Friday, August 29, 2014
*** Foul Language Alert***
It is nauseating. NAUSEATING. To know how much time I use to spend on my phone. The first day I had the app I vowed to use my phone in a normal way to get an accurate reading of just how much time I really spent on it.
Final reading for the day: 101 screen unlocks and 2hr 40 minutes of usage. Ugh. (don't judge me!) This app factors in ALL phone usage, and breaks it down into how long you have been on each app, including camera/text messaging/phone.
It is an excellent tool if you feel like you need a reminder to get off your phone. You WILL be reminded. A lot.
You are working on staying in the daily "green zone". When you start going into yellow, the adorable little monk mascot of the app becomes not as adorable, and instead turns into a nagging, raging, crazy person.
I love the challenge. It has brought back the mindfulness of using my phone for a purpose instead of a distraction. I had no idea I spent so much time on my phone since I always feel so busy doing other things. Now I get on my phone for a reason, and get off when that is accomplished. Instead of checking social media, or clicking random articles and scrolling, scrolling, scrolling.
Unf*&^ Your Habitat:
If profanity offends you DO NOT bother to read this. Me? I am occasionally a fan of "sentence enhancers" (thanks Spongebob and Patrick ) (e.g. when there are no kids around!!!) . Especially when I have to clean and I don't feel like it. Sometimes this ship runs smoothly, and everything is just as it should be. Then other times I get crazy, crazy busy, then I look around and this place needs some serious attention.
Profanity can be highly motivating, as proven by this app.
It makes me laugh. It motivates. Basically, it speaks my language.
What I have found most helpful is My To-UnF%$^ list. This is a list you fill out yourself of tasks that must be done. You choose which one you are working on, and a 20 minute timer starts. When that timer is over- a ten minute "break time" starts. I am almost always finished with the task way before the first 20 minutes is up. I loaded up my list with all of the random projects that are not part of our daily cleaning grind. I choose a few to do every day, depending on how much time I have and off I go.
If you are a runner, you have probably been using this FOREVER. I have been using it since 2011ish. It is an important app as it tracks your route, your speed, and length of your run.
I want to say more, but really, if you run you know about this app and probably use it. If you don't yet, you need to.
This App is an absolute blessing. I love it. I've used it about a year now. It really helps you to track your daily consumption, not only of food, but water and exercise too. I think everyone who cares for their health should have this app.
I love that it "remembers" what I eat, the database of foods is so vast, and it tracks nutrition. Not just calories. You can see when you are lacking iron, or have eaten too much sodium, etc. It is such a helpful health tool.
Which apps do you find help with your daily life? Please share!
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
There is a point on these days where I will still try to get everything done out of habit. Doomed from the start, but somehow I just think " today we will make it work".
So we went for a drive. That calms us all down sometimes.
I also noticed my sweet little girl stepping in where she could help. Without being asked. She is getting so much more aware of the needs of others and I am so thankful I get to be her mom.
Though our blueberries were free this day, I would highly recommend finding a place to pick your own berries. They were only $1.75 per pound + kids LOVE this sort of activity. Win/ win.
Freeze what you won't use within 3 days to prevent waste. Frozen blueberries in greek yogurt is just like dessert!
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
One of my favorite quotes, and one I often use. In my internal dialogue, and as a reminder to my kids.
Sometimes life is that simple.
Don't try to complicate things too much. Don't over-think things.
This just causes anxiety and stress.
Get it done.
Whatever "it" is for you in that moment.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Earlier this week, I went on one of my favorite walks yet.
A walk with a great friend I had not seen in 10 years. One who moved very near to me a few months back, that is now leaving again.
She had not even gotten the chance to meet my kids yet.
We were always active with each other on the Facebook, little messages here and there.
I am regretting the time I spent in the periphery of my friends life. She struggled silently, for months, and I had no idea. Now she is leaving the area again. Probably for good.
I am beyond grateful that even amidst the stress of packing, and parenting, and relationship struggles she made the time to meet up so we could at least catch up before we said goodbye.
We had tossed the idea of going to see a movie. Maybe The Fault in Our Stars or Maleficent.
That meant I would need childcare because my 2 year old will not even sit through a kid's movie. Let alone a dialogue heavy grown up movie, or a possibly scaryish one. I really wanted my son to meet my friend and her kids though...
Then I thought- Movies are super expensive. She is moving. She doesn't have a job lined up yet, she will be paying for 5 tickets + we won't be able to chat and catch up in a movie.
So I asked if she wanted to go on a hike instead, since it is way cheaper and will give us more time to chat.
Thankfully, she accepted.
We had such an awesome time. Our kids immediately hit it off.
I am totally kicking myself for not doing this sooner. We both just thought we would have more time.
In total there were 9 of us (including my husband and her daughter's boyfriend) wandering through the woods together. When we arrived at the Sound the kids dispersed with a little encouragement and we were able to sit quietly and talked until the sunset. A total luxury when there are small children afoot.
It was an intense talk that yanked on my heart strings. It also reinforced the respect I have for this friend's inner strength, compassion, and selflessness. She is a golden soul and I am so grateful to have these new memories to put in our lifelong memory bank.
On to the photos;
Saturday, July 5, 2014
It's the day after Independence Day for us in the USA.
Growing up this was always such a fun holiday,wasn't it?
It still is so much fun.
As a child, when the 4th of July arrived, I felt like it was a pre-party to my birthday, as my day is only 4 days later. Right around the 5th, I would get really excited for my day.
I'm not as giddy about it as I once was, but I am still so thankful to have taken my trip around the sun again.
Back to our celebration this year. I took the kids to see How to Train Your Dragon 2. Turns out noone goes to the movies on 4th of July, which is great since my youngest doesn't tolerate sitting still for very long.
