5 tips on how to avoid Back To School Colds!

Back to school time here in Chicago and all the parents are pretty excited! Summer came and went quickly and now Fall is staring us in the face. Dereon started school 2 weeks ago and it was all bliss until this past Monday when he started sneezing, coughing, and wiping his running nose. Sigh. I started to doctor him up immediately and in the process got myself sick. I started to feel real bad by Wednesday…Chance started to feel sick too. I’m still in the bed now trying to get to 100% before Monday. Chance is a fighter and he’s still getting into everything, but with a running nose and watery eyes. Dereon is feeling better since he has given his cooties to us. The husband has been working so hard he has kind of skipped the plague. Lol. Now that I look back at what I did wrong and I want to help you avoid the chaos a common cold can cause.

  1. Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer! Sounds easy I know, but we don’t wash our hands enough. We have to reinforce this on our kiddos as well because his is the main way we spread germs.
  2. Take your vitamins! I know that vitamins can get costly and sometimes people have different side effects, but I recommend finding a good multivitamin for you and the kiddos to help keep your immune system up.
  3. Get your rest! Sleep is important because it relates to immune system and it just helps your overall health. Getting 8-10 hours of sleep nightly may seem impossible, but if you put you phone down and turn Love and Hip Hop off and go to bed. 
  4. Drink Orange Juice! Once I start feeling sick I instantly start downing orange juice. Vitamin C is jammed packed in orange juice which helps your body fight the cooties!
  5. Change your toothbrush! Your toothbrush is constantly collecting your germs every time you brush. When you use the same toothbrush you keep introducing those germs to your body so it’s hard to fight those nasty cold germs. Cop a new toothbrush and thank me later.

I hope these tips help you and your family stay cold free this Back to School season. 

Frigid cold hits Chicago! 5 tips to help keep you warm

Yikes! It’s freezing. Monday felt like -12 and today the highest is 5! Yes 5 degrees. I know living in the Midwest means you are going to have cold winters, but this has been the coldest 2 days of my life. No joke!

The CPS cancelled school 2 days in a row which is a BIG deal. Mostly all Chicago government offices were closed, some CTA train services were shut down, and there were a few deaths reported in regards to men having heart attacks while shoveling the show. Illinois was declared a state of disaster!

Pretty scary right? So today my husband and I called and checked on the elderly, stopped at the grocery store to stock up in some food, and started the car and let it run a few so the battery wouldn’t die. The kiddo had to stay in because it was way too cold.

If you are in an area that is experiencing the frigid cold currently please follow these tips:

1. Make sure you have working jumper cables in your car. Your battery may need some help to start because of the cold. Also have a gas can in the trunk.

2. Start your car and let it run a while before traveling even if it’s a short trip.

3. Dress in layers!! Hoodies, leggings, two pairs of socks, etc. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

4. If you are using a space heater or turning on your oven for extra heat please monitor it and don’t sleep with them on, this may cause a fire.

5. To keep your home a little warmer cover windows and the base of the doors with plastic to keep draft air out.

Bundle up guys and stay safe!

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5 tips to help you save money for Christmas 2013

So it’s no point of acting like it’s not right around the corner…yep. Christmas! Santa is busy making his toys and you should be busy stacking your coins so you won’t be super stressed this Holiday Season. Even though we all know Jesus is the reason for the season, I have come up with 5 tips to help you prepare yourself as well as your wallet for Christmas 2013:

1. Pack your lunch – That’s right. No more Mickey D’s or Wendy’s or Olive Garden for lunch!(Well at least not every day). You can save a ton of money by bringing your lunch to work. If you spend $5 a day for lunch that’s $25 a week and that’s only if you spend $5 (which I doubt). If you do the math that’s $50 every two weeks. That $50 could go on that Grand Theft Auto 5 video game your son has been talking your ear off about.

2. Layaway – I have heard so many bad things about layaway, but the truth is it’s great. Get all the hot items safely put up with only a small percentage down and a schedule date for payments, to keep you on track. Perfect! This is the best way to go for those really on a tight budget and or for those that has a kid that wants all the latest and greatest toys that clear the shelves quick.

3. Black Friday – I love Black Friday! Most of the people who don’t like Black Friday has had a bad experience or didn’t plan right. That’s ok. We have all done that before. The key is to research, plan and execute. Look at what store is offering what and is it worth you being up at 5am? Plan what time you are going and go! Sadly, being late by 10 minutes can cost you so make sure you are going by yourself or with dedicated shoppers.

