I’ve been working from home for going on 10 years now (wow!!) I absolutely love it and am so thankful that I’m blessed to get to work remotely. In the past, I’ve shared my journey throughout those years and all the different ways I’ve worked remotely.Read more
Are you wondering how you can support a military family or veteran in your community, but you are worried you don’t have the funds to make an impact? Service members and veterans face many challenges, and the support of civilian neighbors makes a big difference in their ability to thrive. However, you don’t have to spend a lot to show you care. Here are five budget-friendly ways you can make a difference in the life of a military family or veteran.Read more
Update: After a year and 1/2 after trying these products for the first time I still use and love them! They really do work for the long run and are absolutely worth the investment, so I wanted to re-post this 🙂
If you could be given any luxury service (personal chef, nanny, maid, hair stylist, makeup artist, assistant, personal trainer) for free for a few years, but could only pick ONE, which would you pick?
I know from a recent Facebook conversation that many of my friends would pick things like personal chefs or a personal assistant. A few would pick hair stylists or makeup artists or nannies.
There was one, though, that showed up over and over and over again. A Maid.
Me? I would choose a Maid (or a housekeeper if you’re being politically correct…is that more correct? Does it really matter? I wouldn’t mind being called a maid. But I digress….)
Alright, first off can we all just promise to be honest with one another for a few minutes here?
School is about to be out. And if your kiddos are young enough to not be in school, you’re right about to hit the Dog Days of summer. In fact, if you live in the south and you walk outside your glasses are probably already fogging up from the humidity. (has happened to me several times when we lived in Texas, true story.)
While you are a totally awesome parent who does everything from creating an elaborate Summer Fun Pinterest Board to actually managing to DO some of those fun ideas, there is going to come a point and time this summer when you will NEED to put the kids in front of some screens so you can work or even just gain some sanity back! (And, well, I’m pretty sure you might be at that point).
My personal video training series to help you know all the ins and outs of being an amazing, well-paid blogger right off the bat!
As my long-time readers know, I’ve been at this blogging gig for over 8 years now (wow!!) If you want a blast from the past you can go read my very first post here (if it can even be called that…it was more of a Facebook status update, haha)! I’ve come a looonngg way since the days of a copy/paste blog design and the horridly unoriginal name of “Ramblings By Nicole”.
If you’d like to get the full story of how I started working from home and how this blog went from a “my mom only reads it” to a job, you can check out that whole progress in the post How Anyone Can Successfully Work From Home.
Because I jumped in during the “early days” I did absolutely everything the long, wrong way at first. I’m hoping to help save you learning things the hard way, so I put together these blogger-to-blogger training videos for my contributors and also for anyone else looking to pursue their dream of blogging and making an income from it!
If you have anything else feel free to request my So You Want To Be A Blogger Facebook Group, I use it to throw out all the random pieces of goodness whenever I find them!
Links Referenced in Video:
- The Smart Girl’s Guide To Starting A Blog
- ThirtyPoint (sadly my amazing web guy is no longer in business!)
Correction note from my web guy 😉 : Note: WordPress.org is the self-hosted platform, WordPress.com is where they don’t support ads and there are some issues when trying to make money from the site. It’s technically possible to make money through your site/ads on wordpress.com but it’s not clear and you have a lot of limitations when it comes to customization. WordPress.org is where you would get the install files to host the full version of WordPress for yourself
- Turning Rejection Into Motivation
- From Tracie
- How Anyone Can Success Work From Home
- Fair Trade Friday Earring of the Month
- Social Fabric
- Clever Girls (now known as Clever)
- Amazon Affiliate Program
- Who I Want To Be When I Grow Up:
Links referenced in video:
- As promised, here are my examples, first I’ll do what a good review looks like:
- And here is what a BAD review looks like, which is sad because I loved these sandals:
Today I wanted to share some of my very favorite “Must Use” blogging tools and resources. I’ve had to learn everything the hard way, which is why I love to share my knowledge with everyone else so they don’t have to battle through it all!
The wearing of jewellery is a big question. In many cases, it is even more important than the clothing itself. It is suitable for wearing it. It is like a finishing touch. If you wear it wrong, it becomes a target of public opinion. It seems to be a public joke. So how do you use the inner charm and function of pet memorial jewelry? The following will address this issue in two ways.
