First Week of College, and Beyond!

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I survived the first week of college! After ::cough 17 years cough:: a long time, it’s quite an adjustment getting back into the swing of studying, doing homework, and all of the other things that go into being a mom, wife, blogger/Influencer, and special needs advocate for my big kiddo.

I wanted to share with you some things that have helped me, and the family adjust to the change.  It’s just two classes, but that’s 10-12 hours a week of studying, reading, and homework outside the classroom, and that time comes out of the time I previously spent with the kids, working on the blog/social media, petting the cat, ya know, mom stuff.

Bitty is now going to preschool two days a week. Our city’s Parks and Rec department has a drop off preschool two days a week. It’s approximately $150 for 8 weeks, which is a great price, and she is in a class with 13 other kiddos her age, several of them she knows from her daily visits to the local YMCA Child Watch. While she is at preschool, I have three hours to work on school work. It’s amazing to be able to read and work on my homework in peace. If you need a few hours to get work done, check your local Parks and Rec department for this type of preschool.

Family: As someone who has family nearby, having my family able to help out with school pick ups and therapy drop offs, it is a Godsend. My parents, brother and sister-in-law have really stepped in and helped us with the kids and house. Last week Miss Sally (my car) needed new front and rear brakes, and two new tires. Thanks to my Sister-in-law, niece, and my parents I didn’t have to walk home with Bitty (5 miles with a 3 year old- No thanks) or call an Uber.

Schedule: As a family, we have a shared calendar on iCal, in which I put all of the kids appointments, weekly commitments, birthdays, deadlines. In addition, I also have a calendar (this one) in the master bathroom on my cork board. Yes, I have a cork board in the master bathroom next to the vanity, so we can see whats on the schedule for each day.  Having everything in the palm of my hand (on my phone), and in a place that is visible to us (calendar) has really helped keep us focused and on task.

Remembering my Skill-Set: I’m not reinventing the wheel here. To maximize my productive time, I make sure to use my previously honed skills: Meal Planning, Meal Prep, setting out everyone’s clothes the night before, making lunches the night before, organizing areas of the house to help us get out of the house in the morning on time.

So while you may see less blog posts until I get in the full swing of it all, but I’m still posting on Social Media like a madwoman.

I want you all to know that it doesn’t matter what your age, if there is something you want: College, new job, more time with your family, vacation.. Do it! Change can be scary, but believe in yourself and have a plan! It might be rough at first, but stick with it.

Enough motivational speaking from me, I have homework to do!

Talk Back: What have you done recently that moved you out of your comfort zone?

Teachers: Score a Free Taco at Rubios!

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Back to school has started for most of us, but by 9/8/16, most teachers will be ready for a little pick me up! Check this pretty long list of folks that qualify for a free taco on September 8th in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day!

While you are checking it out, scroll at the way to the bottom of the page and join the Beach Club. You’ll score a free taco, as well as all sorts of awesome perks through the year (Like free noms for your birthday!).

Two VentureFlex Shoes for $40 Plus Free Shipping at Reebok!

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

If you haven’t finished your BTS shopping yet, here is a great sale. Through tonight, can get two pairs of  two pairs VentureFlex Shoes for $40 + Free Shipping with the code Venture.

After years of Lil’ Man destroying shoes (Boys have some crazy super powers!), I wised up and started buying him better made shoes. They may be a little more expensive at the start, but they last so much longer that I’m saving money in the long run!

Reebok has a lot of great sales coming up! I’ll try to post about them as they go live!

Save 15% on iTunes gift cards $25 or more at JCPenney! #iTunesJCP15

file0001262541721I’m a big fan of gift cards, especially when they are on sale, so this deal is right up my alley!

Starting today through August 29th at JCPenney’s you’ll save 15% on iTunes gift cards $25 or higher! If you haven’t finished your Back to School shopping, make sure to stop by JCPenney’s and check out this deal.

