Thursday, August 31, 2017

Groupon + Coupons: What More Could You Ask For?!?!


Okay, guys! Today I'm sharing a post with you that combines two of my very favorite things in life: Groupon and coupons! I love, love, LOVE Groupon, and I am an avid user of the money saving site. I have to say, Groupon is a lifesaver when it comes to saving money and vacationing with four kids in the house. I ALWAYS check Groupon multiple times when I'm planning a trip, and as a result, we are able to save tons of cash and check out cool places that we never would otherwise!

But now, you guys, Groupon has yet another feature that is going to make it quick, easy and simple to save even more cash! Groupon Coupons is AMAZING, and it's going to change the way you shop! The Groupon site has coupons for TONS of retailers, and we are talking HUGE retailers, not obscure ones that you'd never shop at anyways. I'm talking about retailers like Amazon, Walgreens, Victoria's Secret and more! Using Groupon Coupons is SO simple ,you are going to love it! For example, if you are going to be doing some shopping at our favorite shopping destination, Amazon:
Instead of going straight to the Amazon website, head on over to Groupon Coupons first, and you'll find tons of deals, promo codes and savings that you can load up on before you buy! I'm telling you, you won't regret it! Listen to me, RIGHT NOW, there are 164 available coupons JUST for Amazon alone! If you like shopping and you like saving money, go check out Groupon Coupons RIGHT NOW! What are you waiting for!?!?!

A great new way to share motorsports fun with your kids! Win NASCAR prizes!


If you have kids in your house that LOVE motorsports and car racing, they are going to be thrilled about the new NASCAR Acceleration Nation app and website!The app is available on both Android and iPhone, and is a great way to connect to NASCAR fun, including details about cars, fun games, race info and much more!
NASCAR is a great family friendly activity as it is, but the Acceleration Nation app/website is going to make a great thing even better. The app is easy to download and navigate in the App Store or on Google Play, and best of all, it's educational! Kids can learn about the science of NASCAR and their favorite cars in a fun and engaging way. The app and website even teach them about different drivers, races, and tracks so that they can continue learning all the time. And, want to hear a great added bonus? ALL kids 12 and under are FREE to all NASCAR XFINITY and Camping World Truck Races!! Talk about a good time for the whole family!


You can download the Acceleration Nation app by clicking HERE, and you are definitely going to want to do it. Come on, it's FREE! I'm downloading this app right now, I mean why not?! I love anything to do with kid games, and if it involves learning, especially STEM, I'm all about it. I grew up watching NASCAR and now I can't wait to share it with my boys!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NASCAR® and its marks, including NASCAR Acceleration NationTM, are trademarks of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.This is a sponsored post. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

What To Do When Your Plumbing Goes Awry

What To Do When Your Plumbing Goes Awry


Plumbing issues happen to the best of us at the worst of times. One moment you’re happily preparing school lunches for the kids, the next your sink is suddenly on the fritz or the drains are backing up.


Can’t a mom find a moment’s rest? Apparently not, but what are you supposed to do if you can’t fix these problems yourself? Well, follow these instructions to have things back to normal in no time without pulling your hair out in the process.


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It Isn’t The End Of The World


You’ve handled worse than this, you know you have! A hitch in your perfectly planned day can cause you to panic. But stay calm. Getting worked up over the situation is only going to make things worse.


Instead, work smart and start looking to see where the problem might be. Who knows, maybe this is something you can fix without hiring a plumber! There are only two types of plumbing gone wrong situations or emergencies. Figure out which one yours is and follow the next step.


When It’s An Emergency


Okay, so your bathroom floor has suddenly turned into a nightmarish version of the backyard pool. This type of chaotic situation is going to require a professional in your home A.S.A.P.


Where’s a hero when you need one? Do plumbers even wear capes?


As a matter of fact, some of them should be wearing tights and a cape (well, maybe not, but you get the idea). There are plenty of companies who are available 24/7 to handle your emergency situations. PlumbingFix, Long Beach can boast about is one such company. Don’t live in Long Beach? Don’t worry, there’s always one in your area that will respond in a flash to your distress call. You just need to do the research to find them.


When It Isn’t An Emergency


So, it isn’t a major problem that requires immediate attention but it still isn’t something you know how to fix. That’s perfectly okay! Some people are handy with a monkey wrench while others are better at making cookies. You’ll still need to call a professional for help, but at least the situation isn’t so urgent.


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Dealing With The Aftermath


Just like a toddler can leave a path of destruction in their wake, leaking water can dry rot your floors and cause harmful mold to grow in unseen places. Not too many people know how to handle water damage, so you’re probably going to need another professional for that.


