In 2015, I decided to take every few months off of creating a new goal, so I can focus on the older ones.

In January, I focused on my budget and getting out of debt.  Not exactly something that can be done in a month.  While I haven’t been as strict as I was in January, I feel confident I am heading in the right direction.  I received my tax return, and immediately paid off one of my credit cards.  This leaves me with 2 left to pay.  I am doing the snowball method, so I am now paying off my next smallest card.  This should be done by the end of summer.  My last card to go will be a doozy, but I think if I stay focused I will be able to put a dent in it.

I have been able to keep up with all my bills, which I feel is how things spiraled out of control for me before.  I would love to eventually be debt free.  I know they say money can’t buy happiness, but it sure would be less stressful with more!

In February, I updated my hallway.  I was pleased with how it all turned out, but still wanted to change it just a tad more.  This month, I painted a few of the frames navy to help make them pop a little more and add color to the hallway.  In keeping with my trend of ruining things while DIY’ing…I broke the glass on one of the frames while trying to take it out.

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I am really hoping that by taking a month off, I am ready to dive into new goals!  Bring it on, April.

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It is officially Spring!  Which means, I wanted to brighten up my house.  A few years back, I made an easy spray painted wreath.  But, I was sick of it.  I wanted something bright and fresh.

I went to Michael’s to try to get some inspiration, and left with items to make an inexpensive wreath (they were selling their pre-made ones for $50-$75, heck no!).

Here is a run-down on what I spent:

Wreath: 4.99

Peony Stem: $3.59×3

Wood Chalkboard: $1.39

Ribbon in Wildberry: $.50

Ghirardelli Chocolate square: $.49 (quietness this received…priceless)

Total with taxes was around $19.  Much easier to swallow than $50.

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I started by cutting the stems off of the Peony’s with wire cutters.  I kept it long enough so I could stick it into the wreath.  It took a few tries to get the placement right, but it was easy to remove and try again.  Then I cut a few of the green leaves off of the stems, and stuck them throughout the flowers (this was a last-minute decision, but I love how it looks).

Then, I used the thin ribbon to hang the chalkboard from the top of the wreath.  I love that I can change the message throughout the season.

And that is it!  Easy!  It took about 15 minutes to throw together.  I am loving the bright pink color.

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One of my friends and I thought it would be fun to take our boys on a short trip over spring break.  Her son is a few years older than HJ, but since we live next door, they are pretty close.

We decided to head to Minneapolis, which is about a 3 hour drive.  We made reservations for the Radisson, which included the Water Park of America.  We also decided to not tell the boys about it.

When we got into the car, they knew we were doing “something” special.  HJ guessed we were going out for ice cream, while C determined it must be a hotel.  About halfway into the trip, we showed the boys pictures of the waterpark, and told them we were on our way.

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We were unable to check in when we got there, but we were able to head to the waterpark.  The boys instantly hit the wave pool, and C even tried surfing.  HJ determined surfing was too scary, as were big water slides.

In a fantastic parenting move, I insisted HJ go on the family raft ride, which was a rather large slide.  He didn’t want to go, but I figured he would love it once he gave it a shot.

Guess what?  He hated it.  It ended in tears, stomping, and shouting of “I CAN’T BELIVE YOU MADE ME DO THAT!”.  Luckily, we let him pick the next activity and all was well.  Can you guess what picture is from the water slide fiasco?

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The boys slept well that night, while the moms tried to get sleep between the sound of some type of fan thing turning on and off all night.

The next day, we went to the Sea Life Aquarium in the Mall of America before heading home.  The boys loved walking through the tunnels and seeing all the fish.  Especially the sharks.  We even got to touch sting rays!  While the boys had fun, the moms were a bit surprised at the cost vs. how much there was to do.  We were out the door in less than 45 minutes!

The drive home was much quieter, HJ was definitely worn out from his Spring Break surprise!

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I am a snackaholic.  I can not help but to graze around the kitchen and mindless snack on a few hundred calories worth of food I didn’t even need.

