Friday, January 18, 2013

YW Notebooks

"I thought it would be a good idea to give the girls a notebook to go along with the new youth curriculum, a place to write their thoughts on the lessons, glue in handouts and write their testimonies. Then I saw this link to an idea on sugardoodle and ran with it.

I found the chalkboard printable with this years theme here and used it as the cover.

Because my printable was black and white, I wanted to stay with that theme. At AC Moore, I found scrapbook paper in these elegant black and white patterns cheap.

Then in the ribbon department, I looked for all sorts of black and white patterns. I had Pat with me so I had to be quick. I got zebra, damask, checkered diamonds, glittery, polka dots ect.

I used spiral notebooks because they would be the most stable. After tying ribbons along the spirals and gluing on the background, I started thinking that I really needed some color!

A trip to Michael's got me cardstock in all sorts of colors and colorful ribbon to match. For the colored ribbon, I just wanted something simple and solid, the black and white patterns were busy enough. I mounted the theme printable on the cardstock and added it to the cover. I then cut out a cardstock square to be a backing for the nametag.

I printed out all the names but wanted the girls to pick their own notebook so I just brought their names and let them glue it on the notebook they picked. I made one for each of the leaders as well.

Inside the notebooks, I made a Table of Contents on the first two pages (front and back to equal four pages). There is a column for the page number, the date and the lesson or topic. This way when they are later asked to give a talk or want to look something up, its easy to go to a specific topic.

The site with the original idea suggested to number all the pages of the notebook. I started to, but that was a lot (especially after tying all those ribbons!), so I stopped at page 50. After three notebooks done and twelve more to go, I decided that 50 pages was still a lot to number! So I went to page 20 on each notebook and figured the girls can number the rest!

I seriously LOVE the way they turned out! And it went over great with the girls (of course I have only seen the leaders use them but its only been two weeks)."

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Young Womens

"In December, I was released from my calling in church as a Primary teacher and secretary and called to be the secretary in Young Womens. I am so grateful for my calling but went through a lot of emotions to get here

When I was first heard that they were going to be switching up the young womens and primary presidencies in our ward I was excited. I had been in primary for at least 3 or 4 years as a teacher and was ready for a change. I either wanted to be in YW or be in the Primary Presidency but not teaching. Then the call came as the secretary in YW, and even though I was hoping for a calling in YW, I was surprisingly indifferent. I wasnt happy or sad or anything. I was just like "alright whatever"

But when my last Sunday in primary came, I was super bummed! I was going to miss all the kids. There were sundays that they drove me insane but more often, they were cute, funny, sweet and spiritual. I loved seeing the world through their eyes. I loved teaching/remembering the basic doctrines of the gospel. I was comfortable in Primary. I knew how things worked. I knew enough to easily answer the questions the kids asked. But I think Heavenly Father knew I was getting too comfortable, so he pushed me out of my comfort zone and into YW. And I was scared!

I never was a leader in YW before. I wasnt sure what was expected of me. And they have changed the curriculum so that there is no longer a really a lesson. Its more of a list of scriptures and conference talks and you just read over it and decide what is best for your girls. I was so nervous. I really dont know the girls that well and the leaders are all women that I have looked up to for a long time.

When I am nervous about something I try to do as much research as possible. So i dived into all things YW. I found some great blogs from pinterest. And the more I read and saw, the more excited I became.

I am grateful to have a loving Heavenly Father who knows me and my needs better than me. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in YW. I am grateful to work with great women and serve great youth. I am grateful to delve deeper in the the scriptures and strengthen my testimony."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Resolutions 2013

I love New Years. Its nice to look back on the year, reflect on good and bad and start with a clean slate. I know that most people, myself included, set and fail to follow through with New Years Resolutions. I did set some goals for myself back in September that I have been doing really well at so hey maybe I will actually do these too
I've read that there are 7 asspects of wellness, so I am trying to set a goal for each

1. Occupational (I am taking this as financial)- Set and stick to a budget. Have a solid amount of savings- see this post

2. Physical- Take better care of my skin. (explanation post to come)

3. Emotional- Give myself "quiet time" to think/reflect with out distractions. I dont have any kids so know it the time to enjoy the peace and quiet instead off always having the TV on, or music or a book on cd playing.

4. Spiritual- Magnify my calling. Plan my lessons for Young womens early. Go to as many activities as my work schedule allows.

5. Social- Host dinner parties. Hopefully one every other month

6. Intellectual- Actually read each of the books from book club!

7. Environmental (This is supposed to be like water food/safety but I have that)- Make up a cleaning chart/schedule and stick to it. And clean out/organize the junk room


I tend to have an obsesive personality. When I like something, I dont just like something. I crave it. I love it. I overdo it sometimes. If you haven't noticed, I have an obsession with shoes. I could never gamble, because I would be that person that can't stop and loses everything. One thing that I could obsess a little bit more about is finances!

I used to be so good at saving money, until I got a job. Then I was like, "wow, now I have money/get money way more often, so I can spend it more often" Well, now I need to learn how to save my money and spend it more wisely again.

