Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Help – This Single Mom Doesn’t Budget!

U.S. Coins and Paper Money

 

I have a confession—I don’t have a budget.

Sure, I’ve created them a few times, but actually sticking to them, nope. Once I entered the professional world in my early twenties, I wasn’t making great money (not that I am now) but I was sure I didn’t need a budget on my limited income. As time has gone by and my expenses have grown and gotten more complicated I find myself forever playing catch up on my bills and making somewhat impulsive and unnecessary purchases. I’ve got this chick, Sallie Mae, on my back every month wanting me to cough up ridiculous amounts of money I don’t have to pay for my fancy education. I don’t check my bank statement nearly as much as I should (though I did after the Target scandal) and it’s often because of fear.

I don’t want to face things that will cause me further stress. I don’t want to face not having enough in my savings account to support my daughter and me in the event I wasn’t able to work. Not having a budget and not being smarter about my spending in saving is something I can’t ignore any longer, and is a big priority for me this year.

Clearly I’m doing something right if I’ve managed to hold down my own apartment since I was 21. My bills get paid, sometimes late, but they get paid…eventually. Within the past couple of years I’ve made some smart investment choices with securing rental and life insurance. I understand when I make good decisions and I know when I make not so good decisions…like avoiding my frenemy Sallie when she calls…and emails….and calls. I’m in denial – I work in nonprofit and yes, the rumors about pay in the nonprofit field are correct – even with years of professional experience and a four year degree, I’m underpaid. But that’s no reason to not be smarter about my money.

To read the rest of “Help – This Single Mom Doesn’t Budget!” and to share your tips and advice head over to The Young Mommy Life.



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[Lessons From A Student Mama] The Mistake Of Trying To Do Too Much While Balancing School And Family

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For years before I graduated from college in 2011 I imagined my graduation day.

I’d wrap myself in a long gown, and attempt to fight back tears, tears of years of sacrifice and struggle. Trying to steady myself on the seemingly long walk to the stage to accept my diploma I’d search in the crowd for my loved ones and my daughter waving frantically wanting to ensure her Mommy saw her. I’d close my eyes, hear my name and slowly walk on the stage, praying I wouldn’t fall. With a frantically beating heart I’d smile wide all while thinking I did it. I did it. I finally did it.

My graduation day was a dream I had ever since I re-enrolled in college two years after my daughter was born.

Every student dreams about their Graduation day, a day of celebration and excitement. It can seem out of your reach when you’re in the midst of studying for exams and burning the midnight oil. And for those who juggle parenthood and employment alongside being a student the journey to securing a degree can at times seem daunting. That image of walking across the stage to accept my college diploma was, at times, the only thing that kept me from walking away from pursuing a higher education.

As I look back at the five total years I spent being a student, I’m in complete awe that I was able to prioritize my education. Though I had two older siblings that were in college, it wasn’t something that was ever pushed on me or encouraged. I figured I should go because I didn’t want to be stuck in my small town forever, but I didn’t take it seriously. It wasn’t until after I had my daughter that I realized having a degree would open more doors and could help me provide a brighter future for us.

 

Read the rest of [Lessons From A Student Mama] The Mistake Of Trying To Do Too Much While Balancing School And Family over on The Young Mommy Life.



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Battling Sleep Apnea As A Young Mom

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Like many mothers I am forever on the go. From rushing in the morning to get my daughter and I prepared for the day, to preparing for events and meetings at work, and then sorting through laundry and helping my daughter with her homework in the evenings. By the time I put her to bed I’m ready to knock out – I have positively no energy left for anything. Pair that with an interrupted night’s sleep, and it’s no wonder I’m fatigued all.the.damn.time.

The last time I can remember sleeping through the night was back in 2007. Yup, that’s right. This Mom hasn’t had an uninterrupted night of sleep in over seven years. At first I was sure all the stressors of juggling work, school, and motherhood were the reasons I wasn’t able to sleep at night. As a highly anxious person I never am fully able to relax and drift off to sleepyland. After several sleeping medications failed me I was referred to a sleep specialist and neurologist, who after various testing and a sleep study diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea in 2009.

While many are able to sleep through the night soundly, those like me who suffer from sleep apnea don’t have that luxury. “Apnea” in Greek translates to “without breath” and those with apnea experience pauses in their breathing during sleep, their airways don’t stay open and it signals their brain to wake up. This scary pattern happens to me five to eight times a night and it can take me up to an hour to get back to sleep. As you can imagine I never wake up feeling rested or refreshed; instead I’m grumpy, annoyed and exhausted. When obstructive sleep apnea is left untreated it can have serious side effects – many of which I’m experiencing now.

