Down With Debt – July Monthly Report   Recently updated !

As was expected, July was a slow month financially speaking.  I don’t work during the summer and so we aren’t receiving as much income.  There were 3 paydays in July instead of 2, however, the 3rd payday was the last day of the month, so it’ll be used for August expenses; therefore I will not be counting it until next month.

I do have some exciting news, though:  I got a new job!  I will be working full time instead of part time now, and it’s at my son’s school for kids with autism, so it’s the kind of place I can feel good about working at.  I LOVED working at my last job.  I was an aide at an elementary school, and I can’t help falling in love with the awesome students.  Now I have the opportunity to fall in love with more students.  The responsibilities are much higher, and that is intimidating to me, but I believe it will be a good thing.  It will help us out in the financial department as well.  Like the last job, I will only work on days when my son is in school, so it’s perfect for allowing me to still be that full time mom that I want to be.


downwithdebtAnyway, let me share the numbers for July with you.  Didn’t pay a whole lot of debt, and that’s okay:


Husband’s income:


Online Report:


I didn’t redeem the Paypal money until the end of the month, so it will go towards stuff in August.  I will be saving up the gift cards to use towards Christmas.  I always start saving them in July for that purpose.


As for the rest of the money, well, here’s the simple break down:

Tithes – $231

Mortgage – $1,017

Charitable – $55 – We sponsor a child in Ghana for $35 a month, and then donate $20 monthly to our church.

Phone – $68 – this is for our 3 cell phones.  We don’t have a landline.

Utilities (Electric, Water, Gas) – $108

Internet – $51

Car Insurance – $158

Life Insurance – $32

Car Payment – $231

Groceries – $200

Car Gas – $100

Debt:  $57– the minimum payment is $45 or so, so we only paid an extra $12.  I look forward to having my paycheck to contribute again!

Total- $2,308





HP Ink Promotion – Great Deal!

This is a sponsored post as part of a promotional program with HP and MomSelect.  The opinions are mine alone.

Right now HP is offering a great promotional deal:  Buy one Original HP Ink, get a 2nd cartridge of equal or lesser value for 50% off.

o   This is the best deal on HP ink since 2012!!  

HP Ink 3


This is something I’ll be taking advantage of for sure, since we use a ton of ink during the school year.  My oldest is entering junior high this year.  Am I going to need to use more than before?  I’m assuming I will…but really, I’m a newbie to this teenager education thing.


This deal is available online, as well as at retail stores like Office Depot, Best Buy and Staples.


HURRY QUICKLY – This promotion ends August 1!!!


You’re welcome. :)


Let’s Cook! Giveaway 2 comments

Don't miss your chance to #Win over $400 in prizes in the #LetsCook #Giveaway Enter before it ends 8/23
Let’s Cook! Giveaway

Grand Prize Package Worth Over $300
Second Place Worth Over $100

Enter to Win One of These Two Incredible Prize Packages!

Either One Would Make the Perfect Gift for Newlyweds, College Freshmen, or that Hard to Buy for Cook on Your List

There’s Even Something For the Littlest Cook on Your List!


BYB E-41 Series Clip-on 4 LED Light
BYB E-41 Series Clip-on 4 LED Light
  • ★ BONUS AND UPGRADED. Free AC Adapter, USB cord, Multifunction Clean Cloth Included. Featuring the Rechargeable 1000mAh Lithium Ion built in battery, NO MORE BUYING BATTERIES!
  • ★ MULTIPLE, CLIP-ON OR FREE STANDING. Fully Adjustable and Light Weight, Folds Into an Easy-to-carry Accessory Making Travelling with This Light So Convenient. Perfect for Your Guitar Accessories Kit, Students Dorm Room, Music Rehearsals or for Those Away Trips for Work. Charge Your New LED Light with the USB Charge Cable or the BONUS FREE AC Adaptor
  • ★ HIGH QUALITY AND SUPER BRIGHT 8 LEDs. 2 LEVELS of BRIGHTNESS, Equiped with 2*4 World Class LED Chips, Super Brightness, The Optical Grade Lens Provides Evenly Distributed Light with No Hot Spots

