7 Tips For A Stress-Free Moving Day

Found a new house? Moving to a new home can be exciting, a fresh start with a world of possibilities opening up before you, but the actual packing and moving part can be a huge headache if you don’t take the time to plan for it correctly. There’s so much to do and think about when you’re moving from one house to another, and it’s easy to get bogged down in the details and do things on autopilot when there might be simpler, smarter, more efficient ways that will cut down on the stress and labor involved. If you’re looking at moving soon, here’s a few things to keep in mind that can help make your moving day as smooth and enjoyable as it can be!


  1. Do a pre-move. Before the actual moving starts, clean up the kitchen and bathrooms in your new home and stock them with some essentials: toilet paper, a shower curtain, a bath mat, paper towels, garbage bags, cleaning supplies. Also, pack an overnight bag of the things you need to feel normal, like if you were going away for a weekend trip. Every family member should have their own personal bag packed up like this. With these things set up and ready, you’ll feel much more comfortable and prepared in your new place to stop and take a break for self-care when you need to, and you won’t have to scramble to search through your packed boxes or rush to the store to get basic supplies.


  1. Go label crazy. Label the tops and sides of boxes. Label what’s in them, and what room they should go in. Color code them. The more you label, the better the chance nothing will get misplaced and everything will end up where it’s supposed to be. Nobody who has moved was ever sorry that they labeled things too much.


  1. Who needs bubble wrap? Popping the bubble wrap may be the best part of moving as far as the kids are concerned, but you can save on wrap and pack more efficiently by using your clothing to cushion the fragile items you’re packing. You can even stuff stemware or other small breakable items in your socks to keep them secured.


  1. Before moving day comes purge day. Before you start packing everything up and hauling it to your new home, get rid of absolutely everything you don’t want to start spending the rest of your life with. Clothes that don’t fit? Toys the kids don’t play with anymore? Busted furniture? Appliances you haven’t used in years? Donate them if they’re in good shape and throw out everything that’s junk. Motivate yourself by scheduling a garbage or donation pickup. The less you have to pack, the easier your move will be, and the less clutter you’ll have at your new place.


  1. Seek professional help. It’s tempting to think you can save money by calling in favors, renting a van, and doing all the moving yourself with the help of your friends and family, but hiring a moving company to do the heavy lifting and driving for you can make a world of difference when it comes to having an easy moving day. A reputable company with lots of experience will know exactly what they’re doing and can blow your mind with how fast they’ll get everything moved, and when you factor in all the time and costs you’ll have to cover if you move yourself, it can make good money sense too.


  1. Take lots of pictures. Before the moving starts and everything gets packed up, your camera can be your best friend. Take pictures of how the cords on your electronics are set up. Take pictures of your most valuable belongings in case anything gets lost or damaged and you need to file an insurance claim. Take pictures of your most important documents and paperwork in case they get misplaced.


  1. Don’t fill up your fridge. Moving perishable food? That’s the last thing you need to deal with! You don’t want to have to throw away perfectly good food either, so for the last week or two before you move, try to stop buying food that needs to be refrigerated when you go to the grocery store.


The internet is full of great tricks for finding creative ways to pack things, so if you take the time to research you can find all kinds of other ingenious ways to make your move cheaper, safer, and more efficient. The main thing is to make a plan and a checklist and keep yourself organized so you can deal with the mishaps and unexpected surprises of moving day with grace and confidence. Once you’re in your new home, all the trouble will have been worth it!


REVIEW: Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

Best Day Ever

by Kaira Rouda



Book Description

I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I’ve promised her…and more…

Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion. In the bestselling, page-turning vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.




Best Day Ever
by Kaira Rouda

Ohhhh man. Paul Strom is one creepy dude. Control issues doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Paul is a middle aged man married to a younger, beautiful wife. They live in the suburbs with two boys and he works for a huge advertising company. Paul is taking his wife Mia away for the weekend to their cottage on Lake Erie, and he has promised both her and himself that this will be the BEST DAY EVER.

I will never be able to hear those words again without an ominous tone behind them.

