Ever find yourself really wishing you had more time to get ready for Christmas... December just seems to SNEAK up on you? Well, maybe we can make a difference... together!

Friday, January 20, 2012

AMAZING Talent..... I admire!

There is this AMAZINGLY TALENTED lady.... well! There are LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of talented ladies out there really .... and ONE of them is having a FABULOUS give way... but don't bother stopping by... her shop is CROWDED and oh my goodness... just take my word for it ... it's simply CRAZY over there ...SERIOUSLY!  just take my word for it..... SHE IS AMAZING.... you can trust me......
 besides, I am REALLY wanting to win!
OH ALRIGHT.... go ahead take a peak.... leave a comment.... 
BUT if you win.... you will have to share your prize with me! DEAL!?!?!  :)  

Oh... I surely hope I can sleep the next few nights...
I just love these little darlins'... they just melt my heart!

Good luck to you all.... 
You'll need it - because I'm feeling REALLY lucky! :)

The "B" word.... I hate to say it....

BUT.... it is reality! That darn "B" word always comes to play when I start thinking CHRISTMAS... and trust me... I'm thinking CHRISTMAS!  (YES! ALREADY!.... aren't you???)

Anyway... I was going through some of my Christmas notes... and the darn "B" word came up - and I thought... well, I must face that darn "B" sooner or later - may as well tackle it now!  Yes, I'm talking BUDGET!  There I said it!  Does it freak you out as much as it does me????  Well, I may not have CONQUERED the "B" word but I'm getting closer... and I thought I would share a few things I have learned (from the notes I had) and some that I need to learn as well..... are you ready????

I'm sure that all of us are guilty of doing this... at least ONCE - and if you aren't GOOD FOR YOU!!!!! But.... many of us have thrown caution to the wind and just did what we "thought" would make everyone else happy.... and with that we often end up charging our Christmas purchases only to have to deal with the outcome during January... YIKES!!!  I'm here to tell you - THIS IS NOT A GOOD STRATEGY! ... why??? Well, because it only causes us more stress in the months to follow - and honestly, I have enough stress that just "COMES" to me I do NOT need to create more....  How many of us spend blindly?  Well.... NO MORE!!!  From this day forward - committ yourself to becoming the "B" word freindly!  Instead of spending our money blindly, we need to create a BUDGET... tell your money WHERE to go instead of it telling YOU where to go.... in order to do this - you need to decide "REALISTICALLY" what amount of money you can spend on Christmas ... and be sure to note that your CHRISTMAS budget is NOT just the gifts you buy!

Step 1:  REALLY look at what CASH you have on hand to spend for the upcoming Christmas season. If you start soon enough in the year - this is a much easier task to take control of. Be REALISTIC!

Step 2: Get your trusty little note book out and WRITE - yes WRITE down all the different hings you NEED to purchase for the Christmas season - Such as: Baking ingredients, Picture, Cards, Activities, Donations, Clothing, Hostess gifts, Entertaining foods, Decorations, Postage... etc.... Be sure to review your list and make sure that you didn't miss ANYTHING that you would normally purchase SPECIFICALLY for Christmas.

I'm sure you noticed that GIFTS was not listed ... that's because GIFTS need a sheet ALL to themselves!  On your GIFTS page (step 3) break down the types of gifts you give - such as - gifts for the home, gifts for immediate family outside of the home, gifts for extended family, stocking stuffers, friend gifts, teacher gifts etc.... This helps to give you an idea of EVERYONE you would like to give gifts to - plus help you to cross off when money starts to get tight...

Take the category's that you have and divide up the amount of money you have to spend on Christmas and BUDGET each section....

Now.... here is just a fun little exercise to do... IF ... remember I said IF you should decide that you need to CHARGE your Christmas... just do this little exercise - and I'm pretty sure you will change your mind about the "CHARGING" Christmas....

