Friday, October 26, 2018

Frugal Friday 268

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Mark worked at his part time job and I worked my Usborne Book Business.

- Last Friday, Mark and Owen took a "Man Day" out. They ran errands and then Mark took Owen out for his first Barber Shop haircut. Owen LOVED it!! Annabeth and I stayed home and did a Girls' Day In - she asked to eat Chinese noodles, paint nails, and watch a movie. We had a wonderful day together.

- Friday afternoon we all drove up and met up with other Usborne Book ladies from around Indiana to drop off our cuddle bears and books at Riley Children's Hospital. Our team raised $4500 for bears and books for children at Riley and IU Health. I am so thankful that God has given me a business that I can use to bless others.

- Saturday Mark spent the day helping Luke and Cassidy with a project at their house. He was excited to use some new tools and to spend the whole day with his brother. I am thankful to be married to a man who loves to help others!

- While Mark was up north, my sister came to visit. We spent the day hanging out in downtown Franklin. We enjoyed lunch at Benjamin's (thank you for paying Lu), play time at the library, snacks at the Hoosier Candy Cupboard, and then I scored an awesome deal on leggings ($5/pair!) at Anna's Style Boutique! Since having surgery, my incisions are in places that make wearing all of my pants uncomfortable so until my stitches come out it'll be leggings for weeks!

Read-Aloud time with Aunt Lu at our local library

Visiting their favorite skeleton downtown at the JCPL offices

- My sister brought me five shirts and I traded her a pair of brand new leggings. I love having a sister who loves clothes like me! It's like having two closets! :)

- Since Lu brought me clothes, I did a quick sweep through my closet and got rid of at least five items. I am working very hard to stick to the rule that for every item that comes in one must go. It's helping me get rid of items that are not my size in exchange for items that are.

- Monday morning I cleaned out my sticker storage. I have had a HUGE binder of stickers since before we were married and its plastic has been cracking. I emptied the whole thing and recycled all of the pages that had stickers I would not use on them. Last year a friend gave us some magazine holders so I am using one of them for sticker storage now. I recycled the old, broken plastic one as well.

- I made a quick stop at CVS and got a $3 off your next order coupon printer. Went back later in the week to buy one item for a craft project and got it for FREE with the coupon.

- Tuesday evening my best friend brought us dinner. She had offered last week after surgery but I just wasn't feeling up to food or company. I am so thankful for her generous heart and for the extra help on Tuesday. I have definitely had a slower recovery than I had planned or hoped for.

- Wednesday we enjoyed a free storytime with a celebrity at our local toy store. Owen especially loved hearing a police officer read the hilarious "Wonky Donky" book. Thank you to Toodleydoo Toys and Franklin Police Department for this fun event!

Police Officer O rocking his cool man pose and shades

- I recently had an offer in my e-mail for a free little series on farm-to-table production for kids. I downloaded it and then Nature Nate's Honey Co. reached out to me and asked me to be on Nature Nate's Honeybee Team. They sent me a HUGE box of full size honey, a t-shirt, sunglasses, stickers, and tons of honey samples to share with friends! Thank you Nature Nate's Honey Co!

We had a very busy week back in our regular routine. We are looking forward to a busy weekend ahead as well.

Happy Savings to All! 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Frugal Friday 267

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Last Friday, a friend sorted out some books that had been donated to her homeschool and let us look through. I carefully chose just four - two for now, one handwriting practice book, and one for later. I am trying very hard not to save too much ahead but it's very tempting when the books are free!

- The kids enjoyed a special Starbucks date thanks to a birthday giftcard from Amazing Aunt Katie. Annabeth chose cake pops and also a bag of popcorn to share with Owen. Thank you AAK - they loved it!

- Marked worked at his part-time job and I ran a sale with my Usborne Book Business.

