Posted in Information Article, Wedding

Information Article: Coupons & Great Gift Ideas


ith the major wedding planning that is going on in our home for two weddings, we are definitely looking for great deals, coupons and special savings.  We are trying to cut corners any way we can.  I constantly am searching for the best deals, fun and unique gifts and yes, maybe even some Geek Gifts for the numerous bridal showers we will be going to (besides our two daughters getting married there are six other girls in our church marrying in the next six months!).  🙂  One gift my daughter has registered for is a red stand mixer and I found this red kitchen mixer timer.  I know she would love it and it sure would be a unique gift for her that probably no one else would get her!

Another major cost we are looking at is wedding invitations and the programs to be handed out at the wedding.  We have done a lot of research on this and I know I can cut some major costs with something like this 123Print coupon code and 48HourPrint coupons.  One decision we have made is to go with postcard wedding invitations which not only cuts the cost of the invitation, but postage as well, and we think it will be something people will easily stick up on their refrigerator or bulletin board and remember.

I will continue writing more on my blog here as we find special deals and how we will have a fun, memorable, elegant, yet low cost wedding products.  Yes, I think it can be done!

Posted in Information Article

Information Article: Car Dealership Webpages


y oldest son works at a car dealership as a certified auto mechanic.  It has been quite slow for him getting the repair jobs.  I’ve noticed that the dealership has a lot more advertising on TV recently.  They have several beautiful car showrooms.  They have to sell cars!   They also are up-to-date and have an on-line showroom of their inventory.  There you can shop by new or used cars, looking up a certain size of a car, price, MPG, etc.

With the way the economy is, especially in our area, a dealership has to do all they can to sell cars.   They need to have a professional Dealer SEO who knows how to to the best with their webpages and have content all up to date including any promotions or specials that are happening.  There’s even a Facebook app for car dealers that can list a dealerships’ entire inventory on Facebook and it is updated every time the inventory changes.   And a dealership definitely needs to know How to Get a Friendly URL for Facebook Pages!!  It’s kind of a sneaky way of using your friends and advertising, isn’t it?

It’s a tough market for dealerships right now and they really have to look at all possibilities to get buying customers!

Posted in Information Article

Information Article: Stanchions & Barricades


have liked playing an online word game with my kids and friends.  I continually see new words I had never heard of and learn new things.  One new word I just learned was stanchions.  Do you know what that is?  You probably see them just about every day!   These help with forming lines, especially in banks, some fast food restaurants, stores, getting tickets for a movie or helping with crowd control as people wait in long lines for a concert.  It can be a  retractable belt or a long swag velvet rope to help guide people together, in a line, in a close, confined area.  When my young ones have discovered the retractable belts at a bank they have unhooked them and let them snap in.  I don’t know who looks more shocked . . . my child or the workers!  And those velvet ropes can be a toy for young kids too . . . first jumping over, then trying to go under or swinging them until they knock down the stand they are attached to!  Yes, I’ve witnessed this personally from my own children and there is no place for this mom to hide when it happens!

In some instances something more permanent and stable is needed for blocking people out or around a certain area, especially in outdoor places on on streets.  When a festival comes to our town each summer, ropes and retractable belts will not do the trick but large barricades are needed to block streets and certain areas of town the public needs to avoid.  This can be done with temporary fencing, traffic cones, pipes, drape walls, etc.  Sometimes people just need something large and very evident that they need to stay away!  Signs and belts will not always do the trick!

Posted in Information Article

Information Article: BizzClick


s you visit different blogs and webpages, you may see various advertisers.   Many of these are a Pay Per Click type ad which means, just someone clicking on the ad, the advertiser has to pay for that person clicking it and visiting their page.  The good news is, is that ad got someone to visit their webpage, blog or place of business online.  One such place that helps both the advertiser and finding blogs and webpages to host the ads, is BizzClick.

