My Goals For 2016: Week Five

  1.  Workout 3x per week.  Pass.  I worked out four times!
  2.   Read something religious every night.  Pass.  Really enjoying this.
  3.   Attend Tuesday Mass when available.  Pass, there was no Tuesday Mass last week.
  4.   Update Mint. Pass!  I am checking each and every night and actually know where our money is going!!!
  5.   Follow the written budget.  Pass and Fail.  I documented everything, but I still went over in a few categories.  I think I need a little more time to get used to it and I need a month where the budget isn’t extremely tight.  With practice, I’m sure it will become easier.  On a side note, this is the first time ever that I have made it a whole month tracking and categorizing everything 🙂
  6.   Follow THM and lose 12 pounds to be at my goal weight.  I lost .8 pounds and I have now lost 2 pounds.  Only 10 to go.

How about you, how are your goals coming along?  I’d love to hear!


My Goals for 2016: Week Three

Goal 1:  Workout 3x per week and participate in a 5k and a 10k.

I am happy to report that I worked out 4x this week and I have registered for a 10k that happens in September.

Goal 2:  Read something religious before bed each night.

Success.  Sometimes just a page or two, but I’m starting the habit.

Goal 3:  Attend Mass on Tuesday when available.

There was a Mass this past Tuesday, but the kids had a snow-day, so no driving for me.  I’m calling it a pass, because I did intend to go and if it were a regular school day, I would have gone.

Goal 4:  Update 5x per week.

Yes!  I am keeping up with it.  It helps that money is a little tight from all of the Christmas spending.

Goal 5:  Follow the written budget each and every month.

Yes, so far so good.  I have had to finagle the categories a little bit here and there, but that’s just real life.  Things aren’t perfect.

Goal 6:  Follow Trim Health Mama and get to my goal weight.

I was pretty good all week with only 2 cheats.  I had a piece of cherry pie at our church picnic and I had some pizza at an American Heritage Girl party for my daughter.  They were free, so I slipped.  I still lost .4  pounds and now have ll.6 pounds to get to my goal weight.  I’m calling it a success.

How about you?  Did you set goals?  Are you working towards them?  I’d love to hear!


Staying On Budget

I am trying really hard to stay on budget.  It isn’t easy.  I am trying to update each day so that I can get into the habit.  I have been pretty faithful since mid-December when I decided that I couldn’t tell you where my money was going.  My husband makes a good salary and I haven’t been using it as wisely as I could.  It is wise to know where it goes.

Three weeks into making this a priority, I have found that money  easily to slips through the fingers!  Ha!  I wonder if I am the only one to take 3 weeks to figure it out :0  But, the more important thing I have learned is that if I am persistent, I can change my ways and improve.

I am changing, slowly but surely!  Today is mid-month and I am very happy to say that I am on budget and I haven’t gone over in any of the categories YET.  It may be an interesting 2 weeks as I am over halfway in several categories already.  All is can do is try my best and be accountable for my purchases.  We will see how it all shakes out.

How about you, have you tried something new this year?  Are you succeeding?  I’d love to hear.



2016 Goals

I was trying to decide if I should start a new blog or just revive this one.  I’m still doing the same kinds of things, so I thought it would be easier just to stick with this one.

Since I last posted, I did complete that marathon in 2014.  I was slow, but I got the finishers medal!

The kids are bigger, as you’d expect.

I’m still trying to budget and save money.  Still learning self-discipline.  Still trying to improve.

It’s a new year, so I’m energized to recommit to this blog.  I’m just going to write about whatever comes to me.  Nothing earth-shattering, but hopefully something for me to look back upon.  I hope to see that I am improving with various aspects of my life.

I’m putting my goals in writing and committing to improving myself this year.

So, here they are:

  1.  Workout 3x per week and participate in a 5k and a 10k race.  Not sure if I will walk, run, or a combination, I am just committing to finishing the races.
  2.   Read something religious each and every night before sleeping.
  3.   Attend Tuesday Mass when available.
  4. Update 5x per week.  I am really wanting to get my spending under control, so I need to categorize each purchase to see where the money is going.
  5.  Follow the written budget each and every month.  I totally stink at this, but I really need to do it so that we can keep spending under control.
  6. Follow the Trim Healthy Mama diet and get to my goal weight.  I need to lose 12 pounds achieve this goal.

These are what I want to focus on this year.  How about you, any goals that you are planning on tackling this year?

Training For A Half-Marathon

running picture

We are upping our mileage in preparation for an upcoming half-marathon. I typically run 3 miles twice a week, on Mondays and Wednesdays. Then we do a longer run on Saturdays if we are training for a specific race. Last Saturday we ran 6 miles. I ran 5 miles before I left for the cruise. Then I was gone for a week and when I returned L, the baby, was sick with a cough and runny nose. I couldn’t put her in child-watch at our local YMCA until she was better so I just pushed her in the stroller around the track. I walked the 3 miles both days instead of running. I missed running for nearly 2 weeks. I wasn’t sure how Saturday’s run would go, but I sure was excited to get out there and run!

