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My Latest At Home Business – DSD

I am a huge fan of freedom when it comes to work and finances. As a single mom it has always been important to me to find ways to earn income from home or be able to take my daughter with me. It’s taken a lot of creativity and ingenuity to keep doing that all these years. It’s been 3 years now since we started on our work from home journey and it has been a blessing! Don’t get me wrong, many times we’ve been left with a tight budget and little to no money to spare. It’s been hard but the time with my daughter is so much more valuable than that! I’ve gotten to watch her grow up, homeschool her, and be a part of her life on a daily basis. Nothing can compare to that!

This company that I’m a part of is called DSD – Dollar Sign Domination. This company equips you with the tools to make your own money selling online without keeping any inventory filling up your house. Sounds nice right? Even nicer is the fact that they offer TONS of free training videos for you! And even nicer than that is the fact that it only costs you $19.95 a month! How many times have I walked away from a company because they wanted me to pay hundreds of dollars to join up? More than I can count! I am not the kind of person who invests that much money to begin with, and not only because I don’t have that kind of money. I value every dollar we have and I want to know that it’s going to good use. I feel that a company shouldn’t need me to sink $1,000 into it unless I want to. DSD doesn’t do that.

To sign up you pay $19.95 a month. This is to sign you up under the program and get you going. You can upgrade as you want, when you want. If you want to be an affiliate and sign people up under you, you only pay an extra $9.95 a month. Still much lower costing than many other programs! If you are interested in finding out more about the program click here: DSD Freedom and check out the video. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I’m still new to the program but I work under great people who would be happy to help if I can’t!

With any program, there will be good good and bed reviews on it. This is because each person will have a different experience with a company. No matter where you go or what company it is, there will be good and bad reviews. All I ask is that you take the time to research ANY company you want to get involved with to make sure it is right for you. I’ve been signed up with other companies where the person uses me just to get to a higher level or I’ve been there just to boost their numbers. I don’t want others to have that experience! Take the time and look into any program you want to sign up with to see if it can really be the best program for you. I love DSD and am very happy I signed up with it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is another video for those interested in gaining financial freedom with this program: Why People Fail At Network Marketing and: DSD Webinar.

UK folks can view the info at this link: DSD Freedom!

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Hotel Cascada Waterpark and Living Social Review Part 2

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We had an interesting experience with Hotel Cascada in Albuquerque, New Mexico and with the deal site Living Social. I will be doing this review in 2 parts so it’s not as long. This portion covers our experience with Living Social and Part 2 covers our experience with Hotel Cascada. You can find Part 2 about our problematic Living Social experience here: Hotel Cascada Waterpark and Living Social Review Part 1.

That Thursday we had set up to go to the Waterpark. Their hours for that day were from 4pm-9pm. We arrived before 4pm and could not figure out where to park. Their signs for the Waterpark were pointing to an area where people staying in the hotel park, and their was no entrance for the Waterpark on that side. We ended up driving around until I finally went back out front and parked in their front lot. We didn’t know how to get to the Waterpark so when I called I was told just to go in the front of the hotel and ask for help. The woman at the front desk, blonde with a slightly foreign accent, told us to go straight, turn, go to the second floor, and go across the walkway. She was not very friendly or helpful. We missed where we were supposed to turn, went back, and did end up finding it. There are no signs posted as to where you go to pay for passes or pick things up. We ended up going downstairs and asking at the lifeguard station, only to be told to go back upstairs to the snack bar to pay. I think that should have been clearly displayed on a sign.

We had to wait in a long line, and when we finally got our turn, the girl said there were no passes for us! They said they would try to track down Patrick and in the mean time we got to stand around even more. I finally got tired of waiting and called the front desk. Luck would have it that I got the SAME unpleasant front desk woman who talked to me like I was an idiot. While trying to explain to her who I was trying to locate and why, a man walking by turned around and said he was the one who was going to help us. I hung up on our front desk friend, and he told me that Patrick had told him to arrange the passes and he forgot. He got our passes for us without us having to stand in line again thankfully! He also gave us a few locker tokens as well, which was very nice since we didn’t ask for him to do so. He gave us a small tour since I told him we had never been before, and showed us where things were. He wasn’t my idea of super outgoing but he was nice enough and accommodating.

