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3 Money Wasting Wardrobe Items I Refuse to Buy!

3 Money Wasting Wardrobe Items I Refuse to Buy!


Let’s be honest. Nobody likes to throw their money out the window during the best of times.  With the uncertain economy that we have now it’s even more important to pinch every penny and stretch every dollar.  I’m going to share with you three clothing items that I think waste  your hard earned money.

I’m not a fashion expert, however, I am someone that likes to look nice when I’m out of the house interacting with others.  Sweatpants and hoodies won’t always do! {Check out our How to Wear a Hoodie article}

Here are three of my biggest historical money wasters:

Cheap shoes.

Any of these I’ve ever purchased have lost their comfort way faster than I found acceptable.  I use to think that rotating through them to transfer my discomfort was a smart idea.  Yes, I never got blisters that way but my feet were constantly uncomfortable.  It might have been a sore heel one day and then a cramped toe the next.  It wasn’t worth it!  When I met my husband I found someone who spends as much money as me on his wardrobe but he has a significantly smaller selection.  While I’m not ready to minimize as much as he has, I have learned from him.  I’ve found that investing in two good pair of comfortable shoes a year, shoes that will last, is worth more to me than 30 pair that I can’t wear two consecutive days.

White bras.

Ugggh, how I hate these!  They easily stain under shirts of a different color, they aren’t discreet under a white shirt, and well, I just don’t think they are very exciting.  I like fun colors but if I’m wearing something light in color or a white shirt, I’ll go with a flesh tone bra that can’t be detected.  Avoiding white bras saves me from being immodest, spending my Saturdays trying to get unwanted dye out of them, and I get to add a little bit of color to my day.

Way too cheap T-shirts.

I’ve fallen into this trap multiple times!  Never, ever, ever, ever buy a shirt that is under $5 at a non-sale price.  I’ve bought shirts for $1 that have lasted me 10 years (and counting!) but they were originally $30.  Every shirt I’ve bought for $5 and under has made it’s way to the trash can within a few weeks.  They don’t even hold up well enough to donate!  Don’t get me wrong, thirty dollar T-shirts aren’t in my budget either but that’s why I know where the clearance racks are at my favorite stores and what day of the week they mark new items down.  The fading, stretching, pilling, and loosening of seams isn’t worth it to me to buy the cheap shirts.

There you have it.  Those are my top three money wasting wardrobe purchases that I refuse to buy any longer.  Do you have any other items you would like to add to the list?  I would love for you to share!  We’re all trying to save money during these tough economic times and I would love to hear what ideas you have for shopping and saving!

10 Places to Find Fabulous Shoes For Under $30

10 Places to Find Fabulous Shoes for Under $ 30


Fabulous shoes don’t have to come with a hefty price-tag as the magazines would have you believe.  Here is a list of 10 places you can find absolutely adorable shoes for under $30.


1. Forever 21

Pink High Heels

Buy them at Forever 21 for $29.80.


2. Go Jane   Pink Pumps Buy these at Go Jane for $18.90.


3. Colorful Flats for $9.99 Buy these at for $9.99.


4.   Nude Heels Buy these at for $19.99.


5. Target Teal Platforms Buy these at for only $29.99.


6. Colorful Flats   Buy these at for $27.99.


7. Pink Flats Buy these at for only $17.99.


8. Pastel Flats Buy these at for $19.50.


9. Floral Flats Buy these at for only $12.99.


10. Crocheted Flats Buy these at for only $24.

Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention

Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention!


The National Cancer Institute estimates that about 12% of women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. The vast majority of these cancers will result at least in part from environmental factors. This is actually good news, as it means that there are choices that women can make that will help to prevent their chance of developing this serious and life-threatening condition.



General breast cancer prevention tips


The application of the basic principles of maintaining good health can help all women to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer. These principles include exercising daily and maintaining a healthy body weight. It’s also best to avoid smoking entirely and to limit alcohol intake.


