Monday, February 28, 2011

That Nasty Word!

I had to chuckle when I read my friend Chelsea's blog today (I'd link up to it but I have no idea how to do that). She has been doing fantastic at losing wieght and was talking about the word obese. I know that my numbers are off the charts for being obese. That nasty word. I even hate typing it. Back in the days of school, my ideal weight was 110 lbs. Yes I remember that horrid number, because I hated it. And looking back, I was not fat! I wanna kick my 16 yr old self in the butt for ever thinking of myself as fat. I mean I wasn't ever a twig girl, but I definitely wasn't as fat as I had myself pegged in my mind. Anyway, the reason for this thought process is I was assessing how much I should weigh based on my height, and its a much better number. 114 lbs - 146 lbs. I can handle that. I still have a ways to go before I reach that range, but I'm on my way. And I do have to thank my fantastic WW program for that. Oh how I am loving the fact I finally joined. I had my first weigh in on Saturday, and after a week of watching my eating and exercising, I have lost 5.4 lbs! I was absolutely shocked, mostly because on that Monday I just let myself eat whatever (went over my daily points by 20!) and only did my treadmill 4 outta the 7 days. And still lost that much! So this week, I'm challenging myself to beat that number. I did have a hang up over the weekend and went over my daily points alittle bit, but not much at all. If I can keep up the rest of the week staying in my daily points and exercising every day, I really think I can beat it!
In this process, I have to thank my fantastic sis-in-law Betsy. If she wasn't doing the WW thing I don't think I would've had the motivation to do it myself as well. I am always the most excited to tell her of my successes and am sure proud of her successes too! So thank you Betsy, I really do appreciate you a lot and appreciate you motivating me to change my lifestyle. :)

Spend Less February Wrap Up!

It is the last day of the month. And I'm wrapping up my February challenge of Spend Less. I did go over, but I feel like my main perogative, to save money, was accomplished. My final totals:
Spending: $466.06 - $66.06 over
Amount in savings: $335
Amount in checking: Couple hundred :)

So here's the deal. I did go over on things because of some expenses of which I'm sad I had for the month, but happy I could help the family in need {happy moment....after all the donations and tribute nights and etc, the community has raised enough money to completely cover the funeral costs and headstone for Evan!} but sadly those things do come up. And if I hadn't been on my Spend Less trek, I don't think I could've helped as much as I would've liked. I've successfully wrapped up my spend less month with money in all my accounts (a first for a LONG time) and I feel good about my accomplishments.

I am going to try the challenge again for March. I won't do daily updates on it, but I will tally my weekly amounts and see how well I'm doing there.

So I consider this month.....A SUCCESS!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Spend Less Day 23 and WW

Wow this month is flying by. I don't know if it is because I'm keeping track of everything or if its just been a quick month. But either way its almost gone and done. Anyway...yesterday was also a good day. I got alot done at work and had an enjoyable conversation with my mom last night. After, we went home and ate leftovers and Tyler learned a valuable lesson. If he wanted hot chocolate he needed to eat his food. If he wanted to eat all his food, he better do it by 8:00. Did he do either? No. And he learned no matter how much he said he hated me or screamed, I would just say "Well I love you" and walk away. It only took about 10 minutes for him to calm down and jump in the shower. I hate being mean. And I hate not letting him eat all his dinner. But I also hate even more that he played and whined and cried while everyone else was eating. So I suppose being mean isn't bad every once in awhile.
I also did pretty good on my points for the day. And I got to say, I did have a bit more points than I should've on Monday (like, 20 more than I should've. Dang Denny's) and I'm disappointed in myself for that part, but its a wierd realization that I'm still okay on my WW since extra points are alotted a week. And I've been eating WAY more fruits and veggies than in the past. So even though I crashed on one day, it's okay. No I probably won't lose as much weight this week as I could've, but I also haven't wanted to give up which is a miracle since my other attempts at "dieting" have failed within a week. I'm looking forward to weigh in tomorrow to see if being on track for the most part this week has done anything with my weight. I've been tempted to weigh myself at home, but I'm not going to. I don't want the number I lose to be the only focus, I'm doing this for my overall health too. But I'm still excited to see.
On another note, I've decided I really need to clean out my facebook friends list, but I won't. I realized I have alot of guys on there that were people I would've loved to date and probably could've.... but didn't. And they are all slowly starting to post pictures of their new girlfriends or writing lovey dovey statuses. And its a bit depressing. Which is another motivator to this losing weight deal. I have always been headstrong in that I wanted someone to love me for who I was regardless of my size, but then I have to realize guys appreciate a girl with confidence, and I don't have that at the moment. If I don't love me for me, then why would I expect someone else to? And to me, the way I'm going to gain more confidence is by being healthy since the majority of my insecurities come with my size. So wierdly, I keep watching lovey dovey movies, and keep those guy friends on my list as motivators to get healthy so I can have the confidence to be me. It's just a slight bit depressing that they have what I want. My time will come though, I have faith.
And an update on the Spend Less challenge....yet another $0 day. Woot woot! Wow it makes a difference when I have food at home and don't have to eat out. I don't foresee any expenses except some diapers for Ry and some more wipes since we are out. Otherwise, I have a half tank of gas that should last me another week, food in the fridge, and plenty of TP. I should be good :)

Anyway...I hope you all have a great Friday and a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spend Less Day 22

