Momma's groove

I’m back! And I’m ready to help you to find that smile!

Guys! I can’t believe it’s been a year since I’ve posted! I’m so excited to announce that I’m officially back!! I’m hoping to post with consistency again and get to reconnect with all of you!! So, I’m going to resume posting a family/mommy post every Sunday, late morning. I’ll probably go slow with getting back into the groove and sharing all the exciting things that I have planned, so for at least this third quarter of 2017 that might be all that goes up. But soon there will be a different type of post through out the week. (Still focused on being encouraging and helpful to you…) I’m not sure what day yet, if you have a preferred day feel free to let me know in the comments. The look, menu, colors, etc might all change a few times, as we at “Team Smile” have A LOT of fun things in the works, and it might involve a bit more tweaking. I just couldn’t wait any longer to tell you all that Smilesntrials.com is totally a thing again! And this time with a bit more to offer. ūüėČ Bare with me if I miss a step here or there, but my goal is to be able to talk with you at least weekly again on here and be here for what I started out to be here for; to encourage you to “Find your smile” in the trials of life!! If your new to my blog feel free to stick around a while and read some of my previous posts! I’ll link a few of the most popular for you down below to get ya acquainted with the site!

Balancing “Mommy Time” with Mommy’s time¬†

7 things to remember when your child doesn’t want to talk

When you just don’t want to put your productive pants on

I’d love to connect on social media.
I haven’t been real present on periscope but I plan to get back to that as well, and you can find me on there as @smilesntrials
I’m getting my FB page for my blog all set up and it’s also ¬†@smilesntrials
Instagram was my first love (though my Insta is technically fairly new too)  and I never left it! LOL! Find me there @tiffanysmiles_

Momma's groove

Christmas in July wrap up!

So how was your Christmas in July?! ¬†Mine wasn’t as productive as I’d hoped, but I did get some things made for gifts, and I’ve started on some plans for making it less costly this year. ¬†My daughter made some of her gifts too! ¬†I might try to continue to do a project here and there until then, but like I said, I don’t want to get burnt out on it. ¬†I love Christmas and wouldn’t want to make it a negative experience in any way. ¬†Being that I’m due with my 5th child in November, and my daughter and my step daughter’s birthdays are also in November… I’m pretty sure my Holiday Season will be a bit of a blur, so I’m going to appreciate any thing that I’ve accomplished in advance! ¬†I hope you were able to use at least a few of my suggestions and that you are able to be at least slightly more prepared for this Christmas!

Smile through the Trials!

Tiffany

Momma's groove

My 3 best tips for saving money for Christmas!

If you are participating in Christmas in July in any way, I’m sure the Christmas budget has crossed your mind. ¬†We talked a little bit last week about ways you can start shopping early, which could help to offset that a bit. ¬†But today I want to talk to you about saving money for Christmas time.

