Cool Deals Page

I just wanted to let you know that I added a page on the menu called “Cool Deals.” Here I will post deals and promotions that I think are worthwhile.

image

This page will change periodicaly as I find different offers to share with you, so come and check back often!

Right now, there’s a free photobook offer from MyPublisher. Get it now in time for Christmas!

5 Ways to Stick With Your Grocery Budget

image

For most people, one of the big variables in their budget is grocery spending. Whether you have a lot of wiggle room in your spending or not, it is generally good practice to work with a budget and stick with it. I always strive to spend less, and if I succeed in that, the extra money can go to something else, like a family night out or my favorite bag of chocolate truffles.

If you’ve already set a budget but have been having a hard time sticking with it, here are some things to think about.

Consider if You’ve Set the Right Amount

If you find yourself always going over budget, maybe your amount is just too low. Be realistic. Consider what staples you normally buy. Observe prices and sale cycles. You can start higher than what your end goal is and keep bringing it down as you figure out your groove.

Check Your Pantry

Pantry

Have you every bought sugar or some other item but didn’t realize there was already an unopened bag hidden in the back of the pantry? Before making your list, take a quick inventory of your pantry and refrigerator to avoid overbuying. And sometimes, you’ll find that you can already make a few meals with the items that you already have on hand.

Create a Shopping List

shopping list

I rarely go to the store without a shopping list, but the times that I have gone without it, I have always purchased more than what I intended. And be strategic when you make your list. If you’re familiar with the layout of your store, make your list according to the path that you want to take. Not only will this save time and not only will this make the shopping experience more pleasant if you have kids in tow, but it will also keep you from wandering into aisles that have products you don’t need.

Cook With Substitutes

One time, I was making something that required buttermilk. I don’t usually have this in my fridge, but after googling “substitutes for buttermilk”, I found that I could easily make some with milk and vinegar. You don’t have to follow recipes exactly. Sometimes you have adequate replacements for certain ingredients within your reach. You and your family may even like your variation better.

Control the Urge to Buy in Bulk

Costco business center

Shopping at warehouse stores can be cost effective, but only if you are aware of some things. If you’re going to buy in bulk, make sure it is something you already use, it has an adequate shelf life, and the cost per unit is really cheaper than those found at your local grocery store. And beware of those sample tables luring you to buy, buy, buy … if you’re shopping on an empty stomach, those food items can be so tempting.

Do you have any tips for sticking with your grocery budget?

 
If you’re interested in learning how to make the most of your grocery budget, check out Grocery University, a comprehensive audio course on using coupons and other money saving strategies for your next trip to the grocery store. It’s only $9.97 for 19 audio MP3 files, a 40+ page printable workbook, and a rock-bottom price list!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for your support! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Click here for more information on my disclosure.

 

You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Bloglovin’. Let’s connect!

 

Click on the image below to vote for my blog.
One Click = One Vote

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
 

image credit, image credit, image credit, image credit

Why We Don’t Deal With Our Anger Quickly

image

I have some dear friends, and together, we make it a point to get together once or twice a year to catch up and pray for one another. Years ago during one of our hangouts, my head hung down in shame. “I … uhm … I’m struggling with …” Oh, just let it out, I told myself. After a deep breath, I said it, “I’m struggling with being angry at the kids.”

To my surprise, there were no disapproving looks, no shocked “How could you?” They all looked at me with empathy and said “Me too.” At the time, I was a fairly new mother, and I realized for the first time, that the struggles I had were common to many moms. I wasn’t a monster after all.

But this newfound knowledge did not eliminate the problem. Unrighteous anger still reared its ugly head, and it had to be defeated quickly. The longer we hold on to anger, it will eat us up from the inside out and destroy others around us.

Perhaps by identifying some of the most common reasons why we still cling to anger, we can begin to take steps in the other direction and loosen the grip it has on our hearts.

Here are 5 reasons why we may fail to deal with our anger in a swift manner.

It feels good.

It doesn’t feel good the way a relaxing bath feels good or the way the gentle breeze cools your skin on a hot day. Holding on to your anger feels good only to you because it indulges your desire to have certain emotions towards another. But let me warn you. This pleasure is fleeting.

