Home Hack


Now that you’re hopefully sleeping on the PERFECT mattress, if you still find yourself having restless nights, it could be due to a number of different things in your environment or on your mind. We’re here to share the things that help us sleep better in hopes that they help you to sleep better too!

WORRYING about <fill in the blank>:

Work, kids, chores, bills, schedules, even vacation can keep us up at night. The best thing that helps us get sleep when we are worried about a busy day(s) ahead is to get ready for bed, lay in bed and make a list of things we have to accomplish for the next day. This is especially helpful with deadlines or time-sensitive tasks. It even works with goals. We find when we make writing down the next-day’s tasks or goals a nightly habit, we go to bed calmer because everything is accounted for on the list.

This also works for sleeping the night before a trip. Simply make a list of everything you need to remember for the morning and see if you’re more successful catching some peaceful pre-vacation ZZZ’s.

Try keeping a pen and journal or task sheet near the bed for easy list/schedule making:

Example items for this article were all found on Amazon.


When feeling anxious, happy-natured books on Audible helps to take our minds off of the hamster wheel and into sleep mode. Funny celebrity autobiographies, self-help, business topics, hobbies, even whimsical stories from our youth take us away to a not-so-scary place in our imagination. (Audible is basically a modern day Books-on-Tape, and is an Amazon product.)

There’s even a series of meditations on Audible specifically for sleep. I was doubtful anything like that would be all that effective, but I fall asleep EVERY. TIME. In fact, I’ve never made it to the end of the meditation awake, so I have no idea what happens. 😂 The same is true for everyone I’ve suggested them to.

Bonus: the Audible app also has a sleep timer, so it won’t keep you up all night.

TV Shows We’ve Already Watched:

If The Office is on when I am going to bed, I’m probably going to watch it. Despite the fact that I have seen every episode of that series a million times. Whatever the show or movie, there’s something about being entertained but not having to concentrate on the story that gives a sense of calm before bedtime.

Timer Your TV:

Most modern TV’s have a sleep mode option in the menu. Set it for an hour or so so that it turns off after you fall alseep and doesn’t wake you up during the night.

Put Away Electronics:

No more jumping down the rabbit holes of everything on the internet and social media before bedtime. Give yourself a cut-off time for looking at electronics. The blue light keeps our brains awake, so an hour before your normal bedtime is a good time to put them away. Store those devices in a drawer or a mattress cubby like these:

Shower or Bath:

There’s something about being clean and fresh before bed. Especially if it’s been a long day, or a day out doors.

Even though it’s Johnson’s – a LOT of adults swear by the Bedtime lavender bath for its calming effects and help with stress headaches.

A Cold Gel Pack:

If I’m stressed out or otherwise not feeling 100%, I like to put a cool gel pack on my pillow behind my neck. I use a first aid refrigerator type gel compress that is in the cloth barrier, and then I cover that pack in a tea towel. It should just be cool, not very cold or freezing. Nothing cold or frozen should be in direct contact with your skin, so a good cloth barrier is an absolute must.

Adjustable Bed Frames:

An adjustable bed frame helps you achieve the perfect sleep position. Ones with the light massage feature, can further help lull individuals back to sleep on restless nights. We talked about these in our recent mattress article, but it’s helped us with sleep so much it’s worth re-mentioning here!

Dark and Cozy:

Black-out curtains, a traditional sleep mask, or an upgraded version with built-in headphones help block out slumber stealing light. The latter are especially helpful if you like hearing music, Audible, or tv while you fall asleep. Keep the volume low and sleep the night away.

Time the Caffeine:

If you are unknowingly sensitive to caffeine, things like coffee, tea, SODA, even chocolate could be keeping you awake when you partake late in the day. I will sleep better cutting these things off 3 hours before bed, while my husband has to avoid caffeine after 2pm. See if you notice a difference by monitoring your caffeine intake hours.

Skip the Late Night Snacks:

Late night digestion can be another sleep-stealing culprit, because the process can keep our body awake, or wake us up needing to use the bathroom. We found cutting meals, drinks, and snacks off at least two hours before bed did the trick.

Talk to Your Doctor:

A friend of ours had a horrible time sleeping, so they talked to their doctor and were prescribed a sleep study. This type of study involved sleeping in a hotel-like room over night while they were monitored through stick-on nodes. Turns out, they had sleep apnea and finally found restful sleep after getting a CPAP machine. We’ve heard sleep studies can be done at home too – talk to your doctor about options.

Do you have a tip for sleeping better? Share it on our Facebook or Instagram posts about this subject @DeAnnaAndCompany

Home Hack

Let’s Shop for a Mattress!

