Kroger: Back to School Sweepstakes

Kroger Back to School Sweepstakes

Kroger has a new Back to School sweepstakes running through July 26th. Enter to win free groceries for a year, a $25 Kroger gift card or an instant win of various food products. You can enter daily until the sweepstakes ends. Let me know if and what you win!

Quick and Easy Home Links

Links I Love Button

So many times, there are big projects we want to accomplish but we find ourselves lacking in time and / or resources. Today, I’m sharing a bunch of quick and easy home ideas that we can all do to brighten up and / or clean up our home.

My Mom recently found this idea to make wool dryer balls. We are both intrigued! When I use up my free dryer sheets, I might give this a try.

Here’s a unique recipe for homemade tabs to clean up your garbage disposal. I use lemon peels and ice cubes to clean it out, but this seems like nice, too.

Better Homes and Garden shared a picture if an organized freezer trick by using baskets. We could easily pick up a couple at the Dollar Store to give this a try!

Red Chair Blog shared how she has 4 boxes set aside for things needed to organize, deliver or return. This is an idea I could tweak.

I’ve shared this before, but Mandi at Life…Your Way has over 400 beautifully designed printables to help you get organized. I’m rededicating myself to this task with the help of her printables. Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to print and display some Scripture prints as well?

Finally, because I’m making de-cluttering a new top priority of mine, Buzz Feed’s post on 34 ingenious ways to declutter your entire life was motivating.

Here we go! Let’s get busy and do the next thing on our lists today!

5 Favorite Baby Gifts

5 Favorite Baby Gifts as Recommended by a New Mom - Simple and practical ideas that any Mom will appreciate!

Please note that the following post does contain affiliate links. If you purchase anything through these links, I will receive a small percentage back to support this website. Thank you! Still, I would recommend these gifts regardless of where they are purchased!

As a new Mom, we received many thoughtful and generous gifts when Nathan was born. I promptly wrote the thank you notes, and we have since put these gifts to good use. That said, three months into caring for a baby, there are couple gifts that I use more than others. Some we received and others I purchased on my own, on the recommendation of others. These five things are the items I will now give as baby gifts because they are so useful! I realize every baby is different but if you are looking for something unique and / or practical to give a new Mom, here are my top recommendations, coming for a new Mom who’s tried and used them all.

1. Aden and Anais Swaddling Blankets

Before I had a baby, I thought these blankets were overrated. Then, a teacher from Andy’s school gave us two of these Aden and Anais swaddling blankets and I quickly learned why everyone raves. First, they are the perfect size of blanket, whether you are laying the baby on the ground or swaddling. They are lightweight enough that you can use these blankets year around. I especially like them to cover up when I’m nursing. The price is a bit higher, but you could do as the one teacher did, buy a set of 4 blankets (as they are sold) and divide it into two baby gifts. We’ve been perfectly happy with two of these marvelous Aden and Anais blankets. You can find these at Target and Babies R Us as well as online.

2. Booginhead Pacifer Clip

If a baby uses a pacifier, they are going to need a pacifier clip. Regardless of what kind of pacifier they use, there is one pacifier clip I recommend. It’s called the Booginhead. It’s a strong clip that doesn’t damage clothes and can attach to any pacifier. Plus, it’s available in lots of cute colors and patterns! We ordered ours from Amazon but I later saw it at Walmart. It is the best investment and will save you countless times of searching for and washing a dropped pacifier. Buy one of these sooner rather than later.

3. SwaddleMe

Swaddling has received a lot of attention in the recent years. Our hospital swaddled Nathan in the NICU and even sends all parents home with a sleep sack / swaddle. Nathan liked being swaddled, then didn’t for a small window, but then really liked it again. From week 3 on, we’ve used the SwaddleMe swaddle to help him get a good night’s sleep. We’ve found that it keeps him from jumping as little babies do, especially when they are sleeping on their back as now recommended by all doctors. The SwaddleMe is easy to use as it wraps the baby securely. We laugh that the baby looks like a little burrito, but he really seems to like it and sleeps soundly – which makes me like it. Again, you can buy these at Target or Babies R Us as well as online. I just purchased the bigger size at Once Upon a Child, a child resale shop.

4. Coordinated Onesies and Bibs

Let’s be honest. There are so many adorable outfits for babies. Boys or girls, it doesn’t matter. When you have a baby, your dresser and closet will be filled with the cutest assortment of outfits. What gets worn the most? The onesies. In my experience, the overalls and sweaters and pants are worn occasionally. They are too much work for a new Mom who is happy to be in clothes herself. Buy the baby some cute onesies – with bibs that coordinate – and she’ll be happy that the baby is dressed so cutely and simply. When the drooling starts around 2 months, as it will, she will be extra glad for those matching bibs and onesies. I’ll give bonus points if you buy bibs that wrap around and snap on the side of the neck instead of velcro-ing on the back. Those are my favorite bibs because they are easy to fasten and stay on securely. Here’s an example of some matching sets, but they can be found anywhere you buy baby clothes.

