Monday, July 27, 2015

Budgeting for the (Un) Expected pt. 1

Recently, I have discovered that I need to take control of my life and also let go of some things.  I am working on a series of posts on getting my life in order.  Up first: Budgeting...

Budget.  Just the word brings chills to most people.  To be honest, I hate budgeting for my family. There, I said it. I hate it. "Why? Don't you do budgets for a living? I mean, aren't they your job?" Why, yes. Yes, they are. But budgets at my job are a) MUCH larger and b) there are built in contingencies for the unexpected. When you are working a budget of a much grander scale than a personal/family budget, it's well, easier. Plus, I don't set the budget. I just work within the confines of the budget. I make sure everything is correct and looks neat at the end of the year. These budgets, they are my jam!

Back to personal budgets. A personal budget (or family budget, in my case) is a whirlwind of chaos. Right now, we don't know what all is coming in. There are no guarantees for us this month or next. When you start to set up a budget, the first thing you need to account for is your income, but when your income is variable it's like playing Russian Roulette with a loaded bazooka. It would be stupid and could be deadly.


What am I doing about this budget thing?  I'm starting a budget binder.

Isn't it pretty?

I am trying a variety of printables, because well, I love printables and have a Pinteresting problem. ;) The budget printable I'm utilizing right now is from Thirty Handmade Days and I'll let you know how it works for me.  Do you have a favorite budget printable? Link it in the comments!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Caress Forever Collection Body Wash (Influenster Post)

I was given the opportunity to try a new body wash by Caress for free in exchange for my honest opinion through Influenster's VoxBox program. It's from the Caress Forever Collection in Love Forever. The Forever Collection boasts 12-hours of continuous fragrance and they really delivered. 

The body wash comes in a standard style package, although the bottle is opaque black. It looks a little more luxurious than your standard drugstore body wash. 

Body Wash
The actual wash is a deep garnet color - I was scared it would drain my shower curtain or my white bath at! It's shimmery and smells lovely, floral with a hint of musk. I thought it was smell awful on me - I have a terrible time trying any products that are very "feminine" smelling. They usually make me smell nauseating - a cross between a 1800s whore house and fish market. Not sexy. Love Forever smells really strong straight out of the bottle, but once it sits on the skin it soaks and mixes really well with my skin chemistry. Not only do I like the smell, but I find Hubs sniffing me when he thinks I'm not paying attention. 

The feel is pretty standard for a body wash, smooth and moisturizing for a short period of time. I have really dry skin on my body, so most body washes don't leave "lasting" moisture. Caress Forever Collection's moisture lasts just as well as my normal body wash. 

Lasting Fragrance
So I figured, "12-hours of lasting fragrance was a joke. There's no way it could last 12-hours." It actually lasts closer to 24. No seriously, I still smell pretty nice the next day. 

Overall Impression
I'm actually quite happy with this body wash. It's definitely one I'll keep in mind once I run out of the one supplied by Walgreens and Influenster. I'm shocked by how much I like the scent and how well it lasts. I love the color of the body wash and that it feels silky when going on the skin. I give this body wash 4 out of 5 stars for great value, over all feel, and delivering on the long lasting scent. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Making Time

This proves how bad I am at making time - I started this blog a week ago and I'm just now getting around to finishing it.

So, I pretty much suck at time management. I always have. I'm more than a little flighty and easily sucked in to things that really don't matter in the grand scheme of life. I tend to get wrapped up in whatever is going on - be it a book, television show, or the newest toddler crisis. Lately, I feel like I just can't win and that kind of defeatest attitude makes living intentionally really, REALLY hard.  All the life stress just means that while I'm not get anything done around the house, I'm also not doing things for my family or myself.  I feel like I'm constantly lamenting ,"but I don't have time to do (insert thing here)." 

I have decided the only way to actually get anything done is to MAKE time for things, because as much as I wish I was able to, I cannot do all of the things without planning and a healthy dose of hard work.  Today, I am planning, or at least making a "To Do" list so I can ultimately make it a "Been Done" list.  There are the usual household things - dishes, laundry, clean, etc - but I'm also adding things like build your new business (, play with your children, sew/craft, spend time with just hubs, spend time with your friends, and take a few minutes each day to zone/meditate/pray. 

I feel like the list is simple, but it's really daunting.  This intention thing, is HARD. Some day, I hope I can make time for things without feeling like I'm sacrificing something important (hello, Mom Guilt!), but I realize that if I don't make time for the "other" things (friends, playtime, Hubs, myself) I'm not living the fullest life.  It's more important to me that my children have a happy, involved parent than a sink without dishes in it.  I'll never have a spotless house (unless I can afford a maid), but I can have a house full of love, joy, adventure, and comfort.  I just have to MAKE time.