Yesterday I did good. Yet again, a $0 spend day. Ah it feels nice not to eat out. And its alot tastier homemade style. It was early out for school, so I had to go get Tyler earlier than normal for school AND they start early out days earlier than before. So we didn't have alot of time but I knew if I didn't get something ready for dinner I would be tempted to eat out. So we stopped by the house with 10 minutes until kindergarten started. I had decided earlier I would do Catalina Chicken because it's easy and tasty. And it was! It took all of 2 minutes to throw frozen chicken in the crockpot, and dump in some Catalina dressing and some apricot jam. And we made it to Kindergarten right on time. When we got home, the house smelled absolutely delicious and it was soo nice to only have to cook up some rice and veggies. Ty and Ryder loved it. Nate not so much. But I still consider it a winner. And even better it was a low point meal...with heaping portions! A cup of rice doesn't seem like alot until you measure it out and holy moly it filled the plate I was using. Very satisfying. Then I did my treadmill time and it was overall a great night.
This a Flogging Molly type of morning. Yup thats my playlist for the day...hyped up Irish music. Granted it makes me want to find me a cute irish man with a cute accent who can sing. And would be fantastically funny and quirky. Like the guy on P.S. I Love You. Ahhh the bliss that would be. Maybe I should take a vacation to Ireland. Hehe. Have a good day all!
P.S. the picture is of Flogging Molly. I love the red rain boots. Ahh cute irish leprechauns :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spend Less Day 21 and more

Yesterday went relatively well. Work was interesting and there has been some high drama stuff going on with some things I'm involved in at work, but hopefully that will simmer down soon. Last night we went to Nate's Blue and Gold Scout Banquet. He earned his Language and Culture belt loop thing. It was a nice night, except that the boys were being terrors. Namely Ryder. But the other two contributed their share. It made me realize how much a spouse would be useful in times like those. There was yummy sloppy joes and jello, and lots of cake. And I did pretty good actually. I ate one sloppy joe, a scoop of jello, and one piece of cake. And then shared a couple bites of Tylers sloppy joe, and a couple bites of cake. Which is like, revolutionary because before I probably woulda downed 2 sloppy joes and shared with the kids, plus had multiple pieces of cake. This WW deal is good for me I think. And I stayed on track with my points. But anyway...on to Nate. I am soo proud of him for wanting to join Boy Scouts. I think it has helped him out even in just the short time he's been attending. And he absolutely LOVES it which is even better. I need to get better being involved in it all. All in time though. After the banquet we visited Grandpa and Grandma for a minute and went home to bed. A friend of mine was needing some friendly company after a bit of a rough day, so we watched movies and just had a nice, peaceful evening. It really was a good night. I didn't, however, get my treadmill mile in unfortunately. I think I'll do double tonight to make up for it. I did good the two days previous and I want to be able to contribute alot of miles to a challenge we are doing at WW.

On another note, I have the lyrics of a song running through my head from I'm Coming Home by J. Cole. I can't help but think of Evan on this one. And I'm not one to focus on things that I can't change, so this has been an experience. But every time I've heard this song he has popped into my head for some reason. Maybe as a comfort? Who knows. The chorus is as follows:

I'm coming home, coming home. Tell the world I'm coming home. Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday. I know my kingdom awaits and they've forgiven my mistakes. I'm coming home, coming home. Tell the world I'm coming.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spend Less 17, 18, 19, and 20...and weekend happenings

This weekend was an interesting one. It was a mix between happy, somber, funny, loving, and more. Friday our good family friends came through on their way to take their son to the MTC in Salt Lake. It was soo good to see them again and I'm sure proud of their son for choosing this path. So we ate dinner at my parents with them and just had a fantastic evening. Saturday Ry and I woke up early and went to Weight Watchers. This meeting was SOO much better than the Tuesday one I went to and really gave me the motivation I was needing to keep going. We then went home and cleaned up the downstairs before making a menu and shopping.
Shopping was an experience. I decided to just get what was on my list and I figured out the percentages of EVERYTHING I put in my cart (food wise anyway). It was fantastic. Ryder didn't think so, since it took twice as long, but it was worth it. And I am striving to not eat out at all this week since I now have food in my house! Ryder didn't take a nap so we got a couple redbox movies and went home. He fell asleep early as I predicted and a friend of mine came over to watch the other two movies. It was a good night.
Sunday we slept in. I set my alarm to wake up to go to church with my parents, and it either didn't go off or I didn't hear it, and Ry didn't wake up super early as usual. So we pretty much got up and kinda cleaned up and had breakfast. We headed to parents to help cook lunch/dinner and had a good visit with the family friends again. It really was an enjoyable afternoon.
Monday....well was tough. Evans services were that day and I wasn't sure what to do. School was out and I was off work for Presidents Day, and parents were out of town so I didn't have a babysitter. My awesome friend Darlene offered up her boys to watch mine while we all went and it was an enjoyable time. Evan looked more peaceful than I've ever seen him before, and it was nice to see friends there who were all brought together, even though it was a time of sorrow. The services, well, kinda made me mad. His own uncle was chastising him. He's dead dude...leave him alone. When he was here, he had a good heart and was truly a good person, and just because you didn't agree with some of his choices, doesn't mean he was a bad person, or that he isn't going to a peaceful place. Anyway. Off my soapbox now. After the services, the girls I was with decided to have lunch so we went to Dennys then to the graveside to put flowers down. I was happy when we got back to Darlenes that the boys were happy and content (even Ry!). As a reward for being so good we went to the Aquatic Center and swam for a couple hours. It was nice to have a break and to be able to just think and digest things while they played.
So this weekend was truly a good one. With all sorts of mixed feelings....but good all the same.
I'm really not going to try to break down everything so between the shopping trip, gas for the car, donating to Evans family, flowers for Evan, lunch with the girls, swimming, and other odds and ends I'm sure I'm forgetting, heres the breakdown.

