Friday, April 30, 2010

Show Us Your Life-Money Saving Tips

Kelly's Korner is doing Show Us Your Life-Money Saving Tips this week.   I figured the best thing to do was give you a list of the top ten ways I save money.  Some of them are obvious things that everyone probably does and some of them might be new ideas. 
1.  I frequent TJ Maxx, Marshall's and Home Goods for great deals.  By frequent I mean, I am there 3 or 4 times a week. Some people don't have the patience to shop at these stores because it can be overwhelming but I promise if you take the time it is always worth it.  
2.  Craig's List.  I know our friends can't believe it but Adam check's Craig's list every night.  We have saved so much money shopping via Craig's List. I was prepared to spend $3000 plus on a new Pottery Barn sectional and found the exact one on Craig's List.  6 months old owned by a couple that decided to move in to a condo uptown for a few years before they had kids.   6 pieces with two sets of covers. $600.  A freakin' steal.  
3.  Coupons. I haven't always been good at this until recently I was behind a woman at our local grocery store who's total was $476 and after coupons her total was less than $100.  I usually save up for triple coupon week and save a ton!!!
4.  Costco.  My mom and I recently started buying in bulk together. I think this is only good for small families.  I obviously don't need all that food for the three of us and my mom and dad are alone as well.  So what we do is, we split it.  We buy meat and split it and freeze it.  We do the same with our paper goods.  It saves us both a ton of money.  
5.  I have expensive taste.  There are some things you just can't skimp on but in most cases, you can find copy cats of pricier items.   I usually Google what I am looking for and can find numerous less expensive options.  Some times people just don't realize that with a little research you can save a ton of money.
6.  Outlet shopping.  We are lucky enough to be less than an hour from two different outlet malls.  Concord Mills and Prime Outlets Gaffney.  This is great because they have all the stores we love and we get great deals on our clothes.  I love the quality of Gap Kids but just cannot fathom spending that kind of money for children's clothes.  The outlet is great.  Most times, they have the same stuff in the outlet as they do in stores.  Same goes for Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Brooks Brothers,  Motherhood Maternity, Nine West, Coach and so many more.   We do almost all of our shopping here.   It makes so much sense. 
7.   Doing things around the house.  I am so lucky because Adam can basically do anything.  If he doesn't already know how to do something, he finds out how. We save so so so much money doing things around our house ourselves.  I was so surprised at how easy it was to do tile work.  I watched a twenty minute YouTube video and voila I could do it.  Before Adam, I would have paid someone and never thought about it twice.  
8.  My budget. My budget. My budget. I am probably the only person left on the planet that balances a check book.   My mom does it and she has managed to save a ton of money by setting a budget for herself every two weeks so I figured I would sit down and let her teach me how to do it and I'm never going back.   Staying on a budget is saving us tons of money. 
9.  Negotiate. In today's economy everything can be negotiated.  We negotiate everything.  Our cell phone bill, our cable bill, our plumber, coupon expiration dates.  More often than not, if you just ask people will work with you on the price of things.  Everyone is struggling and people understand.
10.  Last but not least.  We have no credit cards.  Therefore we have no debt with the exception of our mortgage and monthly bills.  If it isn't in the budget and if we don't have cash we don't buy it. I think so many people get in trouble financially with credit cards.  If you have the money to back up credit cards it's a different story. I just hear of so many people buying things they would never be able to afford.
So that's it. Those are my money saving tips.  I realize some of them make perfect sense and most people probably already practice them.  I pride myself on how nice our home is and how well I have done it on a serious budget.  I never, ever pay full price for anything.  Remember everything goes on sale and if it doesn't you don't need it that bad.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pink Eye, Burp Cloths and Spike

I feel like I have been out of the blogging world for so long! I have been so busy getting ready for Candace's baby shower all I really have time to do shower and sleep.  Seriously. I was sewing until 4am this morning and I would have gone longer but my needle broke on my sewing machine!!!  It was a sign I needed sleep. 
This is what I've been working on...
That's only half of them.  Cloth diapers made in to the cutest burp cloths you'll ever see.
Aren't the fabrics adorable? I am almost positive I am starting an Etsy shop.  I am loving sewing and I've been making tons of stuff.  I'll have to do a whole post soon. If anyone a set of burp cloths for a friend having a baby, let me know. I can get girly fabrics as well!
My poor baby had pink eye this week.  That's what I get for sending him to school with all those kids and germs. Haha. JK. It happens. 
Aidan still fits in to a couple of 24 month onesies and I loooove to put him in them for bed.  They make me feel like he is still a baby.
Cutie patootie. Eating a Popsicle. 
His allergies have been pretty bad this week too.  He has spent a lot of time lounging on the sofa.  I tried to snap a pic of our new kitty lounging with Adam while Aidan sleeps. You can BARELY see him in the bottom right corner. We named him Spike and he's a great kitty.

I hope everyone is having a great week!!!  xoxo

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I have to get on my soap box for one minute...

I read a whole lot of really great mommy blogs.  There is one in particular that I love because I kind of think of her and her husband being a little bit like Adam and I.  They were and still are stupid in love with their little girl when she was born.  I felt like Adam and I were stopping people in the streets when we had Aidan to tell them our story.   I will still read the blog because I love it. I don't think it was meant to hurt anyone's feelings or to single people out. Sometimes it just happens.

Well, this past week, she invited moms to tell their birth stories on her blog.  Sounds fun right? I was all over it.   I love talking to other moms about having Aidan.  It is the most incredible thing you could ever experience.  So, I write my birth story and get ready to post it to her blog and then I look a little closer.  She is inviting women who gave birth NATURALLY to tell their birth stories.  Oh.   So needless to say I didn't post my story because I didn't give birth naturally. 

I've been thinking about it a little bit this weekend.  Probably a little bit too much but I guess it got under my skin a little bit.  This is where I come from...

I really do admire moms that can give birth drug free.  I really do. My mom went drug free with all three of us.  I honestly don't know how she or anyone else can do it.  I think it's amazing.  I could never do it.  I tried.  I was in labor for 5 hours before they could convince me to get an epidural.  BUT just because I had an epidural doesn't make my birth story any less special than the person who didn't. I worked just as hard to grow Aidan inside me as they did and my body did as much work as theirs.  I was totally aware of everything that was going on.  Personally, if I had endured all of that pain, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed the experience as much.  For those of you that haven't had children, don't believe that because you have an epidural you are pain free and clueless to what's going on.  I still felt A LOT and was aware of everything going on around me. I am not the type of person that can calm myself down mentally like that to focus on the prize and not the pain.  Every experience is different and you will never know how it's going to be until you get there. Being pregnant and giving birth was the most fun I've ever had.  The process is still painful. 

So the point is, to me, it doesn't matter how you welcomed your baby in to this world, you did it.  Growing a baby is no easy job.  You participated in a miracle.  Everyone's story is special.  Natural or not. 

I'll get down now.

Design Daydreams-Bathroom Edition

We have been wanting to remodel our bathroom (yes we only have one) in our house since we moved in  for some time now.  I have seen lots of things I like but I can't decide on what exactly I want to do.  I know we have to keep our bath tub for the sole purpose of if we ever sell before adding on, we won't loose value for only having a shower.  There has been some talk about moving things around but honestly, I would like to save a couple bucks and keep the bathroom in the same configuration. I typically win BUT you never know.  Here are some ideas I have seen that I like.

This bathroom is very similar to what ours looks like now.  The bathroom is set up the exact same. I think that is why I like this picture because this look is very do-able for us. All we would need is a new furniture style vanity, subway tile and wainscotting for the bottom half of the wall and VOILA. This look.
We talked about taking out our linen closet and putting the toilet where it currently is with a half wall to the shower so this is why this picture stood out to me. I love this tile too. That way we could put a double vanity in on the opposite wall.  That sounds so dreamy. My own sink. It's the little things I tell ya.
This is such a practical bathroom. Simple stock vanity.  Easy to do. 
This is a new "vanity" Pottery Barn came out with this season. Our bathroom is so small now and we have a pedestal sink so there is noooo storage.   There is shelving behind the fabric on this one and I think that is such a cute idea. 
 What would a design blog post be without pictures of Dream Bathrooms. 
Do not ask me why I love this bathroom, I just love that tub.  And the ceiling. And the windows.
I would love this bathroom in darker wood cabinetry.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Show Us Your Life Fridays-How I Met Adam

I am thoroughly annoyed with my computer tonight. This is my third attempt to post this. I am sure there is some user error involved but I have deleted this post 3 times now! I am sure people are tired of seeing my name on Kelly's list.  I did want to share with y'all how I met my hubby though! 

Anyways, this week at Kelly's Korner the topic for Show Us  Your Life is How You Met Your Husband/Fiance. 

My story is short and sweet.  I dated a guy for four years and we broke up. I dated all the wrong guys for about a year afterwards.  I was convinced I was never going to find someone to truely love me.  I was feeling sorry for myself and needed a change of scenery.  So, I started hanging out with some of my brother's friends.  I knew some of the guys and they were nice so I figured what the heck.  They ended up being just what I needed.

My best friend Amanda started dating one of my brother's friend's Mike around Christmas. The three of us made plans one night to get drinks and Adam joined us.  He was extremely sweet but I wasn't interested at all.  I was border line rude to him honestly. I was so scared to get hurt.  

Boy Meets Girl

New Years rolled around and we decided we would go to a party at our favorite local bar.  Adam showed up with our friends.  I found myself standing around wanting to talk to him so I just went for it.  Thankfully he had forgotten that I was less than friendly a few weeks prior.  I instantly had a huge crush. I fought the relationship for quite a while until one day my parents door bell rang and Adam had sent me flowers.  The card read "Just something to make you happy like You make me."  My mom looked at me and said "You've got to give him a chance."  Once I let my wall down, the relationship was and still is, so easy.  I felt more comfortable with him in a month that I did in 4 yrs with my ex.  I knew this had to be good. He made me feel amazing.

This is the only picture on my computer from that New Years Eve.  Adam is on the left.  In the corner.  Haha.
Very early in our relationship.

I was his first serious girlfriend. Isn't that crazy?  He tells me that's how he knew I was "the one".  He could see himself with me forever.  He had planned on asking me to marry him at a Red Sox game the weekend my cousin Brianne was getting married in Boston.  My mom, randomly brought up how terrible it is when people get engaged during other peoples weddings (because it can steal their thunder) and so Adam decided he would just do it a few days before our trip.  My dad was holding the ring for him for three months!!!  He asked me to dinner one night and popped the question in the car!   It was perfect and so unexpected!! I was in shock.  Later we found out my dad proposed to my mom in the car. I thought that was sweet.  I could not believe my mom and dad had been holding the ring for that long and hadn't looked at it. My mom said she didn't think it was fair to see it before me.

I consider Adam to be such a huge, huge blessing in my life. I can't imagine not being married to my best friend.  He's my biggest fan.  I am honored to be his wife and grateful he chose me.  He's an incredible man and a dream husband.  I love you babe.  xoxo

This Song really hits home for me when I think about our relationship.   Well really, I cry everytime I hear it.  I can't wait to read everyone else's story's and I apologize for posting this so many unsuccessful times on Kelly's Blog. Hopefully this will be the last time!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another Post About A Baby

Aidan has been spending a lot of time next door at our neighbors house recently.  They are a lovely family and they have a little girl Kai and a little boy named (coincidentally) Aiden.  Spelt differently but the same name as our little man.  Anyways, I think that he is just starting to understand the whole brother/sister scenario because just yesterday he started asking for a "seesta".  It took me forever to figure out what he was saying and I kept asking him over and over "babe, what are you talking about, can you say it again for Mommy" and he explained  "Kai, Aiden's seesta."   "Ohhhh you want a sister?"..."Yes Mommy."    I asked him lots of questions about his "seesta" and he had great answers for them all.  He will take a BABY seesta not a big one and she can sleep in his room if she HAS to but not in his bed, she has to get her own.  He would also take a brother bruffer but they will not be sharing his fire trucks or choo choo trains.  He did also say 100 times, that he is my baby.  Later that night Adam and I were laying in bed and he snuck in to give us some kisses and Adam said to him "Aidan you know if you want a brother or sister Mommy will have to have a baby in her belly."  Aidan got really confused looking, climbed on top of me, pulled up my shirt and started talking in to my belly button.  We were cracking up and he was dead serious.  "Seesta in there Dada?".    "Nope, sorry Bud, no sister in there yet."  "Otay Dada."  He climbs off. Obviously he doesn't totally know what he is talking about but I do think he would thoroughly enjoy someone to play with all the time.  I can see how much he enjoys interacting with other kids and I think he would just be the perfect big brother.  So goes another baby story about our growing family that currently isn't working on growing.  At least until 2011. Or until an accident happens. Haha.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No Subject

I am the worst at coming up with subject lines in my posts and I am really just at a loss for words tonight as well.  We received a very, very sad email tonight, informing us that one of Aidan's classmates, Patrick's father Sean, passed away.  Obviously my head has been in the clouds because it happened on Good Friday. 

