SteamMachine Plus Is The Answer For Chemical Free Spring Cleaning & We’re Giving One Away!

Anyone that knows me, knows I don’t use products with toxic chemicals. They also know I am a germophobe.  You may be wondering how I clean.  Well, I use a great line of cleaning products that are made with powerful plant based solvents and non-toxic ingredients but I also rely heavily on something else.  Steam, the power of STEAM!

HomeRight SteamMachine Collage

 

I love my full size HomeRight SteamMachine and so when I had the chance to try out the SteamMachine Plus from HomeRight, I was super excited.  It’s so perfect because it has a portable steam cleaner built right into the mop.  So you have everything you need to clean and sanitize your home in a very portable package.

C800949 SteamMachine Plus web_0

So let me tell you about this powerhouse of steam cleaning greatness.  This Steam Mop is my  go to for daily cleaning jobs of all kinds and lets me see sparkling results in less time.  The detachable hand-held steamer is what really sets this mop apart from other steam mops.  Literally at your fingertips you have everything you need to clean from floor to ceiling.  Homerite Steam Pro Mop Pic

HormRight Steam Pro Mop Portable Steamer

Homright-SteamMachine-Plus-Cleaner

 

Homeright-Steam-Machine-Plus

 

HomeRight-Portable-Steam-Cleaner

6 useful attachments are included and you can use the portable steamer to clean and disinfect stoves, ovens, grills, counters, bathroom surfaces and so much more.  The steam is 205 degrees as it leaves the nozzle and kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria including e-coli, salmonella and staph germs.

Homeright Steam Cleaner Attachments

C800949 Steam Mop wAccessories

The convenient fold down handle makes it easy to store the mop in the closet or pantry.  The mop comes with 2 pads that attach to the triangular-shaped, swivel mop head.  The shape of the mop head along with the swivel make it easy to get into even tight spaces.

Homrite Steam Mop

Homerite Steam Pro  Mop

HomeRight-Steam-Mop-Plus

The steam trigger on the handle lets you get extra steam on demand for tough jobs.  You can use the mop on tile, laminate, hardwood and vinyl flooring and the carpet glider allows you to steam clean rugs.

Homerite Steam Pro Mop Attachment

HomeRight-Steam-Machine, Attachment-Cleaning

Homeright-SteamMachine-Plus-Shower Door

Homerie Steam Cleaner

 

Homeright Steam Cleaning

This mop heats up fast, just 30 seconds and you are good to go and can clean about 20 minutes on one tank of water.  The 16 foot cord lets you have enough mobility to clean a good size area without having to find another outlet or use an extension cord.

C800949 Steam Mop Handle

Included in Box:

  • Detachable Steamer
  • Steamer Frame
  • Mop Head
  • Carpet Glider
  • (2) Microfiber Mop Pads
  • Squeegee/Fabric Steamer
  • Cotton Bonnet for Squeegee/Fabric Steamer
  • Small Nylon Brush
  • Large Nylon Brush
  • Angled Jet Nozzle
  • Grout Brush
  • Scraper
  • Straight Adaptor
  • Measuring Cup

 

Specifications:

  • 205 degree F steam
  • 20 Minute Run Time
  • Heats Up in 30 Seconds
  • 12 Ounce Water Tank
  • 1500 Watts
  • 120 Volts
  • 16 Foot Cord
  • UL Safety Listed
HomeRight is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win their own HomeRight SteamMachine Plus Mop!  Thank you to HomeRight for the review product and for sponsoring this steaming giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

HomeRight SteamMachine Plus Mop Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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eBay No Seller Protection Is increasing Buyer Scams

For many years I was a power seller on eBay, that was prior to 2010.  It seems 2010 is when eBay decided t0 stick it to their sellers. They offer No Seller Protection- although they claim to.

ebay-buyer protection 1

A few weeks ago during a decluttering mission, I decided to list some office equipment and supplies that we no longer used.  Most of the items were brand new, the others very barely used.  They were high-end items.  I listed them and the first thing I noticed was the enormous percentage eBay takes as a final value fee, not only on the price of the product but on the shipping price.  When you charge the customer actual shipping, which I did, I lost money.  I believe they must have started doing this because many sellers were trying to circumvent eBay fees by selling the product for less and charging a huge shipping fee.

