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    6 Last Minute And Free Father’s Day Gifts

    It’s that time of year again!  Father’s Day is upon us and for most, it can be one of the most mind boggling holidays when it comes to what to get that special father figure in our life.  For some reason Mother’s Day seems to be a breeze when it comes to gift giving, but Father’s Day, not so much.  This day is all about showing Dad just how much you love and appreciate him and all of the hard work he puts in, but what if he’s one of those guys that has everything?  Continue reading

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    Calling Fellow Pizza Lovers! Have You Tried MOD Pizza?

    We’ve driven past MOD Pizza many times without stopping then we finally did. Guys, they’re doing pizza different and I’m 100% here for it!!!

    I have a confession: Pizza is my favorite food. I’m a New Yorker and have high expectations of pizza so I typically go with what I know around Atlanta. Today Mini and I ventured out and tried MOD Pizza in Decatur.

    We were originally heading out to grab something from the grocery store and to get our nails done. The line at my new favorite salon was a bit long so we decided to grab some food. Signs I’m raising mini right: pizza is also her favorite food.

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    Making Time For Self Care When You Have No Time

    Making time for self care is one of those things that’s “on trend” right now but for many of us, it’s a fleeting thought. Last night I had the conversation with a friend and fellow mom about what self care is being touting about on social media. You see people talking about “Just left a 83739 day cruise!!! #SelfCare” or “I just took a 485 mile hike and feel amazing!!! #SelfCare”. Yes, these numbers are inflated but you get what I mean.

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    Beer Themed Teacher Gifts- Plus a Free Downloadable Beer Poem

    beer gift ideas for teachers end of the school year teachers week

    Teaching is hard. There are a lot of days when I am thankful that I am not a teacher. Basically it boils down to me not even being able to deal with my own two kids. So how could I deal with a class of 20+ kids?! What I do know is that teachers deserve an awesome gift for the end of the school year. What is better than beer? I know wine related gifts are super popular for teachers these days. However, let’s remember the male teachers who may shy away from the wine and those female teachers who love a good Blue Moon, Angry Orchard or even a Corona while they are floating around the pool.

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    Peak Adulting 101: Getting Estate Planning Done Painlessly

    Estate planning isn't as morbid as I thought it was. It's necessary to make sure that your family is taken care of. My lawyer at LegalSpark helped me to see this and I'm sharing what I've learned here.
    I partnered with LegalSpark to share my thoughts and experience using their service. I have received compensation for this post but all opinions are my own.

    Hi. My name is Aaronica and I’m clueless about Estate Planning.

    Ok, well, I was. In fact, not only was I clueless but the idea of having to do Estate Planning was really scary for me. It seemed morbid and like I was preparing for death–not something I really want to be thinking about right now as I’m living in my prime. But today I had a really great conversation with with LegalSpark–a new tool that connects the average person with a legal expert in Georgia–that helped me out so much.

    What Is Estate Planning?

    This is the year that my husband and I have vowed to get our adult lives together. Yes, we’re adults. We’re parents. We’re married. We’re doing the adulting but we aren’t PEAK adulting just yet. What do I mean by that? I mean we haven’t done some of the harder things, like Estate Planning or updated our retirement stuff or done any of the things we looked at our parents like they were old for doing–peak adulting.

    The first task we’re tackling is in this Estate Planning. So what is that? In a nutshell it’s the living will, last will, and living trust for a family. When you plan this out, what you’re doing is basically planning for what happens should you and your spouse die. Obvious, right? Yes, the basics of it is. But then there’s the nitty gritty that I was able to discuss with my lawyer (sounds so grown up, right?) from LegalSpark. I asked a lot of really great questions that I’m going to share with you guys here so you’re prepared for this part of your life too.

    What are must-haves when jumping into Estate Planning?

    Always have a financial/property Power of Attorney (POA) and a healthcare POA. The healthcare POA is the person that will make decisions about your health should you be in a coma or otherwise unable to make decisions.

    When should you prepare a will?
    It’s really necessary once you have children as you will specify what happens to your assets in your will. By default, if you pass away they will be split between your spouse and children but if your children are young, you’re going to want to make sure you leave directions on what to do. 

    What’s the difference between a living will, last will and living trust?

    A living will is essentially the healthcare POA. With the living will, someone else will execute it while you’re still alive. The last will is what you want to happen with your family and assets upon your death. The living trust really simplifies how things happen. Your assets are placed into a trust while you’re alive and they’re transferred to a designated beneficiary upon your death.

    Which one should you have?
    All three. If you’re trying to minimize paperwork and the amount of money you spend in getting these set up, definitely have both a living and last will. 

