Today’s post is not quite ready.  That leads to you getting ramblings today instead of Friday…let’s begin.

I have officially harvested 2 cucumbers from my garden.  Interestingly enough, I didn’t even know we were growing cucumbers.  HJ brought home a few random plants from school that we threw in the garden, so I am assuming that is where it came from!

Last night, HJ saw a tiny dog walking down the street.  He looks at me and says, “That dog is darn cute!”.  Which is way cuter than him singing this.

We have school registration this week.  I don’t feel like summer should be coming to a close, but school starts in a few short weeks!

Speaking of school, Groopdealz has some awesome Back to School items right now, you should check it out!  Like these cute pencil bags for only $5…

I have made some really good meals lately, but forget to take pictures, which leads to no recipe posts.  Clearly, I will never be a food blogger.

This past weekend, I went to a party.  An all day party.  I don’t drink often, but apparently that day I figured “what the hell”.  And it was.  The end.

Due to a string of picture texts I sent my friend (while at the party), I have been contemplating snapchat.  Ugh.  Can’t believe I admitted that.  But, I just might…because the picture texts made me giggle.

I also learned that my water proof phone case is in fact water proof.  Lake Ponderosa: 0 Life Proof Case: 1.

And in case my weekend wasn’t busy enough, I ran my 3rd 5k.  WOOHOO.  I do think this was the easiest one yet.  And on that note, I also set a PR!  31 minutes 41 seconds.  If anyone in the Cedar Valley knows of a good 5K in August, pass it on!

 

 

This month, my resolution was to get a budget in place and start using it.  I know it seems like it shouldn’t be hard, but I am feeling overwhelmed.

The beginning of the month showed promise.  After I posted about my goal, a friend from college sent me an email letting me know her husband would love to help me look at my finances and get a budget in place.  I sent him all of my information, and he responded with a step-by-step way to get on track.

My problem?  Trying to get on track in the first place.  I feel so behind in payments on things, that I can’t even start putting the budget into place.

A few things I was able to accomplish:

-Lowering my cell phone bill.  I called Verizon and asked if I could get to a lower plan.  It is only $20 less a month, but at least it is cheaper.  And on top of that, I actually went to a better plan.  I use to have 2 gb data, 450 minutes and unlimited texting.  The cheaper plan is same data/text, but with unlimited minutes.  And yes, I do feel slightly ripped off I would have never known about this option had I not called.

-Lowered my interest rate on my credit card.  It was lowered 3%, which will hopefully help long-term.

-I tried to get on a payment plan or lower my medical bills.  As of now, that won’t happen because they are including child support (that I don’t actually get) as income.  So that’s cool.

And what I was hoping to accomplish:

-I haven’t figured out how to keep my grocery bill below $50/month.

-I still did not win the powerball, inherit millions or track down a sugar daddy.

 

I have been pondering getting a second job.  Before HJ, I always had 2 jobs.  Now I feel like I wouldn’t make enough to pay a sitter.  I have been checking out some of those businesses that you have parties for, but I always dislike making people feel obligated to buy.  One that I have been looking into is Wild Tree.  I like that it is food…which people need to buy, and that it is healthy/organic.

 

I might be keeping this as an August goal as well, because I still feel like I have lots to do to get on track with everything.

 

Happy Friday loves!  Yup, can you tell I am excited for the weekend?  I actually have a pretty exciting weekend planned involving lakes, drinks, sun and adult only time.  Meaning, come Sunday I will miss my boy so much and regret staying up too late. I feel like there have been quite a few new people coming around lately, which means I should probably do a quick reintroduction.  Here it goes…

View More: http://jdeephotography.pass.us/cahill-edits

Hi, I’m Kristin.  I live in Iowa, with my sweet little 4 year old, Harrison (HJ).  We have a large pup, and our very own home sweet home.  I work in human resources, and miss my boy like crazy during the day. I started this little ol’ blog over 3 years ago.  It has been a great way to share my stories, the good and the bad.  I love little DIY projects, and pretending I am a fashionista (you can shop my closet), and check out Groopdealz for some of my favorite shopping.

