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Getting your Family Ready for Those Winter Days Out

As a family, we like nothing better than day outs. They give us a chance to catch up and have some fun.

So, even in the winter, we still make the effort to get out and about. At this time of the year, most venues are far less crowded and sometimes they reduce their entrance fees during the winter months.

However, you do need to prepare properly for winter days out. If you do not you run the risk of having to cope with cold and miserable kids.

Getting your family out on a winter day

The right coat for everyone

At the very top of the list of what you need, has to be a good winter coat for Mum, Dad and each of the kids. Without one it is practically impossible to stay sufficiently warm and dry.

The ideal coat will be versatile, robust and practical. It is no good choosing one that looks fantastic, but lets the wind whistle up under it, leaving you shivering. This year there are quite a few nice 3-in-1 coats available. These are a particularly practical option because they can be worn in different configurations. You can wear the entire coat in the morning when it is cold and potentially shed the outer shell later in the day when, hopefully, it warms up a bit.

Layers of clothing

Try to get everyone to dress in layers. That way each person can change what they are wearing to fit in with the temperature and conditions at that moment.

A big enough bag

Be sure to get everyone to carry a bigger than usual bag. In all likelihood, you will need the extra space to stow items of clothing when they are not in use.

Hats gloves and scarves

Everyone needs to have a pair of gloves, a hat and a scarf. That way if you have to queue for a ride you can stay warm.

The right footwear

Speaking of queuing, the right footwear is essential in this situation. It is not enough to simply buy something that is waterproof and comfortable. A good pair of winter shoes or boots needs to have relatively thick soles. This will ensure your feet stay warmer if you have to stand still on a cold surface for any period of time.

Snacks and a warm drink

It is a good idea to take a few snacks and a small flask of something warm with you. That way if you arrive at the cafe and discover that they actually close in the winter you will all have something warming to tide you over until you find somewhere to eat.

Prepare the car for inclement weather

Naturally, if the forecast is for snow, strong winds or heavy rain you will stay at home and plan your trip for another day. However, even if you are careful to look at the forecast before going out it is all too easy to get caught out. Therefore, it is always wise to prepare your car for inclement weather. This in-depth article explains the basics of how to do it. I know that this sounds like a lot of hassle, but it really does not take long to put together a ´go kit´ that you can just grab and put in the boot.


Travel With Kids: How to Travel With Kids Without Losing Your Mind

I love to travel. Alone. With my husband. With my friends. When it comes to travel – I am up for anything. The only thing I was really afraid of was traveling with a kid. That sounded like a terrible idea to me. Oh boy, I was so wrong.

A few months ago we decided to go on a family trip to Budapest. It was the first time we are going out of the country with our 4-year-old daughter. And guess what? It wasn’t so terrible after all. It was fun. She was having a great time. After that positive experience, I decided to take her everywhere – so we booked a cruise for November.

travel with kids

Since I want to prepare as much as I can, I decided to get few books on family travel. Travel With Kids from Edward Cox is one of those great books with lots of great tips. This book provides in-depth information on how to travel as a family. It includes information on how to pick the right destination and the right mode of travel, how to apply for passports and visas, and how to deal with culture shock on arrival and on re- entry. It also has special sections on how to travel with infants, toddlers, and teenagers.

My favorite part of the book is chapter ‘Surviving Re-entry’. It was always the hardest thing for me when it comes to traveling and it took me weeks to get back to my routine. So, imagine how hard will that be for the kids.

– The idea for this book has been rattling around in my head since my first child was born and most people that we knew assumed that we’d stop traveling. Traveling and living overseas was too hard with kids. I disagree. I want families to see that international travel with kids is not impossible, not too expensive, and definitely worth it – said Edward, the author and travel blogger on Nomadic Dragon.

You can find this great book on Amazon.

Edward told us he also has several more books sketched out. Two are young adult fiction and two are non-fiction travel writing about the places that he, his wife and two sons traveled to so far. I am really looking forward to reading those!


25+ Indoor Activities For Kids Recommended by Mom Bloggers


I am always having trouble when I have to figure out some fun things to do with kids at home for a rainy day. Well, I decided to make it easier for me and asked fellow mom bloggers for their favorite indoor activities for kids.

And here are the fun things to do with kids at home – recommended by mom bloggers!

