Long Term Layoff

In my last post I discussed how to prepare for and survive a short-term layoff.  Unfortunately sometime those short term situations turn into long term solutions for your employer and you wind up laid off and out the door. 


First you need to go back and review my previous post How To Plan For A Short-Term Layoff.  Those tips will get you started down the right path.  One you have reviewed them and gotten started there then you can move onto the fallowing steps.

Update Your Resume.  Having an updated resume is a must when you are facing the possibility of a permanent lay off.  Your new potential employer is going to want the most updated information on your job history.

Start Looking For Work NOW!  Don’t wait until your unemployed to start looking for work.  As crazy as it may sound, you are actually ore employable while you still have a job.  If he anticipated lay off wil be a large one then you will also be ahead of the crowed when looking to secure new employment.

Get Educated About Your Options.  It’s important to know what benefits (if any) you will be walking away with.  Is there a severance package?  If so, how much?  Is it a lump sum or paid out in installments?  You will also need to find out how to transfer your 401K when you secure new employment.  Finally you will want to get informed about your COBRA insurance.  How to get signed up, how long it lasts, and how to best utilize it if necessary.

What About College?  Sometimes additional education is needed  to land that new job.  In some cases going back to college and earning a degree is your best chance to finding a new job or starting a whole new career.

Making The Hard Choices – Should You Sell The Car?  There are times when a long-term layoff will force you to make some hard choices.  They may not all be as big as selling the car, but some of them will certainly be tough.  It’s important to be mentally prepared to make each difficult decision as it comes along.

Fallowing these tips and those suggested in my post How To Plan For A Short-Term Layoff can help you and your family survive a layoff no matter how long it may last.


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Homemade Swimmer’s Ear Drops Can Prevent Outer Ear Infections

Every summer families all over the country, including mine, head to the pools and beaches to cool off.  This is also closely followed by an increase of outer ear infections often referred to as swimmer’s ear.

Swimmer’s ear occurs when water gets trapped in the ear canal after swimming and can even happen while bathing.  Water is loaded with bacteria can irritate the ear drum and the ear canal.  The bacteria in this trapped water will multiply and then fester until it causes pain.

Preventing swimmer’s ear is quick, easy, and painless.  All you need to do is make and use your own Swimmer’s Ear Drops.  While it’s not a cure for an existing ear infection, it will help you prevent the next one.

The ear drop recipe we use was given to my mother-in-law by an old country doctor.  Dr. Robinson was my husband’s pediatrician (and mine as well) and was a gentle natured but no-nonsense type of man.  The renowned Dr. William Sears, a pediatrician and parenting expert, also advises parents to make and use Swimmer’s Ear Drops as a way to prevent an external ear infection.

Homemade Swimmer’s Ear Drops Recipe


1/2 White Vinegar

1/2 Rubbing Alcohol


Mix equal parts white vinegar and rubbing alcohol in a small bottle with a dropper lid.

How To Use Your Homemade Simmer’s Ear Drops

Simply drop 3-4 drops of your vinegar and rubbing alcohol mixture into the ear, enough to fill the ear canal.  Waite about 30 seconds, then cover your ear with a Kleenex or paper towel, tip your head and let it drain out. Repeat with the other ear.

Important Note: If you or your child already have an ear infection do not use these drops as it is not a treatment and the rubbing alcohol will cause pain in the already affected ear.

If you have a younger child and are worried about the sensitivity to their ears you can make your mixture with a little more white vinegar and less rubbing alcohol.  It is the vinegar that kills bacteria while the rubbing alcohol dries the water in the ears.

I have personally used these drops with both of my children.  The earliest we started the drops were at 3 months of age and continue to use them whenever the boys get water in their ears either after swimming or bathing.

 Does your family use these homemade swimmers ear drops?

Don’t miss out on any of my great tips to help your family save money, have frugal fun and enjoy life!

Learn How You Can Beat The Winter Blues With These Five Simple Tips

This is the time of year when boredom sets in and the winter blues hits many people hard.  The days are short and gray and you may be feeling that winter will never end.  The winter blues can make anyone feel cruddy and can affect a two year old just as easily as it can a 102 year old.  The good news is that there is only about six more weeks of winter left and we are entering the home stretch!

Five Tips To Beating The Winter Blues

As adults there are clear signs of the winter blues.  We may feel depressed, out of sorts,  irritable, tired, or board.  So what do you do if you find yourself coming down a case of the blues?

Work On Your Resolutions.  Remember those things you promised yourself you would do this year?  Now is the perfect time to get started on them if you haven’t yet.   Keeping busy on your New Year’s Resolutions during the winter months will help time move faster and before you know it spring will be here.

