Saturday, August 29, 2015

Whole30 Week 4


W9 Manifesto-for-FB-Cover NEW

Welcome back everyone!  This is my forth and final week a recording all my meals while attempting my first ever whole30!  You can see Week 1, 2, and 3, here, here, and here.  

Sorry, I didn't take a ton of pictures, life got busy and that phone of mine just didn't come out as much this week!  Here we go:

Day 24

Breakfast:  3 scrambled eggs with sweet potatoes
Lunch:  LO pork chop and potatoes
Dinner:  steak, zucchini, sweet potato "fries"


Day 25

Breakfast:  banana "pancakes"
Lunch:  LO steak, zucchini, sweet potato fries
Dinner:shrimp salad.  So so good.  1 lbs of shrimp only made it through for my husband and I, if you make this, make a lot!  :)


Day 26

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs
Lunch:  chicken burger, avocado, grapes
Dinner: spaghetti squash with spaghetti sauce/ground beef

Day 27

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs with sweet potatoes
Lunch:  LO spaghetti squash
Dinner: beef burger with mushroom bun and grilled tinfoil potatoes and carrots

Day 28

Breakfast:  strawberry banana coconut milk smoothie (which my 2 yo LOVED)
Lunch: LO burger and tinfoil potatoes
Dinner: hot sauce chicken legs with homemade ranch dressing and asparagus

Day 29

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs with roasted potato and carrots
Lunch:  LO of chicken legs with potatoes
Dinner: LO pot roast

Day 30

Breakfast:  3 scrambled eggs with roasted potatoes and carrots
Lunch:  Leftover pot roast
Dinner: TACOS.....I'm done and didn't do dinner!!!  They tasted fantastic :)

Stay tuned for my results, thoughts, and feelings on the whole30 program!  



Thursday, August 27, 2015

Whole30 Week 3

EatWhole30-Facebook


I'm back again with a week 3 of my whole30 experiment.  30 days of eating healthy fats, fruits, and veggies.  You can see my week 1 and week 2 here and here.  I'm really excited to wrap this up and tell you my results already!  :) 

LO=Left Overs

Day 18

Breakfast:  2 scrambled eggs w/ LO stuffed pepper
Lunch:  stuffed pepper and 2 oranges
Dinner:  stewed beef, with carrots, celery, and potatoes


Day 19

Breakfast:  3 scrambled eggs (wasn't hungry)
Lunch:  left over stew
Dinner:  spaghetti squash with spaghetti sauce with ground beef


Day 20

Breakfast:  3 egg omelet
Lunch:  leftover spaghetti squash with sauce
Dinner: Mediterranean Salad with chicken, onion, olives, tomatoes   SUPER YUM


Day 21

Breakfast:  3 egg omelet with tiny chicken cutlet and LO Mediterranean salad
Lunch:  LO spaghetti squash
 Dinner: Chicken with broccoli & potatoes


Day 22

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs with sweet potatoes
Lunch:  Mediterranean Salad
Dinner:  almonds/coconut/raisins (too busy with the kids to eat!)

 Day 23

Breakfast:  3 scrambled eggs with sweet potatoes
Lunch: Mediterranean Salad
Dinner:  pork chop with potatoes and broccoli

This week was kind of tough.  Just like last week, the boredom is really setting in with my menu.  It would help if my crazy life would stop being crazy for 10 minutes so I could menu plan.  Well, that didn't happen!  Even though I'm bored and I've had this side ache that won't go away, I'm forging ahead.  No quitter here! 

See you soon with my 4th week and a wrap up really really soon!  :) 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Whole30 Week #2

keep-calm-fb-cover

I'm back with week 2 of my whole 30 challenge.  

LO=Leftovers

Day 9:

Breakfast:  3 scrambled eggs with leftover brussel sprouts/potatoes/ and turkey that I turned into a "hash".

Lunch:  salad topped with fruit salsa and turkey meatballs.


Dinner:  Chicken burger topped with an avocado and salsa,  sweet potato "fries" and green beans.

