Saturday, May 28, 2011

Goals. Fullfilled.

This weekend, I have been focusing on enjoyment and family rather than my goals. Granted, some of my enjoyment is achieving my goals! I worked hard this past week on my business plans. I hope to have it running by July! I will be super psyched WHEN, not IF, I do! :)

Today I spent the day in my hometown with my mom and dad. My mother and I went and had pedicures. I owed her a girl outing for a late Mother's Day present. We went and had our toenails done together and it was great fun! Now I am kicking myself for not taking a picture though! (Note to self: once again  you have to take pictures...remember, take pictures!!!). Since I didn't take any picture of our actual outing, you guys do get to see the end results! Purple toenails! So pretty!! It's amazing how doing one simple pampering thing for yourself can really boost your self-confidence. I'm happily flaunting my toes in flip-flops now! I feel like the cutest thing walking down Hennepin Avenue! ;)

Cute purple to my garbage can! lol

When I was posting this as well, I began to think of how many goals I have actually accomplished as of yet. I started reviewing and updating my goal list. I took out, "Becoming a coupon clipping diva," as I've found that ALDI actually works much better for me and I don't have to worry or spend the time clipping coupons. I automatically save 50%!

I also have placed check marks by the goals that I feel that I have accomplished. I do believe I have successfully changed my way of dress. I am feeling much more confident with my dressing abilities thanks to Sally! I feel like she really gave me some good guidelines for my body and that I can accomplish it on my own! In fact, even today I was looking at an outfit I must have seen online and I thought it was super cute. I realized that the outfit was totally perfect for my shape, followed all of the rules for my shape and that I COULD accomplish that outfit on my own! I can't wait to try it out!

I also crossed off the list, "Taking classes to learn something new." In the future, I most definitely will be taking more classes, but for this year, I have accomplished that goal and learned some new things that I will put to use to grow my very OWN food! 

The next one I felt I could cross off was, "Get thrifty (make meals at home, bring a bag lunch, coffee at home)." I go out for coffee much less frequently and make it for myself at home or drink it at work. I bring a bag lunch to work nearly every day. As you all know, I've been making TONS of meal for myself at home and I'm dedicated to continuing to do so. 

Also, as you can tell, I'm being self-analytical and really reflecting on my progress and emotions. I am not going to cross this off because I think it's a continual process. In fact, I was speaking with my sister today on the phone about some of my emotions towards companionship in my current state of singledom. I recognize, yes, it makes me feel sad at times. In the same respect, I acknowledge that and move on and don't dwell on it. I keep myself busy so as to not dwell on that. I believe that the right partner for me is out there! He will arrive when the time  is appropriate and I'm a firm believer of that! :) One never knows where we might find one another. Keeping myself busy and in activities takes my mind off of that and gets me out amongst the people as much as possible! 

Tomorrow I am super excited to celebrate a cousin's birthday with my family. For Monday, if the Minnesota weather cooperates, I'm going to work on one of my goals on the list! I can't wait! You'll all just have to wait for the post to see which one it is! :)

What's inside? An amazing, dream and goal chasing girl with a huge heart and passion! That's what! ;)

What goals have YOU crossed off of your list recently?

Thursday, May 26, 2011


It's been a long and arduous week! Work has been quite busy and today I unloaded, with some awesome and generous volunteers,  22 pallets of food! I have 8 more to finish up with some more helpers tomorrow! No need to workout, that's for sure! :) Even so, I did go on a 16 mile bike ride! But that's more of a joy for me!

I've been working hard this week on business plans! Unfortunately, today I was speaking with someone that I had gone to in the past for advice. Someone who knows about the business more than I. My suspicions are that he was trying to give constructive criticism, but unfortunately it came off as rather discouraging for my business. I turned to all of my friends who were right there to support me and encouraged me to keep going and push myself! I have worked real hard to be at the point where I am at and I'm not going to quit now! The show will go on! I also turned to some music for inspiration! Enjoy these songs everyone! Hope they remind you all as much as they did for me that we have to keep our heads up and continue to push forward, even when doubt is creeping in on us! That's just what I will do! 

