EquityLock Blog App + Giveaway

By 2:36 PM , ,
Disclosure: This post was written by EquityLock. I received a free trial in exchange for posting this advertisement supplied to me by EquityLock. No monetary compensation was received or will be received between MFJ and the associated company with this product. 

Fire up the grill, dust off your hammock and prep your pool because summer is here!

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- washer
- dryer
- refrigerator
- microwave
- dishwasher
- range/oven/cooktop

Each of your appliances will be protected (up to $1,500 per 12-month period) including repair or, if necessary, replacement.  

So now here comes the fun stuff! Explore the EquityLock Protector Blog App. Take the Lock Your Appliances! quiz and download the 6-Tips-to-Keep-Your-House-Happy printable sheet. 

Why You Will Love the EquityLock Protector Blog App:
• Lock Your Appliances QUIZ - Do you know how best to take care of your appliances? How to keep your fridge fresh, your dishwasher dazzling, and your microwave magnificent? Take the quiz to find out! 
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YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO WIN:• 6 months of EquityLock Protector (usually $79.95 a month, that’s over $470 in total value) FREE
The prize will be sent via FedEX or UPS. No P.O. Boxes Please. 

Disclosure: This post was written by EquityLock. I received a free trial in exchange for posting this advertisement supplied to me by EquityLock. No monetary compensation was received or will be received between MFJ and the associated company with this product. 

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Making Dad Feel Special

By 10:42 AM ,

I have had so much to blog about lately that I have gotten behind on posts but wanted to make sure I shared with you my Father's Day table as I shared my Mother's Day table with you back in May. 

For Father's Day my entire family came over again to celebrate my Dad. I wanted to make my Dad feel extra special and wanted to keep the day as manly as possible so I decided to go with a green and blue tablescape. 

I folded the light blue paper napkins to look like ties (hey, give me a break, I tried) and found stick on mustaches that I added at each place setting. They were a lot of fun and made for some great photos. I also printed out two signs about Dads and put one in a frame in front of his place setting and one taped to the back of his chair.

For dinner I cooked barque in the crock pit, corn on the grill, and several other yummy sides. 

The important thing to remember is to make your guests feel welcome. Especially your guest of honor so I made sure I had my Dad's favorite drink and we even spent the afternoon watching golf. 

And now for your enjoyment here is the hubs and I in our mustaches :)

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Dermagist Review + Giveaway

By 11:27 AM , , ,

I was recently given the chance to try out three Dermagist products that are a part of the The Complete Rejuvenation System. The system includes (1)  bottle of Dynamic Age Defying Serum, (1) jar of Original Smoothing Cream and, (1) bottle of Instant-Effect Lifting Serum. The products work together to fight all signs of aging within 30-45 days.  

I started the set by using the Wrinkle Smoothing Cream first thing in the morning and in the evening before bed. I did this for two days and then started the Age Defying Serum and Smoothing Cream for days three and four.  The Age Defying Serum goes directly onto any spots, redness, or target areas and the Soothing Cream seals it.  Day five through today (day nine) I have been applying the lifting serum first then follow up with the age defying serum and then smoothing cream last. 

According to the website you should see a noticeable difference in 4 weeks. Although I am only in my mid 20s and haven't experienced aging since yet I have noticed that my skin feels much softer and "fresher." My freckles seem to be fading and my skin looks brighter. Double score!

The complete set costs $129.99 and will last you 30-45 days. It is highly recommend you use all three products together for the first 30 days. After this amount of time you can choose to continue with just one or more products if you so choose. The products work together to reduce redness, wrinkles, and acne scars. 

If you are looking for a solution to aging I would suggest giving Dermagist a try. 

One (1) reader has the chance to win a Complete Rejuvenation System from Dermagist! You must be 18+,  a resident of the US or Canada and have not previously won a Dermagist giveaway. The giveaway will end July 11th, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. EST. MFJ is not responsible for the prize fulfillment. Good Luck!

Disclosure: I received a free product in exchange for a honest review based on personal experience with this product. No monetary compensation was received or will be received between MFJ and the associated company with this product. 

