Thursday, April 30, 2015

7 Money Saving Tips For New Moms

Having a baby is the most rewarding thing in my life, but man is it also expensive!

Today I have put together 10 of the best money saving tips I could come up with for all you new moms out there.  I am not an expert, but these are all things that I have done and have helped us save some money with an expensive little boy!

1.  Buy Diaper Genie Refills At SAMs Club
We were gifted a Diaper Genie for Caleb and were giving a couple refills.  As the diaper sizes get bigger the frequency in changing the refills also increase.  I was buying the double pack from Walmart for $16.97 and the double pack from Target for $13.98 but we found the best prices at SAMS club.  You get 4 refills for $18.98!  That's an insane savings and it is well worth it.  If you don't have a membership, look into getting one, or ask a friend to take you.

2.  Buy Generic Diapers For Daytime Use
We have had Caleb in Pampers Swaddlers since he was a little bitty one.  Well not too long ago we switched him to Pampers Baby Dry diapers at night so that he would sleep longer.  Well a little bit after that buybuy Baby came out with their own brand of diapers and after trying out a small pack we decided to switch to those during the daytime.  I was buying an economy pack of Swaddlers from SAMs Club for $39.99 and I am now buying an economy pack of buybuy Baby diapers, that only have 8 less per box for $27.99!  Talk about savings!!  I still love the Swaddlers, but for the savings, the buybuy Baby diapers do just as well.

3.  Make Baby Food
I am not opposed to buying baby food made by Gerber, obviously they know what they are doing, but it gets expensive!  I have found that taking an hour each evening to make up some fresh fruits and veggies for Caleb is so much cheaper.  I can buy one sweet potato for about $1.50 and it will make almost 3 portions for Caleb.  Now if I were to buy processed sweet potato, it would cost me $1.09 plus tax for only 2 portions.  It just works out to be the cheapest and almost easiest thing for me to do for him.  We still buy Gerber for when we go out to eat because we don't have to worry about warming or chilling them, but if you can dedicate an hour to make it yourself, you will save money and know exactly what your baby is eating.

4.  Buy Clothes That Are On Clearance Right Now
I buy Caleb clothes that are going "out of season" right now in the size I think he will be by the time that next season comes around.  Now this is a bit of a gamble, but in the end it will save you so much money.  I bought a two-piece outfit from Carter's the other weekend that was size 18-months and on clearance for $4.98!  You can't beat that!

5.  Online Yard Sales/ Baby Consignment Pages
There are plenty of items out there that cost a ton brand new.  Make sure that you join your local consignment and yard sale pages on Facebook because they have great deals. We found a Bumbo on our local sight for only $5! That is a savings of $35 and it looked brand new. Cleaned it with some anti-bacterial and it was ready for our snuggle muffin to use.

6.  Use Your Normal Laundry Detergent
I used Dreft for as long as the first bottle I bought lasted but I never switched washing our clothes from our regular detergent. Once we determined Caleb wasn't allergic to our clothes we didn't re-buy any more Dreft. It is great for babies with sensitive skin, but if your baby doesn't mind your detergent switch all laundry to that. It will save you money in a heartbeat.

7.  Friends
If you are like me right now, you probably now at least one person with a baby and one person who is pregnant. Take your friends up on hand-me-downs. I have sent stuff to my sister-in-law and three other friends who are all expecting boys this year. I saved the special things that I loved a ton but every single onesie doesn't need to be saved for Caleb. Kids only wear outfits, if you're lucky, a handful of times before they grow out of them. Pass them on and accept them with open arms to save hundreds of dollars.


I hope these have been helpful tips and if you have any others make sure to share them with me, because if you couldn't tell, this mama likes to save the dollars for more fun things!
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

$100 PayPal Giveaway!

This Tuesday is looking up.
Hubby is back in town after 5 days away fishing and we couldn't be happier.  We both have long days today and we would sure love this $100 for a date night, but instead we would love one of you to win it!

Take a look at the beautiful gals who are bringing you this fabulous giveaway:

Not only are they beautiful, but their blogs/products are amazing.
Don't just take my word for it.
Stalk their links above {and below} to prove it to yourself.

Without further ado, go get entered.
May the best stalker win.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

We were contacted by Catherine of a while back in regards to trying out some products they offer in exchange for our review.

We received our April box for grooming and we couldn't be more excited - who doesn't love mail day?

