I have traveled in the U.S as a single person, married person, and as a mom of a special needs son. I’ve flown, driven cross-country multiple times, stayed in hotels for a night or for a few weeks, relocated for work, and used to frequent the mouse-house that is Disneyland. I’ve wrestled with car seats and rooftop carriers. I learned something different from each experience.

I will develop and update this blog post over time and share links to travel blog posts, other travelers I learn from, and product and solution ideas.

Helpful resources for planning travel:

While on the road last summer, I had the chance to visit a few Camping World locations along my route, take a look at the store layouts, and felt like Goldilocks with the inventory when something felt too big or too small. I found the Camping Worlds to overall be a clean place for a pit stop and they were located conveniently near major highways if we happened to pass one at a good time to stop. And, for now, our only RV is from Fisher-Price When it comes to tent camping, yes, I have a lot of basic tent camping experience and was a Girl Scout Residential Camp Counselor. I’m looking forward to tent camping with my son when he gets older.

I have Good Sam TravelAssist just-in-case we need it. The RV/ Vehicle, Pet, and Child/Spouse Return benefits give me some peace of mind when I’m driving a distance of 2,400 miles or so. Good Sam also offers a Roadside Assistance program. If are thinking about purchasing a Good Sam product, please compare their services and prices to those of other companies for comparison.

Route Planners: I usually make sure my AAA membership is up to date before a trip. I have used the AAA route planner and have found that like other route planners, it has pros and cons. Good Sam Club Members have access to an RV friendly route planner. I also use the satellite feature on Google Maps to look at highways and aerial views of potential locations to stop and rest. Dog Boarding, Daycare, Walking, and House Sitting Services.

A word about hotel Brands: It’s possible to stay at the perfect example of how to run a hotel one night and end up in a swampy out-dated nightmare the next, all under the same Brand name. I recommend using sites like TripAdvisor to look at recent reviews of each hotel location you’re thinking about staying at. The recent reviews could highlight the more recent management issues and maintenance, remodeling, or noise concerns. Within one Brand, you can also see a difference from one hotel to the next in pet policies, parking, and recreational use fees.

24/7 Airport rides! Book now for a limited time only at! Get a ride for yourself or your crew, avoid having family wake up early or stay up late to assist you, and avoid parking costs at the Airport.

I tried a couple of rooftop carriers and ultimately liked using this Roofbag the best. Depending on the size, shape, and weight of the rooftop carrier and the vehicle used during the trip, miles per gallon will likely be affected, so increase the expected costs for fuel.

Looking to rent an RV? RV Share is where renters and owners may coordinate a rental experience. Availability and price vary by location. Overall, a wide range of travel trailers and motorhomes are listed. Renting an RV could be a good alternative if you’re not ready to fully invest in RV ownership.

Black Friday: Consuming Less, Great Gifting, and Staying on Budget

Sometimes less is less.

Everything bought, found, accepted, or inherited has to be maintained, cleaned, moved around until discarded. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales will entice us to acquire more and spend more.

Discern a good buy from a future regret with these questions!

Was it a good buy before the sale? Create and prioritize a wish list BEFORE the sale begins to serve as a reminder of what was important and affordable before the pressure of a limited time offer and a too-good-to-pass-up price begins.

Are the savings too good to pass up? If there is an item that you were not looking to buy that goes on sale from an original price of $100 to $10, then not buying it is a savings of $100 plus tax. Wow. You almost settled for saving $90 by making a purchase, but I just helped you save even more!

Is it in the budget? Save up cash and leave the plastic at home to help make financial priorities clear and immediate. A holiday isn’t an emergency. I’ve listened to Dave Ramsey for years. He offers saving, budgeting, investing, being content, and applying principles to the decision-making process. Emotion, habits, and mindset can work with or against you. You’ll find a wealth of (searchable) information on and a free budgeting tool at

Is it a quality buy that will stay relevant? Is it classic and timeless or a current fashion trend or fad. How well will it match what you have now? Clear items like bins can be re-purposed more easily from one room to another and from one task to another.

