Affiliate · Bargain Buys · Fabulous DEALS Friday · Uncategorized

Fabulous DEALS Friday: Gymboree Semi Annual Sale, Undet $10 Back to School Clothes

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Gymboree is having their semi annual 75% off sale right now.  I love this sale, it makes for the perfect time to stock up.

I’ve been doing some back to school shopping (yes, I know summer just started.  I like to plan ahead) with my kids so I picked out a few favorite deals for back to school clothing.  Everything I chose is under $10!

Gymboree Girl Deals

This Confetti Top is darling.  I love the periwinkle color, but I noticed a few other colors in the same style.  I love the back criss-cross detail, flowy style AND it is only $4.99!

I love a tulle skirt, and this Aqua Tulle Skirt one is the perfect color and such a cute fit.  This would be perfect for the first day of school or class picture day!  The best part is it’s only $5.99!

The Fan Club Shirt is so cute and fun.  This is a style my daughters would love!  Sizes appear to be limited, so don’t waste any time if you’re interested in it!  It is only $6.99, making it a great deal!

This Bestie Tee is a similar style to the Fan Club Shirt.  How cute would it be to have matching Bestie Tees with your bestie????  Super cute!  It is another great deal for only $6.99!

My kids wear uniforms at their school, and these Ponte Pants are the only style they like to wear.  They are uniform approved, but so comfortable with a great a stretch.  I have never seen them this cheap before, only $7.99!

These Ankle Zip Pants are adorable.  I love a good colored jean!  They are priced right at only $7.99.

What’s cuter than flamingos?  This Flamingo Shirt is so cute!  I wish it came in my size!  It is only $7.99!

This Striped Cardigan is perfect for all things fall and back to school.  It’s hard to find these sweaters under $10, but this one is just under it at $9.97.

 

 

Gymboree Boy Deals

If you have a dinosaur lover I’m sure he would love this Rex Tee. It is all things boys and only $7.99!

Here is another great deal on a uniform.  These Uniform Shirts are really high quality and only $7.99.

Jeans are SO expensive!  These Straight Jeans are stylish AND a good price.  They are only $8.99.

I love the Stripe Tee is colors.  It looks so soft and comfortable.  The shirt is a great deal at only $9.99.

I love seeing my boy in a collared plaid shirt.  This Plaid Shirt is a great deal at only $9.99!

This Fighter Hoodie is perfect for your Star Wars fan.  It has just the right amount of Star Wars flare to keep it cool and enough trend to keep mom loving it!  It is also only $9.99!

 

This Pocket Tee is simple but so cute.  It is on sale for only $7.99!

 

Feel free to browse the rest of the clothes in Gymborees Sale.  I saw a few adorable baby items for under $10!  Just remember, if you don’t NEED it and it’s NOT in your budget, than don’t buy it!

 

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Crafts · Family · For the kids · Free Fun · Frugal Life · Good Ideas · Homemade · Parenting · Recipes

Peanut Butter Play Dough Recipe

My kids LOVE making play dough, and it is something we do often.  But, when we make Peanut Butter Play Dough they REALLY REALLY love it.

Peanut Butter Play Dough is such a great sensory activity for kids.  They can touch, see, smell, and even taste it.  That is my kids favorite part!  They love that they actually get to EAT the play dough.

It is so so easy to make peanut butter play dough.  It only takes three ingredients and a few minutes of your time.

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Peanut Butter Play Dough Recipe

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup honey

Mix all ingredients in bowl.  Stir well and knead until smooth.

That’s it!  So easy!  Let your kids play and enjoy!  We get out cookie cutters and knives and forks.  My kids can spend hours playing.

Finances · for free · Frugal Life · Frugal Living Challenge · Good Ideas · Money Educatioin · Money Helps

Show Me the Money: 4 Ways to Earn CASHBACK on Purchases

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Who likes free money???  I LOVE free money!  And I’m betting you like free money too!

This post is all about how to earn cashback, just by shopping like you regularly shop!!

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Cashback with Discover Card

My FAVORITE way to earn cashback is by shopping with my Discover Card.  I talked in detail about why I love my Discover Card in my post The one idea I disagree with Dave Ramsey on.  In short, when I shop with my Discover Card I automatically earn cashback on all purchases.  They give you 1% cashback on EVERYTHING and 5% on different categories that are rotated monthly.  (Currently, I am receiving 5% on groceries).  You don’t have to do anything, just use your card and your cashback will grow.  I earn around $500 cashback with Discover a YEAR, and all I do is shop like normal!