Things To Do With Kids At Home

Fun Things To Do With Kids At Home For Age: 1 month – 1,5 years

“Some of my favorite things to do with kids at home are reading books, playing in the floor with his toys and helping him learn, playing peek a boo and pat a cake, and singing to him! We also get lots of cuddle time in while watching Sesame Street. He has learned so much from all of our play time already, the newest being clapping. It makes me feel so accomplished seeing him happy, healthy, and learning!!”
Brittany @ “Stay at Home Momma Life”

Water playing for babies

Baby E. is playing with water

“Right now, our favorite indoor activities for kids are books, trying to learn to walk and going out on the patio to swing or play in sand. Around four months, I introduced water play to Baby E. Now, most people assume that water play should only be limited to outdoor play. BUT, that simply is not true. I filled a glass pie pan half-way with water and gave her a spoon, a small cup and a rubber ducky and allowed her to explore. At first, she wasn’t so sure that it was ok to play in it. Then once she confirmed it was ok to proceed, she began to splash and mix the water around with the spoon.”
Marcia @ Our Eggcellent Adventure

“Our favourite indoor activities for kids are playing with bubbles (bit messy!). Just a small bottle, I’ll blow them in the air and Archie runs around trying to pop/eat them.”
Kaye @ Hello Archie

Fun Things To Do With Kids At Home For Age: 1,5 – 5 years

Kids washing dishes

Little princess likes to wash dishes!

“One of our favorite things to do with kids at home is “washing dishes.” I am usually doing something in the kitchen, and she just wants to participate as well. She doesn’t really wash a thing. We get her stool and set up the sink with bubbles and a few plastic cups, containers and she gets some good water sensory play in.”
Krystal @ Fit Frugal Mom


“A road made of masking tape is a smart way to engage a toddler. Prep time is way shorter than play time: you’ll only need a minute or two to stick the masking tape onto the floor. No need to be precise, your toddler will enjoy any version! It’s my son favorite indoor activity. He is quite fond of the road in the middle of the living room.”
Damjana @ Apple Green Cottage

“My 2 1/2 year old is becoming very curious and independent. Matching Bingo is a perfect activity for us both. Not only is it fun, but it helps with learning shapes, colors, and matching. It’s a perfect family game, but he also loves to play it on his own. He gets very excited when he fills the whole board all on his own.”
Adreanna @ Life in Our Nomad

“My son, Dallas, is almost three and his favorite indoor activities are puzzles and bubbles! We have a Frozen puzzle that he is obsessed with and is really fun to do together. It’s cool to watch him get better and better with it. Blowing bubbles in our living room is so much fun too. He likes to hold the wand and then chase them down. Hours of fun!”
Regan @ One and Done

Playdough game

She is having fun with Playdough!

“For my two year old toddler, we enjoy stacking blocks and then knocking them down… rinse and repeat.
Also, she really loves play-doh and water color painting. My daughter loves to put some sea shells, sticks, blocks, wiggly eyes, and buttons in her play-doh and that makes it even more interesting for her.
With water color painting, she has all the freedom to use a brush and paint in anyway that she feels compelled to do. There is no method except freedom! That is the best way to do it!”

Erin @ Nourishing My Scholar

Kid reading

Baby N loves to draw!

“Baby N. likes to go out and play with other kids, but sometimes we’re just forced to stay in. What to do then? Her most favorite activity is reading and drawing. She only knows few letters but it’s fun for her anyway and she is learning in the same time.
Also, we enjoy playing with our cat (or better to say, she is driving him crazy). He runs around the apartment and we are trying to catch him. He usually wins in playing catch with her, but she never gives up trying!
We also like to play with playdough but we will try to make our own next week, so we will see how will that work out!”

Marina @ Parental Journey

“My favorite things to do with kids at home is painting with watercolors. Once they have their watercolor papers, their watercolors, their paintbrushes and some water, they immediately explore their creativity by mixing different colors and putting them on paper without thinking but just feeling. When they have finished their paintings, they are so happy and proud of their work. Of course, it is a messy thing but I don’t mind because watercolors are washable and their happy faces will more than make up for it!”
Janet @ Writing Webworking Mom

Kids Reading Books

Book Picnic!

