This past weekend, the Girl Scout Troop that my daughter is in hosted a bake sale to benefit the charity Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry. It was a wonderful experience, and together we raised $308.00 to help end childhood hunger in America!
Did you know that 1 in 5 children in America struggles with hunger? That 16.1 children in America live in poverty? You can help by hosting your own bake sale! Get more information here.
The older I get, the more invested I feel in our country’s Presidential elections, and yesterday was no exception. I voted, and when the candidate of my choosing did not win I felt a deeper sense of disappointment than I had expected.
Life continued as usual this morning for my family, and I have just as much to be thankful for today as yesterday. I am not sure how the next four years will play out for our country, or for my family, but I trust that God is in control.
I will be honest with you…I am really struggling with my photography business right now. Not that I don’t have sessions booked, I do, but I don’t want to do them. The past several months I have dreaded each session as it has come up, and I’m not sure when that started or why. I am not enjoying any part of this business anymore, and I don’t know what that means for me.
Sometimes I wonder if I am having a “mid-life crisis” of sorts. I have felt more than ever this year, that I have not done all the things I want to do…to accomplish in life. I love my husband, and I love our girls, and I wouldn’t trade this time I have with them for anything. But there are so many things I want to DO before I leave this world, things that I want us to do as a family.
My youngest will be starting Kindergarten next year, and I am dealing with that feeling of “what am I going to do with myself”. I have been a stay-at-home-mom since my oldest was born eight years ago, with the exception of a few part time jobs for extra money years ago and my photography business. I have been reading 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller, hoping to discover what it is that I need to do…what my calling is.
Do you love your work? Are you living your dreams? I hope so, that’s where I want to be!
I started hearing about Girls on the Run last spring, when a friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in looking into it. At the time I was just too busy, but promised her that I was interested and would try to find the time to check it out.
Fast forward to this summer, and I decided to try and make it happen…I wanted to bring this program to my daughter’s school, but not without help from two of my girlfriends. The three of us could do this together!
In July we attended an informational meeting, and we were hooked and super excited. We are going to do this! Last week we attended coaches training, and have turned in our coach applications. All that is left to do is finalize our site plans and complete a site application, and then we will be ready to run!Girls on the Run is a fantastic program for girls in 3rd through 5th grade, that helps them to build good character traits and deal with the issues and pressures that young girls their age face on a daily basis. All while training to run a 5k at the end of the season! The girls also plan and participate in a community outreach project during the course of the season.
I am so excited to bring this to my daughter’s school, and that my own daughter has the opportunity to participate! You can read about the program and all it has to offer young girls here.
Since we were running low on groceries, and money in our grocery budget, I decided to attempt my first pantry challenge. Basically I had to get creative and use the food that we already had, instead of heading to the store for new ingredients. For this first challenge I worked on dinners only because we had one of my daughter’s friends here for lunch every day last week. The girls had painting camp each morning, then we came home to eat lunch, and I did have to go to the store for kid-friendly lunch options.
Day 1 – Brown Rice, Black Beans, Naan flatbread (freezer)
Day 2 – Beef and Lentil Burritos (bought whole wheat tortillas)
Day 3 – Cheese and Turkey Quesadillas, left-over Spanish Rice
Day 4 – Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches, Waffle Fries, Sweet Potato Fries
Day 5 – Spinach and Artichoke Pockets (spinach and puff pastry from the freezer), Salad
Day 6 – Chick-fil-A (because I had a portrait session and did not have time to make dinner before)
Day 7 – Food Truck Park (out to eat with family)
I think we did ok, but not great. I did use some items that had been sitting in my freezer, which was good. I will definitely attempt this again and try to do even better!
Do you have pantry challenge weeks or months? How often? How do you make them work for your family?
Very Jane is quickly becoming an addiction of mine! Think Groupon, but for handmade items more along the lines of Etsy wares. I subscribe to their email updates, and am forever tempted by the cute items in my inbox. Jewelry seems to be the thing I buy the most.
I have already made nine purchases through Very Jane this year…more than one per month! My most recent purchases were this silver initial necklace for my daughter’s birthday coming up in August, and this hot air balloon necklace that is similar to this one I pinned on Pinterest awhile back.
Here are a few of the other things I bought this year…
The necklaces I bought for my girls, the earrings for myself. If you haven’t checked out Very Jane yet, do it now…you may just find something you can’t live without!
For the past two summers I have gotten together with friends to create a book club for children in my daughter’s grade level at our local elementary school. This summer we decided to limit the book club just to girls going into the 3rd grade, like my daughter is. There are five girls participating in the book club, including my daughter, and each girl gets to pick a book for everyone to read. They get two weeks to read the book, and then their mom hosts that meeting.
So far the girls have read:
1.The Babysitter’s Club #1: Kristy’s Big Idea by Ann M. Martin
2. Little Women (the abridged children’s version) by Louisa May Alcott
and the latest book…The Time Traveling Fashionista: On Board the Titanic by Bianca Turetsky
When I went to Barnes and Noble to purchase this book for my daughter, I found it in the Teen Paranormal Romance section of the bookstore. I was a little freaked out by that, not sure what exactly that meant and if I should let my 7 year old read it. I decided to read it with her, staying a chapter ahead…just in case.
The book is 39 chapters, 262 pages. We read 4-6 chapters per day to finish in time for the book club meeting. The story is about a 12 year old girl, Louise, who is somewhat unhappy with her “boring” life. She is magically transformed into a famous 17 year old actress, on board the Titanic, when she tries on a vintage dress that once belonged to her.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book! I went into it having no idea what to expect, and found myself thoroughly enjoying it. I even found my eyes welling up with emotion in one of the last couple chapters…the story of the Titanic is such a tragic one. The book is fiction, but has some non-fiction elements, and it made me want to run out and rent the Titanic movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The book features 25 beautiful full-color fashion illustrations that showcase the gorgeous dresses and styles of that era. In my opinion it is perfectly acceptable reading material for a 3rd grade girl.
A little over four years ago I read a book that forever changed our lives, or so we thought. Unfortunately old habits die hard.
I don’t remember where I first heard about the book, but I picked it up from our local library and read it in just two days, record time for me since I had just had a baby girl a few weeks before and had a three year old daughter keeping me constantly on the move. The book was Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover, and I highly recommend it! After reading the book, we started listening to Dave Ramsey’s radio talk show archives in the evenings and working on our own total money makeover.
On Dave’s plan we were able to save a mini emergency fund, and pay off all of our debt with the exception of my husband’s students loans! Then we moved again, from CA back to our home state of TX, and the cost of the move along with some bad choices once we got here put us back in debt again. It is not a position we enjoy being in…at all.
It is time to get our financial house in order, and get our journey to financial freedom back on track! We have re-committed to budgeting, and to help in that endeavor I purchased Dave Ramsey’s Deluxe Envelope System, during one of his 1/2 price sales. I can’t wait to get it in the mail, and replace my worn out envelope system with this new and nicer version.
You can purchase The Total Money Makeover and the Deluxe Envelope System for yourself, right now for 1/2 off, and start your own journey to financial freedom!
Hi! My name is Tracy, and I am so happy you stopped by. I have been toying with the idea of blogging again for a few months now, so here goes nothing!
I will be blogging about food, family, arts & crafts, home, and travel…just the right amount of everything that my family and I enjoy.
I hope you like what you see, and come back often! Please subscribe to my email updates, and check out my facebook and twitter pages as well for all the latest on what is happening in my little corner of the world.