Progress

One of the projects I’ve been wanting to do once nesting hit was organizing the house. The past couple of weeks I’ve been trying slowly do this and I feel like we’re finally making progress (thank you 3 day weekend!). Saturday Ryan and I went through everything that had accumulated on the bookcase. I so wish I had taken a before picture because I’m very happy with the end result! We also went through all the extras that had collected in the downstairs and while there’s still some things that need put away, the downstairs is looking much better.

Something that’s helped with the home organization is my Hang-Up Home Organizer from Thirty-One. I just finally got around to using it and I’m not sure why I didn’t get around to this before. It’s so handy as a command center, especially set up in the kitchen.

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The dry erase board that I added has: To Do (errands, phone calls, etc.), We Need (things we need to buy) and Appointments (so Ryan knows when my doctor appointments are when to leave the Mazda for me). To the right of the dry erase board is my cleaning list which has morning/evenings and daily cleaning. Since the list is behind plastic I use the dry erase marker to mark off the things I’ve done. Since I’m just trying to get into this cleaning routine I don’t always get the daily items done in the same order, and sometimes I do more than the list says to do for that day so it makes it easy to keep track. Directly below the cleaning list is a list of the bigger things that need done according to the room. These are additional to the daily cleaning that I’m still trying to figure out if I should do them all weekly or just do one room per week. Again, this sheet is in plastic so I can use the dry erase marker to cross off the items I’ve done. The sticky note in the area is our possible menu, I did wonderful meal planning for this week so this list is just the meals I’ve came up with so I don’t assign a day to each meal. To the left of that is 2 little pockets, one just holds the sticky notes and the other holds coupons I don’t need to carry with me. On the bottom I’ve only needed 2 of the bigger pockets. One is for bills that need to be paid and the other is for outgoing mail that needs dropped off at the mailbox or post office. Eventually I may make some adjustments to our command center and cleaning lists but for now, I’m thankful to have both to help keep me on track.

Speaking of cleaning, this past week or so I’ve only used vinegar for cleaning and I love it. I really feel like it does as good of a job as any other cleaner but I’m not nearly as worried about smelling it. I also got my tea tree oil essential oil in the mail and am just waiting for the grapefruit to make a different cleaning solution to try out and I can’t wait! When we cleaned off the book shelf Ryan was ready to go get the Pledge and I had read that olive oil also worked but Ryan wasn’t convinced so we ended up just using a damp paper towel to dust. We’ll get there 🙂

To try to be more frugal I’ve been looking for to buy some things used and also been looking out for coupons. This is easier said than done. For example, a sewing machine. I’m not looking for a an antique and it seems like that’s 85% of the choices I’m seeing. Also, I can buy a brand new one that has lots of extras (such as a quilting table) and 30 or more different stitches already programmed for $130-$160. Some of the prices I’m seeing for used ones are $300+, why wouldn’t I just buy new? As for other things I’m looking for, people just aren’t selling right now but luckily they’re baby items and I have time.

Speaking of baby, things are definitely happening there! We ordered and received the pack n play and that is a relief as it’s one big thing to check off my list of things we need. Also, baby boy is moving like crazy! I can’t believe how much his movements are changing too, even within the last couple of weeks. Ryan will frequently tell me that he felt little one moving/kicking in the middle of the night when I’m asleep and in my mind I imagine it’s this sweet moment between the two of them but I’m sure that it’s not really like that but still thankful Ryan gets to feel him too! We’re also only a week away from the third trimester, I can’t believe it!

So that’s my little catch up after being MIA this weekend and I’m happy that it was for progress 🙂

 

 

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Living Naturally and Frugally? The Beginning.

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Frugal

As a stay at home wife, I spend too much time thinking about money. This ranges from budgeting and saving to making and spending money.

