30 June 2013

The year is half over!

With June ending it's finally feeling like summer here!
We have big fun plans for the 4th but I wanted to share our progress (slow, very slow) with how things are going for our 2013 goals.
I am working on simplifying EVERYTHING. We have too much stuff. I am starting slow, making a list of all the things I am sick of dealing with. Some of it will just be organizing, but lots will be going through things and getting rid of stuff! Doing without excess and *needing* a lot less. I will share what we change, and how we decided what needs to go. 
In June we did a whole lot around the house, and by WE I mean my hubby, our living room was painted, we got some curtains after years of not having any and some other work around here that has been on the back burner. I can't think of anything I did that you can see, lots of organizing and planning, and I worked on my Home Management Binder very little. Being away from home so much leaves little time to do stuff here.
 ~I have pretty much given up buying coffee, I get one once a week maybe. I have been making it at home instead. I know this is helping!

~We are doing better about not eating out, and slowly paying stuff down, Dave Ramsey Snowball style. Paid off 1 more credit card this month, only a few to go!

~I changed my lunch break to 30 minutes so I never have time to go to Target!

July should be a very different month for us financially, Ryan has just a couple weeks left of work, then we won't be getting his paycheck but we won't be paying a babysitter either. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous to see how things work out.  

~Drinking water well but still haven't been to the gym as much as I want to. I think with Ryan off work this month we will all be going more often!

~Really all of these goals have been easier and easier for me, the more I do them the easier it gets.

~I've been getting up at 4:45, just a little earlier but those 15 minutes make a huge difference in my "me" time.  I have a big stack of books I have been working through.

~Working on being a "yes" mom more often and enjoying as much of their little personalities as we can.

~Spending more time together, well other than being gone for 10 hours a day. I think working out of the home has really made me appreciate how lucky I was to be home for so long.
They love our sweet sitter, and she does all the fun stuff that sometimes we don't get to. Sure makes it easier to go to work when I know the kids are excited to have her over to play.


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29 June 2013

The Love Dare For Parents!

Just did my pre-order for The Love Dare for Parents. Can't wait to get it, and get started!

It's available July 1st! Who else has ordered, plans on ordering, reading in book club?
I am totally excited!

I feel like everyone can use some encouragement, ideas or inspiration for parenting and I am hoping this is a good read.
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26 June 2013

Finally found time to make some test run 4th of July treats!
I got this star pan from Wilton probably 7 years ago, and I JUST took the packaging off.
I used it tonight, I made some cherry chip cake mix ( I know, I know! Usually I am all about from scratch) and made some little cupcakes with whip cream and strawberries. 

 I'm going to make some star shaped shortcakes.  Keeping it simple 'cause we have a big ol' to do list. Lots to share soon!
And if you haven't already, sign up for Blog Lovin and follow me there, Google Reader ends in just a few days, I'd hate for y'all to miss anything!!

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Blog Lovin

Come join me on Blog Lovin!!
Sad Google reader is leaving but love how easy it was to transition to Blog Lovin. 
Hope to see y'all there!

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17 June 2013

Toilet cleaning.. blech!

I don't personally enjoy it, but it has to be done right? I had been having THE hardest time with hardwater, lime or whatever, it wasn't dirty but it wasn't what I was used to either. I really HATE using chemicals but all my usuals didn't do the trick. I tried baking soda, vinegar, baking soda and vinegar, lemon and salt. NOTHING was working, then I went online and read, tried the 3 favorite toilet cleaners from those that swear by chemicals, tried all 3 and none of them helped either.
I was in the grocery store and found this thing

I was a little worried it would scratch the porcelain but the package says it won't.. taking a risk, I was desperate!

OH MY GOODNESS!  Worked like a charm, the mineral ring was gone in minutes!
Adding this to my "NO CHEMICAL" Cleaning bucket!
What do you use to remove the mineral build-up? Ever tried these before?
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12 June 2013

Finally changing decorations around here!

It's been the same since I took Valentine stuff down the day after Valentines Day.  Very plain, but I like that sometimes. Been too busy and it just hasn't been a priority, but now that routines are getting closer to established I found a little time.  I wasn't going to but then I got the bins full of Birthday Stuff I have been collecting for years and the 4th of July bin was in front of them so it was already out! 
 Guess it was meant to be!

I can see that I need some updating to do, but finding time to do NEW stuff will be trickier.
I am not sharing everything. I've shared our 4th of July stuff the last few years, here, and here. So if you want to see some other stuff check them out. I am just sharing my favorites this time around!

I am still loving our Good Morning basket! 
Just added a new runner and some patriotic cuteness. Although I see the MnM's are already gone.

