The Stress of Daily Life – It’s a Real Killer

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stress button

Stress seems like a given in our modern day lives.  We are totally connected…like, all of the time.

Our phones, laptops, tablets, etc. go with us everywhere.  It seems like there are expectations to be getting something done all of the time.  Sitting at a kids basketball game?  Might as well send out a few emails while you are waiting.  Stuck in traffic {as if that isn’t stressful enough sometimes}, well, better pick up the phone and make some of the calls on your to-do list.  Sound familiar?  Well, it totally does to me…or it used to.  I used to freak out all of the time.  I would cram so much into every second that the stress was starting to take its toll on me physically and mentally.  But, over the past year, I’ve mellowed out quite considerably {I think anyway} because I’ve come to septrealize that life is not perfect.  Plus, the more I stress, the worse I feel.  It’s just not worth it.

I read an article recently that basically outlined the effects of stress on our bodies.  I’m not talking massive, life-changing stress like death of a loved one, a divorce, job loss, etc.  It’s the daily, low grade stress that we carry around with us that is wrecking our health.  It is chronic, and it is quite literally killing us.  According to the article, stress can cause “increased levels of cortisol…{which} interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, and increase blood pressure, cholesterol and heart disease.”  Yikes.

So here’s my thoughts:  You have to take a holistic approach.  We have to start making our own health a priority.  That includes eating right, exercising {the article stated that only 30 minutes a day can drastically reduce stress levels}, getting enough sleep…and of course, managing stress.  I think, in general, people have gotten into the bad habit of associating high stress with success.  If we are stressed, we are doing enough.  But really, we aren’t lazy if we take a few things off our plates.  We aren’t “hippies” if we try to relax a bit, and be a little more laid back about the small stuff.  What we are is managing our health.  And, in the words of Forrest Gump, “that’s all I have to say about that.”

Do you think stress is negatively affecting your health?  What do you do to de-stress?  Did this post stress you out? {Hee hee :) }

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



10 Things to Do in Salt Lake City, Utah

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10 Things to Do in salt lake city

I know that when you think vacation, Salt Lake City isn’t the first place that pops to mind, but if you are looking for a really family friendly atmosphere, you may want to give it another look.  Turns out, there are TONS of things to do in Salt Lake.  Everytime I go, I am struck by all of the fun things they have to entertain a family with kids of all ages.

skiing in park city utah

Here’s a couple of suggestions if you find yourself headed that way:

  1. Park City.  It’s just a short drive form SLC, and it is notorious for a reason.  In the winter, you can ski.  In the summer, you can enjoy hikes, local venues, and great food.  If shopping is your thing, they have a pretty big outlet mall.
  2. Temple Square.  LDS or not, Temple Sqaure is beautiful.  It has well-manicured lawns, and if religious history is your thing, you will find plenty of opportunities for it here.  The architecture alone is worth a quick stroll through the grounds.
  3. Cathedral of Madeline.  This is another beautiful church.  Inside, organ music is playing most of the day.
  4. Hogle Zoo.  If you are not from a large city that hosts a zoo, Hogle is a must-see.  They have lots of natural habitat exhibits, elephants, rhinos, giraffes…you know, all the cool animals.
  5. Discovery Gateway.  If you are traveling with younger kids, Discovery Gateway is a HUGE hands-on discovery museum.  You won’t have to worry about them  breaking anything here–everything is meant to be played with.
  6. Sugarhouse Park.  Sugarhouse is the kind of trendy place to live in SLC, and it also boasts a really cool park, with streams, a pond, running trails, and playgrounds.  Time it right, and you might be able to catch a farmer’s market or an outdoor show.
  7. Lagoon.  Okay, so this is actually outside of SLC in Farmington, but it is great amusement park.  It has several roller coasters, and best of all, they let you drag in a cooler to feed and water your kiddos.  On hot days, you can add the water park to your ticket.
  8.  Thanksgiving Point is just a short drive outside of SLC and offers tons of summer concerts and events.  If concerts aren’t your thing, you can just stroll the gardens for free.  They really are impressive.
  9. If you caught some of the World Cup fever recently, you should totally check out a Salt Lake Real game.  It’s their professional soccer team, and the games are rumored to be reaaalllly fun.
  10. Big Cottonwood Canyon.  This is an amazing place to hike, snowshoe, and enjoy family picnics.  The canyon is seriously soooo beautiful anytime of year.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Girl Scout Membership on the Decline

