Thursday, October 29, 2009

In other news....

Long before my decision to change jobs, my friend Javi had been saying to me weekly, 'Get me a job at Impact'.  When I look back now it's neat to see how it all came together.  He was there for so much of my time at Impact that it seems so natural that he took over where I left off.  I'm excited to see how his gifts and talents will take Impact to a whole new level.  Now I can cause the trouble and he can be the responsible one.  Less than a month after my new start at Family First, my friend Javi is stepping into my former roll at Impact and I fully expect, kicking things up a notch!

This is only the beginning...

It's neat to think that Jamie was the one that brought us together.  And what a beautiful friendship as developed.  I'm proud of you, Jav.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pity, party of one?

I spent entirely too long feeling sorry for myself.  A few years removed from this phase, I realize how my unwillingness to 'man up' and take responsibility for what I could control in my life crippled me.  It is true that we all experience hard times, things outside of our control, and that which we 'don't deserve'.  However, how we handle adversity is entirely of our own choosing.

While I was busy making excuses for myself, people enduring much harder were making the best of their situations.  When you meet a child battling cancer or an adult coping with a disability, it is humbling to realize that while they have found joy you can't stop whining.  Looking back I'm embarrassed for myself at some of the 'stuff' I just couldn't get over...mainly, myself.

My senior year of college it finally hit me that waiting for my life to change itself wasn't working.  I was reaping exactly what I was sowing.  I had a bad attitude, bad habits, bad influences, and bad excuses. Guess what I was producing?  Eck.  

December of that year I sat down and thought about the life I was living and the life I wanted.  The two clearly not matching up, I knew it was time for some drastic changes.  I quit focusing on the past and the unchangeable and I looked forward to a future.  I quit dwelling on what I didn't want and started focusing on moving towards what I did want.

By April I'd accepted a job in Tampa and was moving as soon as I finished school the first week in May.  Moving itself won't fix your problems.  That's a cop out far too many people have experienced failure from.  The problem wasn't Indiana or Lafayette or Purdue.  It was a heart problem.  You won't be surprised to find out, that moved with me.  So, I may have left some bad memories and even bad friendship choices behind but it didn't change how far I had to come as a person.

Our society has quit encouraging us to chase our dreams.  It is easy to give up what you want and accept the role that is assigned you.  Less energy is required to be a bystanders in your own existence but one must recognized that the rewards are far less exhilarating.  I found that I had to quit 'chasing dreams' and start earning them.

I believe with all my heart that it was God's will for me to return to Tampa when I did.  I rejoice that he has a plan for me that is far beyond my greatest dreams.  It is hard for me to accept that I missed out on many blessings he wanted to give me, while I turned my back on him.  Moping took the time that should have been his.  When I realized that all of my efforts had still left me empty it was easy to understand what belonged in the void.

The struggles continue.  Being 20-something in the hardest job market and economy combo our nation has experiences in decades is certainly no small feat.  Weeding out that which my ecky years produced has also had it's share of hardships.  Growing up comes with pains and challenges.  Unfair circumstances and undeserved hardships are still here.  In fact, the world itself has changed little in the last year and a half.  The difference is how I view it.

I choose not to see myself as a victim in life but as a conquerer.  The road has been long and the bumps have been many.  The grace that has been given me is now finding it's way back out.  It has taught my humility, patience, love, grace, strength, discernment, trust, faith, gratefulness, and most of all...when to hit my knees.


Here's a video of a song that sums up how I felt during the worst of my 'mopey, people-pleasing years'.  I do love a good Alanis Morissette song.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday afternoon thoughts.

This week in our bible study reading I was really struck by a comment made that we should stop praying and start doing.  The author went on to say that it's not that we should do things out of our own abilities, leaving God out of the equation....that's not the right way at all.  But that we should stop praying to God for things he's already given us.  For example he wrote of a guy who's coworker said he needed a new computer.  The guy said, 'I'll pray for you' and he did.  Then he said he heard God say back, 'you have an extra computer, what are you asking me for?'.  The guy got the message.  He gave his coworker his extra computer and he shared with the author that often we pray about things God has already spoken on.

He went on to list some examples of the things God has already spoken on and therefore we don't need to ask him if we should do.  Love our neighbors.  Give generously.  Raise our children right. Submit to our husbands (if you have one).  God gave us clear instructions in the bible on so many topics but we find it safer to say we'll pray about it.  Prayer is an important part of the Christian faith and not to be used as a cop out for the areas of our lives were not quite ready to give up.

