Friday, October 14, 2016

Frugal Friday 164

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Last Friday my sister treated the kids and me to a day at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis as part of her birthday gift to Annabeth. Annabeth saw an advertisement for the Doc McStuffins exhibit and has been asking to go for quite a while! She absolutely loved it! Aunt Lu made the trip extra special with a carosel ride! Thank you Lu! :)

- Saturday we took our car up north to get new tires. We have a place in Greenwood that we trust and like so we always try to go there if we can. Mark found a deal to get $70 off on Saturday and we'll get another $80 back with a mail-in-rebate.

- We received two checks from Lowe's from a rebate we mailed Labor Day Weekend. We painted the trim of our house and Annabeth's room last month. With the rebate, one of the cans of paint ended up being completely FREE!

- Mark's mom watched Owen for us on Sunday so we could enjoy the end of Annabeth's dance workshop without wrestling him. We treated her to a pizza dinner as a thank-you!

- I sorted our consignment sale leftovers into three piles. I was able to share things with three different families and was glad to not take really nice items to Goodwill.

- Last weekend, Mark cleaned out his closet. On Monday I did mine. I took everything out and dusted, swept, and mopped. I was able to part with 14 shirts (one was a Notre Dame sweatshirt that went to Owen's closet) and 3 pairs of shoes. I will let my sister and a friend go through everything and anything left will be donated. I do a deep clean of my closet twice a year and it always amazes me how much I can get rid of during each clean-out!

- We did not eat out/order in all week. Mark even came home for lunch. He usually spends a lot of his day out of the office so he just grabs something on the road. It was nice to see him and to save that money.

- The popcorn came in from Annabeth's dance fundraiser. She was able to sell enough to earn $28 towards her dance fees. This past weekend Annabeth also completed a two-day dance workshop. We are SO proud of her hard work and for learning three dances in just two days! Thank you to everyone who supported her dance through the popcorn fundraiser.

Showing off her Dancewerks Certificate!
She danced 13 hours and learned 3 pieces this weekend to earn that certificate!

- One of Mark's coworkers sent home a box of frozen cookie dough for us to enjoy. Mark and Annabeth had fun making some cookies together last night. 

- We shared some venison roasts with friends to empty out the freezer before the new hunting season starts in a few weeks. 

We had a great week and are looking forward to Annabeth's last birthday celebrations this weekend!

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Frugal Friday 163

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.

- I babysat for a friend.

- We celebrated Annabeth's birthday with Mark's family by combining it with Luke's on the first. Luke and Cassidy hosted the cookout and we helped bring sides and a cake for Annabeth. I made a homemade cake, which I haven't done since her first birthday, and enjoyed decorating it with her.

- Sunday we had a friend party for Annabeth. After looking at quite a few options, we decided that her first choice of her dance school was the most affordable. The dance school covers everything but food under one umbrella cost. They provide a one hour dance class, all of the decorations, paper goods, and party favors. It was very affordable. Annabeth and I made homemade cupcakes for this party. We did splurge on Shopkins (her party theme) cake toppers from Etsy.

 Thank you to Nana for the Shopkins shirt.
Shopkins bow by Emma's Bows for a Cure.

 - Annabeth had her followup eye doctor appointment on Tuesday. The good news is that her glasses are really helping! Her eyes are not having to work nearly as hard. We are so glad that we caught her vision problems early as she is SO much happier doing schoolwork! We resisted the urge to stop for lunch on the way home - a big accomplishment since we got home around 11:45 which is way past our usual lunch time and I still had to prepare the food. Both kids were quite grumpy but I was glad to save the extra bit of money.

- We made a quick grocery trip on Tuesday for her birthday foods. (In our house, the birthday person selects the menu for the whole day and I had been waiting on a recipe from a friend so we could do one shopping trip) We stuck to our list, no small feat in our amazing, HUGE, new Kroger!

