Wednesday, April 2, 2014

WEEK #13: REMOVE LOCATION SERVICES FROM YOUR IPHONE



Maybe you aren't the type that worries too much about things like this...but for me I want to be as careful as possible on the photos that I put out on instagram, facebook etc. of my family and where I'm at. Location services can obviously be very useful, but I've never used them on my camera on my iPhone (only once on vacation). I don't want anyone knowing my exact location from where I'm posting photos etc. Removing the location services from your camera to begin with is SUPER EASY.

I actually had this post scheduled for a later date, but when I saw Jenna from Small Fry talking about it this week on instagram I decided to post it early. Hope this helps. I think it is something we all should do. Take a moment and do your best to keep the location of your location as safe as you can.


In addition I also like this article from The Mac Security blog on the top 9 tips to keep your iPhone secure. I do all of these...and sometimes get made fun of for having a password. But we have dropbox on our phones that contain all kinds of files so we keep our phones locked-up nice and tight.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WEEK #12 PRESERVE HISTORY...GETTING STARTED


This past Sunday my sweet Grandpa passed-away. I have never been more grateful that I took the time to record some of his stories, look through photos with him and listen to his piece of history. The time I was able to spend with my Grandparents when I created this book for them is priceless. I want this for every one I care about.

So...this week your challenge is to get started on this...just get started...you don't have to finish it or even make that much progress but you have to start somewhere.

First make a couple of decisions:
1- Who are you going to start with first? I would select one of your aging relatives to begin with, but you could get several people started at the same time. Smart!

2- Decide what method you will use to collect this information.
Will you sit with them and ask them the questions and record it on your iPhone?
Will you print out the list of questions and ask them to write it out? (This could be great for someone to do who has a lot of time on their hands. Could be a great challenge to occupy their mind and time).
Use an old-school recording machine?

In college I did a paper on my Grandpa and recorded on a tape recorder and then transcribed to my computer. It took some time, but oh how grateful I am to have it.

3- Where should you start?
I found this list of 52 Questions from the Family Search blog that you can use to get started. These questions will give you EXCELLENT starting points to get them talking. I mean really this is all you need. Usually one story will lead to another etc. etc.

4- Schedule a time to get started! You can totally do this over the phone too. It may be more difficult, but don't let that keep you from getting it done. You can totally do this.

Keep going with them until you get a basic life-sketch outlined and record some of their stories.

We will come back to this task again during this 52 week challenge...so don't worry about finishing it all up...this week just get started! Good luck!

In the meantime I wanted to share this free family-tree printable that I did on my other blog (Milkglass and Honey) a couple of years ago:



The fathers in my life (my father and both my grandfathers) all had or have a wonderful sense of perspective on where they come from. I am reminded of countless hours as a child listening to these tales. Happy stories of my father streaking down the street of town after escaping his overalls that my grandma had tied on a rope in the backyard to my grandfather LaVell's exciting adventures with Tidy-Step the race horse. I also remember the sad, silent stories I never actually was told from my grandfather Edward of his experiences during combat of World War II. The absence of these stories spoke volumes to me.  I could see the pain he had endured and yet learn of the power of resilience as I observed the strength and kindness he exhibited despite the dark days he had endured. These memories that were such a part of them helped give me a sense of where my own story began.

I created this cute file that you can use digitally and upload your own photos (using a photo editing software) or print one out and cut family photos to fit.



I'm excited to use my own family history photos (above) to create a version where I fill-in the circles digitally...won't that look amazing!

For a kid-friendly version simply print one out and let your kids color in their own artistic versions of their family tree!



I personally believe that it is so important to know where we come from...to have a sense of our family history...what makes us uniquely us.

I want my children to have the same sense of self that I have been blessed with since my childhood. I believe a way you can begin this is by having early dialogues about our children's family history. To help facilitate this I created this printable that you can print at home on legal paper (8.5x14). Feel free to use it as a digital file and add real photos or let your child draw what they think their ancestors may have looked like.

