Category Archives: Tips

Extra Money for the Holiday

Can you believe that we’re almost ready to wrap up another month? I can’t believe school is going to be starting in three weeks – it seems like yesterday I was trying to plan activities for my little guy that would get us through the “long” summer. Now, I find myself trying to start my holiday planning.

I know, we still have a little over four months before Christmas is actually here, but I like to get my shopping done early. I also hand make a few of the gifts I give to family and friends, which also takes some time too. As an early holiday planner, I’m constantly looking for ways to save and make extra money as the holidays approach.

I know that we can all use a little extra cash when the holidays begin to roll around. So, I thought I would share with you a few ways ideas for “making” some extra cash for this holiday season.

  • Put Money Back – The easiest way to make a little extra money is the old-fashioned save-your-money method. I start doing this in January, but you can start any time. What I do is put back a minimum of $50 from every paycheck. I treat it just like I do the mortgage payment, car payment, electric bill or any other bill. The $50 comes right off the top of my paycheck so I’m never tempted to spend it. By the end of the year, if you don’t add any money to the $50 per paycheck, you will have $1200 saved up. That’s a nice little extra cash that you can spend on gifts.
  • Take a Part-Time Job – A few months before Christmas arrives, a lot of stores begin hiring holiday help. Generally, I start to see “Holiday Help Wanted” signs up in our local stores towards the end of October and the first of November. While working a part-time job will take away time you get to spend with your family, it will give you extra money to spend on your loved ones at Christmas. And, if you are a stay-at-home mom, taking a part-time job outside the home for a few months may be fun.
  • Invest – This idea is the riskiest one of the bunch, but has the ability to make you some additional cash. If you know someone who invests in the stock market, you may consider talking to them about how they do it. If you have a little money to invest, talk to a broker/financial advisor about investing it in a way that will allow you to make some money before Christmas. Another idea is to buy a foreclosed home and flip it. If you find a good deal, you may be able to make a pretty good profit in time for Christmas. If flipping a house is a little more work than you want to do but you like the idea of investing in real estate, consider purchasing a rental property. Good rental properties generally bring in an additional $500-$800 a month profit.

There are certainly more ways to earn extra money for the holidays. All you have to do is think outside the box, make a plan and set it in motion. Regardless of whether you choose to make extra money this holiday season or not, now is the time to start thinking about the holidays.

Caring for Toddler Suits

It’s crazy to think of how many people purchase nice suit for their toddler to wear for only one occasion before the child out grows it. The thing about toddler suits is that they can be worn just as often as men’s suits can be and they are just as durable as men’s suits too. Obviously, your little one won’t be little forever, but there isn’t any reason why toddler suits can’t be worn several times before it’s grown out of.

However, just like with men’s suits, toddler suits have to be properly taken care of in order for them to last a long time. If you have more than one son or have a relative with a young boy who will grow into your child’s clothes, then properly caring for your toddler suits will be a tremendous help in the future. Below are some tips for how to care for toddler suits so that they last for many years.

  • Time is of the Essence – Since most toddler suits are worn by little boys, there is a chance that the suit will encounter grass stains, dirt and other harsh environmental “hazards” if worn for long periods of time. If you are going to an event that will last a while, such as a wedding or a church service followed by a family reunion, then bring a spare pair of clothes for your little one to change into when the time is right (reception or right before the reunion). This will preserve the condition of the suit, which is critical for furthering its life span.
  • Don’t be Strict with Buttons – Yes, toddler suits look adorable when they are buttoned up, but with as much as these youngsters move around, keeping the buttons buttoned all the time is definitely going to put extra strain on the suit…and possible cause a button to pop off. Therefore, try not to be so strict on keeping the suit jacket buttoned all the time. In fact, consider letting your little one take the jacket off to be more comfortable, if the time is appropriate.
  • Always Keep on a Hanger – Whenever toddler suits aren’t being worn, they should be on a hanger. If you are traveling, try to keep them in a breathable suit bag. When you are at home, its fine for suits to hang in the closet. Just keep suits in a place where they aren’t crammed up against other clothes, or they will acquire unsightly wrinkles.
  • Follow the Cleaning Instructions – Most toddler suits will have instructions for proper cleaning. Follow these instructions. If the tag says “dry clean only” – then take it to the dry cleaners when it needs to be cleaned. Depending on the amount of wear the suit is getting, you may not have to take it to the dry cleaners very often at all.

When to Shop for the Best Deals on Clothing

As parents, one of the things we constantly find ourselves doing is buying clothes for our children. For most of us, it seems like our kids grow out of the clothes we buy them within a few weeks of the initial purchase. This makes it hard to find the best deals on clothing because when our kids outgrow something, like a pair of jeans, we have to get another pair as soon as possible. However, if you are able to plan ahead (just a little) and know when the best time to shop for clothing is, then you will be able to catch some of the best clothing deals!

