We Got the FUNK: January 2016

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ultimate Valentine's Day Round-Up!

Love is in the air! Valentine's Day is around the corner and the Social Fabric Community has put together the Ultimate Valentine's Day Round-Up to help you prepare for the season of love. From tutorials to crafts to delicious recipes, we have something for everyone. We dare you not to fall in love with these ideas!


Valentines crafts & recipes, Valentine DIY, Valentine Round up, Valentine Ultimate Round Up, Collective Bias, Social Fabric

Craft/DIY/Tutorial

Friendly Valentine Candy Jar - Creative Ramblings

Valentine Felt Envelopes - Good Morning Loretta

Valentine's Day Candy Filled Mason Jar - Savvy Saving Couple

Valentine's Day Love Bug Craft - Maryland Momma's Rambles

Last-Minute Quick, Cute Cut-Out Cards - Our Daily Craft

DIY Heart Shaped Massage Bars - Thriftanista in the City

Valentine Memo Chalkboard - Southern Couture

Valentine's Day Chalkboard Decoration - Pretty in Pigment

Flower Vase Craft - Polka Dotted Blue Jay

No-Sew Ribbon Embellished Cocktail Napkins - Atta Girl Says

Macaroni Art Lace Hearts - ABCs and Garden Peas

Cupid's Arrow Valentine's Day Favors - Home. Made. Interest.

Hand Lettered Valentine Notecards - One Artsy Mama

Instagram Magnetic Bookmarks - Happy Go Lucky Blog

Birdseed Heart Valentines - Made with Happy

Valentine's Day Burlap Wreath - The Farm Girl Gabs

Cute Flower Valentines for Kids - Love, Jaime

DIY Valentine Flower Corsage - Suburban Wife, City Life

DIY Valentine's Snowglobes - Woods of Bell Trees

Valentine Envelop Chair Backers - 2Paws Designs

Reversible Valentine's Day/St. Patrick's Day Banner - Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Mini Bubblegum Machine Valentines - Bubbly Nature Creations

