Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015!

Happy New Year!



I hope 2014 was an awesome year for you and your family and I pray that 2015 will amaze you will all the wonderful things that happens.

I wanted to share with you my word of inspiration this year.  It is focus.

Focus on my family.
Focus on my faith.
Focus on what I want out of life and the steps I need to take to achieve it.
One day at a time.
One moment at a time.

Try to live in the present. Be in the moment. Focus on the good.

Well that is my plan for this new year. What's yours? Feel free to share your plan in the comments. I'd love to hear them.



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dealing with First Day of School Jitters

http://www.clipartlord.com/category/school-clip-art/school-bus-clip-art/

Now is the time of year for schools across the country to start up for the fall. My kids started back to school this week.

Like many kids, my oldest always gets a bit nervous with new situations. The first day of school, field trips, and family vacations, are really stressful for her.

This year she started ninth grade. Her freshman year of high school. 

It's her 3rd day and she still had a bad case of nerves.  Here are a few things I've tried so far. 

Tour of the School
The Friday before school started we got her class schedule and took a self guided  tour of the school. We found each classroom and met a couple teachers.

Friends on Bus and In Class
Turns out she does have friends in a few classes, at lunch and on the bus. Great for Moral support.

Limited Upperclassmen in Classes
Not that this is controllable, but she doesn't have many upperclassmen in her classes despite being advanced classes.  That is at least a little less intimidating.

Foods/Drinks
We've tried saltine crackers, ginger ale and peppermint hard candy. She really doesn't want to eat for fear of being sick.

She's been this way her whole like and I have to admit she gets it honest. Both myself and her father were the same way.

What are some ways you've help settle your nerves or the nerves of your children?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Walmart Savings Catcher


I want to share my latest obsession. The Walmart Savings Catcher.

You may have seen the commercials on TV.  That's how I found out about the app.

It's super simple. You download the app. I used the app store on my iPhone. It's fr^ee to purchase. Once it's installed you simply scan your Walmart receipt. That's it. You wait for the app to check the current prices of your items at a bunch of different stores. Once the scan is done, you receive a message saying how much money you are getting back. Done.

I really like this app, my only issue with the app is that it takes soooooo long for it to scan. I mean 3-4 days! It's constantly running in the background on your phone - could potentially drain your battery.

But hey they are giving you money back, so who cares that it takes a couple days.

I've only entered 5 receipts and already have a balance of $3.37. It may not seem like a lot, but I don't purchase a lot of stuff each week from there. Plus it only took me about 5 minutes of my time.


I plan to save all the money up and cash it in around Christmas time. The app lets you get your savings money whenever you wish in the form of an electronic gift card which you can take to your local store. It will let you accumulate your savings up to $599.99 a calendar year.

This is ideally for a person/family who purchases food items because they don't include many household, sporting and general merchandise. It does include name brand foods, paper towels, toilet paper, make-up, shampoo and such. It only works with in-store purchases. Not online purchases which suits me just fine.

Try it out and see how much you will save.

Happy shopping!






* This is not a paid advertisement. I haven't been compensated in any way for sharing this. It is solely my opinion. *

Monday, August 25, 2014

How Will You Be Remembered?

 
How will you be remembered when you pass away?

Who will attend your funeral? Lots of friends and family? A few close friends?

Last month, I had an uncle pass from cancer and I noticed all the people who attending his viewing and funeral. It really got me thinking.

He was an amazing man that I hardly knew. I knew he was very hard working, smart, family man. But I had no idea he was also was very generous and a lover of cats. I started to wonder. What will people think of me when I pass?

I used to dream of being the next big blogger, like Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) or Heather Armstrong (Dooce.com).  I wanted to have lots of followers. Lots of sponsors paying me to write reviews of their products.

I know it is fine to have goals or dreams, but that wasn't the plan God had for my life.

God taught me not to worry what millions, thousands or even a few hundred people think of me. He wants me to focus on the people in my immediate family and those I come in contact with on a regular basis. 

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
Mother Teresa

Don't try to be important to everyone. Be the world to my family.

I don't want a bunch of strangers attending my funeral (many years from now). I want a bunch of people full of fun stories about our adventures together. Laughing and joking around. Celebrating my life and missing me, of course. 

I haven't been posting for a while because I was trying to find my purpose. My reason for living. Trying to find my calling.

The main purpose of my life is to care for, teach and most of all love my family. Help them feel wanted, needed and special. Encourage them. Make our home a safe haven. A welcoming place for family and anyone else who visits.

My hope is that someone out there can learn from my journey, share a few laughs or just brighten your day. 

Till next time.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Freebies on Friday - January 24, 2014

Happy Friday everyone! Before we get to the freebies I wanted to share that I will be taking a break from blogging for a while. It's a decision I don't take lightly, but feel it is really important for me and my family right now.

