Thursday, December 7, 2017

Goal update - November 2017

2017 is all about REDUCE. That is our word of the year. So far I think we are doing pretty well! Check out the first goal post of 2017 here.


1. Between all the members of this house, we will remove 1000 items from the house. This does not count as everyday household garbage. These items will be items that could be potentially donated or sold. I think I will NOT count items that I throw away. This will make it a bit more challenging. (I totally stole this idea from another blog, but I LOVED the concept!) Goal Accomplished!

2. My goal is to have a yard sale this spring and make a little extra moula to put towards either the vacation, bills, Christmas, or home projects. I think I am  going to change this goal to just selling items in general. Yard sale was a FLOP!

I have continued to sell items that were not donated. I really haven't kept a running total though. I am now debating on just donating many items just to get them out of the house! We shall see! I was told about a company, decluttr, that supposedly will buy movies. I may do that!

3. This will be a big goal to accomplish! I plan on organizing the garage. I had it looking okay, but then the "boomerang daughter" moved back home and there went that garage again. It WILL get done this year...complete with shelves and such for storage! 

I can say right now that the shelves will not be happening this year. Boo! I am still trying to get it organized! Time has been flying by and I just cannot catch up! Maybe in December?

4. The garden. This is THE year I will get the garden established and actually benefit from its bounty.  I'm counting this as a win! I still am getting kale, collards, and swiss chard and my beets are ready to harvest as well. 

5. Travel to Finland for $1000 (not counting the plane ticket). I am traveling to Finland this summer with my dad, stepmom, and sister. The tickets are paid for already so the goal is to have the rest of the trip costing only $1000. This includes passport, luggage, and any other costs, like spending money while there, etc. This is totally doable, especially since we will be spending time with family. I originally wanted to have $1000 just for spending but I think I am going to include the cost of the passport and luggage too. Now, if I can score gift cards to help defray the cost, that is a bonus to the $1000.  Goal accomplished!

6. I plan to pay off heating cooling systems by the end of the year. This "should" be an easy goal to accomplish.  Goal accomplished!

7. Ok, this may just be the goal I list EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR until it happens. I plan to lose 50 lbs this year and if I do not lose 50lbs, I will be happy to be able to shop in the "regular" sizes again.

Still working on it! I think I gained some but I haven't weighed myself in months so I don't really know where I am at. My clothes are still fitting pretty good though!

8. Since we have been doing Christmas debt free for the past few years already, this year's Christmas goal is to have all presents bought or made by December for under $500. This does NOT count my husband's gift because I ALWAYS spend more than I should on him and him on me.  Bonus points if the gifts are wrapped before December as well!

No bonus points, but I have all but two gift cards (and my gift) bought! The man and I decided to buy our own gifts this year with a budget of around $100. Not all the gifts are wrapped BUT I did wrap AND deliver most of the gifts. All but one gift has been delivered to siblings, nieces, nephews, parents! Yay!

9. I plan to keep the grocery bill under $600 a month. I would REALLY like to keep it under $500 a month, but with my husband, that is just setting me up for failure.

November was WAY over budget. Like $109 over. UGH! I really hope I can get December reigned in!

10. Work on some craft projects I have been putting off but want to complete. Mainly the cross stitch squares my mom started when she was alive. I'd love to complete them and make the quilt she was planning to make.

No work on the cross stitch BUT I did get the photo album created for the parents and I also was able to get the homemade gifts made. 

November was a busy month! I hope to end the year with things under budget and more organized and more REDUCED! I have been thinking about next years word and I think I have decided on it. It goes along with reduce. Still debating....

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Goal update - October 2017

2017 is all about REDUCE. That is our word of the year. So far I think we are doing pretty well! Check out the first goal post of 2017 here.

1. Between all the members of this house, we will remove 1000 items from the house. This does not count as everyday household garbage. These items will be items that could be potentially donated or sold. I think I will NOT count items that I throw away. This will make it a bit more challenging. (I totally stole this idea from another blog, but I LOVED the concept!) Goal Accomplished!

