Tuesday, May 29, 2018

June! The year is 1/2 way done!

Read 20 books.
Reduce waste.
Pay off consumer debt.
Do two "low spend" months.
Eat more homemade meals.
Stick to a healthier lifestyle.
Deep clean the house.


1. Read 20 Books. Still a little behind. I finished I'll Be Gone In The Dark and started The Radium Girls - it's a little slow and not holding my attention. I saw an ad for a book on goodreads.com and started it - Dark Matter - I'm not very far, but I have NO IDEA what is going on, which is both a little frustrating, but at least I want to find out.

Reduce waste. bags bags bags. Reusable water bottles/cups. I need to cut back on straw usage though.

Pay off consumer debt. Good lord. Forever my nemesis.

Do two "low spend" months. And it is time! The "no spend" month is far too difficult and I'm only setting myself up to fail, so "low spend" it is! My goal is bring my lunch to work every day (shouldn't be too difficult, I've been doing this already!) Only have one meal out every week. No coffee shops! No clothing! No amazon purchases! No books! Just good ole fashioned low spending.

Eat more homemade meals. Heck yea! I jumped back on the weight watchers train in mid-May and find it much much easier to track what I'm eating if I am responsible for making it myself.

Stick to a healthier lifestyle. Heck yea! We got back from Alabama in mid-May and I decided it was time. I'm not thrilled with how much weight I have gained in the last few years. Nursing school really screwed me up and I graduated 7 years ago. I started using my Weight Watchers membership. I joined two Diet Bets (one ends June 17, the second ends June 25). I really want to win them (otherwise I lose $30!) I've been trying to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day - the dogs are thankful for the walks!

Deep clean the house. Nailed it. I just loaded up another trunk full of stuff to take to goodwill. Said goodbye to some fun knick knacks that can now bring someone else joy and no longer collect dust in my house and some books I will never read again. I also threw out a whole black trash bag of old, broken stuff. My goal for June is to clean out the pantry, the shelf in my closet, and the basement.


My to do list:
1. Finish the books I started this month.
2. Keep chugging along at bringing reusable bags, cups, and straws!
3. June is my second low-spend month. Let's save some money!
4. and 5. Keep eating meals at home. Keep bringing lunch to work. Keep tracking and exercising.
6. Clean up the June places. Get the house ready for Logan to move in!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May!

Read 20 books.
Reduce waste.
Pay off consumer debt.
Do two "low spend" months.
Eat more homemade meals.
Stick to a healthier lifestyle.
Deep clean the house.


1. Read 20 Books. I'm still a little "behind schedule" - I just completed my 5th book for the year. I picked up a couple books while Logan and I were on vacation in Alabama. Page & Palette is my favorite bookshop, so I couldn't miss the chance to pop in. And of course while I was there, the books just jumped out of the shelves and into my arms. Can't say no!

Reduce waste. I've been using my re-usable coffee cups a LOT and trying my damnedest to use re-usable bags (or no bags at all). It's a hard one!

Pay off consumer debt. Forever and ever.

Do two "low spend" months. June is coming for me! Eek! The two weeks before vacation I decided I wouldn't spend money on eating out. I only slipped up once in 18 days!

Eat more homemade meals. Yes! Since I was avoiding eating out before Alabama, I was definitely sticking to this one. And since I'm back on the WW saddle, I need to stick to this.

Stick to a healthier lifestyle. Yep! I fell pretty far off this horse in April. I crept back on it, but was still not fully settled in. The time to hesitate is through though. I joined my very first Diet Bet (goal to lose 8 lbs by June 19). I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Deep clean the house. Girl yes! Did I do the goals for April? No. My basement is still a nightmare and my closet shelf is no better. But is my house still way fucking cleaner than it was in January? Absolutely yes.

Summertime is here and I have a goal to be kind to myself, put my health first, and engage my brain a bit more. I have some books I am actually excited about, a Diet Bet I'm determined to win, and money I am ready to save!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Well. It's April. That happened quickly.

Read 20 books.
Reduce waste.
Pay off consumer debt.
Do two "low spend" months.
Eat more homemade meals.
Stick to a healthier lifestyle.
Deep clean the house.


