Monday, April 7, 2014

Hello Monday

Well Spring Break is finally over ... while I will miss spending time with Jacob ... I am happy that we are back to our regular schedule.

Jacob works better with a schedule. And truthfully so do I. {Now if I could get a cleaning schedule in order that actually works for me!}

So ... how about some hellos?

Hello my handsome young man! Jacob picked this outfit out for his cousin's christening. And at the very last minute he wanted a new haircut! He looks so handsome. 

Hello styling products. I don't use anything in my hair {probably why it is flat and sticks to my face} but this young man needed styling mouse with his new haircut.

Hello spring mantle! Although it isn't finished yet ... I still want to add a pom pom banner and change out the old photos ... I love how it looks. I copied the chalkboard from Pleated Poppy. {The pom pom balls are used following her instructions as well.}

Hello chocolate chip cookies! I have been baking up a storm since I got my KitchenAid Artisan Mixer. Since we were out of cookies I knew I needed to make more! Yum!!

Hello 2 year Anniversary!! Since our anniverary falls on Easter Sunday this year we are celebrating a week early. We are still working out the details but my Mom is watching Maysie and Jacob and Christian will be at their other parents houses for the weekend. This is the first time we will be away from Maysie overnight.

Hello little one! She has been loving pinapple lately! I am constantly cutting pieces for her. We are fighting some stuffy noses and colds around here so fresh fruit should help. Or at least it is making me think it is. 

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Midweek Confessions

"E" from Teaching Sam & Scout posts her "confessions" on Wednesday ... hence Midweek Confessions. Since this is Spring Break I have many confessions to share. 

* Maysie has had a rough couple of days. Yesterday she threw a fit because she couldn't see her belly button while wearing her pajamas. FYI she hates the zip up jammies. 

* I were contacts every single day and I only wear my glasses at night ... while I sleep ... how else am I supposed to see the alarm clock? I haven't bought new glasses for over 5 years and then 40 days ago I got a new pair. Maysie obviously didn't like one of the arms and broke it off. Thank you America's Best for giving me a new pair of glasses even though I didn't buy the warranty and it is past the intial 30 days. 

* I bribe Maysie with Dum-Dum suckers to get her to sleep in her crib. She loves them. 

* We have had one really nice day so far over Spring Break. What did I do? Steam cleaned my disgusting car. Much better now!

There may or may not have been covered in chocolate. They were.

* My son has had so much fun playing outside this Spring Break that he hasn't eaten lunch. I feed him breakfast but then he is outside for the rest of the day. When he comes inside he is starving. Bad Mom.

Well that is my confessions for this week although I am sure there are a ton more. 

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Paycheck to Paycheck {My Story & The Documentary on HBO}

Ok ... so this post is tough. 

Money sucks and is super hard to talk about. 

Why do some have so much while others have so little?

I can't say it is for the lack of trying or laziness. 

I do believe that life struggles can shape you ... positively or negatively ... depending on what you take from it. 

Our story ....
My father left when I was 17 years old. At the time my brothers were ... 15, 13, and 2 weeks old. We were broke. One week a month my Mom only had $8 to buy food. I don't ever remember being hungry.

By 21 years old I was up to my eyeballs in debt! I refused to open envelopes. I just put all my unopened mail in a box. I knew that I couldn't pay them. I didn't spend that money on stupid things but instead helped my Mom pay bills or put gas in the cars or put food in the families mouth. 

I had my son 4 months shy of my 22nd birthday. Jacob's dad forced me to face my debt and work my way out of it. {The best thing I ever did!}

By 25, I bought my first condo. I was working a full time job making great money. I was able to support Jacob and I. Things were still very paycheck to paycheck but I felt like I had everything I could ever need.

At age 28 I quit my job and went back to school. I took out student loans { around $40,000}. I graduated at age 30. My now husband/then boyfriend supported Jacob and I. It was tough. A lot of the time we used change to put gas in the cars. Bills were always paid late. Payment plans were our best friends. It was really really tough. We moved into a rental house. The old neighborhood was getting scary. 

