Showing posts with label goals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label goals. Show all posts

Friday, January 6, 2017

Monthly Update From The Homestead - January Edition (Goals, Life, Etc.)


Were you ready for the holiday chaos to be over? I was. I love the holidays, but I do not like the craziness of the season. I have scaled back a lot in my celebrating, but the struggle to make the season simple is real. 

December was also Paige's birthday. She turned 16! Yikes! Where has the time gone?!?! She also got one of these: 


Watch out world! 

We are buried in snow and ice right now. That is the reality of living in the Midwest in winter. The wind has been crazy though! If the wind hasn't been crazy, the really cold temperatures have been! We are on our second "cold snap" of the winter. This morning we woke up to -7℉! Brrr....

As I mentioned before, I do not really have any goals or resolutions for the year. Okay, I take that back. I have five things I want to see happen, but they are fairly personal and not really relating to homesteading: 

  1. I want to get $1000 in a savings account for emergencies.
  2. I want to save $1000 for next Christmas.
  3. I want to pay cash for a new to me vehicle.
  4. I want to go on at least two dates a month with Rob - more than just eating out. (He really doesn't know about this one, but he will when he reads this!) 
  5. I want to read a chapter in a book or a magazine almost every day. 

These are very simple, yet personal goals for the year. I do not really have homesteading, prepping, or self-sufficiency goals as of right now. I am going with the flow of these. I have a lot of things I would like to see happen, but I am not setting anything in stone. Truth be told, my mind is kind of scattered right now and I am just letting things happen as they come. We have a lot of projects that need to be done and they will come first. 

I already started the first project. I am remodeling the upstairs master bedroom. We do not use it right now, but would love to move back up there. We sleep in the basement bedroom that I set up for myself about eight years ago. I love this space, but we are going to turn that into badly needed guest bedroom(s). So it is time to create a space that is both of ours and that we love to come to every night. 



We first moved the full size bed that was in there to Paige's room. She had a twin size bed, but the bed was small and the mattress was less than stellar. We threw out the mattress and the broken bunk mate that was under it. 

I have the carpet, padding, and linoleum torn up. Actually, there wasn't much tearing up to do. None of it really reached the edges and none of it was attached to the floor in any way. I cut the carpet up in sections to haul out. The padding was already in easy to handle sections. The linoleum was broken up in easy to handle sections also. The floor now looks like this: 



I will be painting the walls first. The paint needs to be freshened up. Then the floor will be sanded and sealed. Rob wants to match the trim to the floor so we will be replacing at least the floor trim if not all of it. Then we start bed shopping. We are switching from a queen size bed to a king size bed. We both need plenty of space to sleep!

Rob is finishing up the wiring in the shop. He has done so much in there and it looks so nice! He now has plenty of outlets and lighting. He has learned how to wire a three way switch with multiple lights which was a challenge for him. He has also added a lot of insulation to the walls and around the windows which has made a big difference in that room. He has more plans for the shop including adding shelving and cabinets for storage. 

Since it is winter, we have time to get the indoor projects done! When the weather turns nice again (hurry up Spring!), we will be cleaning up the yard and working outdoors again. We will also be building a new chicken coop! 



You can check out my latest YouTube video! That will give you an idea of what I was up to in December. I was mostly trying to clear up some clutter and to clean up my side of the office a bit. 

How is your January going? Let me know in the comments below! 

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Thursday, December 22, 2016

My Mind Is Literally Going In A Hundred Directions...


I haven't done a post like this in a long time, but the end of the year is coming. This post may be a little long, but I want to explain where I am at right now, what I am interested in now, and where I am at in life. I haven't even looked at my goals for this year in about six months. I know some have been accomplished, but not all of them. I don't think, as of right now, I will set specific goals for next year.

I am okay with that.

Because my mind is going in a hundred directions. Literally.

My life this year has been crazy. In January, Rob and I started living together and there continues to be a lot of adjustments for both of us as well as the kids. The kids at home are busy and continuing to live the life of a 16 year old and a 12 year old. Although I do have to say having a 12 year old boy after three girls is quite different. Not always in a good way either.

However, my interests are the same and different. This is where my mind is going right now.

I still love and am interested in what this blog is about: prepping, homesteading, and frugality. I struggle to separate the three of them in my mind most days. I wonder how much more I can do and what I should do. I always plan to be more frugal in the next year even though I can't always figure out how to be even more frugal than I already am. However, there is always more to be done.

Our finances are going to change in January a bit and that will be an interesting challenge. As for many people, health insurance rates are going to rise for us too. We are also taking on a couple bills that the landlords had paid for in the past which will need to be added in the budget. We have separate accounts and separate budgets, but we usually discuss and decide how joint bills will be paid.

I am going to try to participate in the Uber Frugal Month Challenge by The Frugalwoods. I adore their blog! I saw their post about this challenge and knew I should participate. I love a good challenge once I have my mind convinced to do it.

We are also looking at ways to lose some, if not all, of our dependence on electricity. We have been talking about and researching solar and wind energy to either power some of our things like the well pump or to be a back-up when the power goes out. We have some ways to heat the house if we lose power. However, the whole house is electric so we need to figure out something different. We are just a little leery about the power grid and its stability...

I am now finding myself passionately interested in minimalism, zero waste lifestyle, living with less, decluttering, and methods of  organization. I have been decluttering a lot more this last year because nothing says you have too much stuff than moving in with someone! The organizing needed to happen because I was, and sometimes still am, the only person who can find things. That does not work when you really do not want the other people in your life dependent upon you!

Why such the interest in these things? I see them as an extension of prepping, homesteading, and frugality. I think they fit hand in hand. Too much stuff and too much waste can clutter up your efforts in prepping and homesteading. Not being organized means you spend precious time finding your stuff and/or buying replacements when you can't find them. Both of those things can thwart your frugal ways by spending your time and money when you didn't need to. Having order can be benefit to every area of your life.