Cashback with Ibotta

I love shopping with ibotta.  This is the very first app I check after completing my grocery shopping.  All you have to do is shop, check the app for rebates, scan your receipt, and the money is instantly put in your ibotta account.  Easy.  Peasy.  They have a wide selection of rebates, common items are milk, apples, pantry items, broccoli, beauty and household.  I can almost always find at LEAST one or two items to receive a rebate for.     If you don’t currently have an ibotta account you can get a FREE $10 just for signing up for one through my link.  (FREE money people!)  Once you have $20 in your account you can redeem your money as cash or a gift card.  I have earned over $100 by using ibotta!

Cashback with Checkout 51

Checkout 51 is very similar to ibotta.  It works as a rebate program.  You shop, scan your receipt and qualified purchases and you will get the rebated money instantly in your account.  Once you reach $20 in your account you can request your money, same as ibotta.  It only takes a few minutes to check for rebates and one minute to scan your receipt.  I have made over $50 cashback using Checkout 51!

Cashback with Ebates

It is so easy to earn cashback with Ebates.  If you like to shop online, you need to shop through the Ebates app.  If you shop through the ebates link you will earn cashback for every purchase.  They have a large variety of stores available to earn money with.  Everything from Kohls, Ebay, Zulily, Justice, Aerie, Lowes, Gap, Ulta, and so so many more.  Before I make ANY online purchase, I always check Ebates first to see if they offer cashback for that store.  All you do is click on the store link in the app, you will be taken to the store website, you do your shopping, and instantly earn money back.  SO SO easy!

 

If you are going to be shopping ANYWAYS, you might as well be earning a little cashback along the way, right???  RIGHT!

A quick word of caution however.  It can become easy to want to buy a product JUST because you see you can get a rebate for it through ibotta or Checkout 51.  Be careful to NOT to fall into this temptation.

I have found the best way for me is to do my shopping FIRST and then check the rebate apps to see if I bought anything eligible for a rebate.  (Except for with Ebates, you must check Ebates FIRST!)  This has helped me immensely to not buy things I really didn’t need in the first place.

What cashback secret did I miss???  How do you like to earn cashback?  Share your successes in the comments!  I would love to hear all about them.

 

 

Affiliate · Amazon · Bargain Buys · For the kids · Frugal Life · Frugal Living Challenge · Money Helps · Parenting

15 Baby Items You Do NOT Need On Your Baby Gift Registry

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I have had 3 kids, my youngest is now 5.  I’ve spent the past couple of years sorting through baby supplies.  It’s taken me years because I have struggled with closing that baby chapter in my life.  I love the memories that come flooding back to me as I look through my boxes of baby items.

I have sold most of the items, gave away a few things, and saved a couple of special items to help remember my sweet babes.  As I’ve sorted and cleaned I’ve realized that so many of the items I thought were necessary, actually weren’t!

There are many articles out there telling you what to add to your baby registry, and a lot of them have some good advice…but I think so many of the things we THINK we need….we actually could do without!

I have come up with a list of 15 items you do NOT need to add to your baby registry.  I also added some alternative, more frugal options to consider.

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15 Baby Items You Really Don’t Need to Buy and their Frugal Alternative

1. Car seat cover

I really wanted a beautiful car seat cover with a fun design.  It’s all I saw while at the grocery store.  So, I bought one.  It was cute and trendy and looked good on the car seat.  And then…2 months later I took it off and it stayed in the closet for the next few years until I gave it away.

Frugal Option: A great alternative is just to put one of the many baby blankets over the handle.  Blankets are something you always have on hand and are just the right size to cover the car seat with.

2. Baby food maker

Baby food makers look pretty and claim to offer convenience and ease to all your baby food making.  While that might be true, it is not a necessary item.  You CAN make baby food without it.

Frugal Option: Baby food is very easy to prepare just by using a pot and a blender.  It only took me an hour or two to make large batches of baby food and I did it without a baby food maker.

