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Sep 30, 2010

Dear Krissy...

One day I had a writers block and started looking through Mama Kat's blogging prompts.  This was one that jumped out at me.  Of course, it's a few months old, but I don't care! I still wanted to write it!

The prompt was, "Write a letter to the 10 year old you were..."

Dear Ten Year Old Krissy,

As much as you think you have to try to impress others and as much as you think you have to be someone you're not, YOU DON'T!  If people are your friend when you are completely yourself, they're worth your time and they are actually your friend.  If you feel you have to change or impress them, and if they don't like you for who you really are, forget them.  It's not worth your time!

Having low self confidence will scar you for life.  Trust me, I know.  Forget about the "Kick Me" sign on your back and the kid who tried to tie your shoe laces to the desk, that stuff is just a temporary humiliation.  As much as you think your life is going to end when the entire class laughs at you, it won't.  The moment will pass, the day will go on, and when the next day comes there will be something else for them to laugh at.  Kids. Are. Cruel.  You can't let that stuff get to you.  Letting it impact you will make you even more of an easy target.  They bully kids that they know they can get a reaction out of.  It gives them some sort of sick satisfaction to see someone cry.  Be strong, stand up for yourself, and keep your head held high over every bully who tries to put you down.  Bullies are like wild animals, they can smell/sense your fear.

The most important thing is concentrating on school and studying.  Image and how you are perceived to others is the least of your worries.  Dwelling on the negative and thinking of how you can impress people instead of being a dork will just make you slack in class and make your grades go down.  It will also cause you to be depressed.  It's not worth it.  

You're a strong person, even if you don't realize it.  You can overcome the feelings of vulnerability.  You can change your priorities before it's too late.  

The older, smarter, 25 year old you.

Sep 26, 2010

Coffee is needed!

This is how I feel lately!  When I was a sophomore in High School and my English teacher suggested I become a writer, I was excited at the thought of maybe being able to do something exciting for a living. Something that I loved to do and something that I actually wanted to do.  For years that was my aspiration until real life came to bite me in the butt.  Hitting reality, having children and knowing I needed a full time job, I did what I had to do and put writing completely on the back burner.  It wasn't until about a year or so ago, when I started my blog, that I thought about writing again for a side job.  

I recently became a freelance writer for a few different companies and I do love it, don't get me wrong.  It's just not the great exciting job I always fantasized it to be.  It's very time consuming, it's stressful when you get assigned topics that you have to do research on and have to actually write handwritten notes for.  It's hard to write with the distractions of kids, my mom and the background noise and the lack of concentration really puts me on edge.  There are times when I go off like a rocket at anything because I can't think enough to finish writing as quickly as I want to.  I get assigned 4 articles per 48 hour period, which isn't difficult.  I can finish them as quickly as I'd like and get assigned more or I can wait until the past moment to submit them.  Working on a deadline is something that is completely new to me as well.  

It is true that freelance writers work for almost nothing.  The most that I get paid per article is $8 and the least is $5.  Again, it's not that bad.  I make, right now, about $100 extra per week and that helps a lot.  I would ideally love to get more, but I don't know how possible that is with the hecticness of my house and my full time job starting on Monday.  I am, however, determined to keep it at $100 extra per week even when I do start my FT job.

Don't get me wrong, I love writing.  It's important to me and it really helps me when I need something therapeutic, but it can also be a real pain in the ass when I want to sleep and have to reach a deadline! lol

Sep 23, 2010

Get Your Family Moving with PlayStation Move!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of PlayStation(R) Move. All opinions are 100% mine.

PlayStation Move is the latest gaming system in the PlayStation family.  It gives you the most realistic gaming experience with it's ergonomic controller that captures full motion!  PlayStation is known for family fun and it's wide variety of games, which will be no different for this system! 

Now, what would you do if a little genie decided to drop off a PlayStation move at your doorstep?  What would it do to your family and how would it bring you closer?