Feel free to download it {for personal use} right here

And if you don't know your family history go to familysearch.org and get started for free! Have fun helping your littles learn about where they come from!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WEEK #11 HOUSEHOLD BINDER BIRTHDAY STASH


Have you been using your Perpetual Birthday Calendar that we created in January? If so, then this will be the perfect addition to your household binder!

This week I want you to create a birthday/gift stash in your binder. I made several birthday cards with my Cricut Explore and picked-up some $10 gift cards from Target and $10 iTunes cards along with some stamps. I send my nieces and nephews cards in the mail for their birthdays so this is the perfect way for me to have everything I need on hand to send it off so it reaches them in time for their birthday.

So...collect all your items this week and put them in one of the clear sleeve protectors you should already have. Now you are all set and ready for birthdays that are coming up! Keep it stocked if you use anything so you'll always be prepared.

And if you go follow me on instagram today you can enter to win all this for you and a friend!


Hope this week is great for you!

xoxo
Heather

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WEEK #10 DRINK MORE WATER


As a former Diet Coke addict I am the first to say that I understand that this post will not be popular with many of you. Sorry mom and dad.

I used to LOVE my diet soda. I would crave that fizzy, syrupy delight and add a little coconut flavoring...I was just in heaven. But...I knew it wasn't good for me. Unfortunately, I am NOT good at moderation . So I had to quit. Just like that. No more. Not once in a while. That was it. This was about 10 months ago.

It was like breaking-up with a very, very, very good friend. Saying goodby to a little indulgence that I really looked forward to. It was hard. But I thought the rewards would be immediately great. I got a terrible headache. I felt awful. But it only lasted a few days. After that I slowly stopped craving it as much. I sometimes still wanted it. Especially with Mexican food.

Then one day last summer I was at the pool with my sister. My water bottle was empty and I was so thirsty. There was a can of diet soda so I thought I'd have that. No big deal.

I. got. so. sick. Seriously. Head-pounding, couldn't see straight nauseated felt like my head was going to explode could barely drive my car sick. It was crazy. Best thing that ever happened to me because I have never looked back. I am a recovering diet soda addict and I've never felt better.



So maybe you aren't a total soda addict and can enjoy one once in awhile. Good for you if that is the case and hopefully you can use this week to simply drink more water each day. And if you are a hard-core soda drinker and this sounds scary...you can totally do it. If I did it, so can you.

Are you going to try it? Email me and let me know how it is going and what you think!

Good luck this week!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

WEEK #9 IMPORTANT DOCUMENT ORGANIZATION

This weeks task is pretty easy! I want you to work on getting together all the important documents for each member of your family and storing them in a safe place. This may take you only 5 minutes, or you may realize you need to order a copy of your birth certificate or follow-up with your son's pediatrician to get a copy of his vaccinations.

The least expensive way to order a certified birth certificate is through your own state. There is a complete list of where to write for vital records here.

To order a copy of your Social Security card you can find a Social Security Office location nearest you.

You may also need to apply for or renew your passport.

Also make sure you obtain important vaccination records. This can be done through your doctor.




Okay...so that was easy right? And I bet you feel really organized this week. I hope you are enjoying these challenges and feeling super satisfied with all the things you are checking-off your list! Yay!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WEEK #8: YOU NEED A BUDGET


Before I learned about budgeting I resisted it...big time! I did NOT want a budget. I assumed that having a budget meant I'd feel limited, controlled and wouldn't have any freedom if I had to follow a budget. It is actually just the opposite! When you have a system in place for your budget you are in TOTAL CONTROL of your money...what you spend and what you save!

My husband and I have tried all sorts of methods for budgeting. Free software, a spreadsheet, a printed piece of paper and even envelopes with cash! We absolutely believe in living within our means and always have, but couldn't find the exact right tool to make it SUPER EASY. It was always a chore...

Our financial planner (thanks Kellie!) introduced us to this amazing website and software program called You Need a Budget.com (YNAB for short). We absolutely LOVE it.

I also want to say that I do not have any affiliation with this company and am not being compensated for this review. This is just something I love and want to share with you all!  I even thought about creating a cute budgeting printable etc. but I just don't believe in that system. The way this software is run from your desktop but syncs with your phone(s) makes it so effortless. I wouldn't control my money any other way. Seriously.