Camera tests positive

I want to hurt the other person.

We’ve been hurt, so we naturally want to hurt back. And at the moment, vengeance seems to be the only viable option. But is it really beneficial? If there’s a way to reconcile, pursue it. If not, let it go and don’t bind yourself unnecessarily to an endless cycle of hurting one another. “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands” (Proverbs 14:1). Don’t let your vengeful words tear down even those closest to you.

I want to be right.

Often, we think that leaving our anger behind means that we’ve admitted our wrong, and worse, we’ve admitted that the other person is right. Let me just say this because I’ve been there. If you are truly in the right, you will not persuade the other person of that if you are letting loose your wrath. “A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, and a man of evil devices is hated.” (Prov 14:17)

I’m not getting what I want

scream and shout

My kids do this all the time. My 3-year-old has begun kicking and fake crying to get his way, “I. want. that. toy.” But don’t we do the same thing minus the kicking and phony tears? Do you know one of the main reasons why I thank God for blessing me with my children? It is because He holds them up as a mirror before me, showing me how I can be before Him, my Heavenly Father.

I don’t know where to start

Maybe you’ve been angry for so long that you’re not sure how to peel all the layers of bitterness, hurt, revenge, wrong thoughts, rage, and frustration. The absolute best thing I can do for you is to point you to the One who is the maker and keeper of your heart. Calming techniques and anger management methods may help, but if the root problem is in your heart, you need God. He will pull you out from the mire of anger. He will enable you to love and forgive. And, He will grant you the strength to overcome.

What are other wrong reasons we can have to holding on to our anger?

 

You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Bloglovin’. Let’s connect!

 

Click on the image below to vote for my blog.
One Click = One Vote

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
 

image credit, image credit, image credit

Linking up to
SHINE Blog Hop
Fellowship Fridays Link Party

Nursing Nightgown by Savi Mom {Product Review}

Baby registry

The year was 2005. With gun in hand, I was ready to attack. Onesies … zap! Bibs … zap! Booties, hats, pacifiers, bottles … zap, zap, zap! By the time I had to return the barcode gun to the store employee, I believe I had practically the whole baby section covered in my gift registry with no clue as to what items were true necessities. I suppose as a first-time mom, I believed in over-preparing.

But what I had not prepared for at all back then was my own wardrobe after the baby was born. Did I think I was just going to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes as soon as I was discharged from the hospital? Moreover, breastfeeding was awkward in the beginning, not just because I was a rookie, but because I did not own any kind of nursing wear.

One thing I wish I had during those middle-of-the-night feedings was this nursing nightgown from Savi Mom.

photo 1

Imagine my delight when Savi Mom asked me to review their most popular item! What great timing since I am expecting our #5!

Here are 3 reasons why I like this nursing nightgown.

Convenience

photo 2This nightgown looks like any typical nightgown, but there are hidden slits on both sides, perfect for nursing your bundle of joy. No straps or clasps to mess with. This is convenient when you’re getting up at 3 a.m. to feed your baby, and you can barely discern your right from your left. Personally, I love nursing lying down, and this nightgown would be perfect for feeding the baby in this position.

Comfort

Another plus with the Savi Mom nursing nightgown is the material: soft and super comfortable. For you moms that love to stay in your PJ’s all day, this may become daily wear for you. Even after the baby is weaned, this will likely be added to my nightwear lineup.

Coverage

imageIf you’ve given birth in a hospital, did you have to wear those hideous gowns, afraid to walk around the halls of the postpartum section of the maternity ward because those things just did not provide adequate coverage from behind? Besides the after-labor pains and the lack of sleep, I had to endure this monstrosity 4 times! Well, I say no more! This nursing nightgown will be the first thing to pack when it’s time to prepare for my brief hospital stay.

Check out Savi Mom for this and other products that any expectant mom wish they could “zap” into their gift registry!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Click here for more information on my disclosure.

 

You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Bloglovin’. Let’s connect!

