Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Nuts and Bolts

Saturday night C climbed/fell out of his crib and came screaming into the living room because all of a sudden he seems to have a fear of sleeping. So, immediately my husband converted K's crib (which she isn't using yet) into the toddler day bed with the rail and switched the two cribs. This would have gone a lot smoother if we would have realized two years ago that C's crib which does convert requires a $70 conversion kit. Hence, the taking apart two cribs and switching rooms.

C is not a fan of the new situation either. He eventually goes to sleep at night after screaming at the gate we had to put up in his door way for half an hour or longer. And the two hour afternoon nap he desperately needs? Nope, hasn't taken one for two days. His books are getting a work out though.

Last night, C fell asleep sitting straight up in his booster chair at dinner. The poor kid is so tired he can't handle anything. He's crying all the time and on top of new baby clingy-ness, he's even more clingy. I read an article on baby center that said after a few days if the toddler is still having issues with his new bed, it's a good idea to put him back in the crib because he's just not ready to transition. It's only been 5 weeks since K came home from the hospital and I know he's just having a really hard time.

Then today rolls around. He slept until 9:15 woohoo! We try to go meet our play group for breakfast which turns into a disaster so, we come home and I try to put him down for a nap. Of course he doesn't sleep. I talk to my husband and tell him one of the other girls in my group took the spring out of the crib and put the mattress on the floor and her kid didn't die. We didn't do that originally because we know our kid would find some way to wriggle under there and get stuck. So, we decided since someone else tried it, I would make the switch. Keep in mind, we've already taken both cribs apart and put them back together in different rooms once...

I remove the bed rail from K's crib that's in C's room, put the front back on and the mattress on the's noon. By 12:45 this is finished and C is put in the crib for 5 minutes before he crawls underneath the crib and comes out. Sigh. We have lunch. At 2 pm we go back to C's room with the measuring tape, only 6 inches of space between the bottom of the crib and the floor! K's room with C's original crib only 4 inches...okay round 2.

I take apart C's original crib and move it C's room and put it back together with the mattress on the floor. With this one there is no way he's getting out of there. The mattress is stuck between the crib walls and nothing can get between it, no little hands or feet. Why didn't we do this in the first place??! It's 3 pm. I put C in the crib move K's fully assembled crib to the side of C's room because now I have to disassemble and reassemble it back in her room but, that will wait until after C's much needed nap.

3:34 C finally stopped crying while I'm writing this and has gone down for his nap. He used to be awesome at nap time and bed time, what the heck happened? And why do cribs have so much hardware??

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I'm Still Alive I Promise!

It has been one crazy month. After two weeks in the hospital on bed rest, my body decided that it could no longer be pregnant. Katherine Grace made her appearance on July 9th at 1:49 pm via emergency C-section, weighing in at 5 lbs 10 oz and 18.5 inches long. She was perfectly healthy and was able to stay with me in my room after the first harrowing night that I had. I was not perfectly healthy but, I am now.

Katherine has been doing great and made it over 6 lbs by her 2 week appointment! C has been having some adjustment issues but, we're working on it.

I've been working on recovering and taking care of 2 children under 2 so, that's why I have been MIA. I'm still here, I promise and soon we'll be back in the swing of things! And in the meantime, if you have any suggestions on how to make C feel more included and better about his role as big brother please let me know!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tyne Boden Necklaces review

Recently, I had a chance to win a necklace from Tyne Boden Necklaces. Since Tyne was getting geared up for the 4th of July she was offering her American Saturday Night Necklace. It was a super cute silver linked necklace with a blue ribbon and red, white, and blue stars hanging off of it. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of me wearing it since I'm still in the hospital but here is a picture of the necklace...

When I got the necklace, I was super excited and C loved the little stars hanging off of it. I am also a big fan of Tyne's other necklaces she made one recently called The Stone and the Green World that was just beautiful.

You can order a necklace that she has already made with her order form or you can custom order necklaces from her.

Want to win a necklace from Tyne?? Today is the last day of her Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams July giveaway where she is giving away not one but two awesome necklaces! Make sure to check her out and enter her won't be disappointed!

Disclosure: I won this necklace from a giveaway and did a review of it. I was not compensated in any way.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Proud to be a Theta Mom

Heather at Theta Mom is celebrating her one year "blogoversary." Woohoo! Part of her celebration has been to ask her readers to submit posts telling what makes them Theta Moms. If you haven't been over to Theta Mom you must go there immediately. Heather writes genuinely about what it is to be a mom, what other moms don't tell you before your children are born, and other fun topics. Check out her Mission describing what it is to be a Theta Mom and you'll see you fit right in!

