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My Favorite Activities on Jeju Island, South Korea

My Favorite Activities on Jeju Island, South Korea

We recently had the opportunity to add a quick trip to Jeju Island to our South Korea visit. Jeju Island is a volcanic island directly south of mainland South Korea and is accessible by a quick and inexpensive flight from Seoul in about an hour.

Why Flushable Wipes Were Created By The Devil

Why Flushable Wipes Were Created By The Devil

Flushable wipes are marketed as a convenient alternative to toilet paper, but they are anything BUT FLUSHABLE and they can actually be harmful to your plumbing and the environment. Plumbers have a love-hate relationship with them. They know flushable wipes clog up plumbing and they…

Tips for College Dorm Move-in Day

Tips for College Dorm Move-in Day

Your baby is flying the coop and you want move-in day to go smoothly, but there are so many things to plan for, and so many things to buy! Where to start?

Here are some tips that I have compiled from MANY smart parents who have gone through the dorm room move-in process before me.  Love these helpful tips!

Make a List 

It’s going to be a LONG list, but it’s easier to have everything written out on a piece of paper and check it off vs. trying to remember everything. In addition to clothing, toiletries, school supplies, and dorm bedding, did you remember extra surge protection power supplies? Extra power cords? Cough drops? Scissors? Thankfully due to Amazon, Target & Walmart, or whatever your kid forgets, they’ll be able to get shipped directly to their dorm in a timely manner.

On move-in day, clear tubs are great for organizing and moving in items. Typically the tubs can be stored under a semi-lofted bed or in closets. Another useful item – the HUGE blue IKEA Bags! These are great for carrying clothing in and then you can hang things directly or put away into drawers.


Dorm mattresses aren’t great and they’re often old. Most dorm beds are either Twin or Twin XL. Double-check your needed size and buy a Zippered mattress cover that encapsulates the mattress ALL the way around. Starting with a base layer of having the entire mattress encased really helps keep whatever WAS on it, completely sealed up and allergen-free.

When your student washes sheets, they only have to go down to that layer.


Then build from your clean mattress base with an egg crate foam pad or memory foam topper, then ANOTHER allergy barrier such as a deep mattress cover. TIP: If you are staying in a hotel the night before, go ahead and open the foam memory topper. They can have a funky smell and it’s nice to ‘out gas’ the topper before you move it into the dorm. NOT necessary, but just an extra thing to do if you have time/space.

If your student is moving into an off-campus apartment, consider getting them a Full-size bed frame vs a Twin. Your student will appreciate the extra space, and it’s not a huge upgrade on the size that will take up valuable room size.

Cleaning Supplies
Most dorm rooms are not sparkly clean upon move-in. You’ll find layers of dust and dirt, so a Swiffer Wet Jet is a good start. A huge container of Lysol wipes will also make quick work of other dusty surfaces.  Bring a TRASH bag for move-in day! A BIG trash bag. You’ll be surprised what you haul out of there (packaging, used wipes and cleaning pads, etc.). Do NOT go crazy with buying lots of sprays and cleansers. I promise you they will go unused (sadly).

Do get your student laundry soap and a small spray bottle of stain remover. Most dorms accept an electronic card for laundry however some are still old school and ONLY take quarters! We have been saving quarters all summer for just this purpose!

Medicine kit Even without Covid in the mix, having a digital thermometer is a great tool to help diagnose a possible fever. Get a small tub with a lid to keep everything organized and add: pain relief, Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, thermometer, blister relief (mole skin from scout days), cold medicine, allergy meds, EpiPen (if prescribed one), cough drops, and any other special supplements/vitamins or healthy aids.


Over the Door Shoe Rack with Pockets
clear over-the-door vinyl shoe rack with pockets is EXCELLENT for all of those random things from stain remover to batteries etc.  The clear pockets make everything visible and easy to get to.

Bed Risers
Elevating a dorm bed (if not lofting) is a great way to create more storage. Dorm Bed risers are available in the summer at local stores and Amazon. Some even have power and USB plugs built into them! Your student will also be able to hide a set of drawers, roller carts or other storage containers with the extra space. If you don’t like LOOKING at the stored items, consider getting a long bed skirt.

Smell Control
A couple of air fresheners (those solid ones are nice for closets) and the Damp Rid bags that hang and collect water are great for preventing mold growth – think sweaty workout wear and shoes. MOST dorms do NOT allow the plug-in devices or oil diffusions due to possible allergies.

UPDATE: 7/23 

This year we will be adding a Shoe Dryer . My daughter goes to school in a rainy damp environment (Virginia). She said it was very hard to keep her shoes dry and tennis shoes inevitably got stinky. Popping each shoe on a dryer will help keep shoes fresh, comfy and reduce the stink!  Yes, it takes up valuable room, but it’s worth it!

