Saturday, May 31, 2014

We Now Have Tomatoes (Gardening Tally)

Actually tomato plants.

Thanks to my posting a status (to facebook) of inquiry about anyone knowing where I might purchase an organic blueberry bush a friend with extra tomato plants asked me if I wanted any. He gave me way to many so I'm giving some away as well. But I did plant 5 of them in my backyard (and for lack of space one in a pot). I bought a bag of organic soil because I'm certain the bald spot where I dug a little bed isn't very nutrient rich. I found, oddly enough, 5 wooden broom handles around the house and garage. Geesh, my hubby's grandparents really didn't throw anything out ever. So instead of tomato cages (is that what you'd call them) I buried a broom handle next to each little plant for support if they do actually grow. Do you like the immense amount of faith I place in my gardening skills?

I'm starting to tally my gardening expense for this first year's en-devour:
$11.31 rocks, dirt, strawberry plants
$1.75 a basil plant (that is now potted... I had soil left from the strawberries)
$5.99 dirt for the tomato garden

I've spent $19.05 on gardening so far this year. I didn't purchase any of the pots (currently have plants in 3), tomato plants, wood steaks; didn't buy tools or gloves. This gardening thing could add up REALLY fast couldn't it... Wowwzers. My intention at present is to try and keep track of how much produce my little en-devour produces. I don't feel like $19.05 is too much spent on the ordeal but at the same time it sure does seem like I could buy a lot of strawberries and tomatoes with that. Hmm.

Farmers Market Day

The little guy tagged along with me to two different farmers markets today. He couldn't understand why no one there was selling chocolate milk. I think I spent much too much but It was a nice time and I enjoyed looking at everything there. It's so lovely outside right now.

My haul:
Apples $2
Beets $2
A huge loaf of bread $5.50
Two fresh baked pretzels $5
A basil plant $1.75
Cherry tomatoes $1

I spent $17.25 between the two places. I resisted a lot of different fun stuff like homemade jams and spreads. Oh and all the sweet rolls, pies, and cake like confections. I'm proud of myself for not purchasing any of those. I probably shouldn't have purchased the loaf of bread though. Well I hope it's amazing.

I'll do better next time. Maybe a rule should be: nothing over $5. Implementing such a rule would be smart on my part.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Just a Wednesday

The poppies just started popping open this morning.
The lilacs are still in full bloom.
Who needs power in 3/4 of their house anyhow?


Maybe we ought to just move outdoors... It's so lovely out there right now!!!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Rollercoaster

Saturday was spectacular, maybe a bit too perfect. Yesterday was horrid, one of "those" days again. We currently have power in 1/4 of our house. I have an extension cord running from the kitchen to the washing machine in the basement because we almost ran out of diapers. There was a moment there where I started crying because I put my son in the last clean cloth diaper last night with two newborn inserts in it and I was pretty sure I was going to have to run to the store and buy some disposables for bedtime tonight. You have no idea how happy I am about the idea of not buying a single diaper this year (or ever again unless we have more children). This hope was almost shattered until the extension cord idea dawned on me. It looks that we need a new breaker box. We can get power to the entire house if someone stands down there and puts pressure on the main switch. I'm not against duct taping it but my husband did not like that idea. I'm honestly not going to think about how much it might cost to put in a new breaker box. There was the flour incident and I could go on about all the other little annoyances yesterday, but why...

Great day, horrid day, what might today hold? And tomorrow we should find out about the new job.

At least we have power in the kitchen! I'm out to do more yard work, day three in a row. It's so nice outside.

Average daily spending for May: $18.75

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Lesson of the Day

Do NOT leave the pinata supplies and diaper bag on the other side of the baby gate when you run out to do yard work. The dogs will still figure out how to trash your house. After all what dog can't resist a bag of flour?
Come on... seriously!?!?!

At least the yard looks good.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pinata Day

We busted open the Pinata today and I spent what feels like a ton of money on nothing.

