6.30.2014

A Weekend to Remember

Phew! I am still recovering from an amazing, fun filled, and exhausting weekend!   I can't believe that Miller's first birthday and party have come and gone that quickly.   I cannot say enough thank yous to all of our friends and family who came out to celebrate.  I'm pretty sure I gained at least 5lbs in food and cake this weekend, but it was well worth it. 
I have to say that hosting a party and chasing a 1 yr old around is a whole new ball game but we were lucky enough to have my mom and mother in law there to help with the party set up and baby wrangling.    Miller had such a good time with all of his friends and cousins and I love seeing him interact with other kids.  This stage is by far my favorite!  

I still have a ton of photos to sort through before I do a proper post but I wanted to share a few party pics with you today.











On Sunday we just spent the day relaxing (as much as you can with a 1 yr old) by my parents pool and got to enjoy our first Maryland crabs of the season!  They were so good! 


I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I am so far behind on reading blogs and answering emails so I'm hoping to get caught up on that today!

6.27.2014

Happy First Birthday Miller!

I can't believe my baby is one today!  I have so many mixed emotions today I know I will probably be shedding a tear or two as the day goes on.  I still have to pinch myself some days as I can't believe that I get to be a mommy to the sweetest, craziest little baby boy in the world.  I feel so lucky.   He has brought so much joy, laughter, and chaos to our house and we can't even remember our lives without him.   I can't wait to see what the next year holds for us!   





















Keeping it brief today but I will be back Monday to bombard you with 1st birthday pictures! Have a great weekend y'all!

6.26.2014

Thoughts for Thursday

I can't believe it's Thursday already!! This week is flying by!  I just want to say a big THANK YOU on behalf of Annie and myself for everyone that has joined our little Thoughts for Thursday link up!  I love reading what you all are thinking about each week.    So again thanks for playing along, and if you haven't joined up yet feel free too.  Just grab the button below and link up at the bottom!
 

Thoughts for Thursday
- My baby turns 1 tomorrow!! I just can't even get over how fast this year has gone by.  I know you all are probably sick of hearing me say this but I swear my pregnancy felt like 3 years and this first year of motherhood has felt like 3 months.

-Speaking of first birthdays I am so, so, so excited for his party on Saturday.  This party has been a real labor of love for me and I just cannot wait to watch it all come together.

-I may or may not have spent more time planning this first birthday than I did my wedding.  I swear I've been having dreams this week like I did for my wedding where something happens or the cake is forgotten, etc. 

-Fingers crossed the rain holds off until Sunday.  

-Pregnancy exhaustion is no joke.  I need at least 7-8 hours sleep to function every day but with all the late night party crafting and pregnancy insomnia I'm only getting 5-6 and I'm a zombie.   I would love a large DD iced coffee, damn that no caffeine rule.

-Chasing an 11 month old around while 5 months pregnant does not help the exhaustion level.  

-If you had told me this week last year that I would be 5 months pregnant at Miller's 1st birthday I would have laughed in your face and told you it would be years before I went through this again.   Ohhhh how life works itself out.

-Kyle has been out of town this week so that's been adding to my party planning stress. Thankfully Kyle be back today.  

-Thank god for Amazon Prime.   I don't know how I would survive without it.  I have quite a few last minute things showing up today thanks to them.

-My sister has been in Italty for the last 10 days on the trip of a lifetime and I am soo happy for her but I desperately miss her! We talk on the phone at least 1-2 times a day and send each other at least 100 texts a day.  The fact that I am getting through this party planning without her keeping me calm and telling me I'm not a total psycho help is quite an accomplishment. 

-Sorry for the lack of pictures... but I promise to bombard you next week with lots and lots of first birthday pics!!

Now it's your turn!
Grab the button below and link up to Annie and Natalie  on your Thoughts for Thursday post.

Thoughts for Thursday
Use #thoughtsforthursdays on Instagram and tag us @homeofmalones and @eastcoastnat.
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6.24.2014

Budgeting and Meal Planning: Part 1

I mentioned two weeks ago we were doing well on our budget and meal planning. We have always lived within ours means, paid off our credit card and put money into savings each month but it seemed lately we had no "fun money" left over and we knew something wasn't right. 

We sat down with our online back account and used a program our bank provides to organize all our expenses into categories. 

We quickly found that food was a our main culprit.  My trips to Target were outrageous. It's not that I was spending a ton it's that there were so many trips.  It seems that Target had become my place to blow money instead of save it. 
Kyle's work lunches were also bad. He didn't think he ate lunch out often but after seeing it sorted out it was a lot. 
Surprisingly our take out and going out to dinner spending was too awful but there was room for improvement.  

Since food was our main culprit we knew that something had to be done.  Here were the first steps we took: 

1.  Meal Planning- While I always had a list when I went to the store I was always adding or taking stuff away as I shopped because I would think Ohhh maybe we'll have this for dinner one night or oh I should try to make that new dip this week.  My all time favorite being the buy 2 get 1 free trick where I would some how decide that we had to have 3 boxes of english muffins.  This type of shopping had to stop. 
We now plan out breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner and only buy what we need for that week.  We take into account both of our schedules- Kyle's travel, work lunches he might have, if we have a night out, or I have a junior league meeting. 
I only plan dinners for 6 night a week to leave us one night to go out to dinner or order take out- this usually happens on Friday or Saturday nights.
I'm not going to lie our menu is boring and a little repetitive but we are saving so much money and we are not wasting food.  I don't know about you all but we were horrible about wasting food especially fruits and veggies so now we just buy one or two fruits/veggie a week and eat them until they're gone.   By Sunday our fridge and pantry are pretty empty but it's a good feeling to know that we aren't letting our money waste away in our fridge. 
 
