Newsflash: It’s Easy to Do things as a Family

My family is a real connected family. I have this strong family unity bond that enables me to, without question, put my family before anything else in the whole entire world. I work around my family, it doesn’t work around my work. I always have and always will place my child’s needs before my own. This is why we are such a close knit, happy bunch of people. We all know and feel loved, no matter what.

I am here to share a few simple ways to spend time with your family, without spending any money. These simple things done together, on a daily basis, as a family, will seriously enable you to create a strong bond from now unto forever.

Simple Things to Do as a Family (3)

I work from home, strictly from home and have since 2006. In March 2006 I left an administrative assistant job that I absolutely loved while pregnant with my middle child because I was always sick. I then ventured along the path I am on today, a work at home Mom path. From direct sales to now freelance writing, I support my family on a very small income. This small income is what has allowed me to teach my children that life is all about the simple things that money can’t buy.

Simple Things to Do as a Family (2)

Board Games – We have accumulated a lot of board games in my household, mostly due to the fact that I get a lot of board games from Hasbro for reviews. One way for the average family to stock up on board games is to keep an eye out on yard sales during the warmer seasons, because we have scored deals on various board games at yard sales. Most recently we picked up a Mancala game for $1. Playing board games from an early age and forward helps to establish the life lessons of; good sportsmanship, taking turns, communication and patience.

Reading Together - We have a lot of books in our house and it’s not actually anything we have spent much money on. Over the years we have seen free piles and yard sales that have a lot of books for sale for cheap. Most recently I visited a yard sale that was selling a lot of books at only a quarter a piece. That’s pocket change you can easily find to gather a decent collection of books for your home bookshelf. Reading together from an early age and forward helps to establish the life lessons of; a love of books, ability to read & write on their own at an early age, and a love of adventure with a side of imagination.

Simple Things to Do as a Family (1)

Being Silly Together – We have found that being silly together, creating our own unique pretend game play or just taking silly pictures of us being in our own elements has really been the cheapest version of family fun ever. At times you will find us with music blaring and the not-so-coordinated me dancing alongside my super awesome kids. We laugh, we cheer and we just have fun loving each other for our unique traits. Playing tag, hide n seek, dancing together, dancing while doing chores all teach the life lessons of; responsibility, love for themselves and their family, builds their creative side, and enables a love using their imagination.

From playing board games to being silly while doing chores or just being silly in general is a great way to spend time with your children from birth and up. I firmly believe that if you start young then you will find you have raised tweens and teens that have a bond to their family that is unbreakable during any challenging time of life.

What are some cheap or no cost things you do to keep it simple and enjoy your family?

 

 

Handable Helps me Not Cringe when Daughter Holding iPhone #cell #holidaygift #spon

gift guide sponsors

I am so happy to have The HandAble Phone Holder as part of my holiday gift guide this year, seriously. This has been a fantastic product to have because my daughter now has an iPhone. Obviously it was a difficult decision giving my child such an expensive cell phone, but in all honesty it just made sense for our plan. The cost was more effective than us all having different devices. I must admit though, I cringe each time my tweenager has her iPhone in her hand either texting, reading an ebook or playing a game. My daughter has my clumsy gene and is often found stumbling this way and that, I would hate to see that iPhone take a flying leap and with HandAble, she has a better grip on her iPhone. Thank Goodness!

Handable

Basically in a nutshell, HandAble Phone Holder is a one size fits all accessory for your mobile device and will help keep the device from falling out of your hands. Nothing is worse than holding your cell phone when all of a sudden it just slips out of your hand, it has happened many times to me but also happens to others in my household. It’s easy to have happen. HandAble has a video to share with you all, check it out on HandAble YouTube Channel or watch below …

HandAble Phone Holder can connect to your tablet, mobile device and ebook readers as well, in addition to that, you can mount HandAble Phone Holder easily to your protective case. Learn more at HandAble.com

 

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Exploring the Backyard with Backyard Safari Outfitters @BYSOutfitters

Free Product

We are “the outdoor type” family here, well except during Winter months but now that Spring has sprung we are excited to add to our current products from Backyard Safari Outfitters with the Mini Scoop Net and Critter Shack.

Backyard Boys

Look at those two serious Backyard Safari boys all ready to go find them some critters! With the net, the vest and the magnifying glass these two were convinced they would have a fun adventure, so I decided to follow along with the camera.

backyard Safari Outfitters

I remained a safe distance from these Backyard Safari Outfitters boys for I did not want to disturb any critters they may happen upon. These boys knew what they were doing. Investigating every inch of the great outdoors, also known as our backyard, they went high, they went low all looking for a critter to appear in their view.

Boys Investigating the backyard

After having little success in finding any sort of critters in our immediate yard, they decided on heading to the pond with their Mom to see what they see and maybe catch a frog? Maybe a turtle? Who knows.. but I was happy to go along, the rule is no kids by pond without adult. Thank goodness they know and obey that rule. I tagged along a bit closer this time…

backyard safari by pond

Look, the Backyard Safari Outfitter has seen something, what did he see? Will he capture any critters on this adventure? Only time shall tell…

Critter Shack from Backyard Safari Outfitters

Aww shucks, well he turned up empty handed on this backyard safari adventure. Maybe next time K-man, maybe next time. What fun we had exploring though and I bet you would enjoy having a little backyard exploration with your kids too,which is why I must share what products we took on our little safari this time around.

