From the category archives:

living on less

Personalized Vitamin Recommendations with VitaSelect

by Tara Kuczykowski on April 4, 2014 · 0 comments

Yesterday I got up, made sure the kids were dressed, groomed, fed and out the door on time, and then I immediately started on working on some various projects I have going. I did manage to squeeze in a workout before my kindergartener walked in the door at noon, but you know what I realized around 2:00 in the afternoon? I still hadn't eaten anything...

I think, as women, we naturally have a tendency to get so wrapped up in caring for those around us that we often forget to take care of ourselves as well. Keeping our minds and bodies happy and healthy is so important too -- because otherwise, we can't really focus on taking care of our loved ones, right?

So one of the changes I've implemented lately is focusing on taking a multivitamin every day. It's no substitute for eating healthy, but I like to think it gives me a little extra boost on those days when my eating habits just aren't so great.

But choosing a vitamin regimen can be a little overwhelming, right? I mean, there are just such a huge array of not only multivitamins but also individual vitamins and supplements. Thankfully Walmart just added a new tool to their website that can help you make smart choices about the vitamins and supplements that your body needs the most.

The VitaSelect tool leads you through a short series of questions about your health, lifestyle, risk factors, and stress levels. After you complete the survey, it will recommend a personalized list of vitamin recommendations, prioritizing what your body needs most and also offering a few additional optional recommendations for optimal health.

Once you receive your recommendations you can choose to print the list, email the list to yourself or add them to your cart and checkout online. Walmart doesn't store your personalized information, so you'll definitely want to do this!

Based on the survey, I received two priority recommendations and four additional optional choices. A multivitamin and probiotic were my main priorities, and my optional recommendations were a B-complex, vitamin B-12, fish oil soft gels, and a magnesium supplement. I've been taking the multivitamin, probiotic, and B-complex daily for about a week now, and while it's a little too soon to see the overall health effects, I do feel like I have more energy -- definitely a plus for this busy mom!

Use the VitaSelect tool to get your personalized vitamin recommendations now! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the results. Were you surprised by any of the recommendations?

Walmart Moms Disclosure

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New Dyson Cool Air Multiplier Desk Fan Review

by Tara Kuczykowski on March 28, 2014 · 0 comments

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Dyson products... Whether it's our upright floor vacuum, handheld vacuum, cordless hard floor vacuum or our air multiplier, we use their products pretty much daily.

So I was super excited when they contacted me to ask if I was interested in testing out their newly released Dyson Cool fan. I reviewed the original Dyson Air Multiplier Fan about four years ago, and it's still running strong to this day. I honestly didn't think there was much that Dyson could improve on the original model, but boy did they prove me wrong!

The new Dyson Cool arrives in a surprisingly compact little box. You simply snap the base and the fan head pieces together and it's ready for use.

Just to recap what I loved about the original that's still true in this new generation:

No blades -- I learned the hard way when I was younger that kids and traditional fans do not mix, so we've never used them around our kids. The Air Multiplier technology that Dyson employs in their fans is ultra-safe for families with young children.

Easy to clean -- In addition to being safer, the bladeless system makes the Dyson fans quick and easy to clean. Just a quick swipe with a microfiber cloth is all you need to remove any dust.

Touch-tilt feature -- This simple feature makes directing the air flow simple and easy, unlike trying to direct a box fan.

So what's new and impressive about the Dyson Cool?

Remote control -- The dimmer switch feature on the original fan has been replaced with a remote control that easily allows you to quickly select from 10 precise air flow settings. I love that Dyson went the extra mile in making it magnetic, so it can easily be stored right on the fan itself (because remote controls have legs around here).

Sleep timer -- The sleep timer allows you to program the fan to turn off after pre-set intervals ranging from 15 minutes to 9 hours. This is such a smart addition, especially for busy, scatterbrained moms like me!

Quieter -- My old Dyson fan was pretty quiet compared to a box fan, but Dyson has improved the noise level on the new Dyson Cool fans to be 75% quieter than the original. I know some of you like your white noise, but for me, this is nothing short of amazing because I sleep best in dead silence, probably because my house is never quiet during the day.

So would I recommend the Dyson Cool? Absolutely! Although, with prices starting at $299, I get that it may be a bit of a stretch for some of your budgets, it's definitely worth the investment. As I mentioned, our original is still in fantastic working order, so they're definitely a quality product that you can count on using for many years to come.

If you're interested in staying up to date on new Dyson technology, follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

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

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Over The Top Reese’s Peanut Butter Brownie Cups

by Tara Kuczykowski on March 14, 2014 · 0 comments

Okay, yeah, so these Peanut Butter Brownie Cups might be a little over the top... But let me tell you, they are SO worth it!

Sweet and salty, creamy and decadent, I'll be serving these peanut butter brownie cups with a big, cold glass of milk while indulging in a little March Madness marathon. They're a slam dunk!

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Oobleck Recipe | Science Experiment for Kids

by Tara Kuczykowski on March 7, 2014 · 1 comment

I seriously had SO much fun making this oobleck recipe with my kids! The most surprising thing, though? How interested my older kids were in getting involved in the fun -- my almost 12-year-old was just as excited as my 6-year-old.

Oh, and the other really great thing? It's a super budget-friendly science experiment for kids. The basics you need to make oobleck are cornstarch and water, which should clock in right around $1 -- but I also share an inexpensive way to add color in my post on how to make oobleck. Have fun with it!

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Olympic Torch Cupcakes | Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

by Tara Kuczykowski on February 9, 2014 · 0 comments

Ice cream cone cupcakes have been one of my favorite treats since the first time my mom made them for me on my 7th birthday. So I couldn't possibly think of a better way to celebrate the Winter Olympic Games than these cute Olympic torch cupcakes that start with simple ice cream cone cupcakes!

This was the perfect way to get my kids excited about watching with me -- and they're super easy to make. Hope you'll give them a try, too!

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