Saving Money – No More Searching for Coupons!

Just thought I’d do a quick intro to a website I absolutely love, love, love!

If you’re like me you LOVE coupons! I will not purchase anything, and I do mean anything, without doing a quick coupon search –  in particular – online. I even pester my husband about this whenever I see him about to press the “confirm” button on orders…..

Anywho, I came across this sweet app called Honey, it’s actually an extension for your browser that you can use whenever you are ordering items online. The best part about it is the icon lights up in the right hand corner of your screen anytime there are coupons that might work. It’s also a forum for people to enter new codes to be used by other members. You don’t have to pay anything to sign up and you will undoubtedly save money!

Requires little to no effort and you can start saving money immediately. My favorite part of the whole thing is that you can literally watch it test all of the codes, meaning you don’t have to enter them one by one = HUGE TIME SAVER!

I’ve used it quite a few times and even if I haven’t gotten a code that works they typically have some form of cash back. Win, win, win!

Have Fun Saving!!!!


Designing2Day Website Logo

Okay so let me just start by saying I know this is a silly topic…. and after seeing the image I’ve posted you’re probably already thinking, why the heck is this girl talking about a stain on her shirt?!?! But the truth is, this stain is so much more than a simple stain! It is a gentle reminder of the many, many ways in which my life has changed as the result of becoming a mother.

If I’m starting to lose you already, bear with me here for a bit!

This evening, as I was taking off my button down shirt I found this on my undershirt – what it is exactly, I truly couldn’t tell you – seems like the story of my life these days. But let me back up a couple of a days though to where my story begins (haha)!

I recently went to a concert with my family out of town (PS if you’re wondering if Elton John still has it, he does indeed!!!!). I am notorious for over-packing for anything, in particular a single overnight trip. I was bound and determined that this would not happen again and much to the surprise of my younger sister and parents, I arrived ready for departure with, count it, ONE bag!! Not only did I have but a single bag, it was even a small backpack, in direct contrast to my sister’s giant duffel which contained “a big pair of boots” (yeah, yeah, sure…whatever you say!).

Much to my dismay, within minutes of getting in the car and on the road, I managed to stain my shirt. And of course, I had packed but one measly sweatshirt to toss on the next day. I know you’re probably thinking “The horror! Can’t believe such an awful thing would happen! Talk about a 1st world problem!!!!” and I wouldn’t blame you, but again, I promise I’ve got a point….

After arriving at our hotel before the concert I managed to get my hands on a Tide To-Go Pen from my Dad, talk about a lifesaver! All was right in the world, the shirt I had painstakingly selected was salvaged. But as I was using the pen, I looked down only to realize that I also had toothpaste on my shirt, that info would have been good to know! Thanks Fam!!!

Okay so now for the point I promised. Before I had my daughter I was extremely tidy, maybe not always in my home (I’ve described myself as a walking tornado in the past), but always in my appearance. From a very young age I was always well put together. I was so concerned with matching that I actually wore two pairs of socks at all times that would color coordinate with my outfits! Pretty ridiculous really but the point is, I cared about how I looked. And I wouldn’t have been caught dead in a stained shirt out in public.

And now, here I am, with a stain, again. Turns out once you have a kid you will inexplicably have schmutz on you at all times. Could have been from you, could have been from the kiddo – honestly, who knows!!! You’re so busy running around chasing a baby or toddler that you don’t even notice. Maybe in the past I had more time to look in a mirror so even though the stains were always there I was able to address them before I left the house? Beats me.

BUT, something in my life has shifted and the tidiness in my appearance has gone by the wayside.

I remember walking past those ladies back before I became a mom, you know, the ones wearing yesterdays clothing looking like they hadn’t showered in days with screaming children clinging to their legs. I have to admit, I didn’t get it, I didn’t understand how this could happen to mothers. I didn’t understand just how utterly time consuming your child would be and how much it would alter your core values, in my case, tidiness!

The truth is, my life has has changed. In so many ways. More than I could ever count. But I can honestly say that in addition to gaining a wonderful daughter I have gained a higher level of empathy for those around me. I have also gained more confidence in myself, and I have learned that what others think is not the most important thing in the world (well, I’m still working on this one)!

Most importantly, I have learned that no ones cares about that stain on your shirt except you! And if they do, just wait until they have kids…..And then they’ll be standing there, at night, trying to recall how something like this could have possibly happened, and realize…..

I’m tired, my kid is alseep, why am I still awake?!?

Goodnight 🙂








20 Free Minutes? Yes Please!

20 Free Minutes Website.jpg

Lately I’ve been completely dumbfounded by the pile of toys going untouched in our home. Like many other parents – I stocked up on everything I could think of…educational toys, musical toys, toys that spin, stacking toys, blocks, stuffed animals, etc. etc. – you get the idea. Tons and tons of different things to stimulate a growing child’s mind. Only the best for your baby right?!?