  • ★ LIGHTWEIGHT & COMPACT. Clips to Your Hard Cover Books, Sheet Music Stand, Craft Table, Work Bench, Bed Headboard (maximum 1 inch in thickness) or Laptop. Great for Music Stands, Pianos, Orchestra Pits, Reading, Work Tables, Mixing Tables, Craft Tables etc. It truly is a multi-purpose light for so many things. Can you think of one that you would use it for? Easily Bends to Compact Position for Storage, Extra Strong Clip Grips Almost Anything or Use it Free Standing
  • ★ LIFETIME WARRANTY – 100% Money Back Guarantee – RACK YOUR BRAIN FOR A GIFT ? CHOOSE IT ! You Won’t Find Another Better – Get More Than Your Expected !

My Thoughts:
These easy to position and reposition lights are perfect for getting more light where you need it. The nice size of the clip makes it simple to attach to the side of a bowl, a cabinet handle, a book, grill, or just about anywhere that you want. I don’t have enough light under my cabinets at night so I found it very helpful to clip this light onto my cutting board while doing prep for dinner the other night. I found the well built clip to be strong and that the lights stayed in the position that I set them at.

Set of 6 1EasyLife Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
Set of 6 1EasyLife Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
  • ★ MAKING A PERFECT DISH WILL NEVER BE A DOWNFALL. Preparing a dish requires following direction and right measurement, Luckily with 1Easylife Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons cooking will be quick and gives you an accurate measure for recipes without the hassle
  • ★ SAY NO TO COOKING NIGHTMARES. Introducing the elegant and stylish measuring spoons, A perfect set of 6 stainless steel, highly satin brushed with best quality, Look amazing and easy to clean plus the weight handle making measuring out dry ingredients easy and accurate measure marking in different spoon sizes. long lasting and durable and used by professionals.
  • ★ WHY IT IS THE BEST CHOICE FOR YOUR KITCHENS. Refine measurement- ensure Perfect food taste every time Accurate balance – round-shaped spoon heads and perfectly weighted handles, high grade satin brushed stainless steel finish for a long life – no to rust! All around measuring tools – measure dry and liquid ingredients! Engrave US metric Measurement

  • ★ YOUR FAVORITE MEASURING INGREDIENTS. The 6-piece 1Easylife Stainless-Steel Measuring Spoon Set is designed with innovative round-shaped spoon heads that reach into narrow spice jars and other small containers. These spoons are conveniently connected by a small ring which helps to keep the spoons together as a set after a full day of baking or cooking. 1Easylife includes 6 measuring sizes: 1/8-tsp, 1/4-tsp, 1/2-tsp, 1-tsp, 1/2-Tbsp. and 1-Tbsp. With each measurement conveniently marked on the handle of each spoon, there’s no guesswork when adding spices to your dishes. Dishwasher-safe.
  • ★ NO HASSLE, 100% LIFE TIME WARRANTY. We offer 100% life time warranty to make you happy and satisfied with our product, If for any reason you’re not completely satisfied, return your Stainless Steel Measuring Cups for a No Questions Asked full refund.

My Thoughts:
I’ve have had a set of name brand plastic measuring spoons since I set up house keeping more than twenty years ago. Getting me to part with them wasn’t going to be easy, but always willing to try new things I gave these a test drive. I found the 1Easlife measuring spoons to be nicely weighted and with the length of the handles I was able to reach into containers with ease. I really like that they take up much less space than my old set and are much easier to get clean. After comparing the two it may be time to retire my old ones.