For myself, I have to say that the PlayStation Move would do wonders for my family.  We have hectic schedules, as I work, my daughter goes to school, we're back and forth with family issues...  Having a gaming system that my family and I can sit down once or twice a week and have a family night with a gaming system that is incredible and so realistic, it would be a welcome relaxation!  Since PlayStation Move is great for the whole family, my girls, my mom and myself can all play it together having fun and BEING ACTIVE!

A lot of kids don't get exercise and love to play video games.  You hear about parents having arguments with their children to get off the gaming systems and go outside to get exercise.  Of course, nothing can replace outside exercise and getting fresh air, but now you won't have to beg your kids to get off the system TO go outside.  Your kids can get exercise by playing the great realistic games that go with PlayStation Move!  Imagine exercising AND having fun?  It's now going to be possible with this great gaming system!

Personally, my kids and I love sports games and the fun games that really make their minds work.  We're excited to see if they will have a tennis, bowling, soccer and baseball game for the Playstation Move, which we know they probably will!  We're very excited about this new gaming system and cannot wait to play it!

What's the BEST part? You can bring motion gaming exclusively to your existing PlayStation®3 for only $99 with the MOVE bundle package!

Check out the PlayStation(R)MOVE website!

Click Here

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sep 22, 2010

Rid Diaper Rash with BUTT PASTE!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Boudreaux's Butt Paste. All opinions are 100% mine.

Has anyone else used Boudreaux Butt Paste and loved it for their kids?  Olivia is almost out of diapers and goes to the potty most of the day, but at night we still use diapers and she still gets diaper rash even though she knows when she goes and we frequently change her.  She has had it since she was a baby and we had tried pretty much every diaper rash cream known to man!  I remember when she was a few months old, one of our neighbors gave us some Butt Paste to try, saying it was the BEST diaper rash cream she had ever used.  So we did.

Butt Paste is incredible.  We used it for Olivia ever since and it really is the best.  It eliminates the pain associated with diaper rash and heals it up fairly quickly, more quickly than any other diaper rash cream we have ever tried!

Boudreaux's Butt Paste was specifically formulated by a pharmacist with direction from a respected pediatrician to provide effective diaper rash care.  Which is definietly a plus and this is why it's so effective and so great for parents to use!  It's not a more firm cream like a lot of the others that when it goes on an already painful diaper rash, rubbing it in hurts.  It's a soft cream with a soothing feel for your baby.  It's able to be rubbed in very easily and cleaned off just the same.  Easily with a baby wipe!

Check out the Boudreaux's Butt Paste website for a free sample for your baby!

Contains:  16% Zinc Oxide & Peruvian Balsam

Visit my sponsor: Boudreaux's Butt Paste

Sometimes I wish I was "The Bachelorette" material!

I absolutely love The Bachelorette.  That show is one of the best reality shows on TV!  Now, I'm a single mom and there are times where I really think being on that show would be beneficial.  (Despite the staged heart breaks, cheaters they throw in there and people who are just plain kooks!!)  Oh, and I'm also not skinny, beautiful and model material; which all of the Bachelorettes are..  I guess I'll just have to stick to the traditional way of finding a man...  Though it's nice to dream!

Since I love to dream and love to think about what my perfect man would be like, when I saw Mama Kat's blogging prompt of "50 things in a perfect man", I couldn't help but blog about it! (Even though it's a few weeks late!! lol)

