Friday, January 31, 2014

Financial Freedom Friday

Time for another Financial Freedom Friday! Yay! :) It's crazy though because that also means that a month has already passed.  Time really does go so quickly.  We're entering into February already.

January Debt Demolition... $-1,300  Woohoo! Goal met for this month at least :)  It kind of makes me sick to know that that much money is having to go to pay off debt but whatever, it's getting done. Also...while I paid that much toward debt this month, with interest, it only knocked off about $950 off my total...blah! Still a long way to go but hey...it's not a sprint and I'm probably not doing this at "gazelle" speed as Dave would do.

I spent some time this week getting all of our tax information together.  Next year, I think we'll actually be able to do our taxes ourselves and not have to pay someone a stupid amount to do them for us.  But for this year, since we had the rental property, sold the house, and the surgery with all the thousands of dollars in medical bills, we thought we'd leave it up to a professional because it really just makes my head hurt to think through it.  Maybe this year we will actually get some money back.  It sucks to pay uncle sam even more money on April 15th then he already takes out of our check every pay period.

I'd really like to book a cruise if we get money back but I know the responsible adult thing to do would be to put it into savings since we are praying for a baby to come our way sometime soon.  Considering the costs for all of that...I'll have to weigh out my options I suppose.

So there you have it...my Financial Freedom Friday update.  My goals for February look much like they did for this month :) Pay down that debt!

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Carb Monster


I know that some people think that Dr. Atkins' and all the other anti-carb people can be a little nutso at times but the more I learn about my body, the more I think they really know what they are talking about.

I believe that when it becomes uncontrolled, the carbs take over your body and become a carb monster.  This carb monster says "more....I need more carbs...feed me!" So what do I do? I don't make the good choice of the protein and low carb option...I pick up a pack of crackers or something even worse.  Then it's just a downward spiral from there.  You know in Austin Powers where the big sumo dude says "I eat because I'm unhappy, I'm unhappy because I eat".  Yeh...I totally get that.  Sugar is like crack basically.  You get a little bit of it in your system and you have to go through an actual detox to get it out and the few days that it takes to get it out of your system (if you're doing it right) can pretty much be hell.  Imagine an actual addict who is going through withdrawals.  I know it doesn't effect everyone that way but those of you who it does...I know you know what I'm talking about.  It's intense.  But once it's out of your body, you feel like a new person.  You think more clearly, you have more energy, you aren't as hungry, and you have a better overall view of life.

I'm saying all that to say...I'm kicking the carb monster out today.  I'm going to attempt to keep my carbs under 25-30 grams a day this week to get it all out.  Really the only place my carbs will come from will be from my shakes.  I've let myself sink into a sort of depression due to some personal issues that I'm dealing with.  And sugar + depression = bad news!  Chocolate really does not make everything better.  If anything...it makes it worse.  So anyway....that's the goal for this week.

Also, I've decided to trade in my fun money for a weekly session with a trainer.  It's going to suck not to get any fun money but I really need to work with a trainer.  This is the same trainer that I worked with a couple of years ago that really helped me.  He has left the gym that he was at to go to another gym so he's able to do private sessions out of the gym (which means I don't have to pay for a gym membership on top of personal training).  I can only afford to do it once a week though.  I just remember feeling so much stronger when I was doing strength training.  Even though I can only meet with him once a week, he'll give me a plan to do for the other days of the week that I can do at home using my free weights, etc.  My plan is to get up at 5am again, run on the treadmill (until it gets warmer) and do my strength training routine all before I begin my day.  I know I can do this.  I got so good at just getting out of bed and getting it done and felt awesome the rest of the day.  Then I got lazy with the move and everything.  So I know it will take a good couple of weeks for my body to get used to the idea again but I'm going to make it happen.

It also helps that our staff is about to start a 40 day fitness challenge that I plan on winning :)  This has become more about weightloss for me.  It's about strength, feeling empowered, and just overall health in general.  Time to stop feeling out of control.  This is a lifetime battle.

Anywho...that's how my Monday morning is going.  Have any new plans for yourself? Have you reached your breaking point (again)? Ready to start back at the basics?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Call It What You Will

I'm certainly not admitting defeat.  But sometimes...I feel defeated.  This weightloss journey (aka struggle) is no joke.  I don't know how many times in the past couple of months I've said "ok...time to jump back on the wagon...enough is enough".  Yet....still runnin' behind that wagon and too bad I don't mean that literally.  I haven't exercised in over 2 months (I don't count the one time running outside where I fell down since that was just ONE day).  I'm eating things I know I shouldn't but I can't seem to bring myself to stop.  I feel hungry all the time.  I am getting the protein that I need but I think the carb monster has sank his ugly teeth into me and is not letting go.

