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Toss Your Tongs & Claim Some Clongs #GiftIdea

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

~ Thank you to Dreamfarm for providing product for my  review. Opinions are 100% my own.~

Have you ever been cooking and thought of a cool gadget, or even just a tweak to an existing product, that would make your cooking experience so much more efficient and effective? No matter how wild you think that idea is, there’s a good chance you’re not the only one thinking about it.

In fact, Dreamfarm turns some of those ideas into a reality. I own a few different Dreamfarm products and they definitely get the most use out of everything I have to choose from in my kitchen. One such product from Dreamfarm are the Clongs.

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Clongs are a unique kitchen utensil in that they (1) have a few different uses, (2) have a design that allows them to sit off the counter or stove top, and (3) implement a click-lock system.

Using Clongs

Clongs have a V-shape just like tongs and can be used for grasping literally anything, just as tongs are. In my experience, most people use tongs for salads, but I use them for all kinds of stuff, and my Clongs for so much more.

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Just a few days ago I was cooking stuffed peppers and Clongs were the perfect tool for grasping the peppers. The tips are made of silicone, so unlike metal tongs, they provide a much more gentle approach to grasping. In the case of my stuffed peppers, after boiling them for a bit they become fairly soft and brittle, so the gentle touch of Clongs helps prevent tears.

The silicone tip is also good because they’re scratch resistant. I can’t tell you how many non-stick pots and pans I’ve ruined from using metal kitchen utensils.

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Aside from the silicone material of the tip, the tip design itself is something to note. The wavy waffle design makes Clongs great for serving all kinds of foods, and the flat tip makes picking up smaller foods a cinch. When I was making my stuffed peppers, I even used them to stir the rice and actually stuff the peppers.

So as far as use goes, Clongs are a great tool and are the only kitchen utensil I need to use to get my stuffed peppers from the stove to the table.

Unique Bend Design

One of my favorite features of Clongs is the bend design of the handles. When sitting Clongs on the counter or stove top, the curve in the handle keeps the tip off the actual surface. This prevents counter and stove tops from getting dirty and also keeps any germs off the tip.

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

The bend design also comes in handy to prop Clongs on the side of a pan. This means no more worrying about propped utensils sliding down the pan and splattering food all over the stove top.

Click-Lock System

Of course, I saved the best feature for last. Clongs have a click-lock system that makes it super easy to open and close, lock and unlock them with just one hand. Just like a clicky pen, the push of a click button on the end unlocks the Clongs. To close them, it’s the same thing. Just hold the handles together and push the click button. Easy peasy!

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

This is definitely time saving and much easier compared to tongs that require slipping a metal piece into position to lock and unlock. It’s such a pesky piece and quite frankly, I had removed the one that was on my metal tongs. I just left them in the open position all the time.

And I’m not going to lie. When I took my Clongs out of the box, I sat there and continuously pushed the click button to open and close them. It’s just as addicting as sitting at a desk and clicking a pen. I absolutely love this feature when cooking because I can open/close the Clongs with one hand, freeing up my other hand to hold the pan or do something else.

As soon as I experienced how much of a difference Clongs made in the kitchen and how easy they were to use, I immediately tossed my metal tongs!

Where do Clongs get their name?

Have you figured out where the name Clongs comes from? It’s simple >> click-lock sit up tongs = Clongs!

Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide

Buy them now!

Do you know someone who is always in the kitchen? Someone who loves cooking? Someone who entertains a lot? Someone who wishes there were more practical kitchen utensils? Heck, even if you want some Clongs for yourself because I mean, who wouldn’t want some?! Clongs are a great gift idea for any one of these people! Just visit Dreamfarm and get your order in before the holiday rush.

9″ (shown in red) – $19.99

12″ (shown in black) – $24.99

Plus, when you place an order of $50+ you’ll get FREE shipping! Spend $100+ and you’ll also get a FREE set of Levoons! I’m not going to tell you what those are so you can check them out for yourself, but trust me – if you just glance at all of the products Dreamfarm has to offer, you’ll want them all and spending $50 or $100 will be a breeze! Making time for Dreamfarm is easy and once you get your first product, you’ll love them just as much as I do!

Will you toss your tongs and claim some Clongs?

Connect with Clongs are the only kitchen utensil you need to get tons of tasty dishes from the stove to the table. Grasp, stir & serve with ease! #Dreamfarm #giftidea #HolidayGiftGuide: Shop / Facebook / Twitter

*Thank you to Dreamfarm for providing a 9″ and 12″ Clongs, and inspiring me to get creative in the kitchen.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Christmas Clothespin Magnets Add Character Around the Holidays

These Christmas Clothespin Magnets from One More Sunshine add a little spark of character to your home or office during the holiday season!

~ Thank you to One More Sunshine for providing product for my  review. Opinions are 100% my own.~

As I’m sure you know, the Christmas holiday is creeping up and will be here before we know it. Christmas is actually my favorite holiday and one of the reasons why is because of the amazing decorations. It’s just not Christmas without all the decor.

Now, I don’t go as crazy as National Lampoon’s Christmas decorations, but I love the lights, colors and so much more. One memory I have about Christmas at my grandma’s house is all of the Christmas cards she’d receive. In her hallway she would take all of the cards she’d gotten from friends and family, and tape them along the wall. It was expected every year and I simply knew it to be part of her holiday decorations.

These Christmas Clothespin Magnets from One More Sunshine add a little spark of character to your home or office during the holiday season!