I truly cannot give the specifics in this review that I want to, because the delicious details that unfold in this book are what kept me turning the pages until my eyes were drooping. The story starts off with Paul and Mia on a road trip on their way to their cottage. Alone time for the couple is at a premium because they have two young boys and Mia is a stay at home mother, but Paul has planned every single detail and he is not a man that likes it when things don’t go his way. As the day passes, we learn more about the truth behind this seemingly perfect couple and just what exactly Paul is willing to do to keep his life just the way he wants it.

I can’t stress this enough–from the beginning of the book, I knew there was something off with Paul. The story is told from his point of view, and you quickly get the sense of what kind of man he is. He has pictured his life a certain way, and does everything in his power to get it. Mia, for her part, is a good wife and mother to her two boys. She was young when she fell for Paul’s charms and soon married him, but the past ten years with him have slowly opened her eyes to the truth.

I read this book SO FAST because I knew something was coming, but I didn’t know what. The author is not so subtle with the foreshadowing, but it works to help set the sinister tone of the day for Paul and Mia.

The only thing I had some issue with was the ending, as it seemed a bit anticlimactic, but the more I think about what occurred, the more it seems realistic. The uncertainly is certainly relatable for a lot of women, and chilling.

Best Day Ever is recommended for any reader who likes a story where they’re not quite sure where they will end up, but they know the ride to get there will be exhilarating.

View all my reviews


About the Author

Kaira Rouda is a USA TODAY bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary fiction. Her debut novel, Here, Home, Hope, was the Winner of the Indie Excellence Book Award in Mainstream/Literary Fiction, Winner of the USA Book Awards in the Women’s Fiction category and received Honorable Mention in Mainstream/Literary Fiction for the Writer’s Digest Book Awards. Her novel, The Goodbye Year, which was released in May 2016, was Redbook Magazine’s “20 Best Books You Absolutely Must Read This Spring.”  Kaira’s latest novel, Best Day Ever, is one of the major launch titles for Harlequin’s new imprint Graydon House, and will be available on September 19, 2017.

Kaira is also the author of Real You Incorporated: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs and the creator of Real Living, one of the nation’s most successful real estate brands and the first national women-focused brand in real estate. She has given speeches to both women and men’s entrepreneurial conferences and programs across the country on the power of women as consumers and in the world. Kaira was named Best Entrepreneur from the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and was also recognized in Entrepreneur magazine’s inaugural Top 50 fastest-growing, women-led companies list.

In addition to her many entrepreneurial and literary accomplishments, Kaira is very active in both her native Ohio community and in her community in Southern California, where she now resides. Her philanthropic pursuits began when she founded Central Ohio’s first homeless shelter for families when she was twenty-five years old, and Kaira has since received numerous awards for her civic service.

Kaira’s family includes her husband of 28 years, her four kids, and her two spoiled dogs. She lives in Southern California and is at work on her next novel. After living in Columbus, Ohio, for most of her life, she now enjoys the beach whenever possible.

Connect with Kaira Rouda
Website: wwww.KairaRouda.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/KairaRoudaBooks
Twitter: @KairaRouda / Instagram: @KairaRouda / Pinterest: @KairaRouda

COMING SOON: Goodbye Christopher Robin–Opens October 13

GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN gives a rare glimpse into the relationship between beloved children’s author A. A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin, whose toys inspired the magical world of Winnie the Pooh. Along with his mother Daphne, and his nanny Olive (Kelly Macdonald), Christopher Robin and his family are swept up in the international success of the books; the enchanting tales bringing hope and comfort to England after the First World War. But with the eyes of the world on Christopher Robin, what will the cost be to the family?

I am thrilled to share with you this EXCLUSIVE clip from the film!

REVIEW: The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel

The One That Got Away

by Melissa Pimentel

Chick Lit/Romance/Retelling

Book Description

Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren’t.

Now, ten years later, Ruby is single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There’s barely time for a trip to England for her little sister’s wedding. And there’s certainly not time to think about what it will be like to see Ethan again, who just so happens to be the best man.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can’t help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago. Because there is nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past . . .


