Monthly Archives: July 2016

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Getting Over Money Comparisons

Getting Over Money Comparisons

Scrolling through your Facebook feed can create loads of different reactions. You can be thrilled to see your college friend welcome her new son into the world. You can be happy that your little cousin is engaged. You might even feel disgust when you see some of those news articles pop up, but there is another side to Facebook most don’t think about.

Keeping up with the Joneses.

You see only what your Facebook friends want you to see. Their new car, their fancy vacation, beautiful engagement ring and so on. You don’t see what’s behind the camera.

It’s like the fancy neighborhood in town, you drive by dreaming of what it must be like to live in that home. But what you don’t see is the bare furniture through out the home. They are barely keeping their head above water and can’t afford to actually furnish the home.  This is just an example.  Not everyone with big homes are drowning, but you get the idea.

We have to stop comparing ourselves to others. It’s severely hurting ourselves.

We start thinking how unfair it is that so-and-so can travel to the Bahamas while you’re putting every dime you have away to buy your first home.

What you don’t realize is that we are all in different stages of life. Sure you and your friends are welcoming kids into the world around the same time, but other than that nothing is the same. Your job is different than her job, your husband’s is different that her husband’s. You live in a rural community and she lives in a big city. Everything is different.

Money works differently for every person. What might be a priority to you, may not even cross the radar of another.

We have to stop comparing ourselves to others and work on our own goals. (Tweet that!)

Who cares if you aren’t where you think others are. They probably aren’t as accomplished as they are portraying in that staged Facebook post.

So how do you stop the money comparisons?

It’s hard since we have it thrown in our face every day. You have to remember that we don’t see what’s behind the camera. By remembering that one facet, it can really help stop the jealously.

I tend to not get too hung up on Facebook and Instagram images. I see a pretty picture and like it, but then I tend to let it go from my mind. I don’t get caught up on where they are or how they afford it.

You don’t know what others are saying or thinking about you. You may be the point of envy for someone else. Remember the grass is always greener.

If you are wildly focused on reaching your goals then you won’t have time to think about what others are doing. Just stay on your dream and keep working hard to accomplish it.

What’s in My Diaper Bag?

*Affiliate Disclosure: Please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

What's In My Diaper Bag

I just love those “What’s in my bag” posts that other bloggers do.  So I thought today I would share my version of…

What’s in my diaper bag?

Because let’s be honest, that’s all I’ve been carrying lately.  I have been switching between an actual diaper bag and then carrying an oversized tote around.  

The actual diaper bag I carry is from Chicco.  It’s big, has loads of pockets, and it even has an insulated zipper pocket that’s pretty handy.  The only downside is that it doesn’t like to stay on my shoulder very well.  The straps just slide off and when you’re juggling a car seat in the rain the last thing you want is your bag to slide down making it even harder to get around.  They don’t have the one I received online anymore, but this one is similar.

I also have a few totes that I’ve converted into diaper bags.  They aren’t as handy since they don’t have inside pockets, but they stay on my shoulder so I can’t complain.

I also have a nice diaper changing pad clutch that I can throw in to any bag.  So I carry that around whenever I’m just running into a place real quick.

what's in my diaper bag

I’ve been eyeing this diaper bag from Lily-Jade for awhile now, but it’s pretty steep for my budget.  I’ve been trying to save up for it and hope to get it soon.  I just think it’s so pretty and I love the fact it converts from a messenger bag to tote to backpack.  I think even J wouldn’t mind carrying it, but who am I kidding?  He doesn’t mind to carry the diaper bag at all!  

