In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash

I've been stewing. Fuming. Boiling. For a couple days now.

Most of you know I'll be retiring from daycare at the end of May this year. If you read any of my posts, you know that I'm whittling down my two rooms of daycare toys and furniture. Over the Christmas break, I put up some of my most beautiful early childhood furniture pieces for sale. I made arrangements with a lady who also does home daycare to come purchase them. She wanted them. Period.

They arrived and were thrilled. Couldn't hardly wait to get them in her daycare. Even brought a trailer with them. I was here without my boys or my husband, so I helped her fill the trailer in the sprinkling rain. Her aunt was with her and helped as well. She purchased my set of furniture that included two tables, twelve chairs, a book center bookcase, a toy shelf unit, and a shelf unit that included 10 cubbies for small sets of toys, often known as manipulatives. Once everything was loaded, including eight daycare cots for naptime, she whips out her checkbook. Cash only, that's what the advertisement said. "Oh, don't worry, it's good. I don't write bad checks."

In 25 years of providing daycare, I've accepted only CASH from daycare parents, because there's nothing worse than chasing a payment that isn't any good. Well, I trusted this lady. I let her write me a $580 check. Yes, I must be stupid. I even let her sit on my sofa and breastfeed her baby before she and her aunt headed back south to Austin.

You guessed it. Her check bounced. A $580 check bounced. I sent her a text. Nothing. No response. I sent an email. Nothing. No response. Finally I get a response that she's been out of town, she's so sorry, and she's never ever had a bad check. She'll take care of it right away, she promises. She'd be up before the end of the day, she said. She didn't show up. That was Friday.

I sat here all day. It's my husband's birthday. I was unable to take him to breakfast, to lunch, or to dinner, because I sat here all day, like a stupid idiot, waiting on her. I sent her another text this morning. No response. I sent her another this afternoon. She replied that she'd be here by 7p.m. tonight. It's now 7:10pm. I got a text saying she could come first thing in the morning, before church. I'm a bit irritated. To say the least.

So, I'm taking a poll. Do you think...
1.) I'm screwed out of $580 and she'll never show up.
2.) I'm screwed out of $580 and she might show up, but only God really knows.
3.) She's really a good person, I'm screwed, and someday I might get what I deserve, and someday she might get what she deserves too.

Let me state publicly here that I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever take a check from anyone ever, ever, ever, ever again. I should have followed my instincts and unloaded her trailer when I heard she didn't have cash. And here I sit, still waiting.

UPDATE: I sent her another text (today) Sunday morning after 8a.m. and she finally showed up at 10a.m. with my cash. Thank you Lord for directing her to do the right thing!

Using Custom Fountains to Enhance Your Exterior Home Décor

Your property exterior is an important part of the overall appearance of your property. One can judge the interiors and the sense of style of the house inhabitants, with a small glance around the property exteriors. Hence, you need to take time to maintain its beauty by using creative and stylish ways. Add plenty of spunk and zing to your exterior!

Water fountains are an interesting water feature that is added to a property to make it look classy and appealing. Huge farmhouses and villas have a fancy and eye-catching fountain right at the center of the garden, backyard, lawn area, compound area or in the woods near the main property. Such water fountains are attractive and complement the class of elite owners of the property. They are also known as custom fountains because they are built in accordance depending on the wishes of the home owners.

Being a mother, if you want to shoulder the responsibility of re-doing your home in a classy manner, you can think about installing beautiful fountains. Today, one can use custom fountains that will not only create magic and beauty, but will also add more value to your property. There are different custom fountains that can be used to add a personal touch to the exterior décor.

With custom fountains, keep in mind the individual taste and requirements of a property owner and install fountains accordingly. The use of fountains with ridges, beautiful sculptures; metal railings, etc. are all examples of custom fountains. These custom fountains can be used and placed in a variety of places. You can install them in a pond, lake or even in a garden. You can also choose from a variety of designs for custom fountains. One can decide on architectural fountains, modern and chic fountains, or the classic fountains as well. Today, there are also fiberglass pools that have become quite famous around the world.

