by gillian claire: August 2015

8.31.2015

money saving monday // with Ann Coupons!

*This post is sponsored by www.anncoupons.com through Socialite. I was compensated by this company but all opinions are my own. Thanks so much for reading along and supporting my family by giving us these opportunities. I truly appreciate it!*
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Hey guys, I'm here with Ann Coupons to share a little bit about how you can save money using their site! If you've read my blog for a while, you may know that I'm interested in saving money and it has not only been key to survival for my young family but is also something that I love and enjoy! I probably get this from my Mom. ( Was anyone else out there raised on the Tightwad Gazette books?? )
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Making and saving money in creative ways has always been a hobby of mine so I was excited to partner with Ann Coupons to show you how to save using their site. ( And hey, disclaimer, I'm getting paid to write this post, and you guessed it - blogging is one of the fun and interesting ways I make money as well! )
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Anncoupons.com is a hot spot for finding coupons and deals for all sorts of fun activities from eating out to travel expenses. I feel like this is one area in my life where I lack in saving a lot of money. I don't often think of looking for coupons or deals when eating out or doing something fun with the family which is such a shame considering this is also the area were we are the worst with budgeting. We live very frugally in a lot of ways that most people would be uncomfortable with ( such as living in a 900 square foot home or having one family car ) but when stress adds up we definitely like to get out of the house and do something and unfortunately we don't always think about saving during those times.
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The Ann Coupons website makes it easy to click on a category or location and see many deals currently being offered. Sometimes you have to dig a little bit to find exactly what you're looking for but I love that they have such a wide variety of places, many that we frequent often such as Chili's and Subway, and hey I even saw the Denver Zoo listed on their site!
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Here is a quick example of what you'll find when you click on a specific location on the Ann Coupons website. I searched for Chipotle which is my husband's number one fave. Here is a screen shot that shows you a little bit of what you'll see:
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There is a box where you can type in your email to receive deal alerts as well as many deals and coupons that you can scroll through below. I made sure to enter my email and I'm hoping that soon I will get notified of a great deal and save my family some money on a night where we want eat out!
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Be sure to check out the Ann Coupons site as well as their Facebook: found HERE
Let me know about the best deal that you find!
What ways do you and your family save money?
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Also, I'd love if you voted for my blog today using the button below!
All it takes is two clicks to help my blog grow; thanks!
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back to school // with FabKids!

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It's FabKids time again and I'm excited to share this adorable outfit that we picked for Asher from their August back to school collection! I have to admit that I'm cringing a little bit at the sight of cold weather clothing but FabKids never lets me down and this super soft tee and black coated skinnies are truly adorable. Asher lived in FabKids skinny jeans last year and he even had this exact pair in a size down He was pretty stoked about the "skeleton shirt" and Roman has the same one in blue so naturally I will have to put them in these shirts together to fulfill my matching little boy dreams.
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Have you finished your back to school shopping yet? We shopped for clothes to get us through the still warm weeks of back to school but we don't have many outfits for fall/winter yet. My mind is starting to turn with thoughts of boots for mama and my littles in puffy vests to distract me from the cold that is to come, eek!
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     FabKids is a fun and unique subscription clothing company! Each month you have the opportunity to choose a new outfit and you are always free to skip as many months as you want. Use my link to get a free outfit with the purchase of your first outfit: HERE.
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*I received this outfit as compensation for my work as a FabKids Brand Ambassador. Thanks so much for reading along and providing these opportunities for me; I truly appreciate it.*
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Oh hey, if you enjoy my blog would you consider clicking on the button below to vote for us? Ranking on Top Baby Blogs helps my blog grow by connecting me to readers and companies! Thanks so much, friends!
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8.14.2015

happy friday!

