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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

When you get a wild hair up your butt.....

You decide that your workspace/office needs to be cleaned and furniture moved around.  Yup.  That is what I did.  Why?  Because I was hoping to gain some motivation in order to start sewing again.  Did that happen?  Kind of, but not really.  It did help me to get rid of a ton of junk that had just been sitting in the closet or on my shelves. There's the bonus.

So here are a few before pictures:

My closet just had too much stuff in it.  This picture was taken after I had cleaned out the bottom portion of the closet.  I stacked my file drawers and moved all the clothing that needs to be sewn over to the far left.  I then condensed down our games and the amount of totes I had.

Here is everything that was brought out from the closet or that was on that white shelf.  Much of it is on the floor under the table.  That white shelf, from Ikea, was on the other side of my room next to my computer desk.   I got rid of a lot of what was on the table.  If I didn't get rid of it, I found it a proper home.

So now here are the after pictures:

As you can see, I pared down our games.  Many of our games were meant for adults or teenagers and well, we have young children.

My computer desk moved just a bit closer to the door and I added, to the left, another desk and the drawer system.  The whiteboard is going to be where I put my stats and goals and ideas, and I now have a dedicated photo space for photographing my product.  The desk area still needs a lot of work, but that will come.  I need some inspiration.  And for the record, I hate...no....loathe cream white walls.  I really want to paint but we are in a rental and I don't want to paint it back.

 Here is the view from the doorway.  I moved my ironing station right up here just to add a bit of air flow.  It was over where the white shelf is now.  The cutting table stayed the same and I just moved the sewing table over to be flush up against the shelf.

It is such an awkward and small room so I didn't gain moving around room but I did gain some more space in terms of working which was what I was looking for.

And anytime you are able to donate and fill up trash bags, it is a very liberating feeling.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Makeup Haul

As a wife, as mom, as a woman...I am on a budget.  With children around, I'm on an even tighter budget.  So what is a woman, who really does love makeup, to do?  She waits for an awesome Black Friday sale and stocks up.

The thing is though, the company I bought my makeup through is already very affordable.  Most of their stuff is found at the store - Target being one of them. When I say affordable I mean A-FFORD-A-BLE!!  And they always have some sort of deal going on.  So what is this company's name?  E.L.F.  It stands for Eyes Lips Face and they are known for their high quality makeup for drugstore prices. We are talking eyeshadow that is so buttery and velvety.  It's just *sigh* heaven.

So I did a massive makeup haul.  I will link every product below with the normal price and I will let you know what I paid.  I do have other makeup coming here within the next 2 weeks so I'll do another post.  Just because we are on a budget doesn't mean we have to sacrifice quality.

I will go from top to bottom and left to right.  Pardon some of the pictures. My computer has been acting just a tad bit funny and messing with some of my photos.  I promise I'll figure it out!

Nail Polish - $3
Brush Set -  $15
Prism Eye Shadow - $10
18 Piece Eyeshadow - $8
32 Piece Eye Shadow - $10
HD Studio Powder in shimmer and yellow - $6
Acne Fighting Foundation in Ivory - $6
Tone Correcting Concealer - $1
Pressed Mineral Bronzer - $5 In baked peach.
Cream Eyeliner - $3
Face Primer - $6
Mineral Infused Mascara - $3
Waterproof Shadow Liner - $3 Mine is in Taupe and it is beautiful.
Lip Exfoliator - $3

Gloss and Lipstick - $10 (This is one of their Holiday gift sets)
Lip Liner - $1 (In Mauve Luxe and Natural Blush)
Lip Liner with Blending Brush - $3 (In Wine and Natural)
Matte Lip Color - $3 (In Nearly Nude, Tea Rose, Natural, and Coral)
Moisturizing Lipstick - $3 (In Pink Minx)
Mineral Lipstick - $5 (In Natural Nymph and Barely Bitten)
Complete the Look Palette - $40 but is on sale for $20.
Beauty Books - $5 (No link to these as they are no longer available)
141 Piece Master Makeup Collection - $45 but on sale for $35

Total if I didn't shop the sale - $227
Total on the deals I got - $143

$84 dollar difference.  Plus they give free shipping on orders of $35 or more.

Yes, I spent quite a bit on makeup but this makeup lasts and will last me a long time.  I still have ELF products from 2 years ago that are still really good, do not smell bad, and the color is still very much there.  So if it lasts me 2 years again (which the big palettes will), I am spending, on average, $6 a month on makeup.

I do have a few more things coming my way and if any of you are Urban Decay fans, the dupe is going to be right up your alley and for a fraction of the price.

