heck she does to look so good. Well, that question changed my workout regimen and I don’t know her name but if you are reading please post a comment. She began with “well, I got this DVD” and I immediately tuned her out because since my husband has been doing P90X I am all too familiar with videos and the fact that 45 minutes is short for one of those. I cannot do anything that takes more than 31 minutes. I have a 3 year old and a 22 month old. There is no way that I am willing to spend 1 hour + working out at this point in my life. So when she got to the end of her speech about the DVD that I was only half listening to I asked “so how long does this workout take?” You will never believe me. The answer was 20 minutes!!!!! Who does not have 20 minutes a day to dedicate to your physical fitness? So she said that she got it at Target and it was only $15 dollars so off I went to buy it that day. I can do anything for 20 minutes…right??

Do you know who Jillian Michaels is? She is one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser. I must admit to being sucked into this show more than just a couple of times. So when I heard the name I kind of knew that she was no nonsense. Well, you have no idea. The first time I did the “30 Day Shred” I was hooked! All you need to get started is a couple of hand weights and either a mat or a carpeted surface. It was the best workout I had done in years! Maybe ever. What a great use of your time working out. She works “big muscles with small muscles for maximum calorie burn and maximum results.” I did not think this would be able to take the place of the rigorous cardio routine I was used to doing. Boy was I wrong! I was sore for a week when I first started doing it. I am in pretty OK shape and after the first five minutes of level one on the first day I wanted to turn the DVD off. I am not kidding. Jillian kicks your BUTT!! I saw results after the first day! I have now been doing this video and the various levels for long enough to be able to tell you it works! Go buy it at Target for $15. You will thank me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Enjoy The Present Moment

What is it that we are all rushing around and in a tizzy for? Those of us with children, you know who you are, seem always to be rushing. I thought that when I quit my full-time aka “paying” job that this rushing around would magically just come to a halt and that I would be able to do what author Eckhart Tolle tells us to do in his “The Power of Now.” Just be present. You should know that I bought what he was saying hook, line and sinker so if you disagree with me you may want to stop reading…I digress. But I still find myself running to get this or that done. Running to and from instead of enjoying the journey. Isn't life composed mostly of journeys? That means I could miss most of my life in the rush.
It makes me wonder:
A. how the heck I did it and worked outside of my home and
B. what is actually so important (or dsitracting) that it is causing me to ignore the present moment.
My present moment, the one that is here in front of me gift wrapped. The one that is the beautiful day outside with the wind blowing and the trees swaying majestically, the one that is silent in my home while my girls are off at Montessori school.

I find myself playing out scenarios in my head that are purely made up. Like how I need to get their lunch ready or get the dishwasher unloaded. This is all stuff that is going on in make believe land. Right now I am enjoying some therapy with my computer and by emptying out the contents of my heart on this page for you to read and hopefully realize too what I am moving toward. The fact is that there is always a reason to rush. It is whether or not you will allow it to penetrate into your being and rob you of your gift of the present moment that only you control. Let it all go. Won’t you join me today in a day of effortless existence? A day when you will just enjoy what is, whatever that may be, and relax. Let’s stop the rushing since our only real guarantee is the Now.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

H1N1 Influenza

This spring a new influenza virus began causing illness in Mexico. This virus was originally called “Swine flu” because the virus genes were similar to those that infect pigs. This new virus has been renamed H1N1. The H1N1 virus is a hybrid with genetic elements of swine influenza, avian influenza and human influenza. Since it was first recognized in April 2009 it has been spreading around the world. The World Health Organization has now officially declared it a pandemic. The traditional seasonal influenza virus vaccines do not offer protection against this novel strain. Over the past several months we have been inundated with the media hype over the potential outcomes of a pandemic. There has been a lot of confusion and fear generated. Now that we have had some experience with a large enough number of people who have been infected we have more reliable information available. The CDC now estimates that there have been more than one million cases in the US and most are mild. There have been more than 550 lab confirmed deaths thus far. In a typical flu season with seasonal flu virus there is an estimated 36,000 deaths. What we have learned about this virus that is different from seasonal flu is that it is potentially more problematic for school-aged children, adolescents and young adults. In contrast seasonal flu is more dangerous for the elderly and children under four. The CDC reports that 80% of the children who have died from H1N1 thus far have been older than five. Two-thirds of these children who have died had underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk. These were mostly neuro-developmental conditions like cerebral palsy. In those otherwise healthy children for whom the infection was lethal a secondary bacterial infection played a role.

We as parents need to be more vigilant than ever protecting our children. The good news is that there will be a vaccine available mid-October to protect against the H1N1 strain. I strongly encourage you to find out more about this from your Pediatrician. Below are the CDC guidelines to prevent illness.


