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DIY Diary

First hand DIY experiences, tips, and suggestions from an average DIY family!

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Do we have any single ladies out there? My best friend is happily single. She loves going on dates, but she doesn’t need a man! She prefers to live life to the fullest, regardless of her relationship status on Facebook. Women like her are popping up everywhere, and rightfully so! With Valentine’s Day approaching, I will share with you a few fun Galentine’s Day plans that you can make your own!

Glam Up

Your ultimate goal is to celebrate yourself. Yes, that’s right! Celebrate your awesome self. Glam up!

My favorite thing to do on special occasions is shave my legs, give myself a quick Self Tan, do my nails, fix my hair and dress real cute. This might just mean glamming up to lay in bed and watch Netflix, or you might go out with other single Gal Pals. All options are fantastic! Just feel your best on your Gal-entine’s Day.

Go Out by Yourself

My bestie loves going out by herself. She always feels empowers, and enjoys spending time with herself. With self-love being so important, you should learn (if you haven’t already) how to spend time by yourself in public and have fun! You can practice this on February 14th. Treat yourself to a movie, a nice dinner, and some dessert. You deserve it. No one should be expected to stay home on Valentine’s Day just because you’re single.

Throw a “Singles” Valentine’s Party

A fun way to make the most of your single status is to throw a singles party! You can invite all of your single friends and do your favorite activities! Your friends and you might like hiking, so go hiking with a group. You might like games, so play glow in the dark volleyball with blaring music. You might even just like food, so throw a dinner party for your favorite friends. The sky is the limit for what you can do at your Singles Party!

Moral of the story, don’t be ashamed because you are single on Valentine’s Day. It is fun to be single, so make the most of it!

Don’t forget to like, follow, and comment your favorite Galentine’s Day activity below!

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It’s that time of year again! For some of you, this Valentine’s Day will be the first in your relationship; for other, this will be another year where you adorn your man with what he truly deserves. This gift giving guide gives tips depending on the length and commitment of each relationship.

“We’ve only gone on a few dates”

So maybe you just started talking to your Valentine, or you’ve only gone on a few days. Do not worry! There are still tons of gifts that you can get him, without coming on too strong.

Bamboo Mug

This Bamboo Mug is useful, affordable, and masculine. Your Valentine will love this!

The North Face Ball Cap

This ball cap by The North Face is cute and classy. It has the affordable price with the high quality aspects of a name brand.

Gratitude Journal

This Gratitude Journal for Men is a great gift for any occasion, but it is also and incredible Valentine’s Day gift.

“We’ve been dating for 6 months”

Beard Grooming Kit

This Beard Grooming Kit is great for any man who likes to keep up his appearances. Though this kit is designed for beards, it can be used for any hair!

Survival Gear Kit

This TRSCIND Survival Kit is perfect for the outdoor man! It comes with a paracord bracelet, a compass, a knife, a fire starter, a flashlight with adjustable modes, including strobe, heavy duty pen, compact wire saw and wood cutter, emergency blanket, compact carrying case, whistle, a heavy duty knife, a credit card knife, and carabiner clip. Is that not a crazy good deal for only $30?

Date Night

Treat your man to a date night, your treat! Take him to dinner, a movie, and then coffee after. Go bowling and out for ice cream down town, or even take him to an amusement park! Get creative and have fun doing what you guys love to do!

“We’ve been together forever”

Engraved Yeti

Engraved Yeti’s are my go to gift! I am a Yeti advocate because their cups are high quality. Ice will stay in my mug for over 24 hours, and coffee will stay scalding hot all day long. That’s a winner to me! Engrave your man’s name into his new Yeti, and I promise, he will love it!

Fossil Watch

Fossil is a reputable brand that always puts out high quality products. This Fossil Watch has an antique and rustic look with a modern, leather design. A few years ago, I bought my husband a watch like this, and he loves it! Your man will love it, too.

Beats Pill by Dre

The Beats by Dre brand is incredible. The Beats Pill is perfect for parties of any variety, even just cleaning on a Saturday morning! I have earnestly admired this brand since they came out, and I have never been disappointed. All of my Beats products have lasted for over 5 years, with hard wear. I highly recommend this product.

Romantic Gifts

50 Things I Love About You

This can be a great way to express creativity and make your man feel like 100 bucks! The day of Valentines day, decorate his planner, his shoes, his tooth brush, his steering wheel, and even his laptop with little notes letting you know how much you love him and why you love him. There’s nothing like feeling appreciated!

52 Uncommon Date Night Ideas

Spice up your relationship with these 52 Uncommon Dates! Try a new one each weekend.

Love Vouchers

These Love Vouchers can be fun and exciting. Your man can cash in a voucher for a back massage or a night out without responsibilities!

