Category: Food & Home

The Yours, Mine, and Ours of Family Finances

Posted on Apr 18, 2014 by 1 Comment

Money has to be one of the hardest things to work out in a marriage or domestic partnership. I was a traditional, stay at home wife for a very long time and my ex controlled the money. When there was extra money, he spent it as he wanted to, bills weren’t always paid, and there was nothing set aside for emergencies or the future. In fact, a large percentage of the income went into his slush fund.

The whole experience left me feeling unimportant, alone, and insecure.

My husband and I have been married nearly three years. I have continued to work for a variety of reasons, although in my heart I will always lean toward being a full-time homemaker. A primary reason has been finances, of course, but another important reason is that I have a solid distrust of anyone when it comes to money.

I pay my bills, I have my account, and I am in charge of my stuff. He does the same with his income and there isn’t really an ours. That’s totally my doing.

Lately I have been rethinking this. In the time that I have known him, this man that I adore has consistently put himself last in line when it comes to getting things and having needs met. When he says he will do something he does it, and he has bailed me out of financial distress more than once. It is unfair to him to continue pampering my trust issues.

So, I brought up the subject the other day and he suggested a joint account with each of us contributing for household stuff and then maintaining our own accounts for the things we want to spend money on. It would mean that I would have to give him control of when and if the bills get paid, which frightens me a little.

Did you ever want something so bad that you couldn’t stand it and were so afraid of it that the idea made you sick?

Yep. That’s where I am but I am determined to go forward with it. So, what about you? How do you handle finances in your family, and are you comfortable with it?

photo credit: Prince Roy via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Recipes, Hair Clips, DIY Storage, and More

Posted on Apr 17, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has delicious recipes, cute hair clips, DIY storage jars, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared healthy Easter recipes.

Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic talked about one way to deal with kids’ toy messes.

Chocolate and Sunshine shared some Easter basket ideas for big kids.

link ru pallet decor

Designed Décor showed us how to make some cute wall art from a pallet.

Kenarry shared a recipe for creamy garlic parmesan quinoa.

Crafts Unleashed taught us how to make cute storage jars with (or just for) your kids.

I Love to Create showed us how to make hair clips featuring guilty pleasures.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Designed Décor

Women Are Better Investors than Men

Posted on Apr 17, 2014 by No Comments

If you’ve let your husband handle the retirement plans and investing in the past, you might want to make some changes in the future. According to an article in USA Today, women are better investors overall than men are.

While men are more likely to take chances than women, it’s the fairer sex that keeps the big picture in mind and does her due diligence. She’s more likely to focus on the long term goals of independence and security later in life. She’ll be less likely to save up for a new car or bigger TV because she sees money from a different perspective than a man does.

Knowing that you can take care of yourself in retirement pretty much trumps a boat or anything in my opinion.

Yours?

One of the biggest differences is that women tend to do all their research and then ask for professional advice when it comes to putting their money somewhere. She invests in something because she has confidence, based on all that research.

Men prefer to build their portfolios on their own without the benefit of professional advice. It can turn into bragging rights and competition pretty quickly. If they think that they are gong to “make a killing” in a short period of time, they’ll snap up stocks without much research or professional advice.

The Washington Post says that men will hang on to a stock that is obviously a loser much longer than a women will. He’ll convince himself that if he just waits long enough, it will skyrocket and everyone will be amazed at his financial prowess.

And, last but not least, men trade more often.

Blame it on the testosterone. Testosterone is a hormone produced by both men and women, but men produce much more of it. It makes them confident, more likely to take risks, and therefore more likely to invest based on gut feelings and competitiveness.

You know, it seems to me that no matter how much we want to prove that men and women are essentially the same, science keeps bringing us back to the reality that we are not. Similar maybe, but definitely not the same. Hormones affect us and the way we think, respond, and even go about daily activities more than we like to admit that they do.

Maybe the important thing to take away from studies like this one is that men and women have different strengths and weaknesses. Instead of trying to be like each other, maybe it would be better to work together so that our strengths compensate for the other’s weakness.

Of course, the other thing you’ll want to take away from all of this is that you might want a get female financial planner/adviser. A seven year study came to the conclusion that overall, women in investment careers outperformed men.

What do you think? Is this a load of sexist crap or do you think there is at least some validity to what the researchers are saying?

photo credit: Philip Taylor PT via photopin cc

Study Reveals Correlation Between Diet Soda and Heart Disease

Posted on Apr 16, 2014 by No Comments

Trying to lose unwanted pounds or to maintain a healthy weight is challenge enough, but it seems with every study it becomes more challenging.

One recent study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual session shows that older women who drink two or more diet drinks a day are 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack or another “dangerous” cardiovascular event. It also reveals that those women are 50 percent more likely to die as a result of the event, too.

I’m not a big diet drink person because I try not to consume a bunch of artificial sweeteners. I have a basic health rule. I can have a few cups of coffee or tea (unsweetened) but for the most part, until I drink my 64 ounces of water, nothing else is “allowed.” Not that I follow that rule like it is set in stone, but it is more a lifestyle choice.

This latest study was a big one and encourages me to stay on the dietary road of chosen. The researchers looked at almost 60,000 women ages 50-79. The lead investigator, Ankur Vyas, a fellow of cardiovascular diseases at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Cincs, said, “Our findings are in line with and extend data from previous studies.”

However, it is important to note this study doesn’t go so far as to say that the diet drinks “cause” the heart disease. Instead, it shows there is a correlation between drinking the diet drinks and heart disease. It is not evidence that one causes the other, but I tend to lean to the side of caution.