I've been thinking about this post for a few days and during this time some things have changed dramatically in my life as a mom so, it should be interesting to see what I come up with...

My son C, now 18 months, wasn't exactly planned. I always knew I wanted to be a mom and have two kids but, the timing of his conception wasn't quite what we were expecting. I had a tough pregnancy working up until I went into the hospital at 29 weeks. But, I was happy to be welcoming him into the world. When at 29 weeks and 5 days I had to deliver via emergency C-section due to Pre-eclampsia, I wasn't worried about my own health, I was worried about this precious new life that was coming too soon.

I did worry a little about the fact that we didn't have any baby clothes, the nursery wasn't set up, we weren't baby proofed at home. But, more than anything I was worried about being the mom I would need to be to guide this fragile life into the world and get him through his extended stay in the NICU.

The thing about being a mom of a preemie is that no one really talks about it. Mothers don't want to scare new mothers about the ins and outs of what happens in there. I didn't want to tell some of my friends that were expecting because I didn't want them to freak out. But, during C's time and mine in the NICU I found my true calling as a mother. I found that you will do whatever it takes to make sure your child is happy and healthy, whether it is sitting round the clock holding his hand through the window of an isolette or pumping milk every three hours for 6 weeks because you want him to have the best nutrition available even though he can't breast feed.

I spent every day for 47 days with C and no one will tell you how hard that is. No mother ever wants to see her child hurt or suffering whether they are 5 days, 5 years, or 35 years. But, I know that this experience is what shaped me for my role as a mother. At 18 months, C is thriving you wouldn't be able to tell that he was born so early. He looks just like his father and has a laugh that will make you grin.

I am currently pregnant with Baby Girl and this past week at 33 weeks started showing signs of Pre-eclampsia again. I have now been on bed rest for 5 days in the hospital and we are waiting to see how things go but, it's looking like Baby Girl will be coming early as well. This time around I'm not as nervous. I've been through this. I know I can do it and I know that I have what it takes to be the mom I need to be. This time my worries are on my husband and C. I think C has it under control to take care of his dad :-)

Being a Theta Mom, a proud mother, for me is knowing that I have what it takes even if it is a different road than all of the others, knowing that I will do anything for my children, including laying on my side for days on end. It's being willing to share with other mothers the hard parts of being a mom and not putting a sunny face and telling them it's so easy when in fact, it is the hardest job out there. And above everything, loving your role as a mother and embracing it with everything you have.

Happy Blogoversary Theta Mom and thanks to all you other Theta moms out there!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bed Rest Day 3... Things They Don't Tell You

Here it is, day 3 in the hospital. So far, I've been pretty optimistic. I can make it through the next 3 weeks on bed rest either in or out of the I discovered it gets harder to be optimistic as the days drag on.

Thankfully, hubby brought the laptop yesterday which helps pass a few hours at a time. He also came by again today with C for a few hours and that helped a lot. The downside...they came to take my blood pressure while the family was here and it had sky rocketed. It has since gone down slightly which is good.

So, the things your doctor doesn't tell you about when you might have to go on bed rest...

1. Obviously, it sucks

2. Even though your bed goes up and down you are supposed to stay flat. You can only sit up to eat.

3. Because you aren't moving, your bowels won't move... yup, no poop

4. TV gets old after while, even if you don't usually have access to cable.

5. Doing nothing makes you tired but, it's hard to sleep.

6. Every day on bed rest keeps your baby out of the NICU three extra days... a nurse told me this today, I don't know if it's actually true.

As I think of more, I'll add them. So far, it's looking like I'm going to be enjoying and extended stay here at Presby Dallas. We should find out more on Monday. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's Been a Rough Day

Okay fabulous readers, I'm taking a time-out from deals and house stuff. For the past two days I have been chilling in my very own roof/parking garage view room of the hospital. At 33 weeks, my blood pressure has started to inch up into Pre-eclampsia territory.

The good news... I'm 4 weeks more pregnant this time than with C. Which means if delivery happens early, less time in the NICU. To read more about C's story go here.

The bad news... I'm being monitored until at least Monday, and may be here for 3.5 more weeks until I hit 37 and can deliver or, I can go home Monday for 3.5 weeks of bed rest at home.

The other bad news... The Illinois job fell through, we're not moving, we're taking the house off the market.

It's safe to say, it has been a rough few days for my family. We're holding together and hubby is being a champ staying with C. Uncle J is pretty awesome too, watching C yesterday for 7 hours and changing his first diaper!

