Keep it Keto: Cookout Edition

Happy Memorial Day!

Hope you all had a great weekend. Filled with family friends and great food. For those of us who are Keto starting out or otherwise, cookouts can cause somewhat of a problem. There’s so many classic tasty carb loaded treats around how do you keep it keto? Well I’m here to help, and while I don’t claim to be perfect or go to a family cook out and still nail all my macros. There are ways that we can minimize the damage, and hopefully not run too far down the spiral of carbs and sugar. I won’t promise it’ll be easy but it can be done with the right mindset

The most important piece of advice I can give is have a plan.

Try and ask around to find out what kind of food that will be served. Then you can be prepared for knowing what you’re going to have and what you’re going to run away from. This way you also know you’re not going to be stuck with nothing to eat that isn’t going to ruin your carb count. Of course there’s going to be all sorts of carb laden things that you’ll want to sample, nibble, chomp, and taste but don’t forget that those small bites do count too. So try not to get carried away.

If you’re new to keto have a plan for your relatives. They are going to ask you lots of questions and of course give their own opinion. Remember that not everyone is ready to be friendly with fat. Just be aware that you will probably get a lot of questions and they’ll probably watch what you eat. People can’t help but be curious. You can choose not to share too that is your choice. You chose to be Keto and your reasons are your own, no one can take that away. Or you’re like me you’re willing to bend anyone’s ear that’ll listen how much you love keto. No matter what don’t forget why you started keto in the first place. Then others can say whatever they want, it doesn’t mean you have to agree.

Another solid idea is to bring something you know you can have. I went to a cook out over the weekend and I made some keto approved crackers and artichoke dip. It was absolutely amazing and surprisingly filling. This ensures that you have a fall back and it gives others the chance to try things your way. I also found it was a good opportunity to try a new recipe. I think it would have been a good idea to also bring a sweet treat to have one sweet and one savory indulge-able treat. IMG_20180527_161912133.jpg

This next one may seem kind of obvious but I think its important to make the note of saying, to drink water. A lot of water. This will help a lot with being surrounded by cravings. If your thinking about snaking have some water and wait a few minutes. If you still want a snack keep it keto. Nuts, cheese, pepperoni all good simple choices. Water will also help your body come back from the day.Screenshot_20180528-110814

A big thing I want to touch on is while I’m saying keep it keto, at the same time don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself at least some calorie wiggle room, even if you’re going to aim to keep your carbs where they should be. It is supposed to be an enjoyable event after all. And if you are going to carb cheat try and pick one thing not just a free for all. For me it was a s’more. I could not resist. I resisted every other temptation, but I couldn’t say no to a S’more.

If I’m being honest it was totally worth it. I will not guilt myself for it.

I did really well the whole day. It wasn’t easy, pretzels and things just sitting there. We’re only human and if we deny ourselves everything all the time we’d be miserable. Just don’t let one thing open up the door to a day of bad eating. Have you’re indulgence and move forward.

For some trying to track your macros throughout the day will help keep yourself in check. This way you could watch closely where you are remind yourself of your goals. I had entered the day thinking I was going to track my macros, but between being surrounded by people and chasing my crazy boys around I didn’t think it was going to be worth it for me. I did decide to put it together this morning for you guys.Screenshot_20180614-224325

I kept it simple for the meal a burger with mustard and a thin slice of tomato, and some spinach with raspberry dressing. The raspberry dressing was absolutely delicious and I plan on looking for it to have from time to time. 1 net carb per serving, and a nice fresh slightly tart taste.

If you do want to track your macros but don’t have the time to sit and track everything right after you eat it you could snap a picture of what you’re having before you eat. Then when you get a chance you can go back through and log your food. This would be a really good way of holding yourself accountable. You could keep a memo on your phone of what you’ve had or actually write it down. I do wish I had kept better track of what I had eaten so I could have logged it. It’s also difficult to log because I’d have to add two recipes to my tracker app. Not a terrible thing but not something I wanted to do after the long day.

