Friday, March 20, 2009

A BIG Step

As many of you know, Phil and I have been talking/thinking/wanting to move out to the Denver area eventually where the market for a house is a bit more affordable than where we currently live and it's easier (and more affordable) to see family. So far, the Lord hasn't opened the door for us to move there and has continued to show us that this is where He would have us stay for the time-being.


At this point, it looks like we'll be staying put in this area for a bit longer. Phil and I have an opportunity to purchase a home that is currently under construction. This home was quite litterally just recently dropped in our lap and although we didn't think we'd pursue it, we agreed to take a look at it. After walking through it, and the contractor's home (which is nearly identical to the one we're looking at, just flipped) we both felt excited at this opportunity. After talking it over and praying about it, we'd decided to pursue the purchase of this home. Although this home may or may not be ours someday, I wanted to share it with you, my blog readers, in-part to ask for suggestions. Since the structure is already up, we can't make changes to that, however, we will be able to choose many inside options as well as the outside paint colors. We haven't the foggiest idea where to begin as we've rented places since we were married. (Although we've talkked about what we'd like in a home someday...it's not quite the same). I know we'll have a lot of decisions to make in a short amount of time...if we do end up signing the contract which at this point, we're planning on doing.


So, my question is, do any of you have any suggestions of things we should look into? Things you have in your home that you absolutely love or hate? Paint colors that you love. This is a three-floor single-family home. Main level, upstairs with 3 bedrooms, and basement with one bedroom, a large open space and a laundry room. Oh, and let me know if you have any warnings/information for first time homebuyers.

This is the side-view of the contractor's home. Nearly idential to "ours" but flipped.

The side view of the home under construction.

Front-view of contractor's home. We can pick the siding color but it would essentially, look very similar.
Front-view of "our" home.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

When I Grow Up, I'm Going to Be...

An ASTRONAUT!!! or maybe a CHEF!!!Dreaming of the future. Taeya's such a sweet little girl and has so much fun playing with items she finds in the world around her. She's always full of giggles and smiles. Phil and I love watching her grow and mature a little more every day.

Taeya loves racing around pushing (or riding on) her giraffe. She actually sits on the rear wheel when she rides. Phil calls her his low-rider girl.

She's becoming such a big girl she can even eat her sandwiches whole. What's happening to my baby?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cutting Cost Websites

***EDIT: I've added two more websites that I just discovered this week!

I have been fighting to save money however I can for our little household. I feel like I have been pretty successful for the rural area I live in. I don't have access to some of the super-saver stores like Walgreens, CVS or stores that double or triple coupons. However, I have still managed to average 40-60%+ savings on a regular basis at our local grocery store. I have been sharing some of my money saving tips with friends here and there and I am writing this post to compile a list of the websites I use, enjoy or recommend. Check them out if you have time!

NEW: Cellfire.com-very similar to shortcuts.com. Electronic coupons that you select online and are automatically taken off at the register in select stores.

NEW: P & G eSaver-another electronic coupon site; similar to cellfire and shortcuts.

Couponmom.com--This is by far my favorite website. It makes sense of my coupons and is what makes it possible for me to save so much on my grocery bill each month. You do have to log-in to use the site but it is completely free and pretty user-friendly. Just be sure to watch the video and/or read their free pamphlet for how their system works.

Shortcuts.com--probably my second favorite site. Electronic coupons that I can add to my grocery store card. When I scan my card to get my store discounts, it automatically takes the discount off my total bill. The biggest plus is that I can use these coupons and STILL use a matching paper coupon...even though my store doesn't double coupons. Every month, I find some that overlap.

Upromise.com--want to earn college savings for yourself, your child, your grandchildren or a distant relative? Sign up now to earn free money! You register your credit cards and grocery cards with them (don't worry, it's safe) and when you shop at certain stores, you get money added to your account. It honestly helps if you download their Upromise toolbar. You'll end up saving more money that way. For example, I scrapbook online at Shutterfly.com. Each time I shop at Shutterfly, 8% of my bill go directly into my upromise account. In one year I saved $81.31. Not a ton of money, but again...it's FREE!

Craigslist.org--Want to find used items for a good price? Furniture, baby items, household items etc? Check out your local area before you buy new. It's better than ebay because people aren't bidding on the items. There's usually one set price. Also, since you should be looking in your area, you don't have to pay shipping.

Freecycle.org--I'm surprised at how many people haven't heard about freecycle. You do have to sign up for your local area and be added. However, everything posted or requested MUST be free. People aren't allowed to ask for payment of any kind. You receive daily/weekly emails (your choice) of items that people are offering for free. If you're looking for something, you can also post a request on freecycle and sometimes you can get what you're looking for for free. The goal is to help keep these items out of our landfills. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

Discountednewspapers.com--Check out this site if you want your Sunday paper for a great deal. I am paying about $32 for a year of newspapers (Saturday/Sunday only). I save MUCH MUCH more than that with the coupons I get from it.

