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1 mom, 4 kids: How to survive a 7-hour car ride

by

Sabrina Garibian

posted in Products

Want to know my number one tip on how to survive a 7 hour car ride with four small kids? Do it alone.

I mean it! Does that make me sound like a mean wife? I know it sounds absolutely crazy but my husband and I are happiest on trips to visit my family when I drive our four kids myself and he meets us by train a day or two later. I spend the whole car ride focused on the kids, listening to pop music, kids’ music, or a Disney DVD. The kids are happy and don’t whine because the music entertains them and I’m paying attention to them.

I load up the passenger seat with their activities so I can pass them back as needed. I stop for a full hour halfway way there for everyone to eat a good meal, use the restroom, and stretch their legs. My husband is happy because he can work a few extra hours on the train and shows up at our destination ready to relax.

If we all drive together it never seems to go well. My hubby is so focused on “making good time” that he doesn’t want to stop for an extended break and is constantly looking at the map to decide which route to take for the quickest way to our destination. We ignore the kids as we get wrapped up in front seat conversation, and we always listen to CNN. We don’t mean it, but the ride stinks for our kids when we ride together and everyone ends up whining or feeling cranky.

I love my husband so much but long car rides with the kids are for me to take alone!

Anyway, now that I’ve let you in on the details of my life, let me share some tips for surviving a long car ride with small children. I do it often enough that I feel like I’ve become an expert. Keep in mind that as a rule we do not allow food in our car so you won’t find snacks in our car. Yes, even for a 7 hour car ride.

How to survive a 7-hour car ride with small children:

7 hour car ride

  1. Think of the car ride as part of your trip and not just as a way to get where you’re going. We blast the music, play I Spy, and practice learning the lyrics to our favorite pop tunes.
  2. Save the electronics for the last fourth of your trip. Our general rule is no electronics until we’ve been in the car at least four hours. After the four hour mark all bets are off and I’ll play a movie on the DVD player or let my children use their tablets. If we let them use the tablets from the start, the car ride feels like it lasts forever.
  3. Stop at a restaurant or market instead of a rest stop. I treat our car ride break like we’re going out for a real meal. We time it around lunch or dinner and usually stop at a Shake Shack five minutes off the highway. We eat a really good meal, everyone stretches their legs and uses the bathroom, and we’re ready to continue our ride. It takes us an hour, but it allows us to get back in the car feeling refreshed.
  4. Bring activities for your kids to do. I pack pencils and notebooks so the kids can draw or write. My son usually brings a little Lego man, and my daughters bring dolls and a book to play with on the car ride. Bonus: the books can double as bedtime books on your trip.
  5. Don’t forget a wet bag! Wet bags are so useful, but on a car trip they become a necessity if someone spills a drink or gets sick in the car. I keep one in the glove compartment in case we need to store wet clothes or blankets until we can wash them at our destination.
  6. Let your children pack their own backpacks. I used to pack each child a blanket, stuffed animal, toy, and book for our long car rides. Now I let them pack their own! I noticed when they packed their own they tended to play and use those items more. It’s risky business with little ones, but try it! On our last trip my 2-year-old packed 4 pairs of socks, a book about socks, and a Curious George stuffed animal. Would you believe she spent the whole car ride putting socks on the stuffed animal and taking them off?
  7. Chill out. Staying relaxed and taking each moment for what it is truly helps on a long car ride. I have so many crazy stories about our car rides, from the time my son threw up for two straight hours but I was stuck on the GW bridge and couldn’t pull over, to the time one of my girls had to use the bathroom and couldn’t wait for a rest stop so we pulled over on the highway (don’t judge me!), to the time we left in shorts and drove through a surprise April snowstorm that doubled our travel time. If you stay relaxed, your children will too!

Traveling with kids isn’t always easy, but by keeping a positive attitude and being prepared, you will all have a blast. Happy travels!

What’s your best tip for traveling with children?