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Let me introduce you to...Greenopedia

By 8:56 PM

I want to let you all know about a new upcoming website called, Greenopedia. Greenopedia is an emerging resource for women with the goal to be your go-to website for tips and advice on sustainable living.  They focus on topics that are relevant to life such as home, baby, and food; and provide clear and concise answers to important lifestyle questions.

When reading through articles on the website I really liked the fact that the articles are short and to the point. I also discovered information I was not aware of. In the future I look forward to seeing more articles posted to the website in a wider range of topics on sustainability. 

Although there are only a few articles on the website right now I think Greenopedia could potentially be a great resource to learn about the sustainability topics that interest you most and how they support your lifestyle. Basically think of Greenopedia as the WebMD version of sustainability as they cover everything from how to reduce toxins in your life to decorating your home in a sustainable way. Their articles and videos break down complex concepts into quick, easy to read ideas that you can incorporate into your life. 
Greenopedia will soon be introducing brand profiles to provide readers with a quick snapshot of what brands are doing sustainably. These will help give you a glimpse behind the scenes and find brands whose practices and initiatives align with your values. This will allow you a way to review and compare information about brands. 

Two articles which I found especially interesting are:
The Best and Worst Fish to Eat
How to Make Your Crib Mattress Safer
I highly encourage you to check out the website and let me know what you think.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Lessening of your Joints

By 10:51 AM , , ,
This is a sponsored post by me on behalf of Lifescript.com.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an illness that unfortunately affects many women, my sweet mom and grandmother both included.  Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that bothers the lining of the joints. It typically occurs in the hands and feet but the disease can affect other tissues and organs. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disabling and painful disease that may lead to long-term joint damage. For my grandmother and mom both, this disease is worst in their hands and means that they need lots of help in the kitchen as they often have trouble opening jars, holding a knife to cut, or doing many other everyday activities that those of us without Rheumatoid Arthritis take for granted. 

Above is a photo of my mom and grandmother. I love these two ladies SO much and am so thankful that I am the third generation to such a legacy of wonderful women. Rheumatoid Arthritis is genetic so the chances of me having it one day are very large and thus I am doing everything in my power to educate myself now about the illness. It also always helps to educate yourself on what those that you love are going through so you can know of how to be of better support to them. 
Tips from women who have Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lifescript.com provides medical information, tips and advice that are all written by professional health writers, experts and physicians. 

Visit www.lifescript.com for useful information on Rheumatoid Arthritis and other prevalent medical conditions related to women’s health.

    Lifescript’s Rheumatoid Arthritis Health Center features tips, quizzes, recipes and articles – all by professional health writers, experts and physicians – covering common RA symptoms, foods that compose an anti-inflammatory diet, new RA therapies and more. Please visit the Lifescript Health Center on Rheumatoid Arthritis for more information.
    This is a sponsored post by me on behalf of Lifescript.com.
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10 Tips for a Successful Yard Sale

By 11:44 AM ,

10 Tips to A Successful Garage Sale

I had the most successful garage/yard sale I've ever had a few weeks ago ($600 in one day) and so thought I would share 10 tips with you guys that I learned that might help you have a successful yard sale as well.

1. The more stuff the better! In order to attract someone to get them to want to stop at your sale you need to have a lot of stuff and show it off...this is why it is great if you can get family or friends to have a joint sale with you (plus then you can advertise multi-family sale). As a shopper I hate to stop at a sale that doesn't have any stuff and will not stop if I ever see a sale there again.

2. Advertise, advertise, advertise but don't waste money by advertising in your local newspaper. There are so many ways you can advertise now a days without spending money. The number one way is through Craigslist. You would be shocked at how many yard salers use Craigslist to search sales. The second way is through local Facebook yard sale pages. You can search Facebook for your county and city and post your sale to the page. This will also help attract more people to your sale. When advertising be sure to list what type of items you are selling and especially any big items. Lots of home decor? Vintage items? Tools? List it all! 

3. Pick a good location to have your sale. This is an important one. If you can find a house in a neighborhood on a busy street that is best. I live in a very large neighborhood and am on the main street so this def helped contribute to the success of my yard sale. 

