Thursday, August 24, 2017

Letting Go

As our kids get older we as parents have to learn to let go.  We raise them and guide them through life, but then we have to give them their wings and allow them to fly away to make their own choices in life.  As a parent it's hard to allow your kids to grow up.  One day they need you for everything and the next day they don't need you at all.

Excuse me as I have a moment...(bring on the tears)....Because on August 22, 2017 I had to let my child go.  It was one of my hardest moments in motherhood.  I'm still traumatized and depressed that I had to let go my baby who has been beside me everyday since he has been born.

My son has left me to go to Pre-K.....

He said "Mama, I'm a big boy now", but he will forever be my baby and I'm just not ready to let him go, but I must.

Ok....Maybe I'm being overdramatic and I could be overreacting a little, but this is hard.  Being a stay at home mom is more meaningful with them home, but now that all the kids have left I have to discover what's the next step in life for me.

But as emotional as I am about all the kids leaving me alone as they go to school, I'm really in need of this "me time".  I mean I can take a bath and use the restroom without someone in there with me or banging on the door.  I don't have to yell all day.  I can take a nap in peace.  I can go to the grocery store alone (I can't wait).  I can go get a job or just do something I like just for me.
So sure I'm sad that I had to let the baby go, but I'm happy that he's growing up and that I have some time for myself.  Because this mom is in desperate need of "me time"

Mrs. J

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

July Favorites

I'm all about trying new things so when I go to the store I'm always intrigued by the new items that pop up (or items I just haven't seen before).  So in the month of July I've tried a few things that has been a hit or miss.  Of those purchases, 4 had me wanting more and they made the list for my July Favorites.

1. Garnier Fructis Leave in Conditioning Cream

Couponing has allowed me to try items that I've never tried before.  When you're getting something for FREE or almost FREE it's worth a try (or you can always give it away).  While shopping at CVS I scored 2 Garnier Fructis Leave in Conditioning Creams for $0.54.  That's right both were $0.54 total!  So not only did I get these for almost FREE, it's a great product.  It smells amazing and provides great moisture to my hair.  I normally use a spray leave in conditioner, but this product along with coconut oil is all I've been using on my hair for the past month.

2. Wet n Wild Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick

Another find that I discovered while couponing is the Liquid Catsuit Matte Lipstick by Wet n Wild (also purchased from CVS).  I love a matte lipstick and these are awesome and budget friendly.  The formula is very creamy and dries matte.  I put it on in the morning, and wear it all day without reapplying.  I bought 2 colors and this color Nudist Peach is what I've been wearing most days.  They offer several different colors and I will be purchasing more soon.

3. Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisp

Now this item I've seen before but I was never interested in trying it.  I just couldn't imagine a green pea snack tasting good.  I'm on a quest to eat healthier, so I'm always looking for healthy snack options to calm my cravings and actually taste good.  And these Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisp in Wasabi Ranch Flavor was just what I needed in a healthy snack.  These crisp reminds me of the texture of Veggie Straws.  They are light and crispy with a light flavor.  I didn't think I would like them but I've already repurchased them and will continue to.

4. M&M's Caramel

I have a major sweet tooth and I love candy, especially anything chocolate.  Plain M&Ms are my favorite but when I saw the caramel ones I just had to try.  I mean caramel and chocolate goes together so well, I just new it would be good.  And these were good!  However, to me they just taste like plan M&Ms.  I didn't get the caramel flavor but it definitely had the chew and texture of caramel in the center.  I added them to my favorites because I can think of so many treat options I can make with these and I can't wait to experiment.

So there you have it....These are the 4 products that I have purchased that I would rebuy.  When purchasing things I like for it to be worth my money so I'm excited when I find things that fit the budget with great quality.  And as a bonus I'm going to share with you another product that I tried that I won't be repurchasing.  I tired 2 new Oreo flavors, coconut and mocha.  First I must say I don't like Oreos and I can only eat them with milk if I do but I love coconut and mocha flavor so I had to give these a try.  The coconut wasn't good at all and had no coconut flavor at all.  I couldn't even eat them.  The mocha ones were ok.  If you like Oreos and Mocha, these are for you.  I did like that you can taste the mocha flavor but since I'm not a fan or Oreos I will not be repurchasing.

