Posts Tagged ‘thrifty tips’

Get Your Christmas Lights Put Up By Christmas Lights & Sirens (Local Off Duty Firemen)

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Thursday, November 8th, 2018 at 9:40 AM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

If you have been thinking of having Christmas lights put up this year, you know how difficult it can be to find trustworthy professionals that won’t bust your holiday budget! We highly recommend you give the gentlemen at Christmas Light & Sirens a call- these local off duty DFW Firefighters have been in the business for 10 years.

In one simple, affordable quote over the phone, they can provide installation, removal, and year round storage of your lights! This is a great deal because most companies make you provide your own lights and charge you extra when they take them down! Here’s what makes them unique:

Bulbs:

They are exclusively using commercial grade, SMD (Surface Mounted Diode) C9 LED bulbs. The brightest, longest lasting, C9 on the market- available in color or white. Equivalent to 7 diode bulbs making them 40% brighter, they are sealed and waterproof!

Wiring:

They use SPT-2 18 gauge wire. What does that mean? It means the insulation is 0.045” thick not 0.030” providing longevity and UV light damage resistance. It means they care enough to use the highest quality product available to ensure your home looks good throughout the light season and for years to come.

Timers:

Now I bet you never gave much thought to a timer but with 225 customers they do! They use a 15amp 1850watt timer with a photocell. When the sun goes down, the lights come on. And the customer can choose 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours of light. Even sunset to sun rise if they prefer with a simple turn of the dial.

Service:

100% satisfaction guaranteed!
No questions asked!
Unlimited warranty work repair at NO cost!

Just head to their Facebook page to check out their work and read all the positive reviews!  In fact, they came out to my house last week to install my holiday lights and their customer service and workmanship was exemplary!

Don’t wait though, their appointments are booking up fast! Just call (214) 232-2229 and mark one more thing off your holiday to-do list! #ChristmasLights

Get Your Christmas Lights Put Up By Christmas Lights & Sirens (Local Off Duty Firemen)

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Thursday, November 1st, 2018 at 4:30 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

If you have been thinking of having Christmas lights put up this year, you know how difficult it can be to find trustworthy professionals that won’t bust your holiday budget! We recommend you give the gentlemen at Christmas Light & Sirens a call- these local off duty DFW Firefighters have been in the business for 10 years.

In one simple, affordable quote over the phone, they can provide installation, removal, and year round storage of your lights! This is a great deal because most companies make you provide your own lights and charge you extra when they take them down!

Just head to their Facebook page to check out their work and read all the positive reviews!  In fact, they came out to my house last year to install my holiday lights and their customer service and workmanship was exemplary!  I plan to use them again this year!

Don’t wait though, their appointments beginning Nov 1st are booking up fast! Just call (214) 232-2229 and mark one more thing off your holiday to-do list! #ChristmasLights

Get Your Christmas Lights Put Up By Christmas Lights & Sirens (Local Off Duty Firemen)

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018 at 2:20 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

If you have been thinking of having Christmas lights put up this year, you know how difficult it can be to find trustworthy professionals that won’t bust your holiday budget! We recommend you give the gentlemen at Christmas Light & Sirens a call- these local off duty DFW Firefighters have been in the business for 10 years.

In one simple, affordable quote over the phone, they can provide installation, removal, and year round storage of your lights! This is a great deal because most companies make you provide your own lights and charge you extra when they take them down!

Just head to their Facebook page to check out their work and read all the positive reviews!  In fact, they came out to my house last year to install my holiday lights and their customer service and workmanship was exemplary!  I plan to use them again this year!

Don’t wait though, their appointments beginning Nov 1st are booking up fast! Just call (214) 232-2229 and mark one more thing off your holiday to-do list! #ChristmasLights

DIY Fall Centerpieces

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018 at 2:20 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Looking to get into the “fall spirit”?  Here our some tips on DIY Fall Centerpieces…

Beginning to decorate for fall is one of those warm and fuzzy moments. The rich colors, the cool and crisp weather, and all of the many, many pumpkin-flavored things that are no longer just an afterthought but front and center in your mind—just like your centerpieces. Fall time welcomes entertaining and lots of it. Now, we know you have a few recipes that are to-die-for, so why not create a centerpiece that’s just as fun for you and your guests?

Here are some of the best ways to create a breathtaking fall centerpiece.