So the first thing that ticked me off was they were taking a fee of the shipping even though they clearly saw I charged actual shipping as I bought the label through them. Then after they take their percentages, their sister company Paypal takes some more.  The worst part is they offer zero, zilch, nada in the way of seller protection.   We all know about Buyer Beware, but with eBay it’s truly the reverse.  Seller Beware is the caution for sellers on eBay.

mens warehouse blank meme ebay

Even if a seller says no returns, it means nothing.  A buyer doesn’t  need to  supply any proof to prove items  arrived damaged or not as described.  When I asked eBay about this, a live representative told me that when they required proof of damaged or not as described items it was being abused on both ends.  I could not get her to elaborate but she said that now the buyer just needs to state that the item was not as described or arrived damaged.  After that, eBay will contact the seller and ask them to issue the buyer a prepaid label to return the item.  They give the seller 5 days to do this and if they don’t make another arrangement with the buyer, eBay decides in the buyer’s favor.  Then eBay takes the money from the seller’s Paypal account they already put on hold and return it to the buyer.   Oh and the best part, the buyer at this point does not even need to return the product.

Ebay is now a playground for unscrupulous buyers who have used this “buyer’s protection” to play the game.  They  say a product was damaged, not as described or even stolen. Since the seller is completely ignored, the buyer can send back a similar item they had that was broken.  For instance let’s say the buyer orders a video game that is the same as one they have that’s broken.  When the new game arrives they file a claim that it was broken or does not work.  Ebay jumps in and does what is stated above. Then the buyer has a new game they did not pay for and the seller either has nothing or a broken game. It doesn’t matter if the seller has 40,000 positive feedback and the buyer has no feedback, it’s still decided in their favor.

On the subject of feedback,  sellers can only leave positive or no feedback for a buyer. They can’t leave neutral or negative feedback for any buyer.  So a seller has very little chance of seeing the bad apples when they are bidding.  Now a seller can check feedback that the buyer leaves for others which I did after being scammed by a buyer. Whey I checked I found this buyer had left the same feedback for several power sellers and eBay did not care. He left feedback that the seller was a bad seller selling damaged items and for buyers to beware.  When this was brought to eBay’s attention they said nothing, not a word.

I sent them several emails during the 5 days this case was pending with substantial evidence this buyer was a con artist and not one email was responded to.  5 days later I received the email that the case had been decided in the buyers favor and that the item will not be returned but the buyers money will and so will their shipping.  Okay, so I had been smart and purchased insurance at my expense, the buyer was not charged for it.  I went and filed the claim with USPS who I thought I bought the insurance from.  Well the claim was paid but for $50 when the item was way over that and I had purchased insurance for the full selling price on the item.  When I called USPS, they were very helpful but told me that the $50 is standard that they offer on all shipments and that is when I found out the insurance I bought was not with USPS but another (you guessed it) eBay company. They do not pay a claim the way USPS does, fast and friendly. No, quite the contrary.

the_most_interesting_man_in_the_world ebay

When I called to file the claim, I was told the buyer, yes the buyer, has to respond to an email and state the item he received was damaged.  Well, didn’t he already do that?  No, according to them, his email to me through eBay and one that eBay has do not count.  He has to respond to another email and if he doesn’t the insurance claim will not be paid to the seller.  They will wait 30 days for the buyers response and if there is none the seller can contact the eBay insurance company again and file an appeal.

If the insurance was through USPS I would have a check in my hand.  Not so with eBay.  To say I am disgusted with eBay is an understatement.  The email that says they settled the dispute in the buyer’s favor said a seller  can appeal. So I did, I was on hold for over 30 minutes and when I got through was told that I could not appeal.  Yes, that was it.

