Monday, January 27, 2020

Race to the Finish

I love finished projects!  There is something so soothing about erasing things off your to-do list, and therefore out of your brain.  It is one of the reasons I strive to live as simply as possible- a huge to do list and half finished projects lying around make me crazy.  They weigh on my mind and distract me from things that are far more important.

These two quilts are a good example.


 
This one I started making 20 years ago.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I started taking a class on hand piecing back when we lived in Florida right after Riley was born.  It was a sweet time of once a week for a few hours where my hero husband took care of the girls while I had some time away.  Unfortunately we moved before it was completed and other things took up my brain space.  I have carried it around for YEARS.  While my color palette of choice has changed, my love for this quilt has not and so I took it out a few weeks ago, added the final border, and will be shipping it out to be quilted.


The next quilt is one one that I have carried around the fabric for a while and not done anything with it.  I am a fabric girl, you all, and just could not resist those colors!  I finally sat down and put a simple top together so I can have it made for our living room in our new house.  This, too, will be sent to be quilted, as I just do not have the time or energy to do so in the middle of another move.  Pick your battles is my motto these next few months.



Jack, 15, decided it was good enough for him!

As for other projects, the only thing I have sitting in my to-do list project wise is scrap booking.  Because I am a woman possessed, I am almost there!!  I have a few spaces empty here and there, but the end is in sight and I keep plugging away.  When I am done, I am sure you will hear me shouting from the rooftops!

How about you? What project do yo have that you would REALLY like to see finished?  What is stopping you?

Blessings!

Friday, January 24, 2020

Monday, January 20, 2020

No-Spend Tricks and Tips



If you read our original post about No-Spend January and our follow up confession just a few weeks in, you know that we have good intention, but are no means perfect when it comes to not spending money in any given month.

Take today for example...we went to lunch on a gift card and went slightly over with an extra child eating with us and tipping the waitress.  We did however spend much less than normal and because of that I will call it a win for now.

I have loved hearing how some of you are following along and how some of you have tweaked No-Spend January to fit your family.  Let's face it, there is no true one size fits all and finding what works for you is the key to success.

That being said, I have a few ideas on how to better save, so here we go!

Don't shop!  Stop giggling, please.  I am serious.  Let me tell you- the fastest way to spend money is to wander down the aisles of a store.  Target, anyone?  These marketing people are good at what they do, ya'll, just saying.  We used to tell our kids to hide their eyes when we saw something we thought was inappropriate.  (yes, we are THAT family!)  People- HIDE. YOUR. EYES.  Don't go in a store when you do not need anything- it is just too tempting!  This includes Amazon!

Make a list! If you MUST go in a store, go in armed with a list and STICK. TO. IT!  Again, I am serious!  Do not deviate from the plan.  Buy only what you want and get out fast!

Use coupons and gift cards!  I use to love to use coupons in the grocery store.  It became a game to me and I loved the challenge.  Hey, I had little kids, I needed some entertainment outside the house.  But it works and combined with sales, you can save a lot of money.  As for gift cards, if you have them, use them wisely!  Look at menus ahead of time, know what you can afford, and then go and enjoy!  Thanks to a sweet friend, our meal out today cost us very little.


Avoid sales!  OK OK, yes, buy stuff on sale when you can, but DO NOT just go looking for sales.  If you do not need something, buying it on sale is NOT saving money.  I know a lot of people with stuff piled in closets that were bought on sale.  Not being used, not being enjoyed- just taking up space "in case" and a complete waste of money.

Practice self control!  Ask yourself, "Do I really need this?"  Better yet, write it down and see if in a week or two you still feel that you need it,  Often times when we remove ourselves from the immediate "I NEED that" moment, we see the value in waiting or even passing things up.

Stay strong!  Yes, sometimes we just need to make a decision and stick to it!  I had a Stitch Fix delivered last week- in the middle of my No-Spend month.  I do not usualy go out to clothes shop as it makes me a wreak, so this is a way I often buy clothes.  Huge praise that for once only ONE item called my name.  I quickly put the others in the return envelope and left the magical pants, which fit like a gem, on the top to consider.  The following morning as I stood considering them again this is what came to mind... you said NO SPENDING!  Surely you can do this, don't be a wimp.  Surely you have better self control.  As quick as I could I stuck those pants in the bag and sealed it, and sent them on their way.  It might seem like a small thing to you, but I am telling you the more we deny ourselves and show some restraint in random spending, the easier it gets. You can do it!