1. Read 20 Books. I fell a little behind. I'll explain here in a second.

Reduce waste. I would like to say that I am doing this in the ways that I can. I have been re-using plastic bags, but mostly using re-usable fabric grocery sacks when shopping. I have also been using wash cloths for most kitchen clean up rather than paper towels. Those kind of things. BUT we rented a dumpster and so I feel like by filling it with old carpet, carpet pads, bathroom counters, etc I definitely met my waste threshold for the year. Good lord. I threw away so much old, worthless stuff. All this means is that I really need to be on my a-game for the rest of the year.

Pay off consumer debt. Chugging along. Except that I bought $2K of flooring at home depot and put it on my home depot consumer card. Shit.

Do two "low spend" months. I am going to do this in June! I am also trying to do it this month - not as extreme as I will in June though. BUT for April I am going to only get coffee out and about once/week, cut back on eating out significantly, and bring my lunch to work every day! EVERY DAY.

Eat more homemade meals. Yikes. YIKES. I fell a little behind. I'll give my excuse in a second.

Stick to a healthier lifestyle. God dammit. I need to climb back on this horse.

Deep clean the house. FINALLY. A goal that I met in March. Thank goodness I stuck with one of them. I went through both bathrooms (see below), most my closet (I need to do the shelf still), the office closet, the office desk, and the guest room. For April, I am going to do the shelf in my closet and the basement.

So here's what happened in February/March. I had a little goal of updating the hallway bathtub. Pretty simple little project. There is a kit and I read some blogs/watched some videos. You buy this nasty epoxy paint and a respirator mask and go to town. That turned into have a gorgeous bathtub (its hardly brand new, but good lord, a HUGE improvement). If you have a gorgeous bathtub, you need to have a nice vanity and sink. And if you are going to update that, you might as well put down a new floor since the new vanity is, of course, not the same size as the old one. And if you are going to put down a new floor, you might as well paint the walls. And since you are painting the walls, might as well paint the ceiling. And if you are going to paint the walls and ceiling, its a good opportunity to get a new medicine cabinet. See what happened? It only gets worse. Because if you update the hallway bathroom, you really need to update the other bathroom in the house. So another new vanity, another new sink, another new medicine cabinet, new shelves AND a new toilet. Oh! And I'm getting carpet installed in my upstairs bedrooms next week. AND Logan and I put in Lifeproof vinyl plank flooring in the living room, hallway, and kitchen. Hence falling off the wagon on the reducing consumer debt thing.

And because we have been doing projects damn near every evening since mid-February, I've barely read anything.

And because I have been pooped out from home improvement projects, we have been grabbing something while we are out running errands. Or ordering something to be delivered. I legit didn't go to the grocery store for 2 weeks. Which means a lot of ordering in/dining out and leftovers. And I had to buy my lunch almost every day. Not good! And we worked on these projects every day after work and every day we were off work. Which means no 9Round for me. Yikes. The perfect storm for slipping up and failing.

But here's the good news - the lion's share of the home improvement projects are done. Which means I'm climbing back on the horse. AND I had a giant dumpster in the driveway for 10 days. So I did a LOT of throwing away. So much old stuff. So much broken stuff. I also donated a trunk full of housewares, clothing, decorations. That felt nice. I cleaned out my closet and found a HUGE box of notes/homework/lectures from nursing school. Throwing that in the recycling bin was pretty cathartic.

But now it's April and I need to get back to caring for myself!

My to do list:
1. Start reading before bed again.
2. Keep using the reusables!
3. Keep paying shit down.
4. Keep applying the "low spend" mindset - start a low spend month in June.
5. Restart eating at home.
6. Start going to 9R again. Keep drinking water.
7. Clean the April rooms.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

It's February!

Read 20 books.
Reduce waste.
Pay off consumer debt.
Do two "low spend" months.
Eat more homemade meals.
Stick to a healthier lifestyle.
Deep clean the house.


1. Read 20 Books. Earlier this month I read a thing saying that if you read for 30 minutes before bed (the same amount of time you tinker around on your phone before bed), you would read about 175-200 pages every week. That being said, it should be easier to read 20 books this year! I'm almost finished with The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up... and am about 1/2 through The Power. Not gonna lie, the book about tidying up is kind of blowing my mind - I guess I've been doing it wrong the whole time.

Reduce waste. I have actually been doing REALLY good at this one. I recycled most of my plastic grocery bags. I still use some for things like animal waste clean-up (thanks, dog vomit!) and the bathroom trash cans. But I have been using reusable grocery bags so much I ran out of plastic ones! I had to pat myself on the back when that happened! I've also been using my water cup at work more (instead of getting styrofoam cups) and using my reusable coffee cups more. AND I've been working on filling the first half of my compost bin, so all of the fruit/veggie food scraps go in there. I barely had a full trash bag to take out last week!