  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

The symptoms of the flu are fever, cough, sore throat, chills, fatigue, body aches and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. In the event that your child does come down with the Swine flu, seek immediate medical attention. If your child is seen within the first 48 hours of illness there are anti-viral medications that can be given. If you are a breast feeding mom and come down with the flu, you can continue to breast feed your baby. A mother’s milk is made to fight disease.

We cherish our children. Let’s work together to keep them safe and healthy!

Dr. Susan Hunsinger, MD
Advance Pediatrics, Advance, NC

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Women Try To Do It ALL!

This is exactly why I resigned from my (money) paying job! It is not that my husband is lazy at all it is just that I do it better. I mean this in the most respectful way possible but when it comes to stuff in our home like shopping, kids and laundry I just do a better job at it and it gets done in a more timely manner. Trying to work full-time AND do everything else was making me not enjoy any of it including the few moments I did have with my children. So, I quit. The unfortunate part about it that I gave up a large sum of yearly earninigs to do this. It just came down to the fact that I cannot do it all and do everything perfectly so I had to decide what was most important.

Now Forbes magazine is saying the same thing. I had no idea that a whopping 85% of the women they spoke to said they are the ones responsible for the bulk of household chores while 71% of American moms (as of 2006) are still working outside of the home! As they say “it boils down to three things: earning power, ingrained social patterns and structural policies” and this is why women are trying to do it all and in the processes stressing ourselves to the max while quality of what it is we are doing suffers in many cases. "Women are working full time at work and full time at home," says Michael Silverstein, a BCG partner and co-author of Women Want More. "The burden is fully on their backs, and they have to strain out any time for themselves."

What is the answer?

Check out what Forbes had to say.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Trade Your Old Baby Stuff In For Discounts!

Wow! Today Toys R Us announced their nationwide “Great Trade-In Event!” This is an effort which deserves some recognition as it is in the name of reducing the number of old and even unsafe baby products out there in circulation. I am impressed! The CEO of Toys R Us, Jerry Storch, was quoted as saying, "We hope this program will help raise awareness of the importance of being vigilant about potentially unsafe children's items that may still be in the marketplace, while encouraging customers to use the 'Great Trade-In' event as an opportunity to remove used baby products, such as cribs and car seats, from their garages and attics."

I was pretty astounded to find out that when there is a recall on a baby product less than 30% of the subjects of the recall are even brought back! And did you know that car seats have expiration dates? I did not. They say this is due to materials that can deteriorate over time. Extreme weather conditions can also compromise the integrity of some baby products made of wood or plastic. I also just learned that a car seat can sustain damage in an accident that is not visible to you or I but that can render the car seat that your baby rides in unsafe. I truly had no idea!

So here are the details of the event. It will start at all Toys R Us and Babies R Us locations nationwide on August 28 and go through September 20th. The items that they are looking for are used cribs, car seats, bassinets, strollers, travel systems, play yards and high chairs and if you bring something back you will receive a 20% discount on purchasing a new item from one of these manufacturers: Baby Cache, Babi Italia, Baby Trend, Bertini, Britax, Chicco, Contours by Kolcraft, Cosco, Delta, Eddie Bauer, Evenflo, Graco, Jeep, Nature's Purest by Summer Infant, Safety 1st and Sorelle.

Anyway, I thought you would like to know this. The article I read can be found at http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/toysrus-inc-launches-national-program,937468.shtml

Stay safe out there!

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Absolute Lovable Link Event

Today I want you all to know that I am participating in “The Absolute Lovable Link Event” hosted by http://www.theworkathomeowman.com/

I am so excited to be a part of this event as it is a chance to lend support to my fellow work at home women (this is a very new title for me) as well as to gain support from them. This is a wonderful way to add valuable numbers to our traffic while getting to know and learning from other women like ourselves. Won’t you support our cause and take the chance that you might learn something or make a friend by visiting the Work At Home Woman’s site and checking out some of the great blogs and businesses that are out there? I know you will be glad you did.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tips on Selling Your Home from Amanda Cranfill

Remember that “real estate” market conditions are local. USNews.com reports Winston-Salem, NC as the #2 best performing housing market in the nation! Websites like Zillow.com, Trulia, Realtor.com and others have good information, although features like the “zestimator” do not take into account improvements (i.e. new roof, new windows, new garage doors, etc…) surrounding properties have made or even those the subject property/your home offers. Pictures are worth a thousand words so make sure your property is presented in its best light with at least 6 photos online. Price your home realistically based on its location and condition and remember the ABC’s:

A. Appeal to the Senses of Light, Smell, Sound—De-clutter and neutralize d├ęcor—only a few items (3-5 max) should be on display on your kitchen countertops and bedroom furniture; When showing your home and if you have time, Bake a batch of brownies or cookies, then leave a sample for your guests; Leave the lights on with soft classical or jazz music playing in the background…Set the thermostat on a comfortable temperature and create airflow in all areas. It is usually a good idea to keep pets away from the home and to put away pet accessories during a showing if possible.

