10 Awesome Kitchen Hacks!

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There are lots of amazing kitchen hacks out there  -- and many are truly amazing!  We've put together a list of TEN hacks - all of which will save you money!!!

I love reading about all of these amazing hacks to make life better.  They usually are things I’d never have thought of myself!  While many are about making life simpler, there are some which actually can save you money!  We’ve put together a list of TEN amazing hacks which are designed to do just that – make your wallet happy!

Just click the link below and you’ll go right to the idea!!  Tell them we sent you their way!!!

 

How to Clean Your Dishwasher with Tang // by One Creative Mommy

How to Remove Rust Stains from Knives with Lemon Juice // by Thrifty Jinxy

DIY Glass Kitchen Canisters // by Penny Pinchin’ Mom

Why You Should Grease Oven Racks // by Thrifty DIY Diva

DIY Bandits Oil Disinfecting Kitchen Spray // by Live Simply

Spray Measuring Cups with Cooking Spray // by Our Best Bites

10 Uses for Ice Trays // by Recipes to Make

How to Clean Your Microwave without Scrubbing or Chemicals // by Simply Stacie

DIY Jet Dry // by The Thrifty Couple

DIY Sponge Icepacks // by My Kitchen Escapades

Secret Insider Tips for Disney Magic Kingdom!

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Before you plan your trip to Disney's Magic Kingdom, you will want to read these INSIDER tips to get  the most out of your visit!!

This spring, my family was able to take our first trip to Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. We were blessed to be ushered around, for most of the day, by a friend who is also an employee at Disney World! I have some tips to share with you, based on our experience, and some fun insider tips as well!

1. Never pay for water!
If you go to ANY concession stand/restaurant in Magic Kingdom, they will give you a free glass of ice water (with a lid and a straw!) for free! I was surprised that I didn’t get a dirty look from workers when I ordered these glasses of water, either! They were all smiles and happily handed out the ice cold water.

2. Cinderella’s Castle
Go to Cinderella’s Castle early in the day if you want to be able to walk through it. By about 1:00 PM they close most of the castle off for shows that will happen in the afternoon. If you head straight there in the morning, you’ll be able to have a full walk through!

3. Bring a manual charger for your phone.
If you’re like me, your phone is rarely ever your phone, but is mostly your camera, your video camera, your watch etc…I tried to conserve battery for as much of the day as possible, and even put my phone on airplane mode to make sure I wasn’t using any extra battery life. No matter how much I conserved, by two o;clock, my phone was dead. Leaving much of the magic uncaptured by my camera. They sell these great manual chargers that you can easily stick in the pocket of your purse to charge your phone when you can’t plug it in. We will definitely invest in one of those before our next trip!

4. Look for hidden historical easter eggs!
Easter eggs is a term for hidden facts or fun inclusions that you wouldn’t notice right off the bat. If you’re walking through Frontierland, you will see many of these! Look down and you will see a curvy brown path of stones running throughout Frontierland. At first glance, it just seems like artsy pathways, but it’s not! It’s symbolic of how they used to allow the sewage to just run through the streets. Gross, but neat information! Also, look up at the shutters on the buildings there. They are slightly crooked! That’s because in the past, shutters were attached to the windows with leather. And as time passed, the leather would stretch and tighten, and leave the shutters crooked. Pretty neat inclusion!

5. Electric Parade
The Electric Parade is awesome! It typically starts at 9 PM, but people will start lining the streets by 8 PM! The Disney staff rope off sections, and you HAVE to be behind the ropes for the parade. We didn’t know this, and planned to eat at about 7:30. By the time we came out, looking for a spot at 8:35, the spots were all gone. The best place to be is near the Castle, or around the corner by the bridge. If you’ve never ben, and this all sounds like a lot to remember, trust me, you’ll recognize it all once you’ve been there all day! If you’re by the bridge, it isn’t as crowded as by the castle, and you are close enough to get to the ending ceremonies and get a good spot after the parade.

