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2016 Monthly Goals: January

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I’m still in shock that it’s January. December went by so fast that I feel like I barely had a chance to catch my breath. The last few weeks of the year were a bit stressful in our house, which I’ll share all about later this week, so I’m anxious to get January off to a better start.

My December goals included:

1- Stick to my Christmas budget. I did pretty good on this one. I was within $50 of my original budget so I’m calling that a WIN.

2- Slow down and enjoy the season. I definitely enjoyed the season. I planned less activities, I turned down invitations, and I did 99% of my shopping online. WIN.

3- Finish sorting the books on my Kindle. I finally finished this project last week. It took me forever to go through all those books. But I have updated my TBR lists and it feels great to organize them so I don’t miss any great books. WIN.

4- Have at least 2 family movie nights. We had more than 2! We watched National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Pixels, The Scorch Trials, Ant Man, and Pan. We love movies! WIN.

5- Clean out & donate toys before Christmas. We went through all 3 of the youngest kids bedrooms and donated a bunch of toys and the kids’ rooms are so clean and organized now. WIN.

So what do I want to accomplish in January?

1- Create a sustainable monthly menu plan with separate grocery lists for Aldi, Wal*Mart, and Sams Club. Now that we have 2 fridge/freezers in our garage and the large one in the house I am switching to once a month shopping at both Sams Club and Wal*Mart and every other week at Aldi. So I need to have a firm monthly menu plan so I can get all my ingredients for dinners in one trip.

2- Schedule a big donation for household stuff. We have some furniture, small appliances, a dryer, and a bunch of other stuff that needs to be donated and out of the house this month. 

3- Try 4 new dinner recipes. I need to narrow them down quickly so I can add them to my monthly menu. We’re getting tired of some of our normal favorites so it’s time to make some substitutions and try a few new things.

4- Get started on my laundry room organization. Well, it’s more like a laundry closet and it needs help. Our washer broke last week so I have a new washer and dryer coming tomorrow. I replaced the front loaders with top loaders so I have to remove a shelf and find a way to organize the swim suits and pool towels. I can’t store them because we use the hot tub year round. 

5- Put my house back together again. We had an incident over the holidays with a leaking window in our front living room and the carpet is ruined. So we’re having new wood flooring installed this next week. We took the opportunity to go ahead and get rid of the old beat up couch and loveseat and a few other pieces of furniture that had seen better days. I need to order the new couch, replace the curio cabinet and find a new coffee table. I also am currently without a dining room table because my sister took my old set so I could update to a darker wood set to match the rest of the furniture. So I need to find a dining table. I also want to update some of the decor for a fresh new look. If you hear crying, it’s either my wallet or Matt….probably Matt.

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2015 Monthly Goals: December

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I can’t believe this is the last month of 2015. It feels like the year just flew by so fast! I did good with my goals from November. I sorted quite a few of the unread books on my Kindle but that goal will be rolling over to this month. I planned and hosted Thanksgiving. We started our master bathroom renovation. We pulled the nasty gold shower door off and that’s as far as we got. The shower is functional and honestly right now that’s all I care about. I added a bunch of new recipes to my Key Ingredient app. We kind of celebrated Ty and Maia’s birthdays. Both were sick on their actual birthdays so we did small celebrations when they felt better. 

December Goals:

1- Stick to my Christmas budget- I’m the worst at sticking to a Christmas budget. I always find more stuff to buy. This year I’m determined to stick to both my list and my budget. 

2- Slow down and enjoy the season- I’ve already turned down several invitations and I plan to turn down some more. I want to enjoy the Christmas season and not stress out about my social awkwardness at various parties and events.

3- Finish sorting the books on my Kindle- I had no idea just how many unread books I have on my Kindle. It’s alarming. I sorted a good many of them but I still have some left to do.

4- Have at least 2 family movie nights- Christmas movies are my favorite and I can’t wait to make some delicious Grinch popcorn and watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with the family!

5- Clean out & donate old toys and books before Christmas- I donated a lot earlier this year but I want to take one more pass through the kids’ rooms and weed out anything else I can before Santa shows up with more toys.

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2015 Monthly Goals: November

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I absolutely slayed my October goals, y’all! I am up to about 48 ounces of water every day and I’ve really decreased my sweet tea intake. It helped that I was really sick at the beginning of the month so all I drank was water. We did a great job on our zero eating out- we only ate out once for the whole month and it was for the kids’ school spirit night. I reduced our grocery budget tremendously by just switching to twice monthly Walmart trips and weekly Aldi trips. My goal was to be under $1000 and we ended October at $875 total. That’s huge for us! We have been consistently doing family dinners at least 4 nights a week. It’s going to get harder now that Mase and Ty are both playing basketball but I’m committed to family dinners now. I took 2 weekends and cleaned out my closet and my shoes. It was a chore. I was ruthless- I tried every single thing on and only kept the items that fit, were comfortable, and can easily be matched to make an outfit. Everything else was culled from the closet. I made notes of what items I need and which items are on my wish list for this year. I feel so much better and my closet is less overwhelming now. The only thing on my goal list that isn’t totally done is the kids’ bathroom. We got the bathtub/shower done but I’m still putting everything back together again. 

