Category Archives for "Living Life"

Living Life is about being a parent, giving tips for home management, finance, humor, love, and everything the day throws your way.

January 23, 2014

Life Changing Love Story

Life Changing Love Story

life changing love story

   I often wonder if you are a part of your experiences or are experiences part of what makes you whole? I haven’t ever shared this because some of me wonders if it really happened. I do believe in the other world and I do believe in signs so I guess I question the existence of the event. This life changing experience happened two winters ago. I often have moments of struggle. I struggle with staying home. I often can’t stand it. I stay home because that was the decision my husband and I made a long time ago. I stay home because it really is the best option for our family based on my husband’s career and the needs of our three kids. I have also built my own business and have an amazing team of people that count on me and I count on them. I still struggle because my heart is still in the classroom and I miss kids with special needs.

I was having one of those days when everything was broken. I burnt breakfast trying to find a lunch box that didn’t make it inside. I finally made another breakfast only to have it dropped on the floor and somehow stepped on. I attempted to get three children out the door with their things in some sort of order. I looked at them and wanted to cry. I love my children but sometimes my best efforts do not yield children that look clean or cared for. They had all taken showers, lovingly had their hair dried, clothes picked out, and breakfast cooked twice. They looked as though they went to war and the oatmeal won. I decided to just send them battered by oatmeal to school. The thought of adding nine more items to the laundry and starting all over again would have broken me that day. I had deadlines due for my other job and my own business. I had oatmeal in places I didn’t think possible in my kitchen and I hadn’t eaten a bite.

I dropped my children off at school. I had a moment of peace. I stayed in my car and enjoyed the moment and then my emails starting beeping. It was back to life. I drove home. I grabbed what was once a warm piece of toast which I dipped in the half eaten “second attempt at breakfast “oatmeal and I started to cry. I just never imagined my life would be trying to get oatmeal off of walls, kids, and out of clothing. I got a text from my husband that we would be home late some client was in town without notice. Oh! Awesome! That was just what I needed since I had scheduled meetings knowing he gets home at 6:30 for 7:00 pm. I grabbed my laptop and turned on Facebook.

I started reading about all my friends lives. I decided they were lying and just “Facebooking” half truths. There was no way that their children were clean, arrived to school on time, and their houses were clean. I then opened up my business email and began to work help desk tickets while checking my own businesses emails. It is amazing how efficient you become while waiting for software to load. I plowed through 45 minutes of work. Then I heard a knock on my door. I assumed it was the UPS delivery person since I receive packages all the time. It wasn’t.

It was an older man with missing teeth a white shirt, jeans with tears, and a brown woven belt. I just looked at him. I live on a hill you just do not happen upon my house. You do not just climb the hill because. I had no idea who this man was. I just stared. He asked me if I had any work for him. I had tons of work there was oatmeal all over the place. I couldn’t invite him into clean my house. I was upset but not crazy. We chatted as I grabbed my alarm button key ring. He told me he lost his job and he needed money. He said he was willing to do anything to earn money for his family. I felt the same way that day. I felt like I was willing to do anything for my family. I was staying home and working two jobs, so I understood. I made up a job wondering where I was going to get the money to pay this man. I never have cash. I asked him to look in the yard and pick up all the toys and any trash. I would pay him for the hour. I found out he needed $10. I turned off my cell phone and shut down my laptops and I began looking all over the house for money. I gave all of the money I had to my children for book orders and a field trip. I then remembered I had emergency money in the car. I went down in the garage and I took out the $20 I had.

The man came back to my door with in the  hour with a bag of toys and a bag of trash. I asked if he needed a drink or if I could make him lunch. He told me, “He needed to get home to his wife.” I asked. “Do you live around here.” He said, “In the County.” We chatted a little bit more. I then had the nerve to ask him,” Why did you just need $10.” What he said really changed my life. He said, ” I promised my wife when we got married I would love her to the day I died. I promised her I would do everything in my power to make sure I provided food for our children. I lost my job and I wasn’t able to do that today until I came to your house.” He went on to say the $10 would provide three meals for his family and tomorrow he would try to find a job. He just knew he had to do something to make sure he didn’t break “his promise.” I gave him the $20 I had his emergency was far greater than mine and I told him now he has an extra day to find a job. He thanked me and told me he had several job interviews.

