Curly Haired Girls, Rejoice! The BEST Blowout Hair Tool is Here to Save the Day and it’s ON SALE!

Curly Haired Girls, Rejoice! The BEST Blowout Hair Tool is Here to Save the Day and it’s ON SALE!

You guys… YOU GUYS! I haven’t blow dried or straightened my thick, wavy hair since our oldest child was 2… that was over 6 years ago. Why? My hair is THICK… like, thick thick. And wavy. Not a good combination. Sometimes it looks great air-dried with an oil (slight, loose curls) and other times it’s just like, “nope… you ain’t looking cute today without effort”. It takes 45 minutes (and sometimes longer) for me to blow dry it myself and when I do it’s a frizzy hot mess, which requires product, straightening, and a lot of crossed fingers and prayer to make it look somewhat decent. You know what? Ain’t nobody got time for that, so it’s usually a piled bun on top of my head as soon as I exit the shower, or air dry and hope it curls well (which it typically does, so I am thankful for that). If it doesn’t curl well, I add some loose waves and curls with my curling wand or straightener. If you want to see that technique and the products I use, I gotcha covered! Check it out here.

Enter the REVLON One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush. GAME. CHANGER. I’ve tried hot air brushes in the past and not one has met my expectations, so I was very skeptical on this one. Man… not only were my expectations met, but they were exceeded! The total style/dry time was around 30-45 minutes and it was sleek and perfect at the end. I think if I was going anywhere in public (thanks, COVID… I sit and rot at home even when I’m having a great hair day…) I would’ve run a flat iron through a few portions that I didn’t hit that well, but I was experimenting and going quickly, so overall, I’m definitely a fan! Here are some style tips and products I used for an (almost) effortless blow-out style:

Styling Tips


To start, shampoo and condition your hair as you normally would. If you need suggestions on great products, check out some Verb products I reviewed here. Towel dry your hair to remove any excess moisture.

Apply a good heat protector or blow-out product. I’m a fan of John Frieda for protection/volume. I also love a flat-iron spray to help protect my hair and eliminate flyaways post-style. I recommend Garnier’s products for heat protection. Comb these products through your hair with a wide-tooth comb to evenly distribute product and remove any large tangles or knots prior to styling. Allow your hair to air dry approximately 30 -45 minutes if you have thick hair. The air dry time will depend on the thickness of your hair. Allow it to dry until it’s still damp and you’ll be able to style/blow dry it. Don’t allow it to dry too long, otherwise the blow-dry heat won’t style it if it’s dry.

Separate your hair into three sections if it’s very thick: bottom (style this first), middle, and top/crown. Clip the top two sections up and focus on small sections of the bottom layer of hair. If you want your hair to curl under, start with the REVLON brush under the roots of your hair, concentrating for 2-3 seconds to fully dry the roots while pulling tightly through your hair slowly to fully dry/straighten. Curl the brush out down to create an under curl on ends. Do the same for the following two layers.

If you prefer a flipped out style on the bottom, do the reverse and use the REVLON brush on top of the section of hair you’re drying/styling and curl the brush up to create a flipped style.

If you have very long hair and want the loose wave, blowout style, use the brush on the side of the hair and alternate flipping directions to create loose waves.

When you’ve completed your style, finish the look off with a small pump of Verb Ghost Oil. Pump a small amount onto your fingertips and run it through your hair to prevent flyaways or frizziness.

Easy Naan Pizzas

Easy Naan Pizzas

This is definitely one of my weeknight go-tos when I don’t have anything thawed or planned. I buy naan when it’s on sale and keep them in the freezer. They go from freezer to oven and bake for 5 minutes. YES… 5 minutes from frozen! You can customize them any way you like-my favorites are traditional and Mediterranean or Greek. You can find mini naan or regular sized naan in most grocery stores in the bread/deli section. The best part about naan pizzas is you can use anything you already have on hand!


  • Naan (frozen or fresh)
  • tomato sauce (I use Basil Garlic pasta sauce because I usually have it on hand, but pizza sauce will work, too)


You can use any toppings you typically like on your pizza. Here are some combinations we’ve tried that have become our favorites!


