Weekend Dispatch

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

This coming weekend is the last weekend before we leave for Captiva, Florida. This is an annual trip for us and one we look forward to pretty much from the day we leave the year prior. While I'm sure this weekend will be filled with packing and last minute preparations, I do plan to squeeze in a few fun things and some downtime too.

Here's what I'll be up to this weekend:

8 Books I've Read Recently

Monday, October 29, 2018

I've been on somewhat of a reading kick since mid-August. I can't pinpoint exactly how or why it happened. I've always loved ready, but something clicked while we were on vacation in Rehoboth Beach in mid-August, and I haven't been able to find a book that haven't liked. Here are the books I've read since August and my overall feeling about each one.

1. Saving Grace by Jane Green
I love Jane Green's style of writing and her subject matter, so it was so surprise that I loved this book. Her characters are rich in depth and so vividly described that it's easy to feel as if you know them personally. Such is the case with the protagonist Grace Chapman, a middle-aged woman struggling to find her identity after spending most of her adult life tending to her husband (a successful writer) and daughter. Grace's world is turned upside down when her husband hires an assistant who turns out to be sinister than sincere.

5 Home Improvement Trends To Implement Now

Friday, October 26, 2018
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No matter what our age or number of children, busy moms always invest in our homes and treat them as another child who needs to be pampered and nurtured. Regardless of the size and location of the house, there are many little things we modify over time. There can be multiple reasons for home improvement such as changing trends, a new liking developed for something, or overall efficiency. No matter how many trends you follow, there are still a few you may miss. Among the crazy smart gadgets operating your home, here are some home improvement trends you will want to follow to update your home:

Best Online Reads

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Hacks for getting ready faster in the morning via The Zoe Report.

2. The reason men talk 90% of the time on conference calls via Career Contessa.

3. Six things you should never do after a workout via Refinery29.

Weekend Dispatch

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Last weekend was jam packed that it didn't leave much down time. We had a casual family dinner on Friday night before my sister-in-law and brother-in-law returned to Denver. On Saturday I met friends for coffee at the café at the Herbary at Bear Creek. It was a lovely place to meet and a nice change from our "on the beaten path" coffee shops. Saturday night my girlfriend had a birthday party, and Sunday was a slow start, naturally, and full of errands and prep for the week.

After a busy weekend, here's how I plan to spend this coming one:

5 Fab Finds Under $50

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

On a budget but still want to look great?  Here are 5 fab finds under $50 that won't break the bank but will keep you (or your home) looking cute.

How To Buy Your Dream Home

Monday, October 22, 2018
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Do you have a dream of owning a house that you absolutely love? Do you want a bigger house, a prettier house, a house in a different location? If you’ve answered yes to any (or all) of those, you’re not alone. You may find yourself so far away from where you actually want to be. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get the house that you really want. It just means that you need to work that little bit harder to get it. You may need to think about selling your home in order to move forward with buying your dream home. But how exactly do you go about doing that when you seem so far from your ultimate goal? Start here:

Tips For Dealing With Common Childhood Ailments

Sunday, October 21, 2018
Infant's feet being held by a woman's hand with painted and manicured hands resting on a gray blanket
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As a parent, seeing your child in pain will be one of the worst things you can be put through. Their    discomfort becomes your discomfort, especially when there isn’t much that can be done about it. Thankfully, nowadays, it’s rare that you’ll find a medical condition without some sort of solution. 

Best Online Reads

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. I am loving Benjamin Moore's color of the year via Domino.

2. The top late-night restaurants in 7 major cities according to Lyft via Food and Wine.

3. Why you feel dizzy after spinning via Popular Science.

6 Ways To Teach Your Kids About Finance

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Back-to-school time means plenty of lessons to learn in the classroom. But parents usually have to be the teachers when it comes to a subject their kids will need to understand throughout their adult lives – personal finance.

Studies show that teaching finance is not a top priority of the U.S. education system. Fewer than 20 percent of teachers report feeling competent to teach personal finance, according to a Council for Economic Education Survey, and only 17 states require students to take a personal finance course in high school.

“The majority of your kids’ financial education will come from you,” says Kathy Longo (www.flourishwealthmanagement.com), the author of Flourish Financially: Values, Transitions, & Big Conversations. “Because we parents have such a great influence on how our kids spend, save, and invest, it’s critical that we teach them early and often how we want them to value money.” 

Longo, who is also president and founder of Flourish Wealth Management®, provided me with a list of ideas and discussions that can help you teach your kids about finance at different developmental stages:

Playing Favorites

Monday, October 15, 2018
Playing Favorites is a monthly series where I share my latest obsessions, favorite finds, and any kind of entertainment (books, movies, TV, podcasts, and magazines) that I am loving. Here's what I am loving this month.


Selling Your Home? Don't Drop Your Asking Price

Sunday, October 14, 2018
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Later this year, I'll be taking a real estate sales course. It's a 75 hour course that prepares you for becoming a real estate sales agent. I've been looking for flexible ways to supplement my income, and real estate sales is the likely path for me. In preparation for the course, I've been researching the industry. If you currently have a house on the market, here's an argument for why you should think twice before dropping your asking price.

There are so many other alternatives to dropping your asking price such as investing in a home stager, re-assessing your marketing strategy, and more.


Best Online Reads

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. Is it better (and cleaner) to shower in the morning or evening via Apartment Therapy.

