Saturday, February 28, 2009

February came and went really quickly. Too quickly. Quite honestly, I don't know where it went. I was really sick a couple weeks ago and still have the lingering cough. We have really not been focusing on alternate streams of income right now.

I did snowflake this month and as of this morning we have snowflaked $60.42. Once the hubs gets home from picking up our new engine for the Subie I will be able to add to that. Plus anything I don't spend at the grocery store from the rest of my $92.78 budget.

I also completed one thing on my 101 things list. I found the perfect recipe for red velvet cake. I actually made cupcakes for Valentines day with cream cheese icing and they were delish!

Goals for February

Reduce debt by $1318.71 - actual $944 (due to unforseen expenses)
Pay off two store credit cards - paid minimums (due to unforseen expenses)
Keep eating out at $50 - actual $223.75
Increase coffee budget to $80 - actual $131.23
Try $400 grocery budget ($100 per week) - actual $307.22 but I still have shopping for today

Take BJ to the dog park every Saturday - check 3 of 4 due to sickness
Continue to walk every Sunday - check 3 of 4 due to sickness
Elliptical once per week for twenty minutes - did this once - fail
Wii fit twice per week for twenty minutes - did 6 days - fail
Drink eight glasses of water per day - epic fail

Hand Crafting
Finish SD tabi socks - fail
Finish SS fingerless gloves - fail
Finish headband - fail

Decluttering and Condo projects
Find home or donate stuff behind couch - found homes for a lot in my bedroom - fail
Find home or donate stuff along wall in master bedroom - added to it - fail

So, March something needs to turn around in several areas. Last week I actually had a great week. I worked out on the Wii four days, we took the dog to the dog park, I went walking with my friend and the hubs and I took the dog down to the pier for walking and I lost a little over 2 pounds. Not to mention the fact that I only watched the TV shows I actually like and kept my TV watching down to eight hours for the entire week. That is a significant difference. This past week we had a lot of after work commitments that prevented us from being able to keep on track.

I have discovered the Wii fit is just what I have been looking for. I feel like I get a workout and I don't get bored because I can jump from Yoga to running to strength training to step aerobics to boxing. I can do all those things for between one and five mintes a piece. In fact, you can track anything you do outside of the Wii fit on it. This makes doing something every day EASY!

March Goals

Reduce debt by $1000.00
Purchase two new tires for the hubs BMW
Keep eating out at $100
Keep coffee budget at $80
Keep grocery budget at $400
Save $200

Take BJ to the dog park every weekend
Continue to walk every Sunday
Walk at the pier with the hubs every Thursday
Do a combination of Wii fit and elliptical three days a week
Keep TV viewing during the work week to 8 hours
Keep computer time during the work week to 5 hours
Drink eight glasses of water per day

Hand Crafting
Work on and possibly finish one or more of the following
  • SD tabi socks
  • SS fingerless gloves
  • Lady E
  • Headband
Decluttering and Condo projects
Find home or donate stuff behind couch
Find home or donate stuff along wall in master bedroom
Buy and install new master bedroom door

101 Things
Complete my 101 things to do in 1001 days list
Cross off two of those items

Here's to a new month!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Drop Kick Murphy's

Sorry for the lack of blogging. I have been super busy. Monday night the hubs and I went to see a band we really like called the Drop Kick Murphey's. To best describe them I would have to say celtic punk? They even have a bagpipe player.

We saw the show at a local club called the Showbox at their SODO location. The interior of the club is industrial with huge garage doors that seperate the lounge area (where we ate) from the stage and show area below. We got there early to have dinner and found parking right out front thankyouverymuch. They have a full bar and burger/pizza dinner menu.

The two bands that opened for DKM were pretty good but we stayed in the bar area and had a few beers. The hubs thought about wearing his kilt and surprisingly there were only three kilt wearers there that night. One in an actual kilt and Boston baseball jersey. Two others wearing utilikilts.

The hubs and I were able to get right up front and to the side of the stage so we couldn't see everything. It was still a great show and I was even asked if I wanted to go on stage when they let a bunch of gals up there. I am not really in to that kind of attention but I suppose it would have been fun.

