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!)





Monday, July 3, 2017

Coming Back Home.

You guyssssss. I can't even believe it has been so long since I have written a blog. Life, man. I tell ya, it gets crazy sometimes. Things have been out of control for so long now, and I'm ready to come back home. I'm ready to get back to blogging, I'm ready to get back to the things that used to bring me so much joy. You know how hard it is, when your life is going full speed ahead and sometimes you feel like you are not even in control of it, you are just along for the ride? That's where I've been at yall, for a long ass time.


But, I'm tired. I'm tired of waiting for there to be "time". There's never any "time", and I'm starting to realize that if there are things that I want to do, I'm going to have to be the one to get up, get off my butt, and make the time. So, that's what I'm doing. From now on, I'm really trying to focus on the things that make me happy, and I'm going to try to worry a little less about the things I "have to" do. I hate the feeling that life is passing me by and I'm ready to get it back in control and get back to being me.

Ugh, there are so many things to tell you guys about, I don't even know where to start. I'm probably just going to have to fill you in, just a little bit at a time, and go from there. But, that will come tomorrow or one day soon. I'll probably just start at the beginning and give yall the full update on life. Warning- that might take some time!

Life is great guys. It really is. It's going fast, I'm rushing constantly, every second of every day, and I just want it all to slow down, BUT, life is great. I'm spending it with my best friend, I love him so much and I am so grateful to be living this crazy life. I'm also living it raising up these four crazy kids that I have been ever so blessed to have in my life. I don't know how I got so lucky, but I sure am grateful. I'm excited to be back with yall and to take yall on the ride with me, so I hope you are ready!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Hollywood Wax Museum Pigeon Forge!!



Enormous fun awaits you below the Great Ape of Pigeon Forge! But the 40,000-pound primate isn't the only star you'll see at the world-famous Hollywood Wax Museum. In fact, you can pose with the biggest stars, while learning about their pets, pet peeves, and accomplishments. Movie buffs, pop culture lovers, and everyone who wants to step into the spotlight with the stars will enjoy the fun, and artistry. Plus, with the All Access Pass, you get to take a ride up into the mouth of Great Ape and see the spectacular Smoky Mountains from the VIP Observation Deck (weather permitting). Are you The Chosen One? In Hannah's Maze of Mirrors, find your way through the mirrored corridors hidden inside the Castle of Savannah to save Princess Hannah. You'll have to make your way through 288 potential turns among hundreds of mirrored walls and archways and several sections where you see infinite reflections in every direction. Join the battle against evil at Castle of Chaos, the world's first 5D haunted attraction. Your mission: help the Paranormal Professor find out what supernatural activity is lurking inside. Soon you'll find yourself in an all-out shooting adventure where the highest scorers appear on the screen. Finally, in Outbreak - Dread the Undead, you must stop a worldwide viral outbreak! Chemacorp might mean well with Alpha Strain, but the gene-altering substance turns humans into zombies. The challenge? Rid the world of Alpha Strain and prevent a total zombie apocalypse! 



My Readers receive $2 OFF ALL ACCESS PASS 
Please visit http://hollywoodwaxentertainment.com/ for more information.

Monday, May 22, 2017

#Amazon Prints: It’s time to finally start printing your photos the easy way. $1000 of Amazon Gift Cards to be Won!

I am so excited to tell you guys about a new service from Amazon called Amazon Prints! Amazon Prints is the easy way to print your memories! It's so simple! Here's the deal! All you do is upload your photos to your Prime Photos account, print the product of your choice, and get free delivery! If you’re not a Prime member, you’ll receive 5 GB of storage free on Prime Photos and be able to print your favorite photos.  Prints start as low as $0.09, so it's super affordable!

I LOVE the idea of this new service! Now, I can get large canvases, photo calendars, cards, photo gifts and more, all with the click of a mouse. Love it! You can check out Amazon Prints for yourself by clicking here! This is going to revolutionize the way that people order photos, cards and more, and I am really excited about that. Plus, Amazon is giving away tons of gift cards to help people get used to their new service! Check out their awesome giveaways below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks to Amazon for sponsoring this post and providing prizes for the giveaway!Amazon, Fire and the Amazon Fire TV logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

