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Friday, October 30, 2015

Books I've Read: October 2015

Image by Crystal Paine. Used with permission.
The Masque of the Black Tulip by Lauren Willig. I requested this from the library, and was actually able to finish it (barely) before I had to return it.  I liked the first book in this series better, but this one was an easy read as well, diving into a few of the characters who were just side players in the first book, and pretty much ignoring the main characters from the first book, except for one chapter.

While there were a few misleading hints to try to throw the reader off, it was pretty obvious after awhile how this one was going to turn out.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, but I always appreciate when an author is smart enough to fool me.

The one thing that's a bummer for me is that in both books so far, there has been at least one scene that reads straight out of a smutty romance novel.  I can try to overlook that for the rest of the story.  I know it's fluffy fiction anyways.  It just brings the book down a level for me.  Otherwise, I like this series, and I'll probably request the next one from the library next month.

Money-Making Mom by Crystal Paine.  I got a free copy of this ebook for being part of the launch team.  The book comes out in a couple days, on November 3!  I posted about this book and my fear of failure earlier, but here are a few more tidbits.  Crystal is really motivating.  She has this way of writing that just lifts you up and inspires you to believe that you can truly accomplish things.  I'm a bit of a fangirl, in case you couldn't tell.  This book encourages you to find those things you are good at and you care about, and use them to make an income.  Each person will have a unique takeaway from this book, because each person is unique.

Crystal is a realist, and she doesn't sugarcoat that things are going to be hard, and take sacrifice.  But she also gives plenty of direction for how to accomplish things, and she writes and speaks in a down to earth way that makes it seem pretty easy.  I also like the focus in the second half of the book, toward making more money so that you can give generously.  "Live simply so that others can simply live."
"Tiny steps in the right direction can add up to big change over time."
"Do what you can, when you can, where you are."
These two quotes got me, because with raising four kids, making real food, and homeschooling, my life is full.  I don't have a ton of time to devote to anything right now, although I am trying to be better about carving out moments to work on the things that are important to me, and that fill my tank.  Even the little bits and pieces that I do are progress.

Total books read this month: 2 (almost 3).  Total books read this year: 16
So here's my big announcement.  Hidden and tucked away at the end of this blog post, because I'm still a little bit scared of failing.  Okay, a lot scared.  I started writing a book.  I had a couple ideas for smaller ebooks having to do with food, and I may still pursue those, but I went with my heart, and I started writing what I hope will be a legit printed couple hundred page book.

Right now, I'm just in the get-some-ideas-out-of-my-head phase.  I have a very rough outline of chapter topics, and I'm just spewing examples and ideas and bits and pieces onto the page.  And it's thrilling.  And terrifying.  And that's all I have to say about that for now.

Some links in this post are affiliate links.  Opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.  I receive a small commission if you purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Garden Totals 2015

After the past few cold blustery days, and a few overnight freezes, I think it's safe to say growing season is officially over here in northern Iowa.  I wrote down the last few jalapenos and peppers that we harvested last week (including several jalapenos from a plant that grew in our compost pile), and entered the totals in my spreadsheet.

Here's how we did:

Total produce: 99.65 pounds. For the sake of easy reading, I'm going to round the decimal points.  But the specific total was just shy of 100.  If only we had one more tomato...

  • Broccoli: 2 lbs.
  • Butternut squash: 20 lbs.
  • Garlic: under 1 lb. (really I think we only got one bulb - the rest never took off)
  • Green beans: 14 lbs.
  • Green peppers: 5 lbs.
  • Jalapenos: 4 lbs.
  • Onions: 3 lbs.
  • Peas: just under 1 lb., although with the amount Jonah ate while picking them, probably over 1 lb.
  • Potatoes: 3 lbs.
  • Radishes: 3 lbs.
  • Raspberries: 1/2 lb.
  • Red pepper: under 1 lb. (only one pepper turned to red - the rest we harvested green)
  • Strawberries: under 1 lb.
  • Tomatoes: 37 lbs.
  • Watermelon: 5 1/2 lbs.

