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Text Abbreviations That Parents Need to Know

I know my kid is not even three yet, but I still felt like I wanted to share this with you all.  I have a lot of friends with older children and I know they’ve been having some trouble with their teens and pre-teens in this digital age. Even though I do have mixed emotions about the line between privacy and good parenting, somethings you just need to know.

Growing up we didn’t have texts, well we sort of did by the end of my high school era, but it was only flip phone or Nokia where you had to press each number multiple times to text.  For the most part we had pagers and with those with had codes we’d put in after our number.  It was quite elaborate and now very archaic.  Eventually got cell phones that were awesome because they played Snake, but still there was no Google or Facebook on them, shoot all we had was computers at home with AOL chat rooms and AIM for messaging.

Image from Google Play

This was the height of teenage handheld technology back then.  And even with just an old Nokia and AOL I got in more than my fair share of trouble with messaging, chat rooms, and of course those niftily folded notes we passed in class.  I got in trouble so much that I swore to myself that I’d never be a snooping parent that read my child’s notes or go through their room.  But now that I have a kid, I am definitely rethinking my stance at least a little.

The world of social media has really changed things.  The ways our kids can connect with anyone, anywhere, at anytime anonymously is pretty scary.  I even had one friend who’s young son seemed to be prayed upon while playing Minecraft.  Luckily she felt that the meeting a “friend from class” was a little sketchy, so she intercepted quickly and nothing bad happened. This was the real eye opener.  A seemingly benign game for children could have been a way a predator found a way in.  That’s not even with a teen who could be actively searching for attention and acceptance online.

It’s a tricky raising children where social media, smart phones, and the internet literally puts the world at their fingertips.  Even though Isaiah is only 3 and most of these terms will be outdated, it’s still good to keep in touch with it.  I already feel old knowing that the code we used growing up, POS for Parent Over Shoulder is now just the number 9 or PIR for Parent In Room.  And for all my friends who knew me back in the day, yes I do feel a little like the narc parent that I said I’d never be. After you become a parent things really do change (yes mom, you were right).  And also because I know all to well how fast things can get out of control and that was 15 years ago, which TBH scares me.

Internet Terms and Acronyms Parents Need to Know

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Organizing for the babysitter…

Not so long ago, Sam and I were all footloose and fancy free. There was dancing and dinners and dating…oh my!  Then we had Kenna. Enough said.

Our spontaneous carefree lifestyle pretty much flew out the window along with any hope of dating, dinners, or dancing. We had a special needs infant on a heart monitor, oxygen, and a feeding tube. We didn’t need a sitter. We couldn’t even get a nurse.

Finally, she’s four. She’s wonderful. She’s mostly healthy. And we were ready to explore couple time. It was glorious.  All except for the finding a sitter and all that part.  Maybe you understand? Well, the Dating Divas definitely do. They found a way to make dating simple again.

Do you know the “Date Night Shuffle” all too well?

Us too!

Scrambling to get the kids settled, shoving info into the babysitters brain, the hurried exit out the door…yikes! As much as I love date night, it can be so stressful just getting to the car sometimes!

I’ve been searching for a new system to make things go a little bit more smoothly on date night. I recently found this, from The Dating Divas, and was so impressed!

The Divas have put together a fantastic resource to make kicking off date night a LOT easier. Just hand your babysitter this prepped and handy-dandy binder, and you are good to go!

The Divas have provided tons of great printables to make “the hand off” easy.

This awesome kit includes:

  • Contact and Emergency Information
  • House Rules and Guidelines
  • Mealtimes and Bedtimes
  • Allergy Alerts
  • Sleeping and Eating Schedules (Specifically for Baby)
  • Information about Each Child
  • Notes for the Babysitter

These also have so many other fun features, like these sweet “Open When” letters! Sometimes the kids have a hard time being away from us, even when it’s just a few hours. I also love the idea of these for an extended trip, like a weekend getaway (or longer!).

These “Babysitter Bucks” are fantastic, too – they are great incentive for good behavior from the kids while you are out!

Isn’t this great? I really am impressed with it!

You can grab yours here!