  • Shop at the End of the Season. While a lot of parents have heard this tip before, not a lot of them actually put it into practice. It’s a shame because this is one of the best ways to save a ton of money on your kids’ clothing. All you need to do is wait until the end of the season and shop the clearance racks for clothing your kids can wear next year at this time
    For instance, winter is coming up. Every year I wait until the end of winter (late February/early March) to shop for winter coats for my kids. Last year, I happened to find a nice coat that was originally $60 on sale for $8. It was a 4T instead of a 3T, so now my son will be able to wear that coat this winter
  • Wait Until a Few Days before a Major Holiday. This may sound a little contradictory to the advice just given, but it only applies to holiday outfits that you plan to purchase from a LOCAL retailer. If you want to find the best deal on Christmas dresses for your little ones, then wait until a few days before Christmas to go shopping for it. Yes, it may be crowded and you may have fewer choices, but because most people shop ahead of time, you will most likely find some awesome deals.
    Now, remember that this is only for local retailers. If you prefer to shop online, you need to begin shopping for holiday outfits a month to six weeks in advance. You will naturally find better deals online as online retailers have to keep their prices lower than local retailers in order to stay competitive. However, you have to allow time to get the outfits in and altered if necessary. Therefore, DO NOT wait until the last minute to shop for great clothing deals when ordering online
  • Use Social Media to Your Advantage. I know, this one probably sounds a little out of place, right? After all we are trying to find the best deals on clothing, not learn how to tweet correctly. Right! Believe it or not, the majority of your favorite stores have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. When you connect with them through these social media outlets, you’ll receive regular updates from them…most of the time these updates are coupons that can be used either online, in-store or both!
    Additionally, there are a number of people who have Facebook pages and Twitter accounts specifically for the purpose of providing their readers with the best online/offline deals available. Just do a quick search for “coupons, moms and coupons, etc.” and you’ll get some hits. Follow and/or “like” these people and you will be surprised at all the deals you’ll be able to take advantage of. And, the best part about this one is that there isn’t any “special” time you have to do it. The deals come in daily, so anytime is great!

After Baby Tips for Mommy

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve had one child or ten…each pregnancy and post-pregnancy is a completely different experience. I recently (3 weeks ago) had my second child and while I can say that I love my new little one just as much as my first one – both the pregnancy and the post-pregnancy experiences were different than the first time around. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m older or because I have a four year old, but this pregnancy seemed much more difficult and less enjoyable than my first one – and the postpartum recovery period has been a little worse too.

Many mothers get the “baby blues” once their little one arrives, which is completely normal. However, there are some things we can do to make the postpartum process more enjoyable. Below are some tips to help you with this.

  • Eat Right – After you have a baby, it’s important that you consume a well-balanced diet each day, especially if you are breastfeeding. Don’t go on a strict, low-calorie diet right away…you need the extra calories to keep up your energy so you can take care of your little one. If you are breastfeeding and don’t get the food you need on a daily basis it can affect your milk supply, making it taste sour which will cause your little one to stop eating. Eating the right foods and keeping your body well-nourished will also help keep you in good spirits too.
  • Sleep – Bringing home a baby can be overwhelming because there is just so much to do. When you’re not feeding the little one, you’re either cleaning bottles, pumping, doing the laundry or trying to tidy up the house…it can be exhausting. It’s important that you get a good amount of sleep when you come home. Some of the household chores may just have to wait. Getting ample amount of sleep each day will make you a better mommy as you’ll have more energy, be in a better mood, have more patience and, therefore, will be less likely to be a victim of postpartum depression.
  • Do Something for You – Most of us mommies are guilty of putting everyone else first and sacrificing our needs and wants. I’m here to tell you that you need your time too. This is kind of like sleep because when you make time to do something you like to do, it’s like therapy and helps you be a better mom when you’re with your baby. So, it doesn’t matter if you hire a babysitter once a week to go have lunch with a friend, take long baths at night or get your husband to watch the little one while you sneak out to go exercise. Do something for yourself! Shoot, maybe all you want to do is go shopping for a new baby dress or baby suit for baby pictures. Get your spouse or a friend to watch the little one while you go out and shop ALONE…it will make a world of difference!

Tips for Finding the Right Flower Girl Dress

Weddings bring with them a lot of stress because there are so many decisions to be made. Not only does the bride have to find the perfect wedding dress, she also has to make decisions for her wedding cake, wedding flowers, the reception menu and so many other things. One of the things that many don’t think much about is the thought that brides put into flower girl dresses for their wedding as well. There are a few tips that might make the task easier for you, if you are looking for a flower girl dress for your upcoming wedding.

First, think about the overall style of your wedding. For example, is your wedding going to be formal or more on the casual side? You want your flower girl dresses to match the style of your wedding. Also, you will want to look at a variety of places to find a great dress for a reasonable price. The easiest way is to look through magazines first and get a few ideas of what you want and then look at your local bridal shops, but be sure to compare their prices with those online.

Sometimes you can find great deals online for flower girl dresses, as well as, flower girl baskets, girls shoes and accessories. And, some online retailers, like Kidsformal , offer free shipping when you spend $100 or more.

Although you should be the one to pick the flower girl dresses, you should consider dresses that can be worn again. Most parents don’t mind paying for their daughter’s wedding attire, but all parents appreciate brides who try to find a dress that is somewhat practical and can be worn again. Especially since little girls grow so fast and their dresses can be expensive.