And yet, all our kiddo wants to play with are things like the dog food/water, my glasses, everything in my purse (emptied and dumped on the floor), anything and everything in the dishwasher (always dirty of course), Tupperware, pots and pans, toilet paper, the toilet, trash cans, etc. etc – Really, I could go on for days about the multitude of items she goes after that I’d rather she didn’t!

I saw an idea the other day on Pinterest  where a mom had put cut pieces of fabric into an old wipes container, tied them together for the toddler to pull out just like a real tissue box. As I was scouring my home looking for an extra plastic wipes container, brainstorming running out to buy wipes simply for the container – thanks to the millionth cold I’ve had this winter – I used my last Kleenex. DUH! Free and convenient container. WIN WIN!

Then I started to think about the fabric and remembered a bunch of fat quarters I’d cut pieces off of back in the day to make pacifier clips, SCORE! No money down, that’s not something I can always say for my little DIY projects (HA – understatement of the century!!!)

Considering how anal I am this next part is a pretty big step towards recovering from my OCD; I actually used scissors and raw cut squares, rectangles, strips – whatever (no measuring, marking or cutting mat)! It probably helped that my daughter was crying at the time but we’ll chalk this up to a breakthrough regardless…..

And also, the tying them all together – ain’t nobody got time for that! Just shove those fabric scraps in the tissue box and….VOILÀ!!! Done, done and done!


The cheapest, easiest, and fastest DIY toy yet!

I can honestly say that my daughter enjoyed this more than all of the fancy toys in her toy box, at least at this particular moment…. who knows what the next 20 minutes hold. For now, I’ll just relish in the fact that I got her to chill out and I got to sit. It’s the little things right?


To be or not to be, that is the question… 2nd Dog?

I’m sure a good number of people can relate to having issues with their dog after bringing a new baby home, at least I hope we’re not alone?

All of the sudden the dog, who by all intents and purposes, has fulfilled our “baby” role has now been replaced…. Not intentionally but it just happens. As clear evidence of this, the pictures on my phone went from dog, dog, dog to kid, kid, kid, kid, kid, kid, oh and more kid!

I remember taking this photo of our dog the day before our daughter was born, look how happy he was!!!

Thatch Website

People had warned me of what was going to come next and remember before we had our daughter thinking “What are you talking about? He’ll ALWAYS be our baby!” Well, I’d love to say I was right but I was definitely W.R.O.N.G.

Not that any pet owner goes into the next stage with their own children intending to neglect their sweet little fur-ball but I see now that it’s almost inevitable…. There is just too much going on to focus all of your attention and energy as you once were able to. I remember when I was on maternity leave, at first he was so excited to meet the new baby and then gradually he started becoming more and more distant, when I was working from home he’d spend most of the day outside instead of by my feet as he had before.

Things have gotten better, he has started getting more comfortable around the baby (it probably helps that she is constantly feeding him her dinner and snacks!!!), he sleeps in our bedroom every night and has even moved back into our bed – and I’m okay with it as long as he’s happy again. He’s been sneaking onto the couch and we’ve let that slide too…. But at the end of the day, he’s just not the same dog.

And so, the most important question – does he need a friend? Seems like a natural progression, someone to keep him occupied and cheer him up right?  But can we handle another dog? Do we want to go through the whole puppy training stage again?

It’s funny thinking back to how hard it was the first time, almost trivial compared to bringing home a kid but at the time it seemed so daunting! But thinking about doing that, plus taking care of the kiddo, and continuing to stroke the ego of our dog…..seems like a lot?

Hoping someone out there has some feedback or comments on this? I thought we were good to go and ready to go pick out our perfect little puppy companion and here I am, second guessing. Again. Bleh.

I’ll sleep on it. And dream about cute puppies.

Taking Back Our Closet!

Okay so by my own admission, I will admit that our daughter has an obscene amount of clothing! Like kind of out of control. In my defense, everything is so flipping cute!!!

This weekend I decided to tackle the massive amount of clothing that had “accumulated” in her closet… Just so happens that she has the only walk in closet in our house on the smallest bedroom, weird design feature?

Anyways, in my most frantic moments while the tot has been napping or during the ten minutes I had to file through her clothes while she proceeded to pull everything out of her drawers, I was able to toss the clothes that no longer fit into the corner, close the door and forget about them! Yay for procrastination!!!

However, the time had finally come to address the pile. Much to my dismay, I also managed to mix all of the sizes together…

While it was a fun trip down memory lane looking at all those adorable outfits (especially the newborn ones *swoon*) it was a daunting task to say the least. But at the end of the day, it’s done, hallelujah!

Closet Website

To make the clothing more manageable I used

Ziploc Vacuum Storage Bags.

