Saving Money With Amazon Replacement Parts

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On Tuesdays I share a picture from our week that inspired me to write a post.

Mid week I got an order from Amazon that included springs for our trampoline and blender parts for my favorite blender.

Save Money By Purchasing Replacement Parts For Many Common Household Items On Amazon

I couldn’t help but think how much money Amazon has saved us  the last few years through replacement parts we can find there that we can’t find in the stores in our town.

3 items that were saved from the landfill or recycling bin thanks to Amazon Replacement Parts

my blender1. My Oster Beehive Blender

I love my Oster Beehive blender for its glass jar.  It is very rare it seems these days to find a blender with a glass jug, and I really prefer glass to plastic. The Beehive blender is also very powerful, you do have to make sure that the liquid part of your shakes is at the bottom to help get it started but once it gets to grinding it does a great job, and cleans up well.

About a month ago the lid to my blender disappeared, I am pretty sure the child who dries the dishes put it in the recycling bin as he has been known to do this before with a few more or my kitchen items. Without a lid a blender is useless. I tried a plate or two as a thrifty fix but none formed a great seal and that was messy.

A new Beehive blender would have been $40 from the cheapest source on line I found

A replacement pack of parts was $10.97

I saved $29.03 and I have replacement parts for the other parts of the blender that might get broken or lost by the same boy who lost the lid.

trampoline2. Our Trampoline

We bought a trampoline from Aldi’s last spring as part of our make the backyard fun for our now older children makeover. Being new trampoline owners who never grew up with one we didn’t realize what heavy winter snowfall mixed with ice could do to a trampoline. By spring we were enlightened to the fact that it is a good idea to put the canvas of your trampoline away each winter because snow load stretches it and the springs holding it.

We were able to fix it (although it is not as bouncy as it once was but bounce enough to be fun) with trampoline springs from Amazon.

Cost of a new trampoline:  $209.00 (we paid $199 at Aldi last spring but they don’t have that trampoline this year but this one on Amazon is a close replacement in size and quality)

Cost of replacement springs: $17.04 per set and we need 3 so $51.12

We saved $157.88 and learned a valuable yet expensive lesson!

my ipod3. My iPod

Although I  finally caved and got a smartphone a few months ago, when my current dumbphone died, Tracfone the company we find to be the most economical in our area does not offer iPhones and I am hooked on apple products. My LG phone does what it needs to do, takes great pictures, and works pretty fast but….well…it just is not an apple product. I don’t like that I have to press 2 different buttons to see updates, where as my iPod screen lights up automatically whenever I get a Facebook message or an email or a textfree message. I also can type twice as fast on my iPod and like the notepad app way better.  I  really still have a 2 piece smartphone it just now takes better pictures, and I can access WiFi using data whenever I want, plus when I want to be completely off work, I leave my iPod behind, as I didn’t load blog relate apps to my smartphone.

Unfortunately my  4th generation iPod battery life is right around one hour . My son keeps telling me I should just update to an iPod 5 but since I have a smartphone my thrifty self is having problems justifying it.

To keep it going on the go I discovered portable battery chargers and LOVE THEM.

Cost of a new iPod: $262  for a 5th generation

Cost of a battery charger: $16.99 (sale price)

I saved: $245.01

By looking for options to fix items so that they last longer our family has saved $431.92 on these three items alone. Not only did we save money but we also avoided shipping things off to the landfill or recycling bin (not that recycling is bad, reusing or renewing is just better).

Have you ever saved money buying replacement parts on Amazon instead of re-buying the item?

  How to earn 30 dollars a month with Swagbucks (small)

My family pays for most of our Amazon orders through gift cards earned through Swagbucks.  Earning Swag Bucks takes less time than you may think, here is my $30 a month Swagbucks plan that doesn’t require you to take a single survey and most of the work is just clicking a few buttons while you work on something else.

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Free Slip ‘N Slide After Rebate From Toys R Us Through TopCashback

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61JfUIRHEoLI love TopCashback for their generous percentages back on purchases of 100′s of stores online and for their no limit cash out. If you haven’t joined TopCashback yet today is a great day to join if you have a Toy R Us near you.

