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baby 2
I am sure most of you have noticed my blog has not been updated since December 28. For a deal blog, that’s pretty ridiculous.  Very ridiculous. I did not mean to be gone for so long, but life happened and I had to figure out where I was going to put my time. I have thought about this blog every day and worried that I haven’t been posting, and I want to apologize. I love to blog, I love to share deals, I love to help people save money, and I love to keep up with deals myself. I didn’t mean to stop posting deals, but it just kind of happened. Running a blog isn’t very easy and right now it’s just me and my blog, with my sister occasionally helping out.  I never meant to abandon y’all.

I knew I would need some help keeping this blog up after I had the baby. I interviewed a few people but I ran into some technical difficulties that didn’t allow them to have log ins before I went to the hospital to have a baby.  My baby came a day before her due date, and since my son was 2 weeks late I figured she’d at least be a day or two late, not show up early. I didn’t have a single thing ready, and in between contractions was trying to finalize emails for a company I was working for, pack my bag, and find a friend who would watch my 2 year old overnight. It was too late to find someone to help me on this blog. I was allowed to leave the hospital after one night, and had barely been home 2 hours when Tristan got incredibly sick again.  It seemed like he was just getting better when Christmas and tons of visitors came along.  We had a beautiful Christmas and were looking forward to the New Year when my husband got really sick.  So, the new year came and went.  I had a baby who wasn’t even 2 weeks old, a sick husband and a rowdy toddler. I was pretty exhausted with the baby and trying to recover from the delivery myself. Thankfully, my Mom thought she’d come visit for a few days and became a life saver.
baby 1

I think many of you know that the flu has been going around this year and it’s really, really bad.  I wish we had missed out on catching it, but we weren’t so lucky.  My husband was crazy sick, and my Mom was kind enough to sleep on our sofa and tend to him since she’d already had the flu right before Christmas. I slept on the floor in my son’s room with him and the baby hoping we wouldn’t catch it. Well, my poor little Tristan woke up sick and crying with a low temperature and I knew he had the flu, too. Children cope amazingly well under hard circumstances, and although I knew he had the flu, he didn’t seem as bad as my husband.   Since my husband was getting worse and not better after several days, we decided to head to the doctor.  I left the kids with my Mom and took him in.  We were almost home when she texted that Tristan had a high fever.

We walked in the door a few minutes later.   I quickly hugged my little boy, gave him some Tylenol for his high fever and sat him down at the table with some apple sauce. We sent Jeff to bed.  My Mom was holding little Summer. I was in the kitchen only a few feet away from Tristan, giving the baby a kiss when I heard a plate hit the floor. I looked over in time to see Tristan fall off the chair, hit the wall and then the floor. I thought it was him just being a 2 year old, but as I moved the chair to pick him up I realized something was very wrong. His eyes rolled back into his head and he wasn’t crying. I picked his stiff body up and suddenly, he started shaking. I yelled at my Mom that he was having a seizure, and then to my husband to call 911. Then I started to cry. I kept trying to say, “It’s OK Tristan, It’s OK…” But then his lips went blue and my Mom yelled, “He’s choking!”  That is a concern when people have a seizure-not that they can choke on their tongue, but since he had been at the table eating, he might have had food in his mouth.

And that’s when I lost it. All I could think of was a little boy who started choking on some bread at church-the family tried to do the heimlech and when that didn’t work, rushed him to the hospital. He died on the way there.  I couldn’t let that happen to my little boy.

My Mom grabbed Tristan and started pounding his back, my husband and I were both trying to call 911… and that’s when I couldn’t stand seeing my son blue, not breathing and the phone seemed to take HOURS to connect. Since both hospitals in Lubbock are on one side of town, they have ambulances garaged across town, and one is really close to us. I threw my shoes off and while still on the phone with 911, ran to the ambulance garage what I now know is almost a quarter mile away. Somehow I got there in about a minute and a half, which was faster than calling them. They hurried to the house with me, and my little boy was unconscious but breathing. We went to the hospital anyway.
baby
Tristan had what is called a febrile seizure. You can read more about them HERE, but basically when a child has a sudden spike in temperature their body shuts down and they have a seizure. They’re fairly “normal” for little kids to have, they do not cause any permanent damage, he will probably never have another one, and he probably won’t remember he had this one.  It’s common for people to stop breathing momentarily during a seizure.  Tristan quit breathing long enough his entire body turned blue.  It was horrible.  Completely horrible.   As long as the seizure doesn’t last more than 15 minutes, or he doesn’t have 2 within 24 hours, there is no need for additional testing.  The doctor at the hospital was very kind and reassuring. They kept us there til his fever went down and then we went home.  The doctor explained that while seizures are scary and terrifying for parents, they’re not that bad.