It also can be a vicious circle which is why I spend more time studying more of these things. I want to break the cycle.

Speaking of breaking the cycle, I need to do so on my health too. I thought my yearly doctor's visit would be the wake-up call I needed. It wasn't. My blood tests and my screens all came back nearly perfect. Cholesterol was a little high. The doctor mentioned I should lose weight, but was pleased because my weight had not increased.  She still thinks I need to be on a low carb diet because she thinks everyone should be. I do agree with her on that.

So now I research and try to implement methods, meals, and snacks that are low carb. This is so hard! I have a heck of a sweet tooth when it comes to chocolate, caramel, and a certain company's oatmeal cream pies. None of which are mentioned on the various low carb plans! Right now, my research keeps leading me to the Ketogenic diet and the Trim Healthy Mama diet. I have mostly converted my sugar usage to sugar substitutes like Stevia, Erythritol, and Xylitol or combination of them. The rest of my diet needs work.

This is a switch for me honestly. I am still very interested in natural health and eating naturally. I still think some of the foods I am not suppose to have are still very healthy for me. I have a tough time giving up legumes, some grains, honey, bread, and jams made from scratch. Fruit hasn't been a huge deal for me because I can't digest a lot of it. I like strawberries and blueberries in season so I am fine with those being a treat.

I also still want to grow most of my own food. I miss my garden now that winter is here and I am thinking about getting a greenhouse. It would be nice to keep growing more cold tolerant crops in the winter. I miss having chickens, but they are coming back this Spring. I want fresh eggs again! We are planting more fruit trees next year also. My interest in being self-sustainable will never go away. 

This seems like a lot of directions for the mind to go. I get so interested in so many things! The mind is going crazy with all this information and decisions to be made!

But, as always, I am still interested in writing, blogging, and vlogging. The more I see the connections in everything I am interested in, the more I want to talk about it. This blog will probably expand more into all these areas as I learn more and experience more of what I am interested in. I think prepping, homesteading, and being frugal can and does encompass all these things.

All this has made making goals for next year very difficult. I will probably do monthly goals and make the changes a bit more bite-size. I want to learn more, do more, be more, and have enough to live life.

Where is your mind going? What is your next year going to look like?

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Are You Ready For The New Year? My 2016 Goals!


Since my goals for 2015 pretty much didn't get accomplished, I figured I needed a new game plan.

What is that game plan?

1. Break them down into more manageable and easier to accomplish tasks.
2. Print them out. Maybe make the print out fancy or more eye catching.
3. Hang my goals in several places in my home. 

To be fair, my focus shifted last year especially in the last three months. The biggest change to my focus is that Rob and I are going to move in together at the end of January. I decided that meant I needed to get much more organized and declutter the whole house. 

Rational thinking, right?

I am still not done, but a lot of progress has been made. Much more needs to be made. 

However, I still enjoyed having goals last year so I will endeavor to have goals this year. Some of my goals are the same from last year with some new ones thrown in. Some of my goals will depend on others, but I am okay with that. I seek to encourage others and hope that happens on a regular basis. 

I am also splitting my goals up this year. I will not be posting my blogging goals because those are quite personal and I do not seek to burden you with that somewhat boring stuff. 

Home Goals:

1. To stop picking up after my kids and make them do it. This may not seem big, but I feel like I do this too often and because I am too lazy to make the kid who made the mess clean it up. Not anymore.

2.  Clean, de-clutter, paint, re-carpet, fix ceiling,  and organize Paige's room. This room is an unorganized disaster that needs some serious help. Plus she is at that age where she is growing out of everything: clothes, toys, books, etc. We actually made a lot of progress on this in 2015, but it just needs to get done!

3. Move the bedrooms from the basement to the upstairs and move the spare bedrooms to the basement. 

4. Paint the upstairs hallway/stairway.

Personal Goals: 

1. To check my bank account every week. No matter how scary it is. I have a budget, but I hate checking my bank account. It is really depressing and I don't like to it. However, that is cowardly and, to be able to track my spending better, I need to check it at least weekly.

2. Write a book or an e-book. Because I have always wanted to.

3. To read at least 25 pages every day. I have been slacking on my reading and I love to read! Time to get back to it.

Homesteading Goals:

1. To build a raised bed in the garden for my carrots and beets. My soil is too clay like to grow these things well. I want to build a raised bed with more sand and less dirt. I want to build a second one for my potatoes, but we will see how much material I have on hand to build a second one. 

2. To add more layer chickens to the flock. My chickens will be two years old in May and production will be declining. Time to start adding.

3. Plant 2-3 apple trees, 2 pear trees, and try again with plum trees. The farm needs more fruit and rejuvenation. 

4. Start a small flock of meat chickens and butcher them myself. Maybe 10-15 birds for my first time. 

Prepping Goals:

1. To become more comfortable with guns and learn to shoot well.

2. To practice with a bow more often and maybe hunt with it. 

3. To acquire more water storage. I want to add 75-100 gallons of water to my existing water supplies. 

4. To build up my food storage to at least a comfortable year or longer.

What are your goals for the new year?

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December 2015 Goals Update


I just realized that I didn't post an update for November which is indicative of how busy that time was!

What have we been doing? Hauling lots and lots of things to the thrift store. Paige has been really cracking down on her room. Dane has been working on his room. I have just been going and going on the rest of the house!

These goals have changed and evolved over the year. They will really change in the next few months, but I really hope to accomplish most of them in the next year. My priorities have just changed to cleaning the house of clutter. That needed to happen first. 

The second is that we are looking at some big life changes in the next couple months. I don't know if they will happen, but I am really hoping they do. I don't want to talk about them now, but I will when the time is right. 

My Goals For 2015

1. Clean, de-clutter, paint, re-carpet, fix ceiling,  and organize Paige's room. This room is an unorganized disaster that needs some serious help. Plus she is at that age where she is growing out of everything: clothes, toys, books, etc.

