Friday, November 14, 2014

#oliviaeveryday2014 Week 44

It’s pretty much always crazy around here, especially now that Ryan is so busy with basketball games.  I’m slowly figuring out ways to make the evening smoother with a toddler and baby.  Beckham turns 3 next week and he’s very excited.  He has been told that they don’t make diapers for 3 year olds and that “the doctor” is going to tell him he has to stop sucking his thumb.  Ohmyword this boy needs to go on the potty seat!  He has gone several times (mostly pee), but simply does not want to on a regular basis.  And yes, we’ve done underwear only…peed in them.  We tried the naked approach…just peed on the floor.  I’ve bribed him, but he says “I go in my diaper.”  Well okay.  Gonna give it another shot over break when he doesn’t have to go to school and Ryan is home.

Day 309: Wednesday we hung out at the house.  If one of them is not crying then it’s a good photo.

Day 310: On Thursday, my morning started off on a high note.  I dropped B off at school, grabbed my favorite drink at a local coffee shop, talked with my best friend from high school for a long time, and played with this guy!  Afterwards, met Ryan for lunch.  Totally unproductive day, but it was fun.

We hung out in the backyard a bit after school.  B played in sandbox and M cuddled with me!  I’m sad it’s so cold now…he’s so calm outside.

Day 311: On Friday, Ryan was gone, so I took the boys to Chick-fil-a for dinner.  Cooking or preparing something while he is gone is pure torture, so I try and give myself a break once a week.  I snapped this picture of the sunset and thought about how much I love city sunsets.

Day 312: Saturday morning hanging out!  He said he’d smile for “trick or treat” which is candy.  I had a baby shower that day to go, so I dropped B off with my mom at her school (it’s closer and he could play there) and took Maddox.  We ate dinner with them afterwards.  I have no pics though :(

Day 313: Since Ryan is gone every morning except Sunday, we booked our Fall pictures with my brother, Logan.  I wanted to do them in the morning since that’s pretty much the only time Maddox is happy.  This was after our session…he’s flexing his muscles in this pic, but still holding tight to “Buppy.”

I went grocery shopping Sunday afternoon with Beckham and when I looked at my cart, that’s when decided we have to get B potty trained.  I’ve slowly ditched the name brand diapers.  FYI, these are great if you need an inexpensive diaper.

314 Day 314: I crack up every time I see this.  I told Beckham to go say hi to “brother” while I finished up something in the kitchen (he just woke from nap).  I come in and find this. Poor guy.

Speaking of poor guy…this dude has been chewing on everything!!!  He might be teething, but I don’t expect a tooth for a while.  Beckham did the same thing around 4 months and didn’t show a tooth till 10 months.

After I rescued Maddox from the bed, I vacuumed his room.  I tell you what…these boys are going to know how to vacuum.  I do it at least once a day (thank you white carpets) and they love to sit there and watch.

Day 315: It was FREEZING on Tuesday, so we came home from school and had hot cocoa and watched a movie.  Yes, I realize there is an enormous amount of marshmallows.  I didn’t mean to put that many in, but eh.  This was his first cup ever of hot chocolate.  He pretty much just ate the marshmallows.

Later that night we ate dinner with this big guy in his high chair.  He’s getting so big!  Yay!

Beckham reminded me we needed to say our prayers (mom fail…I forgot).  How sweet is this?!  I have a cute video of it on my Instagram (@olivia_snyderstellall).  And if I’m being honest, later that night was a disaster…this “sweet” boy kept coming out of his room and I finally lost it (he woke up M in the process).  I do many days and nights by myself and I’m usually okay, but being with them all day really wears me down by 9:00pm (remember this is when I START work for my shop).  Jesus is my big time homeboy lately!  I've had to chat with him often and still don't do it enough.

We will continue to keep warm this next week.  I’m preparing for a fun Christmas month in December.  First up, a birthday party and Thanksgiving.  This is the best time of the year! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Paying Your House Off: 3 Tips to Consider Before You Purchase

It has been a LONG time since I’ve done a financial post.  If you’re new, you can read about our financial freedom HERE or HERE.  I have gotten a few emails, from young couples especially, asking about purchasing a house.  We I have been thinking about a new house in the near future so “house buying” has been on my mind.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned these here and there, but I thought of THREE important things Ryan did BEFORE purchasing our house (I moved in once we married…he bought it and proposed in it).

I am not a financial advisor or a real estate guru…just a wife to a smart guy when it comes to personal finances. These 3 things helped us ESTABLISH a great start to paying off our house in 33 months.  These 3 tips are not the end all be all, and everyone’s situation is different.


Just a quick recap, our house was $150,000.  We paid $40,000 down, so our loan was $110,000!  Here are 3 things I suggest if you’re in the market for a house.