6. Downtown Disney
Disney’s best kept secret, and I don’t know why no one talks about this place! Downtown Disney is a free shopping district that’s very near all the parks. It’s free to go in, and there’s some amazing things to do there! There’s a luxury bowling alley, an eat-in movie theater (with meals for less than $10!), a place where you can drive amphibious cars into the water, tons of super cute Disney themed shops, and three AMAZING, over-the-top themed restaurants; Planet Hollywood, Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex. We ate at T-Rex. While the meal costs were pretty high ($18+ per entree) the food was amazing, portions were large, and the experience was absolutely incredible. The animatronics were well done, the lighting was exciting, and each room was themed by a different era (ice cave, rainforest, wooly mammoth, sea life – complete with multiple large aquariums!) and it was one of our favorite parts of the trip. There’s not just kids’ shops there either, but some amazing shops for mom and dad too!

What other secrets have you learned when you visit DisneyLand or World?  We’d love to hear from you!

Adjusting to Life With Baby: Lifestyle and Savings Tips

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Adjusting

 

Having a new baby is an exciting and joyous time for new parents. However, adjusting to your new life can be stressful. Things get more complicated for the 75% of moms who return to work after having a baby.

Tammy Gold, parenting expert and author of the book, Secrets of the Nanny Whisperer, has some great tips. She shared how to achieve the right balance of a happy baby and a happy mom!

 

What is the biggest stressor that new moms face?
Infant feeding is the biggest responsibility that confronts new moms. It is easy to keep your child warm and diapers changed, but feedings can be difficult.

 

Why is feeding your new baby such a huge stress, and what tips do you have to cope and help alleviate that stress?

Some common stressors when it comes to infant feeding include failure to thrive. Your child may also experience stomach pain or react to something that mom eats. With baby formula, people get hung up on the brand of formula or the advertised brand they are given at the hospital. All baby formula brands meet the same FDA requirements for safety and nutrition. If moms are breastfeeding, stress can potentially cause problems with latching.

 

What is the difference between advertised national brands and store brand infant formulas? Why don’t they give store brand formulas to new moms in the hospital?

If moms do a little research, they will discover that all infant formulas are nutritionally comparable and meet the same FDA requirements. Store brand formula is pediatrician recommended but is not involved in free hospital sampling programs. The makers of store brand infant formulas do not want to influence a mom’s decision to breastfeed in the hospital. In addition, the savings store brands provide are passed along to retailers and their loyal shoppers. Hospital sampling programs are too expensive, so from an economic standpoint, it just doesn’t make sense.

 

Sometimes when a baby cries, you just have no idea what the cause is. How do you crack the code of why a baby is crying? Parents should keep a feeding log so they can recognize problems and keep information for their child’s pediatrician. If an infant seems to cry the same time daily after being fed or with added spit up, there could be a problem and his or her parents should consult with a healthcare professional. Your days merge from one day to the next. But if you keep a log or journal, you can be more helpful to the doctor.

 

When you have a new baby, it seems like every second of your life now belongs to that baby. Why is making time for yourself so important? New moms need time for themselves. Sleep deprivation and stress can make baby’s cortisol rise. Take time to shower. Take a walk around the block. Fatigue causes mistakes. Ask friend for help. Don’t worry about a clean house. Nap when they nap. Don’t stress out with baby formula. Choose a store brand formula. Your baby will receive high quality nutrition and it won’t hurt your bank account.

 

Where can readers go for more information? Visit www.storebrandformula.com. – The site offers excellent information, articles on parenting advice, coupons for formula, and interactive tools that help you calculate feeding amounts and savings.

 

Not only is there the stress of taking care of your new baby, but there are also financial strains as well. We previously mentioned that breast feeding is best, but that if you have to formula feed, IT IS OK!

There are ways you can save and StoreBrandFormula.com has COUPONS you can print! Yes – those coveted formula coupons are right at your fingertips!

 

Perrigo Sidebar Ad

Here are some other ways you can save on baby:

  • Buy clothes used. Infants grow so quickly that they don’t have time for clothes to get worn out. Find a thrift or consignment store and pick up clothes at a fraction of the cost.
  • You don’t need everything. There are so many gadgets and things for baby. Sure, they might be nice to have, but you don’t really need them. You really only need the basics such as a crib, car seat and perhaps a swing or bouncer for your baby.
  • Consider using cloth diapers. There is an initial investment to purchase them, but they can quickly pay for themselves. Of course, if you have a little one in day care this is not an option while you are away, but you could use them in the evenings and weekends. Every little bit can help!

