WEEK 4: FINAL WEEK of the Great Cupboard Cleanout!

So as you know, my mom and I are working on the The GREAT CUPBOARD CLEAN OUT! and you can catch my post from Week 1: Great Cupboard Clean Out! and WEEK TWO: Great Cupboard Cleanout! and WEEK THREE: Great Cupboard Cleanout!

Awesome news guys – we are hitting the last week of the Great Cupboard Cleanout and I’ve achieved my goal – I’ve spent less than $400 in groceries in an entire month! The past 3 months we’ve averaged $750 PER MONTH in just groceries and I’m really happy with this shift in intentionality when preparing food for my family!

While mom was the one with the inventory problem, I was definitely the one with the budget problem and this past month has been AWESOME and a great learning experience. Not only did our grocery budget decrease, but our restaurant budget has ALSO decreased! Maybe because Craig is in the field, maybe because I’m actually more aware of what is in our cupboards, but we’ve hardly eaten out at all!

I’ve been perfecting my pizza recipe – Craig says this was my best one yet! I’ve been putting black olives on everything. Carver was so excited to help with the toppings!

I’ve also been eating a TON of salads! I just LOVE salads! I talked about this in week 3 of the Great Cupboard cleanout. I can’t wait to plant my herb garden with cilantro and green onions and all of the goodies!

I’ve also been working to prep food for Craig to eat when he gets home late – this tried and true meatball recipe is my GO TO and is available on my mom’s blog! These were great with mashed potatoes! https://www.joscountryjunction.com/meatballs-for-hungry-men-and-women-too/

Make sure to jump on over to Jo’s Country Junction (http://joscountryjunction.com) to check out how mom is doing with her Great Cupboard Cleanout! Thanks for reading friends!

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New month, NEW BUDGET!

I wanted to give you an update on our April budget – what went well, what didn’t go well, and what I’m doing differently for May!

What went well:

Craig absolutely stuck to his budget. If I review our budget way back to before we hopped on the Dave Ramsey train and when Craig worked “in town”, Craig would spend close to $400/month on eating out, gas station stops, cigarettes, tobacco products, and energy drinks. Craig only drives about 3 miles to work now and there is only one gas station in town. Both Craig and I are allotted $100/month for whatever spending – Craig usually spends his on chew at the gas station, I usually spend mine on a coffee or a smoothie or a new piece of clothing. Craig came under his budget this month, I came in a little over. In hindsight, we’ve come SO FAR in this category!

Another category that went well was our Miscellaneous fund. This is for diapers, household supplies, cleaning supplies, clothes for the boys, personal care items, amazon, our trip to Theisens, etc. We allow $500/month for this and we came in WAY under budget at only $250 which is great! This category is very indicative of the health of our overall budget.

What did not go well:

The GROCERY budget. Part of the reason we are so set on the Great Cupboard Cleanout is to USE the food we have and cut our grocery budget which some months, costs us more than our mortgage! That’s right, our $500 budget rings in over $750 some months! And while we are entering week 3 of the grocery challenge, the damage to the budget was already done in the beginning of April. I hope the month of May is different and I hope we can wrangle this in. Gannon’s milk costs quite a bit, we love to buy meat from our local locker, we buy (and eat) massive amounts of produce, we love the more expensive lactose free Fairlife milk, we go through cheese like water, it isn’t hard to see where the money goes, but we’ve become accustomed to a certain kind of food/groceries in the house. I’m workin’ on it.

We had to cash flow gutter repairs, a truck of gravel for our driveway, cash flowing a entirely new furnace, a tax bill and snow removal so we didn’t make much progress on the debt snowball overall but we aren’t going farther into debt. This month would have absolutely been enough of a burden to call it quits and go get a loan for the furnace from the bank but we are still trucking and I’m confident we won’t make any more progress in May either because my car needs new brakes and tires AND vehicle registration is due, AND I have to renew my nursing license – I could go on and on. June, we are coming for ya!

That’s our rundown for the month! I love budgeting, it is one of my favorite things to do! Do you have a budget? Do you have any tips? How long have you kept a budget?

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The Chronicles of Auntie Sassa – BABY SNUGGLES!!! + a uterine PSA

CAUTION: This post is bursting with adorableness. On Tuesday, the twins (my nephews) Eli and Emmett along with big sister Georgia (my niece) got their newborn pictures taken and Kelli headed to my mom’s house afterwards. She asked if I wanted to some over to visit… UHM YES!

I was one of the first ones up after the boys were born, when they were in the NICU but ever since then, our family has been plagued with well, the plague and either we were sick and weren’t allowed around the babies or vice versa. We haven’t got to see them since they came home about a week ago! Carver and Gannon have been SO excited to meet their baby cousins, I think the pictures speak for themselves.

Gannon just wanted to give them hugs. Look at that middle picture, look at that smile. Please excuse my hair, I had just woken up from a nap as I had to work night shift later that night. This is Emmett we are holding, you can tell because of the hair and the reddish complexion.

As you can tell, Georgia was NOT excited about sharing her little brothers with Carver and Gannon. I just adore that middle picture. Carver looking at Georgia like “please share your brothers” and Georgia looking like “this was supposed to be my special thing.”

