We are die hard gamers, as I’ve said a million times before. We play sports on the Wii, Halo on the Xbox, and Call of Duty of PS3. I’m sure you can imagine how excited we get when a new console or game comes out right? Playstation 4 is on pre-order but l’m sure like many, you want to know if it’s worth the purchase right?
Well that’s a big ol’ DUH!
One of the things you’ll notice about the PS4 controller is the comfort in the triggers. They are much softer and fitting to your finger. PS4 will track both the controller in a gamer’s hand, as well as their face. So if you’re playing split screen (which we hate), and you move to the right or left, your screen side will swap with you. While that sounds like a cool feature, I wonder how annoyed I’ll get when I’m moving around because I’m so into the game! What’s really cool though is the development of the PlayStation 4 Eye, a camera system that utilizes two high-sensitivity camera equipped with wide-angle lenses and 85-degree diagonal angle views. Sony said the cameras can cut out the image of a player from the background or differentiate between players in the background and foreground, enhancing game play handily (like I mentioned above). There’s also mention of logging in using facial recognition and using voice and body movements to play games “more intuitively.” This sucker will be fast. It ships with 8GB of GDDR5 memory and of course will have blu-ray feature, hdmi, etc.
The PS4 will have an instant on/off feature allowing your to shut down during a game and then boot up from scratch in seconds and resume where you left off. No more waiting on the console to load up! YIPPEE!
There’s also so impressive games being launched with the PS4 that are sure to knock your socks off.
- Deep Down (Capcom)
- Destiny (Bungie)
- Diablo III (Blizzard)
- Driveclub (Evolution Studios)
- Final Fantasy (Square Enix)
- Infamous: Second Son (Sucker Punch)
- Killzone: Shadow Fall (Guerilla Games)
- Knack (Sony)
- The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt RED)
- Watch Dogs (Ubisoft)
I’m still partial to COD but I’m game for trying these out when the time comes. The console will be priced at $399 which is about average for gaming consoles. If you’ve had yours awhile, I recommend an upgrade. I know this will be one console that we won’t miss out on.
I was never a skinny girl. I was a size 9 in high school and my friends were a 3 and 5. I can remember our high school coach teasing me about my weight, saying that if I needed any extra pairs of jeans, he could bring me a pair of his but that they might be too small. It was always something though. Whether it was my red birthmark that covered my leg or my unpretty face, I always felt like I was sub-par at best. But my weight, well that’s always been a mental struggle. Did you know, for as long as I can remember, I have always pulled at my shirt? I stretch it and when I walk or sit, I always pull it down and away from my stomach. I do this every single day, even at home by myself or in front of my own husband and kids. It’s become habit I guess. And the only reason I think I have any type of muscle tone is that area, is because I constantly try to ‘suck it in’ no matter where I’m at or what I’m doing. I clearly know that it’s not making a difference but I continue to do it…hoping. And unless I’m really comfortable with you, I always try to eat a lot less at restaurants & gatherings. Famous words that come out of my mouth are “I’m not hungry” even though I think I’m starving. I don’t want to be ‘the fat girl’ who’s eating like a pig. I avoid photos like the plague. I get really down when I see that truett has taken photos of me without me knowing. I can’t stand to even look at me.
My husband has never, ever said anything about my weight and has never made me feel like it bothers him, in fact, he says the opposite and tells me he likes me just the way I am. That’s great and all but it’s crap. I mean really? I’m not blind. I can see myself in the mirror and even I’m disgusted. And yet as grossed out as I am, I do nothing. What’s wrong with me? I hate myself for not being disciplined enough. I hate myself for not being motivated by my friends and even my own son. I hate myself for being fat. And the irony in it all, is that I don’t see others the way I see myself. I truly don’t. If you’re a big person, I honestly never give it any thought. I’ve always been great at seeing what’s inside. One of my very few gifts I guess. Why can’t I do that with myself?
I’m ashamed of myself. I’m ashamed of my body but more importantly, ashamed of how I see myself. I get so mad at me……
And the worst part, is when I see everyone around me losing weight and doing so good, it takes everything in me to smile and be happy for them. Not because I’m jealous or because I’m not proud of them but because it makes me feel even more like a failure. I don’t understand why I can’t force myself to exercise. I can’t understand why it’s so hard to get that mentality of making myself better. It frustrates me to no end to constantly think about my body, the scale, the fat rolls, the never ending disgust of trying on clothes. I think some women are born successful with their talents, minds, face, & body, but me, well…… I’m beginning to think I’m just meant to be fat and I’m praying heavily for a bright light at the end of this very dark tunnel.
For the people who think they know me, but don’t.
Fresh juice early in the morning, right after work or even during work acts as an excellent antioxidant and nutrition center for the body. With so many people going organic and gmo-free, the Fusion Juicer is the perfect appliance. I personally just desire fresh juice every now and then.
The Product Features
- Wide Chute Mouth – Unlike other juicers, the Fusion Juicer has an extra large chute that can take whole veggies and fruits without the need to cut, chop, peel or prepare. It saves time and makes juicing a whole lot more fun.
