Is there such a thing as being too available? For example, you are a person that always gets invited to events because people know your support is guaranteed. Is this something you perceive as as good or bad? Furthermore, are you being used or are you simply a dependable person?
I remember a time when three different friends invited me to personal events each was hosting… on the same day. Due to my schedule, I was able to support two but not the other. This got me thinking. I’d been in similar situations before - rearranging my schedule to support and accommodate the same people. I was curious - would these same people be so willing to adjust their schedule to accommodate an event that I was hosting? I even tried to think about the few occasions when I solicited their support and consistently the response from them had been “crickets.” No call, no show.
What was causing this? Was their support for me lower on their list of priorities? Or was I giving the impression that it was okay for them to decline my invite? Was my passive reluctance to get a commitment from them the “out” they needed to avoid a commitment? Or was this simply evidence of a “one way” relationship where they honestly didn’t care enough to extend the same support?
What do or should you do if you find yourself in a “one way” relationship?
You should be honest with yourself as to whether your attending out of obligation or desire. Know that it’s okay to respectfully decline an invitation when you’re uninterested or unable to attend. You don’t always have to commit yourself to every event. Once I realized I was free to make this choice for myself, I was able to accept the decisions other made about supporting my events as well.
Majority of moms hide snacks from their family, study finds.
I read an article on FOX news that polled mothers and the survey found that two-thirds of American moms have a secret snack stash that is kept hidden from family and 66 percent of moms polled hide really good snacks to avoid sharing them with the rest of the household.
Reading this article reminded me of some advice I received when I became a first-time mother. The advice was “as a mother you give so much of yourself, time and effort, to ensure your child has the best, most well-rounded life, don’t ever forget to replenish yourself, you can’t give from a source that’s empty’’.
When I read the article, I thought. ….Really!!! So this is what our lives have come to Moms?! Nothing else for ourselves so we retort to hiding a snack, a delicious treat just for us! Maybe those mothers surveyed just wanted a snack to themselves, I can definitely think of a few snacks I rather keep to myself, like the double chocolate Magnum ice-cream bar. Or maybe, like the advice I was given, those mothers feel so depleted they just want something to call their own, and why not reward with a snack, most of the snacks mentioned were healthy, so not necessarily a guilty pleasure, just something that no one else could have.
I can’t say that advice I was given is always in the back of my mind, but in moments of feeling overwhelmed while in full working mommy mode, a trip for one to a deserted tropical island to replenish, can seem like a dream come true. How many of you have been offered to take a few hours for yourself and you decline because you don't want to be away from your children? *Raises hand* I'm Guilty!! Much like a well, when drawing from the well, it can run dry or it can appear to be dry and just need to be re-primed. Mothers, I'm here to tell you, sometimes you need to be re-primed, and it isn't something you should feel guilty or ashamed about.
As a mother, I know how hard this is to do, but you have to make yourself a priority. Motherhood is the most beautiful and rewarding journey I’ve ever been on. Every day is so fulfilling and different. Being a Mother to toddler boys especially with no relatives nearby and my husband frequently traveling for work, at the end of the night I’m pooped and thinking of a good snack to sit back and enjoy, more importantly, I’m also thinking about a reasonable way I could replenish myself.
If you share my sentiments, dealing with life altering changes can be difficult to do. Not only difficult but daunting, draining, dreadful, and any other “D’’ letter adjective you can think of. I recently moved from the west coast to the east, after living out west for 4 years. I was gainfully employed, my children were settled into school, and I had a church home, and friends that I knew I would miss dearly. Oh, lets not forget the weather; imagine being able to wear flip-flops all fall and winter long. Sounds like a solid life right? In my adult life, one thing that I have learned is, change is inevitable, and it usually occurs just as you start to get a little comfortable. BAM! Just like that, your world is shaken up a little.
My move to the east coast was due to a mandatory relocation for my husband’s job. Great for him, but my immediate emotion was panic ,as I thought about having to start all over. I had to find a new job, new schools for my boys, new place to live, church, friends, and all the other essentials you can think of with moving across country. Let’s not forget having to adjust to living in a cold weather climate, which I’ve never had to do. The thought of starting over put me in a stupor for a few days as I let the what if’s overcome me. What if I can’t find a job, what if I don’t like the schools, what if we choose the wrong neighborhood. What if I can’t find a midwife that I feel comfortable with, oh yea, we’re expecting!!! Then as quickly as the doubt crept in it, it went away as my heart was convicted with a spirit of gratitude. Things could be a lot worse, and they were by no means bad. My family and I were healthy, my husband was remuneratively employed and could support the family without my income until I found employment, and while we worked out the other details, we had each other. Putting things in perspective, I was grateful.
