Category: Guest Bloggers


Hello from the author of “Raising Amazing Children (… While Having a Life of Your Own)” Deborah Drezon Carroll:
Our daughter’s wedding was a glorious event for us, as you might imagine. After it was over, though, one thing stuck in my mind. People, our friends and other guests whom we didn’t know, repeatedly came up to us and said, “Your daughters are amazing. What’s your secret?”
While that is a beautiful sentiment, and may even be true (if I do say so myself), I wondered: Are they really amazing? We have three daughters who are really just lovely people with good hearts and good souls. They weren’t exceptional students (they were good students for the most part) or outstanding athletes (they did try, though); they didn’t cure cancer in our basement, or discover the secret to solving the world hunger problem. They didn’t win scholarships or attend Ivy League colleges. They just were good kids (most of the time but certainly not without challenges along the way) who grew up to be teachers.
And that’s when I realized: maybe they are amazing.
If the goal of being a good parent is to do the job well enough for our kids to leave us someday and be happy people who are independent and live with integrity and decency, and if achieving that is amazing, maybe we were all amazing.
I thought about how we achieved such greatness. What was our parenting secret?
My husband and I had both been teachers early in our careers. We learned a great deal about how children develop. We learned strategies for facilitating growth in young people by treating them with respect, trust, faith, and high expectations. And, when we had our first child we got some very good advice.
The advice was to find ways to integrate our child into our lives rather than turning our lives completely upside down to integrate ourselves into our child’s life. In other words, we were advised to raise our kids while living life the way we loved it before our kids were born as much as possible. We were told to find ways to keep doing the things we loved so we could share them with our kids. And so we did. Whatever we did, we invited our kids to do it with us. From cleaning the house to traveling across the country on a camping trip (Yes, we did go on a cross country trip with three kids under the age of 5!), if it was something we did before we had kids, we did it with our kids. We tried not to give up any of the things that mattered to us before we became parents, we just found ways to incorporate our children into those activities.
As a result, our children learned life skills by experiencing life with us. They learned to love reading and writing as we do so they value education. They can do simple home repair, they all did their own laundry since they were very little, and each can negotiate a tight deal of any sort. They understand the value of work and the need to budget money as they watched us do both and learned by seeing our struggles and our successes. They learned compassion and caring for family, friends, and strangers as they lived both on a daily basis. In short, they learned how to live life by living it with us and witnessing the ins and outs of making a life work.
The simple tasks of everyday living provide parents with opportunities to teach children something of value each day. By inviting your kids to work alongside as you do things like shopping, housecleaning, gardening, cooking, home repair, traveling and more, you both win. You’ll save time as you’ll have helping hands to get the jobs done faster, your child will learn priceless life skills, and you’ll all have more time to enjoy life together.
By incorporating your kids into your life, you get to continue living a life that makes you happy. Happy parents raise happy children. Your kids will thank you for it… some day!
Raising Amazing Children (…While Having a Life of Your Own). The title sums up our parenting secret.
To learn more about Debby and her book, visit her website!
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It may be hard, but it’s not the end! Guest Post by Kayla Block

This post is going to be about Eric and I hitting rock bottom and working our way back up. It’s hard to talk about this – because honestly, no one likes talking about how hard life can be. Sometimes – it just needs to be said.
Before Eric and I got married and had Audrey, we had spontaneously moved down south and thought that we could get a fresh start on things, with it being a new place and all. Before we knew it, we were barely living pay check to pay check. We both had jobs, and at some point, Eric had two jobs but got laid off from the one that made more money. It just seemed like a giant black hole was eating whatever money we did bring in.
We were toying with the idea of moving back home to be closer to our family but we knew we barely had the money to do so. We could barely afford to keep a roof over our heads. Towards the end of us living in that house, we both were burnt out beyond belief. We had went from not arguing about anything to just arguing just for the sake of arguing, sometimes, in a matter 6 months to a year of living there.
As we found out I was pregnant, we were both in a frenzy of do we literally pack up and move pre-baby or wait until after she is born. We wanted to be closer to more family, but financially, it just wasn’t possible at the time. I had gotten laid off that month, and the job Eric was working was not giving him hours. Around 5 months of me being pregnant, we worked it out to move back. We now live a lot better than we did, and it seems like things are working out a lot better. We aren’t fighting like we used to, and although there is a small cushion in case of emergencies- which me managed to save up pre-baby and have just added a little bit since, we don’t feel as trapped by money. {Well, Eric does – but he is working on it.} I am even fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom while I go to school – which is a blessing!
Why living on nothing actually has helped us:

  • We know we can make it work if something were to happen again with jobs.
  • There are people out there less fortunate than us, and we should realize that, sometimes step back, and be thankful we have a roof over our heads and a hot meal every night.
  • That blessing sometimes do come in little bundles of joy.
What my daughter did for us, was make us put our priorities in order. She actually helped us start living a better, healthier lifestyle, more frugal and has brought some serious joy into our lives. Most of all, she has taught me patience and sometimes you need to go through a little hardship to get to a better place. Even though she wasn’t planned, it seems like it was meant to happen. She renewed our purpose and made us reevaluate our lives.

I know that looking back that, I am thankful that we had gone through that because it did make us closer, even if we were fighting.



No tummy tuck needed! Get your prebaby body back naturally!

 By Angela Calavicci

Every mommy knows the frustrations of the physical changes to your body after having a baby that you never get back! The loose skin, stretch marks and sagging breasts are especially frustrating since Drs. offer little help or advise. It’s one of those “oh I hope I can save up for a tummy tuck” kinda things. I have 2 daughters. Now for me, my body bounced back pretty quickly (Yay for breastfeeding) and my normal weight returned quickly (Lucky, I know!) But I still had stretch marks and loose skin. What a bummer and a depressing feeling to be thin after baby and still feel like I looked disgusting. I know I am not the only one. I went from a lights on kinda girl to a low lighting lady 😉 You know what I’m talking about here. Now I am a sweepstakes and contest kinda girl so I get introduced to lots of new products that I would otherwise never know of. So I start seeing these before and after pictures for It Works! Globals Ultimate Body Applicators. The before

 and after photos were pretty amazing transformations were pretty amazing but I’m a thin girl so it was cool to see the results but I wasn’t really interested for me personally. Then I started seeing that they help with loose skin, stretch marks and cellulite and I was hooked! I WANTED THAT! What lady doesn’t? So while I was waiting to get the money for it (only $25!) I started reading about becoming a loyal customer. You get 4 wraps for $59 as a loyal customer, plus 10% back in rewards, wholesale prices for life on all products, free shipping on orders of $125, free shipping on any order after 3 months and a $100 credit after being a customer on auto-ship for 12 months. Now to become a loyal customer you do have to sign up for auto shipments of 3 months minimum to get all the benefits. You only have to have one product minimum each month and can change products each month as long as you have one. You can even jump from one product to 3 back down to one

 if you want. Now we are a low income family and I am a deal hunter so I was torn in two! I wanted that deal badly but I wasn’t sure I could come up with the $59 a month for wraps. Then I found out there were other products that my boyfriend would use for as low as $23. I could probably more easily come up with that if we were low on money. Then I found out you could become a distributor for only $99 and it came with 4 wraps! You sell them for $25-$35 so I could make my money back right away! Then of course I could order wholesale after that any time I wanted and make some money too! Also if you get 4 Loyal customers in your first 30 days you get 2 free 4 packs of wraps! This was definitely the option for me! My goal was to join and at least get my wraps paid for within the year because I only have 15 minutes a day realistically to commit to and being a deal hunter I’m happy to double my money. So I signed up and couldn’t get around to really selling for a couple months. I did get to use my wraps and my boyfriend tried one too! He lost 4.75 inches with one and I tightened up my loose skin and reduced my stretch marks! I was thrilled! Plus results are progressive so I have used several wraps now and keep getting better results. I think I need about one more then I’m back to normal on the loose skin! How exciting is that! Plus they are so easy to use! You just put one on for 45 minutes (keep it on with saran wrap or tight clothing) and drink water! That’s it! Now after I tried the wrap I wanted to try the defining gel. This is something you put on like lotion one to two times a day that helps with loose skin too! You can only use one Ultimate Body Applicator every 72 hours so it’s nice to have something you can see results with daily. The Defining Gel quickly became my favorite! So now I had two products I needed to make money back to pay for. Well my boyfriends hours went down (he was working up to 14 hour

