**I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking my links.**
Christmas is almost here! Wait, did I just say that right? It is the beginning of November already; how did that even happen? Where did the year even go to?!?!! Am I the only one who feels this way (lol)?
Well, something that we cannot escape is time and ready or not, here come the holidays!
While I was out and about the other day, I decided that since my Halloween finds at my local Dollar Tree were so great, I would stop in again to see what finds I could pick up to get our Christmas started. And let me tell you, the steals under this tree were phenomenal!
From items to decorate your tree to an amazing collection of house decor, Dollar Tree had everything that I needed to make a dent in my decorating needs!
We have a tradition in our home to put up our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. I cannot wait to use some of the new items we picked up and then kick off December with some of the most amazing craft projects that any toddler would love! (Keep an eye out for that post because they will be epic!)
Save money under your tree this year and check out DollarTree.com for all of your Christmas party and decorating needs!
**This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if you purchase a product through that link.**
October is supposed to be an awesome month! A time when leaves start changing on the trees, the air around us gets a bit less humid, my birthday is celebrated, those beloved holidays are around the corner, family is a little more present, and the kids are happy to be back in school with their friends.
Except…… October is turning out to be one of those months that I dread coming around every year. October has become notorious for stealing my smile.
In 2008, my paternal grandmother died of older age complications on Halloween. Fast forward to October 2016, I was going through a lot in my personal life that was taking a toll on me and that very same month, my maternal grandmother was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.
Throughout the past year now, my grandma has put on the fight for her life. She has gone through a few rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. Once those treatments didn’t work, she was put on a newer medication and the medication hasn’t been successful either. Surgery has not been an option from the beginning because the tumor has been wrapped around an artery, as well as having spread to a small spot on her liver.
Today, my grandmother is at home, resting on a hospice bed, barely ever awake, and has not even eaten or drank in almost a week. The nurses are saying she may have only 2-3 weeks left — at best. I know this cunning disease is taking a toll on her body and her lifecycle will inevitably be coming to an end very soon, but I just can’t help to be hurt at the universe that it’s happening in October once again. Why? Is it coincidence? Is this how I should plan life from now on? And how can I stop October from stealing my smile every year? Well, I may have a few ideas….
#1- Focus On The Positives
I think this first step is the most important, and quite honestly, can be the game changer. I have always been someone that has been able to mentally figure out a way to make a positive notation out of any negative situation. Crazy enough though, I am only human and I do get down at times.
I love that I can rest assured, though, that this wonderful lady lived an amazing life. She was such a staple in our family. She was vibrant, opinionated, caring, and best of all she was one amazingly creative artist and writer!
Our house is riddled with beautiful artwork like this that my grandmother has been painting for us for YEARS! I love that I can simply delve in the fact that her artwork will be passed on for many generations to come, and that her memory will not be forgotten. I am thankful for these positives that I have to look forward to.
#2- Always Be Grateful
There are only two guarantees in life–death and taxes. (Lol!) Those are two things we just cannot avoid, anything else is simply circumstantial. Which leads me to remember that there is SO MUCH to be grateful for!
Whether it’s large or small, directly affects you or not, being grateful is one of the more simple things we can do for our own happiness.
I am grateful for the air in my lungs 🔺 the food put on my table 🔺 the love of friends, family, and even strangers around me 🔺 my health 🔺 the laughter that feeds my soul 🔺 I’m grateful for music that speaks the words I cannot say 🔺 for the struggles that come along and shape me to who I am 🔺 and for the ability to handle those struggles.
I am also incredibly grateful for the relationship that I was able to build with my wonderful grandmother throughout my lifetime. She has show me what strength and selflessness is all about, through watching her, but more through this phenomenal woman she raised who I call Mom. And I could not be any more grateful that both of my children were able to know their great grandmother and make memories that will last a lifetime. ❤
#3- Abandon Resentment
“Resentment is like drinking a poison and waiting for the other person to die.” – Malachy McCourt
Whether each October has brought happiness, tears, sadness, or anger, I have found myself trying blame someone/something for it. There’s never any rhyme or reason for that, it’s really just human instinct to react as such sometimes.
(If this person did this different, then that wouldn’t have happened. If God had planned a fate differently, then I would’ve been more prepared. Since all of this always happens in October, then I can surely hate the universe for it!!)
