Friday, October 30, 2015

Frugal Friday 115

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- I continued my 30 day clean out.

- Last Friday our Homeschool Group took a FREE trip to a farm. The kids were able to grind their own corn, feed chickens, ducks, and goats, took golf cart rides, and played on swings and in a sandbox. It was a beautiful fall day and we had so much fun!

-  Saturday we enjoyed our church's FREE Trunk or Treat celebration. 

- I donated samples of formula that we have gotten to our church food pantry.

- I received FREE feminine hygiene product samples in the mail.

- I turned in Annabeth's fall fundraiser form to dance. Thanks to purchases and donations Annabeth will have $42 of her costume fee covered. Thank you!!

- We enjoyed a FREE Halloween storytime and trick or treat at the library.

Annabeth went as Elsa to trick or treat at the library.
Thank you to Auntie Rose for the beautiful dress!
She colored her ghost blue and named him "Owen."

- Annabeth and I baked cupcakes with homemade buttercream icing for Mark's scout troop Halloween party. I love baking with Annabeth and she loves pretending to be "Pinkie Pie" from My Little Pony. She enjoyed tagging along to the scout party as well.

- While in Edinburgh for lunch, thank you to Miss Teri for treating us!, we headed to the Stride Rite outlet with $15 in savings. Annabeth does not need any shoes in her current size so we bought ahead in tennis shoes. When I went to check out, the computer showed an additional $10 savings offer!!! We were able to get the next size tennis shoes for just $16 OOP!! Woohoo!! Saved: $25

- I sold an item on a Facebook garage sale page. Since the item was Owen's, I added the money to his savings.

- I purchased paint and pumpkins for our Homeschool group Halloween party that we are hosting. I used a gift card to purchase some of the supplies and only spent $9 OOP for the pumpkins.

We had a busy but great week! We are really looking forward to our Homeschool Group Halloween party today and Halloween tomorrow!

Happy Halloween and Happy Savings to All!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

30 Day Clean Out: 20 Day Check In

I am now 20 days into my 30 day clean out.

Here is what I have been getting rid of:

Day 11:  I cleaned out the top drawer of Annabeth's dresser. I got rid of 32 items! 20 items went to our "donate" box, 3 items I will try to sell at Once Upon a Child, and all of the remaining (9) nice items went to friends as hand me downs. Annabeth has grown so much this summer that all of her tights and winter gear do not fit. Thankfully friends could benefit as some tights were still in the package.

Day 12: We spent the day out in the yard. Mark took out 4 little bushes - all little scraggly, strangely placed bushes. Mark also took out some bricks and rocks around a tree. I took 4 boxes and 1/2 a tote of paper to recycling.

Day 13: 8 books from the bookshelf - 3 were so torn up they will just be recycled and 5 will be donated.

Day 14: We took 59 items to sell at Once Upon a Child. It felt great to get all of those things out of the house! Everything we did not sell, we donated.

Day 15: I went through my wrapper paper (non Christmas) tote. I got rid of 13 items. I parted with crunched up/ripped bags as well as unrepairable bows. If you know me, you know that I love my three totes of wrapping paper and that it is hard for me to get rid of things in them! I am a bit afraid of becoming a gift bag/tissue paper/wrapping paper hoarder! I also moved 2 pairs of PJ pants and 2 hats of Mark's that he does not wear (Notre Dame and UofL items in great condition) to Owen's grow-into-tote. Hopefully he will enjoy them in many years!

Day 16: I cleaned out the junk drawer in the kitchen. I threw away and recycled lots of junk! Now we don't have to dig to get to what we actually need to use.

Day 17: I spent the afternoon cleaning out our records. I pulled 1 diaper box of things to shred as Community Shred Day is this upcoming Saturday.

Day 18: I took 6 items from the kids' drawers and moved them to the sale tote. I also moved 1 of my shirts to the donate box.

Day 19: I moved 12 more items from Owen's dresser into the sale tote. (Owen is gaining an average of 1 lb every 10 days so we are going through his clothes REALLY quickly!)

Day 20: I photographed and listed 20 items for sale on Facebook Garage Sale Pages. Here's hoping that they sell!

20 Day Item Total: 263 Items (that is 63 over my 2 week goal!!!)

Even though we have cleaned out 263 items I still feel like we have SO much stuff! I am looking forward to really cleaning out some more things in the final 10 days of this project.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Frugal Friday 114

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.

