Posts tagged with: easter

Happy Easter!

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For those who celebrate, I hope you had a great Easter yesterday! It was the first year that the girls really got it on their own. In the past, we’ve held hands and more-or-less led them to eggs, coaxing them to pick them up and place in their baskets, etc. Not this year. We went to our neighborhood’s egg hunt and as soon as they gave the command, the girls RAN to get eggs. It brought me so much joy to watch their excitement, but it also made picture-taking a bit challenging since I could only get shots of their backs as they RAN away to find more eggs. : )

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This was our “before” shot. Excuse my wild hair fly-aways! It hit 90 degrees that day so I had to throw my hair into an unplanned pony – it was too hot to keep down!!!

I know I’m late this year, but I wanted to share one of the Easter crafts we made that we sent to family. We have a long history of mailing kid crafts in lieu of “real” gifts for many different holidays (e.g., Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, etc. – see my Year-in-Review posts for links to various crafts: 2015 and 2016). This year was no different. Here’s one of the crafts we made to send out to loved ones:

IMG_5494We got some kid’s crafts from Michael’s for 50% off (I LOVE that they do sales PRIOR to the holiday and not just as a clearance after the holiday has passed). There was one day during Spring Break that we’d gone in and just happened to be there during a kid craft hour. The girls were able to make two crafts (one was a painting on actual canvas, the other was a whole Spring Break scrapbook that was absolutely adorable). The class only cost $2 per child, and killed a solid 2 hours worth of time (= WIN!!) and then I picked up a couple Easter crafts to take home (which was the whole point of our trip). The girls LOVED the crafts (both in-store and the ones we bought to take home), and with the 50% off sale, the crafts only cost $2.50/each (we bought two different craft packages:  the egg pictured above, and a bunny rabbit craft, unpictured – both packages came with enough to make 2).

We mailed the crafts out about a week or so ago and when we made the rounds of phone calls to family to wish everyone a Happy Easter, the great-grandmas were tickled pink over the little crafts they’d received. Each boasting about where theirs was hung or displayed. It was pretty sweet.

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Have a great start to your Monday!


Make a Wish

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Hi all! Happy Monday!

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet over here lately. Last week was a tough one. The girls missed two days of preschool due to illness (the frequency of illness this Spring has been crazy!), then I got sick, throw in some Dad-related drama and by Sunday night I was just barely keeping it together. I’ve written a whole post in my head about Easter and now here we are 2 weeks later, my phone seems to have swallowed our pictures (not really, I can see them on the phone…but they will NOT send when I’ve tried to email them to myself and I’m having some upload error when I’ve tried to manually plug-in to my computer.) So…I’m giving up on it at this point. You have to know when to pick your battles, right? ; )  Cliff’s Note version of the post:  I hoarded saved free stuff we got from our neighborhood & church Easter egg hunts. On actual Easter I didn’t have to buy a single thing. I re-used eggs, re-distributed candy (they don’t need much anyway), and filled in some empty eggs with pennies. We had 60+ eggs total and baskets were overflowing. We did dye easter eggs (using food coloring – no store-purchased dying set), but the extra dozen eggs were literally the only thing I had to buy! The grandparents both sent little Easter packages so the girls did get some new stuff (stuffed bunnies, sunglasses, a couple outfits), but hubs and I spent zero out-of-pocket and we still had a fabulous Easter! It can be done frugally, folks!

Moving on….(and, sorry there was no photo to accompany that. Like I said, I have to give up and move on at this point)….

Has anyone ever heard of the app, Wish?

It’s an app you can download and shop for cheap stuff on your phone. All of the items are coming from overseas (I believe they’re all Chinese manufacturers). The app essentially gets rid of the middle-man and puts consumers directly in touch with the manufacturers. Because of this, you can get stuff for pennies compared to store-bought stuff. According to this article, this is the first ever site that was designed specifically for people to shop through the app. No need to use a bulky computer or go to a phyiscal store. The shopping process really couldn’t be easier.