Groovy Gadgets You Need in Your Life

Image from Buzzfeed

I don’t think of myself as a “lazy” person, but I do like being super efficient when I’m doing things.  Why waste time with extra movements when I can get it all done at once?  Well, mostly…sometimes I end up multitasking too much and I’m left running around like a chicken with my head cut off. This usually happens when I’m at work.  I’ll have spreadsheets open, blogs opens, Pinterest, Facebook, processing schedules and actually trying to getting my real job done too; only to find, at the end of the day, I have 3 almost, but not quite completed tasks.  Okay, so Facebook and Pinterest may have a bit to do with it as well, but I’m getting better at it (even though I had to add the Simple Blocker Chrome extension to help me stay on track).

Efficiency is kind of tricky sometimes, but I’ll get the hang of it one of these days. And that’s why I gravitated right to these groovy gadgets I saw on BuzzFeed.  I love BuzzFeed, by the way, they are great at helping me procrastinate and not be effective with my time management.  But I digress, as usual, so anyway…these gadgets though, they are awesome.  I mean, a fork that twirls your spaghetti for you?!  A self-stirring coffee mug? Or what about a motorized ice cream cone?! I’m telling you, 2016 just keeps getting better and better.

In reality, some of these would really useful in the kitchen.  I would love to have the pot and colander combo, that’s definitely handy.  The meat infusing tenderizer is totally calling my name too, as is the handheld egg cracker.  I don’t know why, but I have yet to master cracking an egg without getting it on my hands.  It’s like I don’t even know how to adult if I can’t break an egg right.  Throw in the fact I make eggs at least twice a week makes it even sadder.  So yeah, I need these gadgets in my life.  And with all the time I’ll save not twirling spaghetti or stirring my coffee, I may just learn how to adult after all.

23 Gadgets All Lazy People Need In Their Kitchen

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Back in the Saddle!

Photo from Pinterest

Hey guys! So, it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to post on here.  Big things have been happening and I got a little caught up trying to start my new business, Lindsay Blogs For You.  I know, right?!  It was a very sudden and great opportunity and it grew pretty quickly and I had a hard time getting all the posts done.  But now, I’m way that I’m way more organized and finally have a speedy new laptop, I’m back in action. I would like to have a moment of silence for my old laptop, The Crushinator.

The Crushinator in better days with my cat Neka

You were a good laptop, my first real one in fact; and I watched many a movie and wrote many a blog on you and hopefully we will get you fixed up one day.  And now moving on…all good things, right?

I’ve been busy working my blog business, my part time job as a test proctor and of course still being a totally awesome mom and wife 😉 but I’m not the only one who’s been accomplishing greatness.  Nicole has been working over time growing her romance novel promotion company, Love Kissed Books and Love Kissed Book Bargains  where you can get fantastic deals on all the new romance novels.  Plus, don’t forget to check out Emma Nichols and all her awesome romance novels!  So many good books to read, so little time, right?

We’re dreaming big and working hard over here, but as always there always more to dream and more to accomplish.  Stay tuned for more awesome ideas to make your life simple, but still wildly awesome! Come back soon, because I’m back in the saddle and it feels good y’all!

 

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Tips for a debt free Christmas

Photo from Smart Money, Simple Life

For the last few years, Christmas has been more a source of stress than the joyful occasion it was meant to be.  The main reason for this, as you may have guessed, is because of money.  The husband and I have been working diligently to get out of debt.  Of course this is made easier by more income, so we’re getting closer.  Still, the best way to get out of debt is to stay out of debt.  While it’s easy to overspend at Christmas, we’re vowing to make this and every year a debt free Christmas. If this appeals to you, try some of these tips.