    Do you need an attorney to get these set up?
    Need? No but it’s helpful to have an attorney and it will save you money in the long run. While you can print out the paperwork and complete it yourself, because attorney’s are trained there are going to be things that we see that will ultimately benefit you and your family. We’re able to provide more options to you. 

    Do I need to declare a guardian?

    Yes & no. A guardian will be declared but if you don’t do it prior to death then there’s a lot of time and money involved for the person trying to become the guardian.

    Life insurance: how does this play into things?

    This is your financial plan. Once you have it set up, the attorney will make sure that the beneficiaries are set up properly. 

    Is it hard to change a will?
    No, all plans are easily amendable. With something like divorce, the spouse is automatically removed from the will but you would need to update beneficiaries for life insurance policies and such. 

    After my 20 minute conversation with LegalSpark, I felt better prepared on what I needed to do to get this Estate Planning rolling. He was really reassuring about the reasons why Estate Planning is necessary. As a mom of 3, it’s really important to me that my kids are taken care of in the event that something happens to their dad and I. Morbid? A little. Peak adulting? Most definitely. Now it’s just time to get the ball rolling with getting our documents together! The best part about this is I already have an attorney that I can submit them to for review!

    Estate planning isn't as morbid as I thought it was. It's necessary to make sure that your family is taken care of. My lawyer at LegalSpark helped me to see this and I'm sharing what I've learned here.

    LegalSpark: The Legal Asset We All Need

    There was a time when only people with lots of money had access to lawyers for advice. Paying a hefty retainer would get you instant access to the minds of legal help but not anymore. In pretty much every role that I’m in, a lawyer is needed and LegalSpark makes getting my questions asked both easy and affordable. They have lawyers that specialize in the following:

    • Bankruptcy & Collections
    • Criminal Defense (though you may need longer than the 20 minutes)
    • Elder Law & SS/Disability
    • Family & Divorce
    • Intellectual Property
    • Real Estate
    • Business
    • DUI & Traffic
    • Estate Planning
    • Immigration
    • Labor & Employment
    • Tort & Personal Injury

    Yeah, so basically everything.

    Common Questions:

    So how does it work?
    It’s super easy to get set up because you don’t need to register an account or anything to get started. It’s literally as easy as 1-2-3:

    1. Choose the area you need help with on legalspark.com.
    2. LegalSpark will pair you with an expert lawyer based on the chosen area of interest.
    3. Wait for them to call you!

    Yes, it’s just that easy.

    How is this different from other services?
    This of this has like a Dial-a-Doctor line. Except you’re not sick and it’s not a doctor but the doctor is the lawyer. And they’re still helping you.

    Is this service nationwide?
    It’s important to note that as of right now, this service is only available in Georgia.

    Let’s talk numbers… How much does it cost?
    It’s $50 for the first 20 minutes.

    What if my question last longer than the 20 minutes?
    No worries–you won’t be cut off or charged extra. There’s no hassle to continue speaking with the lawyer once you’re done either. You get to determine the length of the relationship.

    The 20 minute call is a basic introduction to a competent attorney in your area of need. But you should be prepared for this call because 20 minutes can go fast! Here’s how to max out on your call:

    • Have all your background information ready to share.
    • Ask pointed questions AFTER sharing this information.
    • If you need more information, don’t be afraid to contact the lawyer via their law firm.

    Contact LegalSpark today to help get started with your legal woes (no judgement) or questions!

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    Vegan Peanut Butter & Chocolate Smoothie

    Chocolate has been my strongest craving to date since breastfeeding BC. Instead of giving into my cravings, I've been making these vegan peanut butter & chocolate smoothies that are god for me courtesy of VeganSmart protein.
    I received compensation for my opinion on VeganSmart. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

    Smoothies are the bane of our household. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t hear, “Mommy can I make a smoothie?” Not only do they make it super easy to hide veggies in, but they taste really great too. As I’ve been losing weight while boosting my milk supply, I’ve become pretty well-versed in the art of the smoothie so I’m excited to share one of my favorite recipes here for one that kills your chocolate cravings.

    Satisfy Your Chocolate Cravings

    It never fails that whenever I have a baby and I’m trying to get my life right, chocolate cravings hit. And they hit hard too! My favorite ways to satisfy these cravings are with Oreo’s, Snickers Bars, brownies, Peanut M&M’s and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. There’s something about the combination of the peanut butter and chocolate that just warms my stomach while making me feel so good!

    Mama Has Goals Y’all!!

