Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I love saving money!

I'm on a mission to really start getting a tighter grip on our household budget and start saving money. The savings are out there, I just need to take the time to find them!!
The other weekend, while browsing the Clipper magazine, my husband noticed an add for a website called MamaCheaps because of the drastic savings that were advertised. I was intrigued, so I checked it out. It's AWESOME! She breaks down the sales and savings and talks about couponing, etc. I became a fan on FB and now just browse her status updates which link to her posts.

The other day, she had info about becoming a fan of Ballpark franks on FB and getting a $2 coupon. The coupon site allowed you to print two coupons. I said I'd wait until the hot dogs were on sale BOGO and use the coupons... well, they were on sale already this week! So- I bought 2 packs of all beef, bun-length Ballpark franks for FREE! Yes, FREE... actually, I got a penny back! I used both coupons which were $2/1 pack and then the BOGO discount. Awesome. I was so excited- I think that my first big "free" deal.

That same day, I used two $4 off coupons for Tag Reader books to be put aside for the princess for Christmas. They were on sale at Target for $9.99 (reg. $13.99) and then I used my coupons. I paid $12.70 for TWO Tag Reader books and my receipt showed a savings of $16!

And, just now, I ordered a case of 160 Size 3 Pampers Cruisers from Amazon for $17.82 plus FREE 2-day shipping. That's so much cheaper than $41.99 for the same size package at Babies R Us... what the heck, it's even cheaper than buying a pack half that size at Giant!

It may not seem a lot, but that's a savings of $48.17 just on those sales alone... now if only I can keep this up, we'll be in great shape... though I have to admit, it takes some time to plan, clip coupons, etc but it's well worth it! Thanks MamaCheaps!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Phillies Phever

After much awaited anticipation, we finally took the princess to a Phillies game like she'd been asking. We weren't sure how she'd do and we had a hard time finding games that would work for a 3 year old... but then some of my coworkers set up a "day at the ballpark" event and we decided to go - all four of us! It was a 1pm game, so it was perfect for both Victoria and our baby boy. She was so excited, I think we all were except Ben who had no idea what was going on!
Then, we had to make a stop at the Citizen's Bank Park's Build-A-Bear workshop to make a special bear to commemorate the day. Victoria is kissing the bear's heart before getting him all sewn up.And here's the field from our seats. We were up pretty high, but considering we needed a group of 40ish tickets, this was all we could get for decent prices... it was still so much fun. Derek got a picture just as Chase Utley hit the ball.

Victoria was so well behaved, and Ben slept and smiled most of the time we were there. After the game, they had an event called Kids Run the Bases.... we waited in a line that wrapped around the entire stadium but it was well worth it to see how happy our little girl was to be on the field.
And then it was time to go back home... but one thing is for sure, we will be back again! Most likely it will be next season, but we are planning to take Victoria to a game again

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Family Game night

I thought it was about time I start to add some pictures to my blog... here is one taken during our very first "Family Game Night". Monopoly was quite a game to start with, but I think my hubby was getting tired of Topsy Turtle. We really need to build a stash of appropriate aged kids' cames as Miss Tori is starting to show some interest.

We pulled out Monopoly and she seemed to enjoy it. Really, she just rolled the dice, counted her spots, bought some properties and talked about going to and visiting Jail. She was fascinated by the whole concept of "Go Directly to Jail". Lord knows she probably went to preschool talking about Daddy going to Jail and the fact that she had to "visit". Thankfully they know that's not true, especially since he's been picking her up & dropping her off lately!

What were your favorite games to play as a kid? I think that Candyland will be a great place to start with her, maybe some Connect Four too.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Through the eyes of a child...

I always catch myself thinking that I wish I could see the world through the eyes of a child again... I watch my three year old daughter and the way she perceives the world, and I wish that I could feel that way again. Not knowing the stress of the real world, not juggling work & family and dealing with paying bills, buying food & clothes, not dealing with anything and thinking it's the most terrible thing when someone tells you no.

If the most terrible thing would be hearing the word "No" come out of someone's mouth, I would be in heaven! I feel that the older I get (and no, I'm not really OLD) the more I wish I was still innocent and naive.

