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Is Melaleuca right for you?

Is Melaleuca right for you?

Before You Try Melaleuca, There’s Something You Should Know

Well, this is it: The last company review in my five-part series on product-focused, home-based business opportunities. Have I saved the best for last with Melaleuca review? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

The first four companies I looked at—Younique, Scentsy, LuLaRoe, and doTERRA—all rely on distributors who purchase and resell their products. That’s the hallmark of multi-level marketing.

Melaleuca, however, has no distributors. It’s just an online store. I was kind of surprised when I found that out. It turns out that the only way customers can purchase Melaleuca products is directly from the company.

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Grocery Pickup and Delivery: 10 Reasons You Should be Shopping Online

Grocery Pickup and Delivery: 10 Reasons You Should be Shopping Online

If you’re a mom, you know how hectic life can be managing a home. Between taking care of the kids, running errands, and trying to squeeze in a little time for yourself (ya know, real luxuries like a shower) it feels like there’s never enough time in the day. So let’s talk about one huge timesaver (read, sanity-saver) for moms who are always on the go: Walmart pick-up (or any pickup or delivery service). In this blog post, we’ll talk about why you should be doing your shopping online, plus the dirty tips for getting the best experience.

If you haven’t jumped on this trend yet, you do not know what you’re missing. I honestly can’t believe I used to cart all three of my kids into a shopping cart for an hour, dodging the candy and toy aisles, reminding them we don’t impulse shop, managing tantrums, and then checking out only to take those groceries out to the car, holding the baby and herding the toddlers through a parking lot desert. Add bad weather to the equation, and I’m getting hives thinking about it.

So here we go: 10 reasons you should be shopping online

1. You can shop from the comfort of your own home

No more getting the kids ready to go out, loading everyone into the car, and schlepping through a store. You can do it all from your phone or laptop while you’re relaxing on the couch in your jammies. Or, like me, while you’re binge-watching your favorite sitcom when you should be sleeping, which I believe we’ve covered before, is my favorite way to shop.

2. No need to cart around kids and groceries in bad weather

If you’ve ever had to deal with a toddler meltdown in the middle of a rainstorm, or carry two grocery bags and a baby in one arm through a snowdrift, you know what I’m talking about.

Online shopping means no more weather-related stressors. You can shop when it’s convenient for you, even if that means in the middle of a blizzard, and not have to worry about getting everyone out in bad weather.

With an option like Walmart pick-up, you still might be driving in the weather, but sitting in your car while the Walmart angels fill up your trunk and you listen to your favorite podcast just never gets old.

3. Groceries are delivered right to your car or door

Can someone say, “Heaven?” Depending on the pick-up option, you may not even have to go inside (our Sam’s Club, as an example, you do have to go inside to collect your items). Bust most often, just pop the trunk and you’re all set. If you’re using a grocery delivery service, they’ll bring it right to your door. Now that’s what I call service!

And if you’re really ahead of the game, teach your kids responsibility by having them help unload when you get home. Now you’ve got all the work done at a serious fraction of the friction. Well done, mama.

4. You can compare prices online easily

Gone are the days of driving to three different stores to compare prices on items. With a few clicks, you can check out what each store has to offer and make sure you’re getting the best deal. Not to mention, many times online retailers have better sales than brick-and-mortar locations.

5. No impulse shopping

I can just about cut my grocery bill in half just by sticking to pick-up for the month and vowing not to go in-store. It’s crazy to me. Just think about all the times you’ve gone into a store for one item and walked out with $100 worth of “stuff” you didn’t even know you needed. It happens to the best of us. But when you’re shopping online, there’s no way to be distracted by items you don’t need because they’re not right in front of you in fancy end-cap displays.

Plus, no arguing with your kids at checkout and they’re begging for gum and candy. Bonus.

6. No germs

Contact-less shopping option is one of my favorite by-products of the Covid-era. I remember looking down in at my toddler just to find him SUCKING on the shopping cart handle. Oh my heavens. No more dirty carts, no more coughing shoppers, no more public restrooms. When you’re shopping online, there’s no risk of exposure to those icky germs.

7. You get discounted substitute items when something is out of stock

This is one thing I love specifically about Walmart pickup: when they substitute an item for you, you get the better price. On most things, I shop Walmart brand to save a few bucks here and there, but if they run out, they upgrade me to a name brand or, even better, to a larger size for the same cost as the item I originally put in my virtual shopping cart. It feels like free stuff.

