November 26, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I am so absolutely, ridiculously, over the top excited about Christmas this year. It has ALWAYS been my favorite time of year, but this year is even better, because Jameson is finally old enough to totally get it.

Don't get me wrong, Delaney will also be SO much fun this year, since she will be able to "help" open her presents, she loves staring at Christmas lights, and she will get, at least a little, excited about her presents. But this is the first year Jameson understands enough to look forward to things!

We already have him super excited about our Happy Birthday Jesus party (He was super excited about Christmas before we told him that it involves a birthday party- not he is ridiculous about it). I know Delaney will also love this event since it includes cake. She loves cake.

He is also SO excited about Santa. Today we told him that Santa would bring him presents on Christmas Eve when he is sleeping. Do you know what the sneaky little kid did next??? He promptly ran to his room and laid down on his bed. When I went in to see what he was doing he was laying on his bed CLEARLY faking sleep. I asked him what he was doing and he told me that he needed to sleep so Santa would come. It was 1 o'clock in the afternoon! On November 26th! I guess it is going to be a long month...

He was also in awe about the decorations. He helped us with everything he possibly could. He was ecstatic about decorating the tree. He helped me place the star on the top of the tree, and then dutifully helped with every ornament we gave him (which were, ahem, relocated by daddy so that one section of the tree didn't have ALL the ornaments). He loves to come into the living room and just look at the tree.

He also is already asking about Christmas cookies, candy, presents, etc. He is definitely at a hard age to be making sure he completely understands what the real meaning of Christmas is (any ideas would be wonderful!), but we are so excited that he is finally at an age to get excited about it!

 Freshly decorated tree
 Delaney just looks so big in this picture!
My babies!

November 12, 2011

Little Britches Consignment Sale

My haul this year! (Sorry for the bad picture- it was super hard to fit it all in one frame!)

When Jameson was a baby I decided to check out this thing I had heard of called the Little Britches Consignment Sale. I really didn't know much about it, but I was out garage sailing so I thought it would check it out. That first sale, I think I spent about $30 and I was so happy! I can't tell you exactly what I bought that first sale, but I remember specifically that I had to track down a bag because my arm was getting tired from carrying everything. And the quality was amazing! I got items that looked next to new for dollars! Yes, the prices were higher than the garage sales, but the quality and sorted sizes made it worth it! I was instantly addicted.

Since then, I have volunteered at every sale and have sold at the last two (including this one). I have it down to an art now from how much I am willing to pay for clothing items the rest of the year (could I beat this price at the next Little Britches Sale?) to my very specific lists of what my kids have and what they need to which order I need to track my items down in once I am at the sale (based on how badly we need them and how fast that item tends to go at the sale).

Being a volunteer and a consignor, I have quite the deal. As a volunteer, there are only a handful of people who get to shop before me, so I (along with a herd of other volunteers) get pretty much the pick of the sale. Then, as a consignor, I get a 30 minute head start on the 1/2 price sale. I love that, between these two "advantages" I am able to get almost everything both my kiddos need for their wardrobes for considerably less than I could even imagine paying at retail. It just takes committing just 4 hours of time to volunteering (which I actually really enjoy as I always work with some really fun ladies) and taking the time to tag my clothes for sale (okay, I don't even want to talk about how long this takes, but between the 1/2 price sale perk and the check I will get in a few weeks that will (hopefully) pay for a huge chunk of our Christmas presents this year, it is absolutely worth it). If I didn't volunteer and consign I would still be able to find amazing stuff, but I love having first pick, and I feel like there is a little less elbow throwing and rudeness from fellow shoppers when you all understand the work that goes into the sale.

This year I set myself a budget of $100. I have had this money set back for weeks (the sale got bumped back a month this year due to construction so that money has just been waiting in my savings account!) and I was really hoping that I could stick to it! I am so pleased to say that I actually came in under budget! I got a super nice coat for each kid (Delaney's is a down Gap one that looks brand new!), some sweaters (including a super cute Gymboree one I got for $1 at the half price sale- I really don't know how I scored this deal!), two dresses for Delaney, some PJs for each, jeans, shirts, shoes for Delaney, 4 books (there are only two pictured because Jameson had already put two "away") a play purse for my little girl and an astronaut dress up costume for the boy(complete with a talking helmet!) for just over $80!!! And a lot of it is name brand (which I love because these will generally last longer and sell better at the next sale) including Gap and Gymboree. Almost $20 under budget!!

I will admit that I was nervous about the sale because it was put off a month. Boy, was I wrong! I thought that the quality and prices were both outstanding this year, and I spent very little time in line (though I was waiting to go into the sale for 45 minutes, but that was by choice and the little boy of the girl in front of me was super entertaining so I didn't mind at all!) If you are in the Manhattan area and have never gone you are MISSING OUT!!!! I highly recommend it!

The stuff for the little monkey to complete his closet

Our little punky needed almost a complete fall/winter wardrobe!

November 4, 2011

Another brick in the road to being a stay at home mom!

As many of you know (especially since I said it on my first entry) we are working diligently toward the goal of making me a stay at home mom. It has been a long road, and we are ecstatic to say that we are most definitely going to reach that goal soon! When Shaun got his promotion in April that made it a possibility for me to become a stay at home mom, we knew that one thing we wanted first was to be completely out of consumer debt. We didn't have an immense amount of credit card debt, but we definitely wanted to eliminate what we had. We are now almost to that goal and it feels so good! We have really been working hard toward this goal and it is so nice to see and end in sight!

In order to pay this off, my entire paycheck, plus a little of Shaun's has been going solely to these bills (with the exception of the daycare bill which is coming out of my paycheck). Because of this, we have already been living for several months without my paycheck, so we have already grown accustomed to what our situation will be. After I quit, we will have enough for our monthly expenses (including bills, groceries, gas, etc), plus a little extra so we can be putting money in savings. We are definitely going to have times that we will have to make sacrifices, but we are 100% okay with that!

Even though we have gotten used to this one income living, we are hoping to have a little bit of extra income to put in savings towards Christmas, vacations, fun money, etc. So, I decided to become a Scentsy Consultant! This is a very big step for me, and definitely out of my comfort zone, as I am not exactly a huge salesman (probably the opposite...), but I love Scentsy, so I decided to give it a shot! I am going into it hoping for the best, and realizing that it will not be my ticket to a full time work at home income. My goal is just to earn a few extra bucks to tuck away for the fun things in a low pressure, low risk situation! Shaun and I have been discussing and praying about this decision for a few months, and we really feel like this is a direction that we should go!

All I am asking for is many prayers and support in this endeavor! (But if you wanted to buy something from me it wouldn't hurt my feelings... (:  )