Thought of using essential oils? Check out this deal!



Head on over to AMAZON where they are offering the URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser, 100ml Aroma Essential Oil Cool Mist Humidifier with Adjustable Mist Mode,Waterless Auto Shut-off and 7 Color LED Lights Changing for Home Office Baby for only $14.95. That’s over $25 off the original price! I bought one of these for my classroom to improve student’s focus. I was so impressed with the diffuser that I bought another one for my son’s room!

The bedtime routine is so much easier with this diffuser. My son loves being responsible for filling up the diffuser with water. We pick the essential oil blend for the night and then he gets to pick one of seven colors for his nightlight. I swear by essential oils for improved health (try forty thieves) and sleep (lavender). My son’s colds have decreased in length since using essential oils and his sleep has improved tremendously. If you thought of giving essential oils a try, you will not be disappointed with this diffuser.

AMAZON FBA UPDATE: I made my very first sale!

I sold my very first item on AMAZON!

My very first post on this blog was about the school I worked for for over 5 years closing and being laid off. Instead of looking at this situation in a negative light, I changed my mindset and looked into all the opportunities I now had available. I now had this new found freedom of not working a 40 hour work week! The two options I chose to delve into was starting this blog and selling on Amazon. You can read the post here

If you’ve been reading this blog, you will notice a common theme; parenting is hard and I love a good deal! Retail Arbitrage is the idea that you buy something at a low cost and resell it for a higher cost, making a profit from the resell. I’m always shopping clearance and decided to send in 4 of these items to Amazon in the beginning of May to see if they would sell. Well, I had my first sale last week! It took almost two months to sell something but I made my first sale and I am now $12 richer!

Is this something that I will continue to do?

I don’t know. I did some research on resell arbitrage and it looks like it’s a fading concept, with Amazon at least. Ebay is notorious for resell arbitrage but with Amazon FBA, fullfilled by Amazon, they give you the luxury of keeping your products in their warehouses and shipping the product for you! However, Amazon is getting stricter with their policies and the majority of people who started with retail arbitrage are moving towards private label.

What is private label?

Private label is when you buy in bulk from China, label the product with your brand and sell on Amazon. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! The product needs to be something that is generic and can be reproduced in China. It ideally needs to weigh less than 2 pounds and the dimensions less than a foot to be worth shipping.  You also need to find a product with a high sales rank and not a lot of competition and you need to market it to make it work. I also spoke with some of the more successful Amazon sellers and most of them told me that the majority of their money for the first YEAR goes right back into the business. It’s a lot of work, time, and investment.

I’m not necessarily throwing in the towel just yet. I still have three other items for sale on Amazon. I might ship some other items too to feel out the market place. If something sells quickly and I can find a generic in China, then I might consider Private Label. But for now, I’ll celebrate my $12 sale!

Tell me about your business adventures? I would love to hear from you.

Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Mounted Carrier Rack 50% off!

In the market for a bike rack?

Check out this wicked good deal on Amazon. Amazon prime members can get the Allen Sports Premier Hitch Mounted 4-Bike Carrier rack for only $78.33. That’s 50% off the retail price! With 4 out of 5 stars and over 200 reviews, this is a wicked good deal.

Here’s a product description from Amazon;

Allen Sports’ Premier Hitch Mounted 4-bike carrier mounts quickly and easily to your 2″ trailer hitch. The arms “snap” into place right out of the box. Allen’s new dual-compound cradle system securely holds your bicycles in place and the rack’s large padded Spine Shield protects your bicycles as well. In addition to the easy folding arms on this rack, the new innovative internal tilt-away release makes it a snap to access your vehicle’s rear lift gate. The powder-coated rack installs in just minutes with a no-wobble bolt and an integrated locking loop offers a place to secure your bikes.

Not an Amazon Prime member? Click here Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

PRESS HERE Children’s book only $6.84!

Head on over to Amazon and grab a copy of the highly rated Press Here children’s book for only $6.84. That’s over 50% off the retail price! Rated 5 stars with 1,841 reviews on Amazon. Parents rave about how this interactive book teachers kids how to follow directions. Here’s a description from Amazon: Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey! Each page of this surprising book instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next! Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size! Especially remarkable because the adventure occurs on the flat surface of the simple, printed page, this unique picture book about the power of imagination and interactivity will provide read-aloud fun for all ages!

The life changing decisions you make as an IVF parent

My IVF baby just turned three yesterday. It was an amazing birthday spent with Thomas the train, family and friends. I would like to share my infertility journey and the decision to do IVF, but I can’t; not yet. Despite having a happy ending to years of infertility, I’m just not ready to revisit that dark time period of my life. They say time heals all wounds but this wound still needs a little more time.

