Summer Goals & Giveaway

I work as a paraeducator at our local elementary school. Love my job. Love the kids. Love the challenges. Love the summers off.

But having the summer off means I'm also not getting paid. Which means we have to cut back in many areas.

Which ultimately means simplifying our lives even more. Honestly, I actually enjoy that. When you are almost forced to cut down and simplify, it can actually lead to very satisfying results.

 Thrifty Goals
--Walk/bike everywhere I can. Gas is $4.19/gallon here right now. WOW. Makes me ill just thinking about it.

--Bigger garden. Much bigger. Rich is our green thumb around here and he will be a busy boy putting in this baby. We'll be canning and freezing much more this year too.

--Free Kindle books and the library. No need to buy books when Kindle offers freebies daily (although many of them are smut or generic romances), and our local library is half a mile down the road from our house.

--Thrift/consignment shops. It doesn't embarass me one bit to shop at them. I love it actually, if the shop is a good one. Bring on the used clothes and cheap makeover furniture projects!!

--pantry challenges-I've done these before here at SB. The goal is to use everything from your pantry before heading to the store to spend more cash! Check out an old Pantry Challenge.

--Yard Sale! I have had a sale every year for the last 12 years and they are a GREAT way to make some extra cash and clean out your house. They are also a lot of work, especially with a toddler at your heels.

My goals are not just money oriented. My #1 priority is a healthy family. Without health, we have nothing.

Health Goals
--Workout every single day. Cardio, weights, strength-building exercises. I love that I don't need a gym membership to workout. Pushing Henry's stroller up those hills is quite the workout. We added a weight bench in the basement and I've been doing some strength training for the first time ever. I feel so empowered (and cool)!

--Eat right. Whole foods, from the earth. Organic from our garden, homemade if possible. And grilled as often as possible. Anything tastes good off the grill!

--Outdoors! After being stuck inside all winter, the sun is like an old friend who came back to visit. I plan on spending much more time outside than in this summer. I can't wait for backyard campfires with my guys.

--Appreciating Mother Nature and all of her beauty is good for the soul and the body.

--Bikini....I'm going to rock one this summer, no apologies! I may be 34 years old, but I figure if there's ever a time to celebrate being a woman, it's now or never. No one may ever see me in it but myself, but I'm still making it a goal!


What are your summer goals? Are you getting into shape or putting in a veggie garden? Are you going on vacation or taking on a new adventure? Do you love being outside, hiking, biking and living it up?

I'm giving away a copy of a wonderful (hardcover) cookbook from Cooking Light. It has delicious and very healthy grilling recipes for your summer cookouts. Leave a comment on this thread and I will pick a winner next week. Make sure to leave your email with your comment so I can contact you. Good luck!



Katrina said...

We will be spending a lot of time in our pool. I am pregnant and I love to lounge in the pool. My husband loves to grill so I would love to win this for him.
ykatrina at hotmail dot com

Anna said...

Summer goals aren't very high powered around here, as they all equal fun! I'm thinking kayaking, canoeing, walking, beading, quilting, and enjoying family and friends :) Oh, and Bri can do the grilling for us!

Natalie said...

I'd love this book--just posted a grilling recipe today! :) My goal is to say no more---we overbook ourselves and instead I want to RELAX!

Heather N. said...

Our family is all trying to get healthier this summer too. We always plant a vegetable garden, but given that we live in a small town, we are going to start walking more. The main grocery store and library are within walking distance, as are the parks and anything else we may want to do. I think our main goal is to just spend more time together as a family as we are all pretty busy.

Shauna Mama said...

My summer goal this year is too make it through my chemo treatments and still have the energy to give my kids and amazing summer with lots of swimming, eating, and family time!!

Joyful Things said...

I have found life offers two things. One - you have Money but No Time (working full time) and Two - you have Time but No Money (Seasonal Lay Offs)

My favorite words ..... Clearance! Two for One! Free! and yes Yard Sales (we had a Garage Sale here a couple of weeks ago - made some money and cleared out the unused things )

I plant a garden, ride my bike, go on hikes, swim and canoe in the lake, and best of all entertain family and friends at home pot-luck style.

Jenelle said...

