Cheapskating, Mama Mojo, MicroLuxuries, Tips & Hacks

Five Minute Drug-Store Make-Up (And One AMAZING Splurge!)

I know there are some fabulous mamas out there, but ladies, I am not one of them. Sure, I used to spend big money on make-up back in the day. But those days are loooong gone, and I’ve spent years and years with the same routine- drug-store foundation, drug store eyeliner, drug store blush, and LOTS of drug-store mascara. I just didn’t have the time, the energy or, frankly, the money to put towards my day to day look.

How a Little Bit of Drug Store Makeup Can Make a HUGE Difference! From thesaltymamas.com

And then my son spent five minutes as a model, and, as a result, so did I.  And I received two glorious makeovers as a result. I wasn’t the focus of the shoot, so my makeup was light, natural, and simple. But I still felt like a million dollars, and decided I wouldn’t wait until the next photo shoot to find that oomph again, but that I would find it on my own (which, thank goodness, as there was no next shoot).

I was lucky enough to stumble upon Mama’s Beauty Bar, a Facebook group run by a kind, funny, and talented makeup guru by the name of Beth Griffin. Beth is the owner and operator of Chrysalis Beauty Co. One facet of her business is a makeup line offered up by Younique, a company that offers incredible mascara, lip products, and other makeup. I thought I wasn’t ready to take the Younique plunge, but I watched her incredible Facebook live videos, learned some tips and tricks, and my style started to evolve.  And when I won a Lip Bon Bon of my own? I realized that this makeup really was worth every penny!

So I adjusted my makeup budget a little. I did some serious Google Searches, and some serious trial-and-erroring, and stepped up my game by finding the best drug-store make up around (which helped me free up my budget for my favorite splurges from Younique).

FoundationMaybelline Fit Me Dewy & Smooth Foundation, applied with this brush. A little goes a long way when applied with the brush, and it is everything it says it will be- full coverage, but with a little glow in the finish to leave you looking fresh and sunny.

BlushMaybelline Fit Me Blush– based on my face shape, the Make Up artist I worked with at the photo shoot gave me the suggestion to use only a bit of blush or bronzer low on the apple of my cheek.  After a little searching, I found this blush, which comes in a multitude of shades and adds just the right amount of color for some definition, without going over the top.

MascaraCoverGirl Outlast Mascara– While I use my Younique 3D+ Fiber Lashes Lash Enhancer for special occasions, I still prefer my old-school, orange-tube CoverGirl Mascara for the day to day.  I get it in ebony black, and lay it on thick in several layers. My mama always told me that a lady doesn’t leave the house without her mascara on, and for the most part I follow her rule.

Bon BonYounique Lip Bon Bon  from Chrysalis Beauty Co. I love the bold lipstick look when I see it on others, but for whatever reason it just doesn’t work for me. The Lip Bon Bons are creamy, subtle, and leave your lips feeling fully hydrated, soft, and lush.  They come in five colors, and one of you lucky readers will be winning one of your own in Beth’s favorite color.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a model in name only, and only wear makeup about half the time.  But all I was really looking for was a way to look better when I wanted to do, and between Beth and that Hollywood Make Up artist, I found a way to do just that.

***********

Don’t forget, now through October 31 you can enter to win some of our favorite things, including one of these fabulous Lip Bon Bons! Read here for more info and click here to enter The Salty Mamas Favorite Things Giveaway! Good luck!

The best five minute makeup routine, featuring drug store versions that work like a dream- and one Younique splurge. From thesaltymamas.com

 

Cheapskating, Kids' Activities, microhustle, momlife, parenting, The Salties, Tips & Hacks, Traditions

Micro Hustle Monday: The Pumpkin Fairy

Today’s Micro Hustle won’t actually make you any money, but it can save you big bucks, and isn’t that kind of the same thing? Also, it’s a Hustle on your kids, which – I think it’s safe to say – we’re all on board for every once in a while! Enjoy! 

Ask any Mama what she loves about the fall, and nestled somewhere between a Grande PSL and putting on a cozy sweater will be taking the kids to the pumpkin patch. Because kids and pumpkins are adorable. Need proof? Fine.

1555440_10203034761816315_1258666613_n

Moving on…

The pumpkin patch is AWESOME. Whether yours is in the middle of a city and has carnival style rides, a petting zoo and a concession stand or is out in the country and has apple launchers, a corn maze and homemade cider, every one is full of fun for the family.

