Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Learning to Budget

So since we have lived the dream we want it back. I am the one who works the budget & pays the bills yada yada.. but I will be honest I haven't been very good at it. We have struggled due to over spending, splurging on unnecessary items &dinning out..

Well that is all changing!!! I found this Blog Easter Shore Mom

& she created a budget that I have been searching for & it has made me one Honestly Happy Momma! I have tried to create my own & have lived off one for years but it was more of an online check book vs. a budget. Here is her blog post link with the budget I am using now. Free Budget Template From Eastern Shore Mom

So now every week I am saving money!! We pay our bills & put what ever is left (as long as it  over $50) into savings. If we need spending money we take it out of our savings not our checking. That is last resort because now my new way of having spending money is from cash we have from returns or that is given to us. If we we receive a gift card we put it in our coupon (we can talk more about coupons later) book to use when needed. Now I try to keep cash out of my wallet unless we need it that day.. but I have come to realize if I have it in my wallet I spend it. So I put all extra change & cash into my mason jar & it goes in the cabinet. 

We had more cash on hand but after Stephen's Birthday on Friday it was spent at dinner. But usually I have about $40 in my cash jar. We use that for eating out or if I am in the mood for a good garage sale treasure day. But this is were it goes  this is were it stays. 

Now with gift cards we usually get those for Christmas & Birthdays but we don't get to spend them right away because most of them are for resturants, the movies or department stores & well we just aren't able to use them right away.. being that we have 3 yong children.  So they come in handy when we can use them.. & its kind of nice because if it is the spur of the moment then I don't have to budget any out of savings.

Also I do have $100 emergency cash stashed away for medical emergencies only. It's not for anything other then that. I only did $100 because that is our co-pay for emergency rooms. But I am going to keep adding to it so that we have at least $5000 in cash stashed for medical emergencies because medical bills can add up.

Now one thing I always do is round up everything going out & round down everything going in. So if Stephen's pay check is $946.25 then I round it to $940 the extra is left in our checking for back up. Now if we get bonus checks or checks that are unexpected then I instantly put those in savings. If its enough to pay a credit card I put what I need for that credit card into checkings & the rest into savings & pay that credit card or loan that day no waiting. Money sitting means money that could be spent on nonsense.

Now I am also a PhotographerIndepenent Creative Consultant for Initials Inc, I am a blanket maker & Independent Consultant for Scentsy.  I used to use our money for any expense realted stuff for that & I would always have my paychecks or money earned go to our checking account. Well not anymore. I have a seperate bank account for that. All money coming in or going out comes from that. I also have a credit card I use for business only. So for instance I had to buy a new camera sine my D3100 too a turn for the worst. That was money I hadn't planned on spending but since I had money on my cedit card I use for business I was able to buy a new one. Now I pay that credit card with my earned money. But if I am not making any money (which happens because its rough out there to gain business) I have to use our own money to pay it which stinks but it is what it is. But keep it all seperate for the most part so that its not confused. I don't make enough now to pay myself so it all just stays in that account.

So these are just a few of my Honest Money saving ways & budgeting. I will add more to this series when new tricks come in. I hope some of my ways help you.

Now you may ask why all the strict budgeting & no spending rules well because I want to own again. I want to create rooms for my girls that fit their personalities & give them their own space. I want to paint & plant & have something we pay a huge chunk of change on to be OURS!! I don't want to rent anymore & my girls to share rooms, I don't want to hear my neighbors walking upstairs or wonder if my below neighbor is going crazy from little feet above them. I just want a simple home of our own.. & this is the house we have our goals set on..

My HONEST RULE:  is we can't buy or build until we have all our loans, credit cards & at least Stephen's car paid off. So we have a ways to go before we can take pride in home ownership, so for now I will take pride in our budget & savings plan.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mad Monday's

So I was plainning on writing a reveiw on a company I just purchased some really cute wooden toys from. But they failed in their customer service department so all I will say is shame on them & never again will they receive an order from me. I will say I was very happy with the items that I did receive but wish they could provide a better service when a $10 item is missing from the order.

Anyways its one of those days.. one where your kids are miserable, nothing is going right & you just want to go back to bed & retry for a better day.

Monday Madness is what I will call today.Woke up at 8am to my 2 year old, then my 4 year old started crying because she had to lay next to me.. so we just got up. Made breakfast, had coffee & played a bit with the girls. Then at 11am I went to make lunch & the bread I just bought yesterday was molded so I packed us up & went back to the store to exchange it. Well that didn't happen. Gabbie threw one of her two year old tantrums..  I was that lady in the store with her child screaming & using so much strength I could barely hold her. So we rushed out.. she had me almost in tears because I was so embarrassed.. drove home breadless.. & had to listen to her scream.. the entire way..

Then we arrived home & she was still screaming so I made lunch & put them to bed.