My weakness is sweets.  I tried to give up sweets for lent.  It lasted almost 32 hours.  That is when I was offered a cupcake and I hardly even flinched.

That is why, when I heard about MealEnders, I figured I would give it a shot.  I am always hesitant about weight-loss items, or something claiming to make you not hungry.  I am easily affected by caffeine, and most of those items would force me into a frenzied, panic mess.  But MealEnders are drug free, stimulant free and herb free.  Meaning, they won’t make me crazy.

Basically, MealEnders is a lozenge.  The outer layer helps combat your sweet tooth craving, while the inner layer is like a hard candy.  By the time the lozenge is gone, my urge to over-eat is also gone.  Instead of reaching for that second helping of pasta, I can reach for a MealEnder.

By keeping your mind occupied for those 20 minutes (the overeating zone, when you are full but continue to eat because your brain hasn’t recognized the “full” signal), MealEnders helps you to avoid overeating.

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I learned the best time to pop in a MealEnder is at the end of a meal, instead of dessert or when I want to finish a restaurant size serving/second helping.  It really helps my body to realize I am not actually hungry.

MealEnders comes in 4 flavors: Chocolate Mint, Cinnamon, Mocha and Citrus.  It comes in a package of 25 individually wrapped pieces, which are perfect for throwing in my purse.

And…MealEnders wants to send one of you 4 packs (one of each flavor) to try out!  To win, leave a comment letting me know what flavor you are most excited to try.  The winner will be randomly selected on March 22.

You can also check out MealEnders on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

*MealEnders and Sweatpink provided me the product to review/giveaway.  All thoughts and opinions are my own*

Update: Congrats to Nikki for wining the Meal Enders Giveaway! Giveaway is now closed.

Some of you have been reading along with me for 4 years.  4 flipping years!  That is a long time.  Most blogs don’t survive beyond a year.  People get burnt out.  It is something you need to carve time for, even more if you try to make money off of it.

My first year or so, I posted whenever the mood struck me.  Writing posts was a great way for me to work through some crazy emotions I was dealing with.

Then I took hints from blogs I liked.  Have a schedule.  Some blogs have a post go live every morning at 9am.  I knew that working full-time, for me, that would not be feasible.  So I settled for two posts a week.  That way I wasn’t stressed searching for things to write, and I wasn’t driving myself crazy trying to do too much.  And, lets face it, my life is not interesting enough for a daily post.

After about 2 years, I was having sponsored content on a regular basis.  I underwent a name change from Single Mama Life to A Slice of Mudpie.  I made things more organized.  I applied for different communities.

Receiving the sponsored content took time.  You had to write creative applications, and have beautifully prepared content ready to go.

But I know, that lots of readers tend to disappear if the content is irrelevant.  I made sure to still have two posts a week, and then added in a third so I could have a weekly “sponsored post”.

There were times I felt overwhelmed with the posts, and felt like I wasn’t able to do my best on my other posts.  The posts that I loved writing.

So, I stepped back from sponsored posts a bit.  I only applied for ones that I truly thought sounded fun.  And made sure I thought my readers would enjoy it too (hint: I love things dealing with fashion, reading, kids and health…not in that order of course).

I still kept my 3 posts a week, but had maybe only 1 or 2 sponsored posts a month.  This past month, I got to thinking a lot about my blog.  My renewal came up, and that costs money.  Last year, I earned enough on the blog to cover the costs.  But I worry about making an investment if I can’t devote time to help cover those costs.  But I love blogging.  And I like sponsored content…in moderation.

I decided, I will go back to 2 posts a week, unless I happen to have sponsored posts.  Then it will be 3.  I also decided to get more involved in the blogging community, like I once was.

Other bloggers, do you have any communities you have loved working with?

My child is currently vacuuming while I am on the computer.  That is a parenting win for sure.

Although, this morning I said, “Hey HJ, can you get dressed?” and he responded with, “YOU ARE THE WORST BOSS IN THE WORLD”.

Guess ya can’t win them all.

Loving this list of March Obsessions from Vicki.  That homemade dark chocolate is calling my name.