And there we are. Keeping it Keto at a cookout. It can be tough and even I don’t have it down to a science, but it can be done. Be aware, drink your water, and hold yourself accountable but don’t beat yourself up. One day isn’t going to throw off all your progress. On that same note though be sure its only one day and even better one treat. Not the whole day. It will be much better to just accept and move on. Not throw the macros away for the day. Then it will be that much harder to start back up. Did any of you attend a cookout over the weekend? Did you keep it Keto? What sort of things did you have? Please comment below, and don’t forget to follow. Most of all Live Crazed!!

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Getting Organized: Meal Planning

Welcome to Friday!

It is a beautiful day outside, can’t wait to take the boys outside so they can play while I sit in a the sun and plan for June. One of my main things to plan is our meals for the month. I find it a lot easier to just plan for the whole month even though I grocery shop every two weeks. Today I’m going to go over my Meal Planning Binder. It was one of the first binders that I started using. There’s definitely some improvements that can be made but so far I’m very happy with the help it gives.2018-05-25_12.15.02
Meal planning is definitely very important, not only for budget reasons but also for sanity reasons. Having two small, very busy boys I definitely don’t have time to decide what I want to make on a day to day basis. Also complicated meals are out. But I also want to make sure that they are eating good homemade food not just super processed sugar filled junk. It is tempting to just eat out and get a quick bite that I don’t have to cook but then my family is eating a ton of fillers that don’t keep you full for long.

Currently my boys are kind of picky so that makes meal planning a little tricky too. I want to have enough variety that they will come out of their pickiness but I want to make sure they are eating enough. I also have not tried to convert my family over to Keto with me. They are all about their carbs, but maybe one day.
The way I have my binder set up dinners for the month have their own page. This to me is the complicated meal so its got to be planned. The way we like it we have three days a week that are the same week to week. We have Meatball Mondays, Burrito Wednesdays, and Pizza Fridays. This is a huge help with planning the consistency makes everyone happy. After those days I have eight options for the other days. This may not seem like a lot but for my family it works. There’s enough options that we aren’t having exactly the same things every week but it’s simple enough that I’m not going extra crazy trying to make and prepare for all these different meals.

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A lot of my go-to meals to make for my family are made up of similar things. For example 2 of the 8 options are made up of ground beef as well as meatball Monday. Then 2 use pizza fixings. We also have ham, chicken and sausage. The chicken and sausage are also used for lunches, and on burrito night we usually have chicken burritos. Having similar things also helps to keep the budget down, and also helps to speed up meal- prep but I’ll cover that next Wednesday. On the dinner worksheet I have a place for a few sides.

When I first started meal planning I didn’t include the side but I found that left me frazzled and scrambling at meal times. The main thing is that none of these meals takes a lot of time, and having it set up for the month saves a lot of time and money.

Moving on

Breakfast, lunch and snacks have a page together. I do this because all of those are more-so options then set meals. I don’t always give my boys an option for those meals but it’s all quick and simple items to keep us moving through out the day. I make a point to make sure there aren’t a surplus of options. Around four to five options for each seems to be what works for us.IMG_20180525_121236985
As it stands now I only meal plan for my family. Then, for myself I kind of wing it or pick one main meal option that I prep for the week and have mainly snack plates for lunch and eggs for breakfast. In the very near future I will whip up a template to start meal planning for myself. This will ensure that I’m never left wondering what I will have, which will cut down on possibilities of slipping.

It will also keep me from ending up with too many options and over spending on groceries for myself. Too many options can be just as bad as not having enough. With too many options it can be hard to decide what to have, and its more likely that items will go bad before you have a chance to use them all.
Another thing that I want to add to my meal planning binder is a pantry/ freezer inventory list. That way I can keep track of what we have on hand, quickly and easily. This will help with getting the budget under control as well. By tracking what we have vs what we use I’ll be able to really see what we use in a two week time period. I believe it will help a lot not only cut down on waste but help be more organized and prepared. Especially with summer coming up and summer = no time for anything, because the boys want to be outside all the time. This is a great thing but it also means I can’t spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen.
Well there it is my Meal Planning Binder! It is still a work in progress but it is still a huge help. Do any of you keep a meal planning binder? If you do what’s the system that works for you? Please follow my blog and don’t forget to Live draze

Keto: Getting Started

This blog post contains affiliate links.

