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Simply Easy Raspberry Lemon-Lime Splash & Easter Traditions ~ #SeasonalSipsAtSams

Simply Easy Raspberry Lemon-Lime Splash & Easter Traditions ~ #SeasonalSipsAtSams

This post has been sponsored by SheSpeaks, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

There's something about Easter that I love and it's not just about the traditions that we celebrate as a family, or the food that we eat, but also about the time spent together as a family and the memories that we create. My simply easy raspberry lemon-lime splash is sure to be a hit at your Easter table this year.

Every Easter, my family and I would dress up and get ready to celebrate. When I was little it, my mother would wake up early and prepare dinner and then we would head to church. I'm not overly religious, but even now as an adult, there are still a few things that I kept intact from my childhood that are done with my own family. Easter for me is the beginning of spring, which means new wardrobes and even spring-cleaning. However, here are a few of the traditions that I've kept intact.

1. Easter Baskets
Now there are discussions about why you shouldn't give Easter baskets to kids, but this is my household and I do what I want with my own children, and an Easter basket is something that I do. It's about making Easter morning special and memorable for my kids, and while I don't stuff their basket filled with candy, there are so many non-candy options you can do, such as crayons and coloring books, and even books to read themselves.

2. Egg Hunts
When my kids were younger, egg hunts would be done in my home by hiding the eggs around the house. Now that they are older, we participate in egg hunts that are near by and the kids all have fun. A quick Google search can help you find you Easter Egg Hunts you and your own family can participate in.

3. Make treats together
I love baking with my kids, and on Easter you can find us in the kitchen whipping up tasty treats, from cookies to cupcakes to even Easter candy bark. We have lots of fun and at the end of it we're usually covered in flour, however, the time spent together and those treats are so worth it at the end.

4. Go to church
This is something that I grew up doing with my own parents. Every Easter, my parents would get us all new outfits and we would all head to church. As I mentioned before, I'm not overly religious, but Easter is one of the "holidays" that my family and I attend church.

5. Participate in Easter brunch
Now Easter isn't complete until you have brunch. It's the excuse that we need to spend more quality time together. The kids prepare little sandwiches and the adults prepare the bigger meals. This year I'm bringing something new to the table thanks to Sam's Club and Coca-Cola. This Raspberry Lemon-Lime Splash was a hit in my household with everyone asking for seconds. Best of all it takes little to no time to make.

Raspberry Lemon-Lime Splash

Here is what you'll need:


½ bottle of Simply Lemonade® with Raspberry
¾ bottle of Sprite®
2 limes sliced thinly
lots of ice


Step 1. In a large pitcher add your Simply Lemonade® and Sprite® and mix.

Step 2. Add your limes and top with ice

Step 3. Served chilled and enjoy!

Since I have children in my household, at Easter we drink non-alcoholic drinks and I go to Sam's Club to make sure that I have all that I need. Shopping is so easy, and all the drinks that my family loves are  readily available. From Simply Orange®, Simply Lemonade®, smartwater®, vitaminwater®, Gold Peak® Tea and Sprite®, they are a perfect complement to my Easter brunch.

This year bring fresh flavor to your own Easter table with Coca-Cola and Sam's Club.

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Annmarie John
Budgeting for Home Renovations

Budgeting for Home Renovations

With all the makeover concepts you can find surfing the internet, one can quickly drift away from their supposed ideas and budget. From unexpected problems to changes in your wants and needs, making sure that you stay on budget while completing everything in time is what you should aim for.

If you’re also a self-proclaimed home builder and designer, you will probably be thrilled to learn that I’ve found a solution for dealing with home renovations budgeting – and I’m here to share it with you and help you realize your goals!

It’s time to don our builder’s helmets and get ready for work. Here are the top tricks & tips that have helped me and my son get through our home renovation process!

Where Do I Start?

Since our finances and wishes don’t always go hand in hand, I found that beginning the journey with a clear, transparent outlook is crucial to the success of the project.

In this stage, it is your responsibility to come up with a thorough wish list of adjustments and finishes that you require. Nevertheless, stay realistic.

Budget: Worst Enemy or Sincerest Ally?

The next item on your to-do-list should be figuring out how much money you are willing to / you can spend on the renovation. Break the total calculation down into smaller fragments and determine how much each milestone will cost you.

Tip: Experts suggest that you should factor in 10 – 20 percent of your supposed budget for unexpected, hidden costs. Based on my experiences, aim for securing reserves amounting to around 20% of the initial budget. No matter how well-prepared you are, unforeseen events are bound to happen during your renovation – be ready for them!

How Much Should I Spend?

First, you will need to have your home evaluated and find out how much it's worth and how much each room brings to the total value. In general, you shouldn’t spend more on renovating the room than its contribution to the total value of the home is.

The kitchen, for example, normally accounts for 10 – 15 percent of the value of one's property. That means that if your house is worth $200,000, you should aim to spend no more than $30,000 on the kitchen renovation.