The total does not include:

  • 2 pumpkins, because we didn't eat them. We just set them on the front porch for decoration.
  • Any of the apples from our tree, because I didn't feel like weighing the basket full all at once.
Overall, it was a pretty good haul for the minimal work and money we put into it.  We probably spent around $50 on seeds, starter plants, tools, and buckets.  I should have kept the receipts so I could tell for sure, but I didn't.
Most of the food we ate right away, although we still have some green beans and tomatoes in the freezer.  I was going to attempt canning, but I didn't have the right tools at the right time, so I just chose to freeze things instead.  There's always next year.
We went into this year pretty much knowing nothing, and eager to try a lot of different things.  We learned quite a bit.

We need to weed.  Our pepper plants and strawberries got pretty choked out by the weeds.  They would have done a lot better if we had kept up on things.  We kept putting it off because we were busy, and then it became too big of a task to catch up on, so half of the garden just kind of became a weed patch.

Squash and pumpkins will take over if you let them.  This was pretty good for our squash harvest.  Jesse pulled the pumpkin plant out a couple months ago because it was getting mildew, which we read could spread to the squash and tomatoes, so we elected to save those instead.  Smart move, since those were our biggest producers.

Starting from seeds inside is a lot of work.  It's a lot easier to buy starter plants, or wait a bit longer to just plant seeds outside, depending on the plants.  Most of our plants that survived were from the starter plants, not the seeds.  

That's the story of our garden this year.  We still have to get it ready for winter.  Jesse wants to mow down the remaining weeds and cover the garden so that they'll all die before next year, and we have a pretty thriving compost pile to spread on there in the spring.  Any other tips for our first winter?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

I Want To Be A Money Making Mom...But I'm Scared

Image from Crystal Paine, used with permission

As I have mentioned a few times, I was chosen to be on the launch team for The Money-Making Mom by Crystal Paine, so I received a copy of the ebook a few weeks early.  I dove right in, expecting to be inspired and hoping to find some concrete and specific advice for what I can do to make money from home.  We are trying to get out of debt, after all.

Crystal walks you through the steps of figuring out what to do and how to do it.  By focusing on your own unique skills, talents, passions, and knowledge, you can come up with a way that you can make an income from home.  This part of the book, which was one of the first chapters, really resonated with me, and I immediately sat down to make a list of all the different ideas I had for making money from home, regardless of how realistic they were.  I filled an entire page with possibilities.

And then, I stopped.

I stopped reading the book.  I let my list get buried in a stack on the desk.  Because I'm scared.
On that list of possibilities, there is a high likelihood that, even if I tried every single one, most of them will end in failure.  When people ask me what my deepest fear is, I tell them "deep water", because I can't swim and I am scared of water, but that's a lie.

My deepest fear is actually failure.  Not measuring up.  And the impossible standards I'm not measuring up to?  Those were created by me.

"However, contrary to what I thought in the beginning, I've come to realize that failure is my friend.  I've learned much more through failure than I have through success."  Failure is going to be present in my life.  I can either be scared of it, or keep going in spite of it, and maybe even learn something from it.

I'm trying to wrap my mind around the idea that if I try something, the worst that could happen is that I fail, and that's okay.  It's not the end of the world.  My self worth, my value as a person, is not contingent on whether or not I can make every single thing I do a success.  I am still me, even if I fail.  When I fail.

This seems like such a simple concept, but it's something I have struggled with as long as I can remember.  I have always been striving for perfection.  And maybe it hasn't helped that a lot of times? I achieve what I set out to do.  Straight As in school? Check.  College scholarship? Check.  Married to a great guy, with adorable, (fairly) well-behaved children?  Check and check.  So I think that makes the times where I don't immediately make progress that much more difficult, because it's not what I expect of myself.

I don't know which of my ideas I'm going to try first.  I don't know how it's going to go.  But I'm going to start something.  I'm going to try.  And I may fail...but I'm hoping that this time, I'll use it as a stepping stone to learn what to do next, instead of seeing it as the end.

If you want to figure out where your skills, talents, passion, and knowledge can take you, The Money-Making Mom comes out on November 2.  But if you preorder now, you get a few additional bonuses from Crystal:
  • The Make Over Your Calendar 7-Day Online Course
  • Crystal's Top 10 Favorite Productivity Tools Tip Sheet
  • An Exclusive Live Q&A Call
Once you've ordered your copy, go here and fill out the form to get your bonuses.
Some links in this post are affiliate links.  The price stays the same for you, but I receive a bit of money if you make a purchase.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Weekly Goals: October 25-31

This week was letter G for Matthew's Letter of the Week, so we made goofy glasses.  Matthew didn't want to take a picture though, so Jonah modeled his Batman version for me (Matthew did Spiderman ones).