Boujee Extras 
Does the room come with Air Conditioning? If not, can you add a room unit?  Make sure to get a SMALL AC unit as there is NOT a lot of extra space! NOTE: Check to make sure this is allowed in your students dorm.


Air filtration systems are small, quiet, and really nice for reducing allergens and smells! This is the one we got for our daughter & she loves it because it’s also a source of ‘white noise’ which is great for drowning out other noise in the hall. It also helps reduce the ‘dorm funk’ which she smells in other rooms!


Water filter – Most dorms do not have filtered water (sadly). You can get a basic filter one, or an electronic one that cleans the water and makes supplemented chilled vitamin drinks!

Stick Vacuum – Space is at a premium, but having a small space efficient stick vacuum will help reduce the dirt and dust that tracks in each day.

Fridge/Micro or Fridge/Freezer Combos? Most dorms will allow you to RENT a Fridge combo. After lots of debate, the consensus for the year was that a Fridge/Freezer combo was better to have in a dorm room as cooking (and smells) are best left to the little kitchen that is typically within a dorm hall.

Why Everyone’s Talking About Internet Privacy and What You Can Do To Stay Safe

Why Everyone’s Talking About Internet Privacy and What You Can Do To Stay Safe

In today’s society, it can be really difficult to stay on top of things without using technology such as your smartphone or the internet. In fact, far too many of us rely on our smartphones for everything from paying for groceries to keeping in touch…

Exploring Hidden Gems in Oakland, California

Exploring Hidden Gems in Oakland, California

Oakland, California, known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty, is a fantastic destination for families seeking unforgettable experiences. Oakland has something for everyone, with its beautiful parks, diverse neighborhoods, interactive museums, and interesting attractions. Here are some must-visit attractions in Oakland…

The Best Side Hustles For Teachers To Earn Extra Income

The Best Side Hustles For Teachers To Earn Extra Income

If you are a teacher, regardless of what school district, county, or state you are employed, you know that sometimes it is a hustle to make ends meet or save a little extra cash for a vacation. Educators are undervalued and underpaid, and that is a fact. That being said, you have several options to help you make ends meet or add some cash to your coffers. Continue reading for some reasonable solutions to help alleviate your money woes.


Sell Your Products

As an educator, your classroom and curriculum are in a constant rotation of resources, paperwork, and topic-related classroom decor. You have spent untold hours (yes, hours, when you add it all up) on creating high-quality content for your students to learn from. You want them to thrive, and that is why you work so hard.

That hard work can pay off in more ways than one. You will help instruct your students, of course, but you can also benefit yourself and your family by selling your content, such as English worksheets. This way, other teachers can pay to use your content instead of spending too much time creating their own. In turn, you will also find exceptional resources in the same online venue to help further your efforts as an educator.


Become a Tutor

Teachers are in a perfect position to add the role of tutor to their respective resumes. If you are already a subject matter expert, all the better. As someone who works in education, you can likely assist kids in a wide array of topics, but many parents and guardians may wish to find a tutor with experience in their needed subject. If you are a high school math teacher or a college English professor, these are both fields of study, along with a multitude of others, that you can parlay into tutoring. 

Tutoring is something that you can easily implement into your already busy schedule and full-time teaching position. You have the option to meet with students in-person or virtually or both. Do what works best for your current position and that of your students. Sessions are often scheduled in 30-minute increments, and you can parse these throughout the day, especially if you conduct virtual sessions. 


Make Money from Your Hobby

You have probably heard of people turning their hobbies into full-fledged businesses. While this is possible, if you still wish to remain gainfully employed as a teacher, you may want to consider monetizing your hobby as a fun way to get paid for something you enjoy. 

Enter the side hustle. In order to find a fulfilling side hustle that will bring in extra income, but still bring you a sense of happiness and accomplishment while doing it, you should look at your current hobbies. Take stock of what you like doing as part of your creative outlets or stress relievers. Look at the process of how you do it and how it could fit into your current work schedule as well as your family responsibilities. Here are some popular side hustles.


  • Yoga instructor or fitness trainer
  • Dog walker
  • Painter (house or art)
  • Seamstress or tailor
  • Ceramicist or sculptor
  • Landscaper or gardener
  • Blogger or website designer
  • Photographer (for websites or family and birth photos)

Watch this video for tips on how to turn your hobby into a side hustle.

Start Coaching

At most schools across the country, there are extracurricular activities such as sports, science olympiads, speech decathlons, and the like. There are after-school clubs, as well, that require adult oversight. The adults in charge of leading and guiding the students in those activities are not usually hired solely to fill those respective positions. Instead, they are sourced from current staff members. While it can vary from school to school, these coaching positions are usually entitled to extra pay beyond what a teacher is already making.

earn income by coaching kids

If you are interested in taking on more responsibility and earning more pay at your current school, talk with the administration to see what the particulars entail. Oftentimes, you will coach early mornings, after school, and on some game or tournament weekends. This occurs only throughout the sport or activity season, and then you have a break until the next season unless you want to pick up another extra duty.


