Advertisements

DIY Diary

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

This page has affiliated links. Read more about our policies, here.

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!

Advertisements

This page has affiliated links. Read more on our policies, here.

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!

This page has affiliated links. Read more about our policies, here.

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!

This page has affiliated links. You can read more about our policies, here.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

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).

This post has affiliated links. Read more about our policies, here.

Home Security Products help us feel safe in our homes, and I love having that additional security. I do not, however, love the price that comes along with security subscriptions. ADT can end up costing hundreds of dollars a month, and though the service is beyond compare, a lot of us just can’t afford that. Here are some alternatives that have proven just as effective!

Ring Video Doorbell

I’m paranoid, so I love this Ring Video Doorbell. You can see if someone is trying to ding-dong ditch you, and you can see if someone looks dangerous before you open the door. Of course, we have peepholes for this reason, but this doorbell saves videos in case of foul play.

Zmodo Wireless Camera

I love these Zmodo Wireless Cameras. They run off a wifi and do not require a subscription of any kind. We have these cameras posted all around our house. They have come in handy so many times. We get notifications every time there is movement on our property, and we switch off notifications when we are at home. These cameras are incredible for a small price.

Fortress Home Security System

The Fortress Home Security System is another item we use at our home. This home system does not require any type of subscription or commitment. It has a one time price and comes with tons of tools! Our system came with a home key pad, 3 keychain keys, 4 toggle keys, 8 door and window sensors, 4 motion sensors, an indoor alarm, and an outdoor alarm. This system will not call the police for you, but it will alert your neighbors of an emergency. Trust me, these alarms are loud!

This page has affiliated links. Read more about our policies, here.

Every week, I try to come up with a few recipes for the upcoming evenings. As a full time teacher, I have very little energy for detailed recipes, and we don’t have enough of a budget to eat out every night. Here is our menu for the week:

Homemade Pizza

I love to buy pre-made pizza crusts, instead of making my own. I’ll admit, I have yet to be successful with pizza crust and breads, despite my best efforts, and to be honest, I don’t have time to conjure up a crust on a Monday night. I love to take advantage of Amazon Prime Pantry, which is where I was able to find 3 pack Flatzza Pizza Crust. These crusts do not require pre-baking, so they are optimal for weekly meals!

I toss a few dollops of Ragu Pasta Sauce to the crust, and spread it around. I do not like a lot of sauce, so I usually only use about 3 teaspoons of sauce, I purposefully use pasta sauce instead of Marinara sauce. Marinara sauce is hard to reuse, and I prefer the pasta sauce taste. I add shredded Cheddar and Colby Jack cheese on top of the pizza, sliced tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, and olives. The beauty of this recipe is that it can be topped with anything you like. Once topped, bake this pizza on 500 degrees for 10 minutes.

Roasted Garlic Veggies with Chicken Breast

Roasted veggies can really be delicious, and this week, I’ll be making my favorites. I roast broccoli florets and brussel sprouts in olive oil and minced garlic. It is so easy. Lather your broccoli and brussel sprouts in olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic (I use about a teaspoon). Bake your veggies at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

At the same time, saute your chicken breast (I like to thinly slice the breast before I cook it) in lemon pepper seasoning. It is easy and tasty!

Pancakes and Homemade Syrup

This barely counts as a recipe because I am mixing up Bisquick to make some tried and true pancakes. I will top my pancakes with homemade syrup. If you’ve never made homemade syrup, you’re missing out. It is so easy!

For this syrup, you mix equal parts water and brown sugar. Simmer your simply syrup on low heat, and toss in a little bit of Maple Extract (the amount is up to you).

Cold Chicken Pasta

This week is parent-teacher conference for my school district, so I have to do a little meal prepping. This Cold Chicken Pasta is perfect.

I boil some penne noodles in salted water, drain, and toss in about a tablespoon of butter, fresh spinach, diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Top with the dressing of your choice, I’ve made Carmy’s Homemade Garlic Dressing. Carmy has a very similar Cold Chicken Pasta, that I love, from which I adapted this recipe!

Blue Apron – Seared Steak and Roasted Potatoes

Doesn’t this look delicious? This will be delivered straight to my door Friday. I will be enjoying seared steak, roasted potatoes, spinach, and mushrooms. It is a fan favorite, and I cannot wait. All ingredients are included. Isn’t this an awesome Valentine’s day celebration?