Bonus

Some of my teenage students asked to chime in some suggestions for this post. Here are some of their best suggestions on what you should get your man for Valentine’s day:

1. cologne
2. a nice t-shirt
3. football jersey
4. “open when” envelopes
5. chocolate covered strawberries
6. Edible Arrangements
7. gift cards
8. socks
9. a bae-cation (go on a vacation with your bae)
10. a massage

How do you plan on spoiling your Valentine this year? Comment below!

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Hello, all! I know many of you are planning to throw a watch party this Sunday. Here are a few of my absolute favorite Super Bowl finger food recipes!

Copycat El Acapulco Queso

My grandpa has had this family recipe for years, and it has constantly received complement after complement. It is a tangy yet creamy version of the ever loved Mexican restaurant queso. Like El Acapulco’s queso, this recipe is a yellow cheese dip. You and all your guests will love it!

For this recipe, you will need:
– 4 Tbs flour
– 1 stick of butter
– 1 + c. milk
– 1 can Rotel
– 24 slices of American cheese
– 1 tsp cumin seed
– 1 tsp ground cumin
– 1 tsp chili powder

You will start by making a roux. This is incredibly easy. Melt the butter over medium-high heat, and add the flour. Cook the butter and flour mixture for a minute – your flour should begin to look golden brown. This roux will make your queso creamy. If you were to skip this step, you would have a soup, rather than a dip.

Add 1 cup milk and Rotel to your roux. You will mix this all together, to blend in the roux with the liquids. At this time, you will add the cumin seed, ground cumin, and chili powder.

Once it is all mixed, You will add the cheese, one slice at a time, constantly stirring. Once everything is mixed together, continue stirring until the dip is the consistency you prefer. You will add more milk during this time. You just add as much milk as you prefer. I like my cheese dip to be really creamy, so I usually add around 2-3 cups of milk.

Serve immediately with tortilla chips or Doritos!

Homemade Tortilla Chips

This recipe comes from Live Healthy, and it is incredibly easy, tasty, and fresh. These chips will go wonderfully with any dip or guacamole!

For this recipe, you will need:
– flour tortillas
– olive oil
– onion powder
– garlic powder
– dried parsley
– dried basil
– salt and pepper

You will start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. You will then cut your tortillas into fours. Lightly cover the tortillas with olive oil, and sprinkle your tortillas with onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper. You want to add seasoning before baking your chips.

After your tortillas have been seasoned, bake your tortillas until they are crispy and golden brown. This will be about 10-15 minutes.

The chips are easily adapted to your preference, too. If you prefer spicy chips, you can top your tortillas with chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. You can also make dessert chips with sugar and cinnamon.

Copycat BWW Spicy Garlic Wings

I love making this recipe for every event! The only thing you actually have to make is the Spicy Garlic sauce, which can be preserved in the freezer for months.

For this recipe, you will need:
– fried boneless chicken wings
– 1/2 c. Red’s Cayenne hot sauce
– 3/4 tsp garlic powder
– 1/2 tsp sugar
– 1/4 tsp black pepper
– 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
– 1 tsp water

Begin by combining all ingredients in a saucepan on low heat. Simmer for 20 minutes, and apply to fully cooked wings. Serve with Ranch Dressing or Blue Cheese Dressing.

Ham and Cheese Sliders

Carrie from Eating on a Dime really out did herself with this one. This is such a crowd pleaser, and though it isn’t great for a diet, it tastes so good! You can make a bunch of these little sliders at a time, making it perfect for a crowd.

For this recipe, you will need:
– 12 King’s Hawaiian Rolls
– 3/4 c. melted butter
– 1 Tbs Dijon Mustard
– 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
– 1 tsp brown sugar
– 1 tsp Poppy Seeds
– 2 tbs dried minced onions
– thin sliced deli ham
– thin sliced Swiss cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and combine butter, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, poppy seeds, and minced onions. Set aside.

Slice your Hawaiian rolls to make a sandwich. You will do this in one piece, instead of breaking the rolls into individuals. This saves a ton of time.

Place the bottom of your Hawaiian roll “sandwich” inside the bottom of a baking dish. You will then layer the thinly sliced ham and cheese atop the rolls. Place the top of your “sandwich” on the cheese, and top with your butter mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown. Cut along the original roll lines and serve.

I hope you love these recipes! Share your favorites below. Don’t forget to like, follow, and share this page for more content like this!

My favorite things this week come from Etsy. I don’t know about you, but I love all things Etsy! From vintage cookware to unique, handmade apparel – Etsy has it all, so let’s support some small businesses!

Customizable Map Tie Clips

This has been the month of gifts for me, with my grandma, my dad and my husband having birthdays! I bought this Custom Map Tie Clip by AllAboutYouCreations for my dad’s birthday, and he loved it! He is originally from Arkansas, so I asked the creator to put Arkansas in the middle of the pin. It was beautiful in every way!

