Mar 29, 2013

I'm still a kid

So how did I spend my last day being a teenager?

Well I spent most of the afternoon playing with kids. Building towers, cutting out princess hats, and talking about juice boxes. Then we promptly headed outside to frolick in some mud puddles. I mean hey, they're practically the same height as me so why not act like I'm the same age?

Then after a short motorcycle ride I came home and decided I should get some things done. Followed by me immediately passing out on the couch instead. Wake up and decided Mac n Cheese and yogurt is officially the best supper ever. Start attempting to catch up on the 918 unread blog posts in bloglovin' but Grey's came on so that was the end of that.

Grey's gets over and I say it's finally time to clean. But I can't just clean, it's gotta be a full on dance party. Start cleaning until I find my Minnie ears and of course it's the perfect reason to wear them again. Run around playing with Gage until M gets home from work.



Crap! Forgot the cupcakes!

Hop in the car, fly to Hyvee. Thankfully they still had one container of gluten free cupcakes left. Of course I'm going to bring cupcakes to work with me, can't leave out my little GF buddy.

Come home and it's 11pm. Decide that's late enough and climb into bed. Stay up til midnight watching the Katie show and fall asleep.

So basically I'm still a little kid.. M asked if I feel old now but I honestly don't feel any different. Isn't that always how you feel? Today I feel all big hair, don't care!



Now, for one day only..you can enter this:

xoxo, 
Mandy

Mar 28, 2013

March Cara Box!

It's time for March's Cara Box reveal! 

I'm actually a day late but I've been a bad blogger lately so forgive me on that one. If you've never participated in Cara Box or even heard of it, I encourage you to check it out here.


Cara Box


 It's a way to combine a love of getting things in the mail and sending uplifting words to a stranger. I don't know a single person who doesn't like getting packages in the mail. The best part? You don't even have to be a blogger to participate!

This is my third month participating! The theme this month was "My name is.." so we had to theme the box around our partner's name. I lucked out this month and got Miss Kaitlyn herself as a partner! I sent a box to Kristin and she was so understanding about me being gone on vacation for practically half the month. I can't wait to see what she thinks of the box I sent!

All the "M" contents:

Mitt: oven mitt to use for all the baking and cooking I do and it's Pink!

 Mini Eggs: I never told Kaitlyn this but these mini eggs are my favorite candy to eat around Easter!

Mint Mojito: fabulous nail polish for my nail and mint obsession! 
I plan on painting my nails this color tonight!

 Mint and Milk Chocolate: hello, chocolate is the way to my heart!

 Miss Sparkle earrings: adorable earrings, I wore them today! They satisfy my love of pink, sparkly, AND girly. Everything that I said described me.

 Mmmmm Recipes and a sweet card: Mexican Skinny Enchiladas and Fudge Brownie Oatmeal Cookies were included. This girl knows exactly what we love to eat!

 Milk chocolate & PB: yummy snack that is perfect for my on the go schedule! I will definitely be packing this in my lunch next week!

Thank you so much for my wonderful box Kaitlyn! 
I really can't help but feel that we would be great friends if we lived closer. I hope to get to know you more in the near future!

xoxo,
Mandy

Mar 26, 2013

It's me again!

Helloooo friends!

Mentally I'm still here..cannot handle a 50 degree temp change

I'm (regrettably) back from Spring Break in the lovely sunshine state! This was my first trip to the South and I really loved it. I will be taking more trips in the future, I'd love to see Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee!

Between our flight being delayed, the storm ridden flight home (rough, rough, rough), and the snow covered roads that welcomed us home, we're way behind schedule. We just got home late last night instead of Sunday night so the living room is filled with luggage, clothes, and everything else we brought home. My camera is charging so I can add some photos to my recap posts. I promise not to overload you with tons of pictures but I can't promise you won't be jealous of the ones I do post.

I'm off to class and work for the rest of the day but I plan on putting up a solid post tomorrow!

Thanks for sticking around friends and if you're new around here I promise you'll get to see me post soon.

xoxo,
Mandy

Mar 21, 2013

Spring Break Takeover: Stylish Lauren

Hi y'all!

We're off traveling to Marco Island this morning but I wanted to give a little update before I hand things over to my friend Lauren!

