Smart Budgeting Tips for Stay at Home Moms

Smart Budgeting Tips for Stay at Home Moms

Being a stay-at-home mom can be incredibly rewarding as it gives you the freedom to spend much more quality time with your children and be a much bigger part of their young life. Unfortunately, in these times of economic instability, trying to make ends meet on only one salary can be extremely difficult. Nonetheless, the statistics show that more and more women are again choosing to stay at home with their kids, which shows that it is definitely not impossible—especially if you remember to follow all of these simple budgeting tips. 

Create a Weekly Food Plan


Food is often one of a family’s biggest expenses, especially if you have a couple of ravenous teenage boys at home. Still, one of the easiest ways to cut back on your monthly food bills is to cook most of your meals from scratch. However, trying to create a weekly meal plan is another excellent way to cut down on food waste and lower your costs since you can often combine leftovers and use multiple ingredients for the same dish. In most cases, its best to do your shopping once a week and try to base your meal plan around whets on sale. 

Use Cash Whenever Possible


Creating a budget plan is by far the best thing you can do to make being a stay-at-home mom financially feasible, but you also need to be able to stick to that budget. In this case, trying to use cash is often one of the easiest ways to ensure you don’t run over your monthly budget. Most people have a much harder time of keeping track of exactly how much they spend when using a credit or debit card, which won’t be a problem if you simply withdraw your weekly budget from the ATM and limit yourself to it.

Free Entertainment Is Your Friend


No matter what anyone tries to tell you, life as a stay-at-home mom can sometimes get boring. This leads many to sign up for numerous classes and take part in expensive hobbies in order to pass the time, with the result that stay-at-home moms tend to spend much more on entertainment. If this is a problem for you, try seeing if you can’t find some free classes at your local recreation or community center. In addition, the library can also be your best friend—not only for the huge range of books, but also TV shows, movies, music and more.

Make Sure to Set Aside Money for Specific Goals


You and your spouse need to be flexible when planning your monthly budget, taking into account any short-, medium- and long-term goals and saving accordingly. In fact, the very first part of budgeting is to take account of all of your financial goals as this will determine how much you need to save each month to meet them. 

Don’t Forget About Yourself


Most stay-at-home moms have their own personal savings account or discretionary funds, but unfortunately, this can be a source of many marital arguments. Therefore, it is important to discuss with your partner a fair monthly budget for yourself to spend. After all, you are doing a lot of hard work too. Still, no matter what you do, don’t call it an allowance as this will only serve to reinforce the dominant ‘bread-winner’ dynamic.

Being a stay-at-home mom is truly one of the best things you can do for yourself and your children, and luckily, it doesn’t have to be all that difficult. By taking the time to plan out your monthly budget and doing your best to stick to it, you should be able to enjoy the benefits of being a stay-at-home mom without it ruining your finances. 

Bed and Bath Pamper Sets for Moms on Mother’s Day

Moms are some of the most hardworking people in the world. And for the busiest mom, rest and relaxation at the end of the day are treasured moments. This coming Mother’s Day reward your moms with something that will allow them to enjoy their rest every day. Bed and Bath pamper sets for moms would be a great gift idea for this occasion.

Busy mom’s often get their rest when everyone and everything in the house is settled for the night. You can help your mom make the most of their nightly rest by giving her tools for a nice warm bath. This means coming up with bed and bath pamper sets for moms that  includes everything she needs to enjoy the shower or the tub.

Bath time will not be complete without a nice warm towel to dry your body. So, let your mom enjoy the luxurious softness of a Cariloha Bamboo Bath Towel Set. These towels are made from 42% viscose from bamboo and 58% Turkish combed cotton. Aside from the nice luxurious feel, moms will also appreciate its highly absorbent and odor resistant features. This set of bath towel, hand towel, and wash cloth are also stylishly designed that it will look good in your bathroom. They are worthy additions to your bed and bath pamper sets for moms on Mother’s Day.

Bamboo towels

Cariloha Towels

Finally, it is time for bed. Treat your mom to the ultra-soft sateen finish of Cariloha Bamboo Resort Bed Sheets that are perfect for sleep. These sheets are made from 100% viscose bamboo that spells luxurious comfort and durability. They can feel so good that moms may feel challenged to get up from bed in the morning. Given this, it is likely that your mom would appreciate this set of one flat sheet, two pillow cases, and one fitted sheet.

Most people have been pampered by their moms at some point in their lives. Now, it is their time to be pampered. Bed and Bath Pamper Sets for moms are great gift ideas for Mother’s Day. They can be the best gifts that you can give if they are coupled with your love and attention.