If you are a restless sleeper or someone who wakes up in pain after a long rest, we believe it could be because of the mattress. It’s time to consider investing in a quality mattress over a quick fix. While this means you may spend a little more money, the higher quality mattress should last longer and provide a higher quality of comfort. Since sleep is a part of staying healthy, we take our sleeping seriously around here! 😁 These are our opinions and recommendations based on our own experiences with these mattress styles and brands.

Mattress shopping can be AWFUL! We have never been able to pick the right mattress by laying on it for 30 seconds in a store. However we did a lot of EXPENSIVE trial and error, then a bunch of research; asked our families and friends… and finally found mattresses we absolutely LOVE. Now we’re sharing that information with you in the hope you will find one you love too!



There are so many mattresses to choose from, but we stay stick with the three types below to assure you are getting a quality mattress. Before you start shopping, be sure to know how you (and your partner) like sleeping. Assess your sleep habits:

  • Do you like sleeping on super soft surfaces?
  • Do you find yourself over heating?
  • Do you snore?
  • Do you have neck or back pain in your awake life?
  • Do you have neck or back pain in your sleep life?
  • Do you prop yourself up with a lot of pillows?
  • Do you like laying as flat as a board?
  • Do you have restless legs?
  • Do your sleep habit answers differ from your partner’s?


Pillow Top: A thick billowy pad on top of the mattress makes it like sleeping on a cloud for some people, while others say this softness is the cause of waking up in pain. Make sure you are not the latter before you buy.

Who it’s best for:

  • People who sleep easily anywhere
  • If you find hammocks comfortable to sleep in for long periods of time
  • If you do not like sleeping on firm mattresses

Memory Foam: The original LUXURY mattress. They call it memory foam because it contours to your body, and then springs back to it’s regular mattress form, like it “remembers.”

Who it’s best for:

  • People with neck or back issues
  • People who don’t like traditional or pillow top mattresses
  • Restless sleepers

Gel: Similar to a memory foam in that it contours to your body, gel is the modern twist; it’s all the contour, with more support, and less stuffiness.

Who it’s best for:

  • People who get hot when they sleep
  • People who don’t like memory foam, pillow tops, or traditional mattresses
  • People with back or neck issues
  • Restless sleepers

Memory Foam with Gel (We’ve seen it advertised as “Aerated Latex” and “Polymer”): It combines both a gel and a memory foam for the best of both worlds!

Who it’s best for:

  • People who get hot when they sleep
  • People with neck or back issues
  • People who don’t like traditional or pillow top mattresses
  • Restless sleepers



Ghost Bed

ghost bed mattress

Why we love it:

“This mattress is a combination of gel and modern memory foam. It keeps me cooler than our Temperpedic bed did, without sacrificing the comfort of memory foam. This mattress is an absolute dream and I love it!”

AWESOME PILLOW ALERT: We also got the Ghost Bed pillows and they are like sleeping on a perfectly contoured pile of our wishes and dreams. (Meaning, WE LOVE THEM!)


tempur-pedic mattress

Why we love it:

“When my husband developed a pinched nerve in his shoulder/neck, this was the only mattress we could find that offered him comfort and the ability to finally sleep and get rest.”

“We bought a Tempur-Pedic mattress for our guest bedroom, and everyone always asks what kind of mattress it is because of how comfortably they slept. We love it!”

AWESOME PILLOW ALERT: We also bought a Tempur-Pedic pillow. It is much smaller in size than we expected but it is still a great pillow. It’s less dense than our gel pillow, and much thinner than a bamboo pillow, but it is still a very comforting accessory. It is especially helpful for neck issues, and is a lot lighter than a gel pillow, which makes it great for travel too.

Purple Bed

purple mattress

Why we love it:

“This GelFlex grid bed is like a slightly firmer version of our memory foam bed, without being too firm. It’s firmer in that the gel does not sink down as much as a memory foam does. It contours around the body instead of sinking into it. It still contours to my body, and reacts like memory foam, but it a firmer way. It also keeps me cooler, since I tend to sleep on the warm side.”

AWESOME PILLOW ALERT: We also got the Purple Pillow, and it is so good for my husband’s neck issues. Note: This pillow is so dense it’s HEAVY. Not one you will easily throw around, but that is exactly why he loves it, it never moves in the night. It stays put!

ADJUSTABLE BEDS take comfort to the next level!

We cannot emphasize enough, how much we and our house guests LOVE our adjustable beds! A “split King” makes adjusting the bed for an individual’s comfort possible. Adjustable beds enable you to raise and lower the head and foot independently. They often come with extra features like a soothing vibration massage, USB ports, night lights, etc. The combination of our own mattress choice with our individual adjustable beds make our sleep so restful, we hate having to sleep in any other bed while on vacation.