 

Click on the image below to vote for my blog.
One Click = One Vote

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
 
image credit

10 Signs You Need a Social Media Break

Taking breaks is essential. For me, even 10 minutes to savor a cup of coffee or a much needed afternoon catnap is enough to keep my wits about me.

Last month, I took a social media and blogging break. For a month, I did not think about checking any social media accounts or become preoccupied with writing the next blog post. Oh I’m sure there were plenty going on in the world of social media. But the remarkable thing is not knowing about them did not affect my living one bit.

Could you benefit from taking an intentional break from Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc.? Perhaps it’s time for some self-examination. Here are 10 signs that you may need to step away from the crazy world of social media.

1. Date nights consist of your hubby on Twitter, while you’re on WordPress.
September 5, 2009: We moved

2. You read blog posts to your kids for their bedtime story.

3. You tweet your movements every 10 minutes.

4. Every dish in front of you gets posted on Instagram before you take the first bite.
image

5. You’ve created an alternate world in your Pinterest account that is far different from your present world.

6. Plagued with writer’s block, your latest post is a recipe on how to cook rice … in a rice cooker.

7. You wait for hubby to fall asleep so you can check your FB newsfeed without interruption.
Idle v1

8. Your kids “swipe” at the pages of a photo album and are confused when nothing happens.

9. Your mommy me time is locked up in the bathroom and checking social media (sometimes while on the toilet).
54/365: Addicted

10. A friend asks what you’ve been up to, and you tell them, “Go check my blog!”

Can you add to the list? What are other tell-tale signs that would warrant a ban from social media?

 

You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Bloglovin’. Let’s connect!

 

Click on the image below to vote for my blog.
One Click = One Vote

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
 
image credit, image credit, image credit

Linking up to
SHINE Blog Hop

Cheap Family Fun Idea: Glow Stick Dance Party

_DSF7504

Do you have some extra glow sticks left over from your trick-or-treating adventures? Here’s a fun and easy way to put them to use.

Put on a couple of glow sticks. Turn off the lights. Turn on some fun music. And let loose your funkiest dance moves.

The kids could do this all night. And, it’s a great way to let out any extra energy to make room for a sound and restful sleep.

We love to do this as a fun family night, but if you want to do it on your own as your way to unwind, hey, it’s your prerogative! No one has to know. :-)

image credit

 

You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Bloglovin’. Let’s connect!

 

Click on the image below to vote for my blog.
One Click = One Vote

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
 

Linking up to
SHINE Blog Hop

FREE Photo Book from MyPublisher

Need a place to put to all those cute pictures of your kids Trick-or-Treating? MyPublisher is offering a FREE Classic hardcover photo book, now with a cover option: photo finish, book jacket, or linen. That’s a $35.99 value! Hurry, this offer ends 11/5.

MyPublisher, Inc.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for your support! I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Click here for more information on my disclosure.

 

You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Bloglovin’. Let’s connect!

 

Click on the image below to vote for my blog.
One Click = One Vote

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
 

Back to the Crazy World of Blogging!

image

I may have taken a month off from blogging, but life for me was still very full. I hesitated, at first, taking that time off because I thought it would result in losing the momentum I had in writing as well as losing some readers. But, after my husband’s encouragement to take a break and realizing I was nearly running on empty, it was obvious I needed time to step away.

I’ve never read an after-the-break blog post, where the blogger regrets her vacay from blogging duties. And, I’m no exception. It was needed, and I’m glad I did it, regardless of what happened to my stats or online connections.

The lack of posting certainly does not mean life stops. Here’s an update on the happenings in my world during my absence from the blogosphere.

Homeschool Goes On

image
This was one of the reasons I had to take a break. Our start of the school year was on choppy waters, and it was difficult for me to navigate with blogging on my mind. I feel like we’ve now ironed out the kinks with our homeschool routine. The kids are feeling more comfortable, and I have a better handle on my schedule to take on posting again.

A Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

image
A highly anticipated fall tradition in our family is a visit to the pumpkin patch. We were joined by some dear friends, and it turned out to be one big, fun-filled play date. Despite the dark clouds looming over us and the windier-than-usual weather, our kids were not hindered one bit from enjoying the haystack pyramid and the rest of the attractions.

