How To Save Money At Home So You Have More To Spend On The Kids

I think it’s necessary that we all try to cut back on essential spending as much as possible. Even those of you reading who have decent jobs could benefit from a little more cash to spend on the kids, right? In this article, I’m going to go through some ideas that have proven to work for me in the past. My hope is that you will take some of these suggestions and put them into practice in your life. Of course, there are lots of things I won’t have time to mention. So, you should just use this post as a starting point for more research. When all’s said and done, you are the best person to decide where savings can be made.

Install solar panels on your property
While the installation of solar panels will require some initial investment, it should pay for itself within the first twelve months. After that, you will make lots of savings because you will no longer pay energy bills. So long as you live in an area that gets a lot of sun, it is more than possible that you will create more energy than you use. That means you might even get a nice check from the power company at the end of the year. Now, wouldn’t that be nice?
Mother and SonUse prepaid telecom cards
Prepaid phone cards can help you to save lots of money if you regularly have to call people overseas. In this business, I have to communicate with people all over the world, and so the prepaid cards have been a godsend. I first discovered them after reading a some information about Issa Asad on WordPress. He was one of the first people to ever introduce a card of that nature for making long distance calls. I bet he made a fortune!

Get smart meters
Smart electricity meters are becoming very popular among people who want to save money in the home. The less energy you use; the bigger that power company check will be at the end of the year. A smart meter works by providing information about all the plug sockets in your home. It tells you which outlets are using the most power, and that information can come in handy. Maybe your kids forget to turn everything off when they get into bed at night? Knowing about that allows you to take positive action.

Don’t be scared of DIY
It can be tempting to pay professionals to perform essential maintenance jobs in your home. It can also be tempting to buy new furniture items when the old ones show signs of wear. However, you shouldn’t be scared of DIY. It is possible for you to save an astonishing amount of money if you simply use your head. There is no need for you to be a DIY expert because there are lots of free guides available online. You just need some basic tools, and the ability to perform internet research.

With a bit of luck, those ideas should make it much easier for you to save money in the home. Now all you have to worry about is what you’re going to do to treat the kids. I hear that Disneyland is very popular at this time of year. Just a suggestion! What you do is completely down to you. See you back here soon!
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Perfect Rainy Day Activity: Melissa & Doug Mess Free Glitter Craft

This summer it feels like it has rained more than it hasn’t.  If your kids are like mine- you need something to do to keep them busy when they can’t be outside enjoying the beautiful weather.  You will definitely want to order some of the new Melissa and Doug Mess Free Glitter Crafts so you have them on hand and ready to go the next time you need something to keep your kids busy.

Check it out!

The Mess Free Glitter crafts are SUPER easy to do.

Step 1:
Pick which one you want to do!  There are several options in each pack.  We got to make posters and Stickers!

Mess Free Glitter CraftsM D Stickers

 

Step 2:
Choose what color glitter you want to start with first and peel the back off.

Step 3:
Select which part of your craft you want to make that color and peel the white sticker off.
melissa and doug Mess free glitter craftStep 4:
Put your glitter sheet over the now exposed sticky surface and RUB.

Step 5: Pull your glitter sheet up and repeat with another area or even a different color until your project is complete!

melissa and doug

Colton and I did this craft together a few times- but he has also mastered this one on his own.  It is very easy and fun… and moms: no messy glitter everywhere!

This mom gives this craft two BIG THUMBS up!

You can purchase any of the Mess Free Glitter Kits right from the Melissa and Doug Website, from Amazon, Target, or Toys R US for around $4.99 each.

melissa and dougDisclosure:  I received free product to test out for review purposes.  All opinions are my own, honest opinions.

The Ultimate Guide To Making Your Bathroom Shine

Cleaning the Bathroom

Most women want to ensure their bathroom and toilet area is as clean as possible. There is nothing worse than allowing a guest to use your facilities when they have not been disinfected for a few days. The person using your bathroom might see lots of dirt and grime. That could make you feel embarrassed. To limit the chances of that happening, I’m going to give you some fabulous tips in this short guide. I hope that I manage to make your life a little easier. I also hope to highlight some concepts and techniques you might not have encountered before. Of course, the old methods always work best. So, you will have to get a cloth and bucket at some point in the future.

Clean the grout between your tiles
Over time, you will probably notice the grout between all the tiles in your bathroom becomes stained and dirty. While you could use a homemade solution of baking soda and lemon juice to rectify the problem, the professionals will get much better results. Just find a grout cleaning company in your local area that does not charge astronomical rates. That will save you a lot of time and effort, and it should also mean your grout stays clean for longer. It’s a win-win situation.

