Fall Decor & Decluttering!

I’ve been loving decorating our new home for fall with a more “minimalist approach.”41556957_10103525907564840_193881107278594048_n[White pumpkin above from Target]

I also did rearranging to help “spruce up” the home too as you may be able to tell [from this previous post].41658987_10103527043378660_6827600667389984768_nThis Birch candle I got from Big Lots. “Woods-like scents” are my favorite for fall! 41512421_10103525907604760_6601022541022625792_oI didn’t want to go crazy spending money since our goal is to try and save. There have been a ton of items I’ve wanted to buy, but I’ll just wait til they are on sale. 

[Mug from Target, pumpkin from Walmart]41662400_10103527043443530_258725707469815808_oLike this wooden galvanized chicken I picked up from Hobby Lobby. 41658974_10103527103553070_4076511300681728000_nI think it originally was $19.99 and I ended up getting it for under $5. Although it was considered a “summer item,” it fit perfectly with my farm house style decor.41313749_10103522014506560_3844833029499387904_nMost of the flowers, vases, small candles, I purchased from Dollar Tree. I’d say in total I spent under $25 on “fall decor.”

I had this white pumpkin “Give Thanks” sign from a couple of years ago (might have been Kohl’s). and the farm fresh sign was from Walmart (thanks mom)!41654571_10103527043328760_2478180354377121792_nI also did a bit of rearranging in the kids room since some of the floor vents were covered during the summer.41538339_10103525907714540_454043004567552000_o I decluttered some of their toys (just pack some away, we like to alternate). The toddler definitely likes this set up better of her bed, especially since there is more light coming in from the window.41514552_10103525907799370_7245037279146672128_nI’m waiting to go pumpkin picking to snag some more pumpkins for the front and maybe add a few more “fall” pieces outside.41661033_10103527043802810_7602087595614404608_nHope everyone is has a fantastic rest of the week and happy [almost] Fall! 🙂

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End of Summer [2018]

I’m so happy the weather has been feeling more “fall like.” I do love me some sweater weather and of course, pumpkin season.

***

The twins had their first real beach day a couple of weeks ago. 41222142_10103522015294980_1016240398114226176_nWith my foot injury in July (a long post for another day), we were not able to do much towards the end of summer. But I was so thankful my parents came up for Labor day weekend to hang with us!41213369_10103522015359850_6706694889876226048_nMama did manage to “make it up” by booking a Great Wolf Lodge trip. They had a deal for $99+ per night on specific days.41280431_10103522012909760_7536585680743301120_n.jpgI usually wait around anyways for this email to book a trip. I have never paid more than $139 per night. Prices can be over $300 when there are no good deals.

For our family, Great Wolf is perfect! 41330035_10103522012964650_6540693304374198272_nI love that it’s contained, no glaring sun, plenty of life guards everywhere and if you need to go to your room, you have easy access. I did a review before but I always highly recommend bringing food/ snacks; it can be pricey and add up fast!40995563_10103519487246210_7005433672316747776_nThis time we brought items to make sandwiches for lunch the next day and opted for the breakfast buffet (which is discounted when you book and order online) and snagged fruit there for a snack later.41165866_10103519487470760_5547976553809313792_nTraveling with kids is hard, but I have posted in the past on some tips that have helped us when it was just the toddler. The same applies with the twins, it’s just a matter of doubling up on EVERYTHING.

Lastly, one of our other final “summer activities” was the Balloon Festival in NH. 41302197_10103522014551470_2180133267829686272_nIt was definitely cool to see the Hot Air Balloons up close. The toddler wasn’t too fond of the Balloons at first, but she did warm up to it towards the end.41244235_10103522015260050_1092330811824275456_nAnd that’s a wrap for our end of summer [2018]. Next summer the twins will be walking and that is going to be a whole other ball game. 😉40534861_10103516227174420_6514815306077044736_nExcited to for Fall and Halloween (especially because it’s all Sammy has been talking about since last Halloween) and #pumpkinEVERYTHING!

Preschool “Homeschool” Ideas!

