Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Month of our Deer

Christmas Eve Day

December 15th

Friday, December 29, 2017

Goals for 2018

Save more obviously.  I would like to save 2000 a month this year.  That is 400 over last years monthly achievement. 

Have a no spend week each month.   I admit, I can do this, but DH may have a problem doing it.

Reduce food spending to 350 a month (from 500) I will do my best!  We are going into the new year with a full larder, so I think I can do it.   I do have to fund the rest of my Market Share (organic).  I owe $450.

Create a spend book.

Plan holiday purchases throughout the year and track these expenditures.  I have already started for 2018 birthdays and Christmas.

Lose 25 pounds.  In 2017 DH and I both did Ancestry DNA and 23andme.  23andme has offered us a free 12 week weight loss regime.  We have agreed to do it, and filled out all the necessary information.  They took into account my Crohns.  It starts January 8th.  Will keep you updated!

Make more crafts using vintage materials and items I already have accumulated. 

What are your goals?

Gift Making 2017

Ornaments made from Cinnamon sticks and Scrabble tiles.  I used twine and Sparkle Mod Podge. 

Essential Oil Room Sprays

Air Fresheners

Not pictured are birdseed wreaths (both miniature and bundt pan sized)

Small frames with vintage Christmas Music and Sunday School cards.

Did you make gifts this year?

Christmas 2017

A little late, but a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!     I enjoyed reading everyone's holiday gift making posts.  I loved seeing everyone's decorations.  I posted on my personal FB page that most of my FB friends posted very elegant decorations.  DH and I agree that for holiday, we are more is more people.  He collects antique Santas, I collect creches.  I am slowly selling off the outskirts of my villages, preferring to focus just on the Holy Family, a few animals and shepherds and of course the Kings.  So, with the MORE in mind, here you go....our Christmas.

Our first train!

We found the Santa prints at an amazing store in Middletown

A new to us circa 1930 tin and flocked felt Santa 

Dominic the Donkey featuring a wreath from a students Hockey Team fundraiser

Pewter santa collection gifted to DH from my Aunt last Christmas

Birthday Creche from last year

Part of my largest Creche

Another Birthday gift from last year

Part of Santa collection

Many of my Creche's 



Vintage minature tree and old (or replica's of old) toys

Peanuts tribute

Polish gift creche

My most treasured creche porcelain and jewels from DH

More Santas.  One with globe is antimated. 

More Santa's

More Santa's 

Mantle before we found the Santa prints

Paper cutting made by Aunt in 70's 

Birthday gift from DH this year that he admitted was more for him (Peanuts) then me.  But it is about the birth of Christ, so it's for me too.  

One of a pair of Santa oil lamps.  Love these. 

 These next two photos are from the Charlie Brown Tree Farm where we got out tree last and this Christmas. 

My outdoor birthday creche from DH

German carved wood star

German thin wood cutting depicting Santa

German wood cut Nativity

Front Door

Milk Jug decorated for Holidays

My childhood sleigh decorated 

My pre Christmas gift to DH

My German pyramid that is not working as good as I would like

Merry Christmas everyone!

Meeting my 2017 goals

As we close out the year, I wanted to review the goals I had made, and see how I did.  

I feel I have given myself more time to 'smell the roses'.  I have cut back on my teaching hours (yes, I really have....), and I have tried very hard in both my personal and professional life to put myself in other's shoes.  

We have donated more in dollars to several organizations.  I have donated more of my services to families who I feel truly need me to work with their children.  I have tried very hard to have more grace towards my ailing parents and grandmother.  I am no saint, I have not always succeeded.  But I have tried.  

I have tried to dote on my husband.  To be respectful of his thoughts and feelings as he is of mine.  

We were able to fully fund our HSA including the catchup allowance of an extra $1000 ($7750)

We have been able to fund my SEP by $5000

DH started a permanent job in July, and has started a matched 401K with over $1600 in it at end of year, having only put half of that figure in himself.  

I have saved an additional $4980 dollars.  