So, I've now joined the ranks of the bed resting mommas. I have limited access to the internet but, I'll try to come up with some fun posts on how to survive bed rest!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 is Awesome!

With all of the crazy stuff that is going on around here, I've become a big fan of shopping online. Usually, I'll run out to Target or my local Albertson's with my coupons and pick up the 9,000 diapers I need. But, right now we just have so much to do and my pregnant body doesn't really like loading and unloading a toddler in 100 degree weather.

I had heard of before and was sort of skeptical because I'm one of those people that waits until you're using the last diaper out of your diaper bag before you go to the store. I thought I probably wouldn't get my diapers in my time of need! But, if you order before 6 pm about 2 days before you are about to run out of diapers you will be good to go. The diapers ship quickly and you don't have to worry about leaving the house.

I was so excited when I ordered my diapers because I was a first time customer, I got $10 off of my order as well as the coupons for $3 off Huggies that supplied. I also received free shipping because my order was just over $49. It was awesome! On top of that, I went through (which you should also check out) and I received 1% cash back on my purchase. You can get 1-4% cash back from when you shop One other thing, you can also mail them your manufacturers coupons and they will credit them to you account! How cool is that??

I was so happy with my purchase that I am about to order a few more things for Baby Girl from them during their huge June sale. When you sign up for an account with them you can also get credit for referring other shoppers. Your friends can also save $10 on their first order and they can get $5 towards their second order! And you get credit too! This is definitely something worth checking out. If you're interested in visiting click on the button from my side bar and if you purchase something you can enter my referral code for you $10 off...HAAR6944 is my code, it's also on my button. You can join the referring fun by checking out their Refer-a-Friend Program. Have fun checking out all of their great gear, toys, and fun things for mom!

Disclaimer: I did not receive anything from for this post. I'm just sharing my enthusiasm for a great company!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Getting the House Ready

I've been struggling for post ideas lately with everything that is going on but, I thought this would be a good one. When selling your house, obviously appearance is the most important thing to the potential buyer... is it in good condition? is it clean? is there enough space? There are plenty of ways to stage your house without breaking the bank. Why spend an exorbitant amount of money on a house you're not going to live in?

So, the cheapest and easiest thing for you to do is to clean. Clean every nook and cranny you can. You want your house sparkling. Remember what it looked like when you moved in, before babies, dogs, in-laws?? That's what you want it to look like. Along with cleaning comes de-cluttering. Remove all of those baby pictures from the fridge, the five extra tv trays from the living room, all the extra toys that aren't being played with. This will make your home look more spacious and less cluttered. Hubby and I are planning a garage sale for next weekend to get rid of all of our extra clutter... really, I don't want to move that little statue that we've been holding on to for the last 3 moves again!

After you get the extra clutter out and you've cleaned like you've never cleaned before... you can look at changing your furniture around. Instead of going out and buying new furniture, you can stage your furniture differently. We moved one of our sofas into our back family room and moved a sitting chair into our front living room. This opened up a lot of space up front and gave the back a more homey feeling.

So, the first three tips...Clean, De-clutter, and work with the furniture you already have. This should cost you only the cost of your cleaning products and you may make some money if you have a garage sale. If you don't want to do that, you can call your local charity to come pick up your clutter as well. We have taken a lot of our stuff to Goodwill over the years.

Next time...DIY repairs, what really needs to be done, looking for an agent.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Never Ending To-Do List

Usually, I don't blog so much about my personal life just about fun ways to save money. Lately, though, I haven't been able to blog much because there is just so much going on. Currently I am 31 weeks pregnant with Baby Girl and chasing after 18 month old C who is a handful and a half. My husband is a high school band director and musician which means more hours than a regular teacher (especially since we are in Texas) and gigs on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Now, for most families that would be enough. Not ours...

Recently, I blogged about ways to save money while traveling. We were traveling for a job interview in Illinois for my husband. This wasn't just any job interview it was for the Air Force. The Band of the Mid-West to be exact. Many people don't know that the military has jobs for musicians. There are military bands stationed all over the world and the enlisted men/women don't do anything but play in these bands and get PAID. For someone that would rather play their instrument than do anything else and be able to make a decent living, this job is a dream.

About 5 years ago, right around the time we got married, hubby went through this whole process and it fell through right at the end. This time, hubby has been offered a job, signed the papers, and now is going the process of physicals and tests to make sure he can join up. Then BASIC TRAINING. The Air Force people have been awesome about scheduling basic training around the birth of our daughter. Since she is due at the beginning of August, they are willing to let him delay until the beginning of September. Basic training lasts for 60 days and then we would move to Illinois.

