Thursday, November 21, 2019

Contest: Deck Your Stairs

Get ready to decorate your home’s staircase and win extra cash for the holidays! L.J. Smith® Stair Systems, the industry innovator of stylish stairway rail systems, will hold the 2019 Deck Your Stairs Photo Contest from December 1 – 15, 2019. Four winners will each win $100 cash prizes.
            The online Facebook contest* encourages people to submit images of ways they’ve decorated their indoor stair system for the holidays. Whether it’s garland and lights, or ribbons and bows, L.J. Smith is searching for festive holiday images that showcase how people decorate stairways in their own homes.
            “Over the years we’ve seen stockings, ornaments, candy canes and wrapped gift packages hung on stairways,” says Beth Galigher with L.J. Smith Stair Systems. “This year we want to showcase a new era of stairway decorations. We’re hoping people will share images of their 2019 decorated interior staircases with us.”
            Entering the 2019 Deck Your Stairs Photo Contest is an easy process. Visit to fill out the entry form and submit images online in .jpeg or .tiff format. People may enter one time and include up to five photos of their own decorated stairway.
            “We’re looking forward to sharing entry pictures on both our Facebook page and website,” says Galigher. “For this contest, we’re seeking stand-out stairways that capture the holiday spirit. This way we can offer inspiring decorating ideas to others while recognizing those who are creating holiday masterpieces on their interior stair systems!”           
                L.J. Smith products --- including wooden and ornamental iron balusters, stainless steel cable and tube infills, metal panels, newel posts, hand rails and accessories --- are all defined by their unique designs, uncompromised durability and good looks. Owned by NOVO Building Products, the industry’s leading manufacturer and distributor of mouldings, stair parts, doors and specialty millwork, L.J. Smith is based in Bowerston, Ohio. For more information, visit or call 740-269-2221.

* For the official rules and regulations of the contest, please visit Winners will be announced by December 20, 2019.

Movie Minute: The Best of the Carol Burnett Show

THE BEST OF THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW: 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION brings together the best of the best from Carol's landmark 11-year run - 60 hand-picked episodes covering every season - into one singular and uproarious set. Comprised of three volumes (21 discs), this uproarious, comprehensive set featuring more than 58 hours of pure entertainment including legendary routines such as Mrs. Wiggins," "Carol and Sis," "The Oldest Man," "The Family" and As the Stomach Turns, a marathon of movie spoofs and joke commercials, unforgettable bloopers, lavish stage productions, stupendous guest stars, Carol's question-and-answer openers, the final show "A Special Evening with Carol Burnett," and incredible, exclusive bonus features specially-created by the Time Life TV DVD archivists including exclusive interviews, a cast reunion and backstage tour of Studio 33, never-before-seen outtakes and featurettes. 

Caring Causes: Supporting Adoption with Lifesong and Choosing Hope in Cedarville

National Adoption Month is a time to celebrate families growing through adoption. For one Cedarville family, the dream of adoption is starting to come together, due in part to the amazing outpouring of support from the community, evidenced during a community-wide garage sale this fall.

In February 2018, the Davis family began the adoption process, choosing to adopt through the nonprofit Choosing Hope. Choosing Hope estimated the cost to adopt to be between $15,000 and $18,000. After approval in December 2018, the Davis family applied for a grant from Lifesong, an adoption partnering site, through Grace Baptist Church. After a long application process, they received a $4,000 matching grant.

The Davis family have continued to raise funds, but they are greatly encouraged by the support of the Cedarville community in the adoption process. In addition to friends and family support, Cedarville University supports full-time staff members that adopt children. After adopting a child, Cedarville employees can request $3,000 to be reimbursed for adoption expenses.

If you are interested in supporting the Davis family above their matching grant, you can donate through Lifesong using their name, John and Jennifer Davis. You can also support adopting families through Choosing Hope.
Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,380 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit

Shopping Savings: True REST Float Spa

True REST Float Spa is offering a buy one get one holiday offer on all gift cards from Nov. 29 – Dec. 25. Gift cards may be purchased online or at a True REST location for any amount. Each 60-minute Flotation Therapy session is $79. With each float, customers receive a private room with its own changing area and shower.  True REST has locations throughout the country.

