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  • I’ll take 3 more of her.
#happilytrista
  • these first few smiles are literally the best thing ever. when you realize how happy you make a tiny person. when you see their face light up because they love you so much. then you fast forward 2.5 years and they’re demanding brownies and cheetos for lunch. 😬😬😬 #sixweeksold #happilytrista
  • (sponsored) When you become a parent, there are so many new things to learn about and I feel like each person latches on to something they’re passionate about / can’t stop reading and learning about. For me? That’s car seats! Thankfully some states are finally updating their laws to conform to recommendations from the APA. We have tried quite a few different seats and this 3-in-1 Pria seat from @maxicosiusa is the nicest! The chest clip is magnetic, making it easy to clip and unclip with one hand. The straps stay in place thanks to their out-of-the-way spring assist, so no more twisted up straps. And the cushions are both washer AND dryer safe! Yay for no more hang-drying! On top of that, it’s rear-facing up to 40lbs, forward-facing up to 65lbs and then a booster up to 100lbs. #ParentYourWay #PriaMax3in1 #happilytrista
  • 6 weeks of this angel girl ✨
She is still waking up once over night most nights. She just started smiling at us these past few days. She loves tummy time but rolls herself over all of the time so we have to roll her back. She loves to be worn and snuggled. And we have to restrain her brother from kissing her 193739 times per day. 🤪 #happilytrista #newborn #sixweeksold #fourthtrimester
  • We are currently paying the price for last week’s easy bedtimes. I’m trying to get Ben to sleep in his own room. So you can guess how happy he is about that. His yelling has Blaire awake still, she’s been out of her room about 25 times. And Sloane is passed out on the couch. At least someone is asleep. They’re lucky they’re adorable because holy moly I’m tired and just want to veg out on the couch. #gotheftosleep #blairebenandsloane #happilytrista
  • Yesterday was almost 60° and today it “feels like” 21°. We had a handful of fall days and it’s not fair because I’m not ready to skip right to winter. There’s nothing better to get us all out of the house than a walk, especially because wearing Sloane puts her right to sleep. Anywho, trying to squeeze in a nap before we get Blaire from school because once we get home it’ll be a mad dash for me to shower and get everyone ready for Blaire’s first kindergarten parent/teacher conference. AND it’s book fair at her school. Who still gets excited for the book fair? 🤭🙋🏼‍♀️ #happilytrista
  • someone changed out of their pajamas today. it wasn’t me.
#happilytrista #rainbowbaby
  • daylight savings vibes... casually pouring coffee in my eyes today. what time were your kiddos awake? 
#dst #daylightsavingssucks #happilytrista #targetstyle
  • Sorry if this made you yawn. 🤭 I just love that Sloane feels the sleep dust when I’m wearing her, just like Benny did! 💕 Hope you’re having a weekend as great as this girl. She is one month old today! Still waking just at 1:30am most nights to eat... occasionally around 5am, too. When she’s awake she likes to look at lights and stare at mama. Whenever she does tummy time she rolls right over to her back. 🥰 #happilytrista
  • Tried some Pinterest-y nail art while the two older kids were at school this morning... and I’m ready to remove and do something a little less crazy when they’re all in bed tonight. 🤪 Real wild Friday night plans, am I right?
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#nailsofinstagram #nailsoftheday #essie #manimonday #happilytrista
  • Sloane’s first Halloween... the one where it snowed 3 inches and was 20° outside. Woody and Jessie lasted about 30 mins trick-or-treating, then they wanted to head home to hand out candy. What was the weather like where you live? And how many pieces of candy do people give out where you trick-or-treat? Here, it’s a tie between “choose two pieces” and “grab a handful.” #blairebenandsloane #halloween #halloween2019 #happilytrista
November 25, 2018

3 things we did to adjust our budget when I left my full-time job

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Snow Storm 2018It has been exactly one year since I left my full-time job. And while giving up that full-time income wasn’t something I took lightly, it’s definitely something I’ll never regret. I now have the cutest tiny bosses in the world. They sure are sassier than (most) of the people I’ve worked with before, although they’re actually much less dramatic. ;)

Before leaving my job, we had to take a look at our finances to figure out where we could trim back to make up for the income we would be losing. These are the three things that helped us.

1| Stick to your budget.
No more absentmindedly throwing random stuff in the cart when shopping, no more multiple trips to the coffee shop every day and no more splurging on over-priced kids clothing are all things that helped cut down on the unnecessary spending out of our budget. Going shopping with a list, shopping somewhere (like Walmart) where they will price-match items for you and learning how to cook our favorite meals at home (ya know, things like Mac ‘n cheese and chicken nuggets) cuts back on the money we used to spend ordering take out.

2| Buy used when you can.
I love shopping and it doesn’t matter to me if it’s in a store or online, new or used. There are so many consignment websites where I can find clothing for myself, my children and Jason. While I occasionally shop through these websites, I also LOVE to shop for used items locally. Finding things through local swap sites is so much fun for me. I can usually find them for half the original cost with plenty of wear left for my kiddos.

3| Sell items (clothing, baby gear, home decor) you no longer need.
In addition to hunting down clothing, toys and home items through swap sites I also use them to MAKE money. I do like to save clothing and some of the larger baby gear for our future kids, but there are items I can part with. Whether it’s a stroller, old baby clothing or a sound machine we don’t need, I can easily list them on our local swap sites.

I love that PayPal and Walmart have teamed up to give me the flexibility I need when it comes to my finances. I don’t like to carry cash and with PayPal cash in and cash out services at Walmart, I can check out, hand a Walmart cashier my money and it is instantly available in my PayPal account. And if I have money in my account that I want to pull out, I can instantly access it at Walmart.

