Mother’s Day 2017

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Mother’s Day… it’s so weird that I am, for all intents and purposes, a mother!! This is partly my day! We are less than four weeks away from meeting this sweet baby girl. Then I will “officially” be a momma! However, we definitely embraced 2017! Michael went above and beyond in his efforts to make me feel special. It was incredibly kind and honestly, needed. This pregnancy is kicking my butt. Seriously.

He started Saturday when we got a packaged delivered. It had three beautiful flower arrangements! (Michael said “I couldn’t choose between these… so I got them all!”). Besides being gorgeous and sweet, they also have an interesting story. The flowers are from a company called The BOUQS Company. This company aims to help small farms grow! You place your order and they are cut that day from their partner list. All of the farms on the list practice sustainable, eco friendly farming. Then they are shipped that same day. This eliminates the waste of other shops that have to throw away one out of every three stems they cut. So my flowers came from a farm in Venezuela. Isn’t that neat!? I was so impressed that Michael took the time to find something unique. I love supporting those sorts of efforts.

This morning was perfect. Michael brought out another Mother’s Day surprise. He had bought my first piece of “mom” jewelry!! I couldn’t help but tear up when he brought out that little blue bag! It is a Tiffany & Co beaded bracelet with a charm engraved with “mom.” It’s beyond adorable.

 

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We then spent the morning with my mom and siblings.  Then we headed off to lunch of my choosing! (To be honest, Michael had made reservations downtown, but I’m pregnant and all I could think of was a sonic ocean water hahaha.  So we cancelled the reservations and I got my soda). 

Now we are about to head down to the pool to enjoy the sunshine.  I am so thankful for my sweet sweet husband who made today so special.  I love you very very much.  

Nolie’s Baby Book 

// baby booties: Target (by Carter’s– see similar owl pair here ) // crib sheet: Little Unicorn 
Well, I’ve finished my last final and now all there is to do is wait on this beautiful baby girl to come! I seriously can not wait… I am so impatient! One thing I have been working on to pass the time is her baby book. Even though I usually love making Shutterfly photobooks, I wanted something a little more hands on. I searched and searched until I discovered a company called Lucy Darling. I am OBSESSED with it! I ordered the cutest baby book ever. It was hard to choose one, but in the end I chose the “Lucy Darling Little Artist Memory Book.” It’s beyond precious and covered in flowers, which I love. Also, you just write and fill in pictures, I don’t have to buy tons of paper or glue (which I really really love).
The company also sells things like closet dividers, swaddling blankets, and other gifts. You should seriously check out their website or Instagram feed- it’s precious!
Anyways, it has been so fun filling out all the little sections. For example, there is a family tree, a place to write a letter, a section for “the world today” (things like price of gas, popular songs, etc), and more! It also is making this so much more real! I just can’t believe it. We are down to the last month and it feels crazy!

Similac Membership Review

When I first found out I was pregnant I immediately signed up for every baby club or free benefit option posibble.  It was all so exciting!! I signed up online for a membership with a company called Similac on November 6th. I promptly forgot all about it until December 1st when I received a Similac membership card in the mail. That was all that was sent however, so I quickly forgot about it again.  Besides that the membership basically allows you to enter codes on product you’ve bought. Well I haven’t bought any of their product!

(Similac is a company that makes formula, which I have zero use for right now.  One, because my baby was unborn. Two, because I didn’t know if we were going to have to use formula. Finally, three, because I didn’t even know if our baby would be able to use this formula!) 

However, on April 24th our first “perk” package arrived! It was a cute box with two samples of their formula as well as a few coupons.  It was a cute little surprise.  The formula won’t expire for some time, so I put it up in the kitchen cabinet with Nolie’s bottles.  I’ll have to update this post later on if she likes it! 


Pantry Organization 

There are few things more satisfying to me than finding the perfect way to organize a space. A couple of weeks ago while Michael was gone I had a total success story!

 I had decided to do some hard core grocery shopping. I wanted to stock up on non perishables. I actually made a list and divided it by what store carried it. I had my Walmart, Aldi’s, Kroger, and Publix list. (Super perk of living in Providence is that all of these stores are less than a mile away from my front door). When I got home I felt SO accomplished… until I realized that my pantry was not prepared to store all of my stockpiling! I immediately headed to Pinterest.

