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Showing posts from January, 2014

January No-Low Spend Challenge 2014: END RESULTS

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As you may recall, I am following along with Precious over at Frugal Makes Cents Two in her Money Saving Challenge for this year.  For the month of January I will be following along with Carla on her “Low-No Spend January Challenge.” I think this goes along perfectly with our family decision to go to all cash for expenses.
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It is now January 31, 2014....time to do a final check in and see how I have been doing on my challenges....




For January, then my goals for the No/LOW spend challenge are as follows and this is how I did for the month:
$100 a week for both groceries, household and health and beauty products. Our freezer is pretty full, thanks to the ¼ hog we got for Christmas. I think this is totally doable. Our spending on groceries and household stuff skyrocketed in November and December with extra spending and impulse buying…time to reign it in. Whatever is left each week w…

I, Walter (book review)

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MY THOUGHTS:

I, Walterby Mike Hartner centers around the character of Walter, a commoner, living with his family in Elizabethan England. As a teenager, Walter leaves home to forge a better place for himself in the world. He is taken under the wing of Bart on a ship heading out to the sea. What follows is a story of good coming to good people, heroes being formed, pirate fights and a romance to be found. The story of Walter is told because Walter is writing his story for the ages, while in the throws of malaria and toward his death bed as an old man.

I will tell you that I was enthralled with the story I, Walter. It is a fanciful story that will transport you to the seaports of the ancient world, you will root for Walter and his friends while they fight off pirates.You will see the beaches and seaports as if they were real to you. You will laugh at the hilarity of some of the writing. You will ache for the many hard decisions that Walter has had to make in his life. And this book will k…

Snow/ Cold Day--Day 2

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Today, my daughter's school and the place that I work at is closed again. We were also closed yesterday due to the dangerous wind chills we are experiencing around here. This is our calamity day #5...unless the governor changes the law, then any more days off due to snow/cold we will have to make up probably at the end of the school year. Some schools in our area have used 11 snow days so far!

Right now, as I am typing this up, it is -2F outside with a wind chill of -15F. That is an improvement from an hour ago when it was -7F and wind chills were -22F. All I know is that it is COLD. Here in the house, the furnace is working non-stop and it is still down to 64F here.  I am not looking forward to our gas bill. I shouldn't complain though, at least we have heat.

Yesterday, I spent the morning on the couch covered up and the afternoon in bed with a nasty head cold. Today I feel a little better. Still have the head cold, but have more energy so am hoping to get some things done.

My goals for the week

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Inspired by Crystal Paine's new book "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life " , I have decided to start making a list of 10 weekly goals that I hope to accomplish this week. Each week I hope to post a listing of my goals for the week in the categories of: marriage, mothering, personal, blogging and homemaking.
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FIRST LET'S RECAP LAST WEEK:

My goals for last week were:

MARRIAGE GOALS:
Leave Bill at least one love note on our whiteboard on nights that he works late.Make a list of possible date night ideas for the future. MOTHERING GOALS: Read at least one book to each child before bed each night (did this most nights)Sign Jacob up for YMCA Spring Soccer  HOMEMAKING GOALS: Clean out file box from 2013 to prepare it for 2014Continue to follow cleaning routine that we implemented a few weeks ago…

Sunday Night Chit Chat

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HAPPY SUNDAY!!!  And since it is Sunday, it is time once again for Sunday Night Chit-Chat...hosted by our friend Carla! To play along simply start your post with a photo or quote... Copy and paste the starters and link up to Carla so she and others can visit you and see what you've been up to!

So here goes:

Reading?  Nothing right now. I have 3 books that I need to write reviews for. Listening to?  Bill explaining what a "Pro Bowl" is to Rebecca. Watching? Hubby is watching the Pro Bowl football game. Cooking/Baking? I made hot ham and cheese sandwiches for dinner for the kids. I made queso with sausage for me and chicken noodle soup for Bill. I also made caramel turtle brownies today.Happy you accomplished this week? Finished reading  I, Walter. Had a good meeting with my boss. Looking forward to next week? I am hoping to survive the next polar vortex with minimal damage. It is supposed to be wind chills of -50F. Looking forward to making through this last week of January,…

Hibernating today....

