Merry “Little” Christmas; Experiment in Downsizing

merry little christmas four gifts

This Christmas I am trying something different, trying to “downsize” and simplify our Christmas. I want us to have a Merry “Little” Christmas and here’s why: 

Last Christmas my kids didn’t get a TON of gifts because they wanted more expensive electronics. But they still got quite a few gifts between the two of them. Gifts that I spent not only money on, but energy to go buy, thought into what would be “perfect” for them, and lots of time doing all these things plus wrapping them! Only for both my boys to be excited for a tiny bit and then onto the next thing. It didn’t really seem to matter. None of the planning, trekking from store to store, thought, money, time, or energy really mattered to my two kids. They basically just wanted to go play on their electronics that they got.

As I logged onto Facebook I seen my friend Kristi post about how her kids got four gifts: A Want, A Need, A Wear, A Read.  Something they wanted, something they needed, something they could wear, and something to read. 

I LOVE THIS IDEA! I thought that’s it, that is what I am doing next year! And here it is the next year and I am pretty nervous. Not because my kids will be upset, but because I realize I am the reason they are spoiled!

I am having a hard time not just buying stupid junk as a gift for each of them. I am realizing that I see more value in “stuff” then I realized. I need this simplifying just as much if not more then my kids!

I just want to bring Christmas back to the reason we celebrate in the first place. And gifts are not the focus in this house! My kids will still know that we love them even if we are “only buying them 4 gifts” and they will still be “spoiled” by their grandparents I am sure!

As part of the four gifts this Christmas there will be less shopping, less stress, less wrapping, less gimmies. Which as years go on and I can continue to follow this plan hopefully will become less and less!! When you “only” get one want you learn to be a bit picky for what you ask for 😉

I want my kids to remember the time we spent together as a family, not the gifts they received.

WANT: Something they want, the thing they want the most, doesn’t need to have any meaning

NEED: Something they need; “needs” will be a little different then normal needs, because I won’t gift my child something they need, but more like it would be “nice to have” ie a case for a new Kindle that they bought themselves 😉

WEAR: something to wear; can be any thing to wear. I am getting my one son a watch that he will wear, the other asked for PJ’s

READ: Something to read; obviously a book or magazine. I am getting my oldest a magazine subscription that he will love receiving each month in the mail!

But I am adding two gifts:

Making a Memory :: Something we do as a family. An experience. It could be a trip, or a vacation we will take later in the summer, it could be a group activity. Anything that hopefully years from now, we will all look back at fondly and remember it!

Playing Together :: We love to play board games together as a family. So I think its a great family gift to add to our collection especially as our boys get older and there’s even more games we can all play together.

So that’s how I am trying to scale back and hopefully we can all learn to enjoy the season and each other a little more with less “stuff” to get in the way!

**Please know, I do not think that if you get your kids more then 4 gifts that you are a horrible person or spoiling your kids, or that your kids are ungrateful brats. I am simply sharing what I have learned about and am trying with my family.

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Update on my Continued Get Healthy Journey!

keto results before and after

So as with many people I have been watching what I eat to try and lose weight.  I think I have finally found what works for my body! I would like to share my story with you today.

I have struggled for years with my weight, if anyone has been around here long enough you may know this :) I started posting my weight lost struggles here  and from that point (2011) I put on 40+ more pounds!! I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. I needed to make changes, but just like in the past I was worried I wouldn’t be able to stick with anything and I would just keep yo-yoing up and down.

This past fall a friend had also put on weight and wanted to do something about it so she suggested starting a weight lost challenge with some of our friends. The group started the competition November 1st, 2014. We all had to do a weigh-in video. I was horrified at the weight that day! Honestly, I weighed in at 250! Heavier then I ever was even 9 months pregnant!! Enough was enough!  I HAD to do something.

The first challenge ran from November 1 st- January 1st. During that time I tried cutting calories, no soda, no desserts, etc. It was all about doing what I “thought” was the best for me to lose weight. I ended the challenge losing 16 lbs! I was so happy with myself that even over the holidays I was able to lose weight!

