New Year 2015

How fast a year goes by another year comes. Looking at 2014, I learned to use my time wisely this year. I studied the hours of what I do on a daily basis and how much I achieve within a day. Are you using your time wisely? I wrote a segment about time management last year for the sales department which included this quote; 

“Time management… Time is precious, time is valuable, and time is short. Using your time is crucial every day!  When scheduling appointments through email, texting, or telephone you want to utilize your time properly."

Now, looking back this statement, I realized how much you can get done within one day. I literally force myself to complete multiple things in one day and it feels great!  This will be my last year for my 20’s and how much it makes me sad, but grateful of how much I accomplished.  Well… if you know me, then it’s not enough. :  ) My point is…. TIME! If I could go back and fix of all the times that I wasted, I would. I can’t change the past, but you can start today. 

  • A new skill I’d like to Learn:
  • A bad habit I’m going to break:
  • A bucket list I’m going to check off:
  • A person I hope to be more like:
  • A place I’d like to visit:
  • A letter I’m going to write:
  • A mistake I learned from:
  • A picture to Remember:
  • A book to read:
  • A good deed I will pass along:
  • A memory that will last forever:
  • A spot to cherish my readings


The point of this list is not a goal or a chore… it's a habit…my time!  I choose these items because I want ...I learn...I accomplish...them every day... every month….every year... hope you find yours. Happy Holiday!

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food porn

From candy, to cereals, when I’m hungry I want food, and I want it now. When this hits, it’s hard to remember that my health is important. Let’s face it, some of us are probably more prone for a handful of cookies over a handful of carrots! And the reason is simple: the cookies taste better. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love carrots as much as the next gal, but girl do I love my Oreo’s too.

After I made the switch to being vegan, I found that a lot of the snacks I loved before were able to stay (Oreos, Lays chips, etc) but just because something is labeled “vegan” doesn’t mean it is healthy!

One of my favorite things to make when I need to lay off the bad snacks is a banana smoothie. It’s healthy, and it fills me up. It is also a great breakfast as well!

Everything you’re going to need:

- 2 bananas – ones that are a little brown (remember this means they’re ripe)

- 2 cups of ice (crushed)

- 1/3 cup of Stonyfield Vanilla Soy Yogurt

- 1/3 cup of almonds

- 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal

  **If you do not wish this to be a vegan recipe, you can easily change your yogurt to any other kind! Greek works best.**



1) Cook your oatmeal using the instructions on the packet. Let it cool, since the hot oatmeal will melt your ice!

2) Cut your bananas in half, or into slices. This will make it easier to blend. I prefer to use slices.

3) After your oatmeal is cool, put you oatmeal, bananas, almonds, and yogurt into the blender.

4) Add your ice in last.

5) Set your blender for high and blend until it thickens. If you find that your smoothie is too smooth for your liking, and you would like a thicker smoothie, add more almonds! (I like mine just a little chunky.)

6) Serve.

That smoothie

It’s as easy as that. A snack that takes about 10 minutes to make, fills you up and helps curb your cravings.

The best part is, is it is packed with protein. The entirety of this smoothie will have over 12 grams of protein. That’s wonderful for every woman’s nutrition!

Next time, we will be making some delicious barbeque – from scratch. No canned sauces here!

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If you are like me you woke up one morning recently and realized it was Christmas time. Time to buy gifts for everyone you know with your very limited budget. Here are some money and time saving techniques I have picked up over the years…..


If you do not have a prime account then now is the time to get one. You can get a free trial and then cancel it later (make sure you cancel it and tell it NOT to auto-renew). With Amazon Prime you get free 2 day shipping and decent pricing. Another good thing about Amazon is that your item will arrive in a box that can be used for wrapping which saves money on expensive gift bags for over-sized items (or save them for shipping out your future Vinted sales).



If you're buying preloved gifts for others, make sure they're in excellent condition. Vinted is full of unique jewelry and accessories as well as new with tag items at great prices. Shop around and take advantage of the the great deals. When buying jewelry, ask the seller if a gift box is included. If not, get one at a dollar store. Don't forget to ask the seller if they can ship your item to you in time. Allow extra time for shipping & buy early -  the post office will be slammed during the holiday season.




If you shop online there is no reason not to have an ebates account to get cash back when you shop online.  Almost every online retailer is hooked up with the guys and all you have to do is go to the ebates site and find your store and open the browser through its link. So far this quarter I have racked up over $30 in cash back. They also provide coupon codes for some stores such as free shipping, etc.



Dollar Stores

I would not buy toys or anything of substance from dollar stores but all of your wrapping needs can be met cheaply there.  For example, The Dollar Tree offers a pack of three shirt boxes for  and sets of small gift bags for $1. I don’t recommend the wrapping paper as it is thin and there is not very much in the roll, but Iwill tell you that these places gets hit hard at the holidays so I would go NOW and rack up on wrapping boxes, bows, ribbons, card holders and whatever else you may need.



Craft Stores 

Craft stores like Michael's, Hobby Lobby and Jo-Anns Crafts offer coupons for as much as 40-50% off a single item. You can get a nice vase or lamp shade for your mother for half price. Michael's also offers popular themed coloring books for $1.00. You can buy five coloring books and a pack of twist-able crayons and make a child on your gift list very happy. It is hard to find good coloring books for $1.00. Jo-Ann's Crafts also has coloring books and an entire section of crafty items for kids, for $1.



Got kids to shop for (not your own)? Shopping for kids is hard and time consuming. What do they like, are they too old/young for this or do they have it already? Skip that. Kids love money. You can go to the bank and ask for new $2 bills, give them a few - they'll be ecstatic. Most kids have never seen a $2 bill before. The Dollar Tree offers a pack of money envelopes for $1. You can also get a piggy bank & fill it with quarters and pennies. A small gift box with ten $1 bills is a fortune to a small child!




Tips and Tricks

Here are my favorite cheap tricks for myself and non-family member gifts.

  • Most major retailers have after Christmas sales and really goods ones at that. Wal-Mart, Belk, Khols, Sears, and JC Penny all have great sales. Wal-Mart marks all of their cute little gift sets and fuzzy socks and pj's half price. Shopping at Khols before Christmas usually means Khols cash that you can spend the day after Christmas on top of their sale prices. 
  • I tell all of my relatives that I would prefer a gift card to a store that I know will have a good after Christmas sale. At 5 am the day after Christmas I hit the road with all of my cards and rack up on things that I actually want or need. I also tell all of my friends that we will do gift swaps the weekend after Christmas so that I can take advantage of these sales while shopping for them and advise them to do the same. 
  • If you do not want to wait until after Christmas to exchange gifts with friends then it is also a fun and cheap idea to have a Christmas party and play Dirty Santa. Buy one gift or collection of items equaling a pre-set amount and wrap it up.  At the party people can pick from the pile of gifts when it is their turn but if they do not like what they picked they can force an exchange with someone else who has already picked. This is dirty but also very fun. At the end when everyone has picked and exchanged, the first person who picked can take whatever gift they want from anyone. Sometimes people set a limit on how many times an item can be taken and sometimes people will bring prank gifts. I don’t care playing like that but whatever makes it fun is for your group is fair game. 

Anyone else have any money saving tips -- share them below in the comments!

#SeasonsVintings: One lucky Vintie (chosen at random from the comments) will score a Nailed It! box. The winner will be annouced Tuesday (Dec 23rd) on the next SeasonsVintings game in the forum!

Weekend Winners: 

Sat ($30 voucher): @

Sun (Serenity Now! box): @lorrainefisher


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Let's face it.

There are many great things about the holiday season that make it so amazing. The food however...that's probably THE crowd favorite. There is nothing like spending time with your loved ones while sharing some seriously delicious meals that are so special, they only come around once a year. I

f you're headed somewhere to celebrate, chances are you'll need to bring something. My go to's are ALWAYS desserts. 

I was serious in my last blog when I said there is NO SUCH THING AS TOO MANY DESSERT CHOICES.

mean, really. Who is mad at you for bringing something delicious? No one. With that said, here are my two favorite desserts that are so simple, it's sinful. Be careful though, you may have trouble sharing them with others!


Rolo Turtles 

Okay, this recipe is heart breaking a bit for me. When I first thought them up, I thought I was so clever. I mean salt, caramel, and crunch? I felt like a genius. So much so, that I dubbed them “Rachel’s turtles”. That was…until I flipped over the bag of rolos and saw almost the exact same recipe on the side of the bag.  There it was all dream and self esteem breaking. Needless to say, I may not be the culinary genius I thought that I was but, these are still worthy enough to be one of my favorites.


What you’ll need:

  1. A bag of rolos.
  2. A bag of glazed pecans (Emerald, Fisher, and Diamond all have varieties of glazed pecans.)
  3. A bag of pretzels. I prefer Snyder’s “snaps” brand because the shape works perfectly but regular hard pretzels will do.]
  4. A cookie sheet
  5. An oven

How to do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lay out as many pretzels as you can fit on the cookie sheet
  3. Place one unwrapped rolo on the top of each pretzel.
  4. Now place the cookie sheet in the oven for 5 min MAXThis is the most important piece . You want the rolo to start “drooping” slightly but not enough that it’s flat or melting off of the pretzel so watch them carefully!
  5. Remove from the oven and place on cooling rack or a plate with wax paper.
  6. IMMEDIATELY push a glazed pecan on to the middle of each rolo. You want to do these while the rolos are still warm and pliable.
  7. Let cool for a few minutes and then devour them all yourself. Oops! I meant, pack them to share 

You can tweak this as you please. You can try mini twix bars instead of rolos, or cashews instead of pecans. Trust me, these will b e the hit of any party. 