This will happen. We decided that everything needs to be gone through in Paige's room. We have gotten rid of almost half of her clothes, a good deal of just trash, and several things she has grown out of. She is still going through everything, but we have moved more into the organizing end of things.

2. Clean, organize, paint, and re-carpet the office. This is where I work at home (most of the time). It doesn't work for me. It doesn't really work for anyone.

Next year. I have a load of things in there that I just need to get listed on Ebay and sell. I have been listing more and more, but some of this takes time and research. 

3. Purchase a hand gun and learn to use it well.  Next year.

4. To blog much more consistently and to learn to use social media to my advantage. To me consistently is at least 3-5 times a week. That doesn't happen right now.

I am not blogging at least three times a week due to my other activities right now, but I have been focusing a lot more on social media with great results. I have been also studying ways to become a better blogger and have been implementing those tools. 

5. To make a homemade gift for each birthday. I have lots of ideas that I am not using right now so this should be easy to do.

Next year if I don't get something done in time for Christmas. 

6. Add 1-2 beehives to the homestead. I would love, love, love to produce our own honey.

Next year, maybe. 

7. Lose 20 pounds over the year. Unbelievably, I love 20 pounds last year and would love to lose 20 more this year.

I have lost ten pounds! Yeah! We are switching to a low carb diet for Rob's diabetes and because diabetes runs in my mom's side of the family. Maybe I will lose 20 more pounds!

8. Finish six unfinished projects. I will introduce you all to my needlework pile in the future. You might not be laughing after you see it.

The clothes dryer is fixed! Is that an unfinished project? 

9. Live as frugally as possible by making more my own things and using what I have first before buying more. This really needs to happen this year and working up a realistic budget will be the first step.

I have been really working on this with the Once A Month Shopping Challenge! This has been a blessing to me, but I am trying to become even more frugal. Small changes add up to big ones like making sure lights are shut off, chargers are unplugged, doors stay shut to keep the warm air in, and picking up any change I see on the ground!

10. Write a book or an e-book. Because I have always wanted to.

I started two books, but have not had a lot of time to get back to them. I hope to during the winter when I am more willing to sit on the computer. 

11. Go to a self-reliance/preparedness expo and/or Mother Earth News Fair. I have never been to one and always say I want to go one and never do. This year is the year for this! Next year. 

12. Get a new-to-me double recliner and love seat for the living room. The ones I have have been blessing my home for at least 16-19 years and they blessed some one else's home before that. The kids have made sure they are worn out and broken down. I have fixed over and over again. Enough. Time for new to me stuff!

I have not found anything I like or will match yet. I am not trying to be fussy, but I am not into floral furniture in any way, shape, or form!

Thanks for reading!
Erica

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How I Get Things Done: Doing 5 Things In One Area


I am often asked how I get things done. I know I am a single mother with busy kids so that means I have to get things done. Of course, I enlist my kids into helping because, most of the time, it is their mess. At the end of the day, though, most of the work falls on me to keep the house running smoothly and to get things done.

I often don't feel like doing anything. Morning is my best time to get things done because I am tired at night after being at work most of the day. When I get home, I don't want to do anything including cooking. I often have prepping and homesteading tasks to accomplish. I have blogging to do. I have an Ebay store that needs daily attention. 

I have things to do! 

Crazy, right?

This is how I get things done: I choose an area and get five things done in that area. 

I will grab a piece of scratch paper or use my Any.DO app on my phone and make a list of five things I want to get done. I often will have a list for the morning and one for the evening. My morning list will usually have errands I need to run in town. I also focus attention on and have a list of five things to do in my Ebay store and for my blogging activities in the mornings. 

My evening list is usually more specific to an area at home that needs attention. I do most of my homesteading tasks in the evenings. Most of my prepping activities will be in the evenings. Most of my major housework will be in the evenings. Altogether it is really overwhelming, but by breaking down the tasks and focusing on one area, I can get more done.

I like to have my list written down or noted on the Any.Do app so I can keep on task. I am way too easily distracted and will lose focus easily. I need to see the list in print to keep on task!

For an in-house example of what I would do: If I am in the living room, I will put five things away. Usually that alone makes a huge difference! I will fold the blankets and put them away, put the throw pillows back on the furniture, make the kids pick up the toys, put away read books and magazines, and put the dirty dishes in the kitchen. The living room is instantly looking better and I feel accomplished.

For a more specific example, this was yesterday's list:
Buy garlic to plant in the garden
Plant garlic in the garden
Stake the area planted and put twine around the stakes for a barrier
Buy pots for the herbs
Repot the outdoor herbs and bring them inside for the winter.

I also pulled up the tomatoes plants while I was out there waiting for the kids to find the twine and stakes. I should have been more efficient and brought them out with me! But that is life sometimes!

That list was all about gardening and I felt great getting that all done! Especially with colder weather coming this week!

When I make a list of five, I am doing it to keep the list and my life simple. I don't feel overwhelmed. I am doing what I can in this area at that moment. I still make supper, do dishes, and do laundry, but I am getting more done than the basics.

The side benefit of doing five things is that I can stop there and feel great about what I have done. Usually though, when I start doing those five things, I start doing more during or after those five things are done. Case in point: pulling up the tomato plants while I was waiting for the kids. 

Depending on where you are at in life, your list might be different. I remember my kids being little and thinking that having five toys picked up was a great achievement! The joy of the list of five is that you can make suit your life and where you are at in life. 

How do you get it all done? Do you use this method too?

Thanks for reading,
Erica



Thursday, October 1, 2015

October 2015 Goals Update


Happy Fall everyone! I love this season too, but I don't like that winter is coming after it. It doesn't sound like we will be having a mild winter. 

As a family, we are in the middle of cross country/marching band season. If Paige isn't at one of those, she is at the other. She loves both and this season in life is temporary. Since I won't let her have a school permit yet, I am driving her everywhere. 

Dane hasn't started basketball yet, so we aren't running completely crazy!

The girls are loving college and trying to stay healthy. A lot of colds and an ear infection have been in their apartment!

