Monday, November 12, 2018

Home Financing Is Easier To Achieve Than You Think

It's easier to finance a home than you think it is. I know, I know. You've heard a billion horror stories from the news, friends, family, your cousin's girlfriend's uncle twice removed. And, you think it's going to be so difficult.

It's not.

We took a hit in 2008, all of us. That alone terrified me and put me off home ownership for many years. Of course, there's also the fact that my husband was in the Navy so we did move around a bit before we settled here. I just truly thought this was a dream that we wanted but would never achieve.
As I always do, I started looking around on the internet to find the answers to my questions. Just reading and browsing around reading about the housing market and how to get a real estate license. I was thinking of taking real estate classes for awhile, but fell into my dream job, writing (and getting paid real money for it!).  I came across bad credit loans in Tampa, which are credit loans for people with bad credit.

To the Google!

I had no idea that you could get a loan if you had bad credit? I mean, isn't bad credit one of the major reasons WHY you are denied a loan? Isn't that how we got into that mess in 2008 to begin with?

So, I read more....

In Tampa, Associates Home Loan is fully aware of your anxiety over these unconventional loans. I spent a lot of time on their website reading about bad credit loans and how all of that works. I wasn't interested in living in Tampa (I'm sure it's lovely), so I started to look into places closer to where I wanted to be and found quite a few!

The credit company I went through is a little different than that one, but it worked out really well for us. We can work on getting our credit together and in a few years refinance through our bank (VA loans, FTW!). The mortgage payment is 1/3 of what we were spending on rent and we've been able to stay on top of everything financially so much easier! I was incredibly skeptical at first, but we've been happily in our very home since July of 2018 and I have no complaints at all with the whole process. I don't miss renting at all, getting to buy all new stuff for your very own home is such an awesome feeling! 

I'm really glad I decided to look into it. It's not something I would have considered before but once I learned everything about it and my financial advisor approved, I was ready! We jumped in with two feet and landed perfectly.

Have you bought a home? What was your experience? Do you have any stories to share about your home finance adventure? Tell me in the comments, below!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Tips For Traveling and Vaping During The Holidays

Today, I'm bringing you a guest post from my vapefam friend, Jessica! She's got some tips for traveling and vaping!

Hi, I'm Jessica! I’m a vape blogger & art student. I love exploring untapped destinations by traveling around the world. In addition to managing my full day job, I’m also passionate about helping the society. You can visit my blog by clicking here: LongHorn Vapor

Can you name three ways to spend your holidays in full bloom? I bet you can!

Most of you would prefer taking your family out on a vacation and others would prefer sitting at home becoming a couch potato.

What we’ve got is something very unorthodox and can be paired up with traveling.
It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s a vape falling from the sky.
Chances are that someone didn’t comply with the rules and regulations regarding vaping on a plane. The lesson here is, whenever you’re carrying your precious bad boy while traveling, there are couple of things you have to get yourself familiar with.
Let’s talk about those things to let them resonate in your mind.
Doughnut Mess With A Cop!
(See what I did there?)

It’s not going to be very pleasant if you are traveling somewhere and not following the law. Each country has its own law and order; hence, you need to be thorough with your research regarding what to carry on plane prior to your flight. Don’t let anything so thin ruin your best vacation.
Have Complete Knowledge About Your Vape

While it is true that vape devices are considered legal when traveling to most countries, chances are that authorities are still going to ask you questions regarding the device. The reason is lack of knowledge about this trendy device among the staff members. Therefore, you should be absolutely prepared to handle those bullets coming your way very smoothly. You can get the light weight and cost effective vape devices and e liquid from the LongHorn online store.

C:\Users\Wasim Tahir\Desktop\vape tips.jpg

Don’t Vape On The Plane
While vaping is considered a much safer and a healthier alternative to smoking, reported by NHS, it is no shocker that you cannot vape on plane. According to The Sun, Easy Jet, Ryanair and British Airways are some of the big names that have banned Vaping on plane. However, you can always carry your device along with you either in your kit or in your handbag. Moreover, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has prohibited carrying such devices in the checked in bags. Though, you can definitely carry these in the carry-on bags.

What’s The Best Way To Pack Your Vape?
‘Cleanliness is the best policy’ for a reason as it saves you from all kinds of hassles that can ruin your trip. If your device isn’t properly cleaned inside out, it can rub itself on other stuff as well. So, after cleaning all the parts of your device, put each component separately in a transparent plastic bag so you can keep an eye. It is very important to be careful about packing and tidiness of your device because while travelling there is always a risk of leakage. And usually the expired e liquids can contaminate your whole travelling kit. Carry fresh or unexpired e liquids and make sure they are sealed in plastic or metal bottles.