Amount spent this weekend: $281.79
Amount left: -$60.18

Yes I overspent. And funny enough, I don't feel bad about it at all. A big chunk of it this weekend went to help a family in need, and so I felt I did my part to pay respects. And I should be set for the rest of the month, so I shouldn't have to spend anymore. And the plus side, I still have money in the bank. For the first time in about 6 months, I'm not literally living paycheck to paycheck. And it feels soo good. So here's hoping for a good rest of the month and not getting too much further behind.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 4

Day 3- A picture of your night

No....I'm not a dog. But I did about fall asleep while eating and this picture was cute. And it shows what I'm sure I looked like last night. So there ya go :)

Spend Less Day 16

Yesterday wasn't too bad of a day. I was, however, extremely sleepy. Me and Nate stopped for a hot chocolate and small snack trip at KB that was $9.83 on the way to work. It was my mommas birthday {Happy Birthday!} so for my lunch break I took some flowers to her work. I'm not disclosing how much I spent on her stuff because she reads this...but I'll discount it out of my taxes surplus so it doesn't count. Normally it would....but its for the sake of secrecy. She shared some yummy Market Grill pie and that was my lunch. After work we were going to try to get alot done and clean the house, but had to run some errands first. We visited with some good friends and ended up being so hungry we decided out. Grr. I really don't eat out this much normally. But when I have a positive surplus of money its really hard not to. I'm going to get my menu planned this weekend though and do some real food shopping so I can start making food again. Anyway...McDonalds was the dinner and it was $17.31. We went home, and being tired I was also ornery. So I was a child slave driver for a second and made everyone help me clean up the downstairs and then we went to bed. Including me....which is rare. 10 hours of sleep I got last night. It felt good though.
This weekend....I need to do a serious cleaning job. And I think I'm going to also do a serious de-junking job. I'm starting to feel cluttered again. I may need to buy some cleaning supplies, but otherwise don't plan on spending any other money this weekend. Luckily food shopping can be put on my food stamps, it will generally last one big shopping trip and a couple small ones. And I'm proof...a family of 4 can live off of $280 (my food stamps balance) food budget for a whole month with some good planning. Sometimes I have to use my spending money...but generally we make it last. It helps that the boys eat 2 of their meals at school/daycare.

Amount spent: $27.14
Amount left: $221.61

This weekend is also going to be spent focusing on my WW goals (keeping track of points and exercising) and coming up with a plan on how to do so. Monday is a holiday so no work for me, and no school for the boys I don't think. My friend Evan's funeral services are that day so I will attend those, then maybe the boys and I will go do something fun. I haven't decided yet. Anyway...happy Friday to you all and have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 3

Day 3- A picture of the cast from your favorite show.

I have alot of shows that I like to watch, but right now this is my very favorite I think. It was a toss up between this one and Brothers & Sisters. But I truly love this show. It shows so many different dynamics of families and how they all interact with each other in this crazy disjointed bigger picture. I would recommend it :)

Spend Less Day 15

My day yesterday was interesting. I'm not one that is super emotional, and I wasn't really yesterday. I just couldn't function well. Odd how that happens. So anyway after work the boys and I headed to WalMart for some much needed shopping. Because I'm a horrible cook, my kitchen is not stocked on the normal kitchen tools. So because I am going to start cooking more labor intensive meals, I realized I needed to get my kitchen stocked. We also tried to get some food....but half way into shopping I was ready to hurt some boys and so we stopped shopping midway. So I only got part of my shopping done, to the tune of $69.41. Afterwards, I'd been promising to get myself some new clothes that fit, even though I'm hoping they don't fit much longer (WW woohoo!) so I told the boys if we went to Cal-Ranch and they were good, we could look at the baby chicks and it went successfully. The money for the clothes I also sectioned out from taxes so I am not counting it in my totals. We ate food at home for dinner (yay for not eating out at all today!!) and went to bed. It was a good night.

Total spent: $69.41
Amount left: $248.75

Today is going to be an interesting day. I'm rather excited about it. I can't wait to see how some things pan out....but more on that later. Have a great day all!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

30 Pictures in 30 Days - Day 2

Day 2- A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest....

I didn't have a picture of me and them together so they get to be all by themselves. I chose my parents because they have stuck with me through thick and thin. I've put them through so much and they have never stopped loving me and supporting me. I know that I always have a safe place to fall with them. They have both gone out of their way to help me and help support my little family so that we can stay afloat and rise even higher in our hectic lives. Thank you mom and dad, I love you both with all of my heart.

Spend Less Day 14 and Sad Days

Yesterday was quite the day. Explainations later. We were running late enough that we didn't have the chance for breakfast so after dropping Ty and Ry off at daycare me and Nate stopped into KB for a quick bite. $7.39 for that. The happy exciting part of my day was going to Weight Watchers and finally joining woohoo! I opted for the 11 week package and a food calculator, ended up being $129.00 for that but not counted towards my spending since I had the money set aside from my taxes to pay for it. I also got paid {woot woot!} and was planning a shopping trip but by the time the boys were ready to go from Grandmas it was 6:30 and too late to go shopping. We stopped at Subway and grabbed some sandwiches. $20.00ish there. I really hate that I'm eating out so much the last week, but I haven't had the chance to go food shopping so my fridge is pretty bare. I am making that a priority today though and planned my menus and made my list last night.

