Thursday, January 29, 2015

Get Organized With Printable Stickers

Getting and staying organized with you calendar doesn't have to be boring. Try making it fun with these adorable printable stickers.

In case you've never printed stickers before - it's easy and you don't need a special machine. Your regular printer and some sticker paper from your local office supply store is all you need.

Here are a couple sites that offer free printable stickers that can help you remember appointments, bills and school activities, all while being colorful and fun.


Ms Wenduhh

The House on Hillbrook

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Best Marriage Advice Ever

My hubby and I have a couple friends who are engaged to be married, and since we have been happily married for almost 18 years we get asked for advice a lot.

Here is the absolute best marriage advice there is....Talk.

More importantly Talk and Listen to each other.

Talk about everything. Kids. Money. Religion. Politics.

Where your kids will go to school if you want kids (public, private or homeschool)? Will one of you stay home with the child/children or will they go to daycare? Will you have separate checking/savings accounts or combine them into one account? Do you both celebrate the same holidays? Do you both share the same views of religion? What about politics - do you share the same ideology?

Anything that is important to you needs to be discussed.

If you can't talk to your potential mate about something or they won't listen or discuss it - then you really should hold off getting married. Get these important issues settled before you tie the knot. This is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. You should be able to tell him/her anything.

Another very important piece of advice is...Don't expect your partner to change.

Accept them the way they are.

If they are an absolute neat freak or continually leave messes everywhere just assume that's they way they will stay. Maybe they are obsessed with sports or she loves to collect scrapbooking supplies. That's who they are. Accept it.

We have seen too many people go into relationships wanting something while their partner didn't. A common problem we see is one wants kids and the other doesn't. Either resign yourself to the fact that kids aren't in your future or move on to someone who more shares your view for the future.

If it's important to you it should be discussed and both partners should agree to a common decision. 

Working out these issues prior to getting married will cut down on some of the main reasons for divorce.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Broken Phone...What to Do?

How many times have you dropped your phone? Have you cracked the screen? Do you have a broken phone sitting in a drawer somewhere? 

A few months ago, my son broke his Apple iPod. He was devastated!  He carried it around everywhere. He used FaceTime to talk with friends, take photos, and play games.

Well like many families, we didn't have an extra $250 laying around to purchase a new one, so I started doing some searching online about how to repair it.

There are repair kits I could purchase from Amazon and eBay, but I didn't feel comfortable taking the entire iPod apart. I didn't want to cause more damage, so I tried to find a company to fix it for us.

That's when I found  You submit what type of electronic you have, what you need done, etc. to their free service, and they will have local technicians offer you quotes to repair it. You pick who you want to contact, if any. 

I received quotes from 4 technicians in my area, but selected one who would pick up and return the iPod for $80. Not cheap, but way better than getting a new one.

Then two weeks later, I broke my iPhone 4, but the same technician wasn't available. I was shopping at a local Radio Shack and noticed they were also able to make repairs. Not all Radio Shack stores offer repairs so check online for the one closest to you.   My phone was done in less than an hour and cost roughly $80 as well.

I have to say it isn't cheap to get the electronics fixed, but it's better than having it sit in a drawer broken.

Monday, January 26, 2015

18 Tips and Tricks for Using Google Search

Everyone has heard of Google, but did you know all the really cool things it can do? Here are 18 helpful and fun tips and tricks for using the popular search engine that you may not know.

1.  Exclude from Search ResultsType "-X" replacing X with your word or phrase to exclude those results from your search results. For example, say you want to search for printables by not those on type in  "-Pinterest"

2.  Definitions
To find the meaning of a word type "definition of X" replacing X with your work or phrase.

3.  Use Images to Search
Go to then click on Images without putting anything in the search area. Once on the images pages you will see a small camera near the search field. Click it. It will allow you to select an image from a website or you can upload one from your computer.

4.  Timer
Use Google as a timer. Enter "set timer to X" replacing the X with a number of hours or minutes. An example "set timer to 1 minute" or "set timer to 3 minutes 11 seconds".