Hey All!!!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am very quick to talk about Keto and how much I love it. While I’ve only been Keto for a bit over a month but I’m sure that it’s for life. My body is definitely on board for this lifestyle. And I can’t help but want to share it with everyone, in the hopes that it can help them the way it helped me.

It’s important to throw out there that while Keto has worked for me it doesn’t mean that its perfect for everybody, every person is different and everyone’s body works in their own ways. There are many reasons to at least try keto, help with weight-loss, a clearer mind, more energy, and delicious food. In case you believe that keto could be for you I am here to help!

  Lets get started!

Okay so the first very important thing is research. You shouldn’t jump into anything without first knowing what you’re getting yourself into. The main thing you should be looking for are a recommended food list, with the foods that you should not be having.  A big goal with keto is to go with minimally processed food, and to stay far far away from sugar in any form that will mess with your blood sugar levels.Screenshot_20180521-133359

The overall goal is to become a fat burner not a sugar burner. This is when you start to lose weight and begin to reap the other benefits of Keto. Also you should take the time to sit down and write why you want to do this, and really think about it. Yes a lot of us want to lose weight but try to dig deeper than that. I have mine written in my fitness journal.

Another very important research tool is going to be a macro calculator. This will help you determine macros specific for you. Many macro tracking apps have one built in or you can find a ton online. That is another highly recommended piece of research to do. Find a tracking app that you like.

Personally I use CarbManager. I like how its set up its really easy to use. It has the option to save favorite foods, copy meals to a new day, and also input a recipe and it will give you the nutritional info per serving. The premium version has a ton more bells and whistles but I’ve been quite happy with the free version.

When you do start to track be brutally honest.

You’re only hurting yourself when you sneak things past your tracker. When you’re being honest you will be more likely to make better progress and get into ketosis faster. It’s true that the numbers may seem discouraging at first but when you fully commit and you can get passed cravings and sugar/ carb addiction and start nailing those macros, you will feel a big sense of accomplishment. After that everything will get easier.

I would also highly recommend keeping track of your end of day macros. For me its part of my fitness journal. You can read more about my journal here, in another post. I find it really useful to be able to look at my daily macros all together instead of flipping through the app.Screenshot_20180521-132530.png

Alright so after you’ve done that research and you have a pretty general idea of the kinds of things you’ll be eating, I HIGHLY recommend that you do some meal planning. It can be extremely overwhelming to start a new diet especially when its important that you hit your macros.

A word of caution: take it slow.

You will no doubt see a million recipes for tasty Keto deserts and breads and whatnot. If you are new to Keto and you start trying some of these recipes before your adapted to the keto way of eating, they most likely taste off, and you could get discouraged.

Adjusting to different sweeteners can take time and if you are still sugar addicted then making keto sweets is not recommended. Trying a fat bomb or two, however, would be highly recommended and for me keeping a good PB and 75% or higher chocolate on hand was extremely important.

I really love Smuckers natural chunky pb. You can check it out here. The only ingredients are peanuts and less than 1% salt. One serving is 2 tbs; with 2 net carbs, 16g fat, 8g protein and 180 calories. Yes the calories are a little high and I definitely had to start restricting my pb after a little while but it helped a lot at first. It was slightly sweet, felt like a treat and was filling. Confession when I started and cravings were bad I would dip my chocolate into my pb more often then not, but I have since switched to celery.

I do feel like I should add that sugar is a very real addiction. So once you stop in taking carbs and sugar you body will go through withdrawal. I believe this is what some people will call keto flu. The symptoms can be very much like the flu but it will pass.

It does not last forever.

For some, the best option is to wean off slowly. Start with 150 carbs and go down until you reach 20 or less. Some people will not get into Ketosis until they are under 20 carbs a day for anywhere from 3 days to a week.

For me I had already cut most carbs out of my diet so I went through my main withdrawl problem before starting keto. The biggest thing for me was finding a sugar replacement for my coffee. When I first started keto I cut back the sugar in my coffee to about 1 teaspoon per cup, until I found a stevia I liked. The one I use is an alcohol free liquid stevia you and find it here.