Along these lines I had to check myself this morning in church.  I'd received some extra money for a job I did and in my head this morning I was trying to justify not tithing from this money.  I battled in my head for a few minutes and finally thought to myself, God has blessed me over and over with money and provisions and his word is clear that he wants the first and the best of everything I earn.  I tithed.  Then I bowed my head (while no one else way praying) and I asked God to continue to hit my upside the head with guilt when I forget that my money is not my own.

I should probably stop confessing all my struggle and quirks on here before you all get too much of a look at my thought closet. : ]  But the truth is in the last 2 years God has really gotten a grip on me and the transformation I've seen in my heart and life has been a miracle in and of itself.  It is because I know that my God is a God of grace and not a God of perfect people that I'm comfortable telling you all that somedays I battle with my selfishness even in church!

I shared with my small group that I'm coming out on the other end of this problem.  I've prayed for years and years for God to provide for me financially and bless me, etc.  Then one day a few months ago I was really humbled when I realized he's HAS been providing for me.  I've just been piddling it away on 'stuff'.  I finally had to stop just praying for my savings account to fill up and start accepting God's provision with humility and wisdom.  It was time to start asking for it to take care of itself and start being a good steward of all that he's already given me.

Another topic discussed this week was this whole submitting to your husband 'thing'. : ]  There are a lot of strong women in my life and I'd go so far as to say I'm one of them.  But one girl said something that really hit home for me.  She said that God calls us to submit to our husbands. That is our job.  Our husbands job is to lead us within God's will.  Now, if he misses the boat on leading our family within God's will - then God's going to slap him upside the head for it. But if I get in the way because I'm not submitting and I think I know best - then I'm gonna get the slap upside the head before he does.  She went on to say, I've learned that sometimes submission is like ducking - to I can get out of the way and let God give my husband a whack.

I'm not married myself but this made me laugh.  I often find myself getting in my own way when it comes to God's will.   As one man said in a video at church this morning, "I need to give God more glory and less of me'.  Amen.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Buckle up.

I have laughed, joked, and even experienced a few growing pains with you all as I've strapped myself in to this Financial Peace class. Determination to not continue the vicious cycle of living paycheck to paycheck for the rest of what I hope will be my long life. But I had a long way to come friends. And though I have worked hard and come a long way in a short amount of time - I still have a long road ahead. My friends would have said all a long that 'compared to them' I'm good with money. For my age, I admit I'm a bit ahead of the game in that I've gotten myself out of debt and I'm really 'making it'. BUT I'm raising the bar to include being financially responsible. Not just living in 'survival mode'.

Here are a few notes from my recent experiences that I wanted to share with you all - that I hope will encourage you towards peace in your own financial life.

This will make many of you laugh - but I tried couponing for the first time this week. At first it was horribly overwelming so if an over-enthusiastic friend tells you it's easy: they're lying. It's mildly terrifying at first. My friend Jen and I (who are taking the class together) bought the paper for 2 weeks before we actually cut and used a coupon because we were overwelmed. We've been using a site called although the class recommends 'the grocery game'. But I don't want to pay money for a membership, to save money. That seems mildly counter-productive.

The purpose of using a couponing site is that it does the leg work for you. I saved right around $100 my first week of couponing. Between CVS, Walgreens, and Publix (grocery). The drama and trouble of couponing may not be worth it for 5-10 bucks but for 100?...hand me the scissors!

I will confess that I was having a little bit of a pride issue with this whole couponing this so the first time I went, I went at 10 at night (to Walgreens). There was no one there so it wasn't as awkward or weird - and by the next day I could coupon in broad daylight! : ] Success.

I have a guest blogger that will be posting soon about her own site to help people save money - so be excited for that in the future!

Having been on the completely plastic plan for a few years now - I just reexperienced carrying cash. For the first couple days I had a hard time even remembering that I HAD cash with me. Sad? Perhaps. But a week into I know for a fact I've spent less money than I did in the weeks prior, simply by not swiping a card and disassociating my actions with 'spending money'. I feel a little lighter after confessing that.

I was confessing to the girls in my bible study that now that I finally stopped just praying that God would provide for me and start realizing he was providing for me - I was just doing a poor job of managing his provisions I feel relieved! And inspired. I keep revising and revising my budget to save more. The success really is a great feeling. I wish it for everyone.

I had to skip class this week to work a Tony Dungy appearance in Clearwater, FL (I blogged about that yesterday) - so I missed the lesson on dumping debt. But I will be doing the the reading this weekend so I will share with you about that soon.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

HHGregg & Tony Dungy.

