We Are in a Lockdown for 4 Weeks....****SIGH***

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This past weekend our governor pretty much "shut most everything down" with some new restrictions because of COVID-19. These are his most hardcore restrictions yet. Unfortunately for us, in our state, the numbers are increasing sharply and are not going down. So we are going to be shut in for awhile. Now what can we do to keep ourselves sane during lock down?

Some things that come to mind are:


2. Take a Nap








And last but certainly not least we can, 



Have an awesome day today and stay safe out there. Practice safe social distancing and please wear a mask. 

Veteran's Day 2020



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"Happy Veteran's Day to my fellow soldiers who are still serving our country and for those who have fallen for freedom. I am a woman & a US Army Veteran and I am thankful that I am able to live in a nation that embraces our freedom to think and vote for ourselves. Everyone deserves a life where they no longer have to worry about their loved one's safety or life each time they walk out the door. Let Freedom Ring".

By MomAdvocate





5 Homemade Gift Ideas from the Heart & Easy to Make

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The holidays are upon us and gifts and shopping are probably on everyone's minds. But don't despair if you can bake, cook, create items from the Dollar Tree and things laying around the house you are on your way to creating a gift from the heart. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that store bought items are "cheap" or "not thoughtful".  It is just, for me personally, when someone gives me a gift from the heart and that was made with their own hands, it is more memorable. This loved one or friend took  time out of their day to create a gift for me. To me that is something special and not something that you forget easily.  

Remember to think of the person you are creating this gift for, then go from there and the rest should follow. For example, ask yourself some questions: Who is this gift for? What are their interests? And How much am I willing to spend?

Here are some ideas of Homemade Gift Ideas from the Heart: 



With a little creativity and imagination, you can make something beautiful to give to a loved one or close friend and they will surely remember you, every time they wear it. 



A Gift Mug is so much fun to create, think of all the possibilities that this can go: 




3. Plants or Flowers Gifts




Plants you grow yourself can be an inexpensive yet thoughtful gift.  A small colorful plant is probably best and can be placed in a pretty container with a ribbon.  Include a note on how to care for the plant. If you don’t have a green thumb, silk flowers would be appropriate and can look almost real.




Calendars can be made from photos taken throughout the year.  These are easy and fairly inexpensive to make online.  You make it more personal by adding special dates and names such as birthdays and anniversaries.  This is a gift that gives all year. 


Shop Stocking Stuffers on Calendars.com


5. Homemade Food or Cookies



Food dishes you’ve cooked yourself are wonderful gifts.  Prepare whatever is your specialty such as jellies, breads, candies or cookies.  Make is personal with a label that says “From the Kitchen of…”  Decorate it with a colorful bow or ribbon and include the recipe.
Personalized gifts given with thoughtfulness and care are for all ages and worth far more than a hurried purchase just to fulfill your obligation regardless of the cost. 


Christmas 2020 is around the corner....What are your plans?

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 Good Morning(or Afternoon/Evening), 

How are you? This year has been a whirlwind so far and crazy, right? In the US right now, we are trying to figure out who our next president will be and it has been a day after the election and we still have no clear winner. People are dying everyday from COVID-19 and systemic racism is a work in continual progress. ***SIGH***.  Hopefully it will all be over soon and we can breathe a sigh of relief or tear our hair out, depending on the outcome, LOL. Sometimes in the midst of chaos and uncertainty my go to is humor because it keeps me sane. So...what was I talking about...oh, yeah Christmas 2020!

My dear son asked me a few days ago what we were going to be doing for Thanksgiving and I honestly had no clue, but thought of decorations, Romantic Comedies and Charlie Brown Movies. Overall just spending some quality time together as a family. It will be a first for us to be spending this holiday with just the 4 of us, instead of the extended family. No, I didn't forget about the food part(Turkey and Sides), it is just a matter of deciding what I want to do. It will all work out:-). 


