10 Best Online Outlet Stores

Online shopping can save time and money, but there are even more online shopping secrets that will have you staying home to buy your favorite items. With help from DailyFinance, here is a list of the ten best online outlet stores that will save you money.

Online shopping

6pm.com

6pm.com is easily one of the best shoe stores online. Many people don’t know that 6pm.com is actually the Zappos.com outlet store, which means that you can frequently find this season’s most popular footwear styles for less. Like Zappos.com, 6pm.com offers free shipping on all orders and you will also find some clothing on the site as well. Keep an eye out for special promotions because they occasionally offer coupons for an extra 10 to 20 percent off all purchases.

Tommy Hilfiger Company Store Outlet

I don’t normally shop at Tommy Hilfiger, so it took me awhile to check out the Tommy Hilfiger Company Store Outlet. Now I am a devoted shopper of this site because not only are the prices amazingly low, but they frequently have coupons available that will take an additional 40 to 50 percent off all purchases. My recommendation is to start in the Outlet Clearance Section, where prices are even cheaper.

GiftCardRescue .com 

What if you could get extra discounts on your favorite stores, including outlet stores, all the time? GiftCardRescue.com is a website that enables its customers to buy and sell gift cards for cash.

The Outnet

If high-end designer fashions for less are what you seek, then The Outnet is your store. The Outnet is the outlet for Net-a-Porter, and you will find more than 250 designer brands on the site.

J. Crew Factory

It used to be that the J. Crew Factory was the first store I would visit anytime I found myself at an outlet mall, and I love that I can now shop this store online. At this point, most of the items that are sold at J. Crew Factory are made specifically for J. Crew Factory, but you will still find very similar styles to what are available in regular J. Crew stores and you get the benefit of saving a little bit of money.

REI Outlet

The REI Outlet offers amazing discounts on some of the best outdoor brands, including The North Face, Patagonia, Marmot and more. In addition to prices that are generally lower than those available anywhere else, the REI Outlet offers frequent coupons and a deal of the day where one specific item is marked down even lower.

Last Call by Neiman Marcus 

Last Call by Neiman Marcus contains a great mix of mid-to-high end designer labels at prices that are well below retail. You can often find the same items at Last Call for less that are being sold for full price at regular Neiman Marcus stores. You will definitely want to register for their email list because they frequently send out coupons that can reduce the cost of your order by as much as 50 percent.

Saks Off Fifth

Saks Off Fifth is the Saks Fifth Avenue outlet and it is another great place to find designer fashions for less, in both plus and traditional sizes. Recently, Saks Off Fifth had a buy one get two free sale, which is easily one of the best sales I have ever seen online. Be sure to check out the Saks Off Fifth clearance section where you will find prices up to 90 percent below retail.

Reebok Outlet

If fitness apparel is on your shopping list, the Reebok Outlet is definitely worth checking out. They have athletic apparel and footwear for men, women, and children at prices up to 50 percent below retail. Like many of these other online outlet stores, it is worth registering for Reebok Outlet emails so that you can find out about special sales and discounts ahead of everyone else.

Amazon Outlet

I only recently learned about the Amazon Outlet, and let me tell you, it is a great way to save. The Amazon Outlet is where you will find markdowns, closeouts and overstock deals on everything from clothing for the whole family to housewares to electronics and jewelry.

Online outlet stores are becoming increasingly popular, which is great news for online shoppers since online outlet stores offer a fantastic way to get the best brands for prices well below retail.

5 Tips to Eat More Vegetables from Greeks

The Mediterranean diet is said to be one of the healthiest in the world. As the obesity rate in the United States continues to rise, learning how to eat correctly is an important tool that can get obesity under control. The recommended serving of fruit and vegetables per day is 7-9 servings and most Americans do not get the nutrients they need.With these useful tips from HuffPost, you can obtain all the nutrients you need without even noticing that you are eating more vegetables! If you argue that to eat more vegetables, would increase your grocery bill, try purchasing discounted gift cards for stores such as Whole Foods and other popular grocery stores. You might be surprised that cutting meat out of every meal will actually save you more!

