Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Where Does the Time Go?

I've been so busy with work and home life that I've neglected my blog lately. I've really grown to enjoy the work that I am doing. I'm enjoying learning about the company and the internal business. I've been growing into my position in the office. I've recently received a promotion. Everyone begins in our department as a part time employee. Believe me, I was more than happy to be only part time. However,  I've been working additional hours to catch up on bills, the holidays and to learn more about working in the website department in my office. I really enjoy working with the online system and growing in knowledge. I decided to apply for an upcoming full time position to have access to the benefits offered by the business.

I have been working towards growing my business knowledge. I have completed the course to become a notary. I am also a returning student to complete my college degree beginning in January. I'm very excited about school. I've also applied for a temporary and part time position with an educational field. I plan to work at the educational position a few days a month while maintaining my regular full time job . I'm always interested in exploring educational and business growth.

I also plan to further develop my virtual assistant business. I currently accept freelance writing assignments and various small projects. I have completed small projects related to forum and blog commenting assignments, research and various personal assistant jobs. I'd like to offer additional services to build my business. I plan to offer a media kit upon request to share my services and contact information.

Feel free to pitch me!

Congratulations College Acceptance Time

Congratulations to Miss.J.! She has received two college acceptance letters along with the news that each school has offered her an academic scholarship! The first school offered $19,0000 for the first year and the second school offered $20,000 renewable up to 4 times for a 4 year degree equalling a possible  $80,000 scholarship!!!

I am incredibly proud of my daughter and wish her a bright happy future!
Congratulations my dear!!!

Friday, October 24, 2014

SwapoWeen 2014 What I Sent

I loved shopping for my swap partner, Mary. I also made a few craft projects including a miniature candy corn canvas wall hanging,  a colorful yarn spider web in an embroidery hoop and a Halloween rosette. I hand sewed the rosette including adding a little embroidery, buttons, ribbons,mesh ribbon along with both tacky and hot glue.I also picked out a few items for Mary's children.

SwapoWeen Halloween Swap Reveal

I participated in the 2014 SwapoWeen Blog Party event! The lovely Mary sent these Wonderful Pumpkin Autumn and Halloween delights! She and a friend even created this beautiful  kitchen towel and set of pot holders. They really did a nice job! We loved our Halloween package! Thank you Mary!

DIY Faux Canvas Wall Art

The interior walls of a home create an atmosphere and tell the story of your home and family. Wall art weaves the color scheme of a space and creates a mood in the environment. Consider for instance the decor movement in children's bedrooms throughout Australia. The Internet and publications are adorned with the adorable decor popular in home decor for children. Teepees, garland, yellow Lego head storage containers and black and white accessories to name a few are enormously featured decor ideas. A second trend is the collage appeal of wall art displays. A modge podge of items are grouped together in a space to create a cluttered often abstract design in a space. The collage often features canvas art in a variety of sizes and styles. The canvas art is then surrounded by mismatched items that may include word art, monogram letters, maps, pictures, frames with or without photos and anything else that one may fancy. The popular interior decorating magazines feature photos of such beautiful spaces that are often attached to a high price tag.

It is possible to avoid the high cost of purchasing art to decorate your home. You can create your own DIY faux Canvas Art. You will need a sheet of adhesive foam . The foam can be purchased at a local craft store. You will also need fabric, scissors, a glue gun and glue sticks. The foam cost around eight dollars for two sheets. It is available in a variety of sizes and prices. When it comes to the fabric be sure to choose a fabric that will help create the look that you would like in your space. Consider the color scheme of the space. Are you going to use the fabric print to create a flow of a particular color or colors? Would you like to add a pop of color or flare to a collage style wall of art? Are you creating a masterpiece for the baby's nursery? I chose a print that was in my fabric stash. I purchased the fabric on clearance when the local Joanne's Fabric and Craft store changed out the home decor samples.For just a few dollars,  I purchased a few of the samples to sew into pillows.

To create the faux art:

Remember that foam can easily be broken. Proceed with caution to avoid smashing or breaking the foam.

Cut the fabric to a length where it will stretch across the foam and have the ability to be stretched around the sides of the foam.

Remove the protective sheet from the foam to expose the adhesive.

Place the fabric onto the adhesive. Make sure to stretch the fabric to avoid bunching. Stretching the create a flat surface that will appear canvas like when completed.

Wrap the fabric around the sides of the foam. The foam that I used measured an inch and a half thick. Pull the fabric tightly towards the back.

Make sure the fabric has been pulled as tight as possible. Apply pressure to the surface of the foam and fabric to attach the fabric to the adhesive.

Once the fabric is completely in place, cut off the excess fabric. Leave enough cloth to pull it tightly in place. Lastly,  use the glue gun and glue to permanently adhere the fabric to the back of the foam.

Once complete,  you will have a DIY Faux Canvas Art Print. You can hang the print easily with the foam backing. I created three of the foam pieces in different sizes and hung them in an arrangement at different heights. I chose to hang my faux canvas in the dining room. The dining room can be seen from both the living room and kitchen. Pillows sewn from the same fabric print will join the living room decor creating a flow of this color scheme within the two rooms.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Tiny House Dreaming

I'm dreaming of a Tiny House! I'm mesmerized by the Tiny House Movement and the financial freedom that can accompany the lifestyle. I recently had to drive to the Orlando area for a school function. I had heard of an rv park that accommodates a lady that owns and rents out her small home. I wanted to go and take a look at the home. Unfortunately, I just didn't have the time to go take a peek.

