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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Super Heroes Party on a Budget

With twins, birthdays can be tight on the budget.  Below is a Super hero party we threw on a very small budget.

Spiderman Cake & Batman Cakes $5 total
Since my boys share so many things, I always make sure they have their own cake.

  • One cake mix $1.50
  • Icing $1.50
  • Blacking tube incing $2
  • Batman Clip art turned into Stencil- Free (see tutorial on DIY cake stencils)
  • Food coloring- Free
  • Action Hero Toppers- Free Happy Meal toys we already in toy bins (disinfected of course!)

    The lines for the web were not perfect, but my boys loved it!
    Gotta love happy meals toys used as a cake topper!

    I keep costs lower by buying red and blue plates (red for superman and blue for batman), napkins and utensils and the cakes are the only real theme decoration.  The leftovers were used for 4th of July party the next week!

    Games & favors

    $20-20 Water Gins from wlamar (kids take home one at end of party)

    We filled a water cooler with water and put the guns inside so the kids could refill them without adults assistance.  Then as a favor each child was asked to take a water gun home:)

    1. Make sure you let parent know their will be water guns on the invitation! I pit it on mine but wish I had made it bigger b.c some people didn't see it and were surprised with the water when they got there.
    2. Make a HOME BASE, like your deck, where no one can get wet.  Most adults stayed on the deck because they didn't want to get wet:)

    $2- 20 invitations printed at Walmart.

    Kept it low by designing an invitation on my computer, then getting 9 cent prints at Walmart.  Again, it isn't fancy but on a budget it works just fine!

    The boys get one birthday present from us on their birthday.  This year it was Super hero capes from Superkid Capes.  Highly recommend!  They have girl capes also! I will post more pictures in another post:)

    Monday, June 25, 2012

    Finding My Want-To

    I have been asked numerous times HOW I lost the weight.  It is funny because even though I did have a physical plan for it, the HOW is not the reason for my success.  After reading "Made to Crave" by Lysa Terkeurst  I found my WANT TO to start this process, not the HOW TO. Finding the right Want-To, a.k.a motivation, to start this process was the KEY difference in success and failure for me. Below is a list of the want-to's that I had tried before, that kept leading me to failure.
    Me and my twins at the finish line of my second 5K:)

    Many of us start this weight loss journey with the what we think are the right Want-To's:
    • I want to loose weight.
    • I want to get physically healthy
    • I want to fit in my skinny jeans.
    • Be able to keep up with my kids

    Don't get me wrong, these were my beginning motivations and they ended up being a WONDERFUL result of my transformation.  BUT the difference was they were not enough to really give me the success I needed.  Through Lysa's book and some insight from the Holy Spirit I had to refine why I wanted to go on this journey.  My Want-To List became kind of scary when I got real. And I personally think if it isn't a little scary then you aren't being honest with yourself.

    God revealed to me I had to learn to Want-To:
    • See the cause and effect of my own lack of discipline.  I was in denial about who was really responsible for my weight. I had to stop blaming my metabolism and wake up to the reality of responsibility. If you spend more money than you earn you go into debt.  Same principle applies; if I ate junk all day and didn't move I gained weight.
    • Let go of the misconception that God doesn't want more for me. This is a BIGGIE. Yes, He loves us unconditionally, but the issue of self discipline is repeated over and over in Scripture  enough for us to know he isn't joking around about this. God loves me unconditionally but the fruit of the spirit is self-control, and He expects you to be using the gifts He gives!  I had to want to become a disciplined person, because I am naturally one of the laziest people you will ever meet (not kidding here people)
    • Admit I was running to food instead of Him when I was feeling sadness, happiness, frustration, etc.
    • Admit I would rather have a guaranteed temporary numbing from food than a lasting healing from God that would involve feeling the pain to heal.
    • THEN I had to want to let go of my numbing agents and temporary high (food) and experience some feelings I was running from (insecurity, pain, doubt, anger with myself for letting this happen, etc). If you are a shopaholic, you have to want the discipline MORE than you want the nice purses, shoes, clothes, etc. Getting to this spot was also a biggie because I had convinced my self the wight was worth it because I ENJOYED my food.  There is NOTHING wrong with Enjoying food, just like enjoying clothes doesn't make you a shopaholic. Discern for yourself if you are mastered, I was and you may not be.
    • Some other personal revelations that are between me and my Savior;)
     If you want to keep your comfort food more than you want to get emotionally and spiritually healthy, you will not succeed.  I am not saying that lightly!  My comfort seeking was a result of some real traumas, not just feeling chubby, so I do not say any of this flippantly.   But is it like any discipline God wants for us, it comes through perseverance.   The same discipline skills I learned in this weight loss process were the same skills I learned when we finally got our budget under control and as I learn to control my temper. God cares about your weight, and not because He thinks you are fat and lazy, but because he knows that WITH HIS HELP you can be so much closer to Him. Everyday is still a struggle not to eat a bag of chips when I am frustrated, but I am thankful for the grace he has given me in this small success.  I let food keep me from knowing the full power of God's Glory and I pray that if any of you are in this cycle you would also seek His Face.

