New and Improved Budget Binder

The old one…..

IMG_0164 I put this binder together in early 2013 after I took over paying the bills.  I needed something a little more than just putting bills in a bucket and risking not getting something paid on time.  It made my brain crazy to do it that way.  So I set off to print each month from iCalendar.  I created dividers out of scrapbook cardstock, packing tape, and “labels” that I just printed and cut out.  This helped tremendously to help me know when to pay what.  Also, I kept the bills for the year in case I needed go back and look at a previous bill for anything.

Now, with finances getting a little tighter, I need to better keep track of everything.  So I created some budget planning sheets.  I searched the internet looking for budget planners and none of them seemed to suit our needs.  We get paid weekly, but Berkley receives bonuses at different times of the year and it was just easier to create my own since not all our weeks or months are the same as the rest.

  • Monthly page to track our income and expense.
  • Detailed expenses for the month
  • Year in review
  • Money set aside each week to take care of bigger bills or unexpecteds.

Now, this is what will work for us (hopefully).  I’ve been keeping track  for a couple months now in just a regular notebook so I could make sure of how I wanted to design it.  If you think they will work for you, give them a try.  You should be able to save the image to print it.  If you like them but want them all blank, send me an email ( and I’ll customize them and email them back.

I also switched the binder (and dividers) to one I had used for a different project.  No sense using a boring ol’ black notebook when I have this pretty one not being used.  Also, since the “new” one doesn’t have pockets in the inside covers (the dividers have pockets) I used a binder clip to hold the checkbook in the front cover.  The only thing that could be better is if the “new” binder was 1.5″ instead of just 1″.  But I am not complaining, I did this all without spending money!  See, you can organize without for FREE!

Why is it that we are never satisfied?

Well, I guess I shouldn’t include EVERYONE in that statement.  But I think to a certain extent, deep down, all people are wishing for just one thing more, even if it’s small.

If I lost 5 more pounds…

If we had more money…

I wish I had some coffee…

Why doesn’t my kid eat better…

I wish I wrote like her…

Why can’t I keep my house clean…

I wish I was more creative…

I’m hungry…

Ok, so these are some of mine and I’m sure you have some of your own.


I have found myself thinking this way for a long time.  Not necessarily these exact same things, but many more.  I tell myself that I am more than blessed with what I have.  And if it’s meant to be, I will continue to be blessed.

{However sometimes, the constant want for something more pushes me to be better.}

So I don’t think that thinking this way is entirely bad.  It’s when it starts to consume me, make me put myself down, or even envy others.

Don’t get me wrong, I count my many blessings each and every day and oftentimes more than once per day.  I am living my dream life!  But as in any situation, we get what we want, then we start to want more.  Why is it that we are never satisfied?

I find myself seeing others able to have things that I want and I wonder why I can’t have that too.  Then I hear my ten year old self saying, “it’s not fair!” Then my almost 32 year old self pipes in and barks back, “life isn’t fair!”

{Does anyone else talk to themselves, or is it just me???}

Why am I writing this and sharing it with the world?  I guess I just needed to vent and maybe someone else thinks like this and I’m not the only one.

Maybe it’s to say that it’s okay to want more, but to use it for motivation instead of self-pity.

I got so much recognition for my weightloss journey that I started in June for our trip to The Keys (that’s this coming week!!!).  But it’s been over 2 weeks and I haven’t been eating well or exercising.  I lost my momentum.  I’ve been wondering why I can’t find the motivation to get up and get my sweat on.  I’ve been down in the dumps and this is kind of why.  I’ve had all this on my mind because there are certain things that I just wish I had but I guess that they’re not meant to be so I should just let it go.

It hasn’t been completely bad though, I’ve been finding joy in the chaos of my simple life.  And in taking more of a Type B personality approach to life has actually helped me to accomplish more than when I’m Type A-ing it.

{Is it possible for one to be both Type A and B???  Because I truly think I am both.}




So I guess, if I could bestow any advice it would be to enjoy life to the fullest.  Be happy in what you have.  Be happy for others.


This entry was posted in General.

My First…First Aid Kit

I’m actually not sure if this is a “first aid kit” or just a way to organize my mess of first aid components.

IMG_0143I didn’t take a picture of all of this mess under my bathroom sink because, well, ain’t nobody wanna see that!  Just know that it was both in and around the designated drawer for first aid things.  I also found that I had a full big box of band-aids that I didn’t know I had.  So there was more than one reason for creating this First Aid Kit.

  1. To Organize my first aid stuff.
  2. To have something quick to grab if we go on a trip or something.

Ok, so I guess there were just two reasons.  BUT they are both very good reasons.  I do love a good organization project.  And we are going down to The Keys this weekend and I figured I can just grab this kit and take it with us, instead of grabbing a few band-aids and the Neosporin.  Not like I plan on someone getting hurt, but better safe than sorry.

So as you can see from the picture up top, I had a mess.  I also went through the safety kits that I had gotten for Ayden when he was a baby and merged the items with this first aid kit.  I separated the items into piles and then got out small zip top baggies (from the craft store) and put the items in the bags.


Maybe one of my favorite parts was to use white mailing labels that I had on hand and a red Sharpie pen and I got to labeling.

Finished product looked like this.

IMG_0159IMG_0160Now I WAS planning on using the diaper wipe container.  Because it was white and I WAS going to put a red cross on the top with Washi tape.  BUT the stuff didn’t come close to fitting.  I could have make a “mini” kit in the wipe container.  But that would have defeated the purpose of having everything in one container.

