Prepping for Preschool in Style

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Prepping for Preschool in Style

I officially have a preschooler. Preschool! How is that even possible?! The saying is so true that the days are long, but the years are short. The worst part … I’m going to miss Addy’s first day. While my mom takes Addy to her first day, at that exact moment, I’ll be having a c-section. What a day! First day of preschool, new baby, and Cam somewhere in the middle, no big deal. Not at all!

With having another high-risk pregnancy, we are at the point where we’re pretty much home-bound, but that has not prevented us from having a bit of fun shopping for her wardrobe so that she is ready for preschool. It really makes me smile to see how excited Addy is for this new adventure!

This year, our goal has been to streamline her wardrobe. In getting ready for baby #3, I recently reorganized all the clothes Addy and Cam have outgrown, and oh my goodness, let’s just say SO MUCH. We’ve been trying to simplify things around here, so finding pieces that mix and match is really important to me. And because Addy has taken to picking out her own clothes lately – it definitely helps in the matching department!

Which brings us to Gymboree. Have you seen their new look?! I’m absolutely loving their new pieces and how they’re super mixable and reasonably priced. It’s great that so many pieces can move from the fall to winter just with the addition of a cute jacket and tights. Here are a few of our favorite looks.

Prepping for Preschool in Style

T-shirt | Skirt | Jacket | Shoes | Headband

Our fall season in Michigan is completely unpredictable, so for that reason, it is a must to be able to layer our clothes. Some years we are still sitting on the beach, able to enjoy the last snippets of summer-like weather, or like last year, we had snow on the ground. This red bow bomber jacket is so cute and perfect for the ever-changing temps around here!

Prepping for Preschool in Style

Sweatshirt | Skirt | Shoes

Sparkles galore! Just looking at this sweatshirt makes you really want to smile! This skirt is so versatile too because you can really mix it with just about everything, which makes it a perfect addition to Addy’s wardrobe for the year.

Prepping for Preschool in Style

Dress | Jacket | Shoes

I really like the rainbow detail on the different pieces to add a little ‘oomph’ and tie it all together. And you can’t ever go wrong with a jean jacket – a must have for every wardrobe – even for a 4-year-old! Switch the jean jacket out for the red bow bomber jacket from above, and you have a completely different look.

Don’t you just love it all?! Addy is big into sparkle and rainbows – as she always says, she loves all the colors of the rainbow. And as I mentioned before, you really can mix and match all the different pieces. We can’t wait for preschool to start, and with the help from Gymboree, Addy is all set for her first day in style!

Prepping for Preschool in Style with Gymboree

My Favorite Budgeting Tool + A Bonus!

This post may contain affiliate links, which means a commission is earned if you make a purchase via the link. There is no additional cost for you. Budget | Saving Money | Debt | YNAB

 

Budget. One word that can bring up so many different emotions.

When trying to get control of your finances, this is really the first and most important thing you can do. It makes you see how much you truly are bringing in each month (income) AND it forces you to list all of your expenses and debts. A budget means that you are tracking your inflow and outflow. Simple as that.

When we started doing this, it was amazing to see how much we were spending frivolously. It was like a kick in the gut. BUT, it also showed where we could cut back and save!

My favorite budgeting tool that both my husband and I love and use is YNAB* (You Need A Budget).

YNAB

You Need A Budget* (or YNAB) has been a life changer for us. We’ve been users of it since getting married, so almost 6 years now. And they have grown and changed and improved so much over the years.

They base their budgeting system on four rules:

1. Give every dollar a job. 

Every time a paycheck hits our bank account, I go into the YNAB app, or on the computer, and assign EVERY dollar to a category. It causes you to prioritize your money and make your money work for YOU, instead of you working for your money. Having a zero-based budget opened our eyes to where we could cut back and really start saving and throwing money towards debt.

2. Embrace your true expenses.

You know those odd expenses that don’t come around every month? Auto insurance, the water bill, even the dreaded yearly license renewal. We were trapped by them too. It seemed a shock every time payment came around. With YNAB, you can break those into manageable expenses by dividing them into monthly payments. Even though you may not pay out each month, you are paying into that category in your budget, so when that ‘surprise’ bill comes, you already have the money set aside for it. Not only can you do this for irregular bills, but we do this for Christmas. We figure out how much we want to spend that year and divide it by 12. When Christmas comes around, we aren’t spending money we don’t have.

3. Roll with the punches.

YNAB allows flexibility. No one is perfect. There are going to be months where you go over budget in a category. I love how easy YNAB makes it to move money from one category to another in order to cover overspending that might have occurred. Like last month, I made a trip to Trader Joe’s and overspent on groceries. It’s just not safe to let me in that store! In our budget though, I noticed that we underspent on fuel for the month. I was able to easily transfer the extra in our fuel category into the grocery category to cover the overspending. Make your budget work for you.