  1. Start a savings account. ¬†If you search “Christmas savings plan” on Pinterest a number of savings plans will come up. ¬†Some start in January, which would be hard to adjust to today. ¬†But some start in June and it’s not too late to jump in on one of those! ¬†I do recommend opening a separate bank account that’s just for Christmas, because it’s too easy to use the money for something else if it’s not in it’s own place. ¬†I found a plan that I like that starts you on June 6th. ¬†You start your account on that day, with just $26.00. ¬†A week later, on June 13th, you deposit $27.00. ¬†And so on, adding $1.00 to your deposit each week until the 28th of November. ¬†Following this, you will have saved $1,001.00 by Black Friday! ¬†This was obviously not written this year, as Black Friday will be the 25th in 2016, but it’s still close. ¬†The most you deposit in one week is $51.00. ¬†You could maybe combine the last two weeks to get to the desired amount. ¬†We are $203 behind on this plan as of today, so if you want to catch up, deposit $203 and the resume the plan at $33.00 going up one dollar per week from next week on. ¬†If you prefer to save $2,000, you would start at $52.00 and add $2.00 to your deposit each week. ¬†(Of course in that case you would be $406 behind, and after that initial deposit you would pick up at $66.00) If you don’t want to make a large deposit to make up for lost time, you can start at $33.00 and you will still save $798.00 by late November. ¬†Still totally worth the effort in my book!
  2. Get paid to shop.¬† Join a rewards program. ¬†I like Swagbucks. I just started, but I know some people that have done really well with it. ¬†It’s essentially a search engine that rewards you for using it. ¬†You simply log in to your Swagbucks account first, and then go to whatever site you want to visit from there. ¬†I’ve earned like, 500 points (SB) in a short time just by ordering things that I was going to order anyway! ¬†You can also earn by logging in and taking their surveys, searching through their search bar, watching videos on there, etc. ¬†On occasion you simply redeem your points (Swagbucks/SB) for gift cards. ¬†You can choose lots of common places, such as Amazon, Starbucks. etc. ¬†You can redeem your SB for as little as a $3.00 gift card, if say you just want an occasional free cup of coffee. ¬†But if you save your points until you can get larger amounts you can use those gift cards to help with your shopping, or give the gift cards themselves as gifts.
  3. Share great info with friends. ¬†A great example is¬†Zulily¬†. ¬†I have shopped from Zulily for a long time. ¬†Its very quick and easy to set up an account, and they have great prices on almost anything you can think of. ¬†I buy almost all of my girls’ Dollie and Me outfits there because they are much less expensive there than I’ve found anywhere else. ¬†So yes, I recommend making an account to shop, but, if you invite your friends, you can help yourself a bit more with that Christmas budget! ¬†You can email them an invite, invite on FaceBook, etc. ¬†When you do this, and they sign up, you get a $15.00 credit after they place their first order. ¬†And you can do this as many times as you’d like! ¬†Since Zulily sells such a variety of things, and includes some neat stores you may have never heard of, along with many very common ones, you are sure to be able to use those credits to do some of your shopping! ¬†There are other apps, websites, etc that reward you in some way for sharing. ¬†I don’t think you should just sign up for everything under the sun and push it on people. ¬†But if you use it, and do love it, your friends will appreciate the tip!

I hope you are able to take advantage of something that will help you to save money for Christmas.  What a blessing it will be to lighten that burden a bit!

This post does contain some of my personal referral links.  I genuinely appreciate you trusting me to find info for you. 

Smile through the Trials!

Tiffany

Momma's groove

Fun flash sales with Close to my Heart!

1606-cc-flash-saleHey guys! ¬†June is gonna be an exciting month! ¬†Close to my Heart is having a flash sale every weekend all month long! Once the sale is announced you will have until the following Monday to order whatever it is and that’s it. ¬†Time will be up and the offer will no longer exist! ¬†They will announce each sale at 3:00 pm (MDT) on Friday and it will close the following Monday at the same time. ¬† And… you might not even have that long because it will also be a “while supplies last” deal. ¬†I’m getting really anxious for them to announce today’s sale and I’ll let you all know what it is asap! ¬†Check my instagram @Tiffanysmiles_ ¬†It will be on there as soon as I can get it up there. ¬†I’m hoping I’ll be able to announce it on periscope as well (@smilesntrials) but I never know how well live broadcasting will work out around here! ¬†But if you make sure to follow me on, you’ll know if I pop on! ¬†I’ll list it on here too, with the proper links to make it easier for you to grab the offers as quick as possible. ¬†You can click the ‘shop with me’ tab up top on here to go right to my website where you can find more info as well. ¬†I think this is gonna be a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see what they’re going to offer! ¬†Stay tuned guys, and happy shopping!

Smile through the trials!

Tiffany

Momma's groove

As our seasons change…

Hey friends! ¬†How have you all been? ¬†I’ve missed chatting with ya’ll! ¬†So… I suppose it’s time to announce my big news! ¬†I am 9 weeks pregnant!! ¬†Yes, yes, it is the 5th time…. ¬†Yes I know what causes it, yes we have a tv… ¬†And whatever other funny little questions people ask when you tell them that you’re pregnant for the 5th time… ūüôā ¬†I’m not gonna lie it came as quite a surprise. ¬†But, you know, you get use to the idea. And then it just becomes part of your life, and launches you into a whole new chapter that is totally different than the one that you thought you were embarking on. ¬†I have been so so sick, it’s been ridiculous. ¬†I have honestly barely been able to function some days. ¬†Mornings are by far the worst so taking my kids to school (a 30 minute drive each way) has been miserable. ¬†But, it’s slowly starting to get better, for which I’m very grateful. ¬†So, if you’ve wondered why I’ve been MIA, now you know!