  • “Zero Gravity” positioning for what is widely credited as the most comfortable sleep position.
  • Ideal for couples when purchased as a “Split King” because you can adjust to your individual comfort; mattresses are purchased as two separate “twin XL” beds and adjustable bed frames. The beds still fit right next to each other as if it were a whole mattress but allows for individuals to sleep in the position that is unique to them.
  • Great for snorers; you can adjust the head of the mattress to be slightly inclined to alleviate snoring.
  • Awesome for reading in bed, watching tv, or resting in a more upright position.
  • No need for box springs anymore!
  • Does not require a special mattress to use an adjustable bed frame.
  • Available with bells and whistles like a massage feature, USB ports, and/or led lighting.
  • Many come with a remote AND an app you can download to your phone so you can adjust it whether you lost the remote or ran out of batteries.

Wishing you a restful night’s sleep!

Home Hack

Spring Cleaning Checklist

We’ve got a 16-Days-to-Deep-Clean checklist to get your spring cleaning done with minimal pain. We’re also sharing our best tried-and-tested cleaning tools and supplies to make cleaning even easier. Do these tasks 16 days in a row, or spread them out over the month to keep you moving forward without getting burned out.

We’ve picked up a few cleaning tips that have helped us get through the dreaded deep clean.

  • Start at the top. Cleaning can sometimes get a little messy before it sparkles. Starting at the top of the room, ensures you’re not cleaning things twice.
  • Finish with floors. Mop, vacuum, or sweep your way out from one room to another.
  • Time the cleaners. Give cleaners enough time to do their job, but do not let things like toilet bowl and shower cleaners sit for longer than the bottle directs.
  • Throw away/ shred/ recycle papers you do not need. Of course, if it’s an important document file it. Shuffling random papers around just makes a bigger job to clean up down the road. Shred it and forget it. Old magazines that you have not cracked open in a year do not need to keep clogging up space in the home. Recycle them.


☑️ Day 1 – DUST! Dust ceiling fans, vents, lamps, blinds, and finishing with floor boards. If it’s been a while since your last deep dusting, you may need to run a vacuum.

☑️ Day 2 – Wash blinds, slatted doors, and floor boards. We find the easiest way is to fill up a bucket of soap and water, gather a few shop rags and oddly, a paint brush (see pro tip below). We like Murphy’s Wood Oil Soap for this task. See bottom of article for what other cleaners made our “favorites” list.

PRO TIP: They make special washer/dusting tools than can slip through vent type surfaces, but we’ve found a medium painters brush was the most helpful tool for dusting and washing blinds, intake vents, and closet slat type doors.

☑️ Day 3 – Vinegar all the faucets. Pour enough white vinegar into ziplock bags and submerge shower heads and faucets into the bag. Secure with a rubber band and let set for about an hour. Give a quick scrub and see your hardware shine again. Vinegar is also great on water spots on the hardware (like handles and face plates) around a faucet; simply soak a paper towel in the vinegar and stick to the surface. Check after 30 minutes. If the water stains and grime are especially tough, you may need to reapply the vinegar to the paper towel and let it sit a while longer.

☑️ Day 4 – Bedding! Wash curtains, sheets, comforters, bed skirts, throw pillows, area rugs. Dust bed feet/wheels, turn the mattress. Pull items out from under the bed to organize (and maybe toss or donate) and don’t forget to vacuum under there too.

☑️ Day 5 – Pantries. Pull EVERYTHING out of the pantry and throw away expired items. You’d be surprised how much gets pushed to the back and lost in the shuffle of daily life. Wipe down the storage shelves, walls, and floors. See our article about organizing for further tips.

☑️ Day 6 – Smallest bathrooms. The half baths and the guest baths. Cleaning top to bottom; fan vents, dusting, tiles, walls, floorboards, then floors.

☑️ Day 7 – Main bathrooms. The primary bath and regularly used bathrooms. Cleaning top to bottom. (Leave inside the cabinets for tomorrow.)

☑️ Day 8 – Bathroom cabinets and storage. Remove everything from under cabinets and in drawers. Toss old items. Dust and wipe down drawers and cabinet floors. Organizing what you are putting back helps to make early morning routines go faster.

☑️ Day 9 – Vacuum and dust the couch, chairs, tables. Remove cushions and if needed or able launder covers, pillows, seat cushions. Vacuum the frame of the couch. Use that trusty paint brush to dust cracks and crevices of dining chairs and details of furniture where dust gathers. Wipe these items down with a damp cloth and dry immediately, as wood and water are not friends.

☑️ Day 10 – Linen Closet. Remove EVERYTHING. Toss things like old hair products and makeup.

