Saturday, November 4, 2017

Newest Adventure: Frugal Minimalism

Newest Adventure: Frugal Minimalism 

      A little background
     Sometimes life throws you curveballs... you think "Ok you can breath now things are falling into place"... then in an instant they fall apart.  At the beginning of the year my husband and I made a big move from the middle of nowhere Southern Ohio to a more Northern town on the outskirts of two major cities.  A new job for him and a new life for our family.  About the time we finally got settled and called this place home, something happened.   He had to change jobs and a 45 minute commute suddenly became a hour and 30 minute commute one way with the joy of a significant cut in pay. What was comfortable and easy for a few fleeting months was quickly replaced with; to be honest sheer terror of making ends meet.

     I am still in the beginning phases of trying to sort this all out and adjust. We still have each-other and that's the most important.  In an effort to make the best of a "shitty situation"  I have discovered Minimalism a sister concept to frugality.  We all understand the concept of being frugal and stretching our pennies but most are not familiar with minimalism.
     Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists describe it as " Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.
That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be the meaning we assign to our stuff: we tend to give too much meaning to our things, often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves. " 
    We as a society tend to be consumer minded about everything and are taught from childhood that "stuff & things" will make us happy.  Especially  those of us who are in our early 30's stuck on the cusp between Gen X and Millennials.  We were the first to have computers in our elementary classrooms (though clunky and equipped with those huge paper covered floppy disks lol) .  We sat in front of TV's for longer than other generations and many of us were "latch key kids", the TV and colorful commercials kept us from being lonely.  We were told we were on the edge of technology and that so much awaited us..  but received crushing debt from school loans and credit cards... the banks offering easy loans then raising interest rates, with the housing market becoming unsteady. I watched so many friends lose homes, jobs, and end up back at home time and time again. 
     And what does the world continue to scream down on us while we are in worse shape than our parents at our age? BUY BUY BUY more more more! Stuff makes you Happy! Stuff makes your kids Happy! Spend away your pain and depression! Who cares if you spiral down after seeing the debt of your "spend away your pain" spree!  I see so many memes urging you to YOLO (you only live once) or to Buy that thing you want and treat yo self"  Yeah Treat yo self lol... treat yourself to not being able to pay your rent or other responsibilities. 
   Minimalism rejects this, encourages you to live below your means (reasonably of course) so that you can save for your future or big purchase, so you can live uncluttered, so you can enjoy your space and learn to value and appreciate the possessions that you have.  Quality over quantity. And this idea FASCINATES me! I've always been as my husband would say cheap lol (I prefer low maintenance). So on several levels this idea seems an ingenious way to combat the consumerism 
     Only problem is... for all my "cheapskate" ways .. I admittedly have hoarder tendencies.  I am a clutterbug and hang on to everything thinking I may one day need it. And my frugal thinking mind says if I have it; I won't need to buy it.. which seems rational to a point.  Till you find boxes, and drawer, and closets full of "stuff" that you "may someday use" however someday may never come.  Thus my journey of freedom is beginning. Learning a New Balance between spending, saving, making ends miraculously meet, and yet letting go of all that "stuff" the world tells us we need, but we really just for a fleeting moment want.  

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Independent Education Plan (a wake up call)

Independent Education Plan (a wake up call)

     It's funny you think you as a parent know your child the very best... But sometimes it takes a new situation to show you how wrong you were.  My son A is five and I scheduled him for Kindergarten testing back in May. I have worked with him the last 2 years especially with preschool readiness workbooks and apps. I did know that he struggled with these some; however not having any other experience to base this off just assumed it was typical for a young child. On the day of the testing I was devastated to learn that A had not only a speech issue (we had thought that might be the case) but also that he was very delayed in several areas.  
      So began a very scary journey for us.  Several meetings with school professionals and teachers ensued and evaluations were made to asses the needs my son had.  I went through a whirl wind of emotion from horror to relief, knowing that everyone in his little world would be doing what they could to support A.  Accompanied to these feelings was the stereotype I had erroneously associated with an IEP (Independent Education Plan).  I ignorantly believed it meant that A would not be challenged and get lost labeled learning disabled.
      Luckily A's support team not only supported him but also me and helped me understand that this plan would not hold him back but instead, fill the educational gaps he might experience.  along with this IEP they also decided the best educational fit for him would be preschool instead of Kindergarten giving him an extra year to learn, grow, and overcome.  A decision that my husband and I were are very pleased with.  
      Fast forward two weeks into the school year and I am pleased to say A is doing amazing! Adapting so well to the change in environment.  He is excited every single day to go to school and is sorely disappointed that he has to take weekends off.  A has blossomed so much these few short weeks and I could not be happier.  Sure I was petrified in the beginning but now I am so very thankful for that IEP. 


