Monday, February 13, 2017

Financial Fail

Really, you can stay on track and when you stray just move back on. One of my goals was to save money and I have had an epic fail lately - income tax money was to be for a heating/cooling unit and I really did not want to spend any money - I wanted to become a hoarder of my money - I told Mr Man we were not gonna eat out like we do and I wasn't going to shop but save, save, save....


Well, my actions lately with the  unnecessary/could have waited spends so far:

1) LulaRoe clothes - my sister-in-law's daughter had a sale and well I was curious about what the big deal was and I think another part of me wanted to make them like me - sooooo - that was $150 too much spend - I should have just gotten one outfit but nope - I had to buy 3 leggings ($25 a piece) and 3 t-shirts ($35 a piece)




The one below the pants are a size smaller than I usually wear but I was pleased I could get them on without an issue - but they are not for public viewing but yall are family :)



I felt both cute and thin in in this outfit - I also got my hair colored and cut and I went with bangs -





2) My old TV was a Samsung and the pixals were going out so my screen looked like Star Wars - so we bought a new one - This purchase is most appreciated though - I can't believe what a difference and I wonder if viewing the TV like that might not also be the reason my eyesight has been waning - .this is the old one - kinda big and bulky but I bought it from a guy at work with two nice couches for $600 - and I have had it a few years so as far as I am concerned it was a great deal





The one is also a Samsung it's 58" and older technology for $499 but it is a smart tv and my antennae even picks up beautifully ( as seen below) - I am still using the firestick for the Directv Now, Starz, Amazon Prime, and HBO Now. I don't think Mr. Man has embraced our new viewing options - he was a huge DVR user but it just does not justify the cost.


Mr. Man's TV blew up in the man closet, so we also bought him a Sony 48" Smart TV with the better technology for $379 - we are still waiting on his income tax and the guy to call us back for the cost of the heating/air unit

3) I also had stated that we would not eat out like we did when he had his last job - been out  3 times so I must get better at this

4) We went to Lowes and I had it in my head to get some new hardware for our kitchen cabinets and/or a new faucet for the kitchen and bathroom - I thought I had found a cool deal that was a pack of 10 bars and I thought it meant $6.53 for the box but it was a contractor box and we found out that it was just a price breakdown so - no goodies from Lowes - I was disappointed but I am glad I didn't push the issue once I got home and realized how much of my income is gone - Mr Man says he is going to give me the money back on the TV

5) We also have a concert to go to on Valentines Day - which means more money spent - Mr Man bought the tickets awhile back and I have to get him something and so far everything he has mentioned is pricey -


6) My brother called and invited us to go with his family to Gatlinburg and the cost will be $300 for us - so I also said yes to this - I guess I think money grows on trees - I always have

I know I can do this - I can save money - I can do whatever I set my head to - at least, that is what grandma always said.

Really, I can do this - how do you save money?

Monday, February 6, 2017

Closet Organization

Really, you can make a small home with lack of storage uncluttered. My vacation week of trying to accomplish this...

Once I finished with the office, then I moved on to the closet in the office and the spare bedroom closet  - I am terrible about getting before pictures - I guess I just get so tunneled into completing the task

My jeans and capris and my collection of Barbie's all jumbled up on the top shelf



In the bottom of the closet, that I had already cleaned out before I thought to take a picture, contained a big mess of my sets of Christmas dishes, my summer, spring, and fall shower curtains, clothes that I cannot wear - I love being able to see the floor and have nothing on it but my house is small and I do not have a lot of options for storage - ahh it would be so nice to just have nothing there but....



It does look better than it did and when I open the closet I do not feel the chaos any longer and my jeans and capris are folded neatly - I still have my collection of Barbies - I told my brother that he can have them to give to my niece since I do not have a granddaughter and they are of no use to me stored in an office closet








I then moved on to the spare bedroom - I didn't get a one before picture - SMH what kind of blogger am I? :)

This closet was harder to de-clutter as it contained mostly of Mr. Man's belongings but I got rid of my stuff that was of no longer use and put his boxes back in as neatly as I could -  this closet houses my winter/fall work tops



And once again, since you know I have a thing about clear floors.... I can see some of the floor - that really makes me happy





I pulled out all the contents that had been shoved under the bed -  more bags of trash - and I am glad my grandson, Jaxen did not look under that bed - there were a ton of stink bugs under there. When I started moving things around, they let me know they were unhappy. If Jaxen would have looked he would have said, "EWWW, Pasher that needs to be cleaned - ukkcy!" HAHAH





I am happy to report that I purged everything under the bed...except for two items. The net that keeps Jaxen from falling off the bed, I am sure he doesn't need it any longer but I just couldn't bear to part with it - I really do not want him to grow up but <sigh> it is inevitable. I also put an electric piano back as well. I haven't played it in year but it was a gift from my late uncle Denny and he was very proud to give it to me. He loved music and I love the piano and I just could not part with it. I loved being able to sweep and run my mop under there, the room feels clean to me.