You can get expert services for installing a custom fountain. Such experts offer full-service for fountains including design, installation, repair and maintenance. They have an efficient team of designers and expert installers who can offer you satisfactory and glitch-free services. One can get their residential or commercial fountains custom-designed to suit their style. If you like it big and flashy or small and unique, you can get it installed and customized with the best assistance available.

Don’t forget that you can also get custom water walls, indoor water fountains for homes, offices etc. The main reason why it’s so nice using customized fountains is that they help reflect your style through creative decorating.
--guest post


Broken Doll Clothing - Review

Check out this great new shirt from Broken Doll apparel! Your teens are going to love this style. The featured character's name is Bailey Dahl. The line is from the creator of NotoriouStreetWear, Michael Redmond, specially tailored to teenagers and young adults who are looking for a brand that stands out from the rest with real personality!
This shirt is very comfortable and very well made. The printed colors are bright and clear. After washing, neither the black shirt nor the printing faded at all. The v-neck style is perfect for showing off a favorite necklace too! Great with blue jeans, this shirt would also look great with a knit skirt or leggings and a miniskirt. Broken Doll offers chic graphic t-shirts, sweatshirts and t-shirt dresses. Check out the entire line at www.iambrokendoll.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter!
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Last Chance to Win a Second Honeymoon from ModernGreetings.com

offer expired


Win Five Books in the Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the 
Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop
hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.
From January 4-10, 2013, you can hop around the list of
participating bloggers to enter to win bunches of books!

I'm giving away five books that I really enjoyed this past year
plus a set of magnetic book page markers!
This Great Prize Includes:

Her Safari: Snapshots Along the Way by Lisa Mikitarian

Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers by Kate Hopper

Hey, Back Off!: Tips for Stopping Teen Harassment by Jennie Withers and Phyllis Hendrickson

The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life by Judith Belmont and Lora Shor

Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker by Marla Martenson

Butterflies i-Clips Magnetic Bookmarks

You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the USA. To enter to win, please fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Please note, the rules of this giveaway hop state that the books must be from my own bookshelves. Giveaway ends at midnight ET on 1/10/13. Good luck!

*If you experience problems with the linky list,
all the direct links to the giveaways are HERE.

Win $50 Amazon or Paypal in the Daisy Book Blast

Daisy: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Presidential diarist and author Janis F. Kearney transforms civil rights legend Daisy Gatson Bates’ life from black and white, to living color.  The author, who interviewed Bates many times; recreates her conversations and interviews to “fill in” places left un-filled, and colors incidents and experiences, to bring Daisy Bates to life. Kearney plums the mysterious murder of Bates’ mother, and the orphan’s childhood; the young woman’s prophetic decision to share a traveling salesman’s life; her non-traditional role as co-publisher of an award winning newspaper; and her leadership role at a time, and place where women rarely led. Between a Rock and a Hard Place is Daisy’s “look back” at her life, and…finally, a self-analysis of how, and possibly, why she became the Daisy Gatson Bates for which she is known throughout the world.  Author Janis F. Kearney recounts the leader’s many friendships, relationships and associations that helps define who she was in the eyes of the world - from Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Clinton; First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.; Roy Wilson, NAACP President; Thurgood Marshall and Wiley Branton, NAACP attorneys, Maya Angelou and Jackie Robinson… and countless others. The author met Daisy Bates in the summer of 1969, at the age of16. From that moment, the high school student dreamed of working for the woman her father called one of Arkansas’ greatest leaders - black or white.  The book is based on the author's personal interviews, oral histories, conversations and in-depth research.

