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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Top Picks for Gifts for Guys

Shopping for the special men in your life can be a challenge! We are at less than 2 weeks until Christmas and I have been searching high and low for awesome gift ideas. I cannot bring myself to buy another pair of sleep pants or drug store shaving kit to wrap up and present to my husband or father.

This year I am sharing the most thoughtful, sophisticated, stylish and delicious gift options for the guys! Product samples were received to inspire this guide.

1) Silk Pocket Square; The City of New York
There is something really classy about a pocket square. This one is perfect for my history loving husband. The silk pocket square depicts the City of New York in the 1870's Retailing at under $60 this is a gift that adds so much flair to any outfit. The printing is eye catching and thought provoking, for a truly one of a kind gift.

2) Black Lapel Custom Velvet Dinner Jackets
This is a gift to splurge on, as it is truly a gorgeous dinner jacket. Perfect for a special event, or a unforgettable night on the town, any man with this ensemble in his closet is prepared for anything, no matter how swanky it may be. Retailing at $549 this jacket is a one of a kind. Conversation-starting, luxurious and reasonably priced, these custom-tailored velvet blazers are sure to make any man a standout for the holidays, whether he's just going out to a bar or dinner, or he's attending the most posh, highly celebratory events. These stunners come in navy blue, black and deep purple and are sure to make people ask the handsome man wearing them, "Where did you get that beautiful blazer?"

If your special guy wants to get in better shape or take steps to being healthier than ever, this app is perfect for gifting. Think match.com for dieters! It links him with a dietician to make healthy choices and start living his best life. There are 2 plans available starting at about $50 a month, or $100 a month. Since this is an app, you can truly shop at the last minute and still deliver a great gift!

4) Gourmet Gift Baskets
I love the offerings from gourmet gift baskets and how they take the stress out of shopping by delivering a great gift, right to their door. This year, I love the Fresh Fruit Gift Basket option for a sweet yet healthy holiday offering. Featuring red and green apples and oranges, this is a super fresh and inviting gift option. Retailing at under $40 this is an affordable way to send holiday cheer without adding unhealthy temptations in the season of excess.

Because life is short and you should totally eat the cookies and brownies that Christmas has to offer, I love the Baked Goods Sampler Gift Basket . This basket is packed full of irresistible options like Peanut Butter Brownies, Lemon Sugar Cookies, Peanut Butter Cookies and Chocolate Chunk Brownies to name a few. Retailing at under $40, this is a sweet gift for a great guy!

5) Thirty One Moosin Around Large Utility Totes
Thirty One has so many fun options for the whole family, and the guys are not excluded! I love that this is a masculine print that he won't mind carrying to games, events and practices. It is spacious and comfortable to carry and can be used in so many ways! Thirty One can help him get organized and carry all of the essentials on any adventure he goes on. Retailing at $35 this is a great gift for any guy on your list. You can also find this print on Thermal Lunch Totes, mini bins and more to give him the gift of organization and function on a budget.

6) Ugly Christmas Sweaters
This is one of the most fun gift options of the season. I love love love that they have star wars options available for the guys on your list. My favorites include the At At Ugly Christmas Sweater which is so subtly wonderful that if you don't know Star Wars you might not get it. I am also crazy for the Boba Fett button up sweater which is colorful and super cozy! Priced at under $50 these are festive and fun options for the guys on your list. If they aren't into Star Wars, no sweat, you can find so many other awesome options onsite.

If you have ideas for thoughtful gifts for him this Christmas, please leave a comment to share the inspiration! From my family to yours, Happy Holidays!

Top Picks for Gifts for Her

 I am shopping, wrapping and baking like Christmas is less than 2 weeks away! Now that the kids gifts have been wrapped and hidden away, I am completely focused on finding the best gifts for women!

This year, you can skip the ugly Christmas sweaters and the standard boxes of chocolate that we all end up buying when we are stumped on what to get a special lady in our lives. I have gathered some of my favorite gift ideas to share with you. Buying an awesome gift has never been easier with this guide!

Product samples were received to inspire this gift guide.

