Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Occupy your time

It's almost the end of February and I reached my goal of saving $800 this month!! What I'm doing is I'm putting the money in my savings account. Once it's there, I'm not allowed to touch it That way I won't give in to temptation.

The only problem is this past week has been kind of slow at work. After I check all the blogs, gossip sites and my e-mail about 50 times I start to browse online stores. This is bad.

When I do this I have such an urge to just go ahead and buy something. Of course if it's in my budget I will buy something, but the whole point of this project is to curve my spending. I can't keep on looking online or I will spend more money that I really need to spend. I've even gone as far as putting items in the shopping cart and then just exiting the window. lol. I'm a mess.

Anyway are there any websites that you frequent that can help occupy my time so I resist the urge to spend? I really need suggestions!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Books Books Books

I saw this MEME on some other people's blogs and I really wanted to fill it out. I love books and this really brought back some great memories of books I've read.

1. Favorite book[s] when you were a child & why?

Amelia Bedelia. They were the BEST books when I was little. It was so funny all the messes she would get herself into. Also I loved Strega Nona (Grandma Witch). These are books that I still enjoy today. I feel like they just don't make children's books like they used too.

2. First "grown-up" book you remember reading?

A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle. I loved this book! I must have read it a dozen times. I think I just loved the fact that the main character got to swim with a dolphin all the time! Another book would be the The Silver Pencil by Alice Dalgliesh. I'm not sure why I liked this book so much, it’s a very unique story. I have read it a bunch of times though. It's defiantly not for everyone though.

3. Favorite movie that came from a book?

Atonement. The movie was exactly like the book. The images and the people were just how I imagined them when I was reading the book. I actually might like the movie better because the cinematography was just absolutely beautiful

4. Movie that you loved so much that you WISHED there was a book out so that you could find out more about the movie.

This might sound silly, but Dirty Dancing. I LOVE that movie and I think it could probably be a great book. Not so much the dancing, but the love story, drama and inner thoughts of everyone would be great to read on paper.

5. Worst book you've ever read?

There are a few that are pretty awful. With me though, when I start a book even if it's terrible I have to finish it. There is only ONE book that was soo bad that I just couldn't finish it. A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. I picked it up because Oprah raved and raved about this thing. I thought it was HORRIBLE. Just thinking about it now starts to make me seethe.

6. Book that everyone raves about that you either a) haven't read and feel slightly dumb for not having read it or b) have tried to read and hated and so feel slightly dumb that everyone is getting something you don't?

See number 5. Also the Da Vinci Code, mostly because everyone who reads seems this books seems to treat it as Non-fiction when it is in fact FICTION. I did enjoy the movies though. I liked all those clues and everything to figure things out, but I didn't much care for the religious aspect.

7. If you were forced to choose only 3 books that you could read for the rest of your life, which ones would they be?

Perks of Being a Wallflower is a definite. Beside that it would be really hard for me to choose. I love to read different things so it would be hard to whittle it down.

8. Name one book that you would recommend everyone you know read.

I couldn't pick just one. I always recommend Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. It is one of my favorite books. There are endless quotes from that book that I loved and related too. Also I tell people to read The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It is an amazing story,

9. What is your "guilty pleasure" reading?

Young Adult books. I loved the Twilight books and I'm also really into anything by Sarah Dessen. When I buy these kinds of books I tell myself that I need to grow up and start reading "real" books. But I love them. It lets me escape the real world for a little while and isn't that the whole point in reading?

10. What book (except the Bible or other major major document of your religion/faith) has changed your outlook on life the most?

I started reading A New Earth because I thought it would change me like that. But then I saw the hypocrisy of it and now in general I don't really like those kinds of books because they tell you how to think, act and do. Also people take these kinds of books so literally that they end up losing themselves. Remember that book The Secret? People actually stopped seeking treatment for illnesses because the book states that if you think you will get better, you will. Ughh, no not so much. So while some books may open my mind a little or I may view something a little differently, I have never read something that really changed me. On the other hand, if these self help books do help others I think that’s great.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Setting Goals

I’m pretty bad at saving money. I’m just always tempted to splurge and spend it on something.

While in the last 2 years I have saved money, it’s not nearly as much as I wanted to put away. Since the apartment hunt didn’t work out and I haven’t seen anything worth responding to on craigslist I decided to do a little experiment.

My goal is to put away the total amount that my rent would have been if I had moved. That’s about $800 dollars a month. It will be a good test to see how good I am at budgeting, and if I really can move out and still go out and have fun. Now I know in reality moving out would cost way more than $800. I didn’t factor in any bills or food. I just wanted to do a solid number.

Bonus, if I am able to do this I will have put away a lot more money. This can be used as a cushion if I do move out, or as a down payment on a car since mine seems to be slowly dying on me. It would be a used car, but I am tired of the one I’m driving now. I’m convinced it’s bad luck. Seriously, I’ve had so many problems with it it’s unbelievable. Anyway more on my car later…

Or even better, I can use SOME of the money I saved and buy myself a little treat! I have to start thinking of something I can do to treat myself if I do this. Any suggestions??

