Wednesday, December 26, 2018

How To Make Friends As A Newbie In A New Neighborhood

Kids can make friends so easily, but that task becomes harder as you get older. Most adults are awkward and have forgotten the trick to making friends the old-fashioned ways—by simply talking to others about their interests and finding like minds. Throw moving to a new neighborhood into the mix and you have quite a challenge on your hands.

That’s where this article comes in. Read up to feel inspired on how you can make friends as a newbie in a new neighborhood.

Join the Social Media Profile for the Community, i.e. Where People Post Events and Goings-on.

Most communities, even subdivisions, have their own social media profiles these days, where locals post whatever happens to be going on throughout the coming months. Make yourself known on these social media profiles. Introduce yourself, flip through community events, and find some things worth going to.

Tip: Aside from technology, you could also keep your eyes on newspapers and event boards at the grocery stores. This is where older locals might post about upcoming festivals, church events, and annual town celebrations.

Sending Your Kids to School? Make Friends via Their Friends. Get to Know Families Within Your Child’s School System.

When kiddos make friends at one of the private schools in Redmond WA and want those friends to come over, or vice versa, it’s customary for the parents of both kids to meet up and make sure their youngster will be safe and secure at the other parent’s home. Take this an extra step. Invite those parents to your house for dinner. Make friends, so whenever your kids hang out, you all can hang out too.

Take Walks that Lead You Through the Town on a Daily Basis—Say Hello to People You Pass, Bring Your Pup with You, etc.

Neighborhood walks can be great ways to explore your new community while saying hello to locals and getting to know the area. Have a pup? Take them along for walks. Or, better yet, find paths that you could use for daily exercise. You could even start a walking club that could be a little get-together for people that wanted to make friends AND stay in shape.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Tips For Helping Your Child Succeed In Education

                    Education is one of the major keys to success in life. During the formative years, a child is receiving new information that will shape their understanding of life in some of the most critical ways. In order to make sure that your child gets the education they need and deserve, it's wise to take it a few steps further than the classroom. Consider the following ways you can help your child succeed in their educational journey.

1. Develop a tradition of reading.
It's often stated that reading is fundamental. It's virtually impossible to make it through life without knowing how to read. Therefore, it's wise to encourage your child to learn to love reading. You can do this by reading with your child. Allow your child to pick out the books that interest them. It's also a good idea to read a bedtime story each night. When you read together, it becomes a habit that your child will look forward to.

2. Limit screen time.
Technology is an important part of living in today's society. However, you don't want to allow the television or the iPad to babysit your child. Instead, find different programs that stimulate the brain and encourage educational enrichment. Typing software is a great investment so that your child can improve their computer skills. You can limit your child's amount of screen time by installing a timer that goes shuts the software after a specific amount of time.

3. Be relentless when it comes to exposure.
A child needs to be exposed to different experiences and activities. When you present a child with different options and experiences, this increases their chances of learning their interests, hobbies and future career endeavors. Enroll your child in different types of programs, camps and after-school activities. It's also a good idea to make sure that your child gets a well-rounded social life experience. This includes visits to the children's theaters, local libraries and kid-friendly museum exhibits.

As you work through these various tactics in order to improve your child's educational experience, understand that this will only enhance whatever your child learns in the classroom. When you do your job as a parent, you'll increase the likelihood of success for your child in the future.


Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Future Of Healthcare

** This is a sponsored post I will be compensated for. **

No matter where you stand on the healthcare debate, I am certain we can all agree that we need some sort of developments in the medical industry. I mean, this is 2018 and we recently found out that there is AI that can accurately predict your age and help you look younger, so it seems we are making some pretty huge steps in the right direction with the help of AI. We've already seen many advances in the medical field, on account of AI over the past few years. One of my favorites and one I haven't been able to take advantage of just yet is video conferencing with my family doctor and specialists. We do have a Patient Portal where I can email photos, videos, and messages regarding an illness or anything that doesn't require an emergency room visit and that has saved a ton of mileage and gas money so far! I also like emailing a bit better because when there isn't an emergency, my doctor can read and reply at his convenience. I know doctors and nurses are always super busy so, any help is much appreciated!  Which is why the advances we are seeing will end up helping not just their workload but the patient's quality of care.

