Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

So You Think You Know Your Sweeteners?

In Your Home on March 31, 2010 at 11:30 PM

 Match the sweetener with its scoop.


Acesulfame-K    Aspartame          Saccharin             Sucralose             Stevia      


a.  0 calories, 600X sweeter than sugar, found Splenda, frozen desserts, chewing gum beverages, candy, breakfast bars

b.  0 calories, 200- 700 X sweeter than sugar, found in Sweet ‘N Low, candies, medicines, toothpaste, baked goods, gum, jams, soft drinks

c.  0 calories, 0 carbohydrates, 300 times sweeter than sugar, plant-based, found in Pepsi and Coke beverages, health food products

d.  0 calories, 200X sweeter than sugar, found in, Sweet One, frozen treats, cough drops

e.  4 calories per gram, 200X sweeter than sugar, found in  NutraSweet, Equal, sodas, chewing gum






Acesulfame-K    d

Aspartame          e

Saccharin             b

Sucralose             a

Stevia                    c


Get YOUR Read On With Author Sylvia Brown-Roberts

In You, Your Books, Your World on March 28, 2010 at 3:59 PM

Author Sylvia Brown-Roberts chats with LW about her new book, ‘Behind Closed Doors’.

Welcome Sylvia and thank you for taking time to sit down with LW.

How would you describe Behind Church Doors?

Nikolis McQuaige (NikkiMac) is forty years old, single, female, and a Christian. Like many of us, she has a colorful history. Yet, she knows that her sins were forgiven when she came to Christ ten years ago. Although she’s determined to live a faithful Christian life, Nikolis experiences a struggle between the flesh and the spirit. Sometimes, she doesn’t measure up to what God expects of her, but, she gets back up when she falls. Will Nikolis stay out of her own way and let God direct her steps?

Where did you find the original impulse to write this novel; what was your inspiration?

Behind Church Doors was inspired by my many years in a church setting. I enjoy making positive connections with people through my writing. My aim is to create thought-provoking characters.

What are you reading now?

I am now reading God Ain’t Blind, by popular novelist Mary Monroe. Before that, 72 Hour Hold, by Bebe Moore Campbell. I am hosting a Book Club meeting for these two books on 3/27/2010. Our club is called Sisters With Attitude. 20-plus yrs together.

What’s your favorite film & why?

My current favorite film is Avatar, IMAX, of course! Love to see cool special effects! Enjoy the messages in the movie: being humane, treating others kindly, justice for the innocent, spirituality, whimsy.

Favorite music & why?

Music, old school R&B, classical, easy listening, some jazz. Bobby Caldwell is nice.

Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you.

I do 3 days per week Curves’ workouts
I use Rachel Ray recipes
I really enjoy quality chocolate.

‘Behind Church Door’s’ is widely available; where can our readers find copies?

Behind Church Doors is available from,, and Barnes& It can also be ordered through your local retailer.
978-1-4401-8970-8(SC ISBN)
978-1-4401-8968-5 (HC ISBN)

Many thanks for visiting with us Sylvia. We hope you have a lot of success with ‘Behind Church Doors’ and as always, wishing you a very Budget Friendly day!  Take care.

Sylvia Brown-Roberts is a recently retired teacher. She especially enjoys reading, writing, children, and family.

Ingrid Michaelson and Mat Kearney Rock the Electric Factory

In Your Guest Writers on March 24, 2010 at 7:58 PM

   Ingrid Michaelson and

Mat Kearney

 Rock the Electric Factory


Mat and Ingrid


First of all, I’m not much of a music blogger, but since I love Ingrid Michaelson so much I figured I’d agree to blog about the amazing concert I went to see her perform on Friday March 19th at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia.
          I first heard both Mat Kearney and Ingrid Michaelson on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy, and were both on one of the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack  CDs (I get a lot of my music from television and movie soundtracks—it’s a great way to get introduced to new music). Kearney even released a music video of “Breath In and Breath out” featuring scenes from Grey’s Anatomy that was released on Itunes for free.  I became, I would say, addicted to Michaelson, however, after listening to “You and I” several times with my roommates, and singing along. When I learned about her playing a concert in Philadelphia—I just knew we had to go.    