  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Pepperoni (we prefer turkey-it’s less greasy than traditional)
  • Black olives
  • Mushrooms


  • Fresh sliced mozzarella
  • Fresh basil
  • Kalamata olives
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Feta cheese
  • Dried oregano


  1. Preheat oven according to naan package instructions.
  2. Place all pieces of naan on a baking sheet (fresh or frozen).
  3. Add sauce to each piece of naan. Top each piece of naan with desired toppings.
  4. Bake naan pizzas in oven according to package heating instructions or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
  5. Enjoy!
Easy Overnight Oats

Easy Overnight Oats

I’ve never been a huge fan of sweet breakfast foods. I’m more of a bacon and egg or omelet person, but… here I am. Eating overnight oats ever. dang. morning. For real, though. I love that I can put a bunch in the fridge then customize them every morning however I’d like with nuts, chocolate chips, fruit, anything really (now don’t get crazy… I love cheese as much as the next person, but don’t be putting any in your oatmeal, people…). I think I love overnight oats more than typical oats because they don’t seem to turn to mush like normal oatmeal does. They still have a firmness to them and you can flavor them with sounds good when you roll out of bed in the morning. You can also eat them cold or nuke them for 45 seconds to a minute if you’re not feeling the cold variety.

I adapted this recipe from one I came across from Eating Bird Food. My version isn’t altered much, just makes them a little more simple.

I also found some awesome overnight oat jars that seal and are water tight and dishwasher safe. They’re great to prepare several at a time and keep in the fridge for when they’re needed. Amazon, never fails!


  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk (I use 2%, but any unsweetened milk works great!)
  • 1/4 cup lowfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp honey (more or less to taste)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder (optional… if you’re feeling chocolatey)

Toppings (Optional)

  • nuts (pecans, walnuts, almond slivers… any kind will do!)
  • peanut/nut butter (almond butter works great!)
  • fruit (bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries are all great options)
  • chocolate chips


  1. Mix all ingredients except toppings well. Store in refrigerator overnight for up to 5 days. The longer the oats sit in the refrigerator, the softer they’ll become.
  2. Add desired toppings when serving.
  3. Enjoy!
DIY Dip Manicure on the Cheap that Doesn’t Look… Well… Cheap!

DIY Dip Manicure on the Cheap that Doesn’t Look… Well… Cheap!

The weather is starting to change and we’re sprinting towards the winter months. This means dry skin, dry hair, dry nails. Ok, you can only moisturize so much and cuticle or nail oil is great… when you actually remember it. I don’t know about you, but things around here are extra crazy this time of year and 2020 has not been kind to anyone, so I definitely don’t have time for 500 steps in my skincare routine right now.

My nails keep splitting and breaking way, way, WAY back. If I paint them this won’t help with the breaking, so I thought maybe I’d go get them done soon with a gel manicure. Ok, that might help some, but it still won’t stop them from splitting or breaking too far back. I suddenly remembered seeing a Facebook ad for dip manicures. Hmm… ok, but are they sturdy enough to withstand the cracking, splitting, and breaking nails?

Like all of my posts, I’m sure you know where I headed. Time for some hardcore Amazon research. I found many kits, but I always opt for the ones with the best price and best reviews. Bingo… I found a starter kit that contained colors I love and there was a coupon with a lightning deal. I looked at all of the photos, read the reviews, and this seemed like the real deal, so I went for it.

What I liked about this particular set is it seemed like there were only a few steps, the kit came with everything already included, and the colors were perfect! I chose the kit with a gray and pink color scheme. This particular kit had a two different color options, so if I did fall in love with it, I could order a second set in a different color scheme.

The directions were simple and there wasn’t too much to read through. I was able to apply the dip powder easily and quickly. I completed my entire manicure in about half an hour. The manicure looked great for a first attempt. I know the second attempt will be even better now that I know what I’m doing. Next time I will make sure I don’t get sloppy with the base coat as it can go outside the nail line fairly easily. Once you go outside of your nail line it adheres to your skin and it’s a little difficult to correct. When applying regular polish I’ve always gone very far outside of my nail line and cleaned it up later, but this forces me to be a little bit neater.

My nails are now strong, sturdy, and aren’t tearing, breaking, or chipping like they have been the last few weeks. I think this is a great solution to help me grow my nails out without them continually breaking. The colors are great in this kit, it is quick and easy to apply, and I found it to be very forgiving for a dip manicure newbie. For the price of one manicure I will now be able to keep up with them myself at home whenever I have time. I believe I will be purchasing an electric nail file to sand down the manicures when I need to fill in in a few weeks. Otherwise I think they’ll become a little too thick after fill-ins.

If you like a little more length than what you currently have, Amazon has a lot of options for tips. The directions in this kit even tell you how to apply the nail tips, then apply the dip manicure for a great finish.

Better Than McDonald’s Egg McMuffins (Freezer Friendly!)

