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Managing Your Budget With Extra Savings Tips

Managing Your Budget With Extra Savings Tips

Finding extra cash to put aside for a rainy day can sometimes feel like an impossible task.

If you have a family, then you definitely want to look for helpful ways to save money. The future is uncertain but having funds hidden away can help you to feel prepared for whatever might be in store. Get started on saving for your family’s future by looking over some of these fun and simple tips on how to save. Focus on manageable tasks that won’t feel too hard to take on and it can get the ball rolling in the right way.

Online Explorations

There is nothing more frustrating than going to the store and buying an item only to discover it is being sold for a less expensive price elsewhere. Shopping around before you make a purchase is a wise move and many people remember to look over multiple pricing options for larger investments like cars and electronics. Still, each purchase you make should be taken to heart when it comes to your budget. Before buying anything, take a look online and see where you might be able to find it at the cheapest price possible.

The internet has completely changed the way most people shop. You can use this to your advantage by using the internet as a resource for all of your purchases. Whether you are thinking about buying your paper towels in bulk or need a replacement door hinge for your hallway closet, checking the internet for different pricing options can help you to spend the least. Take time to learn more about how you can save while shopping to become even more skilled with your spending.

Sell Away

The internet can also be used to your advantage when you are trying to sell something. Making extra cash can sometimes help to boost your savings account in unexpected ways. Take a look around your home and see if there are items sitting around you no longer use. Maybe there’s a perfectly good MP3 player just collecting dust in a desk drawer or a beautiful article of clothing that has never been worn. While you might not need these things in your life, other people could be looking for these exact items.

There are many exciting apps and websites that allow users to sell possessions in an instant. For years, sites like eBay and Craigslist have been the top options. While they are both still excellent choices to go with, now there are apps that help you to target in a hyperlocal manner. Instead of having to ship an item across the country, some of these apps will help you to only show your items to buyers who are in your vicinity. Check out what you can do with an app like 5Miles or LetGo and make some extra money.

Limit Credit Spending

Overspending is another issue to tackle while you are attempting to save for your family’s future. While it can feel difficult, one easy tactic to explore is limiting how often you use your credit card. Spending money you don’t have is an easy way to wind up in debt and not be able to set anything aside for yourself. Instead of using a credit card, carry around a set amount of cash when you go out. You can also opt to only use a debit card and keep a vigilant eye on your account balance to avoid overspending.

There are many exciting options to consider when you are attempting to put money aside. If you start slow and focus your energy on tasks that are easy to achieve, like limiting how often you use your credit card, you may find it easier to save than you thought possible.

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Annmarie John
Why Food, Sleep and Exercise Are Critical to Young Kids

Why Food, Sleep and Exercise Are Critical to Young Kids

The development of the child is simultaneous in various fields, and not separately – firstly physically, then emotionally and intellectually.

Although the personality of the child is individual, in assessing the development of the child, all aspects of their development should be considered in particular. Sleeping, nutrition and physical activity are among the most important aspects of children's development and let’s dedicate some time to it.

It is more than obvious that a balanced food is essential for the proper development of a child. Nevertheless, sometimes it seems that the parents do not pay much attention as they should. Nutrition plays a very important role in the brain development at all stages of a child’s development. The most part of it is completed in the first few years of a child’s life, but with growing up, it continues through adolescence. It is therefore important that children of all ages consume foods rich in nutrients, to ensure proper brain development.

Complex carbohydrates in nutrition help with balancing the blood sugar level, which leads to a more healthy brain development and its functioning. Creative presentation and exposure of fruits and vegetables will increase the children enjoyment in these natural delicacies. Healthy food is of great importance for the brain, while refined foods and carbohydrates will increase blood sugar levels, and will contribute to lack of focus and concentration. Good nutrition and body hydration are strong bases for learning and good health. The basics of healthy nutrition are proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Now, we all understand that proper nutrition is important for everyone. With quality food, kids will function better in school and in other spheres of life. Food gives them strength. Talk to your children about nutrition. Help them understand why this is good for their development. If you eat healthy and keep only healthy foods in your home, you will have fewer problems in teaching your children to eat properly.

A child is not a little man; it has its own needs. One of these needs is movement or physical activity, which is one of the most important factors of health. Most of their needs for physical activity are met through play and recreation. When it is three or four years old, your child can exercise and hang out in sports schools, so it will be ready for physical activities later in schools. Physical activity is important for children and adults, and in order to obtain some healthy habits from the early childhood, children should first be introduced to sports through playing and socializing, which will have a positive impact on their growth and development.