I’ve actually been using Wish for a few weeks to buy random things here and there for our cruise. Check out these adorable swimsuits I bought for the girls:

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(don’t ask me why i could get this photo and not the Easter ones. I don’t know)

They do have some down-sides. The big one is that the sizing is pretty consistently off. Everything is a bit smaller than standard American sizes, so I’ve always ordered up a size. The shipping takes awhile, too, up to 2-3 weeks.

But that being said, I’ve been receiving crazy compliments on everything I’ve gotten so far. It’s cute stuff and for CHEAP!

I hesitated to even share anything about this app with you guys. The main thing is that I was worried it was totally exploiting children labor and I didn’t want to contribute to that or suggest anyone else do so either. But my understanding from doing a bit of research is that the Wish app vets out the different manufacturers and will drop people who do not conform to the app standards. Admittedly, I don’t know that this is 100%, as I’ve seen some knock-off Polo or other name-brand items and I can’t be sure what’s going on at the manufacturing-level. But the app represents these places as the same types of places who sell to American stores already. The only difference is you don’t have to pay the mark-up because you get the item directly from them. So that puts my mind a little bit more at ease.

I want to be 100% up front that this post is not sponsored, nor have I received any type of compensation for this post. Actually, they have no idea that I even blog here. I’m just passing it along because I’ve been so impressed with the app. If you have the time to spare and are okay with ordering things without trying them on (and, read the reviews! They’ll help guide your sizing decisions), then this is a great way to save serious money! I think it’s on-par with second-hand prices, only you’re getting brand new stuff that’s really cute and fashionable.

You’ll see a mention about Wish in my next budget update (coming soon – probably Friday) because I’ve bought some clothes from there that will be appearing in the clothing line-item of my budget.

Let me know what you think if you use Wish.

Are there any other really cheap direct-to-buyer apps I need to know about? 

 


Jim’s Weekly Update 4/19

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First I wanted to apologize to everyone for this weeks worth of posts from me.  I am so used to writing those kinds of posts on all of my blogs that it seemed right.  One thing I am not used to is writing about myself personally.  I did tidbits here and there, but nothing on a regular basis.  Hopefully you will accept my apologies and we will go from there.

Today is my son’s actual birthday party.  What we do is on their actual birthday, we have the grandparents come over and we just have cake and ice cream.  Then a few weeks later we have a birthday party for the child, on a weekend that we have both.  We are going to be changing this up starting next year though, and on their actual birthday, it will just be the four of us doing something special.  For both of my son’s birthday parties, my in-laws decided that camping was more important then their grandson’s birthday party.  Last year was forgivable, because they had the trip planned for a few months.  This year however they decided on either Monday or Tuesday that they were going.  This totally gets me rattled up.  Besides knowing the fact it was also Easter and on Monday my mother-in-law was supposed to take my wife to a doctor’s appointment.  I had to switch around my schedule to be able to take my wife now, which isn’t that much of a problem.  But when we went there two weeks ago, the doctor’s kicked both my son and I out of the office, because my son was being “too loud.”

Ok sorry rant over, I will be posting an update on my son’s birthday party on Tuesday.  I have some juicy frugal details, plus some not so frugal moments, that deserve a whole post to itself.

As everyone knows Sunday is Easter, and I am a little sad this holiday.  We didn’t get my children anything, besides a few pieces of candy.  This is a first for us.  Here is what their baskets looked like last year.

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I feel bad about this, but know that they really don’t need anything this year, and it seems that they both are becoming a little ungrateful.  The daughter, she is always like is this it?  Then she doesn’t even play with anything.  The son will play with everything he gets which is a good thing, and he is too young to really understand gratefulness.  But what makes me really sad, is that we didn’t get them new easter outfits and they didn’t sit a get their pictures taken with the easter bunny.  We have a picture of every season with either Santa or the Easter Bunny.  But the wife and I made the decision that no pictures till the family picture in November.

A few people asked how the Amazon business is going, I am happy to say that I am in the black.  I sold six of my multipacks for a gross profit of almost $99.  Now it did cost me $85 to buy the product and ship it off to three different Amazon Fulfillment Centers.  So I technically only netted about $14 so far.  But there is still tons of product at Amazon and it is nothing but profit from here on out.  This tells me this is a viable option to make money, so I might throw more business income at this and see where it goes.