The first three and a half days of our trip were spent at Disney. We spent sun up to sun down at the parks and to say it was tiring would be an understatement. It was so much fun to be transported back to my childhood. Each day there were about two or three rides that we loved. Tons of walking kept us moving and I took way too many pictures (kidding, I love my camera more with every one I take).

We spent the last day and a half with some amazing hosts! They opened their home to us and we've had a blast. Yesterday I got to hop into the ocean for the first time and I was amazed. It was so beautiful to see miles and miles of water! I didn't enjoy the salt in my mouth though. :) We came home a little sunburnt and exhausted but it was great!

We're spending from today until Sunday morning at Marco Island and I'm so excited! If you have any suggestions of things we should do while we're there, please tell me! We're looking to go out as just a couple one of the nights we're there so we'd love to hear of fun things to do.

Now, here's Lauren!
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Hi Friends! I'm so happy to be blogging for Mandy today as she's soaking up the Florida sun! My name is Lauren and I blog over at WIFESTYLES!

Today I'm going to share a few of my favorite beach must haves/essentials!
You truly can't go to the beach without all of the things shown above ^! Am I right or am I right?!! A few other things {not pictured} that I always have with me are my camera, iPhone,  sweet tea, magazines and a good book! Put all of those things together next to large body of water and you'll have the perfect day! Pinky-prom! 

My favorite beach vaca ever would have to be our honeymoon! We went to Maui, Hawaii and it was truly magical and had the best beaches EVER hands down! 
What are your favorite vacations?! 

Thanks so much again for having me Mandy! Hope you have a great time! 
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Thanks so much for hanging out Lauren! Only one more day before I'm back to blogging on the regular. Thanks for sticking it out with me friends, we've been having a great time just getting away from it all!

xoxo,
Mandy

Mar 20, 2013

Spring Break Takeover: Beautiful Ashley


Happy Wednesday everyone! 

It's a glorious day here in Florida, we're heading off to the beach in a little bit. Sun, sand, and playing in the water, what could be better? Meanwhile back home there is a blizzard. Sorry Iowa friends, I don't feel bad because I know I'll be back there soon. Just enjoying the warm while I can!

Today my beautiful teacher friend Ashley came to hang out! Hope you'll hang around to see  what she has to say :)
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Hello friends of Mandy's! I'm Ashley and I blog over at It Is What You Make It....blog, ramble....same thing. While Mandy is enjoying her trip to Florida, I figured I would try and entertain you with some travels of my own. Traveling has been a part of my life since an early age. My parents wanted us to experience they things that they got to experience growing up. Ill never forget our first big trip. We flew from Houston to San Antonio and stayed the weekend. It was seriously something that ill never forget.

Moving on.... I'm going to talk with you guys about California. While Mandy is at Dinseyworld in Florida, I'm going to share my Disneyland trip. No matter how old you are, either of the Disney parks are just fun. It's like taking a step back into your childhood. 
My sister and I with my very favorite character ever
My aunt and cousin are California babes. They have moved all over the US but been in Cali for a while now. While I was in college my mom flew me, my sister, brother and herself out there for Thanksgiving break. They were living in the San Francisco at the time but we wanted to go to LA so my mom and brother flew in a few days before and then my sister and I flew into LA to go to Disney land in LA.
obligatory Minnie Mouse ears...and Dave with a sword...

We seriously had the best time. We stayed right next to the park and visited it the night we got there and again the next day. Sometimes pictures are better than words so here ya go friends.
Guess we weren't suppose to be on there...



The best tree houses ever

Such a beautiful park

ohhh this ride...my stomach will remember it forever

Before the swings of terror

And after

And this is what we thought was cute back in 08...yikes. 

I know there are so many more pictures, but for some reason...ok because I have major OCD I can't find my cd with all the pictures....I may have to reshare this with yall once it decides to show itself again. 

Hope y'all have a great week!! 
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See, she had a great story to tell! Stick around to see who's here tomorrow :) We're headed out the door now, enjoy the rest of your day friends.

xoxo,
Mandy

Mar 19, 2013

Spring Break Takeover: My Big, Lauren

Good morning all!
I hope you enjoyed having Alexa here yesterday! Today I have my Big from the Bigs & Littles blogging system. I've loved getting to know her and watch her blog grow.