About a year ago, I finally started using instagram and frequently posts pics of my cutie.  Like most women my age, I have a slight obsession with pinterest, even if it makes me feel like a horrible cook, an unorganized mom and a failure in all other aspects of my life.

Where can I find you at?  Leave a link to one of your many social media outlets in the comments, would love to see where my readers are!

Thank you to Great Clips for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring us to support teachers!

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It’s almost that time of the year.  Back to school.  Suddenly, summer is winding down and stores are stocked with school supplies.  Last year, I experienced sticker shock after seeing how much money we spent on school supplies.  This year, I decided to plan a little better and hopefully avoid spending too much on school supplies.

For one, we are reusing as much as possible.  No new back packs, lunch bags or clothes are needed.  I have also been clipping coupons, watching sales and stalking out the Cartwheel App from Target.  I have picked up a few things when they have been marked down, and last year I grabbed some things that were clearanced out once school started.

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I know I am not the only one who worries about the expenses of going back to school, many families experience this.  In addition, many teachers end up spending their own money to get their classrooms ready.  Did you know, on average, a teacher spends $1,000 of their own money to get ready for school?  That is why Great Clips wanted to team up with an organization who can help both teachers and families.

Great Clips and Adopt a Classroom want to give back.  Between now and September 5th, for every download of the GreatClips Online Check-in App, a donation will be made to adopt a classroom.

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In addition, Great Clips wants to help you with your back to school shopping list.  You can upload your school supply list and be entered in to win your entire list, shipped to your front door.

*For full contest details and terms, visit here.

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It has been a while since I had a project on here!  I love simple DIY projects, but lack the free time to put them into motion.  Today, I set aside a whole 20 minutes to get one checked off the list.  And, I only needed 10.

I have seen different versions of DIY scarf hangers on pinterest, and decided it seemed simple enough.  I purchased inexpensive shower curtain rings ($1), I had a package of zip ties in my craft box, and due to cleaning out my closet recently, I had spare hangers.

I gathered my supplies, grabbed some scissors and got to it.  THe shower rings came in a pack of 12, so I opted to do 2 rows of 6.  I thought this would help to evenly distribute the weight across the hanger.  I zip-tied 6 to the hanger and then made them extra sturdy by connecting them together.  Then, I added on the second row.

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Once they were all on, I cut the zip ties as close as I could so it wouldn’t catch on the fabric.

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And it was done!  Yup, that easy!  It definitely looks much better in the closet.  Originally, I had thought I could add-on more rings as my scarfs accumulated.  However, it is pretty heavy as is, so I would just make another one.  I would hate for it to break and have to squeeze in another 10 minute DIY session.

Anyone else complete projects over the weekend?  Do I even get to call this a project?

*Linked up to Three in Three Create and Share DIY

I told you all last week that I was trying to find a way to sell some of my clothing items.  I have lots of stuff that I hardly wear.

Example 1: My feet shrunk half a size after having HJ.  I use to have a high heel obsession.  They are cute shoes, but they don’t fit.

Example 2:  Although I am back to pre-pregnancy weight (eeks, 2 more pounds), shortly after having HJ, I lost a lot.  I kept holding onto those size “00″ things thinking “someday”.  But duh.  Except for that short 1 year, I haven’t fit a size “00″ over my thigh in 16 years.  So, goodbye beautiful new jeans!

Example 3: I can no longer get free drinks off of having my ta-tas popping out of a top.  Maybe if I really tried I could, but I don’t have that level of self-confidence anymore.  Boobs, stay in the shirt.

Example 4: My bedroom is considered the master bedroom.  With a walk in closet.  There is not an inch to spare in there.  I am quite certain it is supposed to be shared with 2 people.

This led to me giving vinted a shot.  And now I am in love with it.  Basically, I upload pics of items I am willing to part with.  Then, it gets added to “my closet“.  After that, it sort of takes on a pinterest vibe.  You are able to look at the feed, or search for certain items/brands.  You can follow people and/or like items.

Simple, huh?

So far this week, I sold:

-A swimsuit- 2 years back, I forgot to back a swimsuit for a weekend at the lake, this was the only one in the store.  Even though it was always too big, I held onto it for 2 years.

-A top-the shoulders made me look like a linebacker

And I swapped a sweater dress for a cute pink striped top from the GAP.

