People Never Cease To Amaze Me!!


Its been an awfully long time since I have written anything on this site and it kind of makes me sad. Life has, as always, been hectic but even more so now that I am a full-time college student and single mother of two. Still, this site has been my outlet for so long that I don’t want to just forget about it and have it fade away… So I am here now, and I am going to try to be here somewhat regularly to post and vent and share all of my crazy thoughts and ideas. Which is probably a good idea since bottling them up makes me crazy and saying them out loud in public can sometimes get me into trouble…

So on to the thoughts I am having this moment that brought me here in the first place…

I haven’t been sleeping well lately.. Okay let’s be honest, I have not slept well since my daughter was born 4 years ago but lately it has been really bad. I wake up several times a night and for a while when it first started happening I would lay there trying to force myself back to sleep but all that did was make me frustrated and spin the psychotic scenario wheels inside my head. So, lately I have taken to getting up out of bed and actually doing things until I feel tired again… Some nights it works and I am back in bed in a couple of hours, other nights I am up for the day from 3 am on… Those days are super fun, let me tell you.. and they create this nap, awake late, can’t sleep, nap cycle that is even worse than not being able to sleep in the first place…

Anyway.. Not sleeping is not the topic I am aiming to talk about here so let me get back on track.

While I am awake in the wee hours of the morning/night I tend to browse Facebook and other online sites for funny, stupid, entertaining and overall interesting information. Sometimes it melts my brain into mush, sometimes I learn something amazing and sometimes I am touched by the kindness of humanity… but other times I am appalled..

Today was one of those days. 

I came across a post on Facebook and it was a picture that a mother has posted of her son it had caption that stated his name and age (I think he was 3 or 4) and went on to explain that he likes to wear dresses and play with dolls and that she was perfectly okay with that. She said she wanted her son to know that he could be whatever he wanted and basically that she didn’t want the superficial constraints of society to determine his gender norms. She simply wanted her son to be happy and to do what made him happy…

This is NOT what appalled me… 

What appalled me was the pathetic response from the public about how she should be raising her child, how what she is doing is abusive, how she is going to “turn him gay” and how he is doomed to be bullied…

Seriously???

I have the utmost respect for this woman and any parent that can embrace their child’s choices so openly. I am sure it is not an easy task to watch your son walk around in a floral sundress but accepting that it is his choice, his right if you will, is an amazing act of parenting if you ask me.

This mother is not going to “turn her son gay”, I guess the person that posted this comment missed the memo but BEING GAY IS NOT A CHOICE!

Nor is she is not setting him up or dooming him to a life of being bullied.. EVEN IF he is still wearing dresses when he goes to school this doesn’t mean he is going to be teased anymore than anyone else..

And besides, maybe the person that commented this should consider Support Transgendertalking to their kids about gender variance and bullying so that hopefully ‘the boy in the dress’ won’t be bullied…

Kids can be mean but they are bullies because they are not taught to accept differences, or they are lacking attention, or because of some other outside factor.. Kids are not naturally bullies; we are not born with the mindset to discriminate, it is created over time in various ways. In fact, much of the time it is the parents attitudes and opinions coming out of the children’s  mouths…

There were of course the expected comments about God Hating Gays and the Bible verses to go with them. I am not religious so I can not hurl verses back that I am sure exist saying “do not judge”, or “love is love in any form” or something of that nature.. But what I can say is that the Bible is pretty damn old and the world has changed a great deal since these “rules” were created.. Don’t you think that God, who apparently created the world, would probably adapt his rules and opinions to fit the ever-changing ways of humanity??? Or in the very least strike every gay person down with a bolt of lightning if he truly did hate them so much!!!

Just sayin’.

My point here, other than ranting and raving, is that every once in a while I come across a post or comments that truly make me sad. People live inside little boxes and refuse to consider anything that doesn’t fit perfectly inside. When we live like this the only person we are harming is ourselves and the only ones that suffer are the future generations who have been taught that everything has to fit perfectly inside their little box.

Until Next Time…

Be Yourself; Explore Yourself.
Ps. There is a great post on gender variance in MacLean’s Magazine for anyone that is interested in the topic. You can access it HERE

Just Another Day in Creepsville


Those of you that know me personally know that I do not really look my age (30…Ah!). At 5 Feet tall and 100 pounds, I often get mistaken for a teenager from a distance and I am carded regularly when trying to buy liquor. (Which of course, is very flattering, but I do not believe for one second that I look that young!) Still, the point is I tend to look like a young woman (especially since I lack the boobs to be anything else, and sometimes the maturity level is questionable…) and this fact is not always a good thing.

