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Living Life Archives - Page 2 of 168 - Real Advice Gal
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Category Archives for "Living Life"

Living Life is about being a parent, giving tips for home management, finance, humor, love, and everything the day throws your way.

November 22, 2019

Stress Free Party Planning Tips

Blog: This conversation is sponsored by Dawn and Cascade at Sam’s Club. Opinions are my own.Social posts: #ad

I love entertaining at home. Some may think I’m crazy, but I do enjoy planning for a party. Preparing the menu, thinking of games to play, and planning the entertainment for my guests excites me. I think it’s because growing up, my mom always had guests at home whether they are relatives, church friends, book club members or work friends. She even encourages us to invite friends over for our birthday parties or even for a simple pajama party. It’s nothing extravagant but the thing that made those parties special is that no matter how simple it is, she made sure it’s well planned and memorable for all of us.

Being a mom now, I want my kids to experience what I experienced growing up. I want them to have the joy of having lots of memories with us, with family and with friends, that’s why I’m known not to pass on hosting a party. I want our home to be filled with laughter and fond memories of a good company of people we love. But I do understand why hosting a party can be a scary task for some. Without proper planning, it can be a daunting task filled with stress.

That is why we are sharing our party tips because we want you to not only throw the perfect party but to enjoy throwing it. The holiday season is almost in full swing, so take this opportunity to invite friends and family over and create those memories that will last a lifetime.

Stress-Free Party Planning Tips

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November 10, 2019

Great Ideas for Christmas Stocking Presents

Ideas for Christmas Stocking Presents

Ideas for Christmas Stocking Presents

It’s holiday season once again and that means it’s time to prepare Christmas stocking presents for our family and friends. I love filling my loved ones stockings with fun and useful small gifts that I know they will love that’s why I made a list. I hope you’ll like my great ideas for stocking stuffers that are awesome and affordable.

Ideas for Christmas Stocking Presents

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November 1, 2019

Easy Ways to Organize Your Cleaning Schedule

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Bissell and Best Buy, but all opinions expressed here are mine.

Being frugal with money in today’s economy has become a must-have, but what about being frugal with our time. When I was single, it seemed there was always enough time, and this continued even after I got married and have kids. With our busy schedule of school, sports, and other extracurricular activities, time seemed to disappear slowly, I feel like the day really wasn’t 24 hours long. Since you can’t buy hours to add on to your day, I had to look for other ways to save time. When I looked around for easy ways to organize and be frugal with my time I realized that I should start with our home and since I want a clean house and it takes time to clean our whole house, it’s essential to have a cleaning schedule.

Here are my ways to make cleaning less time consuming and stressful.

1. My first order of business was to make my children aware of their responsibilities

This included making their beds, changing their sheets, putting their dirty clothes in the hamper, putting their clean clothes away, cleaning their rooms (which includes dusting, vacuuming, and every day messes), putting their dirty dishes away, and packing their lunches for school. In order to teach them responsibility of pet ownership, they also have to pitch in and help with our dog.

2. Next, I informed my husband that he had to take ownership of our household chores. He loves doing the laundry, so that’s his territory. He is also in charge of steam cleaning and vacuuming the house.

To get the job done thoroughly and faster, we need the right cleaning tools to help us. Since we have kids and a dog, it’s a must that our cleaning equipment of choice is powerful but at the same time safe for our floors. Right now, our choice is the new BISSELL CrossWave Cordless Max which is available at Best Buy.

BISSELL CrossWave Cordless Max
BISSELL CrossWave Cordless Max

With this super cleaning tool, we can vacuum and wash our floors at the same time with cordless freedom.

We super love this machine because of its cool features. With multi-surface cleaning, BISSELL CrossWave Cordless Max is safe and effective for use on any floor such as tile, sealed wood floors, laminate, linoleum, rubber floor mats, pressed wood floors, and more. It even refreshes area rugs.

It has a 36V lithium-ion battery, which depends on your mode, and usage can usually last up to 30 minutes of cordless cleaning power. It also saves time and energy with no bags to buy or replace. 

It also features a self-cleaning cycle that helps maintain the machine’s cleaning performance with its Two-Tank Technology that keeps clean water and formula separate from dirty water and dry debris.

If you have pets like us, you will love its improved edge cleaning feature because it quickly picks up pet hair that gathers along baseboards and in corners of your home.  

It even has Wi-Fi connected capabilities, so you can connect it to the BISSELL app, which will provide helpful alerts, maintenance tracking, and usage tips.

BISSELL CrossWave Cordless Max

I love companies who give back just like BISSELL. Buy BISSELL®, Save Pets. BISSELL will donate $10 to BISSELL Pet Foundation® for each CrossWave® Cordless Max purchase upon activation. Just visit to register your device & BISSELL will make the donation.

