Freaky Friday – Halloween Edition

It’s another Freaky Friday – Halloween Edition. Today’s post is all about simple and scary cute treats.

 Spooky Boo Brownies

Spooky Boo Brownies

Chocolate-Chip Spider Cookie

Chocolate-Chip Spider Cookie

Pumpkin Rice-Krispies

Pumpkin Rice-Krispies

Graveyard Pudding Cups

Graveyard Pudding Cups

Strawberry Ghosts

Strawberry Ghosts

Building A Budget That Works {And A Giveaway}

In August we started our debt-free journey and have decided to share it with you all. If you haven’t read about it you can do so here and here.

Since that time I have been selected to be a part of an amazing launch team for Jessi’s new workbook, Building a Budget That Works. If you haven’t heard about The Budget Mama then you definitely need to go over and check her out. She is amazing. She writes about budgeting. organizing. DIY. recipes and so many other things.

So the past couple of weeks I have went through the worksheets that are included in the book, completing them one by one to fit my family’s finances.

Budget

Building A Budget That Works includes worksheets for monthly budgeting, income tracker, bill payment checklist and so much more. If you think this is something that could help your family get your finances organized be sure to go on over to The Budget Mama and get your very own copy but wait before you go…

Be sure to enter to win a free copy of Building A Budget That Works. You could go ahead and purchase your own and then give the one you win to a friend. What an awesome friend you’d be!! I mean who wouldn’t want pretty, colorful workbook pages to make keeping up with a budget fun.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Freaky Friday – Halloween Edition

Halloween is fast approaching and it’s time to start decorating with all the scary and creepy stuff that makes you go ‘ewww’. This October I am doing a series called Freaky Friday – Halloween Edition…and each week I will share fun and simple ideas to make this Halloween the best one yet. So be sure to check back each Friday and see what’s new.

This week we are looking at DIY decor…

{click on image for more information}

DIY Glowing Eyes

DIY Glowing Eyes

Pumpkin Carving Hacks

Pumpkin Carving Hacks

Tomato Cage Ghost

Tomato Cage Ghost

Witch Legs

Witch Legs

Spooky Floating Cheesecloth Ghost

Spooky Floating Cheesecloth Ghost

Witch's Curtain

Witch’s Curtain

Spider Sacs

Spider Sacs

40 DIY Halloween Ideas

40 DIY Halloween Ideas

 

And there you have it. Several fun and cheap decor ideas. Do you go all out and decorate for Halloween? What are some of your family’s Halloween traditions? I’d love to hear from you.

Being A Christian Doesn’t Make Me Perfect

I’m not perfect. I’m not holy. I’m not better than anyone else. I’m not judging you. I love the Lord and everything He stands for. I mess up everyday. I do things I shouldn’t. I ask for forgiveness. I am nothing more than a filthy, rotten sinner who just wants to fall totally and completely in love with Jesus.

I Am A Christian

I feel like in today’s society others (Christians and Non-Christians) tend to ‘dissect’ everything a Christian does. It seems they have created this image that a Christian is some sort of flawless. perfect. holy creature. And that is not who we are. Has anyone else experienced this?

The day that I acknowledged what Jesus Christ had done for me and accepted Him to be my Lord and Savior. The boss of my life. That was NOT the day that I became perfect or holy or flawless.

It was the day that I knew who my tomorrows belonged to. It was the day when I knew I would have eternal life because that is what His Word said…

…that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. -John 3:16

Becoming a mature Christian takes time. And prayer. And more prayer. It takes digging into His Word on a daily basis and getting to know Him.

Do you have questions about salvation? About your Spiritual walk? Feel free to email me at tonilandrus@yahoo.com. No strings attached…completely confidential.

 

Our Debt-Free Journey {Two}

I’m a little behind on updating our debt amount but did that really surprise anyone. This past month has been so stressful and I am super glad that it has started to turn around for the better. God’s testing me. So without further ado as of 9.16.14 our debt is…(drum-roll please)….

September

My biggest budget weakness is grocery/household items. It seems to be a problem for me to purchase food for 4 and necessary household items for under $200 a week. Any suggestions from the grocery gurus?

The biggest change I made was downgraded from a smartphone to just a regular phone that calls and texts. That’s a savings of $40 a month.

I will admit this month I became a little discouraged with the overages on food/household items, the car troubles that happened and my son’s retainer that appeared to have been broken. But I am over all that and ready to complete this #debtfree journey.

Total debt paid-off since August 11, 2014…

September 1

…the borrower is servant to the lender. Proverbs 22:7.

 

How is your debt-free journey going? I’d love to hear from you.