3. Baby Shoes

Let’s face it, little tiny baby shoes are adorable!  So many colors and styles…and oh so itty bitty!  However, as darling as those little shoes are, babies don’t really need to wear shoes until they are walking.

Frugal Option:  Baby socks are necessary for those sweet little toes.  Instead of buying shoes, buy some cheaper socks.  Find some that have a cute style.  I love these socks that look like shoes.

4.  Baby nail clippers

I will agree that baby nail clippers were useful for trimming up those tiny baby nails.  However, when I threw mine away I realized I really could have done without them.

Frugal Option: Most people already own a pair of nail clippers.  These would work just as good for babies as they do for adults, you’ll just want to be extra careful not to clip any of that sensitive skin.

5.  Hooded Towels and Baby Washcloths

I was really excited to buy cute hooded towels and small baby washcloths for my babies.  But, I have come to learn they just aren’t necessary.

Frugal Option: Use a towel you already have at home!  They will work just as good and your little one will never even know the difference!

6.  Nursing Cover

If you are planning on nursing you probably will want something to help you cover up while in public, I know I did!  You really don’t need to buy a special cover for that though.

Frugal Option::  I found that a large light weight blanket worked just as good as a nursing cover, and I always had it in my diaper bag anyways.  One less thing to pack!

7.  Bathtub  

A baby bathtub was an item I thought was so important to buy when I had my first baby.  In hindsight, it was handy for a few months, but then the babies just grew out of it in a few short months and the tub was stuck sitting in my basement.

Frugal Option:  If I were to do it all again I would purchase this Bath Sponge instead of a fancy tub.  It is much cheaper at only $6.39 and it won’t take up as much space.  This would be a much more frugal option.

8.  Nursing Pillow

This is another one of those items that I thought I just HAD to have.  I ended up not using my boppy pillow as much as I thought I would have and I have since decided it really wasn’t worth the money.

Frugal Option: I found that I preferred nursing with a couple of small pillows under my arms instead of the nursing pillow.  I was able to smash them in a way that felt most comfortable and I didn’t have to worry about the bulky nursing pillow.

9. Changing Table

Changing tables are so pretty in all the magazine nursery pictures.  But, once your baby grows out of it, they really aren’t super functional.  Changing tables usually don’t have a lot of drawers or great organization.  I found I needed to buy a dresser later on to help supplement with space.

Frugal Option: Instead of buying a changing table AND later a dresser, how about just buying a dresser.  Try to find a short dresser so that it will be the perfect height to changing your baby on.

10.  Changing Pad

While we are discussing changing stations, let’s discuss the changing pad.  You’ll find all sorts of different changing pad shapes and sizes and all the darling patterns for a cover to go with it.  These are cute and fun to buy, but really not necessary.

Frugal Option:  A couple of soft towels (that you already own) folded up and placed on the baby dresser will work JUST as good for a changing pad.  They are easy to throw in the laundry and clean, and they are free (big win!)!

11.  Diaper Pail

You will find a diaper pail on almost every baby registry idea list.  I do believe they can be convenient and very useful.  But, they can also be really expensive, especially when you have to buy the pricey refills (which you will need to do….A LOT).

Frugal Option:  We had a cheap trash can next to the changing table (I should’ve chose a dresser!).  With all the late night diaper changes with newborns, it was very nice to have somewhere to put alllll those diapers.  I would change the bag daily and fortunately newborns messy diapers usually don’t smell bad!  After about 4-6 weeks, once baby starts sleeping a little longer at night, I just started taking the messy diapers out to the dumpster outside.  It only took a few minutes and felt good to get a little fresh air.

12.  Diaper Organizer

I’ve seen these fancy diaper organizers around for a long time.  They look really cute in a nursery and I can see the appeal for them.  I don’t however think they are must have.

Frugal Option:  How about use one of those top drawers of the dresser (aka changing table).  They will be within arms reach during diaper changes, and it didn’t cost you anything extra!  It’s also so nice to have them concealed away.

13.  Wipe Warmer

Baby wipes are cold and you might feel a little guilty wiping the baby with a cold wipe.  The problem is that you won’t always have a wipe warmer with you, so it would be good for the little one to get use to the cold wipe right from the beginning.

Frugal Option:  I unfortunately have no frugal alternative for a wipe warmer.  I’ve found that babies really do get use to a cold wet wipe.  So, just use them as is and save yourself some extra cash.