Last Week's Goals:
  • Finish reading The Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine and Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin.
  • Get the fall cold out of the house! Most of us are just a little sniffly now.
  • KonMari the books. Done! Now to try to sell them...
This Week's Goals:
  • Try bulletproof coffee.  This has intrigued me for awhile.  I just have to figure out the sweetener aspect of it.
  • Check prices to sell books online.  Pack up whatever is not worth selling to take to the used book store near my parents' house.  We go there almost every time we visit, so we might as well get some store credit.
  • Figure out trick or treating.  Our town has it, but you have to have a sign in your yard, and it's right during after lunch naptime, but there is some stuff before lunch too, so I'm not sure what we're doing.  Plus, you know, costumes.  We usually just grab stuff from our dress up bin, but our ninja costumes are missing pieces.

Friday, October 23, 2015

KonMari: Books Edition

I previously KonMari'd my cookbooks, and my digital files on my Kindle, but I spent part of the afternoon today going through the books.  Here's a close-up of the before:
Aside from the mess Elizabeth made on the floor, since she's at that lovely pull-all-the-books-off-the-shelf stage, we had too many.  I went through the kids' books first, and split them into categories.

  • Curious George
  • Clifford
  • Pinkalicious
  • Lego
  • Superheroes
  • Miscellaneous Keep
  • Board Books
  • Immediate Get Rid Of
After I got them sorted out, I added some less loved titles to the get rid of pile as well.  I let the big kids look through and pick out two books they wanted to keep.  Jonah picked two right away.  Matthew picked one.  Hannah didn't care, since she was hoarding her Daniel Tiger books to make sure I didn't get rid of them.

Then I did the rest of the grown-up books.  These are arranged alphabetically by author, because I'm OCD like that.  If I could keep the kids' books organized in the categories listed above, I would.  It looks pretty.  
My criteria for getting rid of a book was pretty easy.  Have I read it?  If so, would I read it again?  If not, do I still want to read it?  Anything that I am not going to read again (or at all) got added to the pile.  I didn't get rid of any of Jesse's books, but most of the ones on this shelf are ones that were mine before we got married.  His are mostly Jesus books and sociology books, which are in his church office.   

Marie Kondo's rule is to get rid of any book that you haven't read yet, because you would have read it already and it has served its purpose.  I totally disagree with this rule, because I don't have a ton of time to read, but I do have a small pile of books I want to read.  So I kept some.
I also pulled out the chapter books that are kiddie lit, which I'm keeping for homeschool read alouds, and later for the kids to read on their own.  They're not mixed in any more.  I do have to find a different spot for them though, because my horizontal stack on the middle shelf with the kids' books already got pulled down once.

I was able to move some of our photo albums to the top of the bookshelf instead of on the floor next to the shelf.  There's room for more kids' books, which is great, because I will always encourage them to read more! 

It was pretty easy to get rid of books.  I'm a book lover, and I think I will always have more books than I can read, but it's nice to know that that number doesn't really have to be that high.  You can love books and still not have that many.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I Like Periscope!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed an orange bowl popping up on the side of some of my food and kitchen pictures.  That's because lately, when I'm in the kitchen, I've been plopping my phone in there and turning on "one of the ladies", as Hannah calls them, on Periscope.  (That's a speaker trick I found on Pinterest, by the way)

I'm in the kitchen a lot, people.

Behind homeschooling, making food is how I spend a big chunk of my day.  So why not make it more fun?  While I'm chopping veggies, mixing up a batch of muffins, or doing a load of dishes, I can listen to one of my favorite bloggers talk about something I'm really interested in.  I usually spend about an hour before lunch, and at least an hour before dinner, working on food of some sort.

The reason I was hesitant about Periscope in the first place is because my house is loud.  Four kids are noisy.  There's no way around that.  But the two times I'm most often in the kitchen are usually times when the kids are either outside, or have just gotten done with a chunk of school and want to play.

Lately Hannah has been my kitchen helper, but she mostly just likes to hang out in the same room as me, and she doesn't do more than try to ask me questions occasionally or help dump ingredients into a bowl and ask to hold something.  Elizabeth crawls in and out of the room, but again, she's not too loud on her own either.

