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Friday, November 25, 2022

7 Important Estate Planning Documents To Put Your Affairs In Order

No one likes to think about their death, especially if they're younger, such as in your thirties like I am. I mean, how likely is one going to die in their thirties? But unfortunately that isn't a guarantee. The way the world is now, people often die at a young age, whether from mass shootings, terror attacks, or car accidents. Even sometimes people drop dead from previously unknown health issues- a friend of ours just a few years older than I am suddenly dropped dead mid conversation a few months back. These things are scary to think about and we might want to avoid thoughts of our mortality, but when you have children, it is especially important to make plans for your death. And hey, in some cultures, preparing for your death is a good charm for a long life. Here are some important things to know about putting your affairs in order before you die.


Planning your estate in the event of your death might seem like a morbid activity. It is difficult, especially since it means coming to terms with your mortality. Apart from that, you would also have to deal with a lot of paperwork and attempt to understand legal jargon. That doesn’t mean you should avoid planning for your estate. Studies show that 67% of Americans don’t have an estate plan. Not having an estate plan can burden your loved ones, and you would have no say in how you would like your assets to be distributed. So, what should go into your estate plan? Here are some important documents to include, and this article will help you understand why you need them.

How To Keep The Spark Alive In Your Relationship?

When you're first starting to date someone, or when first married, things are all new and exciting. But as time goes by, and you need to also live your "real life", especially once kids get into the picture, you might find you're putting less and less time into your relationship and it may become all about the mundane things enough. Here are some ideas to keep the spark alive in a relationship that is going on for some time.


A relationship naturally goes through different phases over the years. For example, you may have encountered certain family obligations or financial problems that shifted your focus elsewhere. So the 'spark' may disappear in your relationship, especially if you are not working on it.

Do you remember the last time you had an interesting conversation with your boyfriend or husband, or you both went on a dinner date?

A little 'spark' is essential for keeping and maintaining a forever relationship. What is this 'spark'? It can be otherwise called 'chemistry' or the strong connection. You can better describe it as that feeling of butterflies in the stomach. It's the current that passes through the body when your lover touches you. Now: 

Although this feeling may dim and gradually disappear, you can get the 'spark' back too. So couples who want to know the secret recipe to keep the spark alive or bring the spark back in their relationship, this article can help.

Ways to Keep Your Relationship's Spark and Romance Alive

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Beyond Overwhelm- How to Get Out of the Overwhelmed Rut Using CBT (and Not Toxic Positivity)

When someone is struggling, often people think that the way to help them is with platitudes, and encouragement to just be happy and look at the positive, but this can be problematic, and honestly doesn't help. This is called toxic positivity, and one of my favorite speakers and authors, Susan David, talks a lot about why it is problematic and the harm it causes. If you want to learn more about toxic positivity, here is an interview with her on a podcast on the subject. (Transcription is included for those that can't listen.) 

But when you're overwhelmed, it can be debilitating and stop you from functioning. So how do you manage it? There are many different ways to approach it in a healthy manner. CBT is one of them. Here is how my friend Leia deals with feeling overwhelmed, based on a CBT approach. Hopefully, you'll find it helpful, because, come on, who doesn't feel overwhelmed and like everything is too much, at least sometimes?


Every time my aunt (*family member changed to protect their privacy) hears me say “Im so overwhelmed” she calls me out on it. “You aren’t overwhelmed, you have a lot to do with limited resources”.

Um, nope. I actually do feel overwhelmed. And heres a tip, never tell someone how they do or don’t feel. You’re either being insensitive or patronizing and neither of those things are kind. Feelings are an automic domain. You feel whatever you feel and that feeling is your truth.

As someone who overthinks and sees potential disasters in the simplest of circumstances, overwhelm is a pretty constant companion.

She sits on my chest and clouds my focus. And everytime she takes a seat in my brain, I want to pull the chair out from under her and see how she likes it!

