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.

Free Printable Chore Charts – 10 ideas for School Age Kid Chores

10 Ideas for School Age Kid Chores

Free Printable Chore Charts

Chore Chart Kids

10 Ideas for School Age Kid Chores-Being a School-Age child is a crucial learning time in your childs life, and it’s a great time to set up values and a good schedule for them, (and for you!). What is great about setting a chore schedule now, is that this is the time they are used to having a schedule at school and things they have to do, and bringing that same schedule and structure home will make it easier on you as they grow older.Continue reading

March 4, 2014

Save on Gas Bill

Save on Gas Bill

save on gas bill


My home gas bill is always high during the winter time but with the Polar Vortex this winter, I am feeling the pain more now than ever. I started to figure out How To Save on Gas Bill so that I don’t have to pay more than I can afford. These simple tips will help you save money and still allow you to stay warm.

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Karla’s Korner: The Power of a Hug

The Power of a Hug

the power of hugs

The Power of a Hug: The Perfect Expression of Love, Affection and Acceptance.

It’s Saturday morning, the sun begins to rise as I sit in the quiet of my home with my little family still tucked in their beds. The past six weeks or so have been incredibly draining on my emotions as I have watched my daughter struggle with an undiagnosed illness. Multiple trips to the ER, doctor’s appointments and sleepless nights of worry have caught up with me as I struggle with the fact that I can’t fix this. Thankful that all of the “bad stuff” has been ruled out we focus on what could be a food allergy; it’s all so difficult. Allowing my mind to drift back to life when a simple hug would make her feel better I realize that those times have prepared me for this particular struggle and those to come. A friend shared that worry is a wasted emotion so I cling to hope that an answer is found and that my girl can get back to normalcy; or as normal as life can be for a pre-med student.

Recently while sitting in a meeting my girl sent a text “I’m coming home; I need you to hold me”. My heart ached for her knowing that not only does she feel bad physically but that the whole ordeal is weighing on her emotionally. Being sick sucks; being sick not knowing why sucks even more. I found my girl on the sofa wrapped tightly in a warm blanket looking like the little girl I knew from long ago; she needed her momma. In a matter of seconds, she was wrapped in my arms, head on my chest nearly asleep with no intention of moving for a long time. “Mom”, she said “hugging you makes me feel better”. What she didn’t realize is that the hug we shared made me feel better too. Quite often we offer up a hug of comfort to someone only to realize that we needed it just as much as they did.

According to author Roy Spence, hugging is one of the most essential elements of a healthy, happy life. In a Huff Post Live interview, Spence shared his thoughts on the importance and power of a hug. Growing up in a big family of huggers, he says he thought everybody hugged; it is a common practice in his world. Creating love cultures, he says is vital not only to our personal lives but in business. Love cultures, means you love what you do; love the people you are around, and you love the impact you make on people’s lives. Hugs are simply perfect; a perfect expression of love, affection, and acceptance; an exchange of care, support, energy, and human kindness. The message delivered by a hug is universal; there are no social, economic barriers in a hug; it is something understood by everyone no matter what language, culture, or continent you live on.

One of the most powerful hug moments I’ve had was with an inmate several years ago. My family and I were adopting a dog from the prison’s rescue program which meant we would meet the trainer. When Tracy walked in I was filled with emotion as she struggled to put her words together. Unleashing the dog she stood in front of me broken with tear filled eyes. Stepping forward I wrapped my arms around her hugging her without reservation or condition. That hug, created a temporary safe place for us to be real, vulnerable and personal. She shared with me that she had not been hugged like that in many years; it was perfect. For me our hug was an example of true kindness, grace and love; a necessary life lesson.
Research has shown that when people hug the brain releases the chemical oxytocin. This encourages social bonding, increases our willingness to trust and decreases fear. It has also shown that hugs are great for your heart. A study was conducted that measured the heart rates and blood pressure of two groups of people, a group of huggers and a group of non-huggers. Those who went without hugs were found to have a higher blood pressure and resting heart rate in comparison to the group of huggers, who had noticeably healthier results. Once in an embrace, the hug creates a circle which at that moment has no beginning or end. It is infinite in its message of love.

Physical human contact is on the decline while short, chopped typed messages replace the human connection. I encourage you to take a moment from the busy-ness of your life and share a moment of love and hug someone; not just a quick sideways hug but one that causes you to stand still, breathe deep and embrace someone to the depths of your soul. Statistics indicate that every human being needs 4 hugs a day merely to survive, 8 a day to maintain oneself at a strong emotional level and 12 a day to grow and become a better person. . There’s something incredibly powerful about opening your arms and exchanging a hug with someone. It’s been said that a hug is a handshake between two hearts. Be the reason someone gets a hug today; I’m sure you will walk away feeling better as well.
Peace (and hugs),


I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Read more Karla’s Korner , also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!

February 27, 2014

Letting Go of Negativity

Letting Go of Negativity


How much negativity surrounds you?  If you are like me, you may find yourself surrounded by negativity at work, home, and in your personal relationships.  Simply put, negativity is a mood buster.  It affects the way we look at and react to situations.  Ultimately, it eats at us.

How do we deal with the negativity in our lives?  Do you allow yourself to be drawn into the drama or do you walk away? 

