Monday, December 20, 2010

Tis the season..........for spending!

Christmas is this Saturday, and most of us have probably spent a little more than they would have liked to this year. When shopping, especially around the holidays, you need to have a game plan to decrease impulse spending. Here are a few tips to help bring down your spending:

  • Make a list, and check it twice! Decide on who you need to buy presents for. You most likely don't need to buy a gift for every person at work. Also, if you have siblings, you are probably at a time in your life where you all can decide that you should focus on gifts for the children instead of each other.
  • If you're traveling always shop around! Here are a few sites that can help you compare prices and watch for drops or discounts:,,, and
  • SET A BUDGET! Decide on how much you want to spend, then divide that up based on who you NEED to buy for. Stick to your budget! If you come under budget, you can always purchase a gift for someone you didn't intend to, or consider putting that into savings.
  • This is the time of year utilities tend to spike! If you are having trouble affording your bill, ask your utility companies about budget billing. You'll at least know how much your bill will be every month, and keep it from spiking. Also, to help keep costs lower, don't touch your thermostat! Turn off the lights! Install a timer for your holiday light display so you don't forget to turn it off! Also, long hot showers do not do your skin, or hair, justice during the cold months. So keep your showers warm and short to save money and yourself!
  • This is not a money saving tip, but it's a good one! Every year my daughter goes through her toys and puts anything she doesn't play with anymore in a box. We donate that box to local shelters or agencies to help children who don't have toys. Not only are de-cluttering your child's room, but teaching them kindness and the true meaning of the holidays!
Happy Holidays!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tricking My 6 Year Old!

As I have learned, trying to get my daughter (who turned 6 on Thanksgiving) to clean her room is one battle I am sure to lose every time. First the no's....then the crying....then the speech about how her room is too big or how under her bed scares her. After yelling, time outs, and loss of privileges....I learned that maybe cleaning her room all at once may be a bit overwhelming to her. For her, her room seems to be double the size that I see it, with twice as many toys.

Instead of telling her to go clean her room...I divide it up into smaller projects throughout the day. That way she doesn't see it as cleaning, but helping Mom out real quick and getting a high five!

I usually start with her clothes. She is notorious for leaving clothes on the floor! I'll ask her to just put her clothes in the hamper. When she's finished...she goes back to playing. After an hour or so, I tell her she'll have more room to play if she put her books away. "That's a great idea Mom!" Later in the day when she starts winding down....we split her toys into two parts. First she picks up one half of the room, and then after her bath she takes care of the other.

It may be an all day affair, but she does it by herself and without whining!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

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The 3 R's

My six year old has an obsession with the 3 R's (reduce, reuse, and recycle). So, with my child's obsession, we have come to learn new tricks. One of the most versatile items to reuse are glass jars. Use can reuse glass jars to store items such as rice, pasta, dry beans, or office supplies. You can also use a glass jar to grow plants or for gift giving. You can fill a clean glass jar with anything from dog biscuits to dry cookie mix! reducing and reusing what you buy, not only are you reducing your carbon footprint of Earth, but you're also saving money! Have you ever tried to make your own household cleaners? Or what about making your own beauty products?

Homemade glass cleanser:
(mix in a spray bottle)
1 cup of rubbing alcohol
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of white vinegar

Stove top cleanser:
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of dish soap
Mix until a paste is formed.

Want to make your own baby wipes? Or what about a facial mask? Try this website for recipes for these and more!

Take a look before you toss something in the trash...because if you think there may be another use for it, then there is!