Saturday, February 18, 2017

Valentine's Day 2017

Happy (Belated) Valentine's Day!

Since my birthday is on Valentine's Day our rule has always been that Valentine's are for breakfast and then the rest of the day is my birthday.

The kids woke up around 6:15 (this missed the memo that they were supposed to sleep in for my birthday)
We all exchanged Valentine's before the sun came up and then enjoyed the rest of the day as my birthday.

Opening their Valentine's.
I packed a book for each one and ring pops from home.
I also gave them each a vacation themed souvenir to remember
this Valentine's Day at the beach.  

Owen, enjoying his first ring pop, and playing with his new
Tybee Island Alligator. He loves growling and biting people with it.  

Annabeth with her Valentine's Day mermaid. 
She has been wanting a mermaid doll for so long and she loved
getting one at the beach.

Valentine/Birthday coffee at the Tybean Art and Coffee Bar 

The kids split a chocolate muffin and were in heaven!
They look so cute in their souvenir Tybee shirts! :) 

We hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day celebrating with those you love!

Friday, February 17, 2017


Happy Friday!
This past Wednesday I turned...
and did so on a wonderful trip to Tybee Island! I will return next Friday for a Frugal Friday post complete with money saving vacation tips! This week though, I thought I want to pretend that I am back at the beach!

Here is how I spent #30:

Sunrise over the ocean for my 30th!
This was the view from our condo. Gorgeous!

 Mark and the kids took me for birthday coffee at Tybean Art and Coffee Bar on the island.
We loved that their logo includes an octopus - perfect for us! 

Mark kept Owen in for nap time so Annabeth and I spent a gorgeous afternoon 
out on the sand. She loved swimming in the tide pools and I enjoyed taking lots
of pictures and hunting for shells. 

 Post-dinner beach walk. The last one of the trip.
I love my people so very much!
They all made my birthday so special!

We had an great trip! Check back next Monday and Wednesday for full-trip recaps!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Frugal Friday 180

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

- Mark worked one night at his part time job.

- Saturday I hosted a junk exchange. We had quite a few people in and lots of junk traded! I walked away with new nail polish, eyeshadow, hair products, and some fun new napkins. After everyone was gone, we loaded up a car and took a car full of items to Goodwill.

- I made a huge crock pot of vegetable soup for lunch for the exchange. We had a huge bowl leftover in the fridge for two additional meals and I froze two bowls for future meals as well.

- My parents were kind enough to bring dessert for the event so I just had to supply lunch.

- One of the families who come to the Junk Exchange has a daughter in Girl Scouts. She was able to sell quite a few extra boxes of cookies at the event.

- Mark's parents hosted a Super Bowl party at their house. We enjoyed sub sandwiches, purchased from a fundraiser put on by the Boy Scout Troop that Mark helps lead, and Kristi's famous chips and dip! We all had fun spending the afternoon together but left before the game began since it was a school night.

- Mark was off Monday and I was able to sneak out to lunch with a friend. Brandi and I always meet at Chicago's Pizza. Mark kept the kids so B and I actually had a full conversation! I was so thankful.

- The kids and I hand delivered as many Valentine's as we could to save on shipping. We are going to be traveling some this month so we did all of our Valentine's a bit early.

We are had a great week and I am looking forward to my Birthday Week next week!

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Frugal Friday 179

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

- Mark worked two nights at his part time job.

- Sunday I spent the day in the Louisville area on a Girls' Day with my best friend. We had so much fun getting coffee and talking, eating lunch and talking, and shopping and talking (we do love talk and doing it kid free was such a blessing!) I enjoyed a wonderful day for under $30.

- Mark's parents came down Sunday to spend the day with Mark and the kids. I made chilli in the crock-pot for lunch, instead of eating out, and Mark said they had a fun day playing together.

- Mark had to get a prescription filled. I used goodrx, and a coupon from the site, to save $11 and find the lowest price in town. I love using their site - especially in this case because the RX would have been over $30 if we had just used our regular pharmacy instead of price checking.