 

Why Am I Even Here?

Why am I here? What is my purpose? What am I suppose to accomplish in my life?

I have absolutely no idea what I am even on this Earth for.

I do have a burning desire that I am suppose to be doing something but I’m just not sure what it is.

“God, what on Earth am I here for?”

When I think about my purpose I do get excited though because I know that whatever God has planned for me is going to be amazing and awesome and beyond anything I could have ever imagined for myself. And I cannot wait for that to be revealed.

Made By God

So I will be patient and wait on His timing.

I will be in continuous prayer. hoping that His plan begins to be revealed. and that when it shows itself I will be faithful and know that is what I am here for.

 

In 2013 I started reading Rick Warren’s: The Purpose Driven Life but never did complete it. So my mission for the next 40 days is to read this book and be in prayer about my purpose. I feel like I am letting a purposeful life pass me by.

Do you ever wonder why you are here on Earth? Or maybe you already know what your purpose is…please share with me. I’d love to hear from you.

{Personal & Blogging} Goals For September

If you have just recently found Blessed In Alabama and didn’t see the post where I shared my August Goals…you can check them out here. And if you are really brave you can go here and check out what a major failure I was at achieving those goals.

But we must press forward. No need to linger in the past. August 2014 is done and over with….never again will we see her.

Here is what I’d like to accomplish during September 2014…

Personal:

1.) Pay at least an additional $100 on our debt.

2.) Do a major cleaning of our entire home…including carpets and garage.

3.) Host our first Sunday dinner for family and friends. And hopefully make it a monthly event to invite others into our home and build meaningful relationships.

Blogging:

1.) Average at least 1,000 monthly page views.

2.) Post a minimum of 2 days a week…preferably 3 times a week.

3.) Increase Bloglovin’ followers to 185. Increase Facebook fans to 226.

4.) I’m still hanging on to the idea of having a local blogger meet-up.

5.) Do one product review.

 

As you may have noticed I didn’t include goals for my Origami Owl business. At this moment I have not been actively pursuing to accomplish anything specific. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. It has been placed on the back-burner due to not enough time in the day. I have until November to see how things are really going in this area. For more information about Origami Owl you can visit my website by clicking here. Or become a fan on my Facebook page here. Questions? Email me at tonilandrus@yahoo.com

 

Do you set monthly goals? If so, does it help keep you motivated?

 

 

Wanna Feel Good About Your August Goals?! Must-Read

Once you read this you should feel fabulous about your goals because I bet your list doesn’t have near as many  uncompleted tasks as this one. It’s sad. embarrassing and a whole bunch of other words but this is me. and this is my life. my for-real life that I am sharing with you.

August Goals

 

Below is what I had planned to accomplish during the month of August but as you can see just by glancing…there is a lot of red.

  • A real date-night with the hubs at least once. We typically grab a bite to eat but that’s usually the extent of it. A couple of weeks ago we  went to dinner, done a little window shopping and went to a movie. It was really nice to spend that one-on-one time with him.
Success! Me and the Mr. went to a concert on the water. We spent the afternoon on the lake and then as the sunset we went over to where the concert was located and docked the boat. We had such a good-time.
 
  • Complete the laundry closet//hallway facelift.
Failed! I did get the ceiling touched up with popcorn spray and the Mr. has put sheet rock mud on some of the flawed areas. That is as far as we have made it.
 
  • Stick to our budget. I am determined to get us 100% debt-free ASAP. But it’s hard. It’s really, really hard when you want to enjoy the now in life.
Failed! We have been doing somewhat better with our but the food/grocery budget keeps going over. The gas budget has been going great…I’ve been trying to be more conscious about all the running around I do and plan out trips ahead of time.
 
  • Pay at least an extra $100 towards our debt.
Failed! This didn’t happen this month. I have been selling items on E-bay so next month this should most definitely happen.
 
  • Get a hair-cut. I’ve been cheap long enough and it’s time to get this mop shaped back up.
Failed! Since beginning our debt-free journey I decided to hold out a bit longer…so this did not happen.
 
  • Host at least 1 Jewelry Bar.
Failed! This month I have put more focus on my family and blogging that I have not doing much of anything with my Origami Owl business.
 
  • Sales of at least $250.
Failed! Same as reason above.
 
  • Order new displays for my necklaces and bracelets. While on vacation our precious Jake found them and used them as chew toys.
Failed! I’m thinking about limiting myself to only catalog/online parties so I haven’t replaced the displays yet.
 
  • Stock-up on the new fall catalog.
Success! Ordered and mailed out several. Message me if you’d like one.
 