Are you interested in trying a Blue Apron meal? To the first person that comments with your first and last name and email, you will be sent a free Blue Apron meal of your choice! You will get a meal request from me (Kendra!), for which you will pay absolutely nothing for one subscription box! It’s a Valentine’s day gift from my family to yours!

This page has affiliated links. Read more about our policies, here.

I love puppies, which is why we have so many dogs! The first puppy I ever had was a real pain in the butt, though. These are the tips I wish someone would have told me before I got my first puppy.

Adopt – Don’t Shop

Right before my husband and I got married, we decided to get our first pet together. I knew I wanted a Golden Doodle, so I was hoping to find one “discounted.” This was my first mistake. I went on Craigslist and found a listing for a small, fluffy “Goldendoodle” puppy. He was only $400. Had I been wiser, I would have sensed the red flags going off, saved up for the dog I really wanted, or adopted a dog instead.

We ended up getting a Border Collie Golden Retriever mix, whom we named Duke. He really is beautiful, and he was probably actually worth $400, but he wasn’t what we bought. Over the years, I realized that buying a dog is almost never worth the cost. I would have rather adopted a dog, rather than purchasing one.
Duke was actually in horrible condition when we got him home. He had a bad stomach condition, from which he has never truly recovered. He is more prone to worms and other stomach infections. Due to his belly troubles as a baby, he developed heart worms despite taking regular preventives.

Of course, any of this could happen to a shelter dog, but at least you will be completely aware of the health of your dog before you get him home. Plus, your dog will likely not cost $400.

All of this to say, consider adopting. Shopping for a dog isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I wouldn’t do it without much consideration.

Potty Training is Hard

When we first brought Duke home, he was only 6 weeks old. He was not, to say the least, potty trained. At the time, we lived in a 1 bedroom apartment, and we had no idea what we were in for.

We did not have a size-appropriate crate, so crate training was out of the question. What a mistake! Instead, we locked him inside the bathroom during the day, where he pooped, peed, and chewed on everything. It was a disaster. We had no structure.

Before you get your first pup, have a size appropriate crate for crate training and night time. You do not want you crate to be much bigger than your dog. This might mean you have to upgrade your crate as your dog grows.

If your crate is too big, your puppy will poop on one side and sleep on the other, defeating the crate training. You want a crate that is big enough for your puppy to sleep, and nothing else. Do remember your puppy can only hold his bladder for an hour or two at a time, so be prepared to come home to messes, if you do not take him out to potty.
It is important that your puppy spends most of his time in his crate, while crate training. Luckily, we taught Duke to potty outside, but it took a long time.

Immunizations are Important

When we first got Duke, he had had his first rounds of immunizations (Canine Spectra 5), and we didn’t give him anything else until we moved to a new town a year later. He got his Rabies vaccination, first, and the next year, we actually realized how important it was for him to finish his immunizations.

Be sure you give your dogs all necessary immunizations. It is not just a money scam; they are important.

Quality Food Matters

Naively, I thought any food was fine for my dog. I was wrong. It actually wasn’t until after Duke got his immunizations that I realized I was doing him a disservice by giving him cheap food.

Many dog food brands end up essentially being McDonald’s for dogs. They lack key nutrients, contain dyes and chemicals, and are hard on bellies. We now buy Rachel Ray’s dog food for our dogs.

If you can’t afford quality food for your dog, you should reconsider adopting.

Pets Are Forever

Remember, puppies are a lot of work. They require constant attention, and they make huge messes. In the long run, your dog can end up costing you thousands of dollars. Make sure you are ready for that commitment before you adopt. Please, do not adopt a pet if you are not committed to it for a lifetime. Pets are not until you have a baby, move, or change your mind. Do not adopt a pet unless you are ready to keep it until it dies. Pets and babies can coexist.

We’ve all been there. Heck, I’m there at least once a month! When the money is tight, but you still get hungry, make these tasty recipes.

Lemon Butter Pasta

For this recipe, you will need:
– thin spaghetti (1 lb for $1)
– 1 lemon ($0.25)
– butter (4 sticks for $1)

I love this recipe, to be completely honest. We eat this weekly, even right after payday. In total, you can make 6+ services for less than $3. Not bad!

Lemon Butter Pasta

Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 lb thin spaghetti
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cook your spaghetti with salted water until al dente. Drain spaghetti and add 1 stick of butter, the juice of 1 lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cheesy Broccoli Rice

For this recipe, you will need:
– frozen broccoli ($1)
– rice ($1.30)
– cheddar cheese ($4)

This is another staple in our household. It’s tasty, quick, and a crowd pleaser!

