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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ready for Summer? $50 Amazon #Giveaway

After a week of 70 degree weather here in Denver we are now dealing with snow, ice and freezing temps!  What happened?!?  That early taste of summer has been in summer planning mode.  Thinking of clothing wish lists, vacation possibilities and fun outdoor decor - so ready to do some summer time shopping while we stay warm inside this weekend.  


Today I am thanking you, my amazing readers, for coming along for this ride.  I am excited for another season of fun here at Building Our Story and I cannot wait to share our 2017 spring and summer adventures!!  Sunshine come out and play!!

So, to get you into the summer mood I am giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to one of my readers.  We love Amazon and use it for all of our many lists we create, including our summertime wishlists.  

Simply fill out this rafflecopter form below!  Good Luck!!  


Rafflecopter Form:


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Office Stretches To Do At Your Desk

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StopPainNow #CollectiveBias


I love being a mom, it is a honor to be the mother of two amazing kiddos and I honestly cannot imagine a day with out them.  However, since I was blessed with these two I have also had to deal with back pain daily.  Thanks kids!

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About 7 years ago, I was blessed with a positive pregnancy test and also chronic back pain.  I remember the day so clearly when my back pain began.  I was about 6 months pregnant with Jude and was in the shower and sneezed and in order to not end up in the ER with slipping in the shower I tweaked my body during that sneeze.  OUCH!  From that point on I would have shooting pain down my legs daily. That pain also affected me at work, those desk jobs take a toll on ya too!

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Over the years of this back pain, I found myself relying heavily on OTC pain pills that were probably doing more harm than good on my body.  I started doing some research on natural products that could help me get the same relief as the pain medications and that is when I stumbled on the Curamin® Stop Pain Now*+ at my local Natural Grocers.

Curamin® Stop Pain Now*+ is a safe, effective, non-addictive herbal formula that is different from OTC pain medications and prescription drugs that can sometimes have negative side effects. I was especially excited to try this product because it is listed as safe, effective and non-addictive - with daily pain I did not want to be relying on a pain medication that could hurt me.  

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Curamin® has become a daily routine for me and I find that it has helped me enjoy my time as a mom with out that lovely back pain.  In addition to the Curamin® supplements I have started focusing on my time in my desk chair at work.  I work in an office 5 days a week and spend most of my time in my office chair.  This really irritates my back.  I found that doing some simple office stretches at my desk while incorporating Curamin® helps me regulate the pain and irritation.  

Office Stretches To Do At Your Desk


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Chair Cat Cow Stretch:

Bring a little yoga to your desk.  This simple stretch helps improve balance and posture, strengthens and stretches the spine and neck and most importantly reduces lower back pain. 

To do this stretch simply sit up straight in your chair, with your feet flat on the floor and begin to arch your back and look up.  Push your stomach out and shoulders backwards.  Once in this position, start rounding your shoulders forward and look downwards at your lap.  During this process make sure you are inhaling and exhaling properly - do this move at least five times to get the best results. 

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Chair Raised Hands:

A simple stretch that opens your body to improve posture, open your shoulders, and stretches your core.  All of these improvements will help the back pain that a lot of us feel after sitting in a chair for hours.   While all of that sounds amazing, the feeling is even better.  I find myself using this stretch when I start getting sleepy or uncomfortable at work.  

To achieve this release start by sitting up straight in your chair with your feet flat on the ground.  Inhale and raise your hands to the sky.  Exhale and slowly lower your arms to the sides of your chair or body. 

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Side Stretch:

Slouching is an issue that I find myself dealing with when I am working intensely on a computer project.  To get my body out of the slouch which also affects my lower back and shoulders I do this simple side stretch. I find that it improves the strength in my side muscles as well. 

Simply start this stretch by placing one hand on the side of your chair and reach the other arm up.  Once stretched to the sky, slightly press your hand into your chair to feel the stretch in your sides.  Alternate sides while inhaling and exhaling.  

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Shrug It Off:

Back pain settles in all parts of your back, for those of us who sit at a computer every day we might feel more tension in our upper back due to the typing and ergonomics we have at our desks.  To keep the muscles warm and blood moving do this simple shrug a few times a day. 

Inhale deeply and shrug your shoulders, lift them high up to your ears and hold for a few seconds.  Then release and drop as you exhale.  Once you repeat the process a few times, shake your head "Yes" and "No" and then relax your neck.  

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Open Shoulder:

Another yoga-ish pose that will have your body screaming for more stretches.  This stretch opens your shoulders and chest which also helps improve your posture and strength in your core.  Plus it just feels good during those afternoon slumps.  

Interlock your hands behind your back, while doing this pull your shoulders back.  You can stay in one position in order to just open your chest and shoulders or you can extend this stretch further which then also stretches your arms and wrists.  

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Do The Twist:

This might be the most traditional chair stretch yet.  I remember doing this in school all the time, it just feels good!  This move relieves back pain and stiffness and even works on those hip joints.  

To achieve this stretch start by sitting up straight in your chair with feet flat on the ground.  Simply twist your torso and reach to the back of your chair to hold your pose. Lengthen your spine with every inhale/exhale.  