Bathroom & Kitchen
The bathroom and kitchen are the main comfort providers in your home that also instantly catch the eyes of potential buyers. Whether you want to maximize your coziness or increase the value of your property, I would suggest you start your home renovation in a bathroom or a kitchen.

While the ROI (return on investment) of kitchen and bathroom renovations can reach 80 – 100%, don’t forget to focus on the essentials as well. Roof and window replacement always pays off in terms of comfort, energy-efficiency, and the value of your home.

Furthermore, you should be very careful with budgeting bathroom or kitchen renovations. From countertops to cabinets to labor and fine details, there are many factors to consider in your financial plan.

Plan Your Renovation Wisely – Opt for Eco-Friendly Solutions
The good thing about being eco-friendly is that it comes with a high ROI and drastically raises the value of your property. Whether you're after reducing your living expenses or selling your home for more, eco-friendly solutions can ease your mind.

Besides investing in solar panels and renewable energy heating system, covering your exterior walls with timber is another excellent idea to add to your plan.

Timber cladding is a process in which the walls are cladded with timber, which gives the property a whole new look. It also comes with other benefits such as the increased sound- and heat-insulation of the home. I would definitely suggest this technique to anyone who is running on a small budget and looking to maximize the results of the effort invested.

Get Renovation Quotes from Contractors
This step is vital to ensure that your dreams can indeed become a reality. Without proper quotes, you can only guess how much something will cost you. Make sure to collect quotes from several professionals for each part of the renovation.

I suggest you always compare the quality they offer with the estimated costs. Luckily, the internet can also help you with that. Check out the companies you’re getting quotes from and make sure they have positive reviews and a history of satisfied clients.

Tip: Be VERY specific when it comes to the details of the contract. All your wishes need to be transparent and on paper – from materials used to exact working processes – to avoid misunderstandings.

Staying on Budget

Stick to the original plan as much as possible, as even the smallest changes may turn out to be costly.
On the other hand, if you find yourself crossing the boundaries of your budget, trim down your dreams to the point where you’ll still be satisfied with the outcome.

From cost-friendly alternative materials to reusing old stuff to ‘doing it yourself,’ many things can help you scale down your expenses. Fortunately, contractors can help you with deciding, so make sure to be open with them!

Final Thoughts

Throughout my renovations, I've learned about the importance of comprehensive planning, especially when it comes to the budget. Do a thorough investigation, follow the process step by step, and your budget will become your ally rather than your worst nightmare.

Author bio:
Kevin has gone through an extensive home renovation with his son, which he has both thoroughly enjoyed, and dreaded every morning. He is now the proud owner of half his dream house (the other half is waiting for spring). 

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Annmarie John
The Best Healthy Organic Chili ~ #SWBeans

The Best Healthy Organic Chili ~ #SWBeans

We're three months into the New Year and my goal to eat healthy is still on track, and I have to say that it's been going rather well. So when my family called for chili, a revision to my original recipe was in order. Together with S&W Beans, our healthy organic chili will not only satisfy your chili cravings, but will have you begging for more.

This post was sponsored by S&W Beans as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

My husband and I currently have a bet going, "How soon will I fall off the healthy bandwagon kick that I've been on?". While eating healthy has been beneficial to us all as a family, he has been craving red meat, but we made a pact that we would only do lean meats this year, and so far we've been doing amazingly well considering that we've been red meat eaters almost all our lives.

So when my husband challenged me to recreate my famous chili and make it healthier, challenge accepted! First things first, substitute the ground beef! While I could have gone with ground chicken, turkey just seemed a much better alternative. My next dilemma however was, beans or no beans? Personally I don't think chili should be called chili if there are no beans involved, so beans it were!

And when it comes to beans, no one does it better than S&W Beans!

After all when it comes to quality, S&W has been providing us with premium quality beans for over 120 years. If you want premium chili, it first starts with premium beans. For my recipe I chose the S&W Organic Kidney Beans, but it's currently available in three different varieties. They are their premium kidney beans, premium organic kidney beans, and premium kidney beans with 50% less sodium, which is great for those who want to monitor their sodium intake.

I grew up eating red kidney beans. My mother would make her famous rice and beans and stew chicken at least once a week, and kidney beans wasn't just reserved for rice, there were even kidney beans in her delicious bean salad. Kidney beans are a great source of iron, protein and fiber, so you can totally forego using meat in your chili and it would still be healthy, nutritious and delicious!

For my chili, I thought of all the other ways that it could be made healthier, and decided, why not make it organic. After all, if you're going to start eating better, organic is certainly the way to go. Having the organic S&W Kidney Beans on hand made the chili effortless to prepare since it cut back on the cooking time. So without further ado, here's my healthy organic chili recipe.

The Best Healthy Organic Chili

Ingredients:- All organic

2lbs lean ground turkey
2-15oz cans S&W Organic Kidney Beans
1 medium onion diced
3 gloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon adobo seasoning
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup water

1 green onion, diced
2 avocados sliced


Step 1: Begin by adding your olive oil and onions in a pot over medium-low heat, stirring until fragrant and soft.

