Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Goals Update

Study Italian at least 3 days a week:  I have been really slacking until yesterday. I downloaded Rosetta Stone onto my new laptop. I did a lot of practice yesterday but that doesn't make up for it, so FAIL. Maybe I will do better next month!

Walk Kawi a lot more I have been walking Kawi more, but not as much as I used to. We're pup-sitting for our neighbors and that keeps me walking more now as well. So I'm going to say PASS, but I'm going to try to walk more next month.

Study one chapter of Pre-cal a week: Just... FAIL. Hahaha

Finish the two books I got from the library: This did not happen. FAIL. But I did re-check them out yesterday and I need to read them to complete an essay this week, so I better hop to it!

Spend under $100 for Thanksgiving: This worked out really well. Our family that came down gave us money to put toward Thanksgiving, so including that, yes, we spent under $100 for Thanksgiving! PASS!

Eat more veggies, less sugar: FAIL. Why are sweets so tempting?! I'm going to try harder next month. Our family brought down some Gertrude Hawks peanut-butter smidgens, and if you don't know, these are the BEST treats EVER! I would highly suggest them! But, becareful. They are addicting! 

Click the link below if you want to find out
just how amazing these are!
                                                           The Best Chocolate Ever  

Read my bible and pray more: Pass and Fail. I've  been reading my bible more than I normally do, but I want to read it a lot more and I want to pray more.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekly Check-up

Mmm, pumpkin cheesecake
(This is not a picture of my pumpkin cheesecake, but looks really yummy too!)

Making Sense of Cents, one of the blogs I follow, has a weekly money check-up. Here's mine!

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was groceries for Thanksgiving!

2. Today I am thankful for family and the wonderful Thanksgiving dinner we had and pumpkin cheesecake. Plus! The fun trip I'm taking tomorrow with Jessica.

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was spend a day doing nothing but hanging out with my husband, watching a NCIS marathon and playing with our dog outside.

4. I will consider this week a success if I complete 5 more Italian lessons.

5.  My favorite Christmas song/album  "How many kings" by Downhere

Financial Goals for 2012

DailyWorth, one of the personal finance e-mails I receive daily, mentioned recently about setting up three personal finance goals for 2012. (Part three- Next-Steps-for-a-Richer-New-Year) I have a few, but below I placed my top three. If you are interested in getting DailyWorth e-mails, click on the link and sign-up! I'm really glad I did.

Here are my top three 2012 financial goals:

1) Pay off my credit card. I don't have a lot to owe on it, but I want to see how well I can do without using my credit card, and those pesky interest charges.

2) Make a good dent on my furniture loan. Or pay it off completely. I really want to pay off our furniture. I want to be able to look at it and say, "YES! I own it!"

3) Start a vacation fund. There are so many places I want to travel to. Our trips we plan to take soon are one to two trips to Seattle to see my family this year, and a trip to Italy for the honeymoon we've yet to take, lol. We're hoping to take it at the beginning of 2013. So we better start saving now!

Have you started thinking about your 2012 Personal Finance Goals?

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I really like the idea of the wall,
The blue paint and fishing net
Hey all :)
  I have been browzing the web a little bit, and I saw this photo. Our guest bedroom is ocean themed, but the walls are bare. We won't be painting in the house we're in, because we're moving in a couple of weeks and so I'm really focusing on what we could do in our house we're moving in to. I was also thinking that it may be a bit costly to do all the walls this way, so I was thinking of doing the bottom half a tan color with the fishing net (attached some sea-shells randomly on the net, add a chair rail, and paint the top half of the wall blue.

I really like painted walls. They just make the house a home. It is the finishing piece that ties everything together and makes it cozy. We live in base-housing at the moment and though I like this house, I really miss color on the walls. The colors just bring it all together. When I was growing up, my mother always had a least a few rooms painted and those rooms just always felt cozier. 

The master bedroom is going to be a deeper green color. Green is so calming and the darker color, with some heavy duty curtains, should make for a sounder sleep! Right now we don't have any curtains on our bedroom windows, we just never got around to buying any. When the sun comes up, our room get very bright with the white walls, so it will be a nice change. 

Another idea I have for the master is this:  

I like the canopy idea. It's elegant.
 I would not do it in these colors though.

I would have to figure out a way to make this work for our king-sized bed though. I don't think I would do it exactly like this one, but I like the canopy idea. This one is elegant and not kiddy looking. (Ignore the teddy-bear on the bed hahaha)

Above the headboard, within the canopy, on the wall I want to have a vinyl decal like one of these:


I want to create a space that is relaxing and cozy for me and my husband to sleep and spend our time alone. A room that is just ours.