Is it a future garage sale item? Having an exit strategy for discarding the item is good but if you can already tell the item won’t go the distance, then pass!

Where will you put it? Use the amount of space you have to set a realistic limit. A one-in-one-out approach where you plan to discard something before or right after bringing something new in can help keep a space functioning.

What about that great gift that just went on sale! 1. Gift experiences rather than more stuff and help young families have more fun and keep the playroom and living spaces comfortable. 2. Consumable products are a good idea if you know the person’s preferences for scent or taste. 3. Enjoyable activities will promote relaxation and stress reduction.

Accepting other’s boundaries is also a great way to further develop a safe relationship with them. So, if someone dreads another “thing” coming into their home, the kids will be alright if they are gifted an experience, consumable (parent-approved), or activity rather than another toy. Remember to ask for a gift wish list. Give Wishlistr a try and add links to items from different websites all in one spot.

Rescuing lost animals. 10 tips for rescuing and 5 tips for preventing loss.

Squirrel! For me, it’s more like, dog! This past Sunday, I was putting in the time to prep a donation pick up for Disabled Veterans of America (DAV) and pulling some weeds in my front yard when a small dog wearing a blue t-shirt and dragging a very long leash/ tether stopped to visit. Do you see a lost dog and immediately think about rescuing it? I do. Do you have numerous dogs showing up in your yard and front door? I do!

Here are 10 tips for rescuing animals.

  1. Animals may run when approached. Try to gently call the dog. If you have a treat, say, “good boy, would you like a treat?” Do not follow behind a dog, flank the animal instead. Go across a street and walk at a pace that gets you ahead of the animal, and when ahead of the animal, cross the street to be on the same side and ahead of the dog to try calling again.
  2. Be safe. Avoid cars. Avoid directing the animal into harm’s way. Have an exit plan if the animal is not friendly. If there is any doubt, don’t approach the animal.
  3. Vet clinics will scan the animal for free. Call a local vet to see if it is OK to bring the animal by for a scan. They may keep the animal if a microchip is readable. Animal Control may be willing to visit you to scan the animal. Shelters and animal control need the animal’s information. Give them a call with a good description. A dog brought to a shelter may be in limited time. The “hold” for a lost animal may be short, 3-5 days, and then the animal will go up for adoption or be euthanized sooner or later. Once the animal goes to Animal Control or a Shelter, the pet parents may face fees to pick up the animal, and the animal may have undergone procedures to get fixed.
  4. Get the word out. Sites like allow you to add a lost or found pet, their picture, information and gives you an easy way to print out a flier currently for free. The site allows you to boost a post for an additional cost which is optional. I always check the PetRescuers App for lost dogs in my area.
  5. A quick Google search for “lost dog (sex) (color) (and city)” may help you get closer to finding the pet parents. On a recent search in Google, a hit came up for NextDoor, a social network for neighborhoods, which I had long forgotten about since joining. I logged in and found a comment referring to my doggie guest and brought him back to the person who found him three weeks ago. That was a bittersweet reunion. He was brought back to a caring person who was also looking for his family while helping him, and they were compassionate and kind to the dog,  but I also love it when the original families are reunited. And, later, I uploaded an image of my own dog, his name, and details to a NextDoor Pet Directory.
  6. The virtual checklist. It may help to say what you have done for the lost dog when posting to a social media site like a local Facebook group for lost and found dogs. Long-time rescuers will ask what feels like a million questions if you don’t! Check off some of these boxes when posting: Checked for Microchip. Sent picture and details to Animal Control and Shelters. The dog does not look like “John” or “Jane” or any of the currently posted lost animals on this Facebook group. It would be great if the admins of the multiple local pages for one area could come together and combine – creating a one-stop-shop for the lost and found dogs, but for now, there are still multiple groups dedicated to this purpose and therefore to check. The people in those groups often belong to more than one and will sometimes cross-post among the groups on your behalf and on behalf of the animal.
  7. Hold back on some of the details and don’t ask leading questions. Provide enough details for a parent searching to get a hit. Then, allow the person who calls you to tell you about their dog, and see if they are a match. What do they know that only someone who owned the dog would know?
  8. Do not try to immediately re-home an animal that was not yours. You must either try to find the owners, a foster who will search for the owners, or give the dog to animal control/ the shelter. This animal had a family, a family that misses him/her and likely wants a reunion. If you fall in love, ask your local Animal Control what steps need to be taken to advertise the dog and for how many days before legally you may claim ownership. Follow local laws about possession and ownership if you want to keep the dog, it is very important to give the family of the animal adequate and appropriate opportunities and time to find and retrieve the dog.
  9. If you can’t harbor the dog, post a “sighting” on a local Facebook Groups for lost and found dogs.
  10. Go to the classified section of your local newspaper. Look at lost and found ads. You may be able to place a small ad for free for a limited number of days with your local paper.

