Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chloe time with Mimi and Pops

We were able to spend some time with my family last weekend and of course Chloe is very popular! Here are a few pictures of Chloe with her Mimi and Pops!

Watching tv with Pops

Friday, December 21, 2012

Cold Days at Home

Watching Planet Earth

Done with Bumbo time

Playing legoes

Happy girl, laughing at Gideon

House Party: Hasboro Game Night Box

We were selected to host a Hasboro Game Night on New Year's Eve and yesterday the box came!!!!! Look at all the fun games! And check out Gideon playing Twister!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Little Update

So have you noticed the lack of pictures recently? My camera has been a sad story...I feel like I've missed a lot of moments as Chloe has been growing so fast. She is four months old as of last Sunday! She has beautiful blue eyes, is a great eater and is a wonderful, happy baby!!!! God is so good to have given me a good baby as my other two toddlers keep me always busy. I hope to be more regular with pictures as my birthday present this year--orchestrated by my wonderful Daddy was a camera, so I have been testing it out tonight and here are a few pictures so you can see what everyone is up to...
Such beautiful eyes!

Helping Mommy with Dinner--He's always asking if there is anything he can do to help!

Oh she is my emotional, hand full!

Chilling in her swing

She loves to be wide eyed for pictures!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Free Personalized Greeting Card Today or Tomorrow from Trea

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Treat is part of Shutterfly and you all know how much I LOVE shutterfly! In fact I have been working on addressing Christmas cards and birth announcements today and just thinking how much I LOVE our Christmas cards, they turned out wonderful thanks to Shutterfly!

So today and tomorrow you can get one free personalized card using the code: TREATBLOGR

So get out to and make some cute cards to send to me...just kidding, you can make thank you notes, birthday cards or Christmas cards!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Gift Giving on a Budget: Making Your Money Stretch

I am starting a series on gift giving and am very excited because I LOVE to give gifts! Some posts will be on gifts you can make and give and some will be gifts for under $10 but I thought I would start it off with some money saving and making tips! Please let me know if you have any questions!
  • Earn Giftcards—I used Swagbucks online as a search engine most of the time because as you search randomly you earn what is called swagbucks and once you reach 450 you can get a $5 amazon giftcard. Now there are other ways to earn swagbucks and there are other things you can earn but right now this what I buy with my swagbucks. I also will take the poll or when I buy a Groupon I got through swagbucks and I print coupons through them as well—all of those items help you earn bucks. Just a month ago I got about $25 in giftcards…helped me get my amazon Christmas gifts!
  • Use Groupons—I find that when I want to give money for someone to go out to eat it’s nice that I can stretch my money or double it with a groupon. So it I have $15 and would like to give a gift of a meal out to someone it’s nice that they could possibly have $30 with a groupon instead of just $15. Or I keep my eye open for good deals on manicures or fun activities. Things that will help stretch my money for gifts.
  • Giftcards--Also since most people ask for giftcards these days (me included sometimes) it’s nice to use store and restaurant deals that are offered around holiday times. Places like Kroger, drugstrores and restaurants offer all sorts of incentives to get you to buy giftcards from them. I know that Kroger will offer extra points towards gas, drugstores will offer to stretch your money in giftcards and restaurants will give you an extra card of amount if you buy so much. Last year I bought $100 in Outback steakhouse giftcards and they gave me and extra $20 card. That makes your money stretch!
  • Coupons—if you collect coupons it helps you be able to get good deals for putting together a basket of items and you can usually get name brand really nice things for a lot cheaper. So if you were doing a spa/beauty basket you could get Olay or Old Spice, etc. for a fraction of the price and impress people who think you spent a lot more than you did.
  • Samples—I request a lot of samples when I have time and someone tells me where to go—like moneysavingmom, etc. I get samples of beauty products, household items, food, baby items, etc. I use some of these right away, I save some and I put some aside for gifts. So later if I’m putting together a gift for someone like a newlywed—I can throw in some nice samples that come in handy or for a baby gift and I have diapers or desetin or lanolin I can put that in the gift. I am also putting together right now a basket for one of my sisters with spa things and will be including the Target beauty bag and some beauty samples. Small things put together in a nice presentation make a good gift.
  • Giveaways—I like to enter giveaways although sometimes it feels like I never win there are occasional times when I do win something and if I don’t need it I save it for a gift. I won some really pretty hairbows a while back and I only needed one so I saved the rest to give as gifts. There are all sorts of giveaways from giftcards to kitchen items so if you have time it’s worth entering.
  • Swaps—I have found it very beneficial if I have some books or movies I no longer want to post them on or as I can swap them for something I would rather have or when a family member’s birthday comes up and they have on their wishlist a certain book or movie I can request that for free since I usually have some saved up credits. All it costs me is the price of mailing whatever dvd or book I wanted to get rid of which is way cheaper than buying it brand new. Also on facebook there are now baby/clothes/diaper swaps you name it and someone out there is trading or selling things a lot cheaper. So I have found I can sell surplus clothes or items I no longer need and put the money away for gifts or to buy clothes I need.
  • Accumulating a Gift Bag—I have in my closet a gift bag which is where I keep items that I have found for a really good price or gotten free or something I want to re-gift and know I can use for a gift down the road. So I have baby clothes, chocolate, lotions and soaps, etc. Sometimes during the year you see things at yard sales or at the store that are just such a good price and so I pick the item up and save it for Christmas or birthdays. Also a few weeks ago after Halloween I picked up a ton of candy to put aside for Christmas for stockings and gifts…good stock up price $.50 a bag.
  • Mystery Shopper—A good way to also pick up a little extra money is to become a secret shopper in your local area. I work for 4 companies off and on—you get to pick shops that fit your schedule and this helps supply money for us to eat out and give gifts. Ask me for more information on that. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Gideon's Third Birthday Party