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girl scout uniforms
Apparently The Girl Scouts are seeing a serious decline in both membership and volunteerism, according to an article I just read.  And I think that is pretty darn sad.  I was a Girl Scout, I sold cookies, and I went to camp.   And you know what?  That one week I spent at Girl Scout Camp when I was a ‘tween was one of the best summers of my life.  I learned to sail, got my head checked for lice, made tiki torches out of Kotex pads, made arts and crafts, used an outhouse, slept in a cabin with no doors, and sang some really cool camp songs that I still remember to this day.  It was the best summer ever!

girl scouts of americaphoto credit 

The article suggested that the decline might be due to competing activities and a lack of desire on the girls’ and the volunteers’ part to embrace the wilderness portion of the club.  The Girl Scouts have tried expanding their focus by offering “ …digital filmmaking, financial literacy, eating local, social innovation and business etiquette,” but still, their numbers are dwindling. Things have obviously gotten waaaay more complicated than they were for me as a young girl, because really, the cookies were all I needed to seal the deal.  And, even if the cookies weren’t enough, my green badge symbolized not just accomplishments, but acquired skills–I think that’s why it’s sad to see the decline.

So, if you have some spare time on your hands and you are a normal functioning adult {read:  not a weirdo}, you should totally pop over to your local Girl Scouts chapter and volunteer.

girl scout cookies

I know there are some former Girl Scouts reading this right now, so make sure to share you favorite Girl Scout memory in the comments below…and power on fellow cookie-pushers!

~Mavis

**The article listed a pretty impressive group of former Girl Scouts:  Laura Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Martha Stewart, Venus Williams, Katie Couric, Natalie Morales, Lisa Ling, Taylor Swift, Mariah Carey and Sandra Day O’Connor.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Halloween Deals and Freebies: Wearing Your Costume Gets You FREE Stuff!

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halloweenHalloween is the coolest and the weirdest holiday all wrapped into one. What other day of the year would it be socially acceptable to open your door to complete strangers dressed as mummies and zombies and give them stuff for free. It’s kinda awesome. And now those costumes will get you even more free stuff. Check out this list of Halloween deals and freebies. Some requires a costume and some of them are deals you can get just by showing up.  Because Halloween is awesome!

Souper Salad: 99 cent Kids Meal when kids wear their costumes from now until Halloween.

Build-a-Bear: FREE treat when you stop by any Build-a-Bear on Halloween.

IHOP: Kids who wear their costume get a FREE Scary Face Pancake until 10am. One per child for dine-in guests only on Halloween.

Lego Store: Wear your Halloween costume to the LEGO Store on Halloween and you’ll receive a special LEGO Halloween treat!

Chipotle: Any burrito, burrito bowl, salad or tacos for $3 when you wear your costume on Halloween {from 5pm to close}.

Krispy Kreme: FREE donut when you wear your costume on Halloween.

Sbarro: FREE slice of pizza for all kids who wear their costumes in on Halloween.

Sonic: 50¢ Corndogs all day on Halloween.

Bass Pro: FREE Crafts, costume contest, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, and much more on Halloween.

Wendy’s: Buy a Jr. Frosty Halloween coupon treat book for only $1. Wendy’s donates 90% of all treat book sales to their Foundation.

Boston Market: FREE kid’s meal with the purchase of any entree from now until Halloween.

Did I miss any? Have you ever taken advantage of any of these?

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Is Voice Mail a Thing of the Past?