Have you tired any of the products?  What are your thoughts?  And please share any favorites that you have for July as well.

Mrs. J

Monday, July 31, 2017

Life Lesson: Find the Rainbows and Butterflies in the Middle of the Storm

Everyday is not going to be filled with rainbows and butterflies.  Sure in a perfect world everything will go the way we planned it.  There would be no sorrows, no heartbreaks, no misfortunes.  Everything would be perfect just as we imagined it.  But things don't always happen that way.
It's great to have plans and goals, but we also must be able to adapt when things don't go our way.  Sometimes we get in the habit of complaining because what we want doesn't always happen the way we plan, and doing this, we don't always recognize how good we have it.  We forget to appreciate what we have while we are losing something that we wanted.  Meanwhile, you can gain so much from that loss because you can be given something better.  Unfortunately we don't always see that focusing on the loss.

Life doesn't always have to be a disaster and you can't always expect rainbows and butterflies.

Sometimes we over analyze things. We want things to go the way we want, but that's not how life happens.  All that does is lead to worrying and worrying does nothing but cause additional stress we don't need.  You ever had a situation that you constantly worry about only for it to work out in the end.  I know I've had that happen so many times, and I kick myself for worry about something that worked out for my good.  And sometimes we want things but don't get them and see it as a failure.  No loss is a failure.  You can gain so much through a loss.

So even though things don't go as planned and you may be going through difficult times, you can still find the rainbows and butterflies.  The beauty that rainbows and butterflies bring is there you just have to look for them even in the middle of the storm.  Sometimes when we are faced with so much bad we got to look real hard to see the good but it's there.  If you focus on the bad you will magnify it x10, but if you find the good and make that your main focus, you will see things you didn't even know was there.

Life Lesson:  Even through the dark clouds and storms, you can find rainbows and butterflies if you look hard enough.

Mrs. J

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Cake Lady

Just call me the cake lady.....That's right I am your neighborhood baker.  This totally happened by chance because I never wanted to be a baker.  Some consider me an over the top mom because I'm always being extra when it comes to the kids.  I don't see it as being extra.  I'm just a stay at home mom with extra time to put into a lot of things that others may not.  For my kids' birthday I would always do something small at the house but no matter how small the gathering is I always decorated and put a lot of effort in.  I like to make the event special for them and a nice cake in their theme is always a must.  I usually would just order one from the grocery store but even those can get costly if you want an elaborate design and my budget wasn't going to cut it for a custom made cake at a bakery.  So I started making their birthday cakes.

I always liked to bake but I mostly just baked cupcakes or small cakes using box cake mixes.  I later started to experiment with recipes and fell in love with making cakes from scratch and coming up with my own flavors.  I love experimenting with flavors and recreating drinks or candies in cake form.  Those flavors make great cakes.  The more I baked the more I loved it.  Baking started to be therapeutic for me.  I would just zone out and be in my own peace as I bake.  It is love.  People would often ask me to bake for them and I would but would never charge them.

A year and a half ago for my daughters 10th birthday I made her a large two tier cake.  The bottom tier was zebra print and the top tier was a pink guitar and it was cotton candy flavor.  After that my cousin was persistent in trying to get me to start a business.  I was scared of this prospect because I didn't know what I was doing and I only did it for my family for fun.  I didn't think I was good enough but I just took a leap of faith and went with it after she called me with a 75 cupcake order for a baby shower.  I was excited to see if I could do this and after the success of that order I knew I should just go for it.  I knew that even if the business did fail, I really enjoy baking so at least I would have the enjoyment for doing it.

So my business Sweet Tooth Desserts began...

It's been a year and I've been moving at a pace that I'm comfortable with.  I really do enjoy it and I'm learning so much and pushing myself to create new designs and learn new techniques.  For me it's not about the numbers or fame.  I'm just trying to perfect my craft and learn as much as possible because even if this business isn't a business anymore I still will be baking because it's my passion.

