Pay It Forward Differently

This is my third installment of our Pay It Forward program that we have partnered with our good friends over at Pig Love. If you are joining in with us, please link back your posts back to us! I have found over these past few months, that I am happier inside by doing good deeds, and that it is contagious. When you can see how happy it makes someone to receive your good deed, it is all worth it!

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I had a thought today. I was thinking about our Pay It Forward program that we are doing this year, you know the one where we ask everyone to head out into the world and do a good deed for someone to brighten their day! These deeds are random acts of kindness for the people that live in our area and neighborhoods.

Then I thought, what if our fellow bloggers, those whom we talk to every day through our blogs – what if one of them needed help? What if one of them needed help with something, but was afraid to ask for assistance?

All I have to say is, WE ARE HERE FOR YOU! If you are a blogger and need help with something, whether it be figuring out how to setup something on your blog, you don’t know how to create a button for your blog, you don’t know how to use a photo editor, or perhaps you need help in general. If you find yourself struggling with something, let us know. Perhaps you need to find someone to watch your dog or walk them for you, then ask! There might be a blogger in your area that could help you out! I could list out a million things that someone might need help with, but guess what, you are not alone, as someone can help you out! Are you under the weather? Then let us know – someone can send you some chicken soup! (see how this works)

The Pay It Forward program in my mind, does not necessarily have to be for perfect strangers ya know, it can also be used for us to help those we blog with every day and have created a lasting friendship with.

We all know lots of valuable information and we should start sharing it! For example, do you know of a great place to purchase office supplies at a reasonable rate? How about paper towels? Do you know where to get the best deals? Also, how about sharing with others what online photo apps do you use?  What ideas & awesome deals do you have that you can share?

We are here to help. Paying It Forward is a powerful and contagious thing. What have you done today to Pay It Forward?

Some of the Pay It Forward good deeds that we have completed in February are:

  • Still bringing up our neighbors garbage cans in all the snow that we have had (I know that they appreciate it a lot)
  • We made a huge snack bag for a police officer that is a good friend of ours when he was on duty. He texted us to say hello and said that he was hungry. We sprung into action and put together a snack bag with goodies for him to munch on and included a drink too. He swung by the house and picked it up and said that he was having a crazy busy night. He was so appreciative of our little gesture and drove away with a big smile on his face!
  • Shoveled our neighbors sidewalks and driveways

I am also working on another fun Pay It Forward idea too! I have designed little slips of paper to fit inside those small snack sized baggies with a note that says “Enjoy a free car wash on me!” “Just wanted to put a smile on your face today with this simple act of kindness. YOU deserve a smile today! Now, go ahead and Pay It Forward to someone else today & make them smile too!”  Then, of course, I will add the correct amount of change into each baggie for their free car wash and then tape these baggies to the money machine in each car wash bay.  Keep watching for my upcoming photographs on this PIF random act of kindness!

I actually got a random act of kindness done for me too, as I was sincerely surprised when Bacon mailed me a walnut & cranberry cake! It was delicious! It is not every day that we get a cake mailed to us, so this was the coolest surprise ever. Thank you Bacon for such a sweet gesture of kindness, my tummy thanks you!

We can all make a difference in the world today, even if it is just a smile, holding the door for someone, or returning a shopping cart back to the store for someone. Every good deed does make a difference.

Fast Forward

I wish there was a fast forward button on some magical remote that I can push to get us out of Winter already. I am truly beyond my tolerance of this white stuff. I have never recalled a month where so much snow has fallen and the temps were below zero for days in a row. It’s endless. Hence the yearning for that magical remote where I can fast forward us right out of this season.

SNOW FEB

Last night was the worst and coldest night I can remember. The dogs did not even want to go out in it, and I knew they “had” to go, but hesitated on asking to go out. Nikita and Bella chose not to sit by the back door like they usually do, rather they stayed on their pet beds all warm and cozy. Phew! That saved me the ten minutes it takes me to put on my snow pants, boots, hat, scarf, coat and gloves to take them out, not to mention I have to put their warm sweaters back on them too before we head outdoors.

SNOW FEB WHITEOUT

These temps and snow dumping has got to stop already. I can seriously see where one can get cabin fever or depressed seeing things like this on a daily basis, and it is understandable. I just feel really bad for those who have fallen in the snow while shoveling, got frost bite, or even died from these severe temperatures. It’s been rough dealing with it. I know I have had to call it quits many times while trying to clear off our driveway because I could not feel my fingers any longer, nor could I bend them to just open the back door to come in to get warmed up.

