Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thirty Before Thirty - Part 3

It's the final countdown... er, the final 9 items on my Thirty Before Thirty list.

22.  Donate to Goodwill monthly
We have boxes upon boxes in our basement that need to be sorted.  I have a closet FULL of clothes and I only wear about a third of them.  Both of those things mean that I need to donate some of my stuff to Goodwill.  We've taken 2 trips in the past month and it feels really good to get rid of stuff.
23.  Trade babysitting with a friend for a monthly date night with the hubs
I should really approach a few friends about this idea.  My kids aren't hard.  In fact, Lenon visits his mother every other weekend so if we went to dinner or whatnot on a weekend that he was gone it would just be Ezra.  And Ez goes to bed between 7:30 and 8:00 each night.  I'm sure one of my friends would be game.

24.  Have professional business photos taken
This shouldn't be hard.  My friend Stacy is a photographer.  My thing about it is actually getting in front of the camera.
25.  Learn about getting a business license for my Etsy shop
If I really want to make a go of selling products I make, I should really look into being licensed.  I have no idea what that entails, so I should probably do some research.
26.  Create 5 different items to sell on Etsy
I have TONS of ideas, but I need to work on execution.  And then I need to calculate wholesale vs. retail prices so I'm not making something that's putting me in the hole.
27.  Sell my first item
Sounds easy enough... not really something I have much control over.  But I do have control over stocking the Etsy shop.  So as soon as I complete #26 I can work on this one.

28.  Plan a budget and stick to it
I'm good a planning a budget.  Even down to creating formulas in Excel and having it calculate for me when I type in our income vs. bills.  It's just sticking to it that's the problem.  We really need to work on a savings account.  Right now our jobs are pretty secure, but we've seen hundreds of people get laid off from the company Frank and I both work for and that's scary.
29.  Pay off credit cards
We only have a couple and they have low limits which we did on purpose.  Being that we both work for a credit card company, we know the in's and out's of credit cards and don't want to dig ourselves a hole we can't get out of.  So it shouldn't be hard to pay them off, but it's definitely something I want to do within the coming months.
30.  Pay off car
This one might be tricky.  We have almost 2 years left on our loan, but I was calculating and if we added 25% to our monthly payments and then used a portion of our tax return next year, we could do it.

Well, those are my goals for the year.  I have big plans for them.  Hopefully they cooperate.  

And once I'm done, we'll be looking at this...


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thirty Before Thirty - Part 2

More of my list of thirty things I want to do before I turn thirty...

8.  Get a new tattoo
I've been wanting a new tattoo for a couple years.  Still haven't decided what or where, but I have ideas...
9.  Lose 75 pounds
This is reasonable.  I could do it.  I just have to get my act together and start.
10.  Accessorize my outfit everyday
When I look nice I feel way better about myself.  And I have TONS of jewelry and hardly ever wear it.  So I've started wearing some sort of accessory type item daily, and sure enough, I've started to feel more put together.  And I'm gaining compliments.  Win-win.
11.  Take a vitamin daily
I should have been doing this forever.  I took them diligently while pregnant but stopped after Ez was born.  My friend Karen from work let me try these adult gummy vitamins and they're actually good.  And she's brilliant and keeps them at work so she doesn't forget to take them.  Of course I'll keep a bottle at home too for the weekends.  Now I just have to make it to Sam's Club this weekend to pick some up.
12.  Throw away all old socks and buy new ones
I know this one seems silly, but you should see the mess that is my sock collection.  Half of them have holes or are faded or so stretched out that I have to match a stretched out one with another stretched out one, simply for continuity.  It's sad.
13.  Learn how to use my camera and use it
Instead of waiting and saving for a DSLR camera I got a glorified point and shoot.  And I've regretted it ever since.  But I spent $250 on it and I need to use it.  But first I need to learn how to use the features.
14.  Blog at least twice per week
This blog thing is fun and new... and I don't want to have it be like another project where it ends up falling by the wayside.  
15.  Read 50 books
I'm a reader.  I love to read.  And reading 50 books in a year shouldn't be hard... but I want to make sure I stay on top of it, so I'm going to keep track and see how I do.
16.  Find and buy a dining table with 6 chairs
We have a K-Mart dining table and 4 chairs.  It's sturdy and in good shape and was the perfect size for our apartment.  But now with having friends over for dinner and stuff, our little table is just too little.  So I'm on the lookout for a decent table with 6 chairs.  I check Craigslist daily...
17.  Take an overnight getaway with the hubs
This one is fun and a little scary at the same time.  I've never spent an overnight away from Ezra.  In fact, Frank and I have only really gone out and had someone babysit him twice.  I'm a little bit of an overprotective freak.  But my excuse is that my family all lives far away and Frank's lives far enough away (3 hours) that they couldn't watch him either.  I have a couple friends who I'd trust enough to watch him, but it's just getting myself psyched up enough to allow it.  I'm getting there...
18.  Work out at the gym at work twice a week
I'm a member of the fitness center at work.  I pay $15 a month which is automatically deducted from my paycheck.  They have 5 treadmills, a couple recumbent bikes, a couple ellipticals and weight equipment.  When I first joined about a year ago, I went pretty religiously a couple times a week.  Then in January I got a sinus infection and pink eye, so I could barely breathe to walk let alone work out.  Then in February I got bronchitis, so once again, I couldn't breathe.  And since then I haven't been to the gym.  I need to go back and plan to on Thursday.
19.  Work out at home at least once a week
I have a couple of workout DVD's that I've gotten in the last couple years.  One is yoga that is specific for plus sized ladies like myself.  Sad thing is that sucker hasn't even come out of the wrapper.  Oops.  And it's starting to get nice here, so it's getting to be time to start taking walks after dinner.  I can hardly wait for this rain and mud to be gone.
20.  Go to the dentist
We have great insurance.  Really great.  Yet I haven't been to a dentist in years.  The last time was to dig my wisdom teeth out of my face.  I was traumatized.  But I really need to go.  I have a couple places where I know I have cavities and I need to take care of them before I need to have the whole dang tooth pulled like a friend of mine did because she couldn't afford a root canal.
21.  Go to the gyno 
I know.  Yearly.  That's why the exam is called your "yearly" exam.  Once again, I'm really good at putting things off.  But I'll call and make an appointment... maybe next month.

Tomorrow I'll post the final nine items on my list.  Stay tuned.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Thirty Before Thirty

Several weeks ago, with my 29th birthday approaching, I started thinking about all the things I'd like to do, but never seem to get done.  Anyone who really knows me will know what's coming next... Yes, that's right.  I made a list.  And to keep myself in check, I decided that instead of just making a list and probably losing it and never getting it done, I'd make a blog (which I've been meaning to do for a couple years) and document my progress.

So here is the first installment of my list...

1.  Complete at least 1 DIY project per month
I've recently discovered the wonderful blog world and I've been inspired by so many other people's creativity.  I have all these projects floating around in my head and I needed to make a timeline to get some done.
2.  Make an upholstered headboard for our bedroom
This is at the top of my list of projects.  I know it's easy.  And the materials needed aren't that expensive.  And the effect is FABULOUS.  I can hardly wait to get started!
3.  Make a toddler bed for Ezra
This one is sad and exciting all at the same time.  At this point Ez doesn't need a toddler bed yet, but within the year I'm assuming we'll transition him from his crib to a toddler bed.  And I found a wonderful tutorial here via DesignMom.
4.  Make a play kitchen for Ezra’s birthday
I can hardly wait to get started on this one.  I wanted to get Ezra a play kitchen, but all the ones online or in stores are so plastic.  Not to mention expensive.  So I googled how to make one...  I looked at SO many adorable play kitchens.  Seriously.  For hours.  But this is my favorite.  I love that it reuses something that would have otherwise probably been thrown out.  My version is going to be made from 2 night stands so the sink and the stove/oven are separate.  Now I just need to scour Craigslist for a couple cheap night stands.

5.  Try a new recipe at least twice a month
I've been cleaning up my almost 3 foot stack of magazines, (I'm a junkie) by tearing out the pages I want to keep and recycling the rest.  I've cut my stack in half so far.  What I'm left with is a couple paper trays filled with recipes, ideas, products I like, etc.  In doing this, I've found dozens of recipes I'd like to try.  Frank is WAY more adventurous with food than I am, and he's game.  
6.  Have a minimum of 1 fruit or 1 veggie per meal
To those who are judging... you can stop now.  We are not a veggie family.  Well, I should say that Lenon and I aren't veggie people.  We are corn, green beans, and lettuce people.  But that's about it.  He and I are both willing to try other veggies.  But we'll see how that goes...
7.  Make a weekly menu and stick to it
We're good at making a weekly menu.  In fact, we're really good at it.  We do it every week.  Our problem is that the menu ends up written on a small piece of paper that gets lost.  Or we find the list and whatever is on the menu doesn't sound good.  Well, tough.  We are going to make the dang list and eat what's on the menu.  Or at least that's the plan.  But I think it would help if we made one of these.  It's the best idea for a dinner menu I've seen.  There are others using chalkboards, but I love the cleanliness of dry erase.
I'll work on my next installment in the next few days.