Instant Read Digital Cooking Thermometer by Chef DeTemple
Instant Read Digital Cooking Thermometer by Chef DeTemple
  • PREVENT OVERCOOKING – Don’t ruin an elegant meal or backyard barbecue by serving dry, tough, overcooked meat. If you only use cooking time to determine doneness, you could end up with some pieces being cooked perfectly and others over or underdone – not to mention burnt! You can easily avoid this by using a meat thermometer. When cooked to the proper temperature, meat will stay juicy and tender.
  • PREVENT ILLNESS – Using a food thermometer greatly reduces your risk of foodborne illness associated with bacteria. The harmful bacteria found in contaminated food can only survive up to a certain temperature, and using a food thermometer is the only way to be 100-percent sure that your food is safe to eat.

  • EASY TO USE – Large LCD display for easy-to-read numbers – No More Squinting! Function buttons include On/Off, Hold and °C/°F conversion. Auto shut-off after 10 minutes saves battery life. Uses (1) AAA battery.
  • MEASURING RANGE AND ACCURACY – Instant read in only 4-7 seconds accurately measuring range of temperatures between -58°F-572°F (-50°C-300°C). Long stainless steel probe to keep your hands safe from heat!
  • MONEY BACK GUARANTEE AND LIFETIME WARRANTY – When you order today, you are protected by our no-questions-asked Money Back Guarantee and World Class Customer Service!

My Thoughts:
My thermometer arrived the day I was making fried green tomatoes so I used it to make sure that my oil was at the proper temperature. If it’s to cold the tomatoes get mushy before the breading gets brown and if it’s to hot the outside  burns and the tomatoes are hard. I had bragged to my west coast boyfriend how awesome mine were so getting it right was important. My reputation as a southern cook was on the line! I found that this thermometer was easy to use. I just put one AAA battery in it, turned it on, and flipped open the probe. When I placed the tip in the oil I had a reading in seconds and with the nice big readout I didn’t need my glasses to see it. I am very happy with this product and would recommend it to anyone with confidence.

Wood Chef Hand-crafted Ripple-cut Gourmet Cheese Slicer
Wood Chef Hand-crafted Ripple-cut Gourmet Cheese Slicer
  • Cutting tool for cheese that gives the cheese a wavy texture
  • Smoothly cuts thick or thin slices
  • Comfortable grip is easy to use
  • Durable and replaceable stainless steel wire with adjustable tension
  • Carefully handmade in the USA from beautiful, natural wood/brass/stainless steel.
  • Adjustable tension, stainless steel wire stays tight to carve neat, enticing, wavy slices every time.
  • Comfortable grip for all ages, hand-held, light-weight, and simple to use.

  • Thin or thick slices carved, depending on how you angle the slicer into the cheese.
  • Safe for children. No sharp edges.
  • Makes snacking and eating fun!
  • Perfect tool for creating sandwiches, pizza, crackers, snacks, use at parties and picnics. . .
  • Awesome gift at low cost for Christmas presents, birthdays, weddings, office, or any special occasion.
  • Gift Box comes with each one for convenient storage.
  • Durable quality will last for years and won’t wear out.
  • Choose from wild cherry wood, black walnut, or try both!

My Thoughts:
With so many of or utensils now having plastic composite handles I hold onto my old ones that have real handles and find myself going back to using them. I just love the feel of wood and have been known to spend a lot of money just to purchase one brand of knife that has a wood handle. So when my cheese slicer arrived I couldn’t wait to test it. It works for all types of cheese so I got out some block cheese that I had in the fridge to see how well it worked and felt in my hand.  It worked wonderfully and what fun slices! We often do cheese and fruit for snacks and since it is safe for the little ones to use I can’t wait for my grandchildren to come over at use it to make their own fun snacks.

Bitpsy Professional Jumbo Lemon Squeezer
Bitpsy Professional Jumbo Lemon Squeezer
  • HIGH QUALITY STAINLESS STEEL – This Premium Lemon squeezer made out of the strongest material available and WILL NOT BREAK when squeezing. This hand polished Citrus Juicer will not peel or rust.
  • SO EASY TO USE – No matter if you choose to squeeze lemons, limes or blood oranges, this Btipsy Lemon Squeezer will make your job so easy. Fits for both kids and old men, This Squeezer is so convenient to use and with an effortless squeeze you can get every bit of juice out of the fruit.

