When Life Gets Busy!

It’s been a while!  I have been in a funk lately (will hopefully have more to come soon about that after an appointment next week).  Some days I just feel like my days are so mediocre I don’t have much to say?  I’m sure everyone feels that way but I am back to update!

Summer is almost over!  It has been busy, fun, productive, and hot!  South Louisiana doesn’t kid about the heat I am telling you.  I turned 30 (what?), Hillary started a new daycare, Mer has been doing some fun camps, and work has been busy!

So… just coming for accountability!  My goals for August are:

FUN – Throw Mer a great 6th birthday party!!  She wants tacos and cheese dip so we are doing a fiesta type theme!  I love my girl:)

SPIRITUAL – Start waking up earlier.  My days get started on a bad foot because I can’t get out of bed when my alarm clock goes off!  Working on that.  With my new time, I want to have quiet time with my Bible.

PROFESSIONAL – Do more CPE to expand my tax knowledge for the whirlwind of tax season.

FAMILY – Take Mer and Hillary on dates alone and have an alone date with just Brad.

PERSONAL – Start my Beachbody experience!  Hoping that the mix of clean eating and exercise will jumpstart my goal of taking care of myself more!

Hope everyone has had a wonderful summer!

 

 

April Recap

Good afternoon everyone!  Where do I even begin?  April was a whirlwind month and I am ready to move onto May!  Last night, my sister and parents went to my nephew’s t-ball game.  They nicely took Mer along so I offered to keep my 2 year old niece at my house so they could enjoy the game in peace.  She was so good and sweet, it reminded me of the 2 year stage with Mer and what I have to look forward to with Hill!  (I think 2 year olds sometimes get a bad rap!!) FYI: Popsicles are yummy!

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As a recurring post, I want to recap my month!  I feel this will help keep me accountable to my budget and if I went over I will hopefully have good reasons!  I budget using YNAB and I can’t say enough good things!  It has practically turned my financial life around:)  So here we go…

Monthly Obligations:

Mortgage: $890.20

Daycare: $510.00 (usually is $600.00 but we went on vacation, had a dr apt, etc. so I only have to pay for the days she goes.)

Electricity: $87.90

Gas for Cars: $168.57

Food:  $1,025.02  (Ouch.  I lump restaurants and grocery together into food.  The rule is if you eat it, it’s food.  This includes however kind of restocking our fridge after it broke and all vacation spending.)

Household: $93.76  (I didn’t go over but I did splurge this month and get the Wool Dryer Balls from Young Living.  It was a special and it came with a small bottle of Lavender and a big bottle of Lemongrass.)

Personal Care:  $106.19  (Eyebrow wax, pedicures/manicures, and bikini wax added up)

Baby Line:  $120.62 (Hill is still on a toddler formula due to food allergies.  This also includes diapers and wipes).

Tithe: $740.00

Cell Phones: $208.04

Charity Other $50.00  (Graduation gift)

Directv – $102.41

Internet: $64.99

Investments: $500.00 (Brad and I both have an IRA outside of our work 401K’s and also a college account for each girl)

Sinking Funds Spending (I always round up to save the difference!)

Medical: $38.49  (Band Aids, bill for allergy test blood work for Hill, Brad’s blood pressure prescription, Hill’s Zyrtec)

Pet Care: $60 (Sadie’s groom)

Car Maint: $35.00 (Brad’s Drivers License Renewal.  I honestly didn’t know where else to put that so I stuck it in here)

Home Maint:  $455.00 (Quarterly Pest Control and fixing our refrigerator)

Vacation:  $446.08  (Beach vacation expenses)

Home Improvements: $130.00 (Brad got his weed eater fixed, I got a frame for in the foyer area, and also got some pictures developed for the house.)

Brad Clothing:  $20.00 (Bathing suit for the beach)

Brittany Clothing : $90.00  (Work shirt for me, a red shirt off Amazon to wear with a specific pair of shorts when we went to the zoo, a pair of slip on shoes, and a dress.  I love clothes, what can I say?!?!)

