I bought a bargain headboard from Craigslist! I am working on updating my guest room and did not have a headboard for our queen size bed. I recently moved our oak filing cabinets into the guest room to use as night stands. They are the perfect size to use as a nightstand and I already had them… so the perfect re-purpose of something we already had! Then I started watching for a new headboard. (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)
Toward the end of last year, I decided to start running again (along with my current workouts). I used to run all the time and fitness has been part of my life since I was 10 years old. I wanted to figure out a way to track my fitness in my planner. (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)
Using the Happy Planner to track your exercise can, of course, be done in the weekly pages; however, I use my weekly pages for appointments and to-do lists. Not much space left for exercise details. So, I came up with a printable Weekly Exercise Log that I can insert into my Fitness section. Here is my free printable if you would like to try it.
Create 365 Fitness Packet
I would like to know how you track your fitness activities? Do you use an app on your phone? Do you write it in your planner or do you even track it at all?
As I continue on my fitness journey, I will be reporting how it is going and what is working for me.
Carb Counting to help manage diabetes! About a year and half ago, my husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. His blood sugar numbers were too high… over 230 (which was really high for him). (Please note that I am NOT an expert about diabetes and anything I share here is just what we are doing to help him. Please contact your health care provider for more specific information.) We use diet control, prescription medicine, and exercise to manage his blood sugar levels at this time. This may change and if it does, we will change with it! (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)
When he was first diagnosed, his physician suggested that he lose weight to help with these issues and he also recommended that we take nutrition classes to help with controlling the diabetes with his diet. I am happy to report that he has lost over 20 pounds and his blood sugar numbers stay fairly steady as long as he watches what he eats.
Learning Carb Counting
We started out our learning process with the nutrition classes that were provided by our local hospital (check to see if there are costs for this service – sometimes there is!). We learned basic nutrition and what to look for as it related to diabetes. They also covered exercise and medications for living with diabetes.
The most important tool that we learned to use was carb counting to help manage his diabetes. Simply put: most foods contain carbohydrates and if they are managed well they can and should be a part of a balanced diet even for a diabetic. For instance, the recommend amount of carbs for an average man per meal is 45-60 carbs and 15-30 carbs for each snack, The guidelines for an average women is 30-45 carbs per meal and 15-30 per snack. So we started by writing out every meal that he usually eats and then making changes to fit the above guidelines. We did this by reading the nutrition labels on each food. It was a little painful at first, but it didn’t take us long to get in the routine of it.
Reading Nutrition Labels
Here is a nutrition label for his bread:
Note that each slice of bread has 11 grams of carbs per slice means that his sandwich for lunch is 22 carbs for bread alone. Then he can add other ingredients as fits with his guidelines.
Here is a nutrition label for a can of Chunky Sirloin Burger with Country Vegetables Soup:
Note that the carb count is 18 grams of carbs per serving; however, the can of soup is two servings. So if he eats the whole can (and he will) then the carb count for this is 36 grams of carbs which fits for a meal for him. He will add cheese(protein) and maybe a small piece of fruit to round out this meal.
The next thing we learned was that he needs to balance each meal and snack with a carb and a protein. As long as he does this regularly, it has really helped keep his numbers in line.
We definitely have had to make lifestyle changes but he is doing really well with it now. We are very blessed that his is controllable with medication, diet, and exercise. I know that some of you are dealing with it much more severely than this and my heart goes out to you. I know it is a daily battle. My hope was to just share one thing that is working for us right now.
Angie and I have added some new additions/sections to our Happy Planners. They help us in our daily routine and we would love to share them with you! (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)
Below I will elaborate on the three new sections I added to my Happy Planner.
- Blog: This section contains information for this blog such as post ideas and updates we would like to make. I love having this because anytime I can grab my planner and record it so I don’t forget!
- Financial: This is where I keep my Budget Sheet and my Focused Debt Payoff Sheet. I previously wrote posts on those, just follow the links!
- Fitness: Right now, I am trying to get back into a fitness routine. I have written out the workouts I want to perform and have blank sheets of paper where I record which ones I do and what day. I will share a new exercise log printable that can fit into the Classic Happy Planner later this week.