Truth be told, those ⤴⤴exact words are what I was saying for the longest time. Let me tell you, it built a strong disdain and resentment inside of me that truly engulfed my every emotion when this time of year started to come around. But there has been hope, a light at the end of the tunnel per say-
RESENTMENT NO LONGER OWNS ME!! With the help of trying to see the positives in every situation, as well as being grateful for even the smallest things in life, I have been able to abandon resentment and truly gain a new outlook for when the next Octobers near.
Today, death is on the doorstep of someone very near to me. While my heart aches tremendously and I grieve, this October is definitely not stealing my smile. My heart explodes with too much love, so much gratitude, and positive memories. I choose to celebrate a life well lived, rather than a death. I love you grandma and I will see you on the other side!
**I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**
I’m a mother of two amazing young people, ages 2 and 15. Sometimes it feels like they are two peas in a pod, and often other times it feels like I am raising two “only child” children. My little one has renewed this part of my heart that reminds me that life is so simple and enjoyable. She is innocent. The world and all that’s in it is brand new to her. She literally laughs at everything. That’s why this fall I have decided to save some money, and DIY Halloween with the toddler for $10 or under at Dollar Tree!
I decided that making a DIY Trick-Or-Treat bag was perfect for my little girl. This will be her first year going out!! And of course, she has to be dressed up as the princess that she is! We also picked up this package of “Mr. Potatoe Head- esque parts to use on our pumpkin next month!
I actually found this package of two tote bags and glitter glue in the craft section. I surely couldn’t pass up this opportunity! Now here’s the fun part- – –
I wish I was able to capture the true beauty of this Halloween activity; our one year old Pekingese puppy sure wanted to get in on the fun as well! I am super excited for Halloween Day to come so my pretty princess can stroll about the streets, in her new princess items we bought for her, and gather me a bunch of candy for the first time! (Like how I said that?? Lol) Keep an eye out for those pictures!
**This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if you purchase a product through that link.**
We’re only a couple months away from it being 2018. Did you seriously just hear that?? 2018!!! That’s insane! There’s no better time than now to protect your financial freedom. Just yesterday it was 1999, New Year’s Day was coming up, and everyone was freaking out that the Y2K Bug was going to shut down our world.
Computers/internet were fairly new at that time, but here we are today, 18 years later and we officially live in a technology world! Computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones galore, digital cameras, electric vehicles, you name-we got it! While technology has revolutionized so many opportunities for all of us, there is also inherently a great amount of risk that comes with that privilege.
For the past week, a huge headline in the news has been the security breach of a major credit bureau that has affected 143 MILLION PEOPLE. That’s half of the United States population!! That’s ridiculous. So for me, taking action to protect my financial freedom is more important now than it has ever been.
A little less than 10 years ago, this was my credit. Torn to shreds!
Nearly 25 delinquent accounts, thousands of dollars in debt, no positive credit flow. I was in a downward spiral.
10 years later, I am ecstatic to be able to say that I busted my butt so hard to change that record so that now I can purchase and own anything I would like, and I can live freely! Here’s how—–
100% ABSOLUTELY FREE!! NO TRIAL PERIOD, NO CREDIT CARD NEEDED!! FREE!!!
Get itemized list of accounts in collections
Receive notifications about account changes (increase/decrease of debt, new debt added or removed)
Get tips for debt free living
Receive info and suggestions for credit repair (secured credit cards)
Free credit score (anytime)
Receive credit counseling
Log in any time, all the time and never be penalized
Let me say that again, Credit Sesame was a lifesaver and is absolutely free! It allowed me to be aware of what was negatively impacting my credit and fix it. Lol I became quite addicted to this site and was logging in about 4-5 times a day, anticipating and watching the changes.
Aside from monitoring your credit, protecting your identity may be the second most important thing that you can do for yourself!! The recent data breach has allowed criminals to get ahold of sensitive information of 143 million people! They now have names, social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and so much more. The possible damage is extraordinarily heartbreaking!
Debt consolidation always seems to be taboo or have some sort of stigma stuck to it. Does that really even make sense though?? It doesn’t to me!