5. Pampers Diapers and Wipes

I stockpiled a lot of diapers before Nathan was born. I stockpiled diapers in all sizes and in all brands. Nathan hasn’t had a problem wearing any of the diapers and rarely leaks in any of them (no more so than the typical new baby). Of all the brands we have used, I have decided that Pampers are my favorite brand. These diapers fit securely and hold the most, especially in the newborn days. As for wipes, Pampers are also my favorites. I know some Moms don’t like these wipes because they are most moist than other wipes. To me, that is what I like the most about them. I feel like I can really get the baby’s bottom clean with these wipes. I will still buy the ones that are the best deal but am watching harder for deals on Pampers.

There you have it. If you are looking for practical gifts to give a new Mom, these are my personal recommendations. Of course, board books, baby wash and baby shampoo are also nice practical items always needed to round out your baby gifts. Freezer meals are also appreciated, especially once the baby is born! What would you add to this list? Are their other items Moms have appreciated as baby gifts? I’d love to hear in the comments!

I’m linking to Thrifty Thursday at Living Well, Spending Less

Top 5 Deals of the Week: 7/13 – 7/16

Top 5 Deals of the Week Button

This is a great week to shop at Kroger! I don’t do my every day shopping there, but their sales make it worth my time. This is a good sale week at Kroger. There are lots of good digital coupons that can each be used five times. Look in your ad to find all of those deals. Here are the top five deals I see for this week.

1. Blueberries (1 pint) at $0.99
Final price: $0.99 – They freeze great!

2. Kroger milk (1 galloon) at $1.88
Final price: $1.88 – Limit two

3. All laundry detergent at $2.99
Use printable $2/2 coupon or $1/1 coupon
Final price: $1.99

4. Doritos at $2.49
Use $1/1 digital coupon (Can use up to 5 times in one transaction)
Final price: $1.49

5. Ritz Crackers at $1.99
Use $0.50/1 digital coupon (Can use up to 5 times in one transaction)
Final price: $1.49

Home Edition of Links I Love

Links I Love Button

My Lehenbauer grandparents recently moved from their Ohio home of 20 plus years to a new retirement home in Florida. It was quite the move – for everyone! As a result of their downsizing, Andy and I have inherited their dining room table. Bringing the table into our home resulted in quite a few changes already – with more on the way. And can I just say it’s amazing what rearranging furniture can do? Now I want to do lots more! Here are a couple links that are inspiring me lately.

Young House Love does so many creative / practical / great home improvement projects. I really liked how they customized a simple Ikea shelf by framing it with wood. I would just use it as as regular storage because I AM going to get a square shelf like this for our house.

Our bathroom needs to be redone. Someday (hopefully soon), we’ll get rid of the dated 1950s green tile and the old carpet. Ugh. When we do, I like the idea of hanging canvases of Nathan in the bath just like the Newly Woodwards created in black and white here.

My kitchen is cozy and now that we have a dining room table, I’m contemplating getting rid of my kitchen table that doesn’t really match. I like the idea of adding an open shelf like this for more storage like Elli did here. Except, I wouldn’t paint my shelf green.

Hometalk had some cute ideas for adding farmhouse style to your kitchen. I like the shelf with a small counter top, too. Maybe I’ll replace my kitchen table with something like that instead.

We need a mantel over our fireplace. I like the simplicity of what the Lettered Cottage created here. I also really like the idea of book shelves on either side of the fireplace, perhaps something like this.

Of course, all these links are just ideas for now. We need the time – and money – to make them a reality. Isn’t that true of most houses though?  There are always projects to accomplish! Tell me I’m not alone!

Glade Daily Break Sweepstakes

Enter the Glade Daily Break Sweepstakes (via Facebook) for a chance to win one of 4 giveaways. Plus, everyone who enters get to print a $1/1 any Glade product coupon.

Encouragement for Moms from Lisa-Jo

Links I Love Button

Lisa-Jo Baker is a talented writer and as she would say, an ordinary mother. Yet, I would like to add that she is an ordinary mother whom God has given an extra-ordinary way with words. She recently published a beautiful book called Surprised by Motherhood. It was just what I needed to read in my own early days of motherhood. Since then, I have found myself encouraged over and over by her blog. Lisa-Jo speaks to my heart with just the encouragement I didn’t know I needed. Read this. Be encouraged today!

