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Time Out Tuesday

Time Out Tuesday

With the start of the school year for both Danyella and I, life has become so overwhelming that I feel like my brain is just spinning out of control. For the remainder of September, I am taking Tuesdays off from blogging so that I can get myself on a schedule with school, pregnancy and life. Starting Tuesday, October 3rd, I will be starting Teach Me Tuesday with DIY projects for the upcoming holidays for adults and kids to make the holiday season fun.

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16 Years Later

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16 years later and I can still remember that day like it was yesterday that I was paralyzed to that spot on my bed as I watched the horror unfold on the television in front of me. Instead of Motivation Monday, we are dedicating today to those who lost their lives in this horrible tragedy.

I have been sitting here looking at this screen for what seems like hours trying to form words but there are absolutely no words for this post. There is just tears and silence as we remember those whom have been lost in a tragedy that should have never happened.

As a child, whenever the subject of JFK dying was brought up, the adult would always say that they remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard about it. I never thought that I would have one of those moments in my life but I do all I can say is NEVER FORGET. Never forget those who lost their lives protecting innocent lives in those buildings. Never forget the feeling you had when this first happened, where a country united to comfort one another in a time of need. Never forget to live each day to its fullest because you never know when it will be your last.

Here is a picture you can print for your child to participate in Remembering 9/11 and make this day a beautiful one by filling our social media with remembrance pictures not garbage today! (click the link below the image to print this out)

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Remembering 9/11 Coloring Page

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Ordering Your Groceries #savingsunday

Order YourGroceries

One of the best decisions that I have ever made was to order my groceries from our local grocery store. This is a service that Shoprite has offered for a few years but I thought I was better then paying the fee to have someone else do my shopping for me. Boy was I WRONG!

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Shoprite offers either a pick up or home delivery service. After hearing my coworker talk so much love on the pick up service, I decided to give it a try and I am so glad that I did because all I had to do was create my order, pick my time slot, pull into a designated parking spot, open my trunk for them to load my car (blue bags are your cold items) and drive home! Super simple and easy.

Over the past year of using this service, Shoprite has made many changes to make it easier on the customer to use this service which I love because I can order right from my phone when I have spare time. Another great upgrade is that they save your prior list so you can shop from products you have already purchased without searching for them.

When you begin your order, you have the option of adding items from a previous purchase list, a saved list, the interactive weekly flyer (this my preference), browsing departments or searching for the item.  There have been times where I have had to input a specific item and then they call me to verify the item for my order but this has been rare. Keep adding all the items you need and want on your order.

One great thing about shopping online is that you are not being sucked into those impulse purchases. I know that even a “quick trip” to Target can add an easy $100 to my bill because you see other things that you might “need” and just throw them into your cart. This helps curve those extra items that in the end you really don’t want or need in your home.

Next, let’s talk about additional ways you can save with Shoprite from Home. You can use coupons, whether they are the digital ones that you can upload from Shoprite’s site/app or paper coupons or both! This is the best way to help save money because you can get those sale items plus coupons and get them for just a fraction of what the cost would have been. For example, about a month ago Arm and Hammer laundry detergent was on sale for $1.99 (small bottle but still a great deal) plus I had $1 coupons from coupons.com which means I got 4 bottles for just $4. We have only gone through one of those bottles and I do alot of laundry in my house.

Once you sign up with Shoprite from Home, you will begin to receive emails from them with different incentives including codes to get a discount when you purchase so much in groceries (before your coupons). Most times it is $20 off an order of $200 or more which we easily hit with our monthly order. Yes, we only put in one big order a month and then purchase the small stuff like milk and veggies on a weekly basis because they go bad or are eaten faster then a month. I see that savings code as helping to pay the Shop from Home fee so to me it is win/win.

When you select your payment method, pay cash because then you will get the money back from the coupons immediatly instead of it being applied to your Shoprite account and then you actually have to go into the store to purchase items in order to use that money. Now I have talked about the fee and here it is… $10 for the service. That is so small compared to what I am gaining and saving out of it. Last month’s bill should have been about $250 and with the coupons and code, I was able to bring it down to $202 which could have been lower but I didn’t have all my coupons organized (another post for another day).

All in All, I love the shop from home service because it saves me so much time, hassle from dealing with other people and most importantly, money! I know that Walmart has started the pick up service but I have yet to try it…. now I am motivated to research and try their service soon.

