Pamper Yourself on a Budget

WAM Pamper yourself

It can be hard to pamper yourself when you feel like you have very little time for YOU. Between working, cleaning the house, taking care of our sweet kids, taking care of our sweet husbands, making sure everyone is fed, making sure everyone has had a bath, and trying to make sure you eat dinner too, it can be nearly impossible to get a little down time. And when you are trying to stick to a budget, it gets even harder. BUT, no matter how hard you think it is, repeat after me…”I am important too and I should do things that make ME happy!”

Go ahead and say it again. Maybe a few times. I’ll wait…

OK, now that you’ve hopefully realized that you deserve to have some time to yourself, let’s talk about how we can make that happen!

First, you’ve got to make the time.  There’s never enough time in the day, we all know that, but if something is important to you, you make the time. Maybe you put the kids to bed 20 minutes earlier, maybe you wake up half an hour earlier (HA!), maybe you have everyone make their own PB&J sandwich for dinner or pick up pizza for the second time this week. There are times when you have to LET GO. Stop controlling everything and feeling like the world is going to end if your child has a bean and cheese burrito for dinner for the third night in a row. It’s OK sometimes. It all balances out.

Second, decide what you’re going to do! OK, I suppose this might need to come before you make time for it, but now that you’ve made this time for it, here is where you get to start doing it!

Here’s some ideas for what IT could be. Remember, these are budget friendly ideas. Sure, you could spend a lot and go to the spa for the day or go on a shopping spree, but we’re talking a little smaller scale right now. Something you could do with a smaller amount of time and money.

  1. Take a bath– Never a bad idea-Add some bubbles and make sure the door is locked and the music is drowning out everything else! Wine is optional.
  2. Buy a magazine and relax while reading it– To me, this is splurge. I rarely read magazines other than on airplanes or something, so it’s exciting to purchase one that looks fun and get lost in pages of things like fashion, makeup, and home decor!
  3. Paint you nails– If you’ve never used the Sally Hansen gel polish, it’s amazing! I can paint my nails in ten minutes and they are completely dry! Plus, they don’t chip off the next day, because let’s be honest, I’m not going to give up precious free time during naps to paint my nails and have it chipping off the very next day. I always feel “put together” and fancy when I have painted nails. You’d think I’d do it more.
  4. Invite a friend over to chat over coffee or drinks or to watch a TV show or movie. Let your family know you are off limits (or send them to grandma’s house) and enjoy talking about characters and plots like you’re back in high school.
  5. Go swimming ALONE. The idea of not having to keep an eye on little ones around the pool can be relaxing all by itself. Get a nice cold drink in your hand, some music, and you’ve turned the idea of a relaxing bath into more of a beach getaway!
  6. Get a FREE makeover at a beauty counter- Make an appointment at your favorite department store at any of the beauty counters you choose and walk away feeling like a new woman! Pair this with a date night and you’re all set!
  7. Subscribe to a monthly beauty package.- Ipsy and Birchbox are two good options. For only around $10 a month, you’ll get a package delivered to your door with great new beauty products to try and fall in love with! Plus, as you use the new products, you’ll be pampering yourself throughout the month!
  8. Ask for samples– Now don’t hold me to this because I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but I read something that said Sephora will give you a sample of ANY product in their store if you ask. You could find a great new eye shadow or lipstick and give it a try for free! What a great way to brighten up a Tuesday, or get glammed up for a night out.
  9. Ask for gift certificates– When it comes to “stuff” we’ve all got plenty. When someone asks you what you’re wanting for your birthday, Mother’s Day, or Christmas, don’t be afraid to tell them about that pedicure or massage you’ve been thinking about. You don’t get what you don’t ask for!
  10. Go anywhere with a friend.- Spending time with friends is fun and automatically makes me feel refreshed and ready to get back to “wife mode” or “mommy mode.” You could go for a walk, go grocery shopping together, meet at Starbucks or for FroYo, even just walk around Target. No matter what you’re doing, it’ll be fun!

Happy pampering!

What other ideas do you have? Do share!