Basically, what is happening is that doctors, nurses, surgeons, staff members are spending a ridiculous amount of time doing repetitive tasks. These tasks could be automated and physicians could have more quality time with their patients than ever before. Rather than digging through medical journals and trying to predict the outcome of a surgery or procedure on someone who could experience more complications than a healthier person, a hospital could have QuartzClinical do the legwork while the hospital staff focuses more on the patient. With QuartzClinical's help, our hospitals can spend more time with the patient and QuartzClinical's business intelligence, the patient can heal quicker and with less time spent in the hospital, less of a chance of complications and readmission and a lower bill. 

QuartzClinical's model is self-learning and already provides an overall accuracy rate of 81%. Hospitals can better plan surgeries and prescribe better medicine all by having their patient's personalized plan available by a prediction engine that can be applied at the individual patient level.  

Friday, December 14, 2018

Share Your Opinions And Earn Rewards With Catch

This is a sponsored post. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

Have you ever wished you could share an idea or opinion directly with a company you love to create positive change? C Space is a company that helps brands grow by connecting them with their customers, who in turn create impactful insights for their brand.

You’re invited to join Catch by C Space where you will have the opportunity to join online communities and take surveys so that you can directly impact a variety of brands who work with C Space like Bose, Nestle, Walmart, McDonald’s, and Samsung (just to name a few). Whether you’re interested in retail, athletics, and beauty, food, or technology brands there’s a large assortment of research activities to interact with.

In addition to your impact on these companies’ products and services, you will have many opportunities to earn valuable rewards like Amazon gift codes for your participation in online communities and through surveys, you take in Catch.

Membership to Catch is by invitation only and spots are filling up fast, so sign up today!

I've spent several years trying new websites and communities for surveys and participating in activities for extra money, gift cards, and rewards and I have found many scams along the way. (I have quite a few other posts about which sites work and which sites I use today.) I have participated in a few communities through C Space and have had nothing but great results! Besides the rewards, this is a fun way to actually have your opinion heard by actual brands. (Some of the very top brands as a matter of fact!) I enjoy helping brands who value my opinions and input and I especially enjoy being a part of a community! 

If you have any experience with C Space or you have any questions, please leave a comment!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Getting That Book Out There


You finally did it, your book is done. Hooray!! Now what? Do you sell it to a major publisher, taking the risk of your book getting lost in the shuffle, overlooked in favor of big-name authors? Or, do you decide to really lay it on the line and team up with an experienced book consultant who will help you to publish it yourself, on your own terms?

The Book Publishing Game

Today, many authors are deciding to go out on their own, as far as publishing their own book goes. There are arguments on either side, as far as self-publishing or selling a book to a major publishing house. For those who decide to self-publish, the advantage is in keeping all the rights to the work, and any income the book generates. Selling to a publisher means giving away the rights, as well as a percentage of the sales. It’s also hard to get a publishing deal if you are not a big name author, so self-publishing is a way to get a work out into the world, on your own terms.

Order Fulfillment

A self-published author must deal with the marketing and printing of a book as well as getting the book orders fulfilled. Yes, it’s a lot of work, but for many authors who are passionate about what they do, the work can be a joy. It’s also good to know that there are good options for order fulfillment out there, through mailbox centers. Mailbox centers are known for offering P.O. boxes, and other services like an apostille in NYC and document printing. These centers also offer warehouses for product storage (like books) and the means of taking on all the order fulfillment (packing and shipping) of book orders that come via email.

