35+ Connection Boosting Questions for Families

Looking for ways to up your connection with the members in your household? We’ve got you! Check out these 35+ questions to keep conversations going and help your family build a stronger connection!

How often do we find ourselves gathered around the dinner table asking each other the same old question “How was your day?” which is usually followed by a simple “good” or “okay”? Every night, right? Guilty here!

As much as we’d like to improve conversations and build a stronger connection with our children and spouses, i’ll admit, it’s downright complicated! Usually, by dinnertime, your mind is winding down from the entire day and the last thing you can do is pull out a creative question or topic discussion from the top of your head. But, you can pull some out of your pocket. That’s where we come in!

Of course, you won’t be asking the same old questions day after day. That’s just the opposite of what we’re trying to accomplish. This is the most perfect collection of questions for learning about each other’s personalities, not only because they are on a deeper level, but also because the answers given may change frequently. These questions can also get them thinking creatively themselves!

Ask about their goals and plans:

What is something you’re excited for this week?

If you could save up enough money for just one thing, what would it be?

What is something you’d like to do, but can’t yet?

What do you think you’ll be doing in 10 years?

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?

What is your dream job?

If you could spend a whole day to yourself, what would you do?

Sparking a conversation about goals an aspirations can help you show your support and guide them into working towards them.

Just for fun questions:

If you could learn how to make any recipe, what would you make?

What is your current favorite song?

If you could vacation anywhere, where would it be?

If you could be anyone in this world for one day, who would you be, and why?

What is the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?

If you had a restaurant, what would be on the menu?

If a genie granted you 3 wishes, what would you wish for?

These questions will make them think and help build creativity as they come up with distinctive questions, which again, will change with time!

Things going on around you

What have you learned today?

Did you talk to any friends today?

Did you enjoy the weather today?

What have you daydreamed about today?

What was your favorite part about the day?

Did you see anything out of the ordinary today?

Learn about the specifics of their day and how things went through their perspective.

Would you rather questions

Would you rather go to a pool or play in the snow?

Would you rather be 5 years older, or 5 years younger?

Would you rather eat an entire onion or an entire lemon?

Would you rather take an art class or a music class?

Would you rather have super strength or super speed? Why?

Would you rather live in a tee pee or an igloo?

Would you rather ride in a helicopter or a hot air balloon?

Would you rather questions can be super simple and yet super inventive at the same time. The answers can typically distinguish fun personality traits you may not have known about that person (artistic, likes cooler weather).

Write these down and next time you find yourself at the table without much to say, pop out a few questions from this list!

Let us know what you think below!

National Pi Day Deals 2020 – March 14th

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National Pi Day is March 14th (3.14). Let’s Celebrate with some YUMMY Deals!

7-Eleven: Download the 7Rewards app to get coupons with scan-able bar codes redeemable for one slice of pizza for 50 cents; and up to two whole pizzas for ONLY $3.14 each.

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse: Dine-In Orders only: Get one-topping mini pizzas for just $3.14!

Blaze Pizza: $3.14 Download the Blaze Pizza app to redeem . Limit one per person.

Boston Market: Get a Free Pot Pie when you purchase another Pot Pie and a drink!

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen: Also offering a “Pie One Get One” special on pot pies. Just ask about the special in-store or when you place a to-go order!

Pizza Hut: Get Large pizzas up to 3 toppings for only $7.99 each when you order online and pick up at the store.

Kroger: Kroger brand Fruit, pumpkin, sweet potato, and sugar-free pies are just $3.14 in store.

Papa John’s: BOGO Pizzas at Papa Johns! Be sure to order online to receive the discount code.

Stop & Shop: 8″ pumpkin and apple pies are just $3.14!

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‘Happy Pi Day to You’ – Children’s Book $6.00 on Amazon

“Cleaner” Safe Cleaning Products

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Did you know? There’s no legal requirements for ingredient labeling on household cleaning products? That means that the companies that provide these cleaning products aren’t required to list harmful chemicals included in their products or even state that they are harmful towards you or the environment.

In recent years, many people have researched how harmful some cleaning products and it’s ingredients actually are, and it’s actually worth take a deep looking in to.

People all around the world are starting to become more conscious and it’s becoming a trend to adapt a “greener” way of cleaning.

A few green cleaning options are:

 

Truman’s

Truman’s is one of the only companies that isn’t only dedicated to bring you safe and non-toxic home cleaners, BUT they are also saving the earth, one plastic bottle at a time.

