Proverbs 1:32

Simplifying my Life and my Home

Part of getting ready to move is selling off excess furniture that we've accumulated over the years. It's amazing how much we've amassed over the years. Not like we're candidates for Hoarders or anything, but yeah we have to get rid of lots of stuff before we move.
In the past couple weeks, I've sold or given away...large playground toys, small playground toys, playground pea gravel, ten railroad ties that surrounded the playground pea gravel, a home gym machine, an exercise bike, patio furniture, pool furniture, and an entire room of daycare furniture. The other day in the kitchen my husband wondered where was the basket usually kept on the counter and asked did I sell it already? I had to laugh. Nope, just off the counter for now. Honestly, it feels SO GOOD to simplify throughout the house. I can hardly wait to clear out closets!

The rooms are really big in this home and we'll probably sell it faster if we have less clutter. Besides we'll be downsizing into a much smaller home for our empty nest home. Our goal is to list March 1, so we've got an entire month to make the improvements, changes, and repairs that need to be done. I'll be doing an entire blog series on the preparation of the house to sell, so stay tuned!

January 25 Moon Rise

Moon Rise over Pflugerville, Texas 1/25/2013

Beautiful Quote


How Much Is Your Food Truck Worth?

Food trucks used to be rare but now they are all the rage. There are lots of reasons for the popularity of food trucks: affordable food in convenient locations for consumers and low overhead but the potential for phenomenal profits for the food cart owner. If you’ve been thinking about opening your own food truck, here are some of the things you need to think about.

Food Storage

Proper food storage is tricky even when you have a huge refrigeration system and kitchen at your disposal. In a food truck, it becomes even more challenging. Not only are you dealing with extremely limited space, your refrigeration units are much closer to your cooking set up than is ideal (most restaurants have lots of space and insulation between these two spaces). Unless you’ve got extensive experience with refrigeration units, you need to work with a professional (like those at ReccoUSA.com) to make sure that all of your bases are covered.

Space Issues

Space is incredibly limited in a food truck. In addition to your refrigeration unit, unless your truck only offers raw foods, you need to have appliances for cooking in there too. This is usually limited to a stove, a deep fryer and a toaster oven (though some do attempt to install actual ovens). If it were a kitchen you could use “efficiency models” for these appliances but you need to be able to serve lots of customers at once, so you need to have industrial strength at your fingertips. A clearance sale counter top deep fryer won’t get it done.

In addition to that, you’ll need a safe and clean space in which to store the food that doesn’t need refrigeration but does need to be kept away from the stoves and fryers but still within easy reach for quick food prep. It might be helpful to work with a consultant who specializes in efficiency and small spaces to help you plan your space to be usable as well as compact.


Some food trucks go with a cash only system because they don’t have the space for credit card machines and receipt printers. Thanks to mobile payment systems, though, now you can easy take credit card payments through systems like Square, PayPal and Intuit. You can also become a Dwolla merchant and allow people to pay straight from their checking accounts. Space isn’t an issue here because mobile payment systems are set up to work with smart phones and iPads and will text or email the customer the receipt. Being able to take as many forms of payment as possible will help you expand your customer base and make even more money.

Running your own food truck can be really exciting and profitable. Before you can hope to succeed, though, you need to make sure you’re set up to serve as many people as safely and as effectively as possible. These tips will help you do that.
--guest post

Save on Valentine's Day Flowers

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, making that special someone happy might require a little more than just love. Unfortunately, pampering her (or him) will cost money. The most basic form of expression on this day is a bouquet of beautiful flowers.
Here are some guidelines to help you budget your flower bouquet on Valentine's Day:

Promotions on Flowers
On occasions like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s day, you will find ample promotions to save on flowers. These special deals can be found online, or in stores that specialize in flowers. Search the internet to find the best flowers in the most fitting price; you may compare prices online as well. Stores that put together more expensive flower bouquets also offer bargains on; it won’t harm to check with them as well.

Choose Bigger Flowers
Your significant other won’t complain if you don’t get her a large bouquet of anemones. Go for bigger flowers in loud, blooming colors. This way, you will not have to spend on a large number of flowers, and maybe five or six pieces will do. These flowers might be cheaper than the conventional roses or gladioli as well.
Opt for quality rather than quantity. A smaller bunch of exotic flowers will always be better than a large bunch of shabby ones. Choose flowers that will impress your mom, and show her that you care.

Ditch the Red Roses
You can get away with another color of roses. The dusty pink, yellow, and white roses are equally appealing. Red roses are usually more expensive than the rest, mainly because they are always in demand. Yellow roses are also a great choice; the yellow color will be refreshing on a sunny day, and she will love the liveliness of the bouquet.

Deliver the Flowers Yourself
It is your a special day, and it won’t harm you to go all the way to give her the flowers. You’ll also save money on the delivery charges, and show a loving gesture as well! Dropping in yourself will personalize your greeting.

