Posted on

Gardening Essentials to Buy at the Dollar Store

img_3402

When you are living on a budget but want to expand your garden, then you need to go to the Dollar Store! Over the past couple of years, I have seen the Dollar Store expand their garden supplies from tiny pots and watering cans to decent sized pots, watering cans with the longer spout, seeds, tools, gloves and even small bags of soil! This is where I needed to be shopping to get my garden going for this year.

The must have that I picked up first was the watering can with the narrow spout. I prefer this kind of spout for my small indoor pots because I can control the water flow. To buy this type at Walmart or Lowe’s will run you at least $10.

Next, I picked up some pots for my seedlings. The ones I picked up are 6″ pots which after I am done with transplanting my seedlings to bigger pots, I will use these pots to transplant my herbs. There were bigger pots that I plan on picking up this week once I have my garden plans set. At Home Depot, a 6″ pot starts at $2  so you can basically get one free at the Dollar Store.

Then, I found a hanging basket and liner which will be great for the wild flower seeds that I purchased as well. I love the look of a hanging baskets on porches to bring out the colors of a house. What I don’t like is the price at Walmart starting at $8 for a small one. I can’t wait to watch my flowers bloom in my new hanging basket!

Other things that you can find to get your garden started is gardening tools like a shovel and rake, gardening gloves and kneeling pads. I have all of these from previous years of gardening so I didn’t need to buy them this year but it is a great resource for someone just starting on their green thumb journey or someone needing to replace their tools.

Last week, I talked about the variety of seeds that you can buy at the dollar store. Out of convenience, I picked up seed packets for carrots and lettuce at Walmart which were $1.49 and $1.69 each so I could have picked up a third packet if I bought them at the Dollar Store! If you want to read my post about starting from seeds here is the post: Plant Seeds to Save The Earth

The only thing that I did not purchase at the Dollar Store was my soil. Since I will be doing my gardening from pots, I prefer to use Miracle Grow potting soil because it has the added nutrients my plants will need.

I can’t wait to continue to journal my garden as the season continues! Fill me in on some of your gardening tips below!

To

Advertisements
Posted on

Kind Kids Start At Home

kind kids

If you sit back to watch and listen to a group of kids and/or teens, you will be able to pick out the rude, mean kids and kind kids. Week after week, a few parents at the dance studio sit back to watch these kids and how they act to be able to pick out these different kids. The sad thing is that the mean kids outweigh the kind kids. Not only are these kids mean to the other kids but to adults and most of all their parents! This plays right into the big internet controversy this week….

The big internet controversy this week is the episode from the Roseanne reboot where she sticks her granddaughter’s head under the kitchen sink and sprays her with water. (The clip is below if you missed it) Roseanne did this in reaction to the fact her granddaughter, Harris, is acting rude, disrespectful and entitled to everyone around her. This behavior has become common place among kids, tweens and teens which these kids feed off of each other.

 

These kids, no matter their age, will throw a temper tantrum of sorts until the parents allow them to get what they want. This behavior from the parents teaches the mean kids that their bad attitude and behavior is acceptable not only at home but in public and among other people and kids. Since when do parents step tip toe around their kids and show them fear of their temper tantrums?

Now, I will admit that Danyella has her moments. Yes, she is 11 and has learned from other kids that she should be entitled to whatever she wants and shouldn’t have to do anything for it. Boy is she wrong! Currently, we are working on undoing the bad habits her dance classmates have tried to teach her by giving her a chore chart and reward system (check that post out here: Tween Rules and Reward System). She knows that her bad behavior will not be tolerated and taking points away from her earning her New York City trip means it will be even longer before we can go. Plus, for Christmas she received an iPod which is the cause of most her throwing a fit because she doesn’t want to put it down. She will get mean, say nasty things and throw a fit when its time to give up her iPod for either a time limit or bad behavior. With the promise of points being taken away for this behavior, these tantrums have dwindled slowly.

On the other hand, kind kids are started at home with being given boundaries that help shape them into responsible, respectful kids. These parents don’t allow the kids to get away with bad behavior because there are consequences to that type of behavior. Now, I am not talking about the types of discipline in this post but I am saying these kids know that if they behave badly there will be a downfall/consequence to it.

These kind kids are the ones that will welcome a new kid into their friendship circle, open a door for a stranger, share their lunch with a kid that forgot theirs, pick up something someone else dropped and smile when someone looks at them. It is these kids that grow into responsible adults that want to help others. They are the adults that help with charities, listen to their friends talk, help when anyone needs help and smiles with someone looks at them.