    “I am NOT on a diet. I’m on a journey with Jesus to learn the fine art of self-discipline for the purpose of holiness.” 
    Lysa Terkeurst

    Here is my HOW-TO plan that I followed to loose the weight. 
    Disclaimer: My How-To  would have worked never worked without addressing the above issues

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

    Happy Mother's Day

    I made a homemade card for mother in law, and also for me to just see how much my boys have grown.

    How to have a successful garage sale

     The first key to a successful garage sale is to decide before you start if you are in it to:
    A.) purging stuff from your  house
     B.) to make money.

     You can find a middle ground, but if you ONLY want to make money you will be less likely to accept low ball offers.   This is fine as long as you are willing to have a couple of garage sales to get rid of things. Purging  sellers accept all offers, while people in it for only money can find other avenues, like selling online, to sell their items. If you are in it to get rid of things and have the mentality of driving to goodwill with whatever doesn't sell, you will be more likely to accept low offers and price things to sell on the first day.

     1.Simple sign with Sale Today and address the night before on Main streets as far as 5 blocks away , then neon arrows with "sale" at every street leading to your street. Listing everything you have for sale with be confusing to people driving by quickly. If you have big or unique items, like power tools or furniture, you can write that on there.

    2. Adds on Craigslist every day leading up to your sale (provide list of main items with pic(s) of your biggest items)

    3. Advertise using your social media- list the main things you have, like boys clothes/tools, etc and post lots of pictures the week before and throughout the day of the sale.

     4. Get a Fishing box to organize your money and make sure you have enough change. You can get rolls from bank or just raid your change jar. But make sure you have at least two tens, 5 $5, and lots of $1s, and lots of quarters. Count your bank and write it down so at the end of the day you know what you made on TOP of the bank. Guard this with your life, never let it out of your sight or hands.  I found keeping it under my chair then carrying it with me when I get up is best.

    5.  Don't do inside garage, but most of it in yard and farther away from where you are sitting because people  more often than won't linger near you or in  a garage. I have no idea but I have learned this the hard way several times.  Not sure why but it never fails that I sell less inside my garage.

    6. Easy access for all items. Try to have tables, but if not possible then lay out items on tarps and blankets so they don't have to be touched to decide if they want to buy.  Many garage sale shoppers are trying to hit lots of sales and will be quick to dismiss your sale if they don't see what they want laid out for them. Clothes go on higher tables so no one has to lean, and adult/nice shirts can hang on ladder for better access. 

    7.  Sell with friends!!!  A multifamily sells/attracts more because you have different options for shoppers.  I have only boys so I partnered recently with a friend with girls.  Have ONE bank and a list with columns and everyone initials.  Everyone marks their stuff with their initials. I don't keep tags because it takes too much space, I just write down every thing as people buy it. This also makes your day more fun and you will stay open longer and sell more.

    8. Don't hover. Shoppers don't like the seller looking over their shoulder. Say hello when people approach and let them know you accept offers, but then let them shop alone.

    9. Keep it simple with pricing- Example: All Kids shirts 25 cents. All kids pants-50 cents adult shirts $2, Sweater $2, etc. It is easier for counting up at end and people are more apt to buy a lot if they don't have to keep track of how much they are spending

    10. Be open to offers & Don't take low ball offers personally.  If someone give you low-ball offer, they are not trying to insult you they are just trying to get a good price (this is a hard lesson for me).  You may see a toy as memories with your sweet baby, but to them it is just a piece of plastic from fisher price. Give a reasonable counter offer. If they don't accept, TAKE their original OFFER (to me a little money in my pocket now is better than a tiny tax deduction later from goodwill).

    11  Price stuff to sell because not everyone bargains...they just move on.. This is hard for me because we think if someone wants something they will bargain, but I have found most people won't make an offer if they think it's too high and move one because they don't think you will take a lower price. Don't think too much what you paid for it new, think about what someone will buy it used.

    12.  Be clear. Write condition  and issue on electronics.  Some garage sales ask, but many are shy and afraid of being lied to about electronics.

    13.  Make sure everything works. Put new batteries in and have electric outlet near to prove electronics works.

    Have fun and hope your sale goes well!!!


    Before/After. Sorry for pixelated pictures. Through God's help through the book Lysa Terkeurst's Made to Crave, Jon's help and encouragement, and Jillian Micheals yelling at me I lost 30 lbs last year! 10 more to go!Following posts will describe what tools I used to loose the weight.