Friday, September 11, 2009

My sweet baby girl

Boy I just can't explain how much things are changing around's weird for me. My baby is potty training and do VERY well! She also moved to a big girl toddler bed and went to preschool for the first time this week...I am struggling with her getting so big so fast. She turns three tomorrow and I just can't believe it.
This is my baby growing up. Making her Mommy happy and sad all at the same time. She is sensitive, loving, cuddly, funny, beautiful, and silly...all of these things rolled up into one precious and sweet little girl.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hughes happenings....

Well we have been pretty busy around here lately. #1 and #2 are both in activities that they are having so much fun with. So we are trying to juggle activities for both of's a challenge but it's also one that's going to get even more complicated as #3 gets older. Here are a few pictures of the kids.
That's our boy at his first football game. He's the one in the black shirt and really blonde hair.

Nicole was busting at the seams to get to her first gymnastics class.

Of course little sister had to get in on the action.
Her first cartwheel ever attempted. Very Exciting.

Monday, August 17, 2009

So Proud

Just thought I would do a little post about my sweet husband. The kids and I have had an awesome summer this year cheering him on at several Triathalons that he has competed in. It has been amazing for me to be there with our kids rooting for him. Don't get me wrong...It's not always easy getting there. We are talking about waking our three kids up too early (normally I would NEVER wake my kids!), feeding them on the go (because we are up so early there is just no time to eat after getting them all going), driving to some unknown location, oh did I mention standing in monsoon like weather, trying to keep them entertained in between the times my husband is transitioning from one phase of the race to the next...etc.
But, in spite of all of the hassle to get there, as soon as we see him coming across the finish line and the kids go running up to him screaming his name and hugging his VERY sweaty leg...all of the bad stuff washes away.
I am so proud of my husband and thought I would share some pictures of his final race. His persistance, courage, and athletic ability amaze me. I am so proud to be his wife!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nature Boy

Thought I would post some pictures of my little nature boy in Washington State. My husband did a fantastic job of capturing shots of Joshua is all his boy glory. It was great for me to see these pictures and get a taste of how it was for him since I wasn't there. I received a phone call this day from Joshua who told me he was planning on bringing his garter snake home on the plane. Luckily the airlines wouldn't let that happen!
Beautiful scenery.
My little explorer
Big nature boy and little nature boy. They had a blast spending this time together. I missed them terribly but am so glad they could experience this together.
Little boy...BIG CLAM!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I will admit it, I haven't done much with my coupons lately. Actually lately probably isn't a strong enough word. How about not for 6 weeks? Does that constitute lately? I don't know...I am guessing it's more than "lately." I read an awesome blog entry from Money Saving Mom that relieved a lot of the coupon guilt I have been feeling "lately." If you haven't read it yet you should read it here. I didn't think coupon burnout could be possible but now I realize it can! Thank I can release the guilt of going shopping most of June with just a few coupons or (gasp) no coupons AT ALL! It's terrible...I left the store feeling ripped off every time but it still didn't help me feel motivated to come home and clip coupons. Well, I am feeling that motivation now. I have decided to take a break from my couponing style and try a new one. I found a really good binder/organizer at a garage sale about 4 weeks ago (yes...I have been contemplating this change for that long...ok maybe more) and I went out and bought the baseball card sorter things from the office store down the street. All in all I spent about $17 for it...not bad assuming it motivates me to get my money saving butt back in gear. I thought about taking a before and after picture of my coupon mess here but unfortunately my sweet hubby (who I have been referring to as Bear Bait this week...terrible I know) is on a trip out in the wilds of Washington state with my beloved son and camera. So you will just have to use your imagination and I will update with pictures later. Just trust's a mess. How have you been doing "lately?"

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Our little runners!

Chris took the kids to a little mini run here in Indy not too long ago. I wasn't able to go because of work so imagine my surprise when I came across these awesome pictures that my hubby took for me!!! The kids did awesome running and we are super excited that they are interested in running at all! Here is Joshua waving to his Daddy on the sidelines. Very proud of himself as you can see!

Nicole did a great job running too...even with a skirt and tights on!!!
You can see our sweet daughter holding hands with some random girl running the race with her. So cute...
I am not sure if Joshua is ahead of the pack here or running behind but he did just awesome!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The best birthday gift I ever received

June 3, 2002
What an awesome birthday that was for me. It was the best birthday gift I was ever blessed with...My precious little boy Joshua Michael Hughes. You have brought so much joy to my life. I have learned more about myself and the person I want and need to be in the seven years you have been alive than in all the years I lived before you came to be. I hope and pray I can be the mommy you need me to be. I love you.

