The other night, HJ and I were laying on the couch chatting about our day.  HJ looked at me and said, “What’s that white stuff you like?”

I sat there trying to ponder what in the world he could be thinking about.

“You use it to help wake up?”

“White stuff I use to wake up?”

“Yeah at get up time, you eat it.”

“Ohhh,”  I figured it out, “Oatmeal!”

Every morning before work, I eat oatmeal.

HJ looked at me and said, “Oatmeal, ok.  I will have to tell Miss Alexa”.

This makes me a little nervous.  “What did you tell Miss Alexa?”

“She was tired. So I told her you have white stuff that helps you wake up in the morning.”

I stressed how he most definitely needs to tell Miss Alexa that I eat oatmeal.  Oatmeal is the white stuff I eat in the morning.

2015

My resolution for the month was to get on a budget and start getting out of debt.  I understand this can not be done in a month, but I really needed a jump-start to get me motivated.  I loved getting all of your tips on how to save money, and feel that I REALLY put forth a good effort this month.

My favorite tip was Aldi’s…we have been getting amazing deals on produce there!

I tracked all of my debt, and have started the snowball method for starting to pay it off.  Seeing all of the numbers in front of me was overwhelming, but I know tackling it with this method will allow me to see the best results.

Using cash has worked, for the most part.  Every weekend, I would head to an ATM and take cash out for the sitters, and for my weekly envelope.  This worked great every week except for the week that my mortgage was due.  I didn’t have enough to pay the mortgage and take that cash out.  In February, I am going to take out a week in advance when the mortgage is due.  Hopefully that will help.

I did go over my $60 weekly allowance a few times.  Twice was eating out (both around $12), and once was taking HJ to a soccer game with a friend and her kid.  The hockey game was definitely the biggest splurge.  I even let him get ice cream there, and I may have had a drink.  But the difference in this splurge was, I planned for it.  I knew I had that money available.  And, yes, it probably should have gone towards debt, but we had done so well all month that I really wanted to get out of the house.

Best part?  Nothing was put on a credit card this month.

This was the first month in a very long time that I did not overdraw my accounts at all.  That is a HUGE step for me.  I am hoping this momentum stays strong.  I am really excited to get some tax money back and get a big chunk of the debt paid off.

So January was a success, but is also a work in progress!

 

 

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A few years back, I featured homemade dishwasher tabs on a guest post.  While focusing on my budget this month, I decided to make them again and wanted to share them with you!

They are easy to make, it takes less than 5 minutes! Extra bonus, they are chemical free, and inexpensive.

Here is what you will need:

Simple enough, huh?

Start by gathering everything you will need.  In addition to the ingredients, you will also need an ice-cube tray, or ice mold…something to form individual tabs.

Once the dry ingredients are combined, add in the vinegar and lemon juice.  Make sure to mix it really well, you want to make sure the ingredients are distributed evenly as possible.  Then, pack into the trays.

Make sure to not “fill” the ice-cube portion to the top, or it may not fit in your dishwasher properly.  Once in the trays, you will want it to dry for a day or two.  It must be completely dry, or it will crumble into pieces when it comes out of the tray.

That’s it!  When I put it in the dishwasher, I also throw a splash of vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher to act as a rinse aid.  DO NOT put the vinegar in the rinse aid part of the dishwasher, I have heard it can corrode the plastic.

What in home hacks do you use?

 

 

Did you hear the amazing news?  New Kids on the Block are going on tour this summer.  I love New Kids.  My older sis had all the tapes, and I still know *most* of the words to the songs.  When I lived in Des Moines, they had a concert there.  I had eagerly purchased tickets with a  group of friends, however I soon learned I was pregnant.  I ended up selling the ticket to save money, and never saw them.  Tear.

Now if only Salt n’ Pepa would go back on tour.

I think I actually still have that cd, I need to find it.  I see a serious dance party in my future.

HJ thought he had the funniest joke yesterday.  He blurted out, “my booty has a crack in it!”.

My budget has been going ok so far this month.  The good news is, no overdraft charges!  I can’t even think of the last time that has happened.

We also finally shopped at Aldi’s.  I was worried about the quality, but have been really impressed.  The oatmeal I bought tastes fine, HJ loves the fruit snacks, and the produce was awesome.  I also got a bag of lime flavored tortilla chips, and they are amazing.  My total bill was under $40, but I did have to swing by Target to grab a few things that Aldi’s did not have.

We have also been heading to the library on the weekends to rent a few movies.  So far, we have always found something HJ has wanted to see.

I am trying to find plans for HJ for the summer.  I feel as if he has outgrown his in-home for full-time care, but all the facilities I have called have at least a 2 year wait-list (which is absurd, apparently if you plan on having kids in the next 3 years, you should start looking now!).

I am getting excited about my February goal/resolution, can’t wait to share it with all of you!

On Friday, I went on a date.  I haven’t gone on a date since June, so I was probably overdue.  My date ended up being absolutely amazing.

Amazingly bad, that is.  This was by far my worst date in years, and most likely even the worst date of my life.

I don’t even know how to tell you how bad it was, because I am not comfortable sharing the words he used.  I seriously contemplated how to write this post numerous times, but here is a short run-down of the date…

We sit down at a table, and within the first 2 minutes he uses the phrase, “f*cking retard”.  I despise that word.  To me, it says you are not intelligent…in addition to being a prick.  But, he doesn’t know that word is my pet-peeve, so I think to myself, “don’t totally write him off yet”.  Even though I wanted to.

