1.15.2021

Printable Home Buying Binder for the First-Time Home Buyer

This year has proven to be a hard year for many of us, but surprisingly, it's been a year that many people have become first-time home buyers. With interest rates at a record low, it makes it an ideal time for buyers to enter the market in 2021. Though buying a home, especially for the first time, can seem challenging, it can be one of the most exciting and rewarding milestones in life.

To help make buying a home an easy and smooth process from start to finish, FHA Loans created a printable home buying binder, perfect for those looking to start their journey to homeownership. 

 

The binder includes: 

  • Questions to ask your mortgage lender checklist: this will help you understand what questions to bring up to mortgage lenders when shopping around for a good mortgage rate

  • Homebuyer preparation checklist: to help you stay on top of your credit score, down payment savings goal and other tasks before shopping for a home 

  • House hunting checklist: to help you narrow down your options, this checklist allows you to check off your favorite features, list pros and cons and rate each home on a scale of 1 to 5

  • Closing checklist: to help you stay on top of tasks before closing on a home like inspections, appraisals and making an offer.   

  • Address change checklist: to help you keep track of who to notify with your new address 


To make sure you have a successful home buying journey, download the free printable homebuyer binder by clicking the button below. 




1.11.2021

Things I'm Taking With Me From 2020 - Printables by Mandy Ford

 As challenging as 2020 has been for all of us, Mandy Ford has the right idea with this exercise and free printables. Instead of focusing on the bad, let's look at all the good that has happened, as little as it may be and take that into the new year with us!

Write down 20 things that top your 2020 list and hang it somewhere you can look at daily to remind yourself that #1 you can do hard things, #2 you survived and #3 there are always silver linings!

Head over to Mandy's free printables page on her website to download!

Sending good vibes to you all in this new year! Hello 2021!

12.05.2020

Be Gentle.

I've started this post so many different times, only to press on the backspace and wipe my words, again and again. They just don't seem right in a way. I'm so very thankful to be creating again but I miss our traveling. I have so many photos and blog posts to write about our journeys but they've had to take the back burner until I can get ahold of my thoughts and sort everything out. Time has gone so slow this year but yet so very fast, it seems to speed up every year I gain another number to my age. Anyone else feel the same way? Jumbled thoughts, not enough time in the day? Just can't get it together?

We moved back to Texas this summer and are still working on feeling settled. It's taken a bit longer than expected with a kitchen water leak that has turned into a full blown kitchen reno. I know it'll be wonderful when it's complete but the fine layers of dust on literally everything we own is wearing on all of us. Washing dishes in the bathroom sink is for the birds but I'm thankful we have running water, a sink to wash in and thank goodness for wine and paper plates! 

Two little furbabies have added so much joy to our family and a lot of extra work as well, feels like we've literally gone back to babies! We wouldn't change it though, we've missed the extra undying love that dogs bring to a home.

Christmas decor is usually up by now and we are wrapping pretty presents to place under the tree but this year, none of that has been unpacked yet. We haven't even started Christmas shopping yet! The only place that looks like we are getting in the holiday spirit is in my craft studio, where I've been locking myself & the dogs during all the noise and chaos of the kitchen reno. I smile knowing that once the dust settles and the house has been deep cleaned, we will whip it into shape and blast Christmas music from every corner! 

I leave you with this little tidbit in this crazy month of December. Be gentle on yourself. Allow for quiet thoughts, even if it's only while you sip your morning coffee before it's cold. Forgive. We all need to forgive the mess, forgive each other and forgive the wine baby that happened during covid. 2021 is just around the corner and it's going to be great but only if we make it that way! 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/918545161/wood-bead-garland-natural-bead-garland?ref=shop_home_active_17

"always believe that something wonderful is going to happen"

10.28.2020

6 Benefits of Journaling + Prompt Ideas

From aiding you in achieving goals or feeling more confident, the practice of journaling can have a profound impact on your life. Starting a journal is a great way to practice self-care and take an active step toward taking more control over your life as well as improving yourself. Discover the benefits of journaling below and find examples of journals you can start today.


Image credit: USAHS


Not only can journaling be an engaging and fun activity, but it can also help you feel more ready to take on some of life’s biggest challenges. Consider the following benefit of journaling:


  1. Improves Mental Health: Can help you cope with stress, relieve anxiety, and manage depression.

  2. Improves Physical Health: Expressive writing has led individuals to self-report benefits such as reduced blood pressure, improved liver function, and improved immune system.

  3. Drives Self-Confidence: Journals that help you self-reflect or stay organized can help you become more confident.

  4. Boosts Creativity: Taking note of thoughts or ideas that you have throughout the day, can help you come up with big ideas to execute on.

  5. Improves Communication Skills: The more often that you write the bigger your vocabulary will grow and the more you’ll be able to articulate your thoughts and ideas clearly and confidently.

  6. Helps With Goal Achievement: If you record and track your goals, it can make them feel much more tangible and help you stay motivated.