The only problem is I’m so bad at resisting temptation. Especially at work, when I get bored I shop online. I’m constantly buying clothes, books and makeup online! It’s bad. While I still plan on going out with friends and buying stuff, it won’t nearly be as much as I’m used to doing. This will be a HUGE test for me. One I’m determined to stick with!

I’m starting with this month February. My goal is to save $4000 by the end of June!! I hope I can do this. I’ve been pretty good at putting some money away. But this is really kicking it up.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stir Crazy

I hope everyone had a great long weekend!

Mine was pretty nice, I went to see Valentine’s Day. While the movie was cute and funny, it was a little long for me. It was almost 2 and a half hours long. It defiantly could have been cut down. I also visited my grandma since I hadn’t seen her in a few weeks.

Other than that I didn’t really do anything and I was BORED. With this horrible weather I haven’t really been able to do anything. I just couldn’t think of anything to do so I basically just sat home the whole time.

Usually when I’m home on the weekends if I get bored I’ll go shopping, I’ll take my dogs to the park or visit with friends. Since there is so much snow the park is out of the question. I haven’t been shopping at all because I’m trying to save money. I have no will power when I go out. If I see something I like, chances are I will buy it. Which is why I have to take shopping out of the equation to save. My friends also tend to become hermits in the winter so I tend to go out a lot less too.

Now I’m stuck at home with nothing to do! If it was the summer I’d go to the beach or something. Maybe I’m just ready for winter to be over, but I always feel like there is a lot less to do in the winter than any other season.

I have thought about joining some kind of club, but besides reading I don’t really have any other hobbies. Besides shopping. lol.

Basically I’m slowly losing my mind.

How do you spend your weekends?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

- Yesterday was a snow day for me. We got like 14 inches of snow! At first I felt really bad for calling out of work, because it wasn't snowing THAT badly. But then 2 pm hit and the snow was so heavy and it just didn't let up. So I'm happy I didn't get stuck in that.

- This morning, my street still hadn't been plowed yet so I had to get my mom to drive me to the train station. Shockingly, the trains were running on time!

- I really hope we don't get any more snow this year!

- Even though I had off yesterday, I am also taking tomorrow off to go to some much needed Dr's appointments. Because of this, I'm really messed up with my days. I keep on thinking it's Monday because I was off yesterday, and then realize it's actually a Friday for me!

- Monday my office is closed for President's day so I get a four day weekend! Whoo hoo!

- Is anybody else excited to see the movie Valentine's Day? I know a lot of people are against it because it's over hyped and there are a million famous people in it, but I still think it looks cute. I hope to check it out this weekend.

- In sad news, Alexander McQueen committed suicide. He was an amazing fashion designer. No matter how bad your life may seem, suicide is NEVER the answer.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Snowed In

The snow this past weekend wasn't too bad where I live. My friends in Baltimore got around 34 inches of snow!!!! Some streets there still haven't been plowed! We got around 8 inches I think. Although I still couldn't leave my house on Saturday since the street I live on wasn't plowed until that evening.

Still it was kinda fun being snowed in like that. I caught up on my shows, watched movies and did some cooking. All in all, pretty nice and relaxing. One thing I made is a Buffalo Chicken Dip. It was AMAZING. So easy to make, but delicious. Next time you are going to a party, make this and I swear it will be a huge hit!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened – I use light cream cheese
1 cup Ranch dressing – I use light Ranch
3/4 cup pepper sauce (such as Frank's Red Hot) -
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese -

Heat chicken and hot sauce in a skillet over medium heat, until heated through. Stir in cream cheese and ranch dressing. Cook, stirring until well blended and warm. Mix in half of the shredded cheese, and transfer to a casserole dish- cover with the rest of the shredded cheese. Bake in the oven at 350 until cheese is melted. Serve with sliced baguette bread or tortilla chips

Thursday, February 4, 2010

No more snow!

This weekend, there is supposed to be another snow storm along the east coast.


I am really tired of all this snow. I am defiantly ready for Spring to come!

I was supposed to go down to visit some friends in Maryland, but they are expected to get almost 2 feet of snow!

I'm pretty bummed out. I haven't seen them in months and I was really looking forward to the trip and just getting out of my house for the weekend. Plus since we are all pretty busy these days, it looks like I won't be able to go down there until Mid-March.

On the other hand. At least it will snow on the weekend when I don't have to worry about getting to work or travelling. I can just stay home, snuggle under a blanket, and watch movies all day.

What do you do when the weather gets bad?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The kind of shopping I HATE

I love buying presents for people. I like getting creative and getting something I know they will love.

In a few weeks I have to go to a bridal shower and for some reason, I can't get excited about getting a gift.

I looked at her registry and everything on there seemed so.... lame.

Maybe it's because I'm no where near that part of my life, but buying pots and pans as a gift seems so lame. Also the thought of watching her open up all these things and me pretending to get excited about them also makes me want to stab myself. lol.

I kinda want to be that one person that goes off the registry and buys something a little kinky. I already bought a gift, and it's nice but it just feels like it's not enough. Even though it cost a pretty penny, it still seems... I don't know. Lacking.

I've never felt so unsure about a gift before. Even though she specifically asked for this, I still feel like it's stupid or she won't like it.

Have any of you felt this way before about getting a present?