Sunday, November 23, 2014

Texas Thunder Tiaras Tiny Cheer Team

Last year Georgia got a pair of little pom-pons from Santa. She talked for ever and ever about being a cheerleader. Being the Type-A, slightly helicopter mom that I am, I found a cheer gym and signed her up. She is in the Tiny division, which is for little girls ages three to five. Her team name is the Tiaras, how cute is that? Other teams at her gym are Jewels, Empire, Dynasty, Reign and so on. Georgia is the youngest on her team, there is one other three year old, and is the little one in the back row on the far right.

I didn't compete when I was a cheerleader so many years ago, so I really didn't know what to expect. I put on my blinged up Cheer Mom shirt and got a $1 large Coke from McDonald's (after getting Georgia up at six a.m.) and headed to Reliant. It was huge! I don't know what I was thinking, but these teeny Tinys were on the arena floor! With spotlights so bright their eyes squinched up. And smoke machines!

We got to watch several other teams. Only one looked younger than Georgia's group and they were too cute. They played ring around the rosies. The Tiaras walked out and got into position. And had a music malfunction. They stayed in their building formation for about three minutes until it got straightened out.

They did great! Of course it wasn't perfect, but all of their stunts went up and the girls who tumble did a great job. I absolutely loved hugging Georgia afterward and seeing the biggest smile on her face! We stayed and watched the older girls, cheered for our gym and waited for the awards ceremony. The Tiaras came home with a first place trophy! A bunch of proud mamas and happy girls.

We did video it, but due to gym rules, I'm not allowed to make it public online. Bummer, because I would really love to share it with everyone. Hopefully I'll be able to after the competition season is over.

Oh! And this is hilarious. The girls all hung out and sat together after their routine and Georgia got to know some of them more. Since I signed her up for the team late, she didn't get to hang out with them very much, they go right into practice every week. Anyway, there is a little girl named Austin Leigh. Georgia calls her Awesome League, HA!

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

How I'm Shopping Black Friday & Cyber Monday

The last time I went Black Friday shopping, Georgia was six months old. My friend Ashley and I coffee'd up and stood in line for an hour at Target. I grabbed the last of a toy she wanted for Piper off the shelf as another mom was reaching for it and we hightailed it out of there. We went to a few mall stores, but nothing crazy.

This year? I am ready to hit it. Big Time! My mom and aunts always go. They don't do a lot of shopping, just browsing and people watching. I, however, have a list and plan of attack.

I know we will go to Kohl's and I plan to pick up towels for Georgia's bathroom. At HomeGoods, I will grab some wrapping paper; theirs is the best! so thick and richly colored. Hobby Lobby for ribbon. Target always has some small deals like pajamas and leggings. And CVS is going to have $10 bottles of Marc Jacobs Daisy perfume!

It may seem a bit psychotic, but I've mapped out stores and the times they open, as well as a written list of what I want to buy and the prices. That way, I can send my mom over to a different department to pick things up for me. Now isn't that smart?

If you're looking for electronics or trying to compare prices, I found this awesome Black Friday comparison spreadsheet on Redefined Mom. And! Earlier this week Walmart started matching other stores' Black Friday prices. This is all getting too crazy for me...before you know it Black Friday will be starting the day after Halloween.

Now, onto Cyber Monday. Most stores are starting their Cyber Monday deals on Thanksgiving or the day before (see? crazy!). I haven't yet figured out my plans for shopping. I know I'll have to get up early and be quick before Georgia wakes up. To help myself out with this, I created a Cyber Monday Pinterest board of the items I'm scouting out. That way, when Monday (or Wednesday) rolls around, I can just click the items on the Pinterest board and won't have to worry about searching for them or remembering what I want to buy.

It's definitely not complete, but a few things I'm looking for are a Fair Isle jacket or cardigan, faux fur scarf, fleece leggings, and a dress for Christmas parties. I've never liked Fair Isle, but the more I see of it, the more I'm falling in love with it. I do know that Loft will be 50% off and Limited usually does the same deal, so I've started pinning items from there. If you need work clothes, Ann Taylor is typically 50% off as well.

If you're looking for kid's clothes, Gymboree currently has everything on their website 40-50% off. Plus, they mailed out coupon codes for $25 off $100 orders + free shipping. I used ebates and bought 10 items for exactly $100. Cheaper than Target or consignment stores! I researched and the lowest Gymboree ever goes on Black Friday is 60% off and they don't always offer that online. So I suggest stocking up now if you find things you like! I got Georgia the cutest white puffer vest!

Speaking of Georgia - my little munchkin is wearing a 4t in bottoms and dresses! FOUR TEE Y'ALL! She's growing up so fast and I promise to share some photos soon. She is tall and skinny with no waist or booty. She is brilliant, with an amazing memory, funny, and always so cheerful. It is so much fun being Mommy to a three and a half year old! and I want her to stay this age forever and ever.

Do you have a Black Friday / Cyber Monday plan of attack? Where do you plan on shopping? Any fun shopping traditions?

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Monday, September 1, 2014

What's On My Project List?

I feel like I have a lot on my plate right now in the way of longer-term projects. I was excited to see this linkup on Andrea's blog so that I could lay it all out and give myself a sense of accountability.

  • I'm the Raffle Co-Chair for Sugar Plum Market, so I will have a lot of focus on contacting local businesses, picking up items, and staying on my team to do the same.
  • I have three large bins and a closet full of Georgia's outgrown clothes. I need to photograph and list them on Facebook selling pages or eBay.
  • Do some cute pumpkin projects to get ready for October!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

September Goals

Sell 10 of Georgia's outgrown outfits. I have Rubbermaid bins full that are hardly worn and not sentimental to me, I need to purge before it all takes over another closet!