It is a possibility that I may be approached by BizzClick to have an ad on up my blog for a homeschool math curriculum.  BizzClick can see that I am a homeschool mom and so they want to get my audience of other homeschool moms who may be looking for such a program. So, the agreement may be, as I, having the Advertiser page,  that either I get paid every time someone clicks on the math curriculum ad or every time someone purchases from that link.

If I want to advertise my webpage or blog on another webpage or Blog, BizzClick have a personal manager for me, and use a variety of tools to create the perfect advertising campaign along with one of the quickest XML feeds in the industry.  They have their own FiSoAp traffic ranking system which will help me get the right traffic sources to my page.  There is just as much importance with the Publisher page.

Getting noticed on the world wide web can be hard.  Using a service such as this can certainly promote and help put it in fast forward for increasing business.

Posted in Information Article, Social Moms

Renewing Our Winter Driving Lessons


t seems if we have even a short break in winter-like weather, so many drivers forget how to drive sensibly and carefully.  I could not believe how many cars were off the road our first snowfall, and it really was not that bad.  It’s almost as though we all need to take winter driving renewal classes!  And as a mom with two kids that are new winter drivers, it can send me into a panic.  They think it’s funny that mom wants a text when they get to their destination or when they are leaving for home.  But it’s a requirement!  I also want to know the route they are taking so if they don’t get home in a reasonable time, we can look for them.  If my husband or I need to go a distance, we do the same with each other.  It’s just a safe accountability rule for us.

Recently I had to chase down one of my daughter’s boyfriends as he was leaving our driveway with her.  He had only cleared the front windshield of the car.  The rest of the windows were filled with snow!  He said he was about to put the automatic windows up and down, yet the back window was still covered.  So he heard an earful especially since my daughter was in his care!  It’s always important when getting ready to leave that all the windows are cleared of snow and ice, along with the side mirrors.  Then, once you get on the road, test it to see how it is.  Don’t just go by looks.

One of the worst things during the winter season we always need to be aware of black ice.  It’s so easy to catch us off-guard and off we go sliding and it’s hard to do the right thing in a panic.  Our first instinct is to brake, but we are suppose to get our foot off  the gas pedal and turn into the direction of the skid without slamming the brakes.  Yes, this is easier said than done!  When we know the roads are icy it’s easier to take the right actions, such as driving slowly, driving off to the right some so your tires might catch more stable ground, and  staying far enough behind the car in front and then when coming to stop signs, and red and yellow lights, well ahead of time, slow down and gently put your foot off and on the brake until you come to a complete stop.

If possible, when schools are closed and there are warnings of bad roads, try to stay home.  Cancel appointments and rearrange your schedule.  Many times a job does not allow for this so then the best way to handle icy roads is to drive slowly and cautiously. Leave plenty of room between your car and the car in front of it, and gently brake for stop signs and red lights ahead of time. Try to avoid slamming on the brakes, too, because it could lead to skidding. And beware of ice on bridges, overpasses, and seldom-used roads.

Driving defensively is a major key all the time, but more so in the winter.  Of course this includes ALWAYS wearing your seatbelt and making your passengers to do so also.  Keep blanket and fire flares in your car for emergencies, along with cat litter to help you get out of an icy area.  Encourage family members to drive carefully and be accountable to each other and aware what the other is doing.  It’s worth saving your life and your families.

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Esurance blogging program for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” 

Posted in Information Article

Information Article: Teaching and Training Doctors


f you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know we have had a lot of exposure to doctors, nurses, hospitals, etc.  Besides my having a dozen children along with a couple of kidney stones, we have one daughter who has had three open heart surgeries, another son who had one procedure to correct a heart problem, a son who had three pins put in his shoulder after a three wheeler accident and the typical stitches, ear infections, dehydration, etc.  We have had wonderful doctors and nurses who have gone above and beyond what they need to do and a few rare doctors I’d not take my dog to.   And those few that just have horrible bedside manner, may be incredibly smart medically but if I cannot have a repore with them and feel confident in them it does not matter how smart they may be.  My confidence in them is gone.

