Category Archives for "Tips"

March 10, 2017

How to Get Safe Quickly

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of LG. All opinions are 100% mine.

Safe Home Security

I was sitting on the sidelines at soccer, and I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but I did. I was startled by what I heard the lady next to me say. I knew her, and I knew she had kids. We live in the same neighborhood so when she said what she said it shocked me. You aren’t going to believe what happened to her. I sure didn’t.

She heard a noise and thought it was one of her sweet girls, but it wasn’t. What she saw wasn’t sweet, and it wasn’t a girl.

You see, not long ago my friend had gone to bed with her husband. They had tucked their children in with care. They had slept all night, and they awoke to get their morning coffee. It was a morning like every other the routine was the same. The alarm goes off. He hits the alarm. She tentatively gets out of bed and makes her way to the coffee pot.

She gets to the kitchen after hearing a strange noise. She finds a man. She finds a man who isn’t her husband. A man with a knife in her peanut butter jar.

She is startled this isn’t the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. This is her home, and this guy doesn’t belong. He sees her. She knows her kids and her husband are upstairs. She screams. He drops the peanut butter and runs out of the door.

What if he didn’t leave? What if he used that knife on her or had a gun. She was lucky. Her family was lucky. I was scared.

You see my husband travels for work often. I am alone some nights with the three kids in the house, and I freaked out when I heard her story. What if that happened to us? What would I do?

I didn’t sleep that night after hearing her story. I instead starting Googling for safe home security systems after I placed Legos at every door and window. Just in case someone came in, they would step on those and yell. I know, not a great plan, but it was something.

This is what I found, most required a professional installation and most required an expensive monthly service requirement. I wanted protection, but I didn’t want a huge expense because we are on a tight budget. I also wanted something that I felt was preventative. I didn’t want to walk into my home and be met with someone I didn’t invite.

I found the perfect solution in LG Smart Security.

I found a way to be able to use my smartphone (iOS or Android) to check on my house using the live feed option. I can check in with my children, the dog, and I can even ask my husband to start dinner. I also like that I can use Alexa to control some of the features.

We are on a tight budget like I said so having the ability to control lights, and the thermostat will enable us to save money. I always have in the past left on the light when I knew I was coming home at dark; now I can just turn it on before I get there.

It was so easy to start:

1) Open the box and remove the device
2) Plug it in
3) Upload the app to your phone or tablet
4) Set up account on your device
5) Accept the email to enable the device
6) Open up application and input your Wi-Fi password

Sign up for the monitoring service to receive the following benefits:

a) You can set up alerts based on your day to day activities
b) You can receive video monitoring with a recording functionality. The device allows you to review up to 7 days of videos.
C) You can control your alarm using your smart device (phone or tablet)
d) Professional monitoring seven days a week and 24 hours a day
e) There isn’t a contract for services! This an exceptional idea because you only pay when you need the service.

The system will do the following without the paid service:

a) Operates as a live camera stream
b) Emails you if the unit is moved
c) Displays the temperature of your home
d) Shows you the humidity of your home
e) Tells you if there is movement in your home
f) Allow you to control other devices using Alexa

I was thinking of other ways I would use this incredible technology. I plan to take it with me to hotels and when we stay at our time shares. I like to have the ability to check in on my room when I am not in there. It is also an exceptional option to consider if you rent because installing a standard security system is expensive and not portable. The device is portable so it would be easy to take anywhere. It would have been a lifesaver when we were in the military or college.

You can use any product that works with Z-Wave support. Users can also add contact sensors to doors and windows to provide extra security, and they can add smart outlets for programming and scheduling when the lights come on and off. LG Smart Security will be compatible with Amazon Alexa-enabled products at launch, and future software updates will include support for additional smart devices, including door locks and thermostats. I use Alexa to program my light switches and powering on and off devices.

The LG has full HD video with a 5-megapixel camera that captures 1080p pictures and offers a 130-degree view on its live video functionality. The videos are on a 24/7 live stream, and with the addition of ADT Canopy, you will receive monitoring, video storage for seven days or 30 depending on your plan, and monitoring services that will dispatch the help and protection you deserve.

You know what the difference between myself and the lady I was listening to? I have a safe home security system. I never have to worry about a stranger eating my food, damaging my property or worse. The question is what price do you put on safety?

This inexpensive, safe home security solution makes me wonder why anyone would have to deal with an uninvited guest being in their home again. I think back to my friend and the guy who was making himself breakfast in her home while her whole family slept and all I can think of is if they had the LG Smart Security system that would have never happened.

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Corned Beef: Point Cut or Flat Cut?

Corned Beef Cuts

Corned Beef: Point Cut or Flat Cut?

