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Another year has ended and that means a fresh start

It is a New Year. Where has this past year gone? While cooking Christmas dinner, I asked my husband if it was just me of does time seem to be going by faster as the years pass? I swear it was just last week that I was sitting around the Christmas tree pregnant with my son, who is now seven months old today.

I even asked my in-laws if it slows when you get older, and they both said in unison that it goes even faster. Wow! I just can't imagine it going any faster.It is now 2014 which bring us to resolutions. Do you have any? I try not to make them, but I am "committing" to be even more frugal. Ha I don't know how, but I really feel so much better when I see money in the bank. I think when you grow up without a lot, just having it sit there is a comfort. I have been giving myself a self imposed budget of cash to have for the unexpected stock up sales and I really love it. It enables me to have it separate from my checking account and I know it is there. I may use it and I may roll it to the next payday. It is kind of like the DR envelope system, but I only have the one as I am good at budgeting other things. I will also achieve this by making due with what I have and re-purpose things. I am pretty damn crafty and will use this more.

First project will be when hubby comes home and can watch the sick baby. Poor bubs has RSV and is miserable. I will most likely do this on Saturday, which is also my birthday! I will go through the freezer, pantry, and our toiletries to take down what we have. It is much easier to pass up a "bargain" when you really don't NEED it but rather WANT it. So that is how my year will start off. How will you be starting yours? Here is to a healthy an prosperous New Year to us all!

Do you shop online?

I do. As a matter of fact most of my holiday shopping has been done online. More and more retailers understand that people want to shop in the comfort of their own homes. How easy it is to pick out the perfect gifts, the click pay and wait for them to be delivered to you!

If you are like me and shop online, you really should check out Ebates. Ebates is so simple to use and new members will receive a $25.00 gift card to some pretty popular stores. Once you have joined you simply go through the links on their page, and through tracking tickets, you get paid cash back for your shopping. Some places are as little as 1% while others I have seen as high as 20%!

If you are going to shop anyway why not get some cash back too! I am a member and have been for a few years. I am always looking for ways to save and like to pass on the savings.

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Sleep. What is sleep. I have surely forgotten

Sleep oh how I miss thee. Little man is almost seven months old and has yet to begin sleeping through the night. I am literally running on fumes. I know that a big part of the problem is napping. He naps, but they are little thirty minute cat naps, and well honestly I can't be too consistent with times and a schedule because my life has no schedule. Between appointments for my daughter and inconsistent release times for my son's school, I just fly by the seat of my pants most days. While exhausting for me, I know that it has wreaked havoc on sleep for the little man.  I have tried some "training" techniques like pick up put down and even tried cio. He is not a cio success....he will work himself into a full blown panic attack including vomiting. Pick up put down may as well be called hi I see you and I will never sleep.

I need sleep and I need him out of my bed. Yes we co-sleep because of his craptastic sleeping it has been the only way to get a couple hours of sleep albeit broken, but sleep nonetheless. I will begin weaning in a few weeks. I was going to start at months end, but his Dr. suggested waiting until his second flu shot, so I will. I have enough of a frozen stash of milk to be able to give him half and half for a while. I pumped every day up from week one until about a week and a half of so.

I am so burnt. Honestly he is the most high needs baby I have out of my three children. I just want some restful sleep that doesn't involve me walking back and forth from bed to swing every night. Yes, he will sleep for a tiny bit in the swing. I admit it the swing is my crutch.

Please if you have any advice share with me!! In the meantime I will leave you with some pics I took a couple weeks ago.

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How do you get into the holiday spirit?

I would imagine the answer is different for everyone. I think a number of things come in to play when it comes to getting into the spirit, climate for me is a big one. Even since moving to Arizona as a child from Vermont, the holidays just never have felt the same. I mean you go from having real seasons and snow to......desert and no seasons just hot and not so hot. Sure stores have the same merchandise, but it is really hard for it "feel like Christmas"

There are a few things that I do that help for sure. One, I always have Christmas music playing from the day after Thanksgiving through New year. Not constantly but at least a few songs per day. Two, I always decorate. I know that might seem like a given, but really you can't not feel joyous when you have a decorated home. Three, I always have a candle burning in scents that remind me of the winter holidays. Now again scents are a very personal thing and everyone equates scents to events differently. I however love spicy scents like apple and cinnamon, minty scents, and of course pine for the Christmas tree.

