Sunday, February 10, 2019

Five Unique Ways To Teach Your Children About Money

Today I have a guest post for you from Emily at StarWalkKids.com. Enjoy!




Kids don’t know much about money and how to spend it unless you teach them. Take time to walk your children through how to earn money, and show them how you can save for a rainy day. Let them know that you can invest and the money grows and allow them the satisfaction of rewarding themselves after completing a task. 

Use a piggy bank 

Teach your kids the art of saving from a young age and let them know how important it is to set some money aside. Get them a jar or a piggy bank and encourage them to drop a few coins inside daily to get to the desired goal. It is important to introduce to them saving at an early age and explain to them why having savings is a good thing. After their savings have grown, allow them to buy whatever they have been asking for with their own money as this will give them satisfaction.

 Give them an allowance after a job 

Make them understand that money is not given for free and you have to work and earn it. This will make sure that they always respect the amount of money they get and be able to manage it wisely. Give them house chores, and once they have completed them, you can reward them by paying them. This will allow them to learn that hard work pays. Furthermore, when you teach them on how to work for everything they have, they will grow to be great adults in the future.

Take your kids to the grocery store 

Bring your kids the next time you are going to the grocery store as this will give them an opportunity to see the exchange and transactions world first hand. Let them help you to choose the grocery you want and show them how you can save money in a grocery store. This is done by giving them an opportunity to choose groceries and compare the prices of different brands. As they do this, they will learn how to make choices in life and survival tactics. After a trip to the store calculate with them the amount of money that they have helped you save. You can use the money to give to charity or treat yourself to ice cream; they will learn the art of charity and sharing as well as saving.



Use games and puzzles to teach them about money 

You can introduce your kids to games and puzzles and give them an opportunity to complete the task. Once they have done, you can reward them with a prize; this will show them that after completion of a task you always get a reward. Additionally, you can play games such as Monopoly which requires kids to make financial decisions to win the game.

Encourage your kids to start a business 

Teach your kids the art of investing in a business, let them learn that when you invest in something your income doubles. Help them open up a lemonade stand with their allowance money and let them learn about making profits in a business. This will open up their minds, and they will understand how money works in the world. Additionally, this will discourage them from being lazy when they become adults.

In conclusion, show your kids the art of spending money, saving, and investing as this will ensure that they learn some valuable skills for life in the real world. You can read more on Star Walk Kids, and you can also find games and toys here which will help your child learn to manage their money from an early age. 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Date Night Ideas On A Budget

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you might be thinking of the perfect date night to show that special someone how much they mean to you.  One common misconception is that going on a date has to be an expensive and elaborate display of affection, but there are tons of ways you can have a great time without breaking the bank.  Here are some out-of-the-box cheap date night ideas you and your significant other will love! 


Image Credit:  Pexels.com



Cook dinner together 

Why go out to an expensive restaurant when you can cook a delicious meal for two at home?  Cooking at home is a great way to save money and also experiment with new recipes you’ve never tried before.  To make the evening even more romantic, put a picnic blanket on the living room floor, light some candles, and put on a playlist of songs that remind you of each other.  To top it off, treat yourselves to some chocolate-covered strawberries for dessert and enjoy the quality time you’re spending together! 


Play dress-up

Tap into your youthful side and spend the day playing dress-up with your partner!  Head to your local car dealership and ask to take your favorite car for a test drive, just make sure you don’t buy it!  Another fun idea is to scope out Columbus real estate and go on tours of homes you like.  To make it even more fun, you can dress up in your fanciest clothes and pretend you’re a wealthy couple looking to buy a new home.  You and your significant other will be in stitches by the end of the night, and you’ll look back on that memory for years to come.

Lend a helping hand

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and also spend quality time together as a couple.  Look online for animal shelters, soup kitchens or children’s hospitals near you and spend the day helping those in need.  If you’ve never volunteered and aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry- most nonprofit organizations are more than happy to have volunteers come in and help out.  You’ll be doing a good deed, and you’ll feel good giving back to someone less fortunate. 


