Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Mar 24, 2017

My Water Bill Was Sky High And Here Is Why

Last year we noticed a HUGE spike in our water and sewer bills. Unfortunately, we get billed separately for each service since they are from two different companies. Let's back up to 5 years ago. Our bills ran us about $60-$70. Last year it starting going into the $100-$150 range which seemed like a lot. Then suddenly it went all the way to a whopping $250 for the water and $300 for sewer. That was for ONE month per service. We knew something was wrong for sure. We had a licensed plumber come in and determine that we had a water pressure problem from the meter. Basically, way too much water was surging into our home and that wore out our plumbing fixtures. So not matter how often we changed out the toilet tank parts or washers in the faucets, they would blow out from the high water pressure.


This lead to the rubber parts causing leaks, which added to the high water bills. We ended up having a water pressure regulator installed a couple feet away from the city water meter and it took the pressure down from over 100 psi to below 70 where it should be. The plumber pointed out the fact that they meter was "spinning" 24/7 which meant water was being used non-stop, even if were weren't actually using it. πŸ˜‘ Even after getting the regulator installed, we still had to get all new toilet parts replaced to make the meter stop spinning. Needless to say, it was a costly visit that took 5 hours to complete.

Thankfully our city water and sewer companies worked with us to adjust our bills since we proved we had the leaks fixed. Although it wasn't a super big amount they took off, we were still grateful to get some sort of discount. We saw a big price difference already on the first bill after the repairs were made, at around $100. I got the latest bill yesterday and we are now back in the $55 range. This makes me so happy! I think about how much we overpaid in the last year and it makes my head hurt. Oh well, glad we have it fixed and can have a little peace of mind now.

One thing about home ownership is that you will forever have work and projects going on. It is so important to stay on top of things when you see your bills go up unusually high. Have you had any homeowner debacles or projects lately?
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Mar 23, 2017

Don't Let Someone Else Drag Your Health Down!

Everyone wants to take care of themselves right? Surely it only makes sense that, since we only get one body, that every single person would want to take as much care of their health as possible. Sadly this isn't the case. As strange as it might sound, but there are a lot of people out there who simply aren't that interested in keeping themselves healthy. It's probably not something that they're doing intentionally, a lot of the time people's unhealthy lifestyles and behaviors come from a lack of awareness of the impact it's having on their body. It's a shame that it's happening but if that's what they want to do then you can't really stop them, the major problem is when other people's poor decision making starts to have a negative impact on your life. With that in mind, here are some situations where other people's behavior could damage your health, and how to stop that from happening.

Accidents on the road
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You might be the safest driver in the world, but there's still a chance that something could happen. This is because, for every careful, considerate driver on the road, there's another one who has no interest in their own safety or the safety of anyone else. The best way to deal with these kinds of drivers is something called "defensive driving." Defensive driving is essentially a method of driving where you're constantly aware of and predicting potential hazards. That way you're in a much better position to avoid them. Of course, you won't be able to avoid everything, especially if someone is determined to drive like a maniac. If you are in an accident, then you should hire a personal injury lawyer so that you can make sure that the other person's lack of responsibility doesn't need to have more of a negative impact on your life than it already has. 

Your partner's diet
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It's hard enough taking care of your own diet, let alone having to think about someone else's. It's surprisingly common that one person in a relationship will be much more conscious of their health than the other. It can be surprisingly difficult to eat healthily and stay active when your partner is constantly buying greasy, unhealthy food. For one thing, having to work around two diets can be pretty expensive, not only that but it's often very tempting to go for a quick, unhealthy fix instead of something healthier after a long day at work. Make sure that you talk to your partner and try to get them to support your attempts to become healthier, for your benefit and theirs.

Your friend's lifestyle
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Everyone likes to have a good time now, and then. There's nothing wrong with that! But we all have that one friend who just seems determined to take it too far. They seem to want to go out every single night, and when they do, they behave as if they've never heard the word moderation in their life! Even if you choose not to drink as much as they do, the late nights and lack of sleep that come with this kind of lifestyle are going to catch up with you eventually. Talk to your friend, and if they're not willing to try to quieter nights in every so often, it might be a good idea to spend some time apart so that you can take care of your health.

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Age Old Solutions

Caring for an elderly relative can sometimes be a bit tricky. Not only is it difficult to see an elderly loved one’s health decline, but it can put you in an awkward position. Where you have the added responsibility of caring for someone that used to be perfectly capable of caring for themselves. But to help you out, check out the guide below provides solutions to the most common issues you may face when caring for an older relative.

Ensuring they eat well

One of the biggest issues that you may come across when caring for an elderly relative that their eating can become erratic. This can be due to things such as catching a virus like the flu. As older folks' immune systems are weaker than ours.

Or it could be due to other issues that affect the appetite, such as diabetes that isn't being managed properly. Or it may even, be symptomatic of depression caused by chronic pain, losing a long term partner, or living alone.

But what can you do for them if you have noticed that they are eating less and less? Well, firstly it's important that you get them checked over by the doctors to see whether there is an underlying medical condition that needs to be treated.

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It's can also help to go round to their house, or invite them over to yours and make a hearty home cooked meal to tempt them into eating something. It's likely that the company will help them with this as well. 

