black onesie: amazon | play pearl necklace & tights: target | skirt: h&m
white bloomers: thrifted (originally a part of Em's summer wardrobe) | shoes: honeysuckle shoes
Remember last year when I went on and on about how holidays with a baby where seriously the best thing ever? Well this year I'm having to correct my previous self because it's turning out that holidays with a toddler are seriously SO MUCH FUN! This Halloween season Emery is actually old enough to get excited about what's going on around her, and I've been working hard to keep the festivities flowing freely to help her enjoy the holidays as much as possible! I have a family costume planned for us to wear for our bigger Halloween party with friends this year, but realized a couple of weeks ago that between Boo-at-the-Zoo, fall festivals, and a Halloween kid's party we're throwing later this week, that Emery needed a costume that could stand as it's own piece instead of having to be a part of the whole family gig. Last weekend Kyle and I were watching some classic Mickey Mouse Halloween shorts with Emery on Netflix, and the idea came to me that a Minnie Mouse costume for Emery would be pretty adorable and easy to pull together for a fairly inexpensive price. The only part of her costume I had to make was her ears and they cost me less than $3, and the rest of the costume was from items already in her closet or things that I bought but knew that she'd be able to wear with other outfits on a regular basis making it more worth the money! I'll link the details to her outfit (not sponsored, just giving ideas for where to go if you need any of the costume items ☺️ ) and of course include DIY instructions for her ears below, but hope that this post will help any mamas stressing about dressing up their toddler this year know that they can look to their own closets first before having to rush to the store to spend a bunch of money on a ready made costume. With a little creativity, a cute, simple, and inexpensive costume is easy to do, and adorable too!
DIY: Minnie Mouse Toddler/baby girl Costume
cost: $5 max | skill level: easy | total time: 30 minutes
How to Make it:
Happy DIY-ing this Halloween season! I can't wait to see everyone's fun costumes & creativity!
emery's bow: sweet little soul
So..... the past five days or so it has been literally freezing cold in Kentucky. Like chill you to the bone, too cold to breath or even think about going outside to even check the mail cold. I'm not really sure what the deal with the weather is since we had weather into the 60's all throughout February, but this last week of freezing temperatures put me a little out of spirits and made me a major hermit. I finally decided that I needed to get out of my rut, but since going outside obviously still wasn't an option, we decided to bring the fun indoors with some finger (or in Em's case full body 😉 ) painting! This was Emery's first time finger painting and I was soooo happy that she actually liked it and enjoyed getting into the paints! She was a little apprehensive at first, but I think that once she realized that it was okay for her to get messy in the paints she went to town on it and had a blast! We had a few of her baby friends over and had a blast with diapered babies and messy paints for a whole afternoon! The best part about these paints in that they are 110% safe for babies to use and are even edible! We made them straight from everything in our kitchen in less than 5 minutes and were having fun immediately after! I figured that I'd include a quick DIY in here so that if anyone reading is itching to have some fun you can give it a try! I hope you all enjoy! Happy DIY-ing!
skill level: easy | total time: 5 minutes | cost: free!
And that's it! Easy peasy and provides a ton of fun for you and your little one! Just as one last note, because the paints are made out of food, these definitely aren't the types of paintings that you'll be hanging up on the fridge once they're done (we just tossed the garbage bags and paper in the trash when done for quick cleanup) but it does make for a great sensory activity for babies and can also be great to work on colors with toddlers. Hope you all enjoy!
So, my No Spend New Year is coming to a close, and even though for the most part it's been a lot of fun, it hasn't been without it's temptations and challenges. One of said challenges has been Target's Dollar Spot, and this month it was especially hard to avoid because they had all of their Valentines decor up and it was seriously giving me a case of the love bug! I knew that I'd be so mad at myself if I broke my New Year's resolution on a $3 Valentine's decoration, so instead I set to work to create a fun little Valentine's craft/activity that I could do with H & Emery! I already had all of the supplies needed at home so it was completely free to do, and it makes for a fun little way to save my kid's artwork (or for H's mom to save his since she'll be getting his card soon 😉 ) . For me the biggest challenge was getting the right shaped heart cut out of the paper and free handing the "LOVE" on the front, so to make it easier for anyone reading that wanted to do this with your kids, I've also included a FREE card template that you can print at the bottom of the tutorial so that the hardest part is already completed for you!
skill level: easy | Total Time: 1 hour | Total Cost: FREE
And.... that's it! I know that it's not the most ingenious craft ever blogged about or created, but hopefully at the very least it'll provide a fun afternoon with the kiddos when it's too cold to go outside, or maybe even a cute, handcrafted Valentine to give to grandparents or moms/dads!