I had to pick up some candy to put inside the pinata because I forgot to get it yesterday. Little Abe and I went to his cousin's house for the festivities. I stopped at a "convenience" store because the parking lot at the grocery store was filled to the brim and there was no way I was going in there today (on a holiday weekend) with that many people shopping. Sometimes time does cost money and they call it a convenience store for a reason... convenience comes with a charge. Haha, I bought mostly clearance candy though. Total: $5.95 and the kiddos had a blast!
On the way home from pinata time my child freaked out and I flew through the drive thru at McDonalds to get him apple juice. It was naptime after a very fun morning and someone forgot to bring his fire (pacifier). The juice helped a lot but it cost me $5.38 for a kids meal, and a coke for me, and I hadn't planned on spending any money today. That brings today's cost to $11.33. Every minute of today was worth the $11.33 but it's weird how you can plan so diligently to spend NOTHING and then end up spending so much.
Que sera sera! Today was so much fun!!!

We actually started a pinata with the girls of their very own before we revealed that we'd brought ours along full of candy. It was a very fun, VERY messy activity for all the kids. And then so much excitement upon finding out they didn't have to wait for all 4 or 5 steps (takes a few days) for theirs to be finished before they could break one open. Now on to yard work. Oooh, there's a strawberry in my itty bitty garden that's recently developed a little pink hue. I believe I'm way too excited about it but still, seemed news worthy to me.

Average daily spending for May: $19.53

We've a week left of May. I'd like to finish with the daily spending average under $19 a day. Should be do-able. I just need to focus and plan.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Purple Springiness/ Eliminating $3400 From Yearly Budget

It's honestly hard to believe that spring is really here. We're still getting some really unseasonably cold days here and there. Winter was so incredibly long. I see at least one person a day on facebook rejoicing about spring finally arriving.

I just noticed yesterday that our giant lilac bush out back now has purple all over it. Spring really is here! I love lilacs so much but they come and go almost in the blink of an eye. I'm pledging right here and now to go outside at least once everyday to enjoy the lilacs until the flowers are nothing but a memory. I feel like they'll seemingly last longer if I take a bit of time out to enjoy them.
In other news my dear husband is on his way right now to a job interview. It's a position with his current company but at a much closer location. It's not a promotion or a salary increase; just a location and title/ department change. Right now he drives between 1.5 and 2 hours every day round trip. This position is about 5 minutes away from our house. If you're doing the math that would save us at least $65 a week in gasoline, which is a very conservative estimate. That conservative estimate saves us $3400 a year just in gasoline (it's closer to $3900 a year if gas stays around 3.89 instead of 3.59). I won't even talk about car repairs and maintenance. 

Even more importantly eliminating the commute gives my hubby around 8 extra hours a week to be home instead of in a car. That's 416 hours more with his family each year. Cumulatively that'd be 17 full days of the year that he would have been sitting in a car but could now be with us instead. We are getting our hopes up. He is the likely candidate for this position. It's third shift in a new department but we've weighed the pros and cons and it seems like a GREAT opportunity for our family.

Spring might REALLY be here!
(I'll for sure be reporting back)

Average daily spending for May: $19.06

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Peanut Butter and Coffee

Today was one of those days. You know, the kind of day where you wake up to your mother in law knocking on the front door because you've overslept. You should be ready to dash off to work and instead you're half asleep letting MIL/ babysitter in, hair disheveled, wearing a ratty white t-shirt and your huge over-sized pj bottoms with a 6 inch rip down one leg. The thought has to cross your mind, "wow, I bet she's questioning the "gorgeous" creature she let her son marry. And why didn't I sew up that rip a month ago when I'd planned too?"

I contemplated for one second stopping at Starbucks for coffee this morning but my resolve has grown quite strong so first thing (after my chipper morning greeting) I headed to the kitchen to get coffee on. I grabbed a dirty cup (that had coffee in it earlier) from the counter and whipped it onto my single serve coffee maker. No, it's not a k-cup thingy. It's one of those Hamilton Beech scoop ones. You put regular grounds in but it uses a metal mesh single serve strainer instead of coffee filters. I then made my son a smoothie, got dressed, grabbed two cookies and my cup of coffee and ran out the door.

I was on the way to work when I noticed that there was peanut butter all over the bottom of my coffee cup. Really?!?!? What a day!

