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A mom gives her opinions on life and stuff.

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Frugal Fridays: Get Fit For Less

January 4th, 2008 · 2 Comments

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Around the first of the year many of us make a resolution about getting fit and/or losing weight.

Now, losing weight or getting fit can be expensive. Membership in a health club starts at about $40 a month ($480 a year). Diet aids can be $30 or $50 a bottle (or even more), and you may have to worry about side effects. Surgery to remove excess fat is also very costly.

Getting fit doesn’t have to cost big bucks, though. Here are four fitness tips that barely cost anything at all.

  1. Walk. Walking is great aerobic exercise. Nearly everyone can do it and it doesn’t cost a thing. Even if you don’t have an outdoor place to walk, many malls allow walkers in an hour before the stores open. (Just make sure that you leave before the food court opens.) Try to walk for about thirty minutes at least three times a week.
  2. Drink water. Soda and other beverages typically have a lot of calories and very little nutritional benefit. Even drinking juices or milk can pack on the pounds. Try substituting water for a beverage every time you take a drink. Keep a pitcher of ice water in your refrigerator. If you don’t like the taste of water, then you can add a little zing by squirting a little lemon or lime juice into it. (Lemons and limes are both available at a very low cost.)
  3. Think fresh. Processed foods are generally higher in calories and fat than fresh foods. Instead of reaching for potato chips or a cookie when you snack, reach for an apple or a banana. You do have to eat, but you can choose fresh over processed most of the time. (Bananas, in particular, are often on sale since they spoil very quickly. Look for good deals on bananas when they are very ripe.)

    4. Keep a food diary. Most people aren’t aware of how much food that they actually eat. Write down exactly what you eat every day for a month, including portion sizes. Use a library book or a calorie guide on the Internet to assign calories to each food that consume. Once you realize how much you eat, it’s much easier to cut back. There’s a pretty good calorie counter at Caloriesperhour.com, or you can find your own favorite.

(Note: Before starting any diet or fitness plan you should consult with your doctor.)

Best wishes to any readers who wish to lose weight!

Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved

→ 2 CommentsTags: Frugal Fridays

Wordless Wednesday: A Hint of Spring

January 2nd, 2008 · 8 Comments

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Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved

→ 8 CommentsTags: Wordless Wednesday

Seasons Greetings to All My Online Friends!

December 22nd, 2007 · 3 Comments

Make Your Free Christmas Holiday Greeting Here!

I want thank all of my OpinionMom readers and let you know that I’m going to be taking a week, or so, off for the holidays. I’ll start posting again on January 2nd.

In the meantime, here’s some fun posts to read from some of my favorite blogs:

Have a great Christmas! I’ll see you next year.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Uncategorized

Cheerios Snack Mix – A Product Review

December 22nd, 2007 · 3 Comments

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We recently had the chance to review the new Cheerios Snack Mix. The flavor that we reviewed was Cheddar.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t normally like prepackaged snack mixes (too garlicky), but the Cheerios Snack Mix tasted great! In fact, I couldn’t stop munching on it.

This snack mix has a pleasant cheese flavor without being too salty or too artificial tasting. There are a nice variety of pieces too: Cheerios, Chex, pretzels, bread twists, and cheese crackers.

There were four of us who taste tested the Cheerios Snack Mix: myself, darling husband (DH), and my two teen-aged darling daughters (DD1 and DD2). Oh, and the dog snatched and ate a few pieces of it too.

Everyone loved the mix, except DD1 who complained about . Now, DD1 is an extremely picky eater and she didn’t like the fact that this product has Chex in it. (She doesn’t like Chex at all.) However, I caught DD1 sneaking back to the product sample and picking the pretzels and cheese crackers out of it.

As a mom, what I really liked about Cheerios Snack Mix was the fact that it is baked and not fried. This means that it contains a lot less fat than many similar snacks out there. It’s also made with MultiGrain Cheerios cereal, which means that it’s a good source of whole grain.

I would definitely serve Cheerios Snack Mix again. In fact, it would make the perfect appetizer for guests or the perfect addition to a school or work brown bag lunch. (I’m always looking for things to put in brown bag lunches.)

(Disclosure: A product sample was provided by an agent for Cheerios Snack Mix.)

Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved

→ 3 CommentsTags: Sponsored Reviews

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Wreath

December 19th, 2007 · 8 Comments

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Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved

→ 8 CommentsTags: Wordless Wednesday

Hire A Helper: Site Review

December 17th, 2007 · Comments Off on Hire A Helper: Site Review

I was excited to learn about the handy new Hire A Helper service available online. It looks like a great way to save time when you need to hire some household help.

Every summer we spend hours looking for a lawn cutting service in our area and making phone calls to get bids. If you own a home, you know how very hard it can be to find good help. With Hire A Helper, that search time can be reduced drastically by following these easy steps:

  1. Type in your zip code and the date that you need help to automatically find available helpers in your area.
  2. Choose from four types of help: moving help, cleaning help, lawn help, or day labor.
  3. Read a description of each service and order a quote from the provider that you are interested in. (I really liked the fact that the Hire A Helper site allows the customer to read reviews of each helper from previous customers.)
  4. Decide whether or not to hire the helper. (The helper contacts you with the quote, so there’s no need to keep calling to get an amount.)

It’s that simple. With Hire A Helper, those hours of searching for the perfect helper are gone!

Another great feature from Hire A Helper is the learning center, which will have handy tips for homeowners. It’s just one more way that Hire A Helper makes things easier!

We plan on moving to a new house next year. I know that we’ll need some moving helpers then to help us lift the really heavy stuff. This service looks like something that we could really use. When the time comes to find moving help, I’ll definitely explore Hire A Helper.

This is a sponsored review purchased by Hire A Helper through SponsoredReviews.com

Comments Off on Hire A Helper: Site ReviewTags: Sponsored Reviews

Frugal Fridays: To Regift or Not To Regift

December 14th, 2007 · 2 Comments

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At this time of the year, with the holiday rush on full swing, there is a strong temptation to regift rather than buy new. In most instances, you should resist that temptation.

On the surface regifting might appear to be an ideal way to save money. Why shouldn’t that sweater that your aunt gave you two Christmases ago and that you’ve never worn have a new life as your cousin’s Christmas gift this year?

When you look at the regifting concept more closely you may realize that the relationship trouble that it could cause is too great for the amount of money you might save.

If you must regift, here are five things to be especially cautious about when regifting:

  • Never, ever assume the orginal giver (OG) won’t remember the gift.
  • Don’t regift to someone who might come in contact with the OG.
  • Don’t regift to the OG
  • Don’t let the gift recipient know that this is a regift.
  • Fad items don’t make good regifts.

Using the principles above, it’s probably not a good idea to regift among relatives. The chance that the OG will see the regift or someone will talk about it to the OG is just too great.

Likewise, telling the recipient that you are recycling an old Christmas gift that you didn’t want is not the best way to let them know that you care about them.

I shouldn’t even have to say this, but I’ve known of instances where it happened. Don’t ever, under any circumstances, give the regift back to the OG. If you can’t remember where a gift originally came from, don’t regift it.

This might seem like an anti-frugal tip, and in some ways it is. But, aren’t people worth more than money? Remember you don’t have to spend a lot to give an orginal gift.

What are your successes and failures with regifting?

→ 2 CommentsTags: Frugal Fridays

Wordless Wednesday: Nativity

December 12th, 2007 · 3 Comments

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Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved

→ 3 CommentsTags: Wordless Wednesday

Challenging Christmas Quiz

December 10th, 2007 · 2 Comments

I’m a little embarrassed that I only scored 5 out of 10 on this Christmas quiz. Of course, it doesn’t deal with the true meaning of Christmas, but rather the history and traditions surrounding it.


You Know a Lot About Christmas


You got 5/10 correct

You know tons about the history and traditions surrounding Christmas.
When you celebrate the holidays, you never forget their true meaning – or all the little fun details.

Random Christmas fact: The average mall Santa is 5’9, 218 lbs, and 52 years old. The average waist size is 43 inches.

How Much Do You Know About Christmas?

How did you do?

→ 2 CommentsTags: Fun Stuff

Wordless Wednesday: Ornament

December 5th, 2007 · 2 Comments

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Contents (c) Copyright 2007, Laura Spencer. All rights reserved.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Wordless Wednesday



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