When Mary from One More Sunshine reached out to me, showcasing her unique Christmas Clothespin Magnets, I immediately thought of my grandma’s Christmas card wall. To save the integrity of the wall (I remember seeing a few tape spots after she took them all down), it would have been nice to have Mary’s decorative clothespins to hang all those cards with.

The clothespins themselves are your standard size clothespins that Mary works her magic on and adds her own spin to them. The holiday theme and colors, along with accessories like gems, buttons and ribbons, provide a unique and custom look. I simply love the uniqueness of these Christmas Clothespin Magnets and the character they add to my home around the holidays.

These Christmas Clothespin Magnets from One More Sunshine add a little spark of character to your home or office during the holiday season!

Keeping with my grandma’s tradition of hanging all her Christmas cards on her wall, I’ll be using my Christmas Clothespin Magnets this year to hang up my own. Just to see how it would work (if the stores can carry Christmas decor now, there’s no reason I can’t play around with some, right?), I hung a piece of twine on my wall and using the clothespins, clipped some small family stockings and photos from past Christmas’.

I think it looks absolutely adorable and once it comes time to put up the rest of my Christmas decorations, I think I’ll add another row underneath this one for additional photos and Christmas cards. I’m more than happy to make time to continue a Christmas tradition of my grandma’s.

These Christmas Clothespin Magnets from One More Sunshine add a little spark of character to your home or office during the holiday season!

If hanging things on the wall isn’t your style, never fear. These Christmas Clothespins are magnets too! I took one of our small stockings and one of our past family Christmas cards and tried the clothespin magnets on my refrigerator.

These Christmas Clothespin Magnets from One More Sunshine add a little spark of character to your home or office during the holiday season!

These Christmas Clothespin Magnets from One More Sunshine add a little spark of character to your home or office during the holiday season!

There are just so many different things these Christmas Clothespin Magnets can be used for around the holidays. While I’ll be using mine to hang Christmas cards and photos at home, they can also be used to hold kid’s artwork.

Or they can be used in the office to hold reminders or to-do’s. I loved decorating my cubicle around the holidays when I worked in an office.

Or use them to hold your grocery list on the refrigerator.

Or even use them to clip your sunglasses to the sun visor in your car.

Spread some holiday cheer everywhere you go! No matter what you use them for, or where, their unique design will add special holiday character around Christmas time.

Making Time 2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Buy them now!

Want your own set(s) of Christmas Clothespin Magnets? Or maybe you’d like to gift some to a friend or family member. These are such cute little gifts for the home!

Visit One More Sunshine and place your order today! A set of 6 clothespins is just $9.00, but y’all know I love a good deal, so I have an exclusive coupon code for my readers! Use coupon code MAKINGTIME at checkout and save 15% (valid through December 31, 2016)!

What will you do with your Christmas Clothespin Magnets?

Connect with These Christmas Clothespin Magnets from One More Sunshine add a little spark of character to your home or office during the holiday season! : Shop / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

*Thank you to One More Sunshine for providing these Christmas Clothespin Magnets and inspiring me to continue a holiday decor tradition.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

3 Functional Decorating Ideas for Board Games + Giveaway

Have you ever thought about using some of your board games as simple, yet functional home decor? The games Quarto and Quoridor from Gigamic are perfect for just that! Their simple elegance will surely add some character to any room. Check out these 3 functional decorating ideas I've been enjoying in my home using both of these brain games. #functionaldecorating #BrainGames

~This post contains affiliate links in which I may receive compensation for your purchase. Product was also provided in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.~

As a working-at-home-mom, I spend A LOT of time in my home. Quite frankly, looking at the same four walls and the same decor gets old after a while. And coming up with new decorating ideas or DIY home improvement projects can be pretty tiring.

So when I’m looking for a change, sometimes it’s nice to be able to turn to something a little more simple. But what can be so simple that it doesn’t require much thought? I mean, we’re talking about decorating here. The answer? Board games! My guess is you’ve never even thought about using games for decorating, right?

Have you ever thought about using some of your board games as simple, yet functional home decor? The games Quarto and Quoridor from Gigamic are perfect for just that! Their simple elegance will surely add some character to any room. Check out these 3 functional decorating ideas I've been enjoying in my home using both of these brain games. #functionaldecorating #BrainGamesHave you ever thought about using some of your board games as simple, yet functional home decor? The games Quarto and Quoridor from Gigamic are perfect for just that! Their simple elegance will surely add some character to any room. Check out these 3 functional decorating ideas I've been enjoying in my home using both of these brain games. #functionaldecorating #BrainGames

When you lay eyes on the brain games Quarto and Quoridor from Gigamic, you’ll instantly see what I mean about using them as decor in your home. While the design and pieces of each game are fairly simplistic, they are very well crafted and simply put, beautiful.

Quarto presents a basic board consisting of 16 circles, along with 16 game pieces of varying size, that are made of light and dark wood. Quoridor also offers a basic board. One that consists of grooves that hold wooden rectangular pieces to create fences. There are also four pawns of varying wooden color that must avoid these fences during game play.

Have you ever thought about using some of your board games as simple, yet functional home decor? The games Quarto and Quoridor from Gigamic are perfect for just that! Their simple elegance will surely add some character to any room. Check out these 3 functional decorating ideas I've been enjoying in my home using both of these brain games. #functionaldecorating #BrainGames

Have you ever thought about using some of your board games as simple, yet functional home decor? The games Quarto and Quoridor from Gigamic are perfect for just that! Their simple elegance will surely add some character to any room. Check out these 3 functional decorating ideas I've been enjoying in my home using both of these brain games. #functionaldecorating #BrainGames

Although there’s not a lot of intricate detail in either of these games’ designs, their clean lines and elegant feel are perfect for decorating with. In fact, the wooden colors and simplistic design compliment the shelving and storage in my living room.