“Indoor activities for kids… We have what we call book picnics. My daughter & I will lay out a blanket and some pillows on the floor in our living room. Set out a plate of snacks & some juice and spread out a pile of books. What she likes to read varies by week. She is really big recently into reading (High Five) Highlights magazine. This week Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is a favorite. Do Princesses Scrape Their Knees & Steam Train Dream Train are big ones. This is a great rainy day activity that we can enjoy together.”

Kim @ Pinterested parent

“My favorite things to do with kids at home are making bracelets and necklaces. They’re getting into beading jewelry and I love it! It’s great to see what a 3 and 5 year-old can create with just some beads and string.”
Kristina @ The Mommy Rundown

“My 2,5 year old loves when we take all the cushions from the sofa and create a fort out of them. She calls it her “house” and brings all her favorite toys in there and we have such a good time. Sometimes, we even share a snack together in her “house” “
Vicki @ Diary of an Imperfect Mom

Fun Things To Do With Kids At Home For Age: 5 – 10 years

caterpillar diy project

caterpillar diy project

Our top 3 things to do with kids at home are:
I went to my local dollar tree and grabbed some paint…paint brushes …and a project board and was able to create a fun project for the kids for under $4 (I cut the project paper so we could get more use out of it )
Pinterest had this cute little caterpillar diy project …and while it only took a few minutes to make …the kids had fun playing with it for awhile. All you need is some Popsicles Stick … little puff balls (which I also found at the dollar tree )…and we found the fuzzy sticks and googly eyes at Walmart. Glue the puffs to the stick and I found it easier to wrap the fuzzy sticks(which we used for ears) around one of the puffs
Reading books:
My kids have always loved reading…so cuddling up with a good book is a daily activity in our house. I hope you have enjoyed reading some of our indoor activities!

Tonisha @ A little of this and a sprinkle of that!

“Our favorite indoor activity right now is nerf dart guns. It’s a safer version of playing darts. We just draw a dart board and use suction cup nerf bullets.”
Natalie @ Messy Mom

“Our family enjoys completing puzzles together. My kids are three and almost seven so I try to get puzzles that are in the 200 piece range. That way it’s a bit of a challenge for the kids, but I’m there to help.”
Melissa @ Wading through Motherhood

“Quiet boxes are boxes you make that are perfect during quiet time or a fun rainy day/inside day activity. I used them when my daughter was out of naps but I had a sleeping baby at home. We always had some ‘quiet’ time and these were perfect. I traded the boxes out so she wouldn’t get bored with the material. I ONLY let her have them during this special quiet time too. Also, moon Sand is a fun and easy project you can do in minutes. It’s perfect for a rainy day or on a nice day too. Kids of all ages would love this! Gak is another fun and simple thing to make at home with just a few ingredients.”
Shannon @ Daily Momtivity



“For my 7 year old son, our favorite indoor activities are building with Legos, Reading out loud to him, and watching documentaries on prehistoric creatures.
He also loves Story Cubes. Story Cubes are like dice with a picture on each side.
The game is played by rolling a dice and beginning a story based on the picture. Then the next person rolls a dice and continues the story based on that picture.
You can continue the game for as long as you like. We have the prehistoric story cubes which contain pictures of dinosaurs, volcanoes, meteors, mammoths, swamps, cavemen, ect. It is a really fun game of story telling and imagination.”

Erin @ Nourishing My Scholar

“My favorite thing to do with my kids at home is arts and crafts. We keep a “craft box” in the house that is filled with supplies and many of those easy craft kits that you buy from Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. On bad weather days I say, “Go get the craft box!” and he’ll run and pull it off the shelf. Sometimes it’s even fun to play board games. Our favorite is a game called Blokus. We also sometimes play Uno.”
@ The Jersey Momma

“One of the games I used to play with my kids when they were small was Hot and Cold. It was really just a take off on the old “you’re getting warmer” thing. We would take turns hiding something, sometimes a toy, or if I had a
treat for them, I would hide that. Then, they would look for it while I would prompt them with “You’re getting warmer” or “You’re so cold you are turning into ice!” I used all kinds of hot and cold sentences to guide
them to where the treasure was hidden. You are going to catch on fire! You have cold feet. Don’t burn your hand! If you are going over there, you better put on your mittens! The kids had a lot of fun playing this and love to re-hide the treasure over and over. It was a great way to pass a rainy afternoon, with everyone getting a chance to hide and find.
My kids also loved to build forts. And one of their favourite thing to build forts with were the couch cushions! They would stand them up as walls, add a blanket over top for the roof and make tunnels around the living room. They would gather all the furniture cushions from around the house and make bigger forts. Now my younger kids show their niece and nephews how to build them! Using a blanket over a table also makes a great fort or hideout!”