4. Strategically "merchandise" your stuff. Put all the home decor together, clothing together, and movies together. Thing of your yard sale as your own personal store. The more organized and the more attractive your layout the more people will want to shop. 

5. Set up as much stuff as your can ahead of time in the garage. This will really help you out come yard sale morning. I opened my garage door at 7am to find multiple cars parked outside waiting for me to open my doors. Thankfully I already had most of my stuff set up in the garage and all I had to do was move my larger items and items to attract people to the sale outside. 

6. Price everything individually as much as possible. Shoppers don't want to have to ask you about prices. Having everything priced will make it much easier on you and will encourage people to buy more than if things aren't priced. If you don't want to have to buy yard sale price tags for everything use masking tape. Works just as well and will save you money. 

7. Be willing to negotiate. People will want to feel like they get a good deal so be willing to negotiate. Don't mark things at your bottom price so you have a little leeway. 

8. Put up readable signs that show your address. Using bright colors helps. Make sure your full address is clearly labeled as well as an arrow to point which way drivers should go. It is best to put signs out the night before your sale. If you use poster board be sure to laminate it if you put it out early in the morning or the night before. I learned the hard way that poster board not being laminate gets wet from dew and curls up so no one is able to see your signs. 

9. Have change handy and keep records of what you have made. You will need lots of change. I suggest getting $100 in advance in $10s, $5s, $1s, and quarters. I also suggest writing down the amount purchased as you sell so you can have a running total. On that note it is very important that when you start getting larger bills you take some money inside and lock it up. You would hate for someone to walk away with all your hard earned money!

10. Have fun and remember your purpose! If you don't have fun it's really not worth your time. Talk to people. You will meet some of the most interesting people at yard sales. Also keep your purpose in mind. If you were having a sale to clear out make sure you don't bring anything back in...if the purpose of your sale was to make money don't give your items away for dirt cheap. Remember  it is a yard sale but you might could make more money on Craigslist or through an antique dealer/action.

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My Happy Place: On Lake Time

By 1:54 PM , ,
It's summertime and that means I get to spend many of my weekends including this one at the place I love more than anywhere else in the whole wide world...Lake Burton!

The first time I ever visited my grandparent's lake house at Burton I was only a few days old and have grown up spending weekends and summers there as much as I can ever since! 

I mean you can see why I would love it right? Mountains and the lake? It doesn't get much better than that! And both of the above pictures were taken off our dock. Gorgeous, right? 

When you know the history to our lake house it makes it even better. I already mentioned that I was just days old the first time I visited the lake house but I didn't mention that my dad built the lake house while he was in high school dating my mom along with my grandfather (that has since passed) and my uncle. 

Then as you may remember from my post last year in April 2011 just a few months after my grandfather tragically and unexpectedly passed away the second most devastating thing happened to our family when our lake house was taken in the tornado along with our family photos and possessions we kept there. We were heartbroken and have spent much time and effort (and money) ever since working to rebuild our beloved cabin. 

The good news is it is finally completed (well, minus a dock but that project will begin this fall once the water is back down) and we are back in our lake house. We came back with a totally different design that was functional for our growing family and even though the trees and greenery aren't what they used to be when I sit out and look at the water the memories are still there! As you can see from this photo of my dad and sweet husband...(oh did I mention as part of our new addition we now have big, wrap around porches?)...

When I visit the lake I am in awe of God's presence and the beauty of His creation. His creation is simply AMAZING.

Here is the mountain right near our cabin we take hikes up often. I'm telling you...I'm not sure how you can not believe in a Creator when you see this in person....(this is the side of the mountain the tornado missed in case you were wondering). 

Here is our cabin...remember I already warned you there are no longer any trees on our side...if you read my post last year you might remember me talking about how crazy tornadoes are in their path of destruction...it jumped across the lake and our house was the first to be hit on our side and then moved to the left in steady line. Because of this the trees across the lake to the left and even the house to our right were totally untouched. 

As you can see we have lots of work still to do in landscaping outside and decorating the inside but we love it! 