8. You save valuable time and energy

Your time is precious; in fact, it’s the only resource you can’t create more of. So why would you want to spend it doing something that’s not only a time-suck, but also energy draining? Shopping online is so much quicker and easier than trekking around the store.

You can shop when the kids are in bed, or while you’re watching your favorite show, or even on your lunch break at work. No need to hunt down mystery items in a store.

Plus, you have easy access to your pantry at home, so you can check on the items you already have rather than calling your partner to check on the number of eggs you have in the fridge. That’s a time-saver, a marriage-saver, and a money-saver.

9. Avoid decision fatigue

The more decisions you have to make in a day, the harder they become. By the end of a long day of work and mom-ing, the last thing you want to do is try to figure out what’s for dinner and then stand in line at the store. Why not make life easier on yourself by doing as much as you can ahead of time?

You can plan your meals for the week, make a grocery list, and shop all in one sitting. Then, when it comes to dinner time, all you have to do is heat it up. No standing in line at the store or trying to decide what’s for dinner while you’re already hangry.

10. Great customer service

Now I think I may have an advantage here because I read somewhere that my particular Walmart is winning a corporate award for their highly rated customer service, but my experience with Walmart pickup has been stellar. Often, they even have fruit snacks to give my kiddos. I’ve been pleased with the groceries, how they’re packaged, and how they communicate with me. 10/10 would recommend.

Dirty Tips

Here’s my one caveat on grocery pickup, which I am clearly wild about: if you have the time, pick your own produce. I often delegate this responsibility to the amazing pick-up shoppers, and I’d give them 6/10 for picking the quality produce I would get if I were picking it out myself.

My preference is to do my Walmart pickup order and then stop by a local grocer on the drive home and get fresher produce from the front of the store that I pick out myself. It’s an easy-in, easy-out experience, and I get pretty fruits and veggies I’m excited to consume. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also a place I feel a little better about impulse buying, so it allows me to see what’s in-season or on-sale and choose accordingly. Otherwise I might buy strawberries for $5.00 when I could have gotten peaches for $2.50.

Should I shop for groceries online?

Conclusion: You should be shopping for groceries online!

If you’re not already using a grocery pickup or delivery service, I hope this has inspired you to at least give it a try. It’s saved me so much time, money, and energy as a busy mom. There are definitely some drawbacks like deciding what’s for dinner and then sticking to that decision, but the pros far outweigh the cons. Online grocery shopping is a total game-changer, and I think you’ll be hooked once you try it.

Happy shopping!

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How to Prepare Food Storage for Kids

How to Prepare Food Storage for Kids

As a mom, I like to be prepared. Prepared for the little things and prepared for the big things, including food storage for kids.

Some might think my prepping can be a little overboard, considering I’m the mom whose purse is more like the Mary Poppins bag full of just about everything. If ever you have the honor of rummaging through my own version of a Mary Poppins bag, you’ll realize I’m serious when I say, I like to be prepared! In addition to the “must-haves” of money and makeup, I’m always equipped with wet wipes, OTC headache medicine, children’s cough medicine, bottled water, bandages, an extra baby onesie, extra diaper, bags of fruit snacks, and more. Yes, it seems a little much, but the way I see it, I’d rather be prepared with more than equipped with less when on-the-fly needs arises.

Prepping beyond the purse

And though I’m very prepared for family outings, my mommy prepping goes beyond what’s included in my purse. I consider myself a very prepared homemaker. With canning as a favorite hobby, I’m very keen on preparing for a rainy day (or week or month). Remember the rush on food items last year when the pandemic hit? Thankfully, food worries weren’t a thing for my household, because we maintain a pretty decent supply of food storage.

It’ s no secret that I love to can food and maintain a spirit of preparation in the home. Recently, many people have asked how they can start a food storage plan that kids will like. Because, although basic foods like beans and rice are palatable by most adults, most children shun “preparedness foods” and would rather go hungry than eat prepper food.

Here are some suggestions on how to prepare a food storage that your kids will enjoy.

Food Storage For Kids

  • Store Macaroni and Cheese

Every kid on planet Earth likes mac and cheese, and one of the great things about mac and cheese is it has a pretty long shelf life.  I suggest buying mac and cheese in bulk the next time your grocery store has a case lot sale.

