30th Birthday

 

So it’s a big day in our house because October 1st starts the countdown until Brandon turns 30. He has been pretty bummed out about it. So the boys and I wanted to cheer him up.

We came up with a plan and decided to make this poster for the start of his Birthday month.

 

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Posted in Uncategorized

10 Free or Cheap Fall dates

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This is my favorite time of the year! With a new season, brings fresh date night ideas ūüôā .

  1. Find and attend a Octoberfest or fall festival.
  2. Enter a fall themed 5k.
  3. Spend a night watching Halloween themed movies(Adams Family or Casper). Abc family has 13 nights of Hallowen, Starting October 19..
  4. Go on a Ghost hunt. http://thehannahmansion.org/ or be brave and go on your own through a cemetery.
  5. Find a local corn maze to get lost in.
  6. Carve some pumpkins and then roast the seeds together.
  7. Go Apple picking at an orchard.
  8. Go to a haunted house.
  9. Watch Scary movies.
  10. Find out when the leaves are at the peak of changing and go for a scenic hike.
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Posted in Couple Time, Date Night, Uncategorized

11 uses for Hydrogen Peroxide

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Do you know how powerful Hydrogen Peroxide is? ¬†It’s something that most of us have in our cabinets and it has many uses! Here are some things that I have used it for:

Health 

  1.  Use as a mouthwash.
  2. Cleaning wounds. 
  3. Getting rid of headcold/stuffy ears. Put a few drops in each each to get out infection, and once bubbling stops, roll on the other-side to let  drain.  
  4. Use as a toothpaste. Mix with baking soda and brush away.

Stains

  1. Armpits. Mix 1 part liquid laundry detergent to 2 parts hydrogen peroxide.  Apply to clothing and allow to sit for one hour before washing.
  2. Red Wine. Combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and liquid detergent and pouring over the stain. Blot with a towel, wash with warm water, and let it dry.
  3. Blood. Pour it directly onto the stain and let it sit for about five minutes. Blot and rinse in cold water. You may need to repeat this once or twice to fully lift the stain.  Caution-Hydrogen Peroxide is a bleach and can whiten clothes.

Kitchen

  1. Vegetable Cleaner. Spray on vegetables, scrub and rinse.
  2. Cutting board. Mix vinegar and peroxide together and scrub the board.
  3. Clean your sponges. Mix 1 part water and 1 part vinegar. Let soak and rinse.
  4. Clean the hard to get corners and grout on the counters. 
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Posted in Cleaning, For The Home

Teen Cell Phone Contract

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According to my 12 year old, he is the only person at his age without a cell phone! We started the I want/need a phone conversation at the young age of 9. ¬†He swears that it isn’t fair that I’m the youngest mom out of all of his friend’s parents and ¬†also the strictest. Fine by me ūüôā

Reasons he doesn’t have¬†one:

  1. He doesn’t go anywhere alone or unsupervised.
  2. We don’t drop him off at random places to hang out.
  3. At the age of 12 he doesn’t need the¬†endless texting, phone calls, and social media access.
  4. I want him to be the 12 year old child that he is.

Reasons we are considering:

    1. He is now in Middle School Sports and often traveling with his team.
    2. For emergency purposes.
    3. To teach him responsibility.

Little does he know, we¬†have been¬†carefully considering getting him a cell phone for his 13th birthday, this coming January. ¬†I’ve come up with contract with rules and exceptions that I will have him sign and follow¬†Teen Cell Phone Contract¬†. I tried to to be fair as I was coming up with my exceptions. I’m pretty sure that he would sign anything just as long as he got a phone.

What age do you think is appropriate for a child to get a cell phone? What are your cell phone rules?

 

 

 

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Posted in Family, Parenting

The Past Couple of Weeks

This past month has been a very stressful month for me. The biggest cause to my leave of absence was my part time job was scheduling me 25-30 hours a week(only suppose to be 12 hours…ugh!). So I was working anywhere from 60-70 hours a week. I’m so grateful and relieved that August is over!