Ensuring their medical needs are met 

Of course, a very important aspect of caring for an elderly relative is ensuring that their medical needs are met. 
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This might be something as simple as helping them to sort their pills into the right compartments for the rights days each week. 

Or it could be more involved, doing things likes organizing a palliative nurse for end of life care. Or being an advocate for them with the medical profession. 

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But whatever you have to do, be sure that you listen to their wishes as much as possible and engage them in the process. As no one likes to feel as if they are out of control of their life, no matter what their age. 

Getting them out and about 

Something else that you need to consider when caring for older relatives is giving them a chance to get out of the house occasionally. It can be pretty grim to be stuck indoors all of the time, and it isn't likely to help them feel their best. 
Obviously, mobility is an issue for many older folks so you will need to consider this before you plan out any trips. 

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Consider your destination carefully and make sure that it does not include too much walking or difficult terrain. 

Also, you can use disabled parking stickers so you can park closer to the store, or attraction that you take them to. Or consider using a wheelchair, or motorized scooter for those whose mobility is severely inhibited. 
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Mar 21, 2017

How to decorate a Southwest Styled House - Guest Post

What does a Southwest Style House look like?
A Southwest-styled house is specially made to give an inviting and gorgeous look to guests and visitors. You can recognize a Southwest-styled house with some prominent features such as flat roofs, its covered porches, stoned pillars and walls, smaller windows, large wooden doors and lower roof when viewed from inside. It has patterned tile work creating a cool environment. Another feature which is noticeable is the use of stucco walls.

Stucco walls are made by applying thick layer which hardens when dried. These houses are usually found in single story homes. Such houses are commonly found in Southwestern areas of America (like Phoenix, Las Vegas, California, etc.). These houses have also embraced current trends in decoration along with old traditional wooden style.


History
Southwest Style house plans have a historical background after which it was known all over the world. In earlier times, Southwest style houses were also known as Pueblo Revival Style. This design was taken up from Spanish mission in New Mexico. Its popularity increased during the 1920s and 1930s. The main features of such houses at that time included the use of bricks and concrete on walls and flat roofs. This style was very famous in New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado in earlier times.

Tips to decorate your Southwest Style house

  • As you will start decorating your house, you will also color its walls. Southwestern styled houses are painted with bright and vibrant colors (including yellows and oranges). On the other hand, those colors should not be extra bright that it irritates your eye. The color chosen should be warm. Shades of yellow, orange, golden and blue are in tradition with this style. Paints denote natural colors of the sky.
  • Use of wood should be easily seen. Using different kinds of wood such as pine, oak, maple, birch, etc. can indicate Southwestern style. Bold wooden furniture is also encouraged. New Mexico was famous for more use of wood.
  • If you do not feel like using more wood in your house, you can go for metalwork. Furniture made from metal is also found in Southwestern styled house. You can set up wrought iron tables and chairs or railings.
  • Add creativity to your walls by either making it with stones or stucco. Textured walls are more liked in such houses. You can enhance the interior by putting spiritual content on the walls.
  • Every house has pillars inside it. Making it out of stonework will look more inspiring. It will then look more like a Southwestern styled house.
  • Simple wooden flooring will not sound like a house of such category. Therefore, adding art will help you. You can either use stones or rough planks and brick. To add beauty, you can also place rugs all over the floor with different designs. Southwest house designs have variety, so you could also add mosaic tiles on the floor.
  • Include more of Spanish decoration. Guests should find more Spanish details. Pottery of different shapes and sizes are promoted.

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Mar 20, 2017

The School Of Success!

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Parenting involves countless difficult decisions. One of the first, and most fundamental, is which school to send your kiddo to. Finding the right school is important for many reasons. What your child learns in their early years could impact every decision they make from then on. Plus, you need to know they’re happy. The best school could have an atmosphere that your child just doesn’t get along with. So, no pressure! The good news is, taking your time to choose will ensure you can find the right school. And, remember, you can change later down the line if you need to! Here are a few of the considerations you’ll need to make.

YOUR CHILD COMES FIRST

Your child is the most important factor in this decision. As such, you should consider their needs throughout your decision process. Asking them which school they want to go to may not work. But, there’s nothing wrong with taking them to see a few and asking which they preferred. Make sure to talk through their decision, though. Children can have strange reasoning. If their choice is based on a display, or a coat they saw someone wearing, you may have to explain things a little more. It’s also important to take into account what you know of your child’s personality. Some children are better suited to homeschool, while others thrive in a school environment.

THE EXTRA MILE

With a bit of luck, you’ll have a good selection of schools in your catchment area. If not, don’t be afraid to go the extra mile. You could even get the movers in if you aren’t happy with your choices. But, bear in mind that primary schools don’t vary all that much. Make sure you’re certain before you do anything drastic. A good way to judge is to pay visits to the schools in question. If a local school has a bad reputation, a visit could show you that it’s unfounded. Plus, you don’t want to move closer to another school, only to find out that’s not right either.

TEST SCORES AREN’T EVERYTHING

The task of choosing can be overwhelming. Many parents turn to test results to help with their decision. In truth, though, test scores aren’t a sign of much. They certainly shouldn’t be what you base your decision on. Often, tests results aren’t an accurate reflection of the teaching itself. Tests only cover around a third of the curriculum. Schools that score well are often guilty of focusing on this third. Sometimes, that means neglecting everything else. Look for a friendly environment over a high score.
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TEACHERS ARE EVERYTHING!

