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Friday, December 20, 2013

Do I Really Need That?


It's that time of year. Zara's biannual sale. You know of my love for Zara. And their winter sale is really the only one I get excited about, although I have been known to love their summer fit and flare sale dresses. I just think their winter clothes are better constructed as their summer stuff tends to be flimsy. My mom has had to repair two summer blazers for me, whereas my black winter blazers, constructed of thicker material, have held up very well the last couple of winters.

So you would think I'd be all about the sale that started at midnight. Oh I am. Oh. yeah. I. am. I perused the site. I added junk to my cart. And just as I was about to whip out my credit card and pull the trigger on my purchases, I stopped myself.

Wait? Why? It's the winter sale! It's the most wonderful time of the year! It's gymnasts doing the ribbon dance. It's belting out your favorite song in the shower. It's snow angles and early birthdays. Okay, some of those may be a stretch. But it's a pretty good sale.

I stopped myself because I'm about to turn 42. I just recently started contributing to my 401K account after a one-year lapse of changing jobs and having to wait the appropriate amount of time. I have to rebuild my savings after our move back to FL, one house sale, and one house purchase all in a year's time. I stopped myself because starting in January, I am on a three-year plan to financial freedom. That's right - all debt, including my car and all credit cards - will be paid off (if all goes as planned) in three years. Some will be done in one year, some two, and the last bit - in three years. Why three years? Well, I'm not doing the snowball method. That method involves paying as much as you can toward one card, then when it's paid off, you attack the next card and put the money from the first card toward the second and so on. For me, it was about doing things slow and steady and making it feasible without strapping my finances so much that I would give up and fall back into my old ways. Ways that have been prevalent since my first Sears credit card purchase at 18. And I remember my first credit card purchase - it was a CD player and mount for my car.

So the credit cards are going in a safe place and it's cash only starting January 1, 2014. Only I can hold myself accountable for this. And since this is such a personal journey,  I'm debating starting another blog strictly about debt and getting out of it to keep myself on track. Not sure I'm ready to make that leap yet and divulge that much info about myself.

I do know that by the time I'm 45, I don't want to be confined to the type of work, job, or salary I have to do or make just to keep up my lifestyle. I want to sleep soundly at night and know that in 20 years, I'm not sharing food with my dog.







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Thursday, December 19, 2013

And the Sickness Is...

I have bronchitiiiisssss! (shouted in free car giveaway Oprah voice). I didn't get a free car but an antibiotic and a cough suppressant with codeine. Night night.

I originally went to one of those CVS Minute Clinics yesterday where the Nurse Practitioner said, "You have an upper respiratory infection." Fancy term for "cold." No antibiotic and a non-narcotic cough suppressant that made me sleepy but didn't stop the cough. Last night I was feeling really bad. I stumbled down to the kitchen where I plunked down on the cool tile floor until I could calm down my breathing and whatever flippin' panic, weird attack I was having. I also had a fever. Scared my dog. She immediately headed to my husband and scratched at his legs to pick her up. She rarely does that. Poor, confused baby. She's laying in bed with me right now as I type this. Mommy and Woozie time.

At 8am, I was on the phone to my old doctor in Brandon who took care of me before we moved to Connecticut. They had one opening left and I shouted, "I'll take it!" My cough has been so painful and moved into my chest. I'm so glad I made the appointment. After listening to my lungs, he said, "Your right lung is inflamed. You have bronchitis." I knew it! I knew it wasn't just a cold. I spoke to my mom when I was at the pharmacy who said, "We just know our bodies and when something isn't right." So true.

So I'm hoping to start feeling better soon. And did you know bronchitis was very contagious? And that it starts when another person sneezes or coughs near you. Oh big surprise there, huh?

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Just add a skinny jean!

So I've been sick in bed for the last couple of days. Caught an airborne cold from a co-worker. Don't you love when co-workers come into the office and start hacking all over? It's a sure recipe for sickness for me! Please, hack into your hands and then touch common doors. Beautiful!