Scroll all the way to the bottom of my page - you will find a "CREDIT CARD CALCULATOR" - it's pretty simple to use - but guaranteed to give you a stomach ache.... so use with caution.. :) 

Let's just say for fun - you decide to charge $1000.00 for your Christmas, your interest rate is 24.0% and your minimum payment is $40.00 - GUESS WHAT.... It will take you 35 months to pay off (nearly 3 years!)  is your stomach hurting yet??? if not... this just might do it..... AND the $1000.00 you just charged will now cost you $1400.00.... Do you want to just throw away $400.00 ??? If you do, I'm here to tell you - I'll give you my account number and feel free to just deposit it into my account...  I won't mind at all! :)  besides, it will save you $1000.00 :)  Go ahead - give it a try - if you have a credit card now - and would like to know how much you would have to pay to be debt free in a certain amount of months - you can do that too!  For instance, if you want to be out of debt on that $1000.00 with 24% interest in 12 months, you would need to pay approx. $94.56 a month ... SO.... if you feel that is what you need to spend on your Christmas, then, you should put $94.56 away each month - and your will have a NICE Christmas budget just waiting for you and growing....

I mean - which plan would you prefer to do? I personally - hate CREDIT cards!  So, I have set my budget, and put in how many months I have to purchase my stuff and that tells me how much I can spend for Christmas. I prefer that way MUCH MUCH MORE!

Good luck - Let me know how your budget planning is goin....

Next up....Baking for the holidays - and stretching that BUDGET!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Let the Journey Begin.... Part 2

So, how did you do? Do you have a good plan so far?  Are you feeling comfortable with it?  Are you feeling stressed or calm?  I'm hoping CALM... that's what I'm trying to do... help to get rid of STRESS and bring in the RELAXING CALMNESS!  
Well, let's not waste any time - let's get to business - we do have lots to get accomplished this month still!  So....   
7)Do you plan to send Christmas cards?    
I always have such GREAT intentions!  I LOVE getting cards!  I've kept almost EVERY card we have gotten for the past 20 years and I proudly display them every year! I love to go back and reminisce with my kids about all these amazing friends and family... it is so fun!  BUT I admit! I am the WORST at sending cards! I purchase them... I sign them.... I just don't mail them... why? Because I'm always out of money when it comes to getting the stamps!  So, this year, in my cute little "composition book" I made a "POCKET" on the inside cover... (I taped a manila envelope with the cute little brad type closure) I will be placing my books of stamps in it!  I am budgeting in a book of stamps every other month! (If you forgot about stamps, and you need to mail your cards - you best go back and budget in your stamps!) :) 

8) Do you purchase gifts with a purpose?
I try really hard to make my gifts "meaningful"- that is why I always do a HOMEMADE Christmas. I HATE having a price tag placed on my gifts! This las year I kept a small little book in my purse and as I would hear someone mention something that they liked, I would make note of it. PROBLEM: Too many notebooks! So, this year - one notebook! I also ask our families to draw names early in the year so that I can start planning.  

9) Do you celebrate Christmas as just one day? 
Take time to write down how YOU can expand your Christmas celebrations throughout the ENTIRE holiday season!  Christmas shouldn't be done in just a day!  I for one just really do not like the fact that we have not ONE Family Christmas Party BEFORE Christmas1  Our week from Christmas day to New Years Eve is CRAZY! And that is usually the time I want to just RELAX and CRASH!  (no rest for the wicked I guess!! LOL!)  I really wish we could STRETCH it out a little better. Due to the type of employment that I have and my Mr. is not working, we don't even have a company Christmas Party to attend.  :(   I think that there will be a few changes this coming year... it just doesn't seem like Christmas because we have no "fancy-shmancy" parties to go to before ... and there was no snow this year - so that didn't help at all!  I think this is something I really need to work on this year!  So, make a list of the things that you want to do during the month.  We'll need to make a plan later, but just jot down some things that you would like to do, that you do or that you want to change.  

10) Does the word “entertaining” scare you?
I LOVE to entertain... just no-one comes. So instead, I just plan get-togethers! Mostly with my kids - but still - we have fun!  This year I plan to do better and plan to do more! Like "cookie making party", "Cookies, Milk & Movie Night", "Game Night" etc.... this I think is a great alternative to the "formal entertaining"... plus, it's a little more up my alley!        

11) Do you know when your favorite activity will take place this year?
If you have church parties, company parties, neighborhood parties, etc.  chances are, the dates are planned especially if reservations are required.  Try calling them and getting the dates that you need.  For me, I like to "plan" our family activities in advance so that I can get a calendar to children and make sure that I'm not going to interfere with their "parties"... and I've learned to be flexible.... VERY flexible!

