I just finished up with my interview with Brianne Heslop an amazing wife, mother, and special needs educator. She does so much for everyone else and always greets everyone with a smile. However things were not always so light and shiny for Brianne and she has contemplated suicide a couple times and even attempted it once. Join me in this in depth interview about her life, struggles, and how she has overcome her darkness.
This subject has been heavy on my heart for quite sometime now as the suicide rate especially amongst teens has grown quite rapidly. When this year started I was asked to speak at suicide awareness function in Spokane and I wasn’t sure exactly how I would handle it because in my business I focus on positivity and happiness and that was when I realized that I could really make a difference and really help people who were suffering from depression and sadness. I could help them leave the darkness behind and find the light that they truly are. Since then I have been on a mission to help spread this word to everyone because the most important relationship we have in life is the one we have with ourselves. I started making little postcards and leaving them everywhere I go to help spread the word as well as the prevention hotline phone number.
This week on Thursday June 21st I will be doing a live video with Brianne Heslop who is an amazing woman that has beat her darkness and found her light in life. Brianne has contemplated suicide not only once but twice in her life and has found a way to push forward and find her light.
Summer is here and you’re ready to get some sun and have some fun until then you realize that almost everything cost money, and in some cases, it cost more now. I know there has been a time when I waited to plan my summer stuff until the last minute just to find out that everything was already booked, or cost way more than I thought it would. Eek!!! No one wants that, so my first advice is never wait until the last minute because everything will be gone, or the price will be super high. I plan everything in advance from romantic vacations with my hunky hubby to family trips. I plan at least a year in advance in order to save money and get a good spot. Yes, I have our Christmas Trip already planned and booked as well as our vacation for June of 2019.
Now I am not saying you have to go that extreme but the sooner the better because once the weather is warmer you will find that you are not the only one who has been going stir crazy all winter and the availability at places is slim to none. Last year we went on a camping trip to Forks Washington, (yes, the one from Twilight), and we did a group camping trip with some friends who had booked it the year before. We fell in love with this place and went to book for the next year and it was already sold out. Which reminds me I should make a reservation for next year if there are any spots left. Not all places are like this, but the good ones usually are. Hotel will raise their prices because they know that people will pay them. Gas prices go up and the whole nine yards.
Don’t worry though because I have put together a list of 10 money saving tips for summer that will help you out. I have included the video here and for those of you are would rather read then watch the list is below just for you.
Two for One!
When going on an outing such as golf remember to look at their website for specials. A lot of times places like this will have a two for one deal and you can save money. There is no reason to spend more than you have to.
Yes, there are still plenty of things to do in the summer that wont cost you anything. Go to the beach or for a hike on a new trail, site see at your own city because you will be surprised at what you what you find. Take it from me I love in a small town and every now and then my hubby and I will head down to our favorite coffee stand and will sit outside with our drink while we see what’s new around town. The only cost here is the money for our drinks and we spend some alone time together. Win Win… Another option is check out your local library and see what kind of summer programs they have going because those wont cost you anything either. You can see some great things there.
Eating out Deals
Yes, eating out will cost you money but there are ways to save when you do that as well for instance when you go out to each consider splitting a meal with someone. Restaurant portions are always bigger then we need so why not share the food and save some money. I remember one time my hunky hubby and I went to Red Robin for lunch and we got a burger with fries and a cup of soup. We shared the food and with my Red Robin loyalty card I got the soup for free. We ended up spending around $13.00 for the meal and that includes a 15% tip to the waitress. Now that is what I call a good lunch.
How much is too much?
