Thursday, January 31, 2013


I have mentioned before that I read quite alot of magazines.  Usually when I get 4 or 5, I spend one evening (usually while catching up on some shows) going through them.  I tear out articles I like, along with recipes I want to try.  The recipes go into the recipe binder (or will when that project gets worked on, right now they go in a drawer).

The articles end up in my journals.  I use just plain notebooks for my journals. 

I put ticket stubs to events we do, along with some notes.

I also put in the articles I clip out of the magazines.  I usually write something about the article too, to help me remember why I kept the article.
I have completed three of these notebooks so far (I just started last year).  My fourth is almost full, and whenever I get around to work on them again I have enough articles clipped out to probably fill a fifth.When they get full they go on top of the big file cabinet where our photo albums are.  I frequently pull them out to look through them again, to see if there is any projects I want to tackle. 

I like the fact that instead of 1,000s of magazines laying around, I only have a few notebooks.  And its always fun to go back and look over what I put in.

How do you organize the articles and magazines you get?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Coupon Binder

I just use a plain white binder to store all my coupons.  I bought some page protectors and also some of those plastic sleeves to hold baseball cards. In the back i keep my groupon and living social deals.

When I do the grocery list it is super easy to flip through the pages to see if there is any I can use that trip.

Monday, January 28, 2013

MMM- week 26-blah

SW: 153.8
BF: 31.7
M: 33.7

Didn't exercise at all this week and was really bad with eating.  I stayed under calories, just didn't pick the best options.  Was sick all week. Then yesterday my IBS was really bad- like doubled over in pain bad.

I finally kicked the cold (i think).  Today is a rest day, since I won't be home long enough to exercise, but hoping to start back exercising on tuesday.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Desktop Organization

I don't like to keep a lot of stuff on my desk... makes it feel cluttered.  But I like to have the items I need close at hand.

One way I managed to meet both my needs... was to set my small file cabinet (the one I use the most) up right next to my desk.  On top of it I have this organizer I got from Costco. (side note my MIL just picked one up and I am trying to talk her into trading me... mine has 3 horizontal and 3 vertical sections.. her's has 5 of each!)  First of all, I clip my monthly calendar to the front. Even though I have my planner close by too (see picture below), it is much faster to look on here sometimes, and I don't have to flip away from my daily to do list to check a date. 

In the horizontal files I keep extra computer paper in the bottom, magazines that I need to go through go in the middle, and bills, receipts and papers I need to go through go in the top one.  You can see it's mostly empty... that's because I am writing this on Monday and I go through it all on Sundays!  The front vertical files has my fitness  guides. I decided these needed to be by my desk so they were close at hand when it came time to plan my workouts.  The middle section has a folder for handy info (papers I need to have access to so they can't be filed away yet), a folder for wants/needs that need to be budgeted for (tires for the cars, magazines I want to renew, etc.) The back section is where I keep this month's folder to file papers away.  At the end of the month it goes in the file cabinet and the next month goes there. 

Behind my organizer is my cricuit, some Cd's I need to burn to the computer and the box that holds my greeting cards.

The main part of my desk is mostly empty, at least the main part.  On the shelf that holds my monitor is my meds, some misc things, and a bit that is holding projects I am working on.  Below the shelf is hole punchers and things.

This is the other part of my desk ( have an L shaped desk... the printer is in the corner).  Here I keep my planner, my coral for office supplies, and a stack of books I am currently reading... yes I read 4 at a time.

I love having my desk organized, it just makes things go more smoothly.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Letter A activities

As I mentioned Tuesday in my post, we are learning the Letter A with the family I nanny.  I decided that with the start of the new year I would spend about 2 weeks on each letter.  The kids are 4.5, 3 and 1.  The 1 year old doesn't do most of the activities with us.  Both the 4.5 and 3 year old are in preschool learning their letters, so this is just more reinforcement for them.  I print alot of activities from the Internet.  I will post some of the sites below.

I do alot of coloring sheets ( they love to color!).  But I try and get coloring pages that also have them practice tracing the letter to.  Thanks to Target's dollar bins right now (lots of great preschool learning items in them right now) I got some other great ideas.  I also check dollar tree every other week for things I can use.  I have budgeted $20 to spend every paycheck on items... and I ring everything up separate from personal purchases so it is easier come tax time.  Since I plan to do all the letters and holiday activities too... I have all the future items in a tote right now, when I sit down to plan our next theme, I go through the box and pull out what I have... I already have a good stash for B, C and Valentines.  I also have a lot of good Christmas stuff for December (my contact is till August 2014).