Hopefully this will help me clean out all my clothes that no longer fit!  Out with the old, in with the new :).

 

untitled Every now and then, a short trip out of town is just what one needs.  Recently, my family decided to head to Lake Geneva for a few days to get away from good ol’ Iowa. We stayed at the Timber Ridge Resort, which was perfect for the kids.  There was an indoor waterpark, an outdoor pool, a petting zoo and an arcade.  Everything to keep a kid happy and hyper. The first night, we went to the Next Door Pub and Pizzeria.  It was recommended by a relative, and the pizza was yummy.  I even decided to attempt a local beer, and then remembered why wine is so much better. After dinner, we went and walked downtown for ice cream and walked along the lake. PicMonkey Collage The next morning was spent on the waterslides (of course).  That afternoon we went on a boat tour, that included ice cream sundaes.  HJ and my nephew spent the tour looking for sharks, and were convinced they saw at least 80. We were invited to our relatives house for dinner that night.  Their house was tucked away in the woods, and the scenery was amazing. We were heading out of town the next day, but made sure to jam pack a few hours.  We of course, hit up the waterslides.  We ended with a filling lunch of burgers with fried cheese curds and pickles (healthy, right?).

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I love having little get aways every now and then to new places.  Even if it isn’t exactly relaxing, it was a lot of fun!


A few weeks ago, I shared one of my shopping secrets. My love for GroopDealz. One of you advised I look into their affiliate program, and I was accepted! Now, when you do your shopping there, be sure to click on my link (or the pretty banner on my side bar). A small percentage of the sales will come back to me!

Exciting news, our garden is out of control.  Even our raspberry bush is starting to sprout baby raspberries (or what I believe to be baby raspberries).  The only thing I am already chalking up to a failure, is the strawberries.  Right away, we had 3 yummy strawberries, but nothing since then.  What gives?

While at the store the other day, HJ and I picked out new toothpaste for him.  SpongeBob (I can not believe my autocorrect made that a capital “B” in “bob”).  Awesome, right?  HJ eagerly brushed his teeth with it once.  That evening I started putting it on the brush for him and he starting yelling, “No, not the yucky stuff”.  I told him it was SpongeBob, and smelled like bubblegum.  His response? “Yeah, well it tastes like caterpillars!”

I have decided to try to sell a bunch of my clothes (so HJ and I can go on a fun trip to adventureland without affecting my budget…we bought the tickets before my budget crack down).  A lot of them are hardly worn, and expensive things.  Does anyone know the best site to try to sell them on?  I was looking into vinted, but wasn’t sure if there is something better?

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Anyone with a 4-year-old can tell you the littlest things can set off a tantrum.  When I noticed Dusty the Plane had lost a propeller, I was worried for how upset HJ might get.  Instead, he started cracking up and saying, “Dusty has a moustache”.  He thinks it is hilarious and likes Dusty much better this way.

Don’t forget to order some coffee from Three Avacados!  It is a non-profit that helps support schools and brings clean water to those in Nicaragua and Uganda.  You can purchase here, and be sure to use the code: asliceofmudpieTA for 10% off your order.

My family and I decided a short getaway to Lake Geneva in Wisconsin would be the perfect summer trip.  We found a great deal on a resort via groupon, and talked up the waterpark to HJ.  The part I was worried most about?  A 4 and a half hour road trip.

I knew I had to have plenty of things to keep HJ’s mind off the road.  I started by packing his dvd player, a few movies and some books.  Then, I loaded up the snacks.  Our must-have for a roadtrip is HJ’s Snackeeze.  I filled up the beverage part with ice water, and the top part with blueberries and strawberries.  Perfect for snacking on the road!  I love that I don’t have to worry about snackeeze tipping over and spilling in the car.  The beverage does not leak!

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(HJ loves to nap in cars, it’s one of the only places I can still get him to nap)

As for myself, I hot up the library and grabbed a few books.  I finally snagged a copy of Gone Girl, and I loved it.  The ending really threw me for a loop, but I thought it was perfectly fitting.   I am thinking about picking up a few more of the author’s books, any recommendations?

What are your roadtrip must haves?