Friday, November 21, 2014

friday five - 11.21.14

Happy Friday!

Sorry for the absence this week... work/life got a little crazy, but I'm here now! :)

** just an FYI - I'll be taking next week off to enjoy the Thanksgiving time with our families, but I'll be back in December, ready to blog!! **

It's Friday, which means you get 5 things. I've decided to do a financial theme this week. I love finding ways to save a little money, and I bet a lot of you do too... so here you go!



{one} We do all of our grocery shopping at Target. It's convenient for us, and I love going there, so it's a win/win. The other reason I love shopping at Target is all the ways to save some money! I cut basic coupons every Sunday from the paper, but that's just the beginning! First - if you shop at Target at all regularly, you need to do two things for me RIGHT NOW.

#1 - sign up for a red debit card. It links to your checking account, so it's the same as using your bank card, but you get 5% off every purchase!

 #2 - download the Cartwheel app on your phone. It's a magical app filled with tons of deals on everything you want to buy anyway! There's a scanning feature, so I just scan every item before it goes in my cart!

Those are two of the big ways to save, but there's more. They also have mobile coupons that are texted to your phone each week. You can also print coupons from Target's website. If you have the red card, you'll get coupons personalized to what you purchase mailed to your house. All of those are ON TOP of Cartwheel, red card savings and manufacturer coupons.

I'm not a crazy couponer, and will only print/use coupons on items I would buy without a coupon, but it's amazing how much I save on each trip!! These literally take just a few minutes each week, but saves me at least $20 every shopping trip!



{two} I LOVE reading books, and when I get going, I'll read an entire book in one day. I love my Nook, but buying books on there can get a little spendy when you're reading a book a day. I randomly searched "free" and got a huge list of free ebooks for the Nook! I will download like 10 of them, and just read them as I go. I don't feel bad if the book isn't very good, because it was free! I also recently discovered collections in the "cheap book" section, and I'm a fan of those as well! I just bought one for 99 cents, and it has 7 books in it! Since I love reading, and am open to trying lots of new books, this works great for me!!



{three} This one is only for Minnesota locals... but it's a good one! I have an addiction to the Northern Light Dark Chocolate Mocha, (medium is only 220 calories!) and I get at least one every week. Caribou Perks is a free loyalty program that rewards you for your coffee addiction. Just give them your phone number each time you buy a coffee, and the rewards will start coming! The rewards range from free flavor shots, size upgrades and even free beverages! Just for drinking coffee you'd be drinking anyway. Not signing up just doesn't make sense!! (I make Jake use my number when he gets a coffee so I get his rewards too!) 



{four} We go through a LOT of berries in our house. While I was cleaning and cutting up a package of Driscoll's berries, I noticed something about doing a survey for a coupon on the packaging. I looked more into it, and now I'm obsessed! Their Berry Community is so easy, and so rewarding! On the back of every package, there's a QR code that will take you to their online survey site. For every survey you fill out, you get a 50 cents off coupon. THEN, as you do more surveys, you become a silver and then a gold member. A silver member gets 75 cents off coupons, and gold members get $1 off coupons! Just for filling out a 30 second survey!!! The surveys just ask questions about the quality of the berries you bought - which can help Driscoll's with quality control! I sound like a commercial for Driscoll's right now, but this isn't sponsored at all. Driscoll's doesn't know who I am... Weston is just a berry addict, and I'm always looking for a way to save some money!!! 



{five} I signed up for Amazon Prime in the middle of the night when Weston was just a week old. He was super congested and I was freaking out. I ordered the Nose Frida, and wanted it ASAP, and didn't want to pay for shipping. I figured I'd cancel my membership before the free trial ended, but I forgot about it. I'm SO GLAD I DID! It's so nice being able to purchase items from the wonderful world of Amazon, and to get it in two days, with free shipping! It's $99 a year, but I guarantee that I've saved that and more with the free shipping! Plus, it's super convenient! There's also a bunch of streaming options for movies and shows, but we haven't ever really tried that portion of it. 