This post was not commissioned and is just my opinion on their service. If you would like to check out their service or see if there is a Shoprite in your area click this LINK

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23 Weeks What Does Baby Really Need?

What Does Baby Need When They Come Home From The Hospital

Let’s start out talking about what does this little baby need vs Mommy wants when they come home? This has been a HUGE topic of discussion in my Baby Mamas group because most of us are on a tight budget and can’t afford the top of the line products or every cool product out there. Plus there are some, like us, that will not be setting up a designated nursery for the baby because either there isn’t space or isn’t necessary for a tiny human.

Like I mentioned above, we will not be setting up a nursery for Baby Evelynne because I just don’t see it necessary in the beginning for so many reasons. The biggest reason is that I will be breastfeeding and if she is anything like Danyella, she will be up every 3 hours like clockwork. Our bed is not big enough for one of those co-sleepers so my mom bought us the Pack N Play that I had picked out. I am in love with this Pack N Play From Graco called Cuddle Cove because it has the bassinet part, changing table and removable baby vibrating seat. That is 3 things off my list in one!

Being my 4th kid, I am not concerned about having a designated area for changing the baby because you learn to change the baby any where you can find space. On the other hand, a seat or swing is something that is key to my needs. Danyella wouldn’t and couldn’t be soothed without her vibrating seat and they were not as comfy then as they are now.

The next obvious baby need is a car seat and preferably one with a stroller because you want the ease to click and roll with the baby once you take the baby out of the house. There are soooo many different brands, options and price ranges to choose from which will be a future post trust me! I have yet to purchase this because I don’t know where to start now.

Home essentials for the baby that may feel logical but as a mom with pregnancy brain, I don’t always think about when I am searching through the sale racks at the stores…. Bottles, extra nipples, bottle warmer, bottle cleaner and rack. Not all babies like all bottles so I suggest getting a sampling of different ones until you find the one that baby loves the most. One easy way to do this is take advantage of the free baby boxes because each one features different types of bottles. If you are breastfeeding, bottles are still handy to have because you can pump and let dad feed the baby to give a break to shower.

Onto breastfeeding, you will want a breast pump because it will help make your life a lot easier at times to let others feed the baby or relieve some of the pressure if the baby doesn’t eat enough and you become engorged (another post for another time). Also, you will want nursing bras, pads and ointment for making breastfeeding an enjoyable experience for both you and baby.

Blankets, blankets, blankets. You will want warm blankets, receiving blankets, swaddling blankets and burp clothes. Different varieties of blankets aid your baby and your needs in different ways. Some are for when they fall asleep in the vibrating chair and you want to keep them warm while you watch your angel sleep. Some of these are swaddling blankets because most (not Danyella) babies love to be swaddled and feel safe. Some are just for cleaning up messes because babies are just messy.

To make carrying baby around the house a lot easier and comfortable for you, get a baby carrier. Whether it is sling, wrap or soft structured carrier, baby will love being close to mommy or daddy and it will help you get things done around the house like dishes and laundry.

Bathtime fun will need a tub or sling plus towels, wash clothes, baby soap and lotion. You want to keep baby safe but clean with baby soap so be sure to watch for any reactions baby might have to a soap or lotion.

Now for clothing… Some of this will depend on the weather of your area! You will want onesies. Not just the cute ones with sayings or animals but the plain ones for when they are messy. Bodysuits are great for when you take baby out especially in cold weather. Baby gowns were my best friend when baby first came home because it as so much easier to change them and clean their belly button. (yes there are gowns for boys too!) Shirts, pants, shorts, dresses (depending on your weather and preference) in a variety of sizes from newborn to 3/6 months. Another baby NEED is the mittens because their nails grow fast and babies love to scratch at their face. Bibs because babies drool and spit up and they help to save those clothes for future babies.  Socks are great for the cold weather to keep their feet warm but shoes are not a necessity until they are old enough to crawl/walk. Even in the warm weather, you want to keep a hat on baby because you want to keep their warm inside because baby’s tend to get colder, easier. Sleep Sacks are something new to me but I am putting them on the list after hearing the opinions of others and online reviews.

The last obvious baby need is diapers, whether its disposable or cloth, you will want a stock up of different sizes for the first few months because babies will be born at different weights and grow at different rates. Plus, you will want wipes for those yucky diapers but you do not need a baby wipe warmer. To go with the diapers is a diaper pail! Yes you will want to save your nose with one of these.