I know I've been a bit MIA lately. Work has been busy but the results of our teams hard work has certainly been worth a little time away from the blog. Here's a little taste of what's been going on. Tonight we drove to Clearwater, FL for the Grand Opening of an HHGregg store where Coach Tony Dungy came out to kick off what I know will be a great start for HHGregg in the Tampa area. HHGregg has been a loyal supporter of the All Pro Dad program from years now and has been key in putting on All Pro Dad events in the Indianapolis area so of course, has a special place in my heart. Here's a few pictures from the event...

Coach Tony Dungy encouraging the community and doing a great job, as always.

Kyle & I at the event - he was sweet enough to come out and lend a hand.

Pedro & I - who also came out to volunteer for the event.

Here's just a small taste of where I've been the last few weeks. Sadly, I didn't take many pictures on our Nashville event weekend - but I do have some great shots from Jacksonville that will be coming soon.

Thanks for all your kind encouragement in recent days and with the start of this new chapter in my life. I'm grateful for the support system you provide!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

9 Energy Zappers @ Work.

One of my girlfriends at work, Rachel, sent me this after clicking on of those pop up articles on Yahoo. So here ya go. If you're anything like me...too many of these apply.

See nine things that zap your vitality and how to get it back
It's 3 p.m.--do you know where your energy's gone? You probably expect to feel that late-afternoon drag, but you don't always have to. Turns out, some of your regular habits may be sneakily zapping your zip. Fix some or all of these energy stealers, and you just may be feeling brighter this afternoon.

Energy Zapper #1: Being Addicted to E-mail Isn't being wired to the hilt--e-mail, voice mail, IM, BlackBerry--supposed to boost productivity, freeing up your energy? More often, the opposite is true. If you continually halt what you're doing to answer e-mail, check voice mail, and attend to a thousand other beeps and blips, your attention becomes diluted, which leaves you feeling depleted. There are two things going on here, says John Salerno, MD, a New York City family physician and director of the Salerno Center for Complementary Medicine. "The brain needs a lot of physical and mental energy to multitask, which gets drained," he says. And continually redirecting your attention from the BlackBerry to other stimuli siphons more energy and distracts your brain further.

Energy Fix Switch off electronic gadgets during your most productive work hours, which for most people tend to be in the morning, says Laura Stack, author of The Exhaustion Cure. As for e-mail, try to limit yourself to checking it once every hour, instead of hopping to whenever it beeps. (Hint: Turn off the beep sound.) If something pops into your mind that you need to remember--call back your mom, e-mail the soccer coach about the snack schedule--write it down and take care of it later.

Energy Zapper #2: Visual Clutter We may be used to living in enclosed spaces with lots of stuff--a refrigerator door packed with artwork, a countertop laden with mail, a desk that's little more than a shifting pile of folders and paper--but it's not how we're meant to live, says Dr. Salerno. "Clutter signals disorder, which makes us anxious. Our brains sense that anxiety."

Energy Fix Do your best to clear visual clutter, so when you look around, your eyes can "rest" rather than dart from mess to mess, says Janice Ash, organization expert and owner of I Declutter!. Instead of layering papers on a bulletin board, leave a small border of space around them. Clear the front of the fridge of all but the most current kids' artwork, and make a habit of leaving the kitchen counter stuff-free before bed each night.

Energy Zapper #3: Being BoredEver sat around for an hour or more not tackling a chore or work because it's just so darned monotonous? Mental foot-dragging, boredom and lack of motivation are draining, says Dr. Salerno. "Put simply, we like to see results, and getting things done gives us a mental energy boost." So avoiding tasks deprives you of that high.

Energy Fix Find a partner for encouragement--a friend, a coworker--and call or e-mail to enlist her in a time challenge. "Say, ‘I'll check back in with you in an hour, and we'll see if we've gotten these reports/ organizing chores done.'" Or promise yourself motivational rewards for completing the task at hand, suggests Dr. Salerno.

Energy Zapper #4: Poor PostureYou already know that not sitting or standing straight is bad for your body. But all that hunching over a computer screen or cradling a phone on your shoulder wreaks havoc on your energy level, too, says Pia Martin, a San Diego health and wellness chiropractor. "When you sit for long periods, you tend to slump forward, leading to rounded shoulders and a tilted lower spine. Your muscles contract, and blood flow is impaired," which limits the amount of oxygen to your brain.

Energy Fix Sit up straight! Your legs should be at right angles to the floor, your arms at right angles to your keyboard. Be conscious of keeping your shoulders down, not up near your ears. Adjust your computer screen so your eyes gaze at the middle of it. And don't just sit there--if you have to, set a timer to go off hourly to remind you to get up, stretch and get a drink of water. When you get back to your desk, do a quick posture check: Shoulders down! (Reboot your posture with these tips.)

