Whats Up?

My weight…lol!

No not really. Well, to be honest I’m giving myself a one week cleanse before stepping on the scale. That way I don’t just plunge into a deep dark weight depression. I definitely indulged a little…not too much by any means. I’m pretty ok with how the holidays went.

Today though after adding in my calorie intake I only have about 250 calories left for dinner. That my friends is a bummer. Oh well, it is what it is.

I did pay close attention to how “crappy foods” affected my body. My mouth felt sugar-coated and thirsty after a weekend of Almond Roca. My tummy felt swollen and achy after too much meat. All in all I am SOOOOO glad that these are now rare feelings, and better yet, that my body has NEGATIVE reactions to bad food…you know you have a problem when your body has no reaction to bad foods, when it’s just use to the crap you dump down your throat. Thank you body for knowing whats up. I promise to continue to respect you and feed you well.

So we have one week until RESOLUTION DAY! Ok New Years day.

I’m still thinking on my Resolutions. I have a few. Some health related, some mental, some relationship, some business. I’m going to do a fun project to help Mr. Gaunt and I focus on these goals. I’m looking forward to the New Year. It should be VERY exciting and interesting.
Mr. Gaunt and I have started organizing and doing a little mild packing. We put away all of our Summer clothes, things we knew we wouldnt need in the next 3 months. I’m slowly organizing and packing all of my craft supplies, because I have no plans to craft before we move. It’s a slow…somewhat paitnfull…process. We need to make a room by room plan so I don’t lose my head over it.

Well I’m off to have some tea! I leave you with a few Healthy Appetizer recipes in case you are going to any New Years parties!

CLICK ON PHOTO TO GO TO RECIPE:

 

Roasted Cauliflower and Curry Spread

Garlicky Spinach Balls

Cucumber, Pomegranate and Bacon Canape (recomend turkey bacon)

Caprese Salad

Cherry Tomatoes Filled With Creamy Pesto Cheese

Warm Artichoke and Bean Dip

 

 

 

No Rest For The Weary

Evil doings…lol…When did I get so busy?

Seriously, for a girl with little friends and a pretty sweet work schedule, I’m shocked by how little time I have these days.  The weekend was devoured before I even tasted it. And now I’m sitting here running through my huge list of to-do’s trying to decided what will be pushed till later, and when later might be.

Our painting business it really thriving! I’m so stinking happy about this. We sold our 4th custom order this morning and have one more ready to purchase either today or tomorrow. I’m loving it, doing art is so much more motivating when people actually want to buy it! Now I can only hope that things will keep putting along and that one day we can be making a portion of our income off it. For now the money will sit in our Paypal for moving and wedding costs.

We are doing our first craft fair on Saturday November 6th at Smoky Hill High School, and I’ve been making lots of mini paintings to sell as well as lots of examples of our custom work. Because it’s an indoor show we needed to build walls to display our canvas, so yesterday Mr. Gaunt and I went to Buds Warehouse which is a discount recycled building materials store. We bought 3 hollow core doors for $30! Now we have to paint them and hinge them together to make an accordion style wall for display. I also need to order some marketing materials from Moo Cards this week. So it’s all a little hectic. But good hectic.

In weight loss I joined weight watchers last week and then never went back…wow I’m lame. Ha! I’m having a hard to with this one, weight watchers is all about getting the most bang for your food points. Which means eating all diet foods. Meh…not the route I want to go. And the silly thing is that I KNEW that and that was why I quit in the first place! So I don’t know what I’m gonna do now. Working out is what I really need to do, I have just never discovered a workout plan that I liked. Im thinking of checking out the brand new 24 hours fitness they just built behind my house. Maybe if they have TV’s in the machines I might be interested in going. Before I found the gym to be so boring, and the tvs were always set to news and sports! But if I could ave my own tv then I could even schedule gym time around my favorite shows (we don’t have cable anymore so we don’t get to watch any new tv) and maybe that would motivate me. I do really like tv.

My current job is a test in my patients every day, and I am counting down the days until we move and I can quit it and find something new. I have already made the decision that I will NOT be transferring. We are still up in the air about where exactly we want to move. I plan on doing a post on this at a later date, not that the masses really care.

Anyways I have some food and other things to do individual posts about today, this is just to catch people up on whats going on!

Buds Warehouse. Much like the RE-Store for you Bham folks

Piles of stuff to dig through

Wearing High heels and dress pants. We had just left a wedding.

