Gift Guide for Guys: How to “Wow” That Special Man In Your Life

gift guide for guys

Buying gifts for the important men in your life can be challenging, especially when it seems like they already have everything they need. But when the next special occasion arrives, don’t stress. Just get creative!

Need a little help coming up with out-of-the-box ideas for men? Look no further. We have everything you need to know right here in this handy gift guide for guys.

Keep reading to learn more!

Why Gifts Matter

When special occasions roll around, you may become overwhelmed with the task of selecting gifts for all your loved ones. After all, it can be a tall order.

However, it’s important to remember that giving gifts doesn’t just benefit the recipient; it benefits you as well. In fact, gift-giving is an important aspect of human interaction. It strengthens relationships and provides good vibes all around.

So, when the next birthday or family holiday starts creeping up, ditch the stress and focus on the amazing act of giving to others!

Gift Guide for Guys

When it comes to selecting and purchasing the best presents for men, we’ve removed the guesswork. Check out the ideas below to find a present that’s perfect for every gent in your life.


Do you know a gadget and gizmo lover? These cool gifts for guys who enjoy electronics are sure to impress.

A Surround Sound System

Every guy who’s into electronics and entertainment has dreamed of owning a surround sound system. Make this dream come true by getting him the best of the best.

Bose and Klipsch offer a truly luxurious quality for a theater-like experience. Or, if you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, search for options on Amazon like Logitech or Yamaha.


Does your special guy need an upgrade from the earbuds that came free with his cell phone? Check out some high-quality headphones that will help him enjoy his favorite jams in all their glory. Bowers & Wilkins, Bose, and Sony all provide truly luxurious listens.


Every man deserves to feel great about their wardrobe. So, help them out by giving them the gift of stylish accessories! Here are some winning options.

A Leather Briefcase

If the special guy in your life works somewhere that requires a briefcase, a well-made leather option can help him look and feel his best. Visit a local leather shop in your area and opt for a handmade design.

An Artisan Wallet

If you want a gift for him that combines style with uniqueness, look no further. NA KOA wallets are handcrafted, leather, and incorporate beautiful Polynesian tattoo art.

Instead of purchasing another boring, plain wallet, why not give him something truly breathtaking? Check out Nakoa’s website to discover more.

Luxury Gifts

If you’re searching for gift ideas for men who enjoy the finer things in life, these suggestions are perfect for you.

Carry-On Cocktail Set

This one is ideal for men who love to travel and enjoy a well-mixed drink. For craft cocktails at 35,000 feet, get the special guy in your life a carry-on cocktail set.

These adorable little gifts come with tiny (TSA-approved) non-alcoholic cocktail mixers. All you need to do is buy a bottle of your favorite spirit in-flight, and voila! You’ll have easy, delicious mixed drinks with a luxurious flair.

Timeless Timepieces

Quality watches are one of the best gifts for men of all time. They’ll never go out of style, and they’re the perfect way to show him that you care.

However, gone are the days where the only option is a $10,000 Rolex. There are lots of luxury watch companies to choose from now. So, do some research to find the brand and piece that best suits your man.

A Proper Shaving Kit

Men often don’t take the time to indulge in self-care rituals. Help out your man by giving him the gift of the perfect shave.

There are tons of luxury razors, shaving skincare products, and full shaving kits out there to choose from. You can even sign your guy up for a service that delivers replacement razors to him every month!

Gift Guide for Boys

Are you looking for awesome gifts for guys of a younger age group? No worries, we’ve got you covered! Check out the list below.

The Latest Gaming Console

If the youngster in your life is into gaming, he’s sure to be pining after the latest model of his favorite gaming console. Do some detective work to figure out what his current favorite is, and surprise him with the newest version. Right now, the Xbox One X, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch are the top contenders.

Looking for even more brownie points? Pick up a wireless headset that corresponds with his gaming system of choice.

Comic Book Kits

If you have a comic book lover on your hands, stimulate his creativity by giving him a make-your-own-comic kit. He’ll be able to craft his own stories and illustrations, providing him with a hands-on learning experience that he’s sure to love.

Streaming Devices

If you want to give the gift of entertainment without shelling out for cable TV, streaming devices are the perfect option for you. Affordable devices like the Amazon Fire TV stick or Google Chromecast allow seamless streaming of platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and more.

Pop! Figures

These days, it’s difficult to find a backpack, desk, or office without a Funko Pop figure decoration. These little figurines are fun and adorable versions of virtually any pop culture figure you can think of. Pick up a Pop figure of your boy’s favorite movie or TV characters for an easy and fun gift.