On the trip,  I passed a modular home and mobile home dealer. To my surprise, from the interstate,  I could see a Tiny House on display. When I reached my destination,  I got online and searched for the dealership. I learned that the homes are popular tiny houses referred to as Vacation Cottages.  I also found a location not too far from where I was traveling that both rented and sold tiny houses aka vacation cottages. I snuck over to catch a peek. Although the office of the vacation community could not  show the available home without an appointment,  I did get to look around and take a few pictures. The tiny houses were absolutely adorable!

Homecoming 2014

A few of my ladies had the opportunity to attend the Homecoming dance. I really enjoyed shopping for dresses. Miss A. Shopped with my sister and Miss.J . shopped with the Dad and myself. Both of the girls had ideas of several styles of dresses that they were interested in and were headed towards jewel tones especially purples,blues and pinks.I was surprised when Miss.A came home with an animal print black and white dress . After shopping for several hours, we accidentally stumbled upon a wonderful deal on a nice dress. Surprisingly, it was also black and white.

The day of the dance, the Dad made an early dinner as the girls planned to bring along a friend. We planned the pick up an hour before the dance. So, we thought it would be easier to have dinner at home. (Prom they can dine out on the town.)

I had a lot of fun behind the camera and I snapped pictures and the three young ladies giggled.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Week Four A New Plan

Week three was so busy. I didn't even have the opportunity to plan. Now as for week four:
I need to reassess the situation. I know that there are many things that I have to do. I'll begin by making somewhat of a to-do list.


- Go to work. It may sound funny but it's an issue as I work my way through the probation period.
-Leave a change of clothing at work.

Work at Home:

-Write 20 blog post in the month of October.
-Read the Blogelina ebook.
-Tweek my Freelance Profile.
-Work on my Media Kit
-Choose a new domain name.
-Consult with Blogelina to learn if Mommies and Beyond dot com can be restored on a new domain, fingers crossed.


-Create a homework schedule for the little Mr.
-Find our Halloween Pirate Skeleton Wall Decal.
-Work on an organization project in the little Mr. Room
-Clean Master Bath
-Clip dog nails.
-Organize Coupons
-Begin Reorganization of my craft supplies and collect donations for a community service project.


-Add the final touch on my SwapoWeen Halloween Blog Swap Project.
-Work on My Ghouls, Ghost and Glamor Girls Swap.
-Enter 25 Giveaways
-Find ideas for my swap partners

-Swim 2 times. I swam today too!
-Drink More Water
-Eat Avocados a few times this week.
-Plan Either Paleo or South Beach Diet Menu ideas.

*Research Tiny House Movement.
-Dream about Tiny House Freedom
-Begin my Tiny House Plan and Project.

Week Two Plan Recap

☆ I completed the order forms for Miss.J's Graduation including cap and gown and the class ring. Sent in the deposit for the orders.
☆Miss.J. and I sat down to discuss the next choice of college for her to apply to attend. It turns out that she completed the application that very morning! Yay, the girl is on top of it!

× I didn't complete the volunteer application.
× I worked an 11 hour shift the day prior to the community fundraiser. My family quietly left the house to handle the event responsibilities allowing me to sleep in until they woke me up at 8:34 a.m.
× TBA, the boy's teacher did not contact me for a conference. So, this will be rescheduled.

☆I remembered to purchase a Sunday newspaper. I really want to become more involved with couponing.
☆Purchased Snacks for the children.
☆I organized the pantry
☆I Cleaned the  refrigerator.

That's all. I was home very little this week . Did I mention that my job is supposed to be part time?  I would have to disagree. 10 and 11 hour days do not equal part time in my book.

☆I sent in the payment for Miss.J's school trip.
☆I sent in the payment for Graduation and class ring.
☆Ipaid the rent.
☆I called about 401K plans . Learned that pt no longer qualifies for the program.
☆Found out about purchasing a school gym uniform for Miss.A.

Personal :
☆Hair was trimmed.
☆Found my Bag.

☆Took in a pantry meal of soup.
Went to work

Work at Home:

☆Wrote a few blog post.

☆ Entered 20 giveaways and Sweepstakes.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fall Traditions Homecoming Style

We are coming up on fun fall traditions! It is my favorite time of the year!  Pumpkins,  falling leaves, apple cider, Halloween and kick off to the holiday season!  It is such a fun time of the year!

Homecoming is just around the corner! This week our high school is celebrating by hosting a spirit week! Each day, the children may drees up with a fun theme. One day was Super hero day! When dropping the girls off at school,  I saw a handful of cute costumes.

Over the weekend, we picked up a shirt for Miss.J and early in the week, We picked up one for Miss.A. Miss A. wanted to match her sister by staying in the same theme. So,  meet Batman and Robin! (Really Bat girl )

So this morning, the girls wanted to dress up 80 style at the last minute. So we threw together some bright colors, bracelets and bandanas to note a few. So the fun of the fall
and homecoming season is upon us.

Ebola Epidemic Reaches The United States

The first case of the Ebola plague in the United States has been officially confirmed. The gentleman that contracted the virus was visiting his family in Dallas, Texas. The patient is hospitalized in quarantine. His partner and family including children have been ordered to remain in their apartment  home. The emergency responders that transported the man to the hospital have also been quarantined.

I believe that the ball has been dropped on the case . The man visited the emergency room only to be sent home with antibiotics and pain medication. Once he became increasingly ill,he was taken to the hospital by ambulance. In addition, it's been claimed that the hospital was informed several times that Thomas Eric Duncan had traveled from Liberia. It was confirmed when hospital staff learned that he did not have a social security number. So essentially, the hospital staff overlooked the symptoms of the virus, overlooked the man's citizenship and has probably exposed hundreds to the Ebola virus.