Well...on to the freebies. Enjoy!

e-Books

Creative Homemaking Guide to DIY Cleaning Products


How to Crochet: A Proven Step by Step Method to Learning to Crochet Today


The Happy Family: A Blueprint for a More Joyful, Balanced and Fulfilling Family Life


Touchdown Treats! Quick & Easy Dip and Cheese Ball Recipes for a Winning Party



Samples
Rosetta Stone Demo - try a language program for free
Flush Doggy - Flushable Dog Poo Bags
Success Rice - Boil in a Bag - receive a coupon for up to $2.69 (which makes this a freebie at most stores)

Misc.
Mustache Valentine's Day Printable
Free Football Pack for kids 3-7 from 3Dinosaurs.com
Star Wars Glow Stick Valentine from BrassyApple.com



* Please note the ebook links are affiliate links but at the time of this publication all the books were listed as free on Amazon.com. All the remaining links are not-affiliate links and I am not compensated for sending people to any of them.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

DIY Tutorials to Keep Your Clothes Looking Like New

Keep your clothes looking good and lasting longer with these wonderful tutorials.

By taking a couple minutes and searching the web you can find solutions to almost any clothing problem. Sweater that shrunk in the dryer, a button that fell off, a popped seam, etc.



Learn How to Re-Attach A Button


How to Sew a Torn Seam


Altering or Fixing a Hem


See How to Remove Food/Drink Stains from Clothing


Fix a Separated Zipper


Fix a Sweater that Shrunk

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Home Remedies for a Cold

My hubby and both my daughters have a cold. It's nothing serious, but because of his medical issues he can't take many of the over the counter medications. That is why I've had to research more natural remedies.

Here are a few home remedies I've found online that I hope will help.

I'm not a doctor so, please be sure to run any home remedies by your doctor prior to trying anything new. Try these at your own risk.

Cough
Start off with the old time favorite the hot toddy.  Basically you heat the juice from two lemons and 1/4 cup of honey just to boiling.  Remove from the heat and let it cool a bit then add a shot of whiskey or rum.  Mix a tablespoon into your tea or take it directly - a tablespoon at a time).  Obviously, leave out the alcohol for kids.

Mixing 1/2 teaspoon of honey and apple cider vinegar also works to ease coughing as well.

Vick's Vaporub
This one really works.  Slather on the Vick's onto the soles of your feet, cover with socks at bedtime. Then go to bed. It really does stop the coughing.

Running Nose
Herbal teas are said to help fight a runny nose. Here's a link to a really good one that I want to try out.


Chewing fresh ginger like candy or in tea.  Source

Neti pot - It uses saline to rinse the nasal passages. It really does work - though it takes a little bit to get used to.


Stuff Nose
Vick's Vapor rub on your chest.

Peppermint candies or gum - just like the vicks it's the menthol that unclogs the passages.

Spicy foods - just think back to all the times you ate spicy foods and your nose began to run.


Fever
A cool wash cloth on the forehead helps.

A cup of apple cider vinegar to a warm bath is also said to help. Source

Please feel free to share any of your favorite natural home remedies by leaving a comment below.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Delicious Cheese Sauce

My family loves broccoli. So today I wanted to share this delicious cheese sauce that we pour over the cooked broccoli.

First, prepare your broccoli as you normally would. We boil ours in a medium saucepan until slightly tender.

Ingredients
2 Tablespoons butter/margarine
2 1/2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups Velvetta or similar cheese (also can use shredded cheddar cheese)

Directions
In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.

Add flour and whisk until smooth. Though mine is usually clumpy.

Slowly add milk and stir with spoon until desired thickness.

Add cheese and stir until cheese is completely melted.

Add salt and pepper if you wish.

Pour over cooked broccoli and serve.

Enjoy!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

6 Awesome Valentine's Day Printables for Older Kids

My kids are in 4th, 6th and 8th grade, and they don't want the "baby-ish" valentines to give to their friends. Today I found six kid approved Valentines that are free to print as well.


Mustache Valentines

No Fun without U Valentines

iPhone Valentines

Glad We're in the Same School Valentine

Write Me A Note Valentine

You're A Star Valentine

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Save Money on Pet Costs


We took our little kitten, Noel, to the ASPCA yesterday to get spayed. We originally planned on getting that done at our local veterinarian, but they wanted from $273.70 to $662.96 depending on what options you selected (laser vs. scalpel, microchip implantation, pre-surgical bloodwork, etc.). We really couldn't afford that right now, so we searched for a more affordable option.

Our local ASCPC offers the basic services for $55 for spaying a girl cat. I can't imagine that the procedure itself is all that different from place to place. Both are completed by a certified veterinarian and both include anesthesia so the cat is asleep during the procedure.  I understand there is probably a certain level of care given after the procedure, but one place is a for profit business and another is non-profit.

When it comes down to it, you need to research the facility, read the reviews and way the pros and cons of each location for yourself. Our local ASPCA is clean, has caring, knowledgeable staff and are very affordable. That may not be the case in your area, so do your research ahead of time.
 
