In between overdoing it

Archive for July, 2016

7 Ways to Save While Planning Your Vacation

7 ways to save on your next vacationSo you went on summer vacation.

Had a fantastic time and made a ton of wonderful memories. You arrive home unpack your suitcase and there it is. Staring at you like a dog waiting for dinner( Which mine are doing as I write this)…The credit card bill. You know you need to open it but really don’t want to face the damage you have done.

In your head you run a quick tally of what you think you might have spent on vacation. That souvenir T-shirt, drinks at dinner, the novelty tote bag…did I really spend that much? It is all adding up in your brain and it comes to more then you expected. While we are away it is so easy to lose track of spending. We tell ourselves “I’m on vacation I can spend fast and free.” We live it up and pretend that there is no bill to come home to. It’s fun and freeing for the moment. Then the moment ends and the bill comes.

I’m not saying this to be Debbie Downer, only that I have done this myself. Have spent more on vacation then I should have and had to dig myself out of debt upon returning home. It puts a damper on your happy memories and makes you wary of relaxing the purse strings on your next trip away.

But life shouldn’t be that way. We should be able to enjoy out vacation without the fear of getting in debt hanging over our head. With a little planning this could be the case and believe me you will enjoy your vacation a whole lot more knowing there is no ballooning credit card bill waiting in your mailbox.

Here are 7 ways to plan out your vacation and save a little money in the process.

  1. Book your vacation as far in advance as possible – This give you ample time to save for the trip. You will be completely aware of the true cost of your vacation and can make adjustments in your household spending to put aside for the cost of your travels.
  2. Be as flexible as possible with your travel dates – This will save you money in airfare, car rental and hotel bookings. You can shop around for the lowest prices based on the date.
  3. Monitor your travel bookings to see if the fare goes down in price -With many travel sites and companies if you see that the price is cheaper, they will allow you to rebook the fare at the lower price. If the price drops in the first 24 hours many airlines will allow you to rebook at a lower price and refund the difference without change fees.
  4. Prepay your vacation – This may seem obvious but it is often overlooked. Even if you pay a small amount per month towards your vacation, that small amount overtime adds up! It can take the sting out of the full vacation bill.
  5. Investigate before buying dining, photo, or beverage packages – For some families this may be a savings. However, in most cases there are many stipulations to these programs that prevent them from really saving you anything. Find out before you go and don’t sign up for these programs on a whim or under pressure.
  6. Look for no/low cost souvenirs – Do you really need another fridge magnet or coffee mug? Look for souvenirs that cost little or no money but will hold all the memory of your vacation, like a coaster from your favorite restaurant or postcard of your most beloved attraction.
  7. Have a Staycation – During 2008 when there was massive job loss, and financial uncertainty, the Staycation became the new vacation. Look around your town, your city or your state even. Are there local spots that want to see but never got a chance? Is there a great attraction within a days drive from your home? Explore the world right outside your front yard. Forgo the hotel stay and save yourself a bundle.

5 Ways To Have A More Enjoyable Disney Vacation

disneyJust recently we came back from a wonderful family vacation to Walt Disney World. It was fantastic! We had fun, family bonding and great food. It was a trip that we will remember all year. Being a South Florida resident, I have made it my missions to travel to Disney at least once a year. I would go more but my husband adamantly refuses.

Why? Why would he not want to visit the happiest place on earth more then once a year. (Crazy I know?) Mainly, the steep price tag. It is not cheap to visit the Mouse. With the price rising year after year, we have had to scale back our Disney travels. For this reason it has become very important to me to make our time the most magical it could be. Here are some tips I have learned in my Disney travels that might improve your stay.

  1. Take advantage of discounts programs

    Most companies and organizations like AAA have a discount program that could save you some money on your trip. Sadly, in my experience it is near impossible to get a discount on tickets. Even Florida residents only save something like $8-9 for a one-day park pass. However, you can save a pretty penny on a resort stay and food using these types of discounts.

  2. Do not go for a high-end hotel if you are spending all you time at the parks

    It is not worth spending $250 a night for a comfy bed if you are spending every vacation day at a theme park. It is much more cost effective to stay at a value resort or off premises, where the per night cost is considerably lower. Don’t get me wrong the more expensive resorts are beautiful and have some great fun things to do like lazy rivers, bonfires, movies under the stars. But if you are spending everyday in the packs you will never get the time to fully take advantage of theme, making the higher price just not worth it. These type of resort are a vacations destination by themselves. If you must stay in a high end hotel, leave one day free for pool, exploring and leisure time at the resort.

