8/25/16

Groupon Local - Convenient, with Money-Saving Powers!


This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.



As most of you I’m sure already know, I bit the bullet and bought a minivan at the start of the year. The conveniences of having a minivan are aplenty, but unfortunately, I think I may have bought an unlucky one. Figures, right? If I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all.

Let’s just say that by the 7th month of ownership, I already needed a new windshield, a replacement mirror, and I maaaaaaay have been a few THOUSAND miles over for an oil change. I know, I know, the oil change isn’t the van’s fault.

Anyway, the hubs hooked me up by going to the pick and pull to find the little piece needed for the mirror to be repaired, but I was on my own for the windshield and oil change. What’s a frugal Mom to do, but scour the internet for deals, right?

Low and behold, my go-to (Groupon) was able to help me out.


In Groupon Local, you can search for anything you’re in need of. I searched for “windshield replacement” and there were four options to choose from. I picked one, bought the Groupon, then called them up and booked the replacement for that same week. Same goes for my oil change too! Had two options, and I picked the one closest to me for a quick pit stop one morning. Love it!


The other awesome thing about Groupon Local, which I think most people overlook, is the “Things To Do” part of it. If you don’t have plans this Saturday, and you want to do something that maybe you’ve never done before, but you’re not sure what that might entail, just check out Groupon Local. Just this morning when I checked out the Groupon App, the very first page alone was filled with so many options – Haunted House (already?!?!?), Distillery Tour, Sand Volleyball League, Foot Golf Package, Regular Golf, Mini Golf… and so many more! It’s like a never ending list of things to do.


An added bonus – They have so many things for kids too! There’s even a filter on their site just for Kids Activities.  Jumping at Sky Zone, Go Karts, Dress Up Packages… any time you have nothing on your agenda, you’ll have to check out all the fun stuff going on locally. There’s no need to drive hours just to wear your kids out playing. 

So if you’re living under a rock, and you haven’t heard of Groupon, you’ll have to check it out. If me and my husband use it, then you know it’s packed full of great deals! And it’s only a click, or an app away.

You can also follow Groupon on Facebook and Twitter for even more money-saving deals!


The Average Momma was compensated for this post, but all opinions are 100% honest and completely her own. She wouldn't even bother posting anything that she didn't find to be useful and/or helpful to other Mommas out there. ;-)

8/15/16

Pre-K... Already?!?!?!

You guys…

I am one emotional Momma. My Emma, who just turned four years old, is getting ready to officially start Pre-K. That means that I have one more year until she’s in “Big Kid School.”
Duhn, Duhn, Duhhhhnnnnn.

I’m having a very hard time dealing with my emotions on this big event.
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Last week, when I picked her up from school, there was a letter to all the Moms and Dads of the kids who were allowed to move up to the Pre-K class; Emma’s birthday allowed her to go into Pre-K this year instead of going into the 4’s room. How crazy is that?!?! She will be a younger kid in her graduating class.

The letter indicated just a few things that all Pre-K kids would need… a fitted sheet and blanket for nap, a water bottle of her own, and most importantly (and this is the one that killed me), a backpack. Yep. A backpack. Often referred to in my day as a “book bag.” This one item tugged at my heart and I cried, right there in her old classroom. I cried because she’s not a baby anymore. I cried because she is going to be in the big kid class of her little daycare. I cried because we can never go back in time to see our littles when they were actually little.

This deep dark cloud has been following me ever since then. If I let myself think about it for too long, I’ll cry big alligator tears. Even when people ask me about Emma going back to school, I try not to dwell on it and I give short, to the point answers. So, if you know me in person, beware of my mood this weekend and next week… I’ll be an emotional wreck!

I was eager to prepare for this big transition. I ordered her water bottle on Amazon (Camelback of course), and a decal for it on Etsy. I was going to take her to buy her a backpack but Grandma tackled that over the weekend. It stung a little that I didn’t get to do that piece with her, but Grandma is her favorite in the world, so it didn’t really bother me in the end; now if Daddy would have stolen that from me, he’d be in the doghouse for sure. We have her usual blanket for school that has worked perfectly thus far, but I might buy her a new sheet… all of her old ones are dingy (which is perfectly fine for at home, but I’m not too sure about sending it to school).

I got to check out her new classroom for all of one minute, but let me tell you, that what I saw was wonderful! It’s a real classroom! Oh my goodness, I’m about to cry just thinking about it. Tables and chairs, cubbies, educational posters on the walls… it’s hard to describe, but it’s like “real” school instead of daycare now! If I ever get the time, I’ll try to get some pictures or a video tour of it.

So, as you can gather, I’m a big ball of sad and excited all rolled up. I’m ready, but I’m not ready. I’m happy, but not really. I just want to get next week done and over with so that I can grow up and move on. You know, put on my big girl undies and deal with the fact that my little girl isn’t as little as she once was.

Nobody told me that it would be this hard.

