Lingerie Bag to Keep Children's Puzzles Together

After having this puzzle for one day I was brainstorming ideas to keep it together!  I received this bag as a wedding shower gift to keep all the baby socks together in the wash.  Now I use it for this puzzle.  How to you keep your puzzled organized? 

About Lisa Rusczyk
Lisa is the creator of the blog Charlie-The-Cavalier and His Friends, Family, and Home.  She is also the author of 50 Things to Know Before Having a Baby..  Send Lisa Rusczyk and email at  
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PA LIVE Blog of the Week Charlie The Cavalier

NEPA blogs chose Charlie The Cavalier as blog of the week.  Here is the write up on their blog and  look below at the segment of PA Live a local North East Pennsylvania News Show. 

Here is some more Charlie The Cavalier Media


Good Reads- A book review and share website.  Please leave your comments on the book. 

Charlie-The-Cavalier Blog Post Teaser- Includes some of the tips. Reviews of the book and facebook likes. 

Free Amazon Kindle Books- Books featured here when they are free during a promotion.  

Amazon Listmania- 50 Things to Know 

About Lisa Rusczyk
Lisa is the creator of the blog Charlie-The-Cavalier and His Friends, Family, and Home.  She is also the author of 50 Things to Know Before Having a Baby..  Send Lisa Rusczyk and email at  

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Easter 2013- Easter Egg Dying

About Lisa Rusczyk
Lisa is the creator of the blog Charlie-The-Cavalier and His Friends, Family, and Home.  She is also the author of 50 Things to Know Before Having a Baby..  Send Lisa Rusczyk and email at  
Facebook      Pinterest      Google Plus      Google Plus      Google Plus      Google Plus      Google Plus

50 Things to Know to Enjoy an All Inclusive Resort

I wrote this book while on my last vacation.  I will share some of the tips with you here.  I hope you enjoy the book.  Going on vacation is a blessing.  An all inclusive resort may be the next vacation for you! 


While you may think an all-inclusive is “All-Inclusive” you may need to think again.  If you are planning on trying a new vacation or interested in finding a new resort, this list may be helpful to make your decision.  Each all-inclusive is not created equal. 
I have been have been a guest to 2 all-inclusive resorts, many hotels, and 10 cruises.  I love to vacation.  The 19 countries including:   United States, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Cayman, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, England, Ireland, Spain, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Malta, Italy, Vatican City, and Republic of Krabati a small island off of Hawaii.

I love to view other cultures, includes the people who are on a similar vacation with me.  I enjoy spending time with my friends and family in a different environment.  The place is not always important but it is the people you get to share your experiences with.  

50 Things To Know To Travel on a Budget: Travel Smarter and More Inexpensively (50 Things to Know Vacation Series Book 2)- Audiobook Discount

1. Time of Year

Check online to view how busy the resort you are interested that time of year.  Busy season? Off Season? Are there more bugs that time of year?

2. Weather

What temperature do you prefer on your vacation?  Is 78 degree Fahrenheit perfect for you or 85?

3. Room Type

There are many different room types.  Some may be in your price range while others are not. The least expensive rooms that I have stayed in have a bed room/sitting room, bathroom with a shower, and a balcony with two chairs.  Some all-inclusive resorts near the ocean may not have any ocean view rooms. 

4. Bathrooms

Do you need a shower and a tub in your bathroom? Older hotels may have older bathrooms.  Even when they are redone, they show their age with fans and vents.  A hanging toiletry bag can be used in the bathroom and is easy to bring with you in your luggage.  

5. Sectioning

The same resort may have different price ranges at the same resort.  You may only be able to use certain pools, parts of the beach, and dine at certain restaurants. 

At most all-inclusive resorts they have you wear a wrist band.  This tells the workers that you are a guest and your privileges at the resort.  I personally don’t like wearing this all week. 

6. Distance from Airport

After I get off the plane I cannot wait to get to the beach!  I prefer about a 20 to 30 minute distance to the hotel by bus. When we book an all-inclusive resort through Apple Vacations, they usually include airport transfers in the price.  Do not book too close to the airport or you may hear planes all day and night. 

7. Walking Distance

At the Melia Caribe Tropical in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the lobby and restaurants are 1-mile from the beach.  There is a tram car that goes around the grounds but I do not enjoy waiting on vacation.  My husband and I loved to walk the grounds. Other people may not enjoy the walk.  Other all-inclusive resorts may only have a small fenced in area where you can walk at the resort and on the beach. 

8. Spa

A spa at an all-inclusive can offer many different amenities.  Sauna, massage, hair, nails, private pools, Jacuzzis, and showers.  These services may be free of have an extra charge.

9. Floor Level

Do you prefer first floor? Second? Or the top of a high rise?  Some resorts may only have one or two floors.

10. Smoking

Some resorts allow smoking in any public place.  Others have designated smoking areas.  Every country may be different.

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11. Plants and Vegetation

The grounds of the resort may be important to you.  Do you love a mile of lush greenery? Or is the ocean and a couple palm trees all you need?

12. Gym and Exercise

Do you need a full gym? Is running on the beach your thing? Water aerobics or stretching on the beach? Different places have choices that may be included or be an upcharge.

13. Language Barrier

Just to be safe make sure you can make a dinner reservation, ask for a drink, and get back to the airport in another language.  I can only speak English and had no trouble at all-inclusive resort in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Some of the staff may speak multiple languages better than others. Keeping your passport and money organized is important when traveling to a foreign country. 

14. Culture

Just be courteous to others and realize that all cultures are not the same. 