Danyella has been writing her affirmations of kind words and her writing prompts are about being kind to herself and others. Plus, I have been teaching her to stand back and watch how these mean kids act when she is around them and think about how they look to others. Then, she was taught to think about whether she wants others to see her act like that and does it benefit her to act like that. Last, I have been teaching her to say something nice to someone everyday because sometimes someone needs to hear kinds words. You never know when someone else is having a bad day and those kind words just helped them feel better.

These are the kind of kids we should be raising today! The kids that learn at home to be kind to others, to be responsible for their obligations and actions and to respect other people, no matter their age or relation to them. Let’s all strive to be the parents that teach our kids to be a Kind Kid and change the world one kind kid at a time!

Teach Kids to be Kind Everyday and watch the world grow in Goodness

Posted on

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffin Tin Cups with Printable Recipe

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffins

Lately, I have been on carb OVERLOAD… the more breads, pasta and sweets fed/fueled my emotions the better I thought I would feel. Well we all know that is far, far from the truth! The carb hangover has been horrible and just fed with more carbs. Let’s just say the weight I have lost from breastfeeding the baby has come back with every delicious carb I eat.

If I am going to change my mindset and emotions, then I need to change my eating habits as well. I need more proteins to keep my energy level up with being on the go, raising an infant and running a business. In the mornings, I just don’t have time to make breakfast so my go to is/was toast with peanut butter or an english muffin but that’s more carbs and I need to stop my carb addiction!

This egg muffin recipe is one that I loved in the past because I would freeze them, heat them in the morning and run out the door. The great thing about this recipe is that you can add anything you want… sausage, bacon, ham, spinach, peppers, onions, really the possibilities are endless and easy!

 

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffin Cups

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An easy breakfast recipe you can make ahead for your busy week.


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • 6-7 slices of bacon, cooled and chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
  • salt and pepper, to liking

Directions

  1. Set over to 350 degrees. Generously spray the muffin tin with spray oil so that the cups come out of the tin easily.
  2. Place one egg in each cup and whisk with a fork, if easier you can do this in a separate bowl and divide among the cups evenly.
  3. Sprinkle the bacon in a cup.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes on bottom rack.
  6. Top each cup with cheese, return to the oven. Bake for another 8-10 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool before taking them out of the tin.
  8. Serve for breakfast, place in the fridge for easy on the go breakfast for the week (heat for 45 seconds in the microwave) or place in a freezer bag, place in the freezer and eat in the future (heat for 1-2 minutes in the microwave.

Posted on

Struggling With My Gratitude

Struggling with My Gratitude

With everything that has occurred this year, I have been struggling with my gratitude and thankfulness, hence the many missing Thankful Thursday posts. It has become difficult to be grateful when I am so angry at so many people and at the Universe.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for my kids and supportive family and friends through these difficult times. The problem is that I draw a blank when I think about what I am grateful for in my life. I will find something I am grateful for and then think about what I don’t have or how I got screwed out of something related to this grateful thing, and I am back to being angry again.

This mindset of anger has effected every aspect of my life where I am not striving to be the best I can be. My business has been slow going because I feel like I just run out of time to do anything. Instead of doing what I need to do, my mind wanders and before I know it I have been thinking and engrossing myself for over an hour. Poof that time I had while the baby is sleeping is now gone and I can’t get it back. The rift in my already damaged marriage is just increasing in size because if I can’t control my anger towards things then I can’t be in a good place to work on bridging the gap. Even my poor supportive friends are being neglected because I know that when I speak, all I do is spew negativity so I have just stopped talking at all. The only ones that I have tried to protect from my ungratefulness is my children because no matter what they are my main priority in life and I don’t want them to feel my anger.

This all means that I need to go back to the beginning and work on myself. I need to make working on my self care and self love a priority because dwelling on my anger is only bringing myself and everyone around me down.

My top 5 things to help me work on my self care:

  1. Write and recite daily affirmations
  2. Write 5 things I am grateful for every night, even when I am not feeling grateful
  3. Listen to/Read the Secret and my other go to self care books
  4. Write out my feelings in my journal, even if it is multiple times a day
  5. Give myself time to love myself

In the past, I have gone through these periods which were triggered by a stress factor and in the past few months since Evelynne was born there has been multiple stressors. I know I can’t beat myself up for needing to start over in my self care journey (trust me I have been beating myself up for months now) because I am only human. As humans, we will go forward and have our setbacks but that is what makes us grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

723842c1370413a77e6047457d1686db

Do you have any tips to get out of your funk and back to self care?