My Goals For 2015

1. Clean, de-clutter, paint, re-carpet, fix ceiling,  and organize Paige's room. This room is an unorganized disaster that needs some serious help. Plus she is at that age where she is growing out of everything: clothes, toys, books, etc. 

We have not done a lot up there. She has decided on colors to paint her room. We hauled another box of unwanted stuff out of there, but there is just so much more since her sisters gifted her with more of their unwanted clothes. And Paige loves clothes! This is proving a challenge to get her down to a reasonable wardrobe. 

2. Clean, organize, paint, and re-carpet the office. This is where I work at home (most of the time). It doesn't work for me. It doesn't really work for anyone.

The office is ready to be painted when I get to it. I have almost everything unnecessary out of there. 

3. Purchase a hand gun and learn to use it well.

4. To blog much more consistently and to learn to use social media to my advantage. To me consistently is at least 3-5 times a week. That doesn't happen right now.

This blog has been growing and thank you to all of you for it! Thank you!!!!

I couldn't be happier with the growth and encouragement this blog gives me. I would still like to blog more during the week, but time constants and all that. 

5. To make a homemade gift for each birthday Christmas. I have lots of ideas that I am not using right now so this should be easy to do.

6. Add 1-2 beehives to the homestead. I would love, love, love to produce our own honey.

7. Lose 20 pounds over the year. Unbelievably, I love 20 pounds last year and would love to lose 20 more this year.

Well, the low carb diet plan is working for the most part. Since I made Jordan take the scale to college with her (I hate scales!), I have no idea what I weigh. Maybe next month, I will be able to tell you!

8. Finish six unfinished projects. I will introduce you all to my needlework pile in the future. You might not be laughing after you see it.

Still working on two of the needlework projects and the end is in site with both of them. I did get the wireless, motion-sensing light hung up over the garage walk-in door. I have been wanting that done for awhile. The driveway is lit up now when someone pulls in the driveway which makes me feel better. 

9. Live as frugally as possible by making more my own things and using what I have first before buying more. This really needs to happen this year and working up a realistic budget will be the first step.

Budget is still going, just getting tighter. Dang medical bills. I am trying to make some extra money by selling things so we can get them worked down. 

I am also trying not to buy anything extra or frivolous in October. A kind of no-spend month if I can do it. We shall see. 

10. Write a book or an e-book. Because I have always wanted to.

Definitely have the outline and some of the filler info ready for a book. Just need to commit time to it now!

11. Go to a self-reliance/preparedness expo and/or Mother Earth News Fair. I have never been to one and always say I want to go one and never do. This year is the year for this!

Probably not happening this year now. Unless one happens very soon and within a three hour driving distance. Next year!

12. Get a new-to-me double recliner and love seat for the living room. The ones I have have been blessing my home for at least 16-19 years and they blessed some one else's home before that. The kids have made sure they are worn out and broken down. I have fixed over and over again. Enough. Time for new to me stuff!

Haha! I have gone to a lot of garage sales this last month and nothing. Craigslist has also yielded nothing. I am just holding on to the thought of "Good things happen to those who wait!"

So that is it for this month. What is your goals for October?

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

September 2015 Goals Update


August was busy! We did a fair amount of purging and decluttering. You will have that when you move another kid out of the house and to her own apartment at college. We still are. I even sorted out the sock bin in the laundry room and pitched a small trashcan full of socks

School also started on the 24th and we were all ready for it to start! The kids got their own Chromebooks again from the school. 

My Goals For 2015

1. Clean, de-clutter, paint, re-carpet, fix ceiling,  and organize Paige's room. This room is an unorganized disaster that needs some serious help. Plus she is at that age where she is growing out of everything: clothes, toys, books, etc.

We have a little bit of cleaning left to do. Then we will be looking to fix her ceiling.

2. Clean, organize, paint, and re-carpet the office. This is where I work at home (most of the time). It doesn't work for me. It doesn't really work for anyone.

I am looking at putting hardwood laminate flooring in my office now instead of carpet. I have a box of it leftover from the doing the front and back entry ways. I am thinking I will get a couple more boxes to match it and put that instead. I am also looking through what I have left in paint from other projects to give it a new coat.

3. Purchase a hand gun and learn to use it well.

I need to do this yet. Soon.

4. To blog much more consistently and to learn to use social media to my advantage. To me consistently is at least 3-5 times a week. That doesn't happen right now.

This goal will always be in the works this year. I have learned so much about blogging and social media from fellow bloggers. I am amazed at how this all works! 

5. To make a homemade gift for each birthday Christmas. I have lots of ideas that I am not using right now so this should be easy to do.

6. Add 1-2 beehives to the homestead. I would love, love, love to produce our own honey. On the list for next year. Hopefully, I can get at least one hive going.

7. Lose 20 pounds over the year. Unbelievably, I lost 20 pounds last year and would love to lose 20 more this year.

I have lost about 5 pounds. I bought an elliptical machine and some yoga DVDs. I love doing yoga and don't know why I quit. Now I just need to get into a regular routine.

8. Finish six unfinished projects. I will introduce you all to my needlework pile in the future. You might not be laughing after you see it.

Still working on them. A little bit every weekend.

9. Live as frugally as possible by making more my own things and using what I have first before buying more. This really needs to happen this year and working up a realistic budget will be the first step.

This was hard in August. School is such a wild card in my budget. This month had a lot more unexpected expenses for needed shirts, sign up fees, and whatnot. However, we did fairly well. 

10. Write a book or an e-book. Because I have always wanted to.

I have not had time to work on this in August. Maybe when the weather gets cool again?

11. Go to a self-reliance/preparedness expo and/or Mother Earth News Fair. I have never been to one and always say I want to go one and never do. This year is the year for this!

Hopefully yet. There is usually a self-reliance expo in Minneapolis in the fall. I hope to make it there this year. 