4 Insurance Plans That Protect Your Family and Financials

Insurance is an interesting thing. You pay for it every month, but you pray you never have to actually use it. But when you do need it, boy is it nice to know you’re covered.
Many people think of insurance as gambling against yourself when in actuality it’s an investment that protects your family’s financial stability. For the majority of people who live paycheck to paycheck, even a small accident could drain their savings account. Instead, you can use insurance as a safety net and sleep a little easier at night.
Auto Insurance
The experts over at acceptanceinsurance.com know a thing or two about planning for all the unexpected events in life. Every day they help people handle the aftermath of car accidents. Their team notes that between property damage and potential medical expenses even a small accident can be very costly.
Given that in 2015 alone there were 6.3 million police-reported car crashes the chances that you’ll be involved in one is high. That’s why auto insurance is at the top of this list. Out of all the types of insurance, you can purchase, this is one that is most likely to be used. When you’re selecting an auto insurance plan pay attention to:
  • ·  The monthly premium
  • ·  Deductible amount
  • ·  Actual cash value for replacing your vehicle
  • ·  Liability insurance coverage (for damages caused by your vehicle)
  • ·  Collision insurance coverage (for damage done to your vehicle)
  • ·  Comprehensive insurance (covers theft, vandalism and damage done by nature)
It’s also important to check the state auto insurance requirements. Most states require that all drivers have a minimum level of coverage.
Homeowners or Renters Insurance
The next most common type of insurance is homeowners or renters insurance. Let’s be honest. As a homeowner, I know from personal experience it’s the largest investment most of us will ever make. Insurance helps protect that investment and can ensure your family has a roof over their head if the worst happens.
There are a lot of options when it comes to homeowners and renters insurance, but one thing you’ll want to pay close attention to is how your possessions are covered. You can choose one of two options:
Replacement Cost – You’ll be reimbursed in the amount that it would take to replace the items that were stolen, damaged or destroyed.
Actual Cash Value – You’ll be reimbursed based on the value of the item at the time it was stolen, damaged or destroyed.
Typically, the replacement cost option has a higher monthly premium, but it offers better coverage. If you have really expensive items like an heirloom or piece of artwork you may need to add what’s called a rider for additional coverage.
Two other types of property insurance you may want to consider are mold and flood insurance. These are separate policies that you can add onto a conventional homeowners insurance plan.
Disability Insurance
A growing number of people are switching from salaried positions to independent freelance or consulting work. It can give you more flexibility and actually increase your annual income, but you don’t have the coverage provided by an employer if you get sick or have an accident.
Without worker’s comp, sick leave and PTO you have to find another form of coverage if you can’t work. This is precisely what disability insurance is for. In the event you are injured and unable to work, your insurance plan will provide periodic payments to help you cover expenses while you recover. Usually, disability insurance payouts are 45-65% of your gross income. That may seem a little low, but the funds are tax-free.
If you operate your own company (even if it’s a one-man operation) you may want to look into business insurance as well. In addition to disability insurance, you can also get property and personal injury coverage.
Life Insurance
If something were to happen to you and your significant other or spouse would your kids be financially secure? Would your family be able to cover the cost of a funeral?
Death isn’t something most people enjoy talking about, but it’s a fact of life. If you don’t plan for the worst your kids could be the ones that really suffer. On top of having to deal with the loss of their parent(s) kids are suddenly left without a provider. Even if another guardian steps in they may not be in the position to offer the same amount of financial support that your kids are used to.
Life insurance is a way to guarantee your kids are financially secure. Make sure the payout would be enough to cover funeral arrangements, pay off outstanding debts and cover all of the standard living expenses until your kids are at least 18 years old. If you want your kids to go to college bump up the policy amount to cover in-state tuition as well.



