New Family VLOG! COVID19 QUARANTINE

Social distancing is all the rage in Northeast Iowa! I’ve spent the week indoors with the boys which has been so awesome and so very stressful. Catch up with us on this week’s VLOG!

If you would, please SUBSCRIBE to my channel and give the video a LIKE! Did you miss last week’s vlog? Catch up on it here:

Please note, we went on vacation back in January – not since the COVID19 outbreak 🙂

I hope you are all hanging in there! As more and more businesses seem to be effected by this virus, I’m thankful for my job security as an ER nurse and Craig’s job security as a farmer. I’m doing my best to support my favorite local businesses by

  1. Leaving them a review on their Facebook page
  2. Ordering takeout
  3. Pre-paying for services/gift certificates
  4. Checking in on my small business friends regularly

This video is the most I’ve seen my mom in close to a week – she is shutting down childcare tomorrow and will be off. She’s willing to help with the boys but I can’t risk exposing her like that with her cancer and diabetes. We can find someone else to help.

Anyway, that’s what I know. Sorry it’s another post in your news feed about corona. Tune in tomorrow!

An Afternoon in the Garage

Remember last week I blogged about our home remodel? If not, check it out here:

After we got home from our lengthy home depot trip we ended up heading out to the garage to tackle some much needed Spring cleaning.

We have a detached double car garage and it is honestly a disaster. You’ll read later this week about my previous venture as an antique dealer that has since left our garage full of relics and auction finds. We have a detached double car garage and a single attached garage and we have no where to park. A good cleaning is desperately needed.

I’ve still got a few friends in the biz (the antique biz that is), who graciously agreed to come take a look through things and see if there is anything they could take off of our hands and out of the garage! Not to mention, my basement is all filled with antique finds as well. They got a good truck load full and we were glad to see it go.

There were a few things that made me smile as I saw them being taken onto their new home. This little lock box gave us quite the chuckle.

It came in a box of junk at an auction but anything with advertising on it and the name of a the town it was from ends up selling really well – especially at our antique booth in the antique mall. Craig and I were so excited to open it because we could here something shaking around in there.

We sat at the table for hours, mom and dad and I were showing off our antique finds from that day. We had supper and a few drinks, it was a great time. We all took turns trying to crack the lock and see what the hidden treasure was in there. What could it be? Money? A note?

We all sat in anticipation – we ere so excited and finally Craig cracked the code some how. We reached in and pulled out…

A USED CONDOM.

EW. EW. EW. EW.

There were a few other miscellaneous teenage boy finds in there – a nudie calendar – I can’t even remember what else but we had a great laugh about it. Oh the stories that antiques carry along with them.

The first day we moved into our antique booth.

It stings just a little every time I let a load of antiques go. I had so much fun as a collector and a dealer. What started out as a venture with my dad ended with me and my mom. More on that another day.

Mom and I spending way too much money at an auction…

There were a few items as we cleaned out the garage that gave me a second thought. Like this big old cupboard:

I didn’t want it. We were at the tail end of an auction. I had been debating it all day long. Mom and I were silly tired at that point. They were begging for a bid on it – ANYTHING – the bid came down to $45 and mom raised my hand! If looks could kill! UGH! So I bought it. The auctioneer said it came over from Korea on a ship. I have always intended to paint it but every time I decide to, I chicken out. It is just so beautiful and is REAL wood. It comes apart in two pieces as you can see

I got looking at that bottom piece after we moved it out of the way thinking of how I could salvage just a piece of this beautiful cupboard that now has a pretty hilarious story of how it came to be.

I actually think I will paint it and maybe put it underneath our bay window in the dining room here so the boys can climb up and look out the window. It’s a pretty high window so they need to be lifted up to see. The bottom has excellent storage with sliding doors.

The boys were so helpful on our garage cleaning day. Gannon sat so nice in this little lawn chair. It was so warm out. Gannon has learned the UH of UH OH so he would throw his hat on the floor and yell “UH” until we picked it up and gave it back to him. I thought he would jump out or try to fall out the chair but he stayed put!

Carver and Craig were busy breaking down some old junk pieces for the wood pile. Carver is all into tools and was so excited to help Daddy with his screwdriver. I don’t think Craig minds the blog at all. He comes up with funny ideas and funny pictures to share with my blog readers. This was one of them:

Craig also wanted me to share with you all that he hasn’t smoked in three weeks and even before that for about 2 weeks. He is making huge progress and loves that you all have been cheering him on.

