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Monday, May 31, 2021

Parents, Here’s 4 Tips for Creating a Winning Offer This Summer

Finding a home for your family that suits your needs, is in your budget, and is in an area that you want can be pretty difficult. Now imagine finding a home like that and you wanted to purchase it, but someone else beat you to it. These are some tips from a reader on how to ensure that your offer is one that the sellers cannot turn down.


Summertime is probably the best time to buy a house if you’re a parent because school is out of session and transferring the kids to a new school is going to be much easier than if they were to try to do it while school’s in session. But, the problem with trying to buy a house in the summer is that you aren’t going to be the only one.

According to the 2021 first quarter survey released by Homelight, 53.5% of agents say this summer is going to have more active buyers than in previous years. When you combine this prediction with the very real fact that 97% of real estate agents are saying it’s a very competitive seller’s market, getting a seller to accept your offer is going to be a little harder. The National Association of Realtors reports that properties that were on the market in February received four offers on average!

The name of the game is submitting an offer the seller can’t refuse and we have four tips that’ll put your offer at the top of the pile.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

What Can You Use a Personal Loan For?

I abhor debt. Any debt that isn't a mortgage is debt that I abhor. However, sometimes there is no choice but to take a loan, sometimes there are expenses that you can't have expected or trying financial situations, however before you do take a loan, think long and hard about whether you need that loan or not. Here are some reasons why people think about taking a loan.

Even the most cash-savvy person can run into an unexpected expense that derails their financial plans. When no amount of saving or cutting costs can solve your problem, sometimes it makes sense to go for a temporary solution—a personal loan that will give you a cash infusion. Personal loans have pros and cons like all financial options, but it's important to understand all it entails before committing. Be sure to do your research because some personal loan options are better than others and will fit your needs better.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

How To Help Children Manage Difficult Emotions


I was having a discussion with a mom who was concerned about her kids' ability to emotionally regulate. Her kids would cry a lot over what she felt were 'stupid' and 'little' things (her words) and she felt that her kids blew things out of proportion. She was concerned that because her kids were always crying over 'trivial' things they'd never learn to manage their emotions. She endeavored to teach them the skill of managing their emotions by imparting what she felt were important skills. She told them that tears are precious and shouldn't be wasted on small things. When she saw that her kids are crying about things she felt were unimportant she decided to teach them a mantra to repeat to themselves whenever they were upset-to tell themselves 'I won't be upset about stupid things, I won't be upset about stupid things' over and over and over again until the message sank in.

Needless to say this wasn't working, and the kids didn't learn to manage their emotions with that "flawless" parenting advice. All they learned to do was to hide their painful emotions from their mother and feel guilty about their feeling sad.

I feel terrible for these kids because kids need to grow up in an emotionally validating environment. When people, especially children, get told that their strong emotions aren't welcome, it doesn't help their emotions become regulated or managed, it actually leads to them having many emotional issues as an adult, especially emotional regulation issues.

I tried explaining to this mother that dismissing a kid's strong emotions will only backfire and that there are healthier ways to teach a kid to emotionally regulate that actually work but this mom held steadfast and refused to hear reason.

So I decided to write a blog post about this instead, to help readers learn how to help their children self-regulate and manage their emotions.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

4 Tips for Cost-Effective Banking

I used to have a really frustrating bank. I got nickled and dimed for everything. Every time I'd use my money I'd get charged. Every time I'd deposit money I'd get charged. Every time I used my card I got charged. It was so annoying- I was literally paying to use my own money! Fortunately, I found another bank that was better, and found some other ways to make my banking more cost effective. Here are some tips on how to do that from a reader.