12. Get a new-to-me double recliner and love seat for the living room. The ones I have have been blessing my home for at least 16-19 years and they blessed some one else's home before that. The kids have made sure they are worn out and broken down. I have fixed over and over again. Enough. Time for new to me stuff!

I haven't found what I am looking for yet. I am not being picky, but I refuse to buy floral printed furniture. I have my limits! 

Thanks for reading! 
Erica


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Is It A NEED or a WANT? What Should You Spend Your Money On?


One of the hard lessons in life that I had to learn was distinguishing between needs and wants. Sometimes I had a hard time knowing which was which. Sometimes, when I ignored that little voice in my head telling me I didn't need that item, I got myself in to some financial hot water. 

Lessons learned the hard way will stick with me the best!

As I mentioned in the 13 Ways To Save Money In The New Year post, I had to learn to commit to spending no money for anything not on the goals list, that was frivolous, or unnecessary. I had to understand that unless it was a need or on my goals list, I was not spending the money on any unnecessary purchases. 

I have my monthly goals and my homesteading goals. I have my goals built in my budget. I am also working hard at being debt free as well as getting my emergency cash fund back up to where it should be (my monthly income times three months). I also have a small blogging budget and goals that I use to pay for this site and buy materials to expand my knowledge so I can give you more quality posts. My Ebay business has its own budget and goals that covers it very well and gives me a little side income.

Everything in my life has a budget. While it does allow for a splurge once in a while, it does not allow for me to buy whatever old thing that catches my fancy. It also doesn't allow me to give in to my kids for every whim they want either!

If I really think I need something, I will take some time to think about. I even have a mental list of questions I ask myself:

1. Do I need it?
2. How will it improve my life or serve my needs?
3. Does it apply to my goals?
4. Can I really afford it?

Most of the time, what I really think I need is a want. Usually, if I really need something, it would already be on my list to buy. Makes sense, right?

However, we all have dealt with a significant other or a child who thinks they really need something that they really don't need. If my kids are asking for something in the store that is more than a basic need, I will ask them:

1. Why do you think you need this?
2. Do you really this?
3. Is this something you can put on your wishlist? Do you want it for a holiday or your birthday?
4. Do you have your own money to pay for it?

Most of the time, I can talk myself and them out of a lot of purchases. I usually only walk into a store when I have something specific to buy. I also remember I have a lot of projects at home that I want accomplish or goals that I want to conquer. I don't want to spend money on frivolous things and later be regretting that purchase when I don't have the money to spend on my goals. 

Do you know what the great thing is about separating your needs from your wants and not acting on those shopping impulses? 

 * You have the freedom to control your money. 
 * You know exactly where your money will be going. 
 * You know that the reward will ultimately be the satisfaction of paying cash to accomplish your goals, go on vacation, buy a better car, and/or paying for a house. 
 * You know you will be free from making impulsive and regretful purchases. 
 * You won't experience the end of the pay period panic when your bank account is empty because of foolish spending. 

Figuring out what is a NEED and a WANT will help you greatly. You can still have a good life without all the stuff and the mindless spending. You will be happier, you will have better relationships, and you will be able to better afford the things you need further down the road!

Thanks for reading,
Erica



Saturday, August 1, 2015

August 2015 Goals Update


My Goals For 2015

1. Clean, de-clutter, paint, re-carpet, fix ceiling,  and organize Paige's room. This room is an unorganized disaster that needs some serious help. Plus she is at that age where she is growing out of everything: clothes, toys, books, etc.

2. Clean, organize, paint, and re-carpet the office. This is where I work at home (most of the time). It doesn't work for me. It doesn't really work for anyone.

3. Purchase a hand gun and learn to use it well.

4. To blog much more consistently and to learn to use social media to my advantage. To me consistently is at least 3-5 times a week. That doesn't happen right now.

5. To make a homemade gift for each birthday. I have lots of ideas that I am not using right now so this should be easy to do.

6. Add 1-2 beehives to the homestead. I would love, love, love to produce our own honey.

7. Lose 20 pounds over the year. Unbelievably, I love 20 pounds last year and would love to lose 20 more this year.

8. Finish six unfinished projects. I will introduce you all to my needlework pile in the future. You might not be laughing after you see it.

9. Live as frugally as possible by making more my own things and using what I have first before buying more. This really needs to happen this year and working up a realistic budget will be the first step.

10. Write a book or an e-book. Because I have always wanted to.

11. Go to a self-reliance/preparedness expo and/or Mother Earth News Fair. I have never been to one and always say I want to go one and never do. This year is the year for this!

12. Get a new-to-me double recliner and love seat for the living room. The ones I have have been blessing my home for at least 16-19 years and they blessed some one else's home before that. The kids have made sure they are worn out and broken down. I have fixed over and over again. Enough. Time for new to me stuff!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 2015 Goals Update


Dear June, where did you go?

Time for the June update! 

My Goals For 2015

1. Clean, de-clutter, paint, re-carpet, fix ceiling,  and organize Paige's room. This room is an unorganized disaster that needs some serious help. Plus she is at that age where she is growing out of everything: clothes, toys, books, etc.

We are doing a lot more decluttering than I planned. Which is great! She has gotten rid of a lot of clothes, shoes, and toys. We have a little bit more to do, then we can find the carpet completely and clean it to see if we can make it work. We also picked up another headboard and bed frame (for free) to replace the bed we are moving to her room. 

2. Clean, organize, paint, and re-carpet the office. This is where I work at home (most of the time). It doesn't work for me. It doesn't really work for anyone.

I have been doing some serious reorganization in the office. A lot has left the office including all my personal books which are in my room now on shelves. I am working on going through everything to see if it needs to stay or go. 

3. Purchase a hand gun and learn to use it well.

4. To blog much more consistently and to learn to use social media to my advantage. To me consistently is at least 3-5 times a week. That doesn't happen right now.