Follow my INSTAGRAM: Sweet Tooth Desserts by Kim
Follow my FACEBOOK: Sweet Tooth Desserts by Kim

Mrs. J

Monday, July 17, 2017

5 Budget Friendly Summer Activites

For some summer is almost over for others it just got started, and for us we are half way through the summer.  So far we haven't done much this summer.  As I stated HERE in a precious blog post, I just needed some time, but now we are half way through the summer and I'm looking for some budget friendly activities.  This mama is trying to stretch a dollar, but still have fun.  Fun doesn't always have to be expensive, so I'm sharing with you some budget friendly activities you can do this summer.

1. Beach: My favorite FREE activity during the summer is going to the beach.  We live near the coast so we are a drive away from several beaches.  Really, we just have to take our pick and in an hour we are laying on a beach.  Some beaches are free while others charge a small entry fee to park and enjoy.  This is a perfect time to pack a lunch from home and bring a cooler full of drinks and lay out on the beach all day.

2. Parks: Having young kids, parks are an adventure for them.  We have several that we frequent often.  They all offer different activities so it's great that we can switch up which ones we visit.  Did I forget to mention its FREE?  Yes another free activity that provides the kids hours of fun.  And some parks also host free events.  We just spent the 4th of July at a park enjoying the free activities and fireworks.  I did not spend a dime and we had a blast.  That same park host free movie nights at the park.  We are looking forward to the next one coming up this month.  So check your local park to see what activities they might provide.

3. Water Park:  We love the water park.  It's our most visited place during the summer.  We are gifted season passes so we can go often.  However, this can be a budget friendly place if you go at the right times.  For instance, at the water park we go to one day offers military discounts (I love military discounts), another day is buy one get one free admissions, and later in the afternoons admissions are discounted.  I live in the South and it's HOT so spending days splashing in the pool is a great way to cool off and have fun.  This is an activity all ages can enjoy.  So they next time you want to visit the water park, just look for the discounted days and go during those times to make it work for your budget.

4. Backyard: Use your backyard as an adventure.  You can host a barbecue or create a backyard Luau.  Or have a water balloon fight.  Fill as many water balloons as you can and water guns and have a good fight with the kids (because the kids can't have all the fun).  Or camping in the backyard can be so much fun.  You can make s'mores and tell ghost stories under the stars and moon.  There are so many activities you can do at home in your own backyard, so pick something the family will love and have fun!

5.  Go Exploring:  There are so many different towns near by that I drive through or stop in just to visit a particular location, never really taking the time to just enjoy the scenery.  There are so many adventures around us if we just take the time to go explore them.  You can check out the towns farmers market or their historical sights.  Grab your camera and capture the moments, the adventure, and the beauty that your surrounds provide.

You don't to spend a lot of money to have a good time, so take some of these suggestions and go have fun this summer.  And please feel free to share any of your budget friendly activities that you like to do so I can try those out too!

Mrs. J

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My Kids Are Partners In Crime

Or is my son just a snitch......

My two youngest are very sneaky.  Well my daughter is trying to teach my son the ropes, but apparently it's not working too well.  She likes to tell my son to watch out for her while she does something she isn't suppose to do, you know the usual. 

So one day my son comes in the room and says "Mama I got to distract you for Mimi".  Oh really now....What is she up to this time.

Then another time he comes up to me and says "Mama don't come in the room.  No one is in there."  Sounds like someone is up to no good.  I go in the room and of course my daughter is in there trying to sneak something out.

One of these days she's going to realize her brother isn't her partner in crime.....HE'S THE RAT!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Life Lesson: Believe In Yourself

Believing in yourself is important to your emotional and mental well-being.  There can be so many people rooting for you telling you "you can do it"..."you got this"... or simply "I believe in you".  These words of encouragement can go a long way, but at the end of the day it doesn't mean much if you don't believe in yourself.

Belief in yourself gives you that drive in your life that motivates you to go after what you want.  So many people have a long list of goals that they at one time hoped to achieve but never went after because they simply did not believe in themselves.

And then there are those people and situations that discourages you from believing in yourself.  You know those people who tell you that you can't do it... you're not good enough... you don't deserve it.  I know the saying is "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me".  While it sounds good, that's not always the truth.  Truth is, words can be damaging if you let them.  People constantly putting you down can cause disbelief within yourself.  Or those situations where nothing goes right or you keep failing at everything you try, that can be discouraging and have you feeling like you just can't do it.

