Home Blog Page 2

January Stitch Fix #stitchfix

6

I was so excited to get my January Stitch Fix, it is like getting a Christmas present in the mail. Let me tell you a little bit about Stitch Fix if you haven’t heard about it. Stitch Fix is a subscription box that send you clothing and accessories. You fill out a style profile and can also create a Pinterest board with inspiration and items you like so your stylist knows what you like. You can link your Pinterest board to your profile. There is a $20 styling fee but if you purchase anything the $20 goes toward your purchase. If you purchase all of the items you get 25% discount.

Oh my gosh I absolutely loved this month’s box so much I am keeping everything. The stylist nailed my style this time.

January Stitch Fix

My first outfit includes Liverpool Colleen Straight Leg Jean ($78) and Loveappella Nelli Knit Top ($34). The jeans fit like a dream as usual. They always send amazing jeans.

Liverpool jeans &Loveappella

Next shirt which I had pinned to my Pinterest board so I love it. 41 Hawthorn Filbert 3/4 Sleeve Popover Blouse($58)

41 Hawthorn

Oh I love this next one another one I had pinned on my Pinterest board. Market & Spruce Alan French Terry Asymmetrical Zip Cardigan($68). You can wear it how I have it or unzip and wear it as an open cardigan

Market & Spruce

The last one is Market & Spruce Abrielle Color Block Sweater ($58) When I tried this on the first time I got lipstick on it so I had to wash it and had no one here to take a picture so this is the best I could do.

Market & Spruce Sweater

Here is they style cards which are so nice to give you some ideas on how to style the items you received.

Market & Spruce Sweater

If you want to try out Stitch Fix you can do so here.

If you would like to see what I have got in my other Stitch Fix boxes

December Stitch Fix

November Stitch Fix

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links.

5 Common Financial Emergencies That Can Appear Without Warning

2

Many people have developed a financial plan that will allow them to cover their monthly expenses and save for retirement. However, many of these plans may not cover those unexpected financial disasters that can put you into an emergency. Besides setting aside money into an emergency fund, there are often things that you can do to avoid common financial emergencies. Here are some of the top financial emergencies and what you can do about them.

Job Loss
If you lose your job without warning, it can be devastating to your income and your savings. Overcoming this obstacle may require you to have a savings fund to keep your household going during the interim between jobs. You can protect yourself from a long period of unemployment by staying in the loop in your industry; if you’ve already done some networking recently, then you may already have a contact who can get you your next interview. Keeping your skills up to date is another important part of protecting yourself against a lay-off; look for continuing education in your area.

Divorce
Divorce can sometimes sneak up on you and cause not only the loss of your spouse’s income, but also loss of some of your assets in the divorce trial. The best way to protect yourself in this instance is to hire a good divorce lawyer that can get you the best settlement possible.

Medical Expenses
If you don’t have the proper medical insurance coverage, a medical emergency can be the source of a lot of financial stress. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do in case of this kind of emergency. Short-term medical insurance may help you to get some coverage at the last minute. You may also want to consider a healthcare credit card; these will have lower interest rates on approved medical expenses. The bar for getting a medical credit card may also be lower in the case of a true medical emergency. Finally, you may need to speak with the health care provider directly to create a health care payment plan if you are in a financial crisis.

Property Damage
Property damage can be a major expense, and it can result from natural disasters and theft. Hopefully, you have a comprehensive home insurance plan to take care of most of the expenses. If you do need to pay for some repairs out of pocket, consider independent repair people who may be able to offer you lower rates for the work.

Identity Theft
Finally, identity theft can be a great source of financial strain. Although you may be able to recover the money through your bank’s fraud policy, the temporary loss of cash flow may cause other financial errors with your monthly payments. You can try to work with your BB&T bank account on a temporary loan or raise your credit card limits temporarily to cover the losses.

