This white lace back tee from Anthropologie was a budget killing $88, but she looked so amazing in it that she didn't care that is was half of her budget for the month. She is wearing it with 3 silver bangles that we got in Mexico over Christmas break and my shoes.
This T-shirt was a Walmart find, only $8
A faux leather jacket from Target. I think that she paid about $25 for it.
As you can see you don't have to wear designer duds to look a million dollars.
How much money do you spend on your children's clothing?
When my daughter was in 4th grade she went through an Abercrombie phase. She could easily spend $200-$300 every time we went in, and it seemed like she wanted to go shopping every week.
I realized that I was raising a shop-a-holic. Obviously we are in the financial position where it is possible for us to buy her what she wants, but I did not think that this was a good way to raise her, and I worried that she would develop bad spending habits.
Just before her 10th birthday I sat her down and made her an offer. At the time she was getting $9 a week in pocket money, so I offered to give her $100 a month once she turned 10, but I would no longer buy her clothes. Of course being young and naive she took the offer!
The first month we went to Abercrombie and she spent that $100 so fast. By the third month she had discovered that you could find cute clothes at Forever XXI and Target!
I have raised her allowance by $20 each year so that now that she is 14 she gets $180 per month. I give her extra money at the beginning of the school year so that she can get a bookbag, winter coat and a couple of pairs of shoes, I pay for all of her activity expenses and clothing, but thats it.
She has great taste and a couple of the high school girls recently told her that she is the best dressed girl in 8th grade, which made her day! She has done so well with her money that several of her friends are now on the same allowance and they have all learned the value of a dollar as well as how to dress well on a budget.
Of all the lessons that you teach your children, learning how to live within their means has to be one of the most important.
When my son was about to turn 10 I sat him down and made him the same offer. He was so excited about it, but his sister who was in the room at the time said "Don't do it!!!!!" Of course he did, and for several months spent every penny on video games. He is now 11 and is already making good choices.
The weather has been fantastic here in Atlanta, the garden is full of life and I have been full of Spring fever for a while so I am glad that it is officially here at last.
I am on a rampage to REFRESH, RENEW, REPLACE and REDO.
Little things like a fresh coat of paint, small repairs, etc
So far I have...
Repainted the outside trim on my house - a fresh coat of white paint as well as repairing any rotten wood has made the house look like new.
Replaced my dishwasher - the old one was fine, but technology has improved in the past 9 years, and the new one is so much better.
Put fresh plants in my planters.
Replaced my spices - a small change but one that makes my smile everyday
Made a few minor repairs and ordered replacement parts for some of my small appliances. Everything works so much better now. The capsule ejector on my Nespresso coffee maker has been broken for several weeks, I could still make coffee but needed to manually eject the capsule. It cost 95c to order a replacement part and now my coffee maker is as good as new.
Replaced all of my hangers with skinny hangers - I have so much more room in my closet now.
Renewed my commitment to working out and healthy eating, after all summer is just around the corner!
Things I am planning to do...
Redo my guest bedroom
Redo my son's room
Redo my study
Replace my telephones and answer machine
Replace the mulch around my vegetable garden at the lake with small pebbles
Remove the swing set and plan something fresh for that area
Renewing my interest in scrapbooking
So today, in honor of Spring I urge you to look around and see if there is anything that you can renew, refresh, replace or redo.
My husband is in the Middle East for the next 12 days. I hate him being away for so long, and given the events of recent months I am concerned about where he is.
However he is with a great group and I know that he will be taken care of.
The funny part is that on his first night he got talking to a chap who is also from Georgia. During their conversation the other guy mentioned that he spends a lot of time at the lake. It turns out that his lake house is at the same lake as ours, is about 2 minutes from ours by boat, and we used the same builder!
I really love it but I wanted some furniture to go on the left hand side, facing the fireplace.
After lots of looking I found this chest at Wisteria...
The bleached oak looks great with my salvaged wood pieces from Restoration Hardware.
Once I had found the chest (which is now filled with games and puzzles) I started looking for chairs. I considered so many wonderful options but my heart was won by a pair of chairs from Restoration hardware.
My dining chairs, and barstools are both covered in sand linen, and I liked the idea of bringing the same fabric into the center of the space. It works beautifully.
I think that I bought my spice rack at least 15 years ago!
It holds 21 jars and I noticed that some of the spices were looking a little faded. I use quite a lot of herbs and spices in my cooking and do refill the jars, but when I started looking I realized that I have never used 6 of the jars. Hmm, 15 year old herbs. Yep I expect they would look a little faded!
Old, faded herbs can't add too much flavor to my cooking so I decided to start fresh.
I bought all new McCormick spices with black lids, and cannot believe how vibrant my spice rack looks now. Plus I know that I'll use every jar, as I picked my favorite 21 spices, not some random selection made by the spice rack company.
Is it time you spiced up your life?
P.S. My daughter tells me I need to get out more if I get excited about spices, but I'm the type of person who can get excited about anything!
A few years ago I took everything out of my wallet, photocopied front and back, cut the images out and taped them together to make paper copies of all of my important cards. I put them in an envelope, put that in our lock box and forgot all about it.
Until, a few weeks ago when my wallet was stolen.
I was sad to lose my Louis Vuitton wallet and about $400 in cash. I was upset over the loss of photos of my children, but I think I may have duplicates somewhere. But the real trauma was the loss of my cards. Imagine, no drivers license, no green card, no ATM card, no credit card, no insurance card and the list goes on.
We keep everything we need to run our lives in our wallets don't we?
So, just in case this ever happens to you, please make copies of your cards. I know that it saved me a lot of time to have all the relevant numbers at my fingertips.
And thanks to the best husband in the world who bought me this....