Hanky is a short haired yellow lab.  He shouldn't shed that much right?  Well wrong!  Hanky is the sheddy-est dog ever!  We vacuum at least once a week and we really should do it about every other day.  We were in need of something to help us contain all of the hair, especially now with Caleb.

Catherine was so kind to send us the FURminator Dual Brush for Dogs.  We were excited to try it out and Hanky is always excited to get attention that includes petting and loves.  We headed out to the backyard and let the hair fly!

Along with the grooming brush, also sent us some yummy treats for Hank to try out.  He got the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Trail Treats Chicken Jerky and Chicken Wild Bits.  We were supposed to receive these in March and they sadly never came.  When I notified Catherine of this, she apologized and made sure to ship them and the brush first thing and we got them within 3 business days.

We do not give Hank treats on a daily basis.  He is a hunting dog and his rewards are given in other ways then food, but who doesn't love a little something special every now and then?  Hank must think that he hit the freaking jackpot this week with all this extra love and attention he is getting.

I love what has to offer and they even carry Hank's dog food - which is hard to find at normal stores - so that is a plus for us also!  If you haven't heard of them or checked out what they can offer your doggies or kitty, go run over there now and see!
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I was not paid to write this review
but did receive items in exchange.
All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April Confessions

Back again for another month of confessions with Heather from Notes from the Nelsens.
I missed last month and that is part of my confession for this month.  I have a hard time finding a good balance between work, family and blogging.  I have to work.  We live a great life and in order to maintain that, we both have to work.  I love working and helping to provide a great life for our family, but of course, I wish I could stay home with Caleb.  I wish that we could go on educational adventures and make sure that I don't ever miss a milestone because of him being with family and me being at work.  But that doesn't work for us right now, and it is okay, but difficult.  Also, blogging.  I love blogging.  I have so many post ideas and plans for writing them, but when it comes to 7:00 PM each night and Caleb goes to sleep, I want to snuggle with my hubs and go to sleep rather then staying up and writing post after post.  Blogging takes the hit and I am glad that it is an inanimate object so it doesn't get it's feelings hurt.  But it hurts me.  I want to be better at it.  I want to not forget things when I am older and when my kids are older.  I want this to be a place full of our memories and if I don't post them, it won't be.  I am going to try and find a good balance this next month and hopefully next month's confession is all about doing that.

Waking Up.  My husband hates this trait of mine...but I have a serious addiction to the snooze button!  I set my alarm for 4:00AM every morning and am lucky to get out of bed by 5:00!  I leave my house at 5:30 each morning and as much prep the night before so that I can just get up and go, getting as much sleep as possible.  He hates it, I love it.  I just can't get up when it first goes off.  I have never been a morning person and now having to get up so much earlier to take Caleb to someone's house before being at work at 7:00AM makes it all that much more difficult.  But luckily for me, he is already gone for the day by the time my alarm goes off so he doesn't have to deal with it.

Eyebrows.  I am sooooo bad at keeping up my eyebrows.  I am trying grow in the portion above my nose because I tend to get tweezer happy and go to far and then they are way too separated.  But by trying to let that part grow, I neglect the rest of them.  I am not proud, but I can honestly say that this morning I took care of them and hopefully won't let it go for another 8 weeks or so. :)

Breeding Hank.  If you read my post here, you will know that this was awkward.  We haven't heard yet if it took, or how many puppies she is carrying, but we are hoping to hear by the end of this month.  I hope it worked because we know a lot of people who want Hank's puppies and are eagerly awaiting this puppy-making.

Caleb Boycotting Food.  Last month Caleb refused to eat any foods I made him.  He was fine with Gerber, but anything made by Mommy was a no-go.  It hurt my heart.  It made me frustrated.  I know that babies go through ups and downs with foods, but I got really negative about it.  "I wasted all this money on fresh fruits and veggies and now he won't eat them!"  I'm not proud of it, but it happened.  And just like Caleb changing his mind a week later, so did I.  I would rather spend $5 on fresh fruits and veggies and have him not like them for a week, then spend $20/week on Gerber.  Don't get me wrong either, I love Gerber foods.  They are great for going out to eat around his meal times because we don't have to keep them refrigerated (if not opened yet) or warm them up for him to eat.  But when we are at home, for dinner or lunch, I love him to eat Mommy's food.