2. No more food shopping at Target and Wegmans/Whole Foods.- I used to do a double trip where I would get most of our groceries at Target and then meat and produce at either Wegmans or Whole Foods.   The problem was that I was picking up a lot of extras at Target that we didn't need-  nail polish, baby stuff, a shirt,makeup, new throw pillows here and there.   Trust me you all know the Target trap- it's easy to get sucked in.   I was going to Target at least 1-2 times a week under the guise of buying food when I was really just there spending money on crap.  I think a lot of this has to do with having a baby during the winter- I needed to get out of the house and the Target is literally 5 minutes away so it was my escape that I did not realize was draining our bank account.   I am happy to say that I go to Target only 1-2 times a month now and I don't even miss it all that much. 
 
3.  Utilizing store specials and coupons and gas rewards-  Before Target carried food I only shopped at Safeway so I decided to go back to just shopping there since they offer a lot of in store coupons and gas rewards.  Safeway has the Just 4 U app now where you can add tons of coupons to your Safeway card and get extra gas rewards for the money you spend.  The best part about the app is that they tailor some of the products specifically for you, so they will give you an extra discount on items you buy or special sales for being a Just 4 U member.   I usually get at least 2-3 gas rewards every trip which saves me $0.10 to the gallon at Exxon per reward.  So if I have 3 gas rewards I can save $0.30 to the gallon- which is huge with gas prices right now and driving an SUV. 

So those are some of the tactics we've been using to help us save money on food.  It's really worked out well for us but I know this budget and saving money thing is still a work in progress.    If anyone has any other tips/tricks they use I would love to hear them!  (don't suggest couponing because I tried that once and it lasted about 2 weeks- I can't ever remember to bring them with me)  


6.23.2014

Monday Mismash

Happy Monday!

We had a great weekend this weekend. Nothing really exciting at all and I barely took any pics but here is what we were up to.

Friday we had two play dates- one at the park and one at our community pool.  I thought they would exhaust Miller but I'm pretty sure I was the one that was more tired on Friday night.  Go figure. 



Kyle went out to get some drinks with friends in DC so I treated myself to the only thing I can indulge in now: FOOD
I got enough for Kyle to eat when he got home and of course I got extra garlic sauce ;) 


Saturday was really low key- we spent most of the day cleaning and doing yard work but we did go to a friend's 3rd birthday where I let Miller try cake for the first time.   As you can see he's his mother's child, he loved it.  

Sunday morning was spent doing chores and running errands. We headed back to the pool in the afternoon in hopes of exhausting Miller into a 2 hour nap so we could finish yard work. 

I never really used my cart cover because I wasn't that stressed about germs but someone has started trying to climb out of the cart or stand up in the cart- even when belted in.  I found that with a arsenal of toys, snacks, and the over the shoulder straps I can keep him down and actually get shopping done.

Miller took his first steps this morning!  The past week he's gotten much more brave and today he just let go of his chair and walked right over to me!   I was in shock but I'm so happy that I got to see it.   It was only about 3 steps but it was still exciting for this mom :)
This was his excited picture that we sent to Daddy since he missed it. 

Piperlime is having 25% off skirts, dresses, and sandals with the code RSVPSTYLE
I'm loving these styles and maybe someone not pregnant could buy them so I could live vicariously through them...thanks :) 





French Connection Hanna Sandal

In case you were wondering the countdown to Miller's first birthday is only 4 days away... pass the box of tissues please.  I can't believe how fast this year has flown by! 

6.19.2014

Thoughts for Thursday: Sweet Summertime

Happy Thursday!! I hope you will join us again for another Thoughts for Thursday Link up! Just grab the button below and link up at the bottom.

Thoughts for Thursday

Only two more days until the official start of summer! Of course it's already in the 90s here this week so I would say summer has already made it's entrance here in Maryland. (that's not a complaint, I'm happy for the warm weather after our long winter ;)

I picked up this pom pom cover up from Old Navy a few weeks ago and it's been perfect for our pool trips.


I got a medium because I want it to cover the bump all summer but I probably could have gotten away with a small normally.   It makes the belly look extra fluffy.

Miller needed a new beach towel so I turned to my favorite place.  Pottery Barn Kids.  This cute guy this be arriving any day now... and yes it will be monogrammed.



If you have a Party City near you and are looking for cheap beach or pool toys this is the place to go! Everything in their beach/pool toy section is between $0.59-$3.00 which means if they lose it you won't be upset!

Both of these below are only $0.99 for  set


We purchased new deck furniture and I'm obsessed.   We went with the Strathwood Griffen Collection from Amazon after I spent many hours pouring over the reviews. (I'm a review junkie) We got the sofa, 2 chairs and the coffee table in the natural.  We spent last Friday night out there just hanging out and listening to music and it seriously felt like we were on vacation.   If you're in the market for new deck/patio furniture I highly suggest this set.   The prices were great and you can't beat the neutral colors.  We did purchase the covers for all the furniture which we keep on it when we're not using at the suggestion of other reviewers. 


  








I have this thing for fun wine glasses in the summer.   My sister gifted me this wine glass below for my wedding shower 5 years ago- can't believe it's been that long- and I try to use it every chance I get. 

I am not going to lie I am sad to be missing another summer enjoying summer drinks!  Even though I had Miller at the end of June you don't really get to enjoy alcohol with a newborn and no sleep.  I am dying for a Summer Shandy or a Blue Moon...


I've already asked Kyle to buy a case and store it until November so I can enjoy some post baby! 


Now it's your turn!
Grab the button below and link up to Annie and Natalie  on your Thoughts for Thursday post.

Thoughts for Thursday


Use #thoughtsforthursdays on Instagram and tag us @homeofmalones and @eastcoastnat.
Link up starts at 7am EST. 
Follow us on Bloglovin' too:

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