Christmas will of course be altogether different, but worth it when it comes to spending time with your family. Some people have become very creative in these times of social distancing and just decided to Zoom or Skype their families during these festive get togethers so that they can at least be able to see their loved ones during these times. Our plans are still up in the air, but I do have some ideas about how it will all go down:-). At the end of the day, family means everything to me as well as their safety and well being. So however you choose to spend your Christmas or Holidays with your family this year, make sure it is memorable and that you are practicing safe social distancing practices. We all would love to see our extended families during these upcoming holidays, unfortunately there is a pandemic, so if we do, we should do it safely and sometimes creatively so you still have that "togetherness" just in a different way. 

How to Have a Virtual Family Holiday Celebration



Be Safe. Be Well. Make Memories. 

By MomAdvocate





 

Don't Forget to Fall Back this Weekend!


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Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend: Don't forget to change your clocks


It is that time of year again when we get to earn an extra hour of sleep. I am so ready! Who doesn't want an extra hour...anyone? So get ready for those shorter days and longer nights. Also have a safe and social distance Halloween 2020 this weekend too:-)

By MomAdvocate

The Special Child

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For ALL of the mothers out there with special needs children, keep on fighting, keep on advocating, it will be all worth it in the end. Our children need us:-)


6 Ways to Save Money on Turkey Day

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Six Ways to Save Money on the Main Course at Thanksgiving


The main course will usually be the most expensive part of your Thanksgiving meal and planning ahead can help save money, no matter what you decided to serve as well as what your family prefers. 

1. Talking Turkey


Most families are more traditional and choose a turkey; however, there are a few important factors to consider. Do you want a whole bird or just the breast?  If your family does not like dark meat, then a breast would be the best choice, especially since it is usually more expensive per pound than an entire turkey.

 


A bird with a bone in it will lose about one-third of its weight by the time you discard bones, giblets, fat and so on. This means a 12-pound bird will yield 8 pounds of food. This would be about 4 to 8 ounces of turkey per person, ensuring that you have enough to go around. 

Contemplate buying a bigger bird than you need so that you can cook it just one time and make leftovers, such as sliced turkey breast for sandwiches or turkey chili.

 



Buy a turkey that is not self-basting, if you can afford organic then go for it, but otherwise it is very expensive. Look for sales on frozen turkeys and turkey breasts in the run-up to Thanksgiving. Also try local farms or farmer’s markets to see if you can buy a fresh bird direct. It is important to note, that not everyone likes turkey. So, what are some alternatives that are easy on the wallet?

2. Roast Chicken

Cook one or more chickens. Most people like chicken and you can use all the same side dishes and fixings as you would if you cooked a turkey. Oven stuffer roasters are usually on the large side if you just need one bird. Chicken breasts can be purchased for around $2 per pound in warehouse clubs if no one likes dark meat.




3. Pork Tenderloin

Pork is branded as "the other white meat". A pork tenderloin is lean, tasty and versatile. You can use all the same sides as you would a turkey or chicken. You can also use any leftover meat for a variety of homemade TV dinners, like tacos, stir fry and more. Check out your local farmers markets, butchers or grocery sales. 





4. Ham

Some people love ham at the holidays, and buy baked ham, while pork prices are cheap, bone-in is usually cheaper. And just like you do with turkey, you can use the same sides as you did with turkey. Larger families cook both turkey and ham and make the most of leftovers. 





For some, a holiday meal isn’t complete without a roast dinner. And some people prefer red meat to poultry or pork. A large roast can feed many guests and often still give you enough for leftovers to slice up for sandwiches or use in tacos, chili and so forth. Check out the warehouse clubs or grocery sales for the best prices. If your family loves side dishes; however, roast beef would be the best choice. 






Many people have given up meat, or like to eat light, so if you are not sure who on your guest list eats what, including a vegetarian or vegan main course might be a good idea. You can find many recipes for delicious nut roasts, for example, and you can buy the nuts in bulk online. You can also buy a turkey-style Quorn roast in health food stores or online, which many people find as tasty as turkey. You can get a 1 lb. roast for about $7, although this can be expensive, a little goes a long way and you can also serve it with all the same side dishes. 



I hope you enjoyed all the various ways to save money on our upcoming Turkey Day this coming November. 

Take Care. 




