Posted on Leave a comment

A Reset for 2019

Where do I even begin this post? 2018 was both the best year and worst year of my life…

Let’s start with the good before getting to the bad and how I plan on changing things up for 2019…

The Great Moments

Baby Evelynne

What can be better then adding our baby girl Evelynne into our family! She is the happiest, easy going baby that lights up the room with her smiles and giggles. Every morning I look forward to my good morning kisses and snuggles with my baby girl. This was one of the 4 best moments of my life when she was born at 2am on January 1st.

A New Car

For years, I have been driving beater cars because I couldn’t afford to finance a car plus my credit score was crap. Doug’s credit wasn’t much better but we need to improve his score so we can purchase a family home for our kids. After many attempts at purchasing a new truck for Doug, he decided a safer car for the kids and I would be better for everyone. The timing was perfect because we have been dealing with tire issues, motor mount issues and other issues with the car which seemed to increase by the week lately. A Facebook ad popped up an older Lexus, fully loaded, in amazing condition with low mileage which intrigued Doug to put in an application to finance the car. 10 days before Christmas, I drove home my Christmas gift! She’s a beauty and I love my new car aka Roxy! (Who else names their cars?)

Cricut Maker and Easy Press 2

Another early Christmas gift that my husband gave me was the new Cricut Maker and Easy Press 2 so that I could start my shirt and bag portion of my business. I have been wanting/asking for a cricut for years and this new cricut maker is AMAZING! I mean there is nothing this machine can’t make though I am still learning how to work many of its features. Plus, the Easy Press 2 has made making dancers and dance mom shirts and bags SOOOO much easier!

Now for the bad..

Did He Cheat?

Evelynne was 2 weeks old when I received a random Facebook message from someone I didn’t know. This wasn’t uncommon since I am always selling things on Marketplace so I assumed it was someone looking to purchase something. The first line flipped my whole world upside down and changed who I am forever. This random girl with a made up Facebook name told me in the span of 7 messages that my husband was having sex with her, not wearing his wedding ring and she paid our recent cellphone bill. I confronted my husband who denied cheating and says he didn’t know who this girl even was but suspected it had to do with his ex. His excuse was that this girl was setup by his ex that he gave me a little girl that he didn’t give her. I sat in my bed, holding my newborn baby girl and just cried. The past year has been a blur of depression and anxiety because I just function the best I can until I end up in tears or having a panic attack.

As for this random girl, Sunshine as a first name is more then likely made up to hide her true identity though I later found out her real name and where she lives. My husband doesn’t know how much I found out about this person.

Writing this has the tears flowing like it happened minutes ago. I don’t know if the pain of this will ever go away which whether he did cheat or not, Doug doesn’t understand why I can’t just let it go and move on. How do you just let something like this go when it is a he said/she said situation but certain details scream out at me that this random girl shouldn’t know!

Yes, I chose to stay in my marriage and keep my family intact for the time being to give my husband the benefit of the doubt. It has NOT been an easy task when some days I want to scratch his eyes out and somedays I want to hide from the world and just cry. We are supposed to be working on our marriage which seems to be a lot of hot air from him but this will be part of my blog in 2019.

My Mom’s Diagnosis

For as long as I can remember, my Mom hasn’t felt good. She has seen many doctors and received different diagnosis as to what it could be but they just didn’t seem to fit all of her symptoms. Finally, this year we received the answers that have been sought after for over 20 years… she has an autoimmune liver disease called PBC. This disease will eventually require her to have a liver transplant. My mom having it makes the females in our family highly susceptible to ending up with it as well. I did some testing and I have the markers but so far my liver bloodwork has come back as normal. This is will be a future post that I will explain more about the disease and squash the assumptions because people hear liver and think alcohol.