Lemon Butter Pasta

Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 lb thin spaghetti
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cook your spaghetti with salted water until al dente. Drain spaghetti and add 1 stick of butter, the juice of 1 lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.

Sloppy Joes

For this recipe, you will need:
– 1 lb ground beef ($4)
– 1 c. ketchup (<$1)
– 1 TBS mustard (<$1)
1 Tbs brown sugar (<$1)

My husband loves this recipe because it only has 4 ingredients!

Lemon Butter Pasta

Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 lb thin spaghetti
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cook your spaghetti with salted water until al dente. Drain spaghetti and add 1 stick of butter, the juice of 1 lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cheesy Fries

For this recipe, you will need:
– frozen French Fries ($1)
– cheddar cheese ($4)
– pickled jalapeños (<$1)

These fries are a favorite of mine! They remind me of the State Fair, with the comfort of home.

Lemon Butter Pasta

Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 lb thin spaghetti
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cook your spaghetti with salted water until al dente. Drain spaghetti and add 1 stick of butter, the juice of 1 lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.

Vegetable Fried Rice

For this recipe, you will need:
– 1 lb rice ($1.30)
– soy sauce ($1)
– mixed vegetables, frozen ($1)

Yet another favorite. Can you tell I love all of these recipes? This recipe is great because it doesn’t feel like a “cheap” recipe!

Lemon Butter Pasta

Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 lb thin spaghetti
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Cook your spaghetti with salted water until al dente. Drain spaghetti and add 1 stick of butter, the juice of 1 lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.

This page has affiliated links. Read more about our policies, here.

As an expecting mother, I cannot get enough freebies. I look for them constantly! Here, I have compiled a list of legit baby freebies. This list will not require you to sign up for email newsletters, and none of these websites give off that “sketchy” feel. Those who have searched for freebies know what I’m talking about!

You will have to pay shipping for these items, but the shipping is not much compared to the product! Some of these freebies have been recruited from Moms&Crafters and Freebies For Baby.

Belly Button Band

Body Band

The Belly Band has two options: a Body Band for $40 (pictured above), or a Belly Band (pictured below). Both are meant to extend your pant-life throughout maternity.

The Body Band covers your belly and your unbuttoned pre-pregnancy pants. The Belly Band attaches to your pre-pregnancy pants. The Belly Band is adjustable, so it offers security for that “in-between” stage, where you aren’t big enough to wear maternity clothes, but you’re too bloated to wear your normal pants comfortably.

Use the code: FREEBIES4BABY for $39 off your order

Belly Band

Breast Pads

Here, you can get Breast Pads (4 for $7) in multiple patterns and a Breast Feeding Bracelet ($7). Breast Pads are essential for any breast feeding moms, and the bracelet can help you remember which breast you recently fed out of. As we know, new moms usually can’t remember much for a few weeks, so this bracelet is great and comfy. I have already stocked up on both!

Use the code: FREEBIES4BABY for $35 off your purchase.

Breast Feeding Bracelet
Breast Pads

3 Free Ruffle Buns

Ruffle Buns are cute diaper covers, and you can get 3 for free with this code: FREEBIES4BABY

Ruffle Buns

5 Free Baby Leggings

These baby leggings are great for winter weather! Use the code: PJBABY for $50 off your order. This website also sells bibs and gift sets!

Baby Leggings

Free Carseat Canopy

I already indulged in this freebie! This canopy is high quality, soft, and otherwise wonderful. There are several fabric options, which will allow you to customize the canopy for optimal results. A carseat canopy is a must for new babies, so why not get it free?

Use the code: PJBABY for $50 off your purchase.

Car Seat Canopy

Nursing Pillow

I hear moms rave about these pillows, though I have not bought one yet. With the code PJBABY, you can get this 100% free!

Free Sling-Style Baby Carrier

This was one of the first things I bought when we found out we were expecting. I love this sling! It is durable, yet soft enough for a baby’s sensitive skin.

Use the code: PJBABY for $40 off.

Baby Carrier

Amazon Prime Goodie Box

I’ve already gotten my Prime Goodie Box, and it was cram packed with awesome things! I got a bottle, 2 onesies, a muslin swaddle wrap, diapers, full-sized wipes, lotion, shampoo, breast pads, and coupons!

