Reduce Stress with LifeLock Ultimate Plus

Currently our family is going through a lot of changes. We are in the middle of a move, my husband is retiring from twenty-seven years in the military, our daughter got married this summer, and we are in the middle of buying and selling houses.


These can all be stressful situations, but we experienced the added stress of applying for a mortgage and finding out I had a tax lien on my credit report!

That’s exactly what happened to me last month when our bank pulled my credit report for the mortgage application. The worst part was that I never owned property or worked in that state so the lien was not mine!

If you know anything about tax liens, having them on your credit report is a pretty bad thing when you want to get a mortgage. It is even worse when you are trying to meet closing deadlines. I was able to get the lien removed from my report, but not without a lot of phone calls, letter writing, and stress.

It was very frustrating to me that a state could file a lien against me without letting me know, and damage my credit in the process.

My life has enough little stress moments without dealing with mistaken tax liens and state governments!

These days it seems like almost everyone knows someone or has personally been affected by identity theft. My husband experienced it a few years ago and just recently it happened to a good friend of mine.

Here are some simple ways to keep identity theft from happening to you.

  • Use a secure connection when going online. Protect your home internet network with a password so only authorized users can get online using your connection.
  • Choose good passwords and pin numbers (do not use your phone number or birthday for passwords or pins!)
  • Buy from reputable sites online. Always look for trusted security symbols on a website and never store your information.
  • Shred any papers or mail with your personal information on it. 
  • Monitor your bank accounts/ credit cards for suspicious charges. 
  • Check your credit report at least once a year. (Had I done this I would have known about this lien and contested it sooner)

For additional peace of mind LifeLock offers identity theft protection that takes the stress out of monitoring your accounts and activity because they do it for you.


Lifelock helps protect you against identity theft with three different plans. You can choose the one that fits best with your needs and budget.

Lifelock Standard

LifeLock Standard identity theft protection helps proactively safeguard your credit, your finances and your good name with vigilant services that alert you of potential threats before the damage is done. 

LifeLock Advantage

LifeLock Advantage provides all the benefits of the standard plan plus account alerts, data breach notification, online annual credit report, fictitious identity monitoring and more.

LifeLock Ultimate Plus

The LifeLock Ultimate Plus program offers several new activity alerts that give you peace of mind and can help protect you against identify theft. Some of the alerts included in this plan are:

  • Notification of data breaches. (Think Target and Home Depot)
  • Monitors bank and credit card statements for unauthorized purchases.
  • Notifies and protects against file sharing network searches.
  • Monthly credit score tracking
  • Reduces the number of unwanted credit card offers you receive in the mail. (YAY!)

Currently LifeLock is offering a 10% discount when you use the code LifeLockSafety. Visit the LifeLock site to learn more and start protecting yourself against identity theft today.

I’m a LifeLock brand ambassador. All opinions are my own. 


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

4th of July DIY Roundup

Are you looking for a fun 4th of July craft, recipe or kid friendly activity this week? I’ve had a great time searching the web and found some really neat 4th of July projects that are simple and inexpensive. Click on the link below each photo for a tutorial.

If you try one let me know how it turns out! 

4th of July DIY Round Up

Click on a category below or scroll through the entire list:


4th of July Wreath

Vintage Flags


Tin Can Luminaries

Patriotic Wreath



Very Blueberry Smoothie


Strawberry Salsa with Homemade Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

frozen berry dessert

Frozen Berry Treat

frozen lemon bars

Frozen Lemon Bars

All American Strawberries

4th of July Marshmallow Pops

Cream Filled Strawberries

Red White and Blue Scones

American Flag Cookie


Red, White & Blue Spinach Salad


Grilled Chicken Summer Salad


Grilled Asparagus

For the Kids


4th of July Robot

4th of July Paper Lanterns

4th of July T-Shirts

Popsicle Stick Flags

Painted Stones

Handprint Fireworks

Cupcake Liner Fireworks


4th of July Free Printables

Plus, don’t forget to check out our 4th of July Pinterest Board filled with more amazing ideas!

