I Yelled at My Kids Today

This morning I yelled at my kids. I didn’t scream at them or beat them, but I yelled at them. Why? Because they weren’t listening. Most moms deal with this problem. You try to ask your kids to do or to stop doing something as nicely as you can. They don’t listen, so you ask again. Still nothing. So finally you get so frustrated that you start yelling at them to do (or stop doing) what you asked. I really hate when it gets to that point.

In my kid’s case, today was one of those mornings that we were going to be late to school if they didn’t hustle and finish getting ready for the day. Instead of doing that, they chose to bicker and mess around with each other. My oldest son was the main subject of my yelling. You see, he’s eleven, and in my opinion he’s old enough to know that when I tell him he needs to stop harassing his brother and get ready for school, I mean it. We just expect more from him because frankly he’s old enough to know better. Because of this our oldest tends to feel picked on, and he’s probably right. He does tend to get the brunt of our frustration. There are times when I feel like we should ease up on him, and then he goes and does something he knows he shouldn’t do, so we have to get after him again. It’s kind of a vicious cycle.

When I dropped my kids off at school finally this morning my son said, “Bye.” in a less than enthusiastic voice. I was feeling the same way, so I said, “Bye.” instead of my usual, cheerful “Have a good day at school, buddy! Love you!”. As soon as I said it I knew I couldn’t leave things like that, so I told him I loved him and he said “I love you too.”

No matter how upset he makes me, I just never want him to go to school without knowing that despite how our day starts, I love him. There’s no guarantee that when I drop him off at school I’ll see him again. The world can be a dangerous place, so no matter how angry your kids make you, tell them you love them. You’ll never regret telling your kids that you love them, but you would greatly regret not telling them if you ever lost them unexpectedly.

Top Ten (Lesser Known) Classic Films

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Practically everyone knows about great classic films like Gone with the Wind, Singing in the Rain, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the Wizard of Oz, but there are some classic films that most people have never heard of. I am a sort of classic film buff. Growing up, I would be so excited for the weekend because that’s when my dad would take my brothers and I to the video rental place and we could pick out a few movies. My genre of choice was classic movies about 90% of the time. I got lost in the stories and the glamour of the actors. I wanted to share my top ten favorite classic films that not everyone might know about.

10.)Bathing Beauty

Starting our list is a fun filled comedy with Red Skelton and Esther Williams. Songwriter Steve(Skelton) marries the love of his life, Caroline (Williams). The marriage is immediately strained when a scheming Broadway producer breaks things up with a lie that Steve is already married and has children with another woman. Caroline is furious and goes back to her old job as a swim instructor at a girl’s college. In an effort to win his wife back, Steve enrolls at the college so that he can be close to her. You just can’t go wrong with Red’s humor and Esther’s beautiful aquatic performances.

9.)The Lady Eve

This is actually one of my favorite Henry Fonda performances. It’s a film about a con-artist named Jean (Barbara Stanwyck) who falls in love with one of her victims (Charles played by Fonda) while looking for wealthy card players to scam out of their money on an ocean liner voyage. Charles and Jean make plans to marry when things fall apart due to Charles learning who Jean really is. Once the voyage is over and the estranged lovers go their separate ways, Jean comes up with a plan to get back at Charles by posing as “Eve”, a wealthy and mysterious English girl who charms her way into Charles’ heart with plans to break it just like he did to hers.

8.)Harvey

One of the truly great James Stewart films. It’s the story of a very friendly man who has an unusual best friend. A giant imaginary rabbit named Harvey.

7.)The Court Jester

A classically funny Danny Kaye film. This was a family favorite growing up. A former circus performer named Hawkins (Kaye) wants to help fight against the tyranny of the king who wishes to find and destroy the rightful heir to his thrown (an infant that the rebels have found and hidden). Hawkins is given the roll of guarding the infant heir and returning him to his rightful place, but Hawkins is mistaken for the court jester upon arriving at the castle and gets swept up into a ruse that could work to the rebel’s advantage. Hilarity and drama ensues.