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I have limited the dogs time outside too because their paws get frost bitten really quickly. If I could get them to wear little booties, I would, but I know that booties are not in our dogs future. When I am outside with them, I am always watching how they react and when I see them walking with a paw up in the air, it is time to head inside and fast.

TUG OF WAR BOOT

I know that the dogs are getting a little stir crazy from being cooped up in the house with all these frigid temps of late, so we always have play time activities like hide and seek, keep away from Bella, and tug-of-war games are always fun too. I normally don’t win any of these games, because Bella is always the one who sneaks off with the toy at hand. Nikita always gives up the toy to her, but loves the chase!

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Gimme gimme gimme, this is my toy!

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I always get the toy in the end! LOL

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Bella is hiding behind the couch as Nikita looks for her.

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Nikita figures it is easier to let go of the toy some times, rather than chasing Bella for it. She knows that she will get it back sooner or later.

So what are you doing to keep yourself from going insane from being cooped up inside during these frigid temps? I see another game of hide and seek in the near future, but the dogs always find me hiding behind the bedroom door.

Finding Cleaning Products That Actually Work

At one time or another, we have all noticed areas in our house that needed cleaned. Perhaps a spot that we could never get cleaned, no matter what we tried. I had, yes I said had, one of those spots, but it is now clean!

I had this ugly calcium buildup that resided around the kitchen sink sprayer and no matter what I tried on it, no matter how hard I scrubbed, nothing worked. Until I found my miracle cleaner. I got so excited that this actually worked, and forgot to take a “before” photo, but trust me, it was a mess.

VINEGAR AND DAWN

Isn’t our new carpet so beautiful? (my Sweetie got this for us & I love it) What did I use you ask? Well here is my new found cleaning spray formula that makes our stainless steel kitchen sink sparkle with no more calcium buildup! I just took a spray bottle, filled it with white distilled vinegar and added a few drops of the blue Dawn Dish Liquid, then shook it up. I sprayed this solution all around the calcium buildup and let it sit. It only took a few minutes and I wiped off the vinegar & Dawn solution and all the calcium was gone!

CLEAN

The calcium buildup was all around the base of our sprayer, but not anymore! I bet you are reading this and thinking, “I should try this, because I have the same calcium buildup around my kitchen sink faucets too!” You should try it, because it works!

This same solution can be used in the bathtub too! Just spray it all over the bathtub and let it sit, for 30 minutes or so. Then wipe it off, and rinse. Now you have a clean bathtub!

Spring cleaning will be quickly upon us, but why wait til Spring to try this out? Do you have a cleaning solution that you use that you want to share?

 

Pay It Forward

pay-it-forwardOn January 7, 2015, my dear friends over at Pig Love and I have started our monthly Pay It Forward Campaign and asked for all of our fellow bloggers to join in with us, as we head out into the world to do good deeds. One good deed deserves another.

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Our goal for our Pay It Forward Campaign is to change the world, a little bit at a time, by one good deed at a time, and perhaps change the way we look at the world and others. Think about it…don’t you feel really special when someone does something for you when you least expect it? I bet you do, and that is how we want others to feel too!

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Once a month, Pig Love and Nikitaland will meet up with all of our fellow bloggers to see what good deeds we have all done in the prior month. This is in no part meant for us to brag, but rather share what we are doing to Pay It Forward and making someones day special. We want to hear what you have done as it can inspire others to do the same. Simple gestures that we might take for granted may mean more to another person.

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Here are some of the Good Deeds I have done since January til today:

  • Each and every Wednesday, I brought up our neighbors garbage cans
  • Surprised my Sweetie with some homemade cookies (yes, good deeds start at home too!)
  • Shoveled neighbors sidewalks & driveways
  • Washed my Sweetie’s car & cleaned all the windows
  • Shoveled a path through the field to KMart

PIF SHOVELED WALK TO KMART

I shoveled this path all the way across the field up to KMart. There are a lot of people in our neighborhood (including me) that normally walk up to KMart and I thought it would be nice if I shoveled a path for us to walk on. Instead of trudging through the high snow, I made it a little easier for everyone to get to the store!

So, if you are joining in with us on our Pay It Forward Campaign, leave a comment saying “I’m In!” and tell us the good deeds you have done! And in case you missed it, I made some nice Pay It Forward “My Good Deeds” lists that you can print out to keep track of all the good deeds you have done. You can print it out, hang it on your fridge, to jot down things that you have done during the month, and then the next time we meet up, you can share what you have done to Pay It Forward!

Our next PIF meet up will be on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 so mark your calendars!  

I also created a PAY IT FORWARD board on Pinterest and if you would like an invite to pin to this board, let me know!

pay it forward braceletP.S. – In case you want a Pay It Forward bracelet too, you can get them here! It is a great reminder to join in with us and Pay It Forward!

