Organization

Episode 32 – Our Favorite Apps



This week The Chicks chat about all of their favorite #apps! We talk about the Mint App as well as our other #favorite #financeapps and discuss #Debt and how we manage it.  The Chicks agree that they love #NavyFederalCreditUnion #NFCU as well as Dave Ramsey. #DaveRamsey has an #app also! #Snowball Oh and The Dave Ramsey Podcast. We move on to #CreditCardPerks – specifically #SouthwestVisa and the #BarclayCreditCard. We also love our #electric #cooperative #SmarthubApp…
For #music there is only one #Spotify and for #ChoreApps – #ChoreMonster is the best and their new #HoneyDo #Mothershp and #Landra apps.  #Paribus and #Ebates for #savingmoney and  for #livemusic – #ABandsInTown and #SeatGeekApp. We super love #Dropbox and the #Foursquareapp – Jennifer loves the #HappyCowApp for all things #vegan
#Grubhub
#Lyft
#LyftVsUber
#TripAdvisor
#AmazonPrime
#AmazonMusic
#OviaApp
#Fitbit
#AppleWatch
#MyFitnessPal
#C25K
#CarrotApps
#WeatherApps
#CalorieTrackers
#HungryHowies
#BJsBreweryApp
#WhatABurgerApp
#ChickFilAApp
#GoogleHome
#TheNestThermostat
#Canary camera
#BuyMeAPie
#HEB
#Untapped
#RelaxMelodies
#RelaxMeditation
#GuidedMeditation
#Facebook
#Buddhists
#Weezer
#FloatFest
#TheBodyguardPlay
#Mumfordandsons
#ImagineDragons

And if that’s not enough, bonus points if you can work one of these in:

#TheyDeserveMyMoney
#ItSmellsLikeCleaning
#Denialist (is it a word?)
#SuperAnalBillPaying
#IDidntRealizeItWasAFuckThatSituation
#FoodIsMyFavoritePerson
#EvilCookyLaugh
#TreatYoSelf

#YouDoYou
#YouCanRunPeople
#BuddhistMonksinBFE

Check out this episode!

TGIF (football season, that is)

So here’s the thing about The GingerBeard Man that many of you may not know: he is way super into football.
Like WAY. SUPER. INTO. football.
I am not into sports… The poor guy had to shelve all of his hopes and dreams of curling up in matching team jerseys for Sunday night football with his wife when he proposed to me. I understand football, I’m just not a fan. He is such a fan though. He reads all the info, he listens to the podcasts, he knows all the players names and the coaches names and their children’s names (just kidding.. I think) and he looks forward to the beginning of football season like a kid waiting for Christmas.
And right now, I am so glad because I have so much stuff to do.
I would consider The GingerBeard Man and I to be in a perpetual state of “the honeymoon phase.” If you were to look in from the outside, you see two people who are best friends and who do pretty much everything together. And that is really great. I love hanging out with him, and I’m pretty sure he likes hanging out with me too 🙂 Which is good because I’m not going anywhere, lol.
That said, I have a lot on my plate right now and I’m glad that he has something to keep him occupied while I try and get on top of it all so I don’t feel like I’m blowing him off all the time. The jewelry stuff has gotten a little crazy. Keeping up with the photographs and advertising for The Navajo Silver Shop takes up a few hours a week and I have also opened up a second etsy shop (Hippie Silver) for a different type of jewelry. My brother convinced me to join him for a craft show in October so I have been working on preparing for that as well. Sometimes I can spend an entire day of the weekend working on this stuff and when I finally stop, it’s dark!
Also, you may remember, I had mentioned a few months ago that we are wanting to sell the house, so there are a lot of little projects around the house that need to get knocked out. And some not so little ones, like the tile backsplash in the kitchen which I finally finished this weekend. Except for the grouting, which I will do next weekend. It feel so great to check off a box next to a major item like that, but it has so far taken me three full days to get to where I am on it. And I am sure there is at least one more full day for the grouting and cleanup.
And, of course, the project I want to be working on with ALL of my spare time is the TFTC podcast, which I am hoping to publish sometime in December, or January first at the absolute latest. I had no idea how much work would go into researching, preparing for and finally publishing a podcast. It’s a lot. But it’s a lot in all the right ways! Like the exciting ways! And I cannot wait to get it off of the ground. So while my super cute husband is watching football over the next few months, I am hoping to really hunker down and work, work, work on all of these little projects 🙂

