Sunday, August 16, 2015

Getting along spending zero

I am half way through my no spend August.  There have been a few challenges along the way but I have done really well.  At one point, I actually had a shirt in my hand at Old Navy that I really wanted and I thought, no you don't NEED it.  I ended up leaving without buying anything...small victories!  I did price out a couple of things that I may need in the next month or two though if you are wondering why I was in a store to begin with :)

I thought I would share a few things that I have been able to do this month so far while not spending anything.

Football season is SO close I can feel it!  I had to run an errand for work one day that took me near the stadium.  Not wanting to pass on an opportunity to spend some time at one of my favorite places ever, I went over the the stadium and just walked around.  It is so different when there aren't thousands of other people there.  This place has so many great memories for me with family and friends.  I am truly happy here.

Comso got in Utah lake for the first time ever!  Don't you love his little life jacket?  We went for a drive and ended up at the lake.  I had his jacket with us so I thought why not.  He was a good sport but I am not sure if he really loved it.  The water was cold and he was shivering so me got out.  I need to try it again during the day when it is warmer.

Amazing shots of the sunset over the lake.  It was kind of  a stormy evening which made for beautiful colors in the sky.  I love nature and the feeling of peace it brings to me, I think that is why it is my favorite thing to photograph.  

My extremely lucky friend Jodie wins tickets to EVERYTHING and I happily accept to go with her whenever I can.  How excited was I to get a call saying she had tickets to Kenny Chensey and did I want to go?  Uh, yes please!  

I am excited to see what comes up the rest of the month. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August 2015: Super Girl helps with another "no spend" month

For those of you that have been following me for awhile, you know that I have done "no spend" months in the past.  The concept is simple, other than food and gasoline I don't spend any extra money that month.  I have had varying degrees of success with this but the last time I did it I didn't do so well. 

I really need to get back on target with following a budget and putting money in savings so what better way to kick that off than a "no spend" month.  This gives me time to evaluate where I am at and figure out some longer term financial goals.

 This might sound boring or even unnecessary to you but not to worry.  You would be amazed at the things you can find to do that don't cost any money and this is where Super Girl comes into the picture.  She is pretty much awesome at coming up with creative ways to have fun. I have so many partially completed projects and even more that haven't even been started yet laying around my house.  I am sure that between the two of us we will be able to come up with all sorts of great things.  

Here is a list of just a few things that we could tackle this month:

  1. Reading
  2. Sewing
  3. Scrapbooking
  4. Storage and organization 
  5. Decorating
  6. Gardening
I would love to hear from you about the kinds of things you would do if you were doing a "no spend" month.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The 30 day Happiness Challange

  While I was searching Pinterest today looking for something else I came across this link for The 30 day (no fail) Happiness challenge.  Since I have been struggling to find more joy and harmony in my life recently I decided to give it a look.

  It is a fairly simple challenge really:

Day 1: When you wake up name 3 new things you are grateful for.  Repeat this step for the next 29 days.

Day 2: Right down at least one meaningful thing that happened to you over the past 24 hours.  Repeat this step for the next 28 days.

Day 3: Reach out to someone that you know and give them praise. Repeat this step for the next 27 days.

Day 4: Do some form of cardio for at least 15 minutes a day. Repeat this step for the next 26 days.

Day 5: Start meditating for at least 5 minutes a day.  Repeat this step for the next 25 days.

That is it.  This isn't even a half an hour of your day if you are at the bare minimum.  You can start this tomorrow morning, I know I am going to.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Finding joy

   I have spent a great deal of time lately pondering on purpose of various things in my life.  Why have I been guided to the current situations I am in, what am I to learn from them and how do I potentially move beyond them? The life I envisioned for myself so many years ago is not where I am now.  Since major detours have come on the journey I planned I am now trying to find a new road.

   The tetter totter of balance is heavily weighted on one side and desperately seeking something to even it out.  I think that restoring some balance will help me find a new purpose.  I want to be more about doing instead of thinking and wishing.  I don't want to spend anymore time on what could of or should have been but look to what is still possible.