- We have been in the process of decluttering for years now, which might mean I need a better method, but I spent some time this past week cleaning out places I have skipped like under sinks, medicine cabinet, etc. It felt good to get rid of a lot of expired items and trash. Also, a reminder from our LEO family, please always dispose of expired or unused medications with your local law enforcement agencies for proper destruction.

- The weather turned cooler over the weekend. Saturday the kids and I enjoyed a Unicorn Birthday party for our sweet friend Harper and a fun afternoon of play at the library. Sunday after church we came home and the kids assembled their circus tent and played in it ALL day! I always know it's cold outside when they decide to play with the tent. It's always been our number one winter toy.

- Monday we ran up north and picked up Annabeth's new glasses. We are so thankful for vision insurance this year and how affordable it made her appointment and glasses. Thank you my dear friend Dr. Jenna Dale for being the best eye doctor ever! You are a blessing to us!

Second Grade Smile - New specs and missing front tooth

- I had surgery on Tuesday and am thankful to be feeling pretty good now. BIG THANKS to Mark, my dad, and Mark's mom who all came and helped this week. Mark did a big grocery trip Monday evening for easy food for everyone to prepare. This kept us from ordering in pizza or stopping for fast food. It saved us quite a bit of money from eat out food. Thank you to everyone for helping me!

Frugal Fail:
Owen loves to get into things and I failed to put my make-up away. He had a fun time destroying my eye-primer with a pair of tweezers while I was in the shower :( I am not a huge makeup person but what I do buy I buy nice brands and keep them nice for a long time. When I went to Clinique's website I was glad to see there was a nice "free" gift for buying a certain amount. I'll use those sample sizes when we travel.  And yes, I could live without it but I used Usborne money from this week to treat myself.

We are looking forward to a good weekend with family and a date day on Sunday.

Happy Savings to All!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Frugal Friday 266

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Last Friday, we celebrated Annabeth's 7th Birthday! In our house the birthday person chooses all of the meals of the day with the only rule being that only one meal can be an "eat out meal." Annabeth chose to have breakfast and dinner at home. Her eat-out meal was at her birthday party with friends. We met up with some of our favorite school friends at our local bowling alley for a unicorn-rainbow party. Our bowling alley is SUPER generous and allowed us to use a Fall Break coupon deal on our party. Instead of being the usual $139 party deal it was just $39.99 (shoe rental, lane, pizza, and drinks!) We also added the bowling pin for her friends to sign for $10. Thank you Hi-Way Lanes!!

- Friday we also gifted Annabeth her gifts from us. This year her "big gift" was a new bed and beautiful bedding set which we gave her a few weeks ago. I was able to give her some great Usborne books using my rewards and an adorable stuffed unicorn that I won from A GALIi on a Mission (thanks Susie!) Her wish-list was: JoJo Bows (a friend helped me get them through a co-op for just $3/each), Matilda Jane (I was able to get three pieces for $40 during sales this year - If you are a Matilda Jane fan I encourage you to shop with my Trunk Keeper Lauren Keeling ), and an American Girl doll. We don't think she is quite ready for a full size doll so we got her the Kirsten books (sourced used for $13 for all 6) and the Mini-Kirsten Doll. We love giving our kids the things they really want but also love saving as much money as possible so they can have the next fun thing as well!

- Saturday we met my family down at Apple Works for some pumpkin patch fun. It was 90 degrees and too hot and too sunny for most of us. My dad treated the kids to a quick train ride and then we headed back to Franklin for an afternoon dessert at the Hoosier Candy Cupboard. My parents also treated us all to dinner at Kumo for sushi where Owen and Annabeth ate more than the adults! Our friend at the sushi place surprised Annabeth with a birthday dessert. Our friend at the Greenwood sushi place was right, my kids are Asian!

- Sunday evening we had Mark's family over to celebrate Luke and Annabeth's birthdays. They each chose take-out food for dinner so Mark's parents brought Luke's and we supplied Annabeth's choice of Chicago's Pizza. Once she decided that, I hopped on Facebook and asked friends if anyone was selling the Chicago's giftcards as a fundraiser. We found a student who was and bought two from her. They are just $13 (less than the price of one pizza) so we didn't spend any extra per pizza but we were able to support her class trip.