  1. Credit Cards.  You may have them, but it doesn’t mean you have to use them.  There are many ways to fund the holiday without spending money you don’t have.  For example, I started a $5 savings plan.  I can’t take credit for it.  I saw it on Pinterest.  Instead of spending my $5 bills, I save them.  It adds up.  Fast.  In addition, I’ve been working on accumulating money other ways.
  2. Apps.  If you can save money with it, I use it.  I have Ibotta, Saving Star, and Checkout 51 for grocery shopping.  I used Savings Catcher for Walmart shopping.  AS the money accumulates during the course of the year, I leave it alone.  Then when Christmas comes, I can add it to my PayPal, stick it in my bank account, or whatever the app allows.
  3. Savings attached to my checking account.  I realize not everyone will have this option, but maybe you want to consider changing banks at some point so you do.  Here’s the deal.  When I was with Bank of America, they would have a savings account attached to the checking.  All my debit card purchases resulted in money being added to my savings.  If I purchased gas, I’d always make sure it was $20.01 and then 99 pennies would be added to my savings.  With Wells Fargo, it doesn’t matter what the total is, every time I swipe my card, they move $1 from my checking to my savings.  It’s one of those things I don’t even need to think about.  I’m automatically saving, and it really adds up.
  4. Coupons.  True story: coupons turn shopping into a game and I’m winning.  For example, at the grocery store, I can stock up on stocking stuffers while staying within my grocery budget.  I have a ton of stuff already for my kids and husband.  It feels good.  There will be toy coupons as we get closer to the holidays.  Never be ashamed to use them.  My daughter is an amazing couponer and was able to donate a TON of free food to an animal shelter around the holidays because she had the coupons to do so.  It made her feel wonderful to be able to do good.  It’s also a great way to save on baking supplies, and everything needed for the holiday meal.  (We’re all about the food.)
  5. Keep it simple.  In the past we were so busy giving and giving and giving to the kids, we never stopped to recognize they don’t need that much stuff.  Oh, we picked up on it quick enough.  Still, this is the biggest challenge.  Over spending.  We try to get them one big gift, a few small ones: a new outfit, new pajamas, new movie or game, new book, then a combination of practical and fun stuff in the stocking.  You know: socks, underwear, toothbrush, some candy, a few tiny toys, some fancy toiletries (that I get for next to nothing through couponing) etc.  If you have lots of kids and family members, this can add up fast.  Start buying little bits here and there, or saving to buy later.  
  6. Make it special.  The best gifts lots of times really are homemade.  Think about what you can make to give to people.  There’s tons of cool idea out there.  Make fancy creamers for the coffee lover.  Assemble a sundae kit for the ice cream lover.  Make a cookie platter for everyone because…cookies.  Think about it.  Dig deep.  I bet you can come up with a ton of ideas.

There are lots more ideas to come.  Use this as a jumping off point.  And if you want more, check out this post which inspired mine.

Tips for a Debt Free Christmas

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Thankful Handprint Pumpkin

Photo from The NY Melrose Family

 

I love the fall.  The leaves changing, the pumpkins, hoodies, and crisp air, I just love it.  It may be in part due to the fact that my birthday is in early October, but it may just be the break from the oppressive summer heat that I love so much, either way fall is simply a wonderful season.

Each year I like to go get a pumpkin for my birthday, since it falls on the 8th it’s just always been the perfect time to get one.  Usually I like to make jack o lanterns from them, but my husband doesn’t celebrate Halloween and so we don’t carve one every year.  He does love fall, however and so we still usually always get a pumpkin.  And that’s why I really love this idea.  We can decorate the pumpkin for fall, but not really have it decorated for Halloween.  When you don’t carve the pumpkin it lasts much longer, so I was thinking that we could make our hands like the feathers of a turkey and keep it until Thanksgiving.  I love making crafts that last a whole season and not for just one occasion on the season.  I mean, I love decorating, but I also have a busy life and so I can’t redecorate all the time, you know?  And that’s why you should try this neat little pumpkin decoration idea, one craft for the whole season and you’re good to go.

Check out the tutorial here!

Thankful Handprint Pumpkin

Surviving Disaster on a Budget

Photo from Budget 101

It’s hurricane season.  If I never watched the news, I still would know because my Facebook feed was filled with images of Hurricane Hugo, which devastated North Carolina and reached as far inland as Charlotte back in 1989.

Back then, my husband was a child.  His memories of the experience involve the challenges of finding food.  (He was all about some Bojangles.  Still is.)  While I don’t have any hurricane experience, I have survived tons of snow storms, ice storms, and spring flooding.  I’ve survived once without power for three weeks and a preemie fresh out of the hospital.  It was pretty terrible.  It served as a learning experience.  What did I learn?  Simple.  I have learned to be prepared.

Some of the preparations are simple, and come in the form of the food and supply stockpile we maintain just in case.  Some of the preparations come in the form of blankets I collect and keep.  You can never have too many blankets.  The husband is quick to ensure we have flashlights in working order and easily accessible at all times.  I do the same with candles and matches.  Still, I read up, study up, and try to make sure in case of an emergency we are safe.  This is why I have an easily accessible emergency binder.

