About my blog

In the past year, I have lost over 55 lbs while working full time and being a full time mom to Maddie, 5 and Carter, 2. I want to encourage other moms who are pulled in a million different directions every day - if I can do it, you can too. I promise it IS possible.

On this blog, you will find information about how I lost the weight (this is an ongoing endeavor!), recipes enjoyed by me and my family, couponing and saving money, thoughts on parenting, yoga, people in general, or whatever else I feel like blogging about that day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Budget update and why Valentine's Day is stupid

We are 12 days in to the radical budget challenge and it has been surprisingly easy. We have had to put things off, and tell the kids no we can't go out to eat or go get ice cream, and plan our meals at home. I wouldn't want to do it all the time, but it's working for now. Scott even said something the other day about doing it for another month or every other month so we can save up more money. We know we will be replacing cars in the next few years so something like this may not be a bad idea. We'll see how we feel at the end of the month!

This week's intention came to me immediately in yoga class Monday morning. Usually I have to think about it for a few minutes before I decide, but this week it was just there. My intention is "I am loved." I know it sounds like that guy from the SNL skit ("and people like me!"), but I don't care. This week's intention came about because of stupid Valentine's day.
Here's why Valentine's day is stupid: I don't want a box of yucky milk chocolates or a dozen boring roses because the rest of society says he should give me this type of crap for one particular day of the year. I don't want to go to Olive Garden with the rest of the entire town and wait 2 hours (or more!) for a table. I would much rather he got me flowers one random day because he was thinking of me and thought I would like them. Or surprise me with a dinner out - and a babysitter! Or spend money on some really good dark chocolate when he knows I've had a bad day. These are way more romantic than being forced to be romantic on the same day of the year as everyone else. Anyway, Scott usually has a gig on V day. And that's fine with me. So this Valentine's I am going to take time to really appreciate the love given to me from the people I care about in life. I want to acknowledge and enjoy the love I receive from others - in my opinion, a much better way to celebrate this day. Oh, and make crafts with the kids. I've been Pinteresting a lot (pretty sure that's a verb now).

Monday, February 4, 2013

Radical budget update & a strong intention

Ok, so here's the update on operation radical budget. Only 4 days in and we are already learning a lot. We've already had 1 big fight about the money situation (but now we are ALL on board so hopefully we can work as a team). It's definitely a huge adjustment! I am looking at money a LOT differently right now. Here's the plan in case you missed the last post: for the month of February we are only going to spend $50 cash a week plus whatever money we can make from selling stuff we don't need anymore around the house. This way we can save up some money and get rid of some stuff. And maybe learn to live on a budget. I make budgets all the time, but we don't actually stick with them. If I really want to go buy some clothes, I go even if we don't have it in the budget. I just use the credit card. That's not going to happen this month! I know this budget is not sustainable (for one thing cause we will run out of stuff to sell eventually) but doing this every once in a while may be good for us.

We started out with some money left from last week...it's amazing how fast money can go when you are buying food for a family of 4. I had a girls night and a Super Bowl party planned for the weekend too. I budgeted these 2 events very carefully. At dinner, I only had one drink and a quesadilla a la carte with a side of guacamole. My bill was $12 with tip. Which was good cause I only had $20 and we needed to buy milk and newspapers the next day (for the coupons). For the Super Bowl party I used mostly what we already had in the fridge and pantry. I only had to spend a few dollars at the grocery store and be a little creative. By the end of the weekend we were completely out of money. This was actually really scary because I am determined to see this through the month and I didn't want to give up so early. I knew we would need money for the week - my kids eat more fruit than anyone I know! So I decided the first thing I would do is sell some of my couponing stock. I chose stuff I had tons of or stuff I bought but never used, or dragged home even though I didn't really need it because I made money on the item. I listed these items on our local swap n' shop facebook group. Within a few hours I had sold most of it. We have already made $30 today and will make another $20 tomorrow. So we planned a little trip to the grocery store!

Here's a few ways this is changing my thinking: I seriously considered what to order at the restaurant - I had to choose something weight watchers and wallet friendly. Normally I would just order whatever I wanted, including a few drinks. I would have gone out and bought a bunch of stuff for the Super Bowl party. It wasn't necessary. I already had the stuff at home to make plenty for everyone. My thinking has shifted to what's really important to purchase right now. I am much more aware of how much cash I have and what needs to be purchased. Anything else can wait.

This change really ties in well with my intention for last week: to be more aware. I thought of this intention often, especially when my mind really started going and wouldn't shut up. I tried to be more aware with my kids, when I was driving, at the gym, at work, and just enjoy what I was doing at the time I was doing it.

This week my intention is...I am strong. I am strong physically and getting stronger. I am strong emotionally and won't let the way other people decide to behave affect me. I am strong enough to continue with the weight watchers plan and work towards my goal. I am a strong mother for my kids. I am strong enough to keep up with this radical budget. Anytime I feel like I can't do it this week or start thinking badly of myself because I've made a mistake, I'm going to remember this week's intention. Wish me luck. I'll let you know how it goes!