The One That Got Away
by Melissa Pimentel
So, here’s where I admit I have never finished a Jane Austen novel. Yes, unheard of! A sin for a reader such as myself. I just never could get into them, and that’s that. So the fact that this book is being pushed as a retelling of Persuasion is really of little consequence to me…because I don’t know what happened in that book 🙂

It did take me quite a while to become invested in this novel, to be honest. The main character, Ruby, is a 30-something career woman living in New York City who is burned out by her advertising job and has been single since her breakup with Ethan, 10 years prior.

The Ethan in question is now a successful app creator and worth millions. He and Ruby have been forced into being near one another again because Ethan’s best friend is marrying Ruby’s sister. The whole lot, along with parents, jet off to England and spend a week preparing for the wedding.

Ruby, as a person, is nerve wracking. She jumps to conclusions quickly, judges others, and sometimes thinks she’s better than those around her. She’s also self deprecating, and never in a charming way (if you believe there is such a thing). Ethan, on the other hand, is pretty much pleasant to everyone. He has become rich and successful but never waves his money around. Ruby, who hasn’t seen him in ten years but has built up her own reputation about him, goes back and forth between reviling him and feeling she still loves him.

The main problem I had with this book is that I did not feel any chemistry AT ALL between the main characters. The story of their relationship is told in flashbacks, from how they met to their eventual breakup. I felt more passion in the stories from 10 years prior than I did when Ruby and Ethan crossed paths during the wedding festivities. As it is in so many romance novels, each one assumes things about the other that keeps them from sharing their true feelings. Open communication, especially for people of their age, could go a long way.

This was a very light read, something to pass the time but I can’t say I will remember the specifics of it in a few weeks’ time. Maybe readers of Jane Austen will enjoy it more than I did.

View all my reviews

About the Author

MELISSA PIMENTEL grew up in a small town in Massachusetts in a house without cable and therefore much of her childhood was spent watching 1970s British comedy on public television. These days, she spends much of her time reading in the various pubs of Stoke Newington and engaging in a long-standing emotional feud with their disgruntled cat, Welles. She works in publishing.

New Dog? Here’s How To Make Your Home Pet Friendly

Getting a new dog is a great experience. You add a member to your home, one who will provide you with happiness, loyalty, and comfort. When you first get your dog, there are some things that you can do to make your home more pet-friendly. If you haven’t had a dog before, these suggestions are especially helpful. Give these few ideas a try, and hopefully you’ll find that your new dog fits right in.


Get Them Everything They Need

First, you’re going to need to pick up some supplies for you dog. You’ll need food, treats, some toys, and maybe a bed for them to lay on. Some owners choose to keep their dog in a crate when they aren’t home, so consider picking up one of these. If you’re unsure of what to get, the place where you got your dog will be able to provide you with some suggestions.


Place Gates To Block Off Certain Areas

There might be some areas of your home that you don’t want the dog to enter. Maybe it’s your bedroom, or a home office that you have set up. Or maybe you just want to keep your dog in one room, and not allow them to roam around unsupervised. To do this, you can place some gates around your home to block off certain areas. These gates are typically used for small children, but they work just as well on pets. Just be sure they are high enough that your dog can’t jump over, and securely fastened so your dog can’t knock them over.


Install A Fence Around Your Yard

While you’re blocking off areas, consider doing the same in your yard. Dogs love to run around outside, but you don’t want them to get loose and roam the neighborhood. A fence is a great option if you have the space, and provided your dog can’t jump over or dig underneath. You can also tie a rope to a tree, and attach the other end to your dog to ensure they don’t get too far. Another option is an electric fence, which goes underground and gives the dog a slight shock if they approach the boundary. It’ll take some training, but is a good option when a full fence is not available.


Use Artificial Grass

When your dog has to do it’s business, you don’t want your lawn to suffer the consequences. In many yards, dogs ruin the grass over time as nature calls. You spend a lot of time making sure your yard looks nice, and you don’t want the dog to ruin your nice landscaping. To prevent this, you could install some artificial grass. Fake grass pads for pets are a great option, as they allow your lawn to continue to look great, and they are tougher than normal grass, allowing dogs to dig into them. If you’re concerned about your lawn with your new dog, artificial grass is a great thing to consider.


