The Pumpkin Patch – Do’s & Don’ts from a Mommy of 4

how to stay safe at the pumpkin patch

Pumpkin Patching has become a bit of a family tradition in the Young home.  While we don’t celebrate Halloween, we do like to enjoy the petting zoos and pumpkin hunting that come this time of the year.  I will say, however, that there are some things to keep in mind when you’re at the pumpkin patch.  Here are a few of my do’s and don’ts.

children at pumpkin patchpumpkin patch safety children at pumpkin patch

DO bring antibacterial spray.  All I’ll say is e.coli.

DO wear closed toe shoes.  It finally dawned on me this year that the hay that I’m walking on, is likely infested with animal hair, fleas and other bugs, and probably feces.

DO bring a disposable blanket.  If you’ve come to the pumpkin patch expecting to take pictures of your darling little babies, bring a blanket for them to sit on so you can get the perfect shot.  You definitely don’t want them sitting on the hay.

DO go before noon.  Just like people, animals get tired too and just like people, animals can become irritable and snappy when they’re tired.  Spending the earlier part of the day with the animals is a good time to catch them at their best.

.054pumpkin patch safety children at pumpkin patch.022

DO bring a camera.  Moments like these you’ll want to capture so that you can reminisce when you’re old and gray.

DO wear costumes, but don’t go overboard.  Now this might sound like a contradiction to another tip but hear me out.  There’s nothing wrong with dressing your little one up, sitting  him on a haystack next to a pumpkin and taking a few snaps.  It’s when you begin to draw a crowd and begin telling your baby to “WERK” that it becomes a problem.

DO make sure everyone has used the restroom before arrival.  Pumpkin Patch restrooms are high on my list of GROSS!

DON’T treat the pumpkin patch like your personal photo shoot.  Truly, everyone comes to the pumpkin patch with hopes of picking up a few plumpies and snapping a few pics, so be mindful of those around you who have also come to enjoy the scenery.  Try not to hoard the best picture spots.

pumpkin patch safety children at pumpkin patch

DON’T bother the resting animals.  We all need our rest. An unrested animal is the makings of a late breaking news story.  I’ll have no parts of that.

DON’T sit or stand on the pumpkins.  For goodness sakes someone might have wanted to buy one.  And even if they didn’t, would you like someone standing on the plumpie pumpkin you picked out?  Probably not.

DON’T eat.  If you’re eating at the pumpkin patch, you’re more than likely swallowing a couple million animal germs that you wouldn’t normally consume.  And if you’re a finger licker, you might as well sign up for a hospital bed now.  I’m kidding, but think about the tons of bacteria that live at the pumpkin patch and the potential to digest some of that if you’re eating.

DON’T bring your own food to feed the animals.  Just because you like Flaming Hot Cheetos doesn’t mean the animals will.  If you want to feed the animals, buy the food provided so that you don’t harm them.

DON’T wear scary costumes.  Pumpkin patches are where you’ll find kids and babies, so please don’t scare the babies.

DO have a blast!

Did I miss anything? What are your do’s and don’ts?

fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour

6 Smart Finance Tips!

FINANCES

Maybe your 20’s were different than my 20’s, but credit cards were easier to get than some college classes.  Sure the limits were low but in college money is money or so I thought.   Well, now that the dust has settled {honestly, that dust settled a LONG time ago}, I have a “wish-I-woulda” list that I feel compelled to share to help you navigate through your financial journey:

FINANCES

Your 20’s are the time to take your education up a notch and make yourself stand out from the pack.  Get industry certified, take a course in one of your specialized skills, or even learn a trade.  Take that Chanel bag off your Christmas list and ask mom, dad or your bank account for some education.  Wise self investments like this build your resume and make you more marketable than your peers who simply have a degree.  In addition, putting yourself around people in your field will give you more opportunities to make connections and network.

