Cash Envelope System

Cash Envelope System

A few days ago I shared that my husband and I are currently taking the Financial Peace University classes at our church. Part of Dave Ramsey’s system is to start using cash for as much as you can, at least during the beginning. At first I saw it only has a major inconvenience. However, I will say that it really does make sense and it really does work. People tend to have more of an emotional connection to cash and it makes it harder to part with. It hurts! Our first time eating out using cash was a new experience for sure. After the kids and my husband figured out what they wanted, I was calculating how much I could spend for my meal and still have money to cover taxes and tip. But that wasn’t the only thing that hurt. The food was mediocre at best and the service was even worse. It REALLY hurt to hand over our hard earned cash for that. It left an impression for sure.

Grocery Cash Envelope System

Now the FPU class includes a Dave Ramsey cash envelope system, but I tend to be quite girly at times. I’ve found that I use things more often when they’re girly and pretty. I got the inspiration for this system from Mom Needs a Clone over on YouTube. I followed her instructions on how to make these really nice cash envelopes and it couldn’t have been easier. You can watch her video on that here. She also sells these envelopes in her Etsy shop for those who don’t have the time or desire to make their own. I already had most of the material on hand so I decided to make my own.

Hair Cash Envelope System

I took a dry erase marker and wrote the amount for each envelope on the back. You can use permanent marker if you like; it will wipe off with a cleaner. I chose a dry erase marker for now because I’m still working on some of the amounts. Cash Envelope System

Here’s a quick look at several of the envelopes I have. My husband thinks that I have too many options, but that’s just the type of person I am. Some people only do envelopes for the big items like groceries and eating out. I’m a type A person that likes to be overly organized. It’s one of my strengths, and weaknesses. I have all of my envelopes in my binder for now, but some will be moved to our safe later. These sinking funds will start adding up and I don’t want to carry around all of that cash. Here’s a list of my many envelopes:

Groceries
Meals Out
Date Night
Childcare
Family Night
Kids Allowance
Hair Cuts
School
Dry Cleaning
Pharmacy
Toiletries
Cosmetics
Clothing
Tags & Registration
Oil Changes
Auto Maintenance
Vacation
Birthdays
Anniversary
Holidays
Household Items
Misc

I don’t have an envelope for our blow money (or allowance) or our tithing. We keep our blow money in our wallets and I shared a few days ago that I keep our tithes in my spiritual binder.

Date Night Cash Envelopes

Have you done the cash envelope system for your family? If so, what are some of your tips and tricks that helped you stay on track and on budget??

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Financial Peace University

Financial Peace University

Spiritual Binder

Spiritual Binder

Spiritual Binder

Spiritual Binder

These last few years as I’ve been growing deeper in my faith I’ve been looking for tools and resources that will help me along my journey. I heard about the idea of a spiritual binder from YouTube. I modeled my personal binder after the one that Christine Pearson showed on her channel. You can see that video here. I’ve been making small changes here and there as I use it to make it work better for me. I placed some simple yet pretty scrapbook paper in the front, spine, and back of the binder to spruce it up a bit. Spiritual Binder

I like using this Avery Protect & Store Mini 3 Ring binder. I keep prayer cards, tithing cards, and my family picture in the plastic pouch. The night before church I’ll fill out my cards and check. That way I have it all ready for church the next morning. I also like having my family picture in there because it’s a constant reminder of everything I have to be thankful for.

Here’s a glance at my first set of tabs: Bible Study, Verses, Gratitude, Prayer, and Sermon. The Bible Study and Sermon are where I jot down notes of what stood out or spoke to me. As I find a scripture verse that resonates with me, I write it with my favorite verses. I don’t use the gratitude and prayer as much as I would like to. I started off writing in there daily, but now it’s mostly weekly.

