My Road Trip Flight

Yum

 

My Road Trip Flight

#TruckerTuesday

Trucker Tuesday Logo

A road trip flight? And on #TruckerTuesday?  I know it sounds strange, but I had to share my weekend with you. I told you about road trips last week on #TruckerTuesday and felt it was only right to finish my road trip story, especially because it’s been such an amazing and crazy weekend.

I have been learning a lot lately to give everything to God.  I don’t have to worry about anything at all because He has it under control. I have to admit that hasn’t always come easy to me. It usually goes like this – panic first, realize you can’t do anything, then give it to God.  I have the ability to really stress myself out and cause anxiety.  I’ve been praying I’ll be better at letting go and wouldn’t you know, God provided the perfect situation for me to practice.

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 10.41.55 PM

I had been in Tampa for my college room mate’s wedding and then I went to visit my Dad and sisters.  I had said my good byes Thursday night and Friday morning and I was ready to make the drive back home to Iowa.  I was going to stop the night in Nashville and stay with another college friend then finish my journey on Saturday … God had other plans.

xIMG_3933

The drive had been going well and I was heading north on I75 through Georgia.  I was in the middle lane and all of a sudden I heard a loud pop and started to lose power.  I quickly got myself to the side of the road and shut off the car. That is when the smoke billowed out of the hood and into the car through the AC vents.  I called my husband a bit shaken as a sheriff pulled up behind me. Apparently some one had called 911 to tell them my car was on fire (it was not).  I had a Peach County Sheriff and the fire department come to assist me. As I’m watching the scene unfold I stopped and prayed.  I gave everything to God no matter what happened. I knew I had to get home and I had no idea how that would happen, but was excited none the less.

See that pile under the passenger side of my car? That was all the oil that was in my engine that spilled onto the road. The fireman put gravel on it to absorb it.

xIMG_3947

I called triple A and they sent out a tow truck from Warner Robins Wrecker.  My driver was Paco and he was so polite.  He drove me to a mechanic that was closing (it was 10 minutes to 5pm).  They wouldn’t even look at the car and they weren’t open on the weekends. Paco called his dispatch and was able to take me to another mechanic close by, McReynolds Automotive.  They were very nice and even helped my unload my car and drove me to a nearby hotel.

At this point I was waiting. They would call me with an estimate in the morning and we’d go from there. I started googling “used car lots” and any other possibility that might fit my situation.

I then went to my Facebook profile and posted the following:

Had a little car trouble, I’m safe in a hotel in GA and they’ll be working on it tomorrow. If any of you live in or around Byron, GA could you message me please and thank you :)

xIMG_3974

I did get a message from a friend I’ve known since 2nd grade. I hadn’t seen her in years and she lived 15 minutes away!  She was such an amazing help and I’m so grateful for her willingness to be there.

The diagnosis was a snapped rod through the engine side wall and the estimate wasn’t pretty. It was a used car and my husband and I decided to say good bye to it. Amanda helped me empty everything from my car and she even took me to lunch!

xIMG_3980

After looking at rental cars and even a greyhound the cheapest way home was a one way ticket from Atlanta to Minneapolis. I had to figure out how to get to Atlanta (almost 2 hrs north) and then home to Northwood (1.5 hrs south of the airport).  Amanda let me know of a service called Groome Transportation.  They were about 3 miles from my hotel and would take me right to the airport.  God had already provided funds we hadn’t expected about 10 minutes before I called my husband when everything happened the day before. I bought my ticket.  My plane left Atlanta at 7:30am so I had to be at Groome at 3am. My friend came and picked me up and dropped me off! I can’t say enough how thankful I am for her.

xIMG_3982

I made it to the airport and my suitcase was 15 lbs over the 50 lb weight. I was able to rearrange and check two bags.  I was on my way! I love that Southwest lets you check two bags for free.

Originally my good friend Jeni was going to drive the 3 hr round trip to come get me.  I was talking later to Beth Ann and she was flying in on Sunday too!  She came in a few hours after, but had to pass my house to get to hers. Then if all this isn’t amazing enough I had a friend from church text me and tell me they had a car for me to use until I found a new one!

I could never have planned what happened. My plans would have involved more money and a lot of stress. I have had no stress or anxiety and I’m continually amazed at the blessings. I’ve had way more good come out of this weekend then “bad”. It’s so much easier to give it to God and I know from experience now that His plans are SO much better than mine!

Signature Donna

5 Steps to a Greener Home Office

Yum

 

*This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BringingInnovation #CollectiveBias

5 Steps to a Greener Home Office

xIMG_3336

I’ve always thought having a birthday on a holiday was cool.  My nephew is a St Patty’s Day baby and I celebrate my birthday on Earth Day!

xbday

I liked to think of it as sharing a birthday with Earth growing up. I love that each year we focus on ways to protect our earth and environment.  It’s a way we can give back for future generations.  I spend a lot of time in my home office and found a few ways to “go green” at least more green than I was.

comes after

1. Turn your thermostat down.  I live on the Iowa/Minnesota border so I do understand the need for heat.  Did you know that if you lower your  thermostat 1 degree you can save between $44 and $73 a year?!  I’ve been able to drop it 5 degrees which will save even more.