Total Amount Spent: $27.39
Amount left: $318.16

I had a very thought invoking night last night. My good friend, Evan, was part of a standoff type deal with police. He had posted "Goodbye" on his facebook page and that was it. Because of his serious depression issues this obviously spurred alot of commotion. He was barricaded by the courthouse by the police and SWAT and in his car with a rifle. After 4 hours I believe...he shot himself in the side/stomach. After a very long emergency surgery, there was nothing left to do. He died.

When I saw his Goodbye post, the first thought was "geez Evan just talk to somebody instead of trying to get attention" and I now feel like crap for thinking that. My first instinct when someone says that is that they need attention. They are trying to get attention and wouldn't really do it. I'll tell you what. My thinking is going to change from this moment on. I can't stop thinking how if I would've been a better friend maybe this wouldn't have happened. All the times he said he really needed someone and no one was there, I should've stepped up. I think me as well as most his friends were in the mindset of the boy who cried wolf...he had done this soo many times that he would get over it and it this would pass. It was just an attention getter when it really was him needing a friend, needing some help. Needing something. He has now spurred a change of thought for me. No matter the circumstances, when someone says things like that they need SOMETHING. Even if they may not kill themselves....they have a need. To just let it slide off the shoulder is wrong and I won't be doing that again.
So to Evan, you have touched my life. I know you had been going through a hard time and I apologize for not being there for you more. You had a hard life and I know you felt kind of out of place because of your lifestyle choices, but there were several who loved you dearly regardless. I am truly sorry you couldn't find the peace you were seeking in this life.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

30 Pictures in 30 Days - Day 1

I saw this fantastic idea on facebook and figured I'd do it here. Its 30 pictures in 30 days. So here we go.

Day 1 ~ A picture of yourself with 15 facts

1. I love chocolate

2. I love reading even though I don't ever have enough time to do so

3. I enjoy playing the piano and singing, but don't do either near enough

4. I really enjoy my job

5. My favorite food is up in the air....because I love so many different kinds

6. My favorite color is sage green. I will have a wall painted that color some day

7. My favorite candy is Peanut M&Ms mmmm I could eat them all day long

8. I'm rather stubborn

9. My biggest pet peeve is eating with your mouth open

10. My second biggest pet peeve is chewing ice really loud

11. I am an artsy person thats not so creative. But I like to pretend

12. I love music and anything to do with music

13. I am very aware of my singleness

14. I am a very family oriented person

15. I have officially run out of facts. :)

Spend Less Day 13

So my Valentines Day was not as bad as I thought it would be. Except that I spent more money than I wanted to spend. My thinking....if I don't have a sweetheart to spoil me then I'll spoil myself. So I picked up lunch at KFC for $8ish (I can't remember exactly). My awesome, handsome, loveable little boys got me flowers delivered to work and it truly made my day. It was fantastic. So after work I decided I was going to take them on a date. Ty and Ry were all for it. Nate told me "Going on a date with your mom is creepy. Mom your creepy." But I dragged him along anyway. Everywhere was busy, even at 5:30 so we decided on Sizzler. We quite like Sizzler. And the boys amazingly did pretty well. And ate the brunt of their food. So I didn't feel bad spending $30 and some change (including tip) on dinner. We then went home and the boys did the treadmill and we all went to bed. I've been slacking on the treadmill. I'm going to re-motivate myself though and start again tonight. So all in all not a shabby day. Spent more than I wanted, but I don't feel bad about it at all. It was all worth it.

Amount spent: $38
Amount left: $345.55

Monday, February 14, 2011

Spend Less 10, 11, 12 and SA Day

So my spend less weekend was less spendy than I thought it would be. Not too shabby. Friday I ended up talking with mom most the night so by the time we got home, Ry and I grabbed some dinner for $20ish and went home to sleep.

Day 10 spend day: $20
Amount left: $400.29

Saturday was yet another uneventful day. For some reason I woke up with a killer migraine that knocked me down until about 3 pm. I rarely ever get migraines but holy cow that one was super bad. So I missed weight watchers....and didn't get any cleaning or laundry done that morning as discouraging as it was. We ran some errands and got dinner at Wendys for $13.54 and rented Redbox for $3.20 (and returned them on time woohoo) and hung out the rest of the night.

Day 11 spend day: $16.74
Amount left: $383.55

Sunday was of course a no spend day...I never spend money on Sunday so no shocker there. But we had a great family dinner of some delicious ham (and Betsy's yummy glaze mmmmm) and my mom tried a new potato recipe that looked kinda funny but wasn't too bad. The boys were rather hyper so it was quite the night, and I was ornery for whatever reason so we all ended up going to bed early.