I created a quick video post showing what’s all in my diaper bag.  You can check it out on Youtube.  I also linked some of the products below, too.

what's in my diaper bag

Diaper Bag Must Haves

Diapers
Wipes
A&D ointment
Changing Pad (mine came with my diaper bag, but I liked the clutch I received as a gift better, so I use that one)
Diaper Pad Clutch
Extra Onsies (I usually pack 2 just to be safe)
Pacifiers
Pacifier Wipes
Dr. Brown’s Bottles
Formula
Bottle Holder for when I am tossing everything into a tote
Bottled Water
Bib
Burp Cloth
Light Blanket
Hand Lotion for me
Hand Sanitizer
Cell Phone
Wallet
Car Keys

What's In My Diaper Bag, thirty-one bag

Diaper Pad Clutch

I keep a few extra diapers in here, wipes, and an extra onsie.  That way if we go out to eat or I just need to run in somewhere then I don’t need to haul everything else around.  It makes it a lot easier.

What's In My Diaper Bag, 31 bag

 

We Love Our DockATot

we love our dockatot

When our little one was just a month old we decided to break the one rule I said we would never do – we started co-sleeping.

GASP!

He would sleep maybe 2 hours in his bassinet or crib before waking up wanting to be held. Then we started co-sleeping and the very first night he slept close to 5 hours straight.

WHAT?!

I was sold on co-sleeping that very night. I wanted to make sure we did it safely for both us and baby. I had found DockATot through Instagram and fell in love with the cute designs and the ease of using it. I read testimonials and followed other bloggers that used their product.

Then I took a leap and purchased the deluxe version. It arrived less than a week after ordering it and we used it that night. Thanks to how they take care of their products the case didn’t even need to be washed before we used it the first time.

The DockATot changed how our baby sleeps!

dockatot

He fits snuggly inside and it the DockATot fits between J and I at night. That way either one of us can tend to him if he wakes up. It’s about the size of a bed pillow so it doesn’t take up too much room. Luckily we already had transition to a California King bed months earlier so we weren’t even phased by the addition of another pillow.

dockatot

This picture is embarrassing!  This crazy-mess of a bed is what we wake up to each morning.  J and I have used separate blankets for awhile now – I like multiple blankets and he gets hot way too easily. Plus we have three dogs that like to cuddle up, too.  Somehow we even take off the bottom sheet while sleeping.  I guess we’re just a mess. But Baby has no idea because he’s comfy in his DockATot.  

The only reason I’m sharing this real-life, embarrassing picture is because I was super curious how much room the DockATot would take up in our bed.  

What’s great about the DockATot is we can take it with us. When we traveled to Florida with my family and J’s family we just took the pillow with us. Baby wasn’t even phased by sleeping in a different room since he still had his cozy DockATot to cuddle in.  We shared a Queen bed during our trip and he still fit perfectly while J and I slept great too.  It was tighter than what we were use to, but still worked fine.

If you use my referral code, by clicking here or on any of the links through out the post then you can receive 10% off your purchase!

*I have not been paid for my opinion of the DockATot, I’m just a crazed fan. I do have a referral link that if you purchase from you will receive a 10% discount and I will receive a $5 credit.

The Three Money Challenges Women Face and How to Conquer Them

money challenges for women

There are three money challenges women face on a weekly, even daily basis.

It’s time we learn how to smash through and conquer those challenges! I’m sharing what those three challenges are and how to beat them over on Youtube.  

As women we need to empower ourselves to take control of our finances. (Tweet that!)

When we take the lead and don’t let money run our lives then we’re able to build a better life for our family.  Join me over on Youtube.

Check out the video and make sure to subscribe to my new channel. You won’t want to miss any of the exciting videos that are coming up.

How to Personalize Your Snapcode

Create Your Own Snapcode for Snapchat

I have finally started getting into Snapchat.  I used Snapchat when it first came out and then I stopped.  But I’ve been seeing some of my favorite bloggers use it and I love the behind-the-scenes glimpses in their lives.  So I wanted in on the action and created a new account.  I’m constantly sharing the struggles of having a newborn, working, and being very sleep deprived.  Follow me @meredithines.  

You know, it’s easy to hide yourself and hide behind a blog post.  But to grow your business then you can’t be afraid to stand out. (Tweet that!

Anyway, I had to personalize my own Snapcode to match my blog a bit better and add my username.  It’s super easy and thought I would share it with you.