Break a sweat 

When you workout, your body releases feel-good endorphins, so why not incorporate exercise into your next date?  If the weather permits, go on a bike ride through your local park or bike trail.  If you and your partner are up for it, you could go for an early-morning run and reward yourselves with a big breakfast afterward.  For a less intense workout, go for a long walk around the neighborhood and spend time talking and catching up.  Physical activity of any kind is a great way to bond with your significant other while also getting in a workout, and it’s something you can do a couple times a week without getting bored! 


What are your best budget date night ideas?

Letters To No One

Letters to no one
and letters to nowhere

screaming into the void

Is anyone there?

words and letters
sounds and silence

living amongst
invisible

memories

wash over me
wash all of my sins away
the heat of the water

reminds me 
to breathe

in 

and 

out

as my sins
swirl around 
the drain
and fall into 
nowhere

I feel the void
pressing in
reaching out to me
because of

my letters to no one
that finally reached
nowhere.




Saturday, February 2, 2019

My Favorite Florist Is Ready For You This Valentine's Day!

I love Valentine's day. It's the only holiday that I love more than Halloween! It could be the love in the air, the scrumptious chocolate goodies, or the gorgeous floral displays...or it could be that I am just in love with L O V E.



Just like my favorite holiday, Halloween, I go all out with decorations and fun foods and activities. My husband and I have a sort of unspoken contest going on between us as to who can get the other the best gifts. He's won quite a few times (yes, he's that good), but I think I'm going to finally win this year!


When we first moved in, I hadn't started my garden yet so fresh cut flowers were out of the question. I do like to keep them around, especially sunflowers, as they brighten my day. To remedy this, I decided to take a visit over to Summerfield, NC and see what lovely floral design displays I could find.


I happened across Daly Floral Designs and completely fell in love! Her designs are absolutely astonishing! 

Susan Daly is a one woman small business owner who has been around flowers her entire life. She grew up on a farm in upstate NY and began her career by selling her beautiful flowers that she grew herself at her parent's vegetable stand. As she grew, she knew that all she wanted to do was become a florist. Believe me when I say she is definitely doing what she is born to do! Her designs are so creative and gorgeous, I picked up 2 designs while I was there and I am planning on making my own custom design for Valentine's day! By growing most of the flowers herself, she keeps costs down for her customers and every penny I spent was worth it! These designs all have a little piece of her love in there and you can definitely tell! Just check out her Instagram or Facebook page to see more of her incredible floral arrangements!

So, I think I'm going to win the best gift contest-not-contest this year. Hubs already won Christmas, so for this holiday, I am serious business! Either way, I've already won by having another lovely floral arrangement by Daly Floral Designs to fawn over!


What are your plans for Valentine's day?

Friday, February 1, 2019

Are You Promoting Your Business Properly?

There's nothing like that rush you get when you first set up your own business. You've come up with an amazing idea and you're ready to start putting into practice. You're committed to all of the hard work to come and you're ready to make something amazing. And then, you suddenly realize that no one is paying your new business any attention whatsoever.

This is one of the most common issues in the early days of a business's life but it can be pretty scary. However, it's definitely something that you can get past, you just need to know how. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do to better reach out to customers and promote your business more effectively.


Know your customers


One of the most important marketing details that a lot of businesses tend to forget is that you need to know exactly who your customers are if you want to be able to connect with them as effectively as possible. After all, different marketing methods are more effective on different people and knowing who your demographic is means that you're going to be much better equipped to build your marketing around them and their preferences. A clear profile of your ideal customers is one of the most important things that your business can have.


Embrace modern methods


We live in an incredibly fast-paced, technology dominated world and that means that if you're not willing to keep up with the changes that it brings, your business is going to end up falling behind. One of the best modern marketing methods is video content. Being able to create interesting and engaging video content is one of the best ways to connect with customers. It's actually a lot less of a challenge to do so than you might think. You just need to find some good ideas and find someone who can be engaging on camera. You can check out places like this website for royalty free music. Plus there are plenty of editing tutorials online that you can use to make your videos look more professional.