One more week to go- we can do this!  And I can't wait to see how much money we have indeed saved!  How about you?

Blessings,

Monday, January 13, 2020

No Spend January Confessions

Yep, it is only the 13th of the month and already I have confessions to make.


Let's start at the beginning.  January 1st, our family began a self imposed (read, MOM imposed) no spend January.  This was to include no clothing, entertainment and house hold items, with the exception of 4 Sunday after church meals, using gift cards for two meals and spending under $10 per outing for the other two meals. (You can read the full No-Spend January post!) I convinced them, sort of, that it would be a good way to save some extra money, maybe get to bless someone else at the end of the month, and be a good way to practice patience and self control.  Not to mention, we do not NEED anything.  Seriously!

So confession number one-
It was a bad idea on my part to try this the month we are trying to sell a house!  At the very least, it makes it more challenging.

Which leads to confession number two-
We had a last minute showing the first day on the market and had to head out of the house at lunch time.  Yes, I bought lunch out.  As cheaply as possible, but spent money none the less.  Because I was ill prepared gathering the dog, straightening the house, and getting one child off to work on time led to a crunch. I thought things our better the following day and we had a picnic lunch at the park- a story for another day.

Confession number three-
Our first lunch out cost about $10.38ish.  (I cannot find the receipt to save my life!)  But hey, I was pretty proud of ourselves- 5 people ate for just about $10.  Today our lunch costs us a little over $15, so about $5 over.  We probably could have changed a few lunch choices and hit our mark, but overall it could have been a lot worse considering what it usually cost to feed 5 of us.

Confession number four-
My family is not overly excited about my whole plan, and with an anticipated February move, I doubt our experiment will last past this month.  Move time is stressful and I do not want to make things worse.

It's certainly not over- so I will keep you updated. And wow, there are some big things on the horizon around here- can't wait to share!

Blessings


Monday, January 6, 2020

Ready, Set...Go!

Years ago, out of a desperation to maintain some semblance of sanity in my life while my husband was deployed for a year, the concept of 34 Weeks of Clean was birthed.  While it has gone through a few changes over the years, the basic concept is still the same- clean, declutter, and organize your house, one week at a time for 34 weeks.  Simple!

This year is going to look a bit different for our family.  Our house goes on the market this week and we anticipate moving two hours north of here, hopefully by summer.  I am ever so grateful we have done the 34 Weeks of Clean program for several years now, as getting ready for the sale of the house has proved fairly easy.  There has been little to weed out and not much to do.  A little staging here and there and our regular cleaning is all it has taken.

Read this NOT as a brag on our part, but a personal testimony that 34 Weeks of Clean can and does work!  It is NOT a fix quick, it does take some time and energy- but it is most definitely worth it.  I promise!

While I will not be blogging on the system much this year, I think our time will be taken over with move and building a house posts, we will be following along as best we can and are always here to answer questions and cheer you on!

Grab a friend and work together, or at least spur each other on.  Accountability goes a long way for motivation!

We always start with Christmas decorations, but if you have already taken those down you can jump right in to week two, or consider yourself ahead and enjoy one more week off.

Remember- slow and steady wins the race.

One. Week. At. A. Time!

Trust me on this one.  If you work ahead you will wear yourself out and never finish.  Our homes did not get in their current shape in a week...you will most certainly not fix the problem in a few short days!


One more piece of advice- make it your goal to simplify your life- you will not regret it.  Stuff all over our homes clutters our heads and our hearts.  I have written a short series called Clearing Out the Clutter on that note that I encourage you to read if this is a struggle for you.


Good luck and Happy New Year!  May this year be full of love and joy- and a house that reflects the peace of God, inside and out!

Start here with reading the INTRO post that will help explain the process and answer some FAQs!

Your 34 Weeks of Clean schedule-

Week 4- Fridge, Freezer and Floors
Week 5- Recipes 
Week 6- The Stove and Loose Ends 
Week 7- The Dining Room 
Week 8- The Living Room 
Week 9- Books 
Week 10- Bathrooms  
Week 11- The Foyer
Week 12- The Family Room and DVDs 
Week 13- Pictures and Scrapbooks
Week 14- Arts, Crafts and Hobbies 
Week 15- The Master Bedroom  
Week 16- The Master Closet 


















Blessings,

Start off the New Year with my friends at Timberdoodle Blog!

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