What this all means is...I'm FREAKING OUT. We have so much to do, like sell our house and all the fun things that come with it, find new housing in a state that I've been in twice, find a place for me to stay for 60 days with a toddler and a newborn, pack, have a BABY... the list goes on and on.

The pros of this job though, are numerous. I fully support my husband in his decision to take it should everything go through like it is supposed to. I just have these momentary freak outs that kind of throw me for a loop. So, I will continue posting my ways to save money and maybe so often an update on the whole moving to another state, joining the military family, and having a baby all at the same time.

Today on the to-do list... dusting

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Friendly Friday!

It's Friendly Friday again! Here's a great way to find new blogs and bloggy friends! Thanks to Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier, Christi at Frugal Novice and Charla at Healthy Home Blog for hosting Friendly Friday! Each week they will host Friendly Friday where you can link up and meet other fun blogs. They also feature 3 bloggers each week. Head on over to their blogs and play along!

I just checked out one of the Featured bloggers One Savvy Mom! and she is doing some great giveaways! Be sure to stop by and enter.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Great Deal on BabyLegs Leg Warmers...

If you have a little one at home you know that it's a pain to take their pants off, then unsnap the onesie, then change their diaper. You also know that that as they start crawling, their little knees get banged and bruised on the floor. Even as they start walking they get these little scrapes. This is why I love Babylegs leg warmers! They are perfect for infants, toddlers, and even bigger kids. In the winter time they can be worn under pants, in the summer with just a onesie for convenient changing and floor protection.

Right now, Inspired By Finn is have a super awesome sale on Babylegs. They have them on sale starting at $2.95!! These usually run from $8-$12 a pair! I was so excited I got 4 pair. Shipping is only $4.95 and if you "Like" them on Facebook and go to their discussion page you can get a code for an extra 20% off your purchase. I got 4 pair for $14.23 including the shipping!!

I Love Albertson's!

Even though I only do big shops once or twice a month because of meal planning, I still have to run to the store about once a week for milk...and usually I forget something I needed. Having a toddler and being pregnant will do that to you, even with a list!

So, tonight I had to run to the store to get milk and bananas. On the way there, hubby had to stop in Home Depot for a screw and I decided to stay in the car with C. I had brought the Albertson's mailer with me and was looking over it while I was waiting. What did I see?? Another great cereal deal! Right now, you can get 4 boxes of select Kellogg's cereals for $6. The ad is kind of confusing because it says 4 for $10, save $4 which doesn't make a lot of sense at first glance. But, basically when you buy 4 boxes at the 4 for $10 price, there is an instore coupon that takes off $4 at the end of the transaction making them 4 for $6. The only downside to this is that they are limiting you to 4 boxes per transaction. But, the deal just started today so, if you are a cereal hoarder like I am you can go back numerous times!

Some other great deals right now at Albertson's,

Bluebell pints are 10 for $10 (great for pregnant ladies like me!)
Arrid Deodorant and White Rain soaps are 10 for $10
Looney Tunes Baby Wipes 80 ct are 10 for $10
Pillsbury cake mixes are 10 for $10

Remember to check your local Albertson's ad before you go, some regions have different deals!

Traveling on a Budget

Last week, we took a 3 day road trip to Illinois from Dallas for a job interview for the hubby. Just to let you know this is a 10 hour trip with a toddler in the back seat! Anyway, our monthly budget wasn't quite able to handle this trip but, it was something that was really important for hubby if it works out. We were actually able to pull off the trip for a lot less than I thought. Here are some ways that we cut back on expenses.

1. We drove instead of flying...yes 10 hours in the car with a toddler isn't as much fun as you would like it to be but, we were able to bring everything we needed and didn't have to worry about renting a car when we got there

2. We packed three days worth of lunches and snacks and ate at rest areas... usually, hubby and I look at road trips as a great excuse to eat gross fast food and gas station snacks but, this time I took my happy coupon self to the grocery store and made sandwiches, cookies, and packed up some fruit and cheese as well as a massive pack of bottled water that I got on sale for 2.99

3. We stayed at a cheaper hotel... I was pretty spoiled growing up and staying in nice hotels but, this time we stayed at a Quality Inn, which was pretty okay. It was less than $80 a night which was great with me.

4. We made sure that our hotel had a free continental breakfast... This is great, you don't have to worry about getting breakfast some where because it's right in your hotel, and it's free!

5. Our room had a refrigerator and a microwave... so, we could save our sandwiches for the road and any leftovers we had could be reheated if need be.

6. I didn't go out and buy new toys for C, instead I dug through his toys to find ones he hadn't used in a while... He was really excited to see some of his old toys, I did bring a few favorites though.