I then started my phone calls that I needed to make. First was to the Store I was talking about above, I am still so shocked & disturbed by the customer service I received. Have you ever just had someone be plan rotten to you? Well to sum up the conversation I had I will just say I was told that I did receive something that I infact did not & that they have thousands of customers so pretty much they don't need me. If I would have known they would be so unpleasent to work with I would have never ordered from them.. in fact I would have never unpacked my box, I would have just sent it right back. Don't companies realize that their customer service should be top notch!! One bad experiance can take away customers & potential customers. Anyways so this incedent has just put me in a very sour mood & honestly all I can think of doing right now is taking a nap as well, in hopes that I wake up feeling better about the day so far. When people are mean to me it really hurts me.. I am so sensitive.. ugh WHY?

On a positive note Emma's blood work came bsack normal. Iron is good, lead levels are normal & soo was everything else, I can breath now.

Ps I need to send this company this book.. maybe they will learn something..

Friday, July 26, 2013

Homemade Gifts

First I want to say "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" to the best man I know. My best friend & the most amazing father! He works so hard for his family to provide & gives so much love to us. I am truly blessed! 

So yesterday while running errands I came across this little gem (at Target) I had a bright idea...

I jumped on my computer & drew this up in Photoshop & this is what the finished product looks like.. LOVE!!

Then it was time for Shiloh & I to make daddy's Birthday Card...


What we used:
Cotton Balls
Scrap Paper
Construction
Stickers
Scrapbook Letters
Glue Stick



She was so proud to help me craft :)

Then this morning we all got up at 6:15am the girls were up a by 6:30am. I made my hubby a pancake breakfast, coffee & sandwhiches for lunch. Shiloh was up first to deliever her card & to have morning talks with her daddy..

Then my younger two were up & readdy to eat.. well at least Emma was (who by the way is back to her norm after a sick day yesterday)

Tonight the girls are off to Papa's & Nana's & we are going out to celebrate 33 years of a great loving man.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Peanut Butter with Banana, Apples & Honey Sandwhich

Peanut Butter with Banana, Apples & Honey Sandwhich:



Ingredients:
Whole Wheat Bread
Peanute Butter with Banana all Natural Spread (found at World Market)
6 slices of an Organic apple
Organic Honey

I love making fun & new sandwhiches. While at one of my favorite stores the other day I found this Peanut Butter with Banana's in it that is All Natural called PB Crave. I went home & made the most delicious yet healthy sandwhiches for the girls & myself.

First I toasted the bread. Then I spred the PB Crave & added a touch of honety then layered it with apple slices. The girls LOVED it & I know it will be a new household fav for lunch time.. which makes me a happy momma!

 

Friday, July 19, 2013

My Home

So one thing I have always loved is finding great deals on things. But what I love even more is finding something old & making it new or just adding some TLC to it to bring it back to life. Since becoming a parent & having our fair share of expensive furniture items. I have honestly come to a point in my life were spending 2K on a new dinning set is just not something I could ever do.. well not right now at least. My kids are little which means messy & I triple the trouble.

We sold a lot of our furniture in our last two moves but have also kept a lot as well. Like my bedroom set.. I can't part with it. Its beautiful & something we take pride in because we bought with my husbands first big bonus check from work. I don't have any recent photos of it but I am sure I will share it here once our room is all put together.

When we moved here to San Antonio we were living with at a family members house while we settled. In that time I started to collect items for our new home. I found a $50 table that was in need of a lot of TLC...


Now it may not appear so bad here but lets just say some glue, nails & paint really did transform this from a table that could have been scrap wood to our now family dinner table. Now if you haven't heard of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.. you should read about he amazing paint. It makes rehabbing so much easier. No sanding & no wait time. It takes all of 20 minutes to dry & it doesn't have a strong smell. Now I am not 100% sure if it is a green paint but its honestly my favorite paint!


Our After:

I love the after product & the old look & feel it gives. I don't want a table right now that cost me a fortune because my kids will destroy it & leave me with white hair so this is what we have for now & I love it.
Today was another Goodwill treasure find. I am so excited to share what I discovered & bought for just $30.. yes you heard me correctly $30!!! 


Yep all these gems $30!! That's 4 mirrors, 5 picture frames, 2 prints & a Pyrex dish!! I love finding awesome stuff at amazing prices.. honestly who doesn't??
So once my kiddos where down for nap I got my paint out & got to work..


I only used the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint on the mirror not the frame.. I wanted two different colors & all I have in Annie Sloan right now is Old White & Red. So I used some paint I had left over from some other craft projects for the frame. Here is the finished product & our new entry wall.. ((OMG LOVE))


Then with my other frames I finished my wall above our couch. This was a harder project (lots of unneeded holes oops) placing them just right & finally digging up the courage to put my sister in laws picture up (she went to be with our heavenly father with her daughter in October of 2012). I love our wall now its perfect!

I still have lots of stuff to finish in our temporary but long term home. I need to get stuff hung in our room & bathroom & some curtains up but that will happen in time. Also sorry for the grainy photo's my SLR took a turn for the worst & right now I can't justify the funds to fix it so my camera phone will have to do.

