Friday, March 21, 2008

100 Reasons to Get Rid of Your Stuff - MarthaStewart.com

If it wasn't for the fact that many of you like to buy stuff and not get rid of it this gal would be out of a job. Did you know that it's much better for you and your family to say goodbye to all that clutter?

Stop by MarthaStewart.com and read "100 Reasons to Get Rid of Your Stuff". Oh, if you print the article to forget to toss it in the trash after you're done. No reason to add to your pile.

'Kraft Food and Family Magazine' -Quick and Easy Recipes and More


This is one magazine that even my guys like to look at. 'Kraft Food & Family Magazine' is full of recipes, food news, new Kraft products, and lots more. Best of all it's FREE. All you do is sign up , at the website and you'll start receiving your free copy in the mail.

I'm sure it will become your family favorite too.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Trends in Teen Summer Programs - Beth Brody

Marcus is planning on working at the local recreation center this year, as an assistant. He's also going to be working for us on the weekends. This is going to be one busy teenage this summer.

“These new offerings are a result of teen program directors trying to cater to both parents’ wishes and teens interests,” says Carey Rivers, Co-Director, Tips on Trips and Camps in Washington, DC.

Summer schedules have to be planned around summer school, sports commitments, and family vacations. To adapt, teen programs are developing shorter programs that can accommodate the schedules of busy teens. They are also attempting to offer more “bang for the buck” by developing programs that incorporate many interests, such as language programs, community service, and adventure travel.

“Today your teen could choose one program in which he or she could combine multiple activities, like learning Spanish while in a community service program in Costa Rica,” says Ms. Rivers.

Tips on Trips and Camps offers these trends and unique programs for summer 2008 to help you and your child think outside the box:

Options for “Tweens” - Because teen program directors have realized that middle school age kids are looking for new and exciting programs, these “tweeners” have a world of options open to them now. Now there are language programs for Chinese, Japanese and Arabic, marine science sailing programs in the British Virgin Islands and adventure travel programs, all customized by maturity level and educational experience.

Community Service - To teach our children the value of “giving back,” and completing high school community service requirements, your child can assist in the construction of new classrooms in India, work with orphans in Russia, on hurricane reconstruction on the Gulf Coast or teach tennis to underprivileged kids in urban areas.

Internships - If your child has a specific career interest and wants to gain experience in that field, he or she can work side by side with professionals in areas like Archaeology, Fashion Design, Medical Research and Strategic Studies. Career internships on college campuses are available in England, and in large U.S. cities, like New York City, Boston and Philadelphia. After their daily “work,” students can participate in evening activities, weekend excursions, and college visits for the participants.

Language programs - Though learning a foreign language is not a new concept, combining it with other interests is a new phenomenon. Many language programs abroad incorporate a home stay, where a student is matched with a family, which enriches the student’s experience through cultural exchange and community service. Teens can study painting, photography or cooking while learning Italian or study architecture in Switzerland while learning French. Your teen can also dabble in rare languages, like Arabic, Modern Greek, or Swedish right here in the U.S.

More Exotic & Intensive Teen Travel - Now a child can live with a host family in a rural village, hike to ancient ruins, and help build a school for kids -- all in a 4-week trip. With the trend toward the more exotic, you can find teen programs that travel to Senegal, Bolivia or Cambodia. While these programs used to be about visiting busy tourist attractions, some have morphed into mini think tanks, undertaking the study of global issues, such as health care and global health care issues in Ghana, or community development in El Salvador, or biodiversity in Madagascar.

College Campus Academic Study Programs - Academic programs are much in demand because they give high school students a taste of what it’s like to live on a college campus. In addition to academic study, programs offer SAT Prep, college tours, leadership programs, a range of sports programs, visits to local attractions as well as weekend excursions to nearby cities. Course studies range from architecture to advertising, economics to environmental science.

Gap Year Programming – The United States is one of the few countries in which kids follow a traditional path from high school to college to graduate school to profession. American students are mirroring the desire of their foreign counterparts and taking some time off between high school and college. They now even have a name for it – “the Odyssey.” Your graduate can sail around the world, live with a family in a rural village in Kenya, help teach in the village secondary school, offer extracurricular activities and initiate and participate in community service projects.

For more information on the different options and new choices available for teen summer programs, contact Tips on Trips and Camps.

About Tips on Trips and Camps
Tips on Trips and Camps is free summer camp advisory service founded in 1971 with offices in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New York City, St. Louis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Princeton, Westchester, Connecticut, Los Angeles, South Florida and Paris.Call-866-222-TIPS (8477) for more info.