Believing in yourself means you have to have confidence in yourself, so when the naysayers come with their negative comments or the situations fall through, you are still able to keep going because you believe in yourself.  Everyday you wake up look at yourself in the mirror and say "I believe in you" because each new day is another opportunity to make things happen because you believe in yourself.

Don't get discouraged!  Your belief in yourself can take you a long way.  When times are hard keep going.  When people say you can't do it, keep going.  Never give up!  And even if you fail, still keep going.  I always say "A loss is a win if you use it right"  You rise from your failures by taking those lessons and turning it into growth.  Having belief in yourself will take you far in life.

Life Lesson:  All it takes is belief in yourself and you can conquer the world!

Mrs. J

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

My 11 Year Old Has a Job

Yes at the young age of 11 my daughter has joined the workforce.  Sure the job is unpaid (volunteer), but its still a JOB and is the step in the right direction.  This is a start to many doors that can be opened for her because at the age of 11 she decided to use her summer to work on a unpaid job.

Here's how she got the job...

As we were leaving the library we saw a sign saying volunteers needed.  The starting age is 11 and when we saw this we immediately stopped and asked how she could apply.  She was excited just to think that she could have a job and after filling out a short application followed by orientation, her dreams of getting a job became a reality.  So now she sits behind a desk a couple hours a day assisting people with the summer reading program.  She creates her own schedule and she really enjoys it.  As a bonus, during the times she doesn't have anyone to assist, she gets to read all the books she wants, and as a bookworm this is a plus for her!

So here's the benefits of her working at 11.....

1. Job experience:  A common complaint from people trying to get a job is that they have no work experience so they can't get hired (because so many jobs now require you to have some experience).  Even though this is unpaid, she is gaining work experience that will greatly benefit her in the future.  Yes I know she's only 11 and she doesn't have to worry about getting a paid job anytime soon, but when that time comes she will have a head start on everyone else trying to get a job.  Chances are she will get a job over someone with no experience at all.

2. Recommendations:  Working this volunteer job will provide her the opportunity to get recommendations that can be used for schools, jobs, and/or scholarships.  As long as she show good behavior and work ethic she can receive recommendations for other endeavors she wish to pursue.

3. Responsibility: I admit my 11 year old is not the most responsible one.  She's very forgetful and can get distracted so some of the most simplest task take forever to get done, or she has to ask me a million times "What did you say?"  So this job will help put her on the right track to becoming responsible.  She is now responsible for creating her own schedule and making sure she is assisting people correctly in the summer reading program.  Having a job is a huge responsibility and with each task she is becoming more responsible.

So just say I'm one proud mama to have my 11 year working this summer.  I'm so glad that she is taking this interest and is getting so much out of it.  I had a proud moment the day I came to pick her up and she stayed a little over the time showing one of the Librarians how the summer reading program works.  Of course there are those negative ones who thinks that she shouldn't be working for free but she is getting so much out of this experience and it's the start of so many amazing things to come.  She's on the right track and I hope every year she takes this initiative and continue to make mama proud!

Mrs. J

Monday, July 3, 2017

Goodbye June, Hello July

Half of this year is already gone.  It seems like time goes by faster as the years pass.  Just a few months ago I was walking into 2017 not ready, not prepared.  Now here it is 6 months later I'm stronger than ever!

June was the first full month of summer vacation and my journey to becoming unplugged from the world and exercising my right to say "NO" to people.  I'm trying to live worry free and just live for me because life can be overwhelming if you allow it.  So I'm all about not stressing and enjoying life.  But overall, June was good.  The kids and I didn't do much because I took the time to just relax... waking up when I wanted to (even though most days it was still 5 am)... taking naps here and there... following no schedule.  It worked because I feel so much better.  I needed that time.

In the month of May I was so hyped because I lost 10 lbs, so I just knew I would lose 10 more in June.  Well that didn't happened.  My weight didn't change at all (thankfully no weight gain though), but it's ok... no setback here.  I did start back exercising in the month of June.  Mainly walking 3 miles 5 days a week with some quick at home workouts.  My eating habits are so much better and I continue to make healthier food choices.  So I'm pretty confident on this journey and I'm happy with the progress.

