Trying to Adult…

As a single mom, I have a very limited budget. Bills get paid, but there’s not much wiggle room after. And the holidays are coming up…😳 This led me to the decision that I need to be more resourceful and keep a closer eye on our spending. 

Pinterest is so much help when it comes to looking for tips and tricks. The one that popped up the most on my recent search was “meal planning” and “save on groceries”. You caught my interest. Let me click and see what it’s all about. The posts I read (ok, mostly skimmed) had a good bit of resources and tips. So I decided to give a weekly menu a try.

I planned my week starting on  Monday and going to the following Sunday. I planned breakfasts, after school snacks, weekend lunches, and suppers. Crockpot meals and quick fixes are on there for days Rae has cheer practice. Leftovers are on there too. I also left one day open for going out to eat or eating with my parents. 

I then went through my fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what I had that I could use. I started with the meats and planned the rest of the meal to go with how I wanted it cooked. We will try out a few new recipes this coming week, but they are quick meals (and Pinterest finds). 

After I got the menu finished, I made a grocery list for that week. Surprisingly, it wasn’t crazy long or anything too costly. I stated in an earlier post that I am NOT a couponer. I am, however, really good about sticking to my list. But I do tend to falter if something I need is on sale… I tackled the grocery store after work today, and without Rae. I walked in to realize that a good sale is going on this week. I was able to stick to my list, but bought two items that were “1 for $5.99 or 3 for $10” and “1 for $4.99 or BOGOFree”. How could I pass those up??? They will get used and won’t go bad anytime soon.

All in all, I spent about thirty minutes planning the week, and a total of $60 on groceries. No coupons, lots of sales, and my Plenti card. I don’t think I did too bad. Now if I can make myself stick to it, I should be good to go. 🙂


Here we are in South Carolina on this beautiful cool-ish type of day. (Still swarmed with love bugs, but…) The way it is outside today, you would never guess there’s a Category 5 hurricane headed our way. Well, aside from the millions of news and weather updates, social media posts, etc. Here’s how Rae and I do a hurricane!

First: I pack a week’s worth of clothes for Rae. She “misplaces” THREE pairs of shoes. I find two of the three…

Second: I pack my week’s worth of clothes, meds are all in a bag that I can just grab when we flee our mobile home, and all chargers in a bag of their own. I then proceed to make two more lists- daily necessities and very important stuff.

Third: I question myself, “can I pack this now? Is this enough? Cat food! Gotta pack catfood. What can I put in my car now so I don’t forget it? Not the cat or the kid… Oh yeah, what’s work gonna do?”. 

Fourth: I clean…yes, you read that right. Let me welcome Irma to a clean house that she will possibly destroy. The stress has set in!!

Seriously though, please take this storm seriously. Get to safety and take care of your families. God bless y’all and my prayers are continuously going up!! ❤️

Labor Day Weekend

As many of you know, Labor Day weekend left a break in our hearts two years ago. Rae lost her dad in an atv accident. (Helmets, caution, pay attention to your surroundings…atvs are not toys!) I have done my best to focus on the good this weekend. Let me share with you.

Saturday was an incredibly lazy day for us. PJs all day, with a little cleaning mixed in there. Rae had an accidental run-in with a bag of trash that I had set aside to take off that afternoon. She kicked it when she walked by and got a pretty nasty cut on her toe. This sparked a freak-out from her after seeing all the blood. Once she calmed down and I cleaned it up, I freaked (quietly on the inside) thinking she might need stitches. Rae proved to be stronger and calmer than me at this point. I immediately called my dad and my parents came right over to help. No stitches were needed, but it still looked bad. Saturday’s good: my kid is a champ and I can always count on my parents to come when I call. ❤️ That night Rae and I enjoyed a movie together, her choice.

Sunday was church and family day. We enjoyed an amazing sermon at our church, followed by lunch with our family. Too much food was eaten…we don’t always have time to catch up during the week, so lunch together was nice. After lunch we went to a friend’s house to make crayons. We took crayon pieces, arranged them in silicone molds, and baked them for a few minutes. Rae was very proud of her ship crayon. 😊 For supper that night, I learned to make strawberry crepes. Again, too much food was eaten. Rae went to sleep with no problem, and I enjoyed a comedy movie and quiet time.

Today we are just taking it easy and enjoying each other’s company. Later on we are going to a friend’s to socialize and possibly swim. 

I hope each of you have taken time to sit back and count your blessings. We take things and people for granted far too often, and then just like that they could be gone. Focus on the good, don’t dwell on the negative. There’s so much good in every single day.

Tough Life Lessons

Here it is, the end of August. This month has been full of ups and downs for myself and Rae. My biggest ups are Rae’s accomplishments. School: she’s gotten good colors every single day so far. That’s a big difference from last year. She’s reading books to me every day. Her chore chart is filling up with stars for daily jobs. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

My greatest down has been watching Rae face disappointment and losing her fur friend, Chloe (or Miss Kitty…it depends on the day. 🙂). She celebrated her dad’s birthday yesterday. The second one since his accident. We sent up balloons with some of the family and she sang with her cousins. Then she had to wake up this morning to learn that her outside cat had been attacked by dogs. This was another big deal for her simply because it’s the cat that showed up not long after her dad’s death. This leads to my point of this post…

My five year old had to learn today that not all animals are nice and sweet. She’s never had to deal with mean or vicious animals. She couldn’t wrap her brain around why these dogs wanted to hurt her kitty. Time for her “big girl” discussion.