Wooden Tie

My husband has been raving about this one for month. This is a Classic Wooden Tie by ClassicAdvent He saw a tie like it at a convention years ago, and he has never forgotten it. For his birthday this month, I got it for him! He cannot wear it enough!

Personalized Laptop Bag

This Personalized Laptop Bag by GiftsForGuysCo ended up being another gift for my husband. He really loved it, and it is super high quality! This bag is actually much more affordable than most bags on Etsy, too. I would recommend it to anyone!

Moss Ring

I indulged and bought this Moss Ring by Eterniada for myself last year. It has lasted very well over the months, and I get gobs of complements over it! This ring really has moss and flowers in it, but I would recommend you size up whatever your normal ring size is.

Crochet Navy Whale

Alright, let’s see if my husband reads my blog! I want this Crocheted Whale by Cuddle&Yarn for my birthday! I have been eyeballing this whale for over a year. Look at how cute it is! It would be perfect for baby rooms, or, if you’re like me, living rooms, too!

I hope you love this week’s picks! Don’t forget to like, follow, and share this page for more content!

Also, don’t forget to checkout our Merchandise!

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Hello, all! As some of you know, I have created my own line of vegan beauty and pet products. Here, I will give you a little background information on these new products!

Vegan Shampoo for Dry and Damaged Hair

The Damaged Hair Shampoo line has two scents: Dry Scalp Original, and Orange Mist. These two shampoos vary slightly for great results. Both contain a vegan soap base, Organic Coconut Oil, Vitamin E Oil, water, Cornstarch, and essential oils.

The Dry Scalp Original is ideal for people who struggle to keep dandruff and itchy scalp at bay. This contains additional oils and essential oils that nurture the scalp back to a healthy Ph level, while enhancing the hairs nature shine.

Orange Mist has fewer oils than the Dry Scalp Serum, and Orange scents to fill your shower and hair with a pleasing aroma that will linger for hours. This shampoo is designed for those who need more moisture in their hair, but do not struggle with dandruff.

The Dry Scalp and Orange Mist shampoo is ideal for dry and damaged hair, so using this shampoo on silky hair might result in greasy hair. When I tested this shampoo, my hair became greasy earlier than it usually would, because I have naturally oily hair. My husband, however, struggles with dandruff, and these shampoos made a world of difference in his scalp comfort.

Vegan Shampoo for Oily Hair

I have oily hair naturally, so I was so excited to create my Greasy Girl line. Right now, it only has one original scent.

This shampoo contains a vegan shampoo base, Water, Cornstarch, Vitamin E Oils, and some Essential Oils. This nourishes the scalp, and helps prevent dandruff and itchy scalp, while maintaining the cleanliness necessary to avoid excess grease and oils.

This is the only shampoo I use anymore, because it works perfectly for my hair type. Is there a specific vegan scent or hair type you would like to see added to this line? Let me know in the comments!

Vegan Peppermint Lip Balm

I created this lip balm around Christmas time, and I genuinely love it. It tingles when I put it on, which is a must for me. I can’t use most lip balms because I have sensitive skin, but this balm doesn’t cause irritation.

This lip balm smells great and is cute, but the real reason it exists is because I have chapped lips all the time. ALL THE TIME! Why? I lick my lips and don’t drink enough water. You might be like me if you often replace water with coffee. Any sleep deprived coffee drinkers out there? My lips were so chapped, and I hated using big name-brand lip balms because most contain chemicals and materials that cause your lips to peel even more than ever. Big companies do this to keep you coming back. My balm doesn’t have anything like this; your lips won’t peel any more than they naturally do, and there aren’t any harmful chemicals.

You might be wondering, “what exactly is in this lip balm that makes it so great?” This balm is packed with the highest quality, all-natural ingredients. It contains soy wax, Organic Coconut Oil, Vitamin E Oil, and skin-safe essential oils.

Puppy Poo” Shampoo & Conditioner

No, there isn’t any real puppy poo in this shampoo and conditioner combo, but it is completely vegan and natural. It is safe for sensitive skin, and the essential oils help keep fleas and ticks at bay (though we aren’t certified on the last part). We have used this shampoo and conditioner on our dogs for a while, and they love it (well, as much as they can love bath time)! This contains a soap base, water Coconut Oil, Vitamin E Oil, and essential oils. This shampoo and conditioner is thinner than our other shampoos, making it easier to spread across dirty, little puppy bodies.

This is safe to use on cats, as well, though you might gain a few extra scratches from this attempt. In all honesty, this shampoo is made at human-grade, so you could even use it if you wanted! It is vet and groomer approved.