Day 10:

Breakfast:  3 scrambled egss with bacon & LO sweet potato "fries" and green beans.

Lunch:  Chili lime chicken burger topped with an avocado and salsa.  More LO sweet potato "fries" and green beans.

Snack: Bannana ice cream

Dinner:  Turkey breast, white potatoes and carrots roasted with LO cauliflower "rice".

Day 11:

Breakfast:  Breakfast Fratata with LO brocoli and sweet potatoes, and turkey.

Lunch:  LO  turkey, cauliflower "rice" potato/carrot mix

Dinner:  bannana topped with cashew butter and coconut.  LO spaghetti sauce and lamb (plain)...trying to clean out the fridge :)

***I was exhausted here!  I went to bed at 8:30, painted my boys room the day before so everything is sore.  I really just wanted to "throw in the towel" but I fought through the urge and didn't cheat.  Tomorrow is a new day!!!!

Day 12:

Breakfast:  Breakfast fratata with broccoli, sweet potatoes and turkey

Lunch:  Chili lime turkey burger topped with avocado, and green beans (on the side, not on the burger).  :)

Dinner:  Pork burger with sauteed mushrooms and asparagus.   ---this was soooo delicious, I forgot to take a picture! 

This day was much better and I'm so happy I didn't cheat!!!!

Day 13:

Breakfast:  LO breakfast fratata (see above).

Lunch:  LO pork burgers, mushrooms, and asperagus

Dinner: steak & squash

Day 14:

Breakfast:  1/2 LO steak with 2 fried eggs

Lunch:   chicken salad with lettuce wraps, snacked on few sweet potato chips (from my kids plates, this is probably a cheat as the bag said it "could be" made with canola oil, but I only had a few).  Orange slices and LOTS of grapes.

Dinner:  Roasted chicken with white potatoes and carrots.  Watermelon.

Day 15:

Breakfast:  1/2 steak with 2 fried eggs, grapes.

Lunch:  chicken salad with lettuce, cashews, and strawberries.

Dinner:  LO roasted chicken with white potatoes and carrots.  watermelon.

Day 16:

Breakfast:  3 eggs scrambledc with 1/2 sausage burger and sweet potatoes.

Lunch:  sausage burger with grilled onions and pineapple with a portabella mushroom "bun".


Dinner:  Tilapia (white fish) with blueberry salsa, sauteed kale, and sweet potatoes.

Day 17:

Breakfast:  banana topped with almond butter and coconut.   

Lunch:  turkey burger with sweet potatoes and kale

Dinner:  stuffed red pepper which had beef, kale, sweet potatoes and the southwest spice.

***another bad day.  I felt terrible, I was board with my food, I was tired, I took a nap and also went to bed early.  I'm trying to sleep it off!

Well that rounds up week two.  You can see this week was bit harder to come up with "new" foods.  I got a little less creative and because of that,  I started to get board with my meals.  I was also really tired this week.  I don't know if it was the food or just my life with three kiddos (still nursing one).  I definetely hit the "break it or make it" stage but so far I'm MAKING IT!!!  Woot Woot!  I don't feel as "thin" as a did last week.  Last week it felt like the weight was just melting off, this week, I feel like I gained.  I'm working my way through the book as I do this and that seems pretty common so no need to panic.  Since I usually weigh myself everyday, I've found the freedom from the scale has been a bit liberating (you weight on day 1 and not again till day 31).    

My sugar dragon is under control, I can't believe it!  I passed on donuts, cookies, and cake all of which were offered to be throughout the week.  I didn't even have an urge to eat those items.  Amazing!  I would have taken bets before this started that that NEVER would have been the case for me!

As you can see, I've falling a bit behind in posting my food.  LIFE just doesn't stop!  I got high hopes to get my next post up in a couple days!  If you want to see my week 1 meals with pictures and links to recipes go here:  Week 1.  


Monday, July 20, 2015

Whole30 Week #1

doing-the-w30-fb-cover

Well, as promised here are the meals I ate for the first week or so on whole30.  It's going good so far.  Food is great, the adjustments haven't been that difficult, and the cravings are in check.  Yeah!

