time to change the record

I have to make some changes. LOTS of changes. But I’m only focusing on two things for now: finances and diet.

I’ve been spending too much money and having more than one cheat day a week. I’m paying for my financial irresponsibility big time. As far as my eating goes, I weigh 126 pounds when I should weigh a little less. Not a big deal, but I don’t want to get back up to 130.

I spent an absurd amount at ThredUp last night (an online thrift store – amazing and so addictive!). That’s when I knew it was time to get my shit together. I’m not going to say no more clothes…yet. I still may get a birthday fix (from Stitch Fix). But I’m not going crazy anymore. I have enough clothes.

I’m still going to continue to blog about the clothes (Stitch Fix, LeTote*, etc.) and things I get on this blog; there is no reason for me to start a separate blog for that since I’m not doing it that often anymore. This is just a one-time thing where I got a lot of stuff. In two months, I probably won’t have any of these hauls or review type posts.

*I just did an unboxing of my LeTote box on snap chat. (userename: kat3x5). The snaps will stay up until Wednesday afternoon. I will do a blog post on what I got whenever I just need to unwind or when I have the time. Whichever comes first.

So yes, my HUGE haul from ThredUp will be coming in about ten days. I love doing these kinds of posts, but I can’t continue if I’m not getting anything. Obvs.

I’m talking more about finances than diet because that is more important. And my diet (way of eating) doesn’t feel as out of control at the moment. But I definitely want to focus on both.

———

I have to scream about DC and the parking situation. The Tori Kelly concert is this Saturday. Now I’m planning on going straight to Arlington, VA for a couple of hours and then head to DC an hour before the show starts. I’m not sure what I’m going to do in Arlington. Not to sound disrespectful, but I’ve been to Arlington National Cemetery SEVERAL times so I probably won’t do that. I may just hang out around the Pentagon or go to the (fashion) mall. If I go to the mall, I can grab something to eat. That is what I will probably end up doing.

I don’t have much time to figure it out so I better make a decision.

Of course, my car’s engine light is on. Perfect timing. Hopefully, it will go off today. If I have to take the bus to DC, I will…even though I already paid $25 for parking. As of right now, I’m driving to Washington with the engine light on. It’s not that far.

This is one of my busiest weeks ever. And that doesn’t include work. My planner is nuts. I haven’t had it this full in a while. I’m taking off May 4th for a mental health day. ROFL. I need a day off now. Why did I wait until May? What sense does that make? Well, I didn’t want to be behind. The company doesn’t give a shit about me, but I care about not getting behind.

shake me from stuff hallucinations

I get a few days off and I become a posting machine. I can’t remember the last time I’ve done this many entries back to back. Anyway, here is a newsflash: I AM NOT A MINIMALIST. Sigh.  I’m just trying to get back to where I was 5 years ago. I didn’t buy stuff just to buy stuff. I put my money in savings. Now I really, really, really need to put money in savings and I’m still spending too much.

Bleh. Perhaps looking at my dream house will help? Maybe I need to look at a pic of it every day. My dream house isn’t extravagant. It is attainable. I have good credit.  I just have to save for a downpayment of $25,000 or less. The house I was just looking at is on 6 acres (privacy!) and I would “only” need to put $18,000 down. 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths. 1,040 sqft. Yeah, it is a little big for me, but I care more about the acres than the number of bedrooms. That should be motivation enough. Maybe it is??? I need to think about this house or any house every single day.

Like I previously posted, I bought a new purse and clothes from Forever 21. That isn’t all. My dry cleaning was $60. I had no idea it would be that high. Those were my designer clothes I was dry cleaning just in case. WTF? That isn’t all. I bought a new planner:

my new planner

my new planner

Before you judge, I’ve been using my Plum Paper Planner for 8 whole months. lol. That is a long time in planner world. This one cost me $14 at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon. So not too bad. But did I need it? NO. It is a planner from Me And My Big Ideas: The Happy Planner. I decided to buy it because I was kind of getting tired of using the PPP. It is an 18-month planner. If I like it, I plan to use it until at least June 2016.

I’m a Filofax/Kikki.K girl so this will take some getting used to. I swore off coiled or disc bound planners. There aren’t any folders in the planner. Where do I put my stuff? haha. (I know some can be purchased…). I did purchase extra note pages because a planner ain’t a planner without note pages. It will take a while to see if I like it.

Here is a walk through of the planner. I also have some of the accessories she has (the extra covers, note pages and stickers).