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The Waterpark is all indoors except for half of the hot tub which is indoors and outdoors. The activities are limited to a few things: a kiddie area with playground type of equipment and two slides,ย  a pool type area with two basketball hoops and a climbing area, a large lazy river, a hot tub, and two tall water slides. This may seem like a lot until you’re there for more than an hour and have already done everything. For me, it didn’t offer a lot but my daughter really loved it and had a great time! Kids seem to be entertained with a lot less than us adults which is really nice sometimes.

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They provide life jackets for kids who can’t swim which was a great thing to offer. When I had called I was told not to bring anything, that they provide everything. However, we saw many people who had brought their own floaties and inner tubes. The life jackets were too big for my daughter and floated up under her chin rubbing it raw even when we changed to a smaller size. Their inner tubes are HUGE and fit an adult well, but small kids not so much. If we ever go back, we will be taking her floaties and small inner tube.

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They have two types of water slides: one you go down on your own and one you go down in an inner tube. Since my daughter is so small I wanted us to go down together in the double inner tube with two tubes attached. We got to do that only once because they only had two of the double tubes available. I think they need to have a lot more of them for guests because the place was full of people and I’m sure many wanted to ride together. We had to go down the rest of the times in separate tubes, but my kiddo still enjoyed it. The water slides go through the outside of the building and then shoot you back into a pool inside of the building that is connected to the lazy river. When you go through the parts outside the tubes are super hot and humid! We skipped the slide you go down without a tube because my daughter couldn’t take a life jacket and she can’t swim well enough to be without one.

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The lazy river was my daughter’s favorite part. We went through many, many times, so many that I lost count! She even made a couple friends there and had fun going through with them over and over. We went through so many times that we knew exactly how to go through without getting as soaked! They have areas with water spraying at you from different directions, areas where water drops on you like rain and feels a bit like hail when it hits you, areas where water dumps on you from the top, and areas where you get pushed through the water by what feels like small waves. I recommend going through with an inner tube to make it easier to navigate and easier to hide from falling and spraying water.

The hot tub was nice for me during the times I got cold. I’d sit in the 2 foot deep kiddie pool/play area while my daughter played for a while, and then we’d make a stop at the hot tub to warm me up. It’s nice that it has an opening to go outside so you can sit in the hot water and feel the sun on your skin. My daughter got a mouthful of their water several times in several areas, which is not surprising. but she said it tasted a lot better than the pool water at our complex, so that’s a plus! The climbing area connected to the basketball hoops consisted of large foam shapes that my daughter said looked like jewels, and a net above. The foam jewels are connected to the bottom of the pool by a rope so it’s hard to keep your balance on them even holding onto the net. It was fun for her to try to go across without falling off and she did it quite a few times!

They closed the water slides down about 8:30-8:40. They closed the whole Waterpark down at 8:50. If the hours say till 9pm, they shouldn’t close anything until then. They do provide towels there as well which is handy so you don’t have to lug around your own. They don’t allow outside food or drinks though, which is a hassle, but we took a water bottle with us anyway. Mostly we had a good time and enjoyed it. There were a few problems and things I felt they could have done better, and I did get tired with the limited activities there, but for my little girl it was an awesome time – and in the end that’s what really matters! She told me she had a fantastic time and she didn’t want to leave. She loved being there and only left the play area once in the 4/12 hours of playing… but only to go to the bathroom!. I am disappointed they wouldn’t work with our vouchers and that we had to endure weeks of hassle just to get to go, but it was a fun night for her and that was my goal!

If you are staying in Albuquerque, New Mexico (and I’m not sure why you would want to…) this would be a fun place to stay so the kids can get a Waterpark trip in as well. I don’t know their hotel prices as we were just there for the Waterpark, but you can check them out and see if it’s worth it. Do beware of possible lacking customer service though! If you do have problems with them make sure you contact someone in charge and skip the non-in charge staff.