You’ve Got This!

As you can see, finding the perfect gifts for the special boys in your life doesn’t have to be a hassle. Just use the gift guide for guys above and you’ll have everyone checked off your list in no time.

And remember, giving gifts doesn’t just benefit the recipient. It should be a heartening, bonding moment for you as well.

So try not to stress. Instead, focus on the beautiful experience of giving and enjoy yourself!

Do you have any questions or comments about this article? Feel free to reach out anytime.

8 Frugal Wedding Tips You Won’t Want to Miss

frugal wedding

Getting married and planning a wedding is one of the most exciting times in a couple’s life. If you’ve recently become engaged, congratulations! And even if you haven’t yet, it’s never too early to start thinking about your future wedding.

Weddings are certainly not cheap. In fact, the average wedding costs around $25,700. But that’s not to say that a wedding can’t cost less, either.

Budget weddings are not uncommon, and more couples opt to have a frugal wedding compared to those who go all out.

Are you aiming to fulfill your dream wedding on a budget? Looking for unique and innovative wedding ideas that’ll help you save more money?

We’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll tell you about 8 unique wedding ideas on a budget that you can use for your big day. Let’s get started!

1. Plan Together

Before planning, you and your partner need to discuss the vision you both have in mind for your wedding.

Is there a dream venue you’ve always had in mind? Do you want to host a lavish dinner or would you rather have a bustling cocktail party?

How many guests do you want to invite? Where do you and your partner want to honeymoon?

Most importantly, how much are you willing to spend in total?

These types of questions will help you distinguish which amenities are most important. That way, you can budget appropriately, save money where you can, and splurge in other areas.

2. The Venue

Couples will often spend the most money on their reception venue. By the same token, the venue is where you can also save the most money.

Venues that provide the catering and wait staff are going to be the most expensive. You may be able to find inexpensive wedding venues. But, if you’re looking to have your dream wedding on a budget, it’s time to get creative.

Do you know someone with a large backyard and a beautiful view? If so, consider asking them if you can host your wedding there. You can also rent a large cabin for the day.

Do you know people who work in the food industry? You could hire your own wait staff and get a good deal on catering. This way, you can spend the money on a cheaper venue and provide your own food and staff.

3. The Photographer

If you’re not careful, you could wind up spending lots of money on just the photographer alone. Luckily, we live in the day and age of smartphones and iPhones. So, you can definitely count on your friends and family to snap gorgeous shots of your big day.

There are lots of talented wedding photographers who are willing to be a part of your big day at a reasonable cost. You may even know one! Feel free to barter with them in exchange for their services.

4. The Rings

When it comes to wedding rings, the costs vary significantly. People can spend as little as a couple hundred dollars to tens of thousands!

Of course, some metals and materials are much more expensive than others. Gold and diamonds, for example, are often the most desired – and the most expensive.

You don’t necessarily have to shell out tons of money on quality, beautiful rings. For a frugal wedding, focus on durability. You’ll want to spend the money where it counts, which is in the quality of the rings.

Take moissanite, for example. This mineral comes from meteorite and occurs naturally in diamonds. It’s also one of the more affordable materials on the market. You can view here for more of an idea on moissanite wedding ring designs.

5. The Dress

Every bride dreams of finding the perfect gown for her wedding. But often times, brides will spend an unnecessary amount on a dress they’ll only wear once. So, how do you find your dream dress on a budget?

First, think about a close friend or relative who recently got married. Chances are their wedding gown is somewhere tucked away. If you loved their dress, why not ask them to borrow it for your big day? That way, all you would have to worry about are the alterations.

Still, you may want your own wedding gown – and that’s okay! Try searching Etsy for custom-made dresses at budget-friendly prices. Then, expand your online search (you never know what you may be able to find).

6. The Entertainment

Do you want to know a little secret?

You don’t need to hire an expensive DJ or band to have a rocking wedding!

You may know some musicians who are willing to entertain your guests all night long. And if you don’t, start compiling your own wedding playlist. All you’ll need are decent speakers and an auxiliary cord.

On your wedding invitations, ask your guests to jot down their song requests ahead of time!

7. The Invitations

Speaking of invitations. This is an area where you can save a couple hundred dollars and spend that money on catering or your flowers.

Send out digital invitations instead of paper invitations and “Save the Dates”. Facebook makes it easy to plan events and have guests RSVP to them. You can also send out emails to those who are not on social media.

And when in doubt, call up the guests who are harder to reach online than others.