2. My goal is to have a yard sale this spring and make a little extra moula to put towards either the vacation, bills, Christmas, or home projects. I think I am going to change this goal to just selling items in general. Yard sale was a FLOP!

I have been listing items on Facebook marketplace and craigslist. In October, I made about $55. I have sold items for the kids and they have made about that much as well! 

3. This will be a big goal to accomplish! I plan on organizing the garage. I had it looking okay, but then the "boomerang daughter" moved back home and there went that garage again. It WILL get done this year...complete with shelves and such for storage!

Although there is much more space, it is not organized yet. There are a few items we still need to be rid of before I can get organizing. Maybe in November?

4. The garden. This is THE year I will get the garden established and actually benefit from its bounty.

Heck yeah! My fall garden is rocking! I need to get out there and start harvesting all the collards, kale, swiss chard, turnips galore!

5. Travel to Finland for $1000 (not counting the plane ticket). I am traveling to Finland this summer with my dad, stepmom, and sister. The tickets are paid for already so the goal is to have the rest of the trip costing only $1000. This includes passport, luggage, and any other costs, like spending money while there, etc. This is totally doable, especially since we will be spending time with family. I originally wanted to have $1000 just for spending but I think I am going to include the cost of the passport and luggage too. Now, if I can score gift cards to help defray the cost, that is a bonus to the $1000.  Goal accomplished!

6. I plan to pay off heating cooling systems by the end of the year. This "should" be an easy goal to accomplish.  Goal accomplished!

7. Ok, this may just be the goal I list EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR until it happens. I plan to lose 50 lbs this year and if I do not lose 50lbs, I will be happy to be able to shop in the "regular" sizes again.

Yeah, about that...

8. Since we have been doing Christmas debt free for the past few years already, this year's Christmas goal is to have all presents bought or made by December for under $500. This does NOT count my husband's gift because I ALWAYS spend more than I should on him and him on me.  Bonus points if the gifts are wrapped before December as well!

Well, the extended family's gifts will be well under $500, but we will be going over that amount all together if we include our kids' gifts. We are scaling back though. I'm curious how much we will spend this year. The man and I decided to only spend $100 on each other. We are stealing the concept that Budget Girl on YouTube does. We will spend the $100 ourselves and give the person the gifts to wrap. We both like that idea.

9. I plan to keep the grocery bill under $600 a month. I would REALLY like to keep it under $500 a month, but with my husband, that is just setting me up for failure.

We only spent about $520 in October! I hope to keep it that low in November as well!

10. Work on some craft projects I have been putting off but want to complete. Mainly the cross stitch squares my mom started when she was alive. I'd love to complete them and make the quilt she was planning to make.

Nope, no crafts yet...

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Goal update - September 2017

2017 is all about REDUCE. That is our word of the year. So far I think we are doing pretty well! Check out the first goal post of 2017 here.


1. Between all the members of this house, we will remove 1000 items from the house. This does not count as everyday household garbage. These items will be items that could be potentially donated or sold. I think I will NOT count items that I throw away. This will make it a bit more challenging. (I totally stole this idea from another blog, but I LOVED the concept!) Goal Accomplished!

Hot diggity dog! The man finally got motivated to go through his belongings, aka teaching supplies and electronics, and whoa nelly, we cleared that 1000 goal by a long shot! I did NOT count items, but let's just say that 1000 goal was easy peasy once he got started! Just by going through the garage he got rid of 16 boxes and 2 garbage bags for donation. Six bins were taken to his school to give away to fellow teachers. The items that I would not have counted but am just as excited about are the ten garbage bags that were taken to the dump. Our recycling can is also filled. Our home garbage can is just about filled as well. So, yep, goal met!

2. My goal is to have a yard sale this spring and make a little extra moula to put towards either the vacation, bills, Christmas, or home projects. I think I am  going to change this goal to just selling items in general. Yard sale was a FLOP!