The garage is far from being ready to park a vehicle but it was so good to get out, get some fresh air, feel productive, make some money and sell off another load!

We will keep you posted as we keep clearing out the garage! Have you all started Spring cleaning yet?

Gannon, Regan, Craig, and other random happenings…

Here’s a bunch of random things that happened in no particular order:


Who needs a knight in shining armor? I have a night in shining F-150 to come and jump start my car. After taking this picture, his words were: “Let me guess, that’s going on the blog?”


I snagged this beautiful sign from Pieces Home Market! Pieces Home Market is a local store in Decorah – I could literally transplant her ENTIRE store into my home. It is so hard to go in there and not buy everything. I just adore this sign, my mom actually wrote this on a page in my signature book when I was in second grade.

Kylie and I used to work together and she ventured off to launch this amazing store. I want to share her link with you!

Here is the link to her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Pieces-Home-Market-834025636975733/

Craig and I are currently in the process of recreating this mantle that she created and had on display in her store! Once it is made, (we bought the materials on our Home Depot trip last week) I plan to buy that exact basket from her to complete the look!


This beautiful lady and I spent some quality time together! Remember my best friend Regan got engaged? She is getting married on New Years Eve. I hadn’t treated her for her engagement yet so I took her out for a pedicure! We got sushi afterwards and she had a very special question to ask me…

Will I be her bridesmaid? I SAID YES!


This just really spoke to me after quite possibly the longest week I’ve ever had in my life.


Gannon has progressed so nicely is so many ways. Did you read his last unexpected medical update? Gannon loves Cheetos. He can sign “more.” He can say “BAH” (for ball). He can wave bye bye pretty regularly. He says “UH” of “uh oh” whenever he throws anything on the floor. He said “Da” the other night when Craig came home from work. We see more and more spunk every day.

I did get in contact with Milwaukee regarding his unexpected progress. While they are glad to hear it, they still want to see him. I am fully prepared to drive all the way to Milwaukee and they decide not to go forward with the testing – whatever is totally fine. They know more than I do.


What should I do with this table? We pulled it out of the basement of a church. It was HEAVY and falling apart. It needed a lot of work and Craig begrudgingly accepted the challenge and turned it into this beautiful piece. The problem? It’s short. It would work best as a kids table. What should we do with it? Harvest tables like this sell for $400+ in any other market…if they are tall enough. We’ve put about $125 in it and would feel bad losing that, especially because that doesn’t count Craig’s time/labor.


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

Thoughts on COVID19…

I’ve had a lot of people reach out and ask if I’m making a blog post about the corona virus. Here it goes: 

I want to start this blog post by stating everything I state or publish are my thoughts and opinions and do not reflect my employer’s thoughts or opinions in any way. 

COVID 19 has officially entered northeast Iowa in a neighboring county. The governor has recommended schools close for the next 4 weeks so most of them have. 

As you all know, I’m a nursing instructor. Many hospitals across the country are not allowing visitors or students to participate in clinicals indefinitely. This has affected my nursing students and I’ve spent the past week staring at our class calendar arranging and rearranging to make sure all students can get their clinical hours in. As I’m typing this, I just received word that no clinicals for the entire college will take place this week and for who knows how long. 

If you know a nursing student, reach out to them. Their lives are totally up in the air. They don’t know if or when they can make up their clinical time or if this will delay their graduation date. 

I’m an ER nurse. I follow a lot of nursing forums. The stigma associated with nurses caring for these patients is real. Parents are requesting that children of these nurses caring for COVID 19 patients be removed from certain  activities, schools and centers. Nurses wearing scrubs in public are being shamed and told to go home.

If you know a nurse, reach out to them. We are stressed. We are bombarded with conflicting information coming from every direction. Is it droplet? Is it airborne? Can we reuse our N95 masks? Will a surgical mask do? We are scared we won’t be able to help people if this hits like they say it will. We are scared to come home to our families. We all are well trained on protecting ourselves from illness and wearing the proper PPE but the general public doesn’t understand our risk is actually low if we follow our policy! Don’t treat us like a virus. We are the good guys and we wash our hands more than you ever know.