November Goals:

1. Sort and organize all the books on my Kindle- I have way too many unread books on my Kindle that need some better organization. There are books that I bought a year (or more) ago that I know I was excited to read but they’ve gotten buried in the chaos. I’m going to sort through every TBR list on my Kindle and find those hidden gems.

2. Plan our Thanksgiving feast- I’m so excited. We have at least 27 people coming this year so I need to really sit down and plan out the menu. I want to add a few new dishes this year so I need to nail that down as well. 

3. Start our master bathroom redo- I guess I should finish the kids’ bath first but I want both projects done by Thanksgiving. We’re removing our old, gross, gold shower door in the master. I’d love a seamless glass door but until we redo all the tile work we’re sticking with just a shower curtain. I think Matt has almost reached his limit on home improvement projects for the year.

4. Add new recipes to my Key Ingredient app- I have a ton of new recipes that we’ve tried and love so I need to add them to the app to make it easier when I’m meal planning. I’d also like to go through and add the approximate cost of each dinner so I can tighten the budget even more.

5. Celebrate Ty and Maia’s birthdays- neither really wants a big party so we need to figure something else out. I can’t believe they’re going to be 15 & 11. I don’t know what to do with that. 

Those are all the goals I’m going to make for November because it’s a really busy month. Basketball starts, Thanksgiving happens, two birthdays, and I don’t want to try and take on too much. 

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2015 Monthly Goals: October

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I met my September goals for the most part. I finished nearly everything I wanted to get done on the blog. The about me page is updated, the sidebars are updated, the recipes section is updated, I added a featured post section on the sidebar, and I redid and updated the popular categories section on the sidebar. I did start back on my fitness journey- I’ve been running on the treadmill every morning before the kids wake up and I’ve been really watching what I eat during the day with no snacks in between meals. I’ve lost 4 pounds so far. I completed the updated house tour last week. I have completed my transition to monthly meal planning and twice a month grocery shopping. Life just got a lot easier for me! And finally, I took 8 more bags to Goodwill this month. 

October Goals:

1. Increase water intake- I really need to work on this. I drink a lot of coffee and a lot of sweet tea during the daytime. I need to limit those and start drinking more water. So my goal this month is to use my large water bottle to monitor how much water I’m drinking every day. My goal is 32 ounces to start and then I’d like to increase it to 64 ounces next month.

2. Zero eating out for 31 Days- I have planned absolutely no eating out for the month of October. That includes lunches, dinners, take-out, dine-in, or snacks. This will be a real challenge for us. I don’t think we’ve ever done a complete month with no eating out. I have planned out every dinner for the month so we have no excuses. 

3. Reduce grocery budget- I’m ashamed to even share what our grocery bill is every month. It’s well into the 4 figures and it needs to be reduced by a lot to give us some cushion in our monthly budget. I’ve noticed that the more frequent trips I make to the store the more our budget increases because I end up with stuff we don’t really need or duplicates of items. So I’m planning to do a big Walmart trip for groceries and household items twice a month on the 1st and 15th. Then I’ll do Aldi every week for fruit, produce, dairy, and dry goods. I’ve been amazed by how much I can save by buying these items at Aldi. I do a Target trip once a month for items that I can only get there such as the Archer Farms Pumpkin Spice k-cups, and the Chobani Flip pumpkin harvest yogurt. My goal is to have the total grocery and household budget under $1000 a month.

4. Family dinners at least 4 nights a week- This is a huge goal for us. We started arranging schedules last month to make this possible. Last year we rarely did family dinners because of everyone’s varying schedules. This year will be different. We might not be able to do every single night but I want at least 4 family dinners per week. The kids are enjoying these family dinners and it’s nice to have half an hour with no television or phones.

5. Clean out my closet- I can’t believe it’s already time to switch the seasons out in my closet. I want to go through and pull out any Spring and Summer stuff that I’m tired of as well as weeding through my Fall and Winter stuff to see what fits right now. I have a range of 3 sizes in my closet so trying everything on to see what fits takes forever but it makes my mornings easier. I want to sell some clothes on Poshmark or ThredUp this year. I have good stuff- Ann Taylor, LOFT, J.Crew, etc. so I don’t want to just donate them. Some of them have never been worn so I’m hoping to recoup some of my money by selling them.

6. Finish the kids’ bathroom update- A couple of weeks ago we noticed a leak in the ceiling in the family room that could only be coming from the upstairs bathtub/shower area. So I took the opportunity to go ahead and get some projects done in there. We took the ugly gold shower doors and we’ve been working on redoing the caulk and the grout. I hope to have it totally finished within a couple of weeks. 

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