Better Than McDonald’s Egg McMuffins (Freezer Friendly!)

img_4764Breakfast foods are some of my favorite foods… biscuits and gravy, eggs and bacon, and of course… breakfast sandwiches!  I’ve made breakfast sandwiches at home for years, usually one at a time, but that became a pain when kids came along (ain’t nobody got time for that!).  Since then I’ve perfected my breakfast sandwich game big time.  I hope this saves you time AND money at the drive-thru!  The best part about making these is the kids LOVE them!  They’re so easy to freeze and thaw in the microwave and come out perfect every time.

I use a whoopie pie  or muffin top pan (you can find them on Amazon!) for perfect eggs.  You can also use a cupcake or muffin pan, but they don’t turn out as evenly done.  Ramekins also work, but I find that they’re a little more of a pain since they’re not confined to a single pan.


  • 12 English Muffins
  • 12 eggs
  • 12 slices White American cheese (or any other cheese that you prefer-Gouda is excellent on these sandwiches!)
  • 12 slices of bacon (usually about a pound turns out just right), 12 sausage patties, or 12 slices of ham (Canadian bacon)
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare bacon or other desired meat.
  3. Spray the whoopie pie or muffin pan with nonstick spray.  Crack an egg into each cup.  Gently break the yolk of each egg to allow for even cooking.  Add salt and pepper to each egg to taste.  Cook in the oven 10 – 15 minutes or until yolks are cooked through.
  4. While the eggs are cooking, separate all of the English muffins and place on a working surface like a pan or covered counter top.  Place a slice of cheese on the bottom half of each muffin.  Fold the corners in so no cheese will melt outside the muffin.
  5. Once eggs are thoroughly cooked, place an egg on each slice of cheese.  Top with bacon or meat of choice and add the top bun.
  6. Allow the sandwiches to cool completely and add to a Ziploc bag.  Place all sandwiches in a large freezer bag and place in the freezer.img_5384
  7. To thaw the sandwiches, wrap the sandwich in a paper towel and heat in the microwave for 3 minutes and 45 seconds on 50% power, turning the sandwich over every minute.
  8. Now, wave goodbye to the drive-thru line!

VIPKid… the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth!

VIPKid… the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth!

Well, thanks to a friend’s Facebook post I have started a new adventure.  I am now teaching English to children in China.  No… seriously.  I am.

If you know me at all you know that I can’t stand to have only one thing on my plate.  Instead, I have plates on poles that I spin while standing on one foot attempting to balance them all perfectly not letting one single plate crash to the ground.

Scrolling through Facebook I notice a friend tagged me in a post about VIPKid.  VIP-what-huh?  I thought “That’s odd.  What is this and why am I being tagged?”.  I read her post talking about teaching Chinese kids English online.  Ok, that’s pretty cool, but she’s a teacher.  A professional teacher that knows what she’s doing.  That’s not me.  I’m an engineer.  I don’t have a teaching degree or any certifications, and I don’t want to recruit people.  Not my thing.  Looks really cool, but not my thing.

Fast forward and I keep seeing her posts about her students and they sound adorable.  I read on and she explained that all you need is a bachelor’s degree, webcam, laptop with a camera, or an iPad, a backdrop, and a headset with a microphone.  Hmmm… ok, I could do this.  Wait… how many people do I have to recruit to actually make money? None.  Ok, what is the quota of classes I have to teach to actually make money?  None.  Surely there’s something to this I’m missing…

Ever the skeptic, I checked out their website and watched a few YouTube videos.  Ok, it can’t be this easy.  I checked out some reviews.  They were all honest reviews and it seemed to all check out.  Fine.  I gave in.  This could be my next spinning plate to balance.  The good news is this one would actually make some extra cash instead of spending it.  This side gig is rewarding, fun, doesn’t cost anything to begin, and doesn’t feel like a job.  To all of those mommas out there, the hours are WHEN YOUR CHILD SLEEPS!  Finally, a mom friendly side gig (or main gig!) that is legitimate (yep… I’m looking at you, pyramid schemes disguised as “multi-level marketing businesses”).

If you’re interested in VIPKid, how to get hired, and how teaching classes has been so far (with an HONEST review), look no further… I’ll fill you in!  If there are any questions this blog doesn’t answer or you’d like me to mentor you through the VIPKid process, please drop me a line using the contact form at the bottom of this post.

This is a long post and if you’re like me and don’t want to read a novel to get the information you actually WANT to read, here’s a handy breakdown of what this post contains so you can skip to the part you’re actually interested in:

  1. Where to Begin (the Qualifications)
  2. The Demo or Smart Demo
  3. The Mock Class
  4. The Contract
  5. Booking Classes
  6. How Many Bookings Can I Expect?
  7. What Classes Should I REALLY Certify In?
  8. How Much Can I Actually Make Teaching for VIPKid?
  9. Would I Recommend VIPKid?

