Observations: 2nd week getting unpoor

Shoes may be my arch nemesis. Heh, get it … arch.

Anywho … Stephen Bonanno Sandals turned 50 and in honor of this occasion  they had all of their sandals 50% off. I have never known this to happen. They put them on sale twice a year, but never 50% off. So, I had to justify that spending $60 now would provide good ROI since these sandals last forever. I ordered a black pair, so definitely something that I will wear over and over.

I had also allowed myself to buy a new pair of running shoes and that happened on Monday, Luckily, I scored 15% off thanks to my Hubby and his running class. Love my Brooks and I definitely needed a pair since my old ones had 400+ miles on them.

Lunches … 5/5: 4/4 packing and I worked from home on Friday, so I also ate at home.

Savings … I managed to put money into savings and also into M&L’s college funds.

HSA … this is the first time I have used my company’s health saving’s account … it is wonderful! Two prescription refills and it feels free! 

Dependent Savings Account … we are trying hard to not touch this money that we put aside. I know this is going to be a struggle, but it will be amazing if we can have $5,000 saved by the end of the year and get a break on our taxes. We shall see. The operative word is TRY.

Target … I did have a slip up. All necessities, but a cinnamon/clove candle did fall into my basket. I call it winter blues defense. There is something about lighting a yummy smelling candle and feeling cozy. Maddy and Libby love to light it for dinner. We are so elegant when we eat our pizza on plastic plates sans utensils, but with candlelight. Sigh.

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No one to blame but myself

So, I ran a marathon 3 months ago.

I ran a half-marathon less than 2 months ago.

I ran 6 miles yesterday and felt like I had never run in my life.

Ugh.

I have hit that point where I’m:

a) not running 30+ miles a week

b) not wanting to get out of bed when it’s dark and cold

c) in hibernation mode

So that means I MAY be averaging 3-6 miles a week and that is a good week. I’ve been pretty consistent making it to 1-2 classes of Bikram yoga a week, and 1 spin class a week.

Needless to say, I feel better when I am exercising consistently and need to get over myself in the mornings and hit the gym. As much as I loathe the treadmill, it’s definitely better than cold and dark morning runs … especially when I don’t have to, but I know for my sanity and overall fitness I level, I have to.

I don’t like being the slow kid huffing and puffing in the back.

So, snow.

So this is our forecast:

Image

 

And guess what we’re out of?

You got it … milk. If you are from the South, you probably just nodded your head and then said a curse word at the idea of trudging to Harris Teeter with all the other crazies out there. Plus, the shelves will be bare and you are stuck with a pint of buttermilk or a random brand of questionable soy milk.

Ou(honestly) bigger problem is that there is no coffee creamer in the house. I try to eat healthy, but there is something about the Vanilla-ey goodness of Coffee Mate that gets me every time. 

I commute about 30-40 minutes and luckily, we can choose to work for home when the weather is questionable. Our company rarely if ever will close, so I am already counting on working from the comfort of home, likely in my PJ’s, making bbq chicken in the crockpot, and hopefully playing in the snow with M&L.

I need to confess … two pair of snow pants were purchased since we don’t have any, but in my defense … they were on sale and M&L do need them. Plus, they are a size 4/5, so I am hoping they last until next year. So, I think that $20 is a necessity.

unpoor = unfun

So far, so good, but these may be the most boring posts EVER.

Highlights of the past week:

  • I have not been to Target, I have not been to Target, I have not been to Target.
  • I packed my lunch 5/5 days last week.
  • No extracurricular shopping for me or M & L.
  • Grocery shopping on Sunday and meal planning for the week definitely helps.
  • Checking out the trial on Dave Ramsey’s budgeting tools to see if I like it

Things making it hard to stay on the Fiscal Cliff 2013

  • Damn Stephen Bonanno 50% off sale.
  • Brooks Running winter sale.

But I just don’t have the heart to unsubscribe from either of those companies. Shoes … it always goes back to shoes.

Weak Moment

Growing up, my family was never into Disney. I went once, maybe twice. I had a good time, enjoyed the rides, but when I visited I was probably past the princess stage when and on to chasing boys on the playground.

I remember watching Bambi and Cinderella and reading some Disney books, but they weren’t my favorites. I didn’t want to be a princess or live in a castle.

When I had twin daughters, I was a little turned off by the whole Princess shenanigan. Princess shirts, tiaras, on the bottom of sweatpants (hello!?), princess parties, etc. I get it – princesses are pretty and sparkly. They live in glass castles and ride around in pumpkin carriages with handsome princes. They have ballgowns and teeny tiny slippers. Awesome. Let’s just say that I didn’t willingly bring princess crap into our house.

Somehow … it just infiltrated it’s way in. Maddy and Libby started talking about princesses, but not in any kind of specific Disney related way. It started with a few costumes and dress up shoes. We graduated to a few princess dolls on their birthday, Halloween princess costumes, watching Beauty & The Beast at the movies, and somehow full blown Princess mania. This Christmas alone looked like Disney sponsored their gifts. Princess puzzles, Pez dispensers, lipgloss, a trip to Disney on Ice, two DVD’s, and a LeapPad Cinderella game. Maddy and Libby make up stories about princesses and name their stuffed animals “Princess” and “Cinderella.” It is kind of mind-blowing.

Last night, I told them that they could watch 30 minutes of Cinderella before bedtime and it was over and showed a sneak peak of Fantasyland that has recently been renovated and opened at Disney.