While that means dealing with even more people, at least you can rest easy knowing that the worst is over and your home will soon look as though nothing had even happened.


Treat Yourself


Congratulations! You’ve survived one of life’s largest and most annoying headaches. To celebrate, why not get yourself something nice? That might be your favorite glass of wine, that new dress you’ve been eyeing up on Poshmark, or maybe a new wall mount sink so this never happens again. The choice is all yours, you’ve earned it for handling this situation like a pro!


If it ever does happen again, remember to stay calm and assess the situation. Call the appropriate professionals when you need help and an emergency plumber for larger than life problems. Once the storm is over you can worry about the devastation left in its wake and deal with it accordingly, then indulge in the finer things in life!


Author Bio
Zachary Whatule
Zachary Whatule is a super-connector with ManageBacklinks.io who helps businesses with building their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. Zachary frequently writes about the latest advancements in the SaaS world and digital marketing.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Remodeling Your Home? 5 Quick Tips To Save You Money!!

Remodeling Your Home? 5 Quick Tips To Save You Money
Once you decide it’s time for a home renovation, you have to decide what you can afford and what you cannot. Just about anything you’d want done on a home remodel is physically possible. The financial implications, on the other hand, are another matter.

In the following article, we’ll cover several ways you can get much of the remodeling you want  - without breaking the bank.

Keep The Toilet And Sinks In Place
Moving objects associated with the plumbing is often one of the most costly aspects of a home remodel. In fact, a plumbing expert at PlumbingFix Hollywood in sunny Southern California states that “the biggest part of the plumbing price increase is moving the toilet or kitchen sink.” It makes a lot of sense, when you think about - since you need to move all the underlying pipes as well.

You can upgrade your kitchen and bathroom all you want - but you’ll be saving thousands of dollars by arranging the new stuff around the existing locations of the pipes.

Consider Recycling Centers


There are some things you should buy unused due to reliability and ironclad insurance in the event of a failure. However, if a part of your home remodeling project includes acrylic skylights, recessed light fixtures, properly-rated insulation or prehung doors, then recycling centers sponsored by organizations such as Habitat for Humanity will have plenty of discounted items to choose from.

Schedule A Consultation With An Architect
This is only a money-saver if your home remodel project is a bit on the extensive side. In such matters it’s best to organize a single visit and once-over by the architect. This could save you a lot of money, even with the several hundred-dollar fee that the average competent architect charges.

It’s best to consult an architect that has experience in building a new home from scratch. For the price range above, you’ll also receive a sketch of the desired changes you can give to the contractor, or use yourself if you’re skilled enough to make the changes you want.

Save On Delivery Fees - Buy A Utility Trailer

This is especially important in your money-saving endeavors, as making all those trips for sheets, wood and the other materials can make a great impact on your budget.

For a couple hundred dollars, you can find a utility trailer on an auction site such as OfferUp or eBay Motors. You’ll find that the expenditure pays for itself about a third of the way through an extensive remodeling project. And at the end of it all - you can sell the trailer if you like.

Research Walls And Flooring Materials Beforehand

You’ll pay for these by the foot, and it can get expensive. As it’s very much a case of show-and-tell, you don’t want to cut down on the visual impact of your home remodel project, so choose these elements wisely.
Think about how the walls and flooring will look with the lighting and intended furniture, for example.

If your home is replete with beige-colored elements that you wish to keep, then laminate flooring from FERMA in the Acacia Teak color might be a great fit and an affordable one as well. This particular option also works well with off-white walls. It will maintain a natural, earthen look, with an unmistakable sheen that adds a sense of newness that never fades.

By following these tips, not only will you be under budget but you might even save enough money to make additional renovations you crossed off your list because you had no financial means for.

Author Bio
Sara Belle
Sara Belle is a super-connector with ManageBacklinks.io who helps businesses with building their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. Sara frequently writes about the latest advancements in the SaaS world and digital marketing.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ready For Vacation Time with Econo Lodge Pigeon Forge!


Well, everybody. We're now a few weeks into our first year of homeschooling, and I am a few weeks into college life. So, how's it going? Let's just say... I am SO ready for our vacation,and I am counting down the days until we hit the road for the Smoky Mountains! We had so much planned for our trip this past January, and with all of the snow, tornadoes, and vomiting inside random stores (Yes, all of this happened. I swear.), we didn't really get to cover everything as much as we would have liked. So, we're heading back at the end of September and I can not wait! 