Step 1

On your computer, login to Snapchat.

Step 2

personalize snapcode

You will see a screen like this one, click My Snapcode.  Then click Download Snapcode.  It will download as a ZIP file containing the PNG and SVG files of your Snapcode.  

In the file there are Snapchat’s Dos and Don’ts of personalizing your Snapecode.  Pay attention to those guidelines, otherwise your code won’t work.

Step 3

Use a photo editor for the next steps.  I like using Pixlr, a fee online editor that is similar to Photoshop.  Open the PNG format.  

Step 4

personalize snapcode

Select the wand tool and select the yellow portion of the image.  Once it’s highlighted, you can change the background to your color choice by using the paint bucket.  I think making it a color you use on your online presence is a good idea.  I use teal in a lot my images, so that’s what I went with.  If you know the color code you would like to use, you can enter it in.

personalize snapcode

Step 5

You can enter your own image under the ghost.  Using the wand tool, select the white portion.  Then click delete.

Step 6
personalize snapcode

Selecting the image you want to use.  Go to Layer > Open image as layer.

Step 7

Move the image under the ghost.  Click on Layer > Move layer down.

Step 8

If you have a portion of the image that sticks out, you can remove it.  Use the lasso tool.  Draw around the part that you want to remove. Once highlighted, hit the delete button.

Step 9

You can add text at this point.  Just don’t cover up the black dots since that’s your code.

Step 10

snapcode

Save your image and you’re done.

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope this helps!

Leave me your snapchat name in the comments so I can follow you.  

Birthday Recap

birthday recap

You see this is why I always want the whole month of July to be about my birthday. It’s over after 9 days… then what? I go back to normal life? Boring!

HA! I kid. I kid.

I had a really great 30th birthday. I got to do exactly what I wanted.

This year my birthday was on Saturday so J took care of the baby Friday night AND Saturday night so I could sleep. It was glorious!

I shared lots of birthday snaps and videos over on Snapchat.  Make sure you add me @meredithrines for more behind the scenes.

The one thing I wanted to do for my birthday was head to the town’s 4th of July parade.  It had been postponed because of the rain and I hadn’t been to the parade since I was in it back in the 6th grade.  We took the baby with us and he loved it.  Especially the police car’s lights that were blocking the street.  He stared at those forever.  He wasn’t a fan of the fire truck’s sirens though, he about jumped out of his skin when that went off.  Oops!

20160709_091835

20160709_095358

After the parade J and I headed out of town for lunch.  You’re probably thinking – out of town…for lunch?! But yes, we did.  The nearest bigger city is a little over an hour away so we drove up there to have hibachi.  Then after lunch we went to the mall for a bit.  Then we spent the evening doing one of my favorite things – nothing.

We sat on the couch, watched tv, played with the baby and went to bed early.  It was wonderful!  

I love a quiet evening at home with no commitments. Those are the best.

Now it’s time to start planning and packing for our next big adventure – vacation with J’s family. I learned some valuable lessons on our last big trip with Baby and can’t wait to put them into practice.

We’re Now on Youtube

Note: Some links in this post contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for supporting my blog!

I thought it was ABOUT TIME I start making videos on Youtube.  I’ve been wanting to for a pretty long  time, but never felt comfortable.  Then I decided to go big and forget about my insecurities.  

Because it’s time to shine, not hide. (Tweet that!)

After all, I’m trying to grow my blog and I have knowledge to give,  Go check out my introduction video and let me know what you think. 

I have a few other videos in the works so be on the lookout for those.  Make sure you subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss out!

 

How To Start Your Own Blog

Note: Some links in this post contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for supporting my blog!

how to start your own blog

 

I’ve been getting asked how did I start my blog, why did I start it and how do I know what to write about. So I thought I would finally sit down and tell you a little bit of back story. Then I thought I would share a step-by-step guide on how to start your own blog – a self-hosted blog that is! It all started back in 2008 when I wanted something more to do because going to school full time and working full time just wasn’t enough. HA!