Just know that you are the best mom your baby knows. He or she loves you and bonds with you no matter how you feed them. Don’t allow yourself to be stressed. Do what works for you and don’t let anyone try to make you feel badly for the decisions you make. After all … this is YOUR baby!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of StoreBrandFormulas.com. All opinions are my own and were not influenced by any parties.

 

Recycling: Know What You Can and Can Not Recycle

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Most people want to do their part to help the environment, but it can be confusing to know if you can recycle something or if you should even make sure you don't toss it into your trash can.  Check out this great post courtesy of Mid-America Regional Recycling - to help you know what you can and can't do!

 

If you recycle, you’ve probably got the whole cans, paper and bottles thing down. However, there are a lot of recyclable items that you may be confused about or don’t know are recyclable. So take the next step, and recycle the following.

Perplexing plastics

We use hundreds of types of plastics in our daily lives, so how do we know which ones are recyclable and which ones are not? Once you get beyond plastic bottles, the waters get pretty murky for most of us. The good news is Plastics Recycling covers everything you need to know about what types of plastics are and aren’t recyclable in the Kansas City metro area.

E-waste

E-waste is any item that has a plug or takes a battery. E-waste includes consumer electronics such as phones, TVs and computers as well as small appliances such as hair dryers, vacuum cleaners and coffee makers. A lot of consumer electronics contain small amounts of very dangerous chemicals such as mercury, cadmium and lead that we don’t want to end up in our environment. Luckily there are plenty of opportunities to recycle e-waste throughout the area. Retail locations that accept most e-waste include Best Buy, Staples and Office Depot. Other entities that accept e-waste – including items not accepted at retail locations – include Surplus Exchange and MRC.

Household hazardous waste (HHW)

They lurk under our cabinets and in our garages and can be dangerous to our kids, pets and the environment. Otherwise known as HHW, these items include paints, household cleaners, lawn and garden products, automotive fluids, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs and other chemical products. All of these items can be disposed of safely at your local household hazardous waste facility or collection event.

When you recycle, you make a difference!

It’s important to remember that most of what you throw in the trash can actually be recycled, reuse or composted, and that you as an individual can have a big impact:

  • Recycling 1 ton of aluminum cans conserves the equivalent of 1,665 gallons of gasoline.
  • Recycling 1,000 tons of glass creates more than eight jobs.
  • Recycled paper production creates 74 percent less air pollution and 35 percent less water pollution than virgin paper production.
  • Producing recycled plastic saves up to 87 percent in energy consumption compared to producing plastic from virgin materials.
  • Recycling 1 ton of steel conserves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone.

For more information on recycling, visit RecycleSpot.org the Kansas City metro area’s one –stop spot for recycling, reuse and waste reduction information.

 

 

Five Great Apps for Setting (and Monitoring) Goals

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Setting goals helps us reach what we need to accomplish.  If you want to go high tech, there are some amazing FREE apps you can use to set, work towards and reach those goals!  See if one of these isn't the perfect match for YOU!

 

We often plan on setting goals at the start of a new year.  However, that is not the only time you can do that.  Life is always changing and perhaps you need to set a new financial goal to pay for a new appliance.  You may need to set a new goal to achieve weight loss.

Whatever you goal, you have to understand the core concept of goal setting.  The simplest way to do that is to remember this acronym – SMART.

Specific — write down exactly what you want.  For example, it is not I want to lose weight, it is I want to lose 10 pounds.

Measureable — it should be defined.  You don’t say I want to save more money for my trip, you would say I want to save $1000 for our vacation.

Attainable — make sure it is something you can do.   A goal is not run 15 miles every day….but rather, I will work to run at least 1 mile every day.

Relevant — don’t look at what others do.  Make sure your goal works for you.

Time Bound — define the date by which you need to reach your goal.