Banking can cause massive headaches for anyone. Simply navigating the different banks, their corporate jargon, and the different accounts offered is a difficult task at times. And this is without even considering the fees! When taking into account overdraft protection fees, ATM withdrawal charges, and other additional costs, unscrupulous banks can severely eat into your savings, if you’re not careful. There’s nothing more frustrating than finding a large chunk of your cash has been taken up by costly and avoidable charges from your bank. It’s consequently important, especially if you are currently low on savings, to practice responsible banking habits. Here are just a few ways you can make your banking more cost-efficient.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

How Cash-Out Refinance Loans Can Help You With Your Debt

Are you overwhelmed by debt and loan repayments? I have definitely been in that situation. When you are spending so much of your income on paying off loans, it makes it harder to survive financially, which starts a spiral of taking out more loans to survive, which makes things worse. Fortunately, there are solutions, making loan repayments more manageable so that you can survive financially. Here's a suggestion from a reader as to how to do it.


There are many different ways for Americans to run into debt, most commonly it can come from missing monthly utility bills or missing mortgage payments. These tend to start adding up, if not paid off quickly. Before you know it, it’s possible that you’ll run into trouble.

With a cash-out refinance, you get the chance to restructure your mortgage, and help to consolidate debt. The lender you work with will be able to pay out your spare cash, by looking at your property's loan-to-value ratio, as well as your general credit.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Making An Easy Headband For My Daughter



 "Mommy, can you sew me a mask?" my seven year old daughter, Rose, comes up to me with a piece of floral fabric and asks, when I already have a lot on my plate.

While I have sewed masks before and they aren't that hard or complicated to make, sewing masks without a sewing machine is time consuming, and I didn't have the energy or patience for what was required.

"Rose, we already have enough masks," I tell her. 

"But Mommy," she says, "I haven't sewed with you in a while."

Anneliese was at her dad's and while I did have a lot to do, I decided to set aside some time with my daughter to sew. But not a mask.

"How about a headband?" I ask her, showing her the idea I had in mind. She agreed to the headband, but had specific ideas about how she wanted it to be.

We cut the fabric long enough to go around her head and then some, and I showed her how the standard headband is made with a wider part and then a thinner part containing elastic.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

10 Tips to Reduce Food Waste

When you throw out food you throw out money, I've always said. However, I'm actually quite terrible about not throwing out food, usually food that gets spoiled in my fridge, either before I can use it, or leftovers that we never get around to eating. This post from a reader gives some good ideas as to how to prevent food waste; I should listen to these tips and practice what I preach.


The little things we take for granted can make a huge difference in other people’s lives if we consider changing our attitude towards them and stretch our hands towards making a change today.

Reducing food waste will not only save you money but also the time you spend shopping for unnecessary items. You can also save water and reduce the greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. To reduce food waste efficiently consider talking to your local rubbish removal professionals for expert advice you can follow.

 According to the Australian government, Australians waste is about one-third of food produced every day at the farm, during transportation, at their homes, and in the hospitality industry.  

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Setting Up Our Pool from Start to Finish Including Costs


I had an internal debate about whether it was good to keep posting about my new pool, especially since there are probably so many readers who are struggling and can't afford a pool and this just might make them jealous. But then I reminded myself that my posting this might show people that it's more affordable than they thought. After all, I only even considered a pool after I saw a frugal friend post about hers, and I realized it actually was something doable, and not just for rich people.

Getting our yard ready for our pool was a not so simple process, and I posted about it on Facebook and people told me I should make it into a blog post. So here it is. I know I already wrote some of it in this post, but it didn't give the complete picture, so pardon me for any repetition. 

The first step, obviously, was ordering the pool. But to do that, I first needed to measure the space available and find a pool that fit those dimensions and was as deep as I wanted. To be honest, easier said than done. But once I found that and ordered it, there were still many more steps. Some people hire services to build and set up their pool, and/or to get the place ready for the pool, but I didn't do any of that. I paid for the pool and I paid for equipment, but all the work was done by myself and my kids. 

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Three Essential Things Parents Must Consider Before Buying Their Teenagers a Car

I don't own a car. And locally many people don't. Since cars are expensive to buy and maintain locally very few people actually buy cars for their teenagers. However, since that is a common occurrence in the US, here are some things you might want to consider before getting your teen a car, brought to you by a reader.


As soon as teenagers turn a certain age, most of them only have one request – getting their driver's learner's permit and going for a car drive. Depending on which state you live in, in Iowa, for instance, kids are allowed to have a learner's permit and drive cars in the presence of a parent or a guardian. In other words, kids from the age of fourteen are allowed to drive to and back from school in their cars and other places connected with school or work.