I know if I could just make myself start getting up early again and running on the treadmill then I would get used to it quickly and be back to where I was tolerating enjoying it.  I'm just in one of those places right now mentally where I'm having a hard time.  I haven't gained any (well...bouncing up and down 2 lbs) but I certainly don't want to wait until I am gaining for it to be a wake up call.  I know if I don't exercise first thing in the morning, more than likely I'm not going to.

I don't go on the weightloss surgery facebook group much any more because I kind of get tired of seeing people who had surgery around the same time as me who have lost so much more and haven't even exercised.  I could just say that I'm content where I'm at.  I mean....I have lost 90lbs.  But I set a goal for myself and I'm still 20-30 lbs from that goal.  I don't want to give up on that.

I haven't really talked to anyone about this (other than Darren of course) because I don't want to hear "you've done so well, just keep going" or "you just have to do it" or whatever it is that people say to someone that has this problem.  No one wants to hear that really.  And I've had people ask me how much I've lost now and I'm ashamed to say "oh I'm still holding at 90lbs".  What? Why should I even respond that way? 90lbs is almost the size of a small adult...I should be super proud of that.  I just feel like that number should be higher.  I want to be able to say I've lost 100lbs by the time I hit my one year "surgiversary".  While some would say "that's only 10lbs", I say "holy crap, that's 10 whole pounds...that's going to be a struggle".

And part of me knows that I need to probably focus on strength training more than anything and I have 10lb weights.  I just can't bring myself to do anything consistently.  It's like I'm stuck in this rut that I can't dig myself out of.

ok....well that's all the venting I'm going to do right now.  You add in some jacked up hormones to all that and it makes for one heck of a mental battle.

I saw this on a facebook status yesterday and thought it was appropriate.  Now if only I can remember it.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Help Me Choose!

So, I've decided to open an Etsy shop selling burp cloths, bibs, baby blankets, "taggie, lovey" blanket things, pendant banners, etc etc.  The hardest part has been coming up with a business name.  The two that we've (Darren and myself) come up with (that actually seem to be available) are...

Sunshine & Grace
or
Minky & Mums

I can't decide if I want to add "Boutique" at the end of it or not.  Which one do you like better?  (Leave your answer in the comments please!)  I wanted something easy to remember and catchy.  Or do you have another suggestion?  These are available.  I've put in many different things that I've thought of but they were already taken, of course.  Once I finally decide on a name, I'm going to design my logo, etc, etc.  Then I can start taking pictures of my products and create my shop.  I'm really excited about this.  Hopefully I can at least make enough to help with the fabric obsession that I've seem to have lol  Here are a few of my creations so far...






The women's ministry at our church is having a Spring Bazaar in May so I'm hoping that I can have a vendor table by that point.  Which means that I have to have all my branding, packaging, etc done by then.  I also want to design some prints that people could frame and put in their nursery or house somewhere.  I've even looked into a booth at a local "marketplace" but I'm not sure about that since it's pretty pricey.  That's why I just figured I'd start with Etsy and see what happens.

Speaking of Fabric obsessions (see above)...here are a few of my new fabrics :) SO pretty!  I have a few more on the way. For now, I'm just ordering fat quarters (fabric/quilting term for quarter of a yard) or half yards of whatever I order unless I just really love it, then I might order a yard :)




Due to the growing supply of my fabric, I realized very quickly that I was running out of room for storage so we went to the very dangerous (on our wallet) Ikea yesterday :)  I picked up another shelving unit and put in drawers that we were using in another unit elsewhere.  It will work well for now. lol

Also...as I spend more time in my craft room, I now want to paint the walls.  Imagine that.  I have to wait until the second storage unit is cleaned out so we can put all of the many boxes that are sitting stacked almost to the ceiling on the other side of this room though :)  Then I'll have to see what color I want to paint.  I bought curtains from Ikea for the room so I might wait to get those up too.  I might just go with the gray like I did the living room.  It's a nice soothing color and the white panels look great with it.  And...if and when we have a baby...the color will work for either gender.  I'm not into the pale pinks and blues anyway.