Once you have reviewed this tips and have your goals in mind, you need to be able to track them easily.  Many choose to write them down and place them on your bathroom mirror, where you are sure to see them each and every morning.  Others are looking to technology to help them keep on track.

If you wish to use your phone to track goals, I’ve got a few free apps you can try.  Some of these offer pro versions, but you can try the lite for free before you pay (which is always a great way to make sure it works).

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 7.44.12 AM

Evernote

This is one that I know a LOT of people love and use. You may think this is just a note taking app, but it can be so much more.  You can create your notebook and add priorities to your tasks be it goal, daily to do  — or whatever you want!  I love this article on How to Use Evernote to Achieve your Goals – it can be very helpful.

You can get this for your Windows, Apple or Android Device (and even use this one on your PC!!)

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 7.39.22 AM

 

Any.do

This is the perfect way to merge your daily to do list with your goals.  It prompts you each day to review your daily list of activities and decide which is most important and which you need to do for that day.  It is great because you can add monthly, quarterly or even annual goals, so you don’t forget about those either.

You can find this on iTunes or Google Play for free.

 

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 7.29.03 AM

Goals on Track

I love that this app walks you through the goal setting process so you ARE being SMART as you establish them. They offer templates you can use and customize to fit your own needs.

You can find this on Android and Apple markets.  You can even access it on any other mobile device (viewing the app in the mobile platform – should you be using a Windows phone).

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 7.31.08 AM

Coach.me

This app is not only goal based, but also includes a community feature.  When you are accountable to others, you tend to stay on track with your goals more easily.  You can select your goals and then the type of motivation you need be it advice or even just lifting up from the community.

This is available for free on iTunes or Google Play.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 7.36.33 AM

StickK

This is one that will actually cost you money if you don’t reach your goal!  You set your goal, timeframe and the money you are willing to pay should you fail to achieve it.  You can then direct where the money will go (so you don’t give it to just anyone).  You will have a referee who will monitor your progress — or opt to be honest and go it alone.

You can download this to your Apple or Android device.

7 Unique Summer Jobs for Teens

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Is Your Teen Looking for a different type of job? Check out these - which don't require flipping a burger or taking an order!!

 

Is your teen looking for a job?  This is not always an easy task as he or she may need to find  way to be flexible around summer sports or other activities.  One thing he or she might do is find a way to work for him or herself!  What a great way to kick start being an entrepreneur — and make money at the same time.

Check out these ideas:

Pet Sitting.  Many people go away on vacation during the summer, but that means the family pet needs to be taken care of.  By offering pet sitting services, they are providing the attention that these pets (which are often members of the family) receive.  They will be able to feed, walk and even play with the pets to give them the attention they need while people travel.

Advertising Idea:  Check with pet groomers to see if you could place cards with them to offer the service.  In exchange, your teen could provide free sitting for the owner.

Personal Errands.  As time gets busy, time is limited.  People have errands which need to be run for items such as the post office, dry cleaning, or even picking up odds and ends at the store.  If your teen is a responsible driver, he or she could offer time to run these errands for customers.

House Sitting.  If you have a responsible and trustworthy teen, this is an easy way to make money.  When people travel, they often would prefer someone stay in the home rather than leaving it vacant.  Just make sure the ground rules are clear (and make sure friends do not know so they don’t make those unexpected visits).

House Cleaning.  If your teen is good at cleaning, he or she might be able to offer these services.  This is not very common in teens, but it is a great option for that one who loves to clean.

Advertising Idea:  As realtors who help people find homes that your teen does this type of work  — offering some free cleaning for them in exchange for the advertising.  Ask parents to also share via social media.

Landscape Maintenance.  We know that teens can mow lawns, but what about landscaping maintenance.  This could include trimming dead plants, removing weeds and even cleaning up/replacing mulch.

Find Online Work.  There are actually virtual assistant positions that kids can try.  They can include social media posting and sharing, photography, design etc.

Getting Started: Visit Fivrr or E-Lance to learn more.

Tech Set-Up and/or Tutor.  When people purchase new computers or devices, they need to set them up.  If it is a computer, it can mean transferring files and settings.  It could even be programming a remote or other home device.