12) Does your family eat out more than you plan during the month of December?
Eating out can be COSTLY!  and it will surely wipe out your budget in not time!  I did find that we did do this a little more than I wanted to this past year - mostly because I was too busy working on projects, and wasn't paying attention to the clock... DUMB! So this year, I'm planning ahead - I will make sure to have "FREEZER" meals in place and ready for those bad days! AND... I will post my menu on the fridge - not in my book, because again - if everyone sees it - I tend to follow it much better!    

Well... that's it for this section.... See you in a couple days to start the next group!  Are you getting so excited!?!?! I hope so!  The last thing I would want to do is STRESS you out!  Good luck!     

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Let the Journey Begin!

Christmas season can be so OVERWHELMING don't you think?  I mean... let's face it - many of us simply do not want to even think about it before we HAVE to  - and I even know some that prefer to not think about it ever!  That just breaks my heart.... but only because I'VE BEEN THERE!  And I know just what I missed and I will NEVER be able to get it back....  For the past 2 years - (this is my 3rd SEASON attempt)  I have learned that if I work with my Christmas organizing a little bit every day-well week (I would LOVE to do it every day!) or at least every month, I have found that my CHRISTMAS season is and has been a little more enjoyable each year - and not so stressful... and this year, being my 3rd - I am REALLY hoping that  this is the year that I get it completely accomplished!  I'm surely going to give it my best shot!  

The first thing that I have discovered, through trial and error is that being PREPARED  for the upcoming holiday is to be ORGANIZED.... I'm all about ORGANIZING - but sometimes it is much easier said than done....  

 A couple years ago when I started my quest to "ENJOY THE SEASON" (you can read it here), it seemed so simple then... but life got a hold of me and soon I found it wasn't as easy as it seemed to be on paper... but I kept trying and I did ok... not the best - but ok.... the next year I was determined to be better...(you can see year 2 here) and I started out with great vengeance and even accomplished a few things... like found some great deals the day after Christmas that were very much needed and made this past Christmas a little easier. And yet... here I am again... year 3... still striving to MAKE MY GOAL!  So... I've been working on a new plan. A revised plan. Hopefully it will help.

I'm a big LIST maker - that's no secret.... but one of the problems is... my LIST kept disappearing! Talk about FRUSTRATING! I even purchased a "PLANNER" last year - and it just didn't give me the "room" I needed - so this year - I purchased a COMPOSITION NOTEBOOK... and I thought about making it really UGLY then my girls  I mean, the little thieves that would take my notebook wouldn't touch it if it were UGLY right?.... But I got them THEIR OWN.... Let's see how long that works!  I think I'll put a BEEPER on mine too! 

Anyway.... I started the morning after Christmas evaluating Christmas.  Making notes. Asking myself questions and replying ~ to myself :) 

So, here is my attempt to help you as well. AND for you to help me too!  I'm so open for ideas, thoughts, suggestions etc - please PLEASE feel free to share them! 

The first thing I did was .... changed my DEADLINE date!  If you have never had a deadline date, make one. I promise you will be thanking me later so happy that you did! My deadline date is OCT. 31, 2012.  I wrote it in big letters on my very first page at the top... the first thing I see! :) 

The next step is to decide just what is important to you about Christmas.  For me this is a BIG eye opener! I'm such a BIG dreamer! I have such BIG plans and... I'm not spontaneous - so IF I'm not prepared... it simply doesn't happen - because it has to be PERFECT!  And it can't be PERFECT if I'm not organized... And trust me... this year I FAILED at EVERYTHING!  EVERYTHING!  Never again! I will be PREPARED this year FOR SURE!!!!!!! WAY ahead of time!  

Now,  take a minute to write a few questions in your notebook, then go back and answer them - remember to be HONEST and TRUTHFUL with yourself - there is no right or wrong answers ... just HONESTY! 

1) Do you enjoy the CHRISTMAS season? 
Now remember, we are all here to help.... I'll tell you know - I thought because I had this grand plan 2 years ago that our Christmas was going to be MAGICAL.... all my stress was going to just POOF be gone because I wanted a perfect Christmas.... it wasn't... but I did learn, I was a few steps closer! And this year, the same thing.... It's all about the baby steps!  So, don't give up! 

