Friday, August 17, 2018

Learn English at Summer Camp

Research indicates that children often learn a second language easier than adults. Children raised in bilingual households will often learn two languages concurrently and without conscious effort.  International students enrolling in school here in the United States can learn English at school, but that can be a very difficult and frustrating endeavor. Enrolling in an esl summer camp for international students is a better way to begin learning English and be ready for the school year. Read on to discover the advantages in doing so.

Chinese studentsLearning English can be Difficult

This is, of course, relative. If your first language is a Germanic or a Romance language, learning English may pose a challenge to your child, but it may not be an insurmountable one. Yet, nearly four times as many people in the world speak Chinese—primarily Mandarin—than they do English. It would be far more difficult for a Chinese adult to learn English than a child as Chinese and English are very different languages. The less-related linguistically and culturally the mother language is to English, the better it is to learn it at the source.

Language Immersion

One of the surest ways to learn a new language at any age is to spend an extended period of time in a place in which it is the primary language spoken. Travelers realize quickly that in order to be able to get around, they need to acquire a few stock phrases and have to be able to pronounce them clearly. An ESL summer camp provides a great way to experience this language immersion in a structured way.

Use Summer Free Time

How do your children spend their summer? Do they complain about being bored? Instead of learning a second language in a classroom, let them learn it in a country in which it is spoken. This working vacation also provides an opportunity to learn local history and geography at the same time.

Bilingual citizens often enjoy a distinct advantage socially and financially over monolingual ones. Giving your child fluency in a second language can be one of the most precious gifts they will ever receive. Consider how an esl summer camp for international students can help your child meet their life goals.

(Now I'm wondering if there are camps like this for American students. Perhaps in Mexico? Maybe France, or even Canada? We tend to believe that everyone else should learn our language...  And, honestly, there are plenty of children and adults in this country who could benefit from an English summer camp.)

I Finally Changed It

I've been meaning to change the pictures in my header for ages. I had a picture of Jason as a baby - it was a super cute picture, but he's not a baby anymore. He's 7 years old and starting 2nd grade this year. He can read! And ride a bike with no training wheels. And jump off the diving board into the deep end of the pool. It was definitely time for an update.

And Jason's little sister wasn't on there at all, so now I've got it fixed. Maybe next time it won't take so long...

Be sure to check it out and let me know what you think. Or just look at the pictures I used, because I like them quite a bit.

Amara and me

Cory and me

Jason on one of our walks

Amara and Jason

Tim and Beth

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Caring for an Elderly Loved One with Compassion

Whether it is a parent, grandparent, or other elderly loved one, you want to take care of them in the best way possible. This not only means making sure they are getting the care they need, but also making sure they still feel needed. The following are a few suggestions as to how you can easily accomplish both of these goals.
Jeffrey's grandma with our two grandchildren

Searching for the Best Place to Live
There are many options when it comes to living arrangements. Nursing facilities offer care for those who need extensive attention around the clock while assisted living facilities give residents more independence according to their level of health. Assisted living ranges from small residential style homes that provide one on one care to larger communities where residents live quite independently but know that help is nearby when needed. If your loved one wishes to remain in their own home, or if you have decided to have her live with you in your home, you can go through a home care agency greenwich ct that can help you find in-home care to suit your individual needs.

Making an Elderly Loved One Feel Needed
In order to help an elderly person feel like they are a necessary member of society, you need to put yourself in their shoes. What would make you feel like you were still needed? If your grandma is used to taking care of everyone, let her do as much as she is able, whether it is helping fix meals, doing household chores, or contributing to family functions. Give her chores that are suitable to her level of health. This could be helping prepare vegetables, setting the table, folding laundry, or any other job that can be done easily.  If your loved one is in a nursing facility or assisted living community, remember to call, visit, and take the time to listen.

Once you have found a place for your loved one to live that includes the care they need, you can focus on making them feel like they are still needed. With the proper care, their lives will be comfortable and more enjoyable. Their spirits will be lifted, and they will feel like they are a necessary part of the world around them.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Make Your Home Your Own

When you become a homeowner, it's one of the most exciting experiences. Finally, you can put down roots and settle down. As a homeowner, you have free rein to customize the home however you want to. If home decorating doesn't come naturally to you, it might feel daunting to walk into an empty house and turn it into a cozy home. You'll want to remember to take it one room at a time. Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. Your home wasn't built in a day. The decor won't happen in a day. It might take a few months or years to get the house the way you want it.

