Saturday, December 11, 2010

On the Road again...

I really don't think this is the permanent slogan of my life, but this past year has just been crazy.  Time for another update...hopefully I will be able to post more now that I am getting used to these transitions :)
Some exciting "I" statements to follow:

  • I finished both of my classes through Liberty University and was LPCA approved in Kentucky!! WOO HOO!
  • I turned in my notice at Blue Ridge to move to Kentucky! 
  • I moved to Lexington, KY November 23rd, and was able to spend a fantastic Thanksgiving with my family in St. Louis now only 5 hours away!
  • I am in paperwork purgatory now with Bluegrass Mental Retardation Services as I accept a job in Cynthiana, KY as a Children's Therapist in one of their outpatient centers.
  • I no longer have a technology relationship with the boyfriend over the phone or Skype...(which I'm pretty sure if we get married should have important places in the ceremony)- It has been wonderful going on actual dates that don't consist of watching movies together over Netflix...although that was fun too :) 
  • I am currently living with the boyfriend's grandparents to allow me to financially better make this big transition!
So that is about all going on right now, most my things and especially craft items, are in storage right now, but I've still been managing to pump out a ton of homemade christmas presents. Today I am making strawberry bread. YUM.

As I embark on yet another state and new opportunities,  I can't help but think about how blessed I am to have so many people who support me no matter where I am at in life.  I love you all very much!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fast forward 5 months later...

I can't believe where the time has gone.  Since starting school back up, transferring into a different position at work and actually working now, and DIYing practically everything I own, I think it is safe to say I am in need of an update.  Let's review...

  • I got hired on at Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare in February....and come the end of August I still didn't do much there to help my accumulation of hours I need to get licensed.  A position opened up at a local high school for a Therapist and I jumped on it...needless to say, I've been pretty busy since.
  • I began taking a Multicultural Issues and Career Counseling course through Liberty University in August,  in order to fulfill requirements for the Kentucky State Board of Licensed Professional Counselors.  This way I can work there soon...and by soon I mean November. (fingers crossed.)  Luckily the classes are both 8 week intensives so I will be done by the 15th of October! YAY!
  • I have also taken on some fun projects.  I redid the headboard on my bed, some storage in my room, made a new hanging lamp out of some baskets, reupholstered my first chair with a drop cloth (and still working on the couch), redid my coffee table, made a fun rose pillow out of a bridesmaid dress, and added a couple more fun little touches to my little corner of the world.  Whew....the sad part is I'm sure I've left a few things out, but it's been fun. Hopefully I will find some time to post some pictures soon!!

Needless to say that last 5 months have flown, and I am very much looking forward to what's next!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Oh Yeah...5 more items

So I had mentioned in an earlier post, that I would be introducing 5 new items to my 3verything3mily store soon ...that hasn't happened yet. Don't get me wrong, they are all ready for their introductions, but are without pictures. (Making inexpesive camera pics look good is time consuming I am finding! ) I figured I would at least give you a heads up about what to be expecting!
1. Record bowls!- A few more additions along with the 45's, all with their original cases
2. Earrings!- All Unique and handmade out of items you would have never thought about wearing
3. Tree Chalkboard Art- A multimedia peice on canvas, shows you CD's aren't just for listening to anymore
4. Magazine Bowls!- Last months fashions will now look even classier on your coffee table!
5. A revamped chalkboard message Lamp!- Spotlight what you really want to say!

Obviously I've been real into chalkboard surfaces lately and bowls....hmmm

Compassion Trip to El Salvador

Stephanie has been my Compassion child for a VERRRY long time.  I have loved this opportunity to affect a family and child so dramatically in a different culture than my own.  It is only $38 a month, but I will admit there were times I debated over it because things in my own life were chaotic.  Recently I have come to the realization that she will be aging out of the program this June on her birthday.  This is both exciting and sad. I know she will have some good opportunities to use the skills she has learned, but I have always wanted to visit her.  Well today my frugalness was faced with a delimma. A trip to El Salvador is coming up at the end of February. So... $2700 to visit 6 months needs to appear.  Obviously a part time job would do the trick...which would sacrifice time and effort in other areas I wanted to focus on this year. Hmmm I can't help but wonder if there is another way I can come up with the $100 + a week to make it happen while STILL paying off my car this year.  Any ideas out there?  (Keeping in mind, I've pretty mush sold off everything I can. LOL)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pr3ssing On!

