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April 2015 – Useful Websites

I am not affiliated with any of these websites.  I have simply found them in my internet wanderings and found them interesting or helpful.




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December 2014 – Helpful Websites

This isn’t a long post as it is Christmas Eve, but I did want to share some helpful websites that I’ve found over the past month or so.  Now, many people are familiar with these already, but hopefully you’ll find something on this list that is helpful and new to you :-).  If you have suggestions for a list like this in January, please feel free to comment!  I’ll check out your recommendations over the next couple of weeks.

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and happy holidays to those who do not.  I hope you all have a wonderful new year!

(I would also like to add that I am not getting paid or reimbursed in any way for any of these recommendations.  They are my own honest thoughts on these websites.  Your mileage may vary.)

  1. DIY Planner – this site is  an awesome source for planners.  They have different categories (such as Psychology, Reference and Time Management).  And SO many choices…if you can’t find something here, well, there’s no hope for it – you will truly have to do it yourself!
  2. Stone Soup For Five – I can’t remember how I found this one, but I think I was searching for information on bullet journals.  I love all things journals and journaling.  At any rate, that’s a good reason to check this blog out.  It is religious, is the “home of the Personal Legacy Bible Study Series”, and has a store.
  3. Yourtango.com – this is an interesting romance-advice-blog site.  It has sections on men, dating, couplehood, sex, and breakups, among others.  I recommend taking a little while to take a look at it.  I found some helpful information here on renewing my relationship with my husband.
  4. BlogLovin’ – This is an interesting way to keep up with multiple blogs.  Apparently, you can add ANY blog that you want to follow and keep up with all of the blogs in one place.  The appearance reminds me of Pinterest, with different posts appearing on one page.  I just thing this is a great idea.  You can also click to Find Blogs, Explore,  and just keep up with what’s hot at the moment.  You can sign up with email or with Facebook.
  5. On a completely different note, the American Psychological Association website has a lot of information on it that I think is valuable.  There are topics such as depression, ethics, learning and memory, race and stress, as well as links for Continuing Education, Divisions, Finding a Psychologist, and PsyCareers.
  6. Good Housekeeping Product Reviews – excellent source of information on many products that they test every year.  There are categories such as Beauty & Makeup, Appliances, Cars & Travel Products, and Health & Fitness.  They also feature “Recently Tested”, and seasonal items like “The Best Wines to Go With the Bird” and “Toy Awards: The Best Picks for 2014”.

Well, I think that is about it for today.  It is probably about it for the year as well.  Life will be pretty busy between now and the end of the year.  I wish anyone reading this all the best in 2015.

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Self-Care (for Sanity’s Sake) Through the Holidays

The holidays are here, whether we are ready or not.  It seems like the year just started, but it is almost over.  The holidays, while they can be wonderful, are tremendously stressful.  Don’t let them be – there are things that you can do to put the joy back in the holidays and keep your sanity.


NOTE: I also want to say at the outset that if you suffer from depression, please talk to someone – a friend, a family member, a coworker, or anyone that you trust.


