Daily Schedules for Kids (with tips for ADHD Family Members)

Recently, I posted our daily schedule for school days on Instagram.

Because the littler kiddo is still learning to read, I do a combination of words and pictures. I find that it also helps as sometimes when kids become disregulated, reading can be a little too much for our brains.

The Afternoon/Night section doesn’t have times because while bedtime is at a fixed time, it is important to grant the kids some freedom in the afternoons to relax and decompress from school. After being “on” all day at school, I like to give them 30 minutes to an hour after school to have a snack and relax without any kind of demands put on them.

There are of course times when that is not possible, for example when we have appointments immediately after school. Having a schedule for them to see really helps them organize and be aware.

Having two neurodivergent kiddos, it’s important to have visual reminders of schedules, family rules, appointments, etc. around the house. Each kid has a calender in room that is updated monthly with upcoming appointments, days off school and holidays. Updating those each month is something I do the first day of each month. I use stickers in addition to writing to help remind the kids of upcoming events on the calenders.

With Neurodivergency sometimes comes what we call “losing time”. The concept of time can be hard for kids to grasp, regardless of their neurodivergency. Another way that we help keep the kids on schedule is to use the old theater trick where we give them a one hour “call”, a 30 minute call, a five minute call, and then a time to go call. Grown ups call out, “One hour until X”, and the kids answer back, “Thank you one hour!” Making them repeat the amount of time they have left until we leave or transition activities puts it in their mind that whatever they are doing/playing/watching will come to an end.

Talk Back: I’d love to hear about the tips and tricks you use to keep your family on schedule!

 

 

 

April is Financial Literacy Month! Budgeting and Savings Tips

Today I learned that April is Financial Literacy Month. Which is just in time for tax day (which has been extended this year, but it traditionally April 15th).

One of my favorite topics for this blog is how to save money. So I thought I’d put together a post with links to some of my best ways to save money and throw out some tips and tricks that work for me.

Last year I wrote a three-part series about making a practical budget that a family can adhere to and how to get some extra help if you need it. This was written during the pandemic, so there is a lot of information and resources especially for those feeling the financial panic that many felt during the height of the pandemic last year.

If you already have a budget or feel that your spending is out of control and you aren’t to the point yet where you feel that you need a budget, I did a series of posts in late 2019 about how to reign in the out-of-control spending.

  • Part One- Start in the Kitchen
  • Part Two- Entertainment Some of these tips may not be applicable right now, as so many public places are still closed or have limited services (Like gyms and libraries).
  • Part Three- Shopping Around to Save. Internet, cell phones, health insurance (and that’s just three examples), a lot of times you can save money with a few clicks or a phone call.

Keeping an eye on your Credit Score is another great way to be financially literate. I wrote this morning about Credit Sesame, which I personally have used for at least 9 years.

And finally, if you feel like you need a little more help than the posts above to get a handle on your finances, check out Simplifi by Quicken. To celebrate Financial Literacy Month, Simplifi is offering a 30-day FREE Trial of Simplifi by Quicken.

  • Simplifi by Quicken was named the Best Budgeting App & Tool by the New York Times’ Wirecutter!
  • The app helps you stay on top of your money in less than 5 minutes per week.
  • After your free 30-day trial save 38% off the regular price. That’s $29.99 billed annually for the first year. For the cost of one lunch date, you can have a year of budgeting at your fingertips.

Talkback: What are your tips and tricks to saving money and staying on budget?

Free Credit Score and Monitoring with Credit Sesame!

April is Financial Literacy Month. Part of being financially literate or aware of your financial situation is to make sure that your credit report is correct. If you haven’t taken a look at your credit report lately,  it’s time to give your finances a fresh look and get your credit in tip-top shape.

Did you know that the recent FTC study found that over 20% of Americans or 40 Million credit reports have reporting errors that are costing consumers money in credit card interest rates and loans? These reports aren’t always indicative of something nefarious like your personal data being stolen, sometimes information on your credit report may belong to someone with a similar name as yours, or someone with a social security number close to yours. Whatever the case, it’s important to check your credit report once a year at a minimum, and make sure it’s correct.

Start by making sure that your credit report does not contain erroneous information that could be impacting your credit score. Keep tabs on your credit report activities and your score by signing up for free credit monitoring and score services like Credit Sesame, so that you can easily protect your financial good standing.

Credit Sesame is 100% free and offers-

  • Receive daily credit monitoring alerts
  • Get your FREE Credit Score Monthly
  • Limit ID Theft Damage
  • Find Potential Errors Sooner
  • Access to Better Loans and  that Can Save You Money

What are you waiting for? Click here to register for free in under 2 minutes. You’ll get your free credit score and a complete view of your credit and loans. Plus, when you turn on the Credit Monitoring feature, you’ll be notified of changes to your credit profile, along with $50K identity theft insurance and live agents to help you restore your identity in case of theft. All for free. All in one place.

Virtual Sleep Well Yoga with Jennie Olson Six

My friend and Yogini, Jennie Olson Six is offering an awesome, relaxing 30 minutes of unwinding movement and the rest of the time is a restful relaxation.

