Saturday, November 6, 2010

Craft Show

Well, we had our first craft show today!  It was a LONG one!  We got to the facility (a High School) at 8 this morning, and the craft show ended at 3.  We had lunch and came home. I am exhausted.  We sold SOME of our items, but not that many.  We didnt make it to the triple digits (but close.)  I have another one tomorrow that is only 4 hours long, but I will be doing that one myself. :-( 

I have learned what sells and what doesnt.  It turns out that the smaller items sell (and those are the ones that have the largest profit margin for me.)  So, I will continue to sell the small signs and will probably try to unload the other items and just do the signs at the shows.

What we sold wont even put a dent into what we owe on the credit card for everything I bought, but I learned alot, and I know what to do in the future.  But for now, we just have to sell some more product!  1 show down, 3 more to go this month.


Lately, I’ve felt the need to get rid of the electronics in the house.  They are taking up too much time.  Between FaceBook, my 5 email accounts, the message board I am part of, my cell phone, the TV, the blog…it is just a lot of work!  How much time could I spend doing other things that need to get done around the house (like dusting!) if I were to get rid of these things within the day?  Probably a lot.  I am already doing a horrible job keeping up with emails and the business website as it is.  Luckily, I am able to schedule out the blog posts, and I have enough content to last the next two and a half weeks.  Some weeks, I am in a chatty mood and I want to vent (like this particular week,) other weeks, I’m fine with the way everything is and have nothing to say.

So, I am thinking about taking ONE DAY to see what it’s like WITHOUT electronics.  Oh shoot, that would mean I would have to give up my Podcasts on the way to work.  Sugar.  That’s OK. Maybe that will give me time to think about whatever I want to think about…uninterrupted.

Would anyone like to join me on an electronics-free day? 
It doesn’t necessarily have to be on the same day as one another.  But I thought it may be an interesting experiment.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day 2: Caloric Deficit of 500 Calories!

On Day 2, my caloric deficit was over 500 calories!  How ?  I am not getting as hungry any more!  I am more conscious of what I am putting into my mouth.  I don’t eat if my belly isn’t grumbling for food.  AND…I walked with Lana even though it was SO COLD outside (maybe shivering burns more calories.)    When I got on the scale this morning, I was down another pound!  I will not weigh myself again until Friday morning.

This plan is so easy, and I am not feeling deprived at all!  I just stay within my calories and try to walk with the puppy every morning!  I can now see that I DON’T need as many calories as I thought I did in the past. 

Weekly Weigh-In: November 5

Since Monday, I've lost 2 lbs!  YAY!

So, my numbers are as follows.

Total weight loss:  8 lbs
12 lbs to go to hit my goal of losing 20 by Thanksgiving.

This weekend will be a tough one.  Hubby is home, and we are doing 2 craft shows.  We may be eating out, or have finger food.  And for breakfast this morning, I've asked for french toast.  I am really craving french toast!

So, we will see what next week brings!
Hopefully 2 more lbs lost!

What do you do to save money?

I am always looking for new ways to save money.  What do you do to save money?

We do the following:
  • Use coupons (but only when we get them for 75%+ off!)
  • Go to the dollar theater ($1.50/person thanks to inflation)
  • Shop at thrift stores
  • Shop at Aldi’s mainly, and then get meat on sale at local stores
  • Make our own wine
  • Do car repairs / home repairs ourselves (meaning Todd does them all! J )
  • Eat In – we only go out to eat about twice a month
  • Pack our lunches (though I DO go out to eat every Wednesday with a co-worker.  That comes out of my allowance money.)
  • Compare prices on utilities to get the best rate
  • Todd and I cut our own hair

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Milestone!

This afternoon, while at work, I was logging into the only two accounts we have left with balances on them (to try to help keep Todd encouraged.)  When I added up our debts, I realized that for the FIRST TIME since we have been together (since December 2005,) our debt is only 4 digits (instead of 5!!)  We are under $10,000 in debt!

It was such a great feeling!!
We should be done with the car loan by the end of the year, adn then we will work on Todd's American Express.  After that, we are DEBT FREE (but the house)!!!  I dont EVER want to be in debt again.

Day 1 : Caloric Deficit of 325 Calories

Day 1 (Monday, Nov. 1st) : Calorie Deficit of 325 calories

Day 1 – I had a calorie deficit of 325 calories by the end of the day.  I ended up eating a little over 1200 calories!  I was proud of myself and a bit surprised too!  It is amazing to see how SMALL a portion you can get for A LOT of calories on junk food and how MUCH vegetable you get for a SMALL amount of calories!