LOOK I FIXED IT!

3 Doors, a Bookcase and an easel. Maybe I shouldnt sell this car!

 

Life Up and Down-sized.

NOTE: This is a very long and probably boring blog about our current plans and finances. Im mostly writing it to myself just to lay it all out, but would love any comments or opinions on any of the situation.  (=

Our good friend Jake is in town this weekend. Jake is a financial guru, kind of. He majored in finances in college and has worked in banks for quite some time. He’s very smart and financially together. He deals mostly with home loans and things of that nature, so he has been giving us advice on our financial situation.

Mr. Gaunt and I are a big cross roads with our life and our money. We are currently living at the top of our means, and we are looking to upgrade our future. Both of us are not great with money, we have both spent the last (5 for me) 10 years acting as if we don’t really need to think about the future and that when the time comes we will figure it out. TIMES UP FOLKS!

-We currently rent an adorable 2 bedroom (1000 sq ft) apartment in Colorado. It’s very nice and upgraded and we love it. However it is WAY too expensive, especially for renting. We have friends that pay as much or a little less that we do on their mortgages. On top of that we have a number of utilities to pay for. And the truth is, we feel like we have almost outgrown this place. With two bedrooms, our second room quadruples as an Office (with 2 desks and computers), A sewing and craft room (I have craft supplies coming out my ears), storage for extra bedding and blow up mattress for guests, storage for things like vacuums, board games, electronic equipment, painting supplies….the list goes on. Its pretty much crammed full of stuff, only organised enough so that I don’t go crazy. It’s so though that its hard to even do projects in there because it makes such a huge mess in the tiny space.

So of course we really want to buy a house. Of course we have no credit or down payment money. And renting a house seems like SUCH a waste. To even find a descent house to rent would put us way over our budget. It’s just not possible.

-We also currently have 2 cars. My car has a car payment…uggg. When my old car seized its engine back in May I went out and got a new (10-year-old) car to replace. Finally sucking it up and paying a car payment. At the time I did it, I really didn’t think I had any other options. Looking back it was a HUGE mistake.

I have spent the last year cancelling all of our extra service. Cable, gym, weight watchers, netflix, etc. I had saved us a little over $200 a month doing this. Well one freak accident and a car payment later and we have no savings anymore.

We also HAD to do some work on Mr. Gaunt’s car, that and the vacation to Washington in July (which I wouldnt take back for the world) completely wiped out our savings. Im talking $0 left. So now we sit living paycheck to paycheck.

So Mr. Gaunt and I have spent the last 3 months trying to convince both of our bosses to let me transfer to his team at work. So we can sell my car and carpool. We finally got the ok, and Friday will be my last day on my team. This is such a relief! So I plan on putting my car up for Sale on Craigslist this week. Hopefully ***FINGERS CROSSED*** I can sell it for about what I owe, and be done with it. There will be challenges to only having one car, but the savings (of almost $300 a month) will be so worth it. It was also make things easier when we move, as we can just tow the other car behind the uhaul.

-The wedding is our next big expense. I get mixed opinions when I talk to people about the wedding and the cost. For Mr. Gaunt and I its important to have a nice wedding for our friends and family to celebrate our union. Many people say “elope, or do it the back yard” but that’s not what we want. I’m sorry. I’m absolutely one of those girls that has dreamed about planning her wedding for years. The whole process is fun and exciting and wonderful! I wouldn’t have it any other way. Of course we don’t really have the money to go big. I’m trying my hardest to be crafty and frugal and make sacrifices in things like location and photographer so the we can keep it in budget (whatever that may be) the wedding wont be big, probably less than 100 guests. We are making all the food and drink and decorations. I plan to get an inexpensive dress and make my own invitations. But it’s still expensive. At this point we are hoping to keep it between $6k-$8k. Which seems like a lot unless you look at the national average of $20k for weddings. We are also taking all the help we can get, be it labor or gifts or whatever anyone wants to contribute. Weddings are a beautiful way for family and friends to come together and celebrate. We want the whole things to be as fun and low stress as possible. Go with the flow.

-And on to moving. We will be moving some time in April (or lease ends at the end of April) we have signed a 6 month lease starting in October. When the time gets closer we will look into the options of transferring our jobs or getting new ones. We really want to move to Olympia, but the most important thing in moving is finding affordable housing, schools, and jobs. Mr. Gaunt is currently looking into/thinking about going to nursing school in the winter of 2011, so we need to find a place where he can do that. And yes we understand that he will have to pay out of state tuition for the first year or so.