Here are three changes you can make rather easily that will make a big difference:
Our living room after painting

  1. Paint - Paint is a great way to warm up and freshen a room. If you love to paint and work on large projects, it's not difficult to paint the room yourself. It's important to remember that flat paint tends to be a lot more forgiving in a space. You can choose to paint all four walls in one color, or you can choose to paint one wall in a really bold color and make it a statement wall. You can even choose to paint the ceiling instead.
     
  2. Rugs - Rugs add texture and visual depth to a room. Even if you have carpet on the floors, it's still a good idea to add an area rug. The right area rug can even serve as artwork for the floor because of the various prints and patterns. Try arts and crafts style rugs on hardwood floors for a stunning contrast. On carpeted floors, you can use a bamboo rug. Bamboo rugs add a hard texture which can work well against the softness of plush carpeting.
     
  3. Lighting - It doesn't make sense to be in a dark room. You've got to incorporate light. Since you are a homeowner, you have the opportunity to try permanent options like recessed lighting and chandeliers. If you'd like to choose a quick fix, consider purchasing a floor lamp or a lamp that can stand on a nightstand or side table.
Don't try to completely redo the entire house all at once. Unless you are on one of those home improvement shows on TV, it really doesn't work that way. Live in the house for a bit, figure out what you really like and how you will use your space, and then update. You'll appreciate each new improvement as you do it, and it can be almost like having a new house each time. 

An Afternoon at the Pool

Jason has been visiting. He always stays with us for a couple weeks in the summer, and it's a tradition we plan to keep up as long as possible. I spend a lot of time reading with him or playing UNO. That boy loves to play games!

He also loves to swim, so we spent an afternoon at the pool this week.  I don't usually have anyone to go with, so I'd never been to the pool before. It was really nice, and even better? It was free! And there weren't very many people there at all, so it was almost like having our own pool. (school has started here - so early - so, even though the pool doesn't open now until school is out, I think people are just busy)

It was fun to hang out with Jason in the pool. He even jumped off the diving board! At first, he wasn't sure about doing it. He wanted to, but he was a bit afraid. After he'd done it once, he had no more problems and went off multiple times.

Google made a video from the pictures and video I took. I thought it was fun, so I'm sharing:


A Toy To Delight Both Parents and Toddlers

If your child or another young family member has a birthday coming up, finding a new toy for them is probably on your To-Do list. Toys for children have become remarkably advanced since the days of wooden or tin toys. Many toys are designed to stimulate their young minds and help them grow and develop. However, there are other toys that play an even more important role.

CormacThese toys have one purpose and one purpose only - to release energy. As a parent, you're likely well aware of the seemingly endless amounts of energy that a child can have. At some point, they run you ragged, and then you just want something to keep them occupied and that lets them release some of that energy. Well, there's an old toy that has been improved over the years that will give you a chance to catch your breath while allowing your child to continue to release that energy. Safely.

An Oldie But A Goodie

That toy is the indoor baby swing for toddler. You really can't go wrong with it. After carefully installing the swing in the desired location, your child can bounce or swing to their delight for hours. What's incredible about this particular swing as well is that it not only gives them an outlet for their energy, but it also helps them to build coordination and balance. You may not have realized when swinging as a kid yourself, but you were actually helping yourself to build your core strength and to maintain balance by kicking your legs out and in to make yourself swing.

The swing is geared towards children from six months to three years so it can be a go-to favorite for years to come.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Update

I mentioned a while back my issue at the grocery store - when the girl at the Service Desk told me I had to buy 2 items to get the sale price. The day after I sent an email to customer service, I got a phone call. The lady I talked to was really nice. No, they haven't changed the sale policy, and I did not have to buy 2 to get the sale price. She said she had already let the store manager there know so they can cover it with their people. Hopefully, it won't be an issue for anyone else in the future.

And, she credited my account with 500 Fuel Points, which is 50¢ off per gallon. Every little bit helps, right? Especially with the cost of gas these days. And I never spend enough to save that much. Occasionally, with the added points from surveys, I get up to 30¢ off per gallon - and we think that's pretty good. This month, with the bonus, we can actually save 70¢ off per gallon.

All I was really asking for was my missing 50¢ - and that the store employees understand how the sales work so they don't give other people the wrong information too. But saving a bit extra on gas is nice, too.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Sometimes You Need Professional Installation

If you are remodeling your current home, working on updates at a rental property or need to quickly replace and install an appliance, you may have thought about handling the job on your own. There are plenty of jobs you can handle, but in most cases, unless you are licensed as an electrician or general contractor, it makes sense to hire a professional when it comes to installing major appliances.

