I am in the process of trying to setup a new family budget. My husband will be starting a new job soon *cue angelic music* and we will have a bit of additional cash flow in our budget. I am beyond thrilled! It’s a welcome change in these tough economic times. I know many of you are struggling out there and we are not exempt from that.
One of my goals is to follow the principals taught by Dave Ramsey. Finally we will be able to save enough money to complete step 1: Save $1000 for an emergency fund! I’ve been attempting this for quite some time, but it’s hard y’all. I don’t have an extra $1000 lying around and saving that much takes time.
Want to know how you can positively improve your finances? KNOW your credit score! It is that much more difficult to re-finance your mortgage, get a car loan or even a credit card if you have bad credit. It’s not just that though, you need to follow your credit so you can monitor changes. It’s important to know if there is a negative mark on your credit history that didn’t originate from you? Maybe some information is incorrect or they have the right name, but clearly the wrong person.
Identify theft is becoming a reality for more and more people these days. That’s why it’s so important these to monitor your credit! How you ask? There are so many places online that offer a free credit score. The 3 major credit reporting sites will allow you access to your credit score and history once a year for free. Also, if you apply for something and you are denied, you have the right to see your credit history due to the denial. That’s really convenient too. Maybe identity theft occurred without your knowledge, and you expected to be approved. Getting that denial may just be the best thing that happens to you, that way you are aware immediately of the fraud and you can make the corrective steps in repairing the damage!
Personally I’ve had some suspicious credit history show up on my credit report and it was a nightmare getting to the bottom of it, but I’m so glad I did! Finances are too important to not keep track of. Has it ever happened to you?
A few Friday’s ago I got to work at our local hospital in the Labor and Delivery floor. I am a breastfeeding peer counselor at my local health department and they are trying to create more communication and understanding between what the nurses do and what we do. How can we help them? How can they use us to lighten the load a little bit?
When I first arrived there they sent me back to a locked door to change clothes. It was room full of cotton scrubs. A giant shelf held the tops while a rack full of storage bins was supposed to hold the bottoms. However, they were all empty! Standing behind me was a pile as tall as me of pants. Not just all pants mixed up, pretty much all XL and XXL pants. Hmmm, now what?
I rummaged through the pile and never found anything that would fit me. Not even a medium! I had to go back up front to the nurses station and request a smaller size. I felt like a huge pain in the butt, they were busy y’all and here I am complaining about not having the right size? Seriously though, I couldn’t have worked the shift in an XL. I would have been swimming in those things! It’s not like it was an XL in women’s. They are unisex and an XL is big! They managed to find me a medium though. The pants were cute. Simple with a drawstring and a cargo-type pocket on the side of each thigh, but the tops? Not so cute. Faded blue with hearts and cherubs. I suppose it’s the typical hospital uniform for the labor and delivery floor, but personally I prefer the selection of http://www.blueskyscrubs.com/ . They have some really cute current styles!
I feel like I may one day end up with a career that requires me to wear scrubs, and I won’t settle for the mousy looking styles. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not stylish by any means, but if you have to wear clothing day in and day out that’s so simple and plain I think it’s important that you feel good in your clothes! Right now I wear a t-shirt and workout pants daily to the YMCA and I feel very…what’s the word to use here? Um, uninspired? That will work. Really though, sometimes I want to look good, right?
Do you wear scrubs for your job? Since the wardrobe is what it is because of the nature of the job, do you go for style or functionality?
Oh, so back to my story. That whole shift was completely uneventful! I didn’t get to help one single mama with breastfeeding. I did get to hold a newborn baby boy though. Just looking at those tiny little faces, fingers and toes makes me what another one! Shhh, don’t tell my husband though. He will begin avoiding me like the plague!
With yesterday being Father’s Day I thought about getting my hubby some flowers, but that’s really a girly-type thing isn’t it? For Mother’s Day he bought be a beautiful bouquet of flowers! It was so pretty! I was so glad that it came in a beautiful vase because when perusing my cabinets for glass vases I turned up empty.
Don’t flowers just make you happy? I have a florist withing walking distance of my house, but sadly I’ve only been in there a handful of times in my years here. I would really love to have flowers lined up in front of my window in the living room. I’m thinking mini glass vases would do the trick!
