Category Archives: LIVING

Totally Awesome Amazon $750 Giveaway!!

Totally Awesome November 

My blogger friends and I have come together to bring you another Totally Awesome Amazon Giveaway! This month we’re giving away a $750 Amazon gift card to one of our lucky readers!

Want a chance to be the lucky winner? Here’s what you need to do – bookmark this page and come back every day to enter and earn bonus entries by sharing the giveaway with your friends on social media. Good luck!


Prize: $750 Amazon gift card

Organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!

Co-hosts: A Few Short Cuts  Jenns Blah Blah Blog Pretty Thrifty Young Finances  Our Nashville Life Behind Blue Eyes True Story Book Blog Polished Closets  Misadventures with Andi Good Girl Gone Glam Bless Her Heart Y’all Put A Little Umbrella In Your Drink The Bewitchin’ Kitchen Blog by Donna Gator Mommy Reviews Beauty in the Mess Krystal’s Kitsch Libby’s Library Infused Reviews  Stacy’s Savings Barbara’s Beat Mommy Knows What’s Best Some of This and That  Can’t Google Everything The Jort Report Deb Knows Best

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. All entries are optional. Giveaway ends 12/3 and is open worldwide.

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What Am I Worth?

What Am I Worth?

Whether you are looking for a job, or wondering if your current job is paying you enough, it is always good to research pay ranges and figure out what you are worth. There are some great websites to start you off, but there are many factors to consider. Take the time to find out now.
To begin, use some online resources for a basic idea of what your salary should be., and are all good starting points for this research. and focus on pay comparisons, while also has other job resources.
Most of these websites will give you a salary range, or an ‘average’ pay, based on the job title, role, and location. Keep in mind that if it is an average, you could be well above or below that figure. If you live in an expensive city, the pay will usually be substantially hirer than in other locales.
You may not find an exact fit for your job title, so find the closest job you can. Consider your experience and education as well. Someone just out of college would not normally be at the same pay level as a worker with years of experience. has reviews of companies, as well, so if you are looking to make a career move, be sure to check that out. Even in the same city, the pay for a specific job can vary, depending on the company. Use LinkedIn to find people employed by a company you are considering.
Do consider benefits in your overall compensation number. If you have about the same salary at two companies, but one has better insurance, or just more vacation time, you need to take all of these aspects of compensation into consideration. Also, you have to think about what is most important to you. Is the money your top motivation, or do you need flexible hours and lots of time off?
Be careful when talking to coworkers about pay. Find a mentor or someone you can trust, and have a conversation with them. You should generally be able to get a pay range from your boss or HR department, but it is still a tricky subject to broach with others. If you can get some of this information, it can definitely help if you want to ask for a raise, or just compare other jobs out there.
Make sure to also factor in any special training or skills you have. If you have had a great success rate or worked on a big project, let others know what you have done when you are negotiating a salary. You are an individual and want to be looked at for your worth, not just an average number.
Researching your worth is a benefit to you at any point in your career. Use these resources to get better compensated at your current job, or to better negotiate with a future employer. You are more than a number, but take time to find out what you are worth.

You Don’t Have to See the Staircase

Let me tell you this: failure is a normal occurrence in life. Especially when you are trying to build a business. Many people make the mistake of thinking that success is something that will come easily if it is meant to come at all. But that is often far from the truth. If you ask any successful businessperson about the path that they took to become successful, you will likely be surprised to hear about the many pitfalls, obstacles, setbacks, and outright failures that they experienced before they finally achieved success. After all, there is a reason that they say that for every two steps forward, there is one back.

Let’s take a look at some famous failures that you may not know about.

I’m pretty sure you may have heard of this woman named Oprah Winfrey. She’s an award winning talk show host, actress, philanthropist, and producer. She ranks among the wealthiest people in the world and is often cited as one of the most influential. But did you know that she was actually fired from her first television gig as a Baltimore news anchor? She also faced sexism and harassment while working there. She could have very well thrown in the towel and believed that she was not cut out for the media industry. But she kept pushing forward.

Walt Disney is the epitome of what many people would think of as successful. During his lifetime, he was responsible for the creation of 81 feature films, garnered over 950 awards (including 48 prized Academy Awards), built what is probably the most popular and successful amusement parks of all time, founded the California Institute of the Arts, and is the founder of Walt Disney studios. But did you know that his path to success was riddled with mountain sized roadblocks? He lost all of the rights to the character that became Bugs Bunny, he was fired from a newspaper job for lacking creativity and not having any good ideas. His grand opening of Disneyland was a disaster. Yet he went on to become one of the most recognized figures in the world.

R.H. Macy opened four stores between 1843 and 1855. All four of them failed. However, instead of chalking it up as a loss and giving up on his dreams, he learned from his mistakes and opened up a store that would go on to become what is now the largest department store in the nation. What would have happened if he had given up on his dreams just because he couldn’t see exactly where he would end up?