14.  Sound Machine

My babies slept much, MUCH better with a little white noise next to them.  You do NOT need a sound machine though to accomplish this.

Frugal Option:  You can download white noise apps for free on your phone or ipad and place them in babies room while they are sleeping.  Or, we just used a small cheap fan.  We placed it next to their bed and pointing it away from.  Our babies slept great this way!

15.  Bottle Drying Rack

I’ll start with a disclaimer…..I actually never fed my babies a single bottle….so you can take my advice on this one with a grain of salt.  I have seen the bottle drying racks in ads and have always assumed that even though they look super fun and handy, they just aren’t very frugal.

Frugal Option:  How about just placing your bottles upside down on a dish cloth and let them air dry.  A dish cloth should work just as well as a drying rack, but wouldn’t cost you a thing!

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What baby item did YOU buy that you wish you hadn’t????  Let me know in the comments all your Frugal Baby Alternatives!

 

Finances · Frugal Life · Money Helps

10 Tips to Stop Impulse Shopping

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Let’s talk impulse shopping.

I have always struggled with impulse shopping and am constantly trying to work on this.

Do I budget? YEP!  Do I love to save money and watch my bank account grow!  ABSOLUTELY!  Yet, I have always struggled with buying things on impulse.

So, here are a few of my 10 top tips that has personally helped me stop the urge to impulse shop.

10 Tips to Stop Impulse Shopping

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1.  Admit you Have a Problem

The first step to curing impulse shopping is to admit you have a problem.  I have gone through so many times of rationalizing my impulse spending.  I would use phrases like, “Oh, but it was on sale, so it was a smart buy,” or “It was something that we really needed anyway, so it wasn’t really an impulse buy.”

These phrases are only excuses.  We use excuses to make ourselves feel better when we do something that we know was probably not the best decision.

Once I admitted to myself that I had a problem with impulse spending and I quit using excuses, I was finally able to begin to change.  I still mess up sometimes…..but I am much better than I was a few years ago.

If I impulse shop.  I tell myself I impulsed shopped and it was a mistake.  I no longer make up excuses and it has kept me accountable and aware of my goals.

2.  Recognize your Triggers

Once you’ve admitted that you have a problem, it’s time to pin point the triggers.

Is their a certain store that you leave buying more than you should have.  (Target is my biggest trigger when it comes to impulse shopping.)

Does the impulse to spend come after a highly emotional day?

Find whatever YOUR personal trigger is, this will be different for everyone.

3.  Find Alternatives

The third step to curing impulse shopping is to find alternative activities to keep you away from your triggers.

The past 2 years I have tried to just stay away from Target.  No matter what I do, I can’t seem to leave the store without impulse spending.

I’ve started shopping at other stores more and avoiding going to Target at all costs.  I still go occasionally, but every time I do I regret it.

If you have a store that is your trigger, find an alternative store.  If you shop when you are sad, upset, bored, etc. find a different activity to help get you through those emotions.  If you follow a really cute blogger on Instagram who posts links to her darling clothes and you always seem to swipe up…..unfollow her!

Do whatever it takes to find something to keep you away from your personal triggers.

4.  Leave the Cards at Home

When I shop with cash and leave all cards (debit and credit) at home.  I am much much more diligent to sticking to my list and budget.  I am always worried about being “one of those customers” who show up to the register without enough money to pay for my items.

When I know I only have a set amount of money in my wallet I watch my cart closer and it is much easier to walk past the items that catch my eye.

If you are new to spending with cash you can read more about my Cash Envelope System Here.

5.  Make a List

Making a list is so important.  If you aren’t already making regular shopping lists, you might be surprised by how much less you spend when you shop with that list in hand.

Before you go anywhere make a list of the things that you NEED.  Even if you are only going shopping for one thing, write it down.

Shop with that list in your hand and commit to only buying the things you have written down.  Even if you see something on sale.  Even if you walk past the cutest shirt you have ever seen.  If it’s not on your list than do not buy it.

6.  48 Hour Rule

I discuss my 48 hour rule in detail in my Free 14 Day Frugal Living Challenge.  The quick version is you wait 48 hours before making any purchase above a certain dollar amount.

The dollar amount is personal to you and your situation.  Everyone will have a different number that works for them.

