Thursday, January 28, 2010

Potato bin nightstand

Boy, doen't THIS sound riveting??!! Did I spell potato right, or is there an 'e' on the end, I can never remember. Anyway... We have probably the world's smallest master bedroom, AND we own a king size bed. So, needless to say, space is tight! Poor Mike, has always had his alarm clock on the floor next to his side of the bed. But that is about to change! I was over at my mom and dad's house last week and went "shopping" in their basement storage room. There is some good stuff in there! I came across this potatoe (OOH, I think there IS an e) bin, and a great idea came into my mind to transform it into Mike's side table. My mom said sure, my dad said, "what else do you want to take with you", and my sister didn't want to claim it, so it was mine!! Upon arriving home that day, Mike said "what is that potatoe bin for"? I told him, he rolled his eyes at it and me, and I said just wait, let me work some majic on it. So, it has been sitting in the garage for a week now, but I am off all weekend, so am excited to start. I already bought my can of antique white spray paint, that matches the dresser and my side table. I may try to do something with the doors, or I may pull them off altogether and place 3 cute brown bins in each of the spots......What are you working on this weekend, or what are you thinking about working on??

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Haiti

Came across this blog on another friends blog this morning. livesayhaiti.blogspot.com Soo good. You, too, will find yourself reading it for the next hour. They are a family living, and serving in Haiti, before the earthquake. Now they share their daily experiences after the earthquake too. She appears to be an ER doc and has been saving and helping lives over there. Please go check it out.

Monday, January 25, 2010

24 in 48


I have a bad headache today, so I sit in front of my computer with my sunglasses on to keep the brightness down. Sad, but I have not been on the computer for the past 48hours, and want to catch up with the blog world and emails. I have to work every third weekend as a nurse, and this past weekend was my turn. I love my job big time, but the hours stink!! We have to work 12 hour shifts, so on my weekend I have to work 24 out of the 48 hours!!! If you add in when I actually leave the house to go to work and the time when I get back home, it is a 14 hour day. Two of those in a row = not seeing my family more than an hour total, a headache, and the right to do whatever I feel like on monday :)
Something exciting that did happen this weekend, my sister flew to Houston for a weekend with Beth Moore. She got to hear that amazing woman speak and she got to take a picture with her!! How cool is that! What have you all been up to this weekend? Did I miss anything exciting in your lives??

Thursday, January 14, 2010

How's it going so far??

Well, we are officially 2 weeks into our new budget boxes. It has really been eye-opening and thought provoking, being on this budget. Overall, I have to say we have been succeeding!! The only thing is that Mike didn't work many hours at all the past 2 weeks, so the numbers will be off at the end of the month.
Here is a look "inside" our budget boxes at the 2 week mile marker:
Gas - $30 spent (we budgeted $20/week) so we are under :)
Fun - $13 spent (we go blizzards last week) (we budgeted $20/wk, so we are under)
Grocery $ 315 spent (which includes upfront expenses for my upcoming class food) Yes, we are over in this dept, but since we are not eating out at all, it is more than anticipated. This is our first month doing this, so there are sure to be some adjustments.
Retail -$0 spent!!!!!!! Yeah, (budgeted $30/week) I am staying away from the stores!!
McD, QT, Restraunts - we are sticking to our $20 each per week. We still have a gift certif to one of our favorite Pizza shops in this box to use after we just can't take eating at home anymore :)

Today we will actually spend a few more dollars from the Gas/car box as we MUST get the car washed, it's finally warm enought to get all that yucky salt off!!

We have had some crabby moments from the kids, wanting a happy meal, or something other than what is avail in the pantry, but overall, have enjoyed a yummy, family filled week around the dinner table. There has been laughter for the most part and simple pleasures.
Instead of just going here or there and swiping the old debit card without much thought, our thinking is changing. Rather than thinking "where can we go shop today" we say "where can we avoid going this day and this week to save! Pretty cool. How are you all doing with your new years resolution??

Saturday, January 9, 2010

simple fireplace before and after








I have been thinking about my outdated looking fireplace FOREVER. I have grande plans to paint it white someday and to also add a white mantle with some scrap wood and an extra piece of moulding that has been in the garage for sometime now. That will happen one of these days. But for now, I am very pleased with the simple changes we were able to make since Christmas. We got some Christmas money from my parents and from Mike's mom this year, so we finally went out and bought a new fireplace screen. The old one was brass and falling out of the fireplace. We have had our eye on a black wrought iron one for awhile, and found a very reasonable one at Target. ( I love Target). I also have been wanting to add some more low level lighting on the fireplace, but with the very narrow brick mantle that is in place now, you can't put anything wider than 4inches on it. So, I found some pretty candle sconces at Bed Bath & Beyond, that look great, esp at night with the candles lit and a fire roaring behind the new screen. Here is a couple before pics, I usually have a pic hanging above the fireplace, but at Christmas, hang a lighted wreath. These give you a pretty good idea of what the lovely brass screen looked like.




Now, the after. I also took my favorite picture of the kids that I had hanging in the hallway in a smaller frame, and placed it into another larger frame that housed some of Chase's artwork (his art is now in the smaller frame in the hall :) ) I LOVE it. What simple changes have you made lately around your house???

Friday, January 8, 2010

Budget Boxes



Yikes, I know it has been way to long since my last post, but I do check the blog world out daily. And yes, the Christmas music is FINALLY GONE!! Only now you will have to put up with some 80's music...I am just in that kind of mood. Hope everyone's Christmas and New Years was great!! We really enjoyed time with family and friends over the holidays. That is my favorite part of the season. The new year has grown some "wild hairs" as Mike puts it. We both have begun to watch what we eat...although we are not "dieting" yet per say, we are eating healthier. In part, because we are disgusted with ourselves, for looking the way we do!! Man. We have also put our money on a diet and have started a budget. I came across a show on CNBC called "Till Debt Do Us Part". I have DVR'd it, so I don't even know what day it shows on, but you should check out your tv's guide and tivo it too. It reminds me of Super Nanny, but for grownups and their spending bad habits!! Anyway, from that show, one of the things we have done, is set up budget boxes.
You are supposed to actually put the money you have alloted for each category, into the boxes at the begining of the month, but we chose do do it a little differently. We have been on this system for almost a week now, and I have to say, it makes you stop and THINK before spending a single penny!! Before making up these boxes, I took our bank statement for last month and used different colored pens to highlight the different categories, where our money went. Although December isn't the best month to calculate 'Normal' spending habbits, it was definately eye-opening to see exactly where our money goes!!! So, with that info in mind, along with our average monthly income, (which, with both Mike and I being hourly empoyees, it is definately AVERAGE, esp in the winter months with Mike's job.) we came up with what we thought would be a fair amount for specific categories. Our boxes are labeled with the following: 1 Gas/car - 2 FUN -3 McDonalds/QT/Restraunts - 4grocery - 5 Retail . You may have different labels, according to what YOU spend YOUR money on. Notice number 2 says FUN. She said to definately have a FUN account. We allocated $20 a week for this, and haven't spent any of that yet, so it will spill over to next week, maybe we will save up to go to the movies, or dinner?? Anyway, what methods do YOU use to help with your monthly budgeting? I am looking for all possible ways to make this work!!

(IN)COURAGE -SO great...check it out!

CHASE

CHASE

BROOKE

BROOKE

DEWEY

DEWEY

SPANKY

SPANKY

our family

our family

My CUTIES

My CUTIES