  1. Someone who loves me
  2. ...And my children
  3. Someone who wants at least 1 more child. (I want to try for a boy!)\
  4. Someone who has a hot car. (No broken down old cars..) 
  5. Someone who cooks (I may burn the house down someday with my cooking.)
  6. Someone who cleans (God knows, I hate cleaning!)
  7. Having money would be a total plus. (SAHM and SAHD?)
  8. Look like Tom Cruise (or Justin from the Bachelorette)
  9. Must not be a jerk like Justin from Bachelorette
  10. Must not cheat on me. (That's asking for castration!)
  11. Must play an instrument (Guitars or drums are hot)
  12. + / or sing
  13. Must tell me I don't look fat. (That's always the right answer to that question!)
  14. Must like Guitar Hero & is good enough to play against me!
  15. ..or Dance Dance Revolution
  16. Must like to eat out (and pay)
  17. Must like Broadway shows.
  18. Must like to text or BBM
  19. Someone who doesn't care that my musical interests include some very geeky and old artists that people make fun of.
  20. Someone who will go to those concerts with me.
  21. Loves to travel is a plus.  I love road trips...especially to those concerts.
  22. A family man.
  23. Must love putting kids to sleep, because I sure don't.
  24. Must love shopping.
  25. Must buy me at least ONE purse per year for Holidays. (Coach purses are a plus.)
  26. Must be impulsive.
  27. Must love roller coasters.
  28. ... & water parks
  29. Must have a good body
  30. Must put up with my blogging addiction.
  31. Must love to entertain guests!
  32. Loving going to kids shows and concerts is a plus. (I promise, Imagination Movers is very catchy and addicting.)
  33. Be romantic - Flowers, surprise candlight dinners, you get the picture..)
  34. Must be handy -- I can't repair shit!
  35. Has to want to buy a house & have good credit to do so.  God knows I can't get a mortgage.  (Thanks student loans!)
  36. You have to like the Bachelor & Bachelorette AND watch the shows without making snide remarks.
  37. You have to love animals.
  38. Love letters - Enough said.
  39. Must not want to live in New Jersey your entire life!
  40. Must have good arms --I'm a sucker for arms.
  41. Must accept that I use my Blackberry a lot.  You never know when a blogging opportunity may come my way!
  42. Must uderstand that at any given moment, my friends may call and I may impulsively head to NYC.
  43. Must understand that we may frequent the same Broaway show more than once...or more than 10 times.
  44. ....And stand outside the stage door after the performance. (Even if it's 20 below or 100 degrees.  I've done it!)
  45. Must love my friends
  46. Mus have a steady job
  47. Must love to take pictures and be in pictures!
  48. Must support my dream of opening a brick and mortar store.
  49. ...Someone who can help that dream come true
  50. Someone who loves my family.

Sep 21, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

Ever since Alayna started pre school, she got involved in activities and I started two jobs (yes TWO) life has been so hectic and I haven't had the chance to blog.  I promise you guys that I have many great giveaways coming up!  I've been working with many companies to bring you only the best product reviews and giveaways.  That will start on Monday! :)  I want to start blogging daily again and I will!  It's just been so hard.  I started a job with from home as well as a freelance writing job that is proving to be a $100 a week income. (Which is really useful on top of my full time online job!)  I'm really enjoying having jobs and being able to do what I want to do with my kids and not be late on bills!  

Starting tomorrow I will be posting daily again! Sorry about leaving you guys hanging!

Sep 14, 2010

Five Simple Things You Can Do for Your Child to Help Keep Their Smiles Healthy and Bright

It is a constant struggle to get my children to brush their teeth. I want to say that I'm not exactly sure what the big deal is, but I remember fighting my mother on it when I was younger. It seems to be a common struggle among all parents and something all children dread.

Even though it's something we all hate doing or making our children do, it is very necessary. Cavities, tooth decay or other dental diseases are definitely no laughing matter. Especially when we realize, later in life, just how important a white sparkling smile actually is.

So how do we get our children to brush our teeth? How do we get this to be less of a fight three times a day?

  1. Let your children pick out their toothbrushes and toothpaste! I find that when my girls go to the store to decide upon their own design/characters, they're more inclined to be excited about brushing their teeth. Toothpaste for children comes in many different flavors, colors and have many of their favorite characters on the packaging. It can be as simple as letting them make their own decision and getting them hyped up about using their favorite products while brushing their teeth!

  2. You have to make it fun! There are many ways to do this. Many toothbrushes, these days, have music that you can press on the brush. For the duration of that song is how long you must keep brushing your teeth! My daughter had a Hannah Montana toothbrush that played a song. I have also seen Disney Characters, Nickelodeon Characters and some others! Another way to do this is to make up a song to sing for the 3 minutes your child should be brushing. You can make up some funny and kooky songs to sing to your children while they're brushing their teeth! Who knows, they may actually just catch on and start singing it to you when you're brushing your teeth!

