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Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts

Thursday, May 17, 2018

6 Ways to Help a Family in Need

6 Ways to Help a Family in Need


As y'all know Anthony and I have been on this yo-yo unemployed/underemployed life for 10 months now and we have had so many people in our life help us along the way to make this time a tad easier although the only thing that would make this easier would be a stable income (just being honest). Often times people do ask how can they help and maybe it's pride or maybe it's not wanting to be a burden or maybe a mix of both but it is hard just saying what you need so I decided to put a list together of the ways you can come alongside a family you may know that is struggling with unemployment or underemployment and help them during this difficult time.

1. Monetary donation 

We were blessed at the beginning of this journey by a family that gave us a monetary donation and we held on to it until we absolutely needed to use it on bills. This is honestly the biggest way you can help someone although you know the family best and know if they would be wise with this donation or not. If you feel they would spend this unwisely, maybe pay a bill for them yourself as in you call the company and give the account number and payment.

2. Food

There are so many subscription boxes out for everything including meals so gifting a one time (or reoccurring) meal box to a family in need would be an amazing blessing. You could even consider preparing a meal yourself and dropping it off to the family to avoid high cost on yourself (this is also a great idea for families welcoming new children either by birth or adoption, I also plan to share ways to help a family with a new baby/child in the future so stay tuned for that as well). 

3. Gift cards

Provide gift cards from a local grocery store (possibly one that also has a gas station). This will allow the family to get food as needed, household items like toilet paper, laundry soap, etc., or even gas for their vehicle.

4. Diapers/Wipes

If there are young children in the family consider donating diapers and wipes to them (if they cloth diaper ask what type of detergent they use and donate that to them). Also consider donating menstrual items for the young girls and women in the family or teaching them about menstrual cups and cloth pads that can be reused each cycle (I also plan to discuss this in the future further).

5. Clothing

Again if they have young children, they grow out of things extremely fast so consider offering them your children's hand me downs or even buying clothes from a second hand store (see my tips for thrift shopping children's clothes here). Helping a family in need doesn't have to be expensive.

6. Pray

And I mean really pray for them. In our society, we easily say "I'll pray for you" or "We are praying" and never do or my favorite and unrealistic phrase "claim it in the name of Jesus and it is yours" as if Jesus is a genie and we rubbed his lamp for three wishes. But really truly pray for them as you pray for your own family and your own needs, pray that God will build their trust and faith in Him, that God will be glorified in their struggles and that they will cast their worries onto Jesus and God will lead and guide them on their real life scary decisions that need to be made.


Often times, it is better to just do these things without asking the family in need because sometimes it is hard to swallow the pride and admit you need help so just ask the type of laundry soap they use or for their account number to a billing company (I wonder if you could just provide the name and address to the billing company and surprise the family with an anonymous bill payment). There are so many other ways that you could do to help a family in need, these were just the ones that have been incredibly helpful for us personally thus far so if you have any other ideas, please leave them in the comments below and as always I created a pinnable image to share with friends and family as you see fit.

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Stormie Ramirez
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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Unemployed Life + Five Month Update

Unemployed Life + Five Month Update


This will probably be one of the most vulnerable posts I write. I have debated sharing this part of our life in my public social media life because I do not want pity at all (pride much?) however the longer we are in this season, the harder it is and if I can help just one other person or family who may be on this same journey then it would be worth sharing. I briefly mentioned Anthony was back working but the contract ended much sooner then anticipated so we are back at square one except this time we don't have the security of unemployment since it ended a few days before he was offered the contract position. When we asked for an extension for unemployment, he was declined because Texas Workforce Commission is out of budget from extending unemployment to the numerous Hurricane Harvey victims who are also out of work. So it has been 9 months of the unemployed life and the longer we do not have a steady substantial income, the more assistance we need (obviously).

Over these last few months, I have been doing research as well as friends and family sharing different assistance programs that are out there and offered not only by our government but also local and/or national organizations so I wanted to compile a list of all the programs I know about and a little bit about what they offer. Some will be local to me (Houston area) while others are national and you will just need to find the location in your area.