Take a look at these three simple, yet elegant functional decorating ideas I’ve enjoyed in my home using both Quarto and Quoridor.

1. Display in game-play form.

This is probably the most uncomplicated way to use Quarto and Quoridor as decoration. By simply placing them on a table, large shelf or bar top, it displays them in their game-play ready form and shows off their elegant dimensions.

Have you ever thought about using some of your board games as simple, yet functional home decor? The games Quarto and Quoridor from Gigamic are perfect for just that! Their simple elegance will surely add some character to any room. Check out these 3 functional decorating ideas I've been enjoying in my home using both of these brain games. #functionaldecorating #BrainGames Have you ever thought about using some of your board games as simple, yet functional home decor? The games Quarto and Quoridor from Gigamic are perfect for just that! Their simple elegance will surely add some character to any room. Check out these 3 functional decorating ideas I've been enjoying in my home using both of these brain games. #functionaldecorating #BrainGames

2. Shelf Display.

Hands down, this is my absolute favorite way of displaying Quarto and Quoridor. I happen to have two shelves over the TV in my living room, so I propped the games on the shelves and instantly fell in love with the character they add to the room. It’s simple, effective and pleasing to the eye.

Have you ever thought about using some of your board games as simple, yet functional home decor? The games Quarto and Quoridor from Gigamic are perfect for just that! Their simple elegance will surely add some character to any room. Check out these 3 functional decorating ideas I've been enjoying in my home using both of these brain games. #functionaldecorating #BrainGames Have you ever thought about using some of your board games as simple, yet functional home decor? The games Quarto and Quoridor from Gigamic are perfect for just that! Their simple elegance will surely add some character to any room. Check out these 3 functional decorating ideas I've been enjoying in my home using both of these brain games. #functionaldecorating #BrainGames

3. Floating wall display.

This display won’t really work with Quarto, but is really cool for Quoridor. I placed two nails in the wall to prop the board game on and then placed the rectangular pieces into the grooves of the board. I ensured to make some level areas with those pieces so that I could place the four pawns on the board as well. How cool is this?!

Have you ever thought about using some of your board games as simple, yet functional home decor? The games Quarto and Quoridor from Gigamic are perfect for just that! Their simple elegance will surely add some character to any room. Check out these 3 functional decorating ideas I've been enjoying in my home using both of these brain games. #functionaldecorating #BrainGames Have you ever thought about using some of your board games as simple, yet functional home decor? The games Quarto and Quoridor from Gigamic are perfect for just that! Their simple elegance will surely add some character to any room. Check out these 3 functional decorating ideas I've been enjoying in my home using both of these brain games. #functionaldecorating #BrainGames

Have you ever thought about using some of your board games as simple, yet functional home decor? The games Quarto and Quoridor from Gigamic are perfect for just that! Their simple elegance will surely add some character to any room. Check out these 3 functional decorating ideas I've been enjoying in my home using both of these brain games. #functionaldecorating #BrainGames

To top it all off, these games aren’t just the most gorgeous games you’ve ever seen, but they’re functional. Yes, they make great display pieces, but at any point we want to play one of them, we simply pull it down and play. It’s functional decorating at it’s finest!

And let me tell you, we are a very competitive family. So when it comes to games, let’s just say it’s game on! Don’t be fooled by Quarto’s and Quoridor’s simplistic designs. They are brain games that will have you thinking about your next move and even anticipating your opponent’s moves. I wouldn’t be surprised if these eye-catching pieces create some game wars when you have guests over. I just hope you’re up to the challenge!

Have you ever thought about using some of your board games as simple, yet functional home decor? The games Quarto and Quoridor from Gigamic are perfect for just that! Their simple elegance will surely add some character to any room. Check out these 3 functional decorating ideas I've been enjoying in my home using both of these brain games. #functionaldecorating #BrainGames

Want your own game set to decorate with? Both Quarto and Quoridor are available at Marbles, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and even local game stores. [Quarto: Marbles / Amazon] [Quoridor: Marbles / Amazon]

quarto

But wait! Since Quarto is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary and it’s my favorite for decorating with (and playing too!), Gigamic is going to give 1 lucky Making Time reader their very own Quarto game! Enter using the giveaway form below.

Connect with Have you ever thought about using some of your board games as simple, yet functional home decor? The games Quarto and Quoridor from Gigamic are perfect for just that! Their simple elegance will surely add some character to any room. Check out these 3 functional decorating ideas I've been enjoying in my home using both of these brain games. #functionaldecorating #BrainGames: Website / Facebook / Twitter

This giveaway is open to US Residents, ages 18+ and ends on November 13, 2016 at 11:59 pm est.  Random winner will be notified via email and must respond within 24 hours or prize will be forfeited. Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment.
*This post contains affiliate links in which I may receive compensation in exchange for this post.  In addition, I received both games free of charge, to provide a review. Opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

It’s a Great Week to Buy Furniture

From October 9th-15th, Target is having a HUGE sale on furniture. Every day there's a different deal on a different furniture category, and on top of that an extra 20% savings on every furniture purchase of $150+! That's double savings!
This post contains affiliate links.

If I weren’t moving within the next month, I would be making time to be at Target every day this week. Why? Because Target is having a HUGE furniture sale!

Quite frankly I don’t need anything else to move and am currently trying to purge as much as I can, but I sure do love to cycle out pieces of furniture and decor to keep things looking fresh around the home.

