Tuesday, February 23, 2010


What is it about footie pj's that's so adorable? I don't know, but I love them. I've been thinking about finding Kevin a pair. Think he'd wear them? :) Notice Myla holding the boys there so I can take a picture? She knows how to keep 'em in line.

I don't usually like to talk about money, but...

Whew! I just finished doing our taxes. Usually I rush to the computer to do my taxes the second all of our W-2's and other tax forms arrive. There's something about filling in a form that floats my boat. I don't know...

Anyway, I decided today was the day. I sat the kids in front of Dora and went to town. So I'm just going to be honest here. Doing taxes for me is almost like a cleansing of my financial soul. I have to go through all our bills and statements to see where our money went. I cringe, and then cringe some more. Really, did I buy that much fabric this year? Did we really eat out that much? It's really eye opening for me. And I need it...every year. I beat myself up and then work out a great new budget that "I am definitely going to stick to" and continue on my way. I do great for the first few months, and then lapse into my old habits. I know this about me. It's not the big things I struggle with...buying new cars or big toys or houses when we can't afford it. It's the little things that get me in trouble. But the little things eventually add up to big things. Money burns a hole in my pocket. It's a disease.

The visiting teaching message this month is on managing our resources wisely and staying out of debt. As some friends and I were discussing this we shared our tips and tricks. Or I should say, they shared their tips and tricks with me. And after pouring over our financial records I am so excited and motivated to try a few. Maybe you could share your tips with me too?

One of the methods that I have tried (and when I stick to it it really works) is the envelope method. The amount that I budget for groceries, gas and household items gets split up into their corresponding envelopes each month and I only spend from those envelopes. When the money is gone, it's gone. For me, using the debit card makes the money intangible, and therefore harder to control. So having the physical money right there helps me stay within the budget. Here's some info on that. That's one method I've tried. What works for you?

A fun tip that one of my friends shared is that she has a shoe box or can that she tapes up really good so she can't get into it. She puts a hole in the top and she writes on it the date she starts saving. Into the box/can goes all her change and loose bills. She forgets about it after she puts it in. She said that when she went to get into it there was over $500 in it that they used on a vacation. I love that idea! So today I did it. Meet my new friend:

She's really nothing special, just an old shoe box that I taped up really, really, really well (I don't want to be tempted to get in) and covered her with a paper. Easy peasy. Then I went around the house and gathered up the piles of loose change. I couldn't believe how many piles of change we had. It's embarrassing really. But I'm excited because, like I said, money really does burn a hole in my pocket. If I have a $5 I'm thinking, "Now, how can I spend that?" I know, I'm sick. :) But this way I can shove it in the box and forget about it. And then, later on down the road we can go do something fun with it. Like a skiing trip next winter! (The Olympics have inspired me. :))

Money talk usually makes me uncomfortable, but I figure that I can't be the only one in the world who struggles with budgeting. And I know that there are a lot of you out there who are great at it. So, share your wealth of knowledge. Get it, wealth of knowledge? Hee hee.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Kid Updates.

Cade is 5 years old and is a ball of energy. He never stops moving! He's either fighting imaginary Transformers or playing light sabers with Myla. He loves school and adores his teachers. He comes home everyday repeating pretty much every word they said. It's cute! He's super excited to start Kindergarten next year. He keeps telling me we need to get him ready for Kindergarten. We got some BOB books and read a couple every day. It's amazing how his reading skills have skyrocketed. It's so fun for him to be able to say he read the whole book. He's a great helper and loves Myla and Gav so much. He'll be starting T-ball soon and he can't wait for that! My dad played catch the other day with him and he loved it.

Myla is three years old, but soon to be four (she won't let me forget it!). She wants to be as old as Cade and hasn't quite figured out that she won't ever be as old as Cade. Myla is a busy little bee. She goes to preschool twice a week and also goes to her dance class once a week. She loves it all. She is my most social child and is always looking for something to do or somewhere to go. She writes her name everywhere and loves practicing the alphabet and primary songs at the top of her lungs. She loves to ride her bike and play with her brothers. Sometimes she's quite the little tomboy, having two brothers, but she's definitely all girl too.