7. No souvenirs... since this was technically a business trip, we didn't buy and souvenirs.

8. Cruise Control, learn, love it, use it... the last car I had didn't have cruise control. It still got pretty good gas mileage and when I started driving this car I had a hard time getting used to using it. Well, I realized on this trip, cruise control really does help with your gas mileage.

We did end up eating out for both of our dinners but, we had planned that. You have to get out a little bit! What sorts of things do you do to save money when traveling??

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Menu Plan Monday, it's back!

After a busy few weeks, graduations, brothers becoming doctors, out of town job interviews...I'm getting back on track with the menu planning.

Monday: Even though it's a holiday, we did our cookout on Saturday. I'll be doing Crockpot Chicken.

Tuesday: Shredded Chicken Tacos, Freezer Refried Beans, and Spanish Rice

Wednesday: Trying a new recipe Pork Chops Deluxe

Thursday: Leftover Buffet

Friday: Homemade Pizza and Breadsticks

Saturday: Grilled Cheese sandwiches and veggies

Sunday: Breakfast for dinner!

Usually, hubby has a gig on Saturday and Sunday evenings so, I make C and I sandwiches or we have leftovers from the week.

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Children's Place

I did a post a few weeks ago about needing new kids clothes and some different ways to save money on them. Today, I was out and about trying to find some summer maternity clothes and I wandered into The Children's Place. I used to be a die hard Carter's fan when I was buying new clothes but, I found The Children's Place last summer.

Carter's has some great sales but, The Children's! They have sales starting at $1.99. Today, I found some great things for C for the fall and winter and also for Baby Girl. Every item I bought was 3.99 or under with the exception of one super cute denim dress and bloomers for $7 that I just couldn't pass up! I also received some 15% off coupons for my next purchase. You can also Like The Children's Place on Facebook and spin their wheel for extra coupons.

As far as finding maternity clothes for me...not so much. Ugh, only 10 more weeks!

Another cool thing happening right now for moms in DFW, a friend of mine started DFW Mom Swap/Buy on Facebook. It's a great place to list any of your gently used baby and kids items that you would like to sell or swap for other items. You can also find gently used items. If you are in the DFW area, you should definitely check it out.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friendly Friday!

Here's a great way to find new blogs and bloggy friends! Thanks to Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier, Christi at Frugal Novice and Charla at Healthy Home Blog for hosting Friendly Friday! Each week they will host Friendly Friday where you can link up and meet other fun blogs. They also feature 3 bloggers each week. Head on over to their blogs and play along!

And I'd Like to Thank...

Kristen over at Just Thinking for giving me the Versatile Blogger Award! This is my first award so, it's pretty exciting for me. In order to accept the award you must...
  • Thank the person who gave you this award.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Pass the award along to 15 or so bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic!
So, thanks again Kristen!! And here are my 7 things...

  1. I love to sleep. If I could sleep in until noon every day I would be the happiest person on the planet. This doesn't work very well with having an 18 month old!
  2. Cooking is one of my passions. I love finding new recipes and trying them out. My latest adventure was homemade Oatmeal Creme Pies, like the Little Debbie ones. They were amazing. I'll share them later!
  3. I have 3 tattoos. Two on my back, a moon with a little star and a sun. The other one is a Horned Frog on my left ankle. The Horned Frog was my school mascot at TCU. Go FROGS!!
  4. I was in marching band from 9th grade until I graduated college, and I am only now starting to understand football.
  5. I was born in Pennsylvania but, I have lived in Texas since I was 4. I grew up north of Houston and have lived in DFW for 11 years. I'm a Texas girl at heart.
  6. I hate being pregnant! After Baby Girl is born in August we are done. I never wanted more than two kids but, the whole being pregnant thing made it official for me. I'm not a fan of sleeplessness (see #1), living in my bathroom, and stretching my body in odd ways!
  7. I have an irrational fear of fish. I'm afraid they will jump out of their bowls or aquariums and flop on me. Ugh, it makes me shudder just thinking about it.
Okay, I'm only going to pass this to two people because I think it makes it more special so,
Monica over at Organized Chaos!! and
Stephanie at Sand and Starfish

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Survey Companies?

Lately, hubby and I have been thrown a few unexpected expenses. We have an emergency account set up just for times like these but, it still feels like a kick in the pants when I'm trying to pay off debt and pay back my emergency account at the same time. Let's just say my plan to have a major debt of ours paid off by February has been moved back a little. But, I'd rather be safe with the new tires on my car than have to drive 250 miles hydroplaning and having to take side streets through Dallas like I did last week!