So, for anyone thinking about getting their book out there, the good news is that there is a way to get it done and get it into the hands of the reading public. Yes, it’s a big job, but it may be a little easier than you think.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Google Chromecast Streaming Media Player At Best Buy

** I received compensation in return for my post and social media shares. All opinions are my own. **

If you have a TV with an HDMI port, this new Google Chromecast Streaming Media Player just might end up being your family's new best friend! You can stream directly from your phone (iPhone and Android!) and listen to your favorite playlists, watch your favorite YouTube videos, shows, movies, and even use your phone while you're streaming. You can also enjoy your favorites from over 2000 apps! Including, Netflix and HBO NOW.

One of the coolest things about this media player is that you can start streaming with just your voice! Just say what you want from compatible apps and control your TV hands-free. Of course, my kids will be trying to take over and ask, "OK Google, please play * random Youtube gamer account * on my living room TV!" (I would be asking Google to play The Office reruns on Netflix. If I ever get control of the TV!)

Now your little ones can drive you even more crazy by showing using their phones and tablets as a remote control for your TV and you can watch all of those YouTube videos for Minecraft Tips and Tricks right along with them in your living room. Chromecast will be a plus for family night when you have more options from everyone's devices. (Depending on what streaming services you have or plan to subscribe to!) Basically, everything you watch on your phone, tablet, or computer can be sent directly to any TV in your house and onto a much bigger screen. So grab some popcorn and start streaming together in your living room!

At a price of $35 a piece, you could knock your gift list down a bit. Google Chromecast also works with a variety of laptops as well as Apple and Android devices. Definitely make sure the recipients have compatible devices and TVs! If you have a lot of tech-savvy family and friends to buy for, chances are they're already set up to use the newest Google Chromecast.

So far, I've read a lot of good reviews about how much faster this one is when compared to the original. Including, "Makes the constant buffering a thing of the past."

The Google Chromecast Streaming Media Player can also mirror a device's screen. This would come in handy for PowerPoint presentations if you're looking for a bigger screen. You can find info on this at Chromecast Help. You just need to have the Chrome browser, a Chromecast, and to connect both devices to the same network.

Google Chromecast is compatible with your existing HDTV.

** Easily connects to high-definition televisions with HDMI connectivity.
¹ Subscriptions are required to view some content.
² Google Home, Chromecast, and compatible content required to cast to a TV using Google Home.
Web-based services and content require high-speed Internet service. Some services may require a subscription.

Tips For Busy Mom

As a mom, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all of the things you need to get done in one day. Not only do need to take care of yourself, but you also have to look after your children, your career, your marriage and more. It can all seem very overwhelming. However, if you utilize these tips, you'll be able to effectively cross off items on your list and not feel exhausted in the end.

1. Maintain a realistic schedule. 
First, it's important to realize that you are not superwoman. While you may view yourself in that way, you will get tired. You have to honor your body and understand that even you have a limit. You don't want to push yourself past that limit. Knowing this, it's best to maintain a realistic schedule. Do not pack your day to the brim with things to do. In fact, take a look at the most important things you need to get done. Put those items at the top of the list and then take it from there. Whatever isn't completed the first day, you can always move it over to the next.

2. Utilize automated cooking tools.
If you are responsible for preparing the food in your home, take advantage of automated cooking tools like the slow cooker, rice cooker, and the bread maker. When you utilize these tools, you'll be able to prepare delicious meals without spending hours in the kitchen. Plus, when you're finished preparing those meals, you can put them in Tupperware containers and eat the leftovers for the next few days.

3. Shop online.
When the fridge is empty and it's time to go grocery shopping, understand that you can do this online. Plus, many stores have programs that will even deliver the groceries to your front door. This makes it so much easier to spend more time on other items instead of spending hours in supermarket lines and aisles. Furthermore, you can apply the same concept when it's time to shop for many other items for your family. Whether your children need new school supplies, onesies or toddler girl leather shoes, you can always go online and order the different items your children need without breaking a sweat.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

What To Look For In A Home Health Care Worker

When hiring a home health care worker to take care of a loved one, you naturally will want to check references and do a background check. However, there are other things you must look for when deciding on the right person to care for your mother, father, grandmother, or grandfather.


