Tuesday, November 27, 2012

No Spend Month Monday update + workout goodies!

Thanksgiving has come and gone... calories have come, but haven't gone... and money has (kind of) come, but is definitely gone. boo! :(

Needless to say, even though I didn't go on my Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday splurge, I'm still way over budget. I suppose early Christmas gift shopping is the main one to blame. At least I'm about half way done with Christmas gifts for the fambam. I also scored some awesome books from half.com, and cannot wait for them to appear in my mailbox! :) I will have to share my findings once they arrive.

Now! I am dying to begin these tonight. I did a similar 10 minute circuit training two days ago, and my quads and rump are in so much pain.. I can't even explain. It has definitely been a rude awakening, but I guess that's what I needed to get my motivation back. I really would like to get my 10k back. But before I achieve that, I must work towards a better mile time...

I present to you.. *drum roll* Victoria's Secret's Train Like an Angel workout videos!! I'm about two months behind from the challenge, but that doesn't mean I can't do it on my own. Enjoy, and let me know how it goes for you! :)

Week One - Core Workout

accompanying videoCore Workout

Week Two - Legs Workout
accompanying video: Leg Workout

Week Three - Arms Workout
accompanying video: Arms Workout

Week Four - Cardio Workout
video: Cardio Workout

Week Five - Butt Workout
accompanying video: Butt Workout

Week Six - Jet Set Workout
accompanying video: Jet Set Workout

Work it! I'll let you know how I end up surviving... until then, ciao! (:

Monday, November 19, 2012

No Spend Month Monday Update..

It's a week before Black Friday, and so far, I've stayed within budget. I do plan on going shopping this Friday, but also have work Friday morning, so don't intend on being a crazy Black Friday-er. :) I am excited to say this has been the closest I've ever been to succeeding. What's the secret? There definitely a lot of variables that are allowing this to be a success. Being out of town with zero need to spend money has definitely been a huge factor. Another key player is my consistency in packed lunches. There are so many days (like today) where I'll crave Chik-Fil-A, or something completely random. But much like when one is dieting, it takes a good amount of self-control to say "no," and from there, I'm golden! :) I have also made smarter clothing purchases. Before buying anything, I ask myself, "Will I be wearing this two seasons from now?" I know that sounds like forever away, but trust me. My good pieces last me for years and years. I have a down jacket that I've had since high school!! So although there are many cute sweaters and cardigans and tops, I need to ask myself if it's cute because it's currently in fashion, or because it's timelessly my style.  At the end of the day, it boils down to smart, self-controlled decisions. I need to see the big picture, and not act impulsively. Whether it be my stomach speaking to me or my eyes, I need to see that the majority of my purchases are for short-lived pleasures. bigger picture. bigger picture. bigger picture!!

So here's what I've spent my hard earned cash the past two weeks....

  1. November 12: $20.33 - Dollar Tree; I wanted to make Mercury Glass candle votives. It's impossible to find the right spray paint, so I may give up on this project and return the candle votives.
  2. November 12: $8.58 - Home Depot; spent on the wrong spray paint. 
  3. November 14: $11.38 - Hancock Fabrics; pearl pins and ribbon for my ornament (see previous post)
  4. November 14: $35.04 - Michael's; styrofoam balls, circle cutter (wanted to make Christmas cards, but I think the circles it cuts are too big..), & pearl balls
  5. November 14: $15.96 - Arby's; dinner for two.
  6. November 16: $7.53 - Arby's; my lunch.
  7. November 17: $58.20 - Birthday gifts/wrap & cards for my Vietalien babies. :)
Sub-total for the past two weeks: $157.02 (yikes!!)
Well, I guess I won't be spending another penny for the rest of November! Wish me luck! :)

it's in the air!

The holiday season is finally in the air! Well, it's been here for about three months in the retail world, but in the Rebecca world, it has just arrived.