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The Wild Butterfly Boutique + Giveaway

By 7:00 AM , , , , ,
So I have found a new online store that I am in obsessed with and just had to share with you all! You know those super cute J. Crew inspired bubble necklaces? I have been wanting one ever sense they first came out but just couldn't bring myself to pay $45 for one at J. Crew or $30 for one at a mall kiosk. My dream came true when I came across these statement necklaces at Wild Butterfly Boutique for just $19.95 a piece (sometime even less with a sale or discount code *keep reading if you want a discount*! I was thrilled when Wild Butterfly Boutique agreed to allow me to review one on my blog for you all to see. 

As you can see this necklace totally transformed my outfit and I have worn it at least five times since I got it in the mail a week ago. This necklace really is one of those statement pieces that changes the whole look and feel of your outfit. It comes in a ton of different colors to choose from, making it the perfect pairing for a variety of outfits. 

Wild Butterfly Boutique also carries a wide selection of other cute necklaces and bracelets...all of which are sold at very affordable prices. Check out these cute pieces:

Want some exciting news?! Wild Butterfly Boutique has offered one of my readers a chance to win a piece of jewelry of your choice AND a discount exclusively to all Married Filing Jointly readers!
 Just enter the code married at checkout for 25% off! SO generous! 

All you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below and a winner will be selected July 4th. US residents only and entries will be verified.

Thank you Wild Butterfly Boutique for this gorgeous necklace and for letting me share your awesome store with my readers! I'm now a big fan of yours and am planning to order several more of your necklaces for gifts!

I received this necklace as a gift to facilitate a review. No other compensation was provided. All opinions expressed are my own.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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By 9:35 AM


As you probably already know, Google Reader will be no more come July 1st. That's less than three weeks away! There's still time to transfer the blogs you read over to Bloglovin'. Here's how:

1. Set up a Bloglovin' account: If you don't have a Bloglovin' account, you can get one here. During the process it will ask if you want to import the blogs you read on Google Reader to Bloglovin'. Click on the button to import and that's it!

If you already have a Bloglovin' account, then here's what to do:

1. Log in to Bloglovin' and click on your profile picture.

2. On your profile page, click Edit your profile. This will take you to your account settings, notifications, etc.

3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Import blogs. Doing this will take you to a page that gives you 2 options. Click on Google Reader and follow the prompts.

4. The import takes a few seconds to work. Once the import is complete, it will take you back to your Bloglovin' homepage where you can view all the recent posts from your favorite bloggers.

It's possible with the close of Google Reader that Google Friend Connect may also end soon. To avoid any headaches in the future, I've been following blogs directly on Bloglovin' by clicking on the follow link when I'm reading new posts. The follow link usually looks like a + or a heart. You can follow me by my + link on the top right of my blog.

Let me know if you need any help and I hope to see you all on Bloglovin'!

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Looking for a fundraiser that is actually FUN to sell?

By 11:41 AM
I'm excited to get to share with you guys today about a really neat company called Teespring. Teespring is a company that allows groups, causes, and individuals to design and sell custom t-shirts. Anyone can go to this fun site and design a shirt which they can then sell via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or their blog. The best part? The seller keeps all of the profit the shirt earns. Want to learn more? Watch this one minute video

You can use Teespring as a fundraising tool or just as a way to earn some extra moolah. Another cool feature is the shirts don't print and ship until a set date which is determined by you, the seller. This means there is no risk because you don't have to pay anything upfront and even better you don't have to guess on sizes. This also means you don't have to worry about figuring out what number of shirts to order and you don't end up with a bunch of extra shirts if they don't all sell. You can watch this short video to get a better idea on how to design a shirt.

The testimonials on the website are really amazing. People have earned thousands of dollars through selling these shirts. I really think this is a great fundraising idea as it would be a lot of fun to design a shirt and shirts are something that people actually enjoy purchasing. 

You might remember I recently purchased a fundraising shirt for an adoption fundraiser and was super excited to show it off a few weeks ago on my blog. 

Some cool examples I found of what people have done with this site in the past are below:

1. A couple sold this "love makes a family" shirt to raise money to adopt:

2. An 11 year old raised money to sing in a children's choir in Hungary by selling this shirt:

3. Someone sold this shirt and was able to raise over 85,000 for Boston relief:

I really think this would be a fabulous fundraiser for any event...as you can see I have participated in one before. So please check out the website and consider using Teespring for your next money raising event. 