No Health Answers for Myself

What’s so frustrating is that my mom got her answers finally and what I thought was my answer, anemia, was not my answer at all. With my pregnancy, my iron and ferritan levels were so low that I had to see a hematologist and start on infusions. The hematologist told me that all the symptoms that I have been living with for years was due to undiagnosised anemia that my body was reacting to like my arms and legs randomly going numb, the spots in my eye, the fatigue, the pure weakness I feel all day, everyday etc. With our new insurance, I had to see a new PCP which ran an extensive amount of bloodwork, only to find out that now my iron levels are fine and just see her back in 3 months. 3 more months of pain and exhaustion while caring for a toddler and running a business? UMM HELL NO! I need and want answers not just live with all of this and see her again in a few month. WTF why don’t doctors care enough to try and find answers anymore?

The Bad parts of 2018 could go on and on with our being forced out of house we had been renting for a few years because someone else bought it and didn’t know the laws in our state for buying a rental property to the mounting medical bills to the slow restart to my handmade business. I don’t want to be a total Negatve Nelly so I am going to stop here with the bad

Reset for 2019

I am a self admitted, self help book Audible junkie and fell in love with Mel Robbins book “The 5 Second Rule” this year. It really has helped motivate me to try new things and even push past the pain I am in to get things done. I was super duper excited to see that Mel is starting a new program in 2019 called #mindsetreset which will help get your mind out of the gutter its been in and reset into something you want your mind and life to be. I need this to get out of my funk and depression.

I want so much more out of 2019 like a successful business, a healthy body, loving marriage and happy family. Even if these things don’t turn out the way I want, at least I can say that I tried. I can’t wait to get back into blogging and track my progress in my life. My blog will be more about chatting about my life as a mom, an entrapreuner, a wife and a woman. I would have loved to continue showing off my cooking/baking/crafty side but when something becomes so overwhelming that you shut down, it is not a right fit for the moment. I love talking and relating to other women that could be going through the same struggles that I am going through because we are never alone.

If you want to join in on Mel Robbins’ #mindsetreset check out her website: Mel Robbins Mindset Reset

I look forward to chatting with all of you in 2019!

Advertisements
Posted on 23 Comments

Crunchy Mom in the Works

am I a Crunchy Mom_

It is my first official post back since my hiatus and so much has changed in my mom world that I need to catch you all up on! From starting Evie on foods to changing to cloth diapers to Danyella going back to public school! Not all of these will be talked about today but I can’t wait to talk about Evie’s World (singing Elmo’s World in my head because it is on repeat in our house!) with this first post.

What is a Crunchy Mom?

Have you heard of the term Crunchy Mom? I heard it about a year ago when I decided to start blogging more consistently and was surprised at the meaning. In my mind, a Crunchy Mom was some who wasn’t always nice, told it how it was and didn’t hold back. Boy was I wrong!!!

By social definition, a Crunchy Mom is a mom who loves to baby wear, uses cloth diapers, breastfeeds, makes everything from scratch (think soaps, sprays and anything else that you can buy at Walmart!), co-sleeps, feeds her family all-natural and organic everything and no electronics for kids. Its is pretty determined kinda mama. What I thought was a Crunchy Mom is actually a Salty Mom!

I give those Moms so many kuddos for being able to do all of that and keep their sanity! It is definitely a committment to a Mom’s kids and family to be a Crunchy Mom. That kinda dedication is one that I wish I could say that I want to have for my family but the reality is completely different.

I have started to walk down the path of the Crunchy Mom but not yet ready to get in the car and drive down the Crunchy Mom highway…

Here is what I do that counts as a Crunchy Mom:

I kinda breastfeed…. well Evie wouldn’t latch correctly so I have been pumping everyday, every 3 hours since she was 2 weeks old.

Both Doug and I baby wear and are proud baby wearers! I started off with the K’Tan wrap and then we have moved to an Infantino soft carrier. My goal is to one day own a Tula or Lillebaby carrier! We take Evie everywhere in her carrier but she loves our Sunday morning nature walks the most.

About a month ago, our diaper supply started to dwindle down to 2 packs left. We are super grateful for the diapers that we received as gifts that lasted us the first 6 months of Evie’s life but the cost of diapers is just too much for my blood and wallet. In my mom’s group, there are some cloth diaper moms that show off these cute baby bums with their diapers. I decided to try a 4 pack of the pocket diapers and inserts and have loved it. Yes, it is a learning process of where the snaps work the best and when to double up on inserts for overnights. I can’t wait to start buying more cute designs to cover my Evie’s little bum!