Once I started diseccting my credit, I seen that one of the biggest impacts was my student loans. I knew that I had them and knew that I wasn’t making payments on them at that time, but I was incredibly shocked to see how much interest and penalty fees had accrued!
Debt consolidation allows you to combine debt accounts
Pays off the original debt
Gives you ONE new monthly payment
New payment is well below your original payment!
Student loans- – Consolidation puts your loans in good standing! (Perfect for credit!)
GET AN INCOME BASED REYPAYMENT PLAN!!
Renews each year
Payment is based off of income
Has a cap, so you will NEVER pay more than a certain amount!!
You guys, I really cannot stress enough how important these 3 steps are!
I took the plunge a few years back and the results have been overwhelming. My life has drastically changed and now, I can live freely, without having to be a constant worry bug!
Like in said above, it costs you absolutely nothing to take advantage of something that’s free! In fact, you will gain more in the end to protect your financial freedom! 😉✌
**This is a sponsored post on behalf of Digital Empire (Dikoer). All text, content, and opinions are that of my own.**
September is AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Month! In honor of tomorrow, September 16th, being Responsible Dog Ownership Day, I’m bringing to you a product that you will absolutely fall in love with! This stainless steel double dog bowl with non-slip silicone and automatic water feeder from Dikoer (Digital Empire) is just the solution that you need! Being super afforable, you can check it out yourself here!
Our fur babies surely do not ask for much. Often times, we find ourselves shoving them away because we are too engulfed with our own lives. But why? Do they deserve that? Nope, they sure don’t! Our little guys deserve the best from us, our hugs and smooches, comfortable and safe housing, and of course the perfect diet to keep them going.
Give your dog the experiences of a lifetime, while allowing them to have a sense of freedom with their meals. This dog bowl is innovative and absolutely amazing!
The Stainless Steel Bowls are the ultimate no rust solution. Dishwasher safe, and they come out so you basically could use it as 4 bowls if needed!
Plastic & Silicone Base allows for the bowl to stay in place, and will not scratch up your floors!
Curled Lip on Base allows your pup to eat and keep the mess off of the floor!
Water Bottle feature is so important, as this enables your fur baby to have the perfect amount of water in their bowl with a constant flow. Anti-spill valve means no mess while refilling, too! The water bottle has a filtration mechanism to keep out chemicals and radical elements that we would not want our pets to have!
This unit also comes with a FREE brush to help with cleaning AND a FREE scooper spoon to help with dispensing the proper amount of food!!
I am absolutely head over heels for this combination bowl for many reasons. And the stress relief it provides me is a subject all in it’s own! 😉 Any dog (or even cats!) would be so lucky to have his/her own dishes like this! Head on over to https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WGTZJ8Y to check this one out for yourself.
Remember- – September is AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Month & there’s no better time to spoil your fur baby than now!!
Sometimes life is busy, you are in the car and on the go! This is when it can be especially helpful to have healthy options for the car that you can have ready 24/7, for days where life is not slowing down. I have a plethora of ideas for healthy snacks to keep in the car.
As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, this is something that I discuss with clients quite often. Today, I’m sharing my go-to suggestions with you all! The food ideas will be split into categories by food group. This lists are not exhaustive, but they should give you a few ideas as you start building your healthy car snack stash. It can also be helpful to keep a bag of napkins and utensils in the car for some of the options.
Note: Asterisks* indicate ideas for your littlest ones. During development, it is important to introduce a variety of foods from different food groups as you expand your child’s palate. If you are unsure if your baby is ready for a new food, it’s best to consult your pediatrician before introducing the food.
⛤Whole grains are a great source of carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals in the diet. They are sometimes even a good protein source!
Here are few ideas to try:
Granolas Dietitian tip: Look for options with minimal added sugars.
Whole grain cereals* (some options may be suitable for baby)
Whole grain crackers
When we think of whole grains, we often think of wheat, but there are a variety of other grains and starches as well. Here are a few to look for: amaranth, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, cornmeal, kamut, millet, oats, quinoa, rye, sorghum, spelt, teff, wheat, and wild rice.
⛤Vegetables are great sources of fiber vitamins and minerals.
Look for these creative options:
Freeze dried vegetables Dietitian tip: I look for options where the main or only ingredient is the veggie.
Beets, carrots, corn, edamame, okra, peas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes etc.
Kale chips, zucchini, etc.