Types of Journals You Can Start Keeping

You should aim to find the type of journal that works best for you when choosing a journal. This is the best way to find a journaling practice that will help you meet your unique needs and goals. Below you’ll find different types of journal that you can try as well as journal prompts to help you get started. See what journal types and prompts resonate with you!


  • Metacognitive Journal: Helps you consider how your environment and emotional state may be impacting your overall perspective.

  • Change Journal: Helps you gain new insights about how your knowledge in a particular area has growth. 

  • Self-Reflection Journal: Helps you figure out how you’re feeling and ways you can live more intentionally.

  • Bullet Journal: Helps you stay organized and complete daily tasks (see bullet journal prompts!)


  • Creativity Journal: Helps you bolster your imagination, find inspiration, and express yourself.

  • Gratitude Journal: Helps you remember what’s important to you and what you’re thankful for.

  • Relationship Journal: Helps you appreciate and learn to communicate better with important people in your life. 


Credit: Coupon Chief


10.20.2020

9 TED Talks Every College Grad Needs to Hear on Life, Money, and Career Success

Whether you’re graduating high school, with a bachelors, or a masters you’re set free. You’ve finally reached your biggest educational goal and are ready to take the world by storm. A gap year may be top of mind, or you may be ready to take over the corporate world. Even though you may be ready to hit the ground running, there are some hard questions you may need to ask yourself. 

Turns out, you may not have learned daily life lessons in school. You may be wondering how to find a budget that works for you, or how to start investing. Staying in your school town may not be your best interest either. Whether you’re wanting to move across the country, or settle back into your home town, it’s time to set a budget that works best for you and your future. 


There are some lessons that could get you ahead of the game. From learning how to break bad habits and create healthy good ones to putting your financial fears to rest. If you’re ready to get ahead of the game and learn what you can before you jump into life post-college, Mint created an infographic with nine of the best TED Talks life takeaways. 


10.19.2020

Neighborhood Acts of Kindness Printables

During these trying times, bringing those around you together is more important than ever.  Many people could use some help right now, and lending a hand and spreading positivity, you can help neighbors and the community around you feel more connected. 

Doing kind things, even if they’re small, can help lift the spirits of those who may be struggling. Turn your community into a more welcoming place by just saying a friendly hello, helping the elderly out with their groceries or welcoming the newest resident with a gift,

To go the extra mile, here’s how  to welcome new tenants or promote a sense of community with these simple acts of kindness.

1. Bake Fresh Cookies 

Everyone loves cookies! If you have a favorite recipe, consider making a big batch to share, whether you want to say thank you or just because. Not only will your house smell great, but it will surely bring a smile to your neighbor’s face. Here is an easy recipe for lemon cookies — a perfect refreshing treat for summer! 


You will need:


  • 1 box of lemon cake mix 

  • 2 eggs 

  • Juice and zest of half a lemon 

  • ⅓  cup vegetable oil 

  • Powdered sugar for dusting


Mix all the ingredients together and form mixture into small balls. Then, sprinkle the balls with powdered sugar and bake at 350℉ for six to nine minutes. Once they’re done baking, place the cookies into a bag and tie it off with one of these printable food tags.


Cookie Tag Printables - click here

2. Write a Positive Message

Leave a kind positivity note for a neighbor. This can be a simple and sweet letter or a note of encouragement! Surprise them by putting it on their door or on their car windshield.


Positivity Note Card Printables - click here

3. Make a Candle 

Get crafty and create a unique DIY candle that you can gift your neighbor. Here’s a quick and easy how-to: 


  • Melt soy candle wax in a double boiler for 10–15 minutes.

  • Add your favorite essential oil scent to the wax once melted. 

  • Glue a wick to the bottom of your candle container and let it dry. 

  • Remove wax from the stove and let it cool slightly before pouring it into your heat-safe container. 

  • Pour in your wax and let sit for about four hours until the surface is firm.

  • Cut down your wick so it’s half an inch from the surface of the candle.


Once your candle is finished, place it in a bag and tie it off with a gift tag! This will be sure to brighten your neighbor’s day. 


Candle Gift Tag Printables - click here

4. Give a Gift to Their Pet 

If your neighbor loves animals, surprise their pet with some delicious treats! You can either get some at the store or try a homemade recipe to make it extra special.

For homemade dog treats, you will need:


  • ⅔ cup pumpkin puree 

  • ¼ cup peanut butter 

  • 2 eggs 

  • 3 cups whole wheat flour

  • Blend these ingredients into a dough, roll out and cut out shapes using cookie cutters, and bake at 350℉ for 20–25 minutes! Tie off your treat bag with a tag and surprise their pet. 


5. Pass Out Flowers 

Make your neighbors' day brighter with a new plant, like a cute succulent or fresh-picked flowers. Decorate your gift with a fun plant tag — you can also give out packets of flower seeds for them to plant themselves.