Workout twice a week. Continue healthy eating and try not to have too many Cokes, chips, candy or fast food.

Get a pedicure! Yep, it's really sad that this is a goal.

Follow a budget. I way overspend on Georgia's clothes and activities, as well as eating out. I signed up for the free trial at You Need A Budget and set everything up so I can monitor our spending. I want to save enough to buy a nice living room rug without taking the money out of our "decor fund".

Organize at least part of my office.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Has Target Gone Nuts? Crazy Deals!

I don't get amazingly excited about saving just a couple of bucks, and I don't go out of my way to score good deals. I tried couponing once or twice, but it was just more time and trouble than it was worth. But one of my friends showed me this deal and I could not pass it up. Free Target gift cards for shopping from my computer? Sign me up!

Target is offering $10 off a $40 online order that you pick up in store. They're also giving a $10 gift card when you buy 4 household items. You can also get a $10 Visa gift card from Proctor & Gamble when you spend $30.

Here's what to do:

  1. Sign up for ebates and shop through their site to get 2.5% off. They're legit. I've been using them since 2008 and try to remember to use them whenever I shop online.
  2. Search on the Target website for Tide, Gain, Downy or Bounce. You will see the little icon that says "$10 Gift Card" on the eligible items. I also clicked "In Store Pickup" on the left side of the screen to narrow my search. I had to use the +Quick Info button in order to select where I wanted to pick up. Things would never load into my cart otherwise. Make sure to buy 4 items and spend $30!
  3. Fill your cart with other Target things you want or need to get your total to $40 and the $10 is automatically taken off! Check out as usual use your Target card if you have one, for an extra 5% off!
  4. Your Target gift card will be emailed or texted when you pick up your items.
  5. Print this rebate form and send it in for your $10 Visa card.
I got all of this yesterday:
HE Tide stain lifter or something like that
HE Gain Lavender
Downy Infusions Cashmere Glow (large jug)
Downy Infusions Lavender (large jug)
2 packs index cards
spray starch
Disney Princess napkins (for Georgia's lunchbox)

Total was $ with my Visa gift card, it'll come down to $10! For all of that! Crazy!

They're also having a big deal on diapers but since praise the Lord!! Georgia is potty-trained, I didn't look into that.

Some toys are marked 70% off, too. They didn't have anything that I wanted to get for Georgia but I got a ton of nice things for older kids for $3-$5 that we can give to the toy drive at Christmas.

Happy shopping - what will you spend your gift cards on?

I just saw that the deal above ends tomorrow, Saturday, August 2. As long as you buy online by then you can pick up later.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

A Few Of My Favorite (Online) Things Lately

I've been loving this blog lately! I've posted before about my ongoing mental block to homekeeping. I started browsing previous posts at the beginning of A Slob Comes Clean and I totally get where she is coming from. I know what needs to be done, I just always think tasks will take much longer than they actually do, so I never start them. I try to pick up the house and do some cleaning on Thursdays and Fridays, but by Monday it's always crazy again.

Confessions of a Homeschooler

I was looking online for some summer learning activities to do with Georgia and Confessions of a Homeschooler kept coming up in searches. The blog overwhelmed me with so many categories, so I've just stuck to the letter of the week activities (search the blog for "letter a" or whatever letter you want). So far, Georgia has loved the activities involving largest to smallest, tracing, and patterns.

I might be the last blogger on earth to know about Plum Paper day planners since I don't read too many blogs nowdays. But I'm so glad I discovered them! I used to love Erin Condren, but I just can't justify spending that much on a planner. Plum Paper has the preppier style designs I love with monograms! and a pretty layout. I was really happy about getting to choose between several layouts. I chose the menu planner with hourly slots version.

What are your latest online finds?

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chore Charts for Toddlers & Preschoolers

Can you believe Georgia is THREE now?!?! I have to pinch myself every day to realize she's no longer my teeny-tiny baby. And she reminds me of it multiple times a day, too, by saying "When I was a little baby, I was born in your tummy." She's growing up so fast!

As we got into our summer routine, I really wanted to add some structure to our day and a sense of household responsibilities. I know, she's already only three but I don't think it's ever too early. Our days were turning into play, play, play and Georgia watching TV while I scurried around trying to pick up after our projects, which really left me no time for actual housework. (We don't have a housekeeper anymore.)

I googled "free printable Frozen chore chart" and tons of options came up. I printed one out, laminated it, and wrote four little chores. She absolutely loves checkmarking her "jobs" at the end of the day, and it gives her a huge sense of accomplishment and self esteem.

Her chores right now are: feed puppies, pick up books, pick up toys and put dirty clothes away.

At the end of the week we will go to the Dollar Store to pick out a prize.

Another thing she has absolutely loved is helping me with my chores. Score!! I wrote a few things she can help with on index cards. She loves choosing a card then running off to help me complete it. Here are some that we do together:

  • Empty trashcans - she brings the little bag from her trash downstairs before we take out the trash
  • Put away laundry - she can do most of her own (some drawers I like to keep neat), as well as some of mine and David's
  • Clean mirrors/windows - she does the lower parts while I reach up high
  • Put away silverware - I take the tray out and she sorts into the correct compartment; she also puts away things like spatulas, whisks, and tupperware
  • Laundry - she puts laundry into the washer & turns it on, moves to dryer & turns it on, then carries all of the clean laundry to the couch to be folded
She gets a huge sense of accomplishment whenever she completes a task, and it's building her self-esteem, too. She loves telling David all about the jobs she finished when he comes home in the evening.

What chores do your preschoolers like to do?

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