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This is a photo out my kitchen window this morning. We have gotten probably 3-4 inches of snow overnight...but the problem is the howling winds. The snow is just drifting in huge piles.

 I live on a major road in our town...if you keep going down this road about 2 blocks you get to where all the stores and restaurants are. Our county is under a Level 2 snow emergency, which means that roads are very hazardous and if you don't have to go out, don't. They are asking people to call their employers to see if they need to be in.

We are supposed to get another 1-3 inches today and then 1-3 inches more with another weather system tomorrow.

Then the real fun begins...Monday night into Tuesday we are supposed to get down to -16F as the actual temperature, and the wind chill is supposed to be a balmy -50F. YIKES is all I have to say. I am making sure all of our sweatsuits are clean today especially for the kids as I am sure our house will get chilly.

On the positive there are only 55 d…

Feeling snubbed

Last weekend we received an invitation in the mail that I had been expecting. However, it was not the exact type of invitation that I was expecting.

I have a friend that is getting married on March 1.  This person I consider a close friend. She was the first person outside of the doctor and nurses and Bill and I to hold Benjamin after he was born. She spent more time at the hospital when I had Benjamin with me, than my own parents did. I would trust her with my kids in a heartbeat.

I have known about the upcoming wedding since last year. We were sent an engagement announcement. Rebecca and I are invited to her upcoming bridal shower. We apparently are NOT invited to the actual wedding. Instead we are invited to the reception only.

What the....?

I don't get it. I am feeling kind of snubbed, especially after I found out that several people that I thought were not as good friends with her have been invited to both the wedding and the reception. There are over 100 people invited to bo…

Take Charge of Your Emotions by Dr. Linda J. Solie (book review)

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From the back cover: 

Do you sometimes have emotions you can't explain or don't want? You are not alone--and there is help. Whether you are challenged with significant bouts of depression or anxiety, periods of longstanding emotional pain, frequent temper flare-ups, or only an occasional unwelcome mood, Take Charge of Your Emotions is relevant to your life.

Psychologist Linda Solie guides you through seven steps to dealing with negative or destructive feelings. You will learn and practice time-tested skills that offer relief from painful emotions, including how to
· Identify exactly what you are feeling
· Understand the connection between your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
· Choose new ways to think that produce emotional and behavioral change 

No matter where you are emotionally or what you are dealing with, you can change the way you feel and behave. With nearly thirty years of hands-on cognitive/behavioral experience, Dr. Solie provides tools designed to help you find freedom…

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine (book review)

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From the back cover:

Calling the super busy, the stressed out, the overtired. You know you're made for a more fulfilling life. With this book, you’ll know where to start. You wake up tired. Your to-do list is too long. The commitments—and the laundry—are piling up, but your energy keeps dwindling. You feel like you're simply making it through the days, not living or enjoying any part of them. In Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, you'll find both practical ideas and big-picture perspective that will inspire you to live life on purpose. As a wife, mother of three, and founder of the wildly successful blog MoneySavingMom.com, Crystal Paine has walked the road from barely surviving to living with intention. With the warmth and candor of a dear friend, she shares what she's learned along the way, helping you: feel healthier and more energetic by setting priorities and boundarieseliminate stress with savvy management of your time, money, and homeget more done by setting realistic …

My Goals for the Week

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Inspired by Crystal Paine's new book "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life " (which I will post an official review of tomorrow), I have decided to start making a list of 10 weekly goals that I hope to accomplish this week. Each week I hope to post a listing of my goals for the week in the categories of: marriage, mothering, personal, blogging and homemaking.


My goals for this week are:

MARRIAGE GOALS:

Leave Bill at least one love note on our whiteboard on nights that he works late.Make a list of possible date night ideas for the future. MOTHERING GOALS: Read at least one book to each child before bed each nightSign Jacob up for YMCA Spring Soccer  HOMEMAKING GOALS: Clean out file box from 2013 to prepare it for 2014Continue to follow cleaning routine that we implemented a few weeks ago PERSONAL GOALS: Get back to drinking just one pop a dayEat at least one fruit or vegetable with each meal BLOG GOALS…

Sunday Night Chit Chat

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HAPPY SUNDAY!!!  And since it is Sunday, it is time once again for Sunday Night Chit-Chat...hosted by our friend Carla! To play along simply start your post with a photo or quote... Copy and paste the starters and link up to Carla so she and others can visit you and see what you've been up to!