Since that night I haven’t wanted to be on the computer or my phone.  I just wanted to be with my little boy, my family, and to be honest, my bed.  I’m pretty tired.  When I thought for those moments that I might lose my son, I realized that nothing, NOTHING in this world mattered more than my family.   You honestly don’t know when your moments with them will be the last-I had no warning that he was going to have a seizure, and to suddenly see your child blue and not moving made me want to go back to all the mornings I set him in front of a TV to blog and just play cars and trucks with him.

So, I took a few weeks off, sent my broken (again) laptop to the shop and have just been enjoying my new baby (who is already growing up too fast), and trying to spend quality time with Tristan.  Life has gotten back to normal, my laptop got fixed,  Jeff is back in school, no one is sick anymore and I feel like if I manage my time wisely, I can get back to taking care of my little blog that I love so much.   I am so sorry to everyone who has been coming here to find deals, only to find a plain ol’ blog post. I should have at least taken the time to say something on Facebook or asked a friend to post here, but I will be honest, I was a little overwhelmed.  So many of you have left sweet comments about the birth of our sweet little girl, and I want to thank you for that. I read every comment and every encouraging word has lifted my spirits.  Thank you for being understanding.  I’m excited to start finding some great deals again and back to blogging!   Next time I will be more prepared-I have some friends who are going to help me out in the future so there isn’t a big empty space here when there should be some great deals!  I hope y’all enjoyed the holidays too, and yours were full of health and happiness.

Best Gift Ever: a New Phone with the BEST Wireless!!!

M&M coupon

For the last few months my husband and I have been dreading seeing our monthly phone bill. We have a 2 year contract with a very big company, and regardless of all their promises, our bill is always about $30 or more than it should be. We have been wanting to leave and go to a no-contract, unlimited plan.  I posted about looking for a phone plan and finding one we liked HERE.  Finally, my husband’s contract ended and he has been shopping around for the cheapest wireless plan out there.  We decided a while ago we would go with Wal Mart Family Mobil and give them a try.

Over the last few years I have spent a lot of time trying to surprise my husband with a gift he really likes or wants without him finding it before he gets it.  I honestly have never succeeded.  I will hide a present in the closet, in MY CLOTHES and for the first time in 5 years, he will help me out and put something of mine away and find his gift. Or he’ll look at the bank statement really close to his birthday or Christmas.  Or he’ll clean out whatever random place I hid his gift for the first time ever and find what I got him. It never fails. This year he has been looking and looking at new phones, and I knew he’d never imagine I’d get him a new phone.  I can’t even tell you how excited I was to give him the phone! I knew he would never expect it.  And, I was right.  I actually caught him off guard (also because I gave it to him early), but he never expected to get a new phone.  Finally getting the chance to surprise him with a gift was probably more fun for me than it was for him.  He was also excited we got 3 months of free service, too. I think that was the part that made him smile the biggest!
wal mart family mobil #shop
The best part of giving the phone to him and part of the reason he needed it early, was that his other phone was on the fritz. It was a complete disaster, battery wouldn’t stay charged, calls wouldn’t show up, calls would drop, etc. He has been excited to change his old phone out. Now, according to him, here are some highlights of being on a super cheap network and having an affordable smart phone:

  • Access to Android Apps
  • Long battery life
  • Fast internet
  • Loves the operating system
  • Online account management and information
  • Ability to pay in store
  • NO CONTRACT!
  • Lowest price ate plan for unlimited wireless

So far, we love it.  The phone was really, really easy to set up, we haven’t ported his old number over but according to our old company and this new one, that will be really easy, and mostly, we love that this is such a cheap wireless plan (less than $50 for unlimited text, talk and internet!!!).  When my contract ends I am going to take my iPhone and move it over to the Family Mobil network as well.  I did some research and it looks like just about any iPhone can be moved over as well.  Pretty awesome.  If you want to see more people who are giving Wal Mart Family Mobile a go, check out the hash tag #FamilyMobleSaves and #CBias!  You can see more pictures on my Google+ album, too!
Wal Mart Family Mobile PHone #shop

Our Little Christmas Gift

DSC_0963edit (Large)
Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a great one.  We had a beautiful one.  My parents came in from China, my brother and his wife came down from Utah and my sister and her kids came up from Houston.  It wasn’t the whole family and we missed everyone who wasn’t there, but we were glad to see everyone who came!  Christmas Eve was spent doing a live Nativity with the cousins and plenty of scripture reading, as well as a couple performances by the girls from “Frozen.”   Our new little addition (Summer Micheale, born the 18th at 2:34 am) was supposed to play the baby in our Nativity scene, but she slept through it.   Christmas is such a great time of year and we are so blessed in so many ways.