Take a step back, the Liberia government and even airlines share liability in the spread of the disease. This man was permitted to leave an infected region after exposure to a deadly virus. No only had he helped an ill pregnant lady with Ebola by carrying her into a hospital  (which turned her away due to the illness) but the Liberian government has announced that he was caring for and possibly residing with an ill individual with Ebola.

The man was then permitted to leave the country including boarding three airplanes with two layovers.He traveled from Liberia to Belgium to Washington D.C. to Dallas, Texas. The ramifications are disastrous.In addition, several children were exposed in the Dallas home to the virus. The children  then attended four Dallas schools for four days before the virus was identified. This is terrifying.

I'm truly frightened for the families of the exposed children, his family  and all the people potentially  exposed by this one confirmed case. I pray that all of these people and those around the world will be treated and cured of this horrible disease.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Frugal Tips Via Jill Cataldo

I was recently reading an article that a friend shared with me. A newspaper columnist Jill Cataldo wrote in reference to saving money. Jill reached out to her readers to inquire about their money saving tips. Apparently, there was no shortage of ideas on how to cut corners.

I found the article to be interesting. Although a few of the ideas may be controversial. I learned a few frugal lessons that could very well pertain to my family. For instance,  Jill suggest to take beverages along with you in the car to avoid overspending on drinks during your outting. I am definitely an individual that must have a drink on hand. I make this mistakes often. If the family is with me, the price definitely climbs. One of the ways that I've been trying to curb this appetite to wet my wistle is by keeping both a cup for cold drinks and hot beverages at work. Fortunately,  in my office ice, water, coffee,  hot tea and hot chocolate are complimentary and readily available. However, you must bring your own container to take advantage of the beverages available. In addition, there is an overpriced vending machine that has welcomed my hard earned dollars on more than one occasion. Each beverage ranges between $1.50 to $2.00 a piece. I have reduced my dependence on that wonderful modern vending machine. The machine even accepts credit and debit cards. The convenience surely is thickening someone's wallet. I would imagine that I'm saving at least 3 to 5 trips a week by not visiting the vending machine. I'd say I'm saving a minimum of five dollars a week by having the convenience of my own personal cups. Now to avoid the gas station.

I completely agree with her idea of only shopping online if the store is offering free shipping. I like to occasionally take advantage of online deals. There are a few exceptions. I believe in small business and Etsy.com. I would make an exception for Etsy, perhaps eBay. It just depends on the circumstance and where the money comes from. If I sell on eBay or Etsy, then I am more likely to be comfortable with paying for shipping.I generally stick to free shipping offers. I also like Amazon. You can purchase$35.00 of Amazon goods to qualify for free shipping. One year,  I purchased Amazon Prime to benefit from the free shipping. It depends on the situation but overall, I rarely pay for shipping outside of eBay and Etsy.

Jill mentions taking advantage of the dollar store.I definitely agree with this.I understand that the Dollar Tree stores now accept coupons, That is a bonus too.

Jill suggest bringing home extra condiments from dining out, fast food and such. I won't throw away an extra ketchup or hot sauce package but I've never shopped for free condiments. I don't know if I would play along with this idea. Naturally, I won't waste leftover packets but I'm not quite an "extreme cheapskate." Then again, have you noticed the rising cost of mayonnaise? Hmm, perhaps I should contemplate this one. My children did once go through an eight pound container of ketchup. (and that was before Master K. was born. [Plus Miss.B. did share the remainder of the bottle with our German Sheppard, Sable, at that time. Sable had a large appetite,  Lol. Imagine my surprise when I returned from the laundry room. Lol.] However, I must state that I wouldn't shop for condiments at a restaurant. Taking an abundance of condiments would be stealing. I will however bring home and save the extras given to me. I also know that others in my office save leftover condiments and share them with others by placing them in the break room.

Speaking of eight pounds of ketchup. Jill suggest avoiding the membership warehouse type stores. I'm not sure about this. I've heard that some people save money by purchasing in bulk. I imagine that it would be the impulse shopping that would be the issue. Debatable I guess.

Now for my personal preferences:

Jill suggest turning off the air conditioner and heater.It is also recommend to only use window units. Sorry,  that's not happening in Florida. Certainly not for a lady with a thyroid condition constantly making me hot, the Florida heat and humidity and let's not even mention the hot flashes. However, against my better judgment (Preference really) our air conditioner has been set at the same temperature for the last six months since our move.  We are saving $200 a month by moving away from a horrible electric company. We are also  saving energy by only using appliances during non peak hours at night. I'd still like to see this bill reduced. As far as window units,  not all communities allow them. When ut cools off, I'm not against window fans. In the future I'd like to consider a portable air conditioner to see how that would compare.

Jill or perhaps her readers, suggest ordering only one meal for two people if dining out. I guess this would have to depend on the location,  pricing, occasion and similar. If it is a special occasion I'd rather not. Dining out is an enjoyable outting. I do believe that there are ways to save but for me,  it would have to be a case per case basis. I do agree that it would save money to eat at home.

There is a handful of suggestions in the article. You can read the original article on her website. I recommend taking a peek at it.

How do you save money? Any frugal ideas? Are any of you extreme cheapskates? I'd love to learn of your ideas and suggestions.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A New Interest

I love it when I stumble upon a new interest!

Olá amigos! Eu quero aprender a falar português.

Translation: Hello Friends! I want to learn how to speak Portugese. Earlier this week, I encountered an issue with a service that a client had ordered. I realized that I was not equipped to handle the language barrier. However, I wanted to ensure the best possible service to the client. I decided upon utilizing the Google Translate to try to email the client. Much to my surprise, the email was successful. The client contacted me and we are handling the issue and nipping a possible negative situation in the bud.