I don’t like her very much, this Ms. Overwhelm. And she’s shown up again. She’s loud, she’s invasive, she brings the heat and creates panic. I have so much to do, I don’t really want to deal with her on top of it all.

After years of CBT experience, I try that angle.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

6 Things To Consider When Selling A House During Divorce

As someone who owns a house and is in the last stages of the divorce process, the one in which we take care of our assets including a jointly owned house, this post on things to consider regarding the sale of a house during divorce is very apt. I hope you find it as enlightening.


If you and your spouse are contemplating a divorce, you may find yourselves wondering whether to sell your home. Especially if the value has risen in recent years, as most properties did, you could find yourself sitting on a substantial amount of equity. Those funds can help both parties start fresh, find new housing, and begin their new lives.

However, divorce proceedings can complicate everything, and this is no exception. Before you take steps to prepare to list your home for sale during a divorce, consider these six questions.

Five Family Friendly Activities to Do When Visiting Pigeon Forge

I love going on trips, whether local or abroad, and either alone or with my family. I always love learning about new great places to visit, and even if I don't visit there I at least can explore it via the internet. Whether you've heard of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, or not, here are some interesting things you can do there- maybe you'll decide to make a trip there with your family.


Regardless of age, you will never forget the time spent and moments shared with family. Even after a long time, most people can recall the details of their family holidays, what they did, and how excited they were about it.

Families often choose places to have fun together and create lasting memories. Spending quality time with family is a beautiful opportunity for your children to meet new people and strengthen relationships.

Understanding what your children like is crucial, and so is knowing what you can do to relax and have fun. As you plan a trip with your family, pick a location to experience all those feel-good moments.

No matter the age of your children, we have a vacation option that will provide you with a perfect combination of relaxation and entertainment.

Pigeon Forge - A Place to Create Fun-Filled, Lasting Memories

Friday, November 18, 2022

My Ridiculously Easy Slightly Nutritious Go-To Meal -- Gluten Free Comfort Food


It is kind of ridiculous that I'm posting this, but I'm trying to be honest about where I am in life... But I've been having a hard time in so many different areas, either in physical pain or emotional or just thoroughly exhausted, so productivity and energy levels are pretty slim.

But even so, I still need to eat, and I still need to feed my family. My family is easy enough to feed though, toast and eggs go a long way (and lets pretend they eat enough vegetables on those days, but at least they eat lots of fruit), but since I don't eat gluten or eggs I don't have that go-to.

However, I "chanced upon" this meal I have been making regularly when I went away for a week and ended up with corona... I had purchased some gluten free instant "ramen" which was actually just rice noodles with chicken soup mix, and to make it a little healthier, so it at least had protein, I added cheese. Then add green beans and voila.

Yea, that's basically this. "Chicken" noodle soup with cheese and green beans. But with rice noodles. 

Hits the spot. Nice comfort food, soothing with a sore throat or upset stomach or cold day, or just an "I can't be bothered to do more complicated cooking." It has carbs, it has protein, it has a vegetable. It has fat. Voila, well rounded meal. And other than dairy it is allergy friendly. Yes you can make this without cheese to make it more allergy friendly, but then you don't have protein. And it isn't expensive to make, unlike most super easy meals to make.

But let's make this written as an official recipe, so I can pretend I'm being a professional recipe blogger.

Ridiculously Easy Cheesy Noodle Soup -- Gluten Free Comfort Food

Thursday, November 17, 2022

How to Sell Your House on a Budget

Selling your house is a good way to make money, right? Not necessarily. Even if your home went up in value, there are a lot of costs involved in selling a home that can eat away at your profit if you aren't careful. Here are some of the things you can do to keep down those costs, to be able to get the most money after expenses from the sale of your house.


Selling your house is expensive. Although you make a lot of money at the end of the process, you’re bound to spend a few dollars (or more) along the way. It would be an impossible task to cut all costs, but there are certainly ways to save money. Just because you’re on a budget, it doesn’t mean that selling is out of the question. This article will take you through a few steps to take if you want to sell your house whilst spending as little as possible.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

3 Essential Things to Know About Walk-In Baths

Dealing with physical as well as mental disabilities I've been aware of how many things are needed to make places disability friendly. A very common issue people with disabilities face is difficulty bathing. There are many different ways to make a home more accessible for bathing, and a walk-in bath is one of them. Here are things you might not know about them.