I am still not sure who sent this man up my hill. I do know why. I was having a day of feeling sorry for myself. A day when oatmeal all over the place was a crisis. I was looking at what was wrong and not what was right. I was forgetting that work is a means to an end it isn’t what defines us. I forgot how special my kids were and only what it took to get them from place A to place B. I forgot that my husband was at work from 6:30 Am until 8:00 PM that night so that we could pay for our house, our children, and our future. I forgot about the promises I made a long time ago which was to do what it takes in my relationships with my husband and my children. I am sure my children’s teachers will tell you they are normally covered with food and their bags and homework are a mess. I decided on that day to enjoy my children and my family and not worry about how things look. I decided to do what it takes and to honor the promise I made to my husband and now my children. I decided that if he could walk up a hill to  a strangers house to ask for help so he could provide for his family. Then I could also do what it takes to provide for my family. I sat down with my husband that night and really told him how all of this felt to me and what changes we needed to make for me to be able to do more than survive. I believe that man came to my house so I that I would begin the conversation that would change the way things are done around here.

I do believe people come into your life to teach you a lesson. It is up to you to do something with that lesson. Ask yourself why did I name this post the Life Changing Love lesson?

January 22, 2014

Donate Used Cars: Where to Donate My Car

Donate Used Cars – Where to Donate My Car

Where to Donate My Car

Donate Used Cars: Where to Donate My Car

Do you have a used car that you don’t need anymore? You may want to consider donating your used vehicle to charity. By donating you avoid the hassles associated with selling it, avoid the potential of repair costs, help a worthy cause and score a tax deduction at the same time.

Donate car for tax credit – You can use the price the charity got for your car in a sale as the amount of your deduction, this is true in case they sold it in auctions. If in case the charity sells the car at a discount to a needy individual or keeps the car for its own use, then you can claim a deduction for its fair market value.

Where to Donate My Car? There are a lot of charities where you can donate used cars and they will even pick it up for you, but before you do that one important tip to consider is to make sure that you’re donating directly to charities. Some middlemen or organizations will keep some percent of the value of your car for themselves and will just donate a portion to charity. To avoid this make sure to contact the charity your interested in directly and that charity is non-profit.

Another important thing to consider before you donate used cars is to make sure that the charity is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) organization. The IRS allows vehicle donors to receive the full market value on their vehicle as a full tax deduction, so make sure that you keep a thorough list of paper trail. Some important documents to keep are IRS Form 8283 for your tax return, outside appraisal if necessary, proof of the donation and a copy of the title change.

Donate Used Cars Now! 5 Places Where to Donate My Car

1. Cars 4 Homes – Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit Organization. When you donate used cars to Cars for Homes, you will help your local Habitat for Humanity build and rehabilitate houses with families in need of affordable shelter. They accept Car, Truck, Boat, RV, Motorcycle, Construction or farm equipment and any other vehicle running or not. They provide additional tax documents when required by IRS regulations as a result of the sale value of the vehicle. An IRS approved 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

2. Wheels4Hope – Non-profit, faith-based car donation program in Raleigh and Greensboro, NC. They provide transportation for low-wage families and individuals. An IRS approved 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

3. Kars4Kids – Make a difference in a child’s life. They accept all cars, most boats and rv’s, and any type of vehicle in any condition, running or not. They fund educational, developmental, and recreational programs for Jewish youth and their families. An IRS approved 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

4. American Cancer Society Cars for a Cure® vehicle donation program – Proceeds from the sale of your donated vehicle fund lifesaving cancer research, education, advocacy, and patient services programs. An IRS approved 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

5. Purple Heart Foundation – A not-for-profit charity and national organization composed of combat-wounded veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart medal. They support veterans & their families. You can donate car, truck, boat or RV. An IRS approved 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Read our Donate Car for Tax Credit tips!

Want to make a difference and help other people? Read these and be inspired:

Do you know of other places to Donate Used Cars? Share it with us below.

Topic: Where to Donate My Car

January 21, 2014

Crying When Cutting Onions

Tips Tuesday

Crying When Cutting Onions

onion

I hate cutting onions so I asked the age old question how do you stop your eyes from hurting and crying when cutting onions. I was really surprised by the tips. I decided to share them with you. I figured you may also be struggling with the cutting, chopping, slicing or dicing the onion.