It’s funny how life changes paths so quickly some times. ¬†For me, I was at a point where my little ones were getting easier. ¬†Everyone can buckle themselves into the car, brush their teeth, etc. ¬†All but the baby, who’s almost 3, can dress themselves, and basic things like that. ¬†I’ve literally been in tears in the grocery store at times because my younger two are extremely hyper and very hard to control. ¬†This isn’t due to lack of discipline (although lots of people give me awful looks, and make comments that make me feel like it is- another post for another day) but really is due mostly to very busy personalities. ¬†My little girl is almost 5 and has gotten much better so I was looking forward to being past that stage. ¬†I was also very excited about building my blog and online presence. ¬†I was getting on periscope (@smilesntrials) consistently and had started a public instagram (@tiffanysmiles_) to be able to connect with many of you. ¬†I was also on a search for a mic to fix my sound problems and start making those video tutorials I’ve been promising you all. ¬†And then it all came to a stand still. ¬†I pretty much stopped even getting on here, or any social media. ¬†I was simply too sick. ¬†For that matter, all of my planners have been blank for weeks! ¬†Blank! ¬†I haven’t even had the energy to plan, or at least make them pretty. ¬†It’s been rough. ¬†I’m not saying all of this for sympathy, just to explain how drastically what I was doing and planning to do changed.

But if you’ve been reading here for very long at all (Can’t be real long, my blog is still a baby itself!) or you know me personally, you know that I am very big on balance, and on accepting the seasons of life as just what they are, a season. Some seasons are wonderful, and some are very hard. ¬†Often times the hard ones feel like they’ll last forever. ¬†I was beginning to feel like all my hard work was going to be wasted and I’d have to start all over, or give up on it all together. ¬†But I don’t want to do that. ¬†I had to remind myself that this is just a season, and in the grand scheme of life, it’s not even a really long one. ¬†So, my season that I thought was going to be one of pushing, working, connecting, networking, and making things happen… Is going to have to be a slow one of doing what I can when I can. ¬†And that’s ok. ¬†This may have taken me by surprise, but it didn’t take God by surprise, so I’m trusting him to guide me through it.

So, my friends, I hope to still talk with you all, at least weekly. ¬†Hopefully more as things get more into some kind of normal. ¬†But I won’t commit to it. ¬†I can’t promise how often I will be around. ¬†But I hope you’ll stick with me because I have lots that I still can’t wait to share with you! ¬†Thank you for you patience and for your friendship!

Smile through the trials!

Tiffany

Momma's groove

I love you, even when I’m annoyed….

I was laughing last night as my 10 year old daughter was going to bed. ¬†She asked me to do something and I couldn’t because I was getting the little ones down. ¬†I said “Nope, you’ll have to do it yourself.” ¬†Then I heard an over exaggerated sigh as she did it. ¬†I could just see her eyes rolling, even though I couldn’t see her. ¬†She traipsed through her room, not so lightly, and made it very obvious that I had wronged her. ¬†It was heartless of me to not do this for her, although she could full well do it herself… ¬†This display of aggravation humored me a bit as I thought about how dramatic she can be. ¬†I know some parents would say this attitude called for discipline. ¬†Sometimes it would, but I just let it be. ¬†I’m a pick your battles parent, and to me this didn’t merit a battle.

After a minute or so I said “Goodnight, I love you!” ¬†She got back into her bed and responded “I love you!” ¬†She didn’t say it with the eye roll or a rude tone, just “I love you”. ¬†Because she does. ¬†Even though I was busy and couldn’t cater to her at that moment. ¬†Even though she didn’t want to do it. ¬†Even though she was annoyed. ¬†The tone went away and she told me she loves me. ¬†I’m not an expert at this parenting thing. ¬†It seems I find criticism at almost every turn. ¬†But I think that as a family, as long as you know that you love each other, and you are able to express it, you are blessed. ¬†That little girl can drive me nuts. ¬†She’s really coming into a trying age. ¬†But hearing her say “I love you” ¬†when she was annoyed, and letting go of her frustration so quickly, made me laugh and was such a blessing to me! ¬†She may be rotten at times, but she’s MY rotten little girl!!

Smile through the trials

Tiffany

 

Momma's groove

Mom fail that was a success!