Co-sleeping…. yes Evie and I co-sleep because this is the only way I would get any sleep and survive the day. Since Evie outgrew her Rock N Play, she won’t sleep in her Pack N Play and would cry all night until she was sleeping next to us. Add to the fact that Doug works overnight, so it is all me at night. Life is easier when she sleeps with me. I did this with Danyella and I plan on moving Evie to a regular crib one day but right now this works for us.

All natural Mama right here! I was doing this before the term Crunchy Mom was a thing because Danyella had severe skin allergies. I learned how to make my own soaps and lotions from scratch (no melt and pour soaps here) to know exactly what was going onto Danyella’s skin. This is where my body product line was born. With Evie, I have been steaming and pureeing all of her foods. We a slowly starting to eat little pieces of food that I make her like pancakes and other yummy foods. Evie is my little foodie!

What I am not doing as a Crunchy Mom:

If it is on sale or a good deal, then I will buy organic but if it’s not then my family gets what they get for food to eat. I am definitely not going down the organic road because it doesn’t fit into my budget.

As I said early, Sesame Street plays on our TV all day because Evie loves Ernie and Elmo. Yes, I am one of those moms that lets her kids watch TV so that I can get something done during the day. Having a husband that works at night and most days works before he goes to his night job and finds a couple of hours to sleep, I am home with the kids 24/7 which can be so hard to get things done. Danyella is a big help with Evie but she will be going back to school in a couple of week. Then it will be Evie and I all day which if Elmo helps her stay occupied for a few minutes so I can wash dishes and clothes or write this blog post then I will take it until she wants to play with Mama again.

I kinda laugh because I am more than just a Crunchy Mom but I am a Dance Mom, a Salty Mom, a Baby Mom, an embarrassing Mom (according to the tween daughter!) and a million other names to call me as a Mom. What kinda mom are you?

Posted on 9 Comments

5 Kid Friendly Summer Activities That Won’t Break the Bank

5

Don’t break the bank this Summer trying to keep your kids occupied and entertained. Here are 5 activities that will get you and the kids out of the house but won’t cost a lot of money. Bonus points for the air-conditioned activities to keep you cool while the kids are having some fun!

**Please note that I did not receive any compensation or anything in return for the suggestions and links that I provided. This is just helpful information from one parent to another parent or caregiver.

Fly a Kite: Let’s go Fly A Kite, Up To Its Highest Point… yes I totally had to sing that for you! On a more fun note: kids love to accomplish things and feel that wonderful feeling of doing it. Flying a kite can be a challenge that you can both do together because it requires getting that kite up in the air and keeping it up there. On a really windy day, flying a kite is a fun activity and you can find kites at walmart for $5.

Visit Your Library: Another great place to stay cool and keep the kids occupied is your local library. Both our local library and county library hold summer programs for free or a small fee. The local library has a reading program that the kids have different activities that they need to accomplish every week, bring the sheet to the children’s librarian and prove they accomplished these tasks. Then they get a sticker and small prize. They also get entries into a larger weekly prize or the big end of the summer prize (last year was a gift card and a tablet). Our county library holds different crafts and other activities throughout the summer which the kids love to make and take home.

Watch a movie: I mean go to the actual Movie Theater and watch a movie in their air-conditioned facility. The Regal Movie Theater hosts $1 movie days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10am throughout the summer which is awesome on the budget. The movies are all kid loved movies and some are from the current year. This summer they have Paddington 2, Despicable Me 2 and 3, Sing, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Trolls, and a bunch of other awesome movies. Here is the link to see the schedule for the one closest to you: Summer Movie Express

Visit a museum: Many museums either allow kids in for a discounted amount or free as an educational encouragement for families. We love to go into New York and visit the Met which has suggested rates but kids under 12 are free and students with an ID can pay what they can which being an adult college student, I qualify for which is great. Check out museums near you and see what they offer for kids/students/families.