Making Some Progress on Our Deck

image
Remember our ugly backyard? Well, my hard-working husband has made some great progress on rebuilding that old, dilapidated deck. I know this project has taken way longer than if we just hired someone to do it, but we’re able to save so much money this way. Some days, he’s only able to put in two rows of boards, but every little bit counts.

Costume Creations

image
I kept telling myself I wasn’t going to have time to make costumes for the kids this year, but after seeing how much store-bought costumes are going for, that was enough for me to put on my creative thinking cap. I am not a crafty person at all, nor am I handy with the sewing machine. So, I try to make do with my limited skill set. I think they turned out all right.

image

Clockwise from top left: Minecraft (It’s a video game, I’m told. Kids!), Tigress from Kung Fu Panda (First time doing face paint … thanks YouTube!), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (We borrowed this one, but missing the mask so we made our own using black duct tape … is there anything you can’t do with duct tape?), Plex the robot from Yo Gabba Gabba

+1 (and I don’t mean Google Plus)

By far the biggest news in our household recently …. drum roll, please!

image
Yep, we are adding one more to our little clan! No one was more shocked than I was. Nonetheless, it was a sweet surprise from the Lord to bless us with the anticipation of another little one. The kids are totally excited, and conversations at the kitchen table are often about the baby … or I should say, arguments about whether it will be a boy or a girl. Right now, it’s a tie.

I’ve also missed reading posts from all you fine bloggers out there. Feel free to leave a link to a favorite post of yours from the month of October, and I’ll be sure to visit!

 

You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Bloglovin’. Let’s connect!

 

Click on the image below to vote for my blog.
One Click = One Vote

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
 

Time to Step Away

5/4/2010: To-Do List

I knew this was coming. My husband brought it up a few weeks ago when he saw how busy my days have been and how overwhelming it can be sometimes. He encouraged me to at least take the month off from blogging. I swallowed hard. A month doesn’t seem that long, but at the rate that I was writing, that amounted to a lot of posts.

But I know that blogging requires more than just writing, and I realize I have not been able to keep up with all that it entails, including responding to all your wonderful comments. I apologize if I have not responded to you, but know that I appreciate those who have taken the time to comment on my posts.

As much as I enjoy writing and look forward to your visits here and love interacting with you and discussing life, I need to take some time to step away.

Time to reassess. Rearrange. Reprioritize. Lord willing, I’ll only need a month. And I hope to come back refreshed. See you again soon!

 

You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Bloglovin’. Let’s connect!

 

Click on the image below to vote for my blog.
One Click = One Vote

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory
 

image credit

School Photo Memories

image

Our school pictures are in! When we first started homeschooling, I thought this was one school activity that we would have to forego, especially since I’m no good with the camera. Thankfully, our church has a large enough group of homeschoolers that an organized school picture day is well worth it! My kids got individual shots as well as the big group photo.

image

What I love about our photo sessions is that the photographer, who also happens to be our good friend, is great with the kids, and she also takes a few shots that we can pick from. Gone are the days when you have only one chance to make an impression with that camera!

So, I thought, just for fun, I would take a stroll down my School Picture Memory Lane, and showcase some of my most memorable school photos.

I started out in a private school, where school pictures were just large group photos, and since we wore uniforms, I didn’t have to stress about what to wear. When I transferred to a public school, I didn’t think about dressing up for school pictures. So, while all the girls had their pretty dresses on, I came to school in my E.T. shirt!

image

My mom would always cut my hair, but this particular year, I needed a change. So, I grabbed some scissors and decided to cut myself some stylish bangs. How hard could it be? Little did I know.

image

It’s out in the open. I had the big hair. It takes skill to get it teased up that high. Watch out!

image

Ok, I just put myself out there. Now, it’s your turn! You knew this was coming.

If you accept the challenge, share one or more of your memorable school photos. Post it on your blog (or social media, if you don’t have a blog). Share a story about it … or not. Perhaps, the photo will speak for itself!

Add your link in the comments. C’mon! Don’t leave me hanging!

 

You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Bloglovin’. Let’s connect!

 

Click on the image below to vote for my blog.
One Click = One Vote

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory