Monday Musings 8/24

I am not going to lie, the past week has been ROUGH! Will and I started homeschooling which has been a lot tougher than we thought. He has to do 4-6hrs of school each day and since I have a 3 and 1 year old to also keep busy, our days have been hectic! I’m attempting to do his school work when the baby naps as that little goober gets into everything. But that means less breaks for Will as we have to cram it into two or three sessions. The hardest part for him has been phonics. He has math and science down and loves those. But when it comes to letters and their sounds….NOPE! So Mommy and Will have both been a bit frazzled haha!!11219059_10153158365974576_3551802852844356049_n

 

I’m hoping this week will be easier since I know what to expect and also that I need to try and make it a little more fun for him. Currently he hates school and I know its mostly because I’m not too good at making it fun. He is learning the stuff he enjoys quickly, he was showing off his Five Senses and how to use them for his Grandpa today! And which things are on the left, and which are on the right. Smart boy!!!

 

Balancing working at home, watching my kids, and homeschooling has been rough. Its temporary so I know I can manage but I’ve had to drop others things so I don’t go crazy. We also move into our new house in a month which will add to the crazy for a few days haha. But I like crazy! I seriously think I function better when life is crazy. I mean, who likes boring?!?!

 

Lets talk things I’m loving this week!!!!

reviveacademy-300x200One of my best friends started a social media academy called Revive and its AMAZING! She teaches you how to be successful in social media and life! She even helps you pick out business appropriate outfits!!! This is the lady who mentored me when I started working from home 3 years ago so I know for a fact she is good!!

http://traindirtyfitness.com/revive-academy/#.Vdn-f1NViko

 

11870788_10153835955786091_4794192947214219852_n#GoodEnough is a cause special to my heart. When I started in the fitness world, I knew NOTHING! I was promoting a shake with horrible ingredients, needed to lose a lot of weight, ate too few calories, and was just an all around mess LOL. But I found a fitness company that didn’t care I was a mess! They cared that I was trying and no matter where I was in my journey, that I was good enough!! That’s such an important lesson everyone needs to be reminded of, and now you can get it on a shirt!!! These are limited edition and can only be purchased through this group so don’t miss out!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/856552127772373/

 

 

11885169_10153170501819576_123898734864037834_nDeal Of A Lifetime ends August 31st!!! Don’t miss this opportunity if you have wanted to start your own business for HALF the cost. It’s the perfect time too with the launch of at home gel manicures in a week!!!!

 

Plus next week we launch at home gel manicure kits and that is going to be huge!!! Its such a fun and easy job to get paid for your manicures! Go read more about this opportunity and snatch it up before it is gone!

DEAL DEAL DEAL

 

 

 

Want to hear a few funny stories from my week??? I know you do 😉

My sweet little Adalyn locked all of us out of the house, so Super Mom here broke the screen on a window, broke the lock on the window, got it up, and go Adalyn through to open the door back up. Luckily no one had to go to the bathroom as it kinda took me awhile. Note to self, give a friend a spare key!!!!

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Liam learned if he chases after his brother and sister growling, they will run screaming. He thinks it hilarious, and they do too!

 

In homeschooling, Will and I were talking about “Up” and “Down”. I asked him what was on top of his chair. He replied “My tushey”.

 

I asked Will what he saw when he looked down when he is outside. He replied “Pollen, lots of pollen.”

 

Learning about food, I asked Will what gives you energy. He replied “Coffee. That’s why you drink it all day.”

 

Hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed week!!!

 

 

 

Dana

Monday Musings 8/10

This past week was CRAZY! I ended up in the hospital due to some health issues but the good news is they may have figured out what has been causing me problems for over 8 months now!!!

download (1)Today starts homeschooling for Will and I so I’m sure I’ll have lots to share about that in the upcoming weeks!!! We are just doing it temporarily as our new home won’t be ready for another month and its over an hour away. Not gonna lie, I am totally nervous about this!!! I was told it would be about 3-6hrs of work for him and I each day which shall be interesting since I also have a 3 year old and 1 year old to watch after. And my work!!! But I can do it!!!

This past week was pretty boring, as I spent most my time finding low key activities for the kids as I wasn’t up to running all over the place. Our normal morning activity is feeding ducks at the park. Our park has food dispensers for the ducks (fish food is in it) and you put a quarter in and get some food as they don’t want the ducks being fed other stuff. Well I got smart and went and bought a GIANT bag of the food from the store vs spending a $1 each day on a tiny bit. That is fun for the kids and I can sit on the bench and watch. Well, we ran out of food so I raided my piggy bank and found quarters. We get to the park and they had taken down all the food dispensers and the No Feeding signs!!! Of course on the ONE day I’m out of food haha!!

