A Bored-Mom Survey

Join us, mom or not, in this fun “mom” survey! Enjoy!

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Traveling with Airbnb

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.

What I Wish I Knew Before I Got A Dog

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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.

DIY Dip Powder Nails

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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!

The Reality of a Miscarriage

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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.