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DIY Geometric Canvas Art: Paint Between the Lines - #FrogTape #2017DesignTrends

DIY Geometric Canvas Art: Paint Between the Lines - #FrogTape #2017DesignTrends


Ever wondered how painters got those straight lines? Wonder no more, because we're going to show you how you can too, with FrogTape, as well as spruce up a wall in your home with your very own custom designed geometric canvas art.


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of FrogTape®. All opinions are 100% mine.

One thing I love doing is decorating my home. I have quite a few paintings in every room in my home. However, none of those paintings were done by me. They were all purchased at home decor stores. One of my favorites was purchased for my birthday last year for my 40th, and I spent a few hundred dollars getting it. Decorating your home, however doesn't have to cost you hundreds of dollars, and for those who think that they can't have a beautifully decorated home, with one of a kind paintings, I'm going to show you how you can with the help of FrogTape.


While I love my home, my entry way left a lot to be desired. Sure, I have an entryway table that I decorate for the seasons, I have a wall mirror that I always have to glance at when leaving the house, but besides that, there was nothing else on the walls. I have always wanted wall art, but because of the changing seasons, I needed to find something that would fit in, or maybe even do my own for the changing seasons. I decided to do my own. I took a look at the 2017 FrogTape® Design Trends and the Haute Homemade really stood out to me. Instead of purchasing another piece for my wall, how about making something instead? I knew exactly what I had to do and to be honest, it worked out to be even less expensive that me purchasing it. With the money I saved, I can do a few more for the Fall and Christmas season that's coming up.

DIY Geometric Canvas Art
Supplies Needed:

Canvas
Paints of Choice (You can use acrylic paints and a brush or spray paints)
FrogTape


Directions:

(This is going to be your art, so however you do the design is up to you, but you're going to need FrogTape to help you.)

Step 1: Start by getting your canvas and FrogTape. Use your FrogTape to get the shapes you desire. There is no perfect way to do this, but remember this is your masterpiece.


Step 2: Once you have your shapes the way you want, go ahead and start painting in the open spaces. Don't worry about it getting on the tape, it will be ok. You're going to get those sharp lines that I was talking about, because FrogTape® brand painter’s tapes are treated with patented PaintBlock® Technology, a super-absorbent polymer that reacts with the water in latex paint and instantly gels to form a micro-barrier that seals the edges of the tape, preventing paint bleed and the need for touch-ups. The results are crisp, clean paint lines the first time.


Step 3: Once you've painted in between the lines, go ahead and pull that tape off. What you'll be left with will be nice clean lines and a geometric design that you designed. It will be your work of art. Just look at how clean my lines are!!


I would never have been able to do this if I didn't have FrogTape! Now you too can make your own geometric one of a kind art, in the color of your choosing to complement your decor. You no longer have to spend hundreds of dollars and these will all be originally yours. So grab some canvas, some paint and don't forget your FrogTape.


For more paint inspiration and design trends, follow FrogTape on social:



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Annmarie John
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Ways to Manage Bladder Leaks - #AlwaysDiscreet

Ways to Manage Bladder Leaks - #AlwaysDiscreet


Today I'll be sharing ways that you can manage bladder leaks with Always Discreet.


It has been no secret here in my little part of the blogosphere that I experience bladder leaks. I have mentioned it numerous times because I'm not ashamed of it. I know a lot of women feel insecure about their feelings on this issue and are afraid to talk about it. Most have put their life on hold because they would prefer not to be embarrassed in public. However, it's something many women are dealing with on a daily basis and it's nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of. You don't just have to be an older woman like myself for it to happen to you. You also don't have to have children. I'm 41 with four children, and I suffer from LBL (Light Bladder Leakage). I was recently talking to a younger friend, not yet 30, and she had a few questions about LBL. She wanted to know why at only 27, it was an issue. Today I'm answering her questions, and I'm sharing some ways that you can manage bladder leaks with the help of Always Discreet.


I'm going to answer questions here first as I promised that I would, and then I'll share some tips on what I've learned over the years on ways you, too, can manage bladder leaks.

When does it usually start? 
There is no set age when LBL begins. Bladder leaks can happen at any time. It can happen any time before, during or after pregnancy, and it can also occur at menopause. Age plays no role in when LBL begins. Mine started in my 30's.

