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Who’s Using Your Identity? LifeLock After the Home Depot Data Breach

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Who is Using Your Identity?

How many security breach letters have you gotten this year?  I’ve lost count of how many I’ve pulled out of my mail box.  In fact, after I briefly skimmed my Home Depot data breach letter last week, I actually threw it away without any shock or surprise at all.

No matter how the security breaches keep happening or from which retailers, they’re not slowing down, so we should all be prepared.  With our public social media accounts and a few numbers (social, driver’s license number, etc.), we’ve all got enough sensitive data floating around out there to be one unscrupulous person away from identity theft.  Do you know who is using your identity?

We don’t all have time to scour our credit card statements line by line, looking for transactions that aren’t our own.  We’re busy with life!  The time involved to clean up a case of identity theft is far more than the time it takes to be prepared, however.

LifeLok Logo

LifeLock is the specialist in identity management.  LifeLock Ultimate® provides services like bank account takeover alerts, letting you know when someone opens a new bank account with your name or information, when someone runs a credit check on you, and even reducing the number of pre-approved credit card offers you receive.

If you haven’t signed up for LifeLock yet, keep reading for a special promo code below for Home Ever After readers.  You can also follow LifeLock’s coverage of the Home Depot security breach on twitter and facebook with the hashtag #breachwatch.

LifeLock’s Tips: What to Do After Being Notified of a Possible Security Breach

If you got a security breach letter from a retailer and are wondering what to do next, here are 5 steps from the experts at LifeLock.

1.  Order a new debit card.  Although this may seem like an unnecessary step if nothing suspicious has shown up in your accounts yet, it’s a prudent (and painless) precaution to have your bank send you a new debit card.  Since this card is linked directly to your money, a stranger having access to it could cause you a lot of grief.

2.  Watch your transactions.  Look for odd charges (places you don’t normally shop, names you don’t recognize, states/countries you haven’t been to).   Pay attention to tiny amounts (under $10) too – they’re easier to miss than large amounts.

3.  Report questionable activity to your credit card company.  Use the phone number on the back of your credit or debit card to give them a heads up if you suspect someone has accessed your accounts without your permission.

4.  Pay attention to news about the case.  Don’t throw away letters from Home Depot without reading them!  This goes for any other news stories about the data breach.  Pay attention so you know the latest information.  It may give you clues of what kinds of fraudulent activities to look for.

5.  Sign up for identity protection before the next security breach happens.  LifeLock Ultimate Plus™ and LifeLock Advantage™ are just 2 of the plans that check for unauthorized activity.  You can be alerted to red flag actions like balance transfers and large sums of cash being taken out of your account. 

Don’t be paralyzed by the fear of identity theft, but don’t be oblivious either.  Get yourself the protection you need.  LifeLock’s Identity Alert® system lets you know when something might be wrong and their $1 million guarantee will fix it if your identity is stolen while you’re a LifeLock member!

LifeLock Promo Code

Here’s the coupon code you’ve been waiting for!  Get 10% off with the LifeLock promo code breachwatch. Visit the LifeLock site to use the code now and get the peace of mind that their monitoring provides.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by Danelle Ice for LifeLock.  Danelle was compensated for writing this post, but her opinions are her own.

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Starting the Exaltria 30 Days to Better Skin Challenge

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Before Exaltria #30Days2BetterSkin #CollectiveBias #shop

I’m starting the Exaltria 30 Days to Better Skin challenge and wanted to share a before picture with you!  Above is a photo I took on my first day of the challenge, September 12th.   My before picture was from just after I washed my face first thing in the morning – no makeup.

Exaltria is a skin care supplement that you take every day (it’s a pill) to help the appearance and hydration of your skin.  Since it’s a pill and not a cream or lotion, Exaltria is made to improve the skin on not just your face, but your entire body!  This skin care supplement contains hyaluronic acid, which your body loses as you get older. 

Exaltria is an easy way to get beautiful skin from the inside out.  You take the pill daily and drink half a gallon of water every day to fade wrinkles and have softer, younger skin.

In the grand tradition of all my experiments, I’ll be sharing weekly check-in photos, as well as a side-by-side before and after photo at the end of the challenge.  Look for the final results of the Exaltria 30 Days to Better Skin Challenge  here on Home Ever After on October 12th.