 

thief cartoon

So if you are selling on eBay please beware:

They take astronomical feels from the final sale price of your product

They take a fee from the shipping price of your product, so you can’t charge actual shipping because you will shortchange yourself.  Must add handling fee, and don’t worry they will help themselves to some of that too!

Buying a label, if you buy it through eBay or Paypal and want insurance it will be through an eBay company that does not pay the claim unless the buyer does certain things.  Do yourself a favor and buy the label from USPS direct and get the insurance through them too.

Even if you send a perfect product out that is exactly as described and packed well, the buyer can claim it was damaged or not as described.  Buyer will not be required to show a shred of proof.  His or her word is as good as gold with eBay. The choices eBay will give you are to pay for the customer to return the item or let them keep it and to refund the purchase and shipping price to the buyer.  They will not respond to you in any way or  look at any evidence to show the buyer is lying or committing fraud.

Finally  the insurance with what a seller thinks is USPS is very covertly switched to an eBay company. A company that says they will have to wait until the buyer responds to a new email in order to pay the seller back the money they are out.  Funny they don’t just look at the eBay messages to see what the buyer says when they have to pay out the money.  The whole thing is to just find a loophole to not pay.  Funny that sellers can’t put their funds on hold and just pay ourselves in 5 days.

Bottom line is eBay just does not care at all about  sellers.  They seem to forget without sellers there can be no eBay.

A quick Google search shows many power and reputable sellers stating the same thing.  This is one seller who won’t sell on eBay again. If you want to read how many sellers have been wronged, check out this post in the eBay community, or this one, or 1,000 others saying the same thing…eBay screws sellers.  Their new slogan should be: eBay taking buyers protection to a whole new low.


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“Beyond The Lights” DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack Giveaway

Did you watch the Oscars last week.  If you did, how do you think Neil Patrick Harris did as host? That really is a thankless job and very few hosts meet with approval.  The Oscars are over but you may need to catch up on your movie watching like me.  Beyond The Lights was just released on Blu-ray combo pack.  Read below to find out more and be sure and enter the giveaway to win your own Combo Pack.

beyond the lights blu ray combo pack 1

Beyond the Lights Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

Beyond The Lights

Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is the music world’s latest superstar, but the pressures of fame have her on the edge…until she meets Kaz (Nate Parker), a handsome young cop with political aspirations who’s been assigned to protect her. Drawn to each other, Noni and Kaz fall fast and hard, despite protest from Noni’s Mother (Oscar® Nominee Minnie Driver*) and Kaz’s father (Danny Glover).  However, Kaz’s love might be the missing piece that gives Noni the courage to find her own voice and break free to become the artist she was meant to be.

This film was recently nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Original Song “Grateful” By Diane Warren.

*Supporting Actress, Good Will Hunting, 1997

Beyond The Lights 2

Beyond The Lights 1

Special Features:

  • Director’s Cut (Blu-ray Only)
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Gina Prince-Bythewood, Tami Reiker, and Terilyn Shropshire (DVD & Blu-ray)
  • Escape to Mexico 2.0 (DVD & Blu-ray)
  • Changing the Conversation (Blu-ray Only)
  • Gary Theard: Boom Man (DVD & Blu-ray)
  • Commentary by Gina Prince-Bythewood, Tami Reiker, and Terilyn Shropshire (Blu-ray Only)
  • “Masterpiece” Music Video (Blu-ray Only)
  • Theatrical Trailer (DVD & Blu-ray)
  • Digital HD (Blu-ray Only)

Beyond The Lights 3

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win Beyond The Lights on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack. Thank you to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment  for the review product and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Beyond The Lights DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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16 Reasons I’m Blessed to be the Mother of Sons!

As bloggers we have a voice, it can be one that helps or one that hurts.  Many times bloggers intentionally create content that will stir controversy.  As they say, “any publicity is good publicity.” Blog comments are gold and outrageous posts can go viral and create enormous traffic.