Posted on

Loathe Thy Neighbor

Yes, I know that the correct quote from the Bible is Love Thy Neighbor but if you lived near my current neighbor you would loathe them as well… if you continue to read please be prepared for A LOT of swearing because it is What the What Wednesday aka my weekly rant post!

Loathe Thy Neighbor

When you live in an apartment, you have to deal and adjust to living around other people. I have lived in tons of apartments and dealt with all kinds of people. None of them acted like our current downstairs neighbor. This man is off his rocker crazy, weird and attempts to be domineering towards women. (He met the wrong woman to try to dictate anything to, just ask my husband haha!)

When we signed our lease, we made sure that our dog was included because Max is as much a part of our family as the girls are our children. We knew that we would have some adjustment with Max going from living in a single house to an upstairs apartment next to a main road. We bought a bark collar (big waste of over $100!!) to help with the transition because Max LOVES to bark at everything because he is a Plott Hound mix.

First of all,  everytime I see this man, instead of saying hello back to me he starts to bitch about something which usually is about the dog or noise. Doug will walk by him and he is polite and says hello. He sees me and basically gives me shit that our dog barks too much, our dog shits (mind you in the abandoned house next door’s yard) to much, we have to lock the front door (so no one can hear someone knock and we can’t have visitors?!) or an array of other shit. The one that topped them all… he tried to tell me that I have to stay home with the dog more because the dog barking and running around when I am not home is just annoying to them. Oh fucking well dude you live on the first floor of an apartment! Plus, do you think I am happy that your kids are running through the house screaming at midnight waking my 3 month old baby up?? Do I say anything, no because we live in an apartment and we adjust to our surroundings!

When we were doing the walk through of the apartment, our realtor told us that the family downstairs is home all day because they are a homeschooling family. Oh that is cool because so are we and don’t meet many homeschooling families. Well, the kids only go out to play when its getting dark or is dark already and they are unsupervised. Plus, he allows his unsupervised kids to play in the yard next door which is full of crap like wood, shingles, nails and other stuff from the owners trying to fix up the abandoned house. First, if your kids are homeschooled then why are you having them play when its dark and only have an outdoor light to see (or not see) instead of during the day? Second, why are you allowing your kids to play unsupervised next to an intersection of 2 major roads in our area? Third, why in the hell do you allow your kids to play in a yard that is filled with dangerous building materials and then bitch at me that we let our dog poop where your kids play?? Duh, you don’t let your kids play in that yard? (which the owners of the other house know that we walk our dog over there and don’t care)

Next, the yard is supposed to be a shared yard which I was planning on putting a garden in soon. Well that is not going to happen because our yard is the neighbor’s junk heap! I swear this man goes around and collects other people’s shit and dumps it in the yard. There are 3 grills, a rusted out open fire pit (totally illegal in jersey, especially when you have houses only feet from each other, a ton of different chairs (some of them dining room chairs), plus other things that I don’t even know what they are. Oh and the kids have their toys all over the yard (how about teaching them to clean up all the little water balloons they have EVERYWHERE?!) which drives me nuts trying to navigate to just walk to my car. Now I have to figure out creating an indoor herb garden and then create the rest of my garden from pots that I sent on our back steps so that I can have Danyella’s supply of summer tomatoes. So much for “shared” yard….

Brace yourself for this last part… This man loves to stand in his back door and smoke his pot aka marijuana. Having a little brother that struggled with drugs and ultimately lost his life to his struggle, I do NOT want my kids exposed to drugs of any kind. Now, we can’t even walk from my house to my car (or visa versa) without them being exposed to this drug. Now, in New Jersey medical marijuana is legal but this is in a pill or oil form not to smoke so he can’t try to pull the “I have a medical marijuana card” out to justify it. Plus, there are times that I walk into my house and that is all I can smell so I have a candle always burning to mask the smell. I don’t want to be exposed to this and I don’t want my kids to be exposed to this. If he wants to smoke his crap then go do it in his car or in the garage or somewhere we my family doesn’t get affected by his illegal hobby!

This rant is over for now but with 10 months left on our lease, there is no saying what else will happen and what other rant I may need to write out of my system. Thanks for listening to this week’s rant!

Posted on

Why I don’t let my kids play on my phone

Why My Kids Don't Play on my Phone

I am not one of those moms that hands my phone over to my kids and let them play games or watch videos on YouTube. I am sure other moms will disagree with this post but this is my personal feelings on letting kids have free reign over my phone…

Imagine having the police show up at your door and you have no idea why. You open the door and the police tell you that they need to check the house to be sure everything is ok. You ask them why. They explain that there was a 911 call that was located at this address. I go and grab Danyella, who was almost 2 years old, and realize that she is the one who called 911 when I allowed her to play with my phone. That was the last time she touched my phone!