Energy Zapper #5: Toxic Indoor Air Humming copy machines. Cleaning products. Dry-cleaning chemicals. Synthetic carpeting. Even the desks in your office may be contributing to the load of toxins you breathe each day, because all of them release chemicals into the air. "No one knows for sure how much harm these cause to our bodies, but they do build up over time, and can drain your energy by potentially interfering with thyroid function and overloading the body's detox system," says Frank Lipman, MD, a New York City physician and author of Spent: End Exhaustion and Feel Great Again. (Reduce your exposure to chemical toxins.)

Energy Fix Get outside. If you're feeling tired, go out for 10 minutes to breathe fresh air. Indoors, cultivate houseplants, which are remarkably good at absorbing toxins. And don't wear shoes inside the house--you're dragging not just dirt indoors on your soles, but pesticides and other harmful chemicals too.

Energy Zapper #6: Eating Too Much at Once Consuming a big meal is always something that will cause a dip in energy later, but that effect is most noticeable in the afternoon because the slump happens at that reach-for-coffee-or-sugar hour: 3 p.m. Here's what happens: You fill up on a carb- and calorie-rich lunch and, as nutrients are absorbed by your body, excess glucose is dumped into your bloodstream, and your body releases insulin to process all that sugar. "A better idea is to spread out what and how you eat throughout the day to keep energy levels steady," says Gloria Tsang, RD, founder of the nutrition website

Energy Fix Eat every four hours, instead of the usual six. To reform lunch, "try to brownbag more often than eating out," says Tsang. It's a fact that if you buy takeout or dine in a restaurant, you're likely to eat more. Four hours after lunch, have a snack. If you're going to eat dinner a couple of hours later, keep the snack small, such as half a turkey sandwich, or a yogurt and some crackers. Other ideas: Drink liquids (water, tea) all day. "Dehydration makes you tired, too," says Tsang. If you usually have coffee right after lunch, try it a little later in the afternoon and make it a latte. The caffeine's an obvious pick-me-up, but the little bit of fat and protein in the milk gives you a snack-like boost. (Increase your energy with a smarter lunch.)

Energy Zapper #7: Living in Artificial Light Our natural body rhythms are keyed to the rising and setting of the sun, says Carol Ash, DO, medical director of Sleep for Life, a sleep-disorder clinic in Somerset, New Jersey. When you open your eyes in the morning and get your first glimpse of sunlight, your brain receives a signal that helps it set its sleep-wake clock for the day. Similarly, seeing sunlight during the day gives your brain a boost. So if you are awake before the sun, and/or don't see much sun all day, your body is experiencing something a lot like jet lag.

Energy Fix Instead of hitting the coffee cart when you're flagging, hit the sidewalk--the combination of physical exercise and a shot of sunlight will energize you. You don't need much: "A 10- to 20-minute walk in the sunshine will give you a boost," says Dr. Ash.

Energy Zapper #8: Listening to Negative Nellies You may be upbeat, but it can be exhausting to listen to complainers all day long, whether it's the fellow mom who calls to trash-talk the neighbors or the coworker who never has a positive word to say. It's not your imagination: A 2006 study at Chicago's Northwestern University found that people forced to listen to "high-maintenance" colleagues became frustrated and unfocused, and suffered a decline in the quality of their work.

Energy Fix Insulate yourself as best you can. If a coworker loves to enumerate her complaints, cut her off with a firm but polite "I really have to get this finished," then smile and get to work. She'll get the message. If it's your own negative thoughts that drag you down, train yourself to banish them by listing, daily, the things you're grateful for, so you can pull out that list when the negative stuff intrudes.

Energy Zapper #9: Holding a Grudge It takes a surprising amount of energy to remember whom you have a grudge against, and to continually update the faults, missteps and things you're mad about. "Resentment is a huge drain physically as well as mentally," says Dr. Lipman. "Anger, resentment, grudges--all of these emotions are toxic, and we hang on to them in our bodies especially in tense, tired muscles."

Energy Fix It takes practice, but try to forgive old mistakes. An easy way to start is to simply be aware of the times negative thoughts about others creep into your mind, says Dr. Lipman. "Think of others as flawed humans, which we all are," which makes it easier to forgive-and free up energy.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Quote of the Week.

A true friend prods you to personal growth, 
stretches you to your full potential,
And most amazingly of all,
celebrates your successes as if they were your own.
-- Richard Exley

This quote is dedicated to Mer & Kate - love you girls.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

NFL Picks.

Ok so last week was a rough week for me in the pickems (I blame this on consulting my Dad...ha ha!)... Here to hoping this weeks will be better.