I explained to her that sometimes you have a bad animal that doesn’t care who or what they hurt. There’s also some people in this world like that. God didn’t make them that way (people or animals), other things in this world did. Her innocence in this situation made me feel like dirt because I couldn’t do anything to help the poor cat. In my heart and mind, hurting those dogs wouldn’t have made the situation any better. I would’ve then had to try to justify those actions to Rae. She’s watching my every move. If I can show her what difference a hint of grace and compassion can make, even in tough times, then I hope they stick with her. I don’t want her to think it’s ok to let this often cruel world shape you into a different person than who you want to be. The Golden Rule has been a recurring topic since school started (thanks K5 teacher!!). Maybe…just maybe I can help inscribe that on her heart.

*Dont get me wrong, I am a firm believer in defending yourself and taking up for others, but don’t cast the first stone. It’s not worth the long term effects. Oh, and the dog situation is being dealt with by Animal Control.

Earning Cash Back!

Let me begin by explaining that I AM NOT an avid couponer. I honestly can’t for the life of me figure out how people save hundreds of dollars by clipping paper and doubling coupons and comparing prices…it’s too much for me. How do you do it?? I would love to know some tricks and tips, but to be honest, how do you find the time? I know people that are amazing at it and I know people who, like me, suck at it. So what do I do to save some money and earn cash back? Let me tell you…

The first app I discovered was Retail-Me-Not. I used that app on Black Friday, and I was hooked! You search the name of the store you’re shopping at and scan the coupon or get online codes for available sales. Not hard at all! I saved close to $100 on Christmas shopping last year. That’s a WIN!

The second app is one that I was recently introduced to. IBotta…I know it’s been around for a while, but I’ve never really given it a chance. I downloaded it and looked over the rebates I could use, and I found more on there than I ever have when trying to coupon. I can find tons of coupons on things I don’t buy or use. These rebates have added up quick. Shampoo? That was a $1 rebate. Bananas? I’ll take that $.25 back. Juice boxes?? Multiple rebates available??? Yes! So yeah, I got a little excited about it and gave it a go my last shopping trip. I earned $5.00 cash back on around $100 worth of groceries. That may not seem like much, but I also earned a welcome bonus of $10 just for redeeming those offers. Websites have them too! Amazon, Best Buy, iTunes…why not get money back from shopping?

Now all you avid coupon clippers, if you combine a coupon and a rebate, and if a coupon is doubled, that’s a big score! I make my list with the items I have rebates for first. Then I add my other items after that. It makes it easier for me to remember what items I need to scan the barcode on to get those rebates finished. I’ll take every bit I can get back. If you would like to try IBotta, my link is shared at the bottom. Join and earn your welcome bonus! I’ve already earned enough for almost a full tank of gas! 😊

Now…who wants to teach me some simple couponing tricks???

*Disclaimer: I get nothing for promoting these apps. I’m just trying to help y’all save and earn! 😁

ADHD & Essential Oils

I stated in an earlier post that I exhausted all options with Rae before she was officially diagnosed and medicated. In this post I want to share our journey using essential oils. I am a fan of DoTerra and still use them almost daily on Rae and myself. They helped before medication, but proved to not be strong enough alone for Rae’s case. I use the oils topically and aromatically. I have never let Rae ingest any of them (with the exception of a drop or two of Lemon).

Let me go over some of my favorites and how we use them:

Lavender: I put a few drops in Rae’s bath water at night. It helps to calm her down and puts her in a good mood. I also diffuse it next to her bed on really rough nights. The diffuser we have runs for four hours, and the lavender helps her sleep peacefully.

Peppermint: This one seems to help clear her mind. It does having an extreme cooling/hot feeling, so I apply it to her feet with some coconut oil. Or I just let her smell it from the bottle.

Balance: This one is a blend. It helps to calm Rae when she is having a meltdown. It also helps with any anxiety that may pop up. I don’t use a carrier oil with this one. I just rub a drop on her chest so she can smell it continuously.

Lemon: I mentioned this one above. I would add a drop to her sweet tea and let her drink it. She is not a fan of lemon flavor, so I could only get by with a drop at a time. It helps flush her system of impurities. (This one is not ADHD related, but I figured I’d share since we use it.)

I’ve tried a few others, but these are the ones that I have seen results with. If you use them on your children, please share! What do you use and why?

Total (Eclipse) Bummer

We were so excited about the total solar eclipse. I mean, my kid was yapping non-stop about it. We got home before it was suppose to start, looked up at the sky, and could see clouds building up. We walked inside to put our things down and do a worksheet. Still cloudy…then the rain started. Rae paced the living room and kitchen praying for the weather to change. There was no sign of clear skies in sight. Time to turn on Channel 11. This seemed to pacify Rae.

We called around and waited to see if things would clear up, but got nothing. Everyone we called had clouds or rain. So we watched it on tv a bit longer. 

Once the thunder and lightning moved past, and the rain quit, we walked outside to listen to the sounds around us. We heard frogs, crickets, dogs going crazy…Rae finally concluded that even though she couldn’t see the eclipse, it was still pretty cool that God could make the moon go in front of the sun.

The rainy Eclipse day wasn’t so much of a bummer after all. 😊