Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Labor Day Weekend

Happy Tuesday!
Hope everyone had a nice long weekend and got to enjoy what I consider the 'official' end of summer.

Unfortunately, we didn't have the greatest weather over the weekend - lots of rain - so we didn't get out to do as much as we wanted, but that's ok.  We did manage to go to the park for a bit though - so nice that it's only a block away!




Most of our time was spent unpacking the remainder of our luggage from vacation, in addition to some cleaning and tidying.

We did manage to get together with some friends though on Sunday and had a nice little cookout.  I made a 7 layer salad (thanks mom for the recipe :) and it was a big hit, so I will definitely be making that again sometime soon.




We also managed to go for a bike ride yesterday, but ended up getting caught in the rain on the way back.  That was quite the adventure and we all got soaked.  Reese didn't seem to mind too much, and we plopped her in the bath as soon as we got home anyway.  At least it was a warm rain!




Did you do anything fun over the weekend?


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Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Favs!

Can't believe it's Friday already!  Since we were on vacation, my days are all out of whack, so yesterday felt like a Monday to me.  But now it's the weekend, and a LONG one at that, so YAY!
Hope you all have an awesome 3 day weekend and get to spend some quality time relaxing :)

Now let's get on with this post!



1. Miss Reese
Lately, she's been putting more and more words together, like 'rock, Mommy' or 'hi, Daddy' and it's the cutest thing!  My favorite though has to be 'I love YOUUU!'   It's the sweetest thing and I can't get enough :) 



2. Nashville
Now that I've finished the 3rd season of Once Upon a Time, I started watching Nashville, and it's my new favorite show.  I love country music, but even if you don't, I still highly recommend the show - it's a great drama.



3. Princess Etch A Sketch
Ever heard of this girl?  She creates amazing art with an Etch A Sketch; I have no idea how she does it.  I recently stumbled across an article on Disney Parks Blog and had to share!  Check out her renditions of both castles - they're amazing!




4. Birthday Cake M&Ms
You might've seen my instagram post yesterday, but if not, you MUST check out the new birthday cake m&ms!  Normally when I see birthday cake flavored things, I think yellow cake/cake batter type.  That's not the case with these- they taste like CHOCOLATE cake!  So, so good - now I must go buy myself another bag! :)

Cocktails & Carseats

5. Blog button 
Remember to check out the button swap area of my page up top.  If you're interested in swapping blog buttons, please let me know!  


Linking up with September Farm



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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back to Reality | Time & Money-Saving Tips

We're back!

Sorry for the short hiatus, as we were on vacation this past week.  I had great intentions of getting posts up while we were gone, but you can see how that went :)  Vacation was great, and I'll have lots of upcoming posts recapping everything, plus various traveling tips and other fun things.

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For today though, I'd like to talk about how our family 'shaves' time and money in everyday living.
Being a mom is a lot of work, and I'm always looking for new ways to save money, and especially time, since there's so little of it these days.  Recently, I was inspired by Dollar Shave Club, which is a wonderful razor subscription company.  For only a few dollars a month, you receive brand new razor blades every month.  No more forgetting them at the store - they'll just show up at your door! :)  I highly recommend checking them out when you get a chance - this would make a great gift for your hubby!

I was asked how I personally 'shave' time and money and I came up with the following list:



Saving Time:

1. Meal planning  
I never used to do this regularly, but as of a few months ago, I now meal plan for the week.  Every Sunday usually, Scott and I talk about what we want to do for dinners, and I keep track of it on my phone.  This way, we both know what we're going to have, and whoever gets home first can start cooking.  I can't tell you how many times in the past we hemmed and hawed over dinners, only to waste valuable time, and then end up eating something not so satisfying. (ramen anyone?)  Meal planning is definitely an essential part of our weekly tasks now.

2. Getting things together the night before
This is another fairly common solution, but getting our snacks, lunches, work bags, and diaper bag ready the night before really helps with the morning routine.  Mornings are always hectic and rushed and getting everything together the day before really helps to not forget anything that morning.  We try and do this every night, but that doesn't always happen.  When it does though, it definitely makes a big difference in the a.m.!