I started with a DIY blog and I created loads of crafts and recipes. It was going great, I had made some online friends back before Twitter was big and way before Instagram was around. I even hosted a few guest series and was featured as a guest on a few different blogs. I liked writing and sharing, but the thought of coming up with another DIY project on a college girl’s budget was just draining. It started to feel more like a job and less like a fun hobby. I wasn’t making money and it was costing me quite a bit of my going out money.  So I lost interest.

Flash forward 2 years and I was back. I had created a new brand – merelynne.com and jumped in feet first. I decided to not label myself as one specific type of blogger. I had seen some bloggers call themselves a personal lifestyle blogger, so I took the title and ran with it. I would write about what I wanted, when I wanted. I focused on fashion, recipes, DIY projects and just simply sharing what was going on in my world.

Over the years my blog has shifted and I now write about what I’m passionate about – finances, mommy things, and recipes. The blog look has definitely changed over the years too. Today it’s much more simplistic. I’ve learned a lot since I first started over 8 years ago. I think it’s time to share what I’ve learned with you.

When I first started out I was on blogger and it was okay, but I wanted more. I wanted to be able to have plugins that could help me with SEO, social media and just give me more of a customized feel. Blogger wasn’t capable of that at the time. Years ago I made the switch to WordPress and I’ve never looked back.

WordPress is what I’m comfortable with it and what I would recommend to any new blogger. They have plugins, which are tools created to help you. There is a plugin for just about anything and everything. I have one for SEO optimization, social media sharing, spam comment blocker, and many more.

There are other options besides WordPress and Blogger. Another one is Typepad, but I haven’t used it before.

After you decide where you want to be, the next step is choosing a domain name. You want something that describes your blog or you, plus you want something that is easy to remember. My name came from a portion of my first name and my middle name – Meredith Lynne.

Once you have a domain name selected, I would highly recommend purchasing that domain. There are good reasons to purchase your name. First, to make sure no one else has it. Second, to own it. In case it takes off or you decide to make it a business then owning the name is vital. I like the fact I own my name. I don’t have to worry about building this blog for years then realizing my blog name is already taken.

I use Go Daddy to purchase all of my domain names. They have pretty good deals and it’s very easy to use.

I also recommend to all new bloggers to self-host their blog. It sounds complicated – self-hosting, but it’s not. I use Bluehost for my blog and I’ve never had a problem with it. What I love most is their awesome customer service. If I ever have a question they respond quickly with helpful advice. I can even tweet to them and they will respond within minutes typically. It’s rare to find a company with such great customer service, which is part of the reason I’ve been with them for so long. The other reason is the ease of use. Setting up my blog was painless.

In addition, Bluehost offers a free email email address with a hosting package. I can add more emails later if I need to, but I like having one as my contact source for all blog related messages. I have it forwarded to my gmail account, but I can reply as my domain email so it seems more legitimate to businesses that I reach out to for sponsored posts and guest posts.

Also Bluehost gives you a free domain name with your hosting package.  So you can skip using GoDaddy.com and get it all in one stop.  Back when I purchased a domain, it was easier to use Go Daddy for it then Bluehost for the domain.  But now they have made it a lot easier and a one-stop shop, which is so nice!

Setting up a self-hosted blog doesn’t cost as much as you think!

Deal Alert: Bluehost even has a special deal for my readers who are starting out. You can get a killer hosting deal for only $…. It’s a great opportunity and hard to find a hosting service this inexpensive. Since I love a good deal I thought I would pass it on. So if you’re on the fence, it’s time to hop on over and get started. You never know where your blogging dreams can lead you!

I’m hoping they will allow me to keep offering this deal for a long time, but you never know. So don’t miss your chance to save some money!

Please note that Bluehost bills upfront for their hosting services. There is one big reason to pay upfront:

Make sure you don’t come across any issues that can stop your blogging from being set up. When I was first starting out I was on a college girl’s budget and the thought of a one-time expense scared me. So I opted to do the monthly payments. Then a few months in my card expired and I received a new one. I didn’t remember to go into my account and switch the card number. I came way too close to losing all of my hard work. As soon as I realized what I had done I switched to an annual payment and have never looked back.