8. The Honeymoon

After budgeting for your frugal wedding, look at the amount of money leftover. You can very well use this money towards booking your flight tickets or the hotel.

You can also register at Honeymoon Wishes. Your guests can fund your honeymoon instead of giving money or gifts. This is the best way to go about traveling far for your honeymoon if you’re on a budget.

You don’t have to necessarily go far or spend a lot of money on the honeymoon, either. Plan a staycation or only travel a couple hours away!

As long as you and your soon-to-be husband or wife are happy, it doesn’t matter where you honeymoon!

Fulfill & Enjoy Your Dream Frugal Wedding

Weddings don’t have to be as expensive as people make them out to be. With detailed budgeting and creativity, you can have your dream wedding on a budget and remember your big day for years to come.

Looking for more tips and ideas on how to save money and have a frugal wedding? Check out our Frugal Living blog for the whole scoop!

The 6 Most Affordable Skin Care Routines

affordable skin careAge has a funny way of sneaking up on you, especially when you’re busy raising a family. One day you’re looking cute and not a day over 22. The next day you look in the mirror and somehow you’ve become your mother.

Many parts of being a mommy don’t do your skin any favors. Those long summer days at the park or in the pool wreak havoc on your aging process.

Plus, every time you do the classic frowning “mom glare” or squint to sniff for a dirty diaper, those lines and wrinkles get further and further embedded until they’re there to stay.

Here’s the good news, though: even affordable skin care tips can help you repair the damage that has been done and fool the world into thinking you actually sleep.

To make sure you can fit that confidence boost into your budget, try these skin care options that won’t break the bank.

Affordable Skin Care Tips for Moms

Before we delve into the specifics, there’s a skincare rule of thumb to keep in mind: keep it simple.

For moms with hectic schedules (i.e., all moms), that’s a dream come true. Fewer products means a quicker routine and a lower cost. But there’s an actual scientific reason, too.

The more products you use, the more likely it is that one of them will irritate and inflame your skin. For some of us, a few mild products can be too harsh when they’re used together, and there are few things that make you look tired faster than a puffy inflamed face.

With that in mind, check out these minimalist skin care tips.

1. Daily Sunscreen

When it comes to looking young but living long, sunscreen is a miracle in a bottle. As the experts at Albany Laser explain, sun exposure (even small amounts over time) adds up to create age spots and cause premature wrinkles as well as sagging skin.

Unfortunately, sunscreen is among the most underestimated skin care products. Add it into your daily routine ASAP.

P.S.: sun damage happens to people of all skin colors. It’s true that people with darker skin are less at risk because their skin’s pigment provides a barrier, but that barrier is not a full-on shield. Sunscreen is a must for everyone.

2. Cleansing and Moisturizing Twice Daily

If you’re looking to drill down an extensive skin care routine into a more manageable one, you can work wonders with two products (in addition to that sunscreen): cleanser and moisturizer.

Whether you’re trying to manage your skin care as a working mom or as a full-time mom, a cleanser in the morning and in the evening is important to clear those pores of oil, damaging pollution, baby poo, etc. A moisturizer locks in the hydration immediately after you cleanse, keeping wrinkles in check.

Some skin care experts recommend one moisturizer for the morning and a separate one at night. While there are some moisturizers that have specific strengths like this, sticking with one that’s made for daytime and nighttime is budget-saver.

3. Choose An Exfoliant Instead of Expensive Brushes

One of the latest crazes in skincare is a type of exfoliating brush with all types of bells and whistles, from the rotation to vibration.

Sure, these gadgets are cool. But many of them have a price tag of $100 or more, so if that’s not in your budget, is it worth the financial strain? No, it really isn’t.

There are plenty of inexpensive exfoliating creams or exfoliating scrubs at most drug stores that can still give you that baby-smooth feel. Just remember to limit exfoliation to about twice per week to avoid inflammation.

4. Make it a Spa Day With a DIY Mask

Those daily minimums are great for times when you’re on the good and just need to avoid completely neglecting your skin. But everyone needs a little pampering from time to time (okay, moms need it more than most).

When you’re in the mood for some self care but your bank account can’t handle a spa day, head into the kitchen instead.

DIY skin masks are all the rage among broke millennials right now (and anyone who prefers organic options, to be honest). There are countless recipes you can make with ingredients in everyone’s cupboards, from apple cider vinegar to lemons. Different masks have different specialties, too, so look for one that targets your problem areas.