2. Three ways to break bad holiday shopping habits via Real Simple.

3. The key to being a kick ass friend via ManRepeller.

Shift Happens

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Last month, Emma and Harper started their junior and seventh grade years, respectively. The morning of the first day of school was rushed, emotional but uneventful. In the chaos, I didn't have time to snap a picture. They were dressed in outfits that they painstakingly took forever to choose. I sent them off to school, and hoped for the best on their first days.

It wasn't until they came home later in the day that I was finally able to get a picture. As they stood and posed ever so willingly, I looked through the viewfinder at these two amazing creatures. My flesh and blood. I gave them life, and now they were standing in front of me, and I was grappling with the task of trying to figure out where the years have gone.

Once you become a parent, you hear all the clichés about how quickly your child will grow. For most of us, we are so deep in the depths of parenthood that it's hard to pay attention to all the things you've heard over and over again through the years starting when you were a child.


Shop For A Cause: Breast Cancer Awareness

Tuesday, October 9, 2018
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October is breast cancer awareness month, and if you are looking for a way to support research efforts to find a cure, I've got you covered. This is a win-win situation because not only do you get something for your money, but a donation is made also to support finding a cure.

Here are a few of my favorite items that support various BCA organizations.

6 Sins of Old Homes

Friday, October 5, 2018
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The search for the perfect home isn't an easy one. The variety of properties available on the market, from a tiny apartment in a buzzing city center to a cute bungalow in the suburbs, from an old mansion filled with dust and stories on the outskirt of town to a stone cottage on a hill, makes it difficult to narrow down what exactly you want in a home.

The answer might be surprising for many, but one of the key criteria for home buyers is the homeliness of a house. Admittedly, it doesn’t mean that factors such as budget, location, and the number of bedrooms have no impact on the final decision. They definitely matter and are essential to the final decision. However, when given a choice between a brand new property that has just been built and an old house that has seen several generations growing up, first-time buyers are more likely to pick the old house.

Best Online Reads

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The ten stories from around the web that I am loving this week:

1. The best places to live in America via Money.

2. How to break up without going broke via The Huffington Post.

3. Seven things you should never do with a Magic Eraser via Apartment Therapy.

How To Create A Beautiful and Relaxing Bedroom

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
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I have a love-hate relationship with my bedroom. I love it because it's my sanctuary at the end of a day. It's where I go to rest, relax, and recharge. But it's also a source of stress for me. It's often cluttered and a dumping ground for every item I can't seem to find a place for somewhere else in our home.

Each and every one of us deserves a beautiful bedroom - a space we can retreat from the world, rest, relax, and recoup. As moms, we spend our days looking after others and so when we finally do get some alone time it’s good to have a space to relax in that we really enjoy. You probably don’t get all that much sleep or time to yourself as a busy parent, but a lovely bedroom to turn in to at the end of each day is something that all of us can appreciate. If yours isn’t up to scratch, here are some of the ways you can give it a refresh.

What We're Reading

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

I've been on a sort of reading streak lately. I've been averaging a book per week, and I see no sign of slowing down. I've always had a love for reading, but in recent years, I've found it difficult to get into a reading groove or find ample time to do it. Don't ask me what changed, but something clicked over the summer, and I've been reading voraciously. And now that school is back in session, the girls are back in the reading groove as well.

Here's what we are currently reading.

Easy Desk-Side Snacks For Busy Days

Monday, October 1, 2018

This post is sponsored by Pearls® but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Since I work from home, I am very conscious of budgeting my time effectively. I'm all about working smarter not harder (or longer). For me, that means eating lunch and snacks at my desk on most days. My lunches are generally prepped in advance, but my snacks are more grab-and-go types of snacks. I like something that's quick and easy but is healthy, tasty, and conforms to my vegetarian lifestyle.

Here are a few of my favorite desk-side snacks that aren't chips or pretzels.

1. Pearls Olives to Go!®
I definitely love my salty snacks. But rather than reach for a bag of chips or pretzels to satisfy that craving, I've been reaching for Pearls Olives® instead. They offer that burst of saltiness that I love but without the guilt. Each individual cup has only 30 calories, and now Pearls Olives® are available in 3 flavors, Sriracha, Taco, and Italian Herb. No matter what kind of diet you are following, Pearls Olives are diet-friendly whether you follow a keto-friendly, plant-based, gluten free, or vegan diet.

You can find Pearls Olives® at most of your favorite retailers for under $4 for a 4-pack. I found them in the salad dressing aisle with the olives and other condiments. Since I love spicy foods, the Sriracha-infused olives are one of my favorite flavors. There is a hint of spice, but it's not overwhelming and doesn't set your mouth on fire.

Pearls Olives® can be enjoyed by the whole family. Grab a few containers as you head out the door for a sporting event or when you are sitting down to movie night. They go great with popcorn! Eat them alone or add them to a favorite recipe.

Click HERE to learn more and to sign up for coupons to save on Pearls Olives to Go!®.

2. Nuts
Nuts are an all-around wonderful snack. Not only are they crunchy and salty, but they are high in fiber and protein so they keep you feeling full longer than a bag of chips. I love almonds and cashews, but peanuts work too. Just be sure to follow the recommended serving size (usually a 1/4 cup) since nuts are high in calories (it's all the the good fats). You don't want to over do it.

3. Air-Popped Popcorn
I told you, I love my salty, crunchy snacks! Air-popped popcorn is one of the lowest calorie snacks you can enjoy. When its air-popped with no butter added, it's virtually calorie-free. Toss it with some Himalayan pink salt, and you've got yourself a delicious and guilt-free treat to help you get through your work day.