As dinner went on, he offended every single race (other than his own).  He used derogatory words.  He slammed people for being obese.  And, when referring to a gay man, he chose to use the word f*ggot.  He used the “n” word.  I started keeping track in my head of all the people he was offending.  As dinner was wrapping up, I thought that there was one race he hadn’t hit on yet.  Naturally,  he managed to slam them right as the bill was being dropped off.

I was in shock that he was able to state all of these comments in one short dinner.  Not to mention, he didn’t even know me, imagine what he is like to close friends.  He didn’t ask me anything, he managed to talk the entire time, and was so disgusting that I spent most of my time planning my escape.  An hour and a half of listening to this man spew ignorant and racist crap.

He is definitely one of those guys that I was thinking, “Oh my God, I know exactly why you are single.”.  Part of me kept wanting to get up and walk away, while another part wanted to listen to hear what else this ignorant man had to say.  Another part of me thought I had to be on some sort of hidden camera show.

And, he must have thought the date went pretty well, because he text me an hour afterwards, and twice yesterday.  How in the world he thought I was impressed with him is beyond me.

 

“Mom, how did I come out of your belly?”

I laid next to HJ in his bed after finishing up his bedtime story.  And this is what he asks me.  I ponder it a second and remind myself, “less is more”.

I looked at my little boy and said, “The doctor pulled you out.”

“Mom, did it hurt?”

“Very much.”

He looks a bit perplexed.  “Pulled me out?  How?”

“He used a tool called forceps.  It looks like that thing in the kitchen that you can flip things over on the grill with.  He put it on either side of your head and pulled you out.”

“He pulled me out by my head?”

“Yup.”

“Mom, did it hurt?”

“Very much.”

He then asked if he cried.

I said, “You did cry once you were out, but I snuggled you up and you were just fine.”

He replied, “Yeah, I remember that.”

I’m just relieved he didn’t ask where the doctor pulled him out of.

Want my thoughts on budgets after a mere 7 days?

I hate them.  It’s stupid.  I am broke…only now it’s all written out and laying in front of me instead of just a thought in my head.

Here are my problems so far:

I get paid once a week.  That means, the checks are small.  So in order to cover my mortgage, I save a bit of each check every week.  This past week, I paid my mortgage, which meant there was nothing left over (not a new problem).

Last Sunday, is when I got my cash out for the week; $60 for my “envelope”, daycare money, etc..  This Sunday?  I can’t get out my cash until pay-day, which is Thursday (because of my mortgage payment).  So I wait.

Also, Verizon automatically takes out my cell phone payment.  They did that yesterday, which I thought wasn’t until the 16th (after payday).  Which means, I might have overdrawn my account.  Which means, a $36 fine.  Which is $36 more than I have available.

AHHHHH.

My “extra” envelope does have some cash in it, but I can’t get it to the bank until tomorrow after work…which the bank is closed then.

As far as my $60 went this past week?  Eh.  It wasn’t bad.  I did go over by $30…which is a large percentage.  HOWEVER, I made a bit extra:

$12 extra due to selling HJ’s old clothes/toys

$18 payout from vinted

$15 paypal payout

Which means, I am technically up $15.  I might be able to make it to Thursday after all.  Fingers crossed.

My extra envelope is trying to get a good chunk of change in it, because I NEED to get my hair done.  I know what you’re thinking, no one needs that.  But I only do it 3 times a year.  And the grey hair seems to be growing faster now that I turned 33.   I contemplated getting a box of color from Target, but I had a bad experience trying to color my hair in college.

IMG_3225 (1)HJ and Ty have been the best of buds lately.  Ty even is choosing HJ’s bed to sleep in, and I find them both laying sideways and snuggling.

In an effort to save a few cents, the last time I went grocery shopping I purchased the store brand coffee.  I have done this at Target with no issues, but apparently hy-vee store brand is a different story.  It is nasty.  It even smells horrible.  Now I feel like I have to choke it down so I am not wasteful.  Not worth the 50 cent savings.

Remember this past summer when I had my foot injury?  Yeah, I think it is happening to my other foot now.  I was finally getting back into running too.  Last night, I kept waking up because my foot was throbbing…which is exactly how it started last time.  I am starting to think I shouldn’t be running.

The cold weather has my skin extremely dry.  Last winter, I fell in love with a Sea Salt and Sugar Body Scrub from the Honest Company.  Really helps the dry, winter skin.

Speaking of winter…we are currently under a blizzard warning.  That sent HJ into a slight panic because he thought it was the same thing as a tornado.  I was able to clear it up quickly.

One thing I wasn’t able to clear up, he asked me how night turns to day.  I tried explain the earth spinning and rotating and he looked at me like I had 3 heads.  So I ended with, the sun needs to rest just like you!

I made these banana muffins the other day.  They were delicious.  Might be my new go-to recipe.  I was worried I wouldn’t like them because of the Greek yogurt, but yum.

I am going to update you all on my budget progress next week.  So far so good, but it has also been snowy and below zero all week…definitely didn’t want to leave the house!

I discovered a way that my child and I both gobble up broccoli.  Roasted.  It was so simple, and scrumptious.

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I chopped up the broccoli, and placed in on a baking pan.  Then, I drizzled olive oil over top and sprinkled sea salt and pepper.  Then I took my hands, and mixed it all up.  I made sure it was spread on the pan, and popped it in the oven at 375 for 15-20 minutes, flipping part way through.  That’s it.

The first night, we mixed it in with chicken and pasta, but we have had it as a plain side as well.  Delicious.  I have a feeling this is our new go-to side dish.