Best Gifts for Dad

Father’s Day is around the corner and finding the perfect gift can be challenging. Here are some  Top Gift Ideas perfect for Dad.

For the Cook

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Does Dad refuse to leave the grille or the kitchen because his cooking his the best? Let’s face it. A man with that much confidence needs a cooking apron that is Dad joke approved.

For the Nerd

For that techy Dad of yours, finding the perfect gift can seem daunting, especially if you are on a budget. Try something inexpensive like the Echo Dot or a smart watch.

For the #1 Fan

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Most Dad’s love at least one sport. You can’t go wrong with memorabilia from their favorite team!

For the Big Kid

Is your Dad a child at heart? Find out his favorite childhood toy and wrap it up with a bow! Maybe he loved tag – grab a few Nerf guns and challenge him to a duel.

For the Music Lover

If your Dad is a music junkie, consider grabbing a vinyl of his favorite band. If he doesn’t have a record player, throw that coveted item into the mix.

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The Power of Prayer

 

Prayer
prer/noun
  1. a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.

“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” – Mark 11:24

Elijah

Your prayers for someone else could change their whole life. 

In this scripture, Jesus tells us that our prayer is powerful. He encourages us to take our needs, our pain, our happiness and our whole selves to him in prayer. Prayer is our direct connection to our Father. As the definition explains above, it’s an expression of thankfulness or an object of worship.

Prayer is the opportunity for God to hear everything on your heart from your own mouth. It’s his opportunity to speak to you in the areas you need help.

For me, the most powerful use of prayer is to direct my words toward someone else. When I start to feel selfish, I pray for someone else. I take the attention off of me to learn selflessness. This allows God to work on my heart and use me to influence others around me.

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Put your prayers in a box to keep your petitions close to your heart.

Have you ever thought about praying for someone instead of cursing them? When someone does you wrong or you feel that pang of envy, pray that God blesses them with happiness and health. Pray as hard as you can that God showers them with love because with each petition, another layer of stone is crumbling off your own heart.

What have you experienced when you gave yourself to prayer?

Silent Savasana with Dray Gardner

Las Vegas yogis are taking over every square inch of the community. From Yoga on the Lawn with Trufusion to practices at the Valley of Fire, the options are endless. Silent Savasana is a specific yoga experience that is blowing up the city.

Using the noise cancelling headphones, instructor Dray Gardner, teaches beginner and expert students the joy of yoga. I experienced my first class poolside at Red Rock Hotel and Casino.

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I arrived at 6:15PM on a Tuesday night and was astonished at how many individuals had already covered the pool deck. Silent Savasana team members had already set up a check-in table accompanied by a growing line. At the table, each person received their headphones and a battery operated tea light.

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I grabbed by items and found an open spot near the DJ. The deck was quickly filling up with yogis of all ages. The air was buzzing with excitement about the upcoming 75 minute practice.

Gardner began the practice with instructing everyone to place their headphones on and open their hearts. A local DJ spun instrumental mixes of popular songs that pulsated through one ear of the headphones. Gardner spoke through the other.

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I was expecting a somewhat easy practice seeing as there were so many levels present. Gardner had an entirely different agenda. We flew through challenging balance poses on four arms, hands and heads. He encouraged everyone to fall in and out and just let the day go.

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Photo by Silent Savasana

Through out the practice, Gardner shared his journey. In 2006, a doctor told Gardner he would need to undergo a serious back surgery. Refusing to do something so risky, Gardner reached for yoga and fell in love. One year later, Gardner attended his first teach training and has been helping people discover their inner light ever since.

We finished the practice as the sun went down bonding between the small candle light. I love yoga because of the freedom. The ability to fall in and out of poses with no judgement and just let yourself go. Silent Savasana helps you find yourself on your mat.