Although our elderly relatives want to stay in their own homes, they may feel like someone coming in to take care of them is invading their territory. A home health care worker must be compassionate, understanding, and have the ability to communicate well with your family member. Listening to their concerns and a respectful attitude goes a long way toward creating a good relationship with your loved one. A company that can provide an in home caregiver for your loved one is Arcadia Home Care & Staffing.

You will want to observe the home health care worker when he or she is interacting with your elderly relative to ensure that they are comfortable with each other. Sometimes, a situation may arise that can be very challenging. Many elderly patients can be quite demanding, and certain illnesses can cause them to be somewhat cranky. The home health care worker you choose must be patient and calm even in these situations.


Is the person you have hired to take care of your loved one dependable? Do they show up on time and stay later if needed? It is hard to maintain a strict schedule when it comes to taking care of the elderly or someone recovering from an illness. For example, perhaps you stay with your loved one a few hours each day. One day you are required to work late so you may need the caregiver to stay later.

Always check the credentials of someone you hire to take care of your loved one. This is particularly important if your elderly relative has an illness or condition such as diabetes, heart disease, emphysema, or something else that requires special care or medication. Anyone that is in charge of their care should have the medical knowledge and skills to properly handle their needs. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Discover Life improving Wellness And Enter To Win The $100 Medicine Cabinet Makeover

Fall is the perfect time to clean out your medicine cabinet and fill it with new, effective products! That is why I’m super excited to help you discover some medicine cabinet musts and invite you to enter to win a $100 VISA gift card from Natural Products Network!


With fall comes the heavier comfort foods that will have you reaching for DiaResQ! When you feel the indigestion starting, it works rapidly to address the underlying issues and not JUST the symptoms. The difference is that DiaResQ isn’t a drug, but rather a food made from naturally derived ingredients to provide relief. Plus, it is safe for kids as young as one year of age.

Soothe Topical Hemp Balm by Touchstone Essentials The Good Inside

Soothe Topical Hemp Balm offers a full spectrum hemp extract that is rich in cannabinoids to help soothe muscles and joints. Also, just so you know, in contains NO THC so you do not need a subscription to use it and it cannot get you high.

Dr. Tungs Snap-On Toothbrush Sanitizer

Dr. Tungs nifty snap-on toothbrush sanitizer utilizes essential oils to keep your toothbrush hygienic and fresh. It’s easy to use and releases all-natural, anti-bacterial vapors to fight the germs that can re-infect your mouth when you brush. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

What's Stopping You From Being Your Own Boss?

A few years before becoming permanently disabled, I realized I would have a struggle trying to continue working as a bartender. My FT with OT became FT and then PT and eventually I was working just 1 day a week and so on. I was out of work for several months after foot and ankle surgeries and although I was busy raising my children, I just couldn’t sit back and not do anything. Even if it meant simply earning some random gift cards here and there and maybe a few extra dollars from an affiliate sale. I was fortunate enough to have a few extra hours each day to start researching and finding new ways to earn an income from home.

After many failed attempts and some that I had to give up due to my medical issues, I finally found something that was right for me and my family and something I could do on a regular basis. I may not earn what I did when I was working 1 or 2 jobs at a time but, I am my own boss and I have the freedom to do this from home!

I have several online friends and readers who are in the same boat or are starting to realize that they have to find a different type of job, even if not due to their own medical conditions. So, I have had many conversations with others about this and the great thing is that there are so many opportunities, you are bound to find one that suits your needs. (And your schedule!)

It seems a lot of people tend to assume that being your own boss or being self-employed means selling products. It doesn’t have to be! Maybe you make something that you would like to sell or maybe you are one of those people who are making a fortune selling products for another company. But, you don’t have to invest in a kit or a company just to sell something or to earn a living. You can simply sell yourself and your own skills! I was never a good salesman (or saleswoman) so, I just never succeeded with the direct sales companies. I signed up for a few (mainly for the discount for my personal purchases!) but, I would have never been able to “get rich” from any of them. There are people out there who have the personality for this and there are those who don’t.

