Getting a new camera is fun and exciting! So much to learn and so many possibilities. Whether you got it to take pictures of your kids, your travels, or are a blogger like me, having a great camera is a great idea. And after you have found the perfect one, learning how to take care of it is super important. One of the best things you can do for your camera is keeping your lens clean and dust free. With that in mind I wanted to share with you some of my Camera Lens Cleaning Tips that will work for any type of camera. Let’s check them out:Continue reading
Ahhh, Spring Break. That wonderful time when the kids are home and you get to finally enjoy some of the nice Spring weather. It’s also the time when boredom can get the best of you if you don’t have somewhat of a plan. I try to plan ahead some fun Spring Break activities for kids at home. It definitely makes life a little bit easier and less stressful.After all, it’s no fun for anyone when the kids have nothing to do!
1. Set up a tent in the backyard and have a camping staycation. Have hot dogs or burgers and s’mores or ice cream for dessert. Don’t forget the flashlights and sleeping bags!
2. Get everyone off the couch and having fun. Put together a neighborhood fitness day. Invite everyone to get active and have fun with different activities such as a softball game and an obstacle course. This is great fun and is also great for your health.
3. If the weather is not nice enough to stay outdoors, plan for something like a movie marathon event where everyone gets to choose a favorite family movie to watch. Don’t forget snacks and juices boxes.
4. Have the kid’s walk the “runway” in a Spring fashion show. Let them show off some of their new or favorite Spring attire that it’s been too cold to wear. Take lots of pictures and put together an online photo album. The fashion show can be done in the house or the backyard if the weather is nice.
5. Spring is a beautiful time of year. Why not go on a nature walk? Take pictures and collect leaves, flowers or even rocks! Use your smartphone to look up the different plants and birds that you see.
There are so many things that you can do during Spring Break without traveling or spending lots of money. Be creative and think outside the box. If you aren’t sure where to begin, start with my 5 Spring Break activities for kids. Remember the most important thing is having fun and creating memories.
This post is written and sponsored by U.S. Bank
So, you’re ready to make the big leap into home ownership? Good for you. Home ownership can be a great experience and holds a number of tangible and intangible benefits. But first, you need to actually buy that property, which, especially if this is your first home, can feel more than a little complicated.
Understanding the mortgage process
Since a home is arguably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, being prepared is key to having a successful experience. Doing some homework ahead of time – specifically on mortgage prequalification, the type of mortgage that’s best for you and determining how much home you can afford – will benefit you when it comes time to take the plunge.
U.S. Bank is a great resource to help you navigate the often complex home-buying process. And if you’re really new to this frequently perplexing world, look no further than Achieve Your Goals, a new financial resources site from U.S. Bank. It’s full of information on a wealth of topics, including a My Home section filled with great articles on everything related to mortgages, homes and the home-buying process.
What is prequalification?
Prequalifying for a mortgage is an important step in the home-buying process. It lets everyone involved know you’re serious about buying a home, and is a great way to help keep the process running smoothly. To see how much you may be able to borrow, and under what conditions, complete a mortgage prequalification request with U.S. Bank to get the ball rolling. You may be surprised what you may possibly qualify for. To do this, know that you’ll need to be a legal U.S. resident and 18 or older. Also, you’ll need to know your pre-tax annual household income and monthly household debt.
If you have been pre-qualified, the next step is determining what type of mortgage makes sense for your individual circumstances, as there are various types of mortgage loans. There are plenty of resources available where you can learn about the different types of mortgages that could be available to you.
How much home can you afford?
First, figure out your plans for occupancy. Are you intent on living in the house for only a few years? Or maybe for the rest of your life? Are you in the military? Or have your eye on your dream home? Your answers to these questions could determine the type of loan and home that will work best for your personal buying experience.
Whatever your circumstances are, give it some thought ahead of time. To get estimates of what your mortgage payments could look like, try this U.S. Bank mortgage calculators.