This year we decided to a bit of “homeschooling” for the toddler. 20180826_184809.jpgShe is super smart and we want to help her grow! Preschool just isn’t in our budget right now as over the next 12 months, we are buckling down and trying to pay off some of our debt.20180826_184643I’ve been looking at various websites online (like Munckins and Moms, Jessi Fearon) and decided to take a ton of good ideas from Jessi Fearon’s curriculum that she did for her preschooler. I’ve also found some great worksheets on these sites:

Keep the summer reading skills going with THIS fun themed matching list of words! Be sure to check out Education.com for more learning resources, games, and printables for fun all summer long! [Click HERE for the matching answer sheet].

As far as actual workbooks go, THIS ONE is my absolute favorite (and Sammy’s too).

We’ve been using it since the Spring and Sammy has learned a ton just by using it a few times a month. I also got items from Dollar Tree and Target’s dollar spot.20180826_143733.jpgNow that we are heading into the “school year,” I decided to focus with her on learning activities 3-4 times a week. Fridays she is going to be going to art classes. She is very energetic and when she does painting or art projects at home, her focus is amazing.

At first I wanted to do Dance or Gymnastics, but I’m thinking she is going to be more of a Gymnastics or Soccer kind of girl. I’ll wait til next year to see what she wants to do.

We had her in Gymnastics last winter and I just felt she wasn’t ready for the environment/ just wanted to play around.LibraryAny who, I am also going to focus on including a library day into our weekly schedule as well as “trips” once a month (museum, zoo, etc.).

  • Mondays: Library trip
  • Tuesdays: Learning Activity
  • Wednesdays: Day Off
  • Thursdays: Learning Activity
  • Friday: Art Class
  • Saturday: Grocery Shopping/ Chore Learning
  • Sunday: Day Off

This is just a really loose schedule, as sometimes it may just depend on the week. I want to take all the kiddos to a kids play place (ours nearby is Nini Bambini) so that they all can explore and interact with other kiddos. This will most likely be on Tuesdays.20180826_184723As far as Saturday goes with grocery shopping or chore learning, I want to make this a day where we cook a meal together, do laundry, grocery shopping… what ever it may be, we are doing it together and learning.

Teaching her how to do basic household skills is important too. 

As we get more into the swing of things, I’ll be sharing more posts of what we are doing/ what has helped her learn certain things. letter puzzelIf you haven’t seen THIS previous post on some of my favorite education toys for toddlers, check it out (to be updated too). 🙂

Currently: De-cluttering & Toy Organization

As summer is coming to a “close,” I’ve been doing a ton of “spring” cleaning…38065517_10103486141885580_1781159934499487744_nI started going through my fall and winter boxes that I had for the kiddos and found that I really didn’t need much.

The toddler is good, as I stocked up for her during last winter’s clearance deals.38778002_10103495399208830_716557100825706496_oAlly just needs a couple of long sleeve items since Samantha was in spring/ summer at her size. Ally is almost nine months and is a size 9-12 and Harry is 12-18 months.38786263_10103495399997250_2300149763774873600_nFor him, we have some clothes from friends, family as well as some stocking I did during last winter clearance too! #clearancelady 😉38797484_10103495399637970_7641531411324731392_nI’ve also gone through the toys… kids toys are always so chaotic.

I feel like I just organized the toys.

Well to be fair, we moved into the house in late March so I guess 4ish months isn’t bad that it was somewhat decent. We now USE the toy box and if you remember from a previous post, it’s where I stored toys that were NOT in use.38071624_10103486141800750_3682990320959619072_nNow that the toddler knows how to open the it, it’s not practical for “non-use” storage anymore. 38130803_10103486141710930_505039479145234432_nI took out the toys she didn’t really use/ wasn’t appropriate for the twins just yet, and stored them in our back shed. 38247298_10103486141745860_4726197633314455552_nI’ll definitely rotate toys (as I do with books) and it will feel brand new! I’ve started to do it with the twins too and it makes all the difference.38085365_10103486141506340_8574922044917940224_n***

We also had all three kiddos in the same room last month. 