To offset the darkness of the darker paint and black furniture we have, I figured rough-nickel plated hardware and lamps would be great. I really want this chandelier but I know that wouldn't be for a while though. :)

Pretty chandelier
These are just some ideas I have. We plan to live at our next house for at least 5 years, so I want to really make it into our home :) We didn't do much with the house we live in now because we knew we were going to be moving in about a year when we moved in.

What are some home-improvement/interior design ideas you have had?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


What I am thankful for:

 Our Mighty Father in heaven

 my husband and our families


our fuzzy pets

clean, running water

hot showers and hot chocolate on these cold days

a sturdy roof over our heads

our health

our freedoms

the opportunity  to buy and get food easily
the opportunity to get education 

the medical advances of today

these are just a few, what are you thankful for?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What's new!

Hey everyone! How have you been?

I've been really busy recently. I work full-time now. I'm currently working as a finance manager for a local furniture company. I really like my job! Woo-hoo! It pays pretty well and I like the work. The only thing I don't like about it is the hours sometimes, but it's okay. The evenings I have to work a little later, my husband comes to eat dinner with me up at my office, so that makes up for it :) I'm hoping that when we move I will be able to find a job similar to this one. :) I'm already searching for some in the area we're moving to.

I have been working on my Italian  :) The language is so beautiful! (Haha, La bella lingua) I'm trying to keep myself motivated enough to keep on my studies, because once I start to slack on them, I forget a lot and have to re-learn a good bit of it. I used to chat to some of my friends who are Italian, which really helped me develop a good accent, learn correct grammar, and so-on. But we all have been really busy recently, me with work and them with school. So, hopefully we will be able to catch up again soon! I am also trying to implement translating three Italian news articles a day, or atleast one, haha. This is so I can practice grammar and of course, to learn new words.
Kobe and Kawi sitting for a treat.
This was bizarre to see them BOTH sitting and calm!

Our neighbors are out of town and we're watching their pups. There is never a dull moment! They have a puppy who is a month younger than Kawi and around the same size, a little bit bigger in fact. His name is Kobe. Kawi and Kobe play non-stop! They have so much fun! They will play, play, play...drink some water, rest, then PLAY, play, play again! Hahhaa.  Their little dog, Isaac is so sweet. He likes to cuddle and to be held, he doesn't like playing with the big dogs much, but he loves the cats. And surprisingly, the cats like him too! It's really sweet to watch them. 

I am on Day 21 of my Facebook Detox! I hardly ever think about it now, unless someone brings it up, or asks what day I'm on. lol!  I've found so much more time in the day without it. Life has been less stressful and those who really want to talk to me hit me up on my phone, so these past 21 days have really been a success :) Only a few more to go. I've been thinking about it to, that, when I do complete this challenge, I probably still won't log on too often, just because it is a big time-waster. I like to know what my friends are up to and what-not, but I could just txt or call them too! lol! :) 

Other than all that, my husband and I are really well :) We're excited his family is coming down for Thanksgiving! It's going to be a great time :) I'm really excited to cook,eat lots of yummy food, and spend time with family :) I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! :)  


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Baby Shower Cakes!

Hey everyone! Both baby showers went great this weekend :) 

Here are photos of both of the cakes :)

Congrats to Jared & Lauren with baby Ryder! :)

Baby Ryder's cake!

Congrats to Ryan & Melissa with baby Peyton! 

Baby Peyton's cake!
Congrats to all of you with your baby boys! Both of your showers were amazing! Thank you for letting me be a part of them! :) I hope you all enjoyed the cakes!!! :)

I hope everyone had a great weekend! 

Do you need a Total Money Makeover?

I am so thankful my friend gave me this book!

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

I truly am thankful for my friend who let me borrow her copy of this book. I love personal finance, I think it's fun. But, it was difficult to find a plan that really worked for me. Reading this book was just what I needed.

The first few chapters talk about money myths and breaking them open to expose them for what they are. There are 6 "Baby Steps" in this book to follow that will get you to financial freedom. Baby steps because it's difficult to jump in and all of a sudden be a financial genius. If we all were, we probably wouldn't have so much debt. (As I am typing this the U.S. National Debt clock is at $14,987,670,773,000 (approximately, I can't keep up!) That is roughly $49,000/citizen!!!) I think it's time we all get a hold of our debt. Reading this book has given me the tools for me to start tackling my debt!

