Ch-ch-changes.

9 Jun

I accidentally bought a car last night.

About six months ago, my mother proposed a deal to me. My ’95 Thunderbird (AKA the Granny Wagon) had a lot of mileage on it, and gets about 20 miles per gallon. My mother was looking at getting a new car that had more seating room in it, and decided to sell her nice little Hyundai that was only 5 years old or so. This was a plan set to happen towards the end of this year, or maybe next year. Yesterday the Granny Wagon’s engine light came on, which the coasjfkjsnfsdaaslkjlske (I don’t know car stuff) needed repair for $500, and there was about $1200 of other miscellaneous things that weren’t critical.

Needless to say, my parents now have a Kia Sorrento which is pretty sweet, and I now have a nice little Sonata. They sold it to me with family discount of a few thousand, and since I already had most of it saved up I’m not too put out. Also, I will save so much more on gas. Granny Wagon was only a two-door which was a pain in the ass, sometimes.

I love my parents, they are so rad.

Tonight, I’m making Southwestern Skillet Burgers. If they turn out pretty good I’ll take some pictures and post the recipe! YUM.

Saving for a house.

7 Jun

We are saving for a house, which started off cute and fun, but now the novelty is starting to wear off. I’m quite frugal with money already, so saving up has taken on a life of it’s own. I’m picking up a shift on Friday that involves a long and probably painful drive, but I will make a nice little sum to put towards our sad little fund. Living in California means high cost of living, and high housing prices. Even in this down economy saving for a house means putting away quite a bit of money. I’m excited though, looking on houses on Realtor.com is fun as long as I don’t look too far out of our price range! Together we have a pretty meager income, so we are trying to put away $200 a month while we focus on improving our careers. In addition to that, I have my car fund for a new (used) car, because my poor vehicle is starting to get quite old and unreliable. I haven’t done too much budget slashing, but we have found a few ways of cutting down on our costs. I bring a lunch to work that I make instead of buying frozen or premade food, and stopped getting Starbucks all the time and instead I brew coffee at home. Those have both helped my wallet, and my health!

What are you saving up for, and how?

A boy and his dog.

6 Jun

I’ve been working all day and then went to dinner/trivia afterwards so I haven’t had time to write a post yet. Picture post to make up for lack of writing!

I don’t know who loves it more.

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Jalapeno pepper plant!

5 Jun

Jalapeno pepper plant!

Here is our jalapeno plant, there’s already some little buds starting!

My little backyard paradise.

3 Jun

I never really had much interest in gardening until this past winter.  I always saw gardening as time-consuming and dull. Why garden in the summer when you can go play in the pool and swim!  However, after reading a great book You Grow Girl by Gayla Trail, and numerous pins on Pinterest I decided I will give it a shot.  I live in an apartment so I don’t have a backyard of my own, I’ve got to rely on container gardening.

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Yes, my photography skills are lacking.  Bear with me.  Nice broom and nasty half chewed bone dog toy sitting there, real classy.

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So far I’ve got herbs (using the super cute Simple Garden kit!  Comes with oregano, basil, and cilantro.  Most of my cilantro died though, not from the kit but from my green fingers of death!)

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My BEAUTIFUL begonias!  My mom helped me EXTENSIVELY with the flowers.  I’m a terrible beginner gardener, and need all the help I can get!

 

SOON TO COME:  Jalapeno plant!  Bossy Britches’ Boyfriend LOVES jalapenos, so I bought a plant that so we can get our own fresh peppers!  It is residing at my mom’s house at the moment, and I’m going over there later to transfer it to a pot to bring it home!

 

BONUS PHOTO:

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The deer that live in the woods by our complex. There’s two hiding in the photo 🙂

 

Shine

3 Jun

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Confessions of a Former Junkfood Junkie

3 Jun

As a child, I was skinny as a beanpole and a very picky eater.  I didn’t fill out until after college, and I was still a pretty picky eater until high school.  I could eat whatever delicious disgusting “foods” I wanted and have no ill effects (besides my internal organs slowly becoming radioactive).  After college I got a desk job, and all that running to and from class calorie-burning was non-existent.  A few months ago I stepped on the scale and nearly passed out.  While I’m not overweight for my height, I am definitely out of shape and not at my healthiest.  I decided to go on a Personal Quest for Eating Right and Exercising.  (If I capitalize the letters, it makes it seem more important.

Now, I start a Personal Quest once or twice a year, and it often peters out when it becomes too a) expensive for me to justify or b) I break the routine and go back to my dark, delicious ways.  However, this time I have actually stuck with it for longer than I usually have, and I’m much more positive and motivated.  I’m about four months in, and it’s getting better each week.  Here are some things I did differently:

1)  I started slowly.  In the past, I tended to just jump in by going to the store and buy tons of fruits and veggies that I wind up eating half of and forgetting about the rest.  I bought a gym membership and went about four times and then kept coming up with excuses in my brain to not go, because I was embarrassed to go and be out of shape, not cute looking, and awkward on the machines.  I was also of the idea that all I needed really was to do cardio, weight-lifting is for the people that want to bulk up.  Instead, I incorporated buying a few more fruits and veggies and not quite as many junk food items.  Then, I can slowly incorporate healthy snacks instead of half a bag of Milanos.  When it comes to exercise, I work out at home with a few different DVDs that I like.  I work out in the morning, otherwise it won’t get done, and it is a combination of strength and cardio.  I’ve also tried being more active when I get home.  I know I want to just collapse on the sofa, but I will do some household chores that I usually leave for the weekend just to keep my body going.

2) I treat myself.  If you hate junk food, then you are amazing.  I am still working on it.  If I totally cut it out, I’ve found that I will just start slowly letting it back in because “I’ve been doing so great!  I deserve a reward!”  But instead of one or two small items it becomes a shopping trip filling with Pop-tarts and Pizza Pockets. (Wow, what’s with all my alliteration tonight?  Sorry guys!)  For treats and desserts, instead of the usual option I’ve tried finding healthier(ish) alternatives.  It’s a process.  Instead of a carton of ice cream, I’ve been buying Skinny Cow cones and bars.  Having  a bar or cone restricts the amount I can scoop into my bowl, I just take one instead of giving myself too much leeway.  Training myself feels totally silly but it’s working!

3) Cooking homemade meals.  Cooking homemade makes me know what I’m putting into my food, and the outcome is (usually) way better than frozen or packaged food!  Unless I screw up the recipe…then it’s gross.

I’ve basically had to go back to the basics, and treat myself as if I am a five year old that has no idea what is good or bad for themselves.  It’s gotten me to research organic foods, what foods claim to be healthy but might not be, and different alternatives to junk foods.  Maybe in a future post, I’ll share some of the products I love that taste great, in case anyone out there is trying so hard to eat better, but can’t quite come up with the right solution.

I haven’t lost much weight, but I have lost some inches.  I feel like I have more energy and I’ve found that I don’t like sitting for prolonged periods as much anymore.  I’m way more motivated, and I can feel the difference in my body.  Sometimes when I’m walking down the aisles I do miss chowing down a whole bag of Pirate’s Booty, but I’m so glad that I’ve started this!