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Mar 20, 2013

3rd Annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge

It is getting to be that time of year again. Flats Challenge time, that is! You may remember that I participated in the very first flats challenge when BG was very young. I even cloth diapered and handwashed diapers while camping with her during this time.
I was not a part of "The Challenge" last year, but I am thinking that I may do it again this year. I love my flats. I also think that we need to spread the word that it is not that difficult to use cloth diapers. You can even do it if you have very little money to spend.
The Challenge will run from May 20th through the 26th. Six days is not very long. I think anyone can do this for 6 days. I am posting this because I want to help spread the world about the Flats and Handwashing Challenge.  If you click on the picture above, or the link in the post, you will be taken to the very first post for this year's challenge. There you can put your name into the preliminary list of possible participants.
The first year there were 200 families. Last year, 260 families participated. Can we get over 300 this year?

Do you cloth diaper? Would you participate in a Challenge like this?

Who is with me!?

Until next time... Happy Diapering!

Mar 19, 2013

When times are tight...Every penny counts!

courtesy of RambergMediaimages

Times are tight all around. I know we are not alone in this. Factor in one and not two incomes and things can be very tight. After our big Disney trip this past fall and general winter expenses, we realized all our bank accounts were doing was getting smaller. We had to do something and as quickly as we could. One of the first things I did was hit the internet. We also quit a lot of our spending and made a budget. Yes, until now we haven't really had a budget.
When I looked at the budget I knew we would be okay if we stopped spending much past our necessary expenses. We had wiggle room, but not much. We worked to make sure we only spent a certain amount each week. Then I realized our next problem, we weren't taking a set amount of money out on a certain day each week, we would just try to keep it low and only spend the cash as much as possible. We weren't tracking the money either. 
Then I found a site that has helped me out a bit and we are now trying these new methods. In walked (well, I clicked to her somehow) The fun, cheap or free Queen. I now love her site. She has a ton of great tips and we are working on trying out her version of the envelope system. I will let you click on her link and see for yourself the full detail of her system. As for us, I have set apart a specific amount of money we can spend each month of groceries and for fun.
I also cut our costs by couponing. Coupons can be a great thing. Now, by no means to I even want to extreme coupon. That is just too much. I get coupons that I know I will use or for things we need. If I don't need that item, I don't get the coupon. Also, if i cannot get a good price even with the coupon, I don't use it. I know people that think they have to buy the product because the coupon is going to expire soon and they have to use a coupon if they have it. That is not the case! Let it go.
Clipped Coupons With Scissors 2
courtesy of StockMonkeys.com
We also use generic items whenever possible. As a family, we do not mind generic items, and usually I see no difference in taste or quality. I am also excited to start making more and more of the things we use and eat. We have been eating out a lot less. I already used regular household items like vinegar to clean the house, so that was easy. I am also going to try making more of the smoothie drinks that Hubby likes to get from the store. And since I won and awesome dehydrator (Thank you Happily Domestic!) I am going to try my hand at making jerky and other great little snacks. If we get good at making jerky, that can even help with some Christmas presents that we tend to give out each year. 
We are going to see how we do at pinching every penny we can and paying off our debt sooner rather than later. Now, I pass the advice on to you....
How do you save money? What are your budgeting tips? Let's here it!

Until next time... Happy Penny Pinching!

Mar 17, 2013

{31 Days} Day 17 - The Whys and Whens of Blogging

Why and When did you start blogging?
It is sort of funny why I truly started blogging. I was new to the world of online giveaways. I was also just entering the world of cloth diapers with LJ. He was about 18 months old. When I was entering the giveaways I would always see that I could get extra entries for doing a blog post about the giveaway. For the longest time, I would not get those entries. Then I decided, what the heck. Why not? I started a little blog so that I could post about giveaways and get those extra entries. Then I figured, why stop there? I started writing more on the blog and then building it up to possibly be able to host some of my own giveaways and share my life with others.
My first blog posts were in December of 2009. It is hard to believe that I have had this blog now for over 3 years.
My first three posts were:

  1. "Feed Your Stash" fridays button
  2. Leg Huggers Giveaway on The Cloth Diaper Report
  3. FuzziBunz Giveaway on Suburban Saving Momma
Do you have a blog? Why and when did you start?

Until next time... Happy blogging?

Mar 16, 2013

{31 Days} Day 5 - My Favorite Movies

Everyone has a a favorite movie. Some have more than one favorite. There are a few that I have seen and will continue to watch for a long time. Some are newer and some are older. The first is an all time favorite for me. I have watched it so many times. That is Dirty Dancing.

Another really good one is The Avengers. Newer, but so good!

Now, these next two are two that I first saw on broadway. I loved them and now they both have theatrical releases that are really good. Those would be Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. 