Pet Paw Balm

Our last and favorite item is a pet paw balm. We use this on our cats, dogs, and even our foster dogs. They all love it! I have used so many different brands of Paw Balm over the years, and our pets always started licking their paws after application. This is normal, and doesn’t really affect the medicinal affects of the balm, but I was concerned because I didn’t really know what was in other brands.

It is shocking how many chemicals and toxins are allowed in pet supplies, so I quickly started making my own, vegan pet balm. This is safe for your pets to lick or even eat (though we don’t recommend it)! It is similar to our lip balm, meaning, you could even use this on your mouth. Our balm contains a soy wax base, Coconut Oil, and Vitamin E Oil.

Our pets are our family, so we only use the highest quality ingredients in our pet products. What else would you like to see added to our pet line? Comment below!

Use this coupon code for 25% off our Merchandise: WORDPRESS

If you are interested in purchasing one of these items, you have options! You can purchase through Etsy here, or you can purchase directly through this website here.

Thanks for joining me!

In November 1968, David Caldwell Sr. drew up the house plans to his very first house. He was 27 years old and recently married to the maiden Phyllis Huggs. He built his own 3 bedroom, 1 bath house with a Rural Development loan and paid a whopping $11,400 total. The loan only covered $9,600, but luckily, David’s father graciously lent him $2,000, which was paid back before the end of the next year. The house did not have central heat or air and was only a little more than 1,200 square feet total.

There, they began to grow their family. He and Phyllis had two children, David Jr. and Charissa, then referred to as “Chrissy.” They spent 10 years at this house before renting it out to local families. During the 10 years, David made several improvements to the house. He took out one “hallway” in the living room and built his own decorative brick wall, he had central heat and air installed, he installed carpet over the original “short” hardwood floors in the bedrooms, hallway, and living room, he built and organized a shed in the backyard, and installed a chain link fence in the backyard. Most of what he added is still a part of the house several years later.

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David Caldwell Sr. is my grandfather. This house has a rich history that I am proud to be a part of. I vividly remember spending my weekends and summers with my grandparents as they fixed up the house between renters. I imagined what it would have been like to live here with them. I spent many hours lying in the floor of each bedroom, wondering what it would have felt like to be here in the 70’s, when my mother was young and my uncle was just a toddler. In June 2017, my husband and I moved in to this house. Now, it is our home, too.

Though I was inherently familiar with the house, when we moved in, it was as if the space was totally different than I remembered. The rooms seemed smaller and the carpet stinkier. It was not as glamorous as I remembered. There was a lot of work to be done.

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We ripped out the carpet immediately. The hardwood floors underneath were still in relatively good condition. There are still areas that have been damaged by pet messes, but we have not gotten the floors refinished yet.

Over time, we repainted the entire house, installed new carpet in two of the bedrooms, installed a new bathroom floor, and we have recently put in an order for new windows. The house has come a very long way, and we are proud of our work!

Below, are a few of our “after” photos. We are constantly working to improve the space, so stay tuned for updates and instructional articles!

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This page does not have affiliated links. This post was created before I became a member of the Amazon Associates program. I will not receive any benefits from your purchases.

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If you have pets, you have to vaccinate them, or at least, you should! On average, annual vaccinations alone can be over $50 a pet. Here is how I vaccinate my pets for far less that that.

Disclaimer: We have done extensive research to ensure the health and safety of our pets. Talk to your vet before proceeding.

We have 3 dogs and 3 cats, so vaccines can end up costing us several hundred dollars. Instead of going to the vet for all of these vaccinations, we do most of them at home. We do still get our pets their rabies vaccines at the vet, so we have proper documentation of vaccination.

Vaccines for Dogs

Canine Spectra 5

Annually, we give our dogs Canine Spectra 5. This protects against canine adenovirus type 1 & 2, canine distemper, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. This is usually given to puppies and is meant to be administered annually. Our dogs did not receive this vaccine as puppies, so we are sure to re-administer annually.

We get our vaccines from a local farm store for $8 per dog.

Heart worm Prevention

We do not buy heart worm prevention from the vet anymore because it was so expensive ($20+ per dog, monthly). Instead, we buy a generic brand Ivermectin 1% for our dogs. It can be injected or given orally – we give our dogs this orally. Doses varies based on weight and solution levels, so keep an eye out for my post on Ivermectin doses!

You can order a 50 ml bottle here.

Ivermectin cannot be given to all breeds of dogs, so check with your vet before making the switch.

Vaccines for Cats

Focus Cat Vax

We administer this annually to our cats, as well. This protects against Feline Rrhinotraceitus, Calici, and feline distemper. It costs around $8 per cat, and we get it at a local farm store.