Todd was home from work on Day 1 (Monday, November 1st) and made dinner for when I got home.  Because I did such an awesome job on the unagi-don this past weekend, he was trying to mimic another one of our favorite meals at a Mexican restaurant.  It was a bean burrito with diced tomatoes and cheese on top with a dollop of sour cream. 

I was AMAZED at how many calories were in the bean burrito alone!  330!! In the past, I’d eaten 2 of them easily!  On Monday, I ate just one of them at a whopping 450 calories (with all the fixin’s on top.)

I entered all of my calories into the app, and saw I had a 360 calorie deficit and was excited, but knew I had to stop for the day.

Later that evening, Todd asked for a freeze pop while I was going by the kitchen.  I picked up one for him and one for me.  I sat there on the computer and ate my popsicle while he ate his.  After I was done, I was biting on the plastic wrapper, and then I realized what I had just done!  I ate a popsicle without really even thinking about it!!!  NO WONDER I have been gaining weight.  I am eating food without even thinking about what I’m eating or the calories that I am consuming!

I ran into the kitchen to see how many calories I had eaten.  Luckily, it was just 35.  So I was still under for the day.  But this proved to me that I don’t pay attention when I eat.  Moral of the story : Be more conscientious when putting ANYTHING into my mouth.

I weighed myself the next morning, and I had dropped a pound.  I know I shouldn’t weigh myself every day, but I was too excited not to. 

My fear is my lunch out with a coworker every Wednesday.  I get the lunch boat, and I finally found out how many calories are in the lunch boat that I get : 1250!!!  Yes… that’s correct.  My daily allowance of calories is in a single lunch that I’ve been eating every Wednesday for over a year.  The past several weeks, I have been saving the salmon and rice for lunch the next day.  Those two alone are 480 calories!  So, what am I going to do?  I will split it up into 3 meals.

That being said, one lunch will be 415 calories, and the other two would be 315 calories each.  That is a lot of calories to consume for a lunch.  To offset that, I will try to drink a green smoothie for breakfast each day and fill up on water until lunch-time.  If I need a snack, I will have carrots or some popcorn (a bag of the fit & active popcorn is only 50 calories!) 

I cant wait to step on the scale on Friday to see how much I’ve lost!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Smaller Portions

I am working on portion control as well as counting calories to help lose weight and meet my goal to lose 20 by Thanksgiving, 30 by Christmas, and 40 by my 30th birthday in early February.  I tried with just exercise since October with only a 6 lb. weight loss and then maintained for 2-3 weeks.

I purchased the livestrong app from iTunes and so far, I LOVE IT!  It tells me how many calories I need to consume a day to lose 2 lbs in a week.  I am surprised at the vast majority of food items they have in their database, and the calories are pretty much right on.  It also tracks my weight progress, and it has a diary where I can log how I am feeling for the day to see if my moods effect how or what I eat.

Skinny little Rachel Boreing, a  fellow blogger, eats tiny portions! No wonder she is so thin! So, it is now a running joke that I say I eat “Boreing sized portions.”  By the way, if you haven’t read her blog, I highly recommend it!  There are a lot of great recipes as well as articles.

Love Notes

Wednesday evening after dinner, I was outside with the kittens playing (and hoping they’d go potty!) before I went over to play with Lana & Squiggy for the evening (I like to wear everyone out before bedtime and give them lots of love!)  Todd sent me a text message without me even knowing about it.  When I’m home, my phone is normally always in my purse and I don’t bother to answer it or check it until I am on my way to work the next morning.  Thursday morning, I checked my phone on my way to work, and I had a sweet love message waiting for me that Todd sent at 7:05 the night before.  The note was about how much he loved me and how much he enjoyed watching my play with the little balls of fur outside.  And some other things that I wont divulge in (you can thank me for that! J )

I thought it was so sweet of him to do that, knowing that I wouldn’t get the message until the next morning.  I was doing something that I thought was really insignificant, but he found it endearing.  It melted my heart.

It also made me think about the fact that we were willing to throw this all away.  All of this fun and laughter as well as new experiences. 

Then I started to think about when we have children.  Would times be like this when we have little ones running around?  I see how much fun the menagerie is with 1 pot bellied pig, 1 puppy, and 4 cats.  I am sure it would be even better with a little one around.  Then I started to really yearn to start a family with Todd. 

We may not be perfect, but I am completely convinced we are perfect for each other. He is a pain in the tuckus (a word we use to describe Squiggy’s cute bottom) at times, but I can deal with those times if we have these fun times with each other and the sweet love notes once in a while.  Todd makes me want to be a better wife, a better daughter, a better friend, and a better person in general.