Local Food and Drink Favorites

If you’re local in Arizona, here’s a list for you!  I’ve compiled our favorite local restaurants, old and new, and why we love them.

If you’re not local, I challenge you to compile and share a list of your favorite food and drink spots in  your area!

Budgeting can be difficult when there’s so much good food around! Here they are in no particular order…

af8a39668d7e24ecae40b58a3525aeda1. Mangos– Mangos is located in downtown Mesa on Main Street. It’s right next to Milano’s Music store. I’ve been going there for almost 15 years now and I love it every time. When Josh and I first started dating, I brought him there and it instantly became one of his favorites too. They have the BEST salsa and chips which they bring to your table right after you order. (Any Mexican restaurant that doesn’t give free chips and salsa makes me sad. It’s only the best part.) Back in my meat eating days the shredded chicken tacos were so delicious, and you can never go wrong with a plain old bean and cheese burrito wrapped in a soft flour tortilla. From the Killer Burrito to the fish tacos, you shouldn’t be disappointed!

 

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2. So Cal Fish Tacos– Do you see a theme? Mexican food? We can’t help it. Arizona has Mexican food like nowhere else.  We probably have some sort of burritos, tacos, or quesadillas at least half of the nights in a week. Our quesadilla maker hardly leaves our counter top. But back to So Cal…located in downtown Gilbert, So Cal has not only great food, but the best atmosphere. A laid back, calming, Southern California surf themed restaurant that makes you feel like you’re a mile from the beach, not in the middle of the desert. They even have a great patio in the back. We liked the feel of the restaurant so much, its what we based M’s room on when we moved into our new house. If you go, you have to try the Mexicali Shrimp Cocktail. Tomatoes, onion, cucumber, jalapeño with delicious shrimp served with tortilla chips. Mmmmm.

 

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3. Postino– Postino is a wine cafe and has more than one location. We go to the one in downtown Gilbert, just steps away from So Cal.  Postino is famous for their bruschetta boards. You get to pick four different types of bruschetta and they make up your board. It is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. My favorites are the warm artichoke, white bean hummus, traditional tomato, basil, and mozzarella, ricotta with pistachios and dates, and the brie with apples and fig. I’ve also heard good things about the one with salami and the prosciutto one too. Josh was hesitant the first time we went thinking it was going to be food that he wouldn’t care for based on what I had told him. He ended up loving it and now we spend quite a few date nights there. Just thinking about it makes me want to get in the car and drive there right now. But the sleeping baby and toddler with no pants on tells me otherwise.

 

EhsxLQrS4. The Soda Shop– This one is brand new and has become an instant crowd pleaser. The Soda Shop is located in Milbert (the border of Mesa and Gilbert) at Greenfield and Baseline. It’s in the same plaza as the new Fat Cats amusement center. They have all sorts of sodas, flavors, fruit purees, etc. that are mixed into the most wonderful creations. The last one I got was the Life’s a Peach- I think it had Dr. Pepper, mango, peach, and half and half. And you can make your own! They also sell heavenly cookies which I hear are from the Sweet Tooth Fairy Bake Shop, also located in the same plaza. Such a great place to go for a date, after school treat, or just whenever! Oh, and they also have a drive thru which makes me love them a hundred times more because no one has to get out of their car seats! Yessssss!

 

6. Burgerfi5. Burger-Fi– First of all, you can order their fries in a size called a bucket or whatever they call it and you can order them either limp (soft) or crispy, and you can get them with cheese. They also offer other toppings for fries like salt & vinegar, parmesan & herb, cajun, and chili. The fries are all I really need, but since their veggie burger (made with vegetables and quinoa) is amazing, of course, I get that too. Burger-Fi has become one of my favorite places over the last year or so. The first time I went I thought, “Yeah, it was good.” The next time I thought, “Wow, that was even better than last time.” and by the third and fourth times, I was so looking forward to it and it just kept getting better. Their “Fi-sauce” is full of flavor and is one of the best parts. I even get extra on the side to dunk my cheese fries in. They also have hot dogs and dreamy custard shakes and treats. There’s 75 locations, but only one in Arizona located in Mesa on Val Vista right across from Dana Park.