4. List – Hi Santa. What do you have for me? Even Santa’s got a list. People spend way too much money when they go in to the stores without a plan and no list! You buy things that grab your attention because it looks like a steal or it’s just too cute! Well that’s going to hurt you. You need a list. Who, What, What store, and price. You have to know what you are there for because if not you will walk the aisle aimlessly picking up items that will may throw your budget completely off.

5. Envelopes – After you have your list completed, put how much you are spending on each person. Then grab a few small envelopes and write the person initials with the amount you are spending (write this very small). As you get paid add to the different envelopes. Once you are saved up and ready to go shopping grab your envelopes and keep to the budget! Once you spend all the money in that envelope on that person you need to reevaluate what else you are trying to buy them and look at what you already have bought. Do they really need it? No. Then their list is complete! Time to start wrapping. But if it is on the top of their list, take the least desirable gift back and use that money to get that must have gift. The key here is to stay on BUDGET.

If we start applying these rules now I believe we will have more sanity this Holiday season!

Let us remember Christmas is about love, family and Jesus. If we can keep that in mind before the madness starts and during we might make it to 2014. LOL

My day 3 recap: Social Media Week Chicago 2013 plus 5 tips every blogger should use! #SMWChicago

Day 3! I had a jammed packed day, less sessions than day 1, but more than I had on day 2.

The first session of the today was “Mommy blogging your way to success” and it was an early morning one. So of course I was running late. After I took the kiddo to school I kind of got into relax mode thinking “oh I have more than enough time” and ended up running to catch the train, literally. Thank God he kept the doors open I’m sure everyone on the West Side of Chicago saw me running. Even though I caught the train I would still be late because of the train stopping and going pretty slow so to avoid having to run anywhere else I made it up in my mind to cab it from the train stop. I made it to Tribune Tower with about 10 minutes left until start time which was impressive since I had just left my house only 30 minutes prior 😉

Like I stated previously The first session was centered around Mommy blogging and boy was it packed! I guess a lot of mommies want to start blogging. We all have stories to tell. The panel of mommy bloggers was very impressive and motivating and they dropped sooo many gems. One hour was not enough! Here are some tips I picked up that I feel every blogger should know and use:

1. Generosity IS currency in the blogging world. The best thing you can do is share, comment, & like. Let that blogger know you like what they are dishing out! We all love a pat on the back.

2. Write about what matters to you. What’s your passion? What can you talk about for hours and hours and not get bored? That’s your niche! There is somebody out in the world with interests just like you.

3. If you started blogging just to make money or to get stuff you may as well STOP right now. Sure a lot of people make good money off blogging, but guess what it started off as a hobby or something they loved to do and then evolved to a business. You can’t just focus on the dollar signs because you will lose sight of your readers and or content.

4. Write as if you are a celebrity. Don’t down yourself! If you don’t believe in yourself who will? You never know maybe Oprah will read your blog and you are a overnight sensation!

5. Privacy act! if you have children come to an understanding if you will post their pic, name, or even mention them. Also the same with your mate. Some bloggers share there children pics & name but keep their mate private or vice versa you just have to do what’s comfortable to you.

After the first session I caught up with my blogger friend One Haute Mommi and then ran to grab lunch before my second session started. I had one of the best burgers ever! From coast burgers. Yummy!

The Second session was at Tribune as well and it was about starting or saving your blog and it was a great class. Some of the things mention was a repeat of what I heard earlier of course in a different way. I also heard fresh information, but most importantly I left feeling empowered.

I went home after session 2 because I had a 4 hour wait before my next session and I missed my husband and son 😉

My boys drop me off for my last and longest session of the night it was about how to become Facebook famous (super cool title). The panel was super cute and had a wealth of real life experience. A Social Media tool I learned about and can’t wait to use is Flickr. The questions the audience asked were great too.

The three workshops yesterday gave me the fuel and info I needed to keep going. As I walked out of the Tribune last night I embraced the light walk and the wind. It felt so inviting yet limited so I cherished it plus I was able to capture a few shots.

Today is my last day of sessions with #SMWChicago and I’m super excited. Ii will do today’s recap tomorrow.