I still can’t get in touch with anyone who can help with my blog.  As of now, I am worried it will all just disappear on March 23rd.  I am going to put some serious time into it this weekend to try and figure it out.  Keep your fingers crossed!

I had a dream I put hot pink peek-a-boo highlights in my hair.  And I loved it.  But I don’t think it will fit in well with my job.

Yummy pinterest dinner pin this week was this crock-pot pasta recipe.  Only problem, it is probably better for a large family.  My little family of two might be eating this for 8 days.

Anyone else dreading day-light savings?  I don’t mind it once we are use to it, but you try getting a kid to go to bed an hour earlier than usual….yikes.  And I know Monday morning will come much too fast.

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This fall, I discovered Shopbop.  I have shared about them a few times, but never explained how they spoil their shoppers.  Shipping is free, and arrives within a few days.  Returns?  Also free.  Plus, you can share your favorites and they even email you when they go on sale.

And speaking of sales, Shopbop is having their BIG Spring Sale.  Starting today, March 3 (6:30 EST), until March 8 (4am est).  You can save 15% on orders over $250, and up to 25% with orders over $1,000.  Here is the coupon code…get shopping!

Shopbop is also introducing some new brands.  Koku has incredible spring looks, and I love the delicate jewelry from Phyllis and Rosie.

A few of my favorites for spring are these cute distressed jeans, that would look perfect with this top.  And my favorite way to kick off a new season is with a gorgeous new handbag (I’m looking at you Tory Burch).

 

My goal for February was to make my hallway look better.  Here is where I started.  I then added some stripes.  And built a few picture frame ledges.

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The only thing I am still contemplating, is spray painting the frames.  I have lots of spray paint, so it could be a quick fix.  I am debating about leaving some white, and making a few navy.  Or else I have different colors I could add on top of that.  What do you think?  Leave it or paint it?

It is almost time for me to renew this lovely little space of mine, and I ran into a slight issue.  For you bloggers out there…my blog is on wordpress, hosted thru bluehost, but my domain is thru another company.  Bluehost told me I need my EPP address, and to contact the domain company.  The domain company told me to contact wordpress, wordpress sent me to bluehost.  I am getting a little worried about straightening this all out before my whole blog vanishes!  Anyone know where I can find my EPP address??!!

HJ had his conferences tonight.  And I’m gonna brag for a minute.  I am so proud of my boy.  His teacher said that he is so kind, such a great helper, sweet and has learned so much.  He is already past the goals for the year.  He is a great role model with the special needs classroom.  He loves helping his teacher, and she thinks he is such a “love”.  I almost cried when another teacher came in to tell me how much she loves my son.  Maybe I am doing some of this parenting stuff right?

This past weekend, our local library had a book sale.  They provided a bag for you to fill, and the bag of books cost $4.  There were WAY more books than I expected, and I learned that people come prepared.  Many people had duffel bags on wheels, and lists of authors to look for.  I still feel like we scored, and came home with 21 books.  For $4.

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This past summer, I hurt my leg/foot running pretty bad.  I slowly eased my way back into running, and finally got back to 3 mile runs.  And then I hurt my leg again.  After spending the past week with a swollen foot, I have determined running just might not be in the cards for me.  I wish I could do it, I had even started the Couch to 10K program.  But every time I get hurt, it is another month before I can even work out again.  I am feeling frustrated with my work outs, and need to find a new cardio activity.

With all this cold weather, I have started to go stir crazy.  I am in need of a night out.  With adults.  ASAP.

IMG_3865I have been digging through old recipes and cook books to find healthy alternatives that HJ will love.

I have always loved lettuce wraps, but usually the recipe list is long.  Calling for a pinch of this and a tsp. of that, leading to a large expense.  So I had not made them at home.

That’s when I decided to put my own spin on the lettuce wrap, and I made it with things I already had in the house.  My only purchase was a pound of ground turkey.

Luckily, I have a child that loves lettuce.  This recipe is awesome.  I was surprised with all the flavor that the turkey mixture had, and I am sure you can customize it with your own seasonings at home.

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Easy, healthy and yummy.  Perfect week night dinner!