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Is Voice Mail a Thing of the Past

While taking my daily stroll through the interweb the other day, I found an article about millennials {for the record, millennials are people born between 1977-1998} hating voice mail.  With text and social media, the millennial generation feels like voice mail has become more of a hassle.  After all, a quick text gets right to the point, whereas a voice mail requires listening to, and getting through what can potentially be awkward stuttering…or worse, really bad attempts at humor.

london red telephone booth

Even though I am not a millennial {apparently, I am a generation X’er–born between 1965-1976}, I’ll admit, I wouldn’t mind if voice mail went away completely.  I love getting a text.  I can read it…or not, quickly.  And I can respond…or not, whenever the heck I get around to it.  I know I can do that with voice mail, but somehow voice mail feels more tedious.  Plus, I always wonder what the etiquette is on a voice mail.  If someone leaves me a voice mail, do I have to call them back, or can I just text them?  {Talk about 1st world problems! :) }  I get there is something more personal about a voice mail, but let’s face it, sometimes you just don’t feel like being personal–you feel like being pragmatic with quick yes or no answers.

What do you think, is voice mail is on its way out?  {Maybe one day the Smithsonian will have an iPhone on display with the voice mail screen pulled up–like an interactive display for the kids?}  Would you rather leave a voice mail or text?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

10 Tips for Washing Clothes at the Laundromat

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10 Tips for Washing Clothes at the Laundromat

Living without a washer and dryer sucks big time, let me tell you.  First, it stinks to have to “sit with your laundry.”  I have distracted myself with a couple of trips to the Dollar Store in between loads, but honestly, the appeal is wearing off quickly.   Also, for the record, I am pretty sure all of the slasher movies ever made from here on out should be made at Laundromats.

“Surviving” the laundromat is pretty much the only way to describe it.  Am I being dramatic?  Maybe a little, I totally get that there ARE normal people that go to the laundromat–they do not, however, seem to be going to my personal laundromat.

So, if you ever find yourself regularly using the laundromat, here’s a couple of tips to make it less painful:

  1. Sort BEFORE you go.  The key is to get in and get out.  Remember what I said about the slasher movies?  Well, you don’t want to be an unwilling character in one, so the key is speed.
  2. Strive for simplicity.  For the same reasons above, do all stain pre-treatments before you go.  Also, this just means you have to carry less in with you.  Lugging in the laundry is bad enough.  Keep things simple by only bringing laundry, detergent {detergent tabs are even better} and dryer sheets.  Bare bones, my friends, bare bones.DIY-Homemade-Laundry-Detergent-Tabs
  3. Choose an off-ish hour.  Now, I am not suggesting going in at 1 a.m.  In fact, I would caution you against that, but being able to go in and do every load at one time {using 3-4 washers} is a real time saver.  Middle of the day seems to be best…evenings after work or Saturday and Sundays are busy, though, so getting enough washers and dryers to do all the work at once is trickier.
  4. Take the time to wipe out the washers and dryers before you use them.  Listen, I am not really a germaphobe, but you can’t be sure that that washer didn’t get used to wash a puke-stained comforter from the Frat house down the street.  It’s a basic precaution.
  5. Smell the machine before you use it.  Yep, you read that right.  Gross?  Yes, it really is, but you aren’t smelling it for that reason.  Smell to see if someone used bleach in it the cycle before you.  If so, avoid putting your darks in it.  Sometimes, people go buck nuts with the bleach, and boom, next think you know, your jeans are acid washed.  Not good.
  6. Bring a large black garbage bag.  The weather here in Washington can turn on you fast, and quite frankly, after stuffing $5.00 worth of quarters into a dryer, the last thing you want to do is take your freshly dried laundry out into the rain.  Plus, even if it is sunny, you can always wear the garbage bag–trust me, you will fit right in.roll of quarters
  7. Get rolls of quarters and have them at the ready.  Sure, you can usually get quarters at the change machine in the laundromat, but it’s just easier to have them ready to go.  Remember, we want in and out.  Fast, fast, fast.
  8. Remember to check all of the settings.  Whoever did laundry before you might have turned the settings to a small load on scorching hot.  Check all of the dials, each and every time you wash to make sure.
  9. I know it is hard to just sit there while your laundry is washing, but remember leave your churning clothes unattended at your own risk.  If you don’t get back in time, someone may just take the liberty of piling your clothes on top of one of the tables in order to use the machine.  No one needs their unmentionables on display for all of the laundromat patrons to see.
  10. Remember to bring a basket to bring all of your laundry home in.  The bags you hauled them in will work, but you may have a wrinkled mess by the time you get home.  I like to stash a basket in the back of the car, and then, when it is time, quickly fold the laundry and drape the hang-up clothing over the top.