You have to be a prime member to receive your box of goodies, but you can use a Prime Free Trial! Look for the link below to get your free trial. It is 100% free for 30 days, and you can cancel at any time!

To start your registry, go here!

This page has affiliated links. Read more about our policies, here.

Hello, all! This week, I’ll tell you about my experience with DIY Dip Powder Nails. If you checked out my earlier post of my weekly faves, you will have already saw this product. I love so many things about this DIY Dip Powder Kit, but this affection did not come without a learning curve.


I ended up “dipping” my nails twice, both with failures of their own. The first time I used the dip powder, I had prior acrylic nails on. This made the powder build up entirely too tall and hard to file down. The second time, I used acrylic tips, and did not glue the tips down all the way, leaving a gap between my natural nail and my “dip” nails.

It wasn’t until I practice on someone else was I truly able to achieve success. I hope you can learn from my mistakes!

Nail Prep


To prep your nails, you will need:
– an electric nail file or a course manual nail file
protein bond
nail tip extenders
nail glue
rubbing alcohol
cotton pads

Begin by gently filing your natural nails. If you have acrylic nails on, soak your nails in pure Acetone nail polish remover for 30-40 minutes, until you can painlessly remove nails.

Once your nails have been filed, wipe away the dust with a cotton pad soaked in rubbing alcohol and immediately apply protein bond.

If you would like to extend the length of your nails, apply the nail tip extenders by covering the tip with nail glue.


Once the tips are applied, gently sand around the edge of the artificial tip, to create a seamless look. Once again, clean your nails with a cotton pad and rubbing alcohol.

Dip Powder Kit

I found this Dip Powder Kit on Amazon, and I love it. The price of this kit is cheaper than it costs for me to go to the salon!

I got the french tip kit, but this brand also has an assortment of Color Kits.

To begin, I coated my nail in “Base 1,” this is a glue that bonds with the powder. I dipped my finger completely in pink powder. RepeatI repeated this one more time, dusting the excess off each finger after 1 minute. I then dipped the tip of my finger into the white powder to make a french tip. Though you can do this on your own, I liked to have this Dip Powder Tray to perfect the shape of my tip. I redipped my tip twice, following each dip with an additional dip into the pink powder. Don’t worry! This will not affect your french tip.

By this point, you nail is getting pretty thick. I took my electric nail file and thinned my nails down. You want to be careful not to take off the white tip.

Once my nails were shaped, I dipped them in the clear powder. I remanded gently, and buffed my nails with this Nail Buffer. I apply the “Applicator,” which hardens the Dip Nails. Let the “Applicator” dry completely before reapplying.

The last step is to apply the “Top” coat, twice. This feels more like a glue, so be careful not to touch anything that will leave dust or fuzz behind. I also like to top my nails with gel topcoat, but you can apply any glossy top coat for a glossy finish!

With this kit, you can fill in your nails as soon as they grow out, too! Oh, the money I’ll save!

This page has affiliated links. Read more about my policies, here.

Okay, guys! I have a lot of awesome things to tell you about this week. All of which I have testing personally and ended up loving!

Fake Bake Self Tanner

I purchased this Fake Bake Self Tanner a week ago, and I have been loving it! I use it every other day, to create a base tan. The tan stays even after I shower, but I reapply to build a darker tan. Once your desired tan is established, you only have to reapply weekly. This tan actually looks very natural. It comes in a 6 ounce spray bottle with a glove included. It costs $16.

Dip Powder Starter Kit

This Dip Powder Kit is also a new investment. I love having pretty nails, but I do not love paying the price for those nails. This kit makes strong nails that last as long as salon nails. Dip nails are easier to do than regular nail polish, and it lasts longer! This kit comes in a color set and a french tip set. I got mine for $36. I also bought these BeYou Natural Tips to extend my nail length – these were $8.

“You Are Loved” Mug

This Porcelain Collins Mug is so cute, and, if you’re a coffee drinker like me, you really can’t ever have enough mugs. This would make a great birthday or Valentine’s gift or even just a gift for yourself. You can get it for only $12.99!

Dooney & Bourke Crossbody Pebble Letter Carrier

I only have one “designer” handbag, and it is a Dooney & Bourke. Dooney & Bourke bags last for years, and all bags come with a full year of warranty. This crossbody Pebble Letter Carrier comes in multiple shades, and is genuine, pebble-grained leather. You can get this bag for $178.

Shein

Get this Maxi Dress for $25!