This is my confession. I suck at money. This is sort of a new struggle for me. I did put some money in savings but geez. I have to see that buying stuff is useless and won’t get me near my goals of travel and a house in the middle of nowhere. I know becoming a minimalist takes time for most people. I did declutter (not completely yet). I will give myself some credit. I don’t have a huge problem throwing stuff away and donating stuff.

New Rules

  • No more clothes/purses/shoes through May 2016.
  • No more planner related items through January 2016 (so, so, so hard).
  • Keep grocery bill under $115 every 3 weeks.
  • No credit card use.
  • Declutter until I’m done weekly. Fill donation bags and trash can every week.

I should probably add stop watching non-minimalists on YouTube. But I’m thinking I can watch YouTubers I’m subscribed to and not get caught up. I feel like I should be able to. And no, YouTubers aren’t to blame. Our society encourages people to buy. Being a minimalist is against everything we are taught in the Western world. MORE MORE MORE. You don’t want MORE? What is wrong with you? Are you settling? Uh, no. I just don’t desire the same things as everyone else. #DifferentDefintionsOfLiving

Besides most of  the people on YouTube make twice what I make or the younger ones have well-off parents.  They can afford to spend what they spend. I’m not in their boat.

———-

I now weigh 123! I stopped Nutrisystem, have cheat days and I lose weight. Interesting. My next cheat days are going to be the two days of Thanksgiving. I have never sat for a Thanksgiving dinner. Ever. Thank Buddha. But sometimes my mom will cook and I take the food home. So I’m going all out for those two days. Cake, pizza, cornish hen, stuffing, bread etc. That’s the plan. TWO cheat days next month. YAY. 🙂 But until then I will be on my 1,200 – 1,500 calorie “diet”.

When I went to my health screening, the nurse told me if I lose any more weight, I will be underweight. I’m not concerned about that. I was chronically underweight 5-6 years ago. I don’t think that will happen again. I’m otherwise healthy. However, I wish my blood pressure were lower. It isn’t too high, but I could see it going there. She saw how nervous I was and thought it might be due to that. But nah, my BP has been that way for about 6 months.

keeping it 100

I finished reading The Power of 100! Kickstart Your Dreams, Build Momentum, and Discover Unlimited Possibility by Shaun King. The following is what I came up with while reading the book. My list is not finished. Btw, this might seem like a bucket list, but it isn’t supposed to be that way. I don’t want to spoil the book, but I will say these are the categories he came up with. I like them so I went with that. As far as the dates in parentheses go, that is a rough idea of when I would like to accomplish each. I have a physical health* problem that I’ve never blogged about (and maybe never will), and that is what makes it so hard to come up with when I want goals done. Some things won’t be able to be done within the next 2-3 years due to that. So I’ve tried to keep that in mind and be pragmatic as possible.  Some things have no dates. Working on it.

*I think my mental health issues are well-documented. 😉

Generosity

  • Do a charity walk (by 2016)
  • Join Peace Corps (by 2040)
  • Donate 5% of my income to an animal related charity. (by 2016)
  • Donate 5% of my income to a human related charity (by 2016)
  • Help people become responsible citizens after they get out of prison.

Health & Fitness

  • Go to the gym 3x a month. (by  2015)
  • Maintain a healthy BMI (starting now to infinity)
  • Take swimming lessons. (by 2018)
  • Take tennis lessons. (by 2019)
  • Master Pilates (by 2018)
  • Take an online yoga class (2015)
  • Do yoga at least 3 times a week. (2015)

Career & Finance

  • No credit cards or credit card debt. (by 2020)
  • Have a flexible job I like working from home (by 2017)
  • Retire early from full-time work. (by 2035)
  • Have an ER fund of $6000.00 (by 2020)
  • Find a career mentor.
  • Stop working and take a sabbatical for 3 months.
  • Work less, take more time off (2016)
  • Reduce work hours without compromising productivity. (Starting now)
  • Find a career that doesn’t feel like work. (by 2021)
  • Update resume. (2015)
  • Shadow a social worker to learn about that job. (by 2018)
  • Make at least $60,000 a year. (by 2025)

Spirit & Emotion

  • Tap daily in the afternoon (starting now)
  • Meditate each morning (starting now)
  • Read everything I can about minimalism. (by 2015)

Travel

  • Do a road trip from where I live to California. (by 2018)
  • Vacation in Bora Bora. (by 2025)
  • Vacation in Puerto Vallarta for a week. (by 2019 )
  • Visit every continent in the world. (by 2035)
  • Visit France.
  • Visit Hawaii.

Friends and Family

  • Go to Vegas with my mom. (by 2018)
  • Be a friend to someone in need.
  • Reconnect with my sister.