Why We Werent Able to Live Off of Todd's Income

I feel horrible for not being able to live off of Todd’s income this month.  I feel as though I failed in planning.  I really wanted to live off of one income.  So, I have been taking a look to see what we did wrong.
This is what I’ve concluded:

1.)    We went out of town for my cousin’s wedding in upstate New York the first weekend of October. That was a good 600 mile round-trip in Todd’s not-as-fuel-efficient vehicle.  Why did we take his vehicle?  It is easier for him to drive than Bianca because of her being a standard. Todd has carpal tunnel, and the constant shifting really bothers his hands.  So, instead of getting 42MPG, we got approximately 30MPG.
2.)    While on our way to NY, we stopped off in PA to several wineries in which we spent nearly $100 to stock us up for the Winter until we can make our own in the Spring.
3.)    Projects: Todd completed a couple of projects this month and needed to make a trip to the hardware store.  Those $10-15 trips a couple times can add up!
4.)    I had a brainy idea that I would add more to my plate and start the knick-knack business.  I now have 5 shows booked, but it cost me anywhere from $10-$35/show to set up a table.  Again, this adds up.  Not to mention the business cards I purchased and the domain name.  I did a very bad thing and purchased inventory on the credit card.  I would have to sell $125/show in order to pay off the credit card.  Todd has no idea how much I spent.  I didn’t mean to spend that much, but when you are walking through a gallery choosing items, it’s difficult to see how much you are spending.  24 pieces at $0.60/each here, 48 pieces at $1.10 there.  YIKES!  Todd asked, “Are you going to tell me how much damage you did?”  I said, “Nope.”  We don’t generally use credit cards.  I am hoping this is my LAST TIME using it now that I have inventory to start the business off.  Next time, I am not buying inventory unless we have cash saved up!
5.)     Snow Tires: Todd bought snow tires from Craigslist last month for $200 – a steal!  But now, he has to have them mounted.  This is a $60 expense.  I originally asked him to hold-off until next month to get them mounted, but every time the cold front would come through, he would get a bit antsy.  So I told him to go ahead and have them mounted at the end of October.
6.)    Oil Change: Todd is stocked up on oil filters to perform oil changes on both of our vehicles.  However, he did not realize that we did not have enough oil to do the oil changes.  On the 28th of October, we needed oil changes on both cars with only 2 qts of oil in stock at the house.  SO, he purchased 4 jugs of oil to last this oil change and the next one.  At over $6/jug, it adds up.

So, this means that it will be difficult to pay off Todd’s vehicle mid-November.  Christmas is just 3 pay-periods away (based on my income every 15th & 30th.)  That makes me nervous. I still need to purchase gifts for my mom and her husband as well as my father and his wife.  They are the big ones we buy for, so that will hurt the budget.

At this point, I would be ecstatic if we could pay off Todd’s vehicle by the end of November, but it doesn’t look like that will be possible.  It may not be until the end of the year that we will be able to pay off the Rondo.  In December, we have a lot of expenses (property tax on two houses, propane fill-up ($500+), and a puppy getting fixed ($300.)) Oh my goodness, why do I do this to myself?  I procrastinate and I don’t stick to my guns, then I get anxious about all that needs done to meet my goals.  Oy! 

I Love to Meet New People

I don’t know what it is, but I love to meet new people.  I think I may come on too strong and scare a lot of people away with all of my questions, but when I meet someone new, I want to know everything there is to know about them!  My curiosity gets the best of me.

I always used to say that I could easily be a hermit.  I don’t consider myself a “people person.”  I actually feel quite awkward when I meet someone new face-to-face.  I don’t know how to keep a conversation going.  But when I meet others from afar, I am the exact opposite.

For instance, I was at an auction and I saw someone my age auctioneering.  I thought she did awesome and I wanted to learn more about her.  I didn’t have the courage to go up and talk to her, but I found her email address from her father’s website (her father owns the auction company,) and we started talking through email.  We met a little bit later, and we’ve been friends ever since.  Todd and I went to her wedding just this Summer and have had a lot of fun with her and her new husband at a bonfire at their new home.

I know someone from a message-board I am a moderator on.  We’ve known each other for years.  We talked through email for years as well and we decided to meet.  Even though I had never heard her voice, when we met two years ago on a frugal camping weekend, it was like we knew each other and saw one another every day for the past 5-6 years!  It was great!!