Truman’s offers a starter kit for $22 ($15 with a subscription) which includes 4 reusable bottles and all the cleaners you need including a Floor Cleaner, Window Cleaner, Shower Cleaner, and All Purpose Cleaner – all of which are toxin free and ammonia free! Don’t worry, a subscription is not required, you can choose to only purchase refills, which are like cartridges for your bottles, as you need them. Refills are just $3.75 and always free shipping!

Truman’s refills significantly reduce plastic waste, and they’re recyclable, which highly reduces plastic waste vs. cleaners from the grocery store.

Truman’s is proud to be a 5 Star company Made in the USA with thousands of satisfied customers! Check them out here.

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Truman’s Starter Kit

Method

Method is a well-known brand that is currently available in select stores throughout the U.S.A. Many of their products are also available on Vitacost.com.

They currently offer a wide variety of household cleaners including laundry detergent, dish soap, hand soap, all-purpose cleaners, and more. Method focuses on using safe and effective ingredients, preservatives, colorants, and fragrances, so there’s less worry for the customer!

You can find a $1.00 off coupon towards any Method brand product on their website at methodhome.com

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Method All-Purpose Cleaner

Mrs. Meyers

Mrs. Meyers mainly produces cruelty-free laundry detergent, air fresheners, hand and body care, and household cleaners. The scents are garden inspired made with essential oils and other thoughtfully chosen ingredients.

This company is another great choice if you’re looking to cut down on plastic waste. The packaging is all recyclable and they use less pumps and caps.

Mrs. Meyers was formed by a conscious mother of 9.

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Mrs. Meyer’s Cleaning Products

 

DIY Recipes –

Vinegar  – Vinegar is well known for it’s strong smell, and it’s heavy duty cleaning strength.  Many use vinegar to wipe filthy surfaces and to get rid of disgusting smells. However, vinegar is not a registered disinfectant and does not kill dangerous bacteria like staphylococcus.

Borax – Borax has been used as a cleaning product for quite some time. Along with detracting insects such as ants, it can also rid of mold, mildew, and stains. Many use borax with their laundry detergent.

Essential oils – Love air fresheners and candles? Try boiling some water and adding essential oils for a fresh smell. You can even add these to your homemade cleaners. Earth Element’s Organics has a great selection of organic essential oils including medicinal herbal oils also!

Castile Soap – This product can be used for so many things including shampoo, body wash, hand soap, laundry detergent, surface spray, and more. You can purchase them in bars, melt them down, and make your own creation.

It is always best to be mindful and check the ingredients label on basically anything you consume and ask yourself a few questions. Is this safe for my home and the people around me? Is it non-toxic? Does it fit into my lifestyle?

Do what works best for you and your family!

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How to Budget for Beginners : Step by Step

FOR BEGINNERS

Did you know that only 41% of Americans are likely to use a budget.  Many of which actually admit to not knowing how to even begin to budget their finances. It’s a simple task once you get the hang of it. But, it does take work.

Budgeting isn’t just for those who are sparse on cash, many wealthy people budget their finances as well! Budgeting not only helps you prepare for mishaps or everyday spending, but it also keeps you and your income on track.

If you’re looking for a simple way to get started with budgeting, we’re here to share with you our easiest method to get anyone on board. It only takes 4 simple steps! All you need is a pen and paper!

This is a monthly budgeting plan – but you can also replace with weekly or bi-weekly! (Picture below for visual purposes)

  1. Income – Make a list of every stream of income you have coming in for the entire month. This includes job wages, sales commissions, tips, – and any cash that you normally use towards your everyday expenses.

2. Bills – The very first step to not only having good credit, but also having a peace of mind, is paying bills first. This includes rent/mortgage, gas, electric, water, insurance, phone, internet, hospital, student loans, and credit card bills. After all, many of these are a necessity and/or help us with day to day tasks! List all bills you pay throughout the month, along with the amount.

3. Subtract – Now that you have all your bills listed, subtract them from your income. Bills are usually between 40%-70% of our income, the lower the better. Your total bills should never be more than your income, so you should typically have a good remainder.

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4. Allot – This is where the actual budgeting comes in. On a daily basis we spend money on everyday expenses like gas for driving or dinner out with friends. These expenses are exactly what budgeting is for – so we don’t go overboard. Separate your expenses into categories and jot them down, then organize them by priority (not amount). Your basic category list may end up looking similar to this::

Savings:

Groceries:

Gas:

Fun:

Out to Eat:

Miscellaneous:

You may notice that we have savings listed first. You may have it last on your list, or even in the middle. I was always taught that savings are priority after bills because they go towards your future and your goals. Whether you’re only saving $5 or $500 for the month, you’ll always have a comfort in knowing you have money set aside.