  • Eat healthy meals before going to parties.
  • Moderate your caffeine and alcohol intake – too much of either will leave you feeling bad later, and also dehydrate you.
  • Get enough sleep.  Go to bed earlier than normal at least once a week.
  • Evaluate any “obligations” that you are facing.  Just because you have done something in the past doesn’t mean you have to continue.
  • Family can be stressful.  It is important to spend time with people that you ENJOY, family or not.  Also, recognize that old patterns reappear under stress, so be aware of that in interactions with family.
  • Say “No” – and mean it.  Remember that NO can  be a complete sentence – you don’t have to explain.
  • Take short breaks to fit in a walk or other forms of exercise.  Not only will it help with possible weight gain over the holiday, it is an excellent stress reliever.
  • Watch how much you spend, to avoid making the start of the new year a more stressful one.
  • Make sure your routine stays the same, or as close as possible.  Keeping a regular routine makes rest/sleep easier, and also helps keep you in balance.
  • If you have stress management techniques that you use in other circumstances, pull them out and use them. Find what works for you and stick with it!
  • Prioritize.  Look at your activities and do what is most important to you.  Don’t worry if less important things don’t get done.
  • Take a time out for yourself – away from noise, stimulation, and things that need to be done.  They will still be there in five, ten, fifteen minutes.
  • Relax and be present in the moment – not worrying about the future, not worrying about what happened in the past.  Enjoy the family around you.  Enjoy the smells of the holiday.  Enjoy the sounds of the holiday.
  • Simplify.  Cut your to-do list in half.  Send fewer cards.  Exchange fewer gifts.  Say NO to a few occasions.
  • Stay flexible; things can change at the drop of a hat so be ready to change.
  • If you have too much to do, delegate.  Ask for help from those around you.  You do the best you can; remember that.
  • Don’t bake six types of cookies if two will do!
  • Laugh.  Hang on to your sense of humor and take care of it.  Look for the funny in life – there is plenty of it out there.  Find some funny websites and look at them first thing in the morning, or any time you need a giggle.
  • Let go of the “ideal” Christmas and enjoy the one around you.
  • Do non-materialistic things with friends and family.
  • Be aware of your breaking point and step back before you reach it.  Step away and take a break.  Avoid those things that push you close to your breaking point, even if it is family.  There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself.
  • Ask for help when you need it.
  • Chose your battles; ask yourself, “Is this worth a fight?”
  • Keep expectations realistic.  Don’t look for a Brady Bunch Christmas if your family tends to be more boisterous.

If you get stressed, stop and ask yourself, “Is it worth this?  Am I doing this to myself?  Is there something that I can do to make this fun again?”


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10 Good Sites for Thanksgiving Information, Ideas, and General Sanity-Saving Tips


A Great Thanksgiving Planner

This planner starts with a two weeks before and breaks down various tasks that should be completed within each time frame: one week before, the Monday before, and so on.  It is enormously helpful even if you aren’t quite that…organized.  I know my own weaknesses and I know that I won’t do all of these things, but I still admire the detail.  I highly recommend taking a look – I think it could inspire you to make your own planner.

Mary Organizes Thanksgiving Planner

This is a very nice blank printable that you can fill out yourself.  The blog entry describes the intention of each section and is very helpful. It has sections for each course of a meal, area for shopping list of things you can buy a head, one for perishables to get the day before, and so on.

Cat Christmas

Holiday 7-Week Planner

This lovely list will help you spread the tasks surrounding both/all of the holidays out a bit so that you can actually catch your breath and spend some time with family!  What a concept!

Need to know how much to make for Thanksgiving?

That is a great printable for you, if you are in doubt as to how much food you need for your crowd.

A Girl and A Glue Gun has some terrific ideas listed – with credit given to other locations that she found some of the crafts.  One of the cutest is “Roll a Turkey” – you roll dice and for each number, draw a specific part of the turkey.  Kids should LOVE this one!

Buzzfeed is quite a source of fun, merriment, and…who knew, Thanksgiving tips.  Here is a fantastic list of 17 Life-Saving Thanksgiving Tips.    I had never seen a number of these and think they sound like they would make a big difference.

Car Hacks, Tricks, and Tips provides all of the above for those families traveling by car over the holidays.  Some of these ideas (like silicone cupcake molds in drink holders to make cleaning easier) are all-season and things that I had never thought of; I highly recommend taking a look at the list.

Erin, from My Frugal Home, has a very handy list of how long specific Thanksgiving leftovers stay good.  That is enormously helpful.  I’m going to go print my copy now and put it on the refrigerator!

Country Living Magazine is a source for a lot of helpful ideas, recipes and the like.  Thanksgiving is no different from the rest of the year.  Go take a look at these!  Tips from Country Living!

Smart Savvy Living has 10 tips to keep your Thanksgiving organized and help you stress less.  Some are obvious – make lists – but if you follow these, it WILL decrease the stress and help you have a more enjoyable holiday with the people you care most about.  Isn’t that the true point?