Some other people don’t feel like I am that committed to getting out of debt enough.  Haters are going to hate, and I am used to that.  Every time I posted something about my debt this happened, and well I am not going to let it get me down.  I will do my budget the way I want to and what works for me.  I am always open for discussion on everything, but to tell someone they are doing it wrong and become a little nasty about it, well is there a right or wrong way to get out of debt?  In my mind there isn’t.  Yes, I am not looking to picking up a full time job, for I rather spend time with my family.  Yes, I am not going to tell my wife she has to quit smoking, for that is up to her to make.  But is it the wrong way to get out of debt?  Not at all, it might take longer, but I will still make headway.

With that said, I have taken on somethings.  I actually applied to two long term contracts, that will contract me out for two days for about a month and a half.  One would start in two weeks and contract me out Friday and Saturday.  Then the other would start right after that and contract me out for a Saturday and Sunday.  I don’t see a reason for me not to get these positions, for I contracted myself with this company a few times in the past.  But what I am really excited about is that a big time internet marketer posted that he is looking to hire some people under him for about 12-20 hours a weeks.  The pay is average for this kind of entry level position, but to be honest I would have done this for free, to be able to study under him.

I also realize that I have a S#!t ton of stuff again, so I will probably be hosting another yard sale again.  Someone here asked me to give a link to one of my current blogs, as I don’t feel comfortable doing this, I want to point everyone to a blog that I no longer do, but had somethings that deal with what I currently do to save money, and sometimes even make money.  I will be linking to the kind of money I made in 2012 from a yard sale.  Maybe read it and come back here and comment if you have some tips.

Well I think that is about it.


Happy Easter!

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I have no idea where anything is in my house right now.  The boxes are labeled but you know how that goes! The box you need can never be located it seems.  I’m pretty much living in a state of chaos at this very moment but could not feel more peaceful!  I look forward to getting things arranged for when the kids return on Thursday but for today I will celebrate this wonderful spring holiday!  Easter and Spring are ALL about new beginnings and when I booked the move for this weekend I had no idea it was Easter!  How fitting, huh?

Enjoy your day!

 


Overspending Karma…

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In general, I can be trusted to eat fairly healthy. My snacks for work are generally brown, wheaty, and taste like cardboard. But there is one time of year I am not confident in my food choices…

The deadly season of Easter.

It’s not the peeps that make my heart go pitter patter; it’s the tasty chocolate Cadbury Mini Eggs. I can’t resist them no matter how much they cost financially or physically. Sure the $2.50 price tag isn’t terrible but literally, I can’t fit into my pants after eating them. This is likely because I can eat a bag in less than a week and there are 56 grams of fat and 1,330 calories in each bag of yummy goodness.

I had to go to Target to buy a bag of dog food and couldn’t resist the bright sale sign resting on the heavenly purple bag (why don’t they ever put flax seed on sale?). I took the treasured chocolate eggs to work with my lunch and set my carrying bag on the table to pull out my food for the refrigerator. Distracted, I left the chocolate eggs in my carrying bag on the lunch table. 20 minutes later, I realized my mistake and went back to the lunch room to retrieve my food.

My carrying bag was there… the eggs were not.

My heart was broken (but my hips were thankful).

I’ve been hit by overspending Karma. I knew I shouldn’t have wasted the money (or the calories) and it was taken from me. Sure it seems silly to feel guilty for spending $2.50 when I’m planning on heading overseas – but saving for the trip has renewed my penny pinching ways to an unprecedented level. Since I don’t have the willpower necessary to resist the minefield of temptation, my husband will be doing the shopping for the next four weeks. Sorry Cadbury, our love affair is over.

Alas, I will eventually discover which of my co-workers has ‘sticky’ fingers – I’ll simply look for the one who can no longer fit in his or her pants by Friday.

And I’m kidding about Karma… well… kind of.