How to Save Money During the Holidays

The “Holidays”, the dreaded holidays…

Oh yeah, I think you know exactly where this is going! The holidays can be stressful, so stressful it will make your HAIR FALL OUT! Okay, maybe not everyone is like that, but sometimes the holidays can be super stressful. BUT, if you can SAVE just a little bit of money, it could be less stressful! So while you are trying to plan your parties, get gifts for everyone, wrap presents, work, be a mom, and all that other stuff lets talk about some tips to help you save a little green this holiday season!

Make a list, and check it twice…

Ha! I’m serious! One of the easiest ways to keep a level head and to save some cash is to make a list. I write a shopping list when I have to buy for a party. I make a list when I have to buy presents for people. Hell, I even make a list of naughty and nice friends! JUST KIDDING, but not really… It’s on my whiteboard in my office lol, but that is a running joke.

Friends and Family Discounts

I can hear it now, “I don’t have any friends” “No one in my family works in retail”. Well, guess what? You do! How many of your friends are distributors, or work a second job during the season? Shop local, keep your eyes and ears open, and be optimistic! All you have to do is ask. What’s the worst that could happen? They could say no, and then you continue on.

Use Coupons

YAASSSS! This is the best. Shop at stores where you get rewards, keep your eyes open for GIVEAWAYS, and watch the paper and online ads for coupons. There are PLENTY of coupons out there, and they are EVERYWHERE! Before you check out at an online store, Google coupons for that company. I can usually find one 7 out of 10 times.

Get your DIY on!

Do It Yourself! Get your inner Crafty Cat out! Inside everyone is a little bit of creativity. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or elaborate. It can be simple and easy. Some of the most thoughtful gifts are made from the heart!

Some of the most thoughtful gifts are made from the heart! Click To Tweet

Giveaway Time!

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS CURRENTLY CLOSED*

I have partnered with Kimberly of Mom in the GO Lane for 12 Days of Giveaways! She has written an amazing article on DIY kids crafts! Go check out her post here… Click me!

Don’t forget to JOIN the Real Mom Blogs 12 Days of Giveaways Facebook Group as the winner will be announced there.

What is the prize?

Two lucky winners will get a $10 Amazon e-gift card! The perfect addition to all of your Christmas shopping! And arguably one of my favorite places to shop nowadays!

How to enter

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS CURRENTLY CLOSED*

Reminder, the winner will be announced via the Real Mom Blogs 12 Days of
Giveaways Facebook Group tomorrow! JOIN NOW if you haven’t already!

Good luck!

What it’s REALLY like to Transition your Toddler from a Car Seat to a Booster Seat

As most of you know, my son recently turned 4 years old in June. After weeks and weeks of talking to my husband prior to his birthday about how big he is and how he is outgrowing his car seat, we decided to make the transition to a Booster Seat.

I know! Oh my gosh!

These days, you have to seriously consider every option when considering life changing decisions for your kids. Questions like; When you start solid foods? When to change their car seat? Should I let my son do karate? Is now, in line to check out, really the time to let my kid have a tantrum, or do I go straight to monster mom? Should I switch him to a booster seat?

Unfortunately, the world expects you to do what they want you to do. They want you to raise your children exactly the same way they raised theirs. The days of “Mom instinct” are gone!

So, of course, when considering to transition my son, I got major anxiety about it. But my son kept telling me, “Mom! It’s squishing me! Mom! My weenie hurts! Mom!” I felt so bad! I would loosen the straps to relieve some of the pressure, but then it was too loose for my comfort on his shoulders.

Finally, I said screw it! I looked at the height and weight of the seat he was in versus the booster I wanted to get. He met the requirements for the booster, even though he still met the requirements for the car seat too. I looked it up online and finally decided to ask his pediatrician when he went in for his 4-year wellness check up.

Check out my post about the MEAN kid! http://wp.me/p8aYjD-dz

What his pediatrician said surprised me!

He said, “Well, what do you think? What is your gut telling you?” I thought about that for a second. Part of me wanted to snap back with, “What the hell are the regulations?” But instead, I told him that I wanted to move him into a booster seat for ease and comfort.

So he told me to do it! He said, and I quote, “Mothers are starting to ignore their maternal instinct to do what is “right” by other moms. Don’t let society tell you how to raise your child.” He then went on to tell me that if he meets the requirements for the booster seat, then there must have been tests on that booster seat to make it safe for children of his age, height, and weight.

Well, that was good enough for me!

So we switched it, and about a month later I found this article about “When should my child switch from a car seat to a booster seat?” from Baby Center. This quote is from their article.

