Saturday, December 30, 2017

And real life happens.

I had to go into survival mode since my last blog post. The demands of two jobs, intense online classes, the holidays, and a stressful home environment were all ingredients in a recipe for disaster. I had to go bare bones to make it through, which included taking a break from posting here.

I'm finally coming out the other side, and I'm looking forward to posting regularly on this blog again. It's fun for me, and I hope some people out there find inspiration in it. I have some ideas and a growing list of topics to cover. The pending New Year is the perfect time to start anew.

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

How to Host a Mommy and Me Planning Party. #momlife

Need an excuse to spend time doing something for yourself? Perhaps a bit of "me" time in the midst of being an active parent? Well, I have invented a "planning party" that enables me to creatively utilize my planner while keeping an eye on my kid. I even get to spend quality time with him.

All you need is your planner, a planner or notebook for your kid(s), and some craft supplies. Oh, and some water so you guys don't get dehydrated. Sometimes my planning parties last a few hours! I think one thing that keeps the excitement going is that he gets to borrow my supplies. I keep them put away during the week and only let him use some of them during this special time.

Don't forget the stickers! I picked up two 500 count emoji stickers at the Dollar Tree for $1 each. I sometimes find good sticker deals on Ebay, at the local thrift store, or through careful bargain hunting. Stickers are a great way to talk about feelings, shapes, and colors. They're also good for communication through association. (The cake reminds him that his birthday is coming up. The hearts prompt him to tell me he loves me.)

Oh, washi tape. The first time I watched a planning video on YouTube where someone pulled out a washi tape from their huge stash I was baffled that one person could own so much decorative tape. So then I bought a box of it on sale at Michael's craft store, and now I understand. They lend a huge hand in the creative process.

My son likes "measuring" and cutting his own tape. He counts the shapes and talks about the patterns. Sometimes he'll mutter to himself things like he 'needs the cupcakes because mommy likes cupcakes.' I was very surprised at how excited he was and still is over washi tape.

While he's busy picking out stencils I'm using one to trace tennis shoes in each day of the week so I can track my steps. I also use small circles to track water intake. (You can read more about how I use my planner here.) These are the stencils I have.

I have been holding "planning parties" for about 5 weeks now. It started off as me wanting to explore a new hobby, and now it's a little party that my son looks forward to. Every Sunday he asks if it's time to get out the stamps and tape. Sometimes I put on music. At our latest party I had Depeche Mode on, and he told me he liked this music. (proud mom moment.)

I already ordered my planner for 2018 because I was excited to get it, I purchased a matching "imperfect" planner for my son for Christmas at a reduced cost, and there was free shipping. I got the Bloom Vision Planner for me, and the smaller version for my son, both in the fern design. I'll review them in a future post. Get 10% off here if you want to order one for yourself.

I hope this post inspired you to have a little planning party of your own or even just a crafting party with your kid(s.) What special activity do you do with your little ones?

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement here.

I started a Facebook Page for this blog as well as an Instagram Page. Please like and follow. :)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Last week's frugal efforts.

I would like to introduce you to my new craft cupboard. Someone locally was giving it away for free, and when I saw it I knew it would be the perfect home for my son's craft supplies and learning tools.

My son and I made gluten free raspberry muffins and mini muffins, chocolate chip mini muffins, raspberry and plain donuts and mini donuts. My plan is to freeze some for easy breakfasts. I used this pan for the smaller donuts, and this pan for the larger donuts.

My dryer is still broken. My mother-in-law took pity on my crunchy towels and took them to her house to re-wash. Besides that I managed to hang dry our laundry. We're saving up to buy a new dryer with cash and at the same time have the old one hauled away.

We went to a free Halloween celebration. It was pouring the entire time, but we managed to take a hayride, enjoy fresh s'mores and apple cider, and take pictures in the black light tent.

My son and I had a planning party. I bring out stamps, stickers, decorative washi tape, and stencils and decorate my planner (my new hobby). He likes to "plan" and write down important things like his preschool snack day in his little planner. I'll post more about this later.

What did you do to save money last week?

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement here.
I started a Facebook Page for this blog as well as an Instagram Page. Please like and follow. :)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

No Meal Plan this week + fitness goals.

I didn't meal plan last week, and I didn't this week either. Between not following the plan and having my husband saying nothing sounds good and wanting me to think of something else I decided to not take the extra time to plan. My son is also in a particularly picky mood lately, and I'm just at a loss. I  heard about the below book recently, and I put in a request for it at the library.

I can say, however, that I baked lots of gluten free muffins and donuts this morning so I know what breakfast is for a few days. I also have leftover veggie pasta in red sauce to reheat in my lunch Crock-Pot.

