November….. A Month of Thanks…..Bargain Hunter

I absolutely LOVE a good bargain. My motto basically sounds something like this: If it’s not on sale, and I mean 50% or more, I don’t buy it. Obviously, certain things like food and baby products don’t fall into this category. Although I do try to use coupons and club store’s weekly sales as much as possible. When it comes to clothes, shoes, or any sort of household item; I stand firm in my beliefs. And just so you know, I am still wearing designer clothes and shoes, and my home DOES NOT look like a collection of everyone’s discarded hand me downs.

Some of you may be asking, “How can that be possible?”. My answer is simple. Thrift Shops, Salvage Stores, and Clearance Racks. I try my best to stay away from anything hanging in a regular priced section of a store.

It must be a gene I inherited at birth. I cannot remember a time in my life when I wasn’t searching for the best “bang for my buck”. And that is what I am thankful for today; my ability & desire to get the best deal no matter what.

Let me go into detail a little more by starting with thrift shops. Everyday, in every city in America, people are getting rid of stuff. And a large percentage of those things are in perfectly usable condition. Those items typically wind up in a thrift store somewhere.

I walked into a thrift store not long ago. My daughter was about 4 months old, I had lost a good bit of weight, and I was looking for some nursing friendly clothes to wear until I got back to my pre-pregnancy size. I walked over to the dress rack, and walked out with two maxi dresses, totaling less than $7. When I got home I noticed that one of the dresses still had the original store tags attached. After some inspection, I realized I had paid $3 for a brand new, 100% pure silk Nicole Miller maxi dress with a retail value of $475. $475 for someone else = $3 for me This wasn’t just a one time luck kind of thing. I find very expensive, name brand items, just about every time I go.

Joovy Scooter x2, double stroller: $275
My price: $60 at a second hand kids store

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Tag of the Nicole Miller dress I paid $3.00 for

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Next, are salvage stores. There should be more of these. I didn’t even know what a salvage store was until after my husband brought me to his home town of Picayune, MS for the first time. It was called Hudson’s Treasure Hunt. One trip and I was addicted. We recently moved there and it has been awesome. I redecorated almost our whole house with “treasures” from Hudson’s, now known as Dirt Cheap.

•••salvages stores basically buy goods in bulk from other stores that have gone out of business, have been damaged in someway (ex. fire, flood), or overstocked in stores. They in turn stock their shelves and sell these items for fractions of retail value. While some of the things you find there are simply unusable, most of them are in brand new, non-damaged condition.•••••

Since our move, at least 95% of all clothing purchased came from there. I happened to have an entire maternity wardrobe, not one item cost me over $5. Not to mention all the other things I’ve found. When I make my weekly shopping list, I always stop by Dirt Cheap first. I never walk out without being able to cross out two or three items on my list.

Here are some of my most boastful steals, and their retail value compared to what I actually paid.

Charlie Banana Cloth Baby Diapers, a 6 pack of one size = $115, and a 6 pack of xsmall = $95. I paid $12 total.

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An entire sock monkey themed bedroom for my son was purchased there. I got everything for $30. The comforter came from Kohl’s and it alone had a price tag of $198

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And last but not least, clearance racks. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen something on a full priced rack and lusted after it. After swatting my own hand and telling myself no, I usually wind up finding that exact item 2 or 3 months later ON CLEARANCE. It pays to wait. How many times would you have worn that item in a couple if months? Once? Twice maybe? You can’t beat saving 50-75% just by not wearing something one time.

When we moved we decided to retire our old trusty sofa. Clay and I both agreed a sectional was the route we wanted to take. And it had to be leather, but I still wanted it to be funky and young feeling. What we came a across was a cherry red leather sectional…..price tag = $2,500. There was NO WAY I could ever pay that much for sofa. There is a Rooms To Go Outlet only 20 min from my house. And as luck would have it, they were unloading that exact red leather sofa as I was walking in the door. The only thing wrong with it was a tiny unnoticeable scuff on the backside of the sofa. I got my $2,500 sofa for only $600.

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Whole outfit off clearance rack, shoes & necklace included for less than $15.

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I am so thankful that there are and always will be bargains waiting to be discovered as long as I’m willing to make the effort. I’m also blessed to have a natural desire to always get the best deal.

“Buying something on sale is a very special feeling. In fact, the less I pay for something, the more it is worth to me. I have a dress that I paid so little for that I am afraid to wear it. I could spill something on it, and then how would I replace it for that amount of money?” ~Rita Rudner

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November….. a Month of Thanks….. Sawyer Samuel Eastridge

Only a few months after saying “I do”, Clay and I were shocked to find out that we were expecting our first child. Scared of what that meant, and filled with worries about failing our child as parents, no one could have prepared us for just how different our lives would become at 9:10am on the morning of May 10, 2011; only nine days after celebrating our first wedding anniversary. He was four weeks early and only weighed in at 5 lbs 10 oz, but that little tiny baby kicked our parenting genes into action, and we haven’t looked back since.

Taking home the one thing that would change the meaning of our existence forever.

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As he began to grow, so did our love and connection. Life without our son became unfathomable. He was and still is our drive to be the best we can be.

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Every parent has hopes and great expectations for their children. Praying for them every night, to be blessed with intelligence and strength; to stand as great of a chance at being successful in this world as possible. It didn’t take long before Clay and I knew, without a doubt that our son fell nothing short of perfect. We are both so thankful to have been chosen to parent one of the most intelligent, funny, kind hearted and loving little boys I have ever come into contact with.

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It is an unexplainable feeling to have watched him grow from a tiny helpless infant. Into a independent two year old, a big boy, and an great big brother to his little sister!!