Baby friendly, shelf-stable vegetables in jars or pouches*
⛤Fruits are great sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates!
Here are a few of my favorites:
Freeze dried fruits Dietitian tip: I look for no sugar added- just the fruit!
Apples, cranberries, dates, figs, raisins, prunes, etc.
Fruit cups where the fruit is in water or fruit juice
Baby friendly, shelf-stable fruits in jars or pouches*
⛤There a plenty of protein options that you can keep in the car.
Check these out:
Nuts Dietitian tip: Look for unsalted options.
Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, etc.
Nut butter individual packs* Dietitian recommendation: consult your pediatrician first for your little ones
Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
Tuna, salmon, chicken, etc.
Protein powders that can be added to water
Baby friendly, shelf stables meats in jars or pouches*
⛤Meal barscan also be a great staple to keep in the car for the adults and bigger kiddos. I look for bars with whole food ingredients like nuts, fruits, and vegetables. These are two of my go-to brands, currently. Larabars and RX bars
You can also make mini or full meals by combining foods from the options above into a trail mix. Dried blueberries and almonds is a great option, which I have pictured here, but the possibilities are endless!
I hope this list of healthy snacks to keep in the car has been helpful to you all. If you do have any questions, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy healthy snacking!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aimee Sarchet is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Arizona. Her company, Nutrition Elevated, LLC exists with the goal of making nutrition understandable and practical- simple! She specializes in adult weight management and irritable bowel syndrome and partners with clients to achieve their goals in a way that is sustainable long-term. In her free time, you can find her producing videos for her Youtube account, Nutrition Elevated.
Have you heard of Groupon? Do you Groupon your coupons??
I’ve heard of Groupon! In fact, I also use Groupon!
They are a website that offers 70,000 deals on over 9,000 retailers! Anytime I have shopping to do, I try use Groupon to save money. I don’t know about you, but if there is a chance for me to save some cash, I am all over it! I keep up with the Joneses and try to clip coupons and keep them in a coupon folder. I also look for deals around town, but one of the better sites that I have found is Groupon. This is where it’s at! At this very moment Groupon is even offering 25% off your first Groupon with code WELCOME at check out. I truly don’t think that saving gets any better than this!
This deal is not only good online but, in store as well. If you use in store, no coupon code is needed. Everyone is eating this deal up! They also have 30% off in their home department. I could shop Target stores for nearly all of my household needs!
Another fabulous one that Groupon has is 42 deals for Travelocity.
With the holiday seasons quickly approaching us, most of us will be traveling. I know that I take whatever I can in the way of saving money on travel expenses!
Right now Groupon has a deal of Flights under $200 as well as Up To 70% off Featured Hotels!
These are just a few of the offers that Groupon is featuring! Be sure to check out all of the other retailers, whether you must use the coupon online or in person. They offer deals and coupons for many, such as Amazon which currently has 163 coupon deals, 68 deals from Walgreens, and many others like Ebay,Bed Bath and Beyond,Home Depot, amongst many others!
Groupon definitely has all of your shopping needs covered. Make sure you Groupon your coupons to get the most savings available!
*This post contains sponsored information. I will not receive compensation if you click on the links and the opinions in this article are that of my own.*
SmitCo LLC has quality, affordable gifts for girls ages 2 to 12, that consist of several different locked diary sets in Emoji, Diva and Mermaid themes, as well as scrapbook, nail and play dress up sets as well as party favors. These gifts will provide hours of fun!
I had the pleasure of being able to review two of SmitCo’s products and let me tell you, I was super impressed!
Up first- Princess Dress Up Set
My little girl is two years old and she was just absolutely thrilled about this gift!
For the entire day, she was able to be pretty, be treated like a princess, be elegant, and believe me- she let me know she was THE princess all day long as well 😉
This specific dress up set came with a stylish flower veil, super cute dress gloves, a pearl necklace, two gorgeous bracelets, and a little purse. The quality of this dress up kit is honestly extraordinary! It has withstood a two year old toddler playing in it, as well as our puppy trying to enjoy the fun as well!
SmitCo LLC has these amazing gloves that were given to us for review as well. The first thing I noticed was the reusable storage bag that they came in! Do you know how convenient that is?? I will never have to worry about using an old grocery bag anymore to carry my bath goods in when traveling or for storage at home!