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Ways to survive 14 hours in coach

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Flying can be heaps of fun, especially if you’re traveling to some exotic location you’ve never visited before. However, it can also be a bit of a nightmare having to negotiate a long haul flight, especially when you’re stuck in coach. Even frequent fliers can find long-haul flights a struggle, so what hope do the rest of us have? And, some flights can be a lot more grueling than others – that’s just a fact.

Sure, it’s okay if you’re traveling business or first class, because you have all the comforts – and space – you need to get you through the flight. You can get some sleep in nice, comfy surroundings, and keep yourself entertained whenever you need to. So, if you could do with some tips to help you survive 14 hours in coach, read on!

Pick the right seat

You’ll be surprised by just how much of a difference this can make, and, if you get the opportunity to choose your seats, make sure you pick wisely. In order to maximize the amount of space you have, we would suggest trying to go for an aisle seat. This allows you to stretch your legs better, and you won’t feel boxed in by other passengers. It also means you can get up and stretch your legs while moving around for a while.

Eat something

Sure, plane food might be up there with hospital food in terms of being mostly terrible, but this doesn’t mean you should skip eating. In fact, you’ll need to do as much as you can to keep energy levels up, and eating is a great way of achieving that. That’s why we would recommend accepting the in-flight meal, even if you only eat a few mouthfuls. Alternatively, a snack which is high in protein is a great substitute – but make sure you do eat on the flight!

Remember the accessories

All long-haul flights will come with an array of accessories designed to make the flight more comfortable and enjoyable. Things like a blanket, eye mask, earplugs, etc., are essential for helping you be as comfortable as possible. By making use of these as often as you can, you can make yourself more comfortable and peaceful. Sometimes these flights can get rather chilly so you will find that blanket a godsend.

Choose your entertainment wisely

This means reading at the start of the flight when your brain is still awake, and your eyes haven’t been dried out by the air conditioning. When you no longer feel able to read, it’s time to whack on a movie. Again, choose wisely here – if there’s an epic you’ve been wanting to see for a while, get that bad boy on, as it will eat up much of the flight! Maybe follow it with something much more light-hearted afterward.

Use these tips as well as you possibly can in order to make sure you get through your 14-hour flight unscathed. You will find things much less difficult, and significantly more comfortable, by using some of the tips we’ve given. You will most likely have your own flight rituals to follow as well, and we hope you have enough in terms of tips and information to help you enjoy the flight as much as possible.

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The post Ways to survive 14 hours in coach appeared first on Worldation.

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A lot of people think that they can slap on any old pair of snow boots and they don’t have to worry at all about slipping on the snow or ice. Yeah, that’s not the case at all. Snow boots give you better traction, sure, but they’re nothing compared to Yaktrax Walk Traction Cleats. These awesome rubber straps fit over any shoes or boots and metal coils on the bottom give you excellent grip as you trek out into treacherous winter weather. They start at under $ 13 and go up to $ 15 depending on your shoe size, and they could be the difference between a quick walk to your car and a serious injury.

Here’s what you need to know from the product page:

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  • Provides 360 degrees of traction on cold surfaces for all-direction stability
  • Highly elastic outer band with heel tab slips easily slips on and off of shoes; perfect for pedestrians, professionals and the elderly
  • Tested safe from breakage in temps as low as -41 degrees F; available in XS (Extra-small) S, M, and L sizes to fit most shoes

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How to Survive an IRS Audit

You receive the letter many dread, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has requested to audit your tax return. It could be for many different reasons. Maybe your income on your tax return did not match the amount reported to the IRS, or your expenses seem to be a bit questionable. If so, you could be the lucky winner of a full IRS audit. No matter what reason the IRS decides to come knocking, one thing is certain—you must be prepared.

As a former Internal Revenue Service agent, I have had the opportunity to participate in a host of audits, and time and time again, the key to surviving these unwanted ordeals is to make certain you understand your rights and responsibilities.

Fight Back

You should first get an understanding of what items are being audited and review the examiner’s document request. This request will outline items needed to substantiate the amount claimed on the tax return. Remember, during a civil tax audit, the burden of proof is on you.

