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    I’ll be on my way to Japan!

    That’s right, I’m taking my ten-year-old and meeting up with his best friend and his mom for a week and a half of fun and adventure in a foreign country.

    It’s the first time abroad for both boys, so it will be an eye-opening, once-in-a-lifetime trip that I’m hoping will also turn into some quality mother-son time.

    But surely you’re wondering – as I did in the days leading up to this trip – What does this mean for Chief Family Officer?

    The last time I was in Japan three years ago, I was able to post pretty regularly. But I’ll be staying in different places this time, and I have no idea what my internet access is going to be like.

    If all goes as I hope it will, I will continue to publish a daily roundup for you, as well as the weekly store match ups you’re used to seeing, and some updates on what we’re up to in Japan. Hopefully Facebook will work there, so I can share snippets of our day on the Chief Family Officer Facebook page.

    If there’s something specific you want to see, let me know and I’ll do my best! :)

    Morning Coffee: $100 eBay gift card for $95, $5 magazine subscriptions & More

    Morning Coffee - June 5, 2015 @
    Morning Coffee is published daily and includes the best of the latest coupons, deals, and info I think you may find interesting. Prices and deals can change at any time so be sure to verify them before making your purchase. Please note this post contains affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Thank you for using them! You can read CFO’s full disclosure here.

    ~ eBay: Get a $100 eBay e-gift card for just $95

    ~ Amazon Magazine Sale deals include:

    ~ New printables:

    $2.00 off any ONE RESOLVE Steam Clean Solution
    $0.40 off LARABAR, UBER, ALT™ bar OR RENOLA pouch
    $0.75 off ONE (1) Sargento Balanced Breaks Snack
    $0.50 off any (1) Treasure Cave Item
    $0.50 off any (1) Frigo Cheese Heads Item
    $5.00 off (1) Estroven Intimacy Kit
    $3.00 off 1 bag of Rachael Ray Zero Grain Cat Food

    ~ Today only: Ralphs/Kroger shoppers can get a digital coupon for one FREE Kraft BBQ Sauce

    ~ Money Saving Mom: $10 off $10 at Lane Bryant {text offer}

    ~ Passion for Savings: Possibly free Herbal Essences hair care at Target

    ~ Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: S’mores Brioche Doughnuts

    ~ Wild for Wags: Cheap Softlips Cube at Walgreens

    ~ All Things Target: Target deals on Oxi-Clean, Gerber and more

    ~ Hip2Save: Free subscription to US Weekly

    ~ Also at Hip2Save: Free subscription to Family Fun

    Banner ad via ShopHer Media.

    Recalled: Cribs and Mattresses

    If you think you have the following item(s), click through to the CPSC press release for more details:

    Baby’s Dream Recalls Cribs and Furniture Due to Violation of Lead Paint Standard – Click through for additional photos:

    recalled cribs

    IKEA Expands Recall of Crib Mattresses Due to Risk of Entrapment – Click through for additional photos:

    recalled mattresses

    Stay on top of recalls by signing up for recall notifications by email at the CPSC web site.

    Nursing Programs and Employment are on the Rise

    The following is a post from Jenna Smith. Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this post.

    In recent years, we have seen growth in the number of people entering nursing programs to receive their Registered Nurse license and Bachelor of Science in Nursing. A high level of replacement positions, the increasing needs of the baby boomer generation, and the Affordable Care Act are all factors in the sudden rise in the desirability of RN and RN to BSN programs.

    Positions Become Available as the Work Force Retires

    Over half of the nursing workforce is close to retirement age. And the average age of working nurses is 46, meaning that a great percentage of the remaining workforce is set to retire in the not-too-distant future. According to estimates by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, replacement nursing positions will number in the hundreds of thousands, approximately 525,000, by 2022.

    When you factor in job growth along with replacement positions, the total number of open nursing positions would be nearly 1.05 million by 2022. At no other time have nursing positions been in such high demand.

    The Baby Boomer Generation Hits Retirement

    After WWII, the United States experienced a baby boom, which is a period of time with elevated birth rates. Being born between 1946 and 1964, many of these people have entered, or will soon enter, retirement age. As this large group of people age, their healthcare needs increase.

    As we age, health issues tend to increase, which prompts people to use more health services. The number of aging people in this country is growing, and they need increasingly more healthcare, which drives up the need for nursing professionals.

    Greater Demand due to Health Care Reform

    In 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act. It is arguably the greatest change to our healthcare system since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. This healthcare reform provided healthcare to millions of Americans who had previously been without insurance. In fact, approximately 20 million Americans have received coverage under the Act since May of 2014, and the rate of uninsured Americans has dropped 4.6%.

