Financial Freedom is Possible...

Ahhh financial responsibility. Mine did not really come to reality until we got pregnant with Vincent and I realized that spending my entire paycheck on myself was not going to fly. Here we are 6 years later and 4 boys deep and our finances are a huge priority and making sure that they are in line is very important for us and our childrens future. 

When I met Jordan I worked 3 jobs and loved the freedom of all those paychecks. I had some college loans and was only paying the bare minimum so I could have the freedom to buy clothes and whatever else my 22 year old self thought I needed. Seriously I would just spend to spend. I never really understood why it was important to get ahead and save money. 

4 babies later and my entire mindset has changed. While I do love getting nice things I would much rather put money towards my children and their future. There are things that we do spend more money on such as food and health items to stay as healthy as possible and feed our bodies well. We cancelled cable since honestly the Real Housewives were not worth a $100 a month. It was seriously the only show I would watch. I mean when you add that up we were spending over $1000 a year for television! So frivolous. Just cutting small things out of your monthly budget can add a whole lot of budge room to your finances. We also switched to a much cheaper cell phone carrier and are paying HALF of what we used to. That is HUGE! 

Go through your budget and see exactly WHAT you are spending money on. Break down each item and be realistic about ways to maje that bill smaller. Obviously I am not saying to cut your electricity and heat but maybe you get your hair cut every month. Could you do it every other instead? Or maybe instead of tajing your boys to get haircuts could you do them yourself. I have honestly done every single one of the boys haircuts. It not only saves time and money it saves me some sanity! haha! Do you spend a lot of money going out to eat? How about choosing to make your own meals? We rarely go out to eat because we came to a point where we realized we were paying more money for less quality food where we could make it at home and have it be organic. There are ALWAYS ways to cut your bills you just have to sit down and be realistic.  

So chat with your spouse or partner and make a plan of action. 

Another idea to try is to use a cash system. We have tried this before and it helps a ton. Jordan will give me a wad of money at the start of the month and every time I spend I use the money from my fund and it's MUCH different than just swiping a card. You actually have to feel the money leave your wallet and you see the dollar bills going away. It stings a lot more than just swiping a card. It makes me really consider my purchases and think if I really need the item or not! 

For the holidays you would think we would spend a fortune on gifts for our families and our children. We are honestly the complete opposite. I have NOTHING to get the children. They cannot even think of anything they want. Last year we got them one toy each and we want to do that again but they have nothing that they even want. We have discussed maybe taking them to a hotel or something and swimming. Children just want to spend quality time with people. We are hoping to teach them that gifts are not what matter. It is the people around you and the moments and memories you can make. 

On Vincent's first Christmas and Birthday we had LONG lists of presents and piles of gifts and guess what. He did not even care. This last birthday we did for ALL of the boys this summer we asked for no gifts to be given and they did not even bat an eye. They just had FUN with their friends and family at their party. It also helps your long term finances when you aren't spending money on silly toys that your children will play with for a week then forget. 

These are just a few of the things we do as a young family with 4 children. 

Capital One 360 is having an amazing Black Friday Sale to help get your finances in order. So try what I said and make a list. Go through all your bills and try to focus on things you REALLY need. 

I hope you all had the best Turkey Day celebrations.  While you may have gifts, greetings and get-togethers on the brain, it's important not to lose sight of your financial goals. All of Capital One 360's Black Friday Sale deals are designed to encourage consumers to keep their finances top of mind.

Just to see a quick break down of the amazing deals here they are....
ShareBuilderUp to $1,250 bonus (tiered offer)
  • Must be a new ShareBuilder customer
Home Loans$1,250 off closing costs
  • Must sign up for the loan during the sale period
360 Checking$100 bonus
  • Must make a $500 minimum initial deposit and make five transactions
  • Must be new to 360 Checking
360 Savings$100 bonus
  • Must make a $1,000 minimum initial deposit
  • Must be new to 360 Savings
Refer a Friend$40 bonus per successful referral
  • For someone to receive the referral bonus, they must be a current customer
  • Their friend must meet the minimum initial deposit requirements
  • Applies to all accounts

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Pre Black Friday Sales

I am not at all a fan on of leaving my warm bed on black Friday ever. I have worked in retail numerous times on Black Friday aka hell no and no thank you. I much rather prefer online shopping haha! Cuddled up under a warm blanket! I am offering two sales on both my businesses. First off my state bracelets are on sale over at Etsy for Buy 2 get one FREE. So stock up!!!
The new bangles are amazing because they are adjustable so they got everyone! And they are super cute! 