Every day at Target this week, there will be a different sale on different furniture categories. And this starts TODAY! In addition to the daily sales, all week Target is offering 20% off all furniture purchases of $150+ (October 9th – 15th). That’s double savings!  I hope you’re ready!

From October 9th-15th, Target is having a HUGE sale on furniture. Every day there's a different deal on a different furniture category, and on top of that an extra 20% savings on every furniture purchase of $150+! That's double savings!

Sunday (10/9): 30% off barstools.

Monday (10/10): Extra 15% off furniture.

Tuesday (10/11): 30% off living room furniture.

Wednesday (10/12): 30% off dining and accent chairs.

Thursday (10/13): 30% off office furniture.

Friday (10/14): 30% off bedroom furniture.

Saturday (10/15): 30% off kids furniture.

From October 9th-15th, Target is having a HUGE sale on furniture. Every day there's a different deal on a different furniture category, and on top of that an extra 20% savings on every furniture purchase of $150+! That's double savings!

Hmmm, on second thought I might just have to get a larger moving truck! Who knows when we’ll see savings like this again.

What day will you be shopping this week?

*This post contains affiliate links and I may receive compensation in exchange for this post.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Making Time for School Prep: Race to the 1st Day of School feat. Box Tops for Education

Race to the 1st Day of School feat. Box Tops for Education #EarnDoubleAtWalmart

August is here and the countdown to the first day of school has officially started.  You probably have one of two types of kiddos at this point.  Those who are ready to go back to school, or those who want summer to last forever.

Regardless of what point your child is at, this super fun Race to the 1st Day of School will help get him ready to go.  It’s an easy craft and makes sure your child is ready for his first day.  With accomplishing everything from packing his backpack, picking out his first day outfit, and even collecting Box Tops for Education along the race course, he’ll have his engine revved when the big day arrives.

Race to the 1st Day of School feat. Box Tops for Education #EarnDoubleAtWalmart

Have you forgotten about collecting Box Tops this summer?  Don’t worry because there are plenty of daily essentials available at Walmart that have DOUBLE BOX TOPS!  Stock up on select Kleenex multi-packs, Viva paper towels and Scott bath tissue at Walmart, and earn double Box Tops.

There’s no better time to stock up on these everyday household essentials!  And since school is starting you’re going to need them anyways.  Knock on wood, but it’s almost cold season and you’ll likely get lots of use out of those Kleenex.  And just imagine all the kids who will be in and out of the home to work on after school group projects.  Not to mention the sleepovers and hangout sessions.  Talk about a ton of messes and bathroom usage!  You’ll go through all the paper towels and bath tissue before you even know it.

Race to the 1st Day of School feat. Box Tops for Education #EarnDoubleAtWalmart

New to Box Tops like we are and don’t really know what they’re about?  Box Tops for Education has been helping schools across the nation acquire books, computers, playground equipment and so much more, since 1996.  Box Tops can be found on a large variety of products, just like some of these select Kleenex, Viva and Scott products at Walmart.

In fact, if you look in your pantry right now I’ll bet you’ll find at least 1 Box Top, if not multiple!  All you have to do is clip them and submit them to your child’s school.  Each Box Top is worth $0.10 (double with these particular Kleenex, Viva and Scott products) and the school can use that money to purchase the things it needs.

Race to the 1st Day of School feat. Box Tops for Education #EarnDoubleAtWalmart

It’s a win-win for everyone!  You stock up on the daily essentials you need at home and your child’s school gets extra money to help purchase items that make his educational experience that much better and fulfilling.

Race to the 1st Day of School feat. Box Tops for Education #EarnDoubleAtWalmart

So how about that super fun Race to the 1st Day of School?  I put together this cute little “race track” for my son to use throughout the week right before school starts.  It’s basically a 7 day countdown and each day there’s a reminder for him that’s related to preparing for the first day of school.

As he moves through the race course, I’ve “hidden” Box Tops along the route that he can collect for his school.  I took these Box Tops right off the daily essentials I purchased from Walmart.  Not only that, but we even used some of the products to help create our race track.

Race to the 1st Day of School

Want to make your own Race to the 1st Day of School?  Here’s what we did.

Race to the 1st Day of School feat. Box Tops for Education #EarnDoubleAtWalmart

1. Design your race car.

What’s a race without a race car?  I gave my son an empty Scott bath tissue roll, some paint and a paintbrush, some stickers and 4 water bottle caps for wheels, and let him have creative freedom to design his race car.

Race to the 1st Day of School feat. Box Tops for Education #EarnDoubleAtWalmart

He did his thing and started by painting his race car.  He was pretty excited about his race car so it was pins and needles for him as he waited for the paint to dry.  Next he added a few stickers, and then I helped him glue his wheels on.  We even added a spoiler and front bumper using a cupcake wrapper.

Race to the 1st Day of School feat. Box Tops for Education #EarnDoubleAtWalmart

2. Create a race track.

While my son was designing his race car, I got to work on creating a race track for him to race his car on.  All I used was a poster board, some paint, stickers, crayons and a black Sharpie marker.  I started simple with a road and then created 7 stops for the race.  It’s a race and in this case, a 7 day countdown to the first day of school.

Race to the 1st Day of School feat. Box Tops for Education #EarnDoubleAtWalmart

At each stop there’s a reminder or task for him to complete, all of which help prepare him for his first day of school.  You could easily do more than 7 days, but I’m really hoping to get his little engine revved during the week right before school starts.

  • 7 days to go: Buy your favorite after school snacks!
  • 6 more days: Purchase all of your school supplies!
  • 5 days left: Pack your backpack!
  • 4 days more: Have you gone shopping for cool new clothes?
  • 3 days away: Pick out your 1st day outfit!
  • 2 days to boot: Do you remember where your classroom is?
  • 1 day and done: Enjoy your last day of summer!