- Surgical Quality – The stainless steel blades used in the Fusion Juicer are surgical grade, engineered to slice, dice and extract juice from veggies and fruits in seconds.
- Zero Drip Spout – Once you finish juicing just lift the spout up and avoid creating any mess with juice dripping out.
- High Performance – The induction motor used in the Fusion Juicer is not just quite but also torque centric with plenty of power and performance. Besides it provides a high RPM of 3200, sufficient to juice anything in seconds.
Three Reasons Why The Fusion Juicer Is Better Than Many Others
- Technologically Superior – The Fusion Juicer incorporates a low induction motor with advanced designs to ensure less heat production from the high RPM of the motor while producing 30 percent more juice.
- Low Cost To High Performance Ratio – Because of its superior performance and low cost, the Fusion Juicer is a better option than plenty other juicers in the market. It may be a new product but it is definitely well worth the investment simply going by its price.
- Time Saving – Just because it isn’t as quick as expensive centrifugal juicers doesn’t mean that it won’t save time. The super efficient motor with extra-large feed chute lets you drop in veggies and fruits without any preparation. This in itself saves a lot of time.
The Fusion Juicer is dishwasher safe, easy to dismantle and assemble, quick and efficient. It’s not overtly expensive ($119 at Walmart) and neither cheap in its construction. If I had to complain about anything, it would be cleaning it. There seem to be a lot of parts that dirty and while it’s easy to clean, it takes some extra time to take apart and such.
Disclosure: I am an official Walmart Mom. Walmart has provided me with compensation and gift card in return for my time & efforts to create this post. Opinions are my own, always.
With Father’s Day around the corner, I’m willing to bet that many of us will be grilling steak for that special Dad in our lives. While I’m not much of griller myself, I’m more than happy to prepare steak to be cooked. Today, I’m bringing you a steak marinade, guaranteed to make your steak tender and flavorful!
This particular marinade can be tweaked to your taste. You can be as tame or as adventurous as you want! We normally just use the coke, pepper, and season salt as a go-to base. For this one, we wanted to try the new A1 Bold Dry Rub. I had received a swag bag with this in it and who doesn’t love some A1! Since it’s a sweeter dry rub, we decided that it needed a counter so that the steak isn’t all sweet. We decided on worcester sauce. And I know, I know. A1 is a dry rub but we used it in a marinade. Like I said, be adventurous!!! We have also added in liquid smoke before and that really gives a nice smoke flavor! Or, you could also add Italian dressing to the coke! There are endless possibilities.
Father’s Day is just around the corner and me and the boys thought we’d go with a unique idea that we all come up with together; a snack console for gamer Dad!
The older boys thought Dad would like snacks while he plays the game and Truett said he needed something to hold his tea so that it doesn’t accidentally get knocked over (because it almost has several times). As we were browsing the automotive department at walmart, I saw this truck console and the light bulb flashed! By combining the older boys and Truett’s ideas together, Dad would have the ultimate snack console while he plays his favorite video games!
Since we have a gamer chair on the floor in the game room, my husband is always needing a place to set his tea. And then he’s constantly getting up and down for a snack and then on top of all that, he’s always searching for the TV remote in there. As you can see, this console holds his snacks, drink, remote, and even another cup so he can spit his pistachio shells out!
Things we bought for the console:
- console ($10.97)
- Pistachios ($3.97)
- Beef Jerky ($2.48)
- Whoppers ($0.98)
- Chicharrones ($1)
In total, I spent $19.40. Father’s day wrapping paper was $3.47 so for under $25 bucks, Dad got a nice, unique Father’s day gift from his boys! What unique gift ideas have you bought for the Father in your life?
Disclosure: I am an official Walmart Mom. Walmart has provided me with compensation and gift card in return for my time & efforts to create this post. Opinions are my own, always.
Summer Summer Summertime! We’re sharing kid activities to keep your kiddos busy this Summer and today, we’re bringing you Paper Plate Ring Toss! Wouldn’t this be cool during the Olympics! Don’t forget to alternate games during the weeks to keep it fresh and be sure to check out the Homemade Bubble Solution with Filling Station and the DIY Paddle for Balloon Bounce!
One of the things I love about these activities I’ve been sharing with y’all, is that they are simply creative (and cheap!). I don’t think Truett had any clue of all the things we could do with paper plates! It’s been fun watching him get excited and play with real enjoyment. For this activity, I used the paper plates from the paddles I made for the balloon bounce, some duct tape, and a dowel rod from the crafting section at walmart. I actually had duct tape already in stock from the Halloween Pumpkin Spider I made so I didn’t have to buy any but to keep costs low, you can just buy one color or one plain and have them use markers to decorate them. I went ahead and splurged and bought spongebob duct tape for Truett!
PAPER PLATE RING TOSS
- Paper Plates
- Duct Tape
- Dowel Rod
- Saw (or something to cut your dowel rod in half)
- Cut your dowel rod and set aside (you can also paint it if you want!)
- Cut the centers out of several paper plates. I did 6; 3 for each player.