Sue @ The Little Shack on the Hill

Happy Jar With Activities

Happy Jar With Activities

“My six-year-old daughter loves to pick happy activities from our happy jar.
We created it together when she was going through a rough patch (she has anxiety).
It’s full of all of her favorite activities she likes to do with Mommy and things that elicit happy feelings. Its purpose is to help her focus on the positive and manage her anxiety in a healthy positive way.
She’s come a long way since we started the “happy jar,” but it remains one of OUR favorite indoor activities.”

Elle @ Tuned In Parents



Fun Things To Do With Kids At Home For Age: 10+ years.

Kids Making Sushi

Kids Can Even Make Sushi

“I like to involve kids in kitchen activities. One project that my son and I love doing is making sushi! This is a great supervised activity for kids ages 10 and up. New to sushi making? The Sushi Making Kit from Mud Puddle is a great place to start – it includes a recipe book, rolling mat, rice paddle and two sets of chopsticks. We made California Rolls – no raw fish involved! But you can get really creative and use just about any ingredient that can be rolled up!”
@ Mom Meets Blog

“My 10 year old loves arts and crafts, so we do lots of DIY projects we find on Pinterest. We choose the 1st craft project that catches our eye, as long as we have all the materials or sometimes we just improvise with what’s around the house then we have a go at it. It keeps our creative juices flowing.”
Anne @ Stretch Your Pesos

Fun Things To Do With Kids At Home For Age: everyone!

“Because my children range in age from 1 to 10, I’ve tried to come up with a few fun indoor activities that we can all participate in when the weather is just not cooperating. Here are some recent picks: – Put on a play: Everyone can take part! The oldest can write and direct, while the youngest can have their own little “role” or be a part of the audience with mommy. – Have a dance party: Let everyone take turns picking out songs or create your own family playlist. It’s a great way to burn off some energy (and a few calories!). – Write a book: My sons are really enjoying this project right now, and even my littlest guy can color on some folded white paper that has been stapled to create a booklet. Give everyone 15-30 minutes to work and then take turns sharing the finished products. They key for our family in each of these ideas is that they are not competitive but harmonious projects that build cooperation and listening skills – and help keep the peace!”
@ Overwhelmed Mom

“My favorite indoor activity with my kids is to create treasure hunts for them. I leave clues all over the house leading them to the next clue, ending at a prize (usually some cookies or stuff I keep in a stash from the dollar store). When I don’t have time to make up clues, but want to keep the kids busy, I send them on a scavenger hunt. Here’s a sample of one. This activity works best for school-aged children. If you have older kids too (tweens and teens), they love to help make up the clues.”
Corinne @ Wondermom Wannabe

Do you have some indoor activities for kids you would like to share? Just send me an email and I will add your things to do with kids at home to the list

My Journey

Parents & Nursing Homes: Getting Over The Guilt

Most of us face the prospect of watching our parents get old. It’s the cycle of life, and as much as we tell ourselves it will all be OK and smooth running, nothing can really prepare you for what might come.

Ultimately, there will be tough decisions to make, not least deciding on the best way to care for your parents. And if you make the decision to find a nursing home for them, it would be no surprise if you feel terrible guilt about it. But you will not be alone.

Many people feel this guilt, and there are a few things you should realize that might help you deal with your emotions. Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know.

getting over the guilt

It’s not your fault

First of all, you have to realize that you didn’t cause your parent’s illness. And no matter how guilty you feel, it isn’t going to change their continuing suffering. Yes, they might seem like they are happier at home, but no one wants their folks to experience pain and suffering that can’t actually be managed as well as it can in a medical environment.


Sometimes it’s necessary

When your parents are chronically ill or approaching the end times, they will be incredibly uncomfortable. End of life care nursing is a highly specialized skill, that encompasses all kinds of support, from the physical to the emotional. You might know your parents as well as you know the back of your hands, but unless you have had years of training and experience, you won’t be able to care for them as safely and as comfortably as they need.