- How to wear jewelry in different occasions
In people’s past ideas, it is believed that only formal and solemn occasions can wear jewelry, and other occasions are not suitable for wearing jewelry. In fact, this is a kind of deviation of understanding. As long as it is worn properly, you can wear jewelry in any occasion.
Everyone has a deeper understanding of clothing, knowing the difference between formal wear, everyday clothes, dress, casual wear, etc., and knows to wear different clothes on different occasions, but in the wearing of jewelry, it seems that knowledge is lacking. A piece of jewelry is not taken off when it is put on no matter which
- Things to pay attention to when wearing jewelry
For professional women, there are more restrictions on the accessories of professional wear, so we have to take some thoughts to choose the jewelry that suits our temperament and style. Of course, in order to break through the simplicity of the color of professional wear, it is recommended that you can match some vivid fancy
gemstones on the chest and hairpins, as well as necklaces, so that the solemn professional wear will be transmitted to the vitality and beauty of women. In addition, clever my name necklace can change the shape of the professional wear. For example, you can add a curve-designed brooch to the collar of the suit, which can add a few dynamic movements to the suit.
When you are at home or going to a trip, you should pay attention to the form of jewelry and the combination with the clothing. Generally, in this informal occasion, the design of fancy gemstones and semi-precious gemstone jewelry is matched with the casual wear, and a plain taste reveals a different taste.
As the number of kits increases, the weight of the color increases, and the influence on the color and design of the garment is relatively large. Therefore, be sure to pay attention to the coordination and coordination with the wearing environment. For example, the jade suit is best worn in formal occasions at night, and the green of the emerald can be elegant under the light, while in the daylight, the green is full of glare. Platinum sapphire sets will look more suitable for such occasions and will appear calmer. Ruby and diamond sets will have a good effect under the light. The pearl arabic name necklace set has strong adaptability. In most occasions, it will not look dazzling.
The British Princess Diana has many pearl sets, she often wears pearl sets
are always elegant and luxurious when they attend a variety of occasions. Therefore, it is recommended that you should have a set of pearl sets for use, and its combination with clothing is not very demanding. When wearing inlaid jewelry, avoid hooking clothes and purses, which will cause some looseness. So in general, jewelry should be worn after the clothes are worn. The same is true when unloading cheap personalized necklaces, first picking jewels and then changing clothes.
Are you looking to reduce your family’s exposure to harmful chemicals but don’t know where or how to start? Here is an incredibly simple guide to replacing toxic household cleaners with safe, natural alternatives, many of which you probably already have on hand. You’ll find out how to safely clean practically every surface in your house, from the windows to the toilet and everywhere in between. These cleaners are safe enough for kids to use, so the whole family can pitch in around the house without any concern about what they’re being exposed to. You will still want to keep these things away from young children who might accidentally ingest them. While perfectly safe to use for cleaning, some of these ingredients can be harmful if ingested, so make sure they will only be accessible to people who won’t try to drink them 😉
There are a few basic things you’ll need to make the switch to natural cleaning:
- Baking Soda
- Lemon Essential Oil
- Various other essential oils (optional)
- Dish Soap
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Olive Oil
- Microfiber Cloth (or any lint-free cloth)
- Glass Spray Bottles (plastic can break down over time from essential oils)
Using just these supplies, you can clean just about every surface in your house. Sounds easy, right? It really is! Here are some specific tips for tackling all of your chores with no harmful fumes or chemicals.
Dusting– This is one of those chores that’s perfect for little hands so I usually let my kids do the dusting, but I don’t want them exposed to commercial dusting sprays. There are two all-natural dust-busters we use in our house, so I’ll share them both.
- The simplest method is to dampen a microfiber cloth, add 2-3 drops of lemon essential oil to the cloth, and simply wipe the surface with it.
- If you want extra shine, however, you can make this all-natural dusting spray that’s safe for all finished wood surfaces. Simply add 1 cup of water, 2 T. white vinegar, 1 T. olive oil, and 15-20 drops of lemon essential oil to a glass spray bottle and shake well. Lightly spray the surface and wipe clean with a soft cloth.