- Wrap duct tape around the paper plate until completely covered.
- Stake your rod into the ground, several feet opposite of one another, like the Horseshoes game.
That’s it! You can keep score or just play for fun. What’s great, is the duct tape on the paper plates provides weight and keeps them durable.
If you’re old enough, you’ll remember the tasty orangesicles. You might have bought them at the store or maybe even at the fun ice cream trucks that would make the neighborhood rounds. Well if you follow me on facebook, then you saw that Pillsbury is bringing you those same yummy flavors in an orangesicle cake and cookie mix! Not only that, you can also try it in Key Lime!!
I wish I could take credit for this, but I can’t. My mom said it would be super cute to make a cake look like an orangesicle and I have to say, it turned out pretty cute!! All I did was use a 13 x 9 cake pan, stick a paint stick through it, and took a ‘bite’ out using a cookie cutter I had with teeth. HOW FUN! You could also buy regular popsicle sticks and make mini ones so that the kiddos could actually hold in their hands!!
When you are mixing this cake, it’s pretty thick. It smells just like an orangesicle too! It baked great and has such a soft texture. It’s a little more on the dense side than fluffy, however, on the box is a set of directions to make it fluffier using egg whites. The flavor was pretty darn great! You can definitely taste the orangesicle flavor and it just brings back memories. The key lime is equally as good and also tasted just like it says. I loved the fun, vibrant colors of both and wish I had had these flavors during the school year. Truett gave it two thumbs up and wants to try a real orangesicle!
Disclosure: I am an official Walmart Mom. Walmart has provided me with compensation and gift card in return for my time & efforts to create this post. Opinions are my own, always.
We are still having a blast with our homemade bubble solution but today I wanted to bring you balloon bounce, a fun indoor game. Usually from about 12pm-6pm, it stays smoldering hot here in Texas so when you’re not able to cool down in the pool, you can play this!
The kids will spend quite a bit of time decorating their paper plates so not only will you keep them busy playing the game, you’ll keep them busy preparing for the game. And since the paper plates are the ol’ cheapos, you can create new, fun paper plate themes for each holiday season! Another cool thing about this game is they can play by themselves by trying to keep the balloon off the ground with their paddle. They can also play with two or more players doing the same thing, making it a family game night of fun!
This is a very easy craft so lets get to it!
DIY PADDLE FOR BALLOON BOUNCE GAME
- Cheap, white paper plates ($1.97)
- Two Paint sticks from the paint department at Walmart ($0.28 each)
- Balloons ($0.97)
- Staple Gun
- Crayons/Markers (or even paint)
- If you plan on painting your stick, this is the time to do it and let it dry. If not, you can encourage the kids to color it instead.
- Staple a paper plate on the top and bottom of the pain stick.
- Have your child decorate their plate with colors, markers, or paint.
- Blow up your balloons and start a game of balloon toss!
This craft cost us $3.50. And really, it’s like $.02 cents per paper plate so even less when you think about it. That’s a pretty great thing huh?! And I guarantee tons of fun with this game! Just keep your extras in the closet, along with the paddles and you’ll have something to grab next week that will seem fresh to them.
We have a house full of coffee drinkers around here and one of the things that chaps my hide is the stained coffee cups. If it was just us who drank out of them, I guess it’s one thing but if someone were to come over and want a cup of coffee, I’d have cups that look like they’ve never been cleaned! Embarrassing! Thankfully, with a tiny bit of Clorox bleach and water, I can get those stains out in less than 10 minutes!
Clorox Bleach has been used for generations. It’s one of those household cleaners that does a big job with such a tiny amount. That means you’re saving cleaner and money, while sanitizing. Clorox Bleach is one of those cleaners that you use and just know that it has done its job. You feel and see clean. And to boot, it’s pretty friggin’ cheap! Seriously, when you think about how far this big ol’ bottle will go and you’re only spending less than $2 bucks, well duh, it’s a no brainer.
While my usual places to use Clorox bleach are in the bathroom and laundry whites, I have several other uses for this multipurpose cleaner. It’s fantastic at cleaning off mildew, spraying down plastic patio chairs, whitening sinks, and disinfecting yuck! I wanted to share this with you because if you’re anything like me, you have several of these stained coffee cups in your cabinet right now! And NOOOOO, the dishwasher does not get the stains out. And if you wait too long to clean them, scrubbing doesn’t even work well.
Notice that there is NO splash!
Just take a teaspoon of Clorox bleach to a sink full of water. Toss in your cups and let sit for about 10 minutes. Wipe with your sponge, wash and rinse well. See it for yourself! It works and my cup looks brand new again.
I shared my Clorox bleachable moment, what’s yours? It’s always fun to hear how others use bleach because sometimes, you get some cool, unique ideas! I encourage you to share how you bleach it away with Clorox and see if you run across any tips that you didn’t know!
Many of you already know this but for those that don’t, I won a Gallery Furniture Pinterest contest of $3000. That means mama gets some new living room furniture! From afar, mine might not seem bad, but well, it’s pretty bad.