Ingrid Michaelson


          After prepping for a long night of standing (because the Electric Factory is standing room only) and walking (it’s located on 8th street near Spring Garden—a fairly decent walk from the Broad St subway line), my friends Rachel, Sarah, and Michelle headed out, eager to get to the concert.
          We arrived fairly early (an hour before the concert started) and were able to get a space on the right hand side of the stage that was pretty close. The speakers were blasting a variety of music from Rhianna, Modest Mouse and the Verve that encouraged us to dance and have fun before the concert even started.
          First up was the opening act Angel Taylor. While her music did seem pretty run of the mill to me (her style was kind of similar to Ingrid Michaelson’s, but more bland I guess), it was enjoyable. I really liked her cover of “Sex on Fire,” and thought it was an interesting and daring choice to make given her style, but extremely enjoyable.
          A brief intermission followed, and then Mat Kearney came on stage.  I hadn’t exactly remembered that I had heard him before the show (I forgot about his song on the Grey’s Anatomy until he performed “Breathe In and Breathe Out”).  It was a good performance, but not particularly memorable (I think it would have been better had I heard more of his music before).  His most memorable song was “Runaway Car” during which he got off stage and ran through the crowd (plus it’s a really catchy song).
          “That’s the most I ran in 14 years,” Kearney said after the song. “Someone grabbed my butt like five times, although there’s not much there—it’s more like a joint.” I really appreciate when artists joke around and open up to their audiences.  Michaelson did just that. After a half hour intermission (at which point our feet really ached—but it was totally worth it), she finally came on.  She’s a very good performer, and got the audience involved a lot, which I really enjoyed. During her song “The Hat” she encouraged the audience to sing along to the chorus and do hand motions (making a heart above you head which turned to rain as she sung “I should tell you that you were my first love”.)  She also had her entire band come up to the microphone to sing an acoustic version of “You and I” which felt very personal and warm.
          Michaelson was very open, joking about various things.  While she was waiting for her keyboard to be hooked up before the song “The Chain,” she talked about her various fears.  “Excuse me—I can’t see them [the audience],” she says. “My other fear and I haven’t told this to an audience—It’s going to seem weird, but I’ll tell you anyway—was that my foot would fall off. But it would be a clean cut and I could see the bone. “[I had this dream] as a five year old.”
          As for her finale, Michaelson and her band made a kind of odd choice to sing Brittany Spear’s “Toxic”, complete with the band doing the “Toxic” dance at the end while a recording of the music continued to dance.  Although I’m definitely not a Spear’s fan, I still enjoyed it and thought it was a cool, unexpected way to end the show.
          At the end, both Michaelson and Kearney came on and sang an encore with members of both bands. I would definitely recommend going to see them if you get the chance.    

Kristen Gillette is a journalism major at Temple University. She loves blogging about music and concerts, however, as a college student, her budget prevents her from splurging on concerts and lots of CDs. Instead she blogs about her other loves, television and movies, at A TV And A Girl.  Thanks Kristen!

Good to Know!

In You, Your Fashion, Your Food, Your Health, Your World on March 24, 2010 at 7:52 PM

Sit or Squat

Plug your zip code or address into Sit or Squat   to locate a public restroom anywhere in the world!  Go mobile with your IPhone, ITouch, BlackBerry and SMS text.

Red is the New Black

According to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, men are more attractive to women wearing red as opposed to other colors. 

Try a New Polish

This year’s colors are bold, bright and vibrant: from neon yellows to trendy blues and metallic golds to timeless nudes

Break Out the Popcorn

A study by the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania found that popcorn and whole grains have as many antioxidants as vegetables.

Get Your Shine On With WD-40

Spray a little WD on leather shoes and purses, then buff to a shine with a clean cloth. Also adds a layer of protection from nature’s elements.


Tangerine Sparkles


2Cs orange-tangerine juice

3Cs ginger ale

8 chilled glasses filled with crushed ice

Pour juice over glasses, garnish with orange or tangerine slices.

Meet Photographer Malissa Sisson

In You on March 21, 2010 at 7:26 PM

Welcome to You!

