Entries from July 2013

Around Here

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Today I am job hunting, but with a margarita by my side… confidence and happiness boost. Here’s a little list or two of what else has been going on around these parts. 
There’s been a lot of… 
country music listening // reading, reading, reading // Friday Night Lights watching // time with sister spending // margarita drinking (love them) // thinking, planning and contemplating // excitement // gratitude // singing in the car // salad eating // long tank top wearing // smiles // mind stretching //

There’s also been some… 
squatting and other behind lifting activities // food planning // journaling // dancing // picture taking // friend dates // new blanket crocheting // resume writing (and stressing which bring it back up to… margaritas) //
There’s been a lot of living in this life of mine. 
xoxo

Crunching Numbers

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

these ladies have the right idea
So here it is, I’m coming out with it, or maybe I’ve already come out with it before and now I’m coming out with it again… 
I’m in debt. 
No big surprise there huh, I’m a twenty something female living in San Diego. It wouldn’t be a surprise if I was living elsewhere, I guess… but there are a lot of Joneses to keep up with in good ol’ SD… or maybe now with blogs and Pinterest there’s a lot of Joneses to keep up with everywhere. I never thought I was one to keep up with the Joneses but maybe in some way I am and I don’t even realize it. 
Whatever, enough with the Joneses. 
All I know is, I have more debt that I have money to my name, and I don’t like that feeling. I haven’t liked that feeling and it’s been this way for some time now. And I’ve started thinking about things, I’ve made plans, I’ve made budgets and goal budgets and read financial planning books like Smart Women Finish Rich, Money Drunk Money Sober, some book by Suze Orman and a few others. I’ve read, I’ve planned, I’ve cried and I’ve felt giddy about the possibilities of being out of debt. 
But guess what, I’m still in it.
The problem is, I would stick to my plan for a little bit, or even a long bit. There was a good 6 months that I didn’t touch my credit card at all (which I hadn’t done since I got it in 2005 or so). And then I caved again, and I don’t remember what for… oh yes I do, doctor’s bills, and the $1600 ($1000 if you take out interest) that I paid off in the past year went right back on… I fell into a hole of discouragement to say the least. 
I’m not going to lie to you dear readers, I’m still discouraged, and still in debt, possibly more so than before I stopped using my silly credit card. But I will not give up. I’ve started a new book, and I have a new plan underway.
It’s called the Spend Less Than You Make plan, or the Watch What Your Spending plan or even the If You Get a Pang of Guilt When You Take Out Your Card Don’t Buy It plan. 
I’ve updated my Mint account, I’ve read about spending fasts, I’ve faced my balances, I’ve looked at what I have spent my money on in the past two months… I’ve seen the different between what I spend and what I make… It’s not a sight I like looking at. But I’m looking, no more blinders, again. 
I’ll be going through the new book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, I will answer questions, I will do what is suggested, I will make a plan and stick to it as fastidiously as possible. And if my plan gets derailed by medical or car issues, I’ll pick myself up, dust myself off and get back on it. 
Today, in the spirit of starting a new book and getting things organized I have:
– requested a lower APR from my credit card company, twice… I was given 0% for 6 months on new purchases but I’m looking for it to be lowered overall… so I’m going to find other options, maybe even go into my bank and talk to someone directly
– set up my online account for a card I signed up for but haven’t used. My plan is to put my monthly payment for Netflix on this card and have it automatically paid so that I don’t have to worry about it and it helps my credit score. Nothing else goes on that card. Nothing. 
– called Verizon again to see why I am getting charged up the wazoo for data usage that I’m not doing. At the very least this will mean my payments go back to somewhat normal… at the best I want money credited toward my next payment for the incorrect charges. 
– looked over the last two months of spending, changed uncategorized entries, fixed other entries and now I have a decent amount of information to start my budget.
– cashed in my rewards points to get a gift card that I will be using at a specific place and time
Before the day is over I plan on getting a rough budget drafted. By the end of the week I will have set up my automatic payment on the newer card and I will have gone into my bank to get more information on a lower APR. I’ve been with the bank for years, my dad has been with the bank for decades, not to mention my credit score is pretty dang good… I feel like there’s room for lower interest rates. 
What about you, lovely friends, what’s going on in your money world? Any tips on changing the mindset so it’s a good challenge and not starvation from fun?
xoxo
images one and two

