Friday, May 30, 2014

65.5% savings?! I'll take it.

Okay! I told you all to look out for my post today! I went to Dollar Tree and Publix today to do my shopping, did you know that Dollar Tree accepts coupons?! Be sure to check your area to be positive. :)

Let's get this party started!

Here is what I got from Dollar Tree- I have to start by saying that a few things that I wanted, they did not have at this particular store. :( boo. Anyway:: 
 I bought 1 pack of Sunflower kernels (for N) 1 pack of sunflower seeds ( for mom and dad) 3 bottles of Ketchup and 1 box of Taco shells! All for $3.92 before tax. I saved $2.25. It makes it $0.60 an item. This is the first time I've couponed at Dollar Tree, and besides the cashier inspecting every inch of each coupon- it was a good trip. :)
I saved 65.5%!!! 

Now for the best part!! 
Isn't it beautiful? 
I won't go into how many of each item I got- you can clearly see. :) but I will say that I bought 22 items. Spent $15.32 and saved $36.15!! $.069 an item!! SERIOUSLY? Amazing!! I saved 70.3% 

Together I saved 66.6%! Yeah, not the best numbers.. But woot woot!!! :) 

Like I've said before I am no extreme couponer--  but I think I do pretty well. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cricut is offering 33% off!

**This sponsored post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

33% Off All Supplies and Accessories AND Free Shipping (on $35+ Orders) at Cricut
With a summer full of fun activities to plan, the sale at Cricut couldn't be more timely! Now you can get 1/3 off of all supplies and accessories at Cricut (that's 33%) ending 6/3! Also, you can get free shipping on all orders totaling $35 or more! This is the best time to stock up on your project supplies—images, project plans, even treat yourself to a Cricut Explore™, the design-and-cut system for making amazing, affordable DIY craft projects. Cricut even features projects from their online community that you can make, and free images of the week to help inspire your next work of art. Invitations, tee shirts, tableware, wall murals... this summer Jumpstart Your Cutout Art at Cricut.

This week's Cricut Featured Project:

Etched Glass Citrus Tumblers (Easy)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tot school week 6

We have finally made it thru 6 weeks of tot school!  Just in time too, since Summer has practically started and I am so districted all things summer! I decided just a few days into tot school that we will do to 6 weeks of school and take one week off, which couldn't come at a better week. With Memorial Day Monday we all need a break! :)

This week wasn't as planned as I'd like to be, I am vowing now that our next 6 weeks will be planned out better! Trial and error right?

We did some pompom transferring with a muffin tin. She was NOT interested in this at all!
She was however very interested in the tongs we were using to transfer the Poms. 
It was cracking me up how hard she was trying to figure them out!
Then I made colored rice. The color on the left is purple, not black. :)
It was SUPER easy to make and it only cost me $2! Dollar Tree baby!!
I'll write another post about that!

Here she is trying to figure out what all of this is, we haven't played with rice in this form. :)

Here one piece fell onto the floor and she was trying to pick it up.

After we mixed it up, she didn't seem to mind it was all over the floor! 

This was a good 45 minute activity. Next time we play with it, I hope it will be in one of our theme weeks. :)

 While I was cleaning up, she thought it would be fun to play with the top. Silly girl. :)

We spent a lot of time outside and at N's cousins baseball games, so we didn't do as much as we would have hoped. We still had an amazing week and look forward to our festivities tomorrow! 

Until next time.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Pompom transfer with Lolly.

Here is a little snippet of a post from Natalie's Lolly, when she was able to have a little school session with Natalie one morning. 

"Wow! What an opportunity it was to help Natalie with school. She picks up on things so fast. I  so proud to be able to call her my grand daughter. And for her to call me Lolly. I had to show her just a few times what to do and she did it. She seems to lose interest fast, but what one year old doesn't. For what she did do it was great. I can't wait to see all of her achievements in the future. With the mommy and daddy she was blessed with, this beautiful little girl is going to move mountains!"

On this day, Natalie was suppose to transfer Pom Poms from one bowl to another bowl with a spoon.

 Look how little she looks!!