Also, EXPENSIVE PUMPKINS.

Yes, the seedy underbelly of the pumpkin patch operation is insanely expensive pumpkins. And while you’re there for the adorable photo ops, your kids are probably there for the expensive stuff – like the rides, treats, and pumpkins. The pain that I feel in my heart – and my wallet – as I hand over a credit card to pay $20+ for a pumpkin that I can get for $3.99 at the grocery store is palpable. But what else can you do? It’s a pumpkin patch – you can’t just leave without a pumpkin!

But you can leave without a GIANT pumpkin…..

Enter…..The Pumpkin Fairy!

Oh you don’t know about the Pumpkin Fairy? Well let me introduce her to you! Because she may very well change your life at the Pumpkin Patch this year!  You see the Pumpkin Fairy is a beautiful and magical fairy that can turn tiny (read: cheap) pumpkins from the pumpkin patch into big, beautiful pumpkins – overnight!

Confession: The Pumpkin Fairy isn’t real, folks. But it can be real in your house this year if you follow these steps!

First – you gotta sell this to your kids. Start laying the groundwork immediately. Tonight, when you put them to bed, don’t forget to tell them about the legend of the Pumpkin Fairy! She’s beautiful, with orange hair and a dress made from pumpkin seeds and the stringy stuff inside the gourds! And every October she visits all the little children to turn their baby pumpkins into big magical pumpkins! (This may be harder if your kids are used to picking out a giant pumpkin at the patch, but you can talk them into it – I believe in you! I mean, who wants one of those big pumpkins, when you can have a pumpkin that has been made out of magic???)22523653_10214869927088050_2006313105_n

Then you go to the patch. Remind them of the new plan – tiny pumpkins kids! The cheaper smaller, the better! Let them pick any pumpkin they want out of that bargain bin!

When you get home, find a nice easy spot to put your pumpkins! Don’t do something stupid like put them under pillows. The Pumpkin Fairy is a LOT bigger than the Tooth Fairy and isn’t as good at sneaking around- especially after a glass of wine or two. The porch is an excellent spot.

Then, tuck the kids in.

Have a glass of wine and watch Real Housewives while you wait for them to fall asleep. You’ll be kicking yourself next year, and spending big bucks, if you get caught. Then – swap out those pumpkins with the grocery store ones you’re hiding in the trunk of the car. If you want to get REAL fancy, sprinkle some glitter around. Fairies are notorious for getting glitter on everything.

And that’s it! You saved a ton of money and made a Pinterest-worthy tradition that will have you looking like a) a money saving genius and b) Mom of the Year.

***********

Don’t forget, now through October 31 you can enter to win some of our favorite things! Read here for more info and click here to enter The Salty Mamas Favorite Things Giveaway! Good luck!

#fall #pumpkins #pumpkinpatch #pumpkinfairy #cheapskate #savemoney #momlife #falldecor
Let the Pumpkin Fairy help you save big bugs this year on your trip to the pumpkin patch!
Bouncing Babies, Effing Four Year Olds, Kids' Activities, Terrible Twos, The Salties, The Wonderful Ones, Threenagers, Tips & Hacks

9 Ways to Play with Rocks

My kids have thousands of dollars worth of games and toys and arts and crafts and I even am not above allowing some indulgent screen time. But the fact is, at the end of the day, they love dirt and sticks and rocks. Yeah, rocks. Which – don’t get me wrong – I love. I love SO much, I want to pass that love of rocks on to you! So here are nine fun ways for your little ones to play with rocks.

