I Am a Runner. You Are a Runner.

How do you earn the title of “runner?” For many years I believed a true runner woke up at 5 am and ran in the cold, rain, snow, or blistering heat. A runner pushed through speed workouts, tempo runs, and endless long runs. A runner trained for marathons. A runner was sleek and lean. A runner pushed through exhaustion, pain, and sickness. That runner was me.

However, being a “runner” was just a mask. I hid behind my pride and personal accomplishments. There was a void in my life. I filled it with running. If I ran…I didn’t have to deal with anxiety, loneliness, or sadness. After meeting my husband, getting a job, and having children. I no longer needed the distraction of running. I felt free. I no longer had to fill a void.
But…I began to miss being a “runner.” I longed for those quiet moments at 5:30 am to be alone, pray, think, and enjoy God’s creation.

It has not been easy to regain back the title of “runner.” I have been plagued by injury due to childbirth. I am much slower. My body does not respond well to speed-work. My runs are no longer 6 or 7 miles…they are sometimes only 15minutes before my baby wakes up. I no longer train for marathons…I train for motherhood.

Despite all of these setbacks. I have redefined what it means to be a true “runner.” A runner is not defined by their pace. A runner tries…even if it ends in walking. A runner desires to run… a mile, a 5k, or a marathon. A runner does not fit a specific body type. A runner strives to get better.

You are a runner if you desire to be.

DIY Lotus Flower

I am really excited about how this lotus flower spoon craft turned out. A couple of months ago, I found pictures of a similar project on Pinterest, so I decided to make my own version. It was simple, cheap, and fast to make.

Supplies:

  • Glass container (I bought mine from Dollar Tree)
  • Plastic spoons (I used about 50 spoons – it depends on the size of your container)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors

Step 1: Cut the stems off of your spoons. While it is possible to break the stem off with your hands, it is also painful.

Step 2: Starting with the top of the container, glue your first layer of spoon heads on. As the shape of your container changes, you’ll need to change the part of the spoon you glue.

Step 3: Finish gluing the rest of the spoons in layers around your container. You will want to overlap the spoons so they look like petals.

Step 4: You’re done!
Next time I make one, I want to try experimenting with a different spoon color and glass container. Let me know if you decide to make one!

Keep Your Money: 21 Ways to Save Money on Clothes

Saving Money on Clothes

Clothing is a necessary thing, but it does not have to add up to a huge expense. No matter how large the family, you can save money on clothes and still look fabulous. Being frugal doesn’t mean dressing in rags; it means using all of your resources wisely while spending the least amount possible and still getting great results.

Sure, that takes effort…. but anyone with an unlimited budget can spend until they look great. Spending a ton does not take skill or strategy– or even intelligence. Looking great on a slim budget– Now that is inspired!

Here are a few tips to help you save money on clothes:

Buy Discounted Gift Cards to Your Favorite Retailers

Search online for discounted gift cards to your favorite retailer. You may only gain a few extra bucks, but if you’re going to shop there anyway (during sales and clearance, of course!) the few bucks are free money toward your purchase.

Sign Up for Fan Clubs, Rewards Programs, and Newsletters

Most retailers offer different incentives to the different demographics they hope to reach through the various promotional channels. Connect everywhere and maximize your savings potential. Set up a separate email account for this purpose so you are not overwhelmed with deals or temptation!

Use Coupons and Promos

Before you shop, search online for coupon codes and promos. Even if you come up empty-handed, ask the store manager if any promos are going on that day. Not every advantage is an advertised one, and sometimes just asking can score you a discount.

Stay on Top of What Discounts Stores Offer

Many retailers offer discounts for Seniors, Veterans, automobile club members, and more. Check it out, and snag your discount.

Shop Clearance Racks, Sales, and Buy Ahead

Some stores offer deep discounts at the clearance racks. Buy what you’ll need for next year at the end of the season when the store is trying to make room for new products. For kids, buy a size up. Don’t forget to combine sales, use your gift cards, and get any applicable discounts.

Spend on Classic Pieces

If you are going to spend a little more than average, do it on classic and versatile pieces. Forget trendy. It looks ridiculous later when it is immortalized in those great family pictures, anyway.

Shop Thrift Stores

Get familiar with boutique and high-end brand names, follow fashion, and collect pictures of what you love. Then, hit the thrift stores and recreate the look for much less. Compare prices through– many times there are even better options to save money on clothes.

Shop Different Departments for Similar Items

The price of women’s and girls’ shoes can be significant. If you are fortunate enough to have feet on the smaller side, check out your options in the girl’s department, for example. In US sizing, a girl’s size 3 is equal to a woman’s size 5, a girls 4 is a women’s 6, and a girl 5 is a women’s 7. Shop each section and keep everyone in mind.

Yard Sales

If you have the time and patience, yard sales are a great place to save on clothes. The deals are awesome, but you need to anticipate need as there is little way to tell what you will find and when.

Buy Online

eBay can be a great place to score deals, especially in lots. Use your cheapest and most successful method as a guide, though. For example, if your best deal for a gently used name brand t-shirt is $3.50 at a thrift store, do not exceed that per piece in a lot on eBay, including the price of shipping.

Check Out Online Community Resources

Craigslist.org, and local Facebook buy/sell/trade groups are awesome places to find cheap or even free clothes.

Start a Clothing a Swap

Chances are good that you know a few people that would love to join you in a clothing swap. Promote it online or among friends and everyone wins.

Sell What You Don’t Need

Sell clothing that you don’t need or that your family has outgrown and re-invest into items you can use. Try consignment shops or sell it on sites like eBay, or buy/sell/trade groups for the most bang for your buck.

Don’t Cave to Marketing

Most people are not aware of how guided they are by marketing. Do not let it be you. In the majority of cases, that pair of under $20 yoga pants will work just as well as the high-end brands. Seriously. It will. And a plump savings account is super attractive.

Re-Purpose What You Own

Get creative. You know you want to. Put all your Pinterest knowledge to good use and create a fabulous wardrobe from what you already own!

Buy Used Work clothes, Jeans, And Uniforms Wholesale

You can get great deals in every size for jeans, work clothes, and uniforms online through wholesale sites, like Walt’s. You can find jeans in awesome condition for much less than nearly any other resource.

Shop Vintage

Shopping vintage isn’t just uber cool and eco-friendly; it’s super smart. From the colored jeans to gladiator sandals, all things old become new again, and you’ll find the best of it all at vintage shops. Add to that the huge collection of awesome classic and timeless looks, and you have a shopping option that you just can’t beat.

Don’t Buy What You Don’t Need

It’s not a deal if you don’t need it. No. Matter. What. Even a $2 deal you’ll never use eats away at your ultimate goal of financial freedom. Remember that.

Organize What You Own

Who needs 9 shirts in the same color? Know what you have and keep it accessible and you will not be as tempted to buy more.

Stay Ahead of Trends

Even if you are not really into fashion, search the following season’s trends. Designers work ahead of the season to get all that great stuff on the racks and knowing what will be “hot” can work to your advantage. If you know, for example, that motorcycle jackets are the next big thing, then you can find one (used) to spice up your wardrobe before most consumers are looking and prices spike.