Gather documents to substantiate questionable items on the tax return. If you do not have any records, there is still hope! Remember, there are other methods of substantiating items on the tax return. For example, if you are a home health nurse and you previously claimed vehicle expenses, consider obtaining patient records for the appropriate taxable year and estimate mileage based on these visits. Examiners are allowed to accept various types of evidence to substantiate items, including third-party testimony, affidavits, and other types of verification.

Get Help

If you are uncomfortable with the mere mention of the letters I-R-S, it may be a good idea to obtain an agent to work on your behalf. This may include a certified public accountant (CPA), an enrolled agent, or even a tax attorney. Once you inform the IRS examiner you wish to obtain representation and the IRS has received your completed Form 2848, Power of Attorney, the IRS must make all future contact with the representative only, thus alleviating you from speaking to the IRS.

Do Not Settle for Defeat

If you are not in agreement with the examiner’s position, you do have rights. First, you should raise concerns with the examiner. Most often, the examiner will be willing to compromise on certain issues, if you are willing to sign an agreed report. However, if you are unable to come to an agreement with the examiner, you can request a meeting with the examiner’s manager or request that the case is heard by appeals.

Remember, the ultimate goal of both the examining group and appeals is to close the case without a subsequent trial. Therefore, if you stay persistent, chances are you will be able to obtain favorable results.

 

The post How to Survive an IRS Audit appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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When We Criticize Survivors, We Ignore Those Who Didn’t Survive

In a piece for the New York Times, writer Daphne Perkins criticized the #MeToo moment’s takeover of the Golden Globes—and pushed back against conversations exposing sexual harassment. Unfortunately, she also forgot in her critiques of living survivors that their actions also speak for those who can’t.

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“I suspect, many of us, including many longstanding feminists, will be rolling our eyes, having had it with the reflexive and unnuanced sense of outrage that has accompanied this cause from its inception, turning a bona fide moment of moral accountability into a series of ad hoc and sometimes unproven accusations,” Perkins predicted of last week’s awards show. Her misgivings were ultimately revealed to be myths: In the end, celebrity efforts to center conversations about sexual harassment and workplace discrimination at the Golden Globes and in the time since have also centered activists, many of them women of color, who have done critical feminst organizing throughout their lives—women like Marai Larasi, who fights violence against women of color through her UK-based organization Imkaan; Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance; and Monica Rameriz, co-founder of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, which fights for equality for women farmworkers.

When Perkins falsely positions feminism in direct opposition to the solidarity celebrities and feminist activists are attempting to build around these issues, she forgets that solidarity-building is feminism—and that celebrity women can offer unprecedented power and a massive platform to the work activists know all too well can often be overlooked.

But it isn’t just the celebrity feminism that bothers Perkins—it’s women’s stories, and the consequences men are (finally) beginning to face for their bad behavior. “Some women, including random people I talk to in supermarket lines,” she observed, “have gone so far as to call it an outright witch hunt.” Those grocery story conversations not only create contention and divisiveness within the global feminist movement, but also erase and minimize the real, lived trauma many women carry due to predators with power—and the risks women have taken to expose them. And as conversations around sexual exploitation and abuse reach a fever pitch, Perkins forgets the myriad women who never had the chance to fight back against their harassers, assaulters and rapists—or tried and paid with their lives.

In 2007, 25 percent of female homicide victims were killed by someone they knew. That same year, Black women homicide victims were twice as likely as their white counterparts to be killed by a spouse and four times more likely to be murdered by a dating partner. By centering her own concerns (about “what happened to flirting,” no less) in the midst of a collective, intersectional and historic push for an end to rape culture at work and everywhere else, Perkins demeans the work of women whose communities face the biggest losses in this fight.

 

The fact that white women in positions of social power are not only collaborating with Black women and other women of color, but are also connecting with women of color activists, shows a burgeoning sense of feminist solidarity and awareness across class markers that is imperative for this time. This conversation cannot wait, and this is certainly not the time to tear down anti-sexual harassment activists. We must keep moving forward—not pushing back. For women of color in particular, that is the only way to survive.

Jordannah Elizabeth is an author, lecturer, music critic and feminist writer. Her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Bitch Media, LA Weekly and Village Voice and is bi-coastal by nature. She is the author of Don’t Lose Track Vol 1: 40 Articles, Essays and Q&As.