Accomplishments and Experience

  • Finish the novel I started (by 2016)
  • Re-learn how to play guitar. (by 2018)
  • See Ellie Goulding in concert (by 2016)
  • Take horseback riding lessons (by 2017)
  • Attend a Spanish immersion school in Oaxaca, Mexico. (by 2021)
  • Go to the U.S Open in NYC (by 2019)
  • Attend the Grammy’s. (by 2020)
  • Buy and/or build my dream house (by 2025)
  • Change the oil myself in my car. (by 2016)
  • Join Toastmasters ( by 2018)

Each year I want to write my main goals in my planner and focus on accomplishing them. At the beginning of the year, I will write action steps to complete the goal. When I finish my list, I’ll add it as a page at the top of this blog. I’m going now. I think I’m working late tonight.

never my intention to brag

I did a September goals post, but it got deleted by WordPress. Thanks a lot! I think I’m done with monthly goals or at least posting them here. I’m more focused on my long term goals. My long term goals are simple. In order to achieve them, I need to pay off debt and have a decent amount in savings. I’m currently underwater. So I need to focus on the more important things first.

And I need to make decisions on some things. Do I really want my Master’s when all the jobs I might want require experience in the field? Also, I’m still not sure I want to even enter that field. I could stay on track with what I’m doing now. That requires a lot of learning, but I like the challenge. I’m currently leaning towards NO on the Master’s. But ask me in 5 years.

In 5 years or less, I will have no debt. (be bold!) I will start saving for a downpayment on a house IF I am 100% sure of where I want to live. Otherwise, I will probably rent somewhere and use the money for travel. G-d I’m so jealous of people who can live in apartments. So jealous. Yes, that makes me envious of 99% of the population. lol.

Congrats (insert my name) You Reached Your Goal!

You’ve lost 18 lbs in 118 days, we knew you could do it!

It took 118 days to see 125 lbs on the scale. But I did it! I’m 100% sure this is my last month on Nutrisystem because I can no longer afford it. I think that’s a good thing because I’m worried about the sodium, sugar and the carbs. My diet after NS will have all those things but in a lesser amount. The sodium and sugar will decrease the most. I’m not looking forward to “cooking” again. But I have to do what I have to do. And my grocery bill will also decrease. That is definitely a win.

I see the GYN on Thursday. Good vibes. Good vibes. OMG. So scary. I may never go back, but I figure I should probably go at least once since this is what females are supposed to do.

I have about $250 worth of stuff to sell. I am the queen of avoidance and procrastination. One would think money would be a motivator, but it is not for me. Never has been. I’m going to pick a date in September and just sell all of it.

different definitions of living

*****BREAKING NEWS****** I made an appointment with an OB/GYN. This will be my first time seeing one. This must be some kind of record. Where is my prize? I won’t be seeing her until early September. I have time to freak out later on.

I took a break from selling but now I have to get my sell back on. Hopefully I will be shipping a ton of stuff next week.

I have a lot of ideas percolating. I don’t know what to make of it all. That is why I haven’t done an August goals list. I’m not sure where I want to go, what I want to do etc. Nothing major will probably happen this month (at least on MY part – lol). I’m thinking long term. Where do I want to live? Do I want to get my Masters? Do I want to do home ownership again?  How much money do I want to save before I travel?  None of this stuff is happening within the next 5 years. Sure, I may go to Vegas (again) or Asheville, NC next May but I want to go out of the country for a while.

Goals. Goals. Goals.

I probably will buy a house one day. I’m  not going to get a predatory loan like I did last time. I hope those don’t exist anymore. I don’t want other people to fall victim to them.  I think I know where I want to live, but it is so far from everywhere. I’ll be living the rural life. I’ve always been a city girl, but now I know I need peace and quiet. I may rent where I want to live and then try to buy, but renting is expensive. I’ve already looked into it. Right now I’m sort of living the rural life in the city and I love it! But the rent it too high. I can’t save when all my money is going to rent.

If I do decide to get my Masters, it will be after I’m mostly debt free and have enough money saved for a downpayment on a house. Yeah, that won’t be happening soon. I have no plans to make that decision in the next 5 years. If I do decide to do it, it will probably happen in 10-15 years. After I go on one big trip.

Travel is my favorite thing. For now I will go on small trips like I’ve been doing. My mom has never been to Vegas and she really wants to go so the plan is to go back with her. I have no idea how I will deal with my foot pain, though. She isn’t very understanding about it. She doesn’t get that I could barely walk AT ALL on my 3rd day there. I could only walk short distances. We would have to take taxis or buses just to get to places on the strip. Next year for my birthday, I want to go to Asheville, NC and stay in a cabin. Those are the only “small” trips I’m counting on. (Vegas isn’t all that small now that I think about it but splitting the hotel cost with my mom helps).