I’ll follow this post up with some other great VIPKid insights I’ve gained as well as classroom tips, tricks, and stories.

Where to Begin (the Qualifications)

VIPKid requires at least a Bachelor’s degree (ANY Bachelor’s degree… Underwater Basket Weaving?  Yep!  They accept it!) and at least a year’s experience “teaching” children.  Were you a coach?  A Sunday School teacher?  Did you say hi to a kid in the hallway once? Ok… maybe not the last one, but you get the gist here.  ANY experience counts… you don’t have to solely have teaching experience!

Alright, now that you know the qualifications, here’s how to see if you pass the initial qualifications: enter your information on their website OR you can use a referral link.  If you prefer to use my referral link, you will be listed as my referral and I will be able to provide tips and information throughout your process.  Please contact me using the form at the bottom of this blog if you plan on using my referral link and I would be happy to help!

The Demo or Smart Demo

If you qualify after the application process, you will be required to provide a full (5 minute) Demo or a shortened Smart Demo.

The Demo

The Demo is a shortened 5 minute demonstration of your teaching skills.  You can complete this demo and record your class (pretending you have a student in front of you) or you can present this demo live to a VIPKid staff member.  VIPKid looks at several things during a Demo:

  1. Speaking Speed and Language: Speak slowly and avoid using too many “ums, likes, uhs.” Read more about teacher talk here.
  2. TPR (Total Physical Response): Use body language to convey meaning. Read this intro to TPR on our blog or watch this TPR video.
  3. Modeling: Demonstrate what you want the student to do. Do you want the child to circle something? Draw a circle in the air as you speak.
  4. Repetition: It’s always helpful to repeat key words or sentences. Read more about repetition here. 

Nancy Taylor is a VIPKid brand ambassador and makes excellent videos to demonstrate and explain parts of the VIPKid hiring process as well as helpful classroom tips.  Here are her tips for the Demo:

The Smart Demo

The Smart Demo is a very quick, approximately 2 minute video taken on a mobile device with the following format:

  • Record a short video demo
  • Immediately receive feedback
  • Lesson tips are provided throughout the process

The same tips for the Demo apply to the Smart Demo.  Check out this video from Nancy Taylor for some helpful tips on the Smart Demo.

The next step in the VIPKid hiring process is the Mock Class.  The Mock Class allows applicants to demonstrate the VIPKid tools they have learned in a Mock Class setting with a mentor.

The Mock Class

For the Mock Class portion of the VIPKid hiring process, applicants will teach a class to a mentor.  This class is a PowerPoint that is approximately 10 slides long.  Think of the Mock Class as job training.  Most applicants do not pass their first Mock Class, but go on to complete 2, 3, or more Mock Classes.  Mock Classes are scheduled with a mentor who will pretend to be a student, observe your teaching, then provide feedback on how you completed the lesson.  The Mock Class only lasts about 30 minutes and if you do not pass the first time, you schedule another 30 minute time block until you pass

Here are a few tips for the Mock Class:

  • Reward system and supplementary tools: use them to motivate students and support the overall lesson objectives
  • Modeling: ensure that modeling follows the “I do- we do- you do” sequence. Use hand gestures, interactive functions, and props when modeling.
  • Lesson Objectives: meet the lesson objectives that are laid out in the beginning of the lesson (E.g. Vocabulary, sentence frames, HFW, phonics, math, social studies, etc.)
  • TPR: use body language to explain the vocabulary
  • Speaking Speed and Language: Teacher output (speaking speed, difficulty and complexity of language) is appropriate for the student’s level and incidental language (filler language, etc) is avoided or minimized.
  • Extension: Teacher extends the lesson content according to the student’s language proficiency level by adding level-appropriate new knowledge or drawing on what the student has previously learned.
  • Phonics: learn how to do TPR for phonics

There are two level options for new hires to certify for at VIPKid.  There is the 2/3 level certification as well as a level 4/5 certification.  Applicants may choose one level option or complete both.  If you complete both you don’t have to go through the hassle of certifying for two separate levels after you pass a Mock Class, but you will be certified for all four levels.  If you only choose to complete and pass one Mock Class you will have to qualify to certify for each other level separately later, which can take longer and be a bit more of a hassle (see my section about Certifications).

VIPKid provides Mock Class PowerPoint slides for applicants to prepare for each demo.  VIPKid also provides lesson objectives for mock classes A & B.  I will warn you, I didn’t find the objectives particularly helpful, but the PowerPoint slides are amazing to practice from.  They are the exact lesson and you can practice pacing, TPR, and prepare props for each lesson.