The first step is to gather a $1000 emergency fund. NOW, you may be saying, "But that's difficult and will take some time!" That's alright! It's a great first step. It took me some time to scrape together a whole bunch of little amounts of money to get step one knocked out. (I kept looking for ways to cut back spending. It took a while and some effort, but I found there were a lot of "wants" that I confused with necessities.) 
  Within that chapter, the book talks about how "Murphy" may come to knock you down when you are trying to save your emergency fund or on step two. They call it "Murphy" due to Murphy's law "What can go wrong, will." It always seems like when you're getting ahead that something may come along to try and slow you down. But having this emergency fund in place, will help slow down, or hopefully, stop Murphy from knocking at your door. This will create a good buffer in case something happens while you are working on Step 2...

Step two is your Debt Snowball. I really like the "Debt Snowball" plan. I've heard it before, where when you pay off one debt, use that payment amount added to your next targeted loan to pay off to get it paid off faster. (EXAMPLE: I put $100 per month towards my credit card. Now, lets say I just paid off my credit card and I next want to pay off my furniture loan. I will take the $100 I was used to paying toward my credit card and adding it to my $80/month furniture payment, thus making a $180 payment/ month to pay off my furniture even faster. Therefore, getting me out of debt faster and paying less toward interest!) SIMPLE ENOUGH RIGHT. Here's the difference! In all the personal finance articles I've ever read, they tell us to pay off our higher interest loans first. Now, that is a good plan. BUT, this money makeover says to pay off the loan with the lowest BALANCE first. WHY??? We all like to feel like winners. Once we have one paid off, it will make us feel good and excited and it will keep our spirits up to keep at it. When I just paid more toward the higher interest just kept seeming like nothing was getting accomplished, numbers lowered, just made me sigh and paying off the debt felt so far away. But, by paying the one with the smallest amount off first, it keeps us motivated!

I'm still on step two. I JUST finished step one and it took me some time to get there, but you can get there too! 

If you want to read more and learn the rest of the steps, read lots of real-life stories from many people who have taken "The Total Money Makeover" challenge, stories from all different parts of the challenge, and find out all the ins-and-outs of it all, check out "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey! :)


My Emergency Savings: (have/goal amount)
1000/1000   (Woo! Step One, check.)

My Debt as of Today

Credit Card: 625.51
Furniture Loan: 1,228.94
Car Loan: 9,610.48
Total:  $11,464.93 (YIKES!)

Other Money Goals: 
College Book/Supplies: 98.00/500  (402.00 to go!)
------->(hoping to get this goal done by Fall '12 when school starts)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

~* Sweets and Treats*~

Sweet Tooth Anyone? 

I've said before how much I enjoy baking. Well, I'm at it again! This weekend two different friends of mine are having baby showers and I have the honor to make their cakes! Woo!!! I'm working on one right now for later today and I will start the second one tomorrow after church :) Ah! I'm so excited! There is just something about baking that I just love. It's art that you can eat! How great is that? Hahhaa.

Here are some cakes I've made before :)

Baby Gabriel's baby shower cake (1st cake I ever made like this) (I made all the little animals, trees, rocks, and vines with sugar fondant)

(Justice and Abby's first bday cake)
A yummy strawberry cake I made this past summer
Linda's Bday cake

Shannon's Bday cake

I hope you have enjoyed looking at these cakes, and I hope your mouth is watering! Hahha! I will post pictures of the two baby shower cakes in a few days :)
Happy Weekend Y'all!   

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Start my new job tomorrow!

Here we go! 
Tomorrow will be my first day at my new job! I will be switching to the finance department in our store. I'm excited, but nervous. Everyone who has worked there says it's lame because it can get really boring. 11-hrs with only an hour of work. BUT I'm hoping to take advantage of this! There are training classes online to keep me busy for a bit, but I figured after that all the down time I can use it to study Italian and even work on my entrance essay that I have been slacking I also plan to bring some of the books I've been reading too. Radical  is a great book if any one wants to check it out, I recommend it. Along with Crazy Love. Both are great books! 