Local fairs and events: The town next to ours has a free Music in the Park one night a week. We can take a blanket or chairs and snacks or they sell snacks and ice cream for $1-$2. It’s nice to watch the sun go down while listening to a local band that’s kid friendly plus we support our local bands.

What free or budget friendly activities do you have planned for the Summer?

Posted on 11 Comments

When Your Child Loses Their Passion For Something They Love

oatmeal cookies (1)Does you child have something that they love to do more than anything else in the world? Playing a sport? Creating art? Reading books? Participating in an activity like boy/girl scouts? Have you ever experienced your child lose their passion for this activity?

This past week, I have experienced Danyella telling me that she doesn’t know if she wants to dance anymore. What the What?? This must be someone else’s child because my child would NEVER say this about dance but she did.

Here is some background story about why this is so unbelievable to me….

Since Danyella was little she LOVED to dance. In order to get her to start walking, I put on Happy Feet and this child danced before she could walk but the movie encouraged her to walk/waddle around the house. As she got older, she experimented trying different things like gymnastics, soccer and girl scouts. She liked them (ok not soccer, she ran the other way) but nothing gave her a spark to wake up and want to do it everyday.

A little over 3 years ago that all changed. She asked to take a Musical Theatre class at a local dance studio so I signed her up for that and a Jazz class. Danyella loved her classes and she was naturally good at dancing. We added a ballet class to her line up and she couldn’t be more in her element. Just a year after dancing, Danyella made the studio’s first ever Mini Elite competition team. She takes 7 classes a week plus competition team or the special recital team’s rehearsals. On Saturdays she dances for 11 hours with breaks throughout the day. This is when my kid is in her element. She is a great dancer and quick to pick up choreography.

Now after 3 years, she lost the spark she had because of a couple of girls in 2 of her classes. She still loves to dance but now she only wants to dance in her room. She dreads going to her first 2 classes on Saturday mornings because it feels like torture to deal with these girls. The nail in the coffin is that next year she only has one option for ballet and it forces her to be in the same class with the same girls with the same teacher that doesn’t seem to care to control the class. She doesn’t want to go at all next year.

When my child is unhappy then I am unhappy!

What to do what to do? Danyella doesn’t want me to say anything to anyone for fear that this girl will hear that her mom opened her mouth and will retaliate against her. Well, she should know better because I will open my mouth. I don’t want to see Danyella avoid doing the thing she loves because a few girls have ruined this year for her. I will advocate for my child because when she dances, she has a magical spark about her and twinkle in her eye. You know that she doesn’t have to dance but she choices to display a beautiful form of art for everyone to enjoy.

Yes, I could be the parent to take the easy way out and let her just quit. What does letting her quit teach her? How will she feel in 10 or 20 years that she gave up on her dream to be a professional dancer? I want her to push to be the best person she can be and for her that means being a dancer. Dance has given her friends that she can relate to and enjoy spending hours upon hours with. Dance has given her a discipline that she didn’t have before. Dance has given her a passion about something in her life, something to look forward to doing every single day.

Not only has Danyella given her heart and soul to dancing, but so has the rest of our family. Evie has become the team mascot for the Mini Elite team and dance studio. The teachers love to get the chance to hold Evie and dance with her. The other moms have become a second mom to both girls. I have formed friendships that will last a lifetime. The studio has become our second family and I don’t want to give up our second family without a fight to help Danyella get to a place where she is comfortable for next year’s classes and that she will participate in all of her recital classes this year.

Moral of this story: Don’t let your kids just quit when they have a passion for something. There are negative people in the world that will always try to extinguish your flame but when they do just relight it and burn them with it. Ok not literally burn them but you get what I mean…. make them realize they can’t force you or your child out of what they love. Fight for your kids dreams and passions!

There will always be Negative people trying to extinguish your flame. Reignite that flame and show them No One can extinguish your passion!