During the weight lost challenge I turned to Instagram for motivation. I was seeing people eating all this amazing looking food that was all the things I loved to eat but couldn’t while dieting. The crazy thing was that they were losing weight! It was called Keto dieting, I didn’t understand it!

Then over the holidays my mother-in-law came over for brunch and she was telling me how she was losing weight eating bacon, cheese, cheeseburgers and more….she was also doing low carb, high fat diet! I thought it sounded really hard to give up cereal, bread, pasta, and potatoes! She was only eating 20 carbs a day! BUT everything she was eating, and those Instagramers were eating were all things I really loved so I thought about giving it a try.

Starting on 12/30 I decided to give this Ketogenic Diet a try. I was weighing in at 234. I figured I would try this out and give myself a month to see if I would lose at all.

By 1/9/2015 I had lost 7 pounds and really believing I could do this! After about a month of doing the diet I had lost 13 lbs! Almost as much as I had lost during the whole 2 month challenge when I just counted calories.

In the beginning of the keto diet I would count everything, calories, carbs, fat, protein, etc. I would try and stick to certain macros  it seemed like more work then just counting calories! I wanted something that was easy so I could stick to this long term, like for life. I decided after about a month to just count net carbs. {Carbs-fiber-sugar alcohols=net carbs} I just stick to around 20 net carbs a day.

By mid March I had lost a total of 41 pounds! 25 of it since being on the Keto diet. I was enjoying what I was eating and wasn’t feeling the need to “cheat” although I did have some meals that weren’t low carb while away with friends for a weekend, or a meal here or there. But day in and day out, even during periods of stress I didn’t feel like I ‘needed’ carbs to feel better.

Any other diet I had tried in the past I was miserable, hungry, and would always be stressed out and want to go off plan. I also had terrible IBS, which meant multiple trips to the bathroom in a day {Sorry for the TMI} and horrible heartburn but with the Keto diet my stomach issues disappeared! That is a testament to me that for my body this is how I was meant to eat.

I enjoy foods that were off limits with low calorie: cream cheese, cheese, sour cream, half and half, bunless burgers, bunless cheese steaks, skillet pizzas,  tacos with low carb tortillas, deviled eggs, pickles, olives, DIPS! with pork rinds, jalapeno poppers, sugar free chocolates!

Since November 2014 I have now officially lost 70 pounds. I weigh in today at 180 and I am not done yet! But I know this is a way of life for me now and have no doubts I will reach my weight loss goals!

Enjoying the journey this time around, stay tuned for updates! If you would like to see more progress pics and food I eat feel free to follow me on Instagram as gooddealmama_loses

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A Little Update! Hopefully Good News

00_hello there_905

Well Hello there any one who is left that reads my little ol’ blog here at Good Deal Mama :) I have so missed blogging but I have been busy with life, and working, and kiddos and just not fully committed to all the time it takes to run this blog like it needs.

Buuuutttt…..as much as I have been gone, I have missed blogging and I have SO many ideas that I want NEED to share with the world, that I have decided to start blogging again.

The old Good Deal Mama was basically all about good deals, coupons, freebies, etc. And my heart is no longer into all that. I still love a good deal! I will still use coupons, but stock piling, and spending hours planning and shopping doesn’t happen around here right now. And that’s ok, I still try to find ways to save without all the fuss. I probably don’t save as much as the person with 108 packs of toothpaste in their basement, but I am ok with that right now.

Maybe someday I will go back to full force couponing, right now I am a everyday saver, a Good Deal Mama if you will 😉 I like to get good deals but its not my main focus.

So if you would like please join me in Phase 2 of Good Deal Mama, where I will blog every so often to pop in with a DYI, recipe, How To, Idea, occasionally a good deal, or maybe just a life story. <3

 

I would really appreciate you sticking around, and look forward to seeing my little blog more often !!

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Hallmark Kids Poster Cards SUPER Cool! #kidscards #CollectiveBias #shop

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

 

hallmark poster card display

I know sometimes kids can discard their birthday cards without really taking the time to read and enjoy them, especially if they can’t even read! Hallmark has new Poster cards for kids that will change the way kiddos enjoy their next birthday card!