As A New Member You Can get a Slip ‘N Slide Wave Rider For Free From Toys R Us Through TopCashback

Here is how to get your free Slip ‘N Slide Wave Rider

  • Sign up through this link
  • enter Toys R Us into the search box at top of the TopCashback site and deal should come up
  • click through link (orange box that says get cash back)  to Toys R Us website and only put the slip ‘N slide Wave Rider priced at $6.98 in your cart  and nothing else (otherwise you will not get rebate but only a 2% discount rebate )
  • click pick up in store to avoid paying shipping costs.
  • Within 7 days the $8 will be posted to your account
  • Within 30 to 90 days the $8 should become payable and credited either straight to your PayPal account or you can opt to be paid in Amazon Gift card and earn a 2.5 % bonus meaning you would get $8.20 instead of $8.
This TopCashback Slip ‘N Slide offer is available:- until 23:59 PT on Thursday, July 31, 2014 or stock runs out
- while it’s priced at $6.98 (if the price changes, the deal closes)

 

One Summer Fun Goal For The Week: July 28 to Aug 3

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one summer fun goal for the weekLast Week’s Goal

Last week was a flop.

Why? Well lets just say it ended with me going to the doctor, where I received 3 medications, 2 more appointments, and gave 3 vials  of blood for testing purposes.  So not only did I not get to go on the long bike ride trip my son and I have been planning for months but we didn’t get to do much of anything else either. Plus the doctor said I can’t bike ride for at least a month (super bummed about that :( ). Don’t worry so far all minor aliments but they are all making me feel really OLD.

This Week’s Goal

Take a me day

The Doctor and I had a little talk and it made me realize that I need a morning to night me day. I think it has been a year since I have taken one. These usually consist of me visiting a nearby city, enjoying lunch by myself, a bit of thrift store shopping, some reading or some writing in a coffee shop, and dinner by myself before hitting SAM’s for a good bulk food grocery shop up before coming home. Not exciting but needed for mental health.

What I Read This Week

I finished 1 book this week which means I have now read 40 books in 2014

The Search: Well developed characters, with real life problems and amazing stories of grace. (psst…got it from paperbackswap.com)

What I Am Reading

In Paperback Form

The Wholehearted Wife :   I am really enjoying this title so far. It is a great reminder that to love your spouse fully you must love yourself fully.

On My Kindle Paperwhite

How To Homeschool 9th and 10th Grade: (didn’t read a single page of it this week I am having problems letting go of summer time and preparing for the next school year) It is almost that time of year again and my second child will be entering 9th grade this August. I want to start off his highschool years on solid footings so I am looking forward to reading this title.

On My Kindle App

The Choice Is Yours: Life Happens: Walking With God Is A Decision.  I  read a few more pages  of this title this week.

A Find I Want To Share
I have an allergy to aspartame, it causes one side of my body to go slightly  numb. I love chewing gum when I am deep in writing thought but I obviously can’t have the aspartame kind and the sugar kind sticks to my one and only crown which is why I am so happy to have found pur gum. It uses Xylitol to sweeten, tastes great, doesn’t stick to my dental work, and keeps its flavor for hours.

 

 

10 Thrifty Themed Pinterest Community Boards To Follow

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What I love about being Thrifty in today’s world is how simple it is to find free sources of thrifty wisdom.

10 thrifty themed pinterest community boards to follow

One such source of free thrifty wisdom is of course Pinterest, and community boards are always the best for digging deep into all areas of thrifty. When you gather dozens to hundreds of bloggers who write about frugality and thrift and have them pin to one board you create a mass of thrifty knowledge.

Listed below are 10 thrifty themed Pinterest community boards that I currently  belong to, but if you have a thrifty themed community Pinterest board not on the list go ahead and tell me about it in the comments, so that we thrifty folks can follow it. If your thrifty themed community Pinterest board is  open to new pinners then tell those of us who would love to join how to best contact you for an invite.