Our camera was having a hard time taking great photos due to the changing lighting during the show. Even as close as we were the shots still look like we were further away than we were. There was a lot of moshing and body passing in the center of the crowd towards the stage.

There was a wide variety of people there of all ages. The majority of people there were pierced and tattoed.

I think this shirt pretty much sums up the night for some people. We had a great time and I would so go see them again. Next up (if we can get tickets) is another punk band, Pennywise in April. I am definately on a punk kick but my range of music is REALLY varied. I like Frank Sinatra, The Pupini Sisters, Dave Matthews Band, Evenesence, Diana Krall, Rob Zombie, Ella Fitzgerald, The Killers, Duran Duran, etc.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Life Path - Contentment

More and more lately I have been thinking about what my life path has been like. How I can make decisions in the future to change the direction of that life path to more reflect what it is I truly want. Certainly at the age I am (late thirties) I know more what I want which is way different and somewhat surprising than what I wanted in my early twenties.

I was someone who never did things the "right" or "accepted" way. I can't help but wonder how I would be now if the way I was as a teenager was accepted and encouraged instead of feeling like a square peg in a round hole. It's not that my parents ever came right out and told me what their expectations were for me (ie: college, marriage, house, 2.5 kids, picket fence & dog) but it was always assumed. There was never a discussion or any real guidance in my houshold with me about my future. I lived in a pretty critical household actually.

Throughout my teenage years I did much to knock down and question those "beliefs" even if I didn't know at the time that was what I was doing. I just knew it didn't feel right to me. Let's face it, I did not follow the straight line of the prescribed path mentioned above although I do have a dog. I went to college but didn't finish, I moved in with my fiance before we were married and he already had two kids.

And that's OK with me.

I am where I need to be for now. It's certainly not where I imagined or fantasized or planned I would be at this age. It's just where I am. I admit, its not where I want to be. I used to be jealous of people who had lives I thought I wanted or were easier or somehow better when I measured them against my successes and failures. I am not as jealous of those people as I used to be.

Ultimately I have the power of choice. I have made many choices that have led me to where I am now. I understand now that with sometimes the slightest change I can alter that direction on the path. I am altering that direction.

If I had to choose one word to sum it up I would say - contentment. Fame, fortune, glamor and stuff in little amounts are certainly nice and everyone should experience them if they want to.

I see a picture of my future. A little more than five years from now the hubs and I will be debt free, living in a small home we designed, nestled in the trees on a lake. Our work is fulfilling and allows us to travel the globe for weeks at a time. The money we earn is enough to cover our expenses with a generous amount left over to live our lives the way we see fit.

This is where my ship is moored and I love the view.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Hearts Day!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Valentine's day. To those of you whom I know that have your birthday today (and there are quite a few) - Happy Birthday!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My 101 List - Part 2

I have been steadily working on my 101 list so I can get it all down and then plan on making these things come true. I left off with number 22. Here is the continuation...

23. Take a digital photography class
24. Learn to bake my own bread
25. Take basic web building/html class
26. Tach BJ to roll over
27. Halloween weekend at McMenimans
28. Stonehenge replica in southern Washington state
29. Visit Jacksonvile, Oregon (home of Bruce Campbell - its a hubs thing)
30. Stay overnight on the Queen Mary
31. Visit Hearst castle
32. Bungee jumping
33. Sky diving
34. White water rafting
35. Wine tasting weekend in Sonoma

That's it for now. This is continually getting harder......

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My 101 List - Part 1

So, I figure the only way I can tackle 101 things to do in 1001 days is to write out my list a little at a time. You think when you have 1001 days you have plenty of time to do all the stuff you dream about. In reality you probably don't have that much time. So, in no particular order I give you the following..................

1. Travel to another country not on this continent.

OK, so that is a little vague, that leaves a LOT of the world left over. Let's try to narrow it down a little.