Am I dealing with a condition or is it natural?
It is a common condition, so know that you are not alone. As a matter of fact, 1-in-3 women experience bladder leaks, while 1-in-2 African-American women experience it as well.


Should I Consult a Doctor?
Yes, you should. Just like with any health problem, always speak to your doctor. Don't be embarrassed about talking to your primary doctor about the issue. Remember, doctors have seen and heard it all. They will be able to give you advice and tips on how to best manage LBL, and may also recommend surgery if necessary.

What products should I use?
While half of African American women experience bladder leaks, only 1-in-9 of them use incontinence products. There are products on the market specifically for bladder leaks. Always Discreet has three specific products. I currently use the Always Discreet Liners and the Always Discreet Pads (which are different from sanitary napkins). They also have Always Discreet Underwear for those who would prefer to wear them.


Always Discreet products are made with bladder leaks in mind.

Always Discreet Incontinence Liners are made for light bladder leaks and absorb more than 2x more than the leading period liner. They also feature RapidDry™ technology, which turns liquid to gel; and OdorLock™ protection that traps and neutralizes odor keeping you fresh.

Always Discreet Incontinence Pads are designed for moderate to heavy bladder leaks, and absorb 4x more than period pads of a similar size. They are also 45% thinner than the leading incontinence brand and perfect for those who prefer something thinner, like myself. They also feature Double LeakGuards™ barrier, RapidDry™ and OdorLock™ protection.

Always Discreet Incontinence Underwear are made for those who need the extra protection because of heavy bladder leaks. Featuring RapidDry™ and OdorLock™ protection, Double LeakGuards™ barriers that stops leaks at the legs where they most happen, they also have a 360 FormFit™ design that contours to your body and looks like real underwear, without the bulky feel.


What are the ways I can manage my bladder leaks?

1. Exercise - Exercises that strengthen your pelvic floor muscles such as Kegels are quite beneficial. Kegels can be done at anytime and anywhere. Remember to practice the correct form, but once you're able to do so correctly, it will help with your pelvic tone and pelvic health, thus reducing the need to frequently urinate and that feeling of urgency. That also means less accidents.

2. Stay Hydrated - Contrary to what you may believe, drinking less doesn't mean less accidents. Drinking less, however does mean that you can end up with a bladder infection and constipation. You should still drink at least 8 glasses of water to keep your bladder healthy. If you're experiencing bladder leaks, then you'll need the next step.

3. Wear the right products - You won't be worried about bladder leaks if you're wearing the right product for the job. Always Discreet is a better choice than period pads. Use a product that's made for your condition and Always Discreet is made for bladder leaks. They are comfortable and, best of all, they work!


So if bladder leaks have been preventing you from living your life to the fullest, try the full line of incontinence products from Always Discreet and take your life back!


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Always Discreet. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Annmarie John
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Decorating Your Home Office

Decorating Your Home Office


Working from home sounds like the dream. It comes with it’s own set of problems and difficulties, but it seems that almost everyone aspires to someday work their dream job from home. There are a myriad of reasons for this, but when it comes down to it, the biggest reason is that everyone wants to be in business for themselves. Whether you currently own your own business, or you just so happen to work for a company that allows you to work from home, being able to work from home is a huge step in the direction towards comfort and ease.


It can be really hard to separate your home life from your work, though, when you live and work in the same space. A lot of people have found they’re more successful during the day if they have a dedicated work space in their home.


Why you should have a home office

Are you having a hard time setting aside an entire room of your house for work purposes? It may feel like a waste of space. If you’re feeling like this, it may help to know that if you DO have a dedicated work space in your home, you’re eligible for certain tax deductions. This is because your employer (or yourself) doesn’t have to pay for additional office space, which saves them money. This means you could get your mortgage lowered, or get a larger tax return come tax season. So although it may be hard to think about converting that guest room into an office, it may actually save you a considerable amount of money in the long run.

Having a separate room just for work purposes will help you stay productive during your work day. It’ll be a lot easier for you to go home for your lunch break, but you should still treat it as going to work for the day. Except at this office, you can work in your pajamas.

Why you should decorate your home office


If you thought having a dedicated home office was excessive, you probably think spending time to redecorate your new home office is also excessive. But creating a good environment is important for any aspect of your life. If you’re not comfortable in your work space, you won’t be able to work effectively. And you should make sure that your office is free of distractions.

