Cutting the cord!

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You’ve probably heard of this movement to get rid of cable tv. Many call it ” cutting the cord” and they are going with alternatives like internet streaming channels in order to cut down on a huge bill!

 

I hated our cable bill, Why is it so much just for television? We went through most cable companies available in our area. Switching back and forth in order to wrangle the best deal we could, it was a headache and despite the effort it was still a pretty big bill.

 

Our solution?

 

The ROKU player.  Here is a little bit from the company about this product:

 

The Roku player is Netflix Members’ #1 Rated Streaming Device and voted Engadget’s Home Entertainment Device of the Year!

The Roku player is like having your own video library at home with over 300,000 choices – from the best movies, TV shows to sports. The Roku player is the easiest way to watch anything and everything from Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, MLB.com, Pandora and more instantly on your TV.

The Wall Street Journal, CNET, WIRED, and other publications have given the Roku player overwhelmingly positive reviews. Now there’s a Roku player to fit every budget starting at $49.99.

 

Basically, you buy the roku box (or stick if your tv is hung on the wall) and you use Roku as sort of the portal to all your membership accounts for streaming.  Memberships like Netflex, Amazon prime on Demand, Hulu. Even specific channels available on Roku, for example, MLB.com, PBS.com, Kids channels,music even games.

Some of these charge a membership fee, others are free. But even with fees, we have seen a huge drop in our monthly bill from what the regular cable guys are charging! And I like that we are paying for only the services and channels we use, instead of the lump packages from cable companies of a hundred channels and shows we don’t watch just to get the news channel we do.

When choosing our memberships, we searched for our favorites shows, shows we would miss when we cut the cord and decided on which streaming companies would provide us with enough entertainment.  *currently our paid memberships include Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon (Amazon prime on demand comes with your prime membership).

 

 

Check out Roku for yourself, maybe you’ll find it can help you save on entertainment as well.. plus some of their products include awesome features like voice command and remote locator!


You can also buy Roku from Amazon. And if you are anything like us, you’ll be glad to know they even have extra remotes and accessories you can buy… you know, in case your two your old dunks your remote in your coffee one morning… just saying! 🙂

There are other companies out there like Roku. Apple TV, Fire (from Amazon)  The best thing to do is just compare all that they do and price and see what fits your budget saving goals and entertainment needs best!

 

Hope this helps in cutting one of the biggest monthly bills most american homes have. And hope you enjoy the savings as much as we are!

 

Let me know if I can help in anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

  • This post includes Affiliate links. Which only means i get paid a little bit from these companies, if you shop through my website. At no extra cost to you. pretty cool huh?Thanks for shopping!
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The Journey Begins…

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I am so very excited about remodeling our Kitchen!

Our house hasn’t had many improvements since it was built. We’ve only been here a few years and well, you know priorities have to come first… so we still have the paint on the walls that the bank chose before we bought it… and our dining room still has carpet under the table. (who does that??) But little by little we are working to personalize things.

Our Kitchen is desperately in need of attention. Drawers have been falling apart, the bottoms just coming away from the whole door any time you open them. My wonderful husband knows I’ve been trying to manage, but it has become frustrating.

I would like to say here that we have never ever attempted a project like this before…. I don’t know if you could look to us for much how to’s but I will share how we are going about this and hopefully give some helpful tips along the way!!

For us the plan to remodel all started with Ryan asking me if I could get a ruff estimate together of how much it would cost to do what I wanted to the kitchen.

First thing we did was renewed our membership for Consumer Reports. You can sign up for a year or monthly membership. Which gives you access to their reviews on the website.

Here’s a little something from their site about what they do:
Formed as an independent, nonprofit organization in 1936, Consumer Reports serves consumers through unbiased product testing and ratings, research, journalism, public education, and advocacy. We stand firmly behind the principle that consumer products and services must be safe, effective, reliable, and fairly priced. We insist that manufacturers, retailers, government agencies, and others be clear and honest. We advocate for truth and transparency wherever information is hidden or unclear. We push companies to quickly address and remedy issues with their products and services.

They Rate and review so many things. So, when we are about to make a purchase, we like to look up what Consumer Reports says about them and of course they have a handy App to take with you to the store.

For this project the first thing we wanted to decide about was our appliances. This way we know the dimensions of each for the cupboards and location of everything. So we looked up what Consumer Reports said about dishwashers, Cook tops, Ovens, and fridges. But it doesn’t stop there. They even rate flooring, sinks, counter top materials..

 

up next shopping for appliances and get great deals……

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Bedtime Transitions follow up and an alarm clock review

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It’s been 2 weeks since we moved “baby” James into a toddler bed and began the sharing a bedroom adventure! See the original post here.

We are all adjusting to the change! Mom and Dad most definitely like having their room back, I make sure to turn on the lights every night while I’m getting ready for bed, just because I can! haha
The boys seem to like it a lot and I’ve even caught William trying to convince brother to play “sleeping” in their beds during the day! 🙂

Bedtime is still full of giggles and James tests the boundaries every night, getting in and out of bed.. it’s just so exciting! For now, our solution has been that Daddy goes in there and sits with them at first, until they are calmed down and quiet. James usually falls a sleep pretty quickly. I’m sure they won’t need that for every but I also hope it’s just a sweet time spent with Daddy too!

Thankfully they aren’t getting up in the middle of the night as much anymore. Our problems are mostly just at wake up time now. With the boys waking up at 3 or 4 o’clock, thinking it’s time to start the day??? yikes! So, we decided to try this ingenious invention:

This alarm is called OK TO WAKE and can be set for just lights or an actual alarm sound. With just the lights the idea is that all night long the red light is on and that means you have to stay in bed. But at the time Mom and Dad pick, the light will turn to green!!! And that means it’s ok to get up!

we knew this would take some training but thought if we start now we could use this tool for a long time to come. 🙂

We’ve had it for about a week now. And the boys love it!

The first couple mornings William came out to the living room to early and I was able to ask him if his light was green and send him back for a few minutes… I think it was the very first morning that happened just 2 minutes before it turned green so i sat in there and showed them when it changed!

William has started to wait for the light, and usually rushes out just the minute it switches! Poor James hasn’t had the chance to because big brother makes sure to wake him and let him know it’s on :/ So, that’s the next lesson we are working on. teaching him that it’s ok to come out to the living room with Mommy alone and let your brother sleep. PLEASE! 🙂
So, I’m loving this alarm. It makes sense that they need a visual to help them know when it’s time to get up and play or try to go back to sleep for a little while.

They have both been a little grumpy through these two weeks. Mostly, because of missing sleep that first week. and then it was time change Sunday which always gets them a little bit off.

But I’m hopeful that we will adjust to this new shared bedroom adventure. The Boys will have so many wonderful memories (and a few arguments) and it looks like Mom and Dad will survive it too! 🙂

There are a lot of different options with this kind of alarm… check out a few more.

This one is a stuffed animal

And the one we bought comes in a train or a pink car as well! To find even more of them just enter OK TO WAKE, in the search bar on Amazon!

Anyways, maybe something like this could help in your home! what are you thoughts?

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Bedtime transitions

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Our boys are going through a huge transition during bedtime.
We finally moved James out of the crib (which was in our room) and into a toddler bed in William’s room.
Yikes, James now has the ability to get out of bed on his own!! AND the boys are together and can wake each other up or bug each other to keep from falling asleep.

I have mixed feelings about the challenges. I know it’s important for them to get to sleep and they are so young that once they are wired and silly it’s hard for them to wind down.

But I also remember how fun it was (most of the time) to share a room with my sister
Sisters!

The talks and giggles during bedtime are good memories.. I also remember getting in trouble. Our poor parents 🙂

I sure know now how tired they were at the end of the night, how much they NEEDED it to be bed time for us so they could have just a few minutes before collapsing for the night. I know what it’s like to worry about your kids getting enough sleep so they aren’t cranky the next day too.

And then we have the whole separate issue of once they finally do fall asleep… They now can wake each other up and get out of bed without us……

The first morning after this whole change, we woke to the sound of really loud laughing and running through the whole house, it was 3 AM!! The boys were just having a blast, oblivious to the time or that we were fast asleep. We had to get them back in bed and settled down again… I ended up sitting in their room for a little while just until they fell asleep again. Thankfully Ryan was off that day so I was able to get some sleep later on in the morning.