Average daily spending for May: $19.47

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Diamond in the Rough

I've been working my behind off the past week and a half. We're currently doing a large exhausting project that is sapping every ounce of my energy. It's a situation where I can work fast, hard, and focused for 8 hours; go, go, go!!! Or I can work at a comfortable pace, take my two 15 minute breaks and my 30 minute lunch and end up with 12 hour+ days. I figure either way I'll be super tired but at least busting my butt and getting out of work at 8 hours instead of 12 gives me more time home. I always opt for more time home. I call myself a stay at home mom who works part time. (I usually work a 4 or 5 hour day)

On Friday I found myself driving to work and praying, "Lord, I can't imagine myself getting through today. Please get me through this?" Shortly after I decided to present myself with a little challenge. I posed a question that I'd really like for some of you to answer as well: What's something you love about something you hate?

I made a list:
I hate leaving my son with my mother in law when I go to work. (I could expound so much more on this issue)
I love his relationship with her and the way he adores her.

I hate my hubby playing video games. There aren't words to describe how I despise video games.
I love occasionally listening to the one sided conversations and the constant giggling while he plays online with his buddies (wearing headphones because most adult video games have totally inappropriate language these days). Listening to the fun they're having is really cute sometimes. I'm contemplating starting a list of really strange things I hear him say while he's playing. Only hearing one side of the convo. and not the game makes for some strange ease dropping.

I really do hate going to work a lot of the time.
I love that I get to interact with some really great people at the stores I work in. Plus I am thankful for the income and flexible job.

I hate being in debt.
I love the learning and growing that are taking place while trying to get out of debt. Enjoying all the little things in life and finding creative resourceful ways to solve problems is a big part of this journey that I don't know if I'd experience along a different path. I'm thankful for who I'm becoming. (I like being frugal)

Life can be so overwhelming, so exhausting, and down right frustrating at times but there's always that diamond in the rough, beauty from ashes, rose among the thorns aspect to every situation. Or at least I like to think there's something good in every situation. We just have to look for it.

What is something you love about something you hate? Really, something you just can't stand; think about it for a minute and see if you can't figure out something that's actually really nice about it.

Average daily spending for May: $19.10

Monday, May 19, 2014

Watch Out For Falling Squirrels


Yesterday my little family and I were walking back from the playground when this furry fellow picked up a squirrel treasure right next to us and then scurried up this tree. You know how us humans are always trying to wrangle empty nut shells away from squirrels. It was pretty neat because it's the closest that little Abe has ever been to a squirrel and the two of us are always finding squirrel treasures in the backyard (I think it's a sort of walnut).

I had my camera with me and I quickly began photographing him run through the spring blossoms directly over my head. These are fairly small trees. Just to remove any possible building suspense from a truly uneventful story, because I am such a professional blogger, the squirrel did not fall on my head. But hokey peats about 3 seconds after I took this shot he fumbled around and came about as close as a lucky animal could to not falling directly on top of me. I screamed and ran faster then I've probably ever moved. Thoughts of terrified squirrel clawing at my face and hair became all too real all too fast. My husband and son had some pretty good laughs. I'll be a little more careful about photographing squirrels overhead from now on.

It's so great that spring is here. This winter was so dreadfully cold and long that every little sign of spring and every warm moment is just so soothing, so comforting, so enjoyable. Squirrels scurrying with treasures through trees covered in beautiful blossoms... what could be more beautiful?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

My First Strawberry Garden

I punched a ton of holes in the bottom of this bin with a tool I also found in the "tool room." I put a good layer of stones in the bottom for drainage. Then I filled it with potting soil and potted the little plants. I probably put too many plants in here but I'll see how it goes. If worse comes to worse I'll have to remove a few. I spent $11.31 on the rocks, soil, and plants.

This isn't too heavy for me to lift so I think it's pretty nifty that I can move my garden if I want it someplace else. I read online that strawberries don't root too deep, about 12 to 18 inches, so they have a good amount of root space in this bin. HERE is where I found a soil depth/ root length chart. I'm going to put some coffee grounds in shortly as they're good for the soil and should keep away bugs. And you know I've an abundance of coffee grounds. This spot gets great sunlight. I read 8 to 10 hours of strong sun is preferred. I wanted to place the bin directly next to my slowly leaning pile of garage shown here with the horrid white paint but I didn't think that would offer enough sunlight.

Any tips from the pros would be much appreciated. I am clueless when it comes to "feeding" plants or gardens so if you have advice in that arena that's the one thing I'm still really leery about. I suddenly feel so accomplished! Mmmm, strawberries!