Done Right Professional Appliance Installation
Some home improvement centers offer free installation if you purchase one of their in-store products, but you may only get base-level installation and setup. If you attempt to install appliances on your own, you may overlook measurements and proper disposal of old appliances. Additionally, you may accidentally damage the existing electrical wires when attempting to remove the old appliance. You can also cause damage to your floors if you are maneuvering a refrigerator or range out of your kitchen. With appliances like kitchen ranges and certain stoves, you have to worry about exhaust pipes and connectors when assembling and disassembling appliances.

If you are looking for oven installation in Washington DC, you may want to hire a professional to install your new appliance. Not only can a kitchen installation expert handle a variety of sizes, brands, and styles of appliances, but they will also work to make sure the installation is completely up to code and will dispose of your old units safely and efficiently. From running new gas lines to replacing connectors and hoses, licensed and insured installation companies take the hassle and guesswork out of replacing, maintaining and installing new kitchen appliances.

Many home remodeling companies and installation experts also carry a wide range of home appliances in their showroom. This offers customers a hassle-free, one-stop-shop way of purchasing the appliances and services needed for the job in one fell swoop.

While you can take on your home remodeling project on your own with the assistance of online videos and tutorials, there are some projects that will just go more smoothly when you hire a professional. It's worth it to save yourself a lot of time and frustration. Just be sure to check for credentials and references before signing a contract.

Feast Checklist


✔ Condo reserved
✔ Airplane tickets purchased
✔ Airport parking reserved
✔ Rental cars reserved
    Now, to figure out how to pack - when I'm used to being able to take whatever I want, since we usually take the minivan and the trailer. How am I supposed to get everything I need into one suitcase? Time to start watching helpful packing videos.

    I do always take way more than I really need...

    Feel free to share any packing tips you have! I do have some time to figure it out.

    Tuesday, July 17, 2018

    Air Conditioning is Important in Florida

    Air Conditioner Do OverDuring the winter months we're all pretty jealous of those who live in Florida. We've got freezing temperatures and snow-covered roads, and they've shirt sleeve and shorts weather. But come spring and summer, they're all suffering - unless they can live at the beach or spend all their time indoors in the air conditioning. Floridians rely on always having a properly working AC system in their homes, especially during the summer months.

    I have friends here in the Midwest who think properly working air conditioning is pretty important, too. Oftentimes they're talking about turning on the air conditioner or complaining that it quit - and I haven't even realized it was supposedly hot enough for air conditioning.  If your home has poor air circulation, or you have small children, elderly family members, or an expectant mom in your household, I know air conditioning can be very important at times.

    There are a few things you can do to have a proper AC in your home.

    Search Out AC System Companies

    If it's time for a new AC system, some repairs to your current system, or just some regular maintenance, search out AC system companies in your area. Look online and research companies to find one with a good history of making people happy in regards to their AC system. Read all those reviews. A great example would be Gulf Shore Cooling, which is among the best ac companies in fort myers. Besides installing and repairing AC systems, they also repair furnaces and other hardware in the home.

    Get A Good Warranty

    Whether you have a traditional air conditioner or central air, you should do your best to get a decent warranty with your AC system. Some of my friends had their air conditioner go out last week. After a bit of scrambling, they were able to get it fixed for just the cost of a service call, because it was still under warranty. That was a huge relief to them - in more ways than one!

    A properly working AC system is important, especially in Florida and on hot summer days everywhere.

    Hiring a Waste Disposal Company

    Do you need to rent a large dumpster for a large renovation project? Every year for Camp Outreach we rent one. The first year I went, I spent an afternoon working to fill it up with all the debris from the projects we worked on that week. This year, I just happened to be in the parking lot when the dumpster was delivered, so I got the process on video. If you've never seen this, it's quite interesting.



    You may not need an entire dumpster, but perhaps you need someone to come pick up an old appliance that you are throwing away. For either one of these situations, you could require the services of a waste disposal company. There are many companies that are in this line of work. However, it would be a mistake to simply hire the first one that you come across. Thoroughly check out each waste disposal company in your area before making a decision.

    Here are a few tips for hiring one of these companies:
    1. Reach out to some of the people you know who have done business with waste disposal companies in the past. These people will know more about hiring a waste disposal company than you do and can be an invaluable source of advice.
      Here is a list of questions to ask:
      • What was the name of the company they hired? 
      • What services did the company perform for them? 
      • Were they generally pleased with the quality of the company's service? 
      • Did the company charge a fair price for the amount of work they did? 
      • Would they hire the same company again in the future? 

  • The Better Business Bureau can be very helpful in situations like this. Go to the BBB site and look for companies that perform waste management Pasco County. The BBB should have a few waste disposal companies in your area profiled on their website. Read through everything they have posted about each company. You'll be able to learn about the history of the company and get some helpful information to determine if the company is good or if they should be avoided.
     