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Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord, for choosing me to be this little boys mommy. It’s such a large responsibly, and I will never stop trying to be the very best mommy, the kind he deserves.

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“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new”. ~Rajneesh

November …..A Month of Thanks….Marriage

In a society where marriage seems to have become a ceremony of the past, it is so refreshing to witness two people make promises to one another that they plan to keep for life. I’m am so thankful to have been a part of Corey (my half sister’s half brother) & Julie’s wedding weekend.

I don’t know what happened over the last decade, but people seem to no longer be looking at marriage as something desirable, an important milestone their in adult life. Instead, many individuals choose to avoid marriage and keep a relationship going, wwhile totally evading any sort of commitment. And half of the ones who do take the plunge, weighed lightly on their vows and end up divorced in just a couple years. People have started looking at marriage as nothing more than a legal arrangement, that with the right amount of money can be destroyed just as quickly as it was created. “It’s easier to get a divorce than pass the driving test. Now it’s just a basic form-filling exercise.”

I take my marriage commitment to my husband very seriously and have very strong opinions on the subject of divorce. With that being said, I am so thankful when am able to witness two people pledge their undying love for one another, knowing that to them forever means forever.

I am thankful that The Lord lead me to a man who carries the same amount of importance to the meaning of forever. So very thankful to know that when I go to bed at night, I don’t have to be worried about my partner changing his mind. “It’s easier to get a divorce than pass the driving test. Now it’s just a basic form-filling exercise.

And lastly, I am thankful for the adults who were part of my adolescent life, the ones that showed me through example how important a marriage is. That you don’t give up, you never walk out on the person you love. Thank you for leading me down the right path, so that my children will learn from husband and I just how cherished a loving marriage is.

May 1, 2010…. The day I committed to FOREVER

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My beautiful Niece Lexi and I at this weekend’s wedding!

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Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Today I am thankful for this bible verse. It helps put into prospective that we should be thankful always. Everything that we’ve been given, both good and bad, has been given to us because it is God’d desire.

Novemeber……A Month of Thanks…..November 4, 2013

Today I was reminded to be thankful for modern technology. It has advance so quickly during the last serval years, making it difficult for many of us to imagine life without it. People would be lost without their cell phones, not to mention what they would do if they couldn’t get am internet signal.  Today, I will be focusing on the positives.

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My husband recently took a new job. That new job requires him to travel overseas to Africa, where he works on a rig, 40 miles off the coast. Many people look at me and think i must be crazy: letting my husband travel halfway around the world for months at a time, leaving me to take care of everything while he is gone (including two babies). Who knows? Maybe I am. But I know one thing is for sure, and that is that technology makes it so much easier to have to be apart from him. I am still able to stay in contact with him on a daily basis.

30 years ago, who would have thought we would even have the capability to send one single email? Much less, video chat with a man on the other side of the world through an internet connection. Probably not very many. Yet here we are, surpassing in the highest expectations of people years ago.

It really is such a priveledge to be able to contact him in a moments notice when I’m having a bad or just want to chat. I am able to send him high quality photos of our kids in a split second with nothing more than the touch of a button. It’s taken for granted so easily, but there was a time when a hand written letter would have been the only way to keep in touch with a distant friend or family member.

Talking to my husband in Africa today, reminded me just how thankful I am for the technology that has been, and will continue to be, developed during my lifetime. No one ever enjoys being away from someone that they love. It does however make it easier knowing that you’ll always be able to Skype them while they are away. And for that, we can thank technology.

November….A Month of Thanks….November 3, 2013

All over social media, you see people participating in 30 days of thanks. Usually, I avoid “trendy” posts. But after contemplating it for a while, I decided that everyone should make the effort from time to time to remember just how much they have to be thankful for. So, although I am a couple of days late, I figured that there is no time like the present.

I am thankful for my husband. This one is easy, right? Obviously I am thankful for my husband. If I wasn’t, perhaps he would not be my husband. (just kidding) . But seriously, more than anyone could ever know, I am thankful for Clayton Samuel Eastridge. The man who is not only my better half, but also the best father I could ever imagine my children having.

Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are made of the same things. I know without a shadow a doubt that Clay was created for me, and I for him. There is no other person or object in this world that could ever be more perfectly designed for me. He encourages me daily to be a better person, and because of him I have the desire to do so. He is listens to me:  my dreams, my worries, my fears; never once criticizing me or making me feel inadequate. Reminding me daily of how strong I am capable of being, he gives me the motivation I need to be nothing short of what he already knows I am. Whenever I’m standing at a metaphorical bridge, too scared to cross, he is always there to hold my hand and walk with me to the other side. He is so much more than just a husband. He is my best friend, confidant, intellectual soulmate, inspiration, and everything that falls in between.

It has been said that when you truly find love, you will find yourself. I couldn’t agree more. It is because of Clay that I have become who I am today. Finding him, has allowed me to dig deep within myself, wash away the dirt, and come away as a woman I didn’t even know existed. She was there all along, locked up and begging to come out. I just needed the key to open the door. Clay was that key.

I look forward to watching our children grow, and holding hands as we get old together. I will always be in love with the 22 year old version of him; the boy that showed up like a knight in shinning amour and stole my heart, and I know that I will continue to fall in love with him throughout every stage of our lives together.

So Clay, if you’re reading this, thank you. Thank for all that you have given me. For finding me at a time in your life when you could have easily chosen anyone else. Thank you for acknowledging that what we have is rare. Thank you for flooding my heart with love, like only you can. It’s me and you against the world…..forever.

Clay & I right after we starting dating. br />
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Clay & I now. After 3 1/2 years of marriage and 2 kids. As happy as ever!

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