- Wednesday was Annabeth's 5th birthday! She chose our activities and meals for the day. We enjoyed a Starbucks breakfast, playing at the "snail park," the kids had Happy Meals for lunch with "Auntie Rose" brownies for dessert, and then a restful movie afternoon. We did have our usual Wednesday evening of three hours of gymnastics/dance classes with a quick lunchable dinner in the middle.

Playing at Blue Heron Park 
aka "Snail Park" thanks to the orange snail toy there. 

- This fall I have traded out storytime with the kids. Annabeth went from 6 months - the end of PreK in her own, age appropriate storytimes. After Owen was born, I have just been taking him along to Annabeth's. As he has gotten older, it has gotten harder. He does not want to sit still through the longer stories and crafts. I decided this fall, I would switch and Annabeth would tag along to Wonderful Ones with Owen. He is so cute and happy with kids his own age! He loves all the songs and getting to hold him own board books! I am so thankful for our local library and all of their great programming!

We had such a wonderful week! We are loving the warm, sunny days!

Happy Savings to All!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Annabeth's 5th Birthday Shirt: Etsy Finds

Last spring I found Owen the cutest birthday shirt! I fell in love with Kinsey Collection on Etsy and decided to order from her again this summer for a friend's son Henry. When it came time for Annabeth's birthday, I knew I wanted a special 5 shirt and I wanted it to have some gold as well since it is her golden birthday.

I contacted Kinsey to see if she could do a gold lettered shirt. She worked with me to find the perfect pink shirt, the right gold lettering, and even changed my mind from all lowercase to all uppercase letters. I LOVE the final product and I know Annabeh is enjoying having a special birthday shirt again this year.

Working with Kinsey is always a great process. She responds to messages very quickly, completes orders efficiently, and has the cutest ideas!

 Cute Shirt on our Cute Girl
Celebrating 8:55 am the time she arrived! 

Our family was so happy to shop with this Christian, pro-life shop owner! Check out her about page for more information on the good work she is doing with a Women's Shelter to encourage expecting mothers.

*Unless otherwise noted I have purchased "Etsy Finds" items with my own money and do not have a personal relationship with the shop or seller. I also have not been compensated for my review or recommendation*

Golden #5

Today is our Miracle Girl's 5th Birthday, her #5 on the 5th, her golden birthday.

The weeks leading up to today have been so different than her previous birthdays.

In 2011, we had SO much excitement as we counted down the days to her arrival.
Then her birth day came. Our lives were changed forever.
I knew the greatest sadness and the greatest joy in a matter of hours.
I heard her heartbeat on the monitor, I heard it stop, and then was later told it started again.

Sobbing, meeting Annabeth Sage.
She was over two hours old and I was so excited to finally see her! 
Mark had gone to NICU with her and they, thankfully, had taken two little pictures for him to bring me as they sewed me up but I needed to see her, hold her to know she was going to make it.
I knew in that moment that she was a true fighter, so strong, and that God must have some 
HUGE plans for our girl. 

In 2012, I had recovered from two surgeries after her arrival and had just begun preparing for the third.
Her birthday came and I stared at that little one year old girl, not believing that we had all made it.

Birthday lunch at Einstein Bros Bagel
I love the "Birthday" on her shirt and the "Every Day" on the sign behind her! 
Yes, let's celebrate every day!

In 2013, we celebrated her second birthday with a princess theme.
Mark had to have princess as the theme and I think as much as she was his princess that day, she is even more so now. Mark and Annabeth have such a special relationship. I love to watch them together.

Celebrating with her GIANT princess castle cake.
Mark picked out this cake for her: 
if that isn't proof that she is Daddy's girl, I don't know what is!

In 2014, we celebrated with a Hello Kitty party.
She had picked the theme months before and we watched as she planned her whole party - she even included a seating chart. She was only turning three but we were getting a big glimpse into who she really was.

She loves parties and party planning but still gets a bit shy when all of the attention is on her.
She was so cute, being shy, while we all sang "Happy Tutu" as she called it that year. 