Mock Class Levels 2/3

You can download VIPKid’s Mock Class slides for levels 2/3 here: Mock Class 2/3 PowerPoint Slides

Here are Nancy Taylor‘s sample Mock Classes for both A & B.  I found that these helped me prepare the most for the Mock Class.

Mock Class Levels 4/5

Here is a sample and tips for passing the Level 4/5 Mock Class from Nancy Taylor:

The Mock Class mentors are very informative and helpful.  Their job is to make sure you’re prepared for your first VIPKid class.  If you do have to schedule multiple Mock Classes, don’t be discouraged!  Think of it as getting more practice and you’ll be more prepared for your first class!  Once you pass your Mock Class you’ll be prompted by VIPKid to sign your contract.

The Contract

After being contacted by VIPKid that the Mock Class has been passed, they’ll allow you to sign your contract.  To complete your contract you must submit the following:

  • Contact information
  • Profile photo – something professional that will grab the attention of parents booking classes
  • Featured photos – fun photos that show your personality
  • Introductory video – a fun video that will help parents see your teaching style and will encourage them to book you for classes (check out Nancy Taylor’s tutorial for making a video using your iPhone below)
  • About me – add information that will tell parents more about you, your teaching style, and what you hope to do to help their children learn English
  • VIPKid Certification – all applicants must obtain the VIPKid Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certification prior to signing a contract (you can read more about the VIPKid TESOL in the Certifications section of this post)
  • Degree information – VIPKid only accepts a photo of your degree
  • Certifications – list any teaching certifications you may have

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Your contract will include your base pay (VIPKid uses incentives in a tiered system) information as well.  Once your contract is signed, your base pay is set and you are ready to teach!

Booking Classes

Once your contract is signed there will be a short window of time that booking will be unavailable to you (around an hour or so).  Once this window of time ends, you may begin booking your classes.  Booking slots may be opened and marked “Short Notice”.  Short Notice denotes that you are willing to teach a course with less than 24 hours notice up to an hour before the class begins.

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If you choose to become certified in trials (trial classes for those interested in signing up for VIPKid), there is an option to turn on a function called Trial Rebooking.  If a trial student doesn’t show up to class, you may be moved to a new classroom with a new student at a moment’s notice.  This function is great to ensure you have a student to teach and receive full pay.  If you’d prefer to get some practice before being rebooked at a moment’s notice, this function may be turned off in Account Center in the Teacher Portal.

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Just make sure that whatever slots you open you are able to teach at those times.  There are penalties (financial and potentially harmful to your contract renewal or dismissal) for canceling a class or not showing up for class.

How Many Bookings Can I Expect?

There is no easy answer for this one.  I had around 6-7 classes my first and second month as a VIPKid teacher.  Apparently, this isn’t the norm-it’s usually much lower and some teachers don’t receive any bookings at all their first few months.  My third month I only taught one or two classes, but during this time the entire country was navigating COVID-19.  This was a terrible time to be a newbie because not only were brick and mortar teachers home and opening more slots (of course students will choose veteran teachers!), but bookings were down in China due to the children returning to school and their normal lives at this point.  Add to all of this chaos the thousands of new hires due to people in America looking for any work from home opportunities they could find.

Last month I taught approximately 20-25 classes and this month I will be teaching many more as my schedule is almost full.  I noticed a large increase in bookings when I certified to teach trials and gained more experience.  The more classes you certify for, the better chance your schedule will be booked.

VIPKid just recently changed their pay incentive system for veteran teachers.  Newer teachers (which is the category I fall in) seem to be booked more often, since we’re technically receiving less pay.  This hasn’t been outright stated, but from what I’ve observed in teacher groups this seems to be the case.  Just as the number of classes I’m teaching seem to increase, it seems that I have observed more veteran, higher paid teachers receiving fewer bookings and sometimes zero bookings.

All of this being said, this isn’t an instantaneous money maker.  It takes time to market yourself and build up regular students or become comfortable teaching trials to gain new students.

What Classes Should I REALLY Certify In?

All. Of. Them.  No, really.  Whatever is available to certify in, certify in it.  If you decide you don’t like teaching a particular type of class you can send a ticket to VIPKid to have that certification removed if you don’t care for that type of class.

Certifications will only become available if you’ve received an advanced certification in a prior level, taught a certain number of classes, or received a certain amount of 5 Apple feedback from parents.

An Advanced Certification is received after teaching five classes of a newly certified level.  After five classes are taught, VIPKid will review one of the five classes taught and if the teacher passes, they’ll receive an Advanced Certification for that level and may teach as many courses in that level as they receive bookings for.

