Friday, July 31, 2015

Frugal Friday 102

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.

- Friends had us over for a play date and make us an enchilada casserole and rice for lunch. Cynthia sent home a generous amount of leftovers so we wouldn't have to cook dinner. Her girls also shared Mexican candy from their birthday party with Annabeth. We enjoyed trying the candy and learning about some of their birthday customs.

- I shampoo'd and conditioned my hair for FREE all week. I received a free sample to review online and also received free samples from Sam's Club.

- I bought ahead baby food combining a sale and coupon to get FOUR FREE! I just made sure the expiration dates were beyond when Mr. O will be ready to eat them.

- Saturday we went bowling as a family. Just Mark and Annabeth bowled and Mark took his own ball and shoes to save on the rental fees. The bowling alley even gave us the afternoon special (saving us an additional $4) even though it was only 11:30.

- I received a FREE gift from Shutterfly and used it to make and buy a place mat. We will give it as a Christmas gift. Saved: $14.99

- Tuesday night Annabeth and I made homemade pizza instead of ordering pizza. We were a little heavy handed with the olive oil so it was soggy but we had fun making it. She LOVES to be in the kitchen and insists on helping make every meal.

Dear Sweet Nanners,
Please stay little.
Love, Mama

 Standing on her "cookin' chair" 
(Please don't mind the broken crust. 
We had a dropped bag coming in from the grocery)

- I earned $10 credit on ThredUP through my referral link. Thank you to all those who have purchased through this link - we have really been blessed by our credit money and have been able to purchase many items for the kids!

We had a great week with playdates and pre-back-to-school fun!
Next Monday we head back to school for real! :)

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Pre-Back-to-School Week

Last year, I had a pre-back-to-school week before we started three day a week Preschool. It worked really well and helped Annabeth be very focused when heading into her first "real" year of school. This week I am doing the same.

This school year we will be beginning with Alpha Omega Publication's Pre-K series. It calls for a five day school week and since I would like to hold fairly close to the traditional school calendar (with 2.5 months off for summer) we will be attempting to do this.

This summer, especially with the arrival of Owen, we have had a very lax schedule. Annabeth has enjoyed lots of outdoor time as well as lots of art (she loves paint and playdough) and reading. We have been out of school since May 20 and so we have had lots of time to forget how to "do" school.

This week we went and cleaned up the school room together. We also got out three fun workbooks I had found in Target's $1 section and did some pages. We read books. We did puzzles. We discussed what the "rules" are for school time. We spent about an hour on school each day and I was very surprised to hold her attention so long as last year most school days were only 2ish hours. She has asked quite a few days this summer to begin Pre-K and I was glad to see that she is still so excited.

We even did a little mini-Moon Unit. One of her favorite books is On the Moon (an Usbourne book) by Anna Milbourne and Benji Davis. As a child, I always wanted to go to the moon so I love reading this book too. I decided to show her the video of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon and found this one on YouTube that discusses most of the points in the book. She did not really seem very impressed by the footage but I became a little teary eyed as the incredible accomplishment of a man walking on the moon played before me. It may have happened in 1969 but it is still incredible to me today!

We have both really enjoyed getting back into the school room for some formal-ish schooling. It has also been my test run to see how things will go having a newborn in the mix as well. Thankfully, Mr. O is still taking some good naps during the day and for now I plan to do school when he is sleeping.

Happy (almost) Back to School!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Frugal Friday 101

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Mark and I both cut our hair at home.

- Mark spent Saturday down at Scout Camp helping his troop tear down everything after a week at camp. He usually goes for the week (which costs money in fees and supplies) but this year he stayed home because we have Mr. O. I am SO thankful that he stayed as I am NOT ready to be home alone all week with both kids. Since he did not spend the night he did not have to pay to go.

- We ate dinner at home all week and only gave in to ordering out for Friday night pizza. We did cut down our order from pizza and sides to just pizza. This saved us $20.

- Annabeth and I hosted company on Saturday and Monday. We bought supplies to make Monster Cookies and made half of the batch on Friday and then made the second half on Sunday. This way we had nice fresh cookies for all of our company but we only had to buy supplies once.

- Saturday evening I made spaghetti bake and used up some pepperoni that was in the fridge as well as leftover garlic bread from lunch. We had leftovers for dinner on Sunday and Monday night and did not have to throw away any food on trash day (Tuesday).

- I registered for the Here We Grow Again - Indy South Sale which will be the first weekend in October. I have already entered over 40 items.

- We received a rather fancy advertisement in the mail. It was from an insurance company and shaped like a pizza box with a cardboard pizza inside. We aren't switching to their insurance but it has made a great toy for Annabeth's kitchen.

Cutest delivery girl I've ever seen! 