Choose your Centerpieces

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 1.10.16 PMvia Pinterest

Set the Scene

Creating a centerpiece can be over and underwhelming. Sometimes it’s too sparse and bare looking, and other times it looks more like an overdone window display than a thoughtful finishing touch on the dinner table. A great way to begin is by setting the scene with a complementary yet neutral tablecloth or runner that will anchor your decorations. Unless you are using your décor in place of a tablecloth, then we suggest you use something like a wide and open-mouthed basket or tray to keep things contained. Nobody wants foliage in their dessert…

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 1.13.09 PMvia Pinterest

Pick a Palette

It goes without saying that the classic fall palette is a pleasing monochromatic color scheme of deep red, orange, and gold. However, don’t be afraid to shake things up and go with something different. Play around with soft and toned-down hues of pale, powdery blues, grey, or even deep purple and green to give it a natural, earthy feel that is still warm and inviting. You want your display to be pleasantly surprising and not, er, alarming.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 1.15.50 PMvia Pinterest

Add the Finishing Touches

Once you’ve arranged everything out on the table, you’ll most likely see a few gaps that you could leave empty or fill with a few extra pieces. Leaving the blank space will offer a more minimal look, and if you don’t have a lot of table space it’s probably a good idea for when you are serving food. However, if you do have enough space, that gives you some room to play, decor wise! Use candles with a pop of color that will both add a nice aesthetic element and some warmth once you light them. Or grab something like a wooden or brass piece to give it texture and character. Don’t be frustrated if at first it doesn’t work- just keep at it!

Mid Summer Lawn & Garden Checklist

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Saturday, August 25th, 2018 at 2:20 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

No one can deny that we are right in the middle of the “dog days of summer,” the hottest time of the year here in North Texas. Everything but the mosquitoes and locusts seem lethargic and the sun seems to bake lawns and gardens. However, there is plenty to do in the garden in August, although it is best done in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are more comfortable. Check out these suggestions for tasks around your yard and garden this month:

Lawn Maintenance and Preparation

• Aerate your lawn and dethatch it.
• If there is plenty of rainfall, fertilize your lawn. If there is not- DON’T.
• To help your grass beat the heat and reduce lawn maintenance, keep your lawn mower blade on the highest setting. Don’t worry if parts of your yard turn brown this time of year – it happens.

Annuals and Perennials

• Trim and fertilize your containers – they still have time for another show in the fall.
• Deal with pests such as aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites with a spray of water from the hose.
• Treat diseased plants, and remove diseased foliage before leaves drop.
• Continue deadheading (remove faded flowers) for prolific bloomers, shear them lightly to encourage more blooms.

Vegetables and Herbs

• Cut herbs to dry or freeze for winter use.
• Fall vegetable and herb seeds or starters can be planted now.  Consider spinach, radishes, carrots, beets, lettuce, overwintering onions, kale, kohlrabi, rutabagas, turnips, dill, cilantro, parsley, and chives.

Shrubs and Trees

• Pick up and destroy fallen fruit from fruit trees to limit insect infestations.
• Make sure newly planted shrubs and trees get plenty of water.

Maintainance

• Early morning is the best time to water – target plants directly, and water deeply. Avoid getting leaves wet in the hot sun, and avoid soaking containers during the hottest part of the day – both of these can burn plants.
• Keep close watch on your birdbath, water features, and hummingbird feeder – take steps to correct or avoid mold, stagnation, and mosquito larvae.
• Continue weeding, to reduce competition for water and nutrients.
• When the temperature is over 85 degrees, avoid chemical applications such as fertilizer, fungicide, or insecticide.
• Add compost and mulch to keep your garden cool and to prepare for fall planting.

How to Paint Laminate Furniture

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Saturday, June 2nd, 2018 at 4:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

We all have some of that inexpensive laminate furniture in our house that we are tired of looking at! But did you know that with a little effort, you can transform those cheap book shelves or dressers into something stylish and functional by just adding some color.

When you begin to paint laminate furniture, there are a few things to know that are different than painting real wood furniture. You are basically dealing with a surface that is more like plastic instead of a surface that is wood. So here are the steps you need to follow get give your piece a new life:

Do you need to sand the project? With plastic, you can’t really sand the surface, but the best you can do is use a 320-400 grit sandpaper to scuff up the surface a little.

A clean surface is a MUST! With laminate, you will depend more on the paint or primer adhering to a clean surface than you will a surface that is been scuffed with sandpaper. Clean very thoroughly with Windex or TSP- this is a crucial step because primer and paint won’t adhere to a dirty or greasy surface.

Use an Oil-based Primer. Choose an oil based primer like Kilz or Cover Stain. Or another option, depending on the type of laminate you have, would be a plastic primer. You can always do a sample test by painting an inconspicuous spot of the furniture piece with primer, let it set for 7 days and see how well it adheres to the surface.

Paint. Once you have a primer on the piece that will adhere well to the surface, you can use almost any type of paint over the surface of the primer. Anything from spray paint to latex will work.

Clear Coat.  Whether or not you decide to clear coat the piece will depend on how much durability you require.  If you are doing cabinets or a table, then I would definitely recommend a clear coat. If you are doing a dresser or side tables, a clear coat is probably not necessary.