Grandma Jo got her snuggle fix in too. Mom and I always joke that she is aging in reverse. She seriously looks younger every year. She is just so pretty and I’m so flattered when people tell us we look alike.

Here is a photo feature of Emmett – Emmett isn’t as squawky as Eli – Eli is a little less content at the moment so I got a few pictures of Emmett. It is so easy to tell them apart, Emmett has a reddish complexion, Eli is lighter skinned. Emmett has way more hair and Eli has less hair. They give off different energy too if you know what I mean, even at this age.

Such a proud Auntie over here! I just love getting to know our newest members of the family. I love seeing how much Carver loves the new babes, I love seeing Kelli light up as a new mom again. I was so frustrated, some random chick at a gas station made the comment to Kelli about “when is she going to have her baby” implying that she looked pregnant. I’ve had this happen to me too, I’ve been around others when people have made that comment as well.

A good rule of thumb is unless there is a baby actively exiting the woman’s vagina, you just can’t know if someone is pregnant so don’t ask. Maybe they just had a loss, maybe they just gave a baby up for adoption, maybe they just had the baby and are struggling with their body image, maybe they have a tumor or a medical condition, maybe, just maybe, it is none of your business.

Here are some safe topics to talk about – trust me, I know safe topics because I have to have set boundaries as a nurse about what I’m willing to share with a patient. I’m an expert small talker. Ask about the weather. Ask about their garden. Say “where are you from.” Ask if they have any pets. Ask about their tattoo. Compliment them.

Just please, do not comment about the status of their uterus EVER. Whether it is empty, full, going to be full, removed, can’t be full, recently emptied, just don’t talk about or ask about someone’s uterus unless they do. Thank you for coming to my ted talk.

That’s a wrap! Thanks for reading!

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WEEK THREE: Great Cupboard Cleanout!

So as you know, my mom and I are working on the The GREAT CUPBOARD CLEAN OUT! and you can catch my post from Week 1: Great Cupboard Clean Out! and WEEK TWO: Great Cupboard Cleanout!

This week, I’ve literally worked 5 out of the last 6 night shifts so my meals have been random and unpredictable and not very focused on actually cleaning out the cupboard.

HOWEVER, I kind of nailed it with just one meal! We had some potatoes that were going to go bad, some mushrooms that were going to go bad, and an embarrassing amount of Green Giant frozen steam-able brussel sprouts to use up too. Plus, as Craig gets free(ish) beef from work, we always have too much AMAZING ground hamburger to use up!

This meal was EASILY a family favorite at first bite.

I threw the potatoes in the instapot for 20 minutes on manual. I mashed them when they were finished cooking. I fried the hamburger making sure to season it well. I added some beef bullion, mushrooms, and onions to the pan. I added some milk to make it a gravy, some butter, and then some flour to thicken it. THAT’S IT YOU GUYS! This recipe was SO EASY and I made it up as I went!

Craig initially said “EW, no brussel sprouts for me.” I told him to try some for the boys so they could see him eating veggies. He reluctantly agreed and long behold I had to make a second bag just for him! They went fabulously with this meal!

The boys on the other hand were NOT impressed. Carve only at the gravy and ONLY because we told him it was like maid-rite meat. Gannon had a few fork fulls of ranch for supper.

As far as the grocery budget goes, it honestly gets easier every week. I only spent $60 on a wal-mart pickup order for essentials! It’s amazing how much less money you spend when you’re paying attention to the grocery budget! In hindsight, I actually ordered too much and I didn’t need some of the items I ended up getting. Oh well, live and learn.

That’s all I have for today folks! Thanks for reading!

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These are a few of my favorite things…

I’ve got some new favorites I’m excited to share with you all!

Cruel Summer

I love a good teen high school drama! This series is exclusively streaming on Hulu and I’m HOOKED. It’s got a good amount of mystery and teenage angst set in the mid 90s. The only thing I don’t like about it is it only comes out one episode at a time every week. I’m someone who loves to binge an entire series until it is done so this is testing my patience! I found where you can watch online! https://www.freeform.com/shows/cruel-summer

Counter Clock – Season Three

If you’re a true crime junkie, or if you listen to the podcasts Crime Junkies with Audio Chuck productions, you’ll love season 3 of Counterclock! It’s a podcast stretching over 20 episodes covering the Pelly Family murders in Indiana in 1989. I’m on episode 16 of 20 and I just can’t stop listening! Here’s the link: https://counterclockpodcast.com/season-three/

Okay- edited to add, I just talked to my mom about this and she suggested to START at season one and work your way through! She said season two is the best season! I’m full on addicted and listening to it as I type this post.

Recess

I splurged and bought myself a sampler pack of Recess which is a sparkling water I saw an ad for online. I’m always up for something new! It’s got some real fancy stuff in it that will supposedly calm you and calm your mind. I got the sampler back and my FAVORITE was the pomegranate hibiscus flavor but I really liked them all! As far is making me feel calm or relaxed, I personally didn’t notice much of a difference but I consider it more of a supplement than I do a relaxant. Some people have left reviews saying that they felt relaxed enough they skipped their nightly glass of wine or alcohol so maybe it can be an effective alternative!