Enter Creepsville. 2013-03-04_00-26-172

Creepsville is the place where all those wonky men come from that just do not seem to have the tact required to approach a woman. It is the place that houses those males that say all the wrong things, stalk, prowl the streets for a date, or hover too close in the clubs. Basically, Creepsville is where the Creeps come from… And they always seem to come to me.

Just the other morning I was on my way to pick up my daughter from her dads after their weekly ‘me’ time. The weather was warm, and it was a Sunday morning so I knew that taking a bus would be utter BS (the transit in my city is a disaster, but that is another post for another time) Anyways… I was wearing blue jeans, a green tank top, and running shoes (that belong to my 10 year-old son btw) I was by no means dressed in a provocative manner, or looking like a whore.

Yet as I was cruising along with my Ipod blasting Britney Spears in my ears I noticed a very nice truck pass by me on one of the main streets not far from my house. I am a big fan of big trucks and this one was flashy (something I thought I would look really good in)…

The walk from my house to my daughters dad’s takes me approximately 30 – 40 minutes (and I am a fast walker) It is located downtown and I live uptown so I usually follow the main roads and take a few smaller residential one in between working my way down diagonally.

The truck passed by and I went about my mission humming to myself and imagining I was famous inside my head. A few blocks down the road I noticed a really nice truck, and then another, and then another and I thought to myself… There is NO F**KING way that many people drive the same really nice truck in a small city this size… (Yep, I am blonde did I mention that)

Needless to say I started to pay attention to what was happening around me at this point and noticed the truck go by another two times before it passed me and turned down a side road ahead. As I crossed the road it had turned down I noticed it reversing in order to come back my way and I decided to pull out my phone and text my kids dad. I told him I thought someone was following me (realizing after I sent it how paranoid that would sound). At this point I was walking past two schools that are located right across from one another, which means there are no houses there and I am stuck between a road and a chain link fence. I thought to myself… This wacko is going to pull up right here and I am trapped… Sure enough that’s what happened.

I look over and there is this large truck coming to a stop beside me, its window rolling down and the driver leaning in to talk… I took a quick look around and realized that the nearest witness was a older couple on a porch across the football field and over two fences.

Turning to the driver I was surprised to hear him say, “Listen, I had to ask, do you want to come out on my boat with me today?”

LIKE, ARE YOU F**KING SERIOUS!!!!???

Let me think about this for a second….. Hmmm… Do I want to hop in a big truck with a strange man who plans to take me out in his boat to a deserted lake somewhere??? Tempting right???? HA!

I actually asked him if he was serious…. That is how unserious I thought he was… I was looking around for Ashton Kutcher, I was sure I was being punked…

Instead…

“Is this what you do? Drive around looking for young girls on Sunday morning’s on their way home from church? Seriously?

I gotta say, since you were stalking me for the last 18 blocks I already had a good description of your vehicle to give the police, including your licence plate number, and now I have a fairly detailed one of you as well… Including the wedding band on your left hand… So listen buddy you should probably go home to your wife.”

Funny, he didn’t seem interested in a boat ride with me after that…..?

I thought that I should share this though as a warning (I am being serious for a second) Perhaps he was just a nice guy who liked the look of my ass and really did just wanna take me out on a ‘boat’ trip, but I highly doubt it and the situation was weird enough to creep me out (not a simple thing to accomplish) so there was more to it than that. Normal men do not follow a woman for several blocks and creep her out in order to get a date. They also have enough sense to realize that a normal woman is not going to hop in a car with a stranger (and certainly not a boat). Normal men do not prowl the streets at 9am on a Sunday morning and stop to chat with girls that apparently look 18 (and that day I really did look a LOT younger than I truly am) No, this was a creep from Creepsville and they are everywhere. So educate yourself and learn to protect yourself (even if it is simply with a strong attitude and a big voice… remember most predators want easy prey and are more likely to pass on someone who seems like they will put up a fight or cause a scene) Seriously, as humorous as this situation was to me, it would not have been funny at all if it were my niece or daughter, or someone else’s daughter that was not as big a BITCH as I am…

P.S. I did end up contacting the police and gave a good description.. Although I didn’t actually have the licence plate number and truly have no clue if there really was ring on his left hand… but he looked at it when I said it and left pretty quick so I am assuming it was a smart comment to make… 

The Life and Death of June Cleaver


Being an ideal parent requires a level of energy not found at the bottom of a pot of coffee, or a case of red bull. No matter your daily caffeine consumption, or your history as a high-school cheerleader, chances are you’re running low on steam at some point throughout the day.. Lately, For me, that ‘point’ is one that is constant.

I never seem to have enough oomph in me to ‘get things done’. Hell, let’s be honest… I am lucky if I manage to get them started these days. I am not gonna lie. I am God Damn EXHAUSTED and that “mother of the year” award is well out of my reach.