Since June was a quiet month with not much going on besides relaxing, I plan to spend July getting out more and doing things.  I'm predicting many trips to the beach, waterpark, and any other excursions that will allow us family time to bond.  I also plan to continue my weight loss journey and I'm pumped to watch my transformation.  I'm super excited for what the month of July will bring and I'm ready to get it started!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Is "Me Time" Really Important?

Often I hear people say they need "me time" or they are away having "me time".  I mean really.... is "me time" really that important?  When you get married and have kids, there is no more "me", there is "we".  There are humans depending on you and their needs need to be met and you're responsible for their well being.  So important is this "me time" you speak of?

Before I get the hate mail or the angry comments, that is how some people view "me time".  Especially those without a partner and kids to take care of.  And even myself a mommy of three didn't grasp the importance of "me time" until I became angry and walked around snapping 20 times a day.  Or having to eat food in the room alone just to have a moment or yelling from the bathroom door "can I please pee in peace".  Really.... is it too much to ask for to walk in the bathroom and have a couple minutes to pee without little humans banging on the door asking me for something.  I mean can it not just wait until I get out.  After a while it all gets frustrating and overwhelming.  The countless hours of taking care of people who depend on you for everything.  The long days that start and end with so much to do the days never seem long enough.  The days where hours has passed by and you remembered you haven't had time to eat.

So yes "me time" is important.

It's important to your overall mental, physical, and emotional well-being.  That time allows you a moment to stop, regroup, and reflect so you can continue your responsibility as a partner and parent.  So don't feel guilty when it all just feels so frustrating and you feel like you need some time away.  It's necessary for you to take that time so you can be the best wife (or husband) and parent you can be.  Its a part of self-care and you must first take care of yourself before you can take care of others.

So this weekend take some time away for "me time", so you can recharge and come back ready to give your all to your family!

Mrs. J

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Just Call Me Mrs. Mommy!

School is out....

But summer school has begun!

Yep that's right, there are no breaks here.  Sure we have fun and we put to use those water park passes we get every year along with many other summer activities.  But we keep learning even over the summer.

Summer break is a good time to review what was learned in school and to get a head start on what will be learned in the upcoming school year.  No it doesn't have to be structured in the way school is, but an hour a day of review and learning can be a great way to stimulate the mind.  And yes learning can be fun.  You can incorporate projects and field trips to make learning a fun adventure.
Also remember that reading is fundamental!  Pick up a book and expand your knowledge or let those pages take you to a far off land full of adventure.  A visit to the library can be a great educational experience.  And if your library is like mines you can get rewards for reading, so join your local summer reading program.

So this summer and every summer, you can just call me Mrs. Mommy because class in is session!

Today makes 1 month since the kids got out of school and I wrote this post soon after.....And while we have been learning this summer, there is no structure.  Some days we may sit and do work and on other days we might just go over things in the car while on the go. I can easily make a lesson out of things we often encounter. A trip to the grocery store is an easy math lesson especially with all the couponing I've been doing (if you haven't read my couponing post, check it out HERE). For us structure is no good because this summer I'm just going with the flow, but still not forgetting to stimulate the mind.

Happy Learning!

Mrs. J

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Not So Extreme Coupon

If you have ever watched the show "Extreme Couponing", you've probably sat in awe wondering "How did they do that?"  I mean wouldn't we all want to purchase hundreds of dollars in products at a 90% discount.  Can this really be done?  Yes it can but it takes a lot of time and dedication and it just doesn't happen overnight.  But no worries because you too can save money by couponing, and I'm here to give you the beginners guide to get you started to saving!

Collect Coupons

-The first step is to collect coupons.  This can easily be done through coupon inserts in the newspaper.  These are commonly found in the Sunday Paper (however other papers may carry them as well).  These coupon inserts vary from week to week so purchasing a paper each week will give you a variety of coupons.  The prices of these papers vary from place to place.  I purchase my Sunday paper from the grocery store for $2.  Some places charge more and I've also heard that the paper can be purchased from Dollar Tree for $1.  Just be on the look out for these papers.  I typically buy 2 so that I can have double the amount of coupons.  That's $4 for the papers but the coupon savings are so much more so they are worth it.  Some people suggest that you purchase 4 to 6 papers starting out and that's fine as well, if that's what you're willing to do.  Some people also get these inserts for FREE (I wish) and can get multiples at a time.  If you can get them for free, get as many as you can and start clipping.  While getting coupons from the newpaper is the most common way, it isn't the only way.  There are people called "Coupon Fairies" that you can just purchase the inserts from and you can purchase multiples so you can easily get 10 coupon inserts at one time, giving you 10 of each coupon.  Just be careful that you find a supplier that is loyal and trustworthy so that you get all the coupons you pay for.  But if you can find a coupon fairy, use them.