1. Look for and buy a house you can afford – This is probably the toughest tip to follow through with.  Really calculate how much you and your family can afford.  A good rule of thumb is, your mortgage should NOT be more than twice your household’s total annual income.  For example, if your household income is $80,000, your loan should not be more than $160,000.  Of course, this a general rule, but the point is, your mortgage should be lower than you think it would be (definitely lower than what most Americans buy).  This is from Stanley and Danko’s book, The Millionaire Next Door.  And also remember taxes, HOA’s, etc. when calculating your mortgage.  I like to use Dave Ramsey’s mortgage calculator to play around with numbers.

If you do want a specific house within a specific price range, but cannot afford it, WAIT and buy it when you can (obviously this is for those not HAVING to move at a certain time).  This is what we’re currently doing.  We will most likely move only once into our forever home (at least where we want the kids to be raised) when we are making enough money and have the appropriate monthly income since we will take on a mortgage again. I REALLY want to move right now, but I know if we are patient, our future will thank us.

2. Put down a large down payment – So this isn’t a must, but it sure does help.  The more you put down, the less you have to pay…duh! :)  Put down at least 20% to avoid PMI (private mortgage insurance).  PMI can be $100-400 more a month, so this is helpful.  It took my husband a lot of time and basketball games to save up the $40,000 for our house (he was a minor league baseball player, substitute teacher, and basketball ref).  We put down 26%.  It’s much easier to say good-bye to it when you just bought your house and are super giddy vs. each month when the bills come.

3. Choose a 15 year note.  You can read my detailed post about this HERE, but bottom line, this will save you thousands people!!!!  This is one tip I just don’t understand people not taking advantage of.  Okay, I understand it, but it’s something I really think is beneficial if you’re looking to save THOUSANDS of dollars on wasted interest.  I get that interest is kind of a “have to” when buying a house, but we tried to eliminate as much as possible.  For us, the difference between a 15 and 30 year note was $200-400 a month.  By the way our mortgage was $900/month with almost $400 in taxes and that’s WITH A 15 YEAR MORTGAGE.  Would have been even cheaper for a 30 year note.  But we are now going on 5 years without a mortgage, which has freed up the possibility for me to stay home while also investing in our future.  Even if we hadn’t paid it off in 33 months, we would only have 7 years left.  I’m almost 30 so that still would have been young to have a house paid for at 36.

I hope these tips helped anyone looking to buy a home.  If you’re already in a house with a 30 year mortgage that it too expensive (even if you can afford it), you can always:
-Refinance (ONLY if the interest rate is tons lower…you just have to compare the rates from when you bought the house).
-Put more down on your house each month by reallocating your budget.
-Move.  Obviously this is in extreme cases where the buyer bought way over their head. 

HERE are a few more tips from Dave Ramsey on Home Buying.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Come On In–Laundry Room

I’m linking up today with Andrea from Momfessionals' series, “Come On In.”  I love this series because you get a peek into other people’s houses and see how they decorate. 

I’ve already posted about my laundry room makeover, so I will let you read the details HERE.  It is my FAVORITE room in the house.  Isn’t that bad?  It’s clean, simple, and makes it okay to do laundry…kind of.  We are not a home makeover kind of family, so this was a big deal for us :).  Here are a few pictures of the laundry room, but you can see more on the original post.

Other than the purchase of the cabinets, everything else was pretty cheap (I show the costs in my post).  I made the two signs that are hanging up.  The art piece in the middle of the cabinets is simply a piece of scrapbook paper inside a frame.  Talk about cheap!  I like for everything to be hidden so it seems less cluttered.  I think that’s what bothered me most about the previous design of the room.  I just love it!

Laundry Room before and after
before after 1

Friday, November 7, 2014

#oliviaeveryday2014 Week 43

Day 302: We went to the pumpkin patch on Wednesday.  You can read about it HERE.

And later that day, Maddox and I stared in shock as B danced around…naked.  That boy is so full of energy it’s crazy.

Innocent little Maddox woke up from his nap and B went to “check on him.”  When I came to save get him, the poor guy was covered (no worries, I watch the whole thing on the monitor).  I have a video of it and I wish I could show you (can’t figure out how to post a video on here).

Day 303: No bones about it, he’s the cutest skeleton.  On Thursday, this guy got to wear pj’s to school.

IMG_8534  I also decorated our wall FINALLY!

And we I carved a pumpkin.

Day 304: Halloween!  Maddox was a Dallas Cowboy’s football player and Beckham was Sully from Monsters University.  Their costumes were VERY fitting!  You can read what all we did that day HERE.

Maddox LOVES bath time!