- I received a FREE roll of paper towels. I was sent them to review so along with the free roll, I will also be compensated through eRewards for my review.

- I continued my 30 Day clean out.

- One day I cleaned out Annabeth's dresser. I found 9 items that one of her friends could use. We will pass them on this weekend.

- We spent Saturday getting the yard ready for winter. Mark took out quite a few shrubs as well as some bricks and rocks from around the trees. The yard looks SO much better. I cleaned the kids' water table really well and found a place to store it in the garage for winter. I don't want to crack this winter outside in the cold.

The kids playing on Annabeth's baby playmat.
We gave it to friends for their two boys and we are borrowing 
it back as we currently have the littlest baby.
We love to trade things around!

- Friends dropped off four vintage Boy Scout books for Mark. He collects old scouting items and these were a great addition to his collection.

- Owen and I shopped at Kohl's for his Christmas gift for Annabeth. We found two things for him to get her and I finished out her stocking items. Combining a sale + $15 Kohl's cash we saved $43.80 and spent just $6.61 OOP.

- We went to Mark's parents on Sunday after church. They served lunch and snacks all afternoon which was wonderful! It gave us an extra meal this week from our meal plan.

- Our energy company came and put an energy saving box on our air conditioner. We should see a difference next summer as well as a $25 credit on our next bill.

- I ordered a Christmas gift from Shutterfly using a coupon code. I only had to pay shipping on the item. Saved: $24.99

- Our friend Cynthia brought over homemade empanadas - pineapple and milk filled. They were delicious! We always enjoy trying new recipes from her Mexican culture.

- I mended one of Annabeth's house slippers and one of her leotards.

- I received a payout from ThredUP. I had sent unsold items from the fall consignment sale. By selling them to ThredUP, I made an additional $7.50!

- I found baby food Buy One, Get One Free with a coupon. I added it to Owen's growing stash. (He is currently only nursing as his little belly did not do well with rice cereal or oatmeal)

Frugal Fail:
- Monday the kids and I drove the 30 minutes to Once Upon a Child. They, are under a buying freeze on the sizes that I had, we only made $3.38. NOT worth the drive or time! :(

We had a busy week and another week of just me and the kids at home and Mark at work. I am so thankful for the little bits of family time that we do have.

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Friday, October 16, 2015

Frugal Friday 113

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- We ordered Owen's toy for Christmas from Kohl's. I went through Ebates to earn 6% cash back. I purchased the toy on sale + 20% off coupon + $10 Kohl's cash + Free shipping to instore pick up. I would have saved over $15 on retail price BUT the store ran out of the item. I was refunded my money and Kohl's Cash PLUS they gave me an extra $5 gift card for the inconvinience.

- We went with my family to Goebel Farm to get our pumpkins. We have gone there every year and I now love sharing it with Mark and the kids. Annabeth and Owen painted their pumpkins on Tuesday. It was great fun!

My little pumpkin painters and their finished pumpkins. 

- My Mama cut and colored my hair for me at home.

- Mark and I cut his hair at home.

- We did a mini-grocery trip and my best deals were FREE Kroger wipes with coupon and 82 diapers for $8! This made each diaper just $.09!! Saved: $12

- Wednesday we met Rose and her boys in Columbus to play at the FREE playground at the Commons. We did splurge and go to out to lunch.

- We had Luke and Cassidy over for dinner. We did a Mexican night. We provided chicken/peppers/onions, rice, and tortillas. They brought chips and queso! It was delicious, we had a great visit, and enjoyed leftovers the day.

- Thursday the kids and I stayed home and had a no-spend day. We did not use anything except for energy around the house which we are careful about consumption. When Annabeth leaves a room she says, "Lights out! I don't want our 'lectricity to run out!"

- Mark worked 3 nights at his part time job.

- My Momaw had sent up a HUGE amount of paper supplies - cards, stickers, gift tags, etc that she gets free in the mail. I organized it into my card holder and gift wrap totes and then all items I will not use I will plan to save to give out to others. I recycled any items that could not be used.

We had a busy, busy week! I am glad to see this empty weekend ahead of us on the calendar!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Thursday, October 15, 2015

30 Day Clean Out: 10 Day Check-In

I am 10 days into my 30 day clean out.