Sometimes things happen in life that throw a wrench in our plans.  I am a big planner.  I have not always been, but sorta morphed into one.  I love making things and thinking of new ways to repurpose everyday items...seriously I could do this alll day.  However, as much as I like these things and have many interests, when life events happen it is necessary to put them on the back burner until I can come up for air. For example, let's inspect the $600+ damage of the wrench. 

Retal Car: 189.00 (for 4 days)
Car Engine Issues: $241.00 (Praise the LORD, it was ONLY this much!!)
Personal Property: $70.00
Ticket=? at least $160.00 (after court costs!)

That is $660.00 of a wrench thrown into my plans! And you know what? It did not even phase me financially!!! Becuase of my planning I was able to move things around and adjust some other bills! I only had to take $200 out of my emergency fund!

I spend my paycheck down to $0 every payday..Yep. 0.  This way I know where everything is going and it can be tracked with minimal effort.  It is a great system, and it's allowing me to pay off my debt VERY quickly!! So when my car broke down before a trip to see the boyfriend in Lexington, KY (6 hours away) I needed to make some decisions.  Personal Property taxes are due, a speeding ticket, enterprise rental, and a sputtering car with a scary engine light on does not equal progress financially! However, I have kept my grounds, there has just not been much time (or expenses) for my Etsy Store! :( 

But good news!!! I am going to be hitting the craft room hard this week turning out at least 5 new types of items to show up in my store! Stayed Tuned!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

10 "No money ALOT-O-FUN" Things To Do!

I like being busy. I like activities and projects and schedules. However, a lot of times those things require money! With my gusto to pay things off and live frugally it has become second nature to turn to solutions that cost Zip, Zero, Zilch! Entertaining yourself with things you already have can be just as fun as spending money! For example....

  • Ride your Bike- Not only is this great excersise and gets those endorphines flowing for a happier you, but it also gives you a chance to cruise around your scenic neighborhood or city without burning any gas money!

  • Flip it for Free!-Rearrange a Room- Not every "Room Redo" requires you to spend money. Simply trying new angles for your furniture can give you that new updated look your space needs! Look around your house for items that would go better in one room than maybe the one you have had it in for the last few years! (The internet is a great source for this project- with endless sites on room redos and decor tips)

  • Lame Frames?-Make some new artwork or your walls!- Grab some old picture frames with outdated contents and get creative! Picnik is a great free source for editing photos, or you can go through old magazines for some inspiring arwork!. (I like using fabric in empty frames for an artsy look)

  • Get lost in a book!- There are too many selections in my library that are still untouched. But even if you don't have an expansive book collection, your local Library does! FOR FREE! Get a Library card and spend some time reading on your back porch you don't use enough.

  • Outside In!-Explore your yard for a textured centerpiece for your kichen table-Bunches of flowers, small branches, long grasses, rocks, etc. look great in anything from vases and bowls to christmas canisters. You can cleaverly conceled them with some leftover scrapbook, grocery, news, or comptuer paper!  This is a great one for fun experimental bouquets!

  • Pamper Yourself!-Transform your bathroom into a spa- Even if all you have is a small nail file and an old bottle of nail polish! Chances are you have some key items in your kitchen!  And the best part? No harsh chemicals!
*Soak your Tootsies in a hot bath and after giving them a good scrub try a equal mix of olive oil and sugar for a great moisterizer! (and scrub!) After rinsing/drying them off grab your favorite scented lotion!
*For your face I like a mixture of honey and oatmeal for a nice scrub/mask. Even if you don't have those, Baking Soda can give your face a nice clean feel if you mix about a teaspoon with an equal amount of water! *The Olive Oil/Sugar Mixture is fabulous for hands as well! After rinsing them, finish off your pampering with that old bottle of nail polish, it is sure to feel more like a treat now!  