10 Thrifty Themed Pinterest Community Boards To Follow

1. Frugal Living: Inspired BN Community

2. Thrifty Thursday@ LWSL

3. Frugal Freebies 4 Mom

4. Ultimate Frugal Homeschool

5.  Affording The Homeschool Life

6. Creative Ways To Pay Off Debt

7. Frugal Living Tips

8. We Heart Frugal Living Tips

9. DIY Tricks & Frugal Tips

10. Thrifty Christmas Tips

One More Thrifty Board  To Follow : My Saving Money Tips Board isn’t a community board but instead my personal thrifty living Pinterest board where I pin not just my own posts about thrifty living but those of other bloggers that I find when surfing the web or cruising Pinterest.

Once again if you manage a thrifty living themed community board I would love for you to share it in the comments below so that readers of this post can find other great boards to follow beyond the ten listed.

10 books you need to read if you want to be a thrifty ninja (small) Prefer book reading to pinning? Here are 10 books I recommend reading if you want to become a thrifty ninja. 

 

 

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5 Contemporary Christian Authors That Need To Be On Your Summer Reading List

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Summer isn’t over yet, you still have plenty of time to grab a book and do some summer reading.

5 contemporary christian authors that need to be on your summer reading list

 Here are 5 of my favorite Contemporary Christian Authors For Summer Reading

1. Suzanne Woods Fisher

There is just something about summer time that makes me want a good story about living the plain life, and Suzanne Woods Fisher delivers just that story. A few of my favorite titles about Amish living by Suzann Woods Fisher are the Lancaster County Secrets Series,  and any of the books from The Adventures Of Lily Lap Series would be great to read aloud to children 6 to 12 or just read yourself (yes I indulged in children’s books now and again).

2. Susan May Warren

I recently discovered Susan May Warren’s books through Tyndale Rewards, where you can still grab her titles. So far I have read Take a Chance on Me and It Had To Be You both from her Christiansen Family book series. I am looking forward to diving into her Deep Haven series starting with Happily Ever After which I got from Paperbackswap.com .

3. Lisa Wingate

I feel in love with Lisa Wingate’s writing when I read The Prayer Box. She always knows how to bring me to tears and get me thinking. I am currently working through her Tending Roses series.

4. Karen Kingsbury

If you are not familiar with the Baxter family you need to be. Kingsbury’s books about the Baxter family starting with Redemption and ending with Coming Home got me so involved that I wanted to go down to  Bloomington Indiana to meet them. Yes the characters feel that real to me, even years after reading them, I find myself thinking ” I wonder what they are doing now”.

5. Becky Wade

A Sunday afternoon on the swing chair on the front porch and one of Becky Wade’s novels go together like chocolate syrup on vanilla ice cream, delightful. Two I have read so far are My Stubborn Heart and Undeniably Yours.

Looking for more ideas of what to read, how squeeze more reading into your day, or how to save money on reading? Follow my Books board on Pinterest.

4 thrifty ways ot grab your summer reads (small)Find out how to save money on your summer reads, including ways to earn free books.

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3 Apps That Will Help You Earn More Swag Bucks

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Recently I was reading a comment thread on Facebook discussing ways to earn Swagbucks and I was surprised by all the people who did not know that Swagbucks had one app let alone 3  you could earn Swagbucks in.

3 Apps That Will Help Your Earn More Swag Bucks

 3 Apps that Will Help You Reach Your Swagbucks Earning Goals

1. Swagbucks: The Swagbucks app allows you to do a lot of the same things as you can do on the homepage of Swagbucks on your laptop. If you hit the Discover tab you can complete offers that interest you for Swag Bucks. Hit the Answer tab and you can take the daily poll. Hit watch and you are taken over to the EntertaiNow app to earn more Swag Bucks (see #3 for further details). Plus earn points randomly when you use the search bar found at the top of the apps home page. You can also check your balance and order rewards through the Swagbuck App.

2. Swagbucks TV :Earn 2 Swag Bucks for every 5 video clips watched up to 40 Swag Bucks per day. Best part, the app plays the videos one after the other without need to chose the next one and press play, meaning you can get the app going and then leave it so you can earn Swag Bucks while working on something else.