Here is what I have been getting rid of!

Day 1: 15 items of Annabeth's clothing shared with younger friends at her dance class. 9 onesies from Owen handed down to a coworker along with their Welcome Baby gift.

Day 2: 10 items cleaned out from my make-up bag. I got rid of old mascara, eye liner, etc that was way beyond when it should be used. I also cleaned out a few lotions and things that had just tiny amounts left.

Day 3: 18 winter maternity and kids items sent to ThredUP. 3 large cardboard boxes and 1 tote of paper taken to recycling.

Day 4: I cleaned out the car to prepare for our weekend trip. I had 1 bag of grocery trash, 17 items to recycle (coupons and papers it's not like I had 17 water bottles in my car!), and 1 tote of toys to return to the house to put away.

Day 5: Out of Town

Day 6: Out of Town

Day 7: Out of Town

Day 8: I cleaned the last 10 maternity items out of my closet. No, I have not been wearing them but I have just not made the time to clean out. I had cleaned out all of the items I had borrowed the weekend before I went in to have him and then had just left the rest until now. It made a lot of extra room!

Day 9: I cleaned 15 summer items out of Annabeth's dresser for the Spring Sale tote. Items that will fit again next year went into her closet tote.

Day 10: I cleaned out a ton of paper from the schoolroom and took it to recycling. I did not count actual pieces but it did feel good to get rid of a TON of paper!

Total Items Out in the First 10 Days: 100 Items
I was glad to have matched my goal!

Thoughts on the First 10 Days:
- I just wrapped up the fall consignment sale so I had already sorted items that need to leave the house. This 30 day project pushed me to actually donate and sell the leftover items in a timely fashion.
- I knew I was going to be out of town over the long weekend for Columbus Day so I tried to make up for those days' goals (30 items over the 3 days) by getting rid of extra each day leading up to the weekend.

Target Clean Out Areas for the Next 10 Days:
- Annabeth's top drawer of her dresser (not gone through in a year! eep!)
- The Coat Closet
- Craft Supplies

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Boy Mama

Many warned me, none I believed, about being a Boy Mama.

I thought before Mr. O was born "I love Annabeth so much. I will never, could never, love someone the way I love her. We are best friends. She reads my mind, I read hers. She is my everything."

Then Mr. O came. The boy mamas were right. There is something about the way a Mama loves her son. It is totally different than the way I love my daughter. It is an equal love, an amazing love, but a totally unique love.

"You'll be... 
his first friend,
his first kiss,
and his first love.
You are his Mama 
he is your little boy."
"I'll love you forever.
I'll like you for always.
As long as I'm living,
my baby you'll be."
- Robert Munsch
 "There never has been, nor will there ever be,
anything quite as special as the love between a mother and son."
 "And she loved a little boy 
very much
even more than she loved herself."
e.e. cummings

Friday, October 9, 2015

Frugal Friday 112

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- We had great fun celebrating  at Annabeth's Deer Party. Be sure to check previous posts for all of our frugal party fun!

- The fall consignment sale wrapped up. I exceeded my goal of $250 profit. Once the check comes it will be divided into four categories: 10% for church, check to my sister-in-law for her portion of the sales, money to savings, and money to a special savings*

- I divided my leftover items into three categories. I took a tote of things to Annabeth's dance class on Tuesday morning and let other moms take whatever they wanted, all of my unsold boy items will go to Once Upon a Child to help buy the next size for Mr. O, and all of the eligible items will go to ThredUP for credit on their site.

- We let Annabeth choose all of the activities on her birthday. She chose to eat breakfast and lunch at home and just wanted to play at the park. We did enjoy a sushi dinner for her big birthday meal. I was thankful that she chose free fun and loved it just as much as some expensive outing!

Opening her birthday gifts from us.
All of them, except for her big item, were purchased with Zulily credit from referrals. 

- Tuesday I started my 30 Day Clean Out. Keep checking back for updates!

- This week's Preschool Storytime had a special visit from a firefighter. Annabeth enjoyed the stories but was afraid of the man in the fire outfit. It was a great class for littles and a good way for them to see that the firefighter behind the "scary" mask is a safe person.

- We enjoyed LOTS of time outside as we had beautiful weather this week! We were so thankful for sunshine and some warmth. We especially enjoyed playing with friends on the cul-de-sac. Thank you O'Neal Family for the invite to tag along!