  • Talk to each company to find out what their specific price is going to be. Have a firm understanding of the price you will need to pay and exactly what the company is going to do for you before you agree to hire any waste disposal company. And get it in writing, so there won't be any surprises later. 

  • The more information you have, the more equipped you will be to choose the company that is best for your needs.

    Friday, July 13, 2018

    Getting Care At Home

    Judy (me) and MotherIf you've been on the fence about whether to use a caregiver in the home or to take your loved one to a nursing facility, here are a few good reasons to consider. In-home caregiver agencies can be very beneficial to the client.
    • There isn't any place like home for recovery after surgery, after an illness, or during your loved one's last years of life. An in-home caregiver makes it possible for clients to remain in familiar and comfortable surroundings instead of being in an environment where they don't know anyone.
       
    • The caregiver can keep the family together. Sometimes, family members might not be able to go to a nursing facility to visit a family member, but it's much easier to make visits to the person's home. There are sometimes restrictions as to who can visit residents in a nursing facility if there are illnesses, which you won't need to abide by if your family member remains at home. Clients can maintain the independence that they have when they stay in their home. They can watch television, take a shower or bath, and take part in the other daily activities that they are accustomed to but with the assistance of a caregiver who can ensure that the person is safe in the home.
       
    • Staying at home promotes faster healing than being in a nursing facility where you are unsure of your surroundings and might not receive the proper medical attention that you need at all times. Although it does cost money to hire a caregiver, it's not as expensive as using the services offered by a nursing facility, and your family member can keep any government assistance or social security payments instead of turning them over to the facility. Staying at home with a caregiver is often safer as the person knows where everything is located and will have the assistance of someone throughout the day to help with walking and other activities. 

    Thursday, July 12, 2018

    When You Really Need the Survey Link

    I went to the grocery store today. I've been putting it off as long as possible because I just got back from Camp Outreach on the 1st - and there is enough shopping leading up to and during Camp that I just don't want to do it again until I absolutely have to. But sometimes you just need food in the house, so I loaded digital coupons to my account, made my list, and went to my local Pay-Less grocery store. (Not that we actually didn't have food in the house; we just needed some of the basics like eggs and bread and lettuce. We could probably eat for several months, just maybe not exactly what we might want.)

    Sometimes my receipts include a link to fill out a survey. I don't always do them, and often they're a bit annoying, asking me why I didn't rate my visit as Highly Satisfactory. I guess they got tired of me saying that it was just an ordinary shopping trip - nothing to get all excited about but nothing to complain about either - because I haven't gotten a survey link in a while.

    Today I was really hoping for one. Though I wouldn't have rated them Highly Satisfactory today, either...

    I bought a 32 oz. carton of Simple Truth plain yogurt today. The sign said the yogurt was on sale 2/$5.00 or $2.50 each, and there was the additional digital coupon for 50¢ off, which I could have used 5 times in that transaction, but I only needed the one carton. When I checked my receipt after checkout, the yogurt had rung up for $5.79. I found the yogurt in the ad while waiting at the service desk, and wondered if perhaps I had grabbed the wrong type of yogurt - Greek as opposed to regular. When Alise (the young lady at the service desk) came to help me, I told her that I thought maybe I'd just grabbed the wrong kind, but she glanced at the ad, told me that it was the right yogurt, but I had to buy 2 of them to get the sale price.

    Ummm, since when?

    I told her that No, it has never worked that way; I can buy any quantity and get the sale price - unless it's a special sale where it is specifically advertised that way. I went back to the department and took a picture of the shelf tag stating that the sale price was 2/$5.00 or $2.50 each.

    BUT...

    Alise still insisted that I had to buy 2 to get the sale price. I really only needed one, but I told her to go ahead and ring up two - better to pay $5.00 for 2 cartons than $5.79 for only 1 - and I would go back and grab the second one before leaving the store. I also told her I wanted to be sure I could use the second 50¢ coupon that I would have had taken off if I'd bought both together. So, she rang it up and gave me 79¢ cents back. When I questioned the amount - $5.00 for 2 cartons of yogurt minus $1.00 in coupons should equal $4.00. So, since I paid $5.29 - $5.79 minus 50¢ - for the original carton, the difference should have been $1.29 NOT 79¢. When I questioned it, she printed out the adjustment receipt - $5.29 credit, 2 cartons of yogurt at $2.50 each, minus a 50¢ coupon - equals 79¢. Which seems to work, but I actually lost 50¢ somewhere in there... 