Walk-in tubs are convenient for many people, not only those with mobility issues. They suit the needs of most people who love a quick soak in the tub. Walk-in tubs are also ideal for young children. They have built-in seats, and some are heated for additional comfort. With walk-in tubs, the user can sit while bathing and performing other personal hygiene activities. Moreover, they can relax their muscles while in the tub. One of the primary features that make walk-in tubs a good choice for many people, including young children and the elderly, is the ease of going in and out of the bath. Users do not need to climb up the side of the bathtub.

What you Don’t Know About Family Meals

My friend Yaffi is a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist, and to help take off some of my stress load I asked if she could write something for you. Here she elaborates on what makes a family meal a good one, why they are important, and what they should include. With my kids in two different households and coming home at all different hours, with packed schedules. family dinners can be hard to do, but at the bare minimum we have two a week, but try to have at least a couple more. 


Hi! Let’s chat about family meals. They are good. Tons of benefits. All the good stuff.

To contrast, eating Red Vines alone, while hiding in the pantry is not good. For starters, Twizzlers are so much better.

I said what I said.

But I want to focus on what you don’t know about family meals. Stick with me here. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (from laughing, obviously), and you’ll maybe possibly think that you’re doing ok already.

How do I know you’re doing ok? If you’re still with me, caring about your child’s nutrition is not the first good thing you’ve done, nor the most recent. Caring is a constant. Sometimes it’s a balloon and other times it’s a heavy suitcase. But you’re here and I’m here and we can lean on each other through the absolute scam joy that is parenting.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Looking After Mental Health When Dealing With Illness

As someone dealing with chronic illness and running in circles of people also dealing with them, I know very well how much one's emotional wellbeing is affected by these health issues. However, it isn't only the one who is sick that is affected, but also their caregivers. Here are some ideas about how to take care of your emotional health when dealing with illness.


Whether it’s you who has the illness or it’s a family member or loved one who has been diagnosed, it can be a blow to the stomach. It’s something that can often take people by surprise, especially when the prognosis is uncertain.

With any illness, going through the motions emotionally can be challenging. There can be many ups and downs experienced. With this being said, here are a few ways to look after your mental health when dealing with an illness.

Take it all day by day

When it comes to an illness, the best thing to do is to take it day by day. After all, depending on the diagnosis and the outcome of the prognosis, it might be best to take each day as it comes.

It’s better to do this than to think ahead or try to plan for something that at this point, feels very uncertain still. If it’s a loved one, then try to offer that same advice. Although it can be easier said than done when a person has the illness, it’s good to take each day as it comes with as much energy as possible.

Help those who are affected

It can be hard to see those you love, go through an illness that strips away their personality. There are such illnesses that do this, with dementia being a prime example. For those who have older loved ones, dementia is often part and parcel of those at a certain age.

In order to get them the help they need, understand the illness and what might be able to help ease their pain or suffering. For example with dementia, those with the disease can get a gps dementia tracker. This can be highly effective in helping keep track of loved ones, should they become confused or lost at any point.

Make a plan to overcome any future hurdles

There are going to be challenges along with any illness no matter how good or bad the outlook might be right now. Those challenges are going to require a lot of moral support for those going through it. From chemotherapy for cancers to physical rehabilitation after an infection.

Think about how family members and friends who can help pitch in and help out when that person needs assistance.

Keep up communications

Communications are important to keep when it comes to those going through a tough time. A simple phone call or a surprise visit could be just what that person needs to get them through a particularly challenging period of their illness.

A person going through an illness needs a network of support and those who are willing to communicate throughout.

See a therapist

Where it might be a struggle to talk to people you know, see a therapist. This can be the case for the person suffering from the illness and anyone who is experiencing a loved one going through it.