Where Do You Begin?

This is the fun part! Or it could be a little overwhelming. Either way, there are so many business ideas out there, you may end up finding a few that interest you. If you’re not really into starting a blog or becoming a freelance writer, getting involved in affiliate sales, there are thousands of other ideas out there.

Create a list of things that interest you, what are you good at? What makes you stand out in a crowd? Maybe your friends call you for advice for party planning, wedding planning, or they might ask you to share your expertise with makeup and or fashion. Start here to read about some consulting business ideas that could be the beginning of your own dream career!
Some of these startups will require an investment but, don’t fret! There are many that you can start without a lot of money! If anything, you could pick up a few different ideas, make them your own and then use the money you earn from those to start investing in something else down the road. You may end up finding out that you like a variety of things and you’ll be able to reach more clients and earn even more.

Starting from Scratch

Yes, this is, in fact, a possibility. You can start with your friend's  list on Facebook. You should also create a social network (if you don’t already have one.) and start promoting your services. Social media is the perfect way to get the word out and most of the time, this can be used as free advertising!

There are so many books and websites out there where you can start. Searching on Google or even YouTube or finding books written by successful people who are doing what you would like to be doing in a few years (or less!) is an excellent way to start gaining confidence and gathering tips from experts.

If you are looking into starting a consulting business, try reading and connecting with others in your niche. You’ll find a variety of people and startups and a lot of the time, they’re delighted to give meaningful advice.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Back To School With

** This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. I was compensated for this post. ** 

You probably already started your Back to School shopping or if you're like most parents, you never really stopped school shopping! Between my homeschooler, my elementary kids and my high schooler, I seem to spend most of my summer checking for the best online deals and grabbing a few things every time I go literally, anywhere. I keep a notebook with websites, coupon or discount codes, and save emails with sales announcements and anything else that might come in handy for any and all kinds of supplies or clothes. (I named this folder, "Deals And Sales") Each kid starts making a list of everything they need and want and I add these lists to my notebook so I can work on checking everything else as I get to it.

Sometimes, an email surprises me and I find a website that has something that we absolutely need for school supplies and I take advantage of whatever discount code they have available. For instance, I have a shoe organizer behind our laundry room door and fill the pockets with little odds and ends so the kids can take what they need. The pockets make this super easy to keep track of inventory and easier for them to find! A couple of years ago, I started buying little, flavored dental floss packs and put these in the pocket next to sugar-free gum and mints. (At 25 cents a piece and several flavors and a coupon code for 25% off, I simply couldn't resist!) Besides the typical pens, pencils, lead refills, erasers, dental floss, gum, mints, and pocket packs of tissues, I like to stock up on antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizers. I'm always in search of new places to shop or new things I should buy or stock up on so, I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon the "Back To School" on Minted!

Not only do they offer some super fun decor for dorm rooms and kid's rooms and desks of all ages, they also have stationery, notebooks, labels, and journals! I'm sure we can find a lot of good uses for all of the above this year!

Did I mention that you can order personalized stationery? You choose the colors, backing, type of paper, and yes, you can add their names! (PS You can always order samples of the stationery at by paying just $1! They will credit that $1 to your order if you choose to place an order!)

There are options for journals too! My favorite option is turning the journal into a day planner or an address book if you prefer. Or you could order one of each in each option for yourself and your children.