    Now, perhaps the store has recently changed things so that we actually do have to buy things in the quantities advertised, but I haven't seen anything letting me know of this change. Alise said that she's worked at this store for over a year, AND she had asked a fellow employee, who also said that I should have had to buy 2 to get the sale price. What she couldn't tell me was WHEN this became effective. If the sales really do work this way now, I'd really like to know. Otherwise, somebody needs to let the employees know that just because something is advertised as 2/$5.00 (or 10/$10), doesn't mean we have to buy in those exact quantities - unless otherwise specified. There are some sales that work that way, but those are always clearly marked.

    Also, when I went to grab my 2nd carton of yogurt, I realized that YES, I had grabbed the wrong type - the Greek yogurt was in the wrong place right behind the sign. The Greek yogurt was on sale for $5.79. The regular yogurt was on sale for $2.50 per carton. So, I put the Greek yogurt in its place and pulled 2 of the regular, from the back of the case, since that is what I paid for.

    And I sent an email to Kroger customer service.

    Wednesday, July 11, 2018

    Clean Air at Home is Extremely Important

    3 Things to Know About Your Indoor Air Quality & How It Affects Your HealthIt is already hard enough to breathe just with all of the chemicals and pollution that are released into the atmosphere on a daily basis. Cigarette smoke, car exhaust, perfumes and colognes, you name it. For those of us who are sensitive to these things, it gets harder and harder to go out in public. Thankfully, it is still possible to have clean air at home - except when the neighbors decide to burn a big pile of brush or hire someone to spray chemicals on their yard when my windows are wide open. But maybe that's just me...

    And I really don't want to stay closed up inside my house all the time using the furnace in the winter and going straight to air conditioning in the summer, never letting any fresh air in. At least as long as there is fresh air to be found.

    At least inside the house, I have control over the air quality. I try to use natural products like vinegar, baking soda, and peroxide for cleaning, and I've started using essential oils and diffusers to freshen the air. I never could stand those 'air fresheners' in the aerosol can; they just tend to make things worse.

    One of the biggest challenges to clean air in the home can come from water damage and mold. Thankfully we don't have a problem with that, but haven't we all heard about people who have discovered mold in their homes and can no longer live in them? That has to be absolutely devastating. Water damage, whether it's caused by flooding from rains, a tornado going through your neighborhood, a plumbing leak, or something else, is something you want to take care of immediately so that it doesn't cause further problems.

    For something like that, I think it's best to hire the professionals and get it taken care of right the first time. You'll want to choose a company that has been in business a long time and handled every problem imaginable in this field.  Choose a fire damage restoration houston tx company that has the proper equipment to handle fire damage, water damage, and mold the right way.

    And when the neighbor is burning that brush? Close the windows and be thankful that at least the air inside the house is breathable.

    Saturday, June 23, 2018

    3 Gate Considerations

    If you've got a fence around your property, you have gates. Whether they are situated at the front entrance or the back (or both, because who want to always have to go to the front of the property to get in or out?), these barriers have their purpose. For most, they are meant to protect and keep intruders on the outside, while still allowing you access. If you do not have corten steel gates, they are probably made of out cold rolled and stainless steel.

    When you are interested in installing gates for the first time or replacing existing gates, here are three things to consider.

    1. Size - The gates you are about to have installed to protect your home have parameters that they have to meet. The most important parameter is the measurement. Take the time to measure the area they are going to cover from top to bottom and side to side. If there is a slope present, you want to ensure that the gates will not scrape the bottom, and therefore, not open correctly. You also do not want unintended crevices to exist anywhere around the gate. This is especially important if you are trying to keep a pet in or another kind of critter out.
    2. Function - It is very important that your gate opens and closes as intended. If obstructions exist anywhere around the gate that will hinder its opening or closure, find the one that works best under those conditions. Tandem, bi-fold and standard sliding gates are some options. Cantilevered, top hung and tapered gates are others. After you conduct an eye-test, if you are still unsure, you can always call on a professional for a consultation. They will evaluate and make suggestions accordingly.
    3. Design - Once the size and function of the gate have been settled on, you can move on to the design. In many cases, you can purchase a gate that will open and close as intended and be nice to look at, too. Artists who work with steel have entered the realm of gates, and they create architectural pieces that also keep your property safe. These gates are custom-made and custom-fit. If you opt for something more demure, those options are available, as well.

    When planning to install gates around your property, remember to take into consideration the size, function, and design.


    Thursday, June 21, 2018

    Make Your Bathtub Look Like Brand New

    Is your bathtub old, worn, rusted, abused, or otherwise damaged? You may think the only way to have a bathroom you will actually like is to hire someone to replace that old bathtub, and you don't relish the idea of an expensive and messy project. Consider a bathtub liner installation instead. A custom-made liner brings new life to your old tub without all the mess and expense of a complete removal and replacement.

