Thursday, September 29, 2016

Goals Update: September 2016

September was pretty busy, as per our usual life schedule.  We had two events here at the museum, we set up at a large flea market, we visited two steam and gas shows (Howard's new favorite activity), I celebrated becoming 31, and I worked a ton.  Plus the usual stuff like cleaning, errands, and the never-ending pile of laundry.  I did carve out some time to work on some of my goals this month.  I can tell that we are on the home stretch for the year, and I am feeling the burn so to speak, or the itch maybe, to get things crossed off and done! 
So, here's how things are going so far for the year...

  • Lose 20 lbs (about 1.5 lbs a month) I have lost 15 pounds!  I didn't lose any more in September, but I also didn't gain any, so that's good.  I am hoping to have more time in October to get back to my every day exercising, and that will definitely help.
  • Exercise 292 days - In September I exercised 25 out of 30 days.  For a total of 225 for the year.  I'm right on track with this goal! 
  • Drink at least 70 oz of water everyday - I did pretty well with this goal in September.  The warmer weather helps.  I am hoping that I can keep the momentum up in October even though it's cooling down here in Maryland, and all I crave is hot tea. 
  • Coupon and deal shop to stick to my $350/month budget - I shared my budget update for September here.  If you click over, you can see all of the great things I was able to stock-up on while still staying $27 under budget!  This included fresh produce, diapers, shampoos, cereal, and a variety of other items.
  • Earn at least 6 - $25 Amazon gift card through Swagbucks - I earned another gift card in September!  I had to be very diligent about earning my Swagbucks each day, but it is so worth it to have another $25 Amazon gift card to use!  4 Down, and 2 to go.
  • List at least 10 things per month online or 120 for the year - I did not list anything in September, mainly because I didn't have anything to list.  I have some books and sewing patterns (now that I've done some more cleaning out) that I'd like to get up on Amazon in October, so hopefully I can make that happen.  January - Check (23), February - no check (0), March - Check (43), April - no check (1), May -no check (0), June - no check (0), July - no check (0), August - no check (0), September - no check (0)
  • Set up at 6 Flea Markets/Shows to sell our wares - We set up at a flea market at the beginning of September.  We did just okay, but we did get rid of quite a few of the bulkier items we had, which was nice.  Our next flea market is in October, so I am hoping for a good show!  Total for the year = 4
  • Completely declutter the entire house - Finally done for the year!!!  I finished up the cedar chest in September, and now I am DONE!!!
  • Finish my 2016 project list - I have my project list update posted separately.  I did get a few things crossed off in September.  I am hoping to get a couple more done in October.  We are on the home stretch, and there are just a few things left that need to get done before the end of the year!

  • Post at least 3 times a week - I was able to post 3 times a week in September.  All totaled I posted 13 times in September!  I really enjoyed sharing my Fall decor sneak-peek with you all!  I always love seeing what others are doing in the homes for decoration.
  • Do a 31 day series in October - I cannot believe that this starts this weekend!?  I feel like just yesterday I still had months to go before this series got started.  I have been writing away, working on graphics, and getting everything ready to roll for October 1st!
  • Set up a Facebook page for my blog - Not yet, I am hoping to get this done in October.
How is everyone else doing with their goals?
Anything new or different you are trying this year?
Share some of your goals in the comments...