The most obvious, aside from stains, is the huge dip in the middle. The thing is, this might look like a heavy, quality living room set but it’s built very cheap and so light, I could lift it with one arm. Seriously. So I don’t know what happened with the dip but it sinks way down and we use those cushions to fill it so that it makes it level with the rest of the sofa. lame. We LOVE the consoles and drink holders but hate not having a place to lay on the sofa should we want to. The recliners have boards that stick out in your back when you recline. One recliner doesn’t like to go down and underneath one, the cushioning has completely come out and the fabric worn off.
Now the big cowboy lounge chair and chaise, is my favorite thing ever. It’s stained up as well but we try to clean it regularly. I love that thing. It’s huge and rustic, perfect for our ranch home. I believe they discontinued that style a while back but man how I’d love to have something similar.
Do I want a standard sofa and chair…maybe throwing in a recliner?
Or do I want a full blown sectional?
Or maybe a couple of these with consoles and drink holders and a recliner in the middle of them both? I JUST DON’T KNOW!!!!!
What would you buy if you had $3000 to spend at Gallery Furniture?
As I have said before, I have a hard time keeping anything alive. If it wasn’t for my husband, all my plants would have died already. I have improved my green thumb over the past year and am determined to have more houseplants. They just make us happy having them in the house.
When Better Homes and Gardens sent us this planner, I had no idea how huge it was gonna be. It’s very large but what I instantly loved about it, is how light it was. It looks like an expensive, heavy planter but it’s quite the opposite. It’s called a Better Homes and Gardens Bombay Planter and it sells for $22.96 at Walmart. I know this because I bought another one just like it but in a rustic brown. It has the look of stone but is fade resistant. It’s perfect for plants that spill over!
Since the planter was large, we used some filler along with our potting soil. You could use diapers, twigs, leaves, pebbles, Styrofoam, etc. If using inside, I suggest something more lightweight so that you can move around if you choose to. If outside, pebbles may be a better option to weigh it down some. Of course, we do live in ‘west’ Texas and it’s windy pretty regular around here.
You can actually also buy Better Homes and Gardens flowers at Walmart. I did not know this. They are in white containers so you can tell them apart from the rest. We had a limited selection at our local Sweetwater Walmart, however, the ones in Abilene had outstanding selections. Here’s just a couple you’ll find.
I don’t know about you but if I can save money buying something that is equally as beautiful as the high-end planters but without the cost, I’m gonna do it. And, the fact that they are so strong and lightweight will make it easier for us who are getting weak, to carry these and move them around.
Truett had a blast watering it and I had fun planting. It was a great family day. I can’t wait to add more outside planter decor. I think I need to buy some new cushions for our patio set too. Do you remember this patio set that I got awhile back? I just realized it’s Better Homes and Gardens! That was 2009! GAH! I DO need some new cushions! lol We also plan to put some of the clear Christmas lights to keep the evenings ‘seeable’ but not too bright. I think that will be fun and make for a nice atmosphere.
What are you planting this year?
I share a LOT on facebook with friends, family, and followers but many times, I don’t write about it here. I plan to start writing more about our everyday living because I want you to remember that while I’m a blogger who makes a living out of this stuff, I also am a real person like you. With that said, let’s talk golf!
My brother was pretty great at golf, still is when he plays. He’s had sponsorship opportunities and probably could have done so much more professional had he stayed with it. But like with anything, life gets in the way. When Toby, a Junior in high school wanted to play golf, I knew my brother was the first one to call! He came down and gave Toby (who had never swung a club) some lessons. I think just like with Jeremy, Toby has some natural ability.
As I sat there and talked to Jeremy, I learned that he had clubs when he was 5. Well no wonder he’s good at it. So it clicked that I should get Truett involved! I happen to find a set of used clubs for Truett and let me tell you…the first day, he played for hours! But what I loved even more, is the concentration and form he had when swinging. He wanted to do it right and seemed to also have some natural ability.
Truett has been practicing with his driver lately but prefers the iron. He needs work with the putter but likes to practice in the house with a cup. He LOVES his spongeball golf balls and can’t wait for golf camp in a couple of weeks!! He was WAY more excited about that than swim lessons. I can’t wait to watch him grow with the sport and see the kind of player he turns out to be. My hope is that he loves it and continues to play throughout his whole life.
What’s your kiddo’s favorite sport and do you think it’s important to start them early? Not so much to be competitive but to open their eyes to new things and learn to love new things……
Teachers love this time of year, parents dread it. Yep, school is out for the Summer. It doesn’t have to be boring though and I’ll be sharing some fun kid activities that you can do with your kiddo this Summer! First on the list, BUBBLES!
I’m sure you’ve seen these bubble filling stations all over pinterest and of course, I had to do it for Truett! I searched high and low for bubbles recipes and found one that works great! (recipe below)
We also decided to just make our own ‘blow sticks’ using the fuzzy sticks. We made circles and starts but you can make them into any shape. I twisted two fuzzy sticks to make it stronger. You can also take a water bottle and cut the opposite end off from the open end. This makes GREAT bubbles!! Even my husband had a blast letting the wind do the blowing for him. Truett jumped on the trampoline while dad played with the bubbles.
