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Archive for the ‘finances, budgets, etc…’ Category

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I didn’t mean to get involved, I really didn’t…

When I was vulnerable and weak, the stores beckoned me. They called my name and whispered sweet nothings into my untrained ear. I came. I hithered. I gave myself up to the drumbeat of the sound of the credit card being beautifully swiped.

I became an emotional shopper.

But what was that really? What did that really mean?

Sure balancing a full-time college course load and all the studying that accompanied it was trying, but weren’t we all making our way towards a degree? I wasn’t alone and trudged along just like everyone else.

And sure working full-time along with college, well I wasn’t alone in that either, right? I mean everyone who was anyone was working and going to school. No big deal, right? In fact, the people who were going to school and didn’t have a job were the weirdos. “Why aren’t you working?”, we would all silently judge.

So college, check. Full-time job, check. Emotionally abusive relationship, check…wait, what?

Being young and in love and with everything else going in my life did not bode well for my wallet. Got into an argument. Get yelled at. Go directly to the mall. Got into another argument. More yelling. Cry. Go to the mall. Got into another argument but this time they said they were sorry. Okay, well you said you were sorry, but I am still crying. And I’m still going to go to the mall.

My emotional state of mind bridged my way to being an emotional shopper, way before that term was even in the day-to-day lexicon.

And that is a bridge I’d like to burn.

Because I wish I could go back in time. I wish I could go talk to that young girl that I was, and hug her and tell her that it is going to get better. I would tell her that all the cheap shoes and t-shirts that she buys won’t erase the hollow feeling in her heart. That the latest trendy nonsense being sold in the stores won’t cover the pit in the bottom of her stomach.

I want to hold her tight and tell her to leave this relationship that she is in that is making her fragile and leaving her broken. I want to caress her hair and tell her that relationships are not supposed to be like that, and that one day you will meet and marry a man who loves you more than anything in this world and knows how to treat a lady.

But since I can’t do that, I want to burn the bridge. I want to tear it down and I don’t want anyone else to walk across it.

No one should have to walk across that bridge.

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Bonus points if you know what song my blog post title is from 😉

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got and I am not referring to diamonds or bling here folks. I am talking about not having enough money, or only having a few stones to rub together.

I may only have rocks in my pocket right now, but I am not defined by them. My life story isn’t measured by these stones, these neutral-colored objects that may sometimes frustrate me, but they don’t own me.

These rocks won’t always be here. They won’t always be knocking around in my pocket, making me feel less than I am.

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Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got, cause guess what? They aren’t my destiny. They aren’t the final chapter. They are not “the end”.

Because rocks can shatter. They can break into small pieces. They can be smashed to smithereens. And that’s what will happen to my rocks.

I have wandered with these rocks. I have travelled with these rocks. I have felt them pierce my skin.

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got. They won’t always be here. I have plans for these rocks. I have plans for peace and contentment without these multi-dimensional pieces of guilt.

I have goals.

I have dreams.

And they don’t include these rocks…

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If any of you have kiddos out there, you know that you inevitably have quite a bit of toys underfoot. It’s not that you are out there at the store constantly purchasing toys or anything; it’s just that they somehow have made their way into your home and any parent can tell you, they have no idea how all these toys got there! 🙂

Well I am here to say, that no matter the origination of the toys, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on containers to house them all. If you just think outside of the box (or container), you can probably find some things around the home that can house the Legos!

Speaking of Legos…

My daughter loves her Legos and there are sooooo many small pieces. I had to find something sturdy to house them all when they weren’t in use. And then I saw on the counter, the container holding the animal crackers we had picked up from Costco.

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Yup, I think this will work…

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Boom! Perfect! And I didn’t have to spend any additional money actually purchasing some sort of container! It pays to shop your house 🙂

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And then I thought hey, this container would be perfect to house all her little figures she plays with. So in went My Little Pony, the Bubble Guppies, etc…

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Man, these containers work great

Now my daughter loves to color. She has quite a few coloring books. Hmmmm, what to do, what to do… And then I realized I had this box that I used to use to house tax stuff/receipts/etc… But that was not a very organized solution and it was messy and hard to ever find anything, so the box was now sitting empty. Perfect!

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Yup, that’ll work!

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And a case that I was using for odds and ends, I cleaned out and is now her pencil-case!

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What to do with an empty Folgers coffee can?

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Use it for blocks of course!

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Hey I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel here, but anything where I can save a bit of money, I am all for it!

Do you guys have any creative uses for stuff? It doesn’t have to be for toys 🙂

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Guess what dear readers? I haven’t been inside a Target store a.k.a. the bulls-eye store in over 3 months!

*Cue the ticker tape parade and the celebrations!!*

I know, I know, it is absolutely physically impossible to stay away from that store, with everything all bright and shiny and begging you to take it home. But I did it.

I have not been inside a bulls-eye store since September.

How did I do it, you ask?

The answer to that question is two beautiful little words: Fred Meyer, a lovely wonderful store that they have here in Oregon.

Now before you think I substituted mindless shopping at one store for mindless shopping at another store, hear me out: I do not mindless shop at the Fred Meyer store. Not once have I ever mindless shopped at Fred Meyer.