Groceries are next, as of course, we all need to eat. Gas for driving back and forth to school/work. The fun budget is allotted for things like movie or concert tickets, basically any leisurely activity you may spend time doing throughout the month. We do have a budget for going out to eat on days that we are short on time for cooking, or for birthdays and special occasions.

Many people forget to include a miscellaneous category– which almost always is the missing link when it comes to sticking to budget. Any expense or item that doesn’t fall into the other categories will be considered part of the miscellaneous category. This may include trips to the nail or hair salon, shoes, clothes, wine/beer, oil changes, birthday/anniversary gifts, and even furniture.

Set a specific amount for each of the above categories and dispense money to each using the envelope or jar system. Consider diving the amount into 4, (for each week per month)  so you can have a set amount to set aside each week. This way you’ll have cash ready when you need it.

As you can see above, we ended up with an amount left over after bills and expenses. We call this the remainder. Many people like to use this amount as paying off debts, saving for vacations or children’s college, or put towards an investment. Whatever you decide, put your money to work!

Remember, the main idea of having a budget is so that we can train ourselves to live inside our means, and know our limits on what we can/should spend. Personally, budgeting has kept me on track and has enabled me to meet many financial goals. There are many different ways to budget out there, but I have found this to be the simplest – and most successful – for me!

More tips, info, or tricks? Did this work for you? Let us know what you think below!

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8 Ways to Earn Extra Cash as a Student

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Between being a college student and having to work either a full time or a part time job only to support yourself, life can easily become tiring and still leave you scrounging for cash. We know it’s hard – and you’ve got bills to pay. Here’s a few  ways you can boost your income without forfeiting all your remaining energy!

Grocery Shopping for Others – After school or on the weekends.. Companies like Instacart have made it easy to sign up to become a Grocery Shopper AND choose your own hours. You simply go to the grocery store and shop the provided list on the app, and deliver the order. The pay per order can range anywhere from $8-$40 (depending on your area and customer tip). Instacart pays out straight to your bank account weekly. Don’t worry, they send you everything you need to start. For more info, visit the Instacart sign up page here.

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Sell T-Shirts for School Activities –  Does your school have a ton of clubs, sports, or community events? Why not use this opportunity to make a little extra cash by selling personalized graphic tee’s? Not only will Jem’s Apparel allow you to upload your own graphics onto a T-shirt, but they also allow you to make up to 35% commission on all your shirts sold! Simply sign up to become a Jem’s Apparel Affiliate here and start selling today. — You’ll immediately have access to the affiliate dashboard and earn 25% commission all their products too! (Affiliate enrollment is only $5)

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Pick up a Gig Delivering Food – Online ordering has grown 300 percent since 2015, so it’s no wondering that 31% of Americans claim that they order food deliver at least 1-2 times per week. This leaves the Food Delivery companies booming for business – and needing more drivers. Third-party companies like DoorDash, UberEats, and Grubhub will pay you to pick up food from local restaurants and deliver them to customers, you can even collect tips! You can even choose your own schedule and orders, plus, they’ll provide you with all the necessities. Sign up for DoorDash here and earn an extra $100 after your first delivery.

Get Cash Back – With all the the rewards and cash back programs available these days, you can ultimately receive cash back at nearly any store you shop!  If you’re a big online shopper, don’t worry, there’s cash back for that too! Rakuten offers cash back at nearly 1000’s of stores, and they now offer In-store cash back, where you can link any credit or debit card and voila! Rakuten offers cash back at stores like Walmart, Bath & Body Works, Groupon, Gap, and SO much more! Join Rakuten and earn an extra $10 here.

Use Your Following – Got a lot of friends or followers on social media? Put that social status to use and start earning! Work with brands and companies you love to help sell their products. Many people do this by taking nice pictures and rave about their favorite items on social media. Brands like Goli, Kinder Beauty, and Official Burrito Blanket have designed free Affiliate programs so you can easily share links and earn commission. Some brands may even pay you up front in exchange for a photo if you contact them with all the deets.

Flip Items – We’ve all heard about it, but is it actually possible? The answer is Yes! You can find tons of valuable items for dirt cheap at garage sales, thrift stores or craigslist and turn around to sell them on websites like Ebay, or Mercari for bigger bucks! Do your research and check the value on items before you buy, so you’ll know whether that item is worth it or if you should pass. High ticket items are usually a big part in nostalgia like beanie babies or board games. But, you can even flip a pair of Nike’s for a great price, too! Sign up for Mercari and get a $10 bonus here!