These things are an absolute godsend – took sheer chaos and turned it into an organized stack for future use, man do I hope that if we have another baby it’s a girl…but in the meantime, I’m just glad to have our closet back!!!

IMPORTANT TIP: Make sure you FOLD the clothes prior to using the vacuum function, I was overly excited and overestimated the bags abilities, if you don’t fold it won’t get much smaller – so if you hate folding clothes, I’m sorry in advance!!!

Holy Baby Fever Batman…

Before I had my daughter I was the exact opposite of motherly, in fact kids – in particular babies – scared the bejeezus out of me! I never thought I’d be someone who would oooh and ahhhh over a newborn….

People always said you’re different when it was yours and I could not agree more, the second my daughter was born it was absolutely love at first sight. I had never so much as changed a diaper, fed a baby, and definitely hadn’t ever been responsible for another human being in any manner close to this before! But somehow they let us leave the hospital with this perfect little human being…the whole thing was pretty surreal to be honest!

I proceeded to read everything I could get my hands on, when I was nursing my daughter I was reading the chapter on what to expect next and how to handle it when the time arose…. I was truly starting to drive myself nuts with information overload, the blessing and curse of the internet I suppose!

But we survived, together, the three of us made it through the first year….

There were absolutely great days but I’d be lying if I said it was all rainbows and butterflies, any new parent has probably experienced the same thing, whether they want to admit it or not?

Fast forward to today, my sister and I visited my sister’s best friend, who she’s known since 3rd grade which basically makes her family. She just welcomed her absolutely beautiful baby girl into this world and I may as well have been skipping into that hospital room. I was so beyond excited to hold a little baby again, I’m embarrassed to say I jumped in before my sister even had the chance to hold the new baby but I just couldn’t help myself….

Baby Fever Website

Holding that little girl brought a million memories flooding back into my head; of cuddling and snuggling with my brand spankin’ new daughter, of the excitement and the fear I’d felt leaving the hospital and the sheer terror of being a mom.

And yet, all I could think of was how I can’t wait to experience that all again…The baby smells, the cute little noises, even the late night feedings and everything else that came along with the the brand new baby.

Me. The girl who ran from babies. Funny how life works out…

Baby Busy Board – BOOM!

Our daughter has the attention span of a flea, I think that’s mostly just due to her age but she’s definitely not gaining any favors by being born into my gene pool…

I’ve seen lots and lots of the ever popular busy boards but was trying to figure out how to make it look nice and still be a blast for the kiddo, I think we “nailed” – pun intended 😉

Almost everything I found at Walmart but a few things came from Home Depot…that I should have bought from Walmart! Definitely could have saved some money there but it turned out great so I keep trying to forget about the investment, funny how that always happens with DIY projects!

Busy Board Website

Here’s what I used:

1. Tap Light

2. Different sized castors that turn and spin

3. A variety of locks; sliding, chain and gate locks were what I used

4. Buttons on a string that can slide and turn

5. Zipper to practice on – I wasn’t quite sure how to attach that on but we ended up just screwing it directly to the board, easy peezy!

6. Pulls and Knobs, I hung some keys on a ring off a knob so they’d stay put and also some different clips on the pulls to play with

7. A hinge to open and close

8. A springy door stopper that makes an awesome boingy noise – whole minutes of entertainment haha!

9. Some number and letter stickers to put numbers 1 thru 10 and spell my daughter’s name

10. A few odds and ends….an old ducky keychain that lights up and quacks, a padlock, and these awesome mirrored stickers that I used as filler on the board after I put everything else on, may have gotten a bit squirrley with the mirrors….

Anywho, I wish I could tell you that she plays for at least an hour and loves, loves, loves it but from what I can tell she likes it a lot? HA!

In all seriousness it definitely keeps her attention and helps with those fine motor skills and she absolutely loves banging everything around and causing a ruckus – her favorite pastime!!!

Other things I thought could be fun; door knockers, door knobs that turn, raised address numbers, different fabrics to touch and feel. Really all you need to do is look around your house, you’ll probably find a bunch of random things lying around.

Hope you have as much fun with yours as we have at our house!

Taupe is really the “New” Gray

Taupe Website

In our profession, we often get asked “what’s the latest trend?” or “what is everyone else doing?”….

The thing to remember is that design is extremely subjective; there truly is no right or wrong answer – aside from the more general design theories such as balance, pattern, scale, symmetry, contrast, etc. which serve as more of a means to an end, allowing ideas to be automatically approved or discarded.

But ultimately it comes down to the most important question:

Do you like it?

The latest design trend is the notion that gray is the “new beige,” from paint colors, to flooring, to cabinets, etc. But while gray is cool (both literally and figuratively); it is definitely not for everyone. Sometimes people are far more inclined to go somewhere in the middle. Not beige, not gray, but taupe… It’s safe, almost non-committal, while giving you an updated look; it can pull warm or cool depending on what you put around it.

