How I did Valentine’s Day for $15.36!

**I was compensated for this post. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

 

I’m done getting ready for Valentine’s Day!  Yes ma’am I am! And I got it all for less than $15!  How? 3 things:

1. We don’t make a big deal about Valentine’s Day in our family. Ben doesn’t really like the “Halmark Holidays” and I like to do a little something but nothing over-the-top. I like to get cards and something small for Joe and something small for… no not Ben, but myself!  It’s a nice excuse for a small treat for me! Nothing wrong with that!!

2. I got part of Joe’s gift at Target. Through tomorrow (Saturday) you can get 40% off Hot Wheels with your Cartwheel App – including the individual cars!  That bring the price of these guys I got down to $0.59!  So I got Joe 4 cars. ✅

3. Have you guys checked out the Dollar Tree lately?  I got all the rest of our stuff from there. (And did you know you can ship to your local Dollar Tree Store For FREE!)

– Cards: for all the grandparents and for Ben (one from me and one from Joe) ✅

– stickers: for Joe to make pictures for grandparents ✅

-Decor: Dollar Tree had several cute things. I chose this cute wall hanger. I had just the right spot for it. ✅

– I also bought Joe this cute Monster window cling. I’ve just set it up on our glass door. I hope he likes playing with it! ✅

– the rest of Joe’s present: 2 books, Dino stickers, and a Matchbox hovercraft! Cool! ✅

– and My present: I found a Bob Harper cookbook!  I’ll let you know how I like it! ✅

Total spent: $15.36 + tax!

I’m also reusing all of my finds from last year.  Check them out here.

For tons more cute Dollar Tree goodies for Valentine’s Day click here!

I know what I want to be when I grow up

I think all of us moms struggle from time to time about staying home. Or not. Or changing jobs. Or not. I find myself thinking about this a lot, especially when work is going rough. I’ve had a really tough couple weeks. I’ve been disappointed in a few circumstances that have to do with honesty and integrity. I begin to question-again- if I’m in the right place and asking myself, “What do I want to do when I grow up? What’s my dream job!? Is it time to leave your job for something else?”

I got home from work today just in time for nap. And I’m sitting here in listening to him breathe. And I hear God say, “Kristen. THIS is your dream job. This is what you are meant to be when you grow up: Joe’s Mom.”

The answer to the 3rd question? I’m still listening for that one. ❤️

 

4 Reasons I’m a bad friend, 1 reason I’m not

As part of one of my big resolutions this year being to say “yes” more.  I’ve been thinking about the toll that all my postpartum anxiety played on my friendships.  I know that part of having small kids is that everything changes, including friendships.  I’ve been looking into myself and the past few years and really trying to get to the bottom of what has happened to some of my favorite relationships.  Here’s 4 reasons why I’m a bad friend:

 

1. Like I talked about in my Resolutions post, I always say, “No.”  Yep, I would wager that 6 out of 10 times someone asks me to do something, I say, “No.”  Out of the 4 where I did said “yes” 2-3 of those I bail at the last minute.  Why am I like that?  Well, I make lots of excuses.  It is during Joe’s nap, meal times, or bed time.  Yes.  I know.  I shouldn’t stop doing stuff just because I have a child.  But, Joe (and I for that matter) thrive on being on schedule.  Right? When he’s off schedule, it’s miserable.  He’s cranky, doesn’t eat well, doesn’t sleep well.  And I also feel bad asking Ben to manage all these things by himself.  I do it sometimes, But I’m not willing to ask him constantly to manage on his own.  Or is it really that anxiety that paralyzes me and makes me just want to sit in my PJ’s all day?

2. I don’t often initiate a social event.  That is, unless you have a kid a similar age as my kid.  Why?  Because putting on a big dinner or party is next to impossible with a clingy toddler.  Because I feel like most people who don’t have their own clingy toddler don’t really want to hang out with my clingy toddler.  Honestly, if we do hang out with my clingy toddler we will just be entertaining him and not really getting in the girl chat we need.  Right?  Or is that my anxiety paralyzing me again?

3. When I’m going through something hard, I shut down.  Instead of turning to my friends when I’m in a tough situation, I usually shut them out.  I don’t want to talk to anyone or go anywhere.  this leads to even more of #1, I just keep saying, “No.” Or worse, I’ll try to make myself get out of the house, then have anxiety and bail at the last minute.  Yeah, everyone deals with tough situations differently.  Unfortunately, after a few really poor choices in confidants this has been my method.

4. I have a TERRIBLE memory.  I will forget what you told me yesterday.  I may forget your birthday (or get the day completely wrong – yes even with Facebook).  I truly do TRY to remember to ask you about the thing you told me about last week.  But if I don’t, please understand that I do love you and care about what’s happening in your life.  I just might ask you the same question 3 visits in a row.  I get so consumed in my own silly struggles (or not so silly) and forget that the people I love have their own things going on too.

