Fall Porch Decor (with links)

Fall Porch Decor (with links)

It’s my favorite time of year again! I’ve always loved autumn…the nice relief from the hot summer, still warm enough to wear a T-shirt in the middle of the day but chilly in the morning and night. (At least here in New Jersey…when I lived in Texas not so much!) Decorating the outside of my house has always been on my to-do list but when I had small babies it was really hard. This is the first year I felt ready to tackle a small outdoor project. I kept it pretty simple and tried to focus on a few nice ideas instead of going totally crazy with it (which is always tempting!)

These mats are both from Target. I found even better mat/rug combos here and here! I absolutely love all those fall-themed mats out there (think “Hey Pumpkin” or “You’re Gourd-geous) but it’s just not realistic for me. I like to use a mat that will work all-year round so I’m not constantly needing to switch it out. I don’t have much storage outside (or inside for that matter) so I like to use one product as much as possible. I guess I could just buy a new mat each season every year but that sounds expensive! The brown “hello” mat is cute and works all year round. The black and white mat underneath is festive for fall but could definitely be used in other seasons…it’s all about what it’s paired with!

Instead of spending $50+ on a new fall sign, I decided to make one myself. I actually had an old shelf from a closet we used to have in our house (before we renovated.) I had been holding onto it hoping I could use it for something. I’m kind of lazy so instead of using paint or stencils with spray paint I decided to use regular sharpie to outline the letters and then colored them in with this marker. It worked so well! I was pleasantly surprised. I will definitely be using them again for other projects.

These bats are my favorite part! I think they’re such a nice touch. They’re so affordable and can be stuck pretty much anywhere. Super easy to use. I found the cute wreath at Aldi for $12.99. (If you want one go now because Aldi only has seasonal items for about a week!) I found a similar wreath here. I found that the wreath was a little hard to see with the window behind it so I added some contact paper to make it stand out. I love this because it adds privacy but it is non-adhesive (you just put water on the window and it sticks on) so if I change my mind I can just peel it off!

After spending about $30 on mums and pumpkins from a local store, I probably spent a total of $70 (I already had the “hello” mat.) I also plan on painting the other side of the “fall” sign with a Christmas theme so I can use it for the next season as well! I hope you have fun decorating your own porches this fall!


Violet’s Enchanted Forest Birthday Party

Violet’s Enchanted Forest Birthday Party

Violet has always loved unicorns, fairies, and magic. I decided to make her birthday party a little more grown-up this year (she is turning 5 after all!) Unfortunately I was a little rushed getting the supplies at the last minute or else I would have just ordered them online (which is SO much easier!) Here are some links to similar products so you can re-make this table top decor!

Faux greenery

Wood slices

I can’t believe my little Violet is turning 5!



My little fairies

Violet’s birthday is right before Halloween and the girls LOVE to dress up but she also doesn’t usually want a “Halloween-themed” birthday party. This was a good compromise. The girls wore some costumes they already had. I took a piece of the faux ivy and made Violet a little crown with some of the real flowers!

Pretty plates

Tea lights


I also bought fresh flower bouquets to put on the table and just used some vases I already had at home. (The flowers were super cheap from Aldi! One of my absolute favorite stores!)

I hope you can use some of these ideas for your next party! What are some of your favorite kid-party themes? Where do you like to shop?

How to Make Money with Apps (Even While You’re With Your Kids!)

How to Make Money with Apps (Even While You’re With Your Kids!)

Who doesn’t like making a little extra money now and then? I know I especially enjoy making money doing things I would already have been doing WITH my children present. (Which they usually are because I am a stay at home mom.) You probably have some questions. Is this really possible? What does it entail? Is it time consuming?

The good news is, it can be as time consuming and as profitable as you want. Here are some apps that I use regularly to make a little bit of money on the side.