Day 12 spend day: $0!
Amount left: $383.55

And now today. Today is SA Day. Single Awareness Day for those who may not know. This is a sting enough being single but the day couldn't have started any worse. Woke up late but was still going to manage being on time to work until I tried to get a booger out of Rys nose and he turned at the wrong time. Yeah blood everywhere. And I couldn't get it to stop. My couch looks like a CSI scene. So we got the boys to daycare and I'm running late so figured I'd just take Nate to school so he could eat breakfast and we pass the cemetary. "Where is Graysons body?" he asks. "Where did you bury it?" How do you tell an 8 yr old that you were stupid and made poor decisions? That because of you, his brother burned with other bio-hazard crap and didn't get a proper burial? So no there wasn't a grave to go visit or a body anywhere....yeah. I tried and couldn't answer that question in any way that didn't make the whole situation sound monsterous. Which it was monsterous. And it was my fault. Obviously a teary morning.
Hopefully the rest of the day goes better.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Spend Less Day 9

I cannot believe I'm 9 days in. Wow. It doesn't seem like that long but it has been. Kinda cool I think! Yesterday actually went well. It was rather productive. After work I was debating on going to Weight Watchers but decided not to since the boys were being crazy energetic. After much debate, I'm going to go Saturday morning when I only have to deal with Ryder being crazy instead of all three. Anyway....then stopped for gas. That horrid stopping for gas moment. It wasn't as bad as I thought though. The beast was almost on empty and I was figuring it would be about $90 to fill up. It came to $71. Still a gag moment but better than $90! And I don't have any trips outside of town that I know of coming up so that should last for a while. We then gave the car a bath but I rounded up change that was sitting in the car, so I'm not counting that towards my spend money since it was just extra spare change. But its nice to have a clean car again after all that snow. :) Tonight, I don't think I'll be spending any money. I plan on having a quiet night in with Ry. Maybe a Redbox movie but I haven't decided yet. Saturday will incur Weight Watchers costs, but otherwise I don't think I need to buy anything. I'm pretty set. We shall see. And Sunday is just automatically a no spend day since I don't shop on Sunday. I'm crossing fingers for a good weekend!

So Day 9 Total: $71
Amount left: $420.29

In other news....I did my 30 minutes/1 mile of treadmill last night and its getting easier and easier to do so. I'm starting to see it less as a chore, and more as a happy moment of the night. And Betsy told me about a 5k walk/run that is being hosted, I think, by The Biggest Loser Ranch thats by St George. Its in March. I kinda want to do it. I've always wanted to do a race and this would be a good one since its for the healthy people AND us not so healthy couch potatoes. I'm kinda excited. So if anyone wants to join let me know and I will forward the link through email. I still haven't figured out how to do link stuff on here. Anyway....hope ya'll have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Spend Less Day 8 ugh

My spend less day was not so thrifty yesterday. Some was planned, some was not. Some came from tax money....some did not. I luckily didn't buy anything on my lunch break except for some snackage for Ty since it was early out and he didn't eat lunch at pre-school. This equated to $6.37. I had my meeting with my attorney yesterday and it went really well. He went through my paperwork and decided I'm being to neutral, asked if I wanted to use my paperwork or have him write up new paperwork that was a little more in my favor. After looking at everything, I decided to have him write it up and he's thankfully going to work with me on fees and such for this whole process. I'm so grateful for that and for him you have no idea. Although he generally requires a hefty retainer fee, he just told me to pay what I could so I threw down $300 for that to start. Luckily, that was accounted for in my taxes so I won't count it towards my daily spending amounts.
Then after work I needed to address the broken vacuum. That took $60 and some change, and the boys so kindly reminded me that I had promised them some books when taxes came around. I love that my boys are requesting books and not video games or something else, so we got some books and I also grabbed a couple new pans that I had been promising myself I would buy (mine are horrid, the teflon is flaking off and they won't come completely clean anymore) so that trip totaled to $63.06. Sigh I am more aware of my spending now, and cringe to see that amount. I then gave in and got pizza for dinner. Another sigh. But it was Little Ceasars hot-n-ready so it equaled out to $15 for that. Another big sigh though. I really need to start menu planning. I keep holding out until I go to WW so I can see what all I need to buy to stick to the plan, but I got to stop being so lazy with it. I will do better. I have to do better. I'm done using "baby steps" as an excuse and just need to get on it.
On the plus side, I had some inspiration last night. I was all ready to just kick back and read my book {The Host by Stephanie Myers. I was skeptical at first...but now I'm soo deep into it I can't wait to read more tonight!} till I got sleepy, when a text came in from the fantastic Betsy telling me she had just finished her 30 minutes and felt great. I felt a sudden twinge of guilt that I wasn't planning on completing my 30 on the treadmill I hopped, book in hand, and busted it out. So thank you to probably didn't even know it but you motivated me to do my time. :)

Grand total spending today: .....$444.43 {cough cough choke. sigh.}
Amount paid by taxes: $300
New grand total: $143.44 {better...but still gag worthy}
Amount left for Febuary: $491.29

All things considered, I'm 4 days shy of being half way through the month and still have almost $500. So doing good that way. But I'm still feelin the tug of guilt that I spent so much today. Some was necessary, some was not. I'm really going to try working on that. February was a wierd month to start anyway....with taxes being part of the equation. I don't really feel that I'm on a spending limit when I see whats in the bank. But that amount is dwindling quickly after some of the big purchases I made. Today, my plan is to make only one purchase, gas for the truck, since I've been neglecting it and I'm down to quarter of a tank. Thats my goal. No more spending on things I don't NEED.
Have a good day ya'll!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Spend Less Day 7

