Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Back to the envelope...

With school starting back up
(loud groan)
And me returning to work
(louder groan)
We are getting back into the swing of budgeting.

Since I am only returning part-time, our budget is decreased by 1/4, and adding in the additional costs of child care and insurance.

So yeah...budgeting may be good...

Most of our expenses are automatically done online. Which is easy and free.
But a few of our expenses vary each month, and we have somewhat control over.
Such as: Groceries (household products included), Pets, Car Maintenance, Gifts and Fun Money.

For this...the Envelope system is back.
We did the envelope system a while back, {read about it here} but once we both worked full time and times weren't *as tight* I loosened up... probably shouldn't have.
But since our budget is tight again and savings is now top priority, the envelope system is here to stay.

Each month, on pay day, I immediately pay all the bills online and swing by the bank to get the cash allotted for each category.

On mega clearance I purchased this Vera Bradley Envelope in English Meadows to use for my envelope system.
It was highly recommended to use with the envelope system as it has many spots for different categories and a spot for coupons.
I can't wait for it to arrive!

Plus it'll be cute with my new Vera tote in Lemon Parfait!
Ok...back on track.
I've never been great at couponing, but it's a new goal.
I figure coupons + clearance shopping will be fantastic.
AND NOT buying what we don't need.

I'll keep you posted on our journey.
So far, so good this month.

Also...if you have any great coupons or deals you know of, please share!!!

Happy Savings!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

ABC's and Frugal Find

I ordered a Free 8 x 8 Photo Book by going 
just pay shipping!

I've made a couple of shutterfly books from Levi's pictures, but thought making an ABC book all about him would be precious!
Take a peek and snag your own free book!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Levi- 5 Months

{warning: many pictures ahead}

Levi is growing SO much!
He is now rolling like crazy! Both back to tummy and tummy to back.
It's so funny to watch him on the video monitor in his crib. He is all over the place!
He is also sitting on his own!
He can only do it for a minute or so before toppling over.
At Daddy's school, makin some art....

He is also holding his own bottle.
If you show him the bottle he waves his hands in excitement, reaches out, grabs it and puts it in his mouth!
He also had his first fever, today actually. Not a milestone I was looking forward to. : (
snuggling during his first fever

Levi had his first Fourth of July!
He did so great!

My mom's neighborhood sounded and looked like a war zone, but despite all the noise, he just watched and took it all in!
We've also been doing a lot of swimming!
In both or little kiddie pool on the deck and at his grandparents pool.
He's quite the fishy!
Prayer Request Follow Up
Last month I mentioned we had to see a specialist regarding his eyes crossing.
Wonderful news!
His eyes and muscles are completely healthy!
We will do a follow up in 6 months to check his vision again, but he should be fine!
The doctor explained that some baby's who reach milestones earlier and are a bit advanced sometimes try to focus in on objects that their eyes just aren't ready for which can cause them to cross.

Cloth Diapering
Still loving it!!
A few friends are cloth diapering and I love it!
So great!

We are nursing, supplementing and started on a few purees. So far, he doesn't care for solids. I've started him with a bit of cereal, then the green veggies. He doesn't like green.
Can't blame em.
We are moving on to carrots and hoping that little bit of sweet will persuade him!
I'm making his own food, which I've really enjoyed.
I'm a newbie, so if anyone has any tips or tricks, pass em on!
I'm thankful he is still nursing! I hope to keep that up!

I am really trying to savor this month. On his 6 month "birthday" I will be returning to work, teaching part time. Every afternoon.
Oh how I will miss being with him the whole day, but am thankful to be able to just work part time. It truly is a blessing.
Also, I am so appreciative of those who have supported and purchased items through my etsy store!
With being a part-time teacher we are really going to be counting each penny.
Making a little extra money will really help my family, so I do appreciate your support!
For my loyal readers, you can use the coupon code JENNYFREEBLOG and receive 10% off your order!
Just a little 'thank you' for reading and supporting me and my family!
I have really loved sewing, picking fabrics and coming up with designs.

I'm so thankful and blessed to have been able to be home with Levi for the first 6 months of his life. I will treasure those moments and memories we've created and look forward to what's to come!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Calling all Frugal Mama's...

The $1 section at Target should already be on your must-visit list each week.
Well right now, the section is 70% off.
I got all these board books for $.30 each!!
They had Sesame Street, Spider Man, Garflied, Scooby Doo and many more.
Totally check it out! 
Would be great gifts for baby showers too!

Also at Target, they have many of their toys on clearance. I've nabbed a few to save for Mr. Levi for Christmas. Never to early!

Anyone nabbed any killer deals lately?

Friday, July 6, 2012

A tour of the shop

Here's a little peak into {Free Style Textiles}
My little corner to create and help contribute to my family financially
We bought this sewing table at the thrift store for $20 a few years ago.
It's due for a new paint job, but it'll do for now.
To the left of the sewing table (the striped box) contains current projects and finished items

Let's look inside.
To the left contains needles and such, with my fabrics and quilt batting

In the middle is fluff for pillows, a cutting pad, thank you cards and bags for local deliveries

To the right contains my threads and bobbins and glues
The sewing machine lifts up to the top, then lowers into the table when done.
The table top consists of a picture of me and my baby boy, the tall container contains my ribbons for wrapping. The memo board has my business cards and thank you cards for each customer. The tin holds pens, hole punch and scissors. The boxes contain miscellaneous items for the family room.
Next to the sewing station is my computer station. Here is where I blog and update the Etsy store. It's the perfect spot to work and be able to watch the babe play.
So that's it! That's where I create!
I finally have it set up *just so* that works perfect for me and my family.
It's so nice to work in an organized space!
If you want to check what's new in the shop, click here!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Nursing pillows

 Before Levi was born, we were given both a My Brest Friend and a Boppy.
The Brest Friend was good as a newborn as it was very secure and sturdy.
But as he grew, it became too much.
The Boppy was great as it was more flexible and could be used for other things.

 We could plop Levi in it next to us on the couch or on the floor to play.
 We used it for tummy time and to help secure him as he learns to sit up.
 My only complaint?
The price, and wanting a 2nd one.
We kept one in his nursery for nursing him, but often we'd be lounging downstairs and I'd have to go back up to get the pillow.
And dang they are too pricey to buy a 2nd.

So I made on.
I made him a cute robot and green nursing pillow.
And we all love it.
We use it ALL the time.
Do you or did you use a nursing pillow?
Did you use it just for nursing or did you use it for other things?

I've gotten creative with the nursing pillows I'm making.
If interested, you can buy a custom nursing pillow in my Etsy shop!
I like to use fun and modern fabrics. 
Plus, they are way cheaper than the Big Box brand...and one of a kind!
Would make a great gift for a Mama to be or new Mama!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

As of lately...

We've been sleeping way too late
Meeting new cousins
(Don't Levi and Grace look alike?! They are 3 weeks apart!)
 Trying solid food
 Playing with toys 
(Levi LOVES toys. Loves.)
Learning to sit up
Meeting new friends
(Hello ladies!)
 Playing in the water

Cleaning out the storage room
Sewing up a storm
Snugglin with my boys
Watching movies

Pretty much just trying to soak up every ounce of summer that we have as a family.
We are blessed.