Natalie looks like she had so much fun! She's so interested in learning it's unreal!!

For more posts about N's school time, follow me to get email updates!
Until next time. 

Publix shopping trip.

I just brought it one of my biggest savings yet from Publix! At the beginning of this year we decided to start a budget of only $30 a week for groceries. No, I don't always use coupons, so sometimes we go over. Normally that is only when we need to restock some essentials that hadn't been on sale. Generally I've been saving right at 50% which is good! Great even when considering how much groceries are!! 
Today I brought home all of this:: 

That is:
1 gallon of milk, 2 bags of Lays chips,2 things of Crystal Light drink mix, 2 boxes of Hefty slider bags,4 bags of Knorr pasta sides,2 boxes of Fruit Loops, 6 boxes of Bagel Bites (which will probably be gone by the end of the weekend) 1 pound cake, 1 package of smoked sausage, 2 pages of frozen vegetables, 1 Resolve stain stick, and 4 boxes of Capri Sun!!!

ALL for.. You ready:: $25.47 before tax!

This is 28 items for $0.91 a piece!
I saved $55.33 which is 68.5% savings! 

I am no extreme couponer, but with deals this good, why wouldn't you coupon!!??

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Free Images at Cricut!

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Free Images and Featured Projects at Cricut
Sometimes all we need to get the creative juices flowing is a little inspiration, and at Cricut they have just the thing. Each week Cricut posts free images of the week that you can download and use to create hundreds of new projects—from iron-ons for fabric to vinyl stickers for furniture—each one paired with an exciting project that you can make. In addition to the image, they also feature projects from their online community, both easy and moderate in complexity, everything for all levels of DIYers. All of these cutout designs can be made with the Cricut Explore™, a design-and-cut system for making amazing, affordable DIY craft projects. It’s the easiest way to turn an idea into a finished project right in your own home. Check out Cricut to jumpstart your own cutout art.

Here are the free image and featured projects for this week... 

You should know that I am planning to use these images, if I  get the time to play with my Cricut this week! I just received an order of vinyl and I am ready to cut away! 

Go here to see more great products from Cricut! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


There are changes a brewing here on the Criswell blog space! I started this blog, to just keep everyone up to what is going on here at home, and I want it to turn into more! You may start seeing me post more links to other sites as I learn my way around the blog space sites. While I will still post constantly on what is happening to my beautiful girl, I also hope to become more organized and get involved with some sites to help better the experience here.

It may seem like a cluster the first few weeks, or even months while I figure things out. So keep following me, I may need YOUR help! I've written before how I am a starter of things and not a finisher- this blog is perfect for me! There is not a finish sign. I will be able to keep going! Since it is a home "business" I will be able to work at my own pace. Which means if I have a sick baby- or on vacation, I don't HAVE to write!

I am still in the learning stages, I have printed out a Blog Planner that came in my Homemaking Bundle- and it talks of making plans and having projects. I have no idea what kind of projects it even means!

I also want to encourage you to follow me! I have a button on the side of my page where you can enter your email address, while I am also still working out some kinks on that end, I hope you come back and visit until I am able to get emails sent out!

Thank you for believing in me! I couldn't do this without people that are constantly asking me about my blog. :)
I hope to become a world famous Mommy Blogger! Haha.

Thanks again!

Until next time.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Pinterest Fail

You know all of the posts on Facebook and Pinterest of Pinterest fails? Do you all think- hah I could do that, those people are stupid? Have you ever tried anything off of Pinterest and failed? Well, I just had my first Pinterest fail. I may have had more, but this is all I'm ready to admit and what I've actually documented. 
I- if any of you follow me on Pinterest- have become quite the Pinterest junkie. My step-mom actually told me I should attend Pinterest Anonymous. 
Okay, so I get on Pinterest and find this::
Supposedly- you can take cocoa powder  and mix it with any kind of lotion, and you'll end up with pretty tan legs. 
So I got my empty bottle and mixed up my ingredients. 
Here is what I looked like before:: 
Pretty white huh? Yea- don't judge. 
I get my lotion ready and start to rub it on one leg.
I am pretty sure I either didn't mix it right, or it just doesn't work. Here is what it looked like::

Like I said; don't judge. I put a huge dollop of lotion on thinking I just needed more moisture. Whew. Maybe I need more regular lotion? But my first attempt at super tan legs, super fast. 