I hope you have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

Fall Leaves

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  • Rainy Day 2Rainy day activities

    • http://innerchildfun.com/2011/08/10-rainy-day-activities-for-kids.html – this has some great ideas, including painting, using a laundry basket as a boat, and more.  The site is great – there are other ideas, such as crafts, activities and tutorials.  I highly recommend checking it out.
    • http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Rainy-Day-Kids-Activity-List-Unique-Ideas-for-Indoor-Play – I really like Oprah’s website overall anyway; there are categories for spiritual, health, relationships, books and more, as well as videos, newsletters.  This particular list is really nice.  There are games like Binocular Scavenger Hunt and Paper Airplane Relay, as well as Family Fashion Show and greeting cards that you can plant.
    • http://www.lilsugar.com/Rainy-Day-Activities-Kids-23437274 – I’ve never checked out lilsugar.com before, but I’m going to now.  This is a great list – very creative.  One idea involves cutting a pool noodle lengthwise and racing marbles in the groove!  I know my seven-year-old loves to see how fast things go.  He’d love this.  Another idea that I love is creating an indoor herb garden; this is a bit more involved and requires some preparation but it is lovely and will eventually be very useful.
    • http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/blogs/organic-parenting/rainy-day-activities-47041904 – this site is wonderful, especially if you want to teach your children about environmental issues.  The list of rainy day activities is good as well.  It includes cooking (baking), beading with found objects, and dress-up (not the usual kind – take the opportunity to try on clothes the kids might be getting ready to grow into!).  Other ideas include wrapping up and going to jump in puddles (after all, you DO go play in the snow – why not splash a little?)
    • http://play-activities.com/25-rainy-day-activities-for-kids/ – this list also has some cute ideas, such as Racing Water drops, Playing in the Bath, Shaving Cream, Tracing Finger on a Track (developing fine motor skills), and Creating a Sensory Tub.
    • http://voices.yahoo.com/40-rainy-day-activities-3385168.html –  these are not all aimed at adults, but they certainly CAN be adult activities: movie marathon, have a craft day, sort photos, fix broken things, sort out cupboards, bake a batch of cookies or bread, take a long indulgent bath, or work on mending.  Other ideas away from home include going to an art gallery, go to the library, visit a shut-in, volunteer somewhere you can make a difference, learn a home improvement skill at a home center, or having your tires rotated.
    • http://trailstop.wordpress.com/tag/rainy-day-activities-adults/  –  this list has some nice ideas: take a walk in the rain, enjoy a cup of a warm beverage afterward, garden in the rain, fish, curl up with a good book and listen to the rain.
    • http://www.visitvirginiabeach.com/visitors/articles/rainy_day_activities.aspx  – Ok, I admit it – this one is aimed at my local friends or possibly visitors to my area.  What can I say – this one is for me…lol.   I have to say that the list is short.  Apparently we have a rock climbing facility here (that was news to me), as well as a lovely aquarium, a modern art museum, and several historical sites.  I will add that the Chrysler Museum (http://www.chrysler.org/ ) is closed for expansion and renovation.  I can’t wait to see it when it is finished.
    • http://www.buzzle.com/articles/rainy-day-activities-for-adults.html  – Buzzle seems to be an interesting site.  I saw fiction that you could read, featured articles, news, and poems, as well as other sections.  I’m going to have to go check the general site out as well, but this article has some good suggestions for rainy days: write letters, scrapbook, play board games, make up a circle with family members as you sit in a circle, do your hair, and look at childhood pictures, to start.
  • Freebies:

I did not create any of these pages but I found some of the links/apps/et cetera pretty useful.  I hope you will as well.