All women should also strive to get adequate levels of vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin” because the human body can synthesize it from sunlight. Recent research has suggested that 75% of all new breast cancer cases could be prevented if women simply maintained their vitamin D levels in the optimal range.



Minimizing the risk of getting breast cancer


Some important preventative measures against breast cancer can only be taken by a woman at certain points in her life. For example, younger women should be sure to breastfeed their babies for as long as circumstances permit. Ideally, during a woman’s lifetime she should include at least twelve months of the activity in order to help reduce breast cancer risks.


Women long past their childbearing years can also make choices that limit their chances of developing breast cancer. One of the most important is to avoid the hormone replacement therapy that is commonly prescribed for women after the start of the menopause. The hormone progesterone should be particularly avoided. If hormone therapy is necessary, it should be limited to a period of three years.


Another way to minimize risk is to buy Evista, a prescription drug that is used in post-menopausal women to reduce their chance of developing invasive forms of breast cancer.



Breast cancer prevention foods


Eating a wholesome diet rich in breast cancer prevention foods is another sensible lifestyle choice. Many kinds of fruits and vegetables offer a bountiful supply of the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and anti-oxidants that can help prevent cancer. In fact, studies have shown that women who consume vegetables in abundance can reduce their breast cancer risk by more than 35%.


In general, the fruits and vegetables that offer the most anti-cancer nutrients are those that are deeply or brilliantly colored. Romaine is a better lettuce choice than iceberg, for example, because it is more densely packed with nutrition. This kind of diet can be thought of as “eating the rainbow.” Women should strive to include in their diet as many brightly colored foods as possible, from the dark blues and reds of fresh berries to the deep greens of kale, chard, and spinach.


Another useful cancer prevention food is the herb turmeric, which is commonly used in Indian cuisine and is usually sold in powdered foods. Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is able to block certain molecules associated with the aggressive spread of breast cancer cells. Other excellent anti-cancer foods include cabbage, garlic, mushrooms, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower.


While nothing in life is guaranteed, hopefully these breast cancer prevention tips can help some women to avoid developing this very unpleasant and potentially dangerous condition.


You may also be interested in our article: Restoring Your Skin, Hair, & Nails After Chemotherapy.

Call Me Maybe Nail Art

Call Me Maybe Nails!

These sweethearts whether near or far will always be connected by their love.

Right now, they’re talking on the telephone and he’s making her blush.


One of my good friends, Emily from Live2Save2Live, told me about a nail design contest that Sally Hansen was hosting.  I didn’t really figure I had a shot but I thought it would be fun to play around with polishes to find a design to fit the “Sweethearts” theme they chose.  My final design turned out better than I thought it would so I’ve decided to submit it.  I have titled it, “Call Me Maybe.”  What do you think?  Cute?


To Vote: 

To vote for my design, go to Sally Hansen’s Nail Art Contest to vote for my entry.  Thank you!  {It should pull up my entry automatically but if it doesn’t just search for Ashley Walkup.}


How To Replicate:

To replicate this simple design all you need is a couple basic nail polish pens and a nail polish in your favorite shade.  I recommend practicing once or twice on paper with an ink pen and then once with the polish pen before you dive in.  Also, make sure the polish pen has dried fully before giving it a top coat {if you choose to do so}.

Restoring Your Skin, Hair, and Nails After Chemotherapy

Restoring your skin, hair, & nails after chemotherapy


Today I got a note from one of our readers named Wendy.  She said,


“I have breast cancer and I just got done with chemo, I was just hoping you could help me with some products that I could use for my skin and nails. Thank you!”




I have a good friend who is now half way through her treatments for breast cancer and it just breaks my heart.  It’s a shame that anyone has to go through this.  I have to say that seeing her strength, courage, and dependence on the Lord through this time is an encouragement to me.  Congratulations on staying strong and finishing chemo!!!  We all know that isn’t an easy accomplishment.  Thank you for writing and I’ll do my best to answer your question.


