Friday, January 31, 2014

4 Seasons of Saving at Home

Each season calls for different saving strategies. Time passes by so quickly, and it’s easy to start on the necessary measures you have to take before one season starts. To save money and avoid wasting most of your resources, below are tips for each corresponding season:

This is the best time to do your pre-winter tasks. Seal your AC units, clean the chimney, and install foam gaskets on electrical sockets. It also helps to install new or compact fluorescent lamps. This is the time to make sure that everything in your house is ready before winter starts.

To avoid freezing to death and abusing your heater’s energy, make sure your house is completely sealed from the inside. If your house has leaks, it’ll be easier for the cold air to penetrate your home and the heat to seep out. You will then turn the heater higher for warmth, thus adding more to your electricity bill costs.

This is also the time to consider getting a new or programmable thermostat. Outdated thermostat meters might consume more electricity than new ones in the market. Before the season starts, it’s best to get a maintenance check for the air ducts in your house. If the ducts are unclean or clogged, you wouldn’t be able to get most of the heat you need.

Install water flow-restrictors on faucets and showers. This will serve as a safety measure and prevent the overuse of hot water.

Spring & Summer 
It’s the time to make use of the natural breeze outside. Use air conditioners sparingly. At night, open the windows when you’re at home, and close them during the day. This season is the best for air-drying everything as well—from dishes, clothes, and your hair.

It’s also time to do your spring cleaning. Just like in winter season, it helps to do maintenance check, especially for your AC unit. Remember that clean filters will give you cooler air. It’s also time to set your water heater’s thermostat down because of the humid or warm climate.

If you’re aching for cold temperature, don’t use your air conditioner at home and instead go to the mall to chill (just hang out, no spending!). You can also take advantage of beach and park outings and picnics. The sunny weather is meant for days where you get out with friends and enjoy each other’s company.

Whether you’re living in an old house, or just acquired one through a housing loan, better make sure you get the most comfort you can while saving money throughout the year.


This guest post is written by Israel Defeo. He is the writer and online promoter of the leading financial comparison website in Hong Kong, Money Hero. The online portal presents up-to-date and unbiased information about insurance companies, credit cards, loans, deposit accounts and broadband and mobile plans.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

We Survived Atlanta's Snowmageddon 2014!!!

So a few days ago I "Crossed my Fingers" for some snow to stick around here. I guess I crossed them a little TOO hard! Oops! I have lived within the same 5 mile radius in Metro Atlanta since I was 2 1/2 years old. I lived here during the blizzard of '93 and a few years ago during the crazy snow storm of 2011.  Yes, the roads weren't that great at those times, and lots of people got stuck at home for several days, but I have NEVER seen anything like I did this past week when people got stranded at work, school or just in the middle of no where. Here's how our family did.

Tuesday 11:30am: Driving home with Rosey Posey

First of all the kids of course LOVED it! I decided to keep Bubee and Little Lady home from pre-school/MMO on Tuesday. Rosey Posey goes to school ONE day out of the week and wouldn't you know it: it was Tuesday. Fortunately the school she goes to decided to close at 10:30am (Much sooner than any of the public schools around here) so I picked her up by 11am and got home before the roads were icy or full of traffic. So by 11:30am the three kids and I were all home.

Tuesday 4:30pm: My DH with ICE in his beard!

My husband finally left work at 12:30pm (latter than what I wanted). His 5 mile commute usually takes 10-20 min depending on the red lights. At 3:30pm he finally told me he was pulling into a local restaurant to park and walk the last 3 miles. Something you have to understand about my husband: he like his shorts. And since he works in a bakery, where it's always super hot, he wears shorts to work. SO, he literally walked 3 miles in the snow in shorts to get home. The finale 3 miles on foot only took him an hour as apposed to the first 2 miles in the car taking 3 hours! It was more about the amount of traffic on the road as apposed to the weather. Atlanta just had a mass exodus. So when he got home, with ice in his beard and a mild case of frost bite, I switched priorities into taking care of my hubby. Fortunately, he was alright.

My next hope was to get my parents home safely. They carpool together and both work in downtown Atlanta. Usually they have an hour commute home. At 4pm they still had not left work and I basically had to tell them they would NOT be getting home that night. 75N was gridlock: I'm sure you've heard the crazy stories of people sleeping in their cars, leaving their cars and walking, It really did look like a scene from the Walking Dead! Their choice was to sleep at Ace Hardware (Where my mom works) or sleep in the truck. Fortunately they opted to sleep at Ace Hardware!

Tuesday 2pm: Watching Traffic and helping where we could.