in 36 hours

In 36 hours I will be loading up the car with my oldest daughter and her two kitties and heading to Connecticut. I can’t believe how something that was so far away has crept up on me. And what do I even want to say about it? I can feel the little tendrils of anxiety when I think about all of it compiled: three days of driving, driving in places I am not familiar with, hotels and cats, caravaning the two vehicles for thirty hours, driving through New York… all of the travel stuff freaks me out but I am feeling a strange calm when I think about leaving my daughter there. My baby will be living so far away in a place she isn’t familiar with and while that’s so surreal, it’s also so very right. She is supposed to leave and have a life. And I am so lucky that she has found a great partner to start her life with, someone who I trust to take care of her and to learn with her.
So I am all packed and Wednesday morning we are headed from here to Memphis, Thursday we will leave Memphis and make our way to Winchester, Virginia and finally on Friday, we will drive from Virginia into Connecticut. And then I am never driving ever again. Ever. Again. This isn’t a road trip in the traditional sense… no stopping and seeing all of the weird roadside attractions.. just a lot, a lot, of driving.

a random list…

I have lost an entire load of laundry in the last week. Does this happen to other parents? It happens occasionally in my home. I think it is because the girls don’t care who’s laundry they have. They just take it and stick it somewhere to keep me from griping at them for not putting their clothes away. A few weeks later, I will stumble across some items I’m missing and upon further digging, discover the entire missing load. In this case, I am very much looking forward to that happening as I am missing two pairs of jeans and I’ve been wearing this pair for three days straight…

The movers came! The movers came! All four thousand, one hundred and fifty pounds of stuff that we moved into the storage room is now packed into wooden crates and on it’s way to Connecticut!

The second I walked out of my bedroom this morning, I started my little mental zen chant I’m ok with the house being messy. I’m ok with the dishes not being done. I’m ok with the table being covered in random stuff. I’m ok with the house being messy. The GingerBeard Man and I discussed this at our anniversary dinner last night. We are accepting the mess around us right now in this time of chaos because trying to tackle it with all the stuff going on is a nearly impossible task, and one that takes the time we want to spend with the two older girls away from us. So for now I am ok with the house being messy.

I found my everyday bra this morning. I thought it was part of the missing laundry. It wasn’t. But I am glad to have it back.

I googled “stress sweating” after being a sweaty mess the last week or so. I couldn’t figure it out. During the whole drive to IKEA this past weekend, I was just dumping sweat. At work, I’m sweaty… even at home. So I finally stopped and asked myself what had changed lately and the only thing I could think of was that I have been super stressed out. Sure enough, The Internet confirms: We have two types of sweat glands: apocrine and eccrine. When we get stressed, the larger apocrine glands – mainly in the armpits and groin – produce sweat. Stressful situations also cause our heart rate to increase, and encourage hormones and adrenaline to flood the body, causing additional sweat from our eccrine glands.

When I told Youngest Daughter yesterday that it was The GingerBeard Man and my anniversary, she asked what we were going to do to celebrate. As he had not told me yet, I said I didn’t know. She excitedly blurted “you should have a water balloon fight!”

I have like four lists right now on my desk. One for all of the things I need to finish at work before I leave in one week for Connecticut. One for all of the things I want to do before I leave regarding home stuff (ha!). One for all of the stuff my oldest daughter needs to do prior to moving. And one for all of the things I want to remember to pack.

Second Oldest Daughter left for Spain yesterday. She sent me a text at 6:30 this morning to tell me she was drinking moscato in Spain. I couldn’t possibly be more jealous.

