Friday, September 30, 2016

We Bought A CAR!!!!!!!!!

Yes, we finally did it.  We finally got a car!  I am feeling a range of emotions right now so it's hard to really describe how I truly feel.  But I do feel excitement!  Yes, of course, excited but mixed with so many other feelings that I actually feel confused about how I feel, if that makes any sense at all.  But lets for the moment go with my feeling of excitement (for the sake of this blog anyway.)

After years of needing a newer, bigger vehicle.  After months of research.  After the trials an errors and ups and downs.  After the long drawn out process of dealing with the loan officers at the bank and all the legal paperwork that goes into getting a car, we finally drove our brand new car home today.  Our dream has come true, we now have a new family vehicle.  And it could not be more sweet.  So what did we get?

We got the brand new 2017 Toyota Avanza, 7 passenger MPV.  It is nicer in person and way cooler than the videos on youtube make it seem.   It's a champagne color and it has a touch screen dash.  It has a ton of cupholders (so important in a car when you have kids), and it comes with a rear camera (well, that still has to be installed).  

We were at the dealership for about an hour and a half getting all the little details worked out.  Papers were signed, copies were made, things were explained such as the warranties, roadside assistance, insurance coverage, etc.  And then we signed our life away to be in debt for the next 7 years LOL.

A good debt that it may be and for us, a necessary debt as we needed a car for our family.  But debt is debt so we'll be working to pay this car off as fast as we can.  Less than 7 years for sure.

But we got a freaking brand new car (and we had loads of help getting it, so credit must be given where it is due).  So OMG!!!!  We have our car!  And the most exciting part:  for the first time in the 10 years I have been living in Costa Rica, I'll be able to drive again.  That makes me giddy!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Top FIVE Tips For Keeping Your Home Clean!!!!!

These are things I do on a regular day to day basis to keep my house clean on the daily.  Just a few quick and easy things to do to keep your home tidy.

1)  Make your bed first thing in the morning.  Maybe not as soon as you get up, if you have to start running as soon as your feet hit the ground.  But making your bed or beds first thing in the am helps put you on the right track for a tidy home throughout the day.  A made bed magically makes a room look picked up and tidy and it can be a starting point from there for the other things you can do to keep your house clean.

2)  Clean the kitchen.  Not a real deep clean, just a quick clean to get you off on the right start for the rest of the day.  Clean off all the counters, wipe down any dirty appliances and put away any 'stray items' where they truly belong, then wash any dishes left in the sink from the night before (although I HATE a dirty sink first thing in the morning so I always tidy my kitchen at night before bed... which in my opinion would be the best thing to do to get you on the right path in the mornings.  Plus you don't have to deal with a sink full of dirty dishes as soon as you get up).  A clean kitchen just puts you in the right spirits to start the day.  Another thing I like to do is empty the dish-rack (or dishwasher if that applies better), to make room for all the newly washed dishes throughout the day.

3)  Sweep (or vacuum) your floors.  You may not want to mop your floors every single day (I sure as heck don't), but I sweep every single day, two sometimes three times a day.  My kids come in and out with their shoes all day everyday, so it just makes me feel better to have my floors swept daily.  The main areas need sweeping a few times throughout the day, especially after each meal.  If you have kids, you know food gets everywhere when they eat besides in their mouths, so the kitchen, dining and living areas get thoroughly swept many times a day.  I also like to do a once over sweep before bed to get any last minute dirt from the day.  That way,  I wake up to a fresh floor that takes no time to sweep first thing in the AM.

4)  Do a load of laundry at least once every OTHER day.  There are 7 days in the week.  Do a load 4 times a week so you stay on top of the wash.  We are a family of 6, so clothes tend to pile up quickly.  If I want to stay on top it, I am doing something related to laundry every single day. Now, I am not necessarily washing a load of laundry everyday but I am usually sorting, drying, folding or putting away laundry on a daily basis.  It's just my life if I don't want to spend an entire day doing laundry; not to mention putting away all those massive piles of clothes when you're done.  No thanks!  I like to fold and put away laundry as soon as it is in my laundry basket, at the latest at least the next day if I don't have to wash another load.  If I get lazy and let the clothes sit for days I just get so behind and then that leads to other pile ups in the other areas in my house.

5)  And my last and final tip, but a HUGE one is try to wipe down your bathrooms on a daily basis.  You have kids?  Then you know how important this is.  I hate a stanky stink bathroom.  I live with 4 boys.  When it comes to bathrooms, I tend to have to stay on top of the kids' bathroom the most. There are 4 kids, three of them boys.  That bathroom needs a quick wipe down several times a day, so I spray and wipe down the sink area and the toilets and then quickly scrub the inside as well.  Boys tend to miss, ALOT, hence the importance of the daily toilet wipe down.  In doing this one task everyday, it helps me speed through bathroom cleaning when I have to my deep clean because essentially the toilets and sink are pretty spic and span to begin with.