We super love the BISSELL CrossWave Cordless Max and we highly recommend it. Get it now at Best Buy!

3. Last thing in my agenda of streamlining our cleaning schedule is to make a calendar with all my chores listed for each day.

This would make it easier to get motivated to clean since I knew it would take 30 minutes or less a day. To figure out what needed to be on the calendar, I made a list of everything that needed to be done (even if it was only once a month). Then I went thru and wrote next to each thing how often I wanted to do it. I decided not to bite off more than I knew what possible. I figured if I got the inkling to do it more frequently then I could.

Once I knew how often I needed to figure out what day would be best for each. I tried not to put to much on one day and opted to leave Sunday empty and Saturday with very little so we could enjoy family time without feeling like we had a lot to do at home. I created a calendar in Microsoft Word and got to typing and this is the finished result. For the things I need to do daily I listed them in one of the blank boxes on the calendar and the same with the monthly chores. We cross the things off once they are done so the other family members know what needs to be done. I did it month specific so I would have a handy calendar on my fridge as well but you could make a generic calendar with just the days of the week and follow it on an every other schedule if that is how you have it scheduled out.

The greatest benefit from the chore calendar was my husband and kids are pitching in more. It seemed that once they saw it in black and white and knew what needed to be done he didn’t mind doing it.

Here is my Free Printable House Cleaning Checklist

Click HERE for your FREE Printable

This Printable will help you stay organized while spring cleaning your living room!

We also have Free Printable Chore Charts: 10 ideas for School Age Kid Chores and 10 ideas for Toddler Chores + Free Printable Chore Charts

Also check out our Tips to Save on Home Repairs

October 17, 2019

What to Do in Gwinnett County Georgia

What to Do in Gwinnett County Georgia

I often think about what I want my kids to remember about me. What do I want them to learn from me? I go back to a couple of things. The first thing is I want them to learn is to work hard and live your best dreams. I want them to be open to new experiences and people. I want them to dive into life even if you do not know what is at the bottom. Curiosity is something that should be explored and teased out like knots in your hair with a concentration and determination until every last strand is freed.

Where did my curiosity lead me this summer? It led me to a town just outside of Atlanta. Why? I was at a travel conference and we were able to pick a location we wanted to visit so we could write about them and I chose Gwinnett County Georgia.

Why would one choose Gwinnett when faced with larger more familiar destinations? Seriously, What is there to do in Gwinnett County Georgia?

If you're heading to Atlanta, make sure to head over to Gwinnett for an interesting time exploring culture. See the things that you should do when you visit Gwinnett County Georgia.
If you love to know and learn about new culture Gwinnett County Georgia is a must visit place.

We discover the Best Restaurants in Gwinnett County Georgia and the amazing places, check out below.

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October 10, 2019

Take the Pledge and Be a Mental Health Advocate #OnOurSleeves

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Nationwide Children’s Hospital #OnOurSleeves campaign, all opinions expressed here are mine.

It's World Mental Health Day. Take the Pledge and Be a Mental Health Advocate #OnOurSleeves

Today, I was under a table trying not to hit my head. I was using a soft voice and trying to find the right words. I was searching for a story that might connect with the child who was beside me, rocking back and forth. I was whispering about a time I was also scared. The one where I also cried, and a friend saw me.

I offered to hold a hand, and the hand extended for mine with our fingers barely touching at first, and then he fully gave me his hand. I knew my story was helping. I knew I was reaching him like a metal ladder that was thrown out of a window of a house on fire. I was thankful to be holding that hand, the one that was shaking like a leaf in the gust of a fall wind.

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October 10, 2019

Fun Birthday Ideas For Teen Boys

I knew it was happening. I gave birth to him after all. I am not sure if I was more anxious about giving birth or celebrating his birthday. You see as my son has gotten older in my own mind I have gotten cooler in his but that isn’t the case. I have come up with really fun birthday party ideas over the years but this year I was stumped.

What 15-year-old boy birthday party ideas could I come up with? I wanted to be at the party but I didn’t want to cramp his style. I had a couple of things in mind. The first was to make it memorable. The second thing was it needed to be safe. The third thing and most importantly it had to reflect what he was into not what I wanted. I totally tried to push cake, pizza, and ice cream at home. That was met with “Mom, I am not turning five.”

Fun birthday party idea for teen boys is to visit Kings Dominion Halloween Haunt
A fun birthday party idea for teen boys is to visit Kings Dominion Halloween Haunt

I knew I needed a party with fun, excitement, and plenty of food. That is how we ended up partnering with Kings Dominion for the perfect Fun Birthday Ideas For Teen Boys. I have worked with them over the years and each time we go there we make unforgettable memories. My teen son rode his first roller coaster there with me by his side. He ate his first chicken and waffles there with my fork also not far behind. He went on his first drop water slide, cruised his first lazy river, and we took on Delirium together. I knew that King Dominion would not only be the perfect place to have a party because of the memories I have created with him there but I knew his friends would be over the moon to attend.

Kings Dominion Halloween Haunt returns for its 19th frightful season with four new gruesome experiences.
Kings Dominion Halloween Haunt returns for its 19th frightful season with four new gruesome experiences.

This year we attended their Halloween Haunt and it was Ghoul time. We invited 4 friends and they had a blast. Here are 3 tips to make sure your Kings Dominion experience is more fun for everyone!

1 Get a Fast Lane Pass They went on roller coasters multiple times with the fast lane pass. It was so worth it! They also had access to the Fright Lane that guaranteed front-of-the-line access to mazes. With it they could go in several of the haunted attractions with no wait! Also, an incredible value. There may have been some friends that were too spooked to continue and some friends that borrowed their pass and went again. I am not naming names but they were so good it was frightening.

Fright Lane, which gives guests front-of-the-line access to mazes can be purchased online. Haunt is held select nights September 21 through November 2.

Fright Lane, which gives guests front-of-the-line access to mazes can be purchased online. Haunt is held select nights September 21 through November 2. 

2 Get the All Day Dining PlanThe ultimate luxury is the all-day meal plan. Get this deal for under $30 you can eat at several participating restaurants every 90 minutes. Can you say teen boy mom’s dream? The drinks weren’t included so we bought those refillable drink cups. We had everything from BBQ to build your own Mac and Cheese and of course Pizza.

Kings Dominion All Day Dining Plan. Get this deal for under $30 you can eat at several participating restaurants every 90 minutes.
With Kings Dominion All Day Dining Plan for under $30 you can eat at several participating restaurants every 90 minutes.

3 My last tip is to get a locker near the rides – This is a great idea so they can leave their phones, sweatshirts, etc without having to worry about losing them.

You will also need to make sure you had a nap because they will have such a howling good time that they keep you there until the park closes in my case midnight. The celebration was incredible and I am sure this teen boy birthday party idea will be a winner with your teen as well.

Kings Dominion Halloween Haunt returns for its 19th frightful season with four new gruesome experiences.

NEW SCARE ZONE: Masquerade

Her Royal Highness, the evil Queen Majesty, has decided to throw a ball like none other as she lays claim to the lands of the living and the dead. In what is bound to be the most prestigious ball ever thrown, Majesty is out to prove once and for all that every person and demon will eagerly follow her plan for domination. Part party, part scare zone, guests are invited to mix and mingle with the height of the undead high society and those 21 and older can dare to try the specialty cocktails. Be sure to grab a selfie with the Duke and Duchess, but beware; sometimes the mask is there for a reason.

NEW SCARE ZONE: Pumpkin Eater

In the last years of the Revolution, Peter Armstrong was a pumpkin farmer living off a winding road in the quaint woods of Virginia. Some say the spirit of a dead soldier possessed him and in an act of rage he murdered his wife with a bayonet. He hid her body inside one of his largest pumpkins, leaving her there to rot. Soon after he started seeing apparitions of his wife with the face of a jack-o-lantern. His rage not subsided, Peter went on to murder other victims, burying them all in the patch. The evil spirit in his body began to morph him into a pumpkin like creature. His victims too, began to rise and now haunt these once tranquil woods with their jack-o-lantern faces.

NEW SHOW: Blood Reign 

A new reign of terror is here, and the overthrow of the dark beings has begun – Queen Majesty has grown tired of the antics of her minion, Overlord, and has vowed to bring hellfire down upon his followers. This opening SCAREremony will take place every night of Halloween Haunt at 7p.m.

NEW SHOW: Heads Will Roll

Join Queen Majesty and her Royal Court as they behead, one by one, the most loyal of Overlord’s subjects. Sometimes the executions do not go quite as planned, but they always end in a raucous musical celebration as her court of singers and dancers Put a Spell on You in this grand Ballroom Blitz. When the clock strikes midnight, the Overlord will finally meet his fate as Majesty makes one final cut in what is sure to be The Greatest Show.

The Great Pumpkin Fest also returns with family-friendly daytime Halloween fun in Planet Snoopy.

 The Great Pumpkin Fest and Halloween Haunt are both included with park admission. You can also get unlimited admission and free parking to Kings Dominion the rest of 2019 and all of 2020, including Halloween Haunt, when you purchase a 2020 Gold Season Pass

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