Oh! And dogs really like the smell of chocolate lotion, so I wouldn't suggest having any animals or kids around when trying this. 

I so plan to try again, and work on my measurements. :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Tot school week 5

This week, again has been pretty crazy. But we got a few things fit in, and had a ton of fun in the process!  
Monday we had a busy day with my car, so we just stacked blocks when we got home..well..I stacked blocks. :)

We spent another day with threading. Practice make you perfect right?? She picked up on it right away again. I then put out a few of the shapes and asked her to pick out the cow. She would pick it up and we would work on what a cow says. She can "moo" but not without prompting.
Then we looked at our picture books, and she had a ball pointing things out. I'm prettying sure that she is trying to say "what's that?" I love that she is wanting to know things, this is one of the reasons I started "tot school" is to get her excited about learning, while having fun!
She's becoming quite the big girl. She walked up these few stairs by herself. When I would go to help she started fussing at me! :) I can't believe she's trying to grow up on me!
We tried some matching, we haven't tried matching before this, she could look at the card in her hand and either pointed to or picked up its match. She did this over and over, getting them right every time. I noticed after 6 cards she got overwhelmed and distracted so I left it at 6. 
We tried another puzzle activity that she had no interest in before. I showed her how to get the pieces on once, and she could get them on from then. She did have trouble getting them off, even after showing her, she would get frustrated when she couldn't get them off. We, of course, will keep trying!
I am loving the opportunity I have to stay home and teach my daughter. If any of you ever get the chance- please promise me you'll take it. It is so rewarding seeing your child grow before your eyes.

Until next time.

Monday, May 12, 2014


You know that feeling you get when you finish everything on your to-do list and more? It's pure bliss. You run around and do the happy dance, the quick jump up and down and around in circles. With your hands air bumping the sky?! YEAH THAT feeling. The feeling of a job well done, a feeling of satisfaction. It's amazing.
I totally have this feeling. I love it! I started cleaning the house last night after my last post, and finished today during nap time. :)
AND I mean clean. De-cluttering, dusting and vacuuming. It feels nice.
I was tired of being embarrassed of my house. Well, I AM embarrassed of my house, and it stops today. I vow to myself, to my husband, and to my beautiful girl, that this home of ours will always make us proud.
We may not always live in this particular house, but wherever we are, it will be home, and I will make it so we are proud. :)
The hardest part, since the easiest part is cleaning it, will be keeping it clean! I've always been told if you want to do something, you will make the effort to do that. I really want this- so it will be done. 
Stay tune for updates. 
Until next time. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Start

Tomorrow( May 12.) I am suppose to start on a journey to become a more productive housewife and mother. It is suppose to be a 14 day journey, and to say that it will take longer than 14 days... Maybe I should just start later. I had every intention of starting Monday, having all day at home, just the kids and I. And get started on day One! Which of course is waking up and starting to clean! Really deep clean, because once you get that part down, your practically there. BUT as luck would have it, my car broke down. 

It started with a cracked windshield on the way to my grandparents house yesterday afternoon, and ended with me needing a new window, an oil change, and possibly either a new battey or alternator. Oh yeah, what an amazing Mother's Day to me. We actually had hope this morning that everything was going to be dandy with my van, but then it wouldn't start. After church we took the battery to get tested and it was only 29% charged. When they told me that a new battery was $110... Eeck! We decided to wait on the battery and find out if it is for sure the battery or if it could be the alternator. While I'd much rather pay $110 for a battery than a new alternator, I don't want to pay for both of if don't have to. 
I really don't even know what I want to cross my fingers for tomorrow. What if I need both?!
I mean really, the whole saying; when it rains it pours. Very much in effect right now.