FINANCES

For God sakes’ control yourself.  You’re right, budgeting and staying inside a disciplined spending box is boring, but form the habit now, while you’re in your 20s, and your 40 year old self will thank you.  Think about it, many of us spend such a short time living the independent life – free from real responsibilities, that before we know it, we’re married with kids and our “wish-I-woulda” list is a mile long.  The only way to minimize those financial “wish-I-woulda”s is to take control of your spending and decide to spend wisely.  Pinterest is a gold mine for finding a budget worksheet that works for you.

FINANCES

Most of us would have heart failure if we came home and found that our coveted purse or shoe collection had been ransacked.  Why?  Because these are some things that we think have value in our lives.  Many of us have even added items like these to our homeowners insurance juuuust in case.   But what about life insurance?  There’s this misconception that we don’t have to start thinking about life insurance until we’re old and married with kids, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  God forbid something should happen and you can no longer take care of yourself, what would you do then?  Begin doing some homework on the plan that will work for you.  You’ll notice the cost of insurance is less, the younger you are.

FINANCES

Credit cards are not the enemy, it’s how we choose to use them that causes us so much grief.  Many moons ago when Dad talked to me about credit, the one thing that stuck with me was to keep a low balance on your credit cards and pay more than the monthly minimum.  I don’t use credit cards anymore and haven’t for about 5 years now; truthfully because I’m afraid.  Kind of like not buying that quart of Rocky Road ice cream because you know that if it’s sitting in your fridge you’ll be tempted to eat the whole quart…in one sitting…while watching all 6 seasons of Lost.  Moral of the story is if you don’t have them then you won’t be tempted to misuse them. However, on the flip side, if you’re strong willed then credit cards can be a very good tool.  They should be used only in case of emergency, because chances are if you don’t have the cold hard cash to buy it, you don’t absolutely need it.  And here’s another idea, get a credit card and give it a very close friend or family member who you can trust enough not to use it and who knows you well enough to know if your emergency is really an emergency worthy of turning the credit card over to you.

FINANCE

For those of us in our 30’s, chances are we’re still taking care of some of those unwise financial decisions we made in our 20’s.  How do we make sure not to make the same mistake twice?  Understand good versus bad debt.  Rule of thumb is GOOD debt adds longevity and value to your finances.  It works for you.  BAD debt subtracts from value you’ve acquired through saving and spending wisely and it works against you.  Buying property is good debt as it will yield a return with the increasing equity, as long as you have a low rate.  Buying a car is bad debt.  Some bad debt, like cars, are sometimes unavoidable, but what is avoidable is getting taken advantage of.  Make sure the car you purchase holds it’s value, is financed at a low interest rate and if you can, put down a large cash payment so that you can decrease the principle.

FINANCES

Being a Christian, I believe in tithing.  My own testimony is that God has blessed me, not just financially but my home, my family, my health, just in so many ways that the very least I can do is honor His word.  I believe that of all tips here, this is the most important and will add the most value to your life spiritually and financially.  I hear whispers from non-believers saying, “I’m not giving money to the church/pastor so he can spend it on cars, houses, clothes, etc. when I’m sitting at home eating canned soup.”  I’m not going to mention that we don’t think twice about paying our hair dresser $200 to put a weave in or give $100 to Ticketmaster to see JayBey running around, but when it comes to supporting the ministry that pours into our spirit we want to ask questions….{sipping tea}.  And I’m not going to mention that God didn’t tell us to tithe and then follow up to see how the money is spent, although I would suggest that if you don’t believe you’re being spiritually fed, find a ministry that does feed you.  No, I’m not going to mention all that but what I am going to suggest to you is to give it a try.  With your tithing, you must also practice a life of holiness and doing God’s will. It’s a package deal.  And I believe that you’ll see God’s hand move in your life.