  • EASY TO CLEAN – Once finished using the Lemon Juicer, it’s very easy to clean it by hand or just placing it inside the dishwasher since this Lemon Squeezer is DISHWASHER SAFE. So feel free to clean it whatever you’d like.
  • RISK FREE – With a 3 YEARS WARRANTY, we are committed to our 100% customer satisfaction so if you find that you are not

My Thoughts:
The all metal construction makes this juicer strong and durable. Plus, since it is made out of stainless steel I get longevity and don’t have to worry about it rusting. With a very small kitchen I have very limited drawer space in my home. The hook makes it easy to hang off off one of my many cup hooks that are on every open spot in my kitchen. We eat a lot of fish and salads that we use fresh squeezed lemon and orange for and having it hanging and not hidden in a drawer keeps it handy. I found that the nice big handles were easy to grasp and squeeze so that I could get all the juice out.

Eco Bamboo Cutting Board with Handle
Eco Bamboo Cutting Board with Handle
  • This eco friendly cutting board can handle just about everything in your kitchen, from slicing cheese to carving bone-in beef roasts.
  • Highly durable. Made with premium, hand selected odor-resistant organic bamboo, harder than maple wood
  • Durable stainless steel handle for easy grip

  • Made from 100% high quality antimicrobial recyclable bamboo with Non-Toxic food grade adhesive – starch from a sweet potato
  • Easy to clean and maintain – Easily wash and clean off bacteria and food particles with some hot water and soap then let it air dry.

My Thoughts:
In the last few years, bamboo has become one of the most popular materials for cutting boards because of it’s low maintenance, superior health and sanitation qualities. Not only does it look good but it is a green, renewable and earth friendly material. The hardness of a bamboo cutting board, plus the fact that it very resistant to bacteria makes it a must have in my kitchen. I tested my new board by cutting some yellow squash, zucchini, and cucumbers with a brand new ceramic knife and could not find one mark from doing it. All you have to do is make a habit of never letting it soak and wiping it dry after washing  and with this easy, proper care this board will stay beautiful for years.

VOS Professional Classic 8 Inch Ceramic Chef's Knife
VOS Professional Classic 8 Inch Ceramic Chef’s Knife

  • Sharpness – Our ultra-sharp advanced ceramic blade will retain its original sharpness up to 15 times longer than steel blades.
  • Purity – Rust-proof, will never brown foods, impervious to acids and oils, no metallic taste or smell. Advanced ceramic is a pure & healthy alternative.
  • Lightweight – Typically half the weight of metal-based knives, offers total ease of use with the most difficult cutting tasks. Ergonomic handles produce a well-balanced, highly controlled grip.

  • Easy to Clean – The fact that advanced ceramic does not absorb any food element, allows just a quick rinse and wipe with a kitchen towel.
  • 8 Inch Chef Ceramic knife For slicing fruits, vegetables and boneless meats.

My Thoughts:
This is my first ceramic knife so I wanted to know what some of the advantages of a ceramic knife were. I found out that they include hardness, ceramic is second only to diamonds; weight, it’s much lighter than metal; durability, because these knives keep their razor sharp edge and will not wear out like metal; no metal means no rust; and the ability to resist stains and odors. Because each ceramic knife goes through a long manufacturing process which makes it high end you can expect quality and longevity from your knife. I tested my new ceramic knife by cutting some yellow squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. Even with difficulties from injuries with my hands I found the handle was very easy to hold and grip. It sliced the veggies with ease and with very little pressure from me. With my garden producing lots of vegetables this will be my new go to knife for prepping them. 