I also found some of Mr. Man's pictures - I found one of his late mother and took it upon myself to hang it up in the office




I would like to replace this bookshelf with an industrial rustic bookself

this one I like the drawer but would prefer something wider





The cage look on this one is pretty cool too and I could live with the cubes as well








I also like the uniqueness






I really this one but more money than I would like to spend but I love the piping and attaching to the wall





How are your organizational quests going?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Project - Office de-clutter

Really, you can both de-clutter the house and enjoy your time off, right?

I finished up my week long Stacey-cation aka the 7 days of Stacey's b-day - turned 46 this year. I didn't get everything on my list completed but got pretty close and pretty happy with results. I worked and played enjoying finding little treasures of forgotten pictures, cards, and etc along the de-clutter journey.

1) Laundry room completed here

2) Office - it took me three days to get it completed but super happy with how it turned out. I found some neat things. I didn't  do a really good job about getting before pictures (some blogger, uh?) but I did get pictures of how it looked during the process (redemption, yes?)

The desk had become the catch all - Mr. Man is the ultimate pack rat but I contributed as well - the mail was usually put here too - trying to make a conscious effort to either throw away or file as the mail comes in - how do you organize your mail and household never ending paper work?




I ended up with a  total of 8 bags for Goodwill and about 10 bags of trash - the file cabinet I purged a LOT




Found all kinds of CD's stashed in the filing cabinet





As I purged the contents, I put the empty file folders in a pile to refile as extras



More of the desk as I worked on the filing cabinet



This is only one of the drawers, but you get the gist - catch all, stuffed, and most likely not needed any longer




Here is the office put back together - it felt so much cleaner in there even though I didn't change the paint color or rearrange the furniture - but I did change the vibe for myself

The bottom drawer - I can now see what is in there...



This isn't really part of the de-clutter but I love this metal map - it belonged to Mr. Man's late mother and it is a map of the town she grew up in Germany - I think it is the coolest thing EVER






These men/tree carvings are also Mr. Man's late mother (did I mention that I am fascinated by the German culture?)  I absolutely love this wall






The desk still has Mr. Man's paperwork but I tried to make them neater - I cannot seem be able to do anything about his collections, but I'm hoping that if I can limit my stuff, his stuff will be more tolerable - I love that chest that I found at Goodwill with my bestie, Kristine, I wish I could find a better place for it - but for now this is it's home. I  think it goes pretty good with the leather desk..




I especially love clear floors...





Nice and neat desk




Some of the treasures I found was an old employee cookbook, an aware I had received in 2005, and some old pictures, my favorite is Christmas 1986, with my mother, brother, and my 6 day old newborn son




Finally finished with the office - next on the list was the office closet, the spare bedroom, the spare bedroom closet, and the hall closet.

I  wrapped up my office work up around 1 in the afternoon because the weather was amazing for y vJanuary in TN and I went to my favorite place - the Greenway - had the best run/jog this day, I felt amazing after (notice I did not say during - running for me is not about the process or during it's all about the after) LOL

jog 3.5 miles and walk 3.5 miles - practically had it to myself - perfect




How are your 2017 goals going as we go towards the end of the first month?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mid-week Savors or Attitude Savers

Really, you CAN and SHOULD  stop and enjoy the small things in life! I like to think of the positive things to savor which also serves as an attitude saver :)

So day two of Stacey-cation was productive and peaceful. I am still working on the office - it has taken MUCH longer than I had planned - in my younger days it would have been knocked out in a day but I also haven't spent the whole day working on it. I have done other things like cook, read the bible, ashamed to admit - lots of Facebook, Pinterest, and Greenway time.

I have also savored a few moments and wanted to share with you some things that brought me joy so far the Stacey-cation week:

Jaxen went to see his favorite, Paw Patrol, with his mom, aunt Becky and baby David, and Aunt Susie - his smile brings complete joy to my heart. He was so happy and his mom said he did really good. Isn't he precious? Grandkids are THE ultimate joyful experience.



The weather was great and got an amazing jog/walk in - and almost had it to myself and they reopened my favorite "harder" part I jogged 3.5 miles and walked 3.5 -  today is also supposed to be Greenway worthy :)


De-cluttering the office I found this CD that had not been opened - I played it while I worked on the office and it was so soothing - I also found a CD called Mornings with Mozart but it got on my nerves. I don't understand why - I love the piano but I could not take it... Do you like classical music? What is your favorite music to putter around the house? I also like complete silence :)




I have started each day with a cup of tea and yesterday morning I got caught up on my Bible reading. I love this mug as it was b-day gift a few years ago from bestie Kristine. I am drinking Tazo Earl Gray with Vanilla creamer - love this - at night I like to drink Twinnings Butter Mint with Vanilla creamer - I also love Tazo Chai Tea Latte. We have local coffee called Lasasters and like their Chai Tea Latte better than Star Bucks, which is saying a lot cuz me likey Star Bucks too :)






I would also turn on the fireplace which made my mornings all the more cozy






Sunshine coming in the windows also gives me a ton of joy and soothes my soul  - yesterday the sun was shining beautiful and went from room to room to bask

The foyer sunshine -





The dining area - I really like the white curtains - one day I would like to put some white or light ship lap look or the wood look - I really dislike the paneling this area seems so dark to me




The kitty is even enjoying looking out the window and the sunshine - she is planning the demise of my birds...






