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Tuesday
Sep092014

Our Impromptu Staycation and a blessing in disguise 

Sometimes the best moment happen when you least expect them. 

That is what happened to our family this weekend. It has been a stressful and overwhelming couple of weeks. Our family has dealt with some disappointments and setbacks. We're fine. There is no reason for anyone to worry, but we have been... in a word... exhausted. 

Then Friday night, after the kids went to be, our air conditioner died. 

Jason and I were sitting in the living room when we heard this terrible noise come from our outside unit... it was the sound of an old AC unit dying. 

The next day we called our landlord as the inside temperatures of our house crept closer and closer to 90. 

The AC repairman came out, poked around and announced that there would be no repairing our AC. It was dead. And it couldn't be replaced until Monday. 

Lately I have been lamenting about the fact that we do not yet own our own home. We have been working toward buying a house and looking at homes, but things have not worked out the way we had hoped. 

But here we were facing a broken AC and realizing... we didn't have to pay for it. It wasn't our dime. 

Our landlord called to check on us, apologize for the inconvenience and offered to provide us a window unit for the weekend. 

But I had a backup plan, I called my parents and asked if we could crash at their house while they were out of town. 

Then we loaded up our kids and drove 40 minutes to their house. 

My parents have a pool and cable television and a laundry room inside their house (no... my laundry room is not in my house. Total hassle. I know.). 

It was like a vacation! 

We made burgers

We went swimming in my parent's pool. We watched "Tangled" on the Disney channel. 

We took our kids to this local place in town where someone put dinosaurs in the woods. It's a thing... 

This break from a normal was just what we needed. We got to spend some quality time together and really enjoy one another's company. 

It was perfect. And when we arrived home on Monday the AC repair man was there... which made it even better. 

Has life sent you an unexpected blessing? Tell me about it in the comments below. 

Monday
Sep082014

Developing a routine you can live with 

For the first few months after Issie was born I wandered around my house in a daze.

Our house was always dirty, I could never find a clean spoon and meal times were hit or miss.

I knew I needed a change, but with a baby that didn't sleep and a toddler into everything, that was easier said than done.

Everyday was different, a new set of struggles, a different ball to juggle.

I thrive on routine. My kids thrive on routine. So I had to set some things I place to make life easier.

Finding a routine that works for you is paramount. For me it helps settle my mind and helps me just feel better.

1. Start the day with an empty sink. I try to load my dishwasher and have my sink cleaned and sanitized before putting the kids to bed at night, that way we start the day with a clean slate.

2. Make my bed. Okay, I cheat on this one. I hate top sheets... HATE THEM! So I just pull my comforter up and fluff the pillows. It takes 30 seconds and I can do it with a toddler rolling around in the bed.

3. Throw on a load of laundry. Each morning after breakfast I throw a basket of clothes in the washer. This way I can stay on top of the laundry before it piles up. It might not get folded for several days, but at least it's clean.

4. Plan to eat. I plan out our meals, all of them, in advance. I have a loose meal plan that I work with each week. This saves me time and money everyday.

5. Plan to dress. I also lay out my clothes the night before. Even if I'm not going to be seen I still put my clothe out so I can dress in seconds before my kiddos wake.

What is in your routine? Tell me about it in the comments section below.

 

Friday
Sep052014

Food Pantry Challenge: Using your coupons to stock your local food bank

Earlier this week I talked about using coupons to benefit our local food bank

I know budgets are tight, but I challenged each of you take $5 and your coupons and see how far you can stretch it. 

The response was great. One subscriber on my YouTube channel said she was even getting her kids involved, asking them to give up $5 from their allowance to help. Boy, did that touch my heart!

Another subscriber told me she works with FeedingAmerica.org and that September was Hunger Action Month. So great to know!

Each week I try to pick up a few things for our local pantry using coupons. I was really inspired to do this by Passionate Penny Pincher

She has talked about how her family designates $3-$5 each week to donate. And boy does she stretch those dollars!

Okay, so this is what I got as a part of my own challenge. 

Full disclosure: I went over $5 and ended up spending $6.50. I did this for a bag of oranges. I really wanted to send some fresh produce this week. 

Here is the breakdown of what I got and how:

1 jar Peter Pan Peanut Butter-  $2 after $1 off coupon

2 packs of Dole fruit cups- $.75 each after $.50 off coupon. 

1 pack Boogie Wipes- FREE after $1 off coupon 

1 bag of oranges from the farm market- $2.99

Total: $6.49. 

Leave me a comment below and tell me if you're getting involved in the challenge? 

 

Thursday
Sep042014

Deal Alert: FREE Boogie Wipes at Dollar Tree!

I found this pretty great deal at Dollar Tree today! FREE Boogie Wipes. With cold and flu season just around the corner these Boogie Wipes are a must have for your purse and diaper bag if you're toting toddlers anywhere. 

Here is the deal: 

Use this $1 off coupon  (coupon will be emailed to you)

Head on over to the Dollar Tree and pick them up! Now, you will probably pay taxes on them depending on your state, but it's still a great deal. 

 

Thursday
Sep042014

New Mom Care Package

 

Last week we talked about encouraging new moms. Earlier this week I took a friend a new mom care package. It was filled with stuff just for her. 

Care packages are fun to give and certainly fun to give. 

I used a bucket I had left over from my sweet boy's birthday party. These buckets were purchased by my mother-in-law's sister for $1 at the Dollar Tree.