What financial lessons have you learned over the years?

fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour

 

Don’t Give Me What I Want – Wednesday Prayer

prayer

In other words, be careful what you ask for because you might just get it.

fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour

FALL fashion

Flawless Fall

 

It’s finally here.  My favorite season of the year!  YAY!
fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour

Praying for my Husband – Wednesday Prayer

10.8.14

 

God only knows how desperately husband’s need the constant prayer of their wives.  There are so many devices working against our men, let alone our husbands, that it’s foolish of us to believe we’re fulfilling all of our duties as a wife if we aren’t praying over them.  There are battles in your husband’s mind that he may never tell you, and that you may never want to know, but the spirit of discernment allows you to sense when your husband is off.  Even if you don’t ask him, you pray for him and allow God to give him peace.

Happy Wednesday!

fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour

5 Must Have Boots for Fall

FIVE FALL MUST HAVE BOOTSIf I had to choose, I’d say Fall is my favorite season.  The cooler temps invite you to layer up and mix and match to your heart’s content.  Fall also brings a reason to change up your footwear options.  But before you pull out your boots and booties, take a look at my five must have boots for Fall.

Your DAILY BOOT is the boot you can pull out at a moment’s notice and add to any Fall outfit.  A dark leather boot is optimal and is easiest to maintain.  It will hide scuffs and dirt better than a light fabric.  Wear them with bright colored tights and a short dress or with a pair of jeans.  Of all of your boots, these are the ones you don’t want to skimp on.  You’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

FIVE FALL MUST HAVE BOOTS

RIDING BOOTS are classic fall footwear.  They will certainly keep your legs warmer and are great if you want to completely change up the look of your outfit.  This boot option can rise above the knee, but typically stops at the knee.  Find a boot with an elastic shaft for the most comfortable fit especially if you have muscular calves.

FIVE FALL MUST HAVE BOOTS

ANKLE BOOTIES have a short rise which typically does not reach higher than a few inches above the ankle.  The heel height varies which makes them extremely versatile.  Not only are they versatile, they are also a very calf-friendly option for obvious reasons.  Often times boots are a challenging fit because the fabric that goes around the calf can be tight and uncomfortable.  With ankle boots you don’t have that worry.FIVE FALL MUST HAVE BOOTS

COMBAT STYLE BOOTS are an easy way to add a funky rocker vibe to any outfit without trying too hard.  They can be worn to church on Sunday, work on Monday and the basketball game on Friday.  They’re very versatile.  The other great thing about combat boots is they never go out of style. You’ll have them forever so this is also an item that you might want to shell out the extra bucks to get a durable pair.

FIVE FALL MUST HAVE BOOTS

In warmer months heeled sandals are the go-to shoe, but with cooler Fall temps a DRAMATIC HEELED BOOTIE will add a stylish finishing touch to your outfit.  This is the boot to have fun with.  A leopard, snake-print or geometric-print will take your outfit up a notch, but make sure you don’t spend a ton on this option as you will not get as much wear out of them as you would a more toned down bootie.

FIVE FALL MUST HAVE BOOTS

What Fall footwear trends are you looking forward to?

fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour

 

Apparently I’m a Drunk…but let me explain!

It’s no secret that the number of hours of sleep that you get, directly affects your ability to be productive, but did you know that too much sleep can actually kill you?  This 3 minute video explains the science behind too little sleep, too much sleep and how many hours you actually need to reach peak performance.

 

So back to the whole issue of me being drunk, today I learned that people who get 4-6 hours of sleep are actually functioning at the same cognitive level as someone who is drunk with a blood alcohol level of 1.2.  When I think about it, funny as it sounds, it really does explain a lot.  Wait till I tell my husband, “Husband, I’m sorry but you’re on kid duty, I need to go to sleep because I’m drunk!”  That’ll play out nicely!  LOL

How many hours of sleep do you require?

fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour

Life as a WAHM {Work At Home Mom}!