Food Assistance

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - nutrition assistance to eligible, low-income individuals and families.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) - The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Eat On Feets - a network where families can share their breastmilk in a safe and ethical manner.

Human Milk 4 Human Babies - global milk-sharing network

Diaper Assistance

The Rebecca Foundation - cloth diaper loan program AND reusable feminine hygiene item assistance.
Share the Love Program - low-income families who receive assistance from programs like WIC and TANF may be able to receive a set of cloth diapers — for free.

The Diaper Foundation - Houston area assistance for disposable diapers

Cash Assistance

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) - from what I can gather on the application process is you are given cash assistance either on a monthly basis or a one time lump sum payment. I will keep you all updated if I learn more based on approval otherwise feel free to comment if you know more about the TANF program.

I am sure there are numerous other programs so if you know of any that I did not mention, please feel free to share in the comments below so if anyone else needs more assistance it can easily be found all in one place. Even though this is a really tough season, it has been amazing seeing the ways the Lord has provided for our NEEDS and the people he has used in our lives. We have seen how far he has carried us thus far and know he will continue to provide for us.

Five Month Update

It's so crazy how fast time goes when you are the parent but when we were kids time couldn't go fast enough. My big guy is definitely our happy baby, always full of smiles and giggles to anyone around. He loves talking non-stop and sometimes I wonder if he will start talking before Sophia (although her vocabulary has increased tremendously the last few weeks). He is finally an amazing napper but that's because he decided he wanted more one on one time with mommy at nights so you win some and you lose some (sleep).

Five Month Stats
Weight: ???
Height: ???
Head Circumference: ??

Firsts
big boy convertible carseat (still rear-facing)
Easter

Loves
mommy
daddy
smiling

Hates
dirty diapers
waiting to eat
anything being taken away from him

What I Want to Remember
his laughter
the long pieces of hair on his right side of his head while on the left side rubbed short
his screeching voice when he baby talks

Again please comment below of any other assistance programs you may know of that I did not mention so this can be a place to help others who are in a similar situation as this. I do also plan to share more posts in the future for those of you who have never been in the situation and want to know how you can help families in need so stay tuned (UPDATE: see 6 Ways to Help a Family in Need here). Please feel free to share this post with your friends and family and as always I created a pinnable image below.

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Stormie Ramirez
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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dream Lifestyle

Dream Lifestyle


As some of you may know, I have begun reading the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I have heard so many great things about this book and how it has truly helped others get rid of the clutter in their homes and become more organized. 

Before moving into our current house, I was a very organized person. Everything had a place and there was an exact method to my cleaning process (my mom taught me well) but when you have other house guests that do not share those organizational and cleaning skills (my grandmother had her own way of doing things and Anthony caught on shortly after moving in together years ago), it becomes tiring to keep up with someone else's constant mess. It definitely has prepared me for a toddler who leaves cheerios in every nook and cranny however it also allows me to teach Sophia at an early age how to pick up after yourself and put it back once you finished playing with something (we have been doing this since she was born) especially since she is at the age of copying everything mommy is doing. 

But what happens when things do not have a place to go? I have boxes in our garage from our move from FOUR years ago that I still have no idea where to put the contents in those boxes. I also have two boxes in my coat closet, one is my craft stuff and the other is my books and photo albums. We use to have shelves at our old house but this house we do not so there they all sit. I never had a proper space for my craft items so they have remained in bags or boxes even before the move but thinking of organizing it gives me a headache and I have been avoiding it all together.

So here I am on my journey of the magic of tidying up. There are two steps: declutter and find where to put what you keep. However, you have to declutter first. Easy. But before you begin to declutter, Marie asks you to ask yourself: what type of lifestyle do you dream.

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Stormie Ramirez
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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Reading List | Spring 2017

Reading List | Spring 2017


I have been wanting to put together a reading list for the year but I still am not certain of all the books I want to read so I decided to break this up by season: spring, summer and fall.