- Our dryer broke, again, last week. It died about a year ago and Mark was able to work on it. It started this terrible squealing last again last week. Mark ordered a $32 kit and spent an evening fixing it. We saved the cost of a minimum $80 service call and/or the cost of buying a whole new dryer. I am SO thankful to be married to a man who can fix just about anything!

- I deep cleaned our linen closet since my Mama just brought us beautiful new towels! I exchanged a huge bag of new towels for a bag of ratty old towels. We plan donate them to our local animal shelter as they collect them for the animals there.

- Annabeth handmade all of her Thank yous. Some she painted and some she wrote on thank you cards that we had on hand. She also handmade glitter stickers for them. I am very serious about thank yous and insist that we all write them for all occasions. I hope that this means the kids will do the same even if I am not there to tell them to.

- Wednesday we had Annabeth's fourth, and final, birthday party with our best friends the Eblings. Rose and the boys came up for lunch, play, and one more birthday cake. Annabeth asked for roses, unicorns, and tie-dye and I made it happen!

Happy #7 Annabeth Sage!

- The absolute highlight of my week was a morning out with Mark, alone! My parents and sister took the kids to the park and Mark I went out to breakfast and then to coffee. We were able to have about 4 hours to ourselves to just sit and talk. We hadn't been on a date since March and it was much needed! Thank you all for keeping the kids for us!

We are all looking forward to a weekend of fun!
Happy Savings to All!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Her Favorite Number Seven

Today our Annabeth Sage is SEVEN!
Seven is, and has been for many years, her favorite number. She has been waiting since about her 5th birthday to be 7. She has decided this will be her best birthday and her best year!

I keep journals for the kids and in many instances these blog posts get printed and added as well. But this one, number seven, has been hard to write.

In so many ways, I have moved so far away from her actual birth-day. I have recovered as much as I think I ever will without letting go completely of the goodness and grace of God and His saving hand that morning. I still cry when she dances. I still sneak into her room to watch her sleep. I still stand in complete disbelief sometimes that she is mine, ours.

This year, Annabeth has asked alot of questions about her birth. What happened? Why did it happen? We even talked it over with our doctor together. She had some basic questions like "Why was I blue?" or "Why do we have pictures of Owen being born and not me?" and then some tough ones like "Did I go to heaven when my heart stopped?" and "Do you think I saw Jesus?"

We have been reading Psalms this year and a theme of Psalms is praising God everywhere, for everything, with all that we have. She said to me, "I want to use every heartbeat for Him." It was quietly spoken, on a sunny afternoon in our schoolroom. Just me and my girl and Jesus.

When I look at Annabeth I see JOY. I see such a passion for life and for people and for living.
When I see Annabeth I experience LOVE like no other. She is my firstborn, my first understanding of what it means to unconditionally love.
When I hold her, I am intensely aware of her seven year old body and how far we've come from that tiny 9 lb 1 oz baby. I remember waiting hours to meet her, holding her in the NICU, and trying to introduce myself while just sobbing. She was a tiny little baby, a mixture of my sister and Mark in appearance and I kept thinking, "Why does she look like Lu and Mark?! Why doesn't she look like me?" It was a foreshadowing as she is so much like my sister and so much like Mark!

I am so deeply gratefuly for each and every day with our Nanners,
our Monkey Monk,
our Miracle Girl.
Happy Favorite Number Seven!

Annabeth Sage, 7 months
How did we get to seven years so quickly?!

Frugal Friday 265

Happy Frugal Friday!

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

- Last Friday, after a "P is for pancake" dinner, the kids spent the evening building a blanket fort. I love seeing my kids work together on a project and do the kinds of things that we enjoyed doing as kids.