Week 6 Picks.
Jac (v. STL)
Wash (v. KC)
Cinci (v. Houston)
Min (v. Bal)
GB (v. Det)
Pit (v. Cle)
Car (v. TB)
NYG (v. NO)
Sea (v. Ari)
Phi (v. Oak)
NYJ (v. Buf)
NE (v. Ten)
Chi (v. ATL)
Den (v. SD)

As some smack to me if you please. : ] It's a sad week for me since I'm not getting to cheer my own team on but hopefully my Colts will enjoy the 'bye' week and come back strong in week 7 to face St Louis.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You asked, I deliver.

Several of you have left me comments or sent me e-mails stating your curiosity about the Kindle and how I'm liking it.  Finally, as promised, I'm sitting down to write a 'review'.  This will be a casual review, sort of like a chat over coffee.

Things I love about the Kindle:
- Not having to find time to go to the book store.  With my crazy life it sometimes took me a week or two just to have time to go to Borders and BUY my next book club book.  Now it's delivered wirelessly in seconds.  I love that.
-  For us on-the-go gals (or guys) who travel for work (or pleasure) - it's really amazing to tote all your books in something that weighs less than half a pound and takes up almost no room.  I like to tote my bible study book, bible, book club book, and sometimes 1 or 2 others everywhere I go!  So for me, that is excellent.
- It's simple.  There aren't tons of buttons to figure out - it's so simple a child or those that were born before the 'technology era' can easily find there way around it.

Things I don't love about the Kindle:
- It doesn't save you much money.  The books may (or may not) be a little cheaper but it would take years to really save much money (considering you pay $300 for the Kindle itself).  So from a thrifty perspective this one doesn't really work.
- It would be way easier in touch screen form.  The little toggle is similar to those on blackberrys and can be a little annoying.
- The highlight feature!  I'm such a highlight nazi. : ] Love it.

My thoughts are that if you're not someone who travels it's probably not the best use of your money.  It's still a little pricey (it's working it's way down) and it doesn't save you much on books. So, if you're going to sit at home and read you might as well start collecting a real live library.

BUT if you travel and you don't mind paying a little extra for the convenience of the light weight and space saver of a Kindle v. a portable library - well then look no further!

If you have other specific questions shoot them my direction via comment or e-mail and I'll do my best to answer.  But I am one happy customer thus far. 


Wise Words.

Wise words from my bible study reading this week:

'We need to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death'. - wild goose chase

Truely living requires that there is risk in our day to day lives. That we don't always play it safe.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Work Life.

So thanks to my randomly appearing Marie Claire subscription I'm able to bring you a few interesting insights from the November issue.  This caught my eye because I'm the opposite of the title which reads, 'How Shy Girls Win at Work'.  So for those of you who are more ears, less mouth here are some ways that you can make your presence felt and not be overpowered by your louder, chattier coworkers.

- Perfect your vocal pitch.  Don't end your ideas or pitches in question format, a nature inclination for many shy ladies.  'So, I had an idea of next week's client presentation?' is no long accepted ladies.  Be firm, be aggressive.  If you need to, practice your delivery.

- Stick with numbers, not adjectives. To avoid the struggle of introverts and their adversity to bragging, numbers can help you shine!  Use numbers to help you promote yourself without having to sound braggy, just be honest about your success.  Own it.

Solicit feedback immediately.  As the article puts it, 'this approach puts the onus on your manager to help you succeed'.  Ask them what would have made your pitch better?  Plus, in my experience (and Marie Claire mentioned this as well) - bosses like this!

Invest in some bold accessories.  Yay!  I love when getting ahead at work is related to fashion and more specifically accessories.  Marie Claire writer Marina Khidekel puts it these words, 'your appearance speaks volumes before you even say a word, and you need for it to say that you mean business'.  She also suggests your 'rock one standout piece'.  Ie:  a chunky necklace, a bright pair of shoes, and patterned belt or headband.

While 'shy' has NEVER been used to describe me, especially in a work environment I do appreciate that all 20-something girls should be getting ahead in their careers by getting the credit they deserve. So I wanted to post these tips for any of you out there who may need them.  I have such wonderful, successful readers and I want to see each of you get ahead as I know you deserve too!  So get after it.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Makeup Mondays Return.

Thanks to one, Kate Sperlik for this lovely -

From Self Magazine we get this makeup advice:

Surprise! Contact lens solution can help hold eyeshadow in place, because most contain sodium chloride (aka salt). The mineral causes powdered makeup to retain moisture so pigment lasts longer, says Diana Manzanares, a makeup artist in New York City. Dab three drops of solution on each lid, let dry for five seconds, then add color.

I'm always a fan of household items with multi-uses. I will be trying this one out myself!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Magic Crib.