Take Beautiful Photos – Have a knack for awesome photos? Consider being a professional photographer! Many websites like Shutter Stock or Adobe Stock offer platforms for you to sell your photos to paying customers- who will use them for ads, websites, & more!

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Sell your Knowledge – Have an expertise on a specific subject? Great at playing the viola? Know how to create glamorous digital content? Offer tutoring sessions with a peer, music lessons to a family friend, or even help to a small business with digital marketing. Find a local community group on Facebook and create a post describing what you have to offer. If you’re leaning more on the technical side, Fiverr is a great app to get started to earn extra cash. You can post your expertise, what you offer (video creating, blog posting, even podcast shoutouts), and how much you’re charging for that task. People from all around the world will be able to connect with you and you’ll receive your payment safely through the Fiverr app after the work is complete.

 

What are your favorite ways to earn extra cash or save money? Tell us below what you think!

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12 New Year Traditions – for the whole Family

Second to Christmas, New Year’s is the most busiest time of year. With all the after Christmas rush, vacation traveling, and shopping, on top of getting ready for the New Year and the party to come!

There are many ways people around the world celebrate NYE. -many of which include many non-kid-friendly activities. But, who says the kid’s shouldn’t be included in the festivities? Here are the 12 BEST Kid-Friendly NYE Traditions to ring in the New Year with the whole family!

  • Ball Drop – The NYE Classic Ball Drop has been happening since 1907. The NYE Ball – also known as the Time’s Square Ball may be located in New York, but the Ball Drop and celebration is broadcast live on FOX. The show begins at 6PM with live performances. If you’re looking for something that accommodates an early bedtime and a little more kid-friendly, YouTube has many countdown shows to go along with. Best part is.. you (or they) don’t have to wait until midnight!
  • Board Games – Board games are back in and kids love them! – Don’t pull out the Monopoly just yet. There’s plenty of kid approved games that YOU will love too. Try new games like “Throw Throw Burrito” or “Don’t Make Me Laugh”. Matching games and puzzles are a sure win for the younger ones.
  • Dance Party – Who doesn’t love to dance? Create a playlist, stream YouTube or Spotify, or just throw in a your favorite CD. However you jam, make it fun. Have a dance competition to see who can last the longest. Be sure to throw in the Electric Slide and Macarena!
  • Make Goals for the Year – What better way to get a head start on the New Year than to create goals? What are some things you wish you would have done this year but didn’t? (Doesn’t necessarily have to be work or school related) Go to the state fair? Go visit Uncle James out of state? Whatever it is, get the whole family involved and let each person come up with something.
  • Photo Album – Gather up all your photos from the past year and turn them into an album or scrapbook. Make it fun and add stickers, and phrases! Don’t worry, if most of your photos are on your computer or phone, Walgreen’s makes it easy to turn them into prints! Simply download the app, select photos and print! Most locations even offer prints within 1 hour!
  • Bake Something New – Cake Pops, Oreo Balls, Candy Bar Pie. There are so many one-of-a-kind desserts and dishes you can create by just “throwing” things together. Make memories in the kitchen and teach your kids some cooking skills while you’re at it. Try a new concoction – it may or may not taste great, but hey, at least you had fun making it!
  • Brighten Someone’s Day – Some where out there, someone got stuck working New Year’s Eve. Put together a small gift (candle, card, lotion), or re-gift something you may not use. Visit a local restaurant or grocery store that you know is open and give a small gift to an employee. It’s a small gesture that is sure to put a smile on someone’s face!
  • Take the Christmas Tree Down – There’s no law that states the tree has to come down immediately after Christmas. Taking down the Christmas Tree can become a family event just as putting it up was. Have each person take their ornaments off and wrap them neatly. Enjoy some hot cocoa and Christmas music while you’re at it. After all, you’ve got a whole night ahead of you!
  • NYE Movies – Some of my greatest memories on NYE as a child were watching Zenon and the all Zequals until what felt like mid morning. (It was probably only 10PM, but still) Disney movies bring such a good vibe to the setting and if you haven’t gotten Disney+ already.. Now’s the time! Plans start at just $6.99/mo. There are SO many (nostalgic) movies and shows available! Trust me, you’ll ALL love it!
  • Sleepover – What better way to celebrate the new year than with the ones you love? Invite close friends or family to spend the night. Let them join in on all the festivities with you.
  • Plan out the Year – Well..not the ENTIRE year! Pick up a calendar for the next year and sit down and write each birthday, anniversary or important date you’d like to remember. Even add events like the county fair or concerts that you’d like to attend. This will not only save you time planning for things, but it will also prepare you if you need to save up money for gifts or tickets!
  • Say Goodbye to Old Items – New year celebration is about closing a chapter in our book and opening another. Some of us make resolutions to say goodbye to old habits, so why not do the same with items? Make it a resolution to de-clutter this NYE by gathering up items that don’t bring you joy. This will bring in more room for happiness in the year to come.