Flea Prevention

We use Capstar to protect against fleas, and we love it. It works like a charm! One of our cats has very sensitive skin, so topical treatments are out of the question. Capstar is given once a week, orally, and it begins killing fleas within 30 minutes. It really does an outstanding job. Within 2 weeks, our cats are flea free! We buy a bulk pack that lasts all year, but the monthly pack can be bought here.

Capstar can be used for dogs or cats. Be sure to pay attention to the weight when purchasing.

DIY Microchipping

We also microchipped our pets ourselves. Vets can charge over $30 per pet, while the materials only costs around $10. We ordered a microchipping kit on Amazon, and administered the shot just as we would a vaccine.

A microchipped pet does no good without registering the chip. I register mine here for free! Remember, most animal shelters check for chips as soon as a pet is brought in.

Microchips are especially great for pets that pull off their collars.

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Body Pillow

I did not spend big money on a pregnancy-specific pillow. Instead, I bought a long, rectangular pregnancy pillow with a pillow case. I love that I can wash my pillow case with my sheets. This type of pillow saved my so much money! I bought this body pillow by BioPedic and a Jersey Knit pillow case to fit. This pillow case gets softer with each wash.

A long body pillow is great for supporting your growing belly, and it has really helped me with sciatic pain. I tuck the pillow between my legs and sleep soundly.

At-Home Doppler

I use my At-Home Doppler religiously. These dopplers are safe to use every day, and I have found the heartbeat with ease since the 10th week of pregnancy. Without this doppler, I would be living in fear of loss. This has given me so much peace and joy. You can get a Summer Infant At-Home Doppler here.

KT Tape

I use KT Tape to tape up my big belly. It relieves a lot of the pressure off my back. I prefer this to a pregnancy band because it’s not as hot. My pregnancy is during summer, so I like to stay as cool as possible! This tape does not peel off in the shower, so I wear it for days at a time. It never gets smelly either.

Bonus: Baby Moon

Though I did not technically buy a baby moon, I am incredibly happy we went on one! This was our last vacation before the baby will arrive, and it has been so worth it. I enjoyed some quality time with my husband away from the stress of home and work, and I wish I could do it again! While we did not spent tons of money, we really enjoyed getting out of town. If you can, you should do something fun with your special someone! You will not regret it, and you really deserve a treat.

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I was certain that I would be that first-time-mom that bought everything in sight, but as I continue on into my 2nd trimester, there seems to be a plethora of popular items I do not want my baby to have. Did you have these items for your baby? If so, did you love them or regret them?

Bassinet

My baby will not have a bassinet or a co-sleeper. In fact, the plan is that my baby will sleep in the crib from day one. Am I nuts?

Our house is on the small size, and I don’t want to clutter every room with unnecessary items that the baby will grow out of in no time. For this reason, the bassinet got the boot! If I had a large house, I would probably invest in a bassinet to keep the baby nearby.

If I change my mind, I will probably go with a co-sleeper, rather than a bassinet. I would choose this Baby Delight Co-Sleeper. I really like the adjustable sides and the foldable side, and it can alternate from a bassinet to a co-sleeper.

Diaper Genie

People love Diaper Genie’s, and at times, I wondered if I was making a mistake by avoiding this item. I still stand firm, though! Our baby will not have a Diaper Genie! I don’t like how expensive the replacement bags are, and I don’t see how different a Diaper Genie is from a trash can.

Though I have some experience with the Diaper Genie, I still choose to avoid it because the Genie usually ends up smelling anyway. I would rather save my money. What did you do about diapers?

We plan to buy an outside trash can for diapers only. We will immediately take out a stinky diaper, so we don’t have to have the smells in our house!

If I were going to buy a Diaper Genie, I would get this one. It is inexpensive and large.

Jumperoo

Our baby won’t have one of these, and this is because we don’t have much space. Though a Jumperoo seems like a lot of fun, we will be opting for a walker instead. What do you think? Did your baby love the Jumperoo?

We do want a door jumper, which will give our baby the exercise and fun of a Jumperoo, but the door jumper can be folded up!

Changing Table

We won’t be using a changing table! Are we crazy? Maybe. We plan on just changing the baby wherever we happen to be. I don’t like changing tables because they can’t really be used for anything else in the future.

Play Gym

Just like the Jumperoo, we will be avoiding the Play Gym to save space. Our baby will likely have tons of toys, so we don’t think he/she will miss out on too much with the Play Gym! Did your baby have a Play Gym?

Sound Machine

We will not be buying a sound machine. We do, however, already have an Echo Dot, which we will be using for it’s sound abilities! I would not recommend buying a specific sound machine, simply because it cannot be used for anything else in the future. If you are interested in a multi-use sound machine, you can get an Echo Dot here!

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Late last year, my husband and I were desperate to get a bigger bed. We jumped in and bought out first mattress in a box: Linenspa through Amazon.