 days) so now I had time to sell. Well in 22 days of working up to 2 hours a day not only did I make my goal of getting my money back (including business card costs, etc) I got promoted to the next level! I am one happy lady! My loose skin is almost gone, my stretch marks are down to less than half what they were (I’ve got my eye on the stretch mark cream for my next purchase!) and I’m making money at home! I went from needing a tummy tuck to being happy with my body! Now not only do Ultimate Body Applicators help with loose skin, cellulite and stretch marks they also flush toxins from fat cells which causes them to shrink! And results last 2-6 months! It is as if you exercised it off so results can be indefinite if you eat right and exercise too. You can also use defining gel and Ultimate Body Applicators to perk up your girls! Email me and ask for technique if you want lift only or lift/reduction. I am really happy to be able to spread the word and

 help other Mommy’s get their baby bodies back! There is nothing better than being a mother but it does come at a price. I want to help offer a “discount” on that price 😉 You can be a Mommy and get your sexy self back! Now most people have results with just one Ultimate Body Applicator and progressive results with more but some people do need more than one to get any results. We also carry other weight loss, beauty, and health products (Chin and neck applicators for double chins, vitamins, fat fighters (to absorb fat from food), thermo-fit to increase caloric burn, facials and antiaging products) but of course nothing as exciting to me as the Ultimate Body Applicator, Defining Gel and Stretch Mark Cream! You really can look like you again! If you would like more information or want to try a single Ultimate Body applicator please feel free to email me at angela@richandfirm.com To order products, or sign up as a loyal customer or distributor you can do so here. If you want to see real before and after photos please visit my Facebook page  I am here to help you get your baby body back or make some income! I really do appreciate all your questions and love to help! Thank you so much for letting me ramble on about my experience and I do hope I can help you too!



Kathleen’s Blog Spot is planning a Huge Giveaway for March 8st-31th. The theme of the Giveaway is Mommy and Baby. We are putting two baskets together, one boy and one girl. Every participating blogger will be able to include two URL’s on the Rafflecopter for a $5.00 fee. Their Facebook URL and a URL of their choice. The giveaway will be promoted on several sites, blogs, facebook and twitter pages. We would like to get about 25 bloggers to participate and include their readers in the giveaway. 

Once fees have been paid, You will receive an email with the HTML for the Rafflecopter as well as the Event Button to share on your blog. I can also give you a pre-written post or you can write your own and include the Rafflecopter. 
All participants will be entered to win a PayPal Prize!

So far Each basket is valued at over $300.00!! 
Some of the prizes are:
  • A gift certificate for the new parents to get 1 free custom photo bottlecap necklace or 2 keychains from Crafty Kate Gone Crazy


  • Baby starter set’s. This includes, a sample version of the baby bottom butter, body wash & shampoo, as well as body cream from Stephanie Smith -Only Green


  • Over $50.00 in coupons!


  • Pedicare Fever Reducer/Pain Reliever 2Fl OZ bottle.


  • Shea Moisture Organic Baby Collection

  • Camilia Teething Relief

  • Smooth Radiance Skin Magic


  • Car Seat Id Tags

  • My True Nature Bath and Body Wash and Shampoo
  • Potty Training Dvds


  • AND MORE!!!!!!!!
I will add more as I purchase them. The baskets will be worth well over $300 each! 
Please be sure to share this on your social pages as well as blog. The more we get to participate the more readers and fans we can make 🙂

A very Special Thank you to No Non-cents Nanna’s Malika Bourne for this Guest Post!

THE TWELVE POSIONS OF CHRISTMAS

My first guest for Christmas brought me one Christmas tree.

My second guest for Christmas brought two poinsettia plants for me.

My third guest for Christmas brought for me three boxes of xylitol. (artificial sweetener)

My fourth guest for Christmas brought to me four lanterns with lamp oil and the poison villain is lurking behind the Christmas tree.

My fifth guest for Christmas brought to me five packs of cigarettes.,

My sixth guest for Christmas brought to me six cases of beer.

My seventh guest for Christmas brought to me seven bottles of vitamins with iron and the poison villain lurked  behind the Christmas tree.

My eighth guest for Christmas brought a cold to share and eight kinds of cough syrup.

My ninth guest for Christmas brought  a bag with eight kinds of makeup.

My tenth guest for Christmas brought to visit me ten running children each with their own tube of tooth paste.

My eleventh guest for Christmas brought to me craft kits for everyone one with twelve containers of glue.

My twelfth guest for Christmas brought all of his twelve medications and the poison villain lurked  behind the Christmas tree.