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Hotel Cascada Waterpark and Living Social Review Part 1

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We had an interesting experience with Hotel Cascada in Albuquerque, New Mexico and withย the deal site Living Social. I will be doing this review in 2 parts so it’s not as long. This portion covers our experience with Living Social and Part 2 covers our experience with Hotel Cascada. You can find Part 2 here: Hotel Cascada and Living Social Review Part 2.

We love using Groupon to find great deals on local events, activities, restaurants, and on goods! I have had mostly good experiences with them so I figured I’d give the site Living Social a try since they seemed to have different deals.ย I happened to see a deal for the Hotel Cascada Waterpark listed a while back. I purchased 2 tickets – one for myself and one for my little girl. With Groupon we always get reminders when our deals are getting close to expiring so I expected the same with Living Social. I came to find out that they do not send reminders, or if they do I didn’t get mine for the Waterpark deal.

By chance I went on to Living Social to look for something and realized our Waterpark vouchers were expiring that same week. I had been working A LOT and rarely had a day off, but I did have a Wednesday off that week. I checked the Hotel Cascada Waterpark website only to find that they are open really random times and days. And of course, they were not open on Wednesdays. That was the last day we could use our vouchers. I called and spoke to a customer service woman and explained the situation. I asked if we could come in on Thursday, just one day after they expired, and use them. I was told no, and that we would have to pay full price. Now with other companies, they will often accept your voucher if it has just expired recently. The reason is because they are awesome companies who really care about the customers and want them to enjoy their experience. Hotel Cascada seemed to only care about the money.

I called back and ask to speak to someone in charge. I was transferred to his line and got his voicemail. I left a message that was never returned… His name is Josh. I then went on their Facebook page and left a review in a post. I received a reply comment from them asking me to message them. I did that the Friday of that week. I didn’t hear back from them for days until I left another comment stating that I hadn’t gotten a reply. I was told they were “trying to figure it out with their staff” and that they would get back to me. They never did… I called back again and finally got someone who seemed to care named Patrick. He told me my vouchers could not be used but he would let us come in free. We set up a day, he apologized repeatedly, and he told me our passes would be available when we went in. I thought things would go more smoothly now! Wrong.

I called Living Social to ask for a refund. I paid my hard earned money for the vouchers and if I couldn’t use them I wanted a refund. The first woman I talked to was awful. She kept telling me there was nothing she could do. She called and talked to Patrick who repeated what he and I discussed, and she told me that because he and I worked something out that I didn’t need a refund. Really?! After all I went through with them and the fact that Living Social failed to notify me of the vouchers coming close to expiring were good enough reasons for me. These sites give “Satisfaction Guarantees” and yet she didn’t want to honor that. At one point she put me on hold and then hung up on me! I called back again and got a much nicer woman, who told me money back to my card was impossible, but getting Deal Bucks (like credit to use on future deals) was possible. I was put on hold while she got approval, and then she took care of it. I was refunded the full amount in Deal Bucks which wasn’t my first choice, but it was still a better resolution than getting nothing!

I now have $25 in Living Social Deal Bucks to use in the next year. The experience definitely left a bitter taste in my mouth about this company. I plan to use their site only if I can’t find the deal somewhere else and it’s an EXTREMELY good bargain. Once my $25 is spent, I am unsure if we will continue using them. They do have benefits, such as knocking a couple bucks off of deals randomly. But the customer service I experienced and the hassle they put me through was a big turn off. If they start to get their act together and treat customers better, maybe I’ll see them in a better light.

Don’t forget to read the second part of this review on the Hotel Cascada Waterpark!

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Rio Kids Movie $2.99 + Free Shipping On Amazon Today!