Mediterranean diet

 

1. Greeks eat cooked vegetables as a main course

This is probably the most important thing you can do to increase your intake of vegetables drastically without really noticing. As I’ve mentioned before, I always found it ineffective the way Western diets try to increase vegetable intake by either trying to persuade us to eat boiled or steamed vegetables with some butter or loaded with melted chees

e. That is not the way to go, for the simple reason you need tons of butter and cheese to make these boring vegetables tasty, which defeats the purpose. Instead, you can try cooking vegetables such as green beans, peas, eggplant, zucchini, okra, cauliflower with olive oil, onion, tomatoes and herbs in a pot or in the oven. These dishes are often called lathera, from the Greek word for oil, “lathi,” and we ate a plate of this vegetable casserole along with some feta cheese and a slice of bread. When we make vegetables this way, an average adult serving usually corresponds to ½ pound of vegetables, that is about four servings of vegetables in one sitting.

2. Greeks eat seasonal salads with every meal
It’s not enough that we eat vegetables as a main course; a seasonal salad was always in the middle of the table regardless of what the main course was. However, it is important to note that the salads are made from seasonal vegetables. So, in the summer months you’ll see the famous Greek salad, or more often what we call aggourodomata (which means cucumber-tomato all in one word), along with some olive oil and oregano. In the winter and spring months, the salads at the table are cabbage and carrot with a bit of olive oil and vinegar or lemon or a “prasini” — green salad as we call it — made with romaine lettuce and spring onion. While in restaurants you will find Greek salads with tomato in the winter, they are generally tasteless, but consumers often ask for them perhaps not understanding that tomatoes are not in season in the winter and don’t taste all that great.

3. Greeks eat weeds and other wild greens
Yes, these weeds are also known as horta. You have probably heard stories or witnessed this if you are a Greek-something: grandmothers picking dandelion weeds from the backyard. This was common in our household too, although my mom did this, and of course our neighbors found this strange. But this dietary habit is the secret to the famous Greek-Mediterranean Diet. While in the U.S. they recently discovered the wonder of leafy greens, in Greece these greens have been the basis of the diet because it was accessible to all and free — anybody can pick them. They have very few calories, rich in antioxidants and are filling. We lightly boil them and eat them with olive oil, lemon and cheese. In Crete, they have over 150 varieties of greens and edible plants.

4. Greeks add tomato to everything
Tomato is a vegetable, and tomato sauce or canned chopped tomatoes also count as a vegetable, and in Greek recipes tomato is added everywhere, even in meat dishes. In the vegetable casserole mentioned above, tomato is added to make the sauce, so you are getting another serving of vegetables there. This is the case with meat as well. We make our chicken, beef, lamb and many other meals with plenty of tomatoes. Just one more way to get vegetables, plus tomato is rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that may protect from certain types of cancer.

5. Greeks eat a lot of vegetable pies
What are vegetable pies you say? Spanakopita is a famous Greek vegetable pie. We call them pites, not like pita bread. Pita also means something wrapped in phyllo. Phyllo can be thin, like the one best known you often find frozen in super markets, but also thick, homemade phyllo, made with olive oil. Basically, pites would be made with a variety of vegetables and greens such as spinach, leeks, greens, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, and the list goes on and on. Basically, anything in season. These pies were either vegan, especially during the fasting periods, so they were made with vegetables, herbs and olive oil. Or during non-fasting days, cheese and egg may be added. This is the original Greek fast food, because these were easy to carry with you and did not require refrigeration. Today, you find pites everywhere in Greece. They can easily make a filling lunch, plus it is another easy way to eat vegetables.

6 Ways To Clear Your Mind

Ever had one of those days where you can’t get peace in your mind? Whether it is work, relationships, or friend issues here are ways to clear your mind according to HuffPost.

Write it out — then throw it out

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Can’t sort out how you’re feeling? Putting pen to paper could help. A 2012 study published in the journal Psychological Science found that physically writing out negative thoughts and throwing them away can help clear your mind.

