Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Recommendation: Mining for Gold in the Heart of Your Child

Last fall when I did an online bible study over Renee Swope's book A Confident Heart, I also purchased her book Mining for Gold in the Heart of Your Child.

The book includes:

  • 24 character traits
  • Related Bible verses for each trait
  • Easy-to-understand definitions
  • Creative and easy ideas to live out what you learn
  • Lists of traits that represent the "dirt" that buries the gold and Bible verses for correction

I decided we'd take one of the character traits each week and focus on it. I framed this week's trait in our kitchen, along with the definition, and we've been discussing it over dinner, reading the bible verses that go with it and talking about different situations and opportunities to use this character trait. I think it's going to be a neat family project for us to do this year!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Challenge: Day 6 (Find an Accountability Partner)

Today is my Day 6 of Money Saving Mom's "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Challenge".

Day 6 of this 7 day challenge is "Find An Accountability Partner". I am definitely an introvert, and after reading about this I decided that the Chore Planner I purchased for $6 from Motivated Moms would definitely work here.

I am LOVING my chore planner! 

The Motivated Moms Chore Planners map out a plan for what chores you should do each day and week to stay on top of your household organization and keep your home in great shape.

I don't promise that I will get every single task done every day but I always have the weekend to try to catch up! I just like have the accountability of having items to check off a list.

Monday, January 13, 2014

12 Months to a Healthier You

I think Money Saving Mom is my new favorite website! Last Friday she posted about her 12 Months to a Healthier You challenge and I decide this would be perfect for me to participate in!

January's focus area is exercise.

Now that I know my weight gain was most likely casued by my recently-diagnosed Celiac Disease, I am working pretty hard on getting back in shape. I've already lost a few pounds and have more energy, so I decided I was ready to start a new exercise program in the new year. I have done several Beach Body programs in the past and really did like them, but there is just something about Jillian Michaels that I LOVE! I guess Amazon knew this because right after the first of the year they alerted me to a special deal on her Body Revolution program and of course I jumped on it.

The best way to describe the program is this description I found in the reviews section: "There are 15 dvds (12 strength, 3 cardio). Each workout is 4 circuits and 25-35 minutes. The cardio dvds include a single circuit repeated 3 times. You change strength dvds every 2 weeks and cardio dvds each month. You workout 6 days per week (2 days of cardio and 4 days of strength)."
I've already got one full week under my belt and I LOVE this program! 30 minutes is totally doable.
Do you have a fitness goal for the new year? Want to join the challenge with me?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Challenge: Day 5 (Clear Out the Clutter)

Today is Day 5 of Money Saving Mom's "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Challenge".

Day 5 of this 7 day challenge is "Clear Out the Clutter". She says to "Pick one space in your home to declutter as soon as you can today".

You don't think my bookshelf needs de-cluttering, do you? :-)

Off to tackle it!

If you'd like to join in, visit Money Saving Mom and share some 5 minute tasks you have completed today.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Challenge: Day 4 (Use Your Minutes Wisely)

Today is Day 4 of Money Saving Mom's "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Challenge".

Day 4 of this 7 day challenge is "Look for little pockets of time throughout the day that you can use to accomplish...  small tasks".

I have been doing that a lot lately. I've got a running mental to-do list of things I'd like to get done. I also purchased the 2014 Motivated Moms 
Printable Chore Planner and it's been fun to mark things off the list each day.

Here's a few things I have gotten done in just a few minutes today:

I had pinned the idea of having your wi-fi password framed for guests to see, and I finally got it done! I did clear off the password from the pic, but if you are a guest in our home, you will see the password and be able to connect easy-peasy.

I had also been meaning to find a new solution to storing our razors in the shower. I am NOT going to show you a pic of what we were using, because it was nasty-dirty and rusted and since I haven't had a tetanus shot in over 30 years (I'm allergic) and I was scared to take it down.

But I found these Command razors holders at Walmart and thought they would be perfect.

And they were! Just took seconds to install!

If you'd like to join in, visit Money Saving Mom and share some 5 minute tasks you have completed today.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Challenge: Day 3 (Create a Morning Routine)

Today is Day 3 of Money Saving Mom's "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Challenge".

Day 3 of this 7 day challenge is Create Your Ideal Morning Routine "to calm your chaos and bring rhythm, order, and peace to your days".

