Wednesday, July 26, 2017

5 Websites Every Mom Should Use

Walking around your house trying to get things down with a baby in one arm and a cellphone in your hand...bra...pocket...or armpit? Sound familiar? What handy capabilities does that trusty device have other than contact to the outside world? 

Today I'm sharing my favorite websites for mom life.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I appreciate any and all support.

1. Google Photos

One of the reasons moms carry around that smartphone everywhere is you never know when you're little human will do something adorable that will call for a photo-op. One of my greatest fears is losing all of the sweet pictures I've taken of my son and the best way to back those pics up is through Google Photos. 

Google Photos is 100% free and backs up all your images to a mystical cloud that can be accessed from your phone or an actual computer. They might as well have a unicorn flying gracefully over a rainbow as their mascot because Google Photos is a truly magical experience. 

With this app, you can forget the worry of your toddler taking your cellphone for a swim in the toilet and you losing all of your pictures. Now you can just worry about the cost of replacing the actual device and not the lost memories....

2. Canva

So you're not an Adobe InDesign pro? No problem, this website/app will make you feel like Picasso as you design any number of different projects. I'm obsessed with Canva. Some of my favorite designs include invitations, gift tags, posters, and blog graphics.

I even made my son's birthday invitation in Canva. Oh yeah, and you can download the template for FREE and edit it to make it your own in the post Celebrating the Big "One": A Fishing Themed First Birthday Party

I designed the invitation in Canva, downloaded it as a picture, uploaded it to Walgreen's Photo, and got the invitations printed for 17 cents. Talk about a money saver!

3. Amazon Prime

As a working mommy I don't think that I could live without Amazon Prime. Free 2-Day shipping is seriously my jam. Whether you're a working mom or stay-at-home mom, save yourself the stress of shopping with littles and get this $99/year service that also includes streaming of a variety of shows.

We have Netflix's as well, but recently I discovered Amazon Prime has several PBS shows that Netflix's does not have. I broke down and bought my son a Fire and can't wait to try out the option of downloading shows to a device to watch without Wifi for our upcoming beach trip.

I tell my husband all the time if I can't buy it on Amazon or Target, we're not getting it. Shipping takes a little bit longer with Target than it does with Amazon, but I purchase a lot of things for my son on Target's website. We love the Cat and Jack clothing brand and Stride-Rite shoes. I also like to purchase the occasional household product that we've run out of on the Target website. 

Target has free shipping on purchases over $35 or you can sign up for the REDcard which I eventually gave into and get free shipping and 5% off everything. 

If you're going to be shopping in store, definitely download the Cartwheel app. I'm all about combining my manufacturer diaper coupons with Cartwheel coupons, and purchasing when Target has the $10 gift card deal on the purchase of two large boxes of diapers. 

I love Target and Amazon so much I recently bought myself a t-shirt that says: This mom runs on coffee, Target, and Amazon Prime. I just couldn't resist....

5. Google Drive

Got documents you need to back up? My job allows us to have unlimited space on Google Drive, but even if you don't have an affiliation to the site you still get 15 GB free. I'm a teacher and I love the capabilities of Google Slides, Google Sheets, and Google Docs for collaborative work. These creations can easily be saved in your Google Drive or you can upload any other files you want to back-up. 

My husband and I also like to create a family budget in a spreadsheet. Learn more about budgeting in the post: Budgeting for Millennials. Google Sheets is great for this as well. You can easily share the file with your spouse and either of you can view/edit it from your own Google account as needed.


Thanks for stopping by momma. Put off your dishes and laundry and bit longer and check out these other posts: 

40 Baby Finger Food Ideas for Busy Moms

10 Must-Haves For a Beach Trip With Baby

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How to Make Extra Money as a Teacher

It's well known that teachers are not raking in the dough. We teach because we hope for a better tomorrow, love children, and value education. While teaching is a rewarding career, it is definitely not a profession known for making the big bucks.

If you're like me, I'm always looking for ways to earn extra income. Once upon a time, I proctored the ACT on Saturdays, worked summer camps, babysat, and made slideshows for brides. Now that I have a son, I really don't want to give up anymore of my time than I already do. But what if there was a way to earn money from what you're already doing?! 

About two years ago my mom saw on the news a woman who was making a pretty penny from using a site called Teachers Pay Teachers. She relayed the story to me and while I had seen the site before, I had never really considered using it to sell my own materials.

If you've never heard of Teachers Pay Teachers, it is a site that allows you to buy and sell original educational materials. Teachers spend a lot of time creating their own lessons, activities, and projects. With Teachers Pay Teachers resources can be shared all across the country. It's a collaborative site that allows teachers to share their expertise and benefit financially from the hard word they put into their resources. 

Disclaimer: The link contained in this post is a referral program link offered by Teachers Pay Teachers. By clicking the link and signing up for Teachers Pay Teachers I will receive 5% of the sales for the first two years. This 5% does not come from your portion of the royalty, but rather from what would have gone to Teachers Pay Teachers. I appreciate any support.

After hearing this woman's success story I decided that I would give it a try. I signed up in September of 2015 with the free account. With the basic account you earn 60% of the cost of the item, meaning 40% goes back to Teachers Pay Teachers. In the first three and a half months I sold $103.33 worth of resources and earned $48.43 (0.30 per transaction also went back to Teachers Pay Teachers). 