So this is my list of essential items which I may adjust this list as time goes by and I find new items on the market. I hope it helps any new moms or moms that are starting over like me! You can print this list by click What Does Baby Need When They Come Home From The Hospital

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Finally we are on to my Weekly Evelynne update… We had our bi-weekly ultrasound and so happy to report that my placenta has moved so we are currently out of the woods with placenta previa. She is breach but has time to move herself around and move does she ever. Evelynne is super active especially when she hears the dog barking like she wants to come out and play. Since I started school this week, Evelynne had her first day of classes and I was given the idea to make a sign for my art class like all the other kids get on their first day of school. Contractions come and go and her position has made breathing, especially at night, quite difficult. I am still craving salads, seafood and everything pumpkin (thank goodness it is fall again!). I am dying for sushi but california rolls are not cutting it so the countdown to sushi and wine are on!

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Filled French Toast Roll Ups #feedmefriday

Filled French Toast Roll Up

In our family, breakfast can be eaten anytime of the day… or night. We love our breakfast foods but right now I cannot eat eggs ie omeletes, over easy etc so we opted to find a different recipe to make for Feed Me Friday and I found French Toast Roll Ups by This Grandma is Fun

This recipe seemed easy, fun and most of all YUMMY! I checked what we had and what we needed. Danyella doesn’t like Nutella but I love Nutella so I grabbed cool little to go packs so I can use the rest of them for my lunches for school. I bought bananas and bread since we had jelly in the fridge.

So here we go…. I got everything out that we needed. For Danyella it was 2 Raspberry with banana chunks and 2 Strawberry with banana chunks. For me it was 4 Nutella with banana chunks (wish I bought strawberries).

I cut the crust off and rolled out the slices of bread to flatten them…

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Then I put a layer of jelly or nutella (my tip here is that the recipe says to just do a strip in the middle but I did 3/4 of the bread so when I rolled them the one end sealed to the roll using the spread)….

Then it was time to cook these yummy things up….

Now it was time to roll them in the cinnamon/sugar mix and they were ready to eat. Boy are they yummy! We could have used healthier bread or gone without the cinnamon/sugar mix but sometimes you need to be a little bad! I highly recommend these especially if you have kids because they can help make the roll ups and have some fun too!Photo Sep 08, 9 21 21 AM

Find the recipe here… French Toast Roll Ups 

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Mommy is a College Student #thankfulthursday

Mommy College Student

Today was my first official day of classes that I attend at the actual college (my online classes started already)! It was scary as hell to pull into that parking lot surround my kids that were closer in age to my oldest child then to me. I swear you could feel my heart pounding out of my chest as I looked for a place to park (note to self show up earlier so I can park closer and not in the outskirts of town). Why am I so damn nervous?

The reason I am so nervous is because I was living in fear of being judged by all of these millennial that will shape the future of our lives with new technology, politics and so much more. Here I am… the old, pregnant woman taking classes among all of these young kids who are concerned about their Snaps and the latest party. How can I keep up with them?

My first class today was Speech which is something that comes pretty easily for me because of my background in theatre plus making speeches for the Homeless Shelter that I have been associated with for a few years now. I walked into class a few minutes late because with my belly I can only walk so fast from the other side of the parking lot and then up to the second floor to class. Already red in the face….

I take a seat in the front of the class because that was a close seat to the door and the other people at the table looked a little older than 18 and out of diapers. The professor keeps going and I start to feel more at ease until I look around the classroom and see all the young kids. Wow I begin to feel so so so old! There are a few of us older people though I think I am the oldest out of 24 and definitely the only pregnant one.

The first video we watch is about how we need to have self-confidence in ourselves and about our character. It was a wonderful video and one that I needed right in that moment. I needed to get past my fear of these kids in my classes because I would be spending 3 hours a week for the next 14 weeks with them plus I was going to have to get up in front of the class and talk to them.

I am thankful for being able to take this opportunity to get past my fear of these millennial and take courses that will help me not just in my career but in my everyday life. When I am at work or on stage, I don’t think twice about what I need to do or say but getting up in front of these kids gives me massive anxiety but I am thankful that I will work on getting past my fear this semester. I might be old and I might be pregnant but I want to further my education and life which is worth every single moment of fear and anxiety.