Moral of the story is that if you’re trying to take the plunge with a remodeling project, don’t be afraid to go with your gut and do what feels right to you. If you like beige, gray OR taupe –or even green, orange, pink, purple or black, so be it.

Just do you, because at the end of the day it’s your home and you have one to please but yourself!

Throwing a BDAY for a 1 Year Old – Sesame Street Style

Sesame Street Website

When our daughter was turning one, I went through the long and arduous process of trying to figure out how decorate, what to cook, and if we’re being completely honest…how to impress those who came to our home for the occasion… To say I’m a wee bit of a perfectionist would be an understatement!

I knew I wasn’t a big fan of the pre-made decoration packs, you know, the cheesy plates and napkins plastered with cartoon characters my daughter wouldn’t even recognize. I was adamant that I do as much of it myself with the aid of a few awesome things I found online.

The theme I settled on was Sesame Street, largely due to the fact that that’s all we really let her watch and since she’s just started really following along and clapping to the “Word of the Day” song, if you’re picturing how cute this would be – rest assured – it’s just a cute as you’d imagine 😍

Obviously everything had to follow the theme and I was dead set on making food that I could give funny and silly names, thanks to a bit of help online and a minor amount of ingenuity, this is what I settled on:



3. GROVER’S SUPER FOODS (Veggies and Dip)





8. ERNIE PALMER (Arnold Palmer – ICED Tea and Lemonade)

*** I used these awesome templates I found here, on Etsy: Sesame Street Templates ***

I also was able to download this Free Sesame Street Font which I used for a MILLION different signs for the party – you can download the font for free and load it on to your computer. I used Photoshop’s “paint bucket” to color it in.

Throw in a few balloons, some cute cups and tablecloth from my favorite boutique (Target), some delicious cupcakes and you’re all set!!!

As a side note, we hit a bit of a snag with the balloons I ordered as they weren’t quite ready, the awesome clerk threw in the Elmo balloon for free but only after telling me you could buy them at the Dollar Store and she had to give me a deal from one momma to another! SO… if you want to save some moolah, go to the Dollar Store apparently 😆

The Most Useful Baby Shower Gift You’ll Ever Give/Receive

The other day I went to a baby shower for a close friend, while filtering through her registry I just couldn’t bring myself to buy a stuffed animal or more cute clothes, regardless of how much I may have wanted to and especially since they’re having a little girl!

Instead I started brainstorming everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, I could think of that she would need but not know it, by the time I was finished I knew I’d spent way too much but I was positive that each and every item would be used.

Here is the list of what I’ve deemed the most important items you’d ever need in a “baby starter pack,” I’m no expert but with a 1 year old daughter, this last year has been a crash course in baby 101 to say the least!!

1. Aquaphor; I mentioned to a friend of mine that if I were on My Big Fat Greek Wedding, this would be like my Windex!!! You can use it on everything but primarily diaper rash and wounds. I even used some on my hands when they were excessively dry after washing them constantly during the newborn stage and beyond.

2. Infant Tylenol; for after shots, colds, teething…everything.

3. Baby Gas Drops; you won’t know how much you need these until your baby is crying with no relief in sight, gripe water seems to work well too if you’re looking for a more natural solution.

4. Baby Aspirator/Saline Solution; the big bulb ones work best, we got a free one from the hospital that worked better than anything I ever bought.

5. Baby Soap/Shampoo; my favorite is Johnson’s Head to Toe – that was what they used in the hospital and immediately connected with how my baby should smell, I’ve heard awesome things about the nighttime one as well but haven’t had much experience with that yet myself.

6. Baby lotion; Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture is awesome, I use it after every bath on the tot, wish I took that great of care of my own skin!

7…. If you’re breastfeeding or know someone who is, I’d recommend Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Cream. Use it BEFORE you really need it…just trust me on this one!

8. Grooming Kit; Mostly just the combs and nail clippers will come in really handy but the kits are nice since it all comes together.

9. Exergen Thermometer; pricey but way easier!

10. Baby Toothbrush and Toothpaste; our daughter mostly just chews on it but she’ll let me help too. The ones in the kits aren’t that great so you’re better off buying it separately.

11. Bath Items; Shampoo Rinse Cup for in the tub came in really, really handy. Some have silicone so they contour to the baby’s head for easier use. Munchkin also makes a rubber ducky equipped with a “HOT” sensor on the bottom so the new parents know if the bath is too hot, this came in especially handy when we had just brought our daughter home and were still nervous, once you get the hang of things it’s still a cute toy for the bath.

I’m sure there are a million other things you could put in there but that’s definitely a good start for any new parents, just toss it in a cute basket or bag and you’re all set!

And while they may not give you the standing ovation you’ll be hoping for ….you will, without a doubt, get a huge thank you down the road 😊

Baby Shower Website