As for coffee, I started drinking Keto coffee, or butter coffee or bulletproof coffee whatever you’d like to call it. My morning cup has 12oz brewed coffee, 1tbs butter, 1 tbs coconut oil a little cinnamon and 6 drops of stevia. All tossed in the blender for 30+ seconds. So tasty, and it helps a whole lot for getting the fat grams up there.

For those crazy people out there that don’t like coffee a good replacement for this would be a bulletproof bone broth, or I’ve see a few recipes for bulletproof teas. I haven’t tried the tea but the broth is quite tasty.

Let’s talk about carbs.

It’s really processed sugars/carbs are the things to avoid while keto. Don’t be afraid of veggies even though they do have carbs. Vegetables should be your main source of carbs. Dark green veggies to be specific. Potatoes have a lot or carbs that will get broken down to sugar. If you are at a stage where you are just maintaining your weight then you can have a higher carb limit, then potatoes could become a sometimes thing. If you’re really craving potatoes the mashed cauliflower, made up like a loaded baked potato with cheese sour cream and bacon, is amazing.

The biggest piece of advice I can give is to have a plan, have someone you can talk to (preferably that also does keto) and cut yourself some slack. Its ok to make mistakes. Just don’t let it be a whole day. Accept the mistake and move forward. We’re only human after all, we all make mistakes. Just do your best to try and be aware. And drink a ton of water, I mean it.

Ready to get started? Do you have more questions? I am always here to ask questions or to bounce ideas off from. If you haven’t already I would highly recommend checking out some of my other posts for some keto other ideas that could help, and of course following my blog to keep up-to- date on all the fun craziness here. Don’t forget life is short Live Crazed!

Love Yourself: Hairmask Edition

This blog post contains affiliate links.

Welcome to Friday!

I’m pretty excited to share something with you today. Taking extra time for myself is something I have struggled with for a long time. Lately I’ve actually be scheduling time for myself in my planner so that I am sure to give myself some attention too. Today I’m sharing one of the things that I do for myself. A DIY hair mask.

A little over two years ago for whatever reason I decided to cut my long hair to shoulder length. At first it looked very cute actually, but during my pregnancy my hair became very brittle and broke off a lot. Yay kids…..

Since then I’ve been trying very hard to grow my hair back out and make it much healthier. I’ve done a bunch of searching and testing of different mixtures and different oils to see what makes my hair the happiest. While I’m sure there are a ton more options that will work and make my hair feel great I’m going to share with you my most used hair mask. And also why I use what I use.

I’m going to start by saying that I have extremely thin hair so three of the four oils I add to my mask are ones that help to strengthen/ thicken hair. I do believe that using the hair masks have helped, I just need to be more consistent with doing them to get the maximum benefits. I am going to try every two weeks. Maybe in a couple of months I will do a hair update with all my thickening routine and products, and see if there has been an improvements.

  Alright so let’s begin.IMG_20180517_105250530

The base that I use for my hair mask is 2tbs coconut oil. Coconut oil is wonderful for a great many reasons. It has a ton of health benefits and it also help nourish your scalp, hair and make it feel very soft. It is also believed that the fatty acids that coconut oil is made up of can help encourage hair growth.

Next I add 1Tbs Castor Oil. This is another one that is known to help with hair growth, because of its high amount of healthy fatty acids. I also add 1/2tsp Pomegranate oil. Pom oil is made from the seeds of the pomegranate, it is full of antioxidants that can help increase blood flow to the scalp. This can help stimulate hair growth and revitalize dry or dull hair. The last thing I usually add is 1/4tsp Tea Tree oil. Tea tree oil does not smell very good but it’s very effective in getting rid of dandruff and other scalp build up.

Also as an added bonus Tea tree oil naturally repels lice, which is always a good thing. I often will rub a little on myself and my boys scalps before we go to parks or birthday parties.

In case you’d like to check them out here are links to what I use:

Once you have the ingredients its easy enough to mix together. I use two bowls one smaller inside the other. I put some hot water into the bigger bowl the oils in the smaller bowl. This helps make the oils easier to mix. And also feels great.

I don’t leave the oil in the hot water bath for too long because I don’t want the oil to be hot, just warm. Also if the coconut oil completely melts if can be a bigger than necessary mess to put on your hair. I think I’m going to try to get a few things to up my hair mask game. Such as one of those hair dye bowl and brush applicator combos. A hair towel , the ones that are a bit smaller and are made to perfectly wrap up your hair, and a new shower cap.