5.  Holidays/Festivities
Find the day and date of holidays or festivities by typing in the name. For example, "Thanksgiving" will produce "Thursday, November 26 - Thanksgiving Day 2015".

6. Calculator
Don't have a calculator handy simply enter your math problem into the search results to get the answer.

7.  Tip Calculator
Out to eat at your favorite restaurant and need to figure out how much tip to leave. Just type in "tip calculator" which will let you enter the total bill before tip and select a percentage.

8.  Translate
Need to translate from one language to another. Perhaps there is a sign you need to understand but it's in another language - enter the words and it will show you the translation.

9.  Check the Weather
Wondering what the weather is in your hometown. Enter your city, state or city, country and forecast to get the weather for today and the next seven days.

10.  Movies
Find movies playing in your area. Enter "movies" and your zip code. You will see a visual image of the movies available. Just click on one and it will show you when and where it's being shown.

11.  Conversions
Do you need to convert feet to inches? What about Euros to Dollars? Type X "to" X for your results.

12.  Track a Package
If you're waiting for a package to arrive, enter the tracking number into the search bar and press enter to receive the status of your package.

13.  Tilt Screen
Type "tilt" in the search area and press enter to see your screen tilt at an angle.

14.  Barrel Roll
Type "do a barrel roll" to see your entire screen flip like a cartwheel.

15.  Atari Breakout
Play a game of Breakout on google by searching "Atari Breakout" without the quotation marks in Google Images. Trick is to keep the mouse within the playing area while moving it back and forth.

16.  Flip A Coin
Type "Flip a Coin" in the search field and a coin will rotate landing on either heads or tails.

17.  Roll a Six-Sided Die
Enter "roll a dice" into the search bar and press enter. Similar to flip a coin it will give you the results.

18.  Where Are You?
If you type in "Where Am I" it will bring up a map of your current location. Creepy and cool at the same time.

Some of these are useful and some are just for fun. Have fun and enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Freebies on Friday - January 23, 2015

Happy Friday everyone! This week is a hodge podge of freebies, but lets face it being a mom requires us to have a wide knowledge base. Plus, moms are just "Moms" when our kids are babies or toddlers. We are still moms when our kids are in high school, college and beyond.

I strive to include books that will save money, save time, help with homeschooling, plus have fun with crafts.

Well...on to the freebies. Enjoy!


Homemade Liquid Soap For Beginners (How to Make Soap)

50 Core American Documents: Required Reading for Students, Teachers, and Citizens

19 Budget Hacks for College Students: How to Live on $15/Day Without Dying

Accounting Illustrated Dictionary: Learn Accounting Visually (Accounting Play Book 1)

Vegetable Fermentation for Beginners: Fermenting Vegetables at Home Made Easy

BioRenew SkinCare - Skin Care for menopausal women.
Holistic Dog and Cat Food Sample from The Pet Pantry
Vitamin and Supplements Sample -
Delicious Bee Pollen - Pollen

Chalkboard Canning Freezer Label by Lia Griffith
Personalized Kids Lunch Labels by Lia
Love This Kitchen Art Printable I Heart

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

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Should Taking Your Kids Out Of School For Family Vacation Be Illegal?

I was watching the Today Show the other day and one segment really surprised me. You can see it here. Apparently in some states it is "illegal" to take your kids out of school to go on a family vacation. Really?!?

If the kid misses a month of school maybe, but a week or less absolutely not.   As long as the parent knows that it is the family's responsibility to get caught back up to the class. 

The teacher would be copying all the handouts anyways. Honestly, how much time would it take to put them in a paper clip or folder for when the kid returns. 

What is your opinion on this?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How to Make It Through the Winter and Still Have Fun

On a day when it's cold and snowy I'm dreaming of Spring. Warmer weather and planting my garden sounds wonderful right now.

Unfortunately, Spring is still a couple weeks away.

Here are a couple things you can do to get through the somewhat lonely, isolating winter months for those in cold weather areas.