I work at a small long term acute care hospital which is part of a larger University medical center.  Recently, staffing has been short and, in turn, the attitudes of the staff have been affected.  We are a cohesive team which prides itself on working together to care for our patients.  Lately, however, the talk invariably turns to how short-staffed the unit is, how this or that staff member isn’t being a team player, and to any number of other negative types of conversations. 

Management is doing what they can to alter this negative environment but they cannot change it themselves.  It has to start with each individual. 

One of the managers sent an email this week stating we are the BEST team ever and we need to walk the walk, discard the negativity in ALL of us, and see the great in what we do.  This email went on to note management cannot change the culture of negativity by themselves.  They need all of us to stay true to a positive culture. 

We were asked, going forward, to remember we are special people who have chosen the healthcare field where people need our care.  Those people are moms, dads, sisters, brothers, children, and friends lying in those hospital beds.  They could be our family members.  Each team member was asked to work together to stop the negativity. 

Now, how do we go about stopping the negativity?  First, we refuse to participate in negative conversations.  There will always be a few people with negative attitudes.  Don’t let those numbers grow by joining those groups. 

Foster a positive attitude by looking on the bright side of things.  There is ALWAYS a bright side.  One of the hospital director’s most frequently uttered statements is “when you are having a tough day, stop and think for a moment about how you get to go home after  your shift.  Your patients don’t.”  This is a simple but profound way to think about a tough day (or night).

What do you do to turn off the negativity?  Please share your thoughts with us!

Looking for more thought provoking posts?

Check out The Secret Behind Mental Illness

Are Flu Shots Necessary?

Read more of our Thought Provoking Thursday posts!

Topic: Letting Go of Negativity

February 26, 2014

Baby Shower Ideas and Decorations

Baby Shower Ideas and Decorations

Baby Shower Ideas and Decorations

Welcoming a new baby to the world is one of life’s sweetest celebrations! What isn’t so sweet is how much it can cost to welcome that baby, but I have some decorating suggestions to help you host a terrific baby shower that won’t break the bank. On my blog, Spaceships and Laser Beams, we specialize in parties for boys (and non-frilly girls!) so I have lots of Baby Shower Ideas and Decorations to help you plan yours.

Baby Shower Ideas and DecorationsContinue reading

Karla’s Korner: The Importance of Relationships

The Importance of Relationships

The Importance of Relationships

The Patchwork Quilt of Our Lives: Combining the Past With the Present to Make Our Future.

Hunkering down in an overstuffed chair to write, I caught a glimpse of two framed photographs sitting on the table in my living room. Two simple wooden frames containing photographs of me and a friend sit side by side to remind me of time spent together. To some these pictures are ordinary, but to me each one represents a very important piece of my life. As I stare at these photographs I find myself beyond thankful for each of these people and the impact their presence has on my life while recognizing that each brings something unique and different; neither one better or more important than the other but equally important and necessary. With soft music playing in my ears I focus on other photographs scattered about the room. On my great grandmother’s table rests a handful of frames filled with black and white images of ancestors. Images of my great grandparents, both grandfathers as little boys, and my mother as a young girl are placed around an aged simple silver frame of me as a baby. Each of these people are a part of me; whether I’ve known them or not they are an essential piece of my life because without them I would not be.

Remembering a conversation with a friend I am reminded not only the importance of relationships but how life, our life, is like an incomplete patchwork quilt. When the quilt maker begins working on a quilt she (or he) begins by cutting squares from fabrics of various color, textures and sizes. Each carefully chosen piece will be sewn together to make a single quilt that will provide warmth on a cold night, safety to a child after a bad dream, comfort to a young adult leaving home for the first time or familiarity and assurance to a new bride as she begins her new life. Unless the squares are stitched together, connected to something bigger it will be of no benefit to anyone. It will simply remain a small, ineffective piece of fabric; maybe pretty to look at but will offer nothing more.

My faith tells me that we were created to live in community; in relationships with one another. As we travel down our life road, we find ourselves creating, cultivating and living in relationships with others. These relationships each become a square in our life quilt; each memory becomes a stitch that binds our life squares together. As new relationships begin we must maintain the previous relationships stitching them all together like the pieces of a quilt. Looking back at the photographs of me and my two friends, I am reminded of the many differences in each relationship. While completely different each is an essential square to my life quilt. I know that adding a new square (or relationship) to my life quilt is a good thing, however I also know that it must be connected to the existing squares to make the quilt complete. It is necessary that we realize the importance of each relationship in our life. As in quilt making each square has its place and purpose, neither one being more significant than the other. Our older relationships represent the old pieces of the quilt that while worn and possibly a bit tattered provide familiarity and warmth. Our new relationships represent the new pieces that when added to our life quilt grows and provides more warmth; and while the newer squares may be brighter and more colorful we still need the older ones to anchor the new ones to.

I encourage you to nurture all of the relationships in your life knowing that each one has a purpose. Embrace the history you have with old friends and welcome the opportunity to create a history with newer friends keeping in mind that without one or the other your life quilt would not be complete. Cherish the friendships in your life, both old and new; wrapping yourself in the warmth of the life quilt you create together. Life begins as an unfinished patchwork quilt, and if we live it fully we will enjoy a completed life quilt at the end of our life journey.


I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Read more Karla’s Korner , also please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.

Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!