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Top 10 Gifts that Keep Giving in 2020

Top Gifts

It’s that time of year again. The time where we spend almost 2 months (sometimes more) shopping for that perfect gift for the ones we love, just to find out months later, it wasn’t really that perfect. I myself am guilty of receiving gifts that I have no intention of ever using. It’s common, some things just don’t fit in our lives or lifestyle. This year, I’ve opted into not gifting common “junk” items, but gifting actually useful items that will continue to give by getting daily use or creating a life-long memory.

Remember, there’s no law stating that you have to gift material items. Yes, the (younger) kids might usually not see the actual meaning in this. But, you have to remember that “It’s the thought that counts, AND the memory that lasts”.

On the other hand, I have been gifted some amazing gifts in the past few years that I actually still continue to use that I’ll be adding to the list! They are for sure a win!

Whether you’re shopping for a relative, friend, or even coworker, these gifts are sure to continue to impress! Let’s Begin.

#1 – Local Amusement Season Pass –

Whether you live in a big city or a small town, there’s usually always some kind of amusement facility – and they more than likely offer season passes! Season passes are perfect because they’ll get unlimited visits (and fun) for an entire year! Between amusement parks, zoos skating rinks, recreation centers, trampoline parks, or even museums, there’s lots to choose from! Many places even offer discounts on season passes this time of year because of the “slower” season. Depending on which you choose, the prices will definitely vary. Amusement Parks like Six Flags or Silver Dollar City may range from $75 – $250 for the entire year, while museums or zoos can range from $20-$150.

Water Park season passes make great gifts, too!

 

#2 – Activity/Lessons at the Rec Center –

Check out your local Gym, Recreation or Sports center. Many offer different variations of Yoga, Dance, Art class, or even Horseback Riding lessons. Whatever you may choose, your gift receiver will definitely appreciate the though and the time out to socialize!

#3 – Small Getaway or a Staycation –

Who says vacations have to be expensive? Plan a small weekend getaway in a nearby city or a simple weekend at home with all the extras – dinner, movie, drinks, games, self care kit, etc. – so they won’t even have to leave the house.. staycation at it’s best! Check out Groupon for some great deals on attractions, restaurants, and even hotels in cities near you!

#4 – Landmark at a Museum or Local Treasure –

Do you ever walk down a sidewalk downtown and notice an entire pathway of bricks with names on them? It’s not just for famous people! Visit a local library, zoo, or museum to see if they have any spots open for a name. Usually, depending on the area, 1 brick could cost around $40-$50, some even just take donations! This is a gift that lasts a lifetime. Just think, every time they visit the zoo, they will stop at that spot, find their name, and feel so special!

#5 – Concert or Event Tickets –

Who doesn’t love going to live events? With all the new events like Monster Trucks, Sesame Street Live, WWE, Renaissance Fairs, even concerts involving your favorite band or artist! You’ll be able to find tickets for all ages and they’ll be sure to love the experience and fun! Again.. make sure you check out Groupon first! Sometimes they have awesome deals on tickets!

#6 – Amazon Alexa Show –

I received a my first Alexa as a gift 2 years ago (which is still in GREAT standing btw) and I soon found out it was a gift I never knew I needed. Not only does Alexa answer your simple everyday questions like “what time is it?” or “what’s the weather today?”, BUT you can also play your favorite music, games, go shopping, call your friends and family, hear amazing news and facts, listen to her corny jokes, and so much more! She even reads bedtime stories! Another great reason to gift an Alexa is for home security. If you’re looking at the Alexa shows, they have a built in camera which only you (or others only IF you choose) can drop in on when necessary. You can even sync your Alexa with some of your favorite home security devices, or Alexa plug in outlets – which can turn lights on and off when you ask Alexa. There are endless possibilities with an Alexa device and it’s sure to continue to give throughout the years!