Once you’ve been prequalified, determined what type of mortgage makes the most sense for you and know how much home you can afford, you’ll be ready to start looking for that dream home.
As a parent teaching our kids the ways of the world is one of our most important jobs. And learning finical responsibility is a big part of the world. You know the saying, “Money make’s the world go round”? It’s so true. You might not think that talking to your kids about money at a young age is important but I promise it is! The younger you start the more it sinks in.Continue reading
The question that comes to mind is can sex change your relationship? The answer is absolutely. If I was a betting woman I would say that I think, after money, that sex is something couples fight over most. I would especially think this is true if one partner is receiving sex from someone other than their committed partner. This is my theory on sex; guys need a place and girls need a reason.
I told my husband a long time ago that sex starts long before you actually have sex. If he is interested in having a physical relationship then he needs to do all the things that turn me on. I do not mean physically. I mean emotionally, he needs to show me he loves me before I am interested in having sex with him. I have learned in the almost 18 years that we have been together that the same is true for him as well. He requires the same kind of attention to his needs prior to having sex. He also needs the clues to love and adoration. I would say that his needs are more physical to mine but he still wants to hear that I love him, I am proud of him, I value him, and that he is the person I enjoy spending time with.
The question is how much do you water the plant? How much sun do you give it? Do you just expect it to be beautiful without nurturing it? It got me thinking what if you did at the beginning and then you got used to the beautiful flower and you just neglected it? What do you do then? Is it possible to bring the withering flower back to its former glory. The answer is YES!
I know a lot of people that struggle with spouses that aren’t meeting their needs. I have at times had this issue, but luckily I was not afraid to communicate what I need, so our issues have been quickly resolved and don’t resemble a dried flower. This is what I suggest you do. Tune into the show Sex Box. I know you are most likely wondering how this will help. It is a great way to start the conversation. It is way to learn from others and the experts on the show will help you see issues and ways to resolve them. I will call it therapy without the expense or the office visit. I think the single most important job you have is to work on your relationship. They never put so and so was a good employee on their headstone or they had a fancy car, house, purse, etc.
So a little about Sex Box. It isn’t porn. You will not actually see couples having sex but you will see them after they have had sex. They will meet with a group of expert therapists Dr. Chris Donaghue, Sexologist and Clinical Psychotherapist; Dr. Fran Walfish, Relationship Psychotherapist and Dr. Yvonne Capehart, Pastor and Couples Counselor, with the hopes of addressing and resolving their concerns so they can have flourishing relationships. I was a little thrown back by the idea initially. Then I thought about it scientifically. In the first 15 minutes after intimacy, the body is flooded with oxytocin and endorphins enabling people to really open up and reveal the root of their problems. I know from experience that after I have sex with my husband we do have very deep and thoughtful conversations. It does seem to be the time when he opens up and I may or may not use this time to push some of my agenda.
This is my advice if you are currently not fulfilled or you are a student like me. I love to learn about how to make relationships better then watch this show for tips. I would make a nice dinner and grab a bottle of wine, or in my case a cupcake and milk. Then curl up on the couch and make the effort to work on your relationship in a non threatening way. I find that asking questions about what you see will help you make a deeper and more meaningful connection with the person you love the most. You can say, “Have you ever felt that?” or “Do you think this is important?”. You can use the show to become more knowledgeable about the person you are with. I will tell you with good authority that my husband isn’t doing things or purpose when I am mad it is usually that he doesn’t understand what my needs are or how to address them. This show is a great way for you to understand not only how people think or that causes it but to make the changes you need to make.
Here is a little preview:
One of my favorite ways to get a little romantic with my husband is to set up a massage night. It’s a fun, inexpensive, and intimate way to have a date night, and who doesn’t love a massage right!? The perfect massage doesn’t stop with just your massage skills. You have to set the mood! Some great massage oil, some candles lit, and some awesome background music to really set the mood.