Friday, July 23, 2021

Swamp Swamp Swamp Swamp Music


♫ "When the hound dog starts singin'
I ain't got them big ol' city blues" 

I really wouldn't want to be with the hound dogs chasing racoons... I'd hate to see the racoons getting hurt. I've always had a soft heart for animals (and I prefer the city over the country), but that song (Swamp Music) gets stuck in my head every time I see a swamp, and this one was absolutely gorgeous. It was also very safe to visit because I was doing so from a boardwalk at the Tallahassee Museum. The views I literally stumbled across were too good not to share.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Spice Sets Can Make Great Gifts

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

It's true that I don't like to eat meat. I've just never liked it. Give me some veggies or vegetarian dishes though, and I know a thing or two. It does seem like it's easy to get in a rut though, making the same favored dishes over and over again. That is especially true if you don't use meat as your protein. You have probably heard the old saying that nothing will be different if you don't make any changes, so I brought home this Taste of America set from Spice Lab. Something different, bound to lead to change.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Best Ways to Control Credit Card Debt

Photo Source

Unless you are very, very lucky, credit is one of those things that you learn through trial by fire. What that means is when you reach the age to get a credit card, you get no training, no advice, and you're turned loose to spend as you will. Once you establish credit, other companies reach out to you with fancy deals enticing you to take out a credit card with them as well (earn 50,000 points if you spend $5,000 in 2 months, or something similar). Before you know it, you're in debt over your ears and starting to panic. There is no need to do so, just slow down (slow way down), start thinking clearly about how you want to live your life financially and take positive steps to work towards those goals. Even the biggest of goals is met by taking that first step. Once you start moving, goals are often met a lot faster than you could have even guessed. So what are the best ways to control credit card debt?

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Whistler is a Great Vacation Idea (or Home!) for People Who Love Adventure

Photo Source: Cheakamus River

There are some places you visit that are so wonderful that you cannot help but consider what it would be like to live there. My sister-in-law says Whistler (Canada) is one of those destinations. You all know that I am a traveler at heart, so being super curious, I started doing a little reasearch of my own. Is this the kind of place she would actually enjoy if she moved there permanently? I started by looking at Whistler Homes for Sale,. There were quite a few affordable options, some of which were log cabin-style, which I always find appealing. There's just something about that rustic type of setting that makes me happy and Whistler, with its scenic backdrops, makes for a perfect setting to own one. So far, so good, my sister-in-law enjoys those things too.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Shark Week Sale: 10% Off All Fossilera Purchases

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are genuine and my own. Please note that products mentioned in this blog post may not be available. Please check website for current availability. 

To help celebrate Shark Week, Fossilera is still running their 10% off sale (no coded needed) now through Sunday, July 18th. 

They have reasonably priced shark teeth for the littles and super serious pieces for the collector, such as those seen above! What amazes me is the simplicity of these teeth and the variations between species. Am I the only one thinking the shark teeth look very similar to their fins? When I see these, I can see them cutting through the ocean (the sharks), owning their space in the water, and just having a grand old time.

As I mentioned before, my four children have alway enjoyed it when they have come across a shark tooth in the sand. My daughter hits the jackpot when she goes searching in Jupiter, Florida. Of course, she's grown now and doesn't spend a lot of time sifting sand for treasure anymore, but she does have two sweet little girls who will no doubt be doing it before you know it.

Have you ever come across a shark tooth on the beach? 

Check out the sale on Fossilera, and while you're there, be sure to browse through the other fossils they have available, as well as take a peek at the crystals. The same daughter I'm talking about in this post, just made a purchase on their website for a whole slew of crystals and rocks. When I took a peek, I was loving the Pyrite Cubes from Spain. Those are gorgeous! And of course, I am mesmerized by the huge selection of shark teeth that are available.

Would you Like 10% Off of Any Purchase at Fossilera?
Visit HERE to start shopping.

Happy Shark Week to You!

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Updates:Gona's Reading Ranch is Here: It's Story Time!

 Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

UPDATE: Book Giveaway Now Being Added to Original Post

This is a great book. Enter to win a hard copy today!




Everything used to be in writing, then it went to online reading, and now it seems to be going to videos. As an educator and a mom, I see the youth are certainly going  that way, and now award-winning Carla Crane Osborne has opted to take that route too! She has created Gona's Reading Ranch on YouTube, a safe place online where kids can join in to listen to, and follow along, as she reads various stories, including her own Under the Barnyard Light (available on Amazon). 

Monday, July 12, 2021

It's Shark Week: Fossilera is Having a Sale on Shark Teeth!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are genuine and my own. Please note that products mentioned in this blog post may not be available. Please check website for current availability. 

It's Shark Week and Fossilera is having a sale on shark teeth!

I think many of us have been in search of shark teeth or have seen them, either on a beach or for sale in a gift shop. Here we can find them in Jupiter, Florida where there just seems to be so many of them! It never gets old for the kids to find and collect them. They get super excited, even the older kids! We never know what kind of shark the teeth are from though, so I love Fossilera for being able to check and compare what we have to what they have. Of course, once there, we come across others that we want to own. Their selection is huge (and they have the best polished rocks and crystals too, but that's a post for a different day seriously though, go check those out too).