The Learning Journey Play and Learn Shopping Basket Playset
The Learning Journey Play and Learn Shopping Basket Playset
Kids can enjoy the complete shopping experience with the Play & Learn Shopping Basket! Our kid-sized Shopping Basket is easy to carry with its lightweight plastic construction and big handles. Fun Accessories include a variety of plastic and cardboard food items. Ages 3+ years.

  • 24 plastic and cardboard play food items
  • Large handles for easy carrying
  • Encourages imagination
  • Durable, lightweight plastic construction

My Thoughts:
This is perfect for getting  the little cook in your home playing, imagining, and creating. The basket is made from thick plastic making it strong and durable. The food that comes with it is sure to keep them entertained for hours. I’ve ordered many imaginary milk shakes and french fries playing drive thru with my grandchildren so I know they are going to love playing grocery with all these fun items. I really like the bright and bold colors. They are very appealing and fun.

Elegant Stainless Steel Salt and Pepper Grinder Set
Elegant Stainless Steel Salt and Pepper Grinder Set
  • HIGH QUALITY GLASS AND STAINLESS STEEL GRINDER SET This glass and stainless steel salt and pepper grinder set features a modern design and is stylish and elegant enough for kitchen-to-table use! Each set contains one salt grinder and one pepper grinder which can hold 3/4 cup of salt, peppercorns or any other spice, in its generously sized glass reservoir. *Salt and pepper not included.
  • BUILT FOR CONVENIENCE AND FUNCTION Unlike other grinder sets, this pair has their grinding mechanism on the top of the grinder, ensuring salt and pepper ends up only on your food — not all over your table. The ceramic grinder is non-corrosive, won’t absorb flavors and is easily adjustable from a fine to coarse grind.
  • EASY REFILLING WITH NO MESSES Don’t you hate constantly having to refill your salt and pepper grinders? Standing about 5 1/4 inches tall this set is the perfect size to cut down on constant refills without being bulky. When you do have to refill, the clear glass bodies will let you know when it’s time! The stainless steel top easily screws off revealing a wide opening for easy and mess-free refills.

  • ELEGANT DESIGN With its brushed stainless steel encasing, glass body and ceramic grinder, this unique duo is a professional, sleek addition to any kitchen, with a stainless steel lid that truly “caps” off this beautiful set. No tacky electrical grinders here means no batteries required–only a few effortless twists with your hand to experience that fresh himalayan salt, pepper, or other spice.
  • CUSTOMER GUARANTEE We’re confident you’ll love our Dual Refillable Salt & Pepper Grinders. However, if you’re not completely satisfied, we’ll give you a 100% refund within 90 days of purchase–NO QUESTIONS ASKED. We have the best customer service on Amazon, and YOU, the customer, are our top priority. Add a set to your shopping cart today for a risk-free culinary experience!

My Thoughts:
I just ordered this beautiful set on the twentieth and am so excited to try them. Don’t they look amazing? I wasn’t able to get them tested before the giveaway deadline but wanted to give two readers a chance to win a set for themselves. Please visit the review here to see what I thought of them.

Don't miss your chance to #Win over $400 in prizes in the #LetsCook #Giveaway Enter before it ends 8/23

Welcome To The

Let’s Cook! Giveaway

Hosted By
PaulaMS’ Giveaways, Reviews, & Freebies

Co-Hosted By
Michigan Saving and More
Java John Z’s
Romania and Missions
Deliciously Savvy
Jingle Jangle Jungle

Dates: July 24th 9 AM Eastern Time – August 23rd 11:59 PM Eastern Time

Grand Prize Package
Set of 6 1EasyLife Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
Chef DeTemple Instant Read Digital Cooking Thermometer
BYB E-41 Series Clip-on 4 LED Light
Blue Iguazu Hand-crafted Ripple-cut Gourmet Cheese Slicer
Bitpsy Stainless Steel Citrus Juicer
CasaQoqo Eco Bamboo Cutting Board with Handle
VOS Professional Ceramic Chef’s Knife 8 Inch
The Learning Journey Play and Learn Shopping Basket Playset
Stainless Steel Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

Second Prize Package
CasaQoqo Eco Bamboo Cutting Board with Handle
VOS Professional Ceramic Chef’s Knife 8 Inch
Stainless Steel Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

I would like to give a big Thank You to all the blogs
participating in this giveaway!