Would you believe, I discovered how far we have to go in our preparations from a post on Budget 101?  Yeah.  Who knew I could keep flour longer if I kept it in a freezer for 72 hours before I stored it in an air tight container?  Kills weevils.  I have an excuse now to stock up on wine and alcohol.  They have practical uses aside from the obvious.  Honey.  Why didn’t I think of honey?  Great natural sweetener.  There’s so much more.  Read it.  Put it into practice.  May you never have to use it, but may you sleep easier knowing you’re covered.

Surviving Disaster on a Budget

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DIY Paper Rings

Photo from Inscrutables.com

I may have mentioned before and it’s probably no surprise that I love books.  I probably have over 500 books at my house on selves and packed away in storage.  Some are really great classics, some are just interesting books I’ve picked up along the way and honesty some I don’t even know where they came from or how they ended up in my collection.    The same thing with magazines, even thought we don’t have any actual subscriptions, we have a ton of magazines.  As much as I love the written word, there’s no way I’m go to read all of these books and magazines.  But I can’t just throw them away, you know?!  I have given so many boxes to Goodwill, in fact there’s a box of books in my car right now ready for Goodwill (just don’t ask how long it’s been in my car, even though I pass a Goodwill almost everyday…).   That’s why I instantly gravitated to the craft I saw the other day.

I’m going to pull out one of those books and try this craft .  What’s really great about this one is that I actually have all the supplies at home because it’s a crazy simple idea.  And if I mess the first one up, I can always cut out more pages and try it again.  Plus these rings look super cool when they’re done, they’re great for gifts and most occasions.  This is definitely one groovy little craft that I can’t wait to try.  I may have to make a few extra for gifts.  Christmas is just around the corner and these would be a great little gift for a few of my friends.

Try your hand at making your own paper rings and check out this tutorial here!

 

DIY Paper Rings

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Crab Rangoon Eggrolls

Photo from Pint Sized Treasures

For years we have enjoyed a healthy tradition of eating Chinese food once a week.  It has always been our Sunday guilty pleasure, until football season and then we switch it up a bit.  Of all the specialty dishes we order, my standard is crab rangoon, egg rolls, and chicken in garlic sauce.    Seriously, combine cream cheese and just about anything, I’m a huge fan.  Combine cream cheese and crab meat, I’m all over it, fighting  for dibs on the last one like a greedy kid.  (We all have our vices.  Mine is food.)

Lots of times, I’m more than willing to take on these food challenges.  For one, it saves money, and I LOVE saving money.  For another, it saves time.  I hate waiting for delivery.  I hate leaving the house to pick up food.  It’s a terrible interruption to my day.  Thus, my excitement at discovering how to make not only crab ran goons, but crab rangoon egg rolls.

Shudder, if you will, at the idea of frying.  I say, do what we do, and keep a fryer outside on your screened porch.  We can cook in any weather.  You may think it sounds too difficult for our idea of making life simple.  I say, the crab is canned.  You can do this!  I know I will be.  We love our fried food.  Tonight, with football, we’ll be having chicken wings.  And if I have my way, there will be crab rangoon egg rolls to round out the meal.

Crab Rangoon Egg Rolls

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33 Ingenious Ways Spray Paint Can Transform Your Stuff

Photo From BuzzFeed

 

Today is pay day and I would be lying if I didn’t want to go out and spend almost the entire check on spray paint now that I’ve seen these ideas.   My absolute favorite was the idea to spray paint a measuring tape and use it as a height chart that can go anywhere you go.  I always wanted a height chart for Isaiah, but I am also the queen of procrastination and so he’s going on 2 and half and I still don’t have one.  Maybe this will change soon.  I never really wanted one that goes on the wall, or to make knotches on the door frame because I know one day (hopefully sooner than later) we’re going to move.

That’s the other area where these ideas will really come in handy. Dressing up the house for when we’re ready to put it on the market.  But I’m not going to wait on that to get started.  Our house is pretty lived in already and I would love to freshen up some things and have a some new color too.

After all, it doesn’t get much easier than spraying on some paint and letting things dry.  I think the hardest part is making sure it’s not going to rain that day so your project can dry.  I think my first mission will be the measuring tape, then maybe a few light fixtures, and most definitely my vents.  They could really use a new coat of paint.  I’m actually pretty excited about this project.  Now all I need is it to be Friday afternoon so I can go to the store and get started on my new weekend project!  This is one I’ll have to revisit for y’all so you can see how it turns out.   Happy Spraying!

 

33 Ingenious Ways Spray Paint Can Transform Your Stuff

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