I was really excited about the possibility of completing this international business deal. It felt great to help the client. Over the last two days, it seems that I have had portugese clients. Over the telephone, my company partners with a translation service. I was able to successfully complete a transaction with a portugese client in Brazil.

I came home from work yesterday and was thinking about the portugese clients. I wanted to learn more about the portugese culture, language and history. I was not aware that portugese was a commonly spoken language in Brazil. I decided to read about the history of the language in Brazil. I had previously thought that Spanish was spoken in Brazil and perhaps the majority if not all of South America . Obviously I was wrong. I'm now interested in learning more about South American cultures including the portugese language and Brazil. I was even surprised to learn that there was originally a Royal Portuguese Family in Brazil.

I love finding new and intriguing interest.  Although it is still a distance, every since I was a little girl, I have wanted to visit The Galapagos Islands. My favorite book shared animals from around the world such as Pigeons in Paris for instance and the Giant Galapagos Tortoise. Oh how I loved (love) Turtles. I would love to tour the Galapagos and make my way to Brazil. I'd love to visit and write about my experiences in Travel. Travel writing would be awesome. I have written about family travel as a freelance writer, It would be intriguing to write about Brazil and the Galapagos to name a few.

Anyway, I would like to learn portugese to help my clients at work and to enrich my life and knowledge as well.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Weekly Plan Week Two

I'm happy about making a weekly plan. I think it helped me to know ahead of time that I wanted to do a few particular goals. I didn't complete everything on my list but no one is perfect right? So now for week two:

-Complete application for volunteer work.
- Help Miss.J. with completing College application #2.
-Telephone conference with the boys teacher.
-Complete order for Graduation announcements, Cap and Gown and Class Ring for Miss.J.
-Attend a Fundraiser community event.

-Go to work.
-Store a change of clothing in my locker.
-Stash a lunch or snack pantry safe item in my locker.

Work At Home:
-Write 5 blog post.
-Update Freelance Profile
-Work on Media Kit.
-Work in helping my daughter with a side business idea that we would like to develop.

-Get a newspaper on Sunday September 21, 2914
-Organize Coupons
-Get snacks for the children. We don't purchase many snacks but I like to try to keep some healthy items on hand with an occasional Happy snack.
-Organize my son's dresser.
-Clip doggy nails
-Unpack and Decorate our Autumn and Halloween Decorations.
-Clean out my sewing bag.
-Donate Sewing and craft supplies to a volunteer group that I'm joining.
-Remove the 5000 pound television that went out on us. This will be a 2 or 3 person project.
-Organize the pantry.
-Time again to clean out the refrigerator.
-Work on meal planning for a grocery shopping.

-Send in payment for school trip for Miss.J.
-Find out cost of Miss.A . school required gym uniform and/or pay for it.
-Send in deposit for Miss.J . Graduation and Class Ring orders.
-Complete rent issue resolution and payment.
-Make the call to start company 401K plan and stock purchase options.
-Apply for health insurance.
-Gather car insurance quotes (either my DH or myself)

-Get a hair trim
-Find my missing Thirty One bag to keep my change of clothing in for work.

-Complete the Halloween mug rug.
-Complete sewing portion of a Halloween Swap Project.
-Enter 50 Giveaways and Sweepstakes

Wish me luck! Enjoy your week!

Week One Plan Recap

Well I must say that I liked having a few goals to focus on this week. So it's time to see how week one stacked


☆Apply for a school Program that my daughter Miss.A. would like to join
☆Pay Event $ for a meal for Miss.J during a school event.
☆Send a Snack for event day for Miss.J.
☆Pack a Bag for Mr.K for swimming lessons this week

Fail:  We didn't Apply for for college #2 Between our schedules and Miss.J. catching a cold.
Complete Volunteer Application for Background Check


☆Go to work, it's been a challenge this week with health issues.
☆Prepare Clothing in advance.
☆Bring in a Coffee Cup & Cold Beverage Cup to keep in desk.
☆Remember to turn in Doctors Note
☆Get a locker

Fail: Leave a Change of Clothing in my work locker.


Wrote 4/5  Blog Post

Fail: Update Freelance Writing Profile


☆Prepare and Lay out Son's School Clothes
☆Reorganize the laundry room
☆Begin a Menu/Grocery list for grocery shopping next week.
☆Vacuum bedroom
☆Wash blankets/Linens from the weekend.

Fail: 1/2 I didn't finish re-organizing my son's dresser . However, his laundry of course was washed as I do this on my day off of work. I did get the school clothing wrinkle free and hung up in the closet.
I didn't Reorganize the pantry but it will only take a few minutes because it's basically in order . I'll do it soon.


☆$5 for Miss.J. plus snack
☆Plan debt repayment for a particular loan
☆Write checks for a loan payment and ☆daughter's end of the month payment for school trip.
☆Address, Stamp and label envelopes.
☆ Update family calendar with new monthly bills and due dates.

Fail: Call the financial service through work to create an online account to begin 401K Plan with the company and stock purchase options.
Rent issue causing a delay in proper payment. Working on meeting with payment person.


☆Make a dinner reservation for Miss.J for Graduation. It may be too early but it's worth a try. I did try but the restaurant was only taking reservations through March 2015. So, I also made reservations and plans for three other birthdays.


1/2 complete.
I did a little work on my first mug rug.
I entereed about 30 giveaways out of the intended 50 Sweepstakes/Giveaways.
I did begin working on the Halloween swap project for my partner. I also made a small halloween rag wreath.

Overall, it went pretty well. I didn't complete all of my intentional goals . However, I mostly feel alright about it . I'll add my incomplete list to this week's goals.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Halloween Small Rag Wreath

We spent a little time this evening crafting! I began working on a few projects for upcoming Halloween Swap events. I wanted to make a smaller Halloween rag wreath from left over fabric that I had to made my little mister a Halloween themed pillow for school nap time. I liked the fabric print so much that I bought the remainder of the bolt.

