National Police Week

Each year, one week is set aside, designated as National Police Week. It began in 1962, when President Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week surrounding it as Police Week. Every year, during this week, we honor and pay tribute to the brave officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

Less than halfway through 2018, we have already lost 54 police officers in the line of duty: 27 from gunfire, 13 from automobile crashes (often while responding to emergency calls), and others from various other situations related to the dangerous job these officers perform on a daily basis.
These officers paid the ultimate sacrifice, leaving their spouses, children, families, friends, and coworkers while protecting the lives of people they'd never met. They performed a job often thankless, often sensationalized and highly misunderstood. They put on their uniform and reported for duty as an imperfect human being, expected to make each decision impeccably, and to perform their job immaculately, under extreme scrutiny from people who have no idea what their job really is.

Every day, hundreds of thousands of police officers perform the same job. They are expected to be babysitters, to solve the communities' petty problems (often results of poor decision making by involved parties), and to do so in a service minded manner. In the midst of those frivolous calls for service, they are expected to deter crime and to catch criminals who prey on others. They are sheepdogs: protecting the herd from the wolves when the herd is often unaware, ignorant to the truth, and even critical to the way the sheepdog works to protect them.

These officers have a calling for their careers in law enforcement. It is not an easy job by any stretch of the word. There are many, many side effects from the stresses and hazards of the field they've chose - or that has chosen them. They start their shift each day knowing there are people that want to harm, even kill, them simply because of the uniform they wear. Because of these hazards and dangers, the men and women who serve their communities as police officers are not able to simply clock out or turn off their position as an officers - it follows them everywhere.

The families and loved ones of officers often pay a steep price as well. They miss their loved one, out serving their communities and risking their lives, during family events, holidays, weekends, anniversaries, etc. It's not an easy life as an officer or as their family, but Thank God for these brave officers and their families for making sacrifices for the rest of us. Even the cop haters, those that critique and vilify the police for doing their jobs, still call for help and expect police officers to respond to help them, to fix their problems, and to protect them. And they do.

In honor of Police Week 2018, I ask you to remember three things:

1) Next time you see a story or video of a "bad cop," get the WHOLE story before making a decision. If you feel you don't understand why actions were taken, PLEASE sign up for your local police department's Citizen Police Academy. Most departments have them and I promise you will learn so much. You will have a better understanding and you will walk out with a much deeper appreciation for the men and women in law enforcement.

2) With all the negativity in the world and in the media, be the voice of positivity. When you see a police officer in your community, know they are a person just like you and me. They have their own families, their own problems, multiplied by all the problems of others'. Speak to them; thank them for what they do and let them know that you support them. It means so much.

3) Reflect on the lives of the 54 officers who gave their lives this year, along with the many, many, way too many who have died in the line of duty in the past. Think of their families, though proud of their loved ones, who now go on living without them.

3 Best Money Saving Apps

There seems to be a plethora of apps and sites, these days, that advertise big savings. The worst are the ones that advertise savings by coupons, but when you click on them, it's an endless cycle of links and sites asking for your info before you ever get to the actual coupon! I'm way more straightforward. I want to save money but I don't want to have to jump through hoops or have to keep putting in my personal information. If you feel similarly, you might enjoy the list I've compiled of the 3 very best money saving apps.
Ibotta: This app is so super easy! So far, I've earned nearly $60 cash back and I don't really have to DO anything other than scan my receipt in the app and make sure it recorded all my offer purchases. I can cash out at $20, which really takes no time at all to reach, and they direct deposit the cash back into my checking account. Some of the offers are good more than one time. For example, today I bought two 150 oz. jugs of laundry detergent. I had a coupon that came on the jug for $3 off. Additionally, there was an Ibotta offer for $2 off, and since I bought two jugs, I actually got $4 off - on top of my store coupon of $3 off. I spent $7 for 300 oz. of laundry detergent!