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Lucky Scent Samples: A New Favorite Casamorati Lira


Lucky Scent sells samples and full-sized perfumes. I have ordered a full-sized scent from them before and posted about that purchase on Instagram because it was my all-time best find for a vanilla scent. I'll probably discuss that on the blog soon, because it's good enough to share (boy, is it good enough to share!). From that initial purchase, I knew they had fast delivery, quality packaging (important if your fragrances are coming via delivery) and reasonable prices, so it was a no-brainer to order from them again.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Mixbook and the New Family Pictures

Disclosure: I received a sample product or a discount code to make a purchase. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

A few weeks ago my daughter and I decided to take her girls to the closest photo studio (not such an easy thing to find these days) and get some pictures made. Per usual, I went crazy and had a million things made (well not a million, but you know what I mean), including this Acryclic Photo Block from Mixbook. I've had photos put on metal, stone, etc., but never acrylic. It turned out really cute and I have it on display in my living room so I can see it whenever I am in there. The colors came out vibrant like the photos, and dusting it will be a breeze (unlike intricate photo frames). I also like that it's small enough to move around easiliy if I want to do so. 

Friday, July 9, 2021

Christmas in July: Fix Christmas Lights Fast!

 Disclosure: I received a sample product or a discount code to make a purchase. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

There are a couple of things I have put off during the holiday seasons that I wanted to get right this year, and what better time than July, you know, with the whole 'Christmas in July' thing going on. So, I made a promise to myself that I was going to do two things before the official holiday, so I wouldn't keep saying I would 'get to it' even though I knew I probably wouldn't. One, is I took out my bulb tree and bulb wreath, along with the ornaments that have fallen off, and I am putting them back in place. The second thing is I ordered the LED Keeper and the LightKeeper Pro. 

I'm so happy to have my decorations repaired (it's a sense of relief that I finally did them) and am delighted to have the light repair kits in my possession now as well. It's so difficult to find a broken light on a light strand that adorns the Chrsitmas Tree, and sad to say I am one of those people that will just throw the lights out, rather than spend a lot of time trying to figure out which bulb needs to be replaced so the strand will work again. What I didn't think of on the occassions where I have done that, is that those light strands end up in a landfill, along with a bazillion other strands from people who have done the same thing.

Ulta-Lit Tree Company mades these little gadgets that identify and fix the broken stents quickly. Over 6 million people have purchased them in the last 20 years, and saved enough light sets from landfills to fill six Statues of Liberty! Add me to the stats because I've got mine and this year I'll be ready to fix those pesky bulbs that blow. Even more important now since the lights on my new spinning tree (does anyone remember how excited I was to get a spinning tree, lol?) are already laced. I was worried last year what I would do if one blew, and I meant to pick these up. I didn't, and thankfully didn't need them, but I do now feel prepared, having them in the house.

I may pick up a Christmas ornament or two this month (there's one that depicts London that I have been wanting to get and I wanted to pick up a housewarming ornament for a friend who purchased her first home). So with those two purchases and these repair kits, I have officially become a part of the Christmas in July crowd this year.

Learn more about the LED Keeper and the LightKeeper Pro by clicking HERE. And if you're one of those people who hates to search the strands of lights to find the one bulb that blew out, pick up yours today. Come the holidays, and they'll be here before you know it, you'll be glad to have them on hand.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Perfumed Court: Samples Galore, Lots of Guerlain Today

I went on a sample shopping spree that resulted in me buying 3 full-sized bottles of fragrance, two from the orders I am writing about below, and that makes me so happy! Most of you know I try now before I buy, so if I'm buying, it's something I know I really, really like and something that won't bother my teen's allergies. My sample purchases were made at The Perfumed Court (not sponsored, I am just sharing). They arrived quickly, came in secure but easy-to-open dab vials, and they had the names of the fragrances written directly on the glass, which ensures it won't come off and you can always see what is inside. That is fantastic because it's a real drag when a company puts a label on that comes off or wears off easily and you don't know what's inside; that is especially true if you have a lot of samples, like I do!

For those interested in what I bought and what they smelled like (to me), I have put my personal thoughts below. Fragrances are listed in order from best (at the top of the page), to least (at the bottom).

Thursday, July 1, 2021

My Journey as an Influencer

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

Someone asked me to write a post about my journey as a blogger. It's been awhile since I've written anything at all even similar to that, so I agreed. Though I am not an influencer anywhere near Christina Calph's level of fame and fortune, I still enjoy my little corner in the influencer world. Some of you will already know the answers to the Q & A session below because you've been here since the beginning (thank you!). To others some things may be new. For me, it's something fun to do today. :)

Mortgage Calculator: How much home can you afford?

 Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

If you're looking for a house, make sure you stay within the boundaries of what you can afford. It can be so tempting to look at houses 'just outside of your income zone' and convince yourself you'll be able to find a way to make it work. And that is all well and good, if you can, but what if you can't? Nothing ruins the exhiliration of owning a home faster than struggling to make the payments on it.

There are some things you can do to help.

1. Use a mortgage calculator. Be prepared before you even start to search. Plug in the numbers and see what you truly can afford. The best mortgage calculator will take into consideration not only things like your income and homeownership responsibilities (like taxes, insurance and potential HOA fees) but it will also consider things like your current debt-to-income ratio and how much money you are actually shelling out on expenses (like credit cards, student loans, etc.). A high quality mortgage calculator can also provide other information and facts you might not have considered when it comes to understanding where and how you are spending your money. When you have that clarity, you also have the ability to make changes that will help you be in a better position to buy.