I am no June Cleaver, that’s for sure, but is that really such a bad thing?

I look around at all the parents I know, and while there are a few that might ‘pretend’ to be perfect on Facebook, it is a rare sight to see one that actually is. The truth is, most of my Mommy friends don’t even try to pretend they have it all together anymore, and you know what… they are a lot happier because of it.

I had the inkling to Google ‘June Cleaver” syndrome, (this curiosity came to me while I probably should have been cleaning my kitchen)  and what I found was hilarious… I really was just joking around, but apparently I am not the only one that see this as an issue in life.  Here is what came up in my search…

The first result from Google was a site called Ungrind.com and the author has a post called ‘June Cleaver Syndrome” in which she writes this:

June Cleaver Syndrome develops when we’re busy imitating someone else’s expectations, rather than those that are a reasonable fit for our lifestyle. We have an idea of what a “perfect” mom should look like, but that image isn’t anything near to the woman we are.

I can not help but envy the woman who wrote this, and agree 100% with the words. Even in the world we live in today, where the shows we watch make being a less-than-perfect mother a little more common (and dare I say acceptable) but we are also faced with the other extreme and judgment that comes along with this reality should it fall too far out of reach.

Sure, nobody expects us to stay home and cook and clean all day, a mother’s sole purpose in life is not to raise the children and keep the house… Yet how much of those duties have really been passed on?? Yes, we go out and work, or we can get away with a less than spotless house, but how do we ‘feel’ about it? How do we think we look because of it? How many of us worry, or make excuses for it? How many feel ‘bad’? Well I say, GET OVER IT!!

I am far too exhausted to worry about whether there is dust on my shelves, whether my floors are a little too sticky, or there are dishes in my sink. I am not going to vacuum every single day, and I am fine with the fact that there are fingerprints on my windows…

I am done with trying to be a ‘great’ mom, trying to please everyone, or trying to impress guests.. The truth is, I’M TRIED, and if you don’t know how that feels as a mother then your obviously on drugs (in which case, I want to know what they are and where you got them) because the truth is that just like everyone else I’d love to have a spotless house, and spend quality time with my children whenever they desired, teaching them endlessly, cherishing each second and watching them blossom and grow… But I am just too damn tired to care, and I highly doubt that my mucky floors are going to ruin their childhood.

I do what I can, when I can, IF I want to.. and If you don’t understand that, then you may not want to come over for a cup of tea or that bottle of wine because I am not going to kill myself simply to impress other people!

NoJuneCleaver

This was just another random rant from a Mad Mama.

Until Next Time…

 

Holy Crap! I’m Back!!


I realized today that it has been over a year since I have posted anything here on this site and I must say it shocked me, so I figured I should take a minute to update y’all on what has been happening in my life over the last (long) while…

Since I last posted I have moved (yes, again) but I am in a townhouse of my own and have had no issues at all with where I live, (unlike some of the sketchy places in the past). I love my home, and have been here almost 9 months now. I am just getting everything the way I want it and beginning to make it a ‘home’ I have been working on the kids rooms a lot and hoping to tackle some DIY projects in the near future.

I have also applied, and been accepted, to college which I will be starting in September… That is a big step forward in my life, and one that I have been aiming to accomplish for a really long time, so I am pretty excited to get started. I will be taking a Law Clerk course, with an option to upgrade down the road, and I think it is going to be great.

Writing wise… Well, that is where things get iffy.. I participated in Nanowrimo last November and managed to reach the 50,000 word goal, though I have still not gotten around to editing and revising what I wrote. The experience of it was awesome, and it is something that I definitely plan to do again this coming November. Other than that I have been writing over at a few other blogs, and knocking out words when I can. Truthfully my writing has been shifted to the back burner (or was) and I would love to move it back up on the list of life… Hence why I am here…

I was originally thinking of starting a *New* Blog, but I couldn’t just let go of this gem I have here, so instead I have decided to keep writing on this site, but I am going to go through the old posts to clean everything up a bit…

If you have been following along on my insane journey the last few years then I hope you will join me again as I embark on this new set of situations. I will update as often as possible, and as always share my crazy thoughts as they pop into my head. I will, as always, rant and rave and probably offend some, but I will entertain, and enlighten at times I’m sure…   Watch for the new look and new posts!!!

So.. There you have it!

Stay Tuned, cuz this Mad Mama is back by popular demand!!!

 

Until Next Time

 

keep-calm-i-am-back

 


ChaseK8:

This sums up the life of a ‘Real Woman’ perfectly!

Originally posted on Complicated Chaos:

I am most comfortable in jeans and t-shirts, I don’t own Gucci bags or Prada shoes.
I am by no means beautiful, I am not Kate Moss, Linda Evangelista, or Christy Turlington.

