Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Mason turns 6!!

It's hard to believe that my baby turned 6 on the 19th! Where does the time go? 
We had a weekend planned in the Poconos but had to cancel it because of snow. We didn't let a little snow stop us from celebrating. He has definitely matured this year and has come out of his shell. More of his progress later. We asked him what he wanted to do since we couldn't go on our trip and he said play outside and sled with his cousins, so that's what we did. 
I planned a baseball theme party in honor of his love for baseball. To be honest, who doesn't want baseball food during a snow storm, right? I got to work planning and borrowing ideas from Pinterest and Etsy. I love Etsy. You can find great homemade, local vendors for almost everything you need.  The baseball cake topper from, Strut Our Stuff, was engraved with his name and also comes with a stand for a keep sake.  The baseball Happy Birthday banner, is from Party Pop Banners and was perfect for the theme. I have always ordered him a birthday shirt from Etsy since his first birthday. I found the cutest baseball tee from the shop, Purple Elephant STL. The shirt was great quality and the screen printing held up to washing, which is a plus! I also ordered an instant download printable baseball tags from Digi Doodling, for the party gifts. Easy and editable to enter each child's name. Pinterest had some great examples of party gifts and were super easy to find in stores. 
Now the cake, I am NOT a baker. I don't find interest in baking and usually purchase from a local baker. But I found on Pinterest, a Pinata cake, that I knew he would love. If you don't know what a Pinata cake is, its a 3 layer cake with some sort of candy surprise in the middle. When you cut it open the candies fall out kinda like a pinata. Well, I attempted the Pinata cake and it was a complete fail. I bought box cake mixes because there was no way I was going to attempt to make them by scratch. I ordered white, blue and red M&M's from Amazon as the candy filler. It was a complete fail. For some  reason the cakes fell apart so it was hard to frost them. I did get the candy in the inside of the cake. Everyone said the cake was great. Looks can be deceiving I guess.  
We had the party around noon so we had lunch like you would have at the baseball field. Hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, chips, salad, salt potatoes and all the fixings. It really made it seem like a Saturday at the ball field!
Mason had asked for a hover board for Christmas and Santa didn't come through. We decided to get it for him for his birthday. After some apprehension and research, I found a hover board on Amazon that is for 5-10 year old kids.  I thought he could practice inside for the winter and then hopefully he will be a pro by the time the weather breaks. Or so I hope. I also ordered him a helmet, knee and elbow pads just for added security. 
Birthdays always require a lot of work planning and to make sure the day is super great for him. I want him to always remember the birthday parties that he had and that birthdays are a celebration!! 
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Friday, January 25, 2019

5 on Friday!!

I'm continuing to share my favorites on Friday, but I've simplified them down to FIVE so I can share them with you every week!! This Friday I'm sharing the reading and blue light glasses I've been using  and leggings that I discovered. These are good so stick around! 
READING GLASSES/BLUE LIGHT BLOCKING GLASSES -------- I never thought reading glasses would be in my future. Well, just a word of advice, when you turn 40 all things go down hill. If you haven't ever checked out reading glasses, they aren't very cute. I found a couple of pairs at Loft that are super cute. Today, you can use the code YESPLEASE and you'll receive 40% off, which brings them under $15!!! 
I've always used blue light blocking glasses. My jobs have always consisted of using the computer for most of the day. I would get horrible headaches and blurry vision. Recently, that has started again whenever I look at a computer screen with my contacts on. You can find these anywhere but I found a cute pair from Amazon for cheap. I also found this pair that are reading and blue light glasses combined.  
DRY BAR TRIPLE SEC 3-IN-1--------- I LOVE this stuff. If not only because it texturizes and refreshes your hair, the smell is amazing. I don't use dry shampoo and I can't go without washing my hair for more than 3 days. I usually use Dry Bar Triple Sec on the second day if I want more texturizing to my top knot or pony tail. It doesn't leave your hair greasy or looking white like dry shampoos do. You can purchase this at or Ulta
COLUMBIA BOOTS---- Boots are a staple part of everyone's wardrobe during winter in New York. You could leave for work with no snow and 4 hours later could have 4 inches on the ground. These boots are great if you don't like clunky boots for everyday wear. I have had every boot imaginable from Sorel's to Uggs to Hunters. These boots fit great and keep my feet dry and warm. Plus, they are lightweight so you can carry them in your bag for work or in a suit case for travel. 
JOURNAL PLANNING PENS---- I found these pens on Amazon and I'm loving them for writing in my planner and on my desk calendar. I use a different color for each task, appointment, or something on my to do list. They are great quality and only $9.99 on Prime. 
FABLETICS LEGGINGS------These leggings are the best! I saw them all over Instagram and thought I would try them. I wanted a pair that I could ride the cycle bike on and something that was a little out of my comfort zone. I got them when there was a sale 2 for $24 and that sale is still on now!! Which is a steal. I got this camo pair for working out in. The other pair I chose were the high-waisted Solid Powerhold 7/8 legging.  This is my favorite pair. I like that they are high waisted and come above the ankle. I have a hard time finding leggings that aren't to long. I will definitely order another pair of the high waisted pair. The fit of these leggings are great and have a bit of thickness to them, which I like! 
Have a great weekend!! 
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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Earn extra cash? Yes, please!

