Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Budgeting More Than Just Money

Money Time Saving Moves

Budgeting time can be just as important as budgeting money. I feel like I'm always pressed for time so I have a few time saving moves I employ when my schedule is full.

So I am a big fan of the messy bun. I must admit, I wear my hair in a messy bun way more than I should, but it's a great time saving style without looking like you just crawled out of bed (ok sometimes it does look like you crawled out of bed.)

I've discovered that everyone has a slightly different way they do a messy bun. My strategy is just grab it in a pony, shove a bunch of hair into the hand grasping the pony, wrap the hair tie around and then just pull it out a little bit. It looks different almost every time which I like.
The 2 minutes while you brush your teeth is a great time to get some excercise in. Now you can't do much, but you can do strengthening exercises for your tush, and legs.
  1. Static lunges. Do 12 reps on one leg, switch and do 12 on the other. Do this as many times as you can in 2 minutes.
  2. Squats
  3. Squat side kicks. Squat, as you're coming out of squat, kick one leg out to the side. Alternate legs each time.
  4. Squat back kick. Remain in semi squat position and alternate kicking each leg out behind you.
  5. Calf Raises.
  6. Stairs. If you're house has stairs, you can walk up and down for the duration your brush your teeth.
Cooking/preparing more than one meal at a time is a great way to save time. This helps save time later in the week when you're rushing around to appointments and kid's activities. Sunday evening is a good time to make a the next day or 2 worth of dinner. Meals that are good for this:
  1. Pot pies. You can assemble the pie crust and filling in a pan and then freeze it to use for dinner couple nights later.
  2. Crock pot soups. Unless you are feeding a lot of people, crock pot soups will usually last you a couple days worth of dinner. Just simply pull the crock pot out of the fridge and re-heat
  3. Stir fry.  You can cut your veggies and other ingredients up in bulk, use some for your current meal and put the remaining in containers and store in the fridge for later use.
  4. Chicken.  Cook several breasts of chicken at one time. Use some for your current meal and refrigerate the remaining for dinners throughout the week ie: stir fry, chicken tacos, chicken salad.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I'm back.... again.

Alright, so I'm back from another hiatus. This last month has been very very busy for us so, naturally the blog took a back seat. We took a last minute cruise to the Caribbean about a month ago and it has been non stop since we got back. But It was fantastic and worth it! And to boot, we celebrated J's birthday while we were there!
If you ever have the flexibility, a last minute cruise is definitely the way to go. Some cruises will drop to almost half the normal cost within the last week of departure. The Hubbs and I are limited on flexibility especially with both of us working and having two small children. But we were blessed that this worked out almost amazingly perfect for us. We pulled it together in 4 days. We booked on a Tuesday and left on a Friday. We have now checked off "spontaneous vacation" from our bucket list.
Probably the best part of this whole thing was that we were meeting 18 other friends and family there..... and nobody knew (except for my cousin and my aunt.)  My parents were beyong shocked and surprised when we showed up un-announced.
Our stops included Tortola, St. Maarten, Guadaloupe, St. Kitts and Barbados.
The Brilliance of the Seas docked in Tortola

The Baths at Virgin Gorda in Tortola

Ash on the beach in Tortola

My toes in Tortola. Proof I was there! I highly, highly recommend this beach if you ever travel to Tortola

St. Maarten. Home of the best coconut smoothie..... EVER. (seriously!)

St. Kitts

St. Kitts.

Our whole group on the catamaran in Barbados. We swam with sea turtles and snorkeled and it was amazing! If you ever go to Barabados, look up the cool runnings excursion. Well worth it and the crew was great!