since my son went 12 days past his due date.  As the date got nearer I kept feeling like she wasn’t going to be late like her brother, so when she came right on time I was a little panicked.  We hadn’t packed a hospital bag, we didn’t have anywhere for her to sleep, the car seat was in a box in the garage somewhere, and we actually didn’t have somewhere for my little boy to go.  So, I was having very painful contractions about 8 minutes apart, trying to pack a bag and texting friends to see if we could drop my son off.   We got to the hospital and about 4 hours later, got to meet my little girl.
DSC_0992edit (Large)We have been so in love with her.  I still keep looking at her and thinking, “I can’t believe I had this whole baby inside me…”  I love putting her in a little ball and letting her sleep on my chest.  She is just an angel.  When Tristan first met her he wasn’t a fan at all, he said, “That baby is sticky!” and wouldn’t come near her, he even said, “No, I don’t want a sister.”  It was so funny.   It took him about 15 minutes and then he warmed up and wanted to hold her.  Since then he has been so sweet.  He brings her diapers, binkies, blankies… and always says, “We bring this baby home?”

I wanted to thank y’all for the sweet comments, they mean so much to me!  I am so glad someone is still reading this blog since it has been a little neglected.  I had some friends lined up to post while I am out and then my site security was upped so much it locked EVERYONE out.  *sigh*  But thankfully that is fixed and we are ready to go :)

I hope you have had a beautiful Holiday Season and many warm wishes for the New Year!

 

Almost Done! 39.5 Weeks!

38 weeks chalkboard
I posted a while back that we were expecting our second child, and she is almost here! I will actually be 40 weeks this coming Thursday and can’t believe we are almost done. I feel like I have been pregnant forever.  This pregnancy I decided to jump on the chalkboard thing and have been doing a weekly picture.  The one above is actually a photo of the back of my camera, taken with my cell phone.  It’s my 38 week picture and it says, “Ready for our little Present! Merry Christmas.”  I still haven’t taken my 39 week one yet, which I think I should probably do before she shows up :)

I spent the entire morning at the doctors office today, they were very busy so there as a LOT of waiting, and we did some monitoring and an ultrasound.  When I got home my husband and I washed the cars, vacuumed and cleaned the house up a little.  It’s crazy how quick the day goes by.  As for the baby, we are very blessed that she is totally perfect and everything is OK.  I think we can expect her any day, but honestly my son was 12 days over his due date and I can’t imagine a little girl going early.  She’ll be late just like her Mom is I am sure.

I will for sure let you know when we have her.  I am super excited to meet this little one!

Off to pack a hospital bag-what did you wish you had when you were there?

 

 

Snowman Handprint Ornament


Last Christmas we had all the grandkids together and I thought it would be classic to make an ornament to commemorate the trip. I saw these on Pinterest and fell in love. They were really easy to do, and I even did one for the dog. He’s family, too :)

Once they were all together on the tree they looked SO adorable. I had even brought along markers (much less messy than paint) so the kids could embellish their ornaments. They turned out so cute.

You will need:

  • 1 bottle of $.99 white tempora paint
  • 1 Sponge brush (or something to paint the kids hands)
  • 1 Fine point black Sharpie
  • 1 Package of colored Sharpies
  • As many plain Christmas ornaments as needed, 1 per child.

Generously paint the kids hands one at a time, and help them place the bottom of their palm on the ornament and then slowly roll their hand up. If you mess up, you will have about .8 seconds to wipe off a tiny bit of the paint with a wet paper towel. If you try to wipe the whole thing, it will smear into a giant mess. Place the painted ornament back in the tray or smoewhere where it can safely dry. Once they have dried, allow them to decorate their snowmen with Sharpies. You can use regular gel pens, but then you will have to spray the ornaments with a fixative so they don’t smear off.

I recommend getting nicer ornaments.  This is something you will hopefully have for a long time so it’s worth it if you can afford it.  I believe the Dollar Tree does have glass ornaments, but you can also grab a package fairly cheap at Hobby Lobby when they’re 50% off or use a 40% off coupon.  Hobby Lobby also has the white paint and sponges, but I can almost guarantee you the sponge brushes will be cheaper at the Dollar Tree.  I also got those cute swirl hooks for $.10 at Target’s after Christmas 90% off sale.  I buy stuff like that all the time for the next year, they always come in handy, you can also find the ribbon in the dollar section there or at Dollar Tree.