1) Zerowater 23 Cup Pitcher
This is such a handy item with health benefits. I love the idea of gifting this water pitcher because it will help reduce the amount of plastic bottles used and thrown away in any household and it provides some amazingly crisp and clear water from the tap. This unit retails for under $40 and is so easy to use. All you need to do is fill it with tap water, give it a few moments to filter and push the easy to operate dispenser. The pitcher includes a testing unit to make sure you are drinking zero solids.

2) Balsam Fire Log by American Home  Yankee Candle
Relaxation is always a wonderful gift at the holidays. With this fire log by American Home for Yankee Candle, you can toss this in the fireplace and get cozy with your family. You can buy a 4 pack of 3 hour logs for under $25 for a fragrant and relaxing gifting option this holiday season. This makes a great gift because it is unique and everyone loves Yankee Candles!

3) Personal Trainer Food
As a mom who is eating healthier and devoted to living my best life at the holidays and long after they have passed, Personal Trainer Food is one of my favorite gift ideas. While it may be anything but traditional, you can rest assured the gift of delicious and easy to prepare food will be a hit with anyone this holiday season. Personal Trainer Food is not like any other diet I have tried. First, everything they offer is delicious. I love that you can order 2 weeks of food or a month, and pick what suits your palate.

I have tried other diet programs, and failed, but after one month of Personal Trainer Food I lost 9 pounds and had heaps of energy. I loved that I could eat real meat and cheese, plus snacks and lose weight by simply walking. I highly recommend this service to anyone that wants to live healthier, lose weight and eat REAL FOOD!

4) Thirty One Gifts
Thirty One has so many awesome options for the holidays. From handbags, totes and lunch thermals, to jewelry, pillows and more. I love to gift Thirty One because it supports women in small business and helps to make dreams come true. This year I am gifting the City Charcoal Chic Tote. It is gorgeous and works perfectly for a night on the town, or a great bag for work. The bag features a pebbled faux leather exterior and a colorful polka dot interior. It is spacious enough to tote all of your necessities around in without giving shoulder pains.

I am also loving the Endless Dreamer Necklace with charms. There are so many options to create a personal gift from the heart that she will love to wear and show off.

Thirty One also offers great gifts for the home, for the kids and for men too! My husband loves his Moosin Around Tote and uses it all of the time! No matter who you are shopping for, Thirty One has you covered!

5) Biore Products
Sometimes being an adult means putting yourself last. While we may not want to admit it, sometimes we let ourselves go. Biore offers a line of affordable and easy to use options that makes pampering a breeze. My favorites include the charcoal bar, the self heating one minute mask and of course, pore perfect strips! Priced at under $7 each, you can stuff a stocking with the gift of healthy skin, or you can pair these offerings with some small pampering items like sleeping masks, a great lotion like Curel Hydra Therapy Wet Skin Moisturizer and some epsom salts to make a gift basket that will pamper and indulge the skin! I love that you can find all 3 of these items at mass retailers for a last minute gift option on a budget.

6) Healthy Fragrances
There is something super alluring about a new perfume. I am crazy for the line of Lavanila fragrances this year. Retailing at under $50 you can find these luscious full size perfumes at Sephora. I love that each fragrance is blended with organic sugar cane alcohol, natural botanical extracts, and pure essential oils that are delicate on sensitive skin. Unlike other fragrances on the market, the Healthy Fragrance is free of drying alcohol, petrochemicals and phthalates.

You can find this line in six invigorating scents: Vanilla Passion Fruit, Vanilla Grapefruit, Vanilla Coconut, Fresh Vanilla Lemon, Vanilla Summer, and Pure Vanilla.

7) Image Merry & Bright Skin Care
This is an affordable and awesome limited-edition collection containing IMAGE Skincare’s top rated VITAL C products to nourish, hydrate and revitalize dry, sensitive or redness-prone skin. Includes Vital C hydrating facial cleanser, Vital C hydrating anti-aging, Vital C hydrating enzyme masque, Vital C hydrating repair crème and Prevention+ daily hydrating moisturizer SPF 30. Retailing at under $20 this is going to make for a merry and bright complexion into the new year. Find it online or in spas and salons nationwide.

