Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Deals of the Week!


Grace and I went to CVS, Target, and Walmart today and got a huge haul! Here's everything we got:

5 Freschetta by the Slice Pizzas: Target- free with coupons from Facebook
2 Pampers boxes: CVS- 18.99 - 2 $10 coupons from Pampers complaint= 17.99 + 1 ECB each
4 Cascade Action Pack Trial Size: Walmart- free with coupons
3 Fabreze Air Effects Sprays: Target- $1.50 each with coupons
Fresh Express Salad bag: Target- free with coupon from Facebook
Pantene conditioner: Target- free with coupon from Facebook
Suave dry shampoo: Target- free with coupon from Facebook
Fabreze Warmer: Target- $2.50 with a $3 off coupon= .50 overage
Fabreze Air freshener: Target- $1.50 after coupon
Neutragena Facial Cleanser Bar: Target- Free after coupons
Rimmel Eye Shadow: Target- Free after coupons
4 Degree deodarants: Walmart- Free with coupons
2 RevitaLens contact solutions: CVS- 8.99- $3 off coupon= 5.99 + 4 EBC each

My total out of  pocket came to $48.43. I got 10 ECB total and a $5 gift card from Target for buying the Fabreze items so my total was $33.43!

Wordless Wednesday

Grace has started babbling a lot and of course she chose to babble dadadada before mama....


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Becoming a stay at home mom

When you announce your pregnancy, one of the first questions everyone asks is "Are you going back to work?" My staff actually started taking wagers about whether I would come back after I had Grace from the moment I announced that I was expecting (or when they figured it out, which was way before I announced it. It's hard trying to hide morning sickness around a bunch of moms!) The choice to work or to stay home is probably one of the hardest decisions to make during pregnancy and I think I must have seen it talked about nearly a million times on pregnancy message boards. I wanted to describe the path to our decision!

When I was growing up, I always knew that I wanted to be a stay at home mom. I thought it was an easy choice. Who wouldn't want to play with their kids all day, right?

My mom stayed at home with my brother and I growing up, so this was what I was used to. However, Mike's mother worked. He wasn't used to the idea, but being the amazing man he is, he supported my decision one hundred percent. When we were in our mandatory pre-marital counseling, Mike said one of the sweetest things I've ever heard him say when asked about his goals: "I know Stephanie really wants to stay home with our kids and I want to make sure that I earn enough so that she can do that."

So, we planned our budget from the time we were married to accommodate me staying home. We bought our house with one income in mind. The bank would have approved us for a much higher mortgage, but we wanted to plan ahead.  Everything was set for me to be a stay at home mom....and up until May 7th, 2010 I would have told you that I would definitely be staying home when we eventually had kids.

And then on that amazing day, I saw two lines on the pregnancy test. And the reality of that choice quickly began to sink in.

Let me give you some background....

I was in honors programs from the time I was in middle school. I graduated with an International Baccalaureate diploma in high school and participated in a prestigious honors program in college that allowed me to study at Oxford University during my junior year. I was tutored by some of the most distinguished tutors in Britain. I then went on to earn my Master's degree in Library Science. This is coming off as braggy, but school was very important to me and I was good at it!

After completing my degrees, I was promoted to an assistant branch manager job in my library system. I was on several committees and was hoping to be promoted to a branch manager within the next year or so. I was good at my job and my manager and I worked extremely well together. Most importantly, I really liked my job!

To put it plainly, I am an over achiever. I love challenges and thrive on accomplishment.

And realistically, library work is not something you can do at home. It is generally an all or nothing kind of job. The norm in library world is to go back to work. In fact, I didn't know of anyone in my library system who had quit to stay at home.

I had a career. I had great friends at work. I was moving up in the library system. People in library world thought I was crazy for even thinking about leaving. Why would I waste all of that time and money that I put into my education?

And I will admit that all of those thoughts crossed my mind. Was I crazy? Would I ever be able to get another job if I left? Would I get bored being at home?

So I went on my FMLA leave without giving my boss any sort of decision (which was horrible of me, but luckily he was great about it!)  I really didn't know what I wanted at that point. And it made it harder because Mike decided to change jobs during my leave. His old company was having trouble and the new one provided not only more money, but better health insurance (very important with a new baby around!) I didn't want to quit my job and then have Mike's new company give him the boot (this can happen when you're the new guy!)

But after having Grace, all of my doubts disappeared.

Seriously, I get to spend all day with this face : )

There is nothing better then being able to spend every second with her and I couldn't even imagine going back to work and leaving her at daycare. It doesn't matter how much education I have...the most important thing I can ever do is spend time with my daughter. I quit my job after we were assured that Mike was going to be able to stay with his new company and I haven't looked back!

I do not ever judge working moms. I respect how much they are able to get accomplished! I know everyone has a different situation, but I wanted to share my experiences. It is not an easy decision!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Favorite Books Monday- Percy Jackson and the Olympians


I am a sucker for kid and teen books. They are quick and easy to read! Plus, when you work in a library, you frequently need great kid/teen book recommendations. One of my favorite authors to recommend, especially to boys, is Rick Riordan.

Rick Riordan is an excellent writer and his most popular series so far is the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. The Lighting Thief is the first book of the series, which focuses on the adventures of a boy named Percy Jackson. Percy finds life difficult with ADHD and is frequently kicked out of school. When strange things start happening (such as his math teacher turning into a harpy), he discovers that the gods of Greek mythology actually exist and that he is a demigod (half god half human.) His adventures lead him and his friends, Anabelle, a daughter of Athena, and Grover, a satyr, all over the country where they encounter many of the horrible monsters from Greek mythology.

Riordan does an excellent job of bringing Greek mythology into the modern world and kids of all ages will love this series. He has since written an offshoot of the series with 2 books released so far and has started an Egyptian mythology series that I'm really enjoying as well. These will definitely be books that I will read aloud to Grace when she gets older. She'll be learning about Greek mythology without realizing it!

Consignment Sale- Just Between Friends

This is the week of consginment sales in Lee's Summit! Grace and I attended Just Between Friends 50% off day today and got some great things!

Carter's Black Dress- New with tags (tags say $32!)- $3
Carter's Monkey Sleeper- $3
2 pair of Gymboree Jeans- $3
Silver Dress Shoes- New- $3.25

Carter's Snowflake Dog sleeper- $1.75
Carter's Polka Dot sleeper- $1.50
Children's Place fleece sleeper- $2
Carter's purple romper with a cute owl on it- $2

Grand total including tax= $20.98

Not bad for all of that name brand stuff. We love anything Carter's in our house!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Consignment Sale- Kid's Closet Connection Lees Summit

I was fortunate enough to be invited to a 1/2 price presale of the Kid's Closet Connection Sale in Lees Summit yesterday! I love consignment sales and love the 1/2 price days because you can get great deals. Here's my haul from the sale:


Red Coat & Dress- $3
Pink Baby Gap Coat- $4
Tigger Halloween costume- $4


Pink Children's Place jacket- $2
White Baby Gap jacket- $2
2 long sleeve onesies- $2
Blue Children's Place turtleneck- $1.50

My total was just over $19 with tax. Pretty good for all of those adorable clothes!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Date Night

One of the many pieces of advice that I received while I was pregnant was to make sure that we set aside time for Mike and I once Grace was born. I had every intention of doing so, but time flies when you have a new baby and I can say that we've had exactly 2 dates now in the 7 months since Grace was born. We went on a date the day before Valentine's Day and she did fine while we were gone, but since then, she has been so attached to me that she screams when I have tried to leave her. Case in point, I went to get my hair done and she screamed for 3 hours straight for Mike! I was so scared to leave her with someone only to have her scream the entire time.

Several weeks ago, we got brave and decided to give going out another chance. We left her with her grandparents and rushed off to see Harry Potter (which was amazing!) We rushed home to discover that she had done great and there had been no need to rush. So we decided it was time to plan a real date, which would involve no rushing and no worrying.

This past weekend, we left her and the puppies at the grandparents house. We went for a delicious dinner at Carabba's, my favorite. That was as much as we had planned. We decided beforehand that we would simply do what we felt like and not worry about rushing or planning. So we decided to go to Lowe's. This might not sound very exciting, but one of the things that we loved doing before Grace arrived was walking around Lowe's dreaming of all of the things we would do to our house if we had infiniate amounts of money! So we spent about an hour walking around, picking out tile, fixtures, appliances, and cabinets for our dream house someday. It makes me feel old to say that we love going to the hardware store, but it's one of our favorite activities and it's free!

After that, we went home and relaxed for a while. The house felt so empty and it was so quiet with no baby or dogs there. But it was great to spend some time together without worrying about Grace fussing or the dogs needing something. We finished off the date with some ice cream from Sheridans and returned to find Grace happily watching a movie with her grandpa. It was a great night and I'm excited to start doing it more regularaly.

What are your favorite date activities? We're always looking for inexpensive date ideas!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday!

Grace's favorite game is throwing her toys just out of her reach so that mommy has to come get them. She thinks it's hilarious!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Deals of the Week: CVS and random freebies

I have two weeks of CVS trips to post about and I also wanted to share some of the freebies I've gotten throughout the past couple of weeks!!


CVS

This was my trip last week:


1 pack of Huggies Slip-On Diapers- On sale for 8.99- $3 off coupon and $3 off CVS coupon=  $2.99
2 Skinny Cow candies- Raincheck for $.99 sale price with a B1G1 Free coupon=  $.99 + .99 EBC
5 Gatorade drinks- On sale for $1 each=  $5 + 5 ECB
Body Wash=  Free with CVS coupon
Carmello Bar (not pictured)= Free with CVS coupon

Total= $8.98 with 6 ECB for next week!

This week's trip:

3 packs of 16 count Charmin Ultra Soft
-On sale for 9.99 each. I had 1 $1 off coupon and 2 $.25 off coupons= $28.47 + 10 ECB
3 packs of 12 count Bounty paper towels
-On sale for 9.99 each. I had 3 $.25 off coupons= $29.22 + 10 ECB
2 bags of Starbursts and 2 bags of Skittles (Mike took one bag to work!)
- On sale 2/$6. 2 B1G1 Free CVS coupons (valued 4.29) + 4 $1 off coupons= Free
1 bottle of Tums- 4.99 with a $2 off CVS coupon= $2.99
1 box of CVS 30 pack bandages-  Free with CVS coupon from last week (they were out of stock last week so the staff let me use it this week!)

I also had a 20% off coupon from a CVS email, a $5 off $25 purchase coupon, and a $10 giftcard that I bought from Dealster that I only paid $6 for.

Total: including the $6 I paid for the Dealster giftcard, I spent $50.78 out of pocket with 20 ECB for next time!

Freebies

Throughout the week on Facebook, I'm able to get lots of freebies. Most of these come from watching the deal sites that I have liked on Facebook! Here's what I've gotten over the last several weeks:

Starting from the top left and working my way around:

Quaker Oatmeal Square sample cereal- Facebook
Fresh Express Salad Freebie coupon- Vocalpoint.com giveaway- anyone can sign up for this site and  they give away several freebies a month!
Barista Prima Coffeehouse Mug- won on Facebook by being one of the 1st 50 people to post a pic in their contest
3 free Degree deodorants from Walmart- $.97 cents each with 3 $1 off coupons, we actually made $.03 a piece!
4 Kcups from Barista Prima Coffeehouse- Facebook
2 Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers- sample from Target.com
2 Beechnut baby food jars + 1 box of Beechnut rice cereal- freebie from Beechnut website
1 can of Alpo dog food- free sample from Walmart.com
Onesie from myhabit.com- free with promo code
Suave free professional styling product- Facebook
4 $10 off $15 Pampers purchase- from complaint to Pampers about non-sticky tabs
Free Pantene Shampoo or Conditioner- Facebook
4 Free Frescetta Pizza Slices- Facebook
Earbuds- Freebie from 1SaleADay

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to normally scheduled programming...

After a bad week last week, I think we may be starting to get back to normal around here. It wasn't that bad I suppose, but it did involve me locking my keys in my car once and a very fussy baby due to teething the entire week. Here's my proof!

It's amazing how much trouble those little white bumps can be!

I love her gorgeous eyelashes!
This picture was taken Thursday. The infamous teeth have now completely popped through, but she won't let me take a picture of them. Our sleeping schedule is finally returning to normal and she's napping in her crib again. Last week she barely let me put her down! I've got all sorts of posts planned so hopefully I'll get the chance to write them! Thanks for bearing with me!

Favorite Books Monday- Good Night, Gorilla

This is a book that Grace loves! It came highly recommended by my 4 year old niece Haley, so of course we had to get it! While the zookeeper is closing the zoo for the night, the gorilla lets all of the animals out of their cages and they follow the zookeeper home. Mrs. Zookeeper isn't fond of all of the zoo animals sleeping in her room. A cute ending and pretty pictures make this a great book for kids of all ages. There aren't many words, which is great for Grace's short attention span. Plus, it's a board book which means it can withstand her "turning" the pages and trying to eat it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Teething...again

So my regularly scheduled blogging has been interrupted by the appearance of two little white bumps on Grace's top gums....We have been getting very little sleep and someone has been pretty grumpy during the days! These teeth have almost popped through so I hope things will return to normal here within the next few days!

Monday, August 15, 2011

7 Months Old- 1 day late : )

My darling baby girl,

You are 7 months old today!


I know I say this every month, but I really can't believe it's been 7 months since you were born. You continue to amaze us every day! You are getting so big, and people frequently tell us that you look older than 7 months. I don't know your exact height and weight, but I have a feeling that you're still in the 90 something percentile for your age. You must be getting your height from daddy's side, because mommy is only 5'2!

Here's some milestones and things we've noticed this month!

  • You still love the pool. You've learned to splash with your hands and you like to get mommy wet. You also love to stick your face in the water!
  • You are trying to figure out how to talk. I swear that you said mama the other day, but you haven't repeated it since then. You love to laugh and you grunt and babble all the time. You sing along when you hear music. Basically, you're very vocal and we're pretty sure that once you start talking, you aren't going to stop!!
  • You've finally learned to put yourself to sleep at night. You talk for a few minutes and then go right to sleep! Although we always put you in your crib on your back, you promptly roll yourself onto your tummy and sleep that way the entire night. Generally you like to eat once at night but you're finally becoming a great sleeper after months of multiple wake ups. Mommy and daddy are very grateful for this new development.
  • You still love your puppies. You reach for them, talk to them, and I have a feeling that when you start crawling, you are going to be chasing them around the house. Buddy still avoids you because you like to pull out his hair, but Doc has taken on the job of your protector and always seems to be near you.
Excited to be sitting next to Buddy! He doesn't normally sit this close, but he was waiting to eat!
  • Speaking of crawling, we think you are going to be crawling any day now. You can easily push yourself up with your arms, but you still can't seem to keep your knees under you. You figured out how to roll this month and so you are quite content to roll anywhere you want to go. You like to roll onto the dogs or to get to any cords in the room.
Practicing crawling with your protector, Doc
  •  You love to make faces. You imitate daddy's faces and you think it's hilarious! We went to a restaurant the other day and you and daddy were imitating each other and you had everyone in the restaurant watching you because you were laughing so hard.You are quite the ham, you love to make other people laugh and you always look at people to make sure they are watching you before you do anything interesting!
One of your many silly faces, you didn't want to smile for me!

  •  Your newest trick is working yourself off of people's laps onto the floor. You are so proud of yourself every time you do it!
See what I did?    

  • You have your two front bottom teeth already, but 3 more are coming in: the top 2 front and a side one on the right. 
  • You love to eat. Peaches are still your favorite food, but you've tried all sorts of new things this month including turkey, ground beef, chicken, apples, and strawberries. You loved everything but the strawberries.
  • One of your frequent activities is baby crunches. I didn't know that this isn't something every baby does, but you do them all day long. We think you're trying to sit up by yourself, but for now, you're just building up your ab strength. Everyone cracks up when they see you do it, mommy just says you have the strongest baby abs ever!!
We can't wait to see what you'll learn this month. You are so beautiful and of course, you are the smartest baby ever (not that we're partial!) We love you so much. You have such a wonderful personality already and we love watching you become your own little person. Every day with you is an adventure and a joy.

 
Love,

Mommy and Daddy

Friday, August 12, 2011

Deals of the Week: CVS and Walgreens

My trips to the drugstores this week were pretty quick as there weren't too many great deals. Here's what I got:

CVS
I had rainchecks for all of my items at CVS for the sale prices last week. My CVS always seems to sell out of the great deals really quickly so rainchecks guarentee me the sales price whenever I feel like using them.

1 Bic Soleil Shimmer Razor starter pack- 5.99 on sale with a $3 off coupon= $2.99 + 3 ECB

1 Gilette Fusion Proglide Razor- 9.99 on sale with a $4 off coupon= $5.99 + 5 ECB

2 Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief - 4.99 on sale with 2 $1.50 off coupons= $3.49 + 3 ECB (x2)

That added up to $16.47 including tax. I saved a total of $17 with sales and coupons. I received $14 in ECB and then when I got home discovered that another $3 in ECB had printed for the Colgate toothpaste from the sale on it this week. So technically I walked away in $17 in ECB, meaning they paid me $.53 for these items!

Walgreens

2 packs of Expo Dry Erase Markers- .99 on sale with a $2 off two coupon= Free + a 2 cent overage!

1 pack of 216 Huggies wipes- 5.99 on sale with a $2 off Walgreens coupon and a $.50 off manufacturers coupon= $3.49

I wasn't able to get the additional coupon for the wipes that would have only made them $1.49, but the price I got was still a great price for that many wipes! I saved a total of $9.50 off the retail price. I spent $3.74 with taxes.


If I did my math right (I think I did!) I spent a total of  $3.21 between my two trips and got $46.71 worth of product. That's a 93% savings!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: Cash Back Card

Many years ago, Mike and I got our first credit cards. We selected a rewards card for students that worked pretty well for us. Fast forward almost 7 years, we were still using the same credit card. It wasn't a bad card, but our rewards choices were pretty limited and weren't exactly the best deals on the market. We decided it was time to find an adult credit card.

After a lot of research, we decided we wanted to get a cash back card. That led us to either the Discover card or the Chase Freedom Visa card. There are still many places that don't accept Discover cards, so we decided on the Chase Freedom card. It gives us 1% cash back on all of our purchases and each quarter, certain things are 5% back. Right now, gas purchases give us 5% back. Every little bit helps with how expensive gas is! We got a $100 bonus for signing up and our cash back is quickly racking up!

Do you have any great thrifty tips? I'm always looking for ways to save!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Baby Items- Wastes of Money

There are so many things that the stores will tell you that you "must have" when you have a baby. I did a ton of research while I was pregnant to try to eliminate any unnecessary items from our registries because I only wanted the items we would actually use. However, we did end up with some things that I think were not necssary and I wish we would have spent our money on other things we actually needed. I know different things work for different babies, but here are the things we didn't end up needing:

1. Newborn Clothes- I know this is one that is fairly unique to us. Grace was a pretty large baby, and so all of the adorable newborn clothes that I had so carefully washed before she was born just sat in her closet and were never used. Wait until your child is born before you take the tags off of things!! Wash one going home outfit and then wait to see what you will actually use.

2. Baby lotion/oil/powder- We got many baby bathtime gift sets that included these items. However, most recommendations now say that these items are not necessary and can actually dry out baby's skin. We didn't use anything except head to toe baby wash and found that we had full size bottles of these extra items sitting around. I still don't know what to do with them!

3. Receiving Blankets- We got so many receiving blankets at showers and while they are cute, they were very rarely used. We got so many larger, hand made gorgeous blankets and quilts that we use that the store bought blankets got pushed to the back of the closet. Many of the receiving blankets were so small that they could not be used for very long.

4. Baby Hats- While they are cute, we very rarely put a hat on Grace after the first week (and she was born in January.) We didn't take her out of the house much, so they really weren't necessary!

5. Pacifiers- Again, this one is unique to us. We must have bought about 5 types of pacifiers only to find that Grace hates them. She never has taken one and they were a waste of money for us. I know they are a Godsend for most parents though!

Did you get things for your baby that just sat unused? What were they?


Wordless WednesdayI

Buddy is normally scared to sit this close to Grace. She loves to grab on to his fur and more than once has pulled out quite a large handful. However, he was waiting to eat so I had to take this picture quickly! Grace loved being this close to him!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Grace's Favorite Things- Part 3

It's amazing how quickly things accumulate when you have a baby. We had multiple baby showers that set us up for the first several months of Grace's life, but we quickly discovered that around 6 months, babies need a whole new set of stuff. Here are our must have and favorite items of the moment:

1. Sunshine Kids Radian 80SL Convertible Carseat

Grace did not like her infant carseat. She seemed uncomfortable lying down constantly and she screamed most of the time when she was in it. She was quickly reaching the height limit for the seat so I decided it was time to move her into a big girl seat.

I did a ton of research on convertible carseats and decided upon the Sunshine Kids Radian for its safety ratings and size. It has one of the tallest shell heights on the market, meaning it can be used for extended rear facing. (The new recommendation is that children should be rear facing until the age of 2, but many carseats are short and will not last until the age of 2.)

Grace loves this car seat! She is able to look out the window and she falls asleep in it almost instantly, which she never did in the infant car seat.

2. Fisher Price Space Saver High Chair



I waited as long as possible before feeding solids, but at 6 months I knew it was time to start. We don't have a lot of extra space in our dining room for a large high chair, so we loved the idea of being able to set this high chair in one of our dining room chairs (we have 6 so losing one is not an inconvenience!) It is easy to install, easy to clean, and takes up very little space. We love it!









3. My Pal Violet


This is probably Grace's favorite toy.. You are able to connect Violet to your computer via a USB Cable to program her with your child's name, favorite food, color, animal and songs. She sings songs and says phrases that include all of this personal information. Grace smiles and laughs every time she hears her name and I think it's so adorable when Violet says "I love you Grace!" Her collar also lights up which helps keep Grace's attention. There is also a boy version called My Pal Scout!








4. Jumperoo


Grace loves to bounce and jump. This toy is perfect for her and is the only way I'm able to get dinner made. It lights up and plays music while she bounces and it keeps her entertained for 15-20 minutes at a time!













5. Exercauser


I was hesitant to have both a jumperoo and an exercauser at the beginning, but I am so glad we did. My parents bought this for my nieces and we were able to get it from them a few months ago and Grace loves it. It is small enough that I am able to move it throughout the house with me during the day. I love having it in the bathroom so I can take a shower while Grace plays.  She loves all of the different toys on it and loves to hit the buttons on it to make it make sounds and play music!






6. Books


Grace loves books!! She especially loves books that I will let her chew on. This is one of her favorites, it's technically a bathtime book I think, but because it's plastic, she can drool and chew on it to her heart's content. She also has a cloth book that I couldn't find a picture of that she loves because it crinkles. She loves regular books too, but she gets frustrated quickly because I don't let her chew on them.








Monday, August 8, 2011

Toddle Along Tuesday!

I am so excited to be the featured blogger for a wonderful blog hop- Toddle Along Tuesday!




Mama G and Kristin both have great blogs so be sure to go link up now!!

Welcome to all of my new readers! I just changed my URL and blog design, so feel free to look around and be sure to leave me a comment so that I can follow you back.

Favorite Books Monday- Are You My Mother?

Grace and I's reading time each day consists of me reading while she tries to turn the pages and/or stick them in her mouth. As you can probably guess, she's pretty rough on her books, so board books are our go-to books right now. They don't tear and even her chewing doesn't destroy them!

One of my favorite board books is "Are You My Mother?" by P.D. Eastman. It is the story of a baby bird who goes looking for his mother and finds some interesting things along the way. My heart always melts at the end when the baby bird finally finds his mom and says "You are my mother!"

Friday, August 5, 2011

Blog Hop

I'm linking up with two new blog hops today Kidding Around Friday and Stalk Remix!



”Saturday

Welcome to any new readers!

Deals of the Week

I got some great deals this week that I just had to share!!

1. I don't have a picture, but Mike and I went to Lowe's and saw a great deal as soon as we walked in the door. The had a 15 pack of 20 oz bottles of Gatorade for $10.97. Mike likes Gatorade but we don't normally buy it because it's too expensive. However, in these packs, there was a $10 off any $50 Lowe's purchase included, making it $.97 for the Gatorade. We always have stuff we need to buy at Lowe's, so this was a no brainer for us!!

2. I went to a great consignment sale today called Kids Closet Connection in Blue Springs and got some wonderful things for Grace.


The two sleepers look almost brand new and are Carters (I love Carters!)~ $3 for both
An adorable fleece outfit with blue leggings~ $3
A Fisher Price activity table with lights and music that retails for $45~ $15

It is tax free weekend in Missouri, so there was no tax on the clothes. I also won a $10 gift card from a Facebook giveaway, so I paid a total of $12 for all of these items!!

3. My trips to CVS and Walmart were pretty productive this week.

CVS: 
3 Softsoap Hand soaps~ I had a rain check from last week that gave me the sale price of $2 for each of these. I then had 3 $1 off coupons and I got 3 ECB (the rain check guarantees you the ECBs!) making all of these items free!

