Budget Friendly Holiday Activities

The holiday season is here! It’s that time of year for family, new and old traditions, and making lots of great memories.

I will admit that I can sometimes be a grinch during the holiday season, but not this year! I’m excited to celebrate Journee’s first Christmas with all our family and friends. I’ve made a list of holiday activities that I’m going to attempt to do before the month is out. Most of these are budget friendly ideas, and baby friendly (minus the boozy hot chocolate!).

1. Christmas crafts- baby’s first ornament

2. A night in with matching PJs and Christmas stories

3. Take Christmas themed pictures

4. Send out Christmas cards

5. Visit tree farm

6. Ugly Christmas sweater party

7. Sensory boxes with bows and wrapping paper

8. Find some holiday lights throughout the city

9. Bake Christmas cookies

10. Visit hotel with Christmas decorations

11. Christmas themed day at library

12. Play Christmas music

13. Unplug and enjoy family time

14. Find boozy hot chocolate recipe

15. Binge on classic Christmas movies

Am I missing anything? Let me know your favorite holiday activities below!

Baby Fall Fashion

So I’ve been on the hunt lately for more fall clothes for Journee. The weather has been up and down here in Texas for the past month at least. Lately thought it’s been more down so I’ve noticed just how sad her fall wardrobe is!  I wanted to share with you guys a few places I’ve had the best luck.

Walmart

So I haven’t been shopping at Walmart very long, but I’ve definitely been missing out! They have lots of options that are super affordable.  My favorite is their baby sweatsuits.  You can usually get the top and pants for about $9, and a lot of them are lined with fleece to keep them extra warm.  I decided to go up a size for Journee to give her a little room to grow in them this season. The only problem I’ve had with Walmart is finding her size.  If you don’t have any luck in the store, be sure to check online!

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Kohls

I just recently checked out Kohls for baby fashion.  It’s not somewhere I normally shop, but I got a coupon in the mail and decided to check them out.  The great thing about Kohls is that you can use multiple coupons (paper or digital) on the same purchase.  For example, on my last visit I used a $10 off paper coupon, $10 off $25 digital coupon, and a 15% off digital coupon! You can’t beat that.  It was all Carter’s brand items, and everything I bought was on sale to begin with.  With those kind of deals, I will definitely add Kohls to my regular shopping list for baby clothes.

 

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Better Baby Boutique

So I discovered this boutique on Instagram a few months ago, and I’m so happy I did.  They have the most chic baby clothes! They have sizes from newborn to toddler.  I can usually get most of their stuff for $10 or less, and their clothes are true to size.  It’s nice to have some one-of-kind items that you can’t just get anywhere.  So check them out and be sure to use code “JOURNEESAVE25” to save 25% off your next purchase!

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Once Upon a Child

This place is definitely my go-to!  I always find the best deals here.  I recently got the cutest fleece pullover my location for $6!  You can also sell your old baby clothes or gear here as well.  I recently sold Journee’s old rocker and used that money to buy her some fall clothes.  Every location is different so you never know what you’re going to find. Be sure to follow your location on social media to keep up with their current sales.

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I hope this helps. Again, these are just some of the places we shop and find great deals. Let me know in the comments where you guys like to shop for your kids!

 

September – NICU Awareness Month

Hey guys! It’s been a while. Journee is SO active these days! It’s hard to get everything done that I want to do some days. I know I’m not the only one right??

With it being NICU Awareness Month, I wanted to share our NICU story with you guys.  Journee had a combo of heart and glucose issues she was dealing with after she was born.  We knew about the heart stuff during my pregnancy, but her glucose issues were a surprise. We spent a whole week there at Texas Children’s Hospital. It was a pretty scary experience.

One of the best things they have at Texas Children’s is access to the Ronald McDonald House.  I stayed there every night after I was discharged.  It was right around the corner from the NICU so I had easy access to Journee.  After my unplanned c-section and limited mobility, having that access to her was so crucial! That place was a blessing!