I went back to work for my old company on a part time basis. We used our tax returns and my income to pay for our wedding. We got married in April 2012 and didn't go into anymore debt. 

1 month later I was laid off and 24 weeks pregnant. I stayed home. Collected $160 every two weeks from unemployment. {That ended 5 months later}

August 2012 we had our daughter. I knew I had to breastfeed to save money. {I am still breastfeeding my now 19 month old ... that is a different story ... and I love it!}

We filled bankruptcy to get rid of the debt from the condo we moved out of. We couldn't short sale because of who my loan was with. It sucks but we are over it. Move on.

3 months ago my husbands position changed in his company ... he is able to make more money. I am still staying home. We budget. We work together. I take care of more of the nitty gritty. I fill him in about the details. 

But he works very long hours and most Saturdays.

We only spend $12 a week on our daughter. $9.99 diapers from Whole Foods. $1.69 wipes from Walgreens. They don't irritate her or cause her to get a rash. 

I spend $100 a week for groceries. That includes school lunches and lunches for Dan.

We don't go out to eat. I don't shop. I buy necessities. We don't have new furniture. I try to repurpose what we have. 

We are happy. We are healthy. I couldn't ask for more. {Well sometimes I do when money gets tight ... like real tight ... as in no money until Friday and it is only Tuesday.} But it is what it is. 

We don't take money too seriously. Of course we fight about it. I cry about it. But then we get up, shake off, and move on. 

My husband likes me being home with the kids. I like being home with the kids. I honestly never thought that this would be how my life would end up but I am so happy. So very very happy. 

image from Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert.

Back to the whole point of this post ... Maria Shriver is the executive producer for a new HBO documentary called "Paycheck to Paycheck: the life and times of Katrina Gilbert". 

I love documentaries.

And this was a great one! 

It hit a nerve. 

It is the story of Katrina Gilbert, a single mom to 3 young kids. She was followed for a year documenting her daily life. She spoke openly about her bills and her paycheck. She gave her kids everything and didn't ask for anything. She gave her ex-husband gas money so he could see their kids. She works at a nursing home. She kisses the patients and loves them. 

She broke my heart. 

She made me look at my life. She made me more grateful. She made me cry and she made me smile. 

I couldn't stop thinking about her. 

She could be miserable about her life but instead she was happy. She was trying. 

She is amazing. 

If you have 75 minutes and you have HBO ... watch this. 

It will really change you ... whether you live paycheck to paycheck or not. 

I am not ashamed to admit that in our household money is tight and we barely live over paycheck to paycheck. We don't have savings. We are just one family ... who work our butts off to make ends meet. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Hello Monday! {Spring Break}

Oh what a Monday it has been!

It is officially the first day of Spring Break! And what a glorious one at that. The weather was beautiful and the kids played outside all day. They climbed trees, bounced on pogo sticks, rode scooters, played basketball, practiced riding on Rip-sticks, and played soccer. Whoo and that was in the first hour of the day! I can't wait to see what tomorrow holds. 

Hello sweet girl. She has been wearing this mitten for days. If she can't find her mitten she will find a dirty sock someone has left around and wear that instead. Gross but I pick my battles with this fiery little one.

Hello Ikea shopping trip. We are looking at the grey couches/sectionals they carry. I love the clean lines of the furniture but I am not sure about a sectional. I feel like it doesn't seat as many people.

Hello my hunky husband. He loves sectionals. We are trying to compromise even though there really isn't a compromise in this one. I love being married. I love Ikea. Win Win. Furniture is just furniture.

Hello chairs and spotlights. Maysie could not stop sitting on every single piece of furniture. I couldn't stop laughing. She was so good marching around Ikea.

Hello colors. I just smile thinking about colors. Of course I have my favorites but I love them all. Can I decorate my house with every single color of the rainbow and then some? 

Hello Dottie dog. We are watching my Mom's dog while she is in Florida for Spring Break. She is a great dog but she has the worst breath. Can you give a dog a mint or put some peppermint essential oils in her water? Seriously, it is so bad.