As we have gotten to know doctors and nurses personally in our lives, we realize how much training they are required to go through, and not just the years in college but training afterwards that also helps in developing their relationships in their offices and who they train as well.  Doctors have to be taught by teachers, many times other doctors, and students shadow doctors through hospitals and office visits (we have seen a LOT of this). There  are a variety of  consultant interview courses they can take to better their skills. Doctors have to take such courses as teach the teacher course which helps them learn various training methods and refine how they teach or a medical teaching course which helps improve their teaching skills and styles.  Doctors who are a head of a department may take a medical management course training them to lead and manage within a medical team and learning how to communicate effectively with a variety of individuals.

Personalities cannot be dictated, but training to work with people can be a learned skill and developed for the better.

Posted in Information Article

Information Article: Affordable Pet Health


e have had numerous dogs through my last 27 years of marriage, mainly large dogs – several black labs, a beautiful chocolate lab and we now have a very smart German Shepherd.  I  grew up with two toy poodles and I’ve kind of missed having a lap dog.  So, I got one . . . and I just love him.  He’s a “MorkiePoo” – Yorkie, Maltese and Poodle mix.  He looks like a little white snowball! And since he’s “my” dog, I’ve got the full responsibility for caring for him, though as a homeschool mom it’s another great opportunity to teach my children about animal responsibility.

With having two dogs and a cat, the expense can be a lot, especially with shots, heart worm medication and preventative medications for fleas and tics along with shampoos and other cleaners, including for my pup, eye stain remover.  So, I have been looking around for discount pet meds to help with our budget and to be able to keep our animals healthy.  What I appreciate the most is when a website does not just promote one product, but has numerous ones I can compare not only the product but the cost.  I can get a recommendation from my friends or a veterinarian and then do a search for discount pet meds for the products I want.  It sure saves a lot of money compared to getting it at my veterinarian’s office or local pet shop.

I was amazed as well, to find the higher priced puppy food I feed my puppy at a considerably lower price too. I pay $6 for a four pound bag from my local grocery store and I’ve found it for $20 for 17.5 lbs.  and it includes free shipping!  I even found a little hoodie jacket and rawhide bones that are cheaper than buying them from the bulk section of my grocery store.  I’ve told the kids I am going to spoil my pup until I get grandkids!  And, I am thankful to find a place that makes it more affordable to keep our pets healthy.

Posted in Information Article

Information Article: Arbors


s soon as the holidays are over,  my daughter and I have to be in first gear in planning her spring wedding which will be less than five months off.  One of the main things is figuring out how we are going to decorate.  She is pretty certain she wants an indoor church wedding, but wants some of the outdoor feel as well.  She’s liked the idea of garden arbors which can so easily be decorated.  The main type of flowers she wants is apple blossoms which would be so easy to decorate just about any type of arbor, including wooden arbors or vinyl arbors.  I personally really like the look of the white wooden arbors or the white New England Arbors which just have a more country  look to them, which is what my daughter wants the feel of her wedding to be.

If we end up buying an arbor the nice thing about it is we can use it in our home landscaping and then, for future weddings!  Arbors can so easily be changed to a totally different look and feel just with the decorating or even where we put it.  I can see my daughter wanting it at the front of the church where they say their vows, but we could use it again for an outdoor wedding or at the reception where the newly weds walk through to be introduced along with their wedding party.

An arbor will be just one of the many decisions to be made for the wedding, but also a fun part!

Posted in Information Article

Information Article: Enclume Pot Racks


s my daughter looks over things she wants for her home after she gets married,  and  how she might want to have her home decorated, she continues to look at items for her kitchen.  She loves to cook and knows she probably won’t have a lot of space in her first kitchen.  One item of consideration is enclume pot racks.  What a wonderful variety there are!

I’ve always loved the rectangular hanging pot racks.   These are ideal if you have a limited amount of cupboard space.  My mom-in-law has one and it  looks so nice in her kitchen.  She even plays with the grandkids and calls it her “pot band” and takes a wooden spoon and hits all the pots and pans.  I’d love one of these myself, but then I’d have to get some nicer looking pots to display!