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Thanks to Mandy for having me! While she is off enjoying her spring break, she asked my to come wreak havoc talk to you guys about all the problems I have. Haha, this sounds like a happy go lucky post, no?! Stay with me!

I am newly married (just like Mandy) to my high school sweetheart. I love him, but I definitely had some issues learning to live with a boy...

I haven't been blogging long, but I am already in love with it, but I have a problem with no-reply bloggers. It is 2013. I can see in your window on Google Maps and someone is always watching your internet moves. If you are fearless enough to have a blog, give me your email address!

I really am not a hot blogger. But I enjoy blogging!

I have really big boobs. And yes this is a problem!

I can't keep my pants on in a public place (sans alcohol too!)

Hi my name is Lauren (hi Lauren) and I am addicted to chocolate, fantasy football, and eating.

Okay fine, Mandy didn't tell me to be a problem child. I guess I will start behaving?!
I am just jealous that Mandy is taking M on her trip and not me. Next time Mandy! Next time!
Gage agrees with me!


Don't forget to bring us back something!

xoxo, Lauren

Wanna hear more about my problems? Come say hello!

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Thanks for stopping by Lauren! I'm enjoying my last day a Disney before we hop in the car and head to Wellington this afternoon. Hope you're having a happy Tuesday!

xoxo,
Mandy

Mar 18, 2013

Spring Break Takeover: Southern Alexa

Hey there friends!

I'm currently galavanting around Disney for Spring Break! The last few days have been pretty packed and let me just say I'm exhausted. We're leaving for Ft. Myers on Tuesday so the rest of the trip will be a little more relaxed. I'm going to be so busy this week, stopping in from time to time. I wanted to keep y'all entertained so who better than the beautiful Miss Alexa! 
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Hi, Through the Newlywed Lens readers! I'm Alexa, the blogger behind Southern Living, Our Way, a lifestyle blog about, you guessed it, my little Southern life! I'm a North Carolina newlywed obsessed with my husband {Glenn, or Glenn Coco as he's more often called... since Mean Girls is naturally the best movie ever}, a dog mom obsessed with my dog, and a Southerner obsessed with the South. 
Yep, I think that about covers it  :)
And wine. I'm also obsessed with wine.
While Mandy is even further down south enjoying some nice warm weather for Spring Break, she asked me to step in for the day and share with y'all my proposal story. I mean, I can't imagine anything more perfect for a Newlywed blog, can you? And here's the best part ~ my husband and I actually got engaged on one of our  college spring breaks, exactly three years ago last week! So, I present to you, the dirty deats about the second best day of my life! {The first was our wedding day, of course. All this proposin' and engagin' and bling-blingin' had to lead to somethin'!} 
This story is taken mostly from my You+Me=We page on my blog.
March 10, 2010
 Glenn and I were vacationing at Disney World for our Spring Break and my parents and brother joined us for a few of the days mid-week. Though at this point Glenn had already asked their permission to propose {we're Southern, after all!} back in November 2009, they had no idea this trip is when the proposal would take place. However, Glenn had this little plan up his sleeve all along, and my diamond ring was even in our hotel room with me for three whole days before it was on my finger! 
Midway through our trip, the five of us spent the day at Magic Kingdom park. At one point Dad says, "Before we leave today, I want to make sure we get some family pictures in front of Cinderella's castle." A little odd, but it's never too early for the family Christmas card photo, I guess? Turns out this was a total ploy ~ Glenn had told Dad the night before that Wednesday is when he'd be doing the down-on-one-knee dance. We made our way to the castle, Glenn took some pictures of my family of four, mom took pictures of me and my brother, and then she took a few of me with my sexy {then}boyfriend. 
After what seemed like a dozen of the same picture, I said kweredonethatsenough and walked toward mom to grab my camera. But Glenn insisted, "Wait, just one more!" As mom was about to snap that last picture, Glenn got down on one knee and held out the diamond ring I'd drooled over in the jewelry store back in October! In front of my family. And thousands of Disney park guests. BAM, tears. I bawled and took five minutes to say "Yes" {No really, Glenn had to ask me again.} but just like that we were engaged! Most magical place on Earth, indeed. Go Walt, youda man.
May 12, 2012. Fun fact: On our wedding day, we'd been engaged for 2 years, 2 months, and 2 days!
Thank y'all so much for reading this story that's the dearest to my heart. Now, wontcha come hang out with me over at my blog?
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Hope you head over to read a little more of her wonderful space! She cracks me up on the daily so it's well worth your time. I'll be blogging more later in the week, hope to let you in on more then!

xoxo,
Mandy

Mar 15, 2013

On the road again..