Household Project List 2016 - September Update

September was a whirl-wind of a month -- there were two events at the museum, we sat up at a large flea market, we visited two steam and gas shows, and I worked a LOT.  I did get a few things crossed off the list, but not as much I would have hoped to.  October is looking like a much more laid back month, at least it is on the calendar.  I am planning to work on getting at least 3 items crossed off next month, so wish me luck!  
Here's how the list is looking so far...
  • Bedroom: 
    • Declutter 2 Dressers, 1 Chest of Drawers, 2 Nightstands, 1 Closet, and Under the Bed -- Finished in February
    • Steam off the crappy boarder - I'm hoping to get to this in October or November.
    • Re-glue the wallpaper seams - Done!  I finally set aside some time to do this in September, and it looks so much better.
    • Change the wall art - I'm still on the hunt for a shelf, and after a trip to the Hobby Lobby I think I have found the art that I want to make for behind our bed, so maybe I'll get to work on this some in October.
  • Hall: 
    • Declutter Hall Closet, Desk, and Coat Closet -- Finished in February
    • Sell desk, and move in a bench -- Finished in April
    • Build another shelf in the hall closet -- Unneeded, crossed off in February
  • Bathroom:
    • Declutter the Bathroom Cabinets and Drawers  -- Finished in February
    • Touch up the paint - Finished in June.  Completed during renovations.
  • Living Room:
    • Declutter 8 Cube Baskets, 1 End Table, and 3 Dresser Drawers -- Finished in March
    • Finish adding pictures to our 'mural' wall - Finished in June/July. 
    • Paint the letter 'R' on our 'mural' wall -- Finished in January
    • Find new art for behind the futon - I have found the picture that I want, but it's pricey.  If I can find something similar at a yard sale for less money, I will scoop it up for sure.  If not, I'm in the process of saving up so I can get it as a birthday gift to myself.
  • Kitchen:
    • Declutter 35 Cabinets, 1 Pantry, 1 China Cabinet, and 11 Drawers -- Finished in March   
    • Get a new trashcan -- Finished in February
    • Steam the wallpaper off our microwave table, and repaint it - I've decided to cross this off for this year, and add it to next year's list.  The table was damaged during the renovations we had done in June, so we really need a new one.  We are heading into the busy season here at the museum, and I know that Joe is not going to have time to build  new one until January.  Unless I can find something the next time I go to Ikea...
    • Paint the windows/sills/trim - Finished in June.  Completed during renovations.
    • Clean out the chest freezer and defrost it -- Finished in March
  • Nursery/Office:
    • Declutter the Closet, Dresser, Desk, Chest of Drawers, Bookcase, Sewing Table, and Cedar Chest -- Cedar Chest is finally done.  I don't know why I put it off for so long, because it only took me about an hour or so to complete.  I now have a completely empty cedar chest ready to be moved out when baby number 2 decides to come - whenever that may be.
    • Go through the CD 3-drawer organizer and combine into a large CD case - Finished in June.
    • Install new curtain rods and tie backs; Hang new curtains - Finished in July.
    • Make a new curtain for the closet; Hang - I am planning to work on this in November.
    • Buy new Lamp/Shade for the Dresser -- Finished in April
    • Re-glue wallpaper - I have started on this and have decided I need a better glue.  The wallpaper glue and roller I used for the other rooms in the house just isn't cutting it in here.  The paper is peeling much worse in this room though, and it's just so dry it doesn't want to stick.  I'm leaning towards super glue unless any one has a better suggestion?
    • Bring in new chest of drawers (#2) - Done!  Picture to come.
    • Build new shelf (or two) above the desk; Add books to shelves -- We won't be able to build shelves above the desk the way I wanted to, so I am on the lookout for a small, mostly decorative, shelf at the thrift stores and yard sales.
    • Paint the windows/sills and the closet door frame - Finished in June.  Completed during renovations.
  • Laundry Room:
    •  Declutter Desk, 3 Drawer Stand, Bookcase, and Closet (including stored Christmas decorations) -- Finished in March
    • Touch up paint from renovation - I am planning to start this in October.
    • Hang art -- Crossed off in May. 
    • Wash box of new-to-us toys - Finished in July.
    • Buy an IKEA cube system, assemble, and organize -- I haven't been able to make it to Ikea yet this month, so I will probably not get there until sometime in October.  I am hoping to knock this out soon though - I need an organized laundry room stat.
 Are any of you working on some household projects this year?
What are you getting accomplished? 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Budget Update: September 2016