Today on Amazon you can get Rio the kids movie for only $2.99 plus free shipping! The prices on Amazon can change so get it fast! ๐Ÿ™‚

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How I Make Scented Wax Cubes Last Longer

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I am big on saving money and I like the fun scents I get using a wax warmer. I have a really neat one that glows well enough to be a bit like a night light and I love it’s design. Scented wax bars and cubes can get a bit pricey though! Through Scentsy folks pay $5 a bar, and for me that’s just too much. I find mine in Walmart, and I try to get ones on clearance. This past January I LOADED up on bars for only .50 cents a pack!! I found my favorite scent, Country Fall Festival, along with a few others that I really enjoy. I bought a lot of them to make sure I had plenty until the next clearance sale.

I do love the scents, but boy are some of them strong! This led me to the idea of breaking them up into smaller pieces. This way I don’t have a really strong and intense smell, but a softer scent that lasts a shorter time. I’m okay with replenishing them as needed, and I usually only use them a couple days a week. I watch kids from home, and I like to avoid the dirty diaper smell permeating through the air by having yummy scented wax in the warmer. On top of keeping the scent from being so overpowering, I save even more money because they last me even longer this way. I use one piece a day, and I use them only on the days I feel like having one in.

Cutting them is pretty simple. I chose to cut mine on a glass plate because I really didn’t want scented wax embedded in my bamboo cutting board. I have a Forever Sharp knife that cuts through just about anything, so I line it up down the middle of the cube and press hard for a quick clean cut. Sometimes it cuts the block into 3 pieces or I have crumbles left over. I take the smaller pieces for our bathroom, which also has a warmer in it, because it is a smaller space and doesn’t need much wax to fill up with the scent. Crumbles and small broken pieces are fine to go in either warmer with a bigger piece.

As you can see in the picture above, I store my cut up wax cubes in glass jars. I have a plethora of jars so it’s a good use for some of them. You can remove the label with the name of the scent from the plastic package and tape it to the jar you’re putting that scent in if you like. I used to do that will all my jars, but I’ve found that the names don’t matter much to me. I open the jars up and choose one by what scent appeals to me that day. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wax warmers are a reasonably safe way to provide a yummy smell in your home. I try to avoid candles since I care for little ones and I really don’t want to burn my home down because I forgot to blow one out. As long as you keep it where kids can’t get into the warm wax or spill it, you should be fine. And keep an eye out at Walmart for clearance scents! They go on sale around each season and I’ve noticed that after bigger holidays they tend to be marked down even more.

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Storage Container Litter Box for Cats

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We now have two cats. We’ve had our 2 1/2 year old since she was about 8 months old, and we adopted a kitten in August. I have this great little nook in our bathroom where I could put their litter boxes. The problem is that their two separate boxes didn’t seem to be roomy enough, and they were using each others boxes so we didn’t need both anymore. While thinking over what to do, I got the great idea of creating a littler box from a plastic storage container. After a little researching online, I discovered a few others had the same idea. It seems super roomy, very cheap, and seemed easy to make.

First things first, I went to Walmart and got a container on sale for $4. Most litter boxes cost more than that! If you don’t have a box cutter at home, you will need one. I think they are around $4 at Walmart as well. I don’t know if you can do it with scissors, but I didn’t want to try. Using the box cutter was quick and simple.

 

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When we got home I took my daughter’s ruler and marked the spaces I wanted to cut open for a door. As you can see, I had originally made it a bit smaller but my daughter told me I should make it wider for them. It was easy to enlarge. I added an inch extra on each side. The important thing is to not put your opening too close to the bottom! If you do, they will easily kick litter out of it or even possibly pee out of it. I made my opening 5 inches from the bottom. It is low enough for the kitten to get in, but high enough to keep litter and fluids inside it.

 

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Next, cut out your door. This box had a neat little swooped down part in the plastic so I didn’t mark off the top of the door, I just cut under the swoop. Make your door big enough for your cats but not too big so litter can easily fly out. I am repeating this info because litter all over the floor is not fun. Use the box cutter to cut out the door. Please do not cut off your fingers or any other part of your body in this process! Only adults should be using the box cutter.

 

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Voila you have an opening! And if you are like me, you have two cats who are annoyingly trying to get inside your container the entire process. You can use your box cutter to smooth our any areas or even up any areas. I recommend kicking the cats out before you do that so you don’t cut them either.