8) KORRES Greek Wonders Skin Kit
For under $40 you can give the gift of discovery. With the KORRES Greek Wonders Kit the inner  Greek Goddess on-the-go can shine with some of the most powerful, centuries-old skincare from Greece, all in travel size. Includes the Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser, Pomegranate Moisturising & Balancing Cream-Gel, Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial & Golden Krocus Ageless Saffron Elixir. This is available online, at sephora and from HSN. This is a great kit for  skin care on the go.

9) Holiday Glam Make Up
This year, why not gift her the hottest looks in make up? Sally Hansen and Rimmel have gorgeous and affordable options that make perfect stocking stuffers! I love the glam in grey offerings this year as they are elegant without being over the top. Look for Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Lip Colour, Rimmel London ScandalEyes Eyeshadow Stick, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polishes and Insta Dri Nail Color in grey shades for under $10 each. These make a gorgeous glam stocking stuffer option!

10) Gourmet Gift Baskets
I am a big fan of gourmet gift baskets! They have the yummiest gift options! From sweet treats, to buckets of beer, and giant cookies! Plus everything yummy in between! This year I am favoring a few options such as the Pineapple Dried Fruit Platter. Retailing at under $50 this is a healthy and sweet gift option. Presented on an eye catching pineapple shaped cutting board, this is a great hostess gift, or a way to share something guilt free and decadent to your guests this holiday season. The dried fruit platter includes pineapple, cherries, plums, apricots, dates, plums, kiwi, pitted prunes and apple rings.  In the 1700s, the pineapple was the ultimate symbol of hospitality. This modern version of the pineapple gift is sure to evoke similar feelings of warmth, community and camaraderie.

I also love the Tour of Italy Gift Basket. This is packed with delicious goodies from Italy! This is the ultimate gift for a foodie. It contains rich pasta crafted in Puglia, tomato sauce originating from Rome, and gourmet pistachio biscotti for dessert, and so much more like marinated artichoke hearts, Tuscan minestrone soup and even luscious lemon wafer bites. Retailing at under $130, this gift offers a perfect escape from winter weather without ever leaving the house!

Sometimes, you need a sweet gift for a sweet lady. The Good Tidings Holiday Gift Basket by Gourmet Gift Baskets is the perfect option! Featuring so many favorite sweets like white chocolate cranberry cookies, Ghirardelli Chocolate Belgian Chocolate Truffles and an ah-mazing cashew brittle to name a few, this is a gift basket that will satisfy her cravings for sweets while indulging her in the gourmet side of gifting. Retailing for under $50, this is one sweet way to spread holiday cheer!

11)  AiroSpa Pillow
 Gifting luxury is as easy as gifting this unique, simple to use, affordable, multi-purpose stress reliever and aromatherapy pillow that can be used at home and travel anywhere. With its built-in and patented fan, air-flow vents and face-down angled construction, the AiroSpa™ Pillow can be used as a home/office/travel massage experience enhancer with a partner or all on its own for a calming and relaxing experience. I love that it can use your favorite essential oil to take a massage to the next level of bliss, or to give you a restful experience on the road.

If you have favorite gift ideas for a special lady this holiday season I would love to hear about them! Leave me a comment to inspire my last minute shopping!

Indoor Play with Baby Cubby

Winter is here, and we are preparing for many long months of indoor play, snowy weather and cabin fever. With an active little one in the house, that means play time needs to cover a lot of bases. There are afterall, wiggles, jiggles and giggles to get out!

This post was sponsored in product.

We are taking play time to a new level of fun with Baby Cubby. This is such a fun shop that finding ways to make indoor play enticing is a breeze.

Harp is all about romping, roaring and stomping, so the Jurassic Adventure Wooden Playset was so much fun! On the first chilly rainy day we had an adventure fit for the Jurassic time period. As a parent, I love that Baby Cubby offers toys that are screen and battery free for engaging and imaginative play sessions for growing minds!

Harp has a soft spot for all things cute and cuddly, so finding a friend or two to help her pass an indoor day was a must. We are both still swooning for the Maileg Mouse Plush Toy Collection.   Mum and Dad in Cigar Box and Baby Twins in a Matchbox were the perfect choice to inspire hours of dramatic family play. These are possibly the cutest little things ever. They are unique, perfectly sized for tiny hands and I love the storage that is included via the boxes!