Any of you seasoned laundromat pros out there?  What are your tips for surviving the laundromat?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

The Pros and Cons of Living in a Planned Community

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Planned Community

We were not really looking for a home in a planned community, but the house kind of chose me anyway.  I saw so much potential in the place, that I was willing to overlook some stuff.  Now that we are living in a planned community again, there are definitely pros and cons to it.  {In case you are not familiar, a planned community is one of those suburban communities on crack.  It’s suburbia intensified.  It is basically a dense group of houses with schools, shopping, hospitals, etc. grouped strategically around it so that they can serve YOUR basic little community.}

mavis butterfield

First off, the pros:  The amenities are awesome.  It’s a quick drive to basically anything I could possibly need.  Seriously, everything is within about a 1 mile radius.  In a pinch, I could literally “walk” all my errands.  Another bonus is that there are oodles of common green spaces for the everyone to use.  It makes the whole neighborhood seem more spread out and not so boxed in, one house after another.  Even better, all of the common areas are professionally landscaped and maintained, so it makes the whole neighborhood feel nicer.  The neighborhood has a very communal feel yet is still feels secluded because of all the mature landscape.

assembling a chicken coop

Now, the cons:  I have to pay extra dues to an association so that they can maintain all of the green spaces.  Along with those dues come rules about how I can and can’t use my property {no chickens allowed}.  So, if I wanted to put up a giant dream catcher on my roof, it would probably be a no-go {though, there is nothing specifically about dream catchers in the covenants, so maybe I should just give it a try and see how it goes?}.  Another thing I am still getting used to is the sheer amount of people around.  There are always people walking by  in front of our house…and since the lots are much smaller than our last place, the houses are packed in a little tighter.  People are not bad, I just totally got used to complete privacy.  No more walking around the house in my pajamas…at least not with the blinds open. ;)

Overall, though, it has been a pretty easy transition.  Do you live in a planned community?  What do you like about it?  What could you do without?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Guest Bathroom Remodel – Day 1

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Guest Bathroom Remodel low cabinets

Originally we were not going to remodel any of the bathrooms until next spring because the cost was not within our budget. But my daughters bathroom is small, and we are keeping the shower unit, so the only thing we were going to need to pay someone to do was lay the tile.

Guest Bathroom Remodel oak cabinetsAnd since tile guy is going to be here later this week laying the tile for the laundry room floor, Chino suggested we just have him take care of the small bit of floor now, and just add the other stuff like a toilet, vanity, light fixture and mirror over the next few months as our budget allows.

old tile floorBut, in order for tile guy to be able to lay a new tile floor, we had to start the demo process lickety split. Which meant, GET IT DONE THIS WEEKEND! ;)

corner shower unitTechnically, the bathroom was fine, {like everything else in this house}.

old yellow fan ventBut the bathroom is outdated with a low toilet, low cabinets, a bad light fixture, rusted heating vent, and a seriously yellowed ceiling fan as well.

Guest Bathroom RemodelWhen the HH pulled back the cupboard I noticed there was only 1 paint color change to the wall. Which made me kind of sad. How on earth, in 20 years, was this bathroom only re-painted one time? I don’t know why that bothered me but it did.