But, teachers most definitely are everything. The best teacher can help your child flourish. For proof, look back at your school years. Wasn’t it those teachers you had a connection with that got the best results? The same will be true for your child. During your visits to each school, pay particular attention to each teacher. Pay attention, too, to how your child acts around them.
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Why Sleep is Your Way to a Healthier Life

Who doesn’t love waking up in the morning feeling refreshed, alert and ready to face the day? Or am I dreaming to think that you can always get the sleep that you need?! The truth is that in today’s increasingly busy world, many people push sleep to the back of the queue - an added extra that’s nice if you can get it.

Scientists are always conducting new studies about just how important a good night’s sleep is, both for our physical and mental wellbeing. Just in case you needed any extra reasons to get your forty winks, here are just some of the health benefits that a good night’s sleep can bring.
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Improve Memory

Though it may seem like you are not doing all that much while you sleep, your mind is actually busy processing all the events of the day. In a process called ‘consolidation’, the memories or practice skills that you learnt during the day are reinforced in your mind. That means that if you are trying to learn something new, sleep can help cement the information that you need in your mind. There’s a reason people say it’s not a good idea to stay up all night before an exam cramming in all the information instead of getting valuable shut-eye! If you’ve got a big day ahead of you, the best way you can tackle it is with sleep.

Exercise Better

Many top performing athletes get upwards of 10 hours sleep a night in the build up to a big game. Though you’re probably not quite at this level, a good night’s sleep can still probably improve your performance! Studies have shown that a decent amount of sleep can improve stamina and reduce daytime fatigue. How many times have you decided not to get your exercise because you were too tired? And the truth is that it can become a vicious cycle. People who get a decent amount of exercise generally find it easier to drift off at night. If you are trying to hit a certain goal or personal best, it seems that sleep is your fast track to doing this.

Increase Attention Span

If you are trying to help your kids improve their grades at school, making sure they get an early night should be your first priority. Whereas adults tend to feel sluggish and lethargic when we don’t get the sleep we need, it generally has the opposite effect on kids. They tend to get overly hyperactive and find it very difficult to concentrate on any tasks. And also remember that kids tend to need more sleep than adults, so the definition of a good night’s sleep tends to vary between you and your children. When it comes to your own attention span, you certainly need that extra hour or two in bed to improve your alertness and therefore lengthen your own attention span.

Maintain A Healthy Weight

Many of us find that it is an ongoing battle to keep at a healthy weight. And it turns out that a huge amount of the battle is fought from the comfort of your own bed! A study was conducted at the University of Chicago which found that dieters who were more well rested lost a significantly bigger fat percentage than those who were sleep deprived. It was also found that those who weren’t getting enough sleep were losing muscle mass (so if you’re trying to tone up, getting your sleep is also hugely important!). During this study, dieters reported feeling hungrier when they weren’t getting as much sleep. It can be a very difficult balancing act to make sure you are getting enough sleep while also finding enough hours in the day to work out as well!

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Lower Stress

Reducing the amount of stress in our lives is something that many of us are looking to achieve. Both stress and sleep are intrinsically linked as they both impact our cardiovascular health. Sleep equips us with the mental tools that we need to keep our stress levels down. It has also been linked to blood pressure and cholesterol levels.   

However, if we feel extremely stressed, it can be difficult to make sure our bodies switch off to get the rest that we need. Try getting into a bedtime routine that prepares you for sleep. Spend some time destressing yourself in whatever way works best for you; whether this is a bubble bath, yoga or listening to music. Consider cutting back on your screen time when you are approaching bedtime. Watching TV or playing on a laptop has been found to disrupt melatonin production which is an important sleep hormone. This can be a particular problem for kids as they tend to want to stay connected to all their different devices as long as possible. It may be that you need to put some pretty strict rules in place in order to get them out of these bad habits. 

Getting your bedroom just right is important so find out how to choose the right down pillow for a restful sleep. Also think about how comfortable your mattress is and whether you have enough blankets to keep you warm during the night. Try to keep your bedtime routine the same every night so that your body naturally begins to prepare itself for sleep.

Avoid Accidents 

The link between tiredness and road accidents is clear which is why there are so many campaigns trying to stop people from driving when they feel tired. A lack of sleep tends reduce reaction time as well as impacting decision making. This means that numerous everyday tasks are affected by not getting enough sleep. If you work in a job that requires a high degree of concentration, getting a good night’s sleep should be your first priority.

Reduce Risk of Depression

Like stress, depression is another area of our mental wellbeing that is significantly affected by lack of sleep. People who are well rested tend to be more emotionally stable and feel more balanced. The chance of mood swings is significantly increased if you don’t get the sleep you need. We’ve all experienced a sudden rush of anger or sadness simply from not getting our eight hours at night. Anxiety can also be increased, making us feel uneasy about all sorts of aspects of our lives. 

Curb Inflammation

Linked to heart disease, strokes, diabetes and arthritis, inflammation can be extremely damaging to our health. Getting enough sleep has been found to curb this. On the other side of the coin, people who get fewer than six hours of sleep a night tend to have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins.

