Monday, May 9, 2016

thoughts on [my] mother's day

yesterday was mother's day and lots was said and made of the day, as it should be.
however every mother's day has a different meaning for me than for many others.

since i didn't carry lil man in me for 9months, and since i didn't push him into this world i have a different perspective on the day.
this in no way takes away from the love i have for this kid. in some ways it makes it sweeter! and in no way does this make him less ours than if i had carried him and had the stretch marks to prove it.

see when someone else gives birth to your child you are connected to that person forever.
that's not to say you have lunches with them on a weekly basis, although you might-it is 2016, but more that when my kid's birthday rolls around or when mothers day is celebrated i can't help but think of her.

her sacrifice.
her love in giving the child she bore a different life than she could.
the fact that i will always know what her face looked like as she brought lil man into the world.
these things, i believe, will stay with me for as long as i live.

i don't think i'll ever encounter our son's bio mom ever again, but forever, even if just in my mind and heart she will be a part of his story.
he would not be here without her.
i would not be able to celebrate the wonderful holiday of mother's day without her. i tear up just thinking about her now.



some might say why do i still think about her? or wasn't she awful and that's why she gave us lil man? or how could someone do that? don't they love their child?  or whatever reason people think others give children up for adoption.
all i know is what happened to us. our experience of becoming parents.

and i personally am so glad she still comes to mind on these days. i am so glad she chose to give us this gift. to sacrifice parts of herself so that we could love our little boy. whatever her reason, it REALLY. DOESN'T. MATTER!!

what a perfect reflection of what Christ does for us!!
HE gave His one and only Son for me, you, us. the unworthy. the unlovable. He sacrificed His child to give life to those who don't deserve it.

i'm not saying those who give children for adoption are equal to Jesus himself. i'm simply saying i choose to see Christ in all aspects of life. if i say i follow Him then i need to look for ways to be reminded of Him EVERY DAY.
i need to try and see the world the way He does. to see what i can do to declare and live His love in ever aspect of life.


so on this mother's day, and everyday, even in the chaos and mundane, the messes, the poopy diapers, the tantrums, the lack of sleep, the expenses, the laughter, the tight squeezes and the smile that melts my heart i will remember why i am here.

i will remember those who came to the mommy hood a little differently.
those who are mommas to the mommy less.
those who first carried their babies in their arms.
those who are waiting.
those who have stepped in when others wouldn't.
those who are too old, or too young, or too poor.
we are called to mother the motherless.
mothers are SO important in this life.


i am blessed because i have many that surround me, support me, show me love and how to love.
we need to be that for each other.
so lets step out and fill in the gaps because there are so many that need us! be a mother to the motherless.  be a friend to a mother. call your mother. think about adoption. and don't forget those who have made many of us mothers by the huge gift/s they give us!!

i celebrated this mother's day by a breakfast in bed from hubby, which was followed by lil man tackling me while trying to get my yogurt. plates and coffee flew everywhere so that was fun :) after i started the bedding in the laundry, we spent the afternoon at a junkers flea market across town and then to bass pro to look at the fish. back home we enjoyed naps and then lentil soup for dinner. after which i had to wash one of our dogs covered in poop :-/ and the floor covered in poop and lil man who had stepped in said poop!! Finally i snuggling lil man to sleep and crashed! a typical day in the mommy hood ;)

how was your mother's day?
xo


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Thrifty Tuesday Tip {Write 31 Days}

Hi all! How's your week going so far??

Well I hope you are implementing some thrifty ways in your daily life!

Thrifty tip: Do not be afraid to ask for things you want or need for birthdays, holidays or when asked.
I used to always say "oh whatever is fine" or "you don't have to get me anything"!

Now when someone asks I try to be specific and let them know what I'm in need or want of, even if it's $$ 😉
This has really helped with little man. Not only do I speak up about what he needs but also what I don't prefer. I.e. No toys that require batteries or that have flashing lights and loud noises.

Speaking up ensures the gift giver has direction and enjoys shopping for you, and you get something you can actually use!!

Happy thrifting y'all and speak up!

Happy Tuesday!
Xo

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday Inspiration {Write 31 Days}


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Thrifty Tuesday Tip {Write 31 Days}

hey friends! how are you?! well I think fall is officially here in these parts! yeehaw!! now watch that change :-/

anyways heres a little tip for your tuesday!

laundry. we have to do it in some form or other and i can't say i'm a huge fan. the washing i don't mind and the end result of a drawer full of clean items to wear- huge plus! but the folding and putting away? nope not so much. right now i'm staring at a pile that needs just that and i'm writing this instead! haha!

but i digress.
the other day my brother in law was talking about his idea to regulate in home thermometers to control your bill. specifically that the unit would indicate how much your bill is and if you'd like to increase/decrease the temperature you have to make a deposit. like in quarters. what a great idea. maybe not the quarters, but the idea that you have to be faced with how much money you are spending instead of being billed later. the immediate reality of how much money is leaving your possession. interesting no?
if only it was that easy!

i remember when hubby and i lived in Phoenix and we actually had to pick a electricity schedule and if you used any during your specific "off hours" then you were charged more. for instance if you use electricity during evening hours on a regular basis you'd pick that one. i think ours was the morning/evening schedule. this usually worked out because i was at home during those times and those were the cooler times of the day anyways, so laundry and cooking didn't seem quite so hot.

this got me thinking back then. it should be obvious, but this day in age with anything and everything at our finger tips at any time of the day there are more thrifty times of day to do your laundry. Duh!
not only that, there are some thrifty ways you can do laundry to help ease the pain of that hefty electric bill!