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Baby Evelynne’s Rainbow Dragonfly Blanket

Since Evelynne is our Rainbow Baby (if you don’t know what a Rainbow Baby is I will explain below), I knew that her color theme would be Rainbow for her first blanket but it was finding a pattern and yarn that were going to be the hard part. When it came to patterns, I didn’t want the “new” chevron fade blanket because it didn’t impress that much (currently singing Shania Twain in my head now) or a Granny Square because it just was to old fashioned. As far as yarn, I was assuming that I would buy the different skeins of colors I wanted to use…. until the Lion Brand Mandala yarn came onto the market! (This is going to be a whole lot of gushing about this yarn but it not paid or sponsored or anything like that just my opinion and love of this yarn BUT if you do click my link to purchase the yarn, I could be compensated for your purchase)
Back in the Spring, the Mandala yarn came on to the market in select Walmart stores (none were even a driving distance of me) and the ones online sold within minutes. Yarn lovers were in their glory over this yarn.

Now, Caron had similar yarn called Caron Cakes then Hobby Libby’s brand started making their own cakes but both were a 4 thickness compared to Mandala’s light and airy 3 thickness. I do have a bunch of cakes and have created vests and clothing from both brands but the moment I saw the Mandala yarn at my Walmart (I had given up on waiting), touched its soft, soothing texture and found Gnome (rainbow colored) I knew I found my yarn for Evelynne’s blanket. Now for a pattern….

Lion Brand Yarn 525-209 Mandala Yarn, Gnome

 Click the image or text to find the Lion Brand Mandala Yarn in Gnome

I joined a Mandala Lover’s Facebook group and as I browsing the amazing creations people made with this yarn I found it… I found the pattern! This dragonfly baby blanket was exactly what I wanted to make with my amazing new yarn. A dragonfly represents change in most cultures which having Baby Evelynne is a major change for our family in the happiest of ways.

I will admit I did change the pattern a little bit to fit the flow of my hands a little more. This is a super easy pattern that beginners can pick up easily. You can find the pattern at Charmed By Ewe 

So what is a Rainbow Baby? A rainbow baby is a baby born after a miscarriage (or multiple miscarriages), stillbirth or infancy death. It basically means that this baby is the hope and light after a storm. Anyone that has dealt with the loss of a baby that they were never able to meet or only held for a short time deals with a storm of emotions and floods of tears. This is the parents “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow because we get to hold and love our “Rainbow Baby”.

Overall, I love this pattern and yarn and the final product! It only took 1 1/2 cakes (that is the name for this type of yarn compared to skein) which means I have some of this yarn to create something else for Baby Evelynne which means I am on the hunt for a new pattern! Anyone have a suggestion or idea for a small baby item I can crochet or knit?

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Mommy Time Out Day

Mommy Time Out Day

Some days even Mommy needs a Time Out and today is one of those days for me. After a day filled with my WHOLE family, today needs to be a day for just my family and studying. Today is my Mommy Time Out Day from blogging and other things like cleaning the house (shhh don’t tell my boyfriend haha).  So be sure to come back tomorrow to check out Baby Evelynne’s First Baby Blanket!

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Tips To Living Your Happy Mom Life

Tips to Living your happy life (1)

In my 36 years of living, one thing I tend to forget to do is living a happy life for myself. As a mom, I’m always taking the time for my kids to make sure they are fed, clothed and happy. As a girlfriend, I make sure that my boyfriend’s needs are met and he is happy. As a daughter, I make sure that my parents have the help they need to make their lives happier. Same goes for my friends. The big question is…. when do I take this time for myself to make sure I am happy?

The answer to that question…. when I can remember to take the time!

Here are some small tips to living your happy mom life each day…

  1. Enjoy your shower time! This is my favorite time of the day because I shut the dog, the kids and attempt with the boyfriend out of the bathroom, sit and let the water just run over me. When I was pregnant with Danyella and on strict bed rest, I was told that I could shower but I had to sit in the shower. I don’t use one of those old people shower chairs but I do use a cushy tub pillow. There are times that I can sit in the shower and let the water run over me like I was in the rain. I don’t get these times alot but I enjoy the moments when I get to relax in the shower, just me, myself and I!
  2. Enjoy your Potty Time! Oh yes I went there! The Mommy Potty Time is usually filled with kids and pets running in and out or shouting your name. Even for a 30 second pee, I let the kids and dog run amuck while I take the few seconds to hop on Pinterest. Just about since the start of Pinerest, I have been obsessed with this site/app. I have over 100 boards and thousands of pins all done in just a few seconds and minutes I have on the potty and other down times. Pinning makes my life feel more relaxed and I have found so many recipes, diy projects, kids projects and more to help my life.
  3. Get up Early or Stay up Later! I know that many mom bloggers talk about getting up a few minutes early to take Me Time but that is not me. I am a night owl and that will never change. I can be up until midnight, hours after the kids go to bed but ask me to get up even 15 minutes earlier and forget it because the snooze button will be hit! If you are a morning person then kudos to you! I like to take the time to do some stuff for me whether it is doing some reading, crocheting, journaling or other things that I want to do just for me.