Target’s Cartwheel App

If you are a fan of Target you probably already have the Cartwheel app. It allows you to basically “clip” coupons (browse for products and click on the ones you plan on buying which are then saved to your list) on your phone before you shop. Then you pull up the app on your phone at checkout and the cashier scans the barcode and you save some money. It’s very straightforward and easy to use and some of the deals are really good!


This is another app that allows you to “clip” coupons before you shop. Then after your purchase has been made, you scan your receipt and get money back. You can get some really good deals if you use this on top of the Cartwheel app. For instance, one time recently I needed to buy some body wash. This particular body wash was already on sale in store at Target. If you bought 4 you got a $10 Target gift card. On top of that, it was 20% off on the Cartwheel app. Then on Ibotta, this same product happened to be $1 off each bottle. So I ended up paying about $2.99 for each bottle which is pretty good. Use my referral link to get started!

Receipt Pal

This app is a no brainer. You literally take pictures of almost ANY receipt and get points. The points can then be used to buy gift cards to various stores. It’s super easy and it takes literally a few seconds, so why not? You can even set it up so it gets your e-receipts from online purchases.


Another app you don’t even have to think about. You link it up with your card and make purchases as you normally would. (Only thing you might have to remember is use your debit card like a credit card.) It then gives you cash back on every qualifying purchase. Once you reach $15 you can withdraw it. And believe me, it doesn’t take long.


This app takes a little more work, but not much. There’s a few different ways to earn “kicks” which turn into cash. Some times you earn kicks just from walking into a store. You can also scan items in the store (no purchase necessary.) Then you can also earn kicks from buying specific items. On top of that, there are certain stores that give you kicks when you make purchases with a linked card.


This app is pretty cool. It sells gift cards to stores at a discount. For example, I have bought a $50 gift card for Groupon for $42. Not huge savings I know, but after a while it adds up. You can use the gift card as soon as you buy it! And the list of qualified stores is long. Click this to get started!


Ok, this is a whole other ball game when it comes to money-making apps. There are multiple ways to make cash on Swagbucks. You can take surveys on your phone or computer that earn “swagbucks” or “SB” which turn into cash or gift cards. It can be a bit time consuming, depending on the survey, but definitely profitable. You can also take a daily polls, watch videos, play games, even search for things online and they all earn SB. They also have a live trivia game at 8 pm Monday-Thursday that can earn you some SB, even if you don’t win. If you have some downtime and don’t mind being on your phone a lot, Swagbucks is for you. Use this link to get started now!

User Testing

I was excited when I found out about this site. You get paid to try out different websites and review them. There will be specific tasks to do while you verbally answer questions about your experience. Each site pays $10 (some pay more) directly to your Paypal account. I leave the site up on my laptop when I have some down time (usually after the kids are asleep because it needs to be quiet) and it makes a “ding” sound when there are tests available. You might not qualify for every test, depending on who they’re looking for, so the payout is kind of unpredictable but it’s nice extra money.


If you haven’t already noticed, I’m a big fan of getting paid for doing things I already planned on doing. This app counts your steps and pays you in “Sweatcoins” which you can use to buy various prizes. I always makes sure this app is open when I walk to drop off/pick up my daughter from school.

Thred Up

If you’re anything like me, you love getting rid of clutter. With 4 kids in the house, clutter is nearly impossible to completely avoid. As I mentioned in an earlier post that you can read here we live in a pretty small house without much storage. So once the kids grow out of clothes I either give them away or sell them on Thred Up. It’s so convenient for moms like me. All you do is download the app, order a bag and it comes in them mail (for free.) Then you fill the bag with whatever you want to sell or get rid of. (There is a chance they will not want to sell everything you put in there, which in that case they can either send it back to you or just donate it for you.) Then you bring the bag to your local post office and mail it back for free. You can keep track of everything you’re selling on the app. Click here to get started!

I hope this helps you start earning a little bit of cash while you’re taking care of your family. Do you do anything else to make money while you’re with your kids? I’d love to hear your ideas!