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Formula X System Xcel Gel Like Nail Polish Review

 I received the formula X System Xcel gel like polish system, with T.G.I.F. Color.  I was sent this via Sephora and @influenster for free to review.  But this is my honest review and the opinions are my own .  I was extremely skeptical when I got this kit because I have tried many other gel type kits.  However I was extremely surprised to find out how much I enjoyed using this set .  Everything dried fast as I layered it. And it has remarkable staying power. Normally my nail polish starts wearing off within 24 hours even if I have it done professionally. And this has been on my nails  for five days and still looks perfect and fresh.  The only drawback or suggestion I would say is that the cleaner brush is kind of wonky and splits but other than that everything was perfect.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Welcome To The World by: Kanta Bosniak Book Tour!

A review from my heart to yours:   

           Just as Kanta Bosniak’s other books this one Welcome to the World! is brimming with LOVE!  Welcome to the World takes on the premise of an adult reassuring and nurturing a child into this big wide world, while focusing on sights, sounds, feelings and positive energy.  Not only is this a perfect gift for a child being read to but also the reader… a wonderful reminder of all the simple things we adults take for granted.  This book comes at a very special time for me as I am currently 36 weeks pregnant with a twinless twin.  My daughter lost her identical twin at 9 weeks gestation.  
       This book and its whimsical illustrations have really helped me with my healing process, and to focus on all the things I want to teach my daughter who is already a brave fighter, having survived Twin to twin transfusion Syndrome.  One particular quote included in the book that sang to my heart is;  “If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk through my garden forever” – Alfred Tennyson.  Although I lost my daughter’s twin early on I will never ever forget her.  Another passage in the book that spoke to me is directly from Kanta and has become my mantra “You can make yourself a toybox of happy buttons, using your eyes, ears, touch, feelings, memories, imagination, inside and outside words and actions.  You can use your happy buttons when you feel bad and want to feel happy again.”- Kanta Bosniak 
      Amazing how as adults we forget to nurture ourselves.  We do not think to make those happy buttons, but what if we did just that.. Let our inner child relish the happiness, and pull the buttons out when we need them most?  How wonderful life could be!
       Speaking of Happy Buttons, one for me is the Welcome To The World Coloring Book! It is the perfect accompaniment to the Welcome to the World Book!.  Each page is filled to the brim with cute illustrations to color and infused with Kanta’s love and positivity.  The book is great for children to color as well as to urge out adult’s inner child.  Bravo Kanta Bosniak bravo!


Welcome to the World!
by inspirational author Kanta Bosniak works as a baby blessing for the child and for the child in us all. Directly addressing the child, it serves as a kind of loving welcome as well as a kind of spiritual owner's manual for exploring the adventure of life. The book gently anchors self-worth, confidence, kindness, and compassion. Parents can read it to the baby still in utero, to the newborn, as well as to the toddler. Toddlers and young children can enjoy the complementary Welcome To The World! Coloring Book.

And adult "children" of all ages may enjoy re-parenting themselves with both book and coloring book, which feature sweetly whimsical line drawings and affirmations typical of Bosniak's books.

Kanta Bosniak is an author, artist, coach and interfaith minister with over 40 years experience as a Spiritual Growth Teacher. 

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"This book is disguised as a basic spiritual coloring book, yet as with her other books they provide gentle triggers of love and happiness." - Beck Valley Books

on The Love is Everywhere Coloring Book by Kanta Bosniak

"As soon as I picked this book up,and started reading it I felt like I was with a friend." - Debs Here

on Abundance Triggers by Kanta Bosniak

"Kanta’s writing which has never ceased to amaze me. I really like her style and unique illustrations." - Writers with Books

on Love Poems by Kanta Bosniak

About Kanta Bosniak

Kanta Bosniak is an author, artist, coach and interfaith minister with over 40 years’ experience as an educator in Spiritual Growth and Guided Meditation. She illustrates her publications with playful drawings and vibrant, color-rich cover art, so that readers and listeners can enjoy owning her work. Collectors of her art include a Nobel Prize Winner, an Emmy-winning producer, a popular television actress, several authors, a U.S. National champion athlete and people of all walks of life. She is a frequent speaker at churches, universities, holistic education centers, and conferences throughout the US. She is listed in Who’s Who in American Women. For more information, visit