    Part of an in-home consultation includes the company's representatives taking precise measurements of the existing tub to make sure that the new liner will fit perfectly over the old one.The liner fits without disturbing the plumbing and is made to last at least 20 years. That is a greater longevity than most modern steel bathtubs can claim!

    Quarter-inch solid-core vinyl provides a high-gloss and high-impact finish that is invincible to physical damage. With an inventory of more than 100 molds, every model and make of bathtub is represented, and the forming system replicates the tub's subtlest curves.

    When properly made, the liners do not crack, chip, peel, or stain. No paint or dangerous and offensive chemicals are used, which eliminates odors.The liners are not affected by bacteria or acid, and they are easy to maintain. They are also HUD tested and approved. Each installation comes with a new overflow fixture, drain, and new silicone caulking around the perimeter. The durability also makes them popular with hotels, motels, and apartment complexes as they easily get approval from owners, managers, and realtors.

    Be sure to choose a reputable and experienced company that employs specialized bathroom remodeling technicians who can install the liner in a timely and precise professional fashion. A typical bathtub relining usually takes only a few hours, and you will be able to use the bathtub the very next day.





    Wednesday, June 20, 2018

    Not Good Enough

    It really bothers me when people are too lazy to put their shopping carts away when they're done using them. Not only is it annoying to attempt to pull into a parking spot only to find it blocked by a cart - or two or three, because once someone does it, others are sure to follow along - but it can cause damage to cars in the parking lot. It only happened to me once, but take it from me, those rogue carts can come barreling across the parking lot and run right into your vehicle on a windy day!

    What bothers me just about as much (OK, as much) is when people sort of put the carts where they belong, but they're too lazy to actually do it right. How much extra effort would it really take to push that cart forward so that there's room for other people's carts behind it? An extra shove, a couple steps...

    But, NO, I guess they figure just getting it there, sort of almost into the cart containment area is good enough. Who cares about those who come later? Or if the cart even stays where it was parked?


    Sorry, not good enough! I always try to push my cart as far forward as possible and move the carts in front forward if I can, but if the first person didn't even bother and there are several behind it, there's only so much I can do. Those carts get heavy and very hard to push.

    But seriously, why? Am I the only person who thinks that if you're gonna do something, just do it right? And doing some things - like putting your shopping cart away at the end of your shopping trip - really aren't optional. So just give that extra shove or take that extra step of two. You already made it to the shopping cart area...

    Tuesday, June 19, 2018

    Make Sure Your Family is Ready for Summer

    When the summer season starts and the temperatures start to rise, smart parents know that it's important to make sure that their family is ready for anything. From lazy days indoors to Sundays at the beach, the summer season can bring all sorts of excitement (along with cries of, "Mom, I'm bored!"). The question you have to ask yourself is, "Is my  family ready for the summer?"

    One of the most important things for any homeowner to do before the summer season begins is to make sure that they have air conditioning. This is especially important if you live in one of the hotter areas of the country where the temperatures get very high and people can get very sick if they are left in the heat for too long. If you don't already have an air conditioner that is working well, you need to find and hire a local professional to get one installed in your home before the summer heat hits. For example, if you need HVAC Gloucester VA, you should call a reputable company like CC Air and Heat. This will ensure that your home stays cool and comfortable throughout the season and your family stays safe from the dangers of excessive heat.

    Beth in the pool
    Another important thing is to make sure that any pools in your area are completely secured and that your children are taught about water safety. If your children will be spending any time at the beach, at a pool, on a river, or at any other place where they could fall into the water, they should have swimming lessons as well as wear a life jacket. If you have a pool in your backyard, it's essential that it is fenced in and only accessible by a locked gate that is too tall for small children to open and enter. Drowning is a leading cause of death for small children in many places so don't let it happen to you.

    Finally, make sure that your summer is fun. Let your kids relax, don't over schedule them, and spend quality time with them this summer.

    Why am I Just Now Finding These?


    Summertime means it's time to bring out the sundresses. I love the ease and comfort. What I do not love is the way my thighs always rub together. A little baby powder solves the problem temporarily, but it never lasts.

    That's where this split slip comes in! No more thigh rub. Or, more accurately, the thighs may still rub, but there's material between so it's not irritating and annoying. I'm just wondering why it took me so long to find these.

    How about you? Did you know these were available? The one I got is short, so it's good for any length skirt or dress, but I think I'm going to order one that's a bit longer, too - maybe like this one. Then I ought to be pretty much covered.

