How Much Can I Save in a Year? July Link-Up!

 Well my savings kinda took a nosedive this month due to us traveling over half of it.  My best savings were at Target, by far! However, I also go in some great internet deals at Shutterfly thanks to some great coupons from registering at various places and target.com thanks to their great daily deals!

July Savings 

2011 Total Savings

Best of Savings

Free or Almost Free Items this month with coupons:

-2 packs of Sharpie Markers (Free)
-Scotch tape (Free)
-McDonald's medium smoothie (Free)
-Pack of Fischers Hot Dogs (Free)
-2 packs of pens ($.02 each)
-Infant jeans from Target ($0.50)

A Little Savings Tidbit

-I was so excited to find these jeans at Target on clearance and be able to use a coupon from their website! The coupon was for $2 off any infant or child's jeans...which means I got these for $0.50! Because you can print two of each of their coupons I had an extra and was able to give it to a girl I know that I ran into there in the baby section, which allowed her to get in on the same deal! Even if Adeline skips over 24 months, which I know happens sometimes, what a great piece of clothing to donate!

-I also recently "Liked" Money Saving Mom and Coupon Divas on Facebook to make the deal finding even easier! I know, I know...come into the 21st century, right?! I follow Money Saving Mom religiously as one of my favorite savings blogs, but by liking these websites on Facebook, I am able to find the deals a little more quickly and as they are posted.  Just works for me. :) (And of course, I already "Like" Thankfully Thrifty for awesome quick deal updates!)
Now it's your turn! Grab the button and link up below with a deals post of your own.  Whether its an update on your savings so far this year or just a great trip you had with great savings! Anything goes! Also, make sure to go check out Thankfully Thrifty to see how Ashleigh's savings are going so far this year!

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two things...


Monday is our monthly savings link-up where Ashleigh and I share our savings from the month! Make sure to come back tomorrow (the 31st) to link-up any savings tidbit you would like! It could be a month's worth of savings, a great shopping trip, savings tips you have, whatever it may be! Grab the button and link-up!


 Ashleigh at Thankfully Thrifty is hosting an amazing giveaway for a Jeep Liberty Sport X Stroller!! Check it out!! Giveaway ends August 14th.

Happy weekend, friends! :)

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not a worry in the world

We recently took a vacation with Justin's parents to Fort Myers Beach. We spent a week and a half doing nothing but swimming in the pool, hanging out at the beach, shopping, eating, and relaxing.  It was perfection! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. :)
we spent a lot of time by the beautiful gulf
we stopped at one of Justin's favorite places...Beach Seafood Market...after the beach one day
we picked up these little guys for my mother-in-law to do her famous shrimp boil
Tuesday of our trip (the 19th) was our 3rd wedding anniversary.  I knew Justin had a surprise up his sleeve because he told me not to peek at the charge that was on our bank account (it was tempting but I didn't :).  The morning of our anniversary, he told me to just get ready for the beach.  I followed his directions but was surprised when he took me to our bedroom and showed me the suitcase on the bed.  He let me know that I just needed to pack enough for an overnight bag.  I was confused.  (Sidenote--We spent most of our honeymoon in Fort Myers Beach at an amazing resort, The Pink Shell.  The resort had a spa and so my only guess up to this point was that maybe we were going to the beach and then spending the day at the spa.)

in the car on the morning of our anniversary--heading out for our surprise day Justin had planned
The spot we usually go to the beach is near The Pink Shell.  I was of course super excited when Justin pulled the car into the Pink Shell valet area and told me to go ahead and get out so that we could go check in.  (We were spending the day and night at The Pink Shell!)  We went to the counter and checked in.  Justin asked if they were able to reserve the room he had requested.  The lady said that they had, handed us our items, and welcomed us back to The Pink Shell--I was probably looking like a kid on Christmas morning at this point--I love this place!

We took our luggage to our room--the exact same room we spent our honeymoon in--beach front and just as gorgeous as I had remembered!

view from our balcony
a picture on the same balcony, three years after we visited the first time
We spent the day between the beach and the pool.  We ate lunch at the bar by the pool, relaxed, and simply enjoyed being with each other. 

by the pool
That night we drove over to Sanibel Island (another one of my favorite things about the Fort Myers area) and ate at a yummy Italian restaurant, Metzaluna.

after dinner
our silly illustrations on our table--gotta love restaurants that give you crayons and paper on the table!
After dinner we drove around the gorgeous island sight-seeing.

of course we had to get a bump picture (this was Adeline's second trip to the beach already)

on the beach in Sanibel
my love
sunset at Lovers Key
We spent the rest of the evening walking along the beach at our resort enjoying our complementary beverages (non-alcoholic pina coladas...yum!).  The next morning we had a great breakfast at their beachfront restaurant (free for being return customers!)