Holy Smokes … I was drawn in like a moth to a flame. It was amazing. I found myself looking up prices of hotels, who you can have lunch with at the castle, and what rides are available. Yes, I know … fiscal cliff 2013 still exists, but this is FANTASYLAND, y’all.

After I learned that the cost of a Disney vacation is roughly $1000+ per person, I always thought it was ridiculous. In my opinion, we have so many other places in the United States that are worthy of that kind of expense, but I got sucked in to the magic, too.

I can’t believe I am writing this, but I have found myself considering a trip. I mean, the girls are 4 1/2. If we are going to go, it’s definitely the right time. They are still at the age where they believe in the magic and aren’t chasing boys on the playground and slamming doors in the house.

Where did my babies go and when I did get so weak? Is anyone else out there anti-Disney and did you ever switch over to the dark side?

Fiscal Cliff 2013

Ok, so it’s not a cliff and not really like the real Fiscal Cliff, but I may be starting my own conundrum in our household and feel like I need to jump off a cliff.

After a conversation (without wine) with ET, a discussion of no spending until July came about. Not really no spending, but in an effort to get un-poor or how many of us feel after the holidays, a way to curb spending habits and halt unnecessary spending until July 2013.

I know my triggers:

  • Target: I go in for say, laundry detergent and I leave with the detergent, new notecards, shirts for Maddy and Libby, a new sports bra, bottle of wine, huge container of animal crackers, lip gloss, hand lotion, a new type of vitamin, tights, and a travel size container of hand sanitizer. Don’t even get me started on the Neiman-Marcus items they had. Michael Kors clutch, I’m still looking at you.
  • Online shopping. Damn you Lands End, Old Navy, and Kiehl’s for filling my inbox with your offers of free shipping, $16 dresses, extra deluxe samples. I curse you. I have been an unsubscribing fool as of late.
  • Meals. This one is more family related, than to me specifically, but Hubby probably eats lunch out about 5 days a week. I have been packing my lunch and trying to limit my lunches out to 1-2 times every 2 weeks. We can also get in a bad habit of running to Harris Teeter every night when there is nothing in the fridge or picking up pizza. While I know we have to eat, we just need to be more mindful about meal planning and eating what is in our house.

We were lucky to recently pay off some credit card debt and are currently refinancing our house. Given this, I really can’t think of a better time to take an honest look at our finances, set goals, set budgets, and get to work. After all, college is expensive and will be here in 13 short years.

In the meantime, I have been working on goals that I would like to achieve. I know there are things that we have to buy, but I want to be more mindful about what we are spending.

For me:

  • No clothing purchases including running clothes until July. I have plenty of EVERYTHING and unless I lose all my socks, I shouldn’t need anything new. *Exception: I am allowed to buy ONE pair of running shoes. Mine have approximately 500 miles on them and got me through the marathon, so I know it is time and this will help keep me injury free.
  • No clothing purchases for Maddy and Libby. They received a lot of clothes for Christmas, plus a lot of hand-me-downs from a good friend. I will give myself the exception here of bathing suits (because we don’t have any in a size 4). This one is really hard, because consignment sale season is upon us and I usually find lots of good deals for the upcoming season.
  • Limit lunches out to “Payday Fridays.”
  • No more Nook Book downloads … use the free ones from the library.
  • Set goals for saving and start doing it.

I have even been researching Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, but can’t quite commit right now. Has anyone gone through it and would you recommend? I do think he has a lot of good online tools and tips.

So cheers to getting un-poor in 2013. I will post updates here and try to give an honest look at what we do, the mistakes, and hopefully successes.

Forty

2013 is the year I turn 40.

20 years ago, I thought that 40 was ancient. Even 10 years ago, I probably did.

I wish I could look back 20 years and see where I thought I would be at 40. It is really hard to believe that TWENTY years ago, I was in college. That makes me feel old. Old as f*ck as they said in Knocked Up.

So I can feel better (or worse) about myself, over the past 20 years, I have:

  • Graduated from college
  • Driven cross-country, twice
  • Attended graduate school
  • Explored the western part of the US, lived, and worked in Yellowstone National Park
  • Screamed, cried, and laughed my head off
  • Lost some incredible people in my life – my Grandmother, Aunt Jean, Grandma and Grandpa Martin, Uncle Horace and Aunt Lucy
  • Gained some incredible friends and kept nearly 40 year old friendships alive
  • Rode a Greyhound Bus
  • Drank wine in Napa Valley
  • Broke someone’s heart
  • Had my heart broken
  • Ran over the Golden Gate bridge
  • Became a wife
  • Became a mother
  • Became a half-marathoner and marathoner
  • Traveled to Paris
  • Swam with stingrays
  • Started a blog
  • Moved to North Carolina with only a job
  • Volunteered
  • Got laid off more times than I could ever imagined
  • Bought my first house
  • Found a church
  • Enjoyed countless sunsets and even a few sunrises
  • Felt helpless, empowered, strong, weak, invincible, stubborn, sad, and full of joy
  • Wasted time and savored every second

As I approach 40, this year I hope to

Be content

Be creative

Be open-minded and loud-mouthed

Love more

Work hard in all aspects of my life: family, marriage, work, exercise, faith

Have fun, be silly, and secure in my own skin

Blogging about dairy

I was thrilled to recently serve as a guest blogger for the Southeast Dairy Council’s blog, Dairy Delivers.

You can read my post here.

Their blog features recipes, nutrition tips, and of course the benefits of incorporating dairy into your healthy diet. I know I have posted about it here, but my favorite dairy products include chocolate milk and Cabot cheddar.

Enjoy!