If your spare room is currently being used in lieu of a storage unit, chances are you’ll have a hard time relaxing and working while sitting amidst piles of dusty boxes and bags of Halloween costumes. These items will need to find a new home.


Minimal style

For an office space, adopting a minimalistic design is probably a good idea. You don’t want to be easily distracted, which means no televisions or games.

Start with a sturdy desk and comfortable chair. This is the area you don’t want to skimp on. You’re going to be sitting at this desk, in this chair, every day for an extended period of time. Make sure that you love them and they’re going to last. It can be tempting to be cheap and not spend very much money on these pieces of office furniture, but you’ll end up needing to replace them much more often, which will lead to spending much more money than if you bought some quality pieces in the first place.

Some tips and ideas

Try and create a calm and productive environment. Give your walls a fresh coat of paint. The color blue stimulates the mind, yellow inspires creativity, and green creates calm. It may seem silly that a color has an effect on your productivity, but it really does! Pick up a few color swatches in one of these color families, and update your walls.

Consider bringing a small plant to your desk space. It will promote clean air, and keep the room from feeling stale and stodgy. It will also brighten up your office space.

Many people also like decorating their office with things that inspire them. Whether that’s a vision board, reminders of your accomplishments and goals, phrases of encouragement or focus, or even just something that makes you smile, keep a few things in your casual eye line that will keep you motivated and focused.


Don’t be afraid to spend as much time making your office space a comfortable place as you would your bedroom or living room. You want to feel inspired whenever you walk through the door.

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Annmarie John
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Save Money on Long Distance Moving

Save Money on Long Distance Moving


Unless you already live out of your vehicle, long distance moving can cost a pretty penny!


The total may add up in unexpected ways, so you’ll have to get crafty to cut costs. Don’t let your budget keep you from relocating for better opportunities, though. Families move all the time, so you can handle this. Here are a few ways to save money on long distance moving.


Getting Your Stuff Moved

You have a couple of options as far as how to get everything you own from one place to the other. Whether you go with a portable storage unit, like PODS, rent a moving truck and do it yourself, or hire a moving company to relocate your possessions for you, the decision depends on how much you need to transport and your moving budget.

If you go with PODS, the company will deliver the storage container to you. You pack it and then they return to pick it up. You get as much time as you need and pay per month just as you would for a traditional storage unit. They’ll move the unit from one city to another and will even store it at a facility in the new city, if you want them to. Otherwise, they’ll deliver it, you’ll empty it, and they’ll return to pick it back up. The entire process is pretty simple and inexpensive, but it’s up to you to pack the container properly to avoid damages in transit. This also isn’t a great option if you have a whole lot of stuff, because of the three sizes to choose from, a 16-foot container is the largest. It typically holds 3 to 4 rooms’ worth of furniture and boxes.

If you rent a truck and handle the entire process yourself, remember to calculate gas, food and additional hotel stays you may not have had to pay for if you had a company transport your belongings for you. You’ll be charged based on the size of the truck you rent, the distance you’ll be going, and the amount of time you’ll have the truck. Insurance is extra. With this option, you have the ability to tow your vehicle and move it right along with everything else, but you’ll need to feel confident driving one of these trucks. Keep in mind that the cab will only hold two to three people. If you’re moving a family, this may not be the best option.

Your final and most expensive option is to hire a professional moving company to get your items from Point A to Point B. It may be the least stressful option, seeing as it’s completely hands-off, but be sure to read reviews and get quotes from more than one company. Be warned: You’ll pay an increased rate for every little piece of packing material they have to supply, but if you don’t let them pack your things, they won’t be held responsible if anything gets broken.


Invest wisely in packing materials.

If you fail to properly protect your belongings and they break, you’ll not only have to pay to replace these things, but you will have paid to move something that’s no longer useable. This is more of a waste of money than you might think purchasing the right packing supplies will be. Bubble wrap is a lifesaver, but it’s expensive, so start saving (and collecting from friends and family) from packages you receive. Television packing kits (boxes and cushioning materials) are a great investment. Wrap furniture and fragile items, like mirrors and large framed art, in blankets and towels you already have in your linen closet, and tape around them to keep the fabric secure.

The less you move, the less it will cost you!