Follow The Happy Housewife’s board Homeschool (4th of July) on Pinterest.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Scotch-Brite Cleaning Tools & Giveaway

I’ve talked about kids and chores numerous times over the years. In our family, we encourage our children to help around the house from the time they are very little. It starts with simple “jobs” like putting all the books in the basket or picking up toys, and as they get older they have more responsibility until they are capable of running a house by themselves by the time they are ready to leave our house.

While it is important for my kids to learn responsibility I always want them to be safe . This means keeping certain cleaners out of reach of my littles as well as finding ways for them to help out without exposing them to danger.

If your toddlers are anything like mine, they will actually want to help you when you are cleaning. While this isn’t always the quickest way to get things done, it is great to start good habits early with your kids.

One of my favorite cleaning tools is the Scotch-Brite Non-Scratch Scrub Sponge. If you haven’t tried this sponge you are missing out. It works great on sticky dishes, but my favorite way to use this sponge is for cleaning marks off walls, doors, and cabinets. It is slightly abrasive, but does not damage surfaces or remove paint from walls.

sponge cleaning

It is great for cleaning off sticky fingerprints, marks on cabinets, and dirt on walls. The best part is that usually the marks come off without using any cleaner so it is great for kids. For really tough stains I use a bit of all purpose cleaner and the marks come right off.


One of the weekly jobs in our house is to wipe down the kitchen cabinets and around the door handles. Not only does is make your house look really clean, it also gives younger kids something to do during cleaning days.

I put sponges in the dishwasher when we are finished using them to get them clean and ready for the next use.

Another great tool that I just discovered is the disposable toilet scrubber. I’m not a big fan of cleaning toilets (I don’t think anybody is) and I’m always looking for ways to make this particular job a little easier. The Scotch-Brite disposable toilet scrubber is perfect because instead of walking through the house with a dripping wet scrubber full of toilet water, with a simple click you can toss the scrubber part and just save the stick for the next job.


These scrubber pads do a great job of getting a toilet that three boys use on a daily basis very clean! Also since my kids don’t have to touch any chemicals with the disposable toilet scrubber, this is a job my pre-teens can now do without me. (Yay!)

toilet cleaner-1

I may be a Scotch-Brite blogger, but I’ve been buying their products for years. From sponges to scrubbers, they really do make the best cleaning tools and you can usually find coupons available for many of their products. If you haven’t tried them you are doing more work cleaning the house than you should!

If you haven’t tried Scotch-Brite tools before, today is your day! We’re giving away a Scotch-Brite bundle of products. To win send a tweet to @scotchbrite_3M and share your experience giving or receiving the gift of clean. Make sure you use the hashtag #giftofclean so we can see your tweet! 

I’m a Scotch-Brite blogger, all opinions are my own.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Mother’s Day #GiftofClean

Mother’s Day and my 21st anniversary fell on the same day this year. While I enjoyed a weekend away my kids held down the fort.

Now, often when the kids are on their own (even though a few of them aren’t really kids any more) the house tends to get a little dirty. Since the kids know I love a clean house they decided to make that my gift this year.

I couldn’t believe when I walked in the door and saw my sparkling kitchen. They had even polished all the normally covered in fingerprints stainless steel appliances.

My oldest son explained in great detail how they had spent Saturday night working together to get the house clean by “mom’s standards.” That’s a little joke in our house because often my children will clean to their standards (meaning popcorn kernels belong under the couch) instead of my standards (popcorn kernels belongs in the garbage).

Not only was the kitchen clean, the rest of the house looked great too! The kids shared what they cleaned and were so proud of their work.

My little girls were excited to give me the Mother’s Day cards they picked out and Cora was really excited because my card from her had a sticker. She suggested I put it on my computer, but I told her I would put it on my journal instead. :-)

Even Cora my littlest got into the action by wiping around the doorknobs and baseboards. The Scotch-Brite non-scratch sponge does a great job getting dirt off and doesn’t damage the paint!

It was great to come home to a clean house after a fun weekend away. Since the house was clean we spent the rest of the day hanging out and relaxing. My kids definitely knew the best gift for me this Mother’s Day!

I’m partnering with Scotch-Brite to share cleaning tips and ideas this summer. All opinions are my own. 

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.