The man sold one of his chinchillas this past month. I also snagged some of the things he was going to get rid of to sell. Fingers crossed they do!

3. This will be a big goal to accomplish! I plan on organizing the garage. I had it looking okay, but then the "boomerang daughter" moved back home and there went that garage again. It WILL get done this year...complete with shelves and such for storage!

See above. It is getting there! I hope by the end of the month it will be 90% completed. I will just need to get shelves made.

4. The garden. This is THE year I will get the garden established and actually benefit from its bounty.

Our first summer garden was pretty good. I still have a few tomatoes and peppers to glean from it. I started a fall garden and so far it is looking good! The collards and turnips are growing like crazy!

5. Travel to Finland for $1000 (not counting the plane ticket). I am traveling to Finland this summer with my dad, stepmom, and sister. The tickets are paid for already so the goal is to have the rest of the trip costing only $1000. This includes passport, luggage, and any other costs, like spending money while there, etc. This is totally doable, especially since we will be spending time with family. I originally wanted to have $1000 just for spending but I think I am going to include the cost of the passport and luggage too. Now, if I can score gift cards to help defray the cost, that is a bonus to the $1000.  Goal accomplished!

6. I plan to pay off heating cooling systems by the end of the year. This "should" be an easy goal to accomplish.  Goal accomplished!

7. Ok, this may just be the goal I list EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR until it happens. I plan to lose 50 lbs this year and if I do not lose 50lbs, I will be happy to be able to shop in the "regular" sizes again.

Psh, gained a couple of pounds, BUT I am still below what I started at!

8. Since we have been doing Christmas debt free for the past few years already, this year's Christmas goal is to have all presents bought or made by December for under $500. This does NOT count my husband's gift because I ALWAYS spend more than I should on him and him on me.  Bonus points if the gifts are wrapped before December as well!

I was able to score some $30 "treasure chests" for $2 each! They have Disney themes on them but I am going to spray paint them and put the homemade bath items in them for the nieces and nephews. Now to be on the look out for cheap towels! 

9. I plan to keep the grocery bill under $600 a month. I would REALLY like to keep it under $500 a month, but with my husband, that is just setting me up for failure.

I only spent $490 last month! It is good, but considering I was cooking from the freezers and pantry it should have been better. Fingers crossed October is just as good!

10. Work on some craft projects I have been putting off but want to complete. Mainly the cross stitch squares my mom started when she was alive. I'd love to complete them and make the quilt she was planning to make.

Yeah, not in September. There is always October....

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A decision has been made

There comes a time in one's life where a decision has to be made.

Do we go through our belongings (aka, clutter) and take the time to sell on the various online platforms or do we decide to cut our losses and donate it all and get a receipt that may, or may not, help us at tax time?

Well, we reached that time in our life and a decision was made. That decision was to purge. Oh what a decision it was!

Background story:
My husband and I married young. We had no money. He basically made minimum wage and I was in school. When we had a little extra money we would scour the clearance sections for items we NEEDED. When we had a little more extra money, we also sought out items in the clearance section that we WANTED, because it was a good deal, you know. So over the course of 25 years we bought, and stored, and bought and stored.
End of story.

Sure, we donated some and threw away some over the years. Heck, when we moved south we threw out, gave away, or donated almost half of what we had BUT there was still so much we had. Think hoarders, but clean ones.

Then my husband became a teacher. What do teachers loves? School supplies and teaching materials. Oh. My. Goodness. As a new teacher if anyone was giving items away, he snatched it. Back to school sales? Oh, you bet he was there. Limit of 5? Oh no, honey, he is a teacher. He can have a limit of 25. Who can resist 25 composition books that are a nickel a piece? Yep, if it was free or cheap, he took it. I mean, lets be honest, most of us would have done the exact same thing.