Looking after mental health is important and it’s something to prioritize when one finds themselves with a life-altering illness.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

How To Plan And Execute A Successful Business Event

I have wanted to run a business event, an event to promote my book, a tasting event with recipes from the book, with the book on sale, of course, but I never got around to doing it. For those of you who are trying to figure out how to make an event to promote your business and do so successfully, here are some ideas you can consider.


Events are a great way to get your business in front of potential customers and partners. They can also be a great way to build loyalty among your current customer base. However, an event can be a wasted opportunity for your business if not planned and executed well. Therefore it is essential to put some time and effort into ensuring that your business event is successful. So here are some tips on planning and executing a successful business event.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Making A Frugal and Fun Book Nook and Sensory Area

Do you have a small space in your house that you aren't sure what to do with it? A book nook is a good idea to make, because you don't need a large space for it and it can turn into a great and comfortable resource. My friend Cheryl made one, and she was excited to share with you how she made it.


We had a space in between the steps and the wall for luggage in our apartment. It was a place that was messy and an eyesore because we don’t have a storage room. My husband decided that we should do something cute with the space and make it into a reading clubhouse.

Once he gave me the idea, I ran with it. We are kinda book people and a bit creative so this was right up our alley. I first started by doing a purge of all the things we didn’t need to keep so that I have more space to work with. I then went on Amazon and ordered a beautiful wall decal of a sprawling family tree which had space for pictures for $18.95. I went through my photo album and picked seven pictures that would be good for a communal family space, I used contact paper to cover them so that they would stay as well as blue tack to not ruin the paint.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

How to Have a Good First Date?

If you're divorced like I am, you might be thinking about getting into another relationship, but it can be a daunting thought especially if you've been out of the dating ring for a long time. The first date can be the most intimidating of all. Here are some tips on how to make sure that your first date goes as well as possible.


When you meet someone new, the first thing on your mind is to know if there’s a spark between you. To figure out if the person is worth your time, you begin with a first date. It’s a short, casual meeting to judge the person as a potential partner in the future. But how do you have an excellent first date? Moreover, how do you ensure there are no awkward moments and that it goes well? We reveal everything about how to have a good first date.

1. Plan ahead

The best way to ensure that you have a good first date including with people from around the world, such as with Russian women looking for men, is to plan ahead. It makes perfect sense to do so because you can avoid any awkward moments. You can plan your outfit, setting, date place, and even conversations. You can also be sure to have enough time for the date. If you don’t plan anything, you leave a lot to chance. You might not have the right outfit, you could get stuck in traffic, or you could be late. Anything can go wrong, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Friday, November 4, 2022

Should I Get a Baby Monitor with Extra Features and Uses?

When my kids were little, I co-slept with them. But for parents that don't, especially if you have a larger home where a baby may be sleeping a little further from where the parent is, a baby monitor can be very helpful. New baby monitors often have extra features, but are they worth it? This piece below explores that.


When purchasing a baby monitor, it is best to consider what other features are available on the models that you are considering. We all know that a baby monitor is used to keep an eye on your baby while they sleep in another room. You can also use a baby monitor to communicate with your child if they wake through the night, with most newer models acting like a two-way radio.

However, there are some current models of baby monitors that offer other features to help you to look after your child and soothe them overnight.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Insalata di Riso Recipe -- Italian Rice Salad -- Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly, Frugal and Adaptable

My friend Juli of Pandemonium Noshery and I have been bonding over our love of international frugal cooking (among other things) for a few years already, and I've shared a few of her recipes here already. She inspires me in the kitchen. Since I've been feeling overwhelmed a bit (ok a lot) lately I asked Juli if she had another recipe she wanted to share with you, and she had this delicious looking one. I can't wait to try it out.


Hey! It’s Juli again and I am so happy to be here. I wanted to share something we have been eating all summer long. Interestingly, I first heard about the dish in a local cooking group Penny added me to years ago, so it seems only fitting that she is letting me share it with you all.