Chicken Week 2.0

My oldest daughter loves chicken more than any other protein. So when I was making the grocery list for this week, since she is staying with us, I asked her to tell me a bunch of dinners she’d like to have. She chose things like Chicken Caesar Wraps, Chicken Sliders on Hawaiian rolls, Caprese Chicken and Chicken & Mushrooms… This didn’t surprise me or The GingerBeard Man, as these were frequently what she wanted to eat when she still lived at home.
Next week is her last full week here before we hit the road to Connecticut. This morning, I sent her a text and asked her what her dinner preferences were for next week. Her response was “Chicken Week 2.0”.
So I am scrolling through recipes on pinterest and hellofresh, trying to pick the last few chicken meals I will make for this girl before she heads off and has to make all of her meals herself.
When my kids were little and I was a crazy busy single mom, I rarely cooked anything that didn’t come out of the freezer and get popped into the oven. My life revolved around convenience and frankly, I didn’t really know how to cook. It wasn’t until they were neared to their teenage years that I was afforded the luxury of caring about what we ate and learning to cook things that were mostly good for us. It was even later that I realized that they needed to learn those same things and started having them help me in the kitchen and eventually cook meals for the family on their own.
It’s one of the things that I am the most proud of. I have raised children that can cook. And not just dinners that go from the freezer into the oven, but with the use of real, fresh ingredients. And not only can they cook, but they appreciate so much eating food that is good for them. And not good for them too! lol We aren’t the kind of family that ignores the awesomeness that is Famous Amos cookies 😉

Selling the house & buying a new one…

Night before last, The GingerBeard Man and I were having a chat and once again visited the idea of selling the house and moving. We’ve discussed this a few times now but haven’t actually done much more than check out zillow and consider whether we should move the two remaining girls from their school or let them stay there.
There are two towns we’ve been considering. One is the town where I work and where both girls attend school. It is about fifteen miles away from our current home, in the opposite direction of the way The GingerBeard Man’s job. The other town is about twenty miles away, but towards where he works. The town where my job and the girls’ schools are is pretty small, it boasts less than a thousand people. The other town is a little bigger with a population of twelve thousand. Initially we were considering the bigger town. The girls are entering their first year of middle and high school, so it’s a good time to move them. But as a kid, I was moved every few years from school to school and I have such a hard time putting them through that.
The GingerBeard Man said that he thinks we should move into the smaller town. That the girls would both be able to walk to school, to activities, around the town itself and so could we. If we wanted to go grab a drink, we could. If we needed something from the grocery store, it’s right down the road. I think he sometimes misses the convenience of living in the city. He made a huge lifestyle change moving from a large city into the very small, very spread out, very country town that we currently live in.
So now, we are considering our options. The first step will be to get the house on the market. No small feat and not one that we are really prepared for right now. Not only have neither of us ever sold a home before, but the house has been in what can only be considered a constant state of disarray for the last few weeks. My oldest daughter has moved back home with her three cats and while almost all of her stuff has went into storage, I now have someone living in the living room. My second oldest daughter has started working on clearing out her room and packing all of her stuff for the move to Minnesota in a few months so that entire side of the house looks like a tornado has come through it. Oh and she is on a ten day trip to DC right now, so it’s probably not going to be cleaned any time soon. Unless I do it. And I probably will, lol.
I’ve just decided to put almost everything on hold until after the trip to Connecticut. Once that trip is done, I will reassess and see what our next steps are. Otherwise it just feels like we are fighting a losing battle against the house. And for what? In three months, it will just be us and the two younger girls with plenty of time to do everything we need or want to do. So for now, patience and planning.

Thursday of Veggie Week

Ok, so I totally dropped the ball on getting this posted last week.
Is anyone getting tired of hearing how busy I am all the time yet? 😉

Thursday was the final day of my short veggies week and the pièce de résistance was The Big Vegan Bowl.
I had a Green Monster for breakfast and leftover falafel for lunch, both were good but when I got home and started prepping dinner I was excited.
This meal takes a little bit of prep work, but luckily Youngest Daughter was having one of those moments where she wants to help make dinner so I let her prep some of the veggies…
We used spinach, shaved carrots, lightly sauteed purple cabbage, sweet potatoes, chick peas, quinoa, avocado and hummus. I forgot the hemp hearts, which I have but just forgot to add. AndThe GingerBeard Man added some siracha and sour cream to his because that’s how he eats literally everything.
This meal was by far my favorite. So much so that while we were eating, The GingerBeard Man and I kept asking each other why we don’t eat this every week… or every night. Because it tasted fantastic and it was super filling and you can feel great about all of the ingredients.
Now, here we are, making our grocery list for next week and The GingerBeard Man asked me for the recipe because he wants to buy enough stuff to make The Big Vegan Bowl for dinner every day next week. I told him I’d be down with having it for lunch every day next week too. It’s just that good. And even if you aren’t interested in being meat free, add some salmon or chicken to it and walk away knowing that you ate something that was super healthy.

ps. I feel like I have to tell you that while the Oh She Glows falafel recipe was fine, I think I will probably go back to using my go to recipe for falafels as they are so good and hold together really well. I usually bake mine in the oven instead of making them in the crock pot, but the combination of ingredients here is yummy!