  One of my favorite talks was given by President Thomas S. Monson President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints titled Finding Joy in the Journey.  In this talk he mentions this,

 "This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now."
     What is my journey....I am not sure.  Hopefully I can start noticing more of the joyful moments around no matter how big or small.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Wrong Roads

Life is full of decisions.  Some are so simple we barely give them a thought while others we put great time and effort into making the right one. We pray that we are making the right choice and even receive the answer to move forward with our decision.  How frustrating it can be when, after all your efforts, it isn't the right thing for you after all.  Why would we be guided in one direction if it is the wrong road?

President Jeffery R Holland shares some in-site into why some of us need to take the wrong road for a mile or two, or in my case a cross country trip.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Super Bowl Sunday

I love football, I mean I LOVE it. I have been a football fan for as long as I can remember.  My vacations for years have revolved around attending a game somewhere around the country.  I'm a fan of both college and pro teams and I am perfectly content watching multiple games in a row on any given weekend. I am serious about my football viewing and don't leave my seat until the game is over. Normally I have no problem picking one team or another to win the game.  I use a variety of techniques to choose who to root for including teams I have cheered for over the years, teams with particular players I like, and uniform color..yes the color of the jersey matters.  So what do you do when you just can't in good conscience root either team to victory?  

Enter the other world of Super Bowl Sunday-commercials, halftime and food! I believe this is the first time in my life that the other world has been more entertaining to me than the actual game.  Katie Perry preformed an amazing half time show and there has been some fantastic commercials so far.  I loved the take on the Mad Max movie for the new season of The Voice.  I laughed out loud at the Clash of Clans ad with Liam Neeson and  loctite glue. and who doesn't love Clydesdale's coming to the rescue of a puppy.

No matter which part of the game you are interested in everyone comes together when it come to the eats for the day.  These can be as varied as people watching the game.  Since I usually end up watching the game solo the grand spread I envision every year usually comes down to one appetizer and some veggies to snack on.

The appetizer I  chose this year was from one of my Pinterest pins Southern Meatballs.  I have made something similar once before for my cousins birthday party but this particular version had a few extra things to kick it up a bit.

  • 1½ cups chili sauce 
  • 1 cup grape jelly (or you can use cranberry sauce - just as delish!)
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder (optional)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 package of frozen meatballs

  1. In a crock pot, combine the chili sauce, grape jelly, Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes and garlic powder and mix well.
  2. Add package of frozen meatballs and stir until the meatballs are coated with the sauce mixture.
  3. Cook for 6 - 7 hours on low.
  4. Enjoy!

The only changes I made were the cranberry sauce instead of grape jelly.  Grape flavored anything reminds me of any number of cough medicines I had to take as a kid..yew! I also cooked them on high for about 3 hours.  Here is the final product.

If you would like to check out the some of my other pins feel free to follow appetizers on my Pinterest page.

To cap off the evening, I wanted some sort of football treat.  Thank goodness for Walmart's bakery!  I didn't have the time or desire to make anything and most recipes feed way more than one person.  This was the prefect solution, a cream filled football shaped doughnut. 

So with under 5 minutes left it is a three point game but the true winners have already been determined.  Here's to hoping there is someone I care to have win makes it to the big game next year.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

No Spend January

 Welcome 2015!  I haven't really set any new years resolutions at this point.  I get overwhelmed and feel like I have failed when the end of the year comes around and I haven't accomplished anything. However, I did make the choice to get back on track with my finances and following a budget again.

 Over the past several months I have been consistently working tons of overtime.  While the extra money has been nice all the hours at work has really taken a toll on me in other ways.  I had some intentions to put a portion into savings but I ended up spending most of it on some things I wanted and a much need vacation over Thanksgiving.   Now that the overtime has been drastically reduced, I need to get back to a more disciplined approached with my spending habits.  

  If you have followed me at all you know that I have done a few "no spend" months.  Well, I am thinking this is a really good month to have one.  I will buy food and gas but that is all.  This particular go around I do have 2 things I am already competed to that I will need to pay for since I decided to do this today.

  I actually have fun with this because I have SOO many projects in various states that I will have no problem filling my time.  I also have books to read, gift certificates to the movies, and 0$ decorating to be done.  There is all the cleaning and organizing one could ever want...not my favorite thing to do!

  So hopefully at the end of January I have some things on the to do list done as well as some money in savings.

  My challenge to you is to do your own version of "no spend". It could be just for a week or you could try out the whole month.   Good Luck!