The lyrics to my ‘Poison” version of the old favorite carol has no rhyme nor does it have any kind of rhythm. I hope it did accomplish drawing your attention to the fact the there is a lot of distracting hustle and bustle during the holidays. Unintentional poisonings occur without rhyme or rhythm, much like the laxities of my poetry skill . Routines are disrupted. People come and go bringing into your home an overabundance of items that could potentially poison your child if someone is not very careful.  While the words to my song only has a hint of a favorite seasonal song, without a doubt the poison villain can easily be hidden behind something with attractive decorations.

Christmas is only a few weeks away. People are busy decking their halls with all sorts of stuff that is bright and shiny or looks like candy and juice. Parents, brother, sisters, babysitters are all distracted with the festivities that too many tragedies or near tragedies occur.

Statistics reveal that holiday home mishaps send 12,oo0 people to the emergency room annually with all kinds of injuries. Between Thanksgiving and New Years, calls to the Poison Control Center increases nearly three times over the rest of the year.

Annually, with incidents rising, there have been  2.4 million exposures to poisonous substances. 80% of these involve  children less than four years old. How could this be happening to so many small children?The answer lies within the developmental characteristics of that age group. As older and wiser caretakers we do have the responsiblity to recognize the inability of a child to perform other than his/her developmental age dictates.

The most common time of day, any time of the year, when accidental poisonings occur is during the” arsenic hour”. Typically this is around five and six in the evening when dinner is being prepared. Everyone is tired and hungry. The phone is ringing. The potatoes are bowling over on the stove. Instead of carefully supervising the little on, the adults get distracted. You got the picture. Mom used Mr Clean or Windex to clean up a mess. To a child this could look like what? A bottle of Mountain Dew?  Many there is some blueberry juice in that colorful jar.

1. The child can not read a WARNING label.

2. They are fascinated by colorful labels with products that look and smell good enough to eat.

3.  They are naturally inquisitive and use all of their senses to explore an interesting object. Something that looks good, familiar, will automatically go right into the mouth to taste.

a. Toddlers and pre-school children can mistake chemical products for candy or juice. (Never call medication “candy”.)  Decongestants may appear                 to be a ‘red hot’. A potassium pill looks like and M&M. My purple Advair dickus  looks similar to a pink Bubblelious Gum dispenser.

b.  A crawling baby is directly on the floor where  many dropped items go unnoticed to the one who cleaned the floor. Anything could be down there;  pennies, pins and needles, medication, mold or ant poison. Small batteries  are shiny, easy to swallow and burn on the way down. Unless the dog found it first and no one know why Fido is sick.

Any thing that is in too big a quantity can be potentially poisonous. It could be swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

Items like chemical cleaners are a no brainer. But what about the junk stuffed in my purse?  What is lying around on the bathroom counter or kitchen table?

Here is a partial list of items most of us would never think of to not be careless with.

Cosmetics, personal hygiene like deodorant, Vix, topical creams, gels, ointments, prescription medications, over the counter medications, vitamins(especially those really good tasting colored vitamins). Cold and cough medication, antihistamines for allergies and colds AND this one may come a surprise-TOOTHPASTE (One can overdose on the fluoride. I am know mothers who have given their children each a tube of tooth paste to carry around to snack on. They did get sick.)

Don’t forget the makeup in the purse, the shaving cream the kids used to paint with in pre-school is toxic. Glue is nothing to play with. By the way super glue and eye drops containers look very much a like. Don’t forget about the pretty colored nail polish remover or the alcohol which grandma swears you must use to get a fever down. DO NOT EVER  do an alcohol bath.

I will never forget a tiny little boy I cared for in Pediatrics. He had been born two weeks before as a perfectly healthy newborn with developmentally appropriate large motor movements and a loud cry. The  January day I was assigned to him, he had been diagnosed with paralysis from botulism poisoning.

Apparently all the relatives had gathered to see the baby at a family Christmas party. The mother was exhausted because her little boy was non-stop crying. One of the aunties volunteered to give her break. After all, she was the expert babysitter in the family. The great-aunt used an old-fashioned remedy to quiet a wailing child; honey on a pacifier. That seemed so’ natural’. Please DO NOT EVER GIVE A BABY HONEY. It has botulism in it. As adult we can shrug of a tiny amount, but a baby cannot.( Botulism occurs naturally in many things. Even the heat of an autoclave will not kill the spores. Just a teaspoon full in a town’s water supply could do the town in for good.) Every Christmas for the last 30 years I think of the little boy lying in the isolate unable to move or cry.

