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 28, 2014

How to Clean Dishwasher with Vinegar

How to Clean Dishwasher with Vinegar


I will admit I hate washing the dishes. I throw everything in the dishwasher. That is a super solution until you start to notice that your dishwasher isn’t as effective as it once was. I decided to Clean the dishwasher with Vinegar.Continue reading

Karla’s Korner: Unconditional Love Lessons from Sweetie

Karla’s Korner


Unconditional Love…Lessons from Sweetie

Have you ever met someone so full of grace and selfless love that in spite of their own hardships or physical discomforts they think of others first? Someone who lives life based on faith and love of their Creator not for recognition but because it’s in their soul? It’s a rare and beautiful gift to know someone like this; my friend Sweetie (Carole) is that person; a gift to so many.Continue reading

January 26, 2014

Save on Home Repairs

Save on Home Repairs

   save money on home repair

 Wow! I never realized how expensive owning a home is. You have to pay the mortgage, insurance,  utilities and then maintenance. Then they awesome things come up that you didn’t anticipate called ” home repairs”. I decided I would give you some tips to make those “home repairs” less frightening by offering tips on how to save on home repairs.

Save on Home Repairs

The first thing you need to do is determine the condition of your house. We are sharing a printable created by Genius Interior Designs to do just that. It is really important to determine your true needs prior to starting or calling someone for a repair. It is also important to assess your homes current condition. This will enable you to make decisions and budget based on what your current needs are and what your future needs will be. We all know nothing last forever so evaluating your home will help you to save on home repairs. This list should be used as if you were looking at your house with a new set of eyes it should guide you to see things that you wouldn’t normally see because you live in your house and we often fail to notice areas of concern since we are used to just living with them.

save on home repairs

 Print your own Save on Home Repair Check list #1 <——

check list

Print this Save on Home Repair Check List #2 <——-

How repairs will add up so having a fund set aside to handle these repairs is instrumental to your financial success. We suggest saving $5 dollars a day by not spending it in our $5 savings plan. In the meantime look at what you have in your home. Then decide what you can do to prevent further disrepair and make those changes. Then you should determine what you need to do next consulting the home repair checklist. If you want to save on home repairs you need to have a plan.

Save on Home Repairs

January 26, 2014

Game Day Party Ideas

Game Day Party Ideas

Mixing It Up This Year

Super Bowl XLVIII is only a week away and I’ll admit my plan for preparing well in advance has gone by the wayside.  This year we’ll be hosting a party with a dozen friends and their children.  In order to simplify things, we’ve asked everyone to bring their favorite beverage and a staple snack such as chips and dip.

For our Super Bowl Party Ideas this year, we’ll be preparing the heartier food.  I plan to shop on Tuesday and Thursday in order to take advantage of last week’s and this coming week’s sale cycles.  Despite the fact I’ve failed to plan, I don’t plan to fail at saving.

The first thing I plan to do is go back through Madame Deals’ past  Game day posts.  Since we’ve been posting for a number of years, there is plenty to choose from.  I’ll start with Game day Preparation on a Budget.  After all, savings is always my goal.  The Pesto Bread featured in this post has become a favorite with our family and friends.

Baked Cheesy Pesto Bread Appetizer for the big game or any party

To start rounding out the Game DaySuper Bowl Party Ideas menu, we’ll add Hot Chicken Wings and Teriyaki Chicken Wings which are guaranteed to please both the adults and kids.  I’ve contemplated making Pulled Pork Barbeque in the crockpot since I already have the majority of the ingredients in my stockpile.  This recipe can be stretched by using mini slider buns instead of full-size hamburger rolls.  Quick tip:  Check your stockpile before deciding what to serve for any get-together.  If you already have ingredients, that’s extra money you won’t be spending to serve something to your guests.

Game Day Party Ideas

Last, but definitely not least, we’ll try three new dishes this year:  Super Cheesy Dip in a Bread Bowl, Cream Cheese Fruit Dip served with fresh apples and pineapple, and Fresh Lemon Hummus served with a variety of veggies.  By serving these with an abundance of fruits and vegetables, our guests (and their kids) will have the opportunity skip the dip and load up on something reasonably healthy.

Also check out our Game Day Party Finger Food Recipes

party finger food recipes

Tell us about your menu for the Game Day Party Ideas! Will you be serving favorite standbys or trying new recipes?

January 23, 2014

Donate Car for Tax Credit

Donate Car for Tax Credit

donate car for tax credit

You probably heard it more than a dozen times from tv or radio commercials or read it from newspapers or magazines ads, Donate Car for Tax Credit but is it really that easy? Yes it’s true that you can get tax credit, but the big question is how much tax deduction can you get? Some people tend to get smaller than what they expected. Donating your car to charity can benefit you with a significant amount of tax savings if you will do proper planning and you’ll have all the proper documentations.

How to Donate Car for Tax Credit

1. Make sure that you’re donating to a reputable charity, an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) organization.

2. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), your deduction depends on how the charity uses your donation. If they sell your car (truck, boat, RV, or other vehicle), then your deduction will be the sales price. If they use it in other ways then you can use the car’s fair market value.

3. What is the car’s fair market value? The IRS suggests that you use a reputable used-car price guide such as the recent copy of the Kelley Blue Book to calculate your car’s fair market value. The private party prices are based on a vehicle’s make, model and overall condition.

4. Take note that there’s also a donate a car for tax credit rule, all taxpayer has a $500 threshold on vehicular gift. So even if the charity sells your car sells for $500 or less, still you can deduct $500 or your car’s fair market value, whichever is less.

5. Make sure that you keep a thorough list of paper trail. Most charities will report the sales price of your car to you on a form or a receipt, so make sure to have those documents.

6. Make sure to report the amount of your deduction. File all the forms necessary. If your deduction is greater than $5,000, you may also need a written appraisal as documentation.

Ready to donate car for tax credit? Donate Used Cars now, check out where you can donate your car.

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

Do you have other Donate Car for Tax Credit tips? Share it with us below.

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?