Thursday, September 29, 2011

Running behind . . .

Woke up late this morning - I guess I'll have to start setting the alarm. I like to wake up with the sun, but today there was no light at 7:00!!!

Typically when I wake up late, I feel panicked for the rest of the day. Today however, I vow to do things differently. I've looked at my to do list I created last night and I'm going to cross two things off of it. If I get them done, great, if not, no sweat!

I also made a nice breakfast (at 9:30, but still!), I'm getting my work done - one thing at a time and I'm planning on taking a 15 minute devotional break before lunch since I didn't get to it this morning.

We'll see if these small changes can turn a crazy, rushed day into a normal, relaxing day. I may even go light a candle!!!

My ebay auctions end today, and normally I'd make sure and get them all boxed up and ready to ship tomorrow, but we'll see how the day goes - some of that might happen tomorrow. A few don't have any bids yet, so it may be a small month.

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Ebay auctions!!!

Well, for the third month in a row I've posted some new ebay auctions - amazingly I've had 18 - 20 items to sell each month!!! Great way to clear out the clutter and make a little cash on the side. Some already have a few bids - with days to go!!!

This month I listed some cute boys and girls clothing, shoes and some Halloween items! I also have a few oddball auctions. We'll see how they do!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Packing your own food while traveling - crazy?

So, what do you think? Is it crazy or over the top to pack your own food while traveling?

I'm off on a business trip this week, and before I left for the airport I packed myself a sandwich, grapes, packs of instant oatmeal, and several baggies of dried fruit.

I did feel a little silly at first, but by packing my own food, I was able to pass up the unhealthy (and expensive) airport food. I arrived at my destination full and without that sick feeling of eating a bunch of junk.

Plus, all this week I've been enjoying my dried fruit for snacks and oatmeal for breakfast instead of resorting to the stale M&M's in the vending machine or the sickly sweet cinnamon rolls on the hotel breakfast buffet.

So, even though it might feel a bit odd, try it - packing some of your own food and snacks will save you money and save your health!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Earn Rewards and help the environment

A really cool program that I have enjoyed for some time now is called RecycleBank

Just sign up and do various tasks such as recycle, take quizzes, learn about environmental issues, etc. and you earn points. It is very easy to earn enough points for some pretty cool rewards. For example, right now they have a back to school promo where you can quickly earn over 100 points. This is enough to get a few valuable rewards - $2 off a Kashi product or a free Oatmeal from McDonalds for example.

If you are lucky, your community's recycling program has joined forces and you can REALLY rack up the points quickly.

Check it out - it's a great way to earn neat rewards while helping out the environment!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Whole Foods Deal!!!!

Wow! This is an amazing deal if you have a Whole Foods nearby. Today, Living Social has $20 at Whole Foods for $10. I shop at Whole Foods regularly - they have some great specials and buying my bulk items (spices, oatmeal, flour, etc.) there has often been a good deal. Plus, I love their cheese section. If the link doesn't pop up for you, search under Indianapolis, IN for the daily deal.

Don't miss this one - it's only available for a short time!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Setting Goals

Often I post about goals I have set - typically for a year or month, although sometimes I'll do weekly goals also.

I've found that setting goals really helps me stay accountable and accomplish much more than if I just let life happen. What works for me is breaking my life down into a list of various roles/ categories that are meaningful to me and then setting 1 - 4 goals for each category.

At the beginning of each month, I'll create my goal list for the upcoming month (based upon my annual goals), then at the beginning of each week, I'll break those monthly goals into smaller steps. This keeps me moving along each week, meeting my goals, without being overwhelmed.

Do I accomplish everything on my list? Nope, rarely. However, I do accomplish most of the items and definitely more than I would without my goal setting.

Here's an example of a few of the categories and goals for September:

- go to bed at 10:00
- yoga daily
- exercise 3-5x week

- deep clean/ organize laundry room
- create new/ updated budget

- daily devotions
- 1 hospitality act each week

and so on for the other categories. Then for the next step, this week I have on my list:

- schedule an additional workout session (already have 2 on the schedule for the week)

- clean linen closet in laundry room (2 shelves a day)
- track spending and upload into budget (which was created last week)

- get up at 6:00 and begin day with bible study
- take cookies/ tea to teachers at daughter's school Monday afternoon

So, you can see how I am slowly pegging away each week and day at my monthly goals.

This works for me because I love organization and lists. However, even if you don't go into the daily detail that I do, I encourage you to at least list out your monthly and weekly goals - just by committing to them on paper, you are more likely to be reminded to act and will likely achieve more!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Free Photo Card

This is a cool little freebie from Shutterfly. Just log in (or sign up), create a card (uploading a picture) and during checkout use the code CARD4U. You will have to pay shipping - I made a cute Birthday card for my husband with a picture of the kids on the beach during one of our recent vacations. After tax and shipping I paid $1.06. Much less than a card at the store and much more memorable.

This would be great for grandparent's, thank you cards, etc.

Oh, and don't forget to go through Ebates - if you purchase more, the rebate is currently at 16%!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Do you like to learn?

It feels like fall this week - we actually had a 40 degree difference in temperature from Saturday to Monday. I love fall, so although that is a bit drastic, I don't really mind.

In addition to the cooler weather, fall makes me think about back to school. I love to learn, and in the past year I've really made it a point to try some new things by taking classes. Often they are only for a day or a few hours, but they really give me a chance to learn, be creative and have fun. Plus I have something new to talk about and share with my friends and family. Some that I've done just this year: jewelry making, cooking, painting, various exercise, wine tasting and now nutrition (IIN).

There are so many resources out there for new ways to learn at a low cost - I buy coupons off of Groupon, Living Social or Eversave. Often local stores offer free or low cost classes too. For instance, today I got my weekly email from Michaels craft stores and it contains a link to classes and events. Even joining a bible study or book club is a great way to learn something new!

So, in conclusion, I encourage everyone to challenge yourself to try something new this fall - maybe you'll find a new passion or hobby - but regardless you'll enjoy the novelty of learning and experiencing something different!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Is Fall Here????

Wow, September 1st - how did that happen? I've been trying to get up earlier this week and it has been so nice to be ready and have breakfast for the kids before they wake up. Zucchini Waffles today - they were delicious, but the kids couldn't get past the bits of green, so I just added a few tablespoons of cocoa and told them I changed theirs to chocolate waffles. They gobbled them up!

Heading to my parent's house Saturday for their annual neighborhood garage sale - it's a big one. We typically make a few hundred on our stuff and buy a few things at the others. Nice way to start the month.

I love Fall - it feels like a great time to start fresh - and we are doing a lot of "starting" new things this month.

Goals for September:
1. Work on publishing my book - finally getting momentum on that!
2. Get up by 6:00 to have time for daily yoga, bible study and be ready before the kids.
3. My hubby and I are back in our savings mode - we've taken out $200 each cash for the month for spending. When it's gone, it's gone!
4. Starting my classes at IIN - so excited about this!!! I get to go back to school too!!!

Hope everyone else has a great start to their fall!