  3. If your children are young, like mine are, you must brush their teeth for them. However, before you do help, let them take a crack at it by themselves! Tell them that they can brush their own teeth and be a big girl/boy and afterward, you'll touch up to make sure they're as sparkly and shiny as they can be! It's important that children know the importance of a sparkly pearly white smile.

  4. Limit the sugary drinks, junk food and sugary foods. These foods cause tooth decay and cause the enamel on your teeth to thin and sometimes dissipate! You don't want that, you want teeth to be as strong as they can be! Try out some healthy foods and dress them up to your liking. There are many ways to do this! Sugary foods and drinks can be an occasional treat.

  5. There are various types of gum that are great for teeth and that do prevent cavities! I'm a strong believer in this! If your child is old enough to chew gum and understand how to chew gum safely, give them their favorite flavor of gum after snacks and meals – between brushing. It will help eliminate the food and plaque build up! My kids love this step just as much as they enjoy blowing bubbles with their gum!
Fighting about keeping teeth and gums healthy shouldn't be a hard fight. Maybe using some of these steps into your every day routine will lessen or eliminate the fight all together! Your children will thank you in the future when they have a great smile.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Trident blogging program, making me eligible to get a $25 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here

Sep 13, 2010

I caved. I'm now a Droid Girl...

I have been a loyal Blackberry user since 2006 and I have never strayed. (Except for signing up for AT&T and also getting the iPhone, but I still had my Blackberry! lol)  My loyalty to Blackberry was for many reasons and even though it's many flaws and many bugs, I loved my phones.  My last Blackberry was the first Blackberry Storm.  That was one of my favorite phones until the normal wear and tear and age got to it.  Lagging, freezing up, rebooting on me, saying the memory was full and frustrating me beyond belief.  That's when I knew it was time for a change.

With researching and going to the Verizon store frequently to speak to it's agents, I came to the conclusion that the Droid X was the phone to switch to.  I wasn't sure, as much as I loved the Storm, if I could use the Storm2 and have to deal with pressing the screen to type and all of the Blackberry bugs.  The reviews on the Droid X were amazing as well as the design, the graphics and everything about it.  I was in love.  So last Tuesday, I switched.

My Droid X (as pictured above) is the best.  I'm in love with it now that I have had it for a week.  The ease to type, the Swype feature, the apps, the widgets... Everything about it is just amazing.  I really thought the transition from Blackberry Storm to Droid X would be terrible and oh-so-difficult, but it really wasn't.  It was a smooth and very well deserved transition.  It is now my little trusty sidekick. :)  (Not to mention the great deal Best Buy Mobile gave me!  $199 + $30 for the Shield screen protector AND a hard gel case.  That alone is over $55!)  My phone is my new love and I do highly suggest it to anyone who is looking for a new upgrade with Verizon Wireless. :)

I really want to write a post within the next few weeks with some tips that I have learned and some great apps that I have found.  I will hopefully get that up next week but with my daughter and school and activities, things are all busy and hectic here! Ha.

All opinions noted in this post are mine and mine alone.  I was not compensated at all for this post and paid for the phone, accessories & contract all on my own.  I was not asked by Verizon Wireless or Motorola to post this review.  I decided to do it out of the goodness of my heart and love for my phone.

Sep 6, 2010

The price of children's birthday parties.

Alayna is going to be 5 in a little over three weeks and we're looking for places for her 5th birthday party.  We usually end up going into Staten Island for her parties, since that is the closest large city to us (other than NYC) with [usually] decent priced party venues. We have had all of her birthday parties in various places around there, for the exception of her first birthday. (Which I stupidly held at our house.)  