Spiritual Binder

And here’s my second set of tabs: Worship, Sites, Inspire, Read/Listen, and Tithing. My worship tab is kind of a work in process. It’s for lyrics and poems that may resonate with you, but I’ve been using it as more of a resource page. I have power tools, positive projects, study tips, etc. For the sites, I write down any websites that I hear about during sermons or bible studies that I may want to look up later. Next I write down all of my favorite inspirational quotes and then any books I want to read. And lastly I keep track of all of my tithes and check numbers.

Spiritual Binder

In the back of my binder I just keep some of my daily affirmations and verses I’ve been working on memorizing.

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Spring Bucket List

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my to do lists. I’m pretty sure I have a list for everything in my life, and my bucket lists are no different. I have one giant overall Life Bucket List for all the things I want to accomplish in my lifetime. And I have seasonal bucket lists for things that I want to do with the family, or primarily my children. I love following Lisa Marie over at Paper and Glam and how she really incorporates seasonal living into her life. So one of the small things that I do is come up with seasonal bucket lists. And I know I’m running out of time to get these all done, so I better get to it! Happy Spring!!

Spring Bucket List

2015 Fall Bucket List

Fall Bucket List

Summer Schdule

Summer Schedule

Ohio Local Eats

As I’m getting ready to say good bye to Ohio, I can’t help but become a little nogastic. This place has been home for the last 4 years. And as sad as it may sound, I will definitely miss some of my favorite local spots around here. What can I say, I’m a foodie at heart. So as a farewell to my Ohio Local Eats, I wanted to do a roundup of some of my favorite spots.

Lily’s Bistro is in the Oregon District in downtown Dayton. It has been my long time standing favorite restaurant. The atmosphere and staff are always pleasant. The array of cuisine has never disappointed me. I love the seasonal menu using only the best of local ingredients. And did I mention their Disco Fries are amazing!

Lily's Bistro

Dublin’s Pub is also in the Oregon District of downtown Dayton. When I was hired at a local company in Dayton a few years back, this was where they treated me to lunch. It quickly became a favorite since it was located close to work, but also because the prices were low, the food was delicious, and the staff was always prompt and courteous. We took my husband’s best friend there for lunch one day, and he quickly requested to go back for dinner that night.

Dublin's Pub

Foy’s Rock and Roll Grill is located on Main Street in downtown Fairborn. It’s literally right down the road for me. I usually get their club sandwich or their daily lunch plate. I don’t think I’ve found a better lasagna at any diner. My only complaint is that I wish I would have found it sooner!

Foy's Rock and Roll Grill Fairborn OH

Picture from Foy’s Rock and Roll Grill Facebook

Chantilly’s Cream Dessert Shop is also located on Main Street in downtown Fairborn. I’ve only been here a few times this last year but it always impresses. I love the cozy, dainty décor and the owner is incredibly sweet. I’ve had quite a few sandwiches for lunch but I mainly love their pasta salad. It’s creamy, savory, and has just the right amount of kick at the end. I was also very thankful that the owner allowed me to come in for countless refills while I was outside for a craft show.

Chantillys Cream Shop Fairborn OH

The Inside Scoop is another local find that I wish I knew about sooner. It’s a few doors down from Chantilly’s in downtown Fairborn. This cute little ice cream shop has a nice variety of flavors to choose from and the prices simply cannot be beat. It has quickly become a favorite past time for my family. We usually head that way on the weekend after dinner to enjoy a small scoop while we catch up with each other from our busy week.

The Inside Scoop Fairborn OH

Picture from The Inside Scoop Facebook

Crossroads BBQ is tucked away on the corner of Fundenburg and Colonel Glenn in Fairborn. Its owners took over a small Italian restaurant and is now serving up some of the best bbq in town. The portions are large enough that I have my kids share a plate. The prices are pretty average but I don’t mind since the quality and amount of food I get is good. Usually if I’m at Crossroads I’m sitting by myself on one of the high tops in the corner watching Food Network. It’s become my quiet little getaway.

Crossroad's BBQ

 

And I cannot forget my all-time food truck here, Pa’s Pork. Their food is so amazingly delicious that I actually had them come out and cater my vow renewal wedding this year. Need I say more? I didn’t get a picture of the food at the wedding since it was devoured so quickly, but I found an old picture from a few years ago when Pa’s stopped by my work for lunch.

pas-pork

If any of my local people in the Dayton/Fairborn area are reading this, please be sure to stop by these great restaurants and check them out. If I left your favorite off, please be sure to leave it in the comments below!

Finding Purpose in the Static

Looking back, this year has been one for the books for me. From new friends, new jobs, and soon a new home….things have been quite crazy here. It’s really amazing how much can change in one short year. I just wanted to take a few minutes to share some of the major steps I’ve taken recently.

IMT Fit Life

By far, the biggest change in my life has been becoming a certified personal trainer and opening my own business, IMT Fit Life. Around this time last year I was fed up and tired with my life. Nothing brought me joy anymore. I walked away from several friends and several volunteer projects so that I could really re-evaluate what I wanted out of life. As I sat at home, I prayed. A lot. I prayed for peace on my decisions and for the path to take next. I prayed for wisdom to shift through all the static around me. Well, you know what they say; be careful what you wish for.

ace-cerified-personal-trainer

To my surprise, I slowly started to feel a calling back towards fitness and nutrition. I pushed back a bit but soon things began falling into place. I was given the opportunity to earn my certification for free from one of the leading fitness educators. From there everything slowly worked itself out and I was presented with several opportunities ranging from working with my local Parks & Recreation office to the USO and other fitness facilities. It’s been an amazing ride and it has just begun. I feel truly blessed to start on a career path that will allow me to truly help people make a difference in their lives. If you want to know about my journey to becoming a certified personal trainer, I’ll be sharing a post later this week on my fitness page.

Wildtree

But I also took another unexpected step as well this year. After years of saying that I would never join any direct sales company, I signed up to be a rep for Wildtree. For those unfamiliar with Wildtree, it is a company that specializes in providing all natural, organic spices, cooking oils, and mixes. I purchased a few items to try and I instantly fell in love with them. As a new personal trainer, the nutritious and cost efficient options were just what I was looking for and something that I could back 100%. I’ll be sharing some of my experiences and recipes on here a bit later. Here’s a quick look at some of the products.

Wildtee Essentials

This year has been incredibly difficult but very rewarding. I’ve always felt a bit lost or drifting through in the past. So to be able to tune into my faith and listen, I believe that I finally found the path I was meant to travel. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I urge you to pray, to listen to your faith, or even the universe. Get away from the static noise of everyone around you, and most importantly keep an open mind. I was not a popular person this time last year because of the changes I started going through. It was a tough road to travel. But I can say without a doubt, that I am much happier with my life and with myself in general these days. I also believe that everyone has a unique purpose for their life. And if you just take the time to look inside, then you’ll find what you’re looking for.

101 in 1,001 ~April Recap

My 101 in 1001

Oh wow! It has been 6 months since I’ve been on here sharing my life with everyone. To be honest, I was considering hanging up my blog for good. These last 6 months have completely turned my life upside down and I’ve been taking time to myself to regain my sense of self, so to speak. Some may already know, but I’ve felt compelled to follow a different path in life. I will share that story in another post. For now, I’m checking in with my 101 things in 1,001 days.

I started our Christmas savings fund and I’m contributing to it twice a month. Next, I started a small inside herb garden. I have a few pots of cilantro, chives, and parsley growing in my kitchen. I’ve marked off my MBA because I’ve decided on a completely different route. And lastly I was able to give 100% tip one night when I took my kids out for dinner.

