Thursday, May 17, 2018

7 Ways to Clean out your Clutter

This time of year you will find us busy working on house projects. Nothing says bring on the nice weather then some music and de-cluttering the house. After months of looking at the clutter that has accumulated it is time to start organizing. I like to do this NOW so we can spend the rest of the Summer enjoying the great outdoors. Like any house chore, it is better to have a method to your madness so as not to feel completely overwhelmed!
1. Stay focused- if you are committing to clean out the fridge don't get distracted by the over piling of dirty dishes starring at you. Often times I get so distracted that I honestly forget why I go in rooms. By taking one task at a time I focus on the job at hand and can do it in more depth without distraction!
2. Buy Quality Cleaning Supplies- Seems a bit silly to invest in cleaning products but then again wouldn't you rather have a clean home? Why not spend the money where it is needed?! I finally invested in nice cleaning equipment not just for the big cleaning jobs but also my every day use. This helps keep my floors clean, counters dusted and me happy because I am not fighting with bulky cheap equipment! Need some ideas on what to invest in try the NEW Aqua Spray Deep Clean Mop. This is very lightweight and easy to use around and get those stubborn dirt particles that like to go into cracks/corners. Plus, the e-cloth fiber technology removes grease, and over 99% of bacteria from hard floor surfaces using just water and the mop (No Chemicals Needed)!!
**I received a free products to facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive review in any way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
3. Commit to house projects. While I won't lie to you this year I found out that we really slacked on house projects the past few years. Keeping up on daily maintenance would have saved us so much time, money ugh you name it!!
4. Start in one room and work your way to others. We have a toss basket, Sale box and what we will keep. As I clean I also organize and sort our items. By taking it one room as a time I don't feel overwhelmed.
5. Keep only what you use. While I know many of you collect things try to limit what you keep. A few collectibles are great but if you keep EVERYTHING the clutter can really start to dampen your spirits. Personally, clutter upsets me and I get really frustrated when my house is very cluttered. A good clean always helps fix that. Plus, if you are not use it chances are someone else can!
6. Sell you stuff! There are so many ways to sell things you are not using. Try having a sale like we did this past weekend. We made $700+ after having a $5 everything you can fit in a bag on the third day. Not only does it get rid of all the stuff you are not using but it also makes you some profit for items that were literally collecting dust! If a sale is not your thing try places like Thredup, Ebay, LetGo App, Amazon or Facebook Garage Sale groups.
7. Be a more focused buyer. After clearing out our house this past month I realized I am not a very focused buyer. We have several duplicate DVDs because we had forgotten what we had when we were out at stores. From now on I will be a bit better at this because I don't want to have the as crammed as it had been before my massive clear out!
Do you Spring Clean??
How many of you have a Sale with items you no longer use??

Also enter to WIN your very own Aqua Spray Deep Clean Mop I mentioned above!!
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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Caring for Someone with ADHD

This post is part of a paid sponsorship by Shire Pharmaceuticals. All opinions are my own

At an early age my brother and I moved out of our family home. In high school, I worked full-time so that I could afford an apartment for my brother and I. We had a difficult childhood to say the very least, but we had each other to lean on. While my younger brother became my responsibility, he never called me “Mom,” but in a lot of ways I was very much like one. I took care of him, helped him with homework, drove him to practices and provided for him.

You never want to think there might be something "up" with someone you love. Growing up, my brother struggled in school while I excelled. It was hard for him to focus in class and listen to his teachers without getting frustrated. As his guardian, I worked with his teachers to find ways to help him. However, it wasn’t until we sought the help of a trained healthcare professional, that he was officially diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We realized that a lot of his challenges were due to not being able to focus, not because he wasn’t smart enough to do the work.

ADHD is a chronic condition which includes symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. An estimated 10.5 million adults and 6.4 million children in the U.S. are currently living with ADHD, so it is pretty likely that it impacts someone you know!

