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Why I have a date with my dermatologist every May…

by Freebies4Mom on June 13, 2017 12:03 pm

SkinCancer is scary. Skin cancer is scary. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a less scary type of cancer because it’s a fact that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.

I visited my dermatologist in May (the month of my birthday) to have a skin cancer screening and I learned why it’s so important to have this annual screening. I was aware of the Self-Check and have been doing them – but my approach to the health of my skin was that I would see a dermatologist only when I had a concern about something specific (and not as a preventative measure). My approach has changed after seeing a dermatologist and talking to her while she measured my moles (and wrote them down). I now understand the value of having a trained professional look at my skin every year in order to catch subtle changes that may indicate precancerous conditions. I am not trained to catch the subtle changes that she can catch – and that’s important when you’re trying to prevent skin cancer.

My dermatologist told me:

“most people come to me when there’s an obvious change, like a mole that’s bleeding – and we want to catch skin cancer before it gets to that stage”

Then I read a few facts to further educate myself, and drill it into my mind that my annual skin cancer screening is not something I can skip.

 

I now have an annual date with my dermatologist every May (the month of my birthday). It’s a gift to myself to invest in preventative care that will improve my health and help me keep my future medical expenses lower. I’m going to ask you again, because it’s so important for you to answer this question:

Have you had your Annual Skin Cancer Screening? 

If not, please contact your insurance company or use the Skin Cancer Foundation’s physician finder to schedule an appointment.

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Why does everything have to break at the same time?

by Freebies4Mom on June 9, 2017 12:02 pm

water heater in atticIt started with the car breaking. The computer broke next. At this point I’m thinking “OK, I can handle the extra time and expense of two things breaking around the same time.” But the “breaking” had only just begun because before I had gotten the car and computer fixed more things broke that required more of my attention (and time and money). The air conditioning started breaking (at the peak of hot summer temperatures of course). Wait! I’m not done with my list of broken things around my house. The hot water heater broke on the same day that the air conditioning broke.

So I threw my hands up and called the people who know how to fix these things (and crossed my fingers I wouldn’t have to wait too long to have hot water and cool air again). I did try to fix the hot water heater myself because how hard could it be to light a pilot light? Well, impossible for me because it would not light after several attempts. So I’m glad I know professionals who can fix these things that keep breaking around me. And I’m glad I have an Emergency Fund that I can rely on if this drizzly day turns into a torrential downpour. I’ve got my fingers crossed that nothing else will break while I work on getting things fixed.

A few weeks later and the breaking streak has not been broken. The water filter in my refrigerator was broken which made it impossible to replace. I called the manufacturer with hopes they had “do-it-yourself” tips on how to remove it – they did but the tips didn’t work for me so I broke down and called an appliance repairman. Then I got stranded because I had a dead car battery (only 13 months after a new car battery was installed). Ironically I was picking up the computer when this happened – it was irreparable but at least we recovered what was on the hard drive.

One thing I learned from all the repairs was that it’s helpful to call the company that installed your hot water heater or air conditioner or car battery because if it’s still under warranty then they will likely repair it for free (and then they submit the repair to the manufacturer). My hot water heater and air conditioner were repaired for free under warranty. My car battery could have been replaced under warranty too, but I was too anxious to drive very far before replacing it (and ends up where I would have gone was without power on the day my battery died). My refrigerator was no longer under warranty – but I cheerfully paid the service charge to get that broken water filter out.

How do you cope with things breaking right and left around you?

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4 Ways to Squelch A “Want”

by Freebies4Mom on June 8, 2017 12:00 pm

TipsThere was this purse I saw on Amazon that I instantly fell in love with and thought “I have to get this purse, it is so ME!”. But I didn’t buy it because the pricetag was over $200 – and I’ve never bought a purse that costs anywhere near that much. ]

I squelched my desire to buy it by printing out a picture of it and filing it away (so it was out-of-sight and out-of-mind).  Well, I found that picture a few months after I printed it and guess what? I no longer want that purse – and now when I look at it I think “Those zebra stripes are so NOT me”. I am so glad I didn’t buy it when I wanted to, but held onto it as a “wish” that might be granted or denied at a later date.

I’m still shopping for a new purse – but instead of browsing online for the “perfect” purse I’m looking in the Goodwill Store for the “perfect” gently-used purse.

Here are four tips to squelch a “Want” on your list:

1. Print It and then Forget It

2. Ask for it as a Gift

3. Go Frugal

4. Just Say No To Yourself

It’s ok (and even healthy) so just say no to yourself! You can make do with what you have – and many times you will find that what you have is plenty!

We get bombarded with “buy more” messages every day so it’s easy to think that we need to upgrade something when we don’t really need to.

Having less helps us appreciate all that we have that much more! Don’t you think so?

4 Ways to Squelch A "Want"

Me with my gently used purse I bought at a Garage Sale

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speech313Where can you take the kids this summer that’s air-conditioned, educational, fun and FREE? The library!

We are fortunate to live in Houston and we have three public libraries within a 15-minute drive of our house. During the summer, our library hosts wonderful kids and teen activities including everything from crafts to magicians. Plus we can of course check out books and movies.

Our library also hosts a free Summer Reading Program where kids get rewarded for reading and yours probably does too!

But my favorite thing about planning an outing to the library is that while we are there we are not tempted to spend money! As long as we return our library books on time, the library is a very frugal place to go.

Why are you taking your kids to the library this summer? Please leave a comment to tell me!

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Why it’s a challenge for me to love summer…

by Freebies4Mom on June 6, 2017 11:59 am

MorningIt’s a challenge for me to love summer. I know it sounds crazy – doesn’t everyone love summer?

But because of a combination of moving to a climate I’ll never acclimate to and working from home full-time all summer, it completely throws me off my schedule when my kids are home full-time all summer. And I’m supposed to enjoy this? Here’s why it’s a big challenge:

1. My kids get 12 weeks of vacation from school. I get 0 weeks of vacation.

That’s the challenge and the beauty of being self-employed. You are never really on “vacation”. I do take a real vacation but that means I do about half of what I normally do while my family is on vacation. And to do half of what I normally do takes a lot of preparation.

That’s why I joke about taking a vacation in the boonies – I literally must be cut-off from the internet because blogging has become such an important part of my daily life. I don’t want to stop, even while on vacation – so my goal is to do a lot less.

2. It’s too hot for me to enjoy the outdoors.

Houston is hot. I like to refer to summer as “Super Summer” because there is too much sunshine, too much humidity, and too much heat. That’s why we travel to visit family and the places we used to live during the summer. Places where the summer temperatures are in the 60’s and 70’s.

If you go to an outdoor pool in Houston, your feet will get burned walking from your pool chair to the pool . . . seriously, it’s that hot!

3. The birds start singing at 5:45 am.

Which is a wonderful way to wake-up . . .

unless you’re the mom of children who wake-up when the birds wake-up

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Why is it a challenge for you to love summer?

Which season of the year is your least favorite and why? Leave a comment to tell me!

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