Aren’t they beautiful? You know what else would be pretty? A nice flower arrangement on a low coffee table. I love seeing that in home decor magazines. It looks and seems so glamorous. But in a house with 3 boys? Are you kidding me? We’ve already had to eliminate the coffee table! Too many bumps and bruises! If I was going to invest in another coffee table it would have to have 2 things, storage and a round shape. This fits the bill:
I like the soft top, the storage in the drawers, pull outs and the bottom space! LOVE it! Too bad I’m not buying a coffee table any time soon. Oh well. See what I mean about the flower arrangement? Beee-u-tiful!
Well, back to Father’s Day, we had a great day! I fixed Lou breakfast, not in bed, but hey! It was breakfast. A yummy scramble with hash browns, eggs, sausage and cheese! YUM!!! After that we just kinda hung around the house. The boys and I bought him 2 shirts that he wanted and later the older boys and him went geocaching. It seems to be their new favorite outdoor activity!
We ended the evening with the boys on the brink of exhaustion from summer-itis. Up too long, playing too hard and not enough rest! I was grateful when bed time arrived. How was your Father’s Day?
He didn’t say that in those words, but I’ve been really short and grouchy with the kids lately and it all stems from weaning. Night weaning. I’m not weaning Cutler completely, although it may happen on its own.
When we received the bad news about Cutler’s teeth we decided that night weaning would be a good thing, just in case he isn’t swallowing that last little bit of milk. I don’t want it sitting on his teeth causing more damage. So the only way to be sure that doesn’t happen is to not let him fall asleep on the breast. That is tough stuff ya’ll. I’m not cut out for weaning. It sucks. Now I have no sure fire way to get Cutler to sleep. Breastfeeding was my ace in the hole, now we wing it. Sometimes we rock, sometimes we just lay down and cuddle. But most times he screams and I try and calm him down. It takes much longer than nursing to sleep and because of that I’m getting NO time to myself.
Blogging has been a hobby for the last few years, but seeing that I’m having less and less time to do it I realize how important it is to me. I feel like I have to blog. I don’t get my old average of 1-2 hours on the computer each night. Now I’m getting like 1-2 hours a week! It’s killing me! So tonight Lou mentioned me being grouchy. I didn’t deny it. I know he’s right. I feel it. I feel my anger rising over some stupid stuff and it makes me sad and disappointed in myself. I need time to myself though. He sees it and knows it. I’m sure we will all have to make changes to adapt to our new schedule. Meaning that Lou will have to take on more of an “entertaining Cutler” role when he’s being all clingy to me. I’m thinking that will be a win-win for everyone.
So I need to ask all you moms out there 2 questions.
1. How do you manage time to yourself? Who chips in to help?
2. How much time to you need vs. get?
I’ve determined over the years that when the kids go to bed it’s my time, and that apparently takes about 2-3 hours. Meaning I need them in bed by 9 at the latest if I don’t want to resemble a zombie in the morning. I would like to get more sleep, but after I watch a show or two, pick up the house, work on a bit of laundry, blog, etc, 2-3 hours has passed. I don’t expect to get that on a daily basis any more. It’s just not realistic, ideal, but not realistic. Plus the boys are all home with me all day every day starting next week, so my alone time will be far and few.
Tomorrow I’m having the girls over for afternoon drinks. I need it.
Well, it’s only been a week, soooo not much. Actually I’ve broken a few fingernails and I ain’t happy about it. But, I have made my toe nails prettier. Not beautiful by any means. Lou says my toes look like little sausages. Nice isn’t he?
I think he’s right. “Lil’ Smokies” looking toes. I really think some polish and a toe ring dresses them up! Doesn’t it? How do your toes look? Are they flip flop ready?
P.S. The tattoo makes me look fancy, not trashy right?
My finger nails have always been brittle and weak. For YEARS I bit them down to where they almost didn’t exist! It’s been a battle every since. Here’s what I’m working with now, and it ain’t pretty.
I don’t suppose they are terrible, but I can’t keep them all long for any length of time. They are always breaking off. I want really strong pretty nails so I’m attempting to pay more attention to my nails in hopes of getting something brag worthy!
