Friday, September 25, 2015

Right now I am...

...writing this post at 10:07 because I keep wanting to write but keep forgetting/not have enough time so here I am.

...going to bed with spit-up in my hair. Yes, it's gross but it's only a little and I promise I'll wash it tomorrow morning. #momlife

...kind of wishing I'd cleaned up a little more today but there's always tomorrow.

...trying to brainstorm photo ideas for some blog headers but am having photo-block (like writer's block for photography? I don't know, I'm working on it).

...SO EXCITED that my step-mom will be here for a short visit the day after tomorrow.

...not excited that I go back to work super soon. Bye bye maternity leave and spending all day with the cutest kid on earth. (I swear I'm not biased, he freaking adorable.)

...desperately wanting a cup of coffee but really don't want to be up all night. But it's surely on the agenda for first thing tomorrow morning.

...just remembered that I already forgot about my 100 Happy Days challenge thing. I may have even skipped 2 days. I'm really good at this.

...going to bed because I'm obviously delirious.

Monday, September 21, 2015

How to Save Money: Lazy Couponing and Money Saving Apps


I've written before on how to actually save money using coupons without spending your whole life pouring over circular ads. And here's the truth: I'm a lazy couponer. I am not one of those people who can go to Target and buys $147 worth of stuff for $12. Those people generally spend a lot of time planning those trips and I am not willing to sacrifice what little free time I have pouring over grocery ads and coupon websites. I also don't want to have to run to 5 different stores just to get what I need. However, I am a big believer in saving money wherever I can and am a sucker for a good deal (or a good clearance section). So for those of you who want to save a few bucks, but can't afford to or don't want to spend hours and hours matching up the perfect deal with the perfect coupons, check out these apps and tricks!

I love coupon apps. Most of us spend too much time on our phones mindlessly flipping through stuff, whether it be Facebook, news, Twitter or whatever. Why not put that time to use! I personally am a mindless Facebook flipper. I will check Facebook 5 times in 20 minutes and not remember one thing I saw. Why not use that time to save a little money!? Here are a few of my favorites.

Cartwheel

This app is only for Target. Fortunately for me (or them), I spend half my life at Target. You can use this app a couple different ways. You can scroll through all the current offers at your leisure to see if there's any reason for you to even go to Target or you can use the app to scan items you're buying while you're there to see if there's an offer available. I try to use both methods. Once a week or so I'll scan all the offers to see if there's a sale on something I've been waiting for (like clothes or specific laundry detergent) but also whenever I'm at the store I scan the items with my phone as I put them in my cart to make sure I don't miss any deals! I've saved a total of $105.80 in under 21 months using this app (the app even keeps track of your savings for you which I love). The very best part is I would have been buying all of this anyway so it is (for me) true savings!

Savings Catcher

This app is for Walmart only and it's actually just part of the Wal-Mart app (unlike Cartwheel which is its own app). This is another app that truly helps you save money on what you're already buying. After you shop at Wal-Mart, just scan your receipt with the app and it searches local ads and if a competitor beats Wal-Mart's price, they give you the difference. The money can be put on a Wal-Mart eGiftCard or loaded onto an American Express Bluebird card. I haven't saved nearly as much money with this but I don't shop at Wal-Mart as often (I go to the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market for groceries about 50% of the time and the commissary on base the other half of the time). But I have gotten back $16.17 in about one year. It's not much but I have literally put almost no effort into getting this money which means my rate of return for my minimal effort is huge. :)

Coupons.com

I used to use this just as a website but recently realized that they have an app (also available on iPad)! This is the best for turning my mindless internet surfing into something productive. While I'm watching TV or relaxing before bed, I'll scroll through the coupons and when I'm done I can have it send me an email so I can print the coupons out later. So easy!

Amazon.com

I know what you're thinking, Amazon isn't exactly a coupon or money saving app but let me explain! Before I buy anything that is not a regular purchase, I check the price on Amazon. If it's not cheaper on Amazon, no harm done. If it is, a lot of retailers now match Amazon prices (as long as it's sold and shipped by Amazon.com) and if they don't, I just buy it from Amazon. If you don't have Amazon Prime, the shipping cost may factor into your decision as well, but since I do have Prime shipping is free. And I know Prime looks expensive from the get go but I have saved way more than the $75 membership fee each year.

