Monthly Archives: April 2014

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Out With the Old and In With the New

Tomorrow is the start of a new month.  The beginning of something new, the beginnings are usually my favorite because they are filled with such hope.  May is a big month for our household.  It’s J’s birthday month and we’re taking a weekend trip with friends to a winery nearby.  Plus, we have a few other big happenings in the works that I can’t spill the beans on just yet.

My monthly goals for May are simple:

1) stress less
2) laugh more
3) take more pictures

That’s it.  Three simple goals that will make this month one of the bests yet.  What do you have planned for May?  Any festivals, concerts or weekend getaways planned?  I love the warmer weather and want to spend as much time as possible outside.  I guess that should be one more goal – spend time outdoors.

5 Things I’m Excited For {And a Free iPhone backgrounds download}

April is almost over and May is right around the corner.  I have a post coming later this week with my goals for May, but today I wanted to share what I’m excited for (plus free iPhone backgrounds for May).

1) Spring cleaning is in full bloom at our household. I’m selling furniture, donating clothes, and dejunking.
2) Tiny becoming braver and braver.  Our once scared-of-everything pup is finally coming out of her shell around some of our good friends and family.
3) Consistently meal planning my lunches, dinners, and even my breakfasts.
4) Trashing J’s old {and broken} recliner.
5) Going to a Cards games with J.
free iphone backgroundNothing beats having something to be excited about and look forward to.  I’m pretty lucky that April has been very busy with lots of fun memories with our friends and family.  I’m also double lucky that May shows no signs of slowing down.

free iphone background download
I wanted to design a cute calendar and background images for my iPhone for May.  After they were done, I thought to myself “I should really share these.”  I mean, they’re cute and functional.  It’s a win-win.  Click here to be taken to the images.  Password is love may.  Save them to your iPhone to set as a home screen or lock screen.  (the photos on the next page do not have the overlay on them)  They are formatted for the iPhone, but I’m sure you can use them for other devices as well.  I have them on my iPad, too!

Protected: Free iPhone backgrounds for May

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Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Cups

frozen yogurt cupsFrozen Strawberry Yogurt Cups.  Four words that will change your life if you have a sweet tooth like mine.

This frozen treat hits the spot and makes me happy when all I want is ice cream.  I found this recipe the other day and it stood out to me. I just had to make these freon yogurt cakes!  I changed a little bit and made less just to make sure I liked them before making a huge commitment.

Here we go…Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Cups

10 oz. Greek yogurt in vanilla (I used Chobani 0% in vanilla blend)
5 strawberries
3 raspberries
1/2 banana
32 mini chocolate chips (optional, but in my mind – totally necessary)
frozen yogurt cupsPut 2 ounces of vanilla into 4 cupcake liners. Purée the berries and banana. Place a dollop over the yogurt. Spoon about 1 ounce of yogurt on top of the purée and add 8 mini chocolate chips on top. Place in the freezer for at least an hour before serving.
frozen yogurt cupsNow that they are made – I wish I would have made more!

1 cupcake per serving. Calories: 73. Carbs: 12. Fat: 2. Protein: 4

The Best Economic DIY Carpet Cleaner That Actually Works

DIY carpet cleanerMy parents bought us a carpet cleaner for my birthday last year and I was stoked.  I guess that’s the true sign you are no longer a child and are a full adult when you are excited over a carpet cleaner.  But hey, with 2 dogs it is amazing.
DIY carpet cleanerTiny really likes the clean carpet and might be a little unsure of why the crazy lady is taking pictures of the floor.
Carpet cleaner solution can get expensive and not to mention the chemicals in the solutions are not ideal if you have small children or are crazy-obsessed with your dogs like I am.  I had to find another cleaning solution before I went broke and made the dogs sick.

I discovered the power of white vinegar.  If you have seen my previous cleaning posts (how to easily clean your microwave and the best stain remover) then you know my love of white vinegar.  So I had a light bulb moment – maybe it would work in the carpet cleaner!  And you know what?  It does!  It works beautifully.  Dare I say better than the fancy expensive cleaners?

Here’s all you need for a DIY Carpet Cleaner:

Fill your tank with warm-hot water; and
Add in 3-5 T. of white vinegar, depending on your tank size

That’s it.  Then steam your carpets like usual.

The carpets will have a nice vinegar smell to them, but that disappears as it dries.  To me it smelled a lot like salt and vinegar chips, but hey! those are my favorite so I wasn’t really complaining.

You could probably add a few drops of essential oil to the solution, but I didn’t really want to mess with it.  The smell wasn’t that strong and it was such a nice day that we had the doors and windows open.
DIY carpet cleanerLet’s do some math, shall we?  I like to have proof that my ideas are valid.