I had set a goal of $1500 a month in savings, and I was able to surpass that by $110.+ a month. 

We have been able to pay all of our bills and purchase two new cars this year.  One is a completely electric vehicle that we were able to stack several very great deals on to get at almost 50% less than sticker price.  State and Federal rebates, His work offered a discount, my owning an education LLC offered a discount, having a vehicle recently purchased from a competitor rated us a discount, Costco membership got us a discount AND we got a kickback of a $300 giftcard to Costco as well.  We have two other vehicles that we paid cash for, and we are keeping those to gift to relatives when it's time. 

I still have room for improvement.  Loads of room.  How did you do on your goals?

December grocery purchases

December 3, Bed/Bath/Beyond (fancy one with food section) $9.55 Gingerbread men cookies, Lemoncello almonds and Pumpkin Spice Almonds. 

December 7 Restaurant Depot. $295.38 OOP (plus friend paid $120.00 towards the full total that was mine as she owed me funds) Went with a friend, but have since found out as a business with a FEIN number I can get a membership.  Story for another post.  This was a huge spend, with husband having done research and requested several meats.  Large amounts, most were frozen for future assets.  Dried mushrooms, 10.7 lbs of veal cutlets, 17.62 lbs of Beef Ribeye Select, 10 lbs of onions, 5 lbs of sweet sausage, 5 lbs of hot sausage, 10 lbs of cod, 10 lbs of mushrooms, 20 lbs of spaghetti and 12 lbs of Penne.  20 lbs of rice and 5 lbs of chestnuts.  So far we have had some of the beef (amazing) and veal(amazing) and all of the chestnuts. 

December 14 Shoprite $52.13 after coupons and Ibotta/checkout51  3 cases Poland Springs water,  Sourdough Boule, Broccoli Crowns, Rib Roast, Green Peppers, Shank Ham, 2 cans of Tuttoroso tomatoes and a grapefruit.

December 18 Target, $50.34  all coffee

December 19 Big Y $24.37 3 Tuttorosso tomatoes, 2 black pearl olives, 2 boxes Townhouse crackers, Wrights Bacon, Lemon, three mushrooms. 

December 19 gave friend mentioned above $40 for 10 more pounds of chestnuts.  Any suggestions on preservation?  Average price in stores here are 6.99 - 9.99 a pound.  We could not resist this nutritious treat.

December 22 Stop and Shop $6.61 marshmallows, canned sweet potatoes, beef jerky, carando meatballs and 3 pounds of carrots

December 24 $88.08 Produce Market Loaf of crusty Italian bread, Challah bread, 6 stuffed breads, lemon chocolate pie, Cioccala bread (Italian specialty we only have at Christmas and too much for me to make) and two packages of organic romaine heads. These were purchased for three separate households. 

December 26 BJ's wholesale $121.28 Croutons, tomatoes, cukes, gouda, smoked gouda, Peanuts, sharp provolone, cocktail sauce, jarred mushrooms, romaine, peppers, boom boom shrimp, brussel sprouts, celery, asparagus. The shrimp was delicious, but I now know I can do it myself. 

December 26 T & J Market, $80.64 Twelve 5 ounce lobster tails.  Some for New Years, other's for in the future.

December 26 36.67 Costco 3 bags of organic prepared beets, Smoked salmon, 5 lbs of clementines.

December 26 Restaurant Depot (with our own membership) $21.46 12 ounces Tabasco, Gallon (yes, it will get used by Gpa P) of French dressing, 26 ounces of Salt and a Panatone Italian cake.  Retail of this cake alone would be for all we paid. 

Do you notice a pattern here?  Way more money spent when DH is with me, but it's okay.  End of year splurges and 2018 stock ups.  $826.51 spent.  DH and I discussed the idea that we will not be purchasing proteins for a while.  Our chest freezer is actually 3/4 full of vegetables that I put up over the summer.  We will now eat down our surplus.  I do realize how blessed we are to buy such high quality food.  I try to purchase real food more so than processed.  I don't always do it (as the bakery purchases on December 24th show) but the majority of our food is whole food.