Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Real Life, Not So Perfect Mom

Every morning I follow the same routine.  I wake up, get my older kid off to school, then the little guy and I eat breakfast together while he watches his favorite Disney cartoons, and I enjoy a cup of coffee while I do my daily web surfing (checking email, checking deals, and of course, checking Pinterest).  As I sit here this morning looking up Easter ideas on Pinterest, I see all of the mommy bloggers, who are up early every morning, lean house, beds made, kids perfectly happy and oh so photogenic, everything seems to be in perfect order.  Then I look kitchen table still has groceries on it from two days ago, my kids didn't do their chores last night (which means I get to pick up toys), and my son (as I speak) has spilled his cereal all over the floor.  Looks like I'll be busy cleaning all day (only to have it undone by the time I get back from Girl Scouts tonight).  Heck, if it wasn't for Girl Scouts, I probably wouldn't bother changing from my pajamas today!  My kids annoy the crap out of me!  My 3 year old son is very temperamental right now and by the way he's eating, I'm pretty sure he's either going through a growth spurt, or her has turned into a mini teenage boy.  Then there's my daughter.  I have to repeat everything to this kid!  Just this morning, I had to tell her 8 times to put her belt on, and she lied twice about having it on!  She even stood over me making annoyed sounds (while I was still sleeping), just waiting for me to put her hair up.  As crazy as my kids drive me (let's throw the hubby in there just for fun too!), I love them so very much.  You see, as crazy, annoying, and chaotic as my house is, I've realized I have to focus on the positive over the negative.  As much as I wish my house was well kept like the Pinterest homes, I'm just a real life, no so perfect mom.  Now, if you don't mind, we've got cereal to clean up!

Monday, April 14, 2014

DIY Glitter Eggs

Next weekend we will be having our first Easter egg hunt at our house!  I'm not sure who is more excited, me, or the kids.  The hubby and my daughter have been suggesting we do a "special egg" filled with money.  When I was a kid, every so often, there was a money filled egg, and it was always super exciting to see who got it.  Anyways, I decided to do three special eggs (since there will be three kids participating).  I found a glitter candle holder on Pinterest a while back, and I figured I could apply the same technique to my eggs.

Mod Podge
Plastic Eggs
Paint Brush

To start off, paint your plastic eggs with the mod podge.  While the mod podge is still wet, sprinkle your glitter liberally.

Once you have covered all of the eggs, let the mod podge dry.  Then paint a coat of mod podge over the top of the glitter in order to "seal" it, and prevent the glitter from scrapping off.

Once the second layer has dried, your eggs are ready!  This craft is super simple, and the kids are going to flip over the sparkly eggs!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dollar Shave Club

As you probably already know, I am a couponer.  I always hold out for the lowest prices, and I'm pretty much stuck in my ways.  At one point, I was able to get razors for free, or almost free.  However, due to recent changes in prices, coupon policies, and coupon values, it has become harder to coupon (and do it honestly).  I came across an email for the Dollar Shave Club.  I had heard about this site a while ago, but at the time, I was rocking on stocking!  Since then, my stock has began to become more scarce.  After comparing the current prices of razors, and what I can get  them for with coupons, it just made sense for me to sign the hubby (and myself.......sure, I'll use a guys razor!) up for the Dollar Shave Club.

Ok, so here is the gist on the pay one low monthly payment (we opted for the 6 blade razor, $9), and receive your month's supply or razors.  You get a free handle that will fit all of the blades for the razor you choose.  If you shave less than the average bear, you can begin a little stockpile of razor blades!  The reason they can offer such low prices is because the blades are unmarked......which just means you don't know which company they come from.  Also, if you sign up, and you refer friends, you get $5 for each friend......which in turn can mean free razors for you!  You can also upgrade, downgrade, or cancel at any time.

Sign up for the Dollar Shave Club today! 

UPDATE: My hubby received his first month's worth of razors.  He enjoyed them very much, but what really took the icing on the cake was the shave butter sample they sent.  He always breaks out after shaving, but oddly enough, he did not after using the shave butter!  I guess we'll be purchasing more shave butter for him!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Shopping for Free on Amazon!

I love being able to get things my family needs (or in  this case wants) for free!  I started shopping for free on Amazon when I started earning free gift cards.  I have been able to shop for Christmas presents, food, personal hygiene products, a camera, and now a portable DVD player for our road trip!  And I've gotten it all for FREE!  