>time of day: again duh, but earlier in the morning and later in the evening is the best. this way if your using cold water then it stays cool.
>water: i have used cool water on everything from towels to uniforms. i really haven't had any problems with my detergent dissolving. i've used a homemade detergent for years and i really like it. occasionally i use warm/hot water on stubborn towels or cloth diapers.
>detergent: like i said i have used the same powder detergent for years now. it costs about $20 and takes about 20 min to make and lasts 6 months. I LOVE IT!
in the past i have also used the arm and hammer liquid concentrate detergent- i liked it. the seventh generation liquid detergent- it was ok but felt i had to use a lot. i recently purchased some Ecco (i think) detergent. it is green and has enzymes. i hope to see how this works in a pinch when i run out of my regular stuff. i purchased these with coupons of course to keep costs down.
>load size: fill up the load but don't over do it. you want to get the most out of the water you are paying for! if you do a smaller load be sure to get the size right and if you have the option of wash cycle length, don't over do it. most loads don't need the full heavy load cycle.
>drying: if you're using a dryer, choose the low heat setting. again most items don't need the full high heat. usually just towels. my favorite for items like sheets, athletic wear and cloth diapers is the laundry line! it does make items a tad crunchy but i love the smell and honestly the routine of it all! a great old fashioned and economical choice!! the sun also acts like a natural bleach for the diapers! yay!
this is also a great option indoors! when it's winter and too cold to hang outside, put up a line or set out a rack inside your home. this will add moisture to the indoor dry winter air. trust me, your skin will thank you ;)


ok y'all! so those are my laundry tips for keeping things thrifty!
what are some tips you have? hang any clothes lately? do you make your own detergent or buy the regular stuff? what do you think of my BILs idea of the thermostat??
happy tuesday!
xo







 


Monday, October 5, 2015

Thrifty fashion {Write 31 Days}

So here's the thing about me and "fashion". I'm not really fashionable. Right now I'm wearing jeans, sneakers, a T shirt and a nike jacket. BUT, I love fashion and every now and then i like to look like i tried :)
Here's the other thing about me and fashion. I LOVE getting a deal! 
I think once you get to a certain economic class the idea of buying "on sale" or thrifting is looked down upon. 
I don't have this issue. In fact I hate paying full price- for anything really but especially for clothes. 
That's why I wanted to be sure and cover this in this series. I think most people I run into are surprised by what I find at Goodwill, Savers, thrift stores etc. 
do I still buy in retail stores? Yes. But again only on sale.

So here's the main reason I love resale store shopping-the price can't be beat! And I'm a true believer in not producing more waste than I have to.

I love clothes, but I really don't like the idea of going to the mall, dragging out the stroller (because of course my 10mo old is with me), parking in the back 40, getting inside and being hit with 30,000 different perfumes and chemicals, making it to a certain store only to find that if they amazingly have my size it's $$$. Then after getting it home and trying it on-again the 10mo old-it doesn't fit because sizes mean something totally different to the manufacturer and it was made for a 16yr with no hips. So I have to get back in my car, go through the same steps just to return said item. Pheeew! That was fun! Not.

Ok I know that's dramatic but really, isn't that what happens? Maybe it's just me.
Personally I'd rather go to a thrift store where I don't have to deal with the same scenario as above.
Yes my 10mo old is with me. Yes the smell of other people's clothes isn't always the best smell. Yes you have to dig a little more. And yes you still have to take them home ( if you're toting kiddos)and try them on and sometimes the clothes don't fit.
BUT, I'd rather do those things because i enjoy the dig, I don't mind the smell-you're going to wash them anyway-, I really like saving money and if you have to return, exchange or donate it back you've spent $5 on 3 items instead of $100 on 1. To me that seals the deal!!

So how do I look for clothing items at thrift stores, or anywhere for that matter?
Well just like at a department store or mall I know what I'm looking for when I go in and what brands I generally like or think are good quality.
*When looking for clothes you know your size, style etc. This is not a how to shop for your style post. Maybe at a later date ;)*
What brands are at thrift stores? Pretty much every single one. From Walmart to Ann Taylor and even  designer brands! I recently found an Oscar del a Renta dress for $20 and a Banana Republic wool jacket for $5!
It's crazy the stuff you can find. Just think of it like a great big rummage or garage sale.
I don't know where you're from but here in the south yard saling is a sport. And just like there are good neighborhoods, there are correlating yard sales as well. So take all kinds of people donating all kinds of things from all kinds of sources and resources and put them in one place. Getting the idea?