Here are a few updates:

Family:

  1. My boys are in full force football mode right now and we are having 2-3 games a week, between both of them.
  2. We are already on week 6 of school and the homework is flowing.
  3. Even though there was a lot of craziness, we managed to have a few family game and movie nights.
  4. I’m so grateful for family friends that helped take the boys back and forth to practice while I worked.

 

Weight Loss.

  1. We are on Week 5 of biggest loser at work and I lost 13 pounds.
  2. It is way harder than I thought and my weight has gone up and down.
  3. I’m looking forward to having a life again and being able to exercise.

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Blogging

  1. I can’t even tell you how excited I am to be back at writing!
  2. I have a few fun trips planned and can’t wait to share them.
  3. I missed the interaction with fellow bloggers and readers.

 

Me

  1. I need to learn to say NO! My biggest downfall is that I like to please people…hence working an insane amount at my part time job. ¬†NEVER AGAIN!
  2. I learned that I can handle way more than I ever thought I could.
  3. Caffeine is my friend.

 

I’m just so excited to be back!!!!! XOXOXO

Posted in Family, Uncategorized

My Best Parenting Advice

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I have been on this parenting journey for 13 years now and along the way I have learned a few things(still am).  I think that the most important thing is to always try your best, learn from your mistakes and know its okay to mess up.  Here are a few things I try to follow:

  1. Cherish each day-¬†It’s important to cherish every day with your children. Time goes by so quickly and they grow up so fast. On those days that I’m feeling pretty grouchy or they are being a handful, I remind myself that ūüôā
  2. Be¬†involved-¬†Get to know your children’s teachers and be involved anyway that you can at school. I’m a mom that works full time so it’s not possible for me to volunteer in the classroom or go on every field trip. I do try to volunteer at one school event, do cut outs at home or purchase something that the class needs. I’m also their biggest cheerleaders at their sporting events!
  3. Give each child one on one time- I make sure that each one of my children get at least 20 minutes of alone time with me. Some days its more time and on rare days it might be just 5 or 10 minutes. One on one with my 12 year old is usually, sitting in his room and hearing about his day, listening to his new favorite song, cleaning his closet while he talks to me, or watching him do a new skateboard trick. My 9 year old loves it when I watch a spongebob episode with him, toss the football, read a book, play a xbox game, or just hang out in his room.
  4. Family time- We spend time as a family every day and try to do one family outing a week.  I feel that by spending time as a unit,You instill family values and help ensure that deep, strong, family bond with one another.
  5. Get to know their friends and parents-¬†It is important to know who your child is around and the influences they will have on them. I always have this saying in my mind when there is a new parent and as they get older friend being introduced:¬†Whatever your child does not learn at home, you can be assured they will learn elsewhere. ¬†My 9 year(4th grade) old has been allowed to stay the night at only 2 different friends houses and my 12 year old(5th grade) has been allowed to stay at 5. We always get to know the family before they are allowed to stay the night and if we have any gut feeling that they shouldn’t, they don’t.
  6. Get them the help, if they need it-¬†If you suspect something is wrong with your child, mentally, physically, medically or emotionally, get them the help they need. It doesn’t mean your a failure. My 12 year old struggled with school in his yearly years and I suspected something was wrong but I waited a year because I felt like I failed and I didn’t want him to be labeled. News Flash to myself: It had nothing to do with me as a parent! We came to find out that he had dyslexia. He got the help he needed and 5 years later he stills struggles a little bit but works his butt off and ¬†is on the A/B honor roll. Proud Momma!
  7. Be consistent-¬†No means no and Don’t change your rules every other day!
  8. Don’t give them everything-¬†I’ve been told by my 12 year old that it’s not fair that I’m the youngest and strictest mom out of all his friends. My house doesn’t have 5 different gaming systems, a ipod each, multiply computers, and my children do not have cell phones. My children work for what they want and have always had everything they need. We have a family xbox and labtop, my oldest has a ipod and my youngest has a kindle fire. Neither of them have a cell phone(which makes me the meanest mom) because they don’t go anywhere without us or where there isn’t a phone. My point is, they don’t need every little thing that they want.
  9. Don’t beat yourself up-¬†It is okay to mess up as a parent. ¬†We all have our bad days and no one is perfect.
  10. Show them a healthy relationship- This is a big one for me. I think that children need to see a healthy relationship between their parents. Our children see us being affectionate, loving,silly, helpful, kind, frustrated with one another, and when we get into a disagreement then they see us make up.
  11. Don’t put your spouse on the back burner.¬†Your relationship with spouse should be one of your top priorities. I can’t tell you how often, I have seen couples put there children first and then once their children are gone, all of a sudden they are unhappy in their relationship. Just like your children your spouse should get one on one time with you each day.
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Posted in Family, Parenting