Truett had a blast blowing the bubbles. He laughed and laughed at how big these bubbles got. Whether your two, six, or fourty-two, bubbles are for everyone and guarantee hours of fun!
HOMEMADE BUBBLES SOLUTION
- 12 cups of water
- 1 cup of Dawn dish soap
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons of baking powder (NOT soda)
- Place ingredients in clean bowl or bucket; stir gently, not creating any bubbles.
- Let sit for one hour before using.
I bought the plastic container from Walmart for $5 bucks. They had nicer ones but they were $10 and we decided that it wasn’t worth the extra cost. We printed up the word ‘BUBBLES’ and some circles and just cut them out and taped them to the plastic container. Truett thought it was the coolest ever! He loved being able to get his own solution, never running out of bubbles!
I’ll be sharing more throughout the next few weeks but I’d love to hear your summer kid activity ideas! Happy Summer!
I definitely have a ways to go before my yard looks anything like Cat’s yard. She did an amazing job on hers! I do more container type gardening and desperately needed some tools to use so I was thrilled to try out some of the Black & Decker gardening tools. Me and Truett had a blast with them but he would not put the spray nozzle down for nothin’! I got sprayed, Biscuit got sprayed, Dad got sprayed, and even the plant got sprayed.
Because water is a sacred and scarce source here in Texas, our yard looks pretty terrible. Oh, we can water and such but we try not to. When we go months without rain, we savor every drop pretty much. What I try to do, is buy a few containers and add flowers and plants to help spruce up the dull yard we have and that helps save on water too. And to be perfectly honest, we can’t really afford to makeover a yard with flower gardens, lights, etc. So, we just do what we can do. That also means buying affordable tools that are durable.
You might think this is silly but one of the things I LOVE about these Black & Decker gardening tools, is that they have girl colors, including purple, which makes me happy!
The spray nozzle I mentioned above was a big hit with us. You see Truett’s thumb? He simply had to push that up or down to make the water come out. Push it down a little bit and it barely comes out. Push it all the way and it’s full blast. It was super easy for him to handle and that’s saying something because most sprayers are such a pain in one way or another. This nozzle had 8 patterns; shower, jet, vertical, flat, full, fan, cone, and mist. There were no leaks and shutoff was a breeze.
The shovel was another favorite. We used the hoe to dig up weeds and the shovel to turn up the dirt a bit. Of course Truett had other plans as most 6yr olds would so we had a few battles over who was gonna use the shovel next.
Another super cool feature is the extending handles. I absolutely love this feature! You simply twist and extend. These tools have nonslip grips, rust resistant, and have strong but lightweight steel construction. Overall, I am thrilled with this particular brand of tools for the features, price, and durability. You can get a 4pc set for $29 at Walmart. What a great gift idea too for that gardener in your life! Father’s Day perhaps?
What gardening tool do you use most?
Disclosure: I’m an official Walmart Mom. Walmart has provided me with compensation and gift card in return for my time & efforts to create this post. Opinions are my own, always.
Ahh, don’t we just love Pinterest? I try not to go to the website unless I have a couple of hours to spend there. Talk about finding some amazing recipes, crafts, tips, and more! I LOVE that site. Thanks to folks like you, who also love Pinterest and have taken the time to pin many of my posts, I have received some fantastic traffic from over yonder. Today, I wanted to share with you, our top, most pinned posts from Pinterest. I know that we get many new readers to this blog weekly and this will be a great way to discover just some of what we write about here.
Just in the last 30 days, I have received over 23,000 visits for these heavenly Kentucky Biscuits. They easy to make and just melt in your mouth. This is actually one of my older posts from 2008 but has become one of the top posts visited in the last year. I definitely need to update my photos for it!
My Grandma’s Homemade Banana Pudding has always been a huge favorite with all of you. It truly is the best nanner puddin’ ever and once you eat it, you’ll never give instant pudding a second look. I sure do miss her…..
Santa Fe Chicken – Easy and good! You can add as much or as little cheese as you want but either way, you’ll satisfy just about everyone’s tummy with this!
In 2011, I shared our version of Apple Cobbler and boy was it a hit. It’s the easiest dessert to make and the filling can be whatever you want it to be. This is also another one of those that needs a good photo update! Adding to my list of to-do’s.
The perfect Summer beverage – Homemade Strawberry Lemonade. Oh my, how this makes me smile!
Want a very inexpensive bird feeder? Make it yourself for less than $5! Much less!
I can’t imagine not having homemade dinner rolls in my life. It’s amazing how wonderful something can taste when there’s not so much to it. This roll post has over 180 comments praising their flavor, softness, and light textured roll.
DIY Bird Seed Ornaments. I made these for Halloween but you can use ANY cookie cutter to create your own unique food ornament for the birds. This is a great kid’s craft!
Crocheting ruffled scarves is much easier than you could ever imagine. This post has quickly become one of your favorites and should be considered as your next gift for that special someone!
I was also surprised at how many people LOVED and PINNED this vase makeover I did using Rust O’leum and rubber bands!