5. Combination Products

As we mentioned earlier, cutting down on the number of skin care products you use is best for your skin, your look, your budget, and your schedule. There’s always a limit, though, because you can’t overlook certain important elements like sun protection and hydration.

That’s why the skin care geniuses invented combination products. These handy multi-taskers take on multiple functions at once. For instance, many brands have a product that is a moisturizer, pore minimizer, and sunscreen all in one tube, and it also has a subtle tint to cover up some imperfections.

6. Pre-Compiled Regimens

If you’ve tried the minimalist approach but it isn’t getting you anywhere and your skin just needs some extra love, have no fear. It might not do you any favors on application time, but there’s still a way to save some cash a more complex skin care routine.

Many brands have pre-compiled skin care regimens. Many are designed for a specific focus, like acne control or age reversal. The experts and chemists at the skin care brand have created a package of products that work toward this goal, and they usually cost less than you’d pay to buy each product separately.

Finding Your Sweet Spot for Affordable Skin Care

All the tips above are great ways to take care of your skin and your budget at the same time. At the end of the day, though, everyone’s skin is unique, so it’s all about trial-and-error to find the right routine for your skin.

For more ways to look great without tanking your family’s budget, check out our blog for affordable beauty tips.

6 Make-Ahead Freezer Meals for When You’re Saving Up to Eat Out

make ahead freezer meals

Picture yourself after a long day, trying to come up with a dinner plan. In your head, are you blinking slowly at the contents of your fridge, wondering what meal to make for you and your family that will take the least time possible?

Don’t worry; you’re not the only one. There’s plenty of days where the last thing I want to do is put my remaining energy into cooking and making a huge sink-full of dishes.

Sometimes we all opt to pack the kids into the car and go out to dinner. This is understandable given the amount of work that goes into prepping a meal for your entire family. Chopping, pounding, slicing, stirring, cutting, skewering, and roasting can seem like daunting tasks on exhausting days.

But the truth is, going out to eat isn’t always in the budget. That’s why I love make-ahead freezer meals! Having a handful of delicious, easy-to-reheat meals in the freezer not only saves you time, but it saves your wallet too.

Whether tight on money, time, or both; you need to check out some of these great do-ahead recipes. Pick your favorites and take a few extra hours to get some of them stored away for later. Next Week You will be so thankful that you thought of her!

Freezer Enchiladas

The best part about freezer enchiladas is- no dishes! Prep these delicious tortillas and filling in a disposable aluminum pan, and they’ll stay safely stored and ready to pop right into the oven. You’ll need:

  • 12 six inch tortillas, warmed to soften
  • 2 cups of protein (shredded chicken, ground beef, black beans, etc.)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, divided (cheddar or Mexican blend)
  • 2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce, divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 4 oz can of diced chilies, green
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

The recipe is super quick and simple. Combine protein, half of the enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup of cheese, cilantro, chilies, and sour cream in a large mixing bowl. Spread a quarter cup of the mixture inside each flat tortilla, rolling up with the seam on the bottom.

Then, pour half of the remaining enchilada sauce in the bottom of your foil pans. Lay the enchiladas in the pans, top with leftover sauce, and sprinkle with cheese. To prep, just cover with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil before freezing.

When you’re ready to cook them, remove the plastic wrap and bake, covered, for 30 minutes at 375. Uncover and cook for another 5-10 minutes so the cheese can get bubbly and slightly browned. You can keep these in the freezer for up to three months.

Easy Stir Fry

There’s nothing better than fresh, delicious veggies. When you make these freezer bags full of pre-made stir-fry mix, you’ll have that fresh taste on hand whenever you want it without having to do all the prep that’s usually involved. Plus, it only takes about ten minutes to cook!

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp, or cubed chicken
  • 5 cups of veggies (try chopped bell betters, broccoli florets, sugar snaps, grated carrots, or your favorites!)
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite Asian sauce (such as teriyaki or schezwan)

Simply toss your protein in the sauce of your choice, and put it in the bottom of a freezer bag or two. Add veggies on top, seal, and freeze for up to a month.

When ready to cook, add the entire bag to a tablespoon of olive oil that’s heated in a skillet on medium high. Saute, mixing for around 8-10 minutes until veggies are tender and meat is cooked through. Super easy!

Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken

The easiest do-ahead meals are ones you pop out of the freezer straight into the crockpot. It’s great to have a couple of variations on this theme in your recipe book, but this one is a zippy cilantro lime flavored chicken that’s zero work to cook. Set it and forget it until it’s dinner time!