Silent Savasana is available all over the city including at station casinos, the High Roller at the LinQ. Checkout their full schedule of events here. Follow their social channels for more updates on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Don’t Ignore Your Pet’s Dental Hygiene

I never put a second thought to my dogs’ teeth. I always assumed they would be intact for their whole lives. But a few weeks ago I discovered I should have been paying attention to my pets’ teeth a long time ago.

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80% of adult dogs suffer from dental issues. What begins as normal tartar build up can actually lead to periodontal disease. For any of you unfamiliar with this, this disease is basically an infection that spreads throughout the mouth and can affect the heart, live and kidneys.

Much like people, animal teeth are necessary and if ignored, will lead to severe issues. Periodontal disease can also affect humans. It begins as gingivitis that can be treated and managed. It then progresses and can lead to early tooth decay and expensive dentist bills.

Luckily, veterinarians are making a big deal about taking care of your pets mouth. Most offices advertise dental cleanings at a discounted price. Still, they are a timely procedure that requires your pet to be under anesthesia.

If you can get a head of the plaque build up by brushing your pets teeth, those visits to the vet will be less expensive and less often.

FionaOne deep cleaning and three tooth extractions later – my littlest dog is on her way to proper hygiene. I have also invested in dog toothpaste and an additive to her water. In total, I spent about $400.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you don’t already have dental care in place, you can ask you vet or local pet store what items will work best for your pet.

Kid Friendly Places to Dine in Vegas

Eating out is expensive, especially when some of your guests may only take two bites. Here’s a list of cheap places to eat in Vegas with the whole family.

IHOP
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In an effort to bring families together, IHOP offers free kids meals with the purchase of an adult entrée daily from 4PM – 8PM. Kids must be 12 and under to order from the “Just for Kids Menu.”

DENNYS

Image may contain: textThe sky is the limit with Denny’s Kids menu. Every Tuesday from 4-10PM, receive a complimentary children’s entrée with purchase of an adult plate.

DICKIES BBQ

Every Sunday, kid’s eat free with the purchase of an adult entrée. This offer is available for dine-in only for kids 12 and under.

CAFE RIO
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Receive a complimentary “Nino” cheese quesadilla daily for kids 6 and under when ordering an adult entrée.  Bring the family on taco Tuesday and everyone eats for $1.95.

BUFFALO WILD WINGS

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Children 12 and under enjoy kids menu options for $0.99 from 5 – 8PM every Monday.

LUCILLE’S BBQ

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Photo from Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ

Every Tuesday, kids enjoy a free meal with purchase of an adult entrée. 

FIREHOUSE SUBS

Every Wednesday, receive a free kids meal with adult combo. Kids will also take home a fire hat.

 

Any places you’ve visited that I can add to this list?

Food Feature – Goong Korean BBQ

At this point, it might be obviously that I have a thing for Korean BBQ. Well, I’ve found another awesome place right here in Vegas to curb my cravings.

Goong BBQ is located on the Southwest side of town right off of Rainbow. Goong offers Korean BBQ in the most authentic atmosphere.

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Patrons can choose to dine at traditional tables that allow for visitors to sit on pillows around the grill. Don’t worry, there’s a little cove for those taller folks like me that need extra leg room.

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Like other Korean BBQ restaurants I’ve visited, food is cooked right on the grill in front of you. Unlike other options and to my husbands relief, Goong has staff that cooks for you. Goong also offers an endless variety of appetizers including salad, veggies and seafood.

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At the end of dinner, the staff brings out a homemade cinnamon tea as a dessert. It is reminiscent of the Hispanic tea, Canela.

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Overall, my experience was great. The steak was probably the most delicious item on the menu and dinner cost $30 for two of us. Not bad for everything we received. If you’re looking for an extra dessert, Goong partners with shops in their parking lot to offer a 10% discount.

Find out more of their menu options on Eater.

2017 Spring Pieces Your Wallet Will Enjoy

The warmer weather is on the rise, well at least here in Las Vegas, and I’m ready to break out the Sun Dresses and Flip Flops. Each year when Spring rolls around, I feel the need to restock my closest. Unfortunately, my wallet is not a big fan of my tradition. So here are a few staples I keep stocked for sunny days that can be reused for multiple outfits through the season.