Don't leave it as an afterthought


You might not think that this would be such a common issue but it befalls a lot of small businesses more often than you would think. Far too often businesses leave their marketing as an afterthought and don't put nearly enough effort into it. There are so many things that go into a business that it's all too easy to let your marketing fall by the wayside but the truth is that if you want to promote your business properly, you have to be willing to put the time and effort in.


Of course, an important thing to remember is that you don't want to fall into the trap of paying so much attention to your marketing that you ignore every other important aspect of your business. One of the first things that you need to learn when you set up any kind of business is that it's a near constant balancing act. You need to keep all of those plates spinning at once because if one falls, they could all come crashing down very easily.

How do you promote your business?

Monday, January 21, 2019

It's All Fun And Games Until You Break Your Leg

Some of you who have been following me on social media for years already know that just about five years ago, I broke my leg.

In half.

On roller skates.



It was pretty brutal.

Not only was it a blow to my body, it was a huge blow to my ego! How could I get one step out of my front door and break my leg right in two?!


I am a child of the 70s/80s and a teen of the 90s. There was no internet (yet) and so I spent A LOT of time outside, hanging out with friends on my roller skates. I went to the roller rink every weekend and had a blast. 

Fashion through these eras changed a lot. The 70s are a blur as I was a small child then but I remember the 80s as being very....bright. I didn't really take an interest in fashion until the 90s hit and it was allll about that flannel


Through all of those years, I still had my trusty roller skates. I carried them everywhere. By the 90s, the 4 wheel roller skates had gone out of style for the newer, modern roller blades. No, thanks, I couldn't stay up on those, heh. Skateboards had a sneaky way of sliding out from under me so roller skates it was!

As time passed, my skates became less and less important as I had oh-so-important teenage things to do. My skates were hung up without so much of a blink and I didn't think of them until many, many years later.


Life went on as it does and I was busy with life things, until one day as I was talking to my daughter, I thought I had a great idea! Because I was in my late thirties and my metabolism had slowed to barely even a crawl, I was trying to think of something fun we could do that would get us all healthy and in shape. My daughter was ready and excited with me to go for it, so after we rock, paper, scissored it, my daughter was going to ride the bike and I was going to slap on my knee socks and roller skates and we were going to have a great time! She ran around to the backyard to get her bike, and I slipped right on into my awesome knee socks and skates, rolled to the front door, opened it, stepped one skate out, and....

*KUH-CRACK*

No skating for me that day, or ever again. 


And that, my friends, is the story of how breaking my leg at 37 years old, 10 days before my oldest son was supposed to graduate high school (I was still in the hospital when he walked across that stage), made me realize that I wasn't as young as I "felt" I was.

It took me awhile to process because I always felt healthier and younger than I actually was. I learned with a quickness that I was absolutely NOT. Since then, my constant focus has been my health and I am happy to say that today, things are back on track. I'm losing weight, exercising, and eating a lot healthier than I ever have. Will I ever step into roller skates, again? NOPE.

However, any time that I would like to feel young, I can just throw on a flannel and, yes, I still wear my knee high socks (from Chrissy's Knee High Socks!) as well, because they are perfect with boots and many of the things I still wear. 

Well, ok, and because they are sooo cute and will never go out of style!


When did you realize that you aren't as young as you used to be?

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Women Are The New Business Leaders

We had a record breaking year for women in 2018. 



I'm pretty excited about it! My daughter is going to college right now to get her business degree so I am so glad that she has role models in all fields to look up to and help guide her. Women are becoming leaders in record numbers and it is helping girls everywhere see that they can be a leader as well!

When I think about women in America starting out with barely any rights, to now leading large companies, to running for president of the United States of America, it's incredibly inspiring. I was raised in the generation of shoulder pads and sneakers. My mom raised my brother and I, went to work, bought the bacon, brought the bacon home, and cooked it up. All while serving in the Navy Reserves on the weekend and being an active parent in our sports/extracurricular activities.