Once you have your hosting setup it’s time to get started. I’m going to walk you through the steps I took to start this blog. I promise it’s not hard.

How do I know what to write about:

Well as I’ve changed over the years so has my blog. Like I mentioned earlier I used to be a DIY project kind of gal. Now I’ve shifted to talk more about what I’m passionate about. I like to share topics on budgeting and finances, easy-to-prepare recipes, and what being a new mommy is really like. I keep a running list of post ideas on my phone so whenever an idea strikes I can write it down to save it for later. I constantly am circulating through ideas. Some are really good and others never get finished.

When you’re trying to think of what you want to write about remember one thing – It’s your blog, so do what you want! You can literally write about whatever you want: your passion, interests, family, career, anything!

You have to realize that the sky is the limit.  You can grown your blog, your site and your dream to be as big as you want.  Because you are only as big as you dream. (Tweet that!)

Can you make money from blogging?

Yes, yes you can. I don’t share what I do on here, but I’m thinking that’s going to change very soon. I’ve never been very focused on creating an income from this blog, but I know the potential is there and I think I’m finally ready to tap into it. You can join ad networks, affiliate programs, hosts sponsored posts, and so much more. I take part in all of these, but have never really followed through with them until recently. It’s going to be exciting to see where this blog can take me.

How to start a self-hosted blog on Bluehost, a step-by-step guide:

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the post, setting up your blog. Here is an overview of the process.

1. Open a new window or tab in your browser. That way you can keep this guide handy through the whole process.

2. Decide on a blog name. Remember to make it something that describes your blog or describes you. You want it to be easily remembered and easily spelled.

3. Purchase your domain from GoDaddy.com. The first step in purchasing is making sure the domain is available. Then once it is you can buy the domain straight from GoDaddy. I have step-by-step instructions below on this process, too.

4. Get a hosting package – I recommend to all newbie bloggers to go with a company that is well trusted and reasonable priced. I personally use Bluehost and would recommend them to anyone starting out. Don’t forget about the hosting deal you can get by going through my link.

5. Install WordPress with one click. Bluehost actually offers a service to bloggers that allows a one-click install. Within minutes your new website will be up and running on WordPress, which is the best blogging platform in my opinion.

6. Purchase and Install a theme. The theme is the look and feel of your blog. WordPress has free ones you can install to get started, which is what I did for a long time. You can also search for paid themes that are more customizable.

Step-by-step Instructions to Purchase a Domain from GoDaddy.com

1. Go to GoDaddy.com and type your wanted domain name into the search bar.

how to start your own blog
2. If the domain is available you will see, Yes! Your domain is available. You will also be given the opportunity to purchase the .net, .org, .us, and .info domains as well if you want. That’s up to you. Buy I would highly recommend purchasing only the .com version. That is the most common and most recognizable.

3. Click Select, then click Continue to Cart at the top right.

4. Another option you have when purchasing a domain is if you want to make it private or not. It’s an extra fee and it means that if someone is searching for the domain they will not be able to see your contact information. I don’t have mine set to private since I don’t imagine anyone wanting to spam me or offering to purchase my domain name. I would also skip over the Linux Web Hosting and Website Builder options. Bluehost will offer an email to go with your new account, so skip over the email address too.

5. In the cart you will have the option to select the term length for your domain name. I started with 1 year to make sure I was really committed. After the first year you can change it to be longer.

how to start your own blog

6. Make sure the spelling of your domain is correct then proceed to checkout. You will need to create an account and enter your credit card information.

Step-by-step Instructions for Bluehost blog Setup

1. Head on over to Bluehost.com and click the green “get started now” button.
how to start your own blog

2. Bluehost also offers a chance for a domain name as well that is included. You can go with this instead of purchasing one through godaddy.com. I have one here, but I also purchased one through Go Daddy as a forwarding web address to my blog.

