Making the Decision to Work at Home Part 1


Mothers who work at home (or Wahms) are a growing population of working America. Increasingly, more and more women want to spend time with their children and need to bring in an income, thus there has been a boom in the work at home industry.

Making the decision to work at home is not always an easy one. Before you decide that being a Work at home mom (Wahm) is right for you, you need to take a few things into account.

First of all, you’ll need to decide if being a Wahm is right for you AND your family. There are many benefits to working at home as compared with outside the home. You can set your own hours, you don’t have to commute to work, and you can be there for your kids when they need you.

However, there are some downsides as well. The isolation of working at home can be an issue for some women. There are also challenges related to juggling work time and family time, and clearly drawing the line between both.

You willl also have to look at the impact that working from home will have on your family’s financial situation. If you are moving from a high-paying full-time job, to working part-time from home while you care for your child or children, there will definitely be some financial adjustments that will have to be made.

However, whatever your cut in pay will be, you have to weigh that versus the costs going to work commuting and so forth, for example, and above all, of putting your child into daycare full-time, which can certainly be price-y these days.

Although it may seem like your work at home pay will be much smaller compared to your full-time outside of the home job, you need to consider that your housekeeping chores are of value, and keep in mind the high cost of daycare.

If you can make an equal amount of money or more by working part-time from home and taking care of your child yourself, it is well worth it financially to stay at home.

If you also see that you will save money on your commute, lunches, work clothes, and so forth, then being a WAHM would seem to be right for you.

In fact, many women see that raising their child without the use of daycare, whether or not they make a significant income, is the real benefit of being a Wahm. The perks of raising your own child, while still bringing in money for the family, are many. Children are only young once, and being able to stay at home with them is one of the top reasons that women choose a Wahm career.


Continued in Making the Decision to Work at Home Part 2


Tips for Smart Shopping for Clothes


We’ve all seen the headlines. These days, more and more people are living on a tight budget. While men and women alike enjoy shopping and appreciate having a nice wardrobe, they also want to be able to maintain some semblance of a budget in the process.

If you’re one of them, there are some tips that you should keep in mind when you head off shopping to expand and broaden your wardrobe.

Before purchasing a piece of clothing, try to think of at least two pieces that you already own that you can wear with it.

Don’t be haphazard with your purchases. You might see something on a shelf or rack and find it appealing, but if you don’t have anything that goes with it, it will just sit in your wardrobe. Avoid impulse purchases at all costs.

You might also consider shopping online to get some ideas as to how to mix and match your current wardrobe, with one or two all purpose pieces.

There is nothing worse than the impulse buy you regret, or the purchase that a salesperson talked you into.

While a particular item may be attractive, some items really do not enhance your wardrobe, or your appearance. hose skinny jeams may look great on someone who is skinny, but be realistic,”it may be the fashion, but if rolls of flab are sticking out from under your belly top you might want to go from something a bit more classic. Or at least do a few more sit ups and try to work off the love handles and muffin top.

When it comes to developing a wardrobe that is full of good value clothing you will be able to wear over and over again, it is important that the pieces that you select to include in your wardrobe compliment one another.

As you go about shopping and as you eye a piece of clothing on a store rack or shelf, don’t run off and purchase that piece unless you can be sure you have several things to match it, plus, it really is the bargain you think it is.

By shopping in a careful manner, you will be able to develop and create a truly fantastic and versatile wardrobe.

In addition to allowing you the ability to expand your wardrobe with compatible matching pieces, this manner of shopping also assists you saving money along the way. You end up avoiding impulse buying, and thus spending money on items that you will not be able to wear with any frequency because you do not have other items that match or compliment it. Or items that are so trendy they will be outdated soon, or so obvious that people will notice how often you wear it.

Remember, you can never go wrong with basic black, and a whole number of colors to go with it. But there is no need to buy a rainbow of color.  The more simple your wardrobe, the better. It will also save you time in trying to decide what to wear every morning!


Bridal Shower Games

If you’re hosting a bridal shower, there are literally hundreds of games to choose from. Some are silly, some are serious, but all are about having some fun with the bride before she’s married. Here’s a sampling of ideas for bridal shower games.

One fun game really puts the bride on the spot with regard to her knowledge of her husband-to-be’s life. Prior to the party, have someone ask the groom a series of questions, such as where he was born, what his favorite food is, or similar personal questions.