Why am I telling you this?
Because I want to warn you.  If I find your blog and am interested in getting to know you (a lot of times, it’s when I feel we have some things in common,) I may scare you away with a lot of questions and emails.  It is not my intention to scare you away, I’m just trying to get to know you and learn more about you

Wordless Wednesday

Hollywood, FL

I found out yesterday that the company I work for won a contest.  My boss (the President of the company) asked if I wanted to go on a 4-day get-a-way with Todd to Miami, FL to this hotel (all expenses paid!) and then to the Dolphis/Browns game on Sunday.  I am so excited!!! We leave 1 month from today!! (Dec 3rd!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I’m a waver.  When I pass someone in my car on the street, I wave and smile to them.  Sometimes they wave back, sometimes they look at me like I’ve got 3 eyes.  I haven’t done this my whole life…just the past few years. 

I find that sometimes, it brings a smile to people’s faces, and that’s why I do it.  And, I want to be nice and say “hi” to people even if I am driving by. 

I think it may bother Todd sometimes when I do it. He says, “Are you waving to strangers again?”  Many times, my reply is “Yup!”
Do you wave at people on the street?

I'm Not Worried About It!

I will admit, I am very high-strung about a lot of things.  I tend to want to be in control of everything.  However, I have a saying that bothers Todd to no end, “I’m not worried about it!”

Todd: You should wear your winter coat, you’ll get sick!
Me: I’m not worried about it!

Todd: Maybe you should take a half day today because of the bad storm that is coming in.
Me: I’m not worried about it!

Todd: What if Lana gets off of her leash and bothers Squiggy?
Me: I’m not worried about it!

You get the drift.

I know people who are the ultimate worry-warts!  They worry about EVERYTHING!  I get irritated at times listening to them go on and on about their worries.  Usually, it’s over nothing.  I don’t see the sense in worrying about something that you don’t have any control over.  Maybe I have this theory because I’m an optimistic procrastinator.  I figure it will all work out eventually.

As my 2 year old niece, Annabelle, says: “No biggie.”
I think we all need to take that motto in our lives.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Winter Wardrobe

This past week, it started to get cold.  I knew I got rid of a lot of my wardrobe in the Spring, but I didn’t realize that I kept only 3 long-sleeve shirts/sweaters!  So, last Saturday, Todd and I hit up our favorite thrift store in Akron, OH.

I was able to purchase 9 (yes, you read correctly, 9!) sweaters for this season.  Wait until you hear how much I paid for 9 sweaters…$14.70!!! And one of the sweaters cost $3!  So 8 were $11.70.  Some were $0.75, others were $1.50.  I was giddy with excitement for the rest of the day.  I love knowing that I have 2 weeks worth of clothing for work for less than the price of a new sweater from a department store.

I started to take pictures to show you what I bought, but the pictures didn’t do the sweaters justice.  So, I will do without.  Some of the sweaters look brand new.  I couldn’t be happier.

This is just another way we save money.  If I had to estimate how much we spend on clothing a year, it would be less than $250 for the both of us.  We are both very hard on our clothes.  I get stains on my shirts because I’m always dripping something on my chest, and Todd works in his clothes when he tinkers around the house.  It is so much easier for us to get rid of clothing that we know we paid very little for versus a sweater I bought from Kohl’s for $25. 

We also like to keep everything versatile.  I have 4 pairs of dress-pants for work.  1 light grey, one medium grey, 1 navy and 1 khaki.  I only buy new pants when my others are worn out (every 2-4 years.)  My work shirts go with my jeans, so I don’t need any casual clothing for the weekends.  And the best part about having an inexpensive wardrobe is that every season, I don’t feel guilty for buying myself new clothes and tossing the worn out clothing! 

Pesky Whiskers!

In my old age, I am getting whiskers! I know…real becoming.  But it’s true!
As I get older, these thick whiskers grow out of my chin.  I have to tweeze them about once a month.  What the heck is up with that? Where are these things coming from?
I will admit, I have a thin fuzzy layer of blond hair on my face and chin, always have.  But these whiskers really bug me!

I'm On A Roll!

Wow! I’m on a roll!  I have about enough posts to last through mid-November! 
I’m not sure why the surge in blogs for me.  Well, none of my blogs are very long, and they don’t take much thought.  Whatever is going through my head at any given time is what I write about.  That’s why most of them are pretty unimportant and a little scatter-brained. I enjoy writing blogs and then scheduling them to post at a later-date!  Using this feature helps me to take the time I need to do things in the mornings and the evenings when I’m at home.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Website!

I finally got done taking pictures and posting the pictures of the products I will be trying to sell at craft shows.

The website is:  .