Do you have any "easy" ways to save money? Please share!



Thursday, September 17, 2015

Goal Review

Last week I posted some goals because I decided it would be easier to set goals by the week rather than by the month like I used to. And in the interest of trying to be better about not completely ignoring my blog after one post every three months, here's a review!

1. Start on the tag blanket owl for my niece. If by start on you mean buy supplies and sketch out a pattern, then yes.
2. Write/schedule one blog post for next week.
3. Exercise 2 times.
4. Make exercise plan for next week.
5. Make meal plan for next week.
6. Take at least one photo worthy of sharing on the blog. 

Alright, I'll take 50%. I mean, I do have a 2 month old to take care of. ;) 

Did you set goals recently? How did it go?

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Goals for the Rest of This Week



I used to make monthly goals, but for months and months on end, when I would come back to review how I'd done on my goals the month previous, I would find that I had forgotten all about them and had therefore not completed a single one. I eventually stopped personal goal setting altogether because I never had anything to show for it at the end of the month. BUT I'm a very goal oriented person and really need the excitement of checking a box or crossing something off a list to excite me. So in order to ease myself back into the goal setting mindset (and to start getting some crap done), I've decided to try weekly goals at first and see if I can handle that a little better. ;)

I'm also trying to jump back on the fitness bandwagon. I've been off and on ever since I got the okay from my OB a few weeks ago to resume normal exercise. I went for walks with my son almost every day and then for some reason skipped a couple of days and fell completely off the wagon. I was also doing really well with eating right and tracking my calories and then we had a visitor from out of town, which always means more indulgent food in our house, and fell off the wagon with that as well. So, it is time. I go back to work in just over 4 weeks and I would really like to fit into/feel good about my work clothes. And I am not all about buying a completely new wardrobe in a bigger size.

Another area I'm trying to ease back into is my hobbies. Before having my son all of my time was my own. Now there's a tiny person who depends on me for his every need. Apparently that takes a lot of time. ;) I've been just barely managing to do the daily upkeep on my house (laundry, dishes, etc) but I think with a little more effort towards time management and realizing that all of the chores do not need to be done right this very second, I can bring my hobbies back as well. 

Ok, now that I've rambled on and on about all the things I have and haven't been doing...here are my goals for the rest of the week.

1. Start on the tag blanket owl for my niece.
2. Write/schedule one blog post for next week.
3. Exercise 2 times.
4. Make exercise plan for next week.
5. Make meal plan for next week.
6. Take at least one photo worthy of sharing on the blog. 

I think that's plenty seeing as how it's already Wednesday night. Here goes!

Friday, August 21, 2015

One Month In

Oh hi again. So I had a baby. Yep. That happened. He's a month old now and I still can't believe he's actually here. The last time I posted I was 36 weeks pregnant and little did I know that just two weeks later my little guy would arrive! My darling son was born at 38 weeks 2 days and I am currently trying to get as much enjoyment and relaxation out of my maternity leave as possible. However, I think I grossly underestimated how much 'relaxing' I would be doing during this time. I mean, I obviously knew I'd be caring for a newborn but I honestly had no concept of what that really meant until he arrived.

Either way, now that he's a month old (again OMG how did that happen so fast!??!) I feel like I sort of have a grip on life (not really but let's pretend). Until tomorrow when everything changes and I have no idea what I'm doing again. ;) Even though there's still a lot of trial and error involved, I'd like to share some of the things I've learned over the last month.

1. Your newborn owns you. Don't think you're going to do anything other than care for that baby's every need, whether that be feeding him every hour and a half because omggrowthspurt or changing his diaper 3 times in 10 minutes because there's nothing this kid loves more than a blank canvas for a nice big poop. You are at the mercy of his every newborn whim. Thank god babies are so cute. ;)

2. You will lose track of days. Just surrender. For the first 4ish weeks, I had only a vague concept of what the date was and absolutely no concept of days of the week. Today I know it's Friday, and I consider that a win.