Yesterday went off pretty well figuring what all we had to do. I brought my own lunch woot woot! So there was money saved there. After work, the boys and I trudged on to Wal-Mart to get some candy for Tylers class party and some hampster food, since Bob's food got dumped all over Nate's floor. By some mysterious ghost who resides in the house......anyway. We got a big bag for $5. I saw a fantastic bedset I REALLY wanted. And resisted. Almost put it in my cart. But resisted. I've decided stuff like that I'm going to use as rewards for my weight loss stuff. We did, however, get 12 spoons for $3 which were much needed since when Ry cleans up his dinner, he throws everything away. I can usually dig out the plate or bowl but not always the spoons. Then on to the candy. Thank you again, food stamps, because what would've been a $26 purchase ended up being $9 and some change. Phew.
We then went home and ate the crockpot pasta from the night before {which was a hit with Nate by the way...he had seconds!} and commenced the cleaning of the bedrooms that we hadn't gotten to the night before. The boys were busy little buggers. Ry and Ty got their room knocked out and beds made within like 10 minutes. Nate...well...he had alot to clean. But the other two pitched in and helped. We also cleaned Bobs cage out. As mentioned previously...Nates floor was covered in corn, seeds, alfalfa, etc layers. So as I go to vacuum, something mysterious got sucked up and completely ripped the belt apart. Theres another expense I gotta take care of today, since Nate still has layers of food on his floor. Oy. Anyway...
Sometime this month I need to renew my license, which is now expired {whoops} and also fill up on gas. Also, I have an appointment with the attorney today WOOT WOOT!! I'm going to be soo very excited to have all this done and over with. Not to mention the extra help that child support will give. So those are my To Dos this week....fix the vacuum, get gas, renew license...and pay attorney. On to tally.....
Amount spent today: $9
Amount left for February: $635.72
Also, I actually kind of looked forward to my treadmill time last night. I was going to try to bust out a mile in the last 20 minutes of Parenthood (my new favorite show) and decided after about 5 minutes I needed to slow it down. But I did end up kicking out 1.10 miles in 30 minutes. Pretty good I think. Oh and to add to my list of To Dos, I'm going to a WW meeting sometime this week to get registered and started. I'm rather excited! So I'll be tracking my Spend Less AND my WW. Yay :)

Thats it folks....have a great day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spend Less Day 6...and The Mighty Treadmill

Yesterday I spent more than I expected on things that I didn't expect to spend on. Lunch time rolled around and I forgot I had brought some tuna and crackers, so while I was out taking Ty to school...I stopped at Arbys. $8. Sigh. Today will be better though. No spending money on lunch. Also on lunch I vaccummed out the car, $1 there. The boys had dropped Salt and Vinegar chips all over the car and I couldn't stand the smell anymore.
I was planning on it being a cleaning day after work but then the boys and Grandma reminded me tonight was Free Family Movie Night at the boys' school. Thats a good FHE I figure, and funner than cleaning for the boys so away we went. I had thrown some rigatoni and meatballs in the crockpot on lunch as well and was planning on eating that...but by the time we got home it was quarter to 6 and we didn't have time to eat it. So off to BK we went. Another $9 for that. But we did order off the dollar menu so instead of it being about $20 so we did limit our spending there. But still. So the movie was good...they had free popcorn...and the floors were really hard. I should've brought a blanket. Lesson learned.
Afterward my crafty kids reminded me that no FHE is good unless treats are we went to Maverick for a quick treat on the way home. Oy it was a bad trip with Ryder screaming because he couldn't have a hot chocolate AND a cookie. Well anyway...$12 there. I really need to stop spending.
But today we have to go get some Valentines candy for Tylers party, and also need to buy Valentines for daycare. Luckily...Grandma took the boys shopping for their school Valentines so that was a big help. I really dislike shopping for Valentines. The boys can never decide what they want to give...and generally its the most expensive stuff there. Oy. So it ends up in pouting kids because I'm a mean mom and won't let them give a big box of chocolate to every kid. But such is life.

So spending totals for the day: $30. ugh. Wow that adds up quick.
Total left for February: $644.72

So in my feat to lose weight, I bought the treadmill. And we have a love/hate relationship. I'm hoping after I get in the habit more, it will become more enjoyable. Last night I was tired, and really didn't feel like doing it. But...I had to. I made myself. I promised myself I'd stop at either the 30 minute mark, or a mile. Whichever came first. And since I've only been going about 2.2 mph on it...they arrived at the same time. And I felt great after. Funny how that works eh?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Spend Less days 3, 4, and 5...the weekend

This weekend was a big roller weekend as I had thought it would be. Tyler ended up coming down with Strep that moved to his leg, wierdly enough. I'm happy my mom thought to take him in to the doctor. So he ended up staying with me over the weekend. After picking him and Ry up after work, we tried to think if soft stuff we could make at home and I remembered I hadn't been shopping yet. Whoops. So after much debate, we ate Taco Bell for dinner, and spent $18 there. Then we decided to go get a redbox movie and spend the night in. We ended up with How To Train My Dragon {super cute I'd think about buying} and Devil for me. there was $2.13 for them. We all relaxed and both boys ended up falling alseep. The Devil movie was quite good. It was scary as all get out...but the premise of the movie was taking responsibility for your actions, because as soon as you do, the devil can't get you. I was feeling very enlightened. Like my eyes were opened again to something I had known, but needed remembering. My favorite line was the devil talking to one of the characters and saying "Darn, I really wanted you. I really wanted you." Oh how true is that? He does want us and will do everything he can to get us.