You have choices

When you make the decision that your parents need full-time care in a home, you still have plenty of power. Make sure that you research each care home thoroughly, and know about any incidents of complaints or poor quality treatment. Unfortunately, there are still many sub standard facilities in the country, so it is essential you make the right choice – always check your local Better Business Bureau before signing up with any nursing home. Doing so will help you reduce your guilt levels because you know they are in the right place.


You’re still a part of the team

Just because your parents are going to a home, it doesn’t mean that you will lose your advocacy. In fact, the best nursing homes will make you feel like an important part of the care team. It’s still a huge commitment that will involve a lot of your time, involvement, and decision-making.


It’s good for you – and your parents

When you are a full-time caregiver for your parents, things can get tricky. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional aspect of being a primary caregiver, but it is also exhausting. You can easily take your eyes off the ball and do something incorrectly, and you will also find it impacts hugely on your typical family and working lives. A nursing home can help you freshen up, avoid caregiver burnout, and approach your responsibilities with renewed vigor.


It can be hard to let go when you put your parents in a nursing home – they are your folks, after all, and your children’s grandparents. There will be a lot of guilt involved. By understanding some of the issues highlighted above, however, you will hopefully be able to see the positives.



10 Everyday Rituals that Mean a Lot to Kids


As most of us are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with everyday obligations, working long hours and devoting enough time to our families, kids are, unfortunately, those who often suffer the most. Sometimes we simply forget that they grow up quickly and that we’ll never have a second chance to be the best parents we possibly can or we simply don’ have the time and energy to invest in creating stronger relationships with our kids.

Still, even if that’s the case with you, you shouldn’t despair or consider yourself a bad parent. Instead, you can focus on introducing some changes to your behaviour and create some rituals that would mean a lot to your kids and that would make you feel so much better. So, let’s take a look at some activities which are not very time-consuming, but which can have great benefits to both you and your kids.

Evening walks

Try to introduce a routine of having a short walk with your kids after dinner. If you have more than one kid, you could organise individual walks around the neighbourhood. Every Monday, my seven-year-old son and I walk to a nearby park and spend some time sitting on a bench, looking at the ducks swimming in the lake. He tells me about what’s happening at his school and I tell him about my day. On the other hand, my 11-year-old daughter is more preoccupied with her relations with friends and I try to help her establish healthier relations with them.

Bike rides

Another thing we like to do as a family is go for a bike ride. The time we spend together is equally important as the health benefits of riding a bike. I really feel satisfied and fulfilled when I look at my kids on their bikes, wearing their helmets and other Shimano safety accessories. We rarely go on long rides, because the younger one is still not strong enough, but no matter how long the ride is, we all feel great afterwards.

Helping around the kitchen

kids in the kitchen

Cooking is a regular activity for most of us with children and I often ask my kids to help me with it. Not that I wouldn’t be able to do it without them, but since I have to spend some time in the kitchen, I like to use the opportunity to involve them as well. Though tiring, cooking is a creative activity and most kids react positively to a chance to be creative. Sometimes I ask them to stir or pour something, or simply help by bringing and taking away the ingredients. When we’re done, we enjoy the fruits of a joint effort and they really appreciate it. Also, they tend to be less picky when it comes to eating the food they’ve prepared.

Taking dogs for a walk

Another regular activity that could be done with kids is taking your dog for a walk. Not only do we spend more time together, but they also feel very proud and “grown-up” when I let them hold the leash for a minute or two. They also learn to look after someone, which is an excellent preparation for their future lives.

Tea rituals

I love a good cup of black tea with a few drops of milk every afternoon. Some time ago I started preparing some fruit tea infusions for my kids and invited them to join me if they feel like it. Much more often than not, they are happy to sit with me outside our home and sip their tea and talk about whatever they want. We usually make some plans for future activities and by the time we’re finished with our drinks, we’re ready to resume with our daily routine.

