Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Budget Friendly Cooking!

Wanting to save money on food? As you all know, I love I just found a page on there for Budet-Friendly Cooking!

We've been really good about cutting  back in our spending on food. We make meal-plans and value shop. Using my slow cooker and making homemade breads and baked-goods are few easy steps that helped cut back on our food dollars!

What steps are you guys actively taking to reduce your grocery spending?

For more on the Budget-Friendly Cooking check out:

Farewell To 2011...

Now that 2011 is almost over, what do you wish that you would've done differently? Anything about your life, finances, schooling, relationships, adventure-wise, or anything else? This will of course lead me to eventually think about my goals for 2012, which will hopefully come soon.
                        (This post is based off of one of my favorite blogs, Making Sense of Cents )

I would say that 2011 was pretty good to me.  There were a lot of new experiences in my life in 2011, I took a year off from working, my husband and I went through a MEU deployment, celebrated our first year of marriage, raised my very first puppy, and made some wonderful friendships. I started work again late this year, took control of my finances, started knocking out debt, worked on myself, and getting to know our Savior.
  1. Life. Overall, life was really good this year. Nothing terrible happened. Our last year in North Carolina has really been a good one.
  2. Finances. I wish I had taken control of my finances earlier, but I am very thankful that a friend loaned me "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. It has changed my life as far as my finances. I've already paid off my credit card and am a good way on paying off my furniture loan. I may still have a car loan, but I will be knocking that out hopefully next year!
  3. Schooling. I did take a pharmacy technicians certification course this past spring. It was alright. It's not what I had in mind, but it was a good experience because now I have an idea of what college is like, at least to some degree. I have applied to school and will be starting in the fall of 2012. Other than that, I studied some Italian, but yet again, I slacked on it. I will try again to stay persistant in 2012.
  4. Relationships. Nothing I would change here. I love my husband so very much. We celebrated our first year of marriage. We have our three wonderful pets we call our "kids". I got to visit my father and brother for the first time in 3 years. As a bonus I got to meet my brother's wife! I'm so thankful my brother found such a wonderful woman to share his life with. I got to see my little sister graduate high school, my mother and I started to repair our relationship, and I have made some friendships that I really hope to keep life-long. 2011 has been a great year for relationships.
  5. Fitness. I slacked. Except I walked 93 miles in three weeks for a competition. I toned up and felt great! But once the comp was over, I just quit. I'm so diappointed in myself. BUT! I'm taking control and starting again. I'm ready to be healthy and fit again.
  6. Other. I wish I had gone to the beach more because I know I'm going to miss it. There won't be a beach around us in Pennsylvania, but in the summer my husband said we will try and make a trip. I also wanted to stop cursing, but I'm still working on that.
   All in all, 2011 has been a great year. Farewell to you, 2011!

How was 2011 for you?

What's new!

Hey everyone!
   I apologize for not blogging as much. I've been busy with cleaning and packing up our house for our big move! 20 days left in NC!
I hope everyone has been well!

Ways I've been saving for the move:
   -getting left-over boxes from work and the furniture warehouse
   -asking neighbors for their left-over newspapers to use to protect items being packed
   -putting money aside to use as gas money so I do not have to use my credit card, therefore not racking up interest

If anyone has any other tips, please share! After we move and get settled in, I should be able to blog more!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Be Weary of Where You Use Your Debit/Credit Cards

I was just reading this article on Yahoo Finance. I know it's pretty simple knowledge, but it's always worth the reminder. Please be careful and cautious of where you are swiping your card!

For more read:


Recently, I went to a neighbors house and she was using her homemade cleaning products. She said in the month she has been using them, it has saved them a decent amount of money. I am thinking on doing this as well. The only set-back I can see is that the cleaners are mainly vinegar and alcohol based, so they are stinky. Hahaha. But the smell goes away fairly fast.

Has anyone had experience in home-made cleaning products? Any suggestions? Tips?

Here is a web-site I found that has some basic homemade cleansers:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hey all!

Hey guys! How is everything?

 I apologize for not posting in awhile. I'm really busy! I've been getting a lot of stuff done that needs to be done before we move though. It's approaching quickly! Today we put in our 30-day notice to the company we have our house through! 

Things have been going well. Work is picking up a lot around the holidays. Everyone is wanting to buy furniture to decorate their homes for Christmas or just buying furniture as gifts. We had one customer whose mother came in paid off her daughter's $2000 layaway, and paid for the delivery fee to have it all  delivered and set up, all while her daughter was at work! So he daughter came home to a new living and dining room! How sweet! 

