New Baby Registry Tips by MyRegistry.com

New Baby Registry Tips by MyRegistry.com

Creating a registry for your growing family or first baby? MyRegistry.com is the premiere destination for universal gift registry services and will help you get ready when the big day finally comes. Their universal registry allows you to register for the safest car seat, the softest blankets, and everything else you need to welcome your newest family member.

The coolest part? You can add these items and more from ANY store of your choice to one, simple gift registry list —whether it be a local mom and pop shop without a website or a national chain superstore. You can even upload existing store registries if you already have, and even register for big ticket items through a cash gift fund all in one place… For FREE! Check out why we love the site, below:

Add Anything, From Anywhere
Yup, you read that right. Whether it be a local mom and pop shop without a website or a national chain superstore, MyRegistry.com allows you to add anything you want to your list from any store, anywhere.

Combine and Conquer
Still want to register elsewhere? MyRegistry allows users to sync their various gift registries, combining them into one master list. One and done.

Barcode Scanning Power
Out shopping and found something you love? No need to rush to a computer, simply scan the barcode of the item you’re coveting with your smartphone to easily add it to your gift list. This is a great way to have that in-store registry experience while still keeping things simple.

Skip the Awkward
Let’s face it, cash can be one of the most useful gifts to give, but no one wants to ask for it. MyRegistry allows users to register for cash gifts, and show where it will be used by uploading an image and description. Whether you’re saving for your college fund, or just hoping to take a family trip, the “Cash Gift Fund” option can help you get there.

There’s Much to Discover
Not sure where to start? Check out other parent’s registries in real time to see what they’re hoping to receive, and get a little inspiration for your own list while you’re at it.

Give Back
Whether you already have everything you need as a family, or simply want to give loved ones the option of donating, the service allows users to include donations to their favorite charity or cause as gift options through their “universal add” and “cash gift” options. Who doesn’t love the chance to give a little (or a lot)?

Sharing is Caring
Let your loved ones and guests know that you’ve created a registry with a personalized ecard. So much better than snail mail.

It’s Personal
Have a question or need advice? The MyRegistry concierge team is available to both you and your guests via phone or chat. And they’re super quick about responding — trust us, we just tried it out!

Don’t Forget to Say Thanks
After all is said and done, the last thing you want to forget to do is send your thank you cards. Lucky for you, MyRegistry allows you to set reminders, so you won’t forget to let Aunt Dot know how much you appreciated the blender she bought you.

It’s Not Just for Baby Registries
MyRegistry can be used for birthdays, graduations, holidays, you name it. If there’s a gift involved, MyRegistry has you covered.

Now that you’ve got the low-down on this awesome site, it’s time to get shopping!

Single Mom Home DIY Project: Bathroom Grout Makeover

Single Mom Home DIY Project: Bathroom Grout Makeover

How to Get Your Grout to Look Brand New

Grout can be troublesome. While ceramic tiles are designed to resist stains, deflect grime and last for years, grout tends to absorb dirt and become strained all too easily. You might have tried many different cleaning solutions and homemade remedies on your grout, but nothing seems to get that dark brown stain out from between those shiny ceramic tiles. What can you do?

Remember, when tackling dirty grout, always start out with a mild cleaning solution, and if that doesn’t clean it fully, gradually move on to more aggressive cleaners. Of all the commercial cleaning solutions out there, we’ve found OxyClean to be the simplest and most effective at tackling messy grout lines and dirty tiles. Not only is OxyClean tough on grout, its main component is hydrogen peroxide, a “green” cleaning product that is neither a carcinogen nor a neurotoxin. Simply combine the OxyClean with water, rub onto the grout, and let sit for the recommended time before rinsing it off and brushing away any residue.

You might be tempted to use a rough brush to push the solution into the grout lines. Don’t do that! Using an abrasive brush such as steel wool or Brillo pad will wear down the grout and do more harm than good. In some cases, it could break through the grout, forcing you to get it replaced. Of all the brushes, an old electric toothbrush is the most effective at brushing dirt out of grout. Much like it does to your teeth, the electric toothbrush rotates and scrubs the gunk out of the grout, while simultaneously reaching those hard-to-get or unseen spots.

