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December 21, 2014

Shuffleboard Date Night!

So we have been using the last few semi-warm weekends to get finished with the last few house projects before we close. So yesterday we blew more insulation into the attic and went refrigerator/microwave shopping for the new house. It was fun.... kind of.
my love. hahahaha.
Thankfully my dad rocks and came to help us. He fed the insulation machine, Bryan ninja-d it back to the far depths of the attic and I stood at the top of the attic as the liaison between them. I definitely got the best job and looked the least goofy when it was all said and done. My grandma got here on Friday (she stays with my parents in the winter) and came to help with the boys while this fun was going down. She's going to be here until March so she'll be able to help me a TON with moving and packing and mainly with the watching of the hooligans. She and Rhett kind of adore each other and I am so thankful for her.

This boy LOVES his daddy.
Bryan has been trying to convince me that we need a shuffleboard table at our new house in the bonus room. I'm cool with it and all, but I had never played shuffleboard so last night he took me out on a date to play shuffleboard! It was different than the fancy dinner kind of date night we usually go on. I wore boyfriend flannel since I was going out with my forever "boyfriend" and since we were going to a super casual place. It just felt appropriate.

My parents and grandma came to stay with the boys. We are so spoiled that we have yet to hire a real babysitter (in 4.5 years) and that we have so much family close to help us. One day I know we are going to need to hire a babysitter, especially after a fun night out it makes me realize we need to do it more often.
We played two games of shuffleboard (I wasn't very good) and it was super fun. We've decided that maybe instead of a shuffleboard table we'll get a Hot Tub for our back yard... we will see. Then we ate Sushi next door to the Shuffleboard place at Wasabi. Our first date was sushi (my first time to eat sushi) on Dickson St. in Fayetteville, so it seemed appropriate for our "Christmas" date last night too to have Sushi on Dickson St. I've come a long way in my love for sushi and my chopstick technique in the last 8 years.

I am so thankful that after 15 years of friendship, 8 years of being together and 6 years of marriage (in two weeks!!!) there is no one on the planet I would rather spend time with. Bryan knows me through and through and makes me laugh like a giggly pre-teen still. I enjoy raising our family together and how much our kids adore their daddy. I love how hard that he works to provide for us. But mostly I love how well he loves me (ie Sunday is my nap day and he always takes over kid duties on Sunday afternoon so I can sneak in a nap and he always makes sure to appreciate all of the hard work I do staying home with the boys).

That's our weekend in review. Hope you've had a great weekend! Looking forward to the week ahead! :) Happy Sunday!
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December 20, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Northwest Arkansas. After an unseasonable warm start to December, the weather has cooled off and I like it. We've been in our warm PJ's and have been able to have the fireplace on. Hudson had his school Christmas play on Wednesday. It was so cute. He was a little shepherd. My dad and grandpa got to come watch with Bryan and I, Hudson was thrilled.

Yesterday I scrounged around and found some stuff to make "crafts". All of our good craft stuff is already in storage for the move, but I found some pastel green paper, our reject crayon box and my aunt had given the boys some Christmas stickers. Christmas Pictures it was! Hudson was thrilled and Rhett was a lot more interested in eating the crayons than anything else.
Bryan's Annie (his grandma) sent the boys a package and Bryan opened it with them last night.
Stuffed animals, books and cookies!

And of course the BEST present you could ever give little boys-- FLASH LIGHTS. Oh my goodness!
They were so excited to open this package that I can only imagine how fun Christmas is going to be with them this year! I am pumped.

Then Bryan, Hudson and I made a pallet on the floor in front of the fire place last night and watched the first Home Alone. Probably my favorite Christmas movie. Bryan and I were cracking up about things that seem so OLD and crazy now (they make a joke about being able to make a phone call from a tree house... 25 years later and kids don't get that at all! Everyone has a cell phone! And they want to steal VCRS! ha ha ha ha ha!)....

Anyways, I am so glad we are having a "normal" Christmas this year after the last two Christmases of losing loved ones and being in the hospital. I can't believe it's been a year but more on that later.

