Goodwill finds at $15/Mix it


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Over the weekend my family and I went to Fredericksburg, VA for my hubby’s cousins Eagle Scout Court of Honor pinning ceremony.  We stayed with his family members, and family from everywhere came and hung out or stayed the weekend.  It was fun to enjoy some family time, and good food.

My hubby gave me a few hours of shopping time and so I hit up the closest Goodwill.  I think it was the best Goodwill I had been in for years. It had all kinds of brand names and high end brand clothing; but the prices were higher and things were ran different in this particular Goodwill than the one back home. I went in with a $15 budget so that I wouldn’t over spend, since traveling tends to put me in a “shop til you drop mode” or “spend more money than needed.” So I will review what I bought or didn’t and why and what pieces I wish I had but it wasn’t a need.  My best deal is posted in the “Bought section” of this post. I will start out the post with what I didn’t buy/wish I had.

What I didn’t buy:

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When I showed my hubby this picture he couldn’t stop commenting on how cute I looked in this outfit and how thin and flattering it looked but this Banana Republic denim jacket was too little on me so I didn’t buy it, and I decided against the Elle blue shirt even though I regret now that I didn’t get it because it was too cute. I DID buy the snake skin belt for $0.99.

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there is that belt I bought. I tried on this chambray top and loved it except it wasn’t a stealer price and somehow I didn’t feel like it gave me the shape I was wanting.  There is that blue Elle shirt again that I wanted but didn’t need. ;( The pants and shoes are mine in these photos.

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This dress shirt had cute colored strips but with or without the denim jeans under it I still felt like it was too tight fitting and shows off too much of my curves and post prego belly.

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This Old Navy floral top is my own if you remember I got it in the clothing swap from my friend, read that post here.  I loved the skirt for its comfortable fit but the price range of $7 was not what I was willing to pay. The white pants were too khaki for me.

What I did buy:

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I loved the comfortable fit of these green pants from 1st Kiss brand. So I had to get them.

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This striped tee was $4.50 and so versatile so I got it and wore it with the new green pants on Sunday.

I got the snakeskin thin belt for 99 cents that you see in the above photos.

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THE STEALER- 50% J.Crew pants with brand new tags for the price of $3. SO I wore these right away for the day.

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Did I stick with my budget?

J.Crew pants-$3

Belt-.99 cents

Striped tee-$4.49

Green pants-$6.99

= $15.47 YEP!
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Lauren for Mix it Mondays.

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Bloggers Who Have Inspired me # 4


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I apologize for not posting this post last night like I told some of you I would, but mommy duties came first. I almost didn’t get to it tonight since I am still packing for an out of town trip tomorrow through Tuesday with my family to see an Eagle Scout court of Honor ceremony for my hubby’s cousin. Post on that later. But I needed to publish it. So without further adieu, I am thrilled to bring you this fourth part of the series “Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me!” If you did not capture my other posts in this series than read here, here, and here.  Hopefully you will be inspired. With the permission of these bloggers to share their posts and blogs I am THRILLED to finally share these with you. If you see a post from one or all of them that you like feel free to follow them or link up to their link-ups as I am sure they would be most appreciative of this gesture 🙂

**Also to the bloggers that I have chosen as inspiration please be courteous and be thankful for the feature. It has become a pet peeve of mine when I feature you because I like your stuff and I get your permission but no thank you for doing so. Just swing a comment below or shoot me back an e-mail. Let me know what you think!! I love you all!

Fashion/Pinned it Did it:

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When I saw this post of Tieka (first picture) and her outfit I was immediately inspired because I had in my closet a floral dress in similar colors that I didn’t know how to style and I had a similar colored cardigan. I had to pin it right away. I don’t wear hats but you can see in my photo I choose the red vintage Philipe purse instead. Isn’t it almost casual meets classy. Happy dance to finding a style that fits the dress. You can read my post from last Monday about this outit I copied and pinned here. Thank you Tieka!

Fashion:

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Sammi styled in this post here a lovely butterfly dress.  I had just stumbled upon her blog one night and read the post for that nigh and fell in love with this dress. Her blog is filled with cute ways to style a dress similar to this. I love the mixture of patterns and her adorable red peep toe shoes are in almost every outfit photo. Go check her out.

Recipes/Pinned It Did It:

Kym has become an almost go to blogger for questions on the blogging network (I am considering joining review sites for products/compensation) but recently she posted a simple any-one can do it recipe called S’more Croissants and right away I knew I had to pin it and try it.

Here is the picture of the results for Kym:

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Here is mine: (I should have went with Pillsbury dough instead of Kroger store bought brand because the generic wasn’t that good in appearance).

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These were SOOO Good. We had Nevaehs friend Lauren over for dinner and to watch the movie Frozen and these Smore Croissants made a great dessert. Definitely worth doing over and over again.