There are a lot of big financial goals that I have. 1. I want to start a family, but children are expensive. 2. We need to buy Patrick a car that was made in the 21st century. 3. Save for a downpament on a house. 4. Buy our own furniture! (couch, dining room table and chairs, bedroom set)... the list goes on.

So I have compiled a list of "tips" to saving money. Somethings I was raised doing, somethings I have done for years, somethings I used to do I need to get back to doing and sometihings I have recently learned and want to start doing.

1. You dont need to wash everytime- Growing up, we would reuse, rewear and recycle. We wore our jeans and other clothes (of course socks and underwear washed after each use!) several times before washing them. We would all pick a cup and keep it in the fridge. After we finished our drink we would just rinse it out before refilling it. After a few days, mom would wash it and we would pick a new cup. We also dont shower everyday. Some may find this gross but in my day to day life, I dont do much to become dirty. Every Saturday night, regardless of whether or not I showered the previous day, I take a shower and shave my legs. But other then that, I'll only shower when my hair is greasy, after a workout, or whenever I feel yucky. Basically about 3 times a week.

2. Carry cash- I am much more careful about spending cash then using my debit card. When I use cash, I can see my money disapear. When I was at BYU, I would take out $20 cash each week. That was the money I could spend on food and entertainment and that was it for the week. I could see it and ration it out accordingly. If I spent it early in the week, too bad for me.

3. Track spending- Similar with cash, I spend less and wiser when I can see the money disapear, but I never check the balance on my debit card so I tend to buy buy buy. If I keep a little notebook and write down every charge and subtract it from the balance, I am much more aware of my spending.

4. Don't be a snob- Be willing to buy off brands or store brands. 90% of the time, they work just as well as the national brand and they are much cheaper. And I have recently rediscovered Dollar General. I was bored one afternoon and had to go to Acme. Dollar General is right next door, so I decided to stop in and look around. They have tons of stuff! and its cheap! not "its going to fall apart in two seconds" cheap. They have lots of cleaning supplies, groceries, bath and body products that are name brands for less then you would find at the grocery store. I never thought to shop at a dollar store for regular everyday items, but if it saves me a buck or two...I will no longer be a dollar store snob.

5. Clip coupons- Every Saturday night, I stop by wawa on my way home from work to pick up a sunday paper. I clip all coupons that I would possibly use. I have them organized in a little book seperated by category. Then, I check the ads of the stores I shop most at (Shoprite, CVS and Acme) for the best deals. Remember, for the best deal, combine a coupon with the sale price.

6. Stock pile- When something you use alot (that doesn't expire or takes a long time to expire) goes on sale and you have coupons, buy a couple. I am not saying go crazy like that Extreme Coupon show and buy 50 bottles of BBQ sauce. But I do have about 6 or 7 bottles of laundry deterergent and a solid years supply of razors. So I dont need to worry about running out or paying full price later.

7. Use what you have- Say you go to a store and see an item on sale/clearance for $10 and its usually $50. You say to yourself, "wow thats a great deal! I am saving $40!" After buying said item, it sits in a closet for a year untouched. Did you really save $40? or waste $10? If you never use it, its a waste no matter what the cost is! Use what you have or don't get it. Think to yourself "Am I going to use it in the next two weeks (or month depending on what its for)?" If the answer is no, don't get it! And along with #6, slow down if you have a stockpile of it already. I have stopped buying razors because I have a ridiculous amount already. I am using what I have before buying more (unless with coupons and sales it is more then 80% savings)

8. Know what you have- this goes along with 7. Example: The other day I wanted to make snickerdoodles. I remembered that last time I made them (months ago) I was low on cream of tartar. I chacked the fridge and there was barely any left, so off I went to the store and bought some, full price around 4 bucks. When I got home after making the cookies, I was putting away my ingedients and found a full jar of cream of tartar in my cabinet. Apparantly I bought some months ago when I first realized I was low. Now I wasted $4 cause I know I am not going to be able to use up both jars before they expire seeing as Snickerdoodles is the only recipie that calls for it. If I knew what I had, this wouldnt be a problem!

9. Leave your credit cards at home- For a while, I needed to keep my credit cards at home in my sock drawer to keep me from using them. It was too easto swipe now and worry about paying later. But if my cards were not in my wallet, I couldn't use them if I wanted. This can go with your debit card too. Just take your licence with you one day and leave your wallet at home. You cant be tempted to buy what you don't need if you dont have money.

10. Avoid tolls- In NJ, we have tolls on our highways. On the way to work, there are no tolls for me, but coming home, there is a toll right before my exit. The toll is $1.50. I work five days a week, that would be $390 a year just for that one toll. That sure does add up! So instead, I get off the parkway at the exit right before the toll and take Route 9 the rest of the way. It is about 5 minutes longer but saves me money. To ensure I would avoid the toll, I went without EZ-Pass until this past December. It was a pain getting all those quarters! But now I am in the habit of taking the slightly longer/slower road and saving that money

11. Set aside money in savings- I have direct deposit. I set it up that a certain amount goes directly into our joint account for bills. Then, $50 from every check goes directly into my savings, where I dont touch it. The rest goes into my primary checking. $50 a pay check isnt much, but it adds up to $1200 a year

Do you have any good tips?