Our floors? Hahahaha
We all got Christmas bonuses at work! AWESOME!!! :) That was a real treat to find out today! :)

Bible/book study was great this week. It was the best chapter in the book so far I think. 

We got our floors fixed from the hurricane, sort of. Haha! They were supposed to fix the whole downstairs. This was how they left it. lol....ooookay?? It was light colored wood and there wasn't a highly noticeable metal kick-plate? The darker wood looks very nice, but that part of the house wasn't the part that had the most water damage from the hurricane!  Haha oh well! We're moving soon. Whatever :)

A while ago, I fell off my dirt bike and landed fairly hard upon my knee. I never really thought anything of it, a small bump appeared, but I just shrugged it off... until recently when I fell again on the same knee and noticed a larger lump appeared. I randomly, or so I thought, had not been able to do yoga or kneel on this knee to clean, often due to the pain from putting pressure on it. Well, after this recent fall, I am unable to put any pressure on it or an intense pain develops.
I went to the doctor today, and after some X-rays, turns out I have a fracture in my knee. Who knew? I guess I have great pain tolerance!  Next I went to an orthopedist today and he gave me some anti-inflammatory medicine to reduce the swelling, before he decides their next plan of action. So, I thought that was pretty interesting! Hahhaa

All in all, me, my babe, and our little furr babies are doing really well. :)

How are you guys?

Monday, December 12, 2011

My week in pictures! :)

 Photos from this past week

New short hair (it's a pain to style!)

Hung the stockings (pets on the left, ours on the right)

We put up our tree this weekend!
Snow, trying to take down the tree this weekend. lol

Gun range to test out our newest rifle, LOVE IT!!

Quaze watching the Cowboys game with us.

What's new with you guys?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Following the dream

  Breathe in the crisp, cold air. Feel the slight burn of it as it fills your lungs. The air is thin. Your muscles are aching, but you are on a high. So close, so very close. Fresh ice and snow crunch as you dig into the glacial ice for the final, few feet. Moments later, you reach the summit, your breath is taken from within you. Your eyes are filled with the most indescribable beauty they have ever seen. The sunrise vibrantly paints the sky and spills across the foothills beneath you. 14,111 feet above sea level and a beautiful panoramic masterpiece surrounds you, envelopes you. You've done it. You've reached the Columbia Crest.

  Ever since I was nine years old, I would look out of our window and see Mt. Rainier standing there, covered in snow, in all it's majesty. I have always wanted to climb it. The thrill and the adventure is something I have wanted to experience and now, I'm determined to start my first steps toward this goal. Training!

  My brother and I want to climb Mt. Rainier this coming summer and I am no where near in the physical condition I used to be in. But, lately I have been really wanting to get back into shape. What better way than training to accomplish one of my dreams! I have search all over the interwebs and found two really great mountaineering training programs. 
    The first one is a six-week program that starts from a very basic beginner, which I certainly am, to an intermediate level. Where I am located, there isn't really any elevation, so I will be training with distance and endurance. But, after we move, there are plenty of trails that climb high upon hills and mountains. Plus, it will be in the middle of the cold, Pennsylvania winter, so weather training will be in effect as well.

The second program is a 12-week intermediate level training course.

I am really excited to get started, but we will see how it goes tomorrow morning when I will need to wake up at 530am. The first week doesn't look too intimidating, but I've been out of the Marine Corps for a year and haven't really worked out at all since, so...we shall see!

What are some of your dreams?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Life Update: Pets, Baking, and working out

I successfully completed 30 days off Facebook. It was really easy. I'm on it now and it's alright. It's the easiest way to keep in contact with my friends in Italy and I like looking at some peoples' photos. But its not as appealing as it used to be. I didn't even get on it yesterday, haha. I can certainly say I am no long addicted to Facebook.

My poor kitty baby had a seizure this morning. I woke up to the noise of scratching, lots of scratching. I thought it was just our two cats play-fighting, like they do every night, but I didn't hear any meowing, which they always do when they play. I got up in a haste and opened the door to see my poor, sweet kitty in full seizure! :'( He was shaking terribly, lost his bowels, and his bladder. It went on for around two minutes :'( He busted his lip in the process :( When it ended and he tried standing up, his right front leg was so turned I was terrified he broke it. It went back to normal after five mins. I rushed downstairs and called the emergency vet and asked what I should do. They told me to wait for my vet, since he was back to normal so quickly. As SOON as my vet opened I got there and they saw him. Thank goodness! He had a seizure before, but that was a year and a half ago, so we thought that they were gone. Sadly, they are not. But we're putting him on medicine that he will take everyday, but should prevent him from having one again. I never ever want him to have to go through that again! He was so scared, I was so scared! As soon as he came to, he started howling and meowing and I ran to him and I just held him and he started purring his little heart out, he just wanted momma. I started crying! My poor baby!! :( But the vet said he is okay and this medicine should prevent any from occuring again as long as he takes it everyday.  

