Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015 Goals (finally...)

This post took extremely too long to write, but such is life with an active 9 month old!  At least I got it done before the end of January.  I took the last week of December, and the first week of January and went over my 2014 goals (results posted here), and decided what worked and what didn't.  Although I accomplished a LOT of my goals, I felt as though some were un-cross-off-able (new word I just made up, your welcome).  Even though I had accomplished them for the month, they rolled over into the next month.  I still have some of them this year, but there are fewer.  I also tried to be more comprehensive in the description of my goals, so I can better decide whether I have completed them or not.
  1. De-clutter the whole house in January, February, and March -- I was realistic here and gave myself 3 months to complete this goal, since I have a little one running around and 'helping.'  I am hoping that by getting rid of excess clutter, when I go back to work in April, life will run smoother because we have simplified.  
  2. Do a Deep-Spring, and Deep-Fall Clean in March and November  As well as keep up with my weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly cleaning chores. -- Kept this one from last year.
  3. Paint the Windows/Sills/Trim in the Kitchen and Nursery. -- I am hoping to get this done in March, but I'm leaving it open-ended time-wise, but it needs to get done soon! 
  1. Write a 'love letter' to Joe each month -- Instead of trying to be a loving wife, which is way too open-ended, I decided to try this instead - we'll see how it goes!
  2. Take a trip to Maine in June with the hubby, and Howard. -- Kept this one from last year, hopefully we will get to go this summer!
  3. Take a Trip to Ocean City in August -- We did this last year, and it was so much fun!  I'm looking forward to see how Howard likes the pool this year!
  4. Get together with family at least once a month -- Kept this one from last year too -- I love that we got to do this every month!  With Howard getting bigger each day, everyone wants a chance to see and snuggle him!
  5. Plan and Execute Howard's 1st Birthday Party -- This is an easy one.  My niece is so excited to help with this!  We're thinking cook out, but we'll see. 
  1. Have 2 Freezer/Pantry Challenges (January and July), post updates on the blog, and defrost the chest freezer - These went great last year.  January's is well underway, and has been going really well!  I just defrosted the chest freezer in December, so we'll see if we need to do in July or not.  But I'm leaving the goal as is, just in case.
  2. Post my Menu Plan, and Weekly Spending Report every week, along with at least 1 other post per week.  This may be an update, a reveal, a recipe, a shopping trip, some Aldi Deals, or a frugal find. -- I changed this a little bit from last year, because it is getting increasingly hard to find time to blog with a little one around.  I do think that a minimum of 2 posts a week is doable.  Hopefully I'm right!
  3. Plan and execute a 31 days post for October. -- This went well last year, so I kept it on for this year.  I just have to figure out what theme I want to do this year, any ideas?
  1. Lose at least 20 lbs -- Since I wasn't able to accomplish this last year, I've kept it on the list for 2015.  I've done this before, so I know that I can do it again.  I've had a good start so far.  It won't be easy, but it needs to get done!
  2. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy, and do exercise of some kind everyday. -- This kind of goes hand in hand with #1.  
  1. Do at least 5 Flea Markets throughout the year, and list at least bi-monthly on Amazon/Facebook Yard Sale. -- This is how many we did last year, so I know that we can at least accomplish that part of the goal.  There are a LOT of things that I've been decluttering that need to be sold, since they are actually worth something.  I know that posting stuff every month just isn't going to happen, so I think that every other month is much more doable for me right now.  I am going to try out the Facebook Yard Sale group for things like new shoes, and fancy purses.  We'll see how it goes - I'll keep you posted. 
  2. Earn Swagbucks everyday by completing the daily poll, toolbar log-in, and NOSO offers daily.  (Try to earn $10 a month) -- I did well with this last year, especially while I was pregnant.  Once Howard was born, things kind of dropped off.  I am hoping that I can earn 2 - $5 Amazon gift cards each month, for a total of $120 for the year. 
  3. Set a monthly budget, and coupon and deal shop as needed to stay within our budget. - I did a great job with this last year.  It continues to be something that I NEED to do, especially with the added cost of baby food and diapers. 
  4. Put at least an extra $100 a month on Joe's Credit Card starting in May -- I am hoping to put more than this on each month, but this is a minimum.  I want this thing paid off asap, so we can start chipping away at the loan payment! 
  1. Scan the huge-a** box of photos we have had since my mom died two and a half years ago, and get them sorted to give to people, as well as put the ones I decide to keep in albums. -- I decided to wait on the scrap-booking and instead get my photos in order.
  2. Continue to work on Howard's baby book -- This ends at the 1 year point, so I'll have to figure out what to do after that, but this needs to be caught up and finished.
  3. Try something new at least once a month and blog about it.  I have a LOT of new recipes and crafts I want to try -- I did a lot of this before Howard was born and little bit right after, but then things like breastfeeding and work got in the way of having fun.  Hopefully I can get back to doing fun things this year!