I wanna tell y’all about making cupcakes for my sons student council meeting. But let’s start at the beginning. Y’all know I love papercrafting and making fun, pretty things for the kids’ activities. Even though I love doing it, I’ve been known to take on too much. When school started this year I told myself I had to be careful what I volunteer for. So at the first student council meeting I knew I had to think carefully about the sign up sheet. It came around super quickly and my little ones were being very distracting. So I had to think fast. I didn’t want to volunteer for a time that might be too overwhelming. So I chose snack duty for the Feb meeting. I was excited thinking I’d come up with something really cute for Valentine’s Day. ¬†As time went by I kept it in the back of my mind that I wanted to come up with something fun for that meeting. ¬†When it got closer, I told my son the really cute idea that I had seen on Pinterest and was planning to make. And then he said it. I was pretty disappointed when my son made the following statement. He said “No Mom, don’t do something all elaborate.” What?! He crushed my excitement! Why would he not want me to make him some really cool, fun snack?! I mean seriously, how…. he… gonna….? Right?

So there I was, not only back to square one, but unsure of what type of snack I would even make.  I saw a pink, Strawberry Cheesecake flavored, icing filled cupcake mix at the store.  They were pretty and looked yummy.  I snapped a picture with my phone and later showed it to my son.  He liked the idea, so I decided to make those.  But, uh, then the day of the meeting

The Mix
The Mix

rolled around. ¬†And I remembered something that I don’t understand how I had forgotten. ¬†I don’t do cupcakes. ¬†Like for real. ¬†I know they are relatively easy, and I do enjoy baking. ¬†But I seldom make cupcakes and I’m really bad at making them pretty. ¬†It was an ordeal y’all! ¬†My little two have a tendency to get pretty wild and they were being seven kinds of crazy while I was trying to get those silly things done. ¬†To say it was stressful would be an understatement. ¬†For the first batch I had left the butter out for too long and it was almost melted when I mixed it into the icing. ¬†For those of you that don’t know, there is a difference in room temperature butter and melted butter, and the way they react in a recipe! ¬†I felt like the icing was gross. ¬†(I’m still pretty sure it was.) ¬†And not only did I have to put this icky icing on top but I also had to squish it inside the cupcakes! ¬†I was pretty grossed out by how yucky these cupcakes were sure to be. ¬†Side note, the icing being too runny also meant that I almost ran out before I was able to fill all of them. ¬†I’m telling you, it was a mess! ¬†So much so that I decided to scratch the whole thing and go get some store bought cupcakes.

I told you the littes were being seven kinds of crazy right…? ¬†I needed to leave early to go to the store and they decided there was no way they were going to let that happen! ¬†It got so late that I realized my only choice was to make the other

Not pretty!
Not pretty!

batch of cupcakes and take them anyway. ¬†I was annoyed. ¬†I know these things aren’t that important but Mommy fails aren’t fun. ¬†And this was going to be quite the Mommy fail. ¬†My son was gonna be so embarrassed when no one liked his snack! ¬†And even more embarrassed if that icing gave the someone the runs! (I didn’t actually think it was unsafe or I wouldn’t have taken it.) ¬†But I had to take something. ¬†The icing was at least better the second time. ¬†But not prettier. ¬†I can make some things pretty, but cupcake icing isn’t one of those things! ¬† I got them finished and in the car.

I was so concerned and annoyed by these ugly, yucky cupcakes that after I picked my daughter up and she took them in for the meeting, I ran to the store to grab some more snacks. ¬†I figured I needed to give them something to eat when no one wanted the cupcakes! ¬†But alas, we got back too late and they were already coming out. ¬†I braced myself for my disappointed boy to get in the car. ¬†He got in and I asked him if they were gross. ¬†Do you wanna know what he said?! ¬†He said “No, they were really good! ¬†Everyone liked them and someone was even asking about the icing. ¬†(That’s right, that frustrating icing!) I told them you made it but the mix came with stuff for it.” ¬†He even told me that he needed to know the brand and such because someone had asked! ¬†I was so surprised and it was so funny! ¬†Here I was beating myself up about these silly cupcakes, and they were fine. ¬†Totally fine. ¬†And you wanna know a secret? ¬†Kids generally don’t care a bit what they look like! ¬†I felt better. ¬†My supposed mommy fail turned out to be a success! ¬†And I learned that it’s really silly to make such a big deal about little things like cupcakes. ¬†I mean, how badly could I really have messed up a mix? ¬†I was just stressed and got myself all worked up for no good reason. ¬†We do that, don’t we, momma’s? ¬†So let’s try to stop doing that to ourselves. ¬†It really is silly. ¬†I thought you all might get a good laugh at my silliness! ¬†Now that it’s all said and done it really makes me laugh! ¬†But I won’t be making cupcakes again. ¬†Not for events anyway! ¬†Have you had something like this happen to you? ¬†I’d love to hear about it! ¬†Share it with us in the comments! ¬†I hope you have a blessed day!