So for now I’m using the Sally Hanson’s Maximum Growth in this pale pink nude color as a base and the clear for a top coat. I just did one coat of each, so maybe I need to do more. The bottle says 2-3 coats, but if I do that for both I’m looking at 4-6 coats and I think that will pit and chip from being too thick. Am I wrong?
I’m also using Burt’s Bees Cuticle Creme. I’ve never used cuticle cream before and I have no idea if it really does anything that will improve how my nails look, but I have it so I might as well use it.
I can’t believe I’m showing you all this, because I don’t have pretty toes. Not.at.all. Seriously. Don’t laugh. My toe nails are short and nubby. Why? Because I’m a “picker” (everything but my nose). I pick my toe nails and my finger nails until there is nothing left. Nervous habit? Maybe, but I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. My big toe’s have had ingrown toe nails surgically fixed, the other toes seem fine. My toe nails are janky looking and small and misshapen. Just plain not purdy. I was hoping the tattoo would doll them up. I still like the tattoo, just not sure it’s doing the trick. Maybe I should tattoo the whole top of my foot?!?
So I will attempt to get nice looking toe nails. I’d LOVE to be able to do a french pedicure on them with the white tips. I just love the white tips! My friend Michelle just had hers done and they looked amazing!
So here’s the deal. I’m using the same polish on my toe nails as I did on my finger nails. All fingers and toes have been cleaned first, and only used by me. Just in case you were wondering. After I got out of the bath I used my foot file to file down the callouses. It didn’t work great, but it will have to do. I’m WAY too freaked out to have a pedicure. I don’t like the idea of someone touching my feet. I also have a foot razor type thingy that I’ve seen being used during a pedicure, but I’m scared to use it. I’d probably really jack things up and since I need my feet I may never try it. I have this Shea it isn’t so stuff from Bath and Body works and I used it after the filing and put on some socks and went to bed.
I’m hoping that if I continue with this treatment that I’ll be able to grow them long and strong for a french pedi painted look.
So share with me your secrets for beautiful nails if you have them. Do you have a product that you swear by that I should try? Stay tuned! I’ll keep ya posted!
Want the back story? Last night after everyone was in bed I took advantage of the quiet time and got me a long hot shower. Problem? My clean clothes, specifically my underwear is in my bedroom where my sleeping husband was. He is a very light sleeper and I wasn’t about to wake him up for that. I rifles through the clean clothes on the couch, but no undies. So I went downstairs to check the laundry. I had a load of whites in the dryer. I just knew for sure that I would have some in there! I was wrong. It was mostly my husbands undershirts and socks. Damn!
I usually keep a stash of underwear and pajamas in the bathroom for just this reason. I dug and dug through my bathroom pile and found two t-shirts, two pair of shorts, one tank top and a pair if socks. On the bottom of the pile was my everybodywear thong. Hmmmm. Not my first choice, but it will have to do. After my last brief stint of wearing the thong I just couldn’t get used to it. I thought maybe if I sleep in it I’d get used to it without even trying! Wouldn’t that be great! A bit too easy you’re thinking? Oh yeah, it didn’t work.
I slept like crap! Every time I moved I felt the thing creep up, forcing me to pick it out. I probably picked my butt 5+ times! I guess me and the thong are just not meant to be. So to all you thong lovers out there…how do you do it?
When Lou and I lived in Carbondale there was this place in the mall called Gloria Jean’s. This was one of those coffee houses that beckoned you. The smell was intoxicating! They had the most amazing gourmet coffee! We’d also go in there to buy chocolate covered espresso beans. YUM! I didn’t drink the coffee there but once or twice. That was before I had kids…before I needed coffee. Now I can’t live without it!
We also used to frequent a little bar/grill place that sold chocolate covered espresso beans in the gumball machine! You’d get a handful for $0.50. It was awesome. 3-4 espresso beans was the equivalent to 1 cup of coffee. After a handful of beans you’d be up to a whole pot of coffee! I guess that’s a college town for ya!