The methods for dealing with each financial emergency may be different, but there are common tasks that can help you prepare for them. Setting aside money is one, and getting proper insurance coverage is another. Think about the risks that are most likely to happen to you and try to build safeguards into your life; this way, you can avoid some of these emergency financial situations.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who focuses on personal finance and other money matters. She currently writes for Checkworks.com, a leading supplier of personal and business checks.

Disclosure: This is a “sponsored post.” The person who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to post it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

December Stitch Fix Review #stitchfix

6

I love shopping for clothes and having a variety of clothing to choose from. Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone would shop for you and send you a box full of clothing and accessories. Well your in luck because Stitch Fix does just that for you.

If you want to read more about Stitch Fix checkout my last Stitch Fix post for more details.

I am always so excited to get my monthly Stitch Fix box this month was no different. Checkout what I got in my December Stitch Fix.

 

 

Olive & Oak Alvin Striped long sleeve sweater $68

Stitch Fix sweater

Keep or return: It was very comfortable but I just don’t think I look good in stripes so I returned this sweater. Plus the price was way too high.

 

Pixley Martina Slub Knit Open Cardigan $48

Stitch Fix cardigan

Keep or return: I just didn’t like this and knew I would never wear it

 

Kut from the Kloth Jonathan Skinny Corduroy pants $48 and

Skies are Blue Meskie Open Back Blouse  $54

Stitch Fix Dec

Keep or return: I decided to return these because they were too long and I didn’t care for the color. I also returned the blouse because I didn’t like the print.

 

Romolo Genevieve Stacked Chevron Pendant Necklace $28

Stitch Fix necklace

Keep or return: I am definitely keeping this, I had it pinned on my clothing board so I was so excited to get it.

 

If you want to try Stitch Fix out for yourself you can do so here.

 

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link.

 

 

Organizing with shoe organizers

2

I am always trying to organize my house and find ways to keep it more organized. There are articles/posts all over the internet with ideas. But I wanted to share with you how I keep somewhat organized in my house.

My go to product is using shoe organizers all over the house. I have them all over my house to corral stuff and keep it where I can easily access them.

My favorite way to use it is to store gloves, hats, scarfs, etc. I keep all of my kid’s stuff on the bottom rows so they can reach their own stuff and I put my husband and my stuff on the top rows.

mittens & scarfs

I have a hallway closet and I store travel size items and other small health & beauty products.

travel size

There is another one on the back of the master bathroom door I store extra hair products, razors and anything else that I use in the bathroom that will fit in the pockets of the organizer

beauty products

The last one I have is in my kitchen in the pantry. I keep the kid’s snacks (granola bars, fruit snacks, etc) in the lower rows so the kids can grab stuff out that they want, on the top rows I keep some of my snacks.

snacks

What products do you use to keep your house organized?

November Stitch Fix Review #stitchfix

7

I have never done a post on Stitch Fix before but this is my 7th Stitch Fix box. It is like Christmas when I get my Stitch Fix. I love shopping especially for clothes, I get unique clothes from Stitch Fix that I wouldn’t find in any of the stores I shop in.

Stitch Fix

First let me tell you a little bit about Stitch Fix.  The first thing you do is fill out a personal style profile so they know what your style is, how much you want to spend, and what type of clothes and accessories you like. You then choose the date you want your box shipped and you can also choose the frequency you want. (ex every 2-3 weeks, every month, every month, or every 3 months) Once you get your box you have 3  days to decide what you want to keep. They provide you a a pre-paid bag to send back the items you don’t want.

You can also create a Pinterest Board and pin styles that you like and add the link into your style profile. This will help your stylist know what pieces you want and like. Here is a link to mine so you can see an example . Clothing Pinterest Board.

You will get an email before your shipment asking you if you want to add a note for your stylist. You can add anything you want such as I only want shirts this month or you can tell them specific items you want such as any of the items I received.

There is a styling fee of $20 however that goes towards your purchase if you keep anything. If you keep all five items you will get a 25% discount.

So now for the fun part you get to see all of the lovely pieces I got in my November Stitch Fix. They have it all packaged nicely.