My mother-in-law was visiting this weekend and I decided to make our St. Patrick’s day feast a bit early. She is Irish and I thought it would be fun to have the traditional Corned Beef, potatoes, carrots and cabbage while she was here. While shopping for the corned beef it became apparent that I had not done my research. There are two cuts of corned beef;  point and flat cut. The point cut is cheaper. Not knowing what to get, I purchased both! We needed two anyways with the crowd we had.

I made the point cut in the crockpot. I just added the seasoning packet and let it cook all day. About half way through cooking, I added the cabbage. The flat cut was placed in a roaster pan with potato chunks, carrots, the seasoning packet and water. I roasted it at 300 degrees for 6 hours.

The taste test

Out of five adults the winner was the point cut! It turns out that the point cut has more fat which makes it more flavorful and juicy. Both cuts of meat were tasty, but the point cut was the clear winner.

For the record, corned beef is made from the brisket. It is placed in a brine of grains and salt to cure the meat. When selecting your corned beef at the store, feel the meat. The meat should be firm. If it is soft or mushy, it contains too much fat. I thought you would all like to know that the cheaper cut of corned beef nets the best results!

Check out our St. Patrick’s Day page for recipes, crafts, decors and more stuff.

Don’t forget to check out our Corned Beef Recipe

Photo credit: Pillsbury

Topic: Corned Beef

February 12, 2017

Secure Your Child’s Future with Prepaid Florida College Programs

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all opinions expressed here are mine.

There are many preconceived notions out there in regards to prepaid financial plans involving your children’s college tuition. If you’ve read any of our previous posts about the prepaid Florida college programs you know how we feel here at Real Advice Gal in regards to preparing for your child’s future financially. It is important for your child to have a secure plan in place to know that their educational future is being looked out for as well as their financial future so they do not begin their adult life and career weighed down by debt.

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January 23, 2017

Get Your Child Set Up for Success with a Prepaid College Plan

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all opinions expressed here are mine.

Financial freedom is the thing that dreams are made of for most adults living in today’s society. Most college graduates start the beginning of their adult lives saddled with extreme debt that comes from having to pay mounting education expenses while also going to school full time and/or working. Financial responsibility is something that we promote heavily here on Real Advice Gal. What better gift can one give than learning to be responsible with your money and expenses?

Prepaid College Plan
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January 19, 2017

5 Things Your Mother Didn’t Tell You But Should Have

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Smile Makers, but all opinions expressed here are mine.

Things Your Mother Didn't Tell You But Should Have

It wasn’t that long ago that I lived under her roof and followed her rules as diligently as one could. I often forgot the one about talking back or putting the clean laundry in the drawer folded nicely not shoved in with a force that required me sitting on the floor and using my legs to push the drawer into submission.

We would sit at the counter as children, it was filled with the five food groups laid out with care. The aroma of heaped oatmeal mixed with the citrus of fresh squeezed orange juice carefully poured out of the plastic bottle. The table was clean without a crumb. I would remember how hard this task was in years to come when my children were at the counter waiting for breakfast to be served. I would wonder how the crumbs didn’t appear how the orange juice didn’t splash on her counter. How her glasses sparkled, and mine had spots.

I would think to myself what else didn’t she tell me about being a mom or about being a woman.

I know I had learned all the right lessons as a mom when I could end a supermarket tantrum with the zeal of a WWF referee. I knew I understood the job when my children received awards in school for behavior, academics, and attendance. I understood my role when I gave up my shoe habit to pay for theirs, but I knew there was something missing still from her coursework.Continue reading

January 6, 2017

The Best Lesson I Taught My Children This Holiday

The Best Lesson I Taught My Children This Holiday

They say kids learn from what you teach them. I am positive I did not teach them to lay belly down in the store and throw a fit over not being able to have a gift even if Santa is taking orders. Santa can’t handle every request and neither can I.

That kind of fit like behavior would ruin my hair and lipstick, and I just wouldn’t do it in public. I mean do you know how many people walked on the floor with dirty shoes? I can say the stomping of the foot when one is mad could be a learned behavior or perhaps genetic. It is possible that we evolved from horses.

It was this single act of earthquake child with flailing arms and legs and tears escaping and mucus flying in the middle of the store that sent me into an entirely new holiday direction.

I know how to stretch my money to the point that it resembles silly putty and I know that memories are more important but what I didn’t know was me seeking gifts and buying gifts was turning my children into spoiled lunatics capable of natural disasters in retail locations near you.

I only had one chance to make a change, so I decided what I needed was a National Lampoon’s Christmas type plan. When you think back, each movie revolved around the family having to spend time together. I liked to watching how they got to know one another like it or not.

My plan was simple, to hold my children hostage for one hour while teaching them the miracle of the holiday. I needed 4 things for my mission:

Cooper Tires

1) A car expertly equipped with Cooper Tires. (Cooper Tire is the best choice for a quality tire at a great price – and from a company, you can trust.)
2) Holiday Light Printables
3) Bottle Waters and PB&J
4) 3 children with bad attitudes and one husband without his phone or laptop to receive work calls

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