- Wednesday we met friends at the Greenwood Splash Pad for water fun and a picnic lunch. Annabeth loved playing with her friend and Owen and I enjoyed visiting with her mama and brother.

- A friend from work gave us a huge bag of hand-me-downs for Annabeth. It was two full loads of laundry and a huge blessing for the next few sizes! All of the items that were too small for Annabeth, as well as some items that there were duplicates of, went to friends of ours. We love to receive hand-me-downs and to keep passing them along as well.

We hope you all had a wonderful week!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Big Sis/Little Brother Shirts

Once we knew we were expecting, I began looking for Big Sister shirts. It turned out this must be the year of Big Brothers and Little Sisters because that was all I could find. I REALLY needed wanted one for our gender ultrasound because I knew I would wants pictures so I put a call out on Facebook. Our sweet friends the O'Neal family responded and gave us a really cute, glittery Big Sis shirt that their girls had worn.

On the day of the ultrasound, we went to the mall and purchased a "Little Brother" onesie and made Annabeth's picture with it. Those pictures because our social media gender reveal.

I realized, as I cleaned out Owen's 3 month clothing, that he has outgrown the onesie and so I crammed him in it (not buttoned but just shoved in his shorts) for a picture with Annabeth. I am so happy that I remembered because I love these pictures.

Big Sis revealing that we were welcoming a Little Brother!
February 9, 2015

"I told you he is a boy! He is my Owen!"

Sweet kisses and cuddles for her "Blue Eyes"
July 23, 2015 

 Giggle, giggle! "I kissed 'em!"

I feel so incredibly blessed to have two beautiful and healthy babies. To God be all the glory! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Frugal Friday 100!!

Happy 100th to our Frugal Friday Posts!

Many thanks to all of you who check in each week and encourage us in frugal living!

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

- I exchanged two outfits that had been gifted to Owen as they are too small. I was able to get four shirts and one pair of pants for just $.97 after that credit.

- We spent Friday - Monday in Evansville/Owensboro introducing Owen to my families. We were sent home with lots of goodies and we are SO thankful for everyone's kindness!

Annabeth enjoying a pizza picnic lunch at Momaw's 

Mr. O finally surrendered to his nap.
He was great in the car but not so happy being off his schedule while visiting people. 

- On the drive to Evansville both of the kids were asleep for a good portion of the drive. Mark and I had a great talk about some budget and financial goals for the next few years.

- I was excited to see that ThredUP now allows you to choose a school to support and 5% of what you spend goes towards your school. I chose Oaklandon Elementary School in Indianapolis as it is the school where my brother-in-law teaches.

- Mark worked a night shift at his part time job.

- Tuesday I had my 6 week postpartum appointment and Owen had his 1 month appointment. Luke and Cassidy graciously agreed to watch Annabeth for me since the appointment was going to be lengthy. We repaid their kindness by sharing dinner with them - Sloppy Joes, green beans, and other fruits and veggies.

- While in Greenwood for our appointment, I ran to Babies R Us and exchanged a box of Size 1 diapers for Size 2 diapers. I had bought them early with a double coupon deal and was happy that they price matched that for the exchange. I also saved on gas by combining the trip with the doctor's appointment.

We had a great week! Thursday the kids and I met camp friends for lunch and it was wonderful to see Brianne, Bethany, and baby Abraham. We are looking forward to seeing more friends over the next three days. I love summer travels! :)

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Owen's 1 Month Picture

When we had Annabeth, I decided that on each of her "month birthdays" during her first year I would take her picture. I chose a beautiful, cross stitched blanket made by my Grandma Chico for the pictures. It was a neat way to watch Annabeth grow and to showcase the beautiful blanket that Grandma made for Nanners.

When we learned that we were expecting Owen, I was very upset about not having a blanket made by Grandma (she entered the Life Eternal in 2013). My sweet Mama agreed to make Owen a quilt and so his month by month pictures are being made on a special, animal blanket as well.

On his birth day, June 2, Owen was 8 lbs 3 oz and 19 inches long.

Today, July 14, we went for his one month check up (@ 6 weeks) and he was 13 lbs 5 oz and 22 3/4 inches long! Mr. O has grown over 5 lbs and nearly 4 inches in just 6 weeks!!

Mr. O on his special Grandmama-Mimi made blanket
One Month Old
July 2, 2015

We thank and praise the Lord for Owen's growth and pray that the Lord would continue to grow Owen in size and heart. To Him be all the glory! 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Frugal Friday 99

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Friends sent a huge bag of hand-me-downs to Annabeth this week. We kept the ones that fit and then passed along the too-small items to another friend.

