The Drive

My biggest fear with our move from Virginia to Georgia was the drive. My oldest son gets car sick, and my youngest hates the car. Luckily my daughter enjoys car rides so at least I had one I didn’t have to worry about. The scary part for me was the fact I was driving by myself with all three of them!

Our goal was to leave around 5am so they would sleep a few hours in the car….ya, that didn’t happen! About 30 minutes into the drive Will started getting sick and asking me to stop. Then after we stopped, Adalyn, who never gets sick, started getting sick!! And of course this made the baby wake up so it was a car full of nerves! To add to that, I’m not a big night driver and the highway we were on was all semis. I don’t know if its just me, but they have some crazy lights on those trucks and I swear I felt like I could hardly see the road.

It took us about 2hrs to go 60 miles. I’m not sure who was crying more at the start of the trip, me or the kids haha. I had a nice long chat with God though and one of my best friends said the words I needed to hear, “You can do this!” For me, nothing is worse than when my kids are miserable and it breaks my heart to hear them upset or in pain. It was the longest drive of my life, but we all made it and decided no more long car rides for the next 10 years haha!!!

I did learn some interesting things after spending 13hrs in a car…..11103024_10152829499969576_5239625367741261538_n

  • Nacho Doritos are great for kids with an upset stomach! That was the only thing Will would eat and he kept it down!!! Who would have thought?!?!
  • Rest stops have great outdoor areas for kids to run around!!! And for Mom’s to do some walking lunges and wake up a bit haha
  • DVD’s players in cars REALLY need a remote control!!! It is super hard to try and push those buttons while on a highway!!!
  • If your child gets car sick, you can NEVER have too many trash bags in your car. And even if your child doesn’t get sick, have them anyway and space them out around the car!!! Trust me, this is VERY important!!
  • Kelly Clarksons Heart Beat Song is GREAT to dance to in the car to wake yourself up!!! And it apparently provides amusement for other drivers too!
  • The first hour and the last hours are the longest parts of a car ride! You need a recording of yourself saying “No, we aren’t there yet!” so you don’t go hoarse.
  • If your child is watching a new movie, don’t interrupt to ask them if they need to go to the bathroom. They would rather hold it than have to pause their movie.
  • Cars with third rows should come with a “stretch arm” so you can hand things back to the child riding in that row. Especially when everyone in the second row is sound asleep.
  • It never fails, the moment all 3 kids fall asleep, you are going to run out of gas!!!!
  • Coffee is great to keep you alert….but it does cause more bathroom breaks!
  • Nothing feels as good as when your feet touch the ground!!!!

 

Dana

Big Changes

GAA few months back, my husband made the decision that he wanted to return to school and get his Masters Degree. Only problem was, in the area we live in, he didn’t have a place to do his required clinical hours. So in order for him to return to school, we would need to move. And thus began a very scary and life changing decision…where should we move?!?! We had only been in Virginia a few years, so we weren’t very attached to it, plus snow is not my favorite thing. We knew we wanted to be close to family as its hard having 3 kids, a husband who works long hours, and no one around to help when we need it. A date night would be nice too if we had a family/friend to babysit. Its been almost 2 years since our last date night haha!!!

 

So we narrowed down our search to GA, TN, and FL. I didn’t have anything pulling me towards FL so we crossed that off quickly. TN was crossed off next as although its pretty and further south, we aren’t the least bit familiar with it. GA was the best and obvious choice. I was born and raised in the Atlanta area and still have a lot of friends and family there. My husband was raised in south GA, but the job market and housing market is not great there for him, plus that holds bad memories as he went through a lot in that area. So Atlanta area was the winner!!!

 

Back in November, we began the process of my husband applying to jobs. He had to have filled out our 50 applications, but we weren’t hearing anything back! He has lots of experience, has gotten rewards at work, and has a higher degree than many people in his field, but no one was calling! We went ahead and started fixing up our house to sell, we painted a few rooms, sanded our back porch, and removed the dated wallpaper in the laundry room. And began de-cluttering!