  1. Paint them. Rock painting is so in right now. Seriously. It seems that it’s t22447575_10102454468377797_269538747_nhe hot kid  craft on Pinterest. And it’s hot for a reason. Because kids love to paint rocks. Whether your kids want to paint ladybugs or pumpkins or just go nuts free form, kids will love it. Plus, you can do it outside, which is extra awesome because you aren’t going to ruin your dining room table. We even have some friends whose kids love to paint rocks with WATER. I mean, you literally can’t get a cleaner craft than that! It’s. Just. WATER. And rocks. World’s easiest cleanup ever.
  2. Tic-Tac-Toe. My 4 year old is obsessed with Tic-Tac-Toe right now. Which means there are sheets of paper all over my house like confetti with scribbles all over them. So you know what’s boss? A reusable tic-tac-toe board. Even better? One that’s in my yard, that I only have to draw once, and then can use rocks for our “X’s” and “O’s.”
  3. Stacking. All three of my kids love to stack things – anything! They also love to compete with each other. Who can make the highest stack of rocks? Who can keep the tower balanced? Who will knock it over? There are so many variations even in different ways to just stack the rocks. And endless entertainment!IMG_20170826_103408267
  4. Carrying them back and forth. Okay, I know what you’re thinking, “Hey, this list just jumped the shark. These chicks think my kids will be entertained by carrying rocks back and forth across my yard.” And maybe you’re right. Maybe your kid won’t do it. But we’re here to tell you that we literally sat in Jaymi’s backyard and watched our kids carry rocks from a bucket to a pile AND BACK AGAIN for like 45 minutes last week. I think they made some sort of a secret game out of it, but they didn’t clue the adults in on the rules. All I know is those rocks were on the move in the hot little hands of our kids. Kids that got wiped out from all that rock carrying. So, SOLD.
  5. Rock Hunt. This one’s pretty simple: Do just what it sounds like. Hide those rocks and let the kids find them. As one of our kids’ friends announced the other day, “You don’t have to wait for Easter to do an Easter egg hunt!” True that, Muriel! Egg hunts are great one day a year, but rock hunts – those are a classic the other 364.
  6. Steal the Bacon. Remember sweating on the blacktop waiting for your number to be called so you could race to grab a blackboard eraser? Well, we’re fresh out of blackboard erasers at our house. But we got rocks! And whether it’s a group of kids at a playdate or just two of mine facing off head to head, a race for the rock is a big hit. More bonus points for this one being another tiring activity. With basically no setup, no cleanup and the only parental involvement being to yell, “GO!”
  7. Rocks as Cooking Ingredients. Stone soup isn’t just a classic story about a selfish
    IMG_20171005_160834699_HDR
    You can never have too many cooks in a stone soup kitchen!

    town that is tricked into sharing their soup. It’s also a culinary classic in our backyard. Stones, leaves, dirt all create a “delicious” base to be stirred with sticks. This one takes some more parental involvement (I admit I’m wayyyyyy over pretending to slurp soup and report how delicious it is) and can be significantly messier than some of the other options, but my kids are all about getting messy, so bring it on!

  8. Story Garden. A story garden is the perfect way to bring your kids’ imaginative play outside. This one’s a two parter, but worth it! First, see #1 and paint those bad boys. You can paint anything you want on the stones – houses, animals, boats, foods, cars, bugs, rainbows, shapes, people – you name it! Then, make stories! The possibilities are ENDLESS with what you can create! Here’s a few ways to play with them compiled by The Artful Parent and we’re partial to this cute Hungry Caterpillar set which is perfect for retelling.
  9. Rock Toss. Only to be played if you trust your kids won’t chuck the rocks straight at your head, their siblings heads, their friends heads, etc. Once that’s established, my kids dig this one. We use a hula hoop as the place to toss rocks and we start a foot or two away from the hoop. Each kid gets to toss a rock into the hoop. After they make that shot, they step back. And back. And back. And back. Until they miss at which point we start over. My competitive little kids love the challenge of this. Once the hula hoop has been mastered, you can always make smaller targets with anything you have around the house!

Now go find some rocks, and have some fun!

#rocks #paintedrocks #stonesoup #pretendplay #childhoodunplugged #toddlers #preschoolers #kids #outdoorplay #imaginativeplay #getoutside #letthembelittle
Get outside and have fun with these EASY ways to play with rocks – that your kids will LOVE!

 

Cheapskating, Mama Mojo, MicroLuxuries, Salty Mama Lists, Tips & Hacks

Happy Birthday to YOU!

One year, for Jaymi’s birthday, she made it her mission to travel around to all the different places that would give her something free on her birthday. She ruled out the free ferry ride to Catalina, but she vowed to tackle every.other.thing.

She’s never been so sick in her life.

Do you have any idea HOW MANY PLACES will give you free food and drinks on your birthday? It’s kind of ridiculous, but also, it’s kind of awesome. So, without further ado, a list of places that will give you something FREE for your birthday (food, drinks, and otherwise!).