We picked up a magazine today that has most of the party places and while looking through it, we found a Spa birthday party place that had just opened.  Alayna, of course, wanted her party there because they did hair, make-up, manicure, pedicure, etc...  My 5 year old is the epitome of a sparkly princess girly girl.  She wants to be a princess when she grows up, she constantly asks me to do her make up, curl her hair, all she wants to do is wear pink and sparkly princess dresses... This party was right up her alley.  So when we got home we went online, certain we were going to have her party there, to look up the price... We soon changed our mind. (With much protest from the little princess.)  The party was $699 for 10 kids.  SIX HUNDRED NINETY NINE DOLLARS!!  (And that doesn't include a lot of things, we soon found out.)  As much as I love my daughter and as much as I want to make her birthday 100% special, I just don't have $700 to throw around for a 5th birthday party.  

Looking around at the other websites of places around the area, I realized that kids parties are just too expensive.  The majority ran from $499-$699.  Unfortunately, for someone living paycheck to paycheck, someone who is unemployed or a single parent working her ass off to do the best for her kids, that's impossible.  If you really take a good look around, even people who seem to have money or be financially comfortable, they're having the same money problems.  Who can afford those parties?  

Doing more research I finally found an indoor amusement park that is easily accessible from my town that includes a good amount of things.  It's only $159 for a 1.5 hour party and 10 kids.  That is plenty for us and that's probably where we're going to end up booking the party.  I'm just very sad that I couldn't give my daughter the princess spa party she wanted.  She finally understands, after I sat down and spoke to her about finances and why we couldn't have the party there, but on the other hand I know she is still disappointed.  What little girl wouldn't be?  

I really think that parties should be affordable.  Especially in this economy when unemployment is higher than ever and finances are at an all time low.


Sep 5, 2010

A surprising day at the fair!

We were supposed to get the rain from the hurricane this weekend but thankfully the hype was just that; hype.  It rained a little bit on Thursday, but that was it.  The rest of the weekend was gorgeous!  It was so gorgeous that yesterday we decided to make this weekend our last garage sale weekend of the summer.  So off we went!

Yesterday we had so many great deals for the kids.  I couldn't believe how much we got for the little bit of money we spent.  We had so much fun that we decided to go again today.  So we did!

Today was gorgeous...mid 70's to low 80's.  The first yard sale we hit (and the last!) had so many clothes for my girls.  I got about 50 pieces including Gap, Childrens Place, Old Navy and so many more name brand clothes and paid $5.  AMAZING!  We also got some great toys (still in the box!) that I was able to sneak away for Christmas.  In total, I spent $20 in garage sales for clothes, 7 boxed toys (new in the box!) a pair of Bratz roller skate/sneakers for Alayna, a brand new box of Colorforms, some little stuff the kids wanted and so much more.  I love the bargains! 

The reason why that was the only sale we went to, was when we were heading to the next garage sale we saw the Staten Island Richmond County Fair was there!  Of course, we had to stop!  Unfortunately, this was the biggest money eater of them all.  $45 to get into the fair for the 4 of us, money for games, food, face painting, airbrush tattoos and more.  Of course, I can't say no to my kids... But I'd rather give them the last great fun of the summer before back to school than use the money for myself.  :)  We had a BLAST! 

Alayna got her face painted

They went on rides!

They won goldfish! :)

Just lounging around together

Look at the ponys!

Alayna rode the pony! "Elmo" was his name.

Petting zoo!!

Sep 2, 2010

10 Ways of Making Your Favorite Foods Healthier!

There are days when you want to indulge yourself in something delicious and sinful. Especially when you're trying to watch your weight and trying to eat healthy! Isn't that always when the cravings come knocking? Don't deprive yourself! There are ways to make your sinful guilty pleasures guiltless and healthy! You can add a healthy twist to almost anything, and here are some great suggestions.

  1. Burger King Whopper – I absolutely love BK Whoppers, but I don't like the 1000+ calorie count that they carry along with them. There is a way to substitute the ingredients to be delicious as well as guilt free. You can use either a Morning Star Farms meatless griller burger or a Boca Flame Grilled burger. They're both veggie burgers but taste delicious! Get a slice of Fat Free Kraft Singles and melt that on top. For the “special sauce” use either Miracle Whip or Fat Free Mayo mixed with a little bit of Ketchup. It tastes the same as the high fat and high calorie sauce that BK uses! You can get some buns that are wheat and about 80 calories at the grocery store. Just garnish with lettuce, a slice of pickle, tomato and onions and you're good to go! Now you have a fake Whopper that tastes almost as good as the calorie and fat packed original!