Dramatic play is so important for growing minds and bodies! It helps children to form the foundations for friendships as well as offer an outlet for making sense of situations in their life, on a much smaller level. Having a tiny family to use as a dramatic play tool will be helpful in preparing and coping with the new experience of preschool for Harp.

Indoor play needs to incorporate movement to keep kids balanced. Finding suitable ways for active indoor play seems like a daunting task, but keeping things simple is often the key. Harp and I have been hopping around in style like beautiful little bunnies with these Meri Meri Bunny Ear Hair Accessories. These are adorable felt ears that will put the hop in your little ones step and keep them playing, pretending and looking pretty. I love that these are so affordable at $7 a pair and can entice little ones to get their wiggles out bunny style.

If you too are preparing for indoor play on fall and winter days, I highly recommend checking out The Baby Cubby site. They have an impressive selection for babies, toddlers and parents that features some of the best options in gear, toys and feeding.
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Saving Big on Last Minute Shopping #5Back17

With less than 2 weeks until Christmas, I am going to hit the stores with purpose this weekend. There are gifts to buy, meals to plan and of course, decorations to finish! Wouldn't it be nice if I could save a little money and tell you how I plan to do it all on limited time?

This post was sponsored but the opinions are my own.

Well, you are in luck. I am going to share my secret money saving weapon with you, that makes my shopping easier, keeps me on budget and helps to keep some of my hard earned cash in my pocket. I won't have to cut corners or settle for less than the perfect gifts either with my secret money saving high five.

Right out the door I am going to save $19.05 on all of my shopping, but the savings will certainly add up beyond a $20 bill. I am buying a Five Back Visa Gift Card and hitting the shops! At five back retailers I will earn 5% of the purchase added back to my card. That is a deal worth laughing all the  way to the bank over.

But, I know I am going to save even more than 5%, because friends, I am a double dipper. I have clipped my coupons and noted who has the best sales.  I am ready for shopping and saving action!

Now, there is a fee to buy the five back card of $5.95, but if I load $500 on it, which happens to be my holiday budget, the card more than pays for itself in cash back! I love that I can load my card and stop worrying about going over budget, and of course, I can use it anywhere that Visa is accepted, just like I would cash or a credit card.

The Five Back Visa Gift Card also makes a cool as ice gift idea for anyone on your shopping list. I love the idea of giving it to college students to help them stretch their money a little further with 5% back going on to the card for later!

Who will you buy a Five Back Visa Gift card for this year? A special someone or will you use it for your own shopping? If you feel lucky, someone is going to win a gift card! Good luck and happy shopping!

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10 Napkin Rings to Make for the Holidays

The countdown is on! We have less than 2 weeks til Christmas! I am planning my holiday menu and tablescape and have decided to try my hand at making napkin rings to add a little something special to the meal! I found 10 gorgeous ideas from some of my favorite bloggers and can't wait to share them with you!

Felt Reindeer Napkin Rings by the Crafting Chicks

Felted Acorn Napkin Rings by Nourish and Nestle

Polka Dot Pearl Napkin Rings by Crafts by Amanda

Glass Napkin Rings by Happy Hour Projects

Holiday Tree Napkin Rings by Suzy's Sitcom

Kid Made Santa Napkin Rings by Atta Girl Says

Wood Slice Chalkboard Napkin Rings by The Happy Housie

Furry Santa Napkin Rings by Cottage at the Crossroads

Beaded Napkin Rings by Uncommon Designs

Santa's Belly Napkin Rings by Crafts by Amanda

These are all fantastic ideas! I think I like the polka dot pearl idea or the Santa's Belly napkin rings best! Which will you make for your holiday table? I think these would also make a great DIY gift idea!

Tips For Picking A Good Mattress

Tips For Picking A Good Mattress

There are a lot of people who do not know that we spend around a third of our lives asleep. With this being the case, it is important that you have the right mattress to suit your needs. The problem is that there are a lot of adverts stating certain mattresses are better than others and this can make it hard to determine which to buy. Fortunately, there are a number of points that you should consider to help you find the right mattress.