Monday, June 1, 2009


It's June! Really? Can't believe it. June is definitely one of my favorite months...It feels like a new beginning. Summer starts, school ends, birthdays, graduations...I love June.
Haven't had much time to just take pictures for the fun of it lately. I think I will set a goal to do that. Get out with my camera (oh...and my kids) and just take some fun pictures. Here is one I took a few weeks back. I love this one...It reminds me of the fun that is yet to come in June!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Where did Spring go?

Boy does time fly!
It's hard to believe it...Is Spring almost over already? So much has been happening...Too many pictures to choose from. I like this picture...It's mother's day and each and every face expresses how we were all feeling by the end of this little photo shoot! Funny.

I haven't done much blogging lately. Too busy I guess...I have been keeping up with reading my favorite blogs though. Three and a half days of school left. I know we still have some time left but from what the calendar says, our summer will officially start next Tuesday at 1 PM! And a whole new set of adventures will begin.

Here are a few of our favorite Spring adventures:

Precious girl on Easter morning...Actually posing for mommy. With her eyes OPEN! It's an Easter miracle!

Sisters...And best of friends!

End of the year preschool party! Someone's very proud of herself!

This kid is ready for summer. I haven't been able to get him to wear pants instead of shorts since the first glimpse of sun appeared! Outside is where this little man wants to be!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm baaack...

I have been out of say the least. BUT, I am definitely back. As of now we have internet access again after FIVE it only felt like five years...I mean, 3 weeks (?) of no online access. Ugghhh...miserable three weeks. So much has happened. I went to Florida. Unfortunately I have no pictures but it was probably one of the most awesome weekends ever. Girlfriends, sleeping in, sun, beach, what more could you ask for? I had time to think and contemplate where my life is at and now I am ready to get back into it. I am ready to make some slight changes in my life and refocus my priorities on my family and my marriage. I feel good. Nevermind that it has been raining and pretty miserable here in Indy for the last two days...Nothing can dampen my optimism right now. I wish I had a pretty picture of my toes (or something) on the beach but I don' can go to my buddies blog HERE and look at her pretty toes and pretend they are mine though. I forgot to paint my nails so they weren't nearly as cute but you get the jist right? Thanks to my girlfriends for making this a FABULOUS weekend for me and thanks to my sweet hubby who supported me in going and spent ONLY one evening at the pediatric ER while I was gone. Hey! One trip...three kids...NOT BAD!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gotta love FREE stuff!

I will be honest with you, I try to stay away from Target. I don't WANT to stay away from Target...just the opposite, I LOVE Target....That's my problem. It just doesn't matter how good the deal or the coupon is...I just know if I go in there it's really hard for me to get out without shopping for more or feeling bad because I can't HAVE MORE! So the result is I just tend to stay away from Target when I hear about a good deal. If I go in for a deal and I get tempted to spend more money (on clothes for the kids for example or myself) that I really didn't need to spend...then it really defeats the purpose right? But...I just couldn't resist the great deal this week. Did you see the $1 off coupon for Vitamin water in the paper this past week? It's in the SS insert. It turns out that this vitamin water is on sale at Target this week for...ONE DOLLAR! Yep, that makes it free. So I thought these would be great to purchase (or get for FREE) for lunches for the kids right? I have never tasted them before and never even given them a single thought but for free...I'm open to it. So...I set out for Target yesterday. Determined to go in for ONLY the Vitamin water and Pledge mulit purpose cleaner....

AND I DID IT!!! I came out only with what I went in for. And the best thing...I came out feeling pretty good. Not depressed because I wanted to buy the cute sweater on sale for $12.99 and didn't have money for or the adorable little clip clop shoes for my girls. It was a successful trip. I walked out having spent only $1.86 and got all of this... Can you believe it!? I had two coupons for the plege (a Mfg Q and a Target Q) so I only paid 89 cents for it!!! I use this stuff a lot and just ran out this past week. WOO HOO! I have 11 bottles of vitamin water and all I had to pay was the tax. Not a bad day at Target!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A couple of free days three little blessings are off to chicago for Spring break with their grandparent's. So...that leaves mommy home alone to get all sorts of cleaning, organizing, etc done right?
Well, I guess the pressure is on!
Perhaps I should at least go take a shower as it's already 10:30 right????? Hmmm...
Well, I do plan on getting the girls' clothes situation cleared up at least. You know...sorting throught the mess of old clothes that don't fit, are the wrong season, etc. Clothes that are the right size but wrong season. Clothes that are the right size and right season but are still in the box that they came in when they were donated! Ugghhh....May need a week to clear this mess up. What a mess...I wish I had this many clothes!
I can do this!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

busy, busy, busy...