Live Longer

Though there is still a lot of research that goes into this area, studies have started making the link between people who sleep more and people who live longer. Older people often tend to have different sleeping patterns that involve not getting as much during the night but needing to take naps during the day. Quality of life is also generally reduced by not getting enough sleep.

So, it’s pretty clear to see that getting enough sleep is hugely important. If you’ve considered pushing sleep to the back of your list of priorities, it may well be time to rethink! All the tasks that you have the next day are much more likely to be tacked well if you get the sleep that you need.    

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Posture Problems Sorted

Do you remember you mom telling you to sit up straight when you were a kid? Maybe you say it to your little ones now? But sitting or standing up straight is about more than just looking smart and attentive. In fact, having a good posture is intrinsically linked to your health. Read on to find out more.

Hunch Back

Now while you might start getting images of a certain cartoon character that lived in Notre Dame, most folks with hunched back are not quite such serious cases. Instead, the top portion of their back is rounded instead of straight which is mainly due to the way that they sit and stand.
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Ladies with a heavier chest can be at particular risk of this, because gravity cause a natural hunch in balancing out the weight that is there. But what can you do about this?

Well, for one it's a good idea to check the way you are sitting at your desk for work. Your spine should be straight, which often means there is a dip in the lower back and your chest is pointing forward. You can get special seat supports to help you train you back into this position.

It can also help you have some additional support in the chest region. So consider getting properly fitted for your bras. Or even using a posture correcting bra, that provides extra support.

Spine Curvature

Of course, not all curved spines are caused by sitting or standing in a slouched position. In fact, some spinal and postural issues have a more serious underlying cause.

One of these is osteoporosis which is when the bones in your body lose their density, so they are no longer able to support your body properly.

In fact, one of the most prominent symptoms of this disease is a curvature of the spine. That is why it is so vital to be aware of your risk of osteoporosis and start to address this early on in life. So when you get the age where this is an issue you have already being doing things to relieve or prevent it.

One of the best things that you can do it to ensure that you consume enough calcium. Which the body need for fortifying your bones. This can be found in dairy products, as well as oily fish like sardines, and a green vegetable like Kale.

You can also take supplements made from algae that combine calcium with magnesium for maximum effect. If you would like to know more about this, you can read the AlgaeCal reviews on Amazon, and see what real people think of them.

Forward facing head 

Another common posture issue that many people can suffer from is a forward facing head. This is when the neck is not in line with the spine. But tilts forward causing the head to be in extended position.

This can be rectified in a similar way to a humped back, by retraining the correct posture through physical therapy and yoga.
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However, this is something that can often be confused with one of the signs of Cushing's Disease. Which is a fatty hump on the back of the neck.

So if you do have any concerns about this, it is best to get it checked out with a medical professional before you take any action.

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Why Getting A Pet Might Be The Best Thing You Do For Your Children

If you have children, one of your top priorities is going to be making sure they are happy and healthy as they grow. Did you know that getting a pet for them might be one of the best things you decide to do? Here’s why!

Your Kids Get Added Responsibility
When you get a pet, assuming you’re not going to do absolutely every chore, your kids will have added responsibility. They’ll have something else to think about, other than themselves. This can be really good for them. It can help them to grow up a little, and make them more willing to help with other things around the house. Whether you give them the task of administering Capstar meds or helping your pet to get some exercise, having more responsibility is good for them. Eventually, they’ll enjoy caring for the pet and be more than willing to help out, even without you asking them.

Increased Confidence And Self Esteem
As your kids have added responsibility, they’ll also have more confidence and self esteem. They’ll realize that they’re capable of things they may never have realized before. Scientific studies have also proven that kids with pets have more confidence and self esteem than those without. This could be down to the unconditional love, constant companionship, and other benefits pets can offer. Whatever the reason, giving your kids all of this confidence can only be a good thing!

Quicker Development
Kids who curled up and read with their pets show quicker development than kids who read alone. Your kids can improve many of their skills by having a pet to love and look after!

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Getting Them To Stay Active
A pet can encourage your kids to stay active. A dog is one of the best choice for active kids; they can go on walks with them, play catch with them, and teach them tricks. However, other kinds of pets can keep your kids active too. Your kids can play with guinea pigs in the garden, and teach rats tricks. There are all kinds of pets that require exercise and stimulation. 

Help Your Kids Become Less Anxious And Withdrawn
If your child is shy, anxious, withdrawn, and showing similar traits, a pet can help to reduce these. In studies, pets really helped shy, nervous children to come out of their shells. Having a dog as a full time companion could be just what your anxious child needs to give them more confidence and make them happier. However, another pet could prove to be just as beneficial. 

Turn Them Into Compassionate, Well Rounded Humans 
Overall, a pet will help to turn your children into compassionate, well-rounded humans. Not that they wouldn’t have turned out great with your guidance, but a pet can supercharge the results! If you want your children to turn into well-rounded, confident, intelligent, caring adults, then a pet is a great idea! 

Do you think getting a pet is a good idea for your children? What kind of pet are you considering? Leave your thoughts below! 
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Mar 17, 2017

9 Types of Shoes Every Woman Should Own (Guest Post)

Even though people say that diamonds are every woman’s best friend, Carrie Bradshaw, as well as thousands of other, will disagree and say that shoes are the one thing that really makes them happy. In this article we are going to look at the classic shoes a fashion sensitive woman should own.