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It's Friday! Today is a good day because my husband and I are both off! We will be working a lot this weekend but those troubles are for tomorrow. I am excited to be doing some back to school shopping with my little boys this afternoon! We are heading to Target to try to check everything off Roman's 2nd grade school supply list! I also have some other things in mind to look for but I will try to keep my head on straight and not get too carried away. ( Target does that to you, right? )
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I wanted to share a few deals that I've come across that are going on this weekend in case you will be out there in the madness doing some shopping as well. Oh and if anyone knows of any great deals or sales that I haven't mentioned, you had best let me know in the comments! :)
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Kohls: I just saw that Kohl's is having an extra 20% clearance sale! I love these kind of sales and they are a great way to stock up on clothes for the beginning of the school year and next summer! Check out my finds at a similar sale that Old Navy had last weekend HERE. Kohl's is also giving out Kohl's cash right now: $10 for ever $50 spent and you truly can come back and use the $10 just like a gift card: so awesome! ( If you are a Kohl's credit card holder, make sure you check your mail or email for a coupon as well. )
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Target: It looks like Target is offering buy one get one 50% off on a ton of school supplies so I'm hoping this will help us out in our shopping today! I'm also going to be using my Cartwheel app for an extra 5% off Up & Up school supplies.
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Ibotta App: Um, have you guys heard of the Ibotta App? I am really getting into rebate apps where all you do is scan your receipts with your smart phone and get paid for things you bought! I am going to have to share with you guys all my favorite ways to do this but Ibotta seems to be the best one so far. I've made $9 since downloading this app just this week and you can cash out to your PayPal account at $20! This is my new hobby guys. If you sign up, I'd love if you used my referral code: tddfoyb 
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What plans do you have for the weekend? 
Please share if you have any favorite money saving apps in the comments! 
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Happy Friday!
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We Are A Top Baby Blog
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8.13.2015

insta-july; part 1.

July came and went and August is well on it's way; I can't believe it! 
I'm just going to pretend that summer is not anywhere near coming to an end because warm weather and sunshine makes me happy. I'm not ready for cold or snow or even fall, NOPE. 
I want to share some of my favorite Instagram photos from July here on the blog. 
I'm still loving having my iPhone6 to take pictures with!
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we had fun meandering around some antique malls at the edge of town in the beginning of july. it was fun to explore somewhere new!
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4th of july stripes and poppers! // fun photos at the playground
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some pictures from a walk at butterfly woods: me + my little boys <3 // feet in the sparkly water = bliss
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lazy moments around the house: a little peeking cuddler // 
bath time with a watermelon candle + coffee
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a trip to estes park with my husband's brother + his wife. it rained but we had lunch and we able to get these views of the mountains, worth it.
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we love getting packages in the mail! asher was thrilled with this shark shirt from kidteez ( see THIS post for a 30% off coupon code! ) // roman's artee and me tee came!
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asher in his watermelon outfit; oh my goodness! i love shopping with my boys and these pictures were taken on our trip to old navy + target. :) ( see more pictures of asher's shirt HERE )
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let me know if you follow me on instagram @bygillianclaire so that i can follow you as well!
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We Are A Top Baby Blog

8.11.2015

little style // with Nope!

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I am absolutely obsessed with this watermelon shirt! Asher has been a brand rep for Nope this summer and I was so excited when he picked out this shirt from their website!
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Nope has the most adorable t-shirts and I love that they are all well made and gender neutral! The shirts are created by a husband and wife team and are sweat-shop free! You can check out my other post about our "Nope Nope Nope" shirt: here!
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Use my code: friendsofteam1125 for 10% off your purchase!
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What A Melon T-Shirt: c/o Nope, shorts: Old Navy
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We Are A Top Baby Blog

8.10.2015

back to school // to do list!

back to school.( photo from this post, last year! )
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     School starts in two weeks, so we're soaking up the last couple weeks of summer but also getting things a little bit prepared for the school year. I'm looking forward to more routine in our lives but I am not looking forward to getting up early in the morning or the whining that will ensue each day as we attempt to wake up sleepy bear Roman who is also not a morning person. I will also be missing him for sure!
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     I wanted to document my to-do list here for what I want to be accomplish in the next couple of weeks to get ready for the school year! Most of these things have to do with Roman, because Asher will be doing preschool at home with us for now. I was actually able to cross a few things off already this weekend - yah!
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Back to School To Do List
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*Make sure Roman's closet is school-ready*