The Durability

A mattress can be a significant expense and you want them to be durable so you can have the time to enjoy your investment. When it comes to durability, the materials that make up the mattress are very important. To ensure that you get a good-quality mattress, you should look at reputable brands. The way that the mattress is constructed will also impact the lifespan with hand-crafted mattresses being the best choice when looking at durability.

The Size

One of the most influential factors when buying a mattress is the overall size. You will want to have enough space to be comfortable and move around on the mattress. To ensure this, you have to consider the height of the people who will be sleeping on the mattress as well as the width that you want. For comfort, you will want to have around a foot of space at the edges of the bed.

If you are taller than average, you will need to look for brands that offer longer mattresses or have the mattress custom built for comfort. If you are going to be sharing your bed, you need to consider how your partner will move during the night. Allowing enough space for tossing and turning will ensure that both you and your partner are comfortable.

Motion Disturbance

If you are going to be sharing a bed with your partner, their nighttime movement could disturb your sleep. It is possible to prevent motion disturbance by choosing the right mattress. You should look for a mattress that molds to your movements and will absorb any shocks. Memory foam mattresses offer high levels of motion absorption while mattresses with a lot of springs will generally disperse the movement along them.

The Firmness

There are some people who prefer a soft mattress while others prefer a harder one. This is personal preference, but research has shown that medium-firm mattresses do provide the best support for people suffering from lower back pain. Aireloom supposedly supply excellent ones. If you find that your mattress is too firm, you should place a pillow on the top. The only problem with this solution is when you have thick pillows that your weight cannot compress enough to provide the comfort that you need. In these cases, the use of a pillow could affect your spinal comfort and cause more problems than it solves.

The Warranty

Before you buy a mattress, you need to check if there is a warranty. This is important because of the investment that goes into a mattress. Ideally, you should have a warranty on the mattress which will replace it in the event that it is faulty. Faults which should be covered include broken springs and fraying material. On average, mattresses generally come with a warranty of 3 to 5 years.
Monday, December 11, 2017

Easy Rudolph Bark Recipe

This easy Rudolph bark comes together in no time and creates a fun and festive treat to share with friends and neighbors this holiday season!

This is super easy to make! It requires very few supplies and is so easy that even kids can make it!

I used stick pretzels, red M&M's and candy eyes, and chocolate!

Melt the chocolate and spread it on a foil lined cookie sheet.
Add pretzel sticks for antlers, the eyes and one red M&M for Rudolph's nose!
Allow the chocolate to cool and harden, then break it into chunks and serve or share!

You might also love this Melted Snowman Bark Recipe.

Top Gifts for Girls

This year there are so many awesome gift options that the hardest part of making Christmas wishes come true is deciding on what to buy! I have been busy as one of Santa's elves testing out some of the hottest toys and I have found some super fun ones! I am so excited to present these fun toys to you in my top picks for girls gift guide!

This post contains partner and affiliate links. Products and or payment was received for promotional considerations.

1) LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition Kids Tablet
This was my top pick for Harper this year because she really wants to use my ipad all of the time, but I worry about some of the things she wants to watch and play. The ads that pop up on so many of the games. This tablet is completely perfect for her, right out of the box. It has 20 learning games installed for family friendly entertainment, it also has a free trial of Leapfrog academy included. This offers kids a great chance to learn a variety of subjects anywhere they may go. The search feature is super safe, which I love. I no longer have to worry about my 4 year old landing on inappropriate youtube videos!

Retailing for under $120, this is a tablet that will grow with Harper. Ideal for ages 3 to 9, this is a colorful and durable tablet for kids that helps them learn and play all in one. A great feature is that as your child is ready to explore new android apps, you can add them to this tablet. That was a deciding factor for me as it will allow her to use the tablet with some of the other toys she will receive on Christmas morning!

2) Dance Code Belle
This is such a fun way to introduce your daughters to coding! They can create dances for Belle, and she will show them her moves! Control her from the app, press her necklace, or hold her hand for different ways to play with Dance Code Belle.