February 1st Ryan was promoted at work, also getting a raise and at the end of February we leased a new vehicle. We had planned on getting a new one and getting the one we ended up with but we had not planned on walking away that day with it. Even though we had an idea of how much he would be making, we hadn’t even really been over finances to even know how much he was making with his raise when we went vehicle shopping. At least we went in already having an idea of how much we wanted our vehicle payments to be. So after walking away a down deposit lighter but with an additional car, that weekend we sat down and figured out a new budget based on his new income. I strongly urge everyone to do this before making any purchases over the amount you regularly spend at one time (for example any purchase that is more than your highest monthly bill not including rent/mortgage) or anything you may have a payment on. Luckily we were going to have more income than we had expected coming in so we were a lot better off than we thought, a huge weight off of both of our shoulders, especially with a baby on the way. The only problem? Now we know that we have more money so we’ve been spending more (this is coming to an end very very soon!).

Just because we have the money to spend does not mean that we need to spend it! We have some unavoidable expenses coming up with having a baby on the way and some other things but our savings account should be going up every month. So how can I contribute? This kind of goes with my last post . I will say that I’m not a huge fan of couponing but with this baby coming I’m becoming more and more interested in natural living and luckily it is often cheaper!

Living Naturally

I recently joined a group on Facebook for “crunchy” mamas with the intentions of learning more. Little did I know I already had some crunchy intentions for when the baby came. I plan on exclusively breastfeeding, baby wearing, baby lead solids and while I don’t currently plan on cloth diapering because I won’t have a washer and dryer available daily when I move back home I’m not completely against it and am still considering it. Joining this group made me think, what else can I do?

Natural cleaning supplies are a big one for me right now. I don’t want to be breathing in harmful chemicals to clean while I’m pregnant. I don’t even like doing it while I’m not pregnant, I don’t want to subject my baby to that too. I found a homemade shower cleaner on Pinterest that was so simple-just 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 Dawn dish soap in one of those dish scrubbers that hold the liquid. I figured I could handle using this cleaner while I’m in the shower before I get out. I was right and our shower has never looked better! So I started looking for more recipes for natural cleaners and other household/beauty/baby supplies.

While I’m still finding recipes that I like based on ingredients and ease of making them, I have purchased some base ingredients. Borax, washing soda and bulk baking soda are cheap (yay for combining natural and frugal!) and easy to find at any grocery store. I also bought the bar castile soap to use just as a personal/beauty product as is because I was able to find it easily in the store as well. When I say cheap, I mean all of these products were under $4 and the most I’ve seen recipes call for is 1 cup at a time and it’s usually less so just imagine how much I can make with these items for such a small amount! Other natural clean staples I had to purchase online since I didn’t feel like driving around from store to store to find. I ordered Dr. Bronners (most recommended by bloggers) liquid castile soap from Amazon and I chose the unscented baby mild formula since we do have a baby on the way. I will say that it was actually $2 cheaper through the actual Dr. Bronners website but there is a $20 minimum and this product wasn’t $20 and since it’s my first time using any of it I wasn’t ready to commit to a bigger bottle than the 32 oz or other products. If I like it though I’ll be ordering it directly through the Dr. Bronners website after this purchase.  Essential oils I purchased through Bulk Apothecary after seeing it on a blog and they turned out to be cheaper for a bigger size there than on Amazon. I just went with Tea Tree Oil and Grapefruit for right now but I know I’ll be adding more! Other things I need to purchase for sure: coconut oil, more vinegar (white and apple cider vinegar), distilled water and spray bottles. Items I’ll probably end up buying: witch hazel, beeswax, hydrogen peroxide, Shea butter, lemon juice and almond oil. This all sounds like a lot and it is but I won’t be buying more than one or two things at a time or as needed so I’m not overspending 🙂

I know there’s so much more I can to live more naturally and I will be but I’m making small steps. I can’t wait to try and share the recipes I’ve found with you! In the meantime, you can find me on Pinterest and see what I’m looking at there 🙂 

 

What are some ways you live frugally and/or naturally? I’d love to hear!