- I mended one of Owen's onesies.

- I ordered 10 free cards through Shutterfly. Saved $19.90

- Our neighbor kids were having a garage sale during their fall break. We walked over and Annabeth found three small toys - including a My Little Pony - and I found a Halloween Mickey Mouse shirt for her (this was a great find because Owen has Mickey Halloween PJs and she has been envious of them) All for $1. At home, Annabeth chose three small toys to get rid of since she found three. I added $1 to Owen's piggy bank since we did not find any items for him.

We hope you have had a good week as well!!

Happy savings to all!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Deer Party Favors and Invitations

In the middle of Annabeth's 3rd Birthday Party, she announced "Next year I will have a deer party!"
Everyone laughed, how cute is she?
While Annabeth is cute, she is also determined and focused, and so 364 days later we had her deer party.

Not long after her 3rd birthday party, I made a "Deer Party" board on Pinterest and began hunting for ideas. One of the ideas was to use the book Bambi as a party favor. The idea stuck in the back of my mind and in the spring Annabeth and I were in Dollar Tree and they had Bambi in the book section. I dug through the books and found enough copies to use as favors. I used a gift card to buy them so they were totally free!

Mark and I were out on a date one night, wandering Target, and Mark found this deer dress on the clearance rack! She looked adorable in it!

Later in the spring, Mark and I were at Walmart and we found cute little wooden deer. I knew I had magnets at home leftover from a project and so we bought the wooden deer and make them into personalized magnets for each child party guest. Just $.29/deer.

About a month before her party Annabeth announced that she wanted to have a coloring station with deer pictures for her and her friends. I printed deer pictures off the internet and we melted down old broken crayons to made tie-dye circle crayons to use at the party and for kids to take home as favors.

I looked up invitations and was shocked at the prices! Since we needed fewer than 10 invitations and most everyone throws them away,I hated to spend a great deal of money on invites. In searching Etsy one day, I found adorable little deer cutouts. I decided that I would hand-write the invitations (remember we needed less than 10) and just add a little deer in the corner. Annabeth chose the pink deer and we ordered them from PurpleSakana. We ordered the pink confetti deer in 2 inches. We ordered them on a Friday afternoon and Monday afternoon they were in our mailbox. The little deer were adorable and printed on high quality pink cardstock. The seller, Joice, even included 8 free pink deer stickers to match!

Annabeth wanted yellow plates, napkins, and forks which we purchased for $5 at Dollar Tree. Since we had not spent much on party favors or paper goods I decided to try and find some more deer items on Etsy. I found these adorable pink deer cups on SweetKaity's Etsy shop. They are so cute and also high quality.

We usually decorate the mantle for her birthday parties since she opens her gifts underneath it. I used our chalk board tablet and a little pink deer to make her 4 sign. I used the "A" from her room decor and our Sage box alongside her stuffed animal Fawn. I was glad to use things from around the house as it was free and, I think, more special than store bought decorations.

As strange of a theme as a deer party was, I did have fun looking for unique deer items!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

30 Day Clean Out: Intro and Goals

30 Days. 300 Items.
That is my clean out goal for the next month.

My Mama had pinned a house detox plan and I thought "I need to do that!"

Originally I had planned to do it in November since November has 30 days I thought it would be an easy month to keep track of the days and a good way to clear out some stuff before more comes in from Christmas.

Then, last night in the middle of the night, I decided why wait? I might as well begin today.

My goal is to get rid of at least 10 items per day for the next 30 days.

I will keep track of what I get rid of and what I do with it here on the blog.

I will check in on the 10 day, 20 day, and finally the 30 day mark.

I am anxious to see how much I can get rid of by donating, giving away to family/friends, or selling!

Feel free to join me and leave your plan and results in the comments. I would love to hear your ideas and encouragement!

Check back on October 15 for my 10 day update! :)

Monday, October 5, 2015


Today our Sweet Nanners, our Anna Baby, our Annabeth Sage is 4 years old.

How did this happen? Where did the time go?

Annabeth is incredibly kind. She seems to always be thinking of others - especially her friends and Owen. She will often say "remember that ____ is sick or remember that _____ has a baby in her belly, let's pray for them!" She loves to shop for people's birthdays and she loves to make crafts for people as well. She always seems to know when I need a word of encouragement or when I just need someone to hold my hand.