Baby Liam got a haircut this week, that was so hard for me!!! I knew during my pregnancy he would be my last baby, but it still has been hard watching him hit these milestones. I’m such a sap and just want him to stay a baby for as long as I can!!

We discovered that fun of breaking into a house this weekend. Will locked the door to Liams room (luckily he wasn’t in it!) and the house we are renting is super old so the only way in was through the window!!!! That was fun!!!

We are 45 days out from moving in our new house!!! So very excited! Especially since we have had a broken toilet in our rental house for a month and our oven just broke!!!!! I am counting down the days!!!

Hope everyone else had a wonderful weekend, and I’ll have lots of fun to share about our homeschooling adventures soon!!

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

Live Like A Girl

adalyn2I am a very structured person. I like lists, I like plans, and I like order. And I have 3 kids under the ages of 5. Having kids has been a great lesson to me on living in the moment, knowing whats important, and getting my priorities in order. My middle child, Adalyn, teaches me that daily!!! At 3 years old she dances to the beat of her own drum, ignores rules and order, is her own boss and lives like a fierce and fabulous girl.

If you need a giggle, here is a normal week with Adalyn.

 

Going into Lowes to use the restroom, she announces “I’m wearing boy underwear today!! I stole it from Will!”

 

De-cluttering my closet, she pulls everything from the trash pile “Mom, can I keep this?? Yes or No.” “No, put it back in the trash” “Mom, Yes or No. But NOT No!”

 

“Mom, while you put Liam to sleep I colored my belly. Its pink!!”unnamed4

 

On what to have for breakfast: “CHOCOLATE!!! Lots of CHOCOLATE!”

 

“For Halloween, Im going to be Astrid!!! Not a princess! A dragon rider!” (From How To Train Your Dragon)

 

On why she was closing all the doors in the house ” BECAUSE I WANT TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

 

 

Her Current Favorite Songs: Timber, Shake It Off, and Let It Goadalyn3

 

Her Favorite Activity: Taking care of her “one baby Liam”

 

On what she wants to be when she grows up “I want to wear Lipstick and give shots!”

 

Favorite Superhero: Pink Ones

 

Favorite Food: Ice Cream and Broccoli

 

 

Spending time with Adalyn reminds me that being yourself is the best person to be.  She is the middle child with an older and younger brother, and boy is she FIERCE! Sure she is only 3, but she sings even when she doesn’t know the words, she dances to her own beat, she dresses like she is a superhero princess, she tries to fly and doesn’t cry when she fall, and she says whatever is on her mind. My wish for her is that she never changes and always embraces every part of herself that makes her different from others. And that she always remembers that being a girl means she is strong, fierce, beautiful, and capable of anything she wants! #likeagirl

 

 

Dana

How I Save Over $1000 Per Month

save er monthFor many people, money is tight right now and especially for those families on a single income. When our family grew and we needed a new car, I found that we were living paycheck to paycheck with not a single dime extra. My husband couldn’t work more as he was a full time student, and with 3 young kids it would not have made us any more money for me to return to work as the childcare for 3 kids is crazy expensive. So I began to look at how we could save money each month. You actually have lots of ways to do this and it can add up to quite a bit of money over time! First and foremost, make a budget and stick with it!!!

 

Groceries:

This was where most our money went each month. We were spending about $250 per week for a family of 5, plus eating out at least once a week. My goal was to reduce this down to about $400 per month giving us a savings of $600. Here is how I did it.

*I planned out our meals for the entire month, wrote them all down on a notepad on the fridge

*I made sure that we had a veggie night at least twice a week (meat is expensive, but you can get protein in the form of beans)

*We had a leftovers night once a week to clear out our fridge and pantry

*I switched up where I was grocery shopping. We have an Aldi’s about 25 minutes away and I go there twice a month. I save a lot this way!

*Freezing foods! I buy cheese and meat in bulk and freeze it. 10557459_10152408716339576_1367961862174007812_n

*I stick with canned and frozen veggies

*I always buy the generic brands of foods

*I cook from scratch things like spaghetti sauce, chicken broth, biscuits, muffins etc

*For my kids, I make a huge batch of muffins for them for breakfast and keep them in the freezer

*Fruits are either bags of apples and bananas or canned fruit

*For seafood, we go with frozen swai. Very cheap and delicious.

