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I'm a 30 something dreamer, married, work-at-home Mom, blogger, reality TV show junkie and reader of non fiction and fiction books of all types.

What Reality Television Has Taught Us

Reality television shows have made many average people think of what it would take to become like these people. Whether this means trying to act more like those who appear on certain reality shows, such as the Housewives or even trying to accomplish what people do when they are stranded on islands. However, one of the biggest crazes that reality television has brought about is the saving money craze that is seen on "Extreme Couponing" that appears on TLC.

This show is all about how people use coupons in order to save money on their everyday groceries, which is great. However, these are extreme couponers, so they may go and buy a cart load of items for just a few dollars, yet this may be nothing but personal hygiene products or a certain brand of boxed meals. The popularity of this show has brought to attention that you can save money with coupons. Yet, it has also affected just how stores and manufacturers have responded to how many coupons they release to the public and it has forced many stores to rethink their couponing policy.

With all that we can learn from this show, we can also learn some things that we should not be doing:

  • 1. Do not buy an entire store out of a product that is going to last you for the next year so. Don't be greedy, save some for other people.
  • 2. Stock piling is fine, but do not let this overrun your home
  • 3. Saving money is great, but do not go the extreme of only allowing your family to eat products you purchase with coupons

There are quite a few other reality televisions on TV that have taught us a few lessons, for the good and some lessons that we would be best to forget.

  • 1. Top Chef has taught us all that we need to look at the taste balance of a dish, rather than just serving anything we decide on
  • 2. We all now know how to pose better for a picture thanks to "American's Next Top Model"
  • 3. We can also learn the perils of letting any and all moves recorded for live television thanks to the moments these reality television stars have that they probably wish was secret

In all seriousness, reality television shows are meant for entertainment. Those who believe that this is the real life of these people, may want to think again. Those who are on reality television are depicting just a small amount of their lives. Otherwise, if viewers were to watch the mundane activities they did everyday, it would not be a hit show. What we, as viewers, need to remember is that these shows are for entertainment. Yes, we may take away a few tidbits that can help us in life, such as how to take a better picture, or how to coupon and save a bit of money. But we can also learn behavior that is not something to be proud of.

For the most part, I will continue to watch reality television shows, as they are entertaining and something that can make me laugh, make me think, and even make me cry. They seem to have it all. However, I will not become an extreme couponer any time soon (although I have to recognize that I like to try free makeup samples of this page), nor will I believe that I am good enough to have my own cooking show. Those who watch reality television shows need to face facts, they are only half reality, but they are wholly entertaining for those of us who are looking for entertainment that does not take a lot of concentration.

Work At Home Red Flags To Watch For

For many stay at home mothers, the idea of working from home is appealing. However, when they begin their search, there are tons of work at home opportunities that are not true opportunities. These types of jobs may be requiring a fee to start or simply state requirements that sound a bit susceptive. With this being said, there are legitimate work at home opportunities on the market that are geared towards mothers who want to stay at home, while still earning some income for their family. In order to make your search a bit more fruitful, here are some red flags that you need to watch out for.

1. The Consultation Trap

Many work at home opportunities are going to want you to call one of their consultants to start working for them. They may state that this is a free session to prepare you for the job at hand. However, in most cases, this is a way to get you on the phone and basically try to sell you something that is meant to help make you thousands of dollars per month. This can be appearing for many people who wish to make this type of money. However, do not fall victim to this, as it is a good way to spend your hard earned money on something that is not going to help you in the slightest. If there is a consultation, never agree to give your bank or credit card numbers over the phone and do not sign anything until you have had someone else, preferably, a lawyer read over this.

2. Limited Refunds

With any work at home opportunity you have to pay for, watch out for the limited refund policy that the company may have. Some companies say you can cancel at any time, yet they do not tell you that you have to do this within a certain time frame, have certain paperwork filled out and the like. Those who do try to cancel often find that with all they have to do, they simply lose the time frame of canceling and are stuck with whatever the product or opportunity is.

3. Requiring an Upfront Fee

This is one of the major red flags to watch for. When it comes to working online, jobs that are legitimate are not going to want you to pay them, they are going to pay you for your work. Avoid these types of jobs, as most of the times these are scams that are going to steal your money and never render you anything in return. Never, pay anything to gain access to a job, whether this be a website requiring fees for job listings or the job itself.

4. Your Questions Are Not Answered

Let's say that you find a job you are interested in and email the person who has posted this. You may have questions, so you ask these. If you never receive a direct reply to the questions, only an email with the information to apply to the job, or even a link for you to fill out, then chances are this job may be nothing but spam, and is only interested in getting contact information to send emails or even phone calls to the number you enter.

There are tons of other red flags to watch out for, but these are the 4 that are most obvious. If you see these signs, then you will be better off to look elsewhere. There are legitimate online jobs out there, but it does take some searching in order to find these jobs. Be sure that you do your research before applying for anything. If there are any complaints on the company or person, then be sure that you approach this with caution and use your judgment to figure out if this is something you want to apply for or not. Working at home can be a huge success, you simply have to take the time to look for the legitimate opportunities out there.

