Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Counting your blessings and the Hump Day Blog Hop

I missed sharing ways we save this week i will just share it all later this week.  It has been a long few days with two kids taking turns being sick it has meant lots of movies, and cuddles for the past few days.  The good news in it though is we saved money by staying home.  I never realized how much my husband likes to get out of the house when he is off and we usually end up spending some kind of money or use alot of gas in the process.  We talked this weekend and we have set some big goals for summer plans that will require much frugality in order for us to be able accomplish them in addition to living every day life. It was nice to talk goals, and desires, and measures that would have to be taken to meet them, and discussing possible alternative ways to meet goals or do summer activities.

That being said, I was feeling a little down this morning, frustrated that this move has been so hard and heavy with emotions for me, and little things constantly going wrong in this apartment.  If you had asked me a year ago when I started this blog, i never though we would have moved to Florida again, i pictured myself living in the same house, but so much changed in a year.  We  live in a small two bedroom apartment now where things keep breaking.  A new ac unit was just put in here a couple weeks ago and it has stopped working again......So I was praying and complaining this morning, when I was reminded to see what I do the two beautiful babies who were sleeping in my bed, while they have been sick, it isn't life threatening, and having them is a blessing in itself, because our fertility journey was a hard one, and i am not single.  That is a much as my husband makes me angry sometimes, I am so happy that he is the father of my children, and that I am not single and dating.  So today I am looking around in the miracles at my life, instead of being grumpy about all the things I feel go wrong.  And as I finish writing this...i want to say that each of you that stop by here are a blessing to me too!!!!! 

It is Wednesday and it is time for the

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sharing Ways we Save

so not every week can be successful right......

This week our Yorkshire Terrier who is only 4 months old broke his leg

We could not afford 2 grand for surgery that included we opted for a splint instead and six weeks confinement.  It's been a long and tiring week.....the dog each night has gotten sick in the middle of the night, but i think we figured out it may have been a side effect of the pain medicine.  We reduced the amount we gave him last night and we had a good night.....The bright spot in all of this is that I did not have to purchase a crate for confinement...i simply asked all the locals at the vet if they might have a crate i could borrow, and a sweet lady called me and offered me a crate to borrow for the six weeks.  I told her she had no idea how much that meant to our family!

The second frugal flop of the week was the brand new crock pot i just bought a few weeks ago...slipped out of my hand and the ceramic crock shattered all over the floor.  I am not in a position to replace it right now.  We have alot going on, and need tires for the car etc.  So I have to make my choices, and with check up for the dog needed over the next couple weeks, a crock pot is not a top priority.

The frugal things that were successful this week are, making chocolate chip pancakes, using left overs from a meal of chicken and rice and putting it in a pot with veggies to make a new meal of soup.  I also cut up some strawberries that were about to go bad and mixed them with lemonade in the blender to make popsicles.  That is about as much as I can remember.  I also made Pumpkin Spice body scrub for Aunti L to use as giveaways at a baby shower she hosted.  After the shower was over, i brought home some left over croissants, salad, and pasta salad.  I will use them as a side for dinner tonight. 

Oh i forgot the final thing, my neighbor and I planted a very small garden in her yard since she gets more sunshine in her yard.  We did this Tuesday, we will have to wait and see what sprouts.

I sure hope everyone else had a great week!

For some more ideas on ways to can check out

she shares her Financial Efforts on Fridays, and a few others link up with her.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Taking you back to a moment in Time....

This was me at 24 with my son being just 5 weeks old.  We lived in Florida at the time he was born and traveled all the way to Delaware for a family reunion.  We almost didn't go because I wasn't sure that it would be the best use of the money we had, considering we knew I was not going to go back to work after my maternity leave was up.  We knew I was going to be a stay at home mom.  We decided to make the trip anyway and in looking back I am so glad that we did. 

My grandmother is not in this particular picture...but she was my best friend, and she was another reason we decided to go to the family reunion traveling over 800 miles with a newborn and spending the last 500.00 we had to make the round was so important to her...she had been involved in planning it, and I did not know it then, but this trip would be the last time that I would physically see her.  She died just five weeks later. 

I still miss her everyday.  Some of my best child hood memories include her and my grandfather....they were the true definition of what poor was, but I didn't really know that then.  I always had so much fun when I was with them.  It is true that the best things in life are free.  You can love someone and it doesn't cost money, and that is what I remember most...their love for me.  In the picture is actually my great Uncle Joe....he was my grandfather's brother.  And he looked alot like him.  (I lost my grandfather when I was 15.)  I wanted my picture taken with Uncle Joe because I just couldn't get over how much he looked like my I spent that day chatting with him getting to know him and he made me laugh the same way my grandpa used to.  Uncle Joe died a year or so later.  I am glad to have photos to remember special moments.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sharing ways we save

Let me start by wishing everyone a Happy Mother's Day regardless of your type of motherhood...whether you are still waiting to be a mommy, presently the executive director of a madhouse with your quiver full of little ones, the mother of an angel, a pet parent, a foster parent or a grandparent, or even a single dad.  Sometimes it is the simplest gifts that really just touch the heart.  This is a small simple silk arangement my son made me at school for mother's day....he couldn't have done anything more special or bought anything more special.  I love it!