    I do. Already this year I’m down close to 25lbs and I’m making health my way of life. While I do believe in having everything in moderation, your girl just isn’t ready for moderation JUST yet. But you know what I can do? I can substitute the unhealthy things with the healthy things until I can practice moderation. That’s why I am loving this smoothie I accidentally stumbled into!

    Chocolate has been my strongest craving to date since breastfeeding BC. Instead of giving into my cravings, I've been making these vegan peanut butter & chocolate smoothies that are god for me courtesy of VeganSmart protein.

    Vegan Peanut Butter & Chocolate Smoothie

    Ready to boost your milk supply, satisfy your chocolate cravings while being mindful of your waistline? 

    Course Drinks
    Keyword Smoothie
    Servings 1 person

    Ingredients

    • 8 oz Almond Milk I use vanilla that's been sweetened.
    • 1 scoop Chocolate VeganSmart Protein
    • 1 tbsp Peanut Butter
    • 1 tsp Honey
    • 2 tsbp Ground Flax Seed You can use regular flax seeds too.
    • Ice

    Instructions

    1. Measure out ingredients and add to blender.

    2. Blend. 

    3. **Optional: Add ice to get desired consistency.

    4. Enjoy!

    Why I Choose VeganSmart Protein

    I once left a protein shake in the shaker for like 3 days or something. When I opened it, it smelled like death was brewing in there. Really. It then occurred to me that I was putting this into my body! Yeah, terrible.

    VeganSmart is a plant-based protein powder and contains the following:

    • 20g Non-GMO Protein
    • 6g Dietary Fiber
    • No Cholesterol
    • Zero Trans Fat
    • Dairy & Soy Free
    • Gluten Free
    • Whole Food Complex
    • Vitamins & Minerals
    • Omega 3
    • Prebiotics
    • Digestive Enzymes

    Because of the nutrition that’s in there, I feel safe giving it to my kids as well.

    What has been one of your “bad” cravings post-baby? How did you navigate it?

     

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    5 Ways To Rock The Mompreneur Life Right Now

    Being a mompreneur is one of the hardest yet most fulfilling jobs to have.  It’s not perfect and it has its ups and downs. Working from home allows us to be closer to our loved ones and available in times of need like when one of our kids is sick or to chaperone a field trip.  But it can also be stressful and overwhelming at times. Learning to balance work and life is challenging. After working from home for the past eight months, I’ve definitely learned a thing or two and I’d like to share them so that you too can make your way off the mompreneur struggle buss.

    Being a mom is an amazing job. Adding a business to that job along with the title of mompreneur doubles that amazingness--and overwhelm! Here are 5 tips on how you can succeed in this role.

    Photo courtesy of nappy.co

    1. Plan your life away

    We’ve all heard the common saying “fail to plan, plan to fail.”  It might sound cliche, but it is a golden rule when it comes to being organized and staying on task as both a mom and business owner.  Between household chores, work, errands, and school activities, the life of a mompreneur can be both tiresome and overwhelming.  Planning out your day, week, and the month ahead can save you from so much headache.

    Break down your day into blocks of time for different tasks to complete.  It can also be easier to choose certain days of the week to focus on one specific task.  For example, Monday can be your day to strictly focus on editing blog content and Tuesday can be your day to clean out your emails and respond to those emails that ended up in the weeds.  Doing it this way will help you to focus on one task at a time rather than being overwhelmed by the struggle of taking it all on at once.

    2. Don’t cry over spilled milk

    Although you may plan out your entire day consistently, there may be times when you just don’t get things done and that’s okay.  Don’t beat yourself up if that planned meal turns out to be pizza because you forgot to thaw out the chicken.  Maybe you didn’t have the time to fold clothes or meet the deadline for that blog post.  Whatever the case, you did what you could and that’s what matters most.  Tomorrow is always another day.  We’re not perfect people and we have to be okay with that.  Twenty four hours can pass by pretty fast and there may seem like there are more things to do than the actual time to complete them.  Don’t stress over things that will ultimately be there for you when you get back to them.

    Being a mom is an amazing job. Adding a business to that job along with the title of mompreneur doubles that amazingness--and overwhelm! Here are 5 tips on how you can succeed in this role.

    3. Sleep on it

    “Team No Sleep” is not a team I’d want to be a part of, amiright?  I tried it out and honestly, I was no good to anyone.  My kids were late to school every day and I couldn’t stay awake long enough to tackle my goals for the day.  Besides, bags under my eyes just don’t look appealing.  So, let’s just throw away the whole team no sleep concept.  In order to function properly as not only a business owner, but a mom, and wife, we have to ensure that were taking care of ourselves.  A huge part of self-care and actually getting those zzz’s in.  Make sure you get to bed early so you can start your day off bright and early.  You’d be amazed at the amount of tasks you can accomplish just by waking up an hour or two earlier than you normally would.