They might just be a few, simple tips but these are things that help me enjoy a happier mommy life. I hope that these few tips can help you enjoy your happier mommy life!

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Make Extra Money on Facebook

Since I run a handmade business and love to SHOP, my house has a tendency to have a lot of stuff or as my boyfriend sees it… clutter! To me, I know where everything (ok almost everything) is and everything has a place (are you singing Mary Poppins yet?) but to him, he just sees stuff everywhere. Now that we prepare to move, it is time to declutter my house and this has been my easiest solution for the past couple of years…. Facebook.

Before Facebook had a marketplace to sell your items, local people created yard sale groups for their area. I belong to 10, maybe more, of these yardsale groups for either my area in general or kids exclusive groups. I live on the border of 2 states so I have an added benefit for these groups to travel 5 minutes to the dark side (which is what I like to  Pennsylvania lol).

Since I know that I won’t stop shopping because either someone in the family needs something (kids, dancing, school, etc), my business needs something (new ideas pop in my head all the time), or my tastes in home decor changes, I came up with a plan a few years ago to find 10 (sometimes more) things each month to list and sell on these groups. After I saw some success with selling, months where I needed a little more for bills or another expense, I would declutter and purge more items to cover the money for it.

Now that Facebook has added a Marketplace, the ease of selling your “clutter” has become even easier because you can list it in one general area and add it to your yard sale groups. I tend to get more sales from the yardsale groups then the Marketplace but the more places you have them listed, the more exposure which can find the one person that wants it in their life. The best-selling items have been home decor, baby/kids items and women’s clothing/shoes and handbags but people will list everything and anything. At the holidays, I will list my handmade items and make even more money plus I have helped build my customer base this way.

So how does this selling your clutter on Facebook work? These are my tips to be successful in selling your clutter on Facebook.

  1. Find a notebook to keep track of what you list on Facebook to sell, how much you list/sell it for and when it is sold. It helps to make life easier so you know what is for sale and what isn’t plus I love to see how much I make.
  2. Besides the Facebook Marketplace, join Facebook yard sale groups. If you search your town or area and add yardsale, you will find groups to join and if you have kids add kids yardsale in your search.
  3. ALWAYS take pictures in daylight to give people a true sense of the colors. I hate when I see a listing and people don’t have a picture or the picture is so dark, you can’t even make out what it is.
  4. Be as descriptive as you can with your details. If it is something for the home or bag, give them measurements. With clothing, give them sizes plus long/short sleeve etc. The more detail the better the interest.
  5. When writing out your description, give them a location (I tell them my town since I live near another state) you are willing to meet them and write cross posted. Don’t ask me why but if someone sees an item on multiple groups and it doesn’t say Cross Posted, they tend to lose their shit and start going off in the comment section before you can even respond. (Like they are not human and make mistakes).
  6. When you set up a meetup, do this in public. I know some police stations have designated areas just for this now. Since where I live, I give 2 options for either side of my town… Walmart or Big Lots. By the end of the conversation (this will happen over messenger), you will want to agree on a location (make them come as close to you as possible since you are trying to make money not spend it on gas meeting them) and make/model/color of the car they will be in. I have made the mistake of not getting car info from them and then they either don’t show or I go through anxiety wondering who it is parking next to me and is it my meetup person.

Since being on bed rest and out of work the past month, we need make up the difference in money plus I needed to get rid of stuff for the move. I went through the house and placed items on our dining room table (which is now a cluttered mess) and began to list about 100 different things. Out of the 100 different things that I listed, I sold most of them and made over $500. I am not saying I can do this every month but, even when I make $100 a month it has helped with groceries (you know all those little items you need like milk, eggs and bread). If you saved the $100 a month you made decluttering your house, that is $1200 for Christmas (which brings in more stuff into the house) or a vacation! What would spend the extra money on?

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