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Really Useful Websites – November 2011

Rainy day ideas – since fall and winter can have plenty of days that are “inside days”…

Fall Holidays

  • http://www.kaboose.com/ is a family oriented website that has so much to offer.  They have Thanksgiving things up now (like http://holidays.kaboose.com/thanksgiving/) but there are also sections entitled Fall Family Fun 2011, Kaboose Games, and Kaboose Features.  There are also sections on Food, Health, and so forth.
  • www.holidays.net – this is a fantastic site.  There is a section for fun and wacky holidays, a holiday blog which contains blurbs on holidays as they come up, holiday travel, as well as one for holiday recipes.  There are also crafts for various holidays as well.  Very well done and enjoyable.
  • http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0909585.html.  This is a nice list of holidays around the world, with a blurb about the holiday and other links to related subjects.  The base site, however, is the real draw.  There is such a wide variety of things on the site.  There are sections on the fifty states, holidays in the US, people, science, math and money, and country profiles, among other things.  It is a wonderful resource.
  • http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving.  History.com is wonderful overall, but I really do like this section.  There are links to related people, events, and themes.  There is a nice history of Thanksgiving in the US, including links to article son the Pilgrims, Plymouth Colony, and so much more.  If you enjoy history and really want to know more about the background, this is the place to start.
  • http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Thanksgiving.shtml.  This site is brief but has good links to travel tips, food tips and safety, and so forth.
  • http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/thanksgiving/index.html.  Where else to go for recipes?  Of course, there are many places to go, but this is very nice.  There is a section on Holidays and Parties that has a nice selection of articles on turkey recipes, various sides, wine-friendly meals, and more.  There is even a section on gifts.

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May 2010 Really Useful Sites

May 2010 – hard to believe we are already 5 months into the year.  And yet – here we are.  Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, warming temperatures…so much happens this month.  Here are some sites that I have found that are very helpful.  I hope that they will help you as well.  If you have suggestions for future articles, please email me or comment below! 🙂

  • Mother’s Day
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother’s_Day – this is an interesting Wikipedia article on the day(s) celebrating mothers and motherhood.  It contains the various dates used, as well as history and traditions from other countries.
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother’s_Day – this site contains ideas or links for crafts, gifts, parities, books, songs, and famous mothers, among many other things.  Very interesting and very useful!  Ther are links for funny quotes about women, Christian mother quotes, quotes by famous mothers, funny mother’s day quotes, single mother quotes, and sayings for grandmothers, for example.  I recommend taking a look!
    • http://www.mothersdaycelebration.com/ – this site has sections on celebrations, history, Mother’s Day Proclamation, as well as gift ideas.  It has some really good ideas and is well-organized.  Everything is easy to find.
  • Memorial Day
    • www.usmemorialday.org – This site is very nice.  There is a calendar, as well as sections for history, a prayer, e-cards (links to sites that provide Memorial Day e-cards),  and grief and healing.  The information and/or links have been carefully gathered and organized.   I highly recommend taking  a look and reading some of the information; it is well worth the time to really get a view of the true meaning of Memorial Day.
    • http://www.history.com/topics/memorial-day-history – the History Channel site is fantastic in general.  This section indicates that there are 23 videos, 2 speeches, and photos.   There are also links to specific people, areas like Arlington National Cemetery, and events and related topics.
    • http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Memorial_Day.shtml – this site suggests ways to recognize the day and celebrate safely, links to war stories, descriptions of the origins, suggestions on ways to support the troops, as well as patriotic songs.  It is an interesting list of links.  There are also safety links to help you enjoy the holiday weekend safely.
  • Warning Signs – Heat and Sun and Dehydration.  It is so very important to pay attention to how much time you spend out in sun and heat.  I realize that it is only May, but we have already had temperatures around 90.  The humidity is right up there as well.  So – despite the fact it makes me feel like a mother hen – here are some pages with information on sunscreen, symptoms of sun stroke, heat stroke, and other heat/summer type issues.  Please, please, please pay attention.  Melanoma can kill you before you know you’re sick; I know – our family has a history of it.
    • www.wellsphere.com/wellpage/symptoms-of-sunstroke – there are actually articles here on keeping cool in summer, sunscreen, and more.
    • www.umm.edu/non_trauma/dehyrat.htm – this site contains good information form a collegiate site on dehydration and heat stroke.  Good information – it is easier than you may think to become dehydrated.
    • www.medicinenet.com/heat_exhaustion/article.htm – this is a very helpful site for information on heat exhaustion.  People tend to think that they are fine, until they’ve pushed themselves to the limit.  Please look at this.  People most at risk are the elderly, people with high blood pressure and people who exercise or work in hot temperatures.

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