Sunday, April 12, 2015

Zany and Wacky Driving Laws

There are some crazy driving laws that have been around for years. I love to read them because some of them are just so out there and funny. Most of the laws we have for driving are very serious and important. We even have to take a test to prove we know them before we can drive. I wonder why none of the silly laws are on there? By silly, I mean the crazy ones about animals or dress codes. I have never seen an elephant in the US outside of the zoo or the circus. They usually don't wander the streets.

Laws are so important to keep us safe. I am not sure if someone would really get a ticket for driving barefoot in Alabama or not. Some of the sillier laws are kind of common sense. I am not even sure how some of these laws even were passed. They are definitely worth a look. I wonder if they were bets that were lost or if there was alcohol involved. Some seem impossible. There are no whales in Tennessee, except at the zoo.

You will probably get a good laugh from my post about crazy driving laws.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Importance of a Gas Budget

I love to save money on purchases and in general. I have learned somewhere in my adulthood about being careful with money. It really started when I started blogging. I learned quickly that it wasn't always steady each month like a job outside the home. It became something I started doing very quickly. Using tools like coupons and fuel budgets are a great way to really know what you are spending. It will help you know where your gas money is going or even how much you are spending. You can easily cut down.

We budget for food, entertainment and clothes. We often forget about car related expenses like gas. Even with the lower gas prices depending on your mileage you may spend $45 each time you fill up. If you do a lot of driving that has to add up quickly. If you drive a half hour each way to work that can become expensive. Most jobs don't offer reimbursement on fuel. It's just part of having a job. The only way they will reimburse you is if you are traveling for business. I am pretty sure pizza delivery drivers aren't reimbursed for their gas while working. Hopefully they make more to factor in their fuel costs. A fuel budget is pretty important to them because they may find out that delivering pizzas is no longer worth it to them.

Making a fuel budget is really easy and can help you know what you spend on gas each month. Learn how to create a gas budget.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Preserve Memories with a Travel Journal

I love to scrapbook and create pretty things. I have started making travel journals where I write down things like where we ate and take a lot of photos. I love to design the pages and add all the cute things I can find. Sometimes I just add shells I found to the pages.  I wish I would have started doing this earlier in life. I also scrapbook old photos from trips too.

Noah loves to make his own travel journals. He loves to write notes and reminders. He is a pretty good photographer once he stopped taking pictures of the tv screen. He is learning a lot. He has quite the talent for writing and photography. He already makes fish journals and space journals. He is a great illustrator too. I can't wait to see what he creates for our next trip. It's also a great way for him to remember trips we have been on.  My grandma Rose used to write down everything. We still have her travel journals. That's where it really started for me. They used to go cross country in my aunt and uncle's RV. My Grandma Rose's journals were so detailed  it felt like you were there. She didn't skip a beat. I love to read them even now. I can imagine my grandchildren looking at my travel journals some day, imagining they are off with me on one of my adventures.

Check out my post on how to create your own travel journal.

I used to be the Car Sick Queen

I used to be the car sick queen. I used to throw up every time we were in the car for an hour or more. I vomited almost every time we drove to my grandparents. I was getting really good at vomiting in a plastic bag. I hated it. I guess it started when I was two. We went to Santa Claus Land and I got so car sick that my mom had to throw away my car seat at a rest stop in the trash can. My mom said it smelled too bad to keep it.

Noah is unfortunately following in my footsteps. It's become a running tally about how many states Noah has thrown up in. My mom used to give me car sickness medicine hidden inside a spoon of peanut butter.  I used to not be able to swallow pills so this was her "remedy" for this. I still can't eat a spoon of plain peanut butter without gagging. I really think that car sickness is something you grow out of as you grow up. Hopefully Noah will get over his bouts of car sickness soon.

Check out my post about preventing car sickness for tips and tricks.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

I need a Kid Free Vacation ASAP

I love being a mom, it brings me such joy but sometimes I just need a vacation away. I love taking time and traveling to different places usually to see friends. I love going to New Hampshire and spending girl time with my best friend Brandy. Of course her sweet little ones are there which is fine. Her daughter is so amazing and since I only have a son it's fun to have a little girl time with Brandy's daughter. I would love to go on a trip where there's only adults. It's really important to have some me time or girl time. I am hoping sometime I can get Brandy away from her daily life and go somewhere fun together where neither of us has to but our mom hat on and we can just hang out and do whatever we want to.