Thanks, Painted Furniture Ideas!

 

Garden Trick~ Fight Off Spring Weeds Naturally & At Virtually No Cost

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Sunday, May 13th, 2018 at 3:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

We have had such a mild winter here in North Texas that the spring weeds are already starting to pop up! Follow these five easy and cheap steps to organic weed control to make your life easier!

Step 1- Gather your materials:

~ Garden tools like trowels and rakes
~ Grass clippings, leaves or mulch to cover your area at least 2-inches thick
~ Newspaper (the secret weapon) Start collecting newspapers all year long and use it up each spring.
Step 2- Trim shrubs and perennials, then pull bigger weeds.Try to get the roots of the perennial weeds (like dandelions), but for the annual weeds just pull the biggest ones so that the paper can lay down flat. The layers will kill any little ones left.

Step 3- Start layering the paper, your secret weapon. Here are some pointers to remember when laying the paper:

~ The thicker you layer the paper, the more weed-blocking it will do.
~ Don’t use shiny, colored ads- just regular newsprint.
~ Overlap the edges of the papers a good inch or two as to not give an opening for the weeds.
~ Water well first, and then spray the paper as well. The mulch will help hold in the moisture for that time of year. If you use soaker hoses, lay the paper under them.

Step 5- Lastly, cover all the paper with grass clippings (if you want to avoid any out of pocket cost) or mulch. The more you use, the better it will suppress weeds – a 2-inch layer is minimum.

Then sit back and enjoy how clean and tidy your beds looks – and will continue to look for all spring and summer long! 🙂

FREE Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Tuesday, May 8th, 2018 at 11:00 AM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Tight on cash but you don’t want your mom to think you’ve forgotten her? You can’t deny that moms deserve a day to be celebrated, but every year Mother’s Day somehow creeps up on us much quicker than anticipated. So here are 8 completely free of cost ideas that will still make your mother feel loved on her special day! 

1. Wash and clean out her car~ We spend a lot of time in our cars, so do this tiresome chore for her!

2. Send her a photo montage~  Collect as many nostalgic pictures as you can and create a collage that you can email to her or post to Facebook.

3. Volunteer together~ This will bring you closer while helping out your community.

4. Create an epic music playlist~ Remember those mixed tapes? Use Spotify instead for an updated version of this.

5. Pledge to finally quit that bad habit she hates~ Ban texting and driving or biting your nails- give her peace of mind on her special day!

6. Give her a homemade scrub~ Most of the ingredients in these DIY scrubs are handy in your kitchen. 

7. Give her your copy of your favorite book~ Write an inscription on the first few pages as to why she’d love it too.

8. Make a wine label for a bottle of red or white~ There are printable templates online and you can throw one one a bottle you have lying around the house!

11 Spring Cleaning Essentials

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Sunday, May 6th, 2018 at 8:40 AM
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Spring is here and are you ready to do some big spring cleaning this weekend?  You’ll need some spring cleaning essentials! This big chore doesn’t have to be so overwhelming when you have the right products to help you.  I love these, and use them every year for my big cleaning marathon.

All Purpose Cleaner

I love Method brand products because they are natural!  This Method All Purpose Cleaner has a great lavender scent and works on pretty much any surface in your home!

Toy Cleaner

If you have kids, cleaning their rooms and toys might seem like a daunting task.  This Dapple Toy & Surface Spray is paraben-free, phthalate and dye-free, and harsh chemical free!

Vacuum

If your vacuum is ready to retire, grab this Shark Navigator Lift-Away Vacuum!  This is the vacuum I use and it’s absolutely amazing.  It can be used on both carpet and hard floors and is really lightweight, too.  It can get into those tight nooks and crannies that have been harboring dust and debris!

Want to make life easier this year?  Get yourself a bObsweep robotic vacuum!  I have one, and seriously, I don’t know how I got all of the daily and weekly cleaning done without it!  It works on both hard floors and carpet, plus has a TON of really neat features.  It’s also one of the most reasonably priced robotic vacuums on the market.  I give it 5 stars!

Window & Mirror Cleaner

You’ll definitely want a good window and mirror cleaner, and this ATTITUDE Window & Mirror Cleaner is made from pure essential oils!  It helps glass surfaces sparkle and shine with an ammonia formula that’s also dye-free.

Washing Machine Cleaner

That washing machine sure has worked hard for you, hasn’t it?  Give it some extra love and make Tide Washing Machine Cleaner one of your spring cleaning essentials this year.  It removes and dissolves odor causing residues that build-up over time.

Air Purifier

Don’t forget about the air you’re breathing, while you’re doing all of this cleaning!  If you don’t have an air purifier yet, make this year be the year you finally have one! These Honeywell HPA104 True HEPA Allergen Removers eliminate 99.97% of airborne particles like mold, pollen and dust!