  2. Spaghetti and Meat Sauce - My kids and I love spaghetti, but the regular version is full of carbs and calories. Since my family and I are trying to eat healthy, we love to make a low carb and calorie version of this. It's quick and easy! Use wheat noodles that you can buy at the grocery store. I use the Healthy Hearvest noodles because they taste the best. Pick up some Ragu Light No Salt Added sauce and some lean beef to add to it. It tastes just as good and the kids won't even notice.

  3. Craving something salty? This is an old low carb trick that I learned years ago. If you're craving something salty such as chips there are two options that are also very creative and very delicious! Take some turkey pepperoni and put them on wax paper in the microwave. (This will smell a little crazy while it's cooking, but it tastes delicious!) You will microwave them for approx 40 seconds to a minute depending on your microwave and the wattage. When you take them out they will be crisp, salty and delicious. You can keep them in plastic snack bags in the refrigerator for portion control.

  4. Another great idea would be to take hard cheese such as parm, cheddar, white cheddar, jack, etc... and grate some. (You can also use the shredded cheese as well.) Put about 1-3 tbsps (depending on how big you want it) onto an oiled piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet. You can make as many little piles as you want of cheese. Season with garlic powder, some salt or whatever seasonings you would like to use. Bake approx 4-6 minutes on 350 degrees. They will be darker at the edges, but taste like cheese its. They're absolutely delicious and satisfy that craving!

  5. Delicious breakfast - Here is an idea for a delicious breakfast that will replace the norm! As we all know bacon is fatty as is sausage! Replace eggs with Egg Beaters. It's just as delicious as eggs but less calories. You can also scramble them so much easier or make omelets! As for bacon, turkey bacon that is flavored maple is delicious! It's half the fat but when you cook it you can't even tell the difference. What about sausage? There are two options. You can get Banquet Light Maple Sausage that is 80 calories in 3 links or get Boca veggie sausage. Boca veggie sausage doesn't taste too much different than regular sausage. It's absolutely delicious! Combine those together to make a delicious breakfast. If you'd like, you can also throw some Eggo Low Fat Nutrigrain waffles in the toaster and top with Reddi Whip and Cary's Light syrup. Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day.

  6. Substituting your lettuce? When you're making a delicious salad, substitute iceburg lettuce with romaine. Why? Romaine lettuce has more fiber, more vitamins and less calories. Can you believe lettuce has calories? Even though Iceburg Lettuce is crisp and delicious, Romaine lettuce can be just as good.

  7. Avacado Spread - Instead of using high fat mayo, use mashed up avacado on a sandwich instead! While fat isn't always great, the fats in avacado are healthy fats. They're good for you and your heart. Avacado adds a rich flavor and the same texture as mayo to your sandwich. Delicious!

  8. Craving Pizza? I actually have this recipe in the “Recipes” section of my blog. It's absolutely delicious and something that you can trick people into thinking is regular pizza! The crust is made with Bisquick Heart Smart and Egg Beaters and the calorie count is low on this entree! Your whole family will enjoy this delicious low fat, low calorie pizza!

  9. Love toast? So do I... I use wheat toast (40 calories) with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray. It's delicious, buttery and less than HALF the calories of using butter or margarine! As I said before, there is still fat in the spray, but it's good fat that is healthy for you. The butter spray also has trace calories in it! Less than 0!

  10. Dips? Instead of using sour cream in dips for baked chips or baked tortillas, use plain not fat yogurt! While it has a different taste, it's sweet and delicious. You can mix in whatever you would mix into the sour cream for a dip and it will have a great and different taste. It will also be healthier!

There are so many ways that you can be healthy while still indulging in foods that you love. Be smart and think healthy when you want to make something sinful. Keep in mind that there are substitutes for almost anything! Happy Healthy Eating!