What perfect timing it was when I was introduced to the Roland Pine line of candles from The Soap and Paper Factory. This is a wonderfully scented SOY candle (yes I put that in caps on purpose as I know some people will only burn soy wax as a matter of fact they even have a list of ingredients on their site should you want to know more about their commitment to a healthier product).

 The pine scent is one of the most realistic pines I have had the pleasure to smell and I admit that I am a candle snob. You can really tell the difference between a quality candle and a cheap one. This here is quality. The scent is strong but not anywhere near overpowering. The scent really carries into a space well too, which is a big concern to me with candles. I have a very open floor plan in my home and if the scent does not carry then it is pointless. Who wants to spend a good sum of money on a candle that can barely be smelled away from its container!

I was also scent .....get it ha another piney item to test out from Thymes. I tested the decorative sachet from the Frasier Fir line. Okay out of the package I really wasn't sure about this one. Sure it is a Fir scent but the mix of the citrus undertones kind of threw me. I gave it the benefit of the doubt though and use it in my car as an air freshener. It lasted oh two days before I was over it. I don't know exactly what it is that disagreed with my nose, but something really did. I'm thinking because it was not what I had envisioned, though I can't be positive. Either way it struck out with my nose. Again, we all perceive scents differently and you may like it.

So how do  you get into the holiday spirit? Do you also use scents to help you? If so share with me your favorites, as I am always looking for new ones!

I was sent the above product for the purpose of facilitating this review. No monetary compensation was offered or taken. My opinions are my own and are honest, as with any opinion, yours may or may not be the same as mine.

Adventures in baby food.

Amazing how fast babies grow up isn't it? It is hard to believe that in a couple short weeks the bubs will be six months old already! With his growth come more food options. I am of the belief that food is started early.... not like a month of age early, but I do not subscribe to the belief that a baby is magically ready for solids at six months of age. I believe all children are different and quite frankly get tired of how things constantly change in the way of baby rearing and recommendations and guidelines from what seems year to year. I have three children and I think I am well aware of how to make good choices based upon my experience and research. That being said I started the bubs on a tiny bit of oatmeal at about four months old. It was hit or miss until he was five months old and then I got into a routine and added some veggies for a couple weeks then onto select fruits. This go around I planned to make his food. I made carrots, apples, pears, as well as green beans. It was so easy. I mean really steam veggies and add a bit of water and puree. Pretty stinkin easy. They freeze and defrost well too. I continue to make his food as needed and it takes me no time. There are times though when it makes life easier to have prepackaged options available and that is where I was confused. You would think that I wouldn't be after three kids, but I was. I new I wanted a better option than I had with my other two. It only takes one broken jar of food in a diaper bag to make one realize that they aren't very travel friendly. The plastic containers are fine again for home, but I wanted travel friendly since that is the only time I would need to deal with non-home made. I was contacted by the Happy Family in regard to a gluten free story and that is where my story begins. While gluten free is not a concern of mine for my family, I know it is for some. I had seen their products in stores before and was intrigued as I had never used baby food in those nifty little squeeze pouches. So when I asked if I could try them out I was pretty stoked when I was offered some free coupons to give them a go. In addition to being in a form I wanted to make things easier to travel occasionally, they are organic which is a big concern for me. To me, babies need the best foods we can give them. When I make his food I choose organic and wanted a packaged food that also used organic ingredients. Sadly I have been to a couple of stores and only found a few select pouches to try. He loved the sweet potato as well as the pears! Peaches were enjoyed, but I think they bothered his tummy a bit, so we will hold off on those for a little while before we try again. I also have some of there snacks for when he is a bit older. Babies love those little finger food snacks and I am happy to have found them because quite frankly I wouldn't even know where to start to make those!