So you add the enormous amount of teaching supplies to the already large amount of computer and video game collections and you get this: (side note, this is after one day of cleaning. See that wall back there? Yeah, we haven't seen that wall in a few years. So, yes, improvement has been made)

To note, I am not an innocent partner in all this. I, too, have hoarded my share of items. However, the urge to purge hit me awhile ago and I have been steadily purging my things every so often. Matter of fact, I am going to go through a section in my bedroom later today. Oh and that garage? It is not all his. I have holiday stuff, canning supplies, and general household stuff that I will be going through today as well.

The man is a late bloomer. He finally got the urge a few weeks ago. His mass of clutter has him ridden with anxiety so we take it slow for him. A person needs to be ready to purge and they must be guided, not told what to do. He takes breaks throughout the day when he notices his anxiety rising. It also helps when you are motivated. The details of his motivation has changed over the past few weeks. His current motivation? A Nintendo Switch. (He is a gamer, so of course this would work). Hey, whatever works, right?  I mean, we have money saved so...

So why donate instead of taking the time to sell? Well, mostly because there is SO MUCH STUFF! Plus he tried having a yard sale (remember my goals post?) It didn't work out. Plus the longer stuff sits, the less motivated he will be. He had to be ready and he is most definitely ready. Yesterday alone we threw away 5 garbage bags and we donated 2 garbage bags and 6 boxes. He has another 4-5 boxes in his jeep to give to teachers at work (so they can start their own hoarding supply). Today we hope to have the garage completed. It may not be organized, but it will have been gone through. I am perfectly okay with that.

So, for us, donating is a better decision for us right now. It eases our minds to get rid of this stuff. In other words, it "reduces" our stress. Remember, our word of the year is "reduce". I like to think we are getting a bonus. By donating, we are quickly reducing both our clutter and our stress.

Less clutter in the house = less clutter of the mind, dontcha think?



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Goal update - August 2017

2017 is all about REDUCE. That is our word of the year. So far I think we are doing pretty well! Check out the first goal post of 2017 here.


1. Between all the members of this house, we will remove 1000 items from the house. This does not count as everyday household garbage. These items will be items that could be potentially donated or sold. I think I will NOT count items that I throw away. This will make it a bit more challenging. (I totally stole this idea from another blog, but I LOVED the concept!)

I have not really kept track but with all the crates of books my husband got rid of and the miscellaneous other items, I bet we are at about 500 easily!

2. My goal is to have a yard sale this spring and make a little extra moula to put towards either the vacation, bills, Christmas, or home projects. Goal NOT accomplished and will not get accomplished.

3. This will be a big goal to accomplish! I plan on organizing the garage. I had it looking okay, but then the "boomerang daughter" moved back home and there went that garage again. It WILL get done this year...complete with shelves and such for storage!

Not in August. I doubt in September either as the man has inherited some items from his father who passed and they may be taking up space in the garage for a bit.

4. The garden. This is THE year I will get the garden established and actually benefit from its bounty. 

I think I did pretty darn well! We enjoyed a watermelon (the birds enjoyed lots of them), plenty of peppers, a few tomatoes, and so much basil, cucumbers, and a few zucchini! I even managed to plan a fall garden. Hopefully that does well too!

5. Travel to Finland for $1000 (not counting the plane ticket). I am traveling to Finland this summer with my dad, stepmom, and sister. The tickets are paid for already so the goal is to have the rest of the trip costing only $1000. This includes passport, luggage, and any other costs, like spending money while there, etc. This is totally doable, especially since we will be spending time with family. I originally wanted to have $1000 just for spending but I think I am going to include the cost of the passport and luggage too. Now, if I can score gift cards to help defray the cost, that is a bonus to the $1000.  Goal accomplished!

6. I plan to pay off heating cooling systems by the end of the year. This "should" be an easy goal to accomplish. Mission accomplished!

7. Ok, this may just be the goal I list EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR until it happens. I plan to lose 50 lbs this year and if I do not lose 50lbs, I will be happy to be able to shop in the "regular" sizes again.