So far we've made the first part of our trip safely! Despite impending forecasts of snow and crappy roads, we got here with little problems.
Promptly while driving into the Twin Cities, we did what Minnesotans would do and we headed over to the state hockey tournament. M's cousin was playing and I had a blast watching her knock the other girls around and generally kick butt!
On the way back to our family's house, I came to the realization that I would not handle big city driving well. This has inspired a list of things I've learned thus far. The list includes:
-when leaving early in the A.M. have everything packed because your motivation will be zero.
-drinking a gigantic coffee will only end one way. Try to drink a smaller one when you have a 3 1/2 hour drive ahead.
-I love hockey and should probably watch it more often!
-if you cut off five cars,  including a full school bus on the interstate you best have a passenger who's bleeding to death or giving birth. Otherwise not acceptable and you should slow the eff down.
-if we ever choose to live in a big city, my blood pressure will be through the roof because of driving. I flinch every time I see a near accident and my heart races.
-while wasting time during the roadtrip, you can learn to do cool things with a big scarf. Like make a bow! Kaitlyn would be proud.
That's all for now, hope to add more tomorrow. Look for my reaction to my first time flying, it's bound to be anxiety filled. Also, I may be writing posts and posting pictures from my phone this week, sorry if things look all wonky! If you'd like to keep up with me, you can follow at instagram.com/Mandy2629 for updates.
Until next time,
Mandy

Mar 14, 2013

Smelling the Roses

Friends, I'm about to get all sappy. 

Lately I've been reading way too many blogs and it's definitely made me forget what I wanted to do all of this for. I've been feeling a lot of forced posts so I've been taking a lot of breaks just so I can write about what I really like to write about.

Today I'm writing about what's on my heart and right now I'm especially thankful.
One habit that I've gotten pretty bad about lately is just focusing on what's going wrong. What consumes my thoughts some days are the things I'm stressed about, the things I haven't done that should have been done 3 days ago, so and so got this (or is having a kid) and I didn't. Yet every single day I get things that many people don't and may never have.

 I found my husband and I'm now married at 19. That in itself is the biggest blessing I could have ever asked for. Being married is the same as dating yet so abso-freaking-lutely different. It is not something you can explain, only something you can experience. He let's me be the silly 5 year-old that I am at heart and laughs along with me. He handles my moody, craving filled PMS side with flying colors. He gives me back rubs every time I ask, even if I just asked 5 minutes before. Sure we fight, usually over things that are ridiculous, but I'm thankful to be in this experience with him. I can't stay overly mad at him for too long because dammit, I have things I want to tell him!  

No matter how tight money is, we always find a way to get our bills paid. I'm not ashamed to say that we've had to ask our parents to loan us money to make sure things are covered. We have amazing parents but that is another post that I'm writing! The past two weeks we really struggled with money because there was a mistake in paperwork being processed and my paycheck didn't go through. I was concerned that we would have to use the money we had saved for vacation to pay for groceries and bills. However, I'm so thankful that our taxes came through ahead of schedule and now we have all this money I wasn't planning for. We had a lot of "loans" and bills that needed to be paid. A giant wave of relief came over me today when I paid off about 95% of the bills we had hanging over our heads. I don't even consider student loans in all of this, because that seems like something we'll be paying off til we die. I'm so thankful that we were fortunate enough to always find a way. Many people are not that lucky at all!

Family. We have the most amazing, supportive families I could have ever asked for. From supporting us in every way possible to just being fully accepting of what we choose to do with our lives, we have been blessed. I will be talking about this topic more when I'm not so tired/stressed/emotional but I couldn't leave them out. Family, I love you!