We’ve added a new page to your magazine called You and it’s literally all about You, our readers.   We know how hectic life can sometimes get and we appreciate you taking time to visit our site.  To show our appreciation, we created this page so that we and your fellow readers could meet, chat a bit, network, and get to know each other.  We love talking with our readers, even though most of our conversations and interviews take place electronically.  Click here for more information on being featured in You


Malissa and Jon

First Up – Meet Photographer Malissa Sisson

 Good Morning Malissa.  Thank you for taking time to sit down with Live Well For Less.  You are our first reader “interviewee” and we’re pretty excited about the opportunity to visit with you.

Tell us a little about yourself and your family.

My husband and I have seven children and three grandchildren.  They range in age from 27-7.  Our granddaughter will be three in May and our grandsons are 18 months and two months.

 We understand you are a photographer.  How did you become interested in photography?

When I was a little girl my parents were very interested in photography.  We had a dark room in our home.  I really enjoyed spending time with my parents printing images.  I became much more interested over the years as I photographed my children. 

Michaela, daughter and Gabriella, granddaughter

What types of subjects do you shoot?

I do children, maternity, engagement, wedding, pets and families.

There are many types of cameras on the market, what equipment do you use?

My camera, lens and flash are all Canon.  My studio lights are Alien Bees.

What do you like best about your job and what do you find most challenging?

The thing I like best about my job is spending time with the children that I photograph.  The most challenging is trying to keep newborns awake long enough to get a few good shots and making teenage boys smile.

Jaxson, grandson

What advice do you have for women who are thinking about becoming photographers?

My best advice is to go for it!  Don’t let anyone convince you that you can’t do it.  Do your homework so you know what you are doing and have fun!

Where can our readers find your work? 

On my website, Treasured Reflections: and my Facebook also has some of my work.

How does your family Live Well For Less?

One way that I stretch our budget is when I find items on sale that we use on a regular basis, I stock up.  Another way is that we rarely throw away our leftovers.  You would be surprised how much money you save by bringing home leftovers from a restaurant and saving the small portions that are uneaten for meals at home.  Using those for lunch instead of cooking something is going to add up in a significant savings over time. Finally, a really good way to stretch your budget is by learning to tell your children “No, you don’t need that.”, when you are at the store and they want nearly everything they see! 

Any closing remarks?           

I have a lot to learn about photography and I am looking forward to exploring all of the different aspects of the art.  

We’ve had a really great time chatting with you Malissa.  Thank you!

Freebies – Samples LW Received Today

In Your Home, Your World on March 18, 2010 at 8:38 PM


Free Samples

Just a quick post to show the free samples LW received today.  Check-out,  Your Freebies  page often, we’re always adding new promotions.

Wishing you a budget friendly day!

– Nikola

Another Free Sample Offer:

Wal-Mart and Rachael Ray have teamed to offer a free sample of Nutrish.  Get your free sample by clicking here.

How Not to Bust Your Wedding Budget on the Ring

In Your Fashion, Your Guest Writers on March 17, 2010 at 5:55 AM

How to Buy an Engagement Ring on a Budget


It’s a beautiful milestone in your life!  You’re about to get married to the love of your life.  Now, you need to decide on the ring and nowadays many couples are shopping together.  The first thing you’ll want to do is start fresh.  Don’t start with preconceived notions about how an engagement ring is “supposed” to be.  Once you throw out the assumptions, the possibilities are endless. 

One way to cut costs is by getting a smaller carat weight.  You can save a lot of dough this way.  Look at the different carat weights side by side.  If you can’t tell the difference or the difference doesn’t make it any less beautiful, why spend the extra money?

Another way to cut costs is by changing the metal.  Perhaps you’re stuck on the idea and the look of platinum.  Take a look at white gold! It’s less expensive, but still a lifelong wearable metal with the same look and feel.

Look at smaller stores, family jewelry, and estate sales.  Just because it says Tiffany & Co. on the box doesn’t make it any less beautiful, but it really has an impact on the cost.  The bigger the brand name, the bigger the retail markup.  Don’t get sucked into the “big name” just because it’s a momentous moment.

Does your family have jewelry?  It doesn’t have to be an engagement ring.  It could be different rings, diamond earrings, or a diamond pendant.  The diamonds can be transferred by a jeweler to an engagement ring setting.  There!  You’ve just saved money on the main diamond, which may free up the funds for accent diamonds in a setting of your choice.

