Monday, January 23, 2012

God's Time

In honor of this week's topic of time, I'm going to share a little joke I heard yesterday:

A man went up to God and asked, "God, how long is a million years to you?"
God replied, "One second."
The man was amazed and asked, "God, how much is a million dollars to you?"
God replied, "One penny."
The man was marveled and joked, "God, could you give me a million dollars?"
God replied, "Sure, just wait a second."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My new blog header (with instructions inside)

Today while the kids were napping, and after an energy salesperson knocked on my door nearly waking aforementioned munchkins, I finally, finally made a new blog header! I found a great tutorial via Pinterest, and I could not believe how easy this whole thing was! I am quite pleased with it. I'll be updating it occasionally, but as for now, it's most satisfactory! Tell me what you think, and feel free to use the tutorial - I am all about sharing.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pet Peeve

I took several months off blogging with my friends over at Gbe2. But I'm back and so excited about this week's topic: pet peeves. There are many that have faded in and out of my ever-changing life. But there is one pet peeve that has remained constant, unfortunately: chewing gum.

zmescience.com
There are so many aspects of this experience that annoy me, but this picture should give you a good visual. First of all, the sound - you can just imagine the sound.

::shivers::

The squishy chewing and tiny bubbles popping in between teeth. The moisture and chomping. Then there's the look... the lazy look in one's eye when he or she is chewing away. Bored, apathetic, indifferent. Yah, I'm so cool. I can chew my gum.

This pet peeve is so bad, that I might instill a house rule as my children get older. No Gum Chewing In The House When Mom Is Around. (Thankfully, as of now, our house is happily gum-free because the babes are so young.) Back in the day when I dreamed of being a teacher and wrote up imaginary syllabi in my head for each class, the first thing to go on the top of the page would be No Chewing Gum In This Class. When proctoring an SAT test one day (this was real life, not imaginary), I actually asked all the students to throw away their gum because it was distracting. It was awesome finally being in a position of authority to be able to request this! Unlike that flight to NYC years ago when the lady behind me was trying to set a world record for how loud she could chomp her Trident. I sat there, close to tears, wondering how the world could be so horrible.

So my advice to you: pass up on the gum, and grab a mint instead. It could save lives - maybe even yours.

***Update***

After reading all the comments, I need to do some clarifying! That is my writer's weakness for sure: clarity. So thanks for the push, everyone. :)

1) People may chew gum in my household. I would never be able to enforce a ban, but as long as they chew it away from my hearing range, everyone will be happy! Especially mommy. :)

2) Chewing gum on an airplane for ear-popping-purposes is perfectly fine. Or chewing it for medical reasons, such as quitting smoking, is also awesome. My big thing is, it can be done quietly. By all means, chew away! Just don't let people hear the saliva squishing around too.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Don't lease your cars if you want to be rich

Dave Ramsey should be paying me for this post, but alas, he is not. (I'd even take a Dunkin Donuts gift card.) I am smitten with his smarts and advice, which is why I would love to pass along some prominent information I've learned from him.

What I like about his method, is that anyone can do it. You don't have to know finances or be so far in debt that you need a lawyer. Before you get to that point, Mr. Ramsey makes it very easy. Not easy in the sense that you can sit back on your bunda and passively watch your problems disappear. But easy in the sense that if you are controlled and responsible, you will change your life.

He has really made an impact on my fam. My husband and I are speeding along with gazelle-like intensity to get ourselves out of debt. Do yourself a huge service and listen to what this man has to say. I have learned so much. He really emphasizes to be smart with your money - especially when it comes to automobiles. New cars lose their value so quickly, and if you're leasing one, you're literally throwing your money away. Taking out a huge loan to buy or lease a new car is essentially spending money you don't have for something you don't need. I understand we all need cars, but a brand new one? Not so likely. Another great way to save money is to refinance your home and have a lower interest rate.

So wherever you may live, whether it be east of the Mississippi (that word is so much fun to type), or south of New York, take a stand to take control of your finances.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Looking back on my history

It's early January - time for a New Year's Resolution! What should it be: exercising more? Eating right? Spending more quality time with the hubby? Writing in my journal every day? Washing the dishes immediately after they're used?

Those have all been resolutions at one point in my life or another. One year I had 14 resolutions. Not only did I forget 10 of them before January ended, but I set myself up for immediate failure. In all seriousness, how can one person accomplish 14 resolutions? One of them was to work hard in school so that I could someday go to college and study interesting majors. The other that resurfaced many years in a row was to stretch every day or practice yoga so that I could do a split. (Oh, how funny looking back...)

Most of my past resolutions have been influenced by my own history. But I have to admit, I'm in a new chapter of my life, with very different responsibilities and goals. I'm not going to look back and try to re-make the past. I didn't read a lot last year? Well, I'm not going to make myself read 3 books a month. I forgot to write handwritten letters to all my friends last year? Well, I'm not going to cramp my hand trying to do so this year.

Instead, I'm going to (try to) look at the present, and behave in a way that positively affects the future, specifically the future of my children and my marriage. History is great because you can learn from it, but I can't let it trip me up. Here's to 2012 moving forward! :)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Development Report

Sometimes I consider changing the title of my blog to "Ways To Save Money" or something completely lame-o like that, considering the amount of posts I write related to that topic. What can I say, it's a big part of our lives right now. "You've gotta do with what you got," says the owl on So Dear To My Heart. I'm always excited when we find a good deal.

This is part of my "job" right now. To me, this is my work. Right now, our focus is making a budget.

My family is big into Dave Ramsey, and so we listened to his audio book. First of all, it was awesome. He's a little harsh, a little arrogant, and a little annoying at times. BUT, he's dead-on. It was really nice to know we were off to a good start. We don't use credit cards, buy new items, and we live within our means. But we've never kept a budget. Pretty much, we just paid our bills when they came, and what was left over was used for food/gas/gifts. However, now we need one in order to save for future expenses.

Yesterday, I put out a facebook status asking my friends what they use for budgeting, or for any tips on how they do it. I got a lot of good answers:

Quickbooks (which I think is more for small businesses, but seemed great)
Quicken (I liked the looks of it, but we are looking for something we don't have to pay for)
The good, old notebook method
A dry-erase board to track your spending
Mint.com

So last night I set up an account with Mint.com, because it's free, and I needed to see it for myself. I'm pretty excited about it. It seems overwhelming at first, and I'm hoping it will meet my needs of saving, etc. But that's what I'm off to do now that the kiddos are sleeping. If we stick with Mint.com, I'll write about it soon to let you know how we like it.

Happy Thursday!