See, when I would go to target to get toilet paper or cat litter or food items, other things would appear in my bright red shopping cart. Magazines and books would end up in my cart. Cute little $8 t-shirts would end up in my cart. And so on and so on. I’m sure you all can relate 🙂

Even after we moved to Oregon, the whole month of August was making back and forth trips to the store with the bright red shopping carts to get things we needed. After all, we moved up here with barely anything and things like shower curtains, were a necessity.

But in September, in that glorious month of September, my husband and I needed to get groceries and we were like, “Hey, let’s just go to Fred Meyer to get our stuff”.

And we’ve never looked back.

When I go to Fred Meyer, I get exactly what I am going there for. Do they have cutesy t-shirts and beautiful scarves and the newest best-selling books? Yup. Do they have oh-my-goodness-those-are-the-cutest-boots-I’ve-ever-seen boots at Fred Meyer? Yup, they have ’em and guess what? They haven’t ended up in my cart.

I  Fred Meyer, I really do. That store has everything, and I mean everything. But the mindless shopping just doesn’t happen here. The end caps of items calling my name like they do at the bulls-eye store…it just doesn’t phase me at Fred Meyer.

Maybe at Target we are blinded by the bright red shopping carts. Those bright red shopping carts that call our name begging us to fill them up with mindless junk.

I still have a soft spot in my heart for Target. After all, they’ve taken so much of my hard-earned cash, I could be a stock holder or something by now 😉

But I am glad for my pocket book, that I haven’t been in that store for months now. And it’s not to say that I will never go in that store again. But it has been a breath of fresh air to not be holding a Target receipt and shaking my head and grumbling under my breath.

Do you have a love/hate affair with the bulls-eye store? Are you hypnotized by the bright red shopping carts? 🙂

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I know most people wait until the end of the month to post whether or not they hit their monthly goal, but I was just too exited that I completed my crafty goodness!

My one goal this month was to make handmade Christmas cards and I am done, done, done!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I love my cards and I am thrilled to have finished this project before the end of the month! I didn’t want to still be working on them over the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend 🙂

Here's what I've completed so far!

On the inside of the card, I used my trusty stamp and ink pad which I already had in my scrapbooking bin. No money spent!

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Ta da!

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I loved making my homemade, all kinds of crafty goodness, Christmas cards 🙂

Hope all of you enjoy your week and have a lovely Thanksgiving!

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I have one goal for November, which is pretty good considering we are already a week in. 😉

My one goal this month is to…drum roll please…

Make handmade Christmas cards!!

So here’s the thing; we are a family that sends out Christmas cards. I know some people think it’s an outdated tradition or they send e-cards *shudder*, but I like Christmas cards. I like to send them out and I look forward to receiving them in the mail.

But I was also looking for ways to save some money on them as the holiday budget can get a little cuckoo if one is not careful. So I thought about it and I realized that I had everything I needed already to make the cards!

See, a few years ago, I had planned to make Christmas cards from scratch. I had purchased the blank cards and envelopes and already had some stuff in my scrapbooking bin to get ’em done. But I didn’t plan out a schedule to make them. I kept putting them off and putting them off and then it was too late; I had run out of time to make the cards and had to go to the store to purchase them.

But not this year! 🙂

I have already started on some cards and I have the whole month of November to get them done. Ambitious, crafty, and frugal all mixed into one!

Here's what I've completed so far!

Here’s what I’ve completed so far!

No extra money being spent, I free up some items in my scrapbooking bin, and my friends and family get some homemade crafty goodness from yours truly

So in between watching my sports teams play this month, I will be on the couch making Christmas cards.

Getting my craft on!

Getting my craft on!

The holiday will be here before ya know it! 🙂

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Well October is over and the Halloween candy is…still here. 🙂 My daughter received quite a bit of candy from trick-or-treating and even though my husband and I my daughter has been eating it, it is still here making its presence known.

Before I get to my goal wrap-up, can I just say how beautiful Oregon is? I mean, the colors here in the trees continues to astound me. Autumn in Oregon is truly a thing of creative beauty.

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On to the goals…how did I do?

My Goals For October:

Make 2 New Recipes: Meh… I made one recipe. I really wanted to make two, but it just didn’t happen. In case you missed it I made Chicken Nuggets with Sweet Potato. Check it out!

Purchase a Winter Jacket For My Daughter: Done! Thanks Dad! You are the best grandpa 🙂

Take My Multi-Vitamin Every Day: I missed a couple of days, but I did keep track and hitting 25 out of 31 days isn’t too shabby considering how I was barely taking even one the month before.

Sock Away Some Money into our Emergency Fund: We’ve started to sell some things on Ebay, so this money will go towards the e-fund. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

Write For Me: I did get some non-blog writing done, which is a good thing but it wasn’t nearly the amount that I would have liked to write. I really need to be better disciplined at this. Any tips on how to set aside time to do this?

So that’s the deal with October. Next post I’ll talk about my one goal for November. Yes, one goal. I’m ambitious like that 😉

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