With the new year brings new expenses from the holidays. Earning extra cash is helpful to pay off those credit cards, buy new fitness equipment or join the gym.  I want to share some of the ways I make extra cash. Now, I am not getting rich off from these ideas, but it definitely helps do the things I want to do with other expenses. 
Once Upon A Child: Mason grows out of his clothes fairly fast. He seems to always need new shoes/sneakers and pants. Most of the clothes are gently used and in good shape. I like to separate play clothes from good clothes for resale purposes. A good resource I use is Once Upon A Child. They have a great service that I have used for a few years now.  Once Upon A Child takes gently used or new clothing, toys, furniture and equipment. The items have to be next to new, good quality, clean and have been checked for safety standards. I take the items washed and folded, usually in a bin or tub to one of the locations. They will look over the clothes and pay you for what they want to keep or you can choose store credit. I have really good luck with them. I will say that you will want to take items that are of that specific season. They tend to buy back more if you have that season. 

Poshmark: I also love using Poshmark.  Poshmark is a digital marketplace where people can buy and sell new or used clothing, shoes and accessories. It is a great way to earn a little bit of cash for items that still have life in them. I will say, it does take time to list the items. In the past, I have listed items In this new year, I plan to list the items right when I find that we won't be using them any longer. In the past, I put them all in a pile and took a day to list everything. Don't do it that way. The only downside to using Poshmark, is that they take a percentage so sometimes it is not worth selling the item because you may not make any money. I also like purchasing from Poshmark. I have found some really good deals on name brand items. If you think this would be something you're interested in, head over to Poshmark, sign up and use my name as a referral and you'll receive a credit of $5. 

EbatesIf you know me, you know I love to shop. If I could get paid to shop and make it my career, I totally would. Well, I found a service that will pay you to shop. Everyone is going to shop for something sometime in their life, right? Why not get paid to shop. Ebates allows you to shop at more than 2,500 stores and while earning cash back on purchases. How cool is that? You will get paid every 3 months and as an added incentive for joining, you will get a cash bonus. How does it work? Ebates makes a commission off from different retailers and sites. They in turn, split the commission with you. Becoming a member is free and they have a convenient app you can download. Retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Macy's, Target, Kohl's, Lowes, Expedia and Sephora are just a few that participate with Ebates. If you sign up today, you will get a $10 cash bonus. 

IbottaI also like to use Ibotta which gives you cash back on everyday purchases. Download the app, complete simple tasks to find offers, buy the products at the participating stores, scan your receipt with the Ibotta app, and redeem your offers. 
Ibotta is offering a $10 welcome bonus when you sign up. 
The same concept is true to earn cash back on purchases with the Walmart app, Target's Cartwheel app, Walgreens and most grocery stores. For local purchases in New York, Wegmans has an app that gives you coupons and cash back on purchases as well. Almost every retailer offers some sort of cash back or a discount app. 