Well, I haven't been doing much blogging lately. I have been reading...just not much writing. It is just so busy around here. My job has gotten pretty hectic after I was told that I would have to meet a certain amount of hours to keep the job due to cutbacks. So...I am just trying to make up hours so I can keep working. Because of that it's a little crazy around here! Busy, busy, busy... I have a pretty well stocked freezer right now so I am planning on staying out of the grocery store for a while and just living on what we've got. Shouldn't be too hard...should also save me some money. Except for milk and fresh fruit we should need NOTHING around here for at least two weeks. So...that is the goal I am setting for big shopping trips for two weeks! I may have to send my husband into Kroger for Milk and veggie/fruit runs since it's so hard for me to not spend money on all of the good deals that I can usually find!! It's kind of hard for my husband too so maybe I should come up with a better plan. I am hoping that the sales papers aren't too good this week so I won't be tempted to do more stock piling!!! I know...It's become an addiction for me! I can't help it...I just love getting good deals! Anyone out there find any really good deals on Easter Candy? I will also be doing that shopping this week. My husband and I got our income tax money back and we are now officially DEBT FREE!!! Yeah!! Now we are just working on getting our Emergency Fund fully funded...hence the need to keep my part time job! It's very exciting to be on such a good financial path! It all seems to be falling into place for us...Now, if I can just stay out of Kroger for the next two hard!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My frugal friends

Thank you to my frugal girlfriends (you know who you are!) for making today fun! We had our first monthly meeting of the...OH SHOOT! I CAN'T remember our name! Well, it was great anyways...It was fun sharing tips about how we save money and just sharing our excitement for being frugal mommas. I had no idea a "support group" could be so much fun!
If you are out there and you haven't tried forming a little group should definitely try it! This really works for me!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Just one of those weeks!

You know what I am talking about right? Have you ever had "just one of those weeks!" Sometimes it's just one of those days. But this week for's been "just one of those weeks!" You know the week I am talking about. The one where you feel like you are chasing your tail. The one where you just can't get ahead. The one where you clean the kitchen and you have a total of TWO milk spills in one meal. You know the one right? It's been one of those weeks for me! Just a little story to summarize what I mean. I finally had the chance in between services this week to clean out my bible. Yes, I said clean out my bible! Included in it were about 3 months of weekly bulletins, notes and agenda from last month's MOPS, meeting, MOPS budget, paper hand outs from Wednesday night class...etc. Every time I open the bible they spill out and I promptly pick them up and stuff them back in. Well, this time I am going to look at the mess and throw them out. I proceed to hand my husband an arm's full of papers to throw out which he lovingly does for me! Great!! Something accomplished. The class goes well, we leave and get all kids buckled into the car and start to driving!! My sweet boy who is learning to read starts reading something for me. How intellegent I think to myself. I look in the rear view mirror and ask my boy what he's reading (it's the words of Jesus from the bible class on Wedneday nights isn't it?) SURE ENOUGH! My little garbage picker decided to take all of that previously mentioned garbage out of the can and take along with him!! I yell, "WHY?? Why did you take that garbage out of the can???" He has no idea Daddy was the one who put it there and says "I want to draw on it. Plus, did you know mom that my name is all over one of these papers?!" Yep, I know! Ugghhhhh...It's just one of those weeks in summary!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Frugal Friday Recipe Swap

I found a recipe this week that EVERYONE in my family loved...Yes, I said everyone. Even my pickiest little eater (some of you may know who I am talking about!) ate this meal. I was so excited about that. The best thing about it was that is was cheap, super easy, and the meat wasn't dry (not that I am admitting that I may have a dry meat issue with my cooking :)!) So, I had to share it! I purchased the pork loin at Kroger a couple of weeks ago that was on sale for $1.87/lb. It was the family sized one and I had them cut it into 4-3lb roasts. I have a crock pot that I love but for some reason it refuses to cook SLOW so the first time I used the pork roast (for barbecue pork sandwiches) it did come out a little dry! Bummer. So this time I wanted to try something different. I am definitely not much of a recipe follower so I decided to just try using what I had in the pantry. I wish I had a picture of the meal but it got eaten so fast there was just no time. So instead I will just give you the recipe that I used. Crock Pot Pork Roast