  • Folding towels with the exact same folding method makes things fit better. We like the half, half, thirds method: Fold towel long ways in half, then in half again. Then turn and fold into thirds by folding the left side in, and the right side over for storing. Makes kind of a “G” shape when you see it on the shelf. Organizing the towels by color is a visual trick that makes the linen closet LOOK even MORE organized.
  • Fold sheet sets by style; stacking the folded matching pillow cases, flat, and fitted sheets in a pile together. Use one of the pillow cases from each set to store the whole set in. This keeps them from getting separated from their matches, and also keeps them from falling all over the closet when you go to pull a new set. Makes them easy to identify and grab by design too!

☑️ Day 11 – THE REFRIGERATOR. Again, remove everything. Toss expired items. Clean shelving and drawers by removing them. Dawn dishsoap works great for this task. Organize for an easier time finding things. If you need more ideas on organizing the refrigerator, see our past article.

☑️ Day 12 – The “JUNK” Drawer. Toss the random soy sauces and add the pennies to your change jar. Pencil trays (ours are from the Dollar Tree) make great organizers for grouping like items together in catch-all drawers like this. For example, we have several trays in ours; one for batteries; one for scissors/ screw drivers/ Allen wrenches; another for rulers/ tape measures; one for rubber bands, nails, and thumb tacks, one that gathers all the other randomness that ends up in this drawer.

☑️ Day 13 – The primary closet. This one is always a doozy for us, so we wrote a whole article about it HERE.

☑️ Day 14 – Vacuum the fridge coils and change the water filter. Did you know: Dust build-up is one of the biggest reason refrigerators need repair? Vacuum the dust build-up from under and behind the fridge to keep this appliance COOL. They make tools for this task that look like super long bottle cleaners; found at any home improvement store.

☑️ Day 15 – STOVE/OVENS. Time to scrub the oven, and clean the floor underneath it. Chances are things have dripped down there over the last few months. (Thanksgiving, anyone?!) Check your owner’s manual for the proper way to perform this maintenance on your oven brand/model. This is a good time to clean and detail the microwave too. For microwaves that hang over stoves; the oil and steam from cooking builds up in the fan areas of the microwave. Be sure to really scrutinize it.

☑️ Day 16 – GROUT. Investing in a steam mop may be the easiest and most effective way we’ve found to clean tile grout. We give our recommendation of brand and model below. Our steam mop DRASTICALLY cut down the time or need to scrub the entirety of our floor grout with a toothbrush. THANK GOD!

Our MOST-LOVED cleaning supplies:

Dawn Power Shot – If you have not tried this stuff yet, YOU MUST! Simply spray those tough-to-clean, (or even dried-on dishes, or burnt-on pans once they are cooled) with this stuff and let it sit for 5 minutes. It will wash away with a little sponge scrubbing like nothing. It’s amazing. We’ve even used it on soap scum.

Pro Tip: If cleaning canvas (like on outdoor furniture); plain blue Dawn dish wash with a little water and scrubbing by hand got the mildew stains out like magic, without breaking down the fabric like bleach does. Simply spray off the surface with a hose, apply some Dawn, scrub and let sit for 5 minutes, then rinse.

Mrs. Meyers Spray Cleaners – THESE SMELL AMAZING! Our favorite is the lavender and the verbena. Great for bathrooms and kitchens to make you feel like you might live in an actual spa.

Molly’s Marvelous Scrubbing Stones – Hard water build up on toilets or porcelain sinks be gone! Just make sure to use a very light hand, you want to scratch away the mineral build up, not the surface of the porcelain.

Murphy’s Wood Floor Cleaner – The smell of this stuff is amazing. I break it out to wipe down cabinets, floor boards, blinds, and doors; leaving the whole area smelling like a lemon pine dream!

Bar Keeper’s Friend or Bon Ami – Hard water stains are broken down so much easier with this powder. It’s also great on pan bottoms to keep them not only looking good, but conducting heat properly.

HandyClean – Rinse Free Sanitizing Wipes – This is our go-to cleaner-and-towel in one. It makes cleaning so quick!

Swiffer Dusters – I’ve tried the off brands and they never work as well as these lil beauties. The Swiffer duster model with the extending arm saves me from working harder than I need too.

Swiffer Wet Jet Mop – This little mop makes mopping the quickest part of cleaning. I will never go back to a regular giant mop and sloshing bucket full of water.

Bissell Pro Heat Carpet Cleaner – If you have pets or kids, or even just lighter colored carpets, a carpet cleaner like this can be very beneficial.

Bissell Steam Mop – If you have tile and grout, you need a steamer mop. This is the secret to keeping your grout as clean and as close to its original color as possible.