Article by:


Beth Brody is a camp expert and representative at Tips on Trips and Camps. Tips on Trips and Camps is an excellent camp referral service that helps parents choose the right summer camp programs for kids ages 7 to 18. Choose from sleep away camps, arts camps, adventure tours, teen tours, immersion programs, summer academic programs, wilderness expeditions and more

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Letter To The Easter Bunny - Less Sugar Please! - Heather Crowley

A Letter To The Easter Bunny - Less Sugar Please! By: Heather Crowley Dear

Easter Bunny,


I am writing to you in hopes that we can come to an agreement. For years now, children have been overjoyed on Easter morning as they find the wonderful candy-filled baskets that you leave behind. The wide eye looks upon first sight of all of those sweet goodies has always been priceless, and while I certainly appreciate your thoughtfulness, I do have a few requests. After you have hopped merrily away, not having to deal with these children for another whole year, parents all over the world are left behind with the Easter basket blues.

I have to ask, have you ever been around a child that is hyped up on sugar? Have you experienced the way they literally bounce off the walls? Judging by the abundance of treats you leave behind, 'm guessing not.

In order to help keep parents sane this Easter, I have compiled a list of non-sugar related goodies that you may wish to consider adding to your famous baskets. This list is only meant to be a guide. Since you know more about what certain children like, I'm sure you will be able to come up with many of your own ideas also. Of course some things are tradition, so please do not discontinue the chocolate bunny that you leave every year. I'm actually pretty fond of that little addition!

Alternative Ideas For Easter Basket Fillers:

*Fruit Snacks
*Coloring Books/Crayons
*Silly Putty/Play Dough
*Bubbles
*Inexpensive Jewelry
*Bubble Bath/Shower Gel
*Disposable Camera
*Toothpaste/Toothbrush
*Book/Bookmark
*Fun Socks
*Stickers
*Craft Supplies
*Hair Accessories
*Small Toys
*Notepads/Pencils
*Flash Cards

Thank you Easter Bunny in advance for your attention to this matter. By working together, hopefully we can make this the best Easter yet.

Happy Easter!
Heather Crowley

Article by:


Heather Crowley is a full-time eBay seller and freelance writer from Virginia. Heather also owns The Auction Chick, a free resource site for moms who sell on eBay or are interested in getting started. Visit Heather and share your comments at www.theauctionchick.com.

Product Recommendation: Swiffer Max


After 7 years, I decided it was time to retire the old Swiffer dry mop. Last night, I purchased a Swiffer Max and am thrilled. This one cleans a larger area. (love it) And like the older model you can use wet and dry cloths. In between those monthly hands and knee kitchen floor scrubbings I use my Swiffer.


It's much more convenient than a mop and no need for a bucket. My husband and son don't mind mopping the floors with the Swiffer either.


This item should be in every household's broom closet.The price was an affordable $10, for the starter kit. at our local Sears Essential. It included a sample of the wet and dry cloths.


ps you can use old towels instead of purchasing the cloths. (a great money saving tip)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - March 17


Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all! It's a new week and we start it off with Marcus being on Spring Break. His plans are to work on some school projects, read, volunteer at the public library and the recreation center. Tonight, he's hanging with his Senior High church youth group. They decided to watch movies and eat pizza.

Our church is planning on having a nightly service, starting on Wednesday till Easter. On Easter Arise08 will be held at the Cox Pavilion. Our pastor is also requesting that we fast and pray that day.

Charles and I are very proud that the store's occupancy has finally reached 90%! It's very exciting and we will still continue to work hard to maintain it. If you're in the Las Vegas/Spring Valley area and in need of self storage please don't hesitate to stop by our location. You'll find we offer superior customer service and competitive rents.

Now onto this week's menu. Thank you Organizing Junkie for arranging the Menu Plan Mondays.

Ham and Potato Cassorole

Baked Fish, Salad and Green Beans

Pork Loin, Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus

'Fried Chicken', Mashed Potatoes, Salad

Hot Dogs, Whole Wheat Buns, Oven Baked French Fries

Eating Out on Easter

Product Recommendation: Carol King's Cleaning Service

For sometime now I've been hinting to my husband that we needed to hire a houskeeping service. Since returning to fulltime work I've had a hard time maintaining the standard of cleaness that we have become accustomed to.

So, a couple of weeks ago our assistant manager found a housekeeping service for me. Carol Kings Cleaning Service provides an array of services, including laundry, in the Las Vegas area, for $75 for 3 hours. I gave them a call, scheduled a morning appointment and hung up with a huge smile on my face.

Telma, housekeeper, did a fantastic job! She cleaned and organized our medicine cabinets, made the beds, sweep, scrubbed the floors and walls, vaccumed the carpets, collected trash, dusted and washed out all the wastebaskets. The windows were wiped clean of spills and fingerprints. Even the blinds were dusted. The apartment had a clean smell for almost a week. The big surprise was our teen and my husband. They loved how great everything looked and smelled. And me, I loved not having to wash and fold laundry over the weekend.