The email was to ask all of us parent's to sign up for meals for he and his mother Cathy.  Of course, I signed up to make the only two meals I can't screw up and emailed Cathy to see if she would like for Adam to mow her lawn for as long as she needs.  I am hoping she accepts. 

I just can't tell y'all how heavy this weighs on my heart. I was at my girlfriend Candace's tonight helping her hang a door on her nursery when I got the email.   I am not sure how he passed but I just cannot imagine what his poor wife is going through. I cannot imagine my life without my husband.    I cried and prayed my whole ride home.  I asked God to watch over this mother and child and thanked him so much for all the blessings in my life and for a healthy husband and son.   I have been lucky enough to loose very few people close to me in my life.  It breaks my heart to know that Patrick will grow up not knowing his dad.   He seemed like the greatest dad. Adam and I often commented how every morning you could always see them coming because Patrick was always on his dad's shoulders.  It was a great friendship they had and you could see the love and pride he had for his son when he hugged him goodbye in the mornings.  He and Adam exchanged jokes about our boys numerous mornings.   I read his obituary and from the sounds of it, he was an incredible human being and I am sure he will be missed.  His family was asking friends and family to reach out to the people in their lives tonight and tell them how much they love them.  It just goes to show another day is never promised to us.  We are here for such a short amount of time.  Instead of reading blogs tonight, I'm going to get in bed and cuddle up with my husband and son. 

Please if you remember, say a prayer for this family.  We never know when it could be one of us.  xoxoxox

Monday, April 19, 2010

Interior Design Dreams-Green Velvet Sofa Edition

                                      Saw this on Craig's List tonight ...


Someday when I have endless rooms to design and decorate...

Best and Worst Dressed @ the ACM Awards

Y'all have to know since I'm a southern girl and love my country music, I sat at home tonight and watched the ACM's.  Could you believe Taylor Swift did not win a single award? I was shocked and I think she was more shocked. 

The BEST List:
It could be a possibility no one will agree with me, but I liked Julianne Hough's dress.  The silver thing was weird but it didn't ruin the dress for me.
Taylor Swift always looks so pretty and age apropriate.
Miranda Lambert's dress was gorgeous. I love the color.
Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum dress was such a great spring color.
LeAnn Rimes dress was one of my very favorites but why did she have to cheat on her hubby?

Jewel looks amazing. 

The WORST List:

Would it kill Gretchen Wilson to dress up for anything???
Allison Demarcus (CMT Insider) is so pretty but I think this dress would have been a thousand times prettier minus the sleeves.  I love the belt.
This is just funny. And scary.
Kristen Bell has a rocking body but I think this dress is just drab.
The color is beautiful but I didn't think this did much for Camila Alves.  And why did Matthew give Carrie his boots?
Nicole, Nicole, Nicole...What were you thinking???? 


HATE her Orange Carpet Attire
BUT I LOVED This dress she accepted her award in:

So that's what I did with my Sunday night.  Hope everyone had a great weekend!!! xoxo

Sunday, April 18, 2010

OPI Nail Color Elephantastic Pink

What was my spring time color before I met you?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

How Did I Get Here?

I feel like I have written this post a few different ways in the past but I always love thinking about how we got to where we are in such a short amount of time. 

I was such a planner for so long.  I was never going to be married before thirty and kids were no where in sight.  I don't even know if I wanted babies way back then.  4 years ago, I met Adam and things really began to change.  I bought my first house, we moved in.  We started our life together and we were busy making this little house a home and enjoying our young, fun and very new relationship.  Three months later I was pregnant and scared out of my mind!!! Bye, bye planner!  Haha.  Nine short months later the greatest thing in the world happened to us.  The two of us stared wide eyes in the delivery room at this miracle we had created together.  We were still young and still in love but now we had a whole new perfect little thing to love.  We were a family of three.  Our love for eachother grew leaps and bounds and we were having the time of our lives with a new baby.  Ocotober came and we were married.  Already two and a half years ago!  Time flies when your having fun I guess. 

Here we are four years in to our relationship and nearing Aidan's third birthday and I'd rather figure it out day by day with these two than plan anything.  I love how things have happened and the story of how we became the Harvey's.  I wouldn't change it for the world.  I look forward to thinking back and writing posts about when it was just the three of us.  But in the meantime, I am going to enjoy this Friday night watching Disney movies with my boys.  I have never been as happy as I am right here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Show Us Your Life Fridays

Show Us Your Life at Kelly's Korner is back this week and the topic is Teacher's Gift Ideas.  This is my first year having a child in "school".   If you want to call it that.  So, if you think I'm getting crazy or not doing enough please let me know.  BUT, these are the women I rely on to take care of my child two days a week and he has grown immensly since being in their care and for that these things won't ever be enough!

So, these are my thoughts.  (For Christmas I had planned on giving them each personalized Christmas ornaments but Aidan was sick the entire month of December so we didn't get around to it.  I figured I could make up for it at the end of the year.)

I am going to have small totes monogrammed. I think they are great especially for teachers who lug so much back and forth to the classroom.

Inside I would like to just put a picture of Aidan with each of his teachers so that I can hand paint some cute little frames for them and put the picture inside.  Of course I don't expect them to keep his picture in there. 

I was thinking the best thing to do is pamper them at this point in the year so they will all be getting mani/pedi giftcertificates.  I mean who doesn't love that?  And of course a hand written Thank You note. I would be thrilled to get this if I were a teacher!!!

I really can't wait to hear what everyone else has for ideas.  I read some of the entries already from teachers and apparently gift cards are the way to go!!!

These are the totes I am trying to decide between...both are cute!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Great Deals

I love summer dresses.  I typically try to spend as little as possible on them because I wear them so much, they never seem to make it to another summer.  Today and yesterday, I picked up this dress in 3 colors. I know, it might be overkill but it's so cute and CHEAP!

I had to order the black online, but I got it in a rasberry color and white with grey, navy and yellow stripes.  The white one was only 9 bucks!!!  Now I just need a new strapless bra!!! 

I am thinking about buying this purse. It's only $16.50 @ Old Navy !  I just can't decide on which color.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I Did Something Bad Today

Well  really, I did two bad things but the second isn't as important to me as the first.  I had my first "anonymous" comment left on my blog and I immediately took it personally.  Me? Take something personally? No way!  Insert sarcasm. I automatically assumed because someone put an anonymous comment on my blog with a link to a story about lazy parents who let their kids go crazy eating, that I too was perceived as bad parent. 

So, what did I do? I immediately called my mother and all of my closest friends.  You know the ones who will always tell me the truth, and asked them if they thought I sucked at parenting.  Every single one of them replied "no way, your great April."  Still wasn't feeling better.  

Then I thought about it for a little while and came to my senses.  I chose to put my life on the internet and share things with people that aren't always pretty and once in a while I'm going to get called out on not doing the best job.  The SAHM thing is my whole deal, so I take it personally when people think I am doing a bad job at it, or I am assuming that they think that.  I take pride in the how Aidan is turning out.  I am sure the link was meant to be helpful and not hurtful.  I can't let silly comments bother me.  I have way to much work to do trying to figure out how to get my kid to stop snacking. xoxoxoxo

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mobile Uploads

I mean how cute is this kid?
I just die for this face.

Have you seen his pic with the Easter Bunny? They would seat him right next to a trash can.

Yesterday we were out on the boat all day. Aidan wore his fish towel.
He was apparently hungry.

My hot hubby.

Watching the kiddos.

Oh boy. One day we were in Shelby visiting some of Adam's friends from high school and we saw this stand selling lemonade and FUNNEL CAKES!

The name of the place was "Fat & Sassy"

For some reason I was in such a mood for a funnel cake. Last thing I need to be eating.

It grosses me out now.

This is now what Aidan does when he wants his diaper changed.

That's it for now. xoxo