Just writing that made me tired.

However, seeing this as a daughter, it was an inspiring way of leading. She showed and made me believe that women could do anything and I believed it! Too see it in action, and that fire, drive, and ambition in my own daughter, is supremely gratifying! I knew when my daughter was very young that one day she could grow up to be a leader. She slays her studies like dragons and laughs  as she is handed more. She has such an imaginative mind and loves to solve problems like nothing I've ever seen before. She has the drive to persist until she finds a solution.

 As you can probably guess, I'm very proud of her. 


Yep.

A good role model for young women today is definitely Chrissy Weems. She has such an inspiring story!

Chrissy Weems started Origami Owl Jewelry in 2010 with her daughter, Bella. Bella had saved up $350 of her babysitting money at just 14 years old and told her mother that she wanted to start a jewelry business. Chrissy liked that idea and matched her $350 and with help from investors Tyson Basha and Shawn Maxwellthey began crafting the beautiful living lockets for Origami Owl JewelryJust 8 years later, they are the successful owners of a 250 million dollar business! 



Whether it is in business or congress, women are proving that their roles are important and valued. Young women today have so many role models to choose from in any field they are interested in! With consistent role models and proven success in many fields, young women have no limit to what they can accomplish! Women lead the way in 2018 as I hope they will continue to do so on into the future! It's wonderful to accomplish goals, and I am using these ladies as my role models to smash some goals in 2019! 

What is your opinion on the future leaders of the world?

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Office Of My Dreams

When we moved into our first home, I didn't know where to start! I could barely believe we were able to get financing so quickly. Sometimes, I guess the universe likes to drop some good luck into your lap every now and then.



I have always wanted an office in all of the houses we have lived in over the years. I just never had an extra room to make that happen. With a son and a daughter, all of the rooms were taken up by kids and we surely could not afford more bedrooms than we needed. Now, I have enough rooms to have my office and a guest room for when they come visit!



After we finished the bedroom, living room, and guest room, I could finally start on my office! I started with the rug and went from there. I had a great time painting my desk (it needed it). I've always wanted one of these cube shelves with removable storage bins. I have so many cords to things that I have to keep and those bins are perfect for keeping them handy. 


One of the essentials I definitely need is a space heater. January and February are the worst. Add that on top of my feet always being cold, I was glad New Air reached out to ask if I'd review their portable heater! I have worked with them a few times before so I knew they would be great. No more cold feet! 





I liked the heater so much that when they asked if I'd like to review a Limited Edition Pepsi Mini Fridge, I accepted happily. When I first started thinking about an office, I didn't really think I'd need any appliances, but I was wrong! It's so convenient for when company comes over as well. I drink a lot of soda (it's my only vice) so a full beverage cooler equals a very happy me!




I put some decorative things up (my husband spoiled me this holiday season)  and I think it's just about ready. Maybe I can actually finish that book this year. I was hoping to publish by the end of last year, but life happens! January is the month of setting goals and mine is to definitely focus more on work. Once I get a printer and a desk chair, it will be perfect. I started out with no idea of what I really wanted for my office, to making the perfect office space just for me. 

GOAL: By March of 2019, finish my office. Done, January 2019!





I am considering sash windows for our next project: WINDOWS. But, that is still months away. I love the windows in our house, but they really need to be modernized. It's like watching money fly right out the window every time I turn the heat or ac on! We wanted to focus on the essential (meaning cheaper) things first, though and I'm so glad we did!

How would your dream office look? What are your office appliance essentials? Do you have a current project? Tell me about it in the comments!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

A New Game For Fashion Lovers: Lady Popular

I have a confession to make.

My name is Stephanie and I L O V E mobile games. 

Oh, I've played them all. Farm games, Time Management games, there's even a Sims game, and you can bet I've played it.  My favorite mobile games are the fashion games. I love being able to dress up virtual paper dolls as I wait in line while running errands.

I was searching for a new fashion game when I was invited to try Lady Popular! I couldn't wait!