Les Mis actually has two theatrical releases, but the new one that is a musical is the one I am speaking of here. I do not mind the first movie to be released, but it is not a musical and to me Les Mis is musical. I crave the score of the production. I have seen the new movie multiple times and would have loved to see it more. i know for sure we will own it on DVD when it is released. I am just so glad that Hubby loves it too.

What are you favorite movies?

Until next time... Happy Film Watching!

{ Days} Day 16 - Accomplishments

What is your greatest accomplishment?
I am not quite sure how to answer that. Possibly one of my greatest accomplishments was delivering my two children with absolutely no pain meds. They didn't really give me much choice in the matter, but after those two deliveries I knew I could do so much. I really had that feeling of accomplishment after LJ since it was so fast, furious, and unexpected.
I also had a great feeling of accomplishment after nursing BG for as long as I did. We could not get things to work out for nursing LJ. I was able to nurse BG for over a year. That was a great feeling after not having that with LJ.

What are some of your greatest accomplishments?

Until next time... Happy Living?

Mar 15, 2013

{31 Days} Day 12 - Missing

This is a tough topic today. What do I miss? There are plenty of things that I miss.Now the question I have to answer for this post is where do I want to take it? Do I want to go sentimental or keep things lighter? To be honest, I don't know. My first answer goes deep. It is a quick gut reaction to the question at hand, and I guess I should run with it.
The biggest thing I miss is my dad. After him, it is my Nanny. I lost my dad when I was 6. He died from lung cancer caused by smoking. It is hard to lose a parent at any age. When you are so young, it can be hard to really process your emotions that well and understand things. One thing I remember from that time is getting a big stack of hand made cards from the kids in my first grade class. I also remember being graveside. It was a rainy day and I hid my tears using my clear froggy umbrella. I loved the umbrella. I also didn't understand why I did not see his casket during the funeral. It was later that I found out he had been cremated.
I was very fortunate to then get a great stepdad. He is pretty great. :)

What is something/someone you miss? 

Until Next time.... Happy Living!

Mar 14, 2013

{31 Days} Day 14 - iPods

Now, today we are asked what is on our iPods. Here is the thing. I don't have one. Technically we do own an mp3 player. I cannot tell you however the last time either of us used it. I had it in my hospital bag for both deliveries, but it was never used. Then again I never really had the chance, but that is a different post.
Hubby and I tend to listen mostly to radio stations (93.3 WMMR in particular) in the car and I will listen to Pandora's contemporary christian station when I am working around the house. That is about it. We don't really do the whole player thing. Bummer, I know. Not really.

What do you listen to?

Until next time.... Happy Listening!

{31 Days} Day 11- Books

Books. Reading. I will admit, I don't do that much. The books I read are children's books, and I am reading them to the kids at night. I can't fully remember the last book I read for myself. I think it might have been a book I read for review on here. That was The Medium Next Door. I did that review back in June of 2011. It has been awhile. I think part of my problem is there is so much more that I do instead of reading. It can also take a lot for a book to grab me enough to keep me reading. It is hard to find those books.

What is the last book you read?

Until next time...Happy Reading!

Mar 13, 2013

{31 Days} Day 13 - Regrets...Live without them

The prompt for today is all about regrets. I am not sure that I truly regret much. Everything that I have done in my life and that has happened has made me the woman I am today. Yes, there are unsavory things in my past, but if they have shaped me. If there is really anything to regret in life it would be not trusting the Lord enough. He has my life planned. He knows all that will happen. if this is true, how can I regret it, for He has determined life events to shape us into who He would have us be.

Is there anything you regret? Are you working towards living with no regrets? 

Until next time... Happy Living!

{31 Days} Day 10 - Our Daily Routine...?

 Our daily routine can truly vary from day to day. I keep some things fluid as it works for us. Hubby and I plan some things, but then when it comes to the little things, we like to let it flow.
Here is the basics of our routine each day.
Hubby gets up and goes to work by 630
Kids and I wake usually by 800
We get up and head downstairs
The kids get some milk and cereal (or what they might like for breakfast that day)
M/W/F LJ has school
School days, LJ is dressed and Mommom takes him to school @ 9
BG and I pick up LJ after school at 1130
Nap-time starts at 1
Hubby usually gets home around 4
Milk and some TV time
Bath time is around 730 (when needed)
Bedtime is 8 for the kids

I have told LJ and he now remembers that I enforce nap-time until Kindergarten. Both kids have to lay in bed for the duration of their lullaby CD. If I have to go up and make them get back in bed or stop playing/messing around, I restart the CD, so they are up there longer. This is some of my best to time to get work done around the house. 
Mornings have the greatest amount of playtime for us. That is most of what we do, unless I have to do some errands while LJ is at school. The kids are up from nap-time by 330 and then it is playtime until dinner, as well.
We keep our weekends very flexible. We still try to get the kids to nap at some point, but the weekends are family time and we usually don't plan that until the day of. 