Smile through the trials!

Tiffany

Momma's groove

How was your Christmas?!

So, it’s December 27th. ¬†Another Christmas, another holiday season, complete. ¬†How do you feel about that?! ¬†How did it go? ¬†How did mine go, you ask…? ¬†Well, I failed! ¬†Oh yes, I did, and I wonder if you are feeling like you did too. ¬†I didn’t get to all the fun things that were on my list for December. ¬†As a matter of fact, a few of the things that I’ve never missed, even miserably pregnant or post par tum, somehow went undone; ¬†I was determined to do a 12 days of Christmas with my kids, and that didn’t happen; ¬†I didn’t get all my Elf on the Shelf adventures posted to share with you all like I had hoped to; My family always matches on Holidays, and I didn’t even get colors worked out!; ¬†I didn’t bake nearly as many cookies as I wanted to… The list goes on.

I really thought this was gonna be my year. ¬†Do you know what I mean? ¬†It was going to be my perfect year that I totally pre planned, stayed organized, and got everything done. ¬†And all to perfection for that matter. ¬†But, I guess this wasn’t quite my perfect year. ¬†I’m not telling you all of this to make you feel sorry for me. ¬†I’m saying it to try to help release you (and maybe myself still yet) of the feeling of failure if you missed as much as I did. ¬†Because you know what? ¬†No one knows how miserably I failed, except for me! ¬†So I can beat myself up about it, which I did, more times that what was probably necessary, or I can realize it was still Christmas! My family is very blessed, and my children are none the wiser that their Christmas wasn’t “perfect”. ¬†(Although my oldest did know I had wanted to do the 12 days thing.) ¬†I didn’t get to do a lot of what I would have liked to, and I do still hope to get to do more of those things for future Holidays. ¬†But, that doesn’t mean that we didn’t have Christmas. ¬†It doesn’t mean there couldn’t be joy, or that it was any less meaningful. ¬†And it certainly doesn’t take anything away from the wonderful gift of his son, Jesus, that God gave to us all those years ago! ¬†So basically, I need to just suck it up and move on! ¬†I will document this Christmas (eventually) with all the rest, and the pictures and memories will be just as beautiful as they would had it all gone according to my plans.

So keep in mind that you can’t really fail at Christmas. ¬†You’re decorations, outings, pictures, gifts, cookies, etc. do not have to be perfect! ¬†The true meaning of Christmas never changes, and if we just take some time to appreciate that, it will help us to keep it all in perspective. ¬†Don’t leave 2015 disappointed. Take note of the wonderful things that happened and be content with that happiness. ¬†My children did an awesome job in there school production if I do say so myself! ¬†I did make my favorite cookies. ¬†I was far more blessed than necessary when it came to gifts. ¬†My kiddos loved their gifts. ¬†We got to spend time with family that we see far too little. ¬†I did decorate earlier than usual. ¬†It wasn’t so bad after all right?! ¬†I hope you had a very Merry Christmas, and if you didn’t think you did, I hope you can look back and see the blessings and choose to remember it fondly. ¬†Some people truly do have sad Holidays. ¬†Maybe they’ve lost a loved one, or they don’t have family anymore, couldn’t afford to do for their children the way that one would hope, or many other things that can make for a hard season. ¬†Consider these people, and remember how blessed you are. ¬†And if you are one of these people, I pray that you can find joy in the beauty around you and find a glimmer of happiness in something special.

I hope we can all look back and say that we had a Merry Christmas!

Smile through the trials

Tiffany

Momma's groove

Happy Thanksgiving!! And blog update.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We had a really nice time.  It was a blessing!

I just wanted to give you a little update. My regular Mommy posts that go up on Sunday mornings might be a bit different in the month of December. ¬†I’ve also got so many craft tutorials I want to get up for ya’ll but it’s proving to come with more obstacles than I would have thought. ¬†But I do have some fun stuff planned for December! ¬†We’ll talk about Holiday traditions, crafts with kids, elf on the shelf, lots of fun stuff!! ¬†I love Christmas!! ¬†I can’t wait to share it with you all!