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Time for a Break

1 Jul

I recently started reading a great blog, The Diaper Diaries-“Always loaded, sometimes full of crap”.  I love the posts that the author writes.  She uses her blog as a diary, a place to share almost anything.  Sometimes there are product reviews, other times she writes about her children or an event that she attended.  As much as I enjoy writing about saving money, I think I would enjoy writing more “random” stuff.  So, this is a random post, and I plan to write more “randomness” from time to time.  Hopefully you won’t mind:-)

Time for a break… This summer makes two years of being a SAHM (stay at home mom).  My mother was a SAHM for most of my childhood.  I don’t think she returned to the work force until I was in middle school.  It was a wonderful thing to have her home.  She dedicated her life to us, our family.  At an early age, I knew I wanted to be a sahm.  I prayed that when the time came for me to have children, I would be able to stay at home and be like my mother. 

Well, in 2008, I gave birth to twin girls…following the birth of my son in 2007.  So, that makes 3 babies in 1 year…1 year and 10 days to be exact.  My DH and I sat down and had a very important conversation about our family and we decided that I would stay home, and stop working as a teacher for a while.  Needless to say I was over joyed that my prayers were being answered.  It has been such a blessing being at home caring for my children and home.  The children are only young once and I cherish my time with my family. 

With that being said, I am ready for and in need of a break!  Being a SAHM is a 24/7 job.  There probably isn’t any other job in the world that requires its employees to work, eat, sleep, shower and live on site.  There is no calling in sick or requesting a transfer…if you are committed that is.  Well, recently I realized I needed a break.  My DH clearly realized it too.  Last week he surprised me with a “me trip”.  A getaway just for me.  I am truly looking forward to spending time with myself.  To waking up when I want and possibly taking a nap.  Taking a shower without rushing and using the bathroom without interruption.  Going to a restaurant and not requesting 3 high chairs and feeling bad when we leave because there is more food on the floor than on the table.  I am looking forward to walking through another city and being seen as a woman and not as all of the many hats I wear.  I am going to let my hair down and in the words of one of my favorite quotes from A Different World, “relax, relate, release”!

I had to laugh as I wrote the last paragraph because I will more than likely enjoy the first 5 minutes of being alone and then I will be so lost without my family.  I absolutely love being Sam’s wife and mom to Maggie, Cole, Maddie and Macy and can’t imagine anything else, but I know I need this time away. 

It is so important for us as women to keep a part of who we are.  It is so easy to become totally wrapped up in our role as mother and wife, but if we lose ourselves, what can we really offer to those that we love?  Not much!  Do things for yourself, keep looking pretty, shop for yourself every now and then…even if it is at the thrift store or a consignment shop.  Get a massage, take yourself to lunch.  Oh, and continue to date your spouse!  Day to day life can get to be so monotonous so we have to work daily at keeping the “fire” in our relationship.  I am SO looking forward to upcoming time away with my hubby!  But that’s another post… That’s all I will say about that! 

I will write all about my 4 night getaway to Atlanta, Georgia.

80% Off at Restaurants.com

11 Feb

Thanks to Moneysavingmethods for posting this offer.  This is a great way to get money off at a restaurant.

Right now, you can get a $25 Restaurant.com Gift Certificate 80% Off, which comes to $2!  As a bonus, they are giving  a $15 FTD reward as a gift for purchasing.   Use coupon code HEART at checkout.

To find out what restaurants are participating in your area, simply enter your zip code.  Be sure to read all of the terms before purchasing.  Most have minimum purchase requirements, so read, read, read.

Don’t forget that whenever you shop online, you can get “free money”.

Ebates offers 15% back for shopping online at Restaurant.com & Mr. Rebates for 28% back.

You can purchase one today, print it out and use it for Valentine’s Day dinner!  Now that’s right on time!!

Valentine’s Day Ideas: Volume 2

11 Feb

Volume 1, was for the creative and crafty.  Volume 2 is for someone looking for sexy Valentine’s Day ideas.  Being a mommy of 4 little children, my DH and I don’t get to have too many “sexy” Valentine’s Days with each other.  But some of you may be able to have some alone time after bubble baths, bedtime stories and lights out.