*photo credit: Oh She Glows

Wednesday of Veggie week

*disclaimer – I am totally eating a donut as I type this… and it isn’t even a great donut, it’s totally subpar. And I’m eating the last bite right now. Damn you, donut.

Tuesday night I got home and I made the Oh She Glows Burrito Bowl which was super yummy. There was enough left over for three lunchboxes. The Gingerbeard Man and I each took one for lunch on Wednesday and he took the last one for lunch today.

Wednesday morning I had the Happy Digestion Smoothie sans parsley because I bought four bunches of cilantro instead of two cilantro and two parsley. And people, I know the difference. I don’t know what happened.

For dinner, we had falafels and cucumber salad with some warm naan bread. The falafel flavors were great but the consistency didn’t exactly hold together well. The cucumber salad was yummy but I had to skip the red onions because: kids…

I will post Thursdays food later but I wanted to mention here that I do feel great (donut and chocolate cake aside), but when I went to start my grocery list for next week I was immediately like ugh, so much work. Not necessarily the cooking part, I don’t mind that. More the planning part. Picking meals, making sure I can tweak them to be kid and husband friendly and then the list and the shopping and the prep and the cooking. I’m probably just being a whiny pants because we have been so busy with all of the end of school year stuff… but when The GingerBeard Man said he had already started the grocery list I was like YAAAAAAAAAAAAAS. So next week will probably not be a great healthy week in my household. In fact, it will probably be the junk foodiest week ever since the kids are free from prison school… but stay tuned because I anticipate once the craziness of moving two daughters across the country has commenced, I will probably take it on again 🙂

A week of Oh She Glows

I have been fully uninspired lately when it comes to food.
So much so, that I have broken some of my very basic food rules… things like making canned cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Which I don’t even consider to actually be a food. But I rationalize it by saying that at least I am making the kids breakfast, right? I’m a good mom, right?
I am chalking this up to the crazy busy schedule we have had lately, as well as the hustle and bustle of preparing to move both older girls out of state and all of the visiting we have been doing on account of that. I’ve been not allowing my anxiety to give me a hard time when I spend an entire day crafting with my older daughter and not cleaning my house because in like six weeks, she won’t be here any more. I’ll clean when she is gone.
I keep telling myself that come fall, we can hit the reset button and get back to normal. Or rather, get to whatever our new normal will be with only four of us at home. Even thinking about that raises my blood pressure. What will this new family dynamic be?
As with all times of stress it seems, I have gained some weight that I’d like to kick and I don’t feel like I have any energy. So I was thinking about how to make some changes. I know a big thing I need to do kick is coffee. I usually quit drinking coffee during the summer anyway because I live in Texas and it’s super hot here which doesn’t exactly make me want to sip on a hot beverage. I also need to get my regular eating back on track. I made a Stouffer’s lasagna and frozen pre-sliced garlic bread for dinner last night. Sure I sauteed some broccoli to go with it, but still.
Anyway, I started doing some googling and ended up on The Queen of The Green Monster‘s page, Oh She Glows. Deeply rooted in my soul is the knowledge that I should be eating vegan and avoiding all sugar and flour. I know it the same way I know that beer is no good for me, but I still pop open a Guinness on the regular and sip it’s foamy bad for me goodness. Because it’s freaking great.
When The GingerBeard Man and I met, I was a “pescatarian” who avoided just about all dairy products. But you know, the thing is, it’s hard to maintain that lifestyle when you share a home with people who don’t. And you have four daughters. And you work full time. Like I just got tired of always making a different dinner for me and making dinner for everyone else. I’m sorry, I’m gonna just say it though, cooking dinner every night is balls. It just is. I don’t roll up on my house at 6pm and think wooooo! Dinner making time! It’s more of a Jesus, can I put on my pajamas, ditch this bra, and watch netflix now? The day is long and when you get home on those nights where you splurged and grabbed a pizza, you feel like you won the relaxing lottery.
But we can’t have pizza every night…. wait… can we? No. Dang it. No.
Well in an effort to eat better next week and in an attempt to kick my 32 ounces of coffee every day, I pulled a bunch of recipes from Oh She Glows and I am hoping that the green smoothie mornings and veggie laden days will help me feel better. I’m adding chicken to just about everything to appease The GingerBeard Man and keep my daughters from starving to death since one of them thinks she is allergic to anything green, but other than that I am anticipating a lovely week of clean eating. I know there will be that whopper of a headache from the coffee withdrawals, but I’ll manage.