  • Store canned peaches

From my experience, canned peaches are the most popular fruit for kids. Peaches make for a great stand-alone dish, side-dish, snack, or ingredient for a yummy dessert.

  • Store boxed cakes

Boxed cakes are great because kids love cake (and adults do, too), they’re easy to store, and super easy to prepare. A cake can be a great comfort food when times get rough.

  • Store canned spaghetti sauce

Like mac and cheese, kids love spaghetti. And this is good news when it comes to building an emergency food storage, because spaghetti sauce is very simple to store and pasta noodles even more so.  If you want to be evern more adventurous, can jars of minced hamburger to toss into the spaghetti sauce.

  • Store peanut butter

Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and kids love it! Having a ton of peanut butter on hand is a great way to ensure your kids are getting enough to eat. Whether it’s eating the peanut butter by the spoonful or as part of a sandwich, peanut butter is a vital  piece of the food storage plan.

peanut butter
  • Store tootsie rolls

Store bags of Tootsie Rolls and/or other sweets that you can pull out on occasion. This isn’t so much for physical health as it is for mental health. Everyone is happier when they get a snack! Tootsie Rolls are cheap to buy and last forever.

Conclusion

These are just a few thoughts. Stay tuned for more in a future post, as this is a topic near and dear to my heart. Suffice it to say, the best way to know if you’re building a food storage that works well for your kids is to ask this question, “Do my kids already eat this stuff?” If the answer is no, then stop and begin building a food storage comprised of things your kids are already eating. It will give you peace of mind and save you a lot of money and headache in the long run!

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Mom Hacks

5 Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Floor Clean

5 Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Floor Clean

In this blog post, I’ll give some tips on how to keep your kitchen floor clean.

As a mom, I’ve learned that keeping the kitchen floor clean is like stringing pearls on a thread without a knot. The task is never-ending! Truly, sometimes I wonder why I even attempt to clean my kitchen floor if, when I’m done, it immediately begins to get dirty from all the flying food, garbage wrappers, random clothes, and more. It’s as if the kitchen floor is a magnet for filth. Why is that? It may have something to do with the adage that the kitchen is the great gathering place of the home.

So instead of waxing impatient and irritated, I instead wish to share some very positive, easy steps you can take to keep your kitchen floor clean and hence continue keeping the kitchen the fun family gathering place it is intended to be.

Transform your kitchen from the home’s dumping ground to the home’s gathering ground.

5 Tips to keep your kitchen floor clean

Pick up one thing every time you enter the kitchen

It’s amazing what a little constant effort sustained over a long period of time will do. Instead of waiting for the floor to “suddenly” be a disaster, try to keep it clean by getting in the habit of picking up just ONE thing off the ground every time you walk into the kitchen. You’ll be amazed how many things get picked up, and, as a result, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to keep your kitchen floor tidy and clean.

Keep refrigerator magnets on the top half of the fridge

Yes, this seems a little random, but for those of you with toddlers, you can already see the wisdom in this counsel. Refrigerator magnets are a constant temptation for littles to grab and toss on the floor. And for every magnet that lands on the floor, the piece of paper or photo that the magnet was holding up, also hits the floor.

Maintain clean counters

So much of what hits the kitchen floor first resided on the kitchen counter. The longer something remains on the counter (or kitchen table) the more likely it will end up on the floor. Get in the habit of keeping the counter clear. You can begin by removing one thing from the counter every time you walk into the kitchen, similar to the suggestion earlier where I recommended picking something off the floor every time you walk into the kitchen. Remember, it’s just ONE thing at a time.

Keep the broom in a visible location

Usually, we keep the broom in the closet or somewhere out of sight. But you know what they say: Out of sight, out of mind. To help as a reminder to keep the floor tidy, try keeping the broom in a visible location. I actually like sweeping. There’s something very satisfying about seeing all the crumbs and crusty food find its way to the trash bin!

Buy a robot vacuum

Okay, I almost left this one off the list, but because I recently bought a robot vacuum, I feel confident in recommending a robot vacuum as part of your kitchen cleaning process. It’s really the final icing on the cake. After you’ve swept the big stuff, then let the robot vacuum do its precision work.

