Wednesday, December 17, 2014

4 Steps To Your Healthiest Year


Have you heard of the limited time "4 Steps To Your Healthiest Year" program? It's a great way to get your 2015 off to a great start - plus it's only 4 simple steps. 

It's totally free, and all you need to do is enter your name & email address, that's it! Make 2015 your healthiest year yet while in the comfort of your own home. Plus... if you refer your friends to join you, you'll win fantastic prizes valued at over $1,000! Join me?

To enter, just visit the 4 Steps To A Healthier Year webpage! 




Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

Monday, December 15, 2014

This Week's Goals: 12/15-21/14

Goal Line



Last Week's Goals:

Classroom Goals
  • Work on lesson planning for the coming week
  • Continue using our new RTP Classroom Management expectations
  • Continue to work extra activities at school towards our (extra $ for our debt snowball!)
Household/Family/Mommy Goals
  • Continue our Total Money Makeover by creating our December budget
  • Continue to organize the basement by filling my new storage shelves (ongoing - my goal is to have a pseudo living room in the basement, even though the walls aren't finished, by the end of winter)
  • Look up how to remove mold from wooden hope chest (advice anyone???)
  • Put away patio furniture for winter - just one last outdoor job before the snow officially starts building up... fingers crossed!)
  • Take lawn mower in for service (sometime before Spring!)
  • Continue planning holiday season events & menus
  • Update to do list on our chalkboard wall to reflect winter tasks
Marriage Goals
  • Make a point to spend at least 1 solid minute cuddling with hubs each evening when he gets home
  • Fix hubby's bday present... I ordered the wrong thing. :(
  • Write a love note to hubs <3
Personal Goals
  • Run at least three times this week
  • Create "End 2014 With A Bang" To Do List (Picking up the lose ends of our 2014 Goal lists!)
  • Journal at least once this week (I've gotten pretty bad at setting aside time to journal, separately from blogging lately. I really need to get back into that routine!)
  • Continue listening to Kat Lee's Podcasts (How They Blog & Inspired To Action) while running
  • Re-read Say Goodbye To Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More & Restore Your Passion For Life by Crystal Paine (Seriously amazing book, check out my review from when the book first launched!)
Blogging Goals

    This Week's Goals:

    Classroom Goals
    • Survive the last week before Christmas break (Seriously. The natives are getting restless!)
    • Continue using our new RTP Classroom Management expectations
    • Continue to work extra activities at school towards our (extra $ for our debt snowball!)
    Household/Family/Mommy Goals
    • Continue our Total Money Makeover by following our December budget
    • Continue to organize the basement by filling my new storage shelves & making designated areas (i.e. kid/toy area, storage, sitting area, etc.)
    • Look up how to remove mold from wooden hope chest (Sometime before Spring perhaps!)
    • Put away patio furniture for winter - just one last outdoor job before the snow officially starts building up... fingers crossed!
    • Take lawn mower in for service (sometime before Spring!)
    • Prepare our house to host my husband's extended family for Christmas next Saturday
    Marriage Goals
    • Make a point to spend at least 1 solid minute cuddling with hubs each evening when he gets home
    • Write a love note to hubs <3
    Personal Goals
    • Run at least three times this week
    • Create "End 2014 With A Bang" To Do List - Things To Check Off Our 2014 To Do List while on Christmas Vacation from school
    • Journal at least once this week 
    • Continue listening to Kat Lee's Podcasts (How They Blog & Inspired To Action) and Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income podcast while running
    • Start reading Growing Up Social (Stay tuned for a blog review & giveaway of this book in January!)
    Blogging Goals
    Wish me luck! What's on your schedule this week?



    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

    Saturday, December 13, 2014

    Looking For A Traditional, Non-Commercialized Christmas Experience? (+ a Giveaway)


    Do you ever feel like Christmas has become an overly commercialized event instead of the celebration of the season that it should be? We live in a world that has made the importance of receiving gifts & spending money so much more important than the time spent with the ones we love.

    That's why I'm so thankful for Holiday Nights In Greenfield Village. The good people at The Henry Ford sent me passes for my family to experience the wonder of this event for our very own and then share it with you, and we couldn't have been happier. Holiday Nights In Greenfield Village is going to be something I look forward to each and every year from now on.


    The Greenfield Village has really outdone itself with this event. I've told you before about our love of the legacy Henry Ford passed on for all of us to enjoy and we had a fantastic time at the Hallowe'en in Greenfield Village event, but Holiday Nights surpassed even my greatest expectations. It's really important that you go in expecting a traditional Christmas experience. This isn't a festival of lights or Frankenmuth worthy Christmas - it's Christmas at it's finest - which if you ask me, it is so much better!