Race to the 1st Day of School feat. Box Tops for Education #EarnDoubleAtWalmart

After I had all the basics down, I started adding little details with drawings and stickers.  And let’s not forget about collecting Box Tops!  I took the double Box Tops from my Kleenex multi-pack and used a simple dot of glue to place them throughout the track.

As my son races through the week and makes his daily reminder stops, he can get into the habit of collecting Box Tops for his school by collecting the ones I’ve placed throughout the race.  Since I used just a small drop of glue, they’re super easy to pull off the poster board and it doesn’t ruin the Box Tops.  Can you find the hidden Box Tops?

Race to the 1st Day of School feat. Box Tops for Education #EarnDoubleAtWalmart

3. Design a schoolhouse.

Last, but not least, your child needs to have a finish line and prize.  And what would that be for the Race to the 1st Day of School?  It’s the first day of school, of course!  If you haven’t already, add a finish line to the race course.  I had already added mine, but then using a Kleenex box, which was already super cool and colorful by itself, I added a little more flare and designed a welcoming schoolhouse.

Race to the 1st Day of School feat. Box Tops for Education #EarnDoubleAtWalmart

I created a banner of sorts welcoming kids to the first day of school and glued it onto the Kleenex box.  I then used stickers that I had on hand that just so happened to be very fitting for the finish of the race.  With phrases like “Way to go!” and “Have a blast!,” the stickers I had were perfect for finishing a race and heading into the first day of school.

Race to the 1st Day of School feat. Box Tops for Education #EarnDoubleAtWalmart

My son is really excited about the first day of school and has been playing with his race track since we made it.  He just couldn’t wait even though school doesn’t start here until August 22nd.  He’ll definitely be prepared when the big day finally rolls around, double Box Tops for Education in hand and more!

How are you sending your kids back to school with Double Box Tops from Walmart?

*Thank you to Kleenex, Viva and Scott for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to get prepared for Back to School. This is a sponsored post in which I will receive compensation.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Making Time for Real Necessities

Making Time for Real Necessities: Could you live without a microwave?

When I sit and think about it, there are so many things in my life that I take for granted.  And not just people or the ability to do certain things, but I’m talking about having clean running water, or having food in my fridge to provide for my family.  Ya know, real necessities of living.

Recently, we had to get rid of an everyday appliance that was no longer working and I immediately thought – well, what the heck am I going to do now?  I use this appliance for so much and NEED it.  At the time we didn’t have the means to just run out and replace the appliance right away, and now I’m actually glad we didn’t.  Why?  Because it’s not really a necessity for us.

You’re probably wondering what the appliance was, right?  It was our microwave.  One night while using it, something sparked in the back and from that point on it would operate, but wouldn’t heat anything.  No need to let it sit and collect dust, so we tossed it.  The counter now looks completely different without the large heating box, but cleaner and less cluttered nonetheless.

Making Time for Real Necessities: Could you live without a microwave?

But, oh my gosh, what was I going to do?  How was I going to heat our morning oatmeal?  How was I going to heat leftovers from the night before?  How was I going to pop popcorn for family movie night?  I didn’t know at the time, but I don’t need a microwave to do any of this.

My whole life I’ve had the privilege of owning a microwave and never had to do these things the “hard way.”  But if you really want something, you’ll find a way to get it done.

For our morning oatmeal, I heat a pot of water on the stove and just add the hot water to our instant oatmeal.  Or if I’m in a hurry I can use our Keurig for hot water (probably another appliance I could live without, but I’m not ready to give up my quick and easy coffee quite yet).  To heat leftovers, I simply toss them in a frying pan with a little non-stick spray or some things I reheat in the oven.  Popcorn?  I can do that in a pot on the stove, too.

So now I’ve thought to myself, do we really need a microwave?  Nope!  Now, if the stove and oven stop working, that’s another story.  I can’t do wood burning anything in our apartment, haha.

I took for granted having the microwave for so long.  There’s no doubt it made certain tasks quicker and easier, but now I realize it’s not a necessity in our lives.  And while it’s nice to have one, we aren’t looking to purchase a new microwave anytime soon.

Could you/do you live without a microwave?

*I am only sharing my own experiences and opinions are 100% my own.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Making Time to Declutter with a Yard Sale

Follow these 10 tips and you're sure to have a successful yard sale.

One of my goals this year has been to really clean up my home and get rid of anything that isn’t needed or simply doesn’t get used.  When things get over cluttered and I don’t feel comfortable in my own home anymore, I know it’s time to get rid of stuff.  This year it was definitely time to do this.

So this past Saturday my family held a yard sale to clear our home of all the clutter.  This certainly isn’t our first yard sale and surely won’t be our last, but after having a number of yard sales in the past, we’ve learned a few things about having a successful one.  And by successful I mean one that truly gets rid of the clutter and also puts a nice chunk of change in our wallet.

Follow these 10 essential tips and you’re sure to have a successful yard sale of your own.

1. Prepare

Preparing is essential to having a successful yard sale.  Weeks and maybe even months before you plan to have a yard sale, you need to start gathering items you want to sell.  If you really want to declutter, you should go through all drawers, closets, cabinets and even the garage.  There may even be items sitting displayed around the home that you really don’t want anymore, but since they’re already displayed, you just left them be.  Now is the time to let them go.