I love that Baseball is America's favorite past time, I think this is something I won't be changing, it's simple, inexpensive and I just love it.

 I made this little star on some burlap with little buttons, and the picture of my grandparents and a couple of their kids. We love keeping older pictures around too, not just the new fancy kind.

the container of cherries is one of my favorites, and my kids helped with the bucket of flags ;)

 Mini apple pie, it's a candle but I just cut the wicks and it smells delish!
I use the old grater for a candle holder, there is a little tea light in there and the star looks cute at night.
Outside eating stuff, straws, extra silverware, napkins and it's all cute! 
We eat outside a lot more once school is out.

Plain wreath, just a few little stars but the old fashioned bike is my favorite thing on the wreath.
And just to keep it real, while I am taking pictures of this fun stuff, I have a pile of ugly stuff I SHOULD be dealing with! Yup.. bills, and forms! Who knew football started in June?! Soccer and after school activities for next year all need to be dealt with right now. Where's the coffee?
I am thinking I should have added the pledge of allegiance banner I made to this stuff too, but I really like it for Back to School too. Life's tough decisions right? 

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05 June 2013

5 months in

And I do not even recognize what life was like when I wrote those first posts about our goals for the year! SO much has changed, some good and some not as well, no time to whine about those!  Staying positive cause I don't like where negativity leads.
My original GOALS are coming along, slowly.
~Coffee has been a little more frequent but not nearly what it was. I try to limit myself to 1 a week.
~Dave Ramsey Snowball plan, still going strong, but with some set backs. We bought a new washer, so a kind of major set back but it will still work out!
~That part time job came and went and now I am working full time, HUGE change but it's what needed to happen.
~Meal planning has been a requirement working away from home. Grocery shopping is a real planned adventure, if it happens at all. I have been trying to just use our stock and pick up the 1 or 2 things we will need to make it work on my lunch break.  And Costco trips every couple weeks for produce and staples.
~Target really misses me I am sure, haven't hardly been!
~I haven't sewn a single thing but I want to! Making the time has not been as easy as I hoped.
~We have been using the library more for audio books, and I have been reading a bunch of the free e-reader books or the .99 ones with a gift card.
We were able to pay off  just about $1000 in debt in May.
Not complaining, any step in the right direction is alright with me.
I am pretty sure June is going to be a super month to pay some stuff off!
Our original home goals are kind of a wash right now.
~I haven't bettered my HMB, but I have been changing it a lot, it needed to change to match our new lifestyle.  I have added stuff to it but kept all the other sections too as they are still helpful even if not entirely relevant right now.
~I am still eliminating clutter, more than ever!
~Haven't tried any new homemade cleaning products and I don't see that happening anytime soon.  I started using commercial laundry detergent again, because the warranty on our new washer is void with homemade. So I will be back to homemade as soon as the warranty is up.
~Not much stock piling going, but emergency packs are coming along.
I actually feel pretty good about these ones!
~I have been to the gym a bit more, and once baseball is over it will be even more often. Because of that I am closer to my goal weight.
~Benefit of the new job, I am for sure put together everyday, and water drinking has been easy!

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04 June 2013

*New* Morning Routine

I shared my Daily Schedule as a housewife and stay at home mom, not THAT long ago, and y'all know how much has changed since then, obviously my plans are going to have to change too.
I wish I could say I had a pretty print out like that one, but no, I have my work in progress scribbled in multiple colors on a torn out, coffee marked, folded piece of paper. Just keeping it real here, I will definitely hopefully find a little time to make a pretty one, but for now I am still going through the process, I shared my process for making my detailed schedule here.
Ooooh don't be jealous of my snazzy Workin Mom morning schedule ;)  yup this is how it starts! I will be making sure it works a while before I spend any of my time making it pretty.  And really it's going to change in a week anyway when the kids are out of school, so I may have 2 or I may not get around to it until after they are back in school. The point is for me to have an idea and a guideline for right now so I can make it a routine. Practice, practice, practice! That is the only way I get good at stuff.
In case you can't read past all the junk on it or my atrocious chicken scratch, it says
5:00~ Get Up, laundry and Get ready
5:30~COFFEE, dishes, dinner prep
5:45~COFFEE, me time
6:00~Weights (not much but better than nothing)
6:15~ Get big kids up, pack bags, change laundry
6:30~Breakfast, dishes, pack lunches
6:45~check planner, pack car
7:00~ LEAVE

So that is how my mornings are rolling these days. I have some of our 4th of July stuff out, hoping I find some time between concession stand shifts, work and family time to snag a few pictures!

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