Results of October Goals

At the beginning of October, I made a list of the goals that I wanted to accomplish.
Lets see how I did this month:

Financial Goals: I would like to see if we can live off of Todd’s income this month so that we can pay off Todd’s vehicle by mid-November.  Todd gets paid 5 times in October, but we are going out of state for the first weekend of October for a 3-day weekend.  Can we save $2150? 
We failed at this! Miserably!
We paid off $1527 toward Todd's vehicle.  We were off by $623.
I have a post listing the reasons (excuses) why we failed that will be posted a little later.
Personal Goals: I would like to finally get the fireproof safe organized with all of our paperwork.  I keep adding to the stack of paperwork that needs filed, but none of it is going into the safe for some reason!  Right now, the pile is daunting.

I finished the fireproof safe yesterday at 5:30!
Mind you, this does not include the paperwork that is on my desk and has been piled up on my desk for over a year.  I will try to get to that soon.  But this was all of the paperwork from our closet that has been accumulating.
This is the before picture:

Sorry, no after picture taken.  It is just like this, but no paperwork piled up!

Weight Goals:  I would like to lose 10 lbs this month.  Instead of my drastic measures I usually do (drinking raw shakes every meal for a week,) I would like to try to do it with eating smaller portions, healthier food, drinking more water and exercising regularly.
Another fail.  I lost 6 lbs the first week, and nothing since.  I am not doing well with my portions at all, but I am definitely going to work on it in November!  I have an app that will help me keep track of my calories and weight.  I will be trying to eat only 1200 calories during the week while I'm at work.  We will see how I will do with that!

So, as you can see, I only got 1 out of 3 goals complete this month.
Oh well.  There's always next month, right?

Dreaming of Labor

I have been thinking alot lately about having children.  I'm not sure what the change in heart has been, but it is definitely a strong one.  I wrote a blog (that will post on November 4th) about some passive thoughts on children.

Last night, I had a dream that I was pregnant and in labor.
I have very vivid dreams, and I remember most of them the next day.
In this dream, I remember the contractions and thinking, "This isnt so bad. I could do this naturally."  Then they got a bit worse, but I still held strong.  However, I woke up before the baby arrived.

Then, I got online this morning and read my best friend from childhood's birthstory of her 2 month old daughter.  Alot of what she described is what I dreamt about!

I decided to take a look to see what my dream could have meant.
So, here goes (from A-Z Dream Dictionary):

To dream that you are laboring, suggests that your goals will take a lot of hard work to accomplish

If you are a woman and dream that you are in labor, indicates your desire to be pregnant and to start a family. To experience or feel labor pains or Braxton Hicks contractions in your dream, indicate the anticipation of hard work ahead. If you are actually pregnant, then the dream serves as a rehearsal for the actual birth. The dream is trying to prepare you for labor and proper breathing.

Just to make myself clear - I am NOT pregnant right now.  So this was NOT a rehearsal of the actual birth.  I DO have alot of goals and I'm sure it will take alot of hard work. 

Have you ever had this type of dream before? 

October Grocery Budget : Result

For the month of October, I had a grocery budget of $200.  When looking at our account, we spent $211.86!  DOH!  We are over by $11.86.  I looked to see what we spent and where.  I see the culprit (and remember the other!)

When we were driving through PA at the beginning of the month, I picked up concord grapes for my mom ($7/basket) and the 52 lbs of apples for $4. Oh, and $1 for a small pumpkin for my desk at work. That was $12 right there.  Also, when I went to Aldi’s in the middle of the month, they had margarita tubs that we have every year for our 4th of July party ½ off.  I ended up getting 2 tubs for less than the price of 1 that I normally get!  That was an extra $5 expense we didn’t really need.  I put the tubs of mix in the cabinet to save for July 2011’s party. And my last excuse reason is that meat was on sale and I loaded up. That was a $35 trip.

November has only 4 weeks.  Not to mention I stocked up on meat while it was on sale last month.  I am thinking about making the budget $150 for the month of November.  We may have to eat what we’ve got in the cupboards and freezer!  Lets see if we can do it!

Complain & Praise

I really like Joel Osteen.  I have set his sermons to automatically download when there is a new one posted to iTunes.  I am finally getting caught up from the past month’s sermons.   I find Joel very uplifting and motivational, which is exactly what I need!

One sermon talked about thinking positively, and he stated the following:

To Complain is to Restrain
To Praise is to Raise
What does that mean?  To complain, you are restraining yourself from witnessing the good around you because you are too busy being  negative-Nelly. You are limiting yourself! 

When you praise, you will raise.  You will be lifted up and abundance will flow.

Thinking back, I can see how this has definitely applied to my life.  Can you?