2) Do you feel that your Christmas is out of control?  Like you spend more time LOOKING for items then spending time with your family? 
This is where your CHRISTMAS ORGANIZATION NOTEBOOK will come in VERY handy!  VERY HANDY! Trust me! You will have a central "location" for all your important information.

3) Do you find that you do not have enough time for the things that you enjoy doing during the Christmas season? 
This is where planning your calendar will come in VERY handy - and even making a ADVENT calendar - I found that if it were in just MY book and no-one saw it - then it was a lot easier to just "let it go" - BUT if it is on a calendar posted where the family sees it, OR in the advent calendar... well, it's a little harder to "DENY" that you have a plan - and if you have a household like mine, they will NOT let you forget your plans!  Granted, things happen and we need to be flexible but like my 9 year old said to me this past season... "Mom, you may as well throw the calendar away because we ALWAYS have something else come up"... That broke my heart!  NOT AGAIN! If someone is sick.... sorry - we'll feed you some chicky-noodle soup, tuck you in and hope you feel better soon, but the rest of us have a plan.... HA HA!  Yeah right! I don't think that will happen exactly like that, but, something will... even if one parent needs to stay home, the rest of the family should move forward.  

4) Do you overspend at Christmas? 
GET ON A BUDGET!  That simple!  It really is!  Take a look at what you spent this past year - if you OVERSPENT - cut it down to make it within your means... If it worked for you... then let it be.... Figure out your budget and divide it up into the number of paydays you have left from this day until your "deadline" date. Then ACT upon that budget!  It doesn't do any good to just make a budget if you don't put it into action! :)  One thing that I tried to do last year was to just purchase gift cards to places that I KNEW I would be purchasing from.  Then I would watch for sales, then use the gift card when needed.  This year I think I will be opening a savings account at a different bank/location from our standard bank and deposit the money each payday... and just let it sit there until it is needed. OH! Make sure you allow for "STOCKING STUFF"... that category KILLS me every year!  AGH!  Those little darn things just ADD up so fast!  So be sure to think of EVERYTHING you may possibly need! 

5) Do you ask your family members to help you with Christmas preparations? 
Or... are you a HOLIDAY HOG PERFECTIONIST? .... I am... and it is HARD! I'm getting better at it. But I found that this year as we were pulling out stuff - I made mental notes of the things that I can ask my family to help with - this year... they are in writing!  They WILL be getting a HOLIDAY PREP list!  YES! So excited I am!

6) Do you buy gifts through the year to find that you can't find them when they are needed? 
I DID!!!! In fact, I just found some the other day!  AGH!  Again, your Christmas Organization book will come in VERY handy for this... and something that I did this year... I purchased large totes (the family THINKS that they are filled with Christmas decorations) but they are really going to have the "pre-purchased" gifts in them! And I labeled them "CHRISTMAS" but coded them as well.... I'm a sneaky mom! (I numbered them 1-8... birth order of children, 6=Mr, 7=other family members, 8=neighbors, teachers) I also log items in my book - and they may be secret codes as well... just in case my book should end up in the wrong hands! LOL! 

So.... what are you waiting for... get your book... 


I'll give you a couple of days then I'll be back with 6 more questions.... 
We're off to a GREAT start don't you think???


Saturday, January 7, 2012

There's another man in my life!

First let me just say this.... My CHRISTMAS 2012 plan is JUST ABOUT done!!!!  (my goal... to have it done by the 15th....I best be hustlin' I know..... )  But in the mean time... I thought I would just share a little "insight" on my life.... other than Christmas.....

Now, let's see....where / how do I start this.....
To some it may feel a litle "odd" admitting that there is another "man in their life....But honestly~I'm really quite FINE with it!

This man is AMAZING!!!! And I have loved him for a very long time! In fact.... I have loved him since the minute I set eyes on him, I have LOVED this man!  He is very talented, kind and gentle, yet gruff at times, he is handsome, strong determined and stern too, he is compassionate, loving, very giving yet he expects a lot and sometimes he can make me really mad too!  But in the end, I still love him with all my heart!  He has taught me a lot - like how to work hard, to be honest, to never give up, to admit when I am wrong and I've learned that he is seldom wrong :) ! As I get older, I find that each day I realize just how much he gives to me and all he does for me through the years!  He is my HERO!  ... and my DAD!!!!!