Colorful Kimono

This is one of the most versatile pieces I have in my closet. I actually have a few that range in length and color. They are perfect for day or night outfits. Most of these are as cheap at 10 buck! Bet your wallet will be okay with that.

Neutral Sandals

Instead of overcrowding your shelf with sandals of every color, grab one or two neutral pairs. You can never go wrong with black, white or tan sandals. They will go with every outfit you have planned and last you the whole season.

Denim Shorts

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Whether you’re the cut-off type of girl or not, denim is always in style. High waisted and low-cut come and go throughout the years but jeans always remain. Purchase or repurpose denim to use in this season and many in the future.

The Summer Suitcase Packing Guide

I hate packing. I hate packing for moving. I hate packing for a picnic. But most of all, I hate packing for a vacation. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE traveling. But trying to predetermine every outfit and insure that I actually wear them is a different story.

Whether it’s one day or 10, I dread pulling out my suitcase and shoveling my clothes inside. During my most recent vacation with my husband, we ended up with three bags for both of us – one being just for shoes! So, I’ve come up with a go to guide to avoid over packing and hopefully make summer vacation planning enjoyable.

How Many Shoes Do You Really Need?

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I am the queen of changing my shoes with every outfit. When it comes to vacation, I don’t want to have limited choices. But I KNOW I will end up wearing the same two pairs the entire vacation. So plan according to what your adventures will be. From experience, I suggest bringing 3 pairs – Sandals, tennis shoes and heels.

Limit Your Dresses

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Assume that you will have at least one fancy outing during your vacay. Pack your favorite dress or skirt combo just for the occasion. If you love maxi dresses like I do, bring a few light weight options to rotate through. DO NOT empty your entire closet into this bag. Chances are, you’ll end up in a bathing suit for most of the trip.

Only Bring Your Best Swim Suits

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Photo by MyNicolita

Vacation is definitely the opportunity to show off that swim suit you’ve been hiding from the highly chlorinated pools. Leave the color stained and unflattering ones back home where they belong. I like to bring two different styles in my brightest colors.

Mix and Match

When in doubt, throw in some basic pieces that you can create multiple outfits out of. We’ve all seen the pins that show 10 – 20 ways to wear the same pieces. Why not give it a try!

Roll, Not Stack

Packing efficiently is all about using the space your have. Instead of stacking clothes flat, try rolling them. It not only saves room but can also eliminate many travel wrinkles.

Minimal Accessories

Despite what your fashionista side may argue, you do not need your entire jewelry box. Fitting the themes of the above tips, only bring your most versatile pieces. You can even store them inside empty pill bottles to insure no lost earrings.

How do you pack efficiently for your trips?

13 Scriptures that Support 13 Reasons Why Real Life Issues

The new Netflix original series “Thirteen Reasons Why” is blowing up everywhere. Based on a book by Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why centralizes around the suicide of a 17-year-old high schooler, Hannah, and her audio suicide note

From episode one, I was hooked. There are so many real life scenarios that teens and adults face these days. But instead of looking at it like it was revolutionary information, I turned to the scriptures that support these themes that the bible has been telling us for centuries.

13 reasons why

Love Your Neighbor

Throughout the whole story, the characters are just plain hateful. And because of their lack of love for their fellow classmates, another scar is added to their peers’ already cracked surfaces. The bible specifically tells us “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mark 12:31

If for one second these characters would have stopped to put themselves in their peers’ shoes, this heart breaking end would’ve been different. Think about all of the times arguments would have gone differently if someone would have just considered what you were going through.