3. EntertaiNow: Earn 2 Swag Bucks for every 10 video clips watched up to 30 Swag Bucks per day. This app like the Swagbucks TV app plays continuously meaning you can do other things while it plays.

All three apps are available at either the iTunes store or at the Google Play store.

These 3 apps will help you reach your Swagbucks goals, and if you are wondering just how high you can get your Swagbucks earnings you might want to check out a few of my Swagbucks earning plans.

Not yet a Swagbucks member? Join Today!

Looking for ways to increase your monthly income from home? Follow my Selling & Earning Tips board on Pinterest.

A list of 17+ point progmas that will help your increase your income.Swagbucks is just one of many point earning programs that can be used to earn a bit of money from home. Here is a growing list of 17+ point programs that I have tested and found to work plus descriptions of what parts of each programs I have found to be worth the time and which ones aren’t.

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How To Host A Simple & Fun Wiener Roast Night

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On Tuesdays I share a picture from our week that inspired me to write a post.

Last week we spent camping at a near by state park. Each day I tried to have someone over to spend time with us either on the Kayaks or on the beach or to eat a meal with us and then sit around the campfire talking.

How to host a simple and fun wiener roast nightOne of my favorite evenings, was one of the simplest. I invited my friend and her three children over for a wiener roast. I had not had a wiener roast in years, in fact I don’t think I have ever had one with my children and my oldest is now 18.

When the evening was all said and done I couldn’t help but thank God for it in my gratitude journal and spend a few minutes thinking back on how simple, fun and relatively inexpensive the evening was to host.

Supplies Needed For a Wiener Roast

1. A fire pit

Every wiener roast begins of course with a fire pit. We had one at our campground but if your neighborhood allows backyard fires like ours does, you could buy your own backyard fire pit. We got ours on clearance in September. You could also make your own fire pit using ideas found on pinterest.

a wiener roast gathering

2. Chairs to sit around the fire in

Your can squat around the fire to roast your hotdog and marshmallows but that is not going to be comfortable for long, so I suggest gathering up all the camp chairs you own and asking your guests to bring theirs.

A wiener roast gathering table for food

3. A table near the fire to put all the food

It is a lot easier to place a table near the fire and fill it with all the makings for hotdogs and s’mores, plus drinks, cups, plates and sides, than to have to go inside to outside with them. If you have a picnic table you can drag up near the fire that will work too.

roasting marshmallows part of the wiener roast fun

4. Roasting Forks

We used inexpensive marshmallow roasting forks and they worked just fine for both hotdogs and marshmallows.

5. Hotdogs, buns and condiments

Make sure to have enough hotdogs, buns and condiments for everyone. I allowed for 2 hotdogs per person and we had plenty left over. Buy your hot dogs on sale and freeze them to keep the cost of the get together low. Buy no-name brand condiments to keep costs low too. I stuck to the standard hotdog toppings of  ketchup and mustard (I also wanted relish but it got left behind at the house).

s'more eating part of the wiener roast fun

6. S’more makings

Know where the best prices for marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate bars can be found by keeping a price book so that you can keep the cost of dessert low too. I suggest just like hotdogs you allow for 2  s’mores per person when buying your supplies, so that you have more than enough (or 3 per person if you happen to be friends with a bunch of sweet tooth people).

7. Ask your guests to bring the sides and drinks

I asked my friend to bring pop and chips and she didn’t mind at all. This keeps the cost of dinner lower for both host and guest. It also makes it easier on the host to set up the evening.

8. Watermelon is always a healthy and simple side

To make sure we ate something healthy I brought a watermelon to the campground with us and sliced it up to serve with the hotdogs, chips and s’mores.

9. Don’t forget fire safety

If you have little ones make sure you go over the rules of how to roast wieners and marshmallows safely. Make sure an adult is close by the fire at all times during the evening. Don’t forget to put the fire out when you are done.

10. Make clean up simple

We used paper plates and cups ( thrifty tip: we labeled the cups with a sharpie marker so each guest only used one for the whole evening). We placed a garbage pail right by the food table and pointed it out to all the children so that they had no excuse not to toss their garbage where it belonged.