Meditate on nothing

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In his book 10% Happier, ABC News anchor Dan Harris explains how the voices in our heads can be a “total pill” and that most of us are “so entranced by non-stop conversation we’re having with ourselves that we aren’t even aware we have a voice in our head.” His solution? Meditate. Meditation allows you focus on one thing and, with practice, helps you to pull your thoughts back when they start to wander.

Press play and run away

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Next time you head out for your run, make sure to grab that iPod. Researchers at Ohio State University found that exercising with music activates the frontal lobe, the area of the brain associated with higher mental functions. Participants in the study performed better on fluency tests after exercising with music as opposed to those who exercised with no soundtrack.

Get that shuteye

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Sleep and brain function go together like peanut butter and jelly. Next time your brain is clouded with thoughts and you’re feeling that mental fatigue, let your head hit the pillow. Taking a 10-minute nap can increase your alertness and productivity and recent research found that sleep also clears out the clutter in your brain at a cellular level.

Start talking

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If your head is buzzing with stressful thoughts, talking it out can help. According to one small study, being around your best friend during tough times can help alleviate stressful emotions.

When all else fails, a cute puppy video might work

Sometimes the best way to get out of your own head is to do something mindless — and what better way to do that than to watch cute animal videos? But don’t feel too guilty about it. A 2012 study found that a few minutes of cute videos or photos can elevate your mood and productivity at work.

If you have a cute dog, try submitting a video to the #Gofetch contest for a chance to win a $500 Petco gift card.

10 Best Dog Breeds Of All Time

GiftCardRescue.com is excited to announce their #Gofetch Video Contest and to get everyone in the spirit here is a list of the 10 Best Dog Breeds according to BusinessInsider.

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese water dogs were originally bred to herd fish, retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and act as couriers from ship to shore.

They’re good for people with allergies and make excellent companions since they are loving, independent, intelligent, and easy to train.

Portuguese water dogs also enjoy being petted and are friendly with strangers. Just be warned that like many larger dogs, boredom can cause them to become destructive.

Newfoundland Dog

Newfoundland

Known as “nature’s babysitter,” Newfoundland Dogs are the absolute sweetest. Perhaps the best-known Newfoundland is the fictional Nana from “Peter Pan,” who was so wonderful with children.

These gentle giants are highly loyal and easy to train, and are legendary for their docile temper.

Newfoundland dogs are also strong swimmers, and the breed was trained to rescue people from drowning — one dog even famously saved Napoleon Bonaparte.

Maltese

Maltese

One of the most ancient of the toy breeds, Maltese dogs were bred to be sweet and adoring of their owners. The Greeks even erected tombs for their Maltese dogs, and in Elizabethan times, they were called “The Comforter” because it was believed they could relieve pain and cure illness.

Maltese dogs are also extremely hypoallergenic, with silky coats that don’t shed.

And because of their size, these dogs are good for apartment living, too.

Golden Retrievers

Golden Retriever

Goldens are sweet, loyal, and incredible companion dogs. They’d rather be sleeping at your feet then running around outside without you.

They’re also very even-tempered, especially with small children. Goldens make great service and comfort dogs because of their friendly and tolerant attitudes.

Plus they were bred to retrieve ducks and other fowl for hunters, so if you like playing fetch, this is the dog for you.

Huskies

Husky

Siberian huskies are stunning animals, with their thick fur coat and piercing eyes. Most people who choose a Husky do so for their extraordinary beauty.

Huskies are good natured dogs who are affectionate with children. They shed minimally, except for twice a year when they blow out their coat, and don’t have the typical “dog odor” that bigger breeds tend to have.

Huskies are not considered a great breed for first-time dog owners, since they need a lot of attention, exercise, and are very good as escaping and running away.

Poodles

Poodle

Poodles get a bad rap. But they’re easy to train since they’re so intelligent, and are lively, fun-loving, and loyal family dogs.

Poodles can be attention seekers, so don’t be surprised if this people-oriented breed is constantly with you.

