Carters and Osh Kosh Sale

Need some last minute Easter clothes? Well I think I did pretty well at Carters today and the sale is still going on. Everything in the store is at least 50% off (which is honestly the only time I shop there minus for jeans which are generally a doorbuster for a good price) and there is a coupon for an extra 25% off a purchase of $40 or more.

I love the clothes at Carters and Osh Kosh Bgosh, but the retail price is more than I’d ever consider spending with soon to be four kids. But thankfully, they often have sales that make the prices reasonable. Right now, you can pretty much everything 50% off and using the code “FORYOU” online will get you an extra 25% off a purchase of $40 or more. I snagged an entire outfit for the baby, shirts for my older boys, five pairs of shoes, and two packs of socks for $117. And that will also get me $10 in rewards to use next time I go in. That’s a pretty good deal in my book when you consider the usual price of shoes.

Now we are set for a while with shoes and my boys will look cute on Easter (which they don’t care about it, but it’s not for them). So check out their sale online and also take advantage of the 40% off already clearance items as well.

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Quick & Easy Lasagne

So I absolutely love lasagne. What I don’t like is how time consuming it can be if you want to make everything from scratch and use noodles you have to boil. When I worked at a pizza shop years ago, we also made this awesome lasagne that was quick and easy and can be customized to your liking. The trick is to use oven ready lasagne noodles. My favorite are Barilla oven ready noodles. I used Kroger brand because they were on sale, but I’ll probably stick with Barilla in the future because three per layer fits perfectly in my 9″x13″ inch casserole dish. So I’ll give you the instructions as if you were using Barilla noodles.

INGREDIENTS

  • Barilla Oven Ready Lasagne Noodles (also available gluten free in some stores)
  • One jar of your choice of pasta sauce
  • 32 oz of assorted cheese (I used mozzarella, an Italian cheese blend, and Parmesan)
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Italian Seasonings

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 400F.
  2. Take a 9″x13″ casserole dish and spread a thin layer of pasta sauce on the bottom. If you are going to make the lasagne with vegetables and/or meat, cook them now and mix them into the remaining sauce. Take three Barilla noodles and spread an even layer of ricotta on each. Sprinkle with Italian seasonings. Spread an even layer of pasta sauce over the ricotta. This will be slightly uneven if you used meat and/or veggies, but that’s okay. Top the layer with your chosen cheeses.
  3. Repeat step 2 for the second layer.
  4. For the third layer, skip the ricotta cheese step. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and spread it evenly and then top with cheese. I usually sprinkle a little more of Italian seasoning on the very top. You can make this with more layers, but you may need more sauce and cheese.
  5. Cover the casserole dish with foil. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Uncover for the last few minutes to let the cheese brown a little on top.

When it’s done, cut and serve with whatever sides you want. We usually just do simple with some garlic bread and a salad. The great thing about lasagne is that you can personalize it however you want. You can use homemade sauce or store bought. You can use tomato sauce or Alfredo. You can add Italian sausage, ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken. You can add some spinach, onions, bell pepper, or any other veggies you think might taste good in lasagne. So play around with it. It’s hard to go wrong with lasagne.

Motherhood Maternity Sale

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Motherhood Maternity is having a great sale right now on maternity and nursing clothes. All clearance clothing is an additional 40% off, which adds up to some really awesome savings. I’ve been eyeballing a maxi skirt that is only $11.98 after discounts. They have t-shirts for nearly $8, jeans, I saw a couple swimsuits as well.

I always say I’m not going to buy more maternity clothes each pregnancy, but inevitably, I’ve worn out some of my favorite pieces over the years and considering most of my clothes get worn long after my kids are born, that doesn’t help. But I also can’t stomach the idea of paying full price for comfortable clothes. Lots of women wear their husband’s shirts and what not, but my husband is thinner than I am, so that’s not ever going to happen. So I need something comfy but that doesn’t make me feel frumpy when I have to run errands or volunteer at my kid’s schools.

This deal has been my savior every pregnancy. They also usually have their nursing bras buy 3 get 1 free as well which isn’t a GREAT deal, but it works when I’m in a pinch. If you aren’t in immediate need, sometimes they have nursing bras on clearance which is a better deal in my experience. Target has also started carrying nursing bra, although I haven’t tried them yet. They are generally cheaper though, so I probably should give them a try, I just haven’t been able to find my size in stores and I don’t like buying bras online.

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They actually just had the same sale not long ago and I managed to score a pair of jeans, two tank tops, and a summery cardigan for around $30. So go to your local store if you have one nearby or just shop online and snag some good maternity/nursing deals while the sale is going on.

 

Target Kid’s Clothing Sale

Target has become one of my favorite places for clothes for my boys. It’s so hard to find clothes that are different from the standard sports clothes and jeans and button ups that most stores carry while also being affordable for the average family. I got an email today about the Target Cartwheel app having a deal on kids and toddler clothing and shoes for 20% off. So of course I had to go check it out.

Firstly, their Easter stuff in the toddler/baby section is absolutely adorable this year. I ended up not getting anything right then, but I’m seriously considering going back. The romper on the mannequin was $9.99, so only $8.00 after the deal. But even more awesome is that they have their summer clothes out. In the toddler section, they had shorts for as low as $5. So only $4 a pair after 20% off. Even better, the Cat & Jack line guarantees their clothes for a year if you keep your receipt. Anyone with rough children knows that can be a lifesaver. They also had graphic T-shirt’s for as low as $4.50 in the toddler section, so only $3.60 for some cute T-shirt’s with this deal. And even better, I just looked online and they have two packs of the $5 shorts for $9.50 and then an extra 20% off. So you can shop online and get an even better deal!