6.)How To Steal A Million

Peter O’Toole and Audrey Hepburn star in this hilarious film. An eccentric old con-artist offers a phony piece of sculpture from his famous collection to be put on display at a prestigious museum. Little does he know that his replica is due to be examined to verify it’s authenticity. In a desperate effort to save her father from prison, Nicole (Hepburn) decides that she must steal the sculpture from the museum herself before it is examined, but she can’t do it alone. She enlists the help of a so called burglar (O’Toole) to help her pull off the caper. This film has a fantastic mix of romance, humor and high jinx.

5.)Victor/Victoria

Julie Andrews shines again in this hilarious film about a woman named Victoria who is down on her luck until her new friend, Toddy (Robert Preston), has a brilliant idea that will change both of their luck for the better. Toddy turns Victoria into “Victor, the World’s Greatest Female Impersonator”, but when love finds Victoria she is forced to choose between keeping her identity secret, or exposing the truth.

4.)The Swan

Grace Kelly plays a young woman named Alexandra who is brought up by her mother to one day marry into the royal family and become a queen. Their plans are in place to charm the crown prince (Alec guinness) when he comes to stay at their home for a visit, but plans are changed when the prince doesn’t show the interest in Alexandra that they had hoped for. The family’s handsome young tutor (Louis Jourdan)is used as a pawn to make the prince jealous and turn his attention to Alexandra as planned. Little does the family know that the young tutor’s true, but hidden love for Alexandra will have an unexpected affect on things.

3.)That Touch of Mink

I LOVE THIS MOVIE. With a stellar cast and a humorous string of events, this is one of my favorite Doris Day films. Cathy (Day) is splashed by a limousine while on her way to a job interview. When the handsome owner of the limo ( Cary Grant) endeavors to hunt Cathy down and pay her for the damage that was done to her clothes, she finds herself swept up in a whirlwind adventure with the man of her dreams. The only problem? She isn’t quite prepared for his kind of lavish and taboo romance.

2.) Lili

Leslie Caron stars as Lili, an innocent young girl looking to start a new life when her father passes away, leaving her alone in the world. When Lili discovers that the job she was promised in another town upon her father’s death is no longer an option, she becomes attached to a handsome magician named Marc who is traveling through town with the carnival. Marc is an egotistical womanizer, but he takes pity on Lili and tries to help her find a job with the carnival. Lili becomes a sensation when she is discovered by the carnival’s puppet act, but the man behind the puppets is tormented by an old war wound that cut his dancing career short and his hidden love for Lili.

1.)Kiss Me Kate
I can’t say enough good things about this musical. It’s full of talent and has a wonderfully funny script with great songs by Cole Porter. A divorced actor and actress (Howard Keel and Katheryn Grayson) are brought back together to play the leads in a new hit musical based on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew called “Kiss Me Kate”. Lily (Grayson) and Fred (Keel) are at odds throughout the production of the play with the two constantly bickering and fighting. Will everyone survive opening night?

Top 10 Movies for Horse Enthusiasts

pexels-photo-356188.jpegAs a horse fanatic, I have always loved watching movies about them. Here is a list that I compiled of my top ten horse related movies. This is just my personal list that I’ve come up with after watching a lot of horse movies over the years. I hope you’ll check them out and enjoy them as much as I do.

#1.)The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit This movie is sadly one of the lesser known movies on this list, but it’s the one that inspired me to start my riding career in the hunter/jumper world. It’s a classic movie that marries humor with inspiration.

#2.)Wild Horse, Wild Ride A fantastic documentary that follows several competitors in the Mustang Makeover Challenge that was started by the Mustang Heritage Foundation.

#3.)The Man from Snowy River If you’re a horse lover who hasn’t seen this yet, go get it and watch it! This has a great story and scenes with incredible horsemanship. Must watch.

#4.)The Horse Whisperer This is probably one of the most popular horse related movies out there. It has a stellar cast and features gorgeous scenery.

#5.) Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken I grew up absolutely loving this movie. It’s a very sweet story that’s based on a real person and her career as a diving girl with a diving horse act.

6.)Secretariat This movie tells the story of one of the best race horses that ever lived. It will make you laugh and cry. Such an incredible and touching true story.