-Coupons can also be printed from online.  Coupon services such as is a great way to clip the coupons you need.  Simply go through the list of coupons and choose which ones you want.  Once that is done you can just print them.  Receiving multiples of these are difficult because you can only print from one device.  DO NOT MAKE COPIES OF COUPONS!  Making copies of coupons are illegal.  Online printable coupons are also available from the manufactor.  If you know of a product that you use or like, then visit the website and see if they offer coupons.  Tide and Gain coupons are often retreived through their websites.  There are also sites that allow you to purchase coupons that will be mailed out to you.  For instance, there is a HUGE sale going on now or OXI CLEAN at RITE AID.  The sale is for $3.99, but there are coupons for $3.00 off making those $0.99 each.  Thats right....Laundry detergent for less that $1.  These sites are great to purchase these coupons from because you can buy a large number.  Some people get 30 at a time!  The prices of these coupons vary but there is a small charge for each.  Some additional sites that you can get coupons from are,, and

Find The Sales

-Now that you have the coupons clipped and ready, it's time to find the sales.  Sales allow you to maximize your savings.  Sale papers are a great way to find the best deals.  If you purchase the Sunday Paper then there typically are some sale papers in there.  You can also browse a store's sale online.  Finding the sale is very important.  I shop Bi-Lo often because that is the store near me, and they like to have BOGO deals (that's buy one get one free deals).  I love those because even before coupons I'm getting a item for 1/2 the price and a coupon is just a bonus.  Recently I received a coupon for $1 off 2 Nabisco Cookie Snack Packs.  I know that Bi-Lo usually have those on the BOGO sale, so I held on to those coupons and waited for the sale.  The next week the sale was on so I was able to purchase 2 for $5.49 a savings of $7.49.  They were originally $12.98 for 2 but because of the sale I was able to get them for $6.49 for two and then the $1 off 2 coupon made them $5.49.  I was also able to do this with Kemp Frozen Yogurt but for a better bargain.  Regular price was 5.99 each or 2 for $11.98.  They were on sale for BOGO so 2 were $5.99 however I had 2 coupons for $1 off each so that was an extra savings of $2 making my final total $3.99 for 2 (a savings of $7.99).  The cheaper that you can get the item for the better deal you will have when you use a coupon.  So when you see those extreme couponers saving so much money, many of the items are already on sale before the coupon is used.  Stores such as Safeway, Shopright, Wegmans, Weis, Giant, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, and Kroger have amazing sales, but too bad I don't have them near me (bummer).  However if you do, follow their sales!  And search the clearance aisle.  You may have a coupon for an item that is already on clearance; an even bigger savings!

Know the stores coupon policy

For all the stores that you plan to coupon in, KNOW THE STORES COUPON POLICY.  This is important to know how to maximize the value of your coupons.  The policy lets you know how many coupons can be used in one transaction and if coupons can be double.  That's right some grocery stores will double your coupon making your $0.50 coupon worth $1.00.  I was also able to do that with Suddenly Pasta Salad.  Regular price is $2.69 but they were on sale for 4 for $5.  I had 2 $0.50 off 2 coupons that doubled to $1 for each coupon, allowing me to save an extra $2 making my total for 4 for $3 a savings of $7.76. 

Also, for the above OXI CLEAN deal I spoke of at RITE AID, the store only allows you to do 4 like coupons in one transaction, so if you have more than 4 coupons you will have to do multiple transactions.  This is only if it's the same coupon.  You can use other coupons in that transation as well as long as it's not more than 4 of the same.  So please know the store coupon policy so you can be able to use all your coupons and save the most money.