52 dishes: 13/52

Monday, July 29, 2013

You may have noticed a steady decline, sigh… fine, an outright disappearance of 52 in 52 dishes. It’s quite true, I took a break from cooking, it started with a very upset stomach for months and months. I ate mostly bananas, sometimes toast and whatever wouldn’t make me feel like heck.
I went through tests, spent a special amount of time in doctor’s offices, added debt to the credit card and more. No answers other than, it’s not the thyroid, blood levels are fine, no parasite… maybe it’s stress, maybe it’s not.
After a series of tests and getting bills I didn’t expect I decided to take a break from the doctor. During this time I started making myself eat a little more protein even when I didn’t feel hungry and just tried to stay calm about the whole thing.
Slowly but surely things have been getting better. When I stress about what my stomach is doing it gets worse, but when I just let it ride things are far, FAR better than they were before. I’m actually hungry like I use to be and the list of what I can eat is definitely expanding. Food and I are slowly but surely becoming friends again and with this rekindled friendship I have started wanting to cook again. Well, that and drumsticks from El Pollo Loco, roast beef sandwiches from Subway and fries from work just weren’t making me feel all that healthy.
This week I’ve spent nights watching Friday Night Lights and making spaghetti and preparing cold noodles and other things to put in salads at work.
In a few days I will be house sitting and will have access to a glorious kitchen with just about every cooking appliance I could ever want. During this time I am doing to be trying to play catch up a little on this whole 52 in 52. Now I don’t plan on going to nuts and making 18 new things in 12 days, but maybe 5 or 6? Doable!
I spent sometime on Pinterest today getting an idea of the things I want to make and I got so excited that tonight, on my way home from family dinner I decided I just couldn’t wait and I was going to make Lemon Ricotta and Poppyseed Waffles. I had to purchase a waffle maker to do so, but I bargain shopped it between Target and Walmart and found my new best friend. (The waffle maker)

They turned out delicious. Honestly I think I was expecting more of a lemon taste but maybe I’ll just put more lemon juice in or more zest with the sugar when I make them next time.
Other than the lack of obvious lemon taste these are so delicious. I paired the ones I ate right off the griddle with raspberries and the last two I added almond slices to. We’ll see how those turn out, a little crunch.
I’m excited for the house sitting and trying recipes that need a food processor and a big mixer that can knead dough!
Here’s the getting back on track with my project and getting excited about food again!
xoxo

Something to Remember

Friday, July 26, 2013

something to remember
sister’s 21st // delicious desserts with Lisa // margaritas on the fam’s back patio // Sea World for the bro’s 16th birthday // nights in my room // photo walk on the Oceanside Pier // braids are the new black, and a new shirt // bowling // new succulents
also
spending more time with family // appreciating the soft blankets in bed // rereading books three times // the fair // country bars // dancing // del mar races // milk duds and popcorn // remembering favorite dishes to cook // new phone cases // hanging out with a friend after a long time of not seeing each other

life is good 
xoxo

Golden Coast: Los Angeles Beaches and the Irvine Spectrum

Friday, July 26, 2013

A week after my return from my Golden Coast trip I decided I needed a little hint of a vacation again. I got back in my car and drove north to visit a couple beaches I had left out on my way back. I started at El Matador State beach, took some pictures, sat on a staircase to nowhere and watched people try to navigate the waves. After getting my shoes thoroughly wet and then my feet thoroughly sandy I traveled on down to Zuma beach. There was one particular building I wanted to capture, maybe not even the whole building, just the sign. When I had seen it the first time the week before I hadn’t stopped to take a picture, but this time I did, and even though there were people milling around, I still got exactly what I wanted, maybe even more. I mean, an umbrella, the food sign AND birds perched in a row? So good.
After a few snaps at Zuma I headed a little farther south to Santa Monica Pier. I love this place, well, I like it a lot. Mostly because there is a ferris wheel. Here’s the deal though, you can’t ride it alone, and the seating arrangement with the staff wasn’t conducive to many pictures that I wanted. But I guess I just have a reason to go back in the future, with a friend… or maybe more than a friend? (Wiggling eyebrows implied) Despite my semi awkward joy ride on the ferris wheel, I did get in a dinner session at Pier Burger, definitely one of my most favorite hamburger places ever.

After I left the beaches I drove south and found myself at the Irvine Spectrum, a place I can’t help but stop at just about every time I find myself headed to the Los Angeles area. There’s just this pull. It also has a ferris wheel, so maybe that’s it. I spent a good hour or two browsing books at Barnes and Noble, eventually settling on Escape from Cubicle Nation, Vagabonding and Beyond Snapshots. I also picked up a new journal, ready and glorious for when I get through my current one.

It was a great one day mini vacation. I came back home inspired with my bag full of knowledge and my camera full of pictures. Not a bad way to spend a day off.

xoxo

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