 





Seasonal Fall/Winter Recipe of the Day: Chocolate Bread Pudding

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Chocolate Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

4 cups heavy cream

5 oz. bittersweet chocolate

6 egg yolks (you can just use the entire egg including the whites)

½ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Salt

9 cups cubed firm-textured white bread (1-inch cubes)-(Really any type of white bread will do)



Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.

 

2. Bring the cream to a simmer in a heavy saucepan. Turn off the heat.  Put the chocolate in a large heat proof bowl, and pour in 1 cup of the warm cream.  Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate melts.  Stir the mixture until smooth. Pour in the remaining cream.

 

3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt.  Slowly whisk in the chocolate mixture.  Strain through a fine strainer and skim off any froth.

 

4. Put the bread cubes in a large bowl and pour the pudding over it.  Stir gently until the cubes are moistened through. Be careful not to crumble the bread.  Transfer the cubes to an 8-by-8-inch baking dish, and pour any remaining pudding over the top.  Bake until the pudding is just firm to the touch, about 50 minutes.  Serve warm with whipped cream. YUMMO!

Serves 6-8


Enjoy:-)

By MomAdvocate



Happy Monday! What are your Halloween 2020 Plans?

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 Good Afternoon(or Morning/Evening)!

Halloween 2020 is going to be a doozy this year. Do you have any Halloween plans with your family? Our kids are much older this year and are not going trick or treating and we honestly had no plans to(No offense if you do). We plan on eating some type of junk food or a home cooked meal and watching some scary movies that are family oriented. 


I found some resources for fun seasonal Halloween recipes as well as other recipe books as well that I thought would be great to make for any family, especially one with an autistic individual and other visual learners: 

1) Autism Helper: Halloween Treats and Snacks

2) Visual Recipes: A Cookbook for Non-Readers

3) Fall & Halloween: Visual Recipes for Special Education

Enjoy & Stay Safe out There! 

By MomAdvocate

TGIF! What are Your Plans for the Weekend?

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Good Morning and Happy Friday!
How are you doing today? I picked out this picture because it is definitely how I feel today with everything that is happening in the world. Sometimes you have to just let your hair down and get silly with yourself. Life comes at you fast and you have to decide if you are going to let the world and peoples' actions squelch your spirit or just get childish and enjoy the moment. When COVID-19 hit it was such an overwhelming state of mind in our household and around the country, but what I did see and am still very proud to see is people coming together and helping each other out. So even though it seems a bit crazy now, take time to savor every day and let your loved ones know you love them. At the end of the day, no one has the right to take away your happiness or peace of mind. 

Have an awesome weekend!



Happy Monday Moms & Parents!

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Good Morning, 
I hope you had a fabulous weekend. Did you get everything done that you wanted to? Did you take a nap? Whatever that was on your list to complete or tackle my hope is that you did it. I know it seems difficult in these times to get out or have any motivation to do or get done, but you just have to take it one day at a time. Be Well and Stay Safe. 

From ~Mom Advocate




Happy Friday! What are you Doing to keep your immunity strong during COVID-19?




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Good Morning and Happy Friday!

Thankfully we have a day off from remote learning today and I can take a breather. Sometimes it is okay to just chill and take a minute for yourself. Because this weekend will go by fast. Flu season is afoot, what are you doing to keep your self and your family healthy besides drinking plenty of water, veggies, and more veggies and laughter? I am going to share a great recipe guide for smoothies and it is so worth it. It isn't homemade, but premade and I am okay with that. You cannot beat not having to buy all of the frozen fruit and veggies and all you have to do is add the liquid. Don't be alarmed, it is all organic and worth it! Yummo:-)

Also please remember to get your flu shot this season because....UM....we are in a pandemic and it is sort of important to have an added layer of protection for you and your loved ones from this COVID-19, right? Our family has been taking precautions early on last month to boost our immune systems because in the past our youngest would always get these nasty sinus infections, like clockwork around this time of year. So now we are getting a bit more aggressive in our vitamin C regiments and other immune boosting supplements. 

Here are a few of what we take to keep our immune systems strong, Keep in mind these are definitely not cures for our immunity but do help as the days get shorter and the nights get longer. I hope they help you in looking for what will work for your family. 