The Hallmark Poster Cards are super cool cards that turn into a poster that your child can then hang and enjoy! How “Super Cool” is that?! I know my kids LOVE posters! So with my youngest son’s upcoming birthday I knew that I had to head to Walmart and check out their selection of cards!

I found the kids poster cards on an end cap where all the other greeting cards are found. There were many fun cards to choose from, but I knew that Caiden would love a Spiderman card! Especially because two of his gifts were spiderman themed!

Hallmark Poster Card

He LOVED the poster card! It made him feel so special that he got such a special card for his birthday!

My son’s birthday is actually today!! Happy 6th Birthday Caiden!! We Love you to Infinity and Beyond!!

Did you know that you can get rewarded for buying Hallmark cards? Well you CAN! For every 5 card you purchase you get a reward of your choice!! Its free to sign up HERE!

Make sure you check out Connections from Hallmark to sign up for Hallmark Rewards, and to see great content from other bloggers. Join in the #kidscards conversation on Twitter!

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Did You Know: How to Remove Super Glue from Skin

I seriously never knew how easy it was to remove super glue from your skin! Isn’t it the worse when you get any super glue on your fingers?! I can’t stand it and usually try to avoid using super glue just because I know its going to end up on me some how.

Well my son asked me to fix his binder pocket and handed me the super glue. I of course got it all over me as soon as I tried piercing the top of it! Dang it! So off I went to try to find out how to get it off my fingers!  Found this easy solution on Instructables  so I thought I would share because I can’t be the only person who didn’t know this.

Right?

remove super glue from skin

Tip: Use Lemon Juice instead of water for even more help of removing the super glue! 

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Update On Our New House!

So for those that have been following along and wondering how the progress on our new house is coming…this post is for you!

Here’s some recap post here {when we completely decided to redo all of our plans}, a post with details of the redo of plans, and some photos of the new property we are currently building on

Today I will share with you some of the progress of the new house and I finally picked paint colors!! YAY! Why is picking paint so darn hard?! I was waaaayyy better at it when I was happy to walk up to the Oops paint counter and buy whatever they had messed up for someone else 😉

Here are the photos of breaking ground and putting in the foundation for the basement.

Let me know if you would like to see photos of our floor plan, and/or lot plan 

Here are our paint color choices, they are all Sherwin-Williams colors

our paint colors gooddealmama.com

I will blog later this week how exactly I choose each color and what my plans for each room include :) 

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Jesus Calling Children Devotional

jesus calling book

Wanted to share a devotional that my sons and I are currently reading and I think its excellent! It’s called Jesus Calling : 365 Devotions For Kids: Time-Tested Answers to Your Toughest Questions you can get the book on Kindle edition {how we are reading it} or hardcover. Its priced similar as both right now.

We didn’t start reading it on January 1st like the devotion is dated, but that’s ok! We sometimes read two or three devotions a day depending on how much time we want to spend reading that day.

My oldest son, who is 8, has some issues with worrying and anxiety and I think the messages were perfect for him to hear! I appreciate being able to read with him the bible passage and then a little more about that passage. In helps him to hear it not just from me but someone else as well to really get the message across.

He said just this morning, “Mom the message is just what I need to hear each day” How awesome is that?! So so far we have really enjoyed this devotional.

Click here for Jesus Calling 365 Devotions For Kids: Time-Tested Answers to Your Toughest Questions 

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I’m a Terrible Juggler

juggling

So I need to be real for a minute. I am a terrible juggler! I don’t think I am ever able to juggle everything I need to do each day.  I am a wife, mom, Christian, blogger, event planner, crafter who sells items, etc… Problem is there isn’t one thing I want to give up. I want to be able to do all those things and more!

So basically I need to learn how to better manage my time so that I can continue all those things and excel at them as well!

So who has some juggling tips? I am going to try to start finding some great tips and sharing them with you all! I am hopeful that I am not the only person that struggles with juggling it all!

Image Credit

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