So what is Insalata di Riso? Well, it translates to pretty much what it looks like, Rice Salad. It’s an Italian Dish that is eaten through the summer for a light meal. But I’ve discovered it’s great all year round, especially when you want something delicious and easy to make. It’s also great as a leftover makeover and a fridge cleaner. I love using this recipe as a way to use up leftover rice that I might not have enough of for a whole meal on its own, or I want to elevate it, or both.

As I mentioned it’s great for cleaning out the fridge too. Most of the individual items you only need a little of and not any one of them is going to make or break. It’s the variety of pickled items and fresh veggies that are the heart of this dish. Sometimes I swap around the tomatoes, have a handful of cherry tomatoes? Throw them in! Leftover chopped salami? That too! Really, it’s ideal for after a party when you have leftover charcuterie. I have a local charcuterie business so I have these items on hand, when I get low or want to use stuff up, or have a party, I chop up all the extra tidbits on hand and have a whole new meal. Any type of olives work, anything extra you have pickled on your board can be thrown in. Use it all! 

If you don't have pickled artichokes that is fine; if you have frozen artichoke hearts you can try cubing them and tossing them in.

Vinegar is anything you have on hand and like, I use a very not Italian vinegar and opt for German 13 herb vinegar. The extra flavors in there really go so well with it all. However, if I don’t have it on hand I can say from experience that white vinegar and apple cider vinegar both work.

Insalata di Riso Recipe -- Italian Rice Salad -- Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly, Frugal and Adaptable

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

How To Protect Your Phone With A Handmade Case While Traveling

My joint issues make me have terrible balance, so I fall regularly. This means I've destroyed far too many phones, so I need to protect my phone as much as possible since I need it to function on a day-to day basis. I use a heavy duty silicon screen protector and a special phone case that is extremely durable and has bits protrude that minimize the likelihood of the screen from hitting the ground when it falls down. Most people don't fall or drop things as much as I do and therefore have as bad luck with phones as I do, and don't need the same amount of protection, so they have a lot more flexibility in what they want for a phone case. Here are some types of phone cases you may consider to use to protect your phone and why.

Photo: Josh Willink

Whenever I save some extra and have the possibility to travel together with my kids and enjoy a little weekend getaway, I always tend to realize that our phones are perhaps the most important personal belongings as they make our lives so much easier in almost all life situations, particularly when outdoors.

And when I think about it, my phone is my most trusted travel companion, communicator, navigator, and memory-maker. For those reasons, I definitely pride myself in taking the appropriate measures to protect it from being stolen or damaged when I pull out my phone in unusually hazardous places to check on the map or take a photo of my kids.

Have you ever had that unwished-for feeling? You know, the one where you helplessly watch your hard-earned smartphone slip from your hand in slow motion, feeling powerless as it drops to the ground and cringing when it makes a glass-shattering, terrifying sound? I have, and it’s awful, something that happens to many people and apparently is even more likely to happen when you’re away on a trip.

Nowadays, when we rely so much on our smartphones, we sometimes overlook the fact of how vulnerable they are to theft and external damage. Therefore, one should always take the extra steps to keep their phone safe while traveling, and there’s no better way to protect your device than to protect it with a rugged, handmade phone case.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Benefits of Instilling a Love for Books in Your Children

I'm a huge bookworm. One of my children is a reader like I am, one is not, and I'm working on instilling a love of reading in my other two. Here are some reasons you may want to get your children to love reading.


In his story ‘I Can Read with My Eyes Shut’, Dr. Seuss wrote: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Over the past two years, reading among children has increased by approximately 89% according to a report by Epic, a leading global digital reading platform. One of the most valuable things we as parents can do is read with our children. Reading not only transports children to fantastical worlds but also boosts their academic and emotional development in a number of ways. From boosting relationships and improving literary skills to teaching valuable life lessons, let’s have a closer look at just a few of the countless benefits of reading to your children from a young age and instilling a love for books in them.

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