P.S.S. – Wasn’t that nice of Bella to help out with this post? No matter HOW you wear your Pay It Forward bracelet, it would mean the world to someone to do something nice for them today!

Our Blustery Weekend

When we heard the news that it was going to snow this weekend, and in large quantities, we knew it was going to be B-A-D. There was no way that we were going to miss this snow storm, and it hit us with such magnitude that we are running out of places to shovel it!

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The snow started here for us on Saturday and never stopped until Monday evening. On Sunday, I think that I shoveled the driveway about six times, just to keep up with the amount of snow that kept falling. Each time I went out to shovel, the snow kept getting heavier and heavier, and I was running out of steam. I went to bed tired and feared what I would find when I woke up on Monday morning.

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Thank goodness that Monday morning was not that bad and my Sweetie was able to get out of the driveway for work without having me to shovel. The snow just kept coming most of the day with high winds and a wind chill that would freeze your fingers in a short time. I am so mad at the snow plows because after my Sweetie headed off to work, they filled up the bottom of our driveway with so much ice and snow that I could not shovel it. Our snow blower could not even move the two to three foot wide pile of gunk they left. I started to worry. I waited outside it seemed like an hour to flag down a truck to plow it out, with no luck. I kept going outside in the hopes to catch a truck passing by and my luck paid off because I flagged down a nice guy who backed in our drive and plowed out the pile of ice and snow for me. Phew. What a day!

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The weekend was such a blur. Did nothing but shovel snow, oh wait, I think I got some laundry done in there somewhere, but we are once again, all caught up with our snow removal until our next snow storm hits us in a few days.

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Well carved out drive and sidewalks! I need a flag to put in our snow mound.

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Our snow mounds down the driveway are getting higher, and wider!

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We can’t even see our neighbors any longer! Our unplanned privacy fence between our yards!

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The entrance to the poop pit, all shoveled out. The snow walls are higher than the dogs now and they feel like they are in a little room.

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Our raised garden is back there somewhere under all of that snow! Gosh, I miss our garden so much.

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Standing inside the shoveled out poop pit, looking at our huge snow piles.

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This is how Bella dealt with all of this white confetti. Way to go Bella! What a team player, eh?

I am taking it easy today and resting for our next snow storm.

90% Chance of Snow

I noticed that our weather forecast for tomorrow is 90% chance of snow. I guess it is going to snow tomorrow, eh?

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Thank goodness I finally got the driveway all cleaned today.

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We’re all ready for more snow tomorrow!

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Our snow piles are getting bigger! And, Ground Hog Day is on Monday and that darn Ground Hog always sees his shadow, so six more weeks of Winter! Can someone put a blindfold on that hog so he can’t see anything?

I really can’t remember a year when we ended our Winter early.

‘Teens for Jeans': Elyria student rounding up jeans for a great cause

Nikitaland:

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A GOOD WAY TO “PAY IT FORWARD”?
Then this is something you need to participate in! Abbey Ramirez is trying to collect all the jeans she can which will go to the homeless around the world. I know that we all have jeans in the back of our closets that we don’t wear anymore, so why don’t you contact Abbey today at ARPioneer15@gmail.com today and get your jeans to someone who could use them!

What a great way to “PAY IT FORWARD”!

Originally posted on fox8.com:

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ELYRIA, Ohio – Abbey Ramirez has been doing a lot of folding lately. She’s collecting jeans for “Teens for Jeans.”

“I have to collect as many gently-used jeans as possible and whoever wins, gets a $10,000 scholarship and your school gets a $5,000 dollar grant,” said Ramirez.

She found out about the contest while doing some research online.

So here’s how it works: She has to round up as many pairs of jeans as possible and turn them in to Aeropostale by February 15.

They’ll sort through them and then distribute them to homeless shelters around the country.

“I have 205 and many more coming,” said Ramirez, surrounded by a mountain of denim.

She’s a senior at Elyria High School right now and is pretty involved there. She’s a member of the National Honor Society and a soccer player.

“I’m going to Cleveland State to play soccer…

View original 100 more words

Do You Want Fries With That?

Dining out fast food style, we always hear the phrase “do you want fries with that?” It got me thinking. Do I want fries? Yeah, that sounds good. Sure, gimme some. I was just up-sold to something that I did not know I wanted at the time.

FRENCH FRIES

But this is not about french fries. It is about up-selling your life. Changing your routine. Doing more, and not just the minimum. Getting more out of each day. Enjoying life to the fullest.

