August in Review

Blogging:  Goal: 15 per month  Post number 15!  Goal met!  Busy month again but at least that gives me something to say!

Weight: Goal to exercise 3x a week and to be down to 150 by December 2014.   I have only lost 2# this month and definitely have not made it with exercising 3x  a week. I said last month I was rethinking this goal and have decided to increase it to 175 which is the point I stayed between the girls and little kids in addition to the point I was at when I met and married Matt. I know this is probably not where most people think I should be but it is where I am comfortable and plan to stay!

Financial Goals:

1.  Pay off all debit by July 2015, except for mortgage.   Updated this goal again this month as other than credit card debit we have a personal loan and after taking a hard look at this we have changed our plan to get all debit paid off !  At this point, I am unsure if we will stay debt free but it is a goal I want to achieve prior to making any other larger purchases.  Goal met for this month.

2. Emergency Fund to $2000.  We are sliding backwards again on this goal. I can’t seem to get my self ahead on this goal. It is currently sitting at $100.

. 3. Groceries: Spend $600 a month . Goal Met  Total spent $600. I had planned to come in way under for the month but with some of the purchases we made at the beach in addition to stocking up on meat. I am glad to report that we did not go over for the month. In September, the plan is to make a huge chicken purchase but little else so I hope to be under for the next couple of months.

4. Gas: Spend $400 a month with any remaining to be move to Auto fund for repairs.  Total Spent $499.72. Goal MET.   I did add an additional $100 to the budget this month for our trip. The amount spent includes a small repair on the van and inspection, taxes and tags for the car!  Hopefully we have gone over the hump with gas spending for the year!

Overall I did meet 4 of 6 goals. This is the same ratio as last month but different goals achieved. I am feeling much more optimistic about our finances so that is a huge step for me.

I have noticed that during the month of September, several of the blogs I regularly read are doing challenges for saving money and/or cutting the budget for the month. I am not going to participate officially with any, but I do hope to place a little more in savings this month. One of the reason, that I am choosing not to join in is that currently our budget does not have any wiggle room. If we stick to budget, than that is huge and means additional savings but in addition we are in the middle of Birthday season and I have already started slowing purchasing Christmas gifts, so no extra spending may be difficult as well.

Thursday Shopping

We need to have a couple of pairs of glasses worked on in Winston this week so after checking out a couple of ads, I decided we would make a couple of stops to coupon as well. Overall I am very pleased and actually think this is one of my better savings trips overall.

First stop was Harris Teeter- I spent $14 and saved $65 or 82%   This include 5 packs of Oscar Myer hot dogs for $0.51 each, 2 cups of Greek yogurts-free, Laughing Cow Cheese and hair products!

The second stop was at Target- I spent $27 and saved $50 with $3.00 remaining on a gift card. The saving was 65%, however because Target prices are lower than most this is actually a huge deal. My purchased included 10 boxes of cereal, 5 2L drinks, 2 packs of juice boxes, 4 Rev sandwich  wraps, a couple packs of cookie dough and some school supplies.

Finally stop was Home Depot.  I do have a Home Depot Credit Card and usually use it to make purchases for the house. Over the last two years, I have not paid any interest or fees to this card so I am not opposed to use it. I received in the mail on Thursday a 10% your entire purchase coupon. We were able to purchase a new gas grill for less than $150 combining this coupon and a great sale. I am not even sure how to calculate the saving but wanted to include it so that you know to watch your mail and use what companies send you!

I do want to mention one more stop we made but it was actually in Lexington. We went to the Food Lion to pick up some pasta salad mixes for Zach’s birthday party. We had excellent timing and walked in just as the meat was being reduced. So we decided to go ahead and grab what looked good and we knew we could use. This ended up being around $110 of meat including hamburger, beef and chicken. At first you might think this is not a great deal but in addition to the hamburger we already have this should be enough meat for us till mid to late October.

Overall I am very pleased with this shopping day!


All Good Things Must Come to an End.

12219_10202680952493906_414027619574386171_n[1]bu Today, Saturday, is the last full day of vacation for us. We will wake up, eat and pack the van in the morning to head back to real life. Monday both Lily and Kendall will start school and Zach will begin his final year at home.  I have enjoyed the break and since I am much better at sharing in points, I hope you don’t mind.

Kendall was stung by a jellyfish today as we were out jumping waves.  At first, I was not sure what happened because she was crying and saying her legs hurt.  But the fish wrapped itself around both of her legs and she has marks from both ankles to the top of her legs.  I also was stung on the wrist not sure when but thankful no one else has to suffer. Both Lily and Zach were with us jumping waves at the time it happened.

Each day except for Friday, we have had a severe afternoon thunderstorm, I have been most surprised at the fact that the roads are flooding after each one.

I have been spending a lot of time on the balcony, this week because it allows me to enjoy the sounds, smells and view of the ocean without sand.  A summer cold has made it through the family this week so we have been taking afternoon naps and with medicine the kids have been going to bed fairly early so I have sitting outside, reading on the kindle or playing on the computer.  While the kids enjoy eating in front of the television, I prefer the ocean!