If there is a level or supplementary course a teacher would like to become certified in, the certifications will be listed under Resources ⇒ Certifications.

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Major Course and Supplementary courses will be the first certifications any VIPKid may qualify for.  Clicking on the course will provide details about what is necessary to qualify for the certification at the bottom of the page.

There are also TESOL and TEFL Edu Courses available.  These should be certifications that all VIPKid teachers obtain.  Parents can see that teachers have certified for all of them and they will be more likely to book classes with teachers who hold these certifications.

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How Much Money Can I Actually Make Teaching for VIPKid?

The answer to this question is similar to the question, “How Many Classes Can I Expect to Book?”.  It just depends on how many slots are left open consistently, how many courses you’re certified for, and how many bookings you’re getting.

VIPKid has incentives for finishing courses as scheduled.  These incentives are applied in a Tier system on top of a teacher’s base pay.  Teacher Chelsey breaks down the different tiers in her Incentive Chart.

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Photo Credit: Teacher Chelsey

VIPKid also provides short notice incentives.  If a teacher opens short notice slots, they may be booked for a class with less than a 24 hour notice up to within one hour of the scheduled class.  If a short notice class is completed as scheduled, teachers receive an extra $2 on top of their base pay.

If teachers certify in trials, teach a trial class, then a student signs up for VIPKid, teachers receive a $5 incentive.  This is why trials are great to teach because you not only might have a potential new regular student (yay regular bookings!), but you will also receive an extra $5 if they sign up for VIPKid.

If you’d like to get a feel for what I made my first few months with VIPKid, here is a breakdown:

  • Month 1: $60.20
  • Month 2: $60.20
  • Month 3: $13.30
  • Month 4: $264.60
  • Month 5 (current month, half way through the month): $401.40

Since my bookings started picking up a lot this month, I closed a lot of slots so I could give myself a bit of a break.  My goal is to make around $700/month with VIPKid.  If bookings are consistent, this will be easily achievable.

Would I Recommend VIPKid?

YES.  Yes, yes, and… yes.  I am not dependent on the income from VIPKid, so the fluctuation in bookings, the slow start, and the current impact coronavirus and relationship with China doesn’t deter me from making extra money while my bookings are currently increasing.  The pay is decent for a 25 minute course I can teach before my kids wake up or after they go to sleep at night.

The prep for classes is fairly minimal.  I enjoy grabbing props to use for lessons, preparing what reward I will give my students, and seeing their smiling faces when they come on the camera every class.  Are there some that don’t want to be there?  Absolutely!  But when you turn a child around and they begin to actively participate and enjoy class it’s great.  You also have to remember… it’s a 25 minute class.  It will be over shortly if it doesn’t go so well and you get another shot during the next class.

Once you get a rhythm down it’s easy to be excited about trying new reward systems, new camera technologies in the classroom to make it more interesting, or using very simple props.  The great part about VIPKid is you can open as many or as few booking slots as you’d like-YOU are in charge.  Don’t want to spend a lot of time on props? Don’t!  Grab an apple, a banana, something that has the color that is in the lesson and you’re DONE.  It’s all about the delivery and how you would like to run your classroom.

VIPKid provides all of the tools to make your classes a success.  Bookings may be slow to roll in at first, but they’ll come in time.  It’s great to sign up, see if it’s for you, then figure the rest out along the way!

Contact me with any questions about VIPKid you may have!  I would be happy to help with anything I can to help you on your VIPKid journey!

Open Your Eyes… Literally!

Open Your Eyes… Literally!

I’ve been setting my alarm earlier and earlier lately (I know… it’s quarantine… I should be sleeping in…).  When I finally get out of bed I have very little time to get ready, but I NEED to look awake since I’ll be on camera teaching students.  My tricks?  Eye brightener, highlighter, and my trusty eye cream that even graced the list of Best Eye Creams from  So quick and easy!  The three products I always use are also affordable AND on Amazon.  Win-win!

LilyAna Naturals Eye Cream

img_5248I’ve written about this eye cream before and it seems to have a cult following.  It has great ingredients, is never greasy, is affordable, and is convenient since it’s on Amazon.  The awesome people at have placed this eye cream at number 2 on their Best Eye Cream Based on In-Depth Reviews list!

Number 3 on the list might be my next product test: Neutrogena Hydro Gel Boost Eye Cream.  I already use the Neutrogena Hydro Gel Boost moisturizer, so I’ll let you know if their eye cream passes the test!