  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, boneless
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • One can of rinsed black beans
  • One can of mild tomatoes with chilies
  • One cup of corn (frozen or canned is fine)
  • One diced onion
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • Cumin, chili powder, salt/pepper, and garlic to taste

This recipe couldn’t be easier. Just dump all of the ingredients into a large freezer bag and freeze for up to a month. The day before eating, thaw in the fridge for 12-24 hours. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours, or on high for 3-4.

Stir in some fresh lime juice at the end for extra zip, and serve over rice with sour cream and guacamole for instant burrito bowls!

The Best Broccoli Cheese Soup

What’s more satisfying than a warm, cheesy bowl of this classic comfort food? Sure, you can find it in eateries listed on this website, but this recipe is so good that you might prefer it over your favorite restaurant version! Frozen in gallon bags, it reheats beautifully for a delicious fall or winter meal that’s a crowd-pleaser. You’ll need:

  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 4 cups chopped broccoli, medium and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • One tsp minced garlic
  • One bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine chicken broth with onion, broccoli, garlic, carrots, and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes on low.

In a separate pot, melt the butter and add flour. Whisk it together, cooking over medium heat as you whisk for 3-4 minutes. Strain the chicken stock from the first pot into the flour mixture, whisking until thickened.

Add the veggies from the first pot and mix until heated through. Remove the pot from the heat, mixing in shredded cheese until melted. Season to taste.

Allow the soup to cool, then divide into freezer bags. When ready to eat, just empty the frozen bag into a pot on the stove or a microwave bowl! Fresh, delicious soup that tastes great with a side of bread will be ready whenever you want!

Roast Beef Sandwiches

From the freezer to the crock pot, zero work required! Buy a nice cut of the beef roast when you see it on sale at the store, and freeze it away for later. You’ll need:

  • One beef roast
  • Two cans beef consomme
  • Rolls or buns

Simply take the frozen beef roast out of the freezer and thaw it for 12-24 hours. Put the roast in a crockpot with both cans of consomme on low for 6-8 hours, for the most tender roast.

When it’s done, shred the beef roast with a fork. The tender meat will fall apart with little effort. Serve on a roll or bun with cheese if you like, with a cup of the remaining juice for french dip style!

The easiest freezer meal yet!

Lasagna Roll-Ups

Lasagna is always a crowd-pleaser, but the leftovers can be a pain to store and prepare. Roll-ups are an easy, single serving version that’s much easier to freeze and heat up for later! This is another great use for those disposable aluminum pans as well.


  • 20 lasagna noodles
  • Two 24 oz jars meat or marinara sauce
  • 30 oz ricotta cheese
  • Two eggs
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 pound grated mozzarella
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • One tablespoon minced parsley
  • One tablespoon minced basil

Cook lasagna noodles in boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain the noodles and lay them flat on a large foil sheet. To make the filling, stir together ricotta, parmesan, eggs, salt & pepper, basil, and parsley.

Spoon a small amount of sauce into the bottom of disposable foil pans to cover. Spread 2 or 3 tablespoons of filling into each noodle, then roll them up. Lay each roll in the pan, fitting as many as possible in a single layer.

Top each pan off with sauce, mozzarella cheese, and the remaining parmesan. Cover your pans with plastic wrap and tin foil.

When ready to eat, cook from the freezer in a 350-degree oven. Cover the pans in foil and bake them for 45 minutes, then uncover for an additional 15 minutes.

Make-Ahead Freezer Meals are a Lifesaver

When you spend a day preparing some of these family-pleasing dishes, you’ll find yourself with so much extra time that you’ll wonder why you weren’t doing it in the first place! Use all that free time to do some fun activities with the family, or catch up on some well-deserved me time- you’ve earned it!

An important note about make-ahead freezer meals is always to label your containers at the time of preparation. Adding the date, contents, and expiration date will take you to superhero status!

Are you looking for some more family-friendly tips on a dime? Visit Thrifty Momma Ramblings for ideas that suit your family’s lifestyle.

Don’t forget to leave us some recipes for your favorite freezer meals in the comments below!

10 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s to Look For in Aging Parents

early signs of alzheimersAs our parents age, we need to look after them the way they once looked after us. This includes recognizing signs of illnesses that aren’t especially easy to spot.

Some of the early signs of Alzheimer’s disease, like mood swings and forgetfulness are pretty easy to write off as mom or dad having a bad day. But the truth is, these things should make you watch them a little closer; especially if the disease runs in your family.

Because Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, patients with it worsen over time. However, an early diagnosis and treatment can help keep them stable.