Thanks to Teespring for sponsoring this post. I was paid to review this website and write a post. However, all opinions are my own honest thoughts. 

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Welcome to Hollywood! (and haunted hotels)

By 4:46 PM , ,
As promised here is my second post on my recent trip to California. If you missed the first one you can check it out here.

I started out my visit to Hollywood with a tour of Warner Brother Studios. I would highly recommend this tour! It costs $55 but it lasts a little over two hours and you get to see some really cool things! If you are really lucky you will even get to see an actress/actor as this is not a theme park but their actual studio where they film many, many movies and TV shows. While I was there they were filming Pretty Little Liars, Two and Half Men, Big Bang, Ellen, and a few movies. 

Below are some of the highlights of things I saw while on the tour:

This alley has been the background for many scenes in movies but the one I remembered was Batman.

Do I have any Friend fans in the audience? ;)
As you can see this is the stage that Friends was filmed on for all those years and after it's great success the stage has now been forever named as the Friends Stage. If you are a Friends fan you are going to like this next pic because it is ON THE SET OF FRIENDS. It is forever a permanent set that keep up due to the success of the show. I even got to sit on the notorious couch:

Another really cool part of the studio tour was getting to see all the props for sets. They literally have warehouses full of anything and everything you can rent for a set for a movie or TV show. The set warehouses are set up a like a big shop (I wold LOVE to do some picking in them) and the prop manger literally walks around and tags the items he/she wants to rent. There is everything from mega buck antiques from over seas to new modern furniture and accessories to the candies pictured below to every lighting fixture you could ever image:

Fun fact about these candies? Yes, they are real but they are sprayed with some kind of deadly adhesive to make them "pop" in movie sets. My tour guide was telling me that he was in this warehouse a few weeks ago when he saw a prop manager open the jar and pop a hand full of jelly beans into her mouth before he could say anything. Not good.

After the tour of course I HAD to go see and get a quick picture of the Hollywood sign. 

I then spent some time enjoying walking up and down Hollywood Blvd. Man, wasn't exactly what I was expecting to be totally honest. Of course seeing the "stars" was fun but I was giggling at the amount of spidermans, star wars characters, and fake mickey mouses all up and down the street. Don't believe me?  Check out this picture of one of the Spidermans scaling a light pole. Fun right?

Of course I had to see the Kodak theater while I was there...it was so fun to imagine I was walking where all the stars have walked. And of course I had to take a picture next to the star of my childhood fav!

Another highlight of the trip was the spur of the moment decision to watch a live tapping of Jimmy Kimmel. Which ended up being so. much. fun. It was so interesting to see a show recorded. It was not was I expected but I loved it and really enjoyed going back and watching the show on TV. The guest stars were Mark Ruffalo and the two child Scramble winners. Unfortunately you have to check your camera at the door so people like me can't take pictures inside the studio but I was able to snap this photo outside the entrance. 

The last highlight I will share with you is that my co-worker I was traveling with was smart enough to suggest we stay at the Roosevelt Hotel. What a great idea. This hotel is full of Hollywood history. Here's a few fun facts about the hotel where I stayed:

1. The elevator in the hotel is the elevator they modeled Tower of Terror after at Disney World
2. This hotel was the original location of the Academy Awards
3.  Marilyn Monroe was a resident at the Hollywood Roosevelt for two years when her modeling career took off. Her first magazine shoot was taken on the diving board on the pool behind the hotel.
4. There have been many rumors of hauntings at this hotel. Some involve celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift, who lived at the hotel in the past. Others involve a little girl in a blue dress. There have also been reports of cold spots, photographic "orbs", and mysterious phone calls to the hotel operator.
5. My other childhood fav, Shirley Temple, filmed her famous tap dancing on the stairs scene on the staircase in the lobby. 

I'm telling you...this hotel is full of cool Hollywood history!

All in all I had an AWESOME time in Hollywood and wish I would have had more than a day to spend there. I will most def have to go back! What's your favorite thing you've ever done in CA?

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