Be Creative!
A little creativity can go a long way. If you are into gardening, or know someone who can lend you their garden, pick flowers and improvise your own little bouquet. Trim the edges neatly, sprinkle with water and arrange into a neat bunch. Keep the flowers refrigerated till the D-day.

Make the flowers more special by adding an element of surprise. Drop in at your her place without informing, or leave her presents on the kitchen counter to pleasantly astonish her. The most important facet of any gift is love, so make sure your day presents speak your feelings!
-guest post

Proverbs 1:19


Finding a House Painter

When I was growing up, any time we needed to hire someone, we just opened the Yellow Pages book to find someone. Things aren't so easy any more. Across the internet, there are thousands of directory sites to sift through and it's quite a job just to find a house painter. I'm sure I'll have the same challenge when it comes time to hire a carpet cleaner.
My initial search turned up a few local painters with positive reviews, so I contacted them through email to see if they would be interested in offering me a free quote for the job of painting my entire interior. I heard back from one immediately, who was willing to drop by that very afternoon. The second painter replied with a few questions about the job, which then prompted him to turn down the job because he works alone and he felt it was too big a house for him to paint. The third painter arranged to come by the next day.

We've now visited with two painters, both of which seem to be very experienced and educated. They have walked through the house, written down their notes, and promised to send a quote by email sometime this week. Once I have those two quotes, we will have a better idea of what kind of cost we're looking at for this task. If it's too ridiculously expensive, we may end up deciding to do it ourselves again, although I really don't want to do it and I'm pretty sure my husband doesn't want to do it either. 

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Flu-Fighting Foods


Shop Online and Save Money!

Online shopping has always been a fantastic way to save time as well as money! The online shops offer great sales and offer you amazing shopping items to choose from. You can find cool gifts, the latest fashion apparel, funky accessories, household items and even groceries on these affordable sites. Plus, you may even be able to apply free shipping with a coupon code! What more can you ask for!
Websites such as JoeShopping.com are a great way to find hot and economical deals for your shopping needs. They provide you with various promotional offers and discount coupons which you can make use of while shopping. This is perfect because you can apply huge discounts while you shop!

Shop and save in a smart way!

Shopping online can be highly useful when you are short on time and don’t want to spend a lot of extra money. But how can shopping online be done efficiently? If you’re focused on purchasing products you’ve had your eyes on for a while you will now be focused on purchasing that particular item you want to buy.
  • By shopping online you can compare prices and products based on the many different offers and items available from various shopping sites. You’ll be able to select the best offer which will provide you with the best discount and price!
  • Online shopping on sites like JoeShopping.com will always offer you exciting deals and coupons on a variety of products, groceries, apparel, and even groceries.
  • Many online shopping sites will also provide you with a complimentary gift and will offer free shipping, which will save you a lot of money on your purchase!
  • The sales season always offers great discounts that you won’t available anytime else. Find the best deals according to the season and save lots of money!
An online search for your favorite products will help you find what you are looking for in minutes. In just a matter of a few clicks you will be able to add the item to your online shopping cart while you are sitting in a cozy area in the comfort of your own home! Fulfill all your desires and satisfy the shopaholic in you by shopping online with these amazing websites. The best part is that you do not have to look at your bank account or worry about your budget that you restricted to. Most outstanding shopping sites like JoeShopping.com offer huge discounts to its customers and in the process win many people over with its online shopping business. Save lots of money, satisfy the shopper in you and buy useful and fun products you want with the help of frugal online shopping!
--guest post

VeggieTales Lettuce Love One Another DVD Review

The best way to teach children social skills is to teach them to love one another. When we love others, we treat them with gentle hands, nice voices, and a forgiving heart. VeggieTales Lettuce Love One Another DVD is a great collection of three stories plus some awesome bonus features. Teaching by example, these happy silly vegetables are great role models for children!
Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry's Big River Rescue is all about helping others. Abe and the Amazing Promise helps children to see the benefits of being patient. King George and the Ducky is a great story that demonstrates ways children can think of others instead of just themselves. In traditional Veggie-style, there are simple Bible verses to inspire and encourage both children and adults.
We loved all three stories and the children danced to the Silly Songs in the bonus features. There are even some "how to draw" instructions in the bonus features. This would be a wonderful Valentine's Day Gift! VeggieTales stories and songs are always appropriate for the entire family and share God's love in ways even the youngest children can understand. Check out Lettuce Love One Another at veggietales.com and see all the wonderful free online activities on the website. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube!
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.