It is important to note that only a trained healthcare professional can diagnose ADHD. I am a huge advocate for trusting in health professionals! If you find a good one, they become almost an extension of your family. While we were waiting to receive the verdict of the diagnosis, we spoke with our doctors. Some provided great insight into possible management options for my brother, including behavioral intervention, counseling and medication. One example of medication that is approved for patients 13 years and older is MYDAYIS® (mixed salts of a single-entity amphetamine product). Mydayis is not for children 12 and younger.

Remember, Mydayis and other stimulant medicines have a high chance for abuse and dependence. Your doctor should check you or your child for signs of abuse and dependence before and during treatment with Mydayis. It is also important to know that Mydayis is a federally controlled substance because it contains amphetamine. You’ll find more important safety info below. 

To learn more about Mydayis, visit mydayis.com

Medication may not be appropriate for all patients with ADHD and it is not something to take lightly. You should talk to your doctor to determine what potential management option(s) is best for you or your loved one. Being diligent in this process is so vital because some patients are not good candidates for medication while others are.


I found so many parents whose children were struggling with ADHD through this process. I can say there is hope. Finding the most appropriate management plan for you or your child is the key. My brother would be the first to tell you that it makes a world of difference. While there is no cure for ADHD, his ADHD symptoms improved, which was reflected in his improved attention and his attitude towards school. My brother enlisted in the Marines, despite all the obstacles his ADHD symptoms posed. I hope sharing his story with you will help. I believe it is worth talking to your doctor about treatment options if you or your child is diagnosed with ADHD.
S37404 04/18
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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Main ways to Make Money Blogging

I started blogging when my son was very young. He was at home and I wanted something to do during his nap time. At first it was nothing serious and I barely knew anything about blogging. When I started, back in the day, I had a few followers and no social media. I read tutorial after tutorial trying to get the hang of this whole blogging world. I found myself excited to start this adventure. In the beginning it was fun because let’s face it; I did not depend on it for my lively hood! As my followers started to grow I became more and more determined to figure this out. 

This post was in collaboration with ad-hoc reporting. All opinions are 100% my own.

To this day you can find me sitting at home or at a coffee shop typing away on my laptop. Like I said in the beginning I had no idea how fast nor big my little "side hustle" would grow. It was a hobby, place to collect my thoughts and share with friends/family. Over the years it has turned into my main source of income, complete with new writers, my spouse doing my accounting and TONS of hours behind the scenes making this well-oiled machine stay in touch with the changing times! At first I had NO idea you could MAKE MONEY! I was honestly just happy with FREE products. No one can really make a living off free stuff. It was great for a while but my house became over flowing and my work load never ending.

You can make passive income or put in the hours and energy to make it a lucrative source of income. It really depends on what you want. Once you decide blogging is your career you need to know HOW to make money. 

Blogging has endless potential so harness it!

 Main ways to make money blogging:

 

1.     Advertising: I know ads can be annoying, but let’s face it they are a catch 22. Limit ads BUT do not forget them altogether! They are a great source of income. I use AdSense along with a few affiliates. Use places like ad-hoc reporting to find out what is appropriate and best to advertise on your site. These reports hold so much vital information! You don't want to come off looking like a Billboard!
2.     Sponsored Posts: This is when a company provides you with a product they want you do endorse as well as compensation ($) for an endorsement. I would like to suggest you only take these if you TRULY endorse the product. If you are a twenty something year old writing about depends on a website full of recipes... chances are your readers are going to smell ADVERTISEMENT and you will lose all credibility. That is how it goes and in this industry credibility is ALL you have!
3.     Affiliates: Some companies will offer you a small portion of sales in exchange for helping them promote their product. Again pick companies you actually endorse. This helps you down the line when you have a larger following and companies want to work with you. If they know what you are about they will want to work with you.
4.     Blogging Networks: These are agencies (middlemen) who work with companies that want you to post a sponsored post, product review or ad on your social media sites.
5.     eBooks: this one might not be as obvious. If you excel in something teach others how to do it!
6.     Consulting/Speaking engagements, Freelance writing or VA work. Blogging can open doors to so many fields. A friend of mine teaches about social media hacks and man I learn something every time I listen in on her lectures! 