I have found that incorporating these stretches in my daily work life has helped me stay more focused and more comfortable through out the day.  

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Finding a product that accompanies my stretches has really given me a lot of relief when it comes to my daily back pain. Curamin® has provided life-changing benefits to hundreds of thousands of people around the world and I am happy to say I am one of them. 

Hello Curamin. Goodbye Pain

Curamin® is available at fine health food stores nation wide. Check out the store locator to find a retailer near you.  I have found Curamin® at Sprouts and Natural Grocers. 

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How do you deal with your chronic pain?


+Occassional muscle pain due to exercise or overuse.
*SPINSscan Other Herbal Formulas Subcategory, Brand Rank ending 11/2016

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tips on Keeping Your Cats Happy and Healthy

This post is sponsored by Fresh Step® and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help share Fresh Step but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Fresh Step is not responsible for the content of this article.


About two years ago, we introduced a new cat to our family, Sundae.  When we adopted her, we had to get used to the idea of being a multi cat family again. It really is amazing what a difference one little cat can make in your life.  Since then, our older cat Sophie has adjusted to our kitten Sundae, but we did make sure to incorporate a few important tips to make sure both of our cats are happy and healthy.  

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Tips on Keeping Your Cats Happy and Healthy



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Play with your cat daily. Try different types of toys that allow your cat to stalk, chase, pounce and kick. Be sure to switch the toys from time to time so that they seem "new" and more interesting to your cat.


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Find a Cat Space. Everyone needs a little spot they can call their own, even cats! Create a convenient resting area in your home especially for your cat that provides her with some privacy. Makes sure it is located where others cannot sneak up on him - very important in a home with young children. Having her own space will help make her feel safe and secure and get some nice rest. 

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Just hang out. Cats love to be above it all. Think about how cats live in the wild when creating your cat's indoor environment. Outdoor cats love climbing trees, running along fences or sitting in high places so they can keep an eye on their surroundings. You can create these spaces by investing in window perches, cat trees and climbing systems.  There are many options to choose from. 

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Snuggle. We are so lucky with Sophie and Sundae, both of them are lap kitties and the love when we finally sit down for the evening so they can snuggle with us. Be sure to treat your cat with a lot of one-on-one time with you. This could be many different things depending on the personality of your cat - it's playing, petting, grooming or just hanging out. Your cat will love spending time with you.  Plus, that purring you hear from your cat is therapeutic after a rough day...at least for me it is. 

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Keep it Clean!  Cats are neat freaks, did you know that?  This is why it is so important to keep the litter box and litter box area nice and clean.  Cats will stop using the litter box and leave you messes if they believe the box is not clean enough.  

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We recently discovered a new option in cat litter – Fresh Step® Compact Packs. Fresh Step Compact Packs takes the equivalent of a 34 or 38 lb. box of litter and packages it into four smaller packs. These cat litter Compact Packs are easier to store, carry, and pour into the litter box.  As Fresh Step users for years we were so excited to see these packs.  

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Our storage space for cat litter has always been a challenge.  Now that we are using the Fresh Step Compact Packs we are able to easily store these packs.  I am also loving that our 6 year old can carry these packs with no trouble as we are slowly introducing him to the idea of helping with feeding, watering and cleaning for Sophie and Sundae.  

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Just like all of the Fresh Step cat litter options we feel like these Fresh Step Compact Packs of cat litter really help us battle the cat box challenges with multiple cats.  We try hard to keep the box nice and clean for the cats because we know that helps them stay happy and healthy.   
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The new Fresh Step Compact Packs are available in three formulations:

  • Fresh Step with Febreze Odor Shield
  • Fresh Step with Febreze Multi-Cat
  • Fresh Step with Febreze Extreme


Look for Fresh Step Compact Packs at your favorite retailer.


Fresh Step Paw Points® Rewards Program
 

Fresh Step Paw Points® Rewards Program is not a new feature to using Fresh Step but it is a program that all cat owners should be enrolling in today. This is a free rewards program that has you earn points from purchases, sharing cat pictures, taking surveys, and more. Then you get to redeem points for free Fresh Step litter, coupons, toys, and more. 

Join the free Fresh Step Paw Points Rewards Program now at freshstep.com.

You can also download the new Paw Points Rewards app by visiting the Apple App Store or Google Play to earn 50 points.


Not to be missed video: Want to take your cat litter experience from Awkward to Awesome?




Visit Fresh Step: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Enter for a chance to win a coupon worth $18.00 to purchase the new Fresh Step Compact Packs. 5 winners for this giveaway!! Simply enter the rafflecopter form below! Good luck!!

Rafflecopter Form:


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fresh Step. The opinions and text are all mine.



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Monday, February 20, 2017

Life Lessons Kids Learn From Owning a Cat

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Thanks to Fresh Step® Compact Packs for sponsoring today’s post. All opinions are my own.