As a parent, it can be your living nightmare, not to mention the issues related to car insurance, which can be solved at TrulyInsurance.com. As parents, the bottom line is that there are loads of things to handle when it comes to teenagers and vehicles. Read on to learn more about three essential things to consider before buying your teenagers a car.

Save Money on Home Decorating with DIY Stick and Peel Wallpaper

Recently my daughters wanted to decorate their room, but each child had their own opinion on how it should be done, so we solved the issue by using wall decals. I only now, via this post sent to me by a reader, learned that there is something similar to wall decals but it covers the entire wall- stick and peel wallpaper! I always thought wallpaper was something really difficult to do- but if it's something as simple (or nearly as simple) as wall decals, that is something doable even for the laymen. Here are instructions on how to do so yourself.



If you are looking to decorate your room in 2021 and you have a limited budget to work with then there are a plethora of strategies and tips that you can use to get the most bang for your buck. One of these strategies is using a stick and peel wallpaper. This type of wallpaper comes in a variety of colors and patterns which means that there is a great chance that you will end up finding the best wallpaper for you that fits all your requirements and fulfills your interests.

Kids stick and peel wallpaper are also available which can help you in adding personality to your child’s room. There are a plethora of interesting and creative designs to choose from that can help peak your child’s interests and express their personality through their wallpapers. Using wallpaper may come with its benefits but it can prove to be a costly process if you decide to hire a professional to install this wallpaper. Luckily for you, there are some easy steps that you can follow in order to install this wallpaper yourself easily and effectively. Here we will discuss those steps.

Friday, May 14, 2021

My Latest Scratch and Dent Store Purchases- an Amazing Haul


 I was at the dentist the other day and while I was there decided to check out the nearby scratch and dent store, and came home with such a wonderful haul of cheap items. As usual, there were things that I needed to buy anyhow and I got them for a fraction of the price that they would be in a regular grocery store. Of course, I was excited and wanted to share what I bought with you. 

Here is what I bought and how much it cost.

A Step By Step Guide To Deep Cleaning Without Breaking The Bank

Want to do a deep clean of your house but don't want to spend too much money? A reader sent this information to me, hopefully you'll find it useful.


Deep cleaning takes a lot of time, effort, and often money. Cleaning products can be expensive, and you need to make sure you’re stocked up on gloves, wipes, and kitchen roll. Let’s go through step by step and uncover the deep cleaning tips that will leave you house sparkling, without breaking the bank.

Tick Bite Prevention Tips

I have heard terrible things about ticks for years but never encountered them when I lived in the US. However, I knew someone who had permanent brain damage after an infection that he got from a tick. The first time I actually encountered ticks were when I moved abroad. While we don't have deer ticks, the most common cause of lyme disease, we do have other ticks that can cause health issues if they bite you. My dog has brought ticks back from when my sons took her on a trip through a meadow, and one ended up migrating to my daughter. It was scary, because I didn't have experience with that before. If you don't have experience with ticks (and want to make sure you don't get experience with them!) try following these tips sent to me from a reader.


5 Tips To Prevent Tick Bites

Ticks are tiny critters that are not only annoying but a source of diseases. Some of the common sicknesses caused by ticks include Lyme, anaplasmosis and babesiosis. . To keep them off your body, it’s prudent to know the types of ticks common in your area and take precautions.  And the only sure way to deal with is avoiding them.