Prevent your own dog from getting loose.

  1. If your dog digs, try chicken wire attached to the bottom of fencing and buried a couple feet into the ground. This resolution lasted us several years before needing maintenance. My dog was able to move cement blocks!
  2. Avoid tethering a dog for too long. Local and State Laws may also prohibit how long you may tether a dog, but also consider that leashes and ties are vulnerable to the elements and can wear down over time like anything else. If you need a sitter for overnight, home check-ins, walking, or daycare, try*.
  3. If your dog can jump, climb, or dig then an adequately large enough cage, that your animal can stand and turn fully around in at a minimum, may be the answer. Ask your vet how often you should be letting your animal out to go to the bathroom. And, again, the cage shouldn’t be a way of life – especially if your animal gets anxiety when alone – try services on* for additional help.
  4. Ask your sitter to call right away if anything happens or if the dog gets loose. Set the expectation up-front that it is an immediately necessary conversation to have and one that is OK to have. This can decrease the chance that someone will be afraid to tell you and that precious recovery time will be lost.
  5. Microchip your pet. Then, at each vet visit, ask for the dog to be scanned. Chips, unfortunately, can migrate and your dog would not be as protected as thought. In that event, you would re-chip the animal. HomeAgain has yellow tags with the microchip number that can be added to the dog’s collar. Over time these tags will become worn. Gross but true, my son would persistently try to chew on the yellow tag as a toddler and I was shocked our silky terrier would even let him do that. A tag with the dog’s name on one side and your name and number on the back added to the collar is also a good idea.

It’s important to get your dog professionally groomed as often as needed and as you can afford. A lost animal has no shot records, and as much as a rescuer may want to get the matted fur off your baby and pampering from a pro, the only way to get an animal without a shot record groomed commercially is to give the animal a new set of vaccinations creating that needed record.

*At the time of this blog’s creation, is offering $20 credit for referrals who use my unique link and create a new account for a household new to

Welcome – First Blog Post on

Hi! Welcome. This blog is an expression of experience, knowledge, and a passion for empowering and encouraging others. I’ll try to introduce ideas along with information and resource ideas for creating positive change, unlocking potential, and building capacity.

I’ve taken over 65 hours of courses through the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Specialists (NAPO), earning two specialist certifications: Residential Organizing and Workplace Productivity. I was able to see how organizing and productivity apply to not only different aspects of life and work and spaces, but also to time and attention and the different ways people think process, and learn. I learned about learning and learning styles as an Instructor and Trainer for Girl Scout Councils and the American Red Cross and while earning a few college degrees (in majors like Business, Psychology, and Kinesiology). I hold multiple certifications with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (Personal Training, Weight Loss, and Fitness Nutrition).

When I worked for Non-Profit Organizations, it was a good thing I was salaried, because I would frequently work 60-80 hours a week. I loved most of it, especially the strategic planning, creation, collaboration, networking, and work,

Like everyone else, I’m a work in progress too. So, real person alert. No perfection here. Just a whole lot of effort. I make progress and backslide, learn a new skill and make more progress again too. I overcome challenges and obstacles to keep going too.

Thank you for reading!