Get Out Of The House.  I know how tempting, and easy it can be to stay indoors and “hibernate” during the winter.  After all who, besides maybe the kids, actually want to go outside in the cold and snow.  Especially when it is so nice inside where it is all warm and toasty.  Getting out of the house even for a few minutes each day will help you feel refreshed and energized.

Find A Project.  If your house is anything like mine; there is always something that can be worked on organized, or update.  I always try to do these projects during the cold months while I’m cooped up inside.  That way I don’t have to worry about getting it done when the weather is warm.  Need A little inspiration?  Check out Pinterest, there are plenty of ideas there to keep you crafty all winter long!

Take Your Vitamins.  A healthy, well balanced diet will naturally make you feel better.  Including a multi-vitamin into your daily routine is an easy way to give you and your immune system a boost.  Along with a multi-vitamin I personally take a Vitamin D everyday as it helps replace the vitamin D we naturally loose in the winter since the sun is often over cast on the already shorter days.

Bright Light Therapy.  Using bright light therapy to treat seasonal depression has been around for years.  That’s because it works.  Bright light therapy requires the use of special bulbs and lamps that will give off a very bright light that acts like artificial sun light.  This artificial sunlight tricks your body into thinking it’s getting additional sunlight than it is causing the body to adjust the amount of melatonin and serotonin it produces.

As I mentioned at the beginning of today’s post the winter blues can affect kids just like adults.  Check back on Wednesday to learn what you can do to help the little ones in your life when dealing with the effects of a long cold wintery season.

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How To Make Your Own Homemade Snow Ice Cream

A couple of weeks ago my four year old came home from preschool talking about snow snacks.  He was so excited telling his dad and I all about how his teacher Mrs. S taught him that you could make real ice cream from snow!  As if snow wasn’t cool enough now you could make ice cream out of it and any flavor you wanted too!  For the next three days he talked about snow ice cream almost nonstop.

Then when the storm came through and dumped over 14 inches of the white stuff on our door step it was like Mother Nature herself was saying, “Hey, why don’t you make that kid of yours some ice cream.”  So that’s exactly what we did!  I sent my son and husband outside to get some fresh snow from the yard and we had a lot of fun mixing our own batch together.  This was such an easy project that KC was able to do most of it himself!

If you want to give it a try, below is the recipe we used although there are other ones out there.



1 (14 oz) can Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 Tablespoons Vanilla

Flavorings such as Chocolate Syrup

8-10 Cups of Fresh Snow in a large bowl with extra room to stir up your snow ice cream


1.  Combine the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla in a bowl.

2.  Pour slowly over the snow and stir vigorously.  The texture will be delicate like a soft old fashioned homemade ice cream.

3.  Add your desired flavoring and enjoy!

Note:  The leftovers don’t freeze well the milk in it will freeze solid making it to difficult to eat.  So you will want to make it and eat it right away, then just toss anything that is left over.  This will also melt quickly so it’s best not to wait to long to eat it.

Have you ever made homemade ice cream?  How did it turn out?  If you give this recipe or different one a try let me know how it went!

How To Make Your Own Homemade Bath Crayons!

Recently the boys and I had a craft day and made our own bath crayons.  KC has been watching Creative Galaxy an  art based cartoon put out by Amazon’s Fire TV.  Lately his favorite episode has been about making bath crayons, and when he asked to make some of his own I just couldn’t refuse!

This project was somewhat messy but totally worth doing, especially when the goal of the project is to get clean at the end!

How To Make Your Own Homemade Bath Crayons!


1 bar of white soap, I used Dove but you can use anything you have on hand.

1 cup warm water (you wont use it all)

Liquid food coloring


Bowls – you’ll need one bowl for each color you want to make

Cheese grater – to grade the soap into little shavings.

Molds – we used cookie cutters, but you can use anything you want as a mold including just using your hands.

Forks – for mashing and mixing your soap crayons together

Paper towels – to help contain the mess!


  1. Grate your bar of soap. You will need about 1 cup of soap shavings per color.  This is the part of the process that takes the longest.
  2. Separate the soap into different bowls if you plan to make more than one color. One bar of soap made 2 colors.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of warm water per 1 cup of soap shavings.  At this point you will also want to add your food coloring a couple drops at a time until you reach your desired color.
  4. Mix the soap shavings and liquids until it forms a thick dough.  If you need to add a little more water you can do so but just a little at a time.
  5. Form your soap dough into soap crayons using cookie cutters or other molds.
  6. Once you have all your bath crayons molded you can leave them out to dry and harden, this will take about 24 hours.  You can also put them in the freezer for about an hour.  Putting them in the freezer helps them harden quicker and it is what we did with ours.

Looking for other fun family activities?  Check out these great ideas!

January’s Five Fun Family Activities

Three Fun Free Apps For Kids

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