God Bless,




Chemo can wreck havoc on your skin, hair, and nails but there are a few things you can do to help take care of yourself before, during, or after chemo.


  • Avoid long, hot showers that dry out your skin.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Use creams instead of lotions.  Apply right after you shower and before bed.  Reapply cream each time after you wash your hands.
  • Massage cream into your nails and nail beds to help promote healthy cuticles and regrowth.
  • Wear gloves when you wash the dishes or are around other chemicals to avoid an infection.
  • Use an oily polish remover to avoid drying out your nails even further.
  • Avoid hand creams with alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acids.
  • Push back cuticles rather than cutting them.
  • If you notice an infection around your nails consult with your doctor who could give you a few different prescription options.
  • For dry brittle nails, use Nailtiques Formula 2 Plus. It goes on like a polish but it’s a nail protein.  It helps smooth ridges, stop splitting, strengthens nails and helps them grow.  You can use it daily until you get the results you want and then once a week.  It’s expensive but I personally swear by this stuff!  {I’ve also heard that Nail Envy by OPI works well.  It’s even more costly though!}
  • Because your immune system is likely to be compromised by treatment, try to avoid any injury to the nails or cuticles that might lead to infection. If you must have your nails done professionally you should make your manicurist aware of this.
  • Ask your doctor first and if allowed try taking a prenatal vitamin.  They are known to do wonders for hair and nails.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet and make sure you’re getting plenty of protein and iron.
  • If your skin is very dry, use an ammonium lactate cream to help increase moisture retention. These creams are available over-the-counter as well as by prescription.
  • Some chemotherapy drugs make skin more susceptible to sunburn. Use a sunblock with at least an SPF 30 and choose one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use gentle fragrance-free soaps and laundry detergent.


Here are some other great beauty resources worth checking out:

    This is a free, national public service program dedicated to teaching women cancer patients beauty techniques to help restore their appearance and self-image during cancer treatment. Trained beauty professionals teach beauty techniques in skin care, make-up, hair care and nail care. There program also includes demonstrations in the use of wigs, hats, turbans and scarf-tying techniques. Look Good Feel Better is sponsored by the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Fragrance Association, The American Cancer Society and the National Cosmetology Association.
    A body image resource for women surviving cancer including suggestions on what to wear and a clothing and accessory directory.

Inexpensive, Unique, & Homemade Valentine Gift Ideas!

Inexpensive, Unique, & Homemade Valentine Gift Ideas!


Chocolate, flowers, and diamonds are all great gifts.  Not many people will disagree with that.  Showing your love how much you care doesn’t have to be expensive with a little thought, time, and creativity.  Here are 5 inexpensive unique homemade valentine gift ideas to help get your creative juices flowing.


Before we get started, I just want to throw out a quick reminder to everyone to think about what your significant other’s love language is. For help with figuring that out see the book, The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts or take the online Love Language quiz.  If you know how they “hear” you say I love you then you’ll be able to find the perfect gift for them!  For instance, if your husband loves to hear words of affirmation you could do #3 the Celtic Heart Knot and frame it with a backdrop of a list of the reasons you love him. {You like the way he smiles, the way he cooks pancakes perfectly, etc.}.  If your wife’s love language is gifts of service then you could plan a relaxing evening for her with say #1’s Homemade Bath Bombs, a soothing CD, and a few hours to herself while you and the kids straighten up and clean the house for her.  Once you know you’re loved one’s love language you can find the perfect gift for them!  Now for our 5 gift ideas…



Homemade Bath Bombs

  •  Homemade Bath Bombs – These fizzy bombs delight kids and adults alike and leave your skin silky smooth.  They often are a rare luxury in our house because they cost a pretty penny however, I have found a DIY bath bomb recipe on and you can check out that recipe here.  I can’t wait to try this out myself!



