Friday, April 20, 2018

Are You Ready for Some Free AudioBooks?

Less than a week to go before you can start downloading some free audiobooks!

SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens. Returning April 26, 2018, SYNC will give away two complete audiobook downloads a week - pairs of high-interest titles, based on weekly themes. Sign up for email or text alerts and be first to know when new titles are available to download at

Download Details
  • Downloads are in MP3 format and are Mac and Windows compatible.
  • Downloads will operate through the OverDrive app.
  • Most listening devices are supported.
  • Each SYNC audiobook is available for download for a period of 7 days (only), but it never expires so it's yours to keep.
Text syncya to 25827 to receive text alerts about all the featured titles, and be sure to go ahead and get OverDrive too so you'll be ready to start downloading and listening.  The first two books will be available this coming Thursday.

Also note: your local library probably offers books - ebooks and audiobooks - with Overdrive too. So be sure to check that out. (or should I say those?)

Monday, April 16, 2018

Three Ways to End the Frustration of House Hunting

Whether you are looking for a first time home, need to relocate for a job, or simply want something different from what you currently have, house hunting can be a frustrating job. You may know exactly what you want in a new house, but actually finding it at a price you can afford is another thing altogether. I can help you get into a Home you'll LOVE! Text "Good Credit" to 813-421-1477. 24 Karat Credit Consulting 👈 (link in the bio) #realestate #agent & #investor #24karatcredit #creditrepair #loans #credit #Flori

Here are three approaches that can help ease a bit of the frustration in the search for your dream home:
  1. Find a Trusted Realtor
    The best thing you can do when house hunting is to find a realtor you can trust. A good realtor will listen to your needs and show you houses they feel will best suit you. As you tour houses they should be listening to what you like or don’t like in order to zero in on the perfect home for your family.
  2. Pre-Fab Homes
    If there is simply nothing available that suits your needs, you can always consider a pre-fabricated home. These houses come in a variety of floor plans, and you can often customize the details like carpeting, cabinetry, and wall finishes. Once you have decided exactly what features you want, the house is constructed off site and relocated to your property where the final construction takes place.
  3. Build it Yourself
    One sure fire way to know you are getting exactly what you want in a house is to have one custom built. (We've done it twice) St. Augustine home builders like Collins Builders will work with you to come up with a floor plan that fits your individual wants and needs.

If you can find a reliable realtor that will help you find exactly what you need, you will be all set. Otherwise, move on to the idea of a pre-fab house or a custom built home. These are excellent options when you simply cannot find what you are looking for on the open market. No matter which of these approaches works for you, you will soon be living happily ever after in the house of your dreams.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Well, That Was Stupid

I think I've lost my shopping mojo.

Stupidly I got sucked into an ad on Facebook - not that they're all bad; I got some really good deals right around Thanksgiving. I saw this video for a very cool looking notebook that is reusable - up to 500 times. And, the pages can be easily scanned and saved online. Or so they say; I guess we'll see.

I clicked the link where they told me the notebook wasn't available anywhere else, was 75% off, and almost sold out - and I stupidly fell for it. Normally I look and research and read reviews, but this time I just went ahead and grabbed one. It wasn't until later that night when I actually got on my computer instead of my phone and started looking for more information. That's when I found the exact same notebook on eBay, for much less. But I figured that was OK because all those were coming from China, and I'd have to wait longer to get it. Jason loves drawing and can quickly fill up a notebook, and since he (and his mom and sister) are coming to visit over spring break, I figured it would be nicer to get it sooner so we can play with it together. So, I didn't try to cancel the order. (not sure I could have anyway)

Then I got notification my order had shipped.  It took a couple days to actually get any info on the tracking, but when the information finally updated I found out that the notebook I ordered is coming from China. Seriously? The site says they ship from the US, unless the stock runs out, and then they may ship from their warehouse in Asia. So, since they told me the notebook I was ordering was in stock (though there were only a few left), it appeared that they were actually in stock and should have been coming from the States. Nope. So now I don't know if it will be here in time for me and Jason to try it out together...