Last year, her birthday came after Owen's arrival. I had healed in so many ways, emotionally, after his birth and was able to feel less pain when preparing for her birthday. She chose a Deer Party during her third birthday party and kept that theme until her 4th. She was becoming so sassy and stubborn and, as from the beginning, strong.

Our beautiful girl, in her special Deer Party dress posing with Owen.
She selected his outfit for the day. 
Her love for him is so beautiful!

This year, for the first time, I haven't felt that overwhelming sadness as her birthday approached. I have been able to reflect on her #4 year as she calls it and have looked forward with joy to her "five birthday."

I will live the rest of my life as Annabeth's Mama. I will live my life in awe and in love with her. She is so incredibly kind to her brother. She is so in love with her Daddy. She is growing and learning so much - most of all I love her dedication to praying and studying the Bible with me daily. I feel so incredibly blessed to know her and to love her.

Happy Five Birthday - Golden Birthday to Annabeth Sage, my Nanners, our Miracle Girl


Friday, September 30, 2016

Frugal Friday 162

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.

- I babysat for a friend.

- Mark worked the South Side Parents of Multiple Sale. He made enough money to pay for Annabeth's birthday party next weekend. Well worth a few hours of work! :)

- Saturday night Mark's parents took Annabeth to dinner and a movie and she enjoyed a sleepover there. Mark and I ate a pizza dinner with Owen and watched the movie The Cobbler. 

- Mark's parents treated us to lunch out on Sunday. It was wonderful and Annabeth and I were able to enjoy the leftovers for lunch on Monday.

- We are now over 1/4 of the way finished with our school year - this means our schoolroom was a mess! We spent Tuesday afternoon working on deep cleaning the schoolroom. We sorted out all of her playdough items and reorganized them. We recycled half a bin of papers. We also took five boxes out to recycling. We now have a nice, clean area to learn and make messes in! :)

- Monday morning we headed to the outlet mall to get Owen new tennis shoes. We got a GREAT deal on his new shoes at Stride Rite: outlet store price + 30% off + $10 reward coupon making our total just $15.50! We had a gift card so we spent $0 OOP!

- I was pleasantly surprised by our good deal at Stride Rite and was able to buy some things for Owen to use the rest of his gift card he won at summer reading. I was able to get him 4 shirts at the outlet mall. Annabeth and I checked out a free shipping toy deal on Zulily and she chose a toy set for him and I found a good deal on some crayons (Owen loves to color!) to round out the gift card! We were able to get all of that for $0 OOP!

- I price matched an oil change and cashed in some WalMart Savings Catcher dollars to save $16.81 on our oil change this week.

- I ordered the kids' Halloween cards using a 10 FREE offer from Shutterfly. Saved: $24.90

- I turned in all of our items for the fall consignment sale. My sales goal is $300 for this sale. People often ask, "Are consignment sales worth it?" Well...they are quite a bit of work, but after doing a few each person develops their own organization and storage system making each sale faster and easier. I have made $1167 profit back in six sales. Not a fortune but that would have been ALOT of money lost if I had just taken things to Goodwill! I also regret not doing the sales sooner - the first two years we had Annabeth I just sold everything at garage sales and I probably lost a lot of money doing it that way.

Sheriff Owen and his trusty steed 
This cool bouncy toy was a hand-me-down!! 

We are looking forward to a great weekend and week ahead celebrating Annabeth's 5th Birthday!
Check back over the week for birthday fun and Etsy birthday finds! 

Happy Savings to All! 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Frugal Friday 161

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

***We had an AWESOME savings week this week! Praise the Lord!***

- I babysat for a friend.

- Mark worked one night at his part time job.

- I ordered Annabeth's fall/winter church shoes online. As a Stride Rite Rewards member, I always get free shipping. I also get free returns so if they do not fit, I can return them for free. By picking out just a few choices online, I can control the price much easier than taking Annabeth to the store. I was able to buy a pair that was under $25! We also earned our next $10 reward which I will use when we buy Owen his next pair of tennis shoes.