Eventually, I want to travel all over the world. There are so many places I want to go. Now I’m thankful I took the opportunity to go to Oaxaca, Mexico when I did because I don’t know when I’m leaving the United States again. This may be a 7-10 year goal. I want to have a lot of money in savings before I really travel.

So that’s what’s been going on my mind. I’m thinking long term. The main goal is to save money. I’m not doing a good job of that now because I’m doing another month of Nutrisystem (!!). I know…so horrible. But it is so convenient. I love it. Too bad my wallet is hating it. :/

This week I…

Music of the week: Joss Stone, Tori Kelly, Nina Simone, Boyce Avenue, John Mayer, Natalie Imbruglia, Juanes, Paramore

Watched: Big Brother, Dexter, James Holmes trial

Movies of the week:  none

Books of the week: I’m reading the same 3 books I was reading last week:

Luther: The Life and Longing of Luther Vandross by Craig Seymour

Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Planner update:

plans of the week

plans of the week

I’m proud of myself for getting most of my to-dos done. Last week was a major fail in that department.

I’m going to die alone

….and I feel fine. No, I haven’t seen Jen Kirkman‘s comedy special with that title yet but I will. Love the title. I don’t usually like comedy acts because I don’t think it is cool to make fun of people but I will give her a chance. Some acts don’t stoop low and I’m hoping she is one of those witty comedians. I used to love watching stand up comedy when I was very young until I became the butt of people’s jokes daily. Not fun. :/

——–

YAY! I just found out today (yesterday by the time I post this) that I am off Friday for the 4th of July!!!!!! woohoo. I had NO IDEA. YES! Surprised days off are the best days ever. 🙂 I would have woke up early and went straight to work.  I saw other people treating Thursday like a Friday so I decided to check it out. I’m did my errands today so I can stay in on Saturday and Sunday. My kind of weekend.

I have decided to do Nutrisystem through the end of August and that will be it. I’m 100% sure. They gave me a great deal on frozen foods so I added one more month. Before that I was getting their regular food (aka ready to go foods). I’ve heard their frozen foods are delicious. I have to try that before saying goodbye. I can’t wait until I get my new food in August. I’m selling a box of NS food on eBay to pay for my current food. lol. NS food sells well on there.

starting weight pre-NS: 142 lbs in mid May

current weight: 131.4 lbs

Hopefully I can get down to at least 125 (!!!!) before the end of August. I would be shocked if that were to happen. I probably need to exercise A LOT more.

I have also decided that I must fucking hustle during my week off. I’m going to get rid of as much stuff as I can….without throwing things away. I will sell things on eBay and donate, donate, donate. I have about a week to get everything organized.

I will also clean up. I hate cleaning. It’s like I don’t know how to organize. It just seems to come easy to some people. Not me. I guess I am sort of doing my July goals right here. I’ll switch to my regular bullet form.

July Goals

  • Drink at least 6 glasses of water a day. I’ve been slacking. Sometimes I only drink two glasses a day. That is more than I used to drink but still not enough. Yesterday I drank 4 glasses. Improving.
  • Have a major cleaning day. I don’t mean clean the bathroom but more like organizing things. I’m going to do this during my week off. I will pick a day when I don’t have anyplace to go.
  • Get rid of inventory. This can’t happen soon enough. Make a plan for everything to go somewhere. Anywhere.
  • Do at least 50 practicum cases this month. I’ve done 220 since January. Obviously I have not been doing 50 a month. I have 440 more cases to go. I have to get this done before January 1.
  • Cut back on estate sales. I would say to stop looking for them but I am interested in clothes ONLY. I have been pretty good about this. I have cut back. I did get stuck with the whole Alias series for $16 which I will sell on eBay for $40. I have never watched an episode of Alias. Is it any good? It doesn’t matter. I’m selling it in a week so I don’t have time to watch it.  Clothes only from here on out (which are rare to find at estate sales so it will be very easy not to get involved…) Eventually I will be looking for a sofa. My sofa is in bad shape. I can get a nice sofa at an estate sale for $10 or less but I have to pay for it to be delivered. blah. So I’m not involved in any estate sells now and I don’t have any plans for the future. That feels freeing.
  • Get down to 130 lbs. Go to the gym. Walk more. Do whatever. I hope I don’t have to have another cheat day. I just feel like since I’m on Nutrisystem, I should try to lose weight. What a concept.