Renu Contact Solution~ I had a rain check from last week that gave me the sale price of 7.09 (I think it was supposed to be 7.89, but the clerk had a hard time reading the rain check as the lady who wrote it had horrible handwriting, so I got a cheaper price!) I had a $2 off coupon and got 6 ECB, making this free with an overage of $.81!

Pantene Shampoo~ Free with coupon from a Facebook giveaway

Oral-B Cross Action Power Toothbrush~ On sale for 5.99. I had a $3 off coupon and received 1 ECB, making this $1.99

I got a ton of rain checks for next week as they were out of most of the good sale stuff. I also bought a back of Starbursts to get my total over $25, so that I could use a $5 off of $25 coupon. I paid $6.25 out of pocket and walked away with a total of $10 ECB. So technically, I made more than I spent!!

Walmart:
Suave Body Lotion~ Free with coupon from a Facebook giveaway

Aussie Shampoo~ Free with coupon from a Facebook giveaway 

Herbal Essences Shampoo~ Free with coupon from a Facebook giveaway 

NatureMade Prenatal Vitamins~ Free after coupon from company, normally $19.99. I had a bottle that had pills with spots on them that I felt uncomfortable taking, so I emailed the company and they sent me a free product coupon up to $20.  

Playtex Sippy Cup with straw~ $4.49 with a $3 off coupon made it $1.49. It's hard to find baby item coupons so I was excited about this one!

3 Cascade trail packs~ $.97 each with 3 $1.00 off coupons giving me a $.03 overage on each one. I made $.09!

2 Reach Flosses~ $.89 each with 2 $1.00 off coupons giving me an $.11 overage on each. I made $.22!

I can see why people get stockpiles so quickly, getting great deals is addicting!
 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Weird Week

Well, my blog update schedule is totally off due to several factors. One, Mike was home from Monday through Wednesday spending some great vacation time with Grace and I. So blogging was not a top priority. Two, I got a horrible sunburn on my back on Friday. It was the worst one I've ever had (literally, I had chills and a fever on Friday night) and so sitting in a computer chair was not going to happen this week. It's finally getting better and I won't be forgetting my sunscreen anytime soon! And third, I've been doing the blog redesign which has taken up quite a bit of my time. So next week, I will get back to my normal blogging patterns. For now, here's a cute video of Grace! She has mastered rolling around and now will roll all the way across the room in a few seconds. We need to get our baby proofing done!

Why I love Breastfeeding

In honor of world breastfeeding week, I wanted to write a post about my experiences over the last 6 months. Breastfeeding is one of the best things I've ever done and there are many reasons I love doing it. Here are a few:

1. Even with a c-section and 2 days in the NICU, I was able to breastfeed Grace and I quickly bonded with her. If she had been formula fed, I'm sure I would have let the nurses do many of the nighttime feedings in the NICU, but instead, I was up every 2-3 hours holding and feeding her.

2. I've managed to lose all my pregnancy weight (40 pounds) plus an additional 15 pounds due to breastfeeding. I know this doesn't happen to everyone, but I've been one of the lucky ones!

3. I know that it's the best thing for Grace and for myself. She is growing like a weed and it's amazing to know that I've been the provider of her nutrition.

4. Breastfeeding, once you get the hang of it, is the easiest way to feed a baby! Seriously, making bottles takes time and solids are messy! There's nothing easier then putting Grace to my breast to give her a quick snack when we're out and about : )

I know that we were lucky to have an easy time with breastfeeding. I was sore, but Grace took to it very quickly and latched well from the start. My goal was to breastfeed until 6 months, and now that we've passed the 6 month mark, my goal is to make it to a year. I am proud to be a breastfeeding mommy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

URL Change

It's time for a change! As I no longer work in a library and Grace will not be a baby forever, my blog has a new name, Moments That Take My Breath Away. This is based on my favorite quote: "Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away." It always reminds me to appreciate every moment. I have certainly had many moments that have taken my breath away in the last several years, such as the moment I saw 2 lines on a pregnancy test and the first time I held my beautiful baby girl.

I will still be doing favorite books Monday, books will always be a big part of my life! If you are following me via RSS feed, please change the URL to http://momentsthattake.blogspot.com. Thanks for reading!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blog Redesign

I am currently in the middle of a blog redesign and I'm changing the name of my blog! I'll let you know before I change the URL, but I thought it was time for a change as my baby girl won't be a baby forever. So please be patient with me as I'm trying to get everything changed over...

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