I have no desire to pose for Playboy, or spend hours each day doing my hair.
I am a ‘real woman’, happy with my reflection, not living in obsession, or superficial perfection.

I embrace my flaws for what they are, a unique part of what make me, me.
I live my life the way I desire whether it suits the image of the media or not.

I am a ‘real woman’, happy with my reflection, not living in obsession, or superficial perfection.

I don’t choose fashion over real life, or compromise myself just to “look good.”
Sometimes my mascara runs, my hair is knotted, and I have stains on my shirt.

I…

View original 174 more words

16 Sites To Visit When You’re Not Blogging!


I tend to read and see a number of lists online each day, and so I thought I would post one of my own. Here is my list of:

Image representing Great Sites To Visit as dep...

Great Sites to Visit, When Your Not Blogging:

  1. HabitForge.com – Studies show that it takes at least 21 days to form a habit, and with the help of HabitForge it is easier than ever to succeed. This site allows you to choose something you want to accomplish each day and sends a gentle email asking if you’ve completed your task. By clicking yes or no this site will keep track of the number of days you have succeed. But Beware…When you click ‘No’ the clock starts over. Why? because to form a habit you must complete the action for at least 21 days straight. A great site for those who hope to create a healthier lifestyle, or lose a bad habit.
  2. The Happiness ProjectGretchen Rubin had an epiphany one day on a city bus and made a choice that changed her life. The Happiness Project is a memoir of her year-long journey to happiness. Providing great tips, tricks, advice and outlines to begin your own ‘happiness project’, it is a site that is worth checking out. Now a best-selling book, The happiness project spread like wild-fire with many great links to groups and ideas for living a happier life!
  3. Makezine – This fantastic site provides you with a plethora of DIY projects, complete with photos, video, and detailed instructions. Everything from mixing the perfect drink, to building an Ikea bookshelf at home. Perfect for the handyman of the house, anyone who wants to create, or simply for great ideas on various things. Check it out, there is something there for everyone. The is a magazine, blog, list of projects with instructions and photos, as well as an active forum. One of my favorites is the Mushroom Stool Project, great for the kids to sit on at home!
  4. iVillage – Another great site to get lost in, with tips and articles on Health, Entertainment, Style, Food, Living, Parenting, and so much more, this site provides hours of useful information. There is a newsletter, message boards, videos, horoscopes and more… Check it out and get lost in the knowledge.
  5. eHow – eHow.com is your How-To source on everything. With literally hundreds of  topics to choose from, you can learn the basics of anything you can imagine. Become an expert on ‘grilling the perfect burger’, ‘conserving water’, the perfect bathing suit for your body type, and many more interesting items. I am pretty sure that users can apply to write for the site as well, so buckle down and exercise your brain with the never-ending information this site provides on every imaginable subject.
  6. More Magazine - More.com is Canada’s site for celebrating women over 40. With informative articles, videos, contests and an active newsletter, it is the go-to site for 40+ women. Don’t fear if you’re not yet 40+ this site is a great source of information for anyone and holds a ton of great advice, as well as links to fantastic sites around the web. With a My More” section they make their site completely custom to the reader, allowing you to have an online profile, post reviews and easily keep track of your favorite articles. Check it out today!
  7. Tiny Buddha – Tiny Buddha is about taking the time (even a moment) to reflect of the simple things in life. With great quotes on thousands of topics, tips, advice, and stories from readers, it is the go-to source for peace and reflection. There is also an active Facebook community, and the ability to follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter. The site provides great sources of information, books for purchase, and many great thoughts to consider daily. Take a moment to check it out and find a little peace in this hectic world!
  8. Because I am a girl – This amazing website is dedicated to the enhancement of women throughout the world and the impact that helping girls has on society as a whole. With great links to stories, articles, and charitable sites it is a must see for everyone. The activism of this site is amazing and the difference they are making throughout the world is substantial. Check out their site and help out if you can, they provide ample ways for you to donate or share in their wonderful cause, or simply read all of the interesting stories the site has to offer and learn a thing or two about the power of being a girl!
  9. Craftgawker – This is an amazing website for anyone who loves crafts, or aspires to create beautiful things. With literally thousands of links to DIY craft projects and various websites, you will never run out of inspiration. Check out their ‘Most Favorited’ and create a personalized list of your own. Try out some of the crafts, or revel in others creativity.
  10. MadGab – This great game has been a favorite of mine for years, and is always a guaranteed laugh alone, or with a group of friends. Play Mad Gab online and have a little fun with words in a world where nothing is ever what it seems.
  11. Omegle – This interesting little site allows you to chat with random strangers. There is no sign-up required you simply visit the site and chat away. You have the choice of text chat or video chat, and then they randomly link you up with a stranger somewhere in the world to chat away with. It is great fun, and an interesting way to meet new people and possibly make new friends… Next time you are bored and looking for someone to talk to check them out!
  12. Marc and Angel Hack Life – This is a great site filled with positive information. Providing lists on many positive and life changing subjects, it is a useful tool for everyone. Among the many are: 20 Ways to Make Today Unforgettable, 50 Things Everyone Should Know How To-Do, and 18 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was 18. There is hours worth of reading here, and millions of ideas for bettering your life.
  13. Zen Habits – Another great site for optimal living, with valuable tips to help improve your life and get the best out of each moment. It is about finding simplicity in the midst of daily chaos… Worth checking out!
  14. Instructables – Another; Make, How-To, and DIY site that is worth checking out. With thousands of projects to choose from ranging from food to home, useful to strange, there is something on this site guaranteed to spark your interests and get your construction creativity flowing. They even have user contests, a blog, a forum, and a answers section to help you find everything, and anything, you may need to know, make, or create.
  15. Helium – Of course I had to add a Pay-to-write site here. Helium is a great site for writers who want to earn a bit of cash. With various categories, excellent writing tools, and a great easy-to-use community, Helium makes it easy to put cash in your pocket doing what you love. I have been on Helium for a while and have actually earned real cash!!! Join Here
  16. Pinterest – I am obsessed with pinning! I have gathered a great number of ideas for home, art, my kids, crafts and even my blog through pinterest. If you have not checked out the site yet, you MUST! Trust me, it’s HOURS of entertainment and inspiration!

