Financial Peace University

This time last year my in-laws gave Cameron and I Dave Ramsey’s financial peace university. I had heard about it before on other blogs but at the time we were living on nothing. We lived with my inlaws for a really low price. I was the only one working and we were just dealing with some not so fun things.

About 2 weeks ago I saw Dave Ramsey and his daughter, Rachel Cruze, on Katie and I was intrigued. And hooked! I had already made the decision that we were going to get our finances on track and this just sealed the deal!

I then spent a few hours watching Rachel’s vlogs and looking up any and all information on FPU! When I got home that night I pulled out our DVDs and workbook. This past weekend, Cameron and I sat down and talked and talked and talked some more. About our finances, about the future, about what we wanted! And we have agreed to set a budget and complete FPU!

We pulled our credit scores, OUCH, and listed our debt in order and starting this coming week we will begin watching the DVDs.

I feel like such a nerd when I say that I am so excited to begin this journey! We aren’t that much in debt and thank goodness we have ZERO credit card debt but we are nowhere her were we would like to be. We believe that if we set the budget and work really hard that by the end of 2015 we will have all of our debt paid off, including the student loans I have!

Hot and sour soup with shrimp

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We made this delicious hot and sour soup a few nights ago and let me tell you, it is delicious and will become a regular soup for us!

1 pound cooked shrimp, tails removed
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce ( we used Bragg’s Aminos)
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon sriracha (or more if you like it hot)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups Chinese hot & sour broth by Swanson
1 cup water
1 garlic clove, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions

My husband sautéed the shrimp in a little sesame oil and then we threw everything into a big pot and and cooked until it was hot!

Super simple! Super yummy!
Enjoy!

Challenging myself in 2014

I shop when I am upset. I shop when I am happy. I shop when I am bored. I shop when I am busy. I shop when I’m broke and I shop when I’m not. The key is, I shop!

At the end of 2012 I came across a blog called Greater than Rubies and I was inspired! Caitlyn gave up shopping for a year. She shared her reasons and her struggles and I wanted to do it! But I was in a horrible place. Shopping was my outlet for everything. I was not strong enough to take on the challenge.

As I’ve mentioned, 2013 began and ended in completely different ways and I knew that I was ready to accept the challenge that had been presented to me over a year ago. I prayed. I talked to my husband. I almost talked myself out of it. But I now have made the promise to myself that I will not shop in 2014. I will take the money I would have spent and put it away until the end of the year. And then I will donate it.

Now, it’s a little different for me than it was for Caitlyn. I am a nanny and therefore tend to wear workout clothes on a daily basis. However, I have a closet full of normal clothes but was still buying new outfits. And I have a dresser full of workout clothes but I could never turn down more!

I did stock up on a few things that I knew I would need but I used Christmas money and stuck to the budget I set. I have no reason to buy anything. I will learn to shop my closet. I will also learn to turn to God when I am upset instead of shopping. I will workout when I am bored. I will sing and dance around when I’m happy. I will realize that I am beyond blessed and that I do not need to shop to fulfill myself.

It will be a challenge and even though I’m only a few days in, I’m already wanting to go shopping. I know I can do it though. And I know that at the end of the year when I’m able to donate the money, I will feel better than any shopping could ever make me feel!

daily devotional: Jesus Calling

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2013 started off not so great. about June, i turned to God. i relearned how to pray. i prayed several times a day for God to help me, to help my husband, to show me the way. and boy did He!

my husband got a job after 2 years of being unemployed. we were able to move into our own apartment after living with my in-laws. we were able to pay our bills and support ourselves. God answered my prayers!

so 2013 ended a lot better than it began. and i know that 2014 will be even better because i have let God take control. i am not stressed out and cameron and i are a lot happier than we had been.

i am using Jesus Calling by Sarah Young as my daily devotional and already, only 2 days in, it is speaking to me. i am going to let go and let God!

2014 goals

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welcome to 2014! i tend to make resolutions and almost never keep them. this year i am setting some goals.

some will be easy and some might be a little harder but i am going to try my best to meet each and every one.

– no clothing shopping at all.
– read books that will strengthen my relationship with God, including a daily devotional.
– save money instead of spending it needlessly.
– complete the next 6 months of my current nanny job and hopefully change careers.
– travel
– spend less time on social media and more time living in the moment.
– gain the self confidence that i know is hiding deep down.
– spend quality time with my husband living life.

some of these will require separate posts. some will require more than one and i can’t wait to share the journey!