Jamming to Little Red Wagon in my new Red SUV.  So we bought a new car for me and I love it and the morning after we bought it, also the first time I drove it LOL, we were jamming down the highway to Miranda Lambert's Little Red Wagon and I was just singing my little heart out!  Luckily, unlike the song, my little red wagon doesn't have a broken axle or a broken front seat, but it is just as cute!  You can read all about our purchase here.
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Friday, April 10, 2015


Happy Friday to you all!

Linking up today with Karli and Amy

::ONE::  New Car!
Yes! Yes! Yes!  This makes me a very happy lady!  I still love it and I know this feeling won't be changing any time soon!  It's been almost a week without good ol' Tori, but I know that this new ride is going to treat me just as good as she did for the past 4 year!

::TWO::  These Shorts!
They came in the mail last night and I couldn't be more excited!  Jordan, of Blue Avenue, has some of the cutest items and all throughout my pregnancy I couldn't wait to order her stuff because it was just sooooo cute!  And now, I'm not pregnant and can clearly rock these bright coral shorts!  Go check out her site and order something fun!  Best thing is...they are on a super sale right now and FREE SHIPPING!!!

::THREE::  Eleventh Avenue
Previously known as GroopDealz, Eleventh Avenue is on point!  I just ordered these adorable pillow cases that will finally give us some matching decoration in our living room.  They are a nice subtle pattern with the perfect amount of grey in them!  The best part...they were only $4.99 each!  Shush up!  4 new pillows for $20!  Can't beat it!

Last week, Jordan of Fun Cheap Or Free, let us in on an amazing deal!  Jane had all three of these look-a-like palettes on sale for just $12.99 each!  She made it known that she didn't know if they were the real deal or actual look-a-likes but I went ahead and ordered them because they look so similar and were such a great deal!  Well, I'm still waiting for mine to arrive, but she posted this week that she got hers in the mail and they are the real deal!  If this isn't some of the most exciting news I don't know what is!  If they are in fact the real deal, I just scored all three Urban Decay Naked Palettes for $49.99 including shipping!  That's cheaper then one palette brand new at Ulta!  So be on the look out for the most excited face picture popping up on IG soon! :)

::FIVE::  Oakley Outlet
Last weekend, before we bought the car, we stopped at the Vacaville outlets.  We never go there, but while we were there I convinced Ryan to let me look for Caleb clothes if he got to go into the Oakley store :)  We went in and Ryan looked into getting replacement lenses for his sunnies.  He is rough on sunglasses but needs good ones so we always get him Oakley ones.  The replacement lenses were $90!  Umm...not going to happen bucko.  You can wait until you need a whole new pair which is only $120.  Well the sales kid must have heard me say that, quietly, and offered to give us the lenses for $60!  Score!  Then Ryan told me to get new ones.  Why are women's sunnies so much more expensive?  The ones I love were $250!  Not going to happen.  The same kid saw me all sad over the price and told me to check out the section in the back.  Walked back there and found the exact same sunnies for me without polarized lenses for $69!  Then he told me he would give them to me for $45!  Ummm....YES!!!!!!!!  Found Ryan a t-shirt for $10 and we were ready to check out.  They open everything up for us to check them out and my glasses came with a soft case.  Ryan was jealous that it came with a case at all and I told him, "Yeah.  My old ones did too, but they came with a hard case."  A different kid behind the counter heard that and asked if I liked the hard case better.  I answered with yes and he took the soft one and came back with a hard shell case!  We made out like bandits there!  Now to let these new sunnies of mine last another 4 years like my last pair :)

I hope you all have an amazing weekend!!!
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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Goodbye Tori! Hello New Car!

So we did it!  We sold Tori the Taurus and bought a new SUV for me! :)

Oh man, if you have been following along you will know that we have been working really hard to reduce our debt and buying a new car was not in my plan - AT ALL!  But long story short, we were on our way to the ocean and somehow, some way, ended up back in Roseville buying a new car.

Let's take a little stroll through the back story a bit shall we?  I hate car sales/salesmen.  They irritate me and stress me out and always make me feel like I'm not good enough to be there.  Saturday was sure to be the same, or so I thought.