#7 – Robot Vacuum –

The average family spends over 50 hours a year vacuuming. That’s more than an entire 2 DAYS! Imagine, not having to plan when to vacuum or who’s chore it is this week. Robot vacuums are perfect for this. Simply set the timer and settings, and it does all the work for you. Some even have mopping capability! These are perfect gifts for anybody, imagine how much time you’ll save them in the future! Many of them last for years – we’ve had ours for going on 6 years. My favorite is this EcoVacs DeepBot which has max power suction and up to 110 minute run time!

#8 – Ancestry DNA Test –

If you haven’t yet heard of the Ancestry DNA test, you’re missing out! It’s so easy, they send you a DNA kit with all the info and instructions – which can be easily wrapped and gifted – the recipient mails the saliva samples with the prepaid shipping label, and within weeks they’ll receive the results. These make great gifts for anyone wanting to learn more about their background. Not only would they learn their origins and ethnicity, but Ancestry DNA matches DNA with others – possibly finding long lost relatives. They’ll also receive historical and geographical insights on past relatives! Sign up and save 15% on your DNA kit here!

#9 – Photo Album –

Taken a family trip or friends-cation in the past year? Gather all your photos up and display them in a well-put together photo album! Whether it’s a simple flip book with replaceable photos or a pre-made album that you made digitally, Walgreen’s has you covered. You can print photos for a great price, or you can usually find a great price on photo albums this time of year. You can add text, choose your pictures and sizes, and pick your colors and designs while making these memorable gifts!

#10 Cast Iron Skillet Set –

Seem a bit cliche to get your aunt another kitchen accessory? Trust me, this is not the case. People have been using cast iron for decades, and when I say decades I mean they LAST for decades! There are so many benefits to using cast iron skillets aside from the fact that they are so durable and easy to clean! It is best to get something pre-seasoned and around 8″ to 10″ because they can be used to cook practically anything! This 2-Piece Skillet Set is perfect because it comes with heat resistant holders for each skillet! And yes, they are induction safe also!

What are your favorite non-traditional gifts to give? Comment below and let us know!

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8 MUST DO Thanksgiving Traditions for the entire Family!

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8 *Must-Do* Thanksgiving Traditions

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Ahhh, the Holidays! Many of us have a love hate relationship with the majority of the holidays as they tend to be frantic with all the shopping, traveling, cooking, and not to mention cleaning up afterwards. Sometimes we get so stuck in the rush and forget what the holidays are all about – bringing family together. What better way to celebrate togetherness than to create a tradition?

Thanksgiving at my house mostly starts off as a calm day . I begin preparing food and cooking in the morning, and then later we travel to a relative’s house for an early dinner with the family. Throughout the day, we try to incorporate as much family time as we can. Whether you’re the one hosting or attending the Thanksgiving meal, these traditions are sure to bring out the interaction and get the thankful vibes going!

Simple Breakfast – Sure, you have the day off and it’s the one time you’ll actually have a chance to cook for breakfast. But remember, you’ll already have a ton of dishes from the cooking today and you don’t want to eat too heavy so you can save room for the feast later! Instead, opt in for something quick that requires minimal dishes. Even a simple box of Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls can go a long way. Have the family join in and help add the icing!

Macy’s Day Parade – Now it’s time to grab your bites and head to the family room for some good old TV! The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been broadcast live since 1948! It is known as one of the world’s largest parades and takes place in New York City. This parade showcases some of the most creative and gigantic floats, plus offers some dance and musical performances. It’s sure to entertain even the little ones! Parade starts at 9AM EST on NBC!

Cooking/Baking Together – Whether you’re bringing one dish or providing the entire feast, let the kids join in on the culinary fun! This is not only great for your children to build skills in the kitchen, but also gives them an opportunity to take part in something big. Just think, when you bring that Green Bean Casserole to Uncle George’s house, your child can say “I helped make that!”. BONUS – Let everyone take part in the clean up after the cooking also! This is a great way to remind them that everyone in the house eats, so everyone should take a part in every aspect of the help.

Make it Outdoors – By the time Thanksgiving hits, it’s pretty cool outside, but not yet freezing. If it’s a sunny day, grab a jacket and step outside! Drag a relative with you and go for a walk around the block, watch the turkeys fly, and enjoy the soundless sky. You’ll get some fresh air and a little peace away from all the craziness going on indoors.

Do a Good Deed – Usually most public businesses are closed on this Holiday, but there are a few places crunching to stay open – which means employees have to sacrifice their time too. Bring the whole family along to take the time to visit one of these places and compliment the worker(s) on how awesome they are for working this day! Maybe even throw a small gift basket together to brighten their day. Whatever your good deed may be, it’s the sense of really giving back.