Posted on 17 Comments

Family Day at Adventure Aquarium

family Day

Every Summer, Danyella and I, create a Summer bucket list of things we want to do through the summer. We don’t get through all of the items but it is the fun of making the bucket list and trying to accomplish as many as we can. One of the top things on this year’s bucket list was to go to the aquarium. Yesterday, we surprised Danyella and had a family day at the aquarium!

*This is NOT a sponsored post. I was NOT paid and DID NOT receive free tickets. This is just our family’s experience at the aquarium.

Knowing that we had a day that my husband was off of work and Danyella did not have dance, I had to plan a family day. Having nearly 90 degree weather through the week, I thought that the zoo would be the perfect place to go… until the weather changed and the forecast was calling for rain all day. Having a love of sharks, my husband suggested that we go to the aquarium.

31967973_10215536690466585_1127926109204119552_n

This was a great idea until I looked at the ticket prices. $30 per adult and $22 per child which was a huge leap from the $13 and $11 for tickets to the zoo near us. I did some research and found a discount on groupon. So instead of spending $91 (with taxes and fees), I purchased the tickets for $62 for the 3 of us. Thankfully the baby was free!

We got there and started off with the shark touching exhibit which was fun for Doug and Danyella. Next, we were off to the penguin park. We got outside just as they were feeding the penguins which was fun to watch. Danyella could have sat there all day and watched her precious penguins. There is a play area for younger kids and what looked to be a water play area for nice days. This was a short stop because it was so crowded with strollers that it was hard to maneuver around.

31956463_10215536739747817_8746409867025055744_n31945140_10215536737467760_1433607281076862976_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our next area to check out was the kid’s touch area. This will be fun to take Evie when she is a little bigger and she can play with the interactive learning tools. It was fun to see the crocodile and frogs in this area.

31950490_10215536724627439_16599679231852544_n

Then, we headed to the area with the different exotic fish, jellyfish and other sea creatures. By the time we hit this section, Evie decided she didn’t want to sit in her stroller anymore. I should have known this would happen since she is usually wrapped when I take her out. So, she got her Daddy to hold her as we walked through the rest of this section.

We got to see many cool fish, more penguins just hanging out and the parts of what they call their shipwreck. This is the big tank that extends through different parts of the aquarium that has so many different fist, stingrays, sea turtles and sharks! I wish Evie was a little bigger that we could have sat her up against the glass and gotten some good shots of her with the sharks, stingrays and sea turtles.

The sharks were saved for last since that is my husband’s favorite part and we knew he would want to spend more time watching them. The shark tunnel was really cool to watch them swim all around us. I got a funny photo of Evie crying as one was coming up behind her… just perfect timing for that one. Then, I took a photo of Danyella with this look like she was actually interested and having fun. (Moms of tween girls will understand how hard that is lol). Doug and Dany went across the Shark Bridge which is basically a net walking area across the shark tank! I stayed with the baby since we couldn’t hold her and walk across.

As a mom on a budget, being able to pack our lunch to eat at the aquarium was a huge plus for me. We stopped and bought $5 wawa hoagies plus I picked up chips and drinks at the dollar store the day before. We bought Danyella ice cream which was $5.50 for a small cup of Dippin Dots…. crazy! The money we saved on food was well spent at the gift shop with the girls getting stuffed animals and other cute things.

Overall, the trip was fun for the whole family though in a year or two Evie will really be able to enjoy a visit. The discounted cost through groupon and bringing our own food helped justify the cost of the tickets and parking ($10!!). We were in the aquarium by 10 and left about 2 so it was a short visit and next time I would plan on going when it’s warmer and we can enjoy the outdoor activities. If you want to make a plan the website has lots of information: Adventure Aquarium but I highly suggest looking for a discount on tickets through groupon or local businesses sometimes have discount coupons in the Summer.

Our Day With the Penguins

 

Posted on 6 Comments

Vacation Savings Jar DIY #savingsunday

savings jar

This week we are getting hands on with our savings by making a savings jar! The kids love this part because we hit Michaels and the Dollar Store for fun stickers and a jar. I like to pick out a jar with the chalkboard stickers because we can write where we are going and a countdown on the sticker.

