Pork Rind Appreciation Day – Gridiron Groovin’! (AND A GIVEAWAY!)

When I married my husband, I understood that I was marrying into a fantastic southern family. A fantastic southern family who hollered “Roll Tide!” any chance they got.

Fast forward a few years, and not only does our household have battery-operated mascots that play a full-orchestra version of the college song, but our 15-month-old twins even have their own cheerleader outfits. Two different kinds of them, to be exact. I’ve given in.

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Not that I really minded in the first place.

As anyone who knows anything about college football knows, Alabama is…well…pretty durn GOOD. (Never mind that nail-biter last week with Mississippi State – did anyone SEE that?! WOAH!!!) I definitely think we’ll have a good group of guys moving on to the pros. And anyone who knows anything about football in general knows that, as games go (college OR pro), they’re always better if excellent snacks are involved!

So when Southern Recipe contacted me about their 7th Annual Pork Rind Appreciation Day, and sharing the news about their Gridiron Groovin’ game with NFL legend, Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, I was all about it! 

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The awesome thing about Gridiron Groovin’ is that you can play as many times as you’d like! Each time you do, you’ll queue Southern Recipe to make a donation to the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund. As well, a portion of the sale of each purchase of all Rudolph Foods’ products during the Pork Rind Appreciation Day season, including Southern Recipe, Southern Recipe Small Batch, Pepe’s Snacks and Lee’s Pig Skins, will support the Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund.

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Grain-Free Holiday Dog Treat Recipes

Dogs are omnivores, and they benefit from vegetables just as much as the rest of us. And what better time of year to incorporate colorful fruits and veggies into their diets? Beets, spinach, and other nutritional powerhouses take center stage in these gluten-free and grain-free holiday dog treat recipes. You’ll also find healthy supporting ingredients like coconut oil, which can help your dog maintain a shiny coat and dewy skin through the dry winter months.

Dog, pet of all people. Shepherd plays with a ball.

Dying to bake doggy treats, but don’t have a buddy to share them with? Try one of these grain-free recipes and bring the treats along on your first Meet & Greet as a Rover pet-sitter. You’ll score a new friend who will be happy to taste-test all your canine concoctions.

Be sure to use doggy-safe peanut butter, free of any added sweeteners. Xylitol is toxic to dogs, so read labels carefully!

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Tips For Organizing Your Apartment

So someone commented to me the other day that they enjoyed my organizing posts, but they didn’t feel as if they were applicable to their apartment. 

“You have a house, and that’s great. But it’s harder to organize in an apartment. I need some advice on THAT!”

Well, first of all, yes. Yes, it’s harder to organize in an apartment. And yes, we have a house. There are definitely differences. 

However, the principles remain the same. And, believe it or not, I have NOT forgotten about apartment life! When we first got married, we lived in a one-bedroom apartment that was about 800 square feet. I loved it and hated it, all at the same time! 

So…here are some organizing tips specifically tailored for apartments! Because living in an apartment with a limited space is a challenge on so many levels; especially if you want to keep your home well organized. The last thing you want to do at the end of a busy day is spend time reorganizing your home. If you can come up with a good plan overall, you should be able to keep your space tidy.

Invest in Storage Units

If you have too many things and nowhere to keep them, your apartment will end up looking overcrowded. If your apartment comes with an attic, basement, or garage, consider taking advantage of such a space. In fact, when looking for apartments such as (such as apartments for rent in Hollywood (Eastown Apartments) for my Los Angeles readers), ensure they have extra storage space. Some apartments in my area have a locked closet on the patio that functions as a fantastic storage space!

However, if your apartment does not have any extra room, think about renting a storage unit to use for organizing all your extra stuff. 

Use the Laundry Hamper

If you are too busy to do laundry during the week, you need to invest in a laundry hamper with a lid. Buy a good-sized hamper and throw in your dirty clothes for the week. The lid will cover the dirty clothes until you have time to wash them.

Laundry hampers are also great to store pillows, seasonal clothing, towels and linens in, as well.

Washing Dishes

Do Not Leave the Dirty Dishes Overnight

Although washing dishes at night is a difficult habit to form, you will not look at your kitchen the same way once it sticks. If you live with a roommate, a partner or a family member, take turns doing the dishes before bed. Make sure the person who cooks is not the one who washes the dishes to avoid overworking that person. Washing the dishes before you retire to bed will make your small apartment kitchen look less messy. Plus, your mornings will be that much brighter with an empty sink.

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Staying on Top of the Mess

You know that moment of quietness you get when all chores are done and the house is clean? It lets you take a breath and feel at ease. A fleeting moment that’s usually abruptly ended by a crash or a scream – at least at my house. Well, back to work!

Keeping a home clean and organized and mess-free is an on-going effort. One that’s difficult when you’re already balancing a busy work and family life. You put your best efforts forward but there’s always more to do. Those off days become busy days very very quickly.

We try things like planning our schedules around our energy levels or burn the midnight oil to get the last bits of the list done. Yet, it feels like a losing battle. There’s only so much one person can do!

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Getting the Family on Board

There are a few reasons why the family may not be helping with chores:

A.  They don’t know how they can help

B.  There’s no repercussions if they don’t

C.  They’re busy already

D.  They don’t know how you want it done

You can try to force your partner and kids to help but this may only last a day. Plus, who wants extra stress from nagging and taking orders?

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Are You Losing Money at Home with These Three Common Mistakes?

My hubby and I have recently begun doing what we call “Financial Meetings”. We sit down on Sunday evenings and go through the projected expenses for the week ahead, and any extra monies or projects we want to focus in on. (We also talk about the schedule for the upcoming week, but that’s kind of just reminders. Making sure we’re on the same page about our finances is the main goal.)

I think most people want to communicate well about money. Frequently, even the media and society places a focus on active ways of earning, saving, and building wealth. Clipping coupons, investing, and making money through a part-time job are the hottest topics of money discussions. Although you might use these tips to earn and save money for your family, did you ever think that YOUR HOME could be causing you to lose money?

Ready to uncover hidden cash by following a few simple tips? Then take a look at three of the most common mistakes that cause you to lose money at home:

Not turning off or unplugging lights/appliances/electronics that are not in use

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While you may have the best intentions when it comes to turning off lights, electronics, or appliances that are not in use, it is incredibly easy to forget. However, forgetting to turn off lights and other things that consume electricity is costly. For example, if you leave just 10 light bulbs on for one extra, unneeded hour per day, you are losing between $5-$24 per year. While this may not seem like a lot of money, this yearly figure can multiply quickly when you consistently leave your lights on for many unnecessary hours. Additionally, using energy-saving features and sleep mode with your computer can save you up to $50 yearly, and controlling your air conditioning with a programmable thermostat can save up to $180 yearly.

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