(From left to right, clockwise: Argent:"Hold your head up", Modest Mouse: "Float On", Jimmy Eat World: "In the middle")

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Accomplished. Weekend.

What I did this weekend!

I am so happy to say that I had SUCH a productive weekend! Friday night I got a workout in, made myself some homemade pizza and treated myself to a movie! I went and saw Something Borrowed. Yes, all by myself! I love treating myself to movie date night sometimes! :)

Saturday it was time to get to business! I woke up early and went with my mother and nephews to a Lego convention as my father, who originally planned to go, unfortunately had a toothache. I had an early wake up call and off I was to meet my mom and nephews. It was a fun time and always good to spend some time with my family!
My nephews and batman at the convention.
It rained all day so that was a perfect way to spend the afternoon...indoors! However, just in time for me to go home, the sun peeked out! I took advantage and did a jaunt around the lake. Was such a nice run!

After the run, I got to planting! I received my Kmart bags last week and I knew I had to get planting this weekend! I filled my bags with dirt and starting putting the tomato and strawberry plants in them. I only got 3 bags done and I ran out of soil. I will make one more trip and get some soil and fencing and then I will start my garden area. I put a picture of the plot that my landlord generously gave to me! So nice! I also gave you guys a little update on the status of my seedlings!
3 bags I received from Kmart. Oh, the area in front of it is my little plot. I put these items in bags because I have plans for that other area which need more space! :)
Tomato plant.
Strawberry plant. This bag is awesome! Why? See those little pouches on the side? Well, you can grow other herbs out of those pouches! So cool!
Butternut squash!
Herbs sprouting!
Bob, my Chia pet bunny. 

I got a bunch of other work done this weekend, including selling a ton of items on Ebay!

Today was spent washing all of my laundry and cleaning and rearranging my apartment. I need to get my table put in SOON! I'm dying to invite people over! Also, I spent today working on another stock. I made chicken stock! The chicken fell RIGHT off the bone today when I was done. I made myself a dinner with chicken, Uncle Ben's rice and some veggies from the stock. As you can imagine, that's not ALL I plan on doing with it! I will make a chicken and rice soup, (with the leftover rice and chicken), as well as freeze some stock for later use.
Chicken! It does not look so appetizing here, but I promise it was good!
Rice beginning to cook!
Tomorrow: finish my planting, get Ebay items sent, work and get some business planning done as well! I can't wait to accomplish more!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Check. Yourself.

Just made it! 3rd post in a week! I knew that this post HAD to be done as I am WAY behind! I never posted my monthly food bills out for the public to see!

This time, I have to say that I'm a little embarrassed and also have come to the conclusion that I need to check myself before I wreck myself!

Here is why:

Sugar Cones 0.99
56oz Chocolate Bar 1.99
Multi-colored Peppers 2.99
5lbs Red Potatoes 1.99
Broccoli Crowns 1.49
Skim Milk 2.29
Mouthwash 1.49
Bisquick Mix 1.79
Frozen Fruit 3.49
Vegetable Chips 1.69
Tangerines 1.69
4 Seed Packets 1.96
Garlic 0.89
String Cheese 2.89
Cola Gummy Bears 0.89
Starlite Mints 0.99
Celery 1.29
Blueberries 1.89
No Bake Pumpkin Pie 1.79
4 CansTomato Paste 1.56
2 Cans Kidney Beans 1.1
3 Cans Diced Tomatoes 1.47
Pistachios 6.29
Peanut Butter 2.79
Beer @ Lowbrow 5.25
Marissa's Bakery 4
Marissa's Supermarket 4.8
Eyeshadow 5.04
Bronzer 3
Mascara 6.99
Lotion 2.49
Sebastian Joe's Ice Cream 5.44
Breaded Chicken Breast 5.16
Laundry Detergent 8.62
String Cheese 1.37
Ice Cream Sandwich 2.79
Drink @ Bar 5
SA Coffee 1.07
Green Pepper 0.99
Red Pepper 1.35
Reese's PB Cups 0.89
Frzn Strawberries 3.49
Frzn Berry Mix 2.99
Mint Chip Ice Cream 2.49
2 Seed Packets 0.98
Navel Oranges 2.49
12 Grain Bread 1.69
Strawberries 1.19
Celery 0.69
String Cheese 2.89
Half and Half 1.59
Light 4.99
Uncle Ben's Rice 1.69
Cadbury Eggs 1.99
Chocolate Almond Bar 1.49
Eggs 1.25
24 oz Spaghetti Sauce 1.19
Peanuts 1.99
4 Hot Cocoas 2.92
2 Bamboo Planters 6.98
Butter 2.49
SA Coffee 1.06
Spirit Sound Bar Lunch 16.6
Reese's PB Cup 0.69
2 Silly Putty's 2.98
Pizza Luce 4.46
Kenwood Cafe 4.03
Hamburger 8.99
Whole Grain Rolls 3.59
Salt and Pepper Chips 2.5
String Cheese 7.55
Croissant 0.69
Chinese Takeout 5.98
Coffee 4.63