The book is good, but having my sweeties snuggling me
is the best part of an afternoon book
(Snow is on the left, Quaze on the right, and
Kawi is under my feet)

Still haven't started my holiday baking, I was just too busy the last few days and when I did have time to rest, I didn't have enough time to make the treats I want to make. Fudge= delicious, but time consuming. Plus, I'm really into a few new books I'm reading. So I'm going to try for tomorrow! 

I'm reading a new book and it is terrific! I can't put it down. I'm borrowing it from my neighbor Melissa. It's Titled, " Becoming God's True Woman." It's a book written by women for women, about how woman are supposed to be according to biblical scripture. It is an amazing book! The best part is when my little ones cuddle all around me.

Kawi smiling in his bubble bath!

Kawi got a bath last night. We have started giving him one every week. Here's his super cute photo! He loves baths. He loves bubbles so much, so I made him a bubble bath. Don't worry, I rinsed him off extra well to make sure there was no left over soap to make him itchy!

Bible study starts back up this week! I'm really excited about that!

Working out: I have been walking Kawi daily and I already feel better and he's happier too. :) I did zumba once last week. I'm going to try for at least twice this week. I'm just busy!

What's going on with you guys?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Weekly Check-Up! 11/28-12/5

It's really warm in NC, is it really December?
    (Weekly Money Check-up's brought to you by : Making Sense of Cents )

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on first-of-the-month bills and my vehicle tax. Blahhhh.

2. Today I am thankful for this life Our Father has given us. His patience and mercy. For my husband and our family, our freedoms, and that two of our best friends are back from being out of town! Woo!!!

3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was hang out with my hubby all Saturday eating Gertrude Hawks chocolate, playing with our pup, and watching NCIS.

4. I will consider this week a success if I finish all my holiday baking and Christmas cards!

5.  My favorite Christmas gift as a child was an American Girl doll that was made just for me from my mom.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Holiday Baking!

MMmmmm tis the seasons to eat lots of treats! I'm looking at a lot to make this year. Check out all these yummy treats! I'm excited to get some treats in the oven and have the house smelling sweetly of Christmas and lip-smacking cookies and candies.

And can't forget the sugar cookies!!!

I'm also wanting to try and make Maple Taffy. This looks really fun to make on a snowy day! Perfect for Northern Pennsylvania! I like maple and this looks yummy!

What holiday sweets are YOU craving?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Found some Great Deals today!

My bargain hunting paid off!

        I got a lot done today! I stopped by on of the consignment shops in our town and thought I would look for some good winter items to prepare for that Pennsylvania winter weather! My bargain hunting paid off! I found snow gloves in great condition for $6 and these two cute scarfs! The red one was $1.50 and the blue one was $2! They are really thick material so they should help keep me warm!
     When I went grocery shopping today, Food Lion was having an amazing sale on meat! I got enough meat to last us for three to four weeks for....(drum roll)... $22!!! This includes lots of stew meats, a great big chuck roast for pot roast, and enough pork-chops for 6 meals! I'm thankful I went grocery shopping today! And if you are wondering, no it wasn't because they were going to expire soon, I checked the dates. :) Yay! Every few weeks they have a meat special going on and luckily this time, it was the ones I needed! 
   (I also have meat left over from last month so we should be good on meat until we move!)
Savings= $100+

What bargains have you gotten recently? And, do you have any ideas/recipes to help stretch out your food dollar?

December Goal List!

It's that time of year! Happy Holidays!

December Goals:

Walk Kawi Daily: I really want to get back to walking the pup every day! He needs it, I need it. 

Study Italian on Rosetta Stone at least 3x's per week: I got it up and running on my new laptop so I'm hoping it will motivate me more! 

Finish all the things needed for my college admissions: The dead-line isn't until Feb, but I would like to get it knocked out early. 

 Start working out 3 times a week: This does not count walking. I mean like doing zumba or going to the gym. 
Really cut back on our grocery spending. : I'm trying to use what we have in our pantry since we will be moving and certainly don't want to lug all that with us. I'm going to be making slow-cooker meals and freezing them to stretch our money out. Mmmm! 

What are your goals for December?