 

Then we got a call in February.  It was for a part time job, but it was at the hospital my husband REALLY wanted to work at. If you are familiar with the Atlanta area, then you know it is very busy and has a lot of traffic. Both things my husband wanted to avoid. BUT it was super important to us to be in a good school system and close to my family members which meant we were praying hard for this one hospital to call. And they DID!!!! Out of over 50 different applications he put in, the one we wanted the most called to schedule an interview!!!!

 

The interview went great, but the only problem was the job was not full time hours which meant a pay cut. We did the math and with my income, we knew we could make it work. We decided to go ahead and put our house on the market so if the job came through, we would be ready. And then we waited. We heard nothing back for over a week. During that time, THREE more calls came in asking my husband to set up interviews. Another week went back and no call back from his dream job. We were disappointed, but we knew God had it in control. Then, out of the blue, over two weeks after his interview, they called and offered him a FULL TIME job at the hospital he really wanted!!!! One week later, our house was under contract!

 

This whole process has been exhausting, stressful, and nerve racking, but it helped teach me again how important it is to trust God and not to make plans because it is all up to him! Now we are in serious packing mode as we leave in a little over a week!!! Luckily, my AMAZING in-laws are coming up from south GA to help us move and get settled in. The drive is going to be rough though as its 9hrs and my oldest son gets badly car sick and my youngest son hates the car. Plus, the baby is still nursing and REFUSES a bottle so we are going to stop often so I can nurse him. At least my daughter loves the car and hopefully leaving super early will make things a bit easier.

 

Needless to say, my life is a bit crazy right now. I won’t be taking on any new personal training clients/nutrition clients or hosting any Jamberry Parties for awhile. I have also put a hold on advertisers on this website and the facebook page ( http://www.facebook.com/workingathomemoms ) starting this Friday until May. I’m so sorry for any trouble this causes anyone. If you need a personal trainer, I have a few great ones I can recommend until I’m back to working again.

 

If you have traveling and moving tips to share with me, please please please post them below! My kids are 4 1/2, 3 and 9 months so I’m happy to have any tips to make this process easier!!! For those in the Atlanta area, I can’t wait to meet you all in person and thank you so much for following my blog! I’ll be renting in the Conyers area, while looking to build in Walton County. Share your tips with me on home building, finding schools, finding churches, and fun kids activities in that area!! I’ll try to keep everyone updated as best I can. Thank you for your support and baring with me during these big changes <3

Dana

Graham Cookies

As a parent, it is always a struggle between finding foods my kids will eat, and my desire to have them eat healthy foods. Lately as I have noticed that effects sugar have on my 4 year old, I’ve been working hard to find healthy foods that I can make. And that he will still enjoy haha. One recipe I recently found that everyone loved, is home made graham crackers! These are very easy to do and delicious!

INGREDIENTS:graham cookies

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or flour of choice
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup butter, cold
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a blender combine the ingredients.
  3. Next put in the chilled butter.
  4. Scoop the mixture onto a piece of wax paper, with another sheet onto and roll out with a rolling pin or cup
  5. Roll dough out and use cookie cutters to make shapes or a cup just for circles.
  6. Place cookies on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

 

To Freeze, simply cut the cookies into shapes and then place them onto a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then you can place them in a plastic bag and you can freeze them for up to 3 months. When you are ready to bake them, just cook them with an additional 1-2 minutes of bake time added on and keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

yuuuummmmy

 

 

 

Dana

Save $400 Off Your Grocery Bills

saving moneyWhen extra money is needed, my first suggestion is to always look at your budget and see where you can make cuts. My family was living paycheck to paycheck and we had a strong desire to pay off all our debt, but with no extra money that was hard to do. A detailed look into my budget showed me my family of 5 was spending over $1000 a month on food. Eating out, snacks, extras, desserts….all those goodies were adding up, and adding up very fast. So I decided to make some cuts. Ok, BIG cuts to be honest, and get our grocery bill down to $400-$500 a month.