The kids love to decorate with the stickers and talk about how we can save money for the cool trip. They can come up with some awesome ideas on how they can help us save money. Usually it consists of giving up a favorite food they like to eat so it is one less thing to purchase in the grocery order or giving up toys or other things to sell on the yard sale groups. I love hearing them get into all of this and it gives them satisfaction to be a participant in the vacation planning and saving instead of the adults telling them what we are doing and how we are saving for it.

Our jar is Disney themed but you can find cool beach, camping and other destination stickers and you can reuse the jar by taking the stickers off using Goo-Gone or soap and hot water which saves for the next trip. Even if you are using this for your spending money on the trip, it teaches the kids how to save and have fun doing it.

What are you going to put on your Vacation Savings Jar?

vacationkids

Posted on 24 Comments

Best Christmas Movies List

Best christmas movies to watch

Yes, I know that I am about to talk about Christmas Movies and it is only August but having a baby due around the Holidays, I just can’t help but already get into the holiday spirit! I started watching Hallmark Channel’s Christmas in July movies (starting July 1st) and thought I was past my Christmas obsession until the other day…

I have been binge watching Grey’s Anatomy (bad, bad idea when you are pregnant!) and they had a holiday episode on the other day and I started crying (hormone overload) about how I wish it was Christmas time. Partly, this is coming from the fact that I keep overheating and would really love the cold winter air. Partly, this is from working on my gratitude journal and the realization that most people only have that thankful spirit in November and December instead of the whole year. The last part comes from the fact that Christmas movies just make me happy and I want to feel happy!

Today is 117 days until Christmas and I posted yesterday a meme on my Instagram and Facebook baby support group that was Elf and said 118 days until Christmas. It sparked a whole discussion about favorite Christmas movies. So, Danyella and I complied a list of our favorite Christmas Movies and classic TV shows to share with all of you.

https-www.facebook.comkaellaboutiqueposts146643746677789

This is a PDF version you can download and print to keep track of which ones you watch this holiday season! https-www.facebook.comkaellaboutiqueposts146643746677789

That is our list which some movies are classics, some are black and whites, some are kids and all are just wonderful. What are your favorite Christmas movies? Did I miss any that need to be added to the list?

Posted on 10 Comments

My Favorite Savings App

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Pancakes & Coffee

With the hundreds of money saving apps out there it is hard to decide which one is worth your time to download and use. When I was introduced to the FREE IBOTTA app, I was clueless about how it worked but I was intrigued because my friend Erin raved about it. I figured I didn’t have anything to lose just to download it and try it…

One thing I had to learn was the Ibotta uses rebates which collect in your account and you can redeem for money or gift cards. (I will get into that later) Now please now that rebates are different from coupons because with coupons you get the money discounted at the register so pay less. With rebates, you get the money back AFTER you purchase the item.

I was right and super happy that I followed my instinct to try this app out. They have rebates for major stores and websites like Walmart, Amazon, Target plus other local stores which for me the big one is Shoprite. You can search for the type of rebate you want or browse through the stores they offer rebates.

Now please now that rebates are different from coupons because with coupons you get the money discounted at the register so pay less. With rebates, you get the money back AFTER you purchase the items.

Normally, I use Ibotta for my grocery shopping at either Walmart, Target and Shoprite. They seem to be the ones I get the most rebates for plus bonus rebates. (Yes I said bonus rebates…. just wait because it is cool) Honestly, I prefer Walmart because when you go to redeem your rebates all you do is scan the QR code at the bottom of the receipt instead of taking a picture of the ENTIRE receipt. With the other stores, at least so far, you have to take a picture of the entire receipt and if it is to dark or blurry then they reject it and you have to start all over. I just get to frustrated to deal with that sometimes.

After all of that information I am sure you are a little lost, so let me walk you through the process. You must begin this process BEFORE you go shopping because the rebates only count if they are selected before you purchase something! Select the store or rebate you want to look at, click the specific rebate you are interested in, click to get the rebate, complete either the survey or watch the video (its a pain but worth the rebates) and then you can check whether the item you are looking at in the store is qualified for the rebate (sometimes specific flavors or types of items are excluded), purchase your qualifying items, redeem your rebates then watch the money grow in your account.