Move Food To A Safe Location

Back inside, your dogs are going to try and get into everything. Before you let them loose around the home, make sure you move all of your food to a safer location. Keep it off the ground in your pantry, or out of bottom shelves. Dogs are crafty than you think, and if there is a way to get into the food, they’ll find it. Also keep your garbage in a safe place, at least until your dog is trained to stay away from it. You don’t want to come home and find your garbage all over the home.


Pick Up Cleaning Supplies

Finally, no matter how careful you are, eventually your dog is going to have an accident. When the time comes, you’ll want to have the correct supplies at home to take care of it. If left untreated, dog accidents can cause a stain, so it’s important to get them up as soon as you can. Always make sure you are stocked with pet stain remover, some extra paper towels, and maybe some air freshener for safe measures.


Making A Dog Feel At Home Is Easy

Before long, your new dog is going to feel quite at home with you. As long as you take some necessary precautions, you can make the transition and easy one for both you and the dog. There may be some growing pains along the way, or some accidents, but as you figure things out, it will become easier. Hopefully the above tips set you on the right path, and you and your new dog will have many years ahead of peaceful cohabitation.

5 Party Themes for Your Next Get Together

Are you looking for some innovative ideas for your next get together? There are countless party themes you can choose from that will be a hit with the right decorations and supplies. Spice up your next party with one of these 5 themes that will keep your friends and family entertained for hours.

Wine Tasting
Do you and your friends love wine? Why not turn your love of vino into a fun theme the next time you get together? Explore some new wines by asking each guest to bring their favorite bottle or two of wine to the party. Remind each person to make sure they have the bottle covered with a brown bag so that no one knows what kind of wine they brought. Place all the covered wines out on a table and number each bag of wine. Hand out wine glasses so all of your guests can participate in the tasting. Pass out pens and paper so that each person can write down the number of their favorite wine. At the end of the night tally up the votes to find out which wine guests preferred. A wine tasting party is a fun way to try new wines and get your guests involved. Don’t forget to serve cheese, chocolate and crackers! Consider serving some healthy appetizers and party food too.

Pizza Party
Who doesn’t like pizza? Do a pizza party right by making homemade dough. Encourage your guests to bring their favorite toppings or assign your guests toppings to bring to share. Each guest can build their own pizza pie with a variety of toppings of their choice. A pizza party is a great way to turn the food into the entertainment. Remember not to stress – pizza parties are the perfect time to talk to your guests and enjoy the evening.

Movie Night
A movie night is fun indoors in the winter months but can also be held outside under the stars in the summer. You can get creative with this theme depending on which movie you chose to show. If you play an 80’s movie, encourage everyone that attends wears their favorite 80’s attire such as leg warmers and stone washed jeans. Decorate your home with fun props and movie related décor. Set out blankets, pillows, candy and popcorn for your guests to create the perfect ambience for your movie night party.

Casino Night
Can you read your best friend’s poker face? Hosting a casino night is a great way to bring friends and family together for a fun evening of drinks and games. Depending on your group size, you can have multiple games going at once. Guests can play fan favorites like Poker and Texas Hold’em Poker – make the evening even more fun with real poker chips. A casino night is the perfect chance to bring out your competitive spirit at your next get together.

Sports Mania
When you can’t be at the stadium to cheer on your favorite team, bring the game to your place! Decorate your house with the team’s colors, posters, koozies and memorabilia. Serve your guests ballpark favorites like hot dogs, peanuts, and nachos. It will be twice as fun to celebrate with your friends when your team wins.
If you are looking for something different to do with your friends at your next get together, these simple ideas will deliver. Don’t let your next bash be like all of the others – make sure it’s the most happening party in town.

Planning a Rural Escape to Relax and Rejuvenate

Living in a busy urban area can take a toll on your nerves. You may find yourself frazzled, upset, and on edge a majority of time throughout the work week.

When the weekend comes, all you may want to do is get away and indulge in some peace and quiet. You can go online now to plan rural respites, Beavers Bend getaways, camping trips, and other escapes that you can look forward to as your work week comes to a close.


Scoping Out the Accommodations Online

As much as you may look forward to the quiet and solitude, you may not really want to rough it all weekend long. In fact, you may not be able to tolerate an entire day without some conveniences like WiFi and TV.