Anyway, back when I first started staying home with C I was looking for ways to make a little extra money from home. I would see all of these "Take my survey online and earn cash" ads and I was always really skeptical. I need some extra money but, I don't need a computer virus or some crazy guy calling my cell phone. So, I did some research and read a lot of blogs and I decided to sign up with a few of them.

A year and half later the one I like the most is Opinion Outpost. The surveys aren't unbelievably long and you usually qualify for most of them. They operate on a points scale, every 10 points is $1 and they pay out an actual check after $5. I usually wait until I hit about $25-$30 before I request a check. I've gotten 3 checks from them and then I stopped doing the surveys for a while. They still emailed me opportunities and today I went back over there. I discovered that I still had $15 unclaimed and still had survey opportunities so, I did some! It's a pretty cool deal, if you have time during nap times or in the evenings to just sit down and take a few surveys.

They also have a refer a friend program. For each friend you refer that starts doing surveys you get an additional 20 pts or $2. If you're interested in signing up for Opinion Outpost please follow my refer a friend link I don't think you'll be disappointed!

Another program I just came across is Cashcrate. I just signed up with them yesterday so, I'll let you know how it goes. So far, I don't like them as much as Opinion Outpost.

Some tips with survey companies:
1. Make sure they're legit. A lot of times you can google the name of the company and scam and you can find out.
2. Check peoples' blog posts and discussion boards for companies they recommend.
3. Some companies will pay you to sign up for credit reports, credit cards, and other things... a lot of times credit reporting agencies will charge you money after a trial period, you also probably don't need another credit card! It's my policy to not sign up with any product or company that wants my credit information.
4. Don't sign up for anything you don't feel comfortable with.

Friday, May 21, 2010

DIY Step Stool

Recently, C and I have been battling it out over brushing his teeth. He refuses to let me help him but, he won't do it himself. Every night before bed I cringe as we get ready for our routine. He screams when I go anywhere near his mouth with the toothbrush. He loves to brush Mom and Dad's teeth though. So, my mom suggested getting him a little stool to stand on in the bathroom so that he can see himself in the mirror. I wanted a really cute step stool but, the ones I found were anywhere from $40-$100, it was crazy!

So, I thought I can do this myself. I'm sort of crafty! Here is what I came up with...

I found this stool at Hobby Lobby for $7.99, it is a natural wood stool. I forgot to take a picture of it before I painted it.

The paint I had was paint left over from when we painted the nursery, a light blue and navy blue. I painted the whole stool with the light blue paint.Hobby Lobby also has these cute wooden cut-outs that are already painted for $.67. You can use them for all kinds of stuff. I bought four of them, two whales and two octupi and using crazy glue, once the paint was dry, glued them to each side.

On the top of the stool I free-handed the letters for C's name. His full name is Christopher but, that's a little long so, I just did Chris. This is the one thing that the next time I make one of these I'll probably use a stencil for. I used a pencil to draw the letters then painted them in with the navy blue paint. I bought a white paint pen to outline the letters once they were dry.

For about $14 I made a cute little stool all by myself and saved at least $40.

C loves his stool but, still won't brush his teeth!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Getting Married?

If you are getting married or have a major event requiring decorations or centerpieces coming up and you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area you HAVE to check out High Fire Designs.

High Fire Designs is owned by one of my favorite people and co-author of my other blog 2 by 2. Amanda is a very talented artist that has branched out into the world of wedding decor. The coolest thing about High Fire Designs is that they help you decide what kind of decor to use based on your color scheme and ideas and then they come up with a personalized centerpiece which you can rent from them. You give them your thoughts and they make it happen beautifully, they do all the work for you! No worrying about buying more stuff or breaking the budget for centerpieces.

You can see some great pictures of their work if you check out High Fire Designs on Facebook or you can head on over to their new blog for inspiration and money saving tips on decor.

I Won!!

I'm so excited! I finally won my first giveaway...not only that I actually won two different giveaways in two weeks. A lot of times I'll enter giveaways and forget about them or I'll enter one for something like an Ipad and be really sad when I lose. But, both of these giveaways were super cool.

The first one was over at Sand and Starfish. Stephanie was doing a "Random Giveaway" and I love random stuff! Here is a picture of the fun stuff she sent me.
There was a really cool hummingbird feeder that I'm going to make my husband hang on our one tree in our back yard. Also, four really cute cards that Stephanie made herself...I immediately used two of them as thank you cards. Definitely stop by and check her out, right now she's doing an awesome Smoothie a Day series....yumm!