Let me know if you want to see swatches of the colors. I can easily do a quick video to show you how pigmented they are.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Losing Sight

As a mom, I feel that somewhere along the road we all lose sight of who we are, what we want, what we desire, etc.  For me, that has meant I have lost sight of my health and fitness.  Something I am not proud of.

This year has been a particularly hard year.  We had to sell our house and it was a short sale.  We had renters in there but they were constantly late and flooded my upstairs bathroom which required tearing out of flooring and subflooring.  On top of that, my husband was working crazy hours.  We are talking 6 in the morning to almost 10 at night.  Why?  Well, he had a boss that thought that all this stuff needed to be done and cater to people that really weren't in charge.  It put a toll on my sanity and our marriage.  Which in turn meant I never worked out and I picked up some really bad habits to cope.

A couple of those bad habits: soda and fattening food.  All that equals a weight gain.  I am actually at my heaviest now than I was just before my husband deployed in 2007.  After the birth of my first, I ate like I was still pregnant and I gained quite a bit.  I was 170 when he left.  When he came back I was around 160 and upon getting pregnant, I lost 30 pounds within the first 3 months of my pregnancy.  I gained it all back but it was easier to lose the second time around.

After the birth of my third, my weight fluctuated.  It hovered around 155 to 165.  Then I got pregnant with my fourth.  The weight gain during that pregnancy was normal.  Nothing to dramatic.  I didn't lose a lot in the beginning like my previous pregnancies but I did gain 25-30 pounds.  My weight now is what I weighed when I gave birth to my daughter in 2013.  

I lost about 20 pounds after she was here but by Christmas 2013, that all changed.  The weight gain started happening.  This is also the time that my husband's schedule was erratic, the issues with the house started happening, and I became an emotional/comfort eater.  

So what is my current weight?  182.  That is embarrassing.  My mother is overweight to the point it has cause her to have surgeries on her knees and shoulders because of the weight she carries.  My grandmother is overweight too.  Albeit she isn't near what my mom is and does try to eat better and get what exercise she can.  I'll also give her a break to as she is in her 70's.  My aunt isn't overweight. She actually walks 6-10 miles a day.  She is my inspiration in so many ways.

I've always had body issues.  Most of that stems from how my mother viewed her body and how my dad reacted.  Top that being a dancer and I was always trying to make my tummy flatter.  I have always had what they call the mom pooch.  That was until I went to bootcamp. All that walking, running, exercising....It did me good, but like so many people, once out of bootcamp, I just strived to pass the PT tests.

So here I stand at 182 and I kick myself in the butt on why I thought I was fat and ugly at 160, 155, 145, 130.  I feel awful now.  I have started my 30's in the worst shape of my life and if I don't do anything about it, I'm on the road to health problems.  I don't want that.

I want health.  I want fitness. I want energy.  I want life.  I want to be happy.  I want to feel beautiful again.

I am currently aware that many of my problems in the view of my body are unhealthy and I need to change that mind set. I'm also aware that because I haven't been eating well or exercising, I'm depressed about it.  Not depressed in the sense that I need medication but depressed that I let myself get this way.

I have weaknesses.  I am strong in so many areas but weak in just as many.  For this I must humble myself in order to be successful.  I don't feel I have unrealistic goals but I do feel I have unrealistic expectations of how hard it is going to be to get there.

Here are my fitness goals:

  • Goal weight of 145
  • No more soda
  • Limited amount of sweets 
  • Exercise 3-5 times a week
  • Run my first 5k before I turn 31

All of it is going to be hard.  I may not get to 145.  My body may have changed so much from having kids and still breastfeeding that 145 is not attainable to me.  But I'm sure going to try.

Soda - It really is a drug.  I have an addiction. I will get stomach aches and nausea if I go a few days with out it.  It is definitely like I am on a bend.  I have been getting better at drinking my tea though.  Baby steps.

Sweets - Who doesn't love sweets.  Problem is I love a lot of sweets made with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup).  I'm not nearly addicted to this as soda and there was a period of about a year that we almost completely cut it out of our diet.  So this won't be a problem as long as I find healthier alternatives,

Exercise - This is going to be hard.  I have a lot on my plate.  Homeschooling, a business, house cleaning, young children....At the end of the day I'm exhausted but I'd rather be exhausted from getting fit than exhausted from not being able to catch my breath.

Running - I loathe it.  Probably because it hurts, I don't have great form, and need really good shoes.  There was a point that I did it easily but now I just feel like a failure.  I will do it though.  Why?  Because I need to.