My Daddy loves Cribs.  He loves the cool things people do with their homes. He's in Nashville, TN this weekend coaching our Colts to what I hope will be our 5th win of the season with the rest of my family (sadly, minus me and Bres) cheering him on.  So todays entry makes me think of him because I want to share with you all some faboosh pictures of Christina Aguilera's crib featured in the October In Style.  It's over-the-top-plush but I'm completely amused by it.



Quote of the Week.

'It's my way or the lame way' - Spencer Pratt

In honor of the return of the Hills to MTV. Hello Season 6. : ]

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Videographer: Brett Culp.

I recently met Brett Culp a videographer who's works for rock stars, celebs, pro athletes, etc.  Some of his former clients include Howie from the Backstreet Boys, Marshall Faulk (NFL athlete), Tom Clancy (author), and GMs of the NY Giants & the Tampa Bay Bucs.  So where did I run into this talented man?  My church!  While taking a class to be a small group leader for bible studies at my church I was introduced to him by my coach Paige.  

More that his impressive list of clients and beautiful videos on his website was that he was a great, down to earth family guy just trying to help out the church. It was fun meeting him and hearing about his career.  What a fun job!  I don't think I'll be hiring him as he works on wedding with budgets over 300K!  But, if I happen to marry a rock star or a pro football player maybe I'll be able to reconsider.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Money talk.

Ok as you all are well aware I'm taking a Dave Ramsey class so money is going to be on my mind for another oh, 16 weeks or so.  So we will be talking about it.  It seems from my last few posts that most of you are experiencing similar situations to what me and my friends are.  Therefore, you have some interest in getting ahead financially as well.  So, hopefully you'll enjoy this journey with me and if not - well, bare with me because there will be other posts as well.

Here are the lies we're going to quit telling ourselves:

- 'if I just made more money...'  This lie has gotten the best of all of us at some point in our young adult lives.  If we just made more money we'd more, give more, invest more.  Let's get real right now and say that as we've made more we have....SPENT more.  That's the truth right?  When we made nothing we spent less than we do now.  In college we spent more than in high school and when we graduated college we spent more than in college.  As we make more we spend more.  Most of us, sadly do not do any of the other things in a larger dose.  We continue to tell ourselves that when we make more we will...that cycle needs to be broken.
- 'I just need to get married'  Have you all used or heard this one?  Then my husband (or wife) can take care of the money.  Or 'then we'll have 2 incomes'.  With 2 incomes come other 2's.  2 cars.  2 student loans. 2 credit card debts.  If we don't get our finances right while there's 1, it will only be that much harder when there's 2.  Remember that.  Math rarely gets easier when the numbers get bigger people.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I know the number one lie that 20-somethings tell themselves.  Dave Ramsey addresses it but I'm going to venture out on a limb and say this really is the main lie that we as young and possibly singles buy into...

'but I DESERVE it'  if this is a lie that you tell yourself: stop.  Right now.  Because if you didn't earn the money to PAY for it, than you don't deserve it.  Sorry.  I know you work hard.  I know that your life sucks at times.  I know that you're busting it.  I know that it looks great on you.  But if you can't afford it then quit telling yourself you deserve it.  I've watched countless friends justify cars, tvs, apartments, homes, vacations, clothes, you name it.  Don't be one of them.  If you can't afford it then don't tell yourself you deserve it...earn it so you can enjoy and pay for it only 1 time, in cash.

Getting ahead financially is hard.  There is no get rich quick scheme that will solve all your problems.  Even those who win the lottery are often back out pumping gas a few years later because if we don't learn about money when we have little we still won't understand it when we have lots.  Principles of money have to be learned, they do not show up when your paychecks hit a certain level.

If were going to get down and dirty with budgeting we've got to start by cutting the crap.  We make what we make, we are what we are, and we don't deserve it until we've earned it.  Those are the cold, hard facts.

The one and only 'debt' that is allowed in the Dave Ramsey lifestyle is a mortgage (1...not 2).  So if the bank owns your car, then remember that you don't.  And if the bank owns your wardrobe through credit card debt, than guess what - it's not yours.  If this is the case than you neither earned them nor 'deserve' them.

If you feel depressed now than you're probably in a good place to start redoing your habits with me.  It's time to buckle down and take control because 'you have to gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you'.

Let's get it girls.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New look!

My new blog layout is inspired (and partially stolen from) In Style's section of celebrity closets.  I do love a good closet and so I thought my blog would look at home inside of one.  Here's a few of those behind the inspiration that were previously featured:

Welcome to the new home for my writing.  


NFL - Week 5.

Last week I won 11 and lost 3 of my NFL picks. Sadly, I did not come in first place. BUT I am making a steady comeback. Here are my picks for week 5...