I've created a short tutorial below to introduce you to their site. I am not claiming to know everything about their software, but they make it really easy to learn their method and download a free 34 day trial of their product that I suggest everyone try to see if it works for you! If you like it you can then purchase it for $60. Totally worth the investment in my opinion.

Watch my tutorial below:

http://screencast.com/t/2H24AfhyaV
Watch my short tutorial for You Need A Budget.com right here...

Read the four-step method that YNAB teaches you here:

I absolutely love how you give every single dollar a job. So basically every dollar you have coming in is placed in to a category...for example groceries, fuel, medical expenses, maybe a category for purchasing vintage milkglass even! (I am a complete vintage milkglass hoarder if you didn't know). Then you work off your budget for the month and every time you make a purchase you can download it on your phone and it syncs everywhere. You can also choose to just import your spending all in one file, but I think it is easiest to do it every time you make a purchase. You'll also have fun watching your categories adding up each month when you aren't spending all your money. I love watching my vacation budget grow because then I'm thinking of all the fun we will have out vacationing.

I also love the site because they offer free classes that you can take online and also a free 9-day course that they send to your email

I don't feel like I can teach you how to create and manage a perfect budget in this blog post...but I really believe this product can do this. Try it out and see what you think. Let me know how you like it and if you find that it works for you!

Good luck this week! And feel free to email me with any comments or questions on my experience with the product!



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WEEK #7: CREATING A READY-FOR-ANYTHING CAR KIT


This week we are going to focus on getting together a ready-for-anything car kit.  Don't stop reading this! I promise it isn't too overwhelming and it is SO USEFUL! Having these items in my trunk has saved me more times than I can count! Start even just by getting a few of the things and then when you are at the store each week grab a couple extra things to add to your kit. Before you know it you will have a fully-stocked ready-for-anything car kit.

This kit of course works great for any type of emergency, but it also works great for those non-emergencies too! Like when you forget your wallet and have to stop at the store...you'll have cash in your trunk. Or forgot snacks and you are stuck watching soccer games all day...you'll have water and snacks in your trunk too. Or what if your credit card stops working in the middle of a roadtrip? You'll have enough cash to fill-up your car and get you where you need to go. (This just happened to my sister...luckily it was just after Christmas and she had been given some cash as a stocking stuffer). Just remember to replace whatever you've used when you get home. And of course this also doubles as an emergency kit for anything. You could simply grab it out of your car and go.



Below I've created a printable guideline for you to use in preparing your Car Kit(s). Keep it in your household binder. Use this list to stay up-to-date on expiration dates on food or other items and to remind yourself of what your checklist is missing. I also have switched to a few MRE items because I got sick of switching-out other food that got old too quickly. I chose to put in MRE Bread, peanut butter and jelly because I know my kids would eat that if they had to. I also included some fruit juices and boxed MRE applesauce and fruit, plus regular granola bars and canned fruit. But don't feel like you have to use MRE food...just make sure to switch out your food regularly if you aren't using something prepared for longer shelf-life.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3qCYGkcNmvOSWJpZ2tpSUJsZVk/edit?usp=sharing


 CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE CAR KIT PRINTABLE

And it doesn't have to take up a ton of space either! Everything you see below I shoved into one of those free diaper bags from the hospital. Bet you are wishing you wouldn't have thrown yours away now huh! Ha ha!


And if you don't want to put all this together for yourself, below is an Roadwise Emergency Car Kit from Emergency Essentials.com currently selling for $38.95. This would be a good start and then you could add snacks and juices, blankets etc. yourself. I would recommend using snacks and items you know your family will eat.
They also have a basic 100 piece first-aid kit that sells for $7.50

And I also love these 100-Hour Plus candles for $4.95. Safe to use indoors, clean-burning, odorless and smokeless. Great to have for an emergency.
So there you have it...everything you need to get started on your "Ready-for-anything" Car Kit...and remember that "emergency" might just be forgetting your wallet or a really thirsty kid at a soccer game! Good luck! Let me know how it is going!