2. Switch from Incandescent bulbs to CFL bulbs.  This has been a huge savings for us not only in our home office, but our entire house. We save several hundred dollars a year on our electric bill.

xIMG_3335

3. Switch out your batteries. I’m loving the new Energizer EcoAdvanced recycled batteries! They are the first battery on the market to use recycled batteries/materials. They’re also Energizer’s longest lasting alkaline ever.  This is totally guilt free energy.

 xIMG_3307   xIMG_3308

I found the batteries on the battery display in the front of Walmart. My store had them hanging on one of the corners. The EcoAdvanced batteries are available in AA and AAA.

4. Toss the Water Bottle.  I am always buying a 24 pack of water bottles.  Rather than wasting all that plastic I have decided to invest in a high-quality stainless steel water bottle. Not only is it an eco-friendly lifestyle, but it will save me money.

5. Turn off your computer screen.  It seems simple enough, but if you are not using your computer for 20 minutes then turn on the screen or put it in sleep mode. If you won’t be using it for 2 hours shut it off. Turning off the screen alone can save you about $140 a year.

Right now there is a  “GuiltFreeEnergy Giveaway going on and they’re giving away $1,000 in Gift Cards!

GuiltFreeEnergy Giveaway – $1,000 in Gift Cards

Do you have any tips to having a greener home office?

Signature Donna

 

donnahup disclosure button

The Great #PizzaTasteOff2015

Yum

 

The Great #PizzaTasteOff2015

The Great #PizzaTasteOff2015

Good friends and good food always make for a great night! I love hanging out with my fellow #NorthIowaBloggers and we seem to have a thing for “taste offs”.  We took the Lays Do Us a Flavor Challenge and there’s even been an Oreo Tasting Party.  This time we decided to take on pizzas.

x20150311_105527

We had a few different types of pizzas from Kum & Go, Godfather’s, Casey’s, Pasta Bella, and Udi’s.  I brought the Udi’s and it’s the only one I tried since I am gluten free, but I had fun hanging out with everyone.

x20150311_103227

Udi’s is my #1 choice because it’s gluten free. The other’s were impressed that it was GF.

x20150311_104148

We had other goodies besides the pizza. Beth Ann made this delicious tomato salad and fruit salad.

x20150311_121653

My favorite dish of the whole night was Val’s Overnight Salad.  It had the most amazing bacon (she raises her own pigs).  Make sure to check out the recipe. It’s easy and delicious!

xIMG_2987

Going clockwise from the bottom left: Me, Katy from Learning as I Go, Beth Ann from It’s just Life, Loni from Lifestyles of the Pantless, Alicia from Fit & Farm, Jeni from Jeni Eats, Author Micki Fredricks, Sara from All in an Iowa Mom’s Day, Jenny from Loot by Louise, and Val from Corn, Beans, Pigs, and Kids

We enjoyed good food and conversation while tasting our pizzas.  We took notes and voted. Then we came up with a winner.

x20150311_103023

The winner of the taste off came from Pasta Bella our local Italian Restaurant in Mason City.  One of the girls said it reminded them of the pizza they tasted when they were in Italy.

We also learned that we left tons of brands out which means we need a #PizzaTasteOff2015 part 2! Who makes your favorite pizza?

Signature Donna

A Weekend of Fun for Moms at Moms Rock! Expo

Yum

 

A Weekend of Fun for Moms at

Moms Rock! Expo

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 9.25.18 AM

Have you ever looked up “Mom” in the dictionary? It’s a little underwhelming.

Mom – one’s mother  “my mom gave us each a slice of pizza”

I thought okay, well let’s look up mother then.

Mother – a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth; bring up (a child) with care and affection.

If only it were as easy as giving birth and giving out pizza.  Any mom, aunt, babysitter, anyone who has ever taken care of a child for a minimum of a day can tell you there is so much more to being a mom.
Donna and Mom Test
This is my mom and I. I’m one of 4 girls and she was nothing short of amazing. I remember that there were times where she would go to lunch with her girlfriends or take an overnight trip with them. I didn’t get it then, but I do now. She was staying healthy so she could refuel.  I believe all moms need that.  That’s why I’m so excited to share with you about the Moms Rock! Expo!
2015-02-02_9-12-02

Moms Rock! Expo (May 2-3, 2015) is two amazing days, just for moms, filled with inspiring and informative Keynote Speakers, Real Talk Panels, “We Get Moms” career information sessions and a whole bevvy of demonstrations, tips, ideas and resources to help all moms Live Life Easier & Healthier in the best way possible. If Minnesota is to remain a great place to live, work, and play, we need to celebrate Moms and Support Families! Moms Rock! Expo is two special days (just for moms, women and girls) that will showcase the Best that Minnesota has to offer to help moms Live Life Easier!