So Day 3 spending: $20.13
Money Left: 700.86

Saturday was Nates baptism so we went over to Parowan for that. Tyler was still not feeling 100%, so him and Grandma stayed home and watched How To Train My Dragon at her house. Afterwards, Ty was feeling a bit better so we we perusing a couple stores. Two things I had wanted to get with my taxes were a treadmill or a lazy boy. And now that I have a new goal of losing weight, I decided on a treadmill. I went to Sports Authority and found one for half of the original price, and bought it for $600, which I won't count towards my spending because it was tax money. I realized it was past lunch time and the kids were hungry, so we stopped at Top Spot. That cost us about $16 plus some change for games. Then dragged the treadmill home and tried to put it together. 2 kids and several parts lost and scattered later, the treadmill was finally up and working. To celebrate, we went for ice cream for $8. I know. Bad weekend on spending. I've re-newed my goal to not eat out. After, we needed to get treats for Nates Sunday dinner so we went to Lins and got cookies and ice cream, which were on food stamps $0 of pocket yay! Then home... and watched a movie till bedtime. And...I forgot to return the redbox movies so another $2.14 for them.

Day 4 spending: $626.14 - $600 from taxes = $26.14
Amount left for 21 days: $674.72

Sunday, Ty claimed he was sick so we ditched out on church and rested until Sunday dinner and had a spectacular pizza dinner with the family and watched the Super Bowl afterwards. It was nice to spend time with the family. But the boys were getting rowdy so we went home and Nate tried out the new treadmill, while the rest of us watched Americas Funniest Home Videos. And then it was bedtime. Glorious bedtime. After bedtime, I did my first mile on the treadmill and it felt great! Then off to bed for me. And...officially a No Spend Day! :)

Day 5 spending: $0!
Amount left for 20 days: $674.72

Whoopie! Today I need to splurge for a car vaccum but that should just take change, and we need to go shopping for food. And get more gas. But I wanted to wait until I go to Weight Watchers for food shopping so I can plan a menu. And going to Parowan took more gas than expected. So we shall see how the day goes!

Nates Baptism

Nates baptism was on Saturday and it was a very special event. His Grandpa Lloyd baptized him, while Grandpa Brent and Grandpa Bob witnessed. He had to be dunked twice due to the prayer being said incorrectly and the prayer had to be started over a couple times...but all in all it went over fairly smoothly. There were good talks, and Grandpa Brent confirmed him with a beautiful blessing. He looked so dashing in his new suit, very studly. And since then, he has been trying to behave better. Kind of. But he told me that he wasn't going to lie, and was going to be nice now that he has been baptized. Good for him. I am soo proud :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

February Spend Less Day 2, Soap, and Baptisms

So...I was hoping for not spending money yesterday but that didn't happen. While picking up the boys from daycare I was informed Ry was almost out of diapers, which he is at our house too. And the story is true that gas lasts longer on the top half of the tank...because the top half lasted me 7 days and within 2 days it was down to quarter tank. So my plan of filling up at half way is going to be set in stone. So that took $60 (cough cough ugh) And while at the store I was aware of my spending but not as much as I should've been. I spent $20 on diapers, then saw a cute workout suit thing I've been eyeing to go on sale, and got that for $10. Also needed to stock up on Ryder food a little and some odds and ends and after everything I spent $50 and some change. For my sake I'll round it to $51. I was proud of myself though. There was, for once, a really cute shirt and skirt combo that I really wanted to get, and I resisted. I about threw them in my cart...and then remembered my goal of spend less and put them back. I also resisted grabbing fast food on the way home. Also a miracle since I didn't feel like cooking. We ended up having breakfast for dinner. Yay for easy food!
So the totals for today:

Money spent: $111
Amount left for February: $721

Today and tomorrow I will be spending ALOT of money...because my taxes came in today {Woot Woot!} and I need to pay my dad back and go shopping for food (although I thankfully don't have to count that since I'm on food stamps). And of I am also scoping out a treadmill for cheap on craigslist. Next weeks expenses are also going to be kind of high, since I need to go renew my license (yeah its expired. I forgot it expired this year) and also, and more excitingly, I have to pay my attorney to start the filing process for the divorce! Woot woot!
Luckily...all of this money was planned for my taxes so it won't count towards my normal spending money. Yay!

Ty also ALMOST learned what soap tastes like last night. He's been having an issue with telling little white lies, and nothing I do seems to make him stop. And I refuse to raise a liar. He told me last night he didn't hit Nate with his new belt while I was putting stuff in the back of the truck... even though I saw him do it with my own two eyes. This is after 45 minutes in Wal-Mart of him playing around, not listening, and singing loudly when I would try to talk to him. Ohhh buddy if I would've had some soap right then and there he would've gotten it. He is soo lucky that we weren't home yet. Well this all ensued a semi-yelling match between me and him, me ending the fight with "Prepare yourself because you are getting soap when we get home! And not the bar kind you can spit out...your getting liquid!" This of course, made him cry but it wasn't his annoying whiney cry, he was truly sad and kinda scared. It broke my heart. I hate when that happens....the whole you really need to follow through but your child is sobbing and looking at you like your a mutant monster whos about to eat him alive. I didn't have the heart to soap up and he had calmed down by the time we got home, so his punishment instead was to clean up the living room while I made dinner, and he did it for the most part without too much poking and proding. Oy this parenting thing is a tough gig.