Mer Clothing:  $30.00 (Shorts and a shirt for the zoo.  Sad story though is we had to throw the shorts away when we got back because no amount of washing could get rid of the wretched mud that literally was caked on them from her falling into a mud puddle!  Ugh)

Hill Clothing:  $10.00 (A pair of sandals)

Gifts:  $30.00 (Grad card for Brad’s cousin, a gift bag for my mom, end of year present for Mer’s teacher)

Holidays/Special:  $10.83 (Easter Egg Dye Kit)

Mer’s School Expense:  $29.90 (Field trip and lunch money)

Summer Camp: $190.00 (Paid for a gymnastics summer camp for Mer)

Entertainment:  $20.00 (Zoo spending)

Subscriptions: $12.95 (YNAB and ABC Mouse)

Cleaning Lady:  $150.00

Brad Blow:  $80.00

Brittany Blow:  $50.00

Side by Side Noe:  $277.92

Altima Note:  $653.16  (The note is not this much; this is what I am currently snowballing to pay it off quicker)

Tuck Note:  $700.00  (The note is not this much; Brad gets a truck allowance so we put the whole amount to his truck to pay it off quicker)

 

Have a great weekend!

xoxo Brittany

April Showers Bring May… Normalcy?

Good morning!   I hope everyone had a great weekend and is having a great week so far!  The weekend was a great mix of relaxing and fun which is just the way I like it!

Is it just me or does anyone else look at their spending from the weekend to remember what happened?  It’s like I remember big things but I will forget the little details – maybe an ice cream we stopped for or a coffee charge from when we ran in somewhere.  I love how tracking your spending reminds you of your priorities (and hopefully gives you a good feeling instead of a guilty one!)

April has been crazy with Easter, going on vacation,  Brad’s company picnic, T-ball games starting up for my nephew, and so on!  May is on the horizon and I am looking forward to a month of fun but normalcy.  The end of the school year will be upon us so Mer will be doing a fun drama camp for The Little Mermaid and such.  I am mainly looking forward to no traveling and getting my budget is a somewhat normal place.

Speaking of normal, I have yet to have a budget month that is “normal”.  Something always seems to come up – the refrigerator broke, kids are off of school, vacation, or some other unexpected event.  I think that is what makes budgeting so important is it gets my head to a place of anticipating things that will eventually happen (think more offensive than defensive!)  I knew eventually something would break in the house which is why I put money aside every month for home maintenance.  What do you know?  The refrigerator broke while we were on vacation.  $377 later, it is fixed but the money was set aside already for it.  How less stressful is that?  Did I love to part with the money?  NO.  But it was great to know we didn’t have to dip into savings or put it on a credit card to wonder how we would pay it next month.

BUDGETING ALWAYS WINS!!!  And here’s to a more normal month (if there is such a thing).  I will be posting my budget at the end of every month to show you where I am.  Looking forward to the accountability.

And sorry no pictures today!!!  Going to start being better about taking more!

Question:  When has budgeting won out for you?  What does a “normal” month look like? 

Easter Weekend 2017

Good afternoon everyone!  I hope you all had a relaxing Easter weekend with your family and friends!

It has been a whirlwind of fun and activity over here!  We traveled about 3 1/2 hours over to Florida for Easter with some good friends of ours.  It was such a nice family getaway (even if beaching it with kids is about as relaxing as going to the dentist).

The Easter weekend started Thursday with Mer’s Easter party at school.  Volunteering for that meant I signed up to help pass out snacks, hide Easter eggs, and help the teacher in her class.  She was excited I was there so I soaked up all that mama time I could!  How cute is she?!?!

After her Easter party, we had a little girl time and went to the nail salon to get our nails done for the beach.  After we headed to pick Hill up and found out she also found an Easter egg!

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Once we got home we had an easy dinner and finished up packing everything up for the beach.  My mom was nice and let us borrow her Pilot and I left her my Altima.  She has a DVD player in the car which made the ride much easier along with the extra room.  Hill is not the best car rider for long periods of time but I’m happy to say she was a trooper on the way there and back!  Made for a nicer ride!

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The weather this weekend was wonderful and we had a great time filled with sand, pool time, beach time, sun, food, and Easter eggs!  See you soon:)

xoxo

Brittany

Field Trip Fun (And More Beach Packing)…

Hope everyone is having a great week!  It is a short work week for me which is making me feel a little off in a good way!