In order for a child to engage in sports activity in a particular group, it is necessary to have sufficient concentration and attention to the training itself. Depending on individual development, this is usually at earlier ages. Sensitive periods are very important in children’s development, because those periods have great impact on the development of coordination and certain motor skills. The children are driven by internal incentives and at that age they can adopt new skills with ease and great interest. It is very important for the children, who are motivated by parents, trainers, even their environment, to be consistent about their physical development. Children should know why any physical activity is good and what they can expect from it.

Growth and development are an important part of every child's life, and children grow when they are asleep. The growth hormone is released during the fourth sleep phase. If the child stays up to late, especially after midnight, the growth hormone release time moves and the child’s growth is stopped. In addition, a research has shown that children, who go to bed on time and sleep long enough, are more focused, have a faster learning ability and information gathering. Also, children with healthy sleep habits have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease at a later stage. Parents should control the habits of their children. It is clear that the evening is the only time when they can rest after a busy day, but do not forget that children learn and absorb habits and behavior from their parents. It is very important to control them, because kids will always find an excuse to postpone sleeping. When it comes to going to bed, children adopt bad habits from their parents. Therefore, it is necessary that parents nurture proper lifestyle habits, in order to positively affect children.

The development of children largely depends on the amount of time devoted to them. Children who eat healthy food, who move more and sleep well are happier, more compassionate and smarter. For these reasons, children need to learn healthy habits and real life values from the very beginning and who would teach them better than parents?

Vanessa Davis is a 32-year-old fitness enthusiast, mother of two and content writer at She's originally from Long Island, New York, and when she isn't cooking up some new health and fitness article, she enjoys doing yoga and figuring out new, delicious organic recipes for herself and her kids.

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Annmarie John
We Don't All Play Basketball and Football

We Don't All Play Basketball and Football

How many times as a black woman have I heard the words, "does your sons play basketball or football?". Too many, and enough is enough!!

It's a general stereotype, however, you would never find me coming up to a Caucasian family asking "does your son play hockey or lacrosse?". I am a Caribbean-American mother, who grew up with the knowledge that an education comes first and sports was for fun. Sports have never been considered a career. Sure we played cricket and football (soccer for those not Caribbean), and I even played on the female soccer team in college. However, it was never a career that I envisioned for my children or myself. I am also not one of those parents who think that having an NBA or NFL career means that my kids have succeeded in life. However, getting a degree of higher education means just that for me.

You see, in the Caribbean education means the world to us. Our athletes are not paid millions of dollars to kick a ball or throw a ball into a hoop. Sure we have had a few of our Caribbean athletes make it onto the big scene, they've made it big in the NBA and we are extremely proud of them, but we are even more so when they get a degree. Children in the Caribbean aspire to be doctors and lawyers etc., not athletes.

And sure, my sons are tall, both my 16 and 12-year-old are 6 feet tall. Yes, you read that correctly; my 12-year-old is 6 feet tall. However, I am not of average height for a female since I'm 5'10, while my husband is 6'5. Kyle, aged 16, loves basketball but doesn't want to make it a career, while Mikael the 12 year old couldn't be bothered with sports. He wants to be a scientist. I even had one person told me that he was "wasting his height". Is there even such a thing?

There are quite a few parents who push their kids to play a sport that they don't love, or aren't interested in. There are also many parents who try and live vicariously through their children. Maybe they were great at football or basketball in high school, but didn't quite make the cut for college, so they try and encourage their children to play the game. However, I am not one of those parents. I give my kids free reign of choice in whatever they do. Kyle plays on his high school basketball team, but isn't interested in playing once he gets to college, even though his coach has been encouraging him to do so. Once again, I'm not that parent! I want well rounded kids, but I also want them to make the decisions for themselves.

My eldest, Kristal, took up tennis, a sport I had absolute no interest in, but I supported her and went to every single game. I purchased the equipment and clothing that she needed, only to have her tell me a few months later that she didn't want to do it anymore. While I could tell you that Serena Williams dominates the women division, I couldn't in all honesty say who comes in second, and I sure as hell couldn't even begin to name one male tennis player. As for basketball, I only follow along because I live in a male dominated household where NBA 2K video games reign supreme. While my kids are amazing at playing basketball on a video game, playing amazing in real life is an entirely different story.

I know that African-Americans dominate the NBA and the NFL; however, they don't all play basketball or football. There has been exceptional doctors in their fields (Ben Carson), lawyers (Johnnie Cochran - deceased), and we recently had an African-American President of the USA (President Barack Obama). We can be anything that we want to be.

So before you step to a black parent and ask whether their child plays basketball or football, maybe you should think about it, because we all don't play sports. We also don't all live in the projects, love eating chicken and drinking Kool-Aid, are in gangs, and our names don't all end in "eisha or iqua".  Stop the stereotype today!