DIY Button Heart Picture Collage - Our Piece of Earth

Kids' Valentine's Day Gift with FREE Printable - A Cowboy's Life

Easy Mesh and Ribbon Valentine's Day Wreath - My Pinterventures

Snickerdoodle Sugar Scrub Recipe - Sunny Sweet Days

Valentine's Day Verse on Burlap - Life with Captain Fussybuckets

12 Days of Romance Scavenger Hunt - The Mama Zone

Candy Kiss Ring - So TIPical Me

Valentine's Day Hand Print Craft - As Cute as a Bug's Ear

How to Make a Valentine's Day Ribbon Banner - Aprons and Stilletos

Date Night with a Romantic Treasure Hunt - The TipToe Fairy

Chalkboard Gift Box - Organized Island

Easy Valentines Felt Pillow Cover - Creative Southern Home

Polar Fleece Ruffle Heart Wreath - Joy's Life

Making A Valentine's Day Rag Wreath with Fabric Scraps - Third Stop on the Right

Washi Tape Bubble Valentines - Moneywise Moms

Homemade Candles in 5 Easy Steps - Lemon Peony

DIY Felt Ornaments for Valentine's Day - 3 Little Greenwoods

Butterfly Valentine's Day Craft - Sarah in the Suburbs

Epsom Salt DIY Valentine Candles - A Day in the Motherhood

I "DOVE" You Printable with Candy - Newlywed Survival

Rainbow Heart PomPom Garland - Cupcake Wishes & Birthday Wishes

Valentine's Day Printed Burlap Subway - Occasionally Crafty

Pom Pom Cupcakes Valentine Craft - Cute as a Fox

Valentine's Wooden Door Hanger - We Got the Funk

Hearts Aplenty: Valentine's Day DIY Decor - Woman in Real Life

Love Letters Simple Valentine's Day Craft - Craving Some Creativity

Valentine's Day Coffee Cup Sleeve - Craving Cynchronicity


How to Make a Great Loves Print - My Sweet Sanity

Cross Stitch Heart Pillow - Cutesy Crafts

Free Valentine's Day Cards Kids Can Make - Happy and Blessed Home

Recipe

Valentine Cupcakes - Home Maid Simple

Valentine's Day Cakes - Charleston Crafted

Red Velvet Pudding Cups - Mostly Homemade Mom

Blood Orange Panna Cotta - Mooshu Jenne

Candy Cane Chocolate Hearts - Drugstore Divas

Cranberry Bliss Bars - Swanky Recipes

Valentine Rice Crispy Treats - Midwestern Moms

Chocolate Valentine Sandies - Cindy's Recipes and Writings

M&M’s® Red Velvet Brownies - Julie is Coco and Cocoa

Nutella Filled Conversation Hearts - A Million Moments

Conversation Hearts Martini - JVKOM Chronicles

Valentine's Day S'mores Dip - Our Mini Family

M&M’s® Red Velvet Blondies - The NYC Talon

Valentine's Day Cheesecake Brownies - West of the Loop

Red Velvet Cheesecakes - Houseful of Nicholes

Chocolate Kiss Valentine's Day Cookies - Moscato Mom

Chocolate and Candy Valentine Popcorn - Made by a Princess

Easy Valentine's Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies - Janine Huldie

Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe - Scrappy Geek

Coeur a la Creme with Raspberry Sauce - Graceful Order

Love Dipped Wafers - Sparkles to Sprinkles

Valentine's Day Bento Lunch - Diana Rambles

"Blackened" Seafood Medley for a Low-Calorie Valentine's Dinner - Broken TeePee

Sweet Salty Fudge - Foody Schmoody Blog

Valentine's Day Covered Pretzels - Texas Type A Mom

Valentine's Popcorn - Mommy's Bundle

The Easiest Valentine's Day Fudge Recipe - Young at Heart Mommy

Valentine's Day Butter Cookies - Ilona's Passion

Valentine's Day Blondies - Saving You Dinero

Super Healthy Pomegranate-Cranberry-Almond Smoothie - Easy Cooking with Molly

Brownie Cut-outs - Tramplingrose

Puppy Valentine's Day Cookies - Staying Close to Home

Valentine OREO Brownie Bar Recipe - As Mom Sees It

Strawberry-Vanilla Ice Cream Pie - Johanny's Kitchen

Strawberry Filled Chocolate Cake - Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks

Chocolate Raspberry Truffles - Food Lovin Family

Honey Bee My Valentine Cakes - I Don't Have Time for That

Red Velvet Valentine's Day Parfaits - Living a Sunshine Life

Homemade Strawberry Syrup - Day by Day in Our World

Cranberry Hootycreek Cookies - Momma DJane

Red Velvet Donuts - Frugal Family Tree

Strawberry Mocha Granola - Strength & Sunshine

Red Velvet Mini Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting - Tales of a Ranting Ginger

Chocolate Shot Glasses - The Bewitchin' Kitchen

Chocolate Pretzel Kisses - Just 2 Sisters

Valentine's Candy Bark - Life with the Crust cut off

Chocolate Kiss Shooter! - Housewives of Frederick County

Super Simple Valentine's Day Candy Hearts - My Real Food Family

Easy Strawberry Crinkle Cookies - Meatloaf & Melodrama

3 Ingredient Strawberry Brownies - Fun Things to Do in Central Mass

Nutella Baked Brie - Basil and Bubbly

Easy Cupid Crinkles - Creative Southern Home

Valentine's Day Edible Tic Tac Toe Game - A Frugal Friend

Valentine's Day Ombre Sweet Treat - Tastefully Frugal

Party

How to Throw a Budget Friendly Valentine's Day Party - Amber Nicole Blogs

Valentine's Day Party for Tweens - Soiree Event Design

Love is in the Air Valentine Table - Not Just a Mommy

Valentine's Day Tea Party - The Peanuts Gang

Printables

Easy Valentine's Printables - I am the Maven®

Printable Valentine's Day Lunch Box Notes and Coupons - Gluesticks Blog

"I Love You Like" Valentine's Free Printable - C'mon Get Crafty

4 Free Valentine's Day Coloring Pages - Saving More than Me

Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt Clues - Mom on the Side

Valentine Gift for Kids {Free Printable} - Fun on a Dime

Crayon Valentines Printable - Mom's Messy Miracles

Tic Tac Toe XOXO Valentine with Free Printable - Housewife Eclectic

Valentine's Day Activities for Kids - Simple Living Mama

2 Free Printable Valentines (Owls) - Altamonte Family

Love is in the Air Valentine Card - Making of a Mom

Matchstick Valentine Free Printable - Frenchie

Valentine's Day Lunch Box Notes & Jokes - Coupons are Great

I "Wheelie" Like You Car Valentine Printable - Artsy Momma

Round-Up

Valentine's Day Guide - The Ranting Latina!