Random/Comical:

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Every weekday I enjoy reading Rachel’s posts which range from outfit posts, faith, crafts and random comedy.  Here is one example of a comical post that I had never laughed so hard at. Bathroom Comment Cards at a traveling rest stop. Really? people take time to leave comment cards this silly? Thank you Rachel for making my day the day I read this.   This post inspired me to just take the small things in life such as comment cards to make me laugh.

Thank you for inspiring me ladies and for responding to allow me to share YOUR ideas and posts. :). Until the next part in the series enjoy! and thanks for reading, let me know what you think!?!

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Clothing Swap


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If you remember from last post I mentioned that a best friend of mine told me she believed I liked having some newer outfits or pieces to my wardrobe because it gave me an outlet to be creative. She also knew my frustration of not having the money or time to look for clothes or outfits, so the other night she came to spend the night at our house (yay! a girls night) and lo’ and behold she brought with her some clothing and accessories in hopes of a clothing swap so she could snag some of my maternity wardrobe. God is good! (Read last post here).

So this post is about reviewing and showing off what she brought me, as these are different and typically not what I would wear but am dying too. I hope you can give me some pointers or help with how to style some of these.

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A mixture of spring colors and fall colors/prints.

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Since spring is in the air let me review these two shirts.  The longer sleeve pink tunic looking shirt is BEAUTIFUL in color with sequins, however when it is on me my shoulders and arms look bulky making me look bigger than I am in those areas.  The underarm area looks weird too. To hide this issue on cooler days I thought of pairing this with a denim jacket or white blazer/white pants and heels or wedges? What do you think?

For the floral shirt I thought an almost cobalt blue pencil skirt or midi skirt might work or denim jeans? The shoe possibilities are endless but any thoughts?

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This shirt trips me up! I guess any darker color skirt or jean such as a blue or purple might tone this down a bit. What do you think? The scarf is lovely but I don’t know yet what to do with it. Any suggestions or scarf tips you can give me would be great.

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The above flowy shirt looks lovely on me, but the sleeves puff out alittle more than I would like, but oh well.  The necklace is pretty but short (you will see in my next photo). There is that scarf again. I would like to pair the shirt and necklace but still thinking on how, since the necklace seems short or to need something more as you will see below.

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Have you ever done a clothing swap?

Some ladies at my church have been talking about it and I hope they will.  Heck! I may pray about helping out or administering it, because it is a blessing and fun.

Have a great day! Next post will be “Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me.”

Rachel xoxo
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Mix it: maxi dress and black pleated shirt


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This past weekend was fun, it included going to a birthday party for a young boy from our church who turned 2, getting to wear maxi dresses, buying the movie Frozen, some girl time with my best friend Kendall and time with my in-laws.  God is good! I am posting this on a Sunday because life is busy but I will link up to blog hops on Monday. Look forwad to my “Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me” series on Tuesday or Wednesday.

This past week I had a morning where my mood was one of discontentment. I grew grouchy and depressed for a few moments because I felt I didn’t have spring colors, newer clothes, clothes that weren’t maternity. I finally went with maternity pants and a thrifted shirt but was still discontent.  My hubby had to calm me down and remind me that I could get a new outfit or clothes soon when money would allow it. Somehow that calmed or assured me.  Later I told my best friend(a mom as well) this and she agreed with me. She herself would like to have newer outfits or pieces to her wardrobe but only when it is budgeted.  Then she said something that made me think, something that she saw was a part of me.  She told me that since I am an appreciator of art (home décor, painting, design, fashion) that she sees me needing an outlet for creativity; hence clothing.  I may not be a styler or look good most days but I do appreciate fashion and all the ways to combine things.

Below is my work of mixing or creativity using a zebra maxi dress from older posts and a black pleated looking men’s button  shirt from older posts. Since I only own one belt (a brown one) I needed to do with using a necklace that was rather lengthy (creative don’t you think?) I have had this combination planned for weeks now and so glad I tried it Saturday.

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Wearing: Maxi Dress: Isadora Collection (old)//Black pleated button up shirt: Danial Rainn (TJ Maxx on sale for $7)//Sandals: Old Navy (old)//Earrings: Charlotte Russe (old)//Bracelett: yad sale find, unknown brand.

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Take the maxi dress (post here) and black shirt (post here) and combine them to make the above results.

Which look do you like best?

How would you have been creative? Corianne of skinnedcartree actually recommend a colorful belt and cardigan for the zebra print maxi dress which I am still anxious to try- thanks for the inspiration Corianne.

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Happy 1st day of Spring! More…


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Shirt:Old Navy from last summer on clearance//Purse: Michael Michael Kors (old from TJ Maxx/gift)//Flats: Nine West (bought from Plato’s Closet a few years back)// Scarf: unknown//Pants: Motherhood Maternity//Bracelett: Yard sale find, unknown brand.

