Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Money Saving Tip and A New Recipe

Hello all, 

Hope your new year is going well. A quick update on my 30 day challenge. The goal was to workout 30 minutes a day, read something inspirational (daily), one selfless act a day, and a 30 day photo challenge. I thought the easiest part would be the photo challenge as I love documenting everything!! However, it was the workout routine, since January 3, 2014 I have worked out a total of 532 minutes. That totals to an average of 29.5 minutes a goal is to average 30 minutes a day, not to shabby! In the area of inspirational readings (daily), I decided to read a daily devotional bible my grandmother and grandfather gave me years ago. It was one of the last things my Grandma Bev gave me before passing away and I am only reading it now. It is going well. I don't have time to read it everyday with school work but I am only a few days behind, and it is has been nice to have me time. If you know me, you know I am constantly on the go....I like it that way but lately our lives have changed so I am enjoying the quiet time. Another great sense of relief has been the gym. Loving my oldie by goodie gym buddies and the new ones that have joined this year! It keeps the motivation going and boat season is only 92 days away. I will post the 30 day photo challenge at the end of the month. Lastly is the selfless acts, this was becoming a challenge as I see the same people Monday through Friday. So in an effort to uphold the challenge we have donated some furniture to family, clothes to City Mission and Laura's Home, and honestly just being kinder to others, even ones that don't treat me the same way. 

For today's blog I wanted to share a money savings tip with all of you and a new recipe. 

How to cut your grocery bill in half! For YEARS my husband has been telling me to shop at Aldi's. I was always apprehensive, kind of one of's to good to be true...type things. Well now my mom and aunt are shopping there and they suggested it as well (I know I listen to my mom, crazy <rolling eyes>). We normally spend $200-250/pay at Giant Eagle or Heiniens and that is with coupons. It was becoming a bit much every month. So we decided to check out Aldi's in Macedonia. One word...SAVINGS! We bought double the food for half the price. My average grocery bill is now $120/pay...that's right it was cut in half! We are able to get meals for lunches, at least 8-10 dinners, snacks, and a few extras (such as dishes to bring to parties). The only thing I would NOT recommend there, is there queso dip, everything else is fresh, well preserved, and cheap. They don't have fresh herbs and or a wide variety of fruit. I recommend getting fresh herbs from the West Side Market (only a buck), or try your local farmers market. I prefer fruit from Farmers Market in Solon, but I am not always able to make it there. Check it out and let me know what you think. I can only recommend the one in Macedonia, I have not tried others. 

So with my new groceries I decided to make a healthy salad I found on Pinterest. I tweaked it a little and I think for the better :) Enjoy!


2 avocados (peeled, pitted, & cubed)
1-2 Steak tomatoes (cubed)
1/2 ball fresh mozzarella (cubed)
1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
1-2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. basil (dried, but fresh is always an option)
salt & pepper  to taste

Mix together and serve, it is also nice the next day for lunch. It may not look it but it is.  

*I used an image from online because I forgot to take a picture. Copyright image goes to:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The 30 day challenge is going well so far, I started this on January 3. In the last 6 days I have taken 4 pictures, done 3 selfless acts and worked out 130 minute. Soooo I am more on track than off track :) 

I wanted to share one of the pictures I put in my 30 day challenge, it is not from January but it is one that means a lot to me. It is a picture of my father in law and I. His name is John, (if you don't know him, I am sure you do because he talks to EVERYONE!!). John has been a great influence in my life over the past 10 years. I have told him this but not enough. He is one of the most selfless people I know. He cares deeply for his family. He is always trying to put others above himself. He babysits the tiny humans and fur babies of the family at the drop of a hat, he wants people to have a good time and will make sure of it. He is there for all his kids and their wives, if even just to listen to them complain or vent. He is a peacemaker, if there is drama on the horizon he is putting out the fires. He has a blast where ever he is, I took note of this on many of St. Patty's day adventures and PIB extrusions. If we need a ride anywhere he is willing to play DD. I know people say they have the best dad or FIL but I have to say John Fennell takes the cake in the FIL department. He has been more of a father figure to me than I could ever ask for. Love you John! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

30 challenges for 30 days: Which ones would you choose?

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a great New Year's day. We spent our first day of the new year with friends and family! The nice thing about our friends is they are family and our family is also our friends, well the ones that still communicate are haha. Its cheesy but it is the truth. I have said this for years. There is not a group like my No I will not be doing 30 challenges in 30 days but two of my aunts posted an article on Facebook last night about making new habits. I always like a challenge so I accepted this one. Here is the link to the article naming all the challenges.

I decided to pick 4 challenges for the month of January. If I make it through all of these I will start 3-4 more in February...lets hope I can.

Every morning, watch or read something that inspires you. – Sometimes all you need is a little pep talk. For the next 30 days, before you eat breakfast, or leave the house, watch a motivational video or read something (quotation, blog post, short story, etc.) that inspires you.
    • This morning it was a bible scripture, 1 Corinthians 13:2 KJV: And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. To my understanding this means although you can have all aspects of Christianity down if you don't give back to others you have nothing. Even if you don't have a lot of money you can donate your time and compassion. You would be surprised how much it means to someone to just listen, or volunteer at shelter, or clean your closet out every month and donate to city mission, rehab centers, etc. If you have more....give it, you can't take it with you. A usually prayer over any donation that it is well received and goes to those in need.
Document every day with one photograph and one paragraph.– For 30 days bring a camera with you wherever you go. Do your best to take one photograph that represents a standout experience from each day. Then, before you go to bed each night, write one paragraph in a notebook or journal that highlights your day. If you do it all digitally you can unite your daily photograph and paragraph in one digital space (like a personal blog), which can be easily reviewed in the future.

    • There were two items from yesterday that I wanted to share for today. One was a video of my niece playing peek a boo with a jewelry catalog, and the other is a picture of a pair of slippers. It is not so much what is going on in the video or the image itself but the meaning of the two. It is our family spending time together, giving to each other, and loving one another. No matter how crazy it can get we all truly care and love one another. The slippers were a gift, its small act of kindness but the person that gave them to me has been through a lot this year, and through her difficult time she still finds time to think of others. She is a true inspiration. These little things remind me to walk in love and think of others.
Perform one selfless act every day. – In life, you get what you put in. When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life. Do something that’s greater than you, something that helps someone else be happy or suffer less.
    • I made some donations on New Year's Eve in the form of warm clothing. I have not done anything today, but the day is young :)
Exercise for 30 minutes every day for 30 days. – Your health is your life. Don’t let it go. Eat right, exercise and get an annual physical check-up. The 4-Hour Body is an insightful and entertaining read on this topic.

    • Headed to the gym tonight with a friend, hope to get an hour of cardio in. I feel gym buddies make the time go by quicker.
These are excellent challenges and meaningful doesn't have to be the start of a new year to do so. Which ones would you pick?