And of course the ample blogs here on WordPress always provide exciting information and make for really great reading!

Cheers!

What are your favourite sites to visit?

My Narcissistic World!


I haven’t had much to say lately… Okay that’s a lie, I have had a lot to ‘say’ but nothing to write.

My life, as always, has been a strange fusion of chaos and calamity still somehow causing extreme bouts of boredom. Perhaps it is the chaos itself that I am bored of… because despite all the chaos that constantly surrounds me, I find my life very mundane. Sure there are chores to do, children to care for and other important items that should be complete, but let’s be serious these things are not there to humor me, they have been put in place simply to drive me nuts. Even in the midst of catastrophe, which occurs often in my life, I am not overly entertained.

I think I need a hobby, or a crap load of money, wine and illegal narcotics… something, because as of late, even my imagination seems to have fallen asleep at the wheel, and my ability to amuse myself has been lost among the endless loads of dirty laundry.

In an ideal world I would travel, I would visit exotic lands. I would write books that would change people’s lives, and tour with Oprah as she battles to change the world.

In an ideal world I would have a nanny, a housekeeper and a chef. I would have a well stocked wine cellar and a drunken’ smile plastered on my face.

In an ideal world it would always be summer, because having to bundle up really bums me out. I would live on the beach and I would never have to work again.

In an ideal world I would never be bored like I constantly am, I would have a personal assistant to handle all my problems, and a group of others whose sole purpose is simply finding ways to keep me amused.

In an ideal world I would have top of the line electronics, robotic appliances and fancy cars. I would have breakfast in Paris, lunch in Hawaii and Dinner in Italy.

In an ideal world I would have a private jet, and my own petting zoo. (With people to care for the animals of course) I would have a walk-in closet the size of a small house and the perfect clothes to fill it, my shoes and bags would have their own room, and my kids would have their own private wing!

Sure, I’m a little narcissistic, but Hell it’s MY ideal world and I’ll enjoy it the way I want to!!!

The Parent’s Quick Guide to Penny Pinching


I have learned many things being a parent, some of which I wish I hadn’t, and others that have been a blessing and helped me to get by. If there is one thing I have learned the most about it is being frugal. I have learned the hard way how to stretch a buck. I can cook a dinner for four for under $10, I can get clothes for the whole familyfor around $50. I can operate on less than anyone should ever have to and can get creative in order to make it through the month.

English: ceramic piggy bank

Image via Wikipedia

With the world the way it is today we all know what it is like to suffer. Often times, no matter what our income, our accounts never seem to hold enough funds. I figure everyone enjoys getting a great deal, or saving a dime (or ten) so I’m gonna share a few of my frugal ideas with you today i n the hopes that it helps another family that is struggling to get by.

Cooking

To save money on cooking and feeding your family there are a few tips I have always found helpful. First is to stock up on the basics. Items such as, bread, eggs, rice, potatoes, tomato sauce, ground beef (or any ground meat), and noodles are great to have on hand when you’re in a bind. Any of these basic items can be easily added to a small purchase to make a meal and save your self some cash. When I have the basics on hand I find that I can go to a grocery store and grab whatever is on sale to work with. I have bought pork chops on sale and cooked them in tomato sauce over rice, I have added stuffing mix to ground beef and egg for a tasty meatloaf meal. Having the staples is so important to frugal family cooking. Many of these items are cheap, can be frozen, or last for a long time in the pantry. When you see them on sale grab a few of each.

