Monday, November 23, 2015

Celebrate Small Business Saturday by Shopping Online

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

I love the whole idea of Small Business Saturday.   My parents owned two small businesses when I was growing up, and I love the more recent push to "Shop Small".  I own three home businesses myself.   My blog, I sell on eBay, and I sell $5 Paparazzi jewelry.  What happens when you buy from a small business?  Your money goes to someone who is going to use the profit to go directly towards new winter tires, adoption, the heat bill, groceries, etc.  (I've used my profits in the last few months for all of the above.)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Tips for Holiday Shipping #Zitriom

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  I received a sample of Zitriom professional packing tape to help facilitate this post.

I sell online.  Full time.   It's important I always have good, reliable packing tape on hand at all times. There have been times I have sent my husband to the store at nearly 11 at night because I realized that I was out of packing tape.

It's important, too. that I have quality packing tape.  I need to be sure the tape sticks to the package and it won't come off until the recipient takes it off.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Late November Adoption Update

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

Our last PRIDE (Foster / adoption) class was this week.  I'm going to enjoy having my Wednesday evenings back again, but will certainly miss the friends I made in the class.  We offered to give a ride to a friend and as we were backing out of her driveway, my husband backed right into a black 2015 Jeep Cherokee.  *sigh*   It was raining, it was dark, and the vehicle was extremely camouflaged.

It's been one expense after another later. The furnace, both of our cars, someone else's car, and we need a number of windows replaced, and the one that is most in need of replacement (because it's just boarded up) is a special order.

The boy we wanted to adopt is no longer available. (Long story, and we were anticipating having him here hopefully by Christmas.)  A second boy we were considering is being adopted by another couple.  So right now, we're working towards adoption but with no specific child in mind.

Our PRIDE training is good for three years, so we might take a little more time now and approach the process a little more slowly.  It will give us more time to get the house ready.  Find things we need.  (Maybe I'll come across a great sale on a bed before we need it!)

Bottom line is we're still moving forward but just slower than we had originally planned.

I'm hoping we can get the windows replaced before winter hits.  I don't want to think about how much that will cost.  Then hopefully we can get started on a couple rooms in the house that need updated.  (When I inherited this house, it was totally filled with paneling.)  The house renovations are not cheap by any means.  They are sorely needed though.  So I'll be listing on eBay, selling Paparazzi $5 jewelry, blogging, and entering sweepstakes.  My husband is working extra hours and we're doing all we can to save money.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Are there 7 ways to say I'm Tired?

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

It's time for 7 Quick Takes Friday.  You can visit to read more from other bloggers.

Are there seven ways to say I'm tired?  Maybe I'll just recount my week and then you can come up with the best way to describe it.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Want to help our own first? Here are some ideas!

FTC disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links.

Want to help those in the USA before you help others?  Well, remember if you say that you SHOULD be helping.  If you need some ideas, here are a few:

1.  Call a soup kitchen and ask what they need.  Buy it, then stay to help serve a meal.

2.  Take an elderly neighbor who is struggling to make ends grocery shopping.  Give them a gift certificate to the store you are taking them to so they can purchase what they need.

3.  Leave a Thanksgiving basket on a family's doorstep who might not be able to afford a turkey otherwise.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Five Podcasts You Should Give a Try

FTC disclaimer:  This post may contain affiliate links.

I decided to join Ashley over at The Big White Farmhouse and do a Five Fave link up.

Without further ado . . . my Five Fave podcasts.   (Note, these are in Alphabetical order because it's hard to choose which is my favorite.)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Growing up in a Family of Holiday Workers

My husband and I aren't going to get to visit family for Thanksgiving.  To be honest, it's not that big of a deal to me.  Thanksgiving never really was much of a holiday for us.  When I was eight years old, that was the last time my family celebrated.  My mother invited her mom, step-dad, and my dad's mother and step-dad for Thanksgiving.  Dad was the 1970s equivalent of a 911 dispatcher, and he worked nights, but by day he was a volunteer EMT.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

No Shave November and Cancer Awareness

FTC disclaimer:  I am part of the U.S. Cellular Blogger Brigade and this is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.

U.S. Cellular offers a FREE PRINTABLE Parent Child agreement to help you discuss safety of the Internet, cell phone usage, limits, and courtesy with your teen or tween.  You don't even need to be a U.S. Cellular customer to access this, although I have been for 10 years and highly recommend them. 

November is a great time to put down your razor and pick up your cell phone to raise awareness for cancer.  With great devices from U.S. Cellular, like the iPhone 5s, it's easy to track charity donations, take selfies of that growing beard, or even use apps to see what you would look like if you added a beard to yourself.  (Not everyone works in a place where they are allowed to grow a beard.  My husband works in food service and is required to shave daily.)  But with an app he can join in on the fun.  Regardless of facial hair or not, you can still use your U.S. Cellular device to promote cancer awareness while on the go.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Book Review: Safe House by Joshua Straub

FTC disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.

My husband and I are in classes to train us so we can either foster or adopt children. When Family Christian offered me a chance to review Safe House by Joshua Straub I was excited to read this book.

This book was a bit of a slow read for me.  I never, never, never dog ear a book.  This one had so much great information in it, that it was the exception to my rule.  This went along with what I have been learning in class, just in more detail.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Why I don't Budget (and what I do instead)

FTC disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

I've been known as a frugal guru among my friends for, oh, about 20 years or more.  But there's one piece of money advice that I hear everywhere that just doesn't work for me.  Having a budget.

Since I graduated college, I have been selling on eBay.  I've been blogging for years.   I recently joined a  direct sales company As anyone who works at home knows, there can be some months you may make thousands, and other months you might make under $20.  (I've had both!)  The financial experts say to budget with your smallest month in mind, but that does NOT work for me.  How can I budget paying $600 of utilities on a $20 budget?  It just can't happen.