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The post When We Criticize Survivors, We Ignore Those Who Didn’t Survive appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

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Whether the NFL is ‘too violent to survive’ and other comments

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4 Money Lessons Entrepreneurs Need To Survive

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Entrepreneurship sounds exciting, doesn’t it?  Waking up when you want, making your own rules, and most importantly, being “your own boss.”  On the outside, it looks amazing, but behind closed doors, there is so much the world does not know.

No matter how many degrees or certifications you have, what matters most in entrepreneurship are those invaluable life experiences; also known as the million mistakes you WILL make.  If you are a young entrepreneur, or if you’re ready to quit your job to become an entrepreneur, here are four money lessons you can learn from:

Entrepreneur Lesson #1: Don’t make financial decisions based on future income

 

Entrepreneurs are visionaries, who believe that the inevitable is possible. This is actually what makes them amazing!  However, sometimes we believe that we can do so much more than what our bank accounts allow us to do.  During the beginning phases of your business, both money and people are unpredictable.  Don’t over estimate your limit, because you’re overly ambitious.  Make business decisions based off what you have been consistently doing, and not by what you could one day have.

Tip: For every investment, always make a spreadsheet that outlines all your needed expenses.  If you are able to cover those costs as well as your fixed costs with a little cushion, move forward.

Entrepreneur Lesson #2: Strive for the best, but plan for the worst

 

I hate to break it to you, but you are not invincible.  You are human, and things can and will happen while building your dream.  We often hear those horror stories from other entrepreneurs, and we think to ourselves, “That’s not going to happen to me!” Now, it is great to be optimistic, however, it is also important to understand that you will make mistakes.

When building a startup, always remember that nothing is constant.  One day you’re expecting revenue, and the next day, the deal doesn’t go through.  What you thought would cost one price, ends up costing you double. During the early stages, you must be open to irregularity.  Be ready for things to financially fall apart right when you need them to be perfect.

Tip: Invest in physical activities to help stabilize your mind when things go wrong.  Take mental time away from the problem.  Try taking a walk outside, and then come back. This allows you to clear your mind and develop a solution.

Entrepreneur Lesson #3: Sometimes having a physical location isn’t always the smartest idea

 

I know you want the nice shiny location.  The thought of not only seeing your hard work, but also being able to touch it makes it that much better.  Having an actual brick-and-mortar site feels amazing, but it is not always the best financial investment. Working out of your home, a library, or somewhere that doesn’t require a lease can significantly cut the amount of money needed to get started.

When you do not have to pay monthly rent, get computers, or buy new office furniture, you can use the extra money to implement additional plans for your business.  It is okay to use your cell phone for a while. It’s quite alright if you use someone else’s copier or printer, if you do not have one. DO NOT commit to a lease just because it makes you “feel” or “look” good.

Tip: As you grow, there are many spaces to work, and they do not require large investments (i.e. community work spaces and church office spaces).  Additionally, ask your friends and family about space. Working in these communal spaces often help you to network with other like-minded individuals, who are also growing their businesses.

Entrepreneur Lesson #4: Don’t wait until you “start making enough money” to get an accountant

 

Just because you have never created a budget for your personal funds, it does not mean that you shouldn’t build one for your business.  It is important to know where every dollar is coming from, and to also know where every dollar is going. If you are not keeping track of your business cash flow, how do you know if you are making a profit?  How will you know where to make changes if you have no structure?  When it comes time for you to get funding for your business, your financial statements will be required.  Why wait until you’re making more money in business to begin tracking the money within your business.  Hire a certified public accountant that will guide you in the right direction.

Tip: Many community centers offer free accounting services.  There are also many accountants that will assess fees based on the size/annual revenue of your company.  You can even utilize your network to see if they can refer you to someone they trust.