If you’re having no luck with the various cleaning solutions, consider investing in a steam mop. A steam mop uses high pressure, hot water and steam to blast your flooring and clean your grout. The high pressure created by the machine lifts dirt from inside the porous grout lines, flushing it out and leaving a shiny, new-looking surface in its wake.  Using a steam mop is great on the environment since it uses hot water instead of harsh cleaning chemical solutions.

 

Cleaning with the steam mop is very easy. To use your steam mop, all you need to do is hold the nozzle and direct the steam through it and onto the grout line. Direct the nozzle up and down the grout lines to directly take on the dirt. You want to rent or buy a steam mop that has a strong pressure gauge and can reach ~350ºF, as this is the optimal temperature for cleaning grout. Cleaning mops are very effective when used alone, even more so when used following a more traditional cleaning attempt using a homemade or commercial cleaning solution which are used by the professionals such as Sir Clean Pro. Once you’re finished using the steam mop, use an attached brush, old toothbrush or nylon brush with soft bristles to wipe away any leftover dirt residue. Once you’re done, your tile floor or wall should look shiny and new.

Carpet Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners

Carpet Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners

My daughter has been asking, requesting, and even begging me for a pet; specifically a dog. I have not fulfilled her wishes because I know the huge responsibility that having a dog entails. It means getting up early or staying up late to walk the dog. It means cleaning up after the dog during the training stage. It means managing pet hair, accidents, and chewed up shoes. It could mean a huge carpet cleaning or replacement bill. If you are a little more lenient and decide to get your child a pet here are a few carpet cleaning tips for pet owners to ease your mind.

Having pets doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your carpets. A little hard work, active planning, and preparation is all you need to stay on top of things and keep your carpets clean around the hustle and bustle of dogs and cats. Accidents are bound to happen, whether you have one pet or several, but reacting with immediacy and the proper cleaning techniques can make the difference between a temporary mess and a permanent stain on your carpet. Of course, you can always hire a professional carpet cleaner and if you live anywhere near Charlottesville, VA, check out Tidy Guy for some great deals on carpet cleaning.

mom pet owner carpet cleaning tips

Managing Pet Hair

Pet hair can be impossible to get rid of. Many dogs shed, leaving hair in their tracks everywhere they go – across the carpet, on the couch, on your clothes and pillows and blankets. Some dogs shed so much that vacuuming can’t keep up, and you can even risk clogging your vacuum with the hair.

One way to lessen the pressure on your vacuum cleaner is to do a ‘lint roll’ over your carpets before you turn on the vacuum. Wrap an old paint roller in masking tape and attach it to an old broom handle to get the outer layer of pet hair off your carpets before you vacuum. This can also be an effective way to clean hair off your furniture as well. In order to stay on top of your pet’s shedding, vacuum your carpets at least three times per week.

Dealing with Pet Accidents

Accidents happen, always. Sometimes you’re training a new puppy and they don’t make it outside in time, other times your already-trained dog gets too excited to see you and has an accident. Reacting immediately to these kinds of accidents is the key to minimizing stains and damage. Follow these steps to clean the carpet as flawlessly as possible:

  1. First, lay an old cloth over the urine stain on the carpet. Stand on the cloth to press it into the carpet and absorb much of the moisture.
  2. Next, clean the area with a solution made from four drops of liquid dishwashing detergent to one cup of warm water. Work the solution into the carpet’s stain before rinsing it well with a clean, wet towel.
  3. To avoid future stains in that spot, blot the stain with a vinegar and water solution.
  4. After you’re done cleaning put some paper towels down and place a book on top to act as a weight to facilitate moisture absorption.

It isn’t advisable that you use a steam carpet cleaner to tackle pet-related stains. Using a steam cleaner can yield the opposite result, setting the stain and making it impossible to remove. There are many products available on the market that is designed to remove pet-related stains. It’s important to follow directions very closely when using products like this in order to bring about the best results.

A handheld carpet vac (available usually for < $100 online) is a great tool for successfully getting rid of pet stains in your carpet without breaking the bank. Use only warm water in your carpet extractor before attempting to use an enzyme treatment to get rid of any odors. Using water first will rid your carpets of any chemical residues, which can inhibit the enzyme treatment from doing its job. Remember, liquid messes spread easily in your carpet, so immediacy is key to handling these types of stains.