I had done my research, and this bed had raving reviews. We gave it a shot, and for only $300! Here’s my honest review.

At first, I noticed this bed is on the firmer side. I prefer a plush bed, so we purchased a Lucid 4 inch mattress topper to go on the bed. Worth it. We love this mattress topper, and we have one on every bed in our house. I would recommend it every time.

I have a hard time with my back, so I was worried about buying an inexpensive mattress like Linenspa, but this mattress was pretty comfortable! It was an easy transition, and we loved using it!

Based on the reviews, I was concerned about a few things:

-Some reviewers claimed the bed came with bed bugs. We did not have this problem. Our bed was pristine, but we were careful to check before taking the bed inside.

– Some reviewers claimed this bed was too plush. We did not have this issue. My husband was pleased with the level of firmness.

– The mattress takes 24 hours to air up. This didn’t bother me. It was really crammed in that box!

All in all, we loved this Linenspa mattress, and for the price, we couldn’t beat it. We are still using it and nothing has changed 6 months later.

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When I created my baby registry on Amazon, I realized I could receive a free Welcome Box. I had heard mixed reviews, so I decided to tell you exactly what was in my free Welcome Box.

Dr. Brown’s Anti-Colic Bottle

I received a full sized Dr. Brown’s Anti-Colic Bottle. We wanted to use these bottles, regardless, so I was so excited to see this bottle in my Welcome Box. These bottles are not cheap, either!

Muslin Swaddle Blanket

In my Welcome Box, I received a really nice Muslin Blanket. Once again, these blankets are not cheap, and, with each wash, they become softer. These Muslin blankets are incredibly popular for moms everywhere.

Pampers Wet Wipes

I was pleasantly surprised to see that I got a full sized pack of Pamper’s Wet Wipes. These wipes are high quality and often used among many families.

Burt’s Bees Onesies

I received 2 Burt’s Bees Onesies. These Onesies are completely organic and incredibly soft! Burt’s Bees Onesies are also high quality, expensive products that I received for free.

MAM Bottle

I received a 5 oz. MAM Bottle in my Welcome Box. We had not considered these bottles before receiving it in the box.

Miscellaneous Samples

Along with these awesome full sized products, I received several samples. I got a pack of 5 size 1 Pamper’s Diapers, baby safe laundry detergent, lotion, baby shampoo and soap, breast pads, and a book full of coupons!


Regardless of the Amazon Welcome Gift, an Amazon baby registry is incredible for distant friends and family members, or anyone with Amazon Prime. It is completely free to create a registry, so all expecting parents out there, create your registry here!

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This is my second pregnancy, so you could say I’m a pro at morning sickness… right? No. Morning sickness continues to kick my butt, and so few people really understand it.

I actually told my boss about my pregnancy today, mostly because I am constantly sick. His response? “Why don’t you just tell someone you’re going to be sick, and we’ll watch your students?” Unless you’ve been pregnant, you do not know the first thing about morning sickness. It is nothing like the stomach bug, which many people like to compare it to, and none of those stomach bug remedies will work for morning sickness.

A few people have suggested I only drink chicken broth until my nausea goes away. Bad idea. I’d starve to death or pass out from low blood sugar. Other suggested I stay home from work until it passes. Sometimes it doesn’t pass for the entire 9 months! So what really works?

Peppermint Oil

I have noticed the Peppermint essential oils really help with morning sickness. I rub a bit of the oil on my wrists each morning, and it has been a game changer! I also have an Oil Diffuser on my desk for when my sickness is especially rough.

Ditch Heavy Preservatives

I have cut down the number of preserved foods that I consume, simply because I can’t keep them down. Most prepackaged foods make me nauseous beyond all reason, like Luna bars. These delicious breakfast bars were a favorite, but now, I can’t stomach them. Instead, I eat cheddar cheese cubes and Wheat Thins.

Carbs and Fats

I had hoped so badly that I wouldn’t gain much weight this pregnancy, but I have found that the only major combat of morning sickness is to snack are Carbohydrates and fatty foods. A few of my go-to’s are peanut butter and saltine crackers and Wheat Thins with cheddar cheese. I’ve noticed, if I don’t snack every 2 hours, I will be puke-y in no time.

Stop Overeating

Guys, I throw up every darn time I overeat. It doesn’t take long, either. I will throw up right there in the parking lot of a restaurant! Instead of eating three large meals, try snacking every few hours. This has helped me enormously!

Don’t Get Too Hungry

This one is my least favorite. If I don’t eat as soon as my body gets hungry, I will upchuck everywhere. Even if my stomach is empty, I will be hurling bile. It hurts, a lot! So I try everything in my power to avoid being hungry too long. Eat breakfast religiously. Moms-To-Be don’t get to skip out on meals anymore.

