I’m giving away a Vitamix & a $500 Amazon gift card!

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Who wants to win a Vitamix or a $500 Amazon gift card?!?! I’m giving both away this weekend!

I love my Vitamix and we use it all the time — to make smoothies, frappes, iced coffee, sauces, and much more. It’s one of our favorite kitchen appliances!

And who wouldn’t want to win a $500 Amazon gift card? You can use it to by groceries, household items, books, or even a large ticket item.

I’m giving away a Vitamix AND a $500 Amazon gift card this weekend to two readers who helps me spread the word about the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. One reader will win the Vitamix and one will win the $500 Amazon gift card.

(Psst! Have you gotten your Ultimate Homemaking Bundle yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Go read all about this special offer here — it’s only available through Monday!)

Enter to Win a FREE Vitamix or a $500 Amazon Gift Card

It’s really simple to enter to win and will take you just a minute or two to do so…

To enter, just share about the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle with your friends and family on social media. You can use Facebook and/or Pinterest!

Entry Option #1: Leave a comment on this post telling me what you’d do with the $500 Amazon gift card if you win it.

Entry Option #2: Click here to share this post about 5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day on Facebook.

Entry Option #3: Click here to share this post about the Homemaking Bundle on Facebook.

Entry Option #4: Click here to share this post about Eliminating Paper Piles on Facebook.

Entry Option #5: Click here to repin this pin on essential oils & the Homemaking Bundle on Pinterest.

Entry Option #6: Click here to repin this pin on paper piles & the Homemaking Bundle on Pinterest.

You can do all six things if you’d like — and enter up to six times. Leave a separate comment for each entry option if you choose to do multiple entries and each comment will count as an entry.

This giveaway will be open through Monday evening at midnight. I’ll choose and notify the winners within a few days.

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Weekend Giveaway: $50 Lilla Rose Gift Certificate (5 Winners)

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Who needs some new cute hairstyle options that only take a few minutes to pull off? If that’s you, you’ll want to check out this giveaway today…

Have you heard of Lilla Rose? Lilla Rose is the maker of the popular and unique Flexi Clip. The Flexi allows you to achieve some beautiful hairstyles in a very short amount of time.

We got a sample of the Flexi in the mail and Kaitlynn immediately asked if she could borrow it from me. She’s had all sorts of fun using it to create adorable hairstyles.

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Here’s an example of the kind of hairstyle Kaitlynn did with her hair (no that’s not her — she’s sick in bed this weekend, otherwise I’d have her model some of the styles she came up with!).

This weekend only, Jessica, a consultant with Lilla Rose, is offering a giveaway for 5 $50 Lilla Rose gift certificates to use on anything on her site.

Jessica is a homeschooling mama to 4 little ones and she emailed and said: “Lilla Rose has been an amazing blessing to me and my family – not just financially but giving ME something to focus on and regroup when I needed some downtime.”

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There are 7 different sizes of the Flexi — one to fit every type of hair! These clips are flexible, durable, and stylish and they come with a one-year warranty!  Head over to this website for some videos on styling your hair with Flexi Clips.

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Lilla Rose also offers cute, adjustable headbands, hair sticks, heavy-duty bobby pins, you-pins, flexi-ohs, and badge clips. We got to try out the adjustable headbands and the heavy-duty bobby pins and Kaitlynn and I have had so much fun using them. They are a great way to quickly dress up a boring hairstyle!

Create an account (only if you don’t already have a consultant) to be notified of sales and news on the limited edition Flexi of the month (FOTM). Also, follow Jessica’s Facebook page for specials and giveaways!

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April’s Flexi of the Month is the Tulip Field — see above. It’s only available while supplies last.

Interested in earning money from home as a Lilla Rose consultant? You can start your Lilla Rose business for $50 and it requires no monthly requirements or quotas, no fees or hidden costs! If you have questions on becoming a consulting, you can contact Jessica here.

Would you like to win a $50 gift certificate to Lilla Rose? Click on the graphic below and type in your name and email address. Five winners will be chosen and posted next week. Please note: The gift certificate does not cover tax or shipping/handling. This giveaway ends Sunday, April 26, at 11:59 pm, CST.