So bottom line the products are made with organic wholesome ingredients, Some varieties are gluten free which is great if that is a need, and they are diaper bags approved with traveling woot!

You knew it was coming so here is is....My opinions are my own and are truthful. Your experience may differ from mine and that's cool because we are all entitled to our own opinions. I was not compensated in any way to write this post, however I did receive a few coupons in order to try the products to form said opinion :>)

Vacation booked and this mama couldn't be happier!

Am I looking forward to a long drive with three kids especially an infant that hates his car sear?, uh no no I'm not. However, I am looking forward to some much needed beach therapy! We have taken a trip to California in the summer for the past three or so years, and It was severely missed by us all, but hey I was very pregnant. This year we are heading out that way in October when the kids have their "fall break".

Let me tell you my favorite way to relax is to get up just as the sun rises have a cup of coffee and take a stroll along the shore and beach comb. I love hunting shells and sea glass. To me that is the epitome of relaxation. No small humans crying, hanging on me or eating off me. Hahaha I love my tiny humans, but I need a break and they are far and few in between when you are a railroad wife!

We are going to our favorite little town of Carlsbad, but we will be trying a new place to stay. What is up with continued rising of lodging costs? I mean hello aren't we in a recession? We stayed at a very lovely beach front property last year and looked forward to staying there again because they are uber convenient, however there is no way I am paying over $2300.00 for five nights for a basic room with two beds, just because it has a beach front balcony. Nope not going to do it. We stayed there as it was cheaper then the place we stayed at the previous year which was a condo....yeah. Anyway we have stumbled upon yet another place to try that like the first, has separate bedrooms and a kitchen. We have walked by it many times but had no clue it was a resort and woot its under a grand for five nights and has great reviews! So we can go grocery shopping and I will cook breakfast and lunch and only do dinners out. Love it.

We just generally hang out at the beach as I am in love with the ocean as I am originally from the east coast, and the kids love it because hell we live in the desert LOL.

Yay let the count down begin.

Fresh summer looks from Rimmel London

So it has been a long while since I have done a review, and with a teenager in the house makeup is something that is always up for a good testing. My daughter had the opportunity to review a few products from Rimmel London and give her opinion. She was excited because as I said makeup is one of those things a girl just loves to experiment with.

She was send Rimmel London Match Perfection Foundation, Rimmel London Wake Me Up Instant Radiance Shimmer Touch, Rimmel London Professional Eyebrow Pencil, and Rimmel London ScandalEyes Mascara.

Now my daughter is very fair skinned and as such, that makes it very hard to find a match to her skin tone in foundation. However, this foundation matched very very well. Once blended you could not see a trace of a "mask" which is a problem she often has. The coverage though is very light. She as well as most woman have areas that they would like to have additional coverage on and this foundation does not build well. I am sure if you are happy with a very light coverage you would be happy as it feels great on the skin so my daughter says, but the coverage is just not enough if you need to cover any really visible problem areas.

The shimmer touch is a cool product. A little goes a long way. It is a silky cream in a great dewy pink color that you apply to where ever you wish to have a slight kiss of color.

The eyebrow pencil was not used as it was way too dark a color to blend into a natural looking shade for her.

The mascara was nice. It does come out onto the wand a ton, but I have yet to really find any brand where you don't have to remove some from the wands before applying. Once the excess was removed it gave good coverage without scary tarantula eyes LOL.

     The products lasted throughout a typical day and would never break the bank as the most expensive item is the foundation and that only has a retail of just under $9.00! In fact you could get this whole package for just under $ 25.00 and the best part is Rimmel is are carried at Walgreens, CVS, Target, and Wal-Mart so no more trips to stores all over town looking for different products get them where you regularly shop.

     We were sent all the above products free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are just that our opinions. Yours may differ and that is what is great about opinions, everyone has one and sometime they are they same and other times they are not. But ours are always honest!


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