So here goes:
Reading?  Just finished "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode" by Crystal Paine (the author of moneysavingmom.com)Listening to?  The 49ers/Seahawks game on TV. The boys are chasing each other through the house. Jacob is chasing Benjamin saying "I am going to get you" and Ben is just laughing.Watching? Hubby is watching the 49ers/ Seahawks football game. Cooking/Baking? I made ribs in the crockpot and with it we had macaroni and cheese, green beans, asparagus, and rolls.Happy you accomplished this week? Finished reading 4 books for reviews (look for them this week)Looking forward to next week? Implementing some of what I read about in "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode.…

January No-Low Spend Challenge 2014: Week 2

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As you may recall, I am following along with Precious over at Frugal Makes Cents Two in her Money Saving Challenge for this year.  For the month of January I will be following along with Carla on her “Low-No Spend January Challenge.” I think this goes along perfectly with our family decision to go to all cash for expenses.
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It is now January 16, 2014....time to check in and see how I have been doing on my challenges....




For January, then my goals for the No/LOW spend challenge are as follows and this is how I have done this week:
$100 a week for both groceries, household and health and beauty products. Our freezer is pretty full, thanks to the ¼ hog we got for Christmas. I think this is totally doable. Our spending on groceries and household stuff skyrocketed in November and December with extra spending and impulse buying…time to reign it in. Whatever is left each week will be di…

New glasses and a haircut

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I mentioned before that for Christmas I gave my parents a list of some things that I wanted (and were practical), but also told them that if they wanted would they just take any money that they would spend on me and put it towards me getting my eyes examined and/or a new pair of glasses.

I have worn glasses since high school. I have not been to the eye doctor in probably 5 years or so. I know, I know...not good... but that is what happens when you don't have any insurance and you pay out of pocket. A couple of years ago, MY glasses broke (actually Jacob broke them but that is neither here nor there as he was 2 at the time). My dear hubby had a pair that he had recently gotten that he was not wearing...I put his on to see if they would work, and they did. Our prescriptions must have been very similar, because it was like looking out of my glasses. Well those glasses I have been wearing for the last 2 years.

On Christmas, my mom gave me an envelope marked "For Your Eyes Only&qu…

January No-Low Spend Challenge 2014: Week 1

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As you may recall, I am following along with Precious over at Frugal Makes Cents Two in her Money Saving Challenge for this year.  For the month of January I will be following along with Carla on her “Low-No Spend January Challenge.” I think this goes along perfectly with our family decision to go to all cash for expenses.
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It is now January 8, 2014....time to check in and see how I have been doing on my challenges....




For January, then my goals for the No/LOW spend challenge are as follows and this is how I have done this week:
$100 a week for both groceries, household and health and beauty products. Our freezer is pretty full, thanks to the ¼ hog we got for Christmas. I think this is totally doable. Our spending on groceries and household stuff skyrocketed in November and December with extra spending and impulse buying…time to reign it in. Whatever is left each week will be div…

63 degrees

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That is what the temperature is here in our house right now! Last night it got down to -10F here in Mount Vernon with wind chills of -45F. When Bill got up to go to work this morning at 6:30, it was down to 62F here in the house. And YES the heat was on the WHOLE time. We have radiator/boiler type heat, and near the radiators it is warm so the heat is working. It is just so cold outside that it is having a hard time heating the house. (And we rent, so we can't change the amount of insulation/ or lack thereof--We have put plastic on the windows and door drafts on the doors....)

I have the water running just a trickle in our faucets...I have baked a loaf of pumpkin bread. Now am making baked potatoes to keep the oven going. Hoping the residual heat helps the house heat. 
Because of the temperatures, Rebecca has another day off of school (this has got to be the LONGEST Christmas break! LOL) and I have another day off of work. So I am now down 2 days of pay.....oh well, that is life I…

Snow Day today!

So today was supposed to be the day that Rebecca went back to school from Christmas break and I was supposed to go back to work....