If you’ve noticed some odd behaviors, you might already be asking yourself if there truly is something going on with your parent. Maybe you’ve even noticed that the topic agitates or causes them to shut you out.

We laid out some of the early signs of Alzheimer’s you should be on the lookout for. Continue reading and we’ll also show you how to deal.

Talking to Your Parent

Conversations with your parents about their health as they age are some of the scariest conversations for adult children to start. We never want to make our parents feel like they’re incapable or watch them become defensive.

Because of all the sensitivity around these topics, it can feel nearly impossible to have these talks. But they are necessary to have. First of all, this conversation will lead to your parent receiving a real diagnosis and treatment.

It also gives you an opportunity to establish a plan. If your parent is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, they will eventually lose their ability to take care of themselves.

Speaking with them early on allows them to share their wishes and concerns. Give them the opportunity to tell you where they’d like to live, how they want their finances handled, what to do with their prized possessions and many other things.

This open dialogue will make your parent feel safe which will become even more important down the road. Don’t wait until there’s a serious crisis or accident. Those circumstances will limit everyone’s choices and add to the stress.

10 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s

In progressive diseases like Alzheimer’s, a patient’s brain structure and brain chemistry become more severely damaged over time. This is the reason you see people with Alzheimer’s slowly lose who they once were.

It’s important to note that while the early signs listed in this article are the most common symptoms patients will display, not all cases are the same. Meaning those with Alzheimer’s can possibly skip some of these symptoms or display some others early on.

You should also be mindful that some of these symptoms can present themselves in the later stages of the disease.

1. They’re Having Trouble Completing Typical Tasks and Chores

People with Alzheimer’s often experience difficulty completing tasks they didn’t have a problem with before. If your parent is usually pretty tidy and you realize they’ve stopped keeping a clean house, for example, this can be a sign that something is wrong.

The same can be said for a parent who has forgotten some of the steps to a recipe they’d cooked you your entire life, or the rules to a game they already know how to play.

2. Forgetting the Day, Month, Time or Location They’re In

If your parent has gotten lost in a familiar place like their favorite grocery store or their neighborhood, they could have a serious problem. They might call you in a panic over being lost or not knowing what day it is.

In some cases, your parent can even think they’re in a completely different decade. Bringing up old events like your little league soccer game as if it was happening today is a definite red flag.

3. Decreased Judgment

None of us make the right decisions all the time. Lapses in judgment happen to the best of us.

But we’re talking about those times where your parent does something irresponsible that seems to be coming from left field.

For instance, your mother might wear a summer dress on a cold winter’s day. Or your dad can give more money than he can afford to a telemarketer.

4. Losing Things

Has your parent started storing things in strange places? Have you found shoes in the fridge or car keys in the fish tank?

A person with normal cognitive function will misplace things, but they can usually retrace their steps to find them. If your parent is exhibiting more extreme versions of this otherwise normal behavior, it may end up being Alzheimer’s disease.

Patient’s with Alzheimer’s tend to blame others for stealing items they misplaced too.

5. Drastic Moodswings

Drastic mood swings without logical reasoning is an early sign of dementia that shouldn’t be ignored. Your parent can be mellow one minute and cry hysterically the next if they have this disease.

This can also come into play if they’ve suddenly become suspicious or moody around something they enjoyed spending time with before. Sometimes these mood swings stem from the person feeling uncomfortable, maybe being too hot or cold.

Changes in mood also including being calmer or less emotional than they typically would be.

6. Avoiding Social Situations

So, your parent used to be a social butterfly who enjoyed family gatherings and coffee dates with friends, but they’ve recently become withdrawn. This can happen because they’ve become uncomfortable being around people because they are frightened by their own strange behavior.

While becoming withdrawn, you parent can sleep more often than usual, develop passive personality traits, or take several naps throughout the day.

7. Problems with Written and Verbal Communication

People with dementia will forget common words. They may even replace them with words that don’t fit into their sentences, making their speech difficult to understand.

Furthermore, they can have a hard time reading; especially out loud. With dementia, your parent can fall into the reading level of a child during their early years of elementary school.

8. Forgetfulness

Most people classify Alzheimer’s disease with constant forgetfulness. It’s one of the most common symptoms.

Whether your parent is forgetting new information or thing they’ve already known, you should take the action seriously. Absent-minded behavior will also include repeatedly asking the same question.

9. Changes in Vision

Although it isn’t the most popular symptom, it does occur in some patients. Alzheimer’s disease can cause problems with processing colors, space, and reading.

