About Me

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Saint Joseph, MO, United States
I'm a stay at home Mom of two children and I have the unique privilege of being able to homeschool both of them. I am a stepmother to two older daughters one who is going to college. I enjoy shopping, baking, cooking, cleaning, organizing, running, clowning, making soap, playing piano and lately painting with ASCP paint! I am learning to enjoy the little things in life and make the most of it...clinging to my Savior through the tears that life brings and enjoying his GRACE He gives us every day! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The art of PURGING

When we moved into this house four and a half years ago we had no time to move in.  As always our "moves" always tend to be the most "exciting" our realtors have EVER seen...with the last move we did NOT disappoint...its a long long HORRIBLE story...but since we hope to be moving again...it seems we are right on track for "excitement."  I say all that to say...when we moved into our current home I had no time to clean...we just moved in around seven at night and our friends had to help us since we couldn't hire movers(which is because of the nightmare of closing).  SOOO, there was no organization when we moved!

We moved from a very small three bedroom home and had four children:) The youngest was 18 months old when we moved here...and every surface of this home had to be painted! It was a NIGHTMARE! This house needed new light fixtures etc and paint, and new appliances...it was a LOT of fun:( However, now it is beautiful:)

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We had emptied our old house and filled a storage unit on the advice of our realtor...then when we moved into a house that was three sizes bigger than our last house...we of course filled this one to capacity...because that's what we all do....but now we are hoping to move into a smaller house...but a much newer house...which means PURGING!

I struggle with shopping...I used to...I see adorable things and well....its super cheap...why not??? We started Dave Ramsey Plan around six years ago and we are no longer in debt (except for our home).  It's not to say that I haven't messed up in those six years I certainly have...but lately after I have realized how foolish I was with our money and how we could have a nicer house if I was wiser...I have changed my ways...here is how I've started getting really serious about saving money and staying out of the store...in the process the house is getting neater, more organized and in return easier to manage!

1.  I have started using coupons like crazy.  Before you all get excited and say you don't have time to coupon...know that I'm saving between $60 and $120 every week...I used to go over my $60 every week and now I either stay at my budget or am under it by $60 every single week! I used two websites www.moneysavingmom.com and I use krazycouponmom.com  I downloaded the coupon organizer from krazycouponmom and print all my coupons from moneysavingmom.  I get the sunday paper and cut coupons from there.  I use two stores exclusively for my coupons: CVS and Target.  If you want more information about that go to these sites I've mentioned.  They even tell you the deals going on at those stores.. When I first started the first week took me five hours...I'm slow what can I say...now two hours is all the time I spend....I do it on Sunday nights when my hubby and son are away at youth at church and my E and I are watching a show while I cut coupons and look at the ads for the two stores I visit.

2.  When I do go to the store my E and my T no longer get anything! NOTHING! absolutely NOTHING! my E does her chores for two weeks and then is able to get a new coloring book or something artsy in the $5 range or a new petshop (which is currently her new thing).  She has to work for what she gets.My son T gets allowance for his chores and gets more when he has snow to shovel and in the summer he takes care of the lawn so he gets a significant raise.  I do not however pay for movies, or eating out for him with friends.   My son is not allowed to buy anything at this time until after summer since he is saving up for about three trips this summer and a huge trip next summer with Boy Scouts.  I don't pay for his meals out with his basketball team...it helps him manage his money so much better! I don't give him extra money for meals out on youth trips either.  I pay for the youth trip and all spending and food is up to him...its very nice:)

3.  I shop twice a year for clothes for my E.  I shop at Children's Place and Old Navy for her when they are getting rid of their end of the season sales.  I have a card at both places and use my extra reward bucks and save significantly.  Since I only use this card at most three times a year its paid off promptly and there are no issues.  My son is growing at warp speed so I buy him three pairs of jeans at a time and he likes to shop at American Eagle....I only buy when there is a major sale or we go to Old Navy where there is a major sale...I NEVER buy clothing when it isn't on sale...unless he has to have black pants for a choir performance:(

4.  I now have a list of things that I need when I go shopping as far as clothes...many of you that shop a lot get caught in this trap as well...oh look huge sale shirts for $3 lets pick up three and then your home and you buy them and there are so many clothes your child doesn't even wear them all...I do this no longer! If I don't have a reason to go into the store and a def plan at what we are buying I no longer go in!