Lady Popular falls under three categories: dress up, time management, and simulation. When you first sign in, you're greeted by Emma and asked for your player name. You can pick from one of the hairstyles, eye brows, skin color, and smile and you're ready to play! 



Emma is your guide through the game and gives you your challenges. Your first challenge will be to go to city and find the beauty salon. In the next challenge, you must go to the mall and find a new outfit.




Once you've found the mall, you get to try on and purchase a new outfit.






The more style points you get, the more things you can purchase! Every challenge comes with certain points (style, fashion, generosity, charity, creativity, devotion, etc) that you must build up to advance to the next level. 



After you have assembled your perfect outfit, makeup, and hairstyle, you are ready to participate in a challenge with another player!



Once a player is found, you are ready for your duel. So far, I've won all of my duels so I don't know what happens if you don't win. After you win the challenge, you keep checking your popularity bar to see what points you need to build up for the next round.



I am thoroughly loving Lady Popular and I hope you like it as well. Use this link right here to sign up (you can play on your mobile OR desktop) and get 40 diamonds for free! There is also a great forum where you can find tips and tricks from other players.  Let me know how you like it in the comments below!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Orange Theory Fitness Center Grand Opening In Greenville, NC

Here's something that I never thought I would do: I attended a fitness grand opening class on Tuesday!



Maybe it's the beginning of a new year, or finding out my cholesterol is WAY too high, or because I was working on losing weight after healing a broken leg and hit my plateau and got frustrated, but when I received the invite to cover the grand opening of Orangetheory Fitness in Greenville, NC on Tuesday I accepted right away!  

The Orangetheory of fitness is a science based, FULL body workout that uses technology to measure performance so members can see that they are improving. During a 60 minute class, the target is at least twelve minutes in the orange zone. After twelve minutes in the orange zone, your metabolism gets a boost and keeps burning calories for the entire length of the 36 hour recovery period afterwards. 



And, you better believe I'm still feeling it today.

You aren't alone through your workout. You get to participate in a class with a bunch of other folks because, this workout is really for everyone. Your coach is your guide through the different workouts. Having the coach also makes this workout incredibly fun! 


I arrived at the Orangetheory Fitness studio inspired and ready to learn about this class. They set me up with my OTbeat , asked a few questions about past injuries, current fitness regimen, and what my goals are. 




Ater a quick tour of the facilities, which includes showers, a blow out bar, and lockers, I met our coach, Toni! Toni was my favorite! The girl is F I T and ready to get you fit, too. After an awesome pep-talk as a group, we walked into the gym. I set my eyes upon my old nemesis

So we meet again...TREADMILL...

and got ready to begin. Toni told us exactly how the workout would go and what to expect. We found our stats on the monitor above as she ran through how to work the equipment, demonstrated exactly how to do each exercise, and assigned us our numbers that would correspond with the machine we would be using. Toni turned the music up and away we went!

Toni, my coach

My first machine was the rower. I actually like this one because I am focusing so much on my arms lately. After 3 minutes, we were on the floor with weights. We ran through three different exercises: 8 reps of lower ab leg kicks, 12 reps of goblet squats (which are now known in my mind as the DEVIL because OMG), and 8 lateral arm raises. Next, it was on the treadmill as I started to feel it. After treadmill time it was back to the rower, and then I was really feeling it. On the monitor it read that I had got myself into the orange zone! More floor exercises with the 8, 12, 8 reps again. A big push on the treadmill and just like that it was time for cool down! I hadn't even realized an hour had gone by! We got a complete rundown of our workout from Toni with suggestions and how many times a week she'd like to see us in a class.

FINAL VERDICT

I had a blast! The class theme for the day was endurance and they weren't kidding. I really, really liked the quick change up of exercises then machines. Everything was super simple to follow along with and it was fun meeting other ladies in the class (at least I wasn't the only beginner!). I felt motivated and didn't get bored, as I had found myself getting with my normal routine. Two days later, I feel amazing. I took a break on Wednesday, even though I wasn't nearly as sore as I imagined I would be, and actually got up today ready to hit my old routine! Toni suggested that I come for 3 to 4 days a week and I love that schedule because I really feel like I could stick to it. Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY. 