So it works.  I get food prep done, and I enjoy it a lot more because I'm engaging my brain.  I'm learning more about budgeting, natural living, books, food, making money from home, and who knows what else.

So who do I listen to?  These are my favorites (the links take you to their blogs, and their Periscope handles are in parentheses):

I follow a few more bloggers I like, but they haven't actually done any scopes yet.  Even if they did, I don't know if I would add more to what I'm listening to right now.  Crystal is doing two scopes a day right now for her book launch, and both Tiffany and Ruth are running 31 Day challenges in October, so they're scoping every single day (except Sundays, I think).  So I have plenty to listen to, but I don't want to add more unless some of the current ones slow down.

Of course, the obvious question then, is are you on Periscope?  Is there anyone I absolutely have to add to my list?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

31 Days of Living Well Spending Zero Challenge Update

I told you a couple weeks ago that we were doing the 31 Days of Living Well and Spending Zero Challenge this month.  Here's the latest update...

Groceries. (Remember the plan was to spend $275 on food, and $50 on household items).  Here's the breakdown so far:

  • Food: $278.99.  Included in this was $27.62 of cheater food, like candy, soda, and two frozen pizzas.  Not great, but still better than takeout, and mostly within budget.
  • Bulk Chicken Purchase: $32.21.  Chicken breasts were on sale for $1.59/lb. in 10lb. bags, so we chose to use some of the extra food money we weren't spending to go towards 20lbs. of chicken.  That was kind of the point of saving some of the food money, to go toward bulk purchases.
  • Amazon: $35.28. I used some saved credit card rewards to put $20.31 towards this, and the $35.28 came out of the $50 for household cash for the month.
  • Unplanned Extras: $22.52.  All of us got a bad cold, and we were basically out of medicine.  So we picked up kids cold medicine, plus cough drops and vitamin c drops (pictured above).  I used the $13 I had left in the household money, plus we spent a little extra. 
Planned Trip.  My brother Phil got married! We had already paid for the hotel last month, and we budgeted $100 for this trip.  Because I can't math, that was too low of a number.  For some reason, I only planned for one tank of gas, and we needed one tank to get there, and another to get home.  I used what was left on my Starbucks card to buy a drink the first day, but we splurged on coffee the morning of the wedding. My parents paid for one of our lunches (thanks Mom and Dad!), so we ended up spending $180.57. Included in that was a $17 winter coat for Matthew and $4 for a book exchange from Jonah's birthday, which weren't necessarily trip related, but happened on the trip. Also included in that were several extra snacks and a small toy for each big kid, which weren't necessary, but kept everyone happy.

Other Cheats.  
Pizza: $16.67. We ordered a pizza one night.  Our local gas station does have a rewards program for pizzas, where you buy 10 and get one free.  Our next one is free.  I don't think that justifies it, but it is what it is.  

Coffee: $5.09. We also got Caribou Coffee yesterday morning when we went grocery shopping, and discovered that they do Buy 1 Get 1 Free drinks on Mondays.  Again, not sure if that's a good discovery or not, as that only encourages us to buy drinks when we make the drive down to get groceries twice a month.

Reflection Time.  One of the reasons I think we've spent the extras that we have is that we have a credit on a credit card right now.  Last month Jesse bought a tablet, which he intended to use as a laptop replacement.  He liked it, but it didn't function like he thought it would, so he returned it.  Which means that we had several hundred dollars sitting on a credit card, since we had paid it off right away.  I think that's where it's not hitting me as hard to spend that money, because it's kind of "free" money.  We should keep the credit on there and use it toward bills that we can pay with that (there are actually not that many of our bills that will take a credit card), or request a check (can you do that?), but instead, we've been spending it.

We are spending less on miscellaneous stuff this month than we have been the past several months, so we are still making progress.  The trip and the credit card credit have definitely thrown off the no spending at all though.  But I am definitely considering most purchases for a bit longer before we make them, so again, progress...

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Weekly Goals: October 18-24

My little brother got married yesterday! Jonah was the ring bearer, and it was a beautiful crazy day.  