So while I'm hanging in bed doing nothing but resting and trying to convert a cookbook to electronic form (taking pics with my iPhone, saving to my computer, and uploading to a secret board on Pinterest), I was watching the Today show, which turns into a local talk-about-whatever show at 10am. I saw a popular Florida blogger who was sitting with another stylist doing a Fashion Police sort of segment. While the stylist was talking about body shape and what would be more flattering on the celebrity, wouldn't you know that the blogger chimed in, "Add a skinny jean." Yep, it was that fashion blogger. Very concerned about looking at the camera and everything in front of her instead of focusing on the screen behind her where the pics of the celebrities were shown. Her voice is much deeper than I thought and the eye thing wasn't as prominent on TV. She had on a very cute Christmas outfit and did well in another segment. But I gotta tell ya, there's an underlying bitchiness to her, which just rubs me the wrong way.

Although a couple rooms are not quite yet done, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at some room elements taken with my iPhone. I did a little $10 table lamp makeover on Saturday. This lamp used to have a black base with a very dusty beige shade. It sat at my sister's house for several years while we lived up north. I've never incorporated orange in a room before but thought with the gray walls and white bedding, it would be a very cheery combo. My inspiration is a piece of artwork being delivered on Thursday, which is just perfect for the guest room. And I totally forgot about the Kate Spade box that houses my earplugs, but matches the Target lampshade perfectly! What a happy coincidence, don't you think?  I've been camping out in the guest room while sick to keep my germs away from hubby (hence the unmade bed). I keep looking at the lamp and it puts a smile on my face.



And here's a cheap DIY art project I did a few weekends ago for the dining room. The dining room is the only room in the house so far that has an eclectic, mid-century look, which is quite different from the coastal look in many of the rooms on the first floor. My husband has a few nice art pieces that weren't working with the coastal theme. So the dining room became more formal than other parts of the house. I saw this DIY project on Pinterest and decided to copy it. It's my first time painting on canvas and was super easy. I think it looks okay and we'll hang it and see how it looks and what kind of comments it garners. They may have to come down if I hear "is that your kids' artwork?'



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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Posts Next Week

I've been in all-day training at work this week and have been exhausted at night. Until I can get through this mortgage application training and breathe a little more next week (two holiday work luncheons!), there won't be any posts this week. Sometimes the day job takes precedence over the blog and I just don't have much spare time to post. Thanks for understanding. I'll show you my office, the non-fireplace living room, and the guest room as they are all almost complete. Finishing up the painting tonight in the guest room. The dining room floors are about 3/4 done and we'll do the final push this weekend. Stay tuned!
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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Target Outfit

Judging by the crickets out there on my home improvement posts, I feel like an outfit post is needed.  Yes? I guess that makes sense. Takes me days to do the home improvements but minutes to do the outfit posts. I started this blog two years ago as primarily a place to showcase my daily outfits. But a lot has changed in two years. I no longer live in a climate that has seasons (it was in the 80s today. Jealous? Don't be. It doesn't feel like Christmas with the A/C turned on). I no longer work in an office where I need to dress up. And my new year's resolution is to be completely debt free in three years. Yep. I'm tired of it. Tired of squeaking by. 

To be honest with you, clothes just don't mean as much to me as they did two years ago, even a year ago. I find it trivial and an expensive habit. I'm about to turn 42 and I want financial freedom and good health (I'm relying more and more on my bifocals as of late and my knees snap something fierce going upstairs). I want my weekends to be filled with sleep, comfort, and the occasional dinner out, etc. I want a peaceful life without having to worry about how much I've saved and what I still have to pay off. Does that make sense? Maybe it's my age, maybe it's seeing others around me getting older and having harder times finding employment. I do what I can to stay marketable. I learn new skills and try to stay abreast of technology. In fact, I'm going to an online help conference in San Diego in April. I can't wait. I love California. If it weren't so expensive to live there and my family was located there, I'd move in a heartbeat. Who wouldn't? Perfect weather and lovely scenery.

So I apologize for the lack of outfit posts. I think once the holidays are over, I'll be able to slow down on the room renovations, rest a bit more, and focus a little more on my appearance. I'm having to take pictures when I get home now. Once Daylight Savings time ended and it started getting darker earlier, traffic increased and it was taking me an hour and a half to get home. Not good. So I switched my hours and I now wake at 5:30am to be at work by 7:30. I leave at 4 and am usually home by 5. It's nice to not have to drive in the dark. Again - the whole faulty eye thing kicking in.




(Pants and Top: Target (on sale!) | Shoes: Nine West | Necklace: Talbots}




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