  3. Bring or make breakfast in your room

    While you are staying in Orlando you and your children will be waking up bright and early (mine woke up at 5 am) to get to the parks. You can hit the snooze button a bit longer by having a ready-to-eat breakfast in your hotel room. Food such as a protein bar, smoothie or to-go oatmeal cups you can make using hot water from your coffee maker will make breakfast a lot easier quicker, easier and cheaper. A sit down breakfast for four can cost you $30.00 to $50.00 in some cases. Go to a local convenience store like Walgreens or CVS and stock up a cooler for the week. Eat breakfast in. This will save you time and money.

  4. Use Fastpass and plan out your day

    I am someone who likes to have a plan for my day. However, even if you are more of a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of person, it will make your trip a million times better by mapping out what you really want to do on your Disney trip. Is Disney history your thing, character greetings? Maybe there is a ride or two you just have to go on? Take advantage of the new Fastpass feature to see if you can preschedule the most busy rides, making your time in line much shorter. Also by knowing what you really want to see, you can prioritize where to spend the bulk of your time because lets face it you can not see everything (A lesson I had to come to terms with myself.)

  5. Nap your kids and yourself

    [ctt title=”This is the most important, most vacation changing advice I could give to any would be Disney traveler. NAP!” tweet=”This is the most important, most vacation changing advice I could give to any would be Disney traveler. NAP!” coverup=”Du8Vq”] I can not tell you how many times me and my family have arrived back at the park after an hour nap to witness meltdowns in every corner. It is hard when you want to see everything in a single day. It can be a pain to travel from hotel to park and back again. Disney is a lot of walking, a lot of stimulation, a lot of activity, and a lot of sweating in the heat on lines. You and your kids will benefit greatly from a mid-day rest. It doesn’t have to be long, only an hour will do to reset. Trust me, when you get back into the park you will feel refreshed and ready to enjoy the remainder of the day. Instead of short tempered, irritable and tired. Plan a nap into your Disney schedule. You will not regret it.

Let’s close out the Summer Stronger

summer strong


You still have time to join ****NEW Start Date September 1****

End Summer a Healthier You

I know I don’t post much about Shakeology and Beachbody related info on the blog but part of my search for balance as a working mom has been to try and get myself healthy. Beachbody has been a big part of that. This summer I have slacked off a bit and have failed to stay consistent in my workouts.

I don’t know about you but this summer has gone by in a blur. It has been fun, frustrating, emotional but I have learned so much about myself and where I want to go in the future. Also what I want to return to. As the school year approaches I need to get myself back on track,  to re-establish why I started writing this blog.  To get back in touch with why I needed to find moderation in the first place. I, as well as all us mom’s, need to take better care of ourselves. Let’s moving forward with idea and establish healthier routines.

I know I have not talked about it much but this is the reason I return to Beachbody. I know I can find the support of friends that I have grown up with and the guidance of what has worked for me in the past.john maxwell

So *September 1, I will being again towards my search for moderation and balance in health. Taking what I have learned about myself this summer I will enter the Fall with a goal. Not just a physical goal but a mental and emotional one as well. To conquer fears, to challenge myself and to emerge a stronger, healthier me.

If you would like to join leave a note in the comments below or email me at You do not have to purchase any Beachbody products to participate (although they are helpful!) This contest will be in the style of the Biggest Loser. It’s a cost of $5 to join which goes into the “pot” to be won at the end.

Over a 21 day timeframe, the group will work together to guide, motivate and incentivize you to work out and make clean eating choices. August 1st will be the first weigh in. Privately, you will send your “group coach” a private message of your weight on your scale, with the date written on a paper beside it. We will have weekly weigh ins, and on September 22, 2016, we will have the final weigh-in, where at that point, the person who has lost the largest percentage of body weight, will win the entire pot of money!

It’s Finally Here!! My new Online Budget EBook!!

I am so excited to finally release my new ebook…Since it is release week, look towards to bottom of this page for a special introductory price. This is only good for this week only.

How to choose an online budgeting tool that will save you $$$$ 

Are you struggling to get your finances in order but don’t know where to begin? Do you want to set up an online budget but don’t really have the time? Are you tired of sorting through spreadsheets and high tech programs just create a simple budget?