Single Moms and Raising Teen-Aged Sons

Single Moms and Raising Teen-Aged Sons

By Diane Windsor (Publisher, MotinaBooks.com)
Diane@MotinaBooks.com

I remember so clearly when my son was little.  He was seven when his father and I divorced, and we moved out of state.  Sure, we struggled, but we had many good times, too.  I was a super-involved single mom.  When he was in elementary school, I knew all of his teachers.  I attended class parties, and I never missed a parent-teacher conference.

I made sure he was involved in fun extra-curricular activities with other boys his age.  We were very active in Cub Scouts.  The Pinewood Derby was always my favorite event!  Together, we built several cars that won the race!  I was a very proud Derby Mama; I knew how to polish those axels and make the cars go FAST!

He joined a basketball team for several years, and that really helped him grow.  I was there for every practice and game, and I was the mom who kept track of all the players’ statistics.  My son was good at defense, but he never wanted to shoot.  I’ll never forget the one time he was in the perfect spot to get a basket.  The parents were sitting on the bleachers wondering what he would do.  Then, he threw the ball and made the basket!  We all got on our feet and cheered.

But sports were not his passion.  And he decided not to continue with Boy Scouts.

My adorable little boy was becoming one of the most feared creatures on Earth; the teenager with an attitude.  He loved to argue with me.  Everything I said was wrong.  He was still doing pretty well in school, which was certainly a relief.  But home was a different story.  We got along fine as long as he was doing and getting what he wanted.  But when I needed him to do something for me or the household, it wasn’t happening and an argument erupted.

The Challenges of Raising Teen-Aged Sons

Being the mother of a teen boy can be so challenging!  I’m five-feet, three inches tall on a good day, and my son towered over me when he was only thirteen.  His father lived out of state, so I was on my own with this kid.  How in the world would life be bearable until he graduated from high school?

As a mom, I was tempted to just give in to his wishes to make peace in our home.  I certainly did not look forward to the days that, after being at work for nine hours, there would be a huge knock-down, drag-out waiting for me at home.

Truths About Raising a Teen-Aged Son

I needed to remind myself of several important truths:

  • I’m the adult, not him. This was my home, and he was allowed to share it with me.  I paid the bills, and I made the rules.  Even though he is absolutely sure that he knows more than I do, I know that I’m right.  I need to stand my ground and be the adult.
  • Giving in to his demands will not help him. As a parent, it’s my job to raise a child into an adult.  This boy needs to become a strong man, and I need to help him.  This means that he needs to understand that the choices he makes will have consequences, whether they are good or bad.  If he chooses to not complete his school work, he will suffer the consequences of that choice.  It’s not my job to bail him out.  The same rules apply at home.  If he decides not to do a household chore that is his responsibility, I will provide the consequences.
  • Enabling him and bailing him out will not help him. It would have been so easy for me to clean up after him, cook all his meals, and just give in, in order to keep peace in my house.  But is that teaching him how to be a strong, independent man?  No!
  • Parents have more power than we think we do. It seems that many parents today are almost afraid to discipline their children.  It is okay if we don’t give our children every single thing they want.  “No,” is a complete sentence.  We do not need to give them an explanation for the decisions we make.

This difficult time with my son is only a season.  It won’t last forever.  I know that it’s my job to help him grow into a successful young man, and he won’t always enjoy the process!  I’m looking forward to the day, maybe five or ten years down the road, when I hear the words, “Mom, you were right!”

3 Secrets to Having the Best New Year Ever (Even if Last Year Sucked)!

3 Secrets to Having the Best New Year Ever (Even if Last Year Sucked)!

Happy New Year and welcome to a fresh start! Last year sucked for so many people. I had some challenges too so I’m glad 2016 is behind me. Now we have the chance to start again with a fresh new sheet of paper.

Last year sucked for so many people. I had some challenges too so I’m glad 2016 is behind me. Now we have the chance to start again with a fresh new sheet of paper.

We get to write a new story for a new chapter of our lives. There are a lot of opinions about how to make it a great year, how to keep your resolutions, and how to be successful. There are even these lists of 17 things floating around for how to make 2017 great.