I have added or expanded a couple of sections! I am really trying to do better at meal planning and grocery shopping to cut down on how much we eat out! Here’s what I have added:
- Grocery/Food: I keep my on-going grocery list and coupons in my planner… if I think of something that we need, I can add it to my list! I also shop for my mom and daughters occasionally so it is really nice to be able to just add things to their lists as needed. Also in this section, my “Other” section – for stores like the Dollar Tree, Sam’s, Kohl’s, etc. I just keep a list of things we may need at these stores… this sure saves me time in the long run! I also have my meal planning and freezer inventory in here as well!
- Dining Out Coupons: I have been experimenting with ways to keep restaurant coupons with me… so that I will use them! Just yesterday, we were out at lunch time and we used our Subway coupon! This was because I had it with me and … remembered to use it! Score!
- Christmas: It’s not too early to add information for Christmas 2018! I track gift ideas, made a note that I found wrapping paper super cheap after Christmas, and other things that I will need when we get there again! I did move it to the back of my planner… my favorite thing is to be able to move things as I want to!
If you haven’t tried this planner… it is definitely my favorite! I have tried many other types of planners (see post here) but the flexibility in the Happy Planner just can’t be beat!
Angie and I have come up with some successful Working Girl Lunches! We have found some great ideas and want to share them with you! We plan to bring you Working Girl Lunches regularly, so please be sure to subscribe to our blog to keep you updated! (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)
Panera Bread Baked Potato Soup
One of our favorite lunches (and dinners sometimes) is Panera Bread Soup! I absolutely love the Baked Potato soup! These can be purchased at Sam’s Club in this 2-pack 32 ounce tubs and they have been on sale this month in our area for $9.98 for two containers. I got Lynn hooked on them too! I simply separate the soup up into individual freezable containers (see below). I can get 8-10 small servings from the two containers and they make a perfect lunch on the go! I just bring the soup, crackers, cheese, and fruit and it makes a great lunch!
Lean Cuisine Sesame Chicken
So this has fast become one of my favorite lunches! Angie and I both are not fans of frozen meals like this, but we were pleasantly surprised at how tasty and filling these were! This month, they are on an Instant Savings at Sam’s Club making them $2.00 less for a 4-pack. In our area, this makes them about $1.25 each! Even when they are not on sale, they average about $2.00 each. Prices may vary per location, but either way it is an inexpensive lunch! Adding vegetables makes this even healthier!
We hope you find these helpful and stay tuned for more Working Girl Lunches – some purchased, some homemade!
Are you like me and have always carried a check register from the bank to record all your debit transactions and checks written? Well, recently I decided to become a little more digital by using a check register in Excel on my smart phone and I am loving it! (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)
Why I Decided To Use Excel for My Check Register
I am a big fan and user of the cash envelopes system (see here). However, most of us still use a debit card with our checking account even if we don’t write many checks. In my case, I wanted to separate a buffer amount in my checking account without using a separate manual register to record it. Angie has long been using Excel in a similar system on her computer, however, I needed a simpler version on my phone.
Since I have been using this new checking register, I have found these benefits to make my life easier:
- My check register is created in MS Excel and located in One Drive, so it can be accessed by my computer and phone. Any spreadsheet application should be sufficient, however, I like MS Excel.
- I have a link on my phone to access it directly.
- My extra sheets in Excel are like digital cash envelopes!
Financial Organization Benefits
My checking register is created from MS Excel free templates in Office (Checking Register with Transaction Codes). In Excel you can have multiple sheets which allowed me to add a ‘Buffer’ sheet. So, my Excel Checking Register allows me to separate out my money to fit my needs:
- Checking Register sheet: This sheet is my main check register. I add my debits, credits as usual. The Transaction Codes included in this particular template are editable. I added a few and removed a few. One of the Transaction Codes I added was for adding money to the Buffer and pulling money back from the Buffer
- Buffer sheet: Now I know I have been talking about a ‘Buffer’ sheet, so let me explain. I have always tried to keep money in my checking account that is not seen in my check register. This is my ‘buffer’ money. It gives me a cushion in case my checking account gets overdrawn for unforeseen reasons. I am able to handle the ‘overdrawn’ amount without involving the bank at all!
