Monday, October 27, 2014

Protect Our Children--Don't Get Smashed This Halloween

Halloween is upon us and as a parent, safety is always a concern of mine.  There are some stats that are pretty frightening from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA):
    Kids have a greater chance of being fatally injured by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year, including the Fourth of July and New Year’s Day. (NHSTA )
    Halloween Was Deadliest Day of the Year for Child Pedestrian Accidents:
    One hundred and fifteen child pedestrian fatalities occurred on Halloween over the 21 years of our analysis. That is an average of 5.5 fatalities each year on October 31, which is more than double the average number of 2.6 fatalities for other days. (NHSTA )

    On Halloween, please don’t drink and drive. Don’t contribute to the numbers!
  • Designate a driver
  • Stay overnight at the party venue
  • Stay home and have fun handing out candy to the goblins and ghost who knock on your door.

Vampire Free Velvetwire Powerslayer® Smart USB Charger #Green

Disclosure: I received a Velvetwire Powerslayer Smart USB Charger to facilitate this review.

I hate to waste electricity.  It drives me nuts when the lights and television are left on and no one is in the room.  I line dry my laundry when I can.  I combine baking items.  And I have worked hard to teach my family the importance of conserving electricity whenever possible.

However, up till now, there was one thing that I couldn't do to conserve energy.  And that was get up in the middle of the night to unplug my phone charger once my phone was fully charged.  (Seriously, need my beauty rest!) I wouldn't mind as much if I plugged my phone in when I went to bed and it was only 18% charged.  But I hated it if my phone just needed charged a little bit, but wouldn't have time to fully charge in the morning.  Can you guess my excitement when I had the opportunity to review the Velvetwire Powerslayer Smart USB Charger-- a charger that actually shuts off once your phone is charged?

Velvetwire's Powerslayer is a brilliantly designed smartphone charger that provides an energy efficient charging process by turning off once the item is charged.  Not only that, it is also a surge protector to keep your gadgets save.  Double bang for the buck!

Charging light, and charger, will shut off once your smart phone is charged.

Another great feature is the Powerslayer USB cable.  This is a nice, tangle-free cable covered in a braided cloth.  I love the super long length choices--either 1 or 2 meters.  With the charger that shuts off when not in use and the super long cable, I can leave the charger plugged into a hard to reach outlet and still have easy access to charge my phone.  Another feature is that the prongs of the charger fold flat into the charger itself for convenient transportation.

Charging prongs fold flat.
As if all this wasn't cool enough, the design is cool and fun!  You have a choice of  4 great colors.

This charger comes with USB cables for both Apple and Android products.  If you haven't already figured it out, I am in LOVE with this charger and plan to get more for my kids.  Greener is better!

To learn more, visit

(Links below contain affiliate links with low Amazon Prices)

Disclosure: I received a Velvetwire Powerslayer Smart USB Charger to facilitate this review.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fall Household Tasks To Keep Things In Tip Top Shape #Fall

Fall is here and with it comes chores that can make your life easier in the long run.  Here are some things I am doing around the house these days that you may want to think about doing around your house to keep things in tip top shape:
  • Check and clean out the gutters.  Leaves can clog up the gutters, leading to water damage to your house.  If your gutters are high, I would suggest paying someone to clean them.
  • Mow leaves instead of raking.  When leaves aren't too heavy, we chop them up with the mower.  The lawn thanks us for this treat!!  (As well as our shoulders and arms.)
  • Rake leaves into the garden and landscaping.  They will help keep weeds out and decompose, adding vital nutrients to the soil.
  • Cover and store our outdoor furniture.  No need to let the winter weather beat it up.
  • Empty all flower pots and clean them before storing for next year.  I toss the dirt into my garden.
  • Checkthe window caulk.  This keeps the house warmer as well as help keep out ladybugs and stink bugs.
  • Check the weatherstripping around doors, including the garage doors.  If worn, it gets replace.
  • Drain water hoses to store in the garage.  If your hose freezes, it will be destroyed.
  • Bring in yard decor.  No point in leaving it out all winter.
  • Get the furnace serviced.  Annual tune-ups lead to it running more efficiently.  Plus, if anything is wrong, I'd rather find out now than when it stops working in the middle of winter.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Out-the-Door Homemade Pancakes for Breakfast

School days are such a rush getting out the door.  I hate to get my kids up any earlier than I have to (nor do I want to get up), but I also want them to have a good breakfast.  We don't do pop-tarts in our house and my kids aren't fans of granola bars, so grab and go foods are out.  I have found a way to be able to serve up homemade pancakes quickly.  When I make pancakes on the weekend, I simply make extras.  Once they have cooled, I layer them with wax paper between and put them in a freezer bag and freeze them.  On hurried mornings, I simply pull out what I need and microwave them.  It's so simple!

Friday, October 24, 2014

In This House We Will Giggle #Book #Christian #Virtues #Parenting

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah, a Division of Random House, to facilitate this review. Links in post may contain affiliate links.

In this House We Will Giggle;  Making Virtues, Love & Laughter a Daily Part of Your Family Life.  The title alone got me.  Sometimes, this house feels tired and so busy with the day-to-day that I feel we don't have enough giggles, so I was interested in what author Courtney DeFeo had to say.

She hooked me right off the bat when she described what she envisioned for her hom...before she had children.  And what reality was after.  I think we all do that to some extent.  I guess we don't realize how stressful parenting can really be till we have been there.  I like that the author reminds us that a house of love and grace includes mess.

In this book, you learn a love and laughter approach to spiritual growth.  You learn how to teach children 12 virtues (joy, love, forgiveness, faith, patience, perseverance, respect, responsibility, service, humility, gratitude, generosity), each with a chapter devoted solely to it.  She recommends spending a full month on each virtue.  These chapters contains a family activity to reinforce the virtue, along with discussion questions, scripture verses, catch phrases and  more.  The book is also filled with 60 ways to bring out the giggles--these are quick and easy activities for nurturing a sense of fun in the house.

This is a fun, easy read that has practical ways to teach virtues to your children while instilling joy and giggles.  The book reminds us to parent with a purpose, rather than get caught up in all the day-to-day stuff.  Honestly, I think that any family that reads this book and participates in the suggested activities will grow stronger spiritually and as a family.  Kudos!  I love the book and look forward to the changes my family will make over the next year!

Right now, you can purchase In This House, We Will Giggle: Making Virtues, Love, and Laughter a Daily Part of Your Family Life  for just $7.99 from Amazon.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah, a Division of Random House, to facilitate this review. Links in post may contain affiliate links.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Common Sense Media to the Rescue


As a parent, it is difficult to know what your children are exposed to in movies, websites, music, games, apps, television shows, and books.  No parent has the time to thoroughly check out all the things their kids are exposed to.  That's why I love Common Sense Media.  I can visit them and read a pretty unbiased review of movies, shows, apps, and more.  They have a pretty simple rating system and give examples of why something was rated the way it was.  It is definitely a site that parents might want to consider to help them make good decisions on what their children are exposed to.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How Much Are You Spending On Energy Vampires?

Did you know that even when your electronics aren't switched to on, they can still zap electricity, draining your wallet?  The Department of Energy claims that vampire loads are responsible for approximately 5% of your energy bill, costing electric customers more than $3 billion, yes BILLION per year.

If you want to know what items are energy vampires, turn off your lights at night and see what lights up.  Many "standby" lights are guilty of draining energy.  A quick and easy fix is a power strip that cuts off the power completely when not in use.

Visit Duke Energy for a cool little form that can give you an idea of how much you can save each year by truly turning these items off when not in use.

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