This post is about the life changing decisions you make as an IVF parent.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is when you extract an egg from a women, inseminate it in a lab and then implant the fertilized egg into the women’s womb. Simple, right? Wrong! What if something is wrong with the egg? The sperm? Or the egg doesn’t attach to the womb? This is why when you decide to do IVF, you, as the mother will inject yourself with medication that will stimulate your ovaries to make multiple eggs. You are monitored weekly to see how well your eggs are developing and then you go in for a day procedure to remove the eggs and inseminate them. You see, it’s not just one fertilized egg.

We had THREE perfect fertilized eggs as a result of the IVF procedure.

But what do you do with these fertilized eggs. Do you implant all three? Maybe. Most doctors recommend implanting two eggs in the womb for successful IVF. Why two? Two is a safe number because you increase your chances to have one of the fertile eggs to successfully implant and if by chance they both implant, the result is twins.




Yes, twins.

If you decide to implant two embryos, you are also taking a risk of having twins.  A life changing decision needed to be made; implant one and take the chance of having to go through the procedure again or implant two and take the chance of having twins. All I could think about was the overwhelming responsibility to care for  two children’s needs simultaneously. We decided to take a chance and only have one fertilized egg transferred and we lucked out because he attached to the uterine wall and we celebrated his third birthday yesterday!

So what about the other fertilized eggs?

This is the difficult, life changing decision that this post is about. What happens to the other fertilized eggs? We decided to freeze our other two eggs just in case we wanted to have another baby. And two years later, we did have another baby, but he was not IVF. We were blessed to become pregnant naturally. We are a happy family of four.

So once again, what about the other fertilized eggs?

My husband and I needed to make a decision about our fertilized eggs. We had the option to dispose of them or donate them. I am pro-choice, so my decision to donate them was not based on being condemned to hell for the rest of my life. No, I decided to donate my two fertilized eggs because I wanted to pay it forward. I wanted some other couple who could not do IVF due to same sex marriage, illness, heredity or some other factors that lead you to infertility to be able to experience parenthood. I wanted another couple to be able to see the first ultrasound, hear the first heartbeat, feel the first kick, and live out the rest of their lives with new purpose; being a parent.

Some argue that this was an irresponsible choice; to give my fertilized eggs away, not knowing who their parents will be or how they will be treated. That my decision was reckless because it’s ultimately my responsibility to ensure that they are safe. I hear the counter argument but I can’t live my life thinking the worst of humanity. I want to be the person that changes someones life for the better and I think giving my fertilized eggs to someone in need was one of the most selfless decisions I have ever made in my entire life.

What would you do if you were in my position? Please comment and share your thoughts with us.


SUMMER READING LIST: 10 novels that are sure to entice any reader!

10 Novels that are Sure to Entice any Reader


Red Rising:

I never considered myself a science fiction fan until I started reading dystopian young adult novels. If you liked the Hunger Games or the Divergent series, then you are going to love the Red Rising trilogy. I was crying after the first chapter and couldn’t put the book down afterwards. Here’s a blurb of Red Rising from Amazon;
“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and lush wilds spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies . . . even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

The Luckiest Girl Alive

My sister lent me this book. At first glance, I was a bit skeptical how much I would enjoy the novel due to the protagonist being such a snob but the book quickly developed into a page turner. The controversial themes and plot twists took me by surprise. I couldn’t put the book down! Here’s a blurb for Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel from Amazon;


As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that’s bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?


I Know this Much is True

If you have some time on your hands then I highly recommend this 928 page novel. I know 928 pages seems like a daunting task but trust me, this thought provoking book will leave you pondering the human psyche and the different roles we play in our lives. A blurb from Amazon for I Know This Much Is True: A Novel (P.S.);

In the afternoon of October 12, 1990, my twin brother, Thomas, entered the Three Rivers, Connecticut, public library, retreated to one of the rear study carrels, and prayed to God the sacrifice he was about to commit would be deemed acceptable. . . .

One of the most acclaimed novels of our time, Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True is a story of alienation and connection, devastation and renewal, at once joyous, heartbreaking, poignant, mystical, and powerfully, profoundly human.

A Court of Thorns and Roses

A young adult novel that takes a twist on the classic Beauty and the Beast. An easy, enjoyable read to escape reality and pass the time. A blurb for A Court of Thorns and Roses from Amazon;

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever.