My mom is a childcare provider. Schools are closed for the next 4 weeks. She now has an absolute full schedule of school aged kids along with her already booked 3 and under group. She has to make the decision: Does she close? Some daycare centers have. Does she close for the safety of herself and the kids and go a full month without income? Does she stay open? Does she venture out and get groceries to feed this massive influx of kids? Because everyone says to stay home! Will the kids even go back to school? Is this the start of summer break? 

Please thank your childcare provider. Please offer to provide a snack or maybe some extra groceries. Or bring them a beer. (Ha!) 

If you know someone that shouldn’t be out, reach out to them. Offer a grocery run or to run to the post office or bank for them.

If you are going stir crazy with your kids, get outside. Get some fresh air. Take the dog on a walk. Go to the playground? Can we take kids to the playground? See I don’t even know. 

Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. I personally plan on going nowhere all week. (Correction – I will have the two boys so I will be going CRAZY all week) Stay home and here is why: if you stay home, you are less likely to contract the disease and less likely to pass it on to someone else.

Do some spring cleaning and donate clothes or items to a charitable cause! I know I’ll be catching up on Spring cleaning and that darn bathroom remodel. Open the windows for a while, circulate some fresh air! 

Listen to a podcast. I have an entire blog post on how much I love podcasts – maybe now is the time to start listening! 

Don’t be afraid to change your perspective on COVID19 and admit that you were wrong. A week ago, I was comparing this all to influenza. Boy was I wrong. A week ago I didn’t know anything about the crisis in Italy. I wasn’t taking corona virus drills seriously. I was telling everyone to CALM DOWN. I am better equipped now to make an informed opinion than I was even just 2 hours ago! Admit fault, educate yourself, and agree to only accept factual information from reputable sources. 

I shared this chart yesterday and after it was shared 250+ times, I realized that it is putting this virus into perspective for many. I’ve had the same argument: Italy only has 60 million people. The United States has 327 million. The problem is, the United States has fewer ICU beds per capita compared to Italy In fact, in the United States, there are 2.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people. The problem is, we are still recovering from a major flu season and many of those beds are already occupied. Italy was more prepared for this than we were. Look at California’s number – look at Washington’s numbers. Each state will now track their own trend.

Consider reaching out to that relative in the nursing home. Maybe now is a good time to send them that bird feeder for outside their window in their room. Maybe send them a letter or figure out how to Skype with them. They are scared and now they are lonely. Reach out. 

Consider using this time to get your finances in order. Times like these when you are facing loss of income or maybe you have to unexpectedly pay for full time daycare this month is when that $1,000 emergency fund comes into place. 

I totally stole this from someone’s Facebook but it absolutely broke my heart. “If there’s a high school senior in your life, give them a hug and pray for them. To them, the possibility of cancelling school is not really a vacation. It’s time they won’t get to spend with their friends the last few months before they graduate. They’re anxious, realizing they may never be able to take the field again, compete in FFA, FBLA, Skills USA, speech, music, band, school play, cheer and dance, prom, track, baseball, etc., with their best friends and hear their name called on senior night. They’re nervous that they may not be able to walk the stage and get the diploma they have been working hard on for 13 years. They entered this world during 9/11 and will graduate during a pandemic. Show them support and love them during these times.” 

I’d like to include a few resources that I rely on and so do other healthcare leaders across the country. 

This website is updated by the minute. It was created by a 17 year old who began tracking the corona virus long before it landed in the United States. https://ncov2019.live/data

I also found this resource detailing how one particular patient can endanger thousands of lives. I introduce to you, patient #31: https://graphics.reuters.com/CHINA-HEALTH-SOUTHKOREA-CLUSTERS/0100B5G33SB/index.html?utm_source=reddit.com&fbclid=IwAR3RHD0KIH91NUYbxTKgNwRqfcp5pjHB9JV4Xw2THeqyHu1y78qu58jaooc

Most importantly, if you wonder if you have the corona virus, call your doctor. Don’t just show up at the ER, don’t show up at the clinic. We have certain procedures and actions we need to take to protect ourselves and the community.

That’s all I have for now folks! I’d love to chat about it and answer questions if I can. If you’re quarantined I recommend watching Pandemic on Netflix if you think we are all over reacting 🙂

Also, catch up on some blog posts if you’re bored!