24 Frugal Valentine's Ideas - Real: The Kitchen and Beyond

7 Gift Ideas for Valentine's Day - Downshifting PRO

5 Perfect Valentine's Day Gifts for Bloggers - That Chic Mom

Top 5 Romantic Restaurants to Eat at in East Greenwhich, Rhode Island - Mama Luvs Books

Other

War Room Movie Night - A Beautiful Exchange

Pairing Chocolate with Wine & Spirits - In Good Taste

Valentine's Day Make-up Tutorial - Glam Hungry Mom

Valentine's Day Dinner at Home - Natasha Byrd


Can you feel the love tonight with all these great Valentine's Day inspired activities?


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Monday, January 25, 2016

Diet update with #LCHF Breakfast Recipe Round Up!

Here we are 4 weeks into this lifestyle change and last week was by far the most difficult for me.  I cheated and ate something that I should not have and I paid for it the following day with lethargy and nausea.  People, diabetics, should not cheat on their meals because they will hate themselves the following day or even moment after.

First, lets just put it right out there.  I was good all week.  Seriously had a small hiccup with dinner one night (Hello Pizza after a busy week), but all was better the next day and I was fine.  Until Saturday evening.  We decided to grab dinner and take the kids to a movie...stupid idea to forget snacks at home.  We ate Qdoba for dinner and that was the first poor choice and then there was popcorn and soda and oh lawd...a brownie sundae.  I had been depriving myself of all those scrumptious things for a month and just could not hold out.  I felt terrible on Sunday, seriously guilty and nauseous and just plain awful.  I can't say that it won't happen again, but I will probably have a bit more restraint the next time.

It is no surprise that I did not lose a pound this week.  I am holding steady at about a 12 lb loss since the start of this.  This week I am adding Yoga back into my daily routine and am not going to allow myself to cheat.  I just can't, the thought of shooting myself with a syringe each day terrifies me.

So that is where I am at.  I have noticed that breakfast is the most difficult meal for me.  I am allergic to milk and eggs which pretty much cancels all the food that people on this diet eat.  I can eat foods that have eggs and milk in them in small amounts but an entire serving would be enough to keep me home for the day.  So I searched Pinterest for some great breakfast options to help me get my mornings off to a better start.


iBreath I'm Hungry had this fantastic recipe for cream cheese pancakes that I cannot wait to try!

LCHF, Low Carb High Fat, Breakfast for LCHF, No Egg low carb high protein breakfast.

Traveling Low Carb made these super easy pecan bars that I am pretty confident I would eat like candy. 

LCHF, Low Carb High Fat, Breakfast for LCHF, No Egg low carb high protein breakfast.

The Low Carb Diet shared these peanut butter breakfast bars which I made and so far they are tolerable.  Not the most flavorful but I can get used to that.

LCHF, Low Carb High Fat, Breakfast for LCHF, No Egg low carb high protein breakfast.

I will be making these muffins as soon as I get my hands on some almond milk and arrowroot starch. I love muffins for breakfast!  Cut the Wheat nailed this recipe.

LCHF, Low Carb High Fat, Breakfast for LCHF, No Egg low carb high protein breakfast.

Lastly, I am not a huge oatmeal fan, but I am intrigued by Screwed on Straight's take on Noatmeal.  It looks easy enough and is right on track with my diet.

LCHF, Low Carb High Fat, Breakfast for LCHF, No Egg low carb high protein breakfast.

My plan this week is to eat the peanut butter breakfast bars all week and then continue with my lunches that are typically lunch meat and cheese with some avocado or other fresh veggie.  Dinners are easy because we always have meat and I love steamed veggies!

Let's hope that next week I see the scale move and my blood sugar stay in the 70-80's!

Which breakfast option would you try?