Honestly there are so many ways to make money blogging that I would be lying if I said it was not easy to land jobs. 
Let me know how YOU earn money blogging?
What questions do you have about earning an income in this industry?? 
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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Son, It's time we had the Talk: Seen Enough Tobacco

Typically, my son and I get gas in the morning on our way to school drop-off. It has become a regular errand once a week for as long as I can remember! One morning while pulling into get some petrol, my son asked what the LARGE poster signs were advertising (see above photo). My son is 8 going on 16 and clearly it was time to have "a talk" about smoking. This year we have already started to cover "the puberty" as he likes to call it. 
Why not sit down and start having the Smoking talk? 
This post was sponsored by Tobacco Free New York State as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. All opinions expressed in my post are my own.
I think we all know tobacco companies are spending billions of dollars to put their products in front of kids! Never did I get such a eye opening realization as I did that morning we pulled in to get gas! You have seen the commercials, media ads, the posters. Did you pay attention? Did you realize your kids were?? These FOUR posters have been eye level with my sons booster seat every morning for years. Starring at him, enticing him, sparking his curiosity. So much so he actually asked me about them. If we as parents, guardians, educators do not start having the "TALK" the average for our youth to start smoking is going to continue to decrease! Want to know what the age kids are starting to smoke at now?? The average age of a new smoker in New York State is 13 years old!! 
Raise of hands, who is OK with that???
The more kids see tobacco, the more likely they are to start smoking. It's really like putting a "DO NOT TOUCH" sign on something. The more you see it the more you want to touch it. We need to have a conversation, several, to get kids thinking why THEY do not want to start smoking. As a mom, my goal is to keep my son safe and healthy. Instead of shaming him about smoking, I want to have a open conversation. I want to have him explore his opinions as to why smoking is not a good choice for him! Why smoking would limit his lifestyle. Why smoking could limit his dreams of becoming a hockey player. Why smoking could end up giving him medical conditions down the road that could be life threatening. Every bad action has a consequence after all!
So, I’m signing the “Seen Enough Tobacco” pledge to make New York a healthier place to live and to raise kids. I truly had no idea how much advertisement was out there until it was brought to my attention! 
I'm signing:
For all the children out there who are considering it. 
For all the kids out there who think it is the "cool" thing to do.
For my son who has to grow up in this community.
For the countless smokers who wish they had never started.
These are a few reasons I am signing this petition & I encourage you to as well!

Click here for “Seen Enough Tobacco” pledge

and help make New York healthier place to live, work and play!


Check out the Tobacco Free New York State sites for more information:
Tobacco Free New York State Site: http://www.tobaccofreenys.org
Tobacco Free New York State Facebook:  http://lwww.facebook.com/tobaccofreenys  
Tobacco Free New York State Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/tobaccofreenys  
Tobacco Free New York State Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/tobaccofreenys  
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Friday, April 27, 2018