In the boys section, they had relaxed fit jeans for $8.99 and most of the other Cat & Jack jeans were $12.99. And I can say these have held up great for us. All of the Cat & Jack clothes are great for my skinny kids as well, which isn’t always the case with kids clothes. Most of their shorts and sweatpants have functional drawstrings which is amazing for the price considering up until recently I couldn’t find ANY shorts or sweats with a functional drawstring. So go stock up on clothes at Target and share your haul!

The Beeman: A Children’s Book Review

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The Beeman is a wonderful children’s book sold by Barefoot Books. I am a Barefoot Books Ambassador, so I may be biased, but I absolutely love their books. It’s written by Laurie Krebs and illustrated by Valeria Cis. The Beeman is a heartwarming story about a boy and his grandpa, who is the local beeman. The boy and his grandpa tend to the bees together and harvest the honey, all while the story mentions the jobs of the bees in the hive.

At the end of the book, there are a couple of pages of facts about bees and what they do and why they are important. After this, there is a recipe for the Apple and Honey muffins that the boy’s grandma makes in the story. I love that this book features a family spending time together doing something important. Also, the lessons taught in this book about bees is an important one. The bee population is an extremely important part nature and without the bees, we’d be in trouble. So teaching kids that bees aren’t scary and that they actually serve a greater purpose is so important. I highly recommend this book as it is not only entertaining but also educational. My kids were shocked and interested the entire time as we read facts about bees. The recipe is just an added bonus and makes for a great opportunity to do a fun activity with your kids while continuing the conversation about bees, their importance, and the yummy honey that they produce.

If you’d like to find this book for your kids, check out Barefoot Books HERE. This is my ambassador link and I would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have about this awesome company and our line of educational and diverse books and activities.

Pantry Organization System – Algot Series from IKEA

So I posted yesterday about my kid’s bedroom closet that we just redid. We used the Algot series from IKEA to redo their entire closet (bins, light, and all) for under $200. It turned out amazing and it’s such a better use of space now. Well, our pantry was also a mess. There were uprights in there that were supposed to hold brackets for shelves that were literally falling out of the walls. The previous owners had shelves of all different sizes and colors. It was ugly and it wasn’t very functional. Not to mention, it’s under the stairs, so it’s just a really awkward space for a pantry.

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Before of the pantry without the shelves. Should have gotten a before photo with them in.

After seeing how well the kid’s closet turned out, I went to the Algot Planning Tool Here and designed the pantry. It cost about $160 for the entire system that we custom designed and the bins that I bought to make things more organized.

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There’s still a little bit of patching and painting to do and I want to rip out the carpet (because why the heck is their carpet in a pantry), but I love how it turned out. I got a three pack of bins that can stack if you want for our onions, potatoes, and seasoning mixes at Walmart. They cost around $5 for the pack.

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Then I got these brown bins at Big Lots for $3.50 apiece to keep things like pasta, fruit cups, and spreads/condiments together.

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And last (but not least), I use these awesome pull out baskets that we put up from the Algot system to store things like chips, bread, fruit, and easy to grab snacks.

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Seriously, IKEA is probably my go to for all things storage from now on. It’s affordable and it works and so far, I’ve been very impressed with the quality of their Algot line. It seems very sturdy and honestly, while something from somewhere like the Container Store might be a little more high quality, you will pay more than twice as much for something comparable. And if your kids are anything like mine, they’d still probably end up trying to color on it or destroy it at some point and you’d end up having to replace or repaint a $50 shelf instead of a $5 shelf.

Next, I’ll show you our master closet transformation. There’s some products in our closet that we didn’t use anywhere else that you won’t want to miss!

Kid’s Closet System

So we have three boys with one on the way. The two oldest share a bedroom and the baby still sleeps in our room. Eventually he and his unborn baby brother will share the other bedroom that is currently an office. But since our house isn’t exactly monstrous and the closets are definitely on the small side for sharing, we had to get creative with our storage.

The closet in the boy’s room originally only had one bar for hanging clothes. That’s just not enough of a storage solution for the clothes, shoes, and toys of three kids. If you’ve ever looked at storage solutions at places like the Container Store, you know that it can be expensive. The good news is that there are cheaper options for a family on a budget.

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When an IKEA opened close to our house, I was ecstatic. I went to the opening to see what I could find for our house and saw these closet systems that seemed like they would be perfect. The only downside is that the shelves and accessories to build the closets only come in a few sizes so you might end up with a little bit of unused space, but so far it hasn’t been much of an issue with us and we have redone our pantry, master closet, and kid’s closet. The series is called Algot and you can find the closet planning tool HERE. I got everything, including the plastic bins, from IKEA. There wasn’t a light in the closet, so I bought a motion sensor light that you are techincally supposed to screw in, but I didn’t want to screw anything in to the bottom of my top shelf, so I bought some command strips and put it up that way.

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The total cost came in under $200. And it was 100% worth it. They have smaller pull out bins that would work great for underwear, socks, and pjs and what not if you don’t have anywhere else to store them outside of the closet. We luckily have some space for a couple cube organizers where we put all of the kids underwear and pjs and things like books. All you need to plan a closet is the dimensions of the space. Make sure to take depth into account because that’s the one thing the planner doesn’t input which caused us to have to re-plan to closet after I realized the pull out bins wouldn’t work where I originally put them.

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So check out the Algot closet planner and if you end up building an IKEA closet, let me know how it goes for you!