Wash your toilet and shower with vinegar
Vinegar is one of the best ingredients for homemade cleaning products. Those of you who want to create a stunning bathroom will have to use it at some point. While you could purchase cleaning products from your local store, most of them contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment. To get the best results when cleaning your shower and toilet, you should use a vinegar and water solution. Just spread it around the dirty areas with an old cloth, and you should notice a massive improvement straight away.

Wipe your taps with lemon
When it comes to cleaning your taps, there are two steps you need to take. Firstly, it makes sense to get hold of an old toothbrush to clean all the gunk away from overflows and plug holes. You can rub the metallic part of your taps using half a lemon once that has been done. . The smell isn’t too bad, and all the dirt should come away instantly. You don’t have to use a lemon to the honest; that is just the most common suitable item found in the home. Anything with high levels of acid should suffice.

If you implement those three suggestions and add them to your standard cleaning routine, your bathroom should shine in no time. Just remember that it is always a good idea to close the door and open windows when you are cleaning with vinegar. That is the best way of guaranteeing your home doesn’t start to smell like a takeaway.

I hope this article has helped to point you in the right direction, and that you will now have the cleanest and most stylish home on the block. Feel free to send some pictures of your handiwork. You never know, I might use them in a future article. Good luck!

Image Credit: Evil Erin

The Sure-Fire Way To Get Your Child Comfortable With Their New Home

It’s not uncommon for some families to move out of their home while their child is still quite young. The houses bought when they were single or just a couple might not be big enough for everybody now. Sometimes people have to move for job or family reasons too. Uprooting a child is hard enough, but explaining the move is even harder. Here’s an easy guide for making it a little gentler on them.

Moving BoxesImage credit

Explain Things To Them
This can be a little difficult. They may not be able to comprehend the reason for the move. To them, this is home, and the only home they’ve ever known. Taking them away from here can be a little traumatic. You have to do your best to explain things in simple terms.

Given them direct answers if you need to, but make sure a child can understand them.

Show The New Home To Them
Try and show your child pictures of the new home. If there are any on the property vendor’s website, show them those. Some vendors might even have picture tours of the home, so you can get your child acquainted with the new house before you move in.

Don’t Stress Yourself Out
It’s paramount you keep your head when moving, especially when you have a child to contend with. To simplify the process as much as possible, use a property associates service like www.infolio.com.au to help you handle things. You don’t have to handle everything by yourself.

If you get stressed, your child may get stressed too.

Take Them To The New Home
If it’s within a reasonable distance, you can take you and your child to visit the new home before you move in. This can help immeasurably in helping settle your child in. Bringing them there early helps them get used to the new place without you having to worry about unpacking luggage or waiting for moving vans to arrive.

If you can arrange with the property vendor to go inside for a little while, you can take a tour yourselves around the home.

Reassure Them
If your child is showing continued doubt or reluctance about the move, just do your best to keep them calm and confident. If the child has to leave friends or family behind it can be even harder to move. You have to reassure them that moving doesn’t mean they won’t see them again.

If possible, try to set up a contact system for these friends and family so they can get in touch easily with your child. Maybe together you can try writing a few letters to them.

Maintain Control
If the worst comes to the worst and they refuse to accept they are moving, they have to know it isn’t their decision. A child may be unlikely to fully understand that, but if they are disciplined enough, they should at least follow your authority.

Try and keep them calm on the journey to the new home too. Kids can get troublesome enough while traveling, let alone when they’re already agitated.

At least when you finally move in you can put the trouble of moving behind you.

Simple DIY Suggestions For Your Family Home

Any ladies who are thinking about improving their family home on a tight budget this summer have come to the right place. Throughout the course of this post, I’m going to make some awesome DIY suggestions that could help you to get the most out of your living space. As with anything in this world, sometimes the simplest ideas produce the best results. So, don’t get too consumed with the concept of knocking walls though or installing new kitchen suites. Unless you are desperate, there is no need to opt for anything quite that drastic. With the right level of imagination and creativity, you could significantly improve your home in only a couple of days.

Do something about that worn out sofa
As far as I can see, you have two main options when it comes to dealing with that old sofa. You can either buy materials and create covers or purchase something new. These days, there is no need for you to select the same models as all your friends. You won’t have to look far to find companies that specialise in creating custom items for people in your position. A unique sofa lounge would not only ensure you are comfortable, but it would also look pretty cool. Those of you who decide to make some new covers for your old solution will need to get the sewing machine out fast.