Signup for Store Rewards

Most stores now have store rewards programs and they provide added savings and bonuses so make sure you're signed up for every store that you shop at that has it.  For instance, at Bi-lo you can receive Plenti Points for your purchases that equates to dollars that you can use towards purchases for stores such as At&t, Exxon, Macys, Mobil, and Rite Aid.  Recently I received plenti points that equaled more than $5 off a purchase that can go towards gas at Exxon or Mobil or I can use that additional $5 savings with a coupon purchase at Rite Aid.  So just for shopping, you get rewarded!  CVS is a store that can give you a huge savings through their rewards program.  If you use your CVS rewards card you can get the savings that they offer but as a bonus some of their items allow you to receive Extra Care Bucks (ECB).  That's free money!

Check out this sale....

Colgate tooth paste is on sale for $3.49.   There is a $1.00 off coupon for this item as well making the final purchase price for the tooth paste $2.49.  But this one purchase also gives you $2 in ECB that you can use on your next purchase.  That's right, you get $2 that you can spend back in the store (it's comes out on your receipt in the form of a coupon).  CVS always have those deals.  For example the current sale allows you to get $5 in ECB if you spend $10 worth of Wet and Wild products.  So you get half of your money back just by buying products you already use.  Or even better Physicians Formula will give you $7 back in ECB if you spend $10.  No not all the ECB deals are on makeup, but on a variety of the products found in the store.  Check your sale paper or find the deals marked on the products in store.  Some of these deals are too good to pass up especially if you have coupons too.  So if you buy the Colgate from the previous mentioned sale with a coupon you will get back $2 in ECB.  Then all you have to do is do a second transation and used the ECB coupon for addtional money off.  For example, Persil is on sale for $4.99 and if you use the ECB that will make your final cost $2.99 (or you can use a manufactor coupon for the Persil with the ECB, maximizing your savings).  You can either collect your ECB and save them for another purchse or used them with multiple transactions the same day.  Just remember to use them before the coupon expires or you will lose those extra bucks.

Some stores will have an app associated with their rewards card and this will be great to get even more savings.  For example, the CVS app will offer you additional coupons and rewards that you can just add to your card.

Shop Dollar Stores

Dollar stores such as Family Dollar, Dollar General, and even Dollar Tree prices are sometimes cheaper so you can spend less money out of the pocket.  For example......

I got these Arm and Hammer Deorderants for FREE because Family Dollar had them for $1 and the coupon is for $1 off so all I had to pay is the taxes (coupons don't cover taxes).
So some items can be found at dollar stores for cheaper like these Gain Dishwashing liquid that were orginally $2 each.  But with my coupons for $3 off 3 I was able to buy 3 for $3 instead of $6, a 50% savings.  The Gain Coupon was for $3 off any 3 Gain products so I got the Dish Detergents because they were the cheapest and I got a better value for the coupon.

Also stores like Dollar General have digital coupons that you can use for extra savings just at their store.

Stack Your Coupons

-Did you know you can use more than one coupon on one item?  You can not use more than one manufacter coupons but you can stack manufactor coupons with store coupons for extra savings.  I described this earlier when I explained about the CVS ECB.  You can use a manufactor coupon and a store coupon on one item for extra savings.  So if you have a manufacter coupon for $10 off an item plus you have a store coupon for $10 off of purchase, you can save $20 on one item.

That brings me to overages....
If you stack your coupons and have so much savings that the stores owe you, you can use that overages for other purchases on the transation or you can get that money back if the store owes you.  For example, if your coupon has an overage of $0.50 that $0.50 can go towards money off the rest of your purchases or if you don't have any additional purchases the store can give you the cash back..  Not all stores will give you money back but it's a win if they do, either way you just got your purchases for FREE.  Now that's success!

I know some of this may sound confusing but don't give up.  Start one coupon at a time and even if you're saving $0.25, you're saving something and that's what matters.  It may take some time but you will get use to it and be able to maximize your savings and may even become one of the extreme couponers.  This is a lot to take in, but don't worry I will be back to keep you updated with additional information to help you coupon and any good savings and bargains you just can't pass up.

Happy Couponing!!!