September was a very busy month full of work, events at the museum, steam shows to visit, flea markets to set up at, and just the general everyday stuff like cleaning, and laundry, and errands.  We have also started do some more structured activities with Howard, things like pom-pom sorting by color, threading beads on pipe cleaners, reading books that actually relate to the season, or places we have recently visited, and lots of coloring.  We did some of these things before, but we are trying to start 'scheduling' them more regularly.  Kind of like tot-school -- I have a BUNCH of things pinned relating to busy bags and preschool activities for toddlers, so I will be sharing some of what works for us soon (if you all are interested - let me know in the comments below).
Overall, the month went well budget-wise.  Under budget is always good, and we got a lot of great deals along the way!  Here's how my spending broke-down over the month of September...
  • Week #1: $2.06 oop, Earned Zero (no picture, only purchased rubber bands and crackers)
  • Week #2: $62.74 oop, Earned $1 Checkout51 Rebate, and $0.50 Ibotta Rebates
Total OOP: $360.85
Total Earned: $41.35
Total Remaining from September: $27.14!!
*Use this link to sign up for Checkout51, upload a receipt, and get a $5 Bonus!
**Use this link to sign up for Ibotta and get a $10 bonus!

Weekly Spending Report: 09/25-10/01/2016

This week I did a good bit of stocking up, and I got some really great deals.  There were a few things, like toilet paper, that were on my 'to buy' list, and I got lucky because they were a great deal too!  I love it when that happens.  I also came in under budget for the month, not by much, but every little bit helps.  I kept my shopping to a minimum this week, just hitting up my regular three stops - CVS, ALDI, and Giant.  We are headed to a flea market this weekend, where the internet is spotty, so I decided to go ahead and share my spending report a couple of days early.  
Below you'll see how my spending broke down...
  • Sunday's CVS Trip: $23.37 oop, Earned $15 ECB's ($10 Charmin, and $5 Garnier Fructis), and $0.10 Mobisave Rebate (Hand soap)
  • Sunday's ALDI Trip: $38.52 oop
  • Sunday's Giant Trip: $34.08 oop, Earned $0.10 Mobisave Rebate (Pizza), and $0.50 Saving Star Rebate (Annie's Mac and Cheese) (included, but not pictured is a large bottle of Shout carpet cleaner on clearance for just over $3)
Total OOP: $95.97
Total Earned: $15.70
Total Remaining from September: $27.14!!!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: 09/26/2016

This week we are preparing to go away for this coming weekend.  We are headed to a small little Steam and Gas show in western Maryland where we'll have a flea market table.  I am hoping we have a good weekend, so I can do a little stock-up shopping.  Since I am working, and we'll need to pack and load the RV, I kept our meal plans super simple.  We're leaving Thursday night after dinner, so Friday and Saturday we'll be at the show.  I am so excited for dinner on Saturday night, since it is the only time of year we get to eat at that restaurant, and it's one of my favorites!  So, here's what's cooking this week...
  • Breakfasts: Fruit, Eggs, Cream of Wheat, and/or Oatmeal for Me; Pop-Tarts for Joe; Turkey Sausage Links, Mini Muffins, Fruit, and/or Fruit and Grain Bars for Howard 
  • Lunches: Tomato and Bacon or PBJ Sandwiches, Leftovers, Chips, Veggie Dippers with Ranch, Soup, and/or Fruit for Joe and I.  Howard will have Turkey Sausage links, Cheese Slices, Mac and Cheese cups, Blueberry Pancakes, French Toast, and/or PB Waffles, and Fruit.
  • Dinners:
    • Sunday - Crock-pot Cheeseburgers (new recipe to come), Potato Salad/Pasta Salad
    • Monday - Olive Garden Take-out
    • Tuesday - Taco Salads
    • Wednesday - Leftovers (aka clean out the fridge)
    • Thursday - Pizza
    • Friday - Grilled Hot Dogs
    • Saturday - Dinner at Mountain Gate :-)
For more AWESOME Menu Plans, visit Org Junkie!