7.)Black Beauty (1994) This movie is another childhood favorite. Based on the book by the same name, this is the story of a stunning black horse that lives an incredible life and overcomes incredible hardship.

8.)Unbranded Another great documentary about a journey that a group of college friends take on previously wild mustangs from the Mexico to Canada border.

9.)Harry & Snowman – Special Director’s Edition This is a very touching documentary about the bond between a horse named Snowman and his owner Harry who saved Snowman from slaughter. Together these two journeyed to the top of the show jumping world.

10.)The Electric Horseman Robert Redford makes his appearance for a second time on this list in the story of a has-been rodeo superstar who steals a famous stallion in order to give him a better life in the wild.

There’s many more great horse movies to watch out there, some of them sequels to the movies on this list. So grab some horse loving friends and have a movie night!

Look to the Future: A Letter To Stressed Moms

pexels-photo-568027.jpegHi Momma Bear,

If you have young kids, I bet today you got thrown up on, or pooped on, or peed on, or had a booger rubbed on you. You probably had to deal with a meltdown (or three). That coffee you had likely wasn’t enough to get you through the kind of day that awaited you. You aren’t sleeping well. Your nerves are shot. Your sex life and social life are suffering. Your hair is going on who knows how many days without being washed. You never understood how anyone could want to kill their own child until the first time your child drove you to near insanity with their refusal to nap when you desperately needed some time to decompress. Maybe you’re the mom of an uptight, hormonal teenager who makes poor life choices and thinks you’re an idiot. It isn’t just you, sister. I think it’s safe to say that basically every (normal) mother has been or is there.

If these things are all basically inevitable, where is the silver lining? How do we (and our children) survive this? I think besides the obvious things like making time for yourself whenever possible, making time for you and your spouse/partner whenever possible, and knowing when to just put your screaming child somewhere safe and leave the room for a while to prevent losing it are extremely important things, but I think that a bigger answer is that you have to look to the future.

When I have been in the darkest place I could be as a mother, the thing that got me to keep my sanity is that I thought about how quickly this time will have come and gone. I think about how one day I will actually MISS the times my kids wouldn’t leave me alone for five seconds because they needed to ask me a million questions about why the sky is blue, or when they came home from school discouraged and needed emotional support. There’s going to be a day when I’ll regret the times that I was so tired and grumpy that I didn’t give my sons a hug or kiss before bed. Obviously You wont miss the days of babies crying all night, changing gross diapers, having to physically drag your toddler out of a store because they straight up had a meltdown in aisle 7, or being told you’re the worst parent ever because you said no to your teenager. The point is that we tend to live only in the here and now, and it’s when we can’t see beyond our difficult days that we suffer. Remember that no matter what, this is just a season of your life. You’ll wake up one day in the future (faster than you think) and your kids will have grown up. I’m willing to bet you’ll look back on those times with more fondness for the sweet memories than you will disdain for the difficult days. So grab a glass of wine (even boxed wine, i’m not judging), kiss and hug your kids no matter how annoying they’re being today and remember that you are not alone. Everything is going to be ok.

 

 

 

How to Juggle a Crazy Life

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Let me open this blog post by stating that I am not an expert. I’ve simply learned through trial and error how to juggle a busy life as a wife, mom, business owner, friend, equestrian, gardener, blogger, vlogger, (temporary) nanny, and more without losing my damn mind.

1.) If you have a family, family comes first. Whoever you consider family. There has to be balance between everything we do that fulfills us as individuals and what we do that keeps us connected as a family. Those relationships are what last when everything else has run it’s course.

2.) Make it a point to only take on projects and activities outside of work that fulfill you in some way. If you’re like so many people, your job takes up a lot of your time and whether you love your job or not, the time you have outside of work is very valuable. Fill it with things that make you happy. Volunteer at an animal shelter or rescue, work with a charity that’s near and dear to your heart, or teach on a subject that you have a lot of experience in. The list goes on.

