Weight Loss Apps and Challenges in 2017


Well, the New Year is upon us.  My family and I hope that you had a blessing filled holiday with family and friends.  As we look to the New Year and set those resolutions, you may find yourself setting those resolutions once again.  If you are anything like me you will have some resolutions that just seem to appear year after year on your list of to do.  My biggest two are lose weight and reduce debt.  I wish I could say that I made progress on both of those, but the truth is I feel like I have regressed.  My weight went up and so did my debt.

So this year I am going to do something about it.  When I come back to reflect on 2017 in December, I am going to say that I did well on my goals.  So this evening I went online to find some weight loss apps that I could download on my phone.  I need something that is FREE.  Something that will be my dietitian and personal trainer.  Here is what I came across:


Free App- It helps educate you on the foods you buy and eat.  Scan bar codes at the grocery store and find out about the foods you eat. It will actually give the foods you eat a grade.

My Fitness Pal

Free App- This app helps you set up a program to follow after you enter in basic information.

Lose it Weight Loss App

Free App- It is like having a personal trainer. It will give you exercise challenges, healthy recipes, and tracks your progress.  It also has a buddy system in it so you can share and get motivation from others.




As some of you know, I am a Plexus Ambassador.  One of my best friends started Plexus over a year ago.  As one would expect, she tried to get me on board but I refused.  For a year I sat by and watched her post about Plexus and all that it would do for her and others. Well, money. Money for something else is just not something I can do.  Our finances are tight and considering that I want to get out of debt, this kind of goes against that.  HOWEVER, I am also realistic.  I have said this same goal over and over each year and NOTHING ever changes.  The fault lies with me, not a program.  I am smart enough to know that sometimes we need to a little help or push.

So this year I am  downloading an app listed above and embarking on a 45 Day Challenge with Plexus.  What do I have to do lose? NOTHING!  Plexus has a money back guarantee and you just can’t beat that.  So I am taking the plunge this year and I will invest in my health.  When I come back at the end of 2017, YOU WILL read about the progress I made and not another next year message!

So, I am looking for people who are ready to make a decision for better health in 2017!!!!!! Either people who have NEVER bought Plexus (cannot already be working with another Ambassador) or previous/current customers of mine…

Are you willing to commit for 45 days with our amazing products? 45 days of satisfaction… or get a REFUND! No strings attached!!! Claim your spot and pick a number (or a few) that best describes you! COMMENT or INBOX ME with your number(s) and your commitment!

1. Someone who wants to get healthy!
2. Someone who wants to lose 10-30 lbs
3. Someone who wants longer and stronger hair and/or nails!
4. Someone who needs help managing stress or getting focused!
5. Someone who eats cheat meals every now and then (or more often than not! ha!)
6. Someone who wants to get rid of a muffin top!
7. Someone who wants to be less anxious!
8. Someone who wants to build their immune system!
9. Someone who needs to eat less sugar!
10. Someone who loves to work out!
11. Someone who wants better sleep at night! ZZZZ
12. Someone with aches and pains (sore joints, etc). OUCHIE!
13. Someone who wants to drink MORE water!
14. Someone who needs more energy!!!

I will be on this journey with you and will provide that support and motivation! You will get to be a part of an AMAZING support group, private Facebook page filled with product info, healthy recipes, exercise tips, and so much more throughout the 45 days for success and small goals met! 

Please feel free to email me at laborders2000@yahoo.com if you want more information.

Lanier Islands Pops the Cork on a Special New Year’s Eve Celebration


In an ongoing effort to exceed the needs of its guests, in 2015 Lanier Islands introduced the concept of a dual New Year’s Eve Celebration. On one end of the resort’s flagship hotel – Legacy Lodge – the lakeside destination played host to an elegant grown-up party, complete with sumptuous dinner buffet, open bar, live music, dancing and champagne toast. On the other end of the Lodge, pint-sized patrons rang in the New Year with their own party, complete with pizza, fun and games, crafts, movie and more. Thanks to rave reviews from guests, Lanier Islands is bringing back the dual New Year’s Eve Celebration just in time for the clock to strike midnight and the calendar page to flip to 2017.