  1. Pay off all my debt, excluding our mortgage.
  2. Build our emergency fund to 3-6 months of expenses.
  3. Start a Christmas savings account. Jan 2016
  4. Start my kids college funds.
  5. Gain 100 followers on my blog.
  6. Post 2 videos to my YouTube channel a week for a month.
  7. Have 3 blog posts published a week for a month. ~Started on
  8. Start an Etsy shop, or a shop on my blog June 2015
  9. Make my daughter a toy box.
  10. Grow a herb garden. April 2016
  11. Make (and can) my own spaghetti sauce.
  12. Read 40 books completely and not half way through. ~Made book list
  13. Go 1 entire week (including the weekend) without eating out.
  14. Take my husband away without the kids for a weekend.
  15. Learn a new craftJuly 2015
  16. Make at new recipe.
  17. Lose 20 pounds.
  18. Take a yoga class a few times.
  19. Go a full day with no technology.
  20. Take the Canadian road trip I planned.
  21. Take the kids on a Disney cruise.
  22. Join the local VFW.
  23. Attend a photography workshop.
  24. Host a cooking class.
  25. Make a memory jar on Jan 1 and read everything in it on Dec 31.
  26. Learn to quilt.
  27. Take a weekend trip to Vegas.
  28. Write a cookbook.
  29. Go zip lining.
  30. Make a jar full of rocks with my favorite Bible verses written on them.
  31. Go on a road trip with some of my girlfriends.
  32. Host a huge Halloween masquerade party. ~Started planning
  33. Rent a beach house for a week.
  34. Swim with dolphins.
  35. Go camping with my kids.
  36. Have a picnic in the park.
  37. Make yogurt popsicle with my kids.
  38. Pay a strangers restaurant bill.
  39. Go on a hot air balloon ride.
  40. Learn to ice skate.
  41. Attend the Kentucky Derby.
  42. Take a pin-up photo shoot.
  43. Prepare a care package for a homeless person.
  44. Build a blanket fort.  August 2015
  45. Go to Country Concert.
  46. Make every recipe from 1 of my cookbooks.
  47. Take a Segway tour of a city.
  48. Go to a monster truck rally.
  49. Take a self-defense class.
  50. Make pasta from scratch.
  51. Go one month without shopping except for necessities.
  52. Read 5 biographies. ~Made List
  53. Learn how to tie a tie.
  54. Start a new blog series. May 2015
  55. Give 5 “Just Because Gifts” 1~July 2015; 1~August 2015
  56. Visit Chicago.
  57. Make sushi with my new kit.
  58. Run in a color run.
  59. Have a spa day.
  60. Host a Vision Board party.
  61. Attend a blog conference.
  62. Establish a family tradition. May 2015
  63. Write a guest post for another blogger.
  64. Have a guest post on my blog.
  65. Attend an Alabama home football game.
  66. Host a blog giveaway.
  67. Put $20 in savings for every goal accomplished.
  68. Visit 5 new museums. AF Museum~July 2015
  69. Go on another marriage retreat.
  70. Stop drinking soda for 1 week.
  71. Learn to make a burlap wreath.
  72. Determine my MBA major. Nov 2015
  73. Take a photo booth picture with my hubs.
  74. Go snowboarding.
  75. Have family photos taken every year.
  76. Visit a new stateAugust 2015
  77. Go geocaching.
  78. Go to 3 new festivals.
  79. Be able to do 10 pullups.
  80. Create a business plan.
  81. Make an editorial calendar. May 2015
  82. Order business cardsJuly 2015
  83. Create a media kit.
  84. Have 5 photos accepted to FoodGawker.
  85. Attend a women’s bible retreat.
  86. Make a list of 101 positive things about myself. ~Started on
  87. Make my bed every single day for a month.
  88. Put aside $50 a month for 6 months and go on a shopping spree.
  89. Write a letter for each of my children and place it with my will.
  90. Send a message in a bottle.
  91. Host a favorites party.
  92. Do a craft show.  August 2015
  93. Go golfing with my hubs.
  94. Take each kid on a mom date.
  95. Plan 12 dates (1 for each month) for the hubs and I.
  96. Buy a silhouette cameo.
  97. Make 2 weeks worth of freezer meals.
  98. Leave a 100% tip. Feb 2016
  99. Have poker night.
  100. Journal every night for a month.
  101. Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years.