- Friday night we enjoyed pizza and breadsticks at Annabeth's favorite place, Pizza King Station, for free thanks to a gift certificate!

- I renewed our OnStar subscription for the year. I save $50 by waiting until right before it expires. Thank you to my Mama for that money saving tip!

- We purchased a cool old window for a project. We shopped at Madison Street Salvage and used our library card to save 15% - that deal is good through September 30. We spent just $20 for the window - it was less than that after the discount but we donated our change to their donation jar.

- My parents came to visit for Saturday and Sunday. They treated us to dinner both days and we did some shopping for the kids as well. We were able to spoil them some too - we treated them to breakfast from Tom's Pancake House and we took them bowling. 6 of the games were FREE thanks to a gift certificate. We just had to pay for two games and two shoe rentals.

Annabeth had SO much fun bowling!
This is one of favorite dates with Mark and I think
she really enjoyed having Grandpa and Grandmama along too! 
Owen enjoyed playing "score keeper" for everyone 

- A friend gave me four codes to get a FREE Finding Dory lantern from Kellogg's Family Rewards. I ordered the lantern and we will put it away for a Christmas gift.

- Our biggest and best savings of the week was SO EXCITING! A few weeks ago, I used our garbage disposal in the morning and it was fine but it went out after lunch. Mark did some trouble shooting and determined that it must have just been done :( I was so sad but that is a luxury and not a necessity so we have just been doing without one. Then, this past week, the light above the sink also went out. It had a pretty new LED light in it and we just thought that seemed too fishy that both were out. Mark went and spent $5.98 on two new switches, replaced the old ones, and the light and garbage disposal are now working again! This saved us over a hundred dollars!!!!!

We hope you all had a fun week saving money too!

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Frugal Friday 160

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- I babysat for a friend. Her meeting went over and she paid me more than I was expecting. The expected amount was added to Owen's savings and the extra was added to our offering for church.

- I tagged ALL of our items for the fall consignment sale. I am done a few weeks ahead of the drop-off date and it feels so good to have it done!

- Sunday we enjoyed a breakfast at church for first responders. The kids enjoyed seeing a fire truck that IFD brought over.

- I made a quick Aldi trip Sunday afternoon. We had received a $10 off $40+ purchase and I did not want that to go to waste! I bought all of the rice milk in the store and some extra gluten free items for Owen.

- On Monday, I helped a friend tag her items for the consignment sale. We also took over homemade cookies as a thank you for providing lunch for us on Friday as well as Monday.

Mixing her cookie dough.
She is to the point where I just read some of the recipe and double
check her measurements while she bakes.  

- Wednesdays we spend the whole evening at the dance studio as Annabeth has three classes and a 45 minute break. I have been packing dinner so we are not tempted to run out for fast food or to buy expensive treats at the studio.

- Mark attended a fundraiser Wednesday night. He won a door prize that included gift certificates for a service on a car, a free car wash, a nice set of flashlights, and some other freebies from a local car dealership. He also bid on and won a $40 value bowling/pizza gift pack for just $20. He was happy to support Kirby Cochran for Sheriff!

- We got another Zulily box and another freebie this week. This time it was a package of cat treats and a package of dog treats. I was able to give these to a friend who has dogs and cats. Jeanette had gave us a pair of ballet tights for Annabeth this week so I was happy to be able to give her something as well.

- Mark worked one night at his part time job.

- I took Owen to his first Wonderful Ones storytime. He has been tagging along to the preschool storytime since he was just a couple of weeks old but I haven't been taking him to his own. With Annabeth in Kindergarten this year, she will no longer go to storytime and we will take Owen to his own. He LOVED it! He was so so happy!

We had a wonderful week and hope you did as well!

Happy Savings to All!