    Enjoy an evening stroll along lantern lit walkways with your family as you explore historic homes decorated as they would have been throughout yesteryear. Tour Henry Ford's childhood home, done up in 1876 holiday decor with the most delicious smelling dinner cooking in the kitchen. Visit the Wright Brother's home, where the Greenfield Village team has worked hard to recreate the Christmas scene to perfectly match an authentic holiday photo from the brother's family collection.


    Discover the history of door-to-door caroling as you encounter not only carolers, but mummers, bringing history alive for the young at heart. (Check out Mummers, Maypoles & Milkmaids on Amazon to find out more about the custom of Mummers, plus many other English traditions.)


    Enjoy delicious roasted chestnuts, hand carved beef sandwiches and homemade hot chocolate as you travel to see Santa from his roof top perch. While the reindeer keep watch, Santa greets each and every child by name through an ingenious ear-piece trick - helping to keep the spirit of Santa alive in the hearts of young & old. 


    Cruise Greenfield Village by horse drawn wagon, model T or carousel - all included in the price of your ticket. (Your horse drawn carriage ride will even include an unforgettable acoustic guitar or musical saw performance.)


    Dream of 1897 Christmas present pricing as you peruse the Schwarz Christmas Review showing the cost of many popular gifts of the day. The Hook & Ladder toy (pictured top left) reads "with two horses & gong, 21 inches, cost $1.00." It's amazing how much things have changed in just over 100 years, and THAT is a big piece of the magic behind Holiday Nights In Greenfield Village. You'll be immersed in a way of life long forgotten, reminded of what truly matters this holiday season & create amazing memories that your family will cherish for years to come. 


    Tie up the laces on a pair of ice skates while you enjoy a spin on the holiday light lit rink, revel in the simplicity of a vintage black and white silent film telling the story of Scrooge, purchase authentic holiday wreaths and garland from a wagon or your very own lantern and relax by the fire in a quiet corner of the cobble stoned Stony Creek Mill Pond district. The list of things to do & see at Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village is unending - every member of your family will find something for them.


    Not only does Greenfield Village have a top notch Christmas event in Holiday Nights, but they have one last extra special thing that other Holiday events throughout the world can't compete with... top notch historical presenters on staff, that truly bring history to life

    Be brave and get out of your box while visiting Holiday Nights this Christmas season to get the full experience. Don't just walk through enjoying the sites, but instead dive in and capitalize from these amazingly, passionate people. 

    Pictured above is one of those amazing presenters. We enjoyed an extremely interesting fireside chat, where he shared some of his favorite memories from working at the Greenfield Village and told us all about some of the amazing features we might have missed otherwise. Before leaving the cozy comfort of the fire, he even serenaded us with a Civil War era tune on his flute. 

    You'll find that the historical presenters at the Greenfield Village are ardent as they discuss our country's rich history and you'll soon discover that they love to share it with you! Besides seeing my son's face light up when Santa greeted him by name, our fireside chat was my favorite part of the evening.

    Holiday Nights will be open each weekend night until December 27th, don't miss out, purchase your tickets online today. And last but not least, the Henry Ford has also graciously offered a family four pack of passes to the Henry Ford museum for one lucky reader and their family to enjoy. To enter the giveaway just fill out the rafflecopter form below. (A huge THANK YOU to the staff at the Greenfield Village & Henry Ford Museum for making this review & giveaway possible!)

    Good luck in the giveaway & enjoy your trip to Holiday Nights In Greenfield Village! I'd love to hear from you about your favorite holiday events in your neck of the woods in the comments below. :) 




    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

    "The Unbreakable Boy" by Scott Michael LeRette, with Susy Flory: A Book Review


    Summary

    The Unbreakable Boy is a biography & autobiography written by Scott LeRette, as he tells the heart bursting story of his son, Austin - Auz for short, and their family experience with autism, alcoholism & finding faith. Scott LeRette's writing is beautifully done & heart felt. 

    My Reactions

    This book was a fantastic read. Not only did it make me laugh & cry, but it also helped me to gain perspective about life. Auz has so much burden in his life, and yet manages to let it roll off him like rain drops on a slicker. 

    This is a must read for anyone that knows someone suffering from autism or alcoholism, but also for anyone that needs a great jump start in life. This book provides all of that and more. I can't wait to pass it along, I know there are a few people in my life that will greatly appreciate and enjoy this book!

    The Unbreakable Boy is available for purchase on Amazon (link below) and at most other book retailers. I received my review copy from Book Look.