Over the Counter Solutions

All of my previous solutions are fine and dandy, but sometimes, we need something stronger. Here are a few of my favorite Over the Counter solutions that can really kick your morning sickness out!

Pink Stork Morning Sickness Sweets – these are candies that help soothe your nauseous tummy! Another brand to try is Tummy Drops.

SeaBands for Morning Sickness – This is a band that exerts pressure on pressure points in your wrist. This band has been proven to help with even the worst spouts of morning sickness. It also helps with motion sickness!

Nausea and Tummy Aromatherapy Inhaler – this inhaler is similar to the Peppermint suggestion, but it comes in a small lip-balm sized tube that is great for on-the-go!

Nausea Probiotics – take these supplements every day to prevent nausea before it begins.

Nausea Tea – like the probiotics, this tea is meant to combat nausea before it really kicks in.

If none of these work, you can always as your OB to write you prescription strength nausea medicine!

Around August of 2018, I found out I was pregnant for the first time! We considered ourselves fortunate to have a baby, but it wasn’t long that we found out we had had a miscarriage.

We struggled for several months with the loss of our baby, but in the past couple of months, we started trying again. These products helped me conceive in both pregnancies!

HerbTheory Female Fertility

I took HerbTheory’s Female Fertility tablets religiously, when trying to conceive. These supplements are meant to encourage conception through natural, Earth ingredients. I took two tablets each morning with breakfast, and I never experienced any side effects.

I am firmly convinced that this supplement helped me get pregnant as quickly as I did. We had tried for months before I tried this supplement, to no avail, but when I started taking these tablets regularly, we fell pregnant that month! This has happened twice now. I highly recommend this dietary supplement to anyone looking to get pregnant.

HerbTheory does make a male supplement, but we did not try it. If you have, I would love to hear about your experience!

You should consult your doctor before ever taking dietary supplements. Not all dietary supplements are safe, and this should never be used in place of Prenatal Vitamins.

EASY@Home Ovulation Tests

I love EASY@Home Ovulation Tests because they are so cheap, and they come in bulk. If you are trying for several months, this pack will be good for you. I never bought ovulation tests at retail stores, like Walmart, because they end up being as expensive as pregnancy tests. Since most women trying to conceive use ovulation tests daily, it is crucial to find an affordable brand.

Tip:
It took me forever to figure out how to use Ovulation tests. If you’re a pregnancy noob like me, I’ll break it down for you! As soon as you have your period, you start taking ovulation test daily with first morning pee. When the test line is as dark and the control line, you will ovulation within 24 hours.

You can get 100 ovulation tests for $17!

Pre-Pregnancy Pack

With my first pregnancy, we did not use the One A Day Pre-Pregnancy Pack, but with this pregnancy, we did. It might not make a huge difference in conception, but I felt like the additional vitamins from “Dad” helped with a good start. I would recommend this to anyone who is trying to conceive.

These are the Prenatal vitamins I take, as well. You can get the single pack here. These are more expensive than some brands, but these vitamins also have more important ingredients like, zinc, Folic Acid, Iron, Calcium, and Vitamin D.

If you do not use this supplement, it’s okay! Just make sure your supplement, contains all the necessary vitamins for a healthy pregnancy.

Tips:

Avoid Ibuprofen, Aleve, or any of NSAIDS when trying to conceive. NSAIDS can temporarily reduce fertility and cause miscarriage in early pregnancy.

Start your pregnancy diet now! No, don’t gorge yourself with ice cream and pickles, but instead, start eating and drinking vitamin rich foods. I started drinking a yogurt smoothie every morning when we were trying. This gave additional calcium that I would need during pregnancy. You also want to cut out alcohol and excessive caffeine. Eat more veggies, too!

Get medical issues sorted out before getting pregnant. I had a herniated disc when I got pregnant. Very few doctors will treat a pregnant woman, and this can make life very hard.

Good luck and happy conceiving!

We use Airbnb for every trip, big and small, but I am astounded by how many people are afraid to try Airbnb! Here are a few tips to ensure you have an awesome trip with Airbnb!

Cost Effective

Airbnb is cost effective, no matter how you look at it. I rent entire houses and apartments for less than $100 a night. All of the houses I have ever stayed at through Airbnb have been nothing short of incredible. For example, my husband and I have booked a trip to Washington DC for 4 days, and an entire apartment with a kitchen, washing machine, and dryer will cost us $300. A hotel room with far fewer amenities was going to cost us $500.

Not only will you save money on your room, but you almost always have access to a full kitchen, saving you money on breakfast and occasional lunches. If you have picky children, this kitchen is a life saver. Most of the time, Airbnb hosts give guest snacks and breakfast foods, too!

