Tag: improvement

Post-Disneyland Christmas Budget Reality Hangover Remedy

I want to be a great mom.

Yes, it sounds obvious because who doesn’t want to be a great mom…but I really have a deep desire to be a great mom.

Do I know what a great mom is? No. I have no idea what I even mean when I say to you, “I want to be a great mom.”

Part of me thinks it means making sure my kids want for nothing. Taking them to Disneyland for my brother’s wedding was amazing. They were wide-eyed bushy-tailed thrill seekers the whole time we were there. Even the angsty tween couldn’t help but be sucked in to the Disney Magic ™ … we all had a blast.

Coming home and entering all those line item spending items to the budget REALLY brought me back down to earth. Like, woah.

But as soon as that pain of how much we spent settled in there was (with almost whiplash speed) a whole bunch of Christmas stuff all over my world telling me that all that spending we just did wasn’t enough because we had to buy Christmas presents for the kids.

I almost immediately bought an Xbox One S from Costco. “It was on sale,” I said. “The kids will love it,” I said. “A group gift will SAVE MONEY,” I said. Then we started talking about how the kids play minecraft all the time with split screen and didn’t they need a bigger TV so they didn’t have to stand in front of the smaller TV to see the little screen quarters.

I’m not lying to you…I literally woke up out of a dead sleep in the middle of the night and thought to myself, “What the hell are we doing?” We were about to fall down some kind of consumer money-pit rabbit hole where I spent a thousand dollars on my kids for Christmas after spending more than I feel comfortable admitting to publicly on a week long vacation. (That price includes wedding gifts, clothing, like…everything but it’s still madness.)

We are in enough of a hole and digging ourselves deeper isn’t going to make it any better.

So, against my desires of wanting to give a lavish Christmas to the kids (that we cannot afford) I am going to teach them about restraint. I’m going to teach them that we are going to do a small holiday because the date on the calendar does not determine our spending habits.

Maybe we’ll do the gift guide I see going around social media: Give them something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.

It sounds good in theory but my new (too strict) goal is $100 for all of Christmas for the three kids…including stockings. I’m not sure if it’s possible but I’m going to try. I picked the number in a very scientific way. I bought my youngest a LOL Big Surprise the day after Halloween this year because I heard from a mom friend online it was going to be the IT toy this season. I had totally failed on getting my daughter a Hatchimal last year (she really wanted one but was awesome about waiting until after the holidays) so was thinking I’d save the day this year.

They are going for a hefty sum on eBay right now. I’m thinking I can use the sale of the LOL Surprise to fund Christmas if I time it correctly.

I’m done being sans souci about money. It’s time to get focused and build muscle for squeezing pennies in 2018. There are some amazing things in store (I hope) and I can’t wait to share them with you as they happen! I’ll keep you updated on my cheap-as-heck Christmas plan.

Superbowl Sunday! (Let’s Get Clean in 2014!)


Depending on when you’re reading this I might be completely wasted in another state.

I like to keep you guessing.

Really, I’ve spent most of the morning researching ways to get a cleaning schedule together. Mr. Brickie got all excited about creating a chore chart which turned out to be the worst list of ten things I’ve ever seen and then I refined it and he promptly forgot he ever had the idea. It was a pretty cool system. We told the girls we would pay them in Decki Dollars and each Decki Dollar could be traded in for an actual dollar or a half-hour of extra TV, computer, or video game time during the week. If they earned five Decki Dollars they would get a bonus dollar for special parent time. The thought process kind of went like, “Oh, since you’re helping around the house there are less things I have to clean and I’d love to spend the time I didn’t spend cleaning with YOU!”


The kids ate it up. They loved it.

We haven’t started it yet because I have to design and print the Dollars and the list needs to be completed and I really could use something that makes some kind of sense and starts a habit.

Without a habit it’s not parenting, it’s just housekeeping.

So I got super excited when I came across this Free Cleaning Checklist You Can Customize over on Simply Rebekah. One page has a year’s worth of chores on it. It’s a great “big picture” way to see what you want to take care of.

A quick sidenote about cleaning systems: I don’t “get” FlyLady. If I could just get emails in the morning telling me what I’m doing that day I would be all over it. The inspirational posts and the advertising posts and the everything else overwhelms me and the ten times I’ve signed up it takes about a month before I check out completely and finally unsubscribe again. I tried to take all the information and create my own sections and whatnot, but it never works. So, I’ll be trying this new system and see if that helps. Maybe I can use both in some way. All that just to say I have nothing against FlyLady and if you’re able to keep track of it all, more power to you. You are a rockstar!

You can see all the floors in my house (which is my gauge of how bad things are) except for a third of the office. But the office floor is covered because the walk in closet in the office is cleaned out completely. It’s like a domino effect.

Or the fourth and ten at the goal line. (I’m keeping with the Superbowl theme so you don’t think I was just teasing you!)

I just know that cleaning has to be a priority because if we do end up having to leave this house we are going to have to do it quickly. That means we are looking out for storage spaces for important bins (like our FIVE rubbermaid Christmas bins – that happens when you have two complete tree setups) and things that have no place but I am emotionally attached to (one bin). Then Mr. Brickie probably has ten bins of things he just can’t part with because he would be a hoarder if he wasn’t married to me. Seriously.

He even does that thing where he gets defensive and calls them collections sometimes. I’m like, “If you’re getting defensive and calling it a collection, you’re a hoarder.” I’m still working on grace and thankfulness and I am 100% sure mocking my husband and comparing him to people on a reality show is NOT the path to being a more loving human being.

I am a work in progress…aren’t we all?

So, um, let’s make it a touchdown this year and get our houses in order BEFORE it’s time for spring cleaning. Then we can all sit back and look down our noses as we see all the social media freak-outs that happen as soon as the snow melts and spring hits!

Who’s with me?! (Even if you’re not with me, I won’t really look down my nose at anyone. It’s not my style. Glass houses, throwing stones, and all that.)

Do you have a cleaning system that works for you? Are you using FlyLady and loving it?

Give me some feedback on what you’re doing, what you would like to do. Let’s talk about cleaning and organizing!