It’s All About You: How to Make your Home More Personal

There are many feelings that your home should evoke when you walk through the door: safety, happiness, calm, chaos and many more besides. However, more important than all of those, your home should represent something personal – it should feel as though it’s been designed and decorated by you.

Making your house feel more personal will give you a much stronger connection to the property and turn it from any old dwelling, on any old street into a home that you are truly in love with.

 

Decorate it with your memories

One of the best ways of making your home feel more personal is by decorating it with memories that are unique to you. Make sure that your walls and shelves are littered with mementoes of happy times and photographs of your favourite experiences.

There’s also an opportunity to take your family memories and emblazon them on more than just photo frames. With Shutterfly free shipping it’s never been cheaper to create personal mugs, stationery, calendars and other items with which to decorate your home.

Choose your shops wisely

Where you buy your furniture and ornaments will have a major impact on the look of your house, so if you want a different style to everyone else, you’ll need to frequent different shops to everyone else too.

Avoid major high-street chains in favour of quirky independent stores and you’re much more likely to find something for your home that stands out. Online outlets and market stalls also give creative individuals the chance to share their products, so there are plenty of options for anyone looking to buy something a little different.

Shopping in independent stores may mean that decorating your home takes slightly longer than if you went to a larger retailer, but it’ll be worth it when your house becomes the envy of all your neighbours.

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Image source: Pixabay

 

Don’t buy, build

 

An even more effective way of getting a unique look is to forego shops altogether and create your own interior design products yourself. There are plenty of online guides for creating furniture, so you can get creative even if you have no experience with arts and crafts.

 

If you don’t feel like creating your furniture from scratch, however, there’s still hope for you and your home. Upcycling has become a popular hobby for many and lets you turn old, unwanted items into something new and desirable. This could involve simple tasks like applying a new coat of paint or more complicated ones like re-upholstering a sofa. When it comes to making or repairing your own furniture, the choice is yours!

 

Ignore the naysayers

 

When you’re deciding on a certain look for your home, it’s perfectly fine to get inspiration from family, friends and glossy magazines, but the final say should come from you. So, if you want to go for a look that slightly, shall we say, eccentric, then you should. Your home may not end up being to everyone’s tastes, but why should it be? As long as you like it and it’s true to your individual style then that’s all that matters.

Essential Things To Consider When Buying A Family Home

If you’re starting a family or thinking about starting one soon, you may be looking into moving into a more family oriented new home. There can be many benefits of moving house as you start your family, including moving closer to family members or a support network, or moving into a larger or more appropriate space. There is so much to think about when choosing a new family home, here is a checklist of some of the major bases to cover.

family

Image Credit

Location

Choosing a good location can have a significant impact on the development of your young family, and the process of bringing them up. Make sure you consider local school and hospital facilities, as you may not want to move again as the children reach high school age. Some families also find it beneficial to relocate closer to parents or friends, so that there are extra hands available for helping out with the kids.

Timing

As they say, timing is everything. If you’re planning on having a family, you probably have some idea of timescales and things that need to happen within that. Moving house is a considerably stressful endeavor and one which can’t be undertaken lightly. Make sure you know how it fits into your time frame to minimize stress on you and your family.

Renovation Work

It’s sometimes easier to take on a house which requires a certain amount of renovation to get it up to scratch, just to shave a few thousand dollars off the price. However, you need to consider if you have the time or energy for such a big undertaking while you have a young family. Sometimes it’s easier to just pay a little bit more, and move into a space that is immediately fit for purpose.

house

Photograph Source

Space

Obviously, when you buy a house, it needs to be big enough for the people you currently have in your family. But what about future family members? Are you buying a property with enough space for more children, should you choose to have them? With this, you also need to spend time considering whether you want your kids to have their own space, or if you’re happy for them to share a bedroom. It’s also worth thinking about your outside space and if there is room to extend your house in the future, should the need arise. An extension was a great thing for my home when I came actually came round to sell my house as well, as a lot of value was added. See, always thinking ahead.

Ease To Move Around

With a young family, it’s useful to consider how easy it is to get from room to room, and up and down stairs. A family home based over four floors can be exhausting for a new mom and limits a child’s independence if they can’t go upstairs alone. A more open plan house with as few stairs as possible is much safer and more convenient for a young family.

Happy house hunting! Don’t stress too much; there will always be something out there.

Add Some Sparkle To Your Christmas Dinner Parties With These Fabulous Tips

I’m sure that you will already be getting lots of invites to various parties and special engagements for this coming festive period. But why not host your very own dinner party this year? It’s a great way to get all of your closest friends and family together. And it gives you the chance to cook for others if you aren’t hosting people for Christmas dinner this year. You can, of course, use all these tips for your Christmas dinner if you are hosting, though! Hopefully, the following tips will be able to add some extra sparkle to your Christmas dinner parties this year!