 

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Just add your litter of choice and you are done! We chose a corncob cat litter to avoid the mess of clay and for the clumping action. The last little we used was pine pellet litter that expanded when it got wet to absorb more. The problem was that it did not clump at all. I had to empty out each smaller box every few days and do a major cleaning when using the pine pellet litter. It got to be frustrating to do and it would stink because I couldn’t get the urine spots out with a scoop. When you have a huge litter box like this, you don’t want to have to dump it all out and scrub it all down every few days because of non-clumping yuckies.

The corncob litter is great for clumping! I put fresh litter in the container right after I finished the opening, and my 2 year old cat got in to use it before I could even move it to the bathroom. I was able to quickly remove the the spot where she went to the bathroom with the scoop. If your cat has an upset stomach or there is a spot that sticks to the actual box, move all the clean litter to one side, then scrub the stuck on spot separately to avoid having to dump the whole box. This saves you money because you aren’t wasting massive amounts of litter.

I am not noticing much trace of corncob litter on my floors or anywhere else. With the pine pellets, it got stuff everywhere! I had to scrub my bath mat just to get stuck on moist pine pellets off. I’m enjoying this litter a lot and the cats have both had no hesitation using it.ย  I added the two cat mats that were in front of their boxes just in case they needed to wipe off any litter. If you try this, let me know how it turns out for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Free and Cheap Kindle Books Facebook Page

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If you are anything like me, you enjoy free and cheap things. I love saving money and knowing I am getting a killer deal. I own a Kindle Keyboard e-reader that I love – you can see it in the picture above. It holds 3,500 books which I think is fabulous. I have almost 400 right now and almost all of them were free! I enjoy this version of the Kindle because the screen looks like a book. It doesn’t have any glare like a tablet and it isn’t as bad on the eyes. It looks just like a page in a book. I like that. I don’t want to lose the book feel when I read. It’s lightweight, I can take it anywhere easily, the battery lasts a long time, and I can even add some games to it.

If I owned every book I want in print I would have to live in HUGE home filled only with books. I really like books. More and more I am interested in books, while less and less I am interested in TV and movies. I find myself not even wanting to turn on the TV even when I know a show I enjoy is on. Unless it’s PBS and the program is something interesting, educational and exciting – I leave the TV off. I’m even skipping on the detective shows I’ve enjoyed so much. There is only one show I am watching weekly right now. When the fall seasons start up we’ll see if I even watch any.

Because I am reading so much, and my 7 year old is reading so much, I’m always on the lookout for free Kindle books. There used to be a great Facebook page that listed 20 or more free books a day, but they stopped posting. I only have one website left that actually shares free Kindle books, but it’s around 10 a day or less, and it’s not even every day. I started looking for free books and found hundreds of them! I posted some on the local deal group page I’m on and the local homeschool group page I run, but it got to be too many books to post there. I didn’t want to fill the feed with just free Kindle books.

Then I got the idea to create Free and Cheap Kindle Books, which is a page just for posting free and cheap Kindle books. This way I have one place to post them that is focused ONLY on that. If the feed is full of free books – great! That’s how it should be. I posted around 50 books alone tonight and I had tons more that I will put up tomorrow. It’s been great to share all these free books with folks who are interested! The best part about finding great deals is sharing them with others.

I’m always finding great free books in lots of different genres. I’m hoping to post a variety each day or every other day. I am a busy woman after, and I do have a lot in my schedule. Surprisingly it’s actually a good way for me to unwind. After my long day came to an end I started searching for free books and created the group. I got to do some research, share my great finds, and find a solution as to where to list them all. I’m feeling pretty productive! ๐Ÿ™‚

If you enjoy free and cheap Kindle books, definitely check it out! I’m trying to keep all the books under $5.00 but so far most that I’m posting are free or under $1. The Kindle App is free to download to your smartphone, tablet or computer so you can read Kindle books even if you don’t have a Kindle. So download it today and start adding your free Kindle books!

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