Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spring Break on a Budget

I've been dreaming of a nice beach with and ocean....

I recall our family vacation in 2007 to St. Thomas. What an incredible trip. Little Madeline was only 2 months old. Yes, we were crazy to take a newborn overseas.

When I think beach I think of this picture of Will and Kate on the beach.
We are heading for a little spring break weekend trip soon. We asked the kids where they would like to go of course we hear, Disney World or St Thomas. Um... not quite that big of a trip.

We have to stay in the big state of Texas. First choice was Sea World until the tragedy yesterday. I desperately would like to see some ocean. Although it's not the crystal clear waters but it's a beach and it will do.

We are heading to Galveston. I've done my research and surprisingly found some great hotel rates. We are also visiting NASA in Clearlake. When I think of Houston I think the movie lines "Houston we have a problem". This attraction is one of the kids favorite spots.

While searching I discovered extra online discounts for Moody Gardens and The Johnson Space Center.

Hotel tip, we like to stay at Holiday Inn Express or Comfort Suites. These two chains have free hot breakfast in the morning and most of them are brand new. Having a breakfast in the morning saves at least $25 a day for our family of 5.
I've got some Houston readers do you have any money saving tips?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Purses got me thinking....

The kids and I took a trip to the mall last week. I remember why I don't go to the mall.... I want to buy everything! If you don't remember I am a recovering shopaholic, hence the frugal Jen now.

My main addiction is to bags. I love purses! I started this love at a young age when my mom got me my first Dooney & Burke for my 14th birthday. I spent many years over indulging in expensive bags.

Then..... I got married and had kids. My bags of choice now are from Ross, TJ Maxx and Kohl's.

I regressed when I entered the Coach store. Let me share what I saw.... This bling machine bag only $548. Doesn't it scream summer time is coming?

Nice classic black. Even has room for sippy cups on the side. $278.

This was my fave it was coated in this special plastic stuff perfect for a new diaper bag for the new addition. $248.

If I could indulge my soon to be 13 year old in a birthday present of choice I would get her this cute bag. $198.

Now let me tell you my story. I had the plastic coated bag at the counter ready to purchase. Really I was just going to do it and not think twice. I deserve it right? Everyone else around me spends big why can't I. Wrong, Will accidentally knocked over the stroller and sent my diet coke on to the floor. It was a sign back to reality Jen.

I embarrassingly cleaned up and hurried out the door and said "I'll think about it". Think about it I did.... all night long. I wanted it badly.

The next morning I went to my church's moms group still thinking about the purse. Of course it seems like every women in there had a Coach purse. That's all I was thinking about.

We had a nun speaker who lived in Africa for 40 years and witnessed the genocide in Rowanda. This women also grew up in the great depression lost both parents and had a hard life. She also was one of the most inspiring and happy women I've met. She was happy with the spiritual gifts not the material ones. Talk about life changing, wow I felt so shallow for wanting a dumb purse.

Greed is an appetite that will never be filled. So simple yet profound.

Only God can use a purse to get me thinking about the spiritual gifts I need and pray to receive. I am in no means close to the women God wants me to be. Those of you who know me in real life can attest to that. I am trying to do the best I can but honestly it's so hard in a world surrounded by material gifts. We all just want more and hope that next "more" will fulfill us.

Do you struggle with wanting "more" too?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Once Again Inspired

During my little bloggy break I've been spending time with the kids and relaxing. I've even read a book. I finally jumped on the Twilight bandwagon and let me tell you.... LOVE IT!

I decided I would read it before Kate (12) was allowed to read it. I'm the type of parent that wants to know what my kid is up to. It was completely appropriate for a 7th grader. The love was very mild and well written. It also gives us something to talk about together.

I am now reading New Moon. I am so addicted!

I've been thinking more about Madelines new room and the baby nursery. I stumbled accross this photo on a blog. Sorry not sure which one (remember I have prego head right now), I am using their photo it looks great!

This inspired my theme for Madeline's big girl room. I am going to use this paint technique and we already have this exact chandalier in her nursery.

I am going to do white furniture. Of course at a garage sale hopefully next month. I want a scrolly headboard if that makes sense.

The next big decision.... bedding? I've been looking everywhere and nothing seems perfect. Anyone have any ideas or have you seen any bedding that would go with this look?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Many of my long time readers have noticed a change in my posting pattern. I used to spent many hours researching and working on projects.