I think that’s enough since a lot of those things are time consuming.  I was going to do the whole explore my city like a tourist for a day on my week off from work but ugh, I have too much to do so that won’t be happening. I might go to a place or two but I doubt I do anything major. I do hope to walk a different route around the neighborhood with my dog (hard to do since we don’t have a sidewalk and my dog likes to run up to moving cars).

I will have some concrete money goals coming up soon.

This week I…

Music of the week: Lissie, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Florence + The Machine, Kina Grannis, Kacey Musgraves, Nina Simone, Madonna

Watched: Veep, Big Brother, James Holmes trial

Veep’s season 4 is so much better than season 3. I grew up a Gary but now I just want to be Amy. Amy is the real me. Most people probably see me as a waaaay less capable Amy. LOL. No time for social shit. Just get the job done.

Movies of the week: I watched Divergent again, not because it was great but because this time I really paid attention. I’m less interested in reading the series now but I still might. I have so many books on my to be read list that I doubt I get to it. . I also watched Moulin Rouge! for the 10th (or so) time. Love that move. Obvs.

I’ve been watching documentaries like crazy. I saw Little White Lie which I  mentioned in my last post and The (Dead Mother’s) Club which is what you think it is about. It was interesting like most docs but not riveting. I saw What Happened, Miss Simone. I’m a big Nina Simone fan. I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. It didn’t answer all my questions at the end. I had no idea she was so tormented.  And she tormented others. Sad. I also didn’t know her music was so important to the civil rights movement. I thought since so many people were making political music back then (compared to now) that her songs didn’t stand out that much.

Books of the week: 

Yes Please by Amy Poehler (better than I expected so far) 53% through

Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found by Rebecca Alexander on page 120

Planner update:

plans of the week

plans of the week

June goals

Ugh, my favorite month is over. 😦 I enjoyed ya.

Before getting into goals, I have to share this: I made a joke about going to Busch Gardens (a theme/amusement park). My mom thought I was serious and now guess what? We are going!! What if it sucks? Two adults going to Busch Gardens? Help! I have so much research to do because I know nothing about that place. Initially I thought if I couldn’t afford to go to Asheville, NC for my next birthday, I would maybe go to Busch Gardens. That’s better than nothing, right?

But now, it will happen in July. And here is the worst part: It has to be on a weekend due to my mom’s obligations.  I would NEVER voluntarily go somewhere like a theme park on a weekend. Who does that unless it is your only option? The crowds, the parking, etc. etc. I’m not as worried about the crowds as I am the parking. One good thing: I get to take my dog and board him there! YAY. He doesn’t have to be home alone or at daycare. He gets to ride to and from with us.

Have I mentioned that my mom doesn’t ride rides AT ALL? She’s terrified. And I have never been on a real ride. LOL. WTF are we going to do there? This is too funny. I will get on one ride if the line isn’t too long. There is a ride “through Europe” that I’m interested in. I’d like to do that if possible. One ride for me. This place isn’t cheap. I’m just wondering what the hell I got myself into.

The adventures of me. Oh, I will go off any food restrictions while there. Well, I will only eat half of my meals (and give the leftovers to my mom to take home).

Heh. they even say on their website, “We are a park for kids”. No shit. But they also say:

Our theme is classic Europe, like the Parisian streets of France, the hamlets of Scotland and the Oktoberfest celebrations of Germany. In all, we have nine villages centered around six countries for you to explore.

In addition to the fun, we are a place for learning about nature. We care deeply about conservation and the animals in our care. You can see and learn about Bald Eagles, Clydesdale horses and gray wolves, and we hope that when you visit your appreciation for nature will grow like ours has.

I think it will be fun but since I’m only getting on ONE ride (if that…), I think the ticket is waaaaaay overpriced.

———-

June Goals

  • Complete first practicum assessment. I have 3 of these to complete before January 2016.
  • Do 50 practicum cases. I failed with this goal miserably in May.
  • Study at least once a week for the test I have to pass before January 2016. Yes I have a ton of things to complete this year. Yet, I’m sometimes “bored”. :/
  • Exercise 3 times a week. Mowing the lawn counts and I’m doing the Jillian Michaels DVD twice a week.
  • Sell twice at the flea market.
  • Make at least $500 from selling. Dream sorta, kinda big. 😉
  • Clean guinea pig cage/room. Yes, I have this on every goals list.
  • Get down to 130lbs.
  • Go to the gym once or cancel my membership. My contract is over so I should be able to cancel.
  • Watch 2 movies.
  • Read 3 books.

I have two items on sale on eBay (“buy now”) going on right now. If this goes well, I will be putting more things on eBay. I should be putting more stuff on there but I want to try to sell in person first.