Scented Vinegar

If you’re a natural cleaner and love using vinegar, you may get a little sick of the smell.  Score this Laundress Scented Vinegar that contains 100% natural vinegar with a scent that masks that icky smell!  CLEVER!

Stainless Steel Cleaner

Don’t forget about your stainless steel appliances while you’re cleaning! This Caldrea Stainless Steel Spray comes in some really nice smelling options and uses olive oil to naturally tackle gross, sticky stuff on your appliances!

Granite Cleaner

If you have granite countertops, be sure you’re taking care of them properly!  Using soap or other cleaners on them can damage them over time.  I use Method Daily Granite Cleaner.  It has a great apple scent, and is made just for granite counters to help clean and protect them!

Mop

You’ll need a good mop, too, when you’re adding items to your spring cleaning essentials.  I recommend this Mr. Clean Dry Erase Mop.  It’s SUPER easy to use, and works REALLY well on your bathroom, kitchen and hardwood floors.

Duster

An EASY way to dust is to use this Swiffer Duster w/ Extender.  It extends up to 3 feet so you can reach high or hard to get to places in your home.  Plus, the refills are super inexpensive, and you don’t have to use paper towels and rags anymore!

Prefer to buy bundles?  Here are some awesome deals on spring cleaning essentials bundles to score:

*Dorm Room Bundle $26

*Better Life New Baby 6-Piece Cleaning Kit $75.18

*Stainless Steel Cleaning Kit $16.99

 

 

 

 

Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Sunday, April 29th, 2018 at 2:40 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Choosing quality fruits and vegetables at the grocery store

Eating healthy is really important to my family.  When I shop for fruits and vegetables at the grocery store, I want to be sure they are fresh.  Debbie Meyer GreenBags have saved a ton of my produce from going bad!  These bags keep your fruits and vegetables SUPER fresh for longer periods of time.

If your fruits and vegetables are too ripe, you risk them going bad before using them. When they aren’t quite ripe enough, you can’t eat, cook or bake with them right away. Make sure you know the tricks for spotting fresh, ripe and ready fruits and vegetables! Here’s how to tell if the produce you pick up at the grocery store is fresh and ready to take home:

Apricots  Good apricots are firm and have a nice, solid amber color. Stay away from pale yellow or greenish colored apricots. Apricots that are too soft are no good!

Blueberries  You’ll want to buy firm, dry and brightly colored berries.  If they are dull or watery, pass them up!

Cantaloupe   Perfect cantaloupes have a delicate aroma, yellowish skin and a thick texture on the rind. Do not buy cantaloupes with a sweet and pungent aroma or those that have a soft rind.

Cherries   Pick cherries that have new looking stems and a smooth, shiny surface. Bad cherries have dried steams and dull surfaces.

Grapes   The best grapes are tender, plump, firmly attached to the stems.  Green grapes should have a slight amber blush near the stem.  Bad grapes are brown in color, have a wrinkled surface and brittle

Grapefruit   Don’t bother looking at the color.  Look for heavy, thin-skinned grapefruits that are slightly springy.  Avoid thick or rough skin.

Kiwi  Good kiwi gives slightly when pressed.  If it’s too hard, don’t buy it.

Mangos  Mango can be several different colors.  The best way to test it is to grab a yellow fruit, and expect it to be slightly soft to the touch.  It should have a ripe aroma at the stem.

Oranges   Good oranges are firm, heavy and have a smooth texture all over.  You don’t want oranges that are spongey or rough.

Papaya  Choose fruit with a red-orange skin.  Avoid green or hard papaya.

Peaches  A nice peach is firm and plump. You want it to be yellowish-orange with a little red blush around it.  If it’s super soft, don’t buy it!

Pineapple  Watch for fruit that smells sweet at the stem and is heavy for its size.

Plums  The best plums are those that yield slightly to pressure.  They should have a deep purple color and semi-soft tip.  Rock hard plums should be avoided, as they won’t ripen.

Strawberries  Deep, shiny red skins are what you want.  Avoid blemishes or green spots.

Watermelon   Good watermelons should be symmetrical in shape. They should have a cream-colored underside. Do not buy watermelons with cushiony spots.

Artichokes Choose globes that have tight leaves and feel heavy for their size. The leaves should squeak when pressed against each other.

Asparagus  Good asparagus have closed tips and straight green stalks. Bad asparagus have open tips and the stalks are curved.  This is the first sign of wilting.

Avocados  Avocados feel slightly soft to the touch. Firmer avocados may be ripened at home, but avoid rock-hard ones. Also avoid avocados with cracks or dents.