I made a door wreath with the same fabric alternating with two other printsva few years ago.I plan to unpack the Fall decorations soon . one of my favorite pieces is the rag wreath.
My little is excited about decorating.

This evening, Miss.A talked about crafts . She participated and planned crafts. Daddy worked on paper crafts making a pretty cool rocket craft. The little made several drawings and then he created a cute monster.

I dididn't get an opportunity to take a picture of dad's work.It blasted off before I could snapa shot of it. Unfortunately, it was a b bit dark when these pictures were taken. Anyway, it was a fun mini craft session!

An Alternative Lifestyle Tiny Home Style

While contemplating financial issues,  I stumbled upon an alternative lifestyle. It seems that there is a Tiny House Movement taking the nation by storm. The homes are charming,  small and an inventive alternative to committing to the long term mortgage.  A tiny house is a home that is extremely close to being a debt free home.

The homes can be purchased completely constructed,  as a kit or built by hand. The home scan be built with a regular permanent foundation or on a portable trailor bed. The most popular choice seems to be the later. The home can legally park in an RV park,  mobile home park or your own property. Naturally, I'd advise you to double check the laws, requirements and codes for the area that you may choose to live.

Tiny houses are categorized as recreational vehicles. They will require a vehicle registration. In addition,  the homes qualify for home owners insurance.

I've read articles,  blogs and stories about the building of Tiny Houses. I understand that they can be bought or built for a fraction of the cost of a traditional home. Many handmade homes average 10-12 thousand dollars. Tiny House enthusiasts rave about the freeing of stress, financial burden and the freedom associated with the lifestyle change.

The houses are really cute. I think this may be the answer to my hone ownership dilemma. I even stumbled upon a blog where the author actually shared a detailed budget of the home building journey. Simply amazing! The couple only spent $5,339.13 to build their home.  I must say that I am truly impressed!  You can read more about their experience at Tiny Revolution . It's a great resource for anyone thinking of building their own Tiny Home,

I read many accounts of families and couples making the move to financial freedom with the alternative lifestyle of the Tiny Houses Movement. I read about couples planning to retire in small houses. Families living happy productive lives.Twenty somethings utilizing small homes as starter homes . Communities building small houses for homeless individuals. A mayor in Oregon encouraging people to go small. People from all walks in life are downsizing their financial and material lives to upsize their quality of life.

Imagine the freedom of never having to pay a mortgage or rent . You can even temporarily reside in a small house to save or live rent free while building or saving to build your own larger home.

I think these are great homes for seniors as well. Simplify . Also there are countless reasons that this lifestyle is a green way to live. It is an excellent way to tred lightly on the earth. This is a beneficial way of life for the environment.

I love Tiny Houses! Now, to convince my family that this is a great idea for us. I would love to begin building a tiny house. I will update our plans and share them with you!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Our Financial Conundrum

I've spent a great deal of time contemplating our financial issues. I've been reading budgeting books, financial books, magazines, websites and blogs . I've considered educational options, learning more about the stock markets and retirement planning . I've sorted out a plan to pay off debt and to save. When it comes right down to it,  I know the core of our financial issues.

We try to make money working, doing odd jobs, a few business ventures, doing virtual assistant and freelance writing work and even by selling my handmade crafts. I cut expenses everywhere possible.We only use major appliances such as laundry machines after peak hours. We monitor our electric usage and have set our air conditioner ( must in Florida) at the same temperature year around. We have done these steps to reduce usage but yet the electric bill is high.Summer power bills climb regardless of use in these parts.

I've been reading a lot of tips on family blogs. I'm trying to do my best to improve our lives. I have an overwhelming wish, desire, want to own a home.I long for the stability and comfort of owning a home. I realize that opens a whole new can of financial worms. However, I hatetthrowing away money.

Our current rent is approximately $1100 each month. That is truly ridiculous.
 Power bill is $250, Gas bill $120, Car payment $301, plus insurance(s),phones, groceries, Gas, school fees, medications, personal bills etc.. Not to mention the upcoming holidays and $860 needed for a school trip.Ouch.Help.

That's a large monthly round up as far as I'm concerned. At least if it was our own home it would be money going towards our future. As it is, it's just being thrown away. I had an opportunity to purchase a home with a loan and it was something that I truly wanted. The decision to not purchase the home is very complicated. It was an opportunity that I've regretted financially but for reasons that are too lengthy to get into, one that was necessary and probably for the best in other areas of my life and relationships. It was an extremely hard choice that has brought me pain, Worry and stress as well as strained relationships and possibly burnt bridges as well. Either decision had serious reprecautions. I'm still in debt approximately $700 with the failed home purchase. This is on the top of my debt repayment plan due to interpersonal relationships that I wish to resolve.

So, I've been trying to"Bloom Where I'm Planted" (Author unknown to me) I'm cutting corners and trying to find my way through the financial maze. It's a mess.We are working hard just to try to keep our heads above water.

So, where do we go from here? We would love the American Dream. A nice home and the like . Naturally, that would require a down payment,  loan/mortgage and payments forever. So, what to do?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Swapoween 2014 Blogger Swap Excitement

Remember a few days ago,  I was searching high and low for online craft and Halloween swaps?  I am so excited to have learned of Chaotic Goddess Swaps! Iam excited to be participating in this fun swap!

I am really happy to have stumbled upon this Halloween Swap and community. I enjoy gifting to others and I love Happy surprises and mail!

Thank you to Chaotic Goddess Swaps for letting me join the fun!