Also, I really wanted to use a fishing tackle box like this…



BUT, I needed to find something that didn’t cause me to spend any money.  So I found the basket in my scrapbook room and shoved everything into it.  Maybe in the future I can update it to a tackle box.  I get way too excited about the separate compartments to NOT have one…one day.  Plus the fact that my husband is a fishes and it would just make sense!  I will be keeping my eye out for something cheap…err..uh…inexpensive!

Avocado Ranch Dressing

I am not very experienced in the making of homemade dressings.  I have experimented with the oil/vinegar types that we put sliced cucumbers and tomatoes in.  I have done different variations of that, but it’s pretty simple.  And I just put different flavors (or the same) to get the taste I want.  But for something like a ranch dressing, I had no idea what to do.  So of course, I looked to Pinterest.  Then I remembered that Clinton Kelly on The Chew mentioned that he had a recipe on their website.  So that’s where I got my main idea.  I made a half recipe since I knew I would be the only one eating it.  I bet the hub would try it if he didn’t know there was avocado in it.  It really doesn’t taste that much different than before I put the avocado in it.  Oh well, all the more for me!!!!!

I roughly threw the mayo and sour cream (not exactly “throw” just mean that I didn’t actually measure with a measuring cup, just the lines on my immersion blender cup).  I did measure the spices as to not mess up the ratios.

  • 1/2 tablespoon Parsley (chopped) I used dried and made sure to pinch it to break it up and release the oils.
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Onion powder
  • 1/16  teaspoon Dried thyme (I didn’t have this so I put in a little Italian Seasoning)
  • 1/2  cup Mayonnaise (I used Hellmann’s with Olive Oil)
  • 1/4  cup Sour cream (I used Publix Light)
  • about 2/3 a Haas Avocado (the small blacker ones)


Now, are you ready for it???  The hard part???

I put the mayo in my immersion blender cup, then the sour cream.  I put in my spices (don’t forget to pinch the dry spices).  I blended with my immersion blender.  Tasted and added about 1/8 tsp of ground red pepper.  Then I put in about 2/3 of the avocado.  Why only 2/3???  Well, I don’t think it was all the way ripe, so I left out the part that didn’t look ripe.  Blend until smooth.  THAT simple.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can totally use a regular blender or a food processor.

Just talking about it, makes me want more.  Hmmm…what can I eat now that I can dip in the leftovers???

I think next time, I may want to try to use a buttermilk based dressing with the avocado.  And make some southwestern egg rolls!!!  Yum…


4 Weeks into my 8 week journey…

Well, I’m just past the half way point in my 8 week journey.  Just a quick recap for anyone who didn’t read my last post about my 2 week progress. June 1st, I found myself exactly 8 weeks from our vacation to The Keys to spend a week in a bathing suit.  I decided to give myself a pretty rigorous exercise regimen to see how much I fat I could burn and muscle I could build in that 8 weeks (while also training for my first 5K).  The first week, I did really good!  Second week, started to slack off on little things here and there.  Third week…little more slacking.  And the 4th week, about the same amount of slacking.  Don’t get me wrong, I was still keeping up with my workouts, just not doing all of the exercises each day like I had planned.  I guess I planned it a little too rigorous for me.  But I took my 4 week progress pictures and I did see a difference.


I haven’t had the best start to the 2nd leg of this 8 week journey and I look at these 4 week pics often to remind myself how far I’ve come in 4 weeks and that I want to see more of a change from 4-8 weeks than I did in 0-4 weeks.

This is the longest I have stayed on any kind of workout plan other than just walking to burn calories.  I have added more workouts to my Pinterest account and am always looking for different ones to see which ones are more effective than others and to not get bored.

I am here to tell you not to give up, to keep going when you don’t feel like sticking to your “diet” plan or “workout” plan.  If I can do it, honestly…anybody can.  haha

So, I had planned to do do my focus areas all 6 days, Sunday-Friday (Arms, Abs, Legs, repeat).  Since I had a hard time keeping up with that, I have replanned for July.  I want to focus more on my core (not ignoring my Arms and Legs tho).  It seemed like the days I ran (every other day), I was a little too worn out to do my “focus” area workout.  And now that my running intervals are getting longer, I feel even less like doing them.  So on my running off days, I am going to do less cardio (15ish min to get my heart rate up) then core and a focus area.  For example a running day will be the C25k plus arm and plank challenge.  And a non running day will be alternating cardio + core & arms or core & legs + arm & plank challenges.  This will get a core workout every day, but only intense core workouts every other day.  So..we’ll see how good I can keep up with this plan and where I’ll be in 3+ more weeks from today.


4 week recap measurements:

Upper waist (smallest) -0.5″

Lower waist (largest)   -0.25″

Hips                                -1.0″

Butt                                 -1.5″

Right thigh                    -0.5

Left thigh                       -0.5″


For a total of -4.25″

and a decrease of 2.7 pounds

(This is why I measure.  I would have been so disappointed knowing I didn’t even lose 3 pounds in 4 weeks!  But the proof is in the tape)

And since this blog is more than just my weightloss journey, I have some exciting things coming up to share with you.  Like…my exciting organization project (using diaper boxes), chocolate chip cookies on the grill (that will be on a cheat day, so don’t worry), and some craftiness.  And also, seeing if adding calories to my daily intake helped with fat loss (say what? eating more calories to loose weight??? You must be crazy!!)

Stay tuned!

This entry was posted in General.
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