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Friday, January 22, 2016

Valentine's Mantle Makeover #BudgetFriendly #DIY

I am back with my simple Mantle Makeovers!  This one is super easy, cheap and simple to do.  I like the simplicity of everything and the "Love" theme!


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I hit up the Target dollar section and the Dollar Tree and spent about $10.00 total on this look.  I also paired my findings with a couple other decorative items I had around my house. 

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I found the & sign on clearance at Target for $4.00.  The Love sign came from the dollar section there.  I wanted to add a bit more texture to my mantle this time so I took the simple $1.00 scarf from the Dollar Tree and weaved it through.

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I love to light my mantle up in the evening so these awesome $3.00 heart lights were perfect.  In addition my candles in the center of the mantle are battery powered and so is the & sign.  It makes for a very romantic, relaxing, warm feeling in the evening.  The "LOVE" banner was in the Target dollar section with the lights for $3.00.

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This burlap love sign from the Dollar Tree is super cute and would be very easy to make as well.  I paired this with the heart shaped red glass vase and the cocktail candle. I purchased these at the Dollar Tree as well. The scarf makes its way to this side of the mantle to tie the entire look together, but still keep it simple. 

I am enjoying the calmness of this mantle and it is making me excited for Valentine's Day.  I love sharing this day with my babies and my husband, as a family, enjoying a special dinner and fun movie with special snacks!

What do you think?  Would you redo your mantle for Valentine's Day?


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Thursday, January 21, 2016

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Weight Loss Week 2

Last week was hard.  Officially work was back in full force, grad school started back up and I was tired and in pain.  This new way of eating and living is definitely an adjustment, but it is getting easier. Last week I was down 10 lbs total from my starting weight.  This week I maintained that 10lb weight loss and lost an additional 2 lbs.  Not a huge loss like the first week but better than nothing.

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We agreed to stop eating out and we did great until last week.  We ate out twice last week because I got home from work so late and the exhaustion was too real.  I don't think people can understand teacher exhaustion until you have been there.  I did make good choices while eating out.  I had salad and high protein meals both times we ate out.  The key is just saying no to all the wonderful sweet offerings that are constantly around me.

This week we will be going back to cooking at home and I am bringing the yoga back.  I did not do one yoga practice last week.  My back has been in excruciating pain from an injury nearly two years ago.  I literally have no clue what happened to hurt my back, but I spent a good 3 hours at the doctors yesterday and today I am full of pain meds and muscle relaxers while we wait for my scans to come back. I do however, feel good enough that I could do some mild stretching and start to strengthen my back and core.

Many people have asked what I am eating.  I am sticking pretty close to the list below and it is helping.  I have joined a Facebook group that has also helped me to find recipes that are low carb and good for this diet.  I am nervous that my cholesterol and triglycerides will increase so I am not as strict on this diet as I could be.  I also have milk and egg allergies so I have to be careful what I eat. Most of what I am eating is honestly veggies, avocados, meat and seafood and cheese & nuts.
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Courtesy of Field of Dreams
My biggest struggle is breakfast because I am on the go, so the majority of the carbs that I take in daily happen in the quick granola bar that I have to get going in the morning.  I am working on figuring out what I can do to make this an easier transition since eggs are really a no go for me.  If you can eat eggs or have time to make a nutritious breakfast, by all means do it!  Eggs are key to protein intake!

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Sample lunch: pickles, cheese & turkey roll ups and 1/2 an avocado with hot sauce.
I am proud that I have stuck through this.  I know the weight is a secondary concern to my overall health, but it is great to see those numbers drop each week and know that I am starting to feel normal. I did experience my first low blood sugar in as long as I could remember which really messed me up, but I was quick to respond and glad to know that my blood sugar levels are starting to be lower. When I do eat something higher in carbs than my average intake (about 10-15 carbs/meal), I get immediately tired and nauseous which is a nice reminder why I am not eating those anymore.

I hope your goals for 2016 are going well.  Please drop a link or a note to let me know how you are doing below!

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Adorable and Affordable Kids Valentines Day Cards

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post with a credit for Minted.com.  As always my opinions are my own and were not swayed by any outside source. 

Valentines Day is coming up quickly and I am so excited because it will be my son's very first Valentines Day party at his new school.  I cannot wait to see how the teacher prepares the kids to make their little card boxes and all the sweet little cards the kids exchange.  Normally I would be 'that mom' coming up with some creative Valentine ideas, but this is my final semester of graduate school and its a big overwhelming one.  So I decided to outsource the creativity and found some great deals and adorable designs on Minted.

