{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…


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.


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!!

This entry was posted in Home.

5 on Friday (Debt-Free Edition)

So we began our debt-free journey about a week ago. If you missed it you can catch up on it by going here.

Today I’m sharing what has happened during the first week of our journey.

5 on Friday 1

1.)  Feelings of guilt started taking over. Yes, I’ve been feeling guilty about our journey. Why? This journey is going to consist of budgeting, penny-pinching, selling items, doing without some luxuries, saying no to some things… and the estimated time of completion with a very strict plan will be about the same time the boys venture out on their own. I feel like they will look back and feel like they did without so we could live the good-life once they were gone. There are moments where I think we should continue on with life and then once they leave home then we will begin our journey. Is there anyone else out there that has felt like this?

2.)  My car…ugh. So we had some extra money put back and instead of keeping it hoarded up I decided to pay off one of our debts. I went and nervously handed over the money. Got in the car and as I went to pull off my car started spitting and sputtering and the engine light came on. The sputtering has calmed down a bit but the engine light is still on. Talk about my kind of luck. But you know what..God has got this. My faith is in Him and I am not going to let the devil convince me that paying off that debt was a mistake.

3.)  Focused and keeping my eye on the prize until… We were doing really good and we made it through the weekend about $70.00 ahead of our budget. Woohoo, right?! I knew I still needed to go by the grocery store and pick up a few things but nothing close to $70.00 worth. So when I realized how much we were ahead I noticed that I stopped being so focused because we were ahead. We ate Pizza Hut and Krystal’s because of it’s convenience at the time. I got an ice cream at lunch because it was only $.75. So by the end of our budget week we ended up in the negative by about $20.00. I’m hoping to be able to make up for that loss this week. Stay focused and keeping my eye on the prize!

4.)  E-bay! I have slowly been putting items on E-bay and have already sold several things. Yay! Listing the items is not a problem but I completely  and utterly dislike having to package it up and mail it once it has sold. It makes it more like work and the Post Office seems so far away.

5.) $260.64. That’s the amount owed on the next debt we will be paying off. Donations accepted through PayPal: tonilandrus@yahoo.com. JUST KIDDING. Unless you were seriously thinking about donating and then by all means don’t let me get in the way of what your heart desires. I will send you a little something special to show my gratitude for you.


Those of you that are on a debt-free journey…do you have bad weeks/months?





It Was The Wrong Day

As you can imagine with 2 boys…one 12 and the other 14 there are quite a few disputes around our house. I usually do a pretty awesome job of ignoring the rivalry but the other day…was not like any other day.

It seemed like an ordinary day…work, grocery store…and then on home to continue my evening duties. As I pulled into the garage…they couldn’t get out the door fast enough. the words couldn’t come out of their mouths fast enough.

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He done this. But he started it. He called me a name. No, I didn’t. He shoved me…both innocent of any wrongdoing.

I calmly listened to each version of what had just taken place. And then I calmly rounded up every device I could find in their rooms. TV’s, iPads and cell-phones.

With panicked eyes they asked when they would get their belongings back and I didn’t have an answer. I was keeping them until…the constant fighting ended, they could function doing something other than having some sort of device crammed in their face, the back-talking stopped, the attitudes were gone…

Now, I absolutely hate, hate, hate with all my soul to have to discipline the boys. But I have to. God has chosen me to be their mentor. To guide them through life. And to discipline them if needed.

Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him. Proverbs 13:24

After I got over the guilt…and they got over the misery of not having anything to do…life has been pretty pleasant. The youngest completed a near 300 page book. And the oldest broke out a board game that hasn’t seen the light of day since who knows when.

And they’re still alive! It hasn’t killed them like they thought it may.

Now, would the book reading and board game playing have happened had they had their TV’s, iPads or cell-phones…I will go out on a limb and say probably not. So this hasn’t been such a bad thing after all. Maybe they will get their stuff back soon but until then I’m going to enjoy the peace and enjoy seeing them do something besides having their noses stuck in some sort of device.

At the time  of this post they have received their TV’s back…but only to watch at bedtime <– that has been the biggest torture out of it all.


Have you ever had to take things away from your kids for punishment? What type of discipline works best for you?



Our Debt-Free Journey {One}

#debt. It’s like a plague. It’s so easy to get. It spreads like wild-fire. And at times it seems impossible to get rid of.

Our Debt-Free Journey. {One}
A few years ago I didn’t have any debt. Nada. I was living in rental property. The car I drove was paid for. And we were getting by.

Then our home became a 2-income family. I was getting tired of eating out off the dollar menu. I wanted my dream car with third-row seating. I wanted steak dinners with loaded baked potatoes. We had 2-incomes so we were doing good.

Then we bought a home. Along with it came maintenance. And of course a ton of stuff that we wanted to do because it was finally ours. You can check out one of those projects here.

Then I gave up my $18 a month cell-phone and entered the world of technology with a smartphone.

Then my son turned 14 and he got a smartphone.

And then the Mr. got tired of putting his panties on when he drove my old car to work and so he got a new used truck.

And on and on and on it goes…and where it stops no one knows. it stops here. Right now.

