Show & Tell Tuesday: Splurge vs Steal

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

After my blogging hiatus I thought it would be fun to do some link ups this week! 
 And Show & Tell Tuesday: Steal vs Splurge is right up my alley!

I like to think I'm pretty smart with money and I'm always looking for the best way to buy something and save the most, of course!  

So that is a pre-cursor to my splurges- spoiler alert: I probably got a good deal on them too!  

Some of my rules for shopping.  

1. Never pay full price

2.  Never paying for shipping

3. Make sure you definitely will keep it if it's not free returns or don't buy it if it's not free returns

4. Use ebates

***I've even trained my husband although he still struggles with the no free returns policy.

Let's start with the ways we save $.

  • When it comes to groceries, home essentials etc I always compare prices and buy the least expensive (except PB- Christian is Peter Pan loyal!)  Since I stay at home I have the luxury of time so I know where to get the best deals for most of what we buy so I don't shop exclusively at one store- we frequently go to multiple stores each week (Target, Walmart, Costco, BJs, and our local grocery stores)  Not only does it save us money but also gives us activities to fill the hours!

  • We live 2 minutes from an outlet mall with J.Crew, Gap, Banana Factory so it's so quick and easy to run there.  And I get e-mails all the time with extra coupons.  So although I've been wanting the UGG slippers that were everywhere around Christmas instead I just got a new pair of Gap Factory slippers on sale, with an extra 50% and then a 30% off coupon so I paid $3.86.   Also this week I got a black puffer vest, regularly $64.99 for $10.38.   Deals like that just make my day!

  • As much as I'd love a pair of Rag & Bone jeans, I just can't justify spending that much right now so instead I found $59 jeans at Nordstrom that are so comfy and I actually really love them.   
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  • Most of my other shopping is online so Ebates is my best friend.  I can't recommend it enough.  I have the cash back button in my tool bar so as soon as I go to a website it pops up reminding me to sign in with ebates then I click it and that's all I do!  You get a percentage off of your purchases back in cash.  Free money!  Why wouldn't you do it?!  I'd love if you'd use my link if you want to sign up.  I get some cash for referring you and you get $10.

And now for the splurges:

  • I go by the "cost per wear" equation!  I got a new pair of quilted UGGs this year and they were on sale, but still $191.  But knowing my current day-to-day lifestyle I knew I would wear them a ton and I just prefer UGGs over some other less expensive boots.

  • And my Hunters- totally worth it!  I know I could've gotten much less expensive rain boots- but I look forward to putting them on whenever it rains.  (And...mine are from Costco a few years ago- and were less than $100!)  It's been so rainy lately that I'm thinking I may need to add a pair of red Hunters for variety!

  • A piece of clothing that I really love or a classic staple.  White lacy blouses are my thing.  I can't have enough and if I see one that I love- I buy it.  This year I also got a leather jacket at the Nordstrom sale- totally a splurge but since it's a closet staple I talked myself into keeping it.  

  • Jackets and some clothes for my kids- especially now that Carter's are handed down to Reid- I'll buy him North Face or good quality coats since they'll last for years.  I also splurge and get them a few cute Boden tops or more expensive tops so that they'll have a few cute outfits for pictures and holidays.   Otherwise their play clothes are not expensive.

In other areas I'm pretty balanced.  My skincare is a mix of Rodan & Fields  and Burt's Bees.  My make-up is a mix- Nars tinted moisturizer and MAC eye shadows but Maybelline mascara & NYX lipgloss

And my coffee- I love Starbucks but don't have it everyday.  And although a latte is my favorite, I usually only get a coffee and save the extra $2.

I realize I could go on and on about this topic---how about you?

What are  your secrets for saving?!

Post-Weaning Depression

Friday, January 6, 2017

I took a bit of a break from my blog.  It was not intentional.  I just had no inspiration or creativity or desire to share.

It all started in October when I decided it was time to wean Reid.  He was, after all 23 months old.  There were a few days when I was actually kind of annoyed that I had to nurse him before nap and just felt like I was over it.  So one day he went down without nursing and we never looked back.  Those first few days were freeing.

But 4 days later I started seeing spots and felt dizzy.  I thought it was from not drinking enough water or the start of an ocular migraine (which I had in the spring.)  And that was the start of daily headaches, insomnia, seeing spots, shoulders so stiff they ached day and night, hundreds of google searches trying to figure out what was wrong with me, and days when I didn't want to get out of bed to deal with my children.

There was very little I could find but a few blogs or articles from girls who seemed to have the same symptoms after weaning.

 I definitely connected it to hormones.  So my OB prescribed me a pill.  But a week or so later I had a migraine so bad I called Christian at work to come home.  And decided it was finally time I went to the family doctor.  She prescribed a pain medication and we discussed possible anxiety but a few days later the pain meds weren't helping and I had come to the conclusion that I was definitely having anxiety (thank you google.)

My breaking point also occurred the day after Carter fell head first off of the monkey bars.  I was sure he had a concussion. (He didn't.) Then a few hours later Carter jumped on the couch and landed on Reid and then Reid couldn't move his arm.  After a 2 hour urgent care visit we luckily realized it was another case of nursemaid's elbow.  But my head was pounding so hard and my shoulders were so stiff that I knew it was time to see my doctor.

I started on an anti-depressant as many of those girls I had found had too.  And within days I felt normal again.  My shoulders were better, my headaches went away, I started enjoying my boys again and feeling less burdened.

I had never been on any medications before and I was resistant at first, but I am so glad I finally decided to give them a try.

It's been about 3 months since the start of this and I am sure that this was all connected to weaning.  Although my doctors won't call it Post-Weaning Depression or Post- Weaning Anxiety I truly think it is.  And I so wish there was more about this so girls like me can figure it out sooner and not feel like I did for 6 weeks- just waiting to snap out of it.

I didn't cry and I didn't feel sad, but my other physical symptoms were obviously how I reacted to my body no longer producing those feel-good hormones from nursing.

My friends have noticed a change in me and I feel so much better.  I know some people are against medications but they truly helped me and I'm not ashamed of it.

Thank you to the sweet girls who checked on me and was wondering where I was.   I'll be back to blogging again soon, hopefully very soon.  And please share this if you know a mom who is weaning or just stopped nursing and is struggling.  I think there are more of us going through this than we know.

***Just a side note- I did not have any of these symptoms when I weaned Carter at 16 months.  I wrote about my nursing and weaning with him here.