Tips to Encourage Responsibility in Children

Those who have children are always looking for ways in which you can give them responsibilities in order to help them to become better adults. With older children, it is easier as they can handle some tasks. However, with smaller children it can seem hard to find something that they can do or at least help you do. Not only are these small tasks teaching responsibility, but they are also helping you out. Let's face it, as a parent, you have a ton to do, thus a little help every now and then is something that you need.

The key to getting kids to help you with anything, is to make the task fun and exciting for them. This is especially true of younger children. When a young child feels as though they are doing something that is fun, they are more likely to put all of their energy into this. Older kids though, are another story as they are usually not interested in these types of fun activities. If you do have younger children, here are some ideas to get them to have fun while they are helping you around the house or with other various tasks.

1. A Treasure Hunt

If you have younger children who like to carry around their sippy cups, bottles or other items, then you know that these get strung around the house, making it impossible to find them at all once. A great idea is to let the kids believe they are on a treasure hunt for these items. Tell them to go as fast as they can to find these items, and make a game of it. Some kids like to pretend that they are spies and finding the items are something that leads them to the evil genius. You can basically make this game any way that you want, and let it be something that relates to your kids.

2. Have a Reward System in Place

Though the older kids may have chores to do that they are needed to do, and do not receive a reward with, you can make younger kids get some type of reward. The reward does not have too be much. In fact, it can be something educational. For example, after helping to clean up their toys, they may be able to sit down and watch 30 minutes of their favorite television program. You could even offer a frozen fruit snack after cleaning up their toys, so not only are they getting a reward, but you are giving them something that is healthy.

3. Make Cleaning Fun

If you task your children with helping to clean their rooms or the entire house, make this fun. Play music while they are cleaning, as this tends to get everyone moving faster, even you. Have realistic expectation for how "clean" something is going to be. Most kids simply think picking up the toys in the walk path of a room is enough, it is up to you to tell them how to do this in a way that is actually helpful. More than likely, you are still going to spend quite a bit of time helping them to learn the right way, but no one learns anything without first being taught how to do this.

4. Make A Song Up

Most kids work better with music, and if you don't want to play music, make up a cleaning song that the kids can sing with you while they work. This is going to resort in giggles and fun, which is really how you want your kids to be at such a young age. The song can be as simple as "Clean up, clean up...it's time to clean up". The key is to make this time one that is fun while also teaching responsibility.

We all need help every now and then, and it is important for children at an early age learn that messes have to be cleaned up. And it is important for children to know that when they are responsible for the mess, they are responsible for the clean up as well.

Tips to Become an Organized Mother

Being a mom at home is a job that many people envy, while others agree that this is the hardest job in the world. For those who have children at home that are under the age of 4, it can seem as though their days are over in a minute, and they have accomplished nothing for the day. This is why so many mothers are constantly tired, as they stay up late to get tasks completed for the next day. However, there is a way in which a mother can get everything she needs to get done, and still have some time to herself. The key is organization, and there are several tips in which every mother out there can use to benefit their lives.

1. Make Lists!

Make a list for everything. Mothers who have young children are constantly forgetting something throughout the day, if this was written down, chances are the mother may not forget it. Lists can be made for the grocery, which is highly recommended, tasks that need to be done throughout the day, important dates that you need to remember and the like. The more you write down, the better you will find that you can get things done since you have a list to go by that is going to keep you on track.

2. Advocate Nap Time

For kids that are four and under, a nap is something that they should be taking. The length of the nap is going to depend on their age and their need. But, for mothers, try to advocate a short nap for the children throughout the day. You can either take a nap as well to have more energy, or use this time as a little alone time to help calm nerves and relieve stress.

3. Don't Set Yourself Up For Failure

If you have something to do that you know your children will hate, do not set yourself up for failure to begin with. For example, if you know that taking the children with you to shop for home furnishings is going to result in a fit being thrown, try to find someone to watch your children for you. There is no need going into something that you know is going to end in disaster if this can be avoided.

4. Learn To Ask For Help

It is hard to do everything on your own, and this definitely includes raising children. If you are having trouble, be sure to ask for help as this is the only way in which you are going to get help. If no one knows you may be struggling, then chances are they are not going to offer help. Even if you only need someone to watch your children for an hour to give you some time for yourself, be sure to do this. You are not any good to your children, if you are exhausted and on edge at all times. Taking time for yourself is for you and for everyone you care for.

5. Plan Ahead

Plan ahead for anything that may pop up, so you are not left frantic trying to get everything together. For example, if you know that in two weeks you have a birthday party to go to, then get the present way beforehand and have it ready to go. The more you can plan for, the less Likely you are going to have a surprise that could potentially ruin your day.

For busy mothers, trying to find time for yourself is hard. But, if you plan ahead, realize the problems before they happen, ask for help when needed, and jot down those things that you may forget later, chances are you are going to start to get a bit more organized. The more organized you become, the less likely you will find that at the end of the day, you have no time for anything, yet alone for a few minutes on your own.