3. Shopping online
I don't know about you, but I love online shopping!  Probably about 75% of our overall purchases come from an online store, so this definitely helps in the time-saving department.  Shopping from my phone or on my computer at home saves SO much time, since it eliminates driving to the store, browsing the aisles, and waiting in checkout lines.  I do still enjoy that occasionally (especially in Target!), but I will happily order something online any day of the week.  



Saving Money:

1. Budgeting
One of the ways we save money in our house is by setting a budget.  Every month, Scott plans and writes out a budget and we do our best to stick to it.  We then know how much we can spend on groceries, household items, and other miscellaneous goods.  Sometimes we go over, but having a set amount really helps with extra spending and whether or not we can really buy that 'gotta-have-it' item.

2. Splitting meals
We don't go out to eat all the often, but when we do, Scott and I often split meals.  Now with Reese, we usually order an extra side item, since she's not quite big enough for kid's meals, but we do still split everything.  Not only does this save us unwanted calories, but it helps with the expense of eating out.  We probably started doing this a few years ago, and now it's just the norm for us.  Neither one of us has allergies and we aren't really that picky, so it works out great for us.  Plus, we usually just end up full, instead of uncomfortably stuffed :)  We do always make a point to tip our waiter/waitress though as if we'd had two meals, since we don't want to penalize them for our choice.

3. Shopping at Aldi
If you haven't been to an Aldi store, I highly suggest to get to one!  We've been shopping there for years, and I can't even imagine how much money that has saved us during that time.  Their prices are great, and I actually really love not having to decide between 10 different cake mixes, or 6 brands of soup.  We do still occasionally go to the mainstream grocery store when we want something specific, but for our main staples, we stick to Aldi.  Definitely check it out!


What are some of your favorite ways to save time & money?


{Disclosure: this post was inspired by Dollar Shave Club, but I was not compensated in any way.  All opinions are my own.}


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Thursday, August 21, 2014

I want to ride my bicycle...

Last weekend, we got our bikes out for the first time in 4 years.  

4 years!  

A little sad that we haven't ridden them in that long, but Scott recently got a bike seat from a co-worker, so we were able to take Reese out too.  She was a big fan!  We put her 'hippo hat' on, and strapped her in, and she loved every minute.  The first time she went, she cried when we took her out of her seat when we got back home.  



We went on a few rides - first to fill up the tires with air (rather important), and then to the grocery store.   We had to stop for ice cream on the way back home too :)


We live in a fairly small town, so taking bikes (instead of walking or driving) makes things so much easier!  Plus we get exercise in and get to spend more time outside - gotta soak up the sun before that icky winter comes.  


Scott and I totally came up with the best idea when we were out riding too...
bar hopping with bikes!  No clue why we didn't think of this years ago, but I think it's a great idea :)  Now we just need a babysitter for a night...



Happy (thirsty) Thursday!


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Blogiversary!

Today's the day!

I have been blogging for one year, here on this site!

This little blog started a year ago today and I wasn't really sure what direction I wanted to go in.  Mainly I wanted it to be an online scrapbook of sorts, while also giving me a 'hobby'.  Back then, no one really read it, which is why if you look back at some old posts, there are no comments :)  Since that time, I've made a few changes, both in design and focus, and have met some fabulous people along the way.  I'm happy to call many of them friends, even though we've never met in person.  To show my thanks, I've listed some of my favorite bloggers below, so be sure to check them out when you get a chance!
 

Courtney @ Sweet Turtle Soup

Amy @ Keepin' Up with the Smiths

Elizabeth @ Chasin' Mason

Jenny @ The Chronicles of We

Lauren @ Lauren's Glass Slipper


(There are many more blogs that I follow and love, so please check out my sidebar for more great reading.)

Thank you all so much for reading and know that I appreciate every one of you, and each time you comment.  I have many fun things planned for this next year, so stay tuned!


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