Monday, December 29, 2014

What have I been up to????

Phew, it was a busy month of December. I took most of the month off from blogging and just focused on my family. I wanted this December to be different from December's of the past. In the past we have struggled to keep food on the table, give gifts and in general keep afloat. We have always gone into the new year hoping and praying we would get a tax refund to catch up on it all.

This year was different. Taking all of the principles that we have learned this year, we planned ahead. I decided to make a lot of the Christmas gifts for my family. I learned a few new crochet patterns and set out to make hats, scarves, slippers. I had the girls make ornaments to give as gifts. I also made cookies and banana bread. I cannot tell you how fun and rewarding it was. Granted, if I took my hourly rate before I became a home-maker, and put it toward the hours it took to make the gifts, it would have cost me $800. In reality it cost me under $25 for all of the materials (some of which I already had on hand).

I also set a strict budget for the girls presents and for my husband. For the girls I spent under $125 each. Yes, that may seem like a lot. But in years past I would spend way more. I did my research and found the best deals. I got them a few smaller gifts and one big gift. I tell you, this was the best year for them. They don't have any wasted gifts that sit in a corner. The ones that they got, they are using. I call that a success.

Hubby and I had a $50 budget to spend on each other. This included stocking stuffers. Sure there are things we would have loved. I would love to have gotten a Kitchen-aid mixer, or a vlogging camera. But when I thought about it, I wanted to save for our future even more. I set out to find some really good deals on things that Hubby wanted. He wanted Marvel themed shirts and little odds and ends. I got him things like razors, and other diddy's for his stocking. He got me a DVD that I have been wanting, some candy and a manicure set.

The girls each got $20 to buy us a gift. The girls went in together and got me a foot spa I have been coveting. They got Daddy some pajama pants and a Marvel themed coffee mug.

All in all it was a fantastic Christmas. We got to spend time together. We didn't sacrifice on paying the bills. I was so overwhelmed with it being such a wonderful and basically stress free Christmas, I didn't know what to do with myself. I mean really, Christmas Eve I sat in the closet crying after I put the stuff out from Santa. I was crying because I was happy. Crying because it was finally a Christmas like it is supposed to be. I know, I am a mess. LOL.

How did I do weight wise? I stopped logging my food after Thanksgiving. I stopped going to the gym when I blew my knee out again. What I didn't do was go whole hog on all of the treats of the season. I think it helped that I wasn't working. When I worked, I was surrounded by treats all day. Holiday party after holiday party. This year I was at home and I could control my eating. By sticking to a grocery budget, we ate pretty healthy. Sure we had treats, but they were home-made. I did drink soda, but it was limited to one a day and that I shared with the kids. I gained a pound here, would lose it there and back again. In the end, I weighed myself and I weigh exactly what I did at the beginning of the month.

So I managed to make it through Thanksgiving and Christmas without gaining a pound. I am still down about 7 pounds from official start in November.

Financially, all bills are paid. We were able to save and rebuild our emergency fund from zero to only being a couple hundred away from goal. This was despite an emergency vet visit for our dog. I am so proud of us.

Now back to food logging. Back to working out. Back to the business of it all.