This could even go one step further in providing tutoring for tablets and phones.  Many people don’t know how to get the most out of these devices.  If you have a tech savvy teen he or she could try one (or both) of these services.

Advertising Idea: Visit with a local retailer who sells these products and see if they will share your teen’s info with new sales.

I’ve shared some different options when it comes to advertising, but another one is in your local newspaper (for a small fee), free billboards where stores allow this info to be shared or even Craigslist. I do recommend that if you opt for Craigslist that parents and/or another responsible adult tags along  — just so that everyone stays safe.

What other ideas do you have to add to our list?

 

The Coin Discipline Method

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Trying to find a new way to keep your kids from fighting, keep items picked up and just listen?  Try the COIN discipline method - it may be the answer to your prayers!

I’ve been at this parenting thing for nearly 11 years now.  And you know what?  I am still trying to figure it out! We’ve tried many things with our kids to help them pick up toys, not fight and just listen to us.  We tried the ticket reward system (which worked while they were a bit younger).  We even used toy jail for them.  We were successful in implementing these tactics, but as our children are getting older, it means that my husband and I have to stay ahead of the curve.

With summer vacation starting here very soon, it means 3 kids will be home.  They will fight.  They will leave messes.  They will not listen to me.  After all, they are kids – right?  Well, yes they are kids, but we are doing something new with them this summer to try to keep the fighting, bickering, sassing, messes, etc from taking over.  We are instilling the coin method of discipline method.

The idea is similar to what we’ve used with our kids when traveling on vacation.  Before we leave in our van, we hand them a roll of quarters (which gives them $10 to spend on anything they want).  Every time they fight, ask if it is much longer, etc, they owe us a quarter.  When they see that roll getting smaller and know they have less to spend, they really think long and hard before they ask the question or fight.  It really made for a pleasant trip (and was SO worth the $30 we spent for our sanity).

Of course, since we have 12 weeks of summer, I am not giving each of them $10 a week.  Instead, we are going to use rolls of dimes.  Each time that they have to be reminded to pick up the cheese stick wrapper, or put their Nintendo away or to stop fighting, they will owe me a dime.  At the end of each week, I will take them to the Dollar Store (their favorite place to shop) and they can spend what is left over.  They remember the fun they had with the quarters from vacation so this is motivation in the same manner to behave during the summer.

The entire idea is to make them THINK before they act.  This will help them remember that I need to be nice to my sister or I need to pick up my toys.   It also teaches them accountability for their actions.  They know that if they do the wrong thing they will lose money.  The same way in life – if you do the wrong thing you may have consequences for your actions.  This is NOT about the money.  This is about giving it thought before you do something.

Some of you may feel that this is “bribing” your kids. I do not.  I look at it this way — do you WORK for free?  No, you are not being bribed to show up and do what you are asked — but isn’t your paycheck your motivation in doing so?   The same concept can be used for our kids.  Sure, they know that they are suppose to do the right thing, but if we can sometimes dangle that motivator (call it a carrot if you will) in front of them, we can often get a better behavior out of them.

This will certainly NOT replace their responsibility charts.  If anything, the chores we choose may take them longer, as they have more time to give back since they no longer have homework and other responsibilities.  My kids know what is expected of them, but after spending so much time around one another, they tend to get a little out of sorts.  This is mom’s way of helping them think before they speak.

My kid are really good kids (I am a lucky woman), but again, after too much time together, they tend to fight more (as siblings do) and this just might help mom keep her sanity this summer.  I figure that giving them dimes is better than me losing my own temper with them.  It is a complete win-win situation.

Tips for Planning a Teen (or Tween) Birthday Party

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Planning a party for your teen or tween can be daunting.  Check out these party planning ideas - to help you have fun but still stay on budget!!\

There is a lot of information out there on how to save money when planning a child’s birthday party. In fact, there is a TON of it available.  But, what about your tweens and teens? If they want a party, you will handle things a bit differently.  Check out these ideas to plan your next party (and stay on budget).

VENUE:  As kids get older, they may not want a traditional party. That may mean you need to pay more to host it.  Why not opt for a larger party every other year?  That way, one year is smaller and you can save and afford something bigger the following year!