The anniversary celebration was perfect.  I'm so blessed to have a hubby that knows my love language perfectly--quality time--and goes out of his way to express his love.

We spent the rest of the week relaxing and enjoying ourselves!

with Justin's parents

having fun after dinner
What a fun time! We hated to leave but it helps to know we'll be back soon (after baby)! Now that will be a whole new type of fun! :)

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bump update--weeks 24 and 25

beach bump pic for this update!
I'm finally back to update y'all on the bump! We have been traveling for over half of this month and then that of course makes the weeks in between crazy.  Even though summer is winding down and school is starting soon (yikes!), I feel my blog groove coming back.  Hopefully this means this little blog of mine will start to have a little more action on it.  This pregnant gal isn't promising anything, though.  Just hoping! :)

How far along: Almost to 26 weeks (on Saturday).

Baby size: Eggplant--that's crazy! (average length is a little over a foot and weight averages vary from 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)

Total weight gain/loss: About 10 pounds according to my appointment yesterday.

Sleep: Still good! We were on vacation in Florida last week (pics and more on that coming, I promise!).  We slept in every morning only to wake up to the amazing smell of my mother-in-law fixing breakfast.  It was heaven.

Movement: Constant! And it's happening at all different times of the day.  I am constantly feeling and seeing my stomach pop out on the right and left sides (usually around the level of my belly button).  Sometimes it's just on one side, sometimes on both.  She's a little busy body and sometimes for a few minutes in a row, I will see rumbles on the top of my belly.  She kicked another family member this week--my aunt! Just Justin had felt her kick until my Aunt did.  I'm sure that list will increase.  Also, I told Justin tonight that I think she might have some of her mommy's claustrophobic tendencies.  Today she was pushing out right at the waistband on my pants and then when we were traveling last week, she would push out right at the lap band of my seat belt.  Justin says she's ready to come on out, I say no way.  She needs to bake, bake, bake for a while longer! (Oh wait...that may be another quality she takes after me--being impatient! ;)

Food cravings/aversions: I'm weird in that department, I guess.  No cravings really.  I'm still not wanting red meat hardly at all.  I had one random craving for a McD's cheeseburger after a day at the beach last week.  Other than that, I just want lots and I mean lots of ice in my drinks.

Pregnancy Symptoms: I had the worst indigestion of my life last week after having a garlic-rich dinner.  (No more garlic until after baby!) It was so painful right under my chest and in my back.  All I could do was curl up and try to sleep it off.  Thank goodness Tums did help! However, I did say that if it had been any lower in my stomach, I would have had Justin take me to the ER.  It was that bad.  I get a pain in my left calf when I'm on my feet for a while.  Other than that...just growing pains in the ol' belly bump! :)

What I miss: Nothing other than being able to bend over like a normal person.  Geesh!

What I'm looking forward to: We're just ready to meet this little one and see what this mommy and daddy thing is all about! :)

Milestones: For me--the bump just continues to round.  For Adeline--her sense of equilibrium is now in place.  I'm predicting this will mean an increase in movement and dance parties in my belly! :)

Best moment this week: The entire week...we were in FL at the beach! Enough said?! My favorite part of the week was our 3rd wedding anniversary on the 19th, though.  It was absolute perfection.  I will share with y'all in my post about our vacation! My hubby is a charmer.

Moments with Justin: Definitely our anniversary!  Oh and if I may be raw with you all...maybe the {slight} teary meltdown I had at the doorway of the nursery last night as I vented about how all the "unfinished projects" are driving me crazy and stressing me out.  He took my tears like a champ, held me, challenged me to spend some quiet time with God to find some peace for my soul, and I was reminded all over again why I fell in love with my man and why he's going to make the most amazing daddy to our baby girl.

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odds and ends

I have found three things lately that have made my life a little more complete.  Okay, maybe that's a little over-the-top...but if you haven't heard of any of them...you will thank me.  I'm sure of it.


What I need is something else to distract me.  ;)

This is a website where you can post all of your inspiration you find online by "pinning" it to boards that you created (i.e. "for the home", "baby", etc.).  You can also re-pin things other people find.  (You will need to "request an invite" from Pinterest which will take a couple days, and then you can start pinning!) 
Warning:  This may be more addictive than Facebook.  Actually I'm sure it is.

I would love to follow you!


{instagram app for iphone]

waterpark on the 4th

our backyard

@ Lowe's doing the homeowners thing

fresh fruit salad I made. yum.

I took all of these pics with my iPhone and then edited them using Instragram.  This awesome app lets you post your pics and those people that you "follow" and follow you can see your pics.  You can also post comments and "love" pictures of those you follow.  Find me @theblessedlife19



oh. my. word.