This can weaken their ability to drive safely. If your parent had a recent fender bender where they ran into a nonmoving object like a tree or sign that they say “came out of nowhere” you should have their cognitive skills evaluated.

10. Trouble Thinking Critically

Has your parent recently began struggling to pay their bills without changes in income or commitments? Are invoices piling up and they don’t understand why?

People with dementia have trouble solving problems such as these. Sometimes the problems become so overwhelming that they just put them off instead of facing them.

An expense tracker can help you help your parent stay on top of their finances.

Talking to Your Parent’s Doctor

In the beginning, most patients with Alzheimer’s are uncooperative and display great levels of anger and denial. But if you are truly concerned that your parent has the disease, you should do everything you can to make sure they are correctly diagnosed and helped. This involves talking with their doctor.

HIPAA is set in place to protect patient privacy and information. Because of this, your parent’s doctor isn’t allowed to share things with you pertaining to their health. However, you are still fully able to share your concerns, even if your parent is against it.

Using the information you’ve learned about the early signs of Alzheimer’s, write a letter to their physician. In the letter, you should include your observations with timeframes.

Perhaps your parent called you three times in a single day asking what time your child’s birthday party will be. Maybe you watched them pour salt instead of sugar into a batch of lemonade.

These events should be noted and shared with the doctor. And although the doctor won’t be allowed to tell you specifics about their appointments with your parent, your letter will make them alert.

Your parent might even be more accepting of the conversation about Alzheimer’s or screening for the disease coming from their doctor instead of their child. Think about it, that role reversal can’t be fun for them.

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Although there has yet to be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, there is support available to those patients who are living with it. The treatments range from medication, memory care, and lifestyle changes that can include assisted living.

It’s important for the patient to have a loved one who understands all these options as their disease worsens. For example, a lot of people don’t know the difference between assisted living and memory care (compare here.)

Follow our blog for tips about budgeting, health, and family life that can still be implemented if your parent is showing early signs of Alzheimer’s.

5 Important Safety Tips for Women Who Work Remotely

safety tips for women

If growing your career often requires you to check your bags and add to your frequent flyer miles, you’re in good company. Thousands of career women jet set from one side of the country to another for meetings and conferences.

Although traveling for your job can be an exciting alternative to sitting in an office all day, it doesn’t come without its risks. Women, in particular, are more likely to be at risk when traveling solo. And though we wish it wasn’t so, it’s necessary to take certain precautions as a female traveler.

To make the most of your travels, and feel more comfortable doing so, here are 5 safety tips for women who have to work remotely:

Do Your Research

Before you visit a new area, make sure you understand the local customs and laws. Some gestures carry different meanings in other regions and you don’t want to offend anyone.

Take the time to research religious or political events that are happening during your visit. By having an idea about your surroundings, you’ll be better prepared and able to decide which areas to avoid and which events you might want to attend.

Share Your Schedule

Before you leave on a work assignment, let a trusted friend or family member in on your schedule. Tell them where you’ll be staying, who you’ll be with, and how they can contact you.

Keep in mind that your cell phone service might not always be great, so it’s good to share all the details you can in case of an emergency.

Use Technology to Help You

Keep a copy of important documents such as your driver’s license or passport on your phone in the cloud. This way you can still access the information should you lose your bag or wallet.

Apps such as “Find My iPhone” are useful in locating your phone if you lose it.

Safety Tips for Women Including Exuding Confidence

If you become lost, try to keep your composure and not appear scared or vulnerable. Maintain a confident energy so that you don’t come across as someone who can be taken advantage of.

Potential attackers look for women who appear busy, inattentive, intoxicated, or vulnerable. Be careful about who you accept help from. If you do get lost or need help, seek out a nearby business owner or law enforcement officer.

Protect Yourself with Self Defense Products

Basic safety while working remotely includes the use of self-defense products. These include pepper sprays, stun guns, hidden camera, tasers, and more. Suppliers such as “TBOTECH” carry a full range of self-defense products to help you travel in safety.

Learn More About Smart Traveling

Now that you’ve learned some of the most important safety tips for women who travel, can you think of any others we’ve forgotten? Let us know in the comments below!

Also, be sure to check out these other great articles with advice for traveling smart, whether it’s a solo trip, a family trip, for work or for pleasure!

Why Moms Shouldn’t Be Ashamed About Hiring Helpers Around The House

hiring helpers

Hey mom – you’re doing great. Read that sentence again and take a minute to breathe deep and let it sink in.