Here are some ideas you might consider for your next party:

  • Video Game Tournament.  Move TVs from other areas of the house into the family room.  Borrow additional game platforms and games from friends.  Then, create your own bracket and have a tourney at home – with a grand prize for the winner (maybe a gift card to the game store).
  • Go Bowling!  What is great about bowling is that you can usually get a package deal with food and drink all rolled into one price (which covers those costs and eliminates decorations all together).  It is a easy for parents to drop teens off at the alley and then pick them up a few hours later (keeping the mess out of your home).
  • Pamper party for the girls.  Pick up nail polish and supplies and have a pamper party.  They can all do get manicures and pedicures – and even facials!  If you have a bit more in your budget you might consider visiting a local beauty school for a pedicure (where you pay less than larger salons).
  • Roller Skating.  Have the kids meet at the local rink and pick up the tab for the rental of skates and even food.  Just a few hours of hanging with the friends is what most teens and tweens want anyhow!
  • Paint Ball.  If your kids are into this fun activity, it can be another way to get them together to celebrate.  Pay for a few sessions and call it a party!

Whatever you decide, make sure you know your budget and stick within it.  Don’t allow your kids desires for an incredible day cloud your judgment and result in overpaying.

If the event/venue is more costly, your teen may just want to invite one or two close friends, instead of a larger group.  Try to keep that number in check so you know how much it will cost before you get ready to pay.

 

INVITATIONS:  Ditch the paper and go for evites!  They are usually free and can save a lot of money.  Not on that, they are much easier for your guests to remember to respond, which can give you a better headcount when determining how many to count on attending.

If your child is much older and is on Facebook or another social media site, you could even use those to invite people to the party.

 

DECORATIONS:  Teens more than likely aren’t interested in balloons and streamers for decorations.  If you are hosting the party at home, you could pull out the christmas lights and set up a dance party layout.  Set up tables and chairs around the perimeter of the room and string lights from the ceiling.

Another idea is to ask your teen about his/her favorite colors and find items such as linens, vases or other items.  Dollar stores offer amazing deals on vases and dishes.  You could add some personalization with some spray paint.  Even with just a few splashes of color, you can turn a regular room into something amazing!

When it comes to paper goods, you can find deals on the colored items at Dollar Stores.  You might even skip the color and go with white or clear.  Stick with plain paper plates and cups — the colored items are the same.

 

MUSIC:  If you really can’t afford a DJ, why not download your teens’ favorite songs onto your phone or device and pipe it through your TV or speaker system?  That provides FREE music!  You might even flip your TV onto your teen’s favorite music TV station.

If you really want a DJ, but can’t afford one, see if you can’t find a friend to help. Now, if you must hire a professional DJ, just make sure you read the contract terms as you may pay less if they play for a shorter period of time (say 8 – 10 vs. 7 – 11).

 

FOOD  / DRINK:  Most teens seem to love pizza.  It is easy and can be quite affordable.  Sign up for all of your local pizza parlor’s emails and/or coupon mailings.  Ask family and friends to to do the same.  Then, as you get closer to the day of your event, you can collect the coupons you will need to save money.  If you can’t combine coupons on your purchase, ask friends to place orders too so you can save.

If you know someone who works at a bakery or grocery store, see if they can purchase items for you, utilizing their employee discount.  They might be able to help you stretch your food budget.

If you must go it alone, then start watching for sales a few weeks before your party and stock up when you can on items such as soda, chips and other party snacks.  Of course, make sure you pay close attention to expiration dates so that you don’t end up serving stale or flat items to your party guests.

You may want to go with cupcakes instead of a sheet cake as well.  These often cost less then a 1/2 sheet of cake at your baker.  If you on a very tight budget, you can even go with homemade options as well – such as cake pops, pie, cake and more!  Just ask your teen what he or she wants.

 

SUPERVISION:  Remember that these are teens and tweens and they do need to have adults on site.  While you don’t want to “crash” your child’s party, you do need to make sure you are there and that nothing happens you don’t want to — you know what I mean!  😉  You aren’t trying to ruin your child’s day, you just want to make sure everyone gets home safely and that nothing happens which could endager any kids.