Another favorite of yours and my man’s is the delicious, Summer side; Tomato and Cucumber Salad. I will be updating the photos on this post too. Man, this is a great side to make! My husband requests this often!
Another older post of mine but still getting lots of attend because it’s a recipe that just works; Old Fashion Homemade Pancakes . They come out good every time!
A fun craft idea to make with your kids is this super cool treasure chest. Truett always got to pick out of the treasure box at school and I thought it would be fun for him to have his very own at home! We turned it into a fun learning game too!
While I have many more to share, I’ll make this Easter Egg Bouquet in Candy-Filled Jar, my last one. You loved it. I loved it. Truett loved helping me put it together! A GREAT teacher gift during the Easter holidays.
Thank you for taking time to read. Thank you for taking time to pin. If you’re not following me on Pinterest yet, I’d love for you to.
Please welcome another post contributed by Becky. Thanks!
Your idea of retiring happy may include leaving the cold weather behind and spending your remaining years in Ft. Lauderdale. With so many active adult communities in the area, you are certain to find a new home that’s perfect for you. Of course, you may worry about available space if you downsize. Don’t stress – just rent a storage unit to help downsize without selling your things.
But, why retire down south?
Although Florida is a top vacation spot, many families call this state home. There is no shortage of quiet, affordable communities throughout the state. And if you’re looking to reduce costs, this state is a top pick
1. Affordable communities.
Florida has a growing retirement population. As a result, senior citizen and active adult communities are popping up throughout the state. Some of these communities are comparable to small cities, with restaurants, grocery stores, hair salons and other conveniences on site. Take your pick. The options are plentiful and there’s something for everyone. Maybe you prefer a single family home off a golf course, or perhaps a condo that requires little maintenance. Ft. Lauderdale is an excellent choice, but other sought after cities include Tampa, the Keys, Miami and Ocala.
The cost of living is notoriously high in some states, and if you’re looking to stretch your retirement dollars, moving south makes financial sense. There are upper class communities throughout Florida. But if you’re looking for a simple, middle-class home in a nice area, the prices are reasonable and low in comparison to other parts of the country. Depending on how much equity you have in your present home, you can perhaps sell and use the proceeds to purchase your Florida home outright.
2. Warmer temperatures equal better health.
Talk to anyone who suffers from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions and they’ll relate the impact cold weather has on their joints. Why live in agony for six months out the year? Plus, the more aches and pains you feel, the higher your medical costs.
Some northern parts of Florida experience cooler temperatures during the winter months, but that’s not always the case in South Florida. There may be the occasional cool day or night, but overall, winter temperatures rarely drop below 60 or 70 degrees. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see people on the golf course and beach in the middle of January.
Moving to an area with warmer temperatures can decrease arthritis symptoms and lower your risk for colds and the flu. This results in fewer trips to the doctor, and perhaps fewer medications. In the end, you keep more cash in your pocket.
3. Reduce travel expenses
The state of Florida has plenty to offer with regards to entertainment and activities. With major attractions, beaches and museums only a few hours away, imagine how much you’ll save on vacations each year. And because many cruise ships sail from Florida, you can take a cruise vacation and avoid airfare.
Not sure whether sunny Florida is the right choice for you? Plan a trip, check out the area and see what the state has to offer. Your retirement years should be fun and stress free. There is no better place to clear your mind and experience real fun post retirement.
I don’t know about you guys, but we go through crazy amounts of blueberries around here. Truett and Toby eat them by the handfuls, along with any other fruit I bring into the house. I saw a huge container of cherries the other day at walmart and decided to pair them up with the blueberries for a cold, Summer treat. You know the drill…… I scream, You scream, We all scream for ICE CREAM! WOOHOO!
You’re not gonna believe this but I have never owned an ice cream maker. *GASP* I know right? I grew up eating homemade ice cream so you would think I’d have one huh? I finally bought one the other day and put it to work making this homemade cherry-blueberry ice cream. Since we have been trying to watch what we consume around here, I decided to go the low-fat route and adding fresh fruit is just icing on the ice cream. What’s so fun about this dandy appliance, is that you can throw all sorts of goodies into and make delightful treats every single day! And for much less than what you’d pay to all go out and eat ice cream.
I would LOVE to hear your ice cream recipes if you have them, low-fat or not! I’m dying to try more. There’s nothing better to cool down a hot Texas day than homemade ice cream, you know? Can I get an AMEN! YIP YIP!
GOOD FOR YOU
We all know that blueberries are very good for our health but did you know that cherries are too? Here’s some things you might not have known!
- When eating cherries, the queritrin is set free to fight off all the body’s cancerous cells. Queritrin–a flavonoid–is rich in cherries, and has been found by researchers to be one of the most potent anticancer agents.
- Cherries also contain ellagic acid, a naturally occurring plant phenolic known as an anti-carcinogenic/anti-mutagenic compound. Some researchers say that ellagic acid may be the most effective way to prevent cancer.