I know how you feel. I have been there. All I wanted to do was find some information about online budgeting programs. All I really wanted to know was which one would be the easiest to maintain with the least amount of hassle to set up? Problem was I could not find a simple review and comparison that would tell me what I needed to know.

So I created one.

Through a blog series I embarked on a journey review four of the most popular online budgeting programs. The results of over four months of research are right here in “How to choose an online budgeting tool that will save you money.” My aim in this book was to sort through on-line budgeting programs and see which one offered the most bang for your buck (or for no bucks.)

When I was looking for an online budget to use for my personal finance, I had difficulty determining which one would be the best fit for me. The reviews I found were sparse and lacked the amount of quick consumable detail I was interested in. Truthfully, I didn’t have the time or inclination to stop and start each program. I figured if I was on a hunt for this information then other people might be as well.

You can save yourself the time and effort of having to wade through each of the online budget programs yourself. It is all right here. Avoid the hassle of setting up multiple online profiles only to find that program wasn’t the right fit for you.

I review BudgetSimple, EveryDollar, Budget Tracker and, four of the most popular free, on-line budget programs on the internet.

In the pages of “How to choose an online budgeting tool that will save you money.” you get a detailed, step-by-step walk-thru. There I review each tab and section available for free within these programs. I tell you the positives and negatives of so you can make an informed decision on which would be right for you. I complete the series by revealing which one I choose and why.

The reviews I found we’re sparse and lacked the amount of quick consumable detail I was interested in. Truthfully, I didn’t have the time or inclination to stop and start each program. I figured if I was on a hunt for this information then other people might be as well.

To make things even easier, I created a free checklist available with email sign-up, of what information you might need to gather before setting up an online budgeting account.

With the checklist and ebook  you can get setup with the right online budget for you and be ready to get started on your way towards easy budgeting today.

monySpecial Release Week Price of $2.99

[wpepdd name=”Online budget ebook” price=”2.99″ url=”” align=”center”]

Organizing Month 6 – What’s in your suitcase?

organizing travelThis chapter could not have been more timely as me and the family as we have several summer trips planned over the next few months. If you have been following this blog for sometime then you are familiar with this monthly organizational feature. Each month, I follow bring you a chapter of ” One year to an Organize life,” by Regina Leeds, and let you know the results from each chapter. To see prior post just click on the links here. So far we have been through the kitchen, garage, bathroom, bedroom and paper files.  It has been an amazing journey of decluttering. This month addresses travel and packing. With summer travel in full effect it could not have come at a better time.

Earlier in the year me and the family went on a short three day cruise. Short…only three days…you would think I wouldn’t have to pack that much right??? Well, in my usual style, I totally over did it. I had 2 massive suitcases, a formal clothing bag, a toiletries bag and 3 backpacks full to the brim with toys, books and other items. For 3 days! What was I thinking. As you probably guessed we never ended up using half of what we brought but we had to lug it all around the terminal and unpack it all when we got home. What a waste of space, time and energy. A mistake I don’t intend to make again.

I want to start of by saying this chapter was chock full of good advice for travel and packing in general. One of the best pieces of advice and one I thought was genius was to bring a roll of duck tape with you. If you are travel long distances or if your luggage is showing wear. It would come in really handy should your baggage get damaged and develop a hole or rip. There were tons more but I thought this was a great one.

One of the interesting thing that the author does is to have you think not of your best trip, but of your worst. She has you identify why it was your worst travel experience and to use this to learn what not to do in the future. She even makes a list of things that her bad travel experience has taught her. I found this helpful in identifying what worked and what didn’t in my families vacations.

For example, growing up my family was never very organized when we traveled and never had a plan of what to do for the day. My parents tended to waste time puttering around a condo in Florida instead of going to new places and having new experiences.

This translated to my intense need to over schedule in my adult travels. I feel the need to not waste a moment of our vacation. [ctt title=”This was not good as well since I was so busy scheduling, I left no room in the vacation for just relaxing.” tweet=”This was not good as well since I was so busy scheduling, I left no room in the vacation for just relaxing.” coverup=”aHo2e”]  I since learned to have a somewhat looser schedule that leaves time for leisure and enjoying the moment.

The author also suggests something that I have done from time to time with great results. A travel checklist. I have found when I did not create a checklist, I over packed items I didn’t use and left without items I actually need…like a toothbrush. It is worth the extra effort to write a short list as you gather your travel items together.