Bal (v. Cinci)
Phi (v. TB)
Buff (v. Cle)
Pit (v. Det)
Wash (v. Car)
Dal (v. KC)
NYG (v. Oak)
Min (v. STL)
ATL (v. SF)
Ari (v. Hous)
NE (v. Den)
Sea (v. Jax)
Indy (v. Ten)
NYJ (v. Mia)



Shopaholic meets Uncle Dave.

Whether you know me in real life or blogworld you probably know me well enough to have figured out I'm more of a spender than a saver. Some may even term me a professional consumer. I buy what I want, usually at the exact moment I decide I want it. Now, I do maintain a high enough level of self control to keep myself out of trouble - but until recently not enough to ever get ahead.

I am not however content to continue to be subpar. It is not enough to simply survive in the world, I want to conquer. For me success in the world of finances doesn't mean getting rich, it means being financial stable and secure. Ready even for the unexpected. Above crisis. Prepared. Or to simplify - it means not having to answer the question, 'if you had a 5,000 dollar crisis where would you get the money' with a sheepish - 'Call my Dad and ask to borrow?'.

The course I'm taking teaches to you to live below your means now so that later you can 'live like no one else'. It is important to me to be a good steward of what God has entrusted to me and I would be lying if I said that I have always cared about that. Honestly, I think for many years (mostly high school and college) I thought that being a 'good steward of my money' was directly related to' being lame and going without everything I wanted'.


As every consumers pet, I like to have the best, the newest, the now. The problem however is not what I want but when I want it. The Dave Ramsey program is teaching me that you don't have to go without what you want, you have to wait until you can truly afford it. Not afford it in the sense that there's enough money in your bank account, enough money in the right category. Can I go on a cruise if I want? Absolutely! But it must come from a budget category that holds vacations (ie: entertainment) and the money must be available before I pay for the cruise (not charged and later paid off or borrowed from other categories).

All you shopaholics out there are grimacing right along with me. Waiting. What a horrible, horrible concept. We love the instant gratification of having it before others, when we want it, and to wear or use the very next day! Am I right? So how am I ever going to learn to delay my desires until their budgeted and saved for? Another word we shopaholics hate - discipline!
I must learn to limit my spending to only a pre-determined amount. Stay tuned for updates as I try'n face facts on the catagories that are out of control.

Ps: Check at the bottom of my sidebar for a financial check up and see if you're on the right track. According to my plan, I could have over 6 million dollars in savings by the time I'm 65 (with the interest included). Don't you see why I like Dave now?! : ]

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I love me some Gossip Girl fashion so, in honor of having watched a Tivo'd episode of the show this morning while I got ready I'm going to show show you a combo of some of my favorite stylish 'it' girls from one of my favorite fashion blog sites...

Blake Lively - 'Serena Vanderwoodsen'

She has mastered looking naturally put together and beautiful all-the-time! Can I please get to that point?!

Jessica Szohr - 'Vanessa Abrams'

I really dig her in the second outfit down. So cute.

Leighton Meester - 'Blaire Waldorf'

She changes up her style. She always has some different stylish look going on. She's my favorite in the show, so I like to follow her 'on the street' style as well.

And since she was this weeks guest star.... Hilary Duff - 'Olivia' on GG. I actually like her style on this site better than I thought I would. She's got some cute looks featured.

Special thanks for Frugal Fashionista's - one of my favorite websites. Thanks for keeping me up on the trends, and helping me get 'their looks' for 'less'.


GP #6

This weeks guilty pleasure? Tivo!

How did I ever live before the days of Tivo? I don't allow myself to watch TV at night because there are so many other things I wouldn't get done. I need to read, study, do laundry, clean, pack, etc. So, no TV at night for this girl unless my task of the evening can be done while the tube is on. SO...

I live by Tivo. The only thing I watch real-time anymore is football. Which consumes most of my Sunday's as it stands.

Tivo is for GG, OTH, Kardashian love, Private Practice, and all my other mindless shows I just can't get myself to quit watching. I love my Tivo. I would be lost without it.

Plus, it gives me something to be excited about in the mornings when I have to wake up to get ready for work. : ] And I need something to be excited about at 6am, let's be honest.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Thoughts from tonight's reading.

I went out and got a diet coke and did my Financial Peace University homework tonight and two main thoughts jumped out at me.  I thought I would share them with you.  More on my journey from shopaholic to financial stability coming soon.  For tonight I'll give you 2 great quotes from Dave Ramsey's book - 

'You must gain control over your money or the lack of it will forever control you.  If you don't take action continually on your money, it or the lack of it will take action on you'.

Also, 'measure your wealth not by the things you have, but by the things for which you would not take money'.