What is the Exaltria #30Days2BetterSkin Challenge?

Every day of the 30 day challenge, I’ll be doing these steps:

  1. Take Exaltria.
  2. Wash my face twice a day.
  3. Drink 8 glasses of water.
  4. Wear sunblock.
  5. Sweat for 20 minutes.

Not only will I be making sure I follow through on these healthy habits, but I’ll have accountability for doing my workout every day for 20 minutes as well!  Let’s cross our fingers that the extra water intake and exercise will have me in a smaller jeans size by next month too.

What I’m Hoping to Get from Exaltria

In the before picture, you can see that I have deep forehead lines.   I’ve had them all my life and they bother me a lot.  I’d love to see them disappear!  I also have a few smile lines under my eyes and at the outside eye corners.  It would be great for those to plump up, because I smile a lot and I’m not going to stop anytime soon.

If you’d like to take the challenge with me, you can get your Exaltria from Amazon and follow the above 5 steps too.  let us know in the comments below if you’re going to do the challenge.  Stay tuned for my weekly updates on Facebook to see my skin care challenge in-progress photos!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and Danelle Ice has been compensated by #CollectiveBias #cbias and Exaltria to participate in the 30 Days 2 Better Skin Challenge. Only Danelle’s honest opinions are given.

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Playdough: Blessing or Curse?

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Play Doh Stamp n Shape Toolkit Home Ever After

Over the years, I’ve gone in waves about allowing Play Doh in my house.

Back in the day we had a play dough table with all of the tiny jars of colors and tools. We found that not only did the table become oh-so-boring, but all the lids were left off so the play dough dried out.

Then there was the terror: all the dried hardened bits of play dough smashed into the carpet in her room under the play dough activity table.  Grumbling, I discovered that the only way to get the dough out if the carpet was to cut off the carpet shags.

So now, years later, it seems crazy that I’d let the tricky substance back in my home. Or is it?

Playdough:  It’s Baaaack!

With a new batch of kids, I decided to give the PlayDoh another try and see if they could handle playing with it at the kitchen table (over tile, not carpet this time).

During back to school season this year, I found Play Doh single cans at Walmart for 50¢ each and got several colors.  The kids had a wonderful time playing with the dough using the few playdough tools I kept from years ago.  I also added 3 plastic knives and one plastic heart cookie cutter to the collection for them to use.

Then I stumbled upon the PlayDoh kit pictured above, which is the Stamp n’ Shape Toolkit.  I bought it for the tools and cookie cutters, but it also included 10 more medium sized canisters of playdough in various colors.  If you want a review of the kit, let me know.  Truett, Seven and Prynne would love to film a PlayDoh review!

The kids started out with the dough being neat and cautious.  However, after only a few short weeks, they are now pulverizing the playdough into tiny bits , which then go into the floor to be tracked around the house on the bottom of socks.  My kids throw the playdough, drop it, mince it, “forget” about it and leave the cans open…

I feel like we’ve come full circle with the blessing or curse that is playdough.  Different kids, different house, but same nightmare.

What about you?  Do you allow playdough in your house?

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Staying Open to New Ideas #CarefreeChallenge

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Home Ever After Sponsored Post Disclosure

Staying Open to New Ideas #CarefreeChallenge #clientStaying open to new ideas can be a lot harder than it sounds.  There are some simple mind hacks that can enhance your ability to enjoy trying new things and looking at life in a whole new way.

One thing that would make it a lot easier to be open-minded is winning the Carefree® Freshness Challenge daily prize of a new tablet!  Keep reading to find out how to win a new tablet computer and a $5,000 wardrobe from Carefree®.  For now, let’s focus on a few simple tips that make it easy to stay open to new ideas.

3 Tips for Staying Open to New Ideas

1.  Remember how it was before.  Remember the time before you tried your favorite food?  You’d never tasted it before, never enjoyed discovering it, never known how much happiness it could bring to your life.  If you had never taken a chance on trying that new food, it wouldn’t be your favorite today.

Life is like that in every aspect.  When hesitation starts taking hold, just remember that you may be about to discover one of your new “favorites”.  You’ll never know until you try!