LO= left overs

Day 1


Breakfast:  sweet potato breakfast casserole (I skipped her seasonings and added a southwest seasoning blend from Wildtree) DELICIOUS, coffee with coconut milk


Lunch: spinach salad with chicken, strawberries, lemon vinaigrette (just lemon juice, EVOO, S&P), almonds, and avocados.

Snack: mint chocolate Larabar


Dinner: Chicken with mushroom sauce and broccoli.

Day 2
Breakfast: LO breakfast casserole, coffee with coconut milk

Lunch: pulled LO chicken with mushroom sauce and broccoli

Snack: Larabar


Dinner: Pulled pork, avocado, Hawaiian coleslaw.  I just roasted a pork roast in my slow cooker with some garlic, S&P, and a little water. 

I had LOTS of hot flashes here.  Weather? Food?  Hormones?  I don't know.

Day 3
Breakfast:  LO breakfast casserole, coffee with coconut milk

Lunch: LO pulled pork, coleslaw, avocado, raspberries


Dinner: More LO pulled pork but on lettuce with coleslaw, avocado and green beans.


Snack: banana ice cream with nutmeg & cinnamon.  Take 2-3 frozen bananas (makes 2 servings), I find it best to cut the bananas into chunks before freezing.  Add the bananas to your food processor and add about 1/2 cup coconut milk.  Sprinkle in some freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon and blend till smooth and creamy.  This treat with satisfy the strongest ice cream craving.  PROMISE!

Still LOTS more hot flashes  here.  Hard to say if it is diet, or hormones, I did have a baby 7 months ago......

Day 4


Breakfast:  3 egg omelet with diced sweet potatoes inside the omelet, 2 slices of bacon, coffee with coconut milk


Lunch:  LO pulled pork, coleslaw, avocado, green bean.  Banana with cashew butter, unsweetened coconut flakes, and walnuts.

Snack:  2 cuties


Dinner:spaghetti squash with lamb marinara sauce (Aldi's has a sugar free marinara that is pretty good), and baked asparagus.

Still more hot flashes.  Ugh, I think it is the diet.  I think it is all the sugar being flushed from my body.

Day 5
Breakfast:  3 egg omelet with sweet potato hash with onions and 2 slices of bacon.

Snack: Baby carrots

Lunch: LO spaghetti squash and asparagus.


Snack: strawberries with unsweetened coconut flakes


Dinner: orange teriyaki turkey meatballs with carrots & Brussels sprouts.

Day 6

Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs with LO from dinner turned into a hash


Lunch: chicken salad with homemade mayo, almonds, raisins, and a side of carrots.  I'm not going to lie, I like the store bought mayo better (which I am really surprised about).

Dinner: Grilled steaks, roasted white potatoes, green beans with almonds.  Mix of fruit for "dessert" of pineapples, strawberries, and melons.

We were at my in-laws for dinner and my MIL was nice enough to make something Whole30 compliant.

Day 7
Breakfast:  3 scrambled eggs with LO fried white potatoes and carrots.

Lunch: Chicken Salad with carrots


Dinner: Jalepeno Chicken Burgers on a portabella mushroom "bun".  Sweet potato fries.

Day 8
Breakfast: 3 scrambled eggs, banana with cashews, cashew butter and unsweetened coconut flakes.

Lunch: LO chicken burger topped with 1/2 an avocado, and baby carrots.


Dinner: Cod with pomegranate pear salsa with coconut "rice" cauliflower.  REALLY, REALLY good.

Snack:  banana ice cream.  Yum!

Well, so far so good.  It was a great first week of eating.  Food tasted great.  I LOVE the sweet potato hash with my eggs, the slightly spicy southwest mix from Wildtree really works well here (I don't sell it, if you don't know a demonstrator, find a blend in your local grocery store that is whole30 compliant).

The hot flashes were intense.  I think it was my hormones.  It was probably a combination of getting my period (really bad timing) paired with all the sugar and "junk" leaving my system.