When we wait to make a purchase we are giving ourselves time to separate emotions from logic, or want vs. need.

7.  Splurge Money

Be sure to include “splurge money” in your budget.  Splurge money is for you to spend however you WANT!

Your splurge money will give you a little taste of freedom.  If you don’t allow yourself a small amount of freedom, you are much more likely to over spend.

There is no right or wrong amount to budget for splurge money.  If you have a very tight budget, your splurge money might be small.  If your budget has some wiggle room perhaps you could budget yourself a little more.

8.  Shopping Cart

A few of you might roll your eyes at this suggestion.  And that’s ok!  It might not work for you, but this is something I have been doing more and more lately and it has really been helping me.

Occasionally, if I am out shopping and see an item that I really really want…..but it’s not on my list, I will just grab it anyways and put it in my cart.  I allow myself to walk around with it in my shopping cart while I do the rest of my shopping.

When it comes time to check out I look at the items I added on impulse and evaluate.  Should I really buy this?  Do I have money in my budget for this item?  Is it something I need?  Could I wait and budget for it later and come back and buy it?

I will usually be able to talk myself out of buying it and go put the items back where I found them.

9.  Use a Spending Buddy

Find a friend who has similar financial goals as you.  Use each other as someone to talk to when you are getting the urge to impulse shop.

A few years ago I had a good friend who agreed to be my spending buddy.  Whenever I would find that one item I thought that I just HAD to have, I would call my friend.  I explained to her what I wanted and she would ask me those important questions about if I really needed it, could I find something cheaper, etc.  I would often do the same for her in return.

My spending buddy was so great at helping me spend less.  And because I KNEW I would need to call her before I bought anything….it made me second guess my impulses, I only wanted to call her for important things!

10.  Forgive Yourself

This is one of my very most important tips!

Whenever you’re trying to change habits you will make mistakes.  It happens to everyone!

Forgive yourself when you mess up.  Learn from your mistake.  Make a plan to do better next time and then MOVE ON.

If I am to hard on myself I just end up throwing my hands in the air and giving up.  I’ve had those moments when I messed up on my budget and instantly felt like a failure.  I would convince myself I’ve already ruined my budget I might as well just keep on spending!  This was a giant mistake!

Once I started forgiving myself my budget benefited!  I am able to start fresh the next day and move forward with my goals.

 

How do you stop yourself from impulse shopping?  Share YOUR top tips in the comments below!

Fabulous DEALS Friday · Family · Frugal Life · Gift Ideas · Holidays

Fabulous DEALS Friday: Fathers Day Gifts all Under $15 Shipped!

I am an affiliate of online programs.  I may receive compensation for purchases made through my links.  Thank you!

We have officially entered JUNE!  That means it’s time to start thinking about the perfect gift for all the fathers in our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I ALWAYS struggle trying to think of Fathers Day ideas.  A couple of years ago I started purchasing gifts for dads on Jane, and they have seemed to always be a hit.  A lot of them are easy to customize and personalize.  I started browsing today for my favorite (budget friendly!) gifts.  Here is what I found!

This personalized key chain is darling and would be the perfect gift for young kids to give to their dad.  It comes to only $13.58 shipped!

Gifts from the heart, that show meaning and love are ALWAYS my favorite gifts.  Which is exactly why I love this personalized memory book.  It comes with 45 blank pages for your child to personalize for dad with pictures and memories.  This is something as a parent I would treasure forever.  You can get it for just $8.48 shipped!

I love the look of this money clip.  What a sweet reminder for dad to carry around with him at all times.  It comes to only $13.49 after shipping.

This personalized fishing lure is the perfect gift for any dad who loves to fish!  There are 10 different saying options for you to choose the perfect one for your dad.  You can get the fishing lure for $10.99 shipped!

My husband would love this multi-tool bracelet.  This is a great option for the outdoors man in your life.  It includes several survival tools in case of an emergency, a few included are:  flint, knife, whistle, compass, and more!  You can choose your color and size that your man would want.  I just added this to my cart and it comes to $10.48 shipped!

Man Soap is perfect for all those men not wanting to smell like flowers after the shower.  😉  I like to keep a couple more “manly” scents in the shower so my husband doesn’t have to use my more “girly” scents.  These soaps have a variety of scents to choose from including “mechanics”, “mountain air”, and “sweet musk.”  It comes to just $7.48 shipped!