5. I buy only produce, chicken and dairy at Sams now.  It is very rare for me to find coupons for those things and I have not found the prices to be any cheaper anywhere else or be as high quality.  My trips to Sams used to be well over a $100 now they are under that and I don't need to make the huge trips there except every other week....I buy all the other products at greatly reduced rates by using coupons...I could NOT believe it either!

6.  I am going through every single room in our home...I take a different room each day...the hardest rooms are over...I have conquered my children's room...now I'm moving to the attic.  Since we had a long snow vacation this past week I took that time to divide and conquer...my E was so excited that her stepsister visiting from college this weekend...she took her upstairs to show her her clean and organized closet...if you don't think disorganization affects your children it most DEF does!

I first just emptied the whole closet...big time mess....I then had a box for keepsakes and then I just purged whatever she didn't play with....stuffed animals are  not my friends...which basically means places like BUILD a BEAR are off my lists to visit FOREVER!!!!!

Here is what I got out of her closet!

One is a bag of trash...the other is clothes and toys that she hasn't played with in forever! It was RIDICULOUS!

She has the smallest closet in the whole house which has always made it difficult but now it is so much easier.  The top basket holds her dress up clothes and the other holds her precious sleeping bag and keepsakes.  The bottom basket hold her stuffed animals that we just HAD TO KEEP and other toys she plays with.  Her suitcase and bags are on the other side.  She has a large dresser so the only things that are hung up are church clothes from winter and summer that way I always have an idea on what to buy for the next season and right now...we are GOOD!

In purging her room she began to play with other toys she had simply forgotten about because she could NOT see them for all the mess that was in her closet...I feel so much better with this job done!

For my sons room we had a WHOLE entire shelves of cubes to go through where he had playmobile and legos and Bionicles.  We agreed that he can keep the playmobil but the rest had to go since he hadn't played them in at least three years...so we are selling those:)

Have a GREAT day! I am now going to start purging the attic and then start on decorations that I don't need and selling the extra on those as well! Ellie has a birthday party to go to today and she is super excited! have a GREAT day sorry for such a LONG LONG post:)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Our Winter Storm

Well we didn't get a foot of snow:( but we did get around eight inches I think...its so hard to tell! I'm very happy that my headache is finally gone...I have a sick boy so the shovelling will probably be left to me.  My hubby shoveled yesterday but it snowed again another two inches I believe afterwards.

My E LOVES the snow...soooo much!

We are purging our home here today....its feeling so good getting rid of things...so that perhaps when we do get that buyer we will be ready to go without dealing with so much stuff to move that we don't use!

Have a GREAT snowy day!

This is the snow coming down after one hour...it started way later than it was supposed to but was averaging two inches an hour!

AFter two hours of snow fall!

Our dog LOVES snow!

Getting ready to go out!

Last year for these snow pants:(

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

CVS Deals

Today was a very happy day at CVS...scanned my little card and out came a $5 reward bucks and a $10 off coupon:) so I skipped along my merry way:)

Here's the low down on this list of goodies:) First of all total cost was $33...second the Finish tabs were 2/$5 and I got a CVS coupon for $1.25 off.  The deal of the day was 2/$1 Gain dishwashing liquid.  The juices were 2/$6 with $5 rewards back and the All was buy one get one free with $2 additional coupon.  I also had $16 in reward bucks going in and then gained another $15 in reward bucks when I scanned my coupons....it was a very HAPPY CVS day:)

Here is a look at my stockpile for cleaning and paper products that I have done in two months...I have another stockpile of bodywashes, razors, shampoos etc upstairs in the large second bath.  I have it set up so that the kids can grab what they need when they need it:)

My first time of couponing took me five hours to figure out...now every sunday I spend about two hours...and then on MOnday and Tuesday I shop....only when I'm making a trip out anyway....I spend less time at the store and come in way under budget most weeks, but never OVER like I have for the past two years...I canNOT believe the amount of money we are saving...I feel guilty and foolish for not doing this long ago. I am consistently saving $60 per week and sometimes $120 because I would go over the $60 before! Seriously! I really didn't believe it would work either! It did and I'm THRILLED! Hubby says no more toilet paper or paper towels for awhile since we are hopefully moving soon....after we get another offer...you know for the 3rd time...but that's not go there...SHALL WE??????   Go get yourself some savings!

Target Deals

I officially am hooked..pretty sure you all knew that.  My hubby is now on board...because he's all about the bottom line...and I assure you the bottom line is looking GOOD!