Game Night – Let’s face it, most of the night will be crowded around a table anyways, so why not throw in a few games? Card games like Uno, War, and Goldfish are a sure win for almost every age!

The Thankful Game – This is such a wonderful reminder of what Thanksgiving is really about. Have everyone sit in a circle and give each person a piece of paper and pen. Put a bowl in the middle of the circle. Each person gets to write about 3 things they are most thankful for this year and put the paper in the jar. When everyone is done adding things to the jar, go around the room and each person picks a paper out of the bowl and reads one of the lists. It’s a great way to learn about what is really important to each one of us and to take a step back and enjoy the moment.

Hot Cocoa & Thanksgiving Movie – What better way to wind down from all the fun than to sit back and enjoy a nice warm cup of hot chocolate? Yes, kids can be messy, especially around carpet, which is why I like these reusable Spill Proof Coffee Cups for nights like these! There are so many options on the playlist for the perfect Thanksgiving movies, but you could start with the classics like A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Freebirds, or even go with a National Lampoon’s to really get in the holiday spirit!

These are just a handful of traditions that I’ve tried that are great to get the Thanksgiving spirit started. What other traditions are you faithful to on this Holiday?

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20 Ways to Earn Income as a Stay at Home Parent

Earning an income from home has its challenges as with anything. In the past, I’ve pinched pennies and squeezed as many turnips as I could, but still somehow wasn’t able to make what I needed. I’ve tried all the trends in direct sales, and supposed “online jobs” and much more research, but nothing ever stuck to me. I had always felt that it wasn’t who I was. I’d often thought “What if I just make a list of all the POSSIBLE things that I could do day in and out and just run with it”.  So I did…. And it’s my gift to you! Now remember, these things aren’t meant for you to “get rich quick”, but for you to have comfortability earning money on your time.

  • Sell your Junk – We all have things lying around our house that we don’t want, need, or even use! Give them a new home and make some cash while doing so! List them on Marketplaces, Ebay, or even take them to a consignment store. You’ll love the extra space you have in your home and the extra cash! 
  • Babysit – Not finding yourself doing anything in particular next Friday night? Offer to babysit for a family member or friend for a date night or even to watch over an animal while a neighbor is going out of town.
  • Get Cash Back – I don’t know about you, but I end up doing a LOT of shopping online, even for necessities like toilet paper or non-perishable items. My #1 choice for getting cash back on all my purchases is Rakuten!  They offer cash back AND deals at 1000’s of stores! I get so excited when my check comes in the mail!
  • Refer a Friend – Have a favorite Salon or service you use every month? Ask them if they have a refer a friend program. If you can get them some extra business, it’s likely they’ll give you a nice discount or bonus the next time you use their services!
  • Paint Curbs – This is overlooked but also so useful! On many houses, it can be complicated to see the address numbers. Offer to paint the numbers on the side of the curb or even on the mailbox. It’s such a helpful task and will ultimately pay for itself after a couple gigs!
  • Sell at a Farmers Market – There’s so many things you can make, cook, or even bake and sell at a farmer’s market! You don’t even have to be a crafty person. One year, we supplied our entire “fun” budget just by selling lemonade at a farmer’s market. It only take’s a few simple steps to set up!
  • Deliver food on your own time – Many people think that working for a food delivery service requires committing a bunch effort and time. With DoorDash, it’s actually very simple to become a driver, there isn’t even an interview process! Once you sign up, you’ll have access to choose your own schedule in 30 minute increments. When orders come in, you’ll have the decision to accept or decline orders you’re offered – so much flexibility! DoorDash also offers incentives for busier times during the week. Many dashers can even make up to $25 an hour! Sign up today and earn an extra $100 after your first 200 deliveries!
  • Start a Blog – A little cliche, but if you know what you’re doing, you can really make a steady income doing so. But, you have to find a niche and have a plan! Most bloggers make 90% of their income using placement ads. You can even make extra cash by writing posts for other blogs through gig apps like Fiverr
  • Take Surveys – I’ve had a few friends that have signed up for Swagbucks or Inbox dollars and have done surveys for cash! It’s not necessarily a steady income, but it’s any money is a little extra spending money earned!
  • Captioning – The corporate world is expected to incorporate more and more videos into marketing and training in the upcoming years, so captioning jobs should be rising. Most captioning gigs are online and can easily be done in your own time. Companies like Rev will pay incentives per video captioned.  
  • Have a Garage Sale – Things pile up over the years. I make it a yearly tradition to declutter every room in the house and have a garage sale! Make sure you organize your items accordingly and adjust your prices to sell! On the last day of our garages sales, we advertise that everything has been marked half off! After all, you weren’t going to keep it anyway, right?
  • Become a VIP Kid Teacher – You don’t necessarily have to have a college degree to do so! Some fields may only require a Diploma to teach! It’s a great way to only work a small amount of time and earn extra cash! VIP Kid pays per lesson and lessons usually last about 25 minutes!
  • Direct Selling – Many direct selling companies get bad reps from sales people being too pushy! But, there is actually a pretty great market out there for companies like Scentsy, Legging Army, and Jamberry due to loyal customers whose representatives have quit selling!
  • Take Awesome Photos – Have a knack for taking beautiful photos? Consider being a professional photographer! Many websites offer platforms for you to sell your photos to paying customers- who will use them for ads, websites, & more! 
  •      Write a Book – If you’re knowledgeable on a specific topic and feel you have some valuable information you could share, you should consider writing an e-book! There’s many available platforms that make writing and selling finished books so easy in this day and age!
  • Get Paid to Party – If you’re not quite into the direct selling niche, but have a lot of friends and family to market to, you could throw a party. Many direct selling companies offer incentives like cash bonuses or free items if you offer to invite your friends for a get together! Make it fun and throw in some queso and board games!

