Coastal Christmas Gift Wrapping – 18 Free Printable Gift Tags

Do you live on the coast? Do you wish you did? Then show off your coastal style in your Christmas gifts.

Since moving to Florida last year, I fell deeper in love with all things coastal. The water, the sunshine… what’s not to love?

So this Christmas I married my love for the coast and my love for Christmas and gorgeous gift wrapping.

And I’m making it all available to you for free.

(more…)

3 Tools For Raising Money-Smart Kids

For most kids, money is an abstract concept. They need food, water, clothes and a home, and all those needs are magically already provided for them. And when they want a toy or game, those wants are usually met too.

But they don’t yet have a sense that the money it takes to buy those things, requires work.

That’s why I personally don’t pay my kids an automatic allowance. It takes away the sense of work equalling reward and replaces it with a sense of entitlement, a feeling that they deserve the money no matter what.

But I’m not at all against giving kids money when they earn it.

I think the three most important things to teach kids about money are:

1- You have to work hard for it

2- You usually have to wait for it

3- And you should spend it wisely

And you can do this with these three tools: (more…)

Turning 40… Kicking And Screaming

Eyesight really is the first to go. Or is that memory? I can’t remember.

But my eyesight is going. I went 40 years with perfect vision then BOOM!.. I’m blind. I have to pull things so far away from my face to read, they might as well be in the other room.

So I recently got my first pair of reading glasses. And I’m much less excited about looking smarter than I am sad that it’s not a fashion statement, I really need them.

It’s probably a coincidence this happened right around my 40th birthday. But it was sort of a double whammy of age creeping up that I wasn’t at all prepared for. (more…)

A Postcard to Key West – Alive & Well After Hurricane Irma

Months ago we booked a long weekend trip to Key West. Then Hurricane Irma happened. The category 4 made landfall 20 miles east of Key West before churning through pretty much all of Florida.

I’m not gonna lie, I was a little apprehensive to go, not sure what we would find. But our vacation rental company said their homes sustained no damage and the island fared well.

And if anything, I figured our presence would be beneficial to the businesses and the people who make their living off tourism. Which is a lot. According to the Sun Sentinel, tourism accounts for more than half of all jobs in Monroe County. And 60% of the money spent there comes from tourists, according to numbers from the county’s Tourism Development Council.

Long story short.. it was a great decision. Key West is still kickin’ and looks great. And it’s a great place for a family-friendly vacation, with lots of affordable things to do. Check out some of these reasons why. (more…)

How To Afford Christmas When Money Is Really Really Tight

Living paycheck to paycheck and carrying debt can feel like a heavy weight on your chest. And when major events come up like birthdays and Christmas, it can feel like that weight gets heavier, to the breaking point.

Try some of these strategies for coping with Christmas when money is really really tight… to try to alleviate some of that stress and anxiety so you can actually enjoy the holidays. (more…)

Get A New Pet Without Going Broke

We recently added a new member to our family. No, not another baby (bite your tongue), a fur baby. Maurizio (Mitzi for short) was rescued along with his four siblings after his mother gave birth to them in a storm drain. We found him at a local shelter where the kids instantly bonded with him and his loving, playful attitude.

But falling in love with a cat is just the first step. And the next steps involve money, honey. But there are a few ways to spend a little less. (more…)

Unforgettable DIY Gift Baskets You Can Afford

Weathering our first hurricane in Florida was an emotional roller coaster to say the least. And I learned a lot. I learned about hurricane shutters, how to grab cases of water (fast). I learned that evacuating with tens of thousands of other people takes a lot of patience.. and lots of snacks.

And I learned that the compassion and caring of others is the bright spot in any storm.

Some good friends of ours became even better friends, by opening their homes and hearts to us. They gave us a place to lay our head, food in our bellies and smiles on our faces.

So now safely back home, I wanted to send them something to express how much their charity meant to us. (more…)