Kalissa’s Amazon Finds: KIDS EDITION!

We’ve had a wave of birthdays here the past month or so, I wanted to do a blog post to share my tried and true birthday presents that I love to get for my nieces, nephews, and my own kids! I will include amazon links to each product.

If you ever purchase any amazon products from MY link, I do get commission. If you buy, let’s just say, $150 worth of other stuff while you’re on Amazon by following my link, I also get commission on those things you purchase. It’s a way to support my blog and it is a way to score some great quality products. I just want to be honest with you guys. I would have raved about these products even if I didn’t make any money off of it.

The Perfect Toddler Gift!

Georgia and Gannon had their first birthdays at the end of February/beginning of March. Here are some suggestions for a one year old birthday gift!

Kelli specifically asked for a ball for Georgia to play with. Gannon’s first word actually that my mom has been working with him is BALL! Needless to say, they love to roll them and it is actually a form of communication/interaction by practicing to roll the ball back and forth to each other. Needless to say, every kid needs a good ball or two. I bought Georgia these sensory balls and a baby’s first toothbrush to go along with it!

There are four balls in the package. Carver got a little too excited and wanted to play with them too! They are easy to grip for those tiny one year old hands.

Gannon’s occupational therapist suggested starting to brush his teeth to work on densensitizing his gag reflex to help him tolerate different testures of foods. When I went to buy Gannon his tooth brush, there happened to be this package of FOUR toothbrushes to share with Georgia! It worked out great. These would make a great addition to any baby present or easter basket for anyone under the age of 2!

HERE is a link to the balls for only $11.94 right now! https://amzn.to/39RTMe9

HERE is a link to the toothbrushes – FOUR for $9.99 right now! https://amzn.to/39RTTq5


STEM Toys for Busy Minds!

We are going a little stir crazy in the Friedman house. I stopped by our local toy store just to check out some options to keep Carver busy. Carver is 3.5 years old and loves to be engaged and learn how things work. I explained this to the lady at the toy store who happened to be a retired STEM teacher. If you don’t know what STEM is, I didn’t either. It really started developing after I graduated high school but had taken off ever since. A quick google search tells me that…

STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.

She walked me around the store and showed me different options. They having coding games, robot games, it really is incredible how they can take such complex concepts and turn them into a toy for a three year old. I settled on buying Carver this game:

We had so much fun putting it together and making it go. We learned which color of gears could move which part. The lady at the store who sold them told me she had a hard time getting students away from them and she was right!

After some investigation into the brand Learning Resources and checking out their Amazon store front, I look forward to purchasing more educational toys from this brand. In the meantime, if you have someone who loves to tinker, I highly recommend this toy!

HERE is the amazon link to the exact toy I bought for Carver: https://amzn.to/3b0PH7T

HERE is a link to the Learning Resources amazon storefront – you can shop for toys based on age! https://amzn.to/38TbHQx


Bathtime UPGRADE!

I used to dread bath time. Seriously. It is just another task that needs to be added to the list. Now that Gannon can sit in the water independently and play without having to worry about him falling over, bath time is FUN again – especially with the addition of a few new bath toys!

As you can see, Carver turned the bathtub water PURPLE! I found these tablets at Walmart and I will be buying them for the rest of my life. Carver has such a fun time mixing colors – adding a purple, then adding a blue or a green. He says “I used my Elsa powers!” The tablets are a bit misleading – the purple is more of a pink and the orange is a bit more like yellow but it makes for a fun surprise! These would be fun for each grandkid in the easter basket!

Here Carver turned the water BLUE!

One of the milestones/assessments they ask me about Gannon is if Gannon can scribble or color. They suggested buying bathtub crayons to help promote this skill to develop. Well Gannon doesn’t seem to grasp the concept yet, Carver loves his bathtub crayons! Most of the color washed off just from splashing by the end of the bath so don’t worry too much about the staining.

Now someone must think like I do because they put these two products together into one amazon link for quick purchasing!

For BOTH the bathtub crayons and the bath water tablets, HERE is the amazon link: https://amzn.to/2QwFU1F

For JUST the bathtub crayons a pack of two, click HERE: https://amzn.to/3aXKayY

For the bathtub tablets (two jars for $7.99) click HERE: https://amzn.to/2xFdko6


That’s all I have for today folks! I hope you can find something to include in an Easter basket or a birthday present for the little tots in your life!

