Our Home's New Makeover & My Turquoise Door

By 12:56 PM , , ,
We were STOKED to finally get the exterior of our home painted last week. When I say it looks like we have a brand new house I absolutely mean it! Getting our house painted had been on our house to-do 'bucket list' since purchasing the home a year and a half ago. If you remember we bought a foreclosure and even though the home was in pretty good shape the exterior needed a lot of help. We have been slowly but surely tackling it project by project (see our big yard project here) and finally saved up the funds (and found a painter) needed to tackle the paint job and rotten wood all over the house.

Without further ado here is the before and after:

Big difference, right? From a nasty, mildewy, whiteish color with green shutters and a ugly green door to the above! Picking the paint colors was the easy part for me. We searched homes online and used Pinterest to look for colors. After narrowing it down to a few options we went to Sherwin Williams to get a little paint sample and the hubby painted a test area on one wall so we could make sure we liked it. We ended up with SW7018 Dovetail, SW6991 Black Magic for the shutters, and my personal fav, SW0075 Holiday Turquoise for the front and back doors. Here is a better photo of the doors:


We are extremely pleased and now are planning out the interior re-paint finishes and landscaping the rest of the backyard. Here's a few more photos of the house:



Yup, I would say I am in full nesting mood! :) Check out Nicholson Wright building permits.

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Baby Shower #2

By 2:35 PM ,
My life long best friend,  Holly (she is a fellow blogger you can read more about her and follow her at A Winner's Tidbits), and her mom (who I call my Aunt because she really is and has always been like an Aunt to me), threw me another wonderful shower a few weekends ago! I thought I would share with you some of the highlights from the beautiful shower. Here is a photo of the three of us at my shower:


The shower was beautiful! Here are some photos:







The food included "About to Pop" bags of popcorn, cake pops, fruit, chocolate covered peanuts, cookies and cream dip, white chocolate cupcakes, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate milk, milk, and blueberry infused water. 

The decorations were also beautiful. The shower was held at their church and they hung pom-pom balls from the chandelier in the ceiling. 


Other decor included beautiful roses on the food table and a gift table with a handmade banner for the little guy.



The shower was made even more wonderful by my sweet sorority sisters who came from all over to attend the shower. One of them even surprised me and drove down from Asheville, NC! 


At the time of the shower I was 33 weeks...


It's hard to believe I am now almost 36 and there are just a few more weeks until little man arrives! I have been having contractions the last 24 hours so maybe he will arrive sooner rather than later :).

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Making Financial Decisions in Our Marriage

By 1:39 PM , ,
Making financial decisions can be tough. Do you go on that killer vacation you have been dreaming of or do you complete that much needed bathroom renovation? How about the big questions such as can we afford to have a baby or what would happen if one of us lost our jobs? Questions such as these are questions that every couple must face at one point or another in their marriage.


I by no means want to imply that we have it all figured out because we do not...however, we have learned that planning ahead and making a list of priorities can help soften your financial implications and can help put a positive spin on the confidence and control you feel about your money.

In our marriage we set up goals. I'm talking weekly, monthly, yearly, 3 year, 5 year, and even 10 year goals. We frequently bring back up the list to discuss and make sure a) we are still on the same page as far as what our goals are b) we are doing what we can to save to be able to accomplish the goal by the time it gets here.

For example when we first got married our goals were:
weekly: be able to pay our rent and determine what kind of budget we needed to have to live life the way we wanted to be able to live, tithe at least 10%, etc.
monthly: be able to afford to go out on dates with each other
one year goal: start looking at the option of purchasing a house
five year goal: start thinking about having a baby

With these goals in mind we had to make sacrifices and decisions to ensure we would be able to accomplish the stated goals. Yes, maybe it meant turning down a weekend getaway with friends in order to have a little more money to put in savings towards a down payment on a future home but those decisions were much easier to make having the goal in mind.

Now three years into our marriage we feel confident that setting these goals has helped to allow us to already meet many of our goals such as purchasing our first home, purchasing a new vehicle, painting the exterior of our home, completing a backyard renovation project, and having a baby. Setting goals really helps us stick to a budget, save, yet still enjoy and do the things we want to do. That does not mean we don't make sacrifices but when when we make those sacrifices we realize it is because we are working towards our future goals such as a going over seas on a 5th year anniversary trip together!