Coding seems like it would be hard, but girls as young as 5 can get in on the action by drawing the steps out, or a simple dot to dot style of coding. This is a great way to introduce a concept that may play a big role in her later life through an irresistible option!

Retailing for under $100 you can find this gorgeous Belle doll exclusively on Amazon this holiday season.

3) Baby Alive Sweet Tears Baby Doll
If your little girl loves babies this is the ultimate doll for her! Not only is it really adorable, but it also gives kids hands on tasks to make baby happy and smiling again! Your little one can play caregiver to a very interactive doll that smiles, giggles and even cries real tears!

The Sweet Tears Baby Alive comes with so much more than just a doll! She comes with everything you need to nurse her back to health when she is ill, feed her a snack, or brush her hair. One of my favorite features is that this doll isn't just for little girls. With a simple flip of a switch you can take your interactive doll from mommy to daddy mode for fun for little boys. Sweet Tears Baby Alive can make 35 phrases and sounds as an added bonus!

Retailing for under $50 this is a super fun gift option for little ones that love dolls!

4)  Play Doh Letters and Language Set
This is such a fun way to combine play and learning! The set has 26 letter stamps, 6 cans of play doh, a stylus, a roller, a mat  and a guide book for a complete letter learning experience.

One of the reasons we love play doh is it is such a wonderful tool for fine motor skill development. Harp has been playing with the classic dough since she was about a year old, and has developed so many crucial skills for life with the squishy dough in her hands, including using scissors. As we are learning all about the alphabet and making a lot effort on letter recognition in her preschool years this is a set that will bring her so much more than fun on Christmas day. It will help her build on a solid foundation of early learning with a favorite play time staple.

Retailing for under $20 this is a gift I recommend to anyone shopping for an early learner!

5) Go Go Smart Friends Shimmering Seashell Castle
This fun playset is perfect for little ones that like mermaids! The sandcastle features 3 points that when Pearl the mermaid is placed will produce fun sounds and phrases. The set includes friends for Pearl the mermaid to make playtime an epic underwater adventure.

Retailing at under $40 this is a great V tech toy for dramatic play and discovery. I love dramatic play tools for Harp so this was a natural choice. She will play with this in so many ways and I know she will introduce Pearl and the underwater friends to a lot of other toys.

This set features so much more than just a cute house. There is a vanity, a slide, a carrousel and so many more fun features to make this an exciting choice for little ones!

6) Hape Toys City Cafe Play Kitchen
This is a seriously adorable little kitchen. I love that it is wooden, because it looks so much more realistic than the heavy plastic varieties. It is compact enough for small space play, but in that tiny space it packs a lot of fun!

Featuring everything your little one needs to cook up a great time, the City Cafe Play Kitchen is one of my favorite gift ideas this year. As I mentioned above, I love to encourage dramatic play in my preschooler. With something as simple as a cute little kitchen, she can learn in so many ways!

This was a great option to pair with our Hape toys play food that we have been collecting over the years. Retailing for under $100, this is a gift that will bring years of learning through play.

7) Hape Toys Mighty Echo Microphone
This was another great choice for dramatic play. My kids have always wanted to get their hands on a microphone and with this choice it is possible without damaging eardrums or sanity levels.

This microphone has amazingly good sound quality for a battery free toy! I think it is a fun way to encourage kids to sing and again, engage in dramatic play. This makes a great gift for kids 12 months and up.

This would make a great stocking stuffer or gift exchange option as well.

8) Voice Activated BB8 
If your little girl looks up to Rey, then the natural choice is the Voice Activated BB8 from Hammacher Schlemmer. This is such a fun toy! Standing at about 19" tall this cute little robot is ready for adventure! The Star Wars character can be controlled using an included 40' range remote or set to an interactive mode that responds to voice commands such as “Come here”, “Where’s Rey?”, and “Stand guard!” Complete with lights and sounds from the BB8 we all know and love, this is a one of a kind toy that will make Christmas dreams come true as she sets out on an adventure with her new interactive friend. Retailing at under $230 this is the perfect gift for Star Wars fan girls of all ages. Not only is the BB8 droid adorable but he is so interactive! his moods are funtastic and the sounds are completely realistic.