Food for thought.


What is beautiful?

My 3rd book arrived while I was gone this weekend from Thomas Nelson publishing for my reviewing pleasure.  I wasn't sure which of the options I was most interested in and finally selected 'Redefining Beautiful' by Jenna Lucado (daughter of Max Lucado who will be speaking at my works banquet this year).  I figure I will probably meet her Father and possibly even her at the Family First banquet next month so why not show her some support?

I'm not far in but I wanted to share this tidbit from the start of the book, in hopes that it will speak to you as it did me...enjoy.

Some days I like him.  Most days I hate him.  But I do have to admit, he's honest.  He'll always tell me if I have food in my teeth or a booger in my nose. He isn't afraid to let me know if a certain shirt is too tight or if a color doesn't complement my skin.  I appreciate the honesty, but he is deceiving all the same.  Deceiving because anytime he tells me, 'Just get this cute shirt and feel better about yourself' or 'Just lose five pounds and be forever happy,' it doesn't work.  I'm never good enough for him.

I try not to hang out with him too much, or else I can easily fall into his trap of discouragement - 'Jenna, I see that cellulite back there.  Your skin is looking pretty oily these days.  Those teeth need some whitening!' I try to block out his lies that tell me I'm not good enough, that I'm not beautiful, but it's hard.

I'm sure you've met him.  He tends to pop up in all sorts of places: bathrooms, cars, department stores, gyms.  And I'm sure you've felt some of these same insecurities when standing in front of him.

His name?


If this intro catches you the way it did me, speaking into my high school years more than present day but holding true even now...than perhaps you should take this journey to redefining beauty with me. It has become increasingly more difficult to face ourselves.  It is no longer ok to be cute or average or even just pretty - we must now be stunning, striking, or breathtaking.  The standards are always rising and how we see ourselves is often defined by sources other than us.

I'm two chapters in and already curious as to what truths this book may hold.

Stay tuned.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Quote of the week.

This weeks quote of the week is dedicated to Candy Arbuckle - a wonderful friend & soulmate.  I love you.

Women don't just have friends.  We have soulmates...and that is powerful compensation for life's other hardships. - Alarie Tennille

This quote is from the book 'Friendship is a blessing'.

Titans Weekend.

I just touched down in Tampa, returning from my weekend in Nashville, Tennessee.  It was my first All Pro Dad event on Staff.  The weather was perfect.  Low 70s, sunny, with a nice breeze off the water beside the practice facility.  We couldn't have picked a better day for an outdoor event.  Though, I probably should have though through the polo v-neck tan-line I was going to acquire.  Really attractive.

The weekend was great fun and the event went well.  A successful first of hopefully many events with the All Pro Dad event team. : ]  I even managed to pack in a carryon bag for the first time in my entire life!  It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought, in fact I think I could do it going home for long weekends now that I've made myself do it once.  I'm joining the world of low maintenance travel!

Sadly, I didn't get as much reading done on the plane as I hoped.  I normally can't sleep on planes but I didn't have a bit of trouble this go around.  I didn't read at night since my 'roomie' was way more entertaining than my literature.

Sadly, I didn't find time to use my camera once the entire trip BUT I did manage to snap a few cell phone pictures.  Here ya go...

Possibly the most interesting 'guests' of this weekends event were the Comcast crew with the Starwars clones and oh yes, Obe.

Since it's for work I felt like it was ok that I was behind enemy lines. : ]  Titans territory.  I didn't get to see my fellow Purdue Alum who plays there but we did get to have a brief chat on the phone.  It was funny to see that we had made similar observations about the differences between Nashville people and Indy people.

Here a picture of the participants and the back of our MC for the day, Brent from 104.5 the Zone.  In the background you can see the Titan's practice 'bubble'.  I was a little sad I didn't get to go inside.

Well time for me to get down to business since being gone all weekend means I have laundry and grocery shopping to do for this week.


Friday, October 2, 2009

This weekend/NFL Week 4.

Here are my week four picks:

Wash (v. TB)
NE (v. Bal)
Jax (v. Tenn)
Houston (v. Oak)
Cinci (v. Clev)
Indy (v. Seattle)
Giants (v. KC)
Chi (v. Det)
Buf (v. Mia)
NO (v. Jets)
SF (v. STL)
Dal (v. Den)
Pit (v. SD)
GB (v. Minn)


I'm headed now to Nashville, TN to work my first event on staff, with our Titans spokesmen and the All Pro Dad team ( I'm excited for a great weekend of helping Daddies (and maybe some mommies) bond with their kids and build good habits for great relationships! I'm bringing my camera so hopefully there will be pics up after the weekend. Nashville here I come!