I'm thanking my little bro big time for sharing this with me.  You can download this on your computer and there is an app as well.  Let's just say that I no longer will need to hook my phone up to my computer to save pictures! Amazing.

You can upload documents to your dropbox either on your computer or on your phone...and then you have those documents at all times.  The best part is your documents are backed up electronically!

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bump update--weeks 22 & 23

{I'm not sure what has happened to me this summer...I feel like I can't quite keep up with anything...including blogging.  Maybe it's pregnancy? So this post is a week 22 and 23 post combined.}

How far along: Almost to 24 weeks (on Saturday)...I really can't believe how fast this is flying by.

Baby size: Papaya (average length is close to a foot and weight averages vary from 12 to 20 ounces)

Total weight gain/loss: About 9 or 10 pounds...I've gained so steadily.  I eat regularly and eat quite a bit, but for some reason pregnancy is the first time in my life it's been difficult to gain weight.  The body is a funny thing.

Sleep: Good! I transitioned into using a body pillow for the first time last night...heaven!

Movement: Oh my...all the time! It seems like she's most active in the morning and at night.  She must sleep all day.  When she's in her active time I feel kicks, jabs, and rolls.  A lot of times I can see large movements on the outside where my belly gets pushed out.  If she's in one of her busy times, she reacts when we put our hands on my belly.  Justin loves getting a reaction from her when he puts his hand on my belly. (She's making a liar out of me right now and moving around quite a bit at 12:40 in the afternoon. :)

Food cravings/aversions: We were on a mission trip this past week and were fed so well by our food team from church.  They kept amazing fruit out at every meal...and fruit has been tasting wonderful! They also had a warm dessert for us each evening accompanied by ice cold milk.  Cold milk has been a craving of mine.  No weird cravings...but an aversion is that I'm still not really enjoying red meat.  I mainly have my normal likes/dislikes at this point.

Pregnancy Symptoms: Heartburn has settled down.  I'm having some mild cramping occasionally but my "What to Expect" book said that's normal right now as everything continues to stretch and grow.  Mood swings...highs and lows.  I'm an emotional mess right now--some days super happy and positive, some days super sad and negative for some reason.

What I miss: Nada.  I'm starting to embrace this pregnancy thing (well, growing larger thing).  I think it's about time. ;)

What I'm looking forward to: Getting a good start on the nursery, finishing our registry, meeting this sweet girl.  Celebrating our last anniversary as just a couple next week...Justin has a surprise up his sleeve. yay! :)

Milestones: For me--strangers are starting to take notice of my belly.  I really don't care about that though...I don't like attention, so it's fine with me that most people still don't notice.  For Adeline--her face is fully formed and we would be able to tell who she looks like at this point.  Her days are really mainly about packing on the fat at this point.

Best moment this week: Being on mission trip last week was a blessing...especially since I had a job as blogger for the trip to keep our church updated while we were gone.  It was such a blessing that God provided a place for me on the team even though I couldn't do most of what they did each day in construction.  He taught me a lot about surrender and humility last week.

Moments with Justin: Really, I just need to brag on my sweet hubby.  God has blessed me with such a kind, patient man as my best friend and husband.  (I think I may have mentioned that a time or two. ;) There's not a topic or concern I can come to him with that he doesn't wholeheartedly take in and work through with me.  We've had some great discussions lately and he's held me as I've cried, whined, or cried until I'm laughing.  He's going to be such a good daddy and I'm so thankful that Adeline will have such a sweet, caring daddy to love on her like crazy.

On a funny note--I got a dreaded email from Baby Center earlier in the week about what to expect "down there" after delivery.  Let's just say I'm the "I will just find out when it happens" type of person with things I don't want to think about.  But something got into me and I read the email.  Big mistake.  Although I've heard most of what was in the email...it scared me to death.  I'm not scared of labor whatsoever...but I'm scared of the aftermath.  Call me a wimp, but it just bothers me to think of such discomfort.  I brought all my concerns to Justin and after he cracked up at me for even reading the email...he calmed me down reminding me that it will all be well worth it when we have her to hold.  True statement.  However, let's just say other than my Labor Class at the hospital, I'm not opening up any more emails like that.

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How Much Can I Save in a Year? June Update!

 It's summertime!! Which means I've had more time to devote to planning out our grocery trips and utilizing coupons and deals better than I can during the busy months of school.  We also had quite a few opportunities where we "made" money this month by selling books to Half Price Books, returning some gifts that have needed to be returned for quite a while, our mortgage going down a bit, and selling textbooks on Amazon!