They’re also protective of their families and homes, and can become aggressive with people outside the family or with other dogs.

Beagles

Beagle

Because of their intelligence, Beagles are used by law enforcement at airports to sniff baggage for items that are not permitted. Due to their friendly nature and appearance, Beagles don’t worry passengers.

This breed also has a lack of inherited health problems, and an even temper which is good for families and small children.

The most common reason Beagles are abandoned or turned over to the pound is because their owners couldn’t stand their howling. This can be controlled by training your dog early to avoid excessive barking.

German Shepherds

German Shepherd

A relatively new breed (they date back to 1899), German Shepherds are exceptional animals: Courageous, obedient, incredibly loyal, and eager to learn.

German Shepherds are very intelligent too, and excel at most anything they’re trained to do. They’re usually used as service dogs and police dogs to protect officers and locate drugs or human remains.

German Shepherds love their humans so much that they will suffer from separation anxiety, and can become destructive when bored alone at home.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis

Corgi

Corgis have a cult-like following mainly due to their playful and sweet personalities. According to Welsh mythology, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi was even the transportation mode of choice for fairies.

Though they can be shy with strangers, Corgis are good with children and have a strong desire to please their owners.

They’re also one of the silliest-looking dogs, with huge ears, a long torso, and a big butt. Just monitor their food intake closely since this breed is prone to overeating.

Labrador Retrievers

Golden Retriever

There’s a reason why Labs are the most popular breed in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, as well as here in the U.S. They are devoted and obedient and have even temperaments that make them good with both children and other animals.

Bred to be eager to please and playful companions, Labs are smart and commonly chosen as guide dogs and service dogs for blind or autistic individuals.

They also make understanding therapy dogs, and can be trained to aid law enforcement and other official agencies by screening and detection work.

Photo Credit: WeHeartIt

8 Products That Drain Your Extra Cash

You get to the point in life where you want to not just spend money, but save. MensHealth shares 8 products that will drain your cash. Having unused gift cards sitting in your wallet is a waste of money that you could be using on useful things as well. By selling those gift cards for cash you can clear out your wallet and get a little extra money.spending money

1. Topping off Your Tank

Admit it: When you’re at the gas station, paying a nice, even $36 instead of $35.78 is more appealing. But continuing to fill your car after the gas nozzle clicks off is equivalent to throwing your change in the gutter. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, those few extra drops will either get sucked back into the storage tanks, or evaporate in your car’s vapor collection system, causing it to run inefficiently and burn even more fuel. When a gallon of gas costs as much as a latte, stop filling your tank to the brim. After all, you’re already spending over $2,000 each year at the pump, according to AAA.

2. Cutting Your Grass Too Much

“The shorter you mow your lawn, the more work it takes to keep it looking good,” says Frank Rossi, associate professor of Turfgrass Science at Cornell University. A backyard with grass that’s only 1 inch long needs mowing every 5 days. But let it grow to 3 inches and your lawn needs tending only twice a month. What’s more, mowing shorter grass can actually weaken its root system, which can lead to drought, pests, weeds, and more expenses. Before you get to work, check that your mower’s blades are sharp. Hitting the stems with a dull metal requires more energy to make the cut, spiking your fuel bill by 25 to 30 percent. To save even more, leave grass clippings in your yard. When they decompose, you’ve got free fertilizer, Rossi says.

3. Eating Meat Every Day

Americans spend more than 20 percent of their grocery bill on meats, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s almost $800 each year. Instead of forking over $5 to $7 per pound for beef every week, consider occasionally swapping red meat for lentils. They cost less than $3 per pound, and you’ll still get almost as much muscle-building protein as in a sirloin. “Most Americans treat meat as the main course,” says Thomas Ngo, R.D., senior staff coach at Rise, a nutrition coaching app. “But vegetables and legumes should take the center stage on you plate. They’re lower in calories and loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants and heart-healthy fats that help lower cholesterol—not raise it.”

