Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Baby Food: the third time around





We've hit that stage again with Little S, she is now eating baby food!  I feel it makes them so much more happy, because they feel like everyone else sitting in a chair ( well high chair) and eating food (well, what was real food, until mashed).  But really, they just seem to feel like they are apart of the whole experience at the table.

In the weeks leading up to us starting baby food, little S would reach out for anything and everything she could to try and put in her mouth.  And if she was in her saucer instead of on my lap at the table with us, she'd be fussy.  She just wanted to be apart of what we were doing and she was starting to recognize that she was not.  

So we started her on baby food.  Now I will say we haven't done well with making out own this time around.  Our Spring was crazy busy and I feel I'm now slowing down, I know right as we enter SUMMER, but I didn't get around to making my own baby food this time around.  However, I can't say that's a bad thing, because I only knew how to make 3 different types of baby food, peas, carrots and applesauce.  

But recently I was reading this post; on a blog called Think Baby, written by a few moms and they have all kinds of different recipes for baby food!  I love that this one has pumpkin and even avocado!   But before you look at the recipes, check out their post on The Baby Brezza.  To all of you new moms out there if you can you should invest (or add to your registry) this baby food maker.  My other two girls, I made their baby food in a blender which was more time consuming, but this thing...well you'll have to check out the post to see for yourself.

So now I've got some great summer plans, making new types of baby food!  Oh Little miss S is in for a treat!  She's pretty excited herself! 

Do you have any favorite baby recipe blends? I'd love to hear some more ideas! 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Re-use

Reuse those clothes or shoes for your kids.  Sometimes I feel my generation is not doing it's best at recycling.  We give past generations grief about how they didn't treat the earth very well, but think about how much they really did recycle.  They didn't need to recycle in the sense that we do now, because they didn't have anything left to recycle.  Old clothes (that were used as hand me downs until they were almost scrap), then became rags to wash windows or cars.  By the time the rag could be "trashed" it had already been used many times over in multiple different ways.  Milk didn't come in a plastic container at the store, but rather a glass one that was re-used.  These are just a couple of ways people reused instead of just buying something.

I'm slowly trying to get back to the re-use, re-use, re-use, until you have gotten all the use out of said item that you can.

Now I was pretty blessed with my first two girls.  They were born almost exactly 2 years apart, which made it really easy to re-use those clothes and shoes from my first.  Yep, little second child got hand me downs.  Now, of course, she got her own clothes from family for birthdays and Christmas and just because, but we didn't need to buy anything new.  You can save so much money on hand me downs.  Clothes can be expensive, but any re-use you can get out of them the better.  Plus the more you are re-using the less garbage we are making.

Shoes too, why get rid of a perfectly good pair of shoes just because they were already worn by your first kid?  Now, I will say Little A is starting to get rough on her shoes as she has started preschool and is older.  I'll be surprised how many will work for Little Miss J, but if anything they can be a back-up or just for things we don't want to mess up her new shoes at.

Another way you can make kids clothes last longer is alter them yourself.  Like I said in my last post about homemade curtains, you can check that our here, I'm not a great sewer, but any bit you can do is helpful.  Altering their clothes can make a shirt that was too short into something different, just by adding a little more fabric.  Again, this isn't something that I'd say I'm particularly good at, but it's something that I'm trying to better at.  Clothes can be repurposed into different clothes.




Thursday, March 1, 2018

Budget, budget, budget




Budget....budget...budget.  I don't think I can say this one enough.  One of the best ways to save money is to budget.  Set a budget and stick as close to it as you can each month.   But, how do you know what your budget should be?

When we decided I was going to stay home, we wanted to make sure we were going to be able to make it.  Nothing like deciding to stay at home and then after a while realizing you have nothing.  Mainly we needed to see where we spent our money and what if we needed to we could cut out.   I briefly talk about this in my intro to this blog, but I thought I'd go a little deeper and make a post about budgeting.

The budgeting challenge:


1. Write down every expense you make, from cash to credit, bills to groceries:

I mean EVERYTHING.  Spent a $ on a piece of candy, write it down.  Found a sweet flea market buy for 25 cents, WRITE. IT. DOWN.
Find a notebook or some scraps of paper and record for about 2-3 months if possible all the expenses that you make.

  ***The budget planner pictured above is from The Happy Planner, I got this as a present and LOVE it!***



2. Start looking at the needs and wants:

Start going through and highlighting all the wants.  Leave the needs alone, things like house insurance or mortgage, or tithes.  Anything though that's something you can live without doing or having, highlight.  Things like, eating out weekly or bi-weekly, cable, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HULU...these add up; especially if you have more than one!


3. Look at the highlighted areas and see where you can cut, or edit:

For example, we use our cell phones because we don't have a land line, but we looked around to see if we could find a cheaper version that still got us calls and texting.
Also we decided we could cut out Netflix and Amazon prime because we didn't use them that often to make it worth paying for them.  But rather, would just check out movies or TV shows at our local library instead.
There's always something that you can cut if you are really serious about saving money.  Let me say that again, There's ALWAYS something you CAN CUT, if you're REALLY SERIOUS about SAVING MONEY.  Those extras will always be there.  I think that's the important thing to remember, this savings is only for a season. While after you save the money you want or grow out of the season you need to be saving in you can always start to add those extras back in.  Although I'll be honest with you, after you've lived without them for a while you realize you don't miss them that much.  But to make you feel better, just remember it's a season of time.  And the more you are able to cut out, the faster you save and the quicker you can add those things back in if you want.


4.  You need to make sure that you are only spending what you're making:

Realize how much you make in a month and make sure you aren't spending over that.  If you are, you need to make some cuts.  This sounds so basic, but it can be difficult.  That's why it's important to write everything down for a few months so you can see if you are truly living in your means.  We didn't relize when I started staying at home that we weren't living in our means for awhile.  I mean we don't really spend a lot, but those Walmart runs started to add up and writing everything down really helped us see where we were literally just wasting money.


5. Make your budget:

Now that you have 2-3 months of your expenses written down and you've gone through to see if you're spending more that you make or realizing you're not saving as much as you'd like, now's the time to set a budget.  You can go about this different ways.  One way we do it that we found works best for us is to make funds in our savings.  This is just something that we have,  whereas the bank just has the final number.  Say we have 10,000 in our savings, maybe 2,000 of that is for insurance, and 300 is for Christmas, and so forth.  You just need to decide based on what you make in a month, how much you want to put in each fund and how to save that. 

This is just the start to your budget planning, but tracking what you spend and setting places for your money to go is very helpful!  Hope this helps you get started!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Homemade Curtains



Now, I have to start off by saying, I'm not a sewer.  My sister got that talent in the family and she is awesome at it! I however, can do a few home projects.  But, with that there are things that anyone can do even if you aren't an awesome sewer, you just need some basics.

Sewing Machine
Thread
Fabric
Project :)

Something that I can sew and save a little money on, are curtains.  Curtains are pretty forgiveable when it comes to sewing.

I started by making some for our basement.  I wanted to make it a little nicer there, but didn't care too much if they didn't turn out well.  This was the perfect place for me to practice.

So far, I've made curtains for all the windows in our basement.  Plus, I've started making a curtain like door for the pantry.  It's one of the rooms we keep the cat litter in so the curtain will help block the smell.  Each new curtain I make, I improve my sewing skills a little more.

Sewing your own items, whether it be clothes, or curtains any little bit is helpful.

I'll post my simple step process in a few posts, my sewing machine is down for bit, but stay tuned for my how-to.  



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