Lets be honest, meat is expensive and buying enough meat to feed a family of four or more can cost a pretty penny, to save yourself some money buy in bulk. Many grocery stores have family size packs, even if you don’t need that much, buy it, the price per pound usually works out to be a lot cheaper. Another tip is to stretch your sides, by filling your families plates with bigger side portions like extra potatoes, noodles and veggies you can get by with less meat overall. I some times make a few different sides when I am short on meat, that way my family is full, and the meal is still healthy. One more idea for stretching your meat is to mix it in. By cutting up bigger chunks of meat and mixing it into rice or noodles you can use less and make more. Stir-fry’s are a great way to feed a family when you haven’t got a lot to go around.

Clothing

The number one tip I have for parents trying to save money is to embrace thrift store shopping. If you take the time to look, you can save hundreds of dollars on name brand clothes for your family. To save even more watch for the ‘big sale’ days that many thrift stores have, stores like Value Village and Goodwill hold 50% off days once a month which will help you save even more money. You have to be persistent though, returning regularly to scour the shelves, thrift stores get in new items daily so keep an eye out for a great deal.

If thrift stores aren’t your thing than shop big box stores. Big department stores have an ample amount of inventory, duplicates of the same items mean a savings in price. Watch these stores for sale items as well, and don’t forget to shop off-season. Buying summer clothes in the fall and winter clothes in the summer can save you some serious cash.

Pass it on. Clothing swaps, hand-me-downs, and free-cycling are great ways to get the goods you need without spending a penny. Get a group of friends together for a swap or organize one in your community. Utilize sites like Freecycle or your local classifieds to find clothing items free or cheap, and remember to pass the favor along.

You could also learn to sew, if you are gifted with a needle and thread your clothing possibilities are endless. This talent will allow you to take any item of clothing and turn it into something new. Seriously, I can’t sew personally (no hand-eye co-ordination) but if I could I would twist and stitch every item I had to create new items of clothing as required. Note: Even if you can’t sew you can hem a pair of pants, the dollar store sells iron on/stick on hem tape that makes tailoring your thrift store finds a breeze.

Around the House

One of the biggest cash consumers is our home. We all want our house to look nice, but we don’t need to spend lavish to live lavish. To save your self some cash around the house I have a few tips.

When it comes to decorating the best advice I can give is to get creative. This is where thrift stores can come in handy yet again. Furniture, accessories and artwork can be found relatively cheap at your local thrift shop or flea market. Pick up a cheap print with a great frame and swap it out for one of your own family photos, or better yet a collage. You could even create your own water painting to frame if your feeling really creative. There are all sorts of tutorials online for creating custom artwork on a dime. The same goes for furniture, don’t be afraid to take that hand-me-down dresser and spruce it up. One of my favorite ideas for fixing up an old dresser is to wallpaper the drawer fronts and change the hardware. Again there are ample examples online of ways to make old furniture look new.

Embrace the power of paint. Paint is relatively inexpensive given the impact in can have on a room. If you want a change but don’t have the cash, grab yourself a can of paint and slap it on a wall or two. It is an instant change for a small amount of cash.

Most parents have that one cleaningcabinet that is full of products for every thing imaginable. There is the toilet scrubber, the shower wall cleaner, the Swiffer refills, the tilex, the kitchen cleaner, floor cleaner, mirror cleaner, and the all-purpose cleaner. All these different products add up to one thing… A lot of wasted cash. I learned long ago that the best thing you can do is find one or two products that work well and do-it-all. By using a good all-purpose cleaner instead of 12 different ones you will save a ton of cash over time. The same goes for that swiffe

, those wet pads you are paying a fortune for are sold at the dollar store, and the solution for the inside is a silly scam, pour your own product in there. In fact, for fast spot mopping attach a baby wipe to the bottom of the thing and get it done for under 1 cent.

Baby wipes are actually fantastic for so many different things around the house and I highly suggest you keep them on hand even if you down have little ones. They clean mirrors, tables, doors, walls and floors. They are cheap (no-name is fine) and simple to grab in a stitch.

Invest wisely, would be the other major around the house tip. It is fine to purchase something extravagant that you truly, really, completely want, but be sure it is a wise choice. A new sofa is a fine investment so long as you are not buying a pure white one when you have two toddlers loose around the house. Often times it is important to remember that just because you can afford something now, does not mean now is the time to buy it. Double think any big buys, and be sure to take the time to shop around. If your reading this then odds are it is not a one of a kind custom piece that can’t be found anywhere else, and can probably be found somewhere else at least marginally cheaper. (and when your being frugal, every penny counts.)