TOTAL 223.16

Ah yes, an entirely way too long list of food and about $100 more than I spent last month! How did this happen?! As one would imagine, I am unfortunately feeling the effects with my budget! I also had some additional expenses this month in the form of gifts and other extras.

Well, I've analyzed and thought of a few different reasons. As I noted earlier this month, I got sucked into some old patterns due to going out. I'm working on this. I also noticed, ALDI is a WONDERFUL store, but just because things are cheap, it doesn't mean you have to buy them. Because they are so cheap, I buy these items more frequently than I should. I really DON'T need all the snacks I've been purchasing and I will have to put a stop to some of that. Not just for financial reasons, but also health reasons. My string cheese addiction was out of control this past month and this also must stop. Yes, I can eat mass quantities of string cheese. I suppose there are worse things out there, but it doesn't justify it. On the other hand, one positive is that I was within my $50 budget for going out. I didn't expect this as I wasn't even tracking it! Naughty!

Finally, I've come to the conclusion that it's good I put myself out to public shame each month. Not only am I committed being honest to you all, but it forces me to be honest with myself. I can look at what I actually spent and see it on paper. It's far more effective this way so I can see how I can improve for next time. THAT is just what I'm going to do! :) I'm checkin myself before I wreck myself!

Do you have any habits that you have and find it's more effective to see it on paper to break that habit? I'd love for everyone to share! :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Canning. 101.

Can-can can you do the can-can?


Yes, I'm a total nerd...and I love it! I took a canning class! Once again through Minneapolis Community Education. My teacher was Mr. John Galvin and he was incredibly awesome! He was super excited about the smallest of things having to do with canning and I thought that was great! I get excited about things like that too! For example, when I first tried growing herbs and they began to sprout. Yep, I was taking pictures and Facebooking them left and right! Most of all, I found that to be the greatest thing about the class! John's enthusiasm for canning! It makes me want to can all the more! So contagious!

On the other hand, the first thing John spoke with us about? Botulism.

Yep, he initially scared the crap out of me with this. I will admit it. I won't even lie and say that when I got home, I didn't go and google more about botulism, if it can be cured, etc. Because...I did. WebMD does not cure hypochondria...just so you all know.

Hey Gertie! I hope you used proper canning techniques! No one likes their peaches with a side of bacteria! 
John taught us all about the canning process AND how to do it safely so that we avoid illnesses such as botulism. I can't wait! Even while listening to him talk I became inspired to try even more than I thought I would try! I think I will try to can my own spaghetti sauces, tomatoes, jams and MAYBE some soups. Perhaps I'll get inspired to do even more! ;)

Jam anyone?
Beyond the canning process, we learned all sorts of different factoids about produce. For example, did you know that fresh produce loses half of its nutrients in only 1-2 weeks?! Wow! That statistic actually amazed me. Proves just how nutritious even GROWING your own vegetables must be.

Also, we learned of the wonderful world of Menards - John's favorite store as he informed us! Apparently they have TONS of canning stuff though so I will have to be hitting that store up very soon!
She's got all the supplies!
With my seeds planted and my garden in process, I can't wait till canning time starts! Also, my wonderful brother told me he had a pressure canner I could borrow and also a Ball Blue Book of Preserving! I can't wait to try out some recipes!