With the purchase of Lanier Islands New Year’s Eve Celebration Package*, adult patrons can expect:


  • Admission for two to the New Year’s Eve Party in the Grand Ballroom featuring live music performed by Back In Time and dancing until after midnight
  • Passed hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hour from 6-7 p.m.
  • Full dinner buffet crafted by the resort’s culinary team
  • Open bar
  • Balloon drop, party favors and champagne toast at midnight
  • Overnight accommodations in a newly renovated Legacy Lodge room
  • New Year’s Signature Legacy Breakfast Buffet the following morning


While mom and dad ring in the New Year in the Grand Ballroom, the kids will have their own extra special New Year’s Eve Finding Dory-themed Kids’ Party, including:


  • Dinner featuring kid-friendly fare
  • Games and crafts, supervised by the Islands’ skilled Legacy Kids counselors
  • Dance party
  • Special viewing of Disney’s Finding Dory
  • Balloon drop at midnight
  • Milk & cookie toast to ring in the New Year


“On New Year’s Day, the whole family can enjoy one of our final days of the Winter Adventure season,” suggested Stephanie Orr, VP of Sales & Marketing for Lanier Islands. “While there, they can enjoy carnival rides, speed slides, snow play zones, bubble skating and football on one of the biggest big screens in town – the five-story high Spectacular Screen. This has all the makings of becoming a beloved family tradition for guests of the resort.”


New Year’s Eve Celebration Packages at Legacy Lodge – which has been named a member of the esteemed Southern Living Hotel Collection – start at just $469/couple. For couples who wish to forego the overnight stay and merely attend the festivities, $299/couple will afford them admission to the New Year’s Eve Celebration complete with dinner, open bar, live music, balloon drop, party favors and champagne toast. Children 12 and under are invited to attend the New Year’s Eve Kids Party for $50/child. To learn more and book reservations, interested parties are invited to visit www.lanierislands.com or call 770-945-8787.


* Event gratuities and taxes are included in package.  Room tax and fees are not included.

Enjoy the Thrill of the ride in the 2016 Mazda CX-9


We are a Mazda family, and this opening from the 2016 Mazda CX-9 beautifully describes why we are that.

“Zoom-Zoom. All children instinctively know it. A few adults still remember it. One unique car company refuses to outgrow it. In grown-up language, it means the exhilaration and liberation that come from experiencing sheer motion. But as usual, children put it much better and simply call it “Go Zoom-Zoom.” We practice it every day. It’s why we build the kind of cars we do. Zoom-Zoom. Can we reawaken it in you today?”

The 2016 Mazda CX-9 Signature All Wheel Drive that we reviewed in this stunning  machine gray is a thing of beauty! Read on to let us reawaken that inner child in you as you experience that Zoom-Zoom feeling once again with us…


As a luxurious family vehicle, the 2016 Mazda CX-9   is a sporty and sleek full size crossover vehicle engineered with Skyactiv G 2.5-liter turbocharged engine  which basically means that it provides excellent fuel efficiency without compromising performance.  You will not experience any “turbo lag” in this vehicle; just a smooth fast ride once your foot hits the gas pedal.  As we expected, we were very pleased with the driving experience the Mazda CX-9 provided us.  As a company that promotes the motto “Driving Matters,” we know that they care about the experience with the details they provide in their automobiles.  They show you their dedication even more with the added feature of the I-Actvisense Safety Technology.  This technology alerts you to the dangers while driving through the use of sensors and cameras.  Basically, if you start to swerve off road, it will alert you and gently pull the car back to the lane.


The CX-9 7 passenger comes equipped with four doors and a rear hatch providing  plenty interior room.  The front seats are fully adjustable allowing you to move forward, recline, or lower or higher.  With the 60/40 spilt fold-down and reclining 2nd row seats, riders will enjoy the comfort of sitting in the 2nd row. It even has a center folding armrest with integrated storage, cup holders and 2 USB charging ports. Third row access is provided in this vehicle with an easy slide.  The 3rd row provides 50/50 split fold-down seating.

The NAPPA leather seating and genuine Rosewood trim makes this quite stylish and comfortable.   If you did not know, Rosewood is what is used to make some of the finest instruments in the world.  Imagine sitting in a vehicle with that! It seriously gives you feeling of driving in luxury.


