Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Getting Your Car Ready for Winter

Growing up in the Midwest, I know how important it is to get your car winter ready. While the snow is fun to play in and build a snowman with your kids, you still have to drive in it. We can't hibernate like bears all winter. We also tend to travel during the holiday season. Even a short trip to Grandma's house can be hard if your car isn't prepared. There are some easy steps to take to make sure you are ready for the unpredictable Midwest weather. You may face snow, ice, sleet and freezing rain. Don't forget extremely cold temperatures. You don't want to end up like I did, and have your car break down on the side of a busy highway on Christmas Day one year. That was not fun. Thankfully, it wasn't too terribly cold and it wasn't snowing. It ended better than it could have but it still was a major pain to deal with on a holiday were nothing was open and my cell phone was dead. We had to find a pay phone and call someone to come. We had to rely on family to take us to all the places we needed to go. It was when I was married, so thankfully we were able to without really inconvenience anyone too much.  I was able to enjoy Christmas still thankfully. Don't take the risk and get your car ready for winter, I wish I would have.

 Read this post to learn more about getting your car ready for Winter

Gift Baskets for the Car

The holidays are fast approaching and we have started shopping for gifts. When you have a guy who loves his car almost as he loves you, you want to embrace that by getting him gifts for his baby. It is kind of like buying baby gifts for an expectant mother. When my sister was pregnant, I gave her a gift to buy something for her baby for Christmas. It's not exactly the same thing of course. Creating a car gift basket is really easy with a little know how and creativity. You will even score brownie points with the guy in your life. It will show him that you really put some thought in the gift and you are fine with how much he loves his car. I have dated a guy who loved his car to the point that he worked on it any chance he got. He was even a mechanic. My grandpa was a diesel mechanic and he spent a lot of time in his garage at home teaching my cousins how to work on cars. He also taught my uncles how to fix cars. My mom and aunt learned how to change tires and change oil. Don't get him another tie or a new sweater, make him a gift basket for his car. I am sure he will love it.

Check out my post about creating the perfect car gift basket for some inspiration.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Healthy Snacks for Traveling

It's no secret I love food. I love going grocery shopping. I love cooking and baking. I love to eat. When I am traveling for the holidays or just in general, it's all about the food. We used to bring snack bags on trips with us. My Grandma Rose always made the best snack bags. She would have one waiting for us and have one for us to take with us on the way home. It was one of my favorite things. I would give anything to have one right now. When Noah was about three, I started making Noah a snack bag for when we travel. It is a great way to give him healthy choices while saving money. Buying snacks every time we stop is not practical or affordable. The choices are not the best and well Noah is extremely picky. I have to make sure while we are traveling for the holidays, he has good choices for snacks and drinks. Gas stations don't really offer much when it comes to kids' drinks. He likes some juice and keeping gas station milk ice cold can be challenging even with a cooler. I am teaching him about healthy foods and that treats are fine in moderation but when you only have junk as a choice something needs to be done.

Be sure to read this post about what I put in our Holiday Snack Bag for Travel

The Importance of Car Winter Safety Kits

Sometimes your car has trouble, maybe it's your car malfunctioning and maybe it's the weather, and maybe it's an accident. You could get a flat tire or run out of gas. You need to prepare for these situations. I remember times my cousin and I would run out of gas in her car. I am pretty sure her gas gauge had problems. We were lucky enough where it would happen close to a gas station or as we were pulling in to it. There has been other times where the car has died or we were stuck in the snow. The Midwest is great for snow. It always makes me laugh when southern states get an inch of snow and everyone freaks out. I understand they aren't used to it but I still makes me chuckle a little. There are certain things you can keep in your car in case of an emergency. Regardless where you live I recommend car safety kits for all drivers. The weather can be unpredictable. It could be 54 degrees one day and then the next day have four inches of snow fall in one afternoon. You don't want to be stuck without supplies or food in subzero temps. Having a well put together winter safety kit could help save your life or help someone who you see stranded.