Well Mother Nature made other plans. Due to the extreme cold (supposed to hit temps of -15 later today, without factoring in any wind) and snow and ice, we have a snow day today.

Rebecca cried when she got up and I told her there was no school. She really wanted to go back as she said she misses her friends. I am so glad she enjoys school!

Right now as I am typing this up, the sun has decided to come out and tease up, but it is super cold out. We will stay inside and just enjoy having another day home together. I told the kids we could watch "Toy Story 2" this afternoon and make popcorn to hopefully make her feel a little better.

Later,  I am planning on making chili and cornbread for dinner. As for the rest of today, I will probably work on laundry and maybe reading.

What about you? Any plans for today? How is the weather where you are? Are you…

Sunday Night Chit Chat

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HAPPY SUNDAY!!!  And since it is Sunday, it is time once again for Sunday Night Chit-Chat...hosted by our friend Carla! To play along simply start your post with a photo or quote... Copy and paste the starters and link up to Carla so she and others can visit you and see what you've been up to!

So here goes:



Reading?  Break Out by Joel OsteenListening to?  The Packers/ 49ers game on TV. The scissors as Rebecca is at her art table creating something.Watching? Hubby is watching the Packers/ 49ers football game (GO PACKERS!)Cooking/Baking? I made a turkey breast, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, gravy and rolls for dinner tonight. I also baked up a box of Reese's cookies--was disappointed only got 12 cookies out of the mix.Happy you accomplished this week? Got our budget figured out. Payed all of January bills minus the gas bill and directv bill. Looking forward to next week? Back to school after Christmas vacation. And back to work! Thankful for today? A great 2 weeks…

My big personal goal for 2014

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Yesterday, I offered up my goals for the year. And I went into depth on my financial goals for the year. Today I would like to tell you my plan for achieving MY MAIN PERSONAL GOAL for 2014.

My main personal goal out of the 2 that I set is..... TO LOSE 40 POUNDS by December 31, 2014.

This is a big goal and one that I have struggled with in the past. I am a stress eater and a chocoholic. I love food and I know that I usually use food as a comfort. That is NOT a good thing.

I know that I do not like my current weight. I do not like having tight clothes and not feeling good about how I look. I do not like the fact that I have a double chin. I just don’t like it. So if I don’t like it then I need to change it, because I AM THE PRODUCT OF MY OWN DECISIONS.

So I will make better decisions…and I will achieve this goal by December 31, 2014.

My plan of action:

I will cut down pop to no more than 1 can a day. I will replace my pop habit with homemade brewed tea and/or water.
I will exercise dai…

Our financial goals and a No/Low Spend Challenge for January

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One of the main areas I want to focus on this year, is our family finances. I feel that we were in a better place financially at the end of 2012, but still not in a good place. We still have credit card debt. We have student loan debt (although with our income we are not paying on these right now). We have a tiny emergency fund ($1000). We are not where we want to be.

This year I will work on getting us to an even better place!

As a review here are my financial goals for 2014:

FOR OUR FAMILY FINANCES:


I will pay off half our credit card debt this year. Right now our current credit card debt is $7596.34. I will pay off $3798.17 by the end of December 2104. (I hope to make a huge chunk of this with our tax money….)I will NOT use the credit card to pay any of Rebecca’s or Jacob’s (starting in August) school tuition. I will keep track of daily expenses to see where our money is going. I will go to cash for every day expenses except gas for the vehicles.I will complete a 52 week money savin…

Goals for 2014!

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Last night, I celebrated the end of 2013 with my dear hubby and kids. The kids went to bed at their normal time and then Dear Hubby and I decided that instead of watching a movie and doing our own thing, that we would play a board game with each other and wait until midnight. We played Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble and I have to say that Dear Hubby won both games. There was a lot of laughter and love as we ended 2013. It probably didn't hurt that we also shared a bottle of wine and some chocolate chex mix ;) We then watched the ball drop in time square and cuddled on the couch watching about ½ hour or so of the music guests that were on the TV.

This morning, I woke up with the realization that it is 2014 and that we, or more specifically, I am the product of my own decisions. This is the year that I take control of those decisions and make my life different. Things have needed to change for a while and yet I have not changed them. I haven’t owned up to the fact that life has not b…