MINI SCOOP NET (Ages 5 & Up, Approximate Retail Value: $5.99)

Get the scoop on nature with the Wet/Dry Scoop Net.  Whether you are trying to wrangle lizards or pluck butterflies out of the air, the strong nylon mesh is both sturdy and light. Trying to dip into the deep and bring up live fish, crabs or crayfish? No problem because this net also floats.

CRITTER SHACK (Ages 5 & Up, Approximate Retail Value: $7.99)

If you are looking for the perfect place to collect and observe frogs, fish, lizards, crawfish, snakes or bugs, the Critter Shack is the answer. It works in both wet and dry conditions.  The clear-view housing is water tight and topped by a breathable mesh lid and carrying handle.

Want to also get more of the Backyard Safari Outfitters products that are not mentioned above? Check out Backyard Safari Outfitters website and you will find a huge line of products, most of which my family already owns for our adventures.  Connect with Backyard Safari Oufitters on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with their latest news and engage in conversations.

Free Product

I Actually Do Have a Life and Business to Deal With

I remember when I used to have a cool smartphone, that Blackberry totally rocked my world but the problem with it was; I was working 24/7, literally checking email before bed, as soon as I rolled out of bed, replying to emails within moments of them reaching my inbox. I think reps started to get used to me replying so quickly and maybe they are used to this with other bloggers as well which means they send you opportunities expecting a quick reply, as in within moments.

Slow down people! You do not need to reply to a reps contact the moment it arrives in your inbox, remember that you want to look busy even if you are not right? You want reps to know that you are running a well established business or brand for yourself and that your time is worth money. Now I know that if someone replies to me immediately I either 1) caught them at the right time or 2) they feel the need to reply to me quickly.

When I work for brands on blogger outreach I try to ensure that the bloggers will have time to evaluate my offer, research the time they have available to commit to my client and then, only then, reply to me with their answer as to whether or not they can take part in that campaign. I could not imagine being that rep that sends out an email and then only a couple of days later says “sorry that offer no longer stands”, umm okay? Then why did you send me the pitch in the first place?

I completely understand we all, bloggers and reps, get into these quick turn around deadlines from time to time and that is simply okay, I expect to have the occasional rushed pitch and if I reply in a couple of days not getting the chance, I truly understand and am okay with that. The problem I have is when someone pitches me, acting as if my blog matters to them more than it really does, and then turns around to say “oh sorry, that opportunity is now full” when it was only a couple of days.

I have a life and a business, I am mom of three first, blogger & virtual assistant second. That is who I am, that is who I will forever be. I won’t fall victim of smartphone quick reply emails ever again, my life has become so much happier not falling victim to the stress of thinking that an email can not wait until my “office hours” have begun.

I Met My Love Online: Staci & Alex Match.com Story & Some Advice

It’s amazing what technology has done to our world, we are now able to date from miles away or meet people just next door to us by utilizing the world wide web. Today I get to share a cute love story from a couple who met on Match.com while they both were living in LA.

We are Staci & Alex – a match.com success story!

My recently engaged fiance and I met online! We are very happy to say that
match worked for us :) We met over 2 years ago in LA via match; countless
dates & a big move across the country, we are happily in NYC and engaged to
be married June 2013!

I can’t not say enough about online dating and how great of an idea it is – 3 girls in my new office have since joined match after hearing our success story.

I will be honest and say that in the beginning I was VERY picky about who I
met on match.com, I don’t really know what I was being such a stickler about – because once I let my guard down and opened myself up to ‘dating’ I met
some of THE best guys – including my wonderful fiance! When we did meet, I
had probably gone on 14 dates in 3 weeks time (no joke – when I meant open,
I meant open for all kinds of guys!), thought my new date was nice and fun and there was no reason he didn’t deserve another date. I thought those same thoughts on date 2-6, by date 7 I knew I had met the man that completed me! Alex’s story is a bit different – he may have been ‘match.comstalking’ me for several months, trying to work up the courage to email me!
Finally one day, he had the courage and emailed me a hello…..

Match.com Best Advice (what worked for me)

  1. Don’t waste time on ppl you know you won’t like ;) There are plenty of awesome ppl out there – save yourself for the one! BUT be open – you NEVER know who you might meet!
  2. ALWAYS talk on the phone first! You can easily read chemistry over the
    phone and nip an awkward 1st meeting in the bud.
  3. ALWAYS meet for just a drink on the first date – dinner is too much
    time….unless the date progress’s to dinner.
  4. ALWAYS be open – I know it sounds bad, but I refused to date guys under 6’1′ – until I ‘lowered’ my standards – I would have never met my 5’6′ love!
  5. HAVE FUN – dates are fun, meeting new people is fun! Go into with a
    positive attitude and you will get positive results!
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