Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's GOALS

I'm not really a New Year's Resolution kind of gal. I mean, it's a nice idea and all, but hey, let's be real. Who really sticks to their resolutions? They're so last year!

The last few years I've ditched the whole Resolution thing and decided to focus on goals instead. I've always been a girl with a goal (or three), so this was very easy for me to do. So, what I did was buy a very pretty notebook. This is key, because I kept it out where I would see it often and it's so pretty, I couldn't help but want to pick it up. Inside, I wrote down my goals for the year. But more importantly, I wrote down just how I'm going to achieve those goals.

Lovelies, now is not the time to be vague. You are not to write down "Lose 20 pounds." Instead, exactly what are you going to do differently in order to lose 20 pounds? Or whatever it may be.

Last year my goals were mainly of the financial nature. I had some tidying up to do. Pesty divorces. And guess what? I did it.

I've been thinking a lot about 2010. Well, actually, I've been thinking a lot about the fact that I still feel like I am waiting for summer to start since we here in the Midwest never really had one this year, and here we are, almost January 1st. I feel so jipped. Anyway.

My personal goals for 2010 involve two F's: (get your mind out of the gutter!)

Fitness and Finance

To kick start the fitness goal, Country and I went and signed up a gym in our town last night. We are both super excited. I just know there is a hot body underneath the 20 lbs I've gained in the last 2 years (coincidence that I've been dating Country for 2 years as well, LOL?). I am so ready to fit in my clothes again. The last 6 months especially have been really annoying in regards to anything in my closet. I have been reduced to 2 pairs of jeans that actually don't cut off my circulation and a variety of sweaters that I would rather shrink and cut up and make into cute felt items than wear. Get out the violins.
So, yes, yes, we have joined the gym. Together. And I think that together part is going to be key since now I feel accountable. I was very consistent with my workouts for a long time and for a variety of reasons (bad reasons) just got lazy. I can't wait to feel strong again. . .to feel sore after a good workout. . . .and to feel in awe of what my body is capable of. I'm not gonna lie, I also can't wait to fit into those awesome jeans that came with holes already in them even though they cost me a ton of money. I LOVED those jeans and sadly haven't been able to wear them in quite awhile.

We're starting small. Baby steps. Go to the gym 3 days a week. Work up to where we want to be instead of crashing and burning. I won't bore you with anymore.

Second goal--Finance

This goal is two fold. First, I plan to pay off my car in 2010. I have my car payment set up so that I make a payment every week. I also have it set up so that the payments are a little more than they should be. So, every Friday, if I make an additional transfer, 100% of that amount will go towards the principal. By doing this, I will be paying it off 2 years early. Then, I plan to take what I would have paid towards my car payment and put that in an account so I can actually pay cash for my next vehicle somewhere down the line. Or have a baby. Are you paying attention?

Secondly, I have been thinking about all of my coupon stuff lately. Since I’ve been doing this “couponing thing,” it’s been difficult for me to translate my savings into actual money in the bank. I mean, my cabinets, fridge and freezer are busting at the seams, I donate tons of food & household stuff to the pantry, and I have a huge stockpile to sell at next summers garage sale (you go ahead and laugh---you won't believe how much of this I will sell!). I know I am getting so much more for my money. But, I believe I am probably spending about the same amount of money as before. So in 2010, here's what I plan on doing:

**Keep picking up the free stuff but be a little more selective about everything else—don’t chase as many deals just because they’re “hot” and run myself ragged.

**For the first couple of months, eat some of the food that has been in the house for awhile. Put in another way; shop my store instead of a bricks & mortar store. Continue to buy fresh produce, fruit, milk, eggs, etc, but actually put that stockpile to use before anything goes bad, which is the ultimate waste of money.

**During these next 2 or so months, put the money I am not spending on all those other deals into the bank. How much, I haven’t totally decided yet, since it is just Country and I and not a family of 4 or 5, but commit to sock away, at the very least, $100 each month.

So, what are your G-O-A-L-S for 2010?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas.
I hope you were able to unwind a bit. . .and let go of some of the "pressures" of the holidays. . .
and enjoy your family and friends.
I hope you shared a lot of laughter with everyone.
Despite what's going on in our world today, I hope you were able to forget about it for
awhile and focus on what's truly important. 
You know what that is.

Little Man cruising around.

Country is trying to get Little Man to be a Saint Louis fan.  Good luck with that!

My mom and Gramma.  Beautiful inside and out.

Who needs toys when there's wrapping paper?!?

Country bought everyone those Bingo scratch-off cards.  A huge hit!

Dad and Country checking their Bingo cards.

Papa with Little Man

Country and me.

Brother #1, Sister-in-love, and Little Man. . .their first Christmas together as a family!

Gramma and Country chatting by the fire.

Auntie Mel and Little Man.  xoxo

Niece S with Little Man.

Country playing Wii with Sister N and Nephew N.

Papa and me.

Brother #1, me and Brother #2.

Papa and Brother #1.

Trying to get them all by the tree to take a nice family photo.

That's better!

What a beautiful Christmas we all had together. 

Saturday, December 5, 2009


You know how every once in awhile, you walk into your home and you just feel. . .overwhelmed? 
But in a good way?

Yeah, I feel like that today.

It sure smells like Christmas in here.

I wish I could tell you that Country and I meandered through the snowy woods, found THE perfect tree, cut it down, tied it to the roof of the car and brought it home.
But we didn't.
We found our perfect tree at The Home Depot.
But it's REAL and that's what matters to us.
I just can't do fake trees (even though I'll be cursing those dang needles all year long!)

If feels like Christmas in here.
Warm. Cozy.

I love this Jolly Old Soul:

It looks like Christmas in here.

It tastes like Christmas in here.

Merry Christmas. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1st

How is it possible that it's the 1st of December already?  That Christmas is just around the corner?  I feel like I'm still waiting for summer to begin. . . here in Illinois it was basically non-existent.

Last week Country and I headed to his hometown for Thanksgiving.  His sisters and their kids, Country and I all stayed at their mother's house for a few nights.  It was busy and it was crowded and it was fun

And the whole time I kept thinking, "How is it Thanksgiving already?"  And now it's December 1st. 

I also kept thinking about all of the things in my life that I am so very thankful for. . .my dear family, the doggies, friends and Country. . . .my health, my home, my job.

I feel like I live a very charmed life.