Since being diagnosed my symptoms from having untreated apnea have worsened, even though my apnea is considered ‘mild’. Any mom knows any disruption in sleep is dangerous – for everyone. The chronic exhaustion has led to a disinterest in being social; I have difficulty remembering experiences and words. Combine that with being highly irritable and anxious, an increase in weight, and feeling depressed – I’m a ticking time bomb. Most weekends I don’t want to be bothered and want to curl up in my bed. Other risks for obstructive apnea include high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

Read the remainder of my post over on The Young Mommy Life.



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Frozen on Blu-ray Combo Pack March 18th!

FROZEN Box Art

Having an 8 year old daughter who loves movies means we are often going to the theater to see children’s movies. Sometimes I’m excited, and sometimes I’m underwhelemed! Luckily it’s a good break from her beloved Disney channel! This past weekend we went to see Frozen, we’d previously seen the adorable trailer with the snowman and heard Demi Lovato belt out the theme song for the movie – but to be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what the movie was about. And boy we were blown away. It’s not your usual princess story – which is always a relief. There was humor, independence, love, and triumph along with a great soundtrack. If you haven’t already seen it – I suggest you do. And if you love the  movie as much as we did I’m sure you’re eagerly awaiting the Blue-ray Combo release of the movie on March 18th!

Film Synopsis:

Walt Disney Animation Studios presents a chilly twist on one of the most humorous and heartwarming stories ever told. “Disney Animation’s best since The Lion King” (William Bibbiani, CraveOnline) will melt your heart.

Fearless optimist Anna sets off on an epic journey — teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven — to find her sister Elsa, whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom.

Bring home Frozen on Blu-ray High Definition — featuring a blizzard of never-before-seen bonus extras with gorgeous animation, memorable characters and unforgettable music. It’s dazzling fun for the whole family!

Packaging:                       2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) & 1-Disc DVD

New Bonus Features:

  • The Marking of Frozen (Blu-ray, Digital)
  • D’frosted: Disney’s Journey From Hans Christian Andersen to Frozen (Blu-ray, Digital)
  • Breaking The Ice – The Real Making Of Frozen (Blu-ray, Digital)
  • 4 Deleted Scenes with introduction by Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee
  • Original Theatrical Short – “Get A Horse” (Blu-ray, Digital & DVD)
  • “Let It Go” Music Videos by Demi Lovato, Martina Stoessel & Marsha Milan Londoh (Blu-ray, Digital & DVD)
  • Frozen Teaser Trailer (Blu-ray, Digital & DVD)

*Digital bonus offerings will vary per retailer

Who else will be picking up Frozen when it hits store’s shelves? Keep updated with all things Frozen by visiting their Facebook and Twitter pages!

 



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Johnson & Johnson La Familia de Hoy Campaign

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with Johnson & Johnson and Latina Bloggers Connect. As always, all opinions are my own.

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Being a blogger has afforded me the opportunity to (try) to inspire others, and I’ve also been able to gain inspiration from other people’s stories and experiences. I’m thrilled to partner with Johnson & Johnson and their La Familia de Hoy Campaign also the family of today. I swear my daughter can pronounce this so much better than me in Spanish! What does a family of today look like? What values do they hold close to their heart? A family of today to mean isn’t necessarily a nuclear family – it could be a single parent household like my own, it could be a household headed by grandparents, or by a same sex couple. The values they hold true is a deep appreciation for each other. They treat each other with respect and love and make each other a priority. Especially in today’s society with everyone moving so fast, a family of today values family above everything else and they show their love in any way they can.

Johnson & Johnson and Univision are on the hunt for the La Familia de Hoy and they need your help! They are trying to find an authentic, modern and active family to become the spokes family for Johnson & Johnson in 2014! There are three wonderful families to choose from and their photos are below:

Jimenez  Family

Jimenez Family

Lopez Family

Lopez Family

Olivera Family

Olivera Family

All of these families clearly value each other and could move forward with being the spokes family, but the family that stood out the most to me was the lovely Oliveria family because they have a bond that’s spanned 15 years and are raising their family without local support. Moms smile is infectious, what a great family! You can help decide who the 2014 spokes family will be by heading over to Univision today and voting for your pick for La Familia de Hoy!



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