5 Habits to Drop When Pregnant


The joys of pregnancy are numerous and there will be plenty of exciting moments as you grow your sweet child within your womb. Naturally, your health comes into play with pregnancy and we often must change our habits once we realize that we are sharing space with another human. 
Here are 5 habits you should drop when you become pregnant:
Smoking
Cigarettes are highly addictive and cause so much damage to our bodies. Between destroying our lungs, harming our hearts, and increasing our chances of cancer, it’s a fantastic idea to stop smoking before conceiving. Love yourself and your body enough to want to get healthy before bringing in new life. However, if you are already pregnant and still smoking, now is the time to talk with your doctor about options. Smoking while pregnant can cause low birth weight, birth defects, premature birth, and increase the risk of a stillbirth. With your doctor and family there to support you, quitting can happen. We know you want what’s best for your baby and we are ready to cheer you on!
Alcohol and Drugs
We know you may love your after-dinner glass of wine or even a nightly beer, but when trying to get pregnant or are pregnant, it’s all about positive health changes. Alcohol can contribute to fertility issues, so if you aren’t pregnant yet, now is the time to step back and take a break. Drinking while pregnant can cause Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder since what you ingest is passed on to your baby. The sooner you quit drinking, the better your chances for having a healthy child at 40 weeks!
Illegal drugs are also passed through to your child, no matter how you are taking them. If you are trying to conceive, your drug use could cause serious fertility issues. To have a baby, your body needs to be in great shape and ready for the task. Unfortunately, drug use works against that. If you are already pregnant and still using, we highly recommend stopping as soon as possible. No matter where you are in the pregnancy game, we highly recommend seeking out exceptional treatment. Something like a well-regarded facility or substance abuse rehab southern california residents have access to, just in your neck of the woods. A trip away for healing will go a long way!
Avoid Tuna
Eating tuna has been a debate for quite some time. The goal is that you want to lower your mercury intake and yet eating fish is a high priority for pregnant women. Canned tuna is simply higher in mercury than other fish. Some obstetricians say you can limit your intake and be safe. Others say it’s hard to know exactly how much mercury is in each can. We say you should just avoid it all together and substitute salmon, shrimp, tilapia, and even clams. It’s your call, your best bet is to talk to your obstetrician.
Kitty Litter and Pregnancy
Did you know that cleaning your cat’s litter box is a no-no? It is! There is a parasite called toxoplasma present in feline waste that can cause birth defects and mental disabilities in our children, either at birth or later. However, this does not mean you need to get rid of Mr. Cuddles. The ideal situation is that your partner or other family members clean the box for you. It should be cleaned daily to avoid the parasite lingering. If you must take care of it, where rubber gloves and a face mask so that you don’t touch it or breathe it in.
Drop the Dog
Certain meats are a breeding ground for listeria. Hot dogs, salami, and cold cuts top that list and should be avoided or cooked. Cooking the meats will kill the bacteria and make them safer for consumption. Or you can avoid them all together. But a good salami sandwich is hard to pass up, so just be sure you cook it up!

Pregnancy is a fantastic journey into the mysteries of the life cycle and a introduction to motherhood. We hope you are able to change some habits so that you have a happy and healthy baby in the future! And, if you are looking for some healthy pregnancy-friendly recipes to cook, you can check out this helpful post

Monday, April 17, 2017

Understanding Birth Defects



Roughly 1 out of every 33 babies born in the US each year are diagnosed with a birth defect. In fact, birth defects are the leading cause of deaths in infants and are responsible for 20% of infant mortality.
A birth defect is a structural or functional abnormality in the growth and development of a child that can be inherited or caused by environmental factors. Birth defects can be mild or severe, and not every child diagnosed with the same birth defect will experience the same symptoms at the same level of severity.
How Does a Birth Defect Occur?
Birth defects can happen in two ways:
1.  Inherited single-gene disorders - In these types of disorders, the condition is passed down to the child from the parent. We mostly associate genes with characteristics such as eye and hair color. However, genes are responsible for all aspects of our physical and intellectual growth. When a mutated gene is passed on to a child, it may result in a birth defect.
2.  Chromosomal abnormalities - Birth defects that occur as a result of a chromosomal abnormality typically occur randomly or due to environmental factors. Chromosomes are structures that carry our genes. When there is an abnormality in the number or composition of the chromosomes, a birth defect can occur
Who is at Risk of Having a Child With a Birth Defect?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outline the following situations that put mothers at a higher risk of having a child with a birth defect:
●  Smoking, drinking, or using harmful substances or certain medications while pregnant
●  Being of advanced maternal age 35 or older at the time of pregnancy
●  Having a pre-existing chronic condition such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and/or obesity when pregnant
●  Having a family medical history of a certain genetic condition or birth defect
How is a Birth Defect Diagnosed?
Depending on the type of birth defect identified, a diagnosis can be made before birth, at birth, or after birth.
Diagnosis during pregnancy - Throughout your pregnancy, you will undergo ultrasounds and routine blood tests to monitor your health and the health of your baby. If you are of advanced maternal age (35 years or older) at the time of your pregnancy, your doctor may recommend noninvasive prenatal genetic testing. Using a blood sample, placental DNA is analyzed in order to assess the risk that your child may have a chromosomal abnormality, without the risks associated with invasive prenatal testing.
Diagnosis at or after birth - If you choose to forego prenatal screening and testing, your doctor will diagnose a birth defect or a chromosomal abnormality at the time of birth. The majority of birth defects are identified within one year of birth. If your doctor is unable to make a diagnosis at the time of birth, he or she may recommend that you see a specialist in order to conduct a physical examination or a blood test using a blood sample from your baby.
Is it Possible to Prevent Birth Defects?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend following these behaviors when trying to conceive and during pregnancy in order to prevent birth defects:
●  Make sure you get 400 mg of folic acid daily
●  Avoid consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and other harmful substances
●  Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and manage chronic conditions such as diabetes
●  Communicate with your healthcare provider regularly
If you are planning on becoming pregnant, or if you have recently found out you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about how to maintain a healthy pregnancy. If you think you may be at risk of having a child with a birth defect, your obstetrician can help you understand your prenatal testing options. If you are looking for some healthy supplements that can help to improve your overall health before getting pregnant, check out these tips! 


