How to talk to moms

How to Talk to Moms is another book I grabbed recently because after reading the first few pages I was in love.

How to talk to moms

For instance – the introduction.

How to talk to moms

I told Aaron that this was a book he needed to read to the kids because of the content. Like an insiders look at how to talk to your mom. Can’t really have mom telling all the secrets.

How to talk to moms

How to talk to moms

How to talk to moms

How to talk to moms

How to Talk to Moms is like the kids-cubs/scouts book on how to get in good with your mom.

Or better yet, how to just figure out that at the end of the day – she loves you and wants the best for you but has to be the Rule Maker, Cook, Cleaner-upper and Encourager and when all of those things combine into an afternoon full of attitude or the 17th time she has to ask you to pick up your room … well, there’s a few tips on how to avoid the fall out.

Also? How adorable that it’s written TO the audience of kids. With examples and language that they’ll get. Situations that they’ve lived through, ideas that many of them hatch on their own.

It was book to eye love at first read.

**Links contain affiliates.

Manners!

I’ve been buying a few books lately to help explain a few things to the kids in a different way. We read to them every day. They love a good story and our oldest loves comic books – so this great Mash-Up on Manners was a bit of a no brainer.

Here’s what I love about Manners Mash-Up: A Goofy Guide to Good Behavior

Manners Mash up!

Manners Mash up!

Each subject was illustrated by a different illustrator – hence the Mash Up. Love it. They’re all so different, humorous and captivating.

Manners on the bus?

Manners Mash up!

Be a good sport.

Manners Mash up!

Oh the super market!!! Yes, please have manners at the super market.

Manners Mash up!

Ehum, Son, do not have a tantrum in the store.

Manners Mash up!

Searching for the prize can wait, honey.

Manners Mash up!

Manners Mash up!

Pool manners!

Manners Mash up!

Uh oh.

Manners Mash up!

Don’t pick in public. Gross.

Manners Mash up!

Yet so true.

Manners Mash up!

Manners Mash up!

So Manners Mash-Up: A Goofy Guide to Good Behavior is obviously one of our new favorites.

What have been some of your favorite books lately? Is it because of the illustrations? (Always such a selling point for me).

**You should know there are affiliates in these links, which means if you purchase the book through this link I’ll be getting a small percentage of the sale. Thanks for supporting me!

We’re …

I feel like I spend a lot of time explaining things lately. Connecting dots, weaving a web.

I’m exhausted.

And we’re buying a house!

Our bungalow

It’s a tiny little thing, our kids will still share a room. But it has a back yard! With trees!

And it was on sale. Major sale.

Details are still in the works, we haven’t closed yet so bear with me – we’ll reveal the process of going from renting, looking for more rentals, possibly moving out of state – to buying a little bungalow.

I just really needed to get that out there. I’ve been in a haze of planning, meetings, contracts, negotiations and every day life. Not to mention we leave Friday morning for a vacation.

I bought a new domain and will reveal it shortly – it’ll just be a place to park the story of how we came to owning this little haven in the city.

Aaaaaaand scene.

{Update} On Budgeting

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about our journey to becoming debt free and I’ve been thinking about what might be different, what I haven’t covered, what to tell you guys lately.

The beginning of the year I did a video and talked about how optimistic I was – that Aaron had taken over the budget and things were finally starting to feel possible. How excited I was for the cash envelopes and all that jazz.

A few weeks later I updated with how those envelopes were doing. A few were surprisingly pregnant. There had been some hanky panky. Naughty.

Now it’s almost April and I haven’t made a new video yet (about anything … {hangs head}). Where are things?

Some days it’s really confusing – because you think you have this untouchable idea, this rock solid plan to carry you through and then, oooops, you buy tickets for a plane ride.

Being busy and losing the communication it takes to keep our budget up to date is our worst enemy. We’re still on track to have our car paid off before summer and we just paid off a few small medical debts (large deductions for daughters tonsillectomy, left over debt from Aaron’s back situation, dentist bills).

We have a few things up in the air right now as well, which makes planning for anything a little difficult – so we’re doing the best we can.

I was reading through some of the Dave Ramsey calls (I have the iphone app, of course I do) and was struck by one of them that listed what they had “Bank rolled” while paying off debt … vacations, home upgrades, cars …

Which got me thinking … I’ve been tallying this number in my head for the day we call that show and scream we’re debt free!! (and yes, that will happen) and there are times when I think; Seriously? In all this time that’s it? Why does it feel like we work so hard then?

Here’s our rough to-date of what we’ve paid off in the last 2 1/2 years:

…….. $47,500 American Dollars ……..

In that total we have: The birth of our son, the loss we took when we sold our home, the above listed medical costs, and what we’ve paid off on the car loan so far. (I guess technically I could add the total cost of the mortgage in there but that hurts my head.)

That’s a big number when I see it like that. In order to accomplish that we built and sold another home, have no credit cards, became a one car family (sold a car for the cash) and are crazy serious about paying off our debt otherwise. Meaning when we make extra money or are given money as a gift or find extra money in our budget – it goes towards paying something off. We also no longer have a mortgage.

While paying off the debt we bank rolled:

# Five (or more) Vacations
# Numerous upgrades to our previous home
# The purchase of 2 used cars

This is not to brag but to let you guys know how possible this is when you have a plan. Our income changed only slightly for cost of living (actually just to cover the increase in our monthly health insurance deductible) and we’re not rich by any means. But we are focused.

I sold over $5,000 worth of STUFF on craigslist. For a while I was taking photos regularly for families and made extra money that way.

I’ve traded skills many times in order to get something that we need. So has Aaron.

We’re out of the box thinkers, and it’s not difficult. There are opportunities and ideas everywhere you look – but are you looking?

That’s what’s new for us: not much actually. Just keepin on keeping on.

How do you guys stay focused? What have you done that has helped your budget lately?

Like this kind of conversation? Me too. For more check out my series on becoming debt free.

{Disclaimer time! While this works for us we are not geniuses with money, we still run into issues with mismanagement no matter how hard we try – this has been a learning curve for us as well. So just because this is how we’ve decided to delegate and spend our money doesn’t mean you should too. Do I think being debt free is important? Um, yes. But that’s just us.}

Life List!

My Life List got a little update. (!!!!!)

Picture 1

When you click on “Life List” from the left hand side of my main page (navigation) you’ll see this page (above) which gives you an introduction to my Life List, who inspired it and a link to photos of things I’ve accomplished.

Right below that you see some more (and new) navigation.

Picture 2

This is where it gets sexy. You can Browse By my categories; Family centered, Personal goals, Places to see/Things to do.

So before you select any of those categories – you see this:

Picture 3

The entire list, no rhyme or reason – it’s just populated. However!! When you select (click on) a category … magic happens.

Picture 4

We “selected” Family Centered and got all the items in my Life List that are categorized as Family Centered.

Another way to see how this works it to pay attention to the “bullets” of the list – they’re all different colors, but coordinate with the categories.

Picture 12

See how the bullets are either purple, yellow or green in the above screen shot? I’d like to just see “Places To See, Things To Do” please …

Picture 8

DONE!

So there’s the upgrade/update on the Life List. Nothing in the list actually changed – just how you go about interacting with it (and on my side of things, it got way easier to write about it, organize it and post about it) which is completely awesome, I think.

Go browse!! What are you waiting for?