Anyways, so here we are at this parenting hurdle 🙂 ah sleep. I love it, kids should too! 🙂
Anyone out there have an awesome trick or tip for us??

We have been reading stories at bedtime which I know some of you out there are really great about doing that every night, we haven’t made it a habit lately so I’m excited to start! And hope it helps them both calm down a bit before “lights out”. We also have calming music playing in their room.

I’ve been considering something like this OK TO WAKE alarm clock 

The boys may need something like this to tell them when it’s time to get up and out of their beds.
The signal light changes to green when it’s ok for them to leave their room!

Have any stories about this transition?

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Wedding Dress.. Not just a one time thing part 2! (family photos)

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I figure 5 years is long enough… right? My little family can put up with another crazy photog idea from me… I mean they love me right??  🙂  (And they will be glad for the pictures in the future)

If you haven’t seen the pictures from the first 2 times I’ve worn my wedding dress. Read that post here.

I saw this picture here on pinterest. And this is where the inspiration began. Isn’t it such a sweet shot?

So once again we wrangled our talented friend Sarah Matchak and set up a session with the winery where we took our original pictures.

I searched for suites for our boys and Ryan dusted off his 😉 ( He should do that more often) they all looked so very handsome!

My sweet friend Tiffani came over to help do my hair and makeup and chase down boys!!

And yes I had to hold my breath to get my dressed zipped all the way.. but who needs to breathe anyways right??

We had a blast taking pictures. We picked a few poses from the original wedding photos with the hopes of being able to recreate the poses, adding the boys in where ever.

I have to admit, during the fuss of getting ready and all, it felt silly and a little bit weird. Why was I making my family put on monkey suites and making a fuss about hair and makeup.. etc etc… I was just hoping it would turn out to be worth it all in the end.

I think the results speak for themselves

And now I’m on a mission to tell every bride, No matter how long it’s been, Go put on that white dress!!!! 🙂

blog post then and now 1

family photo before and after

before and after at the wall.. final cut

 

We had a lot of fun! Here are some more of the poses and shots Sarah captured for us….

 

family 5 year shot. truck.       untitled-1118      untitled-1164      untitled-1224                  untitled-1130 untitled-1144      untitled-1149 untitled-1195

 

 

This post was shared over at:

Amamasstory.com and Themodestmomblog.com and themrstee.com

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Wedding dresses… Just a one time thing??

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I love my wedding dress!

Well, I actually love everything about our wedding. It was a fabulous evening, 5 years ago! Every detail fulfilled by wonderful people with love!

But, then it’s over… and that’s also a wonderful thing… because that means you get to start your new life together as husband and wife… and really it’s just the beginning of your journey. But, do you really have to pack away that beautiful dress forever??

 

Jennifer Eileen Photography

Jennifer Eileen Photography

I don’t think so….

I had heard of these “Wreck the Dress” photography sessions. Some of them are pretty radical,(seriously, google it!) but what I really loved about the idea was getting to wear my dress once more and getting to have a few more pictures to treasure.    (Our original wedding day pictures are amazing and the work of a very talented friend, Jennifer ) A couple months after our wedding, we grabbed some friends (the talented Sarah Matchak behind the camera) and took off to the beach!

We had a blast, and made quite the scene! We took a lot of pictures on the beach and then we jumped in the freezing cold water!

untitled-0382     Photos By Sarah Matchak              untitled-0120                                   untitled-0023                             untitled-0096        untitled-0490   untitled-0551         untitled-0606untitled-0737

 

And then……

 

we decided to try cleaning the dress… and guess what? It wasn’t “wrecked” at all… ( guess I was a little to conservative if that truly is the goal…)

 

at any rate, I still have a beautiful white dress in my closet. And until I have a baby girl to play dress up with, it just hangs there.  Until this week….

 

 

 

 

TUNE IN TO THE NEXT POST HERE TO SEE WHAT WE HAVE DONE TO CELEBRATE 5 YEARS OF MARRIAGE AND OUR JOURNEY TOGETHER

 

 

 

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