 

 

 


Ashley M. Fox is a former Wall Street analyst, a Howard University grad, and she is now an expert in her field as a Financial Education Specialist. She is the founder of Empify (merging of the words EMPower and modIFY), an education- based organization created to help both adults and children understand financial literacy.  Since leaving her Wall Street career, Ashley has become an award-winning financial coach who has helped her clients collectively save and invest over $ 1.4mm. She is a highly-sought after speaker who has been featured on empowerment tours, college campuses, and keynote speaking platforms. She has been featured on Jim Cramer’s “The Street”, Yahoo Finance, AOL, Philly.com, Huffington Post, and Glamour Magazine.

Twitter: @_Ashleymfox

Instagram: @_Ashleymfox

 

 

Money – Black Enterprise

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How to survive the first month home with baby

by

Ashleigh Evans

posted in Products

Life changes a lot in the first month of having a baby and there’s so much to adjust to. It’s been 6 years since I had my first baby and while many things have changed, one thing hasn’t. That first month is hard. It’s wonderful and amazing and really hard.

Taking simple steps for self-care has been key to my survival. Three things I’m doing that are really helping:

1. Accept all food offers: I’m so grateful for all my friends and family who have dropped off dinners. If someone offers to bring you a meal or two, let them! Having a night off from making dinner has been a life-saver for me in my sleep-deprived state. Plus it gives your friends and family a chance to visit your new little one. I’ve been known to let them snuggle while grabbing a fast shower or a quick nap.

2. Take small breaks as often as possible: Feeling overwhelmed? Let your significant other take the reins for a while and go out for a walk. Fresh air and a podcast can do wonders, I promise!

3. Connect with other moms: I have quite a few friends with newborns too, and I’ve found late-night text sessions to be a lifesaver. There’s also a fun quick video app called Marco Polo, which I use to send short messages to my friends all day long. Being cooped up with a baby keeps you from the outside world — having connections with other moms who get it is essential. The BabyCenter community boards are great too, especially if you have a quick question.

These three things have helped, but they don’t help with the biggest baby problem of all: getting him to fall asleep and stay that way. I had to look elsewhere for that solution. Luckily, baby gear technology has advanced since I had my first baby, and there are so many products now that can help.

When I polled my friends on Facebook about some new things I noticed while shopping, they said unanimously “You NEED a Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play!” I immediately added the Fisher-Price Premium Auto Rock ‘n Play Sleeper with Smart Connect to our registry — word-of-mouth recommendations from fellow parents are always the best!

I knew that the Rock ‘n Play was going to be helpful, but I didn’t realize how much until Liam was just over a week old. After nursing, he liked to fall asleep, but I didn’t like to lay him down completely flat because of reflux issues. Babies are born with a more flexible esophagus, so spitting up is quite common. My doctor likened the baby esophagus to the cartilage on your baby’s ear — soft and squishy. If you lay them down flat right after nursing, they can have reflux and pain, which makes it hard to sleep. The angle of the Rock ‘n Play was perfect.

Surviving the first month: must have sleep items to register for. via @Babycenter #ad

Now that Liam is a few weeks older, he likes the other features of the Rock ‘n Play too. The canopy with the projected light is great. Aside from rocking, the Rock ‘n Play also vibrates and plays music. Being able to control it from my phone is a great perk, too — no need to get up when I want to change the song or speed up the movement.

Surviving the first month: must have sleep items to register for. via @Babycenter #ad

Other must-have sleep items that are worth adding to your registry:

Muslin blankets: These weren’t popular yet when I had my first three kids and I’ve found them super helpful, especially since it’s still warm outside. They’re light and breezy, and double as a great swaddle.

Sleepers that unzip from the bottom: This seems so simple, but they’re a lifesaver when you’re trying to do quick changes during the night. Instead of unzipping from the top and exposing your baby’s upper torso, these just unzip at the bottom for easy diaper changes.

What are some must-have sleep items that you registered for? Any tips?

Surviving the first month: must have sleep items to register for. via @Babycenter #ad

This post is sponsored by Fisher-Price. All opinions are truthful and my own.

The post How to survive the first month home with baby appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.