From breakfast to lunch, dinner, desserts and snacks, Weight Watchers® Smart Ones® has a variety of great tasting, good-for-you meal options to help you manage your weight. So start eating smart, today.

Coupon Offer and Savings:

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and WeightWatchers SmartOnes blogging program, making me eligible to get a $50 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” 

Ten tips for a cleaner, greener home!

I have heard many people refer to becoming green as a "hippie new trend" and I don't believe that's true.  We don't have to do everything green!  Though if we take some small steps around our home to reduce, reuse and recycle, we can be helping ourselves, the health and future of our families as well as helping the environment around us.  All it takes is a few small steps in our every day routine!  What can we do?

1. Paper towels are frequently used among households and used in many rooms of our houses.  U.S. households spend a lot of money on these super absorbent miracle cloths and we really don't need to.  They may seem necessary to us, but trees are being cut down at an alarming rate to provide us with paper products.  There are many other substitutes such as old torn up clothing for cleaning or purchasing a low cost set of super absorbent washable cloths for your home.  You can get sets of 4 or 5 for under $6 and help save trees by cutting down paper towel usage. 

2. Make your own cleaning supplies!  Ever wish you knew what went into your cleaners?  Well, now you can!  Making your own cleaning supplies is a great way to make your home greener.  Believe it or not, natural cleaners were used when our parents or grandparents were young.  Some of the "recipe" are tried and true.  They also don't pollute & save a lot of money!  You can make anything from Window Cleaner to Oven Cleaner to Laundry Detergent!

3. Reduce energy costs.  It's very common knowledge that appliances use a small amount of power even when they're plugged in and turned off.  However, if you have quite a few plugged in, as many americans do, you can save yourself 30% on your electric bill every month.  A great solution to this is to use power strips.  Plug appliances into the power strips and just switch them off when you aren't using them.  It may take some time and getting used to, but it can save you $300 a year. 

4. Use green bulbs.  Using energy efficient light bulbs has many advantages as well as being good for the environment.  You can cut out using a substantial amount of energy to light your home this way and can save yourself $20 a month on energy bills.  That's a few hundred a year!  Listening now?  Another advantage of these bulbs is that they last longer.  Meaning?  Well, meaning less and less end up in landfills.  They last 10x longer.

5. Recycle!  Hasn't everyone heard this one for years?  Well, it's true! Recycling has many benefits for the environment.  It saves wildlife, reduces water pollution, saves natural resources, saves energy and saves space in landfills.  If all the landfills get filled up, where do you think they'll make another??  Do you want it to be near you?  Just doing a small bit to recycle does a lot to help the environment.

6. Use disposable bags.  Plastic bags are not biodegradable therefore they can stay in landfills for years as well as cause harm to animals on land and sea.  Plastic bags are also pesky and don't hold enough!   

- Paper bags come from trees.  A lot of trees.  It makes a large negative impact on the planet to cut down the trees required to make these bags!

- Most disposable bags are made from recycled material.  They also hold more and at some stores, you can get a discount for using them!

Reason enough?

7. Compost.  Anyone can do this even if they live in an apartment.  Why do this? Again, less space in landfills, less methane that food waste produces and a better way to plant.  Composting can very much help your grass, plants and garden grow.  You'll be helping yourself, helping the environment and spending less money.

8. Reuse.  Use glass jars left over from grocery food items, plastic containers from butter, cottage cheese, yogurt or use bowls with plastic wrap or a plate over it!  You can also reuse kids paper scraps for future art projects or your own grocery lists.  Take a look around your house and see what you can reuse for other reasons.

9. If possible, sell the items you don't need.  You reduce clutter, find beloved items new homes as well as makes some extra household cash.  Don't just throw things away so they sit in landfills.

10. Wash clothes in cold water!  You don't necessarily NEED to use hot water to wash clothes unless you want to disinfect them and fight germs. (Which is only occasionally necessary.)  Using cold water saves a lot of energy and money.  The only exception is that I wash sheets, pillow cases and comforters in warm water.  They really do need germ fighting!

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Mrs. Meyer’s blogging program, making me eligible to get a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.