Paper Fortune Cookie Pattern

  •  Paper Fortune Cookies – These fortune cookies are adorable and perfect for the last minute gifter.  These are so simple to make!  Visit Design. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. for all the details.



Celtic Heart Knot

  • Celtic Heart KnotFusion Knots has a video to guide you step by step to help you make your own Celtic heart knot.  You could use a number of different types of string or rope to make a beautiful necklace or bracelet with this beautiful heart design.  I think my favorite would be to have a thick white rope, like the one shown above, and have it framed with a dark colored backing.  Maybe a hunter green or deep red.  I think that would be lovely!   



Love Letters

  • Love Letters – These “love letters” aren’t a stack of handwritten notes where you’ve poured out your heart and soul and undying devotion to the one you love.  Although, I highly recommend those as a homemade Valentine gift too!  These are the beautifully designed letters from a fellow blogger, Liz from Hoosier Homemade.  Aren’t they darling?  While I adore over the top pink, frilly, and girlieness you could also make these in colors that coordinate with your home decor so that you could keep them up and enjoy them year-round.    



Free Love Coupons


  • Free Love CouponsI Heart Nap Time has free printable love coupons for you to print and assemble your own love coupon book.  This is a simple gift but a thoughtful one too!  If you do this don’t forget to choose coupons that are perfect for your sweetheart’s love language.


Whatever you give this Valentine’s Day make sure it’s from the heart and that the recipient is 100% confident of your love.  If you do that, you can’t go wrong!


Happy Valentine’s Day!


How to Get Katy Perry’s Grammy Nails

Katy Perry's Grammy Nails


Did you watch the Grammy’s tonight?  This was the 55th annual Grammy Awards and the biggest trend this year was smokin’ hot nails.  Katy Perry looked to celebrity manicurist, Kimmie Keyes, for help completing her red carpet look.  While I wasn’t a big fan of her dress {I can’t help it, I like modesty!}, I did love her nails.  Kimmie  created her nail design with an affordable brand we all know and love, Sally Hansen.


To get this dreamy nail design at home, use Sally Hansen’s Complete Salon Manicure in Pink Pong on the nail and Gem Crush Nail Color in Big Money under the tips.

Winter Blues – Nail Polish Trend

Winter Blues


Here are the perfect hues to wipe away those winter blues!  That’s a pretty catchy phrase, huh?  I made that up myself; feel free to quote me.


I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a fan of blue nail polish.  To me it’s always been too bold and even a little child-like.  However these new richer blue shades have won me over.  Aren’t they elegant?  You can choose any shade from a deep cornflower to a midnight blue and still being in style this season.  Just be careful to not use this bold trend if your nails are too long because you don’t want to veer into tacky territory.


If you’re interested in any of the polishes above you can buy them at these locations:


Please note that these prices could change at any time; this is just what they are listed at today when I wrote the post.

E-cigarette Reviews – Do they work?

I don’t usually post about such “hot topic” issues as this but it seems that I’m hearing more and more about people trying to quit smoking.  That is probably due to new years resolutions but I’m sure the economy doesn’t help either. E-cigarettes, do they work?

Over the past couple of years electronic cigarettes have been gaining popularity among people looking to quit smoking.  These products haven’t came without heavy controversy though.  I’ve been in the presence of a few different friends discussing the use of them lately so I was curious and wanted to do some research of my own.

I’ve found that some electronic cigarettes contain tobacco and some don’t.  Some may have potential risks and safety concerns and some don’t.  I still don’t know everything there is to know {far from it really!} but I found a website that has a ton of helpful electronic cigarette reviews,  To make an educated decision on electronic cigarettes you can check out their site and quickly compare more than 50 different e-cigarette brands and benefit from over 1,900 electronic cigarette reviews & ratings.  They even have a thorough review of the blu cig brand which I’ve heard is gaining a lot of popularity lately.  I’m not telling you what to do but if you’re looking to quit smoking, I wouldn’t pass up electronic cigarettes without first taking a close look at them.