It's easy to feel guilty especially if you are seeing families together but it is an important and vital part of parenthood. It's not going to be the end of the world if you spend a couple days away from them. If you can't afford a vacation, how about a night in a local hotel? That one night doesn't sound like much but it is a big deal and you will feel like new. You may even want to add another night to your hotel stay.  It's really important and a requirement to have some time to yourself every so often.

Enjoy your kid free vacation!

Sheilacakes Family Travel Traditions

Traveling traditions are great. Every time I hear the phrase travel tradition, I think of the movie Home Alone 2 because forgetting Kevin has become a Mcallister family travel tradition. My family has always had travel traditions. We always listen to the same music. Even now, we still listen to Billy Joel and Carly Simon when we travel as a family. When I was a teenager and in my early twenties, I used to collect shot glasses. The best places to get shot glasses is in souvenir shops. I didn't use them I just liked to collect them.
My Grandma Rose collected salt and pepper shakers and postcards from her travels.  My Grandma Rose and my Grandpa were always traveling somewhere out west. We also found salt and pepper shakers for her when we were traveling. We would send postcards too. We used to always get a new book or magazine when we traveled. I really want to start this tradition with Noah soon. It was pretty neat to get a special book just for our trip. Sometimes it was a coloring book instead.  Do you have special travel traditions?

Check out my post for more ideas for travel traditions.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

HomeHero finds Great Caregivers for Seniors

How HomeHero’s Senior Home Care Services Saved Our Family Vacation
By Danielle Estrada

When you are the primary caregiver for a loved one finding the time to take a family vacation can be extremely difficult with all the responsibilities you have on your plate at homeam the primary caregiver for my mother and was recently faced with this challenge when planning our annual family vacation with my husband and kidsLuckily, I found HomeHero and they were able to save the day and facilitate our trip.

My first concern when searching for a senior home care company was finding caregiver I could trust. There is no sense in hiring someone if you are going to be stressing about the care your loved one is receiving while you are on vacation. The point of vacation is to relax! HomeHero help put my mind at ease when they explained the process they go through to vet their caregivers.

HomeHero puts their caregivers through a rigorous screening process.

Each HomeHero caregiver must pass anin-person interview and background check and provide three professional references.

Once I found a company I could trust my next priority was finding a senior home care company I could afford.When doing my research on senior home care companies near me I found they all either required long-term contracts or had hour minimums for care. These policies made the cost to hire a caregiver add up extremely quickly. I was relieved to find HomeHero did not have these types of policies. I was able to hire one of their caregivers for only three hours a day for the five days we were on vacation. Their caregiver stopped by my mom’s everyday at noon and made sure she had something to eat and was comfortable. One day the caregiver even took her to the grocery store to help her do her shopping.  That was nice and my mom really enjoyed it.

My favorite thing about using HomeHero was their user friendly website. I was able to put in a request to find a caregiver online and check out their caregiver profiles prior to choosing someone. Everyday our family was on vacation I received a receipt from their billing department via email that included a voice recording of the caregiver giving me a summary of the day’s eventsThis saved me from having to check in everyday while on vacation.

I can go on and on about how great my family’s experience was using HomeHero. When you are the primary caregiver for a loved one taking time away to unwind is important. Sometimes making that time is easier said then done. HomeHero saved our family vacation and I am very happy I got to introduce their great service to you guys today.

Thursday, April 2, 2015 Email Program plus Giveaway!

When you own a home or even rent a house you have to pay attention to routine maintenance to keep your home running smoothly. Having a garage is a great thing to have. You can park your car in it, and take advantage of all the extra storage space. My garage is full of stuff from my childhood, Noah’s old toys and clothes and just a bunch of random stuff.  Having a working garage door is important because you need to access it. I wouldn’t want to have to bring my trash cans in through the house, and of course you can’t drive your car in the house. Depending on where you live you want to protect your car from the elements too.  Having a squeaky and creaky garage door is not fun. 