Now onto sharing some of the ways we save:

*I recieved a $12.00 rebate in the mail from purchasing my pet's heartguard a couple months ago.

*Redeemed swagbucks for $10.00 worth of walmart gift cards that I put toward purchasing ink for my printer. 

*Recieved two vouchers for free tickets to our local Minor League Baseball team the Jacksonville SUNS to attend this afternoons game.

*Made Dove body wash, and cleansing conditioner

*Used a $10.00 off coupon to stock up on dog food

* Recieved a free tube of Advantix for my dog just for being part of the VIP program at PETSUPERMARKET

* I bartered with my neighbor who is a licensed cosmetologist for haircuts for the whole family, and color for me.  I would post a picture of my new look but it isn't complete.  My haircut has not been done, but thankfully everyone else got theirs done.  I bartered with her use of my wireless internet signal so they can watch their netflix service, and use of our weed eater because they don't own a lawnmower.

*in the kitchen I made a homemade coffee cake and spaghetti sauce.

*My neighbor and I also went curbside picking when a different neighbor moved out and we got quite a few things, like a dress up hat for my daughter, a dish drainer, a book bag, just some odds and ends of things we could use.  My neighbor got alot of things too.

* We went yard sailing on Saturday and got some cool finds.  We got a few pieces of clothing for each person for .25 each and i got a back massager seat pad thing for a $1....i was very excited.  I paid $1.00 for a toaster at a different sale, that will allow me to replace was only toasting one side of the toast for some reason.

My most exciting find was a meat slicer for just $9.00.  I had tried to order one online using a $10.00 reward from Sears etc, but they ended up sending me and email saying it was out of stock and issuing me a to find a working one for that price at a yard sale was awesome.  I want to be able to slice my own cheese and meat.  I think it will save us money in the long run.  Cheese and lunchmeat are one of our biggest expenses because my husband does pack his lunch most of the time.

What things did you find or make this week.  Please share what you do to save that we might learn and help each other.  Have a blessed wek!.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My fitness struggle----RAW

When I say RAW I mean unfiltered honest thoughts that will probably expose to much about me and make you change the way you think of me, but I am ok with this at this point.  When I created this blog, I wanted to be able to express myself.  It was suppossed to be an outlet.  I haven't really used it as much of that....sooo before you read this remember that once you see or hear something you can't unsee it.....don't say I didn't warn you.......

So it's 10:44 am and my stomach is growling a little, but I can't decide if I should give myself permission to eat or not.  I am tired of my stomach hurting.  Most often my esophagus feels as if it would explode.  I have been trying to treat it with over the counter pills like Prevacid, and Zantac, but my problem is I am not consistent in remembering to take medication, and the over the counter milligrams aren't as strong as the doctor stuff.  (I started feeling like this three years ago....went to the hospital thinking I was dying, they ran tests, and later i had an endoscope and colonoscopy done, and they tell me everything is fine with the exception of some gastritis)  I don't have medical insurance for two more weeks, so I guess I have to wait and use what I have.  I have decided to make myself eat smaller meals because a regular size meal just makes me feel miserable, and I don't want to be that anymore.

I am to angry about all the pressure I feel put on me (by outsiders) to keep this place (I mean my home) perfect that I have decided to forgo the YMCA today and stay home to work on the place that I feel is never completely done.  I have begun delagating little tasks to the kids like putting away their own clothes etc.  Still I can't keep the inside and outside perfect and someone had to stop me and complain this morning.  I am making a decisive choice though, not to eat through my stress.  I have been working out at the YMCA for about two months now, and there has been no change in anything, so I know I need to clean up what I am eating then, and reduce my calorie intake.

This morning, I went to Walmart to purchase carrot chips, some special K preportioned snacks, and a few already made protein drinks, simply because sometimes I find it overwhelming to actually make them myself.  (Ridiculous, and lazy I know.....but it's the truth)  The point for me at this point to get the pain in my stomach under control, so I have picked out some fruits, veggies, and liquid items to hopefully ease the amount of pressure in my stomach.  My neighbor and I chatted about it the other night, and she says to me do you think it's because you are eating things you are not supposed to and your diabetic....and she is right, I am diabetic, and I do not take care of myself.