If you decide to check out the options at, you may want to check into a Minted More membership. This will give you year-round savings and special promos as well as free standard domestic shipping. The membership costs $50 per year but, if you sign up now, you get a Minted More gift box valued at $160! On top of the everyday discount of 15%, 30% off holiday cards, free shipping, (and a 30% off bonus sale on back to school supplies right now!) you will receive a gift box filled with some of the finest products Minted has to offer! Everything from a 12x12 pillow to stationery samples to a gift wrap essentials kit and more! This is a great way to get some school supplies knocked off of your list, grab a gift box for yourself, an annual membership that could very well pay for itself in just a few website visits (or even just 1!) and you're set for the next 12 months!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Mix & Match Mrs. Meyer's Scents with Grove Collaborative

** This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you choose to purchase through my links! **

By now, summer is in full swing. I've fallen into a slow, easy routine since our calendar is a little emptier and we don't have to rush out the door in the morning.

But as much as I'm enjoying these slower days, I sometimes feel like my routine needs a little shake-up.

It's amazing how one small tweak, like changing up your usual household scents, can energize your entire day.

Now is a great opportunity to try a different scent (or three!) because my friends at Grove Collaborative are giving away this FREE set with your first order of $20:

Free Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap

Free Mrs. Meyer’s hand lotion

Free Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap

Grove Collaborative cleaning caddy

Free shipping & 60 day VIP trial

I started using Mrs. Meyer's products a few years ago and have been hooked ever since. They're made with plant-derived ingredients and essential oils, in scents inspired by a backyard garden.

The three Mrs. Meyer's products all come in lavender, honeysuckle, lemon verbena, geranium and basil. When you grab your free set from Grove, you can mix and match to create your own custom combination!

Why stick to just one when there are so many fun ones to try? I've tried them all, and I can confidently say that they all smell fantastic and clean beautifully.

If you came to my house right now, you'd see that I have Mrs. Meyers soap and lotion next to every sink in my house. Right now, I have the basil scent in the kitchen, lemon verbena in the guest bath, and lavender in the mudroom. Whenever I use up a bottle, I switch to a new scent. It instantly changes the atmosphere of the room and makes it feel like a fresh space!

I like to keep a few extra soaps and lotions on hand so I never run out. This gorgeous, multi-functional enamel caddy is perfect for corralling extra products until you're ready to use them. (It's also a stylish way to round up cleaning products, gardening tools, or the kids' summer art supplies!)

Another way I make sure I never run out of my favorite products is by using Grove Collaborative. Grove delivers the best natural products right to my doorstep, on my schedule. They make creating a healthy, beautiful home effortless and affordable. I've also discovered some of my favorite cleaning products through Grove. Here are some products I think you should try:

Mrs. Meyer's multi-surface cleaner $3.89

Grove Collaborative cleaning gloves $6.95

Grove Collaborative walnut scrubber sponges $3.95

Method antibac bathroom cleaner $2.99

Full Circle grunge buster grout and tile brush $6.99

Mrs. Meyer's dish soap FREE

Mrs. Meyer's hand soap FREE

Mrs. Meyer's hand lotion FREE

Grove Collaborative cleaning caddy FREE

You'll get all these products for $24.77 plus free shipping when you place your first order from Grove Collaborative! And when you sign up for Grove right now, you'll also get a free 60 day VIP trial. For 60 days, you'll save even more with free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales, and personal service. Here's how to take advantage of the free offer:

Sign up for Grove Collaborative here. You will receive the Mrs Meyers cleaning kit and cleaning caddy for free when you sign up! To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive your first box within a few days. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

5 Creative Ways To Use A Cleaning Caddy

** This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you choose to purchase through my links! **

It's no secret that I love organizing. I love making lists. I love anything that promises to make my life easier and more efficient. 
That's why, within minutes of receiving this stylish, multi-functional enamel caddy from Grove Collaborative, I'd already thought of a reason to order two more!
It’s also why I'm so excited to share this free offer with you: When you place your first order of $20 from Grove Collaborative using my link, you'll get this free caddy filled with Mrs. Meyer's dish soap, hand soap, and lotion — plus free shipping!
Caddies are perfect for neatly storing and carrying just about anything around your home. 
Of course, you could go the traditional route and fill it with multi-purpose spray, microfibers, a wand duster, Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap, and so on. But why stop there?