TONYMOLY Panda’s Dream Brightening Eye Base

img_5250I’m a firm believer in concealer because… kids.  I’ve always loved Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind‘s concealer, but lately I haven’t even had time for that.  The TONYMOLY Panda’s Dream Brightening Eye Base is so easy to use that it’s fool-proof!  Since it’s not really a concealer, but an eye base, you don’t have to match shades of skin tone, you can swipe it on, smooth it, and GO!  I usually finish the under eye area off with powder, otherwise my mascara does stick to the base after a few hours and no one likes the raccoon look.

This base does a wonderful job of neutralizing dark circles and when paired with a little powder almost works as good as a concealer.

jane iredale Highlighter Pencil

img_5249I keep seeing Facebook ads for Thrive Cosmetics highlighters.  I can’t tell you how many freaking times I’ve clicked on those things!  I just don’t want to become addicted to a product that I have to order from a company directly.  Amazon, Target, and Ulta are my go-tos, so I figured they had to have something similar.  Of course Amazon came though for me.  The jane iredale Highlighter Pencil does everything the Thrive pencil does, has two different shades in one pencil, and came with a great sharpener.  I use the pink toned color under the brow as a highlighter, under the lower lash line, and along the inner portion of the lid.  The white color is great in the lower lash line and inner corner of the eye to open up the eyes.  It makes my eyes appear so much more awake and open.

Alright… go open your eyes!  Moms, I know you can identify with the lack of time and dark circles. You’re welcome!

Homemade Weed Killer… That Actually Works!

Homemade Weed Killer… That Actually Works!

img_4707We seriously must live on the most fertile plot of land in our entire city… maybe even state.  We’ve had problems with weeds since we moved into this house.  Yeah, I know… everyone has weeds.  But weeds taller than you in a few weeks?  I’ve used Preen, mulch, Round Up (uh huh… *gasp*… I used the poison… judge away), rocks in the flowerbed (don’t do it… it’s a bad idea), and anything else I could think of.  It turns out the “natural” recipe I found (thanks again, Google…) actually works as well or better than Round Up.  And the minstrels rejoiced (yaaaaaaaay).

I always hated using Round Up because of its ingredients, but I REALLY hated using it after getting a furry friend and now that we have kids.  They love being outside and I hate cringing after spraying Round Up everywhere.  This recipe is much, MUCH safer, works well, and lasts about as long as Round Up.  So, spray the heck out of those weeds without getting dirty looks for using chemicals.  This one actually works… promise!


  • 1 gallon Distilled White Vinegar
  • 2 cups table salt (iodized or not-both work!)
  • 1 Tbsp Dawn dish soap (original blue works great)


  1. Add all ingredients to a spray dispenser and mix well.
  2. Spray those weeds until they die!
Misfits Market: A Review & Coupon Code!

Misfits Market: A Review & Coupon Code!

I buy the same produce over, and over, and… over.  I never really try anything new and even though I do cook a variety of vegetables (that neither of my children will EVER eat) and I typically buy whatever fruit is on sale because if I get what looks good I end up with the entire produce department in my cart, which ends up rotting on our countertop.  Scrolling through Facebook (stop judging… you know that’s all there is to do right now!) I noticed a friend’s post about her Misfits Market box.  Hmmm… that’s an idea!  The picture she posted had a wide variety of produce with a few pieces of each item.  That’s PERFECT.  I surely wouldn’t pick most of these things in the produce section and let’s be honest… when am I actually in a store lately?  Um, never.

She posted her coupon code for referrals (25% your first order-woohoo! Use coupon code COOKWME-UD0VIL), so I checked out their website.  It was easy enough to set up and just as easy to cancel or change your delivery schedule.  They offer a smaller box for $22 or a larger box for $35.

Screen Shot 2020-04-22 at 8.54.55 AM

I opted for the smaller box delivered every other week to see how it goes before going crazy with the larger box.

My first box arrived and I was like a kid receiving a Christmas gift on the doorstep.  Since we’ve all been quarantined until the end of time, small things excite me, ok?  I loved the surprise element of the box and that I could make something different for a change!

The produce was in an insulated box with a reusable ice pack (bonus!).  Most of the produce was in pretty good shape except for an orange that was pretty worse for wear and had to be thrown out.


I’ve never really used radishes for much, but a great suggestion sheet was included in the package for buttered bread with sliced radish and sea salt.  The mango and pears were not yet ripe, but were probably the best mango and pear I’ve ever eaten!  The cucumber was great, but the celery was a little banged up and unfortunately didn’t last all that long in the refrigerator.  I was able to use the base of the celery to propagate it in water, so we’ll call it a win. The potatoes and onions are still hanging in there, but I haven’t used them yet.  Unfortunately the squash and zucchini only lasted a few days and had to be thrown away.  I haven’t cooked the delicata squash yet, but I have found a few recipes that sound pretty good, so I’ll be making that next.  I did find an awesome recipe for roasted rutabaga, which I’ve never even thought about buying before.  The recipe is definitely worth a try!