Summers are made to reflect on God's greatest treasures. With fresh air, fresh veggies, bright sun, birds singing and nature in general.
This summer I will be concentrating on building a raised garden bed and planting several items. I will also be re doing a flower bed with low maintenance plants. I plan to eat healthier, take more walks and read some good books. I also crochet and knit and will be working on newborn hats to donate to our local hospital.

Anonymous said...

My summer goal is to lose some weight and feel good about myself. I also plan on doing some sewing projects and room re-do projects.


Alicia said...

My summer goal is to get happy again. I have had a rough start to the year and I hope to find my 'happy' this summer!


Qwendykay said...

We are putting in a big garden this summer too, for more than just cost, but it's healthier too!!

qwendykay at yahoo

Qwendykay said...

We are putting in a big garden this summer too, for more than just cost, but it's healthier too!!

qwendykay at yahoo

Robin L Greenslade said...

I loved your pantry challenge last year, and have implemented it as a regular part of our routine. It has made me think more about what I am buying at the grocery store and whether I will truly want to use it and enjoy eating it. My husband is the world's pickiest eater so anytime I mention that we are having a pantry challenge dinner - he just about groans. My daughter and I love the variety and the creativeness of using what is in the pantry to prepare a tasty, appealing and enjoyable meal. Thank you for sharing with all of us in the blog world. You are such a "real" woman; I adore your blog. Your funeral sandwhiches have become a favorite pot luck staple ...DELICIOUS!


Happy Cinco De Mayo!

Danyelle said...

I'm hoping to get in better shape and spend plenty of time at the pool.

Pam said...

I plan on biking/walking everywhere I can too this summer. These gas prices make me shudder as well. Plus I hope to lose a few pounds. I do not have a place to put a garden, but will be shopping our local farmers market. You have great ideas for stretching a dollar. Thanks for sharing! :-)

Rob'n'Mon said...

I don't have a lot of fun goals this summer, but here's my list:
1 - SELL my house!
2 - MOVE to Arizona
3 - Lose my baby weight (he's now 4 months old!)
4 - Try at least 2 new recipes each week :)

Rob'n'Mon said...

Oh! Forgot my email address - msparks0615@gmail.com

Amy's Cooking Adventures said...

What great goals!

I am planting an herb garden this year. I need to get the pesky rabbit under control before I can attempt a veggie garden again :(

And I totally love biking. I have a trailer for my baby & my preschooler and away we go!!

I love grilling outdoors but get tired of the same old burgers and hot dogs!


Jen@FIRR-Kids! said...

Ooh, I came over to find a ham and cheese bites recipe and ran into a giveaway. Lucky me.


sandee said...

We are going to enjoy community services ie: movies in the park, library summer reading program, bike path, art cart (free art program at local parks)! I am trying to do more local, low cost things to help the budget this summer and still have tons of fun! I also plan on having lots of summer playdates for my girls with swimming, campfires (smores), homemade playdough etc! sandeestamps@gmail.com

Noreen said...

My goals - - slow down, enjoy the summer before our oldest heads off to college and our youngest starts his senior year. Years have flown by way too fast - - - I want to savor every experience this summer, no matter how big or small! noreenzarmbinski@yahoo.com

Tanya said...

I love reading your summer goals everyone! They are great :)

Jill said...

After a 3 year hiatus, I am back running again! I forgot how much I missed running! LOVE IT!! Hoping to run some 5k's and eventually a 1/2 marathon!! And my major goal this summer is to totally change the way my family eats! Love reading your blog!

snbjork said...

In a couple of weeks I am joining Weight Watcher's with my husband's aunt. I just had my third baby 3 months ago and I'm ready to start a new weight-loss journey. I want to be able to fit into my non-fat clothes by the end of the year!

Thanks for the great giveaway!

snbjork @ gmail dot com

Cheryl888 said...

Goal: To spend more time outside with the kids playing!

RebekahRose said...

Sounds like you have some great goals to focus on!

Good luck to everyone with the GiveAway!! I love new cookbooks! :)

Michelle said...

These are all such wonderful ideas! My daughter and her family are moving here in June and staying with me until they get a home and jobs. That means cutting out a lot of unnecessary items such as eating out, buying things we don't need, traveling. I have also joined Weight Watchers to get back into shape. My health has taken a nose dive so it's time to take control!

carole said...

my summer goal is to get the garden going!!!Hate those grocery store veggies.....out of your own garden is best. Y ou know there are no pesticides on them. Can"t wait for those juicy tomatoes!!