Yesterday, there was a post and I will not reference it with a link, I truly believe it needs no further attention.  It created a bit of outrage as the blogger posted how she was so happy she would never have a son. The post was a  list of reasons why, from not having to talk about penises to pee on the bathroom floor.  At the end there was a call to action for all mothers who were happy to be “son free” to comment.

It was pretty bad and I found zero humor in it.  I was not alone judging by the two hundred or so comments that called her out.  Many said that since she just has one child, a girl, who has not hit puberty, she has no idea what she is talking about.  Most of the people commenting had children of both sexes and still found her post highly offensive.  As a mother of both sexes, I found it offensive, a tad bitter, and not at all humorous.  I openly pointed this out both on the site and on her personal Facebook page where she posted a link to the article.  I just found it to be something totally unnecessary and created to draw attention, albeit negative to herself and her post.

Normally, I ignore this stuff, but could not help commenting on such a derogatory post toward  sons.  She also has no experience to speak, all she knows is being the mother of a daughter.  That’s all she knows, she can “know of boys” but that is not the same as being a mother to a son.  When I pointed this out, she responded that having grown up with a brother and being married to a man she was more or less qualified  to give her opinion.

I grew up with 3 brothers,  I’m married to a man and  it’s no way close to holding your newborn son for the first time.  It’s an entirely different experience from parenting a daughter and a bond that is nothing at all the same.  Not saying one is better or worse, as all children are miracles and I am thankful to be the mother of both sexes. However, being the mother of a son is not all about penises,pee on the bathroom floor or circumcision.  Not all parents have to go “round and round” over the cut or uncut issue either.  Let me tell you my experience of being the mother of a son.

sons

It is the birth of a protector

It is a handful of dandelions delivered in a dirty hand

It is the little treasures he brings you because he loves you

sons 1

It is the laughter you share over your adventures

It is the sparkle in his eye when he introduces you to all his preschool friends because you are his world.

sons 8

It is the way he snuggles when you are reading to him

It is all the times he asks what things were like when you were a kid

It is about his endless collection of super hero costumes that he wears 24/7

sons 7

It is about how much the younger sons look up to their older brothers

sons 3

 

sons 6

It is about pride so huge when you see them stand up for what they believe in

It is how your heart swells when others tell you what great young men they are or how they helped someone

It is the pride you have when you see the man he is becoming

sons 2

 

sons 5

 

It is about the ability to build them up to be the best men they can be

It is imagining what it will be like when they become husbands and fathers

It is about hoping you don’t cry but knowing you will when you dance with them at their wedding

It is about holding on and letting go

sons 9

It is about all of this and so much more.

Thank God I was blessed to be the mother of four sons.

 

 


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TheJMom.com Closing-JWhat? The End of the Meddling Mom Dating Site, Say It Ain’t So!

jmom_logo

Matchmaker Matchmaker Make Me A Match…hmmm, you must be wondering where I’m going with that.  Well, I will just get it out there. TheJMom.com is an online dating site.  However, it’s a bit of  a shift from other sites like Match.com, Cupid.com and Eharmony.com.  TheJMom.com is a site where mothers and their adult child have a combined profile.  It is not that they’re each looking for someone, mom is looking for a suitable match for her child.  Oh, and J stands for Jewish.

So to recap, a Jewish mom will start an account, put a brief bio about herself and family, even upload her photo. Then she will upload photos of her daughter or son, fill out their information, and describe why they are a good catch and who they are looking for in a mate. Then other moms contact her to see what she thinks about a potential match with their son or daughter.  Oh and the sons and daughters can contact the moms too if they see someone they like to see what mama thinks.  If she thinks it is okay, then the “kids” will be able to email each other and see what happens from there.

The site was started by siblings Brad and Danielle along with friend and programmer Matt.  Brad was on one of the mainstream sites and not finding a suitable mate.  Mom Barbara, kept pestering Brad for his password so she could take a gander at the available women and he finally gave in.  He left and two hours later she was still at the computer with a list of 10 women he needed to contact. He said she was having a blast, such a blast and so invested that the idea for the site just evolved right there.