Hello Elmo! Well we finally found an Elmo shirt ... in the boys section ... at Buy Buy Baby. Obviously, she is so happy. One night, one nap, and one entire day she has worn this shirt. I had to pry it off of her so I could wash it. 

Hello the world's best big brother! Oh boy does this picture just melt my heart. He is the most kind and compassionate brother ... EVER! I just want to bottle them both up right now. I mean seriously ... how many 11 year olds play with their little sister while their friends are around?? Love this boy!

I can't wait to continue our wonderful Spring Break! 

Happy Monday!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hello Monday!

Once again it is Monday! So that means I get to give out some hellos. {Please link up with Lisa Leonard if you want to join in on the fun}

Hello Sunshine! Although I hear you are going away for a few days and we are getting more snow! Boo!!

Hello New Baby Nicholas! He is my newest cousin and he is so sweet! Maysie loved holding him. She basically turned into a statue and wouldn't move.

Hello Anthony! It is so sweet to see you as a big brother! Maysie had so mcuh fun playing with you today!

Hello squirrels and birds! You kept these two occupied searching for you! They would scream with delight when they found you!

Hello cousins! Growing up with family so close is the best!

Hello Anakin! You came over to play with Maysie this weekend too! She wasn't very good at sharing her toys with you but you both had fun playing outside!

Hello gymnastics girl! This was her very spot at My Gym! She loves doing the splits! 

If you want to get the 50% off the enrollement fee and save $50 off your second month of class ... you have to sign up before the end of the month! 

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

5 on Friday

I had so much fun last week doing 5 on Friday I thought I should do it again!

You can link up at a. liz adventures, carolina charm, hello! happiness or the good life blog.

This weeks edition is all about the home. 

When I first moved out on my own with a 5 year old little boy, my friends mom gave me all the furniture she no longer had a use for. There were couches, coffee tables, dressers, and many kitchen items. 

I was so grateful for her generosity. She really helped make my house a home. 

Now 6 years later I still have the same items. 

My husband and I have been talking for quite awhile about getting new furniture that is more OUR style. 

I want to replace the kitchen items with items that are better quality.

So these are a few items that we would LOVE in our home. 


Ikea has some great items. We love these pieces because they are in our price range, the lines are clean, and gray goes with every color. {Yes, I love all colors.} The couch is $499 and the rug is $199. We haven't decided if we will get coffee tables since Maysie broke the glass and fell through the last one.


I love this welcome mat. Maybe it is because I am British. Maybe because I love all things "keep calm". Maybe because it is $9.99 at Dayspring.


Don't you just love this cookie jar. Now that I have my new KitchenAid Artisan Mixer, I make cookies all the time. I typically just put them on a plate and cover them in plastic wrap. {Well that is if we don't eat them all first} This owl would be perfect to put cookies in. Target is selling it for $19.99. 

Although, I do love this owl from Anthropologie.

But the $68 price tag isn't my favorite.


I love these glass canisters from Anthropologie. I am trying to stay away from plastic {you know ... trying to be all green and crunchy} and these are great! They are 16 oz and $10 each from Anthropologie.


Dayspring has a new line for Easter. Their Daily Grace collection is beautiful and whimsical! This platter sells for $37. It would be perfect hanging on a wall or for serving fantastic meals to my family. 

Well that is my 5 on Friday. What pieces would you love to have in your home?


Currently we are ... 


* We are watching Elmo like nobody's business. She begs to watch Elmo all day long.


* Playing with our new toy from our Citrus Lane box! Maysie loves animals so this was a perfect toy to be in her first box.


* We are reading our new book from Citrus Lane as well. This book is called You Are My Baby by Lorena Siminovich.


* These items also came in our Citrus Lane box. I have already used the stickers from the Medi Buddy kit and used the wipes after lunch to clean up Maysie.


* I just got my Young Living kit in the mail. I am diffusing Peace & Calm in the house right now and it smells divine!


* We are currently over feeding our cat. Thank you Maysie for giving the cat the whole bag of food. 

What are you currently up to?