Then at the bridal shower, put the bride on the spot by asking her the answers to the questions. See how many she can get right (hopefully at least half!). If she does well, give the girl a prize; she deserves one. If she doesn’t, she may want to brush up on her groom, quick!

One all-time favorite game is the toilet paper wedding dress. This game involves separating the guests into teams consisting of at least 2 people and no more than 5. Give each team a roll or toilet paper (or 2) and have them fashion a wedding dress out of the toilet paper. One of the team members will volunteer as the model.

Provide them with a “dress up trunk” filled with jewelry and shoes. They must make the dress out of the toilet paper, but they can accessorize with the provided jewelry, shoes, gloves and hats. Place a time limit on this (5 minutes is adequate) and have the bride vote on the best dress. Be sure to provide prizes for the winning team!

Another fun game that’s always a hit is making the bride get dressed while blindfolded. Tell the bride she is to pretend she’s on her honeymoon and the power has gone off. She must prepare for her wedding night in complete darkness. Provide her with a suitcase filled with items and then blindfold her. She must get dressed in a certain period of time (2 minutes is adequate) while completely blindfolded and with no help from the guests. Include some silly items like oversized sunglasses, garden gloves or a flannel nightgown just to make it fun. This is a photo opportunity, so be sure someone is waiting to record the end result!

Another fun game which puts the bridal shower guests more on the spot than the bride is the handbag game. Everyone puts their purses in the center of the room. Create a list of items commonly found in a purse and assign a point value. Then create a list of less common items and give them a higher point value. So you might give lipstick 2 points, a tampon 3 points, and sunglasses 5 points. But a granola bar could be 10 points and a staple remover 15 points.

Then go through the purses awarding points and give the person with the highest number of points (and therefore, the most items and probably highest number of unusual items) a prize.

Before the bridal shower, create bingo cards for this shower bingo game. In the squares, put pictures of items you think the bride will receive at the shower. So, boxes might include things like lingerie, towels and the like.

As the bride opens gifts, have people mark off that item on their bingo card. If nobody gets a “bingo”, give a prize to the person who marked off the most number of items.

Another bridal shower game is a derivation of a popular game often played at bachelorette parties involving a stripper. This is the clean version.

About 30 minutes into the party, have the bride leave the room and pass out pieces of paper. Have everyone write on the paper everything they can remember about the bride’s outfit, hair, etc. How many rings is she wearing? What color is her blouse? Is she wearing open or closed toed shoes? Once everyone is done recording their observations, the bride comes back into the room and a prize is awarded to the person with the best observation skills.

One thing is for sure, there are lots of games you can play at your bridal shower which will keep all of your guests engaged and involved, so it is not just all about opening presents and making small talk.


GREAT WEDDING ACTIVITIES AND GAMES: How to Entertain Your Guests at Your Wedding Reception and Other Wedding-Related Gatherings


Hints and Tips for Your Tassimo

The Tassimo is a great little machine, but to get the most out of it, you might find the following hints and tips helpful.


The water filter needs to be changes about every three months. Set the dial on it so you will remember when you last changed it. If it floats for any reason, then the little waterproof red rubber ring around the part that fits into the machine is missing. I have had some faulty ones from the factory. Just send it back for a replacement. It is part NP1.


The disk piercer.

It can get stuck/completely wedged sometimes in one of the disks, especially the hot milk ones, which tend to use hotter water/steam and seem to make the plastic piercer expand and get jammed. So do look at your disks before you throw them away! You can get replacements on line, it is PART NP8, but you really don’t want to do without hot drinks while you wait for it to come in the mail. Consider keeping a spare of it and the water filter on hand just in case!


Tassimo membership

We joined the monthly Tassimo club at club so we get autodelivery with free shipping on the disks every month, and so you can set your monthly budget and needs and let the clud to the rest. You can also get the parts mentioned above quickly and easily. They showcase the newest discs here first, so you can phone any time and add to your order.

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The Tassimo club standards are made by Gevalia, via Kraft Foods, and I have to say, while the Cappucino and latte seem very fattening, the Cap is made with 2% and the latte with skim. There are many different flavors now, and European brands like Jacobs and Carte Noir.

They have just introudced Swiss Hazlenut and a macchiato as well, so the site is great for seeing what’s new. The Twinings tea, including the chamomile with orange flower, and Earl Grey, and the Tazo black, are real winners.