This week at Target the cereal is looking mighty fine:) Buy five boxes of GM cereal get $5 gift card...plus I had a $2 coupon for five boxes and for each box of cereal I had a .75 coupon...which basically makes the cereal $2.50 for five boxes:) I'm going back for more this week:)

I also got in a deal on detergent...since I now also supply my stepdaughter who is away at college...she was happy to know that I bought two bottles last week for free just for her:)

These were good size and I got the last Cheer that they had....they had buy 3 detergents get $5 gift card...and I had additional coupons which basically made these buy two get one free!

The last purchase was the second time I've been able to do this which was pretty fun!

On clearance for $2.54 I had $2 coupon and was able to stack my .75 cent coupon...which made this purchase completely free with a little bit back:) I don't normally buy these but when they are free or practically free I def do.  I have about five of them downstairs...who says they can't ever use air freshner????

Those were my favorite deals of the day...with my haul at Sam's and my haul at Target...I still am $36 within my budget...allowing me to get some freebies this week at CVS....keep on couponing sister...and don't worry about the sighs behind you...they have to be intrigued as they hear that total go down....yesterday my total started out at $121...got it down to $77 and got $15 in gift cards back for next shopping trip:) CHA CHING!!!!!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

WaterLilly Orange Soap

Since life can change so quickly I'm trying to build up my soap supply as quickly as possible...my hubby is trying to prepare me that perhaps we won's sell and God's plan is for us to stay here a little while longer....that perhaps is true...but the activity we keep having on our house...it just doesn't seem so.  More likely our house is not available yet...so we wait???

While we wait, I cook, clean, purge, train for half and make soap:) and continue to clip my coupons:)

So this weekend I made some waterlilly orange soap.

The recipe was my basic recipe but I used two colors and some calendula petals for texture.  I was concerned with what possibly the scent would do..and it did act up a little in the soap...it was able to work out quickly but it accelerated trace rather quickly.  Still! It smells lovely and it reminds me of a soft orange sherbert....lately I seem to be a bit hungry???

Have a GREAT smelling day! We are off to go shopping, decorate our store for Easter....and get ready for the snow that is supposed to be coming in three days!!! Our lives are always super exciting! They say 6 to 8 inches...that sounds exciting eh????

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The House that God Made

If I could express the roller coaster of this week it would probably make your head spin.  Last Saturday I was dealing with throw up and fevers, sunday more throw up with two house showings, Monday was more throw up and two offers on our house followed by a huge search of house looking that lasted for THREE days, Thursday was Valentines Day and Inspection....and the day our buyer got very cold feet....in short...we lost her...and we lost the other buyer as well as they went on to make another offer on another house two days before we lost our buyer.  I have cried, eaten chocolate, and more chocolate, cleaned, and baked, and cried some more.... Today at church one of my friends offered a hug and asked me how I was doing...and I just told her I couldn't talk about it because I would start crying again...seriously....it was and is ridiculous...because....I found another house last Wednesday...stood in the immense back yard of its fenced in glory and thought..."this is home." It had a screened in porch, a laundry room off the kitchen, a pantry, a finished basement with rooms where I could have my school room, my hubby's office, a place for my stepdaughters with their own bathroom.  It had a walk in closet off the master suite with double sinks and a huge tub and great shower....it spoke to me...I decorated it in my head....I knew we would be friends....so its like I'm mourning a death....which I know sounds so insane...since I have indeed buried a husband I know that the loss of this house how no possible weight of the death of a loved one...but I do feel a hole...a big one.

I live in a gorgeous house (gorgeous to me) where we have painted every surface, and made it our own.  It is almost a hundred years old and almost five years ago God gave it to us...but in the last year my hubby has long for a bigger lot, less time spent on our house since we own our own business and we don't see him a lot anyway.  His girls are growing up and the eldest has already left for college and the other one is a jr in highschool.  We knew we needed a change so the house went up...we have had a lot of traffic...and we were excited about that...but wanted some offers! Who knew the two offers we would get would come at the same time...forcing us to lose the other...while the one that seemed too good to be true was indeed that.

I know that God has great plans for us...and I know that the sooner I get my head up and my frown upside down he will reveal that plan to us....but right now I'm still a little bit in whiner mode....which brings me to the question of how well do we react when the brakes get put on our plans? How happy are we when God says..."not right now."

