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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.

January: Get serious about your budget.

2015

After having a few mild panic attacks in December (ok, possibly not mild) over money, I decided this NEEDS to be my first task of the year.  I attempted this during the summer, and kept having numerous things that threw me wildly off track.

This time, it is happening for sure.  I updated a spreadsheet that someone helped me with this summer.  I also made another tab, showing all of my current debts.  I am going to do the snowball method to help get this under control.  The snowball method is working on paying off the smallest debts first, and then move towards the bigger ones.  The idea is that you feel a sense of accomplishment by paying off the small amounts.  Once I get a small debt paid off, I will add that amount towards the next smallest debt.

I have also tracked all of my bills that must be paid each month (mortgage, daycare, utilities, etc).  My left-over amount is $60/week.  Holy crap.

That means, anything extra that comes up will be coming out of that $60/week.  I am sticking to this by getting cash out, putting it in envelopes, and then leaving debit card/credit card at home.  I am really nervous to set this in action.  $60/week is not going to cover much.  I am hoping that by planning out meals a bit more, I am able to keep the weekly grocery bill down.  I also will have to look for more coupons and discounts.

Basically, the only shopping I will be doing is going to be on gift cards I currently have (which isn’t much), and looks like I won’t be going out to eat unless I can find some “kids eat free” deals.

If there is something extra I need, I will try and come up with the money by selling things we no longer use, working harder at getting sponsors for the blog, etc.  Any suggestions on how to make a bit of extra money?

 

2015

In 2014, I began A Year of Resolutions.  The idea was that I had a new resolution for each month, and would hopefully stick to the previous resolutions as the year went on.

A few things happened:

-That’s a hella lot of resolutions

-I did really good at first, and became burned out

-Some of my goals were dumb

Overall though, I liked it.  I felt like each month was a new page, and I was able to start fresh.  For 2015, I have edited things a bit.  I will have a monthly goal, however on the third month I will have a “refresh” month.  That will allow me to focus on both goals at the same time.  This way I will be able to finish up things I was unable to finish, and really try to make the resolutions turn into habits.  To break it up…

January: Goal 1

February: Goal 2

March: Focus on goal 1 and 2

April: Goal 3

May: Goal 4

June: Focus

July: Goal 5

August: Goal 6

September: Focus

October: Goal 7

November: Goal 8

December:: Focus

Seems manageable, right?

I also plan on making my goal plan in advance.  This way I know what I have moving forward, and can also make sure to split up the more difficult months.

Have any of you tried doing monthly goals?  What advice do you have on sticking to it?  I started burning out around July/August, but before that I really thought I accomplished a lot!