2013 blogging fail

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oops! i failed at blogging…again! i’m not proud of this at all.

i have no idea where 2013 went but i am ready to start 2014! 2013 started off not so great but turned around mid year and is ending better than the last couple years.

i have big plans for 2014 and i know with a little hard work, prayer, and faith, it will be an awesome year! 

Thirty

In my 30’s I’d like to….

Finish college…I’m not sure what I want to graduate in but I know that I want to graduate! I have 2 years left!
 

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Have a baby…I’m not going to elaborate on this one right now but I want a baby or 2 or whatever God blesses us with.
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Get a tattoo…I wanted to do this before I turned 30 but it didn’t happen. It will happenefore I turn 31 and it will be meaningful!
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Travel more with my husband…like everywhere! There are so many places in the world that I would love to go!
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Date my husband..this one is weird I know but the past few years have been really stressful! I’m hoping that there is more time for us to get out and go on dates like when we were only dating!
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Go to church…this last year I have found myself praying more and more..for everything, good and bad. I used to go to church and I can remember how amazing I felt. I’d like to get back to that!
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Make more time for friends and family…we moved closer to where all of our friends live as well as closer to my sisters and nieces! I would love to plan dinners and just spend time in great company!
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Volunteer…anywhere! I want to give back!
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Spend more time on myself…working out, reading, pampering myself.
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Save money…to buy a house, new cars, emergency funds.
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Buy a house…we sorta live with my in-laws right now (they are here 2 nights a week) because they offered us a really great deal..but I’d love to not live with them and be able to own my own home!
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Learn new things…French, yoga, cooking, photography…I’m sure there are more things!

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The end of my twenties

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Today is the last day of my twenties and I have been dreading this day for months. There’s just something about turning 30 that scares me. I’m not sure why though. I took time this week to think about then things I have done in my twenties ans what I have learned.

In my twenties I:

Met, fell in love with, and married my best friend.

Met my 2 beautiful nieces.

Regained a relationship with my mom after 6 years.

Gained amazing friendships with my sister’s.

Worked for 3 wonderful families! Being a nanny is so rewarding!

Realized that I am much happier when I work out and eat right.

Realized that marriage is a lot harder than you think it is but it is worth everything.

Realized by that as much as I would like to control everything, finally actually can’t and that’s ok.

Realized that life is short and you need to take the time to say I love you.

Traveled to the Bahamas, lake Tahoe, Utah, Vail, Cayman islands, Charleston, Santa Rosa beach, Savannah, cocoa beach, and Palm beach.

Learned to snow ski in Vail after failed attempts in Tahoe and Utah.

Paddle boarded in the ocean.

Swam with the stingrays and snorkled in the Cayman islands.

The hardest thing I do d in my twenties was bury my dad. I was 20 and he passed not quite unexpectedly but more unexpectedly than I liked. I had to plan and pay for his funeral. I can’t believe that this year will be 10  years.

Sunday I will write about my hopes for my thirties!

The heart of Christmas

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I heard a beautiful song this morning on the radio. It’s called “the Heart of Christmas” by Matthew West. I think that it spoke to me because this year I am trying to remember why we celebrate.

This year has been a rough one for us financially. I have been working, mostly part-time, while my husband has been searching for a job in this horrible economy. This means that this year, we will not be exchanging gifts with each other or with our families. The only gifts we are giving are to my nieces and even those are regifts but very nice regifts!

I am looking forward to spending 3 wonderful days with family. We will be with my in-laws Sunday and Monday and then we will be with my family on Christmas Day! We are going to eat and play games and just spend quality time with our loved ones! And then Christmas night will be spent just me and my hubby and our dogs. Hopefully with some good food and a movie! And I will be happy!

My Wish List

My favorite store is J.Crew! I could live in everything that they sell and be a very happy girl. My husband might not be too happy, but I would be! Unfortunately, I have not been able to shop at J.Crew, or anywhere else for that matter, in a very long time. However, if I won a shopping spree, or was gifted a gift card this is what I would most certainly have to buy!

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How cute is this hat?! My head would stay warm and I’d look cute at the same time!
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I am really wanting a pair of black ballet flats and I love that these have the gold cap toe! Makes them interesting!

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This bow sweater is so cute! I would have a hard time not wearing it every day!

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Ahhhh… the Pixie pant that I know people LOVE! I will own a pair sometime soon!

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These just look soft and comfortable and the best part is that they come in Tall!

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So pretty and classy! I’d wear it with jeans or dressed up with a skirt!

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A tartan button down is just perfect for this time of year!

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Classic with a twist! I’d love this with a simple T or sweater!

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Another thing that I’m pretty sure I would wear every day!

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My dream coat! And way out of my price range! Working on plans to DIY to an old coat of mine!

A girl can dream right?!