Friday, April 29, 2016

Frugal Friday 140

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- We enjoyed lots of time working/playing out in the yard. Mr. O ended up having to enjoy his time from the highchair since he was eating quite a bit of grass and mulch when left crawling :(

 Mr. O enjoys reading destroying the newspaper each day
He was looking at a story about school readiness - he's planning ahead for Kindergarten 

- We redeemed a FREE pizza offer from Papa John's.

- I shopped the Our Lady of Greenwood sale. This has always been one of my favorite sales as most items are $.50 and it has always been (until this year) very well organized and easy to shop. They were not as organized and I ended up not finding as much as ususal. However, what I did find were great finds! I found Annabeth 4 shirts she approved of, 4 shirts for Owen, 3T snowpants for Owen, and a 7/8 coat that both Annabeth and Owen will be able to wear since it is just red. My big find of the day was a neat hanging rack that we will use to organize dress-up clothes. I have been looking at these on Pinterest but they were more money than we wanted to spend on something like that. This one was $10 with all money going to OLG's work in Haiti -- that was the right price and cause for me!

Annabeth's new dress up rack.
She can hang her dresses, doctor coat, etc 
and then the box in the bottom holds hats, jewelry, and shoes.

- Sunday night Mark and I had an at-home date with DiGiorno pizza and a movie.

- Monday morning the kids and I went to vote early. I am so proud to live in a country where I have the right to, safely, vote. Praying that God honoring leaders will be elected and will serve our country and our Lord well.

- I dropped everything off for the spring Here We Grow Again consignment sale. I will have my sale totals late Saturday/early Sunday. So far, I am very far ahead of usual in my first few sale days!! Woohoo! My 30th Birthday Trip Fund will be so happy!

- The kids and I preshopped the sale Wednesday evening. I found just a few things that we needed. I found Owen 4 shirts and Annabeth found 2 dresses and 1 pair of gymnastics shorts. She also took along her spending money and chose a new toy. I helped direct her away from the worn, plastic toys and she chose a little wooden farm set. It is nicer than the plastic toys and I liked that it will be something Owen can enjoy too.

We are so thankful to have been healthy and much happier this week!
We are also so pleased that Owen has started to pull-to-standing! He is quite proud of himself (he cheers and dances for himself each time he does it) and so are we!

Reminder to our Indiana friends: Indiana Primary Election Day is Tuesday, May 3 - please make time to vote!

Happy Savings to All!

Thursday, April 28, 2016


When Annabeth was little, I found an IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis) shirt at a consignment store. I bought it so she could wear it for her Uncle Luke and Auntie Cassidy who were students at IUPUI at the time.

I had saved it back for Luke and Cassidy's kids but when I was pulling 2T clothes out for the summer, I remembered this cute little jaguar shirt, and decided that Owen needed to wear it too!

Annabeth, age 2.5
April 2014

Owen, age 10.5 months
April 2016 

Annabeth jumped in the picture too.
It's blurry because we were all laughing but I love it anyway!
These two give me such joy! 

Most of Annabeth's clothes have always been very girly, so anytime I have the chance to put Owen in something that she wore, I LOVE to do that! 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Frugal Friday 139

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Mark worked one shift at his part time job.

- Mark's parents treated us to lunch on Sunday after church. They also took Annabeth to see the musical Cinderella at Lutheran High School. Mark and I enjoyed a date afternoon at home with just Owen.

- I redeemed Gymbucks from Gymboree to save $25 on my order. I also took advantage of a FREE shipping day and went through ebates for 1% cashback! I love shopping Gymboree sales for the kids' clothes because they are cute, comfortable, and they hold up very well.

- Both Owen and I had sick visits and prescriptions this week (he had a double ear infection and I had a severe sinus infection) Because we budget and plan ahead for times like this, we are able to pay for doctors visits/medications without having to dip into savings or use a credit card (we don't have a credit card). Weeks like this are why we worked so hard to become debt free.

Owen has always posed so nicely for pictures,
but this week he decided to grab the camera every time I tried to take one.
I feel toddler-hood coming at a rapid pace!

 - Tuesday I paid for the car behind me at Starbucks. Tuesday would have been the 13th birthday of a young man named Jacob. Jacob was a member of our church and passed away suddenly last spring. His family asked our church to all complete random acts of kindness in his honor. It was my pleasure to honor Jacob and, hopefully, make someone's day a little brighter.

- Our friend Cynthia brought us tamales for lunch on Thursday. I had never tried them before but loved them. She brought enough for us to have lunch today as well. Thank you Cynthia!

We had a very low key week due to a sick baby and sick Mama.
We stayed home except for a few errands, to help friends, or to be there for friends.
We hope your week was healthier and more productive than ours!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Frugal Friday 138

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Mark worked for a friend doing yard work. Mark kindly treated us all to a sushi dinner with the money he made! :)

- Mark worked two nights at his part time job.

- Our state and federal tax returns came in. We added them to our savings account.

- My Mama brought up some special hand-me-downs for Annabeth. She brought my old leotards, a nightgown that Grandma Chico made me, and a nightgown that Mama, Lu, and I all wore as little girls. I am looking forward to Annabeth growing into these special clothes.