1. Get Outside
I know it's cold and possibly snowy, but get outside. Breathe in fresh air. Get some sun. Even if it's only to run to the mailbox or to a store.

2. Read a Good Book
If you can't get out because of the weather - escape into a great book. Curl up with a blanket, a cup of hot chocolate or coffee and get engrossed in a wonderful story.

3. Get Some Exercise
Many people pack on the pounds during the winter months, but there are plenty of things you can do to stay fit while remaining inside.  There are tons of dance, exercise, and sporting games on a variety of gaming systems. We love Just Dance and Wii Fit.

You don't need a gaming system to get fit, you can do yoga, Tai Chi, calisthenics (sit-ups, push-ups, jump rope, etc.), weight lifting or any number of exercise videos online.

4. Find a Hobby, Craft, or Project
Distract yourself by getting involved in a hobby or starting a craft or project. Find something you truly enjoy. Something like crochet, knitting, quilting, photography, scrapbooking, etc. Here is a link to a ton of hobbies in case you need suggestions.

5. Get Together With Friends and Family
Being around different people can really help lighten the mood. Let's face it being stuck with the same people can try everyone's nerves. Hosting a dinner party or movie night can be a great time for all. It can give you something to look forward to and lots to talk about after, as well.

So basically, get out, get moving, get around other people and start doing stuff. Keep busy and have fun!

Plus remember...

57 days until Spring

Monday, January 19, 2015

I Have A Dream

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday and he is famous for his "I Have A Dream" speech.  I thought I would share a dream of mine and a cute printable to help you achieve your dream as well.

I have had a dream for about 15 years now to be a stay at home mom and still contribute to my family financially.  My dream has come true to a degree, but I want to be able to contribute a bit more.

I've already started implementing this plan. I've brought in some extra cash using Walmart's Saving Catcher program, Swagbucks and am currently researching other avenues as well.

What have you always dreamed of doing? What does your dream life look like?

Once you figure that out - figure out a small step you can take today to move you toward your dream.  Anything is possible.

For Personal Use Only!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Freebies on Friday - January 16, 2015

Happy Friday everyone!

Well...on to the freebies. Enjoy!


Living Frugal And Loving It: 40 Creative Ways To Save Money And Live Debt Free For Life (Simple Living Book 2)

Slow Cooker 101: Master the Slow Cooker with 101 Great Recipes

Will, Trust, & Power of Attorney Creator and Estate Records Organizer: Legal Self-Help Guide

Ancient Medicine - Discover the Benefits of 5 Ancient Herbal Plants to Ease and Heal Common Ailments (Ancient Medicine, Herbal Remedies , Herbs , Ancient ... Organic Antibiotics And Antivirals)

Cloud 9 Salon Spa - Handmade body lotion to try.
Safety Latch Starter Kit - These are for cabinets and doors to keep kids and pets safe.
Stetson Cologne - Cologne for the man in your life.

Get a FREE DVD or Blu-ray rental at Redbox kiosks, at or with the app.  Use the code 45TH8787. Code is good through 1/18/14.
OpenOffice - This is a free software that is equivalent to Microsoft Office only free. It has spreadsheets, text documents, presentation creator and lots more. I've used this for years and LOVE it.
Free Pretty Things For - Adorable alphabet flashcards great for kids or scrapbooking.

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

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Easy Carpet Spot Remover

My daughter came to me this morning and mentioned that one of the animals (cats/dogs) had gotten sick on her carpet over night. Has this ever happened to you?

This happens every so often here. It's always easier to get a stain out if it is fresh and not soaked in a while.  Unfortunately, we can't always tackle a stain when it's new, so here is what I've found that gets stains out no matter how long they've been there.

You probably already have all the stuff you need already in your pantry.

     * Blue Original Dawn Dish Washing liquid
     * Hydrogen Peroxide
     * A Wet Washcloth or rag 

I literally squirted a bit of Dawn dish washing liquid on the stain. Next I pour a cap full or so of the hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain. Then I simply take a wet wash cloth or rag and scrub the spot until the stain is gone. 