What are your tips for a successful wiener roast? Share them in the comment section below.

Linked to Thrifty Thursday,

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Looking for ideas for summer fun? Check out my post “10 Thrifty Summertime Friendship Gatherings”

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One Summer Fun Goal For The Week: July 21 to 27

one summer fun goal for the weekLast Week’s Goal

An extended time just me and my husband at the campground did not happen.

My husband ended up working late all week, including the Thursday night when he was finally coming out the campground. We also discovered that we some how missed that it was his turn to be on call for work starting at 7 am Saturday morning. We had friends out to the campground to spend time with us Friday afternoon and evening and we had a blast with them but that meant we really only got a few hours alone together Friday morning and some of that time was spent finding parts to fix a kayak so we could kayak with our friends.

We are not giving up on spending a weekend away though and already have another weekend marked on our calendar.

This Week’s Goal

I am going to set a hopeful goal and a backup goal for this week. I am hoping to do a bike trip with my son that we have been looking forward to for months BUT the weather forecast is currently not agreeing with our goal so my backup goal in case the weather does not change is to enjoy one or two little outings with my sons while my daughter is away.

What I Read This Week

I finished 2 books this week which means I have now read 39 books in 2014

1. Wish: A handful of tissues by your side at all times type of book. A story of facing a battle head on and winning yet being okay with not because you know you did everything you could. (psst…this was a Tyndale Rewards title )

2. The Waiting: A story of facing our fears, and our sorrows. A story of knowing who we are and who we are not. A story that had me laughing one page and crying the next. (psst…I got this title though paperbackswap.com)

What I Am Reading

In Paperback Form

The Search: This is the last of the Lancaster series books, and I am only on chapter 2 so far. Still figuring out the characters.

On My Kindle Paperwhite

How To Homeschool 9th and 10th Grade: (didn’t read a single page of it this week I am having problems letting go of summer time and preparing for the next school year) It is almost that time of year again and my second child will be entering 9th grade this August. I want to start off his highschool years on solid footings so I am looking forward to reading this title.

On My Kindle App

The Choice Is Yours: Life Happens: Walking With God Is A Decision.  I  read a few more pages  of this title this week.

A Find I Want To Share

I got my first bottle of EO organic deodorant Lavender body spray for my birthday in March. I am now working on my third bottle and a 4th is on its way. When I cut out products with chemical based perfumes and parabens the one product I really missed was my body spray. I loved stepping out of the shower and misting myself all over with it. Now with EO  Lavender body spray I can do it again but this time with out the chemicals. The label may say deodorant but truly it is a body spray and does not replace deodorant. The sent is very subtle and not at all overwhelming.

10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Camping

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Camping is something that I still feel like I am learning all things thrifty about. My family and I have been campers for 4 seasons now and I have learned a lot about how to keep the costs of camping down in those years, and am still learning.

10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Camping

 

10 Ways To Save Money On Camping

How To Save Money On Camping Supplies

1. Borrow

If this is your families first every camping excursion buy as little  as possible and borrow all that you can. This will allow you to make sure that your family really does enjoy camping before you invest money in a tent, sleeping bags and all the other things you think campers need.

2. Buy it used

Craigslist and Facebook buy and sell groups are great places to look for second hand tents, and other camping supplies.Don’t forget to look at yard sales too, I have found all we needed to outfit our new to us RV from various yard sales.

3.  Buy it on clearance

Even camping supplies go on sale as summer turns to fall.

4. Share

This differs from borrowing because you are purchasing articles together with friends and then using them at different times. Most people camp perhaps 2 to 3 weeks a year at most, so there is time in the season to share your stuff with others. Pick your friends or family wisely for this though, as it takes just the right friends to do this with and will require some written rules so that feelings are not hurt when lets say the tent breaks on your camping outing and the other couple expects you to pay the whole replacement cost even though it was a normal wear and tear break.