True REST Float Spa is the world's largest float spa brand. With over 78 awarded locations, including 34 open locations and another 15 opening in 2020 across the country, it is on its way to servicing 1 million floats. True REST Float Spa has created a luxury float spa experience in 10 inches of water and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts. Members float effortlessly in their float suite. Each location is dedicated to providing pain relief, relaxation and better sleep through a 60-minute float session. True REST Float Spa offers monthly membership programs and packages. For more information, go to Or visit Facebook:, Twitter:, Instagram: For franchising opportunities, go to

Shopping Savings: Sense Home Energy Monitor

Black Friday is right around the corner and the Sense Home Energy Monitor is a great gift idea for smart home gurus and eco minded homeowners. The Sense Home Energy Monitor is the latest in smart home technology that tracks and reports your energy usage -- while helping the planet.
The Sense Home Energy Monitor will be available for $60 off the standard price of $299 starting November 25, the Monday before Black Friday, and continuing through December 6, the Friday after Cyber Monday. This is the biggest discount of the year for Sense!
So how does Sense work? Sense’s Home Energy Monitor installs in the home’s electrical panel and uses machine learning algorithms to identify and track individual devices. As soon as it’s installed, Sense samples the home’s energy 1 million times every second, continuously tracking how much energy the home is using and giving the homeowner immediate feedback about potential energy drains in their home. 
The Sense app on your smartphone tells you what's on, what's off, how much energy is being used and how much it costs. You can instantly see how much electricity you’re using, what time your kids get home or if your holiday lights turn on. Sense identifies patterns in your energy use to help you be more efficient, informed, and secure.
The Sense monitor is available for purchase on Amazon or directly from the Sense company website Also, the same discounts apply to Sense Solar available for solar homes.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Shopping Savings: Amazon Black Friday Deals

Amazon recently shared a sneak peek of top deals for its Black Friday deals week, which will offer customers new deals all day, every day totaling thousands of amazing deals across every category, plus more Deals of the Day and deeper discounts than ever before. Starting this Friday, November 22 through November 29 (Black Friday), customers can shop thousands of incredible deals on this year’s most popular gifts, new and trending finds, holiday essentials, and more, across toys, electronics, fashion, beauty, kitchen, home, Amazon Devices and more. All of Amazon’s Black Friday deals can be found by visiting or on the Amazon App. Customers can also shop on to find the same amazing deals and Amazon shopping experience, with the added bonus that AmazonSmile will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to a charity of your choice.

On top of the wide selection of deals and discounts available throughout Amazon’s week of Black Friday deals, customers can also take advantage of select one-time-only, amazing deals from top-tier and most-loved brands across electronics, home, fashion, toys and more, all at jaw-dropping prices. These deals are expected to sell out, with new one-time only deals launching throughout the day on November 28 (Thanksgiving), November 29 (Black Friday) and December 2 (Cyber Monday).

Whether customers are getting a head start on their gift lists, readying their homes for family festivities or grocery shopping for holiday feasts, Amazon makes the holidays easier than ever with top deals and low prices. In fact, according to a recent Profitero studyAmazon prices were found to be 20% cheaper on average than other online retailers.

The deals included will be available on various dates and times between November 22 and November 29 (Black Friday), while supplies last, at, on the Amazon App, or by simply asking “Alexa, what are my deals.”


Stocking Ornament Home Depot Kids Workshop 11/30

Fun Freetime: The Unicorn Princess

Bigben and Toplitz Productions are delighted to announce that the game The Unicorn Princess is now available on PC (Steam), Xbox One, PlayStation®4 and Nintendo Switch™.