Well, I was down 30 pounds but then vacation happened and 5 of those pesky pounds crept back on. I am working again on the remaining 25!

8. Since we have been doing Christmas debt free for the past few years already, this year's Christmas goal is to have all presents bought or made by December for under $500. This does NOT count my husband's gift because I ALWAYS spend more than I should on him and him on me.  Bonus points if the gifts are wrapped before December as well!

I am still working on it. I have some very cool ideas!

9. I plan to keep the grocery bill under $600 a month. I would REALLY like to keep it under $500 a month, but with my husband, that is just setting me up for failure.

For the most part, we have been under $600. I have tried under $500 but no go...maybe September is THE month!

10. Work on some craft projects I have been putting off but want to complete. Mainly the cross stitch squares my mom started when she was alive. I'd love to complete them and make the quilt she was planning to make.

No craft projects just yet....

Pause of Operation Eat Up

Well, I had hoped to keep up with Operation Eat Up, but life happens. We had a death in the family so we made an unexpected trip "home" for that. Luckily, most of the time we have been fed by family so not much money out of pocket for us. We left the kiddos home to deal with the animals and house but I can bet they chose take out over ransacking the pantry and freezers. Ha! So, when we get back it will resume, for sure!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Day 5: Operation Eat Up: Turkey Dinner

Hey y'all! Tonight we had that turkey I found in the freezer. We even had stuffing to go along with it! I found the butts, or heels or whatever you call those end pieces of bread, in the freezer along with an entire loaf of wheat bread to use! Yay!

Add some mashed taters and some peas and dinner was served!

After dinner was enjoyed, I spent some time removing all the meat from that 14 pound bird. There was still quite a bit! I had enough to plan out at least two more meals.

Not much will go to waste with this bird! I made some bone broth and also had some scraps for the dogs to enjoy in the morning. Now to figure out a way to use up the leftover bones and skin and all will have been used!

What did you have for dinner?

- jess

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Day 3: Operation Eat Up - Sauerkraut and kielbasa

Hey there! Today is day three and I am still just as motivated to use up all the food I have accumulated! I sure hope the momentum continues through September or until the food is about gone!

Today I used up one of the very many containers of fermented sauerkraut I made earlier in the year. I put it in the crockpot with a package of polish kielbasa and voila! Dinner is served!

I could go on and on about the health benefits of fermented foods, particularly sauerkraut, but I will just point you to this blog post. It has gives a great explanation of all the goodness! It even has the recipe...if you want to call it a recipe. It really is just directions. It is also REALLY, SUPER easy!
What did you have for dinner tonight?

On a side note...those 7 half gallons of eggnog? Yeah, they got throw out tonight for garbage pick up tomorrow morning. The man thawed one out, took a drink, and promptly spit it out and said get rid of them. I pick my battles and didn't argue. Total loss - $7.  Lesson learned.

Until next time!!

-- Jess

Monday, August 28, 2017

Day 2: Operation Eat Up - Ballpark Meatloaf!

Day two: Operation Eat Up

Today I decided to use up some pork sausage and ground beef we had in the deep freezer. What better way than to make some meatloaf. I do love me some average ol meatloaf, but this recipe is for the best meatloaf EVER! Try it and let me know what you think!

Once upon a time, the man decided his wife could use a cookbook, or two, or twelve, for Christmas.

True Story. He found a GREAT deal and kept piling them into his cart. Twenty years later, this lone one from the pile survived the purge.
The man? He gets reminded of that Christmas every time I pull this book out. He then apologizes. I just like to give him a hard time about it. I honestly didn't mind...I did think it was strange, but I didn't mind. Its the thought that counts, right?

Anyhoo....I don't use this cookbook often anymore but there is one recipe we absolutely love. The ballpark meatloaf. I have changed it up over the years but the bones of the recipe is still there  So without further ado...