If you need help on setting goals and creating a budget their our many organizations who are willing to help you do so! SunTrust's purpose is lighting the way to financial well-being. They want you and your community to have the resources, tips, and tools you need to feel confident and in control of your finances. Having some financial breathing room gives you that confidence and control so you can save for your goals & splurge knowingly on what matters most to you. To get started visit suntrust.com/getorganized.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.

At SunTrust Bank their purpose is lighting the way to financial well being. They help you get organized, make a plan, and stay on track so you can get and stay in control of your finances. When you are confident about about your money, you can save for your goals and splurge knowingly on waht matters most to you.

To get started visit suntrust.com/getorganized

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.


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You're Like a Mom and Sister to Me #tbt

By 12:31 PM , , , , , ,
I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. 

I am so incredibly lucky to have a couple women in my life that are like family to me. My 'Aunt Nee' and Holly are two of the most important women (other than my wonderful mom and grandmother) in my life. Aunt Nee and Holly have literally been in my life since the day I came home from the hospital from being born. Aunt Nee and her daughter, Holly, were our next door neighbors at the time that quickly earned the title of Aunt and Sister. I love both of these women so incredibly much and would do anything for them! Since May is the month we honor our mothers I thought it would a perfect month to honor these women who are like family to me by sending them a "thinking of you" Hallmark Value Card. For fun I thought it would be a great idea to go to Walmart and print off some Throwback Thursday #TBT photos to include in the cards so we could all have a good laugh. I figured just because Mother's Day is over does not mean I could not take the opportunity to celebrate these women who mean so much to me during the rest of the month of May! Sending a greeting card is the perfect way for #ConnectingFriends and that is exactly what I intended to do. Here is a recent photo of Aunt Nee, Holly, and I at a baby shower they recently put on for me:



While at Walmart I had fun reading through all their friendship cards to pick out the perfect card to send each of them. I was really excited to see they had so many options of Hallmark cards.




I ended up purchasing two Hallmarks friendship cards to send each of them and purchased an extra birthday card for another friend as well.



The next step was to head over to the photo section at Walmart to print off TBT pictures to include in the Hallmark cards I planned to send. I ended up deciding to print the below images...check out the 80s glasses! The photo on the right was from the day I was born. Aunt Nee was totally rocking those awesome 80s glasses! The picture on the left was from the blizzard of '92. Good times, friends!


Here is a closer up version of baby me with my Aunt Nee:


After purchasing the cards and printing my #tbt photos the last step was to come home and write them each a note. Here's to hoping they both like their cards and photos. It's amazing how something as simple as writing a card to someone has the power of connecting friends in ways we often take for granted. 

A great option available for you when you purchase a Hallmark card is the Hallmark Card Rewards Program, which rewards shoppers for purchasing Hallmark cards bought at any card shop (including the value cards from Walmart). This program is awesome because you get one reward for every five cards you purchase. Click here to sign up for the Hallmark Card Rewards Program and start tracking your rewards today!

Thank you #CollectiveBias for the opportunity to shop and send a memory to two people I admire very much!

Make sure you check out http://www.connectionsfromhallmark.com/?utm_source=cbias&utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=momday to sign up for Hallmark Rewards & to see more great content from other bloggers. Also, don't forget to join in the #ConnectingFriends conversation on Twitter!  

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This Pregnant Mommy's Mother's Day Treat

By 9:00 AM , ,
“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Nestle, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BreakfastEssentials http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

This pregnant soon-to-be mommy was thrilled to wake up to a special treat on Mother's Day from my sweet hubby! My wonderful husband used Carnation Breakfast Essentials Powder to create me a delicious tasting smoothie that he brought to me while I was getting ready for church along with a wonderful Mother's Day gift of flowers, cards (one from him and one from our baby in the womb), and a baby memory book to record all our little one's 'firsts.'