Mrs. J

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

My Weightloss Journey

Getting older has not been good to my body.  My Metabolism just slowed down and it seems like drinking water makes me gain weight.  Ok that's a bit extreme, but I've been gaining and it's a lot harder getting this weight off.  Being a baker makes it a lot more harder to lose weight especially since I eat more than I sell...sweets are my weakness.

I'm contributing this weight gain and trouble to getting it off to old age because it's the only thing that's changing.  I use to eat whatever I want and still not gain weight.  After having kids though, I knew my eating habits had to change if I want to keep the body I had.  I use to gain 10lbs and could easily get it right back off.  Now 40 lbs heavier I'm struggling to lose 1 or 2 lbs.  The struggle is real.  The most I can lose is 5 lbs and it comes right back, dropping a few pounds in between and gaining it all back.

To be honest...I'm a big eater.  I eat a lot and I love good food.  Portion control is my biggest issue because my plate could easily be the serving size of 3 people.  So I try to cut back on my portions...hard at times but I try.  I will say that I eat much healthier now than I use to!  I try to make healthy eating a lifestyle.  Not always but most of my food is healthier.  I at times substitute ground beef for the healthier ground turkey option.  I actually love vegetarian meat substitutes and it has been a great replacement for meat.  I would chose egg white veggie scramble, tomatoes slices, and avocado slices over pancakes any day.  I actually found that I prefer healthier options most times because some things can be replaced without losing the flavor....however some things are just irreplaceable.

Now my biggest problem is exercise.  I HATE it! It seems like its the one thing I have to increase to help with my weight loss.  But sometimes I just wish for a magic pill that I take at night and wake up in the morning skinny again.  Until that happen, I guess I will continue to try to eat healthier, and try my best at working out.

And no I'm not discouraged.  I will achieve my goal.  I'm just admitting it's hard and it takes time and discipline.  One thing for sure is I WILL NOT GIVE UP!  As much as I want to be small like I once was, my main focus is getting healthy.  Truth is the older we get the more important our health becomes to us because our bodies and health needs change.  I just want to beat my daughter in basketball and keep up with my kids on the playground without losing my breath so quickly.  My goal is long life and good health!

Mrs. J

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Who is "A Haute Mommy"

Welcome to A Haute Mommy!  Yes I've been here before but this is a fresh new start to my "Haute" pronounced "hot" life.  You may ask yourself, "what makes her life so haute?"  Well my "Haute life isn't defined by status, money, or fame as you may assume.  Nope, this life of mines is filled with struggle, adversity, perseverance, and faith!  There is no perfection over here and my life is what I make it....I make the best of my life and that's what makes it "haute" because no matter what is thrown at me I survive!  Always remember you define what you make of your life.  I chose the "Haute" life so stay tuned to see what makes it so "haute".

So now on to the introductions.....

You can call me Mrs. J and my family, you can call us "J Crew".  There is papa bear, Mr. J, the ex marine who gave us the "J" name.  My oldest music loving basketball star we nicknamed Nia (also known as "It Girl Nia") is a quiet soul much like her mama who likes to be to herself.  My middle child, nicknamed Mimi, is outgoing and the life of this party.  Then there is the baby whose nickname is simply "J".  He's 4 so not so much a baby but don't tell him that; I would like to keep him my baby forever.  The five of us make up J Crew, and boy do these mixed up personalities cause a whole lot of chaos mixed up with a lot more love.

I questioned my return to the blog world.  I started blogging years ago when some of the more bigger bloggers weren't so big and monetizing wasn't the name of the game.  Boy has things changed.  I couldn't keep up with the Jones and my life had so many obstacles I didn't know which direction I was headed.  So I started and stopped this blog a few times, moved to a .com, and now made my way back to BlogSpot.  Why have I returned you may be wondering?  Well my return to the blog world is why I started.  Blogging is a way for me to express myself and my life, but the greatest benefit is that I could touch others.  We all have a story to tell.  So many people can relate to us, so many people can grow from us, but the greatest gift of all is when we can find healing by expressing our story to others.  See my life stories or as I call them "life lessons" has molded me into the woman I am today and I want to take you on my journey called life.  So come on...See where it leads me...

Letting Go

As our kids get older we as parents have to learn to let go.  We raise them and guide them through life, but then we have to give them their...