    I.Pointed Pumps

The black pump can pull together any outfit. Choose a black suede or leather pump, combine it with a gray top and suede trousers, and you’re ready to go and take over the world.

    II. Ankle-Strap Sandals

A high heel shoe, adds style and comfort, lengthens your legs and can be combined with almost anything. Sandals are a great choice for the summer season!

    III. Ankle Boots

If you are looking for that little edge that you want to give to your look, ankle boots are an excellent choice to do that. Pair them with jeans or a black letter dress for a ‘wow’ effect.

    IV. Luxe Loafer

This shoe, initially menswear, is the excellent daily shoe. It’s flat and comfortable, slips easily and looks great on slimmed jeans.

    V. Animal-Print Heels

Every one of us needs to have an animal print in their closet. I know it’s not the everyday shoe that you are going to wear, but you will need them to pair with the gorgeous black dress you own.

    VI. Metallic Heels

Metallic heels are an excellent choice for an evening look. They are neutral, smooth, and add just the right amount of glamor for your night out. The great thing about them is that you can also rock them during day time.

    VII. Casual Sneakers

So far, we’ve mostly talked about heels and boots, but then again, what is a woman’s closet with a fashionable sneaker? They are perfect for the weekend and can be worn with both jeans and dresses.

    VIII. Flat Sandals

At this point you are probably looking at your wardrobe, thinking, well all of those are great, but none of them fit my cut-off shorts and flo-ral sundresses I bought for the summer. The flat sandals are perfect with pretty much anything and as we’ve already mentioned, look great with floral dresses! Go and check Revitalign Sandals for some great look-ing and extremely comfortable sandals.

    IX. Tall Flat Boots

Tall Boots will never go out of style. They are the essential go-to footwear for the fall and early spring. Just use them to add style to the t-shirt and jeans look or combine them with a short skirt and long coat, to add flair to your style.

Conclusion: Those are our top picks of shoes every woman should have in their wardrobe. This way, you will never be unprepared for any event, whether it be to just quickly jump to the store or by some lucky coincidence, the Oscars. We hope that you’ve enjoyed the list and if so, stay tuned for more great tips on fashion.

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Mar 16, 2017

Big Spring Giveaway $100 Amazon or PayPal

Can you all believe we are headed into spring already? I know it might not feel that way depending on what part of the country you live in. Seems like winter wintered a little late. To help you beat those last minute winter blues, we have partnered up with a great group of bloggers to bring you one very fabulous giveaway. The rules are below. Good luck :) 


How to enter: There are 20 Twitter accounts to follow and each is worth one entry into the giveaway. Follow all 20 for 20 entries into this giveaway! If you’re already a follower of an account, claim that entry! This giveaway starts March 17 at midnight EST and ends March 31 at 11:59 PM EST. Entrants must be USA residents and at least 18 years old. One winner will be randomly selected from all qualifying entries and contacted via the email they provide. The email will come from joannegreco at gmail. The winner has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The prize is $100 in Paypal or Amazon online gift card, winner’s choice.
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#TBT The Early Years Of Learning

I stumbled across a video this morning that warmed my heart and brought me to tears at the same time. I used to teach William some reading and math basics at home before he was kindergarten age. Who knew he would end up being home schooled. He is in his second semester of third grade, and it looks like he will make high honors again like in the first semester. It's hard to believe that this little munchkin boy will be turning 9 this weekend!

Thanks for stopping by πŸ’–
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Dealing With Illness When You’re A Mom With A Crazy Life

When you’re a mom with a hectic life, the last thing that you want is to get sick. Whether you catch a stomach bug, get the flu or end up with a kidney infection, the last thing you want is to be feeling under the weather when you have a household to run and little ones to look after. But unfortunately, the chances are that at one point or another that will happen, and you will fall foul to some illness or other, especially when you spend a lot of your time surrounded by little ones who are germ magnets. (Kids spread germs like no tomorrow - it’s all that touching everything and anything that does it.)

Although getting sick when you’ve got kids to look after is never nice, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be a total nightmare. The important thing is to know how to look after yourself while you recover as well as ensuring that your little ones and home are taken care of.
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See your doctor 

When you’re feeling unwell, the first step that you take should always be to see your doctor. The fact is that with many illnesses, from stomach bugs to infections, the sooner you see your doctor, the better as this means that you are able to treat the condition more quickly and get well sooner. Even if there’s not a medicine that can treat what you’re suffering from or cure it completely, your doctor can still advise you on what to do. For instance, coughs and colds don’t tend to be treated with antibiotics, but your doctor may be able to recommend some natural or over-the-counter treatments to try. Or, say you’re suffering from a kidney infection, as well as prescribing your antibiotics, your doctor may also give you a website link and tell you to read these kidney treatment tips to help speed up your recovery. It’s tempting to put off a trip to the doctor’s office, but if you want to speed up your recovery time, it’s best to make an appointment as soon as possible. 