3lb pork loin roast 1lb bag of baby carrots

5 med-small potatos

1 can mushroom soup

1 can full of water

1 packet onion soup mix


garlic powder

DIRECTIONS Place carrots in bottom of crock pot. Season pork roast. We like lots of garlic around here. Place pork roast on top of carrots. Add can of cream soup and can of water. Sprinkle onion soup mix on top of all. Cook for 4 hours on low. After 4 hours add potatoes and cook for two more hours. I know this is a simple and basic recipe. But this really worked for us. I fed my family of five and my Mom and Dad who were visiting. Plus, my husband took the leftovers for lunch. My picky eater ate every last bite and even said to me, "Mom, I actually really like this!" to a Mama's ears! Please check out the Grocery Cart Recipe Challenge for some more awesome recipe ideas. Also check out Ann Kroeker's blog HERE for Food on Friday fun! Since this meal cost me less than $7 to make and we got 8 meals out of it that makes this a SUPER FRUGAL recipe. Go to Frugal Fridays hosted by Life as a Mom for more frugal ideas!

Kroger Deals!

I did my Kroger shopping this week and OH BOY did I score on this trip! The Mega Event this week at Kroger is absolutely amazing! I couldn't believe what I brought home! I am so excited about this shopping trip that I will be able to pretty much stay out of the grocery stores for the next two weeks (I have my meals planned till the end of March now!) except for milk and fresh veggies/fruit trips! Since you are only allowed three $5 savings per transactions the Kroger Cashier was super nice and rang up my groceries in two separate sales. Unfortunately I got a little mixed up with the coupons and what was going with which transaction and a couple of coupons got missed. But, I can use those next time. That is definitely something I am working on is trying to stay more organized at the grocery store and being able to manage all of the coupons and sale prices in my brain! I am definitely a work in progress! So with my six mega sale savings I saved $30. Can you believe that?! Awesome...You gotta love Kroger! That doesn't even include the massive coupon savings I added up. Here is a picture of my loot. I combined both transactions for the picture because there was so much stuff that it was just easier. It's just a little hard to see everything. So here is all that I got!

I saved 63% on one transaction and 65% on the other! I was especially excited about the laundrey detergent that I stocked up on for $1.80 a piece! Pluse, not sure if you can see it in the picture but I got enough toothpaste and tooth brushes to last us a year (for .25 cents each!) I saved a total of $67.75 in coupons alone. I used to spend that much in ONE shopping trip a week (and I always had to make several more after that!) You can't see it in this picture but I also stocked up on chicken breast since my hubby just bought me a brand new ( to ME!) FREEZER. What a sweet man! Mommy is in stockpiling, money saving heaven this week! So here is the most exciting number...drum roll total dollar savings this week...$195.59!!!!! WHAT????? Woooo, hooooooo!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Eating out for Cheap!

Hey everybody! I thought I would pass along a great deal that I have found and been using for the last month or so. Go check out for awesome deals on cheap gift certificates for eating out! Chris and I have used them for our last two date nights and really saved a bundle!

There's an 80% off promo going on right now where you can get a $25 gift certificate for only $2-$3! You do have to spend up to a certain amount at the time so make sure you read all of the qualifiers before you make your purchase. The discount code for the 80% off is MENU!! You can pay with paypal so it's super easy! Check it out!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Frugal Friday! Beans and Rice

It's that time of week again...It's Frugal Friday! Check it out at Biblical Womanhood for some more Frugal Friday fun.
So I was talking with a friend this week about my bean cooking post from a couple of weeks ago. What have I done with those beans? What do you do with that many beans? I have to admit that I am not much of a recipe kind of girl! I do a lot of things by the seat of my pants in the kitchen. This can be good and this can be bad. Especially when someone asks you to pass along a recipe...not so easy! We have all heard about going on a beans and rice diet to save some money but what exactly has that looked like for us. I thought I would share something that I have made this past month with those "Oh so cheap" beans I cooked up. I will admit that I am a soup fanatic! As a matter of fact my sweet 4 year old asked me today "Mommy can we have something else besides soup for lunch today!?" I love it! I love everything about soup really. It's comfort food (not as fattening as chocolate), it's cheap, you can make pretty big batches of it AND it freezes well! Gotta love that right? I found a recipe for Chicken tortilla soup. But of course I couldn't follow the recipe because I had to make due with what I had in the house. Not to mention I like to "create" yummy's like an art really! It was delicious of course and the best part is that my husband loved it! YEAH! Can't beat that! So I am going to try to document this recipe here and hope that I get it all just right!
Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup
2cups precooked and chopped chicken 1 can rotel (I have also used 1 can of diced tomato and a can of green chili 1 cup salsa verde (I actually have this in my fridge!) 1 cup frozen corn 3 carrots 3 celery stalks 6 corn tortillas chopped into small pieces 2 cups of water 2 chicken boullion 2 cups of frozen black beans 2 cups frozen garbanzo beans 2 Tablespoons of chili mix (If you don't have this add a T-chili powder and a T-Cumin) Mix it all together and cook for an hour... Top with cheese and sour cream
It's really that easy! And the best part about soup is that you can make due with what you have or what you prefer. I really recommend the corn tortillas...You can get them for super cheap if you have an Aldis close to you. They gave the soup a really nice flavor and thickened up the soup. They will just dissolve as they cook.
What else can you do with beans? Thankfully my husband is a big fan of Mexican. You can add them to just about any mexican recipe. I have also started a "no meat" meal once a week in our house (just to save a little more money) and beans are an excellent replacement. My next meal to cook with them will be enchiladas. The possiblities are endless on a "beans and rice" diet! I could go on forever but...I must POST!
You may also want to check out the Grocery Cart Challenge. Lots of great ideas there too.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My new way of thinking!