Fall Decor Peek - 2016

Since everyone enjoyed my Summer decor sneak-peek so much, I decided to share the little touches of Fall I've added to my home with you all as well.  With a very active two-year-old boy running around, I don't have a ton of time to decorate, nor do I want to tempt him with too many breakables.  So, I subscribe to a very simplistic style of decor.  I tend to shy away from things that are cutesy or trendy or breakable, and stick with things that are classic, and that I know I will love for years to come.  I also have some sentimental decorations - most of these were handmade by my Mom.  Since she has passed on, I cherish these items and look forward to putting them out each year.  Some would call my decor a little eclectic, but that's okay, it works for me.
So, with all that being said, onto my Fall decor...

Right outside our front door, I have these two signs, both made by my Mom.  The pumpkin patch one comes out for Fall, but the country blessings one stays out all year. 
Behind our front door is this cabinet where we keep our jackets, mittens, hats, umbrellas, and other misc outdoor items.  I like to decorate the top with anything I have that is breakable, since Howard definitely can't reach it.   I found the turkey planter last year at a flea market for two or three dollars.  I tucked it away, and this year filled it with some beautiful flowers from the Dollar Tree.  There is a close-up picture above - those cream flowers are to die for.
Beside the cabinet is another floral arrangement, also made by my Mom.  I just love all the gorgeous colors!
 On the back of our front door, I have a little wreath that I made last year from some floral scraps I had in my Fall decorating bin.  It turned out lovely, and is just the right size!
 Further down our hallway is a small shelf that I build in middle school.  The owls stay out all year, as do the tins.  I did switch the two aqua/coral/pink/pastel floral ones that were there for Spring and Summer, with these deeper colored ones for Fall.  I think that the colors are working out perfectly!  I also added the cream pumpkin, which I think is just the right touch of fall for this little corner. 
In the living room, I only change out a couple of things.  One is the frame I keep on our cube organizer.  I have a different printable for each season - when the time comes to decorate, all I have to do is open up the back and switch to the next page.
 I also switched out my boxwood balls for a few faux pumpkins and gourds in the clay bowl.
 The last room I decorated is the kitchen.  I always enjoy adding a few seasonal touches to my china cabinet.  This year I went with some gorgeous golden cabbage roses, a hand-painted turkey, and a cute little pumpkin scarecrow - can you spy him?
 In one of my windowsills I have a little rooster pitcher that my mom bought for me at a yard sale.  I keep it full of seasonal flowers and just switch them out when I need too.  This is the arrangement I came up with for Fall; I think it turned out so beautiful this year!
I also decided to decorate the wooden box I keep on top of my kitchen scale.  I had a lot of leftover floral, so I decided to do another arrangement.  I just love how it turned out!  I think the two little pumpkins hiding in there really take it up a notch.
The very last thing I have to share is my kitchen table.  I went with my fall-colored table runner, a little berry wreath, and a candle.  The last of my Summer candles I might add.  By the time you are reading this I will have moved on to a nice apple-scented candle for Fall. 
I hope that you enjoyed this little sneak-peek tour of my Fall decor for this year.

What is your favorite type of decoration for Fall?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Weekly Spending Report: 09/18-24/2016

There were a LOT of great deals this week, so naturally I had to stock-up on them.  Howard is still in diapers for the moment, so they were on the list, along with fish oil, which I was out of.  Some of the great deals included shampoo for $0.67 each, $0.99 Shout, super cheap after coupon sticker books for Howard and I to play with, and diet meals for only $1.43 each!  We also got the usual breakfast and snack foods, as there is still plenty to eat from the freezer for dinner.  Below is how my spending broke-down for this week...
  • Tuesday's CVS Trip: $30.18 oop, Earned $13 ECB's ($10 Huggies, and $3 Garnier Fructis)
  • Tuesday's ALDI Trip: $38.28 oop, Earned $0.10 Mobisave Rebate (Tortilla Chips)
  • Tuesday's Giant Trip: $28.02 oop, Earned $0.50 Ibotta Rebate* ($0.25 Bread, and $0.25 Apples)
  • Tuesday's Michael's Trip: $3.71 oop
  • Saturday's Dollar Tree Trip: $10.54 oop
Total OOP: $110.73
Total Earned: $13.60
Total Remaining for September: $123.11
 *Use this link to sign up for Ibotta and get a $10 bonus!