Sofa

Give your walls a new lick of paint
At this time of year, most DIY and home stores run amazing deals on their paint products. That is because sales tend to slump due to the heat. They know that people don’t want to spend lots of time indoors when the weather is so nice. However, that means you can make some great savings. When all’s said and done, painting all the walls in your home should take no longer than a few days. Giving the walls a new coat will make your spaces appear much cleaner and fresher. The colours you select will determine the overall aesthetic

Build a unique coffee table
When it comes to adding something sophisticated to your living room, it makes sense to create something entirely original again. Everyone needs a coffee table by their sofa, and so you should consider making one from scratch. Just buy some reclaimed wood from your local merchants, head out into the garden, and start designing your piece. You only need some basic cutting tools and screws, so it’s not a job that requires professional assistance. Anyone who needs some inspiration will find lots of guides and suggestions online. At the end of the day though, there is nothing wrong with avoiding recent trends and building something out of the ordinary.

All you have to worry about now is keeping the kids out of the way while the improvements take place. Perhaps you should paint their bedrooms first? At least then they will have somewhere to go when you are breaking a sweat. I’m going to make some changes to our home this summer too. Maybe I’ll post some photographs to inspire you?
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Benefits of Swaddling brought to you by the new HALO SwaddleSure Adjustable Sleep Pouch + Giveaway

As a new mom, I can tell you those first few weeks with your newborn are nerve racking.  You are constantly wondering if you are doing things right, and hoping you are making your new little one comfortable.

From the moment Caleb was born, he was just the sweetest little thing.  I will not lie when I say we instantly bonded and I am loving every minute of it.

I brought my HALO Swaddle Sure sleep pouch to hospital with me along with my bag of :everything I really want to use from day one: so Caleb was put in the HALO Swaddle Sure Sleep Pouch from day one.  And from day one, he slept SO well and was hardly fussy.  If he was fussy, I would swaddle him and it seemed like he instantly calmed.  Caleb Halo Sleep Sack

The Halo SwaddleSure Sleep Pouch is my favorite swaddle wrap because it is SO easy.  In 3 quick steps, he is swaddled, comforted, and happy :-)

Some benefits to Swaddling are:

  • Swaddling is a great way to soothe and calm a fussy baby by giving him a feeling of security, similar to being in the womb.
  • A newborn cannot regulate his temperature as well as an adult, so swaddling keeps his body warm. (Just make sure that he doesn’t become overheated.)
  • Swaddling often helps a baby sleep longer because it prevents the sudden movements (startle reflex) that can cause him to wake up.
  • Swaddling can help a baby focus on breastfeeding, helping to keep his arms and legs out of the way
  • Swaddling prevents a newborn baby from scratching himself with his nails.
SwaddleSure became available in January 2015, and can be found at babiesrus.com and buybuybaby.com for a suggested retail price of $14.99.
Also- one VERY important thing about the swaddle sure is the Hip Healthy design.  One os the common worries of Swaddling is hip dysplasia from wrapping the legs.  With the design of this sleep  pouch the legs are loose, so Hip Dysplasia is not a concern :-)
SwaddleSure
I am a huge fan of swaddling and the Halo SwaddleSure is my top pick of all the swaddle wraps I have tried.  If you are expecting… definitely add this one to your registry :-)
And now for the giveaway!  I am giving away ONE HALO SwaddleSure Adjustable Sleep Pouch to ONE lucky Mommy Has A Life winner.
Giveaway Ends July 19, 2015 at 11:59 PM
To Enter (One Comment per Entry):
(One Entry) Tell me your favorite thing about Swaddling.
(One Entry) Like Mommy Has A Life on Facebook
(One Entry) Follow Mommy Has A Life on Instagram.
(One Entry) Follow Mommy Has A Life on Twitter

(One Entry) Like Halo Sleep Sack on Facebook
(One Entry) Follow @HaloSleepSack on Twitter
(One Entry) Follow Halo Sleep Sack on Pinterest
(One Entry) Follow HaloSleepSack on Instagram
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One Entry) Follow Halo Sleep Sack on Google+
(One Entry) Follow the Halo Sleep Sack YouTube Channel
(One Entry) Check out my Essentials for Baby Guide and comment on that post.

Disclosure: I received a free HALO SwaddleSure Pouch to review.  

Want to have richer, fattier Breast Milk, Try this Hemp Milk Recipe with Mamalicious

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, I HIGHLY suggest adding Mamalicious to your daily routine.  This DELICIOUS protein shake is packed with vitamins and is very healthy!  I drank it throughout my pregnancy and I am continuing it now that I am breastfeeding.