I try and have 2-3 activities per day since we spend 30-60 minutes on our theme activities.  Besides worksheets, I try and have a few crafts.  Last week we decorated foam apples.  Tomorrow we will be making Alligators that look like the Letter A.  I also buy 1-2 toys.  I bought these dollar airplanes that were at Target and they will get those later this week. 

The kids have a lot of books, so at the start of the theme we will go through their books and pull out all books that have to do with that theme and set them in a certain spot... these will be the books we read before nap time.

I found these blank books at Target (love target dollar bins!) And the kids got to decorate the front cover.  On each page inside we pasted the letter we are working on and then I write every A word the boys find.... whether from their worksheets, their books, or just daily life.  Once we fill the books up, they will get to keep them.

Here is where I got most of my activities- but my biggest advice when planning activities with kids- search on google or pinterest... there are alot of great, free ideas out there! (free preschool worksheets) (Alphabet crafts) (letter activities) (animal coloring sheets) (Alphabet packets) (lots of great printables) (letter activities) (Letter Shapes)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday Words

I never look cute at the end of my workouts... I look like a big sweaty mess!

Change and wanting to change are good, but you should still love where you are now.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Binder Series- Business Binder/Nanny Binder

 Today's Binder is my Business Binder.... Right now it only has my paperwork and notes for the family I work for as a nanny... but sometime this year I plan to start an at home business too.

 First of all, I always keep coloring pages and other worksheets (handwriting practice, etc) in the front pocket.  The kids I nanny love to color, so I like to keep a few extras in case we are having one of those days where we are stuck inside and everything there seems boring.  The internet is great for finding free coloring pages for any theme you want.

The first section is my planning and calendar pages.  I use the Business set from The Nest Effect for this binder, mostly.  On this annual planner page I keep track of the dates I work and what our theme is that week.  Right now we are doing a theme on the Letter A.  We will finish that this week and start Letter B next week.
Behind the annual planner page I keep monthly calenders.  I write my hours along with activity lists here.

Behind that I keep track of the actual hours I work, total hours, and when I was paid.  This will come in handy come tax time.
The next tabbed sections is the tracking page I fill out during the day.  I adapted this sheet from one I found on the internet, I changed it to fit the family I work for.  Here I can write down what we ate, when diapers and bottles were given to the little one, when naps where, what we did, and anything else.  I work 10-12 hours every day I work, and it is hard to remember  everything that went on that I need to tell the parents.
Next is a tabbed section where I put all the activity sheets we do. 
The last section is just info... my contract, my duties, etc. 

In the back pocket I keep some little books we are currently reading out of.

I take this binder with me every day I go to work.  It is nice to have all of our activities and information in one place.  I fill out a tracking sheet and leave it there when I leave, so they can read it over when they have time.

Eventually more sections will be added when I start my business.  I had thought of given each there one binder, but for now I will keep them together.

As I mentioned earlier we are learning about the letter A right now.  Come back Thursday and I will share some of our activities. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Week 25-MMM

SW: 155.8

This was a very rough week.  I didn't work out once this week.  My stomach was really bothering me Monday and it just got worse as the week went on.  Thursday I started a liquid only diet and did the prep for my colonoscopy/endoscopy tests.  Friday, were the tests.  They went fine. Everything looked normal.  The doctor did do one biopsy to check for H. Pylori.  I should have those results tuesday.  I also started getting sick on Thursday.  I think I caught the cold the family I nanny for had.  The cold just got worse over the weekend.  I spent most of the weekend sleeping and getting stuff done when I could.  I still feel miserable.

The prep and sickness did cause me to reach a new low today of 153.8.  I have been eating enough food, just been alot of soup and liquids.  Happy for a new low, but this is not how I would of preferred to reach it...

I am giving myself a few more days of rest to kick this cold and then hoping to get back working out again... I want to reach 152 by the end of the month.

EW: 153.8 (down 2 pounds)
BF: 31.7 (back out of obese range, down .7%)
M: 33.7 (down .4%...need to get back working out!)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

February Notes

Here is what is coming up on AoV for the month of February!

I will continue to do my fitness journey updates on Monday, Wednesday Words, and Fitness Fridays.

I will still post my monthly readings and notes for March.

I will continue to do a post about activities and themes I am doing with my nanny family.  I believe we will finish Letter B and C in February and also do some Valentine's activities.

I have other posts in mind, but until I schedule the nanny posts (which I can't do till I get my February nanny schedule and no what days I will be working!) I don't know which ones will be fit in and which will have to wait till March.