There is more reasoning behind my phone ban from my kids besides Danyella accidentally calling the police. I never wanted my kids to grow up thinking they had the right to touch an electronic that cost as much a rent payment. I have enough problems with breaking my own electronics (just ask my brother who had to replace the hard drive in my laptop because I broke it during the move a month ago!) so I don’t need the kids touching it and break something that we don’t have the spare money to replace. Especially when the cost of electronics just increases every year and now to replace my Iphone 7 plus would cost me a $1000 to replace/upgrade to the Iphone X.

Another reason, is that I run my blog and business mainly from my phone. I can’t tell you how many of my blog posts have been written and published from my phone. All of this is possible with the different apps like wordpress, canva and others that help my business and blog running smoothly. Yes, typing is easier on my laptop but when my time is spent outside of the house then my phone is a must. This means kids not touching and breaking my phone is a super must!

Last reason is that they are kids and for generations before these kids were born, kids survived without electronics on the go to play with and keep them occupied. What happened to packing toys, coloring books and snacks to keep kids occupied? This is what I did for Danyella and what I will do for Evie when we are out and about. Even now, I have 2 play mats for Evie which one is kept in the car so I can take it into the dance studio for her to play on. Yes, I have more to pack and take with me but it is keeping her entertained and I will continue to do this until she is old enough for her electronic device.

Danyella has survived for nearly her whole childhood without touching my phone since that day she called 911. This past Christmas, Danyella was given an iPod to take with her in public which she can use as a phone to communicate with my phone since it’s an iPhone, if she is on wifi. She can play games and play on her music apps which I keep a close eye on. If she abuses her privilege of having the iPod then its take away and she has to find other ways, like reading a book to keep herself occupied.

I know that many parents see the convenience of letting kids play on their phones which pulling up their favorite video to keep them quiet and still is easy. On the other hand, teaching my children to respect electronics and how things are a privilege vs a right is a strong value in a world where everyone’s lives revolve around a cellphone and/or other electronics. Let the kids be kids and play with toys and books not your phone. Let Kids be Kids . Let Them Explore, Play and Learn

Posted on

No Pregnancy April Fools Jokes No One Is Laughing

As April 1st approaches, I am thinking about Easter and what I have left to get done for the girls. Then it dawned on me, Easter is on April 1st… April Fools Day!

Oh shit, bring on the lame ass jokes people play but one of the most popular ones is the “I’m Pregnant” joke. Well it’s not a funny joke to many women in the world.

Why is this not a funny joke to fool people with? Millions of women suffer from infertility problems. Millions of women have silently mourned the loss of their baby they never got to hold. Millions of women long to have that announcement you are now making fun of by saying “just kidding I’m not pregnant”!

For just one minute, think about what someone else is going through before you post something for the world to see. No, you may not be directly hurting someone but those words hurt more then a punch to the gut!

I silently suffered through this last April Fools Day. I had a miscarriage in February and was not pregnant with Baby Evie yet. I watched as tons of my Social Media friends played this prank when I was crying that I wanted to still be pregnant with the baby I would never meet. This joke was and is not funny to me or anyone else suffering through miscarriages or infertility problems.

Since last April’s Fools Day, I’ve been blessed with our Baby Evie but not everyone has been as lucky as our family. Please respect what others maybe silently suffering through this April Fools Day and don’t play this prank!

Posted on

Silk Screen Printing Obsession

My newest obsession is finding things to silk screen a cute quote or picture on. I love seeing cute shirts on Pinterest or Amazon and hate paying $25 for a shirt I can make for under $10! I’m crafty so I set out to create my own cool shirts and much more!

Last year, I made dance mom shirts for the Elite moms but it was a long and tedious task. I hand printed every single letter and dancer on 6 different shirts. It was a lot more work then I had anticipated.

This year we wanted new shirts but I didn’t want to go down the same stamping road again. At Hobby Lobby, I found silk screening kits. This was perfect. There was a $50 and $150 kit. Honestly, I have no idea what the difference between the kits were but I wasn’t prepared to spend $150 on something I didn’t know if I was going to screw up.

I purchased the $50 and used my 40% off coupon (I am a savings queen so this was a must do!) which cost me about $33 with tax. The box included the silk screen, a paint brush, a jar of black ink, special paper, exacto knife and the scraper. All I need shirts to print on…

So the instructions were completely confusing and explained different ways to silk screen which required buying more products. I was feeling overwhelmed and confused as hell! Maybe this was to much for me??