I will share the Halloween fun that my swap partner sends to me with all of you! Oh what fun for a gal that loves Autumn. I love having the opportunity to let my imagination go wild with dreaming of the Halloween fun that I get to share and receive!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

This Weeks Plan

  • I'm a constant list maker.I keep a notebook full of my to do items.They are arranged in list specific to particular events like school shopping, Home organization and so on. Now that I've returned to the official workforce, I've been inspired by the  Moms Plans Blog to make a weekly plan. I love to see what kinds of goals that others have. For this week my plans are to:


  • Apply for a school Program that my daughter Miss.A. would like to join. 
  • Pay Event $ for a meal for Miss.J during a school event. 
  • Send a Snack for event day for Miss.J.
  • Pack a Bag for Mr.K for swimming lessons this week
  • Assist Miss.J. with applying for college#2 as I believe it's important to start early. 
  • Complete Volunteer Application for Background Check 

  • Go to work, it's been a challenge this week with health issues.
  • Prepare Clothing in advance. 
  • Bring in a Coffee Cup & Cold Beverage Cup to keep in desk.
  • Remember to turn in Doctors Note
  • Pack a change of clothing
  • Get a locker

  • 5 Blog Post
  • Update Freelance Writing Profile

  • Organize my son's dresser . Since I began work things have gotten all mixed up.
  • Prepare and Lay out Son's School Clothes
  • Reorganize the laundry room
  • Reorganize the pantry
  • Begin a Menu/Grocery list for grocery shopping next week.
  • Vacuum bedroom
  • Wash blankets/Linens from the weekend. 


  • Pay Monthly Rent
  • $5 for Miss.J. plus snack $
  • Plan debt repayment for a particular loan
  • Write checks for a loan payment and daughter's end of the month payment for school trip. Both to be paid at the end of the month. Address, Stamp and label envelopes. 
  • Update family calendar with new monthly bills and due dates.
  • Call the financial service through work to create an online account to begin 401K Plan with the company and stock purchase options.

  • Make a dinner reservation for Miss.J for Graduation. It may be too early but it's worth a try.


  • Complete my first mug rug.handsewn as I don't use a sewing machine at this time. I sure hope it turns out cute.
  • Enter 50 Sweepstakes/Giveaways
Of course regular housework, errands, laundry and mom taxi services will be completed yetnit on an aactual planned list . hopefully I'll get the extras complete and have time for some hobbies too.

So, there is my first planned weekly goal. I'm not sure if this list us weak or overdoing it. I'mlleaning towards weak . However,  with the past weeks health issues plus a full time work schedule it's hard to estimate. So we will see. What are you doing this week?

Thank you to the blog Moms Plans dot com for the inspiration! 

Stuffed Pizza Chicken Breast

Our family's personal chef (aka Dad) created a touchdown of a meal this week!  Yay, score Dad! He had the idea to make a low carb stuffed chicken dish.

Our shopping list included:

Boneless skinless chicken breast
Mozzarella cheese
Sliced peperoni
Pizza sauce

To prepare to stuff the chicken,  he gathered the necessary tools including a cutting board, knives, Deep pan for the oven, olive oil to coat the pan and seasoning for the chicken. He prepared the chicken by washing it off.

First, he placed the chicken on the cutting board. He sliced the chicken through the middle creating a pocket to stuff. He made sure to keep the chicken attached to where both the top and the bottom were still attached to one and another. Next, he stuffed the chicken with the mozzarella cheese and peperoni.  After each chicken breast was stuffed,  he sprinkled Ranch seasoning (The Hidden Valley Ranch packet) onto the chicken. The chicken was then baked at 375'  for an hour. ( Be sure the chicken is thoroughly cooked) The last 5-10 minutes,  he added pizza sauce to each breast and then a slice of mozzarella cheese. Once the cheese was melted, the chicken was ready. It smelled so good.

We served the ranch pizza chicken with a salad.

It was a delicious pizza tasting protein dish. We are planning to recreate the chicken with adding mushrooms and a variety of other vegetables. This was an excellent meal . The protein made it filling. To keep it extra low carb, a low carb low sugar sauce could be used. We used a regular but not overly sugared brand of pizza sauce.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Craft and Holiday Swappers Where Are You?

I've really been enjoying playing on Instagram. Today,  I stumbled upon a few pictures associated with a sewing swap. The theme was strawberries. The craft projects were reallycute.

It reminded me of happier days before making our cross country move.We lived in the country and I loved the environment. This time two or three years ago,  I participated in a Holiday Swap with a fellow crafter. We exchanged holiday and craft goodies.I even sent adorable little socks for her infant and a few items for her little boy.I probably went overboard but it was really fun!

I'd like to join some holiday and craft swaps to enjoy making new pen pal friends and have fun . I'd love to learn of any such events that may be going on . swapping fun here I come!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ready To Clock Out Please

It has been an extremely challenging month for this return to work mom. I miss the days of SAHM  but I'm welcoming the weekly paycheck with open arms. I can definitely see great benefits of having a job outside of the home. I've been enjoying talking with new coworkers and clients. It's been interesting to learn about the company I'm working for . It's an interesting company with nice benefits. I can definitely see the potential of a career within the company.

 However, it's been extremely hard to get into the swing of being on a schedule. I've never been one to like being on a schedule designed by someone else. I'm by far not a morning person. I have struggled with health related issues that cause fatigue. The Morning routine has been rough at best.I was hired on part time but the training period has been full time. It has been hard not to be accessible to my family. My home has suffered a bit with my time being so scarce. When I come home from work, it's homework and dinner time, time to put on my taxi driver hat, cooking and cleaning await.  I have been exhausted, plagued by headaches, lightheaded, stressed, and experiencing panic attacks. My health has issues and stress pushes the envelope. I haven't even been able to exercise over the past month. I was swimming 4 to 5 days each week. My body feels the change and it isn't helping my need to lose weight.