In the next four months (January 2016- April 2016) I had made $143.43 so at this point I decided it was worth upgrading my account to become a premium member. With a premium seller membership you get to keep 85% of the revenue from each sale. In 2016 I sold $1,170.09 worth of materials, allowing me to pocket $923.80. Don't worry I did report this amount to the IRS, which means this was my gross income, however, that's still a pretty nice chunk of change.

In the last few months, my sales have risen even further (with the exception of June, with school out no one is buying lessons and materials). Last month I made close to $500 gross income from using the site. Pretty nice for passive income! This is not a get rich scheme, but merely a way to share your hard work with others who appreciate it.

I am a high school business teacher and I currently teach Personal Finance and Introduction to Business and Marketing. My Teachers Pay Teachers store is called Business Girl. My best selling resource is a project I created for my Introduction to Business and Marketing course about food trucks. 

Through the project the students write a business plan, marketing plan, financial plan, create a social media campaign, market research survey, organizational chart, sales promotions, advertisements, etc. I sell the project with individual assignments or bundled together for a semester long project.

I sell my products fairly cheap, anywhere from $1-$25 based on the length and depth of the resource. Most products are $1-3.

Teachers Pay Teachers allows you to sell resources from small to large. Even better, you're making a difference in your own students' lives and students' lives around the country.

I love sharing my ideas and would be happy to answer any questions you have about the site. If you're not the creative, but are always looking for new things to try in your classroom, support your fellow teachers and check it out!

Thanks for stopping by, before you go here are some other posts you might enjoy:

100 Simple and Painless Ways to Save Money

25 Signs You Might Be a Mommy

40 Baby Finger Food Ideas for Busy Moms

Thursday, June 22, 2017

How to Make Homemade Peach Baby Food

It's the perfect time of year for a juicy, ripe peach and baby shouldn't miss out on this sweet treat.

Since I've started making baby food my goal is to make it as easily as possible without any extra kitchen appliances. You can make my baby food recipes in a blender, food processor, or any other similar appliance. They make special machines for making baby food, but I really don't think they are necessary to create a great product.

Making your own baby food is a personal decision and just like with breastfeeding you have to do what's right for you. I've always enjoyed cooking, and making something for my little one is no exception. Plus, I love knowing where all the ingredients came from. As an added bonus, I always use breast milk to make my baby food. 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I appreciate any and all support.

Enter to Win the Little Golden Books Sweepstakes at Gymboree! 

Before starting Baby B on baby food, I purchased some soft bite infant spoons and kiddie bowls. Each day I pull out one of my homemade baby food bites and thaw it in the refrigerator in one of the bowls so it's ready to serve at dinner time. You can also expedite the process by microwaving the frozen cubes. To be careful to check for hot spots if you choose to microwave.

Peaches can easily be mixed with any other number of foods. Try serving this sweet treat with oatmeal, rice cereal, avocados, or applesauce. 

As always, consult your doctor before preparing this recipe for your child.

Start by gathering the following materials:

  • Blender
  • Pot
  • Peaches (I used 4, but you can use less or more)
  • Breast milk or formula (I used 3 oz.)
  • Freezer safe container or bag
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Ice cube trays

Step 1: First, wash your peaches well. Cut them and half, and remove the pit.

Step 2: Use a fork to pierce holes in your peaches. Place your peaches into a pot of boiling water and boil for 5-10 minutes or until soft.

Step 3: Allow the peaches to cool and then remove the skin. You can do this with your fingers and pull off the loosened top layer.

Step 4: Place the peaches and desired quantity of breast milk or formula into the blender and puree. I used 3 ounces to achieve a thin puree with my 4 peaches. Add approximately 1/2 ounce of liquid per peach, but add it slowly to check the consistency. Generally the older your child, the thicker the substance.

Step 5: Pour your puree into ice cube trays, mini muffin tins, or any other small container. Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours. 

Step 6: Once your puree has frozen, remove from the ice cube tray and store in a freezer safe bag or container.

Peaches were definitely Baby B's favorite food so far. Since we have already introduced avocados to Baby B, I love whipping up "baby smoothies". All you need to do is mix one cube of avocados and one cube of peaches and serve!

I love avocados in my smoothie because they add a great creamy texture. All that's missing from Baby B's green smoothie is a little kale, but I think we'll save the hiding the veggie trick until he gets a little older.

The World Just Got a Little Sweeter with Gymboree Newborn Styles!

print recipe
Homemade Peaches Baby Food
Use juicy, ripe peaches to make a sweet treat for baby.
  • 4 peaches
  • 2-3 oz. breast milk or formula
Wash your peaches well. Cut them and half, and remove the seed.Use a fork to pierce holes in your peaches. Place your peaches into a pot of boiling water and boil for 5-10 minutes or until soft.Allow the peaches to cool and then remove the skin. You can do this with your fingers and pull off the loosened top layer.Place the peaches and desired quantity of breast milk or formula into the blender and puree.Pour your puree into ice cube trays, mini muffin tins, or another container. Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours. Once you puree has frozen, remove from the ice cube tray and store in a freezer safe bag or container.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 24 servings