Here are five creative ways to use your Grove Collaborative caddy:

1.Mini herb or succulent garden
I love the idea of a kitchen herb garden in an unconventional planter. Add a few inches of gravel or pebbles for drainage, then a layer of potting soil, and your plants. My favorite herbs to grow are basil, cilantro, and rosemary. Another benefit of the caddy: The handle makes it easy to carry your plants to the sink for watering!
2. Garden tool organizer

Here's a gardening hack for all my green thumb friends: Turn your Grove caddy into a garden tool organizer! Fill it with a cute pair of gloves, trowel, pruning shears, hand rake, and kneeling board. Easily carry your garden tools around the yard instead of running back and forth to the shed. When you're done gardening, Meyer's hand soap and lotion are perfect for pampering hardworking hands.

3. Hair tool organizer

Low on storage space under the bathroom sink? Create a styling station with your hair dryer, brush, flat iron or curling iron, and products all within reach. I recently added Seed nourishing hair and body oil (which is available through Grove) to my kit, and it’s
perfect for taming summer flyaways!

4. Dog toy holder

Your furry best friend will love this trick: Turn the caddy into a dog toy bin that matches your decor. Fill the caddy with tennis balls, stuffed animals, and other toys. Your pup can reach his own toys, and you won't have to worry about stepping on a squeaky toy in the middle of the stairs!
5. Ice chest

Raise your hand if you're ready for patio season! This caddy is just the right size to hold ice and a few bottles of wine or lemonade. It's easy to carry outside, and so much cuter than a plastic cooler. I also recommend adding Murphy’s Naturals mosquito repellent candles to your Grove order to keep summer pests away from your party!

Tell me, how will you use your Grove cleaning caddy? Don't forget to grab your free set while supplies last. Here's how:
  1. Sign up for Grove Collaborative here. You will receive the cleaning caddy and Mrs Meyers collection for free when you sign up!
  2. To receive this offer, your order needs to be a minimum of $20. Choose the combination of products and scents you love and receive your first box within a few days.
  3. You made it! Click Finish & Pay and place your order.

Tip to save: Once you have submitted your Grove order, you will be signed up for the free 60 day VIP trial. For 60 days, save even more with free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales and personal service.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Freelancing Isn't Just For Writing

When someone says they “freelance” what is the first thing you think of? I used to figure they meant they are freelance writers. But, there are so many other options out there. Especially since so many of us have access to the Internet. Maybe you need some extra income or maybe you prefer to work from home FT and you don’t know where to start. You’re starting in the right place!

What Are My Options?

There are thousands and thousands of options out there. What are your interests? Hobbies? Skills? Maybe you had the best Myspace layout and helped all of your friends create the coolest most colorful pages. If that is something you’re into, maybe you could help others with web development and design. You could start by creating a portfolio or media kit and advertising yourself on a variety of websites.

Teaching and tutoring is another great way to earn some extra cash. You could offer tutoring lessons on Skype and Google Hangouts or you could offer lectures. Websites like Udemy, offer thousands and thousands of courses and topics. You can even sign up to be a teacher on Udemy.

If you are an artist or a musician, you can start accounts online to promote and sell your work. This can also boost your portfolio! Kickstarter is a great way to get your work noticed, grab some funding for a project and find new fans. Maybe you’re not a singer or a painter but you have some photography skills. Why not offer deals for people in your area for sessions? There are so many people out there looking for stock images for websites (I do the same!) and there are websites for you to upload your images, start an account and start selling stock photos. Not only does this bring in extra income for a very minimal amount of work but it also helps to get your name out there and brings repeat customers.

If art isn’t your thing but you are super-duper organized, maybe you would do well as a virtual assistant. You might be surprised at the number of people who are out there looking for someone to keep their datebooks nice and neat and orderly and to make sure they don’t miss a meeting, a birthday, a deadline, or maybe they just need an assistant for a specific project.

