Category Archives: General site info.

I am back!

My apologies again for a long break since posting any articles or tips. This time it is for a good reason, rather than a death in the family. I got a new teaching job at the beginning of October. I had been teaching child abuse prevention and traveling to schools all over the county and city. Now I am teaching in my own classroom again – teaching kindergarten this time! I am so glad to be back in my own room, going to the same school every day. However, I had forgotten how much work teaching can be. I have been spending most of my evening time after my kids go to bed doing schoolwork.

So, needless to say, my future posts will not be as frequent as they had been before. I hope you will stick with me, though, and perhaps take some time to review some of my older posts, which can be used at any time!

I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season and that the new year brings us all many blessings and much joy!


Posted by on December 27, 2012 in General site info.


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Lessons from losing my father

Losing my dad last week has taught me some important lessons that I thought were appropriate to share here, before I get back to my regular blog topics. It feels weird to get back to my regular life, without reflecting. I know a few of these ideas might sound cliché, but I hope my thoughts resonate with you and help spur you to take action as I am doing.

Be sure you have a will, a medical directive, and guardians set up for your children in the event that you, your spouse, or both of you pass away. Also, if you can, make funeral arrangements or at least make a record of your wishes. (Funeral insurance is a new option to help with this.) We had started working on this years ago, but had never really finalized any of it with a lawyer. We just didn’t have the money to get it done. My dad’s hospital stay and passing was my wake-up call about how important these things are. My dad did not have a will or a  medical directive, which meant we had to guess what he would wan. It also made the day of his death that much more stressful. We cannot wait anymore to do these things, especially since we have young children that need to be taken care of!

Shiva is an important mitzvah that should not be overlooked. I have attended only a few shiva houses (Jewish houses of mourning) that were not of family members who had died. I did not realize what an important chesed (kindness, help) this is until experiencing it myself. It was so nice of people to take time out of their day to come visit us and also for those who sent food, cards, etc. It was also a great opportunity to learn more about my dad and his impact on others. I am proud that despite his quirkiness and mistakes, he still left a legacy of chesed and extreme kindness to others. I will definitely make more of an effort to pay shiva calls as often as I can.

Don’t have regrets in your relationships, fix and work on them now. We often don’t think about losing a loved one. No one wants to face that someday that person will be gone from our world. I, of course, cannot stop thinking about all the things I should have done and said to my father. A friend reminded me that having those regrets does me no good if they just make me sad. But if I use them to better my current relationships, then those mistakes and thoughts have a purpose.

Prayer has amazing power. I have heard this so many times and am definitely a believer. However, I also saw it first hand while my dad was in the hospital. He made it through so many hurdles and so much longer than any of the doctors thought. I have to believe that this is not just because he was a fighter, but because of all the people davening (praying) for him and all the mitzvot (good deeds) he did while he was alive.

Don’t wait for the opportunity to do a mitzvah – seek them out. One thing one of our rabbis who was close to my dad said was that my dad always searched out ways to help other people. He was proactive in his chesed. He would often go into debt helping others. What a powerful example!

Be a good neighbor. I was so touched that my dad’s downstairs neighbor came to see me during shiva. She said she had come to think of him as her own dad. She looked out for him as he did her. These last few weeks she has been helping keep an eye on his cat, too. At other times she would give my dad toys and clothes her kids had outgrown for my kids. She had never met me until shiva! What an amazing relationship! I am glad my dad had someone living close by to keep an eye out for him!

Thank you for reading/listening to my thoughts. Perhaps one of you shares my feelings, having gone through a loss of your own. I hope something may be of help to you or may influence you to work on your own middos (manners) and actions.


Posted by on July 11, 2012 in General site info.


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Back to blogging after much sadness

My dad, Elliot “Sonny” Landau

Thank you all for your patience these last few weeks as I have not been able to work on my blog. The last time I posted, my dad was in the hospital after a massive heart attack. Unfortunately, there was too much damage to the rest of his body even after open-heart surgery fixed his heart. He ultimately had too many days on the respirator, kidney failure, possible pneumonia, and liver failure. He passed away on Tuesday, July 3, 2012. I just got up from shiva yesterday morning and am trying to get back to my normal routines as best I can. And of course, that includes blogging, which I have really missed! Thank you to all of you who sent words of kindness and concern! May my future mitzvot and acts of kindness be in his merit.

Stay tuned for topics in the works:

  • July shopping tips
  • Preparing for death
  • School supply shopping
  • and more!
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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in General site info.


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Apologies for lack of posts

My apologies for not being able to post any new tips this week. My father had a massive heart attack on Monday and I have been spending most of my time at the hospital and dealing with things to help him. I hope that G-d willing he will be on the road to recovery soon and we can resume our normal routines. Please pray for his speedy and complete recovery.

In the meantime, please take this time to show your love and gratitude to everyone in your life. Don’t get to the point where something happens and you have regrets as I do!


Posted by on June 29, 2012 in General site info.


Think of me as your personal investigator

ChecklistOne of the reasons I started this blog was because I wanted to share all the detailed notes of my money-saving escapades with others. Why write it down just for my own family? It seemed information that needed to be shared with others.

But the same goes for being meaningful, too. This blog is only good if it helps not just my family, but yours as well. I want my posts to help you find new ways to save, earn, and live, without going broke! To that end, think of me as your personal investigator. Is there a money topic or question you have that you just don’t have time to research? Let me do it for you.

Please add any comments on here or on Facebook to let me know what posts you would like to see in the future. I keep a running list of ideas for later and would love to add yours to it!

Related posts:


Posted by on June 15, 2012 in General site info.


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Check out my new Pinterest boards

I know I am behind, but I finally got around to checking out Pinterest. I have not really explored other people’s pins yet, but already I am impressed! The look is amazing and very eye-catching (which I guess is the point!).

I love that I can share different things I find that maybe aren’t worth a whole blog post or that pertain to only my St. Louis friends. Facebook is great for this, too, but I love the look of Pinterest and that I can organize my “pins” by type on different “boards.” I also like that you can share your “pins” on Facebook, so I can do both at once!

I have created various boards to share with my “followers”:

  • Ideas for doing a good deed
  • Favorite money-saving ideas
  • Favorite places and spaces
  • Products I love
  • St. Louis Summer Fun
  • Menu planning
  • Books Worth Reading

I have linked various posts from my blog that I thought best applied to these categories. Please forgive me, though, some of my older posts do not have art with them. I am working on updating those.

Please check it out and let me know what you think! If you know any tips and tricks, please share those, too!


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New page: Family Fun Outside the Home

Down the barrelI have recently been posting about family activities to do in the summer. However, summertime is not the only time for excursions! We are fortunate that we have a lot of great websites and booklets of events in St. Louis. However, not every town has this and there are some national sources for outings that are not always publicized locally.

I have thus created a new page on my blog with links and ideas for all kinds of outings – year-round, holiday-related, and summer. I have tried to provide links to resources so that you can find what is available in your own town. I will add new ideas there as I find them and occasionally link back to related posts. I hope you will check it out!

Click on the heading “Family Fun Outside the Home” in the menu toolbar under the website name.


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