- Saturday, we enjoyed an afternoon in India at a local library. The kids enjoyed making some crafts, sampling Indian biscuits (cookies, and only Owen), talking with some Indian friends, and then getting their first Henna tattoos.

Annabeth went first and chose a turtle so naturally
"Me too" chose a turtle as well! This picture was before we peeled the henna off. 
They have lasted all week and the kids have loved showing them to people! 

- Saturday evening we had Mark's parents and Luke over for a pizza and ice cream sundae dinner. The kids loved running outside and then playing games with everyone. I am so thankful for such a great family! I especially love watching Luke with the kids - he is such a good sport even doing ballet with Annabeth! After they left, we all stayed outside a bit and did some stargazing.

- Mark, as he does every week, worked shifts at his part time job. I worked my Usborne book business as well. If you are thinking of buying books, I'd love for you to shop with me this holiday season!

- Sunday I picked up my remaining items from the consignment sale. I donate all of my toys, books, etc that don't sell as our sale owners give them to groups that support foster care families. I do bring my clothes back home though so I can reuse the hangers and safety-pins for the next sale. I divided up the clothing left and gave it to friends who had children in those sizes. Overall I earned $160 from the sale. A bit down from the past but I have sold many large items on Facebook this year and we had a $80 garage sale earlier in the summer.

- We got this month's PinchMe box in the mail this week. We got a free bag of coffee, free peanut butter, and a hair conditioning mask. Mark took the coffee to work to sample and share with coworkers, he and Owen enjoyed the peanut butte as a snack, and I loved the hair mask! Hoping for an Anna-Safe item next month for her to enjoy. Thanks PinchMe!

- I combined a store sale, Kohl's cash, and a coupon to get Annabeth's winter boots for $35 off. I do like to buy used and save the difference but I do buy the kids new shoes (with the exception of snowboots which they sometimes hardly wear)

Today we are celebrating Annabeth's seventh birthday and are looking forward to a weekend of frugal birthday fun!

Happy Savings to All!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Easy, Peasy Lemon Squeezy - Bathroom Redo

I don't like change. At all. Like not even a little. We moved into our house five years ago and painted the whole thing the same color yellow (except for the kids' rooms), matched everything in a decor theme of maroon/hunter green/yellow, and put the same floors in the whole house and I called it done. of our children, I won't name names, decided to climb the toilet roll holder in our hallway bathroom to see if she could hang off the shower curtain pole. That, of course, didn't work and it ripped a hole in the wall. Over time, the hole grew as her brother punched through the wall to throw things down in the hole.

Since we moved in that bathroom has had a monkey theme. Annabeth was one when we moved in and my Mama and I chose the cutest monkey shower curtain, hooks, towels, and bathmat because Annabeth's nickname has always been Monkey Monk. Even as the towels have become very worn and the bathmat unraveled, I have left it the same.

Then, in the same week Mark offered to fix the hole and my Mama offered to get us new decor for Christmas. I panicked! Change! No, not change! Let's not change a thing! Then I remembered, Pinterest! I hopped on and tried to see what we could do (especially difficult because our kitchen and bathroom counters are dark, hunter green) Within minutes I had found a cute lemon theme! Perfect! It matched my green counter and it is yellow so it matches my only real color interest!

I shopped a Hobby Lobby sale and Target sale for a new pretty curtain and some lemon items (all for $33) Mark changed out the outlets to bright white, painted our ceiling and vents a fresh white, and painted the walls a fresh coat of, you guessed it, our same beautiful yellow!

I am so thankful for his weekend of hard work to make our bathroom look basically exactly the same as it did before just with different curtains and wall decor! I love that he understands me so well and that we have a fresh, "new" room in our house.

Lemongrass wreath (Hobby Lobby clearance)
with lemons added by me 

If you have been over before, you might not even
notice the changes but I sure do love my yellow! 

Lemon print from Hobby Lobby 

Extra lemons from my wreath project displayed
in a vase I had on hand.