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hefty, mom strong, John Cena, mom

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Disclosure: This is a compensated collaboration with Hefty® but all opinions are my own.

Where there is a will, there is always a way. This is the one life lesson my mom taught me that has always stuck with me. In fact, it plays on a loop in my brain in the background of every single thing I do. I don’t quit, as a rule.


hefty, mom strong, John Cena, mom

I remember this saying so specifically because not only did my mom tell me these words every day of my childhood, she said it to me from a place of desperation. She was living in a metaphorical hole but she loved me so much that she made a point of telling me that I could do/be anything. Imagine if you will a mom in a deep hole with her small children, sacrificing every ounce of strength and hope she had for herself to push her children to the surface. That was my mom.

hefty, mom strong, John Cena, mom

She may not have a wall full of degrees, millions of dollars in the bank, a big house or have traveled the world, but she was, and still is, a simple and humble woman with a big heart filled with love, even if she had nothing else to give. She went without so that we could have what we needed. Sometimes it felt like we had nothing too but we did, because we always knew we had our mom. So no matter how bleak things might have looked throughout my childhood, I knew I had unconditional love and that meant something.

She also told me that chasing my dreams was going to be hard but it would be worth it to catch them and live on my own terms. The gratification of accomplishing the goals I would set for myself could carry me through my hardest times and she was right. This is what I try to teach my girls.

The circumstances are quite a bit different though. Whereas I saw my mother had nothing, my girls see where my hard work has paid off. They don’t see the close to the poverty line, blue-collar hole I was pushed out of to get to where I am. They haven’t felt the ramifications of the hard work or seen everything that goes on behind the scenes. I’ve protected them from feeling that. I shouldn’t have.

hefty, mom strong, John Cena, mom

Recently, I made a point of taking advantage of a teachable moment and explaining to my girls that the blisters in life are what give us the calluses to make it through the tough times. I reiterated what I have always known and what I’ve always told them, “where there is a will, there is always a way.” The only difference was that, in that particular moment, there was a situation affecting them that could make the words tangible. It gave them weight and purpose and finally, they became more than words; they became fact. In that moment, we all became stronger.

Hefty® is celebrating all the strong moms out there. The ones who stay up late forgoing their own sleep for the colicky baby who needs a little extra attention, the ones who make the tough decisions and sacrifices so that their children know they always have their backs, the moms who give all their love and attention to their family even when they are too tired to shave their own legs. We are strong and fierce in our resilience. We are ultra-strong and Hefty® honors that. Game recognizes game.



I love this ad with WWE superstar, John Cena, and his mom, Carol Cena, because they remind us that Hefty® has the best bags ever at a lower price than the competition, but they also remind us that moms are strong, Hefty® Ultra Strong™.

hefty, mom strong, John Cena, mom

Did you know that Hefty® Ultra Strong™ trash bags feature ARM & HAMMER™ patented odor neutralizer, which is awesome because no one wants garbage that’s stinky.stinky.stinky. Thank goodness for all those fresh scents that they come in. I’m partial to Clean Burst.

Hefty® Ultra Strong™ trash bags also have active tear resistant technology for better puncture-resistance, which I love because there is nothing worse than pulling the bag out of the bin to throw it away and getting covered in garbage soup. All caps EWWWW.

Did I mention the break resistant grip drawstring? Because Hefty® Ultra Strong™ trash bags have them and they are awesome because anything that keeps the garbage off of me and the floor is awesome. If all that is not enough, there is a 100% satisfaction guarantee: Hefty® can handle all your trash bag needs or your money back. So it is totally no risk.

Disclosure: This is a compensated collaboration with Hefty® but all opinions are my own.



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hefty, money saving tips, budget friendly tips for the kitchen, budget friendly tips, Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Clean, How to enjoy your summer

My house has been a mess all summer. My kitchen has been the worst. It’s been difficult changing my routine and getting used to the girls being home. Don’t even get me started on the dish situation in this house this summer. Between the traveling, the summer entertaining, sleep overs and flow of other people’s children in and out of my house, we have more dirty dishes than a school cafeteria and I thought the never ending laundry was out of control. I do dishes at least 3 times a day and I am never caught up.

I don’t know about you but my girls tend to dirty dishes like they are in some sort of dirtying dishes and destroying my kitchen contest. Speaking of which, is there some symbiotic way for dishes and trash to breed? Because if there is, I’m quite sure the trash and dishes in my kitchen have figured it out. It’s a full time job keeping up with it and it doesn’t even pay.

What are my choices? It’ not like I’m going to stop letting my daughters have their friends over, isn’t that what summer’s all about. I’m also not going to stop entertaining because aren’t friends, family and having fun together making memories the good things life is filled with? So what if people dirty dishes and make messes, I like my life messy. It makes it feel lived in and loved on.

