Green Road Trip Ideas for Frugal Family Fun!

I learned many years ago that a green road trip can be both frugal and a ton of fun. We travel by car fairly often...the grandparents all live far away and they like to see their grand kids occasionally.  I look forward to these drives about as much as I look forward to my yearly OB exam.  Days of being cooped up with the kids and nowhere to hide!  To top it all off we usually end up eating fast food, getting leg cramps and headaches, and arrive at our destination with a less than stellar attitude about the whole trip.  I know we should be … [Read more...]

Green and Healthy Picnic Ideas for Summer

Today is my kids last day of school and I am torn between excitement and dread for the coming months.  I love those kids like you would not believe but two teenagers at home all day every day is enough to stress out any mom!  I find that the key to maintaining my sanity over the summer is two fold.  Keep them well fed and get out of the house occasionally.  Both of those things can be accomplished by taking a picnic basket to the park.  You think teens don't like parks?  HAH!  We take scooters and skate boards and watch the dogs at the dog park … [Read more...]

5 Things Your Daughter Should Know About Her Period

I am sharing these things your daughter should know as part of a Playtex® Sport®  sponsored campaign for Socialstars #PlaytexSportSquad. As a child, my daughter was obsessed with babies.  She wanted to know how she could get one for herself.  Why does that 16 year old girl at church have one and she can't?  If she asks Santa, will he leave her one under the Christmas tree?  She was intent on figuring out how we could get a new baby.  *I* can honestly say that there was no way in heck I wanted one of those little buggers in my life again!  … [Read more...]

Keeping Teens Active for Better Health

I’m sharing these tips for keeping teens active thanks to Playtex® Sport® as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #PlaytexSportSquad. All opinions are my own. I remember back many years ago when my children were young.  There were days I was exhausted just from chasing them up and down stairs all day.  Weeks went by where all I did was watch them run in and out of the back door. I seriously considered putting in a revolving door so I could stop yelling at them about slamming the darn thing over and over again.  They were incredibly … [Read more...]

Setting Financial Goals to ensure Retirement Security #RetireHappyNow

My husband and I have always been goal oriented people.  Within a year of dating, we knew we wanted to get married and started planning the 'where, when and how' of making it happen.  We both wanted to have our children while we were still young so we set a goal of 2 children before I turned 30.  We bought our first house with the understanding that it was a 5 year ownership before we upsized to something in a better school district.  And we have a very firm retirement security plan because our goal is to retire by the time my husband is 58 (in … [Read more...]

What to Put in Military Care Packages #BICMerryMarking #DeepSeaBlue

When I was little, my father was in the Naval Reserves.  I have fond memories of him in his shiny black shoes and spiffy white hat.  I was too young to understand much about war or what military men and women were dedicating themselves to.  As an adult, I have a better understanding of the sacrifices of these brave men and woman.  They dedicate so much of their lives to protecting and serving our nation and that commitment doesn't get to take a Christmas vacation.  One of the service projects that our church participates in is putting together … [Read more...]

How to Provide Natural Immune Support for Your Family

This post about Natural Immune Support is part of  an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Zarbee’s Naturals. I received a product and a promotional item to thank me for participating. The moment my kids go back to school in September we start having to worry about what sort of germs they will be bringing home with them.  Even as teenagers they frequently catch colds and other nasty things from their peers.  Those school buses are a cesspool of infestation! Germs are everywhere and I don't really worry about sterilizing … [Read more...]

8 Things We Need to Teach our Kids about Food

This post about things we need to teach our kids has been sponsored but all opinions expressed here are my own. Last week I took my children to the grocery store to shop for a church service project. The goal was to provide a Thanksgiving Day feast in a box for our local food pantry. We were provided a list of items that we were to buy so there was really no creativity or substitution allowed. As expected, the list of foods contained things like 'instant potatoes' and 'canned gravy'.  My daughter asked why we were buying all these processed … [Read more...]

Tune in to Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage Tournament

This post about Cutthroat Kitchen has been sponsored but all opinions expressed are my own. My husband and I love to watch the Food Network together and there are always great cooking shows on for us to watch.  We enjoy seeing hosts travel to far off lands to eat exotic foods, cook mainstream favorites in their own kitchen, and compete against each other in a brutal cooking competition.  One of our favorite TV food personalities has always been Alton Brown. We even have a few cookbooks of his and they have some great recipes in them!  Last … [Read more...]

Your Back to School List Should Include Identity Theft Protection #LifeLockUltimatePlus

This back to school discussion has been sponsored by LifeLock but all opinions expressed here are my own. Every year before my kids go back to school I have to register them with the county at the school they will be attending.  I have no idea WHY I have to reregister them every single year but I do and it is a huge pain in the neck.  I go online to the school's website and have to fill out a ridiculously long online form with all the required data.  This year as I was filling out the back to school form I came across a question I don't … [Read more...]