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This robot card is right up my sons alley.  He is big into robots and I love that we can personalize it with his face (side note, that is obviously not my son).  The hole at the top would make it very easy to tie the card to a little treat as well!

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Another favorite that I think my son will like is the Super Hero card.  I like that it is just a positive friendly message to all kids.  The colors are bright and fun and the card really pops!

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The rectangle cards are great but I also adore these die-cut shape cards.  You can choose from a few FREE shapes and the designs are very cute.  The Cool Cone is simple yet sweet.

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However, my favorite is this Acorn-Y Valentine card.  Seriously, that acorn is so cute and I love the shape.  Valentines Day is corny and this is just too fun not to share.

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When I was a kid I liked cards that had activities to do.  This Mixed Words Crossword card is right up my alley and would be great practice for my son's kindergarten class.

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I also feel like it is important for kids to personalize their valentines so I thought this Fill in the Blank card would be good to help make his Valentine cards special for each child.

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Right now Minted is offering some great deals!  For just $14.00 you can get 15 cards and if you order $20.00 in cards you get free matching customizable stickers.  You can also mix and match designs which is great if you have two or more children.  I also like that you have choices in personalization in terms of the backing, paper type, shape and photo designs.  There are so many options with minted and the price is perfect.  Why wouldn't you make your lives easier and shop with Minted?

Minted is constantly offering their customers deals, so please follow them on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook for more money saving opportunities.

GIVEAWAY!
3 lucky readers will each win $50.00 credits to spend in the Minted store!

Just CLICK HERE to enter!

Enjoy 15% off Valentine's Day Photo Cards with code SENDLOVE (valid 1/31-2/5)


I am having a hard time choosing, which card would you pick and why?

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Weight Loss and Diabetes Update

I am about to put it all out there...because accountability.  I started January 1st, 2016 weighing in at 179 lbs.  However, with some small changes this past week, I have dropped 10 lbs and am working my way back into my comfort zone.

179 lbs. That is nearly the amount I weighed the day my last baby was born.  Now I realize that for many 179 lbs could be their goal weight and that is great.  I know that a size 12 is the average woman's size and that I do look just fine.  My husband and family still love me and that is all that should matter.  Unless you are diabetic and then gaining 30 lbs in a short time frame is dangerous.

The day my daughter was born 180lbs
To say that I am embarrassed and saddened by that number on the scale is an understatement.  My normal weight should be between 145-150.  I weighed that 6 weeks after having my last child.  I should have kept that weight off, I should have controlled my sugar and complex carb intake, I should have done better for the longevity of my life. I didn't.  Instead I piled on 30 lbs in about a year and a half and put my life at risk.

6 weeks postpartum.  (Oh Hey iPhone 4...picture quality is crap)
A little backstory here.  Not only am I a type 2 diabetic, but during labor with my oldest, I went into full renal failure with a high chance of my kidneys shutting down in the future and having to be put on dialysis.  It wasn't pretty.  So obviously, the logical thing to do would be to indulge in all the foods that could increase my risk of kidney failure again.  Having a master's degree (almost) in science and biology should have taught me better.

This is me in July at about 170 lbs

I knew at the beginning of last year that I needed to make some changes and so I did.  I started eating smaller meals and trying to snack healthy, except, Snickers, Reese's, Ice Cream and freaking Potatoes...all the potatoes.  Fried, mashed, twice baked; potatoes are life.  I was better about snacking and I did so mostly in moderation.  Except I would binge.  Finals weeks, I binged. Long week with the kids, I binged.  Argument with the hubby, I binged.  Basically if stress happened I was binging and no one was going to stop me. 

I did gain a bit more self control and tried valiantly for about 3 weeks to drop weight.  I was working out, eating only healthy foods (however, that definition would changed this year), sleeping better and just focusing on trying to drop those lbs that I had been piling on.  By the end of the 3 weeks not only had I not lost a lb, but I had also gained inches.  I was beyond upset and began the long emails and arguments and chats with my doctors.  I kept telling them I felt like crap, that I could not lose any weight no matter what I tried and that they were missing something. 