1.Kohl’s- As part of their Yes2You Rewards program, you will receive a coupon for $5 off a $5 purchase (aka the holy grail of coupons). That’s $5 free dollars to spend on the item of your choice!

2. Baskin Robbins– When you sign up on their website, you will get a free scoop of ice cream for your special day.

3. Cold Stone kind of gets in on the action as a part of their eClub, but they’ll send you a Buy One Get One coupon instead of an outright freebie.

4. Dairy Queen wants to offer you a BOGO Blizzard, which they’ll send you if you sign up here.

5. Einstein Bros. BagelsBy registering for the emails (adorably called the Shmear Society), you’ll earn yourself a free breakfast sandwich when you purchase a drink.

6. IHOP– One stack of free pancakes, coming right up! You can sign up here.

7. Denny’s will give you a free grand slam, and you don’t even have to sign up for anything for that one. Just show your valid ID on your birthday, and breakfast is on them!

8. Starbucks– As long as you have an account, you will get one free drink of your choice. Any type, any flavor, ANY SIZE. So that means if you want a Venti Maple Pecan Latte with Extra Whip and a Shot of Espresso, they’ll give it to you for FREE, along with a complimentary tummyache.

9. Red Robin– Get a free burger anytime during your BirthMonth when you sign up for the Red Robin Royalty program.

10. Old Navy gives their email subscribers a free gift on their birthday. Head to their website at oldnavy.com and then scroll down to where it says “Sign Up For Email.” Make sure you update your preferences when prompted to do so, as that’s how you’ll get your birthday email.

11. Victoria’s Secret– Sign up on their website here. They want you to think you have to sign up for a credit card for this, but you don’t! Just scroll down to the bottom where it says “Get Exclusive Angel Offers.”

12. Krispy Kreme– sign up for their eClub, and you’ll get a free donut when your birthday rolls around.

13. There are plenty of other places that will give you something, like a free dessert, on your birthday, but honestly, that’s a LOT of places (Black Angus, Chili’s, Applebees, TGI Fridays, Outback Steakhouse, etc).  So if you’re heading to a restaurant to celebrate, make sure you check their site or ask your server to see if they offer something to the birthday boy or girl.

So there you have it, our (partial) list of places that want to help you celebrate your big day (or, in some cases, your big month!) in style.  Got any that you would add to the list? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Our favorite birthday freebies- food, drinks, and products!- and how to sign up for them, from thesaltymamas.com

 

momlife, Recipes, Tips & Hacks

Ten Meals that Take Twenty(ish) Minutes

What mom (or human, for that matter) doesn’t know the struggle of trying to get a decent meal on the table on the regular? Between work and extra-curriculars and homework and bedtime, getting dinner prepped and ready has to happen on an economy level. We don’t always have hours to chop and marinate and baby a meal until it’s ready, just crossing our fingers that the toddler won’t wake up before we’re done micro-dicing this onion, whatever THAT means. And nothing is worse than slaving over a meal that, after all that prep and hard work, kind of sucks.

So The Salty Mamas scoured the internet for recipes that are the triple threat of being easy, simple, AND tasty. Some DO take a little longer than twenty minutes, but that’s usually only the first time you make the recipe. After that, it should be smooth(er) sailing. And now, for your dining pleasure, may we present The Salty Mamas Guide to Meals that Take Twenty(Ish) Minutes.

1. This Beef and Brocolli Recipe from Rainy Day Gal will knock your SOCKS off with flavor. If I may say so, it is VERY close to what you might find in an (Americanized) Chinese restaurant. And as  a bonus, you can use cheaper cuts of beef than you normally can, so it doesn’t blow your grocery budget either.

2. Okay, so it doesn’t sound super appealing, but you’ll have to trust us on this one- this 8 Can Taco Soup Recipe from High Heels and Grills is the real deal.  It is quite literally the easiest thing I know how to make, and the flavor can’t be beat.

3. BuzzFeed’s recipe for One Pan Pesto Chicken Pasta is mouth-wateringly good, and so simple to make. And it’s pasta, so even my kids like it.

4. While we’re talking about BuzzFeed’s love for pesto, don’t forget to take a look at their Pesto Chicken and Veggies recipe. Simple, colorful, and its flavor is on-point.