You will notice I didn't include winter because if we are being honest, Houston doesn't know what winter is at least not in the last few years, haha.

Anyways, the books on this list should get me from now until May and if I stick with my intention of reading 12 books in a year than that leaves me with reading 5 books in this season. I have already started one which is One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and I am blown away by this book. Kinda kicking myself for never buying it sooner as I have wanted it for years now. I will go into more detail about this book when I do a book review as I am planning on doing when I finish each book (I still owe y'all a book review for the Baby Led Weaning book as well).

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Stormie Ramirez
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Friday, January 6, 2017

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Life Lately


Hey guys! So I know I'm veering a little off schedule by posting on a Thursday and missing Wednesday but it's been crazy busy over here the last few weeks. Last week Sophia and I spent a few mornings attending my pre-k classes graduations and end of year parties. Our water heater broke (yay for cold baths, not), however it did get me out the house to go for a run. I was hoping I would sweat so much that the cold water would feel good, kinda worked, kinda not but thank God we have hot water again and I was finally able to shave my legs. And Anthony will be starting school again come this fall so things are gonna get more crazy around here while we try to figure out this parenting gig. But you know, life happens so quickly or at least it seems so now that we have Little Love. I mean come on how is my little baby already almost three months?!? I just can't deal right now so moving on.
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Stormie Ramirez
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Friday, April 15, 2016

Savoring this Season

Savoring this Season


Since before Anthony and I got married, we wanted children and we tried for years with countless negative pregnancy tests. Many sleepless nights of conversations wondering what our future children will be like and if we would even be able to have children. Starting a family seemed so far away with each negative test until that one turned positive. 

We really started imagining what this little person would be like, what parenthood would entail. But I never realized how hard it would be in these first few months. I knew about the frequent feeding, the loss of sleep, the endless diaper changes but I wasn't warned about the endless crying, at least it seems like it's endless. 

However, that crying means she's here. This child we dreamed of, we talked about, we planned and tried to have for years is here. Yes, she is needy and I am having to sacrifice more of myself then I ever realized but before I know it, she won't need me. 

There will be a time when she no longer needs to hear my heartbeat to calm her.


There will be a time when she no longer needs to feel me (and smell me) laying next to her.


There will be a time when she no longer needs me to hold her.



There will come a time when she is so interested in exploring the world around her that I can't keep her still long enough to hold and hug her.

There will come a time when she leaves the nest to start her own family.

So in this tough season of being a new mom to a newborn, I want to savor every little moment including the hard ones because there will come a time when she will no longer need me.

I love you sweet girl.
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Stormie Ramirez
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Here and There


As many of you may already know, we bought a new house.

When we started the house hunt, I already started  thinking of all the ways I can personalize our future house to make it into our home. Once we finally knew which house was ours, my head went spinning nonstop. I even purged all my Pinterest boards pertaining to our home. I was more excited then ever to start working on our new house.

My first line of business, moving into the house, was making it livable for all of us while getting ready to host 25+ people for Thanksgiving. I was able to accomplish both things this last month and now I cannot wait to start all these other projects I have in mind.

However, Christmas is two weeks away (I am hosting Christmas Eve dinner with a gift exchange) and money is tight. All the beautiful things I would love to do and most likely would take forever for me to complete anyways is on hold at least for a little bit. I am not at all disappointed because it gives me more time to enjoy this holiday season with my hubby. We are both on break from school and he has vacation time coming up, exciting!

I also can take my time unpacking all the other boxes left in the garage (and possibly complete some smaller projects I started up and never completed).

As always, my posts will continue to be sporadic. I hope you all (if anyone) sticks with me!
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Stormie Ramirez
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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tabletalk

Tabletalk


So the last you heard from me, Ant and I made the decision to attempt to build a dining table once we moved into our new house.

That time frame gave us four weeks before Thanksgiving which sounded very doable. However, due to unseen circumstances our closing date was postponed two weeks.