Even if the change that lies ahead might be the best for you and your family or alternatively, an unexpected or sudden occurrence that has lead you to face change with grief, one thing remains the same, how you cope with the change or the transition makes all the difference.
I don’t know about you, but I’m in need of a vacation. To me, a vacation doesn’t have to be a 10-day all out oasis or tropical get away. It can simply be some time away from the typical day-to-day responsibilities (cooking, cleaning), with people whose company I enjoy the most. Most importantly for me, a vacation cannot be truly enjoyed if puts me in debt. I like to enjoy my time away knowing that my vacation is paid for and I don’t have to starve myself upon returning home. Can you imagine: you have a great time on your trip, then when you get home your Zen mood from the previous week is replaced by anxiety and vexation because you totally overspent for the month.
Being that we have a little over a month until the spring season and a few months until summer, we have plenty of time to plan and prepare with a travel savings plan.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How does saving $1000 in 3 months sound, if you put aside $77 a week for 13 weeks? Not bad right. Below is a reminder you can plaster to serve as a visual to help you meet your goal. The great thing about this plan is, you can always opt to add a little extra to your goal for the week, with the expectation that at the end of the 3 months you will have over a thousand dollars toward your trip.
If you’re fretting over being able to save $77 a week, no fear, below are some helpful tips to maximize your budget to reach your goal.
Cash is King: Keep a cash budget for the month; this will help you realize where you can turn some excess waste into savings. Write out your budget (needs) and stick with it, turn access into savings. Using a cash envelope system will be instrumental in helping you achieve this goal. See more at:
Sorry Starbucks: If you have a Starbucks habit, I have good and bad news for you. The good news is, you can save over 30 dollars a week if you visit at least 4 times a week, the not so good news is, it won’t be brewed for you:
DYI Manicures & Pedicures: who doesn’t love a good mani pedi? I for one sure do, but I am also the DYI queen. I’ll do hair, nails, make up, especially if it means saving money. A mani Pedi combo can cost upwards of $65 dollars, not including the tip. I hardly ever go without my nails being painted, and over the years I’ve gotten really good at hooking myself up, you wouldn’t even know the difference. How you ask? Read below my friend. There is a style and technique for whatever your heart desires. Below is a sample.
Sometimes a little sacrifice is worth a large gain; I’d say having an enjoyable debt free vacation definitely qualifies as such. Save up, cut back, and enjoy your much-deserved special time away.
Getting in shape does not have to be expensive or dreadful, as it may seem. There are plenty of ways to look and feel your best without it wreaking havoc on your pockets and time. With summer quickly approaching and on the cusp of failed news year’s resolutions who wouldn’t want to finally look their best? Some go getter pointers that have worked for me that I know for sure will work on even the most unmotivated and are so simple, even a cave man can do it. Therefore, whatever excuse you have, I know I have something to combat it, and if it’s not listed….it just wasn’t a good enough excuse!
For my money conscious friends, working out from home yields just as great results and you never have to step foot in a gym. There are a few options to present to you. If you live in a condo or apt, most have work out facilities to use free of charge, an incentive with your rent. If you don’t, you have at least one friend that does live in a condo, which is even better; you can use the buddy system! If you’re saying the equipment isn’t as modern, excuse, all you need is about 25 minutes of cardio, open space for squats, and a little weights, to get you looking and feeling your best in no time.
Another option is work out dvds. You can shed pounds with out spending them. You pay one small price for a dvd that you can use for a life time. One that I highly recommend is P90X…amazing! You don’t have to ever worry about getting bored, needing variety, or being pushed to the limit. If you stick with it for 90 days, you are guaranteed to see results. No matter where you are, there are probably tons of parks in your vicinity. Running or walking are very viable options, also good ways to cut calories and build endurance, if you have children, take them with you! You can throw a Frisbee around which is great bonding time and also allows you to exercise fluid movement.