- Mark and I have committed to a healthier lifestyle this year. We are using the free sections of My Fitness Pal and earning money with our healthy choices through Achievemint.

- Tuesday we went to lunch with a friend. We took advantage of Kid's Eat Free Day (saving $9.98) and Cynthia shared a free appetizer coupon. Cynthia's husband is serving in our military and they will be moving in just a few short weeks. We have loved having them here and will miss them so much. If you have a moment, please pray for their family as they prepare for this move.

- We are working REALLY hard on picking up all of the toys every night. We became a bit lax about that last fall and I want to really get back into the swing of cleaning up every night.

Mr. O helping me vacuum. Thanks Bud!

We had a good week this week. Lots of changes in plans but I am thankful that I have been learning to adjust to things like that! Maybe I am finally getting older and wiser as I near 30 :) 

Happy Savings to All! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Looking back on my 20-29th Birthdays

This month I will turn 30.
The big 30!
How did that happen?!
I was just freaking out about turning 20!
I have had some fun looking back at pictures from my 20s and thought I would share one from each of my birthdays!
The girls on my floor threw me a "Over the Hill" party because I was so sad to see my teen years ago.
We played Apples to Apples and it was so much fun. 
Mark came down from Franklin to surprise me and we exchanged Valentine's. 
My gift to him was this silly blow-up octopus ring-toss. 
It was the octopus that started ALL of the octopus items since then. 

Out at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner with my best friends from college. 
Leah and Daniel saw me through SO much! I can never thank them enough for their support!

This was taken at my parents house. We went out to dinner with my parents and LucyAnne
for my birthday and Valentine's Day. This was our last engaged Valentine's Day. 

We moved into our first house just days before my birthday.
Mark had decorated the whole living room with balloons and streamers as a surprise. 
This was such a special birthday as we celebrated our new house as well!

I was about 6 weeks pregnant with Annabeth and SO SO SO sick :( 
I don't even think we went to dinner or anything. I got dressed to make my 
annual birthday picture and that was all.  

I love this picture! Baby Annabeth was so beautiful and wide-eyed. This was a lovely
birthday and Mark and I had so much fun getting Annabeth a sweet, little Valentine's Doll to
celebrate the day.  

We met at the Franklin Starbucks for lunch since Mark had to work.
I was so happy to just spend the rest of the day with my sweet little Nanners. 

We had planned to go to Evansville for the weekend but a huge snow storm came through.
 I refused to let go of going home for my birthday so we drove in the snow. The usual 3ish hour trip took more like 6. I am not sure anyone else thought it was worth it but I was so happy to be home!

I was about 24 weeks pregnant and was more than happy to eat about half
of that giant frosted cookie cake all on my own! We had just found out that #2 was definately a boy
and I was so thrilled to have a healthy, Owen Merit on the way! 

My last birthday in my 20s. Mark was gone all week, of course, so my family came up to
spend my birthday weekend with us. Mark got home late that evening and he and the kids surprised me with sweet, personalized gifts from Etsy.

I feel like life changed so much in my 20s. I started it in my second year of college and over the years I graduated, had and lost jobs, got married, had more jobs, and added Nanners and O to our family. I am so incredibly thankful for all of the blessings I received in my 20s and I look forward to where the Lord will take me in my 30s. Happy Birthday Month to Me! 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Frugal Friday 178

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

- The kids and I combined trips to save time and gas. Saturday morning we attended a birthday party in the Louisville area and then headed to Evansville for a long weekend. This was the best use of gas and time for the three of us.
One of the best parts of going home is cuddling with Uli Dog.
My family got Uli when I was just 14 and she is the very best, sweetest dog in the world!

- My parents gave me my birthday gift early. They gifted me with money to spend (only on myself) and watched the kids while I shopped! I was able to get a new dress and shoes for a special occassion we have next month. I also purchased a new pair of everyday shoes. After Owen, my feet went up another 1/2 size so many of my shoes no longer fit. I have been slowly buying all the shoes I need in the new size.