Now for momentous times....Nate has chosen to get baptized! His baptism is tomorrow in Parowan at the new church at 10 am for any who may want to join. He is soo excited. Grandma took him shopping for a new suit last night. They got the whole sha-bang....pants, shirt, jacket, tie and belt. He is soo proud of that thing and is really excited for tomorrow. It makes me proud that he chose this and helps me see how strong his little spirit is. It has also strengthened my testimony to see how much he really wants to make this choice for himself and how excited he is to receive the blessings that will come with it. I don't think anything is more precious than the beautiful spirit children possess. He may drive me crazy sometimes, but he is truly God's child and I feel soo lucky to have him as my son.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

De Rules of Spend Less...and Day 1

So to kick off my Spend Less plan with a bang, here are the calculations and rules I will be following.
After my fixed bills that are not included and $20 to savings every month, I will have $697 left to work with. If I times $697 by 28 days for this month, that gives me $24.89 per day to spend. I'm actually only going to pull $100 a week out for those variable expenses, and once the money is gone, its gone. that equals out to $14.29 a day with that little extra cushion in the bank if needed but I really am going to try to stick to my $100 week. So no more spending frivolously.

I also need to adjust how I pay my bills since at the moment the brunt of one check is gone to rent and I wouldn't have that extra money to take out. This is going to be quite the journey with alot of habits and niches I will need to change to make it work. It will be interesting to see if I can stick with it but I'm determined! I've made myself a game plan and I actually think its going to work. After tracking my gas, I've driven my truck for 7 days now and its only on half a tank. So a full tank should last me two weeks, or if I fill up when it reaches the half point once a week that will probably get me better gas mileage since I hear everywhere that the top half of the tank lasts longer than the bottom half for some reason. And thats going to be my biggest expense for the weekly money. So I think I got it figured out. I will be having my taxes come in soon but I'm not counting them my calculations since they are only a one time deal and are already rationed out to their specific categories.

So reporting for Day 1, yesterday, I bought a car wash for the car {bad idea since now the 2 back doors are frozen shut...and little water droplets are frozen in random places to the truck} which was $7. We also splurged and went to Mcdonalds for dinner which was around $18. So total spent yesterday, $25. This money, however, was taken out of the money I got for selling the Blazer. I ended up selling it for $300 and after buying some new seat covers and such for it, and a new backpack for Nate plus some odds and ends I needed like shampoo and deodorant, I have $160 of that left. Because of this extra money, I have not pulled anything from my bank account and will use it up until it is gone and consider it a bonus.

So in total- Money spent: $25
Money made: $160
Money left for the month: $832

Pretty good for day I think. I don't forsee any buying today so it should officially be my first No Spend day. Hope you all have a great day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Spend Less 2011

I've been reading a blog about a mom who has decided to spend less each month. Not necessarily be frugal, but instead be more aware. She has a much bigger income than I do so her limiting amounts are what I make in a month but I think I can do the same thing. I don't have a whole lot of extra money but I can sometimes overspend.
I need to work on that.
So Starting today...duuuuuuh duh duh duuuuuuuh....Spend Less 2011 officially begins.
I will be going month by month though so I don't get discouraged.
And so starts Spend Less February.
I will be figuring how much I can allot myself for one day and stick to that. I need to do the calculations still but plan on just pulling that amount of cash from the bank per week, and not using my debit card at all. Heres the way it will go down:
Fixed expenses will not be included in my spending allowance. That includes rent, utilities and phone.
Variable expenses, however, will. This includes gas, groceries, cleaning stuff, hygiene stuff, eating out, movies, whatever it may be.
What this I will have to really budget my money and spend wisely. But I'm up for the challenge and I think it will be refreshing to have that change. So I unofficially start today, and tomorrow I will have my goals and calculations in place to share.
So why am I making this whole scheme public? Because I have found that I need to or I won't stick to it. And it gives me something to blog about since I have a rather un-interesting life.
Along with my Spend Less 2011, there are a couple other smaller things I will be focusing on. As follows....
* My taxes should be deposited on Friday, so after paying back dad for the truck and putting down a retainer for the divorce, I will be joining Weight Watchers. So along with my monthly spending, I'll be mentioning that stuff too I'm sure.
*Committment number three is our Stake 2011 Commitment I mentioned in a previous post. To date, not going so well. But month, fresh start.
All three commitments are ones that I am rather excited about and think I will do good with, as long as I have to be accountable to the blog, and any readers who may read about my plots of a better life.
Maybe I could even be an inspiration to someone who needs a boost. I hope so. I have alot of inspiring people in my life so I'd jump at the chance to join the ranks.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow! And Other Shtuff

-I cannot believe its snowing. Why couldn't this have happened around Christmas when it was supposed to? Oh well, thats Cedar weather for you. The Yukon thankfully does fabulous in the snow, as long as I take it slow and steady. Thats a big blessing since the Blazer used to slide everywhere. Yay for small blessings. However, the plowing situation in this town is horrible. You think since we get snow every year they would get it down to an art. Oh well.

-I am soo excited that my taxes will be here by February 8. Yay! 8ish more days and I can pay back for the Yukon, get my legal stuff going, and start Weight Watchers. Woot woot! I love tax season.

-I cannot believe it is already February. Holy cow. January seemed to slip by slowly but I have a feeling February is going to fly by. I could be wrong. But...I got that feelin'.

Anywho-got a busy day today so I better get it started. Have a good day ya'll!