I'm already feeling lighter and no joke, my pants that were too tight to wear comfortably are already fitting.  Amazing.  

Friday, July 10, 2015

Whole30 Challenge

 doing-the-w30-IG

Well, I found myself attempting something a bit crazy this summer.  Whole30.  Every heard of it?  No?  Neither did I until a few short weeks ago.  I found myself in a rut, trying to eat healthy but having this intolerable sweet tooth that was landing me with a bowl of ice cream every night on my couch.  I was tired, stressed, and I just couldn't get my hands on enough sugar.

At work, a friend told me that her sister in-law did this crazy meal plan for 30 days which has some pretty rigid rules like: no dairy, no alcohol, no sugar, no beans.  She told me her SIL lost 12 or 13 pounds (I can't exactly remember) following this plan for 30 days and it changed her relationship with food.

Ding.Ding.Ding.  That's exactly what I need.  I need to end this bad relationship with my food.  

So five days after hearing the word Whole30 for the first time, I found myself attempting this crazy 30 day journey.  And of course because I have a ton of free time (hahaha) I thought I would document what I ate along the way.  The Whole30 program actually recommends that you DON'T track your food (I think because you're over thinking it then) so I think this is one of the many reasons you won't find a lot of menu plans online.  If you're thinking about attempting the whole30 program yourself, perhaps you'll find inspiration in my journey.   

You can read about whole30 on their website here: All about Whole30.  But here is a really quick summary of what you CAN NOT eat:

1. No Sugar.  None.  Not even honey.  Read your labels!
2.  No alcohol.  Not even for cooking.
3. No grains, none of them. No rice, Bulgar, oatmeal, quinoa, noodles, etc.
4. No legumes, including peanuts and peanut butter.
5. No dairy.  This means no milk or CHEESE!
6.  No caarageenan, MSG, or sulfites.  Again, read your labels!
7.  No Paleo-fied "treats".

You might be asking, what's left?  LOTS.  I promise!  Fruits, veggies, meat, nuts, and eggs. And you'll eat a lot of these items.  You'll also learn, there aren't a lot of recipes because you really don't need any.  Cook your protein, pair it with a veggie and you're done!  And if you are wondering if this is "kid friendly".  Yes! My kids (7, 2, and 7 months) usually ate the same meal right along side my husband and I.  There's nothing crazy here folks, after all, it's whole food

Here are the reasons I wanted to attempt this program:

1.  Lose weight. 
 Ok, big elephant in the room.  I'm doing this to lose weight.

 I want to get back to a healthy weight for LOTS of reasons but here are some of my top reasons.

I got gestational diabetes with my final pregnancy.  There's a 60% chance that I'll get type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years because of that.  Being overweight is one of the biggest reasons type 2 would occur.  Obviously, I'd like to reduce my risk of type two! 

I want to play with my kids. Without getting winded, without struggling, without getting tired.  I got 3 very young children.  They deserve active healthy parents that will live for a very long time.  I want to see them grow into very old men.

I want to buy clothes "off the rack".  I don't want to go to plus size stores or sections.  I also really want to go to some trendy second hand places and buy nice used clothes at a discount (that's a lot harder to find in plus sizes).  Buying used clothes would be a huge budget saver! 

2.  Break my sugar addiction.
It's a real thing.  I love sugar more than anything.  My typical breakfast is sugar:  two cups of coffee, each with 3 tablespoons of sugary creamer, two chocolate chip granola bars (candy bar anyone?), and homemade yogurt with chocolate chips, honey, and sweetened shredded coconut added to it (again, candy bar anyone?).  No wonder I wanted sugar all day long.  I wanted this program to tame my sugar dragon. I want to be in control of me again, not my cravings.


3.  Cure my Candida.  
For the past 20 years I've had an off again on again problem with candida (skin yeast infection).  Mainly on again.  I read that this program resolved candida for some and I was hoping it would do the same for me.  