Tubs,Tile and Grout– A paste made with baking soda and a little water can make scrubbing stains from grout and tile a cinch. Soap and water will also work on tile for everyday cleaning.
Toilets and Ceramic Sinks– Sprinkle baking soda in sinks and toilet bowls and let it sit for up to an hour, then pour vinegar over the baking soda and scrub with a toilet brush or cloth. The baking soda deodorizes while the vinegar sanitizes, leaving your bathroom naturally clean!
Floors (wood, vinyl, linoleum, and laminate)- A basic solution of 1/4 C. white vinegar and 1 C. water will clean most floors easily. For extra shine, you can also add 1 T. oil to the mix. Spray floors with the mixture and wipe with a soft cloth or mop. Alternatively, you can fill a bucket with 1 gallon of water and 4 cups of vinegar and mop the floor with this solution.
Marble and granite– While vinegar is an amazing natural cleaner, it should never be used on natural stone like marble and granite, which can be etched by acidic ingredients like vinegar or citrus. Mix 1 C. water, 1/4 C. rubbing alcohol, 3-4 drops of dish soap, and 5-10 drops of any non-citrus essential oil (such as lavender, peppermint, cedarwood, etc.) Spray on surface and wipe clean. This solution can also be used for most floors, and it dries quickly without leaving streaks because of the alcohol.
All-purpose cleaner– If you want to keep things really simple and just have one bottle of cleaner for most jobs, this is it. Mix 3 parts water with 1 part white vinegar in a glass spray bottle, add 15-20 drops of essential oils, and shake well. You can use this solution to clean countertops, sinks, tubs, showers, windows, floors, and even cutting boards and appliances. Just be sure to avoid using this one on granite or marble.
If the idea of making your own cleaners is too overwhelming, or you don’t really want your house to smell like vinegar every time you clean something, there are plenty of non-toxic, natural cleaners available to purchase. I’ve tried several companies over the years, but my absolute favorites are from Red’s Gone Green.
Her products smell so amazing that I genuinely want to clean my house just so I can enjoy the scent of clove-cinnamon-vanilla (which smells just like chai tea) or lavender-vanilla (incredibly calming.) Check out all of her products here. The all-purpose cleaners (except the grapefruit-orange-lavender) are even safe on granite and marble, so you can basically reduce your whole cleaning cabinet to just one incredibly fragrant bottle!
Hopefully this is a helpful crash course on how to start swapping some of your commercial cleaners for more natural alternatives. It really is simple and affordable to enjoy the benefits of non-toxic cleaning supplies. Have other natural cleaning hacks or tips to share? Leave us a comment below!
This post has always been one of my most popular on Pinterest, and it’s too perfect for the summer season not to share again. If you have a little one in PreK or Kindergarten, or if you’re a teacher of young children of any kind you’ll want to own this book! I will say, though, that even my 8 year old still enjoys reading the Howard Series 4 years after we added him into our home library, this lovable little bunny is just a lot of fun!
Here is my original post:
I find that as a parent I try to make sure that most of the shows that my children watch and the books that they reads (or that I read to them) are not only entertaining and wholesome, but also have some type of lesson or learning aspect about them. Fun, silly, “just because” shows definitely have their place–but I want to make sure that we use every opportunity to teach them valuable life skills in a way they don’t even realize that they’re learning!
Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen couldn’t have come at a better time as Amber has been having a few problems with learning to listen. You know, REALLY listen and obey right away.
In Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen Howard is having a little problems with listening, to any and everyone including parents, friends, and teachers. Not because he’s purposefully being bad, there is just so much to be distracted by! This book is great because it shows the cause and effect of not listening, such as punishments from teachers, hurting friends or himself, and losing privileges, which are all shown in an engaging writing style. This book is great because it also shows the good things and rewards that good “really listening” bring!
We both loved the fun pictures and the discussion questions at the end of the book too.
This book is absolutely perfect for any pre-k – kindergartner or above who is having a little bit of difficulty in this area! (and don’t they all from time to time??)
Be sure to check out their website We Do Listen Foundation for free lesson plans, read alouds, and more!
If you love this book be sure to check out our reviews of the other Howard B. Wigglebottom books as well!