So, dear reader... what's on YOUR "To Do" list?


Friday, June 6, 2014

My Own Worst Enemy

Mom Guilt.  I has it. I has LOTS of it.  (Yes, I know that's not proper grammar, and neither is this.)

Every day I berate myself for what I should be doing or what I should have done.  I'm getting a guilt complex about my guilt complex.  I am tired of feeling guilty ALL THE TIME.  I am tired of yelling at my husband or my child(ren). I am tired of having a messy house.  I am tired of the mice in said house that we cannot get rid of. I am tired of being financially unstable.  I am just plain TIRED.  And what does being tired do to a mom - it gives you Mom Guilt, because you cannot do ALL OF THE THINGS.  I'm not trying to be Super Mom here, I'm just trying to get ahead on something.

I am trying so hard to be intentional about things in my life, and I feel like I'm failing miserably (see post #1).  So, what do I do?  I add more to the pile 'o Mom Guilt.  "Why didn't you wash dishes tonight? You really need to take care of the overflowing pile in the sink." "There is still a huge pile of laundry in the family room that needs to be folded and put away - you're such a lazy mess, you couldn't even find underwear this morning."  Eventually, I found clean underwear, but that's not the point.  The point is that I keep trying to make small goals and find that I am too tired at the end of the day to even attempt to accomplish anything. 

However, I did get two things done yesterday evening - I washed some pump parts and bottles so I could pump for 2.0 and I swept up the floor so Hubs could sidecar the crib for me.  I am grateful for his help, because there is no way I could have done it by myself.  He did all the heavy lifting and hard work.  I cleaned up the floor and held doors while he put them back on (removing doors was WAY easier than taking the crib apart).  All of this greatness to help me get a better night's sleep and we still snapped at each other because we are communicating like crap (see TIRED).  So, add that to the guilt pile. 

The worst part about all of this Mom (Wife) Guilt?  It's all self imposed - I am my own worst enemy - no one is telling me I'm a crappy mom (wife).  Everyone is supporting me and trying to find ways to relive some of the mom guilt/stress.  I keep trying to resort back to my Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training - don't dwell, find something happy to focus on, if a negative thought pops up combat it with your awesomeness (okay, so that's not exactly CBT, but it helps sometimes) - but I am failing miserably (again, see post #1).  At this point, I am afraid my Mom Guilt is less standard Mom Guilt and more Post Partum Depression, and that is not cool, man.  NOT COOL

So, today I am saying to hell with Mom Guilt.  I WILL get some things done this weekend, and anything that doesn't get done will get done next week. I may even carve out some me time.  I mean, I am in desperate need of a pedicure and I have some pretty polishes just itching to be on my toes.

What do you do about Mom (or Dad) Guilt?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Failure is an option, but it's not the only option

verb (used without object)
1. to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved: The experiment failed because of poor planning.
2. to receive less than the passing grade or mark in an examination, class, or course of study: He failed in history.
3. to be or become deficient or lacking; be insufficient or absent; fall short: Our supplies failed.


I fail. 

Before you get all, "oh, I'm sure you don't, you're great!" bear with me - I. FAIL. Every. Single. Day. And that is okay. 

Failing is okay, because I am human. I am not meant to succeed at everything; how else will I learn and grow? How will I teach my children that it's okay to lose (not not win) that game or to be the best drummer/singer/dancer/mathlete? Failing is a part of life; it is not a pretty part and sometimes it hurts like hell.  

It has taken me 30 years to learn, understand, and accept that I will fail, but that it does not define me. This post is not about being down on myself - it's about recognizing that I will make mistakes. I will stumble. I will fail, but I will also succeed. Some dats the successes will outweigh the failures and some dats they will not, but unless I actually try I'll never know the outcome. 

I'm not looking for validation, but for accountability. I have always been the kind of person that puts in a little effort and if that effort doesn't pay off immediately, I quit. I was so afraid of failing that I never really gave anything a chance. There are a lot of changes I need to make in my life so I can be a better wife/mother/daughter/sister/friend/employee/person. Some of these changes are big and will take time and others are simple and just require a little effort. 

This month my goals are:
Get a handle on our budget
Put together my coupon binder
Start grocery shopping with intention
Put together a weekly meal plan 
Finish those dishes ( you know, the ones you hide when company comes over)
Fold AND put away every load of laundry 

I know there are more things I need to do this month, but I think these are lofty enough goals to start out with. 

Now, what I need from you, dear reader, keep me accountable - don't let me fail/give up/ignore my goals. If you have ideas/tips/tricks I welcome them. 

I got this idea from one of my favorite bloggers - she is working on not only living but thriving intentionally, and that is my ultimate goal. So let's help each other not only live but thrive and not let any failures bring us down.