Privacy

I love the privacy of an Airbnb. No one can hear you laughing late at night, and you don’t have to worry about having the TV up to loud. You can even have friends over without disrupting any other guests. That being said, be sure you are always respectful of the host’s house. Because you aren’t staying in a hotel, it is important to be extra courteous about household appliances and furniture.

Some people have had concerns, though, and I understand. One of the most common questions I get is, “what if someone is watching me while I shower?” To that, I respond, “then I feel sorry for them!” In all seriousness, anyone could be watching you anywhere you go, even in a hotel.

Cozier Experience

Airbnb’s really make any vacation feel extravagant. A real perk is how comfy the houses and apartments are. It feels like a home away from home, and for me, that makes all the difference.

Free Parking

Most Airbnb offer free parking when you book a house or room. If you’re traveling to a busy area, like New York, free parking is a delicacy. Some hotels don’t even offer free parking!

Rent a Room

If you don’t need an entire house, you can rent a single room. Though I have never done this, several of my teacher coworkers have rented rooms on their summer road trips. You can even opt to share a room with another person to get by for almost nothing! You can rent a room for only $30 a night and sometimes even less.

Great for Big Families

This is a REAL Airbnb Listing for $80 a night. Link below.

Hotel Rooms only allow for two queen beds. If you have more than 4 people to accommodate, you will need more space. Even if you pack everyone on the floor, your trip will be miserable. Airbnbs allow 8 or more guests for around the same price as a hotel room. Here is an example: A Florida house, 35 minutes from Disney, with 5 beds, and 2 bathrooms for $80 a night.

Go Anywhere with Airbnb

Airbnb is world-wide, so you can book a room anywhere!

Experiences

Airbnb has an “Experiences” resource that is incredible! Once you book your stay, the website will suggest things to do while on your trip. We have had some really fun times using the “Experiences” suggestions. We went on a haunted ghost tour for $30, and have the time of our lives! I highly recommend taking advantage of these tools.

Reviews

Reviews are a great way to see what you’re getting yourself into. If a house has poor reviews, or no reviews at all, do not stay there. I avoid homes without reviews the most.

Highly reviewed and experienced hosts get what a “Plus” status. If a host is considered a “Plus” host, they have been verified as a trustworthy host by Airbnb. All hosts must go through extensive verification before being accepted, but I prefer to stay with “Plus” hosts. They are not more expensive that regular hosts, either.

If you are interested in traveling through Airbnb, use my link to get $40 off your first trip of $75 or more.

This page has affiliated link. Read more about our policy, here.

We are in a constant state of clutter, so here are a few of our favorite storage tips and ideas.

Storage Coffee Table

Storage Coffee Table

This is the exact coffee table we have in our living room, and we love it! We store all of our blankets and throws inside, and we don’t have to waste precious closet space.

Ladder Rack

Blanket Rack

We have an overwhelming number of blankets, but we don’t want to get rid of them. Instead of wasting valuable blankets, we got this blanket rack. This saves space, while adding an ambiance to the room. It is 4.5 ft. tall, and can hold 5 blankets.

Jumbo Vacuum Seal Storage Bags

Jumbo Vacuum Storage Bags

I have just ordered some more of these Jumbo Vacuum Storage Bags! These bags are great for storing huge comforters, without the bulk of plastic bins. You can stuff several comforters in a space that originally would only fit one! These bags can be used for clothes, stuffed animals, etc. The bags are “vacuum sealed” by your vacuum nozzle!

Mop and Broom Wall Hanger

Mop and Broom Wall Hanger

I have this Mop and Broom hanger, as well. It saves a lot of space and keeps my laundry room from looking cluttered. We hang our mop, our broom, our Swiffer, and our dog leashes from this, and it works like a charm. It is held up by screws, so it doesn’t even wobble when your pull down your mop.

Wooden Shelves

Wooden Shelves

Our house doesn’t have much cabinet space and no pantry at all. We improvised with this Wooden bookshelf. We converted shelves into an open-faced pantry, and we love it. It was inexpensive, and it has ended up being invaluable to the structure of our kitchen.

Amazon Prime

As you might be able to tell, we order tons of things online. We order furniture, groceries, clothing, books, and movies from Amazon. Amazon is our go to method simply because of the Prime free shipping. We pay $100 a year to get completely free shipping, and it is worth it. All of these items would end up costing at least $50 extra in shipping. If you buy a lot of things online, like we do, try the Amazon Prime Free trial. The trial is for 30 days, and you can cancel anytime before the trial is over to prevent charges to your card.

If you are a student, you can get Prime Student for half the price, and if you are on EBT cards or Medicaid, you can get discounted Prime Membership.

Prime Membership comes with free two day shipping, unlimited Prime movies and TV shows, unlimited music, Audible, and several other perks (like Baby Registry gifts).