Monday, November 28, 2016

How to Eat Healthy for the Holidays

Here are some great tips on eating well as we are now in the Holiday Season full swing!

Thanks to the people at Kremer Eye Center for the great tips.

*** No compensation was received for this post.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Small Changes, Big Impact

I absolutely love the house we bought a few months (ok coming up on a year now). It needed no work at all, well except the list of "cosmetic" changes I made for Hubby! It loves when I have lists!

So the wonderful man, and I truly mean that we love him, that built our house spent a lot of money on small things that I loved. For example, all the hinges and handles on all the doors are brushed nickle! This seems so small but as someone that dislikes brass/gold anything this was huge for me. I wanted to changes all the door hardware in our old house from brass but boy is that expensive.

Yay one thing Hubby did not need to change, but call me crazy this drove me nuts.....

Brass lights everywhere!

So the Dining Room (top picture) and the Kitchen needed  new fixtures. That was easy, Hubby ran to Lowes one night and found these on clearance! So much better!

The ceiling lights, all 18 of them (yes 18!!) well that was another story. To Pinterest I went of course and found that you can spray paint lights. Lowes was my next stop and I found this:

This was super easy! We took the lights down 2-3 at a time (depending on the number in the room), sprayed them and put them back up. It took us 2 weekends but we did not rush at all, did them around doing other things, and did I mention we had 18! Here is how they look now:

I know that I am the only once that notices the change, but boy do I love it!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Watermelon Birthday Party

Miss E wanted to do a watermelon themed party this year! First of all I thought this was super fun and could not wait to get started. Everything was pink and green of course and she loved picking it all out. I wanted to find something fun and special for her to do since the party was going to be at home, when I came upon this wreath! First of all you had me at "No-Sew", so I got my supplies together:

I used 1/2 yard of each of the felts cut into 2 inch wide pieces. And since I wanted a rather large wreath, I got a pool noodle and cut it to length to make a larger wreath for $1!

As you can see then I just tied the felt strips on the wreath. I alternated the greens then did a section of pink. Finally I added my "seeds" using black felt.

This wreath all together cost about $7! How great was that, and best part the Birthday Girl loved it!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Finishing the backyard

Once Hubby and I bought out house we knew we wanted to add a patio to the backyard. We had a small one with a firepit but no place for a table. The table was living in the shed at the time (thanks to the inlaws who gave us their old patio furniture!) This was not a project that we wanted to rush into at all, we had a Landscape Architect out to look at the backyard and draw up plans (ok so it was a friend, but that is his real job). We loved the plan that was developed and they just decided to go for it. We had planned on doing our daughter's 5th Birthday at home, per her request, and asked if the patio could be done in time (yes we gave them a ridiculously short time line but they did it!)

So here is the before:

Large green area on a hill, not really usable. Here is the ends of day 1 (what was called PREP DAY, more then prep in my mind!)

End of Day 2

End of Day 3

End of Day 4

End of Day 5

End of Day 6 (the top was done and just needed landscaping around the outside!)

Here is the finished project from the same place as the before picture

We could not be happier with the new space!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Emergency Fund Planning

Being married to a financial planner (yay and not so much) I really do not have to worry about doing the thinking on this one. Hubby handles all the long range stuff and I make sure our bills are paid. But I do know where our Emergency Fund is and how much it needs.  Being that we are both planners this fund has been around for a while and has increased as life has changed (welcome the kids and the larger mortgage payment!)

Generally speaking, 3-months income is what you should keep in your emergency fund, give or take. Ours is a little higher because, well I think the type A Hubby likes the extra cushion.  Check out this article for some info on how much you should have in your Emergency Fund. It not only covers how much you should save but ways you can build your fund. Bonus tip: start with what works with your life, you don’t want your saving to overcome your happiness. There are financial companies like Earnest, that allow you to refinance student loans and customize them to fit your life. You can skip a payment or change how much you pay monthly at any time!

The next question is where to keep your Emergency Fund, there are tons of options here as well. This article covers those nicely. Hubby and I like to have it split in a couple places so we keep some in our Online Savings Account as well as some in an Investment Account (we like to make our money work for us when we do not need it!)

While it is not always fun to set money aside in these accounts I think it makes “emergencies” a little easier to take when they are not also a financial burden.

Thanks to Earnest for providing this valuable information to share with you all.