This also goes back to the eating out and saving money. A lot of times we make the mistake of thinking we are hungrier than we are, or the menu looks so good we go a little crazy. I am sure you can remember a time when you went out to eat and when the bill came it was about $50 more then you thought it would be. EEK!!! It all comes down to those extras and you have to watch on this because waiters have gotten really good about slipping things in that you wouldn’t think would cost extra. Every time my husband goes to breakfast at Denny’s he ends up adding on about $5 extra dollars to his breakfast because when the waiter asked if he wants cheese or onions in his hash browns he doesn’t think about it, so make sure to ask if there is an extra charge for something before nodding and saying yes. The best way to do this is to try and plan your meal before you get there. Things like appetizers and desserts can add an extra $5.00 or more to your bill. If your hungry instead of an appetizer maybe consider adding soup or salad to your meal. This way you only spend a couple dollars more and you still get it before the meal. I also suggest eating a little something before you go out to eat so you don’t feel like you’re starving.
Yes, this falls under the same category as the others, but drinks can add quite a bit to a meal ticket as well. Most people wont even look at the cost of a drink as they sit down and order what sounds good. Well the next time you are in a restaurant take a look at the menu before you order. If the waiter is standing there waiting for your drink order, then just tell them you would like water for now. This gets them to walk away but also to know you may still want something. Then look at the menu so you can see. Most places are charging around $3 for a soda anymore which might not sound like a lot but if everyone gets a soda by the end of the meal you have added on a nice chunk of change to the bill that you were not calculating. Even coffee has jumped up in price so make sure you look at it before you order. My suggestion if you must drink something other than water maybe share this item as well. My husband often gets a soda and I want some I will take some drinks off of his and it works out because most places offer free refills on these types of drinks. I like to stick to water with lemon and I can have as much as I want and no extra charge on my bill. If you’re looking for alcohol, then be careful on these because places will way over charge. I recommend picking up a bottle of wine and drinking it at home or on the beach with your people.
Now I know a lot of people hate dealing with coupons or they are embarrassed to use them but let me tell you that the reason coupons exist is because these places want you to use them. You can find great deals on places such as Groupon and more but if you don’t want to deal with coupons up front then go with a place such as Ibotta. This app is great and its awesome because all you have to do is save your receipt at the end of your outings. Then when you get home go through Ibotta and see what deals there are, and they will give you your money back. I have been using Ibotta for over a year now and I have gotten around $100 back. By the way if you sign up for Ibotta please let them know I referred you. My referral code is naqbxyn. Also, be sure to check out Facebook pages for specials that places are offering. Remember how I mentioned the two for one deals those are a huge way to save so look and see what is going on before you go in.
Now that is it warmer out think about riding your bike or walking to your destination to save on gas money. In the summer months gas prices always go way up because people are traveling more and using their toys such as boats and jet skis and so they need gas. This is smart on a business point but not helpful for people like you and me. If walking isn’t an option, then talk to your friends and consider a car pool or a trade such as you buy them coffee and they take you to the coffee stand. You get the idea. This is the same thing when taking a vacation because prices are different during the summer months. For instance, this summer my husband and I are going to San Francisco for our anniversary and normally we drive but because of gas prices being so high right now it was actually cheaper for us to fly there instead. We made sure we got a hotel right in the center of town and close to the Warf, so we can walk everywhere and there is a shuttle included in the room price to take us to and from the hotel.
A lot of times in the summer people want to take vacations but with the cost of gas and the high prices for hotels I recommend camping. One of my best friends flies to Hawaii every summer and camps on the beaches there. This saves her from spending a ton of money on hotels. You don’t have to go so far but this is an example of saving money. I love to camp on the beach or at least close enough to wake up and see it and depending on where you go sometimes you can camp for as little as $10 a night.
Another great way to save money in the summer is to suspend your gym membership until fall. The weather is great and there are a ton of activities that you can do outside to keep you exercising so why waste your money at the gym especially if you are not going. Use that money for some summer fun and pick it back up in the fall.
Yes, I did just stick those two words together, but I will explain why. One thing I am asked a lot is “What can we do as a couple that won’t cost a lot of money?” This is a good question because you want to get your couple time in, but you don’t want to break the bank. During the summer there are a ton of runs and walks out there for a number of different charities that you can join. The entry fee is usually pretty minimal and its for a great cause. The fun part is you two can train together and do it together. You can even make it fun and decorate yourself for the cause and go all out. There a ton of other great and low-cost things to do as a couple but you will have to read about those in my Thrifty Traveler Book for couples that comes out in 2018.