Ibotta has offers at tons of different stores, including online shopping as well. Use my link to sign up and you get a $10 welcome bonus! Who can't use a little free money?

Poshmark:  I've talked about Poshmark in a previous post, but it definitely makes this list so I will mention it again. Not only have I made almost $700 from selling clothes and accessories I don't wear and would have ended up throwing away or donating, but I've also scored some pretty amazing deals! My most recent was a pair of Under Armour sneakers. This particular pair had been worn once, but you would never know. They retail for over $100, though I did find them online for $89.99. That was the very cheapest I could find. I purchased them from a seller on Poshmark for $33!! That is a huge savings for a name brand that is basically brand new! Use my code Jamison12306 when you sign up and get $5!
Honey: This isn't really an app - it's a Chrome extension, but it's awesome! When you do any online shopping, before you checkout, Honey tells you if you can save money on your purchase by going through any discounts, coupon codes, etc. to get you the very best deal! Honey takes away the need to randomly search the internet, looking for coupon codes for whatever purchase you are making because it does all of that for you! You just sit back and let it run through codes to see which gives your the best and biggest discount, and then you check out as usual. 

And there you have it! Three of the best ways to save (or make) money with little to no effort!

Most Supportive Sports Bras

If you are like me, you walk through stores and gaze at all the cute, colorful sports bras and wish you could buy one. Well, you COULD buy one...I could buy one. I just couldn't wear it with the expectation of any support whatsoever. For those of us blessed (or cursed) with a little more than others on top, finding a sports bra that offers enough support to prevent two black eyes and a myriad of other possible injuries can be difficult and frustrating, to say the least. I know girls that bought those cute sports bras at discount stores like Walmart or Target, and would layer 3 or 4 of them, hoping for more support. What a sad state of affairs that a woman would have to purchase 4 sports bras to attempt to get a little bit of support to work out!

Well, gone are those days! As with work out clothing, in general, designers and stores are realizing there is a market for larger sized sports bras - but not just larger sizes, sizes that offer real support for larger chests! Having tried numerous bras from $10-$80 in price, I have put together my very favorites in hopes it will help you pick out the right sports bra for you and save you a little agony.

Lane Bryant HIGH-IMPACT MOLDED UNDERWIRE SPORT BRALane Bryant has often been every big girl's BFF. You know you will find something that fits in there. The last few years I haven't found as much to love as I had in the past, but when it comes to their Livi Active line and sports bras, in particular, I am sold. This molded underwire one is definitely one of my very favorites! Comfortable, yet holds the girls in place no matter what you are doing - running, riding horses, jumping - feel free to bounce around with reckless abandon! Your lady lumps will stay firmly in place :)

Another great Lane Bryant product, the MAXIMUM SUPPORT SPORT BRA iconlooks sporty and cute, but holds everything in place, giving you the freedom to enjoy whatever you are doing without worrying about things popping out or bouncing around too much. This bra is awesome for running, jogging, jumping, kickboxing, you name it! This is probably the most worn and used bra I own.

The first sports bra I discovered with the support and fit I needed was Moving Comfort's Maia bra. I had never paid more than $15 for a sports bra, but I had also never had one that held the parts it was designed for in place. At the time, I paid $80 for this bra. But even then, it was 100% worth every penny. It was definitely a game changer and still a bra I love. You can find some good deals on Amazon, or you can go directly to Brooks Running to check a larger array of Moving Comfort bras. There are numerous styles and colors and thankfully, they have gone down in price since I bought my first one!

What about when you just want to lounge around the house or run errands, but not do any actual running? Lane Bryant's MEDIUM IMPACT COOLING NO-WIRE SPORT BRA iconis perfect! So comfy - no wire, cooling material, but it still manages to keep things in place. This is the perfect everyday bra. It also comes in a bunch of different colors!

So there you have it! Give the "best of" bras a shot and let me know what you think! 

National Police Week

Each year, one week is set aside, designated as National Police Week. It began in 1962, when President Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as Peac...