Don’t Forget Your Batteries!

Omitting your batteries from your kit can be the biggest mistake of your trip. From packing your gear to explaining to the staff members what vaping is, all of your effort can end in vain. And not to forget, if you don’t have charged batteries, you won’t be able to vape as much you would want to.
Secondly, keep your batteries far away from your vaporizer. If they are connected, you can probably get your battery drained out or damage the device.

Good Manners Wins!

Don’t just go out there blowing vapor on the faces of people. Of course, you can vape in public but make sure you are doing it someplace less crowded. If you are conscious about carrying a larger device like Mi One Starter Kit, consider using sleek and stylish Innokin Endura T18 Starter Kit.

By following these quick tips, you can expect never-ending vape sessions leading to a stupendous trip!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide - Part 3 - Sudara Fashion

I have a wonderful gift to share with you today! Not only is it a wonderful gift, you can feel good about buying it!

Sudara creates jobs for women in India who are at the highest risk or survivors of human trafficking. They pay living wages and provide access to counseling, medical care and resources that empower women to create their own self-sustaining future. Every pair of these Sudara Punjammies are made through living-wage employment by women in India who are at the highest risk or survivors of sex trafficking. Every purchase is an investment in Sudara’s freedom-filled work and empowers women who are working to forge a new life for themselves and their children! Sudara offers beautiful and comfortable clothing with a freedom-filled purpose. Their women’s pajama pants, loungewear and robes are ethically-made in India through living-wage employment programs. Every purchase is helping empower women in India with the resources and skills they need to create a better life for themselves and their family.

They are the absolutely most comfortable jammie pants I have ever had. I ordered a size too big (I love being able to say the clothes I bought were too BIG) but I'm definitely going to grab another pair I saw on the site!

Who doesn't love jammie pants? Who wouldn't love to get jammie pants for a holiday gift?

Everything is 10% off right now, too! So, not only can you give the best holiday gift ever, you can help save someone from human trafficking!

The author seen here in her usual uniform.

Have you started your holiday shopping yet

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide - Part 2 - Shop Til You Drop!

It's fun ones today! 

I found the cutest little online boutique store! It's brand new, only a little over a year old so they don't have a super large inventory, yet. However, the inventory they do have is lovely! 

First, I found the prettiest necklace for my mom

My daughter loves the infinity symbol stuff, so this bracelet is perfect for her!

Then, I found this necklace that my step-sister is going to absolutely love!

They have quite a bit of jewelry to choose from, plus baby clothes and accessories coming soon. My very first grandchild is expected to come in April so I'm definitely going to keep checking back for those baby clothes. I can't wait to see what new pretties they come up with next!

I have a friend who absolutely loves all things hair so when I went searching for her, I decided to see if I could find any deals over on my favorite site, Dealspotr! And you know I got an awesome code for you, too!

A few months ago, I bought a hair mask by KC Professional and really loved it. When I saw that they had deals, I knew immediately that I had to get her this Four Reasons Repair Mist. It contains B5 so it strengthens colored hair while plant extracts restore and rejuvenate it and leave radiant shine. It smells like green apples, too! If you head on over to Dealspotr, just put the code STEPHSTEB in at checkout for 15% off anything on the site!

And that my friends is part 2 of my holiday guide! I'll be having lots more before the holidays get here so check back for more!

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide Part 1 - Trivets!

The holidays are coming! Are you excited? I know I am. It is the first holiday season we'll be spending in our very first house and as I have mentioned before, I have to buy all new stuff! I'm truly sad about it, truly.

Since I have a lot of things I will be buying because ALL of my family will be visiting, I thought I might share with you just in case you were having trouble deciding what to get your family and friends this holiday season. 

I do this for you

I don't know how many of you out there enjoy getting useful gifts, but I know I sure do. Any gift I get that keeps me from spending money is automatically my favorite gift ever! So, these will probably be more useful gifts, but I hope to throw some fun gifts in there as well. 

The very first gift I have to share with you today is this gorgeous set of trivets (otherwise known as hot pads) I found!

I loved the look of these and the price, $8.99 for a set of two! I got mine in a few days ago and love them so far! They have held up under my famous (ok, famous for my family) spaghetti sauce in the giant pot, casseroles, stews, and soups. I am very happy with my purchase and that's why it is number one on my holiday gift guide this year!