"Thank you to Janis F. Kearney for shedding a critical light on an often forgotten civil rights heroine. Daisy Bates was a woman who refused to be defined by society's rules on both race and place in America. An often controversial figure, Bates lived life on her own terms, for which she paid dearly. She was an American hero who loved her country for all its greatness; but courageously proclaimed it could and should be better." ~Sharon La Cruise, Producer



No nonsense: Style Made Easy

This post brought to you by No nonsense. All opinions are 100% mine.
The new No nonsense is stylish, modern and affordable. The No nonsense tights and leggings are the perfect way to add a pop of color and style to any outfit. Plus since they are sold at food and drug stores as well as mass retail stores, they are so easy to find. I've always loved wearing leggings in the winter time with long sweaters and I was so excited to receive a pair of denim print leggings. I wear blue jeans almost all the time so they fit right into my fashion style. Leggings are more comfortable than jeans and they also make wearing boots so much easier!
I also received a pair of black fishnet No nonsense tights. Tights have never been one of my favorite fashion accessories because they are so hard to put on! I hate the crazy wiggle dance required to wear tights. I was so excited to discover that the No nonsense tights are easy to put on, easy to wear, and so very comfortable! The tights are so much warmer than pantyhose and look so cute with my boots and a dress.
You can find all the new No nonsense tights and leggings at so many places. Be sure to find No nonsense on Facebook and on Twitter. And here is a bonus - Watch for the expert advice from Jill Martin, the new brand ambassador for No nonsense. Her stylish and practical approach to fashion is what we all crave! She'll be introducing us to lots of ways to incorporate leggings and tights into our wardrobes. You'll love them as much as I do!

How Much Insurance is Too Much?

The beginning of a new year is an excellent time to review your insurance policies and make adjustments. As a family, we've often laughed about being over-insured. We have health insurance, vision insurance, and dental insurance through my husband's employer. Our life insurance policies are through a private company. We have homeowner's insurance on our house and our property. We also have car insurance on three vehicles for my husband, my teenage boys, and me. The boys help out by paying their portion of the auto insurance since they both have part time jobs. I figured out how much they increased our auto insurance and they each pay a portion twice a month from their paychecks. We also have flood insurance even though we're not anywhere near a flood plain. It's only a couple hundred dollars a year and homeowner's policies don't cover flooding. We're convinced if we ever skip the flood insurance, that's when we'll need it. I also have a separate insurance policy for my home daycare business that covers accidents in my home and legal fees. On top of all that, we also have an umbrella policy to cover pretty much anything and everything else, since we have two teenage boys.

Sounds like too much insurance, doesn't it? Realistically, the reason to buy insurance is because the cost of NOT having insurance is much greater. We hope we'll never have to use most of our insurance policies, but having all these different policies gives us a greater peace of mind as parents and property owners. I hear so many sad stories on the news about people who have lost everything from a fire, a hurricane, or some other unexpected event, yet they had absolutely no insurance to cover replacement costs. Even if you happen to rent your residence, there are rental insurance policies that will at least cover the contents of your apartment or rental home. After all the money we put into buying the things we want in our homes, doesn't it make sense to spend just a tiny bit more to insure it? I often pass on the little insurance gimmicks at the retail stores where we buy cheaper electronics, but sometimes it makes sense to pay an extra $15 a year to cover free replacement on something like a $1500 television.

Since it's a new year, take some time to review your current policies. If you had a baby, changed residences or even purchased expensive new jewelry, you may want to make changes to existing policies. Nearly every time you buy or sell a car, you'll need car insurance to protect yourself from major expenses. The hartford auto insurance coverage is a great option. If you don't insurance at all, I urge you to contact an insurance company and get quotes. It's time and money well-spent!

Redesigned Daycare Space


Win $50 Amazon or Paypal and $50 Gift Card - Dead Running / Dying to Run

Dead Running

Cassidy Christensen is running.
Running from the mercenaries who killed her parents.
Running from a scheming redhead intent on making her life miserable.
Running from painful memories that sabotage her dreams of happiness.
With two very tempting men competing for her attention, she hopes she'll finally have someone to run to, but can she trust either of them? When secrets from her past threaten her family, Cassidy decides to stop running and fight for her future.