 
The end result, I bought a plastic door hanging shoe divider ($8.97 on Amazon). It now houses all of the snacks and non perishable desserts that I bought! I also rearranged a few things and made use of the plastic storage containers we bought when we were engaged. I am so happy with how it turned out! It saved me a remarkable amount of space and it’s all organized. I’m so thrilled!

Nursery Accent DIY

We are having a total blast decorating the nursery! While I still have an abundance of energy I am trying to finish some Pinterest craft ideas up. This project was for a wall decoration in the baby’s room! It was an hour project that cost less than $20 to make.

I started by going to Joann’s and picking out a giant cardboard letter. Originally I was going to buy the wooden letters, however I realized that this would be much easier to hang and lighter- in case sometime in the future it got knocked down. (Listen, this kid is half Michael’s. I’m expecting more rough housing and injuries per this one child than all three of my siblings and I combined.)

 

When I got home I took out that handy can of gold spray paint that we used for our DIY gold frames and for the dresser handles. Michael gave it one good coat and we left it to dry.

 

Once it was dry I gathered up the remaining flowers from my DIY mirror project. I cut off a few buds and leaves, plugged in the hot glue gun, and here we are!

This was an incredibly easy project and I think it turned out wonderfully. I’m 100% happy with it. Michael has it hanging up now and I am in love.

DIY Flower Mirror 

I really wanted to create a gorgeous mirror piece to hang over the baby’s dresser. I had a hard time finding a good sized mirror though. Eventually I found one at this store that just opened up near the house called Tuesday Morning. It’s a cute shop and I got the mirror for $40!

The mirror size was great, but it was an off white with fake antiquing along the edges.  I wasn’t a huge fan, so I pulled out some of the leftover chalk paint from my dresser restoration project! I gave it two coats of paint and it was a perfect match for the dresser.


After that dried I took apart two flower bunches I bought at Joann’s. (I was in luck, when we went the flowers were on a 40% off sale. So the large roses were $5.99 and the smaller spray roses were about $2.40)! I pulled the buds off the stems and then trimmed down the attachment studs. Next I took my handy glue gun and attached a few on the top right corner.  Then a smaller bundle in the lower left corner.

Originally I was going to spray paint the flowers gold to keep with the theme, but I’m glad I left them the way they were! And I’m glad that the larger buds have the slightest touch of pink. I think it’s so feminine and fits the room.


Next I took some heavy duty picture wire and strung it between the two triangle hardware pieces on the back.  This made it much easier to hang! The wire was $3.99 at Joann’s.

It was a super easy craft and now I have this darling mirror! I am so beyond happy with it. Also, my love for chalkpaint has grown even stronger. The nursery is coming together and we’re getting more and more excited everyday!! Keep an eye out next month or so to see a picture of the final product hung up! Soph is going to do a cute little lifestyle shoot of the nursery when it’s finished!!

I’m Stockpiling Diapers and Saving Hundreds of Dollars! Here’s How:

Did you know the average household spends between $750-$1,000 on diapers per child!? That is literally so so crazy. It struck me that if I could save money here, we could substantially lower our out of pocket costs. I decided that stockpiling and couponing for diapers was going to be my new hobby!

To start, I went through dozens of Pinterest pins and online searches to find a few different mom’s charts on how many diapers their baby used. I ended up with four different sets of numbers. Two ended at size three so I decided to do the same.  Here are the averages per size for the following four babies.

Sample A: 

Newborn- 216 

Size One- 160

Size Two- 640

Size Three- 684

Total Diapers- 1,699

 

Sample B: 

Newborn- 252

Size One- 280

Size Two- 560

Size Three- 1,368

Total Diapers- 2,460

 

Sample C: 

Newborn- 196

Size One- 770

Size Two- 924

Size Three- 756

Total Diapers- 2,646

 

Sample D: 

Newborn- 234

Size One- 552

Size Two- 893

Size Three- 1,329

Total Diapers- 3,008 

 

There is a pretty HUGE range of diapers between sample A and sample D. So I decided the best way to approach it was to average out the numbers. I hope this helps to create a good reference to how many we will need. Here are my averages.