My favorite sites to earn free Amazon gift cards (and other gift cards and prizes)......Bing, InstaGC, and Swagbucks!  Sign up today to start earning your free Amazon gift cards!  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Terrible 3's

Every so often, I use my blog to vent about things that are happening in my household.  Right now, the focus is on my 3 year old son.  For about a month now, he's been going through what I can only describe as the "terrible 3's".  When the tantrums started at age 2, I assumed that the "terrible" behavior would limit itself to the 2nd year.  My son, as cute as he is, is one tantrum away from being sent to Nana's house (fyi....Nana can be scary!).  We're struggling with him breaking anything he can get his hands on (including his own dresser), stealing and hiding things (candy, cookies, coins, etc...), shoving large amounts of trash or toilet paper into the toilet or sink, dumping out all of the soil from my planters and get the picture.  We've also been experiencing a little violent behavior (kicking and hitting).  Now, I know most of this is "normal" for a toddler, but when it gets to a certain point, it makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong.  I stay at home with him (which I did not do for my daughter).  The past week I have accomplished very little in regards to cleaning, homework, and taking care of my own needs because if I take my eyes of of him for a moment, something else breaks.  I have tried different methods of punishment, both negative and positive.  I have even ignored bad behavior, and rewarded only the good behavior.  I even went as far as to not yell, but rather spoke in a calm voice to him, in an attempt to somehow calm him, and reason with him.

I realize I might be describing my son as some sort of terror, but he is not.  He is kind, loving, and full of life.  As crazy as my kids may be, that's what makes them unique and amazing little human beings.  At this moment, he is draped across my body telling me he is so tired (did you really think he'd let me type a blog post without him?).  Whatever I do next to correct his behavior, it is going to have to be consistent.  So if you are a mom of a "terrible toddler", what methods of discipline/encouragement worked best for your child?  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Walmart's Savings Catcher

So, I'm sitting here watching the news this morning, and they start discussing Walmart's new program to "help me save more money"!  Walmart now offers a program called the Walmart Savings Catcher.  Here's the breakdown of Walmart's new program.  You go to Walmart, and make your purchase.  Instead of price matching before you go, or while in store, you can now make your purchase without doing so.  You then take your receipt, and enter the receipt information into the Walmart Savings Catcher website.  It will them price match against it's competitors, and if they find a higher price anywhere else, they'll reimburse you on a Walmart gift card.

If you would like to find out more information, or tey it for yourself, just head over to the Savings Catcher website.

UPDATE::::  Since apparently my local store (the brand new Super Center) is not participating, the Savings Catcher would not take my receipt.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring Cleaning: Getting Ready for Spring!

Spring is almost here (FINALLY!).  As the days get longer, and it starts to get warmer, we tend to “wake up” and have the urge to get things done.  I don’t know about your house, but during the winter, the kids are playing inside most of the time, and things get broken and dirty.  I like to get started on my “spring cleaning” early so that when the weather does get really nice, we can be outside instead of inside cleaning!  I compiled a list of things my family needs to tackle now that spring is around the corner.

Spring To-Do List:

Examine the house.  Yep, inside and out.  I like to check for leaky pipes, potential basement leaks, anything outside that could have been damaged during the winter.  I make a list of everything that needs to be repaired and cleaned so there is no question about what needs to be done.  I noticed that water wasn't draining away from my home properly, so this year I plan to correct that problem.

Yard work.  I know, I know……but you see, we haven’t had to do yard work all winter.  This year I have to rake up leaves, dispose of my dead flowering bush, prep the garden, and lay down mulch.  I consider cleaning the gutters as part of yard work, so the hubby shall have the honors of doing that (I hate being on the roof).  This also includes starting you seedlings if you garden (I've got flowers, cabbage, and collards ready to go!).

Decluttering and organizing.  I told my hubby this year we need to find a home for every item in our house.  If it doesn't have a home, it’s getting tossed, donated, or it's going to be listed on Listia!  We also toss out (or donate) old and broken toys.  We love to create and craft during the spring and summer, so anything we can save for that, we do.  I also like to take time to clean out and reorganize the pantry (which becomes cluttered after Christmas baking).

Switch to spring.  Yep, switch to spring…..that’s what I said!  I don’t know about you, but there are certain colors and items that are season specific in my home.  I like to brighten things up once spring rolls around.  Switch out the bed sheets, switch out pillows and decor, and pull back the drapes.  We put away the winter clothing and bring out the spring clothing.  Spring is usually the time of year we paint.  I mean, the house is getting organized and cleaned, so if painting is on your list, do it now!  I literally switch my house to spring!

DEEP CLEAN!  Like I said, you've probably been in your house for the majority of winter, which means dirty germs lurk everywhere!  Mop, scrub, dust, polish, disinfect………do whatever you need to get your home clean.  I start from the top and work my way down.  Best way to tackle deep cleaning is to focus on one room at a time.  That way you don’t see it as the entire house that needs to be cleaned, but rather that small area of the house.

Focus on healthy.  I'll admit, I eat one too many helpings at Thanksgiving, and one too many Christmas cookies around the holidays.  Now that the weather is getting nicer, clean up your diet too.  Fresh fruits and veggies are going to be in season soon, so freshen up your diet!  We love hitting up our local farmer's market for fresh, local produce, cheese, honey, and even meat!  We also take advantage of the pick-your-own produce farms (can you say fresh berries......yum!).    

Now you just need to light a candle, grab an iced tea, and read a book while the sun shines down on you!  Happy spring cleaning mommies (and daddies)!