Friday, August 30, 2013

Money Class & House for Sale

I am just over a week shy of my 31st birthday (I cringe when I type that) and to be honest, I really never budgeted my money. I have always been frugal where I don't buy something unless I can justify it two times over. Some times, I have such bad buyer's remorse I am hardly home before I am turning around to take it back. Now that John and I are responsible for more than just ourselves, we have made a conscious effort to be smart with our money. We decided we might need a little outside help.

Fortunately, we discovered the Community Partnership of the Ozark's "CASH Financial Literary Initiative" through Sawyer's daycare Lighthouse. They did a presentation at the last family education night at his school and it sounded like the perfect way to get on the right track. We started at the beginning of August for the 4-week class (every Tues. from 5:30 - 8:00) and besides the obvious perks of learning where our money is going, they also offer FREE dinner and FREE could we turn that down? AND here is the real kicker...after completion of the 4 weeks, you start a free savings account and if you save up to $100 over 3 months, they match it $100. John and I could both do it. So in 3 months, we will have a free $200 and another $200 we saved.

Yay, we passed!
We just graduated Tuesday and could not have been happier with how it turned out. We discussed how to set up a balanced budget and make it reasonable for our family. One of the most valuable tools we walked away with was our spending journals. This is a small binder we keep on us at all time and write down every time we spend money (gas, gum, fountain drinks, Starbucks-yikes!). Our eyes were opened to the little things we buy that we don't even realize. Every bit counts and cutting just a couple of those things out each week make a huge difference. They brought in guest speakers from area banks to talk about anything money related from buying a house to filing for bankruptcy. Nothing is off the table and no one judges. John and I highly recommend the class, even if you don't think you need it, I bet you learn something! After you graduate you can also start attending the Savings Club, which offers more financial education and encouragement.
Here is the site for more info:

On a related note, John and I have decided to put our house up for sale because we have outgrown the space we are in. It is actually hard for me to admit this because I feel like if I type it, it is real. I bought this house the Fall of 2006 when I was just 24 years old and was my first house out on my own. I got married, had my first child, all while living in this house. So, as you can imagine it is emotional for me. We aren't in any hurry just want to start the process now before we decide to expand our family even more. We aren't opposed to renting it either. This class was very helpful in getting us ready for this next big step in our lives as a family of 3.  So if you know anyone wanting a cute 2 bed, 2 bath house in central Springfield...give us a call :)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Win the JARDINS DU TROCADERO Statement Ring!

I am so in love with this new ring from the Fall Collection, I am GIVING IT AWAY FOR FREE!!! Just purchase something from my online boutique between now and Friday Aug. 30 and you are entered to win. Multiple purchases = multiple entries. Plus, after you shop, if you share this post...I'll enter you again Woohoo!! Happy Shopping! SHOP HERE:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sawyer's 18 Month Check-up

Playing until the doctor came in

I got so busy with shower planning and John heading back to school,  I forgot to post an update after Sawyer's 18 month Doctor's visit last week. Everything looked great, plus he didn't have to get any shots! His ears are finally all cleared up too, only ailment now is his darn allergies! Next visit isn't until he is 2, wow that seems so far away (but really only 6 months).

Height: 33 inches - 68.4 percentile
Weight 29 pounds - 93.60 percentile
Head: 18.82 inches - 60.62 percentile
Vocabulary: She had me write out all the word he has said and I couldn't even fit them on the page. By 2 years of age, they want children saying at least 50 words and a few 2-word combinations. Well, Sawyer blew that out of the water and I am so proud.

His ever-expanding vocabulary list...couldn't fit it all on so I stopped.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Elliot's Baby Shower: Oh! The Places She'll Go!

The Beautiful Mother-to-be

My best friend Megan is having a baby!!! Ah! It is still is so exciting to say. It was my pleasure to be able to plan & co-host a baby shower for her and her soon to arrive daughter, Elliot Ann, this past weekend with the help of 4 other wonderful ladies, Amanda, Trina, Ashley & Josey. We came up with the theme "Welcome to the World, Oh! The Places She'll Go!" based on Megan's nursery decor of old maps/globes.  We love the Dr. Seuss book so thought it tied in nicely and would make a great Guest Book at the shower for her guests to leave messages for Elliot. The menu was based on popular food items from different countries which we marked with their flags (that was a fun brainstorming session). The decor was DIY projects made from Atlases and maps and the "take-home" was home-made fortune cookies with thank you notes inside. We had so much fun at our craft nights prepping prior to the shower. We had the guests write notes on diapers for Megan & Tim to have when they are on late-night diaper duty. Megan read them aloud, which was hilarious! We also played the "clothespin game", where each guest had 3 clothes pins and if they were caught saying the word "cute" at all during the shower, they had to give one up. The person with the most clothespins at the end won (Congrats to Darlene, nice work!). It was so much harder than we thought to not say that word!

Only 9 short weeks until Elliot arrives and I think she is well prepared with all the amazing items she received. Thank you everyone for coming and supporting Megan & Tim on this spectacular journey into parenthood. Special thanks to Trina for volunteering to have the shower at her new home!


custom made envelope seals (Etsy again)

cute straws I found on Etsy (of course)
banner prep

learning how to make Fortune Cookies
Modge Podging, garland circle cutting and wreath creation
garland circles cut out of maps and Fortune Cookie messages
Trina and my's attempt at pastry making


Diaper Messages
Oh! The Places You'll Go - Guest Book
Messages for Elliot
Clothespin Game

Food from around the World!

Sweets Table
home made Fortune Cookies
personalized messages inside
Megan with her hostesses - Josey, Me, Trina, Ashley and Amanda
We love Elliot!!!!
Reading the funny Diaper Messages
The hostesses
Elliot received lots of new books

Megan with her Mother-in-law and Mother
Megan and Me
Trina with her mother Darlene 
Megan with her Friend Katie who she has known since she was little

Megan and Trina
Trina and me

Straws: Dandelion Design Studio (
Envelope Seals: Studio Treats (
Invitations/Signage: Designed by Kari Hamra (, printed through

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cattle Barron's Ball

Group shot before the Ball
And then the Horse decided to Photo Bomb
Reaction to John saying "The Horse is eating my Hair!"

Our friends Reece & Krissy Tarwater were kind enough to invite us last Saturday to the Annual Cattle Baron's Ball to benefit the American Cancer Society at Darr Agricultural Center. This was a huge event! John and I, of course, do not own any "western" apparel but I was lucky ebough to borrow some boots form a coworker (thanks Nicole) and John got the hook up from Tim. It was such a fun night of eating, dancing, auction bidding and of course riding the mechanical bull! They raised a ton of money, Krissy even won her silent auction item for 1 year of unlimited Hot Yoga from Sumit's. I hope we get to go again next year because we had a blast. Thanks again Tarwater's for letting us be your date!
Krissy and Me before we get on the bus
Waiting for the bus

Ran into the Leeka's at the event
Met some new friends
John and me all Westerned up!

John ready to ride

And he's off
Reece riding or should I say falling off the bull
Saloon Girls Shot
The winning Bid Number

Yeehaw, Krissy Won!!!!
we got to take the flowers home
Comfy clothes for the after party