Did you know you need to lubricate it twice a year? I don’t know much about garage door maintenance so I didn’t know this. It makes sense though because it can definitely cause problems down the road. You might be thinking how do I lubricate it? It’s really easy. You need to pick up a can of Garage Door Lube and you can find detailed instructions on The garage door is one of the most neglected appliances in the home.  You can sign up for email alerts that will remind you to lube your garage door. You may not remember to lube your garage door, I know I wouldn’t. They don’t even spam you or add you to any marketing list. Spending five minutes lubing your garage door can save you a big headache down the road.  You can also find a lot of different tips and advice at

To sign up for a twice a year email visit

I have an awesome giveaway for you.

One lucky winner will win a $25 VISA gift card!

All you have to do to enter is:
Visit and tell me something you learned.

The winner will be emailed and you must respond within 48 hours.

This giveaway will end on April 15, 2015 at 11:59 pm ET.
Good Luck!!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Operation Smile Brings Smiles to Kids

Operation Smile is such an amazing charity. Operation Smile helps correct Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate in babies.  It’s a congenital birth defect that hinders baby’s ability to suck and eat and even speak. When the baby is in their mother’s womb, sometimes their mouths or lips do not form and there is a hole.  Babies born with Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate do not have the ability to smile. Parents are not able to see their baby’s first smile as other parents do.  1 in 10 children with Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate don’t get to celebrate their first birthday. It is incredibly sad, thankfully Operation Smile is there to save the day. Operation Smile goes to third world countries where doctors are not an option. It’s a really simple and inexpensive surgery that they just cannot afford. It’s roughly $240 per surgery, and while that doesn’t sound like much to us, in some countries it may as well be ten thousand dollars.  Babies with Cleft Palate or Cleft Lip will experience ear problems and dental problems too. Thankfully it is curable and they can live normal lives. 1 in 700 babies will have Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate. That is so heart breaking because so many babies won’t get surgery without Operation Smile. Operation Smile needs our help, it takes a village to help others.  There are many volunteers and doctors who volunteer their time to travel to third world countries to help these precious little babes.

Campus Book Rentals has teamed up with Operation Smile to help donate smiles. For every text book you rent, Campus Book Rentals donates to Operation Smile. I think that’s so wonderful. So, if you are in college or have a child in college, check out Campus Book Rentals and consider renting text books from them and help support Operation Smile.

For more information and to learn about what they do, please visit Operation Smile

Friday, March 27, 2015

Pregnancy Skin Care Guide

Pregnancy is an exciting time for women. Your body is changing, you’re preparing for another addition to your family, and you’re enjoying the love and support of your family and friends. Unfortunately, pregnancy also has a few less-than-glamorous aspects, such as the temporary skin issues that often arise. Luckily, most of these skin issues resolve themselves shortly after delivery; however, here’s a quick guide to several common skin conditions developed during pregnancy, as well as what pregnancy-safe products can be used to treat them.

One of the most common skin conditions associated with pregnancy is the development of stretch marks, tiny tears under the skin that 90% of women develop in the sixth or seventh month. While there’s no research conclusively proving how to manage stretch marks, moisturizer can improve the appearance and also reduce itchiness. Speaking of itchiness, pregnant women often experience itchiness and rashes as well. Similar to stretch marks, these symptoms can be relieved with the use of fragrance-free moisturizers.

The hormonal changes women experience can lead to melasma and acne. Melasma is the darkening of the skin on a woman’s face, and makeup and concealer can camouflage the darkness, while sunscreen can prevent further darkening and soy-based sunscreen may even lighten the affected area. Women can improve any acne on their face by washing their face regularly with fragrance-free cleanser and using over-the-counter, pregnancy-safe products. Unfortunately, many such acne products contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or retinoids, which can be dangerous to pregnant women as they’ve been linked to pregnancy complications and birth defects.

Finally, a few skin conditions pregnant women face can be easily treated at home. For example, puffiness on the face and eyelids can be improved with ice and cold packs.

While the skin conditions caused by pregnancy can be uncomfortable, pregnant women can gain relief in the fact that it’s a temporary discomfort that will soon be replaced by a child to love.