Moms Rock! Expo is sponsored by 3M, U.S. Bank, Target, Medtronic, Microsoft, Truvia, KARE 11, myTalk 107.1, TPT and MSP Magazine.

Check out these messages from some of the speakers too!

Basic RGB

U.S. Bank has teamed up with Moms Rock! Expo to create and sell this exclusive Military Moms Rock! T-Shirt! 100% of the proceeds benefit military families. The goal is to support Operation Shower; an organization that provides baby essentials and organizes group baby showers for expectant moms whose husbands or partners are or will be deployed during the pregnancy.

2015-01-23_9-16-12

Moms Rock! Expo is May 2, {10 a.m.–5 p.m.} and May 3 {10 a.m.–4 p.m.} at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Exhibit Hall D. #momsrockexpo

The Main Keynote Speakers for the event are Tamera Mowry-Housley, Jaime Primak Sullivan and Lee Woodruff. These speakers and others can be viewed here.

So, grab your gal pals & mommy friends & save the date for a weekend of fun, inspiration, tips, tools and resources that will help all moms’ lives EASIER. Tickets available here.

Connect with them:

I hope to see you there!

In fact, one of my lucky readers will be winning a 4 pack for themselves so they can attend the expo with three of their friends!

*Open to the US only. Winner is responsible for any travel or lodging needed.  Giveaway ends 3/31/15 at 11:59pm CDT.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends Mar 31st at 11:59 PM CDT. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to US, 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Comfort in Sorrow – Remembering Amy Hild

Yum

 

Comfort in Sorrow

Remembering Amy Hild

Comfort in Sorrow - Remembering Amy Hild #AmyHild #ModernRuralLiving #NorthIowaBloggers

Laura, Jeni, Me, Alicia, Sara, Laura, and Amy

The fourth Wednesday morning of the month started out just like it does every month.  We had Social Media Breakfast in Mason City.  In fact that’s where most of the North Iowa bloggers met and then we grew from there.  We looked forward to learning and discussing social media every month.  It was a common interest we all shared. This past Weds was not like the other Weds though. It took a tragic turn that none of us saw coming and it’s still hard to believe.

Comfort in Sorrow - Remembering Amy Hild #AmyHild #ModernRuralLiving #NorthIowaBloggers

Amy Elizabeth Hild – September 9, 1987 – February 25, 2015

The breakfast was over and a few of us were still talking. Amy waited for me to tell me that the roads were getting bad and we should head home.  We hugged and walked each other to our cars …. I made it home and she never did. She was tragically killed in a car accident.  My friend Laura called me crying and I knew what she was going to tell me. I. Was. Devastated.

Comfort in Sorrow - Remembering Amy Hild #AmyHild #ModernRuralLiving #NorthIowaBloggers

Back (L to R) Alicia, Jeni, Me, Amy Front (L to R) Katie, Sara, Beth Ann Photo Credit: Deb Brown

Amy was not just one of my fellow North Iowa bloggers. She was so MUCH more!

Comfort in Sorrow - Remembering Amy Hild #AmyHild #ModernRuralLiving #NorthIowaBloggers

I seemed to be glued to her Facebook profile all day Wednesday. I kept refreshing it, hoping it had all been a terrible mistake and waiting for her to post something. As I glanced through her pics I have never been so thankful for selfies!

Comfort in Sorrow - Remembering Amy Hild #AmyHild #ModernRuralLiving #NorthIowaBloggers

Amy loved supporting the Cupid’s Undie Run

Amy was so full of life! She had a smile that was contagious and she could make any one smile. A group of friends sat around together yesterday afternoon and again in the evening sharing stories and memories about Amy. We laughed and we cried. Amy lived her life more fully than some 80 and 90 year olds. She was such an example of how to live life to the fullest and how to treat others.

Comfort in Sorrow - Remembering Amy Hild #AmyHild #ModernRuralLiving #NorthIowaBloggers

Amy photobombing Katy, Beth Ann, “flat Donna”, and “flat Laura”

A local paper wrote a beautiful story on Amy here.  I kept replaying Weds morning over and over. I asked the questions, what if I packed up quicker, what if I stayed and chatted longer, and more.  I couldn’t quite grasp reality, in fact I’m not sure if I totally do yet. It just doesn’t seem real.

Comfort in Sorrow - Remembering Amy Hild #AmyHild #ModernRuralLiving #NorthIowaBloggers

Spenser & Amy Photo Credit: Seneca Epley

Last night some of us attended a prayer service for Amy’s family and fiancé, Spenser. Yes, she was going to be married May 15 of this year.  She was so excited too! She loved him so much and talked about him constantly.  She already had Amy Gruis printed on her notebook in anticipation. She had even found the perfect dress.

Comfort in Sorrow - Remembering Amy Hild #AmyHild #ModernRuralLiving #NorthIowaBloggers

Amy and I at Kelly Gau Studio

3 weeks ago Amy and I were crafting together at Kelly Gau Studio and check out what we made.