Rest and recuperate 

If you’re going to get well again quickly, you need to get plenty of rest. When it comes to recovering from being unwell, sleep is the best healer, so aim to get plenty of sleep. Obviously, when you’re a mom this is easier said than done, but it is still possible. Perhaps you could see if your little ones could spend some time at their grandparent's house while you get better? Or maybe you could see if your partner could take some time off of work to look after the kids while you recover? Or, as a last resort what about hiring a babysitter to take care of the kids for a couple of hours while you get some much-needed rest. 

Look after yourself

When you’re unwell, you need to put yourself first for once. This means ensuring that you’re eating plenty of fresh, nutritious foods, such as lots of nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables. It’s also important to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated - aim to drink at least two liters of water a day, and you will feel much better for it and beat whatever you’re suffering from more quickly. 

There’s nothing worse than being unwell when you have little ones to take care of, but hopefully, the above advice will help to make your next bout of illness much easier to deal with. 
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Mar 15, 2017

Keeping Your Head with a Child in Hospital

Whenever someone in your family is sick, it can be difficult to deal with. But when it's your child who isn't very well, it's never easy to cope. If they have to have a stay in the hospital for a while, it can disrupt your whole life. It's a hard thing to get through, but there are things you can do to make things a little easier. If you have a child who needs to stay in the hospital for a bit, you can get through it with a few tips to help you approach it in a way that will allow you to stay as calm as possible. When you pack a bag, take the time to think about these important things.

Try to Be Present As Much As You Can

It can be hard to rearrange your life around a poorly child, but most parents want to be there for their parents as much as they can be. Your employer should work with you to ensure you can take off the time you need. You have the right to time off work to take care of a dependent during emergency situations. However, if you know that your child will be going into hospital soon, you might need to look at arranging compassionate leave. Speak to your employer as soon as you can to see what you can do. Being there for your child during their hospital stay will help them to get better, reassure them and you, and keep you involved in their care.

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Don't Be Scared to Speak Up for Your Child

When you're surrounded by medical professionals, it can make you a bit wary of voicing your opinion. After all, they're the ones with years of medical training and experience. But even though the doctors and nurses know what they're doing when it comes to treatment, you're the one who knows your child. If you can sense when your child has had enough or if they need something, speaking up for them will help them, and it's useful for the staff too. If you can offer information about how much they normally eat or sleep, or how they usually behave, it can help doctors and nurses to see if they're different from normal.

Ask Questions

Speaking up and advocating for your child is important when they're staying in the hospital. If you have any questions about what's happening, don't be afraid to ask them. It's important that you understand what's going on and perhaps that you can explain it to your child in terms they can understand too. Medical professionals should be willing to answer your questions, except perhaps in emergency situations when they don't have time. Make sure they explain things to you in words you can understand. They might be able to give you relevant literature to read or make an appointment for you to have a discussion later on.

Make Friends with the Staff

If your child is settling in for a longer stay at the hospital, getting to know the staff is a great idea. Having the nurses on your side can be useful if you need any favours. They'll always be ready to do their jobs, but it can't help to butter them up a little too. Plus, it's always good to show that you appreciate them, and it gives you someone to make friendly conversation with. Make yourself familiar with the different positions and staff members. For example, auxiliary nurse jobs are sometimes referred to as healthcare assistant positions. They help out doctors and nurses to perform various tasks. For example, they might help patients to wash and dress or go to the toilet. Just knowing who to ask for what can help to move things along quicker.

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Get Organized at Home

There's no denying that a hospital stay for your child can disrupt life at home. If you have other children, you need to juggle their care with your other child. There may or may not be another parent around to help you out. If you want to make things easier, you need to come up with a plan to keep things ticking along at home while things are a little different. You might not be able to keep everything exactly the same, but you can try to make arrangements to keep everything organised. It might help if you can get friends or neighbours to help with some things, like collecting your other children from school.

Keep Things Consistent

Staying in the hospital is a huge change for your child, and it can be upsetting. You can be tempted to let go of the usual rules and perhaps let them get away with things you wouldn't normally allow. But it's more helpful for you to keep your expectations consistent with what you expect at home. If your child is expected to be polite at home, they should be in the hospital too. Of course, you don't have to be too strict, and there are moments when they might not be feeling well when you might let things slide.

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Have Someone to Talk To

When you have a child in the hospital, it's also important that you have someone you can talk to. While you're not the one who is ill, it can be emotionally trying to deal with. You might have a partner you can talk to, but it can also help to reach out to other people. As well as speaking to family members and friends, you might like to talk to a professional. There might be someone at the hospital you can speak to or a charity you can call to have a chat with a volunteer. Sharing your feelings helps you make sure you don't bottle them up.

Educate Yourself

Learning as much as you can about the reason your child is in the hospital and the methods used to treat it will help you immensely. Firstly, you won't feel as lost when you're talking about their treatment with their doctor. You'll also be able to advocate for your child better if you're more aware of the options they have. Your child's medical team should be willing to help you learn more. You can also look for charities or official resources that might give you the information you need. There's usually plenty of information online, as well as people you can talk to.

Look After Yourself

It's also very important that you look after yourself so that you're able to be there for your child. While it might be difficult to do even basic things like eating or sleeping, it's essential to try and stay healthy. You may not want to leave your child's side, but try to make time for things like eating, washing, or just taking a breather. Don't neglect your own health in favour of your child's, or you won't be able to be there for them like you want to. At the very least, you can plan to eat with your child. Sometimes, you might be able to stay overnight with them too.