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I'm linking up with these lovelies! Make sure to go check them out! 
Momfessionals


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Friday, November 14, 2014

friday five - 11.14.14

Another Friday... another set of 5 random things! Here we go!

{one} Last night was a bittersweet night. We got together as a family to celebrate the life of my uncle Dick. Dick was my dad's youngest brother, and his death was a complete surprise to our family. While we are all sad to lose our uncle, it was great getting together with our family, who we just don't see enough of. Spending time together, laughing, crying and remembering old stories reminds me just how important family is.
{two} A plus to having a funeral this week is that my sister is in town! She's coming over with my dad and we're having a pizza night tonight! I can't wait!!!! 

{three} We've had snow for less than a week, and already my FitBit steps are getting crushed. I had less than 4,000 steps twice this week... do you know how long it's been since that happened??? I'm going to need to figure out a way to get my steps up inside!!! Plus... I forgot to even put the FitBit on this morning. WHO AM I?!?!?!

{four} I've been wearing my boots every day since it started getting cold here in Minnesota, so today when I decided to wear flats... I quickly learned what a mistake that is. Normally I wear my winter boots TO work, and then change into my flats. Well - who knows where those winter boots went to?!?!?! Walking to work in flats when its 15 degrees outside... not fun. Not even a little. 

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{five} no no no no no. #meltmyheart

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I'm linking up with these lovelies! Make sure to go check them out! 
Momfessionals


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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

how to survive MinneSNOWta.

It's official. Minnesota's gorgeous fall is over, and now it's the land of cold, snow and ice. It's been two days, and I'm already sick of it. I try not to complain about winter in Minnesota, because I do really love living here, but it's definitely my least favorite season.

To enjoy the three awesome seasons that Minnesota has, we have to get past winter.
And I can help you with that.


1. Hibernate. The bears do it... why can't we?

2. Drink LOTS of hot beverages. The $5 drinks are worth it when it's freezing, and I guarantee you'll burn the calories from shivering while you walk to your car.

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3. Wear layers. Put on those long socks, pants, boots, shirts, coats, scarves, hats and mittens. Looking like the Michelin man will keep you warm - I promise.

4. Teach your car how to ice skate. No matter how carefully you drive, you will slide up to a stop sign at least once each winter. Teaching your car how to ice skate might prevent you from the heart-pounding freak out moment of trying to stop your car from sliding into an intersection.

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5. Understand that your temperature gauge is going to get all messed up. 30 degrees in November is freezing... 30 degrees in March is a heat wave.

6. Develop x-ray vision. Those snow drifts and snow banks are so high, there's really no way to see around them except with super powers.

7. Learn to like living in the dark. You'll drive to work in the dark, you'll drive home in the dark. If you get out for lunch, you may see the sun, but that's about it.

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8. Snow is great... for Christmas. Pretty much everyone agrees that snow is a necessary part of Christmas. Hello - white Christmas? But as soon as that holiday passes, we all count the seconds until the snow melts. 

This one is too funny... I didn't have a category for it to go with, but I had to share it anyway!!

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And lastly... go listen to this parody to Shake It Off. KDWB (one of our radio stations) does some hilarious parodies, and this might be my new favorite. 


Scrape it off! Scrape it off! 

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

what we've been up to...

I've been a bad blogger, and haven't been blogging about our life as much as I should be. But that doesn't mean we haven't been busy... because we have! Here's some of the things we've been up to...

Madi & Jami's birthday
Madi and Jami are daughters of Jake's cousin Rachel, and they're really more like nieces to us. We had a picnic birthday party to celebrate their birthdays, and it was so much fun! Weston loves playing with all the kids, and they LOVE playing with him!

Noah's birthday 
One of my very best friends, Melissa, threw a 4th birthday party for her son Noah, and we were sure to be there! I was horrible at taking pictures, but there was a giant blow up bouncy house that the kids LOVED! Weston wasn't quite big enough to go in it, but he loved tapping it from the outside!

playing at the park
We had a GORGEOUS fall (that's officially over now that snow is here!) and we made sure to take full advantage of it! We practically lived at the park, and Weston loved every second of it. His favorites are the swings, tunnels and tunnel slides! FUN FUN!