I am learning a lot about everything blogging and I am really excited to implement what I can. You might have seen some of the changes like the pop-up to subscribe to emails from me and larger writing which is easier to read. I am learning more and more about social media and using it. I am also learning about quality over quantity which means I would rather put out one great post a week over three mediocre ones. 

5. To make a homemade gift for each birthday. I have lots of ideas that I am not using right now so this should be easy to do.

I have Dane's 11th birthday coming up and I am seriously stumped. Ideas?

6. Add 1-2 beehives to the homestead. I would love, love, love to produce our own honey. Not happening this year. 

7. Lose 20 pounds over the year. Unbelievably, I love 20 pounds last year and would love to lose 20 more this year. 

Still working on that too! I am staying active, but working on some dietary changes. I am working on being more conscious of the sugar carbs I consume. 

8. Finish six unfinished projects. I will introduce you all to my needlework pile in the future. You might not be laughing after you see it.

One project is done (curtains) and we have the other just about done. We redid and restrengthened the bunk beds that were at my house for Rob's house for the kids to sleep on. They will be done by Friday! Yeah!

9. Live as frugally as possible by making more my own things and using what I have first before buying more. This really needs to happen this year and working up a realistic budget will be the first step.

I have the budget and it has been ridiculously easy to stick to so far. Summer is always hard on my budget so this should be interesting to see how easy this is. I am also putting aside $20 cash from each paycheck and all my egg money for a rainy day cash fund. So far, so good!

10. Write a book or an e-book. Because I have always wanted to.

11. Go to a self-reliance/preparedness expo and/or Mother Earth News Fair. I have never been to one and always say I want to go one and never do. This year is the year for this!

12. Get a new-to-me double recliner and love seat for the living room. The ones I have have been blessing my home for at least 16-19 years and they blessed some one else's home before that. The kids have made sure they are worn out and broken down. I have fixed over and over again. Enough. Time for new to me stuff!

Still looking for these too. I need to start going to auctions!

That is where I am at for the progress. I know I don't get a lot done every month, but progress is progress. July is a lot more calmer for us even though the kids are going to church camps and have 4-H fair coming up. I hope to get a lot more done!

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Monday, June 1, 2015

June 2015 Goals Update (Updated and Edited)


May was a busy, busy month. First of all, this one graduated! 


Jordan graduated from high school on the 17th with a big party on the 16th. We were pretty busy with that. And when we weren't busy with that, we were busy with Dane's big school project. His school has the fourth graders do a wax museum every year complete with a board, essay, and presentation as well as a walk through for the public. Dane was George Lucas this year which was perfect because he loves Star Wars!


Paige had concerts, track meets, track being over, and softball starting. She is always busy! She is looking forward to becoming a high school student next fall. I am just sure her momma is!

Otherwise, here is the update for the goals!

My Goals For 2015

1. Clean, de-clutter, paint, re-carpet, fix ceiling,  and organize Paige's room. This room is an unorganized disaster that needs some serious help. Plus she is at that age where she is growing out of everything: clothes, toys, books, etc.

I didn't touch it. That is on tap to be done when school gets out (which is today!).

2. Clean, organize, paint, and re-carpet the office. This is where I work at home (most of the time). It doesn't work for me. It doesn't really work for anyone.

I have been cleaning out and reorganizing. I am getting rid of a fair amount of books, moved most of my library down to shelves in my room, and got rid of a set of shelves that were holding binders. I tossed most of the binders' contents. I am getting rid of a desk in the office which will go to Dane's room since he does not have a desk.

3. Purchase a hand gun and learn to use it well.

4. To blog much more consistently and to learn to use social media to my advantage. To me consistently is at least 3-5 times a week. That doesn't happen right now.

Getting better! Three posts published last week!

5. To make a homemade gift for each birthday. I have lots of ideas that I am not using right now so this should be easy to do.

6. Add 1-2 beehives to the homestead. I would love, love, love to produce our own honey.

7. Lose 20 pounds over the year. Unbelievably, I love 20 pounds last year and would love to lose 20 more this year.

8. Finish six unfinished projects. I will introduce you all to my needlework pile in the future. You might not be laughing after you see it.

Project one finished. I set up my sewing machine, learned how to use it again, and bought new needles and bobbins for it. Then I hemmed the curtains I bought for Rob's house. The curtains and the hemming was a project that had been weighing on me for awhile. Now if we can get the bunk beds done...

9. Live as frugally as possible by making more my own things and using what I have first before buying more. This really needs to happen this year and working up a realistic budget will be the first step.

We have gone back to once a month shopping and menu plans for the entire month. I did the shopping trip two weeks ago with a small trip last week to pick up what Aldi's did not have. So far, so good! I save so much money this way. 

10. Write a book or an e-book. Because I have always wanted to.

11. Go to a self-reliance/preparedness expo and/or Mother Earth News Fair. I have never been to one and always say I want to go one and never do. This year is the year for this!

12. Get a new-to-me double recliner and love seat for the living room. The ones I have have been blessing my home for at least 16-19 years and they blessed some one else's home before that. The kids have made sure they are worn out and broken down. I have fixed over and over again. Enough. Time for new to me stuff!

The garden is going in this week. I planted onions and asparagus last week. I will also be weeding and putting up rhubarb this week. I bought some older bananas last week which are perfect for dried bananas. The kids love them!

That is all, folks!
Erica

Friday, May 1, 2015

May 2015 Goals Update


My Goals For 2015

1. Clean, de-clutter, paint, re-carpet, fix ceiling,  and organize Paige's room. This room is an unorganized disaster that needs some serious help. Plus she is at that age where she is growing out of everything: clothes, toys, books, etc.

This has been on hold for the last month. Between remodeling my work office and very busy month for her, we haven't gotten a lot done. We might just wait until school gets out before really taking this project seriously.

2. Clean, organize, paint, and re-carpet the office. This is where I work at home (most of the time). It doesn't work for me. It doesn't really work for anyone.

My home office has been getting tackled. I have cleaned out a lot of stuff straight to the dumpster. I also moved a set of shelves that were empty into the bathroom. I was home for a week with a sick child and just really did some cleaning out of this room. Still needs more done though.

