Everyday things - Have Kids…Will Coupon!

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5 ways to shop smarter and make your dollars S-T-R-E-T-C-H

School has just ended and here I am sitting here, late at night, thinking about all the items I will need for my son in September when he starts kindergarten. You see, I am a planner and what makes this fact even harder is that I am a frugal planner. This might take some extra time on my part but it has paid off big time for my family.

Most of my purchases for my family have been carefully planned out ahead of time so I can save the most amount of money possible. Since it would be very difficult to save a lot of money  on every single purchase, I have honed my skills to shop smarter, not harder. The key is to know what to look for, when to shop and to use the resources available for FREE!

I have a ton of tips but will give five I use the most:

1) My first and most favorite tip is to always look for free coupon codes before you dare add anything to your shopping cart or step foot in any store! This is a no brainer. You do not have to shop online to take advantage of coupon codes. Many retailers put out printable coupons to use in their stores online as well.

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Bailey the Beagle gives back to his animal shelter #LoveMyK9

I have been an animal lover my entire life. I grew up with dogs, fish, lizards, snakes, birds and guinea pigs so this does not come as a surprise to me. All of these animals were either my brother’s pets or family pets so I helped take care of them but they were not truly mine. As I got older I thought long and hard about what kind of dog I wanted to get and narrowed it down to a beagle. I knew I only wanted to adopt a shelter dog so the chances of getting a beagle were slim but possible. Beagles are used for hunting east of where I live so unfortunately there are a lot of backyard breeders and abandoned puppies. I did not know it at the time but I would end up with one of these backyard beagles.

Until the children came around Bailey was the star of every Christmas Card. I don't think he misses the photo sessions much


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Mom is always right

Mom and I on vacation in Olympia, Greece

Growing up I was close to my mom even though we fought constantly. She insisted that I do silly things like clean my room and vacuum the living room before I went out. Who wants to do that? I never understood why she wanted me to do this boring stuff. What was the big deal if the house was clean anyway? And why did I have to call her if I was going to be late? At 14, I thought I knew it all and could not understand why she was always on my case about everything! One day, in exasperation, she proclaimed “One day YOU will have a child exactly like you!” At the time I am thinking “Yeah, ok mom. I am awesome and my kids will be awesome too. Big whoop! What do you know anyway?”

“One day YOU will have a child exactly like you!”

It would be 25 years and two kids later before I fully understood what those words truly meant. She was right! My first son is EXACTLY like me and it drives me nuts! He is almost five and I cannot even fathom what will happen when he hits the teenage years. I do know that I will love him no matter what and will try my best to be as patient as I can with him. Being a mom is the hardest job in the world and she did this job alone. I am so blessed to have a wonderful husband to help me out and at times I really don’t know how she did it. She was always there for my brother and I no matter what and I always felt loved.

Teleflora's Lavender Love Bouquet $86.95

I talk to my mom every single day and since having children I have felt even closer to her. I think she gets a little chuckle when she sees how stubborn my oldest can be. She was right. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. She has done so much for me and my family and I try to do something special when I can. Every  year I plant a garden for her and order a bouquet of beautiful flowers for mother’s day.

I don’t have much time to shop so I usually order flowers from Teleflora. I can order right from their website and set up the exact day I would like delivery. They guarantee your satisfaction but honestly, I have never, ever had to call them with a problem. It is always nice to know you can if you do have an issue. The only problem you might have is deciding which bouquet to choose! I currently am partial to this one but I will probably change my mind a few more times before ordering but that is what makes me awesome : )

This sponsored post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. I was compensated for my time investment and work on this campaign. Thoughts are my own.

The #CloroxLounge Adventures. Featuring: The 4 year old

Ahh, the bathroom, one of the most important rooms in the house. I never really thought twice about walking into the bathroom before kids. Life was simple….until we potty trained our 4 year old. My husband and I were not prepared for what would come once our sweet little boy had full access to our lovely bathrooms.

You see, before the potty years, the bathroom was a safe place to retreat to. The door was closed when not in use so I knew what to expect when I re-entered each time. It is not so simple these days. I learned rather quickly two important points: one was to always wear shoes while entering (or at the very least, watch where you are walking!) I cannot tell you how many puddles I have stepped in….gross. Second point: always, and I mean always, look carefully before you sit! I am not sure how my son manages to lift up the seat and yet still wet it at the same time! As I clean my bathroom 4 or 5 times a day (thank goodness for Clorox wipes!)  I wonder if the moms of girls have these same issues Read the rest of this entry »


The peach penguin bathroom

When my husband and I were looking for a house we knew we would probably purchase a fixer-upper and do most of the work ourselves. We did not have children yet and considered ourselves pretty resourceful and figured what we couldn’t handle, we would find a way to get it done.

We looked around for a bit and when we finally came to the house we live in now we were pretty excited. The price was right and there was enough room for us to start a family in a few years. The decor was pretty outdated but we weren’t worried. Some paint, new floors and new window treatments could solve that pretty easily. We were pretty happy until we entered what we would nickname “The Penguin Bathroom” You heard right….penguins! The walls were covered in peach wallpaper with a penguin border and the shower, toilet, tile floor and sink were a lovely shade of harvest gold. It was hideous. It needed to be destroyed immediately! What we did not know what how much time, effort and money we would need to update the house. We were first time home buyers and just did not know any better. Lesson learned.

When the time finally came to redo the bathroom, a mere six years later, I was extremely excited to leave the 70′s zoo and enter the current decade. We spent every weekend dragging the kids from store to store pondering over sinks, toilets and bathroom mirrors. I had no idea how many choices I had and my head was spinning. Deciding what type of light fixture took an entire weekend of online shopping. I knew what I wanted in my head and I was going to find it!

After what seemed like an endless search I found the perfect light fixtures with coordinating vanity mirrors for both my master bath and the penguin bathroom. When everything was finished I was in love. It was worth all the time and effort. No more flightless birds. No more harvest gold. All that remains is the memory of some else’s bad taste.


Come enter the Clorox Ultimate Mess Party Sweepstakes for a chance to win $10,000! #RecipesForFun

Looking for something fun to do with the kids while they are off from school? Sometimes even if you have a house full of toys and games your kids can get bored pretty quickly while off from school. I am always looking for inexpensive ways to keep my little guys busy while trying to make whatever we do a fun learning experience. Read the rest of this entry »

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