Monday, September 29, 2014

This Week's Goals: 9/29 - 10/5/14

Goal Line

Last week's goals:

Classroom Goals
  • Work on lesson plans & setting classroom management routines
  • Continue my new daily lesson plan record routine with help of my mentor teacher
  • Practice our new RTP Classroom Management expectations
  • Complete list of strengths & weaknesses in teaching in preparation for meeting with administration to set this year's goals for my PGP
  • Deposit after school activity funds & send out email requesting November activities
Household/Family/Mommy Goals
  • Continue our Total Money Makeover by following our September budget
  • Continue to organize the basement by filling my new storage shelves (ongoing - my goal is to have a pseudo living room in the basement even though the walls aren't finished by the end of winter)
  • Pick up couches from my Uncle's house to put in the basement
  • Look up how to remove mold from wooden hope chest (advice anyone???)
  • Finish sanding our deck & set date to stain it
  • Install patio stones (ongoing)
Marriage Goals
  • Make a point to spend at least 1 solid minute cuddling with hubs each evening when he gets home
  • Write a love note to hubs <3
Personal Goals
  • Paint my nails
  • Exercise at least twice this week
  • Journal at least once this week
  • Watch this week's episode of Outlander & continue catching up on Gossip Girl Season 2 
  • Continue back to school shopping - September focus is to find 1-3 pairs of shoes (One pair so far... crossing fingers for at least one more, then I'm hitting the consignment shops with the remainder of this month's clothing budget) 
Blogging Goals
  • Continue to revamp my blogging routine now that the school year is officially starting
  • Post at least 2 times this week
  • Promote our September Giveaway (one week left)
  • Promote our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts
  • Highlight & add sticky notes to my copy of  Mom Blogging for Dummies (This job is going to be on here forever at the rate I'm going!)
    This Week's Goals:

    Classroom Goals
    • Work on lesson plans
    • Continue my new daily lesson plan record routine with help of my mentor teacher
    • Practice our new RTP Classroom Management expectations
    • Complete list of strengths & weaknesses in teaching in preparation for meeting with administration to set this year's goals for my PGP
    • Send out email requesting November activities
    Household/Family/Mommy Goals
    • Continue our Total Money Makeover by following our September budget
    • Finalize our October budget
    • Continue to organize the basement by filling my new storage shelves (ongoing - my goal is to have a pseudo living room in the basement even though the walls aren't finished by the end of winter)
    • Look up how to remove mold from wooden hope chest (advice anyone???)
    • Install patio stones (ongoing)
    Marriage Goals
    • Make a point to spend at least 1 solid minute cuddling with hubs each evening when he gets home
    • Write a love note to hubs <3
    Personal Goals
    • Exercise at least twice this week
    • Journal at least once this week
    • Watch this week's episode of Outlander & continue catching up on Gossip Girl Season 2 
    • Continue back to school shopping
    Blogging Goals
    • Continue to revamp my blogging routine now that the school year is officially starting
    • Post at least 2 times this week
    • Promote our September Giveaway (only a few days left)
    • Promote our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts
    • Highlight & add sticky notes to my copy of  Mom Blogging for Dummies (This job is going to be on here forever at the rate I'm going!)
    Wish me luck! What's on your schedule this week?



    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

    Wednesday, September 24, 2014

    Back To School Special from ABC Mouse


    Are you looking for an online preschool or kindergarten curriculum for your youngster? Even my two year old is a huge fan of what ABC Mouse has to offer. His favorite features are the coloring pages and self reading books. We use ABC Mouse as an app on my iPad and couldn't be happier with the skills its teaching him. 