4. Ignoring Cracks

While you might want to blame this never-ending winter for your ridiculous energy bill, even mild weather can cause a spike in utilities if your house is filled with air leaks. Drafts can bump energy costs by 5 to 30 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Audit your home by checking doors, window frames, cable lines, and even electrical outlets for air flow, then caulk or weather-strip the offenders.

5. Paying for Apps and Songs

Almost a third of men spend impulsively on technology that includes gaming systems, apps, and songs, reports the National Endowment for Financial Education. Not surprisingly, Candy Crush Saga makes about $650,000 a day on premium features—and 40 percent of these contributions come from men, according to data from NewZoo, a market research firm in the games industry. Then there’s your music library, which probably contains at least a thousand songs, right? At $0.99 each—assuming you buy legally—your music collection is worth a luxe vacation.

“When you’re only spending a dollar here or there, it’s easy to justify the purchase,” says Meg Favreau, senior editor of financial website WiseBread.com. “It might not seem like much to buy extra moves for a game or the latest hit song, but if you spend a few bucks a week, you can end up spending over a $1,000 a year.” One solution: Sign up for a mobile streaming service like Spotify, which gives you unlimited access to over 20 million songs for just $10 a month.

6. Paying Bank Fees

Banks are bringing in $30 billion—that’s right,billion—in checking account fees. That means each time your minimum balance drops below $1,500, for example, your bank fills its pockets. You may be losing $12 to $25 each month for no good reason. “You can avoid the charge by setting up direct deposit,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for BankRate, an online aggregator of financial rate information. Having your employer wire as little as $250 to your account might void checking account fees—but read your bank’s policies for details to make sure. Credit unions and small community banks are likely to offer a no-strings-attached account, adds McBride. Shop around.

7. Disposable Products

Convenience has its price. While a kitchen without paper towels may seem crazy—at first—it can save you at least $300 a year, assuming you buy one roll a week. Nix plastic wrap, Ziploc bags, and other disposable supplies and you might just end up with a grand to spare. Dish rags and storage containers are reusable, so you’ll get your money’s worth. And if you’re really thrifty, cut up old T-shirts and re-purpose plastic takeout containers.

8. Neglecting Home Maintenance

Draining the hot water heater or sealing your deck isn’t the most exciting way to spend a weekend. But blowing off up-keep chores will blast your budget. “A typical hot water heater might last 10 years, but one that is not flushed at least once every 6 months can break after 4 or 5 years,” says John Bodrozic, co-founder of HomeZada, a home management site that offers a home maintenance schedule that syncs to your calendar.

6 Items To Purchase In April

With a little help from Dailyfinance, here are a few items to purchase in April that will help save you money in the future.
Hello April

Small Kitchen Appliances

Need a new coffee grinder? What about a blender? Or maybe you’ve been eyeing one of those fancy-schmancy Kitchen-Aid mixers? April is the best time to buy small kitchen appliances, including all of the above. “Graduation and wedding season is right around the corner, so retailers begin putting small kitchen appliances on sale during April,” explained Konrad. Additional items to look out for include toasters, coffee makers, hand mixers, toaster ovensslow cookers,food processors and more.

Discounted Gift Cards

Every month is a good month to purchase discounted gift cards online, but with vacations drawing near, April is a great time to save money. Companies such as GiftCardRescue.com, allow you to buy your everyday products at a discount. With gift cards up to 35% off of face value, pairing a gift card with a coupon and/or sale can save you hundreds.

Earth-Friendly, Green Goods

What better month to purchase eco-friendly goods than April? Earth Day happens on April 22, but retailers use the entire month to promote green goodies. Throughout April, keep your eyes out for specials on organic foodsnatural beauty and skincare items and other products that are particularly kind to our home planet. You’ll probably notice many retailers offer discounts, launch products and provide coupons.

Summer Air Travel

“Airlines start to offer great deals for summer vacations in April,” noted Konrad. “By booking several months ahead, you’ll have access to awesome prices if you hit up sites like Expedia.” She says you can save even more moolah if you use coupon codes during checkout. Sign up for newsletters from travel websites such as Expedia, TravelZoo,Southwest and Priceline. You can also find travel package deals on websites such as Groupon and LivingSocial, which may have discount codes. “It’s always better to book during the week rather than on weekends when prices go up,” she said. “Most say Tuesday afternoons are the best bet.”