3.) JUST SAY NO. This one is probably the most difficult, but it can be the most important. If you are asked to do something for someone that you just don’t feel good about doing, or that you really don’t have the time to do, just say no. There is no rule that says you have to say yes to everything everyone ever asks of you. This is part of why so many people live in constant stress. They never learned to say no. People are more understanding than we give them credit for. You’d be surprised at how infrequently the world falls to pieces because you said no to a request.

4.) Take care of yourself. This looks different for everyone, but in general you should just remember to do something nice for yourself from time to time. For some people that means indulging in a favorite sweet treat, or getting a massage, or going rock climbing, or going fishing. Whatever feeds your soul and refreshes you, make the time for that. No matter how small of a thing it is.

5.) Do something physical. I’m not talking about going to the gym (unless that’s your happy place). I’m talking about getting outside in the sunshine and doing an activity that you really enjoy. Maybe it’s going for walks around the neighborhood, or playing a sport, or taking your dog to the dog park, or gardening. Whatever you can find a little time for to keep your body moving and getting some fresh air in your lungs.

6.) Know when it’s time to move on from something. This is up there with saying no. There comes a time for a lot of the things we get invested in when we need to let go of it and move on to something else. For example, I started a small henna tattoo and face painting business back in 2011. It was fun while it lasted, but I got to a point when I knew it was time to move on from there. Letting go of that, which had clearly run it’s course for me, allowed me to find the next important thing in my life. Remember that change is good.

7.) Weigh the pros and cons of things. If you are thinking of taking on a new project, job, hobby, etc. weigh the good and bad things that go along with it. That will help to teach you what are things you can live with and what things are deal breakers. You’ll be surprised at how many things you will wisely reconsider with this tip.

8.) Write things down! Whether you are venting in a journal after a difficult day at work, or visualizing your future plans, writing things down can be very powerful in manifesting the things you want, or helping you work through things that are tough to deal with.

9.) Lastly, but possibly the most important thing to remember, LAUGH. If you aren’t laughing a little every day, you’re missing out. Laughter can change your whole day and remind you to not take things too seriously. Always remember to look for laughter throughout your day. These are a couple of books that my husband and I discovered that always make us laugh, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened, and Emails from an Asshole: Real People Being Stupid

Sometimes the best answer to juggling a busy life is to just make it less busy by dropping some things that just aren’t serving you any longer. I hope that some of this advice will find it’s way into your thoughts and you can apply them to lower your stress levels and more effectively juggle your crazy life.

Our Story: Why My Husband Left the Air Force Academy

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My husband and I have been together for a long time. We met at 14 years old and started dating just before we turned 15. Things took an unexpected turn less than a year into our relationship though. Aaron (my husband) between our freshman and sophomore year of high school had the opportunity to attend a military high school in another state to help his chances of getting into the United States Air Force Academy when he graduated. Before we knew what hit us, we were in a long distance relationship.

If you aren’t already aware, new relationships (especially when you’re a teenager) are very fragile. This made things all the more difficult. Despite my insecurities and the heartache that comes with long distance relationships, we held on for 4 years while he completed high school and a year of junior college at the military school. The next phase of our lives would be when Aaron finally got accepted to USAFA. It was a bittersweet moment. When he got into the academy, I knew that it meant another 4 years apart, but at least now he would only be about an hour away from me. It was an improvement over the 9-ish hour drive it took to see each other for the previous 4 years.

The plan was simple. When Aaron graduated from the academy, we would get married right away and go wherever he was stationed. When you’re accepted into any military academy, you can’t have any legal dependents (wife, kids) for the duration of your time there as a cadet. You are dedicating those years to your training to become an officer in the military. You live, eat, sleep, and learn at the academy. That’s your whole life until you graduate. While Aaron was in school, I was going to work and live with my parents or in an apartment during that time. I couldn’t wait to get married and be a military family when it was all over. I mostly just couldn’t wait to not be separated from Aaron anymore. Our plan was simple, and then everything changed.

A little over a year into Aaron’s time at the academy, we found out that we were pregnant. Now we had both been raised very conservative and so this was not only a big no-no in our families, it meant Aaron could face being kicked out of the academy and his dream would be over if they found out about it. We were terrified, but we told our parents (who thankfully didn’t kill us) and with our families we decided that we could make it work. I would continue to live with my parents and they were going to help me raise the baby while Aaron had to be away until he graduated and we could get married. It could work. It had to.

I stopped visiting Aaron at the academy once my belly was too big to hide the pregnancy and Aaron made it to as many of my doctor’s appointments as he could. When the time came, we chose to have my labor induced one week before the baby’s due date in order for Aaron to be at the birth. The day came and our son Asher was born. Aaron was able to make it to the hospital shortly after I’d been induced and he helped me through labor and the delivery along with my Mom. Only a few hours after the baby was born though, Aaron had to get back to the academy. I’m sure it was one of the hardest things he’s ever had to do. I’ll never forget that day.

We hid the fact that Aaron had a child for several months. Aaron just started coming home every weekend that he could so that he could be with Asher and I. My parents were amazing and helped me with the baby as much as they possibly could. We were making it work! Just a couple more years of this and we can finally stop hiding, we thought.

The blow came out of nowhere. Aaron was called into the office of his A.O.C. (Air Officer in Command) one day. The officer asked Aaron if he had a child and proceeded to tell him that he shouldn’t deny it because they had received an anonymous phone call from someone (all he told Aaron was that the person was male and probably in his 50s or 60s from the sound of it). The man told them that he had information about a cadet who had a child, and that he thought since that was against the rules something should be done about it. Aaron told the truth and the officer in charge of the situation went on a mission to basically destroy Aaron. He wanted to stick him with an honor violation and a dishonorable discharge that would require him to fulfill his commitment (pay back the government for the education he had received). It was the most stressful time in Aaron’s life. He went a couple of days without sleep and had to go to the infirmary. After working with the on-base lawyers who fought to prevent the worst from happening to Aaron, ultimately the best they could do was give him the option to either disown our son and continue his education, or leave the academy with an honorable discharge. Aaron chose to leave the academy.

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This was 10 years ago. He left the academy in 2007 and we were married in 2008. Though it was devastating at the time and Aaron dealt with a few years of resentment for what had happened and how things were handled, we realize that it gave us the freedom we really wanted. Aaron has a great job and we are very happy. Does Aaron still wish he could have become a pilot? I’m sure he does. At the end of the day though, we know that what happened to us happened for a reason and even without the Air Force Academy, Aaron has made something of himself that we are very proud of. Not to mention Asher came into our lives, which made life so much sweeter. So I guess the point is that sometimes situations that seem horrible at the time are actually for the best. It taught us to accept change in our lives and look for the positive.

DIY Easy Minecraft Grass Block Cake

My son is turning 6 in a couple of days and he wanted a Minecraft grass block cake like his brother had a few years ago. Thankfully this cake is easy and inexpensive to make and it really looks like dirt and grass. Mine is a German chocolate cake since I used coconut pecan filling for between the layers. Here is how I made it!

Minecraft Grass Cake

The stuff you’ll need :

3 – 8″ x 8″ cake pans. I got mine from Dollar Tree in the kitchen supplies section.

1 box chocolate cake mix (plus ingredients to make cake according to package instructions)

1 container of vanilla frosting

1 container of coconut pecan frosting

1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes (or unsweetened if you prefer)

Green food coloring (I had blue and yellow food coloring, so I used a mix of those to create green)

Step 1.)Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare your cake pans with cooking spray, or butter and flour so the cake doesn’t stick (it probably will still stick a little, but this helps).

Step 2.) Make cake batter according to the instructions on the box (mine called for 3 eggs, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup water)

Step 3.) Divide your cake batter as evenly as you can between the three cake pans. Release any air bubbles in the batter by lightly picking up and dropping each pan from a couple of inches above a hard, flat surface a few times.

Step 4.) Bake the cakes for 23-25 minutes, or until you can poke the middle of the cakes with a toothpick and the toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes rest until they are fully cooled (I let mine sit out on the cooling rack for about an hour and then covered them with foil overnight since I made them in the evening).

Step 5.) To release the cake from the pans, use a butter knife and go around the edges of the cake to release the sides from the pan. Next, flip the pan over onto a flat, clean surface (like a cutting board) and pat the bottom of the pan to release the bottom of the cake. If your cake doesn’t release in one piece, DON’T PANIC! Just carefully scrape the excess cake that was left behind with a small spatula and place it back in place on the cake. You’re gonna frost that anyway!

Step 6.) Begin to build your block. Place the first layer of cake top side down on the surface that the cake will be presented on (I use a spinning cake pedestal). Put a generous dollop of the coconut pecan frosting in the middle of the cake (about half of the container). With a butter knife or frosting spreader, begin to work the frosting out towards the edges of the cake, but do not go over the edge onto the side if you can help it. Try to be gentle with this part because the cake will want to fall apart of you spread the frosting too aggressively. Repeat the process with the second cake layer.

Step 7.) Once you are ready, place the final layer of cake on top, but this time place it top side up. You can take a serrated bread knife and gently level the top of the cake if you desire, but this can easily become frustrating if you accidently make it uneven. Using a clean hand or by placing a sheet of parchment paper over the top of the cake, gently press the cake layers to level them and compress the layers together a little.

Step 8.) Add a few drops of the green food coloring (or equal drops of the blue and yellow food coloring) to the vanilla frosting container and mix until your desired level of green is reached. Next, mix the green frosting and coconut flakes together in a large bowl.

Step 9.) Drop the frosting and coconut mixture onto the middle of the cake and very gently work the frosting out towards the edges of the cake. If you are feeling extra artsy, you can also use a toothpick to create more texture to the “grass”, but the coconut does create some texture on its own.

There you have it! This is a great way to create a minecraft inspired cake for your kiddos that looks good and tastes good. The cake I made is for a party of about 10-12 people so you can always make your cake larger or double the cakes if you need to for a larger party. You might also find some cute minecraft figurines to add to the top of the cake if you like. Do it your way and enjoy!

DIY Boy’s Haircut

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Back when I finished high school and I thought my husband and I would be moving around as a military family, I chose to get licensed as a Cosmetologist so I would have a job no matter where we lived. I worked in a handful of salons over the years and ultimately decided I wanted a career change.

Even though I don’t take clients anymore, I do still cut my own family’s hair at home. It saves us about $60 a month (based on an average $20 haircut cost for my husband and $10-$15 cost for each of my sons, plus tip). I wanted my blog/vlog to be fun, but also to teach people things, so I made this tutorial on how to do a basic and easy boys haircut. This can also be a very short men’s haircut if you wish, but I’m showing you how to do this haircut on a kid.

Supplies You’ll Need:

A haircut cape (or towel)

Clipper (I used the Wahl Designer

)

Trimmer (I used the Wahl Peanut Trimmer

)

Clipper Guards (I used the #3 and #8)

Blending comb

Regular comb

Watch the video for the full haircut tutorial 🙂

Birthday Freebies!

birthday-cake-cake-birthday-cupcakes-40183.jpegI just made a video on my channel about how to get free stuff (Heather of All Trades Vlog).

I touched on one of my favorite subjects. Getting things for free during the month of your birthday!

I calculated once that the value of all the free items that I was able to redeem during my birthday month was well over $100. That was only the stuff I redeemed! Not the total amount of coupon value I received. So if that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will!

I’m going to provide a list of places that are pretty much all over the U.S., but if you have local businesses near you that aren’t anywhere else, visit their website and find out if they offer a rewards program. MOST BUSINESSES HAVE SOME TYPE OF REWARD PROGRAM, you just have to dig for some of them. Remember that if you don’t enter your birthday when you first sign up for a reward program, you may need to sign in to your profile on the business website and enter that information there.

If you have mostly small, local businesses where you live, check out the Fivestars App. This is how I get rewards through the smaller, non-chain stores and restaurants in my area.

BIRTHDAY FREEBIE LIST (in no particular order):

Starbucks: Free beverage (any size, any variety, any add-ons that you want), or any food item. Just register a Starbucks card in the app and you are on your way to earning rewards!

Panera: Free pastry.

Krispy Kreme: Free donut and coffee.

Jamba Juice: Free small smoothie

Auntie Anne’s Pretzel & Wetzels Pretzels: Free pretzel

Einstein Bros.: Free egg sandwich (with any drink purchase)

Jersey Mike’s Subs: Free regular sub AND regular fountain drink

Firehouse Subs: Free regular sub. According to the email, you just show your i.d. on the day of your birthday for this reward

Sonic: Free Small Classic Shake

Good Times Burgers: Free small spoonbender with any purchase

Rubio’s: Free entree (with a drink purchase)

Noodles & Co.: Free Crispy Treat

Del Taco: Free premium shake

Ben & Jerry’s: Free scoop of ice cream (cup or cone)

Baskin-Robbins: Free scoop of ice cream

Godiva Rewards: Free $10 gift certificate. You can use this on anything in the store. Love this gift!

Redbox: Free 1-night movie rental

Charming Charlie: Free $5 gift card (best to use when there is a BOGO sale on clearance items if you can! That way you get a lot more bang for your gift!)

Sephora: Free makeup or skincare item to choose from (for men or women)

Ulta: Free makeup item (This one can be tricky. I’ve gone a couple of years where I never received my coupon via email for the gift, but I did get it last year )

Those are just some of the freebies that you can get in most of the U.S. Keep in mind that you are more likely to get your birthday freebies if you sign up for them at least a month before your birthday month. There will also be years that you might not see a coupon that you were expecting. Always check your spam folder just in case, but remember that computer systems have issues and reward programs change regularly Try and keep up to date on changes so you know what to expect.

Enjoy!

 

Horse Ownership: The Good, the Bad, and the UGLY.

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Almost any 8 year old girl will tell you that horses are her favorite animal. I was one of those 8 year old girls. I thought there couldn’t be anything better in life than owning a horse. I was only half right.

I’m 32 years old now and I’ve owned 5 horses now over the course of about 9 years. This is what I’ve learned.

THE GOOD:

1.) There’s something really special about owning your own horse. It gives you freedom in a way. An outlet for when life gets you down and you need to escape it for a little while.

2.) Horses teach you. A LOT. Whether it’s a lesson in patience, gentleness, firmness, or even bravery, you will learn things from a horse. A lot of those lessons will go beyond the horse world.

3.) Working with your horse can be a blast! It gives you a chance to build skills for both yourself and your horse that will add to your enjoyment of working with them.

4.) Horses can help build up your confidence. When you get to the place where your horse really truly trusts you and looks to you as it’s leader, you’ll have a great feeling of accomplishment.

5.) Working with horses can be a great form of exercise. Between riding, cleaning stalls, feeding, watering, blanketing, lunging, etc. you’ll feel the burn at some point!

THE BAD

1.) Horses are expensive. There’s just no way around it. Even if you get a horse for free, it’s not going to be free to take care of. There are board costs (or feed and water costs if they live on your property), vet bills, farrier costs, the list goes on.

2.) They can be dangerous. Horses are big, flight animals. This means that if you’re in the wrong place when they get scared by something, you can easily end up in a bad spot. No matter how well you prepare for them, accidents can still happen when working with such large animals. There’s a very true saying that goes, “It’s not a question of IF you’ll fall off a horse. It’s a question of WHEN and HOW BAD.” I’ve been bucked off, bailed off, fallen off, cold-cocked in the nose, been bitten and nearly kicked by horses over the last 10 years or so. It’s just part of the gig.

3.) Horses require your time. They’re high maintenance animals when cared for correctly. Even a retired horse has requirements that need to be met in order to give them a good life.

4.) They get hurt. Sometimes a lot and in ways that will leave you puzzled about how the hell they did it for months. This is why the vet is a very important person to have on speed dial. Our beloved equine companions are talented in the art of injury.

THE UGLY (truth)

1.) For as big and sturdy as they may seem, horses are fragile creatures. Things like colic can take them from us unexpectedly. Though they can live to be about 30 years old, many horses don’t live that long. Like all of our beloved pets, we have to cherish them for as long as we have them.