24 hours in Charleston, West Virginia

Last year, I was blessed with my first official trip to West Virginia. After which, I made it my mission to start exploring more of the state itself! What better way to get to know a state than visit it's capitol?? We enjoyed 24 hours in Charleston, West Virginia and I want to tell you all about it!  
It is located in the Appalachian Mountains giving you picturesque views as you get off the express way. We also saw large barges (much like the one pictured above) moving in and out of the canal transporting goods.
I was given a complimentary tickets and accommodations for my trip. All opinions are my own.
Near the waterway you will find the Capitol building. It was designed by Cass Gilbert after I hear several other Capitol buildings were destroyed due to fires. 
What a spectacular building to see and tour. 
The Capitol Dome even comes complete with gilded 23 1/2 carat gold!! 
As we wondered around the town I found some interesting things along the way. I enjoy any part of the History of an area. Luckily, my family agrees so often we like to just wander around finding things to capture. 
The buildings, their designs, the statues can all tell a lot about a place.
My son has been keeping track (in a National Geographic book we got him for Christmas) of all the places we have visited. Charleston was another off the list!! 
Everyone works up an appetite while they explore, right? Just wonder downtown to get a sense of the artsy atmosphere they have here. Book store, live music at night and little restaurants ready to serve you! I loved the old charm the town had because it was mixed with a younger generation vibe. 
Our hosts explain that Pies and Pints Pizzeria was a must stop place to eat! Once inside, I understood what they meant. This gigantic Elephant for instance was a staple of the wall for years. Through different establishments that rented the buildings it stood until someone painted over it. When the Pies and Pints Pizzeria uncovered it, they restored it back to it's original glory. Now, it is part of their logo and what a magnificent addition to the place as you sit to enjoy a meal!
The menu here is a collection of all sorts of interesting combinations a top of homemade pizza. We stayed traditional and just got a classic pie with root beer. Was it worth it?? You bet!! On our way out we met the Mayor. I wish I could have accepted the invite to a baseball game but he weather just was NOT on our side, Sadly (next time).
I will say if you are venturing down town leave your vehicle at the hotel. The streets are easy to walk and everything is rather close to one another. Parking is only an hour and believe me that hour is up before you know it.
Our first day in town was on the rainy/snowy side. We decided to head indoors and explore the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences of West Virginia.
Safe to say we enjoyed ourselves!
 Such a wonderful interactive place for both kids & adults to enjoy!! We spent most of our time in the interactive city on the lower level. I thought about sharing a bunch of photos but I really want you to go and visit! We spent most of our time earning "money" in a scavenger hunt theme game they have out for the kids. My personal favorite was the kid garage complete with a vehicle you could work on. My son was not a fan of putting on the costume overalls but I tried!
After a full day of exploring we hung our hats at the Four Points By Sheraton Charleston. It was perfect for our family! The accommodations were beautiful and clean. The hotel itself was located near everything. We could easily walk downtown and listen to live music playing at several of the businesses. If you wanted to stay in, they have a pool, restaurant or just order Jimmy Johns!
Instead of a stop off destination, one could easily spend days/nights exploring and enjoying the city. The people are extremely friendly and welcoming. Overall our time in Charleston, West Virginia was short but sweet.
Have you ever been to Charleston, West Virginia??
What are your favorite things to do when exploring a new destination??
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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Focusing on Hockey Thanks to Fizzique

I remember the first time I stepped out on the ice. I fell straight away.....right on my bum! After getting up I suddenly wasn't afraid of falling anymore, because well, I had already done that. I learned to figure skate throughout my high school years. Competing and even wining medals. When it was time to head off to college I traded my skates in and headed into the work force. Fast forward to 2 years ago when my son came home from school one day asking if he could "learn how to ice skate".
 **I received a free products to facilitate my review. I was not required to write a positive review in any way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
We signed him up for lessons and I dusted off my old figure skates. He caught on extremely fast and last November we took him to his first Hockey game. It was sort of a last ditch effort in fighting his high fevers. We figured if he spiked a fever we were already in a nice cool ice arena. After his first game he was HOOKED! He has spent the last few months getting ready for hockey season.
 
Each week I watch him conquer more hockey skills and get better on the ice. Most days I have to drag him off the ice much like my younger self so many years ago! To keep me energized while on the ice I found a fabulous new sparkling drink, Fizzique
 Fizzique combines liquid protein with healthy bubbles with only 20g of protein, only 80 calories, and zero net carbs, it’s the perfect grab-and-go option that helps satisfy hunger between meals. A great (and mess free) healthy alternative to ordinary protein drinks and sugary protein bars! This drink allows me to keep my focus on the ice not on my hunger or unhealthy drinks at the rink.
Save 10% with code "LIZFIZZIQUE" 
to try these tasty drinks out for yourself over here.
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Monday, April 23, 2018