Beets  Pick firm beets with fresh stems and slender taproots. Avoid beets with wilted leaves, scaly tops, or large, hairy taproots as they may be older and more woody.

Bell Pepper  A bell pepper of any color should  have bright and glossy skin. They are firm and thick, while bad bell peppers have soft spots and shriveled surfaces.

Broccoli  To pick a nice batch of broccoli, you want it to be firm.  It should have closed florets and have a deep green color. Stay clear of broccoli that are yellow in color, with open florets and water-soaked spots.

Brussels Sprouts  Choose firm, compact, bright green heads. Avoid sprouts with wilted or loose outer leaves.

Cabbages Firm, compact heads that feel heavy for their size are the best. Check that the stems are also fresh and compact.

Carrot  Picking carrots is easy.  Carrots that are firm and have a bright orange color are good. Bad carrots have a rough texture, soft and have green roots.

Cauliflower  Choose heads with tightly packed, creamy white florets. Avoid yellowed, spotted, or flowering florets.

Celery  You want firm, unblemished stalks. The stalks and leaves should be green, not yellow.

Corn  Pick corn with bright green husks and moist but not slimy silk. Peel back the husk to ensure the kernels are plump and not dry.

Cucumbers  Choose cucumbers that are uniformly green (not yellow).

Eggplant  You want an eggplant that is shiny, heavy for its size and firm.  A slight bounce back will indicate a great piece of eggplant.  Don’t bother with the ones that are dull or lightweight.

Garlic  Pick firm, plump heads. Avoid heads with soft spots or green sprouts.

Green Beans  Slender beans that snap rather than bend are green beans you want. Avoid bulging or dried pods.


Lettuce, Spinach, and Other Leafy Greens
 Choose greens with fresh, crisp leaves. Avoid any that are wilted or slimy.

Peas  You’ll want crisp, green pods. Avoid bulging, dried, yellow, or white pods.

Potatoes  These should be firm, smooth potatoes. Avoid those with bruises, green spots, or sprouts.

Radishes  Go for radishes with fresh, green tops and firm, unblemished roots.

Summer Squash  The best squash has naturally shiny, taught, unblemished skin. Avoid squash that appear dull or have soft spots.

Sweet Potatoes and Yams  Choose potatoes with firm, unwrinkled skins and no bruises or cuts, as they are highly perishable.

Tomato  Good tomatoes are plump, smooth and have a rich red color. Bad tomatoes look shriveled and have blemishes.

Winter Squash  Choose squash that have stems intact and feel heavy for their size. Avoid squash with cuts or soft spots.

Knowing that your fruits and vegetables are ripe and ready to use or eat will save you time and money.  Cooking some broccoli for the family tonight?  Make sure that head is firm and green!  Baking a peach pie for dessert? Watch for that red blush around the fruit.  Get ready to grab some great quality fruits and vegetables on your next trip to the grocery store!

What tips and tricks do you have for choosing fruits and vegetables?

Dallas Arboretum’s Cool Thursdays Concert Series Presents Neon Circus on April 12th

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Wednesday, April 11th, 2018 at 12:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

On April 12th, the Dallas Arboretum’s Cool Thursdays Concert Series, presented by Wells Fargo, presents Neon Circus, a Brooks & Dunn Tribute Band. Enjoy Dallas’ only concert series overlooking the picturesque White Rock Lake on the award-winning Martin Rutchik Concert Stage & Lawn. Tickets are selling fast, and available to purchase online.

When Brooks & Dunn decided to hang up their hats in 2010 after a successful 20 year career on the road, it left a big void in the hearts of their fans. In 2011 the concept arose to form a tribute act that would rival the duo’s touring road show and live sound, and Neon Circus was born. Named after the 2002 tour, Brooks & Dunn’s Neon Circus and Wild West Show, Neon Circus has been successful in continuing the legacy of the country music icons with the help of RK Ford (Ronnie Dunn) and Tim Johnson (Kix Brooks). Currently Neon Circus is touring the U.S. as a headlining act in showrooms, theaters, festivals, fairs, large clubs and private functions. Neon Circus has accurately recreated Brooks & Dunn’s exciting live show down to the last detail performing hit country anthems like My MariaNeon Moon, and Boot Scootin’ Boogie.

In addition to the coolest view of White Rock Lake, attendees can bring picnics and beverages or purchase food items from food trucks including Easy Slider, Rick’s BBQ, Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe and So Cal Tacos. The gardens are also open to stroll through before the concert to enjoy the breathtaking floral displays.

The concert series continues through June. Gates open at 6 p.m., and the concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. Single tickets start at $10 – $27 and are available for purchase online. For group tickets of 15 or more, call 214.515.6520. On-site parking is complimentary for all concerts, and the Arboretum encourages attendees to take advantage of the close covered parking available at the parking garage located across the street from Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden with access underneath Garland Road.