As of August 11th…our total debt is…

And that $107,198.00 is controlling our lives. Yes. It controls my life. Right now I have the option to work 4 days a week but guess what? I can’t because I need the check from a 5 day work week to pay our bills. #yesitsucks

God didn’t intend for us to live in debt and let money control our lives. We’re told in Proverbs 22:7 that a borrower is servant or slave to the lender. #truth

So now the million dollar question is…how do we get out of debt sooner than anticipated?

Be sure to join me as we begin our debt-free journey. You will see all my tips and tricks. You will get to read about all my mess-ups and mistakes. And I will get to share with you the progress we have made each month. Follow along so you can cheer us on and hold me accountable. #simplifylife

Are you on a debt-free journey? I’d love to hear your story. Any tips you’d like to share with me. Any successes you’d like to share to help motivate me.



#confessions (What You May Not Know About Me)

Today’s post is a bunch of randomness that never gets talked about. From my younger years to present life.

  1. When I was 15 I attended modeling school for a short time. I learned a lot and started working on a portfolio but it just wasn’t for me.
  2. I have a 3rd child in heaven. About 2 months into my pregnancy I had a miscarriage.
  3. I have cheated on 1 boyfriend in the past.
  4. Sometimes when I need a boost of energy I take Hydroxycut.
  5. I’ve been skinny-dipping once in my life.
  6. I am afraid to pray out loud.
  7. In high-school I wanted to be a … physician assistant or flight attendant.
  8. I have shaved my eyebrows instead of plucking. #laziness
  9. I have never done illegal drugs.
  10. I have been to jail 3 times.
  11. I still eat banana baby food as a snack.
  12. I have kissed a girl once. It was only a pop-kiss and it was totally a joke. And it was a very long time ago.
  13. I have taken used cigarettes out of ashtrays and try to smoke them. (of course these were from people that I knew).
  14. I ate mud once because I thought it may possibly taste like chocolate. #wrong
  15. I am scared of the dark. and of what’s in the dark.

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In James 5:16 it says, ‘Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed…

Now I would consider some of the things that I confessed to be minor and silly. I’m sure God doesn’t really care that as a child I ate mud. I mean, who hasn’t?

But there are a few that I know did not make my God very happy. And I am ashamed.

I am ashamed but I am not defeated. I am ashamed but not unworthy. Because my God is a forgiving God.


What have you done that never gets talked about? Please share. I don’t want to be the only weird person on the world-wide-web.




No, He Doesn’t Wear A Ring.

Me and the Mr. have been together now roughly 7 years. This past March we took the plunge and made it official.  In a way you could say we eloped because very few people knew what our plans were until…

…the infamous Facebook announcement

We went to the courthouse just us and the boys. Said our vows, the groom kissed his bride…but there was something missing (or was there?). We didn’t have any rings. (side note: after the ceremony I did find a ring for myself).

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It appears that a husband not wearing his wedding ring is kind of a big deal these days. Several weeks ago, my husband had a woman (who seemed a little too interested in him) act shocked when he mentioned he was married. She proceeded to ask him where his ring was. Why didn’t he wear a ring…? And this was not the first time we had been questioned about it. So for all those wondering why my husband doesn’t wear a ring, here it is…

  • This is the biggest one. The type of work he does. Way too many times my husband has witnessed what can happen to a ring finger and the sound it makes when it pops off. #tmi for me. I am not going to be responsible for him losing his finger. #endofstory
  • We are too cheap to purchase a ring that he will only wear part-time (and it would probably end up lost).


And here is why I am okay with it…

  • Not wearing a ring does not make us not married. Just the same goes with wearing a ring doesn’t make us married (I’ve actually known people to do that).
  • The ring is not going to stop his eyes from wandering. Nor is it going to stop anything else. It’s called trust.
  • Wearing a ring is not going to make him love me any more than he already does.

If society thinks we need a ring to show the world that we are married and spoken for…why not get a tattoo across our foreheads that says ‘married’.

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What do y’all think?  The Mr. couldn’t get one on his forehead because he wears a hat all the time…instead he got one on his chin so the world can see that he is taken and is no longer available for test-driving.

This article talks about how Prince William doesn’t wear a ring and how at the end of the Great Depression only 15% of marriages were double ring ceremonies. So what’s the big deal now? Don’t say it’s just the ole’ fashion way because obviously it’s not.

I know the Mr. loves me and a ring is not going to make that any different.


Does your husband wear a ring? What are your thoughts on this? Please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.



The Sunday Social

Today is another edition of The Sunday Social over at Ashley Lately.

Social Sunday

1.) Gum or mints?

  • I really like them both equally but for the sake of this post I am going to choose…gum. My favorite is the Trident (fruity flavors).

2.) Tea or Coffee?

  • I love my sweet tea and coffee (with french vanilla) but sweet tea is something that I drink everyday, all day.

3.) Fruits or Veggies?

  • Definitely fruit. I love apples, oranges, strawberries, bananas, pineapple, grapes…

4.) TV or Movies?

  • TV. I enjoy a good movie but sometimes I don’t have the time to sit down and watch a complete movie.

5.) Candles or Diffusers?

  • Diffusers. I admit, it took me a while to give up the candles but there’s not 1 candle in my home now.

Have a wonderful weekend, y’all!