Ballpark Meatloaf (adapted from 365 Ways to Cook Hamburger and Other Ground Meats)
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish with juices (I always add a lil more)
1 cup bread crumbs (I use gluten free)
1 egg (if they are smaller, I add in two)
1 small onion chopped (any kind works...I happened to only have red this time around)
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 teaspoons brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In medium-large bowl, mix all ingredients (EXCEPT the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons mustard.
3. Form one large (or two small loaves..like I do) and place on those pans that have slots for drainage to a pan below (or just use 2 meatloaf pans)
4. Bake until the center is 155-160 degrees (has anyone actually used a thermometer for meatloaf?) Or just eyeball it like me. About 40 minutes, give or take a few.
5. In a small bowl, mix the remaining mustard and the brown sugar. Brush mixture over the top of each loaf and bake until it is glazed...about 5 minutes.
6. Let stand about 5 minutes before slicing.
7. ENJOY!!

Serves 6 people (on average)

This is what you get when you let your man bake it while you are at work. Slightly burned tops. It still filled my belly though! We froze the second loaf for another time.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hello, I'm Jess and I am a food hoarder

Yep, it is true. I see a good deal and if I have the money, I get it. It is OUT OF CONTROL! Earlier today I  spent 45 minutes digging through my deep freezer and realized I have issues. Here is my pantry:


My inside fridge and freezer:


My garage fridge and freezer complete with all the homemade sauerkraut I made!


My deep freezer:


I found 7 half gallons of eggnog from last winter. Really? 7? I knew I had some left, but 7?There is also a turkey in there. Ummm, when did I buy that?!? Did I mention the TWENTY or so bags of frozen veggies I took inventory of as well? [Of note, some were given to me by my daughter before she moved last week to Michigan].

There is really no reason for this except I get out of control. I could go on and on about why I hoard food, but let's not get too serious here. Let's instead make a game plan to get rid of this food and save money shall we?

I had planned to have serve BBQ pork from the pork shoulder that I rediscovered in the deep freezer for dinner today however...it was frozen solid. That sucker has been in the crock pot for 8 hours and still is not done. The man and I had just finished hours and hours of yard work (we "may have  let it grow a bit too long and I also decided to work on the garden beds) and I was in no mood to figure out what else to make so Taco Bell it was. Thankfully there was still money in the Eating Out budget! So tomorrow we will have the BBO pork with collards on the side. The rest of the week's menu goes like this:

Sunday BBQ pork with collards and macaroni salad
Monday: Meatloaf with one bag of whatever veggie we happen to be in the mood for. Maybe some potatoes if the man makes them because I gotta work and rarely get home before 7pm
Tuesday: Sauerkraut and kielbasa
Wednesday: Leftovers from the previous three days
Thursday: Turkey dinner with most of the trimmings!
Friday: Buffalo turkey dip with tortilla chips and another bag of those veggies
Saturday: Burgers and homemade French fries or more leftovers if there are any
Sunday: I think we will do breakfast for dinner. Sausage patties, eggs, waffles

Whew! I now have the beginning of a plan! Check in every now and again to see how I am doing with using up this food! 

:)  Jess

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Just wanna slap yo mama kinda day

Ever have one of those days where you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and every little thing and every one irritates you? Yeah, today is one of those days for me. I am working on getting out of this funk because, frankly, I don't even want to be around me!

What irritates you? Today for me it is this messy house in particular. It is also the "not following through-ness" of my ADHD family. I am currently living with a husband and two grown kids who all have ADHD, without the hyperactivity part, and their lack of focus is DRIVING ME BATTY! I just want to scream "TAKE YOUR MEDS" "PICK UP AFTER YOURSELF" "FOCUS PEOPLE!"....because I am irritable and hateful today.

But, alas, I shall not scream those sentences...out loud. Just inside my head, while I turn my head away so these family members, who I love dearly, do not see the daggers being shot at them from my eyeballs.