Upcoming concerts

April 19: Turnstiles – Billy Joel Tribute Band

April 26: Majesty of Rock – Journey and The Styxx Tribute Band (NEW)

May 3: Walk the Line- Johnny Cash Tribute Band

May 10: Molly Ringwalds- 80s Tribute Band

May 17: Motown Magic (New)

For full concert lineup, click here.

For more information, visit www.dallasarboretum.org or call 214.515.6500.

April Fool’s Day ~ Fun Prank Ideas For Kids

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Saturday, March 31st, 2018 at 1:20 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

April Fool’s Day is coming soon and if you want to get back at your kiddos for all the tricks they play during the year, here are a few easy and mostly FREE and fun prank ideas for kids!

~After everyone goes to bed on 3/31, turn as many things upside down as you can- including framed pictures, clocks, chairs and toys. When the family wakes up in the morning, they’ll do a double-take and let the laughter begin!

~ Freeze a bowl of cereal with milk the night before & watch your kids try to dig in!

~ Make instant Jell-O according to package directions, except pour it into juice glasses with straws and let it set up over night. Your kids will think it’s juice but then they will also get to eat Jell-O, which is a fun treat!

~ Stuff toilet paper into the toe of your kid’s shoes.

~ If you have ceiling fans in your kids’ bedrooms, use a hole punch to make a ton of confetti. Place it on top of the fan blades & it will “rain” confetti when they turn on their ceiling light. Plus, then they have to vacuum their own room!

~ Put a few drops of food coloring in the bottom of a cereal bow & cover it with cereal. When the milk is poured in the bowl, it will change color!

~ Set out a mixed bowl of Skittles and plain M&M’s!

~ Remove the caps from the shampoo or conditioner bottles & cover the opening with plastic wrap. Replace the caps & wait outside the bathroom door to hear their frustration!

~ Leave the plastic wrap on the American cheese on your kid’s sandwich!

~ If you have a chocolate fanatic in your house, use brown construction to cut out several “E” shapes, put them in a pan, cover with aluminum foil, and tell them “there’s a pan of Brown E’s on the counter!”

~ If you have snack bag sized chips for your children’s lunches, open the bags from the bottom & switch out the snacks. Cheetos become Lays, Fritos become Ruffles, etc. Then tape the bottom of the bag closed & your kids will have a confusing lunch!

~ This last idea is for your tween or teen’s! Get ahold of their phone and set up keyboard shortcuts. Then, for example, every time they text the word “the,” it would automatically change to “MY MOM ROCKS”! You can really use your imagination with this one and personalize it to be the most fun for your family!

 

For some more great ideas, head to Personal Creations.  Let us know if you have done any of these tricks before and how they worked out!

Spring Cleaning Tips

Posted by Jennifer Carles on Monday, March 5th, 2018 at 12:20 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

springIt’s time to do some spring cleaning! Here are some spring cleaning tips to get you started.

Air out – Get all the germs, smells, and toxins out of your house. Open your doors and windows and set ceiling fans on low. Airing out mattresses a couple times a year also reduces dust and dander. While the windows are open wash the linens and vacuum and rotate your mattress..

De-Clutter – Tackle a closet a week and clear out all the items you no longer use. I do the one-year rule.  If I haven’t worn it in a year, I don’t need it.  Donate these items to charity.  We get emails and mail all the time with donation trucks in our area.  Get some shoe racks , baskets, or shelves to better organize yourself.

Clean Furniture – If you have a leather coach make sure and clean and treat it.  I put a note in my calendar every three months and do it on that day so I don’t forget. Protect wood floors by checking the pads on furniture feet and replacing as needed.

dustDe-Dust – Check the often overlooked areas, such as light fixtures and ceiling fans. Dust down house plants and check the corners of your walls to see if there an any dust or dander.

Kitchen Spruce Up – Clean your refrigerator by wiping down the shelves and drawers with a non-toxic cleaning solution made with two tablespoons baking soda dissolved in a quart of warm water. And don’t forget that extra fridge in the garage! Tackle the microwave next by heating a coffee cup of water mixed with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice on high for 3 to 5 minutes, just long enough for the solution to boil and steam up the microwave. Keep the door shut for a minute longer, and then carefully remove the hot cup. Wipe away loosened grime with a soft cloth.

Sanitize the garbage disposal. Drop a few lemon slices and two tablespoons of baking soda down the disposal. Run the grinder and then rinse with hot water.

These are just a few ways to tackle your spring cleaning projects!  Here is to a happy & clean home!