Shein is a website with high quality affordable clothing. I have purchased over 11 different pieces, all for under $100. I first heard of this website from a family friend. She is so well dressed all the time, so I decided to check this website out. The clothing is all from $3 – $30, depending on the item. All of the products I’ve purchased have high quality fabric, and everything is exactly as described. Shein also accepts returns! Shein runs sales periodically, making it easy to get out with tons of products for a little price.

I hope you enjoy my weekly favorites! Don’t forget to like, share, and follow my page for more content like this!

This post has affiliated links. Read more about my policies, here.

This post will not be like my usual blog posts. This post is real and raw. It hurts to write, so I must tell my story.

Did you know that 40% of pregnancies end in loss? Such a depressing statistic that has been looming over my head and in my heart for the last 4 months. Our pregnancy ended in miscarriage this September.

The 6th of September was the most exciting moment of my life thus far. I would see my sweet baby, and I did, but he was dead. He? Did I know the gender? No, but I wanted this baby to be a boy, so I decided that’s what I would call him from that day on.

We didn’t have a support system; I was our support system.



Our baby was 8 weeks and 4 days when he stopped growing. I got to see his tiny finger nubs, his little legs, and his big head. He was cute, and he was mine. You see, I had never had an ultrasound before. I didn’t realize there was supposed to be a heartbeat, so I sat their grinning at my little bean without even realizing we had already lost him.

I hadn’t felt my heart in my throat for so long, but in that moment, the familiar feeling of middle and high school rushed back to me. “I’m sorry,” the nurse murmured, “let me get the doctor.” I didn’t understand, yet, but I would.

The doctor came in and explained to me that it wasn’t my fault, and I couldn’t have done anything to prevent it. I didn’t even know what “it” was until my OBGYN started talking. Realization rushed over me. “Oh,” I heard myself say.

I didn’t really experience infertility, but it felt like I would.



My husband was in the room, but I forgot he even existed in that moment. How would I tell my family? I had just announced my pregnancy to my family, two days before. My pregnancy app said I was probably in the green. My baby should have been okay, but I didn’t realize that there is no “green” in life.

I numbly had my blood drawn to ensure my baby really was gone. Life was hard for the following months. The medical bills made it harder. Before the bleeding even trickled away, medical bills started flooding in by the hundreds. “I have insurance,” I thought as I opened the fifth bill, this time for a follow up appointment that lasted 6 minutes – $400. We still haven’t paid them all off.

I knew it would be expensive to have a baby, but I didn’t realize it would be so expensive to lose one, too.

Maybe I had angered God, and he was punishing me?


Family and friends tried to be supportive, but they failed. For a week, people understand why you’re pulling away, but after a month, they don’t understand anymore. People will say, “at least you know the pipes work,” or “you can always make another one.” Even my own grandmother said, “next time don’t tell people so soon,” and, “I told you not to be using acrylic paints.” Just as there are rude people in every day, there will be rude people during loss. This trial attacked my spirit. My husband and I felt alone, and, in a way, we were. We didn’t have a support system; I was our support system.

A majority of people will not address your loss. It makes them uncomfortable, so they pretend it didn’t happen.

The hardest part of my miscarriage, however, was the seemingly infertility that followed. Though I didn’t really experience infertility, but it felt like I would. I was so afraid that I would never be able to have a child. I thought I might be too fat, too active, or too medicated. Maybe I had angered God, and he was punishing me?

It took me weeks to realize that I was really just another common statistic. Miscarriages happen everyday, and there is probably someone near you that is experiencing a miscarriage. If so, please be supportive of these mothers. They are experiencing intense pain, and they don’t understand why. Realize that this mother did not do anything to deserve this loss, and she didn’t do anything to aide it. Yes, she took her prenatal vitamins. No, she did not lift those boxes. It just happened. Bring her dinner and then leave. Let her cry. Do not say, “at least it happened early.”

Since that miscarriage, I have had 3 chemical pregnancies. I’ve struggled to lose “pregnancy weight,” even though I wasn’t very far along, and I’ve struggled with depression. It is not easy to lose a pregnancy; be kind to those that have.

If you have lost a pregnancy, it’s really not your fault. Don’t feel bad for missing work – some people miss 2 weeks. It’s okay. About a month into my grieving process, my husband gifted me this book: Grieving the Child You Never Knew by Kathe Wunnenberg. This book helped me immensely. I was able to process my thoughts and hear from those that have been through this. If your wife, sister, cousin, or coworker is going through a miscarriage, get her this book.