Comfort in Sorrow - Remembering Amy Hild #AmyHild #ModernRuralLiving #NorthIowaBloggers

Photo Credit: Kelly Gau

Did you read it? We made these 3 weeks ago! Kelly did a beautiful post on it.  I cried this morning. Again.

Comfort in Sorrow - Remembering Amy Hild #AmyHild #ModernRuralLiving #NorthIowaBloggers

Sunset 2/25/15, Mason City, IA Photo Credit: Unknown

Another friend of Amy’s posted this Wednesday night after her accident.

Comfort in Sorrow - Remembering Amy Hild #AmyHild #ModernRuralLiving #NorthIowaBloggers

We went to a painting party last month. Back (L to R) Amy, Katy, Laura, and Mary Front (L to R) Me, Alicia, Jeni, and Jen 

Waves of emotions crash over me – sadness and numbness seem to be constant.  Even in the pain though the feeling and emotion that is loudest is comfort.

Comfort in Sorrow - Remembering Amy Hild #AmyHild #ModernRuralLiving #NorthIowaBloggers

God knew Amy’s last day would be Wednesday.

A man’s days are numbered. You know the number of his months. He cannot live longer than the time You have set. Job 14:5

Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. Psalm 90:12

You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:16

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is. Psalm 39:4

Comfort in Sorrow - Remembering Amy Hild #AmyHild #ModernRuralLiving #NorthIowaBloggers

Making wreaths together (front to back) Alicia, Amy, Me, Beth Ann, Val, and Jeni

God also knew she’d be leaving behind a fiancé, family, and friends that would be hurting.

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:12

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Cor 1: 3-4

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

amy hild bright light Comfort in Sorrow - Remembering Amy Hild #AmyHild #ModernRuralLiving #NorthIowaBloggers

Amy is going to be so missed! It truly won’t be the same with out her, but I am so thankful for the time I was able to spend with her.  I rejoice in the fact that I’ll see her again.

Amy’s Obituary

Amy Hild Memorial Fund

Tribute Wall

What Happened

Amy’s Blog

Have a post about Amy? Please feel free to add it to the linky below.



It just tastes better with Yoplait Greek 100 Whips! yogurts

Yum

 

Screen-Shot-2015-01-08-at-6.00.18-PM

It just tastes better with Yoplait Greek 100 Whips! yogurts

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 2.15.35 PM

I love eating yogurt for breakfast and having it when I’m craving a sweet treat.  I’m really excited about Yoplait’s newest addition to their tasty family, Yoplait Greek 100 Whips! They are a light and fluffy yogurt experience like no other.

You can find Yoplait Greek 100 Whips! yogurts at your local retailer. In fact, here’s a coupon for you so you can save on your purchase.

Not only do I love the taste, but I absolutely love the recipe ideas from Yoplait.

e5efc202-388c-42b4-9273-bb2f4095236d

For example, check out this awesome Berry Salad with Strawberry Whips.  It’s tasty and low calorie.  It’s also super easy to make!  I love that it keeps me on track with a healthy diet.  I happen to have a sweet tooth and this does great at satisfying it.  This is a great option for a snack or dessert.

Not only do I like the flavors under the lid, I like what they put under the lid:

We did it! Thanks to you, Yoplait Light now has no aspartame. We heard you loud and clear that you did not want aspartame in Yoplait Light and so because of you, and all your tweets, emails, posts, calls and letters, we took it out. But we did it without compromising Yoplait Light’s delicious taste, flavor variety or 90 calorie benefit. You’ll find it on store shelves with a special blue lid. Thanks for your help in making Yoplait Light better than ever.

It comes in many tasty flavors.  It’s great for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and dessert!  My favorites right now are lemon meringue and strawberry cheesecake.  I’m also pretty fond of the black cherry and blueberry.  Actually I haven’t had a flavor I didn’t like ;)

Are you drooling yet?  Sit down, explore the recipes, the product flavors, and download a coupon!

Signature Donna

donnahup disclosure button

 

Don’t be Embarrassed – It’s time to remove the stigma #UnderAwareness

Yum

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 3.31.48 PM

Don’t be Embarrassed – It’s time to remove the stigma #UnderAwareness Screen-Shot-2014-09-06-at-8.20.14-AM

Are you one of the over 65 million Americans experience bladder leakage?  It’s nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about, in fact it affects 1 in 4 Americans.  I used to think it was funny when my mommy used to sneeze or laugh and go running to the bathroom.  She never thought it was funny and now that I’m going through the same thing I realize it’s not funny at all.

peeing-yourself

1 in 4 means that it’s affecting 25% of our population. That’s a lot of people!  To help support them and bring the condition and Depend Underwear out of hiding, Depend has created a new social movement and charitable cause called Underwareness.  Depend will donate $1, up to $3 million, over the next three years to charities that advance the research, education and awareness of bladder leakage for: Every pant drop, photo and video shared. Using #Underwareness and #DropYourPants; and every personal video made about what Underwareness means to you that is uploaded to YouTube and tagged #Underwareness and #DropYourPants.

underwareness-hed-2014

Here are some truths about bladder leakage and Depend:
• Depend is not just for old people! Depend is for all ages and bladder leakage is a common condition affecting 65 million people.
• More people with bladder leakage are in their 20’s than their 80’s.
• The average age of someone with bladder leakage is 52!
• More people with bladder leakage are 50 or younger than 60 or older.
• Depend is thin and comfortable to wear, it is not a big, bulky diaper!
• You shouldn’t be afraid to wear Depend! Millions of people experience bladder leakage and it’s ok to reach for a thin, comfortable option. You no longer need to think that Depend garments are for people with a condition that is ‘way worse than mine.’