This time, we are going to be staying at the Econo Lodge Riverside in Pigeon Forge! Now, most of you guys know me pretty well, and you know that when it comes to a hotel, I need to have affordability. I just do. It's in my nature, and I think even if we were millionaires, I would check out hotel rates and compare them to make sure I found the very best deal. Well, I am happy to report that the Econo Lodge Riverside has some of the very best rates in all of Pigeon Forge. But, if you know me, you know that affordability is not the only thing that I need from a hotel. 

I also need info. Lots and lots of info. Months before any trip we take, I scour the internet, reading reviews of every single place we plan on going, and making all of my decisions before we even arrive. I am a planner. So, sue me. Anyway, I was thrilled to see that the Econo Lodge Riverside is rated #10 of 94 hotels in Pigeon Forge! To me, that is a huge deal. I really trust my fellow Trip Advisors, and they have never steered me wrong on hotel reviews in the past, so we are really looking forward to staying at the Econo Lodge and seeing if things there are just as great as my Trip Advisor Friends say they are! 
What else do I need from a hotel? I need a pool. A good pool. Actually, this is not my rule, but my sweet three year old Bean's rule. You see, of all the vacations we have been on, all of the trips we have taken, even the overnight trips where the hotel was just a place to crash and drive home the next day, Bean's favorite part is always "the pools". No. Matter. What. So, for him, a good pool is a must. I mean, the rest of us do enjoy the pool, but nowhere near as much as he does. I swear, when we take this kid to Disney World, we're gonna come home, and ask what his favorite part was, and he's going to say "the pool". It's just his thing, so I have to pick a hotel with a good pool! 



What do you think, friends? Will my little fish be impressed with this big pool? I think so! 

What else do I need from a hotel? A free breakfast. I know, it might sound like a silly "must have", but it's true. When traveling with two kids as ahem, moody, and ahem, spirited as these two, waking up, getting dressed, and going out to breakfast every morning IS. NOT. HAPPENING. I found that out real quickly when I would drop $6.99 a piece on a kid's breakfast at some sit down restaurant. Somebody would take a bite of a banana. Someone would take a bite of a donut. Someone would spill their chocolate milk. And there you have it, breakfast is over. SO....  a hotel with a free breakfast is a must when it comes to my kids. I can either sneak them a quick little snack back up to the room, or if they are acting decent and presentable, they can come down and eat their one bite of food. Either way, no stress for me! Yay! 


Those biscuits and gravy are already calling my name!! What about you!? There's nothing like a no stress, no mess hotel breakfast! 

What else do I need from a hotel? Well, at the risk of sounding like an idiot, let's just say that I am a bit "directionally challenged." When we go on vacation, I drive. I just do. And, I get us lost a lot. So, a hotel that is easy to find, right on the main road? Yes, please! Especially in a place like Pigeon Forge, being right on the main road and in the middle of the action is important to me! I need to be able to walk to things, and I want to be able to have easy access to a trolley in Pigeon Forge so I can get where I need to go with no worries! So, yes, being easy to find is a must for hotels for my family! 



Can you tell that we are really excited to stay with Econo Lodge on this trip? The boys are also really excited that the hotel is on the banks of the Little Pigeon river, so we can hang out there and feed the ducks, how much fun will that be!?! Love it! I know, we haven't stayed there YET, so I can't give you guys the personal pictures and the in depth review that I want to do, but it is coming, so stay tuned! I really do have a good feeling about this one ( I have that hotel sixth sense you know, haha!!) and I can not wait to relax and get away here! But, you want to know the best part of all? I can not wait to wake up to a view like this!! 
Isn't it easy to see why this is my favorite place on the entire planet? Ahhh...... Get ready for us, Pigeon Forge, we'll be there soon! 

Make sure to check back regularly for our updates and reviews of our latest trip to the Smokies! If you are interested in booking a room at the Econo Lodge Riverside, click here!! You won't be sorry! Also, make sure to "like" their Facebook Fan Page for the latest news, deals, and promotions!! Click here to stay in the know! 


My family will be provided with a media rate discount and/or complimentary stay during our visit in exchange for our honest thoughts and reviews. No monetary compensation is provided, and all thoughts and opinions are always 100% our own. 

How To Have An Awesome Baby Shower. For Cheap.



Today I'm going to tell you how to have an awesome baby shower. *Your results may vary.*

My first advice would be, do not wear THIS shirt. 

Now that you have that down, let's go on. 

1. LOCATION. Location is important. We kind of ran out of time and opportunity when planning my baby shower, so by the time we got serious about planning it, all our locations were already full. So, we had my baby shower at my sister's townhouse. It was very cramped and crowded, but we had a great time! And it was free to have it there. Definite Plus. 