    Friday, June 15, 2018

    Get the Most Out of Summer with the Kids

    Summer can be a wonderful and enjoyable time with the kids, but there are times the summer heat can drain all the energy and fun out of your summer. Fortunately, there are several ways you can keep your cool all summer long whether you’re at home, outside, or on a fun-filled outing.

    Cooling Off the Indoors

    A little prep work inside your home will help you remain comfortable during the summer. Install insulated window treatments to block the hot rays of the sun, and remember to keep the drapes pulled on sunny days. Switch out bedding for 100% cotton sheets and lightweight blankets and quilts. Make sure your air conditioner is functioning properly too. There's nothing so frustrating as turning your AC on that first really hot day of summer only to find out that it does not work. If you are looking for AC replacement Fort Myers has many reputable professionals such as those at Gulf Shore Cooling that can help.

    Get the Backyard Ready

    Summers spent in the backyard can be fun as long as they are safe. Make sure you have plenty of shade. If your lawn lacks trees, use a table with an umbrella for picnic-style meals. Awnings and canopies are ideal for over sandboxes and other play areas, and water toys such as squirt guns, slip and slides, and children’s pools are great ways to cool off with supervision.

    When fun is as simple as a lawn sprinkler

    Ideal Day Trips

    Summer days can become boring quickly when you are a child full of energy. Day trips are an excellent way to show your children new and fun places while spending time together as a family. Cool off at the local pool or spend an afternoon at the beach. The zoo is a wonderful place to visit, and walking the trails at a nearby park can be educational. You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a lot of fun. Do a quick internet search for free (and cheap) things to do in your area.

    By following these tips you can have an enjoyable summer that both you and the kids will remember fondly for years to come. It is possible to have fun and stay cool this summer. A few quick changes inside and out along with some fun-filled day trips will help you make the most of this special time together.

    What is it About This Blanket?

    We bought a couple new blankets recently at Kohl's. The blankets were significantly marked down on clearance, and then we had a coupon and Kohl's cash to use. Of course, that's the only way to shop - have you seen the supposed regular prices on items in the stores? Do people really spend that kind of money? Even the sale prices are more than I want to spend.

    Anyway, since we got the new blankets, I really need to get rid of some old ones. We've had them for years, and some of them are in pretty bad shape - not to mention that those old twin/ full-size ones don't really fit on the beds. We need a few of them for the twin mattresses, but not necessarily all of them.

    So far I've only pulled one blanket out to get rid of...

    This one seemed like a no-brainer since it had holes all across the top of the blanket. But it's one of the softest blankets we had (the new ones are much softer, though), so Jeffrey cut a strip off the top of the blanket. No more holes! Of course, now it's not only almost too narrow for the full-size bed, but it's probably too short too. But maybe we can still use it for something...

    Actually, we're going to try using it as extra padding on some of the furniture out in the sunroom. I just haven't had time to arrange the blanket and pillows, so we just folded the blanket and threw it on the back of the loveseat in the sunroom for now. And the cats can't leave it alone. Somebody is always pulling it onto the floor or off the back and onto the seat so he can lay on it - or beside it.



    Monday, May 21, 2018

    Signs that your Dryer Vent is Clogged

    Modern front load tumble dryer, pictu...
    Modern front load tumble dryer, picture taken by Rick Harpenau (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
    Dryer vents are seemingly innocent parts of our home that can hide a dangerous secret. If not regularly cleaned out, the lint that accumulates in the dryer vent can result in a dryer fire. While the safety aspect is the most important, a blocked dryer vent causes a slew of other problems. It wastes energy, which increases your energy bills, and can take a toll on the dryer, causing it to fail prematurely. But how do you know when your dryer vent needs to be cleaned? The following telltale signs will alert you before a catastrophe happens, as well as save you time and money.

    • Clothes Take Longer to Dry
      A clogged dryer vent makes it more difficult for the laundry to dry in the timeframe that you’re used to. You may even have to run multiple cycles just to dry one load of laundry. This is typically the first sign that a dryer vent needs tending. When the vent is blocked with lint, the moist and hot air that the dryer is designed to vent will get stuck inside the dryer making it harder for the machine to work properly.
    • Dryer and Clothing are Extremely Hot
      It’s not uncommon for the outside of the dryer and the clothing inside to be hot. But when the dryer and the clothing are too hot to touch, that’s a big sign that the machine isn’t venting properly, which generally means the vent and dryer ducts are blocked.
    • You Smell Something Burning
      If you notice a smell like something is burning when your dryer is running, it’s probably lint. This lint can build up in the lint trap, exhaust tube, and drum casing. And when it starts to get hot, the chances of it catching fire increases. You really want to take care of your clogged dryer vents before the problem gets to this point.