*Make a list for the grocery store and stick with it. If its not a necessity, don’t buy it

*Use cash!!! We take our grocery money out of savings each month and put it in an envelope. When that money is gone, we are out of luck. This helps us stick to our budget!!!

Check out my Healthy Eating on A Budget Plan to get meal plans, recipes, grocery lists, shopping tips, saving suggestions and more!!!

 

Utilities

WATER

Where we live the price of water is VERY expensive. It is 5 times the price of at our previous home so this took some getting use to. Here are tips to cut your water bill

*Take showers not baths

*Only run the dishwasher when it is full

*Do not hand wash dishes, that uses more water

*Never leave the water running

*Make sure your washer is full when you do a load of clothes.

ELECTRIC

Electricity is where many people spend a lot of money. Here are some ways to reduce your bill.

*Unplug your appliances such as computers, TV’s, coffee pots, toasters, etc when they are not be used

*Only keep the lights on in the room you are in.

* Add weather stripping to any doors that aren’t sealed tight.

*Use natural light from the windows whenever possible

*Turn your air off during the summer and open the doors and windows

*If you have a fireplace, use that as often as possible during the winter

*Skip all the Christmas lights during winter and go with non electricity using decorations. Use battery powered lights in your windows for a classic Christmas look without the high bill

*Use curtains and blinds. Keep them shut to help cool the room down, and keep them open to allow the sun to warm it up.

*Use your washing machine on the cold mode as it uses less energy

*Dry your clothes, towels, blankets on a clothes line during the summer instead of using the dryer

*For small meals, use your toaster oven or microwave instead of your oven as this will consume about half the power

 

cut cableCable/Internet/Phones

Cut the cord on cable! You can spend less than $20 a month by subscribing to Hulu and Netflix. Netflix provides ton of shows for kids plus full seasons of shows for adults. If you want to watch current shows, Hulu posts them the day after they air on TV. Great way to still watch your favorite shows but save money each month.

Check out different internet providers in your area for the BEST deal. Sometimes switching a provider can save you a lot of money. If you don’t use internet daily, consider cutting that all together and instead visiting the library or an internet café when you need to.

Phone bills are very expensive, especially if you don’t look at the fine print. Many providers charge you insurance and other fees you did not agree too. Make sure you are using all your minutes, if not reduce your plan or consider switching to a provider with a cheaper plan. Check into cutting your data usage too as that can save a lot. Many plans charge one price for the entire month.

Clothes/Toys

Consider shopping for your kids clothes twice a year at Consignment Sales. Most large cities have them and you can also sell your used clothing and toys there too. Another option is online yard sales. I use this for selling my kids clothes and usually will put one size in a giant trash bag and sell the bag for $20. That gets someone an entire season of clothing for $20!!! We usually buy all our clothes new from Kohls, with two boys we pass them down. I always look online for a 30% off and free shipping coupon. Using those allows me to spend about $100 for all 3 kids each season.

For toys make sure to check out local consignment shops. We have quite a few in our town and most the toys in there are still in boxes totally unused! It’s a great deal and then we just donate the toys after they are done with them or re-sell them

Cars

The truth of the matter is, cars cost a lot of money! You have gas, insurance, plus upkeep on your vehicles!

*For insurance, make sure to check out all the different providers for the best deal. Pay your payments twice a year vs monthly to save money.

*Don’t buy a new car! Always go with used and instead of trading yours in, sell it outright as that gets you more money. If you can get by with using one car, downgrade! That will save you a lot of money each month.

*Gas is expensive, especially if you drive a larger vehicle and drive often. Consider the costs when you are going places and carpool whenever possible. budget your life

 

More Ideas To Help You Save

*Start a garden

*Grow your own herbs

*If you family has land and enjoys eggs, consider having chickens

*Skip going to the movies and use Redbox

*Sell extra books and clothes on ebay

*Cut your families hair yourself (I do this for my husband and three kids!)

*Use dish soap and vinegar for cleaning instead of expensive products

*Make your own soaps, cleaners, and detergents

*Use up items in your pantry and fridge

*Use coupons

*Order items like diapers, wipes, toilet paper, and paper towels from Amazon

*Have money from your check put into your savings account automatically each month

*Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page

*Don’t use credit cards

*Make one extra house payment a year and reduce your mortgage by 8 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dana