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Make Time For Family - eMeals Blog

budgets are sexy

Here I come, 2012!

Since 2011 was such a rockstar year, I’ve decided to go big or go home with 2012.

Here are my goals for 2012.

  • Run a sub 2:15 half marathon.
  • get ripped. Meaning.. workout with weights.
  • be able to hold a handstand for 30 seconds.. possibly do a handstand push up.
  • Run 1,000 for the year. Yep. I said it! Roughly about 21 miles a week.
  • make J tiramisu
  • grow an herb garden and possibly a small garden for veggies.
  • become a superstar at time management!
  • I have several photography projects– a project 365 in Instagram, continuing on my Project 52, and a 10 on 10 project.
  • Pay off our remaining credit card bill– it’ll be tough, but it’s nice to have goals, right?
  • I want us to live on a serious budget for two months.. that’ll be a hard one too!
  • I also want to either run a Sprint Tri or a Warrior Dash/Muddy Buddy type event. It’ll be gross, for sure!
  • To push myself.. I tend to be lazy and quit when the going gets tough. I need to learn to push through the pain… Right Jana??
  • We need to learn to do things JUST for the girls. Not when it’s convenient for us.
What are your goals for 2012? Anything I should add to mine??

My Year in Review… 2011.

As 2011 comes to a close, I wanted to look back on the year, and see if I had accomplished my goals that I set out to do. So, I went to my archives posts and realized that I never wrote a goals post for 2011. Cray cray. But, 2011 was a BIG year for me. In every aspect of my life. Let’s reflect shall we? (This is gonna be fun.)

I started and completed a Project 12 (More on this later!).

We took the girls out of school to help pay off some debt– we paid off two credit cards this year, leaving us with only one left!

I met Greg McElroy… AKA my Baby Daddy. Kidding! But doesn’t he look like he could be the father of my children? 

I went to Blissdom- my first blogging conference! It was amazing! And I am returning in 2012 to Blissdom as a Community Leader!! HOLLA!

I ran my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Half Marathons this year.. (That’s a LOT when you say it like that!)

I reached my goal weight.

We had a tornado rip through our town.

We traveled.. hitting VEGAS!, Disney, Penn State, NYC, and numerous Alabama Football games.

I marked several things off my 30 in 30 list!

I became a FitFluential Ambassador.

And I found out this week that I have been accepted as a Nike Fit Tester. Whoo!

2011 rocked my socks off.

How was your 2011??


E-Mealz Review and Giveaway!

Lately, I have been having a hard time figuring what to cook for supper. All of my recipes call for tons of ingredients and I am tired of listening to hubs complain about the ever growing food budget. Since I listen to Dave Ramsey a lot, I was aware of E-Mealz but wasn’t sure about actually joining- what if I didn’t like the recipes? 
Well, it turns out the recipes are delicious and it has it’s own shopping list.. organized based of grocery store sections. It is working out really well- we are able to eat the left overs the next day for lunch too- so it’s like two meals in one! 

I really love how organized the list is- say you don’t want meal 6? Well, there is a column that says which ingredient is in what meal and you can just mark out every thing needed for meal 6. Super easy! 
Plus, it gives you an estimated total of your grocery bill! 
They have low carb, Weight Watchers options, gluten free, vegetarian, low fat, couples only options.
And also store specific- Walmart, Kroger, Publix, Aldi, Ralph’s, or the any-store option. 
The recipes are delicious and for the most part- the girls will eat them. It has really changed our eating habits- dinner at the table every night. And we make Addison try it before she says she doesn’t like it. 
Don’t forget to check out their twitter, blog, and Facebook pages for more ideas, and money saving tips!
Think you’re ready to try it? 
If you sign up, you can receive 15% off through April 30th! 
I am giving away a 3 month subscription to E-Mealz to one lucky reader! 
How to enter?
Just follow my blog and leave a comment
Want some extra entries? 
Follow me on twitter( 1 extra entry)
Tweet about the giveaway (1 extra entry)
Follow E-Mealz on twitter (1 extra entry)
Grab my button (1 extra entry)
Please leave a separate comment for each entry

The giveaway ends next Thursday, April 7th at midnight. 

New Chapters

Since life isn’t stagnant, things are always changing. I had a tough time deciding if I was going to blog about this, because let’s face it, finances are in that category with religion and politics. You just don’t talk about them. The past couple of months we have been trying to get serious about our budget. 
At the beginning of January, Claire started Pre-School. I felt like I left a little piece of my heart there when I drove off. Both of my girls were there two days a week. What was I going to do with my time? Sure, I had some projects that needed my attention, but that took care of the first few weeks.. but then what? After we wrote that astronomical check for that first month, I came home and cried. Why was I sending my babies to Pre-School? I don’t work outside of the home. Sure, I need a break. But was that break worth having someone else teach my children so I could read a book or blog? 
THEN, we got snowed in for a week. And I actually enjoyed spending time with them. Sure I got a little stir crazy not being able to leave the house and my eyes may have crossed a time or two at all of the questions that Addison asks.. which most of my answers now follow with a “Why?” but I know she is just curious and I’m trying everyday to make me have a little more patience with her. 
It was then that I decided that there was no need to fork out $400 a month for PreSchool when they were fine at home and I honestly didn’t think Claire was ready. Addison was also starting to say things like, “But I don’t want to go to school today! I want to stay at home with you and Claire!” 
At one point, it was necessary for her to go to PreSchool– I was working and it  was getting harder to constantly ask grandparents to watch them. They do have their own lives after all, and it doesn’t include being my full time nanny. 
But the fact of the matter is, we have 3 Grandmothers that are at home and that would love to get to watch both girls for a few hours every week, if I need a break. 
So I called John, and said “I think we should pull the girls out of preschool.” I felt like a horrible parent. Why can’t I just give something up so my children don’t have to suffer?  Wasn’t there somewhere else to make up the $400? Nope. it’s $400 and not $50. That’s a lot of money out of your monthly budget. 
After I told Addison she would be staying at home with me, she jumped up and down exclaiming, “YAY! YAY! YAY!” And I knew right then, that my little girl needed to be at home with me. She needs her mommy, even if she is too much like me in the stubborn department to ask for some snuggle time. 
This is their first week at home. And it’s been amazing. The girls are playing well together. We are finally getting good use out of that expensive gym membership, since Claire will go to the nursery with Addison there. Without her, it was out of the question. 
So, you should expect more pictures of this:
and this: 
and this:
 maybe not this, though: 

Anyway.. we are kind of being Dave Ramsey about it, even though John hates Dave Ramsey, but I guess it could have a twist of J.Money- Budgets Are Sexy- I mean, who doesn’t want financial advice from a guy with a mohawk who is super rad and has awesome dance moves?

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