Menu Mondays are Back!

With all the craziness that came with the month of May, I dropped the ball big time on menu planning!  I tried but failed miserably.  YIKES, I know!  Back at it again this month! Continue reading “Menu Mondays are Back!”

Sometimes You Have It All Together, and Sometimes You Don’t

Hi friends!  It’s been entirely too long since I’ve worked on the blog.  It started out with sick children, and then I had a little spell where I was extremely tired but not actually ill thanks to the Epstein-Barr virus.  I’m sure I’ll write up a little post all about that one day.  In any case, I’m finally on the up and up, after missing most of April and all of May!  So let’s catch up, k? Continue reading “Sometimes You Have It All Together, and Sometimes You Don’t”

Finding Surprises While Decluttering

My month’s goal for April is to get rid of all our excess stuff.  I’m starting with the main level of my home.  Once I get that under control, I’ll move to the upstairs.  The upstairs has a LOT of problem areas:  my room, my older girls’ shared room, and a playroom/guest room.  Honestly, I don’t even want to think about those rooms, but I know that if I get them done, I’ll feel a weight lift from my shoulders.  Oh, and I also have the dreaded garage.  Why is it that everything ends up in the garage?!  I know why:  Because we don’t have a basement. 😊 Continue reading “Finding Surprises While Decluttering”

What Better Time of the Year to Refresh by Clearing Clutter While Spring Cleaning?!

It’s April!  One of my favorite Spring months!  The weather seems to be warmer.  Flowers are blooming, and the trees are starting to bud.  It’s a season of new growth and new beginnings.  It’s the perfect month to focus on something that makes me feel SO GOOD inside:  DECLUTTERING and SPRING CLEANING!

If you’ve known me for a very long time, you know that decluttering and cleaning is NOT something I’ve always been into.  When I was younger, I probably could have sat in a hoarder’s home and not been bothered by the stuff all around, as long as it was clean-ish.  I’d be bothered if there were bugs or if everything was actually dirty, but being just plain ol’ messy did not bother me in the least.  Somewhere in my home, I have a photo of my dorm room from freshman year.  In that photo, my side of the room looks like a bomb went off.  My roommate’s side of the room was perfectly polished.  It must have been torture for that poor girl to live in the same room with me!  For the most part, I kept everything contained to my side… I think.

After getting married and creating a family, I starting to get an itch to go minimalist and to be more organized.  When it was just me, my things were somewhat manageable.  However, with each new person we added to the family, our stuff grew more out of hand.  One morning I woke up and took a good look at the zoo I was living in.  I could feel all those brightly colored toys taking over my soul.  That was a moment of clarity.  My family had way more things than we needed. Continue reading “What Better Time of the Year to Refresh by Clearing Clutter While Spring Cleaning?!”

March’s Grocery Budget Verdict!

Oh my goodness, am I excited to share this post?!?!?!  YES, I AM!

High Fivin’ Myself for being so awesome!!

During the month of March, I wanted to focus on being more intentional with our family’s finances.  At the beginning of the month, I sat down with my husband, looked at our finances, and created a budget.  Click here to read more about that.  One of our biggest budget downfalls is food, so I made a pact with myself to REALLY focus on sticking to a budget in this category.  I DONE GOOD, YALL.

How good you might ask?!  Well, our grocery total for this month was a whopping 36% less than budgeted.  And our restaurant total for this month was HALF than budgeted.  This is AMAZING because if you go back and look at the data, we usually spend MORE than budgeted on both groceries and eating out.  So it’s a BIG, BIG deal for me to spend considerably less than budgeted.  And oddly enough, I didn’t use coupons or take into consideration whatever I earned through IBOTTA or with credit card rewards.

So how did I keep my grocery & restaurant bill down?! Continue reading “March’s Grocery Budget Verdict!”

Free Food + Frugal Shopping Finds = Happy Budget

We’ve had a lucky couple of weeks for our budget!

If you are following me on Instagram, you saw that we recently had a table full of free pizza. A new branch of Uncle Maddio’s Pizza opened up in my town. And as a promo, they gave away free pizzas one Saturday from 11am to 2pm. I knew that they were planning to do the promo, but I thought for sure the line would be around the building. And with three little darlings in tow, a free pizza would not be worth the effort that would be required with waiting and all.

However, as we were finishing up our weekly Costco trip, employees from Uncle Maddio’s were in the parking lot drumming up business. They said there wasn’t much of a wait. So we hopped in the van and drove over. And sure enough, the wait was not long at all!

Hey there, Free Pizzas.  Where have you been all my life?

Continue reading “Free Food + Frugal Shopping Finds = Happy Budget”

Menu Monday – Late!