We will be off to the beach in a couple of days for Easter weekend with some friends!  And for those of you with young kids, you know the planning that is involved!  I always try to start ahead of time and as of now I have Meredith’s clothes totally packed as well as all of the food we are bringing with us and put all the Easter basket things and the boppy seat in the car already.  I have rented a pack n play and umbrella stroller that will be delivered to our condo so that will help with not having to pack that all up.

The only thing left is packing Hillary’s clothes (doing that tonight), picking Sadie up today from the groomer so she’s nice and fresh to stay at my parent’s house, and getting our nails done tomorrow with Mer!!  I love how I pamper myself before vacation (I normally do my nails myself, tweeze my own eyebrows, and all that jazz).   But before going on vacation, I get my nails done, get waxed, spray tanned if it’s the wintertime, etc.  It’s such a treat!

Anyway, Mer had a blast today at her field trip to the Strawberry Patch!  My mom was thankfully able to take her since I will be taking off work 1/2 day tomorrow to go to her Easter party and then off for the beach.  They had a blast and ended the day with some Easter egg dying (excuse the shirtlessness)!

She is off to church tonight so she will get home a little later than usual, so it’ll just be Brad, Hillary, and I for a while and dinner will be something easy since we are trying to eat everything we can before we leave so it doesn’t go bad.  Makes for a cheap grocery week!

Hope you all have had a great week so far and I’ll pop in to share pics from the Easter party!

Question:  What are your Easter traditions?  What are you putting in your kiddos Easter baskets?

xoxo  Brittany

When enjoying them is enough…

I wanted to start this blog mainly to look back one day and not forget the little details.  I wanted to take more pictures, go on more adventures, and spend more quality time together.  Would I forget when my kids are old enough to drive and not want to hang on me every second what it was like to be a human taxi driver shuttling them from one place to another?  Would I forget how going to the park was the BEST THING EVER when all my kids want to do is hang in their rooms alone?  Would I forget how sleeping like a pretzel in the bed with them made for a horrible nights sleep when they no longer want to cuddle with their mama?

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I try to do all that I can to enjoy them in the now.  While that is easier said than done in the chaos of life when it feels like 100 mini-daggers in your heart when you think of putting them in the car to go to the grocery store (I may flirt with the idea of mac n cheese or frozen pizza for dinner AGAIN just not to go) I still take them around with me.  Why?  Because one day they may not want to go with me.

(Can it be Taco Thursday?)

One day a trip to Target by myself will feel like the norm instead of a vacation.  One day lying by the pool reading a book will be the norm instead of that sick feeling that someone has had to drown for it to be this quiet.  One day making dinner for me and Brad while I sip my glass of wine will be the norm instead of that 6:00 “witching hour” of stuffing yet another not near nutritious enough meal into the oven.

(Park Dates are the Best)

So I try my best to have a blast at the park, bring them to the store with me, read books for the 100th time, go to the zoo, go to dinner with them, listen about their day even if it involved what behavior color they were on, and be genuinely interested in their day while also trying to carve some “me and Brad” time in there as well.  Because one day my days won’t consist of whether they had a poo diaper or not.  It will be phone calls from wherever they are at the moment.  All in all, I won’t be their best friend anymore.

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I will be inundated with “big girl” problems.  Mean friends, college acceptances and applications, drivers licenses, boyfriends, and everything else that comprises older girls.  And I will hopefully enjoy that time of their life as well knowing I did all that I could to enjoy this time with them while they are little.

This weekend consisted of Mexican food (Don Juan’s had the best shrimp and spinach quesadilla I have probably ever had) and playing at the park Thursday evening, some quiet BBQing at home Friday evening,  a visit to the zoo with Meredith’s BFF and crawfish at my in-laws Saturday,  and relaxing on Sunday along with some little BBW lunch with my in-laws.  A wonderful way to spend the weekend (even though there was probably more rice on the floor than in Hillary’s stomach.  I tipped extra though!)

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(My Don’s Juan’s Quesadilla)

This week is a short week because we are headed to the BEACH on Friday!!!  We can’t wait to spend some quality family time together with some good friends this Easter weekend:)

DAILY RECAP & WHAT DO YOU FEED YOUR KIDS FOR BREAKFAST?