 
Vitamin C
 

Nature's Way Sambucus Elderberry Gummies w/Vitamin C & Zinc



Echinacea 400 mg


Stay Safe, Stay Strong and Have a wonderful Weekend!

Autism Moms

 


When I learned our son had autism it was two weeks after my mother passed away, so not only was I grieving about my mother's passing I was also grieving about what could have been with our son. Fast forward to now. So much has happened since that moment in time and it has not been easy. It has been  hard as hell! But I keep on persisting and advocating and DOING because our children are our life's work poured into them, so that they can live a most productive life. Even more so, if they are a son or daughter with special needs, it gets a little bit more challenging. I don't think about when I will no longer be here on this earth because this is too scary to comprehend, so I only think about the now, the present. Every day is a gift so I celebrate the triumphs, mourn the low points and then pick myself up so I can do it again the next day. 

Good Morning:-).

By Mom Advocate


A Little Goes a Long Way: Smart Secrets to Budgeting

 


How are you doing at saving your money during this pandemic? Have prices stayed the same where you are or slowly rising? Teaching your children about saving money is always a great thing and as they get older this concept is much more important since he or she will be utilizing this necessary daily living skill.



There’s nothing more we want than to be able to efficiently manage our money. After all, the money that we want to manage is money that is oftentimes, hard earned. This is where a budget comes in. A budget should help you see where your money is going, get more utility out of every buck, and help you save some extra for future use. 




The first smart secret to a budget is to set a goal. What do you want to achieve? Do you want to correctly appropriate your income into bills payments? Do you want to put an amount aside for a big purchase or a huge investment? By having a goal, you will be able to shape your budget to best serve your interests. 




Secondly, you would want to take note of where your money usually goes. This includes bills, major but regular purchases (like grocery costs, healthcare costs, and the like), and everyday miscellaneous purchases. Only when you list down where you know your money usually goes will you be able to identify which expenses you can do without. Once you’ve identified these regular expenditures, take into consideration what you can cut back on. How much do you spend on your daily caffeine fix in the morning? How much do you spend on newspaper deliveries to your front door? The measly $2 or $5 of these small purchases cumulatively translates to more than $3600 a year! Instead of buying your expensive latte or reading the newspaper on print, put aside the amount you would usually pay for these small routine purchases in a small container. You will be surprised at how much you’re saving out of your older budget.




Being indebted is a vicious cycle on its own. You’re talking about continuous payments, not to mention huge interest rates. The best way to deal with this is to pay the minimum on all of your debts in order to avoid paying extraneous late fees. Whatever cash excesses you may have, you can opt to add on to the payments you make in your biggest debt. This way, you are concentrated on getting the biggest debts first that cost you the greatest interest rates. Doing this progressively, you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll get off your huge debts.



The last and most important step is to jot down the amount you earn the sum you spend. You can make use of computer cash management programs, or make database sheets of your own. Make a system that works for you and will help you keep track of your monthly budgeting progress.



Where To Find the Cheapest Halloween Candy in 2020

 


The best time to purchase cheap Halloween Candy is after Halloween, right? Who wants to pay full price for candy, especially at this time of year and during a pandemic. Go Online and shop to your heart's content on your seat, so you can avoid the crowds. 

We personally like to shop at Amazon and Walmart:


If you are an Amazon Prime Member, load up on the deals from your retailers just make sure it is not a third party seller, because the quality may not be as high as the actual retailers themselves. So shop from the source directly. 


Amazon

Skittles and Starburst Original Candy Bag of 65 Fun Sized Pieces

Airheads 60 count variety pack

Hi-Chew Variety Pack of 6

Snickers, Twix, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way 240 piece minis


Walmart

2lb Candy Corn Bulk

KitKat 60 Piece Party Bag

Twizzlers 105 ct. Strawberry 

Laffy Taffy 145 count variety pack tub


Enjoy! Stay Safe out there this Halloween and make sure you are practicing social distancing practice as well. 

~M. 





We Are in a Lockdown for 4 Weeks....****SIGH***

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