 

0906407c-8659-4eb2-89d8-c17507cb3a92.jpg6. Salsa Cabana– Again, Mexican food. Sorry, not sorry. Salsa Cabana is one of those small, hidden gems with the BEST burritos. They are well priced and portions are huge. I’ve never heard anything other than great reviews about their food and some of our favorites are their breakfast burritos, the Burrito Mexicano, the fish tacos, and the taco salad. My favorite is the Burrito Mexicano. You can call in your order and pick it up right on your way home. Or even if it’s not on your way home like me, you just go get it anyway. Located on Greenfield and Brown.

There you have a few of our favorite places to eat. Have you tried any of them before? What’s your favorite things to order?

If you’ve never been to these places, maybe it’s time you try something new! Let me know how you love them!

Mangos photo from mangosmexicancafe.com

So Cal photo from @dished_out on instagram

Postino photo from East Valley Tribune

Salsa Cabana photo from ezlocal.com

Human GPS

We’re all friends here…let’s get to know each other a little better! Here are 15 things you may not know about me…

  1. I pierced my own ears when I was 14. Apparently, the first two sets of holes weren’t enough and I just had to have a third set, so I took it upon myself to make that happen.
  2. I don’t know how to whistle or burp.
  3. I am pretty much a human GPS. I can get you pretty much anywhere and tell you all of your restaurant choices along the route. Detour? That’s ok, we’ll reroute and change our meal options accordingly!
  4. I got my belly button pierced…twice.
  5. I have VERY fast labors. Like, almost had H in the car, fast.
  6. I am a worrier. I worry about everything. Of course, that’s only gotten worse with having children.
  7. I’m not too shabby of a photographer.
  8. I cannot stand diet soda. How anyone can enjoy that aftertaste is beyond me.
  9. I have never broken a bone or had any surgeries.
  10. I bite my nails.
  11. I have a strange love for alligators.
  12. I almost went to college in Washington State. I also got accepted into the Honors College at ASU, but would have had to live on campus.
  13. I am a vegetarian. Well, pescetarian if you want to get technical.
  14. I was a complete Coke fan until just a few years ago and now I love Pepsi. Yes, I feel like a traitor. A traitor with a delicious, ice-cold Pepsi in her hand…I can live with that.
  15. I consider myself to be a very good driver. However, when I was 16,for a small ridiculous reason, I failed my drivers test the first time!

There you go! Sometimes it’s fun to stop and think about what makes you, you. Did you learn anything new about me? If any, how many did you already know?

Leave a comment and share something interesting about YOU with ME!

Modern Wrap- Nursing Cover

 

WAM ModernWrap

You guys. I am so in love with my new nursing cover and have to tell you about it.

Let’s go back to a little over a month ago…we were at the bowling alley using our POGO PASSes to bowl our free game for the week (if you’re interested in the POGO PASS and want more info on how to get yours for 60% off, you can read that post here) and I saw a woman with an amazingly simple, yet perfectly designed, nursing cover. I asked her where she had gotten it and she told me Modern Wrap.

I knew I was hooked and I hadn’t even looked at their site yet!

I headed to the Modern Wrap site and saw that each nursing cover was $58. That’s a pretty good chunk of change. Since we’re a one income family and I am trying really hard to live on a budget, I was trying to be strong and not make any frivolous purchases. But…I have very little willpower and I just couldn’t stop thinking about how much I needed that nursing cover! I rationalized with important points such as “I’ve still got months and months left of breastfeeding, I should get it now before too much time passes!” and “It doubles as a carseat cover too, so it’s really double duty!” Both are true and so I ordered one.

It shipped quickly and on the very day I got my shipping confirmation, they posted on their Instagram that you could get 40% off your order by reposting. WHAT!? I felt like I was being punished for making an unnecessary purchase. Here’s the best part…I commented on their Instagram that my order just shipped and I couldn’t believe I missed the sale by such a small amount of time. They immediately replied and told me to email them and they would  see what they could do.