To make the smoothie he combined Carnation Breakfast Essentials Powder in Rich Milk Chocolate with milk, bananas, and ice to create a delicious, healthy breakfast drink! This powder was the perfect treat because not only did it create an easy solution for a busy morning but the powder itself contains 21 vitamins and minerals, 13g of protein, and as much calcium as a 6 oz. cup of yogurt making it a super healthy breakfast for baby and I!



I purchased Carnation Breakfast Essentials at Walmart to take advantage of the following coupon: http://goo.gl/vVdFMA. The Carnation Breakfast Essentials Powder is an easy solution for busy mornings as you can see from my pictures as you can easily mix up your favorite smoothie recipe to make a great, easy breakfast. If you need ideas for smoothies you can visit this link to get other ideas. Carnation Breakfast Essentials Powder is kid friendly and is so easy to make it can easily be prepared by kids. You can view the nutritional value of these products for kids, teens, and adults at this link. 


Carnation Breakfast Essentials is available in a variety of flavors including Rich Milk Chocolate, Classic French Vanilla, Classic Chocolate Melt, Dark Chocolate, and Strawberry Sensation and can be purchased in a variety of ready to drink shakes, powders, and bars. 

The recipe for the smoothie my sweet hubby created is below. 
Prep time: 5 mins
Serving Size: 1

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of skim milk
  • 1 scoop of Rich Milk Chocolate Flavor Carnation Breakfast Essentials Complete Nutritional drink
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 banana 
Directions

Pour milk, Carnation's Breakfast Essentials Powder, the cut up banana, and ice into blender. Blend until slushy and enjoy!


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Yard Sales Finds: $25.30

By 3:52 PM , ,
This past Saturday was our semi-annual neighborhood yard sale. We live in a HUGE neighborhood so yard sale day is always crazy with tons of sales! There is no possible way you can hit them all in only the few hours the sales are open so you have to pick and choose which sales you hit up. I had some pretty good luck this past weekend so I thought I would share with you all my finds. It has been a while since I have done one of these posts where I share my goods so here goes...
I scored this metal start for $1 at a sale. I plan to hang it in the nursery.
I was so excited to get this activity mat for only $3! I washed it and it now looks good as new.
I got this antique Avon perfume bottle of a cat for $0.50. I plan to resell this one.
I scored this fruit bowl for my dining room table for free! Gotta love the free boxes. Now I just have to decide what to put in it.
I got this train Avon antique bottle for $0.50 as well. I plan to resell it also.
I got all three of the above puzzles for $0.10 a piece! A bargain I could not pass up. They are the hard block puzzles perfect for a toddler!
I got this glass decanter for $0.50. As you can see I have already put in my bathroom and plan to put bath gel in it. Diddo with the one in the picture below:
The above baby hangers were free! The sweet people donated them to me when they saw my belly, haha.
I got the John Deer Gator toy in the above picture for $0.50 (my husband was already playing with this toy and was quite impressed by it, lol!), the baby shoes were never worn and were $0.10, and the baby toy was $0.25.
I got this train decanter which looks antique for $0.50. I plan to resell it as well.
I got an unopened box of Pampers Splashers for $0.50, and the Tonka dump trunk for $1, and John Deer tractor for $1. 

I got all the books pictured above from the same sale I got the activity mat and the two trucks...since I had spent $5 she through the books in for free! AWESOME!


I thought the newborn bathing suit above was too cute so I paid $1 for it, I go the bibs for $0.25 a piece, and the hat and book for $0.25 a piece.

I was super excited to have snagged this little table for outdoors by my lounger for $5. With a little black spray paint it will be good as new!

Another bargain I was really excited about were these hooded towels I snagged for $0.25 a piece! Seriously ya'll they look they were never even used! BAM!

As you can see above I got an opened box of disposable changing pads for $0.50, and two bags of baby forks/spoons for $0.75 a piece.

Last but most def not least I got the tool organizer shown above for the garage for $5. I can not tell you how much of a life changer this one is! Previously all these tools were just leaning up against the wall and would fall over on me every time I got in car.


All in all I felt it was a very successful day of yard sales! What fun find have you found this yard sale season?


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