Guacamole Jalapeno Turkey Burger

Jennie-O Turkey products and Wholly Guacamole are both favorites in my house. I can't believe we never thought to combine them!!! Jennie-O has just released Jalapeno Jack Turkey Burgers, infused with delicious jalapenos and cheese, available only at Walmart until the end of March, then available everywhere!
With just a bit of extra virgin olive oil, we browned up our Jennie-O Jalapeno Jack Turkey Burgers, about 10 minutes on each side. They smelled so good! We turned them with a spatula (probably not soon enough, because they burned a bit on the edge, or maybe the heat was a bit too high). They can also be prepared in a broiler or on a grill.
We used onion buns to give our meal a little extra kick too. We thought about adding a slice of cheese, then remembered the cheese was already in the burger. So I mushed the Wholly Guacamole packet between my hands a bit to warm it a tad, then cut off just a small corner of the plastic so I could use it like a baker's frosting bag.
We loaded up our turkey burgers with a healthy pile of Wholly Guacamole, trying very hard to resist putting the open corner in our mouths. Then for an extra touch of color, we added a very thin slice of large red tomato to each sandwich.
Oh my goodness, you have to try these! They are so good. I'm embarrassed to tell you that they were so good, we even cooked up another one and split it between us. We were so full. No guilt though since the Guacamole Jalapeno Turkey Burger is a wonderfully healthy meal.
I also received an awesome swag bag of goodies from Jennie-O and Wholly Guacamole, including a turkey thermometer, an amazing tshirt, a mousepad, wristbands, a pen, a chip clip, and more! You can find out more about these companies at eatwholly.com and Jennieo.com.
Disclosure: I received these products at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
How about a delicious GIVEAWAY???
One lucky winner will receive FREE product coupons to make their own Guacamole Jalapeno Turkey Burgers, plus the wonderful swag products pictured above! To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the USA. Giveaway ends at midnight ET on 1/31/2013. Good luck!

Enter below!

Organizing Toys for Sale and Planning for Future

I'm finally making some progress in my grand reorganization project! I had three days off and found some time to bag up more preschooler toys. I even had to go buy more bags. Then I set up the room in a semi-organized way. I enlisted the help of my husband to take down all the shelves from the walls in the two daycare rooms.
It's been quite a challenge to sort everything out. My next step is to price everything. There are lots of people waiting patiently for me to "open" the sale so I'm working as fast as I can. I bought price stickers at the store and have started pricing the toys. After I get the toys thinned out, it'll be time for a household garage sale too.
While taking down shelves and cabinets, we decided we will definitely need to paint the interior of the house before we put it up for sale. Since we're so busy, we decided we'll hire a painter to do the walls and then a carpet cleaning company to fix the carpets. There is so much carpeting in this house and I'd rather hire out the job. Between the preschoolers, the teenagers and the dog walking all over the carpets constantly, I'm sure it'll be a dirty task. My old carpet cleaner broke and I hope to have wood floors in the next house, so I don't want to buy a new one.
It's so exciting to see all the changes taking place because even though it is the end of one part of my life, it's also the beginning of a brand new chapter! Stay tuned for updates!

Proverbs 1:15


Bloggers Wanted - February Shenanigans Giveaway Hop

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February Shenanigans Giveaway Hop!
February 15-28

By adding your information to the linky below, you are agreeing:
1. To host a giveaway on your blog, from Feb 15 12:01 am ET to February 28 11:59am ET, dedicated to only this event. The giveaway prize must be a minimum value of $20. Your prize can be company-sponsored or self-sponsored. 
2. To include the button above on the post.
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Post this Hop button on your blog sidebar, linked to this post, so other bloggers can join in.

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Win $75 Amazon or Paypal - daynight Book Blast

daynight by Megan Thomason

Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance™. Reality: the SCI subjects Second Chancers to strict controls and politically motivated science experiments like Cleaving—forced lifetime union between two people who have sex.

Meet Kira Donovan. Fiercely loyal, overly optimistic, and ensnared by the promise of a full-ride college scholarship, Kira signs the SCI Recruit contract to escape memories of a tragedy that left her boyfriend and friends dead.

Meet Blake Sundry. Bitter about being raised in Exile and his mother’s death, Blake’s been trained to infiltrate and destroy the SCI. Current barrier to success? His Recruit partner—Miss Goody Two Shoes Kira Donovan.

Meet Ethan Darcton. Born with a defective heart and resulting inferiority complex, Ethan’s forced to do his SCI elite family’s bidding. Cleave-worthy Kira Donovan catches his eye, but the presiding powers give defect-free Blake Sundry first dibs.

Full of competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, daynight is Megan Thomason’s debut young adult dystopian novel and first in the daynight series.

daynight will be FREE from Jan 21 - Jan 23

Keeping it Cool Event - Win a Fridge

Keepin' it Cool button

Welcome to the Keepin' it Cool Giveaway Event hosted by Life With Two Boys!

One lucky reader is going to win an Amana 18.5 cu. ft. Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator (ARV $1399-$1599) in their choice of color!

About the 18.5 cu. ft. Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator:
This refrigerator's design makes the food you use most often within reach, while frozen items fit neatly inside the EasyFreezer pull-out drawer. Adjustable Spillsaver glass shelves help keep messes contained.