Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Budgeting Blues

Normally, we spend between $900 - $1000 per month on all grocery/household/baby items.  We are attempting to cut this down to $700.  It is not easy, but here are a few things I have learned (through failure, mind you).

1.  Use the circulars. 
                  While we do not all have the time to be amazing coupon-ers (not sure if that is a word) it does help to go through the weekly circulars and make your plan.  Educate yourself.  Do not just go to the grocery store blindly not knowing if the store you are shopping at is indeed the best deal.

                  If I take the time to really go through sale ads, I am better educated on how to make my list for my weekly grocery trip.  When I do not take the time, I usually end up spending around $20 - $30 more than if I had spent an hour and a half or so really educating myself.

2.  Shop sale items.
                 I shop at my local Smith's and when they have a sale it can be amazing.  Other times, however, if I am not up to speed on various offers at competitor stores, I find myself making purchases that are not the best deal.  Often, if I just wait the items go on sale anyways.

3.  Go early!
                 This is something I just figured out.  The Smith's I shop at puts their sales/clearance items out daily...early in the morning.  One of the employees I bumped into said that she stops by there every morning to see what has been put out and many times the clearance items are gobbled up first thing in the morning before the rush.  I found foil pans on clearance...2 for $0.82!  Hello!   I bought four of them!  A week of not washing bake ware from dinner...Yes Please!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Riding in Cars with Pancakes

Life as a working mom is so BUSY!  Do you have to get to work early?  And somehow get the kids fed, dressed, and then to Safekey or a sitter so you can be at work by 8 or 9 a.m.?

This is so very, very difficult.  I lived this life for the last 11 years.  I always felt a little guilty for rushing my kids out the door so early.  Waking kids up at 6 a.m. and trying to get them ready for the day is no cake walk, my friend.  I'm sure you know and understand.

Let me share a little tip with you that I learned along the way. 

If you have to get your kid up and out the door inhumanely early in the morning and you don't want them eating junk food at the cafeteria, try giving them finger foods they can eat in the car on the way to your destination.

This really was a life saver for me for years.  I would buy the healthiest frozen pancakes I could find, put them in the microwave for 30 seconds in the morning, stick them in a to go baggie with some sliced banana (or other fruit) and viola! breakfast made by mom.  This way, your little one gets something nutritious in her belly to start the school day. 

Now, I am not a wild organic, everything prepared fresh kind of person.  I use my microwave.  In fact, it probably was the only kitchen appliance I used effectively to cook for many years.  This tip is for the busy mom who is just trying to get by in her already fast paced life and feel a little bit better about herself for sending her kids off for a long day with something good in her belly.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Blended Family Parents Unite!

Does anyone else out there struggle with blending your family?  You brought some crumb collectors, he brought some texting maniacs and together you have a love child that you hope the others will also accept and love?

These days, you would be hard pressed to find people who are not from or currently develoing a blended family.

We have one and let me tell you, it has been one crazy ride that I could not have done without my amazing husband.

But, I do have a couple of quick tips for those who are about to begin a blended family or are in the middle of one. 

Here is the first installment of my blended family series:


Now, what exactly does this mean?  Does this mean that the new parent should not discipline his spouse's kids?  Not precisely, but kinda', yeah.  (I'm telling this from my womanly point of view, so for male readers just flip "dad" to "mom".)

For discipline to happen effectively, a relationship must be formed first.  As a new parent (I say "new" instead of "step"), you must cultivate your friendship and bond with your new child before starting on your road of discipline.  There has to be a safety net to catch you and the child when the child becomes angry or upset with you.  This will happen!  It doesn't matter how good your kid is, eventually, the hurt of the past will come out and get directed toward the new parent.  Even more quickly if he is participating in doling out the punishment. 

Ok, you might be wondering what you do?  You will need to play bad cop just a little bit longer while the family is gelling.  I know you were probably so excited to have someone help out with the discipline or just be there as your partner when you're dealing with a moody teenager or other aged child, but this will help your family in the long run.

In our house, we have been married almost four years now and my husband has made small steps in the discipline process. 

I have maintained and issued most of the consequences for my kids, which can be draining.  You know!

