Home Gym Essentials: Dumbbells

While gyms offer a lot of equipment and workout options, sometimes I just don’t have time to make it to the gym after a long day at the office. On those days, I prefer to do a quick workout at home instead. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been slowly building a small home gym full of my favorite workout equipment to make quick workouts an easy thing to accomplish.

Some of my favorite items in my little home gym are my dumbbells, which are also called free weights. Dumbbells are great because they are relatively small (at least for me, since I use low weights!) but can be used in a large variety of exercises.


Although kits like the one pictured above are great, they can be a bit expensive. I suggest shopping around to see what you can find. I also only use two different weights for most of my exercises, so a kit isn’t necessary for me. Instead, I purchased individual pairs of weights and have added to my collection when I need a higher weight. I suggest checking out the dumbbell collections at Marshall’s, Target or Sears – that’s where I’ve gotten all of mine in the last and the prices have always been reasonable.

Pinterest and YouTube both have great easy and free workouts that can help tone your arms as well as other areas!

Do you use dumbbells for your at-home workouts? What are your favorite exercises?

Password Protected?

Yesterday was not a good day for me. I found out my old email, which I use for most of my personal social media accounts, had been hacked. It was likely a result of the recent Google Heart Bleed virus that swept the internet earlier this month. As a result of my email getting hacked, at least one of my other accounts was tampered with as well. Overall, I wasn’t a very happy camper when I finally figured out what was going on midway through my workday.

Prior to this, I had naively considered myself to not be at risk to web viruses. I don’t download strange things or stream shows from sketchy sites, so how would a virus get to me? I’ll admit I still don’t quite understand the how behind it, but I definitely have realized that everyone who uses the internet runs the risk of getting hacked.

One of the safest ways to avoid hackers is to keep your passwords strong and unique for each type of site and also to change them often. While I have been using strong passwords on accounts I open recently, my older accounts such as this particular email address and my Facebook/Twitter that I’ve had since high school still had easily decoded passwords, raising my risk of getting hacked.


The best way to protect your accounts is to use unique passwords that are difficult to break and to change them often. But let’s be honest, none of us do that, right?

Instead, try creating a few unique passwords and using the same password for a particular type of accounts. For example, use one password for your social media accounts. Then if one of your accounts becomes compromised, you only have to change the password for those few accounts rather than everything, which you’d have to do if you used the same password.

Another tip is to use abbreviations rather than whole words. You can do this pretty easily. Whether you use the first letter of each word in a short sentence, the abbreviation for your favorite store or snack, or a friend’s initials, avoiding dictionary words makes it much more difficult for your password to be hacked.

Most importantly – keep your passwords for all banking and financial accounts different! Having your twitter account or even email hacked isn’t a huge deal but if you’re credit cards or bank accounts are compromised, you’re in for a huge headache. Better safe than sorry when it comes to your finances!!

Do you have any password security tips? Have any of your accounts been hacked? I’m curious how everyone handles such a stressful situation!

Kohls App

One of my favorite places to shop, especially for my work wardrobe, is Kohls. There’s always a wide variety of styles to choose from and the quality for the price is pretty good. While the sticker prices can be high, items are often on sale and coupons can be found pretty often.

Another great thing about Kohls is the free app that it offers to customers. This is becoming more and more common for large chain stores and it’s something a budget-conscious gal like me should take advantage of!


The main screen of the app gives an overview of ongoing sales and deals. It’s a good idea to at least check here – one time I found a 15% off coupon while I was waiting in the checkout line!

There’s a scanner function on the app, where you can check a price of an item or see if it’s available in a nearby store in the size you want. The “wallet” allows you to scan in your Kohls Cash coupons, so you never have to worry about leaving it at home! You can also do all of your online shopping through the app to make things easier.

So if you are a Kohls lover like me, I highly suggest you check out this great app!

Do you have any favorite store apps?

Photo Collages

Earlier this week, when #nationalsiblingsday was trending on my Facebook feed, I decided to one-up my brother’s post by posting a collage of pictures of us growing up. For me, it was a pretty simple thing to do and I enjoyed going through our baby books to find the best pictures. But my parents were amazed by how I put the collage together. When I told them I just used an app, they were shocked!

I realized that something so simple for me was an unknown to them. Have you guys ever used a photo collage app before? I like to make them for special occasions and also use them a lot for the blog. I thought I’d share my favorite collage apps in case you guys want to try some 🙂


(All of these apps can be found in the Apple App Store)

Picstitch – If you use Instagram, you’ve probably heard of this app the most. It has a lot of basic frame layouts for free and allows you to upload the photo directly to the social media app of your choice.

Photo Collage (Kai Xia) – I use this one a lot for the blog, since it has features that aren’t available on Picstitch. This app includes font options, borders and a variety of layouts.

Photo Frame Editor (Kai Qian Chen) – I don’t use this one as much as the other two above, but it has the most options for fonts and also includes different printed borders. It doesn’t have as many layouts, but there are some fun options!

Have you tried any photo collage apps? Which are your favorites?