Home based businesses are a great way to earn some extra money and could potentially become part time or full time income for your family. Most start ups require little or no capital to start and little investment. The potential growth is endless and really up to you. When I decided to stay home with Mason, I was sold jewelry for a few years and loved it. I was able to make some income for my family and have some time outside of the house. I have friends who sell oils, home and kitchen products, jewelry and cosmetics. 
I hope this helps!! Let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions.
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Saturday, January 5, 2019

New Year Plan!!

Happy 2019!! I love a new year. It is a clean slate to so many possibilities. I love revamping and de-cluttering everything.  Home and office reorganization, new workout/diet plans, reaching new personal goals, and new clean calendar are what I'm focusing on this year. Who else gets excited about a new year? I wanted to share some of what I am doing this year to start fresh and recharge. 
1.  Organize everything: I LOVE things organized, from everything in my home to weekly planning. I try to organize all year long and day by day so that I don't have a ton to do at the beginning of a new year. This year I am decided to try out the Home Organization Challenge with A Bowl Full of Lemons, with Toni Hammersley. I purchased her book about a year ago and read it but didn't really put her plan into motion. The book is a great reference guide to the challenge. So I thought no better time then the new year to start! The challenge consists of 14 week (1/5-4/6/19). Each week focuses on one room in the home. There is also a facebook page that allows you to follow along with others that are participating in the challenge as well. 

The one organizational piece I need to work on is, organizing papers such as bills, receipts, mortgage papers and insurance paperwork. I stink at this. It is such a tedious task that I usually just throw it into a bin and wait for it to pile up. This past year we were looking for some important insurance paperwork and couldn't find it. We ended up having to call and request it waiting around 2 weeks to receive it. That was a wake up call. So, I ordered this filing cabinet from Ikea  for monthly paper filing and this filing box for yearly papers. 
2. Organized and Planned Workouts: I definitely need to make this a priority this year. Everyone who knows me, knows I am not a fan of working out. I hate strength training and gyms. I would rather run, walk or play an organized sport for workouts. I really need to strengthen my core and just improve my overall fitness.  We have an elliptical but it just doesn't interest me. I would really love a Peloton bike, who wouldn't right? But that is definitely out of our price range. I found this cycling bike on Amazon that I need to talk my husband in to getting. Then you can download the Peloton app and use all of there cycling trainers.  Plus, they offer running, walking and other workouts. 
As far as dieting, I hate diets. I do however love the concept of Weight Watchers. It keeps me on track and shows you just how bad a certain food it because of the points value. Right now, if you can join for free with the purchase of a monthly subscription. 
3. Take time to slow down: I am always on the go. I either have things that I need to do or that I "think" that I need to do. I go from one thing to another and never take time to slow down. Last year, I started painting the bedrooms in our house along with my office. Then when my Mom moved out, we made the additional room into a playroom/bonus room so I painted and redid that, along with the bathroom that is connected to the room. After that, I sanded and painted our kitchen cabinets. I just never take time to sit. I am going to make more of an effort to relax, maybe read a book or just enjoy more family time. 
4. Reach personal goals: My goal for this year is get back to work. I loved having a career. I spent most of my twenties and thirties working, moving up the ladder and making that a priority. When I found out I was pregnant, it was important to both Joe and I that I stay home with Mason until he was of school age. We thought that would be last year but we had decided to hold him back a year, that meant, one more year at home with him. I have really enjoyed being at home with him and me being the one to mold him, but I really miss working as well. My goal has always been to be successful and to help make money for our family so we can go on family trips, move to a bigger home with more land and just live comfortably. 
5. Planning: I love planners. I usually have about 2-3 planners a year that I start and each has different things in them from meal planning, to budgeting, to day to day activities and appointments. Since I am following the weight watchers plan, I found this great Recollections meal planner at Michaels. It includes a shopping list and pantry inventory along with meals for the week. I also picked up the regular calendar one for what I have scheduled to teach Mason. Michaels also has others that include, budget, faith, to do and a journal. They were $5.99 in the scrapping booking area. 

The Day Designer Planner is one of my favorites. Last year, I used a different one and it just wasn't the same. I like to plan my days along with a to do list. I love that it has a section to enter what you need to do at every hour of the day. It is a bit pricey but definitely worth it. 
I hope that gave you a little motivation. Stay tuned for more posts on my workouts, meal planning and receipes. If you have anything you would like me to write about, leave it in the comments! 

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