Next I am offering a sale just for my clients on my two go to programs for fitness. The 21 Day Fix and PiYo challenge packs. I am giving a $10 rebate on PiYo and a $20 rebate on 21 Day Fix challenge packs. 
(Leave your email if you have questions)
Both programs are amazing for beginners. The 21 Day fix also comes with portion containers and a meal plan to help you transform your eating as well. And the workouts are only 30 minutes so that is honestly the biggest thing! Both programs make working out not so dreadful. I used to hate the thought of working out and now I weirdly look forward to it since its only 30 minutes. Let's not kid, I skip the cool down so its closer to only 25 minutes a day haha.

Happy pre black Friday sales!! 

Surrounding Yourself....

This past weekend we had a little team gathering. I have been looking forward to this weekend for weeks! Just time to finally meet and have some good ole girl time! I cannot explain how freaking therapeutic this day was for me. I met Nicolette and Carey from blogging and also through friends and we are all on the same team for Beachbody. We drove together to Cleveland which is a 2 hour drive and we had never all been together and the conversation just flowed so awesomely the whole drive. I felt like us 3 had been friends for years just chatting about life and really anything that came to mind. It was awesome. 
We met up with Sarah and Michelle. Sarah and I have known each other since we were younger and I had never met Michelle in real life yet. Just as it felt like the 3 of us were friends for years when we all sat and had lunch it felt the same way with all of us! We got to chat about EVERYTHING and enjoy some drinks and food. 
I wanted to pinch myself because it was AMAZING to be surrounded by women with the same drive and love of life as you. I never realized how important until the past few years it is to be surrounded by strong and amazing women. 
In high school and college I was always a people pleaser so I would put up with shady friends and let it slide. I would also put up with drama from friends and also boyfriends when I should have just cut the cord right then and there. I just want everyone to be happy and get along. Is that too much to ask!? haha When we started a family my friendships changed a lot and I lost touch with a lot of friends. In my eyes if friends aren't willing to go through stages with you of life than they really were not friends in the first place so it's probably best to just move that train along.
Back in the day I never had the heart to walk away from toxic relationships and in reality looking back the only person it hurt was me. Seriously think back to all the people who stabbed you in the back or did something mean to you that you forgave and made up with. If I would have been smarter I would have just cut ties and walked away. I am not upset about the past because it has obviously brought me to where I am now but I am much smarter in who I chose to spend my time and energy on. Honestly my family and faith are everything to me so I try to line my friends up with people who have the same values as me. I must say right now I have the best set of friends ever. I am FULLY surrounded by motivating and loving women and I could not be happier. There is no room for drama or backstabbing. We are all there for each other through the ups and downs and always there when someone is in need. Since also joining Beachbody I have found another handful of amazing women and it's INSANE. Who would have thought that at almost 30 and as a stay at home mom I would be able to come in contact with women all over the country who I love! It's so amazing. They challenge me and inspire me daily. 

I am fully going off track but I have been blessed in the past few years to really start a core unit of friends. When Jordan and I moved 4 years ago I only knew one person in our city. I was terrified that I would not find any friends and now I am blown away and I am so blessed. 

Now back to our fun day! We had lunch and then went off to the Westside Market which was AMAZING. On the way there we had chatted about "The Christmas Story" movie house and we found out it was SUPER close so we drove over to see it! We were like giddy school girls and ran up and took pictures! Maybe we were all a tad buzzed from our adult beverages but non the less we decided to strike a yoga pose on the front porch. 
"You'll shoot your eye out" is all I could think of. Gosh I love that movie. 

All in all it was a fabulous day with the girls. It was SO needed and gave me an amazing reset. Sometimes we just need a quick reality check away from the house to reset as a mom. It was honestly equivalent to a beach vacation! Shocking what an amazing grilled cheese with pulled pork and amaretto sour will do for you! haha! PS if you live near Cleveland you have to try Melt Bar. Holy heavens. 
Anyways that was a lot of rambling. I have a ear and sinus infection so my brain is all over the place! Happy Tuesday.
Moral of the story. Surround yourself with amazing people. 