Genealogy Tips: How to Start Researching Your Family Tree #surnameproject

These genealogy tips are brought to you by but all opinions expressed here are my own. When I was young my father discovered the joys of genealogy.  What did that mean for me?  It meant that we went to every family reunion armed with paper and pencil to interview everyone that was willing to talk to him.  It mean that we spent a LOT of time wandering around old grave sites and doing rubbings and taking photos.  It meant that the basement started to gather a huge collection of old books and an impressive photography setup.  Dad … [Read more...]

Credit monitoring is not the same as identity theft protection! #LifeLocksafety

I am a LifeLock Ambassador and this identity theft post has been sponsored but all opinions expressed here are my own. Last month I wrote about my experience with identity theft.  Someone had used my personal information to open a fake bank account and bounced a $300 check.  I was shocked!  A business had disposed of my personal information incorrectly and as a result, I ended up with a huge hassle to deal with!  If I had identity theft protection at the time, I would have known the moment that account was opened!  While credit monitoring is … [Read more...]

Silver Turtles, Kids in the Kitchen and a Lesson in Patience

My children are in their early teens and as part of their 'summer chores' I decided that they needed to learn how to cook.  My daughter is very good in the kitchen, although she definitely prefers to make sweets and not actual dinner.  Unless she is going to live on cake for the rest of her life, that  needs to change.  My son would happily live on 'ready to eat' food.  That may include bagels (raw...because toasting is too much work), cheese sticks (because slicing actual cheese is too much work), and fruit that does not require cutting or … [Read more...]

Identity Theft is One Hassle I Could Live Without! #LifeLockProtect

This post about identity theft has been sponsored by LifeLock and Find Your Influence but all opinions expressed are my own. #LifeLockProtect I like to think that I am very careful with my personal information.  I work in the medical field so I know all about the importance of protecting personal information!  I shred important documents, shop only on secure websites, and cut up old credit cards into miniscule little pieces.  However, sometimes identity theft is completely out of our control.  When a business disposes of our private … [Read more...]

Making a Bucket List for Long Term Goals #BufferinBucketList

I have always been a list making sort of girl. I make lists for the grocery store, lists of errands I need to run, and lists of things I want to accomplish for my blogs. Lists keep me organized, on task and help me achieve goals or just manage to make it through the grocery store without forgetting anything. Imagine my surprise when I got asked to make a bucket list for Bufferin and realized I have never made a bucket list! ME! The queen of list making has no list for long term goals I would like to achieve before I die. I find that completely … [Read more...]

The Best Holiday Gifts: Food, Family and Financial Security #GenworthUSA

This discussion about the best holiday gifts has been brought to you by Genworth and Brandfluential  but all opinions expressed here are my own. The holidays are a special time of year and while I am often caught up in the chaos of shopping and baking I try to never forget the reason for the season. I have never been the type of person to ask for diamonds and fancy coats for Christmas.  I don't need a Lexus tied up in a bow or a trip to some exotic island.  Okay, the exotic island sounds like fun but only if I can climb volcanoes and dine with … [Read more...]

The Importance of Family Traditions and the Welch’s #sharewhatsgood Photo Contest

This family traditions post is part of a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Welch's. I received product samples to facilitate my review, and a promotional item as a thank you for participating. Family traditions are a great way to make memories that your children will keep for a lifetime.  They don't have to be complicated....sitting down to dinner every night can be a family tradition all by itself.  Wikipedia defines family traditions as a collection of attitudes and ideas that a person inherits from his/her parents and … [Read more...]

Tips for a Successful Family Dinner and McCain Potato Contest

This family dinner post is sponsored by McCain Potatoes and Mom Central but all opinions expressed here are my own. Growing up many years ago, family dinner was very important in my house.  My dad didn't get home til after 6 but we always sat down to eat dinner together.  You did not answer the phone, read a book, listen to the radio or get distracted by anything else during the family dinner.  You ate and you talked to your family.  Fast forward 30 years and now I am just as adamant about the sanctity of the family dinner as my mom and dad … [Read more...]

Long Distance Care Giving for Elderly Parents #GenworthUSA

This discussion about long distance care giving is brought to you by Genworth Financial and Brandfluential but all opinions expressed are my own. My grandmother is 93 years old and up until a few years ago she was quite active and independent.  She was the type of grandmother who went on trips to the casino rather than baking cookies and had loads of energy.  Age and 2 broken hips have slowed her down quite a bit and last year my parents finally had to make the decision to put her in a nursing home.  It was a hard decision for them to make, … [Read more...]