I hope these tips helped in some way and you can implement them in your own home.  These are for sure things I do in my own home to help with keeping it clean and tidy everyday.  I am kind of a clean freak so it would bug me if even one thing was out of place or untidy.  Daily tasks like these help to keep me on track and with a sound mind because a messy house would drive me INSANE! Plus, if you have kids, enlist their help.  If they are able, have them clean up after themselves and you can even assign simple chores for them to do.  I started having my kids take turns once a week to dust furniture and help to water the plants.  And they also wipe down the sinks after they brush.  The little things count and add to the bigger picture.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Losing Weight and feeling Great

It has been a few months now since I started a modified diet, sort of a lifestyle change of sorts to lose the "baby weight", and the change has been tremendous.

Not only did I lose the baby fat, but now I feel confident and look great AND all my clothes now fit. I was so adamant about not buying new clothes to fit my expanded frame.  I flat out refused to get a new wardrobe to clothe a body I was not happy with.  By all accounts, I wasn't all that bad.  Yes, I was a bit overweight but by the looks of it, I didn't appear to be fat.  But I know my body and I knew what I should look like and how I wanted feel.

Losing the weight at first was a trial as for the first 2 years of my baby's life, I was just too lazy to even try.  Now I am happy to report, I have finally reached a goal of mine and I hope to stick with it. I am trying not to go overboard.  I tend to do that with things like losing weight and exercise.  I have not implemented an exercise routine as yet because I am trying not to lose too much weight, which has happened to me before.  It becomes too hard to maintain such drastic weight loss for me.  So I go off of how I feel, how I look and how my clothes fit.  And since all my clothes, my jeans, and dresses fit me wonderfully now, I am happy.  I won't even weigh myself as I can get into a mindset of "just 5 more pounds" and that becomes an obsession.

So I am losing weight and feeling amazing.  And I hope to keep it off this time.  I do allow myself a few treats here and then as I don't believe in diets that deprive.  But everything in moderation.  And I am loving the new me (my new body I should say).

I guess my next step is to find an exercise routine that works for me.  I want to start running again, maybe 2x a week to start.  But what I really want to do is try to join a dance class.  Dance is a passion of mine and I would love to take a class once a week (even though I am not a fan of regimented classes).  But I know it's something I would be good at and something I would love.  I am going to look into that for the new year to give myself time to get used to my new body and lifestyle.  For now, I'll continue eating and snacking less and walking on occasions as that is what has been working for me so far.  Not sure if I want to lose any more weight but I am happy just as I am right now and I want to stay this way (toning up a few areas here and there).

I want to wish all you moms out there (and non-mommies too) the best of luck in YOUR weight loss journey and just as much success with your progress.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

So Much To Buy

This re-decorating thing is fun but boy does it take a lot of moolah!  I love seeing the transformation of each room as I add or take away items, it gives me so much joy.  But my list of items to get for the home keeps getting bigger and my budget just stays the same.

For instance, I really want (or maybe I need) a new trash can for the kitchen.  A nicer one than what we have, preferable stainless steel with a foot lift for the lid but I'll take black with a swinging top (as it is cheaper).  Tell me why it has taken me so long to buy this one item....because I always find that I have to get something else more pertinent and so the trash can keeps getting put on hold.

I want really nice curtains for the living room.  Again, not a need but it would spruce up the space so nicely.  But again, that gets pushed to the back burner.  Same as a new knife block (although I have been looking for the perfect one for my kitchen to no avail, so that's what that is).

I did finally get an area rug for the living room.  FINALLY!  But I am thinking I want a bigger, better one.  The one I got works but it's not quite perfect, as much as I love the color and pattern.  But it will do for now.

I really want a drawer unit or some kind of shelving unit for under the counter in my kitchen but that again will have to wait.  I need to find one I like that is the right price, but I have not really looked as hard as I could.  I also want to get a small bedside table or shelf unit for the bedroom.  Again, have not looked as hard as I could, so that is something else I need to get on with.

And the list goes on and on and on.  And on top of all these homewares and home goods items, I still have my regular list of items to get.  Things for the kids, things for me, things in general.  Sometimes I just wish I had a never ending wallet full of cash.  Now that is the dream.  That would be nice to have.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Just One More

I have one more party to plan for the year and I have to say I can't wait until it is over.  As much as I love party planning and prepping and decorating, and the like, I am pretty much over the whole party planning process.

I put in a lot of effort planning a party so after my second one, I feel a little wiped.  I do enjoy the process but the last party always just seems like extra work.   And I am always relieved when it is over.  My poor son, who is the last to have his birthday party!

I definitely don't want him to feel left off the party train so I make as much of an effort as I can for his party as I did for the first 3.  But I still feel like by the time his party rolls around, my guests are about partied out.

So this year, for his party, I decided to make it a school friends party and invite a few different people.  Doing this, I am hoping the fresh blood brings fresh life to his party and he can finally feel like his party isn't just the last one but maybe the first.

I have a lot planned and I hope my plans can come to fruition.  He wants a dinosaur themed party so I will be inviting his friends and classmates to Jurassic World for a day of fun and dinosaur digging and hunting.    Now, it's time for me to get planning.