On the other hand, if you’ll let me, I am a really good friend in 1 way:

1. If we haven’t talked in days, months, or years, know that I still think about you often.  I still love you.  And as soon as we get a chance to re-connect, lets pick up right where we left off.  I appreciate you and your friendship and I’ll love you forever.

So I think the moral of the story is that in order to communicate to my friends that I value them and I care about them, I need to Say “yes” More.  And really work hard on overcoming my anxiety.

 

I’m not alone, right?!  Do you suffer from anxiety too?  What works/didn’t work for you to overcome it?

4 Ways I saved an extra $312 in 2016

4 Ways I Saved an Extra $312.18 on grocery and household items last year!

1. Ibotta! I started using the Ibotta app at the beginning of last year.  So I saved $138 in just 1 year!  Ibotta is my favorite rebate app and I’ve save the most money using this.  Here’s how it works:

Unlock rebates on the stuff you buy anyway.

After you shop, select the items you bought and scan the barcodes of those items

Then upload your receipt

Watch your balance grow!

You can also use Ibotta to earn cash back at some of your favorite stores, Like Joann’s Fabrics and Your favorite apps like Groupon and Boxed.

When you’ve got at least a $20 balance you can cash out for gift cards like Amazon or Best Buy or have the money sent to your Paypal account.  Score!

2. Checkout 51! The Checkout 51 app works similarly to the Ibotta

Unlock available rebates on the items on your grocery list.

Then upload your receipt and select the items you bought (some may require a barcode scan).  Cash out once you reach a minimum of $20 balance.  They mail you a check!

3. Savingstar! This is another rebate app where I’ve saved $12!  I have found that I don’t use Savingstar quite as often. I think that is because most of the items are pre-packaged foods, and I try to limit those items at our house.  They do have 1 fruit/veggie rebate per week and I take advantage of that as often as I can.  My balance on this account is also smaller because I just started using it in the summer (~ 6 months)

4. Swagbucks! I’ve earned $110 in gift cards this year from Swagbucks.

You do all your online shopping through Swagbucks.  Go to the Swagbucks website and/or install and use their swagbutton.  You’ll automatically earn points on the things you would buy anyway!  Then redeem those points for gift cards to your favorite shops!  Also, use Swagbucks as your search engine to earn extra points.  You can do surveys, watch videos and more to keep racking up points!  Cash those points in for Gift cards!

 

The links in this post may be affiliate links.

My 6 New Years Resolutions

Well, Happy New Year!  We’re just starting our journey into 2017 and it’s about time I finish up my goal setting for the year.  The last few months I have really ignored my study into goal setting.  It’s time I get off to a good start!

Personal Goals
1. Say “YES!” more – This is really an overarching goal for all aspects of my life.  But, I really feel like it is mostly personal, because it has to do with overcoming my anxiety.  The last couple years I am very quick to say, “No” to things – really anything, social events, kid events, work opportunities, fitness classes.  If it’s not part of our family routine I have a really hard time saying yes.  I get very anxious and overwhelmed.  I over-analyze and over-emphasize the negative impacts of whatever the event is.  It might mean I can’t get my meal planning done, or Joe is a little late for nap, or I won’t have time to do X, Y or Z.  If I’m thinking about reaching out to someone, I always find a reason not to.  I know that when I do say, “yes” and I go and do I have a good time and enjoy interacting with people and trying new things.  So, it doesn’t mean I will say “yes” to EVERYTHING.  But I will intentionally say “yes” and reach out to others more.

Business Goals
2. My biggest business goal is to be more consistent on the blog.  Instead of trying to get you guys something every day (which is what I was trying to do in the beginning), I’ll try to get about 2 posts per week.  This is more attainable right now.  What kind of posts are YOU interested in seeing?

3. Stop hustling my Beachbody business.  No that does not mean I’m not a coach anymore.  And if you’re thinking about trying a Beachbody program, then I totally want to be your coach, your cheerleader, and your support.  It just means I’m not going to do the social media hustle anymore.  I need to be true to myself and my fitness journey.  Then I can be a better coach!  I’ll post what I’m doing, what I like/don’t like about it.  And let me know if you want to join in!

Family goals
4. Be more present with Joe in the afternoons.  I so struggle with the work/family/life balance.   I find that when we do get home in the afternoon, I tend to let the chores, social media, and to-do lists in my head overwhelm me and I’m not really as present as I would like to be.  He’s growing up so fast and I don’t want to miss out anymore.

Marriage
5. Figure out what we need to do to stay connected to each other in our hectic life.  And then do that, regularly and often.  You know how it is.  Work, kids, make dinner, pack lunches, chores, etc.  Then the alarm goes off and you say, “Oh hi there.  How was your day yesterday?  I forgot to ask”

Financial
6. Create a budget and stick to it.  I’ve tried several things over the years, and I REALLY struggle with this.  I’ve tried excel spreadsheets and Mint.  Both I just didn’t keep up with it.  If you have any methods or tools that work for you please let me know!  For now I’ll be researching what might work for us.

What are your goals for this year?  Or any lessons learned for last year?