Another type of enclume pot rack is a freestanding one which would be ideal for an apartment or rented house, where you cannot be attaching something to the walls or ceiling.  These usually come with 5-8 tiers, but I imagine you can double up some of the shelves.  I am sure these could be decorated nicely with not just “pots and pans” on it, but possibly a plant or special kitchen coordinating piece.

There are so many different styles, shapes, and sizes of enclume potracks that the hardest part will be narrowing it down to the perfect one.  These certainly would make a great wedding, Christmas or birthday gift!

Posted in Information Article

Information Articles: Prepaid Debit Cards


ow do we teach our children about money when all around us businesses are failing and homes   are going through foreclosure and yet we get approval letters almost daily in our mailbox for large amounts of credit.  Even our college aged children are receiving these approved credit card letters  for thousands of dollars.   What a great temptation for not only them, but adults as well. No wonder we see so many TV advertisements for credit counselors to help people repair their credit.

If we want to help our younger generation learn about saving and also learn about how to use credit, we need not only to be examples but to teach them and give them solutions in how to build credit without going into debt.  One way is to give them a prepaid debit card such as a Green Dot card.  Parents could give their kids in college a certain amount of money in their prepaid card each month, making them be accountable for how they use it, learning to budget out what they need for food, toiletries, gas, and entertainment.  They can use it anywhere Visa or Mastercard are accepted. They can still get cash out at ATM machines (with minimal fees). Since it is not possible to charge or withdraw more than is put on the Green Dot card, there is not the worry of overdraft or overcharges.

.As kids learn responsibility with a prepaid card, this can also include the hard learning experiences such as a lost or stolen card.  With a prepaid card, the money is protected even if the card is lost or stolen.  It certainly is much better to give a child a prepaid card rather than a lot of cash with the risk of losing it all.  This would be even be ideal  for high school students who go on class trips or field trips instead of the risk of losing cash along the way. If you  give your high school aged child an allowance, why not consider putting it on a prepaid card, so they can begin learning early in how to use it!

It is also possible in to a payroll deposits put on a prepaid card so a student who has a job, may be able to keep track of where their money is going easier with using it through the prepaid card.  Another great advantage of a prepaid card is using it on-line so that personal bank information does not have to be given out protecting you and/or your child even more from stolen information that can happen on an unsecured website.

Teaching our children money responsibilities is a great investment!

Posted in Information Article

Information Article: Places to stay in Edinburgh, Scotland


dream place for my daughter, Heidi, to go to is Scottland. I think she secretly wishes she could go there for her honeymoon next spring.  She would love to visit the castles.  An ideal place to visit and stay would be in Edinburgh, which is the capital city of Scotland.   Edinburgh Castle is the major landscape you see which sets upon the top of  volcanic rock.

Edinburgh is the most visited tourist site after London, attracting over 1 million visitors per year from overseas.  So, if you make the visit there, you definitely need to know where you are staying.  In looking at possible places to stay, we have found beautiful Edinburgh apartments just minutes away from major attractions such as the Edinburgh Castle.  One really neat apartment to stay at is in the Old Town area of Edinburgh  and has a shared roof terrace  allowing for stunning views of the castle.

Besides the castle, other great places to visit in Edinburgh is the Royal Mile, which stretches between the Edinburgh Castle to the Holyrood Abbey, which is a ruined abbey church which was used as a parish church until the 17th, and has been ruined since the 18th century and it’s remains is a protected historical building.  At the bottom of the Royal Mile is Holyrood Place which is the official residence of the monarch in Scotland and where state ceremonies and official entertaining takes place.

So to be able to have an apartment in Edinburgh to stay in while seeing all these beautiful historical places would be simply breathtaking and memory making.