I've found myself spending entirely too much time reading blogs, checking my email and catching up on facebook. I realized the extent when I stopped to see that my kids were trying to get my attention away from the computer and made comments about "Mommy's always on the computer". That was my wake up call.

Right now I am pulling back even further from my computer and phone. I feel like God is calling me to be a better wife and mother putting my family first. I apologize in advance if I don't respond quickly to emails or I don't pick up my phone. My energy and focus right now is directly on my family.

I hope to post maybe once a week. I would like to thank all of you for your readership it makes me smile to know I can give you tips or be an online friend. I've met some great people and gained friendships through my blog. Thank you for your pregancy prayers it means very much to our family.

See you soon!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Menu Monday

This week I filled the menu with my cravings. Luckily they are family friendly.

Monday: Baked Ziti and Salad

Tuesday: Chicken Salad Sandwiches and Pasta Salad

Wednesday: Out to dinner for our anniversary

Thursday: Hot Dogs, Mac and Cheese and French Fries (I omit the hot dog)

Friday: Valentine's Dance. I am taking Will to the Mother/ Son & Father/ Daughter dance at his school. What a fun time! Josh will be at home with the girls so I am sure they will take out some Little Cesar's Pizza.

Saturday: Hamburgers and Tator Tot's (Grilled Cheese for me)

Sunday: Our Family Night & Valentines Day. We unplug the phone and eat in the dining room on the china. Then we play a family game. We will have chicken fajita's and chips and queso.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Honesty and Reality

I am going to be brutally honest here today. Sorry it's not a frugal post. I feel moved to share today. Don't worry nothing controversial.

I am terrified of another pregnancy loss. Absolutely completely terrified. This week the reality of pregnancy hit me. It began as excitement of another friend being pregnant than a sad change to a miscarriage for my sweet friend. It took me back to the loss we had. Since I'm being honest I've had more than one miscarriage but I can't wrap my head around it so I think of it as one.

I also have several friends who for medical reasons cannot have any more children. The saddest part is they want more but they are medically unable. It makes me think, Lord why can I have 4 children but my friend only has one and desperately wants one more. Guilt is also a feeling I have. I don't understand why someone can have 10 kids and another can have none. I've met wonderful amazing women who can't have any children, why is this?

Maybe it's my crazy hormones taking over but I feel very afraid. Also afraid of how I can manage having 4 children and maintain my sanity.

I am praying for God's will and when I think these scared and terrified feelings I think "Jesus I trust in you".

Just keeping it real and honest. I know if I feel this their has to be other women thinking the same thing. I also pray for those women today.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Project Inspirations

I'm waiting on this weather to warm up so I can get back to my spray painting. Serious with drawls going on... I haven't spray painted in 3 months. (Spray paint and pregnancy not a great combo).

I plan to wear a fashionable mask out in the back yard of fresh air for my projects. So what do I have in mind?

Little Miss is moving to a new room. The playroom/ guest bedroom/ junk room will be no more. I am thinking a soft pink and white in shabby chic style. The traditional little girls room. Lots of dress ups, tea parties and fun.

Project Room #2 the new nursery. I have no idea what to do!

I will be hitting the garage sales like crazy in a month or so! If you live in the DFW area my favorite garage sales are in Southlake. Really good stuff for super cheap!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Magic... Diaper Rash Disappear

Little Miss has been battling diaper rash for a couple weeks. I used all the different lotions and yes even the butt paste. Nothing was working.
Then I remembered some stuff I bought from a friend selling Arbonne a couple years ago. I put the baby oil on her little bottom and seriously the rash was gone over night.This is not a paid endorsement just mom to mom saying this stuff really works!
We are officially on Day 2 of potty training. I am praying today goes better. We had 6 accidents yesterday. She's just not making it to the potty on time.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Menu Monday

Sorry for my lack of posting. We've been busy. I've got my 2 year old working on potty training again... at her request. She refuses to wear pull-ups so we are staying close to home. We seem to have lots of accidents.

Let me share what's for dinner.

Monday: Grilled Chicken Sandwiches and French Friends
Tuesday: Meals on the Go, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, chips and fruit
Wednesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Thursday: Frozen Pizza and Salad
Friday: Burgers and Tator Tots

As for my morning sickness, it's still going strong. Last week I did a lot of resting. My house got out of control but today I've been busy getting things back together. I am officially in maternity clothes. That means I need to take a belly shot soon. I am 11 weeks almost to the 2nd trimester! Thank you for your continued prayers and thoughts for my pregnancy.