Merry Christmas :)

Reindeer Food

I will be posting a few very inexpensive Christmas crafts you can go ahead and start making ahead of time. I made these jars of reindeer food about 2 weeks before Christmas, and it was so nice to just pull them out and have them done. You can have the kids help you, or make them while they’re asleep.

Growing up we always looked at Christmas lights on Christmas Eve. We always went to one particular house in the neighborhood because Santa would always be sitting outside on a big plush chair with his big yellow Jeep all decorated. Every year for years and years we went and sat on his lap, it was the highlight of our night as we spilled our last minute Christmas wishes to him. He was so kind and sweet and as we scampered off would give us a bag of reindeer food and a candy cane. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized this was not a paid neighborhood Santa. It was a man who believed in the Christmas Spirit and was willing to sit out on his lawn on Christmas Eve for hours and hand out candy to kids he didn’t even know. One year he wasn’t there. We were a little bummed, but I was a teenager so we let it slide. The next year someone different was out on the lawn. Come to find out, the original Santa had passed away and his family decided to keep the tradition going. As an adult I’ve truly grown to appreciate the love that man had for the season as he sat out every Christmas Eve, year after year, handing out candy canes to starry eyed kids. I looked online for a poem like the one he sent out – but never found one close so I wrote my own. It’s not as good as the original but it worked for the ingredients I had in my reindeer food.

To make my version of Reindeer Food I spray painted the lids on a few of the millions of empty baby food jars that plague our house, threw on some ribbon, and added ingredients I already had on hand that wouldn’t litter the enviroment. I’m nice like that.  You could also use sandwich bags, but I liked the jars.

To make the reindeer food I used: 

  • Oatmeal
  • Chocolate sprinkles,
  •  Red and green sugar sprinkles,
  • Gold sprinkles
  • Peppermint sprinkles

Magic Reindeer Food

As Santa brings a gift to you
Remember his reindeer, so strong and true.
Leave a surprise for them on your lawn
So they can soar from dusk til dawn.
Bits of chocolate give them smarts,
Red crystal sprinkles warm their hearts.
Glitter of gold gives a sparkle to their eye,
Green sugar sparkles give strength as they fly.
White sprinkles make the sleigh feel light
And oatmeal keeps their tummies full all night.

When we used these with all the Grandkids last Christmas it was magical. My Dad rented a cabin of sorts so we could all stay in the same place for Christmas. All 14 grandkids were there.. we went out on the front lawn and threw the reindeer food all over the place. Then we went up to the loft and Grandpa read us stories. That’s when someone looked out the big from window and saw a couple of real deer, wandering down the driveway and eating the reindeer food. It was pretty magical.  And of course, here is a coupon for baby food :)
$1.00 off any Five (5) Gerber 3rd Foods

Merry Christmas Banner


Last year I saw the cutest picture with a couple holding a “Merry Christmas” banner on Pinterest. I was in love. Of course, being me, I decided to make a banner the night before we went to take pictures.  And of course, didn’t bother to read any instructions or suggestions on how to make one.  I just threw one together and hoped for the best.  I think it looks cute, but if I could do it over, I would do things different.  I also wouldn’t have worn those boots, and I would have curled my hair….

To make my banner I just grabbed some 5×7 creme colored card stock I had leftover from a scrapbook, hand drew the letters on and then just started cutting them out.  As you can see, the letters look a little sad.  What I should have done was print the letters out.  It wouldn’t have been that hard.  But I was too lazy.  And in a hurry.  And probably on the phone, watching TV and listening to the radio.

I used scissors for the straight edges and a dollar store exacto knife for the tough places, and where I needed slits to thread the ribbon through the letters.  And that was pretty much it.  Very simple, even if it looked a little homemade.  After we took photos with it I hung it up in a window frame and it looked pretty adorable.  Since the banner is still in tact and looking just fine, i am not redoing it this year, but next year I probably will.  Overall the craft didn’t actually cost me anything since I had all the supplies at home, and it turned out cute for what it was!   If you are feeling adventurous I do have a few suggestions:

  • Print the letters or trace them from something!
  • Use scrapbook paper for a cute effect
  • Use card stock if possible so it’s a little more sturdy
  • Make sure you have an exacto knife or box cutter for the tricky letters
  • Don’t cut the slits the ribbon goes through too big or your letters will slide all over the place

If you have ever made one of these before, do you have any other suggestions?? 