I have been frugal for as long as I can remember and I have my grandfather to blame. To my grandfather, life was like a scavenger hunt; he was constantly looking for a pot of gold and could see the treasure in anything. I can vividly remember he would save and collect used cans and recycle them for money, or how he used his acres of land as an opportunity to start his own plant nursery because he had a green thumb to match. I’ll never forget the day the City of Miami brought palm trees from him. From him I learned, let your gifts make room for you and there is always a way to save. Fast forward years later and I won’t make a purchase without first searching for the best deal and a coupon to match.
Disclaimer: I am not an extreme couponer! I don’t have a room full of stockpiled items I’ll never get around to using, I don’t spend hours driving or shopping around to find every item I have a coupon for, and I’m still satisfied if my shopping trip does not warrant a free purchase. I bargain shop and shop to save for family, friends, & myself. There are a few methods I use to save on a regular basis, I’ll share three ways to guarantee savings on your next shopping trip.
Price matching is an awesome way to save money by comparing the price of an item(s) from retailers and having the lower price honored by a participating ad match retailer. The key is finding a retailer that honors price matching. Target and Walmart (As of October, Walmart no longer participates in in-store price matching). For my grocery, shopping, and household items I religiously price match as many items I am able to on a weekly basis. Here are the steps:
· Before my weekly grocery trip I collect the sales ad from about 5 grocery stores, I circle all the items that I want to purchase in that ad that is being sold that week for a lower price than Walmart is featuring.
· Write the details in a note pad; including the price, ounce, and which store is featuring the sale of the lower price item.
· Be familiar with your list and bring the ads and your note pad with you. Being prepared is key for a smooth transaction. The cashier appreciates when you are prepared, because you are less likely to hold up the next customer in line.
Let the cashier know that you are ad matching and they will change the price for each featured item, it is a good idea to separate your purchase with price match vs non price match items.
Perhaps the best feature of price matching at walmart is their saving catcher app. For me, this app is in the top 5 of my all time favorite. After shopping at walmart you simply scan your receipt using your saving catcher app, walmart then compares the prices of your purchased items to stores within a certain mile radius, if they find any of your purchased items at a lower price, they refund the dollar item to you via an e-gift card. This has got to be one of the best and easiest ways I’ve ever saved money; you can price match at the checkout line then scan your receipt for additional savings in case you missed something.
If you don’t have a subscription to your local newspaper, it may be something that you want to consider. Most cities (Groupon) offer great membership specials for signing up for the year, but if you can only afford a few days, Saturday and Sunday will be the most advantageous. Why else? For the coupons of course. Clipping coupons and comparing prices between retailers can save you a lot of time and money. With my coupons alone last week I was able to save $11.50. Amazing when you think
I love social media. I think its presence and impact on the world is phenomenal. The ability to connect people and bring awareness to issues across the globe is nothing short of amazing. Not to mention the marketing and advertising aspect of social media; I can’t count how many times I decided to try a product or visit a new place because I saw a testimonial on social media. Talk about great for business.
But (and there is always a but), sometimes I feel as if people have grown too reliant on social media to share information that deserves the courtesy of a phone call.
I can recall having a friend confront me about not knowing about her new relationship. When we spoke I thought, how could I have forgotten the details of that conversation?!? After a bit of back and forth she confessed, “Well I put it on Instagram!” insinuating that because it was shared on social media, I was obligated to know about it.
If it’s big news feel free to share away on social media, but remember that a phone call is sometimes more appropriate. Sometimes social media makes me feel a bit “old fashioned.” Forgive me but I feel strongly about fostering relationships the old fashioned way - like in person or by picking up the phone to connect where you can see people’s excitement (or lack thereof) and/or hear the expression on their voice. Status updates and shared pictures just don’t have the same effect.
There is a Chinese proverb “give a man a fish and you feed him for the day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”.
If you learn healthy habits it will last through out the year, even a lifetime and not just for a holiday or a special event. Be intentional about your purchase, so this holiday season and for whatever other occasion considering saving for the gift you have in mind, It’s always about quality instead of quantity. Pursue mindful gifts life keepsakes, if you have to charge it and aren’t able to pay it off accordingly is it worth purchasing?
When surveyed, the FORBES 400 were asked, “what is the most important key to building wealth?’ 75% replied that becoming and staying debt free was the number-one key to wealth building.