3. Enter your account information.
how to start your own blog

4. Choose which hosting package you want. Normally, hosting is offered for 12, 24 and 36 months. The longer the hosting package then the cheaper the per month price is. I personally went with the 12 month package my first time because, again, I wanted to make sure I would commit to this blog. However, it is up to you. There are other package options, but I didn’t select any for myself and I haven’t regretted it.

Side note: backing up your blog is important, but WordPress offers plugins that you can do this with and that is what I would recommend.

5. Enter your payment information and click submit.

how to start your own blog

6. Your account is setup and you can get started installing WordPress. Bluehost has a great service that allows you install WordPress with one-click. It’s amazing!

7. Navigate to your Account Dashboard and look for the “Install WordPress” button.

how to start your own blog

8. Once you have clicked the button you will see the installation screen. Click “Install” to begin installation. You can pay a fee for WordPress Starter, which will get you a theme credit and installation, but that’s up to you. It’s not difficult since you’re starting from scratch and I like to save as much money as I can.

how to start your own blog

9. Select your domain so Bluehost knows where to install WordPress. A warning might pop up about overwriting files, but as long as you don’t have another website you’re good to go.

how to start your own blog

10. Click on “Show Advanced Options.” This will allow you to setup your own username and password for the WordPress install. I would recommend using a different name other than “admin” and a very strong password.

Make sure “Automatically create a new database for this installation” box is checked, unless you have a database you want to use. Read the Terms and Conditions, then click “Install Now.”

how to start your own blog

11. You will see the progress page at this point. Once WordPress is installed it will give you your URL for your new site, your username and password. You will receive an email with the URL and username, so make sure to keep that information.

12. Check your inbox for the confirmation email. In there you will find the admin URL you will need to login to your WordPress. It typically looks like this: http://www.yourblogname.com/wp-admin. Enter your username and password to access your Dashboard. Now you can control everything – write posts, create pages, and start adding plugins.

Installing A Theme to Your Site

There are three types of themes you need to know about: free, premium and custom.

Free Themes: if you’re just starting out and money is tight then free is the way to go. It’s what I did for a long time. WordPress offers many different free themes and you can always upgrade later on.

Premium Blog Themes: premium themes offer a bit more. They typically look nicer and have a lot more features. They typically start at about $80 and can go up from there.

Custom Designed Themes: These are the top offerings. The pricing can range from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. I haven’t been able to pull the trigger on a custom design just yet, but it’s a dream of mine.

There you have it, my tips for starting your very own self-hosted blog. It’s not complicated and once you get going there will be no stopping you. Remember self-hosted and purchasing your domain means you own your site and the content on it. Happy blogging, friends!

30 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me

30 things you don't know about me

This is it… tomorrow’s the big day! I turn 30.

When I was a little girl, I used to dream what my life would be like at 30. I would just think of everything I would accomplish, the goals I’d reach, the life I would live… and you know what?

Real life is so much better than my dreams.

I have an amazing family, a husband that I adore, a child I couldn’t imagine my life without and a pretty awesome career.

Today I wanted to share 30 things you probably don’t know about me. Some of these are random and some are pretty direct, but I will admit that I started this list back in March and it has taken me this long to come up with 30 things.

Now for the list:

1) I broke my elbow in 3rd grade after flipping over my bike’s handlebars. I thought I could fly or was just really bad at stopping…

2) In elementary school, my dog literally saved my life by stopping a would-be kidnapper/bad guy/creeper from getting me in his car. My dog jumped through a car window to stop this attacker when he started opening his door, which gave me enough time to run away. **This is why I plan on having a Rottweiler walk my son to the bus stop every. single. day.

3) I went to prom on crutches.

4) I only wash my hair 2 times a week – don’t judge me.  My hair is super thick and doesn’t get oily.

5) Watching surgeries or blood/guts does nothing to me.  I don’t mind it at all – I actually think it’s pretty interesting!  But add an insect and I’m so over it!