With 27 HW MPG, the handling of this full size crossover provides a smooth and quiet ride that allows the driver to control the extras while driving.  With an easy to read dash with a variety of high-tech tools, you can do many things just from the steering wheel such as answer and make phone calls, lower or raise the volume, and even change the radio stations.  My favorite feature is the voice command that allows me to call my family as we are out and about.



As a current Mazda owner, the Mazda CX-9 has a great navigation system with an eight-inch full color touchscreen display.  Mazda’s touchscreens are easy to read and feature many cool options.  One of my favorite features is the speed limit indicator that is designed to inform drivers  on what the speed limit is on each road.   It even changes as your speed exceeds the limit.   Plus, there is nothing like the Mazda Navigation system.  I have been using my iPhone to navigate from place to place.  Having the directions clear and easy to see on the touchscreen screen will make getting from place to place.


The HUD (Heads-Up Display) or Active Driving Display (noted in the picture above) is located above the dash of the driver.  It is a reflective screen that can be moved to adjust to the driver’s height.  The screen provides the driver with a digital view of the car’s current speed.  The numbers are easy to read and do not interfere at all with the driver’s view of the road.  This allows you to focus on driving and not worrying about looking at your dash to determine your speed!


If you have been following me for any length of time, you will know that one of my favorite features to highlight in a car is the stereo system.  The 2016 Mazda CX-9 is equipped with a Bose Centerpoint 2.0 Surround Sound System.  With TWELVE speakers,  this music lover knows firsthand what great sound quality is and the Bose sound system is where it is at!   Of course, we also took advantage of  syncing our iPhones to the vehicle and so we could enjoy everything that we have downloaded.  And I can’t fail to mention the Sirius XM system in the CX-9.  You have a variety of entertainment and genre choices with this.  Our dials pretty much stayed on 25 and 26.


As if it could not get any better, it does!  The rear camera feature is really superior to any I have tried before. The image and resolution are crystal clear and proved to be quite useful when traveling through the various terrains in our area.

The LED headlights are absolutely amazing! The winding mountain roads are DARK and hard to navigate through.  Having a vehicle that properly illuminates the road is a necessity.  With an adaptive front lighting system, I had no trouble seeing the roads at night!  The lights in the vehicle turn with you as you turn through corners and curves allowing you to visually see what lies before you.  This is such a great feature to have especially when you live where we do.  It helps aid in spotting lurking animals, and it helps you see the winding roads ahead of you.

One last thing I would love to say about this company before I close out this blog post and we get ready to hit the road.  Mazda cares about others.  Each time I have been given the wonderful opportunity to test drive one of their cars, I am given a $25 gift card to give to a charity of my choice from Mazda.  Now I do not know about you but I love a company that supports giving back!  It makes me happy to know that the Mazda 6 we invested in is from a company that knows the importance of giving back.

Overall, the Mazda CX-9 is one fine sleek operating crossover that drives extremely smooth and well.  It has strong a performance and if you are looking for a luxurious family vehicle that has some zoom-zoom, you gotta check out the Mazda CX-9!  





Social Media Connections

Mazda Website

Mazda Facebook

Mazda Twitter

Mazda You Tube

Mazda Instagram

New Year’s Eve Plan to Eat Right


Saturday marks the end of 2016.  If you are like me I am sure you are already planning what your resolutions will be.  With Christmas gone and one holiday event looming, how are you going to make sure that you do not end up gaining more than you bargained for?  Here are some helpful tips for making the best of your New Year’s Eve parties.

The holidays are not just about food!  COMMIT to making good choices BEFORE you head out.  Think about where you are going and what will be served.

Eat before heading out.  It is never a good idea to go to a party on an empty stomach.  Go ahead and eat at home what you would eat to stay within your caloric intake range.  That way you when you get there, you will not really want as much if any.

Make a PLAN prior to heading out.  Should you have the red velvet cake or a plate full of fruit?  If you go ahead and plan out what you are going to do, chances are you will stick to it.  Be sure to repeat this to yourself before heading in.

When all else fails, Plate It Out!  So let’s say you arrive and see all this delicious food!  You start thinking to yourself, okay it is just for tonight.  tomorrow is 2017 and I plan on losing weight tomorrow.  I get it!  So why don’t you consider Plating It Out.  Before putting it into your mouth, put it on a plate.  First, you are more than likely NOT going to load up that plate full of stuff in front of all your peers.  Second, once you start putting things on that plate you can really see what you are eating.  That reminder may be all you need to help you focus on your plan and stay committed.