Don't forget to leave your vote for my business name in the comments!  I need your help!  I'm not sure which direction I want to go yet.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Sunday Social: Week 9 (for me anyway)

Time for the Sunday Social :)  I don't participate every week because sometimes I think my answers to the questions would just bore the life out of anyone reading.  Thought I would jump in and answer these though.  Enjoy...
 
Sunday Social

1. What is the name of your blog? How long have you been blogging?
Goal Minded Girl.  I've only been blogging for a year now.
2. Why do you blog?
I blog for me.  I like having a place that I can combine journaling, photography, and graphic design all in one place.  I started my blog because I wanted to make sure I kept up with my weightloss experience somehow and I always get slack with actually writing a journal.  I also wanted to reach other goals that I knew I would accomplish if I could take cool pictures of them and post them for others to see and comment on.
3. What is the first blog you ever followed?
Since I used to have a photography business, the first blogs I followed were all photographers.  There is really only one photographer's blog that I still follow and it's because she's so darn funny.  That's Bobbi+Mike.  You should go read...you'll get sucked in and you'll feel like you've known her forever.  I love reading blogs where I feel like it's someone having a conversation with me, ya know?  And having a photo session with them is really on my top 10 list of things I must do.
4. What is your favorite post you wrote in 2013?
I don't think I really have one.  I spent a lot of this year blogging about my surgery and house drama.  I was pretty excited to announce when our house sold :)  So I'll go with that.
5. What are your blogging goals for 2014?
 I just want to keep blogging for me.  I want to do more stuff with my photography and crafts.  I'd also like to connect with more people.

6. Top 3 favorite blogs to follow?
Tatertots and Jello
Everything Etsy
The Art of Simple

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Let's Get Real for a Minute

  Confession... the past 2 months has been full of complete laziness.  I got lazy with my diet for the whole month of December but jumped back in there December 26th so for the most part, I'm good there.  I need to watch the carbs a little more (knowing myself anyway) and I still need to learn to incorporate veggies into my diet more...I'm really bad about that.  But in regards to exercise...yikes!  Let's just say it's been non-existent.

  Looking at the calendar, I am less than 2.5 months away from my one year surgery anniversary and 3 months from turning 30 (blah).  I still have about 8lbs or so to hit my -100lbs mark but I have a good 20-30lbs to reach my ultimate goal.  I know it's a lofty goal to say that I want to lose 20-30 lbs in 2.5 months.  So while I still have that in my mind, I need to get back to being consistent with my exercise.  That means, I have to start getting up before 5am again.  I know I can do this.  I did it for months.  I have a treadmill in my spare room and 10lb weights.... what is holding me back other than just being lazy? Nothing!  I need to do some toning and work on my cardio and strength training.  No time like the present...right?

  I'm going to start looking for a 5k that I want to participate in either around my "surgiversary" or my birthday.  I need something to work toward.

  I'd really like to have another photoshoot done since we haven't had one since July and I've lost 45lbs or so since then so that's a big difference.  Unfortunately, I can't afford the photographers that I love lol so we'll see.

Anyway...that's all I've got to say about that.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Friend Makin' Mondays

I made my blog calendar for the year (for the most part anyway) and my goal was to post on Fridays and Wednesdays and anything extra was just icing.  So, I decided why not participate in Friend Makin' Mondays with All the Weigh.  If you want to play along, just copy the questions and go back to Kenlie's site and link your blog.

Friend Makin’ Mondays
1.  What has been your happiest moment in 2014 so far?  
Feeling a sense of hope for the future and being able to look forward to things to come.

2. Share the last compliment you received.
I get a lot of comments on my profile pictures that I post on Facebook...does that count?

3.  What is one thing that you plan to accomplish in the next week?
I'm throwing a baby shower for my sister in law next month so I will be working on creating the decorations for that :)  I love baby showers.

4.  What is your favorite TV show currently on air?
Big Bang Theory and I also like Alaska: The Last Frontier

5.  If you could go anywhere in the world free for the next two weeks, where you go?
Normally I would say Paris but since it's cold there too, I'm going to go with Maui :)  you can't go wrong with Hawaii at any time of the year.

6.  Describe a significant event in your life that caused you to change your values system.
  Hmm...I don't really think I've had just one significant event.  I've been reminded many times over the years through different eye-opening experiences of how important it is to put my full trust in God and continue to work on my relationship with Him.

7.  What made you decide to live where you currently live?
Unfortunately, I've never been far from "home" so we live right around where we always have, around the things we always do and around our friends and family.  Not that that is a bad thing...I just haven't been a very "adventurous" person :)

8.  What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about GOD?
My salvation.  I'm extremely grateful that He loves me unconditionally.