But wait… It gets better. You can double dip if you’ve got a rewards credit card. We’ve got the American Express Blue Cash credit card and we receive  2% cash back rewards on purchases made at department stores including JCPenney. Check your rewards credit card to see if you get a special amount or even extra rewards at department stores.

And here is a triple dip idea: If you’ve got the Receipt Hog rebate app (learn more about it here) you can scan in your receipt to earn points towards an Amazon Gift Card or cash via Paypal.

I love buying gift cards on sale because it’s like getting money for free. I am always on the hunt for gift cards on a discount- it helps stretch our gift giving budget.

Whether you opt to give these discounted gift cards as gifts (they’d be well paired with some new earphones or as a stocking stuffer), or keep them for yourself to purchase apps, music, movies or ebooks. Did you know iTunes Gift Cards can be used in the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or Mac App Store? iTunes gift cards make a great gift for pretty much anyone- especially college kids, teachers, or that hard to shop for teenager on your holiday shopping list.

To celebrate this awesome deal, the sponsor of this post is hosting an awesome giveaway of a $25 Amazon e-gift card. Everyone could use an extra $25, right?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I had to share this deal with you and I hope you’ll share it with your friends!

This deal is only valid on iTunes gift cards available for purchase in JCPenney stores that have a $25 value or more. This deal specifically excludes $15 iTunes Gift Cards. For more details, check with your local JCPenney store. This is a sponsored post from our friends at Tatu Digital Media, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Frugal ways to help your Child’s School!

For most of us, school starts soon, if it hasn’t already started… That means the fundraising will start.  Wrapping paper, candy, candles, you name it, you’ve probably seen a catalog and a doe-eyed child selling something to raise money for their school.

We’ve got a pretty tight budget around out house, and $12/roll wrapping paper is not in my budget, but I do want to help Lil’ Man’s school. Here are a few ways that you can help your kiddo’s school. If your kid isn’t in school yet, ask the parent of your favorite mini-fundraiser if their school participates in any of these programs!


Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 10.21.07 AMBox Tops for Education (BTFE):
This Program has been around for a while, and it’s probably one of the easiest ways that you can help the school of your choice. Look for these little box top doodads on hundreds of products that you probably already buy (here is a list), clip them, and drop them by your school’s office. LIl’ Man’s class sends home a cute themed Sheet for us to attach up to ten each month. If I have more, I just staple a ziploc bag full to the worksheet. Any parent would be thrilled to receive an envelope of bag of BTFE from family or friends!

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 10.21.16 AMLabels for Education: Similar to BTFE, but this program is run by Campbell’s. To find products that are a part of the Labels fro Education Program, click here.

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 10.21.24 AMTarget’s Take Charge of Education®:
Choose your kids’ elementary school, the neighborhood middle school or any other eligible K–12 school. We’ll donate up to 1% of your REDcard purchases at Target stores in the U.S and at Target.com.

 You can learn more here. 

Escrip: Now this one has been around since I was in High School. It’s super easy. Once your school is registered, all you do is sign your various loyalty cards (like your Vons Card), and shop like you usually do. You school gets a percentage of your total purchase!

The best part about these four programs is that you just do what you already do: Shop and save money! Clipping Box Tops for Education and Labels for Education are not that much different than clipping coupons off of packages.

 

Get a $10 Aéropostale eGift Card!

I don’t shop at Aeropostale, but I bet some of you do!

Just spend at least $20.00 with your registered VISA credit card at an Aéropostale store. This would be a great way to add a a little bit extra to your back to school clothing budget!

Valid through August 6, 2015, or while supplies last.

Please note: Purchase must be made in-store. Online or gift card purchases do not qualify. Limit 1 per person. TrialPay will email you the eGift Card within 1-2 days of your in-store purchase. To get started, click here.

(FYI-Don’t worry! The offer only need your card number to know when you make your qualifying purchase for this offer. It won’t be charged. And it’s an HTTPS address, so you’re safe.)