It's amazing how much my "way of thinking" has changed in the past two months! Has it only been two months? I was really made aware of it today as I walked out of Kroger. Let me explain...
Unfortunately I wasn't able to do my usual coupon clipping/sorting/organizing this week so I feel a little behind with that. But, the bright spot was that it's ok because I am planning on only buying the basics this week (you know...milk, fresh fruit.) YEAH for stockpiling, menu planning and shopping the sales. I have so much right now that I don't need anything really.
Well, tonight is our Blue and Gold (Cub Scouts) Banquet and we are responsible for bringing a dessert and a salad. That shouldn't cost too much right? Well, I was wrong. It was the first time I went into Kroger for two months without a coupon to use for what I needed and without a sure and exact plan. And guess what? It just felt..."wrong."
I ended up spending $35.41!! Yes, I know it to the exact penny. I never would have remember that previous to the start of my frugal journey. I would have spent that money and not really even thought twice about it! So as I watched the numbers going up I started feeling sick~! Thirty five dollars????!!
This was just a great reminder of how important what I am doing is for my family, for our budget, for our life style. Also a good reminder that I need to stockpile on some cake mixes!! But, this was also a good reminder to myself that I am really doing a great job with our budget lately! I really am. So I didn't save like I would have liked to this week...that's ok because in the past I would have had to spend the rest of my budget on groceries so we could eat this week. Did I mention I did find some good managers mark downs? Found some verde enchilada sauce marked down because the cans were bent! You gotta love that. I guess we will be eating enchiladas and some of those awesome BLACK BEANS I cooked up from scratch and put in the freezer a few weeks ago!
I guess the whole point of my writing today is to's ok if you have a week where you have to buy some things that you aren't getting for a "steal!" Especially when you have done so well the whole month before. It all adds up!
Have I mentioned how much money I have saved since mid January?
Drum roll please....
I saved $420 in CASH in an envelope
and I paid $452 on a credit card in FEBRUARY!
Can I hear a whoot whoot!
Not to mention all of the savings on coupons and sales and the fact that my fridge and freezer are stocked FULL of food!
I love my new "way of thinking!"

Friday, February 27, 2009

It's Frugal Friday!

Welcome to my first addition of Frugal Fridays which is hosted over at one of my favorite blogs Biblical Womanhood. Check out this blog it's awesome.
Today I thought I would not post about the things I am already doing to save money but something I am considering doing to save money. We are thinking about ditching the satellite TV! This would mean a HUGE change for me.
You have to understand where I am coming from. When I grew up we always had the tv on. We actually had a television in every room when I was a teenager. I like to have the tv on all the time...sometimes just for the background noise. It's not like it's not noisy enough around here!!! I guess it's just a crutch I have.
So if we change our land line and drop satellite we could save ourselves right around $100/month. That's HUGE! Just this ONE little thing could save us this much. We still have an antenna so we can get SOME stations. That should be good enough right? The problem is I feel like I might be losing something "important." Maybe that's why it's best that we lose it for a time. That's just wrong to think that way.
I am worried about what the kids will do without tv. Terrible right? Maybe this will be an amazing thing for our family. Maybe this will help us to connect with each other more often. Maybe this will give my husband and I time to talk more. Maybe this will spark my children's creativity. Maybe they will drive me crazy! Maybe after a month we will be ready to go back to satellite!?
I would love to hear from anyone who has done this as a money saving step for your family. How has this worked for you? Any suggestions on ways to still get some television in without paying for it?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What I have learned