On another note, I have a great Mother's Day otherwise. Breakfast, church, lunch and then my favorite mother in law took me, my sister in law, our Mommom and one of her friends to see Mom's Night Out. YOU should go see it! Amazing movie and it makes you see things from a different way. :) 

Also::: if it selfish of me to be hiding in the bathroom writing this, while my husband is trying to figure out what to do with my daughter who is covered head to toe with Mac n cheese sauce? No? I hope not. And I really hope they don't find me! This weekend has turned into a not so fun one, and I just want to curl up in my sheets and hide.
Ah, they found me. I must go tend to my motherly duties.

Until next time. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Does she know what sleep means?!

Back to us trying this new "thing" to help N sleep on her own.. Yeah.. not so much.

After my last post I was feeling quite confident on the sleeping front, thinking oh yeah! we got this!

Apparently not!

Monday evening was our first night.

Tuesday evening.. OH MY!
She was so tired, after not having much of a nap, and started rubbing her eyes and acting very sleepy around 7:30 that night.

I decided to go on and get her ready for bed and try it out.

I tried the holding her hand thing.
Telling her to lay down and go to sleep. That she was a big girl and big girls sleep in their own beds.
She would lay down for a few seconds, but then pop right back up.
Then I got out this frog, turtle thing that shines stars on to the walls and ceiling, thinking this would distract her enough and eventually fall asleep.
I then decided I would try to let her cry.
I'd let her cry for about 5 minutes, go back in, give her a hug and kiss and lay her back down.
She'd cry for a little longer this time, then I'd do the same thing.
After a few times with this, I tried holding her to get her tired and close her eyes. When I lay her in her crib she'd pop right back up!

I finally told her that I was going to bed and she would just have to cry.
And I left.

Lee let her cry for about 10-15 minutes and then went and got her, it still took him around 20 minutes to get her asleep in his arms.

This all took place from 7:30 to 10:00pm.

AHHHHH. Guess who was up around 11:30?!?

What do I do?!

Last night she fell asleep in the car on the way home, and stayed asleep until 1 this morning in her own bed.

Should I start driving her around at night until she is asleep and just transfer her?


Tot school week 4

This week was pretty laid back. N and I had the fun task of taking the little that I watch in the afternoons to school, and pick her up. Let's just say it has been a LONG week. School wise though, we have had some good moments!

We were very fortunate in receiving some new educational toys to try out at home. I would love to reveal how we came into all of it, but I will just leave the details to the Good Lord! While I had a few things on our schedule to take care of, once we received our new things, every thing went to psh! One day we actually spent all of school time and more going thru each and everything we received! It took N and I almost 3 hours to play with everything! I did not take any pictures on this day, because some times we need a break from the camera to just play! However, on the days we DID school, we have some pictures! :)

We tried putting pennies into a piggy bank. She did surprisingly well.Can I just say that I am very VERY proud of my little girl? She is very smart and picks up on things very well. So with every activity this week, she did surprisingly well. :) I did not have to show her what to do, I just gave her the piggy and a handful of pennies and she went to town!
*Sorry about the blurries* She got REALLY excited when they started making the "ching" sound.
And again- too cute!

Our next activity was suppose to be a rip and tear one- but she didn't want to tear the paper. I gave her a few torn sheets and she just tried to stick them to herself like a sticker. That would probably be in result of us playing with stickers all day last week. ;)

We also painted our Mommom a cross picture for her birthday! Things started out well enough..
Then she just couldn't resist!
Today I wasn't going to force school so I decided to just sit in the floor with her and play around with some pompoms and read some books. At one point we were both laying on our backs in the floor looking at pictures in a book. It's the simple things.

Then I decided to see what she would do with one of our new toys. After I showed her that the stick gets threaded thru the toys with holes she caught on.
She gets very excited when she figures something out on her own! I really hope this joy of learning stays with her through her life.
Concentrating hard to get it thru!

Here she is playing telephone! She kept saying "heh HEH!?" Think maybe she knows phones used to come with cords like that?! She has got it down!
While playing with our new toys she grabbed a book and wanted to read, she WOULD NOT let me read to her! We also had a cow from the box and I asked her what the cow says, after a few times of her ruff ruffing, I thought she wouldn't catch on, and finally before I gave it up, she says "mmmmm" "mmmmm". In my book that is "Moo" and close enough!! Maybe tomorrow we can take a field trip to see real cows on the side of the road!