I wanted to get this post written yesterday so I could post it first thing this morning.  But life has been happening.  Better late than never, I guess?  😊

Last week I did not stick to my menu at all.  I’m not sure what happened.  Actually, that’s not true.  I know exactly what happened.  I completely overbooked myself.  And I was exhausted all week.  In addition to my over-packed schedule, we had a surprise dinner with my parents one evening.  Then the weather was so beautiful over the weekend that we added in another event by inviting friends over for an impromptu dinner of grilled chicken and vegetables.

Me, if I had made it to Costco this weekend.

We had a SUPER lazy Sunday, where I couldn’t even be bothered to put the pork into the crock pot early enough to be ready for dinner.  TALK ABOUT LAZY, huh?!?!  Anyway, we ended up having deli meat, cheese, & avocado sandwiches for dinner that night.  And I didn’t even make it over to Costco this weekend!  We are out of milk, bread, and butter.  Quite literally.  Don’t worry, we won’t starve.  I’ll get over there tomorrow.  😊

Continue reading “Menu Monday – Late!”

Priorities

I just finished rocking my two-year-old before putting her down for her afternoon nap.  While rocking her, that sweet little face looked up into mine.  She had a binkie in her mouth, but you could see the joy in her eyes and the crinkle in her nose.  She is my baby, and she knows it.  I love her (and all my girls) more than I could ever say.  Rocking my darling baby girl gives me a happiness and a peace that I cannot describe.

I’d do anything for those little ladies.  But sometimes I get so caught up with doing other things that I forget my reason for doing the other things to begin with.  I lose sight of what I’m working towards, forgetting the end goal.

One of my main streams of happiness is enjoying my children while they are young and relatively untouched by the negatives of the world.  Staying at home with them in order to tap into that happiness is a priority I set for myself years ago.

But instead of happily snuggling them all day, reading books, looking into their loving eyes, and giggling over silly nothings, I often busy myself during the day with many other things that aren’t as high on my priority list.  Today’s moment of rocking my daughter gave me a sense of clarity of what is really important in my life.  It reminded me what makes me happy and what I need more of in my life.

For the blog and for my own personal development goals, I’m focusing on finances this month.  Gushing on about my love for my children and what makes me happy may not seem to be in line with that topic.  However, there is a connection between the two.  It’s about knowing what’s important to us and using these priorities to guide our behavior. Continue reading “Priorities”

Lessons Learned at Dude’s Diner

Nearing my 16th birthday, I started dreaming of getting a job. I wanted to have my own money. Once my birthday rolled around and I received my driver’s license, I started putting in applications. I had NO idea what I was doing, but I put in an application at a small local restaurant. When I got a call back, I was thrilled. I went in, talked to the owner, and started my first job as a waitress. And I absolutely loved it. On good nights, I averaged about $10 per hour with tips, which was AMAZING to me at the time. Minimum wage was only $5.15 at the time, so I was really BALLIN’.

I learned a few lessons about money (and a lot about life) during my years as a waitress.

It’s easier to spend money than it is to make money, so spend wisely.

Straight ballin’ with $10/hour.

Even though I felt like I was making bank at about $10/hour, I still figured out that spending money took a lot less effort than making it. With this insight, I determined to be a good steward of my money in high school. I knew I could buy a single shirt for $40 at the mall or I could buy a pair of pants, a skirt, and two shirts at Goody’s (a local discount clothing store) for the same amount. Being that I only had a limited amount of money, I always chose the better deal. Continue reading “Lessons Learned at Dude’s Diner”

Where Have I Been? And My Weekly Menu!

Hi friends!  I have missed you!  I did not intend to neglect my blogging all last week.  My husband was out of town for work, and it turns out that I depend on him A LOT in order to write for the blog.  Maybe you’ll find this hard to believe, but taking care of three little ladies all by myself takes up a lot of energy and time.  It takes a lot of self-sacrifice to parent in a two-parent situation.  So when you are down to solo-parenting, you end up using every single ounce of yourself to parent.  By the end of the day, I was zonked.  I gave myself a little grace this week and held off on blogging so that I could keep up with my girls and regular activities while my husband was out of town.

One of the many perks about my husband’s current job is that he does not have to travel frequently.  However, he does have to travel on occasion, and this past week’s trip was to Florida.  At the beach.  GAHHH.  Yes, I was jealous.  Especially when he returned with tan-lines.  Actually they are more like burn-lines.  But either way, they indicate that he was outside at the beach long enough to enjoy some sunshine and fresh ocean air.

Continue reading “Where Have I Been? And My Weekly Menu!”