Howard B. Wigglebottom and the Monkey On His Back (a book about lying)
Today was the last day of school for the Elliott’s and we are officially happy dancing our way into summer!
Summer for most people brings with it a lot of fun, but that can also mean a lot of extra expenses. Those vacations, road trips, summer camps, and celebrations add up faster than you can say “How is it already June?” So today I decided to bring you some brilliant ways to save money this summer. The best part about them? Any busy-crazy parent or working professional can do them! No complicated schemes or cutting coupons or figuring out things (( #aintnobodygottime for that))
1. Save Energy
I know, I know! But listen, what better way to talk about *saving* money than by giving you a chance to WIN some??!! Complete this Spot the Watt game challenge and be entered to win a $100 gift card! Test your energy-saving knowledge among your family and friends as you navigate your way through three interactive rooms. Learn tips in each room to help you save energy, and money, along the way.
This is such an easy, painless way to save money. Adjust your habits just a little and it will amaze you how much these little savings add up! This is especially so important if you live somewhere HOT like we do in Texas!
2. Trim the Fat–Literally
Summer is a great time to re-tackle your food budget. How are those New Years Resolutions doing? No guilt here, I totally understand! With the warm weather comes a great time to re-commit to healthy living. Hubby and I have been on a healthy living kick over the past few months. It has included participating in races and fixing our eating habits. A huge added benefit? Skipping out on eating out and convenience food has actually saved us a ton of money!
Now, don’t get me wrong. Eating out has, and always will, be one of our favorite splurges. But as we’re getting healthier I’m finding that I’d much rather save up and savor that nice, sit down steak. It doesn’t even bother me to totally skip out on the cheap, fast food options. Though they may seem cheap, compared to cooking for yourself they’re actually super pricey!
And, shocker, losing weight really doesn’t have to involve all those quick fixes or elaborate plans that cost you an arm and leg. Hubby is down 40 lbs (go him!!!) and I’m down 10 just because we quit doing the dumb things we knew we needed to, we controlled our portions, and we did the next step….
3. Re-think Getting Healthy ((newsflash, it doesn’t have to cost a bunch of money))
This one goes hand in hand with the one above but it deals more with exercise. Of course, you need to find what makes you want to actually get healthy, and that’s worth whatever cost! However, I’ve found that personally, I’m a lot more motivated by things that don’t involve a ton of money. If you’re somewhere that’s nice in the summer get outside! Running outside is so much more fun. You might also find a local adult league, there are lots that cost very little or are free. Or spend a little money upfront and purchase a piece of exercise equipment and then USE IT! ((the key)). What we’re currently doing is investing a little money in participating in races, then doing all the training on our own for free ((running outside, together, with the kids at parks, on our treadmill, pushups, situps etc)). Having the goal in site gives huge motivation, and the training doesn’t cost us anything!
Right now we’re currently training for a 5-mile obstacle run in the fall. Yipes!!!
4. Keep Entertainment Cheap
As I mentioned, keeping the family entertained over the summer can add up FAST! While vacations are amazing and you should splurge, take a good long look at your entertainment expenses this month. Do you *really* need all those subscriptions? How many are you using? We’ve always saved tons of money by not having cable. For the kids we also only have them play free things, with the exception of our one subscription that we play together as a family. Rethink how many camps and special outings you want to send your kids to as well. Chances are great they’d have JUST as much fun playing outside in the neighborhood, running through the sprinkler or throwing water balloons around. Unplug them and then *gasp* let them use their imaginations!!!
Another *amazing* option for summer fun is Vacation Bible Schools. Especially if you’re in the Bible Belt like we are, these are running all summer long. They’re fun, safe, free, and generally welcome even kids from other churches in town with open arms.
5. Break Up With Your Cell Phone Contract
Another huge money drain that so many people still have is contracted cell plans. We switched to a pay as you go service years ago and are savings hundreds as a result. The best part? The service is JUST as good with the plan we’re currently on, we still have unlimited data and minutes. Check out your local stores and see what they have to offer. You’ll probably be shocked at what you could be saving!
So there you go, 5 ways to save big bucks that aren’t that complicated at all! Do you have any amazing money saving tips please share them in the comments!
And don’t forget to Complete this Spot the Watt game challenge and be entered to win a $100 gift card!