Stitch Fix

The first thing I opened was the jacket I received

Stitch Fix

This jacket is called Sutton Faux Leather Trim Quilted Jacket and the price is $88.00. I do like this jacket I am just not sure how much I would wear it,

Here comes the next one actually two things

Stitch Fix

 

I am wearing Liverpool Loren Bootcut Jeans and they are priced at $78 and Loveapella Morgan Knit Raglan Top and it is priced at $54. I really like this shirt I had this shirt pinned on my board.

The next shirt is

Stitch Fix

This shirt is Laila Jade Wilson Cowl Neck Knit Top priced at $58. This shirt is a little sheer so I had to put on a black tank top underneath it. I don’t have any cowl neck shirts but I really like it and I had it pinned to my board.

and now the last one

Stitch Fix

 

This one is 41Hawthorn Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan priced at $48. This cardigan is so comfy and I love the color.

This post was hard to do for me I don’t like pictures of me. But at least you get to see what the clothes look like on.

I am still not sure on what I am keeping. If I keep everything it would be $224.50 which is just way too much to spend and that is even with the 25% discount and $20 stylist credit.

If you would like to try Stitch Fix you can sign up here.

What do you think I should keep and what should I send back? Please also let me know if you like these kind of posts.

 

Disclosure: This post does include referral links.

 

How I stay on top of household chores

7

how to stay on top of chores

We had a great summer, going swimming at the pool almost everyday. This school year my daughter started Kindergarten and my son is now in 3rd grade. So both of the kids are in school all day. My goal is to get more organized and stay on top of all of the house and school stuff.

I thought I would tell you things I have been doing to be more organized and have a more streamlined home.

1. laundry- I do a load of laundry everyday from start to finish and put all of the clothes away. It takes less than a minute to put a load of laundry in the wash.

2. mail- I recently read an article that says you should only touch paperwork/mail one time. When you get the mail go through it the same day, recycle what can be recycled, trash anything that is trash and can’t be recycled. If it is a bill pay it right away if you can. I pay all of my bills online so if I do get a bill I go online and set up the payment that day.

3. school paperwork-with 2 kids in school they bring home a lot of paperwork, I have them pile all of their paperwork on the counter when I have time that day I look at everything and if anything needs to be signed and returned I make sure I do that before I go to bed and sign it and put it back in their folders.

4. vacuum- I have a dog and a cat so I vacuum every other day. My husband is allergic to pet dander so I have to keep on vacuuming.

5. cleaning bathrooms- this is my absolute least favorite thing to do. We have three full bathrooms and 1 1/2 bath. I have been having my son clean his bathroom because it so disgusting. But I do clean the other bathrooms. I try to clean them once a week to stay on top of cleaning otherwise they get pretty disgusting.

6. dishes-If I am making a big meal I will try to fill up the sink and do dishes as I am cooking. During the week I usually make quick meals and after dinner I load the dishwasher or hand wash the dishes. It is so nice to wake up to a clean kitchen.

I would love to hear ways that you stay on top on household chores?

 

8 Ways to Serve Apples with Dinner

2

Fall is one of my favorite times of year. Finally a relief from the heat and it is the season for all things apple! If you are planning a trip to the orchard soon, you won’t want to miss these 8 Ways to Serve Apples With Dinner. I am sure a few of these recipes are going to make your tummy rumble!

8 ways to serve apples for dinner final

Maple Glazed Pecan Apple Parmesan Pizza
Apple Mushroom Curry
Apple Quesadillas
Beer Battered Apple Rings
Chicken Salad with Apple Pico De Gallo
Bacon Apple Cheese Bread
Brie Apple and Arugula Quesadillas
Cheddar, Apple, Onion and Bacon Pizza

I think the Bacon Apple Cheese Bread sounds amazing as do the Apple Quesadillas! Which of these 8 Ways to Serve Apples With Dinner do you want to try first? If you have a favorite way to serve apples with dinner leave me a comment about it!