- I packaged up *sniff sniff* Owen's newborn and 0-3 month clothes. He outgrew them a few weeks ago but I have been in a bit of denial. I mailed them to a friend who is expecting a boy in August. It made it easier to pass them along to someone that I know.

- The kids looked adorable in frugal patriotic outfits to celebrate the 4th of July

- Monday evening, after mowing the lawn, Mark trimmed our cherry tree out front. It has grown to be very large and the branches were taking over the roof, gutters, and our front walk. I am so thankful to have married a handy man who can save us service calls from professionals.

- Mark worked two night shifts at his part time job.

- Annabeth enjoyed a week of swimming lessons - five 30 minute one-on-one lessons for just $50. To take group classes at our city pool it is $65 and to take one-on-ones it is $100! The classes are very expensive and quite early in the morning. I had heard that the pool was generally cold and that often there were too many kids for the class. Many parents also said their child(ren) spent a lot of the class waiting on the side for other kids to swim. After asking around I was referred to a gal who does them at her home and at that great price! Abby was extremely patient and I loved being able to sit in the quiet shade with Owen. The family was also very welcoming and allowed me to change Annabeth in their bathroom so I wouldn't have her wet in a swimsuit in the carseat. Annabeth loved Miss Abby and the whole swimming experience and I loved what a wonderful deal I got!!

First Day of Swim Lessons!
Cute tutu swimsuit was a hand-me-down from her friend India

- Annabeth completed summer reading at our library and earned a free book

- I signed up for Huggies Rewards and entered codes from diaper packages we had received as gifts for Owen. Annabeth is allergic to all diapers but Pampers so we were very excited we found that Owen can wear Pampers and the less expensive Huggies!

We had another cool, rainy week here. Is it April or July?!

Happy Savings to All!!

"Buy used and save the difference"

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Frugal Patriotic Outfits

I love themed outfits and was very excited as the 4th was my first holiday to dress both kids in themed outfits.

Owen's "Red, White, and New!" oneise - $1.99 from Crazy 8
I bought this on clearance in November from the baby boys section.
I figured if #2 was a girl I could add a tutu and bow to make it girly.  

Annabeth's American flag dress from Goodwill  $1
I found this dress two years ago on 50% off Saturday and knew that I "had" to have it for her. 
Owen's "My First 4th of July" flag onesie was a gift from my sister Lucy

I have promised Mark that beyond Owen's first year I will not do a great deal of theme holiday dressing or matchy-match dressing with Annabeth because Mark says that is not for boys.
I have also promised myself that I will not force Annabeth to wear these outfits once she is old enough to not want to any more.
Until then...I plan on enjoying finding them and saving money on them as well! :) 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Frugal Friday 98

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- I FINALLY found a water table for Annabeth and Owen. Annabeth has always enjoyed playing with others' water tables but I had set a goal of only buying one if I could find it for under $25 since she already has a little baby pool (which was free thanks to a grade-school friend of mine). I happened to see a deal at Kohl's on the water table - it was on sale for $39.99 + 3 online codes = $56.30 savings. I added a $10 gift card to save even more. I was able to purchase it AND have it shipped to the house for just $17.40! I also ran the purchase through ebates for 3% cash back. Saved: $66.30

"Wow! Look at my big mail Mama! I love this!!"
She was so excited when UPS brought this to our door!

- Mark worked Saturday at a friends' house cutting down and trimming trees. Made: $100

- We went out to dinner on Sunday to celebrate Mark's Great Grandpa Bob's 82nd birthday. We used a $4 off $20 coupon to help cover the cost of our dinner.

 Owen wore his Sheriff onesie from the SD Rileys to ceberate
Great Grandpa Bob's Birthday. 
Bob is a retired County Sheriff, Mark is a current Sheriff's Deputy, and the man
in the red IU shirt behind Mark was the Sheriff that hired both Mark and myself. 
Who knows, in 21 years, Mr. O may be wearing a real Sheriff's Badge. 

- Annabeth and I baked a double batch of these chocolate chip cookies for a playdate we hosted on Monday and a playdate we went to on Tuesday. We also took strawberries to share on Tuesday's playdate.

- I ordered Owen's first month of pictures from Sam's Club Photo. To pick up prints in store they are $.14 each but to have them sent to our house they are just $.08 each. This meant that they were less, even with shipping, to come to the house! It saved me a drive to Greenwood and the temptation of buying other things while at Sam's. It also was $1 less than picking them up in store.

- I earned a $10 credit on ThredUP thanks to a friend signing up through my referral link.

- I ordered myself two new shirts (in my post baby size (smaller than before O!)) from ThredUP using credit. I was able to save $33.02 off retail prices and paid nothing for the two shirts and shipping.

We hope you have all had a wonderful week as well!
We pray you will have a safe and happy holiday weekend celebrating America's Birthday.

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"