Saturday, April 30, 2011

Good Juju

So a few posts ago I wrote a little about our recent car troubles. What happened since then could literally be one of those priceless adds. We heard from the dealership and the news was bad and good. Essentially our new to us car needs a new engine and since we had it less than 48 hours they are taking care of it themselves.

So it looks like I will be able to take that $3200 burning a hole in my bank account and pay off our old dead car as well as put a healthy chunck of change on one of our credit cards. It's tempting to put that entire amount on our credit cards and just continue to pay the car payments for the dead car (there are seven left) but I just don't think I want to do that. I am waiting until we get the car back which will be next week.

Also, I am looking for a new job. I left my old job of 4.5 years for my current one of which I have been at for six months. I am sorry to say this job is just not working out like I thought it would. The pay is better and C and I can carpool but it's just not the environment for me.

I am putting this out there in the universe for me to be able to find a new job and for the transition to be pretty stress free. I am not certain how this will be accomplished but I am trusting that it can be. My deadline is my birthday at the end of July but if it happens faster I will not complain.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Seven Things About Me

I received a Versitile Blogger Award from a groovy blogger/twitter friend Crystal over at Twenty Eight and a Half. I am to name seven random facts about myself and pass along to seven other bloggers.

Seven Random Things About Me

  1. I have exactly 2.5 hours flight time in a single engine plane.

  2. I had a pet frog for 13 years. It was a joke birthday gift called "Grow A Frog" and a tadpole was literally mailed to me in a bag of water in a styrofoam container. When it arrived my mom tossed it up the stairs at me. It lived in my mom's house after I moved away and finally passed away.

  3. While most people go gaga over meeting famous people, when I have the opportunity I get all nervous and quiet.

  4. When I was just about to turn two my parents and I were visiting relatives in Texas. My cousins were bouncing on a trampoline with me sitting on the opposite end. Then bounced me right off. I go tup and wandered in to the house. Later that night I woke up screaming. Apparently I had broken my leg. I spent the rest of our trip in a cast and walked around so much I wore down the heel twice. I remember when I got the cast off the doctor put the saw on my hand so I would know it wouldn't vut me. I tried to stand but fell over because I was used to the weight of the cast.

  5. The furthest away from home I have been is Hawaii to the west, The Bahamas to the East, Cabo San Lucas to the south and the Arctic Circle to the north. Time to get off this continent!

  6. I costumed an indie horror film summer which got me a credit on IMDB.

  7. I love vegetables but absolutely detest peas. I will eat them in fried rice or a pot pie but I will not eat them alone.

Passing the award to...

Kilted Travel Agent (refered to here as C)

The Girls Guide to Homelessness

Crazy Aunt Purl

Small Notebook

Brooklyn Limestone

Lola B's

Wicked Bride

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Holding Pattern....

Putting this out there for some good juju.

This past week has been interesting. After our car essentially dying and being replaced, our new car has a small issue which is being diagnosed. I am sitting on about $3200 that I would really like to use to pay off the old car (that died) and put the rest on a credit card.

Untill the new car get's the "all clear" I want to hold on to that money "just in case".

I am putting it out there that everything is fine and I will be able to pay off that old car and the rest will pay one card in half which will then be paid off next month.

How is that for specific.

Send me your good juju!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


I have a new obsession. It's called Pinterest. They describe themselves as a social catalog to collect and share things you love. They have created a website that allows you to tag photos you see online and create boards with them. I have been doing something similar for years either saving to a folder on my coputer or ripping pages out of magazines.

Right now it's an invitation only site. It didn't take me long to get mine. Or, leave me a comment with your email address and I will send you and invite!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

When Life Gives You Lemons........Make Saabs!

This morning as C and I were stopped at a light on our way to work I noticed what looked like steam coming from the hood of our car. It was not too obvious but it was there. In the last few days we had been smelling a coolant smell and we knew this was not good. We turned around and hightailed it home.

We had known for a while the car needed work and we were hoping to get it paid off and some credit card debt paid down before we needed to replace it. Well replacing it happened today. The car is not worth a third engine and with our tax return being deposited in our bank account (hopefully tomorrow) we had planned on paying the car off.

We got home, walked to the park and ride where are neighbors car was parked (she let us borrow it) and drove to our bank. We were approved for an auto loan and went home to scour the internet. We found a used car at a local dealership which had all of the criteria we were looking for in price and mileage. The bells and whistles are a plus.

Say hello to our new baby.

A 2000 Saab 9-5 with only 85000 miles on it. It has a sun/moon roof, dark grey leather interior, heated seats (even in the back), dual climate control for the front and seperate climate control for the back as well as controls on the steering wheel for the stereo. They only had one key and a second one cost us $238.11 plus a $55 fee to sink it to the car. Wow, I didn't know about that niftly little feature.

It had literally been put on an internet special this morning knocked down an additional $5000.

This was not necessarily in the plans right now but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I Heart The Internet - Another Recipe

A quick note before the post. What is UP with blogger and clumping all of my paragraphs together?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Not only has the internet given me super cool twitter and blog friends like Crystal and Crazy Aunt Purl (it's all about the wine diet). It gives me yummy food I can cook at home whenever I want. I made enchiladas not once but twice last weekend from this recipe (one beef and one chicken - I liked the chicken best). The SK's (step kids) LOVED it so I know I have a keeper recipe when I can please my entire household with one dish! The latest intsalment of the Paisley Cooking Chronicals is roasted asparagus compliments of Small Notebook. You can get the recipe here. Not only is she living in Italy (a dream of mine) but she is sharing yummy recipes too! Folks, my husband (C) does not really care for veggies, and asparagus has taken him a bit to get used to (he likes it smothered in holandaise) and he REALLY liked this dish. I think it was the prosciutto that did it. I don't even think you need the cheese. The roasted potatoe recipe you can find here (thank you Tyler Florence). I had planned to have chicken with this but I didn't really need it. It was Yum-Oh and really filling! If you try this, tell me what you think!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Enchiladas Por Favor