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.


available to purchase from Etsy unsigned
Win this inspirational Fine Art Poster SIGNED by the author,
PLUS Signed Books of Welcome to the World! and Coloring Book
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Monday, March 31, 2014

Bebe Bella Designs Crinkle Toy Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Bebe Bella Designs Crinkle Toy Review 

 I was sent the Bee Bella Designs Crinkle toy.  The toy is a 5'' x 5'' square, featuring a soft textured exterior and a noisy crinkly interior.  My son absolutely loved making the toy crinkle all over the house and in the car.  This toy definitely gave my son a lot of joy for something so simplistic!!!



I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops

I was sent Pine Bros Softish Throat Drops to try and review.  I have to say they taste great!  The cherry was my favorite, but the honey had a good taste as well.  These drops not only tasted good but also worked wonderfully to ease my sore allergy ridden throat.  The texture starts like any other cough drop then become the classic softish texture.  The drop seems to melt in your mouth effectively coating your throat and soothing it.  

Here is a little back info about the product from the company:
1870 J. Herman Pine hung out a confectionery shingle on 8th Street above Walnut in Philadelphia and, along with his brother, sold their first batch of what they called 'Pine Brothers Glycerine Tablets.' In an attempt to relieve his own sore throat and those of his family members, Mr. Pine, a former German confectionery maker, determined that by combining the soothing natural qualities of glycerin with the healing properties of gum acacia, he could sooth and mitigate the mild discomfort of a sore throat. Add in some natural flavoring and a sweetener and voila, Pine Brothers Softish Throat Drops were born. "I have discovered something," Pine wrote, "which will give quick throat relief to thousands afflicted as I was." He added,"Perhaps I won't make much money out of this. But I can make people happy, and that's more important than money." Mr. Pine was being unduly modest, as his "discovery" would become one of the most successful, most delicious and most unique throat lozenges in the world. Nor has the recipe changed appreciably since it was first introduced to the public over 140 years ago.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Truth be Told: Adam becomes Audrey Book Tour!

Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes AudreyMeeting the man of your dreams, falling in love and getting married. It sounds like every woman’s dream. But what if you suddenly found out that your husband self-identified as and wanted to become a woman? That’s exactly what happened to Connecticut-based reporter Alexandra Bogdanovic.

As the daughter of music and television icons, Sonny and Cher, Chastity Bono grew up in the public eye. So it was shocking to people everywhere when she became Chaz. Her decision to “become” a man made headlines around the world, but Bono is not alone. Transgender men and women frequently appear on television talk shows and reality programs to share their stories. In doing so, they inevitably get the attention they seek; although it may not always be the kind of attention they want.

While many come forth in an effort to promote tolerance, acceptance and understanding in mainstream society, their decision to live as – or in some cases have surgery to become – the opposite gender often sparks curiosity and visceral reactions born from ignorance.

Truth Be Told: Adam Becomes Audrey, a new book from author Alexandra Bogdanovic, tells the other side of the story. Part tragedy, part comedy, part love story, the book tells the story of the author’s real life experience of meeting a man, falling in love, getting married and finding out her husband wanted to become a woman. This book is the story of what happened after she learned the truth.

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Alexandra Bogdanovic was born in Bronxville, N.Y. and grew up in Greenwich, Conn. She knew she wanted to be a reporter at age 12, and received her first byline in the Greenwich Time when she was a high school freshman. By the time she graduated from the Convent of the Sacred Heart in 1987, she'd been covering high school sports for a daily newspaper for four years.
In 1991, Bogdanovic graduated from Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in writing. She officially began her journalism career as an editorial assistant at The Advocate in Stamford, Conn., soon after graduation.

She then decided to devote her efforts to community journalism in order to have a more direct and meaningful impact in the towns and villages where she worked. One of her greatest challenges while working in Rye was covering the mutual aid response and local reaction to the Terrorist Attacks of September 11.

The veteran reporter is now a freelance writer. She enjoys spending her free time with family and friends, chilling with her cat, Eli and watching and photographing high-goal polo.

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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.


5 LUCKY WINNERS will each receive a signed book from the author
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