Isn't it every horse lover's dream to ride a majestic unicorn? In The Unicorn Princess, a game that expertly combines an equestrian simulation and adventure game, young players embark on an epic quest that blurs the lines between real and imaginary worlds. The game takes an original approach of traveling between worlds where the player must take care of their horses and roam a fantasy land. In the real world, players become a skilled young horse rider, eager to help residents of their village and take care of their horses. In the Dream World, the player becomes a heroic princess helping Unica the unicorn to save the guardian of the Dream World.

Through this mechanic of traveling between worlds, The Unicorn Princess simultaneously offers two types of gameplay. Players can explore a vast open world, take care of horses and complete missions in the real world. Then, after a quest has been completed, the player can answer the call of Unica the unicorn and enter the Dream World for epic adventures.
· A game designed for young players (ages 6-10)
· Advanced customization of your avatar and horses with a wide range of options
· Freely roam a vast open world
· Travel between worlds and experience varied gameplay and environments
· Escape into the magical world of dreams and set out on incredible adventures with Unica the unicorn
· 15 different missions in an expansive family game

The Unicorn Princess is now available on PC (Steam), Xbox One, PlayStation®4 and Nintendo Switch™

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About Bigben
Bigben, a leading publisher of video games on PC and consoles, is known for its creativity and innovation. After its acquisition of four development studios (Cyanide, Eko, KT Racing and Spiders), which are all internationally recognised for their expertise in different genres, Bigben is strengthening its position as a developer and publisher of premium games and is aiming to become the world's leading AA publisher.

About Toplitz
Located in Irding, near the mysterious Lake Toplitz in the heart of Austria, Toplitz Productions is currently working on new titles. We develop PC and console games that are full of the heart, soul and love we put into them.

Book Nook: Work Freely - Love Your Job, Love Your Life

All too often, we are consumed by trying to fit into someone else’s box, going from one job to the next, one manager to the next, one project to the next, only to realize that years, and maybe even decades, have gone by in the pursuit of achieving a life we “hoped” would someday become a reality.

The book, Work Freely: Love Your Job. Love Your Life, which Nancy Richardson co-wrote with executive life coach Rochelle Davidson, CPCC, ACC, encourages audiences to flip the script and take the time to lay out their goals, dreams, and aspirations. The authors provide guidance on designing your career to suit you—then choosing the companies, bosses, friends, and other circumstances that meet the criteria you’ve set, to live and work with ultimate freedom. This book is about choosing your path, defining your leadership, and finding your power to make a life you love not just a possibility but a sure thing.

Why did you write this book?
The concept of this book is choosing your life instead of letting it choose you. All too often, we are consumed by trying to fit into someone else’s box, going from one job to the next, one manager to the next, one project to the next, only to realize that years, and maybe even decades, have gone by in the pursuit of achieving a life we “hoped” would someday become a reality. Work Freely is about flipping the script and taking the time to lay out your goals, dreams, and aspirations—designing your career to suit you—then choosing the companies, bosses, friends, and other circumstances that meet the criteria you’ve set, to live and work with ultimate freedom.

My stories reflect the career challenges I have faced that have kept me from feel- ing free in the workplace. Coaching is what helped me overcome these obstacles. The lessons I share in my stories, along with Rochelle’s coaching, are designed to equip you with the tools to manage adversity, accelerate your career, and access your “Super Self”.

This book is meant to be read right before bed, on vacation, or whenever you need to calm a busy mind. It is a tool to help you relax, take back control of your life circumstances, and embrace the fact that “you cannot fail, you can only learn.” I hope that everyone can relate to the stories and personally benefit from the coaching. You can read the chapters in any order you like, feeling free to jump around and choose those that are most relevant to you, at the times in your life when you need them the most.

Why is it so important to find a job that one loves?
Rochelle: You will spend a consider amount of your time and energy at work, so choosing a job that you love will help to energize you rather than deplete you. It’s about thriving, not simply surviving. Loving your work will allow you to be your best self and to contribute in meaningful ways. We all want to make a difference in the world. And when you’re able to be your best at work every day, then you go home to your family or your friends or your sports team or your community groups and be your best with them as well. Your experience at work impacts almost all other realms of your life. Choose your work wisely!