Moving fees in generall are going to be high. Renting a uhaul will cost us anywhere from $1500-$2000 to move to another state. YIKES! We are currently trying to decide if it makes more sense to just sell stuff and buy new instead of paying those costs. although things like our bed and couch are not things we want to give up, and they of course are the things that require the large moving trucks. I have even looked in to PODS and things of that nature, also crazy expensive. Our friend in Olympia have offered to let us stay with them for a short while so we can get jobs and look for places, otherwise we will have to rent something long distance.

We are also talking about really drastically downsizing our place of living once we move. Like I said we would love to have a house, but we want to buy one, not rent one. So we need to save money. If we can suck it up and rent a smaller one bedroom apartment for a year or two and save $300-$400 a month on rent then maybe we can get our shit together enough o buy a house. This would mean getting rid of lots of stuff and being ok with having just one bedroom for a while. It even means registering for wedding gifts might need to just be in gift cards so we can save them for when we do get a house. Would our guests be cool with just giving us money/giftcards?

-Mr. Gaunt is also in the works of building his credit. Neither of us have a lick of credit, although I have about $1000 I owe in old fees that I just havent been able to pay off. Which is why we are working on his credit first, I know its important for me too, I just need to pay that money off. Apparently its near impossible to get a credit card when you have no credit. We are working with our bank to get a “good customer” exception letter going to hopefully get a starter credit card. We have also been talking to Jake about our options for IRA’s and such to build some savings, as well as proper ways to use credit cards to help and not hurt you. ITs all just a very long complicated process, and unfortunately as Jake says, we are staring off in a bad economic time. Although there’s no time like the present!

-We are also working a LOT on our painting business. We have had great feedback, lots of email inquiries, and couple sales. We have plans to do a craft fair in October and I’m working my butt off promoting and listing new items. We really hope that this can be some extra income.

We are also looking into extra work. We both worked yesterday for time and half, and are working on Monday for double time. This will add almost 25% more to our paychecks. I also applied for a season position at Pier 1 that I could work in the evenings. We just have to make the sacrifice and work our butts off these days.

So that’s where we are at. I need to once again re work our budget to salvage any money we could be saving. And I want to note that even if we weren’t moving we still need to do this. We need to learn the value of a dollar and the hard work of paying yourself first. Life hands you all sorts of obstacles, and if you really want something you have to know how to get it. The next 2-3 years are going to be some of the hardest and most rewarding years of our lives. These are the years that we will build our future off of. And we thank everyone for their love and support during this time.

TODAYS TO DO LIST:

(I sacrificed a pool party and bbq and a sweet baby boy to get some shit done around here)

-Laundry

-Grocery Shopping

-Make dinner plans for the week. Ive been good at making enough dinner to have lunch for the both of us the next day.

-Make pumpkin scones and granola bars

-Finish painting and packaging up painting

-List 2 new items on Etsy

-Research selling my car

-Go through art supplies for garage sale. And the rest of the house.

-Call my mom, and maybe the grandparents too.

-Research housing and moving options.

And because it goes against my religion to post with out pictures:

Lists are for Lovers

I have decided to make a list of all that’s going on in the next bit. I’m feeling a hair overwhelmed and I think a list will help me focus! Today Mr. Gaunt and I DEEP cleaned our spare room (which is mostly craft supplies, office stuff, and board games) and got rid of a ton of crap! Well we put it into bags and boxes in hopes of having a big garage sale. We wont really be able to have another garage sale before we move so I hope we can sell most of it this summer. I’m going to really try not to buy anymore stuff over the next year. We will be moving and then getting married, so we will need to get rid of lots and then get new nicer stuff. For birthdays and christmas and such I’m hoping to DO fun things rather than buy more stuff we don’t need. Even clothes, and I’m a clothes WHORE! But nope…no more clothing shopping for me! I have plenty! Except new underwear, Id like new underwear and new tennis shoes for my birthday.

I’ve also come to the realization that the less clothing and dishes you have, the less laundry and dishwashing you have to do…DING DING DING! So Buh-Bye to all the “extra” dishes we only keep as backups. And Buh-Bye to all the crappy tank tops and ill fighting jeans that I only keep incase the good ones are dirty. I hate them anyways and they just cause more mess!