5 and 6. Everybody loves tacos, and The Salty Mamas (and the little salties!) are no exception. For chicken tacos, we’re partial to these Spicy Chicken Tacos from The Cookie Rookie. When it comes to beef, we love these similar Oven Baked Beef Tacos from One Good Thing. (We’ve made her homemade crunchy taco shells, and they were super good, but honestly, I always forgot they were in the oven and burnt them up. So we stick to storebought now.)

7. This Mediterranean Chicken Salad Recipe from Cafe Delites is so fresh, clean, and delicious. I’m not the griller in our family, so I cut the chicken into pieces before marinating, and then brown in a pan on the stovetop. You will spend more time prepping this one than some of the others, but it’ll be worth it!

8. You can’t go wrong with these Ham and Cheese Sliders (Well, unless you don’t like ham. Or cheese. But you know what I mean.) They are made on Hawaiian Rolls and come out so melty and savory and amazing, and my kids like them, too. They are easy to “deconstruct” as our friends at Super Mom Hacks like to say, so they can easily become plain old ham and cheese sandwiches (or even ham, cheese, and rolls served separately, thank you very MUCH) for your pickier eaters.

9. Give these Chicken Avocado Burritos from Gimme Delicious a try (well, when avocados aren’t a million dollars each, that is).  They are light and refreshing, but still pack a big flavor punch.

10. My husband and I love this Beef Udon Noodle Stir Fry from Damn Delicious. It is a little bit on the spicier side, which my kids can’t handle, so I put aside a serving for each of the kids before adding any heat.

Like all mothers everywhere, we are constantly on the lookout for great recipes that don’t take forever to make, and we’ll add them to our Quick Meals the Whole Family Will Love Pinterest Board as we find them. Make sure to give the board a follow so you don’t miss out on any of our great finds in the future!

What are your family’s go to meals for busy nights? We’d love to hear what works for you in the comments section!

The best twenty-minute meals for moms to make after work, before soccer, or anytime in between! #dinnerideas
Ten delicious meals that can be made in twenty minutes or less! Read more at thesaltymamas.com #quickrecipes

 

Crafty Mamas, Mama Loves a Party, The Salties, Tips & Hacks

Putting the GOOD Back in Goodie Bags

I.Hate. Goodie Bags.

There I said it.

Controversial? Sure. But true. SO FREAKING TRUE. I just want them gone. But as I stare at an ominous October calendar that has a giant star on October 8, my youngest daughter’s first birthday party, I start to waver in my conviction. Because as much as I don’t want to make them, I know there will be kids that expect them. Hell, there will be parents that expect them.

I’ve given into the Goodie Bag monster before. At my sons second birthday I made little 11401548_10207121368018916_8004798448923372245_ncanvas bags, complete with each child’s name on them. A dinosaur themed event, each kid got “fossil dig” brushes – each with painstakingly Cricut-ed labels – and of course, the homemade salt dough fossils to go with them. There were bubble wants and homemade crayons in the shape of dinosaurs. And I’m not gonna lie, it was ADORABLE. But looking back, Good God was it a lot of work!

By the time I got to my second child’s first birthday party at the end of December, each kid got one coloring calendar. Because easy.

Three days away from the seventh birthday party in my resume, and I’m ready to throw in the towel and say eff it. I’m afraid I’m not going to get my dream of saying goodbye to the goodie bags, so here are a few Do’s and Don’ts for putting the GOOD back in Goodie Bag! Continue reading “Putting the GOOD Back in Goodie Bags”

Cheapskating, microhustle, Tips & Hacks

OhmConnect Revisted (AKA How I Got Free Electricity All Summer)

This post contains referral links, which means that we may receive a small commission from people who sign up using the link. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are our own, though your results may vary. Read more in our disclosure policy, and thank you for supporting The Salty Mamas!

Okay, so I have told you all about OhmConnect, and how residents of California and some parts of Texas can pay earn credits by saving electricity when they receive alerts that “dirty power plants” are about to turn on. You can read all about how it works here,  but Y’ALL. I just HAD to update you.

I didn’t pay for power this summer. Not a penny in June, July, August, OR September. And I keep my house at a brisk 72 degrees.

And I have OhmConnect to thank for that.