I just got back from bible study not too long ago and it was very refreshing. It's wonderful to feel the feeling of a new, fresh, alive, spirit I get from this time. It's a close intimate church group, like 10 of us and we don't dress up nice and it's not about saying all the right things or praying "the right prayers" just honest open God loving people searching to know our Creator in an intimate relationship. I really like that the past two weeks, we all spend 10 mins or so, (before the study) to spread out by ourselves, with some worship music on in the back ground playing softly, and we get to spend that time praying, singing, or whatever we do to get our hearts and mind ready to receive God, to lift Him high, and just clear our minds to hear Him. After that time today, I can honestly say I have felt something that I have wanted to feel for so long. I'm Not afraid. I'm not saying I'm a scaredy cat, that is Not the case at all. But I have anxiety and I worry about a lot (school, what I'm going to go to school for, moving, finances...the list continues) and stress, but tonight I honestly lifted it to Him and He took it all from me. He Loves us THAT much He doesn't want us to fear or worry because He has taken care of EVERYTHING, we just have to trust in Him. That is what I've been, still am, praying about. Is that I will willfully surrender to Him and let go of myself to follow Him and His will, to trust Him in all areas, to know that He has everything under His control, and I need not to be afraid. He loves us and He hears us. He is a loving Creator and wants to know us intimately. It is not required of us to pray daily or read our bible all the time to get into Heaven, we won't go to Hell if we don't do these things. No, but we are missing out on the most amazing experience we can have! God wants to give us Him, to walk, talk, laugh, cry, and be with us ALWAYS. How AMAZING is that!?!! The Creator of the universe loves YOU and ME so much that He wants to have a personal relationship with us. He already knows us. He knows us and has known us even well before we were a baby in the womb. But He is inviting us to know Him. Wow! How awesome!  Jesus, The Son of God The Father, came to earth to live a perfect life to be a sacrifice of all our sin and shame, and died for us so that we would be saved though Him and His endless mercy and love, Oh how He loves us! What a wonderful and mighty God we serve, BY choice! Not by demand. No matter where you are or have been, who you are or what you've done. The Creator and Master of the universe loves you and me and wants us to have a relationship with Him. He is always there and will never leave or desert us. His love is endless and the size of His love is just unfathomable!  His love covers all. All of us. All our hurt and all our tears and pain. All of our lives. I'm not trying to push and shove Jesus to you.  I am just telling you what I have seen, and what I am experiencing and encouraging you to get to know Him and see how much He loves you.

I hope everyone is having a good week :) 

Monday, November 7, 2011

~* What's going on *~

HEY HEY HEY What's going on?

I hope you had a good weekend :)

(I love my Hero!!! )
(USMC Ball '11)
Last week we had our USMC ball and it was AMAZING! It was the best one we have been to. It was so much fun! 
(here are two photos) 

We also had our puppy's first bday party. That was very fun too! Hahha I always thought things like that were so lame, but it was a blast! All the dogs loved the cake! Especially Kawi. He loves peanut butter!

(Peanut butter cake for Kawi!)

I haven't been feeling well recently. I had taken the intranasal flu mist last week, so it's probably from that. Just tummy aches and headaches, and tiredness. Naps are helping! hahaha

I'm on my 6th day without Facebook and it's going very very well. I don't really miss it anymore. I hear people talk about it and it's just a bunch of drama. I don't type it into the URL bar anymore when I open the browser either. Breaking the habit! It was weird. I would open the browser and automatically, without even thinking about it, type "". When I saw this, my internet is a little slow, so I would see the cursor thinking and would click the "x" a lot just to make sure the homepage wouldn't pop up to tempt me! lol. Thank goodness I logged off completely or I would have probably failed. So, all is going well in the 30 day FB detox.

  With that, my goal was to spend more time searching to know God. I have been reading more of my bible and of a few books. Right now the main book I'm reading "Radical" by David Platt. It's a book I'm borrowing from one of our neighbors and it is a GREAT book. It opens the mind about how Americans have gotten lazy about the gospel. It shows the contrast between how American churches are with our air conditioning, comfy chairs, nice clothes, and worship bands(which are all wonderful things, don't get me wrong!!)  But take this image and contrast it against the secret churches in Asia, how these people risk everything they have: their jobs, families,  and even their very lives, just to seek, know, and share the gospel of our LORD. WOW. It's time we get a radical new view and get the hunger back for Jesus. It's a great book!! 

Tomorrow my neighbors have their USMC ball tomorrow and I will be helping with her hair and I get to babysit their adorable son, Kenneth!!!

Work has been going alright. I may be moving to the finance dept so that will be good :) I find out tomorrow.

In the cake world, I have two baby showers to make cakes for this weekend! One for my friends from high school, Lauren & Jared and their son Ryder, and one for my dear friends Melissa &Ryan and their son Peyton. Both baby showers are going to be great! Congrats to all of you!!! :)

This week I want to take a New Bern trip with Jessica to go to Books-a-million and the Birthplace of Pepsi. They have the original formula of Pepsi there are it tastes SO much better than cans or bottles.