Average daily spending for May: $18.17
(counting tomorrow as a no spend day)

Basement Find/ Strawberry Time

I decided today that I WILL plant something edible in my yard this year. I've had two primary reservations about gardening in the past. I know my husband would freak if I just began tearing up the yard. Yes, it would be a garden. But no, he wouldn't see it that way. He'd just see a bit ugly mess. The second issue is dog pee. I can't imagine a good way to keep the dogs out of a garden without a lot of hassle and our two little ones pee on everything.

Thank's to pinterest I've noticed that container gardening is really becoming a thing. I have been contemplating giving it a go but today I decided: yep, I'm going do it! I've been thinking about what type of "container" I want for my endeavor and then it dawned on me to head into the abyss of our basement and see what we might already have on hand. And I found a beauty!

We purchased our house about 8 or 9 years ago from my husband's grandparents. There are major downsides to living in the house that your mother in law grew up in like having it already packed full of your husband's grandparents belongings. The man refused to let me get rid of ANYTHING initially. At this point I've embraced the madness. I can honestly tell you that I did not know this tub was down there in "the tool room." But I think it will be perfect for planting strawberries. We eat so many strawberries and our zone on this planet is great for growing them. I'm going to have to drill some holes in the bottom and clean it out but I love it!!!

Apparently back in the day, whenever the little lovely was purchased it cost $1.99. It still has the price tag on it. Today it'd have to cost at least $10, right?
Well, let the adventure begin!!! It's strawberry growing time.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Cheap Foods vs. Clean Conscience Foods

I shop as cheaply as possible. Sadly this does mean loss of quality in foods. One of the best reasons to cook at home is to maintain some of the quality while still cutting the price. But what about organic verses GMO's, and sustainability if farming? I actually care quite a bit about avoiding GMO's and consuming humanly raised meats but apparently not enough because I generally put cost before principle. I'm probably one of the worst offenders too because I've read books about factory farms and I hate the idea of GMO's but I haven't changed our grocery shopping that much. I did try a few years back but it was so much more expensive.

I would LOVE your input on these issues. How do you feel about organic foods and GMO's (genetically modified organisms)? Do you try and purchase grass fed meats? Do you shop exclusively organic? Do you know much about factory farming verses sustainable farming? I've never planted a veggie garden. What would be the best/ easiest veggies to start out with I were to give it a go?

I love the idea of eating sustain-ably raised meats. I hate the idea of GMO's being in our food. But I don't know how to afford the food I want to eat. At present I'm trying to take small steps in the right direction (again). We only buy organic yogurt. I purchase some organic veggies and fruits. I'm going to try and find another close small farm to buy eggs from. I used to drive past one weekly and I'd stop in for eggs but I don't work in that area anymore. That was super cool because the eggs were from free range, family run farm chickens and they only cost 21 cents more per dozen then at the grocery store.

These issues are a real dilemma for me. Does it have to cost a ton more to eat with a clean conscience? What do you think?

Here's a list of companies that use Monsanto products.
This list is so upsetting because I purchase food from almost all of these companies and Monsanto totally scares me.

Here's a bit about the Monsanto boycott list.

Average daily spending for May: $19.04

Update on the "Experimental Composting"

Back in December I started "experimental composting." In the original post I asked:
"Do you compost? I'm wondering if this is going to backfire on me since I'm technically not composting just dumping junk in my flower bed but of my own wisdom I can't think of how this will turn out badly. Any advice, input???" 
I called it experimental because I do not have a compost bin or compost pile (in the traditional sense) and I wasn't sure if my strange composting idea would result in a weird pile of yuck in our front flower bed. It is now May, the snow has been gone for a little while, and I am happy to report that there's nothing weird going on in front of our house; no mold, strange odors, or even unsightly mounds of food scraps.

I think it's now safe to update my terminology from "experimental composting" to "extremely easy composting." If anyone is scared to compost because lets be real it seems really intimidating but would love an alternate way to dispose of food scraps (meaning not throwing it into the trash), egg shells, coffee grounds, and coffee filters here's what I've been doing.