Card and board games

Like most kids, mine enjoy playing card and board games. I asked them to teach me their favourite ones and they were only too happy to oblige. Every Friday afternoon we sit at our dinner table and play a game or two and have some great time, usually while the dinner is being cooked in the kitchen. It’s all about time management, after all.


importance of reading to kids

The advantages of reading to kids are well-known, but I can confirm that it’ great for adults, too. It’s really comforting and soothing and a great way to unwind after a busy day. Naturally, it’s hard to find a book that is equally interesting for all of us, but we usually manage to reach a compromise, although I feel that I’ve learned some stories by heart already. Still, it feels good and I recommend it.

Letting kids stay up late sometimes

This is something that I started practicing with my daughter a few years ago. I let her stay up past her usual bedtime and do whatever she felt like doing. Sometimes she would play alone, but very often she would join me in watching TV or we would simply have a chat. She really appreciated it which is why I’ve just started the same routine with my son. The trick with two kids is not to let them stay up late on the same day in order to make them feel special.

Creating a shopping list and shopping

Some chores are more fun when done together. As soon as my kids learned to write, I started dictating them our shopping list. It would take them some time to complete the task, but they felt involved and important. We would then go to a local supermarket and they would be in charge of checking if we’ve got everything we needed. This is also a great activity you can do as a family, plus your kids practice reading and writing.


No matter how small garden your garden is, you can always do with a little help from your kids. Filling the buckets, watering the plants or simply holding the hose are all activities that most kids like and make them feel like they’re contributing.


As you can see, most of these routines are not so time-consuming, but they all mean the world to your kids. The secret is to allocate that time and involve your kids in whatever they want to be part of. The result will be rewarding both for them and yourself.


10 Healthy Cookie Recipes Your Kids Will Love


My daughter loves to eat cookies. Well, to be honest, her mother loves them too. We didn’t have a tradition to bake them ourselves, but I decided to change that. That is why I collected the list of awesome healthy cookie recipes your kids will love.
We are going to bake them all! Yum!

10 Healthy Cookie Recipes Your Kids Will Love

Healthy Cookie Recipes

1. Paleo Strawberry Jam Cookies
healthy cookie recipes

The jam is made from fresh strawberries and Kelly got a little creative with the cookie recipe. She combined cashews with coconut flour, and it gives them a buttery flavor (without using any dairy).

2. Chocolate Dipped Cookie-Dough Cookies
healthy cookie recipes
Stacey made this cookie dough from white beans. White beans are good at boosting energy and calming the mind. They can help improve your memory and can lower your cholesterol. They are also a great source of protein.

3. Healthy Cookies with Chikpeas, oatmeal and Chocolate Chips
healthy cookie recipes

Would you ever think of putting chickpeas in cookies? Nope, neither would Vicki until she started investigating healthy cookies and how to make them so they are still delicious cookies. And she made it!

4. Perfectly Soft & Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

healthy cookie recipes

These cookies are an excellent balance of salty and sweet, soft and chewy. They are hard to stop eating, so be careful!

5. Dark Chocolate Pistachio Chocolate Chip Cookies
healthy cookie recipes

One of the most versatile cookies around, chocolate chips can easily be changed up depending on what you have on hand. The key is to start with a good base recipe and to use quality ingredients.

6. Orange Oatmeal Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies
healthy cookie recipes

Plan to make this dough at least a day ahead. It needs to chill to firm up, to allow the butter and cream cheese to enrobe the flour, and to give yourself a break from kitchen marathons.

healthy cookie recipes

Krista says that this is the BEST pistachio cookie recipe EVER. We will trust her and bake these asap!

8. Soft Spiced Cocoa Pumpkin Cookies
healthy cookie recipes

They are totally vegan, gluten-free, and allergy-friendly of course and full of clean real ingredients: quinoa flakes, pumpkin, unsweetened cocoa powder, and of course cinnamon.

9. Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Recipe

healthy cookie recipes

Baking helps Vinma to relax and lift up her spirits like no other. Well, when she offers us such a great healthy cookie recipe, we wish that she relaxes all the time!

10. 3 Ingredient Cookies
healthy cookie recipes

These cookies are quick and easy, plus they’re pretty healthy, especially if you leave out or substitute the chocolate chips.

*And just for full disclosure, there are affiliate links in this post about healthy cookie recipes. That means that I’m sharing something that I think is helpful, and if you make a purchase through the link, I earn a little bit back. No extra cost to you, and just a little help for me to pay for the blog expenses.