If you are looking for a new way to get healthy in 2017, then I am looking for you!  Is your New Year’s Eve resolution for better health in 2017?  Are you willing to commit for 45 days with our amazing products? 45 days of satisfaction… or get a REFUND! No strings attached!!!

I will be on this journey with you and will provide that support and motivation! You will get to be a part of an AMAZING support group, private Facebook page filled with product info, healthy recipes, exercise tips, and so much more throughout the 45 days for success and small goals met! INBOX ME! THIS IS GOING TO BE AWESOME!”

If you need more information, feel free to email me at laborders2000@yahoo.com

Goodwill Teams Up With Give Back Box


Christmas is right around the corner! Many of us are still scrambling to complete our shopping lists, running store to store or finalizing our shopping online. Often, with the hustling and bustling this time of year we can lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas or start to feel a bit of the bah humbug creeping in. When this happens, it’s time to stop, and reflect on the true magic of the season, giving back. This doesn’t mean you have to drain your wallet on gifts for other people. Giving back this year can be as simple as decluttering your house and shipping those items to Goodwill. The best part, you can do this for free.


This year Goodwill stores have teamed up with Give Back Box to enable you to reuse your online shipping boxes to donate your unwanted household items (such as gently used clothing, handbags, shoes, etc) to Goodwill at no cost to you.

Here’s how it works:

Give Back Box gives every cardboard box a second life to help people in need. Some of the international partners in support of the Give Back Box are Ann Inc, Asics, Ann Taylor Loft, Overstock, Dockers, Levis, Bon Ton and StyleUpGirl.com. These retailers are leading the way towards finding innovative solutions to widespread social and economic issues. You can see all of the participating retailers at givebackbox.com.


By gathering your unwanted items that are stuffed in the back of your closet, under your bed, in your attic or garage or wherever it is hiding, you can pack it up and ship it to Goodwill to help create jobs.
Thanks to the job training programs made possible by donations of clothes and household items, Goodwill helped place more than 312,000 in jobs in the United States and Canada in 2015 — that’s one person finding a job every 23 seconds of every business day. So you’re literally donating your stuff AND helping to create jobs.

Did you know, you can even calculate how much your donation helps your local community by using Goodwill’s donation impact calculator, a feature available within the Goodwill Locator App  and at Goodwill.org (click “Explore Our Map” on the homepage to access the calculator). Simply input the items you’re donating to calculate the number of hours of career counseling, on-the-job training, résumé preparation, financial planning classes, and other services you’ve helped provide people facing challenges finding employment.



Keeping Pets Safe This Holiday Season


We are just days away from Christmas being here.  If you are like me, you probably still have some running around to do.  You want everything to be just right for the day that Santa arrives.  I am no exception.  While we may be busy making sure the food it perfect and the gifts are all wrapped and under the tree, it is so important to NOT forget our fur-babies.


If you have pets in your home, you will want to make sure that you take time to keep your pets safe.  Here are a list of things you will want to make sure you take care of.

Christmas Tree and Decorations

Make sure that your tree is secure is it’s base.  You do not want them accidentally knocking it over.

Make sure that all wires are securely tucked away so that they do not become chewed up.

Additionally, make sure that all ornaments are out of reach.  There are many ornaments that can be mistaken for toys.

Christmas Gifts

Think about the gifts that you are selecting for those in your home.  Are they going to become problems for the animals.  Our oldest dog, Zoey, loves to chew on things.  We have found over the years that we can’t just gift plastic toys to our children.  If we do, the children have to learn to keep it out of her reach.

Christmas Foods and Drinks

You will want to make sure that you and your guests avoid feeding your pets the sweet and spicy foods that you may serve. Be especially mindful of the drinks that are left lying around your home. They are not intended for pets, and you do not want to have more serious problems on your hands at the holidays.

Christmas Plants

If you want to have holly and mistletoe type plants in your home, they MUST be kept out of reach of your animals.  These can cause sever health issues in animals.