This will also help you identify items that are specific to the place you are traveling. Going to Disney? You will want to forgo the flip flops for a good pair of walking shoes. Also, keep in mind the season and climate of where you are traveling. You don’t want to have to stuff that oversized coat in your bag just in case it gets cold.

In the third section she discusses something not people never really think about when traveling, our return home.  I tend to have people stay at my house while I’m away.  So I take the extra step to clean up before I go.  The author mentions what a hassle it would be to come home tired from a long trip, to a dirty house. Not a happy homecoming.

One last thing I would like to add in prepping to leave on your summer vacation. Keep in mind the security of you home. Set some lights on automatic timers. Have the neighbors get your mail and check on things. And for goodness stakes don’t post on social media that you will be away! You never know who might be looking over your friends shoulder reading your Facebook update or Instagram post. Please wait to post your vacation pictures when you are safely home. Wishing you safe and happy traveling this summer.



Letting Them Grow and Letting Them Go

Letting them Grow and Letting them go

Watching them grow…

Summers are full of sunshine, fun and free spirt but for me there is an edge of melancholy that accompanies summer. See, the summer months is when both my children where born. During these month there is so much growth not only signified by the new year to their age but also in physical, emotional and intellectual signals.

Seeing my son’s little legs grow long and spinally, watching my daughter devour books at am alarming rate. Listening as them both ask questions and interact with others, less like young child and more like a little adult.

It is a double sided coin this growing up thing. On the one hand I see this tiny little baby I use to snuggle stretch out almost before my eyes. Growing taller and changing on what seems like a daily basis. In my son I feel pride in seeing him accomplish things that he could not do last summer. There is also a sadness as the world of make believe becomes a little less real to him.

Letting go…

As for my daughter, I see her mature into a young girl with thoughts and a mind of her own which fills me with joy and amazement. I also see the new side of deception that apparently is normal for this age. Mostly I realize the things that I needed to do for them last year I no longer need to do. They are becoming self sufficient and can complete many things I use to do for them such as make a bowl of cereal or a PB&J sandwich.

As happy and proud as I am of these accomplishments, I am also sad and a little lost feeling. My mind starts to question things like “If I am no longer need by them, then who am I?”,

In taking on the role of mom we forget who we were before that title. That person was somewhere is our distant past. We can caught a glimpse of her in the rearview mirror as we drove away toward “mommyhood” and have seen her on a few occasions in during these years but for the most part she doesn’t visit much anymore.

She has been replaced by the yoga pant wearing, grocery store running, baby snuggling, amazing person we have grown into. Because the truth is we are pretty amazing, us mom’s. We are “leap tall buildings in a single bound amazing!” As a mom, we are powerful, important and the center of someone’s world. As my kids grow I sadly feel that importance fade a little.

[ctt title=”I know my kids still need me and will always need some part of their mom for encouragement, support and love.” tweet=”I know my kids still need me and will always need some part of their mom for encouragement, support and love.” coverup=”7qZd3″]

I know that this is part of the job of being a mom. Caring for them, teaching them, loving them so one day we can let them go and do the great things we have helped to nurture inside them. What me and other mom’s who feel like me, need to remember is it was never about us in the first place. It was always about them. Children are the seed. We only water them and maybe if we are lucky, help to bring them into the sunlight and get to watch them grow.

Give the gift of Treatsie artisan sweets!

Online Budget Checklist Freebie

free online budget checklist


Use this checklist to make online budgeting easier to setup

on line budgetingI know when I first decided to set-up an online budget, it was a pain to constantly search through my files and documents to find pay stubs and account information.

I would be part of the way through the set-up and have to stop what I was doing, go back to my bill folder to find another piece of account information.

This constant stop and start made it so much more inconvenience to create a budget at all. It would have been so much easier if there was a checklist to guide me. If I could have had everything I needed right there in front of me before I started it would have made the Save money with online budgetwhole process so much easier.

That is why I created this checklist. It will help you before, during and after the process so you can overcome the overwhelm budgeting creation might cause. This checklist is designed to go along with the upcoming release of my new e-book ‘How to choose the Online Budgeting tool that will save you Money,” due out July 23.[ctt title=”I created this helpful list to make online budgeting easier for you. Get yours today! #freebie, #budget” tweet=”I created this helpful list to make online budgeting easier for you. Get yours today! #freebie, #budget” coverup=”d61bR”]

With the checklist and e-book together you can get setup with the right online budget for you and be ready to get started on your way towards easy budgeting.


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In between overdoing it


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