Let's Cook! Giveaway

Disclaimer: PaulaMS’ Giveaways, Reviews, and Freebies nor any blog promoting this giveaway, is not responsible for the awarding of the prize. Sponsors are responsible for prize fulfillment.

Disclosure of Material Connection: PaulaMS received the products mentioned above for free to facilitate the writing of the reviews. Some of the links on this blog post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, she only recommend products or services that she uses personally and believe will add value to readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Tumerex Tumeric 95% Extract – Review


In the last year, I’ve been trying to do a lot to reduce the inflammation in my body. For awhile I thought I was getting arthritis, but after some really clean eating and supplement taking, I was able to completely eliminate the pain I had in my hand joints. The supplements I was taking were WAY too expensive though, so I’ve been searching for other natural options.


Turmerex is a professional-grade turmeric supplement standardized to 95% curcuminoids. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years in India as a spice and for its medicinal properties. Each Turmerex capsule contains 712.5mg of curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, that has been studied for its ability to support the body’s ability to fight many health related issues.

Turmeric 95% Extract (750mg), BioPerine® (5mg).

1 capsule daily preferably with a meal or as directed by a healthcare professional.


My Thoughts:
Tumeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice. It also helps to neutralize free radicals in the body. I’ve tried increasing my tumeric consumption in foods, but I know I’m not getting enough like that, so I was quite excited to learn about these Tumerex capsules. They’re an easy-to-swallow capsule that gets you a ton of tumeric.

I’ve been mostly pain free for a few months now, and I’m hopeful that using this will help to aid me in this continuous journey, for less money than the supplements my doctor(s) gave me. So far, so good!

The only reason I’m not giving it 5 stars is that the packaging was dirty when it arrived. I’m not sure what happened, but the label had come loose in the middle and was bubbled out, and the bottle was dirty. Everything was sealed, so it wasn’t a terrible thing, but it would have been nice, mentally, for me to see a clean, new looking bottle.


The product retails for $119, but right now you can get it for 67% off – only $39.95!!  I don’t know how long that pricing will last.

* I received the product free of charge in exchange for an honest review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine alone.

My River Trip – Cleansing for the Soul (And Stinky Shoes)

*I received a sample of the product discussed in exchange for an honest review.  NO monetary compensation was received.  The opinions are mine alone.


Not the cleanest river ever...

Not the cleanest river ever…

When I went on my river trip, I had such a blast!  I’m totally afraid of water too, so in addition to getting away for a few days, I had the opportunity to really face some fears, and to cleanse my soul.  It was incredible.


My shoes got very wet on multiple occasions, which didn’t bother me, cause hey, it’s a river.  However, I noticed them getting more and more smelly.  Upon arriving home, I found I had a package.  It was this all natural shoe odor eliminator.  Talk about good timing! Ha ha.


This odor eliminator is safe for the whole family.  They use proven science to eradicate the stench and keep resize_d968c9c321c7f418fda3a479a5d0308fb7df2fbb4c90909cb64374d19b50e6c62217ae42256256shoes smelling fresh.  They offer a “Stink Free Guarantee.” 100% Satisfied or your money back.  In addition, 10% of all sales go to build a well in Africa. Sweet, right?


