Google+ The Duda Homestead: December 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

GIVEAWAY - Luci Lights - Rock On Solar Power!

This post received no compensation, all opinions are mine and mine alone.
This giveaway is sponsored by MPowered and Hosted by It's Peachy Keen.

 I don't typically promote other giveaways, but I couldn't pass up helping to get the word out about LUCI Lights once I read about them. I love the cause they support, and I can just imagine how beautiful they would look in our new garden and patio next summer, not to mention our camping trips. I'm a little more relaxed just thinking about it.

Enlightened Functionality
Unlike other solar lamps, Luci offers the benefits of a task light, flashlight and diffused lantern in one attractive design. Never reliant on the power grid, she shines brightest where light is inaccessible or not affordable. To light up life with clean energy, Luci is your girl.

Featherweight & Dependable
Luci weighs only 4 ounces and collapses to one inch thin. Add a solar charged lithium ion battery and an 80 lumen light to the mix and you’ve got one impressive lady. Whether it’s for travel, disaster relief or anything in between, Luci always shines bright.

CLICK HERE To buy one or check them out.
Luci Lights are amazing. You have the option to buy one for yourself or buy one to give to someone in need. Can you imagine going about your normal day after the sun goes down? You would be left in the dark literally. In other countries these little blow up lights are their light switches, their way to creating a better tomorrow for themselves. Help MPowered in lighting the way by buying one for you or to give or even both!

My children and I fell in love with Luci. I love them for the bright light it provides. I can easily turn off my house lights and have a whole entire room lite up with a Luci Light. I have one in my car as well just in case. They do have awesome settings built in on top of it just being solar powered and not needing anything but a little sun. They can be bright, brighter, and then they also blink. So this little light is perfect for disaster relief, survivor kits, camping, and more. You could even be gearing up for a zombie kit. Luci Lights are just great for everyday use or when you really need her to be there. Luci Lights are also water proof!! So cool right!

My daughters keep the lights in their tent and we have been using them to light the way on a night time walk. An awesome light in themselves just because of how simple they are and versatile they can be.

It is open to US only. 18+ and winner will be chosen January 12 at Midnight EST. Winner will have 48 to respond when I send out the email. Winner will be chosen and posted on It's Peachy Keen. So be sure to check back.
This blog is not responsible for prize fulfilment or any shipping charges.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Word Of The Week | Silence

​There's a new site,, that challenges users to "hone" in on a particular word each week and express it creatively in one way or another. I enjoy a creative challenge and am hoping to participate each week. They just launched and this week's word is "silence." Now, as a new parent, and someone who runs a small at-home daycare, you're probably expecting me to talk about how silence is hard to come by, and oh life is so busy those moments are so rare. But I'm not. That's crap. Let me explain...

Yes, we do live in a world that is getting busier and busier everyday, in part because of technology.  But stop blaming the machine when you are the one who has a brain and free will and the choice to use said machines or not. Just because you can be connected all of the time, does not mean that you should. That is your choice and you need to take responsibility for it. I've had it up to -here- with the lack of accountability in our society.

Silence doesn't just refer to audible noise. ​ You can sit in complete quiet and be in the zone on your technology of choice with less silence than if your kids were running around screaming while you're trying to bake Christmas cookies. Trust me, I know how easy it is to get caught up on the internet and Lord knows I spend time browsing Pinterest. But I choose to do that, and I make a conscious effort to turn it off. I'm not saying I'm perfect, but I'm aware of the need to turn it off. 

Now and then, I get overwhelmed if I'm trying to watch the Today show or Ellen now and then when the 2 year old I watch is asking me to read a story and my E is needing to nurse or play. Now, I could choose to be a jerk and freak out, or I can choose to turn off the TV to create my own silence and tend to the needs of the kiddos. Of course, I choose turning off the TV. And guess what? The kids get quieter and we can sit and play or read a story. Sure, there are times they play louder than others, but having the background noise of the TV or radio multiplies that in my mind. So it is up to me, the adult, to choose silence and turn those off and let the kids enjoy themselves. They will nap, they will need their quiet play time. So I don't fight it. 

It may not always seem this way, but I have learned that silence is a choice more often than we may realize. How do you create your silence?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thankful Thursdays 4&5

I know, I'm behind. I have a lot of great ideas and stories to tell, but need to get out from under this post-remodel mess. I am hoping to get more of my recipes, art, and DIY projects up for you. I'm also planning to do a photography series. SO what was I thankful for last week? Honestly, it is hard to remember last week. I do know we went out to eat, so let's talk about coupons.

I'm thankful for all of those great coupon websites. You know, like Groupon, Living Social, Amazon Local, and our local Plan!t Kane and Fox Valley Deals. We are starting to get on a strict budget, and doing really well (future post). We have student loans that we are determined to pay off as soon as possible, so we are limiting what we spend. A friend (<-amazing Portland photographer!) posted an article from You Need A Budget that said "Until you’re completely debt free, everything you purchase is financed at the rate of your highest-interest debt." And I don't know why nothing else really has, but holy crap did that resonate with me. So with that thought, our credit card bill has already dropped by half. (We charge just about everything to it to earn cash back and pay it off monthly).

One of the ways we accomplished this (other than not needing to buy so much for the house) is by limiting our eating out to once per month. We want to spend as little as possible, but also want to have fun. We've been sticking to a grocery budget fairly well, but looking at our categorized spending on food in general was an eye opener. Eating out once a week adds up fast, and we don't order the prime rib. Although we rarely ever eat out without a coupon, it has turned into a game for me to only go out if we can get half off, or at least one entrée free. We tried an awesome new place in town, O'Sole Mio with a $30 voucher that we purchased from Amazon Local for $15. If you're a local, we highly recommend it!

Now for this's been a little hard with the hubby working late (coaching) a lot of evenings. We miss him and it just isn't the same when he isn't here. I have a love/hate relationship with technology, but this week I am very thankful for it because it allows me to keep in touch with him throughout the day. While of course he is busy teaching and coaching, he has a moment now and then to say hello and chat during his lunch and it makes getting through the long days much more tolerable. Not to mention it allows me to keep in touch with friends and family while I'm cooped up with the little ones all day :) The trick is balance.


Disclosure: I was not compensated by O'Sole Mio or any of the above companies mentioned and/or linked to. I will, however, receive a bonus if you click through and sign up/purchase with Groupon & Fox Valley Deals. These are all companies I use personally and wouldn't recommend them to you if I didn't have a positive experience with them :)
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