Tips to Prevent Crying When Cutting Onions

  1. Have someone else do it for you
  2. Stick out your tongue the vapor goes to your tongue instead of your eyes
  3. Hold a match with your teeth the lit side out it absorbs the chemical (do not light the match!)
  4. Don’t cut the root end until the very end. They say the “toxins” aren’t released until the root is severed.
  5. Use Safety Goggles
  6. Wear a motorcycle helmet
  7. Peel under running water
  8. Slice near a burning candle
  9. Never tear it
  10. chew gum
  11. run it under cold water
  12. freeze it first
  13. only breathe through your nose
  14. Place in a food processor

Additional Tips

  1. Use a lemon once you are done on your hands to remove the smell
  2. Never leave an onion out that has already been used it will absorb toxins
  3.  If you are going to be cooking them (added to soup or browning them) go to food lion and buy the frozen chopped onion in the vegetable section. If you want them raw/crisper use fresh onion. 1 bag = 1 large onion and zero work.

Here are some of our recipes with onions:

Low Calorie French Onion Soup

1. Low Calorie French Onion Soup Recipe

2. Low Calorie Recipe: Beef Stew and Soda Bread

3. Low Calorie Chicken Enchiladas

Low-Calorie-Turkey-Burger-Sliders.jpg (519×400)

4. Low Calorie Turkey Burger Sliders

5. Risotto with Sugar Snap Peas and Spring Onions Recipe

Don’t forget to check out our collection of yummy and easy to make Recipes, if you have kids get them into the kitchen with our Recipes Kids Can Make!

Do you have Crying When Cutting Onions? Share us your tip on how to prevent it.

January 20, 2014

Benefits of Amazon Music Samples

Benefits of Amazon Music Samples

amazon music samples

 There are so many places on the internet where you can download or purchase CDs of new and old music. However, for me there is only one place that I will buy music from and that is Amazon. I began to use the Amazon Music Store because I was interested in the Free Amazon Music Samples. I continued to use the Amazon Music Store because of the many benefits that Amazon Music Samples offer.  Continue reading

Karla’s Korner: Motivation to Change Your Life

Karla’s Korner

Motivation to Change Your Life

Motivation to Change Your Life

Motivation to Change Your Life

Taking Chances; Accepting Challenges and Reaping Rewards

A little over four years ago I took the chance and began writing “Karla’s Korner”. A year into the project I was asked to review movies for Lifetime. I had always loved Lifetime movies and jumped at the opportunity to review them and share my thoughts. I enjoyed my little writing job; it became quite therapeutic for me. Two years had passed and an email appeared offering me a “spot” on Lifetime Moms as a contributor. Shocked and surprised I gladly accepted the offer.Continue reading

January 19, 2014

Tips on How to Save on Home Repairs

Save on Home Repairs

Pic-HomeRepairProgram

As a tenant paying rent to a landlord, I never really thought about how much it costs to maintain a home.  You pay the rent, the electric, water, gas, and trash bills but if something goes wrong, you call the landlord.  Hopefully, the landlord cares about the property and sends a repairman out to fix the problem.

On the other hand, as a homeowner, you not only have to pay the mortgage and utilities, you have to budget and pay for various things which can go wrong.  There’s the faucet or toilet which starts to leak, the garage door or doorbell which mysteriously stops working, the washer which decides it’s not going to make it through the spin cycle without stopping dead in its tracks.  Welcome to home ownership and the repairs associated with it!

These are all things which have happened to our family.  These are things which seem to happen at the most inopportune times.  The trick to save on home repairs is to have a budget for these eventualities.  Each month, we set aside money which is solely dedicated to fixing things around the house.  Sometimes there is enough to fix the problem and sometimes there isn’t.

My husband will admit to anyone that he is not a “fix-it” kind of guy.  As a landlord with multiple properties, he called in the professionals who fixed the problem and sent him a bill.  I’ve teased him over the years about his philosophy of home repairs:  “Who do I write the check to?”

Things like a leaky faucet or toilet are generally a quick fix.  YouTube is a great resource for these basic items.  When our washer stopped mid-cycle, we looked up the problem on the internet by searching the problem along with the model of the machine.  Fortunately, we discovered it was a simple problem which was quickly remedied by following simple instructions given on a website.

The big question is how do you save on home repairs?

First and foremost, determine if it is something you can competently fix.  If it isn’t, then it’s time to call in the professionals.  Be sure the contractor you hire is not only licensed to do the work you require but also bonded and insured.  You want a contractor who will stand behind his work.  You do not want a “fly by night” contractor that is liable to do more harm than good.

Ask friends to recommend professionals they have used.  Once you’ve identified two or three contractors, get written estimates and ask to see their licenses and proof of insurance.  If they are truly professionals, they will have no issue producing this documentation.  In the end, you won’t be sorry and will most assuredly save on repairs because you won’t have to fix what the fly by nighter made a bigger mess of.

Read more tips:

Tell us about ways you save on home repairs.  We’d love to pass your tips on to our readers.