Of course, I could always order one from Amazon (yes, they have them too), pay less, and get it here in two days. But then, I don't want to spend even more before I've even had a chance to try it out.

Oh, and speaking of Amazon - I got a delivery from Amazon today. Except I didn't order anything from Amazon. Nope - I ordered some pens for this new notebook. From eBay. They were lots cheaper than the pens offered on the site - even with that use-within-48-hours special 15% off discount code they sent me after I ordered the notebook. Why do stores do that? A discount code after I just bought something from you does me absolutely no good. So, I ordered the pens after I got the shipment notification for the notebook - but before I realized it was coming all the way from China. Two days later I have pens - shipped straight from Amazon. That's right, they're cheaper on Amazon. Apparently, this seller takes orders for things he or she can get cheaper on Amazon and then has Amazon ship them directly to the buyer - pocketing the price difference. It's a dollar or two, but if you 'sell' enough things I'm sure it adds up.

Have you ever heard of such a thing? Not something that had ever occurred to me, anyway. And apparently, it didn't occur to me to check Amazon for these pens. Yep, I'm losing it.

Hopefully, Jason and I will enjoy the notebook. Eventually...

Monday, March 19, 2018

Three Tips for Busy Parents Planning a Date Night

It can be hard to find time to be with your spouse when you have kids, but that time is so important. Take the time to plan a fun date night with your significant other. Your relationship will thank you, and your kids will have better parents because of it.

three hundred and eighteen.

Keep It Simple

You don't have to spend a fortune, get dressed up in fancy clothes, or go to a special event to have a great date night. In fact, all of those things can distract from the quality time you want to spend with your partner. Instead, choose a date night activity that will be relaxing and will allow you to chat and reconnect with your partner. One easy choice is a local restaurant or bar where you can talk, eat, and drink. For example, you can find a pub La Grange IL like Kenny's Pub, sit back, relax, and have a great time with the one you love, all without dressing up or traveling far away.

Find a Sitter That You Trust

Nothing ruins a date night faster than worrying about your kids the whole time that you're gone. Stop worrying and find a babysitter that you can truly trust when it's time to go out. A family member could be ideal, but be sure not to take them for granted. Offer to pay them for their services or to do something to help them out. If you know other young parents, perhaps you can arrange a babysitting exchange where you and your spouse watch their kids when they go out, and they watch your kids when you go out. Or, you may have more luck by looking at a professional service to find a sitter that you know is qualified. Any sitter should have training in CPR and should know what to do in case of an emergency. Try to stick with the same sitter once you find one that you like.

Practice Regularly

It can be hard for parents when they first go out on a date night. The easiest solution to this is to start early and make it a habit. Once you start having fun, you will probably want to make it a regular feature in your life. Consider adding weekly (or at least monthly) dates to your routine and your marriage will surely benefit. Plus, you'll get to have fun as a couple!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Wellness 101: How To Get Healthy In 2018