I keep fruit and veggie scraps, egg shells, and coffee grounds in an empty container on the counter. I grind the contents up at least once a week and throw the refuse outside. My coffee maker does not require filters but if you use coffee filters and are going to attempt this extremely easy composting method you can tear the used filter up a bit and grind it right along with everything else. I have tried it and the results are the same. I have a coffee funnel that I use from time to time with filters so I have put coffee filters into my "compost."
I imagine the reason I'm able to get away with composting without adding leaves, or sawdust, or whatever else you would add and then turning occasionally is because:
1.) I grind the waste up before I throw it outside.
2.) There's always a good amount of coffee grounds in my mixture so it almost looks just like dirt once it's been ground.
3.) I do spread it out a bit when dumping it outside. I throw the mixture throughout the back part of our front flower bed.
4.) The "compost" is directly below our rain run off so it's beat into the ground whenever it rains. (we don't have gutters on our house)

I'm not sure any of these factors are essential for anyone who might want to try extremely easy composting but I do think they all help in the process.

There's coffee grounds, banana peels, red kale stems, strawberry tops, and onion peels in this particular mix. I just take this bowl, head to the front of the house, and toss the contents into the back part of the flower bed.

This is the exact spot that I throw the mixture; right next to our house and directly behind a row of bushes and flowers. There are noticeable egg shell bits, any coffee filter scraps would be visible initially but the ones I placed there over the winter have seemingly disappeared. Currently there's a visible asparagus butt, and an onion peel here or there that didn't chop up all the way but for the most part it just looks like dirt and this is about 5 months of food scraps. Once again there has never been an odor. And similarly like many of you commented on the original post the food scraps I keep inside on the counter have never begun to smell.




And that is my method. So far so good. I promise to update you immediately if there is ever any sort of issue. I'm still VERY open to any comments about how this might be a bad idea.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Shopping!



My sister saw this on pinterest and sent it to me. I had to chuckle and I couldn't help but share it with you. You all know that's me. I always put stuff in my cart and talk myself out of it before I get to the check out. Always! Even if it's just a box of cookies that I convince myself are too indulgent. Good find little sis!!!

The thing I like most about this is that it's very existence in cyberspace means that I'm much more normal than I often feel, right???

Average daily spending for May: $17.38

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Homemade Storage Bin

It's silly but I wanted to update folks on my toy bin creation from a few months back. At the time I thought the paint was going to chip off pretty quickly because the spots I hadn't coated well with modge podge chipped a bit right away. But in fact it's held up great! I find it amusing in a sad way how often I feel strongly inclined to purchase "nice" bins and storage units. It really makes sense because our homes are very important places and nice bins and different organization methods do make us feel better about our homes and ourselves for "taking care of" our homes. But myself, being frugal and trying to pay off debts knows how silly it is to want a clear $3.49 plastic container with pictures of cartoon farm animals on it so I can store my kiddos toy animals. I love coming up with creative cheap/ free ways of organizing and storing things. I do get the same sense of "yay I'm taking care of my home" plus there is an added sense of satisfaction knowing that I used my noodle and came up with a creative alternative to spending money.
For this car bin I used an old can of spray paint and sprayed a clean empty Maxwell House coffee container.

I drew a picture of one of my sons cars onto a scrap of paper and glued it to the container after the paint dried.

Then I whipped up some homemade modge podge. It's just elmers glue and water. There are different ratios online. I think I used a half/ half ratio: half water, half glue. I store the modge podge in an old apple sauce jar. After the spray paint dried I painted the entire outside surface of the container with the modge podge. I think if I had done two layers it wouldn't have chipped at all oh, and if I hadn't used like 10 year old spray paint.

My son makes peeling stickers off of my husbands guitar cases a past time but he hasn't been able to get even a corner of this car "label" up. So the homemade modge podge is officially tested and works pretty great.

I intend to make a few more of these as I go through more coffee containers. I'll probably use different colors of paper. This container is actually really nice because it has a lid and it also has a handle in back. It's very convenient for a 2 year old during, "clean up, clean up, everybody clean up" time. <-that's a little song we sing while cleaning up toys. For some reason every kid I've ever cleaned up toys with is uber motivated by that song. It works well for my son too. It's funny though because I'll catch him singing it to himself while he's picking up his toys all alone. Hey, it works.

I'll post an update photo of my lovely coffee bins once I've crafted a few more of them for his room. I do not have any empty ones right now.