And today is his BIRTHDAY! 
He is very talented! From the time I was just little, I LOVED to hear him sing and play his guitar!  In fact, I remember he played in a band and they would practice at our house, and I would curl up right next to the drums and be so content for their entire practice!  I could sleep like no other when those drums were beating and his voice singing!  As i got older, my friends use to ask me if he was "ELVIS" .... he looked like him and he SANG like him...I'll admit, there were times that I would tell them that he was! I loved the fact that he wasn't embarrassed to sing in front of people, especially me!  Sometimes I wish I could just go back and be little again just for that!  He is also very talented in the "ART" category!   He can oil paint like nobody's business! And draw too! Man I wish I would have gotten some talents like his! Instead.... I think I just got the "GENES"... the bubble butt, thunder thighs and Christensen nose!  I would much ratherhave preferred the "talents" any day!  Oh I did get a little bit of the "perfectionist.... Nice... WAIT!!! it that a NICE thing??? 

One of my most favorite memories of my dad, is of Christmas time when he would bring out his race car track and we would race and race and race all day long!  I remember laughing so much when we would crash and how my sisters and I thought it was so funny... until dad got mad... We would try so hard the next time to not let that happen, but it never failed, it happened.... and he would immediately box it back up!   He told us we couldn't play anymore until we learned to just race and not knock anyone off, 
Then I remember when Shane (my first little brother) was old enough to race and he soon thought it was funny to knock cars off the track too, that was when it became funny to dad... I remember he would laugh and even smirk sometimes, "trying" to be mad, but he just couldn't do it!  Amazing what that little boy could do for my dad.  
Then another favorite Christmas memory was "cracking nuts"... I could sit next to him all day long and eat nuts!  He always had a story to tell me too!  And I loved his stories!  I loved being little enough to climb up next to him, hear his stories and crack nuts together.  I wonder if he remembers the NUT BOWL I made from him out of Popsicle sticks... I was so proud of that bowl... I tried to show my kids how to make one and they thought it was stupid.... but I know my dad loved my bowl... or at least he made me think so! 
We also had the "toe-gote" thing ... it was like a big beefy motorcycle, but it wasn't very fast at all! We had so much fun with that little red thing! Rides in the mountains and around the nieghborhood, until the police put a end to that.... That was so wrong! :)   Oh! And fishing! Dad LOVED to fish... and I'm sure he was THRILLED when the boys started coming...because our little fishing trip was NOT what dad was hoping for. I remember being TERRIFIED of the water.  I don't like water - especially when I can't see what is in it and how deep it is ~ I remember being so worried about my little sisters falling in and when Sheila's shoe fell in the "ocean"  (it was really a "creek" - Deer Creek to be exact - but it was much bigger than what I would say qualifies as a "creek" - it was BIG - a "ocean" to me!) I just KNEW we were never going to return home safely.  I don't think our little "fishing trip" lasted too long either... we were supposed to "SIT" still, "WATCH" a pole for movement and BE QUIET!  Those are hard things for 3 little girls to do!  I remember losing a pole in the "ocean", because I got scared when it started to yank out of my hands - so I let it go.... needless to say... that ended our fishing trip with dad.  I was so grateful to just be in our car and heading home with all of us alive.... missing one shoe but alive! Oh I still remember those feelings of fear! :) 
Another of my favorite family times was the "pinecone hunting"... or pine nut hunting... LOVE PINENUTS!!! Learned that from dad too!  I loved doing that! I wish we still did that!   We would get so sticky.... our clothes, our hands and even our hair - it took WEEKS to get rid of that sticky gunk! BUT it was so much fun!  I remember being terrified of climbing the trees for fear I would fall and how my dad would make me feel safe by holding me up.  Then one time, something happened, I don't remember exactly what happened or how it happened - but we both came tumbling down! Out of that tree!  I landed on my dad and we laughed and laughed... once I realized I was still alive that is! 
I also use to WISH I had a older brother so that "he" could do all the outside chores.  But I soon learned that I loved the outside chores and would much rather be outside then inside.  (My mom always thought it was weird that I LOVED to set the table... honestly, that was because I HATED to be on the "CLEAN UP CREW!"  I would set the table ANYDAY! as long as I didn't have to clear the table, do the dishdes or sweep the floor!  Give me a lawn mower, rake, shovel and a garbage bag.... I'll take that anytime!  But don't tell my mom that! I want her to think it was because I was being helpful and liked a pretty table setting - that's why I would set the table.... well, I do like a pretty table!)  
I also learned to love sports and probably got some of my competitiveness from dad!  I could sit at a aseball park ALL DAY and cheer my heart out and not have a care in the world!  I always wished that I could afford to take my dad to a professional baseball game - or even a World Series game! Wouldn't that be great!  He would LOVE it!  I would LOVE it! 
I love that he taught me how to work hard and how to "fix" things.  His philosophy was "If it's broke and I can't fix it - we don't need it"... That has been something I have leaned on a lot since I've left home.  I'm so grateful for his wisdom, his stories~true or stretched truth~ I love his stories. I love listening to him tell them, (and yep! they have gotten bigger over the years - but they are still fun!) I love that he always worked so hard for our family - ALL THE TIME! I love that he is strong yet compassionate, which a lot of people don't get to see (the softer side), but I'm grateful that I have!  I'm grateful for all that he has taught me, shared with me and continues to teach me! I'm grateful that my children have been able to meet my dad too! He is a wonderful grandpa and a great-grandpa! 