General Money Saving Tips

  • Learn your unit sizes. Some times a deal isn’t a deal at all, learn to break it down. For unit calculation advice click Here
  • Plan ahead. If you drive you know that the cost of gas can literally kill you, plan all your errands for the same outing when possible to save multiple trips and cut back on gas costs.
  • Think Frugally. Why pay for something when you can get it free? Make this your mantra and live it as much as you can. Don’t be ashamed to save money.
  • Check your coffee consumption. Even one $2 cup off coffee a day adds up to $60+ a month. Brew your own where you can and save that cash for something more important. The same goes for smoking, the costs of lighting up are enormous, cut back and quit today. It won’t only benefit your health, but it will help your wallet as well.
  • Calculate your daily costs and cut back where you can. Things like lunches, beverages, transit and other small daily details add up over time. Keep track of all these little things and find ways to save on them. Perhaps buying a monthly bus pass would work out cheaper than paying per fare, packing a lunch is always better than buying one, and cutting back on the number of coffee’s you purchase can save you are ton of cash.
  • Find Free Family Fun. Parks, picnics, or hikes are great FREE ways to have fun as a family. Find other exciting things to do for free Here and save your self some serious money on family entertainment.
  • Cut Coupons. With all the hype around the reality coupon shows why wouldn’t you want to cut coupons? You can save a major chunk of change on your grocery bills and even earn things for free. The same goes for free grocery club cards, gather those points and get yourself some great deals. What have you got to lose?

These are only a few simple ideas for saving money, the list could go on and on. The point is to save where you can, whenever you can, because every cent adds up as a parent. Your level of frugality is up to you, perhaps your simply want to cut some costs, or maybe you want to save a ton, either way there are endless ideas to help you cut costs and put cash back in your pocket. Look online for more ideas and share your own tips in the comments section below.

Until Next Time…

Live on a Dime.

Revamping the New Years Resolution


Well I somehow managed to survive Christmas with my sanity somewhat intact. Actually, our Christmas was quite relaxing once the shopping, cooking and kids were out-of-the-way, but with Christmas quickly coming to an end I realized that the New Year is right around the corner.

New Years means, for many, a fresh start. It is the chance to create change and live the life you dream of. Each year we head into the New Year with high hopes and a long list of resolutions. If you are anything like me that list is long-lost somewhere around the 3rd of January and you are spinning the same cycle you were last year, and the year before that.

Resolutions can be a great way to get your goals in focus and prioritize all the things you want to achieve. The problem with resolutions is that many of us are focused on the wrong goals. Change is always difficult and it comes with an enormous amount of pressure when it comes in the form of a resolution that is usually announced to every single person you know on and after New Years Eve. “What is your New Years Resolution?” is a predictable question during the holiday season, and one that we feel pressured to answer with something life-changing. “Lose weight”, “Quit smoking“, and “Get out of debt” are among the most common answers to the resolution answer, and for the most part, they are the most un-achieved resolutions as well.

Why is it that we always lose sight of our resolutions? Failing to achieve your New Years Resolution does not make you a failure, there are many reasons the excitement of our resolution fades with the winter weather. The number one, and most important reason is our resolutions are often unrealistic. We try to change everything all at once and we shock our systems. We all have that friend who vows to quit smoking at the stroke of midnight every year and is lighting up again by 12:23 a.m. If you truly want to achieve your resolution goal you need to break it down into small, more manageable goals that you can achieve throughout the year. Yes, it is that simple…

Say for example, you are like the millions of Americans that want to lose weight in 2012. Instead of completely changing your diet on January 1st, hitting the gym for 3 hours a day the first week, and basically starving half to death, break the big goal of losing weight into smaller, more manageable goals, such as, for the month of January aim to eat healthier snacks. February, join a gym and start with working out 2 days a week for 1 hour (or more depending on your current physical state), do this while you are still eating healthier snacks as planned for the month of January. For March aim to eat one healthier meal a day, go to the gym 3 times per week for 1 1/2 hours, and continue eating healthy snacks. Continue on for the remaining 9 months of the year, each month adding another small goal and continuing on with your previous months resolutions. Before you know it you will have changed your entire lifestyle without the stress or panic that accompany immediate and outright changes. It is not realistic to completely stop doing anything all at once. It takes time to form habits and it takes time to break them as well. Poor eating, lack of physical activity and weight gain all occurred over an extended period of time and they will all take time to reverse, both the habits and the effects.