Rosey Posey and I stayed up by the road most of the day. We live on a major 4 lane road on one of the worst hill in our county. It always ices over. Not only were we keeping an eye on traffic conditions reporting it via text and FB to all our friends, but also trying to help out where we could. We handed out hot chocolate to all the people walking up the road and even allowed a few ladies to make a pit stop. It was a totally surreal experience. There were men on ATVs driving people back and forth; more and more people walking by the hour.

Tuesday 11:30pm: Traffic was STILL a mess

At about 2 am I finally decided I needed to turn in. When I went to bed there was still bumper to bumper traffic in front of the house.

Sand in the back of the truck.

The next morning at 11am I got a text from my parents that they were heading home. They loaded the truck up with 400 lbs of play sand for weight on the back tires and headed out on some of the major 'back roads' avoiding the interstate. Praise God they were actually home by 12:30pm with some amazing photos of all the abandoned vehicles.

 Trucks just left on the hwy

 Someone took out the crosswalk signal. Ironically it was still working.

 This SUV is stuck on the wires for the telephone pole. As of 5pm Thursday it was still there.

 Except for the red SUV in front, all of these are abandoned vehicles.

As of 4pm on Thursday all of the side streets were still littered with abandoned vehicles.

The rest of the time we have been able to enjoy the snow and let the kids play:

 Rosey Posey in front of our house
 It's a walrus!!!
 Bubee and his police car, making tracks in the snow.

 Instead of taking Little Lady out in the snow, we brought the snow to her... So much better!

I am pleased to say, we survived Atlanta's Snowmageddon 2014! And while I blame no one for the craziness around here, I was very pleased to see many people showing that southern hospitality. My friend Joey says it perfectly:

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter Plaque

I needed something winter, but not Christmas to put on my wall. If you remember I said Snow-Tex was one of my new favorite craft items. So I came up with this cute plaque. You can use these directions to make several things: you can change the colors or the word, make it your own!

Blank wooden plaque
Spray paint in your choice of colors (Blue is my fav!)
Letters to spell out your word (I choose the word "Snow" and fortunately found some that were already white)
Hot Glue and Gun
Optional: Glitter spray paint

1. Spray the plaque in your chosen color. Add glitter top coat if you choose. Let dry.

2. "Glitterfy" and/or paint letters. Let dry

3. Once everything is dry: Glue letters to plaque using hot glue gun or wood glue.

4. Apply the Snow-Tex to the tops of the letters: anywhere snow would 'stick'.

5. Using a pencil, lightly draw snowflakes to accent the plaque.

6. Apply Snow-Tex to cover the snowflake.

7. Allow to dry 24 hours then hang!

There are so many options for this. You could make one that says "Winter" using smaller letters. Or even just a "Welcome" sign for the entry way. The possibilities are endless!

Like this idea? Pin it!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter 2014 Update

We've been working little by little on our winter bucket list. The weather here in the south has been less than desirable. WAY cold (Below freezing on a regular bases), but no snow (At least give us enough to make this cold worth it)!  This morning they were forecasting snow all day tomorrow, now it looks like the counties SOUTH of us are going to get all the snow... how crazy is that?!? I am praying for at least enough snow to allow my kids to play a bit in it.

For now... Rosey Posey and I had a wonderful bake day and enjoyed making cookies among other things.

The kids decided to make a tent inside and they all had a blast. Even Little Lady enjoyed running in and out and playing peek-a-boo. Course it is impossible to get 3 kids of various ages to sit still long enough for a picture!!! Anyone know how to Photoshop well?

There's two out of three
Three faces, too much blur!
I'm loosing them!
There they go...
And... I failed!!! 
Oh well, they had fun, that's all that matters.

With the cold weather around here some of the birds that migrate south seem to be rethinking how far they should have gone to find warm weather. So we've put out several bird feeders and seeds. So far I have seen finch, woodpeckers, thrashers, bluebirds, cardinals, and more!

Hopefully tomorrow evening I'll be tweeting pictures of the beautiful snow and posting pictures on Instagram of all the fun the kids are having! *Fingers Crossed*

Valentine's Day Giveaway

I'm excited to be giving away TWO great prizes for Valentine's Day - a $100 Victoria's Secret Gift Card and a $25 Sephora Gift Card! What better way to treat & pamper yourself this Valentine's Day? There's something for everyone -  a new PINK outfit, warm  pj's, something sexy, or fun new makeup! This giveaway would not be possible without these amazing ladies so please be sure to show them some love!

The above post(s) may contain affiliated links, product placements, etc. This is how I can afford to buy the supplies to bring you new activites. Thanks for your support!
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