We went just to look and see what they had in stock.  We already knew that we wanted a 2012 or newer Ford Explorer and if they had one we liked, great!  If they didn't, no big deal, Tori was still kicking and going strong for us.  The hubs really wanted Snuggle Muffin and me in a bigger vehicle.  We live in somewhat of a rural area and we drive in the dark every single morning so a bigger, heavier vehicle is what he wanted us in if we could handle the cost.

We pulled into the parking lot of the car dealership and I instantly started getting anxious.  I hate how the sales people swarm to you like a moth to a flame, but luckily Ryan is there and takes care of me and handled it all.  We were approached by a very nice man who was offering to help in any way possible.  We tried to push him aside, "We are just going to go inside and feed the baby first and then if we see anything we want we will come find you."  He wasn't pushy in any way and somehow ended up letting us go inside to feed Caleb and pulled around the most gorgeous Explorer ever!

Fast forward 3 incredibly nice gentlemen, 2 different Explorers and 7 hours later and we were walking running away with this new beauty!  I couldn't be more excited!  I feel so safe in this new SUV and I know that Ryan feels better about Caleb and I driving in it daily as well.

If you live in the Sacramento area and are looking for a wonderful car salesman who doesn't push and bother, run to Future Ford of Roseville and ask for Kevin Frank.  This man was seriously the nicest and most genuine car salesman that I have ever met!  He even bought us dinner and held Caleb multiple times for us so we could sign papers or do whatever we needed to do.

I'm pretty sure Ryan already has a fishing/hunting man-date set up with the 3 above mentioned gentlemen as well!  That husband of mine, makes friends everywhere we go!

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I was in no way compensated for saying anything nice about Future Ford or their employees.  I truly just feel blessed to have had such an amazing experience!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

My Dearest Little - 7 Month Letter

My Dearest Little One,

You are now 7 months old.  You are officially closer to being 1 then a newborn.  That makes my heart hurt and smile all at the same time.  You are growing up so fast and as much as people have told me, even when you were still in my belly, that time would fly, I never quite believed them.  But let me tell you, they were right.  I don't know how it is possible that you are now 7 months old...just last week we were snuggling on the couch having your morning milk and figuring out what we were going to do while Daddy was at work all day, weren't we?  Now, you are hanging out with your grandparents playing all day and having a blast.

In the past month you have grown a ton developmentally and physically, but you are still not crawling.  You have no desire to be on your stomach and have yet to figure out that if you just push up a little harder you could be off of it.  We keep trying, but I must admit that I hate hearing you upset so it usually doesn't last as long as it should.  We keep wanting you to learn how to crawl and as much as people tell us not to wish for this, we still do.  I want you to keep on experiencing all of the amazing things this world has to offer you sweet little one.  Maybe this month, although Daddy and I are both pretty sure you will skip crawling and go straight to running - we aren't too sure how we feel about that. :)

We are still in a teething stage...most would ask at this point, "How many does he have?"  Well our answer is still the same, zero!  You don't have any teefers still and I'm pretty sure it is starting to make you upset.  You want all those yummy things to eat that require teeth and unfortunately, because you don't have any, we are the mean parents who don't give them to you.  I am thinking this next month you might get one, finally!  We are okay with you still not having teeth, it means less biting for us, but we know that you want them and that it is part of you getting older, so here is to hoping they come in little man.

Food is still your friend.  It is mine too, so don't be too worried about it.  :)  You went on a strike for a week or so of not wanting any food that I made you.  You were pretty sure that Gerber had perfected all things food and were not willing to try anything else.  I am glad to say, only because our freezer was stocked full of yummy goodness for you, that you have since given up on your strike and are back to eating our yummy baby food.  You have decided that you don't really like peas or carrots by themselves any longer but have discovered your LOVE - read obsession - with sweet potatoes and cinnamon.  Daddy and I can't blame you on the cinnamon part, who doesn't love it?  We tried fresh mango this month and you also love that.  You like it to be partially frozen still so it is like a slushy and I can't argue with you - soooooo good!

You are still the stars in my sky little snuggle muffin of mine.  I'm not sure that will ever change.  As I watch you grow I still wonder how I got so lucky to have you in my life and it just makes me cherish you even more.  You mean more than you could ever know to both of us and we hope that we show you that every single day.  Here is to another month of milestones and memories.

I love you,


7 Month Stats:
Weight: 20.7 pounds
Height: 26 1/3 inches
Clothes: 6-9 months (mostly 9 if it is a onesie, you have a long torso)
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