B. Be a Guest in your own home=Always be ready for showings! Fresh Cut Flowers are an instant “welcoming” symbol. Replace burned out light bulbs, Tidy up the entrance—from the sidewalk to the front porch making sure your first impression is a fitting introduction to what the prospective buyer will experience inside! Only fresh towels in the bathrooms—no damp towels or robes hanging around! Have an empty laundry basket by the door so you can quickly de-clutter and stash out of sight prior to a showing.

C. Consult a Realtor who is experienced and familiar with your neighborhood or surrounding property values to assist you with this important financial decision. Remember that “properly priced homes in great condition sell quickly and for higher prices”. What you paid for your home, its current tax value, or the value your homeowners insurance company applies can vary significantly from the price today’s buyer might be willing to pay.

Selling your home is an emotional and often stressful situation. Allow your realtor to assist you and guide you through this process. Stay open-minded to all feedback comments and know that the selling process is only temporary. Soon you’ll be enjoying your new adventure.
Amanda Cranfill is a working mother and fulltime real estate broker with ten years experience with Coldwell Banker Triad in Advance, NC.Please visit http://www.vickiandamandasellnc.com/.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Travel Deals Currently Offered By Guest Amber!

Current Specials

Disney is offering free dining at select Disney Value Resorts with a 5 day stay and 5 day Magic Your Way base ticket. Book by September 26 for stays most nights from September 29 - November 24 and November 29 – December 17.


Carnival Cruise Line is offering a Triple Play deal. Book select cruises by August 1 and triple your savings – reduced rates, up to $200 cash back (in the form of shipboard credit) and a free upgrade to the best available room. Sailing dates through December 31 are available.

For more info on these and other offers, please contact us today!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Travel Agent Guest Blogger: Ever Needed Help to Plan a Trip?

I was recently trying to book a trip to Disney for my family. Well, after spending about two hours in front of the computer evaluating my options and then seeing at the last minute that there may have been something I overlooked…I wound up shutting my computer down, quite frustrated, and not booking a single thing. I knew what I wanted but I wanted to be assured that I was getting it in the best, most convenient and most economical way. When I realized at the last minute that I may have overlooked a detail of my trip I gave up and walked away from the venture all together. I sure could have used a travel agent to help me with this! Well, I thought you may appreciate knowing what Amber shares with us below. She is currently working on getting a “deal” for me to add to her post a little later this week. Please enjoy and make comments as you see fit.

Amber Bruner
Ship to Shore Cruises and Travel

I am a Disney specialist and enjoy working with clients to create the perfect Disney vacation at the best price available. I am a mother of three and when I took my kids to Disney for the first time, I realized I loved the research and planning involved. My mother, Sandra Allen, owns Ship to Shore Cruise and Travel, and invited me to join her team. I teach preschool and love that working with my mom fits into my schedule. I enjoy the process of taking a family thorough the options available with a Disney trip and finding the right fit. When you want to take the family to Disney, you want it to be just right. You could go online and spend hours trying to decide. But by working with me, you will get the same price, without the hassle. My fees are paid by Disney when you book your trip. Your price is the same as if you booked the trip yourself but without the headaches involved. An additional benefit is that if a last minute problem occurs, you have a travel agent who is there to help resolve it.

Ship to Shore has been in business for over 15 years and was recently voted top travel agency by readers of the Courier Tribune in Asheboro, NC. Ship to Shore also specializes in cruises and group trips. We can plan package trips to any destination, cruises to the Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, and Europe. Whether your group is large or small, planning a weekend getaway or a once in a lifetime trip, we’d love to help you make your dream vacation a reality!

Contact Amber:
Email: amberbruner@shiptoshorecruiseandtravel.com
Phone: 919-522-9020
Website: shiptoshorecruiseandtravel.com

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Your Fitness Tip for The Week

I used to go to the West Forsyth YMCA in Clemmons, NC regularly (at least 5 days a week) and work out on the elliptical for one hour each time as well as do weights. So my exercising was probably about 1.5 to 2 hours. Sound reasonable for the mother of two who are both under 4?? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! Now, if you are a mother of 2 small children and you do somehow find time to exercise outside of your home in the above mentioned fashion well than you are my HERO and you are part of a very lucky minority. As for the rest of us we are good to just get some form of exercise into our daily routine 4 days a week. This is where I think I can help you. Three summers ago I did make a $4,000+ investment in a Precor EFX 5.23 elliptical and if you can afford to make this investment then by all means do it. That was the most worthwhile $4000 I have ever spent… But if you are like I am now then you need to find a way to get in your physical fitness in a way that is as unintrusive and cost effective as possible. That is where I think I can help. Ever heard of Jillian Michaels? You know, the trainer on Biggest Loser? She has actually made a workout DVD that gives you a GREAT workout in just 20 minutes! Yes, you heard me correctly 20min is all it takes to do her DVD and lemme tell ya it ain’t easy. I am in OK shape and you now know that I do have a history of exercising regularly and it was hard for me! In fact I am still on Level 2 and perfectly happy staying there for ever how long I feel like it. No, really, it is awesome!