  • Candle Light Dinner for 2– How about a candle lit dinner for you and your spouse or significant other?  Set the table with some candles and then eat.  The ambiance created by the candle light will be enough to set the romantic mood, even if you are eating left overs!  If you are fixing a fancy meal, consider creating an invitation and dress up.  Where a sexy dress or even lingerie and enjoy!

  • A twist on Dinner for 2– Get a blanket and have dinner on the floor by candle light.  Pull out that picnic basket or your t.v. dinners!  You could even just do fruit.  There is something sexy about feeding each other grapes and strawberries!  You and your love bug can stretch out just like you are at the park under the stars.  There is something special about that change of scenery.
  • Bubbly and sweet treats– this is a simple, but very sexy idea.  Get your favorite bubbly (champagne, sparkly wine, or a cider), chocolates and strawberries.  If you are very creative, you can inject the strawberries with your bubbly and dip in melted chocolate.
  • Love Coupons– Now you know I am a coupon crazed person, so this suggestion shouldn’t surprise you!  Get on your computer and create a coupon booklet for your loved one.  Some suggestions may be- entitle to 1 free massage, entitles you to one hour of…  You can go from there!  Be creative and have fun with it.  Decorate them with hearts or even kisses.

  • Body Art– One can of whipped cream is all you will need… That’s all I will say about that!
  • Create a card game– After dinner, when the kids have been put to bed pull out piece of paper and cut it into little pieces.   Both of you will fill out 4 or 5 cards with a dare or action of some sort.  Place them in a jar, shake them up, and take turns picking.  Whatever your card says, you must do, even if it is one that you wrote.  ( My suggestion would be to precut the pieces and have everything you need ready)
  • Dance the night away– Create a CD (or use your iPod/MP3 player) with favorite slow jams, turn the lights down low and dance the night away.
  • Massages– Take turns giving each other massages.  Light a candle, get the Johnson’s baby oil off the dresser:-) and massage away!  Of course you can use actual massage oils, I just know for most moms, that Johnson’s is never too far away:-)

Ladies visit The Nest for an article on ways to Look and Feel Hotter & Sexier this Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day Ideas, Volume 1

10 Feb

They say “love don’t cost a thing”, but somehow, people go for broke on Valentine’s Day!  The average lover, spends almost $7o bucks on Valentine’s Day.  Flowers, Cards, Candy are the traditional gifts.  Florists see this time of year as an opportunity to rake in the dough as roses rise from $19 a dozen to $50!  With the current economic situation it is clearly more sensible to purchase practical gifts.  Don’t get me wrong, I love flowers, but I would much rather have something like will last or that I can use if my DH is going to spend $50.

Want to show how much you love someone?  Well, spending a lot of money probably is not the way to do it!  Gifts that are personal, usable and practical are a much smarter and more loving option for love birds today!  Think about your significant other…What things do they enjoy? What really makes them smile?  Dig down deep into your heart and your creative bag and pull out a gift that is sure to say, “I love You”, rather than, “I spent a lot” or “I’m broke!”

Here are a few fun, creative and lovable gift ideas that won’t break the bank!

  • Create a card- This is a fun and creative idea that is truly customizable.  You can write a love poem or just express your feelings.  Draw pictures, make a collage from pictures.  Not artistic, make an e-card or use a free online computer program.  Print it out and there you go!

  • Send an e-card- There are many websites that allow you to send FREE e-cards.  There is nothing like opening an email and seeing that you have received a sweet e-card…hint, hint to my DH!  Just google search “free Valentine’s Day cards” and go from there.  I like to use Hallmark personally, but there are many others!
  • Scrapbook- Now this is something that I love and did more often when I had more time.  Get an inexpensive scrapbook and create a personalized gift for your sweetheart.  Use pictures of the two of you taken throughout your relationship or during a certain time.  It will be a big hit and will be a book of memories that you can keep forever.
  • Make something- there are numerous websites out there with Valentine’s Day crafts.  Google it for.  HERE is a neat website I came across with crafts for the entire family!  The kids want to give and get gifts too!   This idea is great for grandparents.  What grandmother wouldn’t melt when she got a custom, personalized gift from the grandkids?  It would mean SO MUCH MORE than some box of chocolates from Walmart!