Really fast shipping:

I use the monthly service, but for emergency orders I use <a href=”” title=”Cybercucina” target=”_blank”></a>, a great online gourmet store where you can get fast service, a discount on the t-disks, and collect points which add up to a discount every time you get past the 250 point level.


They are prompt, fast, courteous, and usually have everything in stock I need. If you order over $100 at a time, it is free shipping, and the order flow smoothness and customer service are really the best I have ever seen.


It is a great site too because as the name suggests, they have great kitchen stuff, and they also have some very yummy European style treats. Often have really good sales on luxury food stuffs. So if you are looking for any great gifts for people, and want free shipping, this is the place to go.


Review: Tassimo Hot Beverage System

4 1/2 out of 5 stars
The Tassimo hot beverage system is really outstanding. I have one at work, and one at home, and they have put up with a lot of heavy wear and tear for over 15 months now.

In the office, we have about 25 people making multiple cups per day and the best of all, here is no wastage. People get exactly the cup they want without getting thrown away because too strong or weak the way they used to do before we got the Tassimo. Or thrown away because it has been sitting anf stewing for hours

I like the fact that we city dwellers, so concerned about tap water, get a water filter built right into the design, and how easy it is to change.

And how easy the machine is to use. We just show our guests to the office where the t dics are, and let them go at it!

I am a bit concerned environmentally with all the little plastic empty discs not being recyclable, and the unit price might be consideres a bit high for some people. These are the only reasons I have not given it 5 out of 5 stars.

But there are a number of inexpensive on line places you can buy from to keep up a regular coffee supply.

The hot chocolate is my favorite, but the cappucino and latte are awesome. In addition, the teas are very good alternatives, especially the green and the chamomile. There is literally somehting for every one in the office no matter what they are in the mood for.

They have even introduced a Starbuck’s line recently which is not much more epensive that the regular disks. Certainly all the beverages are hot tasty, and best of all, cheap by comparison, plus you don’t have to wait on an endless line for to get your drink,”except maybe at 9 am by our water cooler!

For anyone with a serious coffee habit I definitely recommend the Tassimo, and I recommend it above the Keurig which is huge and bulky by comparison and does not have a nice water well with a good capacity like the stylish Tassimo.

Make sure you comparison shop on line. The average list price appears to be about $169, but I managed to get both my machines for under $100, with a rebate as well! The best money I have ever spent, and it has really helped us save on the hot drinks bills. Enjoy.


The Sink or Swim Money Program: The 6 Step Plan for Teaching your Teens Financial Responsibility

With increasingly high debt becoming a bigger problems in families every year, it is more important than ever that parents teach their children to be financially responsible.

Given the current economic crisis, with no end in sight at the moment, you can’t start acting too soon to tackle your family’s debt, and actually not only get out of debt, but start building wealth for the future.

While every child is different, and some can learn to be responsible with money at a younger age, parents should definitely make sure to teach their teens how to handle money before they are in college or out on their own.

In The Sink or Swim Money Program, John E. Whitcomb takes parents through a 6 step plan for teaching teens how to be financially responsible.

In Mr. Whitcomb’s book, he takes a humorous look at teaching kids the value of money and making them responsible for their own money and purchases.

Here are a few of the ideas his book focuses on:

* Calculating a budget

* Work out a contract between you and your teen

* How to plan ahead

With this system, the main point is that the teens are given a set amount of money that is to cover their basic needs, that you would normally pay, such as food, clothing and other necessities. It is a trial and error method, where the kids are given free rein on their money, and will quickly learn what they can and cannot do with it.

In addition to the lessons on spending, the book deals with planning for larger expenses, such as college, cars and insurance.

It also includes sections on checking accounts, credit cards and tips on saving and earning extra money, with lesson plans and sample contracts.

If you’re concerned about your own finances, you will benefit from this book as well. If your in good shape but concerned about the current economic crisis, this book will be a good tune up for your situation. If you are in good shape but want to do better in the future for you and your whole family, you and your teen can go over the book together to help work toward that goal.

And best of all, you will also be working toward you teen achieving financial independence, and a secure future for him or herself, and succeeding generations.

The Sink or Swim Money Program: The 6 Step Plan for Teaching your Teens Financial Responsibility