You can do this on your mat or in bed and then drift off to sleep!

Most of us miss our pre-pandemic exercise time. I don’t know about you, but I miss the quiet relaxation that yoga provides. It is impossible for me to do yoga in a house full of people (and CAT). Interruptions (mom mom mom mom mooooooom), cat trying to sleep on my mat, even the Amazon Guy knocking on the door- OY VEY.

The best part of this class is that it fits every budget-By Donation or Free
Zoom Link
Jennie has some great tips and more information on other workouts and yoga opportunities for FREE here.

Get your Free Credit Score and More With Credit Sesame!

Recently, we refinanced our home. Our lender was super impressed that our credit scores are so high (oh hi 800 club). One of the ways I’ve been able to keep my credit score so high is that I use Credit Sesame to monitor my scores with all three agencies.

I can check to see if there is anything on there that doesn’t belong and clear up any issues as soon as I see them.

Did you know that the recent FTC study found that over 20% of Americans or 40 Million credit reports have reporting errors that are costing consumers money in credit card interest rates and loans?

Make sure that your credit report does not contain erroneous information that could be impacting your credit score. Keep tabs on your credit report activities and your score by signing up for free credit monitoring and score services like Credit Sesame, so that you can easily protect your financial good standing.

* Receive daily credit monitoring alerts
* Get your FREE Credit Score Monthly
* Limit ID Theft Damage
* Find Potential Errors Sooner
* Get Access to Better Loans and Save Money

And unlike those “free” credit report offers that you see on TV with the catchy jingles,Credit Sesame is 100% free. You don’t have to enter your credit card number.

Good Credit is important- it’s the gatekeeper to so many things in life! Good credit gives you better access to better APR’s for credit cards, mortgages, car loans, lines of credit.

DIY Cloth Masks- Links and Tips

There are a lot of patterns and videos floating around the internet for non-medical personnel to make their own masks to keep safe in public when we have to go out for necessities.

These masks don’t filter all dangerous pathogens, but they are a good way to remind ourselves not to touch our faces, and keep our germs to ourselves.

MyBluprint has patterns and info here. There are several options/patterns, including a pattern for those who cannot or do not sew. MyBluprint is also hooking us up and staving off boredom by extending their FREE online crafting classes until 4/16/2020.

92393442_10157973738991061_532184793442418688_nIt’s a great way to learn some new crafts, or just watch the videos and plan for later.

I’ve been making masks for family and friends who are essential employees, you can see some of the pics of me making silly faces and modeling a couple different ones here on Instagram. *Warning*- Quarantine hair in the pics.

I used the pattern from Kaiser Permanente, which you can see here. There is a printable pattern on page 11 of the PDF.

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This fabric came from Dollar Tree!

Here are a few helpful hints that I’ve discovered in making over 20 masks this week:

  • Make a few masks per person. They need to be washed after each wearing in hot water.
  • If you don’t have any fabric in your home, you can use cotton bandanas, old sheets or pillowcases. The fabric needs to be tightly woven like cotton pillowcase fabric. Avoid sheer and or gauzy fabric.
  • Elastic is very hard to find these days, so I used new elastic hair ties, like these in the kids masks (I made the ear loop masks for them). I got hair ties at Dollar Tree (some Dollar Tree locations have precut quilters cotton fabric too). The majority of the masks I made have ties and are for adults. We are keeping the kids out of public as much as possible.
  • If you want to make the masks a little more protective put a layer of shop towel or interfacing between the layers of mask. I couldn’t find either at the time, so I skipped this.

I’d love to see what your DIY masks look like! Leave a comment. If you need masks but don’t sew, there are a lot of local seamtresses and costumers that are out of work right now who are making masks to help pay their bills.

Keeping Sickness at Bay & $5 off Mucinex Coupon!

I haven’t been posting a lot of coupons lately. Either they are low value, or they aren’t for products that I think y’all would like. But, check out what popped up in my inbox this morning: Mucinex $5 OFF Coupon here.

A lot of people are battling the winter ickiness, and that includes mucus (eww). When you join Mucus Fighters Plus, Mucinex® will email you an exclusive $5 coupon and other special offers, plus tips for putting mucus in its place.

Here are a few tips to keep sickness at bay:

  1. Wash your paws! Seriously. Soap, warm water, 30 seconds of vigorous rubbing, rinse, dry. Sing Happy Birthday or count to time yourself.
  2. Throw away your used paper towels, used tissues, and put dirty dishes that have come into contact with your mouth into the sink. Don’t leave your germs around to share. In this case, sharing isn’t caring.
  3. If someone in your home is sick, wipe down surfaces they touch one a day (or more frequently). We use Clorox wipes. you can also use Lysol Spray.
  4. Change out your toothbrush! Bacteria can live on your toothbrush. Change it out once you are feeling better.
  5. If you don’t feel well, it’s ok to take it easy. Skip non-essential obligations. Your friends and family will thank you for not spreading illness.
  6. To piggyback on #5- REST. It helps you get well faster. Sleep. Take a shower. Read a book. Have a low key movie night with the kids and serve a dinner of snacks on a blanket in the living room.