This is from their site:

Dating is not easy these days for young professionals. It takes lots of time, money, and can be very stressful. Kids should listen to their parents when they tell you that you’re not going to find prince charming in a bar. We are launching TheJMom.com to give the power of matchmaking through the internet to parents. You can browse potential partners in your child’s city, email their parents for more information about their children and family, and set them up on a casual date.

Take some time to browse the site, sign up your son/daughter, and let the matchmaking begin!

Danielle, Brad and Mama Barbara.  I could not find Matt.  Maybe he found his Beshert.  I think Brad and Danielle are still looking.

Danielle, Brad and Mama Barbara. I could not find Matt. Maybe he found his Beshert. I think Brad and Danielle are still looking.

Never mind, I found Matt.  He has a video on how to get the most out of your profile.  You can watch it below. It was on Aunt Elaine’s Blog Tab.  She does the blogging for TheJMom.com. She was successful at setting up her son with a nice girl, he later married. She is one of the reasons TheJMom.com was launched.

 

I don’t know what your thoughts are right now.  Perhaps you think it’s a great idea, why shouldn’t the mother take an active role in the online dating adventures of their adult children.  Maybe you are disgusted by the idea of meddling mothers already becoming a thorn in the side of a prospective new son or daughter-in-law.  Whether you are actively on the site filling in your information or dry heaving into the garbage, you need to keep reading.

Several, successful marriages were the result of online JMom.com matches.  The membership is free, there are paid upgrades I believe.  TheJMoms’ Facebook Fan Page has posts written by couples on their second or third child who met and married thanks to their meddling moms.  They say wonderful things about the whole experience of finding their soul mate or Beshert.

Now, for some big news that may make you sad or happy.  TheJMom.com is shutting their internet doors on March 1st.  Why you ask?  Well, they say they cannot afford to run it any longer.  I really don’t fully understand that. The site was started by a brother and sister along with their friend Matt. Ironic to think their mom was not a partner but I digress.  Their goal was to help people find their ideal match and they didn’t want to use any outside funding. Stating that their lives have changed and that outside funding is not feasible, they bid all farewell.

So if their goal was to help find ideal matches and bring people together, why abandon that?  They can easily make money with sponsors and or affiliate advertising to cover the hosting as well as salaries for the webmaster or administration.  I think that’s the part I find so shocking. Abandoning what seems to be a successful niche market makes me think they are seriously lacking in online marketing skills.

I am almost tempted to run in and capitalize on all the Mom/child dating niches before anyone else does.  How about CMom.com for Christian Mom or we could go by nationalities and have IMom for Italian Mom, KMom for Korean Mom, GMom for Greek Mom.  Oh my, so many moms, so many markets.  We just can’t allow the only meddling mom dating site to die now can we?  Come on, who is with me?  Where are my business partners? I can’t run this empire alone.

 


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Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles Review & Giveaway! 3 Winners!

csfts new logo

Do you ever feel like you need some reassurance, especially in your faith?  I think most of us can relate to that. Sometimes we need to be reminded and shown that just because we cannot see something, does not mean it does not exist.  When you are feeling down or having trouble accepting things that may be occurring in your life, it can have you doubting your faith.

Perhaps you have lost someone you love and want desperately to know they are still around. Maybe you are praying for a sign.  The Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles book is full of 101 miraculous stories of hope, faith, divine intervention and answered prayers that will amaze you.  These encouraging stories will lift your spirits and restore your faith.

chicken-soup-for-the-soul-hope-miracles-9781611599442_lg

Read about the mother of a Sandy Hook shooting victim who prayed for a sign that here son Jesse was okay and minutes later saw “Jesse & Jesus” written in the sky.  You will be amazed when you read how a grieving daughter remembering her mom’s appearance on the show, Let’s Make A Deal, went there herself.  She was picked from the audience and won a new car!  A woman sitting on a bench, suddenly hears her mother’s voice and it forces her off the bench. A few moments later a tree falls on the bench.  If that does not have you believing, it was also the anniversary of her mom’s death.  In another story a brother and sister who were separated at British orphanage during World War II were reunited 75 years later in Australia.  Read  about a businessman turned paster who did not believe in miracles until he laid his hands on a paralyzed man who then walked into his office a few weeks later.  There are 96 other stories that are powerful examples of our connection to a higher power that will fill you with awe and give your strength when you are weak.