3. Purchase a hand gun and learn to use it well.

Soon. Very soon.

4. To blog much more consistently and to learn to use social media to my advantage. To me consistently is at least 3-5 times a week. That doesn't happen right now.

Still been working on social media! I now have an Instagram account so feel free to add me there. I hit a bit of a stumbling block on blogging consistently with Dane being sick for a week, but hopefully now I am back on track.

5. To make a homemade gift for each birthday. I have lots of ideas that I am not using right now so this should be easy to do.

Next birthday is in August. I have time to figure out what.

6. Add 1-2 beehives to the homestead. I would love, love, love to produce our own honey.

7. Lose 20 pounds over the year. Unbelievably, I lost 20 pounds last year and would love to lose 20 more this year.

8. Finish six unfinished projects. I will introduce you all to my needlework pile in the future. You might not be laughing after you see it.

9. Live as frugally as possible by making more my own things and using what I have first before buying more. This really needs to happen this year and working up a realistic budget will be the first step.

I think I need to up our grocery/household budget or get more creative with the grocery/household budget. The kids have been taking more sack lunches to school which has added a little cost. We are also becoming more aware of what is going in our mouths as well as the pets' mouths which is increasing the budget too. I need to rework my budget in May. We also have a graduation to pay for. Yikes!

10. Write a book or an e-book. Because I have always wanted to.

11. Go to a self-reliance/preparedness expo and/or Mother Earth News Fair. I have never been to one and always say I want to go one and never do. This year is the year for this!

12. Get a new-to-me double recliner and love seat for the living room. The ones I have have been blessing my home for at least 16-19 years and they blessed some one else's home before that. The kids have made sure they are worn out and broken down. I have fixed over and over again. Enough. Time for new to me stuff!

I got a new entertainment center for the living room for $60. I know this was not part of the goals, but it was $60 and it fits in the corner. It can also accommodate a bigger television and ours is dying. Still looking for a double recliner. 

I am horrible about my goals. However, they are goals which are just defined dreams. Hopefully though, we can get them accomplished!

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Thursday, April 2, 2015

April 2015 Goals Update


March was a whirlwind. Between the illnesses and busyness, we did the best we could. We probably ate out too many times, but life is like that sometimes. A tax refund helped cover that cost! 

My Goals For 2015

1. Clean, de-clutter, paint, re-carpet, fix ceiling,  and organize Paige's room. This room is an unorganized disaster that needs some serious help. Plus she is at that age where she is growing out of everything: clothes, toys, books, etc.

We are still cleaning out, decluttering, and reorganizing. Amazingly, she is doing some of this on her own. I hope to really get this done in the next few weeks. I want to figure out if we can save the carpet or if we need to replace it. 

2. Clean, organize, paint, and re-carpet the office. This is where I work at home (most of the time). It doesn't work for me. It doesn't really work for anyone.

I am doing a little bit every night. I actually found some of my desk. The organizing of some things are coming together, like having passwords, addresses, and phone numbers in the same place and book. Amazing what that has done for me!

3. Purchase a hand gun and learn to use it well.

I will be doing this in April. I have one from a friend that I am considering purchasing. I would like to fire it first, but the size is perfect for what I am looking for. More hopefully next month!

4. To blog much more consistently and to learn to use social media to my advantage. To me consistently is at least 3-5 times a week. That doesn't happen right now.

Blogging was going great until I got sick. Then I had a 12 day dry spell. However, I kept up on social media. I post on Facebook 3-4 times a days, Google+ 1-2 times a day, Twitter 1-2 times a day, and Pinterest 1-5 times a day. This does take up a little time, but I love interacting with all of you!

5. To make a homemade gift for each birthday. I have lots of ideas that I am not using right now so this should be easy to do.

I am still working on Shali's gift. I ran into a glitch and hope to have it done soon.

6. Add 1-2 beehives to the homestead. I would love, love, love to produce our own honey.

This is still in the research stage. I would love to have beehives, but I am not sure we have the environment to support them. I may have to plant more bushes and flowers to give them more pollen. I am surrounded by corn and bean fields and I don't think that will help the bees either.

7. Lose 20 pounds over the year. Unbelievably, I love 20 pounds last year and would love to lose 20 more this year.

I am maintaining which is better than gaining. I am focusing on moving more and eating better. 

8. Finish six unfinished projects. I will introduce you all to my needlework pile in the future. You might not be laughing after you see it.

I am still at the needlework projects. I love the time I spend doing it because I relax for a while. I find it a great way to unwind at night.

9. Live as frugally as possible by making more my own things and using what I have first before buying more. This really needs to happen this year and working up a realistic budget will be the first step.

I paid off a lot of bills with the tax refund. I was making payments on a few bills and they are gone. I also took advantage of a meat sale at Fareway and now have a fuller freezer. I also used some of the money to restock the pantry. I love having a full pantry!

10. Write a book or an e-book. Because I have always wanted to.

11. Go to a self-reliance/preparedness expo and/or Mother Earth News Fair. I have never been to one and always say I want to go one and never do. This year is the year for this!

12. Get a new-to-me double recliner and love seat for the living room. The ones I have have been blessing my home for at least 16-19 years and they blessed some one else's home before that. The kids have made sure they are worn out and broken down. I have fixed over and over again. Enough. Time for new to me stuff!

I am looking for a good deal. I don't want new furniture and I don't want to pay new prices. I am being patient. I did score a full/queen size metal bed frame to replace the one in Shali's old room for $30. Yeah!

That is March in a nutshell. Here's to April!

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Sunday, March 1, 2015

March 2015 Goals Update


February was a rough month for us with kids having colds and sinus infections. The ones who did not catch them were doing everything in their power to not catch them. We also had basketball tournaments 3 out of 4 weekends. That will kill getting anything done!