I'm in college. It seems like a given for most kids, high school then college. But I know that's not the case for a lot of kids and I'm so thankful (even though it's expense as hell) that I can be here. I also know a lot of people who didn't get into their dream college or who felt forced into going to a certain school. Every day I walk around campus so fully in love with the school I chose. No matter how much I hate being in class or doing homework, all I have to do is walk outside and I remember why I chose to be here. This place is so breathtakingly beautiful even on gloomy days and I feel like a lot of the students walk around, too busy to notice that. I'm thankful for this opportunity to better myself!

Although I get very selfish when it comes to friendships and often feel neglected, I have a lot of great friends! Some days I see their stress and I try my hardest to give them something to smile about. I've lost touch with some of them, I've become jealous of some of them, I've avoided some of them but I can say that I think about them every day. We all get so busy with our own lives, own thoughts, that we forget to check in and see how they're doing. Sorry friends, I'm working on it!

I'm thankful that I've been blogging but haven't really gotten into the community of blogging. I used to be so outgoing about meeting people but now I'm awful at it. Not finding that immediate in or the people who seek me out to talk has made me realize I need to be more outgoing again. It's not that hard to send an email and all the bloggers I've emailed with have been so nice! I'm one of those people who gets nervous when I try to talk to people who are older because I feel that they won't like me. I feel like the bloggers I've talked to are all older than me but not people that I should be intimidated by (especially Alexa and Ashley who I used to be so nervous to talk to but they're so sweet). I believe I can find friends through blogging that I have a lot in common with, but if they don't know I'm here then the only one who's stopping things is me.

God forgives all my sins, something that my thankfulness could never repay but I'm so thankful anyway.

To see this face daily:
and know that no matter how many times I have to leave him for work or class, he will always show me unconditional love when I come home. He'll never know how much the snuggles he gives help me get through the day but he's one of the best parts of my life.

To have a space to write out my thoughts and feelings. I express myself best through writing so this is especially therapeutic for me. If I ever feel I want to stop sharing it with others, I will make it private but I will never stop writing. I'm thankful that I have the right to say what I want or need to say without being told how to express myself.


To have my health. This is something I've taken for granted many times and I need to work on that. I have a friend who's 1 year old is battling cancer. My dad has had numerous health issues throughout his lifetime. I have cousins with diabetes and Celiac's. Yet here I am, living day to day without a worry that my future will be forever changed by my health.

So I'm going to hold myself accountable for dwelling on the positive. Pushing out the negative. It's important to learn from the past but holding onto it is just holding me back. Take time to step back at least once a day and think about what truly makes you happy!

Until next time,
Mandy

Mar 12, 2013

Get me on vacation..



Hello friends!

Today is my least favorite day of the week because of my schedule and I'm exhausted. Yet for some reason, I'm in a rather good mood today! Maybe it's because I get to leave all this snow (yes, it's currently snowing again) behind in a few days. Actually that's probably what it is. I have two more days to struggle through step it up, get my stuff done, and get outta dodge. To say my attention span is close to a zero would be..banana?

Kidding! I'm not a very funny person, I know. But honestly that's the level of attention I can give any one activity at a given time. The last week before break is pretty much hell to get through because you've given up already and teachers tend to pile on the homework and in class assignments so you stay all week. Boo.

In full procrastination mode last night I decided to head to Walmart The Black Hole at 8:45 because I wanted to dye my hair. Yep, I dye my own hair. A college newlywed has gotta do what she's gotta do. After the 45 minutes it took to clean the snow/ice off of the car, I headed to Target because it seemed like a good thing to do. Except I got there at 9:45 and they close at 10:00 which was no bueno. I looked around and decided to leave before I picked anything up otherwise I would have bought half the store. The I headed to TBH because I still needed hair dye and a few other things.

After spending half an hour trying to find the color I wanted to be stuck with during vacation photos, I got tired and just picked one. I also picked my normal color just in case this one went a little wacky and I needed a cover up job. I headed home and an hour later my hair was purple. Not really but it looked purple before I washed it out! M was a little freaked out by the shade of the dye. Although the color is only a little different (which I'm thankful for) I really like it! Maybe my birthday present can be getting it colored professionally (hint, hint hubby). The things I look forward to! I do want to find some solid extensions before I get my hair colored though, that way I can have it all dyed the same color.  I'm getting sick of this short hair business and I miss my long haired days in a sort-of-pathetic way. #girlproblems At least it all went to a good cause!