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11 Homes Built to Survive the End of the World

Harsh weather? Energy shortages? Nuclear fallout? These and other calamities would render most houses unlivable. Not these weird and wacky residences, though. Built to endure man-made and natural disasters, these indestructible abodes can stand up to just about anything. They’ve long delighted preppers, survivalists, and security experts. Now take a look for yourself to marvel at some of the most adaptable, resilient homes ever built.
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There Is No Way to Survive the Trump White House

The body of former White House Director of Communications Anthony Scaramucci was discovered on the White House lawn Monday. Scaramucci's neatly-coiffed head, along with the mushier, more panicked capitulum of former chief of staff and freshly-resigned rival Reince Priebus, was found a short distance away, gored on the White House gates as a message to their replacements.

The heads –

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: There Is No Way to Survive the Trump White House

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Can This Marriage Survive…?

When I was growing up there was a magazine that featured a column, “Can This Marriage Survive?” Divorce was pretty uncommon in those days and I was fascinated by the monthly column and the predicaments the men and women who were featured in the article got themselves into. At some level a lot of the advice in that column must have stayed with me, because I’ve been married a long, long time. Our long-time marriage is kind of a dinosaur in this day and age where starter marriages have become the norm.

So saying, this may be the year that I need to remember all the advice that was in the columns. I wrote a post a couple of months ago about the Family Reunion. Four days of being together with the family can be a bit stressful. Just look at how people dread the holiday season — and it’s not always about gaining the ten pounds from eating well.

Then my husband and I had to deal with the death of our beloved boxer, Rebel. Anyone who’s ever had a pet knows what it’s like to return home and not have your little friend there to greet you. And then the decision about whether to get another pet — and if we got the same breed would we always compare the new one to Rebel? The jury’s still out on that one.

The next major survival was a 10-day road trip that my husband and I just returned from. Actually, it was a wonderful trip. We took a couple of things off of our bucket list by visiting Zion and Bryce National Parks. We relaxed in Sedona, played golf in Scottsdale, and visited one of the best national history museums I’ve ever seen. My husband had noticed it on the Internet. There was no advertising leading up to it; it was just plunked down in the desert between the two National Parks. Animals, arrowheads, birds, etc. were all displayed in authentic settings along with over 500 butterflies. If you decide to do the parks, this is a “don’t miss” place to put on your agenda. We even survived me driving at times, him navigating, and me missing the washed-out golf cart path and almost upending the cart. However, all that pales with what’s coming next.

Tomorrow begins the demolition of the kitchen. Yup, a complete redo. When you live in a house for a number of years, you overlook sagging cupboards, water stains on interior cabinets where coffee cups have been put away before they were completely dry, dated pulls, and drawers that squeak every time they’re opened. Actually, you don’t even notice them, at least we didn’t. It took a visit from our son to tell us the time had come. The kitchen was definitely dated!

In about eight weeks we’ll be the happy owners of a new kitchen including appliances, charging station (evidently a necessity as our lives revolve around our iPhones, iPads, and other electronic goodies), countertops, cabinets, and …

I have the feeling the domino effect will set in soon. I remember looking at the kitchen tile many years ago and thinking it needed to be re-grouted. What I had difficulty explaining to my husband was why the upstairs had to be re-carpeted. He really didn’t think that had much to do with the tile being re-grouted. The domino effect had come into play.

As I took a final look around the kitchen this morning, I began to wonder just how creative I was going to be with an electric fry pan, a barbecue, a toaster, a coffeepot, and a slow cooker. There will be no oven or microwave for the next eight weeks. And have you ever known a remodel to be finished in exactly the projected time frame? I haven’t. It’s a good thing we had the Family Reunion this summer because Thanksgiving will definitely be out and possibly Christmas. Everyone I’ve talked to who has gone through a remodel says it was one of the most stressful times in their lives. Swell. And why did we decide to do it? Well, if and when we sell our house, the first thing a realtor will tell us to do is upgrade the kitchen and they’d probably be right. When we made the decision to upgrade, it seemed logical to do it now and enjoy it while we’re living here. At the moment, I’m having serious doubts whether that was a wise decision. Then as soon as the upgrade is finished, time for a new puppy! You don’t think that will be stressful, do you? Stay tuned!!!!!

Earlier on Huff/Post50:


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