If you’re a Momma out there going through the same thing, I feel for you. I’ll be thinking of you too.


She's more excited than I am!

7/29/16

Tell Me a Story


Are you an avid reader? I’m not, by any means, but I am a passionate one. When I get into a book, I really get into it. I walk around for days thinking about the story, the plot, and I contemplate what will happen next or what the ending will look like. I even compare my life to the story and I daydream what life would be like if the story was about me.
Photo courtesy of milestoneseducation.com
I’ve learned over time that I like love stories. No, not like romance novels; frankly I could do without all the dirty bits. I’m talking about genuine love stories. They can be off-the-wall ones too, so long as they have a great story about falling in love. I think that’s why Twilight stuck with me; it was a lovely off-the-wall story about an innocent girl falling in love with the “bad boy,” who turned out not to be so bad after all. Love it.

Sometimes, I’ll think I found a great new book to read by reading the back cover, but then it’ll turn out to be garbage. Oh, I hate when that happens. I’ll start reading and I can’t even get past the first chapter. Yes, I’m one of those people… You know, the one that needs to be sucked in within the first 30 pages. I’m also the type to never put it down once I start; I think I finished reading New Moon at 4am one night (like, I read all night long until the following morning).

My friend Cayla is always ready with some good book suggestions for me; she keeps a long list of her favorites that usually fit right into what I’m looking for. But, I’m also curious to see what everyone else finds captivating (maybe it shows me a bit more about who YOU are).

So, tell me, what book(s) do you think I’ll love?

7/15/16

Vacation, Birthday, and LIFE


Wow, you guys, it’s half way through July and I haven’t even posted yet! Have you missed me? ;-)

As you may know, Emma’s birthday falls in July. It has been a whirlwind of birthday prep, party prep, and then everything in between. Back-to-back birthday months for the girls is killer! My brain is mush with everything I need to remember. Mind you, I also had a week vacation at the beginning of the month and I’m not any more relaxed, refreshed, reorganized, or anything “RE” related.
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Vacation Recap: 

I took off the four days following our Independence Day holiday. I had plans, sure, but not many. Tuesday I would hang out with my Mom and run some errands with her, Wednesday I would have a pamper type day complete with massage and haircut, Thursday I would get stuff done around the house, and Friday my Mom was coming over for us to work on the house as well. Let me tell you, that aside from hanging out with my Mom and getting my massage and hair cut, I didn’t get anything done that I wanted to. And I didn’t even relax or have fun! It was all a bunch of chaotic, impromptu things that popped up out of nowhere to take up all of my time. Yuck! So, I went back to work the following Monday with a stiff neck and no more relaxed than when I left.

Emma’s Birthday Recap:

My little girl is growing up so fast. I can’t believe it was four years ago that she was plucked from my belly and brought into this world. She weighs in at 40 pounds, 4 ounces and she is 41 inches tall. We upgraded her to a booster seat in the car, so, it’s official… she’s a big girl.

She got loads of good presents from her grandparents as well as from Gene and I, and she has been playing with all of them non-stop. Books, toys, dress-up clothes, shopkins, Ray-Ban sunglasses, and a few more things. We also took cupcakes to her school on her actual birthday for her and her friends to eat to celebrate. She picked out the cupcakes herself. 


She has been talking about her birthday and birthday party non-stop. Poor girl has no concept of time. When I try to tell her that her party is in three days (on Sunday), all she says is “When I wake up from nap?” All the conversations in the world could not explain to her how time works.

My Life Recap:

Oh, you know, I’m still falling apart. I’ve had a stiff neck for ump-teen days now and it’s not getting any better. I also still have some sinus issues going on… if you remember, I had some sort of sinus bug for a little over 4 weeks; Alice had the same thing for at least 5 weeks! I also have some swollen glands that kind of ache. Is this what getting older is like?!?!

A co-worker, a good friend at work, found her dream job and left us for bigger and better things. It was sad. She became a confidant to me. She was one of those people that saw the good in everything. She is going to make a ton of new friends at her new job though, so she will be totally fine. Me? We’ll see.


My Mom is a wonderful painter. Not like recreational painting, but like painting a living room. Haha. I recruited her to repaint our living room wall. It went from being a tasteful lime green to light beige. It’s so not me. But, if we are ever going to sell the house, we need to make it as neutral as possible. We ran low on paint though so we didn’t get to do the second accent wall; I need to buy a second gallon. Too bad I don’t remember the name of the color I chose. Oy vay.

I am OBSESSED with my kids. When they’re around, I can feel myself get frustrated and I want a break (all they do is fight with each other), but when they’re not around or they're out of my sight, I miss them so much. I stare at their pictures while I’m at work, I text my Mom way too often to check in on them when she has them, and I give them way too many kisses when they’re with me. They probably think this is the way all moms act. Haha. I just love them so much, and I can’t get enough of them. Am I the only one out there like this?