The other cool giveaway I won was part of Quirky Momma's Toy Guide giveaway. I love Quirky Momma's blog she has all kinds of activities to do with your kids that promote learning. I was so excited about winning toys for C that I made my husband open the package while I was out of town. Here is a picture of the bee puppet and the Cahootie that I won.
C loves the puppet already and the Cahootie will go in our closet of games and gifts until he is a little bigger.

You should definitely stop by both of these ladies' blogs and check them out!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How to Make Money Blogging Series

There are millions of bloggers out there today. Most of them are doing it for friends and family but, there are tons out there with a niche...crafting, couponing, cooking and so on. A lot of people have questions about how to make money from their blogs...I have them too!
This morning I was looking through my blog reader and I stumbled across Little People Wealth's How to Make Money Blogging Series. She will be doing a 5 week series about how to make money blogging. She also has, my favorite, prizes! Head on over there to check her out and you can also link up your blog to get some advertising and win fun things!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


My friend and old roommate from the best apartment ever has started a new blog. She is a born and bred Texas girl living in DFW with her new Aggie husband. She loves to make food and I think she might have a Twitter obsession. She also hits the gym so often you might hate her a little bit but, I owe her some cupcakes for finally starting her blog so, maybe that will throw her off a bit :-) Go visit her at A Certain Shade of Crazy as she overshares her crazy life with us!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Menu Plan Monday...sort of

This week I am out of town spending time with my mom and attending my little brother's graduation from Optometry School. My little brother is a doctor!! Anyway, I won't be making a menu this week for my family since I'm on "vacation" but, I thought I'd share the recipe for the AWESOME spaghetti casserole I made last week. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures because I'm on my mom's computer but, I'll update those next week. I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Spaghetti Casserole
This is a great recipe because you can basically add or change whatever you want in it and it will still be awesome!

1 lb ground beef (this past time I used ground Italian Turkey Sausage)
24 oz tomato sauce
1/2 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Pkg spaghetti noodles
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350

In a medium skillet heat olive oil and sautee chopped onions and minced garlic for about 10 minutes. Start water boiling for spaghetti noodles. Add meat to skillet and cook until brown.

Once water is boiling, add spaghetti noodles and let boil for 8 minutes.

After meat is browned add 16 ounces of your tomato sauce and stir, add salt and pepper to taste I also like to add garlic powder and basil

Drain spaghetti noodles and spread half in the bottom of a casserole dish. Layer with meat sauce and cheese. Then layer with the rest of the spaghetti noodles. Top with diced tomatoes, the rest of your tomato sauce and cheese.

Place in oven for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted.

Serve with a yummy green salad and garlic bread.

Substitutions and additions:
I like to add some chopped pepperoni, yumm! I have also used ground turkey instead of ground beef. I like to make my own spaghetti sauce but, if you are running short on time, you can substitute premade sauce instead of the tomato meat sauce. You can also add mushrooms, olives, whatever veggies you like to your sauce to sneak them in there!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Quick Tip

I am OBSESSED with cereal. I love it. I eat it for breakfast, for dinner, for snacks. I am a cereal junkie. It's just so easy. Cereal is one of the things that I am crazy about stockpiling. If I find an awesome deal where cereal is under $1.50 I will stock up. Sometimes I'll have 10-12 boxes of cereal in my pantry. It kind of freaks out my husband.

So, this week I was super excited to see that Albertsons is having a great cereal deal. Now, I live in Dallas and Albertsons is known for having slightly different sales across the nation so, please check your local Albertsons ad before you go cereal crazy!

This week at Albertsons Kellogg's Rice Krispies, Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, and new Cinnabon cereals are $1.29 each with a 10 box limit. What isn't advertised is if you buy 3 boxes you get a $2.00 coupon for your next visit to Albertsons, if you buy 4 a $3.00 coupon, and if you buy 5 or more boxes you get a $4.00 coupon. I was so excited!

Also, right now if you spend $25.00 you can get a half gallon of Blue Bell ice cream for $2.98 instead of the usual $6.00 which is awesome for a pregnant lady!

I just wanted to share my exciting find. Feel free to share anything awesome you come across especially if it involves cereal or ice cream!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I came across I'm an Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday about 6 months ago. When I was working and before C we would eat out at least 3 times a week. I look back now and I think "Oh my gosh! Think about how much money we wasted eating out!!" If you add that up, let's say 3 times a week at $25 a meal. That's $75 a week for 52 weeks... that's $3900!! Think about what you could do with an extra almost $4000. Crazy.

