Thursday, January 29, 2015

Melt: Unique Gift Idea for Your Partner

This year give your sweetie the gift of relaxation and spice up the intimacy in your relationship with a massage. 

Melt: Massage for Couples has perfected the at home massage between couples and are teaching the world how to create a connection with their partner one stroke at a time. Melt informs eager learners everything they will need for a successful massage. From setting the atmosphere and props you may need, to the strokes and connections you need to make, these tasteful how-to videos will make sure that this Valentine’s Day, and every day after, will be filled with love. 

“You may be giving your partner back rubs already,” says Denis Merkas, developer and professional massage therapist. “What Melt is going to do is show you how to perfect that back rub, and provide you with new techniques that will transform your 'just-ok' massage to one that has your partner melting in your hands.” 


This year, Melt: Massage for Couples will be providing a Valentine’s Day special that includes unlimited, lifetime access to the educational massage videos and at a discounted price. Gift vouchers are available; they suggest packaging them with massage oil and a scented candle for a beautiful Valentine gift.


About Melt:  Massage for Couples:
Married couple, Denis and Emma Merkas, began their Melt journey in 2006 by conducting workshops in Australia to help couples reconnect with each other through massage. After the workshops became a great success, the couple decided to create a product that would allow them to share their techniques online. Today, Melt: Massage For Couples has impacted relationships positively all over the world with their video series. Melt offers video series for massaging your partner’s head, back, hands and feet for a one time fee with unlimited access. For more information, please visit: http://couplesmassagecourses.com/

Thrifty Thinking: Kelly Blue Book Resale Value Awards

The 2015 model-year brand and category winners of the annual Best Resale Value Awards, recognizing vehicles for their projected retained value through the initial five-year ownership period, were announced today by Kelley Blue Book, www.kbb.com, the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. 
Subaru and Lexus earned top honors for best brand and best luxury brand (respectively), with Subaru claiming three model winners and Lexus producing six model winners from a total of 22 different segments.  In addition, Chevrolet and Toyota each have an impressive five models winning 2015 Best Resale Value Awards, with the majority being trucks or SUVs.  

Kelley Blue Book’s Best Resale Value Awards are in its 13th year and are based on projections from the Kelley Blue Book® Official Residual Value Guide.  Kelley Blue Book® Residual Values are established by experienced automotive analysts that review the output from the statistical models built upon millions of transactions.  Vehicles that earn the highest five-year residual values, expressed as a percentage of their original Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), are selected for these prestigious awards.  Low-volume vehicles and vehicles with an MSRP of more than $60,000 are excluded from award consideration, except in the plug-in vehicle, luxury and high-performance categories.

Thrifty Thinking: My Free Taxes

More than half of individuals and families in the United States earned $60,000 or less last year, making them eligible to receive free tax preparation and filing assistance this tax season. Unfortunately, many of these families are unaware of their options and may pay, on average, more than $200 to file their federal and state tax returns. MyFreeTaxes.com is the first free online platform that can be used to file federal and state taxes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Offering free English and Spanish tax support, MyFreeTaxes provides qualifying filers access to tax coaches for in-person, self-preparation assistance. The online tool allows taxpayers to self-file for free using a simple step-by-step process that includes free telephone, email and online chat support from IRS-certified volunteer specialists. More than 47 million people self-prepared their tax returns last year, a six percent increase from 2013 filing data, according to the IRS. There are many free options for filers; however, since 2009, MyFreeTaxes is the first nationwide initiative that has enabled millions of individuals and families to claim billions of dollars in tax credits and refunds.


MyFreeTaxes.com is an interactive resource for information regarding tax preparation, valuable credits including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC), and personal finance, as well as access to free, in-person tax preparation sites. This partnership is made possible through the collaboration of nearly 1,000 partners including colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, and state and local government agencies. In 2015, the partnership launched an improved filing experience and customized data reporting for its community partners.

Fun Freetime: Laurie, the Lousy Fairy

The new original series on YouTube, “Laurie the Lousy Fairy” features an adorable new Fairy character who just can’t seem to get her spells right! After a few hilarious mishaps, she always seems to save the day. Have a watch for some laughs for both you and the kids, airing on DreamWorksTV every Tuesday!

Check out the first short episode, created by Adam Deyoe, Dan Dominguez, and Loren Semmens.




DreamWorksTV
DreamWorksTV combines DreamWorks Animations’ expertise as a global family entertainment brand with the digital savvy of AwesomenessTV to create a YouTube channel featuring original live action and animated content. Helmed by AwesomenessTV’s Brian Robbins, DreamWorksTV showcases original short-form content that is laugh-out-loud funny, introducing fresh new voices as well as iconic characters.  Family-friendly versions of reality TV and original animated web series from top creators are featured along with Vlog posts from DreamWorks Animation’s stable of fan favorite characters.  Visit DreamWorksTV at www.YouTube.com/DreamWorksTV, “like” them on Facebook using keyword “DreamWorksTV” and follow them on Twitter @DreamWorksTV. 

Most and Least Efficient Education Spending

With taxes being top of mind, schools back in session and education topping state and local government spending at nearly $870 billion in 2012, the leading personal finance social network WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2015’s Cities with the Most & Least Efficient Spending on Education.

In order to gauge the return on educational investment for 90 of the most populated U.S. cities, WalletHub divided each city’s aggregated standardized test scores in reading and math for grades 4 and 8 by its total education spending per capita. We then normalized the data by four key socioeconomic indicators.

Key stats:
  • Education spending per capita is four times higher in Buffalo, N.Y., than in San Francisco.
     
  • The poverty rate is six times higher in Detroit than in Fremont, Calif.
     
  • The median household income is four times higher in Fremont, Calif., than in Cleveland.
     