Dying to Run

Cassidy Christensen wants to run.
Captured by the traffickers who killed her mother, her only hope is Dr. Tattoo, a man she loves but nobody trusts. When she finally gets a chance to run, someone else she cares about is taken. Running might be her only chance at survival, but she won’t allow another family member to be killed in her place.
This must-read sequel to Dead Running will have you laughing, biting your nails, and hoping for more.

Purchase:  Dead Running * Dying to Run



Win a Mr. Coffee Cafe Latte Machine in the Ringin' in the New Year Giveaway Hop

Welcome to 2013
and Welcome to the New Year's Celebration Giveaway Hop

You can enter my giveaway on the rafflecopter form below,
then hop around the linky list at the bottom between
January 2-13, 2013 to enter all the giveaways.
Read more about the Mr. Coffee Cafe Latte Machine!
Model BVMC-EL1
ARV $129.99
You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the US to win this giveaway.

Win $50 Amazon or Paypal in The Grimm Chronicles Book Blast

The Grimm Chronicles
200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm unleashed their stories upon the world. Literally. Now the characters of the Grimms' stories walk among us. With every day that passes, they grow more evil. They are the Corrupted, and only a hero can stop them.
For 18-year-old Alice Goodenough, that means taking precious time off from her summer vacation. In addition to volunteering at the local library, Alice must stop the Corrupted who are now actively hunting her down. With the help of her magic pen and her trusty rabbit friend, the world has suddenly gotten a lot more complex. The Corrupted are everywhere, and only Alice can see them for what they truly are.

This book contains the first 3 episodes of the critically acclaimed series:
Episode 1: Prince Charming Must Die!
Episode 2: Happily Never After
Episode 3: Revenge of the Castle Cats

Additional features for this special edition:
- An introduction
- Two special "Lost Diaries"
- A behind-the-scenes interview
- A collection of original Grimms' Fairy Tales

The Grimm Chronicles is intended for Young Adults aged 13 and up. The goal is to provide Young Adult readers with a strong, charismatic young woman in the role of the hero and provide readers with a positive protagonist who uses her brain to overcome obstacles life throws in her way.

Enter below to win!

Win a $150 Gift Card to Country Outfitter Boots

Let's start off 2013 with a fabulous giveaway, shall we? How would you like to win a $150 Gift Card to Country Outfitter? They have the most amazing collection of boots and I confess I spend hours on their website, dreaming of owning them all. I mean, who doesn't love boots???
Every girl needs a pair of black boots, just like every girl needs a little black dress, and I totally fell in love with these Justin boots, especially since there is a cross design stitched on the front of each boot. My new Country Outfitter boots are so comfortable and I simply adore them!
I've been wearing them all over town, doing lots of shopping and even stomping in rain puddles. My feet stayed comfortable, warm and dry on one of the coldest days of 2012. They look fabulous with jeans or dresses!!!
The customer service at Country Outfitter is very friendly and helpful. They are so confident that you will love your new boots that they offer a 100% money back guarantee for a full 30 days after purchase. How excellent is that? Go check out all their boots HERE and see how hard it is to narrow it down to just one pair you want! You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter too!
Disclosure: CountryOutfitter, a retailer of Western boots sent me these black Justin boots to review.
Want to win a $150 Gift Card to Country Outfitter?

You must CLICK HERE and submit your email address to enter. Country Outfitter will occasionally send you marketing messages. You are welcome to opt out at any time.
For an additional entry, please leave a comment below letting me know you entered. Must be a US resident 18 years and older. Giveaway ends at midnight ET on 1/31/2013. Good luck!

Surprise Gift Basket Winner

April Scott
you are the Surprise Gift Basket winner!
Email on the way!

More great giveaways coming in 2013!

2013 First Post of the Year