So, start early if you want a certain location! For free or cheap locations, try your local parks, a friend's backyard, a church, or check with your local Chamber of Commerce. Rule of thumb, though: Start early! 

2. DECORATIONS.  There are SO many cute baby shower decorations, you could spend your entire budget on that in no time! But, you don't have to... We went online and found a few really cute things to order, to make a certain "theme." These are some of the things we found online below. I would recommend checking out the images below:




After we ordered a few things, we bought everything else from the dollar store in the same solid colors. It was much cheaper that way, and we still had a "theme". 


Here's another one of my favorite baby shower decorations: hang baby clothes and socks on a clothesline, and use it for a decoration! This is super cheap and cute. We just used clothes that I had already bought for the baby, so it didn't cost anything! Everybody really loved this idea! You can totally browse Pinterest for more baby shower DIY decorating ideas!

Another thing we did, but forgot to take pictures of: we put water in old baby bottles and used them as balloon weights. It was really cute, and also FREE! Bonus points if you tint the water pink or blue :) 

3. FOOD. Perhaps, for this fat girl, the most important part! We just made a lot of little "snacky" type things, so everybody could just eat whatever. We're talking sub sandwiches, dips, veggie trays, fruit kabobs.. Nothing hard to put together, and nothing expensive. There are literally thousands of Pinterest ideas out there, so I am sure you will come up with something exciting! 




Okay, Dammit, now you know Bean's real name. But don't EVER tell, k?

Here is our blue ducky punch, also a big hit!  

It's so easy and cheap, you won't believe it!
Here's how to make it:

Baby Shower Duck Punch: 

1 bottle (container/jar, IDK what to call it) Blue Hawaiian Punch
1 Two Liter of Sprite or Seven Up
Vanilla Ice Cream Scoops
Ducks, of course! 

Pour the Sprite and Hawaiian Punch together. Float several (8-10) scoops of ice cream on top. The ice cream will melt and have this bubbly, cloudy effect. Don't forget to add your ducks to the top! You can use Pink or Red Hawaiian punch instead if you are looking for a pink duck punch for a girl baby shower. :) 


4. GAMES. Well, you probably already know that almost everyone hates baby shower games. But, you still have to have SOMETHING. We tried really hard to come up with shower games that were not overdone, and not embarrassing for anyone, like the chocolate diaper poop game, or drinking from a baby bottle game. Those are not fun for everyone! Here's what we did at my shower;

*Candy Game* this one was a little cheesy, but overall pretty cute. You print out a list of clues, and then everyone has to write down the candy that is associated with the clue. Here are some of them:

Time Alone After Baby= Zero

Mom's Tummy After Baby= Jelly Belly

You hope the OB doesn't have= Butterfingers

Hospital Bills=100 Grand

Breastfeeding=Milky Way

Contractions= Now & Later

Some of these were easy, some were super hard! Click here to find the complete list.

*PlayDough Babies* 
This one was probably my favorite! At the beginning of opening presents time, everyone gets a little ball of Play Dough and a toothpick. Everyone has to make a baby out of Play Dough and nothing else.  This is good because it keeps everyone from getting bored. The mommy to be gets to judge the best baby at the end of the shower. Here are some pics from our Play Dough babies:



This was so funny! Some really looked like babies, some like frogs, and some like, well.. balls of play dough! Don't forget, with this game, the mom to be is supposed to judge all the babies and pick the one she likes best for the winner! :)

*Paper Sack Game*
Also a very cheap one. Take a certain number of  brown paper lunch sacks and put one baby item inside each. Some of the things we did were diaper, sock, bottle, pacifier, hairbrush, rubber duck, etc.. Staple the bags closed. Now have everyone pass the bags around without looking inside, feeling to see what they think it inside the bag, and writing down their guess. This one was pretty cute too. Bonus that the mom to be gets to keep all of the props that were inside the bag :)




**ETC.** 
Another thing we did at my shower, which was REALLY helpful was to include on the invitation for everyone to bring a package of diaper to be included in a prize drawing. We put everyone's name in a hat, and drew a name out. That person got a $25.00 restaurant gift card. Everyone really liked this. The person who won got their money back for buying  the diapers, and we got enough diapers to last 2+ months! 

I've never done favors at a baby shower, just the prizes for the games, but there are so many cute things you could do.



*FUN* 
My main advice for your baby shower is to just have fun. Try not to stress about details. The people who are at your baby shower are there because they love you and care about you, not because they want to see how much money you spent. Take lots of pictures and enjoy your day! (Also, if any of you are wondering about great supplements and vitamins to help increase your chances of getting pregnant, or just staying healthy in general, you can read more about that by clicking here!)





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