The second box I received seemed to be a little less banged up as all of the produce survived.  This box was left on the porch right-side-up, unlike the first box that was left upside down.

This box included a larger stalk of celery (that was in great shape this time and should last much longer than the last stalk), a head of broccoli, 3 oranges, 3 apples, a medium-sized yellow squash, a medium-sized zucchini, curly leaf parsley (which smelled AMAZING), 3 small jalapeno peppers, 3 salad cucumbers, an onion, two small sweet potatoes, and a small butternut squash.

This produce seemed to be in much better shape than the first box, but again, the first box was sitting on our front porch upside-down, so there’s that.  After your first box you’re able to customize your box a little more or add items (for additional fees) to your next box.  I chose not to since I just wanted to see what would come in boxes to be able to make new and different recipes.  Hopefully more recipes will be coming your way thanks to these boxes!

I definitely think these boxes are worth it.  They have saved me a visit to the store just for produce and have allowed me to try new recipes.  If the next few boxes are as good as the first two I’ll be changing my subscription to the larger box.  I don’t think you’ll regret checking out Misfits Market!

A Review: Foundation – A Love/Hate Relationship

A Review: Foundation – A Love/Hate Relationship

My sister-in-law asked what foundation I’ve been using lately and it hit me: I have SO many foundations and I have so many that I love for many different reasons.  I call foundation a love/hate relationship because while it can make a look awesome, it can also look plastered on if you don’t use a good primer or if your skin is too dry. I figured I’d share a few of my favorite full, medium, and light coverage options I use often and some tips that help get the most wear time out of each of them.  I’d love to know some of your favorites!

After applying these foundations with a beauty blender, I follow up with a loose powder (I use Coty Airspun) and a setting spray (NYX Matte Finish is my go to) to get the most wear time out of any foundations I use.

Full Coverage


Milani Conceal + Perfect

I’m starting with this one because it conceals EVERYTHING and doesn’t look very cakey.  Make sure to use a great moisturizer before applying and maybe a light primer.  It looks pretty natural considering how well the coverage is.  I also always follow up immediately with a loose powder and setting spray to make it last as long as possible.

L’Oreal Infallible Foundation

This is probably my favorite and most used foundation.  It goes on smoothly, covers very well without looking like you’ve caked 10 lbs of concealer on your face, and wears ALL day.  It’s also easy to build up if you need more coverage.  A little primer before applying goes a long way and finishing with loose powder and setting spray will get you an entire day of wear easily.

Maybelline Dream Urban Cover60909369241__56c18cf7-85a7-49cd-b13b-248e1af5fcbe

This is a great foundation if you’re looking for high coverage with an SPF.  It goes on pretty well, but I chose a horrible shade for my skin tone.  I’m sure if I get the right shade for my skin it will look A LOT better.  It’s still a great foundation and I’m able to make it work with some blending when I want a good SPF foundation.

Medium Coverage

60909384050__0ee27b6f-b83a-499f-a087-43f0a1e97d04Wet n’ Wild Photo Focus

You guys… this foundation doesn’t even cost $5 and it’s one of my FAVORITES of all time.  It really could be considered full coverage because it’s easily buildable.  The color match is awesome, the formula is pretty thin, so it’s easy to apply, and it looks SO good on.  You can’t go wrong with this one!

Wet n’ Wild Mega Cushion Foundation60909419825__98c44055-084d-4b48-9841-7d3543af3792

I love this foundation for something different.  It kind of gives my skin a dewey look without looking like I have an oily face.  Paired with a little loose powder it goes a long way.  The only down side to this foundation is that since it is a cushion foundation, I feel like there is a lot less product in the container.




Light Coverage

Burt’s Bees BB Creamimg_4315

Last, but definitely not least, Burt’s Bees BB Cream.  I use this nearly every day, so I don’t have to be careful when I apply it.  It goes on smoothly and is practically a tinted moisturizer.  It doesn’t break out my face and usually doesn’t look super oily by the end of the day if I use loose powder after applying.  I don’t usually use a beauty blender with this and it blends great.  Don’t bother with a primer because it lasts FOREVER.  Primer usually makes this foundation settle in lines and look a little thicker than it should. A little goes a long way and as long as I have a great under eye concealer, this is great for everyday wear.