Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New Blog Location!!!

The new blog is up at  Redirecting you there now!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Random Thoughts Tuesday 8/14

  • We got back a $10 rebate from paint today so currently, we are over budget by only $4 now for the Renovation. Matt is going to take some scrap metal to the recycle center on Thursday so that will put us under again until I purchase the matching bed set for Kendall.

  • Zach is currently sleeping in his new room, he "tried" giving up pacifiers last night but that did not go well. He currently only has the one in his mouth which is a decrease of 3. I really don't see how he is going to give these up! But I also do not want to give up any more sleep in this battle.

  • Matt is starting to work in his new office. I "think" all the work in the other rooms is finished! We even switched out door knobs on the little girls room after Kendall managed to lock herself in. So now that door does not lock.

  • I am not planning a huge grocery trip this week. Instead we hit up Walmart tonight for the couple of items we are out of. I was only able to find one of the 5 deals I was looking for with my coupons. But on the bright side, we found a $1 clearance table with shorts for Zach. I purchased 6 pairs of shorts and 1 T-shirt as well as a skirt each for the girls. Total spent even with groceries $24!!

  • As I moved clothes this weekend and yesterday, I discovered/confirmed that only Zach will be in need of clothes for this winter. He does not need a new coat or shoes or pajamas. My goal is to spend less than $75 on clothes for him this winter. Hopefully, I will be able to find a really good sale on jeans and pants as this is the biggest need for him.

  • We started a new schedule around the house this week. We have moved every one's bedtime to 7:30 except for Wednesday nights. Kendall and Lily both will be up later till at least 8:30 because of church. Lily also will have a second late night due to cheerleading.  The even bigger change is a schedule during the day, which greatly reduces television watching and includes "school" time daily except for Thursdays. So far both evenings have gone much smoother and things seem not so "hurried".  Matt has work time and hopefully we can find a balance and maintain it!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Renovation Update

Lots of changes have been going on this past weekend. So I wanted to start sharing with you. We have not spent any more money but mostly likely will end up spending more on a matching bed set for Kendall and a third dresser for Zach as he is sharing a closet and needs some more space.

Kendall's new bed it fits so well

Notice the cool strip and both the new dressers in Zach's room


The finished product
Right before bed............... don't they look innocent?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Grocery Store Challenge

What is my challenge? Spend as close to $20 a week at Food Lion over the next 4 weeks while purchasing items we need or to add to the stockpile based on sales. I am also going to give myself $10 a week to spend at CVS to keep rolling ECB. So that is a total of $30 a week for the next 4 weeks to feed our family of 6.

Week One Shopping: Total Spent- $32.01
Week Two Shopping: Total Spent- $84.24
Week Three Shopping: Total Spent- $ 198.84

Week Four Shopping: This week we are definitely back on track. Since I am on vacation, Matt and I hit Harris Teeter for Super Doubles at 7am on Wednesday. We spent $21.64, saved 86.06 or 80%. I also managed to hit CVS this week to stock up on Tide. This remains the one item that I am brand loyal on so to hit a stock up price is awesome. I spent 23.51 saved 39.11 or 62% including enough Tide for 6 to 8 weeks. Total Spent $ 45.15

Reflection: According to the number I was success for 2 of the 4 weeks. But in reality I was able to reduce my normal budget of $800 to $361 or less than half, that makes it a success! I am at least looking at my food budget differently now instead of cool this is a good deal let me stock up or we are going to need this in the next month so I will buy it now, I am now looking at the things in my pantry going unless we are out lets hold off purchasing!

Friday, August 10, 2012

How I Spent My Birthday

Warning; This post contains no shopping deals but some reflects that you may or may not agree with so read at your own risk.

This morning I was treated to Breakfast in Bed which was Sausage Gravy and biscuits. Then I spent most of the morning "hanging out" with Kendall and Zach with spurts of mindless TV throw in! Kendall has started using the term "hanging out" whenever she wants to sit and cuddle or just sit with me so I really am enjoying this "hanging out.

Next we headed to the China Buffet for sushi and more for lunch, nap followed very nicely. Finally we headed to the pool with leftover pizza for dinner. It has been a quiet relaxing uneventful birthday, I wish for many more just like it!