And here's a bonus....I want to look in the mirror and say "Dang!  I look good" and then that confidence radiates into the bedroom with my husband.  That sweet guy of mine.  I know no matter what that I will be beautiful to him.  182 pounds or 145 pounds he will still think I'm beautiful.  The issue is I want to feel that way!

I haven't decided if I want to post a before picture.  To be quite honest, I'm very embarrassed.  I may.  If I don't, I may provide my measurements at the very least.  I still have some soul searching to do on this subject.  I also am waiting for a few items to come in.  So while the meal plan overhaul and exercise plan may not go into full fruition until December 1st, I can still work on my sweets and no soda.

So here I go.  I've poured all my time and energy into other people, that in order to continue giving them 100%, I have to pour some into myself.  I'll be honest, I'm scared and excited.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Becoming a Minimalist

Yes.  You read that correctly.  We - actually my hubby - have decided that is time to get rid of stuff.  I've been wanting to get rid of items for a very long time but Mr. B always wanted to hold on.  

A little background about Mr. B before we begin:

  • He is an immigrant
  • Was taught that the more stuff you have, the better off you are
  • Grew up, even in the states, without a lot of items.  Even clothes and shoes were either hand me downs or cheap store brands
So with that, as he became an adult and started to make more money, the things he acquired meant a great deal to him.  By no means is he a spender.  He is quite the opposite which is why he takes pride in his stuff.  

After 4 children, stuff starts to pile up.  Shoes, clothes, toys, kitchen gadgets, stuff......It is just every where you turn.  More Stuff = More Responsibility.  So what's a guy to do?  He researches to the best of his ability.

So his solution? Let's move into an RV.  <commence laughter>

I like the idea of living in an RV but just not at such a drastic pace.  First let's get something straight.....If we were to just jump into an RV to live, I, aka mom, would have to contend with 4 kids and a dog in such small quarters while he gets to go to work.  Perfect for him, not so much for me.  Which is why this is taking place s l o w l y.

So we started with our closet.  For me, getting rid of things isn't a big deal.  I was spoiled.  I pretty much got what I wanted/needed when I wanted/needed it.  I never have had to learn how to wait.  Delayed gratification/saving/waiting for a sale....this is something I have never needed to do - until having kids.  Now Mr. B has the hardest time departing with his clothes.  Since he didn't have a lot growing up, there is this direct link for him - getting rid of stuff either means I'm poor, or I'm not that well off (poor).

I finally got him to condense down a lot.  Part of it was that I was there going through my stuff as well.  At this point in time, we could fit 2 more people's clothes in our closet.  After that, I went through the kids' clothes.  Those kids had so much darn clothing it was insane.

What does this mean?  It means that come laundry day or when the clothes pile up to be folded, there isn't a lot to be done.  Yesterday, after 3 weeks of illness running through the family and Mr. B being off, I was able to finally fold laundry.  Instead of the 2-4 hours it normally takes me, it took me an hour and a half to fold everyone's laundry and hang it up.  VICTORY!!!!

In the midst of that, I re-did our laundry room and that is going to help us clean out our closet where we keep our towels.  We are going down to 12 towels (2 per person).  I wanted to have that extra stash just in case of sicknesses and the like.  I think right about now we have around 25 towels.  Time to destash.  From there it'll be our kitchen.  That even will take a few weeks of planning and actually doing it.

I know as Americans we love our stuff.  As moms we really love our kids looking cute and the latest boots (I know I do!) but getting rid of things and being conscious of the clothes I have bought (I recently bought 2 pants and 2 button up shirts that the possibilities are endless with a few staples) really makes my life easier.  I'm not piled up in laundry and am  able to start focusing on things that really mean a lot to me.  

Will we move into an RV? Maybe, I don't know.  Do I want to downsize?  YES!  

I've often crave the community of the 1700 and 1800's (with some modern conveniences) and want that simpler life.  I want my children to cherish their things but not need to have a lot.  I want them to be happy not overwhelmed and burdened with this sense that they have to work X amount of hours in order to pay for such things that really just add to the overwhelmed and burdensome life.

Is it scary to get rid of your stuff?  Yes, because you bought it.  You earned it.  You like it. But for us it seems that getting rid of that stuff is making everyone just a little bit happier.

So join me as I share what I'm going to get rid of and how I'm going to organize it better.  I will be getting rid of items I've had for years and items that I've thought were the necessities to a happy life.  I'm becoming a minimalist and if we had an Ikea around (oh how I miss Ikea) I'd happily downsize to 1000 square feet tomorrow.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Laundry Room Update

Our laundry room is small.  It leads right from the garage into the house.  I wish it was more of a mud room but since this is a rental, c'est la vie.  It usually becomes a catch all and we throw a lot of things up top.

