How To Care For Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring (LVP, LVT)

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DoTheMicroTwist #CollectiveBias

How to Care for Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring #DoTheMicroTwist [ad] #CbiasWalk into any flooring store these days and the one product the salesperson can't wait to tell you about is the new luxury vinyl plank or luxury vinyl tile flooring (also known as LVP and LVT). LVP and LVT flooring is a cost-effective plank or tile style resilient-vinyl flooring that can be installed anywhere since it is water-resistant and can withstand high traffic areas. It does not require an underlayment padding and the joints will not swell or buckle due to moisture. 

When shopping around for flooring for our new home we wanted to avoid traditional tile floors because they are so cold, carpeting because it attracts dirt, and we also did not want to spend the money on hardwood floors. We wanted to use the same flooring throughout because neither my husband or I like the choppy look of different flooring materials when you go from room to room. Because LVP and LVT is water-resistant, it was the best choice for our new home since it can be used in all rooms including bathrooms. 

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Are You a Curly Girl? Celebrate With Me!

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CURLY GIRLS! Let the world know you #LOVEYOURCURLS with the new @doveus @dove Love Your Curls Emoji Keyboard! #pmgdove #ad #PmediaI was in my mid-thirties before I was able to accept my naturally curly hair. My entire life, especially as a child, I wanted to be just like the rest of the world with straight, no-fuss hair. After all, straight hair was always in style and what everyone else had/wanted. Or so I thought. I'm the type of person who rather blend in with the crowd but with naturally curly hair like mine, you tend to stick out. I hated that. I hated that elderly women would touch it and admire it at the same time the younger crowd, especially those in the hair industry would offer "advice" about straightening my hair. For as long as I can remember, every time I got my haircut the person doing my hair had some sort of magic "fix" for my hair. Someone they knew always had hair like mine and fixed it by doing blah, blah, blah. As a teenager and young adult, when you hear things like that over and over, of course you are going to think something is wrong with your hair. 

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Why My 10 Year Old has an Unlimited Talk Text and Data/Web Walmart Family Mobile Plan

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone.
#JustACallAway #CollectiveBias

Walmart Family Mobile #JustACallAway [ad]This past Monday I received an email from our new school district regarding all of the upcoming information about this coming school year - including the date of the first day of school. Our new school district in our new state of Minnesota starts really early (for us) on August 31st - and I immediately panicked because I hadn't bought one back-to-school supply! I've learned my lesson in the past waiting until the last minute so my 10 year old and I headed to Walmart to get school supplies. 

On our way to Walmart I remembered filling out his school enrollment papers and how lost I felt when I needed to give emergency contact numbers. This situation is definitely a first for me. We have always lived within 30 minutes from family, and we always had neighbors and friends we could depend on. Before we moved to Minnesota, I had a dozen people to choose from when filling out an emergency contact form! I'm sure in the future, the longer we live here and the more people we meet I will not have any issues filling out that form, but for now, I needed to do something that would make my son and my husband and I feel better about living in a new city. 

Walmart Family Mobile #JustACallAway [ad]While filling up our cart with school supplies, I noticed this Walmart Family Mobile display located in the electronics department. It would certainly make me feel better if family and friends were just a phone call away for my son. The $29.88 per month charge for the unlimited talk, text, and up to 1GB of 4G LTE was very appealing. Adding another line to my current cell phone plan would be too costly. Plus, this would be a good way to see if the entire family should switch to this plan since I KNOW we are paying too much right now. The coverage map looked impressive on the T-Mobile Nationwide Network so if we don't have any issues living in our semi-rural area, we are definitely going to switch all lines to Walmart Family Mobile once our contract is up with our current provider. 

Walmart Family Mobile #JustACallAway [ad]At $29.88 per month, this was a great plan for my son to have since he could learn some financial responsibility by contributing to the cost. With Walmart Family Mobile, it's not a typical prepaid service, it is a postpaid service so you get your bill at the end of the month. I like this idea for teaching financial responsibility because postpaid bills are what he will encounter more of as an adult. The initial cost for this extra added back-to-school expense ended up being the cost of the phone which was $149 and the Walmart Family Mobile Starter Kit for $25. 