My grandma got here last night and the rest of my family will be here this week. Then next weekend Bryan's family is coming.

Happy Saturday, friends! Hope it's feeling like Christmas where you are too!

December 19, 2014

Scribd... The Best Holiday Reading Gift!

Tracking PixelThis is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scribd.

I love to read. I've always love to read since I was a little girl. I am a true book worm through and through. But want to know an awful secret? I don't think I have completed more than one book a year since my kids were born. I have really good intentions, but I just don't make the time. So I've made a goal for myself to read 30 books in 2015. I am prying myself away from the TV and going to read instead!

So I was super excited when I found out about Scribd! Scribd is the largest unlimited-access subscription ebook & audiobook service around, with more than 500,000 eBooks and 30,000 audiobooks and no limits on how much you can read/listen to. I had just ordered a few books online and when I signed up for Scribd found out that EVERY book I had ordered was on Scribd, so I sent them all back!

So I downloaded Scribd earlier this week and I have already read one whole book and I am listening to another one while I cook and work in the kitchen! I am absolutely loving it! Bryan downloaded it too and he's halfway through a book he has been wanting to read but just had yet to go buy! Super cool!
A preview of my library
I've told all of my friends and family who like to read about Scribd and their amazing subscription price which is the lowest on the market at only $8.99/month. But I also wanted to share Scribd with all of you! So right now you can try out this service for FREE, just activate a THREE-MONTH TRIAL through this link. But hurry! You must sign up before January 1, 2015 in order to take advantage of the free trial.

So I was also thinking that this would be a perfect gift for those in your life this Christmas, especially if someone you know is getting a tablet!!! A Scribd gift membership is the perfect gift for every book & audiobook lover. Pricing options are perfect for everyone on your list, from professional colleague to a family member. You can check out their gift card options here!

Don't forget to sign up for a FREE THREE MONTH TRIAL of Scribd!!!

Do you like to read? Have any book suggestions for me? Do you have a goal for next year too? Leave me a comment and let me know!!!

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scribd.

December 17, 2014

Coupon App Update!

I haven't done a coupon post in a VERY long time. Probably because I don't do it as "extremely" as I used to. I had a pretty good trip yesterday and wanted to share it with y'all and let you in on a little couponing secret. Coupon Apps!

So even though I haven't been "clipping" coupons like I used to. I still use a ton of apps on my phone! Let's go through the list!

Ibotta. Hands down my favorite. I get $0.25 back on milk EVERY week. You can cash out to paypal as soon as you have $10 in your account. You work as a team with other people to unlock special bonuses and December's is AWESOME because every time you get $10 back you get a free $10! Paying me to shop?? Don't mind if I do. They have almost every grocery stores and tons of online stores and other stuff now too. Amazing things from ANY brand of milk, bread, eggs, ice cream... to specifics like Pampers and Tide. Every week is different. You buy the products and then when you get home scan them through the app with your phone and then take a picture of your receipt and send it in. Usually you see the money back in your Ibotta account within a few hours.

If you want to join my team on Ibotta download the FREE app and then enter the code bvswfw. I think you might get a free credit if you do this too! My lifetime earnings with Ibotta is $346.75 and I've been using it a year or so! That's like a month's worth of groceries!

Checkout 51. Another favorite of mine is Checkout 51. A lot like Ibotta except you don't have to scan the products. They have a lot of fresh produce items and often have eggs. You get mailed a $20 check when you get to $20. Bonus is that you can use these two apps together for the same items! Double savings!

Shopmium. Love love love Shopmium too. Lots of Organic and Natural products on Shopmium. Same concept as the others but the money back deposits straight back into Paypal usually within 3 days. You can sign up with my referral code (GHUMKEWP) and get a FREE Lindt Chocolate bar!  Again you can stack these offers with the other apps if they match up!