The professionals recommend this pest control company to take care any of your current ticks’ issue.  They are well-versed in all aspects of the job and have the required tool to complete the task.  Pest controllers of this company also provide top tips you can follow to get rid of your tick menace. Let's look at them further below.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

My Recent Frugal Accomplishments

Heyyyy, remember these? My posts where I talk about what frugal things I've done recently? I don't think I've done one of them for over a year, but I'm not going to go look when the last time I did one was, or I'll be embarrassed. But its been far too long. Part of the reason for that is because I really have felt I've been slacking in the frugal department and didn't have anything worthy of sharing. But the other day as I was fixing Rose's bike I was thinking to myself "Hey, this is something frugal, I should make a list of the few frugal things I've done for the blog" and as I was writing the list it grew and grew and I realized that I just haven't been giving myself enough credit. So here are the frugal things I've done recently that I wanted to share with you.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Patient, Drug, Dose, Route, and Time: A Guide to the ‘5 Rs’ of Medication Safety

I'll admit, I used to be pretty anti meds, but now I take 8 pills daily for both my mental and physical health and I wouldn't have it any other way. (Ok, I would prefer to not need them, but since I do, I'm glad I have them to help me instead of suffering without.) But as much as I enjoy having meds available, there are some things that are important to keep in mind when taking meds so that it is safe. Here are some thoughts on this from a reader.


With its wonders in treating illnesses and preventing diseases, medicine has proven useful to many life forms but most especially to us. For this reason, medication use among households has significantly increased throughout the years. However, along with this widespread availability comes the alarming hazards and errors when administering medicine.

Without basic knowledge about its proper use, this may lead to various medication errors that might cause further complications for the patient. To help reduce or even eliminate this risk and other errors, it is highly recommended to follow the “Five Rights of Medication Administration.”

Even before a person gets his or her professional license as a registered nurse, they are taught with these five rights. In the hospital setting, each medicating nurse practices these five rights. With that said, the five rights of medication are: Right patient, Right drug, Right dose, Right Route, and finally, Right Time. Even if you aren’t in a hospital setting, and are giving meds at home to your kids, abiding by these rights can be a very good practice. Here’s a more in-depth look at these five rights:

3 Easy Ways To Get Celebrity Style On A Non-Celebrity Budget

I know some people have the attitude that clothes are clothes, and any desire to look pretty is shallow, vain, and wrong. Clothes are meant to keep you warm, cover your body, and that's it. Other people I know who have a hard time clothing shopping just have the attitude of "Whatever, if it fits it fits." But I've learned in the past few years that an important part of self care, for me and many others, is dressing in a way that makes you happy and feel good about yourself. Because clothes definitely can influence how you feel about yourself. For some people t-shirts and sweatpants are what make them feel comfortable in their own skin and happy, but other people have more discerning tastes and that is ok. If your taste, for example, is one that is more upscale, here are some ways sent in by a reader that you can dress according to your taste without breaking the bank.


Serena Williams, Beyoncé, Meghan Markle and Rihanna - some of Hollywood’s leading fashion icons. Every outfit they wear when they step out is instantly adored and recreated by followers across the globe. Celebrities have been influencing fashion for decades, and while they can be great fashion muses, the eye-watering price tag that comes with recreating their style is not always an option for the everyday person. The average American family spends $1,700 on clothing each year - 3.5 percent of their household spending. That’s a far cry from celebrity habits like Britney Spear’s $16,000 monthly clothing bill. But replicating celebrity style does not always have to break the bank. Whether you choose to make a DIY T-shirt at home or hit up a thrift store, dressing like your favorite celebrity on a budget just needs a bit of creativity.

Stick With The Style - But Ditch The Label

Friday, May 7, 2021

Fennel Salad with Mint and Oranges Recipe -- Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan, and Easy


I was making this salad today, and as I was making it, I thought that I should post the recipe, and then I said no, I am sure this recipe is already here because I make it so often, there's no way that this recipe isn't on my blog already. But a search through my archives shows otherwise, so I guess I never did.

This recipe is perfect for anyone who doesn't hate fennel. It has the right amount of crunch, sweet, sour, and complexity of flavor. You can make it without the orange but it simply isn't as good that way.

Fennel Salad with Mint and Oranges Recipe -- Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan, and Easy

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Doozy of Diagnoses for Me and How I'm Handing It


This post is hard for me to write. Because while I want to share things with you, especially those of you who've been following my journey, it's also hard for me to accept these things for myself, let alone share them with others. And beyond accepting them myself, there is also accepting all that it entails.