Initial Chore Monster Review

Yeah so after my review of the Chorma app, I decided to look around and see what else was out there. Chorma was just so… cluttered. One of the apps that came up in my search pretty frequently was Chore Monster.
Now right off the bat, I am psyched because there is a webpage! Halleluja! I can organize this stuff on my computer instead of on my phone! The website has both a parent’s log in and kid’s log in. The first thing I noticed was that there was only one parent log in. Which means that The GingerBeard Man and I will log in using the same set of credentials. While it surprised me that both parents couldn’t be admins, it wasn’t a dealbreaker.
Setting up kids is pretty easy: first and last name, birthday, gender, screen name, email (optional), password, and photo. I spent more time picking out a photo for each kid than I did actually setting up their accounts. Once you have a kiddo’s account set up, the next screen is setting up chores. This page played to the customizable organization freak in me. You can select a chore from the suggestion list or add your own. Then you can assign points and GUESS WHAT! you can assign however many you want. It has a custom field! I decided to make points equal the approximate amount of minutes the task should take. Unload the dishwasher – ten points, walk the dog – fifteen points, clean your room – twenty-five points… you get the idea.
Now, the next part was tricky for me. I have a lot of chores that the kids can do, but don’t necessarily have to do. They are extra and the kids can do them in order to get points for stuff they want. I struggled a little on how to set those up and consulted the message board section of the site to see what other parents were suggesting.
Since I have two different kinds of chores, here is what I ended up doing: The first kind of chores I have are chores the kids have to do. Cleaning their room once a week, doing their laundry once a week, studying, packing their own lunches… these are chores that I expect them to do. Those chores are assigned to each kid and they have a repeating schedule and a due date. The rest of the chores, things I can either tell them to do or they can offer to do on their own, like setting the table, unloading the dishwasher, walking the dog… these have no schedule and no due date. So they just hang around on the kids’ chore list until they decide to do them (or until I tell them to, which do you think will happen first? lol) and once they do the chore and mark it as complete, it sends me a notification and I am able to approve it as having been done. That chore then shows back up on their list anew, ready to be claimed again.
So when I set the chores up, I have the aforementioned scheduling options but I also have the option to leave a note on the chore. So far I have two notes that I have been using: “*b*o*n*u*s* points!” which I put on the extra chores that I don’t really expect the kids to really do like sweeping the kitchen or cleaning the living room and then I also have “5 bonus points for doing without being asked” for the chores I do expect them to do like unloading the dishwasher or setting the table for dinner. And finally and probably my favorite option about setting chores up is being able to assign them a picture! There is search bar so you put in some key words and then you are able to search for a photo that matches the job you want done. You can also upload your own, which I did for walking our dog. It has a super cute photo of our little doggie which hopefully with incentivize my fourteen year old do disconnect the IV of internet she feeds directly into her veins and go outside with her every once in awhile.
Oh and a nice bonus feature is that at the end of setting up a chore, there is the option to copy it for another kid(s) so you don’t have to do everything twice! So great! Especially if you have more than two kids you are doing this for.
I set up about 25 chores yesterday and carried over the previously earned Chorma points into their new accounts and I was done.
When I got home last night, both girls did a chore and I showed them the new app. It’s super easy for them to use. All of the available chores are on their main page and they can just click it and then click the thumbs up showing that they did it. There is also a thumbs down which I am assuming to mean they did not do their chore. Then I receive a notification which allows me to approve it.
Now this is where the “initial” from my title comes in. I hadn’t actually logged into the kid’s app before last night and there are several things there that I hadn’t seen from my parent’s app. The have chores, rewards, carnival, theater, monsters, and messages. I have no idea what those do or whether the kids will dig them.
The first few days of this and my youngest daughter was super gung ho. But her interest has dwindled. I think it has a lot to do with us being just done with the school year. We are all tired and burned out and no one wants to pack their lunches or get up early or do anything. We all just want a break.