June Savings 

2011 Total Savings

Best of Savings

Free Items this month with coupons:

-Burger King sandwiches
-Tank top from Wal-Mart
-3 pack bar of soap
-Almost free...maternity top from Target (just $1 after coupon)

A Little Savings Tidbit

-Two words--Target coupons! So often you can double up on your savings at Target! They accept a manufacturer's coupons and a Target coupon for items, making the savings great! Also, they often have clothing coupons and other high-value coupons for items beyond food and toiletries.  Print these at the beginning of the month...they go fast! You can often use a coupon like this on a clearance item and get some great items for free or close to it!

-Check out my tips on Wal-Mart price matching here!

-Check out my post about how to save money when buying a car...and details on how to do this with cash!

-Check out how we are saving money in the nursery here and here!

Now it's your turn! Grab the button and link up below with a deals post of your own.  Whether its an update on your savings so far this year or just a great trip you had with great savings! Anything goes! Also, make sure to go check out Thankfully Thrifty to see how Ashleigh's savings are going so far this year!

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Bump update...21 weeks!

How far along: 21 weeks

Baby size: Banana (average size is 10.5 inches long and between 12.5 and 13 ounces)

Total weight gain/loss: I think I am up about 8 pounds at this point.

Sleep: Still pretty good.  I am waking up randomly at times during the night now and feel like I won't be able to go back to sleep...but so far I have been able to!

Movement: She's been really busy again this week! I am starting to feel her at all times of the day...she's really active both in the morning and at night.  I also feel her when I wake up in the middle of the night.

Sitting by the pool on Thursday, I noticed I was feeling really strong movements.  I looked down and could see my belly moving in various places.  At times it would be as if a little bubble was at the surface and then at other times whole sections of my stomach would pop out.  So funny! Justin was able to see it later that night when we were in bed.

Yesterday morning was the same thing...as my dear friend Page has said before...it's as if a fireworks show is going off in your belly! SO much fun! :)

Food cravings/aversions: The Dr. Pepper craving it still pretty strong...but I am back to sometimes feeling a sugar overload with some foods.  Our dear friends from Texas shipped me an entire 12-pack of caffeine free regular Dr. Pepper earlier this week!! What a fun and thoughtful surprise! (Thanks again, Amy!! Y'all are too sweet!) I'm also loving salad, cold sandwiches, peaches, and anything "fresh" and cold tasting right now! I'm still not wanting red meat hardly at all.  Chicken and turkey are about the only meats I want to eat.

Pregnancy Symptoms: Oh the heartburn and acid reflux has started! TUMS are a must at various times throughout the day! I also feel gobs of pressure under my chest at various times during the day (mainly after I eat).  I also have round ligament pains if I get up from sitting too fast.  And getting up and bending over is starting to feel uncomfortable at times. STILL...nothing to complain about! God has been so, so good to me!

What I miss: Nothing really.  I guess still being able to wear and fit in my normal clothing.  And bathing suit season...that's been a lot of fun stressful. ;)

What I'm looking forward to: Holding her in my arms! Getting the nursery and our registry completed.

Milestones: Her bones have continued to develop this week.  And it's crazy, but since she's a baby girl, she has her lifetime supply of eggs now at this point. Wow.

Best moment this week: Starting to see her move and react to our voices at times.  Starting our registry was also very fun!

Moments with Justin: We had a great date night Thursday night...Qdoba (both of us were craving it), starting our registry at Target, and then a late-night stop by Sonic for cream slushes! It was so fun to register with Justin...he's so laid-back and silly acting which made something that could become stressful not stressful at all! We had so much fun scanning and picking things out (mainly what we had already researched and gotten advice about).  What's funny to me is that I keep leaning toward gender-neutral items (even though the pink is so tempting) so that we can use most of these items with a boy if we have one down the road.  However, Justin wants his girl to have girl stuff.  The more pink, purple, and girly, the better for him.  It's so sweet.

It was also a great moment on Thursday night when Justin talked to Adeline and we saw her move against my belly.  His reaction was priceless.

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First of all, 

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you each have a wonderful holiday weekend celebrating with family and friends!

Second, I wanted to let you know that Ashleigh and I let the end of the month sneak up on us! We will have our "How Much Can I Save in a Year" link-up posted on Tuesday, July 5th! Come back by and join in!

 Finally, hubby and I will be serving on a mission trip this coming week with our church family.  We are beyond blessed to be able to do this each summer! We started out going as part of our youth group (kiddos ourselves) and now the Lord has blessed us for the past seven years to serve in a more leadership role as adults.  Due to my current "state" ;) I'll be staying away from the work sites next week and be the "designated blogger" for the trip with my dear friend, Cheri's help with the photo/video side of things! You can check out our daily activities on our mission trip blog found here!

So other than a couple scheduled posts, I won't be around this blog much for the next week.  I'll be back to blogging here next week and getting caught up on your wonderful blogs! Y'all have a joy-filled, blessed week!

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