Technology is one of the fastest and most promising and most rewarding careers out there. Whether you’re interested in game development, app development, or computer programming, there are so many options out there and so many customers. If you don’t have a whole lot of experience but have always had a knack for technology, you could always pick up some courses or attend school while freelancing on the side.  

One of the most interesting freelance jobs I’ve come across is; research. There are businesses and people who will pay you to research practically anything and everything. You could be in charge of polls, surveys, or simply searching Google for bits and pieces of information. The only experience you really need is to be organized, have time, and know-how to surf the web.

Social media management, Search engine optimization, writing, sales, and marketing, are all in demand. If you have experience and time to be online (lots and lots of time!) the next step is to promote yourself and get the word out!

I Made My Choice So, Now What?

Build your brand and get out there!
You can do this in your pajamas if you want!
Start a portfolio, offer some freebies to prospective clients, ask for testimonials in return, advertise, advertise, advertise!
Start a website to showcase your work and build a social media network for your new business. Tweeting a few times a day about your business and other things related to your business is free so take advantage of this!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Always Read Your Credit Card Contracts

Credit cards can be very useful in times of emergencies and when building credit. But, what happens when the interest starts to pile up and reality kicks in and you start to realize that it will take close to a decade to pay off a $500 purchase?

Of course, there are times when we can’t simply pay the full balance on credit cards each month. Maybe not even more than the minimum. We’ve all been there. You might start searching for options when you get stuck and sometimes it seems that opening new accounts might really benefit you and your credit.

Balance transfers are an ideal way to consolidate debt and try to lower your monthly payments. Sometimes you’ll find a higher interest rate for balance transfers. Other times you may see the special introductory rates of 0% interest and that might be enough for you to jump at that offer! Be warned, if you don’t read every word on that annoying little pamphlet that comes with your offer or with your card, you may be in for a rude awakening if something happens down the road. That jaw-dropping 0% introductory rate may only be good for 12 months and it may also only be good for that specific balance transfer. (Don’t start making purchases with that card thinking you don’t have to worry about interest!) Some credit cards will stop the 0% rate if you miss a payment or you are late with a payment. One of the tricks I’ve found when I was lured in for a 0% interest rate was most of the time, these cards will add their regular interest rate at the end of the 12 months if you haven’t paid the balance off yet. (Sometimes you’ll find that they will also add the interest that would have been there from day 1.)

The most important thing to do is to read every tiny line. There are a lot of hidden rules inside those tiny print contracts. You don’t want to have to be even more surprised later down the road. Especially if you were in a bad spot and used this to save yourself only to find that it will end up making things worse.

A credit card interest calculator is a very handy tool to have! Whether you just want to check on random amounts and how much you would pay if you buy a new stereo, use your card for vacation, or just use it for regular everyday purchases, this can be very eye opening.

If you are in a position where you can afford double the minimum payment or even just an additional $20 on the minimum payment due, take advantage of that! It may seem small but you’re saving yourself months and even years of payments and quite a bit of money.
If you look at your statements each month to see what you were charged for interest and deduct that from your minimum amount due, you might be in for a shocker! Buying that game console may have seemed like a fun idea but when you realize that you will end up paying (in some cases) 3 times that amount, you might try to find another way to earn enough money to make that same purchase with cash.

Just a few more things to keep an eye on when jumping into credit cards and finding yourself swimming in debt:

Rewards cards are only really worth it if you can commit to paying your full balance off each month. (This is a great way to entice people to apply for credit cards but you could end up paying much more in the long run.)

Be sure to check the fees that are included with your credit card. There may be annual fees, late fees, and even administrative fees.

Check and recheck the interest rate and be sure you understand the rates and how they could fluctuate depending on your payments and usage of that card.

Check your credit report periodically and take note of the effects of these cards on your credit.

If you find yourself stuck and you feel overwhelmed or you need some help, it’s always best to check with professionals to evaluate your options and how you can take control of your future. Nationwide Debt Reduction Services could help you catch up and breathe much easier!