Talkback: What are your tips to recovering from the winter sickies?

10 Hair-Saving Tips for Summer!

It’s still summer here in San Diego for a few more months (does it really ever ends??), and I thought this post from Cheryl Locke at Madison Reed is perfect for those of us who may be spending more time outside, in the water, or just having fun adventures and want to keep our locks looking luxurious.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may be compensated (it’s a super small amount!) if you make a purchase after clicking through the links. You can read my Disclosure policy here.
Bright and warm days are ahead. Like our favorite season, summer hair should be effortless in theory. In actuality, you’re battling major beauty bummers like frizz, brassiness, dullness, and sunburn.

How to deal? We’ve rounded up the best defenses–some as simple as just adding water. The sun’s out and fun’s in. Here’s how to beat the heat beautifully.
Madison Reed - Salon Quality At Home Hair Color

  1. Wet hair. It’s simple and effective. Before taking a dip in the pool, drench hair in fresh water. Like a sponge, your strands will soak up water, preventing chlorine and chemicals from penetrating cuticles.
  2. Lock in moisture. Before you take a swim, work in a hair oil; it seals hair from chlorine and the drying effects of the sun. Plus, oil provides a bit of weight to prevent flyaways and frizzing.
  3. Wear a cap. We’re confident you can pull off this look. If you take frequent dips, you’ll want to embrace a hair cap’s retro charm. The additional barrier does wonders on keeping chlorine out.
  4. Rinse off immediately. After pool-time, prevent chemical build-up (and green hair) with a quick rinse. Brownie points if you use a clarifying shampoo followed by an extra-emollient conditioner to bring hair back to its original shine and bounce.
  5. Deep condition. A shea-butter-rich treatment is your best anti-frizz secret. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention. It keeps hair more manageable and less tangled even in salty-windy beach conditions.
  6. Use an SPF. Most of us dutifully slather sunblock all over our face and body, but we often forget our hair and scalp. Don’t make that newbie blunder. UV rays not only fade hair color, they also dry out hair, cause split ends, and weaken hair’s elasticity. Spritz on a liquid SPF (or DIY by combining 2 teaspoons of SPF lotion with one cup of water). For additional protection, summerize products with UV-fortified formulas. Psst: Madison Reed’s shampoo and conditioner come with UV-shielding lupine flower.
  7. Keep hats on. A floppy brim is not just the it-accessory of the season, it offers protection against the color-fading effects of sun.
  8. Skip the blow dryer. For natural curls and waves, just go with it. Work with, not against curls; straight styles that require flat irons and blow-drying will fry ends, deplete moisture, and end up giving you more pouf than sleekness.
  9. Pull it back. Your best line of defense against the pouf is often a sleek bun or topknot.
  10. Don’t touch your hair. Except for occasional flirty hair flips, excessive handling of your hair only causes frizz.

Post courtesy of Cheryl Locke for Madison Reed.

Madison ReedMadison Reed offers salon-quality, handcrafted hair color delivered to your door on your schedule! Clear instructions, all the extras you may need and fabulous results really set Madison Reed apart from other home hair color options! I love the conditioner– smells great and keeps my hair super soft and shiny!

What I love is that you start with a Hair Profile (kinda like a quiz) and it helps you find a color that you’ll love.

Complimentary Make-Up Services at Sephora inside JC Penney!

Screen Shot 2019-07-06 at 10.17.10 PM.pngSephora Insiders- Check your email for this sweet offer, a free sample sized Too Faced Lip Injection lip plumper. Offers of freebie change frequently, so keep your eyes peeled for different deals!

Most Sephora inside JC Penney locations have special events with free sample offers, or if you can’t make one of the events, stop by any time for a free 5-minute or 15-minute minis where you can learn new beauty tips and application tricks!

5-minute minis include:

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15-minute minis include:

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Another thing I love about Sephora in JCP is select locations offer Color iQ– You can get your skin scanned to reveal the most scientifically precise foundations, concealer, and lip matches FOR FREE!

If you are looking strictly for skincare, take advantage of the free Moisture Meter! This tool gives a free, instant hydration reading- plus skincare picks just for you!

Fine Print: †Receive a trial size, free with any merchandise purchase of $25 or more at Sephora inside JCPenney stores only. Must be a registered Beauty Insider to redeem.

I love checking out Sephora inside JCP. It’s a great way to stay on trend with cosmetics and skincare and check out colors in person. It’s how I learned all about my favorite Primer- Tatcha The Silk Canvas (perfect for us with dry skin).

FREE Credit Score and Savings Advice from Credit Sesame!

Knowing your credit score is important. Having good credit can help you in several aspects of life:

Good credit gives you better access to better APR’s for credit cards, mortgages, car loans, lines of credit.

Credit Sesame is so much better than some of the other credit report services.

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Getting started with Credit Sesame is easy- just click here! We’ve been using Credit Sesame for over 5 years!