Linked to I Heart Publix, and many more! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Frugal Finds: September 2016 Edition

In September, I was on the hunt for some new tops - it seems that Howard's food always ends up on me and stains my shirt - ugh!  So, another trip to the thrift store was in order, oh, darn. I managed to find a couple shirts that I liked.  I was also able to pick up an awesome backpack for Howard - it has a chest and a belly strap, so he won't be taking it off and losing it.  ;-)
Howard's Backpack $3.99
3T Shorts for Howard $1.99 - 50% off sale = $0.99
Navy and White Polka Dot Short Sleeved Tee Shirt for Me $3.99
Blue Floral Short Sleeved Tee Shirt for Me $3.99

We also stopped into the Dollar Tree in Hanover while were there.  I was able to find a few things that I haven't seen at the one in Westminster.
2 Straw Tumblers for Me - I LOVE these things - $2
1 sheet of Floral Stickers for my planner - $1
1 pack of Watercolor Sticky Notes for my planner - $1
1-2 pack Sponge Refills - $1
1 Soap-dispensing Scrub Brush (I plan to use this to scrub my tub and surround - I have heard good things, so we will see) - $1
1 The Monuments Men book for Joe - $1
1-4 pack of 3 piece Puzzles for Howard - Howard loves puzzles - $1
1 pack of Hair Bands for Me (p.s. these stink, they are made for someone with a really small head) - $1
+ $0.54 Tax
Total OOP: $9.54!!!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: 09/19/2016

Last week just zoomed by.  I had a lot of preparations to take care of for an event at work this past weekend, along with the usual housework, and an outing to a tractor show with Howard.  This week should be much calmer - I only work a few days, and my birthday is on Friday - YAY!  I am planning for a relaxing day alone.  I love my family, but as an natural-born introvert, I very much value my alone time, it is so rejuvenating!  We are going to 'celebrate' with a day trip shopping next Wednesday, but on my actual birthday, I'm looking forward to quiet, and ice cream!
I kept the menu plan simple this week, and I planned quite a few 'comfort' food recipes - since the weather is starting to cool down - finally.  
Here's what's cookin' this week... 
  • Breakfasts: Fruit, Eggs, and/or cereal for Me; Pop-Tarts for Joe; Turkey Sausage Links, Mini Muffins, Fruit, and/or Fruit and Grain Bars for Howard 
  • Lunches: Tomato and Bacon or PBJ Sandwiches, Leftovers, Chips, Veggie Dippers with Ranch, Soup, and/or Fruit for Joe and I.  Howard will have Turkey Sausage links, Cheese Slices, Mac and Cheese cups, 'Pancake Poppers,' and/or PB Waffles, and Fruit.
  • Dinners:
    • Sunday - Free Pit Beef Sandwiches at a Festival
    • Monday - Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, Soup
    • Tuesday - Crock-pot Salsa Chicken (recipe coming soon), Salad
    • Wednesday - Crock-pot Cheeseburger Sliders (recipe coming soon), Baked Onion Rings
    • Thursday - Mac and Cheese, Hot Dogs
    • Friday - Birthday Take-out!  And ice cream!
    • Saturday - Crock-pot Pork and Mushroom Gravy, Jasmine Rice, Steamed Green Beans

For more AWESOME Menu Plans, visit Org Junkie!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Weekly Spending Report: 09/11-17/2016