Walmart Family Mobile #JustACallAway [ad]We went with the Samsung GALAXY Grand Prime because it is a phone that will grow with him. We learned our lesson on "starter" phones with our daughter and they always ended up breaking easily or needed some sort of repairs Also, my daughter and I have been iPhone users for quite a few years and since my husband has a Samsung GALAXY, I figured my husband could do all of the set-up and explain to him how to use this phone (and let me off the hook). :) 

Walmart Family Mobile #JustACallAway [ad]Now before you go thinking I'm crazy or asking for trouble that my 10-year old has a smartphone, relax. I wrote up a contact for him to sign so we were both clear on the purpose for this phone. For those of you interested in writing up your own contract for your school aged child, here is what our contract consists of:

  • This phone is owned by my mom & dad, not me.
  • My mom, dad, and sister will always, always know the password.
  • This phone is solely for the purpose of getting ahold of my mom, dad, sister, grandparents, or other trusted adult.
  • This phone will remain in my backpack at school turned off.
  • When I take this phone to a friend's house, I will ask the adult to keep my phone until I leave. 
  • I will not bring this phone with me everywhere I go, especially if I am with my parents or sister.
  • I will not use this phone to be rude or mean.
  • I will always answer this phone if my parents, sister, or other family members are calling.
  • I will not add any apps, games, or music to this phone without consulting my parents or sister.
  • I will not use this phone to surf the web. 
  • I will never share information like my name, address, current location, or phone number. If anyone asks me for this information, I will immediately tell my parents, sister, or trusted adult.
  • I will respect this  phone. It does not belong to me so I will take extra special care of it when in my possession. 
  • I will make sure it is always charged before I take it to school, after school activities, or when I'm with friends. 

Since this is my first ever parent / child phone contract, feel free to leave a comment letting me know what I may have missed! I know that a signed piece of paper does not guarantee all of these rules will be followed, but at least we are both clear on what the rules are!  

Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to or your local Walmart for current pricing.

For more information on Walmart Family Mobile, go HERE.


An Easy Way to Extend the Life of your Cleansing Pads

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EASY TIP!! A super quick way to extend the life of facial cleansing pads!!
Wash your face before you go to bed at night. If there is one thing my mom drilled into my stubborn head when I was a kid (and actually stuck) it was making sure no matter how tired I was or even if I didn't wear makeup that day, washing your face before bed every night is a must. I've been doing this faithfully my entire adult life and here I am at 39 years old still shocking people when they find out my real age. I'm proud to say that aside from smile lines (I blame my husband for those), I have avoided crows feet, fine lines, and wrinkles. Being faithful to my skincare routine, which is simply washing my face and moisturizing day and night has been, in my opinion, the reason for my younger looking skin.

I started using cleansing pads after my daughter's dermatologist suggested them to her. I ended up really, really liking them because they are quite convenient and take eye makeup off easily without harsh scrubbing of having to use another product. The thing is, they can get a little costly. They range in price from $6 - $8 depending on where you shop. I like to get mine at Walmart for $6.78 and there is usually a $1 off coupon available. So for $5.78 I was getting a 28-day supply. 


After I started to use these cleansing pads I realized they were huge. I started to feel wasteful because after I was done with it, I was throwing away a cleansing pad that had lots more mileage left.

My quick and easy solution to this was to simply remove all of the cleansing pads from the container, cut them in half, and then put them right back into the original container. I made sure to use a clean scissor and put them on a clean plate. It's easiest to only cut 3 or 4 at a time also. Now I have a 56-day supply for under $6! This is one of my ways of saving where I can so I can splurge when I want! :)

Note: I only use these cleansing pads at night because I use a lighter face wash in the morning in the shower. These cleansing pads are perfect for removing dirt and makeup at the end of the day from your face. 