Enter Our Giveaway:

Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! Three lucky blog readers will win their own copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles! Thank you to Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing for the review book and for sponsoring this inspiring giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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LEGO Justice League Vs Bizarro League Blu-ray Giveaway #JusticeLeague #BizarroLeague

Lego DC Super Heros

Batman has joined the newly formed Justice League in order to keep tabs on Superman, a mistrust that is complicated by Superman’s clumsy – but well-meaning – clone, Bizarro. Bizarro’s creation of the Bizarro League has caused confusion amongst the world’s greatest Super Heroes, but an even greater and mysterious threat may force the Justice League and Bizarro League to band together to defeat evil.

LEGO: DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League is here along with an awesome Bizarro name-generator app and exclusive Digital Trading Cards.  Pick up the Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack+Batzarro LEGO minifigure Now!

 

 

Want to win a LEGO: DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League (Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack) and Lego minifigure?  Enter the giveaway below for your chance!
LEGO: DC Comic Super Heroes: Justice League vs Bizarro League Blu-ray Combo Pack & LEGO minifigure Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Each household is only eligible to win LEGO: DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League (Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack) Blu-ray via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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Kidorable Pirate Rain Coat Review & Umbrella Giveaway

Kidorable Logo

We love Kidorable.  You may remember our other reviews of their products.  We recently were asked to check out the rain coats and Luke picked out a Pirate style.  We bought it a little big since we are not sure when or if spring will really hit this year in upstate New York. Maybe by April he will be able to wear it out into the April showers.

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coat_pirate_open_pu

The raincoat has such great detail there is even an eye patch that attaches to the hooded pirate hat.  As always it is constructed of high quality material and is very well made.  These rain coats are so full of personality and really allow you child to let their imagination soar.

kidorable pirate

pirate raincoat

Kidorable has so many great styles of rain coats, rain boots, umbrellas, towels and more.  Check them out for yourself. If you would like to win an umbrella of your choice, be sure and check out the giveaway below.

Giveaway:

Kidoarble is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win an umbrella of their choice (subject to availability) . Thank you to Kidorable for the review product and for sponsoring this treasure of a  giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Kidoarable Umbrella Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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#MaxYourTax With Walmart’s Lowest Priced Unlimited Plans

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MaxYourTax #CollectiveBias

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Imagine me singing that, on second thought, maybe you shouldn’t. However, I’m sure many were singing a similar tune when they received their tax refund check this year.  If you are like me with a family, home and busy life, that money is very welcome.  I am a very big saver and I like to get the most bang for my buck on what I do spend.  I guess you could say, I like to see just how much I can save when buying the things we need.  I really scored big in that department this year, I want to share my story with you and hopefully help you #MaxYourTax return this year.

Walmart Family Mobile Hero

Cell phone plans can be so expensive, especially when your kids get to the age that they all need a phone and plan.  It can easily get way out of hand for most families.  We have a family of 7 and 5 of us all have smartphones so it can be hard to find something affordable.  I can hardly believe my 4th child is going to be joining the phone carrying crew and so I started to scout out options.  I mean I want something affordable and a phone that is not going to cost $600!

While at Walmart picking up some essentials, I happened to notice the Walmart Family Mobile service has the lowest priced unlimited plans, just $29.88 a month for the first line.  That is for unlimited talk, text/data service which includes up to 500MB of 4G LTE data  What a deal!  This is perfect for him and it definitely lets me maximize my tax refund!

family mobile store 2015_edited-1

family mobile store 2015 1_edited-1

I was able to pick up the Samsung Galaxy Avant and starter kit for just $149 for the phone and $25 for the starter kit.