These are just a few tips that you may find useful this holiday season.  The great people at Puppy Spot have created this beautiful graphic to help us remember what we can do to make our furry loved ones are just as safe as we would expect out human counterparts to be.



If you are in the market for a new puppy, please visit www.puppyspot.com FIRST to see what selection they have.  At PuppySpot, they pride themselves on being a NO PUPPY MILL organization. They are a community of dog lovers, committed to connecting responsible breeders with caring individuals and families. They hold themselves and their clients to the highest standards and aim to improve the life of each puppy, breeder and owner who joins their family. PuppySpot has a zero tolerance policy for puppy mills or substandard breeding practices of any kind. While you may not know the source of your puppy from a rescue, shelter or pet store, you will always know where your PuppySpot puppy was born and raised. PuppySpot puppies are raised with love, respect and a high level of attention and personal care.







Pike Nurseries offers last-minute gift ideas for the season of giving!


Christmas is only days away! To help take the guesswork out of last-minute gifting, Pike Nurseries is offering a wide variety of creative gifts and stocking stuffers from the garden. From florist-quality Poinsettias and Christmas-themed candles to Anju jewelry, sizzling grills and festive gift sets, shoppers can snag the perfect present for every person on the holiday list – just in time to sneak it under the tree!

The Artistic Gift: Garden Accessories
One-of-a-kind garden art, soothing wind chimes and charming statuaries are just what the artistic individual needs. Pike Nurseries’ solar-powered artistic garden stakes brighten lawns and pathways, while whimsical wind chimes add soothing sounds to any garden oasis. For added character, delightful statuaries are great focal points for any yard and come in different shapes and sizes.

The Gift for Everyone: Pike Nurseries Gift Card
If you can’t decide on what to get that special someone, give them the gift of choice with a Pike Nurseries gift card. Pike Nurseries’ gift cards come in any denomination and never expire.

The Hostess Gift: Festive Gifts Sets
While the holidays are filled with spirited soirees, Pike Nurseries has a plethora of holiday picks for every hostess. Woodwick candles offer enchanting scents of Fraser fir and more, while the modern tapas gift set is perfect for the foodie friend. The hot chocolate gift set is a delicious addition for the wintry season, and durable stainless steel tumblers are the perfect companion, as they keep beverages hot or cold for hours.

The Nature Gift: Birding Accessories
Nature lovers can attract a colorful flurry of activity this winter with hand-painted bird baths, beautiful bird habitats and attractive feeders. Available in different sizes and styles, these accessories are perfect for welcoming different types of feathered friends – from brown thrashers and blue jays to cardinals and chickadees.


The Sizzling Gift: Saber and Kamado Joe Grills
Grill masters looking to ignite flavor in the New Year will enjoy Pike Nurseries’ mouthwatering assortment of grills and accessories. Gadget-loving grillers will enjoy the high-tech stainless steel Saber grill – offering 100 percent infrared heat, locking the natural juices and moisture into food – or the versatile Kamado Joe ceramic grill, which smokes, grills, sears and even bakes. Both grills come in multiple sizes and are available for delivery.


The Stylish Gift: Anju Jewelry  
For the fashionista who loves the great outdoors, nature-inspired Anju jewelry is the perfect present. Made of copper and brass, these handcrafted bracelets, necklaces and rings are guaranteed to make spirits extra shiny and bright.


The Traditional Gift: Blooms and Container Gardens
For the green-thumb guru on the shopping list, Pike Nurseries’ festive floral options are the gift that keeps on giving. Gorgeous, long-lasting blooms include Amaryllis, Christmas Cactus, Hydrangeas, Orchids and Poinsettias, among many others. If choosing the perfect plant is too difficult, ready-to-go mixed container gardens are a popular choice, offering expertly planted varieties from Pike Nurseries Farm.

The Ultimate Gift: Landscaping Services
For the gardener who’s been on the nice list this year, gift them the ultimate dream present of a brand-new lawn. Pike Nurseries is offering 30 percent off all landscape designs, if booked and completed by January 27. Additionally, all installations completed by March 1 –just in time for spring enjoyment– will receive a credit for the design fee, as well as FREE drip irrigation.

For more festive gift options and stocking stuffer ideas, stop by any of the 17 Pike Nurseries store locations in Georgia and North Carolina or visit www.pikenursery.com.