This news comes on the heels of a decline in diet soda consumption. According to the Wall Street Journal, Diet Coke sales dropped by 6.8 in 2013 and Diet Pepsi fell by 6.9 percent. I think with all the various studies that talk about potential negative effects of artificial sweeteners, more of us are consuming them less or not at all.

And I’m not saying turn to sugar, either! But that’s a story for another article.

Photo credits: wikipedia

Link Round-up: DIY Spring Projects, Easter Ideas, and More

Posted on Apr 15, 2014 by 6 Comments

Today’s link round-up has some cute DIY spring projects, Easter basket ideas, and more.

Designed Décor shared a delicious strawberry pretzel surprise.

Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic stepped out of her nail polish comfort zone to show us some gorgeous new colors.

Chocolate and Sunshine shared some ideas for Easter baskets for adults.

Kenarry showed us some fun ways to color Easter eggs.

link ru colorful kitchen clock

A Beautiful Mess taught us how to make a colorful kitchen clock.

Crafts Unleashed created the cutest spring mason jar DIY lamp.

I Love to Create showed us how to make floral puffy paint Easter eggs.

Photo credit: Designed Décor and A Beautiful Mess

Life Hacks that Can Seriously Save Time and Sanity

Posted on Apr 14, 2014 by 2 Comments

Life hacks are those little things that you can do every day to make life easier, faster, and calmer. Some people seem to just know them while others of us read one, a light bulb goes on, and we feel like we are channeling Einstein.

Every once in a while I go on an information hunt to see if I can learn any new ways to make things easier. Here are some from the latest search.

Freeze Cupcake Batter

As a cooking professional, I felt stupid after reading this one. You can spoon your cupcake batter into liners in cupcake cups and then freeze it to bake later.

Technically when they are frozen solid you could remove them from the cupcake pans and store in a freezer bag. Just put them back into the pans when you bake them. Freeze for up to three months.

Printed Lunch Bags

Want the cutest lunch bags ever? You can run brown paper lunch sacks through your printer just like it was print paper. Create a design on your computer, print it up, and there you go: personalized lunches every day of the week. Who’s the coolest mom ever?

You are.

White Wine Trumps Red

I have no idea why this works but it does. If you’ve spilled red wine you can usually use white wine to remove the stain.

Keep Potatoes Longer

You can keep potatoes from sprouting if you add an apple to the bag or box that potatoes are stored in.

DIY Nail Polish Remover

Get a baby food jar. Cut a sponge to fit it. Add nail polish remover. You now have your very own, super inexpensive nail polish remover.

Do you have any favorite life hacks? Leave a comment and let us know!

photo credit: wickenden via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Citrus Scrub, Bunny Quesadilla, and Warm Weather

Posted on Apr 10, 2014 by 3 Comments

Today’s link round-up is all about enjoying the spring and warm weather that’s right around the corner.

Mommypotamus taught us how to make a citrus body scrub.

How About Cookie made a fun, fruity little oatmeal breakfast that looks like an owl.

Cincy Shopper taught us how to make your own version of Starbucks’ passion tea lemonade.

link ru easter quesadilla

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons made an adorable Easter Bunny quesadilla dinner.

A Beautiful Mess whipped up the perfect summertime concoction: toasted coconut margaritas.

Crafts Unleashed showed us how to make a spring burlap wreath.

Create Craft Love inspired us with some DIY polka dot shoes.

Photo credit: Mommypotamus and Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons

Three Quick Ways to Motivate Yourself on One of “Those” Days

Posted on Apr 9, 2014 by 1 Comment

Everyone has them. That day when the idea of getting out of bed holds no appeal and you have to fight your own lethargy to get anything done.

True confession — I have had days when it took me four or five hours to write a short, 250 word article. I have no clue what I was doing or where the time went.

If you have those kind of days, try the following ways to get yourself back on track. They work for me.

Most of the time.

20/10 technique

The 20/10 technique is pretty simple. You set a timer and work for 20 minutes and then set the timer and take a 10 minute break. Cycling this way keeps you from getting locked in to what you are doing and burning out.

I have a tendency to sit down at the laptop once everyone is out the door and not look up until dinner time. I don’t drink, I don’t eat, I don’t pee. I become one with my technology and it is not a healthy thing.

By forcing myself to stop and change the scenery for just 10 minutes, I come back to the computer somewhat refreshed.

Do the First Thing

Sometimes the 20/10 technique won’t work for me because I can’t get motivated enough to set the timer. On those days, I try to choose one thing and do it just to grease the wheel, so to speak. I might start a load of laundry, handle an email, or do some maintenance on my blogs. Once I have that done I can usually go ahead and do something else.

Make a Deal

Promise yourself that once you hit your goal for the day, you’ll stop and do something you enjoy.

photo credit: girish_suryawanshi via photopin cc

Link Round-up: DIY Beauty Tips, Easter Treats, Energy Bites, and More

Posted on Apr 8, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has DIY foundation and gel manicures, an Easter treat, energy bites, and more.

Mommypotamus taught us how to make foundation powder.

How About Cookie talks about the tools you need to create bento boxes.

A Beautiful Mess taught us how to do your own gel manicure at home.

link ru reeses sunflower pops

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons showed us how to make adorable Reese’s peanut butter cup sunflower pops.

I Should Be Mopping the Floor whipped up some peanut butter and oatmeal energy bites.

Melly Sews showed us how to put together a dry erase placemat to keep the kids entertained.

Honestly WTF taught us how to create a jeweled paracord bracelet.

Photo credit: Mommypotamus and Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons