Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Refinancing? Home Mortgage Rates

A few weeks ago, one of my friends posted on Facebook that she and her husband refinanced their home mortgage with a program designed for people who were current on their mortgage and it did not require an appraisal.  She said that the new mortgage rates allowed her and her husband to save thousands each year!

So, my husband and I started thinking... maybe we should try to refinance as well. We refinanced once a few years ago, but are paying a really high rate of interest. We called a friend of mine who is a lender to do a credit check and let us know what we needed to do.  We don't have a whole lot of credit (just the house, car, and student loans) but we do have a few unpaid medical bills that we are working on paying (can you say insurance nightmare? Luckily hubby got new insurance through work).

She told us we needed to pay off the bills (which we knew) but also to each get a credit card (that we did not know). It seems funny to get into more debt when you are trying to get out of debt! But, we are going to do it because we want to take advantage of the historic lows.

Have you refinanced your mortgage?  Are you thinking about it? Pros and Cons?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Free Educational Movies For Kids

I just stumbled across this amazing site that features free educational videos. You can browse tons of different subjects from language arts, to science, to math and there is sure to be a fun video for your kiddo to enjoy.  My boys especially liked the beating heart.

Free Educational Videos

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Back To School iPad Giveaway from Teacher Created Resources

If you have been wanting an iPad as much as I have, you will want to enter this contest! Teacher Created Resources is giving away an iPad in honor of their newest app!  You can enter to win here.

Friday, July 6, 2012

UnReal candy review and Twitter party!

Bad parent confession alert!  I feed my kids candy. (Don't judge) Well, not all the time, but probably a little too often.  I have an incredible sweet tooth - and I tend to eat sugary goodies whenever I feel even the slightest bit stressed, so it is also hard for me to tell my kids they can't eat candies when they see mom munching away on some.

That is why I was excited to hear about the new Unreal Candy which are similar to many of the candies we all love eating, but without the junk - no artificial sweeteners, no corn syrup, no preservatives. 

I must admit, I was also a little nervous about it because most of the candies that are good for you - well, they just don't taste as good as the real thing.  Let's be honest, they just don't taste good at all.

So... today I got a special delivery from Fedex with a sample of candies to try out for the Get Unjunked Unreal Twitter Party coming up on July 10th (details below).  I received Unreal 41 which is similar to the plain M&Ms and Unreal 8 which is similar to Snickers. 

I tried the Unreal 41 first and I have to say any fears of it not tasting good were completely eliminated!  Yummy!  They don't taste exactly like M&Ms - but instead have a bit of a darker chocolate taste.  They are made with milk chocolate, but it is a richer taste.  They are also surprisingly filling, so I wasn't able to eat the whole bag in one sitting which was nice because it saves me calories and money!  And the kids could actually share a bag.  What a concept!

The kids loved them too - so I am happy to say that I can feel better about being a parent because I now have a healthier option to give them a sweet treat!

To learn more about the candies - (and for a chance to win some SWEET prizes) join the Twitter party!

Get Unjunked Unreal Twitter Party

When: Tuesday, July 10th from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. ET
Where: #GetUnreal tag on Twitter
How: Follow @ResourcefulMom and tweet with the event tag to participate.  Please also follow sponsor @GetUnreal as well as our very special guests @bookieboo and @markhymanmd.


FIFTY (50) winners will each receive an Unreal prize pack!
Winners will be chosen at random from those using the event tag and participating in the conversation.

Disclosure: I was provided with a sample to facilitate this review. No additional compensation was provided.  All opinions are mine alone.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

I was awarded the Versatile Blogger award from Lori at Jazzy Allergy Recipes!

In receiving this award, I get to share a link to the blogger who gave me the award, write 7 things about myself that others may not know and then nominate another 15-20 blogs for the award. Here we go!

7 Things You May Not Know About Me

1.  I was born in Florida.
2. I teach ballet and musical theater (gotta hang around girls every once in awhile!)
3. I am on the city council.
4. I have a Master's Degree in Elementary Education
5. I am deathly afraid of spiders yet somehow agreed to let my 6 year old get a tarantula.
6. I secretly think my husband is a much better cook than I am. (Well... maybe not so secretly)
7. I am super short - under 5 feet!

There are so many wonderful blogs to choose from, and Lori picked a ton of the ones that I would have chosen!  Here are the ones that I picked to give the Versatile Blogger Award. Congratulations to each of you!

JR from Frugality is Free - I have known her (on-line) for years now since we both posted on Gather and I love all of her frugal tips.

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom She has the best ideas and I think living at her house must be like living at Disneyland everyday!

The Activity Mom is another mom with great ideas for making learning fun!

Mama to 4 Blessings - Always has great activity ideas, money saving tips, and great giveaways!

If I think of anymore (I probably will as I get the email updates from the blogs I subscribe to) I will post them as well.

Back To School Supplies at Staples

I always love this time of year because all of the back to school supply sales!  I will be hitting Staples tomorrow to get a few of the deals they have going on this week:

Here are the deals I spotted at Staples which are good through July 7, 2012.
Staples 12″ Ruler (plastic)
Staples Memo Book with Magnetic Closure
BIC Atlantic Ballpoint pens 4 pack
1″ Avery Durable Binder
Staples 3″x5″ Index Cards with ring
Crayola Classic Markers
Staples 4″x6″ Journal with pen
Staples Poly Zip Envelope
Dry Erase Board
Index Card Case
Staples Dry Erase Board Eraser
Staples self-stick notes with hard cover
Staedtler Protractor
Westcott 5″ 2 pack Scissors
25%-50% of ALL Backpacks
Make sure to check out Staples for all of the other weekly deals!

13-Year-Old’s Rap Talent Defeats Stuttering & Bullying- Lil JaXe Raps for Drake

Since four out of my six boys have had to go to speech therapy for various reasons, I was very interested when I heard about this 13 year old's success as a rapper. 

Thirteen-year-old Jake Zeldin, aka Lil JaXe, http://www.liljaxe.com , of Toronto is making headlines these days much like his idol Drake. When JaXe – whose near-debilitating stutter disappears when he raps – free-styled flawlessly for Drake backstage at a Tyga concert 2011, the Grammy-award-winning rapper was clearly impressed, giving JaXe a high five and plenty of encouragement. A year later, Lil JaXe is performing front stage instead of backstage. He’s also writing and recording music, releasing videos and dedicating time and energy to charities, especially those that combat bullying.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?    v=UJD72rPl9Rc&feature=plcp
“I was super excited,” Jake said of the performance, “It was a dream, actually. It didn’t feel real.”
This summer, JaXe will be featured alongside rappers like Mos Def and Talib Kweli on Pacha’s Pajamas, a children’s hip-hop album about the environment, set for release in July.
He’s also performed at more than a dozen recent festivals and charity events, and appeared on several Toronto television and radio programs, including Canada AM, Much Music and CTV National. He’s also been featured in newspapers, including the Toronto Star.
Lil JaXe’s battle with stuttering began when he first learned to talk. His family spent thousands on therapy, but nothing helped. Then, about three years ago, JaXe discovered he could rap. In fact, he can deliver rhymes (that he writes himself), with absolutely no hint of a stutter. Before long, he was dazzling his peers – and music industry heavyweights.
No one’s completely sure why JaXe’s stutter disappears while he’s rapping, although it may have to do with the part of the brain he uses while rapping, as opposed to speaking. Science points to complex neurological reasons, but JaXe offers a much simpler explanation: “I'm not sure, but (rapping is) funner.”
Whatever the reason, JaXe’s amazing talents are proof that no matter what challenges kids – and even adults – face, there’s no goal that’s too lofty. And JaXe wants to make sure other kids understand that. That’s why he spends time performing for charities, and plans to start his own anti-bullying charity. As JaXe well knows, kids can be cruel. Bullied and teased from classmates and teachers was something that was part of everyday life for JaXe who simply can’t carry on a conversation the way most people can.
Lil JaXe’s mother, Robyn Zeldin, heralds 2012 as “applauds her son, not just for sharing his talents, but for conquering his fears and finding a way to communicate in a way that lets the world see just how fantastic he is. I believe that his story is one of determination, inspiration and overcoming life's challenges,” Robyn says.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Highlights Hidden Pictures

I always loved Highlights magazine when I was a kid - it was actually something to look forward to when you had to go to the doctor or dentist.  My kids love Highlights too - especially the hidden pictures pages.  Highlights actually posts a new picture each month for the kiddos to find all of the hidden pictures.  It is a great way to build their observation skills.  You can get July's hidden picture here.