Last Week's Goals:

  • Read The Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine. I am about halfway done with this book.
  • KonMari the books. Not done.
  • Watch my little brother get married! Done! 
This Week's Goals:
  • Finish reading The Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine and Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin.
  • Get the fall cold out of our house! Half of us (myself included) are sick.  Ugh.
  • KonMari the books.  I'll try this one again.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Weekly Goals: October 11-17

We decided to make cookies a few days ago.  I used my Christmas candy cane cookie recipe, but since it's not Christmas, we decided on green and blue, and we called them snakes instead.  We were having lots of fun, and then got to the part where the dough had to chill for 4 hours.  So instead of afternoon cookies, we had just-before-bed cookies.  The kids thought it was great!

Last Week's Goals:

  • Get rid of the clothes clutter. I posted yesterday about all we did, which you can read here (or just scroll to the next post).
  • Finish at least one book. I finished The Masque of the Black Tulip, the sequel to The History of the Pink Carnation, which I read last month.
  • Blog about the Living Well Spending Zero Challenge. You can read that post here.
This Week's Goals:
  • Read The Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine.
  • KonMari the books.
  • Watch my little brother get married. I am super excited for Jess to officially join our family!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

KonMari Clothing Part 2

So way back in August, I posted about reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and starting with my clothes (pictured above).  And then that same week Jesse went through his clothes, and I went through the kids clothes a week or two later.  That was great!

But then those clothes that we no longer wanted just sat there.  And sat there.  And now, it's October.  They need to go.
First, I cut up some stained old shirts to use for rags.  The smaller ones are more of a use-once-then-toss kind of rag, and the bigger ones we'll wash and reuse.  It was easy, and it didn't take that long.  Like most things I put off doing...
Then I gathered all the reject clothes to the living room.  Hannah was excited by this novelty.  I grabbed the big pile from our bedroom, the smaller pile in the extra room, and even the bins from the garage sale out in the garage (which didn't make it to the picture, so just imagine 3 more big bins).  Every stinkin' bit of clothing.  
And we sorted.  I put signs up in chairs, on baskets, in extra bins, and gave each size a number, so I could just tell the kids "put this in bin 4" or "put this by number 2".  They actually thought it was fun for most of it, which was helpful.

Once it was all sorted by size, I started taking pictures of the different sizes of clothes.  I'm hoping to be able to sell especially some of the kid clothes in large lots on a semi-local garage sale site.  If not, they're going to the thrift store by Jesse's birthday (November 10).  

I've set a date, and I made some good progress this week.  Hopefully, we'll be able to make a few dollars as well as get all these extra clothes out of the house! 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Initial Thoughts on the Living Well Spending Zero Challenge

I came across a link for the Living Well Spending Zero Challenge on Instagram, I think, while we were on our trip last week.  The idea is to cut out all non-essential spending for the month of October.  Since we didn't get home until October 3, we didn't technically start until October 4, but we are doing this challenge for the rest of October. This is going to be a long post, but here goes.
Day 1: Commit. First thing first: we filled out the commitment sheet.  We are committed to doing this challenge and getting our out of control spending back on track.  We are Dave Ramsey fans in this house, but lately we've been what I describe as "gimpy gazelles".  Our paying off debt has been paltry at best, and we've fallen back into some bad spending habits.
Day 2: Ground Rules. Then we laid out our ground rules.  It might be kind of hard to read in the picture, so here goes:

Groceries. We are allowed to buy groceries.  Some people have enough of a pantry stockpile that they just eat from what they have.  We don't have that.  But we are limiting ourselves.  We are lowering the grocery spending to $275, and carrying over the extra $75 for holiday food over the next two months.  I usually go over budget from careless spending and expensive meals, so I'm trying to focus on meals that are cheaper, have less meat, and use up our freezer veggies and extra garden produce as well.

Background: Our normal grocery budget is $350, which we get on an EBT card every month.  We also have WIC vouchers for the three youngest kids, and $57 in Farmers' Market WIC vouchers that we've had all summer and haven't gotten to, which we are going to use hopefully this Saturday. (We don't plan on using these resources in the long run, but while we are paying off debt, we are taking advantage of them because our income more than qualifies us).

We are also lowering our household budget from $100 to $50.  This will allow us to still buy diapers and toilet paper.  I'm going to try to get a $25 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks as well to help with this.

We are also skipping these from our budget this month:

  • Netflix. Yes, it's only $7.99, but it's something we talked about getting rid of once regular fall tv shows started up again, and we mostly watch it out of habit.
  • Gifts. We save $35 per month for gifts, but we are skipping that this month.
  • Homeschool.  We save $50 per month for school supplies and curriculum purchases, but we still have some in the envelope, and we don't have any large purchases coming up, so we've chosen to skip it this month.
  • Car Tabs. We had been saving $20 per month for this, but we got the vehicle information in the mail, and we had more than enough to cover it for this year, so we are not only skipping this, but we actually had some extra money to deposit in the bank from this envelope!