    Call the Professionals
    While it’s fairly easy to clean out the dryer vent yourself, the dryer vent ducts are a bit more difficult and should be inspected by a professional dryer vent cleaning Pasadena MD company. In fact, most experts recommend having your dryer vent ducts inspected and cleaned annually.

    Wednesday, May 16, 2018

    A Visit to the City

    There are many great cities in the world with a wealth of different experiences to offer. Paris is known as the City of Lights and it offers a range of art and cultural attractions. London offers great theater and a sense of Victorian charm, while Rome has centuries of art to take in, along with incredible food. New York City, however, is a place that has something extra to offer visitors of all kinds. New York is a vibrant and vital place that offers a huge range of art, culture, and architecture to take in, along with amazing entertainment and a special kind of verve that’s unique to this amazing American city.

    Entertainment in New York

    Many people come to New York to take in the amazing entertainment that’s unique to this city. A quick review of Broadway play reviews shows the range of choices tourists can choose from when they visit Manhattan. The Broadway stage offers amazing dramas headlined by major stars, as well as incredible musicals like the recent revival of “Hello, Dolly!”

    The Vital New York Cabaret Scene

    For those who enjoy seeing entertainment on a more intimate scale, the New York cabaret scene is also a great attraction. These shows take place in smaller venues, and they offer a chance to see great singers and comedians up close. These shows also offer food and drink to go with the show, which adds to the fun.

    Galleries Galore

    For those who love visual art, New York has a wealth of amazing museums to visit, including The Whitney Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. There are also many galleries in areas like Soho and Greenwich Village, and a visit to these areas makes for a great afternoon in the city.

    Without a doubt New York is one of the great cities in the world, so be sure to add it to your list of must-see places to visit.


    All that and no mention of the M&Ms Store! I've been to New York City once - on a weekend trip with the high school band - so our focus was a bit different. We toured Radio City Music Hall where we met one of the Rockettes, visited a museum, toured Carnegie Hall, roamed 5th Avenue, and took the ferry to Ellis Island and Liberty Island. Overall it was a fun, if exhausting, trip. Maybe it's time for another trip? I would really love to see a Broadway show. Or two.

    Monday, May 14, 2018

    Let's Fight Hunger Together

    I was looking through my ibotta app (for once before I go to the store) to see if there are any good rebates available. There's one for Gold Peak tea that looked good, and that's where I read that Gold Peak is partnering with Feeding America to help provide meals for people in need. Simply text GIVE to 26739 - and they will donate $1 to Feeding America.

    And, you can text every day through the end of June, which means your texts can add up to a lot of donations.  Message and data rates may apply, but if your phone plan is anything like ours, you've probably got unlimited text messages available, so why not use some of them for good? I'm thinking of setting a reminder on my phone so I don't forget to text every day...

    For more information and to see how you can support your local food bank - the 10 food banks with the most support will each get $1000 - visit https://www.goldpeakbeverages.com/give/

    Sunday, April 22, 2018

    Protect Yourself with Horse Trainer Insurance

    zane volkmann_agrability project_00102
    If you train horses, you face a unique risk that other professions do not have. If you employ trainers, you need to think about the kind of insurance coverage they need that may not be covered under general liability. Because trainers deal with frightened and sometimes aggressive animals, it can be easy for them to incur injury. And because horses are so large, they can inflict a large amount of damage with little effort. Even being shoved to the side and into the wall can result in cracked ribs or broken bones.

    Horse trainer insurance protects yourself and your employees against these kinds of injuries and ensures your employees are protected from harm. Not only does it cover medical costs, but insurance will also cover any legal defense costs and settlement costs you may face if sued by an injured party.

    In some cases, training insurance policies will also protect against potential lawsuits and injury caused to customers riding on the back of a horse. New riders often get scared and can fall from horseback. While this doesn't seem like a huge risk of injury, horses seat high off the ground—and landing on the neck or the head can result in serious injury even from a short fall.

    Purchasing insurance to protect yourself and your employees is about more than meeting any legal obligation you may have. It provides a sense of stability and peace of mind that can be invaluable when running a business. If you work with horses, you don't want to think about the damage they may cause, but you can't let your love for the creatures cloud your judgement. Prepare for any eventuality and you will be better equipped to handle whatever situation may arise. Look into the insurance options available to you and choose the best fit for your needs.

    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 www.audiobooksync.com.

    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 www.fesconnect.net/BusinessServices 👈 (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.
      exercise
    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.

    Conclusion:

    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?