It’s time to break down the stigma associated with bladder leakage and Depend Underwear to help people with the condition feel less alone.

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 1.02.11 PM

Don’ be afraid to turn to Depend for a thin and comfortable option for a common condition that affects millions of people! In fact, you can get your free sample here.

Depend will be donate $1, up to $3 million, over the next three years to charities that advance the research, education and awareness of bladder leakage for:
– Every pant drop, photo and video shared Using #Underwareness and #DropYourPants; and
– Every personal video made about what Underwareness means to you that is uploaded to YouTube and tagged #Underwareness and #DropYourPants

Signature Donna

donnahup disclosure button

Let’s Get Fired Up and Show Cancer who’s Boss!

Yum

 

Let’s Get Fired Up and Show Cancer who’s Boss!

Let's Get Fired Up and Show Cancer who's Boss! Brett Boss fundraiser

I don’t really post a lot of things like this and I’ve never written a post about it, but this one really shook me up. It hit close to home.  You see, I have a friend who’s name is Danielle. I go to church with her, I have one of her kids in Sunday School, we were in a life group together, and I spent all day at the fair with her, her sister, and her kids this past fall. Then just before Christmas I find out that her husband has been diagnosed with cancer. The news left me breathless and in tears. I can’t imagine hearing this news about my husband. They have two kids (ages 5 and 7). I Can. Not. Imagine.  Yet it’s real and it’s happening.

His name is Brett. He’s not just my friend’s husband, but he’s a dad and a fireman.  He’s a great guy.  He is loved by our church family and community and that is why I’m posting to share about a benefit we’re having for him and his family.

Let me back up a moment – On Dec. 18 Brett Boss was diagnosed with stage 4, Ewing’s Sarcoma. It is a rare cancer that is normally only in children and ususally starts in the bone. Because it is rare there isn’t as much research or data on it as other more common cancers. The treatment is going to have to be aggressive and he’s currently receiving chemo treatments.

Now, onto the benefit.  I’ve posted the pic above, but there is a benefit being held to help out him and his amazing family. It’s being held at the Moose Lodge in Albert Lea,Minnesota (1623 West Main St-Skyline Plaza, Albert Lea, Minnesota 56007) on Saturday, Feb 28th from 3pm to 8pm. $8 will get you a Burger Basket. There will also be a bake sale, raffle, and auction. The proceeds from the benefit will be used to offset medical costs.

What can you do to help? Show up if you’re in the area. If you’re not in the area you can still send donations.  He also has a CaringBridge page.

Cancer is an ugly thing. Please help us get fired up and show cancer who’s Boss!

Signature Donna

Sync up your New Year’s resolution to stay on track #BetterMoments

Yum

 

US Cellular disclaimer Sync up your New Year’s resolution to stay on track #BetterMoments

Sync up your New Year’s resolution to stay on track

#BetterMoments

2015 Sync up your New Year’s resolution to stay on track #BetterMoments

It’s hard to believe it’s already 2015!  As we start on our journey through 2015 here are a few ways to sync up your New Year’s resolutions so that you stay on track! All through December I heard people making their resolutions for the New Year. Unfortunately now in January I’m hearing a lot of people saying they have broken their resolutions.  The good news is they may be able to increase their chances of achieving their goals by just by using their smartphone or tablet to keep on track with their resolutions.

logo us cellular Sync up your New Year’s resolution to stay on track #BetterMoments

Families are already relying on technology in their daily lives. U.S. Cellular is happy to help people leverage the available technology to enhance and simplify their lives so they can enjoy better moments with family and friends over the New Year and all year long.

Today’s technology and smartphones, such as the iPhone 6, offer a variety of apps and products to help keep users on track and increase the likelihood of sticking with any resolution throughout the year. In fact, recent survey findings by Prosper Mobile Insights indicate more than one in four U.S. smartphone or tablet owners plan to use their smart mobile device to help them keep on track with their resolutions.

Sync up your New Year’s resolution to stay on track #BetterMoments

The Runtastic Six Pack app is great for those looking to lose weight or get in shape. This free app allows users to work out from home by creating custom work outs with a virtual personal trainer which will show users the proper way to do new exercises.  This is one that I really like. I live in a really small town and the closest gym is at least 20 miles away. I love that I can work out in my own home.