My lyrics had “packs of cigarettes’ in it. Everybody knows those aren’t good for anyone. The cigarette butts are lethal. They contain a very large dose of nicotine trapped in the filter. When child or animals eats it they get very sick. Remember babies will pick up even a piece of lint off of the floor and put it in their mouths.

The last items do not make up a complete list. Please be aware of all the dangers of your Christmas tree for you children and your pets. The needles off of the branches are not easily digested. Swallowing them can irritate and cause vomiting and/or puncture the lining of the intestines.

Haven’t we all seen someone eat spoons full of sugar. Mary Poppins even gave ‘a spoon full of sugar to make the medicine go down.’ (NO honey, for the baby.) I can imagine a kid thinking that is sugar is sweet so much artificial sugar be sweet. Artificial sugar in overdoses can make anyone sick. Watch those packets.

I know first hand about unintentional poisoning. When I was three, my four-year old sister and I were left alone often in our parent’s apartment. I was hungry. I remember this really good tasting orange pills that Mommy had let me eat. There were gobs in this big bottle. I remember climbing on the toilet to be able to stand in the sink so I could get into that mirror thing were Mommy kept the orange candy. I ate the entire contents of baby aspirin. My sister was jealous so she told on me. Long story short, my stomach got pumped. This resulted in permanently damaging my esophageal valve.

In my next video blogs on You Tube the granddaughters and I will be demonstrating areas( like the top of the stairs and under the sinks) to install safety latches and gates to prevent injuries in the 10 month old baby in the house. Prevention is truly worth much more than a pound of cure.

If an accident does occur remove the child to a safe location and call poison  control at 800-222-1222. Depending on what you believe tha victim has ingested, or inhaled they will instruct you in what to do. Inducing vomiting  is no longer recommended.

In a subsequent blog I will go over some resources and basic life saving things you can do to help a child if they are poisoned.

Please click here to view No Non-cents Nanna’s blog on Blogspot  

There’s something uniquely human about our need to scare ourselves silly. As far as anyone knows, no other species goes out of its way to invent reasons to wet itself from fear. Children have the best imaginations, of course, and the list of things that scare them seems to get longer with each generation. What were your biggest fears as a kid; which monsters scared you the most? Here’s our list of 10 different monsters that scare children:

1. Monster Under the Bed – It’s unseen and usually unheard, but we know it lurks … just beneath our mattress, waiting for our feet to hit the floor. Yikes!

2. Boogeyman in the Closet – The scariest of monsters are the ones we never really see, even in pictures. So this monster has reigned in the nightmares of children for as long as there have been bedroom closets.

3. Evil Clowns – What could be more terrifying than a demonic version of those circus mascots and jesters, the clown? We confess that some of these guys, like Pennywise here, give us a real bad case of the creeps.

4. Witches – Sure, sure, we know. There are good witches and bad witches, good spells and bad spells. All we know is that hags like this one scare the crap out of kids.

5. Zombies – Heck, this bunch even has adults obsessed with their imminent invasion. They’re everywhere in pop culture now – movies, books, comics, video games. They’re everywhere and they just keep coming. That makes them very, very scary.

6. Puppets – Let’s face it, even the most charming of these still has at least a little creep factor. Children (and adults like us) have a tendency oftentimes to create our monsters out of the familiar, as with our aforementioned clowns.

7. Namahage – Leave it to the Japanese to incorporate scary monsters into their culture as a way of training their kids to behave, work hard and not be lazy. Hmmm.

8. Cuco – It appears that the Japanese have not cornered the market on scaring their young’uns into submission. Seems our Hispanic cousins have an ace up their sleeves as well, in the form of this legendary bugaboo.

9. Dolls – They walk, they talk; their heads spin and their eyes follow you around the room. They are just plain ghoulishly scary, and some of them are bigger than the kids themselves. Yikes.

10. Ghosts – Sometimes the monsters are more than monsters, beyond flesh and blood. Sometimes they’re not even living. Not in the way we think of living anyway. Spirits, ghouls, poltergeists. Call them what you will, but whatever you do, don’t call upon them, lest you be haunted evermore.

Thank you to Find A Babysitter for the guest post.

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