You’ve probably already heard about the 4 C’s: Cut, color, clarity, and carat weight.  But what you might not know is that if your diamond falls between D and H on the color scale, most people won’t be able to see major differences with an untrained naked eye.  If that is not an aspect that ranks really high on your search, you can save a lot of money by getting a lower color grade.  This same concept applies to clarity!  Basically, you go from flawless to imperfect.  Cut the corner a little bit, still as beautiful and beautiful on your wallet.

Shop!  Look at your options and different stores.  Take a look at what you like and then compare your bargains.  You want to get the best deal for the “right” ring.  Decide what’s most important to you, and find it.  Look around online, look at auctions (online and off,) look at the big names – Hey, even if you don’t want to pay the big markup, you can take advantage of their marketing budget and look at the gorgeous photos.  Know what you’re looking for and then hunt.

The bottom line is this: more money does not equal a “better” ring.  More money does not equal a happier marriage.  Be smart, and you’ll both be ecstatic.

About the Author:  Sarah Harris is the Marketing Manager at Adiamor. 

Adiamor offers a large selection of engagement ring settings, loose diamonds and other fine diamond jewelry at affordable prices.

$25 Target Gift Card Giveaway

In Your Giveaways on March 14, 2010 at 7:49 PM

A big Thank You for making your first giveaway a huge success!  And … Congratulations to Barbara M, your $25 Target Gift Card Winner! 

 We had such a great response, and so much fun reading your comments and budget stretching tips, that we’ve decided to compile your great ideas into a special post we will publish next week. Thanks Everyone!

We’re celebrating spring just a few days early with Your first giveaway! We’re excited and hope you are too! It’s pretty simple to enter; you’ll find the guidelines and rules listed below. Good Luck! 



Prize: $25 Target Gift Card

No. of Winners: 1

Start Date: 15 March 2010

End Date: 22 March 2010

Open to: United States Residents


A Few Simple Steps to Enter

  1. Subscribe to Live Well For Less: Email or RSS Feed
  2. Follow Live Well For Less on our new Twitter account:

Please leave the following in this post:

  1. Name LW’s first guest writer. Hint- click on Guest Writers.
  2. Leave a tip sharing one way you save money.
  3. Leave a way to contact you: Email or Blog address, Etsy link, etc.
  4. You may enter twice, in two (2) different posts, each containing the name of LW’s first guest writer, a different budgeting tip and your contact information.

Your giveaway ends 22 March 2010 at midnight, Eastern Standard Time. Each comment is numbered and your winner is chosen by and notified 23 March 2010. Please respond within 48 hours to claim your gift card, (we’d hate to give your prize to someone else). 😦

Our giveaway is not sponsored by Target. We selected Target because they are consistently ranked as one of the most philanthropic companies in the US, and offer selections that accommodate most household budgets.

Good Luck!

Toss Out Household Waste the Right Way

In Your Home on March 14, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Confused about how and or where to dispose of common household waste? Read on to sort it out.

 Where To Discard:  Garbage, Hazardous, Recycle

Empty Aerosol Cans:  Garbage

Ant/Roach Bait Trap:  Hazardous

Antifreeze:  Hazardous, Recycle       

Auto Parts, Batteries, etc:  Hazardous, Recycle          

Alkaline Batteries:  **Garbage, Hazardous, Recycle

Rechargeable Batteries:  Hazardous, Recycle

Fluorescent Light bulbs:  Hazardous, Recycle

Motor Oil:  Hazardous, Recycle

Latex Paint (Use kitty litter to absorb):  Garbage

Oil or Spray Paint:  Hazardous 

Paint Primer, Thinner, Turpentine:  Hazardous

Unused Pool Chemicals:  Hazardous

RX or OTC Drugs  (Empty containers and crush pills):  Garbage

Smoke Detectors:  Hazardous, Recycle

 Call your city or county solid-waste department to find out where to dump hazardous waste. For items not accepted locally, search online for recycling options.

In general, DO NOT pour liquid household waste down the drain.

*Sources – Water Environment Federation; Household disposal laws vary from place to place.  **Not in California or where prohibited by law.



In Your Giveaways on March 13, 2010 at 11:15 AM

This winter has been pretty wild, and we’re more than ready for spring.  So, to celebrate the coming season, we’re hosting Your first giveaway! We’re pretty excited about it, and have made it super easy to enter.  Check back; details are coming soon!