Fitness goals for the week:
  • Drink enough water.
  • Use my under the desk exercise bike daily at work.
  • Take at least 2,000 steps daily. I know that sounds awful, but it's all thanks to my desk job.

What's on your meal plan this week? Any fitness goals you're striving to achieve?

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement here.

I started a Facebook Page for this blog as well as an Instagram Page. Please like and follow. :)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Last week's frugal efforts.

  • We attended a free pumpkin painting session at the library.
  • I signed up for an online library card for another county. They have a lot of ebooks my local library doesn't have! So much money saved.
  • I redeemed a $25 Amazon gift card and $25 PayPal cash via Swagbucks.
  • I sold several items from my Etsy shop.

  • We attended another free Home depot workshop for kids. This time my son made a helicopter.
  • My dryer is still broke so I hung clothes to dry using this drying rack in my living room.
  • I received a free cabinet from the local Buy Nothing group. I'll most likely use it to store craft supplies.
  • I forgot to submit the Scholastic book order on time so I saved $10 by not buying my son books.
  • When I was cold I put on a sweater instead of turning on the heat. Last year my reflex was to justify the heating costs so I could be comfortable.
  • I had a local charity pick up 5 boxes of donations, and I met with a couple different people to give them much needed items.
  • I've curbed the impulse to buy a rowing machine several times. I almost got a cheap one from a local Facebook group, but the seller was non-responsive. Maybe I'll come across another one soon.

What did you do to save money last week?

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement here.

I started a Facebook Page for this blog as well as an Instagram Page. Please like and follow. :)

Friday, October 13, 2017

I like working, but I hate being a working mom.

Last night I came home from work, unloaded the dishwasher, loaded the dishwasher, and threw an organic frozen pizza in the oven. Then I felt very sad. This is not the life I want. I want to make healthy food. I want to spend the day with my son exploring nature, making things, reading, and just plain being there for him. I don't want to be rushed and tired all the time.

What kind of life is that?

I have kept this blog at arm's reach so I don't get too personal, but I feel like it's time to get a bit personal so I can work through this turmoil and conflicting feelings and maybe help another struggling mom in the process.

I like working. I've worked since I was a junior in high school. But working a regular job just doesn't fit into my life anymore. The rushed story time at bedtime, skipping the occasional bath time because I just don't have the energy, and daily convenience foods just aren't cutting it anymore.

I currently have a full time 40 hour a week job, I recently picked up a side job, I'm an online student, and I have a website/Etsy shop selling jewelry I make. My husband works a full time second/third shift job, but he has no plans to change that at this time.

Ideally I'd like to blog, make and sell jewelry, and work my side job. These three things allow so much flexibility that I'd be able to work primarily at night or when my son is in preschool.

But how do I get there?

  1. I need to finish paying off some medical debt.
  2. I need to finish paying off a car repair.
  3. I need to build up our emergency fund.
  4. I need to save up for a used car.
  5. I need to price out health insurance because I carry my own currently through work.
  6. I need to source out more streams of income.
  7. I need to develop a spending plan so I know how much money I'd have to make.
I wish I knew before I became pregnant that I didn't want to be a working mom. Then I wouldn't have this struggle now. But all I can do is formulate a plan and move forward. It can happen. It will happen.

I understand that there are many benefits to being a working mom like contributing to a retirement plan, being relevant in the workforce, paying into social security, and being a good role model, and those are all valid benefits. For me, working a regular job makes me so unhappy, and I can see how my family is suffering. I love my job, and it is bittersweet to admit that it doesn't make me happy anymore. I want to be at home and work around my family - not the other way around.

Are you a working mom? Do you want to stay at home? How do you plan to get there?

Monday, October 9, 2017

Last week's frugal efforts.

We went to our local Home Depot for a free project. My son got to build a Fire Station bank. They provided the tools, paint, and project kit.

They even gave him their signature orange apron in his size to keep. After each project the kids get a special pin to put on their apron. All the staff were very friendly, and all the families that participated were friendly and respectable. It was really cool to walk into the area where a lot of young kids were hammering away with their parents. You can search your local store to see what free workshops they offer for kids and adults:

My dryer broke so I hung laundry to dry in the house. I use this rack, and I can fit two loads on it.

I brought out my old coffee machine since my Keurig broke last week. The pour over contraption isn't doing it for me.

We went for a free hay ride at a carnival.

I brought coffee and food to work.

My son attended a free indoor playground session.

I redeemed points for an Amazon Gift card from

What did you do to save money last week?

This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement here.
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