1. Vacation in Italy (or England if the hubs wins this one - or both)
2. Write and publish a book
3. Be consumer debt free (not including my condo)
4. Make another film
5. Reach my weight loss goal
6. Take a Caribbean cruise
7. Go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras
8. Make my "gypsy tent"
9. Complete all renovations on our condo
10. Buy a Mini Cooper S in British Racing Green
11. Learn to rock climb
12. Visit my aunt in Anchorage
13. Finish my Lady E
14. Declutter my house and storage unit
15. Learn how to use power tools
16. Make DVD storage
17. Host a masquerade Halloween party
18. Go to Canada (Whistler) for the 2010 Winter Olympics
19. Learn how to make a perfect Cappuccino
20. Plot my family tree at least four generations back
21. Brew a batch of dark beer
22. Take a digital photography class

I think this is a good start. I'm about 1/5th of the way to getting my list made. What's on your list?

101 Things

I have insomnia and came across this site while surfing the web. 101 Things to complete in 1001 days seems like a momentous task. That's not quite three years from start to finish. If I were to start today my deadline would be Tuesday November 8, 2011. Seems so far away and yet so close. I don't even know if I can come up with 101 things I want to do between now and then.

There are quite a few things I can think of right off the bat. They are all glorious and cost money. Climbing the Pyramids at Giza, walking on the Great Wall of China, seeing Ankor Wat in Cambodia or the Taj Mahal in India. Funny, these first things all seem to be about travel. Maybe that is because I dream of traveling a lot one day. I dream of seeing those far off places I have read about and seen on TV.

As far as things in my day to day life, I suppose the things I strive for all the time really. Actually drinking 8 glasses of water every day for a week, doing yoga twenty minutes a day for a week, no Starbucks for a week, decluttering my house for the last time.

Stay tuned for my list. Oh, and how do you like the new look of the blog?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Car Update & Stuff

I have been a bad blogger. Really busy at work and sick.

It snowed this morning and the hubs had to take his BMW in to work. This is not the best car for snow.

I originally thought we would have to park my Subaru for the next five months in order to be able to afford to get it fixed. It turns out the hubs found an Ebay power seller in California with a 100% rating that ships car motors from Japan and sells them in the US.

In Japan every 30 to 40 thousand miles you are required to replace your motor. These motors are still good and get shipped to the states. The company the hubs found completely checks out the motor, power washes it and gives you a one year warranty. For just about half of our tax return we will be able to get this motor within five business days. Between the hubs and his friends they can get it in my car.

I was really having a hard time swallowing paying a car payment and insurance for something that was going to be sitting for five months that we just bought brand new tires for.

The hubs and I went out and bought a space heater over the weekend. For $25 that thing pumps out a lot of heat. I don't know why we were wasting our money buying wood for the fireplace when we could have just done this. My neighbor has one and she says it really helps with her power bill during the winter.

We are still on track to pay off our two small store credit cards this month. Originally I was going to pay off one of our other credit cards with our tax return. Getting our car fixed is more important. I'm following Dave Ramsey's advice and putting the rest of the tax return in savings so we can have a $1000 cushion.

I've started Snowflaking this month as well. Every time I spend money I round up to the next dollar in my Snowflake column of my excel checkbook. So far we have Snowflaked $11.57 this month. That is not a lot of money but it's something. We'll see how it end up at the end of the month

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cars are a pain.....

We took my car to have it looked at last night. Not too happy to find out I will need a new motor. The dang car is ten years old and we still owe money on it. We can't trade it in this condition because we won't get enough to pay off the loan. We currently have no money for a motor. Our mechanic suggested we put a thicker oil it in, check it every week and drive it less than we have been. This was our daily driver up until yesterday.

We have made some changes to our longer term financial plan in regards to when we will be moving from the condo to a house. My husbands ex wife will be doing more of the driving that we have been doing for the last eight years. That will help with gas as well as food. I will explain more later when I see how these changes affect our real time budget.

At least they have extended the time my office is in Seattle and we won't move for another year. The next five months should be quite interesting. Right now my car is sitting in the parking lot looking forlorn and sad because I can't drive it every day. I will miss my heated seats!