Gallon of White Vinegar – $1 (There are 256 Tablespoons in a Gallon, so you will be getting about 51 uses)
Water from the faucet – $0 (unless you have a separate bill for water, but the charges are trivial)
Total Cost per use: $0.02

Bottle of carpet cleaner – $10.99 (is a 2-quart size, which has 64 Tablespoons, so you will be getting about 12 uses)
Water from the faucet – $0
Total Cost per use: $0.92

As always, test a small area of carpet before doing a whole room to make sure that the vinegar doesn’t have any strange reaction to the carpet fibers.  I had no problems with my carpets or area rugs.

Baby Steps and Moderation

I’ve been trying to get healthier for awhile now, but old habits creep back in and I start back down the not-so-good bunny path.  I’m done trying to do a major overhaul on all areas of my life at once, which gets pretty overwhelming and leaves me feeling defeated.  I think I have finally found the best balance for me.  Moderation and baby steps.  Moderation for the bad habits like ice cream and Budweiser (not together), and baby steps to make better ones.

I’ve started making smoothies each morning that are nutrient packed.  That way I’m not skipping breakfast and starving by the time 12 o’clock rolls around.  I’m planning out my lunches, not just my dinners.  By planning what I want for lunch each day is not only saving me money, but keeping me on the right track.  My little lunch tote is packed with veggies, fruit, lean protein, and a small portion of pita chips (moderation, my friends, moderation).

I’ve also started reading health magazines and websites for extra motivation.  Instead of searching “food and drinks” on Pinterest, I’m tailoring my search for “healthy dinner recipes” or “low calorie snack ideas” that way I am not tempted or distracted by the sweetness of pies and cupcakes…. yum, cupcakes!  See, I have problems.

I’m starting to create tasty, healthier recipes and I plan on sharing the good ones with you.

It’s important that what fuels my body be good and worth it.  80% of how we look is what eat.  I’m not talking about just weight and size, but also overall health.  I don’t want to look exhausted all the time or have zero energy.  I’m so over it.

 

You Are Not Your Own… Sweet Scripture Reminder

Sometimes I need a gentle reminder that we were put here for a reason.  Our bodies are not our own and they were bought with a price.  When I struggle with body image and with old eating habits, it’s nice to remind myself of this.
1 Corinthians

I may not be perfect in my actions, but I can never give up.  I wrote this sweet scripture in my journal that houses my weekly meal plans, ideas, and just thoughts that I have.  Sometimes when I am struggling and slipping into old habits it’s nice to say this scripture to myself.  In that moment I forget my struggles and am instantly reminded that I serve a purpose.
scripture for body image

“Today I make the choice to treat my body as a gift.  It was bought with a price, and I will glorify God in the choices and actions I make when it comes to my body.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Remember to Believe In Yourself

 

believe in yourself

It’s hard to believe in yourself all the time.

I had a pretty trying past week/weekend and I didn’t believe in myself.

I had a test for my CFP certification that honestly, I wasn’t ready for and really believed that I wouldn’t do well.  Sometimes I surprise myself by thinking so negatively about my abilities.  Don’t you hate it when you don’t believe in yourself.  I need to stop.  I did pass and I did pretty well for someone who didn’t open the 700-page book with study questions until 3 weeks prior to the exam.

I am intelligent and I need to recognize that in myself.  Plus, I need to give myself more time to prepare for tests/projects that cause me stress.  I don’t like the way I think or stop believing in myself in those  moments.  I started thinking that sometimes when it’s hard to believe in yourself that’s when it’s important to remember you need to believe in yourself the most.

I created a little mantra that I am going to print and hang in my office area as a gentle reminder to always believe in yourself.  If you struggle with doubting yourself then I suggest you print out the words above and repeat them to yourself until you stop.

 

 

1st Day of April – Oh the possibilities for Spring!

I love the beginning of a new month, especially the beginning of Spring.

This time is where we shed the not-so-great or unaccomplished goals of last month and start fresh.  It’s a golden opportunity to dream big, set your heights high and then start plugging away.  April is going to be a big month for J and I in more ways than one.  I can’t tell all the details just yet, but by the end of the month it’ll be out in the open.
spring cleaning This picture really has nothing to do with this post or Springtime.

With Spring here I want to clean, clean and clean.  Did I mention that I want to clean?  Because that is the only thing on my mind.  I started working in the garage last weekend, but didn’t get too far so this weekend it’s going to be completely overhauled.  I’m talking bringing everything out into the driveway to clean and sweep the shelves then we are going to trash a lot.  My poor trash guy isn’t going to be too thrilled with us… I love Spring cleaning!

Here are my other goals for April (besides the garage):

1) organize the basement
2) get rid of J’s broken recliner – it’s happening this month!
3) clean and organize the guest bedroom
4) overhaul the office/nook area and get rid of junk
5) sell some furniture to make room for a few new pieces
6) keep my car clean – J spent over an hour vacuuming and wiping down the inside of my car.  It looks so nice and now my goal is to keep it that way.

 I love the beginning of Spring.  Lots of goals and big dreams!