Hello June!

Jumping

Hello to a new month! June happens to be my favorite month of the year. Summer is officially getting started, the weather in Iowa is still pleasant enough to spend a lot of time outdoors, and lilies, peonies, and roses are in full bloom. My birthday also happens to be in June and so that adds a little something extra to kick off the month!1988 Bday

Now I don’t know about you but I really enjoy birthdays. I guess I’ve never really understood why people are bashful about their birthdays or why they dread the start of another year. I love my birthday. I really do. I have a personal philosophy that if I don’t need to work on my birthday I won’t. I am fortunate enough to have a job where I have vacation days and flexibility for time off so I spent my birthday rollerblading, baking, reading, and with friends!

Speaking of baking, while I try to watch my added sugar intake, I’m willing to have my cake and eat it too on my birthday. Last year I went the healthy route and did a raw cake/pie but this year I used a lot of butter and sugar but it was worth it. A while back I committed to making things like cake, brownies, lemon bars, etc. only from scratch. I believe if you really see how much butter and sugar are needed to make said treats you won’t eat things like that in excess. Oh, and they also taste so much better than the boxed mixes that just call for water and eggs! Also, it is a lot of work to make things from scratch and this is what my kitchen looked like yesterday: Food Mess

I made a strawberry cake from scratch and it was so good! Cake

Getting back on track now, in May I was determined to focus on financial health so I kept track of food costs and started tracking expenses/purchases in a Mint account. Overall I believe that I do pretty well managing my finances. Growing up, my parents always emphasized the importance of living below your means so that when unexpected bills pop up (like new brakes for my car) you aren’t digging too far into savings to cover those costs. One thing I was surprised by financially was the amount we spend eating out. Granted May did include a road trip to my hometown where we ate out a couple times, I am determined to cut back on those expenses for the rest of the summer.

My intent for June is to really maximize the time I have in the mornings before work. Today, for example, I wrote this post and renewed my drivers license online! A few days ago I cleaned my house. I am most productive in the mornings so if I can get a few things done or just enjoy a little time before work reading or exercising, my days will be more complete. Like any intention or goal, there must be a plan to execute. Because I use my phone as an alarm clock it’s really easy to get on my phone right away in the morning. I decided that to be more productive early in the day I have to be phone-free the first hour or 90 minutes I’m up. So far it is working really well! In addition to being phone-free the first part of the day, I’m also committed to being phone-free the last 20 minutes or so each evening.

Oh, and one other thing about June, I love spending time in the backyard reading and eating breakfast, another favorite part of this month and my early mornings!  MorningsWhat is your favorite part of the day and when are you most productive?