I don't feel any older by turning 40 today but I have begun to realize a couple of things over the past month that this is the perfect place and time to share. First, we are officially finished with the baby stage in the house. I can honestly say that I have no desire to have any more babies in my house. I love newborns and even infants but I am thankful that even now all the kids are walking, talking and can feed themselves. It has been 7 years since I have been able to sit down and enjoy a meal or time at the pool for even 10 minutes without another body attached to mine. I always wondered how people knew their family was complete, now I know you just do.  We are now entering a new stage in life but it is fun and exciting. Next, our lives finally feel like we have exited the roller coaster. The past two to three years have been constant turmoil, change, worry and unending list of things that need to be accomplished. I know that we still have things that need to be finished and we certainly are not financially stable but we have a plan,and know that God is providing and directing our steps. With my full time status at work, I will have "regular" hours to a degree, with a no longer need to "fill" time with a second and third job. I plan on continuing to work the second job as time and need allows but it will no longer be a part of our regular income. Matt and I have talked this week, several times about establishing a routine for the days. This should accomplish several things including getting the kids on a more regular routine and providing time for Matt to focus on building his business. Finally we have almost finished with renovation and everyone should be happy in their space for at least a year. So even knowing storms will and are coming we can drift and enjoy the down time.

Happy 40th Birthday to me!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Renovation update 8/09/2012 The Numbers!

One of the advantages to staying home on vacation this week, is that we are making amazing progress on the renovations. Haley's room is 100% complete. See below for all the details!

  1. Haley's new room- Haley has moved across the hall to the largest bedroom with a half bath attached. a) Scrap popcorn ceiling- completed, b) repaint ceiling-completed c) Remove wallpaper boarder-completed d) repaint walls- e)Replace window- has been order. f)Complete floor in closet g) move window treatments.DONE!!!! Furniture needed: 2 new dresser for clothing. After much debate at IKEA, Haley chose a clothing system that included pull out boxes. She was able to move all her clothing due to the deep boxes. Officially Haley's room is finished.
  2. Lily and Kendall move into bigger room- a) Scrap popcorn ceiling, b) repaint ceiling c) Remove wallpaper boarder d) repair walls and door e) Paint walls f) Purchase and hang new window treatments. g) Matt is planning to make a new twin bed frame for Lily to use. h) change light fixture for new fan already purchased. Furniture needed: New closet divider, bins.  All these items are complete! After discussion, Matt is currently staining a new wooden bed frame for Kendall. My goal/plan for tomorrow is to get all the drawers labeled to make putting away clothing easier. Lily will have her own closet. Kendall and Zach will share the closet in Zach's room.
  3. Zach gets his own room and closet- a) Scrap popcorn ceiling, b) repaint ceiling c) adapt currently color (yellow) to boys room probably pin-stripping and maybe stickers. Furniture needed:Due to changes in the budget, we decided to purchase 2 small dressers for Zach's room. Currently, Matt is working to get the wall art complete, and then the ceiling. My best guess on when Zach will be changing to his new room is prior to Labor Day. Not this week but we are making steady progress!
  4. Matt's office- Matt will need furniture only for this including -desk, chair and shelves. These needs have dramatically changes especially due to our budget and trying to get the most out of it. Matt has decided to make a desk with an old door and unused floor planks. In addition, he was given an awesome chair so it will now be a matter of arranging and using things we have as our budget is gone.!
 Spending Totals for Renovations
Budget information:$1000
Total spent $470 with $530 remaining. 
Total spent $595 with $405 left.
Since the last update, our planned trip to IKEA has been completed. We spent $339 on everything including several candles and all the new furniture. Matt has made 2 small trips to Lowes this week as well to purchase paint and supplies for the bed, total spent $80. For a grand total this week of $419.

We currently are $14 over budget at $1014. I am planning to continue sharing with you updates so that you can see how far we can stretch this last spending spree. I also want to be able to see on average what we spent per room.

Renovation Picture update!

The latest numbers will follow.... but this is much more fun!

This is the dresser/clother organizer that Haley ended up choosing. Her room is now complete!

Lily and Kendall's room is now almost complete as well! We decided to build and replace Kendall's bed! Here is a sneak with the final to follow by the weekend.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Vacation vs Staying at Home!

One of the traditions for our family since the first summer that Matt and I met is a week long trip to Myrtle Beach SC.  This year with the changes in our financial situation and our desire to renovate to make the house more useable, the annual trip was given up. I am probably the most upset about this than anyone, but I am trying to make my week of vacation as fun and productive as possible.