Jeremy and I got our first cat, Pun-kin, just a few weeks after we got married.  I have always loved cats and I really had to convince my only dog owning husband to adopt sweet Pun-kin.  Once the convincing was done, Jeremy quickly became a cat loving guy, too.  Since then, we adopted miss Sophie and had to say a tearful goodbye to our Pun-kin and in turn adopted our crazy Sundae cat.  Honestly, though, I don't think any of could ever imagine our family with out cats. They are a part of our little family.  

The kids have been around our cats from the day we brought them both home from the hospital.  As they grow older I am really happy with all of the lessons that I see our cats teaching our kids.  


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Life Lessons Kids Learn From Owning a Cat



Compassion: When you let a cat into your family he or she becomes a daily reminder of kindness and compassion. Jude and Teagan have learned to be kind and to take care of others’ basic needs. This also includes understanding and empathy.  The fact is; animals will get sick or hurt at some point.  Seeing this can be difficult on children but it allows them to see empathy and kindness as we take care of our cats.


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Respect: Owning a cat teaches kids how to respect others. They must learn to touch them gently, take care of their needs, and learn not to disturb or mess with them when they want to be left alone. Thankfully, we have been blessed with some very good and patient cats but we have always taught Jude and Teagan to be gentle and careful when interacting with the cats.  Often the kids will ask if the cats would bite - we simply say "of course, they have teeth."  We do not want to scare them but the fact is; cats or any pet can bite or scratch when anyone doesn't respect their space.


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Trust: Cats make wonderful trusted companions for kids and can be a first step to helping your kiddos build trust in other relationships as they grow older.  It can take a while for your cat to trust the little ones but with time and respect the friendship between the kids and cats are so perfect.  Pun-kin and Jude would read books together and snuggle on the chair when Jude was just a baby.  Both Jude and Teagan love to run into the house after we get home from work and check in on the cats. It's like they have to let Sophie and Sundae know how their day went. It is pretty adorable!


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Healthy Living: Properly caring for your cat means feeding them an appropriate diet and engaging them in regular exercise. Kids can learn healthy living habits for their cat as well as themselves by just being involved with these aspects of care.  As Jude gets older we are having him help with feeding and watering the cats and always encourage both of the kids to play with Sophie and Sundae.  The kids love it and the cats do too!


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Responsibility: Caring for a cat is a great way for kids to learn responsibility at any age. Cats require daily feeding, exercise, affection, and not to mention grooming and clean-up. Older kids can learn how to care for another living creature and even younger kids can help with feeding and playtime.  Just recently we have started introducing "chores" to our kids and caring for Sophie and Sundae are parts of those chores.  We do not want to give the kids too much to do but we are hoping to share these responsibilities with them so they can see how important it is to tend to our cats as they are a part of our family.  


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The one area that Jude does want to help with is the cat box department, however, I am not comfortable with him actually cleaning the box. We have started using the Fresh Step® Compact Packs of cat litter that allows him to help with this chore.
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I love these new packages. They are so convenient and clean. The Fresh Step® Compact Pack is the equivalent of a 34 or 38 lb. box packaged in four smaller resealable packs! The Compact Packs are better designed to store in and around the home, and easier to pour into the litter box.  Jude is able to pick one up out of the hall closet and bring it to the litter box and pour it into the box on his own.  What an accomplishment for him and help for us!  


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Behavior Awareness: It is super important for parents to teach kids to notice and pay attention to how their behavior affects their cats - like I said before; cats have teeth, they can bite! When kids learn this behavior awareness they will begin to be able to use that in the "real world". The way we behave affects everyone around us - humans and animals. It is very important for everyone to learn this and having a cat just helps kids see it first hand.


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Leadership Skills:  Seeing Jude gain confidence in his abilities and him finding his sense of authority is great. While cats do not need to be given many commands nor do they want to do tricks for you, the cats do teach kids how to be a leader. When Jude calls the cats to eat their treats, food or water I see the leader in him bloom. Also, when he has to get the cats to stop taking his Lego pieces out of his room (yes this happens daily) the leader is there! I love seeing the confidence build!


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We want the absolute best for our cats because they are such an important piece of our family. As a family with multiple cats we want to make sure we keep our house smelling fresh and the cat box clean for our cats which is why we have been a Fresh Step® loving cat family for years! All Fresh Step® products support the brand’s mission to make the world a more welcoming place for cats and their families. Fresh Step® is celebrating that home is where is the cat is - goodness we know that!  These crazy cats rule the house!

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When you start using Fresh Step® Compact Packs make sure you take advantage of the Fresh Step® Paw Points® Rewards Program as well. When you join this rewards program you will begin earning points for free Fresh Step litter, coupons, toys and even help your local shelter! Pretty cool, especially because it is FREE to join!


Join the free Fresh Step® Paw Points® Rewards Program now at freshstep.com. You can also download the new Paw Points Rewards app by visiting the Apple App Store or Google Play to earn 50 points right away! Woohoo!


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All Fresh Step products are available at Walmart, Target and your favorite grocery store and I totally recommend these Fresh Step® Compact Packs, it will make the world of your cat box so much easier!  To try the Fresh Step® Compact Packs for FREE sign up for this coupon today.


For more information on the new products, visit freshstep.com.




What Life Lessons do you think your cats teach your kids?


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Fresh Step® litter.

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