Restaurant.com--a decent way to save a few bucks on eating out. As I live in a more rural area, there is only 1 restaurant in my area that offers a certificate from restaurant.com. You can often get a $25 off certificate for only $2. You need to find the discount codes to use when you pay (I usually find mine at couponmom.com). Take note that in order to use these certificates, you do have to spend money. Usually, it's something like spend $35 or more and save $25 off your total bill excluding tip and alcohol. (That's just one example. Each restaurant can be a little different).

To Save A Penny--I just actually found this site tonight. It's run by a friend on Facebook that I went to college with. She's got some great money-saving tips each week. See her running total for how much she's saved this year on her side-bar! Looks like she does a lot of Walgreens & CVS deals so if you have those stores in your area, be sure to check out her site. She also has other money saving tips for everyone else.

Babycheapskate.com--Posts some great deals on money savings for baby/toddler/child items. There's some good tips, coupons, discussions on there so be sure to check it out if you have a little one.

Mypoints.com--If you purchase things online at all, you might want to sign-up for myspoints.com. As you shop online, you can earn points for purchases at many different websites. You eventually cash in your points for gift cards when you've saved up enough. It takes some time to earn points if you're not a big online spender but it's still possible to earn by taking survey's, visiting webpages, using their printable coupons (which are the same as many other printable coupon websites). Free money never hurts. If you're interested in signing up, would you leave your email address in the comments and I'll send you an invite. I get points if you sign up and earn points so we both win!

Zenni Optical--I haven't had a chance to use this site but I am going to try it out next time my husband or I need new glasses. I just purchased new pairs for BOTH of us before I learned about this site. The blog I found it on said that they purchased glasses from here and they seemed very good in quality and the prices were what you see...very low!

Well, that's the majority of what I have and use. If you have any money-saving websites that you love, please share them. I'm really only interested in free websites so if you have to pay money to join them, I'm not interested. I hope you find some of this information useful. As a stay-at-home-mom, I consider saving money to be part of my job. The money I save is kind of like the money I earn for my family. The best part is, I'm still able to stay home with Taeya and invest in her little life. That, by far, is the best investment of all!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another First

Taeya got her FIRST haircut on Tuesday, March 10. I did it at home with the help of Daddy, Clifford and cheerios. It turned out pretty cute although I need to trim one little section that is still a little too long. She's never had much hair to cut but I didn't like how raggedy it was getting in the back. Now, it's a nice cute little bob that will hopefully grow in a little thicker and less straggly. Pictures to come later as they're still on my camera.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Friends at the Park

Tonight, I babysat my friends' kids for a few hours. We went to the playground nearbye and I brought my camera of course. Here are a few of my favorites of all of the kiddos.
This little one is only 9 days older than Taeya but you'd never know. They are so different in size and he's been walking since about 9 months. We're still waiting for Taeya to walk and she's over 14 months old! (She did take a few steps to Phil and I both last night.)
They both kept pushing each other out of the way so they could be in control of the slide. They had fun putting the pebbles on the slide...and Taeya had fun putting them in her mouth. The two oldest. :) I like this photo.


What'd I tell you!? I don't think she actually swallowed any, but she definitely tasted quite a few.
Swinging on his tummy.
Sweet #3.

She just learned how to pump recently.





We were playing duck, duck, goose and Taeya crawled away. Now, she's thinking we're a little too far away and wants to be closer.
Her pretty shoes she wore today. I love them!
This is the cute little peacoat I got at my babyshower from my Aunt Jenn. It looks adorable on her and she likes it too.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Getting Crafty




I recently saw some handmade barrettes on this blog. (She's got some other good ideas so check it out if you have time). I thought they looked so cute and wanted to make some for Taeya. I found the clips on Amazon and the rest of the supplies at Wal-Mart. I don't have a craft store near me so I have to make due however I can. :) Even though I didn't have a ton of options, I managed to make some adorable little barrettes that I have been having fun putting in Taeya's fine hair. Some of the light pink ones were made by me and some were made for Taeya by her young friends mentioned in the previous post. All of the barrettes that are on the more colorful side of the strip were ones I made tonight with new ribbon I found today.








Here's a few of Taeya modeling one of the barrettes I made for her.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Time to Swim!!!

Every week, Taeya, Annie and I go to the pool to swim and I teach swim lessons. Each week, Taeya gets to play in the pool with us and swims underwater back and forth to Annie and I. Here are a few pictures of our time there this week.
Backfloating Time!! Getting ready to be dunked. We count to 3 so she knows we we're going to put her under.
Look who's underwater!!
All done!


Aren't they so cute? Such good friends.

Fun With Friends

I had some of my young friends over the other day and we made some barrettes while Taeya was sleeping. In my craft box I had some googly eyes. We had a good laugh playing with them. We were cracking up laughing! Hope they bring a smile to your face today.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Monday, March 02, 2009

Please Pray

This precious baby and his family need our prayers.