Saving a Fortune at PetSmart

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #fortunaforall #cbias #collectivebias
Our pets have always been like family to us. They have been with us through many things in our lives. We like to spoil them! I know I am not alone, raise of hands who likes to save money and spoil your fur babies?? When our PetSmart store opened we found ourselves visiting weekly. On a shopping trip this week I learned of a few money saving offers I thought I would share with all of you pet loving families. 
In case, you were interested George's food is the Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend. Did you know if you Spend $20 on your first transaction you will get a $5 PetSmart gift card?! When you are ready to check out give them your contact information (which will give you an entry into the Grand Prize Sweepstakes) and upload your receipt on PurinaFortunes.com.
Next, I needed some litter. Cats can go through litter if you do not find the right kind that suits them. I am no expert but that is what I have found over the years. I use the Tidy Cats Free & Clean Unscented Scoop kind. George never has any litter out of his box and we have no lingering smells! Make sure you check because several of the containers had $3 off coupons!! Since you can redeem for multiple gift cards for every $20 purchase, now is the time to STOCK UP! Just make sure to Make your purchases from 4/3/18-5/18/18 (Promotion ends 5/31/18).
Need some of the items pictured above? Hover over the photo to click through and shop these products!
Note: The first $5 gift card awarded requires the $20 purchase be on one receipt. Subsequent receipts can be of any value and when $20 in Purina products have been accumulated. These are considered a “gift with purchase,” so you cannot redeem them for gift cards!
 While PetSmart is running some great offers on products, you can earn more savings and gift cards! Just play the Play the Paws of Fate game (located here>>PurinaFortunes.com) to instantly win prizes including Save a Fortune tarot cards and PetSmart gift cards. There is No purchase necessary to win and you can play on both your mobile device or desktop!
If you are interested in more information check out the Social Hub. While there you can find the Instant Win website!! Good Luck because the grand prize is a Dog/Cat Dreams of Fortune bed. 
George has been with us for almost 14 years. There is really nothing I would not do to ensure he has a continued healthy and happy life with us. 

Do you like to spoil your pets?
Have you Played the new Instant Win game??
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Friday, April 20, 2018

The HorseShoe Curve, Altoona PA

Remember last week when I promised to give you an exclusive and in depth review of this place?? Today is your lucky day because we are talking all things train related!! Trains have always been a real fascination of mine. When I was younger we lived across the street from a set of train tracks. I can remember placing pennies on the tracks and waiting for the trains to go by to see what flattened treasures they would leave behind. I even had the privilege of being a "walking" child in the movie: Planes, Trains and Automobiles starring the late John Candy. The train station part in the movie was filmed in my home town located in Western New York (still standing today). It's several memories like this that started my curiosity about trains and steam engines. As I have gotten older my son has started to share that same passion. We both enjoy learning about the history of an area especially if it includes trains! 
I was given a complimentary tickets for my trip. All opinions are my own.
The HorseShoe Curve located in Altoona PA has been in operation since around 1854. It was built with the idea that trains could get over the Allegheny Mountains at a gliding incline. 
Once you see it in person, you will agree, that this place is breath taking! Just picture hundreds of immigrants creating this beautifully functional train way out of picks, shovel and horse draw machines!! CRAZY!! 
This area is well suited for both adults and families. With two ways of going up the mountain to the viewing station you can easily access it through the Museum entrance.  The conductors will even wave at you!! Something we found out after watching the first train roll through.
While you are not privy to a train schedule (Thanks 911) you can estimate trains will be passing every so often. We saw several on our visit and each one came from a different direction and was different in styles, shapes and colors! 
They even have an engine for you to enjoy as you sit and wait for the next train to pass!
“I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful — 
an endless prospect of magic & wonder" ~ Ansel Adams
If I could give you a few pieces of advise while you plan your visit gauge around an hour. I know it might seem like a long time but I felt that hour went by so quickly! We could have sat and watched the trains roll in all day. Well....maybe... if it had not been snow/raining on that particular day!
Before you go I would also recommend a stop in their Museum. While it is on the smaller side my son really enjoyed all of the wonderful artifacts they had on display. They also have a video you can sit in and watch. My last suggestion is to visit their gift shop! We found some great souvenirs in there. They have a whole kid section of fun educational train related materials as well! I mean they have toys too but I tried to stay away (we have enough toys after all).
Do you like trains?? How about your kids?
Have you ever visited the The HorseShoe Curve in Altoona PA?? 
Tell us about it below!!
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