Winter Gear

“Since colder weather is on its way out, many retailers mark down their winter gear, such as snowboardsski boots, and outerwear,” said Konrad. “Sites like Backcountry.com and Dogfunk.com offer amazing winter clearance sales with items marked down as much as 50 percent off.” While you won’t need these items in April — nature willing — assess your supplies and determine what you may need for when the snow hits next year.

Vacuums and Cleaning Supplies

“Since spring cleaning is on many people’s to-do list, vacuums are often sold for lower prices,” said Konrad. “New models usually hit stores in June, so retailers are eager to get rid of the older models in April. That means you can find a great deal at places.” Additionally, cleaning supplies in general remain a great buy in April. Look for specials and coupons in your newspaper and online.

7 Healthy Alternatives For Unhealthy Foods

Summer is right around the corner and eating healthy is a great way to feel good about your next beach vacation.  EliteDaily, informs us of 7 healthy alternatives for unhealthy food that will secure that bikini bod you are wishing for. To save on your healthy pantry restock check out discounted whole foods gift cards.

healthy food

Coconut oil

If you haven’t heard about the many uses and benefits of coconut oil, you’ve been living under a rock. Its claim to fame is that it’s a super food that will offer you healthier hair, softer cuticles and help with weight loss.

In the kitchen, coconut oil is a great alternative for cooking oils, like for roasting and sautéing your vegetables or as a replacement for butter on your (whole grain) toast.

Quinoa

Quinoa (KEEN-WA) is an interesting food. It’s technically not a grain or a wheat, it contains no gluten and offers a bunch of protein. With the texture of couscous, it’s a great replacement for rice or oats! Swap your breakfast oats for organic plain quinoa and top with your normal dosage of fruit, cinnamon and nuts. Or, replace your brown rice with quinoa, seasoned to your liking.

Kale

Kale. Health nuts love kale. It’s the attention-loving cousin of spinach, taking its place in smoothies and side dishes everywhere. But, kale is actually better than spinach when it comes to mock potato chips. Kale crisps beautifully in an oven (when doused with some olive oil and roasted for 8 minutes on 400 degrees) whereas spinach would turn into a watery pile, kale chips crunch just like Lays and satisfy that salty craving without killing your diet.

Almond milk

Or any non-dairy milk for that matter. Milk just isn’t the same as the natural, farm-fresh thing we used to get. Cows are different, milk is different and our bodies are different. So many people are dairy-sensitive and don’t even know it. Cutting out dairy is great for skin, nails and digestion. If you’re allergic to nuts, you can opt for soy or coconut milk in your cereal, smoothies and maybe even your coffee.

Applesauce

If you have a major sweet tooth, “dieting” means finding healthy ways around dessert. Face it, we love sugar and we can’t resist a hearty serving of cake. So when baking your treats at home, opt for applesauce in place of butter or oil. Unsweetened, natural applesauce is a great alternative for baking, giving you the proper consistency without the fats and calories in oils and butter.

Avocado

Who doesn’t love avocado? While it’s a great addition to sandwiches, tacos and omelets, avocado can also be used as a replacement for mayo. Yep. Mayonnaise, the diet killer. Swap your mayo for avocado in things like chicken or tuna salad. Disclaimer: your chicken and tuna salad will be a rather funky color, but seasoned well, it tastes just the same without the added saturated fat!

Spaghetti Squash

It’s squash but it looks like spaghetti (meaning, it satisfies the carb craving without the carbs). Crack the squash open, spoon out the insides and it really does look like spaghetti. Top with your usual pasta toppings (pesto, marinara or veggies) and dig in without feeling a morsel of guilt. Buon appetito.

10 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Your Children

When did we decide that growing up meant becoming a different person, once who doesn’t take not of the little things, or has a burning curiosity for how the world works? Maybe we can take these life lessons you can learn from your children, from HuffingtonPost, and bring the wonder back into life.

lessons you can learn from your children

1. Every day is a fresh start.

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” – L.M. Montgomery.