We decided since Harry still wakes up in the middle of the night (1-2 times), we put him back into our room and put the kitchen back in “kids” room.38204071_10103486142409530_5887018815434260480_nSo far that has been great! #winning 😀

Now that things are tidied up (for the most part), we need to hit the beach, pool and raspberry picking again before the summer ends.

What are some your plans during the last few weeks of “summer?”

Twins {8 Months Old}

So much has changed since my last post about the kiddos. ❤36913014_10103464583528700_6853943170695168_n (1).jpgHarrison is full on crawling (started at end of month 6) and can lift himself to stand. It’s a constant battle to make sure he doesn’t fall on his head! His balance is getting much better day by day.

Ally is not there yet with crawling, but she does pivot and do a back crawl. I love watching both of them progress but they do it so differently and I find it fascinating. 36816334_10103464583593570_902011473679613952_nAlly chews her food better than Harry and prefers “regular food” like eggs and chicken. Harry has been more into purees like sweet potato, pear and pineapple purees.

They both love a smidge of peanut butter on a wheat wrap piece.36863480_10103464776127730_5214237073556373504_nAlly can also eat solo with pouches.  It just amazed me how different they are! 37037728_10103468563842120_5595797183539445760_nThe rice rusk teething cookies have been very helpful and even bread works. Harry has his two bottom teeth and Ally has one bottom tooth just about poking through.

They both dislike teethers which is funny to compare to their big sis. She LOVED teethers and we had a ton for her… and now useless. #momlife 😉36864573_10103464588528680_5407523095936237568_nWe also did their baptism at 8 months old. HarrisonAllisonBaptismJuly2018-4They behaved so well, I was highly impressed! The service was much better then Sammy’s and more relaxed for the kiddos.HarrisonAllisonBaptismJuly2018-5 The church that we found is very young family/ kid oriented, so we were very excited to have found it!HarrisonAllisonBaptismJuly2018-18That wraps up our 6-8 month update on the twins. Next one will be the ONE YEAR update. That is insane… it’s less than 4 months away!

Time sure does fly when you have kids.

7 Ways We Are Saving Money!

There are a ton of articles and YouTube videos online on ways to save money.

It is important to note that many of these videos may only work for certain people. For example, not everyone has a house or kids, so those aspects may not apply to you.36815445_10103464776082820_1001593159475527680_nFrom all the articles or videos I’ve watched over the last few months, I wanted to share the ways OUR family is trying to save money/ pay off debt:

  1. Run your washer/dryer/ dishwasher at night: These chug a ton of electricity and did you know electricity is cheaper at night? I looked up the rates for our company and it was over a 10 cent difference to use electricity during “peak” hours (ours are 7am-8pm).
    • We just implemented this, so I’m curious to see what the cost difference will be over then next couple of months.
  2. Use cash: Lately I’ve been taking out cash for the week and sticking to it. It forces me to think twice over impulse purchases. If I have any left over, it goes straight into the piggy bank.
  3. Eliminate temptation: Whether it’s deleting emails from your favorite clothing store that informs you of sales or an app – just delete it. I recently deleted my Starbucks app!
    • Now I do go here and there but it’s not like I’m adding $40 a month just because. I maybe now spend $10-$12 and re-download the app when I do go. Plus my work has a killer Espresso machine for free.36954696_10103467147530420_1082811261625827328_n
    • Cutting out those emails can avoid impulse spends. Just because your favorite store is having a 50% off deal, doesn’t mean you need to buy something.
  4. Grocery shop online: I have found this to be extremely helpful. Half the time I forget my list or buy other items I didn’t intend to go into the store for.
    • I use Walmart Grocery and it has been such a lifesaver, not only in time, but for money. I shop what’s on sale and I grab ONLY what’s on my list.
  5. Cut down on dining out: When the twins were born, we were big on dine outs or quick meals. But now that things have gotten a “tad” easier, we have the time to cook more.
    • We only dine out twice a week and one time is usually a pizza deal in our area which is $7.99 for a large pie.
  6. Cancel your cable: We just have internet and use Hulu, Netflix and sometimes YouTube. We like to watch America’s got talent and we just need to wait the next day to watch an episode. #NoBigDeal.
  7. Cancel Your Gym Membership: Don’t get me wrong, I love taking in-studio classes. But I looked back at my account one day and I realized I spent over $1,000 in a year and a half. I could have paid off part of my credit card with that.37027483_10103467147655170_1148514400009715712_n
    • I am finishing up any classes I have left and either doing something at home (there are so many apps and YouTube videos) or if I really want to do a Pure Barre class, I use their online version.
    • If you need a gym, shop around and find a cheaper rate or wait for deals, especially during holidays.