- Mama and Dad took home two pieces of wicker furniture from our school room. We had originally borrowed four pieces when we had our big front porch at the Greenwood house. When we moved here we kept these two but I have been needing to use our schoolroom space differently. The wicker was purchased by my grandparents when Mama was young. They have been moved around between family members for 40 years!

- Mark has been going through totes in the garage. He sent some cigar boxes and a big box of Civil War books home with my parents. They will either use them or pass them on.

- My March freebies came! I am so excited to have some really nice Olay samples for free! I loved the first lotion and am looking forward to trying the other next week. I also had 6 freebies to order that will come in my April box!

- A friend of mine sells Jamberry. She brought free samples to the kids' gymnastics class this week. I have seen the products but never tried them. They are so cute and fun! I splurged and bought a set for a special event in a few weeks. Are you interested in Jamberry and need a consultant? Contact Sarah.

This is the first time I have done my nails since Owen was born
It was a special treat and made me feel so happy! Thank you Sarah!

We are so thankful that sunshine and warm weather is on its way! We are looking forward to a busy weekend filled with lots of plans with family and friends!

Happy Savings to All!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Wacky Weather Weekend

This weekend was the only one that we had free and my parents had free between our mid-March and early-May visits so Mama and Dad drove up for a visit. We squeezed in quite a bit of fun despite the wacky weather we have been having here!

The four of us ate dinner and cleaned the house. We put the kids to bed on time and Mama and Dad got in after 9. The last hour of their drive was in the snow!! Crazy considering a few weekends ago we were running around in short sleeves!

Annabeth was VERY surprised to wake up and find Grandmama and Grandpa here! We had not told her they were coming ahead of time since they were coming in town late Friday night. She was so happy to have them here.
Mama had an errand for work in Bloomington so we all made the drive to enjoy the day in Bloomington.
We had lunch at Mother Bear's Pizza. It was delicious deep dish pizza and we all enjoyed that they allow you to write on the walls.
After lunch, we enjoyed the rest of the afternoon at the Wonderlab. I had heard good things about it but had never been. Both Annabeth and Owen really enjoyed the water tables!
 Water fun at Wonderlab
We had talked about walking Bloomington but it was pretty cold and windy so we opted to just head back home. We cooked out for dinner and had hot dogs and salad. Mama and Dad gave Mark money for a new grill for his birthday and we are enjoying cooking out. We have had a charcoal grill for years but it takes a long time to get hot and is not convenient for a quick meal. We are happy to have a gas grill for quick cookouts.
Mama and Dad surprised Annabeth with a Shopkins card game after dinner and they stayed up late playing.

Sunday we were able to SLEEP IN!! (This may or may not have been my favorite part of the weekend)
We had lunch at Tom's Pancake House.
Then home for Owen's nap while Mark cleaned some of the garage, Dad and Annabeth played outside, and I enjoyed a long talk with my Mama.
After naptime, we headed over to the high school for some kit flying. Dad brought up a kite that we had flown in Florida as kids. It was a fairly warm day but the wind was SO strong. The wind was almost too strong to fly the kite!
Last of all, we headed back to our neighborhood. Mama, Owen, and I made dinner while the other three walked to the playground. It ended up raining on them and they came home quite wet.

So in just 48 hours we had snow, cold, strong wind, and rain - wacky weather!
We were all so glad for time together and time outside!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Frugal Friday 137

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- My brother-in-law Luke is a 2nd grade teacher. He pays for some teacher websites and created accounts for Annabeth over Easter weekend. We have enjoyed adding some new computer lessons into school once a week. I am so thankful that we did not have to pay for these websites since Luke already uses them in his classroom.

- I ordered next year's school books from AOP. In April everything is 20% off so we saved $26.07 for next school year. This means we have officially committed to homeschooling Kindergarten next year!

- After I ordered from AOP, a friend pointed out that I had ordered an item separately that was also included in the box set. I was able to cancel that portion of our order and was refunded $40! Thank you Jeanette.

- I was able to purchase some other books for school next year completely FREE off Amazon. I earn Amazon gift cards by completing eRewards surveys.

- Annabeth has outgrown many of her princess nightgowns. I had added that item to my consignment/garage sale lists for this spring/summer. We found one for $2 at a consignment store this past week. She was so happy and so was I - princess nightgowns are very expensive new!

Thursday morning, I caught Annabeth reading her Frozen books
to Owen in her new nightgown. 

- We volunteered again this month to fill lunch bags for hungry school children in our town. If anyone local would like information about donating food or time to this cause, please leave a comment or message me for more information.

- I finished ALL of our consignment sale stuff!! Everything is tagged, hung, and organized for the sale! Whew! I am glad to have it finished.

- I trimmed Annabeth's hair at home. She is really wanting to grow it out but it needed just a little trim and shape up.

- Sunday afternoon we drove over to the high school and enjoyed riding bikes and walking their huge parking lots. Annabeth enjoyed being able to ride fast without the bumpiness of our neighborhood sidewalks.