When I worked in Carbondale for an Architecture Firm the 3 owners would buy beans and grind them in the office. It smelled so good! I imagine that their coffee was so much tastier than my ground store brand. I never got to try theirs though. They would special order their coffee beans and have them shipped in. I’ve been browsing the web looking for just that sort of thing when I came across Roaste. I like that you can filter your selection with 6 different options. Coffee is an art. The different flavors you can come up with is certainly and art, not to mention the highlight of my day! Oh, my kids are a great highlight too, don’t get me wrong, but when they are acting all ridiculous somehow a great cup of coffee puts me in the right mood to continue on.
Just today I was wishing I had a coffee pot larger than a 12 cup. It seems that I am make more than one pot of coffee a day and I really need something bigger. No, I’m not drinking all that coffee myself. Between myself, my husband, my mom and step-dad we go through one pot pretty quick. They live next door and when they stop by they have to have a cup. Same goes for me at their house. Roaste has some great coffee equipment. My mom has always stood by Bunn brand. Don’t really know why though. Something about the water in the tank being kept warm so the next pot can be brewed really fast? I love espresso but not enough to spend that kind of dough, but if I had a Starbucks habit I’d consider it a smart investment! Cuisinart has a 14 cup coffee maker! I think we found a winner! Now I know what to save up for!
On Modern Family the other night Manny was saying that once you’ve had French Press you’ll never go back to drip. I’m almost scared to try it! I’ve never had French Press Coffee and I’m resistant to try it. If I become addicted it could become an expensive habit!
So please tell me, how do you like your coffee?
Yesterday I spoke about traveling somewhere tropical, and although that would be nice, it’s not exactly practical for my budget. I’m still feeling like a getaway may be in order, but I want the kids to go to! Typically for family vacations (discounthotels.com) we go up to Chicago to stay with my sister-in-law. That is always a hoot and I’m sure we will do it again this year, but I’m thinking I’d like to go somewhere new. Somewhere fun.
I have all sorts of places in mind I want to travel to someday. I’d like to see the Rocky Mountains, the Arizona Desert, Niagra Falls, just to name a few. I’m all over the board when it comes to travel ideas. I’m not set in stone to somewhere warm, although a break from this rain and wind would be nice. We’ve had terrible flooding and tornadoes all throughout our region and I’m ready for the April Showers to head on out!
Where do you go? What’s a great kid friendly vacation you’ve been on? My husband says I’m cheap, I like to call it frugal, but I googled cheap family vacations (discounthotels.com). It’s not like I’m going to google expensive family vacations. I tried frugal family vacations but I didn’t get good results with that one, so apparently I’m not the only one that wants to do things on the cheap! So there Lou! See? It’s isn’t just me!
Myrtle Beach always sounded fun. I also have family that lives in Florida and who can say no to the beach? We used to vacation to South Padre Island, Texas when I was young and I have such fond memories of that place. Lou and I went right after we got married and I’d love to take the kids there someday. For now I will crank up the ocean waves on my iPod app, close my eyes and imagine I’m there. Grab a beer and join me!
I have been feeling very…what’s the word? There are just so many!
Exhausted, run down, defeated, guilty.
I’ve been dreaming of a vacation. The kids are wanting to go to Disney World, and why wouldn’t they? But I have to admit that I’ve been dreaming of a paradise vacation just for me and my husband. I don’t think I’d actually ever take a vacation without my kids, because I really do want to experience all the great travel adventures with them, but wouldn’t a kid-less vacation be dreamy?
Some place tropical. Hawaii, Barbados & Costa Rica come to mind. Could you imagine a place like that? Sooo dreamy. *wipes drool away*
The boys would love playing in the sand and building sand castles. I’d love eating meals that I didn’t have to cook! My husband would love to try the fishing out! Boys too, wouldn’t it be great to say I went fishing in Costa Rica!?! I remember growing up my Dad and Step-mom used to have the amazingly vibrant stuffed fish hanging in their nautical living room. The fish were spectacular! The colors were so vivid and hard to imagine that the fish were really that beautiful! My boys would have ooohhhed and aaaahhhhed those if they could have seen them. I want those types of experiences for them. I’m not sure I’d join them for the fishing, but I sure would admire their catch!
In my search for useful information on vacation destinations the New York Times was quite helpful! It’s like one stop shopping for every news worthy information on the location you have in mind. Stuff from artifacts found, politics, current events and more. So even though I’m almost certain a tropical getaway is not in my future, I’ll always have my google search.