Today, I’ll be pulling up the tile.

leonia sand tile

Here’s the new stuff. Leonia Sand 6″ by 24″ tile. Tile guy is going to stagger the tile for us. This is the vanity I want to install. It sits about 5″ higher than the old one and it’s about 11″ smaller length wise.

What do you think? Any suggestions?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Upcoming Seattle Tilth Events and Classes

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Seattle tilth fall classes

The Seattle Tilth is such a cool organization. They inspire and educate people to safeguard our natural resources while building an equitable and sustainable local food system. They have been providing hands-on education in organic agriculture for 36 years. They believe that all people deserve access to healthy, nutritious food and that changing the way in which we grow, cook and eat food has the potential to transform people’s lives as well as the communities in which we live. Check out what classes and events they have coming up:

KidsEdRBUFW 2Announcing Enhanced Garden Educator Workshops
The Seattle Tilth is partnering with the University of Washington’s College of Education to include a new component to their Garden Educator Workshops this fall. Join them to learn about incorporating Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core requirements in your garden education lessons and learn about useful resources and teaching techniques. They have an upcoming workshop on November 22. Or ignite your children’s passion for the natural world with hands-on learning in their school garden and farm tours.

Seattle Tilth Garden Drive
This fall, go beyond the old school canned food drive and join their Just Garden program’s Garden Drive! Invite members of your congregation, school or workplace to support food garden construction for families and communities facing hunger in King County.

Compost BinsFall Classes:

Composting
Fall is a great time to gather materials and learn how to create your own compost — join our final composting class for the year and take part in building a hot compost pile.
Composting 101 Sat. Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-noon

Garden Educator Training
Teachers and parents: bring garden education to schools, classrooms, youth programs, child care programs and community centers.
Schoolyards & Sustainability Sat, Nov. 22 10 a.m.-noon

Buy Apples to Fund Farm Education
This fall, eating an apple a day comes with a bigger benefit than keeping the doctor away! If you shop at PCC, be sure to pick up specially marked Farm to School bags of Fuji apples. Proceeds support hands-on educational field trips for K-12 students to Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands and Garden Educator Workshops that show teachers how to create garden classrooms.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Halloween Safety Tips

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Halloween Safety Tips

I love Halloween.  And not just because it gives me a reason to grow tons of Jack-o-lantern pumpkins.  I just love the whole dressing up and excitement of it all.  The kids are giddy, there’s candy.  Seriously, what’s not to love?

If you plan on heading out with your little ones this Halloween–or if  they are finally old enough to head out on their own, here are a couple of tips to keep them safe during their sugar-buzzed frenzy:

  1. Glow sticks are awesome.  They are cheap, the kids can wear them around their neck, and best of all, cars can see them.
  2. Masks are cool, but it your little one can’t see, they become kind of a risky blindfold.  If the mask makes the costume, consider cutting out larger eye holes.
  3. If your kiddos head out on their own, plan a route that you both agree on ahead of time.  That way, you know where they are, and they know exactly where they are supposed to be.
  4. Feed the kids a HUGE healthy meal prior to them leaving.  They will be way too full to over-indulge in candy {or at least, they will in theory!}
  5. Try battery operated candles instead of real ones in your pumpkin.  You completely eliminate the fire hazard, because face it, no one wants to remember the Halloween that the house went up in flames.
  6. If your child’s costume is darkly colored, consider adding reflective tape.  It can be super hard to see little ones darting across the street otherwise.
  7. Only go to well-lit homes.  This eliminates the hazard of kiddos tripping, and it just plain respectful to people who don’t really want to participate in the holiday.
  8. Kids going without an adult should always travel in a group.  Safety in numbers.
  9. Check your kids’ candy at the end of the night.  Feel free to confiscate all of the KitKat bars for yourself–for safety reasons, of course.
  10. If you are handing out candy, make sure to clear your own porch of any tripping hazards, etc.  {Roll up the hoses and secure the trap doors–ha!}  Nobody needs a broken leg and a lawsuit.

Hope you have a safe and HAPPY Halloween.

~Mavis

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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