When you don't have a place for items you tend to hoard and then don't know what you have.  So I decided to update a bit.

Here is a before and after:

I started by cleaning off that top shelf.  It had so much garbage up there.  Old laundry bottles, water bottles we never used, old cleaning supplies.  I weeded out the stuff we didn't use and set to the side what we do use.

I then cleaned the top shelf with my steam cleaner.  I organized what was left and placed it up on the shelf again in a more organized manner. After that I cleaned the machines, then the floor, moved the dryer over, and cleaned the floor again.

 After that I spray painted a shelf a pretty blue color.  That is where my laundry detergent/boosters/softener goes so it is easily accessed instead of just sitting on top of the dryer.

 Over the back of the door hangs the ironing board and a mop.  I had to get a colored hook as when we move, we don't leave anything behind and white gets over looked quite easily.

 How much did I spend?  Well not too much.  The jars I placed on the shelf were 50% off at Hobby Lobby.  There is where I bought the chalkboard labels and the spray paint.  The shelf we had from our school room that wasn't in need any longer.  It was previously black but I wanted some color.  The black baskets were from Target.  $7 for the two big ones. $5 for the two small ones.  They will house our towels from our tiny hall closet.  Total cost $60

I wish I owned our own house so that I could have painted it and added some actual cabinets but such is the life of a renter.  For now it is use and it'll work.

Hope you enjoyed my Laundry Room update and come back for more updates as we organize and minimalize our stuff.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Motivating my son.....and how he teaches me.

As a homeschooling parent, my oldest is "our guinea pig".  No matter how much I've researched, read, talked with other parents about, etc., the reality is that my child is teaching me just as much as I am teaching him. What a great symbiotic relationship, isn't it?  I have taught this kid how to read, how to write, his numbers, shapes, colors, etc.  Often with much help from PBS Kids and iPad apps but they have helped me as well on my journey and the journey is far from over.

Now that he is reading, I have found it increasingly more difficult to get him to read for enjoyment.  His required reading has increased but his enjoyment for reading, aka pleasure reading, has not.  He is a boy and would rather play Minecraft or outside.  These things are great and I foster them because they are his interests for the time being.

So what does this have to do with motivation for reading and math?  A lot when you have a competitive boy.

Last Christmas, my husband bought me Inferno by Dan Brown.  I've read every other book by Dan Brown and really do love his Robert Langdon series.  But alas the book sat on the book shelf.  While I wanted to devour the book, I was also pulled in a million directions and with a husband whose erratic work schedule wreaked havoc on our lives, I chose enjoyment reading to cut from my life.  That is until recently.

Beginning of October I decided to pick it up.  I needed an escape and I knew Dan Brown could provide that for me.  2 days after I started the book, my son decided to make a bet.  He's been wanting Pixelmon on the computer and I've been a bit hesitant at letting him have anything to do with the computer.  iPad and Kindle?  No problem.  I really like the parental controls on both.  My computer....not so much.

So the bet came to fruition - if I don't complete my book by October 31st, then I get to buy him Pixelmon.  If I do, well he doesn't get it.  {But between us, he'll still get rewarded for being a good sport and participating}

Every couple of days we see how many pages I have read, how many pages I have left, and how many pages/chapters a day I need to read in order to complete the book by the end of the month.  Since then I have seen an uptick in him getting his math done more quickly and correctly and reading his required reading for school at a more motivated pace which has in return led to better comprehension. Bonus, bonus, bonus.  <doing a happy dance>

Even though we are not yet to multiplication and division in our year, it has given him a taste for how math can be done and that taste has led to a more motivated child during our school day.

I never would have thought that by me picking up a book that it would have a direct effect on my children in such a short amount of time. No amount of research or talking with other homeschool parents would have ever led me to think this would happen.

See how my child is teaching me as I am teaching him?  What a blessing I have been given.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Medicine Tracker

So with the recent event of my husband's surgery and the following medication, I created a medicine tracker.  I've used hand written one's in the past with my children but with this event, I needed more sheets.

It includes:

1 - 10 day two times a day
1 - 10 day three times a day
1 - 14 day two times a day
1 - 14 day three times a day

Use it for daily medicine, detox pills, juicing, etc.  It is up in my shop for $3 and is a download so once purchased, you can print as many times as you need.  You can purchase it HERE.