Monday, July 25, 2011

Diets & Budgets

I was just reading another person's blog about her obsession of only wearing a very expensive brand named shoe. Hmmmm. I cannot relate at all unless you call a Target shoe a "brand."

About a month ago after our family vacation, my husband noticed that we were getting a little crazy with our finances. We were eating out weekly, picking up fast food, ordering pizzas, huge trips to Target and traveling quite a bit. We were definitely spending more than we were making. And bam! It hit us. We have to go back to budgeting. If you've done Weight Watchers, it is a lot like tracking. We have a monthly budget and we have to stay under the set amount for each type of spending. It sounds awful but if you've never done it, you'd be shocked to see where you money goes. Until you track it, you might think you know but you really don't. We spent $300 on gifts this month. I wouldn't believe it but we did. We had a wedding, a few birthdays and my baby Elle's collection of Cincerella that we had to buy.

I love to buy groceries. I can buy and buy. So in order to try to stay in our range for food, I am attempting a Thursday night of leftovers and one night we call "Budget Tuesday." The cool thing is that I don't have to cook these nights. Saves us money, hubby is happy that I am following our plan and we eat all of the weird food that gets stuck in the back of our frig.

This month, we've done great with our budget. It is a lot like a diet though. You can be super strict at the beginning. And when you diet, you really want something you can't have. I have to keep reminding myself to make good choices so that we do come in where we are supposed to. I said to my husband yesterday that if can do this, we'll have more money to spend in the end. More vacations, more name brand shoes and even more trips to my favorite grocery store.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


If only I was on the show Real Housewives of Summit County. I am apart of a group of friends that instead of throwing dinner parties, we just throw parties. We all bring something to share (and store bought is A-OK) and we have cocktails. We call it Party Club. It is more fun than parents should be allowed to have. We take turns hosting and I am up to host this Saturday.

As I climbed on a ladder trying to get a vine off of my house on my deck, I started to think how different real lives are compared to the silly Housewives shows on Bravo. While I love the trashy shows, it is such a lie.

"Reality" Show/Real Life

A stylist brought me clothes to try on today. I tried on three dresses at Target.

A stylist sent me clothes to wear on the show. I tried to shop at Marshalls first because I had a gift card.

A gardener has been working on my gardens all season. I had big plans to weed and make our gardens look nice. It is not going to happen. Hope it gets dark before anyone notices.

Our front lawn is beautiful. Our lawn has patches with no grass and looks rough.

A chef caters the meal. If I am lucky, Costco will cater this meal.

Children are taken care of by the live in nanny. Thank goodness my sisters will be watching my kids overnight. Thank you sistas!

The cleaning crew has been working tirelessly to make the house look amazing. We are trying to talk ourselves into cleaning every night once the kids go to bed. Somehow it all comes together. Once again, hope it gets dark before anyone looks around.

A band or DJ gets the women on their feet. We downloaded new songs for our iPod and will dance in our kitchens with kitchen utensils as microphones.

The Housewives fight and every party has a dramatic conclusion. We get along so great and every party has a funny, outrageous story.

The shows look glamorous but in reality, aren't the relationships and connections the most important thing? They buy the clothes, cars and houses to impress others. Is it to win friends? What kind of friends? They don't seem to get along. I love my group of friends. I feel blessed to call them my friends. We may not be on TV but we have some stories that would make for some great episodes of the Real Housewives shows.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

No more teachers, no more books...

I was in Target today looking for a new sprinkler. It is still summer, right? In Ohio, it just started getting warm enough for the pool. Summer it is. On my way to the summer section, I was hit smack in the face with Back to School. Already.

When I cringed last week at the Toys R Us ad for Back to School, my husband said "Aren't you counting the days?" Well, yes. Sort of.

I hate to rush summer. The weather is so awful here most of the year that I hate to rush past all of this sunshine and vitamin D. I also know how busy the school year gets. I am also cringing because I have not been working with my kids to prevent the "Summer Slide" that all of the magazines, newspapers and TV programs have been talking about.

As I complained about it to my sister who is a teacher, she confirmed my worst fears. The children that excel, their parents work with them over the summer. The ones that struggle, their parents don't. I am a parent to each type of child. And one child has worked on his summer packets and one has not.

Mommy guilt has set in. I know better. I will do better. But when the doorbell rings and the little neighbor boy asks my sons to play, I encourage them to go and play. I want my kids outside, riding bikes and yes, playing the Wii with friends. I want them to have lazy, happy summers without me yelling at them to sit and do math facts. I am choosing another Popsicles over the pencil.

The Target trip today was a nudge. I will do it. Maybe we will start with five minutes before we get going in the morning. One math page a day is all I can probably manage with Kyle before I pull my hair out. And Ry will do five on his own after he sits and reads for an hour an a half.

Summer is in full swing and I love it. So, we will squeeze in a little of the "half to's" and get to the fun stuff. And we'll get those summer packets done. Somehow.

I'm Not Talking About It, I'm Just Saying...