Me Before You

I’m reading this novel right now and I CAN’T PUT IT DOWN! I’m not one for mushy love stories but this book is different. This book is about the things we take for granted and the assumptions we make as humans. This novel is  way more than just a love story. It’s also a movie! Amazon blurb for Me Before You: A Novel (Movie Tie-In);

They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

Orphan Train

Is historical fiction your thing? As an alternative education teacher, I have many students in the foster care system and I was blown away by the beginnings of the system; religious charities auctioning off orphans for labor in return for housing. This novel dives deep into this little known fact in American history.

Orphan Train Amazon blurb;

Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse…

As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life—answers that will ultimately free them both.


Into the Water

Did you like Girl on a Train? Yep, so did I. Paula Hawkin’s second novel is now out and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!  Amazon blurb for Into the Water: A Novel;

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.


Not a Sound

I’ve been a big fan of Heather Gudenkauf since I read her 2009 novel, The Weight of Silence. I love her writing style and I can’t wait to read her newest novel, Not a Sound.

Amazon blurb for Not a Sound: A Thriller;

When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters—her job, her husband, David, and her stepdaughter, Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again.

As clues begin to surface, Amelia finds herself swept into an investigation that hits all too close to home. But how much is she willing to risk in order to uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice?


Since we Fell

Shutter Island, Mystic River, need I say more? Suspense at it’s finest!

Amazon blurb for Since We Fell: A Novel;

Since We Fell follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel’s marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths. By turns heart- breaking, suspenseful, romantic, and sophisticated, Since We Fell is a novel of profound psychological insight and tension. It is Dennis Lehane at his very best.


Carve the Mark

I have some sick obsession with Young Adult trilogies ever since the Twilight series. Veronica Roth, the author of the Divergent series came out with a new novel, Carve the Mark and I’m dying to read it!

Amazon blurb for Carve the Mark;

Cyra Noavek and Akos Kereseth have grown up in enemy countries locked in a long-standing fight for dominance over their shared planet. When Akos and his brother are kidnapped by the ruling Noavek family, Akos is forced to serve Cyra, the sister of a dictator who governs with violence and fear. Cyra is known for her deadly power of transferring extraordinary pain unto others with simple touch, and her tyrant brother uses her as a weapon against those who challenge him. But as Akos fights for his own survival, he recognizes that Cyra is also fighting for hers, and that her true gift—resilience—might be what saves them both.

When Akos and Cyra are caught in the middle of a raging rebellion, everything they’ve been led to believe about their world and themselves must be called into question. But fighting for what’s right might mean betraying their countries, their families, and each other.

When the time comes, will they choose loyalty or love?


There you have it, six books that I absolutely recommend you read this summer and four books that I can’t wait to get my hands on. Do you have any books you already plan on reading this summer? Please share! I always enjoy adding to my list of books to read. Even if I can’t get to it this summer, I’ll find time eventually!



LUVS DIAPERS: Ginormous Boxes are Only $13.58!

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Summer’s coming and you know what that means?


If you are looking for a book for yourself or your child to read this summer, then look no further. Wonder is on most middle school summer reading lists and the themes are interesting to catch any adults attention too. Here is a synopses of the book from Amazon;

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

How can you not buy this book for only $3.99 for a Hardcover!

The links in this post are affiliate links meaning I am compensated if you decide to purchase the item.

Learning empathy: Please don’t force my son to apologize

I might sound crazy for saying this, but please don’t make my son apologize.

My son is 2 years old and is still learning social etiquette:

No, son it’s not ok to take that child’s toy,

No, son it’s not ok to throw your food,

No, son it’s not ok to use your hands to hurt someone,

but does my son need to apologize for his behavior? Not necessarily and here’s why. Every family has a set of core values that they want to instill in there child and take more time fostering that value more than others.  Whether it’s compassion, respect, generosity, kindness, dependability, honesty, or some other value, we as mother’s monitor are children and take the extra foster these values because they our what are important to us.

For me, I want my son to learn and value empathy.

According to the Marriam-Webster dictionary, empathy is “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.” In other words, it’s the ability to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.

As a social service worker and a teacher for over 10 years, empathy is a core value to the job and an innate trait that you need to be good at the job. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in my field of work and I am able to get up every morning and go back to work because I have the ability to not judge and help my community. Empathy is an important character trait that I want my son to develop because it will help him develop strong interpersonal skills and help him problem solve which are both invaluable skills in the working world.

Anyone can apologize.