I do also want to mention the Wii Fit though. You should know that I know absolutely nothing about it but I would love to introduce you to Julie at www.momspective.com . I have really enjoyed her website and I think you can learn a lot about how to lose weight and get fit using the Wii fit. Maybe I will try it out…

Monday, July 20, 2009

Safety Tips

I got this from my mother-in-law who got it from someone else. I really do believe that the world we live in is good and that we should focus on that more often. That said I did learn a lot form this. So, read it in the name of educating yourself and then file it away in the drawer in your mind where you store things that you don’t use often. I hope, pray and believe you will never need to use this information.

Please keep in mind that this is not something I wrote so I may not agree completely with all of it but I thought I should share it the way it was presented to me. Here it is…

Because of recent abductions in daylight hours, refresh yourself of these things to do in an emergency situation...This is for you, and for you to share with your wife, your children, everyone you know. After reading these 9 crucial tips, forward them to someone you care about. It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do:
The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!
2. Learned this from a tourist guide. If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you...Chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!
3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.
4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON'T DO THIS!) The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.
If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, Repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.
5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
A.) Be aware: look around you; look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat
B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side... If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.
IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.) 6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot.
This is especially true at NIGHT!)
7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, preferably in a zig -zag pattern!
8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic:
STOP. It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked 'for help' into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.
9. Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her 'Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.' The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over.
The policeman said, 'We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door.'
He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.
10. Water scam! If you wake up in the middle of the night to hear all your taps outside running or what you think is a burst pipe, DO NOT GO OUT TO INVESTIGATE! These people turn on all your outside taps full ball so that you will go out to investigate and then attack.

Stay alert, keep safe, and look out for your neighbors! Please pass this on.
This should probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby Theory was mentioned on America’s Most Wanted when they profiled the serial killer in Louisiana

I'd like you to share this with all the women you know.
It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle.
Tell any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it and it's better to be safe

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Health Tip of the Week:
Did you know that the risks associated with having high LDL cholesterol go beyond its effects on your heart? Studies have shown that having an LDL cholesterol that is high can be associated with an increased risk of memory problems including Alzheimer’s according to Henry Lodge, MD, a preventative medicine specialist and coauthor of Younger Next Year. You should aim for an LDL below 100.

Beauty Tip of the Week:
If you have never tried it I recommend trying Maybelline Mineral Power Foundation. I come from many years of Clinique use and then making the switch to Jane Iredell. But after reading about Maybelline Mineral Power Make-Up in my Allure Magazine I tried it (for under $10 who wouldn’t) and I am hooked. In fact many people have since asked me if I have had work done on my face. Thanks Maybelline!

Relaxation Tip of the Week:
Massage Envy at 1031 Hanes Mall Blvd has an introductory 1-hour massage session for $49! I have not tried them yet but this price is hard to beat! Their phone number is 336-774-9994 and their website is http://www.massageenvy.com/

Restaurant Feature of the Week:
My husband, Tyler, and I love good food. We love to eat out at a place where you can allow the experience to take over. You know, not just order, get food, eat, drink, and go. But we like to eat slowly, drink wine, try new things and we love great service. This is all what Mozelle’s had to offer. You can find them at 878 West Fourth Street in downtown Winston-Salem. We ate with our friends and tried many things from the menu but I got the meatloaf which is wrapped in bacon and it was divine. I also recommend not leaving without trying their cheese grits. It is a small place so you may call 336-703-5400 for a reservation.

Exercise Tip of the Week:
Since I am pretty into physical fitness I will do two tips. One for beginners and one for those people like me who are not body builders but are always looking for a good, fun workout that can provide a great workout is-n as short a time period as possible.
For my beginners I will say that your focus this week should be on just one thing. 10-15 min of cardio 2-3 times this week. Ideally you would do this on a machine like the elliptical or a stationary bike but if you do not have access to one of these things then do the stairs at work or home for 10-15 min straight. This means without resting. Get through this and we’ll talk next week. For those people who have some experience with exercising I recommend Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD. It is $15 at Target and may be the best $15 you have ever spent. It is an awesome, full body workout in 20 min! Believe me, it won’t disappoint.

Kid’s Activity of the Week: from the August 2009 Issue of Parents Magazine
Say “Thanks!” to your local heroes. Take a tour of your police or fire station. They may even let you see the inside of a fire truck and a police car! It may be a good idea to call ahead since I don’t think our local heroes have official visiting hours.