Always make sure your hair is detangled before you start. When applying the oil to my hair I currently use a spoon, or my hand to plop it onto my head and then I work it into my scalp and hair. Then repeat until the hair is completely saturated, there should be no dry hair.

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After sitting an hour

 

Once you’re sure it’s all good and oiled up massage your scalp for 3-5 minuets. I don’t really time this… but if I did that’s what I’d go with. Before I massage my scalp I usually wet a small towel, currently I use an old baby towel, wring out the extra water and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds.

This seems to make it the perfect warmth after massaging the scalp. Don’t wait until after massaging your scalp to heat the towel it will most likely be too hot. Wrapping the hair in a warm towel to let it sit helps to open up the hair follicles to better absorb the oils and also draws blood flow to the scalp which is very important for hair growth. The shower cap also helps to trap in the heat.

The oil should sit on your hair for at least one hour or more, if you have that kind of time… I almost never do an hour is my limit.  When you’re ready to wash your hair just jump in the shower. I find this to be the easiest method. Before you shampoo, massage the scalp a bit vigorously while having your hair under the water.

Do not use your nails! Pads of the fingers only.

woman wearing white long sleeved shirt
Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

Probably another 3-5 minutes, to feel like you’ve scrubbed your whole scalp. I usually shampoo twice the first time I let it sit while I take care  of some shower business. The second time I just work it in the rinse it out almost immediately. I use a small amount of conditioner but only on the ends of my hair, or from the chin down. My hair is extremely prone to tangling so a little bit of conditioner is needed.

While the conditioner sits is usually when I  scrub my body. Especially my face neck and back. The extra oil may be good for your hair but it can clog your pores and make you break out so make sure you exfoliate well. After it’s all washed out I use a wide toothed comb to GENTALLY and SLOWLY brush out my hair. Working bottom to top.

I don’t put any products in my hair after a mask and I don’t blow dry or straighten it. If I’m being honest my hair is sometimes slightly greasy the  same day I do the mask. I have a boar bristle brush, something that I believe to be essential to anyone with thin/ greasy prone hair. The bristles help to distribute the oils from the roots of the hair to the ends. This is usually enough that my hair doesn’t look too greasy. The brush I use can be found Here.

There you have it! A hair mask to spoil your hair. Which is very important, because hair is a huge part of having confidence in yourself. That’s how I feel anyway. Do any of you do hair masks? Do you use store-bought or make your own? Would you be interested in a Recipe for thick hair? Please let me know what you think! And give my blog a follow so you can stay up to date, on this fun and crazy ride!

My Fitness Journal

Good morning!

Today I’m going to give you a full look into my fitness journal. I’m currently in my second month of using it so I’m sure I will be making more changes here and there, but overall I’m pretty happy with it. I actually got the idea from when I tried to take on bullet journaling. For those of you who haven’t heard of a bullet journal, think of it as a hand drawn planner/ habit tracker/ meal planner/ endless possibility journal.

Even though it was and fun, it was too much for me to keep up with and draw out every week. But I really liked the tracking aspect of it, so I made my own version. I made my fitness Journal to keep track of my fitness/ weight-loss/ keto journey. Now that my keto diet is pretty regular I may not track my macros next month. If I hit a stall then it would have been too soon, and I will start tracking again. I guess we’ll see!IMG_20180511_101557561

As of right now I take monthly progress pictures and measurements, so far I haven’t seen much of an inches difference, its been more of a weight difference. Definitely not complaining though! It feels really good to see the numbers go down. Especially after two years of trying with little to no progress. Keto was really a game changer for me.

My fitness routine is about the same as it has been for the last 2 years, with some slight adjust adjustments. The main adjustments have been to add more arm workouts. I’m hoping that soon I can get to the gym more regularly, but currently my efforts are at home. Not that I wouldn’t like to go to the gym its just not entirely possible for now.

Being an army wife is not always great. There are many things about the army that are very nice but it’s definitely give and take. Anyway my wonderful husband did recently get me a recumbent bike and some free weights so that has been helping. Having a few options has been a really nice change. We also have a punching bag in the garage that I want to start using more.