The movie was good, at least the parts I saw whilst my son ran laps up and down the ramp at the entrance to the theatre, so as not to disturb the moviegoers.
My daughter liked it.
We went out to dinner, and afterward got together with some neighbors and had a block party. Lots of fireworks and fun.
This year I tried something different, and released sky lanterns.
They will definitely become a tradition in this house. They are beautiful and everyone enjoyed them.
They created a perfect moment to reflect on our freedoms, make wishes for the future, release, and watch them float away. Bright and steady against the alternating dark, and perilously explosive night sky.
It was a great way to slow the kids down after they ran amok all night.
We are all bleary eyed today, but we are hoping to enjoy a hike together this weekend.
Hope yours is fantastic!
Monday, June 30, 2014
Monday, April 21, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
The last ten days have been one lazy money decision after another.
We had family in from out of state and how easy is it to say "who wants some coffee!?" while we are out in the cold wind and rain. x4 x $15- $20 each time. Yuck.
Then how much easier is it to pick up some fancy food on the way home so no one ( a.k.a. I) don't have to cook or clean up afterwards.
In my defense- the whole family was ill until the day before our visitors came. I didn't have a whole lot of prep time, and what little I had was spent preparing our home.
It was humbling to see how quickly our new habits toppled.
And doesn't it seem like once you make one mistake, the others just keep getting easier and easier?
This week, we are back to normal, and so are our money decisions. Can't help feeling a kind of budget hangover.
It is important to move on and forgive yourself. There is naught to be done.
I think it is also important to share the failures as well as the triumphs in this process.
It happened. Let's move on.
I just wish it had been more intentional and less impulsive.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
I felt compelled to write this up, after this conversation. I hope someone else can relate.
Many times it is too exhausting to pretend you aren't exhausted in another person's company, so you pass it up altogether.
We have not spoken in five years.
More importantly, how do you feel about bonfires?
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Saturday, March 1, 2014
By the time we get to the end of February we are just kind of battle weary. The glow of the new year has dimmed. We are tired of Winter's short, dark days. Even as the days are getting longer and stronger, they are just not enough at February's end. Are they?
At the end of February I am careful to remember that things can change so gradually that you will not notice it if you are not mindful. If you are drudging through your routine, head down and cursing your wet feet, you will just miss the change.
I look for the light, and the new growth, and the sunsets that are a minute or two later than the night before.
Then in comes March, with its joyful parade of light, and flowers, and greenery, and warmer days. St. Patricks day, and Guiness and corned beef and cabbage.
I love March. It has always been one of my favorite months.
Anyway, on to the financial update:
February was a great financial month! We were able to so away another $1900. Still working about 12 hrs a week at hospital, and only eating at home the majority of the time.
While this is pretty great, and far above what I assumed would be possible last December, we became unfocused this last week and spent a bit more on food than I wanted to.
I will do my best to make March even more organized. This helps any budgeting endeavor.
Just a quick blip today to mark progress. Hope your weekend is nice and relaxing!
Friday, February 28, 2014
And, I don't make banana pancakes without singing this song at least once.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
All of us have times when we must lean on our family and friends. We also have times when we must be the friend someone leans on.
This should not change just because you are on a budget.
If, at the end of your goal, you find yourself with plenty of money and estranged friends, what was the point?
There are so many ways to help out that involve little or no money.
Sometimes just showing up for people makes the biggest impact. Even if you are empty handed.
Here are some ideas to help some friends in need for no money:
1.Do their laundry for them. No less than 3 loads. Washed, dried, folded and put away.
2.Babysitting. 2 hours. No big deal.
3.Clean out their car. Complete with vacuuming, and wipe down. (this was done for me as a birthday
present from a friend who was just laid off. It was one of my all time favorite presents).
4.Volunteer to make phone calls for them. Could be calling the doctor, insurance company, or even distant relatives that need to know some good, or bad news.
5. Shovel a walk/mow a lawn
6.Walk a their dog for them. Complete with a play session.
7.Take their kids for a sleepover with your kids. It is so nice to have a free night, especially so when you are dealing with stress.
8.Clean their kitchen for them. (As a new mom this was one thing I wish I had more of)
9. Go for a walk together, even if one of you is wheelchair bound (or especially so).
10. Volunteer to drive them to appointments. I work in the medical field, and this is a huge issue for many. So much that they may actually miss important appointments that can help them heal.
1. A reach out meal- Bring a meal, paper plates/ plastic cutlery, and about 1 1/2 hours of good company.
2. Freezer meals- just do a search on the interwebs. You'll find about a million inexpensive freezer meals to make. Make 2-3 and a card appropriate for the occasion.
3. A gift card for a meal. +Bonus points for places that deliver.
4. A gas card (helpful for people traveling to and from hospitals and doc appts)
5. A good book. It may not seem like the time, but sometimes you need an escape. This one is more for hospital stays, and long treatment sessions. Not so much for new moms.
If you see a need, do what you can to help. It doesn't have to be expensive!
If you have any ideas to add, please do so in comments!
Monday, February 24, 2014
I didn't bother checking tide tables. I just chased the sun.
We walked the mile to the boardwalk and arrived to find that it was lowtide, so we only got to see the strange wasteland that is usually hidden underwater. It is strange, but still beautiful, in a chaotic way.
Maybe it got stuck under the railing and fell in?
Maybe, but the story I got was that he threw it.
He was pretty upset to learn we could not retrieve it.
I just picked him up and we walked together all the way back to the car.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Thursday, February 13, 2014
With a stencil and a laundry pen that I already had on hand.
Dust allergy pillowcase cover
Duck Tape (from a different project)
This pretty stencil (from a different project)
Rub-A-Dub Laundry marking pen. (Already had it)