Here's a few before shots.  I wasn't going to post these, they make me cringe.  But, a friend and I have been having a lot of body image discussions and I need to start feeling good about myself, no matter what size I am.  I also need to remember that my family and friends love me for who I am and not based on the number on the scale.  They would not love me less if the scale said 900 lbs and would not love me more just because the scale says 120 lbs.  They love me for me and I need to start doing the same. 



Well, now that that is out of of the way......wish me luck!  See you soon!  I'll be back with my first week on this journey real soon. 


  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients
  • - See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/#sthash.WbAwOMbC.dpuf

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients
  • - See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/#sthash.WbAwOMbC.dpuf

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients. 
  • - See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/#sthash.WbAwOMbC.dpuf

  • Do not consume added sugar of any kind, real or artificial. No maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, coconut sugar, Splenda, Equal, Nutrasweet, xylitol, stevia, etc. Read your labels, because companies sneak sugar into products in ways you might not recognize.
  • Do not consume alcohol in any form, not even for cooking. (And it should go without saying, but no tobacco products of any sort, either.)
  • Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, sprouted grains and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch and so on. Again, read your labels.
  • Do not eat legumes. This includes beans of all kinds (black, red, pinto, navy, white, kidney, lima, fava, etc.), peas, chickpeas, lentils, and peanuts. No peanut butter, either. This also includes all forms of soy – soy sauce, miso, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and all the ways we sneak soy into foods (like lecithin).
  • Do not eat dairy. This includes cow, goat or sheep’s milk products such as cream, cheese (hard or soft), kefir, yogurt (even Greek), and sour cream… with the exception of clarified butter or ghee. (See below for details.)
  • Do not consume carrageenan, MSG or sulfites. If these ingredients appear in any form on the label of your processed food or beverage, it’s out for the Whole30.
  • Do not try to re-create baked goods, junk foods, or treats* with “approved” ingredients. Continuing to eat your old, unhealthy foods made with Whole30 ingredients is totally missing the point, and will tank your results faster than you can say “Paleo Pop-Tarts.” Remember, these are the same foods that got you into health-trouble in the first place—and a pancake is still a pancake, regardless of the ingredients. 
  • - See more at: http://whole30.com/whole30-program-rules/#sthash.WbAwOMbC.dpuf

    Sunday, March 29, 2015

    Robert Turns Two



     Robert James turned two a few weeks ago and I thought I would take this blog post to document his past year.

    He really loves his blankey and he carries it around with him everywhere. He is particularly fond of one specific blanket, luckily we have a spare in case we lose one. He's also a fan of dinosaurs, doggies, and bubbles. Yeah, very random I know, but understanding the mind of this two-year-old is like solving the world's hardest puzzle. He still isn't talking much, but that isn't preventing him from being extremely independent. He likes to do things for himself like put on his own shoes, hat, and coat in the morning.  He's also extremely curious.  Here he is below trying to pump after he put all the pieces together himself. 


    He has the most infectious giggle but unfortunately these days we usually hear more cries than laughs coming from his tiny little terrible two body. Speaking of tiny, he really is little. He stands at least half a head (official measurement) shorter than the rest of the kids in his daycare class. But Jeez is he cute! Those round cheeks and big blue eyes get me every.single.time. It's hard to stay mad at this kid for very long.

    He knows what he wants and he often won't stop [crying] till he gets it. While bedtimes have become easier in the past year he still HATES when we leave him. He graduated from sleeping in his baby swing at 13 months, to falling asleep in our bed (with us holding him) until 21 months. It took a new baby brother to get us on the same page and start making him cry it out in his crib. Now we read him a few books and place him straight into his crib. He still cries every single night but the process is much shorter for us than the old routine and he typically only cries for 5 to 10 minutes. We are considering that a win. While he still may hate bedtime, he really does love getting books read to him. His favorites include any with Sesame Street characters in them. Sesame Street is also his favorite show and often times you'll find him dancing to their various skits.