Walmart Savings Catcher. So my husband works for Walmart corporate and I (obviously) do most of my grocery shopping there. It helps WM and his paycheck and bonus... and we have a discount card so it makes the most sense for me to buy things there! They have a new app where you can scan your receipt and they'll check competitors for lower prices on the items you bought and if they find one they'll give you the difference back on a Walmart Giftcard. I'm not sure if this has rolled out nationwide yet, but I know it's in NWA and in most big cities. It takes a little longer to rack up money this way BUT if you have a Bluebird card, they will DOUBLE your earnings to spend back at Walmart... um ok. Free money? Don't mind if I do. I've earned $28.42 back as of today (over maybe 3-4 months) and I've put it all on my Bluebird card so that's over $50 without me having to go through the trouble to looking at competitors ads.

I really put it to the test a few weeks ago. Bryan was with us at Walmart on a Sunday and I bought Honeycrisp apples (EXPENSIVE but so delish!) and I knew they were on sale at another local grocery store for 4/$1 and WM had them for like $1.50 a piece. I was upset that he went through self check in the lawn and garden and there wasn't anyone around to help us do the price match so we paid full price. I scanned the receipt in like always when we got home, and a few days later it caught that sale and refunded me the $3.50. BOOM!

I use Cartwheel at Target also. But I've really stopped going there as much because it's kind of far from my house and it's not really fun shopping with two kids.
So let me show you a little trip I did using these apps yesterday.

I went to Walmart with a list of a few things that I had to get and then looked through my coupons and the apps and found some great deals.

2 Wet Ones: $2.28 each. -2 $1/1 mfc and submitted for Ibotta rebate of $1.50.
Total: $1.06

Land o Lakes 1/2 butter sticks: $4.78. Submitted for $1 Ibotta.
Total: $3.78

3 Bush's Chili Beans: $0.92 each. Submitted for $1 Ibotta.
Total: 3/$1.76

Glade Candle: Sale $2. -$1 mfc and $0.50 C51 app.
Total: $0.50

2 Justin's Almond Butter Packets: $1 each. Submitted $0.75 and $0.50 Ibotta.
Total: $0.75

Fruitfuls: $3.98. Submitted for $1 Ibotta.
Total: $2.98

Aveeno Baby wash and lotion: $4.97 each. -$3/2 mfc and $2 and $2 C51.
Total: $2.94

Honeymaid: $2.98. -$0.50 mfc and $0.50 Ibotta.
Total: $1.98

4 Smart Ones: $2 each. -$1.50 Ibotta.
Total: $6.50
Total Retail: $40.97
Total after manufacturers coupons:  $34.47
I also get a 10% discount at Walmart. So that took off $4.09. Bringing the total to $30.38.
I got $7.75 back from Ibotta. PLUS I hit the team bonus of an extra $10 back. Bringing it to $12.63.
Then I got back $4.50 from Checkout 51 AND hit a bonus there and got an additional $1.

Bringing the grand total to $7.13 for almost $41 retail value. That's an 82% savings.

I submitted my Savings Catcher but don't have it back yet. And there was nothing on this trip from Shopmium.

Now here's where I will tell you that on things like the beans and butter I would usually buy store brand. With the Ibotta savings these were cheaper than store brand and I knew I was close to getting that $10 bonus so it was well worth it. I get my manufacturers coupons from the Sunday newspaper or from coupons.com.

I hope that helps! Please let me know what questions you have or if there are any other apps that you love!!!

Happy Wednesday! :)

December 16, 2014

Sara Lee® 45 Delightful People

Tracking Pixel This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sara Lee®.

Most of you have been readers long enough to see my weight loss transformation. If you haven't been, I will recap a little of my journey. In May of this past year I found myself at a weight I had only ever been at while pregnant. I was tired all the time and so unhappy with the way I looked and felt. I saw the picture below of myself and knew it was time for a change. I began watching what I ate and exercising religiously. I also upped my water intake to half of my body weight in ounces. I wanted to be a better example for my kids. I didn't want them to have a mom who was fat and couldn't run and play with them. I wanted them to have a fit mom would could play sports with them!
Since then I have lost 25 lbs. I still have a way to go but I am so happy with my progress this far!
So I was super excited when I got the chance to blog for Sara Lee® and their 45 Delightful People campaign because I felt like I was a perfect fit! Head over there and share your transformation story for a change to win the grand prize pack! Each participant in the 45 Delightful People program will automatically receive a free tee-shirt.