Provide Childcare

If you have summers and the standard school breaks off from work, i.e. school, then many parents who work traditional hours that do not follow a school calendar may be interested in finding childcare options for the summer or other days off of school. Should you have young children, this may make the decision to provide childcare to others during your breaks even easier to make. If you have tweens or teens, they can take a CPR course and help out, too.

Sliding into a childcare provider role is seamless for many educators, such as yourself, as you already have current background checks and are presumably CPR certified through your school-provided training. In addition, you likely have a rapport with many students and their adults so it will be almost effortless to find clients. 

You do not have to worry about missing out on any family vacations or summer activities. Simply notify the parents of your summer schedule constraints in advance and it will be a win for everyone. You get some extra money. Your kids will have built-in play dates right at home, and the parents have a trusted person to care for their kids.

Now that you have some reasonable and easy-to-accomplish ideas on how to make some extra money while still being gainfully employed in a field you love, it is time to get started. Go ahead and use your creative lesson plans to implement a retirement plan. Help others through your kind and effective teaching skills so they can better understand their lessons. Start a successful side gig. As a teacher, you can make a difference every day and in many ways for others and your own family. Thank you for all that you do.

Small Batch Cashew Granola Recipe

Small Batch Cashew Granola Recipe

Not only is making your own granola easy, but it’s super cost-effective. I like to make nut-rich granolas in small batches and store them in large glass mason jars as a go-to option for my family.

Korean BBQ Carrot Sloppy Joes

Korean BBQ Carrot Sloppy Joes

This meat-free vegetarian BBQ carrot sandwich is satisfying and tasty! Even my husband who eats meat thought this was delicious and filling.  The texture of the carrots and onions has a nice bite with the sauce – if you’re looking to eat less meat, try…

Summer Vacation 2023 – Must Pack Travel Items!

Summer Vacation 2023 – Must Pack Travel Items!

I was a Girl Scout and a Girl Scout leader, so really I have no excuses to be ill-prepared. However, it always feels like Summer sneaks up on me and I’m scrambling to pack the perfect travel suitcase.

(Sponsored Post)

This year I’ve made a little list of things that I believe will make my Summer trips a bit easier and a lot more fun.

Belt Bag aka the Fanny Pack

In my hey day, these bags worn around the waist were called fanny packs, but they weren’t nearly as cute! Now these bags are worn around the waist, or slung over the shoulder in a cross-body style. The bags are usually more boxy now and fit a bit more stuff. I do love these for traveling because your hands are free, yet your bag stays against your body which is a safer option while in unfamiliar territory.

These cute inexpensive bags are around $16 and come in tons of colors, so grab a few for summer travel on Amazon.

Inflatable Neck Pillow

We do a lot of flying and driving in the summer and inflatable pillows have never been on my pack list. It’s one of those things that I  think I don’t need, and then half-way into my trip I’m kicking myself HARD for not having one as my neck turns into concrete and a headache sets in. This lightweight travel pillow is soft and so easy to blow up AND deflate. No huffing and puffing, and deflates in seconds. They do have ones that are fabric and filled with stuffing, but I find they are simply too heavy and bulky to carry throughtout my trip. Stick with the inflatable! *Available on Amazon. 

Pack-N-Fold Hangers

My suitcase can go from tidy to crumbled mess and about 60 seconds flat, so I really LOVE tools that help me keep my clothing nice and unwrinkled.

FoldNPack Hanger Review

I love the super lightweight Pack-N-Fold hanger because it keeps my jackets tidy and they are ready to hang. It’s so frustrating to arrive at a hotel and they don’t have enough hangers or any at all, so with the Pack-N-Fold I don’t have to worry at all.

Check out the Video Short here to see how it works! 

Swim Cover-up

The perfect swim cover-up should be light for quick drying  AND easy to throw over your swimsuit to double as a sundress.  I also love multi-purpose pieces when traveling because they save on packing space! A functional beach cover-up may be paired with cute sandals and jewelry to make a perfectly sane outfit.  The coverup to dress conversion is also perfect for eating inside a hotel restaurant cafe’ where swimsuits are not allowed.

This cover-up is available on Amazon* and they have many different colors and styles all at a reasonable price.

Quality Ear Buds

Plane and car travel time means you have plenty of opportunity to listen to audio books or music. These are basically Air pod knockoffs which are a must because it’s inevitable that you’ll lose them, or at least one on the trip!  At $40 for the pair with a case that charges them, this is a no-brainer!

TRUE WIRELESS EARBUDS WITH RICH, BALANCED SOUND — Hear it loud and clear with 12mm drivers delivering crisp audio, balanced bass, and full sound. Be heard with 2 microphones and a voice detection accelerometer for crystal clear communication.  Available on Amazon.*