Good morning everyone! Hope everybody had a great Wednesday:)  I am telling you busy season is wearing me out but just a couple of days and the weekend will be here!  Oh and today is my mama’s birthday!!!  Wishing the most Happiest of Birthdays to her!  She is currently cruising the Caribbean so we will celebrate with her Sunday when she gets back!

The day started kind of rough. Hillary has been sporting a nasty little cough since Sunday.  I have rubbed her down with all the YL oils (RC and Peppermint blend) and having the cool mist humidifier on at night.  She woke up at 11:30 and sounded restless all night.  Hoping we can kick it and it’s not another ear infection.  Fingers crossed!

Oh and to add to those nighttime issues, Meredith was having what I am guessing was growing pains in her legs so I was up with her over an hour in the middle of the night rubbing Pan Away on her legs until finally I broke down and gave her Tylenol which seemed to help. She was in a great mood this morning thankfully!

MORNING – After the rough night, my day started bright and early anyway (doesn’t it always) at 6:00. I got up and headed to Hillary’s room where I could hear her rustling around which usually means she is getting hungry.  After she drank 8 oz of bottle (even though she is 1 year old I still give her formula due to food allergies), I put her back down and headed to my room to get dressed for work.  I was getting myself dressed when I heard the footsteps of Meredith.  She got in my bed while I finished getting dressed and watched a YouTube video on my phone.  After I was done, I helped her get dressed for school and together we headed to the kitchen.  She is the hardest girl to make breakfast for!  She is just not hungry in the mornings and didn’t eat hardly anything even though I made blueberry muffins per her request and made her a bowl of cereal.  Any ideas?

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Once she was done, together we walked to Hillary’s room to wake her up for the day and get her dressed. Since I had fed her around 6:00, I normally give her a little breakfast snack on the way to the sitter (Belvita Bars and this cookie are her favorites right now!).

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I always pack bags and lunches the night before, so once everyone was dressed we headed out the door! I have to bring Mer to school this week since my parents are currently cruising the Caribbean for 7 days!  My parents normally bringing her to school and pick her up for us so I am the taxi cab driver this week!  On the way, I stopped for gas $30.00.  After kissing Mer goodbye, Hillary and I were off to the babysitter where I dropped her off and headed to work.

When I get to work is when I get my coffee and eat breakfast. Breakfast this morning was Light N Fit vanilla yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, and granola.

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AFTERNOON – My stomach started growling a little after noon so off to the break room I went to grab me some Cane’s Chicken Fingers! My work ordered lunch in so that was a nice treat.  So bad but yet so good!!!  And I was told they are buying lunch the rest of the week!  SCORE:)

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After lunch, my co-worker and I headed shopping. I have been on the lookout for a cute red shirt to go with this pair of Stitchfix shorts I got last summer.  I have tried multiple places and no luck!  And had no luck today.  However, I did score this cute shirt from Stage for $12.99 so not a totally wasted trip I guess:) And when I got back to work I scoured Amazon and found this cute red shirt with good reviews for $12.56 so I snagged it and will have it by Friday!!!!!

EVENING-

Once I left work, I hightailed it to meet Meredith’s teacher who was bringing her into town to meet me.  We went and picked up Hillary from the sitter and went and grabbed snowballs since I promised Meredith one yesterday!  SO GOOD:)  We both got pina colada, Hillary loved it too! (Excuse me for looking a hot mess!)

After snowballs, I dropped Meredith off at church for kid’s night and me and Hillary headed home!  I had to head back to church at 6:45 to pick Mer up but Brad picked up pizza on the way home and we chowed down once Mer and I got back in.

We all hung out together, did baths/bedtime routine, and all sacked out pretty early!  I was exhausted from not getting much sleep the night before!

Question:  What do you feed your kids for quick, easy, healthy breakfasts?

 

What I Love About Wednesdays:)

Happy Wednesday!!! While I know lots of blogs love to round up their favorites of the week on Fridays, I figured what the heck it’s Wednesday (and hump day!) so why not do a What I Love About Wednesdays!  Gives the middle of the week a little bang LOL!