Posted in Information Article, REVIEW

Information Article: London Apartments


have never been out of the country,  so the idea of such a trip is quite a dream.  One place I’d love to visit is London.  As a little girl when I watched Princess Diana get married, I thought it would be quite fascinating to visit there and see the castles.   But going to a foreign country sounds scary too.  The idea of not knowing my surroundings at all, not knowing where to get help and just being in a totally different culture could be quite intimidating.  I’d want help!

I’ve just learned of a couple, Robert and Polly Arnold who have lived all their lives in London, along with their three children, Rachel, Jonny and Mike (ages 13-21).  They have 22 years of experience in helping people find London Apartments.  After doing much research, and finding places they personally would stay in with their family, they have chosen a selected number of apartments and B&B hotels in Central London.  And not only do they just set you up with an apartment, they will also help you in planning your visits and the sights you should see.

Possibly you are thinking of visiting London for a family or business trip, or even going during the 2012 Olympics and have been doing some internet searches for cheap places to stay.  They share on their website, many of the lower rate apartments you might find through the Internet are not quality ones, and not ones they personally would stay at with their children.  So, they take it very personally where they would recommend the right place to stay and enjoy London.

I would love to visit London someday and definitely would want to know I am choosing safe and quality places to stay and know I can get help in what to see and do.  Maybe, someday!

Posted in Information Article

Information Article: Blomus Stainless Steel


ometimes it’s just plain hard to find that perfect gift for someone who either seems to have everything or has such unique taste or decor, that you just don’t know what to give.  Even a gift certificate seems hard because even that you might not be able to find the right store or restaurant that would make it a special gift.   One idea I might suggest is items that are  blomus stainless steel which really, goes with everything.  You can find unique blomus kitchen items that possibly someone might already have, but not in this fine stainless steel and something that is so durable and goes with elegant to everyday kitchenware.

For instance, I love these blomus stainless steel olive spoons.  They are curved to hold an olive and have a little slit to let any juices out in the spoon.  It really can go with any kitchen decor and they are quite inexpensive, being they are less than $10.  What a nice little gift to give as a prize for a game at a bridal shower, or something even to put in a Christmas stocking.

So, if you are looking for something special and unique, this may just be the option you need with finding some special blomus items.

Posted in Information Article

Information Article: Personalized Address Plaques


ith the holidays quickly  approaching, finding unique gifts can be difficult.  With having one newly wed couple in our family and another couple to be married in the spring, I know how fun it is to have their married name on things.  An idea for one of the couples may be something like these bronze address plaques.  Now knowing how many times a young couple can move before they settle in their final home, if that ever happens, it might be nice just having their name on it. Some of these types can just say, “Welcome to our Home” with their last name on it.  I saw another one with “Established 2011” and then, also, their name on it.  I saw a ceramic one also with a vine painted on it with the last name which was quite lovely and would be a great memory piece to keep from home to home.

There is so many different possibilities with various personalized address plaques, including seasonal ones, ones for businesses or a cottage or one to hang right on a mailbox.  What a unique gift this can make for a special anniversary, wedding, birthday or Christmas.  

Posted in Information Article

Put away the Flip Flops!


e have been so blessed with a beautiful, sunny and warm autumn.  I really cannot remember an autumn that has had so many continuous warm days, in the mid to high 70’s – even in the low 80’s and it’s almost mid October!  But, it’s about to end, and it looks like it will barely hit sixty for the next week.  There’s even been some snow predicted, possibly in a few weeks, but I am thankful weathermen can be wrong!

So, I’ve been telling the kids, it’s time to get out our seasonal boxes, and put away our summer clothes, yes, even the flip flops that they would wear all year if I let them, and trade them for sweaters, hoodies and boots.  We always keep a few clothes out that can be worn if we get another Indian Summer day or two, but I think our warm streak is over for the most part.  

It’s kind of like saying good-bye to a friend as we pack up the summer clothes, remembering where we wore certain things for special occasions and look forward to the new seasons and celebrations approaching.  And though I do not like the long cold winters, there’s the sure promise spring will come again!