Personally, I get overwhelmed with a list that’s over five items so to keep it simple for everyone I only have three things to do to make 2017 the best ever.

Here are my top three tips for how to have the best new year ever

1. Stop caring about what other people think

Listen to your heart stop caring with others think

As I get older I care less and less about what other people think, but this year I cared way too much. Big mistake. I was miserable trying to keep up with the opinions of others. That was a total failure.

This year I’m pulling the rug out from under the opinions of others who are not where I want to be or have not experienced what I have experienced. I’m taking the attitude of Trust, but verify. I have to do a gut check to see if what others are saying, the advice they are handing out like lollipops, is worth the time and energy to follow.

Take a page out of my book and just stop caring about what other people think. Start following your heart instead. You know the answers and if you don’t pray for wisdom and trust that God will give you the right answers and send the right people your way.

2. Do you (improve along the way)

Be an Original and Do You

We live in such a copycat world right now that it’s hard to know what is genuinely you and what is someone else’s influence. Social media plays a huge part in this phenomenon. However, you have to decide to do what you do best and forget about the rest.

Embrace your personality, your quirks, even your dark side. In the process, you will learn to trust and love yourself more so you have more to give your children and the world when it’s time. The hidden benefit of doing you is your level of self-acceptance increases.

When you accept yourself it is easier to make small improvements along the way. It is fun and you don’t feel the pressure of having to change because someone else said you should.

3. Plan for success and focus only on what you want

Focus only on what you want - RichSingleMomma.com

Finally, make a plan for success. How?

Simply decide what you want for the year (I suggest the top 3 things), write it down and post where you will see it each day.

The next thing is to focus only on what you want and ignore the rest. You almost have to have tunnel vision so you can’t see the distractions or the B.S. that is constantly coming up. This is the key and what they mean about living your life on purpose.

If you want to go to school put it on the list. Start with getting information about the school, programs, and enrollment dates. Talk to an adviser about your goals. Then register for a class to test out whether it is right for you.

Just stay focused on the activities that will get you toward your goals. Let the rest fall our of your view.

If you do these three things for the first three months of the year, the rest of the year will be on fire! Amazing! Unstoppable!

Want to learn the secrets to Unstoppable Power?

Grab my course, How to Unleash Your Unstoppable Power, for only $.99 (plus you get unlimited access to 1,000s of other courses for 3 months)! In my course you will discover the 16 steps to living fearlessly and authentically for the rest of your life, one day at a time.

Give the Gift of Safety this Christmas

Give the Gift of Safety this Christmas

With two teens, my daughter who is in college, works, and drives all over the city, and my son who is beginning to launch out I’m always concerned about their safety. I try not to be paranoid when they go out but I’m that kind of mother with the wild imagination.

I’m thinking about what to get them for Christmas. My daughter says she just wants clothes and makeup and my son wants Star Wars footed pajamas. If only life were that simple and if only those things could keep them safe. Well this year, in addition to getting them what they want, I’m giving them the gift of safety.

There are a few options. I can get my daughter a can of mace and a whistle. That really could work but she may need something more if she is stranded on the side of the road in her car or walking across campus.

Self-defense classes is a great gift. I took classes when I was in college and I always remember what I learned all those years ago. I need something more immediate, portable, and great for any sticky situation though.E/T Safety Lights Give Gift of Safety

I heard about and ordered the E/T muti-use safety light to see how it works. According to the website Special Operations
military uses it on missions. There are four colored lights that mean different things in a rescue situation. I don’t want to think about that kind of scenario but it’s better to be safe than sorry for example during hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, etc…

When I got the light, I took it out of the packaging and started pressing the button, I cycled through the four colors, red, yellow, blue and green. The final cycle was a strobe of all the colors. The E/T Light was originally designed for US Spec Ops medics. E/T Lights last from 4 to 9 days on a constant on selection, they can be used for backup lights for those with no power, signaling lights for rescue, and still be used for a Christmas party or Mardi Gras!

If you want to add another layer of safety to your kids, college-aged daughter, elderly parent, or yourself it might be a good idea to give the gift of safety with the E/T light and free Visual 911+ app.