Saturday, February 11, 2017

7 Things To Do Before Selling Your Home


Selling your home is probably one of the bigger financial transactions you will ever encounter. Before actually putting it up on the market, consult your local real estate agent to see what you could reasonably sell your home for. She should be able to give you a list of homes that have sold in the area over the past few months. While your agent works on that, here are a few tips you can use to improve the appeal of your home to give it a pop and get you a higher sales price.

  1. Keep it tidy – cleanliness implies that a home has been well taken care of and your prospective buyers will definitely notice these things. Even the small things can make your potential buyer hesitant, such as excessive dust or dirty dishes in the sink. Remember, first impressions are lasting impressions and you want to make sure you come across as though you’ve treated your house like a million bucks (or more).
  2. Choose your colors wisely – putting on a fresh coat of paint can make the difference between night and day. If you have “colder” colors on your walls now consider repainting. Warmer or neutral colors are more inviting, make the rooms appear larger and are more modern. Keep in mind that you always want to know what your buyers are looking for. Something as small as changing the color of your walls can go very far and oftentimes is a great return on your investment.
  3. Get packing – clutter is a huge turnoff for any potential buyer! They don’t want your old worn-out stuff and could be that last, final observation that keeps them from putting in an offer. Not only that but it makes the room looks smaller, it keeps some natural sunlight out, and makes it very hard for your buyer to envision their furniture in that same space. Take the time to throw away or donate any unused items and give your home some breathing room – your buyers will appreciate it.
  4. Get the carpets cleaned – if your carpets are beyond being salvageable then have them replaced, otherwise, it would be In your best interest to hire a professional carpet cleaner to erase some of those stains due to normal wear and tear. Not only that, but if you have pets, they help remove any pet stains or odors that could be buried deep in the roots of the carpet or locked within the fibers. Addressing the high traffic areas in your home is also important as this is where a lot of stains, dirt and debris will collect. In addition, your carpet cleaner will also finish off your carpet with a nice scented fragrance to leave the air smelling pure and deodorized. Doing this one thing gives you a huge bang for your buck and a nice return on your investment.
  5. Keep the plumbing in order – If you live in a rural area or your home is on the older side, you may have a septic tank. Septic tanks are individual systems to hold and rid your home of waste water and matter. You can give your buyer sound peace of mind by letting the know that you just performed a septic tank pumping recently. This will not only give them another 3-5 years without having to pump the septic tank again, but will keep the longevity of the septic system going well into the future. Not taking care of your septic system can cost you well over $15k in replacements if you don’t perform periodic maintenance.
  6. Window treatments – these are important because they can stage the mood of a showing. If your treatments aren’t properly adjusted, they can affect a room’s temperature by not allowing enough sunlight to enter. Make sure to adjust shades or blinds appropriately when showing your home in the morning, afternoon or evenings.
  7. The back side – part of selling your home quickly includes having great curb appeal and backside appeal! Clean up the area in the back as much as possible. Home owners like to see nice green grass that has been freshly cut. Again, it gives the appearance that you have really taken care of the home. If possible, plant some flowers and shrubbery to make the backyard more inviting and so that it encourages you to want to stay.


Implement these 7 tips when trying to sell your home and you are sure to realize the upside potential you were hoping for. Remember, staging your home is vitally important for a quick, top-dollar sale. Don’t skimp on the smaller ticket items, and P.S., great smelling candles also help.
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