I hope this helped you with some fun summer stuff and to save some money in the process.
Hey everyone, I have been thinking a lot lately about parenting and the things our kids say and do. I think sometimes we get so busy trying to be the perfect parent and running our kids from one place to another that we forget to enjoy our children. I have seven sons all together ranging from ages 18-6. I have the 3 that I gave birth to and the 1 that God brought me as a miracle to my 3 stepsons so I have seen and heard a lot of stuff. Sometimes it’s cute and funny and other times a little disturbing. However as I sit back and watch my children grow up I realize how precious this time is. I am just as guilty as any parent and I get so busy with all the boys that I sometimes forget to sit back and take a breath and just enjoy their company.
At the beginning of this year I made myself a vision board which is something I do every year and one of the biggest things I added on there was… to spend more quality time with my children. I don’t want to look back once they are all grown up and realize the only memories I have is that I made a great cold lunch. I want to remember that we went to the beach and on hiking trips and sometimes spent last Saturday’s binge watching our favorite shows. I want to know that my children experienced life with me and didn’t just watch me live it.
This is me with one of my sons at a St Patrick’s Day show he played at it with his band Chaotic Shadows.
Being a parent isn’t easy and figuring out how to be a good parent as well sane is not an easy task. Now granted I may not be the kind of parent that you agree with or want to be anything like because I am not one of those moms that think everything has to be perfect. In fact I am far from perfect, I have made tons of mistakes as a mom and like everyone else I have had to pick myself up and keep going because being a parent is one of the best rewards in life.
Remember that parenting is hard and sometimes we don’t always have the best role models growing up. I love my parents to death but there are many things I have done differently as a parent then they did, and I am sure my kids will feel the same way about me. That’s is ok it just means that with each generation they are growing into better and stronger parents and I am ok with it. My focus now is just enjoying my silly kids and everything they have to offer. Which brings me to what happened this last weekend with one of my twins. This last Saturday was crazy as one of my stepsons was turning 8 years old and we were doing his birthday party down at the local park.
As you can imagine just like most birthday parties there is always things that go wrong or get mixed up. You know what I mean you forget to buy tape to wrap the presents and your scrounging around for any gift bag you can find all while asking yourself “why did I wait til the last minute to do this?” Maybe the person who told you over and over again that they couldn’t make the party showed up and brought 4 extra people with them that you start to worry there isn’t enough food left, and what the hell happened to rsvp people? Ahhhh… tI have done so many birthday parties that I feel like I am a pro by now, so why did I forget to bring a knife to cut the cake? I am wondering the same thing lol. Anyway before the party started I ran to the store and took one of my seven year old twins with me for a little mommy and me time. Now this child I have is hilarious and ask the funniest questions so I am never sure what is going to come out of his mouth. He is also a smaller version of my oldest son so I feel like I have a sequel going on in my house lol. My oldest son was also one of those kids who spouted off things you didn’t expect a young child to say.
Anyway we head to the store and grab a few things and on the way home my sons sees a yard sale sign. He gets super excited and is like “mommy is there a yard sale around?” I replied “yes honey there was one down town.” He gets even more excited and says “yay I want to go to it because I want to get a new pair of socks.” I couldn’t help but laugh out loud and ask him why he wanted to buy socks from a yard sale. He just looked at me like the answer was so obvious. It still cracks me up that the first thing he thought of was socks when he saw a yard sale sign and of course I will be telling this story for years.
A picture of us playing around. You can see the look on his face. I see this all the time lol.
He definitely made my spirits lift that day and I forgot about the stress from a birthday party and that the fact that it was trying to rain when we were having the party outside. I just laughed and went with the flow and it turned out to be one of the easiest parties I have ever thrown. Makes me wonder if stressing out before is what makes the parties stressful… haha… yep there it is lol.
Always remember to cherish your children while they are little because they don’t stay that way very long.