    4. Involve your children

    Try to find small tasks for your children to do so that they feel involved rather than feeling in the way.  Explain to them what it is you’re doing and why along with how it benefits them.  I my children know that their opinions are needed and valid rather than leaving them left out when it comes to my business ventures. My oldest helps me create shipping labels and prepare packages to go out.  The kids even come with me when I travel to events and the cute faces are always a plus when gaining sales or engaging with potential customers.  I also let my children know why we have a business and that they are a very important part of it. My daughters are always providing suggestions for our business being that one of my businesses is for children.

    5. Set office hours

    You may not physically have an office and that’s totally okay.  If you’re anything like me, your office can easily go from being your bed, to the kitchen table or even a local coffee shop.  Wherever you decide to get work done, be sure to create hours for yourself to break free from the keyboard and live life.  It can become very easy to allow yourself to get lost in a rabbit hole in the World Wide Web.  It can also be easy for others to take advantage of your time.  You need to be able to establish boundaries between yourself and your clients or potential clients.

    Choose certain days of the week when you consider yourself “closed” to be able to spend time with family without checking emails or responding to DMs.  Ensure that there is a specific hour of the day that you cut off work so you’re not still communicating with clients in the middle of the night.  No one will respect your time if you don’t.  You can easily become burned out and overwhelmed if you’re constantly working around the clock. It can be detrimental to not only yourself, but you family as well.

    It’s not perfect, but it’s worth it!

    Working from home has been a great part of the bonding experience with my children and I’m grateful for the time that we have together, even if it is while sitting behind computer screen.  I’ve learned to create a flexible schedule for myself when enjoying the freedom of being my own boss.  Is it easy being a mompreneur?  Nope!  Not at all, but there’s no other way I’d rather make a living.

    Do you work for yourself? What tips and tricks can you share for mastering the mompreneur life?

    Don’t forget to Pin this!

    Being a mom is an amazing job. Adding a business to that job along with the title of mompreneur doubles that amazingness--and overwhelm! Here are 5 tips on how you can succeed in this role.

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    5 Ways to Avoid Tick Bites

    5 Ways to Avoid Tick Bites Plus an Essential Oils Tick Repellent Spray Recipe
    This post contains affiliate links. For more information on what this means, please check out the PR & Disclosure page.

    I am going to be honest with you. This girl was never really afraid of bugs when I was younger. I didn’t even know what a tick was to even be worried. But now, ticks are constantly in the news and on my social media feeds. Parents posting, “is this a bull’s-eye rash from a tick bite?” or “Do these symptoms sounds like Lyme Disease?” and so on. I didn’t even know how many different species of ticks there actually are. The best way to not get bit by a tick is to take precaution before heading outside. Check out these 5 ways to avoid tick bites.

    1. Know Where Ticks Live

    Earlier this week there was a Facebook post from my local TV station about a shrub that ticks love to live in, the Japanese Barberry. According to the article, the shrub acts as a nursery for deer ticks, which can carry Lyme Disease. Pennsylvania is home to one-third of all Lyme Disease cases in the United States, and studies have shown that not only are more deer ticks found in Barberry patches, those ticks are more apt to carry Lyme.

    According to Terminix, ticks love moist and humid environments, but they can adapt to any number of different areas. I feel like no matter where you live, you could find a tick. Check out these maps from the CDC and find out what kind of tick is prevalent in your area.

    2. Always Use a Tick Prevention Spray

    There isn’t a fool-proof prevention spray that 100% deters ticks, so I always like to go with the all-natural route first. I make a homemade tick prevention spray using my Young Living oils. I use lemongrass and eucalyptus oils mixed with a small amount of water in a metal spray bottle. This mix gets sprayed on my family before we head outdoors. I spray from feet to head because I feel like ticks are more likely to get on your feet, but truly they can jump on anywhere.

    5 Ways to Avoid Tick Bites and an Essential Oil Tick Repellent Spray Recipe

    You can also check out other bug sprays at your local stores for body and clothing. Please be aware of the amount of DEET and Permethrin used. There should be at least 20-30% DEET to be effective, but DEET makes me nervous with the kids, so I use cautiously. As for Permethrin, there needs to be 0.5% to be effective for tick prevention. Products with Permethrin in them are NOT safe for the body, only clothing.