I love breaks in the day where I can just play with the kids, look at things at their simplest, and laugh. Laughter is wonderful... we should all laugh, all the time, and the world would be such a better place.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Creativity unleased

I've started perusing blogs lately and I've gotten inspired to start crocheting again. I'm so behind in making blankets that it's not even funny. I pretty much gave up on my craft for so long, but decided that it's really going to be nice to pick it up again. I was very inspired by a blog that I found, Attic24, and the Granny Stripe blanket, that I've decided to start with that one. Between reading her blog and looking around at other's such as Sarah London Textiles, I picked up some yarn and now the granny stripe is underway for my baby boy!

I decided to go with something that's not usual for babies - grey, pistachio green & white. I wanted something other than baby blue and pastel green. I'm really loving the way it looks - I've decided to go along with an "unpatterned" blanket - mixing up the order of the colors and the width of the stripes. BUT... it's been a while since I started a blanket that wasn't a pattern but rather started as a "replicate of..." so the blanket for Baby B is quite wide... maybe I'll make vertical stripes instead... we shall see.

But, now that I've started, I've already gotten a list. I need to make a blanket for my oldest nephew (he just turned 1) because I started one when his mommy was pregnant and it never got finished and he was a BIG boy and it was a small blanket, so I set it aside, unfinished. Once I'm done with my baby boy's blanket, I'll start the one for my nephew. I'm thinking of trying my hand at a rectangular granny for him.

After his, I'm going to make one for my sister-in-law's new baby, who is due between Christmas and New Year. Hopefully I can catch up, between work and two kids, and get the blankets done before the new little guy is born. I also want to make a few hats for my daughter, since she loves her hats and scarves. Luckily, my aunt will also make some with her Knifty Knitter if I don't get there in time.

Boy, I'm getting tired just thinking of my list! Hopefully I can break out my camera and take a few snapshots of my progress to share my creations and document my projects.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Time for change

So many things are going to be changing soon that the thought of the changes excites me and scares me all at the same time. Since having our son, my husband's job has been going downhill and we've made the decision that starting in September, he's going to be a stay at home dad. He is thrilled, he really hates his job and when our daughter was born, he didn't have a lot of time with her since his job (same one) was very demanding at the time and he was working 50-hour, 4-day weeks which left little time for cuddling or playing.

We're going to keep our daughter in preschool 2 days per week, so that she doesn't lose anything she could be learning, since she's doing so well right now. She's only 3 and able to count to fifteen in English and to ten in Spanish. She can write her name, well enough that we can recognize it, but it still needs a bit of polishing.

With him staying home, it will also provide me with more family time. Currently, I drop the kids off at daycare, which doesn't open until 7am, and then spend nearly an hour, sometimes longer, in traffic due to the bad timing. The alternative would be to take them to daycare later and then work a later day, but then I'd get practically no time with my family in the evening. With my husband staying home and taking the little one to preschool, I can work 7am-3pm, totally miss traffic and have hours to spend with my husband and children in the evening. It's going to be amazing.

Ironically, we'll also have more spending money and more of a chance to save.
If you have any great money-saving tips, please share :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Hello, World!

I've been toying with the idea of starting my own blog, somewhere to go to rant about the things going on in my life. I'm looking for a place to share creativity, let off some steam about issues that I'm facing and just have an outlet for all things that are going on.

A bit about me: I'm 27 years old and happily married for almost 5 years to an awesome guy. We have two children, a 3 year old daughter and a 4 month old son. Life is nothing if it's not crazy at times. I work full-time as a Scientist for a large, global company... it's something that I love, because I'm working towards finding new therapeutics for cancer, and I truly hate cancer! It's also a job that can be very stressful and often monotonous. But it makes me feel like I have a purpose, that I'm not just punching the clock day in and day out.

My goal for this blog is to get me back into being creative, using my free time (what little there is!) for stress-relieving activities such as photography or crochet, and being able to share my projects with anyone who cares to see.

I hope you'll enjoy reading about the simple, or not-so simple, things in life!