How can people identify what kind of jobs they'll love?
Rochelle: Ask yourself these three questions: What are you passionate about? What do you have skill/talent for? What does the world need? You have the greatest chance of identifying a job you’ll love, and finding fulfillment in your career, if you hit that sweet spot where all three intersect. If the world needs it, yet it’s not something that inspires you and/or you don’t have the ability to be successful - you will get frustrated pretty quickly. You have the skills/talent for it yet you don’t love it (no passion)? You’ll burnout. Love it (passion) yet the world doesn’t need it and/or you don’t have the skills/talent required? That’s called a hobby. That is me and cycling. I can be on my bike everyday yet I’m not likely to become a paid professional rider so I tap into other areas where the three do intersect – like coaching.

How can people transition into a different vocation or career?
Ask yourself these questions:
Why are you considering a career change? Why now?Are you running away from something or toward something? We all experience times in our careers/job where we aren’t feeling fulfilled, energized, impactful, etc. Take a step back, think about what inspired you to be in this job in the first place. Is it that your current career is no longer serving you? Or perhaps you’re feeling disengaged due to something you can shift. Running away from your current gig, without having a clear picture of what you do want, may have you making decisions that don’t ultimately serve you. Change for change sake is risky if you don’t what you are moving toward.
Beyond your career, what is important for you in your life? If you look through the holistic lens of your life, what do you need to consider? There are so many options out there career-wise, it can feel overwhelming at times. Anchor yourself in what you need as a human being, not just in your career. If being at home for/with your children is a priority for you right now, or having time outside of work to train for a triathlon/marathon is a must, you need to consider that. It is not just about having the job that completely fulfills your sense of purpose. Sometimes it’s about creating a work situation that allows you to do that other things that are important for you.

NANCY RICHARDSON began her career with a BA from the University of Washington and MBA from Ohio State University. After more than twenty years of working in large, corporate environments, including Starbucks and Lululemon—where she put in insane hours and had little time with her family, and where others determined her worth—she decided to design her own life by tapping into the era of start-ups and passion projects, building meaningful brands, and working from home to spend more time with her family. She is the Founder & Principal Strategist of Dragon Lady and CEO of Mom ’n’ Pop Shop. Her mission is to embolden the workforce of the future. Nancy was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and currently lives in Vancouver, Canada. She can be reached on LinkedIn and at Mom ’n’ Pop Shop and WorkFreely.

ROCHELLE DAVIDSON, CPCC, ACC, is Chief Embolden Officer at Rochelle Davidson Coaching Her purpose is to embolden and equip people and organizations to create their unique impact in the world. With a BA in Business from the University of British Columbia and a MA in Applied Behavioral Sciences from Bastyr University, she is at her best when partnering with leaders to create healthy employees and workplaces, to get results that really matter. Rochelle is a proud cancer survivor and this experience has further fuelled her mission to see people and organizations thrive, not merely survive. She supports her clients in creating environments where their people are inspired, connect to each other in meaningful ways, and use their strengths to contribute to something bigger than themselves and has worked with companies including lululemon athletica, Accenture and University of British Columbia. Rochelle is a certified professional coach, credentialed through International Coach Federation and Coaches Training Institute. Rochelle lives a life she loves in Vancouver, Canada. She can be reached on LinkedIn, at and at

Their new book, Work Freely: Love Your Job. Love Your Life. is available on, Amazon and other fine booksellers.

Healthy Habits: Lead Poisoning

For most people, lead poisoning is something we hear about in the news and then forget about the next day. But in a recent study, more than 350,000 children in the US were afflicted with lead poisoning in just one year alone--many without their parents knowing until it's far too late. What level of exposure are your children facing and what can you do about it? Learn about the symptoms and long-term effects of lead poisoning in children and how you can best protect those you love.
See our full study to find out exactly where your state lies in the mix: 351,454 Children Lead Poisoned Across America