OUR HEALTH: Taking care of ourselves is important, but do we do enough? As we age, believe me, things change, things sag. Things appear that were not there before. We need to do something, and we need to do more than just the minimum. We need to take part in a healthy ritual, like drinking more water to hydrate our bodies, moisturizing our skin to keep it soft, and be aware of how our body is changing as we age. If you have been dying to try that new facial anti-aging cream, then go out and do something for yourself and get it! Want a new haircut? Then go get it! Get off your butt and “do something” because no one else is going to do it for you! If this is the year you want to exercise more, then “do it!” If you want to change your diet, then “do it!” If you want to quit smoking, then “do it!” The point I am trying to make is that it is all up to you and you alone to make these changes and make your health better.

OUR WORK:  Do you do just the minimum at work, just to get through the day? Do you push off your work onto others? Do you clock watch the entire day, just to head out the door exactly at five? If this sounds like you, then you have options. If your work situation is so bad that you dread heading into work every day, then “do something” and change jobs. If you want to change your profession, then “do it”. Nothing is holding you back, but you! You are the one who decides your destiny. It’s a new year and perhaps a good time to make that change you have been thinking about, do something for yourself this year. If you think that “the company will fall apart without you” and you can’t leave – trust me, they will find a way to get things done without you. Just make yourself happy and up-sell yourself to what you truly want to do.

OUR HOME: Our homes are where we find solitude and happiness at the end of the day. Our homes house our loved ones. Our pets. The things we cherish the most. It is just not a roof over our heads, rather it is a place where we feel safe, happy, and loved. But do you do enough for your home? Do you keep up with the maintenance? Sure, things break and you fix them, but do you just do the minimum? Do you find yourself putting off projects month after month? You need to change that! Make a list of things that need to get done, and just start “doing” them. Motivate yourself to take care of your home, the place that you cherish the most, and get that to do list done!

OUR FINANCES: Bills. We all have them. They pile up. They add up. It gets frustrating. But, they will not stop arriving in your mailbox, until we pay them off. Head of households have it tough sometimes to keep everything under control, but I applaud them highly for all they do. They keep that roof over our heads, the electric turned on so you can watch your favorite tv show at night, cook dinner every night, and well, basically keep life moving. But we can do more in the finance department. Do you find yourself purchasing things that you don’t need? You do know that these things do add up as the money depletes, right? How about trying the new envelope system you hear about all the time, where you make money envelopes and then “make deposits” to each envelope. You can make a grocery envelope, an electric envelope, even a vacation or Christmas envelope, and start adding money to each envelope to save for that item. If you don’t “do something” now, then you won’t have any money saved for when you need it. It all adds up, little by little, so don’t think that this won’t work, because it does!

For example, I heard about the $5 savings plan. What this is all about is that for every $5 bill you come across, you take it, put it in an envelope, and forget about it. I know that $5 does not seem like a lot, but if you keep saving every $5 bill you run across, can you imagine how much money you will have saved at the end of the year! You can then use that savings for something you always wanted, or that special vacation you always wanted to take, or even use it for Christmas gifts. The bottom line here is, if you don’t “do something” today about your finances, then you will be in the same place down the road. Don’t you want to up-sell your life in this department?

OUR PETS: When was the last time you did something extra for your pet? Yes, we all love our pets like they are family, because they are, but have you done enough for them? When was the last time you brushed their teeth? Gave them a good bath? Brushed them? Clipped their nails? Sanitized their toys and washed them. Cleaned their beds and favorite blankies? Bought them the more expensive food because it is healthier for them. Took them on a good walk. Played with them when you come home from work. Having a pet is a big responsibility, and if you do just the minimum in their health and wellness, who do you think will suffer? Look at your pet today and make the change and promise to them that you will do more for them. Give them your attention. Give them your love. Make sure that they have everything that they need, because it is up to all of us to “do this”.

OUR MISSION: Things in our lives need to be shaken up some times, because we all fall into our routines and get used to the norm, but ask yourself today, “can I do more?” What can I change in my life to up-sell it to enhance my world and make it better? What can I change in my health, home, work, and pets to change them for the better? There is always something that we need to change, why not make this the year to do it!

 

Wordless Wednesday

Ever wonder what your dogs are thinking about? I think about that all the time. I wonder if they look at us and think “Hey, that outfit does not go together!” (lol) What I do know though, is when they look at me, I know that they are happy, truly happy, because of all the love they receive.

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Look at this beautiful face of Nikita. She is so precious. She loves snow. Good thing she loves snow, because we woke up to a few more inches on the ground and it’s still snowing here!

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Winter is always a good time of year to capture beautiful photographs of everything covered in all white. Hope everyone is having a beautiful day today!