Average daily spending for May: $18.04

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Because I Write a Money Blog That Seems Really Boring to me Sometimes

I like to brag about little happy money moments.
The financial institution we do most of our banking with is not my favorite bank in the world. It's a really big one. I often wonder if it knows that there are actual people banking at it's establishment or if it thinks it's just dealing with "accounts." We have so much stuff with them that it'd be a pain in the behind to switch so I've just stuck it out.

I got a letter in the mail the other day saying that this week we'd be seeing an "overdraft refund" for falsely charged fees. I have overdraft on my account but generally when we go into negative I deposit money into the account that very same day. I believe there are regulations against them charging you overdraft fees when your account is brought up to par the same day it went negative. However my bank is pro at kicking over some overdraft and charging the fee after I've already corrected the issue myself. I know that law suits have been brought against the bank before for false overdraft fees. A year or two ago I received a letter in the mail letting me know that I was eligible to join in the wronged customers already involved in the suit. Maybe I should have joined in but I'm not too keen on lawsuits and sewing people... wait, what am I talking about there aren't people involved in banking; just accounts. Oops, looks like I missed my money boat.

I received a $186 refund this week for overdraft fees. It's not enough for a lush family vacation but $186 is an awesome amount of money to get back for fees that I didn't actually ever owe. Woohoo!!! Just sharing a bit of sunshine in my life today.

Average daily spending for May: $17.24

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Little Newspaper, Flour, and Paint

Little Abe and I started making a paper mache pinata (a little bit too last minute) in anticipation of the two birthday parties this weekend. I thought we might be able to bring it to one of the parties but it was still drying.
This craft was so much fun!!! Granted there were many steps: three layers of paper (drying in between each time), the painting (two rounds), gluing on the eyes and drawing on the rest of the face. Our third round of flour and water and newspaper was a bit rocky (he stuck his foot in the paste and smeared it all over my pants) but the rest of the process was just great. I'm genuinely amazed at the loads of fun you can have for ZERO dollars. Okay, I do intend to purchase some candy or little trinkets to put inside the thing and we'll break it open with cousins or friends but the craft itself was all done with stuff around the house.
I asked him what we should name the little fellow and he suggested that we call it "daddy." He doesn't know that we're going to smash it with a bat (he won't be sentimental about that. he loves smashing things) so I told him that name wasn't quite right. I don't feel right about smashing "daddy" with a bat. For now the little creature remains nameless but I'm pretty proud of our creation. Most of the painting, tons of the paper macheing, and the mouth were all done by my little two year old!!!

FUN!!!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Daily Spending

April kind of got away from me. I haven't posted a daily spending update in quite awhile so here goes.

I lost track of NINE days in April. With what I have on record (only being 21 days) the average daily spending for April comes to $19.99 a day.

May is currently at $19.25 a day with 4 NO SPEND days so far this month.

My average daily spending for this year is $18.13 a day with a total of only 31 NO SPEND days so far.

My goal for 2014 was $15 a day but having not ever kept good track of what I spend on food for my son I had no idea how close I could actually get to $15 a day. I know I can get closer than the current $18.13 a day because there has been some reckless spending. Reckless like crackers, or cookies, or a lazy dinner out that isn't necessary. Stuff adds up FAST though.

I am still super happy that I'm done with diapers (except for a cloth diaper at night) and have not purchased one single diaper this year. I'm still using up the stash of garbage bags I found in the basement so I haven't bought any trash bags this year. I am also done buying dish sponges and just using rags or old socks to wash the dishes. (I use old socks as rags) I've purchased very little, like able to count on both hands, coffee drinks this year. If you've read from the beginning that used to be a serious issue for me. I've not bought wrapping paper this year, except for a roll of clearance Christmas paper in January or maybe that was in December at the end of last year??? In short I've found some good ways to save money this year. I could have definitely spent less than I have thus far but I think I'm doing really well. I might adjust my goal to under $18 a day; maybe $17.50 a day. For now I'm just going to say, "Good job me. But you can do better. Okay. Go."