Here is what I have in the works that will eventually be posted- manual binder, home binder, recipe binder, printables binder, putting the system together, wall organization boards, and monthly decorating plan.

Hope you stick around for all of these great features in the month of February!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Ftiness Fridays

Lots of good info presented on this infographic. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

File Cabinet System Update

My FCS has changed alot since I started it here....

It is still pretty close to the revamp I did last year.

With the new year I made a few changes. I moved the 2012 folders to the back, which brought the 2013 folders to the front.  I also added a "business taxes" folder to the tax folder.  I think we have determined that I am an independent contracted nanny- since I am responsible for my own taxes, but I can still count as business expenses any supplies and materials I buy... I think... we are still working through this, but I wanted to have the folder ready to put receipts in so I am ready if I need them. 

Also, I am not sure if I mentioned it already or  not, but I moved all the monthly/yearly folders to the top drawer where they will stay  (if they fit).  The bottom drawer has my folder with the address labels and a printed copy of our address list, then holday and seasonal stuff behind it- printables, advent stuff, special activities, etc.  Anything printed that I can use with my Holidays/Special Occasions Binder.  When I do my monthly seasons planning, I will add what I plan to use to the Binder so its there, but any extras or stuff I choose not to use this year, but might the next, will go in the files.  Actual decorations are in boxes and totes.  But the files will be used for paper products, printables, possible activity instructions, etc.  I also keep extra hanging folders in the back of this drawer- I bought a lot at a estate sale and needed a place to store them till they get used.

Other than that my FCS has remained the same.  I am really happy with the set up. Everything is right where I need it.  My Desktop organization has changed some, but I will share that in a latter post!

Feel free to ask any questions about organizing, my FCS, or anything else in the comments section, I would love to answer them.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday Words

This has become my mantra lately.  The GI issues have really got me defeated that I am not seeing results, so I keep having to remind myself that Change takes time and that everything is a process.  Even when I reach my goals, I won't be done, I will have to continually work to maintain them.

This is another saying I have had to keep telling myself.  Negativity was the norm in December, but it won't be the norm in 2013.  I am working on staying positive and not letting the downs get to me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2013 goals

Towards the end of last year I read PUSH by Chalene Johnson and it is the system I am using for many things this year.  With the program I created a top priority statement, revamped my to-do list and reorganized my goals.

Here is my Top Priority Statement- My Top Priority is to be a loving and present wife and mother.  I want to demonstrate by my actions that my husband and children are more important to me than any personal pursuit.  I want to work to improve my relationship with my husband and children and to provide the best possible environment for my family, so that in that environment they will thrive.  I want to limit activities, pursuits, and relationships that take me away from my family and weigh all decisions against what would be most beneficial to my family.

First of all, yes I know I don't have children yet (hopefully next year!) but I still wanted them included in my statement.  Taking the time to think through and define this statement has really helped make certain decisions easier.  For instance I had though of joining the national guard.  Being in the military was always something I wanted to do, but after defining this statement... it will definitely take me away from my family at times, so it is no longer something I am pursing.  Also, I was able to define my top three priorities and place them in order- Family, health, Home, which has allowed me to not stress so much if my house doesn't get cleaned every week- especially if that cleaning time is being spent playing games with Chad or watching movies together, or working on my health.  Before, I would get super stressed and mad that it wasn't all done every Sunday, but now while I still want a clean house, it doesn't have to always be done at the same time every week, if other priorities are present.

My goals and mini goals for this year are:

Red means completed Items

Blue means in progress items

Black means future items

1.       I have two date nights, a month, with Chad.

a.       I have a job 11/5/12

b.      I have a budget 1/31/13

c.       I have created a budget category for dates 1/31/13

d.      I put $50/month into date category 3/28/13

e.      I put $75/month into date category 6/30/13

2.   I maintain my weight of 130 pounds, with a body fat % below 25%

a.       I weigh 155lbs 11/20/12

b.      I weigh 150lbs 2/28/13

c.       I have a BF% of 30% 2/28/13

d.      I weigh 145lbs 4/30/13

e.      I weigh 140lbs 6/30/13

f.        I have a BF% of 28.5% 6/30/13

g.       I weigh 135lbs 8/31/13

h.      I weigh 130lbs 10/31/13

i.         I have a BF% of 25% 10/31/13

3        I have a steady job and have a monthly income that pays all of our monthly bills (minus rent and utilities)

a.       I have finished my teacher work sample 6/30/13

b.      I have finished my paperwork and graduated 12/31/13

c.       I have a job 11/5/12

d.      I have created and follow a budget 1/31/13

 4.  I spend 4 hours a week (writing, expanding, promoting) and it has over 10,000 pageviews

a.       My blog has 4,500 pageviews 11/30/12

b.      I join 1 linky parties a week 11/30/12

c.       I plan next months post half way through previous month 11/30/12

d.      I post to pinterest from blog once a week 11/30/12

e.      My blog has 5,000 pageviews 12/31/12

f.        I join two linky parties a week 12/31/12

g.       I have created a facebook page for my blogs 1/31/13

h.      My blog has 5,500 pageviews 1/31/13

i.         I host one linky party a week 1/31/13

j.        I use google analytics 1/31/13

k.       I do one series a month 1/31/13

l.         My blog has 6,000 pageviews 2/28/13

m.    My blog is SEO optimized 2/28/13

n.      My blog has hit 6,500 pageviews 3/31/13

o.      I use Adwords Keyword tool 3/31/13

p.      My blog has hit 7,000 pageviews 4/30/13

q.      I have research StumbleUpon and Reddit and used them, if appropriate 4/30/13

r.        My blog has hit 7,500 pageviews 5/31/13

s.       My blog has hit 8,000 pageviews 6/30/13

t.        I do one giveaway a month 6/30/13

u.      My blog has hit 8,500 pageviews 7/31/13

v.       My blog has hit 9,000 pageviews 8/31/13

w.     My blog has hit 9,500 pageviews 9/30/13

x.       My blog has hit 10,000 pageviews 10/31/13

y.       I do two giveaways a month 12/31/13

5.I have paid off 10 of our smallest debts

a.       I have a job 11/5/12

b.      I have created a budget 1/31/13

c.       I have saved $500 in emergency fund 2/28/13

d.      I have paid off smallest debt 3/31/13

e.      I have paid off second smallest debt 4/30/13

f.        I have paid off third smallest debt 5/31/13

g.       I have paid off fourth smallest debt 6/30/13

h.      I have paid off fifth smallest debt 7/31/13

i.         I have paid off sixth smallest debt 8/31/13

j.        I have paid off seventh smallest debt 9/30/13

k.       I have paid off eighth smallest  debt 10/31/13

l.         I have paid off ninth smallest debt 11/30/13

m.    I have paid off tenth smallest debt 12/31/13

6.       I tithe 20% of our income

a.       I have a job 11/5/12

b.      I have created a budget 1/31/13

c.       I tithe 5% of our income 3/31/13

d.      I tithe 10% of our income 6/30/13

e.      I tithe 15% of our income 9/30/13

f.        I tithe 20% of our income 12/31/13

7.  I have run a 10k under 45 minutes.

a.       I walk a 5k under 45 minutes  3/31/13

b.      I run/walk 3x a week  3/31/13

c.       I workout 5x a week  3/31/13

d.      I run 3x a week  5/31/13

e.      I run 4x a week 7/31/13

f.        I run 5x a week 9/30/13

g.       I run a 5k 1x a week 3/31/13

h.      I have completed HH novice 5k training 3/31/13

i.         I have completed HH novice 10k training 7/31/13

j.        I have run a 5k under 25 minutes 8/31/13

k.       I have completed HH Intermediate 10k training 9/30/13

l.         I have completed HH Advanced 10k training 11/30/13

8.I have seen a dermatologist and gotten by birth mark removed and my hands treated.

a.       I have a job 11/5/12

b.      I have seen a dermatologist 6/30/13

9.  I spend 30 minutes a day relaxing without using electronics

a.       I get off electronics by 9pm 11/15/12

b.      I get off electronics by 8pm 11/30/12

c.       I plan menus half way through the previous month 12/31/12

d.      I prep as much as possible on shopping day 2/28/13

e.      I have created a weekly cleaning schedule 3/30/13

f.        I have finished my binders 2/28/13

g.       I maintain my binder system 2/28/13

10.      I attend church every weekend and am on the Bookstore team.

a.       I attend church once a week 2/28/13

b.      I have filled out bookstore application 2/28/13

11.   I am a beachbody coach 12/31/13

a.       I have a job 11/5/12

b.      I have a budget 1/31/13

c.       I have saved up enough for a challenge pack 4/30/13

Sorry about the spacing... it copied and pasted weird!

As you can see I tried to cover every area of my life- spouse, finances, career (including a future career), fitness, and rest.  And as you can see I am making progress on some... A big help in my goals was getting a job and this was the first item I focused on...