I hope to see you back for my next gift guide installment! In the meantime, tell me which family member you always have trouble finding a gift for in the comments below and maybe I can find a good gift for them! Happy holidays! 

Monday, October 29, 2018

What Is Bubbling In My Cauldryn?

Coffee. The answer is always, always coffee.

Thanks, Captain Obvious!

No, that isn't an obvious spelling error. I really do have coffee bubbling in my cauldryn. My Cauldryn battery heated mug!

It is beyond awesome!

The Cauldryn battery heated mug is my new favorite thing in the world that I have been asked to review. This thing is just HANDYYou can keep your hot stuff hot, as well as cook, boil and freeze dry anything in it! With the optional blender attachment, you can even make smoothies in it. It is absolutely perfect for my on the go lifestyle! Never again will I have my tea or coffee go cold. I can have my soups right away, or just heat them up and keep them hot in my cauldryn. The small battery lasts about 10-15 hours while the bigger battery lasts twice as long. You can even carry it onto a plane, as it meets all carry on requirements. 

Don't even get me started on how useful this is going to be for camping/hiking!

I have been using it all week as I have been out and about, getting ready for the good old holiday season. Every sip of my coffee was like I had just poured it and I may or may not have stayed out shopping a little longer than I should have.


And so, because I want everyone to have this awesome mug, I have a $10 off coupon code for you! Please visit and type the code STEPHANIES2018 in at checkout to get your very own. 

Then, come back here and tell me what is bubbling in YOUR cauldryn!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

The Art Of The Deal

We are first time homeowners and it has definitely been...different.

Last year, we were in the same city with our daughter for her first year of college, and then we found our dream house and moved in over last summer. However, we initially thought that we would be moving from there into an RV so before we moved into the tiny apartment in Richmond, I went through an entire two story, three bedroom house full of stuff and either sold what I could or gave away what I couldn't sell, thinking that we would be travelling around in an RV for a few years.

I got rid of everything.

Of course, I packed up all of the important things that you accumulate over a lifetime to put in a safe place for storage, but mainly, if it wasn't important or we couldn't use it in an RV, *poof* gone, buhbye, see ya!

And then, we found our dream house.

It is a great house. I love it here. I would've been seriously upset if we did not get it, but we did and now...

I have to buy all new stuff to fill it with.

Darn. I have to shop!

It's a tragedy, truly.

Once again, it's Dealspotr to the rescue! I have found a truly sweet deal to share! Right now, Overstock Art is having a sale! is an online art gallery specializing in hand painted art with custom framing. I picked this gorgeous 36 x 24 painting Miranda - The Tempest by John William Waterhouse with the beautiful Burgeon Gold Frame

My terrible photography skills do not do this stunning painting justice, apologies!

A picture in my room, so you can see the true size

I would love to know which piece of art you like the best! Just make sure you add the code STEPHSTEB at checkout to get your 30% off everything on the site!
Meanwhile, I will continue on with my arduous task of shopping for more things for the house. I just don't know how I'm going to cope! Truly. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Healing The Scars Of Addiction

This year, I am a full decade sober.

Now, there have been slips and slides during that ten year span and I am not too proud to admit that. However, since January 1, 2009, I have dedicated myself to sobriety.

Every now and then, though addiction comes 'round to punch me in the face again. Just to remind me it's still there...waiting.

Recently, I was sent Healing The Scars Of Addiction by Dr. Gregory L. Jantz with Ann McMurray. I absolutely DEVOURED this book in a day. It was that good and had so much useful information, I think my brain is still humming.

Dr. Jantz actually pioneered "whole person care" thirty years ago by opening The Center - A Place Of Hope. When I say "whole person care" I mean, your entire mental health, physical health, and spiritual health are treated along with your addiction issues.

I have always, always been a strong believer that mental illness and substance abuse/addiction walk tightly hand in hand. Often times, an addiction can begin because a person starts using substances to self medicate away the symptoms of mental illness. For example, if you're anxious all of the time and alcohol calms your nerves and takes that anxiety away, well you've just found a reason to drink any time you feel anxious and so the cycle begins...

Mental Illness and Addiction are totally bros.

Chapters 10: How Can I Put My Life Back Together?, 11: Do I Deserve To Put My Life Back Together, and 12: Who Am I Now?, were especially impactful for me. I would say that those have been the biggest issues in my recovery. For those chapters alone, I can't recommend this book more. It's just a wealth of information that I need in my life and now I have it to go back to any time I feel myself being swallowed by my soul quagmire.