Snow Storm 2018Snow Storm 2018Snow Storm 2018Bedtime with BenHere’s the details:

  • PayPal users can access the money in their PayPal account by easily loading & withdrawing money, at any Walmart store (in the US).
  • PayPal Cash Mastercard customers can simply pay bills or make purchases online or anywhere ‘Mastercard’ is accepted, and access their cash balance using Walmart Service Desks, ATMs, and cash registers for the low fee of $3 per service.  Load and withdrawal limits apply.

While it’s not always easy to stick to a budget and spend the extra time to shop for things used, it is so worth it to be able to spend more time at home with my kids. Not having to worry about who can take time off of work to be home with a sick kid or for a snow day takes stress off of both parents and that’s worth so much more than money.

Learn more about PayPal cash in and cash out services today!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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    • How many kids do you have? Which transition was the hardest? It may not be the traditional answer, but for me, becoming a mama to one was the hardest. I had NO CLUE what I was in for.
The mom guilt.
How long it would take to leave the house.
The sleepless nights.
Breastfeeding.
Losing myself in motherhood — feeling like I had to be with Blaire 24/7.
Adding Ben and now Sloane to our crew has been so much easier for me. It’s like they just fall in line with the crazy. 🤪 And I think being so much more confident in myself as a mom doesn’t hurt either. 💁🏼‍♀️ #motherhoodishard
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#motherhood #momofthree #momof3 #clickinmoms #momtog #thelovelysquares #happilytrista #blaireandben #blairebenandsloane
    • ice cream outside with two of my favorite people. when it’s only 70° outside you can actually eat your ice cream without it melting all over us... and by us I mean them. 👆🏻👆🏻 #blaireandben
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#2yearsold #5yearsold #momof3 #motherhoodintheraw #lifegivingsquares #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom
    • Prepping for our third baby has been pretty easy so far. I guess when you have an older sister and brother, plus a mama who likes to hold on to everything from her babies, there isn’t a ton of shopping to do. The kids are having fun picking out little gifts to give baby sister in the hospital (something Blaire still talks about from when Ben was born), little toys here and there, PJs, and this @babyeinstein 4-in-1 Kickin Tunes Music & Language Discovery Gym at @target. I wasn’t joking when I said they wanted to test it out! #babyeinstein #ignitecuriosity #socialspotters #blaireandben #happilytrista
    • #ad I can’t believe this girl is heading off to kindergarten! With afternoon pre-k last year, we were lucky to not have to worry about the morning rush. So this year, our go-to is a waffle and a chocolate milk for the ride to school. Horizon® Shelf Stable Chocolate Milk is our favorite since we can easily grab it and go! Spoiler alert: she takes one in her lunch, too. Blaire is so excited, but little brother and I are sad to see her spend so much time away from us. But I am excited to be able to walk her to school and avoid the CRAZY drop-off and pick-up lines while the weather’s still nice, anyways. 
You can find @HorizonOrganic Chocolate Milk at @KrogerCo and you can even save $1 with this digital coupon (7/24/19 – 8/6/19). And you can stock up because Horizon Organic milk boxes are shelf-stable, meaning you can safely store them in the pantry. Shop now through the link in my bio. #blaireandben
    • Well we don’t have a Nordstrom near us, but we do have an Aldi. Most of their summer items are on clearance and we scored this sweet pool for $7. Winner, winner. 🦄☀️ #blaireandben
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#summer #momentsiwanttoremember #aldifinds #motherhood
    • This summer hasn’t really felt like summer yet. 🤨 So when we have an 85° day we make the most out of it with a trip to the pool! How’d you spend your Sunday Funday? #blaireandben
    • another day, another doctors appointment for someone in our crew. today it’s Ben. he was up overnight saying his ear hurt — a double ear infection for him. luckily the kid loves taking medicine and hasn’t let his ears get him down! as long as he’s up moving around they’re fine, but the second he lays down... 😭😭😭. hoping our poor buddy is feeling better tomorrow. do you feel like you need a frequent flier card for your pediatrician? just me? okay. #blaireandben #itsfinewerefine
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#uniteinmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw #momentsiwanttoremember #mybabies
    • When your brother is getting big but you still want to hold him... you gotta pinch his butt because he’s so wiggly. 😂😬😍 #blaireandben •
#petitejoys  #childhoodunplugged #letthembelittle #ohheymama #tagtheqc #mybeautifulmess #thehappynow  #thepursuitofjoyproject #thatsdarling #livethelittlethings #momentsiwanttoremember #everydaymoments #nothingisordinary #motherhoodrising
    • It is definitely bittersweet to leave the house where we brought both of these babies home. But we are excited for our next chapter as a family of five! #rainbowbaby #blaireandben
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#pregnancyannouncement #rainbowbabyannouncement #firsttrimester
    • Last night was our first night in the new house. 👏🏻 We still have lots of stuff to bring from the old house and then lots of cleaning over there before the final walk through and closing next Monday. Then we can focus on getting this house unpacked and organized. But first, I would like a nap. 😴 #blaireandben #happilytristahome
    • The snow that never ends. 🙄🥶 Walked out into the snow this afternoon and one kid loved it, the other not so much. “Wowwww! It’s like a wizard out here.” —Blaire 😂
“Yuck!” —Ben #blaireandben
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#bestofmom #momlifestyle #momlifeisthebestlife #motherhoodunplugged #mymotherhood #honestmotherhood #slowmotherhood #mymamahood #midwestblogger #eternalmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw #unitedinmotherhood #motherhoodrising #polarvortex