Tobacco use still remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US but still more than 45 MILLION Americans smoke cigarettes.  I read that, as of 2010, there were also 13.2 million cigar smokers in the US, and 2.2 million who smoke tobacco in pipes.  That’s a lot of tobacco!

Do you or a loved one need to get serious about kicking this habit?  If you choose an electronic cigarette that doesn’t have health and safety problems, think of how great that would be.  You won’t be exposing yourself or anyone around you to any of the unhealthy components found in traditional cigarettes, such as carbon monoxide, carcinogens, tobacco, tar or ash.  Bleh!  Plus, I’m assuming that e-cigarettes would be cheaper…although don’t quote me on that!  Think how great it would be to say goodbye to yellow teeth, bad breath, and potentially smoking all together.

My dad chewed snuff when I was younger.  Ugh, the thought of that still grosses me out to this day.  When the dentist told him he had better quit or he was going to lose his teeth, he listened.  He tried to quit cold turkey but that didn’t work.  Instead he used a substitute chew to take it’s place as he slowly weaned himself off it.  Sometimes habits are hard to break.  Who am I kidding?  All habits are hard to break, aren’t they?

I am NOT sharing this post to sound better than anyone or to tell anyone what to do.  I’ve just had quite a few friends discussing this lately and after I’ve done my research I’ve found that some of their information wasn’t correct.  All I’m saying is that if you’re looking to quit smoking, this might be a good option for you.  I hope you can see my heart in this.  I think the world of you guys!

Exercise Ideas for Parents

Exercise Ideas for Parents


Between errands and house work and dinner, it can be quite a challenge for moms and dads to find ways to incorporate exercise into their daily lives.  I think with a little creativity you can squeeze a few extra minutes of exercise here and there into your life, get healthier, and feel better about yourself.  Here are a few ways that parents can get fit and make the most of their free time.


  • Walk Away the Weight – Something as simple as walking can help you reduce stress and lose weight.  For some parents, finding a few minutes to walk in the morning before everyone else wakes up might be ideal.  For others, a brisk walk before lunch with the stroller is their preferred option to get fit.  Whenever you can manage to squeeze in a walk you’ll be glad you did.  Walking is one of the simplest ways to get fit and improve your health.  Plus, I find that it’s a great time to talk with my husband when we walk together and a great time to talk to God when I walk alone.


  • Exercise with the Kids – When I was little I loved riding bikes with my dad.  It was a fun way to bond and experience nature together.  Other options might include a dance game on the Wii or Xbox, backyard volleyball, hiking, or swimming.  Your options are endless, just make sure you don’t let the kids know that they’re exercising!


  • Work Out at the Playground – If you don’t want to do jumping jacks in front of all the other moms you could simply wear weights and increase your movement at the playground.  Walk around the playground or get involved and cross those monkey bars!


  • Make it Fun – This is a favorite of mine!  I love to turn music on and dance.  This is a great way to get an extra little work out when cleaning or when playing with the kiddos.  Another idea is for you and your kid to lay on the floor and pretend you’re riding a bicycle, or that you are a sizzling piece of bacon, or…well, you get the picture!  This is also a good chance to work on their numbers or letters. With both of you laying on your back you can stretch your arms out wide and then clap above you while saying “A” and so on.  There are endless games you can make up and play together!


  • Work out When They Do – This is an idea for older kids.  If your kid takes swimming, dance, or any other scheduled activity see what activities you can do while you wait.  Maybe you could do several laps in the pool while your child has their lesson (if your child isn’t mortified by the idea) or maybe there is a cycling class in the same building as your daughter’s dance class.  Soccer practice?  Go for a quick jog around the field while they practice.  I’m sure there are plenty of ideas you can come up with when you get creative!


What about you?  What ways do you find to exercise after having kids?  I would love to hear your ideas!