Pay off consumer debt. Chugging along - my tax refund will take a big bite out of this.

Do two "no spend" months. (I am amending this to "low-spend months") So January was my first "low spend month" and I didn't do super great at it. The first two weeks I destroyed it! I didn't buy anything outside of necessities on my grocery list, didn't buy coffee, didn't buy clothes. The third week I started slacking and the fourth week I went down the tubes. I went out to dinner more than once/week. I bought lunch at work instead of bringing it. I went and got coffee during work a couple days a week. Better than I was doing? Sure. As good as I set out to be? Nope. It did kind of reiterate how spending less money is what I need to be doing. I think I'll set my next low-spend month for the summer time - maybe June or July.

Eat more homemade meals. I have for SURE been eating more homemade meals. Every breakfast and most lunches and dinners have been homemade. I feel like I have a lot more control over what I am eating when I eat at home.

Stick to a healthier lifestyle. Again, I was kicking butt at this for the first two weeks. And then I started slacking. I'm back on the wagon though! Even though Logan and I are going to grill cheeseburgers for dinner.

Deep clean the house. I'm a little torn on this goal. One of my plans was to do one room a month. Really focus and throw things out. BUT THEN I READ The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and she actually comes out and says that this plan is hugely flawed. Harumphf. Unfortunately, I don't have the time nor the space to line up every single item in my entire house at the same time. I think for the most part I can accomplish my goal by doing it one room at a time. Hi, my name is Rachel and I have too much stuff. (Hi Rachel!) Either way, my first room was the kitchen and I really did good! I was able to throw out a lot (broken things, items missing pieces, empty boxes that got put back in the pantry, etc). I think my next "room" for February will be the hallway closet, guest bedroom, and hallway bathroom. There isn't much in any of those rooms, so I don't think it will be terribly difficult to do them all together.

My to do list:
1. Keep reading before bed.
2. Keep using the reusables!
3. Keep paying shit down.
4. Nothing here - keep applying the "low spend" mindset
5. Keep eating at home.
6. Keep going to 9R. Keep drinking water.
7. Clean the February rooms.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

This is the new year! New goals!

Hello, 2018! I am looking forward to setting new goals, honing in on some old news with new focus and new direction, and getting some shit done in 2018. Let's do this! My goals for 2018 (in no particular order):

Read 20 books.
Reduce waste.
Pay off consumer debt.
Do two "no spend" months.
Eat more homemade meals.
Stick to a healthier lifestyle.
Deep clean the house.


1. Read 20 Books. I really like reading. I started thinking about the years that I read much more than I have recently. What's changed? One thing is the amount of time I spend at home - between work, 9Round, driving around to places, and Logan's house, I am not home as much as I used to be. I should really try to bring a book with me to Logan's house. Or maybe I can get the kindle app on my phone and have a book of short stories queued up to look at rather than flipping through lists of crap on Buzzfeed. The point is, I am resetting my goal of reading 20 books in 2018. I feel short in 2017 and this is something I *want* to do rather than *need* to do.

Reduce waste. In the trunk of my car, I have a laundry basket. In that laundry basket is a stack of reusable grocery bags. Do you know what I forget to bring with me damn near every time i go to the grocery store? THE BAGS. Yesterday I cleaned out the floor of my pantry. I have a few big bags stuffed to the brim with more plastic grocery bags. Easily a hundred of them. Which is stupid because I get out of my car, walk past the trunk and walk right into the grocery store, where I just get even more plastic sacks. So I decided yesterday to do better about this. I am also really bad about getting coffee in disposable cups even though I have a few reusable ones. I can do better.

Pay off consumer debt. Ugh. In 2018, I will pay off my windows (seriously though, I am so close!) and credit card. I'm going to do it, dammit! I took a retirement seminar through work recently and even though I have heard the whole "every dollar spent is a dollar not saved" schpeal before, it really kind of sunk in. Even if I am putting that money into a shorter term savings account rather than a retirement account. It would be pretty baller to be able to just write a check for new siding or new flooring rather than have to take out some consumer loan for it. That takes me to my next goal...