UP24 by Jawbone Sync up your New Year’s resolution to stay on track #BetterMoments

The Runtastic Six Pack and its 50 workout videos can also be paired with the UP by Jawbonea fitness wristband. It can track what you eat, any activities throughout the day and your sleeping habits, then suggest small changes that will help you reach your goals. I’ve noticed that now that I am tracking what I put in my mouth it really makes me more aware. Because of that I am choosing healthier snacking options.

Sync up your New Year’s resolution to stay on track #BetterMoments

Getting organized is another popular resolution, and we all know how hard it can be. The Any.Do app is an award winner that’s perfect for enhancing any to-do list. The app allows you to create lists of tasks that need to be completed and organize them by category and importance. You can set alarms and also easily sync your tasks from your mobile to your desktop to help stay on top of any to-do list, no matter where you are.  I am very excited to start using this one. I make all sorts of lists to help me get my work done.

Sync up your New Year’s resolution to stay on track #BetterMoments

Many people resolve to see more of their family members throughout the year. The GroupMe app allows everyone in the family to stay in touch and make plans, no matter where in the country they are located. This app allows users to create several groups in which each member can share events, photos, videos and texts.  This would be a great app to use for party planning.

Sync up your New Year’s resolution to stay on track #BetterMoments

Another one is the Check app. This free app allows users to link bills, bank accounts and credit cards. The app then notifies users of when a payment is coming up and even lets users set up automatic payments.

Those looking for help sticking with some of the most common New Year’s resolutions can use U.S. Cellular’s 4G LTE network, with speeds of up to 10 times faster than 3G to download some of these helpful apps onto their smartphones and tablets.

Thinking of getting your kids a cellphone? Here is a free Parent Child Agreement that really helps start that conversation.

Signature Donna Sync up your New Year’s resolution to stay on track #BetterMoments

donnahup disclosure button Sync up your New Year’s resolution to stay on track #BetterMoments

Don’t Laugh … or Sneeze #UnderAwareness

Yum

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 3.31.48 PM

Don’t Laugh … or sneeze

#UnderAwareness #DropYourPants

 

I am one of four children and my poor mother would go running to the bathroom every time she sneezed.  I thought it was hilarious.  Now in my 30’s unfortunately I know exactly how she feels and suddenly I don’t find it very funny at all.  Often if I laugh to hard it sends me to the bathroom too.  It’s terrible and as I talk to my friends it turns out I’m not alone. If I’m not alone, why is it so embarrassing to talk about? It shouldn’t be.

Screen-Shot-2014-09-06-at-8.20.14-AM

Did you know that 1 in 4 Americans for one reason or another experiences bladder leakage? That’s 25%!  Depend has come up with a campaign to “Drop your Pants” for Underwareness.  I’ll be honest, when I think of Depend I used to think it was basically a big bulky diaper for “old people” – like in their 80’s.  I could not be more wrong.

Depend is for people of all ages and bladder leakage is a condition that affects millions of people. I’ve also learned that Depend provides discreet products that help people regain their freedom and get their lives back. Depend is not a bulky diaper, it is a thin and comfortable solution.

You can try Depend for yourself and request your free sample here!

Here are a few surprising truths about bladder leakage:

  • More people with bladder leakage are in their 20’s than their 80’s
  • The average age of someone with bladder leakage is only 52!
  • More people with bladder leakage are 50 or younger than 60 or older!

Drop Your Pants for Underwareness is both a social movement and a charitable cause. Depend will be donating $1, up to $3 million, over the next three years to charities that advance the research, education and awareness of bladder leakage! It will donate $1 for each of the following:

  • Every pant drop, photo and video shared Using #Underwareness and #DropYourPants
  • Every personal video made about what Underwareness means to you that is uploaded to YouTube and tagged #Underwareness and #DropYourPants

You can join the movement and request free samples of Depend by heading here.

donnahup disclosure button

Inspire Others

Yum

 

generic compensation disclosure Inspire Others  #hylandsinspire #inspiration

 

Inspire Others

#hylandsinspire

newyears2015-toppageheader Inspire Others  #hylandsinspire #inspiration
“Inspiration tells you anything is possible. Comparison tells you everything is impossible.” – Jon Acuff
I feel like a lot of time my generation and especially the one coming up behind are very critical and insist on showing each other up. There’s nothing wrong with sharing exciting things and accomplishments, but doing it with wrong intentions is different. I remember a saying I grew up with
“Don’t blow my candle out to make yours burn brighter” – Unknown
I’m excited about Hyland’s goal of inspiring 100,000 throughout the month of January. I think it’s a great idea and a great theme to start out 2015 with.  How great would it be if everyone started encouraging and inspiring others?  It’s something small and could totally make the world a better place!  This is also something that can be done in your every day life with those around you and on social media. I believe in being kind to others ALWAYS.
Inspire Others  #hylandsinspire #inspiration
I truly believe in living life to the fullest. I get inspired by others that do the same. Life is short and I believe that you should not let fear hold you back.  I’m not afraid to try new things. If I fall down, I get up and try again. My life has been nothing short of exciting.
Inspire Others  #hylandsinspire #inspiration
I also have six munchkins that bring me inspiration. My nephews and nieces are between 1 and 11 years old. I love spending time with them and living in the same freedom as a child.  They aren’t worried about being cool (yet) and they just have fun. We have so much fun together.
Now it’s your turn! I want to know what inspires you, please share it with me in the comments below and make sure to join the Hyland’s goal to inspire 100,000 people. There will be 31 winners who get Hyland’s products and one grand prize winner who will receive a $200 VISA Gift Card!
donnahup disclosure button Inspire Others  #hylandsinspire #inspiration