Baking Soda

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Baking soda is another fabulous and versatile product to have in your house. You can use it for baking, health, cleaning and beauty.  Here are some of the things that I have used it for:

  1. Toothpaste/Teeth Whitening– ¬†It’s not the best taste in the world but its a safe whitener or go to toothpaste if you run out unexpectedly.
  2. Body/Face Scrub- I make a paste with baking soda and water.
  3. Takes the sting away- Make a paste to take away the sting of a sunburn or bug bit.
  4. Keep Flowers Fresh- Adding 1 teaspoon of baking soda to the vase, will keep flowers alive longer.
  5. Absorb the odors-  Put an open container of baking soda in the fridge and it helps keep the odor away.
  6. Shoe Odor- Sprinkle a little in your boots, shoes, or slippers.
  7. Garbage Odor- Sprinkle a little at the bottom of the can to help fight off the odor.
  8. Fruit and Vegetable Cleaner-  Scrub your fruit/veggies with baking soda and water.
  9. Toilet bowl Cleaner– Put a one cup in the toilet, scrub with brush and let sit for an hour, before you flush.
  10. Dish water- Add 1 teaspoon to your dishwater and it makes scrubbing food off easier.
  11. Add to laundry- Add 1 cup to your load of laundry to help brighten and freshen your clothes.
  12. Grease in Pans- Removes grease from pots and pans. I add a couple of tablespoons and let it soak in hot water.
  13. Clean the grill- Sprinkle a little on a damp brush, scrub grill and rinse.
  14. Fight Dandruff- Scrub your scalp with baking soda to help fight off dandruff.
  15. Repels Ants- Sprinkle around windows, pet dishes, or anywhere you see them.
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Posted in Cleaning, For The Home

Weigh in Wednesdays

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On August 6, 2014, we are starting a biggest loser challenge at work. I decided at my weigh in every Wednesday to post my stats on here. I’ll start a 10 week series and call it weigh in Wednesdays.

It won’t be easy for me as my weight has always been a sensitive issue for me. For my height of 5’4, I should weigh 127 but if I had to guess I’m at 160…yikes! I haven’t weighed myself in years and ask for the doctor to not tell me at appointments. I know, its silly!

My personal goal is to lose 20 pounds and be more active.

I plan on doing the following:

  1. Be more active
  2. Cut down my pop intake
  3. Cut out carbs
  4. No sugar

Do you have any weight loss suggestions?

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Posted in Health

12 Vinegar Cleaning Tips

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 Oh Vinegar! Why do you have to smell so bad? I absolutely hate the smell of it but it does so many amazing things! It is one of the few green cleaning products that you can use and can be used in so many different ways. Here are some of the things that I have used it for:

  1. Streakless windows:  Cleaning windows with vinegar will make them shine and will not leave the usual film or streaks on the glass. Mix equal parts of white distilled vinegar and warm water. Dry with a soft cloth.
  2. Cleaning solution: I put 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water in a spray bottle, for everyday cleaning. Vinegar is a natural germ killing solution. I use this on my sinks and stainless steel.
  3. Cleaning the Oven: I make a baking soda and vinegar paste and scrub my oven.
  4. Garbage disposal cleaner: Make vinegar ice cubes to help clean and keep odor free. Run the cubes through the disposal, and then flush it with cold water for a minute.
  5. Clean the microwave: Put 1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 cup of water in a microwavable cup. Bring this solution to a boil and it  will loosen splattered on food and deodorize.
  6. Clean coffee pot stains: Run 1 cup of vinegar and 6 cups of water through your automatic coffee pot, to get rid of those hard stains.
  7. Clean and disinfect wood cutting boards: Wipe with full strength white distilled vinegar
  8. Getting Rid of Fruit Flies/Gnats in Your Kitchen:¬†Place a bowl filled with ¬Ĺ quart water, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar and a couple of drops of dish soap to attract the fruit flies.
  9. Cleaning Stainless Steel Appliances: Apply vinegar with a soft cloth, wipe in circular motions  to remove streaks from stainless steel appliances.
  10. Bathtub film: Bathtub film can be removed by wiping with white distilled vinegar and then with baking soda. Rinse clean with water.
  11. Unclog the showerhead: Corrosion may be removed from showerheads or faucets by soaking them in white distilled vinegar overnight. Do this by soaking a towel and wrapping the showheard or faucet.
  12. Kill grass/weeds: To kill grass/weeds on sidewalks driveways or yards, spray full strength white distilled vinegar on it.
  13. Skin burns: Apply ice-cold vinegar right away for fast relief. This will prevent burn blisters!
  14. Keep the windows frost free: The night before coat the window with three parts vinegar and 1 part water.
  15. Remove candle wax:  To remove it, first soften the wax using a blow-dryer on its hottest setting and blot up as much as you can with paper towels. Then remove what’s left by rubbing with a cloth soaked in a solution made of equal parts white vinegar and water. Wipe clean with a soft, absorbent cloth.

What do  you use vinegar for?

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Posted in Cleaning, For The Home

14 Money Saving tips.

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  1. Make a budget. This will help you live within your means and see where your money is going.
  2. Pay with cash. Paying with cash keeps you from going over your budget. We do this for gas, groceries and family fun.
  3. Track your spending. I write down everything we spend cash or credit. Then go over it at the end of the month to adjust our budget if needed.
  4. Sell unwanted items. I like to sell our used clothing and unwanted items on garage sale sites. To date I have earned over 500 dollars selling outgrown clothes,toys and unwanted furniture.
  5. Cut out cable and get netflix.  This can save a ton of money. We went a year without cable and saved 90 dollars a month.
  6. Coupon. If possible coupon! I only use the Kroger digital and mailed coupons that they send me. I have saved anywhere from 20 to 50 percent off by doing.
  7. Go meatless/Eat leftovers. We usually have 1 meatless meal and two nights of leftovers a week. This will save us anywhere from 20-30 dollars a week on our grocery bill.
  8. Cut out the coffee runs.¬†We use to stop at starbucks or Mcdonalds for a frappe a couple of times a week. Cutting this out saved us on average 20 dollars a week. Now we just brew our own and get a good creamer. ūüôā
  9.  Bring your lunch to work. This was a huge money saving area for us. I often work 13 hours a day and it was easy to eat out for lunch and dinner. Now I bring leftovers, a sandwich, or treat myself twice a month. We have saved around 300 dollars a month.
  10. Turn the air conditioner up or the heat down. This has been a hard one for us because we like it cold in the summer and hot in the winter. This summer we have kept it on 71 instead of 68 and plan on keeping our heat on 71 instead of 77 this winter. So far our bill has dropped about 25 dollars a month.
  11. Cook your own meals. This kind of goes with bringing your lunch to work but we also fall in the guilty category for going through the drive through for the boys. We have cut this done to once a week and have saved around 30 dollars.
  12. Make your own household cleaners. I bought 3 spray bottles and filled them up with items I had at home. 1.  bleach 2. Vinegar 3. Lysol multipurpose cleaning(I use for my floor as well).
  13. Change your air filters once a month.  A dirty filter will slow down the air flow, making both the furnace work harder to heat your home and your AC work harder to cool it. This wastes energy and can result in higher energy bills.
  14. Lower your water heater temperature. It should be set at 120 to prevent scalding and save money.
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Posted in Frugal Tips
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