  • The percentage of children in single-parent families is five times higher in Cleveland than in Fremont, Calif.
     
  • The percentage of households that do not speak English as their first language is 28 times higher in Santa Ana, Calif., than in Jackson, Miss.
     
  • The average standardized test scores are four times better in Corpus Christi, Texas, than in Rochester, N.Y.

To read the full report and to see where your city ranks, please visit:
http://wallethub.com/edu/cities-with-the-most-least-efficient-spending-on-education/9390/
 
Cities with the Most Efficient Spending on EducationCities with the Least Efficient Spending on Education
1Miami, FL81St. Paul, MN
2Grand Rapids, MI82Syracuse, NY
3Richmond, VA83Riverside, CA
4Mobile, AL84Worcester, MA
5Tucson, AZ85Bakersfield, CA
6Detroit, MI86New York, NY
7Fort Lauderdale, FL87Buffalo, NY
8Austin, TX88Springfield, MA
9Philadelphia, PA89Yonkers, NY
10Birmingham, AL90Rochester, NY


Fun Freetime: Laurie Berkner's Garden

ith a focus on wintertime and healing foods, best-selling, award winning children's musician Laurie Berkner will host the second in a series of hour-long special programs, Laurie Berkner's Garden: Eat, Play, Grow, to be broadcast multiple times throughout the weekend of January 30 - February 1 on SiriusXM's Kids Place Live

Friday, Jan. 30 - 10:00 p.m. EST/7:00 p.m. PST
Saturday, Jan. 31 - 9:00 a.m. & 5:00p.m. EST/2:00 p.m. PST
Sunday, Feb. 1 - 12:00 p.m. EST/9:00 a.m. PST

Laurie Berkner's Garden: Eat, Play, Grow airs four times a year, in alignment with the change of seasons. On each episode, Laurie Berkner joins SiriusXM's Kids Place Live program director Mindy Thomas (a.k.a. Absolutely Mindy!) to help kids understand that food doesn't only come from the store.
Watch Laurie and Mindy talk about Laurie Berkner's Garden: Eat, Play Grow HERE.
The winter edition of Laurie Berkner's Garden: Eat, Play, Grow will remind listeners that even in wintertime, plants are always busy! Highlights include a chat with Lee Coykendall of the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, DC, as well as interviews with several farmers who explain what they do on the farm over the winter, especially with their animals. Special guest Catherine McCord of Weelicious will share winter recipes that use nourishing foods. Laurie and Mindy will also talk to kids about winter foods, discuss what grows in different parts of the country at this time of year, and play a round of "Two Realsies and a Whopper," offering up surprising facts about which mushrooms can actually help keep us healthy during cold and flu season.
Also featured in this episode will be a conversation with Jen Chapin of WhyHunger about how to help families who have difficulties getting adequate food. Directly following the program, SiriusXM's Kids Place Live will broadcast an in-studio concert by The Laurie Berkner Band that benefited WhyHunger.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Freebies!

Nivea skin care (Facebook)

Sweepstakes: Kingsford Grilling Pack

Winter weather may sting your toes and bite your nose, but it shouldn’t stop you from grilling outdoors! From now until March 11 (11:59 a.m. PT), all Coalar Bears are invited to share their best winter grilling pictures for a chance to win a grilling pack from Kingsford. See details here
 
Visit www.kingsford.com for details and be sure to follow @Kingsford to enter!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Mealtime Magic: Walmart's Favorite Regional Game-Day Recipes

Walmart Fun Fact:
Last year, Walmart sold enough bags of Doritos during the game weekend to provide each of the fans attending the 2015 match up with nearly 30 bags of chips.
 
Favorite Walmart Recipes from Across the Nation:
Walmart.com serves as a great recipe resource for fans across the country. Below are some regional favorites including:
 
·         Midwest: Ruffles Pulled Pork Nachos
·         West: Sweet & Spicy wings
·         Southeast: Tostitos Spicy Shrimp Fritters
·         Southwest: Pepsi & Mustard Pulled Pork      
·         Northeast: Mozzarella Bolettes  

Walmart also has great deals on many entertaining products, including the following currently on Rollback:
Hormel Party Tray – $10.98
9 to 11 oz. bag of Select Frito Lay Chips – 2 for $5
Tostitos Chunky Salsa – $2.98
Velveeta – $5.98
Hillshire Farm Lit’l Smokies Pack – $2.98
Farm Rich Buffalo Wings or BBQ Boneless Chicken Bites – 2 for $9
Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet ‘n Spicy Barbeque Sauce –  $2.98
Kingsford Match Light Charcoal Briquettes – $9.44
Johnsonville Smoked Sausage Links – $2.98
Arnold Potato Hamburger or Hot Dog Sandwich Rolls (8 count)        


Parenting Pointers: Dating Your Spouse

In marriage it can be hard to find time to put into your relationship. After all, between kids and work, you’re exhausted. In order to have a healthy and happy relationship though, it’s necessary to never stop dating your spouse and never stop treating the relationship like its own being. 
 
April Davis, founder of high end matchmaking service Cupid’s Cronies, cupidscronies.com, said it’s actually good for you to take a break from the kids from time to time, because a break can recharge you and make you a better parent. Davis, who just so happens to be married to a divorce attorney, has many ideas on what you can do on your next date night.
 
Dating can be tough for busy parents – Specifically, married couples who are looking for simple dates they can do at home.

Have a spa night – light some candles and put on the relaxing music. Have an Italian themed night! Make a pizza or pitas and watch an Italian themed movie. Exercise. Not only is it healthy for you, but it’s kind of fun and sexy to work up a sweat with your lover. Play a game – maybe it’s a board game or maybe even a good old fashioned truth or dare session.