Monthly Archives: January 2013

A new fave and some info…

On a recent search for natural remedies, I came across a lovely blog by a lovely girl.  Lindsay Leigh Bentley is full of wonderful information about living naturally using real food, natural remedies and living simply.  I have found a great amount of inspiration from her in the days since stumbling upon her blog.

However, it was THIS post  that really got my blood pumping (be sure to read the first comment and response).  Through the entire thing I kept finding myself say, “Exactly.  Exactly.”  Then, I got to the end about how there is a possible cure for TYPE 1 Diabetes using a common vaccine, but the drug companies weren’t interested in producing it due to there not being enough monetary gain.

Are you kidding me?

There are a number of things wrong with this country as it is in its current state.  Many of those things can be fixed by its citizens.  You don’t like the chemicals used in our food…stop buying the crap.  Don’t like what’s wrong with the economy, start the change at home with the way YOU are spending YOUR money.  Try following the teachings of Dave Ramsey in that department.  You don’t like the attitude of today’s youth, make sure you teach your own children manners, responsibility, respect for others and compassion – don’t try to leave them in the care of electronic babysitters all the time.  Make eye contact, tell them you love them and spend some quality time with them.  Quality time doesn’t include everyone sitting in the same room, but each person looking down at their cell phone, iPad, or laptop.

Whew!  Sorry for getting on a soapbox for a moment.  It’s just that I’m a no-nonsense kind of girl.  If something’s broken, there is usually a simple way of fixing it.

Just take some time to go check out Lindsay’s blog.  She is passionate about what she writes and how she lives.  She is informative if you ask a question and she also has a very Godly heart.

Julie

Getting your {financial} house in order…

I was working on our family budget the other day and began searching out ways to organize our personal documents.  Today, I thought that the best person to go to for info was already on my speed dial.

My mom-in-law is the most organized person I know.  She has been a bookkeeper for a few (give or take twenty) years and really knows her stuff.  So, I called her right up and asked her if she minded sharing how she handles all her papers.  I had to cringe a little when I read “Do not use an IN box.”  How about an IN 15 gallon Rubbermaid container?

Without further ado, Organized Gam…

I have given some thought about how I stay organized.  The best advice is to take action immediately.

  • Stand by the garbage can when opening the mail!!  Get rid of all the junk mail.
  • Make it easy.  Have a filing cabinet or space that is easily accessible.  If you have to go into a closet or under a bed to file, then it is just not easy!
  • File things right away. Makes it seem overwhelming when it piles up. Do not use an IN basket. 
  • Label files the way you want to recall them. Auto insurance, utilities, life insurance, etc.
    • Be more detailed if you have several banks. ex: Bank of America Auto loan, Bank of America Line of Credit, etc. I even take a magic marker and write the address, phone number and account number on the inside of the file….just in case.
  • I keep copies of my charge card invoices for at least 2 to 3 years. Never know when you need to refer back to these. Ex:  Broken Haan Steamer (This was aimed at me…I called the other day regarding a floor steamer that she gave me for Christmas 2 years ago.  I wasn’t even done explaining what was wrong with the thing and she had the receipt in hand ready to call them.)
  • Make a home improvement file.  You would be surprised how much we spend every year improving our homes.  Even if you don’t have the receipt, write down what you did to the home and estimate the cost if you cannot remember.
  • I keep my bank deposit slips until the statement comes and I reconcile the statement.  Make notations on the deposit slip if it is out of the ordinary and keep.
  • If you have a pet, make a file for them.  Never know when you need to show their records.
  • Make a yearly tax file.  Copy items as they come in….ex: if you buy or sell a home, or take money out of your IRA….make a copy of the closing statement or check stub for IRS.  Easier to do it then instead of waiting to look at tax time.  Drop a note in the tax file of the places you have worked so you will be looking for the W-2’s.
  • I keep copies of all medical expenses and separate them into eye, dentist, doctor, prescriptions and insurance premium.  I usually get the deduction at tax time.  Most people do not.
  • If you live in a state where you can claim your car registration, keep a copy for your tax file.
  • Also, make notes for tax file of any additional income (alimony, child support) as this is taxable income and has to be accounted for.
  • If you work from home you will get a deduction for a portion of the electric, phone and internet.  Must keep those invoices as back up for tax return (I think at least 5 to 7 years).
  • I find that if I pay the bill as soon as it comes in I won’t forget, and then to file it right away.  I realize some people cannot pay bills right away, so at least write it on a calendar as a reminder to pay.
  • I keep tax returns and back up documentation is kept for 7 years.
  • I only keep cable, phone and utility bills for one year.  You really do not have to keep them at all once they are paid, but sometimes we like to refer back. 
  • I keep a separate binder for retirement plans.  Most plans send out a thick monthly or quarter statement so putting it in a 3-ring binder makes for easy reference.

What great information, Organized Gam!  I know that I have been busy this last week getting my financial files in order.  We had a lot of stacks of paper to go through since moving so much, but the piles are dwindling and I’m feeling better.

Soon I’ll talk about the budget forms I use and the Dave Ramsey program.

Julie

Finally fireside…


“Finally fireside”- that is what keeps popping into my head when I think about how much I love our new home.  We have just moved ourselves right in, I tell ya.  It FEELS like I’m home.  You know the feeling…way down in your insides where you get all warm and fuzzy and gain 10 lbs and start wearing yoga pants all day?  Exactly like that.

I thought I’d share some pictures of our new abode with you.  Oh, and if Idosometi weirdlike leaveout spaces orletters, I’m pretty sure a certain little one spilled something on the keyboard so I have to type really hard.

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Yeah, you.

So onto the house.  We love the peace and quiet and are glad to have some space for the kiddos.  And for me too, if I’m being honest.  I loved our neighbors in Colorado, but there’s something to be said about not having to put your dog on a leash every time she needs to go out or not being able to sit on your front porch because your neighbors are outside smoking and your asphyxiating on the smoke.  I have a dedicated 1/4-1/2 acre available for my garden and chicken coop.  The boys can shoot their BB guns (and leave widows in tact).  Hubby can cut down trees and build stuff like a tree fort for the kids.

The house itself was in great condition.  The inside left a lot of room for adding our personality.  It doesn’t need updating necessarily, but it was pretty plain.

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Here’s a picture of the foyer when we were looking at the house:

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Here’s a picture of it in its current state:

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Still a work in progress.  I just used things we had around the house and painted.  I really like the paint color – Merino Wool by Behr.  The trim is BM Dove White.  I made the sign that is hanging above the doorway.  I also painted the inside of our front door a very dark grey.  The insides of our exterior doors always get so darn dirty.  We will eventually replace the flooring to hardwoods, but that will have to wait a little while.

Oh, and we spray painted the light fixture Oil Rubbed Bronze.  That was such an inexpensive fix.  I saw that someone had sprayed their doorknobs as well, but I’m not convinced that would hold up in our house.  If you look closely at the front door knob in the last picture, you will see the teeth marks from our dog.  She was trying to get back IN.  Maybe she’s not enjoying her freedom as much as I am.

More pictures of other rooms to come.  I’ve had some success with selling a few items on Craigslist, so our bedroom project may be complete soon.  Can’t wait to share that with you!

See you on the flip side!

Julie