Bring in Home Comforts

Items from home can be helpful for you and your child. They would much rather wear their pyjamas than a hospital gown and might prefer to have some food from home too. If they have any special things they can't live without, make sure they have them. You can bring things to do, such as books to read or music to listen to. There can often be a lot of waiting around.

Hospital stays are tough for anyone, and it's even more difficult when your child is the patient. But if you prepare yourself, you can get through it.
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How To Help Protect Your Family From Mosquitoes

Experts are predicting a fierce mosquito season this year. To help homeowners protect themselves against those pesky creatures, Arrow Exterminators recommends the following simple, proactive measures:


  • Eliminate all sources of standing water such as children's wading pools, birdbaths and flower pots;
  • Keep rain gutters cleaned out to prevent water from standing in drains;
  • Cut back or get rid of unnecessary vegetation around the home where mosquitoes can breed and/or rest;
  • Keep swimming pools covered in colder months to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs there, and drain any water that has collected on top of pool covers;
  • Remove water that has collected in tree holes and hollow stumps;
  • Screen windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside homes; and
  • Consider using yellow bug light bulbs in outdoor light fixtures – the bulbs reduce the number of flying insects around your home.

“As the temperatures continue to rise, mosquito populations boom and the recent rains have created the perfect breeding ground for another banner year,” said Charlie Jones, Arrow Pest Expert and SVP of Operations.  “Homeowners should take precautions because these pests do more than leave behind itchy red bites, they can also spread diseases like West Nile Virus, Zika Virus and Chikungunya Fever.”
Needing only small amounts of standing water to breed – a bottle cap full is enough – these blood-sucking pests can develop from egg to adult in just 10-14 days.  Additionally, these pests are always in search of their next meal and sense a potential target from up to 75 feet away.


Arrow protects homes from pests with the STEPS® Total Protection System™, an industry-leading approach that utilizes Integrated Pest Management (IPM). STEPS includes a full property evaluation to pinpoint pest issues; identification of not only the pest, but the true cause of the problem; and treatment in the most environmentally responsible way to alleviate current issues and to help prevent future recurrences. Consumers interested in scheduling a free whole home evaluation can contact Arrow at www.arrowexterminators.com or call 888-462-7769.
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Mar 14, 2017

How To Achieve A Trendy & Bold Hairstyle Without A Commitment

Today's conversation is sponsored and all opinions are my own as always

Have you all seen the latest hair trends that involve a whole lot of color? I've seen everything from purple, blue and even rainbow! I think it is a fabulous look on some people, but I don't think I'd have the nerve to go through with such an extreme process. I've watched those videos on Facebook and Youtube on how those looks are achieved, and I simply don't think I could go through with it. It takes half a day sometimes to get the color just right. Of course, you will pay hundreds of dollars for it, too. Look at how gorgeous the style and color is below.

The best part is you can have a fun and funky style like this with no commitment and no long wait in the salon chair. A great alternative is a trendy and stylish wig from Divatress. They are an online wig shop offering the latest styles at a super low price. They carry everything from short, long, curly, straight, and everything in between. So now you can achieve the look you want, for less. If you decide that the color or overall style is too much, you simply take it off!

Does the lady above look familiar? Ms. Vivica A. Fox has her very own collection of beautiful and natural looking wigs. Wigs are also a great for those who are trying to grow out their natural hair and need protective styling. I have seen it for myself and the hair growth is astonishing! Divatress has everything you need to complete your look, including bonding glue, tape, accessories, and hair care products. They have price ranges that will fit every budget, too.


If you are looking for a new wig for any reason, make sure you check out Divatress. You can follow on Facebook and Twitter for updates and promotions. Also, they are currently offering FREE shipping on orders over $49 in the continental U.S..
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Mar 12, 2017

How To Treat Yourself Every Month For Only $10

Being a mom often times means that you won't buy anything that you don't need for yourself. We are always thinking of the kids and tend to put our dollars towards their needs before our own. I remember seeing several of my online friends posting their cosmetic subscriptions boxes and was so curious about signing up for myself. After much consideration, I finally gave in. I subscribed last Summer to the Ipsy Glam Bag and couldn't be happier. Honestly, I don't know why I waited so long!

Ipsy costs only $10 each month and there is no shipping fee. You get a themed bag along with 5 beauty products every month. When you sign up for Ipsy, you will set up your personal profile to include your product preferences, colors, skin tone, skin type and more. This helps Ipsy to tailor bags that will work for you. Sometimes you will get lucky and receive full-size products, but most are sample/travel size. It is a great way to try products out to decide if it is something you want to buy without being stuck paying full price for the one item.

I think for $10, this is an amazing value! I have found some really great products along the way that I love and don't feel any guilt about doing something special for myself. Also, you accumulate points from doing reviews or getting people to sign up that can be redeemed for free items. You have nothing to lose and can unsubscribe at any time. If you would like to sign up, here is my referral link. I will get points for it (no money). Below are some of my previous Glam Bags so you can see for yourself what they have inside. What are you waiting for? Treat yourself today, because you deserve it!