    The demand for healthcare is now extremely high and is straining the current workforce, which is another reason this sector will see exponential growth over the next several years.

    Easy Access to Education

    Since there is such a large shortage of Registered Nurses, many colleges now offer accelerated nursing programs online. Online course work, in combination with clinical experience, readies the next generation of Registered Nurses and BSN holders for the job market. Easy online access to education is viewed as a great benefit by many people who are looking to get into the nursing field. It is also beneficial to registered nurses who are going back to school to further their education by working toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

    For many professionals already in the nursing industry, furthering their education is also a lucrative investment. The medical field is always looking for highly qualified professionals with a high level of education, and they are willing to pay well for those qualified individuals.

    In sum, there is currently a high demand for RN and BSN positions due to an overall increase in demand due to a retiring workforce, the retirement of the baby boomers and healthcare reform. Education is more accessible than ever before and current wages for qualified individuals are certainly an incentive.

    Good-Bye Cable: Save Money with These Alternatives to Cable Subscriptions

    The following is a post from Jenna Smith. Consideration was received for the editing and publishing of this post.

    Being a busy mom, I find that my family watches about an hour of television on the weekdays, and maybe 4 hours a day or less on the weekends. However, I found myself paying hundreds of dollars on my cable subscription services.

    As I’ve been trying to save money and build an emergency savings fund, I’ve ultimately been looking for ways to cut back. In looking at my monthly bills, I found that I was giving away a great deal of money for cable services – which we barely watched.

    Don’t get me wrong, we certainly enjoy our weekly shows and an occasional movie or two, but for the most part, it seemed like paying for cable was allowing money to slip down the drain. So, I decided to cut my cable services.

    But I knew we couldn’t go without watching television at all because watching the same DVDs over and over again would get tiring eventually. So I had to come up with some realistic, yet inexpensive alternatives. After talking to several friends and family members, I found that there were several free and affordable options to keeping up with current movies, shows, and news. Below are some of those options:

    Free Digital Television

    I wasn’t aware that I was able to get a lot of the local channels for free! Channels like FOX, ABC, and CBS could all be watched from my television set without me having to pay a cent. All I needed to invest in was the appropriate antenna for my television set which ran me about $15.

    Now, before you start having flashbacks to when you were children and had to keep the antenna just so to get clear reception, times have changed and so has the technology. The antenna works fairly well and gave a pretty clear view. I was able to catch up on some of my weekly shows and watch the news every morning without fail.

    The Internet

    Another alternative for watching some of the most current television shows, news, and movies was the internet. I was completely unaware of how many networks have websites that will showcase full episodes of television series that both I and my family enjoy.

    I was able to simply find a network I was interested in, search for the show, and begin watching it right from my computer or mobile device. I will say that sometimes the current shows took several days from their actual air date to show up online, but when something is this affordable, who’s going to complain?

    Streaming Set-Top Boxes

    There are various service providers that offer affordable methods for watching the latest shows, movies, and news directly on your television set. Set-top boxes are connected to your television and have a predetermined amount of networks for you to choose from. These shows will stream directly to your television. Most of the popular shows and movies are available for viewing instantly or the next day. Of course the cost of these set-top boxes and monthly subscription services can vary, but it isn’t a large investment and is certainly a lot cheaper than paying for cable services each month.

    Television/Movie Streaming Services

    Another affordable alternative to cable television is with a subscription to a television and/or moving streaming service provider. Such subscriptions give you access to television series and movies (old and new) to watch instantly. The great thing about these services is that you can utilize them anywhere you have an internet connection.

    Many of these subscription services can be viewed online, from your cell phone, and even through your gaming console. In fact, the other day, my children and I were able to watch Rainbow Brite online, which was one of my favorite cartoon characters growing up. It was great being able to share such an experience with them at our leisure. We even have a weekly family movie night and I allow the kids to take turns choosing which movie we’ll watch.

    HDMI Cable

    As I stated before, a lot of television shows, news broadcasts, sporting events, and more can be found online free of charge. So, if you really want to save additional money without having to pay for too many subscription services, you could always opt to invest in an HDMI cable. These cables make it possible for you to hook up your laptop, desktop, or mobile device directly to the television set. Often these cords can be found cheap online for a minimal investment (in fact, we got one for about $20).

    Each of these options provided our household with the means to stay in the loop with current events, shows, and movies, without having to pay the cost of cable services. Over the course of a three-month period, I was about to save approximately $300, which was put towards our emergency savings fund!