The past two weeks in September my shopping has been super light, so I decided to do a little stocking-up this week.  Joe has been out of soup, and it's his favorite go-to lunch, so I was very glad to see a sale this week at Giant!  I got an assortment of snack food for him as well.  The only thing I really needed was water and milk, and Howard needed some more breakfast options.
I also picked up some more diapers at CVS since there was a sale.
Below is how my spending broke down this week...
  • Monday's ALDI Trip: $14.00 oop
  • Thursday's CVS Trip: $25.38 oop, Earned $10 ECB's
  • Thursday's Giant Trip: $42.05 oop, Earned $0.25 Ibotta Rebate* (Bread), $0.30 Mobisave Rebate ($0.10 each for Bread, Apples, and Soup) (included, but not pictured are 7 bottles of Powerade)
  • Thursday's ALDI Trip: $7.92 oop (no picture, just 6 gallons H2O, and 1 box Cupcakes)
Total OOP: $89.35
Total Earned: $10.55
Total Remaining for September: $233.84
*Use this link to sign up for Ibotta and get a $10 bonus!
Linked to I Heart Publix, and many more! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Weekly Spending Report: 09/04-10/2016

This week I kept my shopping super simple.  I knew I needed to buy breakfast, lunch, and snack foods to refill our cupboards after vacation, so I kept the deal shopping to a minimum.  I did get in on a cereal deal; I just can't turn those down - any other Mamas with me on that?!  I also didn't hit up CVS this week since there wasn't a whole lot going on there deal-wise.  Below is how my spending broke down, and what I was able to pick up...
  • Sunday's ALDI Trip: $23.47 oop, Earned $1 Check-out 51* Rebate (Pop-Tarts) (not pictured but included is a loaf of bread)
  • Sunday's Giant Trip: $39.27 oop, Earned $0.50 Ibotta** Rebates ($0.25 Bread, and $0.25 Cereal) (not pictured, but included is a large tub of deli pasta salad)

Total OOP: $62.74
Total Earned: $1.50
Total Remaining for September: $323.19
*Use this link to sign up for Checkout51, upload a receipt, and get a $5 Bonus!
**Use this link to sign up for Ibotta and get a $10 bonus!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: 09/05/2016

This week we are gearing up for a HUGE flea market set-up at a steam show here at the museum.  This is our last big set up for the year, so it's kind of a clean-out for us.  Things that we have carried to at least 4 shows gets marked down, junk that I've cleaned out of the apartment during a decluttering sweep gets priced to moved, there is an auction nearby that we can unload some stuff at afterwards if it doesn't sell, plus it's near to home and very convient.  But it's also a LOT of work, so quick and easy is the name of the game this week with the menu plan... 
  • Breakfasts: Fruit, Luna Bars, and/or cereal for Me; Pop-Tarts for Joe; Turkey Sausage Links, Mini Muffins, Fruit, and/or Fruit and Grain Bars for Howard 
  • Lunches: Tomato and Bacon or PBJ Sandwiches, Leftovers, Chips, Veggie Dippers with Ranch, Soup, and/or Fruit for Joe and I.  Howard will have Turkey Sausage links, Cheese Slices, Mac and Cheese cups, 'Pancake Poppers,' and/or PB Waffles, and Fruit.
  • Dinners:
    • Monday - Sandwiches, Salads
    • Tuesday - Leftovers
    • Wednesday - Crock-pot Cheeseburger Sliders (recipe coming soon), Chips
    • Thursday - We usually eat at the show, they have Spaghetti, and Green beans with Ham and Potatoes this night
    • Friday - Mac and Cheese, Hot Dogs
    • Saturday - Out!
      For more AWESOME Menu Plans, visit Org Junkie!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Weekly Spending Report: 08/28-09/03/2016

We were away at the beach for most of this week, so I really didn't do a whole lot of grocery shopping - a little outlet shopping, but that's a whole 'nother story.  I stopped the Dollar Tree on Saturday to pick up my newspapers, but there were no coupons, so I just grabbed the two other things on my list and buzzed out the door before I saw anything else I 'needed.'  My total is low this week, but next week will be a doosy - we desperately need produce, and milk, and bread, and breakfast foods, and... well, you get the picture.  Below are the deals I scored this week...
  • Saturday's Dollar Tree Trip: $2.06 oop (no picture, just rubber bands, and crackers)
Total OOP: $2.06
Total Earned: Zero
Total Remaining for September: $385.93