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Work Life vs. Mom Life Balancing Tips

We have a ton of expectations put on us as moms. Between cooking, cleaning, budgeting, meal planning, attending sporting events, playing nurse ..(the list goes on!) and in some occasions to even work a full time job. High five to the moms that do it, because some of us still haven’t figured it all out yet. I have had a good share of working full time, part time, and working at home while trying to balance every bit of mom life, so I’m here to share my best tips..

Get on a schedule – This is priority! Start out by writing a template of what your day is like now and include the must do’s like cooking, getting ready, breakfast, and even laundry. If you have an hour or two of “free time” during naps or while the kids are at school be sure to use up this time for things you need to do alone like writing, emails, or phone calls. Be sure to insert time for rest and family time. I have an example of what my daily schedule looks like here. The schedule system keeps my family and I stay organized an on track throughout the week!

Set goals – Each Monday, I write out a specific list of everything I want to get accomplished this week. This includes work, home and family related goals. On Thursday I might notice the weather is going to be warmer than usual, so I would make it a goal to have a picnic at the park. Or Friday, I might have a client that needs a project done. I make sure to include everything that has a priority over normal daily chores also like mopping the floors or taking down Halloween decorations. When all your goals are set, be sure to jot them down as tasks to complete on your schedule so you’ll always stay on top of completing them!

Invest in an agenda or calendar– In recent years, I’ve never been known to even look at the calendar (other than my phone). I’d occasionally miss birthdays, anniversaries and even annual events that our family has longed to attend. Now, I like to buy ONE calendar at the beginning of the year, and include each birthday or anniversary that I’d like to remember or celebrate. I also include things that I know are going to happen throughout the year like school events or even sales. We like to set a reminder in our Amazon Alexa for the most important dates, so we’re extra prepared. You can create a custom calendar at Walgreens.com for a decent price. It is truly a lifesaver!

Plan your meals – So, your days are filled with work, chores and what ever else life throws at you, but we can’t forget about the most important thing.. MEALS! Meal planning is a necessity, especially if you’re trying to save money! Yes, it’s so easy to just get in your car and go grab a quick bite – BUT it’s easier (and cheaper) to have something at least set out and planned for. It also keeps your mind at ease and less thrown off when it’s time to eat!

Teach your kids about alone time – This is for the older kids! Children benefit from alone time, especially tweens/teens. Alone time is a form of self care, it helps our brains relax and wind down after being around so many people throughout the day. Alone time can also boost productivity and help independence. Let them have some quiet time reading a magazine or listening to music for a half hour or so! This also benefits you as you’ll get a little extra time to yourself or household tasks.

Accept that nothing will ever be perfect– Always never. Sometimes, as moms, we get so caught up into trying to be that perfect *Super Mom* and we forget that it’s literally not possible. The dishes will not always be clean, work will never be completely done, and not everybody will always be happy. Just try to remember that things won’t always be this way!

Always show up for you and them– In our household, we strive to put family first. Remember earlier in the week when you wrote down all your weekly goals? Try to include at least 2-3 times per week of “family time” or events. Have a movie night, make crafts together, or just go for a walk! Remember that this is the reason why you’re doing it all… Family!

We know it’s hard playing multiple roles in any household. But it’s always great to have motivation and some place to start. What tips do you have for keeping life balanced?

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