In today's world, many people are beginning to realize that a lack of mental and physical health can and does lead to substandard living. If you're opposed to mediocre living on any level and want more for your life, it's time to recognize that you have the power and intelligence to make the lifestyle changes necessary to cultivate a healthy lifestyle. Below you'll find three techniques that can help you begin your journey to wellness:
  1. Focus On Your Food.
    If you're serious about making wellness your permanent reality, it's important to begin focusing on your food. The typical American diet is full of foods that cause weight gain, detract from your vitality, hamper immunity, and generate numerous other problems. Our "foods" are synthetic, chemical-laden, and highly processed. The first step to better health is to adopt a countercultural approach which involves forsaking the junk food and increasing your consumption of nutrient-dense foods like high protein lean meats, complex carbs, and plenty of vegetables and fruits.  Having a delicious green smoothie for breakfast every morning is a good way to get started. Focus on eating more and more of the good foods, and you won't have room for the bad stuff.
    healthy food
  2. Avoid Sedentary Living.
    In addition to focusing on your food, make sure that you avoid sedentary living at all costs. Taking this step is important because a lack of physical activity can generate a wide range of unwanted outcomes like weight gain, compromised immunity, and mood instability. On the other hand, regular exercise can promote a wide range of great outcomes like sustained happiness, mental clarity, weight loss, and clearer skin. There are many forms of physical activity that you can engage in to start attaining these life-giving benefits. Some of them include high-intensity interval training (HIIT), jumping rope, and pilates, but you can start slowly and build up to the higher intensity exercises. Build activity into your daily life - park at the far end (or middle) of the parking lot and walk to the store; take the stairs instead of the elevator; etc. These exercise videos from BeFit are also a great option.
  3. Help Your Children Develop Healthy Habits. healthy kids
    One final strategy you can employ to get healthy in 2018 is focusing on your children's level of wellness. Caring for others is known to promote mental well-being., which is good for you, and helping your children to develop healthy habits while they're young is good for them in the present and long-term. It's better (and easier) to stay healthy than have to reclaim good health after losing it. Also note that when the people around you are healthy, you're much more likely to maintain the high levels of physical and mental well-being that promote happiness and vitality. In the event that you're looking for an ABA therapy Sarasota FL company, know that the professionals of Engage Behavioral Health can assist you.


Three health strategies that you can implement to cultivate a lifestyle of wellness include focusing on your food, avoiding sedentary living, and helping your children develop healthy habits. Implementing these strategies consistently will likely enable you to lead the lifestyle of wellness that makes you a more productive, positive person!

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Share the Magic of Storytelling

Love this Dark Tower series by Stephen King
What if getting books into the hands of kids in need was as easy as taking a picture and sharing it to social media?

It is!

For every 'shelfie' - a picture of you with your favorite book or in front of a bookshelf - posted to Twitter or Instagram this month with the hashtag #magicofstorytelling, Disney will donate one book to a child in need.

Simple as that.

There are a few other ways to donate, too. But this one is lots of fun.

Show me your shelfies!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

This is My Favorite

- insert video of the most awesome moment in Olympic Curling - (I would really like to actually insert the video, but seriously, just click the link and watch it over and over. I know I am.)

Watching this makes me smile every time.  Looks like Shuster was having the time of his life.
These guys were so much fun to watch.
I miss the Olympics.

Also, posting to blogger from twitter on my phone doesn't really work very well. This post is edited.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Ways to Make a Busy Mom’s Life Easier

As a mom your life is busy. Days are filled with chasing after little ones, cooking, cleaning, and driving everyone here and there. And these things are probably just a small part of your typical day. Before you become too overwhelmed, try a few of these simple strategies to lighten the load.

Invest in Time Saving Gadgets

You may already have some of these items in place, but adding a few additional conveniences is always a good idea. No mother should be without a dishwasher. This one appliance will save time, energy, and give you a few extra moments to get off of your feet each evening. Consider purchasing an extra clothes drier too. Sounds silly, but laundry goes much faster if there are enough dryers to keep up with the washer - because, no matter what the salesperson may tell you, the dryer will not dry the clothes in the same amount of time it takes a load to run through the washer. Even a Genie garage door opener can make life simpler.

Make Sure to Take Some Mommy Time

No one can care for others 24 hours a day and not feel overwhelmed. There are probably plenty of days where you wish you could have just a few minutes to catch your breath. Take advantage of nap time. If you have older children, make their TV time coincide with the little one’s sleep. Use these precious few minutes to take a break. Keep a basket on hand with things you wish you had time for like that latest novel, a craft project, or a tablet that allows you to catch up with friends on social media.

Create a Tranquil Bedroom "Getaway"

Take the time to re-do your bedroom. This area needs to be your oasis at the end of a busy day. Splurge on soft bedding and luxurious pillows. Remove all TVs, mobile devices, and computers, and most importantly, never let a toy cross the threshold. When the kids are finally asleep, turn in yourself, Keep the lighting soft and use a sound machine or relaxing music to lull you to sleep.