It has been about 6 weeks since I have been "re-born" as a FRUGAL mommy! I know, that sounds a bit dramatic but it's the best way I can find to describe the path I have started down recently. I just made a quick (well I say quick but with my two girls tagging along nothing is quick!) run to the bank to make my cash deposit that I have saved for my much anticipated girls scrapbooking weekend. It wasn't meaningful because it was a LOT of money. It was meaningful because it represents a major change of thinking on my part...a change of lifestyle so to speak. One that I promise going to "stick" this time. It's amazing how much I have learned about spending in the last 6 weeks. I will be honest with you, I seriously always believed I was being a frugal Home Manager. I know now that I wasn't really. If only I had known then what I know now...just think of the money I could have saved. But we can't live in the past right. So I moved forward from here. I thought I would write down some of the most important things I have learned in the last 6 weeks to help me make a frugal change for my family. Most of them are small but added together they make a huge difference....At least for us! 1. Coupons are my friends. They are not to be avoided for fear of adding more "to-do" in my life. It's actually very fun to use them...I even like clipping them and keeping them organized. And if you know know this is not something I easily take to...the organized thing I mean! 2. You can actually get FREE stuff if you use coupons. Seriously! I clip just about every coupon I get because you never know when a four pack of drinkable yogurt will go on Manager's Special at Kroger. A .50 cent coupon makes that baby FREE! It might not be something I would have bought normally but for free I'll take it! 3. A .50 cent coupon is a MAJOR score...because it doubles to $1 at Kroger, Meijer or Marsh. Did you know you could get FREE toilet paper at Kroger? I will never look at buying toilet paper in the same way again. 4. Aldi's may be a little far to drive to but it's worth the drive once a month (or less) to stock up on some things. Did you know you can get a big bag of frozen fruit for less than $3 there?! 5. There is an amazing resource for finding bargains and the best coupons out there in online blogs! My favorite of course is Money Saving Mom where I find all sorts of amazing deals, ideas, free stuff, and other great blogs. 6. Being a Frugal Home Manager means making a life change. It's really like a diet right? If you try if for a little while and don't make permanent changes then what good is it? 7. Feeding your family healthy food and making healthy choices doesn't have to be expensive. Plus, if you are a little "sneaky" you can get your kids to eat some pretty healthy stuff! 8. MEAL PLANNING is a MUST! How did I live without this? Meal planning not only saves huge amounts of money but it frees up any time I was wasting in my day trying to figure out what to make. This will save you money right off the bat...I promise! 9. Dave Ramsey is so right about...well, just about everything! I wish I would have REALLY learned that the first time around. 10. You can really save money by doing things from scratch and stock piling your freezer. I would have never believed that setting aside a "cooking day" for myself would fit into my life. But, it has...and it works!! 11. Being frugal and saving money can be FUN guys!! It really doesn't have to be a horrible drag. I have enjoyed this past several weeks so much. I can't wait to share what I have saved with my husband when I get home. It's exciting for me to take my little savings envelope out and count my money that I have saved. So this is a summary of my frugal journey so far. I could probably come up with more ideas if I sat here a little longer. But, I will save those for another time. I can't wait to see what the next 6 weeks holds!

Monday, February 2, 2009

That's my girl...

This picture speaks for itself...My girl! This is what she's all about! I picked my sweets up from preschool yesterday and as the kids were buckling up I found her Parent Teacher Conference form. I was so proud of her I got a little choked up! I thought I would jot a few of my favorite things her teachers had to say about her: "An absolute delight!" "Very happy-kind & considerate to all-respectful of others & everything in our room." "Very helpful when classmates or teachers need something. Very comforting :)" "Always helps with cleanup." hmmmm...this one stumped me! "Can easily play with anyone& interact in small or large group." "Very canfident & comfortable with herself! :)" "Imaginative-housekeeping-a little mother with our dolls." I could go on but these were just a few of my favorite things. These words sum up my #2 in a nutshell. I couldn't let this go without sharing.

Make Due Mondays

Welcome to my first Make Due Monday post!

Thanks to my friend Ann at her blog Ann Kroeker for the idea of doing a Make Due Monday!

This is how I am "Making Due" this Monday!

Recently I have set out on a mission to become a frugal mom. So far I have done pretty good. I have started clipping coupons, menu planning, and watching the sales at local stores. I have actually really enjoyed it and get quite a rush when I pay next to nothing for something...Like toilet paper! Ya gotta love a free four pack of TP right?! What a rush!
Well today I think I have really crossed over the frugal line! I am having a cooking day! I did it... I sent my hubby out for bags of dried beans this weekend and I am cooking and freezing beans to store for future use. Did you know you can get a 1 lb bag of dried beans for about a buck!! There about 3-4 cans of beans in that little bag! That's cheap! So I guess you could say we are going to be living on a beans and rice budget! Now the trick to this is that you gotta love beans...Luckily we do!
Ah...beans, beans, they're good for your heart!