Shark Rocket Duo Clean Vacuum – PERFECT cord length. The BEST vacuum for hardwood floors and tiles because it has one roller that is fluffy for polishing. It’s the smallest vacuum I have ever owned, and yet it is also the most powerful one I have ever owned. Seriously, sometimes this thing is trying to run away from me. I love it!

Do you have a cleaning tip that saves time or a cleaning product that you love? Share it with us on our social media: @DeAnnaAndCompany on Instagram and Facebook.

Home Hack

Create a Cozy Coffee Bar

Do you love coffee/tea or have a coffee lover in your life? A cozy coffee bar would make a thoughtful yet functional gift for Valentine’s Day! Here’s a few ideas and items to get that daily coffee consumption dialed in.

If you read our last article, you know we are trying to stay more on budget by reducing our coffee outings. The presentation and ease of use is what makes fixing a cup at home thus staying on budget easier. When designing your stations, be sure to create a fun *experience* through presentation, taste options, and functionality.

Creating a cozy coffee bar is pretty simple, and you might even already own everything you need to make it, remember the key is the presentation and experience. *magical twinkle noises*

Start with a list: What do items do you (or who you’re creating for) use to make coffee? What are the “must have” items? Is it coffee beans vs. k-cups situation? Need filters? Are there pumps for flavors? Sugar? Splenda packets? Tea bags? Paper cups? Make a list with two columns; one for what is currently used every time you make coffee, and another for wish list things that would make a home coffee experience better. It will also let you know how many containers and the type of storage that will be most useful for individual’s needs.

Space: Select a nook, unused counter space, or a small cabinet. When choosing a cabinet look for one with a flat top space, and a deep drawer or cabinet with doors for hiding supplies away.

Pro Tip: Old buffets and sideboards make for great coffee bars. Try upgrading a used cabinet if you have one with good bones.

Location: Will the location be far from water and/or the fridge? Is a trash bin nearby? Consider a mini fridge, water source, and waste basket to make the space more functional.

Organize: Small clear acrylic trays are fantastic for organizing items like tea bags, sugar packets, and non-dairy creamer cups.

Incorporate some canisters: Pretty canisters not only organize your brewing supplies, but keep the design aesthetic going too!

Pick a color scheme before you start purchasing items.

Specifically a three colors scheme:

  • Choose a main color (aqua, for example) and purchase as many items as you can in that color.
  • Choose a secondary neutral color for other items that you can’t find in the main color. (Grey or black are usually safe choices in the coffee world.)
  • Decide if you are going to have silver or gold accents, then choose items like silverware and door handles or knobs in that metal.

Choosing a consistent color palate is more visually appealing because it unified. Bonus; things will *appear* visually organized simply because the colors are the same.

Pick a theme: Will it be whimsical -or- matching to the home’s decor? Do they love Disney? Harry Potter? That’s “whimsical.” Are they more Farmhouse? Mid Century? That’s decor matching. Look up items online to get a sense of what you’re looking for to create a cohesive look. Note: You *can* create whimsical coffee bars that match the decor of a home.

Accessorize: This is the fun part! Use cake trays and baker’s tiers to further organize your coffee bar. Little signs, and small decor in your theme make it fun too.

Make it fancy: Add syrup flavor pumps or accessories like an automatic frother to feel even more like your own personal coffee shoppe.

Upgrade the brewing: If your love’s coffee maker is looking rough, give it a good deep cleaning, or upgrade to a newer model.

Deals: There are so many cute items like the ones pictured here that I have found around town. Stop in and see what you can find for less locally.

  • Target: in the “Bullseye Playground” at Target. This is the value/dollar spot at the entrance of the store. Most items are usually $5. This week they had wooden organizers, cups, tiered trays, mini shelves, mini trash cans, and so much more.
  • Dollar Tree: Placemats and runners, candy-type glass jars with tin lids for organizing, spoons, cups, mini trash cans, etc.
  • Goodwill or Garage Sales: A good resource for used furniture to convert into your coffee bar (buffets, sideboards, cabinets), bar accessories and decorations, things to use as organizers, vintage glassware, cake stands, and tiered stands too.
  • Hobby Lobby: for upgrading doorknobs and handles, little signs, decor. Don’t forget to get the 40% off coupon on their website.
  • Ross: Silverware, cute mugs, decor, coffee syrups, fancy teas and honey, even decorative disposable coffee cup packs.
  • TJ Maxx: Decor, silverware, and cute mugs – especially in popular themes like Disney, Rae Dunn, Harry Potter, etc.
  • Tuesday Mornings: Decor, mugs, and decorative disposable coffee cup packs.
Home Hack

How to Save $$$ Without a BUDGET

Time to get a jump on Spring Cleaning by starting with our bank accounts! There are likely SEVERAL ways you are losing hard earned cash every month. The good news is; most of the items outlined below just require a closer look at your spending than sticking to a dreaded “budget.”