Enter the Giveaway

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5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day — Even When Life is Stressful

5 Things You Should Do Every Day -- Even When Life is Really Stressful

Are you in a period of life where it just feels like everything is overwhelming and out of control? Like you just have too much to do and too little time? But you try as hard as you can to cut some things from your life and schedule and you just can’t come up with anything to cut?

Maybe you have a newborn and a toddler. Maybe you’re in the midst of a personal crisis. Maybe things are really stressful at your job. Maybe you’re caring for a special needs child or an aging relative. Maybe it’s a thousand other things…

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I get it. I really do.

Some days, some months, and some years, life is just very exhausting and stretching. Sometimes, you just wish you could find a way to run away to a very quiet, clean place where you don’t have to worry about bills or work problems or kid’s struggles or health issues or any other things that can weigh us down in life.

If you’re in a season of life where you are feeling overwhelmed or if you would just love to find a way to have a little more order and structure in your life, I encourage you to develop the habit of doing these five things every single day.

They might seem so simple — and they are! — but if you’re not doing these on a daily basis, commit to making them non-negotiables for 3-4 weeks and see if it makes a difference for you.

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 1. Write a Short To-Do List

If you don’t have a plan, there’s a good chance you’ll live life just spinning your wheels and putting out fires. Pre-determine a few top priorities for each day and write these down on your to-do list.

I suggest no more than 5-7 items on your to-do list each day, otherwise, you’re probably setting yourself up for defeat and frustration.

5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

2. Make Your Bed

Truth be told, this is something I’m still working on myself. However, I’ve been much more committed to making this a priority after watching this video. (Yes, go watch it. I’ll wait for you!)

Isn’t it amazing how such a simple thing can make such a big difference? 5 Things to Do Every Single Day -- Even When You're Overwhelmed With Life

3. Get Dressed in Something That Makes You Feel Great

Anne Bogel and Dear Abby Leigh have both written on the importance of “dressing for the life you want to have” and I think there is a lot of truth in this. When you put a little effort into how you dress, it can impact your entire day.

I want to write more in-depth on this topic soon as making dressing nicer a priority in my life in the past six months has actually made a huge difference in my productivity and overall outlook on life. I’ve found that I get more done, I feel more energetic, and I just feel happier. It might almost sound weird, but I dare you to try it. 5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

4. Do One Load of Laundry From Start to Finish

So, this is also something I’m still really working on. And I need about five more years of success before I should be preaching about anything laundry-related. :)

But what I can tell you is that by watching the Simple Homemaking Video Course that came as part of the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle and then by following the advice to follow through and finish all the parts of laundry every single day I’ve experienced incredible freedom this past week.

I honestly had no idea how much being 3-5 loads behind on laundry all the time was dragging me down.

5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

5. Keep Your Kitchen Clean

When my kitchen is clean, it feels like my whole house is pretty much clean. When my kitchen is messy, the rest of my house can be clean, but it will feel like the whole thing is a wreck.

Maybe I’m the only person who is this way, but I can’t encourage you enough to develop a system for keeping your kitchen clean. Just at least try it and see how you like it!

What works for us is to make sure the kitchen is completely clean twice a day. At night before bed, I load and start the dishwasher, wash/dry/put away any larger items that won’t fit in the dishwasher, and wipe down all the countertops and table.

In the mornings around breakfast time, I unload the dishwasher, re-load it with breakfast dishes, and wipe down/clean up anything that needs to be cleaned. Throughout the day, as we use plates/cups, we rinse and stick them in the dishwasher — which means that, for the most part, our kitchen always looks pretty clean. And a clean kitchen makes me so happy!

5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

Bonus: Take 5 to 15 Minutes to Do Something for YOU

Carve out a little time each day, if possible, to do something that fills you up. Whether that’s reading or napping or chatting with a friend or journaling or texting a friend or gardening… whatever it is, take time to refuel and refresh yourself so that your tank is not depleted.

But Wait! Is This Really Realistic?

Now, you might have read through all of those above and thought, that’s great, but I just don’t have time to implement any of that right now. Well, I wanted to show you a practical example of how you could accomplish all of it with minimal time and work each day.

So here’s an example of a morning and evening routine that wouldn’t require much extra time and effort but would allow you to accomplish all five of these things every day, plus more: 5 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

Example Morning Routine

  • Get up, make your bed immediately, and make coffee (unload the dishwasher while the coffee is brewing).
  • Spend 10 minutes journaling/praying/reading while you’re sipping coffee.
  • Start a load of laundry.
  • Do 10 minutes of quick exercise (maybe a YouTube video workout or a walk or run around the block).
  • Shower, get dressed in something you love, do your hair and makeup.
  • Switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer.