- buy socks  purchased a pack at Old Navy

- buy a few tee shirts I bought Roman a few shirts during the Old Navy clearance sale. I also found one in the closet that I bought last summer at the end of season and had stashed away! Roman and Asher both have several new tee shirts from the companies that we work with on the blog and on Instagram!

find a couple more pairs of shorts I found two pairs of shorts today at Old Navy; one nicer pair and one pair of athletic shorts. I paid less that $8 combined for both!

- buy new gym shoes Roman and Asher both got new blue Nike shoes today at Famous Footwear. ( They are having a buy one get one 1/2 off sale! ) Roman really wanted Nike shoes this year for school and Aaron promised the boys he would buy them some since he just got a promotion at work. We had a lot of fun picking them out and have definitely never spent so much on kid's shoes or even ever bought them shoes at a shoe store in general!  We had to buy Asher some to be fair of course but honestly it was worth it to see him running down the aisles at the store impressed by how fast his shoes were!

*Hair cuts for both boys* ( I have a coupon for Cost Cutters for $2 off )

*Get supply list and purchase back to school supplies* ( I'm planning to go to Target because back to school shopping at Walmart just depresses me, end of story. )

*Make sure our kitchen is well stocked for school lunch making*

- buy ziplock bags, paper napkins, disposable silverware, a few more pieces of tupperware + ice packs ( We definitely need to restock these items and I feel like it will make the school year much less stressful to start out with them on hand! )

- potentially look for new water bottles for both boys ( We don't really have any good ones right now and I'd love for the boys to each have a nicer one for going to the park and walks as well! Do you all have any suggestions for good water bottles for kids that are durable, non toxic and don't leak?? )

- make sure the kitchen has a good supply of lunch foods + snacks! ( Packing lunches is always stressful because we always seem to be scrambling for ideas at the last minute! )

*Sign Roman up for soccer* ( This boy is soccer obsessed and we found a place to sign him up for the fall! )

*Look for activities for Asher to do in the mornings* ( We want Asher to have some fun activities to do while Roman is at school and to get him out to socialize and be engaged in learning! )

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I feel like I'm probably forgetting something important but I'm hoping that these things will get us off to a good start!
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Have you started on your back to school preparations yet? What's on your list??
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We Are A Top Baby Blog

8.08.2015

back to school // shopping clearance!