TV Streaming Services

If you are like us, you have so many streaming services you forget they are even there. Cable, this app, that app plus; chances are you do not need them ALL. UNSUBSCRIBE to the streaming services you rarely access. Don’t even go in and explore the app to make your decision; if you haven’t watched it in the last month or more, get it out of here. (Don’t worry, you can always reinstate your account in the future.)

  • Make sure you go into whatever settings and actually hit “unsubscribe.” Deleting the app does not stop it from charging you.


Many apps; like music, sports, audio books, certain cable channels; offer *so many months free,* then start charging you. If you ever took the free trial on anything, it’s time to see if you accidentally became a paying subscriber!

Cable Providers

Unfortunately, most of us need cable for the internet. That’s how they keep us from being completely cable-free, but many cable companies have accepted our streaming ways and offer streaming-only options that are lower in cost. They don’t usually talk about these plans, you have to inquire about them.

If you signed up for x amount of dollars a month and think cable keeps it that way forever; they don’t. Check your account to see how much you think you are paying versus what you are actually paying now that they “discontinued” your deal.

Ask for a deal. Sometimes, if you tell the cable companies you simply cannot afford to keep paying this high of rate, they will give you a discount for a period of time – but they never just offer it up, you have to tell them the bill is too high and ASK if you qualify for any discounts. This is especially true if you live in an area with multiple cable providers.

Shop around! Cable companies compete with each other, see if one will give you a better deal for longer by switching providers.

Your Cell Phone Carrier

Your mobile phone subscription might have freebies already included in your plan! Inquire with an agent to see what streaming apps might be free with your cell phone plan. For example, Apple TV+ was included with our new iPhone purchase, and Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ were included with many Verizon unlimited subscriptions.

This sounds odd, but check to see if your CABLE PROVIDER offers CELL PHONE SERVICE. Yep, you read that right, most major cable companies offer cell phone service now. In our experience, bundling our cell phone plan with our cable provider brought the bill down to less than 1/4 of the normal cost. The only catch is you have to remain their cable customer and live within their service area to qualify for their cell phone plans and service.

Streaming Music

If you have streaming radio, be sure to check the bill. They sneakily raise the subscription, sometimes MORE THAN DOUBLE, after a period of time. However, if you call and tell them you cannot afford to keep paying that rate they will often give you another deal for a certain amount of months. Then, you call again.

Stored Credit Cards and Saved Passwords

Go through a month of charges to see what charges are going to where for what. Check the apps you share with family to make sure nothing is a wry. Uber, Amazon, Walmart, Grub Hub, even Taco Bell has an app. If your card is stored in it, if you ever shared the password to it, chances are someone could be using it without you knowing or accounting for the extra costs from it.


If you have children and family members who you have given access to your Amazon account, consider going in and tightening up those purse strings. We have a friend who, unbeknownst to her, was ordering over $200 of Amazon orders a month… only it wasn’t her, it was her teenagers treating it like a free shopping market and video store because they had total access to the account with the password.

  • Start by changing the password and see who comes a knocking.
  • You can share “Prime” with your family without sharing your password and credit cards.
  • Services like two factor authentication on your credit cards often sends a text or email to you to ensure you approve any cards trying to be added to apps or stored online. Check with your credit card provider for what safety measures are offered with your exact card.

Other Subscriptions

Especially as a small business owner, there were a few subscriptions I was unaware of were recurring. When you sign up for something for the year to get free or reduced shipping is a good place to start investigating.

Food Delivery Services

The services that run and pick up food for you and deliver it to your door cost a LOT of money. Even worse, they actually TAKE a lot of money from the restaurants you love. Often menu prices are inflated to cover the expense, then add on the fees and tip and you’ve turned a burrito into the cost of fine dining. You’ll be surprised how much money can be saved by simply calling or visiting your local restaurants for take out.

Dining Out

Now, we all love a good meal at our favorite spot. Things are more expensive theses days and continuous dining out costs A LOT. We’re talking new car payment “a lot.” It’s not just meals, it’s drinks, coffees, cocktails, desserts too. Daily cheap Fast Food off of the value menus cost us more in our overall health. Set a monthly dining out budget and try to stick to it. If you stop for coffee 7 days a week, try only 5, then 3, etc. etc.

“But I love restaurant meals!!!” Try a meal subscription service like Every Plate or Hello Fresh. It’s restaurant quality meals that you make at home, for less. Makes sticking to the budget easier too!