My point is this: you don’t always need to know exactly where your steps will lead you. Just know what your goals are, what your action steps are and take it one step at a time. There is a quote by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr that says it perfectly – “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”

I love this quote because it also touches on how it is so easy to get stuck in preparation mode. We want everything to be perfect when we are planning a business. We want to foresee and avoid every single possible obstacle or issue that might arise. We want to be like the ever-prepared Boy Scout – ready for anything and everything. So we plan, plan, plan. We also spend a lot of time learning about the business. What to do. What not to do. How to create a niche, How to target and attract your customers. How to build and lead a successful team. How to market effectively. But we spend so much time in this learning stage that we never actually fully implement what we learn. We never take that step away from planning and into action. However, at some point you have to move forward. Moving forward is the only way to gain momentum. And once you get that momentum going you could transform into a juggernaut – a force to be reckoned with.

So here is a challenge that I leave you with – step outside of your comfort zone. Take the next step – whatever that may be. Think about your “whys”. These are the things that would motivate you to take action and mover forward. One step at a time.

What is your next step on your staircase?

Awesome Amazon Giveaway


My blogger friends and I have come together to bring you another Totally Awesome Amazon Giveaway! This month we’re giving away a $750 Amazon gift card to one of our lucky readers!

 Want a chance to be the lucky winner? Here’s what you need to do – bookmark this page and come back every day to enter and earn bonus entries by sharing the giveaway with your friends on social media. Good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


“Home is Where the Heart Is”. I guess that means home is where the people you love are. I have lived in Ohio 12 years now and it is basically home. My husband and kids are here and friends. I sometimes still feel like a transplant, but we have built a life here.
A part of me will always be that California girl. My mom and family are still out there. We visited last May, but San Jose doesn’t feel quite like home anymore. It will always be my hometown, and I will have a special connection to the Bay Area.
My home of choice would be by the beach, around Monterey. When we visited there, I did really feel at home. I guess my ultimate goal would be to retire by the beach at some point. It is that, or Tuscany, so let’s see what happens!
Home can be wherever you are happy. I will be happy wherever my family is. I don’t think a specific place matters as much. I always tell people a place is just a place. No matter where you live there are good and bad things. You just make the most of wherever you land. If you are lucky, then you find “home” along the way.

Yes, You can Still Stay Involved

Family moving boxes into a dormitory at college

When kids are little, it is so easy to be involved  in their lives. I remember many days of volunteering at school, baking for parties, and field trips.

By High School, there were just not so many opportunities to be involved on a regular basis. I still got involved as I could, and donated time and food! I also chaperoned orchestra trips and had fun, too.
Now that both of my kids are in college, I did not think much about doing something with the school.
College is a time for young adults to be on their own and grow as a person, and mom needs to back off, right?
Well, that is true somewhat, but I try to be available for my kids and help them if they need it.
I can’t exactly volunteer, but this year I found an opportunity to be involved.
I got an email looking for parent volunteers to join the Parent Advisory Group. The university actually wants the opinions of parents!
I attended my first meeting with my husband, and it was really interesting.
We got to meet with the President of the University and his wife. The parents got to learn about issues and news, as well as give our suggestions. This has been a great opportunity to learn what is going on at the school and again, give input to the leaders at the university.They served us a pretty awesome lunch,too!
Anyway just wanted to let parents know that although you have to let your children go out on their own, you can still be a presence in their lives and even have a chance to get involved (from a distance!)

Ragweed Allergies- Helpful Hints

ragweed allergy collage

Things you might not know about Ragweed allergies

If you are unfortunate enough to be allergic to Ragweed, like me, you are definitely not alone. Symptoms may be just a runny nose or watery eyes, but can also be more severe. There are some things you might not know about Ragweed allergies, though, and in this case, what you don’t know CAN hurt you!

You might not know that certain foods can trigger your ragweed allergy. Fruits and vegetables that are harvested during the Fall season can be triggers. Melons such as cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon can cause oral allergy symptoms, like a scratchy throat. Zucchini, cucumber and sunflower seeds can also have this effect.  Some foods that are not as common may include bananas, dandelion and chamomile tea. Just be aware of this so if you eat these foods and notice some allergy symptoms, you can avoid these items during the ragweed season (typically August through the first frost). I find that I usually can’t eat a lot of these foods during the allergy season.

Some folks wear a mask when they go outside. Unfortunately this does not work. There are 17 different species of ragweed in the U.S.  It is estimated that a single ragweed plant can release one billion grains of pollen over a single ragweed season. The grains are so light that they float easily even on gentle breezes. Ragweed is hard to avoid, but there are some things you can do to help yourself.

Pollen counts are highest during the middle of the day (approximately 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Try to stay indoors and use your AC! Even when the temperatures get cooler and there is a nice breeze, do not open up those windows and let that ragweed pollen inside. Remember to change the filters in your cooling system regularly, too. HEPA filters are even better to use.

If you do have to be outdoors for any length of time, try to change your clothes. Taking a shower before bed also helps, because excess pollen can cling to your face and hair. On high pollen days, you can help yourself by pulling your hair back and not using hair spray. I have found this really does help! Nasal rinses or saline nasal spray help nasal irritation, too.

The Ragweed season seems to be getting longer every year, so arm yourself with some knowledge (and maybe medication) to fight this big, bad weed and all the misery it brings.