Wasn’t it always amazing how the end of a school day always felt so final, so finished? The break between June and September seemed like a lifetime. Because when you are young, every day feels like an eternity and a new day means new opportunities to make new friends, explore new adventures, learn new things. Children don’t carry baggage from one day to the next. They start fresh, always.

2. Creative pursuits are fun and good for you.

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

How often do you see children losing themselves in a creative project for hours at a time? Drawing, playing with clay, building a sandcastle with meticulous attention to detail. For some reason, as we get older, we stop seeing creative activities as worthwhile. How many adults, aside from artists, draw on a regular basis? How many play with clay or finger paint just for the fun of it?

3. Be courageous.

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – Anais Nin.

Sing out loud. Dance when you feel like it. A child’s life feels limitless because they are not confined by fears of failure or humiliation. They march forward with hope and determination because they don’t know any better. They haven’t been beaten down, they haven’t experienced failure. They embrace life and all it has to offer with open arms.

4. Laugh every day.

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” – Charlie Chaplin

Children have the beautiful ability to find joy all around them. Just watch the humor a child can find in a shopping mall or at the park. They see silliness everywhere.

5. Be active.

Play energizes and enlivens us. It eases our burdens. It renews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities.” – Stuart Brown

When you were young, playing outside was the highlight of your day. You would run and chase your friends until you were out of breath and your cheeks were rosy. You would jump and do cartwheels at the drop of a hat and you never thought of it as “exercise” or “daily fitness.” It was just playing. And it was fun. “It is a happy talent to know how to play.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

6. Nurture friendship.

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.” – Khalil Gibran

Children find true joy while playing with friends and they love making new ones. They join soccer teams, go to a birthday parties, start new schools. These are all ways that kids make new friends. Children adhere to the motto, “the more the merrier,” and adults should, as well.

7. Be the hero.

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron

When a child tells you a story about school or the soccer field, they are usually the hero of their story. The world revolves around them. As we age, we don’t want to be conceited or egotistic, so we downplay our accomplishments and achievements. We don’t want to brag. But in doing so, we often slip to the side of self-deprecation. We put ourselves down to make others feel better or to be more relateable. Modesty becomes an admirable quality and we start to convince ourselves of our own mediocrity.

8. Scars are badges of honor.

“Every day you either see a scar or courage. Where you dwell will define your struggle.” – Dodinsky

When a child breaks a bone, everyone they know will sign the cast. They become the superstar of the class, the survivor. If they fall down and cut themselves, everyone wants to see the scar, they wear it proudly. As we get older, we hide our scars, our wounds become our secrets. We don’t want to be seen as weak or pitied, so we tell no one where it hurts. But what children recognize is that scars aren’t signs of weakness, a scar is a sign of strength and survival. A story to tell. An accomplishment.

9. Try new things.

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

Children are not afraid to play a sport they have never tried before. They will jump on a trampoline, dive into a pool or ski down a mountain even if it is foreign to them. As adults, we fear the unknown. We stay safely ensconced in our comfort zone and rarely venture out. Adventure exhilarates us and awakens the spirit.

10. Notice the little things.

“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault

My niece loves watching the sandpipers run back and forth at the water’s edge. She notices their little legs and how fast they move along the sand. Something simple that we take for granted brings her immense joy and profound inspiration. When did we stop noticing the tiny miracles that surround us daily? How much more beautiful would life be if we could see these miracles again?

9 Objects That Are Dirtier Than Your Toilet Seat

The average toilet seat has 1,600 germs per 100 cm2 and you more than likely have the perception that it is pretty dirty. Believe it or not, these are objects that are dirtier than your toilet seat. Awareness and action are critical to have a clean environment. Save on all of your cleaning need by purchasing discounted gift cards to your favorite stores.