Family mobile store 2015 #maxyourtax

While picking that out I noticed ZTE Zinger was marked down in price to  $19.84 from the original price of $39.88, that is a great way to really get value for your tax dollars.

family mobile for hero 3

Family Mobile for hero

Family Mobile for hero 2

Family mobile for hero 1

You know since I was able to save so much on the phone and service, I have some extra tax return money to put toward something else.  Maybe toward creating an even bigger butterfly garden.  Can you tell I am sick of snow and looking forward to spring?  I would love for you to share with me how you plan to #MaxYourTax this year.  Please share your best ways to do that in the comments.  I love to read your great ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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6 Ways To Save Monarch Butterflies With The #NWF

Living in the lush mountains of upstate New York, we are blessed to be surrounded by acres upon acres of lush meadows and fields.  My kids have always been around nature.  In fact, I still remember when my daughter was entering 3rd grade, we were to look at the milkweed plants to try to find a Monarch Caterpillar.  We did and we sent it in to her class.  Every year the third grade does this and they raise the caterpillars and set the gorgeous Monarchs free.

We are in a crisis though, since 1990 the Monarch populations has decreased by 90%.  I have noticed how rare it is to see a Monarch but was surprised to learn we lost such a large percentage.  The more I thought, I could not recall seeing  even see one last year.   The beautiful yellow Swallowtail butterflies are prevalent and feed on the many succulent perennials in my garden.  I have to do my part this year to try to bring the Monarch population back!

You may be wondering what we can do. It’s as easy as planting Milkweed.  Milkweed serves as a food source, nursery and home for the Monarchs.  The National Wildlife Federation says there is hope for the Monarch if we act now. Below you find 6 ways to save Monarchs with the  NWF.  This information and more is on their website so click the links below to learn more.

NWF-Save-Monarchs graphic

Six Ways to Save Monarchs with NWF

  1. Help Save Grasslands – America’s native grasslands are critically important for monarchs. They offer both milkweed for monarch caterpillars as well as nectar plants for adult butterflies (and many other pollinators too). Today, more than 90 percent of native grasslands have been converted to cropland and development. Grasslands are disappearing faster than any other ecosystem in North America, and that’s a big problem for monarchs.  Join NWF in fighting to save grasslands for monarchs.
  2. Support Highway Habitat Corridor – NWF and USFWS are working to create a coalition of agriculture leaders and highway transportation organizations to plant milkweed and nectar plants along monarch migratory flyways and in other important monarch breeding grounds along key Midwest and Texas corridors.  Learn more about highway habitat corridor plan and how to support it.
  3. Plant Milkweed – You can make saving the monarch personal by planting milkweed in your yard or garden. There are many milkweed species found in North America, so no matter where you live, there’s at least one species native to your area. You’ll be rewarded not only with he knowledge that you are making a difference, but by attracting monarchs to enjoy. Find out what milkweeds are from your region.
  4. Don’t Use Pesticides – Monarchs are insects, and so spraying insecticides will kill them. Make the commitment to avoid spraying pesticides in your yard. Find out how to garden organically.
  5. Create Monarch Habitat– NWF’s Garden for Wildlife program can teach you how to turn any outdoor space into a complete habitat for monarch. Just provide food, water, cover and places to raise young.  It all starts with what you plant and you can create a habitat garden in your own yard, at your office, your church or the local school grounds. Entire communities are launching efforts to create monarch habitat. Learn how to create a wildlife-friendly garden.
  6. Join NWF Affiliate Efforts in Your State — Eleven of NWF’s state affiliates are active partners in the Garden for Wildlife program, teaching people how to create habitat for monarchs and other wildlife. They offer regional expertise and resources, offering native milkweed seeds, running monarch tagging and citizen science efforts and even working on legislative solutions. Joining these efforts is a great way to get involved on the local level. Find out if your state’s NWF affiliate is working to protect monarchs.

Milkweed Seed Finder Graphic

I hope you will join me in doing our part to create a natural habitat for the Monarchs.  Please let me know if you plan to participate.  I am really looking forward to seeing more and more of these beautiful creatures.  I know we will if we all do our part.  So, are you in?


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