    This is a great time of year to spice up your child's education - whether they're in school already or not quite old enough yet ABC Mouse has the perfect curriculum for you and even better they are offering a Back to School Sale - Take 38% Off a Full Year of ABCmouse.com, Now just $59, now through November 1st. That's a GREAT price - your kid's education is worth it! :) 

    Want to know more? Check out this video to get an idea of what you're missing without ABCMouse: 


    I'd love to hear from you. Have you tried out ABC Mouse? What's your kid's favorite feature? Let us know in the comments below! :) 


    Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

    Monday, September 22, 2014

    This Week's Goals: 9/22-9/28/14

    Goal Line

    Last week's goals:

    Classroom Goals
    • Work on lesson plans & setting classroom management routines
    • Continue my new daily lesson plan record routine with help of my mentor teacher
    • Practice our new RTP Classroom Management expectations
    • Complete list of strengths & weaknesses in teaching in preparation for meeting with administration to set this year's goals for my PGP
    • Finalize after school program paperwork for next week
    Household/Family/Mommy Goals
    • Continue our Total Money Makeover by following our September budget
    • Bring home boxes for items in basement
    • Continue to organize the basement by filling my new storage shelves (ongoing - my goal is to have a pseudo living room in the basement even though the walls aren't finished by the end of winter)
    • Finish sanding our deck & set date to stain it
    • Install patio stones (ongoing)
    • Water new garden transplants daily (new post about free gardening advice coming soon!)
    Marriage Goals
    • Make a point to spend at least 1 solid minute cuddling with hubs each evening when he gets home
    • Attend a local fall festival with hubs & our little one
    Personal Goals
    • Paint my nails
    • Exercise at least twice this week
    • Journal at least once this week
    • Watch this week's episode of Outlander & continue catching up on Gossip Girl Season 2 
    • Continue back to school shopping - September focus is to find 1-3 pairs of shoes (One pair so far... crossing fingers for at least one more, then I'm hitting the consignment shops with the remainder of this month's clothing budget) 
    Blogging Goals
    • Continue to revamp my blogging routine now that the school year is officially starting - the first few weeks are always difficult for readjusting ;) 
    • Post at least 2 times this week
    • Promote our September Giveaway
    • Promote our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts
    • Highlight & add sticky notes to my copy of  Mom Blogging for Dummies (This job is going to be on here forever at the rate I'm going!)
      This Week's Goals:

      Classroom Goals
      • Work on lesson plans & setting classroom management routines
      • Continue my new daily lesson plan record routine with help of my mentor teacher
      • Practice our new RTP Classroom Management expectations
      • Complete list of strengths & weaknesses in teaching in preparation for meeting with administration to set this year's goals for my PGP
      • Deposit after school activity funds & send out email requesting November activities
      Household/Family/Mommy Goals
      • Continue our Total Money Makeover by following our September budget
      • Continue to organize the basement by filling my new storage shelves (ongoing - my goal is to have a pseudo living room in the basement even though the walls aren't finished by the end of winter)
      • Pick up couches from my Uncle's house to put in the basement
      • Look up how to remove mold from wooden hope chest (advice anyone???)
      • Finish sanding our deck & set date to stain it
      • Install patio stones (ongoing)
      Marriage Goals
      • Make a point to spend at least 1 solid minute cuddling with hubs each evening when he gets home
      • Write a love note to hubs <3
      Personal Goals
      • Paint my nails
      • Exercise at least twice this week
      • Journal at least once this week
      • Watch this week's episode of Outlander & continue catching up on Gossip Girl Season 2 
      • Continue back to school shopping - September focus is to find 1-3 pairs of shoes (One pair so far... crossing fingers for at least one more, then I'm hitting the consignment shops with the remainder of this month's clothing budget) 
      Blogging Goals
      • Continue to revamp my blogging routine now that the school year is officially starting
      • Post at least 2 times this week
      • Promote our September Giveaway (one week left)
      • Promote our Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts
      • Highlight & add sticky notes to my copy of  Mom Blogging for Dummies (This job is going to be on here forever at the rate I'm going!)
      Wish me luck! What's on your schedule this week?



      Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

      Sunday, September 21, 2014

      'Let's All Be Brave' by Annie F. Downs: Book Review


      Summary
      Let's All Be Brave is a book meant to inspire us out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary Through the use of story telling, Annie F. Downs empowers you to be brave in every area of life. Told from the perspective of a young woman who shy's away from 
      My Reaction
      When this complimentary copy of Let's All Be Brave came across my email inbox from Book Look it sounded great. I was excited to start my school year off with an inspiring story to set the stage for a great school year. Unfortunately, that was not what I was left with. I'm really struggling with writing this review because I'm honestly very easy to please in general, but I found the book to just be a collection of stories that made Annie already sound brave. I wasn't inspired to be brave, instead I was feeling less brave than I had when I started reading. Annie tells us about how she is not brave, but yet page after page we watch her make very brave decisions, which leaves me wondering just now "not brave" she would find me? 
      Annie has many great ideas and pieces of advice to share. A few stories made me chuckle or feel down right envious, so the book was not a complete loss, it just wasn't the inspirational book I was expecting. 
      To find the book online for purchase or to read other reviews check it out on Amazon.
      Have you been disappointed by a book lately? Or, have you read this book and came out with a different reaction? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.


      Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

      eMeals Back To School Survival Guide: Turkey-Bacon Tortilla Roll-Ups


      Back to school season can be a little crazy. Not only is the weather changing and routines altered, but busy moms are also carting their kids to and from activities. At the end of a long day it can be hard to plan ahead healthy lunches for the next day at school. Thankfully eMeals has you covered with their Back To School Survival Guide.

      If you've never heard of eMeals, its a great way to save time AND money on your grocery bill. For a low monthly fee (seriously... less than the cost of meat for one meal) they'll send you a meal plan and grocery list every week that matches your local store's deals and meets your family's eating guidelines. They have tons of eating plans to choose from - Rachel Cruze (daughter of Dave Ramsey) is a huge fan of their classic plan, but they also have Paleo, Clean Eating, Diabetic, Low Calorie, Kid Friendly and many more! No matter your family - they have a plan for you. :) 

      Now through October 1st, you can even save 20% with code SCHOOL on any eMeals Meal Plan. Awesome right?!?! Even better, with a new order they'll include their Back To School Survival Guide which includes 10 great recipes, including Turkey-Bacon Tortilla Roll-Ups...
      Turkey-Bacon Tortilla Roll-Ups Recipe from eMeals 

      Ingredients:
      • 8 slices bacon
      • Mayonnaise
      • 1 (8-oz) package store-bought guacamole
      • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
      • 1/2 lb. thinly sliced deli turkey
      • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (or any shredded cheese)
      • 1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce (optional)
      Step-By-Step:
      1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; drain.
      1. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise and guacamole over each tortilla.
      1. Layer turkey, bacon and cheese on each tortilla.
      1. Add lettuce if desired. Roll up tortillas, and cut in half.
      Makes 4 servings.



      Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.

      Friday, September 19, 2014

      My Green Onion Experiment

      For almost two years now our family has been stretching our grocery money by regrowing green onions & freezing the results for future use. (Check out my previous post on freezing homegrown green onions.) After our previous success regrowing green onion in our house, I wanted to try something new and add them into a free corner of my vegetable garden.

      On the left are green onion stumps after about 4 weeks (HUGE!) and on the right the tiny stumps of the onions I harvested today. I'm hoping that by regrowing them in the garden they would be able to be reused again and continue producing free produce for our kitchen.


      Here's today's harvest:


      After washing the green onion stalks, I cut and froze the pieces in a recycled cottage cheese container. Now we can take out a little bit at a time - even when winter is upon us. (This week we'll be using them for loaded baked potatoes.)


      And here's the best part... my experiment was a success! Here are the same onion stumps just three days later - growing like weeds green onions. :)


      Not sure what you'd make with so much green onion? Might I suggest my husband's delicious Ranch Dip? It's super easy...
      Ranch Dip
      Ingredients: 
      • 8 oz. Shredded Colby Jack Cheese 
      • 1 package of powdered Ranch dip 
      • 1 package of bacon bits
      • 16 oz. Sour Cream  
      • Chopped green onion from your freezer 
      Directions:
      1. Mix ranch powder & sour cream in large bowl.
      2. Add half each of green onions, cheese & bacon bits and stir.
      3. Once mixed, pour into bowl of your choosing.
      4. Layer top with remaining cheese, bacon bits & green onion.
      5. Serve with crackers and/or fresh veggies.
      Do you freeze and preserve home grown produce? I'm excited about the possibilities it holds & look forward to improving my skills in the future! I'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments below. 



      Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.



      Tuesday, September 16, 2014

      Legacy Journey Live: A Good Man Leaves An Inheritance To His Children's Children


      It's been almost two years since Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover started changing our lives. I've blogged about our Total Money Makeover Journey and other great Dave Ramsey moments in hopes of inspiring other families to take the plunge like we did. I can't think of a more amazing legacy for this blog to leave, than to have more wonderful families find the joy in debt free living!