Decorate for Fall

2

I am so glad that September is here! I can finally start decorating for Fall! I found 8 fantastic ideas for creating my own decor that I can’t wait to share with you. I have a feeling this round up is going to inspire you to create something gorgeous to add to your fall decor!

falldecorfinal

Glittered Fall Leaves

White and Silver Fall Wood Blocks

Pool Noodle Fall Wreath

No Sew Pumpkin Garland



DIY Fall Leaf Bowl

Soda Bottle Pumpkins

Fall Centerpiece 

Metallic Fall Sign

I think I am going to make a DIY Leaf Bowl with the kids first! Which of these fantastic fall decor ideas do you think you will create first? I can’t wait to hear from you!

3 Steps to a More Organized Laundry Room (guest post)

0

Does it feel like your laundry room has been hit by a tornado? Everything is all over the place and you struggle to access the items you need? Do you often trip on things? Well, you are not alone. Laundry rooms seem to be the most crowded rooms in the home. But just because they are notorious for being messy doesn’t mean they have to stay that way. With a few magic tricks and steps you can tame the mess.

Check out these three simple and easy steps by Main Cleaners London to make your laundry room more organized.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lovemaegan/4664959901

1. Define the purpose of the room.

Does the room serve only as a laundry room or does it have any other purposes, such as a mudroom or storage room? Is the space big or small? Can it accommodate all associated laundry supplies and stuff? Answer all these questions to determine the purpose of your laundry room. Decide whether you are going to use it only as a laundry room or not. Then follow the next steps.

2. Make a list of the contents.

What is currently being stored in your laundry room? What else should be stored there? Here are a few of the most common things to include in your laundry room:

  • Utility – flashlight, matches, candles, splitters, extension cords, batteries, light bulbs.

  • Cleaning garbage can, rags, cleaning supplies and solutions, cloths, shoe polish, paper towels, rubber gloves, etc.

  • Laundry – iron and ironing boards, spot remover, dryer sheets, laundry detergent and soap, drying racks, washer, bleach, clothes steamer, laundry baskets, hamper

  • Mudroom – gardening supplies, outerwear, scarves, hats, gloves, jackets, coats, sweaters, boots and shoes, hangers, items you don’t use frequently, keys, etc.

3. Divide your laundry room into sections.

And the next step is to organize all the things mentioned above. Divide your laundry room into zones and store similar items together.

Organize your laundry zone. Needless to say, your laundry zone should take up a large part of the room. Find a place for a hamper, washer and drying racks. Use collapsible dryer racks to save space. Additionally, you can attach a hotel clothesline to the wall so you can dry more clothes.

Group your cleaning supplies. By keeping your cleaning solutions and supplies in one place, you will be able to see if you are running short of a particular item so you can replace it before it runs out. This will also keep you from spending extra on supplies you don’t need. Be sure to label all your cleaners. Determine which products you use on the daily and place infrequently used products on higher shelves. Make your all-purpose cleaners accessible and easy to see. Put furniture polish, wood polish and window cleaners at the back of the shelf. Think about helpful tools that will keep your items more organized such as storage containers, rotating caddies, bags shelves, etc.

Create an ironing zone. You need to determine a place for your ironing board. If you don’t have enough space for it, buy a pull-down ironing board and attach it to a wall or a door. This will save space.

Organize mudroom zone. Rather than mixing all family members’ stuff in the same place, use baskets or other storage containers to organize everybody’s personal possessions. Use labels with your family members’ names so that each one of you knows where to store their items. If you have small kids, make sure to put their baskets in an easy-to-reach place.

And that’s how you can effectively organize your laundry room. Keep it simple.

Edna Thomson is the author of this post.

 

Strawberry Roundup

0

I love strawberries so much and they are still in season. So why not make some of these great recipes.