Everything you have to move will cost you money, be it in fuel, packing supplies, or even just time spent handling it! Selling what you can in advance will put cash in your pocket. Have a garage sale, post items to Facebook for sale groups and Craigslist, and if you’re savvy, head to Ebay. Don’t sell things you’re going to have to immediately replace as soon as you get where you’re going, especially if they are expensive.

Consider selling your car, especially if you have more than one, and it isn’t a new vehicle anyway. Having a vehicle transported can be costly. The price of gas and wear and tear will add up if you drive it yourself. Will you need it in your new city? Can you get a lot of money for it right now? Were you planning to sell it or trade it in soon anyway?



Take the time of year into account.

Moving over the summer is going to cost you more. It’s when hotels and gas come at a higher cost, due to summer vacations, and it’s when most families relocate so they don’t disrupt their children’s lives mid-school year. Can you move at any other time? If not, use membership clubs like AAA, and reward points from credit cards or other programs to save on hotel stays.

For help with every stage of your move, including tips, tools, resources and special offers to help you along the way, visit Allstate.


This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to guiding people to live the Good Life, every day.


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Annmarie John
49 Comments
Summer Home Safety

Summer Home Safety


Sunshine, pools, vacations, barbecues. With all the perks that come with the warmer weather, one of the last things on most homeowners' minds is burglaries.


However, with families spending more time away from home, burglary rates increase in the summer. Windows and doors are more likely to be open or unlocked to let a breeze in and burglars know to look for these weak spots when homeowners are away.  Be sure to keep the following tips in mind next time you head out for summer activities to keep your home and possessions safe while you leave home.


Start by taking a look at your home with a new mindset. Put yourself in the shoes of a burglar.  Are there any windows or doors that can be easily broken into? Make sure all your entrances are secure when locked and can't be pried into. Next, glance around your yard. Are there places they can easily hide such as trees or bushes? Are there items hanging around, like garden shears, that a burglar can use to break in? You don’t want to provide protection or tools to anyone looking to get in your home.

Of course, one of the best times for a home burglary is when you're away on vacation. Nothing will ruin your trip to Disney World like getting a call that your home has been broken into. The good news is that there are many tips you can use to trick those wanting to break in into thinking you're still at home.


It's important to make sure your home doesn't look obviously empty.  Two major things burglars look for is an unkempt yard and a full mailbox. To combat these, ask a neighbor or friend to keep up with your yard if you'll be gone for an extended amount of time.  You can also ask the postal office to hold your mail during this time.

Another crucial thing to keep in mind is to limit how much you share on social media about your trip. You wouldn't want to tip off anyone that you'll be away. A helpful idea is to hold off on posting any pictures from your trip until you're home.  Also, be sure to turn off geotagging so social media isn't giving away where you are.

Many families have spare keys hidden under the mat, in the garden, etc. – a gift for anyone searching your yard with bad intentions. You'll definitely want to keep this key inside or to give it to a trusted friend or family member until you're back.


Finally, as a precaution for the worst-case scenario, keep your pricey possessions in a safe just in case a break-in does occur.

Although taking these precautions have proven to keep burglars at bay, it could be beneficial to consider getting burglary protection as well. One easy way to do so is to keep yard signs outside saying you have an alarm system. When there is evidence of security, 60% of burglars won't pursue the break in. Investing in an alarm system is a major way to ensure your travels are worry free.

One last way to make it appear as if someone is home is to get timed and motion sensor lights. Lights set on a timer inside and flood lights with motion sensors outside are sure ways to scare off someone sneaking up to your home.  By following these tips, you'll surely have peace of mind on your next vacation.

Cameron Smith – The social media (Twitter and Facebook) and Outreach Coordinator for SimpliSafe. When Cameron is not creating and sharing great content on their social media platforms, you can find her teaching yoga at her local gym or spending time with her fluffy Chow Chow puppy.

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Annmarie John
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[name=AnnMarie John] [img=https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X9gUeVik-ZY/WJjwNTOobII/AAAAAAABTJ4/qEhU0n62_AIo-j6-6LA2OFOr44lKCHASwCLcB/s100/AnnMarie%2BJohn%2BHeadshot.JPG] [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=http://www.facebook.com/theannmariejohn) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/theannmariejohn) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/theannmariejohn) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/theannmariejohn) (email=mailto:annmarie@annmariejohn.com)

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