Here's how to make a Winter safety kit  for all drivers

The Adventures of Traveling with Noah

Riding in a car can be boring. Noah's been traveling in the car his whole life. When Noah was two months old, we went to Virginia Beach. We had been in the car for hours and hours when Noah had enough. Right at that moment, his toy broke and that was the one thing that stopped his crying. I couldn't hold him because we were riding in the car. We were almost to the hotel so I tried everything I could think of. I started singing the Car-X commercial jingle over and over again and he stopped crying. When he was three, we would go visit my sister often. She lived three hours away. Noah started saying Wanna go down the road and asking are we there yet? I had to come up with things to entertain him in the car. Thankfully, I grew up going on vacations in the car. I was able to use my experiences and had an advantage with ideas. I didn't have my mom's smart phone, my mom doesn't have a smart phone, or a tablet, so my ideas were good old fashion fun. I didn't have any screens to watch movies, now kids have it easy. I try and limit Noah's screen time so I don't let him have it in the car. I prefer games, reading and other things that help his brain develop. It's also extra stuff to lug around. We have some fun times in the car together. I use this time together to make fun memories with him like my mom did. I still love to sing Billy Joel and Carly Simon like I did many times throughout the years. 

Be sure to check out my post about How to Entertain Kids in the Car.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Taking Care of your Skin with Diabetes

New diet, insulin injections, blood sugar checks- diabetics already have a lot on their plate. However, many diabetics don’t realize that they may also face skin disorders as a potential side effect of diabetes. In fact, as many as one-third of diabetics will have a skin disorder related to diabetes during their lives. However, smart skincare can help prevent many of these issues. 

Skin disorders linked to diabetes often stem from common side effects of diabetes. For example, high glucose levels often cause dry skin, which leads to other disorders such as itching, cracking, rashes, and difficulty healing from open wounds. Diabetics also experience reduced blood flow to certain areas of the body and weakened immune systems, making them prone to bacterial or fungal infections. In rare cases, insulin injections can cause yellow skin, or, more commonly, rosacea.
While these skin issues can turn serious, it’s possible to prevent them from even occurring with smart skincare techniques. Diabetics should bathe with mild soap and warm, not hot, water daily, using moisturizing soap and lotions afterwards to retain moisture. In the cold, windy winter months, air is drier; counteract this by keeping your home’s air humid. Keep your blood pressure and glucose levels controlled to maintain good circulation and soft skin. You may also want to keep a first aid kit for skin stocked; have it include items like antibacterial ointment, petroleum jelly, gauze pads, hypoallergenic tape, cleansing towelettes, and self-adherent elastic wrap.

Finally, diabetics are also vulnerable to foot problems, such as blisters, cracked feet, infections, and skin conditions caused by a lack of circulation or diabetic nerve damage. Stop these problems before they even start by wearing shoe inserts to prevent change in the shape of your foot that diabetic nerve damage may cause. You should also examine your feet daily for any damage or new conditions, and see your doctor yearly for a foot examination that focuses on circulation and sensation.
Diabetics may be prone to skin and foot issues, but with proper preventative care, you can avoid many of these disorders.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Importance of Breast Cancer Awareness

Sure, it may be cool these days to complain about how all the pink you see during Breast Cancer Awareness Month hurts your eyes, or to point out that despite all the awareness efforts and money raised, breast cancer is still without a cause. However, breast cancer awareness is a bigger issue now than it ever has been before, and it’s a cause that still needs our help.

First, it’s important to recognize the strides that have been made in the fight against breast cancer. In the time spanning 1990 to 2011, breast cancer deaths declined 25%. Meanwhile, the number of nonprofit organizations committed to fighting breast cancer have increased drastically, from just a few in 1989 to over 200 in 2011. These charities have also combined to raise over $550 million every year in total revenue, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics at the Urban Institute.
While these figures are admirable, there’s still plenty of work to do. Globally, women get breast cancer far more than any other form of cancer, with 16.8 million cases diagnosed in 2012, according to the World Health Organization. And in the United States, breast cancer diagnoses are actually on the rise, from 192,370 cases in 2009 to a projected increase of 232,670 in 2014, according to the American Cancer Society.