Be on the lookout for Volume 2…Sexy Valentine’s Day Ideas!

Winter Sales Shopping!

1 Feb

Recently I wrote about shopping now for next Fall and Winter.  Well, I have been doing some shopping for the kids.  I visited some of my favorite stores; Target, Children’s Place and Old Navy and WOW did I save big!  I want to share some of my savings with you!  My last shopping trip was on Friday at Children’s Place.  I received a message about a huge in-store sale where the winter clearance was $2.99 and $3.99.  All of the clearance winter items sizes 0-4T were $2.99 and clothing 5 on up were $3.99.

Here is what I purchased!  For the twins-size 24mos & 3T:  4 sets of 2 piece pajamas, 4 winter hats, 2 pr of mittens, 6 sweaters and 3 long sleeved shirts.  For my 2 year old son I was purchasing size 3T for next winter.  2 winter hats, 2 sweaters, 2 jackets, 4 thermal long sleeve t-shirts, 1 long sleeve graphic tee, 1 sweatshirt/hoodie & 3 pairs of pants.  My oldest daughter will be in size 10/12 next fall/winter and the pickings were slim for her.  She got 2 sweaters, velour pants, velour skirt & 2 long sleeve t-shirts.

I added everything up according to the tags and my final cost would have been $478.50 if everything was regular price.  I had a $40 Place Perks points check and a coupon for 10% off, so I ended up paying $77.00 out of pocket.  40+ items of clothing for next fall/winter, for $77!  Can’t beat that!!  My combined clearance shopping at several stores was less than what my total should have been at Children’s Place.  That makes me happy!!

The clothes that I purchased from Target and Old Navy were equally as exciting, but they have already been space bagged and put away.  I have practically purchased the staples for next fall/winter.  I still have to find clearance coats and shoes, then I will be done!  Get on out there and shop the clearance sales.  As the spring fashions are stocked, the winter clothes must go.  Take advantage of the huge discounts.  I apologize for not getting the word out for the sale Friday! I was out and about and not able to write a post in time.

I will be sharing new coupon codes and retail store sales throughout the week!

Happy Birthday to ME!!!!

Save your…

21 Jan

Sanity!  I know that this blog is dedicated to saving money, but, I was thinking today of all of the other things in our life that need to be saved.  Tomorrow I have a massage date with a girl friend from my church and I am really looking forward to it.  Life has a way of weighing on us, and every now and then it is a great idea for us to take a break and do something nice for ourselves.

When was the last time you pampered yourself?  Treated yourself?  If you cannot remember the last time, then maybe it is time that you did something for YOU!  I realize that not all of my readers are women or mothers, but I am going to focus on us for a minute.  How many times do we do for our husband, children, co-workers, family members, friends, neighbors, the church, the PTA, community organizations and everyone else until we feel as though there is nothing else to give?  How many days do you pass out like a limp noodle after a long day of work “things to do lists”?  Again, maybe it is time that you do something nice for YOU!

As women, we have so much to juggle and wear so many hats that we frequently forget that we need to be re-energized and rejuvenated.  So start by doing something for you.  On Monday, my mother and I enjoyed a relaxing pedicure at a local day spa.  While cleaning last week, I came across a brochure for a spa and wondered where did it come from.  I was about to throw it in the trash, when something said to look through it.  I found an envelope with a gift certificate.  I had completely forgotten about this gift certificate that had been given to me way back in 2008 as a baby shower gift from two ladies at the school where I used to teach.  The certificate had an expiration date of 12-2008, which was clearly over a year ago!  I called the spa and asked would they honor the expired certificate and they said “yes”!  I was so excited!  My mother visited over the weekend and accompanied me to the spa.  We had a great time!  Just what the doctor ordered.  I had someone pampering me for 45 minutes, while enjoying a soothing massage chair in a serene environment.  We walked back into the house to find NickJr blasting, toys all over the floor and the kids running around…but my feet sure felt good!