3. Your kid may or may not use Newborn sized clothes and diapers for 5 minutes. Everyone told me I would not need newborn sized anything because they'll grow out of it in 3 seconds but let me tell you something, my one month old is only just growing out of his Newborn sized diapers and clothes. Like I literally only moved the 0-3 month sized clothes to the front of his closet this week.

4. Lanolin. And Aquaphor. That is all.

5. I'm still me. One of the things that scared me the most about becoming a mom was that I'd lose myself. I know I'm only one month in, but even though my son is basically the most awesome tiny human ever I am still....super excited about the new Naked palette...excited when I actually get the chance to do my hair and makeup (which I did today, holla!)...using the few quiet spare moments I have to start blogging again...so excited to be able to start jogging and cycling again (hopefully) soon.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Creative Weekend

After a long hiatus (on my part) from anything crafty, we had a pretty creative little weekend. First I started by writing my first blog post in over six months. (Ok, that was on Thursday but it totally still counts!)

Then this weekend we got serious about finishing the decorations for baby boy's room. (More on the fact that I'm 36 weeks pregnant and we still don't have a name picked out later.) We've had the crib, dresser, and chair for a while but until this weekend the walls were completely naked. We found a cool little decoration at Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago and finally put it up this weekend when DH finished the bookcase. If I were a really good blogger, I'd march my tired butt up the stairs to get a picture for you but let's face it, it's 11:02 pm and I try to limit my trips up and down the stairs these days. ;)

After some Pinterest searching, I found the cutest little art project that would go perfectly with what is turning into an adventure themed boy's room. What made it even more perfect is the fact that Where the Wild Things Are is literally one of my husband's favorite books of all time.



Then I decided to take on a couple little sewing projects. I've been sewing for a long time but have never taken my skills much past the odd project or sewing of straight lines. I tried a really small project at first just to get reacquainted with my machine. First I found this little project and thought it would be something neat to try for the nursery. Mine actually turned out pretty well and since I used things I already had laying around it literally cost me $0!


Then as I was looking around on Pinterest (are we seeing a theme here?) for more simple sewing projects, I came across these little drawer sachets. I even saw a tutorial where someone had used those little Downy Unstoppables things as a the filler in the sachet. PERFECT! I had scrap material and a bottle of laundry detergent that I just bought on sale that came with a sample pack of the Unstoppables! Here's what I created!


I think they're super cute but to be honest they smell very strong. I put one in this little cabinet space in the baby's dresser and to be honest it's a little overwhelming when you open the door. Next time I may stick to a lighter scent.

For my next project I really want to make a nursing cover. I've seen quite a few patterns for them that swear they're super easy to make. I guess I'll just have to try it out to see.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

On Potentially Being Mediocre

This evening I had an awesome catch-up phone session with my BFF. One of the (many) topics that came up was the idea of not being truly exceptional at everything (or anything). While we were talking about that it got me thinking about blogging again. I've been meaning to for.....a long while. I even posted a come-back post or two after I took down my newer blog and decided to come back here, to my original blog. So you may be wondering what stopped me from making a full on comeback...laziness? lack of desire? super boring life and nothing to write about?

Nope. Fear of being mediocre.

I used to read all these blogs written by these people who are so freaking successful at it. It used to be fun to watch, but at some point I started to let it demotivate me. Rather than just enjoying those blogs for what they were, entertaining reading material, I started comparing myself to them in an unproductive way. Why don't I have a million sponsors who want nothing more than to pay me for my writing and my time? Why can't I perfectly schedule my social media posts to drive the most traffic to my blog? Why don't I have amazing pictures and headers to go with every post? Why don't I look that good in skinny jeans??!!

The easiest answer? Because I don't want to.

This may seem counterintuitive, but if I really wanted to be a spectacular blogger I'd be working much harder at it. If I really wanted this to be my real job, I'd be busting my butt day and night to make that happen. Maybe it's ok that I'm just 'weekend warrior' blogger. Maybe it's ok that I'm mostly entertaining and a decent writer and this is a hobby that I enjoy. In fact, not just maybe. All of that is definitely ok.

So here I am. Writing again, not sure how long it will last or where it will go but it feels good to write again.

Thursday, January 1, 2015