Happy Birthday to the OTHER man in my life! 
I love you DAD!!!!
You are MY hero!
(I'm trying to find a picture of his YOUNGER years so you can see how much he looked like Elvis... I'll keep digging... )

Thursday, January 5, 2012

On your marks...Get set....

Did you know that there are only 
9 months 3 weeks and 5 days
296 DAYS 
(remember... new deadline 10/31/12!) 

 DID YOU!?!?!? 
(Yep - I'm a little FREAKED out right now....) 

Because I am STILL working concocting planning dreaming 
well... doing SOMETHING for my  ULTIMATE plan
Christmas 2012.... 

I'm going to share my 
that I am COUNTING on to get my "PLAN" complete! 

(the only thing I am missing is a COKE Icee! but... it's too late, cold and dark to go out by myself to get one... at least that is what the Mr. keeps telling me... so it's his fault that my PLAN is just not FALLING into place! HIS FAULT! :)) 

Any way...

(here's a BBE for your BFF!!!!  hee hee hee!!!) 
oh...it must be gettin' late.... 
Brownie Layer:
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick of butter PLUS 6 TBSP butter - melted 
(yes that is 14 TBSP butter total!  
(in my opera singing voice.... WORTH IT!  I promise!)
1 cup flour
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp salt
In a mixing bowl, beat together sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Add butter, mix well.  Combine dry ingredients; add to batter and mix well.  Pour into a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (You don’t want to over bake them or they will be dry… Every oven is different, but mine took the full 30 minutes maybe a minute or two longer… just watch closely from 27 minutes on.  Insert toothpick in center to determine if done or not…)  Cool completely before frosting.  though!!!

Mint Creme Icing:
½  cup butter (1 cube), room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 TBSP heavy whipping cream
green food coloring
Beat all ingredients together until smooth, adding desired amount of food coloring.
(may need a little more cream, just depends….)

Chocolate Icing
½ cup butter (1 cube) room temperature
3 TBSP cocoa
3 TBSP heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ - 3 cups powdered sugar

Whip butter on high speed for 5 minutes.  Add cocoa, cream and vanilla to whipped butter and whip for about 3-4 minutes until smooth.  Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and whip each cup until smooth and creamy. (You may need to add more cream or less powdered sugar) Get to spreadable consistency.  Spread over the mint layer.  Place brownies in the fridge until about 30 minutes before serving…. Cut and serve… YUMMY! 
yeah...yeah...yeah.... I know LOTS of buter!!! 
BUT-ter (but they are) so good!!!!! 
I promise - you won't EVEN think about it when you bite into one....
(Let me know if you do though, I'll send a doctor over to check on you!) 

I know... not the BEST picture - 
But I wasn't claiming it to be...
Only claiming .... BEST BROWNIE EVER! 
Trust me...
HURRY to your kitchen and whip em' up!
I'm willing to bet ya - they won't be there too long! 