Today's post is brought to you by the rambling mind I possess. Sorry friends, that's all I've got today! Send some positive thoughts my way friends, I can't give up yet. Two more work shifts and 4 more classes. I can do this..I can do this..

Continuing the no-flow nature of this post, this is my dog's new trick. Let's wrap momma up and then take off running.. Yay for me..

xoxo,
Mandy

Mar 11, 2013

Weekend Snapshots

Hello Monday, I see you've come around again. I could really do without you but I'll be glad to have you this week because I need the extra time before vacation.

It's crunch time, in 6 days I'll be sitting in Orlando soaking up the sun! That means I have too many things to do and no time to do them. Instead of using my weekend to be productive (who does that any way?) I just relaxed. Friday I spent my homework time hanging out with a friend who I haven't talked to in a few months. It was so nice to catch up with her! I went to work and it seemed to fly by, we even got to go outside for the first time in quite awhile. After work, M and I worked on some homework until some other friends showed up. We went to Dunkin' Donuts for some munchkins and then everyone did homework. Exciting life right here! We convinced the boys to watch the notebook. My friend passed out a little ways into the movie and I made it about 3/4 of the way through. Woke up the next morning to realize one of our fish and our snail had died. RIP Sparkles and Marcel.

Saturday was supposed to be laundry day but like most people I avoided that one pretty quickly. We lounged around most of the day. True relaxation makes for a boring blog weekend recap, sorry friends!

Today I was determined to get something done. Despite waking up to rain/sleet, I wanted to venture out. I decided to check out Aldi because I would love to stop going to that hell hole Walmart. This place has so much food, I was shocked. So I stocked up on fruits and veggies. Organic fruit that was half the price of non-organic Walmart fruit? You betcha I stocked up. Raspberries, Lil Cuties, strawberries, two kinds of apples, bananas, peaches, nectarines, grapes, and even a mango! Side bar, never had a mango so can anyone tell me how to know if it's ripe? I also got lettuce, celery, and broccoli but clearly the fruit is our favorite. 

In typical Iowa fashion, the weather went from Spring to Winter in about 5 seconds. Once I got home it started to sleet. Then giant, heavy snowflakes fell. Finally tiny flurries blew all around. The snow added up quickly, we had about a half an inch within the first half hour. Forecast says 5-9 inches but they've been wrong every time so we'll see about that.

By 8:00 we decided we should probably eat something so we tried a Pinterest recipe for Mozarella cheese balls. They were AMAZING! We had to improv a bit because the recipe called for Italian bread crumbs and that's not something we had. We used some stale bread and then added our own spices until we thought it tasted right. The original recipe can be found here. We cooked them a little bit longer than suggested so they would be extra gooey.Now I feel the need to eat extra healthy all week after consuming that much fried cheese. I think we will bake them next time!








I love finally having a camera that is fast enough to catch snowflakes. I think a heavy snowfall is absolutely beautiful!





Sorry for the uneventful weekend, at least next weekend will be much more eventful. Be ready for stories of my first plane ride ever and a week long surprise! Don't forget to link up for Sami's weekend shenanigans! 


xoxo,
Mandy

Mar 10, 2013

Mint.com, daily life saver {Review}

Happy Sunday friends!

I don't normally post on the weekends but I wanted to let you in on a little secret weapon that I've been using over the past few months. It's called Mint.com and it's a user-friendly budgeting tool. You can add all of your bank accounts, savings accounts, or any other accounts you have so that you can view them all in one place. We use two different banks so sometimes it's hard to keep track of everything. We also having a Kay's card so we've added that to our list. It's a view only tool, so all of your money is safe. There is no way to move around your money or see your account information, only what you've spent and what's left. 

via
My favorite part of this website is the app that I downloaded. It has all the same information without having to visit the website. I love that I can just click on this app to see when my bills or paychecks have gone through. It's a serious pain to visit our banks' websites so this has helped me with getting all of our purchases written down. I originally created my account through the app but I frequently go to the website on my laptop. All of the information is as up to date as your online banking. M downloaded the app so he can see all of the information as well.