  • Don't Throw it away Yet!-Take inventory of the foods about to kick the dust in your kitchen. Chances are there is a fab recipe out there you can save them with! All Recipes is a great resource for looking up recipes based on ingrediants you have on hand! Once you type in the ingrediants you want to use it does all the creative work for you!

  • Chill Out!- This one is simple...Relax. I am HORRIBLE at this one. Sometimes grabbing an old Better Homes & Gardens magazine from 2008 and watching episodes of your favorite tv show on HULU is all you need. Add a refreshing beverage from your own kitchen at no extra charge!

  • Ok now throw it out...Get rid of STUFF- Going through your house and discovering things you don't need/want can be both freeing and make you money! Even if you feel it is not worthy to list on a site like Craigslist you can always DONATE items freeing up more space for the things you love!

  • Get OUT!- Check out free events online in your community- Most communities have some type of calendar on their website outling events and happenings each month! Movies in the park, art shows, etc.
 What kind of things do you like to do when your budget is squeezed?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Progress not Perfection...

I love being able to cross things off a to do list...sometimes I think I make lists just to cross them off! HA (I know it's sick) But some pretty exciting updates on my Goals of 2010:
  • I'm buying a bike today for about half what the owner paid! (If it's a good fit, it's only been used a couple times!)
  • I've decided what items I will be posting on good ole Craigslist to begin getting rid of so many things I don't need or use! So far I got...a big oversized computer desk, a nice long 2 drawer file cabinet, a TV that doesn't work except for the DVD player on it (FREE), a microwave, some odds and ends, and a retired collector's item that should go for about $150...hopefully... GRAND TOTAL I am aiming for.....$210! That will put a small chuck into my car payment. YAY
  • The boyfriend paid for Netflix for the next few months for me, so even those small red box rentals that are only $1 will not have to be used for a while!
One thing I have been learning in this process has been PAITENCE! I cannot save up or buy everything I may want or need overnight! I may have to wait until I can afford it...*GASP* Yes...I said "Wait."   It has been nice to have a plan and see it in action.  Do you have things around your house you could get rid of?


Monday, April 5, 2010

Kroger and Coupons

I love saving money. I also love spending money on things I have thoughtfully considered. So when I am happy with a purchase I have found that expressing it to the company is often quite beneficial. I took the time a few weeks ago to write some comments to different companies of products I am pretty happy with. The result?


Mainly I got dollar off and free coupons, and some that were just thank yous, but the best? My Kroger sent me a $10 gift card! WOOHOO! So Helpful since me and my roommate shop there like clockwork weekly after we get their ad in the mail and plan our menu.

Another good way I have been getting good deals is checking out "Free Stuff" websites that clearly aren't shady. They hook you up with product sites to get samples. More often than not they also send decent coupons with the samples. Now when I get home from work its like getting a small present everyday in the mail!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Today is a good day.

Do ever have days that just energize you? A sun shining, windows down, stress managed, genuinely good day? Well I've definately had less than I would like over any period of time, but today is different. It is genuinely good. It is good because I'm healthy, employed, budgeted, relaxed, creative and genuinely excited about the future. Oh, and I have a great boyfriend, even if he lives 6 hours away at this point, it's not forever. I really like to sit back and enjoy these times in life, it makes everything else worth it. Don't you think?

I'm hoping to work on many more of my creative outlets this weekend. I'd like to get a few more things listed in my store on Etsy, figure out a unique wall filing system for my room, work on my garden, and purge the basement of things I dont' really need. whew..I'm sorta tired now thinking about it, but very excited about having time to get it done!

Update on 2010 Goals:

  • Pay off my car- My tax return will help immensly, On track, and looking for a second jobto speed it up!
  • Work toward my LPC- March 25th I was approved to begin counting hours inthe state of VA!
  • Buy a Bike- Almost saved up!
  • Maintain my financial goals- DOING GREAT!
  • Build a larger Emergency Fund- Ahead of schedule!
  • Stock my Etsy Store-Stocked! Just need to keep adding more inventory!
  • Read 5 books I have never opened in my library- 1 down!
  • Study at Least 6 books of the Bible Intently- 1 down!
  • Get Rid of things I don't need- working on this more Saturday!
  • Use what I have to make what I need when possible- yep :)
  • Container Gardens?- Planed my seeds a few weeks ago, hoping to put them in the ground soon!