2. Organize

Once you’ve done your preliminary preparation in the months and weeks beforehand, you’ll want to organize everything at least a few days before the big sale.  Separate kids clothes and items, from adult clothes and items.  Have nicer clothing you want to hang for display/attention?  Put them on hangers and have them ready.  Keep all breakables together and then all miscellaneous items together.

Follow these 10 tips and you're sure to have a successful yard sale.

Keeping like items together and having an organized set up is an indication to buyers that you take care of your items.  Who wouldn’t prefer an organized home?  The same thing translates to a yard sale.

Organizing beforehand will make things much easier for you when yard sale day arrives.  You can simply pull like items out and place them on a table together, and because you’ve organized beforehand, it will save you time the morning of the yard sale.

3. Place items for attention

Placing larger yard sale items near the street will draw attention to your yard sale.  Things like furniture, strollers, baby swings, comforter sets, lamps, ceiling fans, washers, dryers, anything on the large side, will be eye catching for passersby and are likely to cause people to stop.

Follow these 10 tips and you're sure to have a successful yard sale.

Another great way to catch someone’s attention is to hang nicer clothing (like those still with tags attached or flashy in-style items) on the garage or up towards the house.  Make buyers walk up towards the home so that they have to walk by everything else.  It almost forces them to browse everything else you have, just because they want to see what that item is that’s hanging up.  Don’t have a garage?  Tie a line between 2 trees and hang some clothes from it.

4. Price appropriately

Keep in mind this is a yard sale.  You want to get rid of unwanted stuff and yard sale goers want to get a good deal.  Don’t price things at retail or even resale.  If you price low (priced to go) you’ll sale a lot more and make more money overall.  I’m not saying give your stuff away, but price things reasonably for a yard sale.

Follow these 10 tips and you're sure to have a successful yard sale.

Some of the prices we used were:

  • Used baby clothing – 2 pieces for $1
  • Used adult clothing – $1 per piece
  • Cups/dishes – $0.25 each
  • Picture frames – $1 each

If you have clothing or other items that are sets, price them as a set so buyers don’t have the option to separate them.  For example, I had tons of baby outfits that were complete 2 or 3 piece sets.  I placed them each in a Ziploc bag and priced them for $2 or $3, rather than 2/$1.  Or for items that still have tags attached or have never been taken out of their package, price them a little higher than your used items, but still reasonable for a yard sale.

I had a woman come looking specifically for baby clothes and she literally bought every single baby clothing item I had.  She got a ton of great stuff and I made about $100 just on baby clothes!

5. Negotiate

Even if you mark prices on your items, yard sale goers are always looking for the best deal they can get.  Be prepared for offers less than you’ve marked or even lesser offers on bundles of items.  It’s up to you whether to accept an offer or not, but I say it’s always nice to let buyers have a bundle deal, one that works for both you and the buyer.

6. Donate

If the goal of having a yard sale is to declutter your home, don’t take anything you’re trying to sell back inside, even if you don’t sell it.  When the yard sale is over, load up whatever is left and take it straight to a donation center.

Follow these 10 tips and you're sure to have a successful yard sale.

Keeping in mind that everything you don’t sell is going to be donated, 2-3 hours before you plan to end the yard sale, reduce your prices.  Most buyers arrive early in the morning so they can get first pick of what you’re selling, so traffic will slow down later in the day.  But if you reduce your prices, the sales will keep rolling in.  In fact, some buyers will come in the morning for first pick and then return later in the day to see what’s left at reduced prices.

We changed our adult clothing price from $1 per piece to $0.50 per piece, at about 3 hours before the end of the yard sale, and we were able to keep selling right up until the end.  This helped put a little more money in our pockets and also created less stuff that we had to haul to our local donation center after the yard sale.

7. Start Early

Be prepared to start super early.  Yard sale goers will start arriving as soon as daylight hits.  Get up about 2 hours earlier than sunrise and start getting your items out and ready for buyers.  No matter how early we start, we’re usually still putting items out at least an hour after buyers start arriving.  And keep in mind that most sales occur earlier in the day, so the more you have out, the more sells you’re going to make.

8. Invite a friend

The more stuff you have to offer at a yard sale, the more successful it’s going to be because there’s more to attract buyers.  Inviting a friend or family member to join your yard sale and sale items of their own, will not only help both of you declutter, but it will provide a larger variety of items for buyers to choose from.  If you’re up to it, maybe even try making it a neighborhood sale.

9. Advertise

If you don’t advertise your yard sale, people won’t know about it.  It’s not necessary to advertise a week ahead of time and it really only takes 1-2 days.  If you live in an area where there’s not a lot of traffic, then you may want to put some signs up 2 days before.  On the other hand, if you live in a high traffic area, simply put up some signs the afternoon before the yard sale.  It’s ideal to advertise by at least 2 or 3 pm the day before your yard sale.  That way, evening traffic heading home from work will get the chance to see your signs.

Follow these 10 tips and you're sure to have a successful yard sale.

Be sure to advertise at busy intersections and especially at the end of your street.  You have to guide buyers to your home with your signs.  Elaborate signs aren’t necessary, but just make sure your signs are visible to drivers.  We usually have a few weather proof signs and then a few homemade posters.

10. Offer free cold water

In general, most yard sales are in the summer time and that means hot weather.  It’s something simple, but offering free cold water to yard sale goers is a nice gesture.  Fill a cooler with ice and bottles of water, and offer it to buyers as they pay.  Not everyone will accept, but those who do will certainly appreciate the offer.  This was the first year we tried this and noticed that after providing water, a lot of buyers went back to look some more and many bought more stuff.

Follow these 10 tips and you're sure to have a successful yard sale.