Allergy Relief Tips To Keep Symptoms Minimal This Spring

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Tuesday, February 27th, 2018 at 11:40 AM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

Allergy Relief Hacks

Allergy Relief Tips To Keep Symptoms Minimal This Spring

The first official day of spring is March 20th and while everyone is excited we know that pollen causes watery eyes, sneezing, itchy, runny noses coughing and more discomfort.  It’s hard to enjoy beautiful weather and the great outdoors when you’re not feeling well.  Here are some allergy relief hacks that might help you feel more comfortable outside and at home during this transitional season:

Allergy Relief Hacks

*Shower at night – Showering in the morning is great for helping you get your day started, but if you can, alter your schedule to have your bath or shower at night. This rinses and washes off the allergens that stick to your face and hair and irritate you while you sleep.

*Change your filters – Set your A/C to recycle the air inside your home, and keep your windows closed.  You’ll also want to rinse or change your filters every couple of weeks to ensure that pollen and other irritating material aren’t trapped in it. Home Depot often has wonderful deals on air filters to keep your budget in check while you’re changing them more frequently.

*Manage your laundry – When you’ve been outside, allergens stick to your clothing.  Keep clothes that have been worn outside contained by placing them immediately in the washer or hamper when you get home.  You’ll also want to wash your bedding once a week with HOT water.

*Cover your eyes – Wraparound sunglasses are great for blocking UV rays, but also prevent airborne allergens from getting in your eyes.  You can also use allergy-relieving eyedrops like Visine-A a few hours before heading out for the day.

*Check your pets – Pets spend time outdoors, and track allergens into your home without you even knowing!  If you allow your pets to sleep on your bed with you, you’re risking a better chance at irritation from those allergens. At least keep them off furniture, if possible.

*Trim your lawn – Shorter grass blades don’t trap as much pollen from the surrounding trees and flowers. It’s worth it to pay the teenaged neighbor to cut your grass if you’re sensitive, and once it’s done, you’l definitely feel the difference.

*Schedule your workouts – When you workout, you breathe at least twice as fast as normal. That means you’re breathing in more allergens. Morning exercisers have it the worst because airborne allergens peak during early hours. The best time for a workout is in the mid-afternoon.  If you’re a runner, hit the pavement right after it rains, and the pollen has been washed away.  On the downside, you’ll want to run while it’s still wet outside, because once the air dries, the moisture generates more pollen and mold.

*Keep hydrated – Hydrating helps to thin the mucus and hydrate your airways.  If you’re working out, be sure to take a water bottle with you, and once you’re ready to head back home, fill it up again and use that to rinse your hands and face to rid them of pollen they probably collected.

Allergy Relief Hacks – The essentials every home should have

Here are some essentials for you and your home that will definitely aid you in enjoying the spring season with less sniffing, coughing and itching!

*Visine Allergy Eye Drops – inexpensive and an easy way to prevent itchy, watery eyes
*GermGuardian AC4825 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System with True HEPA Filter, UV-C Sanitizer, Allergen and Odor Reduction, 22-Inch Air Purifier – purifies the air you breath in your home
*Allergy Control Mattress Cover – protects your mattress from pollen and allergens getting trapped inside
*AllerTech home products: pet shampoo, vent guard, laundry additive, home spray and more.  These products can eliminate pollen and allergens from your home, making it a more comfortable place to live.
*Flonase – allergy relief for your nose!

What’s On Sale In March

Posted by My Dallas Mommy on Monday, February 26th, 2018 at 5:00 PM
The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the Full Disclosures!

What to Buy in March

March is quickly approaching. Can you believe how quickly this year is moving? The appearance of this month means that Spring will be here very soon (March 20th), and that’s a great thing for deal seekers and couponers like us!  The weather starts to change, and don’t forget that it’s also Daylight Savings, so on March 11th, you’ll be setting your clocks ahead 1 hour.  So, what’s on sale this month?  What should you be keeping an eye out for in March?  Here you go:

*Valentine’s Day Leftovers

Places like Hallmark, Walmart, Target and drugstores will have nice mark downs on Valentine’s Day products.  By now, you may even find some at as much as 90% off!  Some of these things can be used as gift basket fillers or birthday presents, too.  Stock up and grab what you can right now, because you won’t see some of these items again until after Christmas.

*Frozen Food Month

March is Frozen Food Month!  This is one of the best times of the year for frozen EVERYTHING!  We’ll see great coupons this month on anything in the freezer aisles, and get awesome promotions on things like ice cream, TV dinners, family sized lasagnas, pizzas, burritos & taquitos and much more!  We’ll let you know where to go and when to get the best deals on these things, so keep watching the blog! Browse the current coupons HERE.

*Luggage

Spring Break and Summer vacation planning usually start this month, so be on the lookout for some awesome deals on luggage and travel accessories!  Sets are really popular, and we’ve already started seeing great deals on baggage in February – with mark downs on those promotions expected in March!