Before you book your stay, you can make sure all of the amenities that you want and need will be available to you in the cabin. The website is set up so that you can click on the pictures of the cabin interiors to get a close up view of what comforts await you when you arrive. You can make sure it all meets your satisfaction so that your stay is comfortable, fun, and the perfect amount of respite you need before going back to another busy work week in the city.

You may want to know what kind of amenities are available to you outside of your cabin at the resort. When you visit the business’s website, you can find out all of the available conveniences close to you as well as on-site. You may indulge in everything from eating at the local diners, shopping in nearby stores, or venturing out into the woods to do some fishing or swimming.

As much as you need a vacation, you may not want to spend a lot of money going out of town for the weekend. You can take advantage of special pricing and offers found on the website. These deals let you save money on booking a cabin. You get the same amenities and comforts as if you paid full price for your vacation package.

After you find the amenities and pricing you want, you can then select the cabin that best suits your needs. They come in a variety of sizes and layouts. They can fit a minimum of two people and up to four or five people in some cases. You can find a cabin with enough beds to accommodate you and any guests you plan to bring with you.


Choosing the Dates

The Oklahoma woods attract thousands of visitors each year. During the busy travel season, you may need to book a cabin well in advance to ensure that you have accommodations for the weekends you want to travel.

You can use the scheduling feature on the website to check availability and open dates. Based on when the cabins you want are open, you can plan to take time off from work to venture into the woods to relax and have fun.


Busy city life can wear you out and make you long for peace and quiet. You can find it as well as comforts and conveniences in the woods of Oklahoma when you explore and book a cabin stay package online today.

Help for Covering Acne Scars

A Step By Step Guide To Covering Acne Effectively


REVIEW: You’re All Kinds of Wonderful by Nancy Tillman

You’re All Kinds of Wonderful

by Nancy Tillman

Children’s Inspirational

We’re not all the same. Thank goodness we’re not.
Life would be boring, and I mean… a lot.

And so, when we’re born, we’re supplied at the start 
with our own bells and whistles to set us apart.

Think of your bells as the things you do best
things tucked away in your own treasure chest.

Part of growing up is discovering–and embracing–what makes us unique. From different abilities to different personalities, we are all wonderfully made with our own bells and whistles.


Not so much a bedtime story as a daily inspiration for children, You’re All Kinds of Wonderful is a book that would be a perfect addition to any child’s shelf.

As we grow and find out who we are, it takes learning, practice, and sometimes mistakes before we realize that we are one of a kind.  We are made like no other person, and should be like no other person on Earth.  I try to teach my boys that being different from others is a good thing and should be embraced!

This book has gorgeous, soft but lifelike illustrations and the colors are muted rather than stark and vibrant.  I love that children with disabilities and different ethnicities are included.  The animals are charming and your child is sure to find a favorite in these pictures.

You’re All Kinds of Wonderful is an amazing reminder to readers of all ages that being YOU is who you are meant to be, and that is just right for the world.


About the Author

Nancy Tillman created her first book, “On the Night You Were Born,” to convey to children at an early and impressionable age, “You are the one and only ever you.” Since then, Nancy has written and illustrated several bestselling books. She also illustrated It’s Time to Sleep, My Love, with Eric Metaxas. Together, Nancy’s books have sold in the millions. A former advertising executive, Tillman now writes and illustrates full-time.

Whether she is creating books that remind children of their own unique wonder, or teaching life lessons through an accident prone cat named Tumford, all of Nancy’s books feature one important message. You are loved. She lives in Tualatin, Oregon.





To purchase You’re All Kinds of Wonderful, please feel free to follow any of the links below:


COMING TO THEATERS: The Man Who Invented Christmas

The Man Who Invented Christmas tells of the magical journey that led to the creation of Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer), Tiny Tim and other classic characters from A Christmas Carol. Directed by Bharat Nalluri (MISS PETTIGREW LIVES FOR A DAY), the film shows how Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) mixed real life inspirations with his vivid imagination to conjure up unforgettable characters and a timeless tale, forever changing the holiday season into the celebration we know today.

Directed by Bharat Nalluri
Written by Susan Coyne
Starring Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer and Jonathan Pryce
Bleecker Street will release THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS in theaters on November 22, 2017.