I would love to hear what your favorite gift options for girls are this year!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas Math Printable

Christmas is near and my kids are excited! 
Every day begins with the all important question of how many more days til Christmas?!

This year I am taking that excitement for the holiday and turning it into a fun way for Rolf to practice his addition skills and get a little coloring time in with this fun and free printable math worksheet!

This is ideal for first and second graders. it gives them a few problems to work on and a little art time too.  Print a few for your kids, or a stack to entertain them during a party or before the holiday meal is served!


                                                            Print the Math Worksheet here 

Tips For Choosing An Energy Provider

Tips For Choosing An Energy Provider

If you are unhappy with your current energy provider, you will want to look for a new one that is able to meet all of your needs. When you look at energy providers, you need to consider a number of points including why it is a good idea to get your energy from a supplier instead of your local utility company. The primary reason for this is the fact that suppliers are more cost-effective.

If you live in a state with deregulated energy, the free market will create competition and this will drive the prices down which benefits you. You will not only be able to get a better price this way, you will also find that suppliers manage price fluctuations better than the utility company. This will make your monthly bills more predictable and if predictability is important to you, you may be able to get a fixed price option which guarantees a stable price.

Energy companies are also a good option if you want to go green. If you are concerned about the environment, you can often choose how much of your energy comes from renewable sources. Market deregulation creates an industry where companies embrace innovation and tailor their products to the needs of their customers. Of course, there are still a number of points that you need to consider when choosing the right electricity provider.

Knowledge Is Power

Before you look at a new energy provider, you need to look at the terms and conditions of your current supplier. This might sound obvious, but there are many people who do not know the nitty gritty of their contracts and may not know what exactly they have signed up for. Before you look for another supplier, you need to read through all of your papers as they will contain valuable information that will help you decide whether or not to change suppliers.  

While looking at the documents, there are some questions you should be asking. The first is how much your monthly bill is. You also need to see how much energy you use each month and what your rate per kilowatt is. You need to determine if your rate is variable or fixed and how much of the energy comes from renewable sources.

You should also look for the date that your contract expires. It is also important to see if there is a cancellation fee.

Your monthly expenses will be hit by whether you are on a variable or fixed rate. It is important that you know what the differences are with these rates and determine which is right for you.

Variable rates allow you to save when the price of energy fluctuates. The problem is that you will not be able to predict the monthly costs of your energy. There will generally be no cancellation fee when you are on this rate.

Fixed rates will have a stable monthly cost which allows you to budget correctly. However, if you are on this rate, there is generally going to be a cancellation fee.

Shop Around And Complete A Thorough Search

Once you have looked through the terms and conditions of your current contract and decided that you need to switch, it is time to explore the market and see what is on offer. The problem is that you might not know what will make an energy company a good fit for you. This is made harder when you consider that energy suppliers often have similar services. This is why you need to complete a comparison of the providers.

Price will generally be your primary concern, but there are others services that you need to consider. Price alone will not give you a positive experience with the energy company. When you compare companies, there are a number of questions that you have to ask.

You should find out what the quality of their customer service is. You also need to see how the company responds to complaints and how quickly this happens. It is also important to check if there are fees for switching providers or canceling. Many companies will have promotions for new customers and you need to look into this.

You should also find out how much of the energy the company provides comes from renewable sources. It is also good to check if the energy company gives back to the community at all. If you find a company that you like, you need to contact them for additional information relating to the plans they currently offer. Here’s what to know before switching energy companies

Verify The Background

Once you have found an energy provider you want to work with, you need to research them. You should check that the company is socially responsible, ethical and environmentally friendly. This will give you more confidence in your dealing with them.

A good internet search is the best place to start. You should enter the company’s name into Google or Yahoo and add the word complaints or scam after it. If the company has a bad history, you will be able to find out about it and ensure that you do not switch to them.

Customer Service Is Important

You should never forget about customer service when you switch to a new energy supplier. There is always the chance that you are going to have problems with your service and you need to ensure that the company will be able to handle the issue correctly. You should look for a company that is committed to reliable services and offer the best customer service.