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Pexels

Keep It Simple

You need to keep your dinner party menu very simple. Otherwise, you will just get super stressed and could end up in the kitchen all night rather than mingling with your guests! Seeing as we are gearing up for Christmas, you may consider making a roast dinner. These can be very simple, especially if you prepare as much as possible in advance. But seeing as people will be eating a lot of roast dinners over the next few weeks, you may prefer to do something different. A great alternative could be a curry. These are easy to prepare in advance, and you can simply reheat it once the guests arrive. You also need to think about your menu well in advance of the party. Don’t just cook something that you found on Google on the same day of your dinner party. There is a big chance that something could go wrong! It’s a good idea to cook a meal that you are very familiar with and could cook blindfolded!

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Think About Decorations

Your dining table will need to really look the part! There are some easy ways you can add some sophistication to it without blowing your budget. One of the best additions to any dining table is a couple of candles. Then you can dim your dining room lights slightly to create an intimate dining atmosphere. You should also think about napkins as well. Go for cloth napkins rather than cheap paper ones. You can learn how to fold your napkins by looking at guides online. And don’t forget about the cutlery! Make sure that you place all the starter cutlery on the outside of cutlery for the main course. If you are giving everyone a bread plate, make sure that it goes on the left-hand side of their setting. Don’t forget that everyone will need two glasses for water and wine too!

wine

 

Pexels

Add Some Music

One of the best ways to create a convivial ambience for your dinner party is to play some background music. It’s a good idea to make a playlist on Spotify before your guests arrive. That way, you don’t have to keep on getting up to change the music. If you are holding your dinner party in December, it might be a nice idea to create a festive playlist with lots of Christmas tunes. When you put it on, don’t have it too loud. It needs to be fairly quiet so that everyone is able to talk over it. It is also a good idea to try and choose songs that don’t have any lyrics in them. That way, your guests won’t be distracted by them.

wine-glass

Pexels

Think About A Seating Plan

It could be a good idea to create a seating plan for your guests. However, if you have invited eight or fewer people, then you should let choose their own seats. But for more guests, it is perfectly fine to have a seating plan. It is often a good idea to seat spouses next to each other. It is also worth mixing up shy people with people who extroverts. That is because the extroverts will chat with anyone, and can help to bring shy guests out of their shells. This will help keep the conversation going! Another great dinner party tip is not to invite all strangers. Make sure that at least a couple of your guests know each other. That way, you aren’t the only person who has something in common with the guests.

Dinner parties are a great excuse to catch up with your friends and relatives. Especially right now in the run up to Christmas! And, as this blog post shows, they don’t have to be too complicated. As long as you are well-prepared, dinner parties can be a really fun occasion, even for the host! Hopefully, you now know plenty of tips to make the evening simple and stress-free!

What to Do About Water Damage in Your Home

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Photo via Nino Barbieri

There are several issues that can cause water damage in your home. The weather might have led to flooding, there could be a hole in your roof, or perhaps a pipe has burst. Whatever the cause of the damage, you need to fix it as soon as possible. The longer you leave it, the more it could lead to further problems. You might be able to repair some issues yourself, or you might need to hire someone professional. You should address the damage as soon as you can so that it doesn’t get worse. If you rent, your landlord should arrange everything. If the property belongs to you, it’s your responsibility to sort it out.

Take Emergency Measures

Before you do anything else, you need to stop further damage being caused. There are a few things you might need to do to stop any further issues. For example, you might need to turn off the water if a pipe has burst. In some cases, it’s also sensible to switch off the power in your home. If you don’t, you could also end up having a fire on your hands. You might want to do some other things too, such as putting out a bucket to catch a drip, or removing standing water. If you have valuable possessions that are in danger, make sure you get them somewhere safe.

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Via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region

Do Your Own Cleanup

There might be some ways you can clean up yourself, although some things will require a professional. For example, if there has been a flood, you can get rid of mud and other debris that might have come into the house. The moisture might have caused mold and mildew around your home, and it’s important to get rid of it. It could be damaging to your health if you don’t do anything about it. You can dry out the area and use bleach and other products to get rid of mold. However, make sure you’re using everything safely.

Find a Contractor

Calling in a contractor is often a quicker solution for your cleanup. It’s not always easy to address the problems caused by water damage on your own. You can call in ServiceMaster by Zaba or another service to take care of it for you. If it’s urgent, you can find a service that will take emergency calls. They can sort out everything from water removal to mold, so you don’t have to do it yourself. If you have time, you might want to get some quotes from a few different services. If not, try getting a recommendation from someone you know.

water

Via John Loo

Call Your Insurance Company

Repairing water damage can get expensive. Having your home insurance to help you out makes things much easier. If you need to make some repairs, remember to get in touch with your insurer. They will ask for some evidence of the damage so they can process your claim. Make sure you’re familiar with your policy before you call them.