These exfoliating gloves fit perfect! They have a tiny bit of extra space for longer fingers, and then around the wrist is an elastic material that enables the gloves to stay on. I love that idea!
Another mentionable is how quickly they dry! This is super important to me because I try to avoid mold and mildew as much as possible. The breathable quick dry material makes that easier!
I truly don’t think that these gloves could be any more fabulous. They are super soft to the touch, yet when you’re washing, you can honestly feel your dead skin cells being taken off. The feeling is not too abrasive. In fact, after my daughter and I were done playing princess outside, I gave her a bath and washed her sensitive skin up with this exfoliating glove!
**This post contains affiliate links and I may be compensated if you purchase a product through that link.**
For some reason, it has always been taboo to see a woman getting her hands dirty under the hood of a car. But….. Why?? Women Can Fix Cars Too!
From the time that I can remember when I was super young until even now at 33, I could always be found in the garage with my father working on some sort of car. We built race cars, repaired our own vehicles, crafted up go carts- and I have absolutely loved every minute of it!
Throughout my life, I have seen too many women simply naive about servicing their own vehicles, which in turn puts them at risk for so many dangers – Being robbed by a stranger, financially being taken advantage of at a shop, and needlessly being stranded. So for me, it has been important to be able to service my own vehicle. All of my cars have NEVER seen the inside of a mechanics shop! Really, this info is for everyone. Trust me, I’m not leaving the men out of this one either, so read up while you can as well!
Here’s 4 things on cars that all women should be able to maintain themselves–
Oil changes are one of the most simple, but most necessary things that a vehicle needs. It is so easy to do yourself and you can rest assured knowing it’s done right! Pull the oil pan plug, drain the old oil, replace plug, and fill back up with necessary oil. Voila! Done!
Failure to get oil changes can have some serious detrimental consequences! Do you want your engine to freeze up out of nowhere? Do you want to have to replace more parts than you should’ve from the get go? Nope, didn’t think so! I personally don’t mind getting my danty woman hands all messy and full of engine grease. I love changing my own oil. But if you aren’t like me, I highly recommend taking your vehicle to Pep Boys to be serviced! Schedule an Oil Change Service at PepBoys.com. Schedule online, get same day service! Ladies, I beg of you that if you choose the route of a mechanic to do your oil changes, then please research and know what you’re talking about! Don’t be taken for advantage of!
#2- SPARK PLUGS
Spark plugs connect the air and gasoline to create combustion in order for your car to run. These little sassy things get corroded, worn down, and you will find your car acting super sluggish.
To replace spark plugs is usually pretty easy on most vehicles. I would definitely recommend reading the insert that comes in the packaging as well. Save yourself a boatload of money by doing this maintenance yourself rather than a mechanic!!
Tires are self explanatory. Don’t ride around with bald tires or even ones with the metal thread showing! Pay attention to the wear pattern on your tires, as that shows clues if an alignment is needed. On top of that, frequently check your tire pressure!
Ladies! I beg you again- please learn how to change a tire!! You may not always have the convenience of having someone help, so don’t get stranded!
#4- FLUID CHECKS
Car maintenance doesn’t get any more simple than this! I was always taught that EVERY time I go to fill up with gas, open the hood and check my fluids!
You will save yourself a ton of heartache doing this!
With oil, get the dipstick (usually the yellow handle one) and check the levels and color. If a little low, top off and make sure there is no crusted burnt on oil on the stick. If there is, this a problem we need to talk about next time. If you need to top off (never have to put more than one quart!) then the oil type you need is on your oil cap in engine compartment.
Transmission fluid (pull out the red handle dipstick) should be at the recommended level. If it’s lower, you may have a larger problem of a leak because trans fluid never gets used up!
Antifreeze, windshield washer, and power steering- look on the side of containers and make sure they are at the fill lines. If low, simply top off. Remember- All of your fluids can be purchased online!⤵⤵⤵⤵
Ladies, I guarantee that all of these maintenance methods are incredibly easy and well worth it in the end! Save yourself unnecessary heartache when you do the upkeep yourself! Less hassle from mechanics, less money, and never be stranded again!
👌😉Happy driving and remember, women can fix cars too!!! 😉👌