My plan for 2012 is to make 12 resolutions. One for each month of the year. This way I get the challenge of completing a goal, but I also get the change I constantly require to stay focused. I will post my list soon, but for now feel free to share your own New Years Resolutions (and how you plan to break them down into more manageable goals) in the comment section below.

Cheers.

Make a Difference Without Breaking the Bank


give me a hopeI saw this article online at newsblaze.com and I had to share it with you here. With Christmas fast approaching (I know I am not ready either trust me) people tend to start thinking of charity more and ways that they can help others who are less fortunate during the holiday season. Newsblaze.com has a great list of 50 Ways to Make a Difference without Spending a Penny that are guaranteed to inspire some goodwill and cheer in everyone. Check it out on the site or see the re-post below.

How to make a difference without spending a cent:

1. Pass on a book that you’ve enjoyed. Write a note in the front saying what you enjoyed and instruct the next “owner” to pass it on after they have read it.

2. Instead of “googling” when searching – use Good Search and these guys will make a donation to Spreading Joy. (Use the link above that will take you there)

3. Donate gently used dvd’s, vhs tapes and video games – I’m sure Spreading Joy can find those that will love to use them.

4. Be Positive today – with the depressing economy, bills falling behind – this can really be tough, but it will encourage those around you and in the process bring joy to yourself.

5. Donate expired coupons to the troops overseas.

6. Thank a Police Officer today (hopefully NOT while you are getting a ticket!)

7. Give time to your spouse – do something together, visit a park, bookstore etc.

8. Donate household items to Spreading Joy to pass along to others in need.

9. Hold a yard sale and donate half of the proceeds.

10. Taking the 30 day challenge? Tell me about it here.

11. Baby sit for a friend/neighbor for free.

12. Serve a meal at a homeless shelter or women’s shelter

13. Encourage our soldiers. Send a free letter here.

14. Mentor someone – have you started your own business? Are you an expert in a certain field? Share that talent!

15. Donate unused craft items to a daycare or elementary school.

16. Turn in those Box Tops for Education – found on Pillsbury items. Keep these, even if you don’t have kids. There is a school near you.

17. Smile at everyone you come in contact with today.

18. Offer to let someone ahead of you in line.

19. Volunteer in a Nursing home.

20. Donate blood.

21. Donate Plasma – and get paid for it.

22. Organize a book drive – get your neighborhood to donate gently used books. Pass out a flier asking for books – giving instructions to leave them in a bag on the porch letting them know you will pick them up the next week.

23. Turn in your Campbell’s Soup Labels

24. Have a family meal at the table – talk about current events in the family.

25. Give a handwritten note of encouragement.

26. Start a Gratitude Journal – leave it out for others to see as they visit you.

27. Donate gently used magazines to a nursing home

28. <-This has been missing for a year and a half, and NO one has said a thing to me about it. LOLOLOL just realized today 10.10.10 hahhaha. I LOVE it!, Leaving it and thank goodness for bonuses.

29. Call someone who is not feeling well and talk until you make them laugh

30. Volunteer at an animal shelter – play with the animals.

31. Visit with the elderly or someone who can no longer get out as much as they’d like.

32. Pick flowers from your garden and give away.

33. Volunteer for your local church.

34. Give a thank you card to someone who has made a difference in your life.

35. Run errands for a new Mom (or someone who is sick)

36. Pick up trash you see as you are walking on your route.

37. Volunteer to read to a class at your local Elementary school

38. Write a thank you note to your child’s teacher.

39. Seek out a store manager and let them know what an excellent employee your grocery bagger was. (or cashier).

40. Donate gently used clothing.

41. Volunteer at a hospital.

42. Donate your “free items” from the buy one get one free – to a local food pantry.

43. Leave a note hanging in or on your mailbox thanking your mail carrier for always being so dependable!

44. Speak to the elderly you pass – look them in the eye and smile. We tend to forget about the great individuals who paved the way for us.

45. Say Please and Thank you – show sincere appreciation.

46. Go to Church. There are so many churches. When people get discouraged, that is one of the first places they’ll go. You can encourage so many people this way!

47. Make extra chili and cornbread muffins – and take to a neighbor.

48. Bake homemade cookies with items you have in your pantry and share with neighborhood children.

49. Donate extra blankets to a homeless shelter.

50. Give a basket of home-grown veggies.

51. (a bonus!) Host a game night with your family – eat dessert first! Turn off cell phones (ok – kids, you can leave yours on….) but spend time laughing together playing games!
There you have it – 50 ways to make a difference without spending a single penny.

 

These are great ideas, Do you have any of your own? How do you help out during the holidays? What about other times of the year? Share your thoughts (and this post)

**Remember this is not my post it was originally posted at newsblaze.com so be sure to check out the site Here!**

 

Cheers!