- Tart cherries contain two powerful compounds, anthocyanins and bioflavonoids. Both of these compounds slow down the enzymes Cyclo-oxyygenase-1 and — 2, which helps to relieve and prevent arthritis and gout in the body.
- Cherries are rich in two important flavonoids, isoqueritrin and queritrin, which act as antioxidants and work to eliminate byproducts of oxidative stress, therefore slowing down the aging process.
- By helping to reduce inflammation in the body, the anthocyanin and bioflanoids in cherries also help eliminate migraine headaches. These compounds are known to have similar activity to aspirin and ibuprofen.
- Melatonin is also found to help the body’s natural sleep patterns. Since the body so rapidly absorbs melatonin, cherries can increase melatonin levels in the blood, therefore improving the way you sleep.
Here’s to Summer!
If you’re like me, you have clear vases stashed everywhere. Clear vases are usually pretty cost-friendly but not always eye appealing. This very simple DIY makeover takes less than 10 minutes and only uses two supplies, bringing the cost to less than $5 bucks if you already have a vase. And if you don’t have a clear vase, no worries. The Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover 2x spray paint that I used will cover anything beautifully!
I first saw this in a magazine and have been wanting to try it. Don’t ask me which magazine because I have no clue. As a magazine hoarder, I don’t know the names of half of the ones I read! What I love about this DIY project, is that I can use any type of vase, any size of rubber bands, and any color of spray paint I want and it will be original.
- Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover 2x spray paint (in your color choice)
- Rubber Bands (I got mine at walmart for less than $1)
- Place rubber bands all over vase in various directions. Make sure each band is straight and there are no twists.
- Lightly spray paint a coat over vase and rubber bands. You can stop here or add another coat or two. I wanted mine to be dark so I added a second coat. Let dry.
- Remove rubber bands and you’re done!
What a great project that the kids can help with! They can place the rubber bands anywhere they want and even spray paint (with your supervision of course), and get to see their cool creation. I love it! What projects have used with Rust-Oleum spray paint? I’m always looking for new stuff to do.
You would think that me being half Hispanic, I’d be more naturally tanned, but I’m not. A lot of that has to do with me being in the house so much, working. I decided to get my glow on for this Summer with Jergens Natural Glow. I first heard about this from my very good friend Audrey (you may know her from Mom Generations). I can remember her always saying how she uses Jergens all year ’round to keep that natural glow. And she always looks fabulously tanned and while I’m sure she does get some sun, I do know that she prefers this to the sun for obvious reasons.
Jergens Natural Glow gradually creates a natural color when used once a day. There’s no funny colors, no streaking, nothing like that. You’re basically moisturizing your skin with lotion, with the added benefits of glowing tan and SPF protection. I’ve been using it for almost a month now and I am in love with it. I could definitely see differences but when my SIL noticed, I knew it was working. We always get-together at the Western Heritage and this year, she said my hair looked more red and that I looked soooo tanned! I loved that! If you’re wondering about the hair, redheads run in the family on my grandmother’s (mom) side. I guess my true colors are coming out…both hair and skin! lol
My bottle is getting low because I use it on my whole body, especially places that don’t get sun like my upper thighs, stomach, etc. I rinse my hands and use it sparingly on my knees, elbows, and ankles. The bottle runs at just under $9 bucks and while that may seem like a lot, I’m keeping my body safe from the sun, moisturizing it and making it feel super soft, and gettin’ my glow on on places I’d never show the sun…..or anyone for that matter. HA!
By the way, if you noticed the photo above, you can see that they make one for your face, which I have also been using! I hate foundation so this has been great for me.
How do you get your glow on for Summer?
A few weeks ago, I had the awesome opportunity to attend a Cooper Tire event in San Antonio. I was particularly interested in this event for a couple of reasons; 1)I love auto stuff!! Tires, cars, everything. and 2) I know what a blowout can cause. Ladies, don’t skim this post. Read it, educate yourself, and know your tires!
I think that most people take their tires for granted, to be honest, but if you take a minute to think about how those 4 tires are the only thing touching the road, driving 70mph+, then you might be more careful about them. Recently, there was an unfortunate accident along our highway (in the middle of nowhere), due to worn out tires. These fellas in a pickup truck, who are very hard workers & much appreciated ’round here, had a blowout. They weren’t doing anything wrong. They weren’t speeding and they were wearing seat belts but that blowout caused a huge, one-vehicle rollover. People were ejected, hurt, and killed. There were 5 in that truck and two didn’t make it; an older gentleman and a 21yr old. Every time I drive down that road, I’m reminded of the wreck and what worn out tires can do. Me, my husband, and my kids make this drive regularly and while you don’t expect it to happen to you, this is proof of just how easy it can happen to anyone. Thankfully these guys were appreciated enough for all their hard efforts that the two men who died, received enough donations from local ranchers and community members, to have their bodies shipped back to their families in Mexico.
I have had to change a blowout more than once, even when I was HUGELY pregnant. It’s not fun but we always try to get as much as we can out of those tires don’t we? What’s scary, is what if I had lost control being pregnant like that? I believe that God has watched over me through the years FO SHO!