- We spent Sunday at my Momaw's house. She recently redid her china cabinet so my sister and I helped her with the last of the cleanout. We each took some items to use in our homes and then wrapped other items for a junk exchange I am hosting next weekend.

- I brought back 5 boxes/totes for the junk exchange from our trip down south. I have filled two boxes as well! I love hosting these events and hope people can find new uses for other people's items.

- A few weeks ago, I posted on Facebook that I am on the hunt for wire hangers for the upcoming Consignment Sale. Four people brought me some and I am so thankful! Thank you Ann, Dad, Cassidy, and Vicki!

- A family at work sent home a couple of bags on hand-me-downs for Annabeth. I took what we needed and passed the rest on to more friends. We love receiving and we love sharing hand-me-downs! Thank you Talley Family!

- I listed some more items for sale on Facebook. I have been trying to list a few things each week after seeing my friend Abbi (check out her blog at Proverbs 31 Living) do this. I am hoping it will encourage me to keep cleaning out and maybe even make a bit of extra money.

- We finally made it to Wonderful Ones Storytime for Owen again. Last fall I did not do a great job of going but have made it a goal to make sure he goes more often this spring. It was MUCH easier now that he is walking! He was really able to dance and play more.

We are looking forward to a great weekend celebrating our nephew's 5th birthday! :)

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Frugal Friday 177

Happy Frugal Friday!

Here is how we saved money/spent money wisely/made extra money this week:

- We had friends over last Friday for a play-date. We had all planned to meet at the Children's Museum but the incoming ice storm left us wary of traveling up north. So, we had them over for lunch and play. We made little homemade pizzas and the kids were able to get some of their energy out.

- Mark worked one night at his part-time job.

- We celebrated our 100th Day of School! I decorated with items that I purchased from the Dollar Tree using a gift card.

Celebrating her 100th Day of School
(We are a bit late on the celebration as we are actually 112 days into school)

- I committed to a part-time summer babysitting job. It will be just two days a week and we will enjoy having this friend of Annabeth's over to share our days with us. While I very much enjoy saving money to help with our budget, I also really enjoy the times when I am able to bring in extra income. This job will cover summer dance and swim lessons!

- Monday night we planned to eat out, Mark ended up being called into work. The kids and I stayed home and had leftovers. I had no desire to cook, especially when I thought we were going to have the treat of eating out for the first time in two weeks, but resisted the urge to spend money on just the kids and me. We can save that money for a time when all of us can go together.

- I purchased Girl Scout Cookies from two friends of Annabeth's. Since Annabeth's nut allergy makes it difficult to buy most brands of store-bought cookies, we chose the "Donate to a troop" option and donated  boxes to the military. Girl Scouts covered the shipping for this option and we were happy to help each of these girls work towards their cookie goals.

- We have not eaten out in the three weeks. We, like most people in January, are working on a healthier lifestyle and not eating out is part of that. I have had fun finding new recipes on Pinterest and we have been eating meat and veggies in ways that I would have never tried before.

- I got my PinchMe box on Wednesday and was SO excited! My freebies this month were a bottle of body wash, a 100 calorie snack, and a dish cloth. Those were all nice but I was SO excited that I also had a 8x8 photo book FREE code from Shutterfly! Woohoo!!

- I opened a Shutterfly e-mail and found a FREE 8x8 photo book offer in there as well! I am so excited as I am always working on projects!

- I purchased Annabeth her next size tennis shoes from Stride Rite online. I LOVE that they give Rewards members free shipping and free returns on all purchases. I was able to get the shoes for under $20 shipped plus I earned 4.5% back through Ebates!

We are looking forward to a fun weekend with a birthday party for a special 2 year old in our life and a short trip to Evansville/Owensboro for the kids and me. We are looking forward to seeing everyone there!