What I don’t want to do in the middle of all of this wonderful living, most of which happens in the heart of my house, the kitchen, is to go broke, be wasteful or have a disgusting house that people are afraid to visit. My kitchen is the natural gathering space in my house and I’ve just learned to embrace that fact.

When all the kids are over and I’m feeding more than just my two or I’m going for the little splurges in life like a hot fudge sundae bar party for a group of energetic 9 to 11-year-olds, I need to stay on top of the state of my house without turning into the crazy lady who made it not fun because she was so worried about the mess. I know you know what I mean. We’ve all been there; that moment when we need to let it go but we can’t.

I want to do all these things but I need to find ways to do it on a budget and while not letting my kitchen spin out of control into a heaping pile of strewn garbage on counters and dirty dishes (and we all know how fast a sundae bar can go south with a group of excited little girls.)

Below are a few tips to save money in the kitchen so that you have it extra for life’s sweet splurges and also how to keep yourself from spending all of your free time washing dishes.

Well, unless you want to put all those extra kids to work in your kitchen. No, probably not the best idea.

save money in the kitchen,hefty, money saving tips, budget friendly tips for the kitchen, budget friendly tips, Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Clean, How to enjoy your summer

Tip #1 You need durable garbage bags.

Hefty Ultra Strong bags are an outstanding quality for cleaning up all the mess your creating while having all that fun this summer. At a new, lower price it’s a value especially when you consider the durability, Arm & Hammer odor neutralizers and new, invigorating scents that help to keep odors at bay so even when your kitchen is full of people, the smell of garbage won’t be overwhelming your guests. Plus, a scent-free option for those who prefer it that way! Add to all of this a top-quality performance with active tear resistant technology that provides better puncture resistance and you can feel secure knowing there is less likelihood you’re going to leave a streak of shame while transporting garbage from inside the house to the outside. We’ve all done it and it’s bad enough alone, no one wants to do this in front of a house full of party goers?

save money in the kitchen, hefty, money saving tips, budget friendly tips for the kitchen, budget friendly tips, Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Clean, How to enjoy your summer

The best part is that you can easily pick these bags up at your local Walmart or Target to try them. Plus  you can go on Ibotta and earn $1.00 cash back via Ibotta after purchasing one box of Hefty trash bags. Or you can go on Coupons.com and save $1.00 off one box of Hefty trash bags.

Tip #2 Paper products are your friend

There was a time when I would have scoffed at the idea but now that I have two growing children and lots of extra people coming and going, eating and drinking (and can someone tell me why little girls need a new glass every single time they drink anything?) in my house, I know the value of disposable paper products. Plastic cups and sturdy paper plates can save you a lot of time in the kitchen and a lot of aggravation. Just enjoy your people and forget about who’s going to do the dishes and when it’s going to get done. At the end of the party, just put it all in the garbage back and forget about it.

Tip #3 Use a Canning Jar to Keep Leftover Wine Fresh for Up to a Week

I learned this one from Food52 and I love it. I love good wine but my husband is allergic to sulfites so I don’t normally buy the wine I like because I can’t drink and entire bottle by myself and I didn’t want to waste it. Anyways, by limiting the wine’s contact with air, which contains the oxygen that causes wine to oxidize this trick accomplishes the same goal by using a jar that is slightly smaller than the amount of wine to be stored. Place the jar on a kitchen towel and fill to the very top. When the lid is screwed on, the jar should overflow a little, which lets you know there is no air between the lid and the wine. According to the wine experts who gave Food52 this tip, wine stored this way will last up to a week. It’s a total win. I save my wine. I save my money and then I saved money again because, just so happens my dad worked at Ball glass my entire life and we have loads of mason jars, so no need to buy a fancy wine saving gadget or even new mason jars!

Tip #4 Keep Berries Fresh Longer

Who doesn’t love berries in the summer? We buy in bulk. The only problem is that berries ripen quickly in the warm weather and sometimes you end up throwing out an entire container. That not only hurts my heart it hurts my pocketbook. Wash your berries before storage in a diluted vinegar bath (1 cup of vinegar and 3 cups of water). Then place in a salad spinner lined with paper towel and spin them until they are completely dry (if you don’t do this, it will actually accelerate the rotting process). Store your cleaned berries in a sealable container lined with paper towels. I actually put a piece of paper towels between each level of berries to help soak up any excess water. Leave the lid open so that moisture can escape. Moisture is the enemy. According to Lifehacker, this method extends the shelf life of berries by days and the vinegar destroys bacteria and mold spores on the berries, helping them stay fresh longer.

Tip #5 Keep your countertops free of mess

When you see that you countertop is clean, it just gives you that motivation to keep everything clean  as well. I recommend getting a granite countertop for easy cleaning and when you see it messy, it will show as well. So, get started now and see the different granite transformations you can do to your kitchen.

What’s your best tip to save money in the kitchen?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed  about how to save money in the kitchen are all my own.

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