Last night I made a recipe for Enchiladas I found at one of my new favorite blogs, Dream Book Design. My step son helped me make them. They were a little messy in the prep but so very good even without the green onion which I forgot to put on them. They are so yummy in fact that I may make another batch in chicken so I will use all the green onion I have. I can just store it in the freezer and use them for lunches. Click here for the recipe. I am off to make chocolate croisants for breakfast!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Grand Plans

So with my post yesterday about the likely probability of a sabbatical in the future, I am now in full fledged planning mode. This of course includes multiple screenings of Eat Pray Love and Under the Tuscan Sun. Afternoons with homemade bruschetta and red wine and intensive yoga sessions. It started with grand visions of international travel, living in exotic locales and jet setting from country to country with our little dog in tow (sensitive stomach and all). But that is really not enough. That is not what I want. My sabbatical idea has already morphed in to the concept of intense periods of work followed up by mini travel sabbaticals of three or four months. The intense periods of work are not at a typical day job but making films. I like this concept alot since it essentially extends the sabbatical over the course of several years and allows these mini retreats to be here in the US or abroad but we always have a "home base" to come back to. This allows me to travel and see the world which is really what my passion is. Unless I replace Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel. So what I am really planning for is transitioning from the current way I earn a living in to another means of earning a living. Something that flows a little more with my goals. The key is planning. I am a planner. I can obsess over a spreadsheet like nobody's business. I love a good list too. I want to start traveling as soon as I can.

In a perfect world, C & I would have some sort of alternative income stream. Something that could bring in enough money per month to meet our living expenses so our savings would be there if we need it but not necessary to dip in to for silly things like groceries or to pay the phone bill.

It's not that I need massive amounts of money to buy all sorts of lovely things. I just want the security of the available funds to know that I don't need to go back to a mind numbing horrible day job ever again. I don't mind living modestly. After all, you can't take it with you.

Our "home base" woube be a small structure about 1500 square feet such as a Katrina Cottage. KC 1185 would do nicely square footage wise. Some small adjustments like bedroom # 2 would not exist and the kitchen would use that space plus there would be room for a pantry and eating nook. Bedroom # 1 would be the TV room. It would be great if it was on a lake and some what private.

I plan on investing in a good camera to take photos of all the places we visit. I plan on packing my laptop to chronicle my travels and possibly write a novel that has been rattling around in my brain. I plan on connecting with my husband and hope that friends and family members will meet up with us along the way.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


For a while now I have had the thought of a break rolling around in my head. In truth, I have been working full time for the better part of the last 18 years since I left college. I go to work every day for the paycheck, I really don't have a passion for what I do. I'm good at it, I like the people I work with and my salary is pretty decent. I did not go to college for what I do but kind of fell in to it. I take pride in doing my best every day. But I'm tired. I have a passion for other things. Other things like travel, independent film, cozy surroundings. Things that I want to be more central in my life. Other things that I would like to earn a good living at. Things that are not material stuff but experiences. Call me a late bloomer (pretty accurate really) but I feel I have finally figured out what I want out of life. Enter the sabbatical which literally means "a ceasing", a rest from work, a hiatus, lasting from two months to a year. I am planning one of those. A year off to transition in to the next phase of my life. If you have seen the movie Eat, Pray, Love this is kind of the idea. This move is based on a real book that a real person lived through. The book is amazing and inspirational and a must read in my opinion. The author took a year off to really discover who she was while living in Italy, India and Bali (all places I would love to visit). I want to travel, experience new cultures, learn new languages, eat new food, take beautiful photos, imerse myself in something different to gain new perspective. Really become centered and setteled. I am inspired by others who are following a somewhat similar path. People like Rachel from Small Notebook who with her husband and two small children are taking a year off to live in Florence Italy. Crystal at Twenty Eight and a Half who left her job and is following her writing passion. She also will be traveling to Greece and Italy this summer for the better part of a month. A friend "IRL" at Unemployed Winner who was recently laid off from her day job and is making a go of her Etsy store (she's an incredible knitter) as her full time job. Frugal Babe who has no debt and works from home with her husband. They are trying to be self sustaining through their rather large garden and other home improvements. Stephanie at Brooklyn Limestone who started her blog detailing the rehab of their home and also posts about her extensive international travel (jealous). Laurie at Crazy Aunt Purl who turned her newfound love of knitting in to two books. These women and many more are inspiration for me. This sabbatical will not happen for a couple years, probably five. We have debt we need to finish paying off, we have two kids to get through highschool. Kid # 1 will graduate in 2012 and kid # 2 will graduate in 2014. We have to save money for this endeavor. But we are going to do it. My husband at A Kilted Travel Agent is a daily inspiration for me. He recently started learning how to tattoo which is a passion for him and combined his love of art and drawing. He is starting an internship today. While we are on sabbatical he wants to learn new ways to perform this craft from other cultures like the Balinese. I have already started this journey by simplifying my life. We are agressively paying off our debt. We are decluttering our home and our "stuff". About a month ago I ventured in to the world of film by starting a production company with two friends I met on set of the indie film, The Book of Zombie I worked on in 2007. I was the costumer and an executive producer. We will sell our condo before this all starts. The money we make will go in to an account for a down on a place after we are setteled from our sabbatical. We will place the items from our home we are keeping at my FIL's house while we are gone. Our cars will stay at my parents. The only other thing I need to research is traveling and living internationally with our dog. Looks like we will need to get him a Visa and an International Travel Health certificate. Have any of you out there in blog land taken a sabbatical or are thinking about it?