Hope all of you have been well! What's been going on with you lately?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Can't sleep

I can't seem to be able to sleep.

 But since I can't sleep I wanted to share my tip. I learned it not too long ago from one of my friends, Chelsea. 
I know everyone is supposed to set up a routine and our bodies will get used to this routine and once we get into it then our bodies know it's time for bed. ( still working on this lol)  BUT she introduced me to Valerian root supplements.

NOW I will say they do work and are completely 100% natural. I just took one and it should kick in, in about 15mins or so. They don't leave me groggy feeling in the morning. It gives a deeper sleep. I don't take them often, only when I can't sleep and I only have a few hours of sleep possible to get. 
BUT here's the WARNING!
The pills are one of the WORST SMELLING THINGS I HAVE SMELLED!!! 
Like sweaty gym socks that have been soaking in the sun. BLEHHHHHH! 
I opened the bottle when I first got them and was taken back. I was like WHAT ON EARTH?!?!! BLEHHH!!! But again, they are effective. 

Fun facts! 
In medieval Sweden they would put this plant in the grooms clothes to ward off the "envy of elves".
 It was also used as a perfume in the sixteenth century. NO Thank you. 

(Well, these were said to be from the flowers of the plant, SO maybe the flowering part smells better than the root. At least I really hope so!)

Well I'm going to go try and sleep again. Hope you enjoyed this educational post! LOL
Good night all! Sleep well!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November Goal List!

 A few of the other blogs I follow have monthly goal lists. I think this is a great idea! So, here is my November goal list!

Study Italian at least 3 days a week.  
 -----I have really been slacking on my Italian studies.

Walk Kawi a lot more.
-----I have been slacking on this too. We used to go on walks all the time. Last spring we racked up 93 miles in one month! I had a lot more energy and felt better too. Walks need to continue!

Study one chapter of pre-cal a week 
-----I really need to get on the ball about this as well. I ordered a book offline and I've only barely scraped the first chapter. It's not difficult, I just think of a million things I would rather do.

Finish the two books i got from the library 
-----When I get books from the library, I usually don't ever finish them.

Spend under $100 for thanksgiving! (GOING TO BE TRICKY!)   
-----This one is going to be pretty difficult. My husband's father, step-mom, and step-brother are coming down. Plus we are also having our neighbors join us and possibly one of our other friends. SO this will be a big task!!!

Eat more fruits and veggies and WAY less unhealthy snacks (Darn you hostess cupcakes!!!)
--that pretty much sums that up lol

Most of all I want more prayer/bible reading time for me every day
-----I really want to spend more time with God. the best time so far has been in the evenings before bed. I will finish cleaning the kitchen and all the chores will be done for the evening and my husband is getting ready for bed or on the computer. It's a great time to just sit on the couch and read. Now that I've cut FB and a majority of TV for a month, this should give me a lot more time! lol

What are your goals for this month??

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

~* A 30-day WHAT detox??? *~

A 30-Day Facebook Detox!!!
That's right. I said it! 
   Me and my best friend Jessica are taking 30 days off from Facebook to grow and strengthen our walks with our Great Father in Heaven. 

NOW some people have tried claiming that this is silly, that we must have some "serious issues" if we can't function in our beliefs and handle facebook. OR that this is something our beliefs say we HAVE to do.   WRONG! 
Neither of those things are true. We can "function" just fine. (how silly..some people are! haha) Nor does it say that we cannot have or participate in facebook. This is our personal choice to withdraw ourselves from the noise, distraction, drama, that facebook can lead to. Media, not just FB, but computers, television, the latest "app", all these things can distract us from the most important things in life. But most of all it can suck away time that could be used to seek The One who created us, the universe, all that is, and was, and is to come. We're choosing to settle the noise and come to quietly, and earnestly seek our Father in Heaven. I feel this will be an amazing month. I feel that it will bring so much more satisfaction than our "updating news feed". This will be SO much more than all of that.  Searching to know and learning to communicate with our Creator.  
Wow <3

Now, I'm not saying that my friends and family are not important, they are and I care for them a lot, but so many relationships rely on commenting back and forth on FB. What about a good 'ol phone call? Texts are good too. So these 30-days will reveal the people who want to honestly talk to me for real. (Thank you to all my wonderful friends and family who do call and text regularly )

So, day one! Here we go! I know this will be a month that will transform us! I ask for prayers to keep us strong and for God to guide us in our walks and let our ears, hearts, and souls be open and willing.

Blessed Be The Name of The LORD! 

Thank you to Jessica for wanting to take this challenge with me. :) You are a blessing!!! :) I love you!