15. Times Things Open and Close

At some resorts the pool closes at 7 and you can only swim in the ocean at certain times.  If you would prefer a night swim find a place to accommodate you.

Breakfast may only be open until 10.  If you were up the night before and don’t make it you may only get some snacks. Dinner may only be served at 6:00 PM, 7:30 PM, and 9:00PM.  Choose a time that may work for you.

16. Excursions Water

An all-inclusive resort may have an excursion that you may like in the water.  Snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming with dauphins, and sea aquarium, jet ski, kayaking, tubing, and more.  View the excursion you would like to do with the company you would like to complete the excursion with on YouTube before you leave home.  Then you may know if you would like to spend the extra money to complete the activity.

 For example, one year my family went jet skiing.  This sounded like a good idea until we all had to plain out on the water which was too fast for our liking.  If we would have checked online before we left at other people’s experiences with the excursion, we probably would have just enjoyed the beach for the day instead. 

Instead of spending money renting snorkel gear, you can buy one and take them with you every time you go on vacation. 

17. Lounges and Bars

Lounges and bars can be a great place to relax.  They have great seating areas with many different varieties of chairs and lounge areas.  Most bars have the same type of alcohol and drinks.  There may be specialty bars such as a martini bar or a piano bar.

To read all 50 Tips please go here:  50 Things to Know About All Inclusive Resorts.

Samsonite Winfield 2 28- Inch Luggage Fashion HS Spinner

Samsonite Winfield 2 28- Inch Luggage Fashion HS Spinner

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20 Things to Know About Special Needs Families, Part 2

Guest Blog Post- Shannon Thomas

This weeks blog is part two from Shannon Thomas.  This list is helpful and humbling.  I am feel privileged to bring you this post.  

My Brandon, G-tube surgery, 2005
The first ten tips were general ways that any person can be more "special needs friendly". These next ten are more personal. These tips are based on my personal experience as a special needs mom, and are appropriate for close friends, classmates, church members, neighbors, mom's groups, or family members. If you know someone who has a special needs child, whether it is a brand new baby in the NICU, or an older child, these are some simple ways you can be helpful, show kindness, and increase your awareness.

1. Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression, PTSD, and anxiety are very common in new special needs moms, especially if the baby has to go to NICU. Be aware of any signs that your friend is having a hard time coping with the stress and shock of having a sick baby.

 2. Support

The whole family needs support, not just mom. Dad's don't verbalize their needs as often, and tend to put their feelings aside, in order to be strong for their family. Siblings are often confused, scared, and sad. Make an effort to reach out to each member of the family, not just the mother.

 3. Go to the hospital. 

Go early, go often, and be in for the long haul. Whether the family is welcoming a sick newborn, dealing with surgery, or a treatment program for an older kid, having a child in the hospital is a full time job. It's also lonely, traumatic, boring, stressful, and expensive. It is always better to go and not be needed, than to stay away and leave the family on their own.

 4. Gifts

When you go to the hospital, don't bring flowers or baby items. Most ICUs don't allow them. Instead, bring non-perishable snacks, drinks, magazines, pampering items for the parents (lotion, lip balm, toiletries), pay for their parking, bring a home cooked meal, offer to sit bedside for a while, anything you can think of to make the family more comfortable on what could be a very long journey. This applies to older children in the hospital as well, who may also appreciate easy to clean toys.

 5. Make Arrangements

Arrange meals, rides, pet care, babysitting, errands, or cleaning. Don't take no for an answer. And don't expect the family to know what their schedule will be from day to day. Get a group of friends together and make a flexible plan. This is great anytime, not just when a child is in the hospital.

 6. Learn

Learn the name, general characteristics, and major needs of the child's disorder. Almost every genetic anomaly or childhood disease has a foundation with a website. Educating yourself not only shows your support, but will guide you towards how you can be more helpful.

 7. Learn More

Learn to do some of the child's treatments and procedures, then offer to babysit. Many special needs kids take medications, wear hearing aides or orthotic braces, get tube feedings, are not potty trained, or require constant supervision that make finding childcare next to impossible. It is taxing and frightening being the only person dealing with those things day in and day out. Not only will it give your friend a much needed break, but it will ease their anxiety about the future care of their child.

 8. Touch and Talk 

Touch the child, talk to them, and find what makes them happy. Nothing is more rewarding than making a special child laugh. Special needs parents need to be reminded that their child is lovable and welcome in this world.

9. Invite

Invite them to things, and plan accordingly. Make sure your party/picnic/outing is friendly for whatever the special needs may be. Make sure the family will not end up isolated in the corner of the room. Have appropriate food/drink items, a couple of toys, and a safe space for the child to play. (Just ask! The parents will tell you what works.)

 10. Gifts

Learn about and give appropriate gifts. Birthdays and holidays can be tough on special needs families. While they love the child that they actually have, they may be grieving the child they imagined having. Few things sharpen that grief like opening a gift their child will never be able to enjoy due to sensory, motor, or developmental problems. Take the time to ask questions and do some research before giving a gift. But do give them!

I am striving now in my 30's, to live an authentic life that brings joy to my family, and sustains me as I care for them. Two of our four kids have special needs. I have been an "at home" mother since our first child was born, but I am always looking for ways to de-stress, feed my intellect, and nourish my spirit. Since we are a big family on a single income, I'm also very into saving time and money. I have a passion for sustainable, kind living, without sacrificing fun and joy! Read more at You can find Mishmash Mama on Twitter @mishmashmama, on, and on

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