I had the chance to do two test drives at the Cooper Tire track. The first ones were in Chevy Tahoes. One had new Cooper tires and the other had new comparable tires. I drove the comparable tire first, not expecting to notice much in either tire. I mean, they’re both new right? Surely they drive the same. Well no, actually they don’t. As I drove the first tahoe on this huge wet pad course, I was slightly uneasy. I could feel ‘give’ and movement as I took the curves. And even though it felt uneasy, I assumed this was normal. But then, I drove the tahoe with Cooper tires on it. Oh my cow! Such a huge difference. I honestly was shocked to feel the difference. I felt like wherever I steered, those tires went precisely with no give, no feeling of insecurity. I was even comfortable enough to gain speed because of it. It just goes to show you that HOW a tire is made, truly makes a difference in how it drives.
My second test drive consisted of two BMW cars; one with used tires on the back and one with used tires on the front. The used tires were only about 50% worn but wow….incredible and scary difference. Do you know which end to put new tires on if you’re only able to buy 2 new tires? Well let me just tell y’all…it’s the back! When I drove the one with used tires on the back, I skidded and spun around everywhere. It was heart-pounding and flat out terrifying to me. When the new tires were in the back, there was much more stability and traction. I never knew any of this so I was thrilled to learn and come back and share.
I think women can feel quite intimidated when walking in to make a tire purchase but you don’t have to be! You just need to ask a few questions and when these fellas hear you ask them, they’ll most likely be intimidated by the fact that you know your stuff!
P stands for passenger tire (or you may find LT for Light Truck Tire).
205 is the width of the tire in millimetres.
55 is the “aspect ratio” – the ratio of the height of the sidewall to the width, expressed as a percentage.
R means the tire has radial construction.
16 represents the wheel diameter in inches.
89 is the load index.
V is the speed rating.
THINGS TO KNOW and ASK WHEN BUYING NEW TIRES
- Are my current tires the best tires for my vehicle?
- What are the best tires that match my driving habits and my price?
- Can you give me a pricing tier of my tire type with three choices?
- What is the mileage warranty (if any) of my new tires?
- Is the tire manufacturer highly reputable?
One very important thing I learned is how to tell the age of a tire. Why would you want to know this? Because unfortunately, there are some tire dealers out there that will keep tires in stock from years ago and you do not want to buy aged tires that have been sitting on the shelf for years. Here’s how to tell the age of Cooper Tires:
TIRE INFLATION - TIPS AND INFO! Underinflation is the number one enemy of a tire.
- Certain tire compounds can improve or have an adverse effect on fuel efficiency.
- Don’t overload your vehicle.
- Find the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressures for your front, rear and spare tires. The recommended pressures are printed on the vehicle’s tire information label, which is usually attached to the edge of the driver’s door, the door post, the glove box or the fuel door. If you can’t find the label, check your owner’s manual.
- Measure the pressure when your tires are cold, and don’t forget the spare. Tires will be cold if the vehicle has been stationary for at least three hours or has not been driven more than 2 km.
- Remember that tires lose pressure when the air temperature gets colder (about 7 kPa or 1 psi for every 5°C drop in temperature). Tires may also lose a certain amount of pressure due to their permeability (about 14 kPa or 2 psi per month).
- Overinflation can be a problem too. An overinflated tire rides on just the center portion of the tread. The smaller contact area means reduced grip on the road, leading to a harsh ride, handling issues (such as steering and stopping problems) and increased wear on tires and suspension components.
Let me tell you WHY you should buy Cooper Tires. They work very hard to bring you a superior tire for a lower price. They strive hard to make quality, safe tires that you and me can afford. It’s important to them. They put an incredible amount of testing on every single tire. Insane testing y’all. 80+% of their tires are made and sold here in the good ol’ USA. HELLLOOOOOOOO! THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about! I know many of my readers will appreciate that!
They also use some of the finest materials to make these tires. Do you know what tires of made of? Rubber, Polyester, Nylon, and Steel…just a little trivia for ya. But do you wanna know why I have become an overnight superfan of Cooper tires? –The people behind the company. You ever judge someone, a company, a situation because you don’t know them. You’ve heard of them or whatever but you don’t know them? Then you get time with them and realize, they’re pretty freakin’ great right? Well that’s how it was for me. I sat down with the people and got to see their facial expressions, attitudes, sincerity, and passion for the company. They were genuine in answers and truly embraced our brave, crazy driving. They embraced our questions with truths and ‘normal’ dialogue. Not some jumbled shoptalk. I left the event thinking of them as ‘good people’. There are still good folks out there, even in business, and the Cooper Tire company is one of them.
I realize this post got a little long but I guess that should tell you just how important I feel this is. It should tell you that I am behind Cooper Tire all the way. It should make you want to go check your tires and not take anything for granted. Maybe you can handle a blowout….but can you teen driver?
Stay tuned for part 2, which will be about all the fun stuff we did. And it was fun!
Disclosure: Cooper Tire invited us to their facilities to test and learn about their tires and tire safety. All my travel expenses were paid but my opinions are mine….as they have always been and will remain to be.