Jaxen's room/my work out room - the sun is shining brightly - I like looking out this window when I am on the elliptical - I can see my neighbors yard but the best part is a good view of the woods and occasionally I can catch glimpses of the deer but definitely see cats lurking around :)




I love these yellow sheer curtains in my bedroom - the sun coming through is heavenly - Mr. Man started his new job this week so when he gets up - I open the blinds as I love to wake up with sunshine or even cloudy mornings are nice. I also love this orange comforter - the weather has been unseasonably warm and when I changed the house over for winter - it was too warm but a cat accident allowed me to change when the weather had a cold snap - sound a little regimental, no?



Having the sun shining in the windows while I cleaned/organized the office (plus the Piano Favorites) made the job even more enjoyable. I opened those sheers wide to get every drop of the sun.




What have you savored or been an attitude saver for you?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cost Saving

My first day off from work has been pretty productive - I have started the office, the filing cabinet was first, and it currently looks like a cyclone hit it - I am hoping to have that post ready tomorrow finished. I was able to file my income taxes so I am closer to my goal of purchasing a new unit which is part of Financial Goals. I will have to put my money up and wait for Mr Man to get all of his W2's and then file as my refund is not quite enough. I did a mock return on him based on numbers from his last checks and looks like we might even be able to replace one of the TVs.

Another part of my goals was to to save money - one of my plans to save money is to reduce monthly expenses - so in a previous post I had learned about streaming TV. I am trying out streaming with DirectTv Now but am disappointed that the streaming freezes up on the computers but seems to work on our cellphones. We do have a fire stick coming and it will interesting to see how the streaming acts with that. I had read the reviews and the consensus is that these issues are growing pains. I know that HBO Now - I can stream on computers and cell phone, no issue.

I did fulfill another goal of cooking more. Tonight I made stuffed cabbage, I used the below recipe but made some modifications because tomatoes do bad things to Mr. Man these days.

Bev's German Cabbage Rolls

12 leaves from lg. cabbage
1 lb hamburger
2 c rice - cooked
1 onion - chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce ( I like to use a lot more)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 c beef broth
2 tbsp flour ( I used more but may need to cut it back)
1 onion - sliced (I omitted this time)
1 can whole tomatoes  ( I omitted)

Place leaves in boiling water. Boil until leaves are pliable. Drain. In a separate container, mix hamburger, rice, onion, Worcestershire sauce, seasoning, and 1/2 cup beef broth. Blend well. Spoon mixture onto cabbage leaves. Fold in half and roll from end. Secure with toothpicks and place in casserole. ( I don't use toothpicks and this time I didn't use all the rice)





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In a skillet, combine remaining 1/2 cup broth, flour, sliced onion (omitted), tomatoes (omitted) and seasoning. (Tonight I melted a stick of butter, about 3 tablespoons of flour, 1/2 cup of broth) Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Allow mixture to thicken (mine was too thick - I will add some water next or reduce the flour). Pour over rolls and cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.









As you can see, there wasn't enough gravy - now grandma gave me the idea for the gravy but she cooks her on top of the stove. I prefer to bake mine - so next time I'll either add some water or reduce the flour.I am a southern woman but I must confess making gravy is a skill that alludes me. I can never make gravy with grease but seemed to do better with butter.  It was very tasty, just the same and I love pairing it with mashed potatoes.

I had some left over rice and thought about what I could do with it because part of cost savings is to not waste (we won't talk about how much cabbage I wasted with trying to get the leaves off, but what I do have left I'm gonna fry it, that is what we southerners do :)) Sorry, I got derailed. rice, yes, that is what I was talking about. Well, rice pudding jumped in my head and I was excited at the thought as I love rice pudding.


The recipe I used:

Rice Pudding

3/4 c. of medium grain or long grain rice (I used minute rice)
1 1/2 c of water
1/2 c of sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
cinnamon (sometimes I use it, sometimes I don't)
1/4 tsp of salt
4 cu of whole milk

First bring the rice, the water, and salt to a boil over med-high heat.

Then simmer covered until water has been absorbed (approximately 15 minutes)

Next stir in the milk and sugar and cool uncovered over medium heat for 30 - 40 minutes. Stirring frequently especially towards the end of cooking.

Note:

The pudding is done when the rice and milk have amalgamated into a thick porridge-like consistency.

This does not need to OVERCOOK

Now remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Turn into a bowl or cups. You may sprinkle cinnamon on the top if you like. Next COVER with plastic wrap directly on surface "IF" you don't want a skin. Let this COOL.

Here it is in my favorite vintage bowl. My bff, Kristine and I found this bowl one day "popping tags" as she refers. I love this bowl, it even has a lid and it's my favorite color. I reserve this bowl for rice pudding and bread pudding (I can even put it in the oven). I don't know about you, but the dish that I put my creation, adds to the joy of the cooking and eating experience. Do you have any favorite dishes or bowls? What do you do for cost savings?