So, back to the massage… I started feeling guilty that I was doing something else for myself again this week, but after scrubbing the kitchen floor twice in the same day, taking my 3 toddlers out of the house to run errands, cooking breakfast and dinner, washing dishes, doing the laundry, taking my DH lunch, cleaning up after the twins decided to throw their plates on the floor and enjoying Cole’s “terrific 2’s” tantrums…and that was just today… I decided I have earned an hour full body massage!  While I am saving my sanity, I will be saving money too!  How?  There are frugal ways to pamper yourself.  My friend and I will be heading to a local massage therapy school.  Our massage therapists are in various stages of their program and must have a certain number of “hands on” hours.  I am more than happy to help the students get their hours, while I get a quality massage, at a fraction of the price I would pay at a spa.  Hour massages at this particular school run from $15-$30, compared to $60-$100.

So ladies, and gentlemen…save your sanity and do something for yourself.  It may be a massage, a pedicure, a dinner date with a friend.  Whatever it is, do something for yourself!  You deserve it!!

Happy New Year!

12 Jan

Hello All!   I’m back and I must say I am very excited about it.  I have thoroughly missed being a part of the blogging world.  Let me start off by saying a late Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, Blessings to all and Happy New Year!  2010 is going to be an awesome year, I just know it!!  So, where has MochaMom04 been for let’s see…the last two months?  Where do I begin?

I am not sure if I ever wrote about the wedding planning and coordination that I do on the side, but if I never mentioned it, now you know:-)  I was coordinating a particularly large wedding that took place on Thanksgiving weekend.  Large weddings can be very time consuming, but I love every minute of it!  However, November was very busy tying up the loose ends and making sure that every “i” was dotted and every “t” was crossed.  As a planner, our goal is to make sure the bride is stress free by handling all of the details and that the day is perfect for the happy couple.

My Sister-in-law got married in December and I had the pleasure of being her Matron of Honor.  If any of you ladies have ever been a Matron or Maid of Honor  then you know some of the responsibilities that come along with that title.  Immediately following the wedding that I coordinated, I stepped in to be my sisters’ right hand.  Her wedding was absolutely beautiful, but I am glad that the “I do”‘s have been said:-)  {I do miss all of the time that we spent together working on her wedding stuff}  Congratulations sis! Love Ya!

Then there was the holiday.  I think that says enough right there.  Between shopping, cleaning, cooking, spending time with family and entertaining my children and DH that were home for 2 weeks, I definitely did not have a moment to blog.

My husband purchased new toys for us.  Okay, get your minds out of the gutter if you started to ask…”what kind of toys did her DH buy that made her unable to blog???”  LOL  Well, he bought iPhones for us and that “smart phone” has made it so that I do not even have to get on the computer at all.  I can check email, facebook, the weather, twitter, play games, chat, google search and everything right from the palm of my hand.  I did install the WordPress app though, so I will have to start pecking away from the phone when I am on the go.

I could really go on and on and on with more reasons that my life has made me too busy to write, but I doubt anyone is interested in anymore:-)  I am going to set a goal for myself to write several times a week because I thoroughly enjoy it.  I have even been so busy and tied up that I have not been super saving money.  I did shop on Saturday and saved quite a bit.  That will be my next post.  Look for it later today or tomorrow.  I can’t wait to share!

I want to take a moment to THANK everyone that sent emails and wrote comments encouraging me to come back and pushing me to keep going.  You don’t know what a difference support and encouragement make.  There are so many blogs in cyberspace, many from stay at home moms just like me, so it means so much that you would read mine and actually miss it.  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

So…Let’s start Sipping on some Savings Y’all!!  I’m back!!