Bridal shower crunch time is upon us. We have officially booked the location, so all that’s left are the details; the invitations, the games, the cake, the food… easy peasy. I’m actually starting to look forward to it now that it’s getting closer and it’s becoming a reality. I’m also trying to keep it minimal stress for the bridesmaids. With two bridal showers, a bachelorette party, dress alterations, and everything in between, it can be very stressful. So I’m doing a little DIY here and there as I can, and hopefully it will all just come together in the end and be the perfect bridal shower that we all had in mind.

~

So, that’s pretty much my first half of July in a nutshell. I have a couple things going on in the background that I can’t really talk about yet, but maybe one day soon.

Leave a comment, don’t be shy! Let me know what you think.

6/30/16

A Rant About the Recent Ikea Dresser Recall

In the light of Ikea’s recent recall (27 million dressers), I thought a post about parental awareness might be a good fit for this week. *And please, keep in mind that just because this is how I feel, it does not mean that I am suggesting everyone in the world feel the same as me. It's just how I happen to feel about this particular situation/event.

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I preach to my husband regularly about the need to foreshadow any and all incidents that could result in harming our children (he’s very bad at this and no matter how many times I tell him, he still does not think ahead). It comes almost natural to me now. For example, just this morning alone, I left my girls in Emma’s room to play while I got ready for work. I surveyed the room before I walked out to assess the risk; it takes me only about 30 seconds. There was an almost broken baby doll stroller that could take out Alice’s eye if she landed on it just right (minimal risk), there was a game on the top of the dresser that if Emma got down, Alice could choke on the pieces (minimal risk), there was a chair that Alice could climb on and maybe fall and hit her head on any of the furniture around (high risk, move chair), there was a play cd player that had a strap Alice could wrap around her neck (moderate risk, ask Emma to monitor)… in the end, I got ready, and everything was just fine.

Poor Ikea has taken the majority of the blame for their dressers falling and injuring (killing 3) children, when the dressers were not secure, and the children climbed on the drawers or provoked the furniture to fall. Children will climb, I can attest to that! It is unfortunate. And it is unfortunately not Ikea’s fault but presumably the parents’ (or guardian’s) fault; if you HAD to place blame (I don’t encourage blaming, everything is in God’s plan). If I put myself in their shoes, my life would be over. The world would be crumbling around me and I would fall to pieces knowing that there is no way to bring my baby back. I don’t know that I would ever recover.

photo courtesy of msn.com

One of the steps of grieving is blame, and I get that. That parent, going through the situation themselves, has every right to blame the world, and even to blame Ikea. But, in the end, it’s really nobody’s fault. It happened. There’s no going back.

But, the part that really gets me upset, is the fact that all of these… STRANGERS, with no relation to those families at all, are blaming IKEA. If they were to mount their TV incorrectly and the TV fell from the wall and injured someone, who would they blame then? The TV company? The manufacturer of the mounting bracket? How about whoever made those little plastic anchors that hold the screws in the drywall? Whose fault is it really? I can tell you right now that anything I hang up has a 50/50 shot of staying up. I’m not skilled with anchors and all that jazz. I can hammer a nail in the wall for a half pound picture frame, but I would gladly pay someone to come out and do all the fancy footwork of mounting my TV on the wall. And if that TV fell, regardless of how well it was mounted or who hung it up, would I blame the TV company or the maker of the mount? Maybe at first, but then no. It’s not their fault. They made the product. Once you purchase it, it’s up to you to make it safe. And if you paid someone to make it secure and safe, then you should test it out to make sure it is up to your standards. It’s YOUR home, YOUR product, YOUR loved ones to protect.

But that’s not what’s happening with Ikea. Somehow it’s their fault that their stylish and functional furniture is unbalanced when the heavy top drawer is pulled out. It’s physics! Maybe I should start blaming Michelin when my car slides on wet pavement. It has to be the tires, right? My speed and the fact that the roads are slick has nothing to do with it. Why should I have to be safe and drive decent?

photo courtesy of nola.com

I’m off on a tangent now.

I may not have explained my frustration and the scenario to the best of my abilities, but when the world gets all I’m-going-to-point-my-finger-at-someone-else-because-it-can’t-possibly-be-my-fault, I tend to get a little heated. If everyone would just take a step back and think of the whole picture before pointing the blame, maybe companies wouldn’t have to baby their customers, or walk on eggshells to avoid lawsuits.

The moral of the story? Do what you’re supposed to do and secure your furniture! It all wasn’t meant to just sit there and look pretty; it needs to be safe and sound. And stop blaming everyone but yourself when you take the easy route and it backfires. And pray for the families who have lost their children. And think out every single scary scenario possible ahead of time – it could be what saves your child’s life.

And I might be the only frugal, yet stylish Momma out there that feels this way, but I will still purchase Ikea’s cute items and yummy meatballs.

Long live Ikea, and long live our children!