My Journey as an Entrepreneur: Part One – Why I Regret Selling LuLaRoe

Get ready for part one of three blog posts detailing my entrepreneur journey with a final reveal/surprise at the end of the week!

Some of my very early memories are of planning out ways to make money. I would host concerts and fashion shows and charge admission. I would set up a cinnamon roll stand (cinnamon rolls courtesy of my mom) and sell them to daycare parents picking up kids. I had this grand vision of opening my own dance camp when I was in first grade. I organized cheer camp for elementary students as a freshman varsity cheerleader. I ordered and organized and designed T shirts for our class Powder Puff football team. I got my first job with a catering company when I was twelve. I’ve started and stopped a blog more times than I can count. I got a job as a CNA as soon as I was able because yes, I wanted to help people but honestly it was the best paying high school job. I was a successful songwriter and singer sharing my talents on you tube all through high school, even producing and releasing my own album on iTunes as a senior in high school, all while configuring ads to run on my youtube videos to make money. I also launched a twitter/instagram account as a college student taking my nursing pre-requisites called “SuperNurseK” BEFORE nurse influencers were a thing – I really wish I would have stuck with that one.

The cover of my album – Nothing Like Me

I’ve always had my mind on my money and my money on my mind as Snoop Dog would say. I guess you could say I’m an entrepreneur at heart.

I had my first shot at launching my own real business as a LuLaRoe clothing consultant. Ultimately, I learned so much through the experience but it is probably one of my biggest regrets. The thing was, I was great at it. After I had successfully launched and ran my LuLaRoe business for 5 months, I had processed over $26,000 in sales while working as a full time ER nurse. It was a pyramid scheme in the end, most of that money was not profit and needed to be reinvested into clothing covered in prints that wouldn’t sell. I was bored with it, frustrated, tired of managing cranky, greedy, rude, entitled customers. My window of opportunity to wash my hands of the business was narrowing and I smelled the blood in the water. I knew it was time to jump and I jumped off at just the right time – narrowly landing in the 100% refund time frame by 6 days. That ship sailed and I was so glad to see it go.

LuLaRoe first introduced me to credit cards and going into debt. I didn’t have a credit card until I was 22. I put my initial down payment of $5,000 to invest in my business on a Discover card with the intention of paying it off as soon as the money came in. The problem with that, is that the profit margins of the business were so narrow to begin with. I spent what little money I made off of selling an item to buy more clothes to then sell again. They encouraged us to all have at least 5 items of each size of each style of clothing at all times. They told us this was the key to success.

With each order the clothes became uglier and uglier. The patterns were all recycled from consultants getting out of the business and returning their unwanted and unsold clothing. I spent hours online trying to sell what I had on consultant groups, trying to snag the most wanted patterns. The problem is, they HIGHLY discouraged discounting the ugly patterns or overcharging for the cute stuff.

Many consultants started getting wet, moldy, smelly clothes. The company had exploded too fast. Pictures began surfacing on reddit of massive amounts of clothing sitting outside for months at a time at the LuLaRoe headquarters.

I finally cleared out what I could at wholesale pricing and then returned all of my items to the warehouse. I sold all of my supplies (hangers, clothing racks, photo equipment etc.) and put that all back on my credit card debt but it still left a hefty chunk left that I had to pay back on my own.

Here are some things I learned from my first entrepreneurial adventure:

  1. Never go into debt to start a business. Believe it or not, less than a year after my LuLaRoe debacle, I went into debt to start another business (tune in later this week for part two of this blog post.) Shocker, right? I used the same credit card too! I know better now.
  2. Customer service in the online retail world isn’t awesome. Not only do people get angry, they are behind keyboards in the security of their home so they get nasty too. I don’t actually have a ton of retail experience to begin with. I’ve always worked in healthcare so this was my first real experience and wowza. It was a bit of a culture shock.
  3. I love connecting with people. I love creating content. I love making posts about the “behind the scenes.” I really developed my social media skills which followed me through to my next business venture.
  4. I also learned to recognize and starting hearing and feeling my gut. I started watching for red flags and warning signs that things aren’t going well and planning a exit strategy.
  5. My mom, sister, and Craig were so so so helpful. They helped take pictures, sort outfits, Craig built clothing racks, they watched Carver so I could work on the business.