It took me about 2 minutes to tackle that spot and another 10 minutes to find and clean all the rest of the stains in my house. Especially those old, stubborn ones that wouldn't come out for anything cleaned up without a problem. It worked great.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Skinny Taco Dip

The Super Bowl is a few weeks away and there are sure to be lots of get togethers. This is an absolutely delicious dip that goes great with tortilla chips. It's also quick and easy to make.

I found this recipe a while back on website. My family and friends love this dip and ask for it often. Besides it tasting delicious it's not bad for you.

Skinny Taco Dip

8 oz  low fat cream cheese (not the whipped version)
8 oz  reduced fat sour cream
16 oz  jar mild salsa
1  packet of taco seasoning
2  cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
2  tomatoes, diced
1  cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
2.25 oz  black olives (optional)

In a bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, salsa and taco seasoning. Mix well. Spread mixture onto bottom of a 8X8" or larger glass dish.  Next layer shredded lettuce, cheese and olives on top.  Serve cool/cold.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Help Your Kids Ace Their Exams

Mid year exams are quickly approaching and I was searching for a way to help my daughter ace her very first exams.

Here are some sure fire ways to great on tests or exams that your children could benefit from also.

1. Use a Rhyme or Song

Make it fun and it's more likely to be remembered. Anyone remember "School House Rock"? Look at this video to learn the quadratic formula set to Pop Goes the Weasel.

Search for videos on key topics you are studying.  Sometimes just hearing a difficult subject explained by someone else will help give you the Ah-ha moment.

3. Flashcards
Use index cards or an app on your smart phone.  Chegg Flashcards, Quizlet and StudyBlue are all good applications for your phone or tablet that will help you study from any location.

4. Breaks
Get up and leave your study area. Eat a healthy snack, get a drink (caffeine?!?), go for a walk, or just veg out in front of the television a few minutes. Stretch your legs or do a little yoga. Just give your brain and body a break.

5. Classical or Ambient Music

Some people benefit from having background noise. Soft music can help students feel less anxious about the task at hand.

6. Take Your Time
Plan ahead and don't cram all your studying into one night. Review for a short time each day will work much better.

7. A Good Night's Sleep & Healthy Breakfast
That is really important to get a good night's sleep and a healthy breakfast with some protein. Some whole wheat toast peanut or almond butter and a piece of fruit will help you feel full but won't upset a queasy stomach.

Monday, January 12, 2015

How To Do Weight Watchers for Free

Some of you may know that I used Weight Watchers® back in 2011 and lost 50 pounds. I've since gained it back, like many people do, and even tried their system 2 times since then with no luck. I just had trouble sticking with the plan and couldn't keep paying each month.

I am a full believer in doing what works. Weight Watchers® worked for me in the past and I'm sure it will work again.  However, I didn't want the added bill each month plus the start up costs.

So....I did a little searching online and found some nifty tools to allow me to follow what I learned from Weight Watchers® and do it on my own.

Daily Point Allowance
First, I had to figure out what my daily points would be based on my age, height and current weight.  That's when I discovered there are points calculators available online.

Here are a couple sites that offer points calculators.

Points Calculator
Next, I needed to know the points value of the foods I would eat.  There are two ways to do this. One way is to search the web, your library or anywhere else you can for Weight Watchers® recipes. Believe me there are tons out there.

Here are a few of my favorites:

The second way works with pretty much anything that has a label. It's a points calculator. Here's two.

Besides your daily points you are also allowed 49 points a week. Use a little each day or all at once on a splurge. That way you won't feel deprived which is why most people quit a diet. You can still have foods you love - just with moderation.

Tracking for Success
To be successful at losing weight you need to keep track of your points and what you eat. Here is an amazing spreadsheet (Open Office) that includes a calculator.

Here is a nice printable tracking form.

* I am not affiliated with Weight Watchers or any of the linked websites.  Also, I am not a doctor or dietician, so be sure to consult your doctor before you start any diet or exercise program.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Freebies on Friday - January 9, 2015

Happy Friday everyone! Today I've included a couple ebooks that would be more suitable for kids. I know mine are obsessed with Minecraft and I have a 9th grader getting ready for her first exams.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Well...on to the freebies. Enjoy!