By the way, for everyone in the Minneapolis area, I highly recommend you check out John's class through Minneapolis Community Ed. It is excellent!

My kitchen come this fall? I hope so! (Minus the wallpaper!)

May canning season come quick and may my fruits and veggies grow rapidly!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Productivity. Overload.

 Uber-productive day today!

I set out this morning with an extraordinarily long to-do list and I've nearly accomplished it all! As I said in my last post, I've been slipping lately with blogging amongst other things. However, I'm determined to keep it going and am going to kick it back in high gear! I vow to do at LEAST 3 posts this week! I have so many things to catch up on that I HAVE been doing, just simply haven't been blogging about.

Today I accomplished many things:

* Took my car in for the damages to be repaired (someone hit me recently).
* Cleaned my place.
* Ordered pots for growing my tomatoes.
* Spoke with some people about my business plan.
* Made a pot of minestrone. I have at least 6 meals in my fridge right now!
* Planted all of the veggies I want to get growing this summer. Waiting for the little sprouts to pop up!
* Recently bought tomato plants and a strawberry plant!
* Got a workout in.
* Picked up my boots that were in for repair!
* Planted a Chia Pet I received for Easter from my mother. Ch-Ch-Ch-CHIA!

Mr. Chia Bunny. I'll need to think of a name!

All the seeds I planted.
Flashy rental car! Does anyone else notice how when you get a rental car, it really makes you want to NOT return to pick up your car?!?!
My to-do list!
And I'm pooped! But there are still a few things on my list tonight I must accomplish. This blog is one of the final few things! :)

I also participated in a wonderful event this weekend, right from my house! It was free and it was the "Inspiring Women Summit". It was a teleconference or you could stream it from the Internet. Lisa Nichols, the author of "The Secret" spoke and I really enjoyed her talk! She said some really wonderful things that reminded me that I must march on in pursuit of my goals. She spoke of how when she was writing "The Secret" she knew that she had this vision and was granted this vision by God that only she had been given and knew that she had to complete it. She was just an inspiring woman. It make me realize that I need to keep on pushing myself everyday. A new thing I am going to add to my daily rituals are affirmations AND I also began searching online for some motivational videos. I came across this one and I really like it and have been watching it frequently! I hope that you all enjoy! Check out the Inspiring Women Summit on Facebook!

Tomorrow's blog? Canning! Enjoy the clip!

Monday, May 02, 2011

You splurge, you purge!

I've begun to notice a new pattern. I recently had the realization that I was falling back into some nasty old habits.

I told you all about the beautiful dresses and bag that Sonya had sent me for my birthday. I probably failed to notify you all of the other shirts and accessories I've acquired since my meeting day with Sally. Yes, some of them were to obtain pieces that I was missing. However, some of my more recent purchases were just...well, frivolous. It recently occurred to me that I have not been sticking by a rule that I created for myself upon moving into this new place. Every time that I  take in a new item, I need to get rid of another item. 

I've taken in a few items lately:

1. A pair of super cute Mary Janes that my sister bought for me from the Goodwill for only $3.00-NEW!

2. A purse I got from Steeple People for $3.50.

3. A backpack for biking with my laptop for $3.00 from Steeple People.

4. Cute new summer shirt from My Sister's Closet!

I was going through my closet the other day, realizing my hangers were dwindling. Yes, I had acquired more new items than I remembered and haven't got rid of any. Thus, the search through my items began. I grabbed a few bags, some dresses I haven't worn in YEARS and some shirts that just don't fit right any more and marched my way to the thrift stores. I stopped at Everyday People and Buffalo Exchange and sold what I could and donated the remainder. 

Dress not worn for ages. Time for resell!

Bag full and ready for donation!

It appears some old habits such as going out are reoccurring as well. I think that my birthday lunches and some other events really spoiled me in the month of April and I forgot about my need for thrifty! May will be spent working on getting back into my thrift mode. Amazing how addicting those restaurant foods seem to be! Suck you right in!

Today's dinner: green and red peppers, onion and cheese omelet over a toasted whole grain roll. 

Thinking of making another huge pot of minestrone to last me for a while tomorrow. Now that I'm fully purged of my items, I'm fully prepared to get back on track with cooking and minimizing!