Example Evening Routine

  • Load the dishwasher, start it, and wipe down all the countertops.
  • Fold and put away the load of laundry you washed and dried in the morning.
  • Lay out your clothes for the next day.
  • Take 5-15 minutes to do something you love.

See? It doesn’t have to take hours of time!

Just being a little more intentional with your morning and evening routines to make sure you accomplish these important daily tasks can not only help you feel more organized, it will keep your house cleaner, and probably help you feel a lot less stressed.

What items would be on YOUR Daily Top 5 List? I’d love to hear!

Feeling Overwhelmed With Managing Your Life & Home?

I’ve talked some about The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle this week and I hope you’ve had a chance to check it out. It’s an AMAZING collection of resources — many that I’ve already read and benefited so much from and many more that I cannot WAIT to read myself!

There are so many great resources in this bundle, including:

You get all of these + many, many more ebooks, printables, ecourses, and free bonuses for just $29.97 total! That’s a steal!

Grab your copy of The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle here. Or, learn more about why I’m wholeheartedly endorsing this Bundle here.

It’s only available until Monday so you’ll want to get it while you can!

Click here for more info or to buy now.

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)
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How I Paid $550 for $3,700 Worth of Braces

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Guest post from Marie

At nearly 14, my son’s last baby tooth had finally fallen — I was filled with elation but also dread. We always knew he would need braces (we’re talking major orthodontic help) as he was born with a snaggle of slow-growing teeth and was missing an adult canine tooth.

It’s a genetic trait several family members share, and they have all ended up with partial dentures as adults.

Fortunately for my son, dental implants are now the norm, but they start at about $3,000 per tooth. How was I, a divorced mom, going to pay to straighten out what was there, and plan for what will come?

Saving Up

I started putting away $10 a week since my boy was 10, giving me more than $1500 so far. Working for a coupon company, I cut every corner I could and put any excess into braces and college funds. My work insurance also paid a portion of orthodontics.

By January of this year I’d saved up $2,000; but braces tend to run $3,500 and up in my area, and he’d need more than the norm. He’s a good-looking kid but refused to smile and it broke my heart. It would only get worse as he entered his teen years. I had to do something.

Seizing a Deal

The answer came unexpectedly a few weeks ago when I attended a fund-raiser for a new magnet middle school. I went as a favor to a friend who was selling her jewelry in a booth. I was surprised by the number of handicrafts and silent auction items.

I promised myself I’d steer clear of beauty products and artisan clothing – wants instead of needs – and then I came upon the most unusual “deal” I’d ever seen: $3,700 worth of metal braces from an orthodontist whose son attended the fledgling school.

Doing My Research

A deal like this would not be worth it if the orthodontist had a bad reputation. A quick survey of attendees who knew him and a Google search on my phone showed he was a respected professional with no complaints filed against him. I had to do this. The opening bid was $500. I held my breath and bid the next allowable amount: $550 — and I won!

A Deal Waiting for Me

Sometimes you have to spend money to save money, whether it’s grocery stockpiling or buying in bulk or a pre-sale price. This fell into the latter category for me. Even if the $3,700 didn’t cover all the work he needed, it would lighten the load.

When the initial appointment time came around, I was nervous. What if my son needed so much work my $3,700 and insurance would be just a drop in the bucket? I did not want to use credit with a high interest rate to pay it off.

A Pleasant Surprise

It turned out the orthodontist, a kind man, works with families with small budgets and even works on a sliding scale with families receiving public assistance. I didn’t fall into that category but he agreed to honor the auction deal. My son gets a full set of braces next month and all adjustments until the work it done.

Planning Ahead

Yes, he will need a retainer with a false tooth until he is old enough to get the implant, and that step of the journey will run at least $5,000. Insurance will pay part of that, if I have the same coverage in five years. To be safe, I will continue to save and should be able to afford it, and my son will be able to afford to smile again.

Marie Hickman is a TV journalist turned savings writer. She and her son live a fun, frugal life in Palm Harbor, Florida. Follow her on Twitter at @MrsHickman777.

photo source

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