This week has been an amazing week school wise. Her Lolly had one morning to herself, and I will try hard to get her to do a little guest post for me. Hehe.

Until next time.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Let's try this sleeping thing again.

Last night we started a new technique that we haven't tried to get N to fall asleep on her own. The whole idea behind it is that we sit in a chair next to her bed and reassure her that we are still there, and not going to be leaving her. I seriously believe that N gets scared, which is why we are up several times a night, as well as fighting her to go to sleep. Last night, we came home from the ball game, ate dinner, brushed teeth, you know the normal routine.. Then I decided to go on and try to get her in bed. Let me tell you- I thought I was going to be in there for at least an hour, because my child is a screamer!
  Needless to say-- N surprised me! When I first lay her down she did scream, and kept standing up, I thought OH Lord please help me! I remembered that everyone says the child needs to be almost asleep or very tired before being laid down. OK- I can do that. I took her out and rocked her for a few minutes, enough for those beautiful eyes to close for a few minutes.Then I took the leap and lay her down in her bed, she was immediately alert and start fighting me, I got her down and kept reassuring her that I was here and will hold her hand.
   The hand holding seemed to be the trick. I continued to sing to her and hold that little hand until she was asleep. Now this wasn't an immediate thing, but I wasn't in the room for an hour either. It took me a few times leaving the room and her waking up, before she was completely out.
   I crossed my fingers hoping she would stay asleep all night, but knew that probably wasn't going to be the case.Of course, she was awake at 11:30, with me just having to pick her up, give her a kiss, and lay her back down. Then another time around 4am, with it being just about the same, with a little hand holding. Finally at 6 this morning, I just told Lee to go get her and bring her to bed. It is 8 o'clock right now and she is still sound asleep.

So I ask you- what things have you all tried and succeeded at to get your child to fall asleep on their own and sleep all night?

I do have to say that I am very proud of N and of myself, for sticking to it last night..yes, it was only night one, and we have a LONG way to go, but things are looking up for us. :)

Until next time.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The woes of sleeping beauty

I believe I will never understand the sleeping habits of my daughter. At two weeks old she was sleeping around 6-8 hours a night. Lucky us right? She was in our bed. Yup, in our bed. She took naps in our bed and spent the nights in our bed. As a struggling breast feeder I felt it was easiest. As a mom who couldn't bring her child home with her when released from the hospital, I felt the closest. Dont get me wrong, most nights she started out in her little bassinet next to our bed, but by the next feeding, she was in our bed. Looking back, she never did go to sleep easily. It would take us laying in our bed, cuddling her, just to get her asleep. That is with some fighting on both of our parts. 
**** Took a quick break to grab my screaming child and cuddle her like we used too, she was out in seconds.****

But still the fact remains. I used to have to cuddle her until she was asleep and so the slow crawl/roll off of our bed as to not wake our sleeping beauty. Now, it's a wonder she gets any sleep at all. We've since moved her into her own room, that one we painted a pretty pink and put a crib in with hopes of our daughter actually sleeping there. The first few days were Ahhmazing! She slept peacefully and all night as well. Now:::: I send messages out to my sister and step mom asking WHY WON'T MY CHILD SLEEP!?!

It seems as though she is afraid we will leave her, or something will happen to her  while she's sleeping. We can rock her for an hour, but as soon as we lay her down she wakes up screaming! Even nap times are bad. Today she had a whopping 15 minute nap! Most nights it's a struggle for sure. Psh, what am I talking about- every night is a struggle!

As we are embarking on a new journey to expand our family, this time for real, it's hard to imagine having to continue to fight Natalie while managing a pregnancy and then a newborn. Will this stop? Is it a stage that she will soon *cross my fingers it's sooner* will grow out of? 

I have friends looking to me for advise on how to sleep train their child to sleep.. When in fact I am the one needing the advise!