Chrissy's wedding
I've known Chrissy since we worked at Target together in high school, and she is one of the sweetest women in this world. We were honored to celebrate as she married Matt. It was such a fun wedding, and we danced the night away! 

Jake's birthday
Jake turned 35 (old man!) this year, and we celebrated twice! We had his whole family over for a birthday party, and proceeded to drink 7 bottles of wine. Then, we went out for dinner with his parents to celebrate again. I love this man, and love celebrating his birthday!

Halloween
We took our little monster kid trick or treating to both of his grandparents' house, and he loved it! He thought he was so funny running around in his costume, and we thought it was hilarious watching him!! The giant head and puffy tummy of this costume will never get old. :)

baby Bennett
One of my coworkers and sweet friends, Hayley, welcomed their baby boy Bennett into the world, and you better believe we went for some baby snuggles! He reminded me so much of Weston, and snuggled right in my arms... it was hard giving him back! :) Such a sweet baby boy!

Kenley's birthday
Kenley is the sweet daughter of my Beeb, Kristin, and Jake's best friend, Jason. She is turning 2 (how is that possible??) and we celebrated at the Little Gym. It was so much fun watching the kids run around in there... and Weston took a LONG nap afterwards... thanks for that! :)

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And now I think you're all caught up. :) It was a busy but wonderful fall, and now we're headed into the holiday season! Bring on the turkey, Christmas carols and Santa!! :) 

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Weston's favorite things - 14 months old.

I was looking back at some old blog posts, and I realized I haven't done a Weston's favorite things post for almost 9 months. (last post hereNow that Weston has actual opinions on his favorite things, I figured I'd do an updated one. 

Weston's favorite things - 14 months


basketball hoop
Jake is a basketball fanatic, so I knew it was only a matter of time before Weston started "playing" basketball. It's safe to say that he's obsessed now. He loves slam dunking the ball, and will walk around the room picking up balls and putting them in the hoop over and over again. He gets so proud of himself... it's adorable. 

pottery barn anywhere chair
Jake and I bought this for Weston's first birthday, and I was so excited to give it to him. It took a while, but he's really starting to use it, and loves climbing on it. I am hopeful that he'll love using it for years to come!

balls
These balls are just an example, but I'm sure Weston would love to add these ones to his collection. He has probably 15 balls, and loves every single one. His favorite is an orange basketball, a ninja turtle foam ball and a pink monster-faced bouncy ball. 

aden+anais swaddle blankets
The only thing Weston loves more than balls is these blankets. Weston is a complete blanket baby, and I love it. We have a blanket with us at all times... in the car, out and about and around the house. He loves to grab it, hold it up to his face and snuggle with it, and then go about his business. When it's bedtime or naptime, we drape the blanket over him, and he gets a huge smile, and puts himself right to sleep. Blankets are a SAVIOR in our house. 

munchkin sippy cup
Weston can drink from pretty much any kind of cup now, but when he was first learning how to drink from a cup, these were the only ones he could figure out. The spout is soft like a bottle nipple, but it's really a cup. It's the perfect combination and really helped him learn how to drink from a cup.

mickey's mousekedoer ride-on scooter
Weston actually got this for Christmas last year, and he's loved playing with it ever since. He loves to push the buttons, flip it on it's side and roll the wheels, push it around and put his other toys in the seat. He doesn't like riding on it yet, (go figure) but I'm sure that day is coming!

graco fastaction jogging stroller
Our stroller is probably one of the most used items we bought for Weston. He absolutely loves going for walks, and could spend hours in this stroller. We love it because it rides so nicely, folds up quickly and is light enough to put it in the car quickly. 

