September 8, 2013

30 and counting...

Every start of the year I tend to refrain from making New Year resolutions simply because I shouldn't need the start of a new year to make me want to introduce new changes. I should be making conscious decisions to make changes throughout the year regardless of what day it is, but nonetheless I gave into the trend. One of my New Year resolutions was to read 30 books. The prior year I had only read, I believe, around 22 books. Quite a dismal amount considering that in 2011 I had read 52 and surpassed my reading goal by 2 books. Now this year has been a successful year for my reading. I've been reading more contemporary books and following more trends of what's popular, and I've been taking recommendations from the LA Times. So here goes the list of what I've read so far:

  1. While Mortals Sleep - Kurt Vonnegut
  2. Project Jennifer - Jill A. Rosenblatt
  3. Slaughter House-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
  4. Playing with Boys - A. Valdes-Rodriguez
  5. Chasing Harry Winston - L. Weisberger
  6. Bagombo Snuff Box - Kurt Vonnegut
  7. Now and Forever - Ray Bradbury
  8. The Buenos Aires Broken Hearts Club - J. Morrison
  9. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
  10. Tempest Rising - Diane McKinney-Whetstone
  11. A Simple Havana Melody: From When the World was Good - Oscar Hijuelos
  12. Six Weeks to Toxic - Louisa McCormack
  13. The Nanny Diaries - E. McLaughlin & N. Kraus
  14. The Paris Wife - Paul McLain
  15. Paris: A Love Story - Kati Marton
  16. The Chosen - Chaim Potok
  17. Holy Land - D.J. Waldie
  18. What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love - Carole Radziwill
  19. The Girl Who Fell to Earth - Spohia Al-Maria
  20. How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World - J. Christy
  21. The Ivy Chronicles - Karen Quinn
  22. Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes - E. Bard
  23. My Berlin Kitchen - Luisa Weiss
  24. Women & Money - Suze Orman
  25. This is How You Lose Her - Junot Diaz
  26. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia - Moshin Hamid
  27. Bright Lights, Big City - Jay McInerney
  28. In the Time of the Butterflies - Julia Alvarez
  29. ¡Yo! - Julia Alvarez
  30. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald - Therese Ann Fowler
  31. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
  32. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents - Julia Alvarez
  33. Grace - Grace Coddington
  34. Looking for the Gulf Motel - Richard Blanco
  35. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
  36. Where'd You Go, Bernadette? - Maria Semple
  37. The Help - Kathryn Stockett
  38. Maya's Notebook - Isabel Allende
  39. Deadeye Dick - Kurt Vonnegut
  40. Love - Toni Morrison
  41. Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut

August 24, 2013

Uh-oh I did it again...

I've been a super bad blogger! I've neglected everything for the past 2 months! Sorry y'all I can't even make an excuse for myself. Here's the truth: I haven't felt like writing in the past 2 months. I've even stopped making my "happy list" every week. I need to get out of this rut and get back on the horse. I can't believe the end of August is upon us and I haven't been good about posting my progress or getting back into the swing of things with social media.

A few updates:
- still aggressively paying off my car
- making progress on my credit card debt
- my running is improving, I even joined a running group!
- I joined a gym, and I love it!
- started yoga once a week...great way to start my week
- Thriller (our dog) gave us quite the scare about 2 weeks ago. Thankfully the vet gave her a clean bill of health and we still can't explain why she got so lethargic and moody.
- Work is moving along. I heard some great news, but nothing has come of it yet.
- I'm hoping to return back to finish my Masters next year in the fall.
- I've managed to stop biting my nails for 2+ weeks now. I can't wait for a mani and pedi next week.

Okay, I will attempt, and make notes for myself to blog more often and update the site. I have all these ideas, but none have come to fruition due to my own lack of energy/motivation, and overall laziness, to get them done.

Have a good weekend everyone!

June 23, 2013

Note to Self

Boy am I glad that it is Sunday and the start of another week! Last week was a brutal week for me. It felt like the WORST WEEK EVER! First I chipped a tooth, and I may or may not have cried about it. Not for the chipped tooth, but for the fact that my insurance has not gone through yet. Talk about an unexpected massive expense. I'm set to see the dentist next week on Saturday. Then, I was upset because the money I had set aside to pay off my credit card would be going to paying for my dental work. I was also having tension headaches and feeling sick to my stomach, not a great week mentally or emotionally. Just when I though things couldn't get any worse they did! I was pulled over on Thursday for using our local express lane, and having my transponder set on 3 versus 1. I was so upset I was ready to cry in my car as I drove to work. Pretty much one rotten thing after another. Then as I sat at work attempting to read the reports and make my entries it hit me. Yes, this week pretty much blew and was awful. However, I didn't have to focus so much on all the negative aspects of it. I would just focus on one thing at a time, then proceed. As for the chipped tooth, yes I'll probably have to pay cash to have it fixed, but I can set up a payment plan with my dentist. As for the insurance it should be kicking in soon. As for paying off my credit card, I paid most of it off the other night. Now I only owe less than $100 on it! Woot! That means when July rolls around I can pay off the balance. Since I am ahead a car payment I don't have another payment due until August, so that means if I'm tight on money I can choose to skip my payment in July and still be okay! Now for that pesky ticket, I did my research and discovered that the CHP officer was not justified in giving me a ticket! The code he cited does not mention anything about incorrect setting I'm going to fight the ticket and prepare a Trial by Declaration and fight for dismissal of the ticket.

Guess I learned my lesson last week. Even when things are just going awful and seem to continuously get worse then it hits you. Either you can choose to let it all bog you down and make you feel super awful or crummy, or you switch your attitude and deal with all the issues appropriately. Now here's to the start of another week and a great week at that!

June 6, 2013

Budgeting to Maintain my Sanity

I have a huge confession to make. Once upon a time I had one too many credit cards. Yes, I was that irresponsible college student who refused to let her parents help her out. Sigh. BIG MISTAKE! Now I'm on the path, er road, to recovery and to set my credit score on track. I know only have one credit card, and two store credit cards. Even though I only use one store credit card on a monthly basis. I have been diligent about using it to purchase an item and paying it off in full. So now here's my monthly budget breakdown:

  • Car - 500
  • J. Crew - 50
  • Gas - 200
  • Savings - 450
  • Schools loans - 370
  • Internet - 20
  • Spending cash - 250
  • Misc (Gifts, etc) - 50
  • Capital One - 75
 My bills are relatively few, but I am trying to dig myself out of the whole of debt. I'm actually paying an extra $100 on my car payment. The monthly car payment due is $395 and change, so I'm set on track to pay off the car in about 8 months!

I came across this neat spreadsheet over at Gather Little by Little. I love that its detailed, but most of all that the spreadsheet is broken down by pay periods! Its exactly how I pay my bills.

For now I'm making progress. Baby steps for this gal, until her car and credit card are paid off, then its all my energies on paying off my school loans.

May 31, 2013

I said I would so I am

Here's another post for this week! Quick update.

1. I purchased whole term life insurance through my employer! (This made me feel so much more like an "adult")

2. I managed to sock away $250 into my savings from this paycheck!

3. My budget looks good, now to stick to it.

4. I've read 26 of 30 books for my goal this year. Yikes!!! Might I need to revise this goal soon.

5. I bought the cutest task pads at Target for only $1 each!! I may go back and purchase a few more.

6. I promise to come back and write more in due time.

Have a good weekend!