If you find yourself struggling after getting sober or finding your way, I definitely recommend this book. Also, GOOD ON YOU for getting sober and realizing that you have a choice to relieve your pain in constructive ways instead of destructive ways. Your life is a journey and you are walking a good path.

You can find Dr. Jantz book by clicking here. I hope you will find it as absolutely incredible as I did as well! 

I'd love to hear your experiences about addiction and recovery in the comments. Let's chat about it!  

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Something Here

There is something

It whisps out from
between the lips of

There is something

A quiet, sterile
painted gray brick 
in the way but
it weighs less than paper

There is something 

It's the familiar whispers 
on the bare floorboards
as he walks so silent so

purpose driven 
for the fourth time this week

There is something

And it wants to disappear.

Friday, October 12, 2018




It has to be because suddenly I have the softest, most luxurious sheets made by the fine folks at Ghost Bed Sheets.

And, as I've written about before, we all know how much I love my luxury in my bedroom!

I am constantly struggling to find the perfect sheet set that is comfortable, durable, breathable and lightweight. Luckily, the Ghost Bed Luxury sheet sets, a product of GhostBed by Nature's Sleep mattress company (which has excellent reviews from Consumer reports), stepped right up and not only met my expectations, but exceeded them. 

Each set is an unique blend of Supima Cotton and Tencel Fibers that are breathable, lightweight and oh so comfortable. The fitted sheet is awesome because it is made with incredibly tough ends that will NOT pop off! That's my favorite part because I can't tell you how many times the ends of fitted sheet ends have come loose from my bed. They are secure, and believe me, I tested it thoroughly! Wash after wash, they stay soft and get even more comfortable!

The very best thing about your GhostBed sheets is that each comes with a three year warranty and free shipping! There's plenty of colors to choose from so head on over to GhostBed sheets and grab some for yourself. You definitely won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Fitness Is Better With A Buddy

You better believe I have tried anyandeverything under the sun to get my weight and health under control.

I mean, everything.

The problem with all of the things I've tried, I've never really had a accountability buddy to keep me motivated!

Luckily, I have finally found the perfect new program for couples, The FocoBody 360 Plan for couples!

On a daily basis, each participant receives an email containing a daily reminder to access their Precision Nutrition coaching website to review their daily lesson, exercise and habit building reminders. Every week, participants will receive an additional lesson on where to focus and how to leverage their relationship as a couple to support each other in reaching their health goals, while accelerating their success!

You will also receive a monthly 1 to 2 hour coaching session with your mentors, along with 4 webinars to address questions and concerns.

***You will also receive 2 free Apple Watches in order to track your heart rate, exercises, and daily caloric usage.*** This helps the mentors monitor your progress.

If you are interested in learning more, you can find their free ebook here, Gut Matters, that can get you well on your way! My husband I really love it so far and hope you do as well!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Haiku Challenge

One of the hashtags I like to follow on Twitter is the Haiku Challenge. I had some inspiration last night and wrote a few. Enjoy!

The monsters are real They live in our highest house The children see all.

Who hears the soft cry Of the lost soul in the wind? We do, we do, love.

His fecal filled mouth Bloviates and blathers on As we sit captive.

Inspiration comes In the quietness of night Words captivate me.

Standing on the edge I leaned forward and hoped that Wind could catch my fall.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

What Is An Evaporative Cooler?

This was the first question I asked when New Air reached out to me again for product testing.

Seriously, I had no idea what it was.

Fairly quickly, I found that an evaporative cooler is sort of like an air conditioner and fan all in one. It is especially wonderful in dry climates as high humidity areas will render it ineffective. It arrived a few days ago and I have already put it to work!

I love this thing! It is a powerful tower fan as well as an evaporative cooler (2-in-1 FTW!) and it is so quiet! There are many functions that are so easy to configure.

It has an extra large five gallon easily removable tank that you will have to refill less. It has an oscillating fan that has four speeds with 600 CFMs of power with a range of 640 square feet. It's super energy efficient as well since I don't have to have the air conditioning cranking so high while I use it. And, it's portable! On wheels! With a remote! 

My laziness is overjoyed.

The best thing about it, though?
It's going to be absolutely PERFECT for camping/RVing!

I'm going to put it to good use, just as I have the portable ice maker, and have the best camping trips ever! I definitely won't have a problem finding a cool space with a cold drink in those hot desert climates!

Have you ever used an evaporative cooler? What do you think of them?