Thursday, January 1, 2015

No Spend January

 Welcome 2015!  I haven't really set any new years resolutions at this point.  I get overwhelmed and feel like I have failed when the end of the year comes around and I haven't accomplished anything. However, I did make the choice to get back on track with my finances and following a budget again.

 Over the past several months I have been consistently working tons of overtime.  While the extra money has been nice all the hours at work has really taken a toll on me in other ways.  I had some intentions to put a portion into savings but I ended up spending most of it on some things I wanted and a much need vacation over Thanksgiving.   Now that the overtime has been drastically reduced, I need to get back to a more disciplined approached with my spending habits.  

  If you have followed me at all you know that I have done a few "no spend" months.  Well, I am thinking this is a really good month to have one.  I will buy food and gas but that is all.  This particular go around I do have 2 things I am already competed to that I will need to pay for since I decided to do this today.

  I actually have fun with this because I have SOO many projects in various states that I will have no problem filling my time.  I also have books to read, gift certificates to the movies, and 0$ decorating to be done.  There is all the cleaning and organizing one could ever want...not my favorite thing to do!

  So hopefully at the end of January I have some things on the to do list done as well as some money in savings.

  My challenge to you is to do your own version of "no spend". It could be just for a week or you could try out the whole month.   Good Luck!

 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Hope for a brighter new year

   As 2014 wraps up, I am honestly glad to see it go.  This year has been a real struggle for me in many aspects.  I know things don't change overnight but I am hoping for a fresher start in the coming year.  I have many things to learn and accomplish in the coming year and I am looking forward not back.  

  For so long I have been running in survival mode.  It is all I can do to get by day to day, I planned a few things here and there just to have something to look forward to.  They provided some temporary peace and relaxation but then I had to come back to reality. I need to find joy in everyday life and not be overwhelmed with daily stresses.  

  

Friday, December 12, 2014

He is the Gift – Christmas Video – #ShareTheGift



The real gift of Christmas was given to us all a long time ago.  May we all remember the real meaning of this season.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Something for Josh

My cousins son, Josh, has been preparing to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of      Latter-Day Saints for years.  The time as finally come and he will be leaving shortly to spend two years teaching the gospel to the people of  Brazil.  Traditionally, the soon to be missionary speaks in their local ward and many of the missionary's family and friend usually come to hear them speak. Then they gather after the meetings to wish them well. 


I thought of a few ideas of things I could for this day and I ultimately came up with a couple of fun projects that I was able to share with everyone that came.  Missionaries don't call home or spend a lot of time emailing or chatting with friends and family while they are gone.  In fact, they have one preparation day each week in which they do laundry, go to the store and if they are in an area with internet they may be able to send an email to family.  They love hearing from those from home even when they don't get to respond to all of them. 

As I searched Pinterest for ideas I came acrossed A postcard with the addresses in the mission and stamps and an address card pins. I decided why not combine the two.  I had Josh meet me for a little photo shoot a few weeks ago.  I took those photos and had postcards with the mission address printed up at Costco.  I also discovered that the US postal service has international forever stamps that are good for a 1 ounce letter.  I ordered those and headed to the Dollar Tree.  I love the dollar store, maybe too much but that is the subject of a different post.  I found envelopes, lined stationary paper and pens.  I put all of these things together along with a little note with a few other details.



 Here are the contents of the packets I put together.  Now there are no excuses for not writing to Josh while he is out.


Another idea I came up with was having embossed rubber bracelets made.  Josh has worn different ones over the years.  What a great way to remember our missionary while he is gone.  I knew of this company based out of Logan Utah named Reminderband. They were able to do the work quickly at a reasonable price.  On one side is his name and the other side says "Called to Serve Brazil".  I choose green because that is one of the colors from the Brazilian flag.


The bracelets turned out great.


I set up a table just inside the front door with both of my little projects.  I think both were well received.  I hope that he gets lots of letters :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Copycat Kit Kat bites

Last Friday was the last day for one of our great nurses Norma.  She is moving on to a new adventure in her life.  As with others that leave, we usually have a good bye lunch for them but Norma chose to have a dessert bar instead.  Desserts are right up my alley...I'm a huge fan!  The only problem is I don't have much time to bake anymore especially during the week.  I had to find something that was easy and wouldn't take much time so I turned to my ever growing collection of recipes on Pinterest.

Now I broke the cardinal rule of cooking, don't take something you have never tested to any kind of event.  Good thing for me these turned out great!

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 25 regular sized marshmallows
  • 12 oz milk chocolate morsels
  • 1 oz unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 5 cup rice krispies cereal
  • 11 oz butterscotch morsels
  • 1 cup peanut butter morsels
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add marshmallows, milk chocolate morsels and baking chocolate. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, bring to a boil the sugar, cream and butter (over medium high heat). Once boiling, continue to boil for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Pour hot mixture over marshmallows and chocolate. Using an electric mixer, beat until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth (about 2 minutes).
  3. Melt butterscotch and peanut butter morsels together in microwave bowl for one minute. Stir and heat at 30 second intervals until fully melted.
  4. In a large bowl, combine rice cereal, melted butterscotch and about 1/3 of the chocolate mixture. Mix completely.
  5. In a parchment paper lined 13x9 baking dish, pour 1/3 of chocolate mixture onto bottom, spreading with a knife until bottom of dish is covered. Top with cereal mixture. Press firmly. Pour remaining 1/3 of chocolate mixture over cereal, spreading with a knife. Allow to set up in refrigerator, about 1-2 hours. Remove and cut into bite sized pieces. ENJOY!

click sugarysweets for more photos of this and other recipes

This will definitely go into the permanent recipe collection! 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A change of focus

I have always been a little backwards but fall is my spring. I feel more alive with the change in the air and many of my favorite things occur in the fall.  The temperatures cool off and we get ready to head into the holiday season.

With that, I also feel an added pressure to accomplish even more than I normally should.  Everything that I HAVEN'T accomplished has been weighing heavy on me lately.  Whether it be real things, things I have no control over or even comparing myself to others. Then the viscous cycle begins,  if I can't keep up then why bother trying at all, which is where I have been stuck for sometime now.

I had a sort of A HA moment this weekend that I need to make a change.  People are always talking about change and what to do to embrace it but the change I am referring to is a change of focus.  I need to make a change in my thinking and start looking at what I do and have accomplished.  Maybe if I celebrate the things I do get done in a day, no matter how trivial they are, I will have more desire to tackle something else in my day.

So here is looking forward to a new mind set.  A change of focus to what I can do!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Small victories

I have been actively working to improve my health.  I even started working with a personal trainer who has been helping me with my fitness and health as well as nutrition.  I haven't felt like I have seen much change in the past few weeks.  Well today I ran down my stairs to take the dog out when I realized I didn't have to hold on to the banister.  I haven't done that for quite some time.  I am always afraid I am going to fall....not today. I realize this is inconsequential to most people but is was a big victory to me!