They settled on low vitamin D and although my A1C numbers were increasing at a steady rate, we were not yet to the point of medication.  By December my vitamin D levels were good and my A1C was even higher.  Essentially, this was bad, very bad. I started diabetic medication the same day my A1C numbers came in and began researching diets for diabetics. 



I found a group online that focuses on low carb, high (good) fat diets and spoke with my nutritionist about this.  The goal of this diet is to eat about 5% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 75% fats each day.  This should trick your body into burning fat for energy and wanting that as a food source rather than all the process crappy carbohydrates that really are not super great for you. 

I am not as strict as the percentages above, but I am doing a 20% carb, 20% protein, 60% fat breakdown and plan to slowly reduce my carbs and increase my fats in the coming weeks.  I stepped on the scale today and was down 10 lbs...169!  Between the medication and the diet, something is happening.  In addition I am adding in more purposeful exercise.  I have been doing Yoga following a YouTubers 30 day challenge and have also decided to add in some Skating time and swimming time with my kids along with purposeful walks around my classroom and building to get more steps in. 

I am not going to lie, seeing the numbers on the scale decrease daily has been a huge motivator.  I think honestly the biggest thing was the medication for me.  I need my body to recognize my insulin and to use it correctly.  10 lbs in a week is a lot and I know that sounds like a scary number to people to lose so quickly.  Please know that because my kidneys do not function correctly, that I hold onto water weight like no ones business and that easily 5-6 lbs of that was water.  I think I spent days in the bathroom peeing this week.

Thank you for keeping me accountable.  Hope your week is well folks and if you want more information about the diet changes please let me know and I will start posting recipes. 


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Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Easy Way to Apply for Graduate Student Loans and Save Money!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of College Ave Student Loans.  

Nearly 2 years ago I decided to take a leap and get my masters degree.  After talking with a few of my co-workers, I felt like it would be a smart financial decision in the long run to complete graduate school.  I applied to my alma mater because I was familiar with the school, the faculty and they had a great online program.  I then filled out my FAFSA and thought I would at least be awarded something.

The award letter came in and it was graduate PLUS loan.  I was happy that I had money to start school however, after researching it seems as if you can never pay them off and the interest rates on this type of loan are ridiculous.  I was running out of time, busy with a new baby and felt like I had no better choice or time to find one, so I went through with securing my first years loans through the national lender.  However, throughout the school year I was getting statements, accruing large amounts of interest and just really sad with how much I was spending compared to how little it appeared I would be making.

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I decided to do some shopping around after my first year of graduate school and I came across College Ave Student Loans. They offered many things that were in line with my expectations of a lender.

  • Graduate students who qualify save on average $1,200.00 compared to the Federal Direct Plus Loan Program.  Savings are key to life. 
  • They offer a lower fixed interest rate for those students with qualifying credit scores with no origination fee. 
  • The graduate student calculator to compare College Ave Student Loans to Federal Direct Plus Loans. 
I figured it was worth a try and I started with the Graduate student calculator. I plugged in some basic easy information and it turns out that I would have saved nearly $3,000.00 over the life of the loan with College Ave. 

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It makes me sick to know that I am losing out on money from my first year because I did not research loans well enough.  I was on full scholarship for my undergraduate work and the small loans I took out at the end for living costs were nothing compared to 1 year of graduate school.  I am so thankful that I found College Ave Student Loans for this very reason.  Finally, a lender who is reasonable and helping college students save money in the long run. 

Naturally, I decided to prepare my application.  I figured that this would take a while and just like the FAFSA I would need 2000 pieces of paperwork, a chicken and my first born to get through it.  HA! Not even close to my expectations; less than 20 quick questions (most demographic in nature) with the hardest ones being highlighted in the photo below.  My application was complete in less than 5 minutes. 

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This process was much easier and so much more informative than my first time applying for financial aid.  I am eager to receive my award letter for this upcoming semester and see the difference in interest rates and payment schedules.  I wish I would have known about College Ave Student Loans before I started my graduate program.  They just made my life simpler.

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Not only have they made my life simpler, but they are doing this for all their customers.  They are the leading online marketplace lender for student loans because they can give their customers a better experience, more attention, and personalized loans.  I do not know a graduate student who would not value those services.  