6) I’m obsessed with ghost stories and the paranormal.  Whenever we travel, I like to look up the history of the place.  I did that once on a cruise ship and then couldn’t sleep the rest of the week after finding out the history.

7) I’m very passionate about helping stray animals and think everyone should #adoptnotshop for their next pet.

8) I have a strong attraction to any body of water – lake, ocean, river.  I would love to be somewhere near water every day.

9) I love Thousand Island dressing – it’s my jam!  But when J mixes Ketchup and Mayo together it makes me want to throw up.  No clue why since that’s what Thousand Island dressing is.

10) I could eat sushi every day of my life and be perfectly happy!

11) I like living by structure which is why I have 3 calendars to plan my day – Google Calendar with J and my personal, Outlook for work and a paper one (Purposeful Planner) on my desk.

12) I love graphic design and am always taking on projects to design friends’ invites and images for online.

13) My biggest fear is disappointing those I love.

14) A fountain Diet Coke is heaven in a glass.

mommy and baby

15) I plan on taking a photography class this fall so I can learn more about great pictures

16) I stabbed myself in the hand when I was in the 3rd grade because I burnt brownies, but was determined to still eat them.

17) I love organizational products and worked at an office supply store in high school and college.

18) I am highly, highly allergic to cats.  My eyes swell and I get a rash on my neck and chest when I’m around them.

19) I’ve always wanted to be a business owner.  In high school my dream was to own a clothing boutique that utilized personal stylists as associates.

20) I was in a sorority in college and that experience helped shape me into the woman I am today.

21) I am a social media enthusiast. I love Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest – love it all!  I’ve started getting into Periscope (@meredithrines), but haven’t made too much progress yet.

22) I’m a tornado cleaner – once I start cleaning, nothing in the house is safe from being cleaned, de-junked or thrown away.

23) Budgeting is probably one of my favorite things to help families with.

24) I’m terrified of roller coasters and the last time I rode one, I cried the whole time – I was 25 years old, too!

25) My photo is in my elementary school yearbook for coming in 1st place in a typing competition.

26) I was the stage manager for almost every drama production during high school

27) I had a car bought back under the lemon law and I had to take a taxi back to my house after turning over the keys

28) My favorite movie of all time is Gigi.

29) When I was younger, my parents let me enroll in an art school because I loved to draw and paint as a kid.

30) As a little girl I was able to celebrate my birthday a day early.  My sister was born on the 7th and I was on the 9th. So we celebrated on the 8th. Which meant I was so special, I got to party a day early. HA! 

 

30 While 30

30 while 30

It seems that every year I come up with a birthday to do list. I’ve been doing it for awhile, even before documenting on the blog. This year my goals might be a little different since I’m a new mom and I’m still working on completing a few designations (Hello Certified Financial Planner!) for my career.

Here we go, my 30 while 30 list:

1. Listen to God more
2. Document our son’s first year as best as I can
3. Spend time with my three dogs to make sure they know they are still a priority
4. Pay down even more debt (this past year was amazing for J and I on knocking out debt and I want to keep it going)
5. Finish my CFP designation
6. Start my accounting degree
7. Become more active – lose the baby weight!
8. Learn to calm down more and let things slide
9. Organize my kitchen (sounds silly, but it’s a big goal of mine!)
10. Take a weekend trip with my little family
11. Eat healthy… most of the time
12. Share my stories of being a new mom with others
13. Take more time to be with my friends
14. Relax more
15. Start creating videos for my top financial tips
16. Go to a Blues game
17. Plan to see at least one concert
18. Try to encourage others more
19. Pray harder
20. Enjoy every moment with my new family
21. Take a photography class
22. Learn to side hustle a little better
23. Support J more – emotionally, spiritually, etc.
24. Be a good mother
25. Take more risks
26. Don’t be afraid of adventures
27. Volunteer more to charities I am passionate about
28. Become a better health-conscious baker
29. Smile more
30. Worry less