Sometimes you need to slow down, step back, and find a way to make life less hectic. Doing so may seem selfish or frivolous, but reducing just a small bit of the stress and chaos that surrounds you can actually make you a better mom. Having a relaxed and refreshed attitude will allow you to focus on the tasks at hand in a whole new light.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Growing Kids, Shrinking Space

They grow up so fast, don’t they? One minute, they’re a tiny bundle swaddled in your arms, the next they’re looking you dead in the eye. And then they start having kids of their own. The bigger they get, the more things they seem to accumulate, but when you live in a small house or apartment, space for all that stuff is hard to come by. If your children are starting to outgrow your home but you can’t afford to get something bigger, these space-saving tips will come in handy.

Put Sentimentals in Storage

Do you or your children have things around the house that you don't particularly use, but they still have some sort of meaning to you? Sentimental valuables like stuffed animals, baby blankets, bedroom sets, and whatever else you have can be nice to keep, but can you really justify taking up your valuable space with stuff you don't really use anymore? You can place all these things, and other items around the place that you’re not using, into storage. You’ll want to find a facility close to you so you can have access to your things when you want them. So, if you live in Hackettstown you’d search for storage hackettstown nj to find the best service providers near you. Only costing a few bucks per month, a storage unit will clear up some much-needed space for your family.

Sell or Donate the Things You No Longer Use

Kids outgrow clothing, grow tired of toys, and move on to other interests. If things are no longer being worn or used, there is no reason that they should continue to take up room that you need for the things you actually use. Put the sentimental things into storage, but get rid of all the rest. Whether you list things on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook or donate to your local Goodwill or other second-hand store, you can be happy knowing that someone else can get some use out of the things your family no longer needs.

Buy Dual-Purpose Furniture

When you live in a small space you have to be creative with it. As you’re shopping for furniture, try to find items that can serve more than one purpose to conserve space. For instance, if you needed an additional bedroom, you could invest in a futon couch for the living room so it serves as a social area during the day and a bedroom at night. Other options might include an ottoman that doubles as storage for books, or a trundle bed which has dresser drawers, or an additional bed underneath. We just visited IKEA for the first time since they opened a new one near here, and they have lots of creative options for small spaces.

Invest in Wall Shelves and Units

When it comes to limited floor space the best thing you can do is invest in wall shelves and other wall units. For instance, putting a flat screen television on the wall eliminates the need for a large clunky entertainment center. Wall shelves are great for aesthetics and storage of everything from knick-knacks and home decor to books and toys.

If the size of your home or apartment suddenly stops being enough space for you and your family to live comfortably, these tips can help to free up some room to accommodate everyone. While eventually you may need to upgrade and relocate, for now, you can live comfortably knowing everything has a place. (now if you can just get the kids to put things away when they're done using them...)

I Love a Good Deal!

Last time I went to the grocery store, I noticed some fish and seafood that had been marked down. Way down. It was in a corner of a freezer that I had never looked at closely before, so I'm not sure what caught my eye, but there was quite a bit. It was probably those bright yellow tags; I'm kind of drawn to those tags.

I was especially interested in some salmon filets that had been marked down to 99¢ - for 2 filets which is just perfect for the two of us. They were already seasoned with a 'Stout Spiked BBQ' that sounded interesting. I wasn't sure how they would actually taste but figured for 99¢ I couldn't go wrong. So I grabbed 3 packages. There were at least a couple more, but since we'd never tried them I was afraid to grab them all. Of course, I still would have spent less than buying 1 lb. of salmon at the usual price, so maybe I should have...

When I got home, I went through the cash back apps on my phone - Ibotta and Checkout51 - and found that Checkout51 had a $2.00 rebate on that brand of seafood. So, of course, I uploaded my receipt for that - and got $2.00 credit for spending $2.97 on salmon.  Now that's a good deal!

The salmon tasted pretty good, too.

I will definitely be checking that little corner of that freezer from now on to see what else I can find.

Do you know where to find the marked down items in your store? What kind of great deals have you found?