Friday, January 30, 2009

I did it!

OK...I know it's been waaay too long since I last posted but...Well, I have no excuse! Anyways...I did get my pantry cleaned up, organized and inventoried! Here it is...

I apologize for the terrible picture...but I am too lazy to go back and rotate my picture (Hey! At least I am honest!) I promise you it is very stocked, organized, and even a little clean!

I know some may know that I have been inspired to make some changes in my life and the life of my family by the awesome blog I found called Money Saving Mom

If you haven't checked it out MUST! I have started coupon clipping and bargain shopping and so far have saved $150 for my two "girl's trips" coming up this spring!! Yippee! Did I mention I have only been on this FRUGAL journey for TWO weeks! I am rather proud of myself I must say! I am looking forward to being able to save even more in the next few weeks. Actually, I am starting to get a sort of "high" from going to Kroger and finding deals! Did you know you can get stuff for FREE if you clip coupons.

By the way...I am attaching a picture of my three little lovlies. Totally unrelated to this post...Just thought it was cute!!!

Oh....and happy birthday to my sweet hubby!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'm out of CONTROL!

Alright...I will admit it! I may be slightly out of control with this BLOG thing.
I found the most amazing blog yesterday called Money Saving Mom. If I had a clue how to do it I would add a link into this message for you to check it out. But since I am clueless I will simply tell you to look over there at my Blog list and check out this awesome blog.
I have literally been racking my brain as of late on how to help earn some extra money for our household. There are really no extra hours at my place of employment right now. Plus at less than $8/hr how much can I really make?
Well, as I was feeding my blog addiction yesterday I ran into this blog. It really was like a light bulb going on for me. OK...maybe I can make extra money for our household by saving on the household expenses! I don't have to bring more money in necessarily just prevent some of it from going out.
So I have made a commitment to challenge myself to try out this method of saving money. I am going to cut back by $50 THIS week. Try it out and then cut back some more. The only trick to this for me is going to be getting organized. Anyone who knows me knows this may be a little tricky! So, today to start out I am going to organize my pantry so I can figure out what the heck we already have in there! I don't know how many times I have made a purchase at the grocery store only to find out when I stuffed it into the pantry or freezer that I already had at least one (perhaps more) in there! This alone could save me quite a bit right? Well, my dear husband is giddy with excitement about the possiblity of this working for us! I just hope I can live up to his expectations!!! Ha ha.....
I can't believe I am putting myself up to the shame and humiliation of this but I am attaching a photo of the DISASTER we call a pantry. Hoping that this will motivate me to get my butt in gear. I promise by the end of the week (at least by then) that I will have a brand new highly efficient money saving pantry and a plan!! I will have a photo for the whole world to see this brand new me! Money Saving Mommy in training.
So here it dirty little secret...
I PROMISE to be better!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fettucini Phobia!