Once we were finally homeowners to our anticipated house, we were two weeks away from Thanksgiving and things seemed pretty hectic.

Not only did we need to focus on making things livable for all of our sake but we needed to figure out a seating arrangment since we were gonna host Thanksgiving for 25+ people asap.

Basically, we found a table similar to the one I wanted to build at a local antique store with all the details I was swooning over!


I originally wanted to place this table in the eat in kitchen however the table is a little fragile and probably wouldn't last every day use. Because of that, the table resides in the formal dining room and I cannot wait until the room is complete.

Although, my cousin and I were able to play around with tablescape ideas for Thanksgiving. 



Little progress like this makes my heart happy and excited for the next thing in store, whatever that may be!
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Stormie Ramirez
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Monday, October 20, 2014

New House, New Project

New House, New Project



We finally sold our bedroom furniture, it wasn't the price I was hoping for but it's finally out of the way. 

In my first master bedroom plan, I was going to sell it and work on a custom headboard.




But...

We are in the middle of selling our house and buying a new one!! 

Originally we planned to live at our current house for at least 5 years especially since we haven't started a family yet. Our little 2 bedroom house was perfect for us and our dogs. However, my grandmother, Babcia, moved in with us and we desperately need our own bathroom and a little more privacy (the bedrooms are so close to each other in our current house). While I'm sad that I won't be able to complete everything I had planned for this house, I'm excited to start decorating and beginning projects at the new one!!

We already have the house picked out, approved, and accepted. We are only waiting on closing now.

I have quite a few projects to begin once we move in. The most important is some type of table for eating as we will be hosting Thanksgiving. We sold our little table because it's counter height and Babcia had a difficult time being able to sit on them comfortably and get off of them safely. 

For the kitchen table, I would like a 6 seat table. I had my eyes on the Cindy Crawford Ocean Grove white table 

http://www.roomstogo.com/product/Dining-Tables/Cindy-Crawford-Home-Ocean-Grove-White-Leg-Dining-Table/42106319/


but I'm not to crazy about the finish on top. It's like a cherry finish and I prefer the brown wood tone like dark walnut

All other tables I found in the stain color I like aren't as good quality and solid as the Cindy Crawford one.

I previously played with the idea of building a farmhouse table but I didn't want to go through the hassle. The idea reappeared and I'm leaning towards it again. I already had some pins on Pinterest pinned from my previously thought so I will be going back to those and see if I can successfully build a table in time for Thanksgiving! 

No promises that I will even follow through yet, it's still an idea and I have to get Anthony fully on board.
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Stormie Ramirez
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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Smell the Roses

Smell the Roses


A few days before Valentine’s Day, Anthony and I sat down to look at our finances. We have started seriously budgeting and wanted to be sure to stick with it even with this holiday approaching.
After bills were paid and savings set aside, we did not want this holiday to leave us broke for an entire week so we gave ourselves a tinsy budget. I told Anthony I didn’t need the expensive things to make me happy. I just wanted a nice dinner with him, roses and to have fun. I would rather collect memories with him than things.

Don’t get me wrong, things are nice to have but aren’t an essential. By finally getting serious about budgeting and reading some amazing blogs about thriftiness, I have a new take on things. I don’t want to worry about obtaining the newest thing.

I want to enjoy the time I have with my husband.

I want to create memories with him (sometimes that is hitting the thrift stores or the golf course or just staying home watching netflix).

I’m not perfect and sometimes I (ahem) whine when I don’t get what I want. Having stopped to smell the roses, I realize grass isn’t always greener on the other side (haha I used two cliché phrases in one sentence). This new time set aside for budgeting each week has created a stronger bond in our marriage. It is quality time well spent where we talk about our dreams and goals. I look forward to more of these moments of budgeting, laughing, and dreaming together.


Have you smelled the roses lately? Do you budget? What is your take on budgeting?


I am linking up with  A Wise Woman Builds Her Home and Yes, They Are All Ours.


P.S. I am making progress on one of my many projects, here is a sneak peak.
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Stormie Ramirez
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