Annabeth is silly. She loves to dance and act out stories. She is currently obsessed with all things Halloween and is always telling "scary" stories. She loves to make up her own songs. She really loves to make silly faces in an attempt to make Owen laugh.

Annabeth lives life moment by moment. She reminds us daily to find the joy in little things. She loves to catch butterflies and loves to stop and look at bugs and animals. She is amazed by simple things.

Annabeth is an incredible big sister. We have not seen many moments of insecurity or jealousy after Owen's arrival. She likes to check on him. She always thinks of him and tries to include him. She is his biggest cheerleader and fan. The day he rolled over I think she was more excited than Mark and myself combined. She will yell, "Look! Owen is ______! Good job Big Boy! Good job!"

 Annabeth is a wonderful daughter. She works so hard to be helpful and obedient. She enjoys cooking and helps me prepare nearly every meal. She runs to greet Mark with hugs and kisses. She stops in the middle of the day to pray that "Daddy come home safe."

Annabeth is an inspiration and a miracle. She is here, she lives because of the grace of God. Her delivery is, I pray, the darkest moments of our life. We are thankful that her shoulder was not permanently injured, we are blessed that there was no brain damage or damage to her heart, and we are constantly amazed by the goodness of our God. In Annabeth's life, we are constantly reminded of His grace and His faithfulness.

We do not have any idea what the future holds for Annabeth but are comforted by the fact that the Lord knows exactly how He will use her (Jeremiah 29:11). We pray that she will strive to seek His will in all that she does. We pray that she will be a light for Him (Matthew 5:16). We pray for as many days as the Lord sees fit to give her.

Happy 4th Birthday to our Miracle Girl.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Frugal Friday 111

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Annabeth and I melted old broken crayons into cute, circle, tie-dye crayons. We will use them as part of the party favors for her birthday party this weekend. Check back next week for a full party decoration and favor post! :)

- Saturday we had a Family Day. We watched "The Muppet Movie," enjoyed playing at the library, and treated ourselves to dinner out for once.

- Mark chose two movies at the library and he and I had an at-home movie date Saturday evening.

- Mark and Owen wore coordinating polos to church on Sunday. I found Mr. O's for $.50 at a consignment store.

 My handsome boys. 2/3 of my heart. 

- I dropped off our items at the consignment sale. The sale runs through tomorrow. By Sunday morning I should have my sales totals. My goal is $250. We will see...

- Monday Annabeth and our friends the Gomez Girls helped shoot a commercial for our local toy store Toodleydoo Toys. The girls spent an hour playing with toys while being filmed. They had a lot of fun plus it was a neat experience.

- Mark worked one night at his part time job.

- I found two BIG hair bows for baby girls while cleaning out my closet. I sent them to a grade school friend who just had her first baby.

- I took a garbage bag of clothes from Annabeth and Owen to Goodwill.

- I pre-shopped our consignment sale and came in under budget. I spent just $39. Annabeth selected two skirts and a shirt/skirt outfit from her size. She "could not" like any of the other items so I didn't have to spend much at all for her. She also chose a baby doll high chair for her Baby Zoe - just $2 and it was Disney Princess! I found Owen 4 pant/shirt outfits and 2 single shirts, and one one piece outfit. I was happy to find a Thanksgiving outfit that might fit (I hope!!) and a Christmas shirt to replace the 6 month one I had bought for Christmas that he has long since outgrown.

- Mark did the grocery shopping for Annabeth's birthday party and the next two weeks. We received $11 off next order coupons! Woohoo!!

- I received my flu shot for FREE through Mark's work. In the past, Mark has gotten it free through work and Annabeth has been free through insurance but last year I had to pay for mine. I am glad to get it for free.

- We enjoyed a pizza dinner out using a gift card. We bought the gift card from a neighbor boy who was selling them to earn money for a class trip. So it wasn't really a "free" dinner but we were glad to help out our neighbor.

Frugal Fail:
- I was not paying close enough attention when checking out at the consignment sale and I received too little change. I came out $14 short and didn't realize until I got home :(

We had a great week getting lots of work done around the house and are looking forward to celebrating Annabeth's 4th Birthday this weekend. Be sure to check back next week for lots of Birthday Fun!

Happy Savings to All!

"Buy Used and Save the Difference"