On another note: HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all you gorgeous ladies out there in the bloggosphere! You are some of the greatest women on the planet and I'm glad to be apart of your world!!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

2.5 Parties On Mother's Day Weekend!

Two of my nephews were born 6 years and 3 days apart. Needless to say my sister in law threw them a joint birthday party today. Tomorrow a different sister in law is having a party for a third nephew of mine (I have 4 nephews and 4 nieces all together). That makes a total of three birthday presents on mother's day weekend. Wowwzers! Good thing I thought ahead and purchased two of them awhile back. I haven't bought anything for our mommas yet though.
:-(

Little Abe and I did a lot of painting today. I can honestly say I've never had so much fun wrapping gifts. It took awhile. It got a bit messy. But I think they look pretty awesome (especially the three of them together) and my kiddo is super excited about giving these gifts away. I painted each kids initial on his gift, outlined the letter with a black sharpie marker, and I wrapped the presents of course. Little Abe did all the rest of the painting on his own. I think he's a little Picasso.
Happy Birthday boys!!!

Brand New Dinnerware

I've been wanting a set of new glasses for sometime. Glasses break, you know. And then you're left with one glass from this set, and one glass from that set, and I should actually take a photo of all our singles. It's gotten a bit ridiculous. I know that eclectic is in style so our miss matched glasses are just fine.  I manged to find a way of "making" a new set of glasses though. And I love them!!! Considering the boom in Mason jar usage for everything under the sun these jars are rather in style as well I think.
We don't eat spaghetti too often but when we do I use ground turkey meat and purchase the Prego heart smart mushroom spaghetti sauce. I've just been saving the jars and Wallah! We now have a set of new glasses. They are great for drinking water out of because they're so large. I don't use any other cup for my son's smoothie's now because these jars spill so much less than a normal glass or cup. He can actually carry it through the living room without any splashing or spilling out. Yes, his smoothie is a sort of brown color. I've been throwing in a handful of baby carrots and two large kale leaves. He has no idea that there is as much veggie in his daily smoothie now as there is fruit.

Maybe everyone has been using spaghetti sauce jars for glasses forever but this is new to me and I'm rather happy about it. I love these glasses! And, bonus: if one breaks I'd have no reason to get upset in the least. I could just make spaghetti for dinner the next night, haha!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Clean Carpets!

I bought vacuum bags yesterday! I know, lame. But seriously I couldn't empty out our current (duct taped shut) one any longer because it began to smell. I drove to the vacuum store and bought a box of bags and then I went home and vacuumed and now I feel like I live in a palace! I have been picking up lint and crumbs with duct tape for a few weeks now.

I am honestly really bad about spending money; in other words I actually really dislike spending money. The reason for this awesome post is to say that purchasing something like vacuum bags is generally a pretty normal occurrence right? I just like how happy it's making me to have a fresh, clean, new bag in my vacuum cleaner right now. I'm not sure anyone has ever been so happy about this "accomplishment." I love how trying not to spend money on any one thing can turn purchasing that particular item into a festive occasion. There are some pretty great things about living the frugal life. Happy gal here!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

This Car IS for Him

My baby made his very first purchase today. It's such a little thing but for some reason I'm feeling like SUCH a proud momma! Little Abe has a piggy bank that we've slowly been putting loose change into when ever he finds any around the house. (If you recall my husband sort of sheds loose change) I actually started it as a way to keep him from ever putting coins in his mouth. I figured if he was super excited about putting them in the pig then anytime he found a penny he'd bring it to me so I could get him his bank. He LOVES putting coins in his bank now. (He calls all coins pinnies at this point)

Today we took all the "pinnies" out of the piggy. We counted out 4 of the big ones (quarters) and put all the others back. He put his four big pinnies into a plastic baggy and we headed off to the store so he could buy himself a car. He picked out the car he wanted and we took it to the registers. We went through the u-scan because all the other lanes, okay the THREE other lanes that were opened on a Sunday afternoon were packed and I only had a few groceries. I asked the cashier if he could give her the money instead of putting it into the u-scan. She looked at me like I was crazy but she took the quarters from him. I really wanted him to pay an actual person, not a box. She gave him back two smaller pinnies and then he got to open up his new car. We used one of the coins for him to ride the penny horse and the other one he got to put back into his piggy bank when we got home. It was quite the adventure.
At this age there are so very many milestones. My little guy is really growing up. This car represents a neat one of those milestones. He is officially learning about money!