Put these 10 tips to use and you will definitely have a successful yard sale.  You can easily make upwards of a few hundred dollars in just a matter of hours.  This past weekend we got up at 5 am to be ready for buyers at 7 am.  When things slowed at about 1:30 pm, we took down our signs/advertising and loaded up everything that was left, to take to our local donation center.  In just that short amount of time we made over $600!  I’d say that’s a pretty nice payoff and icing on the cake after the benefit of decluttering our home.

*These tips are ones that personally work for me, but may not work for all.  I am only sharing my own experiences and opinions are 100% my own.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Making Time for Home Fitness: My Daily Burn Adventure Begins

Daily Burn is an online hub that provides you with a variety of exercise programs and tons of workout videos, along with meal plans and healthy recipes. Sign up for a 30 day free trial now at http://dailyburn.com/invite/V2KkK.

I have been thinking about starting Daily Burn workouts for months now and every day that I had intentions of getting signed up, I got busy and distracted doing something else and never got it done.  That changes today!

I’ve just visited the Daily Burn website and have officially started my free 30 day trial.  If you’re not familiar with Daily Burn, it is basically an online hub that provides you with multiple different types of exercise programs and has tons of workout videos to follow along with.

Daily Burn is an online hub that provides you with a variety of exercise programs and tons of workout videos, along with meal plans and healthy recipes. Sign up for a 30 day free trial now at http://dailyburn.com/invite/V2KkK.

You can choose to do everything from cardio, to yoga, dance, pilates, core workouts, intense inferno routines, cool downs, and so much more.  There’s even a “Beautiful Belly Pre & Postnatal Yoga” program for pregnant women.  There’s something for everyone and every difficulty level, whether you’re a beginner or are looking for something more intermediate or advanced.

Daily Burn is an online hub that provides you with a variety of exercise programs and tons of workout videos, along with meal plans and healthy recipes. Sign up for a 30 day free trial now at http://dailyburn.com/invite/V2KkK.

The thing that was most appealing to me is that every day there is a new workout, so I’m never stuck doing the same exact routine over and over.  You don’t have to do the daily workout and can choose other existing videos, but I like having some variety in my workouts.

Daily Burn is an online hub that provides you with a variety of exercise programs and tons of workout videos, along with meal plans and healthy recipes. Sign up for a 30 day free trial now at http://dailyburn.com/invite/V2KkK.

Not only does Daily Burn provide you with the workout videos, but you also have access to meal plans and recipes.  I can do all the workouts I want, but food is my biggest weakness.  I love having access to a meal plan so I don’t even have to think about what I’m going to eat because it’s already layed out for me.  And then having access to recipes that are healthy and tasty provides me with better tools for not only cooking for myself, but giving my family healthier meals as well.

So, today is my day 1 and it’s nothing but up from here.  I’m super excited to be getting started on a better me and I’m going into this with all the confidence in the world.  I’ll be back in a few weeks to let you know how it’s going.  Wish me luck!

Want to join me in my new adventure?  Sign up for your own 30 day free trial!

Have you tried Daily Burn?

*This post contains affiliate links.  I did not receive a special sample/discount for Daily Burn and am just sharing my own experience.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Making Time for a Clean Summer

Making Time for a Clean Summer with Genesis 950 - Genesis 950 is an amazing all-in-one concentrate that you mix with water, resulting in the ultimate cleaning solution. It cleans just about anything and cleans it well! With the kids home and making more messes this summer, Genesis 950 will help keep your home clean.

School is out and the kids are home for the summer.  For some, this may mean summer camp, but for others it means a house full of kids.  And a house full of kids?  That means a lot more accidents, spills, mud tracking, and so much more.  Add a pet or two (or more) to that and you really have your hands full.

No need to pull out multiple different cleaning products.  You only need one – Genesis 950!

Genesis 950 cleans pretty much everything and because it’s environmentally friendly, it’s perfectly safe for children and pets to be around.  The product comes as a concentrate that contains no alcohol, ammonia or bleach.

Making Time for a Clean Summer with Genesis 950 - Genesis 950 is an amazing all-in-one concentrate that you mix with water, resulting in the ultimate cleaning solution. It cleans just about anything and cleans it well! With the kids home and making more messes this summer, Genesis 950 will help keep your home clean.

The concentrate itself is mixed with water, resulting in the ultimate cleaning solution.  What type of job you have at hand will determine the ratio of concentrate to water you need.  I like to keep a 1:4 mixture (1 part concentrate, 4 parts water) on hand for my everyday cleaning needs.  I have kids, so I find that ratio works perfectly for me and takes care of the carpet and furniture spills I have to deal with.  If you have a lighter load and your cleaning jobs aren’t as involved, you can probably get by with a 1:7 ratio.

I’ve been using Genesis 950 almost daily since December and use it for all kinds of cleaning jobs – spills on the carpet and furniture, mopping the floor, cleaning kitchen counters, cleaning the bathtub/bathroom, and just recently I cleaned my ever so deserving stove top.

I cannot believe I’m showing you this, but THIS is my “clean” stove top.  Please no judging.  It’s embarrassing as it is, haha.

Making Time for a Clean Summer with Genesis 950 - Genesis 950 is an amazing all-in-one concentrate that you mix with water, resulting in the ultimate cleaning solution. It cleans just about anything and cleans it well! With the kids home and making more messes this summer, Genesis 950 will help keep your home clean.

This is what my stove top looks like after I’ve “cleaned” it with a regular all-purpose cleaner.  Obviously, that is NOT clean.  This past weekend I set out to really clean it and started with the burner in the front left.  It was the worst, but with Genesis 950 and a little bit of elbow grease using a stove top scraper, I was able to get some amazing results.  Results I couldn’t get with my usual cleaner.