Also,  Sara Lee® Delightful breads are a favorite in our house! They are a healthier bread option, perfect for during the holiday season and as we head into the new year! Sara Lee® Delightful Breads provide delicious taste and delightful texture with 45 calories per full-size slice. New flavor Oatmeal joins the current line which includes 100% Whole Wheat (made with real honey), Healthy Multi-Grain and Wheat. The Delightful breads are all heart-healthy and provide a great source of fiber in each serving and unlike other breads a serving is TWO slices. They have no artificial colors or flavors and NO high fructose corn syrup.

Sara Lee® Delightful can be paired with your choice of spread (we like jam, peanut butter, hummus or soft spreadable cheese); enjoyed with your favorite lunch meats for the perfect sandwich; or used in some of your favorite recipes including French toast, bread pudding, strata, panini and more. The Delightful line in available in supermarkets nationwide and has an average price of $3.29 per 20 oz. package.

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sara Lee®.

December 15, 2014

"Mama, Can We Dance?"

Bryan told me that I am not blogging about the boys enough.

So here you go.

This morning I had the pleasure of helping with Hudson's Preschool Christmas party. He was so excited for me to be there. He was waving and blowing me kisses and yelling "Hi Mama!" all morning.

They played the Frozen soundtrack during the party and (like everyone else on the planet with preschoolers) we are obsessed with Frozen and the music. "Love is an Open Door" is "our" song. I always have to stop everything I am doing when it comes on and dance and sing with him when we watch it at home.

About half-way through the party, "Love is an Open Door" came on.

Hudson looked at me kind of sheepishly and looked around at all of his friends.

Then he looked back up at me and said, "Mama, can we dance?".

So we danced. In the middle of the church gym with all of his friends around.

I thought about the significance of this on my way home and shared it with Bryan over lunch with tears streaming down my face. My little boy isn't always going to want to dance with me, especially not in front of his friends. He is so proud of me and so happy to have me around and that {probably} won't always be the case.

As long and hard as the days are at this point in my journey of motherhood, I always want to remember today and not be too busy to have these moments with my boys. People always tell me this, and the more years that pass the more I know it's true... The days are so long, but the years are so short.

So on this Monday, the week before Christmas, I encourage you to go dance and have fun with your kids and not let the craziness of the season get in the way.  I feel like the next time I blink my baby is going to be going to Kindergarten and then Jr. High... and then wanting to get married.

But I won't worry about tomorrow, because today, he wants to dance. So that's what we will do.

Happy Monday.

December 10, 2014

Friends and Favorite things!

I had a Christmas Girls Night with my friends last night and we did a "Favorite Things Party". It was super fun. We set a $5 limit per gift and since there were 5 of us we each bought 4 of the same thing to exchange. Then we brought our gifts in bags and passed them around the table and had to guess who brought what. It was so fun! This might be a new tradition for us.

Here is a peek at what I got! Super fun! I brought Burt's Bees Chapstick and Peppermint Bark squares.
Thieves cleaner, Dark Chocolate Espresso Trail Mix, Big Sexy Hair Hairspray and Root Pump and Onion Spice Dip
We ate at a cute "fancy" restaurant downtown, it was so yummy! Then we closed down Starbucks.
Me, Rebecca, Katy, Beth and Hannah
Katy and I, love this sweet friend
I am so very grateful for my friends. It's just so nice to be around people who get where I am and what I am going through in life. We spend the majority of our time together laughing and I always leave feeling SO refreshed.

Then this morning I got to meet up with my friend Katie (yes I have two good friends named Katy/Katie...) for breakfast at another super cute restaurant downtown and we did a little shopping. I love this friend too! She is very special to me and I always enjoy our time together!
That's a "peek" into what's been going on this week in my life. Hanging out with my friends and a LOT of doing house stuff. This house selling/buying is HARD work!

Happy Wednesday!

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