Take care of water damage in your home as soon as possible. Once it’s cleaned up, don’t forget to prevent future problems.

Finishing Touches To Make Your House A Home

There’s no place like home. If you’ve recently moved, it can take time to adjust to a new house. Here are some top tips to help you add those finishing touches to your design ideas, and make your new house feel like home.

 

Soft furnishings

Soft furnishings are a fantastic way to create a homely, welcoming atmosphere, especially in the winter months. Add cushions and throws to couches and beds. Drape blankets over the back of the sofa. Scatter floor cushions and high-pile rugs on solid wooden floors. Choose complementary shades or patterns to match curtains or bedding or use soft furnishings to add splashes of color.

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Image source: Wikimedia

Personalization

Nothing turns bricks and mortar into a family home like some personal touches. Print out some family photographs and make a feature wall with all kinds of different frames. Order some initialed cushions or personalized mugs or glasses. Add some retro-style signs featuring your names to the kitchen or use a stenciled crate to store your garden tools in the conservatory. Use experiences from the past, such as travels with your partner or family holidays, to shape your designs. The decor in your home should be a reflection of your personalities.

Lighting

Lighting can create all kinds of effects in your home, and it can make you feel calm and relaxed instantly after a busy day. Use dimmers in the snug or spotlights in a modern kitchen. Place a statement lamp in a home office or invest in a feature bulb string for a quirky contemporary look in the living room. Check out suppliers like iLighting for ideas. You can also use innovative lighting solutions to create ambiance if you’re entertaining in the garden. Use uplighters and colored lights to get the party started or unwind with subtle fairy lights.

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Image source: pexels.com

Accessories

Accessories can add character and personality to your home. The best news is that you don’t have to spend much to achieve incredible results. Add vases of fresh flowers to make your kitchen more homely or place a magazine rack and a footstool in the living room. Make your bedroom more romantic with candles and a vintage mirror or invest in a chaise longue for the ultimate in French chic. Mirrors are also an excellent addition to hallways and corridors as they reflect natural light. Decorate the walls with your favorite artwork or some photos on canvas. Finish off your makeover with a doormat and some potted trees outside the front door.

Go for a lived-in vibe

A home isn’t a home until it has that lived-in look. By all means, keep your home tidy, but don’t break your back to make sure it’s spotless at all times. There’s something comforting about the familiarity of a slightly less-than-perfect home.

In an ideal world, you’ll always feel happiest at home. If you’re looking to turn a new house into a cozy, comfortable space, take these tips on board. You can convert bricks and mortar into a comforting sanctuary in no time at all.

 

Welcome Home Parties for Active Duty Military

Welcome our Military men home

 

image source: Pixabay

When beloved family members return from military tours or war, all of their friends and family are overrun with joy, excitement, and relief. This special occasion demands a joyous party involving all who love and respect an individual employed by the armed forces. The best decorating involves patriotism, celebrating everything the individual has done and sacrificed to protect the United States of America.

Red, White, and Blue Refreshments
Everyone will require refreshments during a long party, but the refreshments do not have to be standard and boring. Beverages and snacks can all be prepared in patriotic colors, from blue sodas and red juices to red, white, and blue confections. For families who are only providing healthier refreshments, several fruits and berries can provide this trio of patriotic colors.

Letting the Flags Fly
Naturally, there is nothing that is more patriotic than a country’s flag. A real American flag should be raised in honor of the soldier, especially at his or her home. Smaller flags might adorn centerpieces at party tables, or they might be proudly displayed on walls and in windows. The most important flag is going to require a large flag post, so that it may wave freely in the wind in celebration.

Fireworks Celebration
One of the many forms of entertainment that Americans use to celebrate freedom is fireworks. From elaborate displays to simple and beautiful cannons, fireworks are mesmerizing and exciting. Sparklers are used as well, a fun activity for both small children and older teens. However, combat veterans may not handle fireworks displays very well. For those with PTSD, a fireworks display could trigger post traumatic stress. Each homecoming should be planned with the soldier’s well-being in mind.

Drafting a Playlist
There are thousands of patriotic songs in existence, across all different genres. Music is a great way to set the mood for an event, especially for a patriotic homecoming. It can also get the children dancing, burning off all of their energy that has built up due to the excitement of the homecoming. Several online sources provide top lists for patriotic songs, making it easy to produce one’s own playlist for a party.

All American soldiers deserve to be welcomed home warmly and lovingly. They make incredible sacrifices for their country; including risking their lives and leaving their families for long periods of time. Extravagant parties show them how much they are missed and loved when they are gone.