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Choose CAREFULLY" 

Operation Maintain....

This week I am going to talk a tad more in depth about my ups and downs of pregnancy weight gain and loss through the past 5 years. But first I wanna touch on the AMAZING hybrid workout that I am doing! PS I just found out this morning that I have an ear infection and sinus infection. Yippie. But I weirdly want to workout today because I know it will feel good. The cool thing is you can insert any workout into the planner and pick your intensity level and how many days you want to workout and it gives you a personalized schedule. It's so cool!

My main goal now through the holidays is to MAINTAIN. I usually stuff my face with cookies and fudge and was honestly usually pregnant over the holidays so it was a free for all so I am going to actually be healthy this holiday season. I will still eat fudge and cookies but not the whole TRAY haha! Oh and peanut butter kiss cookies. YUM! 

 I said at the beginning of the post that I will be going into to deeper depth on my pregnancy weight gain and loss in the coming weeks. A lot of people just assume because I started at a semi healthy weight that it was a breeze to lose it all. Not the case at all. My babies definitely did not come out weighing 70lbs like what I gained with Vincent's pregnancy. So I had to lose between 25-60lbs each of my 4 pregnancies after those babies popped out. It did not happen overnight or even within a few weeks. I remember crying after Vincent and Luke because I hated my body. HATED it!!I had gained so much weight because I did not work out or eat healthy at all. I was a mess. My normal weight is 120's so to be chilling at 160-180 was not at all normal for my body. I fit into NOTHING and was just so down about myself and every aspect. I remember feeling like I had lost a ton once the baby was out of my belly then I would step on the scale and it wasn't budging at all. But I will go into that more this week and break down all the pregnancies and what I did and did not do and how I got back. I always got almost back to normal but now I can say I am actually HEALTHY and active and feeding my body the right way.
I still cant get over how I was at Vincent's pregnancy. I only fit into Jordans clothing at that point. This pic was two weeks before delivery. I may or may not have hid from the camera the last two weeks.
More to to blow my nose and rest this infection off!! 

Glitter Dipped Mason Jars

I have been seeing these babies floating around online and I had to have them!! So I hopped on amazon and ordered all the supplies. I decided to use them for my Thanksgiving Day centerpiece! They were so EASY. They were done in less than an hour!!! Totally simple!!!
Seriously how CUTE are they?? I have had a big gold obsession lately so I went with GOLD! 
Here is the type of spray paint I used. 
After the paint dries. Use the painters tape around the jar. 
Apply a simple layer of Mod Podge.
Sprinkle the glitter on. I used a paper underneath to catch all the extra. Then just fold it up and pour it back into the container. Super easy clean up! 
Peel the tape and you are DONE. I peeled mine right away because I am impatient! 
Here is a peek at the centerpiece.
Our plates are yellow so I think it will really pop! I found those wreaths in the Target dollar zone of course and they were 70% off from Halloween! Score!! So the whole project was less than $20 and I still have tons of supplies left over. I semi want to glitter everything I own now. It's addictive! 
Happy Glittering!
ENJOY!!! xoxox

Organization Attempt....

Organization has never been my strong suit. I have always had junk drawers but it does not bother me. I always swipe the counters clean and shove stuff in drawers which in turn creates massive junk drawers. I have tried time and time again to be organized and it always backfires. This time I decided to REALLY try and I bought some special draw organizers and gave it a whirl. I have been reading the book Smart Martha, a book on simplifying motherhood and also housework. I decided to use some of things I learned in the book. I will say that Jordan was very skeptical as I came strolling in the house with all my organizing supplies and then I ripped through the kitchen like a tornado throwing stuff away. For a few days straight all I could think was. "Everything wanted and everything wanted in it's place" which meant when I was clearing out closests and drawers I was VERY anal about what would stay. This is such a great mindset. I also read to start SMALL and slowly work on areas. This was honestly the best approach for me because I usually will try to take on too much and then get overwhelmed and it all backfires. So on day 1 I did 4 drawers. The following day I did another set of drawers. Here is a look at the progress. 
These drawers were not even half as bad as the first set I took on. It was pure madness.
These are the containers I found at Meijer. Also grabbed some paper to put down on the bottom. Our cabinets are so OLD. They are legit falling apart but this makes them look a tad better.
 PS Word to the wise. NEVER paint your cabinets with MILK PAINT. NEVER. It looks a million times worse than when we started. Chipping like crazy. But that is neither here or there, we are talking about organizing!!! Take EVERYTHING out of the drawers. I mean EVERYTHING. 
 Toss the things you do NOT need. You need to be a tad cold hearted. Get rid of anything you have not used in the past year. You obviously do not need it if it's just been chilling in a junk drawer. I had this same cold hearted view towards my closet! Don't save things for "maybe one day" because it never happens. Throw that crap out and keep the things you do need. We had tons of chargers and plugs that just needed to go. Tons of game pieces that had no home, and just random crap. 