In closing, I want to reiterate that LuLaRoe was advertised as “not a multilevel marketing” business plan. It truly did seem legitimate at the time. It didn’t feel schemey, it seemed like a real opportunity and there was nothing like it at the time and there really hasn’t been anything quite like it since.

SO that is my first entrepreneurial adventure. Stay tuned this week for adventures #2 and #3 and what my next grand idea is will be revealed!

Do you remember LuLaRoe? Did you buy any pieces? What are your thoughts on the clothing?

WISCONSIN DELLS RECAP! OUR FIRST VLOG!

You guys remember we went on a family vacation mid January? What you didn’t know is that we took the trip armed with my brand new 4K video capability iPhone and we filmed most of the trip!

I present to you our very first of many (maybe) family vlogs! The link will take you to the youtube video:

https://youtu.be/cWujy2SxaU8

A few things:

  • please SUBSCIRBE
  • please LIKE the video if you can
  • please COMMENT and let me know if you want more family vlogs!

I used video editing software called Camtasia – I downloaded it Monday and I hit the ground running. It was a hefty investment but the customer support was incredible and so user friendly! My new MacBook Pro makes the process SO EASY too!

Family vlogging is a growing industry. A few of my favorites are the LeBrandt family, Lauren Brazee Vlogs, The Dashleys, just to name a few. Is it right for us? I don’t know but we had fun with it!

Thanks for watching, I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Today’s post is a THROWBACK to last October! It is one of my most viewed and most commented on blog posts for some reason! Enjoy!

SO first of all, Sunday Morning coming down is probably my favorite Johnny Cash song of like EVER. (also I did not have beer for breakfast like Johnny Cash did in the song)

Second of all, my Sunday was such a story it deserves an entire blog post dedicated to it. Actually, now that I’m typing it, should really be broken into two blog posts! Brace yourself for a LONG (entertaining) post!

So daylight savings time….with kids….SUCKS.

Gannon was a good boy, he slept in. Carver? Up and READY to go at 0530 am. I wanted Craig to be able to sleep in so I got up with Carver.

Carver dreads Sunday school. He is REALLY young (just turned three in September) but we are trying to get him used to going and trying new things without us being there to coddle him.

Day one of Sunday school Carver ended up SCREAMING under the table the entire time. We talked a lot about it and decided to give it a few weeks and try again.

I’ve been chatting about Carver’s behaviors with one of the members of the congregation who is helping us out with finding the best environment for him. She volunteered to go to Sunday School and stay with him as his helper so we can transition him into Sunday School better! How sweet is that? (Huge shoutout to you Jeanne 🙂 )

So we got Carver ready for Sunday school and we were already meeting resistance. The conversation on the way to Sunday school sounded like this:

Continue reading

Operation Remodel 2020: Part One

We are remodeling our bathroom and carpeting our upstairs.

We have two full bathrooms at our house: one upstairs, one downstairs. The upstairs was actually once an apartment with two bedrooms and a bathroom. There’s a wide spot in our hallway which I assume was once a kitchen. There was a fire at one point a long time ago when it was used as two separate apartments.

the NASTY orange carpet

The carpet in our bedroom is a nasty nasty orange. Carver’s room has a different color, the hallway has a different color, the closets have a different carpet, it just is very mismatched. We have always intended on replacing the carpet but now we are getting serious about it ESPECIALLY since the home depot has FREE carpet installation.

Continue reading

Five Stupid Things I’ve Done with Money + GIVEAWAY WINNERS!

A few of my most popular blog posts have been about overcoming our financial struggles over the past year and I wanted to continue the conversation by discussing 5 stupid things I’ve done with money:

Spent more money on eating out than on groceries:

The first month we budgeted, we took a look at the month prior. We had spent $500 that month on eating out and $300 more on groceries for TWO ADULTS! For about 4 months into our Dave Ramsey baby steps we didn’t eat out at all in order to gain traction in our debt snowball. Our grocery budget, (of course) went up those months.