b. wheeee-is cars - 4 pack
These were a birthday present, and I now buy these for other first birthdays that we go to. They're perfect for Weston's age - the cars all make different sounds, they drive when you pull them backwards and they're soft enough that Weston can't hurt himself. He loves watching them drive around on the wood floors, and likes trying to figure out how to get them to move. 

books
Weston would have us read books to him for hours at a time. He loves bringing books to us, sitting down on the couch, reading it and then getting another book. Snuggle Puppy and Goodnight Moon are probably his favorites, but he has many more that he likes as well. 

melissa & doug wood blocks
While he isn't at the stage to actually build things with the blocks, he loves playing with them. He loves banging them together, putting them in things, and sucking/chewing on them. He also really likes when I build a tower and then knock it down. They've been great while he's been teething recently (hi molars) and I have a feeling these will be on the favorites list for a long time! 

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What are some of the favorite items in your house? I love hearing about new stuff to try out with Weston! 


I'm linking up with Molly and Carly for Let It Shine Monday!

still being molly

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Minted.

Even though Jake has a strict "no Christmas before Thanksgiving" rule, there is one part of Christmas I get to do earlier. 

CHRISTMAS CARDS! :) 

I get so excited to start researching adorable Christmas card options, and I always end up with way too many favorites and have an impossible time trying to pick one! 

One of my favorite sites to browse every year for Christmas card options is Minted. 



Minted is a marketplace of independent artists who make some of the most amazing designs out there! This is from their site:

"We believe that great design lives and thrives in the hands of independent artists that people do not have access to through traditional retailers. Minted uses technology to allow consumers to discover great creative talent, making Minted a place where artists can learn, gain exposure, and build their businesses."
I love that! And I love Minted too! Because there are so many artists on the site, you're pretty much guaranteed to find an amazing card. Here are a few of my favorites from their holiday card section:









And these are seriously just a few that I loved. I could go on, and on, and on, and on, and on. But I won't. I'll let you do that. Go to Minted.com and check out all the amazing cards! I promise that you'll find the perfect one!! :)

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Friday, November 7, 2014

friday five - 11.7.14

Oh hi Friday. :)
Thanks for coming... feel free to stay a while, and make sure to bring your friends Saturday and Sunday!! I love bullet point posts, so here's five of them!


{one} Let's take a quick second to say WOOHOO! This is my 5th blog post this week, and I have been reading and commenting on blogs all week! I don't think I'll be back to my "pre-Weston" blogging status anytime soon, but I am glad to be back in the groove, at least a little! Let's just hope I didn't jinx it!

{two} While I'm on the subject of blogging, I need to thank this girl right here. This is Pinky, and she blogs over at Pinky Persistence. She is the sweetest, funniest, most awesome #pinkcrayola friend ever, and I'm so grateful for the blog world. This crazy internet land gave me this girl, and for that I'm forever grateful! She is always there to listen to me tell a funny Weston story, ask a blog question, vent about life and share fun secrets with. Thanks for being such an awesome friend Pinky! Love you!

Life Love & Puppy Prints
{three} While I'm giving blog shoutouts... I need to say THANK YOU to my good buddy and talented designer friend Erin at Love, Fun & Football! She gave my blog a pretty new look, and I'm SO OBSESSED!!!!!!!! If you're looking for a talented designer, you'd be crazy not to check her out!!

{four} I've mentioned it a couple times on the blog... but I've been trying to step up my fashion game. I found myself putting on the same things and not really trying... and I didn't like it. I've featured a couple awesome shops and of course Stitch Fix, and those have really been helping! I've decided to start taking pictures of some of my outfits, to motivate myself and prove that I don't live in sweats. :)
(don't worry sweats - I still love you!) I'm still working on figuring out how, where and when I like taking the pics, but here they are. Obviously... the NDSU one is added as a joke... I took it after tailgating and couldn't help but include it. 

{five} That little peanut is turning two and we're celebrating this weekend! Kenley (my beeb's daughter) is one adorable, special little girl, and we can't wait to celebrate turning two!!


I'm linking up with these lovelies! Make sure to go check them out! 
Momfessionals

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