2.  Ask, “What’s the worst that could happen?”  If you’re putting the brakes on moving forward, it might be because you’re expecting the worst case scenario to happen.  Catastrophizing is a common problem for many people.

Being prepared for – or actually expecting – negative consequences from making a choice can paralyze you.  The unknown can be scary.

  • What if I try this new way of doing things and it goes badly?
  • What if I change my holiday traditions and my family gets mad at me?

Those questions are both realistic for someone making a choice to do something new or different.  Catastophizing would put those questions in more drastic (or irreversible terms), such as:

  • What if I try this new way of doing things and it goes so badly that it can never be fixed?
  • What if I change my holiday traditions and my family never speaks to me again for the rest of my life?

Do you see the difference?  In the first set of questions, we recognize that a choice could have a positive or negative outcome.  In the second set, we see a “gloom and doom” mindset that assumes the worst possible outcome, something usually unrealistic or unfixable.

Luckily,  when we start to feel nervous about trying something new and recognize that we may be overdramatizing the negative possibilities, it’s helpful to ask ourselves that powerful question:

“What’s the worst that could happen?”

Calmly looking at a new choice and realizing that the worst outcome probably isn’t that bad anyway can make it easier to stay open to new ideas.

3.  Spend a day in the life of a child.  For children, life is filled with new experiences.  Most days of a child’s life hold events and ideas that have never occurred to them before!  Children are always ready to do new things because they spend so much of their time doing activities for the first time and being enthralled by the results: so funny, so exciting, so happy, so yummy!

If you find yourself having a hard time thinking about things in a new way, spend a day with your child experiencing things as they do.

Here is a crazy exercise that is so simple and shocking that it’s sure to cause a few revelations in your thinking:

→ Spend 5 minutes being only as tall as a 3 year old.

That’s right, get down on your knees and see everything in your house from the height and perspective of a small child.  I do this all the time and am not only amazed by how different everything is, but by how many things in my own house that I’ve never seen!

Be brave today and stay open to new ideas!

The 30 Day Carefree® Freshness Challenge

Carefree® is bringing you the Carefree® Freshness Challenge to help freshen up all aspects of your life. They want you to feel confident and ready to take on the world, which is why they make Carefree® Acti-Fresh panty liners to keep you protected and fresh while you’re on the go.

Enter to win a new tablet computer from Carefree®.  On top of the daily prizes, 1 grand prize winner will receive $5,000 for a fresh new wardrobe!

Here’s how to enter:

Here are the #CarefreeChallenge official rules. Good luck!Carefree Challenge Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by Danelle Ice for Carefree®. Danelle was compensated for writing this post, but her opinions are her own. The Carefree® Challenge contest and giveaway is being held and administered by Carefree®. See their site for official rules.

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Playing Myself in The Sims 4 – Latest in The Sims Series!

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CB DisclosureMe-and-my-Sim-Danelle-Ice #shop #TheSims4 #cbiasThe SIMS™ 4 is waiting for you at Walmart and I’ve been glued to the game since I brought it home from the store! The newest installment in the Sims series is packed with new features, smarter stories, and ultimate customizations that will make it hard to tear yourself away from your Sims. 

You can see me with my Sim at the in-store Walmart display above.  I named my Sim Alice Ellis, and she looks just like me, all the way down to my signature pink leather jacket and white pants with beige high heels.  It’s too bad I didn’t wear my matching outfit to the The SIMS™ 4 in-store launch!Danelle-Ice-Sims-4-Game #shop #TheSims4 #cbias

Where to Buy The SIMS™ 4

Get your copy of The SIMS™ 4 latest PC game.  (Make sure you grab your free pack of Sour Patch Kids gum that comes with The SIMS™ 4 purchase.)

I believe I was the first customer at my local Walmart on The SIMS™ 4 launch day to pick up the game!  I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and start playing. 

Me & My Sim:  Inseparable Already

I’ve been busy playing my blonde bombshell Sim since September 2nd, and I’ve tried out some crazy things with her life to see if I could experience the weirder stories boasted by the latest SIMS game. 

