Sunday, November 23, 2014

Need Some Help Surviving the Holidays?

Ahhh, the holidays! Those wonderful days when we get together with family, laugh together, and sit around enjoying each other's company. Siblings who have gotten along since birth, inlaws whose lives have intersected flawlessly, and nary a black sheep to be seen. It's like a non-stop love-fest from November through January. Unless you live in the real world, of course!
In the real world, family get togethers are often rife with arguments, sarcasm, and passive-aggressive digs. I spend Thanksgiving with my inlaws and I'm sad that I don't get to see my family. My kids are excited to see their cousin...until they aren't and they've gotten tired of each other. I take a trip over Christmas to the house I grew up in, and I miss spending time with my husband and his family. The holidays are never as easy or idyllic as I always imagine they will be.
That's why I'm glad I had a chance to read Scary Mommy's Guide to Surviving the Holidays. If you are looking for tips on how to set the perfect table or color-coordindate your heirloom tree decorations with your handmade table runner, please look somewhere else. On the other hand, if you're still embarassed about dropping the turkey minutes before it was due on the table or you often find yourself yearning for a seat at the kids' table, this book may just be what you are looking for.
There are stories covering Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah. There are recipes you can use to impress your inlaws. Do you need a (tongue in cheek) step-by-step guide for hosting a holiday meal? Try Amy Hunter's "Preparing to Host Thanksgiving Dinner...With Children." Are your kids jealous of all the Christmas lights in your neighborhood? Try Deborah Goldstein's "Hanukkah Wins." If all else fails, I think you'll enjoy Kathryn Leehane's "Dysfunctional Family Drinking Game" to get you through that long weekend when you're stuck inside with more people than you'd care to be with.
At the very least, I am so very glad to know that I am not alone in the love-hate relationship I have with family get togethers. My kids aren't the only ones who turn into uncontrollable monsters as soon as the holiday clothes are on and the camera has been set up. Every family has its issues when getting together and I've got a whole book full of friends I can settle on the couch and commiserate with this week.
Scary Mommy's Guide to Surviving the Holidays is available now for $2.99. I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for reviewing it. You'll want to get your copy downloaded before you head out of town!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Saving Money with Food Lion and the MVP Coupon Hub {Giveaway}

If you love saving money on the things you do every day, then you will *love* this giveaway from Food Lion! Everyone who reads will save money and four lucky readers will win $25 Food Lion gift cards.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Yalmeh Super Youth Eye Cream {Review}

For as long as I can remember I have had dark circles under my eyes. While they do get worse when I'm tired, they're never gone when I'm fully rested. I've always assumed they were hereditary and that there was nothing I could do about them. I have tried various creams and lotions that promised to get rid of them, but I've never noticed much difference, and the price was never worth it to keep going.

Recently, I was given a sample of YALMEH Super Youth Eye Cream to try. I have been using it for about six weeks. I use it every morning, and on the nights that I remember. It smells nice, goes on smoothly and has not irritated my skin at all. I'm not sure how much of a difference it has made in the circles under my eyes, but I'll let you be the judge.

Please note that I have only used a tiny portion of the jar I was given. I will continue to use it because I like it, and I will update again when the jar is gone.
Do you have dark circles? What have you tried to get rid of them?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I use affiliate links in this blog. If you click through and buy something, I will receive a small commission. Your purchase price is never affected.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

After-School Storage Solutions

Hi, my name is Rabia and I have mud room envy. I see them in pictures all over the place. People have these nice entry ways where they can store all kinds of stuff from coats and hats, to boots and book bags. We have no such luxury at our house. The front door opens directly into the chaos of the living room.

I've been increasingly frustrated with the disorder in the living room this year. The kids have more stuff that they need on a regular basis: three backpacks, a violin, two soccer bags, a ballet bag, two lunch boxes, and at this time of the year assorted coats, gloves and hats. It's too much stuff and we had no where to put it. It all ended up getting tossed in a pile next to the couch.

I often hear that saying "a place for everything and everything in it's place" and it drives me nuts. Then I realized that the problem wasn't "everything in it's place" the problem was "a place for everything." With the correct problem in mind, I set out to solve it.

The kids are used to lockers and cubbies for storing their things at school, so I built on that and bought some more storage cubes. We have some already in the dining room to corral the toys, so I figured it would work for school stuff as well. Ken and I went out and bought a 3 x 3 set at Big Lots one weekend and hauled them home. I didn't buy any of the canvas boxes because I knew we wouldn't be using them for this project.

I put the cubes together and then turned them upside down. The place I had in mind for their home is right in front of a closet. We don't use the closet on a daily basis, but we do get in there from time to time, so I put felt squares on the bottom on the cubes. Now, if we need access to the closet, we can slide the cubes sideways on the hardwood floor.

When the kids came in and saw the cubbies, I didn't even need to explain anything to them. They knew right away which column was theirs and what stuff to put in each square. They decided the top square was for coats and hats, the middle square for lunch boxes and extra-curricular items, and the bottom cube for backpacks.

Now instead of a pile of junk next to my couch, I have a stack of junk a much more organized looking collection of school things. The kids have been happy to put their stuff away and I haven't had to nag very much at all. I think we were all frustrated with the previous lack of storage solutions.

How do you contain the school things at your house? Do you have a mud room? Does it have mud in it??
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