One of the things that I started to notice each day was the number of photographers and others taking pictures both in the mornings and evening.  I decided that we should do  one as well.  We hit a couple of beach stores on Friday morning and I found the little girls matching dressing. I had brought Zach an outfit with a yellow shirt which matched perfectly!  I am so pleased with the way they turned out. I will share more next Wednesday. I hope to use these to redo my coffee table along with some of the huge seashell that we found the first part of the week.

We enjoyed the Pirates Voyage dinner show on Monday and decided due to the weather on Thursday to eat at a seafood buffet. All the little kids love sushi and request to eat it but what we didn’t know was that they also love crab legs! Between the three of them they ate two full plates of crab legs. I love all types of seafood but crab legs are a lot of work especially when you are feeding three other people.

At lunch today, we asked the kids what has been their favorite part of vacation and both the little girls said it was our trip to Build A Bear. At least they can agree on that! So I guess that this have to become part of our vacation tradition. 10610502_10202680952253900_5150193151480007674_n[1]

10 Things Tuesday

1. I am enjoying our  vacation this week at Cherry Grove  SC.  I do wish that Amanda could join us for a couple of days.

2. Unfortunately, we have shared a nasty cold. Kendall is working on day 5, Matt on day 4, Lily on day 2 and Zach started today.  The good news is that we are still enjoying the beach just for shorter period of time and with lots of medicine.

3. Because of the cold, everyone took a nap today.  The little kids all slept for almost 3 hours and went to bed tonight early so hopefully they will feel much better in the morning.

4. This morning on a hour long walk on the beach, we found some of the largest shells I have ever found.  Zach and I found one that is as wide as his hand and as tall as my hand. He carried it the whole time and then when we came inside gave it to me “cause I love you!”

5. The tide is on a very wired this year.  It is going out till around 10am and by 3pm there is no beach left. Because the kids are early riser, we are still enjoying 5 hours and making lots of sand structures.

6. We were able 2 see live star fish and a live crab this morning as well.

7. Kendall found 3/4 of a sand dollar. This is the only “broken” shell they are allowed to keep!

8. Last night, Monday, we went to the Pirate’s Voyage” It was crazy expensive but we all enjoyed the food and the show. It was amazing!

9.  This year, Zach is such a different child. He is getting really brave on the boogie board and is playing alone in the sand and ocean!

10. The condo has both a dishwasher and washer/dryer. I brought paper plates so we have yet to run the dishwasher but have washed 10 loads of clothes all ready.

Sunday Shopping and Saving 8/17/2014

Today is  the first official day of my vacation, but even so I did manage to enjoy both hopping and saving. Because my children, especially Kendall, are early risers we had planned to eat two meals out  today.  My mother gave me a coupon for Golden Corral, and we made this our first stop this morning. The coupon was for adult breakfast buffets which include your choice of milk, juice or coffee. The hostess also gave us the coupon price for the kid’s buffet as well, which means that all six of us ate for $35.  We found a really quick route to the beach and arrive in plenty of time for lunch. Actually, we shopped first because we had so much time. I had printed just in case the coupon for Outback Steakhouse, so we decided to splurge and enjoy this as well. We did end up spending $70 including tip but not bad considering the adults all had steak and the kids ended up finishing their meals for dinner.

We stopped at the Tanger Outlets but  only hit a couple of stores. Old Navy advertised an awesome sale and we were excited to find lots of items on the $5 tables however over half of these items did not ring up for $5 so we left disappointed.  I picked up several polo shirts for Zach and a pair of jeans as well. The Disney Store  was the kids choice, each of the three little kids has been saving money and doing extra chores for the past  two months and were excited to purchase some toys today. I was able to take advantage of the $10 pajama sale for all three little kids and myself. Matt found a cool shirt for under $10 so in the end, everyone was happy!

I had planned on saying this was going to be our most expensive day, however we are going to a dinner theater  tomorrow evening. I have already purchased the ticket so it is budgeted and covered but still really expensive!


I have been very fortune over the last week to enjoy a very little work load and some much needed time off. I worked half days on Monday and Wednesday in addition to being completely on vacation Thursday- Sunday. I had planned this since early July but really wanted to keep it low key as we leave for our real vacation in less than a week.

I have been able to spend extra time with all three kids this week working on education stuff. I am so proud of the great reader that Kendall has become but I notice she is still working hard in Math. We have been working on learning money. I am hoping to use her spending money at the beach to continue this education. Lily is working ahead in Math, reviewing multiplication facts and is learning to keyboard. As an OT, keyboarding is what I consider a fundamental skill, however it is not taught at all in the public school system here so I am feeling the gap. Zach is officially a preschooler with one year before he will be starting Kindergarten. He is math minded but can only recognize numbers 1-5 and knows about half of his alphabet. My goal is for him to learn the entire alphabet prior to January so that Matt can teach him  to read as well.

I enjoyed a very low key birthday which involved three simple rules…1. No fighting 2. No whinnying and 3. No calorie counting.  We have eaten out twice today and I am totally guilty free with this!

The rest of the time I have been spending time reading, relaxing and at the same time preparing for the next month of full schedule.  We did go shopping in Winston and even spent several relaxing hours at the pool. I can definitely say this was a good break but a productive one as well.