With Christmas around the corner, and pinterest in my life, I've taken the liberty to making my very first ornament! I pinned a couple of ornaments from Anthropologie several weeks ago, and as they were $12 a pop, I thought it'd be a better idea to make them myself. I'm not quite sure it's that much cheaper to make it myself, but it's fun and personally, I think mine is prettier. :) It's super easy to make (given Michaels has all the supplies you need). The top left is the one from Anthrpologie, and here's another one from this season : Pearl Bauble Orb. The bottom left is my ornament with the vivid filter, and the left is my ornament with the soft filter. :)
All you need are:

  • packs of pearl beads (I got an assorted pack with three colors and three different sizes.
  • pearl head pins (they were about $3.99 for 100pcs)
  • Styrofoam balls
  • ribbon
  • wire (you need to poke the wire through the foam ball so you will have something to tie the ribbon to.)
The pearl head pins are pretty expensive, and you go through them pretty quickly (it took 300 pins for one ornament!) So for the rest of my ornaments, I'm just going to use hot glue gun. I've already started another ornament with this technique, and it's working beautifully. I'll post pictures once I'm finished. :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Post Election...

I know it's a bit late to be writing about my initial responses to the election results, but I wanted to take some time to how I really truly felt/feel/will feel about the next four years.

I have to admit, I'm a little worried for this country, for my family, for my friends and for myself. Especially when it comes to any fiscally related topics.
I will have to admit, I was slightly encouraged after reading President Obama's plans of meeting up with Romney to share ideas. It's a commendable thing when one openly admits he/she does not have as strong of an understanding on a certain topic as another. And on top of that, to be willing to do something constructive about it.

I know at the end of the day, and at the end of this lifetime, the Lord has everything planned our perfectly. And the way He has created us and everything else in this world is a perfect testimony to His perfect planning. So I will not question, nor lose faith that He knows what He is doing. One of my girlfriends from small group shared this with us a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn't help but be encouraged to have faith in God's plan as she read this aloud to us. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

No Spend Month Mondays

Today is Monday. You know what that means!! No Spend Monday update! :D

New month, new budget, new expenses, new savings...

So far, I've done pretty well with just two purchases:

  • November 2 - 
    • $10.85 - lunch at Jason's Deli
    • $4.05 - gum at CVS
Going forward...
I've already eaten the lunch I brought from home, so I'll be good for the rest of the day.
I leave on Thursday afternoon for a retreat, so that solidifies zero spendings from Thursday - Sunday.

We'll see how I end up doing....


As far as the other topics of blogging goes, I may have designated the topics for pretty unreasonable days. Sundays are always filled with house chores and church, so although I do cook at least dinner, I either forget to take pictures and/or am so exhausted from the days' happenings that I forget to grab the computer and write. (Both of which occurred last night...) By the time Michael gets home from small group, it's around 9:30pm. By the time we finish eating and clearing out the kitchen, it's closer to 10:30-11:00pm. As far as my Quiet Time Thursdays go, I had an all-day in-house training session at work on Thursday, so that kind of failed. And I wrote a draft on Friday, but for one reason or another, never got around to publishing it. I may have to leave the "Foodday Sunday" initiative to a more organic approach. I'm sure I will be able to stick with the "No Spend Month Mondays" and the "Quiet-Time Thursdays" though.


Monday, October 29, 2012

No Spend Monday

Happy Monday! and ready or not, here comes the cold weather!

There are three days until the next month. And I cannot emphasize the need for the new month enough.

So, here are the basic details for the No Spend Month initiative:
  • budget per month: $250
    • does not include:
      • bills
      • pet expenses
      • tithe/donations
      • gas
    • does include:
      • shopping
      • eating out/groceries
      • presents/gifts
For starters, I adore adore ADORE food. I love eating out, I love eating in. I love eating until I feel ill. So, needless to say, the majority of my budget goes to food. I added up my food expenses, and it came to a whopping $169.26. yikes! That's 51% of my budget going to food, and this is from eating out only, mind you. I didn't include all the grocery store expenses, because I usually grab non-food items while I'm at Kroger, Target, and/or Walmart. Houston, we have a MAJOR problem here.
This past week I spent $191.51 on the following:
  1. October 21: ($17.93) at Kroger - food/ingredients for dinner
  2. October 21: ($4.54) at Yogurtland - frozen yogurt with the boyfriend
  3. October 21: ($40.41) at PetsMart - three tetras & Greenies for my cats & dog
  4. October 22: ($7.88) at Kroger - salad and soup lunch
  5. October 22: ($3.99) at Kroger - eye drops for my contacts
  6. October 24: ($39.43) at Kroger - dinner and ingredients for a dessert I failed royally on baking.
  7. October 25: ($11.25) at Amazon - a book that was recommended to me
  8. October 25: ($25) at GSU - unfinished business
  9. October 26: ($22.99) at Target - halloween costumes for my pets (a dinosaur and shark.. pictures are below heehee)
  10. October 26: ($18.09) at Goldbergs - lox on a bagel & a chicken caesar wrap. I was totally unimpressed by the lox on the bagel. I miss the ones from the cruise!!

