Control Your Exposure to Media

Bad things happen in life and that is inevitable. What is NOT inevitable is how much you allow myself to be exposed to these bad things.

Everywhere you turn there are news stories about the horrible things happening in the world. The fact of the matter is that negative news sells and while human interest stories are great they aren’t the bread and butter of the media.

Don’t believe me?

Watch the nightly news and count the number of bad and depressing stories that are reported and then count the number of positive and uplifting stories you see.

Do the same thing for the newspaper or any news outlet you find on the Internet. In addition, to there being more of these negative and depressing stories they are also the type of stories that lead the evening news, are on the cover of print media and on the homepage of online media.

Many years ago I discovered that I had to take control of the amount of media I exposed myself too. I am a person who internalizes things I hear and struggle with depressive thoughts too easily. I know that if I expose myself to too much media I will become depressed and believe there is very little good in the world.

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What I Don’t Do For Christmas

It is even more important to control our controllables around the holidays, because there are too many things that can overwhelm us. (editor’s note: can you ever just be “whelmed.”)  It seems that everywhere you look there are more and more ideas for how to “best” spend the holidays and what traditions are a must. There are crafts to make, events to attend, and activities to do. I have a shocking discovery for you – you don’t have to do it all. In fact you shouldn’t do it all. Learn to say no.

I fall victim to overdoing the holidays just as much as the next person; however, I’ve gotten better. There are a lot of things that we don’t do – some may be surprising to you. We choose to do the things that are important to us.

Let me be clear that I do not judge (okay, I do judge, just not on these particular things) the people who do these things, because we all have to pick and choose what is right for ourselves and our families. Just be sure you are choosing things for the right reasons.

What I don’t do – the Christmas edition

  • An Advent Calendar. By this I mean those calendars where there is an activity that the family does each day during advent. Brian and the girls do have those chocolate countdown calendars. Each morning they look for the corresponding number and then enjoy a small piece of chocolate.
  • Elf on the shelf. This is hotly debated in mommy circles, but it never crossed our mind to do it when Cassidy was little and now that she’s older and asks for one, we just say no. This is completely a selfish decision. Brian and I do not need one more thing we have to remember every day. It would be my luck to forget to move him one day and then ruin the whole thing. So you will not find an elf on the shelf in our house. I think the idea is cute and I’ve heard the story of the women who created it – it was their family tradition that has since made them A LOT of money.

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The power in saying “NO”

 saying no is important NO

A word so easy for a toddler to say about absolutely everything and a word so difficult for adults to say to other adults.  I think we could learn a lot if we channeled our inner toddler and said “No” a little more and asked questions later.

If you haven’t been around a toddler lately let me paint you a picture of how it goes.

Do you want cereal?       No.
Do you want eggs?          No.
Do you want pancakes?                No.

Wait a few minutes and they will want all or at least one of those things. There immediate response to almost any question is “No,” followed by some thinking and then a decision.

Do you want to go outside?        No.

Then they proceed to get their coat and shoes and wait at the back door.

Huh, what is happening? I’m not a child development expert, but I know we can learn a little something from the toddler mantra. Say no first, it buys you time to make your real decision.

Say no first, it buys you time to make your real decision.

Somewhere as we get older we start saying yes all the time and then realizing later that we shouldn’t have said yes and we can’t get out of whatever we’ve gotten into.

If you are like me (the former me) you would end up with a schedule full of events and commitments, many of which you didn’t even want to be doing. You would ask yourself how you got there and realize it’s because you said, “yes.” It’s because you ALWAYS say yes.

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Love Your Life, Not Theirs


A new must-read book for everyone, young and old. It’s time to stop the comparison game and Rachel Cruze’s new book, “Love Your LIfe, Not Theirs” is here to help you do just that.

It’s no secret I love to read. In the last year or two I have become quite fond of personal development books. Pair that with my love of money management and paying down debt and I was presented with an awesome opportunity.

I got an email asking me if I wanted to apply to be part of a launch team for this new book.

Umm, yes where do I sign-up?

So I applied and then quickly forgot about it. Weeks later I got an email indicating I was accepted. I have no idea how many people they accepted. For all I know they accepted everyone who applied. I didn’t care, because I was chosen. It meant I got to be on a launch team for a book. As an avid reader that was just plain AWESOME.

I got an advance electronic copy of the book, “Love Your Life, Not Theirs” by Rachel Cruze. Let me make it clear, I am not making any money reviewing this book.

For those who may not know, Rachel Cruze is the daughter of Dave Ramsey. She has written another book, which was a New York Time’s Best Seller, “Smart Money, Smart Kids.” I believe her role in Ramsey Solutions is to reach out to the younger generation. The generation that is working through debt and trying to raise money smart kids.

I really enjoy listening to Rachel and I found her book to be an easy, conversational read that delivered some great lessons.

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For the kids, or is it?

It’s a month before my daughter’s birthday and I’m pouring over ideas for cupcakes, cake designs, decorations, etc. I’ve got tons of ideas pinned on my Pinterest board. I’ve been inspired by ideas I’ve read in blogs and my “friends” have posted on Facebook. The options for this upcoming birthday party are endless.

This is going to be the perfect birthday party from start to finish, or is it?

My daughter will be turning 1. Who is this party for?for the kids or is it-pin

This exact scene plays out in homes all over the country. If you have not fallen victim then you have seen the results of these parties. They are amazingly themed parties that parents have spent hundreds of dollars on and countless hours preparing for. All of this for a child who is turning 1 and who will never remember the party.

In fact they may even miss part of the party because they will be napping or in the tub being cleaned up from their birthday cake mess.

You spend hours designing and preparing fancy “kid treats” for the kid who you have to tell daily not to eat the dog’s food or dirt off the ground.

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