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Disclosure:  I was compensated for this post but my opinions and experiences are all my own.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

We Lost a Tooth! {Plus a DIY Tooth Fairy Space Pillow Tutorial}

Last night as I was putting the tiniest peanut to bed, I came out of my room to the most excited 5 year old.  You see for about 5 days we have had a very wiggly tooth and finally he had the courage to pull it out himself.  I missed the entire event, but my husband caught the first pictures and excitement!

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I swear he already looks older with just 1 missing tooth.  The one next to it is loose too, so I am fully expecting this to happen very soon again.  Our son apparently came out of his room and ran to his daddy to show him how far he could push it back.  Then my husband reached in a gave it a quick wiggle to see.  Finally our little boy pushed it all the way back and POP it came right out.  What is crazy is that my boy did not cry.  He freaks out over blood and obviously when people lose teeth there can be blood, but he did not even cry.  He was so excited. 

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We thought it was ready to come out the day before but my son really wanted to show his teacher and his classmates his loose tooth.  So we left it for a day.  I sort of figured he would be one of those kids that lets it hang on until the very end out of fear.  However, he was so brave and I am so proud of him.

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His new toothless grin is so adorable.  I cannot believe how fast my baby boy is growing up.  Since we knew this time was coming we made a quick tooth fairy pillow to prepare and excite him even more.  He wanted a space ship theme so I grabbed some Elmers All Purpose Glue, polymer stuffing, felt, yarn, my sewing machine and puff paints and got to work!

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My son is a light sleeper and trying to find a small tooth under a pillow of a light sleeper would be awfully hard.  The pillow essentially has a small pocket to put the tooth in and replace it with some money.  

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The Steps were easy:
  • First I cut two squares of felt about 8x8 inches.
  • Next I braided some yarn and tied off the ends and made a handle to fit around a door knob.
  • After the preliminary stuff was done, I pinned the handle between the two squares of felt and sewed the outside.  I left the bottom of the pillow open to stuff and sew later.
  • Next I designed the spaceship and made sure to put the square grey window pocket so that it could fit a tooth and some cash. 
  • I flipped the pillow right side out and glued the spaceship to the front.
  • Next I stuffed it with some polymer stuffing and stitched up the bottom of the pillow.
  • Lastly I decorated the pillow with some black and white puff paint and allowed it to dry.
As you can see it was a huge hit and it only took about 20 minutes to make.  I cannot wait to see his reaction in the morning when he finds his tooth missing and has some cash in hand.  A $2.00 bill is what we are giving for the first tooth.  I should probably get to this tooth fairy thing and get off the computer now. 

Hope your week is going great!


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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Nuggets Game Date Night

For the past 3 years my husband has asked to go to a Denver Nuggets game.  Finally Sunday night we were able to fulfill his wish and have a blast together.  Much needed!


It took 3 years because I suck.  The first year I ignored his request because well I suck.  The next year I wrote him and IOU because his schedule was impossible.  Last year, my sister did a similar thing but again our schedules just did not mesh.  So finally, I just broke down and found one game that worked for both our scheduled and bought the tickets.  I didn't care if it cost an arm and a leg, the poor guy had been waiting to go to his first NBA game his entire life. 


For $55.00 a seat I was very happy with our view.  It was really fun and although it was pretty empty, we actually really enjoyed the extra space and had a really fun group of folks around us.  The kicker of the night was when the Nuggets scored a 3-point shot and the fan engagement crew started chucking t-shirts into the crowd.  My husband totally snagged a t-shirt!


We were super duper excited.  I had purchased my husband his own Nuggets gear to wear to the game and I was rocking a Rodney Rogers jersey from 1994 that I found in the back of my husbands closet.  My husband checked the size and it was just mine, so you bet your booty I put that on!


We laughed and had a great time watching the entertainment, the game and just enjoying some time with each other.  It was a beautiful night and just what our relationship needed to ground us before chaos starts back up. 


The one thing that I was hoping to get was a photo with Rocky, but unfortunately this is as close as I could get.  Maybe next time...and you bet there will be a next time!  We had a blast and are talking about taking the kids.  Date nights are so needed and after a long break with the kids and busy holiday weeks it was a nice change of pace.  Hope your week is off to a good start. 

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