“For just the cost of a cup of coffee a day…”

This phrase is buried in our subconscious equating coffee with “inexpensive.” That’s because back in the day, plain coffee was about seventy-five cents. Now days a custom coffee order can easily reach $6 to $7 dollars for the MEDIUM. (This just happened to me!) Switch to cheaper coffee experiences. For example, opt for McCafe instead of Starbucks more often. Order a simple cup of coffee from your favorite place instead of lattes and mochachino-frappe-what-ies. Try to make coffee at home more enjoyable. Even office coffee can be delicious when you bring your own coffee making supplies like flavored creamers and/or syrups. Many major coffee chains even have grocery store options of their products that will make it easier to enjoy what you love for less money at home.

Shop Around for Insurance Providers

It is a time consuming task, but take the time to compare rates at different insurance agencies (for auto, home, renters, business, etc.). When shopping, it’s important to make sure you are getting the SAME COVERAGE and with a reputable agency. We have found significant savings just by shopping our policies around.

D&CO. wishes you a prosperous 2023!

Curb Appeal, Home Hack

Shop Small!

Here are a few of our favorite places for SHOPPING SMALL and LOCAL in Central Florida this holiday season!


  • Kim’s Cabbage Patch – Local produce, plants, and specialty items.
  • The Winter Garden Farmer’s Market – Local vendors, food, crafts, and artists. Saturday mornings.
  • Sunshine Book Company – An independent book store with goods from creative vendors.
  • South Lake Animal League Thrift Shop – Find some gifts and help animals at the same time.
  • Gray Bridal Boutique – Not just for weddings. They have a great selection of non-bridal jewelry and clothing.
  • McKenley Rae Boutique – Fashion, sunglasses, and jewelry.
  • Sugar Mama’s Candy Bar – “A sweet experience” candy store with retro favorites and holiday finds, but check out their handmade candy-inspired beverage counter. Their “coolers” are Instagram-worthy drink creations!
  • Ritter’s Frozen Custard – Stop in for burgers, frozen custards, but also whole frozen custard cakes and pies for holiday meals and parties. 


  • Kasheta Farms, Inc. – Live Christmas trees, a farmer’s market, with a small vendors fair on the weekends. 
  • Deb’s Garden Shop at the Liner Patch – Plants and pottery.
  • Aunt Gingibread’s Bakery – Delicious cakes, pies, and GINGERBREAD!
  • Yalaha Bakery – Breads, rolls, soft pretzels, cookies, desserts.
  • Yalaha Bootlegging Company – If gifting alcohol is your thing: this is a local Craft Distillery. They also sell AMAZING PIES!
  • Maters & Taters Produce – Local produce.
  • Trader Mae’s – Local vendors with all kinds of goods, candles, jams, antiques, furniture, and handmade merchandise too.
  • Porky’s BBQ – If you’re hosting a holiday party, Porky’s smoked ribs, pork, chicken, or brisket by the pound are a crowd pleaser.
  • Sweet Memories Cookie Co. – Our favorite custom cookie maker in Lady Lake!

 Just incase you need to REST from all that shopping in Apopka: 


  • Stroll down 5th Avenue or Donnelly. Most shops in downtown Mount Dora are small businesses, and this town KNOWS HOW TO SHOW IT’S HOLIDAY CHEER! Lights and decorations everywhere!
  • Maggie’s Attic – A great single-bottle beer and wine selection – often with many seasonal and celebratory flavors. Drink them there or bag bottles to go.


  • The Southern Home Bakery – Sugar cookies that are as beautiful as they are absolutely DELICIOUS! Makes great gifts! (Edgewater)
  • Petty’s – Gourmet meats, cheeses, and more. (Longwood)
  • The Winter Park Farmer’s Market – Local produce, handmade goods, food, plants, and more. Saturday mornings in the park near the train station.
  • Light on the Sugar – Light and airy pastry desserts (Winter Park)
  • The East End Market – Small business food vendors (desserts, breads, cheeses, cured meats). Also vendors with gift-worthy goods too. (Main level and upstairs.) They also host outdoor pop-up events with local art/craft/handmade/artisan vendors outside too. (Audubon Park)

Home Hack

Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas?

Merry Christmas AND Happy Holidays!

Here at D&CO. we LOVE Christmastime, and we fully embrace the “Happy Holidays” greeting. When we wish someone Happy Holidays, we’re not rejecting the notion of Christmas, but wishing others to celebrate whatever holiday or traditions they embrace during this wonderful time of year.

For us that means, “Christmas!”