This is another gift I can see my husband loving.  If you have a handy man father/husband, this magnetic utility wristband looks perfect!  It comes to only $10.98 after shipping!

Let me know if you purchase anything!  I would love to hear what the fathers in your life are wanting this year!

 

Family · For the kids · Frugal Life · Parenting · Side Hustle

When FAMILY becomes more important than the SIDE HUSTLE

This week I walked away from a really great side hustle.

This was not an easy decision to make.  Not at all.

Did I enjoy it?  YES!

Did it earn me good money?  ABSOLUTELY!

Do we need the money? We can survive happily without it, but the money definitely HELPED!

Then WHY did I quit????

Let me back track for a bit.

Four years ago my husband lost his job.  It was a devastating, punch in the gut, slap in the face, completely unexpected thing to happen.  (This is a whole other story for a different day, but the experience shook me.)  I spiraled into a depression and struggled every day to get out of bed.  I was constantly worried.  Worried about our future and about our present.  Worried about how we were going to raise three kids on…..virtually nothing at the time.  This experience has shaped a lot of my views on money that I have today.

Long story short, after 7 long months my husband was able to find another job (and even a better job).  This released a huge burden from my shoulders, but I still felt guarded and uncertain.  (I even tried keeping good news from everyone I knew because I was worried about letting that guard down and didn’t want to celebrate).

I decided then and there that I was not going to leave our financial well being in the fate of someone elses hands.  I was going to begin actively contributing to the family finances.

I am a stay at home mom, and that has always been my first and most important job.  I take this job very seriously and knew I needed to keep it as a priority.

That was when I settled on teaching piano lessons out of my home.  Now, I KNOW that this little side hustle really wasn’t going to make a HUGE impact on our financial situation.  But, in my fragile worried little mind, it was calming to me to at least be doing SOMETHING to make a little money.

I started out small and only accepted a few students.  I found that I LOVED it!  I loved teaching and spending time with my students.  I also found that I loved earning money; the paycheck was small, but after over a decade of not earning money it felt really good to be having a little personal income.  I began accepting more students and grew my waiting list.

This went on for three years and I was ecstatic.  I was making money!  I was contributing to our family finances!  I had my own business!  YET, I was STILL doing what I loved most and being a SAHM.  It really felt like the perfect opportunity for me.

And it was perfect…until it just wasn’t anymore.

During my third and final year teaching piano I began to struggle finding the right balance between my job as a full time mom, and my side hustle as a piano teacher.  My kids were spending more and more time watching TV and arguing with each other (I would talk to my kids about this again and again, but it was difficult to enforce while I was with a student), and I began to feel myself slipping.  I didn’t like that I wasn’t giving 120% to my job as a SAHM anymore.  I didn’t like that I wasn’t being there for my kids in those moments I NEEDED to be there.  I knew at this point that I was going to have to give something up; I was going to have to learn to be okay with not being the mom I wanted to be, or I needed give up my piano teaching side hustle.

I chose to give up the side hustle.

Now, I am all for side hustles.  I am all for making more money.  I am all for teaching your kids responsibility and independence from you.  I just realized that the piano teaching wasn’t the right fit for ME personally.

We all have our own ideas of our lives and the type of person who we want to be….and neither way is right or wrong.  My kids spend a lot of time at school, and at friends houses and at extra curricular activities and I decided that during those few precious hours when they were at home and awake I wanted to be present for THEM.  I wanted to be able to drive them to the places they needed to be, referee their fighting, and spend quality time together.

This doesn’t mean I am giving up the side hustle.  I still feel very strongly that I would like to contribute to our family finances.  It really helps calm my anxiety to make a little bit of money.  I just need to find a better fit for me and for my family.  Something during the day hours when the kids are at school, or the night hours when they are asleep.

 

I talk a lot about saving money and making money and sacrificing to have more money.  And I agree with all of that 100%.  However, never lose focus on the things that matter MOST.  What matters most will be different to every person. Spend wisely.  Budget.  Side hustle.  Do what you need to do by all means.  But, never do it at the sacrifice of the relationships that are very most important to you.  Money comes and go.  Things wear out and break.  Relationships are what matters.  I will NEVER get back these years with my kids.  They are growing (to to fast!) and before I know it I will have all the time in the world to work as hard as I want.  But.  For now, for me.  I am choosing my kids and my family over the side hustle…..and I know I will never regret it.