One of the great part of our vacation is I build a stockpile of junk food and sodas for the kids to consume. I decided to allow a moderation of junk food at home this week. So far the kids have enjoyed donuts for breakfast for 2 of the 3 mornings as well as candy 3x daily for the last couple of days. A bag of Cool Ranch Doritos has also been consumed in less than 3 hours. I would say that so far this area is pretty equal for vacation vs staying at home.

Besides spending time at the ocean every day, the kids usually like to spend several hours at day at the pool. Sunday, we celebrate Kendall and Zach's joint Birthday Party at the pool. Monday, Zach, Kendall and I spent a couple of hours for swim lessons, currently the plan is for all of us to go to the pool today (Wednesday). My plan is to spend all afternoons at the pool on Friday, Saturday and maybe even Sunday. The will definitely get us more pool time then we would normally have at the Beach. Now if I could just get my feet in the ocean even for 1 day, life would be perfect!

Shopping is a major event during our normal vacation. We are definitely keeping this up while staying at home. On Tuesday, we spent the afternoon at IKEA. It was lots of fun and we were able to get most of the furniture to make our moves complete! Matt and I shopped at Harris Teeter this morning for the Super Doubles event and I plan to hit CVS today as well. I will be taking Haley and Lily school shopping on Thursday so I think the shopping is definitely the same.

The final reason, I look forward to vacation especially in the last several years, is spending additional time with the kids. I can honestly say that by staying at home this year, has given me more stress free time with the kids. No set schedule definitely reduces the stress on a person!

So in conclusion, I wish we could even go to the beach for a couple of days but since that is not possible, we are making the best of staying home together as as family this year!
Hopefully new pictures and more post will appear the second half of my vacation week than the first!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Grocery Store Challenge 8/2/2012

What is my challenge? Spend as close to $20 a week at Food Lion over the next 4 weeks while purchasing items we need or to add to the stockpile based on sales. I am also going to give myself $10 a week to spend at CVS to keep rolling ECB. So that is a total of $30 a week for the next 4 weeks to feed our family of 6.

Week One Shopping: I stopped at Food Lion after work on Wednesday. I purchased Coffee Filters (a need), 2 12 pack rolls of toilet paper, 1 6 pack of paper towels and 3# of ground beef. I used the 5/25 and 2 $0.75 coupons on the toilet paper. Total spent $20.15, saved 12.50. I also got a Catalina coupon for $2 off $10 of the house brand products. My plan is to save this for next week to use to increase my saving.
CVS- After looking at the ad on Thursday and Friday, I decided that their were really only one deal that started on Sunday that I would be interested in. So Friday night, Matt and I headed to CVS to use his card for another Twizzlers deal , free candy and an I-Tunes card. I was surprised to learn that I could not use ECB for the purchase of an I-Tunes card.  I ended up spending $12.01 with a total of 7 ECB for the next couple of weeks!
                                                  Total Spent- $32.01

Week Two- Matt and I went to Food Lion on Wednesday night. I had a list of four items that we were completely out of. So I purchased Olive Oil, Sour Cream, Freezer Bags, Sandwich Bags, 4 2L Sodas and a pack of gum.  Total Spent $19.00. I did receive another Catalina coupon for $1.50 off 10 of the house brands. Fast forward to last Saturday, stops at both CVS and Food Lion. CVS, I scan my card and received a free Children's Gummy Vitamin. So I purchased a total of  4 AMP energy drinks and the vitamins total spent  $1 with 6 ECB earned. You can read the highlights of the Food Lion trip, we spent $64.24. Definitely, failure.
                                                  Total Spent- $84.24

Week 3- This week started off much better. I stopped at CVS on Wednesday to complete the Suave deal. Purchased 2 bottles of Kid's Shampoo and 4 bottles of Body Wash. Total Spent $5.84 with 4 ECB earned.   After looking over the Food Lion ad and realizing that we were completely out of milk and cheese, I decide that this week would also be a fail. We had to have the car serviced in Winston so I planned at stop at Target and Costco. Target was awesome, I purchased a swim top for me, dress for Lily, school supplies and cups and napkins for the party for $43. In the spirit  of the challenge, I only purchased items at Costco that we were out of. I spent $150.00 Part of the rationale for my decision was that if I stuck to the challenge and purchased milk and cheese at Food Lion, I would have spent the $20 this week in addition to another $150 or more in 2 weeks when the challenge is over. In addition, I am on vacation next week so I want to have options to eat at home without the urge to spend money out on meals.