6 Tips to Remember When Potty Training

Manic Monday Blog Series

It’s getting to be that time again. I’m cringing at the thought of it. My evil mommy nemesis. What part of motherhood can make me cringe at the very thought of it? Potty training. Baby girl is now 2 and is really starting to show the signs of being ready to start potty training. And as awful as I may sound, this is the one part of parenting that I wish I could fast forward. It took me almost a year to get my son potty trained. Within that year, we moved twice, my husband left on an extended business trip, and I started working outside the home. With these constant changes, it was very difficult to potty train. I’m hoping that I don’t run into the same road blocks with my daughter. So here’s some tips that I learned from my first potty training experience.

  1. Prep Yourself! While many of us are so busy watching our toddlers to make sure they’re ready to start potty training, make sure you take time to make sure you’re ready. I’ve already attempted round number 1 with my daughter, and failed miserably mainly because I wasn’t ready. I was having several doctor appointments and my medicine kept getting changed. It’s hard enough sometimes adjusting to new medicine without the added pressure of potty training. I especially had some bad side effects of one of my medicines, so I made sure that I took time out to get myself squared away first. Remember, you are no good to anyone else if you haven’t taken care of yourself first. So make sure you get plenty of rest, and if needed reach out to family and friends to help.
  2. Prep your house. You really want to pick one room to stay in for the first few days to keep the inevitable accidents contained. I picked our upstairs living room because it’s all hardwood floors. I rolled up my area rug and tucked it under my couch for safe keeping. I pull out a few toys and books and closed up all the bedrooms. Keep in mind that every child is different, so I suggest knowing what toys, books, or movies your little one really enjoys. You don’t want them so enthralled that they forget to use the potty, but you want something that will keep their attention longer than a minute. I would also go ahead and do some prep work in your kitchen. Get your snacks and drinks ready. Prep some crock pot or freezer meals so you don’t have to worry too much about dinner.

    6 Tips to Remember When Potty Training

    Here’s the book that I bought for my daughter. I also found several potty training playlists on YouTube for us to watch.

  3. Ditch the Pull-ups. This one can be difficult but it’s really easier if you ditch the diapers and pull-ups all together. It can be a bit confusing for toddlers and they will be inclined to potty in the pull-up instead. I suggest getting some good fitting cotton underwear for your little one. What else you put on your child is up to you. Some just throw on a t-shirt while some use leg warmers or socks. And still there are some parents who let their little ones run around with nothing on at all for the first day or so. Do what’s comfortable for you and your little one.
  4. Lots of fluids and dry snacks. Your little one is learning to recognize the sensation and feeling of needing to go to the bathroom. You’ll want to make sure to give them plenty of fluids so they’ll need to use the bathroom frequently. The dry snacks help keep them thirsty because after a while they’ll get tired of drinking.
  5. Set a timer. Timers are a good way to stay mindful about the task at hand. That may sound redundant, but it’s easy for you and your little one to get caught up with playing or watching that potty dvd for the 20th time or so. Some recommend to set the timer for every 15 minutes, but that was a little much for my daughter. She got annoyed by how often I was asking her to sit on the potty. Try a few different times and see what works best for you.
  6. Be patient! Be patient with your toddler, and be patient with yourself. This is not an overnight learning curve. There will be accidents. There might even be some tantrums and meltdowns, parents included. Don’t get caught up in the Mommy and Pinterest wars. If little Tommy from down the street potty trained in one weekend, great for him. But don’t force your little one to uphold the same timetable. Remember, every child is different, every parent is different. Ultimately, you need to do what’s best for you and your little one.