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for free · For the kids · Free Fun · Frugal Life

“Painting” Baked Rocks

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If you have been reading for a while you know that I am all about simple and frugal activities for kids.  Mom life is HARD and BUSY and did I mention HARD.  So, if I can come up with fun activities for my kids that require very little prep, I am all for it!

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This activity of “painting” rocks is one of my favorites. It starts with an old fashioned rock hunt.  I encourage my kids to find a large and smooth rock, they usually just grab whichever one catches their eye first!  Either way totally works.  (See, simple right?!?!)

 

You will then need to “bake” the rock.  This is done exactly how it sounds.  Place the rock into a hot oven and let it “cook” in the oven until the rock gets hot.  I usually turn the oven on to about 400 degrees and bake them for about 15 minutes.  There really is no science here, you just want the rock hot.

 

Take it out of the oven carefully and place it on a paper plate, paper towel, newspaper, etc.  Now you can let your kids color on the hot rock with crayons.  It is fun to watch the colors melt on to the rock and look like paint.

 

After you are done “painting” let the rock cool and dry.  You will be left with a fun colored rock, we have a collection of these outside.  My kids are always eager to add a new rock to their loved collection.

 

 

Affiliate · Bargain Buys · Fabulous DEALS Friday · Groopdealz

Fabulous DEALS Friday: Womens Summer Clothing from Groopdealz

I am an affiliate with Groopdealz.  I may be compensated for purchases made from clicks on my links.  

It is finally heating up where I live and today is my kids last day of school.  This can only mean one thing!  SUMMER TIME!  There is nothing that I love more than the laid back summer life full of pool days, popsicles, and bbqs!

I decided to do a little researching and found so many darling clothes from Goopdealz, all perfect for summer wearing!

I love wearing casual tees all summer.  They are cute, comfortable, and the perfect “mom uniform.”  This Hustle Tee immediately caught my eye.  It is only $15.98 shipped and I love the meaning!  We are hustling, right!?!

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This is another darling tee!  Floral print is so popular right now and I’ve found I just can’t seem to get enough!  This Floral V-Neck is only $15.98 with shipping!

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Here is another fun tee, perfect for summer bbqs and holidays.  The Stars and Stripes Tee is just $19.98 shipped!

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There really is nothing more flattering than a peplum shirt.  I wear these all.the.time.  Seriously so great for the “mom tummy” or even that “taco tummy!”  The Empire Waist Top only costs $16.98 after shipping!

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I am seriously obsessed with this dress!  I was immediately drawn to it and just might get one for me…AND my daughter!  It looks comfortable, stylish, and very flattering, plus it is a really good deal!  It comes in 7 different colors, but this blue was my favorite.  You can get the Short Sleeve Swing Dress for only $16.99 shipped!  Such a great deal for a dress!

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I don’t usually wear bikinis, but when I saw this one I fell in love.  It is really cute and I love the high waisted bottom.  Plus, the price tag is SO good!  There are two different colors/styles to choose from.  This Ruffle Swimsuit is only $20.98 after shipping!  Such a good deal!

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Happy Frugal Shopping!  And HAPPY summer!  YAY!

 

Disclaimer:  A good deal is NOT a reason to use credit cards or spend money that has not been budgeted for.  Budget first, and IF you have money in your budget, then it’s time to bargain shop and see how far you can stretch that budgeted money!

for free · Frugal Life · Homemade

Homemade Outdoor Window Cleaner

We have been busy around here with Spring Cleaning.  I might be a little strange, but I honestly look forward to Spring Cleaning every year.  It is such a beautiful time of year with new growth and the perfect time for a fresh clean start.

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Every spring we deep clean the outside of all of the windows on our house.  It’s a family job and everyone helps.  I have been making my own window clean for years.  It does a great job getting off all those pesky  water spots.

Outdoor Window Cleaner Recipe

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All you need is:

8 cups water

2 cups vinegar

1/8 cups dish soap

Mix all ingredients together in a large bucket and you are ready to scrub those windows!

That is all!  Seriously so easy!

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Am I the only one who gets giddy over spring cleaning windows????