More…..green! Actually I am finishing up the week with the Green Week Link-up, thank you Ashley, Andi and Heather for a fun time and for allowing me to meet other bloggers.

I haven’t worn this scarf above since high school. I found it in one of my brothers closets the other day, brought it home and washed it believing I may get a few more times to wear it, and I am glad I did the other day.

The  Michael Kors monogrammed purse is special to me, but I will share how  soon.  I actually have a post about it that I will share with you.  The purse is several years old and is starting to get worn and honestly it isn’t a big as I am now used to for purses, plus it is kind of out of style, but I will never part with it.

What treasures have you found in your closet/attic/storage as of late that you are bringing out that maybe you forgot about?

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Money Saving Tips for PARENTS


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I have been thinking up a list of ways parents can save money for days now and when an idea has popped in my head it has gone down on my notes page on my iphone right away.  I actually lost some sleep one night composing ideas in my head.  #trueblogger/writer.

Here is what I came up with:

  • you know those kids that cry and have a meltdown over not getting crackers, candy or cookies bought at the store? well what most of the local grocery stores do here is offer samples of fruit/cheese/crackers/sometimes sushi but the best stores are the ones that offer cookies in a cookie jar. Problem solved! I don’t know if wally world (Wal-Mart) or Target does this but it doesn’t hurt to ask. But it keeps your kids from wanting you to have to buy something then that they don’t need.
  • Ask about fee waivers or scholarships for recreational events if you are a struggling financially as a family or have children from foster care/big family.  My kids have received scholarships for various recreational events.  Nevaeh took dance last year and we requested a scholarship and she received one.  That is $600 plus dollars we didn’t have to pay. All we had to get was the costumes, tights, leotards, tap and ballet shoes. My aunt-in-law stated that sometimes Girl scouts waive joining fees if you request it (depending on the troop) and our babies are on a scholarship with their infant- toddler music class.
  • Use coupons when shopping but only if you know you get that product a lot and everyone likes it.

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  • look for GREAT sales like this one at our local Kroger the other day.  Buy 3 boxes of certain cereals for $6 get a free gallon milk. Ummmm hello a steal right there.  That’s normally a $12-$15 value. I found the appls marked down to $1.
  • ask around for hand-me-down clothing for kids or shop at yard sales/consignment shops/thrift shops.
  • sometimes we have found our little tikes toys/toys in general on the side of the road (bulk trash) cleaned them up with bleach and other cleaners and just reused them.

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  • shop for clothing/school items on tax free weekend (if your state/stores participate)
  • join SAMS club for bulk items you know you need a lot of but buy way too often elsewhere (diapers, toilet paper, etc).
  • go to McDonalds with playgrounds on Sundays and buy $.50 hamburgers or $.60 cheeseburgers.
  • look for restaurants with free kids meal nights (usually crafts go on too).
  • have a picnic at a park with a playground.
  • some local gyms offer discounts based on family size or income bracket.
  • cloth diapers for babies (this has been a life saver for us when we didn’t have disposable diapers on hand or the money for diapers). Yes cloth diapers are more work, but save on money and the environment.
  • cook a lot of your meals, trying to use ingredients you have on hand.
  • do DIY cakes, foods, decorations, games for Birthday parties. We did a DIY of a maypole and castles made of brown refrigeration boxes for Nevaehs medieval themed birthday party last year (there were like 15 plus kids so we were glad we didn’t spend a lot on a big Birthday party otherwise).

There are probably hundreds of ways to save money that I am missing. That is where you come in.

What do you do to save money with kids? what do you do to save money in general?

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Recipes: Instant Chicken Parmesan


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I am all about simple and cheap meals so when I saw this recipe in a little booklet I own called Our Favorite Cheap &Easy Recipes by Vickie and Joann (read their blog here for more cheap and easy recipes other than what’s in my book) I had to do it. I have actually made this meal for months and each time I make it the kids get more fond of it. So here it is:

  • 28 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce (normally I buy the $1-2 jars)
  • 4 to 6 frozen breaded chicken patties (about $1.50-$2)
  • 4 to 6 slices of provolone cheese (about $3)
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese (about $2.99- $3.99)
  • Optional: cooked thin spaghetti (about $1)

Spread sauce in an ungreased 13″X9″ baking pan; arrange frozen chicken patties on top. Place a slice of provolone on top of each patty; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 20 minute. Uncover and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly. Serve over cooked spaghetti, if desired.

The below pictures are what I took of the most recent meal. I served the patties with thin spaghetti.  The meal is quick, cheap and yummy.  *

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* All opinions are my own.
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