19 Strawberry Recipes FINAL

 

Healthy Strawberry Breakfast Sundaes
The Best Strawberry Smoothie
Strawberry Sweet Rolls
Easy Strawberry Smoothies
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Smoothies

Strawberry Refrigerator Cake
Strawberry Jello Cake
Extra Fruity Strawberry Jam Tarts
Strawberry Banana Bundt Cake
Strawberry Poke Cake
Strawberry Shortcake Napoleons
Strawberry Cookie Pie

Strawberry Granola Frozen Yogurt Bites
Strawberry Banana Creamsicles 
Strawberry Yogurt Creamy Popsicles
Frozen Strawberry Dessert
Strawberry Slushies

8 Organization Projects

0

I am always looking for ways to organize my family, my home and my life! I am so much happier when my space is orderly and everything is in it’s place. I started looking for some of the best simple yet effective organizing ideas on Pinterest and created a great list for you to check out if getting organized is on your list of things to do once school starts!

organization

$10 Linen Closet Make Over
Organizing a Small Closet
Car Organization
Organize Your Cords
An Organized Fridge
Laundry Station Organization
Cheat Sheet for Keeping a Clean Home
Kitchen Cabinet Organization

If you have an organizing tip to share I would love for you to leave me a comment!
Do you have an area in your home that really needs some attention?

Recipes for Homemade Cleaning Products

0

It seems like my family spends a lot of money on cleaning products. After my last shopping trip to stock up on all of the products I need to keep my home tidy I started thinking about how many chemicals are in these products and how much money I could save while keeping my family healthy if I tried to make my own cleaning supplies.

I found some great homemade cleaning supply recipes that I can’t wait to share with you- I wonder which recipe you will try first!

cleaning supplies

Bacteria Buster Counter Top Spray

DIY Lemon Lime Dusting Spray

DIY Dishwasher Tabs

Homemade Toilet Fizzies

Homemade Dryer Sheets

All Natural Carpet Refresher

Easy Homemade Tile and Grout Cleaner

Which of these DIY recipes for cleaning supplies do you think you would like to try first? Do you have a favorite cleaning supply recipe to share? I can’t wait to hear from you!

DIY Toy Projects

0

My kids love to play, and they love to create too! What could be a better combination for a fun afternoon than taking on a DIY toy project as a family? I found 6 fun ideas for hands on fun with DIY toys that I think my kids would love, and I have a feeling your would too!  Some of these ideas are super simple and you probably have the ingredients on hand, in the event that you feel inspired to get busy creating after checking out this list!

DIYTOY2 (1)

DIY Toys

Silly Putty Borax

DIY Bubble Wand

Wooden Toy Boat

Paper Rockets

Mini Super Hero Shield 

Crazy Magnetic Hair Styling Toy

Have you ever made a toy before? Which of these DIY toys do you think your kids would have the most fun with? I would love to hear from you in a comment!

Ideas for Summer Fun

1

As a stay at home mom I am always looking for fun ways to keep my kids busy in the summer! But, I also don’t want to go broke funding their adventures… after all they are elementary school aged. I started writing a list of ideas to keep the kids happily busy, having fun without going broke and I wanted to share these ideas with you.

Story Time At The Library
This gives the kids a chance to socialize with friends, old and new. They hear several books with the librarian, make a craft and have a blast. I get to socialize quietly with other parents. I think this is a win win situation for my family.
Summer Reading Programs
The library has one, Barnes and Noble has one, as does Scholastic. After story time we select one book for each program we are participating in. This insures they are reading for about 15 minutes a day all summer long to complete the programs and earn free books.
Park Picnic Day
We made an agreement as a family, if we can all be helpful, and get along with each other, every Friday we will have a park picnic day. We will take our lunch to the park, play for a few hours and enjoy the chance to be outdoors! This is a good way to remind the children to be helpful during the week so that our special Friday routine is possible.
Back Yard Camping
Last year we put up our tent. No one slept in it, but the kids had a lot of fun playing in it during the day and pretending to go camping! I can only imagine how much fun they will have when they sleep over night in the tent this year!
Swimming Lessons
We have several options in our area. $15 for 5 lessons in the next town, or $35 for 8 weeks of 30 minute lessons two times a week. The kids like the water time, and swimming is an important skill for them to develop. Some areas will have free lessons! Check around!Do you have any ideas for frugal summer fun?