Day 305: Ryan was home during bath/bed time on Saturday, so I got to read some books with B while he took care of Maddox.  He loves to read.

We also celebrated my niece’s 2nd birthday on Saturday (she’s the one standing up in the back…my brother’s daughter).  I love this picture because it portrays exactly her personality.  Let’s just say B may have rubbed off on her.  She cracks me up!
Photo Credit: Logan O'Rear

Day 306: After church on Sunday, we went to my parent’s house to celebrate my mom’s birthday!  Sadly, this was the only picture I took.  This cake is amazing!

Day 307: Monday was rainy, but we went grocery shopping and played at the house.  B finds it fun to run around the baby.  Maddox finds it very entertaining as well.  It’s cool how the older brother entertains the baby.  Maddox really does light up differently when he sees Beckham.

After bathtime again…I just think he’s adorable in his towel…it’s also nice to see him without his helmet (he’s in it 23 hours a day).

Day 308: Not gonna lie…I was a bit annoyed on Tuesday night.  I had planned a pretty simple soup recipe for dinner and had to do it all one handed.  This guy was fussy unless I held him.  Yes, I’ve tried baby carriers and he doesn’t seem to like them…go figure.  He’s awkwardly big for them.  Pretty much NO RECIPE is worth making these days.  Even cereal has been tricky. 

I’m SLOWLY but surely figuring out how to manage two kids all day and night by myself.  Last night I got both boys dinner, bathed, and in bed by 8:20pm!  8:20 people!!!  And I cleaned some and showered before sitting down to work at 9:30.  I have to give a shout out to my husband who has been waking up with M around 6:45am to feed him before he goes to work since I’ve been up so late working/pumping/cleaning.  It lets me snooze a bit longer.  Have a great weekend. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween and Fall Fun 2014

We had a fun Halloween week with some typical Fall activities.  First of all, I can’t believe Beckham has had 3 Halloweens.  He wanted to be a monster this year.  Hmm…fitting isn’t it?!
Halloween costumes

We went to a local pumpkin patch with my mother-in-law, Glenna.  We went during the day on a weekday, so it wasn’t crowded at all.  When we first got there, he started collecting all the corn that had been eaten by the animals.  He was really into them. ???

Bounce House all to himself!

Little man chilling.  The weather was perfect also.

B really wasn’t into pictures this day, so we got this.

The hayride was fun.  It took us through “Ghost Town”  B counted all the “waters” on the ride.  The pumpkin patch was a fun little adventure and a tradition I’ll carry on!

I have NEVER carved a pumpkin (at least to my knowledge).  Every Halloween, I tell myself I’m going to and then never do.  Not this year!  I bought a pumpkin and a carving kit (he chose a spider).  I thought Beckham would have fun pulling out guts and seeing the end product.  Since Ryan isn’t around for a lot of these activities in the Fall (he’s reffing), I had to manage carving a pumpkin with a 2 year old and an infant.  Haha…it was kind of a disaster, but I finished it.  I really enjoyed it and can’t wait to get them more involved as they get older.  Beckham got to wear his pj’s to school for Halloween.

Halloween morning was COLD.  I LOVE having to put on cozy socks to keep warm!  I was gearing up for a long day with both boys SOLO (Ryan reffing into night when we’d trick or treat).

Our Downtown does something called “Scare on the Square” where kids can trick or treat around town.  Many people will sit outside at the restaurants and people watch.  We met up with my friend Brittany and her kids.  He went as Sully on Monsters…one of his favorite movies.  It was the perfect costume for the weather.

These two guys last year and this year…
jericho and B jumping

And all 3 of them…
Jericho and B

After downtown, we got some pizza on the way home.  I planned on grabbing it to go, but B wanted to “eat at the store” so we did.  This was my first time at this place and it was one of the best pizzas (bacon and mushrooms)!!!  It’s one of those pizzas where the crust is just as good as the pizza.  If you’re local, it’s Durkin’s Pizza.  Durkin was there and talked to us quite a bit…really nice guy!

Maddox stayed in his stroller the whole time, but he "went" as a Dallas Cowboy’s football player.  Perfect with his little helmet.

Y’all B was so cute trick or treating.  Watching his little monster body running up to the doors and SCREAMING “trick or treat” with one bang on the door, was adorable.  We definitely need to work on some manners! :)
We’re “cheers-ing” our twizzlers in the pic above.

It was a fun week.  It’s now November…my ALL TIME favorite time of the year.  I am obsessed with Thanksgiving and Christmas!!!  As a matter of fact, I’m listening to Christmas music as I type this.  I love the food, the stores, the weather, the clothes, the smells, the traditions, the whole atmosphere of these next two months!