What sold me on it was that it is an adaptogen drink, I don’t know enough about adaptogens to be a resource to you about it but I have been investing in and learning about adaptogens in the past year. Recess defines adaptogens as “a class of plants and herbs that help your body deal with stress. we chose ours for their ability to support hemp’s leading role and create the feeling we call calm cool collected.” I take several adaptogen supplements and I love that it is offered in a drink now! Elizabeth Benton (my favorite podcaster) with Primal Potential has several episodes on adaptogens and their benefit. Here is the link to Recess if you’re interested: https://takearecess.com/

Cobb Salad

I saw this video from Natasha’s Kitchen and like, I know how to make a salad but I needed some inspiration! THIS WAS DELICIOUS! I even made a reel about the recipe – that’s up on my instagram @kalissageorgia and I 10/10 will make it again and I look forward to it! I added cilantro and cabbage and dried chick peas for a little crunch! It was perfect to take for work! Natasha has some great recipes on her site! Check it out! https://natashaskitchen.com/cobb-salad/

That’s all I’ve got! I love trying new things! Let me know if you have something new you love!

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ETSY shop update!

My last Etsy restock was super popular and I’ve had so much fun packaging orders and working that side gig! I’ve got more shirts in the works and I’m hoping to have them stocked and ready to go soon! I have a few questions for you – I’m doing what I call “market research” to see what you, as the customer want/need/prefer! So I’ve got a few comments/suggestions and I’d love your feedback!

Right now, I’m working on 4 new shirt designs – one is a fun summmer/sunshine themed, one is a year round shirt and then two cross stitching designs that are a little more wholesome than the “Less Bitchin’, More Stitchin'” and these were the shirt colors I really liked! I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on the heathered raspberry and the Columbia blue colors!

A lot of people really liked these colors too but I think I’m going to save them for fall!

One thing I love about my shop is I can work on it as much as I want or just let it coast. I’m on a crazy work stretch right now so I’m just letting the shop coast but tomorrow I’ll put in a few hours designing my new shirts and get my order off to my printer later this week!

Some of you may know this, others may not, a large portion of my blog readers are quilting and cross stitching and sewing fanatics. They’ve read my mom’s blog for years and have also supported my blog and businesses as well. So calling on ya’ll, I’d love to know what you want for a shirt – sewing? quilting? cross stitching? Did you like the less bitchin’ more stitchin’ shirt or was it too profane?

A few things I’ve learned from the last few rounds of shirts: People like V neck options so I will do my best to offer V-neck selections with every new design. People seem to like more feminine designs and colors. People like when they can pay through PayPal – I think it is more trustworthy. People like to pay EXACT shipping instead of an estimate.

What else can you think of? Just leave me any and all feedback about what you like, don’t like, or want to see! I love reading through all of your suggestions from my last Etsy shop update: RESTOCK + Etsy Shop Updates!

I bought a new course from Jordan Lee Dooley, she’s an Etsy shop owner turned author and influencer and I’ve purchased her Starter course in February and LOVED it – now I’m buying her product shop course and going through that! I’ll link to her materials here: http://theownitacademy.com/

A friend reached out and also wants to get into the t shirt designing biz and wondered if I could walk her through it! I said OF COURSE! I recommended Jordan’s course and she bought it so we will kind of be going through that together. Some people may see that as “helping the competition” but I really don’t see it that way. I think we all need to help each other out where we can. If I can make someone else’s journey a little easier, awesome. I’m all for that.

Look for a few restocks late this week into next week – I’ll have the Less Bitchin’ More Stitchin’ restock in 3XL (currently sold out) and I’ll also have a few V-necks available. I’m ordering more of the bloom where you’re planted v necks available, I’m still offering the deal on the first aid shirts that if you buy the t shirt and the sweatshirt (both discounted currently) you get a free journal! I’m also working to stylize and take new pictures of the products to freshen things up a bit! We will see what the week brings, the way it has been so crazy lately I’m not making any promises! I have a new product coming – a project bag for cross stitchers! I can’t wait to share that with you all! Keep an eye out!

I’m also STRONGLY considering getting a Cricut so I can make my own stickers with the designs I create! I’ve got it my amazon cart but I don’t think the budget will allow for it this month, but soon! 🙂 I keep reminding myself, owning a small biz isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Slow and steady.

Friendly reminder that NURSES WEEK, TEACHER’S WEEK, and MOTHER’s DAY are all on the horizon, it isn’t too late to snag a present for the special lady in your life! (or man, but my shirts are mostly for ladies)

Here is the link to my ETSY SHOP: The Pink Shoelaces by kalissageorgia on Etsy

Here is the link to the LESS BITCHIN’ MORE STITCHIN’ SHIRT: Less Bitchin’ MORE STITCHIN’ – Cross Stitch Graphic Tee – Bella and Canvas – Black – Crew Neck – The Pink Shoelaces

If you bought a shirt, would you please consider leaving a review on my Etsy shop? Reviews with pictures are even better! It helps people find my shop on Etsy! THANK YOU!

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