I shall also sit here, pound on the keyboard (partly because the keys stick), sip on my morning coffee, and figure out the most important items that NEED to get done today so those can be accomplished because I cannot do it all. Once my list is complete, I will go get cleaned up, get dressed, put hair up in a messy bun, roll on some oils and tackle this crappy day.

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Goal update - July 2017

2017 is all about REDUCE. That is our word of the year. So far I think we are doing pretty well! Check out the first goal post of 2017 here.

1. Between all the members of this house, we will remove 1000 items from the house. This does not count as everyday household garbage. These items will be items that could be potentially donated or sold. I think I will NOT count items that I throw away. This will make it a bit more challenging. (I totally stole this idea from another blog, but I LOVED the concept!)

-- We are getting there. The lazybug took me over and I actually never started counting what we were getting rid of. I think I can estimate that we "probably" got rid of only about 150 items so far. HOWEVER, I have a load of items, mostly books, to drop off at a local thrift store. PLUS, I 'think' I have convinced the man to start purging some of his items. Woohoo! 

2. My goal is to have a yard sale this spring and make a little extra moula to put towards either the vacation, bills, Christmas, or home projects. 

-- So, the man had a yard sale one day while I was working. He made a whopping $11! So, yeah, it was a waste of time. He as sold items on several BST (Buy, Sell, Trade) and also craigslist. I think we will keep it to those sites.

3. This will be a big goal to accomplish! I plan on organizing the garage. I had it looking okay, but then the "boomerang daughter" moved back home and there went that garage again. It WILL get done this year...complete with shelves and such for storage!

-- So, the work is slow but slowly getting there. We have a huge pile of boxes of books to donate and it will empty out maybe 20% of the garage. When the girl returns from her work training, I plan on getting with her to clean out some of her items. Then it is just the man's stuff to purge and organize.

4. The garden. This is THE year I will get the garden established and actually benefit from its bounty.

-- So far, so good! I did not get the spring garden in but the summer one was pretty good for my first time. Plenty of cucumbers, tomatoes, and banana peppers. A decent amount of zucchinis and scalloped squash. The small watermelons are still growing but just about ready. The beans, not a one, but the chickens enjoyed the plants I pulled up. On to the fall garden! I am planning it and should have it in by the end of August!

5. Travel to Finland for $1000 (not counting the plane ticket). I am traveling to Finland this summer with my dad, stepmom, and sister. The tickets are paid for already so the goal is to have the rest of the trip costing only $1000. This includes passport, luggage, and any other costs, like spending money while there, etc. This is totally doable, especially since we will be spending time with family. I originally wanted to have $1000 just for spending but I think I am going to include the cost of the passport and luggage too. Now, if I can score gift cards to help defray the cost, that is a bonus to the $1000.

-- Oh this was accomplished easily! We came and went in July. I came back with a little over $400 of the $1000 I took with me! I even helped out the little sister some so I think I did very well!

6. I plan to pay off heating cooling systems by the end of the year. This "should" be an easy goal to accomplish.

-- By the end of the year? Psh, I paid that off at the end of June! Yay! Goal accomplished!

7. Ok, this may just be the goal I list EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR until it happens. I plan to lose 50 lbs this year and if I do not lose 50lbs, I will be happy to be able to shop in the "regular" sizes again.

-- Well, this may be one I can accomplish by the end of the year! I started in February with My Fitness Pal (SISU4Health is my name if you'd like to be friends!). I also decided to join a local gym to help get into shape. Lastly, I downloaded a type of couch to 5K app and bought some running shoes and hit the pavement...until it got to hot. With all that being mentioned, I lost about 30 lbs from February to middle of May. Not meaning to I took the last few months off. No tracking calories, no exercise. Surprisingly I only gained 5 lbs back. Four of them were gained back while on vacation! I convinced the man to join the gym so we can have gym dates and the plan is to get back at it in August. Here's to losing!