Photo Aug 20, 11 36 59 AM

Let’s talk about the cool bonuses they offer! If you connect your account through Facebook then everytime one of your friends joins Ibotta they become part of your “team”. When you have a team of friends, you and your friends earn towards different levels of bonuses everytime you redeem a rebate. These rebates start at $1 when you personally redeem 8 rebates and your team redeems $10 in rebates. Then you have different bonuses from manufacturers, stores/sites or Ibotta boosts (the company will give you an added bonus for redeeming so many rebates in a specific time period). These bonuses are how I have really made some extra money.

The last bonus is the invite your friends bonus where you can make $5 for each friend that joins under your referral code. The bonuses escalate with each friend you have join under your code which can add up really fast. I have yet to have someone join under my code because I am not pushy at getting my friends to do the things I am doing. I will share it on my Facebook or Twitter once in a while but that is about it.

 

Last but not least the awesome ways you can redeem your rebates! First you can withdrawl the rebates for cash into your Paypal or venmo accounts with a $20 minimum. Or you can redeem your rebates for cool gift cards like Itunes, Uber, Walmart, Amazon, tons of restuarants and other stores. Each of these gift cards has a minimum that needs to be in your account before you can redeem them. Personally, I use my bonuses to redeem Regal Movies Gift Cards  because Danyella and I love to go to the movies. One $25 gift card is enough for us to buy movie tickets and then I just need the money for snacks. Photo Aug 20, 11 38 13 AM

So far, I have redeemed $271 in rebates over the past year and a few months! That is alot of movies we have seen just for buying things we use. Another nice thing about this app has been finding new foods or brands that I wouldn’t have normally tried but saw a good rebate so I tried it anyway and now have a new favorite. There is money to be made and fun you can have with this app so I highly recommend it. For the little time it takes to find the rebates, you can earn FREE money for the purchases you would be making anyways.

 

If you are interested in the Ibotta App here is the link to the website or you can find it for your smartphone in your itunes or android/google store. 85b1e55bab94bd80c698b64c678125f7

*For those of you that do not want to use the app there is a website version that you can add the rebates to your account but you need the app in order to redeem the rebates.

**Please note that is not a paid endorsement from Ibotta but a review with my own opinions and love for the app and company.

Posted on 21 Comments

Do Coupons Really Matter?

Is Couponing Worth It_

For more years than I want to admit, I have been couponing on and off…. though more off then on because I would either forget it was Sunday to buy the papers, I was too lazy to cut the coupons before I went shopping or I would just forget the coupons at home when I was already in the grocery store. Also, I was doubtful that I was really saving any money because I would have to purchase 2 or 3 of a product just to get the $1 off. Well this past week taught me the lesson that I need to learn to be frugal and that there are good coupons and deals if I just pay attention!

 

So we all know of the extreme couponers that have a format to how they coupon and purchase like $200 worth of groceries for $20 (maybe a little extreme but not really if you watch the shows and documentaries). In my mind, those extreme couponers were a little crazy and had too much time on their hands which I didn’t have. Now, I do have the time on my hands and the financial need to cut down on our spending costs so I better start paying attention to what they are doing and copying their money-saving ways.

My lesson from last week is this…. Shoprite (our local go to grocery store for good deals) had Arm & Hammer laundry detergent on sale for $1.99 plus there was a coupon out in the world for a $1 off the detergent which means you can buy the detergent for just $.99! Well that $1 savings could go towards the fresh fruit and veggies that my family devours in a day or less.

Lately, at my go to couponing place, I could have easily purchased 10 bottles for $1 each BUT I only had 1 coupon for regular detergent and 1 coupon for the sensitive skin (Danyella and the new baby). So I ordered (yes I order my groceries which will be a future post) 1 bottle of regular scented detergent and 1 bottle of the sensitive skin detergent and used my coupons. After putting the groceries away, I was kicking myself in the ass about the detergent situation so I waddled my ass around Shoprite to get more of the detergent without the coupons. (insert crying face emoji here haha) I mean with how much our dog sheds, I needed as much detergent as I could get at that price!