    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

    Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    How Your Morning Commute Can Totally Rock Your World (In A Good Way)


    While listening to the Inspired to Action podcast #53 (click the link to listen) I couldn't help but think of you guys - my wonderful readers - out there in your daily grind as working moms. So often we working moms can let ourselves get into a negative rut where we focus on how green the grass is on the other side - we sometimes think about how much "easier" it would be to be a stay at mom. (Insert GIANT disclaimer here - stay at home moms work their tails off & I know this, please don't get mad at me yet - let me explain what I mean first - pretty please?!)

    Whether you're a working mom by choice, or by necessity, I think we all know how difficult it can be to tend the many fires in our lives - work, home, kids, spouse, committees, friends, family - you name it, we always feel pulled in a million directions. It's easy to think, "if only I was a stay at home mom, I would have so much more time to complete my to do list, etc." And OK, maybe that's true, maybe, but chances are you'd still have too much to do at the end of your day either way. (At least that's how I feel during my pseudo-stay at home gig for the 3 months of summer vacation.) The grass is always greener. 

    We've all heard about listening to audio books & podcasts while doing housework or exercising - and don't get me wrong, that's a great idea (and one I love) - especially in the evening, or on the weekends when you get your normal housework done. But for a working mom, we have the advantage of a commute to and from work each day... and in this case, the longer the commute the better because the time is just going to fly by! So here we go...

    5 ways to make your morning commute rock your world...

    1. Silence is golden. - No kids screaming. No unending list of questions or demands. No disciplining. No silly songs or nursery rhymes. No pointing out road signs to pass the time. Just plain old silence... the kind you enjoyed before you became a parent. Sometimes I just need 2 or 3 minutes to listen to myself breath to help make the stress melt away & my commute is a perfect place to make that happen.
    2. Catching up with friends & family. - Even during my college days, driving the highway was my favorite place to catch up on long phone calls with important people in my life. Obviously personal preferences, technology availability & local laws will play a role in this one, but for me I look forward to the opportunity to call my mom or a good friend while making my way home in the afternoon. It helps keep me sane & allows me to stay in touch.
    3. Grow as a mother person. - Podcasts have seriously become the nourishment my heart needs lately. I've found a few amazing ones this year that challenge me & let me use my brain in wonderful and exciting ways. (My current faves are: Inspired To Action, How They Blog & Passive Income)
    4. Dream. - Were you ever the last kid off the school bus when you were growing up? For a few years in elementary school I rode the bus for over an hour to get home from school each day and once my friends were off the bus I spent the rest of the drive day dreaming. Just imagine what innovative or exciting ideas you could come up with without the onslaught of demands made by the small people in your life?!
    5. Escape Reality. - Sometimes after a long day all I want to do is curl up on the couch with a pillow, blanket & good book, but lets be real... I'm a mom. Leisurely nights of reading just don't happen like they used to. :) Instead, pop in an audio book or book on CD and transport yourself to whatever world your heart desires. (Might I recommend the Outlander series? It is amazing!)

    How do you make the most out of your morning commute? Will you be intentionally trying out one of our strategies this week? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. Happy Commuting! 



    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

    Monday, December 8, 2014

    This Week's Goals: 12/8-14/14

    Goal Line

    This week needs to be "catch up week" - I'm feeling overwhelmed after our busy weekend and I'm hoping to just catch up on old to do items this week! :)

    Last Week's Goals:

    Classroom Goals
    • Work on lesson planning for the coming week
    • Continue using our new RTP Classroom Management expectations
    • Continue to work extra activities at school towards our (extra $ for our debt snowball!)
    Household/Family/Mommy Goals
    • Continue our Total Money Makeover by creating our December budget (a few days late!)
    • Continue to organize the basement by filling my new storage shelves (ongoing - my goal is to have a pseudo living room in the basement, even though the walls aren't finished, by the end of winter)
    • Look up how to remove mold from wooden hope chest (advice anyone???)
    • Put away patio furniture for winter - just one last outdoor job before the snow officially starts building up... fingers crossed!)
    • Take snow blower & lawn mower in for service
    • Finish decorating for Christmas
    • Continue planning holiday season events & menus
    • Top to bottom house cleaning in preparation for guests at our Supper Sleuths Murder Mystery Party next weekend for Hubby's birthday :)
    • Update to do list on our chalkboard wall to reflect winter tasks
    Marriage Goals
    • Make a point to spend at least 1 solid minute cuddling with hubs each evening when he gets home
    • Finalize hubby's birthday present & party - OMG, his birthday is in 5 days & I'm still pulling straws on this one!!! :(
    • Write a love note to hubs <3
    Personal Goals
    • Run at least three times this week
    • Create "End 2014 With A Bang" To Do List (Picking up the lose ends of our 2014 Goal lists!)
    • Journal at least once this week (I've gotten pretty bad at setting aside time to journal, separately from blogging lately. I really need to get back into that routine!)
    • Continue listening to Kat Lee's Podcasts (How They Blog & Inspired To Action) while running
    • Re-read Say Goodbye To Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More & Restore Your Passion For Life by Crystal Paine (Seriously amazing book, check out my review from when the book first launched!)
    Blogging Goals
    • Post at least 2 times this week
    • Promote our BRAND NEW online store where you can buy our premium edition 2015 Working Mom's Daily Do's Planner
    • Announce our November Giveaway winner & introduce our TWO December giveaways (including one great offer for our local Michigan area readers!)
    • Promote our email subscription (Have you subscribed?)
    • Promote our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts
    • Highlight & add sticky notes to my copy of  Mom Blogging for Dummies (This job is going to be on here forever at the rate I'm going!)