11. October 26: ($21) at Takorea - goodbye dinner for one of my girlfriends from work *tear* (picture of the burrito below)   

I restate the fact that there are three days remaining. I better not spend one more penny within the next three days, because I have currently spent ... holy smokes. I have spent $538.29 this past month. oh em gee. Do you realize how disgusting this is?
Last month, my first month of attempting this, I spent $828.79. Granted, I did spend $212 on the new iPhone, $78.98 on a replacement fleece for my boyfriend that my lovely cat ate (yes.. she ate his fleece), and $114.25 on a traffic citation. But that's still $423.57 I spent on other random, useless, disposable crap

*sigh* I need to stop making excuses, and stop caving into my cravings. because this is seriously ridonkulous! 
Going forward, maybe I need to start micro-managing, like setting weekly or even daily budgets!
There are 30 days in November, giving me a daily budget of $8.33, and a weekly budget of $62.50. That doesn't seem impossible to abide by.
There is one discouraging event though:
  • Black Friday!
    • I desperately need a new computer... :( okay, maybe not desperately, but I do need one.
    • I need new clothes and shoes!...so we all know I use the word "need" and "want" interchangeably...
I will be out of town the second week of November though, so hopefully that'll curb some of my spendings..

As far as this week goes, I have done well by not going out for breakfast or lunch today (go me!)
I have small group after work tomorrow, so the chances of me going out to eat for dinner increases slightly, but hopefully I'll be able to wait until I get home to eat dinner.
I plan on sleeping over at my boyfriends tomorrow, and if I do, I probably won't pack my breakfast & lunch.. which means I'll be spending a bit on Wednesday for my meals. Except my company's CEO is taking us out for lunch, so hopefully I'll be paying for nothing more than my breakfast that day.... or I could be a good little girl and pack my breakfast. Thursday & Friday should be good days... but who knows. I could crave lox on a bagel like I did last week and spend close to $20 at the Jewish deli down the street....
we shall see where my stomach takes me.


Monday, October 22, 2012

restore. revitalize. repurpose

It's been two years, one month, and seven days since my last post. I have to admit, I've been doing anything but a stellar job with this blog. So, here's to the ability to "turning the page" and "beginning a new chapter" in my life book. I have come back with intentions of restoring this blog... revitalizing it... with a completely new purpose (I'm not sure I ever started this blog with an actual purpose, so perhaps "new purpose" is a bit of an overstatement). Regardless, I bring you mi vida 2.0. 

 What can you expect?

  • "No Spend Month" updates. I am an avid Pinner, and one of the many brilliant pins I came across consisted of me limiting my monthly expenses to a mere $200. *gasp* I began last month, and failed. This month, I am failing twice as much, but twice as gracefully. :) I'm hoping by publicly declaring my irresponsible spendings, (mostly on food) I will feel embarrassed enough to stick with my budget. I doubt blogging will really hold me accountable, but here's to being optimistic and self-controlled.
  • Quiet-Time Insights. For someone that has grown up in the church and grown up around a family and friends that love, serve, live for the Lord, I do a feebly meebly job keeping up with my quiet times on a consistent basis. I am constantly in fellowship with Him, and I love everything about spending time with Him, but I definitely lack the self control to set aside a specific place and time to have a date with my Savior. The very least I can do is plan and go on a date with Him. Perhaps one day, I'll get to the point where I can be an event planner for Him. Again, I'm hoping by publicly journal-ing my thoughts and findings from one of our dates from the week, it will help me not only to stay on track with meeting Him, but will also allow me to gain an additional insight or two as I reflect upon my QT.
    • Shall I take the liberty to calling these "Quiet-Time Thursdays"?
  • Food Experiments. I love food. I love eating it, smelling it, looking at it, dreaming about it. I always have and always will. Trying out new recipes has become a more relevant hobby now that on top of All Recipes there are websites like, Pinterest and FoodGawker to tease me. And ever since I got my new iPhone & realized they all have apps, I have become a food lover on a dangerously different level. All of them haven't been successes. I haven't always followed the recipes exactly (whether it be by choice or not). It'd be my greatest pleasure to be able to share these experiences with you.
    • Alas, "Foodday Sunday" is born!