So why do I keep a fitness journal?

It helps to keep me motivated and it helps me hold myself accountable. It feels great to fill in more than one box per day in my workout tracker, and it also bums me out when I don’t. I think its also important to do the monthly check in to also keep me motivated to really make a difference so I can see progress. That’s what this is all about anyway right? Seeing results and gaining confidence in yourself. I’m quite proud of myself that I have moved beyond obsessing about the number I see on the scale.

Yes I track it and I have a goal but I more so want to wear the clothes I want to wear. And be able to look at myself in the mirror and be like damn, yes that’s me. I don’t know if anyone else feels like this, but right now when I look at myself in the mirror I can’t help but thinking that’s just not how I’m meant to be.

In my workout tracker I have a column for the day and then I have column for each of my most done workouts: core, arms, legs, bike, and miscellaneous, for things like walks or an occasional run, of if I actually do use the punching bag. Then of course total minutes. Lately its definitely been a sad sight. I’ve been more focused on getting into a more productive cleaning routine. Which is important, but I can’t neglect my fitness goals.

I also ended up taking a couple days off because I believe I pinched a nerve in my arm. And doing just about anything made it hurt, and feel super weird.For my Keto tracker I track macro percentages; fat, protein and carbs, also my total calorie intake, as well as my calories burned. Calories burned I get from my FitBit. I do not believe that it is completely accurate but I like to think its close enough to help me keep an eye on my deficit.

Most often I seem to intake around 1300 calories and I burn at least 2400 a day some days higher with only here and there being lower. Making my deficit 1000+ calories a day, definitely a good place to be. I also track my ketone levels to try and see if in ketosis. I use Ketostix which aren’t the most accurate but when you’re starting it can help some. They aren’t very accurate because they track the overflow of ketones in your system. Ketostix test your urine for ketone levels.

So at first when your body is still training to become a fat burner ketones will show in the urine test. Once your body is fully fat burning adapted ketones wont really show up in your urine. I check twice a day and the amount I have will be gone by the end of my third month, after that I don’t think I will be getting more. The most accurate is blood testing. Much like a insulin blood test.

For me its more listening to my body to know if I’m in ketosis. If I feel alert and my mind is clear, and I’m not really craving snacks then I’m usually in ketosis.The last thing I have in my Fitness journal is a space for a daily log. The first month I used this almost everyday. This month I haven’t used it much. I do believe that I should log more in there. So that I can check in and see where I was when. That would be a good tracker of my journey, and a more raw account, not just bare numbers and facts. Because as I’ve said before I’m not doing this for the numbers it’s for how it makes me feel. IMG_20180516_110700590

There you have it! My fitness journal.

A work in progress to be sure but a helpful tool for my journey. Do any of you keep any type of fitness journal? How do you track your progress? Don’t forget to follow my blog so you don’t miss the never ending battle of me and the craziness of life! Check back in Friday I’ll be sharing my DIY Hair mask! Lots of messy fun to be had there. Have a great day!

Crazy Organized

Well here we are its Friday!

Not that that means too much for me, so much fun being a housewife. I am excited to have my husband home so we can get our back yard up and running for this beautiful weather. Speaking of getting things up and running, I’ve been trying to get my command center up and running. I haven’t gotten it 100% the way that I want it yet but at least it’s getting there. And today I will be giving a walk through of what I have now and how I hope to change it.

I suppose the best place to start is by saying I’m not sure it qualifies as a command “center” as I have several things here and there and its not in one place. Though I do hope to change that in the near future. The main bulk is in the kitchen, as I consider this to be the main hub of the household.

Most likely once I do bring it all together it will end up in the dining room because it has the best space for it. Also that’s already where I have my printer and that’s tough to move. Next to the printer I keep my other office type stuff; stapler, 3 hole punch, paper that kind of stuff. Unfortunately with the table I’m currently using I don’t have enough room for my binders, or any additional fun stuff.