4. Age your money.

This is a number I love to see. Your initial goal is to age your money 30 days. This means that you are a month ahead of your expenses – not living paycheck to paycheck. The money you bring in this month is actually going towards your bills for the following month. It gives you breathing room. Right now, our money is aged 55 days. So we are almost two months ahead. Our next goal is to have enough saved for 6 months of expenses in case a job loss occurred or something else happened. I love seeing that number get higher and higher because it means we are gaining on our goal!

I can’t say enough how much YNAB has changed our lives in regards to finances and living stress-free. For real though. It’s a budget on the go. You can do everything right from your phone or tablet, as well as on your computer. I use it mainly on the app, and then at the end of the month, I like to reconcile all my accounts through their website YNAB.com*.

It’s a to-the-minute budget. Every time my husband or I make any purchase or deposit, we just input it into the app and we know exactly how much money we have left in each category. It definitely took a little while for us to both get into the habit of doing this, but once we got it, it is really so quick and easy. My husband loves this aspect of YNAB because he can also be up-to-date on everything. I’m home with the kids, so I pretty much do all the money managing. Now we are always on the same page when it comes to finances and monthly spending. He can pull up the app on his phone, and know exactly where we are in our budget. And a new feature I just found out about – if you’re a smart home, you can even check your balances using Alexa!

Check it out. Try it out for free for 34 days. If you sign-up for your free trial using my link*, you’ll actually get an additional month for free (and so will I)! I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed. Like I said, this budgeting tool has truly changed our lives when it comes to our finances. We’re looking to pay down a massive amount (at least in my eyes) of student loans, and YNAB is helping us do it by keeping us on track with day-to-day expenses.

Which brings me to the Bonus!

Undebt.it

The one thing that YNAB does not allow me to do is to have a plan to pay off our student loans. Now, you can have your student loans listed in YNAB. You can have it listed as debt in your budget. YNAB will track it for you, but it only tracks your actual payments. I was looking for a tool that would let me have more of a debt payment manager where I could also see the projection of the loans.

I found everything I was looking for in regards to tracking our student loans in detail with Undebt.it*!

It’s free. It’s easy to use.

My favorite thing about it is looking at the Debt Snowball Table and seeing how much we have paid down and how much we have to go. I also like that I can see the progress of our debt payment as a total and per loan. As soon as you log in, you are at your Dashboard and can see EVERY detail of each loan. Now, I’m a numbers person, so I absolutely love this. If you’re looking to just track the payments of your student loans, YNAB is sufficient for that. But if you want greater detail as in payment plans and payment progress/projection, check out Undebt.it*.

Now, Undebt.it DOES have a premium option. I haven’t personally tried this out yet, but at only $12 a year, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. For a comparison of the free version versus Undebt.it+, here’s a chart* noting the differences between the two. It looks like there are a few neat features with the paid version like a 52 Week Savings Challenge and some extra tracking features. A free 30-day trial is also available if you wanted to check out the premium content.

 

So there you have it. My favorite budgeting tools.

Do you budget? If so, what tools do you use?

Budget | Saving Money | Debt | YNABLinking up at Pretty Pintastic Party

7 Quick + Easy Hairstyles

Easy Hairstyles | Quick Hairstyles | Hairstyles for Beginners | Hairstyles for Moms

When it comes to getting ready for the day, I’m usually, well, always squeezing it in during my youngest’s morning nap while my toddler is vegging out in front of her favorite cartoon. Limited time is the norm, and a few quick + easy hairstyles are a must!

And when I say quick + easy, I mean just that. I’m a complete klutz when it comes to doing my hair, so the fact that I can pull these off, I’m sure you can too!

Read on for 7 quick + easy hairstyles – one for each day of the week (like how I did that?) that will take you from day to night! Make sure to check out the step-by-step tutorials for each!

 

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A Morning Routine for the SAHM

A Morning Routine for the SAHM

I always knew that once my husband and I started having kids, I would want to stay at home with them. And luckily, the hubs was on board with that! I know I am very blessed to have the opportunity to stay at home with my two little ones, and don’t take it for granted.

But let me just say, ladies, it is hard.

Every once in a while, I cringe as soon as I hear the first cry of my youngest. I just want to roll over and get a few more minutes of much-needed sleep. These days just feel mountainous the instant I wake.

On the mornings that start off not ideally, and even on the normal days, if I can get through a quick and easy morning routine, my outlook can completely be turned around. I will warn you though, it’s not anything that is genius. They are actually pretty obvious. But to an over-tired SAHM, these steps are golden.

 

 

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Why Build a Capsule Wardrobe – 5 Top Reasons

 

Why Build A Capsule Wardrobe

Let’s talk capsule wardrobes for a moment. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not one to jump onto new trends. I’m pretty boring like that. But this whole capsule wardrobe thing raised my curiosity. Every time I browsed Pinterest, I was bombarded with the latest seasonal capsules, and they recently won my heart over! I’m recently just built my first Spring capsule wardrobe this year, and I’m telling you, they are a game changer! Read on for the 5 top reasons why you should build your own capsule wardrobe.

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