I know the risks, I have seen some around me suffer complications...even losing my mother to complications of the disease (not because she didn't take care of herself though, she did take care of herself, but that is a different story for another day)  I even lost my first child in the last stages of pregnancy and undiagnosed gestational diabetes was a contributing factor (not the only one) but still this has not motivated me to care of me.  I don't know why I must be broken or something.......kind of like my friend who lost her mom to cancer, but still picks up her cigarettes and smokes them and may put her kids in the same situation her mom left her in.  All this should be bright neon signs in my face, but I still sit unmotivated to make necessary changes.  I am sure not caring for myself is somehow rooted to the abuse suffered at the hands of the family that raised me for 10 years, but again another story for another day.  This isn't going to be an easy change to take care of me.  I hope this time I really decide to make the changes I need to.

I was hoping that serious exercise would bring change, and I get frustrated when it often doesn't my thoughts are I am moving more than I used to and making better choices then I used to, so some changes should make a difference right, but it doesn't and that is where I lose any perseverance.  Here is to changes that I hope eventually come, and I try to eat less and move more for lasting change.  As I have tried to make so many other changes in my life, with keeping my home, changing finanaces, and raising kids, cooking from scratch and finding ways to be frugal it just all seems overwhelming sometimes, and now I have to work to quiet that bad carb craving sugar monster inside of me.  I don't know how to achieve the right balance and complete it all.   I would like to be able to offer people advice, but I really don't have any tips or tricks right now....maybe soon.

{Healthy} Tips and Tricks Tuesday

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Sharing Ways We Save

Well this will be stuff I did over the last couple of weeks.

So I have a daughter that is three and she got some Easter money from a lovely lady who has sort of become their adoptive grandmother here in Florida.  I share about this because I am very proud of a decision she made.  We were doing some shopping, and she wanted to spend her money and she chose a toy first.  Then as we shopped on she saw nail polish with a small bag that had minnie mouse on it with two tiny bottles of nail polish.  I told her she had to choose between the toy and the nail polish (which personally I didn't think she needed the bag and the two bottles of  polish were so tiny and I just didn't think it was a wise choice,  it was expensive just because of the picture of minnie mouse on it, but I didn't say anything)  She really wanted nail polish.  So I showed her that there were big bottles of nail polish for 1.00 each that she could choose from more colors, but i told her she would have to put the other things back.  I stood back and let her make her choice.....

and she still had enough money left over for some colorful ponytail holders to use when she goes to gymnastics on Wednesday nights!   I was very proud of her for choosing what she could get the most use out of without my influence!!!!  I have noticed my 8 year old son thinking like that too...he won a game of bingo and there were toys and stuff he could choose from...he told me mom...i didn't need anymore toys so I chose a's something he can get more use out of....wooohoooo...maybe I am teaching my kids something goood.

Other things that we did over the last few weeks:

* Repurposed a cabinet I used previoulsy as a craft babinet, as a computer desk
* Our son had a $10.00 gift certificate from the AR program at school and he put it towards the purchase of a game he wanted
* Paid off the final $550.00 of a bill my husband had.
* Set a new budget for our apartment living
* Changed cell phone plans and reduced the bill by $40.00 per month
* Filed form with water company regarding the leak we had and the repair that was made and recieved a $45.00 credit.
* Went to an Easter picnic at the park and was able to just take things I already had on hand.
* Made art for the wall from my son's art project using a frame i had already

He was thrilled to see it on the wall in our entry way. 
*  We didn't eat out for over a week! Which is a huge accomplishment for us.  Unfortunately though I have fallen off the wagon already and we spent about 20.00 out  right after we accomplished our no eat out week.
* We also invested in some seeds, and fruit trees, and I am trying to learn to garden a little, but my herbs that I tried to start already died.  I am not giving up though.  I am going to replant a different way and try again.
* I made brownies and pancakes from scratch...both big hits!  Oh and I made homemade lasagna too...making my own sauce.  That was pretty good too though I need to tweak the amount of spices I put in the sauce.
* I made homemade dish soap.
* Saved .20 per gallon on gas by using gas rewards from a local grocery store.
* I also just today made a jewelry display/holder using a frame we had but unfortuantely in moving the glass got broken....the hooks I used were .97 for six and I used 12 hooks.

And to wrap it all up I said no to alot of things...things that would have been fun like a trip to a local carnival, no to thrift store trips even on 50 % off Wednesdays, and even no to a trip to the dollar tree.  There just wasn't anything we really really needed, and to be honest I still have stuff I need to get rid of.  Thanks for stopping by.....what did you do to save....remember it all adds up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And you are appreicated, if no one said it this week, I am saying it to you now!