5. Use Reselling and Point Programs to help you with costs of supplies

For most families things like camp supplies are not going to be a regular line on the family budget. If you want to invest some money in camping supplies but can’t find the money in your regular pay checks, perhaps you could go through your house from top to bottom gathering all the things you don’t need, and throw a yard sale, or list big items on Craigslist. Consult my Reselling page for a list of all the different ways you can earn money reselling your items.

If you simply don’t have many items to sell, with a little more time you could earn the money for what you need through point programs. I have a list of 17+ programs that can help, as well as a plan for earning $30 each and every month with Swagbucks without filling in a single survey.

How To Save Money On Each And Every Camping Trip

6. Shop around for a campsite

Prices of campsites really do vary. For instance in our area we got to a great state park for right around $20 a night, but we have seen other private campgrounds in our area with less to do on their land charging as much as $70 a night.

7. Plan your camping trip menu at least one full week in advance

This is where I failed big time this trip. I made our menu up the evening before we left and went grocery shopping only 3 hours before departure. Needless to say we ate a lot more processed food than my tummy and my wallet liked.

By planning ahead you can think through how to simplify recipes for campground cooking. For instance you can make up homemade baking mix that you can use for pancakes and biscuits and even a quick pizza dough,  oatmeal packets, cookie dough, and even freezer bag crockpot meals (if you are RVing it like we do) which will save you time at the campground and money.

8. Make a master list of supplies

Nothing is worse than getting out to your campsite and realizing you forgot the tinfoil that half your recipes need forcing you to pay premium price for it at the campground store.  A master list stops this expensive problem in its tracks. Here is a basic outline of what to put on your master camping list.

9.  Plan for the unexpected

Bring along basic first aid items as well as Tylenol, Cough Drops, Benadryl and those monthly unmentionables.

These should go on your master list (number 8) but I listed them separate because it took me a few camping trips to realize that all these items should make it on my master list because you just never know and camp store Benadryl has high mark up, but when your daughter has a swollen face from mosquito bites that the bug spray didn’t seem to stop her from getting, you will pay anything to make the sweet thing feel better.

10.  Plan for a rainy day

The weather app may say 10 days of full sun ahead, but it isn’t always right and some rain may fall on your camping getaway. Instead of letting rain send you to the movies and dinner out in a nearby town thus emptying you pocket book, plan what to do should rain fall before you even leave the house. Here are 10 rainy day camping ideas that have worked for our family over the years, that are fairly inexpensive, another treasure trove of great ideas are these camping activity bags not all of them could be done in the rain but most of them could be and many of the supplies for the bags could be purchased at dollar stores.

Looking for more camping ideas? Follow my Family Camping board on Pintrest. Love money saving tips? Follow my Saving Money Tips board on Pinterest.

Linked to Saver Tips Tuesdays,

Check Out My Other Articles On Camping

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Instead Of Writing A Blog Post I Built Memories

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Instead Of Writing A Blog Post Today I Built Memories

A sunset at the reservoir where we are camping.

My family has had our RV out at a local campground for almost 2 weeks now. There have been sleepovers with friends, time spent swimming , kayaking, hiking, biking, hanging out around the campfire and lots of time spent reading.

Needless to say there hasn’t been as much time for blogging. An hour at the observation center each morning (the only area of the campground with WiFi)  and a 1/2 hour in the evening. There was also a full afternoon spent at home catching up on laundry while I wrote posts for this week.

I love that my job allows me to be this flexible, but still even with it’s flexibility I fell short this week of finishing all 5 posts that I typically write in one week by one post, which would be the post for today (I have a thrifty post ready for tomorrow).

Instead of  writing a blog post for today, I went kayaking with a friend and caught up on her life.

Instead of writing a blog post for today, I  sat around a campfire talking with my kids.

Instead of writing a blog post for today, I took my daughter and her friend out kayaking to a nearby island where they spent over an hour swimming and laughing.

Instead of writing a blog post for today, I went running with my son.

Instead of  writing a blog post for today, I made memories.

I want to encourage you to do the same. What things in your life can you cut out for just a little while, to make room for a little more memory building time? DO IT. Grab those children, those friends, and take the time to build memories, in memories relationships are built and in relationships life is lived.

 

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