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Sunday Funday- When Winter Showed up in SC

One week away from Spring and here we go....
A post shared by Shelly πŸ‡¬πŸ‡ΎπŸ’ž (@momfiles) on

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Mar 9, 2017

From The Kid Files- The Old Man Child

If you have been connected to me through this blog or social media, you might know about the chronicles of the old man child. William is turning 9 this month, but is truly a 70 year-old man trapped in a child's body. This kid has an old soul and every day is an adventure with him. I have to mentally prepare myself each morning before he wakes up to deal with his lectures and old man chatter. 

We had to go to Urgent Care the other day for both William and his big sister. They both had been sick and shared an appointment. First of all, Brie was the one who was having symptoms of the flu. Mr. Man only had a sore throat, but I didn't want to take any chances. When we got called back to do vitals, William was up first and when asked any questions, he answered in real old man style. He was questioned about his overall health and before I (as his MOTHER) could say a word, he put his hand up to speak on his own behalf. He explained to the nurse that he eats only healthy foods and no candy or junk food. The nurse's eyes got so big as if he was saying, "Excuuuuse the #(@% outta me" πŸ˜…

Again, his sister was the one who was ailing with a 103.5 temperature and the whole time she was being checked out, William had his hand over his mouth as he shook his head. So why did this child decide that he needed to be the one to take the examining table? And how do you all like the arm positioning? 


The doctor did an examination on the man child and determined that he had an ear infection. William then questions the doctor asking him how it's possible that he came in with a sore throat and has no ear pain, and ended up with an ear infection. He then asks the doctor, "Will you please explain this to me in detail?" 😐 The doctor looked at him with a smile and said, "You sound like my grandpa". I cracked up! Yep, even the doctor recognized the old man in him. 

Back up 2 weeks ago, William had an episode where he broke out in hives all over his body. I went over every single thing he ate, where he has been, if I washed clothes in anything different, or any changes at all that could have caused it. When he took Benedryl, it would disappear and thankfully was a 24-hour thing. William mentioned it to the doctor and was told it was either an allergic reaction or stress. The doctor smiled again and said, "I wouldn't be surprised if it was stress". He was right. William had been very worried about me in regards to a death in the family, and he wouldn't stop checking on me to make sure I was okay. He would even go the the extent of asking, "Are you sure you're okay, or are you lying to protect my feelings?" Ummm, what child even thinks to say that? Oh yeah, an old man child! 

William keeps me in check every day. His old man antics are a part of who he is. I'm glad he is home schooled, because his behavior is unlike any child you will ever meet. Any adult who has ever met him would agree. Thank you so much for stopping by. πŸ’œ
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Mar 8, 2017

Tips On How To Become A Morning Person

Do you have issues falling asleep or staying asleep? Lucky for me, I'm the type of person who passes out the minute my head hits the pillow. My husband is so jealous of this special power I have. He has to go through a series of drinking bedtime tea, meditation, or listens to soothing music to get him relaxed enough to fall asleep. 

Below are some simple tips to help you get a better night's sleep, from Leesa, an online mattress provider. You might even become a morning person in the process.

Graphic courtesy of Leesa.com.
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Keep Track of Your Platelets To Fend off Disease (Guest Post)

Platelets are regarded as the most crucial cells which are found in our blood. They have the function of binding together whenever our body encounters vessels which have been damaged in order to prevent blood loss. There are a lot of benefits our human body receives from having such cells. They have the main role of forming blood clots in order to stop bleeding which would otherwise prove out to be harmful. There are a lot of factors which come into play when dealing with thrombocytes and more info can be found at Thrombocyte.com


These amazing cells are the smallest one in our blood and are able to be seen only from a microscope. They have the shape of small plates, thus their name. When one cuts a blood vessel due to various causes, they quickly receive an alarm signal which puts them in formation to stop the bleeding. Under a microscope, they form just like small tentacles to bond together in order to repair the damaged vessel.

Healthy Platelets are Extremely Important

One of the many problems our blood vessels can encounter is a sudden drop in platelets, which might lead to some serious bleeding if the problem is not addressed immediately to a medic. One should take into account the fact that blood diseases are extremely dangerous and are potentially life-threatening if not taken care of appropriately.

Such diseases are extremely dangerous and usually signal the fact that something is terribly wrong with our blood and have a worrying potential to significantly damage our bodies. On the other hand, having too many platelets will lead to the formation of unwanted blood clots which have a serious threat regarding our lives when taking into account that such clots can reach our brain and slowly damage it.

Few Platelets Disease

When one person has too few platelets the disease is called thrombocytopenia and there are a lot of symptoms to take into account as individuals are extremely prone to bruising and encounter frequent bleeding from their gums as well as nose. Such drops in platelets are encountered when a few factors such as inherited conditions as well as medication and too much alcohol happen.

Such conditions can easily be inherited and if one of the members has it, one is advised to immediately alert a doctor if such events occur. The most common blood-thinning medication is aspirin but recent studies have shown that it is too ineffective to completely cure such problems.

Diseases related to platelets are extremely dangerous as they have the potential to put your life at risk and should be immediately addressed if one presents the aforementioned symptoms. We strongly recommend getting regular checks at your doctor in order to make sure that one stays safe from such conditions which may put your life at risk.

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