Nutella Cheesecake

I think the title says enough. I know many women who agree that Nutella is one of the best inventions ever and should be it's own food group. Some may say the same thing for Cheesecake. I could kiss whoever realized that you could mix the two. This one is easy and requires absolutely no baking. 


What you need:

  1. 9 oz of graham crackers (this is approximately 2 sleeves)
  2. 7 tbsp salted butter, melted
  3. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 18 oz of cream cheese at room temperature (2 1/4 cups)
  5. 7 tbsp powdered sugar
  6. ½ cup of heavy cream
  7. 1 13-16 oz jar of Chocolate Hazlenut spread. (Nutella, Jiff, and Justin’s all make varieties of this. I tend to gravitate towards Justin’s because it’s not offensively sweet like I find Nutella and Jiff to be.)
  8. 6-10 pieces of Ferrero Rocher Chocolates

How to do it:

  1. Use a food processor or a wooden spoon to break up the graham crackers until they’re fairly fine and crumbly.
  2. Add melted butter and mix thoroughly. This is now your pie crust.
  3. Put the crust into a springform cake tin. An 8” one works perfectly. Don’t have one? No worries, use a pie tin and just cut it like a regular pie when you’re ready.
  4. Chill the pie crust in the fridge until you’re ready to fill it.
  5. Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract together until it forms a smooth mixture with no lumps.
  6. Beat in the entire jar of chocolate hazelnut spread until the mixture is blended well.
  7. Beat in the ½ cup of cream until the mixture looks shiny and mousse-like.
  8. Take the pie crust out of the fridge and fill it with your mixture. Make sure to even out and smooth the top.
  9. Crumble the Ferrero Rocher chocolates and sprinkle them on the top of the cheesecake.
  10. Chill in the fridge overnight. (At least 4 hours)​


I hope you love these as much as I do! If you try these out, come back and let me know how they worked for you!

But for now, what are some of your favorite "sinfully easy" desserts?

-- Rachel


#SeasonsVintings: One lucky Vintie (chosen at random from the comments) will score a Midnight Munchies Box! The winner will be annouced Tuesday (Dec 16th) on the next SeasonsVintings game in the forum!

Weekend Winners: 

Sat ($30 voucher): @torifaitht

Sun (Serenity Now! box): @

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Tis the season to be crafty! (fa lalalalala la lalala)  ♫ ♪

I absolutely love crafting during the holiday season—nothing is better than being in the warm indoors, creating something great.


Today, I'm going to be showing you all how to make my favorite holiday craft, and that is painted votives. These are the pefect decor for the holiday season, and they make great gifts!


You'll need:

  • Votives
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Painter's tape
  • Glitter
  • Decoupage glue
  • Sealer

Using whatever paint color you desire--I'm going for a festive red--start painting the votives in vertical strokes. Just a warning, paint is flammable, so I wouldn't advise using actual candles in these votives. Battery powered tea lights and votives add a nice touch without being a fire hazard. Fire hazards are not cool. Be safe.

Leave them for a few hours to dry. You can paint another coat if you feel it's necessary or if you want a more opaque look. 

Once the paint is completely dry, use painter's tape (or masking tape), and tape a design on to the votive. Remember, where the tape is covering will not have the design on it!

Using a sponge brush, brush on the decoupage glue in sections to ensure the glue won't dry before the glitter cna be applied. 

Sprinkle glitter on to the glue, making sure you're getting your preffered coverage.

Let the glue dry completely. 

If there are any gaps in coverage, take a small brush and brush on glue on the problem areas and sprinkle some more glitter.

Once the glue is dry, peel of the painter's tape. The painter's tape should come off cleanly, and shouldn't remove any paint.

In a well ventialated area, give your votives a spray of some sealer, like a glossy Mod Podge, and let them dry. This will keep the glitter from shedding as easily.

And, voila! Painted votives with a glitter accent that are sure to make your home merry and bright!

What are some of your favorite holiday crafts? Tell us down below!


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#SeasonsVintings: One lucky Vintie (chosen at random from the comments) will score a Serenity Now! box. The winner will be annouced Tuesday (Dec 9th) on the next SeasonsVintings game in the forum!

Weekend Winners: 

The Saturday (Dec 6th) winner of a $30 voucher is @bfaye and Sunday (Dec 7th) winner of a $30 voucher is @haleymgroves

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