Keep this in mind when hosting and when they are attending a party.  Ask those questions.  If they don’t know if an adult will be present, you may not want to allow them to attend and as a parent, that is absolutely your right.  I remind my kids all of the time that right now, I am their Mom and not their friend.

Remember that while you want your day to be perfect for your teenage, you certainly don’t want to still be paying for it at their next party!

Spring Cleaning Your Home (Includes FREE Printable Checklists)

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Spring is here!  Download these FREE checklists to help you tackle your spring cleaning project!It is finally here!  Spring has arrived!  Everything outside is new, clean and fresh.  We are all opening our windows to let the fresh air in so the house feels clean!  But, what about those cobwebs in the corner and the dust on the mopboards?  Now is the time of year when many of us would love to clean our house (as in a deep clean).

I actually LOVE it when I spring clean my house.  The house feels clean and fresh and I get a chance to get rid of those things I no longer need or use! For many of you, this may seem like a daunting task.  You may be thinking that it takes too much time and/or you don’t even know where to start.  I am here to help!

Below you will find several printable checklists.  Download the one(s) you need.  You can either just access them on your device or computer — or even print one to place in each room.  Then, give the time YOU have each day to take care of one task. If you only have 10 minutes, maybe you could wipe down the light fixtures and corners to get rid of the cobwebs.  If you have a couple of hours, you may be able to take care of everything on the list.  There is no rule that says you have to do everything all at once – just do it as YOU have the time!

Free Spring Cleaning Checklists

Free Spring Cleaning Checklists

Now, here are those checklists you can print and use to make your spring cleaning work easier.

 

Store Brand Infant Formula – – As Good as the Name Brand (But Less Expensive)

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Did you know that the store brand formula is as good as the big name brands?  The only difference at all is the cost!!

We all know that pediatricians recommend breastfeeding your baby. They also recommend formula, however, because it is the only safe alternative and there are reasons why many moms cannot (or choose not) to breast feed. In fact, according to Parents magazine, approximately 85 percent of moms use formula at some point during that critical first year.

Unfortunately, there is so much GUILT when it comes to infant feeding and formula, and really, there shouldn’t be. We all have to do what is best for our babies…..and a stressed out mom is not good for anything!

If you use infant formula, you probably have tried some of the big-name advertised brands. You may or may not) have tried a Store Brand Formula at your local store. There can be many reasons or misconceptions as to why you haven’t tried a Store Brand Formula:

“We stayed with the advertised brand because it is what we used in the hospital.”

“I get coupons for the advertised formula brand.”

“My doctor gave me a free sample of the big-name formula.”

“I want my baby to get the best formula out there, so higher cost must mean the name brand is better.”

While I can totally understand these reasons (heck, they were some of mine when my oldest was born), these reasons really don’t make much sense. There are some things that many people don’t realize about Store Brand Formula.

Infant formula is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so no matter who makes it, all infant formula brands must meet the same FDA standards. This means all formulas provide a complete source of nutrition for your baby’s first year, whether it is sold in a fancy container with a big-name label or a store-brand label.

The truth is you can save upwards of $600 a year just by using the store brand! Store Brand Infant Formulas cost up to 50 percent less than those advertised brands. Be sure to ask your doctor about switching to a Store Brand Formula.

I recently learned about the largest supplier of Store Brand Infant Formula in the world! Yes – the world! is The company is Perrigo Nutritionals, one of four companies recognized by the FDA for meeting the strict FDA requirements for safety, nutrition and quality for infant formula in the United States. Perrigo’s Vermont-based facility is inspected by FDA and adheres to numerous safety and quality assurance certifications. Perrigo believes it makes the most important products for the most important people…babies. This is why the company focuses on quality, affordable nutrition. This gives me peace of mind that FDA and Perrigo really have the best in mind for your baby.

Coming up, I will share a lot of great information that was passed along to me during an interview with Dr. Lisa Thornton, a pediatrician and a mom! I learned so much from her and can’t wait to share it with you. You’ll have to tune in soon to learn more!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Perrigo Nutritionals. All product details were provided to me, but all opinions are truly my own and were not influenced by any parties.