My Average Diaper Quantities: 

Newborn- 225

Size One- 440

Size Two- 754

Size Three- 1,034

Total Diapers- 2,453

I felt pretty confident so I decided to start buying according to those numbers.  Now the important part was to make sure I was getting my diapers at a great price.  I looked online for price averages, however that didn’t really help. A lot of people’s average price per diaper was a lot lower than I would be able to get because they were buying store brand diapers. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s awesome. In fact I love it! However, since I was buying so far in advance I had to make some choices.

All of the people’s comments that I read online that were advocating to NOT stockpile diapers warned repeatedly about the same two things. One, apparently some diapers can expire. Two, they cautioned that not every baby reacts well with every diaper.  There can be allergic reactions, fit problems, etc. I did some research and we decided to only buy Pampers Swaddlers and diapers from The Honest Company. I chose the Pampers Swaddlers because out of literally a dozen different review sites and mommy blogs they were almost always the first pick, and if not, always second. A vast majority of hospitals use these diapers too. They also never expire, though exposure to light and extreme humidity can cause the slightest of discoloration (I wasn’t worried about that). I also decided to include The Honest Company because I love what they stand for and their commitment to healthy, great quality baby products. (I actually blogged about their house products free trial – they have one for diapers too – a few months ago. Since then I also have started using their lotion and we have their shampoo & conditioner! I really like this company)!

Choosing those two name brand diapers and choosing not to include any store brands DID effect my price point. Obviously, to start with these were more expensive than a Target or Walmart brand diaper. It is totally worth it to me, however. I feel confident in the brands I chose and that I won’t run into problems. (Just in case, I of course didn’t break the seal on any boxes. Most stores will allow for exchanges or store credit returns. Also, if I have a surplus of diapers many stores will let me exchange the box for a different size).

At the end of the day, the average Pampers Swaddlers diaper costs around $0.31 a diaper. I decided to try to never spend more then $0.20 a diaper. Generally I stayed a few cents below, but a few impulse buys did lead to going over that price goal by a few cents. To get discounts I combined store promotions, store discounts, manufacture coupons, and store coupons. The place I found the best deal on Pampers was always Target. (I didn’t think of it until literally this week, but I wish I had opened a Target debit card. You get 5% off of every purchase, so that would have been even more savings! We are talking about opening one soon). I only bought the Honest Diapers online so I could take advantage of membership benefits.

My best overall deals were from my short lived membership with the Honest Company. My husband and I each created an account and took advantage of some serious promotions before discontinuing our accounts. At the time they were offering one free bundle after you order your first bundle. So we payed for the 240 diapers, then got another 240 diapers free! Plus, when I referred my husband to the membership I was given a $20 credit. You can see how you could use this to your advantage. Our very best deals came from this! Plus, you can cancel at any time with zero fees.

As I mentioned before, we also had a lot of great luck with Target. Every other week or so Target offers a gift card when you purchase so many of the advertised product. If you have the patience to wait it out, every so often they offer a $15 gift card with the purchase of two boxes of Pampers diapers. On top of that you can use up to one manufactures and one Target coupon per box. This provides a great deal! Also, if the box has somehow been damaged (for example, smashed) they will extend a 10% discount, but only if you ask. I know that a slightly smashed box is not going to alter my diapers in any way, so I took advantage of this when applicable.

For sizes newborn, one, and two my averages out cost per diaper was $0.12!! (Remember, this is in comparison to the Pampers average of $.31 a diaper!!) That is nothing to scoff at!! We are currently working on our size three stash, but I’ll be sure to update this post once we have more data. I don’t know what to expect as our average for those diapers seeing as how the price per box remains the same, but quantity drastically drops. This will be where the coupons will really matter!

We plan on buying about half of our expected needs for size three, but then putting the amount of boxes we will still need on our baby registry. We also will register for size four and fives.  If people feel drawn to offer those as a gift, we will be spending even less on diapers! Overall, I estimate that we have saved about $335 on diapers so far. That is pretty great in my book. Overall, I am beyond thrilled with the success we have had with our baby on a budget progress!!

We currently have bought 1,879 diapers. Plus someone just gave us another 25 for free! I ended up buying a few more size two than I needed, but they were part of the free bundle so I didn’t mind at all! We might need them, and if not- I know several pregnant ladies who might be able to! I’m so excited to see how much savings we accumulate! 

To answer your questions, half of baby’s closet is entirely Diapers! Haha. That’s where we’re putting them!