I know a few of you Salty Mamas have joined, and you may be thinking I’m a big fat liar since you are pulling in a massive 70 cent payout. I know. I hear you. It so doesn’t feel worth the sweat for 70 cents.

But as in all things MicroHustle, you gotta focus on your long game. The more Ohm Hours in a row you hit  (they call it a streak), the higher your payout is going to be. And as you level up, your amounts go up again. So if you hit Platinum level on a 60 Ohm Hour streak, you could be talking about making nine times as much each Ohm Hour as you are right now. And if you haven’t sign up already?  Head to OhmConnect now to see if you qualify.

Now is the PERFECT time to start your streak, while the weather is cooperating and the sacrifice doesn’t seem as big. And by this time next year, you may be flipping the breaker and heading out to sip some margaritas, and proposing a toast to the good people of OhmConnect.

And to the Salty Mamas of course.  Because obviously.

Looking for a way to earn extra money? Or save on your electric bill? Head to thesaltymamas.com to find out how to get your bills paid for FREE! (Sponsored)

 

momlife, The Salties, Threenagers, Tips & Hacks, Why We're Salty

Picture Day Preparations. And Why to Let Them Go.

Last year was my son’s first school picture day. And I. Was. Ready. I may have a lot of Mom fails – I don’t have the perfect set of first day of school traditions. I have forgotten for a solid year to prep my son’s emergency kit. Today I didn’t realize until it was too late that I had basically nothing for my kids’ lunches. But picture day? That’s one of those days that I ROCK. Shopping, practicing, pep talking to the kids – we slay picture day. But now, a year later, I realize that I had put a tad bit too much pressure onto picture day.

My guess is, you have to. We all do. But we NEED TO STOP. So here are three things to just LET GO of on picture day.

1. The perfect outfit.
If my Mom had it her way, I would have worn a corduroy jumper every year on picture day until I graduated college. I hated it. Because I was not a corduroy jumper girl. I’m sure that on more than one occasion I screamed at her, “I’ll NEVER make my kids wear a stupid corduroy jumper if they don’t want to!” Fast forward to Cole’s first picture day. And no, I did not make my son wear a jumper.

But damned if I did not force him into FREAKING. CORDUROY. PANTS. Like, is there some weird genetic inclination in my family?? I don’t know. All I know is that my son – who had NEVER worn corduroy before – was wearing it on picture day. And he hated it.

Looking back? I should probably have let him pick what he wanted to wear. Because it’s HIS picture day too. A snap in time of who HE is. Not who Mommy was making him be. Even if just for a day.
2. Hair.
Okay, I’m not saying have your kid roll out of bed and head off to picture day. Run a brush through that bad boy. Maybe even bust out some product. Have a girl? Have an entire treasure chest full of clips and headbands that she refuses to wear? Bad news – she ain’t gonna suddenly love headbands and hair clips just because it really means a lot to you today. Maybe you can bribe her. Maybe he’ll agree. But keep your expectations LOW.

I killed myself and got into the biggest fight my son and I have ever had over his hair that morning. In the end, it was perfect. He was so. Freaking. Handsome.

And then I got the proofs of the picture. And wondered what the hell happened. Because his head looked like it had been through a blender. So unless your kid is going to sit in a chair with their hands strapped down until the picture is taken? It’s probably not worth the grief.

3. Smile.
Fun fact: There is NOTHING your kid will love more than you yelling at them to “smile!,” and then telling them they’re doing it wrong.

Follow up: Your kid’s smile will actually NOT get more natural if you tell them repeatedly, “That isn’t your real smile! It doesn’t look natural!”

Photographers generally know what they’re doing. They can make your kid laugh. And if they can’t, none of your coaching is going to change that. Trust me. I coached Cole all day and he had his smile down. It was amazing. And let me tell you – I ended up with not a single one of those well-rehearsed smiles.

Truth be told? Some of my favorite pictures – of my kids and my friends – are the one’s where they’re not smiling! Especially if they’re not smiley kids! Evie was a GRUMPY CAT when she was a baby. She was born with a pouty bottom lip. So when we went and got professional pictures taken and I chose to keep one with her resting B face, the photographer couldn’t understand it. But that’s what she looks like! That’s the face I’m going to want to remember forever, way more than a fake plastered smile.

I know what you’re thinking, uh, Christine – outfit, hair and smile are basically ALL the elements of picture day. What am I supposed to stress out about then?