 

Is it doable?? YES! I have been sticking to this new plan for over 8 months now and have saved tons of money, and in fact I wrote the whole plan out to help others do the same!! ((you can read more about that at the end plus how to get it for 50% off!)) The hardest part for me is I am a healthy eater, so I needed foods that were cheap, but also healthy for my family. That took some researching, trial and error, and finding bargains. But it worked and we are now able to put at least $400 a month into our savings!

save 400 on food

 

Here are a few of my top tips for eating on a budget, and scroll down to the bottom for a list of cheap, easy recipes!

 

TIPS:

*Plan out your meals for the week. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks! If you know what you are going to eat, you will be less likely to spend money eating out

*Make your own snacks. I make all my kids snacks except pretzels. I do homemade cheese crackers, graham crackers, yogurt, muffins, bread….pretty much everything can be made from home for cheaper and a LOT healthier

*PLAN PLAN PLAN: I promise this is the number one tip for staying on track

*Make two nights a week a “veggie night”. Meat is pricey and you can get just as much protein from veggies, but for cheaper.

*Make a grocery list and stick with it! If its not on the list, and you don’t need it, then don’t buy it!

*Go with frozen or canned fruits and veggies. Cheaper!!

*Buy from stores like Aldis, Save A Lot, Costco, or Sams. Make sure to compare prices though as items aren’t always cheaper.

*Buy discount items in bulk and freeze! When I see meat or cheese on sale, I buy a lot and stick it in the freezer.

*PLAN! Keep snacks in your bag so you aren’t tempted to go through a drive thru

*Coupon! But make sure you have your meals planned out before looking for coupons. Otherwise you end up spending more by buying things you didn’t need that were on sale.

CHEAP MEAL IDEAS:1947685_10152074914309576_1158232217_n

*Grilled Cheese

*Cheese Quesadilla

*Veggie Quesadilla

*Soups (chicken and rice, vegetable beef, broccoli and cheese, etc)

*Veggie Spaghetti Sauce

*Chili

*Rice and Beans

*Chicken or Tuna Salad Wraps

*Tacos

*Casseroles (chicken, broccoli, rice and cheese is my favorite!)

*Potato “Bar” Night

*Breakfast for dinner

*Homemade pizza

 

OR take all the guesswork out of meal planning and go snatch up my copy of Healthy Eating on A Budget. (( https://sellfy.com/p/inKs/ )) Over 100 copies sold and thousands of dollars saved!!! Make sure to enter code “ Musings ” when you checkout and get it for 50% off! This program includes:

4 Weeks Of Meal Plans (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)cover
Recipes For the Meal
Additional Healthy, Cheap Recipes
(over 30 total recipes)
Weekly Grocery Lists
Money Saving Tips
Grocery Shopping Tips
Healthy Cheap Foods List
Meal Ideas
Specific Food Tips

And more!!!!

Go read a few of the fabulous testimonials from people who have used this program and saved big!

Dana

Skinny Peanut Butter Cookies

pb cookiesI’m a personal trainer, sports nutritionist, and have lost over 80 lbs. How did I do it??? By not depriving myself of treats! I simply found healthier ways to have foods I loved, and that helped me stick with my plan. Many people cut out the foods they love, so then they feel deprived and binge eat. When they do that, they gain weight back at a faster weight and are farther behind on their goals than when they started. The fix for this??? Don’t deprive yourself! Have the foods you like in moderation and try to make them healthier.

Peanut Butter cookies are one of my favorite treats, and this recipe gives you 24 cookies at 36 calories each!!!! This is a great way to have a snack that doesn’t ruin all your hard work. Not to mention kids loves these too!!

INGREDIENTS:
1 Cup Natural Peanut Butter
1 Cup Sugar (I used stevia)
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Egg

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350. Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until well blended. Form into quarter shaped balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for approx 10 minutes.

Add a chocolate kiss and bake for another 2 minutes

With kiss: 58 calories

Dana