After a year of budgeting we keep our restaurant budget around $200/month and our grocery budget around $400/month. If we order a pizza, that falls in the restaurant budget. We are trying Hello Fresh this month (I’ll let you know how it goes!) and that will fall into the grocery category.

I’m telling you this because when I first started budgeting, I had no idea how much to spend in each category or what was “normal.” I listen to the podcast “The Financial Diet” and they always talk about how powerful it is to share REAL numbers so I always do.

Being too anxious to check my bank accounts:

I remember the anxiety of being too nervous to check my bank account when I knew it was running low. I thought it was just me but I’ve heard others describe this in podcasts. I’m embarrassed to admit that our annual total of overdrafts fees surpassed $300 one year.

I have a totally different relationship with money now. I commit to checking them every day, quickly filling in the budget items on EveryDollar, and then I’m done! If my accounts are running low I can be proactive rather than reactive. Now this doesn’t mean I’m totally overdraft fee free – I had one just recently but that was totally my mistake of not having the money moved around for a large purchase.

Overall, the anxiety of checking my bank accounts cost us money in the long run. Having the $1,000 emergency savings really helps prevent overdraft fees as well!

Getting my hair cut/colored every 6 weeks:

I’m finally back to my natural color but for over 5 years I spent about $90 – $100 coloring and cutting my hair every other month or so. While this was a “treat” I was also buying more expensive shampoos to maintain my color. In the long run, I realized it didn’t make me look any better or any worse.

Now when I head to the salon, my goal is to leave with a low maintenance hair doo. I DO have a cut and color scheduled for April but I want to make sure the color is low maintenance and able to grow out over the summer without looking unkempt.

Shopping for clothes that weren’t really my style:

I went shopping ALL. THE. TIME. I went shopping for any reason. The truth is, I don’t need to dress up that much. I go to work, I come home. I maybe run the kids to the doctor once in awhile. I don’t need that many clothes. I bought clothes like I was preparing for a weekly photo shoot. Guess what? I live in Iowa and while that doesn’t mean we all wear overalls and plaid, we definitely don’t need a little black dress to enjoy prime rib. In fact, I can get hella good prime rib at the bar two blocks from my house wearing sweatpants and an Iowa Hawkeye sweatshirt.

Quite honestly, my mom tum makes jeans and jeggings super uncomfortable so I invest in quality leggings/workout pants to wear, I invest in some of my favorite brand wear like Nike or I buy clothing supporting my favorite local businesses. I have my godson’s/nephew’s baptism coming up on Sunday and it was so fun to shop for a special outfit for the occasion!

I used to buy and buy and buy without many opportunities to actually wear the clothes. By the time I actually got around to dressing up and wearing the clothes I bought, they were either out of style or out of season.

I’ve definitely changed my philosophy with shopping and it goes something like this: Less is more. Invest in quality. If it isn’t a HELL YES it is a no. Enjoy shopping for special occasions. Invest in comfort, not cuteness. If it isn’t my style, it isn’t mine.

Shopping at the thrift store:

Hear me out on this: I’m all for second hand. Most of my boy’s clothes are second hand. I grew up wearing second hand clothes, I think it is great and I still find some great deals. BUT I am very intentional now about how I spend my money. When I would go to thrift stores, I didn’t PLAN to buy anything before I went into the store which means every purchase was an impulse buy for me.

Statistically (not scientifically just my own observations), if I bought it from a second hand store, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted; just what I happened to find that day. I usually didn’t end up using it and sent it back to the thrift store as a donation.

Now if I am looking for a product, I actually make an effort to research, select and purchase the product I want and not what is just available that day at the thrift store. I’m much more likely to then use the product and I enjoy the “hunt” and shopping for it much more.

To read more on our financial journey, check out these blog posts from yours truly:

And FINALLY the GIVEAWAY WINNERS from my last financial blog post:

  • Chelsea Gray
  • Shannon Rae
  • Julie Langreck
  • Sallie Warren
  • Christina Gerleman

You all win a Dave Ramsey TOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER book – the book that totally changed my life! If you didn’t win the book, I love to give them away so stay tuned! Send me a message on my Facebook page with your address and I’ll get those shipped out ASAP!

If you can’t wait and want to buy the book, here’s an Amazon link: https://amzn.to/39CsJDz

Leave a comment below: What is something you’ve done (or didn’t do) with money that you regret?