“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” – 1 Peter 3:8

Forgiveness

The escalation of every event in this story boils down to unforgiveness. Every character here, as it is in real life, is guilty of some mistake. Their refusal to forgive one another builds towards broken friendships and death. The bible tells us in Matthew 6:15 that if we don’t forget others, God will not forgive us. “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

Can you imagine being punished for every mistake you have ever made? From accidentally breaking a pencil to breaking a heart? 13 Reasons Why is a realistic depiction of unforgiveness and the calamity it brings.

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32

Accountability and Reputation

Almost everyone in this story passed the buck, even down to Hannah blaming everyone for her suicide. Each character has done something wrong whether it was an accident or not. The characters lack of acceptance of their own faults add to Hannah’s pain and the impossible resolution of the problem. But in the end, everyone will be held accountable for their words and actions.

“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” – Matthew 12:36 – 37

In life, when we constantly blame others for our mistakes, or refuse to even accept we did something wrong, we only ruin our reputation. We then become the liar or the untrustworthy friend as we see the characters become in this story.

“A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.” – Proverbs 22:1

Free Will

We always have a decision. We always have the ability to do the right thing. This pressure of decisions is seen throughout the entire story line. As it is in real life, each of these characters had the opportunity to say NO and be different. God always provides a way out from any situation. The bible tells us we will never be tested beyond what we can bear. And that is exactly what these characters chose to ignore.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful;he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13

Love

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Luke 6:31

Pretty self-explanatory right? The best way to avoid conflict is to treat others as yourself. Would you slander or humiliate yourself? Chances are, the answer is no. So why do we as a society feel that it is a necessary part of life to bring each other down?

Not one person in this entire story worked to uplift their peer. They treated each other like diseases and just hoped they’d eventually disappear.

Consequences

We see the butterfly effect throughout this story. One bad thing happens and caused another and another and another. One person lies, then another cheats, then another hides the truth and eventually someone dies. I pray that your consequences will never be so dire but for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. No sin goes unnoticed and God allows us to experiences these consequences in order for us to grow.

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” – Galatians 6:7-8

Gossip

It all started with one rumor. One little fib that was multiplied and morphed into an incorrect label. This story is the definition of how gossip can ruin a life. Have you ever made a statement that was not entirely true? When it go back to you was it something you’d like to be remembered for?

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29

Gossip is hurtful and easy to fall into. If you are not a part of the problem or the solution, it’s gossip and you have no place being a part of the conversation.

Love Your Enemy

“But love our enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” – Luke 6:35

Sometimes there is no line between friend and foe, but Jesus calls us to love those who persecute and hurt us. “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).” When you choose to be loving towards someone who despises you, you are giving God an opportunity to revive their stone heart.

The characters in this story sought revenge instead and every time it ended badly. Think about the times you’ve been wronged. What would the outcome be if you hadn’t reacted but allowed God to work instead?

Truth

“…and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32

Most of the pain caused in this story is the characters inability to share the truth. Like a block of cement, their secrets weighed them down to the point of death. This scripture doesn’t just mean to be honest, it physically means that God is truth and he will set you free. Truth breaks all the chains the world tries to put on us and delivers us to everlasting life.

In no way do I knock what Asher has done with this story. These real life issues need to be addressed because they shouldn’t exist. Maybe stories like this will be a wake up call for society to pay attention to each other and really embrace what The Beatles proclaimed from rooftops, “Love is all you need. “

Healthy Easter Snacks to Try

In my previous post, I shared how much it really takes to work off those delicious Easter candies. Here are some alternatives that still fit the holiday theme.

Fruit and Veggie Bunny

Pre-cut your favorite fruits and vegetables and build into the shape of a rabbit. Try grapes or blueberries for eyes, apples for ears and of course, carrots for whiskers.

Fruit and Veggie Egg Hunt

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Instead of filling those plastic eggs with jelly beans and candy, sneak in almonds, strawberry, raisins and apples instead.

Peep Fruit Kabobs

If you must have a peep, throw your favorite fruits in the mix.

Deviled Egg Chicks

What recipes and snacks have you Eastered out?