      It's fair to say that Dave and his daughter, Rachel, have become bright lights in our life. Two people I don't even know have inspired & challenged me (not to mention improved my marriage) as I listen to their CDs, read their books & tune in to the radio show (click the link to find a station in your area). Just like many other Dave Ramsey listeners, I feel like I've developed an "inner Dave." When faced with new financial questions or situations I tend to ask myself "what would Dave do?" (WWDD bracelets. 'Nuff said.) But here's the kicker... I don't know these people. I've never met Dave or Rachel. They don't know me from Adam, and yet they continue to reach out from over 500 miles away and share their message with me. If that doesn't count as a blessing, I don't know what does! :)

      And then last Thursday happened...

      Meeting Rachel Cruze at the Legacy Journey Live
      in Grand Rapids, MI - September 11, 2014
      OMG! I met Rachel Cruze and saw her & Dave live on stage!!! :)

      Dave on stage during Legacy Journey Live
      in Grand Rapids, MI - September 11, 2014
      It is truly a dream of mine to meet Dave at the Financial Peace Plaza in a few years when we've finished our Debt Snowball. I look forward to the day I can shake his hand and tell him what an inspiration he has been & how truly blessed we are to have been introduced to his program. I imagine this is how "normal" people feel about meeting a famous singer or performer - but I'm not normal, Dave has taught me to embrace my inner "weird." :) 

      The view from our seats (without zoom)
      After arriving early & waiting in line outside of the venue we were thrilled to have such good seats. We're only 3 rows back from the "premium" seating - and this photo honestly doesn't do justice to how close we were. 

      Almost immediately after we were seated a staff member came to our area of the venue looking for volunteers to play a MSU vs. U of M game during the pre-show, so of course I volunteered my husband & myself (we're a divided house - I support the good school, MSU, and he supports the vomit colored one, LOL). My poor husband was ready to kill me - he hates being in front of crowds - but off we went backstage to get ready for our game. As if beating my husband at the game & getting to see backstage of the Legacy Journey Live wasn't good enough, they even rewarded both of us with a voucher for a free product. What a perfect opportunity to pay it forward and help spread Dave's message - we gifted Financial Peace University to my mom and step-dad as well as very good friends of ours. 

      Can you tell how excited I am to share my experience with you? Legacy Journey Live is by far one of the best events I've ever attended and most definitely the most beneficial and relevant to my life. The best part is, Dave & Rachel are just getting started with their tour of the country this fall. Check out their website for a list of upcoming locations including Pittsburgh, Seattle, Dayton & Austin, but don't worry, if they aren't coming to your area to see them live stay tuned for an upcoming movie coming to your local theater which was taped the night we attended and an upcoming new book! :) 

      A slightly blurry Rachel Cruze (sorry!) 
      In case I haven't told you enough good things about the Legacy Journey Live yet, let me give you a few of my favorite quotes & highlights:
      "The flow of money in your household represents the value system under which your household operates." - Dave Ramsey
      "How to raise money-smart kids: teach the value of work." - Rachel Cruze
      "Giving is the antidote for selfishness." - Dave Ramsey
      "Contentment is the antidote to our culture of 'stuff.' When you find contentment, you will find it's much easier to live within your means." - Rachel Cruze
      "The little man can get ahead. He just has to get the little man out of his head." - Dave Ramsey 
      "Humility produces gratitude, which produces contentment." - Dave Ramsey
      "Living and leaving a legacy of character, love, and wealth can be done by anyone who consistently applies proven principles over time." - Dave Ramsey 
      Dave & Rachel Q&A at the end of the event
      Where are you at financially? Have you taken a good look in the mirror - are you helping yourself or hurting yourself? If you haven't taken a good look at your financial self and future now it the time. There is too much at risk if you don't. Join the millions of people that follow Dave's proven plan for success. I promise - you won't regret it. :)

      I'd love to hear from you in the comments below - have you seen Dave live? What are your thoughts? What stage of the Total Money Makeover are you currently in? What will it take to inspire you to take hold of your finances?



      Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate marketing links that compensate me for sales.
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