By Spending More, I Spent Less

0

We shop around for late deals, browse the best value beachwear and snap up our sun cream when it’s at its cheapest after summer. With purse strings pulled tighter than ever, every little helps when it comes to saving on holiday extras and making sure you spend your money where it matters most. Cryptic title aside, we’ve got some tips on how you can make your money go further, simply by spending a little more to begin with. Sometimes spending a little more short term, can mean you spend much less in the long run!

Fly Local

Flights from Heathrow or Gatwick are often cheaper than those from regional airports but factor in the added cost it will take to get you there and you are often better paying a little extra to fly from an airport closer to home.

Taxis, trains, airport hotels, airport parking; it can easily add up into the hundreds for a family holiday and that is before you have even set food on a plane. Factor in a snack stop on your way to the airport hotel, a meal in the ridiculously expensive (and often distinctly average) hotel restaurant and something to feed the weary and hungry family on your return and that extra £50 each to fly from an airport that is a 30 minute taxi ride from home doesn’t look so bad after all!

Go All-Inclusive

All-inclusive used to be reserved for honeymooners and those who like to live a life of luxury when aboard. Today however, more people than ever have cottoned on to the great value offered by all-inclusive deals. Yes, it will cost you more initially and you will often be limited to local ‘specialities’ when it comes to alcoholic beverages, but you can eat and drink to your heart’s content (or your stomach’s limits).

Self-catering holidays often appear at a price that seems too good to be true but factor in the endless requests for ice creams, cold drinks and mid-afternoon snacks and you can soon spend more on food in a couple of days than the whole holiday cost you for a week.

While all inclusive is widely available in destinations such as the Mediterranean, it is very rare in city centre hotels in places such as New York and Paris. If the option for all-inclusive doesn’t apply, opt for bed & breakfast instead. You will pay a little extra to have breakfast included but will often be so full from a good breakfast that a mid-afternoon snack will put you on until your evening meal.

Think Cruise Rather Than Multi-Centre

Multi-centre breaks are a fantastic way to see more than one destination, especially if you love to travel but are limited when it comes to annual leave entitlement.

If you are looking to save money, cruising can be a great alternative to the traditional multi-centre holiday. You will visit new destinations almost every day, unpacking just once rather than over and over again in each hotel, as you would on a traditional multi-centre. Cruise ship accommodation is often comparable to that expected in a boutique 5-star hotel and cruise lines offer all meals as part of your cruise fare, saving you a fortune on dining out. Fill yourself up with a hearty breakfast before heading out for a day exploring ashore, treat yourself to afternoon tea as a treat for all that walking and enjoy four course haute cuisine or juicy steakhouse grills at dinner; all included in your fare. You can even treat yourself to a midnight snack if you’ve still room to spare!

 

Get Insured!

It is tempting to overlook those niggling pre-existing conditions when booking your travel insurance, especially when you see your premium drop if you fail to mention them. What could possibly go wrong in a week, right?

Wrong! 3,157 British holidaymakers were hospitalised in 2014 and those who had failed to disclose pre-existing medical conditions faced a hefty bill. It may cost you an extra few quid but make sure you declare everything if you want to be sure your insurer will pay out in the worst case scenario.

Prepare to Roam

We have all heard the stories about holidaymakers coming home to a £1,000 phone bill after spending their whole holiday Facebooking, Tweeting and Instagramming to their hearts content.

Mobile calls and data cost significantly more outside of the UK, and it isn’t unthinkable to spend £15 using the internet simply to find an address on Google Maps. Downloading video can run into the hundreds! Always let your network provider know that you are leaving the country and arrange for an add-on package to be incorporated onto your contract for the duration of your holiday. You can expect to pay around £3 a day with most network providers but this is a small amount to pay compared to normal roaming charges.

 

Michael Wilson is the Managing Director of Bolsover Cruise Club who are based near Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Michael regularly writes about a variety of travel and cruise related topics.