Well, here it is...another blog entry from me that is focusing on my #3! It seems as though I am showing some blogging favoritisms to my third (an final! Woo hoo!) child but she is just so darn cute and keeps supplying me with such fun things to write about! Maybe it's just that she is at that special little age (TWO!) that she just keeps me busy with enough craziness to write about...Maybe the age or maybe the fact that she is just trying to keep up with the rest of the crazies around here. Who knows....
Anyhoo...we had an interesting thing happen last night at dinner. Why is it at this house that meal time brings out the most chaos in my little family? I don't know...Maybe some day I will be able to eat a meal in peace. Ahhh...some day. So, I bought this AMAZING alfredo sauce mix from my TS friend! It is ooohh soooo good. My hubby and I just love it. I even got my most picky eater to eat a whole bowl of it. Anyone who knows me knows exactly which child I am talking about. But, I cannot get my sweet daughter #3 to even touch it..."No, yosh mommy!" Translated to mean, "No, GROSS mommy!" So I am thinking maybe she's just not hungry. This is REALLY not a picky eater here. Must be something else right? So a couple of days later I make the girls that NASTY lipton alfredo packet thingie. You know the one...right? She LOVES it. So I think, "well must have been an off night for my precious girl!" Well, I mad the same AMAZING Fettucini Alfredo last night. We also had hot french bread right out of the oven so the little precious came running to the table squeeling with delight. That's when it happened. She stopped dead in her tracks looked at the AMAZING ALFREDO FETTUCINE and completely lost her mind. Screaming kicking...absolutely freaking out. I mean this kid will not even come near the dinner table. Of course she wants the bread but literally will not come closer to the table without thrashing around in a screaming fit with the plate of Fettucine Alfredo at her spot. So...this means war to mommy. I am not giving in! Oh no!! So I put her little kicking and screaming bottom right in her booster chair (this was not easy for me) and strap her in. She then proceeds to push her chair back as far as possible. So that is where I left her! But darnit, she was staying at that table with us! Of course being the little "blogaholic" that I have become...I jumped up and started taking pictures thinking, "I have got to write about this!" My husband was looking at my like I was insane the whole time. Oh well...Like I said, just one day in the life of my crazy little family!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Rock Obama! I feel like I am going BLOG crazy but wanted to jot something down about my precious baby #3! We were at Walmart today and as I was getting a shopping cart she was standing there saying (in a VERY loud squeel I might add), "Mommy!! Mommy!!! Mommy! Rock OBAMA, ROCK OBAMA!?" Now, I already know she recognizes and knows who he is because she has randomly pointed him out on magazine racks as we stand in line at Kroger so that's not the interesting thing. As she is shouting this I am looking around for a rack of magazines or someone in the store who she could be mistaking for our future president...Because as anyone who has or ever has had a toddler knows...She will NOT stop shouting this at me until she thinks I have a CLUE as to what she is talking about and recognize her for it. She is pointing upwards and I notice that she is pointing at the American flag and saying Rock Obama! Now, isn't that clever!? I would say I have a pretty smart little girl there. So I said, "Yes, Erika that's the American Flag and Rock (yes, I said Rock) Obama is going to be the president of the United States. One SMART cookie she is!!! What a proud mommy I am!! :)

It's the little things.

As I was watching my most favorite show Grey's Anatomy last night (and OH BOY was it a good one!) an Allstate commercial came on that really caught my attention. Maybe you know the one I am talking about? The one with the actor that used to be on 24. The one with the awesome deep voice that kind of sounds like butter. That is if butter had a sound anyways...I liked it so much that the second time it came on I ran for a pen to write it down. By the time I found the pen I didn't get much written but a few things did get down on the Hello Kitty paper I found. It talks about the great depression times and how people were really scared about what was happening and relates it to what is going on in our world right now. Then it goes on to say, "But after the fear subsides people start enjoying the small things. Those are the things that are important. People get back to basics and the basics are GOOD!" Wow...SOOOO true! So this morning I woke up with the "little things" on my mind. Here are a few of my little things that make me so in love with my life.
1. A precious note on my fridge dated November 3rd (it has been posted there since that date) from my sweet boy, scrawled in the most beautiful 1st grade penmanship (is that all one word???), "I LOVE YOU MOMMY!" With the most beautiful colored portrait of me at the bottom. Evertime I open the fridge I get to look at it. Ahhh, what a precious "little thing" to mommy.
2. Cudding on the loveseat with my girls this morning. Each of us as close as possible with our blankies wrapped around us watching PBS. Ahh...a wonderful "little" way to start my morning.
3. Drinking my hot cup of coffee out of the pot of coffee that my SWEET loving husband has been making for me before he leaves for work...EVERY DAY this week I might add. Ahhh...what a thoughtful "Little thing" for him to do.
Today is going to be a GREAT little day. And oh how I LOVE my "Basic" little life.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Just some ramblings...

So, I have decided to get "into" this blog thing and now I am really starting to enjoy it. The problem? The dishes are stacked up in the kitchen, the laundry basket is full, etc, etc. Oh well... So, it's a new year and I have been thinking about all I have and how often I forget or don't think about all of my blessings. I have decided to try to list somethings that I am grateful for as often as I have time to sit down and think about them and write about them. Or at least as often as I am willing to put aside all of the household chores to sit down at the computer. That may be easier than I am willing to admit. We just found out that our neighbor (the mother of our son's very best friend) is moving to take a job out of state. Far away....When I told my son he cried and cried saying, "But mom, he was my 1st best friend! Why does he have to move?" So my thoughts today and most of this week have been about how grateful I am for the friendships that the Lord has brought into my life. He always seems to know just what we need and when we need it. It has been a blessing to live where we do and to make such close friends at a time in my life when I so desperately needed them. So if you are a friend of mine (and you know who you are!) know that I am so grateful for you and love you so much.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New YEAR! it's a new year and I thought I would make an attempt at this blog thing AGAIN! This is actually my SECOND attempt at posting something today! Yes, I will agree I am extrememely "challenged" in the blogging area.
I am not going to write much here in case this doesn't work AGAIN!
Just wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year....and share a few pictures of my crazy little family and our celebration pictures.