 

Lesson learned because we go through detergent so often with a furry puppy. The next place I  have been looking for coupons has been coupons.com because I can easily print of the coupons and why would I need to go over their limit of only printing the coupon 1 time when I don’t usually stock up on things. (BIG MISTAKE AND LESSON LEARNED FOR A FUTURE POST COMING SOON!)

 

Photo Aug 13, 12 15 01 PM

Next lesson on coupons I learned…. I may never become one of those extreme couponers but this morning I got out of bed early (a rarity just ask my boyfriend husband) and went to Wawa to purchase 2 Sunday papers to get those coupons. (“Christina” has found us a hook up to get a set of 10 papers to split and save us the trip and money!)

As I am cutting the coupons from 2 different papers (don’t know why I decided to try 2 different papers but something told me to do it), I find out that not all papers have the same damn coupons! The one paper had more coupons than the other but the other paper had a rebate coupon that doesn’t expire until March of next year. Shit now do I buy 2 of each of those papers? Yes, I do buy the one paper for “Christina” and I and she gets us the hook up for the other paper so we can use all the savings we can get!

This is a bit overwhelming and a little exciting at the same time. I am trying to find other ways to save money before this baby gets here and we have to add baby stuff to the grocery list. Since this is going to be an ongoing challenge for me, I am starting a series on couponing and saving on Sundays. If you have any tips or stories of your own please feel free to comment below.

*Check out how to make your own coupon binder: Create your own Coupon Binder

* Need help learning couponing terms: Couponing Terms with Printable List

**Since, writing this post last year, I have been finding better ways to save with coupons and I can’t wait to share my post this weekend on using these coupons to stockpile so be on the look out!

Posted on Leave a comment

Next 5 Months of Boredom or Discovery

 

Well it is official folks… I am on bed rest or at least out of work for the rest of my pregnancy. I had a feeling it was coming because as soon as I am on my feet my body decides that it is going to start acting up. You know the cramps and Braxton Hicks

Photo Aug 09, 9 05 02 PMcontractions that are not supposed to happen until the 3rd trimester! In order to help relieve the pain and my anxiety, my OB thinks staying off my feet as much is in mine and the baby’s best interest and I have to agree.

Now what in the hell am I going to do for the next 4-5 months? Since I had a feeling this was coming, I started to make my plan over the weekend to apply for financial aid and college. I still have a semester to finish of my theatre associates degree from the community college I attend when Danyella was in preschool so I do have some credits that will transfer over… hopefully! Since the new community college does not offer a theatre degree, I opted for a fine arts degree which between the fall and spring I should be able to finish up to transfer to a “big person’s college or university”. Yes, to me attending a 4 year school is like finally growing into an adult because you need at least a bachelors in order to a decent job now.

bcfa9b0bdf7b2c399c40ebb37071866b

I am going to be the old, pregnant mom in my classes which makes me feel soooo self conscious because I hate that I have gotten this old and haven’t finished school. On the bright side, having school and homework will keep me super busy since I will not have to work to occupy my time. I love anything to do with art so getting my associates in Fine Arts will allow me to transfer to a 4 year college to get my bachelors in Art History which I would love to take to the next level and get my Masters as well. The art classes will do me a double good because I will be working towards my degree plus releasing my stresses through my art.

Another project that I am going to try and undertake while on bed rest, is to actually start making all these patterns that I have collected over the past 10 years. So I will be going through all my patterns and making one of each to either give as a gift, keep for my family or list on my website. Some of my most popular items came from patterns that I wouldn’t have normally tried because it was either a request or went with yarn that I fell in love with and needed a fitting pattern.

Let’s hope that the next 4-5 months brings alot of self discovery and adventure instead of sleep and boredom. When I am bored it is never good for myself and really not good for the loved ones that are around me because I get very demanding and bitchy. For their sake, keeping busy is the best thing….