What stereotypes are you tired of? 

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Annmarie John
Select Walt Disney World Hotels Welcomes Guests and Their Dogs

Select Walt Disney World Hotels Welcomes Guests and Their Dogs

Do you love traveling to Walt Disney World, but hate leaving your four legged friend at home? Calling all labs and boxers, pugs and terriers, poodles and beagles. The welcome mutt is out!

As of Sunday, Oct. 15, Walt Disney World Resort will welcome guests – and their canine companions – to four resort hotels, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort and the cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.

The new service permits up to two dogs per guest room. Each resort also offers easy access to outdoor pet exercise areas and green spaces with pet relief areas.

Dog lovers will find plenty of Disney amenities and special touches for their four-legged friends.

  • At check-in, Pluto’s Welcome Kit includes a mat, bowls, a pet ID tag, courtesy plastic disposable bags, puppy pads and dog walking maps. Also included: a Pluto “Do Not Disturb” door hanger indicating to hotel staff that a pet is in the room.
  • Day care and other pet services are offered nearby at Best Friends, an on-property full-service pet care facility. Fees apply.
  • Coming soon – select pet merchandise at the four resort properties.

The resorts’ per night/per room pet-cleaning rates are:

  • Disney’s Art of Animation Resort $50/night
  • Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort $50/night
  • Disney’s Yacht Club Resort $75/night
  • Cabins at Disney’s Ft. Wilderness Resort $50/night

Dogs staying in a Disney resort Guest rooms must be well behaved, leashed in resort public areas and properly vaccinated. For more information about the new dog-friendly trial program, including other restrictions and policies, guests may contact 407 W-DISNEY. DVC Members should contact Member Services at 800-800-9800.
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Annmarie John
Apple Cider Sweet Tea ~ #OrganicStevia #InTheRaw

Apple Cider Sweet Tea ~ #OrganicStevia #InTheRaw

It's fall here in Colorado and the surrounding states.The leaves have changed colors and the air is crisp and clean. Fall has always been one of my favorite season. When I think fall, I think apple cider, but I love to bring a little bit of summer with me into the fall. See, I just love sweet tea and can never have enough of it. Today I want to share with you a way to combine the two compliments of Organic Stevia In The Raw®.

There's nothing quite like fall here in Colorado. A few weekends ago, Madison and I took a trip to the North Pole to visit Santa. Yes there is a North Pole where Santa resides, here in Colorado and you can meet with him all year long. It's a tradition that we've done yearly and one that she looks forward to. Once our visit was over, we then journeyed up to the mountains to watch the fall colors, which is called the changing of the leaves. It's quite a spectacle and one that's not to be missed when you live here in Colorado, or even when visiting. Fall is much more than pumpkin pie, apple cider and pumpkin spice latte's. So much more!

It's about spending quality time with your loves ones, and enjoying the things you love. Speaking about love, I love sugar and I use it in almost everything I make. I got my love of sugar from my dad, he made everything extra sweet and since then, that's just the way I like it. However, two teaspoons of sugar contains 32 calories, and I usually use more than that, so that's a lot for me. That's why I was happy to see that In The Raw introduced their Organic Stevia In The Raw to their family line up. What amazed me was that each packet is also the equivalent of 2 teaspoons of sugar and is only 3 calories. They're available in a 40 packet convenient box and is only $3.19/box. You can purchase it online or at a local retailer.

They are also:

  • USDA Organic Certified
  • Non-GMO Project Verified
  • Vegan Certified
  • Naturally Gluten-Free
  • Has a clean ingredient list

Since then, I've been using my Organic Stevia In The Raw in everything I've made. From my cupcakes, my coffee and every drink I have made. The kids and my husband can't even tell the difference. You can even use it to sprinkle on cereal and fruit. I recently made my famous Apple Cider Sweet Tea and everyone loved it, and I used my Organic Stevia In The Raw to sweeten it. So without further ado, let me share my recipe with you.

Apple Cider Sweet Tea

4 regular black tea bags
24pkts Organic Stevia In The Raw
4 cups of apple cider
6 cups of water


Tie the strings of 4 tea bags together in a knot.

Fill a large pitcher with the water, tea bags and Organic Stevia In The Raw

Place in the refrigerator for 4 hours

Wring out the tea bags and remove

Add your apple cider and stir to combine

Want a way to give Organic Stevia In The Raw a try? Well 4 lucky winners will have a chance to win  Organic Stevia In The Raw swag with a 1 month supply of Organic Stevia In The Raw, and 1 will win a $50 grocery gift card.  All you have to do is enter the She Speaks Organic Stevia In The Raw Giveaway.

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Annmarie John
[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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