These are the top 5 tips 400millionaers said were their Steps for Staying Out of Debt
From Apps to help you save money on purchasing gifts to coupons and tips to help you save on groceries, down to a 52-week chart geared to helping you save money through out the year, below are some resources provided to help you stay out of debt during the holidays.
Apps Geared to Help you Save
Savings Catcher( Wal-Mart)
Retail Me Not
www.babble.com ( featuring 12 coupon sites)
Sunday Paper Ads
Save Money on Groceries without Coupons
Budget section of daveramsey.com
The 52 Week Savings Plan Printable Chart
Two years ago, I was a frequent visitor to our local urgent care. Not by choice of course, but due to my toddlers and myself catching every cold and strains of flu it seemed imaginable. We opted not to receive the flu shot, and never have, but managed to evade the flu and major coughs and cold until then. Two years ago, things changed, and I was contemplating, should we have got the flu shot, would it have made a difference? I will never know the answer to that question for sure, but what I can tell you is what has made a difference since. This gem has made such a difference, my boys and I have not had any major colds or flu since incorporating it into our wellness regimen.
Black Elderberry Syrup has done wonders for my family. Suggested by a friend, who happens to be a pharmacist, after the frequent bouts with cold viruses and what was at a time, very weak immune systems. According to herbwisdom.com, Black Elderberry (Sambucus) contain organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar, rutin, viburnic acid, vitamin A and B and a large amount of vitamin C. The syrup is taken by mouth usually a tablespoon serving size, one to two times daily, as needed.
The brand I would most recommend is by Gaia, they offer a kids and adult version. The kids version includes organic sugar cane, water, organic honey, natural flavor from lemon juice, and of course the main ingredient of black elderberry. Trust me, with this flavor; this is one medi herb that will be taken with no hassle by your children. My toddlers take their elderberry with ease, as it has a refreshing taste and they are believers too. At the onset of a cough, my 3 year old reminds me, “I need my elderberry”!
The Gaia brand elderberry syrup (3-4oz) will cost you between $13-20 dollars depending on the kid and adult version and if it’s on sale or not. I’ve purchased from amazon before with next day shipping from Amazon prime, and it is well worth the price considering the elderberry contains no artificial ingredients, or preservatives, and it supports a healthy immune system.
I have been asked if Elderberry in the plant form would be more effective to take versus the syrup. In the raw form, Elderberry can be poisonous, so it is recommended that the berry be cooked. The syrup is just as effective as the boiling the berry. What is most important is the source of your Elderberry, I have purchased black elderberry syrup from different manufactures and it has not been as effective as the Gaia brand, because the other versions contained preservatives and other additives, which dilute the elderberry and limit its potency. For this reason, do your research and check the ingredient label before you purchase. There is a kid’s version that contained high fructose corn syrup, the hypocrisy!
I would recommed that you consult with your physician to ensure Elderberry syrup is recommened for your family to take.
Treat your immune system to some black elderberry today, and let us know how effective it's been this season for your household. Cheers to your health!
I don’t know about you, but this year has flown by for me. Have you ever looked at your list of resolutions you started at the beginning of the year and notice a few things you have yet to check off but the next year is quickly approaching? I used to be that person, every year. Then I thought better of waiting until a new year to make changes that I wanted to make strides towards immediately.
Two things to expect as topics of discussions when approaching a new year are holiday parties and resolutions. I almost cringe at the latter.. SO THIS THING CALLED NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS?! WHY, WHY WHY? I think creating New Year Resolutions are done with the best intentions, but are usually not fulfilled because of the lack of motivation. This quote by Thomas Jefferson sums my sentiments up perfectly - “Never put off tomorrow what you can do today."
Resolutions are meant to decree and commit to change in your life. No one lives a perfect life, so if you know there are areas in which you can improve, things that you should be doing to lead a healthier life and obligations that you should be keeping, why would you wait until a new year? Why not start now? You really don’t need a new year as an excuse to be the best you can be. A resolution should be made on a daily basis and not once a year. Focus on making every day better than the last and you won’t have to purge away your ‘faults' at the end of the year. When your motivation is conjured daily, you will see your results are more obtainable. As we draw near to 2018, focus in the results you can get today.