Pantry Challenge Day #22-27 Results

Well, sickness struck again.  I have had a head cold, which I think Howard only got a little bit.  He's had a little cough and some sniffles, but other than that, he's been fine.  Joe's had a stomach bug.  It's been crazy here, and it's affected the meal plan.  We have managed to eat at home the past few days, but we didn't eat anything too exciting.  A lot of pasta, soup, and sandwiches -- easy comfort foods.  Hopefully I can finish out the month, and the pantry challenge with a bang!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Weekly Spending Report: 01/18-24/2015

This week I was able to stock up on some nice deals at CVS, Giant, and the Dollar Store, as well as pick up some needed items at ALDI.  Here's how it went down...
  • Sunday's CVS Trip: $11.44 oop, Earned $7 ECB's
  • Sunday's ALDI Trip (not pictured, 24 pk H2O): $34.22 oop
  • Sunday's Giant Trip: $18.34 oop (2 large jars of mayo are missing from the picture)
  • Saturday's Dollar Tree Trip: $13.66 oop
Total OOP: $77.66
Total Earned: $7
Total Remaining: $72.56


Friday, January 23, 2015

Pantry Challenge Day #20 Results

Today was a very busy day!  We had Howard's 9 month check up appointment this morning.  He didn't need any shots this time, but he went down in percentiles for weight and height!  Joe and I were both shocked since he eats like a teenager!  So, we were told to add in some more calories, and try to feed him more frequently, so well see.  We go back in March for a weight check -- hopefully we can pack on some pounds before then :-)  After that, we made a quick trip to Giant for some Mayo that was out of stock when I went Sunday, we picked up next week's ALDI groceries, and stopped into CVS to grab a prescription.  During Howard's nap-time I managed to go through our store of 12 month clothes and got them sorted into a bin, listed on my inventory sheet, and cleaned-out 2 grocery bags worth to donate/give away!  It was a good day, we also ate well...
  • Breakfast:  Iced Coffee for Me, Granola Bar for Joe
  • Lunch: Orange Chicken, Rice, and Broccoli
  • Dinner: Macaroni and Cheese, with Hot Dogs (made by my AWESOME husband!)

Pantry Challenge Day #19 Results

Today we were expecting 2 inches of snow, which Joe and I thought probably wasn't going to amount to much of anything, and then we ended up with 4 or so inches!  So, we watched Netflix while the snow fell.  During Howard's nap-time I worked on clipping coupons, which for some reason, ever since Howard was born, I just can't manage to stay caught up on!  I didn't really feel like cooking, so I used up some bread that we've had for a week and made some simple (but delicious) meals with it.  Here's how the menu went down today...
  • Breakfast:  Iced Coffee for Me, Waffle Sandwich for Joe
  • Lunch: French Toast, with Link Sausage, and Grapes
  • Dinner: Sandwiches, and Chips

Pantry Challenge Day #18 Results

Today was a simple day, I was actually hungry at breakfast so I scrambled some eggs. I got a good bit done around the house, including cleaning off my desk, which took all of Howard's nap-time!  I was worth it though.  I also managed to clean off my bulletin board, my book shelf, and get the last of the 2014 paperwork filed.  It was a very productive nap-time to say the least!  But, since I was busy cleaning and filing, I kept the menu pretty simple -- thank God for leftovers and chicken nuggets!  :-)
  • Breakfast: Iced Coffee and Scrambled Eggs for Me, Waffle Sandwich for Joe
  • Lunch: Leftover Lasagna for Me, and Leftover Chili for Joe
  • Dinner: Chicken Nuggets and Fries

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pantry Challenge Day #17 Results

Today was another fairly easy day!  I managed to get the house cleaned and the laundry caught up, plus did a little decluttering.  I also got Howard's toys and books sorted in his new cube baskets.  We kept the menu pretty simple as well...
  • Breakfast: Iced Coffee for me, Waffle Sandwich for Joe
  • Lunch: Leftover Salad and Pizza for me, Leftover Chili for Joe
  • Dinner: Crock-pot Lasagna, with Garlic Cheddar Drop Biscuits

Pantry Challenge Day #16 Results

Today was a nice laid back day.  We overslept and missed church this morning, which stunk, but we decided to make the best of what was left of the morning and get the errands done for the week.  We were able to make all three stops, and be home by lunch.  Needless to say, I flew through those stores!  Later in the afternoon, Howard 'helped' me put together his 'cube' we bought with some of my Christmas money, and the baskets for it as well.  It gives us a LOT of storage for all those toys he received at Christmas.  Here's hoe the menu went down...
  • Breakfast: Iced Coffee for Me, Waffle Sandwich for Joe
  • Lunch: We used a gift card from Christmas and grabbed a Pizza on the way home from shopping
  • Dinner: Crock-pot Chili, with Salad

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weekly Spending Report: 01/11-17/2015

I was able to get some great deals this week!  I was almost out of coffee, and my favorite kind just happen to be on sale with an ECB deal at CVS!  We also needed some snack food (popcorn and fruit for me, bars for Joe).  Howard was almost out of his favorite Banana Applesauce from ALDI, so I had to pick that up as well.  I cleaned out a few expired condiments from the fridge this week too, which I then needed to replace, like mayo and ketchup.  I still have a few I need to buy, but that can wait for now.  Here's what I ended up with...
  • Sunday's CVS Trip: $12.03 oop, Earned $15.99 ECB's
  • Sunday's ALDI: $18.41 oop
  • Sunday's Giant Trip: $20.97 oop
  • Saturday's Dollar Tree Trip (2 Newspapers): $2.12 oop 
  • Saturday's Staples Trip (1 ream multipurpose paper): $5.09, Earned $4.79 Easy Rebate
Total OOP: $58.62
Total Earned: $20.78
Total Remaining for January: $150.22

Pantry Challenge Day #15 Results

It felt so good today to actually be in the kitchen again and be using up odds and ends from the pantry and fridge!  We had amassed quite a few leftovers over the past few days while we were ill, and today was the day to use or lose them.  So, we used them up for lunch.  Plus we had a delicious pork chop dinner.  Here's how it went down today...
  • Breakfast: Iced Coffee for Me, Waffle sandwich for Joe
  • Lunch: Misc leftovers from the fridge for both of us
  • Snacks: Brownies, Fruit, and Popcorn
  • Dinner: Cheesy Baked Pork Chops, 4 Cheese Pasta (Lipton Side), and Broccoli with Cheese