I used an app called Runtastic. It is a new download for me. I tried it on Saturday for the first time. I love it so far. It keeps track as you run and calls out each mile. Anyway we ran 6 miles in 1:14:51. That is a 12:27 pace. My race pace is 11:30.

If you remember, I did my first race (post L’s birth), in November when she was almost 1-year-old. It was a 5k and my time was 1 minute slower than my best time ever!

I was super encouraged that I kept a 1 minute slower pace than my race pace (for a half-marathon) for 6 miles. It was a fairly hilly run too. And as an added bonus, it felt sooo good to be out there running!

I am registered for a half-marathon on May 3. One of my goals this year is to run a half-marathon. I am ready for some warmer weather and lots of running!

How about you, do you have fitness goals for this year? Are you accomplishing them?


2014 Goals


I have been thinking of a few goals for the year.  I found it helpful to go back and look at them even though I wasn’t blogging regularly.

1.  Run a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, and a full marathon.  I like to run and have done all of these distances before except the full marathon.  I did have baby number 7 about a year ago and since then have only run a 5k.  With the proper training I think I can do it.  The farthest that I have run is 15 miles and that was about 3 years ago.

2.  Save $2500 for Christmas 2014.  I like to sponsor a needy child and drop money in the Salvation Army bucket each time I am out.  Those donations plus buying for 7 kids and a few immediate family members adds up quickly.  That is a good amount for us.

3.  Run/walk a 5k with my family.  We will pick a race together and run/walk the 5k to try to emphasize health and fitness this year.  It is pricey for so many, but they like running with me (and of course beating me).  It should be a fun time.

4.  Track grocery/household spending.  I really don’t know how much I spend.  I will track my spending and report it each month.  This will include groceries, toiletries, diapers, wipes and any other household purchases.  It will not include fun times out with the family where special candy or fun stuff is purchased.

5.  Post one time each week.  I will try to get a blog post together each week.  I hope it will encourage me to get back into the groove of posting.  My biggest problem is a lack of time.  I am super busy with 7 kids and a husband 🙂

Those seem doable.  The hardest one will be tracking my spending.  I am at the store A LOT.  To help me succeed I will try to keep a notebook in my purse just for this purpose.  I need to record it right away.  I have tried this before and failed.  I will try again.  I will put a note in the van to serve as a reminder every time I get in the van.

Here’s to a great 2014!


2013 Goals-A Review

I planned to accomplish some things in 2013.  Even though I haven’t been posting regularly, I thought I would review my 2013 goals to see how I did and if I felt the desire to start blogging again.

Here were my 2013 goals post.

1.   I want to make sure to use up all of the leftovers.   My kids are really good about eating leftovers, so that isn’t the problem.  The problem is finishing up every little bit of many different items without anything getting bad or lost in the refrigerator.

2.  I want to try some new recipes.  I am going to try for 2 new recipes each month.  I think food prices are going to go way up soon and I would like to have some cheap, filling meals that the kids like and will eat.  I have found that as my boys are getting bigger, they eat a lot!  They aren’t too into casseroles, but they have been really open to trying my food experiments lately.  If I come up with some good recipes, I will post them on the blog for others to try.

3.  I am going to try making more stuff from scratch.  I want to try to cut my grocery bill.  With 5 growing boys, it will be tough, but I think with smarter choices, it can be done.  I want to make at least 2 things from scratch each week.

4.  Learn how to can with a pressure canner.  I am getting the canner for Christmas.  I want to learn how to use it and fill up our basement shelving unit with the stuff that I have canned.  I want to have 10 jars canned each month.

5.  I want to keep track of some of the frugal things I am doing to help save time, money, or gasoline.  I will try to update one time each week.

6.  ETA:  I also want to be able to run a 5k without stopping by the end of the year.

I want to challenge myself to use our resources wisely and not be lazy (which I have a tendency to do when I’m tired.)  I will be using the older children to help me out and hopefully teach them some cooking, canning, and grocery strategies that will help them in the future.

Here is my interpretation of how I did.

1.  Use up leftovers-so so.  Sometimes I do really well, other times, not so much.  I would say overall there wasn’t much change–FAIL

2.  Try new recipes.  I have done that.  Everyone was really good about trying the new stuff.  PASS

3.  Cook from scratch.  I always cook.  With 7 children, eating out is expensive.  I’m not sure about cutting my spending, but I have been shopping at Aldi and hardly shopping at Kroger at all except for stuff that Aldi doesn’t carry.  PASS

4.  Learn how to use a pressure canner.  PASS

Fill 10 cans each month to fill the basement shelves with canned food.  FAIL

5.  Keep track of the frugal things and post 1x per week.  FAIL

6.  Run a 5k without stopping by the end of the year.  PASS  I ran a 5k without stopping and even though it was my first race since having a baby I was only off of my fastest time by 1 minute.  I’ll take it!