Favorite places to get the best deals on luggage

LuggageGuy.com
6pm.com
Home Decorator’s Collection
Macy’s.com

And if you’re planning a vacation, The best deals on airfare & cruises:
TripAdvisor
Expedia
Booking Buddy
Groupon
LivingSocial
Rue La La
Booking.com
CheapAir

*Goodbye Winter!

So, maybe it’s still definitely Winter on the East Coast and other scattered parts of the country with snowfall.  Even though it’s still really chilly in most parts of the country (except Texas, of course!) because of this odd weather, Winter clearance is going on right now – as the last of the mittens, heavy jackets and coats, hats, scarves and boots all need to be sold before the Spring lines get here!  We’ll see the last of the Winter stuff on sale this month, so grab it up while you can!

Check out these sites for the best Winter clearance deals:

Amazon
Macy’s.com
Kohl’s
Target
Jane.com
CentsofStyle

*Digital Cameras & TVs

With vacations being planned, digital cameras are in high demand this month.  If you missed those rockin’ sales in December and January on TVs, you’re in luck!  They will be on  sale again this month, too! These items go on sale now, because as Spring moves on, we get closer to Father’s Day and Graduation Day – both celebrations that giving a TV or digital camera as a gift are very popular.  That’s when the prices go up.  Get yours this month, and avoid paying more.

Shop these sites for the best deals on cameras and TVs:

Target
Amazon
Sears
Best Buy
Walmart
GameStop
Microsoft Store
Staples

*Spring Cleaning

Get ready to print lots of coupons for things like Swiffer, Lysol, Scrubbing Bubbles, sponges, Windex and anything else “cleaning” related!  They will be in the newspapers, as well.  We’ll see tons of great promotions for cleaners at most drugstores and grocery stores, too.  Also, be on the lookout for us to post some nice bargains on organization and storage for your garage and home.
QUICK TIP: Consider joining a subscription service for home goods to grab a nice stock of cleaning items at the best prices.  Check out our post about our favorite options for home subscription sites and join today to save more!

*Tax Time

Watch for nice price cuts and great promotions on filing your taxes for cheap!  We rounded up a few of them HERE, but you will see tons of smaller businesses in your town offering discounts, too!

*St. Patrick’s Day

You’ll see tons of green everywhere in stores this month, getting ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s  Day (March 17th) is pretty popular, so beads and necklaces, t-shirts, silly hats and glasses and everything you need to throw a great party for each of these holidays will be on sale!  Mardi Gras was early this year – February 11th, so you’ll see items for that celebration on sale this month, as retailers need to rid the shelves of them in anticipation for Easter.  Toward the end of the month, you’ll see these items drop to clearance – so scoop them up for birthday party favors, gifts and children’s dress-up!

Score great deals on St. Patrick’s Day at Amazon and Oriental Trading Company

*Easter

Easter this year is (April 16th), and we’re already seeing see great prices on ham, eggs, candy, basket stuffers, stuffed animals and dye kits for this popular holiday.  Coupons for these items are already in full swing, so keep your eyes on the blog all month long, and grab some that have already been released HERE!

Find amazing deals on Easter gifts and decor:

Jane.com
GroopDealz
Target
Walmart
Target

*Spring Flowers

Gardening will be in full bloom soon, so retailers are putting out great deals on gardening supplies!  You’ll also notice it’s a GREAT time to buy flowers like African Violets and Tulips this month.  They are in their prime, and florists want to sell them, but do so at cheaper prices since they are in such high demand and competition helps the market!  Also, keep your eyes on the blog this month, if you’re planning to buy any outdoor patio sets or fire pits.  This is the month to purchase them, as once April hits, the prices go up, for the most part!

Find the lowest prices and best sales on gardening and patio furniture:

Kohl’s
Target
Walmart
Home Depot
Lowe’s

PLUS don’t forget to check out the new Amazon Plant Store!

PRODUCE IN SEASON & ON SALE THIS MONTH

Artichoke
Asparagus
Broccoli
Cactus
Chayote Squash
Chives
Collard Greens
Corn
Fava Beans
Green Beans
Mangoes
Mushrooms
Peas
Pineapple
Rhubarb
Spinach
Vidalia Onions

CHECK OUT MORE THRIFTY TIPS BELOW:

September Deals: What to Expect to Find on Sale
Meal Solutions for Turning Leftovers Into New Meals
Choosing Quality Fruits and Vegetables at the Grocery Store
What Foods Can You Freeze? Save Time & Money
Top 10 What to Buy During End of Summer Sales
80 Non-Toxic DIY Cleaners
10 Uses for Muffin Pans
10 Items Worth Buying at the Dollar Store
Signature Mini Meals + 21 Meal Suggestions

+ More!