    While I think he was the sweetest and easiest baby, he sure has given me a run for my money during his second year. He's the reason that our house has baby proofing everywhere. He's the reason all the crayons are broke in half and there are scribble marks on the walls. He's the reason our bookcases are anchored to the wall with screws. But he's also the reason I smile ear to ear and the reason my heart skips a beat. I love his little kisses.


    Despite the mess, the constant crying, and the frequent tears, I can't imagine my life without this kid and I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for us.  Bring it! 

    I love you Robert.

    XOXO mommy.

    Friday, February 13, 2015

    Frugal Friday #2: Mindless Spending


    Welcome to another edition of Frugal Friday. If you missed my first post from a couple of weeks ago, you can catch it here: Frugal Friday #1. In that post I talked about how I feel clutter is costing us money, real money. I'm guessing many of you reading can relate.


    This week I thought I would talk about another area that costs my family money: buying stuff we don't need. I can't tell you the number of times I have gone to the store (Target specifically) and bought something I didn't need because, "it was a good deal" or "it was on clearance". Well, I'm about to share a big fat secret with you, prepare yourself.



    If you don't need the item any cost above $0 is NOT a good deal. Let that sink in. It is NOT a good deal. Let me give you an example of where I purchased an item I don't need. In order to make room for a recently installed dishwasher (my first one EVER!), I lost a kitchen cabinet. With this loss, I needed to reorganize a few cabinets to make room for my homeless items. In my cleaning/reorganizing, I found fifteen insulated lunch bags. FIFTEEN! We only have two people in our house that need to even pack a lunch, my hubby and I (my oldest son gets free lunch at school thanks to a grant his school district receives for all students). I of course only use 1-2 of these bags and my husband doesn't use any, he opts for the classy system of shoving his food in his briefcase. Sigh.


    Too many hats and mittens for one family!
    Ok, so I found these fifteen bags in my cabinets in October. During the month of December I found myself at OfficeMax and they had an insulated bag on clearance for $3. It is a freezable sandwich bag.... I don't have one of those .....and it was only $3.....and it was a super cute pattern. I bought the stupid thing. Why? Why? Why? I know, it is only $3, but these little purchase are what add up and I didn't NEED the silly thing. In January I did this at Target with crib sheets. We already have 4, I bought 2 more because they were on clearance for $2.98. Ugh, why?


    I am especially guilty of these mindless purchases at Target. Their clearance aisles are so irresistible. I find all kinds of goodies all the time but before you know it, your quick run in for your prescriptions has you standing in line with $50 of "stuff" in your cart. My husband has this problem at Menard's. He goes for nails and comes home with crap we don't "need" all the time: hand soap, batteries, rugs(!),household cleaners. Heck, my garage and basement are full of these silly thoughtless spending trips.

    Look at all those lint rollers!


    So we're making a real effort this year not to make these purchases and to ask ourselves, "do we really need this item" before making the purchase. Just asking yourself that simple question before making the purchase can help. Another way to cut back on mindless purchasing: make less trips to the store. Wait till you have a list of items you need instead of going for one thing or going because you're bored. If less trips isn't enough, ask your partner to make the trip to the store for you instead. Swap trips, for us that means my husband may need to go to Target and I go to Menard's. I won't be as tempted to fill my cart with unneeded stuff at the home improvement store and he will not do such mindless shopping as I do at Target....heck, I don't think he knows where their baby aisle even is! 


    We also created a "do not buy" list that we both have access to on our phones when we are at the store. We have items on our "do not buy" list that fall into this mindless spending category and our "clutter" spending category (related to the first Frugal Friday post). Here are some of the items on our list:  batteries, hand soap, lotion, toothbrushes. Very similarly, you could keep an inventory list of items you have, I could see this being really benificial with food items. How many times have you found yourself buying a spice for a recipe because you weren't sure you had any at home but when you get home you already have 3 bottles of that same spice....Ugh, molasses anyone?....it will only take me till ETERNITY to use those bottles.

    So in closing, give some thought to your mindless spending and find ways to reduce or eliminate it before it becomes a real budget buster!