Study Habit Shortcuts: How To Quickly Develop Better Study Habits For Life! (Study Hacks, Study Habits Book 1)

Clean Food Diet: Avoid processed foods and eat clean with few simple lifestyle changes(free nutrition recipes)(natural food recipes) (Special Diet Cookbooks & Vegetarian Recipes Collection Book 4)

DIY Home Remedies: How To Cure And Heal Ailments At Home (Herbal and Home Remedies - Antibiotics - Medicine - Natural Cures)

Ultimate Building Book For Minecrafters: Amazing Building Ideas and Guides You Couldn't Imagine Before!

Nivea In Shower Body Lotion - Perfect for dry winter skin.
Emergen-C - Great for fighting off those winter colds.
Truvia - Natural Sweetner

Weekly and Monthly Goal Sheets from Making the Most
A Year's Worth of Lunch Box Notes from Happy Home
Winter Coloring Pages offered by Raising Our

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

Thursday, January 08, 2015

A Photo-A-Day Challenge Can Change Your Life

It may sound simple, but doing a photo-a-day challenge or just taking a photo everyday for a month or year really can change your life.

There are lots of apps out there to help you remember.  My app of choice is Instagram.  You can see my Instagram feed here - user name shavattk.

You don't need to be a professional photographer. You don't even need a fancy camera. I use my phone's camera. It's convenient - I always have it with me. 

You start to appreciate all the beauty in your world when you start looking at life through the lens of a camera. You start to notice all the leaves changing, flowers blooming, kid's smiling, etc.

After a month, or a year if you are able, you can look back and reminisce about all the memories you have of the past. It will trigger memories that you may have forgotten.

Some ideas include taking a photo of your kids everyday for a year and see how they've grown. Another idea is to take a picture that has to do with a hobby. Many people take photos of crafts, books, gardening, food and basically anything else you can think of.

Improve Your Skills
Of course, after taking a photo every day for some extended amount of time, your photography skills will improve. Practice, practice, practice.

If you are interested in doing a challenge there are lots out there. Basically a challenge is just a list of words or phrases that should be the focus of your photo that day.  For example: "colorful" could be a bowl of various fruits, a rainbow, a brightly colored outfit on a child, etc.

Here are two that I have used in the past.

I hope your life starts to change for the better. Have fun with the challenge and have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

My New Erin Condren Life Planner

After seeing lots and lots of photos of Erin Condren Life Planners on Instagram I broke down and purchased one just after Christmas. Now let me just say these are quite pricey at $50 plus shipping! The only way I was able to get one was because I received a Visa gift card for Christmas. My family knows I love to shop and gift cards are my favorite gifts to receive.

I was drawn to the planner because of all the creative ways people decorate them. Lots of washi tape, stickers and colorful pens. To be honest - it didn't take much - I'm obsessed with calendars and stickers!
I ordered the "Quick Ship" option instead of a personalized cover page, because I really didn't want to wait more than a couple days for this year's planner.

It arrived yesterday in a pretty box via FedEx in the middle of a snow storm. I was thrilled!

It was even wrapped like a present.

I had also ordered a pen holder and some clips so I can add pages to my binder.

It is all ready for me to decorate. I'm so excited!

The only thing that is disappointing to me is that there isn't really any contact or address pages. There is two tiny pages listed in the perpetual calendar insert, but they aren't remotely enough for me. I will have to turn a couple of pages in my notes section into address/contact pages. I post pictures once I've successfully designed them.

If you are interested in getting your very own Erin Condren Life Planner click here. If you register prior to ordering you will receive a $10 off e-coupon that you can use on your first order.

* This is an affiliate link however I was not compensated at all for writing this post. It is completely my opinion. 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

How I Plan My Grocery Shopping Trips and Weekly Meals

I thought I would share what I use to help my family stay within our grocery budget each and every week.