Do two "no spend" months. I did a couple "no spend" periods last year. They are hard! As a reminder to myself, a "no spend challenge" is when you can spend money on the necessities - bills, gas, groceries - but that's where the spending stops, no matter how good the deal is. I give myself a couple allowances though. I will allow myself to have $20 on a starbucks gift card (but once it is gone, no more starbucks for the month) and one restaurant meal/week. All the other things I find myself spending money on have to call it quits for the month. That means no frequent restaurant trips, no clothing/shoes/accessories, no cute toys for the dogs (they have plenty), no extra stuff at the grocery store, no target trips. I am actually going to make my first one in January. From January 1-31st. No spending!

Eat more homemade meals. This shouldn't be super hard to do since I can't spend money for 17% of the year! I also got a couple cookbooks for Christmas and have dogeared some recipes that I want to try. And I got an InstantPot a couple weeks ago and have really put it to good use already, but I want to keep using it! Although, I will say that it's a little misleading and some recipes are much quicker to just whip up using regular pots/pans.

Stick to a healthier lifestyle. The goal that is always set. Sigh. But seriously, I need to get it together. This body isn't getting any younger. Going to the gym is great, but I need to follow that up with eating better - sticking to something as simple as Michael Pollan's suggestion, "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants" (which also means to not eat "almost-foods" - processed foods.) I think by eating more meals at home and limiting how much I can eat out at restaurants, I should get to this goal pretty well. I'm also going to *actually* stick with Weight Watchers. And while I don't ALWAYS agree with their point system (I feel like a hotdog should be worth WAY more points than a handful of chocolate covered raisins, but here we are), I did lose weight using it. Consistency is key.

Deep clean the house. Similar to 2017's goal of "do little things around the house," but this one involves CLEANING. And holy cow do I need to CLEAN. I am going to give myself a different room every month to seriously clean. Get rid of stuff I don't need, want, or use. Get under the beds and into the closets and the nooks and the crannies. First month - kitchen. (I'm already a step ahead, I cleaned out the floor of the pantry yesterday. Turns out, I had a few just random empty cardboard boxes down there. For no reason. Makes no sense.)

So here we go, 2018! Let's get to work!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Pay off credit cards.
Go to the gym.
Do little things around the house.
Read 20 books.

Pay off credit cards. So while I did chip away at consumer debt, it's still lingering. I'll take care of it in 2018. For sure.

Go to the gym. One of the things that I told myself I would do consistently through 2017 was go to the gym. I was paying a monthly membership fee and just wasn't going. I could come up with some pretty pathetic excuses. I finally started going in the fall and I am happy I did. I have a gym buddy who works just as a ridiculous schedule as I do, so hopefully she will keep me on the up and up with going in 2018. Although, I really need to get in the habit of not depending on someone else to motivate me to go.

Do little things around the house. I did *some* little things around my house - getting my deck fixed and painted was a HUGE accomplishment for me. It was a LOT of work, but I'm happy it happened. Also getting the cat to the vet was a big accomplishment (I slacked and she hadn't gone for years. I know she is little, but holy crap it is scary getting her into the cat carrier). I'll probably continue this as a goal in 2018, but I have a different way I am going to do it.

Read 20 books. Well. Fuck. I did NOT read 20 books in 2017. I came close though! Well, 16 books. I honestly just couldn't get into it. I spent more time on my phone right before bed, which isn't good for a few reasons (vision, being distracted by nonsense right before bed, looking at lists of cute items with the links built in and BUYING STUFF RIGHT BEFORE BED) and should have put my dang phone down and cracked open a book. I need to do better that that.


I have some new goals for 2018 - they are a bit more focused and specific than the goals I had for 2017. Hopefully I can use this focus to stay heading in the right direction for 2018 and actually accomplish some things. Hey, a girl can dream!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Pay off credit cards.
Go to the gym.
Do little things around the house.
Read 20 books.

Pay off credit cards. Guess what is going to be the main goal for 2018? Ding ding ding! Fuck you, credit card.

Go to the gym. Holllllllller! I've been going to 9R 2-3 times/week.

Do little things around the house. Nailed it! I set up my little garden in the basement with a plant lamp and a heating pad. I am growing some herbs and I just planted a few different types of salad greens and some cherry tomato plants. I hope it grows and grows and grows! I am bringing my citronella plant back from the dead - such a bummer that the cold weather snuck up on me when I got home from vacation in October and it got the best of my citronella. My mints and lavender are still chugging along.

Read 20 books. I have to finish 4 books by the end of the year. I don't think I will make it. Eep!