One way you can cut costs while still maintaining your pet's health is by finding facilities that offer
low cost vaccines, spay and neuter, and grooming.

Vaccinations
There are tons of organizations available for low cost vaccinations. Simply search for "low cost vaccinations for pets in X" substituting your city or state for X. Here are some nationwide programs that connect you with local organizations. Many even offer services like deworming, flea and tick medications, and other common medical issues for cats and dogs.

LuvMyPet.com/
Petco.com


Spay/Neuter
I'm very much in favor of getting your pet spayed or neutered. There are really so many kittens, puppies and full grown pets that need adopting already. Beside all the local veterinarians in your area also consider the organizations below to find a low-cost program to have your pet spayed or neutered.
HumaneSociety.org  - They also will connect you with shelters, organizations, and vets that offer low cost spay and neuter programs.

SpayUSA.org/ - Another nationwide network that connects pet owners to low cost spay/neuter programs.

Grooming
Almost all major department stores (Walmart, Target, etc.) sell brushes, clippers for trimming fur, and nail clippers, so you can keep your pet's coat and nails looking great. Start off small with brushing once a week, so your pet can get used to you doing it. Try clipping their nails while they are sleeping. Many are afraid of cutting the nails down to the quick, but I just clip a tiny, tiny bit off so they aren't sharp.

Here are more resources to help you groom your pet from home.
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/groom-your-cat
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/groom-your-dog
YouTube offers tons of videos on grooming specific breeds of dogs.

Please share your tips/ideas for saving on pet costs.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Funny Phones and Accessories

Today is just a light hearted post. I was searching for a phone case and came across these really cool phones and accessories. Enjoy :)


The Banana Phone


Big Ear Phone


Cheeseburger Phone


Retro Phone Handset


Big Mouth Phone


R2D2 Phone Charger w/Sounds and Lights

Monday, January 13, 2014

Save $$$ With DIY Appliance Repairs

For the past couple days I've been dealing with a really loud noise coming from my beloved vacuum cleaner.

I love my Dyson! I've had it for just over 5 years and have absolutely no complaints about the vacuum or the service from Dyson. By the way, I wasn't compensated in ANY way to say this - I just really like my vacuum.

Back story, since I've moved into this home I've had about 5 different vacuums. All broke within a year because we have 2 dogs, now 3 cats, 3 kids and a husband who works construction. Plus we live near the water, so we have sand everywhere. Oh and did I mention we have a massive static problem every winter.

Anyways, just over 5 years ago, we bought the Dyson DC-17 Animal vacuum. We've never had to pay for service or belts for the first 5 years. It was awesome.

Well around Christmas time, the vacuum started making a really loud noise - almost like a dying animal. I called Dyson service department and they walked me through fixing it myself. Saving me a boat load of money, because the alternative is a vacuum repair shop.

So...how does this help you.

Consult Your Owner's Manual
First and foremost, check the owner's manual. Hopefully you kept the owner's manual and are able to put your hands on it. If not, do a quick search online for it. Then you will be able to read it or print out to reference later.

Call Customer Service
Next time one of your appliances stops working correctly, call the company and ask for help. Sometimes they will point you in the right direction to repairing the problem and other times they will refer you to a repair company. It never hurts to ask what they think the problem may be.

Check out YouTube
Youtube.com has a large number of videos that can show you how to make small repairs to almost any appliance.  Watch more than one, if possible, to get as much information as you can.

Google It
When all else fails you can search online for the solution to your problem.

Please be careful you consider doing DIY projects for the first time. Obviously, make sure all appliances are unplugged, disconnected from power and water before you do anything else. Also, allocate extra time, so you have time to figure everything out and don't feel rushed.  Lastly, don't take on a project that you don't feel comfortable with - there is absolutely nothing wrong with hiring a professional to complete a job that is above your comfort level. Start small and you will learn as you go.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Freebies on Friday - January 10, 2014

Happy Friday everyone!  Enjoy and see you all on Monday!

e-Books

Feed the Pig: Tons of Tips to Pinch, Stretch, and Save Your Money


1,001 Best Slow-Cooker Recipes: The Only Slow-Cooker Cookbook You'll Ever Need


F.A.M.I.L.Y. -Fun, Amazing, Magnificent, Incredible, Loving Years - Don't Miss It



Samples
Loreal Paris USA Advanced Haircare
Metamucil courtesy of Walmart
Escada Born in Paradise perfume

Misc.
Udemy.com - Offers a nice variety of free and paid for courses. Click on any category on the left hand side. Once the page loads sort by selecting "free" under price near the top. Technology, Music, Education, Photography, Languages, Crafts, Design and more to choose from.
Winter Bucket List from Just Call Me Chris
Red Cross Winter Storm Safety Checklist



* Please note the ebook links are affiliate links but at the time of this publication all the books were listed as free on Amazon.com. All the remaining links are not-affiliate links and I am not compensated for sending people to any of them.