These are the only two sheets that I use at this time, however, there is potential for so many others! Some additional sheet ideas are:
- Christmas Budget
- Home Remodel Budget
- Car Insurance Budget
- Grocery Budget
- Car Maintenance Budget
The ideas are endless and can fit whatever need you have! Please share with us what you think about this system and if you have done anything similar!
We wanted to share with you a few of our Favorite Things for surviving this arctic cold many of us are experiencing! It didn’t take long for us to come up with these four favorites! (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)
Wow! Angie got me hooked on these! They are warm underwear and they are soft, they are warm and they are comfy! They also make great P.J.’s! What more could you want? They even have the little thumb slit in the cuffs so you can pull them over part of your hands. Love that! I have to confess that when I work from home, I sometimes wear them all day! (Shhh, don’t tell!)
Who can resist an incredibly soft blanket? We all ended up with a new soft blanket this year! This is the perfect blanket to snuggle under on these cold winter nights! There are so many brands out there, this one we found at Sam’s Club and love it. In fact, you can see it on my bed in the Cuddl Duds picture above – it is lightweight yet very warm!
Heated Car Seat Cushion
If you don’t have a car with built in heated seats, then this is the next best thing! Heated Seat Cushions are wonderful this time of year! I walk across a cold parking lot to get to my van and feel like a popsicle when I get there! I can have heat in this seat in 1-2 minutes and my van takes about 10 minutes to heat up! This is a picture of the one I use in my van. Love, love, love it! You can find some here if you want to find one of your own!
DIY: Microwaveable and Reusable Hand Warmers
These are my microwavable hand warmers that I sewed together a few years back. They are easy to make if you know a little about sewing. I can throw them in the microwave for 1 minute, put them in my pockets and they keep my hands warm for about 30 minutes or more. What I like about these is I used an inexpensive fabric for the actual warmer part – that is filled with field corn from the local farm supply and sewn shut. Then I created a cover for them – kind of a fabric bag, that can be washed easily for sanitary reasons. I will be posting about how to make these and a larger microwavable heat pack later! Stay tuned!
What are your favorite things for surviving this arctic cold?
A Little History
My favorite storage cabinet is an “in the wall” cabinet built between the studs in our master bathroom! About seven years ago, we remodeled our master bedroom and bathroom. At that time, we had a very small bathroom with no storage. We took out a closet and added that space to the bathroom which made it much larger. Even though it is bigger, there isn’t floor space to add an extra cabinet for storage. So we built a double cabinet between the studs on the interior wall between our bedroom and bathroom. (Please note… this only works well on interior walls because of the insulation!) (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)
When I was planning the remodel, I knew that adding storage was a high priority! While we had all of the sheet rock removed, we made sure the studs were placed correctly to make the cabinet. We then purchased a “cabinet without a box” from a local cabinet company and added shelves for storage and electricity as well!
Cabinet Face Lift
Fast forward to now and we needed to give it a minor face lift on the inside of the cabinet. The backing had come unglued in a few places and I wanted to add more shelves to one side. We took out all of the shelves and re-glued the backing in place. We cut new shelves from MDF board…they are approximately 4 1/2″ deep and 15″ long and there are 16 of them total.
Here is what it looked like while we were working on it:
and here it is with the new shelves in place:
Even though the shelves are narrow, they are perfect for bathroom storage! This cabinet holds a tremendous amount of bathroom necessities and doesn’t take up any floor space! We have shown this to our friends and family…and they all want one too!
Stay tuned… we are going to make a cabinet similar to this at Lynn’s house very soon and we will show you the pictures of our progress!
So, I wanted to try to make my own twice baked potatoes and freeze them. I am always looking for ways to freeze recipes that can be heated up quickly. So, as I was researching for recipes on Pinterest, it became clear that there was a lack of these recipes with sweet potatoes. My kitchen became a cooking lab and I came up with a tasty recipe: Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple Syrup and Bacon! I hope you find you like them as much as my sister and I did (she was a willing tester!) The detailed recipe is at the end of this post for easy printing. (This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product through a link we have here in the post, we may be compensated at no cost to you.)