I have recently gotten diagnosed with some diagnoses that are not temporary, they are lifelong. And I have so many feelings about it. For example, I have a hard time calling them illnesses even though they are. And I have a hard time with everything they entail. 

But before I get into what my issues with my diagnoses are, and before I even tell you what my diagnoses are, I want to talk about what my issues are that even led me to get these diagnoses.

Child Custody: Choosing The Best Course For Your Child’s Best Interest

Divorce sucks. And one of the suckiest parts of divorce is dealing with custody. Who gets the kids, when do they get them, what will visitation be like, its all a big deal and scary, because we all (hopefully) want what is best for our kids, but what is best for them, and will the judges agree? This post sent in by a reader helps explain what judges look for in deciding who should get custody, as well as some things you can do to improve your chances of getting custody.


Getting a divorce is an unpleasant experience. When your children are involved, it’s even more difficult financially, logistically, and emotionally. No one should replace the part that you have in your child’s life. That’s why you need to fight for your children’s custody. However, securing your kids’ custody isn’t easy. You have to convince the court that you can ensure they’re safe and comfortable. Also, you may have to hire lawyers who specialize in family to help you win the case. To choose the best course for your child’s best interest, you need to understand what judges look at when awarding custodial rights. This article highlights some of the things you need to consider.

What Judges Consider When Determining A Child’s Best Interest


Easy Home Maintenance Tips That Won’t Break the Bank

Do you ever wish adulting came with a manual? I definitely do. There's so many things we're supposed to do as adults that no one taught us how to do but we somehow need to figure them out on our own. For example, home maintenance? I never learned how to do that. Cleaning it up, tidying up, cooking, yea, I know that stuff, but actually making sure my home will be in good working condition? I'm kinda at a loss there. If you, like myself, are kinda clueless about what things you need to do to maintain your home, here are some suggestions from a reader.


While having a home of your own is a marker of making it as an adult, in reality, it usually comes with a whole host of challenges, and keeping your home in good condition is sometimes a lot of work. Home maintenance is one thing that you just can’t avoid; however, letting it slide will often end up with costly problems later on. So to help you keep on top of things, here are some simple home maintenance tips that you can put into practice without having to spend a fortune.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Getting My Yard Ready For a Pool, Spending Time and Money to Save Money

A truck with a crane delivering a ton of dirt

I mentioned last week how I made a big money flop by not taking care of my pool enough, not being responsible enough with it, and ending up needing to trash it. I also mentioned that I was planning on getting a new, larger pool but I didn't take the plunge (pun intended) to do so at that time. 

After I wrote that post, some people recommended that I wait until later on in the season to buy a pool, as prices will probably go down. But my friend Becky who works in the importing industry, is a frugal person, and has a pool herself told me not to wait at all, because both Corona and the Suez canal disaster has really messed up shipping and things will be even less available than usual.

Before I made the order, though, I did try to make sure that I wasn't missing a better deal, so I went to the same scratch and dent store where I bought my pool last year, and they didn't have any pools, and would get some in the next month or so, but with what I heard from Becky, I didn't want to wait.

I went to the website I found with the better prices for what I had been looking at, and as it is I saw that quite a few of the pools they sold were already out of stock. I called up to make my order and the person on the phone told me that there are only 8 of the pools that I wanted left, and there is a shortage of pools in the country period. So I knew that now was the right time.

5 Expert Tips To Avoid A Rat Infestation

I have a stockpile of groceries in my home that I rely on, as it helps me save money and also saves me time because it means I don't need to go shopping as often. However, one of the biggest concerns of a stockpile is an infestation, whether from bugs, mice, or rats, which can eat your food and destroy your hard "earned" stockpile. Here are some tips from a reader on how you can avoid a rat infestation, and keep your home safer and pest free.


Rats are attracted to a warm and comfortable space where food and liquids are available. A messy home is the leading cause of a rat infestation where food is not correctly stored, piles of wood, or any coverings that can provide shelter, warmth, and food are available. However, you could move into a home with an existing rat infestation, or perhaps the neighbors have a rat infestation, and the issue overflows to your home as a default. In that case, you would need the help of a professional pest control service such as Nextgen Pest Solutions, or one in your area, to assist in the permanent removal of any pes or rodents which can cause property and health problems. However, these expert tips will help you prevent infestations.