For others it may be:

Hanukkah – Sunday December 18th to Monday December 26, 2022

“Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. The festival is observed by lighting the candles of a candelabrum with nine branches, commonly called a menorah or hanukkiah. … Hanukkah festivities include singing Hanukkah songs, playing the game of dreidel and eating oil-based foods, such as latkes and sufganiyot, and dairy foods.” (Read more about Hanukkah from this article on Wikipedia)

Kwanzaa – Monday December 26th to Sunday January 1, 2023

“During the Civil Rights Movement, Kwanzaa founder Maulana Karenga, PhD, professor and chairman of Black studies at California State University, Long Beach, was determined to find a way to bring the African American community together to persevere through hardship. And that’s how the week-long cultural celebration highlighting family, friends, and community was born.” (Read more about Kwanzaa from this article in Cosmopolitan)

Winter Solstice – Wednesday December 21, 2022

Winter solstice is the longest night of the year and is observed in many cultures around the world. One of the most popular things to do for this observance is appreciate the natural world. Many give back to nature on the day by spreading some birdseed for wildlife. (Read more ways to celebrate the Winter Solstice from this article in Sunset Magazine.)


Boxing Day – Monday December 26, 2022

“Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated after Christmas Day, occurring on the second day of Christmastide (26 December). Though it originated as a holiday to give gifts to the poor, today Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday. It originated in Great Britain and is celebrated in a number of countries that previously formed part of the British Empire. The attached bank holiday or public holiday may take place on 28 December if necessary to ensure it falls on a weekday. Boxing Day is also concurrent with the Catholic holiday Saint Stephen’s Day.” (Read more about Boxing Day from this article on Wikipedia.)

Not everyone celebrates Christmas, and no two families celebrate any holiday exactly alike – but that is how traditions are created, after all. The common thread we see among all of these holidays and traditions seems to carry a message about caring for one another. Cheers to embracing others’ happiness during all of the holidays that fall in this most magical time of year!

D&CO. Wishes you and yours a very Happy Holiday of your own tradition, and a Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate it!

Home Hack

Ultimate Thanksgiving Leftovers

We love Thanksgiving leftovers more than Thanksgiving Dinner itself! We’ve rounded up all of our favorite ways to dish up those day-after helpings.

Note: These links are from various cooking blogs we found on the internet. We have no association or affiliation with any of these sites, we just love the recipes! Links open in a separate window.

Make Quiches!

Green Bean Casserole Quiche

We found this idea using left over green bean casserole here. They suggested using a basic quiche recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction here. Then, they augmented the quiche to be Thanksgiving-focused:

“Here’s a tip: Buy an extra frozen deep-dish pie crust before Thanksgiving, then bring it out over the weekend to whip up a quick quiche with the rest of your green bean casserole.

Follow the basic quiche ratio of 4 large eggs, 1 cup dairy (whole milk, half-and-half or cream), 1 cup shredded cheese and 2 cups vegetables or other mix-ins to fill your pie crust.

Pre-bake the pie crust shell according to package directions, then fill and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 60 minutes, until the quiche no longer jiggles in the center. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.”

Delicious Pull Apart Sammies:

To be honest, we make these with turkey or ham all year! https://bestrecipebox.com/thanksgiving-leftovers-pull-apart-sliders/ 

Munch with Crunch:

Do we love Crunchwraps? YES. Do we love Thanksgiving Crunchwraps? ABSOLUTELY! https://cookingwithjanica.com/thanksgiving-leftovers-crunchwrap/ 

Thanksgiving Pizza:

It’s not your ordinary pizza, it’s holiday pizza! Mmm… https://www.landolakes.com/recipe/20559/thanksgiving-leftovers-pizza/ 

Holiday Sandwich:

A sandwich never tasted so good! https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a25103566/thanksgiving-sandwich-recipe/

Leftovers Rigatoni:

Creamy, rustic, rigatoni deliciousness! https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/a29429290/turkey-pasta-casserole-recipe/ 

Potato Leek Soup using leftover mashed potatoes:

Give those mashed potatoes a longer shelf life! https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/easy/a29428925/potato-leek-soup-recipe/ 

Cranberry Hand Pies using leftover cranberry sauce:

Turn leftover cranberry sauces and jellies into a flaky pastry dessert! https://www.oliveandmango.com/cranberry-hand-pies/ 

Turkey Black Bean Enchiladas:

Great for those wanting a completely different taste profile for their Thanksgiving surplus. https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/turkey_enchiladas/ 

Waffles using leftover stuffing:

Waffles? Good. Stuffing? Goooood. https://www.justataste.com/thanksgiving-leftover-stuffing-waffles-recipe/ 

Save those Potato Skins:

Turn those normally tossed potato skins into this twist on the classic. Perfect for munching on while watching all of the games! https://www.threeolivesbranch.com/thanksgiving-leftovers-potato-skins/ 

Do you have a favorite way to refresh your Thanksgiving feasts?

Share your favorite recipes with us on our Instagram or Facebook posts this month!  @DeAnnaAndCompany