- Monday night the porcelain on one of our toilets cracked. Mark went to Lowe's and was able to purchase and install a new toilet in under 90 minutes. We were also excited that it happened the night before heavy trash pick up day! We were able to put the toilet out for trash instead of having to take it to the transfer station where we would have to pay a fee. We were so thankful that we had the funds to purchase a new toilet and the know-how to do it ourselves without a plumber.

- I ordered Owen's first birthday invitations through Shutterfly. I had 10 free invites so I just had to pay shipping. Saved: $24.90

We had a busy week and have been able to get more and more projects done around the house.

We hope you all had a great, frugal week as well!

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, April 1, 2016

New Year's Resolutions: March Recap

Happy April!

It is hard to believe we are already a fourth of the way through the year. Time seems to be flying by! I am thankful that warmer weather is here so we can spend more time outside.

I did slightly better in March at keeping up with my resolutions.

My original goal was to make one or two new recipes a week, I failed miserably in January and February my finally got my act together in March. Annabeth and I had a lot of fun cooking and learning together!

- Annabeth and I made a gravity-defying cake for Mark's birthday on March 3.
- I made this honey garlic chicken crockpot meal.
- I learned to make cold-brew coffee at home.
- We had friends who eat a low-carb-diet over for dinner. I made this slow cooker zucchini lasanga. I am a carb lover so I was unsure about lasagna without noodles but it was really good!
- I made creamy portobella mushroom chicken from Homemaking Hacks.
- I made shrimp po' boys and they were SO good! Here is the recipe! This was my favorite new meal this month and it only took as long as it takes for the shrimp to cook (11 min)!
- Lastly, I made buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese. Mark loves buffalo flavor so this meal was for him

- I worked on getting everything ready for the spring consignment sale. Most of the money from this sale will go to the kids' savings accounts but I will also be keeping some for my 30th birthday trip fund.

- We had a few at-home date nights. We watched PBS documentaries and really enjoyed quiet time while the kids were sleeping.
- We REALLY hope to get out for a date in April! We know that we for sure have one afternoon of just us + Owen. Annabeth has a special outing planned with her Nana and PawPaw and we are looking forward to being the other three of us. We haven't done that since we were in the hospital with him. That being said, we'd also love a real date!

Frugal Friday 136

Happy Frugal Friday!
Happy April Fool's Day!
(While we are not big on April Fool's, on March 31, 2011 we heard Annabeth's heartbeat for the first time. We told our families that a baby was on the way that night and then the next morning, April 1, Mark posted the news on Facebook. We were so excited to finally be expecting that we didn't even think about it being April Fool's! We spent most of the day saying "No, really! We are!" to our coworkers)

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

- Mark was called in to his part time job one night and ended up working 8 extra hours there this week. He also worked one regular shift at his part time job.

- We made some big crockpot meals at the end of last week and enjoyed leftovers through the weekend.

- The kids have enjoyed lots of time playing outside and have also been enjoyed playing with some household items as toys. Annabeth loves to play with anything that doesn't seem like a toy and Owen loves to play with anything that Annabeth likes. We love watching them explore together!

"Cooking" that quickly became drumming as they added more containers and spoons. 

- Saturday afternoon we attended our church's free egg hunt and puppet show. Annabeth was mildly interested in the egg hunt but both kids LOVED the puppet show. Annabeth loves puppets and is very interested in ventriloquism and Owen loved dancing to the bluegrass music during one song.

 - We enjoyed Easter lunch and egg hunt at Mark's parents' house on Sunday. We all received beautiful Easter baskets and the kids have enjoyed playing with some new toys this week. They also sent home a huge container of leftover macaroni and cheese. Thank you!

Owen's 1st Easter!
I am so thankful for our sweet, snuggly boy!

Owen and Annabeth in coordinating Easter outfits.
A few weeks ago, I mentioned overspending on these outfits
but I felt like they looked adorable for Easter! I was also excited to hear
that our church is updating the directory this spring so we will wear these for those 
professional photos. 

- I over-bought books for the kids at Christmas. I saved back four of the books and gave two to each child for their Valentine's. I wrapped the last four for Easter but we just didn't have time to give them to them Easter morning. Since they received many new things, including new books, from Mark's parents we will save the books for each of their birthdays. This gives us a start on each of their birthday gifts and they are already wrapped! 

- I purchased two shirts for this summer for Owen. Carter's had free shipping + doorbuster prices + 2.5% back through Ebates. I was excited because he "needs" their sheriff shirt! 

- I worked hard on spring sale stuff and have ALL of our items tagged and hung for the sale! I also entered all of Jenn's items into the computer system and will hang and tag hers soon as well.

- I hosted a Younique makeup party online for my friend Sarah Stair who has just started with the company. Through the sales, I was able to earn one 1/2 price item and $22.70 in FREE make up! I got $66 of makeup TOTALLY FREE!!! If you are interested in Younique products and/or hosting your own party contact Sarah.

We had a productive week, checking lots of small projects of our to-do list and working on the spring consignment sale since the kids both had colds. I was happy to use up some indoor sick time wisely so we will have more time to play when they are both well again.

Happy Savings to All!