As modern moms, we hold ourselves to impossible standards. The exact wording differs for each of us, but the idea runs true.

We expect ourselves to do everything! Keep the house clean, raise the kids, home-school them or work full time. We set ourselves up for failure.

Take a break from that vicious cycle and learn why hiring helpers is the answer below.

Give Yourself A Break

When we do fail, are we kind to ourselves about it? Not usually. “You’re a bad mom because you let Aiden have two hours of screen time today instead of one!”

These are the things we think to ourselves, and for the record, screen time doesn’t make you a bad mom.

One of the steps to getting more done and being kinder to ourselves? Asking for help.

There is absolutely no way we can do it all. We are super humans for creating and nurturing lives, but we have the same amount of time in the day as anyone else.

Learn why hiring helpers is so essential (at any budget) and other ways to take the pressure off yourself below.

Sparkling Expectations

Some moms don’t care if their house is messy. Some moms do. Other moms care or don’t care and wish they cared more.

One thing is for sure: a clean house is a “sign” to ourselves and other parents that we have things together.

Let’s dissect that for a second. When you walk into a friend’s house and it’s messy, do you think

A) Wow this place is a rat’s nest and our kids shouldn’t play together anymore
B) Don’t give it a second thought
C) Feel relieved that their house looks like yours?

Barring that their house is a health and safety issue, we bet it’s B or C. Why hold yourself to standards that don’t apply to anyone else?

That’s like expecting your three-year-old to tie their shoes the way your six-year-old does. It’s backward.

Cleaning Helpers

Once you’ve taken the time to forgive yourself for not having a perfect home, ask yourself which rooms really matter.

If having a messy kitchen gives you a headache, prioritize that over a toy-free living room floor.

Set a rule for yourself when you’re in that space, something small and doable. For example, put something away from the dishwasher while you’re waiting for your coffee to warm up.

Little steps lead to less pressure and you’ll get it done, bit by bit. Hire someone like Green Maids to come every week or even every two.

Tell them the tasks you HATE doing, like mopping the floors. Give them an allotted space to put random things, so they can do the big cleaning.

Having someone clean your floors, sink, and microwave gives you less to do and looks miles cleaner.

If you can’t afford a maid service, think about starting a nanny share or asking letting your older kids help.

Maybe your six-year-old takes out the trash every week. When they do that, it’s also time for them to clean the microwave. Putting two tasks together will help them remember their chores and reduce nagging.

Hiring a Mother’s Helper

Let’s talk about the difference between a mother’s helper, a babysitter, and a nanny.

Without getting dictionary official, they go from least responsibility to most, in that order.

A mother’s helper comes and hangs out with the kids while mom is home, and is usually younger. They get paid less than a babysitter, which we’ll discuss later.

A babysitter comes around every so often or for date nights, but isn’t a regular part of the family routine.

A nanny is part of the family (and they want to feel like it!) They’re around more and spend significant time with your family and kids.

Why a Mother’s Helper?

If you have friends with older kids or there are older kids in the area, a mother’s helper is a thrifty option.

Usually, around 10-15, a mother’s helper can make money before anyone else will hire them. Not only does this mean you can pay them less, but they get experience for later.

One family in Florida paid their mother’s helper by buying her a Bratz doll once she’d worked a certain number of hours.

These young to pre-teen kids are easy to please.

Since they’re young, some people worry about their levels of responsibility. That comes down to the individual child and your level of comfort.

For the first few times they’re helping, hang out with them. You’ll get to know them and your child will see they’re a safe person.

Tell them what you are and aren’t comfortable with. If you have an infant, maybe this means not picking them up or not carrying them up and down the stairs.

Ask them what they’re comfortable with too. Most are willing to learn and have cared for younger siblings at home.


Talk to them about what they think is fair pay depending on what’s in your budget. Ask them how much they get for allowance every week or if they’re paid by the task.

Work out a system of how much you’ll pay them per hour. Ask them if they think its fair to pay them less at first and more as they learn and mature.

This not only saves you money but teaches them accountability and hard work. You can offer them bonuses for things you sometimes need help with – like walking the dog or watering plants.

Hiring Helpers Helps Everyone

Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that not only do you need a break, but you deserve one.

It’s not healthy to hold yourself to impossibly high standards and this perfectionism can rub off on your kids!

Give yourself time to breathe, show your kids it’s okay to take time to self-care and help someone build their resume by hiring helpers.

Even if it means budgeting something else out. We have all sorts of tips for living frugally, so you can have money to take a break.

For example, get our guide to using an expense tracker here.