Nothing.

Just let it be.

Easy for me to say? Maybe. Or maybe I say it because I tried. I tried so hard. I had the perfect outfit. We got his hair to be on point. And he left the house with a picture perfect smile that would make you swoon. And then, even then, we got…..the picture.

And now, I present to you, the best, most epic, you WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED EVEN WITH ALL THE HYPE school picture, you may have ever seen. Just let it all soak in. You’re welcome. And happy picture day.

 

The Most EPIC School Pic EVER!
Trying to get the “perfect” school picture? We were too – and got this!
Bujo, Mama Mojo, MicroLuxuries, Tips & Hacks

MicroLuxury Monday: Bujo to Pick Your Favorite Kid

As I’ve mentioned, I love me some bujo (bullet journaling). And God bless Pinterest for giving me all kinds of awesome inspiration – it’s a FABULOUS resource when you’re looking for monthly or weekly spreads, list ideas and trackers, ALL the trackers! But I have noticed a serious lack of bujo pages for Moms. So today I’ve got some tips for Moms that bujo and a couple page ideas I hope you’ll love!

Tip of the Day: Pick a weekly spread that is realistic.

I had to go through a few spreads before I found something that was functional for me, and that I could keep up with. Do not give up if you haven’t found yours yet. There is something for everyone – that’s one of the awesome things about bullet journaling.

Too Much WeeklyI started with this. Because it’s beautiful. And it’s got all the detail I could ever want in my life. I was gonna track my steps and my water and what I ate for every meal and snack and the WEATHER and I customized it a little so that I could have a cute little section at the bottom of each day to write something about each kid. Holy overkill, Batman. Check out how much I didn’t finish – and that was just the first three days. I fell off that one FAST.

Then I tried this spread. a little less info…I was only tracking one Medium Weeklymeal a day (better) I added some trackers for housework (for the record I did more than this, just didn’t track it) and health habits and then realized I hate daily trackers. I did like the little To-Do list and I thought it was an attractive layout, but after a few weeks I was over this one too. I still needed to simplify or this wasn’t going to be fun anymore.

Light Weekly

Then I went SIMPLE. And I LOVED it. Big ol’ blocks where I could write everything and a bonus space where I could add a family saying, something cute the kids did, etc. In the middle space I would write what I was reading, watching, anything over-arching for the week. I kept this spread up for a couple of months and then only switched it up for something different – but at least I’d found the kind of spread that works for me. Once you do, I promise it will improve your bujo satisfaction by like 500%.

Mom Friendly Pages

Monthly Stats

With three kids, I have fallen off the baby book bandwagon. Hard. When I had two I Kid Statswould say, “Cole was born at 10:56 in the morning. Evie was born at night.” With three? It got even worse. I did one of those Line a Day books with Cole that I kept up for like a year. With Evie I had little notes and post its and stuff in my pockets and purse and always was totally going to write them down somewhere permanent. With Izzie, I have just accepted that Facebook memories are going to remember for me. If Facebook shuts down I’m screwed.

Now I do often have a spot in my weekly spread to write a little something about each kid – whether daily or weekly. But it’s very open ended, and I know there are going to be a billion things I wish I remembered! So, inspired by Back to School printables with likes and dislikes and other kid info, I made a simple chart I can fill out for all the kids at the end of the month. Because like with the weekly spread style, I have to find a balance of what’s reasonable for me to commit to – and so far this feels good. I set it up at the beginning of the month so I can fill in as things happen or cram at the end. (Let’s face it – I cram at the end!)

How to Measure Which Kid is Your Favorite

Okay at the risk of tooting my own horn (toot! toot!) this is probably my favorite thing I’ve ever bujo’d. I was in a dark place with my baby’s sleep patterns. She was up. all. night. And then the other ones were getting up so early. (Or at least it felt early at the time). I felt like I had to channel my frustration with her into something tangible.

Enter: Kids Sleeping In Chart. Kids sleeping chartAs you can see, Evie, my little lavender dot, was clearly my favorite child that month. It was neck and neck for Cole and Izzie for a while, but Izzie had those God Awful open circles (which means she woke up but I eventually got her back to sleep). It was a silly chart, but the kids and I had fun doing it – every morning they would help get their colors and watch when I put their dots. Evie will still find the page and point to hers and say, “That’s me Mama?” Yep, my lovely little sleeper, that’s. you.