Step 2: Next add your ground turkey, stirring until it is no longer pink, but brown and cooked. Stir every few minutes to break up the chunks.

Step 3: Once your turkey is browned, add your chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper, and stir until mixed in.

Step 4: Now it's time to add your kidney beans, bell peppers, tomatoes and water.

Step 5: Bring to a boil, then lower your heat and simmer for about 45 minutes until your chili thickens.

Step 6: Taste and adjust your seasonings if necessary.

Step 7: Garnish with your green onions and avocados instead of cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Notes:  If you want to add a little extra kick to your chili, you can add jalapeños directly to the pot or even as a garnish.  I also recommend preparing your chili in a cast iron pot which really brings out the flavor.

Now it's your turn to grab a few cans of S&W Kidney Beans, but first use this coupon for some extra savings, and make your very own healthy organic chili today!

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Annmarie John
The Art of Relaxation: Ways to Create a Calming Bathroom Retreat

The Art of Relaxation: Ways to Create a Calming Bathroom Retreat

In the past, bathrooms served a strict purpose: to maintain your hygiene. However, today, bathrooms have become spaces that exude relaxation and can satisfy all of the user’s hygiene, beauty, pampering and relaxation needs. Modern bathrooms are a tiny portion of the private haven where people can forget about all the troubles of the world and devote time to themselves and their own needs. However, not every space has this Zen vibe. Here’s how you can transform your bathroom into a calming and relaxing retreat.

Opt for minimalism 

The first thing you need to do is pick an interior design style. There are so many gorgeous styles perfect for the bathroom, but probably the best one is minimalism. Minimalism has a sort of elegance that is simple, clutter-free and clean, just the way every relaxing bathroom needs to look like. Clutter can create an atmosphere that might look messy and overpowering, which can affect your mental state. In order to achieve ultimate relaxation, it’s very important to keep the space decoration simple and aesthetically pleasing. Enough closed storage will help you maintain the clean and uncluttered look of minimalism and help you clear your mind and relax.

Pick the right color scheme 

As you probably know, colors can have a great effect on the human state of mind, so try to opt for a palette that is soothing and neutral. It’s not only the perfect palette for minimalism, but it also helps create an atmosphere that encourages relaxation and the feeling of cleanliness and tidiness. For instance, white, gray and soft beige can serve as the perfect backdrop for your bathroom furniture and fixtures. Natural colors like soft greens and blues inspire relaxation, while a few darker details add a note of luxury and surprise that will not disturb minimalism. Marble, wood and stone have an elegant effect that is a perfect addition to every Zen bathroom.

Choose your floors wisely

Many people completely neglect flooring. However, it is vastly important as not only provides you with comfort for your feet, but also helps improve the aesthetic appeal of the space. Natural based materials like concrete, stone or marble give your bathroom an organic vibe that goes hand in hand with minimalism. Additionally, these materials also conduct temperature well, so you can treat your feet with radiant floors. Heated floors, although invisible, add a touch of luxury you’ll certainly appreciate, especially during winter pampering sessions.

The right bathtub

It’s almost impossible to achieve ultimate bathroom relaxation without elegant bathtubs. After a long day, there’s nothing better than preparing a glass of wine, hopping into your tub and giving yourself a true pampering. From stone freestanding models to concealed ones, they will all serve as a beautiful centerpiece of your space. Just get some bath bombs or essential oils for the ultimate experience!

Nature for the ultimate relaxation

Nature has a superpower to make people feel safe and relaxed. That’s why many spas and retreats try to bring nature inside and expose people to it as much as they can. In order to replicate the effect, bring some nature into your bathroom. Some greenery will only do well for you and your space: it adds a splash of color, helps clean out the air and makes people calm and focused. You can also use other natural elements as decoration. For instance, some wooden details, stone sinks or marble countertops will boost your organic vibe even more. If you have a shower, you can replace your regular shower head with a rainfall shower head that will make you feel like you’re on some tropical island, without ever leaving your bathroom!

Elegant lighting

Lighting also plays a huge role in creating a beautiful and relaxing bathroom vibe. You can go very small and subtle with shaded lamps and scented candles that provide a soft and romantic illumination that evokes peace. On the other hand, a luxurious crystal chandelier can add a touch of style and elegance. Opulent chandeliers can still be used in minimalism, just keep the rest of the accessories at a minimum. A simple geometric pendant might give you more freedom with other décor pieces though.

A touch of luxury

You can easily achieve a touch of luxury in your space with a few strategically placed items. For instance, you can cover your walls with metallic wallpapers with simple, geometric design. Adding a lush armchair with soft pillows will create an interesting, yet cost-effective element that will improve coziness and relaxation. Elegant faucets and cabinet hardware can also play a significant role, especially if you opt for a rich finish and gilded details. Matte is a super popular finish today, perfect for industrial and minimalist spaces because it attracts just the right amount of attention.

These design tips will help you create a perfect relaxation oasis and improve the overall style of your home. You’ll have a space that provides you with comfort, coziness and all the pampering you certainly deserve.
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Annmarie John
[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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