 

Getting through the Holidays with the help of Plan Z

Yum

 

donnahup Plan Z disclaimer Getting through the Holidays with the help of Plan Z  #lowcarb #LCHF #diet #planz

Getting through the Holidays with the help of Plan Z

Getting through the Holidays with the help of Plan Z Getting through the Holidays with the help of Plan Z  #lowcarb #LCHF #diet #planz

 

Can you believe that Christmas is less than two weeks away?  I feel like 2014 has flown by.  I’ve been in the midwest for almost two years and I absolutely loved my very first white Christmas last year.  As magical as it was I’m really excited to see decorated palm trees and wear flip flops this year.  Myles and I are heading south for Christmas to spend it in Florida with my Dad, sisters, and their family.  We are so excited!

I know that for my family, Christmas means family and lots of food. Unfortunately that means large quantities of  food that really aren’t good for me. My sisters can cook and it’s usually delicious and also full of carbs.  I’ve worked so hard to lose weight that I do not want to mess it up by eating too much and eating stuff that is fattening.

While on Plan Z I’ve learned to stay away from trigger foods.  I don’t want to feel sluggish and pack on the pounds.  In order to stay away from all the not good for me food I’ll be eating lots of vegetables before heading to Christmas dinner.  By arriving with a full stomach it will make the goodies less tempting. I’ll also be drinking a lot of water to keep me feeling full while at dinner.

My biggest secret weapon though is that I’m bringing an amazing Baked Spinach and Artichoke Dip! It’s totally a comfort food totally none of  the guilt. I know it will be tasty and I’m not even planning on telling anyone it’s also on my diet – that’s how good this is!

Plan Z has not only helped me lose weight but I feel better. I feel better for so many reasons.  First, there is less of me.  Extra weight slowed me down and I just felt blah. Weighing less has given me more energy. This is an added bonus as I’ll be playing with my nephews and nieces over the Christmas break and I’ll need to keep up with them.

Second, I just feel better overall.  I’m sleeping better and feeling better in general. I’m sure that has to do with the lost weight and the extra energy.  I’m not sure what your results will be, I can only tell you what I’ve experienced.

Are you ready to change your life and lose weight like I have? Do you want more information? Head on over to Plan Z Diet and watch their video to find out more.

Connect with Plan Z:

Signature Donna Getting through the Holidays with the help of Plan Z  #lowcarb #LCHF #diet #planz

donnahup disclosure button Getting through the Holidays with the help of Plan Z  #lowcarb #LCHF #diet #planz

7 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Yum

 

7 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Holidays #LivingSocial #giftguide #shopping

7 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Holidays

7 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Holidays #LivingSocial #giftguide #shopping

Do you have any one in the family that has everything? If there’s something they want they buy it.  What about a friend or mom you want to surprise but aren’t sure what they like.  I love the idea of giving an experiences.  I’ve found lots of unique gift ideas over at the LivingSocial Gift Shop. Here are 7 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Holidays!

7 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Holidays #LivingSocial #giftguide #shopping

1. A 2 Hour Paint Night Painting Event

I’ve been to several painting parties and they are so much fun!  They are able to make just about anyone look like an awesome painter and you have a piece of artwork you can hang in your home.  This is a great idea for a friend or sibling.  We did this for part of my sister’s bachelorette party.

7 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Holidays #LivingSocial #giftguide #shopping

2. Formula or Speedway Driving Experience

Have a guy in your life that you’re not sure what to get for? How about an amazing driving experience. My husband would love to get into one of these race cars with a pro. I’m pretty sure this also applies to my dad, brothers, nephews, and pretty much all the guys I know.

7 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Holidays #LivingSocial #giftguide #shopping

3. A Visit to a Planetarium or Museum

Have a family that you’re buying for. These are not only fun but educational gifts.  We gave a friend of ours and her girls an annual trip to the zoo this year so they could hang out and create memories.

7 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Holidays #LivingSocial #giftguide #shopping

4. Wellness Spa or Massage

Know a single mom or anyone that works hard? How about the gift of relaxation? They most likely would not buy this for themselves, but would certainly benefit from one! This is one I’d really enjoy too.

7 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Holidays #LivingSocial #giftguide #shopping

5. A Wine Tasting for Two

This would be great for you and a girlfriend or even a couples night.  I could get this for my sister and her husband and even throw in free babysitting so they could enjoy their afternoon or evening together.