Wow, I'm doing much better than I expected to be by the beginning of April! How are you doing on your goals for 2010?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Top 8 Reasons to Make Goals...

I love this article I found today on Dave Ramsey's website...I love goals, and I love accomplishing them...

Yesterday a glorious milestone occurred.

#1 My emergency fund became fully funded!
#2 My Credit Card is paid off!!

I have had HEINOUS luck with cars ever since I have been old enough to drive. Just the thought of going to a mechanic makes me sick. The $250 I had left to pay on my credit card was from my stupid car forever ago it seems like. And now... ITS OVER!! Never again will I think it is a good idea to pay for something with someone else's money. (How nice of them to loan it to me for 17% sweet.)

And now to tackle those school loans ....grrr.

Getting a little closer everyday to my goals I have set for 2010!! That makes me a happy girl :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Horray! I have a button!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I LOVE FREE..and gardens

Last night I spent some time making some free pots for my garden this spring/summer out of newspaper!
I made 20 and I'm hoping to get some seeds planted this weekend to start them indoors before planting them outside! Click on The Grocery Cart Challenge button for more great ideas!

Timing is 3verything

For those of you who don't know let me catch u up to speed, I moved to Roanoke, VA to accept a GLORIOUS JOB in November! A paycheck, health insurance, therapy hours I need, and the works. However, anyone in the mental health field is aware of how AWFUL Medicaid Billing has become, and I too quickly found myself in a very unstable and frustrating/highly stressful position. About half our In Home staff and supervisor left in a period of just a couple of weeks, as did I too. Sick at the thought of looking for another job after this past year, I prayed the Lord would provide quickly, and He did!

I am working in Roanoke still, now as a part of the Therapeutic Day Treatment program at Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare. It has been about two weeks since my first day of training and I am very excited to once again have hope for a steady income and therapy hours accumulation! Next step getting Licensed!

A lot of things have been going through my head in this time. What am I doing wrong? What is God trying to teach me through this? What is the reason this is happening? Through all this I have come to one conclusion. It doesn't really matter if I never figure out why this past year/years have been so difficult. While I have had doubts my purpose has never changed. I think the best thing I can do now is continue looking toward the future and move forward. If I find out along the way great. If I don't I will be no worse off...It's character building.

I have been reading in Ecclesiastes this month and love the reminder in chapter 3 of God's timing in life...He's given a time for everything. Nothing about these past couple years has surprised Him.

I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one's lifetime; moreover that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor, it is the gift of God.
Ec 3:12-13

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Here We Go Twenty Ten!

I'm starting to get into a routine now...o how I missed it. New job, new city, and of ways to think of saving money. I sat down today and plotted out new goals for the year...I'm not a big fan of resolutions but Goals I LOVE.

Here's a few I'm hoping to accomplish this year....
  • Pay off my car
  • Work toward my LPC
  • Buy a Bike
  • Maintain my financial goals
  • Build a larger emergency fund
  • Stock my Etsy store :)
  • Read 5 books I have that I have never opened in my library
  • Study at least 6 books of the Bible intently.
  • Get rid of things I do not need
  • Use what I have to make what I need when possible
  • Container Gardens?
  • Do at least 2 things on my “Things to do in Life list” this year
Hoping I can fit all that in this year! Here's a frugal rainy day project any regular card writer could enjoy. I'm thinking about making some sets of these for fast birthday presents
coming up:

EASY POSTCARD PROJECT- (Need: Camera, Glue, Marker, Assorted Cardstock)
1. Take some fun pictures of places you have been, creative angles, colors, etc.
2. Develop your pics in the regular 4" X 6" size (I like matte finish).
3. Cut Cardstock out to glue on the back of your picture. Leave 1/2"overlapping pic on all edges.
4. Design the back of your postcard for whoever you are sending it to. Make sure to leave room for their address on the right side as well as postage.
5. Bundle a few of them together with ribbon or twine add a few 28 cent stamps and VIOLA a nice present for a couple dollars!