Adorable Ornament Wreath

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Christmas is right around the corner, and I plan on getting my decorations the day after Thanksgiving. I also wanted to see how hard these wreaths were to make-if they were easy, I wanted to make them with my in-laws while they’re visiting for Thanksgiving. Guess what! They are so ridiculously easy it’s awesome.  And they look beautiful!

I went to Dollar Tree and picked up about 8 packages of ornaments. I would guess that I ended up using almost all of them. I bought a variety of large and small sized ornaments. Then I grabbed a wire coat hanger out of the closet that looked easy to bend.

I untwisted the top of the coat hanger so it was 1 long piece of wire.  Then using just my hands  I bent all the corners straight.  That was surprisingly easy.  From there I did my best to reshape it into a circle.  And that was it for the base of the wreath.  A coat hanger reshaped into a circle.

When I got the hanger shaped I heard a knock at the door.  The neighbor kids had stopped by to say hi.  Their mother is so sweet and is always sending me plates of home cooked food.  I love her.   I enlisted their help for the next part.  We opened up ALL the packages of ornaments.  I had picked green, gold and red colored ones, and tried to grab a variety of designs and sizes.  After dumping them into a pile on the table, we started threading the tops of the ornaments onto the wire.  I think the kids did 90% of putting the ornaments on the hanger.

Once the wire started to fill up I had to play with the ornaments to get them to sit right.  Once the wreath got really full I twisted the ends of the hanger back together.  And that was it.  Done.  I even had a perfect hook to hang the wreath on my door.  Or, set it on a chair and make my dog be a bow model.  I had some large ribbon left over from last Christmas so I used that to make the bow.  It honestly looks cute all by itself and doesn’t need much else.  If you wanted to get crazy, you could really dress this wreath up with lots of bows and more expensive ornaments, it can be as simple or elaborate as you want.

For a grand total of $8 and about 20 minutes of my time, I have the cutest wreath to put on the door.  No hot glue, no Styrofoam, that’s it.  The simplest, easiest, and cheapest Christmas wreath I have ever made.
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Cute Way to Hang Christmas Cards with Twine


I saw a TON of cute ideas on Pinterest as to how to hang Christmas cards. I wanted to do the picture frame with the twine in the center, but it wasn’t big enough for the cards I had. I thought about the ribbons on the cupboard, too. I thought about covering the fridge. I thought about a lot of options. What I came up with was this.

It was easy. I had everything on hand, and I like how it turned out  By the end of the season I had 2 rows of cards on the big window, 2 rows in the kitchen and a row in the door way.  This year I am going to hang some ornaments in between the cards for an added sparkle.

Cost:

50 Clothespins at Wal Mart in the Laundry Section $1
(Be careful, they’re $2.50 if you buy them by the twine!)
Twine $2??
I had it from a Cub Scout project a while back!

 

How do you hang your cards??  Feel free to post pictures on the Facebook page!

Felt Christmas Tree $8


This is one of my favorite crafts I have made, and my little boy loves it.   One of my sweet friends here in Lubbock hosted a craft night at her house.  Everyone put their kids to bed and we left our husbands home and in charge, and then we got together at her house.

She had bought all the felt in advance, which I think came from Joann’s.  They had large pieces of green felt which we used for the trees, and then she was able to grab  a few small colored felt squares for the ornaments.  Each of us kind of went with a different design for our trees-the fabric was so large we had to free hand our own version of the tree instead of using a template.  I ended up doing big, fat turned UP branches and a skinnier tree.

However, if I could go back I would make my tree fatter, and have the branches turned down more.  When I put my tree on the wall the upturned branches flopped down and required a push pin on each branch to keep them up.  Had I gone with a big, fat tree with turned down branches, there would be more room for ornaments and it wouldn’t take 10 push pins to hold it up.  Speaking of push pins, I would use flat ones so the kids aren’t tempted to pull them out.

For the ornaments and the star we traced the shapes.  You can easily find clip art in the shapes of ornaments or stars to print off, cut out and use as templates.

As for decorating the ornaments, I went with what you would expect me to.  I bought a package of 10 glitter tubes from Dollar Tree and used matching colors to outline my ornaments and decorate.  The other girls went and got really cute and crafty with theirs, but I knew if I didn’t finish my tree that night it would never get finished.  I looooove how sparkly the star looks like the gold outline.  We also had tree trunks.  I just cut my trunk out and hot glued it to the felt, although the tree would still be cute without the trunk.

I had also brought some ribbons and someone else brought pom poms, so we used those as embellishments.  Overall, the project was simple, inexpensive and my little guy loves to throw the ornaments on the floor.

Supplies, Time and Money:

Felt $8
Hot Glue and other supplies: On hand
Time: 1 to 1.5 hours