  • Set up a booth at Trade Day to get my name out there.
Failed! I didn’t work my Origami Owl business very much during August due to time with family and blogging.
 
  • As you may have noticed, I have slacked ALOT this summer with blogging. But hey, it’s summer-time. The kids are out of school. Schedules are thrown out the window. We are just winging it, literally. So my #1 blogging goal for this month is to get back on track…publishing post at least 3 days a week.
Failed! I didn’t post regularly 3 days a week but I have been more active and plan to continue working my up to at least 3 days a week.
 
  • Increase my Facebook fans. If you are not already a fan of BIA, you can click here and become one today! And while you’re at it…share the page with your FB friends.
Success! I am now at almost 200 fans!
 
  • Plan a local blogger meet-up. I had thrown the idea out there to a few locals and they seemed really interested in the idea. I guess the thing holding me back is…once we meet up, what do we do? Do we have an agenda? Or just dinner and small-talk?
Failed! This is still on my to-do list but I haven’t had the time to sit down and plan anything yet.
 
  • Reach 500 page views.
Success! I am over 1,200 page views and I couldn’t be happier. Thank you…you guys make it happen.
 
  • Link-up to at least 20 link parties.

Success! I didn’t keep a good record of this but I am pretty sure that if it wasn’t 20, it was pretty darn close.

Even after all those failed goals, life has gone on.

Goals are important to have but it is not the end of the world if they are not completed. Goals are not worth sacrificing the important things in life just to be able to mark something off your to-do list.

Do you write down weekly/monthly goals? Do you usually complete everything on your list? Or at the end of the month does your list look like mine?

 

I’m Just A Non-Creative, Unorganized Mom That Doesn’t Even Enjoy Cooking

I love reading blogs. Like seriously, I follow over a hundred on Bloglovin’ and continue to find some pretty awesome ones that have some pretty amazing content.

The problem with reading all those amazing blogs is that I start doing the comparison thing and I start doubting myself. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

I wonder what on Earth am I doing?

She’s a real writer, not me. I’d like to have a blog design like hers.

No one wants to read my stuff when they can read write-ups like that. I wish my life was as interesting as hers.

My story isn’t as exciting. Her pictures are amazing. I’d love to be a full-time blogger like her. If I could just be more like her.

I’m just a non-creative, unorganized Mom that doesn’t even enjoy cooking.

You feeling me?

Well, let me tell you a little something. I am A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. And you are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Yes, you, the one reading this.  The one who hasn’t fixed her hair in 3 days. The one who just got home from her day job. The one who has kids crawling on her this very moment. The one who puts everyone’s needs ahead of her own. The one who can’t cook a meal from scratch to save her life (Yep, that’s me). The one who feels like she will never get ahead. You are AMAZING!

 You Are Amazing

Say it: “I am AMAZING’. Say it like you mean it: “I am AMAZING”. Shout from the roof-tops: “I am AMAZING”. Did you say it aloud? Honestly? (Tell me in the comments below if you did.)

I know this because the Bible says…I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. {Psalm 139:13-16}

There are days like today when I need to hear those words. When I need to be reminded that I am a child of God. And that He created me. I am His creation. He saw me before I was formed. All of my days have been written in His book long before I was thought about. And I do have an amazing story to tell…even if at times it doesn’t seem like it.

When you fall into the comparison game just remember this…

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, not his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s {Exodus 20:17}

Insert –> You shall not covet your neighbor’s blog. You shall not covet your neighbor’s success. You shall not covet your neighbor’s life. Yep, guilty and it stings like a bee.

 

 

 

 

The Sunday Social

It’s been a couple of weeks since I linked up with Neely & Ashley so here’s to another edition of The Sunday Social…

Sunday Social

Here are this week’s questions…

1. What are you most looking forward to about Fall?

  • Either the changing of the leaves or football. Here in the North Alabama mountains when the leaves change it is absolutely beautiful.

 

2. What is your favorite sports team?

  • Umm..you did hear me say North Alabama in the above question..none other than Roll Tide Roll!

 

3. If you could go back to college is there one thing you would change?

  • I only attended a few college classes due to working FT and having 2 small children so if I had one thing to change it would have been to follow through and at least get a 2-year degree.

 

4. What was your favorite class you ever took? HS or College

  • As far as academics I loved math. Nothing like calculus or the math that doesn’t make sense but more just the numbers and money kind of math.

 

5. Reach into your purse what is the first thing you grab?

  • A grocery receipt. I had actually taken my wallet out earlier so there are very few items in my purse at this very moment.

 

Come link up with us and make some new friends! Sunday Social is a great way to find new blogs! Encourage your friends to come get Social too!!

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