So, when we went down to one income we needed that extra money. I started looking for ways to save and one of the first things to go was eating out, insert sad face here. I started first by using Hamburger Helper meals and premade foods and realized that wasn't saving much money either. I had to come up with a food budget and stick with it. I had to find a way to make meals that are good too. I started searching recipes and blogs for ideas. Generally, I like to cook and I'm pretty good at it. I just hate to make things that take forever.

Then I stumbled across I'm an Organizing Junkie. She has great reasons for menu planning and it works, not only to save money but, to save time in the kitchen. Check out her 13 Reasons to Menu Plan. I started menu planning immediately after I came across this. I would plan out my meals a month in advance, make my list, cut my coupons and go shopping. I managed to keep my grocery budget at $250 a month. It was awesome but, I got burnt out. So, I started doing it in 2 week increments instead of 1 month. This helped a lot. I stuck to my budget and I have the freedom to move the meals around in the 2 week period if I need to.

Each Monday, I'll start posting my menus for the week and I'll start linking the related recipes.

Monday: Pork Chop Surprise
Tuesday: Chicken Breasts and Veggie Pasta
Wednesday: Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Thursday: Spaghetti Casserole
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Homemade Pizza and Breadsticks
Sunday: Leftovers

For more information and recipe ideas head over to I'm and Organizing Junkie to check Laura out!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Need New Clothes??

Oh, how kids grow, and grow, and grow. It seems like one minute they're in 3-6 month clothes and the next they're in 12 months. Sometimes they skip a whole size!

When C was born he weighed only 3 lbs 7 oz. It's crazy how small those preemie clothes are! The one good thing about him being so small at first was that his clothes lasted longer than most babies. But, now at 16 months he has caught up and continued to grow. His 12 month clothes are too short, his 18 month clothes too long! It's cute.

We also have Baby Girl coming along in August. Unfortunately, since she is a girl, she can't wear C's old hand-me-downs. So, how do I save money on clothes for C and BG?

One place that I frequent is Kid to Kid. It's a store that has gently used clothing, furniture and toys. They even have maternity clothes. You can sell back your gently used clothing and then get new-to-them clothes for your kids. One trick is to hold on to your used clothing until it's about to come back in season and then take it in to sell. If you take winter clothes in the summer, they are less likely to give you any money for them. Another store similar to this is Once Upon a Child. I don't like this one as much because the one near me is kind of gross but, I've heard good things about other locations.

Another great place to get baby and kids clothes for cheap, as well as furniture and toys, is a consignment sale. I attended my first consignment sale this past spring and it was awesome! For those that happen to be in the DFW area Divine Consign is wonderful. The event is held in an auditorium or conference center and it's huge. It's held one weekend in the spring and one weekend in the fall. They have so much stuff that this year, they let people drop stuff off to consign on the second day. You can find name brand Gymboree and others for under $5. Some items still have the original tags on them! For this particular sale, if you are a first-time mom you can sign up and get in early to shop before everyone else. Thousands of people attend these events. Look for them in your area. When I went in the spring, I stocked up for C's wardrobe this spring and summer and next spring and summer.

If you are part of a Mommy group or have a group of mommy friends, a great idea is a swap. Get all of your mommy friends together and bring any gently used clothes and pile them up together for everyone to go through and take what they want. It's a great get together and it's always great for clothes to go to someone you know. You can do this with your adult clothes as well.

And as always, clearance racks. It doesn't hurt to stock up for next season by shopping this years clearance racks. Over Christmas, I bought C 3 pairs of jeans for $5 each at Carter's in sizes 18 months, 24 months, and 2t. Now we're set for jeans for the next 6-8 months!

What good tips do you have for saving money on clothes for you kids??

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Here We Go!

First off, let me introduce myself...

I'm Christine, a SAHM to a fabulous 16 month old boy C with Baby Girl due in August. For the last year and a half I've been adjusting to mommyhood and living on a single income. My husband is a teacher/musician and we all know what that on a meager single income! Through this time, not only have I been having the most fun in the world with C, I've been learning how to become more frugal and how to pinch every last penny. I've come a long way in this journey but, still have a ways to go.

I have another blog here that I started with a friend of mine from college. We talk about the ups and downs of mommyhood and raising a toddler while being pregnant with #2. But, I started this blog for people like me, adjusting to being SAHM's and living on one income. I never realized how much money my husband and I just threw out the window until we really needed it! I am not an avid couponer, although I do use coupons most times, and this is not a crazy deal blog. What I am is a mom looking for tips and tricks to save money; whether it be cooking from scratch, stockpiling, menu planning, making your own baby wipes, or just plain old not eating out. I will show you how one SAHM does it.