Becoming a Minimalist by Accident

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Minimalism By AccidentTwo weeks ago today my family was unpacking all of the moving boxes that had been in storage for the past 3 months. It's hard to believe that everything is unpacked and has a home especially since while the movers were unloading the moving truck, I kept telling myself it would be a month before we sorted through it all. Talk about feeling weighed down.

After being on the market for 6 months with my husband commuting back and forth from Wisconsin to Minnesota, we sold our house in Wisconsin and packed only necessary things that we would need to live. We moved those items into a very small apartment in Rochester, MN while our house was built just outside of Rochester. Everything else went into a moving storage facility and during the unpacking process, each member of my family, including myself, would come across something that we completely forgot about. The more we unpacked, the more we started to question why we brought most of the items with us. I'll get to what we did with all of that another time.

Before the moving company showed up at our house in Wisconsin to pack us up we sold, gave away, and donated many of our things. We must've made at least a dozen trips to Goodwill and St. Vincent De Paul. Well, at least we thought we did. As a matter of fact, our friends, family, and neighbors were starting to ask if we had anything left because we were unloading so much stuff. 

Having fewer choices

Something happened during those 3 months of apartment living. Remember when you moved out for the first time and had very few things to get started? That is how we lived. And guess what? We were actually able to make do with what we had and as we went along, I realized that life just felt easier. Instead of 6 different mixing bowls, I only had 2. That stockpile of cleaning supplies that took up space in the basement at our old house, we brought 2 - 3 bottles with and everything still got clean. During that time we attended a wedding and I had only brought 2 pair of earrings to the apartment; one gold pair and one silver pair. I remember how easy it was to grab a pair to wear because the choice was limited. If I had my huge jewelry armoire, it would have taken me forever to decide what to wear. And speaking of what to wear, that became much less complicated because there was only so much to choose from. 

I no longer like "stuff"

3 months ago you could have asked to borrow a slow cooker. Sure, why not? I have 4 of them. Need some deodorant? Take your pick from these 12 bottles. Having a party and need 6 chip bowls? I got you covered. 

After living those 3 months without all of that, I don't want it back. I don't need it back. Looking back I realize how it was all so overwhelming. Yes, having excess stuff can be overwhelming. I guess this is a concept I would have dismissed before and can only understand it now because we forced ourselves to temporarily live that way thinking "it's only 3 months". Having those things did not make me happy, fulfilled, or a better person. And those things that I thought had meaning, really did not; they only took up space. It was all just more to clean, more to organize, more to stress out about, and more exhausting to make choices. 

I've never been one to live in a cluttered home. I'm not sure there is a single person out there who could say they came into our house and found it to be cluttered. However, for those that would tease me about my immaculate home, what they may not have realized is that to them it appeared to be neat and tidy, but to me it was a mess. I've been asked before if I had OCD because I would clean an already clean house. My house never felt clean. I never felt organized. I struggled with this all of the time. I never understood why I felt this way up until recently. 

Material possessions were cluttering my mind

If a professional sat down with me before our apartment living experience and told me that the reason my mind was cluttered and I was constantly cleaning a clean house was because we had too many material possessions, I would have thought the person was on crack. I would have also listed 100 reasons why I had to keep those things; I spent money on that. My mom gave me that. It matches that other thing. I might need that one day. And finally, I would have said that my house is clean and organized so they must be wrong. 

I'm glad it didn't take a professional to tell me that, and it only took an experience for me to figure it out on my own. It's freeing to have fewer material possessions. It's peaceful really. And in the long run it will eventually put more money in my pocket. I realized that today when I drove right past one of my favorite (or used to be favorite) craft stores. I didn't have the strong desire to go in and look around. I only thought to myself that whatever I would find in there would not go with our new "less is more" decor. 

I realized as I drove past the store that I had adapted this new minimalist and simplistic way of living in more ways than one. And it's a damn good feeling.


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