I also was reminded that I need to stop picking up EVERY item in the Target dollar zone when I saw that I honestly had a whole drawer full of goodies!! 
Its been a few weeks since I did this. I even told Jordan's grandpa to check out my progress and he was clearly on Jordan's team and said "we will see how long that lasts" haha! Luckily it is still in amazing shape. I think having the organizers and having a PLACE to put everything is HUGE. I never had designated spaces for things which is why it was always just a mess. I must say it's also nice knowing where things are! I still need to tackle the big cabinets and also tons of other areas but just doing the drawers has made me so HAPPY. It's so weird but I am way less stressed because of these beautiful clean drawers. 

The stupid milk paint may be chipping off the cabinets and looking like a train wreck but the anger goes away when I open the drawers and see all the pretties in their spots!!! So try SMALL baby steps to organizing and GET supplies to do it!! These containers are a God send!!!! Now I have everything wanted and everything wanted in it's place. Now to conquer more areas of the house! 


Halloween Recap

Halloween sorta came and went but I figured I needed to post so these pictures just did not get lost on my computer! We had such a great fall and I am semi not looking forward to the cold and snow. Ba-hum-bug! 
 Last month I decided to get all crafty and let the boys paint their pumpkins because carving is just not fun with children. Actually carving is no fun at all (who am I kidding) 
 I grabbed some smaller pie pumpkins and some paints from Hobby Lobby and some other random supplies from Dollar Tree like the pumpkin face things. Those were awesome. You just stuck them in!
 The glow paint was a big hit! 
 The boys loved it! 
 This activity was huge for me because I am not a huge art lover or mess lover so this one was super exciting for the boys. I really need to loosen up a tad! 
 Here is the finished products! 
 Thank goodness we did trunk or treat at the boys school which was a few weeks before Halloween! 
 The boys had a blast and it was the perfect fall evening! 
 Not the best picture but it captures them as the ninja turtle crew! 
 Halloween was completed with school parties and parades galore! 
 We spent Halloween night inside. Well me and my sister in law Jennifer and Sammy! We sent the boys out to bear the cold and rain for their candy loot! Jennifer and I held down the fort with some adult beverages and played with Sammer! 
 Check me out ladies. 
 All in all it was a great Halloween!!!! 
We are officially out of Halloween candy which is amazing!!! Woooooo! 

Chocolate Lovers

Chocolate is such an amazing thing. Seriously. It has to be my most loved treat! 
This winter my blog readers get an amazing deal from Mrs Cavanaugh's Chocolates. 

"It started when my aunt sent her pecan-rolls recipe," Mrs. Cavanaugh recalled. "I gave the recipe my own touch and started making the yummy specialties. Then I began dipping chocolates. Our friends and neighbors loved these treats, encouraging me to start a candy business. Finally, I decided it might be a good idea.'"
Her husband George and children Carla, Lorraine, Calvin, Colene and Genise rallied, helping Mrs. Cavanaugh fill demands for her homemade sweets.

...In 1972, the family moved to Utah, leaving good friends and their beloved cattle ranch. 

"It was a difficult decision, especially for George," Mrs. Cavanaugh said. "He was excited about making our new venture, which we chose to call Mrs. Cavanaugh's Candies, a great success. We felt Utah was blessed with good chocolates and that we would enjoy - and could compete with - those who pride themselves on making excellent chocolates."

Millions of pounds of chocolates later, Mrs. Cavanaugh's candies have earned a reputation for unquestionable excellence....

Ask chocolate aficionados. They will direct those seeking the best chocolates to the popular Mrs. Cavanaugh's Candies. 

My readers receive Buy 1 lb Get 1 lb FREE of Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates use promo code: usfamily14