Making Time for a Clean Summer with Genesis 950 - Genesis 950 is an amazing all-in-one concentrate that you mix with water, resulting in the ultimate cleaning solution. It cleans just about anything and cleans it well! With the kids home and making more messes this summer, Genesis 950 will help keep your home clean.

Genesis 950 cleans:

  • Grease
  • Grime
  • Soot
  • Ink
  • Tar
  • Vegetable Oils
  • Insect Residue
  • Pet Stains/Odors
  • Spills (food & juice)
  • Makeup

From:

  • Floors
  • Appliances
  • Counters
  • Cabinets
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Microfiber
  • Suede
  • Leather
  • Engines/Transmissions
  • Wheels
  • Machinery
  • Tools
  • Granite
  • Marble

And the list goes on and on.  You don’t even have to keep Genesis 950 in the home either!  Take it out on the boat, to the garage, your car engine, or even your concrete driveway.  The uses really are endless.

Making Time for a Clean Summer with Genesis 950 - Genesis 950 is an amazing all-in-one concentrate that you mix with water, resulting in the ultimate cleaning solution. It cleans just about anything and cleans it well! With the kids home and making more messes this summer, Genesis 950 will help keep your home clean.

Genesis 950 can be bought in a variety of sizes, including 1 quart ($23.95), 1 gallon ($42.00 + includes empty spray bottle for mixture), 2.5 gallons ($60-$63) and 5 gallons ($105-$108).

If you’re planning to use it for everyday cleaning, a quart will take you a long way and is a great size for getting started.  Remember, Genesis 950 comes in a concentrate form that you mix with water, so you’re getting a quart of actual concentrate.  Once it’s mixed with water, you’re getting a lot of clean for your green.

What would you clean with Genesis 950?

Connect with Genesis 950:  Shop / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

*I received a sample of this product to provide an honest review.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the brand.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the brand.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.

Making Time for Spring Cleaning: Turn Unwanted Stuff Into Money

Making Time for Spring Cleaning - Turn Your Unwanted Stuff Into Money

I’m sure you’ve all finished your spring cleaning, right?  Ha – I’m not even done myself, but I have gone through all of my clothing and put aside everything I no longer wear or just don’t want anymore.  But, what do I do with it now?

I am not a wasteful person, so simply tossing those clothes out just isn’t an option.  Luckily, there are a few different things I could do, including donating everything, but I can also turn my unwanted stuff into money.  Who doesn’t want some extra money?!

So, how do I do this?  I use apps!  Here are a few of my favorite apps to turn my unwanted stuff into hard, cold cash.

~Mercari~

Selling on Mercari is super easy and puts money in your pocket.

The Mercari app is the one I’ve been using the shortest amount of time, but has quickly become my biggest money making app.  With Mercari, you simply take photos of what your trying to sell, add a description, choose the appropriate weight for shipping and who will pay the shipping cost (you or buyer), and choose your selling price.

It's easy to create a listing and each app takes you step by step.

The best part about Mercari is that you keep 100% of the sell price.  You can sell just about everything on Mercari – your entire family’s unwanted clothing/shoes/accessories, kitchen and home items, beauty items, toys, baby stuff, books, electronics and so much more!  Sometimes I feel like listing everything in my home just so I can go buy new stuff, haha!

When you download Mercari, you can get a $2 credit by using my invite code – ZNN932.  You can use this $2 towards any purchase on the app.

~Poshmark~

Selling on Poshmark is super easy and puts money in your pocket.

The Poshmark app is very similar to Mercari as far as the listing process with photos, description, etc.  The difference is that you can only sell women’s clothing, shoes and accessories on Poshmark.

In addition, Poshmark keeps 20% commission on your listed sell price.  So if you’re set on getting a certain amount for something, be sure to add 20% to the listed sell price so that you don’t lose out.

Poshmark allows you to offer buyers a discount for purchasing more than one of your items.

One of the cool features of Poshmark is that you can offer bundle discounts.  A buyer can browse your “closet” and add different items into a bundle, and when they purchase they’ll get a predetermined discount of your choosing.  So you could offer buyers 10% off of two items, or maybe 25% off the purchase of three items.  Bundles are a great way to move the stuff out of your house and also help the buyer get a great deal.

Poshmark helps you turn unwanted clothing, shoes and accessories into money.

I’ve been using Poshmark since January 2013 and have made $1,873 to date.  That’s over $600 extra in my pocket each year just from selling my unwanted stuff!  When you download Poshmark and use my invite code – HTOBB – you’ll get a free $10 towards any purchase.  So out with the old and in with the new!

~Vinted~

On Vinted you can sell clothing, shoes and accessories for the whole family.

The Vinted app is another one I like to use.  You can sell clothing, shoes and accessories for the entire family, but nothing more than that.  And just like Poshmark, you’re able to set up bundle discounts for your buyers.  Vinted also takes a 19% commission on the sell price, so again, be sure to price your items with this in mind.  

Selling on Vinted is super easy and puts money in your pocket.

When you join Vinted, you’re more than welcome to use my invitation link, but the app is not currently running any special promotions for joining. 

The best part about all three of these apps is that you’re getting rid of your unwanted stuff and putting some extra cash in your pocket – literally!  With each of these apps you can transfer your balance right into your banking account! So go and download an app or three, and turn your unwanted stuff into money.

Which app would you be more likely to use?

*This post may contain affiliate links.  My opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by the apps mentioned.  Any claims or statistics should be confirmed with the apps.  Please see this blog’s full policies and disclosure here.