I’ve mentioned before that we don’t have a garage or yard to have a garage sale, so I’m hoping one of our wonderful friends will offer theirs up…wink wink. Because I hate to just donate all this stuff when we could maybe make a little cash, which we DESPERATELY need.

Anyways on to my list:

1. August 23rd **fingers crossed*** I move to Mr. Gaunt’s Team at Work

2. Decide which car we are going to sell. We may now sell Mr. Gaunt’s for a number of reasons.

3. Get Credit cards! We NEED to build credit in the next year.

4. Have a new tail pipe put on Mr. Gaunt’s car

5. CAR WASHES!

6. Look into getting an engagement ring made. financially we have been holding off on this…)=

7. Join the gym! Mr. Gaunt wants us to both go together and get our butts in shape for the wedding!

8. Get new Tennis shoes. The ones I currently have my mom bought me in August of 2006 right before I moved to Colorado.

9. Talk to our Landlord about signing a 6 month lease.

10. September 25th Put deposit down on Wedding Venue

11. Plan trip for just me back to Washington in DEcember to look at wedding stuff

12. Pay Mr. Gaunt’s mom back for…oh a million things…lol! We should just give all of our paychecks to her!

13. Keep working on paintings! Mamma needs some new shoes!

14. Look into rescuing a new kitten. Dumb friends league of Denver is doing free adoption and spaying until 8/31

15. SAVE $$$ SAVE $$$ SAVE! We gotta move and pay for a wedding this year!

I leave you with some pics from a few weekends ago when we helped Jenny and Justin paint their new basement and Liam’s new haircut!

Jenny and I. Yes I'm wearing a Weird Al shirt!

It's gonna be super sweet when its done!

In his Boundary Bay-bies Shirt!

He looks like such a big boy...makes me sad!

Feeling Separated

I have apparently abandoned my blog a bit. This wasn’t really intentional, I just got busy, and for some reason for the first time in over a year I felt annoyance at posting here.

A lot has been going on, and a lot more will happen in the next year. Some is very exciting, and some is very scary.  Sometimes I feel lost and overwhelmed at all that I have to think about. I get so over worked in my head that I end up pushing everything out in tears and frustrations.

This summer is much hotter and drier than last summer, and if you know me this puts me in quite the mood. I have always felt I have reverse seasonal depression, heat pushes me over the edge. I’m also very anxious about our move, money, wedding, the works, and I’m finding it a bit hard to lean on anyone. Although I do have friends here, its hard for me to really talk with them or open up when my entire goal is to move away. I find that the entire idea of moving is pushing some of my Colorado people further and further from me. I don’t mean to create this tension with people, I’m just a little separated.

I’ve spent the last 4 years here trying to make a bit of a life for myself. I know that a lot of people think I have spent four years bitching about moving, but I feel that they aren’t really giving me credit for all the life steps I have taken here. Jobs, relationships, health, therapy, friends. I really feel like I gave it a shot, but I am ready to move on. I am ready to settle down into a place that is more my own. I’m ready to go back.

I feel rather stagnant with where I am. My job has become challenging with boredom. My health has become lulled with little change. My apartment’s flaws are slowly creeping over its perks.  Its all getting a bit to worn around the edges.

I also worried about the strengths of my relationships back home. I worry that I have caused permanent damage in way of neglect. I worry that my siblings and I will never re connect. I worry that my grandparents think I don’t care anymore. I worry that my parents have gotten so use to me being gone that I will feel like a burden being back. I mean I know they all love me, but the last four years have changed things, and now more than ever I am craving a family closeness that I’m not sure I will get back. The want for big family bbq’s and christmas’ at Grandmas. The long coffee camps with my dad, where he seems less awkward and I feel less strained. The sharing of clothes and life plans with my sister. I would have liked nothing more than to be celebrating our engagement with everyone, it just hasn’t worked out that way.

I want/need something to change a bit, that’s just the kind of person I am. I need some motivation amongst all the heat.

Mr. Gaunt and I are planning to join 24hour fitness again in September. I think we are ready to take the next step to drop the last 30-40 pounds and tone up our bodies. I’m hoping that we can make it a routine, a passion, a way of life. I’m also in serious need of purging. Id LOVE to have a big garage sale, I just don’t have a garage. If anyone want to let us borrow theirs that would be great! We just need to declutter a bit.

And so we carry on. I plan to get back into blogging, it really does make me feel better. And hopefully I will share some more food and adventures along the way!