      This Week's Goals:

      Classroom Goals
      • Work on lesson planning for the coming week
      • Continue using our new RTP Classroom Management expectations
      • Continue to work extra activities at school towards our (extra $ for our debt snowball!)
      Household/Family/Mommy Goals
      • Continue our Total Money Makeover by creating our December budget
      • Continue to organize the basement by filling my new storage shelves (ongoing - my goal is to have a pseudo living room in the basement, even though the walls aren't finished, by the end of winter)
      • Look up how to remove mold from wooden hope chest (advice anyone???)
      • Put away patio furniture for winter - just one last outdoor job before the snow officially starts building up... fingers crossed!)
      • Take lawn mower in for service (sometime before Spring!)
      • Continue planning holiday season events & menus
      • Update to do list on our chalkboard wall to reflect winter tasks
      Marriage Goals
      • Make a point to spend at least 1 solid minute cuddling with hubs each evening when he gets home
      • Fix hubby's bday present... I ordered the wrong thing. :(
      • Write a love note to hubs <3
      Personal Goals
      • Run at least three times this week
      • Create "End 2014 With A Bang" To Do List (Picking up the lose ends of our 2014 Goal lists!)
      • Journal at least once this week (I've gotten pretty bad at setting aside time to journal, separately from blogging lately. I really need to get back into that routine!)
      • Continue listening to Kat Lee's Podcasts (How They Blog & Inspired To Action) while running
      • Re-read Say Goodbye To Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More & Restore Your Passion For Life by Crystal Paine (Seriously amazing book, check out my review from when the book first launched!)
      Blogging Goals
      Wish me luck! What's on your schedule this week?



      Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

      Wednesday, December 3, 2014

      Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes Mascara Giveaway - December 2014


      This December, Wife.Mother.Teacher. and Erin at Younique Cosmetics are sponsoring a giveaway of the Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes - a $29 value. Never heard of Younique or 3D Fiber Lashes? 
      "Younique is a naturally-based cosmetics and skin care company, and home of the #1-selling 3D Fiber Lashes. These are NOT fake lashes! 3D Fiber Lashes are made from green tea fibers on go on just like mascara. They are safe for contact lens-wearers, hypoallergenic, never tested on animals, and free of harmful chemicals, parabens, and unnecessary fillers. The lashes are water-resistant, but still remove easily with face wash or soap and water. Bonus: this mascara is even Gluten-Free!

      The 3D Fiber Lashes come in two tubes. To apply the mascara, just remember: gel, fibers, gel. Begin by applying the naturally-based transplanting gel, which goes on just like regular mascara. Then follow immediately with the fibers, which are actually 100% natural green tea fibers. This is the layer that really fills and lengthens your lashes and makes them pop! Finally, seal in the fibers with one last coat of gel. Go with one layer or continue with 2 or 3 layers if you want extra long lashes! Younique's 3D Fiber Lashes can increase your lash length by 300%!!

      Younique has many other amazing naturally-based products. Many of them are even Vegan and Gluten-Free!" - Erin from Younique Cosmetics

      Would you like to see the Amazing 3D Mascara in action? Check out this YouTube video to see all the nitty-gritty...


      Not convinced you need to enter this giveaway yet? Check out these before and after photos - all three are personal photos taken by Erin at Younique of her own eyes!


      If you'd like to skip the giveaway and purchase your very own mascara right away check out Erin's online Younique store, but otherwise fill out the rafflecopter below for your chance to win your very own Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes.

      Good luck & thank you for entering!

      a Rafflecopter giveaway
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