The cruel irony is that when I made that page – I thought the kids were getting up early. But these days they mostly get up in the 5:00 hour…..so I’m thinking it might be time to figure out which one’s my favorite again 😉

***********

Stay tuned next month when I’ll share some more pages for Mama’s Bujo! And let me know if you have any pages you’d like to see! Things you want to find a way to track! Or ideas for lists you need in your bujo 🙂

Salty Mama Bujo Tips and Hacks.png

 

Cheapskating, microhustle, side hustle, Tips & Hacks

MicroHustle Monday: Trash & Treasure

When I was growing up, every so often my Mom would hit a breaking point where we had TOO MUCH STUFF. Stuff in our rooms, stuff in the garage, stuff we did. Not. Need. We’d pick the hottest Saturday of the year, wake up at dawn and pull everything we ever owned onto the front lawn. My sister and I would post signs around the neighborhood and we’d inevitably spend the entire day sitting in the yard explaining to people that we weren’t selling our bikes that were still in the garage, but visible to all the gawkers. At the end of the day, we’d box everything up and just donate it anyway. It was such an inefficient system, but what else were you supposed to do with all your stuff?

Fast forward many years to today. And the internet. God. Bless. The internet. Because now, whenever I need to purge stuff from my house and/or need a few bucks, I take to the internet! In our house, we are pretty committed to systematically getting rid of STUFF. For instance, after my sons 4th birthday this summer, I held all of his new presents hostage until he helped us fill two boxes full of toys that he didn’t need anymore that we could give to other kids. He had some toys that were in great condition, hardly played with, that I knew another kid would love. And if I got a few extra bucks for Starbucks or a trip to Chick-Fil-A? Even better!

5 Tips for Selling Your Stuff

  1. Find a neighborhood sale site on Facebook

I’m in several “Trash and Treasure” Groups on Facebook. They may be called something else near you, but these are great buy/sell/trade sites where you can sell your stuff in a super easy virtual garage sale. It’s local so you don’t have to worry about shipping anything. You can either choose to meet at a central location or your home. Or my favorite – the porch pickup. God bless the porch pickup! I leave whatever I’m selling on the porch and the buyer drops the money in my mailbox. So easy!

  1. Take decent pictures

I want to make my items look as attractive as possible to potential buyers – but also be realistic about the item. You don’t want to think that your item sold only to have someone change their mind when they come see it. That takes more of your time – and time is money!

  1. Price to Sell

My husbands grandmother once gave us some art that she said was worth $1,000. But something is only actually WORTH what someone else is willing to pay for it. So when I want to unload, I price to SELL. I might think the item is “worth” more, I may have paid a WHOLE lot more, but if I’m not using the item and it’s just sitting in my garage or taking up space in my closet? Well that’s not making me any money either, is it? So personally, I’d rather have the item GONE with a few bucks in my pocket. So have I significantly undervalued some items? Maybe, but at least they’re not taking up space in my house anymore! Find the balance that works for you, but know that if you price to high you may not get the return you’re hoping for.

  1. Post!

You’ve found your group, picked your price, taken your pictures and now it’s time to post! Usually all you need to do is post a description of the item, plus the picture and the price, and maybe your cross-streets if you’re in a larger area where that could make a difference to potential buyers. Make sure you follow the rules of your group. For instance, some don’t allow cross-posting (attempting to sell an item in more than one group at a time) or have very specific rules of how to connect with folks interested in purchasing your items.

  1. Sit. Wait. SELL!

Remember when you used to sit in the blazing sun waiting for someone to come by and make an offer? Well now you can do that inside your house. Or at the movies. Or at Disneyland. Or wherever you want to be. Make sure you’re notifications are on and wait for a bite! Most sites have rules about how to make the sale – like accepting offers in the order they are received, no cross-posting (meaning posting the same item on multiple sale sites), no sale via PM (where you could be cutting off people that made offers through the comments). Make sure you follow the rules – you don’t want to lose out on potential sales, or worse, get banned!

Get your offer, put your loot on the porch, collect and you’re done! All you have to do is decide how you’re going to spend your new green!

Hope y’all have fun turning your trash into treasure!!

 

Micro Hustle Trash and Treasure