However, the relationship my kids have with him and how they call him "dad" not because they have to but because they have fallen in love with him and want to is priceless and well worth it.  They have never said "You can't do that, you're not my real dad!" 

He took the time and had to bite his tongue many, many times but the payoff is we have blended a little bit better than many families I have heard of and the kids genuinely love him and accept his guidance. 


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Mobile Apps Help Prevent Car Accidents

Las Vegas, NV January 9th, 2013 — While professional problem solvers around the world have been searching for a way to help bring the number of car accidents per day lower, scriptMicro has decided to tackle this issue from the opposite side of the field. Most do gooders and solution finders focus on the drivers to help prevent car accidents. But what about the passengers in the car who pepper the driver with seemingly insignificant questions that all too often lead to the driver taking their eyes off the road to give a grunt, high five, or a distracted nod?

scriptMicro believes in helping people and keeping them safe while driving. This led them to create Coin Quiz.

Coin Quiz is an educational mobile app that will keep those pesky backseat drivers from asking the age old question of “are we there yet” and help the driver stay focused on getting to the destination safely.

scriptMicro believes in bribery. You know you want to drive peacefully and just sing along to your favorite TLC song from the 90’s but the kids keep changing the station. What to do? Let those kiddos know they can play Coin Quiz on your Android, I-phone, or tablet while you drive. That’ll keep them quiet.

scriptMicro loves puppies and kittens and saving the world one mobile app at a time.

Kids with Mobile Apps Help Prevent Forest Fires

Kids with Mobile Apps Help Prevent Forest Fires


Do your part to help save the forests and prevent forest fires by purchasing Coin Quiz for your kid’s mobile device. 

How will buying this amazing educational app for your kids help prevent forest fires?  Glad you asked.  Buckle up, here we go.

You are a smart parent looking to enrich your student’s life and so purchase educational mobile apps along with the crazy animal, face distorter, and you name it you can make it games.

So, your kid starts playing indoors with the cornucopia of games available at the tip of his fingers and even practices the educational apps.

No longer do you need to worry about little Timmy wandering too far and getting lost.  Timmy doesn’t even go outside. 

If Timmy doesn’t go outside, he’s not meeting with his buddies while they are daring each other to try and start a fire with an old gym sock and matches pilfered from your junk drawer.

Friends who don’t meet in the forest with your decade old matches can’t start forest fires.

Breathe deep, my friend, that’s fresh air you’re breathing and you helped make it happen.


Do your part to save the forests and buy Coin Quiz on Amazon, Itunes, or Google Play today.


*Information presented is not factual and really is just a hunch that is not intended to be taken seriously.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Coin Quiz is out!

Well, the hubby did it again. 

This time he has created Coin QuizThis application for mobile devices such as kindle, other tablets, or smart phone is amazing.  He has really put a lot of effort and creativity into this, so I hope you will check it out.  If you like, check it out on you tube: Coin Quiz You Tube video

I have found that I really like the ease that mobile applications bring to learners of all ages. 

The other day, I was at the pediatrician's office and I slipped out the kindle and entertained my 1 year old little girl for the 45 mins it took for us to get called in.  There are two things I really like about this.  1)  She is learning, engaged, and (thank you, God, quiet); 2) I look like a good mom by having her interact with an educational application instead of just watching cartoons.  (My mental score board goes up one point and I feel good!)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tips for Flash Card Users

     If you don't know how to use or make flash cards, check out Grace Fleming's article.  She has composed a "how to" for flash cards that is very efficient and inexpensive.

     But like me, you might be concerned whether or not your child is actually practicing the flash cards.  If this is you, I have a tip.

Tip #1:  Take a Sample

      This is a trick that many educators use to help discern whether or not a student understands the concept presented and also saves the grader a ton of time.

     When your student is done practicing the flash cards for the allotted time, take the flash cards, shuffle them up, and test the student on a handful of them.  This way, as a working parent you save the time of going through all of the flash cards and have the satisfaction that you are, indeed, helping further your child's education. 

     If you are using a flash card application like Math Pro or Coins in A Flash you don't have to do any shuffling.  It's already done for you!  The great thing about this is the application itself already presents random math problems for your student to figure out.