  • I am obsessed with anything organization so I am currently in the middle  of the 2017 Home Organization Challenge Week 13: Laundry Room !  I will post pictures next week with how mine turned out!
  • This Baby balm from Beauty counter!  Gina over at The Fitnessista put this as one of her favorites for her daughter’s eczema.  Hill also has bad eczema and this has definitely helped it.  It’s greasy though so I normally put it on her after her bath and then put her pajamas straight on!
  • Dinner last night.  Slow Cooker Smothered Pork Chops with Mushroom and Onion Gravy served with green beans.  It was the first time we tried this recipe out and we loved it!  And leftovers are always the best:)  You can always use fresh mushrooms and make your own homemade mushroom and chicken soup but I used the below and it was delicious.  A little salty but still very good!

Take about 4 boneless pork chops and put in the slow cooker.

Add 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and 1 can of cream of chicken soup.

Mix in 1 packet of Onion Soup Mix.

Stir in 1 can of mushroom and 3/4 cup of water.

Set the cooker to low for 8 hours and you are set for dinner!

  • These Gummy Worms.  Please read the reviews and thank me later.  Brad actually got these for our house and we didn’t have the issues these hilarious people did. However, he also didn’t eat the whole bag in one sitting:)

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  • We got the girls Spring Pictures done last weekend!  Meredith is terrified of the Easter bunny so I’ve never gotten a bunny picture since she’s been born.  But who needs someone dressed up as a bunny when you get the real thing!  I have used the same photographer since my engagement photos over 7 years ago!  Her business has grown and she is absolutely wonderful!  The bunnies ended up scratching Mer and she was so attentive.  Can’t say enough wonderful things about her.  I will post the pictures when they are done!  I can’t wait to see them!  If you are in Southeast Louisiana and looking for a wonderful, reasonable priced photographer, please check out Modern Glow Photography!IMG_0723
  • Missy Robertson’s Blog.  I just came across it last week and she posts a devotional every Monday.  I checked back this week and it was another amazing one!
  • Girls nights!  We had a Mom’s Night Out if you will Friday night for one of my BFF’s birthday!  We had drinks and appetizers at Del Porto which is a beautiful restaurant located in Downtown Covington.  Then the party moved to The Seiler Bar which is an addition to The Tap Room Bar.  The food, drinks, and company were the best:)  My dress is from Flaunt Boutique!FullSizeRender.jpg
  • Last but never least… My girls!!!  They will always be my favorites:)  Meredith got Perfect Attendance last 9 weeks and my little Hill has the cutest bed head:)

My First Blog Post!!!

Catchy title isn’t it!

I am beyond excited to post my first blog post!!  There is nothing more exciting about today than getting to connect with all of you in this way.  I am beyond ecstatic.

So about me… My name is Brittany Taylor.  I am 29 years old and was raised and currently live in the little town of Folsom, Louisiana.  I have been married 6 years to my wonderful husband Brad and we have two daughters, Meredith (5) and Hillary (1).  To say they bring me the most joy is putting it lightly.  We also have two pups:  Maggie and Sadie.View More: http://modernglowphotography.pass.us/taylor-brittany-family

I graduated Covington High School in 2005 and graduated with my degree in Business Finance from Southeastern Louisiana University in 2009.  I then returned to Southeastern and received my second Bachelor’s in Accounting in 2015.  I work full-time at a CPA firm where I am the Office Manager so it is a fun mix of accounting, human resources, and all other things you can jumble into an office setting!

I try to compartmentalize my life this way: God, Family, Friends, Work, Play.  However, are we perfect in that?  Absolutely not.  While I do believe that when my life is prioritized this way I find more inner peace in all areas, I also find that at certain times things may have to shift.  Right now, we are in the thick of “busy season” at work.  Work commitments have picked up so other things are falling to the wayside (cooking especially!) Haha!  So I am, like we all are, a work in progress!

I can’t wait to share with you all some great tidbits about everything in my life I am passionate about while also finding the balance in those things: finances, shopping, wine, food, organization, family, friends, living a healthy lifestyle, and everything else!  I am so glad you stopped by!

Feel free to contact me with any other questions!