A prayer for all the weary Thursday Mothers reminded me not to “rush through today or wish it over.” I need to remember this. Always.

The false advertising about Motherhood lists 10 things many of us have believed. Remember, “It’s ok to feel overwhelmed and it’s ok to feel like there are some days you just want to quit. That’s normal. You’re phenomenal. I’ve never understood why there aren’t more parades in your honor.”

Not to be left out, share this with the Dad in your life. For all the “ordinary, boring” Dads from your grateful daughters, you need to know that “you might be surprised by what we remember.” Because “the memories of what we did together will always trump the lost ones of what we didn’t.”

The growing pains of Motherhood reminds us that we are not alone. Other mothers are experiencing the same moments we are. As Lisa-Jo says, “I see you measuring your day in inches as the years stretch ahead in long miles.”

Her perspective on what the gang wars and Mommy wars have in common was shockingly accurate. “The thing is, the woman we’re so offended by – she bears your name. She bears my name. She is also Mother.”

Finally, I leave you with this for when you’re tired of the “how-to” books of parenting as another reason you should read Lisa-Jo’s beautiful book. “Motherhood isn’t a competition. It’s a calling.”

Patriotic Links I Love for the 4th

Links I Love Button

How can it be that Fourth of July is next week already? It seems that summer just started! I’ve been thinking about all things red, white and blue as we host a patriotic bridal shower for my future sister-in-law this weekend. Here are some of my favorite patriotic links.

If / when I have a mantle, I would decorate it just like this 4th of July one at Landee See, Landee Do. Simple but festive.

For some quick decorations, HMH Designs has three unique free printables on America and our National Anthem.

I love the simplicity of this patriotic berry dessert from Around My Family Table.

Shugary Sweets put a festive spin on her meringue cookies by dying them red, white and blue. Cute!

Domestically Speaking made an adorable burlap table runner for the Fourth. Plus, there is no sewing required!

This patriotic wall art that Melissa made is also something that I could do. Great idea!

Did you notice the theme running through these links? Yes, they are all patriotic but they are also all simple ideas! You’re welcome for that! :-) And Happy 4th of July!

Ice Cream Links I Love

Links I Love Button

Summer is here at last and that makes me think of ice cream. This is the time of year when I think having an ice cream maker would be fun. However, I’d probably eat too much ice cream for my own good! That said, I have been accumulating quite a few homemade ice cream recipes – all that do NOT require an ice cream maker. I want to give some of these a try this summer.

I’ve already made frozen chocolate chip yogurt. This recipe is so simple – and so delicious! Andy enjoys this recipe, too. This recipe tastes just as good before it is frozen, so good luck waiting to eat this one!

Budget Savy Diva shared her recipe for easy homemade vanilla ice cream. With only three ingredients (and one of them sweetened condensed milk), this recipe looks very easy.

This must be a good recipe because Kevin & Amanda share the same simple recipe. Then, they suggest lots of add-ins to make varieties such as cinnamon bun ice cream. Knowing this is a basic recipe gives me a lot of ideas to make different ice creams!

Not Your Momma’s Cookie shared her take with “no machine” monster cookie dough ice cream. With this one, you mix up the cookie dough mixture first before stirring it into the ice cream. Yum!

Eagle Brand has several ice cream recipes on their site. The mint chocolate chip ice cream is the first one I want to try. I think I’ve actually made a similar recipe from Taste of Home.

If you want to see more, you can view all the other ice cream recipes I want to try on my Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker Pinterest Board.

Mars Movie Night Sweepstakes

Mars Movie Night

Through August 10th, you can enter the new Mars Movie Night Sweepstakes. Oh, I do love the Mars sweepstakes! Last time, I won several free candy bars, and I’ve already won at this one – on my second try. Here’s the scoop.

Text the word MOVIE to 78787. You will get a text back prompting for your birth date (to make sure you are over 18). Then, you will get a second text prompting for your email. After that, you will get a final text telling you if you are an instant winner or not. The first time, I wasn’t but the second day / time I was. What do you win? This is even better than chocolate. Gasp!

If you win, you’ll receive a $6 Mastercard to use for a home movie night. It is valid at any online streaming movie service – such as Amazon. If you’re an instant winner, you’ll receive a text to enter your unique code at the Mars Movie Sweepstakes. Once you do, you can select “$6 to Use at a Movie Streaming Service.” Once you do, you’ll get an email with a pdf file containing your Mastercard code. I used mine immediately at Amazon to purchase a $6 gift card and applied the credit to my account.

It’s really very simple if you follow the prompts. Just take the time to send that first text. You can enter daily and there are 500,000 winners! Let me know if you win!

Thanks, Hip 2 Save!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...