The Orangetheory Fitness Center of Greenville, NC is open everyday from 5am to 8pm. You can find them at 518 Greenville Blvd. Suite D in Greenville, right by the Greenville Mall. There are also locations across the United States so click here to find one in your own area. Tell them Steph sent you!

Have you visited an Orangetheory Fitness? I'd love to know how you liked it!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Holiday Hangover

How was your holiday? Mine was exhausting.



I had a great visit with all of my family and caught up on so much that I don't think my brain has started to function properly again. It's been rough trying to get back into the swing of things but I was suddenly revived today when I realized I hadn't spent any of my gift cards yet.

SIGH. I guess I have to shop again. Darn.



So, it was off to DealSpotr once again to find some awesome deals! I found one right away and jumped on it! Right now for their grand opening TotallyFab.us is offering 25% off sitewide! TotallyFab is a ladies fashion website that has, well, just about everything! I am a self-confessed T-shirt hoarder so that's exactly where I went first. I couldn't decide between



or


So, the logical thing to do would be to buy both, right? Don't worry, that's totally what I did.

I moseyed on over to the home decor section and lost.my.mind.


I don't think I'm ever going to get tired of decorating our new home. It feels so adulty. Like real fully grown adults live here and it's not a Lord Of The Flies free-for-all of toys, clothes, and JUNK everywhere. An adulty house, with adulty stuff. Talking about adulty things over adulty food. Yep. 


Anyway, don't forget to put the code STEPHSTEB in at checkout on DealSpotr to get your 25% off! I'd love to know what you liked and/or bought!

Are you recovering from the holiday hangover yet?

Friday, January 4, 2019

Why You Need A Mentor

When you started your first serious job, did you have someone that you learned the most from? Did someone help you out in your career path, and you consistently went to them for advice? Do you still seek them out for advice?

That's your mentor.

In many different professions, mentors are an important part of what makes a business great. I had a mentor when I first decided to quit law and get serious about my life and work. My mentor talked me into pursuing my writing, and helped me with so many decisions along the way. I found my mentor's advice so useful that I still keep in contact with him today, to still ask for advice and what he thinks about certain choices I have.

He is invaluable. Priceless.

Matt Redhawk has been an entrepreneur, an executive producer, a philanthropist, and most importantly, a mentor.

Matt Redhawk has had success in multiple ventures and his main priority is to help families become self-sufficient by teaching them to live off the grid. Some great photos of people living their simple life off the grid by Parker Michels-Boyce with The Washington Post can be found by clicking here. Redhawk also wrote Drought And Dreams: Stories of Self-Reliance During America's Darkest Times, a project that came about from his studies of The Great Depression. It's great and full of information! He wants everyone to have easy access to the supplies they need to be prepared for anything. His inspiration came from his own experience of living in the mountains in Northern Idaho. The more self sufficient you become, the more confidence you have in yourself. This helps you work through any critical problems that may arise on your own.

Matt’s dedication to the preparedness movement has led to him becoming a prominent authority within the community. In recent years, he has produced several movies. His first movie, Radioflash, showed what it could be like to live and survive after a natural disaster or other disruptive event. The incredible success of this movie led to him creating Home, a brand-new short movie touching on similar subjects.

He always has his hands in numerous projects, but he's never too busy to mentor up and coming entrepreneurs and philanthropists! He is based in Salt Lake City, but does a lot of work in Northern Idaho. 

Mentors are invaluable and can help you grow as an entrepreneur and philanthropist. When you first start out in any industry, it's always nice to meet someone who knows the ropes. The resources and help you receive from your mentor are inestimable and should help you with anything that may come up for years to come. Mentorship is a great way to put your best foot forward and focus on the future of your venture.  I know I wouldn't have been able to make it without my mentor!

Who is your mentor? How did they help you? Tell me about your mentor in the comments below!