Planned Exceptions.  My brother gets married later this month.  Our hotel is already paid for, and most of our meals will be covered by wedding stuff (rehearsal dinner and reception), so we've budgeted $100 for gas and the meals that we need to get while we are there.  I'll be bringing breakfast and snacks with, which I'll make ahead of time at home.  And if anyone offers to buy Starbucks the morning of the wedding, I won't turn them down!

We are also budgeting a little bit for Halloween candy, since we actually live in a house this year and might get trick or treaters.

Will Not Buy! The main culprits of our spending have been Chinese takeout and pizza, as well as random gas station visits on walks, where we buy drinks, donuts, and random treats.
Day 3: Pantry and Freezer Inventory. I was initially going to skip the freezer/pantry inventory, but I was surprised at how much stuff we had for "not having any extra food around".  I won't list everything out for you, although you can click on the notebook page above if you really want to know, but here are a few of the extras that we've had for awhile:

  • unopened canister of corn meal
  • unopened hot sauce
  • molasses that we bought to make gingerbread cookies once, which we're going to use for another batch or two of cookies, as well as an attempt at homemade graham crackers maybe!
  • ranch dip in the fridge, which we are going to eat with carrots for snacks 
I only found one expired item - French dressing in the fridge that expired in May, which makes sense, because Jesse is the only one who likes it, and he usually defaults to ranch dressing like the rest of us.

Day 4: Menu Planning. We will be having a lot of repeats on the menu plan, with butternut squash playing a prominent role in some of our meals, because we have a ton!  As I mentioned above, it's more about focusing on the cheaper meals for me, because we don't necessarily overbuy on most ingredients during our normal shopping.

Days 5 and 6 have been about different food things - making restaurant copycat meals, and freezer cooking.  I do a couple copycats already, and obviously if you've been reading here, you know I'm a fan of freezer cooking, so those have kind of given me a chance to catch up without having to do a lot.

The results so far. What I've found so far is that without all those extras, we are readjusting our palates to less sugar and more wholesome foods, and we're also readjusting our stomachs to eating less, because when there are less extra snack options, we don't eat as much.

I'm getting back into making some extra things from scratch, like tortillas and bread, when we run out, instead of running to the store for more.  It will be interesting to see how the food side of things plays out over the rest of the month.  Jesse has already decided he is splurging on takeout once this month is over, and I think it will be a well deserved treat at the end of a challenge, instead of what has become a fairly commonplace habit.

Would you do a month-long no spending challenge?  It's not too late to join in...

Weekly Goals: October 4-10

Last week we tagged along to Bloomington, MN while Jesse attended a pastors' conference.  The kids and I spent a lot of time at the Mall of America and enjoying the extra tv time and the pool at the hotel.  We even got to spend a little bit of time with Jesse's sister and her two boys.  That was fun for the kids to see their cousins!  We are glad to be back, but I always feel a little bit behind for a few days after taking a trip.

Last Week's Goals:
  • Get everything packed for our trip, without forgetting anything important.  I forgot the can opener.  Not the end of the world.
  • KonMari something! I want to say I went through something small and recycled things, but for the life of me I can't remember what right now.  Obviously it was something important...
  • Read something! I started Women of the Word, which is really good, and also The Masque of the Black Tulip, which I have about 5 days to finish before it's due at the library.

This Week's Goals:
  • Get rid of the clothes clutter.  I went through my and the kids' clothes with the KonMari method, and pulled a bunch to get rid of, but I still have a huge pile in the corner of our bedroom that has been sitting there for over a month.  I trashed some of the stained ones this morning, but I need to cut up the rest of the stained ones into rags, sort the kid clothes into sized piles to try to sell, and bag up the rest and get them to the thrift store.  
  • Finish at least one book.  I'm in the middle of the two I mentioned above, and I got the email that I was chosen to be part of the launch team for Money Making Mom, the newest book by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom, so I need to hurry up and transfer that book to my kindle and at least start that one too!
  • Blog about the Living Well Spending Zero challenge and what we're doing.