My routine has been evolving over the last few months as I am adjusting to not have to be at work at 7 am anymore. (Yay!) I am settling in and figuring out a schedule that works for our family. At first I thought I would like to work out in the mornings, but lately I have found I have more motivation in the evenings, so I have been saving my workout for then.

1. Get up, brush teeth and head to kitchen for can of Coke and take meds/vitamins. That one can of Coke I allow myself every day is basically my coffee. I've tried to cut it out before or switch to a diet or lower calorie drink, but the results are always disastrious and just not work it. A full-sugar Coke it is!

2. Get the kids up and get them started on brushing teeth and getting dressed.

3. Head back to the kitchen to fix breakfast and check backpacks and lunch menu to see if I need to fix any lunches. I also clean their glasses and lay them on the table with their breakfast and vitamins.

4. Get the kids to school

5. After I get back home, I get showered and ready for the day. After makeup and before I do my hair, I spend a bit of time at the computer, checking email and wishing some happy birthdays on facebook

If you'd like to join in, visit Money Saving Mom and share your morning routine.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 2 of the Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Challenge

Today is Day 2 of Money Saving Mom's "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Challenge".
Day 2 of this 7 day challenge is Recognize & Appreciate Your Gifts. In one of those "God Moments", right before I read today's task, I read an article a friend linked to on Facebook titled "How to Find God’s Will for Your Life". It all became clear.... the gifts I have, the things I am good at, are God's will

And to tie in the bible study I just finished through Proverbs 31's Online Bible Studies, I am #Enough! I've got a pretty big change coming up in my life over the next few months, and I need to hear that message.
Here are some gifts I possess:
1. The gift of money-management. I am not sure if it's my upbringing (mom and I used to clip coupons together), or my finance/accounting background, but I am a good steward of our family's money. Money is never an issue we have argued about in our marriage. I bargain-shop, research for good deals, and am generally frugal with my purchases, although I do like to indulge in a good quality luxury item from time to time. I have never lied to my husband about anything I have purchased and think this is key in our successful marriage.
2. The gift of an elephant's memory. Names, faces, events in the past.... I never forget anything! Long-term that is..... my short-term memory is sometimes lacking, but I think that is because of Gift 3.

3. The gift of multi-tasking. I am able to have a million things going at once. Cooking dinner, helping with homework, working on laundry, I've got it all in the air.

4. The gift of perseverance. When my kiddos started having problems reading in school, I put all my energies into researching and figuring out the best plan of attack to help them succeed. I did not stop! Unhelpful and unwilling people in my path be warned, I will not let anything keep my kids from success!

5. The gift of dependability. I am nothing if not dependable. Ever a slave to my watch and my to-do list, I am where I say I will be, with promised goods or tasks in my hands or completed.
If you'd like to join in, visit Money Saving Mom and comment about your gifts.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Money Saving Mom's Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Challenge

Today I started Money Saving Mom's "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode Challenge".
Day 1 of this 7 day challenge is about saying no. She suggests saying no more often, "to set boundaries and give yourself some much needed breating room".
Something I desperately need!
Today's challenge was to mark three things off my to-do list.
Here is what I chose:
1. I let a group know that I didn't have the time to help plan an event right now.
2. I will stay off Facebook completely today after I pick up the kids from school and make tonight all about family.
3. I have some errands to run, but they can wait until another day. It's bitterly cold today and once we get home after school is out, it will be nice not to get back out.
If you'd like to join in, visit Money Saving Mom and comment about what you are marking off your to-do list today.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome to 2014! My Favorite Beauty Find of 2013

I wanted to start 2014 off by telling you about my favorite beauty find of all of 2013. I actually got a sample of this product when I purchased another full-sized product, and promptly fell in love with the sample. Which is nice because I absolutely hated the full-sized product I had purchased!

$12 at

This is the best oil-free moisturizer containing SPF that I have EVER used. It is not at all greasy and sinks in almost immediately, and is fragrance-free to my nose. I typically wait about 5 minutes or so after applying this before I start applying my makeup and I have never once had a problem. I LOVE THIS MOISTURIZER!

If you haven't been using an SPF moisturizer on your face, let 2014 be the time you start. I am a former sun-worshipper and have done so much damage to my skin. But I vowed a few years ago to stop the damage and using a good SPF product is the best way to do that- the SPF in your foundation or powder is not good enough, I promise.

Now back to the product I did NOT like- Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil Control Foam Wash. I do not like the smell and it doesn't make enough lather to make me feel like my face is actually getting clean. But at least it led me to a new HG SPF moisturizer!