work at home mom

Thanks to the media {aka scapegoat for everything} I think there’s a general misconception of what being a Work At Home Mom {WAHM} actually is.  I’ll admit that I shared this misconception when I was working a 9to5 too.  For instance, there’s this misconception that working at home means you’re free to have 3 hour lunch dates when you want, you’re free to chit-chat on the phone for hours on end, you’re free to lounge around all day “working”.  There’s this sense that working from home means you magically get 10 extra hours in your day.  Not the case.  In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth.  Like I said, I am guilty of assuming that work-at-homers had it made, but as I’ve come to realize it’s not cupcakes and tulips.  Let me explain…

What I Miss

Crazy as it may sound, there are some things I miss about working a 9to5.  First, the people.  I met so many amazing people  working in corporate America.  I’ve heard it said before that friends are hard to come by once you leave high school.  In college, everyone’s coming and going and in the midst of all that, you’re changing and finding who you are.  Most of those relationships sadly are just for the moment.  Finding a place to work where you enjoy the people is high on my list of non-negotiables when it comes to jobs, especially since we spend a significant share of our lifetime there.  The people are a huge reason why I stayed so long, but they are also a large part in why I left.  I miss the “watercooler” conversations and catching up on the latest celebrity gossip, Scandal debriefs and of course the office inside jokes.

I also miss the structure that a 9to5 demands.  Knowing that I can focus on what work for eight hours straight and then “clock-out” was a bit of a relief.  Of course being in a salaried position, there are expectations that some nights you work longer hours than others, but it was rare.  The lazy girl in me also misses that fact that much of my job was routine and easy.  I’ll admit that sometimes it’s nice to skip the process and just get to the answer.  Working at home requires self-motivation and discipline especially when you’re taking care of a baby at the same time.

What I Love

The best thing about working at home is the fact that I am home when my children leave to go to school and I’m home with a snack waiting when they return.  I can help with homework and talk about how their day went.  I’m able to go on the class field trips and spend time getting to know the other parents in the class.  I can’t believe all that I was missing when I was working a 9to5.  Even though my kids probably don’t think much of it now, I know when they get older they’ll remember how their mom was present.  I thank God that I was blessed with the opportunity to do this for my children.  There are some things in life that you can’t do over.  Spending time with your children when they need it the most is one of those things.  I remember my mom walking my brothers and I to and from school and volunteering in our classes.  Sure, when I got to middle school it became a bit of an annoyance, but looking back on it now, I see that it had a great impact on me and the choices/sacrifices I’m willing to make for my children.

Why i did it

As you may know, I’ve had this ol’ blog here for a while.  When I was pregnant with Jayde, I created a Facebook group called Bloggers Like Me dedicated to building relationships among bloggers across the country.  It’s a place where women can come for answers, friendship, resources, etc.  The group really caught on and grew faster than I had expected.  So fast, that I had to set limitations on accepting women into the group.  As the group grew, I prayed.  I began to see the potential within the group and the opportunities for growth.  Not only was Bloggers Like Me growing, but the need to support the family printing business, Young Connection, as well as the needs of my church grew.  I continued to pray.  God made it clear to me that I wasn’t serving in my greatest capacity.  It was then that I decided to leave my 9to5 and become a WAHM.

 WHAT ARE YOUR MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WAHMs?

fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour

 

10 Things to Check Before You Hit Post // FREE PRINTABLE

doh

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been working on a post and I accidentally hit “POST” prematurely.  I’ve done it more than once and every time I want to punch myself in the mouth.  Because you know once you hit “post” that’s it, it’s gone.  No calling R. Kelly to turn back the hands of time.  Since apparently I have no control over my zombie hands I thought at the very least I could put together some checkpoints to make sure that at least when I’m ready to hit “post”…like for real…that the post is complete, accurate and free of embarrassing errors.  So here you have it, 10 Things to Check Before You Hit Post – a free printable.

printable

fashiondujour-fashiondujourdaily-fashion-du-jour