For me....its been a little depressing because frankly....I've been a little pouty...ok a lot pouty with a chocolate drama.....but...today when I woke up the song by Selah was playing on my playlist...pretty sure you know the one....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQzrqmcwg8o

How could I question when He has done so much for me??? So, off we go on the real estate roller coaster! Pray for me!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Parmesean Chicken

I don't have a picture for this because frankly, I wasn't sure it would turn out great or not...its my very own recipe...and I was a bit scared:(

Turned out LOVELY!

1. 5 chicken breasts
2. 1 cup of mayo or greek yogurt
3. Italian Dressing mix
4. Parm cheese 1 cup

Put chicken breast in baking dish, mix yogurt or mayo together with Italian Dressing mix, smother over each chicken breast and sprinkle with more fresh parm.  Bake at 45 min at 375:) YUMOO delicious!


Confessions of a Store Bought Laundry Detergent Mom

Yes, its true.....I quit making my own detergent....I know....it worked so well for over a year...but now....I don't.

For the last two months I have been BIG time into using coupons and shopping at CVS and Target and then whatever else was needed at Sam's.  For the last two weeks I have saved $60 on our budget instead of $60 over...can you explain the $120 difference???? Its shocking to me!

Just last week at Target I bought two huge things of Downy fabric softner for $3 each...I know the longer I do this I will get that price even further down.  Yesterday at CVS I walked in and scanned my card and got a $10 of $50 purchase...so I knew that I now could by the 2 Gain detergents that were on sale and I only had a puny coupon for would be well worth the price since they were now FREE! They had great deals on toothpaste, deoderant, face wipes, body wash, and soap.  My total came to $87 with coupons I paid $57 and gained $17 in reward bucks for next trip.  At Target this week I gained quite a bit as well...they had great deals on dog treats which after sale and coupon came out to .89.  One of my Glade purchases was free since I had a coupon for $2 and .75...it was GREAT:) and I already told you about the Downy...

I now am completely stocked on Fabric Softener, Detergent and deoderant, body wash, shampoo and conditioner, shave gel, glade plug ins, face soap, and razors, toilet paper and paper towels and for the moment....three bags of dog food:)

Since we are moving I'm not going to be buying anything in bulk like paper towels, toilet paper no matter how great the sale.....

I must admit I really didn't think that this would work...but now I'm seriously just going and buying frozen veggies or chicken and of course milk, veggies and fruit at Sam's.  The kids feel that they are shopping at the store now that I have everything lined up neatly on shelves for them to take when they run out....its amazing, absolutely amazing.

My hubby was happy that I went back to normal detergent instead of making my own since our whites had not been as white....don't get me wrong...I still use my homemade...but now that I can buy it so cheap I don't really need to make it anymore....its obviously up to you and I'm not trying to discourage anyone from using it....the most I've paid so far for a huge thing of detergent is $3....as long as you can save like that I don't see the point in making it.

I'm beginning a new chapter in our lives...its called DOWNSIZING.  The house we are looking at is smaller than the house we are in now...laid out differently, is only ten years old, has a HUGE yard and I ADORE it.  Of course I'm trying not to imagine myself in it until everything is done with this one...I still don't know how the inspection went and haven't packed one box...but even if for some reason we DON'T move...I'm still downsizing and learning to live with less, making more things homemade, and shopping not when I need it but when its on sale...it took me about four months to get this down.  I made mistakes, and did stupid things when I started...but now....I got it sister...and my hubby is very happy to hear that i have cut the budget....$120 a week! SERIOUSLY!  That is a savings of $480 a month:) now...go out and conquer those coupons...and yes, you will have people behind you sighing...I did yesterday...but then I have to think to myself that they must be intrigued after the cashier announces loudly how much you just saved (love that CVS cashier) and how much reward bucks you just got back...its like she's giving me a verbal high five! Its an awesome feeling....go catch it!!!

Have a GREAT day!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Here Comes the Sickies:(

Oh the glorious plans I had for the weekend.....oh the glorious plans:)

My son T is away on a youth event and I was going to get so many things done yesterday...house cleaned, soap made, projects caught up on.  My parents visit every Saturday and my E said her tummy hurt...and it did....threw up....high fever....and the day pretty much went like that...

I did however, manage to get my soap baskets together for this upcoming week!

They have three soaps in heart shaped bowls and I just think they are ADORABLE!

I have some clowning to do this week so I really hope everyone stays well:)

and we are needing to make a lovely Horse Vday box for my dear Ellie which I'm a little nervous about:)

So, now I'm off to clean for two house showings today and pray that my dear E is all better:) and I have to run five miles today again....it usually takes me an hour...yes, at this rate I will be finished with my half in over two hours:(