So how do you get a great deal? Well there's a few ways.

-Thrift Stores:
           A)Discount tag days. These are specific days of the week that specific colored tags are discounted or set at a certain price. My favorite is 99¢ day. I have a lovely gray LL Bean dress I got for 99¢ that is in excellent condition and fits to a T!
           B) ID discounts. This could be for Sr citizens or military. Always ask! Some places even do discounts for teachers!
           C) Donate! When I donate items I'm no longer using, I get a 30% discount on any regular priced item at my next checkout!
            D) Member/punch cards. Every time I checkout I get a punch. When it's full, I get a discount. Also as a member they will send you emails to let you know what items are on sale that week or extra coupons!


Cardigan- Wal-Mart $12
Sleeveless button up- Gap via thrift $4
Skinny Jeans- Mossimo (target) via thrift $5
Gladiator sandles- thrift $6

So do I do all my clothing shopping at thrifts stores? nope. but some of the same rules apply.
-buy when items are going out of season
-buy items that are on sale
-always ask for discounts or sign up for email coupons

Where do shop other than thrift stores?
-Kohl's: they seem to have a wide selection when it comes to sale/clearance items. I tend to like the brands they offer. I tend to buy Easter/special occasion dresses here. I also bought a hard to find modest bathing suit online from them at the end of summer. 1/2 off of course ;)

-Ebay: I get a lot of shoes here! I have bad feet and shoes are one area i can't skimp on quality! so i scour ebay looking for what i know my feet like and i have found good deals here.  I sell a lot of clothes on here too! ;)



grey cardigan- Ann Taylor via school rummage sale $1
Bird Dress-Wal-Mart $10
Handmade jersey necklace-handmade by me
Leather boots- Born via HSN $89 (originally $250)




-TjMaxx, Ross, Burlington Coat Factory: These places get department store items at a discount and then pass those discounts on to you. I Tend to purchase pajamas and tops here. Recently i purchased a sport dress for $3 at TjMaxx on their clearance rack. It was originally $50!!

-Consignment stores: i do occasionally shop these stores, but usually when i'm bringing stuff in. Some places now offer cash on the spot for donations so there's no waiting around at the end of the month for your check. Or you can receive a store credit to shop. you get a little bit more value this way. I tend to buy jeans or dresses here. These places tend to be a little stricter on their donations, so if you are looking for something by a specific designer these places are a good bet.

T-Shirt- Instashop Ezra + Eli $29 on sale ( really wanted this shirt! ;-D)
skirt-thrifted $1.99
Sneakers- Vans Shoe Carnival 1/2 off online $20

-Target, Old Navy and Walmart: I do occasionally buy some clothes here. More trendy items. However, these items I only expect to last a season, maybe two. I feel ON's items, especially their knit wear, has gone down in past years and I usually end up with holes in them. Which is so sad!! :( T-shirts and Tanks from ON. I tend to buy shirts, sleepwear, t-shirts and dresses from Target. Cardigans, tank tops, workout wear from WM.

Scarf-handmade by me
Cream blouse-TjMaxx $7
Stripped Cardi-Christopher and Banks via thrift store 99cents
Jeans-Ann Taylor via thrift store $6.99
Shoes-Born via ebay $15


-Intashops: instagram has a whole host of stores! from baby items to vintage finds and clothes! I follow a few and when they have clear out items or specials i take a look. These items tend to be trendier and fun. I have purchased a few dresses and skirts from these places. Another fave is cause t-shirts. Ie people raising funds for an adoption or charity. Most of the ones i have purchased have held up well.
Shoes-Ross $15
Striped dress- Instashop PS I Adore You $19
Blue cardi- Ann Taylor via thrift 99cents

           
Well I could go on and on but are you seeing a pattern?
-Look for ways to get a deal.
-ALWAYS shop the sale section.
-Try to think ahead, and shop ahead.
-Ask if there is a coupon or an email list you can be added to for discounts
-Ask about ID discounts
-Don't be scared to dig a little at bargain places!
-Keep an eye out for online deals.


I hope these ideas and tips have helped!

I hope to also do a post about how to shop your closet, what to look for at goodwill and how to have a clothing exchange!!

happy thrifting!!
xo

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Technical difficulties! {Write 31 Days}

Hey all!
How did your weekend go? See any opportunities for being thrifty??
Anyways sorry for the delay in posts. Im a couple days behind my #write31days commitment :-( 
I'm having some technical difficulties! Ever have those?! Yeah. Super fun! Hopefully all my computer and Internet stuff will be sorted out soon and I can get to posting all the goodies I have in store for y'all this month!
But I just wanted to check in and leave you with this saying that's been I my mind lately. 

Always a good reminder for me!! 

Ok happy thrifting! Be back soon!
XO

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