Kitchen Sponge

 

Kitchen sponge- Kitchen sponges are a great way to spread bacteria onto your dishes and kitchen counter. With 14 times as much bacteria as a toilet seat, finding a new way to wash your dishes would be beneficial to your health.

iphone

 

Mobile Phone- It is surprising if your mobile phone isn’t glued to your being; most of the time you even take it into the bathroom with you. The fact that your phone has ten times more germs than your toilet seat shouldn’t come as a shock. Because most people don’t take the time to clean their mobile devices and it is constantly being handled by your hands lead to bacteria hanging around.

chopping board

Chopping Board- Chopping boards have 200 times the germs of your toilet seat! You would be better off using your toilet seat when making your next salad.

pillows

Pillow- Unless your pillow is brand new, there is more than likely 100,000 dust mites crawling on your pillows.

ice

Ice- 70% of ice served at restaurants have more bacteria that the water in your toilet. There are multiple reasons for this including contaminated ice machines and employees touching the ice.

 

Game Controller

 

Game Controllers- The average game controller has around 7,800 germs per 100cm2, that is almost 7 times more germs than the average toilet seat. Next time you go to working on demolishing the latest Zombie game, think about wiping down your hand device.

money

Money- The single most transferred object, each bill has an average of 200,000 bacteria on it’s surface. Switching to plastic sounds a lot more appealing after reading this statistic.

key board

 

Computer Key Board- Computer keyboards have 5 times more germs than the average toilet seat. Computers are used everyday however, they are one of the least cleaned devices. With multiple users, keyboards are a prime location to pick up a virus that is hanging around.

Finding a way to clean these items on a daily basis will, not only ease your mind knowing that you have kicked the bacteria on these objects to the curb, your family will also benefit in other ways. You will all be healthier and not passing around sickness as much. You will save money by cutting doctor bills and medication costs.

Photo Source: Weheartit

6 Ways To Save More Outlet Shopping

If you are looking to quench your shopping addiction without spending an arm and a leg, outlet shopping is a great option. Not only are prices less than in the retail store, there are additional ways to save more outlet shopping. DailyFinance brings some great tips on ways you can save more.
Outlet shopping

Purchase discounted gift cards. By using discounted gift card sites you can save up to 35% on the additional savings that you find at the outlet stores. Websites such as GiftCardRescue.com offer gift cards to over 450 popular merchants, so finding the discounted gift cards you are looking for is easy.

Figure out the outlet ‘brand.’ There are a couple of management companies that own quite a few outlet malls in the United States, including Premium Outlets and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers. Before heading out, be sure to check the website for the entire outlet mall for any possible deals or coupons. Premium and Tanger Outlets also have Facebook pages where they will occasionally post coupons that you can print from home.

Look for an outlet discount card or VIP program. Many outlet malls have VIP savings programs that can save you big bucks throughout the year and also give you special access to new promotions and sales.

The Fashion Outlets of Chicago opened last year and offer a Green Savings Card that costs $5 for a yearly membership. Those with a Green Savings Card receive extra discounts at a huge number of stores and restaurants in the mall, which is on top of the already low prices.

‘Like’ the outlet store on Facebook.If there is an outlet store that you frequent, go ahead and like its Facebook page so that you will be one of the first to know about sales and promotions. The Kate Spade Outlet will frequently post promotions to Facebook before emailing subscribers. The J. Crew Factory Store has offered special promotions that are valid only to their Facebook fans.

Register for store emails. Not all outlet stores have their own web page, but if they do, be sure to register for emails. The Gap Outlet is one of my favorite stores because the prices are usually low and they frequently email out coupons for additional savings. Late last year I received a coupon for an extra 50 percent off my entire Gap Outlet purchase. The Banana Republic Factory Store and Coach Factory Store also frequently send out high value coupons over email.

Use in-store coupons. Sometimes one of the easiest ways to save is to look for in-store coupons right when you walk into a store. Almost every time I walk into a Last Call by Neiman Marcus outlet store I am handed a coupon that will save me an extra 10 to 20 percent off my entire purchase. These coupons aren’t always available, but it is great when they are, especially when they can be combined with other in-store promotions.