“You can safely switch your child to a booster seat if she’s at least 4 years old and she weighs 40 pounds or more or has grown too tall for her car seat (when her shoulders are higher than the top set of harness-strap slots in the car seat’s back).” -Stephanie Tombrello Child passenger safety specialist

That is exactly what happened to my son! He weighs about 40-42 lbs, his shoulders were right at the harness-strap slots, and he is 4 years old! Plus, he is a boy, and it was hurting his boy parts… That is reason enough for me. I want my son to be comfortable!

In conclusion…

I am not going to ask for your opinions on this because frankly, I am just going to follow my own instincts and ignore all of your suggestions anyway.

BUT, I do want to know, what are the funniest things your children have said to you! I want to write a post about the craziest things we hear come out of their tiny mouths.

My personal favorite is, “Mommy, why are people fat?

How to Pick a New Years Resolution

It’s almost a new year and that means a new you!

Picking a resolution for the new year can suck though. There is the chance that it’ll never stick, or you are perfect and don’t need to work on anything, or it is so much you have to work on that you can’t pick just one!

Well, I am here to help! Here are just a few guidelines to consider when picking your 2017 New Year’s Resolution:

Know what a New Year’s Resolution is supposed to be..

  • A resolution is when you resolve to change an undesired trait or characteristic about yourself.

Be realistic

  • Pick an ATTAINABLE goal.
  • Something that will BENEFIT your whole self.

How do you see yourself in 5 years?

  • Maybe you want to be a writer, photographer, etc
    • Consider making your resolution to research more, or to take a class
  • Want to get fit?
    • Resolve to eat healthier, exercise more
  • Do you plan to move?
    • De-clutter, deep-clean, put money into savings
  • Maybe you want to move up within your company or find a new job altogether.
    • Build on your strengths, show your worth to the company, impress through success
  • Maybe all you want is to be a better person
    • Identify, cleanse, act

WHATEVER YOU DO, DO IT WITH INTENT. IDENTIFY WHAT YOU WISH TO CHANGE IN YOUR LIFE AND PUT AN ACTION PLAN INTO PLAY. Click To Tweet

Make a plan

  • Have an END goal
  • Set SHORT-TERM goals
  • Reward yourself

Stick with it!

  • Maintain motivation
  • Have a good support system
  • NEVER GIVE UP

This year, like most years, I am resolving to get fit and be healthy. I am also resolving to improve my credit score and save money. I have made a game plan for both already and broke it down into small goals for each month.

What is your New Year’s Resolution?

DIY Christmas Edition

Let’s Do This!

I’ve done a lot of DIYing lately and I promised to show you all how it’s done. Today’s post will have different “sections” to it. First, I want to tell you how I make my homemade spa care stuff, then I want to show you cute DIY Christmas gifts, and lastly, how to make your own fun social media posts.

I love to just drop a bath bomb in a hot bath and sink into it.

This recipe is so customize-able! Use whatever essential oils you want, then use the bath bomb that is going to fit your mood or need. My skin is so soft and silky smooth after one of these baths! I just love it!

The biggest question I got from the giveaway was how to make the Root Beer body scrub. Well here is how! I use a blend from Eden’s Garden called “Root Beer”. In my opinion, it smells just like the drink! Here is a link to where you can buy this blend. I love it because it is great for sore muscles and grounding yourself. It would be great in a bath bomb too!

http://www.edensgarden.com/products/root-beer

My favorite secret is this delicious, SUPER EASY, lip scrub.

I discovered it when I first started using Lipsense. They tell you to exfoliate your lips often, so I found this easy, yummy, and effective lip scrub. You just have to try it!

This is an easy one! All you need is bottled Root Beer (Or regular for your adult friends), a hot glue gun, red puffs, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes! The rest is self explanatory! I love how easy and cute this idea is. It’s pretty cheap too! For those crafty moms, you probably already have most of this in your house.

 

This last craft is very near and dear to my heart. Our local fire department has been so good to our family, and especially to Tod. We printed a picture he took with them and made them this cute survival kit for Christmas. Very easy, but can become pricey depending on how many you do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, I wanted to share this hidden gem that I found. I wanted to make custom graphics for my blog and Facebook. I found the site Canva and fell in love! I don’t pay for the upgrade, but you can. Even with all the free stuff, it’s so easy to use and they give you a ton of pre-made templates to use! You can use it for everything! Posters, Social Media posts, blog graphics, the works! Go check it out! https://www.canva.com/