7 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Holidays #LivingSocial #giftguide #shopping

6. Lift Passes at a Ski Resort

This is a great idea for just about anyone.  We always have so much fun on ski days.  It’s a lot of fun and a great way to get in exercise.

7 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Holidays #LivingSocial #giftguide #shopping

7. Tickets to a Comedy Show or Concert

These are always fun to personalize.  Do you know someone who is a die hard fan for a certain band? Concert tickets make a great gift!

The older I get (I’m in my 30’s) I realize that often times gadgets break, clothes fade, and technology seems to change almost daily.  As I look back I realize that some of my greatest memories are trips, concerts, vacations, and experiences I have shared with others. If you’re still looking for gifts for the holiday season or even for birthday or anniversary gifts consider the gift of experience!

Visit the LivingSocial Vlog where they talk about experiential gifting.

*All photos courtesy of LivingSocial

Signature Donna 7 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Holidays #LivingSocial #giftguide #shopping

donnahup disclosure button 7 Experiential Gift Ideas for the Holidays #LivingSocial #giftguide #shopping

Help me pick out a Dress

Yum

 

donnahup Plan Z disclaimer Help me pick out a Dress #lowcarb #LCHF #planz

Help me pick out a Dress

Red carpet Help me pick out a Dress #lowcarb #LCHF #planz

One of the highlights of last year for me was attending the red carpet premier for both Thor Dark World and Delivery Man.  They were amazing opportunities and I’m so excited to say that I’ve been invited to Los Angeles again! I’ve been on the Plan Z diet now for just over a month and I am feeling fabulous.  One of the numerous reasons that I wanted to lose weight is to look good.  Yes it sounds shallow, but it is honest.  While I’m there I’ll also be attending a live show of Dancing with the Stars!

I’ve been feeling so great and love that I’m wearing smaller sizes. I decided to head into town last week and start searching for a dress. I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to look good in a shorter dress! I always felt like they were just colorful potato sacks.  In fact I had such a great time shopping for a dress I bought two! I need your help with making a choice.  Here are the two dresses I’m trying to choose between:

dresses vote Help me pick out a Dress #lowcarb #LCHF #planz

[yop_poll id=”2″]

I’d love to get your opinions in the comments below as well.  I will be in LA in 2 weeks and I’ll post a picture live of me wearing the dress. I also can’t wait to show you how much weight of lost!

Are you ready to change your life and lose with me? Do you want more information? Head on over to Plan Z Diet and watch their  video to find out more.

Connect with Plan Z:

Signature Donna Help me pick out a Dress #lowcarb #LCHF #planz

donnahup disclosure button Help me pick out a Dress #lowcarb #LCHF #planz

My Leather Jacket of Inspiration

Yum

 

donnahup Plan Z disclaimer My Leather Jacket of Inspiration Plan Z #PlanZ #diet #lowcarb #LCHF

My Leather Jacket of Inspiration

I’ve told you last week about how I started my weight loss journey. I am very happy to share with you that I am down 14 pounds! In fact, here’s a picture from this past weekend when I was in California. Not only can I wear pants I have not been able to in years, but I can tell in my face that I’m losing weight.

My Leather Jacket of Inspiration Plan Z #PlanZ #diet #lowcarb #LCHF

While I shared some of the reasons I wanted to lose weight I also wanted to share with you some of the things that inspire me. Yes, I love wearing smaller clothes and yes I want to wear cute clothes again, but the truth is I’m a sugar addict.  I went through some major withdrawal and I’m learning to appreciate the natural sweetness of fruits.  I do have to be intentional though and not even bring sugary treats in the house.  I’m also learning to make healthier dessert options so I get that “sweetness” I crave with out eating things that are not good for me. I’ll be sharing a delicious fall dessert with you soon!

My Leather Jacket of Inspiration Plan Z #PlanZ #diet #lowcarb #LCHF

One of the first gifts that my husband gave me after we were married was a black leather jacket. We’d wear them out everywhere together. It was comfy and it kept me warm.  About 5 years ago it was a little bit more snug.  I can’t even get it on now.  My husband still wears his. He has offered to buy me another one but I really want to wear the original jacket I received 8 years ago.  I keep it hanging on my closet door and think about how nice it will look on me when it fits.

My Leather Jacket of Inspiration Plan Z #PlanZ #diet #lowcarb #LCHF

I have found seeing older pictures of me wearing my jacket inspire me too. I can’t wait until it fits again!  What do you do that inspires you to stick with your goals?

Are you ready to change your life and lose with me? Do you want more information? Head on over to Plan Z Diet and watch their  video to find out more.

Connect with Plan Z:

Signature Donna My Leather Jacket of Inspiration Plan Z #PlanZ #diet #lowcarb #LCHF

donnahup disclosure button My Leather Jacket of Inspiration Plan Z #PlanZ #diet #lowcarb #LCHF