I made an account in November but only checked it a few times a month. Recently I've been wanting to see where our money was going to so I could set up a reasonable budget. Let me tell you, one thing I wish they would have taught in school is how to set up a budget. It's not easy! Mint categorizes all of your purchases for you so you don't have to label each one. Some times I re-label purchases if they've been miscategorized but it's not something I need to do very often. You can customize the categories that they offer so you label each purchase the way you want to.

Because Mint puts everything into a category, it's very easy to use their budgeting tool accurately. When creating a new budget, it shows you how much you typically spend in a month on each category. You can add as many categories to the budget as you'd like or delete ones that it's already set up. You choose the dollar amount that you'd like to budget for the category and it tells you how much you've already spent. There is a little "meter" for each label that fills in (green) to visually show how much you've spent. When you're getting near the end of your allotted amount, the meter turns red in that area. 

On the right side of your budget it shows how much your income is (you can set this), how much you've "spent" according to your budget and goals, and what you have left that isn't already in a designated area. It's always nice to have a little wiggle room in your budget for unexpected expenses or a splurge here and there. If your budget is over the amount that your income is set as, it will show a negative number in red at the bottom. 

You can also choose savings goals which can be personalized. I chose a general savings to start off with, but will be starting an emergency fund savings in the near future. You set the amount you want to save. I chose $1500 over the next year. You can choose the date you'd like to have all your money saved by. It will automatically calculate how much you need to put aside monthly to reach your goal. When you're making your budget, it automatically adds this to the total so you can see how much you'd have left after adding to your savings. I often forget to add money to our savings so it's a helpful reminder.

This has been such a time saver for someone who does not know how to budget at all!

How do you budget?

xoxo,
Mandy

I was not compensated for this post in any way by Mint.com. I have written my honest opinion in hopes that it will help others. 

Mar 6, 2013

Will you?


Today is a big day guys. Today we can all stand up and stop hate. You may say, it's just one word. One word leads to another and another, before you know it you're saying things that seem normal to you but can cut others so deeply.

Growing up I used to say this all the time. I never thought about it so it didn't really affect me. I'm ashamed to say that but it's true. Then I came to college and it was like someone flipped a switch. I realized how hurtful it was and decided to never say it again. Sadly, it was hard at first because I was so used to saying it. I cringe when I stop to think about the impression I must have been giving others when I said it so carelessly. Now and again it slips out and I'm immediately embarrassed and upset that I let myself say it.

Today I pledge to end the word by informing others. 

Will you?

xoxo,
Mandy

Scenes from the kitchen

I have never been one to get super into holidays. I always loved Christmas decorating but that's about the extent of it. Now that I have my own place, I'm starting to get a lot more interested. Then I realized that seasonal decorations are expensive unless you buy them post holiday and save them for next year.

So I thought, hey I have a ton of scrapbook paper, glue, and scissors. I'll just make my own! Except I'm always missing something that I need. So then I may put up a few things here and there but it can hardly be called decorating for the holiday.

Enter: baking.

I will gladly bake up 10 different desserts that are holiday themed without even thinking twice about it. I always have the supplies on hand because I am obsessed with baking. Sometimes I don't even bake because I want the dessert, I just do it to do something. That's when friends get lovely little presents. Let's be honest here, if I kept all of the things around that I baked we would either be morbidly obese or a lot of food would go to waste.

Yesterday was one of those it sounds like a good time to bake days so I started browsing my Pinterest boards. Then I realized I overpinned Valentine's treats and not really any other holiday. Well, shoot.. So I pull out the basic desserts we like to have and get started with those. M could eat brownies every day of his life (I even vowed to make him brownies constantly on our wedding day) so those were a must. I also wanted to use some food coloring because I love changing the color of things just for fun. I love cake but it's not very quick to eat so cupcakes are another favorite!

Since St. Patty's day is the closest holiday, I figured I'd go for the green. Green, vanilla cupcakes and brownies with mint pieces fulfilled my urge for a holiday that I never celebrate. Sorry Irish friends, it's just not very high on my list of importance!

I wrote up a few cards for the friends I'd be delivering goodies to later on. Decided I still had a little too much energy so I crafted some pretties to put on for decoration. Productive procrastination is never bad, right?










How do you celebrate St. Patty's day?

xoxo,
Mandy