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We're thinking about "back to school" around here so I thought I'd share a little bit of our journey on the blog. Honestly, we're a pretty minimalistic family and back to school time doesn't involve a whole lot of shopping but we definitely have things on our to-do list! Roman will be starting 2nd grade this year and we have decided at this point to keep Asher home with us.
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Old Navy is currently having one of the best sales ever where in-store they are taking an additional 30% off their clearance items! Old Navy has always been one of my all time favorite stores for kids' clothes. Their clothes are great quality ( and adorable ) and their clearance section, if you play it right, is a gold mine. When Old Navy first marks down their clothes, the discount isn't that great but they continue to mark things down to seriously low prices. I find better deals in the Old Navy clearance section than I do at thrift stores sometimes and the clothes are brand new!
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I want to share a few finds that I came across for the boys during the clearance event. I was so happy to be able to start my back to school shopping this way!
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( mario tee: $2.51, batman tee: $4.09, basketball tee: $3.14 
shoes: about $4.50, bought on a separate receipt that I can't find! )
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Roman is truly one of the messiest children alive ( and to be honest, he gets it from me... ) so his shirts are always getting stained. We are pretty set on shirts for him, especially since we have been able to work with a few great companies this summer that have gifted us clothing. ( Such  a blessing for us! )Since I found these shirts at such great prices, I did want to grab a few to set aside for  school  to ensure that he has some nice, clean shirts to wear. Pairing these with the other shirts we've been given recently gives him a pretty good supply for the beginning of the school year. I may need to find a couple more. Roman loves tee shirts even in the winter since he is so hot blooded, so these should be good for a while! The shoes aren't too practical for school because he has gym class every day and wears gym shoes, but they were adorable and it's always good to have a nice pair of shoes around.
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_MG_6352-2( striped shorts: $2.51, jogger pants $2.51 + $2.58, high top shoes: $4.71, car slip on shoes: $4.72 )
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Ok, I have been eyeing these little jogger sweatpants for Asher since they came in and I had to snatch them up for the fall when I saw them marked down so much! I bought a pair of 3T and a pair of 4T because the 4T looked absolutely huge so I figure he will wear the 3Ts and grow into the other pair. I also bought the little striped shorts for next summer in a 4T because he currently has the same shorts and loves them. I had to buy the shoes because Asher is obsessed with shoes and I loved both of these so much! He has worn the high tops already but I stashed the cute car pair away to pull out later.
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Shopping clearance is a great way to find back to school clothes, so don't forget to check out the clearance racks! The weather is still warm so summer clothes still work and a lot of stores have clothes left over from spring that work for fall weather. Be sure to check out Old Navy this weekend to score some great deals for yourself and if you go, let me know what you bought!
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Where are your favorite places to get great deals for back to school? Have you started shopping yet?
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We Are A Top Baby Blog

8.04.2015

little style // with Kidteez!

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I've had the opportunity to work with Kidteez this summer and it's been a lot of fun trying out their cute t-shirts on my boys! I was so excited when Kidteez reached out to us as Brand Reps because their shop is just FULL of adorable things. I can't wait to share more with you here and on Instagram!
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Asher was pretty excited about this shark shirt ( yeah, I'd say he has a thing for shark shirts ) and I love how Roman's palm tree tee matches with the same beachy theme.
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Be sure to check out Kidteez for yourself and use my code: 
COMESINCOLOURS 
for 30% off your entire purchase!
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Asher: Shark Bite tee: c/o Kidteez
shorts: c/o FabKids
shoes: Old Navy
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Roman: Palm Leaves tee: c/o Kidteez
shorts: c/o FabKids
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We Are A Top Baby Blog
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8.03.2015

making wishes.

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     My sweet little Asher turned four and I adore these photos of him carefully putting the candles on his blue cake ( which I'm fairly certain gave us food poisoning ) and then listening to his birthday song. I remember when Roman was Asher's age and he hated when people sang "happy birthday". Asher is a different child though, and his face simply shined pure joy and love. When we told him to make a wish, he wished for "a tomato," and made us all laugh at our silly happy boy. 
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     I can't believe that four years have passed since this sunlight came into my life. I remember so well the way he came to the world on a warm and sunny July day. Those days are now starting to shift into a long ago memory; those baby days feel far and dreamy distant. In the weeks and months after his birth, I thought that maybe a day would never go by without his birth crossing my mind. The wonderful all natural childbirth that I was able to check off my life list stayed so close to me then, in the best of ways, filling me with strength. 
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     Life and it's seasons are a funny thing. As we go through the motions of the moment, nothing different seems fathomable. I've gone through times in life that seemed like they'd never end, some in good ways and some not so very good at all. Usually it's a mixture; hard feelings and big obstacles with slices of joyful memories in between. 
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     For sure, life just keeps pushing on, and we are forced to realize that it does move and it moves along fast. High school ends, and marriage won't always be about choosing the order of wedding photos for the album. Our babies won't keep, and they will certainly grow and grow and grow. The days will turn and spin and tomorrow becomes years ago and these moments now become faded memories. 
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     As I clicked the camera to capture my son, my freshly turned four year old baby boy making wishes in the candle light, I was all too aware that these smiles would quickly become pictures, preserved for the future; to look back on soon and say, "I remember..."
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