Looking at the big picture, then, it’s clear that breast cancer needs our support more than ever. Nonprofits can benefit from the foundation and audience that breast cancer awareness campaigns have built, and use these assets as stepping stones to planning campaigns that will be meaningful and engaging to your constituents.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

5 Great Tips for Playing Slot Machines

I thought I would share some tips about playing slot machines that I have learned over the years. I am not a huge gambler but I enjoy playing from time to time.

1. If you are flying in to Vegas or Reno and have change for the machines, don't put it in a Ziploc bag. This is really for any airport. It will look like a knife, I learned this lesson twice.

2. Speaking of change, you don't actually use coins or tokens at the casino. If you want to save change for gambling, take it to the bank. The cashiers do not want to count your change. Trust me. The airport cashiers want to cash you out and smile as your eyes get wide when you see the lights of the machines. Everything is on a card you insert to the machine. No change buckets needed.

3. There are several different types of machines. You have nickel machines, quarter, dollar, five dollar and twenty dollar machines. I call the nickel slot machines the play here machines because you get more bang for your buck.

4. Nickel machines sound cheap but you really pay more than a nickel. They are usually the kind with different lines each line costs a nickel. You can choose how many lines you want to use. Sometimes it will default to one line so pay attention.

5. Set your limit before you go to the casino. If you want to limit yourself to $40, only bring $40. Leave cards and cash at home. Sometimes you can win Starburst Touch Free Spins where it will spin all by it's self. Free spins are almost as good as cash. You know you will probably spin again anyways.

I hope you enjoyed the tips I shared with you. You can always play straight from your computer if a trip to a casino isn't in the cards. Check out  free play rainbow riches here. Good luck and have fun.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Campus Book Rentals features RentBack

This year Noah is in second grade, and this year I had to pay the dreaded book rental fees. This is a new concept to me but not for my mom. I had to pay over a hundred dollars for Noah's books. These books aren't to keep but for rent. He has to give them back!! It comes out to about $40 a book for a second grader. Either the books cost a fortune or I'm in the wrong business. I know that books are expensive especially when you are in college. Most college students buy their books. If you have to spend a lot of money on books that will make you pay more when you are paying off your student loans after graduation.

College students can pay thousands for the books their classes. Thankfully Campus Book Rentals has made the ability to rent books possible for college students. They have a huge selection so you should be able to find whatever you are looking for. The savings is amazing. What would you do with your old books anyways? Unless you are a doctor or scientist and you use your books as reference chances are they will live in a box in the garage. Using Campus Book Rentals is fast and easy. You skip the lines at the school bookstore.  Your books are shipped to your door. You save money so you can eat more than Ramen noodles. Campus Book Rentals also partners with Operation Smile who provide surgeries for children who have a cleft lip or a cleft palate.
Here are some more perks of using Campus Book Rentals:
-save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
-free shipping both ways
-can highlight in the textbooks
-flexible renting periods
If you have textbooks laying around check out the RentBack Program. RentBack is new initiative that allows students to rent the textbooks they own - to other students... which is awesome because it makes you 2-4x more money compared to what you'd make through buyback options! Buyback is selling their books back at the end of the semester.

For more information please visit Campus Book Rentals

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I Love Playing Slot Machines

One of the many things I inherited from my Grandma Rose is my love to play slot machines. When she visited my aunt and uncle in California, they always went to Reno. My Grandma Rose liked to play the nickel slots and if you knew her it was funny because she didn’t seem like a gambling woman. She was very Catholic and an amazing person. My aunt and uncle gave her a toy slot machine. I played with it all the time. We went to visit them and I remember going to Circus Circus when I was 16 to just check it out and I was mesmerized by the Free Play Twin Spin Slot Machine. I wasn't old enough to gamble but I loved looking at them spin and seeing people win. I knew that when I was old enough I would play the slots someday.

 After I turned 21, I went to the casino a few times. After I became a mom, I couldn't take off to a casino very easily. So I went online and play on sites like www.starburst-slot.co.uk to get the thrill of a win. If you know how much I love my jammies you know playing in them is exciting. I don't have to go anywhere. I can play anytime and I can do it from bed. All I have to do is press click here and there is no crowd of people, there is no smoke filled rooms or people trying to take your machine.