So, there is our daily routine. What is your routine?

Until next time... Happy Living!

Mar 10, 2013

{31 Days} Day 3 - Happiness is...

To me Happiness is
Warm Hugs from loved ones
"I love you" coming when it is not expected
The smell of freshly baked goods
Smiles on faces
Curling up on the couch with warm drinks and loved ones
New baby smell
Snuggling with children after bathtime
Listening children pray
Faith in God
Fellowship is friends and family
Hearing my son praying the sinner's prayer and asking to be born again so he can one day be with God in Heaven

Yes, I was so blessed and thrilled when my son's SS teacher came to me and told me that LJ was asking to pray the prayer to have God in his heart and be born again. He knew what he was saying and what it meant. Later that afternoon we sat with him and my husband prayed the prayer with LJ. It was such a special day for us. Truly special. 

What makes you happy? What puts a smile on your face? Please share so that we may share the happiness with you!

Until next time... Happy Happiness!

Mar 9, 2013

{31 Days} Day 9 - Life List

I have to be honest with you. I hate these type of posts. I really do not like the idea of bucket lists. I do not have one. I also do not really do the whole New Year's resolutions thing either. Yes, there are things that might be nice to do some day, but I don't like the term bucket list. Maybe that is my problem, the terms/phrases and their over use.
 One day I would love to be able to tour Europe with the family. Hubby and I have said this since before we were married. We want to take much of a summer to do it. Time to travel to many European countries and show the kids the world. History books are well and good, but seeing the places in person is a whole different thing. They will always remember the trip and the things we did and saw. Pictures in books fade quickly.
 I hope and pray that I will be able to see my children get married. For them to have children of their own.
I want to own a home free and clear. Get the mortgage paid off and not have to deal with all of that none sense.
Really, there isn't a ton on what some might call a bucket list.

What is on your bucket list? Do you even have one?

Until next time... Happy Dreaming!

{31 Days} Day 2 - Favorite Quotes

 Today, I am going to keep it short, I think.  There are many times that I find quotes and things in my internet journeys that I like. Then when it comes time to think back on them, they are just not there anymore.  One will always remain though:
Nobody puts Baby in the corner.
 Yes, Dirty Dancing. I used to watch that movie all the time. For a spell, it was watched every weekend.
Another quote:
God is Good!
All the time!
And all the time,
God is Good!

There you have it, some quotes I love and try to live by. Some may be funny but others are ones to truly meditate one.
What are some of your favorite quotes? 

Until next time... Happy quoting!

Mar 8, 2013

{31 Days} Day 8 - Pet Peeves

Everyone has pet peeves. Some have more than others. Many times if I am asked what my peeves are, I can't think of many right away. Then as the day or days go on, I think of more as I think back on the conversation. Here are some that I could come up with for this post:

  • Poor Spelling. Now, I know some people aren't the greatest at spelling. This just does not fly though when you are using a computer. It drives me NUTS when I see poor spelling on websites, in emails, etc. The more official the format (website, email, etc) the worse the offense. I blame the English teacher in me. 
  • Double Standards. I think this just goes without saying. :)
  • Fake/Mean People. Truly, who likes this kind of person. 
At the moment, this is what I have come up with. What are some of your pet peeves? Let's here is ladies and gents!

Until next time.... Happy Living!

Mar 7, 2013

{31 Days} Day 7 - Dream Jobs

I know that I have not done any of the previous posts, but I am going to do my best to participate in another monthly blogging challenge. AS time goes on I am going to work to catch up, but for now here is today's challenge post. Please, feel free to join in on conversation in the comments section. 

Everyone has their own idea as to what a dream job is. To some it could be the jobs available down-under that pay 100K for 6 months of fun (I actually saw some of GMA this morning and this is one story they covered). Or it could be planning weddings, being your own boss, etc. 
But what is my dream job?
I am a lucky one who can say, I am working my dream job. It has the best pay, too. I am a stay at home mommy who sells her creations, when I have the time to do that. My main job is mommy. I wouldn't have it any other way. Some days are taxing, but what job doesn't have that? The pay? Hugs, kisses, and love. To me, you can't get better than that!
There have been times I have been told I should get a job outside the home so I can have more adult time. Time to not deal with the stresses the kids can pile on me some days. Adults can be just as childish though. And I get to play!
Before I know it, the kids will be in school and then I will be heading back to another job I love, working for a great auctioneer. It may not be in the field of my degree, but they are jobs I love. Would I rather try to go back to school to get a job I may not love or really even like just because that is what I went to school for? Yes, the money might be better, but there is so much more to life. If we can live on the one income that Hubby brings home, we can live with me bringing home whatever I can. Besides, He will always provide. 

What is your dream job? Is it your current job?

Until next time.... Happy Dreaming!

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