Every single week I sit down and make a list of all the stuff we need from the various stores. I don't shop at just one. I shop at Walmart for pet products, laundry, plus various other household supplies and some name brand foods. Then I shop at Aldi's for the majority of my groceries and Weis Markets for meats. It's a personal preference and based on the quality of products in my particular area.

It's really easy to find lots of printable weekly menu planners with the grocery list. Here are just a few that are free to download so you can start using a meal planner immediately.

Here's one I created 2 years back.
DIY Home Sweet Home - This one is colorful with the menu planning at the top and grocery list at the bottom.
GlueStickBlog - A really nice looking menu planning sheet included in their 2015 planner printable pack.

Once I found one I liked, I printed 52 copies back to back on my printer. You can also save the document to a flash drive and have it printed at a copy shop. After I printed it out I created a quick cover page and printed it out also.

Then I took my printed planner pages and had them bound at my local Office Depot. They even added a clear cover and white backing. It cost a total of $3.80. I love the way it looks and it's much sturdier too.

Here is what mine looks like on a typical week. I cross everything off as I find them and check off each meal as I use them. I don't necessarily eat whatever I listed for the day of the week. 

Speaking of the grocery list. I include EVERYTHING that I need to buy for the week on that list. That means food, cleaners, pet food and supplies, paper products, plus any miscellaneous things my family needs that we were able to plan for.  If it's not on the list I will surely forget it.

Some people starting out wonder how I know the prices of everything. To be honest I know the prices of 95% of the stuff on my list because I purchase it often. The stuff I'm unsure the price of I use a best guess and I always over-estimate. Once you've been doing this for a couple weeks it will be just as easy for you.

People have asked why I keep all my previous week's lists. I keep them so I can get menu ideas and check prices on items I purchase infrequently. Another reason is to remember what I did when we only had $50 a week or $100 a week to feed my family of 5 if I ever have to do that again.

I really hope this helps you and your family stay within your grocery budget like it has my family.

Monday, January 05, 2015

5 Creative 2015 Monthly Calendar Printables

It's a new year and that means you need to update all your old calendars. I've found a couple of really adorable monthly calendars for 2015 made by some creative bloggers out there. Did I mention they are fre^e?

1. The FlandersFamily website offers a few choices for printable calendars, but I truly love their scrapbooking calendar. They have adorable graphics and are colorful. This one is my favorite for the year!

2. Shining offers very pretty monthly calendars. They even offer your choice of Sunday or Monday start. 

3. My Name is is offering a really unique calendar. It is visually appealing, but not for those who like to write in each day's space. It has many little hexagons in a rainbow of colors. Truly very pretty.

4. Blessed Beyond A offers monthly calendars with owls on them. I love, love, love owls. While there check out some of her other amazing printables.

5. Thirty Handmade has the most adorable 1/2 size calendars. They even offer suggestions for how to use them. Love the colors and the size.

* Please note these links are not-affiliate links and I am not compensated for sending people to any of them.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Freebies on Friday - January 2, 2015

Happy Friday everyone! It's so good to be back! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Well...on to the freebies. Enjoy!


Bad Habits No More - 25 Steps to Break Any Bad Habit

Remove Negative Thinking
 How to Instantly Harness Mindfulness and The Power of Positive Thinking

Beautiful Battle - A Woman's Guide to Spiritual Warfare

The Total Life Makeover

Breathe Right Nasal Strips - These really do work. I use them every time I have a cold. They work wonders for me.
Optimal Solutions Hair, Skin and Nails Gummies - Fill out a short survey to receive the sample.
The Honest Company - Get a sample of their eco-friendly diapers for your baby.

LEGO® Alien and Space Dog - Free mini build on Tuesday, January 6 at 5 p.m. at your local Lego store for kids 6-14 years old.
Frozen Themed ABC Printable pack - For a limited time get a printable pack of 40 Frozen themed ABC and math pages.
Printable "To Do" List - This isn't your normal to-do list. It includes "Cook This", "Pick up This" and "Fix This" plus more.

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