9.  If you could have a long conversation with someone famous (and alive now) who would you choose?
  I really don't know how to answer this question.  Part of me would go with Dave Ramsey or Suze Orman or some other financial person.  Then another part of me would just go with a celebrity (like Vin Diesel or Ian Somerhalder) but I don't really know what we would talk about because I'd probably be too nervous to speak haha.  I really like Ellen and think I could have a long conversation with her and she makes me laugh.

10.  List three things that you’re thankful for today.  
  • I am SO thankful to have a short commute to work and that I can come home at lunch.  I feel bad that we are further away for Darren though.
  • I am thankful for the heat in our condo seeing as how there are a lot of people without it right now.
  • I'm thankful to have a job.
Your turn! :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Self Portrait Project: January

I decided to start a self-portrait project for 2014.  Just me, my camera, tri-pod, and my remote or self-timer...and probably on occasion the help of someone else (we'll see).  I'll post at least one a month on the first Sunday of each month.  I think it will be interesting at the end of the year to see all 12 months together.  Personally, I want to push my creativity and my photography up a notch.  This is one of my goals for the year.  After doing this today, I know I need to work on my focus.  Feel free to join in on this project...that would be awesome!  I created a link-up at the bottom of the post so you can add your blog and make sure to check in on the first Sunday of each month to post again.  And by the way...I would have never done this this time last year.  So I'm going to count that as a NSV (non-scale victory) :)




I had to have a little bit of fun with it :)


Hoping for some snow tomorrow!  We are in NC so snow is a rarity for us.  Our snows don't typically last more than a day which kinda stinks.  I like snow...as long as I don't have to go anywhere :)  And yes, our town basically shuts down when there is snow which is cool with me too lol

If you don't mind linking back to my blog if you do the self portrait project...that would be super :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Financial Freedom Friday

For me, having debt (and a lot of it) is much like being held captive (or at least house arrest) or perhaps treading water and being pulled under even though you are desperately trying to stay afloat.  I work full time, my husband works full time and then works part time for another job on top of that.  For what?  What do we have to show for it?  I'm tired of living paycheck to paycheck.  I want to be a good steward of what God has blessed us with and get away from this icky thing called debt. 

I think society has told us that debt it ok.  There are credit cards and payment plans and "90 days same as cash" deals promoted everywhere you turn.  We are so much about instant gratification that we can't spend a couple of months saving for something to pay cash for it so we choose to make payments and hope that we get it paid off before they slap us with back interest.  I'm not downing anyone that has had to do this.... we've done it before...several times.  I'm just saying, I don't want to live like that anymore.  I also don't want to live in a world where I feel like I have to keep up with everyone's "grand life" on Facebook.  So it's time for a change...mentally and emotionally.

I'm going to do a monthly post called Financial Freedom Friday to keep myself accountable for 2014.  I want to pay off a good chunk of debt this year.  My 2 main goals for this year are to pay off a credit card (that we unfortunately had to use when fixing up the house) and our car that we bought when Darren got a job 30 miles away...it was better on gas (We are so grateful for the job but I hate car payments and always will).  I'm going to use Dave Ramsey's debt snowball approach for the most part.  Unfortunately this will only touch the surface of our debt but hey...gotta start somewhere :)

I want to go see a financial adviser that uses Dave Ramsey's methods but I know they would tell us to put the money Darren makes from his second job toward debt and we would rather put that into savings.  We don't want to be relying on that money so I'd prefer if it just gets transferred straight into savings as soon as we get paid rather than make a payment towards something that's still going to take me years to pay off.  Does that make sense?

So my goals for January...
~I divided my credit card balance by 5 to see how much it will cost to pay it off by May.  It's a good chunk of money but I'm determined.  So I will start with that for January.
~I also want to make sure that the money that Darren makes actually goes into savings and we don't spend it on anything frivolous. 

Oh. And by the way...I'm a firm believer of "paying yourself" so after tithing, we are making sure to set aside a little bit of fun money each pay period.  We each get an amount so we can either save it or spend it on what we want.... individually.  It's nice to know that I have a little bit of money that I can do something with without feeling guilty for spending it.

Do you have financial goals this year?  Do you have the same views on debt as I do?  Let's get free from that together!  Have any advice you want to give to me or someone else trying to get out of debt... feel free to leave it in a comment.

Thanks for stopping by!