The thing about these little R2-D2 vacuums, though, is if you’re not careful, your littles will think the robot vacuum is a toy and will potentially damage it by trying to play with It. For this reason, if you have kids, I suggest running the robot vacuum at night!

Conclusion

Cherish the time you have with your kids at home. Don’t get too frustrated with a messy kitchen. It really is just part of the journey, and I believe there should be joy in the journey. Hopefully, these little tips for keeping your kitchen floor clean will be as helpful for you as they have been for me.

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Mom Hacks

6 Tips to help kids with bedtime

6 Tips to help kids with bedtime

Why is it that bedtime always seems to be a struggle for littles? You’d think that we, as moms, would have this round-up and routine mastered considering it comes around every. . .single . . . day. As grown-ups, it’s hard to understand why children are so averse to the concept of getting a good night’s sleep. I mean, who in their right mind doesn’t appreciate an end to the chaos of the day and the blissfulness of a wonderful night’s sleep. The answer: children! For some reason, which grown-ups do not comprehend, little kids simply don’t like going to bed. As a result, bedtime tends to turn into a nightly battle, which all-too-often results in grumpy parents, grumpy kids, and less-than-ideal sleep for everyone.  Understanding that this is a common situation, I decided to share some of my tips to help your kids with bedtime.

And although some of them may seem a little odd, they’ve worked for my kiddos. As with all my pieces of advice, take what you want and leave what you don’t. Hopefully, though, you’ll find some helpful points in this list to make bedtime less of a struggle and more of a delight.

Tips to help your kids with bedtime

Tip #1: Eat dinner earlier

One of the biggest challenges with getting kids off to bed on-time is we run out of time! Your bedtime routine should begin as soon as dinner is over. So, if you eat dinner too later, you’re already setting yourself up for failure. Most parents are pretty good at choosing a firm bedtime, but very few of these same parents are good at choosing a firm dinner time. By staying true to a firm dinner time, you make it much easier to stay true to your firm bedtime. In my family, we eat dinner at 6 p.m., which means, I need to start dinner well before that time. In other words, as soon as the “workday” is over, that’s when dinner preparation begins.

Tip #2: No screens after dinner

As soon as dinner concludes, you should begin the process of preparing the family for bedtime. A big part of this preparation includes the winding-down of the brain by disconnecting everyone from electronic devices. This includes parents, too! Yes. Now, if you absolutely need to use a screen, do it in a way that is not visible to the children.

Tip #3: Clean for 15 minutes

To help the kids get ready for bed, help them get rid of their remaining energy. The way I do this is together we all clean up the kitchen and/or living room for 15 minutes. The goal isn’t to complete the task of cleaning the entire room. The goal is to expend the remaining energy the kids may have, which will encourage them to want to head to bed more willingly. Also, cleaning together is a great way to spend time together as a family. For me, any together time is time well spent.

Tip #4: Get the kids into pajamas at least 15 minutes prior to bedtime

If bedtime is set for 8:30 p.m., then get your kids into pajamas by 8:15 p.m. When you send them to put on their jammies, turn off the lights in the living room and kitchen. Or at least dim them. This is a visual cue that bedtime has commenced.

Tip #5: Read your children a story

I’m surprised and saddened by how many people do NOT do this step. Reading a story and/or singing to your kids not only helps them fall asleep faster, but it is a beautiful way to communicate that you love your kids and want to be by them. It is a magical moment. Later in life, as you reflect on your parenting years, you’ll be very grateful you did this.

Tip #6: As you tuck them in, say you love them and that you’ll check on them in a bit

When you tuck your children in and leave the room, something that I’ve learned is really helpful and calming is to tell my kids, “I love you. I’ll check on you in a bit.”

Of course, you need to be true to this promise. Check on your kids in five minutes, then ten minutes, and then fifteen minutes. By the third check, they will very likely be asleep.

Conclusion about tips to help your kids with bedtime

These are just a few tips to help your kids with bedtime, but they work for me. And though bedtime continues to sometimes be a struggle for my littles, it is no longer the fight it used to be.

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3 Tips to keep a minivan clean and organized

3 Tips to keep a minivan clean and organized

If you’re a parent desperately looking for ways to keep your minivan clean and organized, then this blog post is for you! And although I’m writing my thoughts from the perspective of a minivan owner, the same principles of cleanliness and organization can successfully be applied to any vehicle.

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