I knew I had to try it out immediately.  On all shoe types.  My daughter’s shoes tend to get kinda smelly, so we tested it out on those.  The smell was eliminated.  NOT covered, but gone!  We tried another pair.  Same results.  But we hadn’t given it the real test yet.  I hadn’t tried it on my smelly river shoes.  They were so bad that I couldn’t bring them in the house.  They just sat outside, stinking away, and I forgot about them for a few days.  I tried this odor eliminator and it helped, but they were still smelly.  So, I tried again.  I figured I’d keep spraying them each day until the smell dissipated.  It was a great idea except for the fact that I left the shoes outside while waiting.  That wouldn’t be a problem if we hadn’t had all the rain.  It rained every day for a week or so.  That doesn’t happen often in our area.  Oh yeah, so those poor shoes got wet and dry and wet and dry over and over.  lol.

After about 5 applications (twice per day for 2-3 days), the smell was….GONE!!!  I brought my shoes back in and even wore them for the first time in 2 weeks!  This stuff really works.  You can buy 2 bottles for $12.95, so about $6.50 each…not bad.  You can also buy higher quantities for an additional discount.


Have you ever gone on a trip that you felt just cleansed you on the inside?  This trip was that for me.  We had a lot of challenges and struggles, and I think it was just what our group needed.  Having challenges to overcome, and then overcoming them, was a powerful thing.  Facing my fear of water was freeing.  In addition to them providing all the meals for us and rafting us, the volunteer guides provided presentations and activities designed to help us to empower ourselves as mothers of kids with autism.  Stress relief, self empowerment, and more was discussed.  It was a trip I’ll never forget!

sanjuan52 sanjuan98



Wordless Wednesday – Capitol Reef 10 comments

We went on a mini-vacation last week to Capitol Reef National Park.  Hardly crowded at all, and totally beautiful!



This is the cabin we stayed in.


view from the front of our cabin.

Actual Native American ruins at the Anasazi State Park museum


Replica of ruins at the Anasazi State Park museum


Scenic road in Capitol Reef National Park


Picture my daughter took just outside a slot canyon along Scenic Highway 12.


Just outside the slot canyon


Inside the slot canyon. This was my kids’ favorite part of the whole trip!


Scenic overlook along highway 12


It rained most of the time, so the time in the pool was short.

0708151044a 0708151309c


I hope you all have a great week!  Feel free to link up your awesome photos below. :)



1 Good Thing to Use “Cheap” Essential Oil For

Y’all know how I love my essential oils and natural living products. :)


essentialoilI’m a big believer in saving money, but I’m also a big believer in getting quality products.  Buying a cheap essential oil isn’t going to be worth the money that buying pharmaceutical-grade is, in some cases.  I try to buy high quality essential oils from trusted resources.  If I’m going to spend money, I want to know it’s going toward something worth the money!!


That being said, I realize that money is tight for many.  The idea of spending $20 – $90 or more on a small bottle of essential oil is intimidating.  I mean, holy cow, do you know how many groceries I can buy for that much money?  It’s actually a lot like the grocery dilemma:  the higher quality, non GMO, organic foods cost more, and it can be hard to justify spending the extra $$$, even when we believe it’s better for us.


When is it okay to use a more affordable essential oil?  I would never recommend doing so when you are using it for health purposes.  If you are ingesting or applying topically, I think it’s worth using the good stuff.  Our bodies are worth it.  I do feel, however, that at times, it’s okay to go for the more affordable option.


For example, I have a big bottle of lemon essential oil.  It’s labeled “Pure”, but not food-grade or pharmaceutical-grade.  It is 4 oz (114 ml), so much bigger than the standard 5-15 ml bottles.  Yet it costs less than the typical $15 (for 15 ml) or so price.  I love it and use it all the time.  Wanna know when?  I use it in my bathroom.  I usually deposit a drop or two in my toilet bowl to keep it fresh.  I do it each day, as well as in between big restroom breaks. :)  It’s cheaper than Poo-Pourri, and works just as well, ha ha.   I also use a bigger tea tree oil bottle and put a few drops or so in my garbages every once in awhile.  It really helps to deodorize.


What are situations that you feel a more affordable EO option is worth it?