Besides the fact I have been watching my oldest pack and repack his bags which means sometimes I begin to get that knot that grows ever so slightly when you know your bird is about to leave the nest. Yes, I said bird, but ya’ll know what I mean. Every time I see him pack his bag I get a sadness but a happiness that grows over me. See it isn’t like I’m just releasing him to a world unknown, in fact he will be leaving California with his dad and moving in with him until he has enough to move out on his own …. if he chooses to do so.
It’s that time of year again. You know when people love to decorate their homes in Christmas lights, outdoor winter displays and have their Christmas trees all decked out in fun and lights for everyone to see. To me, this is what makes everything feel like Christmas season, I love going driving through the town and checking out all the homes that have their lights on. Last year was the first year I didn’t see many homes displaying lights, I am really hoping to see a lot of homes this year with them. But living in the desert I’m not so sure we’ll see that.
Ever since I can remember, we have always had artificial trees in my home, even growing up. Only thing I miss out on is the smell the real one makes, but thankfully not the mess. I love all things Christmas, which means the Christmas trees, Christmas decorations especially the Christmas lights and outdoor displays you find around town. My current tree is a cheap one I bought at the store, however my favorite would have to be what is known as the Colorado Pine. I love the big bottom trees that get smaller at the top, but I also enjoy having a prelit one so I don not go crazy trying to string it myself. I have discovered a 6.5ft Pine at Christmas Lights Etc for $459 , where you can actually order yourself one today and get a coupon code for 11% off your order because of Veteran’s Day. I love that you can see exactly what the tree and limbs look like before purchasing. Unlike those prelit ones you buy in the store inside a box. Never turns out looking like the picture on the outside, but these have multiple shots and this tree has the extra bonus of pincone clusters at the tips of the branches.
Coupon Code: VETERANS (ends today)
To me, there is just something magical about Christmas lights. I love decorating inside and out. Who is with me on that? I typically set up my Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, which means I need to start figuring out what all we need to buy for the house. I know I will want LED lights for outside because of the way they glow, but I also want garland to string around my porch. The Garland lights (which I had not even thought of) will probably look best on my porch and then it’ll be easy to take down after the holidays. Garland lights come in either LED, clear, colored or twinkle and are 6’ beaded garlands to 18’ for the larger porches. I think the lights of a pre-lit Christmas tree is enough on the tree but I’ll still need something for my windows. How much do you decorate?
This post was brought to you by Christmas Lights Etc.
(Disclosure: This is a guest post, I am not being compensated in any form.)
I like to consider myself to be a pretty financially responsible person. I am always looking for new ways to spend less on things that you have to buy that way I can keep more of my money to spend on the things I want.
Once area that I am able to see the most savings is in the area of grocery shopping.
We can’t get away from buying food, but we can learn ways to spend less.
Here is the 3 step process I used to use to make sure I was spending the least amount of money on my grocery bill each week.
- Create a Menu Plan. This is the best way to know what you will need to buy each week. Having a menu keeps me from buying those unnecessary things that catch my attention when I am cruising the grocery store aisles.
- Check the Store Ads. I like to check more than one store to see what they are offering on sale that week. I make my shopping list based on what I need and who has the best price this week.I also make sure to check all of my local drug stores. They carry food too, and lots of times they have THE best prices.
- Gather your coupons. Once I know what I will buy, I look for coupons that will work on those items to save even more of my money.
This has been my process for saving at the stores for years now. It works!
But, it takes a lot of time and effort to plan and get your coupons together.
There is a brand new Grocery Savings Tool available that can help you save up to 70% off using nothing more than your cell phone.
You choose your stores and enter your grocery list, and it tells you where to go for the lowest price at that time. It will also let you know if there are coupons available so you don’t have to spend your time searching yourself.
Use that time you have waiting for your kids to get out of school or after school classes to plan your grocery list.
Favado is a mobile savings app that helps shoppers stop overspending by notifying them when their favorite items are on sale.
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Favado’s Features Include:
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We were sent a Bubble Bum Booster seat for the car, honestly I wasn’t entirely sure this thing would work. It actually looked like just a square and when I sat it down on the seat for BabyGirl (age 9) to sit on it didn’t do anything. Hmmm, what the heck is this for anyways. Now for those of you that know there is a valve that blows up but you won’t figure it out unless you read the directions. Yes, a total blonde moment for me, as as my kids would say “Duh, de duh.”
(BabyGirl, age 9- The case they come in but inside the booster seat actually has its own traveling bag to store it in to make traveling that much easier.)
(BalletGirl shows you what it looks like outside the bag and how to blow it up. Yes, this is a seat that you blow up.)
The beauty of this is the following:
– a carrying case so you can travel with it (bus, train, plane, ferry, taxi, rental cars or cross country in your minivan.)
– it is light, only weighs 1lb
– it is not big like a regular car seat or booster seat
The age range for this booster seat goes from 4-11 years old or 40-100lbs which means this is perfect for all but one of my kids, but since BalletGirl will be turning 13 she can’t use it. BabyGirl gets to use it since Little A currently has a booster seat. This was pretty easy to set up, all you do is pull it out of the bag, blow it up and set it up with the seat belt. She did not want to use the shoulder adjuster but there is a shoulder belt positioning clip that you can strap on to make it an enhanced comfort for the child. I just like the fact that everyone will have the proper seat when going on our trip in a week. We use a mini van so seating is a bit cramped in the back with a booster seat, a 13 year old and my 9 year old but thanks to the BubbleBum we have her a booster seat and it doesn’t take up much room. Check out the photos above to see how much it takes. See, not much at all. You can get it in purple or black, we got the black one.
Many of us tend forget that our older kids even need a booster seat once they hit a certain age, make sure you are meeting your state requirements. Not all states have the same booster seat rules. However in Indiana
“all children between eight (8) and sixteen (16) years of age must be restrained in a child restraint system or a vehicle seat belt. If the child weighs more than 40 pounds, they may be secured and fastened by a lap safety belt under the following circumstances”
The seat meets all US Federal Motor vehicle safety requirements. You can order it from their website for $39.99.
The BOUNCIEST GIVEAWAY EVER hosted by Mom Powered Media
Prize: BounceLand Castle Bounce N’ Slide
The event dates: 8/13 – 8/27
Sign-Up Here – Bloggers Wanted
I don’t know about you but this looks like fun to me. When was the last time you rented a bouncer?