I started Alice as a writer and got her an entry-level job as a writer’s assistant.  The pay was low, and her morale was poor because she didn’t have much money to spruce up her Sim house.  Here is her tiny 1 bedroom house:

Sims 4 House #shop #TheSims4 #cbias

I found a SIMS money cheat code so I could get her enough simoleons (sim money) to buy a computer and get promoted to a better job.  I didn’t go crazy with the money cheat, though.  I only took enough to get her the basics.  I still couldn’t afford a desk, so Alice’s computer sat on her teeny dining room table:

Sims 4 Table #shop #TheSims4 #cbias

Imagine my surprise when she got promoted to BLOGGER!  I know, it’s a little twisted that I play a Sim who looks just like me and has my same profession, especially when I could live out any fantasy life in the Sim world.  That must mean that I really like my real life!

I started Alice as a single career girl and since she’s an ambitious Sim, I wanted to see how far I could get in her career before giving her a family.

The first male Sim that came around was Gage.  How easy would it be to get Alice involved with a boyfriend? I wondered.  Would her career suffer if she had to balance work and professional interests with a relationship?  A sequence of friendly and romantic gestures led Alice to ask Gage to be her boyfriend, which led to this:

Sims 4 Boyfriend #shop #TheSims4 #cbias

Yes, that’s Gage and Alice in their jammies getting ready to do WooHoo.  What’s WooHoo?  This:

Sims 4 WooHoo #shop #TheSims4 #cbias

It turns out that having even a Sim relationship is a lot of work, and Alice’s promotions slowed down.  Alice proposed to Gage, thinking he was the one.  They planned a wedding at the park and Alice greeted the guests:

Sims 4 Wedding #shop #TheSims4 #cbias

But then, Alice started to get cold feet.  Remember those promotions that she loved so much?  Would being married mean the end of her career?  She looked around for Gage to reassure her, only to find that her groom was a NO-SHOW!  My poor Sim was now a jilted bride, and out of frustration, she ran away from the wedding:

Sims 4 Runaway Bride #shop #TheSims4 #cbias

Even though life returned to normal for Alice, Gage still came around!  I was really surprised that I couldn’t find a way to break up or end a Sim relationship (maybe I just wasn’t looking in the right place).

Life went on, and Alice did all the daily Sim things:  cooking, cleaning, and going to work.

Sims 4 Cooking #shop #TheSims4 #cbias

The promotions started rolling in again, and Alice was publishing tons of books.  She even became a prolific writer!  Then one night, Alice’s boyfriend came around again.  Instead of selecting WooHoo, I accidentally asked Gage to WooHoo and Try for Baby.  Oops!

A few days later, Alice was a pregnant Sim:

Sims 4 Pregnant #shop #TheSims4 #cbias

In her 3rd trimester of pregnancy, Alice asked Gage to feel the baby kick:

Sims 4 Pregnant #shop #TheSims4 #cbias

Then she had the baby and never saw Gage again!  Remember when I told you The SIMS™ 4 had weirder stories?  Proof positive!

With Alice’s new family, I decided she needed a remodel to enlarge her Sim house.  I gave her lots of extra space, new furniture, and an all-new baby’s nursery for her little bundle of joy.  Here is the nursery:

Sims 4 Nursery #shop #TheSims4 #cbias

Remember her poor-Sim, 1 bedroom house from the beginning?  Here’s her new posh house:

Sims 4 New House #shop #TheSims4 #cbias

Alice had a baby boy, who aged from a baby Sim to a child in just a few sim-days.  When I stopped playing The SIMS™ last night, Alice and her son, Cooper, were having dinner:

Sims 4 Child #shop #TheSims4 #cbias

I’m hooked on The SIMS™ 4 even more than I was on the original SIMS game.  There is so much more that you can do with your SIMS now, and it’s fun to experiment.  My daughters have been having a great time watching me play, and Seven was picking out furniture in the builder mode for Alice’s house remodel.

I had to move my laptop to the kitchen table so the kids could look over my shoulder because they were so curious about what Sims were and how they worked.  Now they’re hooked too!  Have you been simming?  Leave your SIMS adventure in the comments below!

SIMify Yourself Contest

Between now and September 23, 2014, enter the SIMify yourself Facebook Contest.  There are $8000 in prizes to be won, including the grand prize where you could win a trip to Maxis studio in California!  NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. See Official Rules.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and Danelle Ice has been compensated by #CollectiveBias #cbias and The SIMS™ 4 to create the content. Only Danelle’s honest opinions are given.

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