Flower & Succulent Tag Printables - click here




9.16.2020

30-Day Self-Care Challenge

It’s no secret that Covid-19 has turned many of our lives upside down. You may have experienced bouts of stress and anxiety, or lacked motivation over the last few months.  If this is true, don’t worry you’re not alone. Despite the many disruptions in our lifestyles and closures of our favorite fitness centers, spas, salons, etc., maintaining your wellness and practicing self-care is more important than ever.  


30 day self-care challenge - leroylime


The good news is that there are easy, and fun ways to make self-care a priority from the comfort of your own home. If you’ve found it difficult to focus on yourself and self-care during this time, or just need a little motivation, give a 30-day self-care challenge a try! 

Each daily task is designed to improve either your mental, physical or emotional health—which are all equally important, especially during this time. You can even encourage a friend or family member to do the challenge with you!

Download the 30-day self-care calendar and self-care stickers below to help you track your progress each day, and daily challenge details here.

Remember, this challenge is for your benefit. So make any modifications to the daily challenges as needed or substitute a task with something that will be the most beneficial for you and your wellness. 

Challenge accepted? Let’s get started! 

30 day self-care challenge - leroylime

30 day self-care challenge - leroylime

Descriptions of each daily challenge can be found here

Day 1: Hydrate With the 8x8 Rule

Day 2: Commit to a Day of Eating Healthy

Day 3: Find Your Inner Yogi

Day 4: Try Something New

Day 5: Find a Quiet Spot and Read

Day 6: Get an Extra Hour of Sleep

Day 7: Schedule Time for Your Health

Day 8: Create a Fitness Goal

Day 9: Start Your Day With Your Favorite Herbal Tea

Day 10: Learn How to Grow Something

Day 11: Meditate for 10 Minutes

Day 12: Create a Morning Routine

Day 13: Unplug

Day 15: Start a Food Journal

Day 16: Write a Blog Post

Day 17: Skip the Added Sugar

Day 18: Write 3 Intentions for Yourself

Day 19: Take a Bubble Bath

Day 20: Create a Zen Den

Day 21: Get Rid of 3 Things You Don’t Use

Day 22: Create a Bedtime Routine

Day 23: Start Your Day With Gratitude

Day 24: Go Green

Day 25: Dance Along to Your Favorite Tunes

Day 26: Identify Your Stressors

Day 27: Have a Spontaneous Date Night

Day 28: Go for a Long Walk

Day 29: Send a “Thank You” Note

Day 30: Engage in Self-Reflection


Once you’ve completed the 30-day self-care challenge, design your very own for next month using the printable calendar below! Find additional challenge ideas here.


30 day self-care challenge - leroylime

30 day self-care challenge - leroylime


5.15.2020

How to Create Healthy Media Boundaries with Screen Time Agreements

No parent is a stranger to the challenges that social media and devices cause. The COVID-19 school, sport and social activity closures have only exacerbated the problem causing kids to spend more time indoors and away from friends. Many times the easier thing to do is to let your child plop themselves in front of their gaming console or the TV but as all parents know, this comes at a detrimental cost to your child’s health. As parents, it’s our job to help guide them in a safe direction and to help them understand that there are reasons for screen time limits (it’s not just “because I said so”). 



Consider External Factors 

Help your child understand the health risks associated with too much screen time or dangerous media use (inappropriate chat rooms, non-kid friendly sites, unrealistic body standards, etc.). What you talk about all depends on their age. Of course, teens face way different issues than younger kids. As parents, we also need to work to better understand how they are feeling during this time as media is a huge place holder for socializing, milestones (prom and graduation) and extracurriculars that have been removed from their lives. 

 This also means that media agreements should be adjusted with our current climate in mind. Kids must understand though, that this increase in screen time is dependent on their access to other activities and socialization. Once the world begins to shift closer to what used to be our normal, so too should screen time.

Listen to Each Other 

In order to create a reasonable agreement that kids will actually follow, there needs to be an open discourse. Ask your kids questions and encourage them to share their feelings about spending time online. Some questions to spur the conversation could include: 

- What do you think healthy screen time looks like? 
- How does online school make you feel? What do you like/dislike about it? 
- Do you feel more tired after online school or in-person school? 
- Do you miss going to school? What do you miss most about going to school?   - Have you ever seen someone being bullied online? How did you react? Do you feel comfortable letting us know if someone or yourself is being bullied? 
- What are some screen-free activities that you love? Are there any new hobbies you’d be interested in learning? (Swap out with sports, instruments, etc. based on your kid.) 

 Talking through the various aspects of online time will help you come to a reasonable agreement — reasonable screen time depends on your family’s lifestyle and values but you should note that keeping screen time to a minimum is recommended if possible. Once your family is comfortable with your media plan, you can put it into writing by using a screen time agreement printable (provided below by Panda Security): 


 Use one or more of the agreements depending on your child’s age and interests. Our world is rapidly changing so don’t forget that these should be periodically reevaluated and that media conversations should always be an open topic. You’d rather have your child bring an issue to you than break the agreement behind your back. It also helps instill the importance of positive screen time if you and your partner partake in your own media agreements – not only is it good for you too but it will also set a great example for your kids to follow!