Now if you are afraid to buy old items or feel you don't have a crafty bone trust me you may blow yourself away. Just get to the local Goodwill or Thrift Shop or Garage Sale it up seriously there are so many gems to be found! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ants on a Log

As a momma I for years have always tired to be a creative parent when it comes to food. I try to always make it fun & tastey. I will be honest, it is always easier to just unwrap a snack & hand it out then to take 5 to 10 minutes to make something up. But tht is all changing.

I want them to have nutrients & natural sweets not processed full of crap foods. Here is one fun & easy snack that everyone is sure to love.

Ants on a Log 

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

Celery choped into 3 to 4 strips for each child
Peanut Butter I use either Creay Soynut Butter (peanut free)
or MaraNatha All Natural No Stir Almond Butter
Raisins

Kids love it & they think its fun because hey its not everyday your mom lets you eat ants ;)

Routine Is Key

Since I am a stay at home mom, its easy to not have routine, especially with my girls not yet in school. But its time all that changes. I am done loosing hours in the day & not be able to fit everything. I kind of feel like I am all over the board each day & its draining. So I sat down & I put together a weekly routine.  I want it to be solid & functional.. but I don't want it to feel like work either.. I want it to be honest & to fit our family.



Time
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
7:00 AM
Momma Up Shower
Momma Up Shower
Momma Up Shower
Momma Up Shower
Momma Up Shower
Momma Up Shower
Momma Up Shower
8:00 AM
Breakfast
Breakfast
Breakfast
Breakfast
Breakfast
Breakfast
Breakfast
9:00 AM
Church
Free Play
Free Play
Free Play
Free Play
Free Play
Free Play
9:30 AM

Momma cleans
Momma cleans
Momma cleans
Momma cleans
Momma cleans
Momma cleans
10:00 AM
Morning Nap
Morning Nap
Morning Nap
Morning Nap
Morning Nap
Morning Nap
Morning Nap
10:30 AM
momma cleans/Shiloh Art
momma cleans/Shiloh Art
momma cleans/Shiloh Art
momma cleans/Shiloh Art
momma cleans/Shiloh Art
momma cleans/Shiloh Art
momma cleans/Shiloh Art
11:00 AM
Lunch Break
Lunch Break
Lunch Break
Lunch Break
Lunch Break
Lunch Break
Lunch Break
11:30 AM
Clean Up
Clean Up
Clean Up
Clean Up
Clean Up
Clean Up
Clean Up
12:00 PM
Get out of house
Get out of house
Get out of house
Get out of house
Get out of house
Get out of house
Get out of house
12:30 PM







1:30 PM
Afternoon Nap
Afternoon Nap
Afternoon Nap
Afternoon Nap
Afternoon Nap
Afternoon Nap
Afternoon Nap
2:00 PM
parents free time
momma free time
momma free time
momma free time
momma free time
momma free time
momma free time
2:30 PM







3:00 PM
Prep Dinner
Prep Dinner
Prep Dinner
Prep Dinner
Prep Dinner
Prep Dinner
Prep Dinner
3:30 PM







4:00 PM
Free Play
Free Play
Free Play
Free Play
Free Play
Free Play
Free Play
5:00 PM
Early Evening Nap
Early Evening Nap
Early Evening Nap
Early Evening Nap
Early Evening Nap
Early Evening Nap
Early Evening Nap
5:30 PM
Learning Time with Shiloh
Learning Time with Shiloh
Learning Time with Shiloh
Learning Time with Shiloh
Learning Time with Shiloh
Learning Time with Shiloh
Learning Time with Shiloh
6:00 PM
Dinner
Dinner
Dinner
Dinner
Dinner
Dinner
Dinner
6:30 PM







7:00 PM
Free Play & Momma cleans
Free Play & Momma cleans
Free Play & Momma cleans
Free Play & Momma cleans
Free Play & Momma cleans
Free Play & Momma cleans
Free Play & Momma cleans
7:30 PM
Bath Time
Story Time
Bath Time
Story Time
Bath Time
Story Time
Bath Time
8:00 PM
Bedtime
Bedtime
Bedtime
Bedtime
Bedtime
Bedtime
Bedtime
8:30 PM
Parents Time
Parents Time
Parents Time
Parents Time
Parents Time
Parents Time
Parents Time
9:00 PM







9:30 PM







10:00 PM
Parents Bedtime
Parents Bedtime
Parents Bedtime
Parents Bedtime
Parents Bedtime
Parents Bedtime
Parents Bedtime



So if you are not currently a routine family household but want to see if it works try one out. Tweak it when needed but stick with it for at least two weeks. Don't give up the first few days because you & your family have to adjust, remember change doesn't happen over night but it can work you just have to be patient. I honestly can't wait to start our new schedule today & share with you all over the next two weeks if it has worked, if I had to change somethings or if we just aren't a routine family.. (but I honestly believe we thrive for it).

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