My Goals For 2015

1. Clean, de-clutter, paint, re-carpet, fix ceiling,  and organize Paige's room. This room is an unorganized disaster that needs some serious help. Plus she is at that age where she is growing out of everything: clothes, toys, books, etc.

We are in the process of cleaning and decluttering her room. We set a timer for 20 minutes most nights and tackle what we can. A lot has gone already, but more will be gone. We could probably have a garage sale at this point, but no time for that. 

2. Clean, organize, paint, and re-carpet the office. This is where I work at home (most of the time). It doesn't work for me. It doesn't really work for anyone.

Nothing. Working on #1 first. 

3. Purchase a hand gun and learn to use it well.

4. To blog much more consistently and to learn to use social media to my advantage. To me consistently is at least 3-5 times a week. That doesn't happen right now.

That didn't happen this month. I am learning I need a scheduler and to carve out some time. Mornings work better than anything so I will be getting up earlier. 

5. To make a homemade gift for each birthday. I have lots of ideas that I am not using right now so this should be easy to do.

Working on Shali's! Her birthday is Thursday! Yeah!

6. Add 1-2 beehives to the homestead. I would love, love, love to produce our own honey.

7. Lose 20 pounds over the year. Unbelievably, I love 20 pounds last year and would love to lose 20 more this year.

Still at the same weight. I need to get moving more. 

8. Finish six unfinished projects. I will introduce you all to my needlework pile in the future. You might not be laughing after you see it.

Working on this right now:
I have about 7-8 pieces like this done, but I really am trying to use up this entire sheet of paper canvas. It should be able to get 3-4 more Christmas-like things out of it. Maybe by the end of March, I will.

9. Live as frugally as possible by making more my own things and using what I have first before buying more. This really needs to happen this year and working up a realistic budget will be the first step.

We are working towards this. However, my need to stockpile has been kicking into high gear. I make as much as I can of my own things. Produce waste has gone way down this month. I am thrilled with that!

10. Write a book or an e-book. Because I have always wanted to.

11. Go to a self-reliance/preparedness expo and/or Mother Earth News Fair. I have never been to one and always say I want to go one and never do. This year is the year for this!

12. Get a new-to-me double recliner and love seat for the living room. The ones I have have been blessing my home for at least 16-19 years and they blessed some one else's home before that. The kids have made sure they are worn out and broken down. I have fixed over and over again. Enough. Time for new to me stuff!

That is it for the month of February. Hopefully, Spring will come in March and I will be able to get some more of these tackled. That and my tax refund should be here by the end of the month. That will help on the purchasing end of things.

Thanks for reading!
Erica

Sunday, February 1, 2015

February 2015 Goals Update


I can say this: not much happened this month. I did do a lot of planning and came up with a plan of attack for the first goal. Most of the rest of the goals have been researched and are being worked on.

My Goals For 2015

1. Clean, de-clutter, paint, re-carpet, fix ceiling, and organize Paige's room. This room is an unorganized disaster that needs some serious help. Plus she is at that age where she is growing out of everything: clothes, toys, books, etc.

 Like I said before, I now have a plan of attack. Unfortunately, this plan of attack also includes Shali's old bedroom across the hall. Which wasn't in my original plans. I am on the hunt for shelves for Paige's room and a queen size bed for the other bedroom so we can move the full size bed to Paige's room. Paige also started decluttering and got rid of a lot of clothes! Yeah! More needs to be done, but this is a start. 

2. Clean, organize, paint, and re-carpet the office. This is where I work at home (most of the time). It doesn't work for me. It doesn't really work for anyone.

I will tackle this after Paige's room. However, the need to organize the Ebay inventory is starting to become a necessity. I think I may have shelves in the barn to deal with this. I hope. 

3. Purchase a hand gun and learn to use it well.

Still researching, but I think a 9mm might be the winner due to size and lightness.

4. To blog much more consistently and to learn to use social media to my advantage. To me consistently is at least 3-5 times a week. That doesn't happen right now.

Still working on this. I will always be working on this. The blog took a break for ten days due to my schedule and energy level. However, I am still busy, but feeling better. I stuck to using social media and promoting this blog. This is taking some time too. I might have to look into a scheduler.

5. To make a homemade gift for each birthday. I have lots of ideas that I am not using right now so this should be easy to do.

I am working on Shali's birthday present. She will be 20 in March!

6. Add 1-2 beehives to the homestead. I would love, love, love to produce our own honey.

I have a kit and some books picked out on Amazon. I am still debating on what to use and how many. 

7. Lose 20 pounds over the year. Unbelievably, I love 20 pounds last year and would love to lose 20 more this year.

Nothing lost, but nothing gained either. Jordan decided to buy a scale for the house and that should help to keep track of the weight.

8. Finish six unfinished projects. I will introduce you all to my needlework pile in the future. You might not be laughing after you see it.

I did work on some needlework this last month, but forgot to take a picture. I will try to do so in the future!

9. Live as frugally as possible by making more my own things and using what I have first before buying more. This really needs to happen this year and working up a realistic budget will be the first step.

We are trying. We really are. We did eat out a few times due to Paige's basketball games getting over late. However, I am really trying to meal plan and have supper in the slow cooker. 

10. Write a book or an e-book. Because I have always wanted to.

Nope, nothing here yet. I have ideas, but nothing concrete.

11. Go to a self-reliance/preparedness expo and/or Mother Earth News Fair. I have never been to one and always say I want to go one and never do. This year is the year for this!

Nothing here yet either. I know there is one in Florida in two weekends and it would be awesome to go. Florida just seems a bit far to go right now.

12. Get a new-to-me double recliner and love seat for the living room. The ones I have have been blessing my home for at least 16-19 years and they blessed some one else's home before that. The kids have made sure they are worn out and broken down. I have fixed over and over again. Enough. Time for new to me stuff!

I have been surfing Craigslist and Facebook sale sites, but no luck yet. I will be patient!

Hopefully we will see some real progress in the next month!

Thanks for reading,
Erica

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