Now..... back to my PLAN! 
As soon as I have it all ironed out - 
I'll be back to share...
Until then...
ENJOY your 

Oh... PS- This recipe came from my great grandma!
And the recipe actually said "FRESH CHURNED BUTTER"...
But, I'm feeling a bit lazy today and decided to settle for the
"FRESH MARKET"... nope.... Kirkland Butter! That's what it was
Kirkland Butter!  :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Keeping New Years Resolutions

Do you start out each new year with lots of plans to improve your life but, after a few weeks, lose your enthusiasm... or am I the only one?  I'm really beginning to think so.... I don't know WHY I do this to myself!  It is really a BAD habit! But... If you are like me, here are a few ideas that I'm hoping will help me (and you too), to keep the best of  our New Year's resolutions... and be successful in doing so!

Make realistic resolutions.  
(REALLY!)  I'm such a BIG dreamer and BIG planner - and I just always THINK that I am so much more "ORGANIZED" than I really am... and apparently I still live in a WONDERLAND where there is a LOT more time in one day than there really is!  AND.... after reviewing my last years resolutions... apparently I THOUGHT I had magical powers... you know like WONDER WOMAN!  agh! SO for me.... this is ONE IMPORTANT STEP!  The first thing that I read about "KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS" it stated.... "DON'T TRY TO MUCH, TOO QUICKLY!" ... Really.... For example.... If you are not presently exercising on a daily basis but your resolution is to "exercise" 1 hour a day.... you are most likely setting yourself up for failure.... (Don't get mad at me... I'm just sayin' ... from experience of course!) ... It may be more realistic to resolve to set a  "starting goal" of exercising for 15 minutes a day.  And then, after that  becomes a habit, then you can work on exercising  for 30 minutes and repeat the process until you are up to your desired goal. 

Set a series of smaller goals.  
Divide your big  goals into smaller sections. Let's say, for instance, you want to  save money..  Instead of leaving your goal so vague, plan a resonable amount to work toward in the first moth, then a larger amount to have saved at the first quarter of the year etc.  These smaller goals will keep you encouraged as you make progress...because we all like PROGRESS right?!?! And.... again when planning and setting this goal, I have to OFTEN revert back to the prior goal setting suggestion... REALISTIC!!!  For some reason, I'm thinking me and "REALITY" aren't very good friends... maybe that should be one of my goals! LOL!

Make reminders.  
OH BOY do I NEED REMINDERS!!!!!!  After deciding the things that you would like to work on, make several reminders for yourself.  I also think that this year I will be giving a "resolution" list to my Mr.  I KNOW that he will keep me on the striaght path! :)   For me, posting reminders on the bathroom mirror... well they get overlooked!  I'm gonna try something different. I need to "take" my goal, and get rather "PERSONAL" with it... for instance... One thing that is REALLY hard for me - is taking time for ME!  And with that goes... MY TIME TO EXERCISE!  So... I'm going to take my cute little "ELASTIC BAND TRAINER thing (that I bought myself for Christmas) and place it on TOP of my clothes every night! SO... when I get up and get dressed it is RIGHT there REMINDING me that I need to TAKE TIME FOR ME and go downstairs and EXERCISE!  I'm also going to set an ALARM clock to WAKE myself up at 5:30 - so I HAVE time for ME!  It will be AWFULLY hard to deny that the ALARM is going off... and my EQUIPMENT is right there - with my clothes... Can't very easily walk away from that now can I?  :)  Plus, that will only instill another goal... GO TO BED EARLY! (oh this could be a tough yet good one!) 
Be kind to yourself!  
Why is it that we expect so much from ourselves?  
If you find that you've made a new resolutions that are just making you miserable - be willing to change them!  IT IS NOT A BIG DEAL!  I think I put more stress on myself when I change my mind at the last minute, or more so I think of myself as a quitter!!  BUT that is NOT the case at all!  I need to remind myself that it is OK to make adjustments as long as I'm progressing - RIGHT!?!?!  PLUS, they are MY resolutions, and I  can do whatever I want to resolve them! Right?!?! So see, you can too!   

So... Here is to 2012!   

Gotta go start my list...
#1 - making it REALISTIC!
agh... such a challenge! 

NEW YEAR!!!!!!