What Are Seven Staples in the Kitchen You Should Always Have On Hand?

I remember babysitting for a family who told me I could help myself to food in the kitchen, but when I was looking for food, all I could think was "Where is all your food?" They had a few small shelves with food, but it seemed such a small amount, what did they even eat on a daily basis, and didn't they run out of things so quickly? I don't really understand people who don't have a well stocked pantry, because when your fresh food runs out in the fridge, you need to be able to still feed your family before you make it to the grocery store, or at least that's how I see it. My friend Nancy sent in a list of some staples you should always have in your pantry, nearly all shelf stable, so that you can always have food for your family.


When you started to design your kitchen using gray cabinets online, you knew it was going to be the central gathering place of the home. Great memories and meals are made there. 

When you make a nutritious meal, you should have a well-stocked kitchen. Many of the healthy foods available are highly perishable and must be consumed within a few days. Still, you can have several long-lasting and healthy staples in your fridge, freezer, and pantry to make nutritious meals and snacks. It is convenient to keep a supply of essential ingredients to help you prepare a healthy meal at any time. The following seven staples should always be in your kitchen to make this happen.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Spending Money on Private Care vs Using What Insurance Covers

What most people who read my blog, and honestly most people who know me, don't know, is that I live in an incredible amount of pain. Every day. I can't say every second of the day, but a lot of the time. And it's not just one part of my body that hurts, but many different places. Yes, I have the points that are especially problematic and most likely to hurt, but in general, I just hurt. A lot.

In addition to that, I deal with significant mental health issues. I have written before on my blog about my mental health issues, even though at first I didn't share anything, but I'm really glad I did. But I'm not sure how much people know about how much my mental health issues affect my life and what types of treatment I need. (I'm stable, that isn't the issue...)

Between my physical health and my mental health, I spend a lot of money on my medical care. Add to that what I spend on my kids and their mental health, well, it adds up to quite a lot.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I have national insurance that rarely has copays, and covers all these treatments, and I go privately and pay out of pocket instead.

I've had friends approach me and tell me listen, you don't have so much money, and you have insurance, why do you pay privately for these things? Go with what the insurance has available. They have good practitioners.

The thing is... I've thought about this. Why do I pay privately if I can get things through the insurance company?

All About Macchiato and How to Make It At Home

I used to be a regular coffee drinker before my psychiatrist told me that I needed to stop, that it was making my anxiety worse. But when I made it, it was always simple- just instant coffee, hot water, and milk. My son Lee now is a big coffee drinker. He also makes it simply. This article that a reader sent me gave me some good ideas on how I can make my son extra special coffee, machiatos. If you're a coffee fan, hopefully you'll enjoy this post as much as I did.


Thanks to the creative, inventive mind of the average American, a coffee drinker has a long list of coffee drinks to choose from. Let's be honest, how is frappuccino a type of coffee? Not only that, there are all these other Italian names like “macchiato” that a newbie will need to know as well. Who knows what's coming next?

Anyway, just in case you need to do some catching up on the types of coffee you can get, the macchiato is a good place to start. In this article, we explain what a café macchiato is as well as its different variants. We will also let you in on what variant you should consider and when you should take it.

Let's get in.

Self-Sustained Country Living Benefits Modern-Day Families

For a long time I had a dream of moving out to the countryside and making my own self sustained homestead. It was something I discussed with friends and contemplated, but life led me other places and I do some urban homesteading in my suburban town. But for those who are thinking about moving to the countryside, this post sent in by a reader talks about some benefits, financially, healthwise, and more, about living in the countryside. 


Countryside living is becoming increasingly popular among Americans, with nearly 50% of adults indicating that they would prefer to live in a small town or rural area, according to a recent Gallup survey. There are many reasons why families are retreating from urban living in favor of a quieter life in the countryside. Apart from cheaper housing and easy access to healthy food, you can also supplement your income readily by taking advantage of all the resources available to you.

Country living can save you a lot of money

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