My heart broke for all the babies in the NICU, not just my own.  There were some tough days in there for sure, and you could hear and see the tears of these families.  I really admired their strength.  I mean, some of the babies had been in there for months!  We were just there a week and it seemed like forever!

I can’t say enough about the NICU nurses.  They were the best! They taught us so much! Of course as new parents, we had ALL the questions.  The nurses showed us everything from how to change her diaper, how to bathe her, how to hold her, etc.  They also had a very calming presence that helped in those moments of anxiety.  Just seeing all the cords and machines Journee was hooked up to would get me all teary eyed. They were always there to console and reassure us she was fine. A true God send!

So although the NICU can definitely be a sad and scary place, it’s also a place of strength.  Babies are such fighters!  They’re so much stronger than we realize.  Seeing the fight in Journee kept my spirits up each and everyday.  I’m grateful that God saved her, and gave me a testimony to help encourage others!

 

 

Beat the Heat Deals…

I think I speak for all of us when I say summer has outworn its welcome! I hate to have Journee out in this heat, but also know that staying inside too much will drive us both crazy. So I wanted to share a few FREE things I have found in the area to do with her; a couple I have tried this week and a couple on my list to try!

The Library – Check our your local library for some baby and toddler classes. I tried out a baby bounce class at my location where they had songs, story time and lots of toys to play with. It’s also a great way to meet other moms.

Children’s Museum of Houston – This place is pretty cool! We went on Thursday since that’s the free family day! If you go from 5-8 admission is free. Parking is also discounted at $3 in the garage. They have a special area on the 2nd floor just for the smaller babies and toddlers.

Baby Yoga – This is on my to do list. I keep hearing good things about it. I know some locations charge a fee for this, but turns out the Heights Neighborhood Library (Houston) has a free class every week! I will definitely let you guys know all about it when I go!

Houston Zoo – From Sept to May the zoo will offer free admission on the first Tuesday of every month. Its from noon to close, and you can get tickets online. Click the link for more info!

What are y’alls go to free activities for the kiddos? Let me know in the comments!

Nursery Finds…UPDATE

I’m definitely a little late to the nursery party.  It was last on the list after we moved to Houston.  Then every time I thought about getting Journee’s room together, life happened.  So here we are at 5 months and we’re finally tackling it.  Luckily it hasn’t really mattered.  Journee has been sleeping in her bassinet in our room, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  I’m just now coming around to the idea of her not being next to me 😦

So let me share some of the deals I’ve found so far with you guys (and please let me know if you have any as well!).

First up was the crib.  I don’t know if you guys ever check out Facebook Marketplace, but you can find some great deals on there!  I was able to snag this Jenny Lind crib from a local mom for $40! I’m so happy with it. The fitted sheet is actually from Pottery Barn Kids, but I found it on Ebay for $10! It was in the original packaging, unopened. Can’t beat that!

Next, I purchased this 6 drawer dresser on sale from Walmart for $99. I was concerned about the quality, but it turned out to be pretty sturdy!

Mainstays Dresser – Walmart

Mainstays Dresser

Lastly were these pom pom curtains. I originally saw these at Target for $50, but I found a cheaper alternative. I bought some white blackout curtains from Walmart and then I sewed on some pom pom garland from Hobby Lobby. The garland happened to be on clearance so all in all I spent around $25 instead of $50.

Not too bad huh? Next on the list is a black and white rug. I will say, I’m not having a lot of luck when it comes to deals on rugs. So I still have some researching to do! I’ll be back soon with an update!

Let me know if you guys have any nursery deal ideas!

*Update* 

After some digging, I finally managed to find a decently priced rug from Overstock.  They’re having a great deal on rugs! I went with this black/ivory striped rug for $120.  It’s 6×9 and I absolutely love it.  Click below to check it out!

Black/Ivory Cotton Rug