Hope you all enjoy! Thanks for reading & happy crafting!
Since getting married 3 1/2 years ago (and especially since having a baby), I've really come to appreciate what were once extremely undervalued date nights. After a long week of work/school there's nothing more exciting than knowing that I'll get to spend some quality planned out time with my favorite person doing something that we both enjoy. The funny thing about date nights though is that the older Kyle & I become, the harder time we have actually making date nights happen. We still spend plenty of time together, but especially since Emery has joined our crew we spend much less time together that could be considered an actual "date night", nor do we have tons of extra cash laying around for us to spend on traditional date night activities. Back when we were newlyweds we had a bit more time to each other but still no cash because we were trying to save up for dental school, so we had to get kind of creative when it came to figuring out fun date nights. I decided to resurrect that fun/frugal mindset for our no-spend new year, and set to work to tweak 10 of your "traditional" date night ideas into dates that are slightly less traditional, but still just as fun! An added bonus is that the majority of them are also baby friendly, so if anyone out there is like us where your baby joins you on the majority of your dates, you can know that there's still some fun options out there for you too. 😉
That sums up our date night alternatives! Are there any favorites that you and your significant other have that aren't on my list? If so drop them in a comment below or share your free date nights on Instagram with #nospendnewyear so that we can all share in your fun ideas! I hope that everyone is having a great start to the year! I'd be lying if I said this no spend new year hasn't had a few temptations/challenges that I've had to turn away from, but it feels great to be able to save for a rainy day and still have fun in the process! Here's to the rest of January!
Before Kyle and I came out to Kentucky, I worked at a credit union for about 3 1/2 years. I worked through a total of four January's, and every year I would see the same trend of individuals coming in to work at their New Year's resolution to reduce the amount of debt that they had accured in the previous year. People would try anything from consolidation loans to cash only budgets, and unfortunately much like most resolutions, I'd see individuals slip back into their old spending habits by Spring to yet another year of overspending. Working so closely with people's finances had quite the impact on me, and that combined with marrying an extrememly frugal/money smart man, changed me from someone who loved shopping and spending to someone who still loves shopping, but also loves to save and enjoys a sense of fnancial security. Last fall, one of my girlfriends mentioned that she was trying to do a "No Spend November" and invited me to join in. At that point in time I had already started on my Christmas shopping and knew that it wouldn't be a realistic goal for me to achieve, but I really liked the concept and decided that it was something that I would still like to try and put into practice at a better time. That better time has come, and I am all set (and four days into) what I'm calling my NO SPEND NEW YEAR! I'm really excited to see the results of my little challenge, and hope that you'll join in on the fun with me! The best part about it? It's free! (Though let's admit it, it'd have to be to be a true no spend challenge 😉 )
So, here's how it will work. For the month of January, starting on the 1st (or whenever you're able to join in) and ending on January 30th, the goal is to not spend any extra or "unneccessary" money. To start the challenge, you'll want to sit down with your finances and first figure out what counts and necessary and what does not. For Kyle and I, it helped to write it down so that we knew for each of us what would need to be to cut out. Here's a basic example of our list:
Once you have your list written out, then the rest of the month is the easiest/hardest part of the challenge, which is to actually stick to your list of needs. It's easy because there's not necessarily any budgeting that needs to be done (which for me is always a challenge because it's so boring and tricky to figure out) but it is tricky becuase it requires having to be honest with yourself when out shopping and deciding what really is a basic need and what fits into what is inevidably the longer list of wants. It's only been four days and I've already had to remind myself that buying new clothes for Emery fits into the "want" catagory because even though clothing is technically a baby need, it's not so much a need when she already has a closet full of clothes that fit her just fine. 😉 I feel like the hardest part about these challenges is that they can sometimes seem to take all of the fun out of life because so many things do cost money (date nights, home decor, new outfits, etc.) which is why the second part of this challenge for me is going to be working to find ways to take the things that would normally cost money in order to have fun, and find different ways to do them for free! Throughout the month I'll be sharing money free ideas for date nights, fashion, home organization, and fitness and maybe even a few other things along the way depending on what I run into! I can't wait to get to the end of the month so that I can see realistically how much Kyle and I could save if we do cut down to just the basics! I know that it's not realistic to have every month be a basics only month, but am hoping that being able to see the savings grow will create a stronger motivation in the future to cut down on a few more of those wants to save for a rainy day in the future. I hope that you'll all join along with me! Do you have anything specific that you'd like to see done in a money free way? If so, I'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment below and I'd be happy to work through the challenge and put your ideas and challenges into a post! Do you have any special secrets on how you do things money free that you'd want to share? If so, email me and let's collab! I can't wait to see what this month brings and what fun things we can come up with along the way!
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.