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…

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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?

photo (87)The 4th of July is one of the holidays that I just love.  For one, I love summer.  I love being outside and sitting in the sunshine.  For another thing, I love cozying up and watching fireworks light up the sky.

This year, did not disappoint.  HJ and I spent the fourth running around poolside.  That evening, we went to a friend’s house to cook out, run around some more and light some sparklers.  HJ and I got home at a decent time, because the next day we were heading to my friend’s lake house.  We always have so much fun visiting them at the lake, and even a morning of rain didn’t change that.  We even got to watch an amazing fireworks show while bundled in sweatshirts and laying on a boat.  ‘Merica.

I am one of those people who tears up during the national anthem, and belts out “Proud to be an American”.  I saw a few comments on my facebook feed that said things along the lines of, “American’s partying it up, forgetting that soldiers died for them to do so”.

I wanted to comment, but I tend to not want to get people all feisty, especially on a holiday.  But the thing is…the soldiers fought so that American’s can do those things.  We are able to have cook outs, and firework shows and hot dog eating contests, because of those who fought for us.

I know someone who travelled to the USA by walking from Ecuador as a 12-year-old with a cousin his same age, because he wanted a better life.  I know people who left everything they own behind, and moved here so they could live in the best country in the world.  I know someone who gets emotional while she talks about becoming a citizen.

A country that doesn’t monitor what radio stations we listen to, that gives everyone a shot at an education and lets us become overly involved in mindless shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

I hope you all had a patriotic weekend!

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June: Stay Unplugged

May: Run a 5K

April: Beautiful Nails

March: Get Organized

February: Picture Projects

January: Get Healthy

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I started this project 7 months ago.  My main goal was in January, and the next one I knew I needed in my life I have been putting off.

Getting a budget.

I kept saying it was a bad month to start it.  I wanted to wait until after I had my tax money, then until I had my raise, then it was the start of summer.  Really, there was no good time for me to take this on.  So, no time like the present.

My problem: I have champagne taste on a beer budget.  It’s ridiculous.  I have tried to cut back on my spending habits and put money aside.  But, I am horrible at it.  This has led to a number of bills piling up, and me unable to put a dent in anything.

My solution (I frikken hope): I have downloaded an app to track all my expenses.  I am going to write out all my income and expenses and see what I can/need to cut out.

I am hoping by forcing myself to stick to a budget for a month, I will see all the ridiculous things I am spending cash on and learn how to start getting out of debt.

Do you having any easy budgets to follow?  Any apps you recommend?  Should I meet with someone from a bank to help me figure it out?  HELP.  I am not looking forward to seeing the damage I have done.