Anyway I have been having a rough time returning to work after a long spell as a SAHM, even though I did work from home. I am still available for creating Crafts, confetti, banners and similar with my Cricut Machine and Freelance writing, reviews,  and virtual assistant assignments. In some ways I'm thinking that working full time from home is a pretty good idea. So, one of the reasons I returned to work besides income and debt pay down was ti secure health insurance. Unfortunately,  I learned that the company that I work for no longer offers insurance for part time employees. This week, I complete my training and my schedule will (Thank goodness) be reduced to full time status. Although I have the ability to work full time, my status will be part time without the possibility of health insurance. I'm happy to only work there part time as with a young child and health issues, part time works best . However, I'm disappointed to learn that due ti governmental health coverage options aka Obama Care, part time employees no longer quality for health insurance. This defeats the purpose of taking a "real" job. I fee l stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Of course with additional stress and worry, My health issues have flared up including headaches, stressed, panic attacks and lady reproductive issues, thanks a lot job.

At least I can look forward to hopefully adding to the pantry, debt paydown and holiday health.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

SAHM Turned Working Mom Woes

I can honestly say that I love being home with my children. I love my children being home. It saddens me for summer to come to an end. I would be perfectly happy being here to taxi, help and support my children every minute of the day.I just happen to love them that much.I enjoy being home to greet Daddy, be of service to my family by cleaning, ironing, preparing dinner in a timely manner and having it on the table when Daddy gets home from work ( I rarely enjoy cooking but enjoy the blessing of caring for my family), serving dinner and all of the love, joy and not so pleasant chores that come along with being a SAHM.

However,  I feel that my family will benefit by my employment. I do work from home, offer craft sells, freelance writing and virtual assistance to clients. I feel that until, if and or when the profits if these endeavors outweigh the income and insurance opportunities that my new job will offer, I need to have a little extra income. I believe that in a few weeks, I'll fall into the routine and pleasure of receiving extra income to support my family. In about a month, I should be working part time only three days a week (hopefully while the children are in school.) If everything goes as planned, I should also become a substitute teacher while pursuing a full time position next year. I would like to be on my children's schedule one year from now as a primary goal. I intend to be in a teaching position by then (possibly while working seasonally in my new current position.)

So, that is the plan fir this SAHM turned Working Mother. Now for the woes. I do not enjoy mornings, even if I'm up with the children anyway to get ready for school. When you have to be somewhere on a particular schedule,  someone else's schedule aka a job, it just makes the morning seem worse.In addition, I have a thyroid disease, hypothyroidism, fibro myalgia and that amongst other health circumstances lend to restlessness, trouble falling asleep, fatigue, broken sleep and not to mention parenting. One of my children rarely sleeps through the night. In fact, said child was three before sleeping through the first night. So, I clearly am not a morning person.

I began my first day of work yesterday. I had trouble sleeping the night before. I awoke at 5:30 a.m. for the day.I got everyone off to school and went to work. I had an eight hiur orientation. I was so incredibly nervous. The daywas interesting and a bit fun at times.However,  I was drained.I was exhausted. I wanted/needed a nap. I had to climb .steps up and down, up and down, up and down in dress shoes. I didn't bring enough money for lunch. The worst part of my day would be the walking tour through a busy overpopulated area in the heat of the day, in dress clothes and shoes,  wearing black head to toe and in the sun with triple digits. To top it off,  at the end of the day, I was overheated, had a headache and a blister on my ankle.  I learned later that both ankles had deep broken
open blisters.

I am now on schedule for training. I'll work full time for three weeks on a kess than desirable schedule in reference to both time and days. It's going to be a rough month.I am looking forward to working part time eventually. So, there are my woes.Am I complaining?  Yes, I am!

I did have a few positive outcomes of my first day. I surprisingly and unexpectedly got off of work at the same time as the Daddy! We are working at the same company. I had the pleasure of going both to and from work with him. He even walked me to my orientation. I thought that was really sweet. I like that we are working at the same company. I also understand that I'll be receiving an intriguing perk. They are actually going to give me money too. I am looking forward to a paycheck!  SAHM are underpayed. Cheers to finally starting work after two months of waiting for my first day.

Monday, August 18, 2014

The First Day of School 2014 Round One

With a big family,  a variety of personalities and learning styles our children are attending several schools based upon individual interest and needs. So, one lady began school last week, one will begin tomorrow,  one will begin next week, one starts college in the spring and two began today. Our Senior and First grader began their 2014-2015 school year today.

Yay! We have a first grader!

Unfortunately,  mandatory school uniforms in this neck of the southern woods.

Seniors Rule!

Good-luck Miss.J. and Mr.K

This is the 14th year that we have had children in school and now 12 more to go . wow . It's like starting over!

My Budget Train Detailed Derailed

If my bank account and budget was a train, it would have derailed and exploded. A brief history lesson,  I grew up in a somewhat middle class at best family. My mother always worked hard and her efforts were spoiled by an alcoholic husband. She always worked hard and sacrificed for her family. This was a stepfather and not worth writing much about. When I was fourteen,  my mom met my Dad ( stepfather but my Dad.A wonderful man) Anyway, Dad had health problems but was a hard worker and encouraged my mom to become a stay home mom. We were absolutely delighted and loved her being home.They had a small business and did well, not rich, but we always had what we needed and we were fed and happy. We truly loved mom being at home!