After emailing them and letting them know my situation, they happily took the 40% off my order, refunded me the difference, and I have a nursing cover that I absolutely love.

This company is wonderful and I could tell they care about their customers. They didn’t have to honor the sale for me, but they did. They wanted me to be happy so I’m spreading the word!

Now, let’s talk about the cover! It’s so soft and light weight. My little man doesn’t get too hot and sweaty underneath it and I’m not dying having to wear it in the Arizona heat. It’s stylish and keeps every part of me completely covered. And don’t forget, it’s also a cover for your carseat to keep away the sun, wind, or sweet old people from touching your baby! Modern Wrap also has other items such as baby wrap carriers and swaddle wraps. Check them out. If you make a purchase, I know you’ll love your items just as much as I love mine!

Take a look around their site: modernwrap.com

Let me know if you buy anything!

 

DVD Organization

WAMDVDorganization

I love clearing out clutter. It feels so good to get rid of things and make more space. The whole feel of a room can change just by getting rid of some unneeded things. The problem is that sometimes I get into a “but what if I need it?” phase. Well, 99% of the time the answer to that question is, “you won’t!” One of the best organizational things we’ve ever done was organizing our DVDs by getting rid of all the DVD cases. What took up way too much space on shelves can now be stored in a small plastic container! It’s so simple and you’ll feel so free after you toss all those big cases into the trash!

It’s so simple…

Step #1 – buy a lot of paper CD sleeves-enough to fit all your DVDs and some extra for new ones

Step #2 – buy a plastic container/tote/box that will fit the DVDs and still allow you to close the lid

Step #3 – Put all your DVDs into the paper sleeves and place in the box standing up so you can flip through them easily

At first, I worried it would take forever to find the DVD I wanted…this is not the case. We store ours in alphabetical order and we have children’s DVDs separate from regular DVDs. It is so quick and easy to flip through the sleeves and either browse or find exactly what I’m looking for.

Take the plunge and clear out that clutter! It feels so good!

Leave a comment and let me know if you do this or if you have any other great organization tips!

*I do not use this DVD storage method for our Disney Classics that come out of the vault on BluRay and DVD. I feel it’s best to keep those in the original case so they’re complete. I don’t know why, that’s just what I do.

Never Break Plans with a Stay At Home Mom

Never, ever break plans with a stay at home mom.

Moms who stay at home each day with their children do not get the chance to have adult conversations for the greater part of the day. They never get to discuss the latest world news, or gossip about their favorite shows…ha ha, just kidding, they don’t have time to watch anything other than Curious George and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! But still, the point is that the conversations their days are filled with are usually about how exciting it was to see a lizard in the backyard and whose body that noise came from.

If she’s got plans to meet you for dinner, fro yo, at the gym, maybe you’re supposed to stop by after work, whatever it might be, don’t flake out on her unless you absolutely have to! Something you may be fine with postponing to the following week might be something she has been looking forward to for days. Not just looking forward to, but counting on. Life gets busy, I get that, I really do. But just make sure you can’t shuffle some other things around before you up and cancel your plans.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying stay at home moms are some fragile butterflies that you have to treat as if they’ll cry at the drop of a hat, although postpartum hormones can sneak up and they might. All I’m saying is that I guarantee she’s been waiting for that time of adult interaction like a child waiting for Christmas morning. It’ll be as if she’s going on a first date…I can’t wait until tomorrow night! I think I’ll wear that new shirt I bought two months ago and still haven’t gotten to wear! Should I shave my legs? It sounds ridiculous and yet it’s completely true!

So if you’re a forgetful person, get a planner, set an alarm on your phone, write it on your arm, write it on your forehead, but be there. If you lead a glamorously busy life, make your friends who miss you (because I promise you, they miss you. They miss talking to anyone who is old enough to vote.) a priority.

And don’t forget: When you do meet up with them, don’t be surprised when they offer you hand sanitizer or ask you if you need to go potty before your meal comes! Just say yes and “try” anyway!

Now text your favorite stay at home mom and let them know you’re thinking of them. And maybe bring them wine…lots of wine.