It looks like I hit about half.  This was my first time of putting them in ink so that I could go back and look at them.  The good is that I can see what I did well with and what needs work.  I now know that I have to look at my goals more frequently so that they are in my sights so that I can make every attempt to accomplish them.

The only goal that was really on my mind the second half of the year was to run the 5k without stopping.  Since I was aware and remembered that I was trying to accomplish it, it happened.  I need that to happen with my other goals.

Now I need to plan some goals for 2014 and I only have a day to think about it!

Fitness Update

I have been slowly returning to my pre-pregnancy fitness level.  From 6 weeks post-partum I have been walking about 3 miles twice a week.  Slowly I upped the days from 2 to 3.  It felt great to be doing something physical again after 7 months of inactivity.

In February I started CrossFit twice a week.  This is in addition to the walking.  So, some swort of physical activity 5 times per week.  I kept walking while my body was slowly adjusting to the intense CrossFit workouts.

Cross Fit.  I haven't jumped rope in YEARS!

CrossFit. I haven’t jumped rope in YEARS!

I have started running about once per week for the last couple of weeks.  I have been doing intervals of 3:1.  Three minutes of running and one minute of walking.  At first, it was pretty hard, but with each workout I am getting better.

My friend is preparing for a half-marathon, so I am upping my mileage as she does.  I was able to do 6 miles this week!  I am siked up!  I easily transitioned from three up to six.  It must be the CrossFit workouts that are helping.

I love that I am able to get back into my routine of working out, even with having the baby.  She is a good sleeper in the mornings, so I am able to keep her with me and still get my workouts done.  I am so thankful for that!

Working out is one thing that I do just for me.  I do a lot for others, especially my children.  Working out helps me reduce my stress, and feel better about myself.

Do you exercise?  Do you enjoy it?


January–Review of Goals

I am pretty happy with how January went.  Here are my goals for this year if you forgot what I am trying to accomplish this year.  Let’s go through them one by one…

1. use up leftovers…we have done pretty well, but there is room for improvement.  I need to keep a list of the things that I throw out each month to be better aware.  Off of the top of my head, I know I threw out some spaghetti with sauce that didn’t make it into the fridge after dinner, a partial head of lettuce that got wilted, some diced tomatoes, a tangerine that sat too long in the fridge and got a bad spot.  That is all I can think of, but still wasteful.

2. try 2 new recipes…I have been trying a lot of new recipes and I blogged about two of them here and here.  I have definitely gotten out of my same boring 10 meals that I used to cook all of the time.

3.  make more stuff from scratch…I have been doing really well.  I have been making my own desserts instead of buying them.  I have cooked every meal except 1 pizza night at the $5 pizza place.  I have been making my own bread as a side for some meals.  I made homemade cinnamon rolls.  I am doing well with this one.

4.  learn how to can with the pressure canner.  I did can 4 quarts of chicken broth this month.  I didn’t get to any more this month.  I did use the pressure canner to cook chicken leg quarters and beans.  I loved how the chicken turned out, but I want to cook the beans less next time.

5.  keep track of some of the frugal things that I am doing…

  • I have been shopping at Aldi instead of Kroger.
  • I have been trying to plan ahead for the week and not go to the grocery more than once per week.
  • I used some leftover ham to make ham and potato soup.
  • I have used 3 of the 4 jars of chicken broth that I canned.
  • By using up the leftovers I have had meals that I didn’t use.  I carried them over to the next week to help cut the grocery costs for that week.
  • I have been staying home more.  It is amazing how much I can get done when I stay at home.  Not spending money forces me to be creative.  It also gives me the opportunity to be doing those things that I really should be doing such as cooking and cleaning instead of shopping and spending money.
  • Planning tomorrows meals today.  I really need to stay ahead of the game or I get caught off guard.  I have to be mentally prepared as my days are so busy with the kids.

6.  be able to run a 5k by the end of the year…I have been walking 1 hour or more 2 to 3 times per week.  My running partner and I are preparing to start running.  Hopefully, we will begin running on Monday, but my friend just started with a cold and she wants to be 100% before starting.  I don’t blame her.

I believe that I am doing pretty well with the goals.  It really helps to have them in print to go back to and see how it is going.  Here’s to another month of meeting my goals!

Cherry Coffeecake

I follow a lot of money-saving blogs.  One of them is called The Path to Frugality.    I love her ideas.   She thinks an awful lot like me.  At the bottom of one of her posts that I read, it said something like “you might also like” and there was a picture of her cherry coffeecake.  It didn’t look all that special, but I had some cherry pie filling I was wanting to use up as it was in the pantry for a long time.

This was absolutely delicious.  I ate like half of the 9 x 13 pan by the time it was gone.  The ingredients were already in my pantry or refrigerator, so no extra trip to the store to get extra items.  I used margarine in it as I had some left over from making Christmas cookies.  We use butter normally, but I find margarine works better with cookies.  I also didn’t use the nuts because I didn’t have them on-hand.

This coffeecake had a delicious taste and the topping was crunchy.  Pure heaven.  Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed…at least I wasn’t.