Oh yes I use binders and I love them. I have tried doing a bullet journal where everything is together in one self made book, and I did like it but it was too hard for me to keep up with. Also I tend to be a bit OCD and I really like to make templates, where the lines are always straight and I can make everything even. It also makes me really happy that I can just print it out and be ready to go. Then I can still stay organized but it doesn’t take me hours every week to get set up. IMG_20180511_102704449

Moving on, I have 3 binders. I have one for meal planning, one for financial stuff, and a binder to keep my blog organized. I don’t have them all exactly right yet but I’m closer than I’ve ever been its just making small tweaks and finding ways too improve.

For example; in my meal planning binder I want to have try keeping an inventory, though I may hang that right in the cupboard. I am hoping this will help to get our grocery budget under control. Lately its gotten a little crazy, but I am very optimistic that with meal planning and paying attention to what we buy vs what we use we can wrangle it in. My husband is our only income and an army salary is really not much for a family of four so having a solid grocery budget is very important to making paychecks last.

The financial binder has our complete budget, all our bills, extra expenses like gas, and pizza. We don’t really eat out other than ordering pizza on Fridays. Then our (in progress) grocery budget. Also in this binder is a statement for each bill we have. This way if we wonder what were paying its easy to look up. This way we are avoiding surprises and when we need to talk about finances its already together and easy to look at. As of now the budget is completely hand written which isn’t a bad thing but I do hope to make a template for it soon so it will look extra organized and together. I do so love neat and tidy charts.

My blog binder is definitely a work in progress. But its purpose is to keep my ideas organized so I don’t go wild. I need to have a plan otherwise I usually tend to try and do too much. So I planned out what I will be blogging about which days for the whole month. Then I have a worksheet for the current week with a bit more detail. I also have a worksheet for each post to work out ideas and which pictures I should aim to have, also a checklist to make sure all bases are covered. I also have a little notebook I’ve been carrying with me all over, where I can jot down ideas on the fly.IMG_20180511_102709630 IMG_20180511_102724500

Hanging in my kitchen I have: a calendar of appointments, a weekly menu for my family, and a cleaning schedule. The schedule really helps me a lot. I have it broken down to morning and afternoon tasks, also a daily task then monthly tasks. Otherwise I tend to try and do everything all the same day and get burnt out then I don’t do anything the next day. I’m trying to get more evened out so I have a good routine, that not only keeps my house clean but also leaves me time for other things.

Right now it is handwritten and a little messy for my liking so hopefully I will find some time to redo it and pretty it up. As for the tasks it runs quite smoothly when I do follow it. In the last few weeks I have gotten much better, but I don’t pretend to be perfect and I do need to buckle down on getting into the routine. That goes for all my routines, they all need to come together. I don’t think it will be completely perfect because of life, but the closer I get I’m sure the happier I will be. When my house is a mess I’m miserable, and I don’t want to do anything. Not ideal with two crazy, demanding kids.IMG_20180511_102546000.jpg

I also keep a fitness journal. This journal is much like a chunk out of my old bullet journal. I track my daily workouts, my measurements and progress photos which I take monthly, also I try to track my Keto macros, calories burned/ intake. I know that the calories are not 100% accurate but I like to see it all the same.  I track my ketone levels, useing ketostix, they help me to know if I’m in ketosis. Unfortunately they aren’t known for being super accurate if you are in ketosis but its good enough for me. I also have a space for a daily log, for thoughts about my fitness/ eating habits and whatnot.

Now my most important piece. I have a wonderful planner that I use to tie it all together. Because looking through all these binders for info is not very efficient. I do find the binders to be very helpful to work everything out and get it organized then the finished products go into my planner.IMG_20180612_230038835.jpg

My planner is new and it has completely changed my organization game. I also use it to schedule things to do for myself like doing my nails or hair masks. Otherwise I tend to ignore myself. If I have it scheduled I’m definitely more likely to do it. I also have a lot of fun adding stickers and motivational quotes.

Well there is all is many pieces of a household puzzle, that help me to at least pretend to be sane, and help me get through each day. I definitely have work to do and I’m kind of excited to put it together and make a amazing looking official command center. I’m happy with my progress so far even if its not completely fine tuned. It’s quite hard to control the crazy. So I’m figuring out how to live with it.

How do you keep organized? Would you like a deeper look into my organization? Please let me know what you think, and Click Follow, as this crazy band marches on. Happy Friday all! See you Monday for more Keto!