Oh, the Gavman. He keeps us laughing. He is talking a little more lately. Mostly he just parrots what we say. Recent additions to his vocabulary include foul ball, hot dog, car, bath, Cade and Myla. He thinks he should be able to do everything his bigger siblings can do. When they play Wii he wants a turn too. When they ride their bikes he wants nothing to do with his new toddler car, he wants to ride a bike too. Gavin started nursery in December, but hasn't quite warmed up to it yet. It surprises me because when I take him to the gym kidcare he cries when I come to pick him up....he doesn't want to leave! But when we take him to nursery he throws a the fit of the century. Oh man. He'll get used to it soon. He's growing up way too fast for my liking...but isn't that always the way it goes. He is quick to smile and laugh. He's such a joy!

isn't one of my kids, but I thought I'd give a little update on him anyway. He has begun his last semester of nursing school! Can I get a woot woot?! (Ok, I can't pull that off very well.) He has a lot on his plate now with work, school, church calling and family, and sometimes it can get overwhelming, but I think he is doing a fantastic job. We all can't wait until May!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy *Love* Day!

idea from here

Friday, February 12, 2010

And the winner is...

Chelsea! Hooray!

She said...

My healthy tip is I eat fruit (like berries, bananas, kiwis, or whatever is your favorite) or a smoothy with yogurt, milk (opt) and fruit when I have a craving for something sweet. It takes care of the sweet tooth while providing nutrition.

Thanks for all your great tips! I appreciate it. Have a wonderful weekend! Look back soon for another giveaway!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Happy Day and a Giveway!

I'm happy today, for a couple of reasons:
#1 - I'm finally starting to feel better after an icky bout of the flu. Yuck! Thanks to my sweet husband who actually let me call in sick to Mommyhood. He stayed home from work and let me stay in bed all day. Yeah, he's a keeper.

#2 - After finally being able to eat something without yacking, I tried this great Fiber One yogurt (courtesy of Fiber One, Safeway, and MyBlogSpark). It definitely made my mouth smile. Mmmm, Vanilla yogurt. Seriously. I'm a sucker for vanilla yogurt. Yes, I'm a plain Jane. Check it out. The super happy part is that there are only 50 calories in each serving...and 5 grams of fiber. Guilt-free! It's still on sale at Safeway until Tuesday, February 9th - Two 4-packs for $4.00. Go here to get a coupon for even more savings. Great deal!
#3 - I get to giveaway a $50 gift card to Safeway, thanks to Safeway, Fiber One and MyBlogSpark. 50 smackaroos! This gift card can be used at Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Genuardi's, Dominick's, Carrs, Randalls and Tom Thumb.

So, how can you win? Just leave a comment giving me a healthy tip that has worked for you. I need all the help I can get! Easy peasy! You have until Thursday, February 11th at 11:59pm to enter. I'll pick a name using the random number generator at and post it first thing Friday morning. Good luck and feel free to share this info with your friends!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 did you do on your first month of New Year's resolutions? One of my resolutions (along with a trillion other people) was to lose weight, be more active, eat healthier. I lump it all into one resolution. I'm not gonna lie, there were some days when it was hit and miss, but for the most part I feel like I improved. I lost some weight, I feel healthier and I'm still motivated. Motivation! That's half the battle. (Thanks to my sister for help in the motivation department.) But I'm definitely not perfect. I have a sweet tooth. A big sweet tooth. And something that helps me curb that sweet tooth is yogurt. It's almost like ice cream. Almost.

I signed up for MyBlogSpark a couple of months ago. It's pretty cool. I get to review products and share my opinions. It's fun (you should check it out!). MyBlogSpark, Fiber One, and Safeway have provided me an opportunity to taste and review Fiber One yogurt. I'll let you know what I think. I'm excited to try it. It would be a great addition to my diet to help my weight loss goals. Curb the sweet tooth and get more fiber. Safeway (and it’s family stores, Dominick’s, Tom Thumb, Randall’s, Vons and Genuardi’s) have a great deal going for Fiber One yogurt. Right now until Feb. 9, you can purchase two 4-packs of Fiber One yogurt for only $4. (And if you go here you can print off a coupon too! Check out the recipes and other fun stuff while you're there.)

The best part is that Safeway and MyBlogSpark are providing me a $50 gift card to Safeway (and it's family of stores) to give away! Look for the giveaway within the next couple of days!