Fast forward,  I grow up go to school while working 60 odd hours a week and marry at 21. My husband haf a great work ethic. We were doing well. If we wanted to go out big deal, we went out. If we wanted this or that we usually got it. We planned a baby and were blessed with a little lady when I was 24. I stayed home until she was in school because I wanted to be the person to raise my child.I loved my mom being home and wanted that for Miss.J. We loet income and I contemplated returning to work when she was a little bigger but with the average expenses for clothing, gas, child care and so forth,  it was a waste of money for meto work. So eveventually, it was time to work but unfortunately,  this time was matched with the unexpected loss of my husband. Unfortunately, this meant that working would not enhance our family income but become necessary. I worked and cared for my daughter as a young widow.It was a trying time to say the least. Fast forward and life took an interesting but life changing direction again, as life's curve balls usually do. An unexpected turn of events found a six year old family member in need of a foster home placement. Two years later, I became the adoptive mother of this little girl and her newborn brother. so, within 2 1/2 years of losing my husband,  I was now a widow with three children. After a maternity leave of eight months, I returned to work but quickly learned that my son's health management would be a full time endeavor. Due to health problems relating to fetal exposure to drugs and alcohol,  my son would need around the clock care. When he came home from the hospital, I was informed to not expect him to see his first birthday. (Happy to report he's a thriving wonderful seven year old!) I had to stop working to care for Mr.K. So, we've been on a tight budget with little room for fun!

So, with having to juggle a thin budget, I've learned to be creative . I'm always looking for ways to save money. This January,  I wrote iut a budget. It was going pretty well. At least, the bills were getting paid and beginning to pay down debt. We relocated at the beginning of summer to an area that we have been interested in. I personally would love to leave this state but I'm out voted, yet once again.  So, I've decided to try to "Bloom Where I am
Planted!" ( Quote Author unknown to me.)

So, now that summer is winding down, our fall schedules will begin. I decided that now thatMr.K. wwill be starting the first grade that it's time for me to go back to work . I've piddled here and there to make extra money with online endeavors including blog jobs, freelance writing, an Etsy shop and craft shows. However, I'd like to continue my odd jobs with a stable income to speak of. It's incredibly hard to budget when the income is tight. So, as I learn to pay down debt, save money and save for important occasios, this novice beginner of learning to coupon,  save and so firth, I'd like to invite you along to share experiences. People feel to share your wisdom.

Time to get this derailed budget and financial house in order. (I Hope.)

Blue Skies ahead? I think I see some bumps ahead?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Dress Up Disney Days Polynesian Resort

We have a large family. Summer finds our family spread out in all directions. We still want to spend fun quality time together. We thought it would be nice to begin our Disney Dress Up Days project.

With Dad working and three children away, four of us set out to explore Walt Disney World's Polynesian Resort!

We planned our trip including a special dress up day. We thought it would be fun to wear summer dresses for the ladies and a Disney Hawaiian shirt for the young master.

We found the resort to be nicely themed, fun and it smells incredible. The aromatic lobby is filled with the wonderful scent of the Polynesian restaurants. Oh it smells so incredible.

We walked around and took a few snapshots of our visits. We were sure to swing by the front desk to request a lei for each of us. We may even wear hula skirts next time! We had a great time! We especially love the lit torches in the evening and the food!

Dress Up Disney Days

We are a Disney loving family! There's really something special about crossing the threshold of a Disney theme park or resort. Set free the everyday stress and worry.

Visiting Disney has been a family favorite destination since before our family was established. We love to have fun, enjoy family quality time and just let loose.

As we tend to visit Disney, dream of Disney vacations and simply enjoy a fun, family friendly environment, we thought of a fun vacation idea.

I love that when you visit Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park, many guest tend to dress for the occasion. It is common to see individuals wearing khaki shorts and similar "Safari" style clothing.

We decided that we would enjoy dressing up to visit not only the theme parks but perhaps the resorts and BEYOND!

Over the course of our visits,  we shall plan fun family dress up days! We are looking forward to Disney Dress Up Days!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day America

The Mommies and Beyond family wish you all a Happy, fun and safe 4 th of July!

Win An Awesome Sewing Machine

As you know, I just love doing craft projects! I stumbled upon an opportunity to win a sewing machine!

I love to sew by hand, embroider and cross-stitch! However, I am not a skilled machine sewer. I would love to learn how to machine embroider and to use a sewing machine!

If you would like to throw your name in the hat, enter to win a wonderful sewing machine. Enter Here:

Monday, June 30, 2014

Summer Cool Homemade Treats

Summer days bring hot weather. Beat the heat with a fun no cook treat. Gather your littles to whip up a treat.

My children enjoy getting into the kitchen to give a hand. Let your children enjoy the time in the kitchen creating an Icecream treat!

When I went to the grocery store today,  I picked up a publication that the grocery store offers free to shoppers. Publix featured recipes for making your own ice pops including chocolate cream pop, watermelon layered pop, Kiwi Peach Pop, Bounty Berry Chunky pop, Orange Cream pop, and a coconut cream pop! The pops look fun, cooling and delicious! I definitely plan to try out some of these recipes. In the meantime, I'm going to play with what's in the pantry!

When I was a little girl, we had the plastic containers to freeze your own juice to make popsicles! I currently do not have any of these fun containers so we improvised!

We found a few muffin tins and homemade food picks/cupcake toppers that were leftover from a holiday crafts show. We whipped up both instant chocolate pudding and vanilla pudding.

I had two special helpers! Miss.S. and Mr.K. helped me with each step of the process.

We made the pudding, filled the muffin tins,inserted the food picks in the center of the pudding and then placed the pans in the freezer.

After dinner, we enjoyed the pudding pops while watching Big Brother!