It’s two words, I’m sorry, and then you are off the hook to go play again. What value is my son learning from that?  The words are  meaningless unless he understands the impact of his actions. Only then can he give a genuine apology. Instead of timing out my child and telling him to apologize, remove him from the situation, explain how his actions impacted others and related the situation to him. Instead of saying, “say sorry” say this instead:

How would you feel if he took your toy?

how would you feel if he hit you?

These conversations allow my son to think about his actions and how they affect others, hence empathy. Is my son apologetic for his actions after answering these questions? Sometimes, but not always. Sometimes my son feels his actions were justified. Forcing an apology is not going to fix the problem. Instead, its going to minimize my son’s feelings and disempower him to assert himself in the future. If my son perceived he was in the right then a deeper conversation needs to be had.

You had a problem and how did you solve it. Was there another way?

If he cannot think of another way besides hitting, throwing, kicking, then we have a bigger problem than an apology can fix. My son needs to learn to problem solve and find more than one way to solve his problem. This would be the time to discuss how his actions affected others, how he could use other methods to solve his problem and how he an get back to playing.

Sometimes my son will apologize and sometimes he does not. What I do know is that by teaching empathy, my son, on his own accord has given some sincere apologies without prompting. I don’t know about you but I would take a sincere apology ten times over and insincere one.

What are your thoughts. Am I wrong to not force my child to apologize? What values do you take the most time fostering in your child?

Grocery Shopping: 10 Tips to save over 50% on your next grocery bill

You spend how much on your groceries?

I was visiting a friend when the topic of grocery shopping came up. We compared bills and I was startled to hear the difference in out bills; she pays $225 a week for a family of four while I pay $80. Granted her family consists of a college student and a teenager, but still, does that warrant a $145 difference in our shopping bills? Maybe, but I doubt it. If you feel your grocery bill is out of control, keep reading and I will share with you my tips and tricks to save a penny at the grocery store.

 10 ways I save over 50% on my grocery bill each week


    1. Shop at the grocery store where you feel most comfortable. A new, less expensive grocery store recently opened near me but it’s always crowded, the aisles are small, and the costumer service is sub par. I would rather shop my regular grocery store where I know the layout, the employees and when they have their “specials”.
    2. Use their reward system. My grocery store has an app where I can download store coupons, manufacturer coupons, and collect gas points!
    3. Shop the flyer and only buy what is on sale. Everything goes on sale at least once a month. Chicken, for example goes on sale every other week. Be patient and buy in bulk when it does go on sale so your not missing out on those non-sale weeks. I recently bought 6 cartons of almond milk because they were on sale for only $2 when they are usually over $3.50 a carton. We go through 3 cartons a week so I knew it would not go to waste and saved myself $10.
    4. Buy the day old bread. I get great deals from the reduced bakery section including bread, rolls, bagels, muffins, and pastries. I can usually get breakfast for the week for less than a $1! I can also make some sort of pizza, whether its english muffin pizza, flat bread pizza, french bread pizza. Give me a carb and I can make a pizza out of it!
    5. Buy dented cans, out of season, and discontinued items. My store has a couple shelves in the back of the store where you can find these items or sometimes you can find them in the aisles with clearance tags. You can score some great items for real cheap here. I recently bought 5 cases of organic juice boxes for half off because they changed the company changed their logo.
    6. Use coupons! I’d like to be an extreme couponer but I just don’t have the time or energy to invest in such an endeavor to make it worth my wild. However, I do use, a free website to print out coupons from home on items I know I’m going to purchase.
    7. Join a Facebook group for your grocery store. They will often post match-ups between sale items and coupons to save you even more money!
    8. Use Catalinas.  Catalinas are coupons that you receive checkout when you purchase a promotional item. You can receive a coupon for a certain item or money off your next order.  For example I bought 6 Gerber meals that were 20% off at my grocery with a $1 off 3 meals manufacture coupon and received a catalina for $2 off my next order coupon for buying 6 of them.
    9. Manager Specials. My store will often hold manager specials when they order too much of a product and they know it will go bad. For example, my store will have corned beef cabbage on manager special the day after St. Patrick’s Day. These are great opportunities to stock up the freezer.
    10. Search for a local wholesale. I recently discovered a local wholesale  fruit and produce company that holds a farmer’s market every weekend to sell off what they couldn’t sell wholesale to restaurants. I save between $10-$15 on produce every week and buy way more fruits and vegetables.
      This is how I am able to save over 50% on my grocery bill every week! Follow these tips and see how much you can save on your next shopping trip. Already save a ton on groceries? Feel free to comment and let me know ways that you save.