Gideon really loves trains so I decided to throw a family birthday party with the train theme. It was fun, we had picked up a big board that had wooden train tracks screwed onto it for young kids to play with trains so that was going to be Gideon's present along with some trains. Gideon helped me make and put together his train cake which I LOVED putting together, this is as creative as I get...and then I also let Gideon help me paint some boxes that he got to use as a train. It was fun and everyone was so wonderful to come and help us celebrate! I love our family on both sides!
My train cake

Opening presents--Cars books from Aunt Beth and Uncle Brandon

The new train track!

Blowing out the candles

Mimi and Chloe

Playing with the new trains and track
Painting his train

His train

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Some Chloe Pictures

I know, I know she is so adorable! And she is definitely adored by all her family!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Cloth Diapers: Traveling with Cloth

Most people I know do not like to take cloth diapers with them when they travel and I understand that as it is can be a total hassle. It is much easier when you are going out of town for the weekend or for a week to just pick up some disposables as you can just throw them away and not have to figure out washing, etc. For me it just depends upon the situation, sometimes I take disposable and sometimes I will take my cloth. In the summer I love to take my cloth diapers with me to camp when we travel as they dry easily, I have access to a washer and its cheaper. So I thought I would just share a few pictures and ideas if you want to travel with cloth.
  • When I travel with cloth I just take my diapers, detergent, and a big wet bag. I find a place to wash and hang them to dry.
  • You have to take into account if you are flying that you will have that extra weight in your suitcase...when we went to Guyana I decided to take them because they just throw their disposable diapers in the river--yuck. But if you are flying in the US you may have to consider doing disposable.
  • If you are thinking about going to a third world country feel free to read my posts on cloth diapering in Guyana: Article  and pictures I had to wash them by hand which was quite the challenge.

Cloth Diapering: Rashes and Wipes

I like to use cloth wipes with my cloth diapers it makes life easier because you can just throw the wipe in the dirty diaper and drop them both in the diaper hamper. However I will admit that I don't have quite enough so sometimes they are all in the wash or I am behind making them  up so sometimes I use disposable wipes.  But all that said I love my cloth wipes.

You can buy wipes or I just made some a long time ago out of flannel, just make them in a square or rectangle and serge around them and you have a wipe. I put mine in an old wipe container and then I make up a little mixture of baby soap, baby oil, a little alcohol and water (don't ask me the exact measurements--it is a little bit of this and a little bit of that) and I poor it on the wipes so they are ready to go. I know other people who leave their wipes dry and put their concoction in a spray bottle or peri bottle and when you are ready you can just put some on the wipe and then wipe their bottom. I haven't tried that method but I might, it's just whatever is your preference. You can also buy your cloth wipes or just use disposable.
Now as for rashes...Tirzah has a very sensitive bottom and so did Gideon so rashes is something I have had to deal with all of my cloth diapering experience...well actually I think the rashes are from teething as they don't get them when I am just breastfeeding or before teeth. Anyway, my kids get bad rashes when they are teething and it always makes me feel bad, here is what I have found:
  •  Sometimes I will switch to disposable diapers for a time so I can just lather their bottoms with some type of rash cream but even then it doesn't cure it right away as it just is part of teething. But it can help and so that is what I do sometimes.
  • I also find if you take one of your cloth wipes which are flannel and lay them down over the diaper and then put on diaper cream or I use neosporin sometimes it then gets on the flannel not the diaper.
  • I hear coconut oil works great on rashes and is fine on cloth diapers, I haven't tried it yet but I plan on trying it. 
  • Do not, repeat, do not use diaper creams on your babies bottoms and then put on a cloth diaper (unless it is a cream to use with cloth) as it will stain your diapers, I found that out the hard way as most of my bum genius have diaper cream stains...doesn't effect them just looks bad. 
Don't feel bad if you have to use disposable...sometimes I feel guilty but then I think about all the money I have been saving and there are just times I can't keep up with diapers or the rash is just too bad and I don't want to change my cloth every two hours and it is okay then to take a break and then go back when you are ready. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Disciplined Life Day 1&2

So I am starting the challenge of having a more disciplined life and using Crystal Paine's new book: 21 Days to a More Disciplined Life. I thought I would keep everyone updated on how I am doing with it by posting my challenges and accomplishments.

For day one I was to pick a small task to accomplish off my to do list and I chose cleaning off our chest at the end of my bed and I got that done! Then I was to take a mega project and plan out how to accomplish it in 21 days. So I chose to clean/organize/declutter/finish our guest room. I have been meaning to do that pretty much since we moved in, I need curtains and it needs to have a lot of stuff gotten rid that is my project! I started yesterday by finishing going through fabric I want to get rid of and setting it aside and listing it on my blog.

Today I have to go through patterns I want to get rid of in my guest room...and I am choosing a habit to start implementing. I am going to try after every meal to at least clear all dishes and wipe trays and table and sweep if needed. So here it goes...

Crystal's book is amazing and so helpful, pick yourself up a copy if you haven't so you can join me in becoming more disciplined!