Other tips:

  1. Buy second hand when you can (especially kids clothes and toys).
  2. Set a monthly budget.
  3. Borrow books/ DVDs from library instead of purchasing new ones.
  4. Staycations!
  5. Fruit picking for a summer afternoon date (pack a lunch, save some money and get exercise). It’s even good for the kiddos too and bonus if you have a farm that does picking per pound! Enjoy the sunshine and time with a loved one.36919084_10103466180453450_5753412488913747968_n
  6. Search your area for free or cheap local activities. You can join a Facebook group for your town and usually can find out about local activities there. And kids don’t really need you to spend tons of money to be entertained.
    • Once a week the kiddos and I go to Whole Foods and get a cranberry muffin; Sammy eats half and the twins eat the leftovers. Sammy loves playing with the trucks and I get to chill for almost an hour before errands. #winwin 😉36952658_10103467147749980_6526378436074668032_nFor more cheap/ free activities for kids, click THIS post for more info!

Again, some of these tips may not apply to you or your lifestyle but these are just a few things that our family has done/ is doing to save money and work on getting rid of debt.

Question: What are some of your tips to save money?!

 

What We Are Loving Lately!

Hello, hello!

Dropping by to share some of some new finds, a new bed for the toddler and other favorites. Let’s go!

Through trial and error, we’ve realized Sammy has a wheat intolerance, [just like her mom]. I spotted these at Big Lots and purchased the chocolate and cinnamon ones. 34471821_10103432996229900_6165704515828842496_nThey are pretty delicious for gluten-free cookies.

Products have come a long way since I found out almost 10 years ago that I had the intolerance.

I spotted this protein bar one day in Walmart and I had to give it a go. I knew it would totally NOT taste like cake. img_5494They are sweeter then the other thinkThin bars I’ve tried and it’s perfect for a sweet tooth without the guilt! 😉

This infant/ toddler swing has been fantastic. 33940791_10103427890382060_4905422486817996800_nThe swing set we purchased had two “big kid” swings and Sammy just isn’t a fan yet (although she knows how to use them).34499434_10103432995361640_695666040595546112_n It’s big enough for her and good side for the babies!

Speaking of babies, they have been teething like crazy and loving the Happy Baby teething wafers. These were Sammy’s favorites too! 35749730_10103446684089320_7340758764301058048_nWe were planning on moving the toddler and Harrison into bunk beds in a year but for some reason, Sammy has grown like a million few inches and the toddler bed just became to short for her. 35686998_10103446537019050_5102733520619438080_nI found this twin loft bed on Wayfair on sale. It was not too bad to put together (and I did it alone) and took under an hour total time.35532005_10103444147951760_8152447896084545536_nI was worried that she wouldn’t be able to get in and out well but with her toy chest being next to the ladder, it adds a extra step. 35660829_10103446536949190_8136087549610295296_nWe opted not to put the slide because I just don’t see how with an energetic toddler, things go well!

My husband purchased this essential oil diffuser for me a while ago, but I totally love it. My current favorite combo to diffuse is a little lavender with Eucalyptus.34508496_10103432996993370_6644250575108046848_n If the babies are being fussy or I want to have a relaxing cleaning sesh, this stuff is my go to!

Hope everyone is having a great week! See ya’ll on the next post. 🙂