    3. Play in Sunny Areas

    Ticks are less likely to be in dry, sunny areas. When you are planning to build or set up a playground in your yard, choose a sunny area that dries out easily. Same with any outdoor furniture. Stay away from thick, wooded areas. If you do have to venture into the woods, wear proper clothing, prevention sprays and try to stay on a cleared path.

    4. Wear Proper Clothing

    I know. I know. If it is hot out, the last thing I want to think about wearing are pants and long sleeves. But if I am going to be around high grass, a wooded area, or actually in the woods, then it is best that I wear long sleeves, pants and a hat to prevent ticks from getting on exposed skin. If you have long hair, braid it or make sure to pull it in a ponytail. You don’t want a tick hitching a ride on your hair.

    5 Ways to Avoid Tick Bites Plus an Essential Oils Tick Repellent Spray Recipe

    5. Shower After You are Finished Outside

    Make sure you check over your whole body while showering to ensure ticks are not present. Be sure to check warm spots on your body like behind your ears, under your armpits and between your fingers and toes. Ticks are tiny and can look like a freckle if you are not careful.

    Have you ever had a tick bite? If so, where do you live? What was your outcome? Check out this other post about eco-friendly pesticides for more bug information!

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    Math Mammoth: A Self-Teaching Homeschool Math Curriculum

    I love math but it's not my strongest subject to teach which is why I LOVE Math Mammoth! Not only is it super affordable, but it teaches your kids without you having to be a mathematical genius!
    I received compensation to share my thoughts and opinions on Math Mammoth.

    I wouldn’t say that I’m not math savvy but I also wouldn’t say it’s my favorite subject to teach. When teaching math, you need to be able to explain concepts and give direction in a way that’s easily digestible. This is NOT my strong suit!!! This is also the reason I’ve fallen in love with the Math Mammoth Curriculum!!!

    The Difference With Math Mammoth

    I’m pretty new to using curriculums but Math Mammoth makes it pretty easy for this mama. It has a complete curriculum for grades 1-7 and I love this. Since I’m homeschooling THREE, this is something that will grow with us. We typically do a combination of workbooks, worksheets, and computer based learning. Math Mammoth combines these easily.

    Computer Based Learning

    Math Mammoth comes with a computer-based program that has a couple of different functions and options to help kids achieve math mastery.

    Math Master

    With this part of the program you can choose what concept the child is working on and then you can further specify what you want them to work on. We’re working on Multiplication now. Because this is a concept we’re just starting we’re starting with (1-6). I also love how you can go through the lessons with the timer on or off.

    I love math but it's not my strongest subject to teach which is why I LOVE Math Mammoth! Not only is it super affordable, but it teaches your kids without you having to be a mathematical genius! I love math but it's not my strongest subject to teach which is why I LOVE Math Mammoth! Not only is it super affordable, but it teaches your kids without you having to be a mathematical genius!

    Math User

    This one is for older students. I love this because it really challenges Mini to take her time to read and understand what questions are being asked. There are 3 different levels to choose from which is helpful when teaching more than one level student as well as making sure you’re consistently presenting a challenge.

    I love math but it's not my strongest subject to teach which is why I LOVE Math Mammoth! Not only is it super affordable, but it teaches your kids without you having to be a mathematical genius!

    Worksheets

    Math Mammoth isn’t only computer based learning–there are worksheets as well. Some don’t like worksheets (I hate using all the paper) but there’s a real benefit to having them.

    Math Maker

    This is the section that is used to print out math activities. You can print out the answer keys as well but that’s optional.

    I love math but it's not my strongest subject to teach which is why I LOVE Math Mammoth! Not only is it super affordable, but it teaches your kids without you having to be a mathematical genius!

    Not sure how to make sure they’re covering all that they’re supposed to be? 

    Math Mammoth has an answer for that too!!!

    This was one of the biggest selling points for me. It took the amount of thinking I needed to do in order to make sure that I covered everything for her year. They have the Common Core Alignment broken down by grade along with everything you need.

    I love math but it's not my strongest subject to teach which is why I LOVE Math Mammoth! Not only is it super affordable, but it teaches your kids without you having to be a mathematical genius!

    Mind. Blown. 

    So clearly I’m a fan of Math Mammoth but the most important thing is that so is Mini. She loves math and loves that she gets to both learn and practice in multiple ways. If you’re interested in seeing if Math Mammoth is for you, check out their free resources and placement tests

    What are the deets for purchase, right? Math Mammoth offers multiple bundles depending on where your specific students are. I love how affordable the curriculum is given how expensive some of these curriculums are–grades 1-7 for under $150. Yesssss!!!!

    Math Mammoth is giving away FIFTY of their Light Blue Series!!!! Enter below:

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