8. Since we have been doing Christmas debt free for the past few years already, this year's Christmas goal is to have all presents bought or made by December for under $500. This does NOT count my husband's gift because I ALWAYS spend more than I should on him and him on me.  Bonus points if the gifts are wrapped before December as well!

-- I have been buying stocking stuffers all year thus far so I know this will be done before December. I have a few ideas to gifts, just gotta write them down and plan. I think we will be on target to meet the goal of $500. 

9. I plan to keep the grocery bill under $600 a month. I would REALLY like to keep it under $500 a month, but with my husband, that is just setting me up for failure.

-- I have been tracking totals for over a year now. Some months are better than others. I am still trying though. I am thinking of either doing a post or creating a page for my running totals. 

10. Work on some craft projects I have been putting off but want to complete. Mainly the cross stitch squares my mom started when she was alive. I'd love to complete them and make the quilt she was planning to make

-- I haven't been working on many crafts this year. Boo!

There you have it! An update on the first part of the year! On to the rest of 2017!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017: Goals and the word of the year

Now that 2016 has come and gone, it is time to begin new.

I think I did okay with my goals last year, but this year I hope to do better (isn't that how it always goes, though?)

So, first I'd like to announce my word of the year. I have heard others do this before and thought it was a good idea but it never really came to fruition for me. I have been thinking about coming up with a word for a little while now and have settled on one. I think it is a good one.

REDUCE

Yep, that is the word. I like it. My goal is to reduce. Although now that I have typed it, it does seem a little negative but I assure you I mean it in the most positive way. This year, 2017, I plan on reducing! I plan to reduce clutter, reduce stress, reduce weight (fingers crossed), reduce anxiety, reduce debt, and maybe even reduce work hours (doubtful this year) and reduce number of people in my house (aka: help the 22 year old become more self sufficient). So much we can reduce! 

Do you have a word for the year? It is not too late, ya know.

Now, on to the goals: Right now, there are 10 goals. I may add some as the year goes on, we shall see.

1. Between all the members of this house, we will remove 1000 items from the house. This does not count as everyday household garbage. These items will be items that could be potentially donated or sold. I think I will NOT count items that I throw away. This will make it a bit more challenging. (I totally stole this idea from another blog, but I LOVED the concept!)

2. My goal is to have a yard sale this spring and make a little extra moula to put towards either the vacation, bills, Christmas, or home projects. 

3. This will be a big goal to accomplish! I plan on organizing the garage. I had it looking okay, but then the "boomerang daughter" moved back home and there went that garage again. It WILL get done this year...complete with shelves and such for storage! 

4. The garden. This is THE year I will get the garden established and actually benefit from its bounty. 

5. Travel to Finland for $1000 (not counting the plane ticket). I am traveling to Finland this summer with my dad, stepmom, and sister. The tickets are paid for already so the goal is to have the rest of the trip costing only $1000. This includes passport, luggage, and any other costs, like spending money while there, etc. This is totally doable, especially since we will be spending time with family. I originally wanted to have $1000 just for spending but I think I am going to include the cost of the passport and luggage too. Now, if I can score gift cards to help defray the cost, that is a bonus to the $1000.

6. I plan to pay off heating cooling systems by the end of the year. This "should" be an easy goal to accomplish. 

7. Ok, this may just be the goal I list EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR until it happens. I plan to lose 50 lbs this year and if I do not lose 50lbs, I will be happy to be able to shop in the "regular" sizes again. 

8. Since we have been doing Christmas debt free for the past few years already, this year's Christmas goal is to have all presents bought or made by December for under $500. This does NOT count my husband's gift because I ALWAYS spend more than I should on him and him on me.  Bonus points if the gifts are wrapped before December as well!

9. I plan to keep the grocery bill under $600 a month. I would REALLY like to keep it under $500 a month, but with my husband, that is just setting me up for failure.

10. Work on some craft projects I have been putting off but want to complete. Mainly the cross stitch squares my mom started when she was alive. I'd love to complete them and make the quilt she was planning to make.