I went back to the box and figured out that they printed their design on the special paper then cut it out with the exacto knife. I did my first design, printed it out, cut it out and began my first experiment…

What a disaster of ink every but where I wanted on the shirt!! I didn’t realize that the paper gets taped to the underside of the screen. I had to go look up YouTube videos to understand what I did wrong and what I needed to do.

So, I started the process over again design, print, cut… now tape under the screen, add the ink and scrape it across the screen onto the shirt. (Thanks Doug for the donation of one of your shirts!) Wow it looked freaking awesome!!

Another thing that I learned the hard way, is that you need to clean the ink off your screen ASAP or it will stain the screen. I thought I could leave the design on the screen until I was ready to print the real shirts. Nope!! Clean that ink off ASAP!!

Next I found these super soft, stretchy purple shirts. The purple color is the Elite’s color and these shirts were perfect. I designed a shirt to say “I’m a crazy dance mom 5678 dance”. I did one for my Christina and myself. They were a huge hit with the moms.

I then had orders for moms shirts, an Aunt shirt because Aunt Emilee needs a shirt too and a dad shirt. It became an assembly line of printing and hanging them around my dining room. Plus, Evie needed a “I’m a crazy dance baby” onesie!

Once I got the directions correct, these shirts looked freaking awesome! The moms and Aunt Emilee wore their shirts to the competition plus the baby had her onesie on until she peed through all her clothes. I now have plans to make the dancers and their teacher special end of season gifts with my silk screen printer!

One of the dance moms with her adorable girls

I would suggest the $50 kit from Speedball because it’s pretty simple to do and really fun. For kids, the ink will stain so have them wear disposable gloves. There is so much you can do with a silk screen printer! I can’t wait to make more in the future!!

*please not this post is not sponsored in anyway, shape or form. Just my own personal review of a product I purchased!

Posted on

No Giggles For Mama

Total jealous Mom moment right now! Baby Evie is now 12 weeks old and about a week and a half ago she started the giggles! It’s the cutest thing ever!

One night I was getting Evie ready for her bath, I reached down to pick her up and she giggled for just a few seconds. A baby’s giggles are the sweet little noise you can ever hear. Since that first time, I’ve tried my hardest to get her to giggle for me…. nope not a single giggle for Mama!

Thursday nights are one of Doug’s night off every week so it’s Daddy/daughter bonding night. He was playing with her and I hear it… the sweet little giggle I was longing to hear. She giggled over and over for Daddy!

Since that night, Doug has come home from work and if Evie has been awake then he has gotten giggles. Not just one little giggle but lots of giggles. Giggles like when you just can’t hold back and want to cry your laughing so hard kinda giggles!!

Yes, I should be happy that she has this bond with her Daddy but I can’t help to be jealous. With Danyella, I was her only parent so I got all the firsts, all the smiles, all the kisses, all the hugs and all the giggles. So I am not used to sharing all these special moments with another parent. This is all an adjustment for me as a mother.

I’m not a bad mother for being jealous that my husband swoops in and gets those special moments with the baby. I am human. I am the parent that is home with her all day and cares for her all day so I want those moments to be shared with me. I know one day I’ll get more giggles and one day I’ll get jealous that someone else shared special moments with my children.

Have you had jealous parent moments?

Posted on

Ham, Potato and Corn Chowder Soup

This is a favorite recipe of mine to make on a cold winter day, which we have had ALOT of them lately. It is a hardy soup that just seems to warm the body and soul!

The directions for this soup are done with my instant pot but you can easily convert it to a crock pot or stock pot on the stove. Another thing that I love about this recipe is that you can use the ham that you have leftover from another meal or use ham steaks. My Christina gave us a bunch of ham steaks, so I chopped one up for the soup and YUMMY!

Ham, Potato and Corn Chowder Instant/Crockpot Recipe

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A soup for those cold winter days.


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

-2 tbs olive oil -1/2 onion -2 stalks celery, diced -1 cup chopped carrots -1 clove chopped garlic -1/4 cup flour -1-14.5 oz can chicken or ham broth -1-1 1/2 pounds of potatoes, diced

Directions

  1. Set instant pot to saute, add oil plus onion, celery, carrots and garlic and saute until tender 5-6 mins. If you are using a crockpot, do this in a pan on the stove.
  2. Add flour and brown the flour.
  3. Slowly add the broth, bring to a boil and add milk.
  4. Add potatoes, continue to use saute setting for another 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir Continuously so that the veggies do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Set the slow cooker on 4 hours
  6. Add the ham and corn
  7. Let it cook for the 4 hours and enjoy!