Caleb is a TEENY baby.  We went through a little weight gain problem, with him around 6 weeks.  He was gaining, just VERY slow.  When I took him in for a weight check, the doctor was beginning to suggest formula thinking that he wasn’t getting enough fat from my milk.  I was not happy- as a mom that breastfed her first for a full year, I did not want to even think about formula for Caleb.  I asked him to give me a week to try to get him to put on more weight and reached out to @MyMamalicious on social media for some ideas and support.  She gave me the recipe for homemade hemp milk and due to my little guy having a dairy allergy she advised I switch over to the Vegan Mamalicious  since it is dairy-free.

They expedited shipping to get me the Vegan Mamalicious and I started it right away.  Between that and this hemp milk recipe, Caleb put on 9 OUNCES that week!  The doctor was in SHOCK and asked me what I did.  He said “good job mom, just keep doing what you are doing!”

Also- when I pumped, you could see the nice, rich fatty milk- so this definitely helps and was evident just by looking at the milk.

Hemp Milk Recipe

For those that have asked, here is the Hemp Milk Recipe (you may need to stop at your local health foods store- I was able to find everything at Cindy’s Health and Vitality if you are from the Mahoning Valley Area):

1 part hemp seed hearts
4-5 parts cold water
3TBS Lecithin
Salt to taste
Tsp Vanilla
Agave or Stevia (optional) to taste
Put in Vitamix and blend on high until smooth

Baby Boot Camp App by First Years

The First Years brand knows parenting can be exciting, messy, overwhelming and unpredictable.  Their new totally FREE Baby Boot Camp game takes some of your typical parenting activities – feeding, cleaning, soothing and potty training – and lets you have a little fun with them.

first years 1
Download The First Years Baby Boot Camp game now for FREE from the Apple App Store or Google Play.  

Baby Boot Camp

You’ll cycle through 4 short games – “Hungry Baby,” “Catch This,” “Sweet Silence” and “Potty Drop” – that will have you swiping, tilting and tapping to keep the babies happy. You can challenge other parents by sharing your score on Facebook, too!  What is cool is that the games progressively get harder as you cycle through on the game, for example, more colors of pacifiers on Sweet Silence and the baby falls faster on Potty Drop.

I was actually thinking this would be a fun game for an upcoming baby shower.  Bring your iPad with the game preloaded and have guests play eiher on their phones or on the iPad and see who gets the highest score.  It is like an instant baby shower game that doesn’t waste a ton of paper :-)

first years Check it out and have fun, but don’t get too addicted 😉

Disclosure: I received free products for promoting this App from First Years.

How to make SLIME!

Looking for a fun thing to do with your kids?  If you have boys– they will DEFINITELY love this one… Make your own SLIME!  This is SUPER Easy and requires ingredients that most people can find around their house.

Ingredients:
Metamucil with Psyllium Husk
Water
Pan
Spoon

For each cup of water, you will need 1 teaspoon of Metamucil.

1 Cup of Water= 1 Teaspoon of Metamucil
6 Cups of Water= 6 Teaspoons of Metamucil

Step 1: Add Water and Metamucil to the Pan and Stir
How to Make SlimeStep 2: Put pan on the Stove and bring to a boil.  Boil for 10 Minutes
slime
Step 3:  After 10 Minutes your slime should be nice and slimey.
Tip: If it isn’t slime enough, put it in the fridge.
Tip: If you want to play with it sooner, put it in the fridge.
SlimeThank you to my Sister, who is a daycare teacher for this idea.  She made it with her class :-)

Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express $1 Movies!

Summer Movie Express 1 Dollar Movies.ashx

I forgot to post about this so I apologize we are a few weeks in, but I wanted to share.  On Wednesdays at 10 AM Regal Cinemas will be showing 2 movies each week for $1.  You have your choice of which one you want to see and they do a good job with variety in the movies.

HINT:  I don’t know if all locations are doing this, but the Niles Regal is also showing the movies at 10 AM on TUESDAY… so if you want to see both movies for $1 each you can go on Tuesday AND Wednesday :-)

Here is the schedule:

  • Week 3 (June 24th)
    Paddington
    Turbo
  • Week 4 (July 1st)
    Rio 2
    How To Train Your Dragon 2
  • Week 5 (July 8th)
    Mr. Peabody & Sherman
    The Book of Life
  • Week 6 (July 15th)
    Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
    Penguins of Madagascar
  • Week 7 (July 22)
    Madagascar 3
    Dolphin Tale 2
  • Week 8 (July 29)
    Muppets Most Wanted
    Alexander and the Very Bad Day
  • Week 9 (August 5th)
    The Lego Movie
    The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water