Category Archives: financial stability

Calling All Dreamers

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Good morning lovely people,

I’m coming to you live from Indianapolis, here on the Westside, at my job, at my desk…Yep, it’s as boring as it sounds, lol. Such a shame that I’m here in the middle of my work day, daydreaming about what I want to be when I grow up. Yes, never mind the fact that I’m 41 years old, I have two almost adult children, I’ve been married and divorced, and I work a full-time job as a pharmacy technician. But that’s not my dream job, I mean it pays the bills, barely, but I have a dream of being my own boss one day. Seriously, I know that sounds like most Americans, but really folks, I think I deserve it after all of these years. I mean considering that I didn’t finish college and I’ve been a single mom for years before I got married. I have worked hard all my adult life starting at 14 and I’ve been in so many different lines of work I can’t even count all of the jobs I’ve had. I mean I could try but it would be hilarious and a bit embarrassing. Too bad I couldn’t get college credit for every different job I’ve had. I’ve worked as a waitress, in clothing stores, in hospitals, in drugstores, in the manufacturing field (making airplane engines and the automobile industry believe or not). I mean, I’m not flighty or unable to hold down a job, but I’m a jack-of-all-trades, really, if you teach me something once, I’ll pick it up quickly and I’ll be the best at it. But, with being a single mom for so many years, I went wherever the best paying job with the best health insurance would have me.

So with that being said, I’ve learned over the years, that I’m very creative and I can learn just about anything. I would like to take that gift and use it to my own advantage. I love baking, sewing, and quilting, and I would love to own my own rustic little shop where I can do all of these things all day and get paid for it. Sounds great!!! One day, I’ll make it happen. Don’t mind me, just rambling on, hoping and wishing, and dreaming.

You all have a great day,

#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:9, 10 ESV)

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God is able! Gym Daze 11-14!!!

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Good afternoon lovely people,

Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve reported in. Never fear, I have still been working out and sticking to my healthy eating. I have T-minus 6 days for my first weigh-in. I don’t know what to hope for but I know that since I’ve been working out I feel much better. I’m hoping that my blood pressure has went down and I would like to see the percentage of body fat go down as well. I’ve worked up to 30 minutes on the elliptical, which I’m sure most of you don’t think that’s much, but I’m going much faster and I totally feel the burn. I wear one of those sweat bands around my tummy and a sweatshirt every workout. Yes, I’m convinced the tummy band works, but if it doesn’t, eh, what’s it gonna hurt, right? So, I’m going full force on my cardio and I left weights after every workout. I workout with the mindset that, what if I don’t workout tomorrow, so I go as hard as I can. I’m also trying to move up my workouts to 4 days a week, instead of 3, so I’m going today and tomorrow as well. I believe yesterday would have been my 14th gym day. Whew, I had to go through myfitnesspal app to double check I was right on that count. Yep, it’s been that long since I wrote.

I don’t have too much to update you on, here at “Lifestyle Change 2014” headquarters. I am a geek though and I did order a t-shirt and a bumper sticker with my motto for the year #GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow, yep, I’m that serious. I hope they turn out like I designed them, because I’ll be sporting that shirt at the gym for motivation. I’ve been keeping up with my Bible reading, eating healthy, paying bills (a little), and keeping my mind on greater things. So, all’s well.

Have a blessed one,

#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5:16, 17 ESV)

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#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow Gym day 9&10

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#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow Gym day 9&10

Good Morning Lovely People,

Well, I’ve been busy and tired at the same time, so in between going to the gym Friday and Monday, I’ve been resting. I’m not sure if I’m tired from working out or if it’s still the winter weather wreaking havoc on my energy level. I have come to the realization that I have been slacking on one of my other, dare say, the most important resolution for “Lifestyle Change 2014”. That resolution was to seek God first in all of my decisions, in all of my activities, and in all of my life. I have been all gung-ho about loosing weight, eating healthy, and saving money, that I forgot to seek God and all of his infinite wisdom, first and foremost. Shame, I know, but in dealing in this secular world of always striving for happiness and gratification, I sometimes forget my main objective as a Christian is to seek God first. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

I must get up in the morning and seek God. I must go to work and seek God. I must parent my children while seeking God. I must interact with coworkers, family, and strangers, while seeking God. I must eat healthy while seeking God. I must exercise while seeking God. I must try to save money and get out of debt while seeking God. Before I lay my head down at night I shall seek God. All of these things and more I should do while seeking God. You get the picture and I hope you strive to do the same as well.

Some of the tools that I use to reach God and listen to his voice, are the Bible App from YouVersion, on my IPhone. I use this app to start a plan and use it to listen through the Bible while I’m at work. Don’t worry, my desk job is quite repetitive and we’re allowed to listen to our headphones while working. I have become the queen of multi-tasking. I listen to music, sermons, the Bible, audio books, all while keeping up my production. And I’m sure some of you are thinking that listening to the Bible is not the same as reading it, yes I know, but I’d rather listen to the Bible and follow along with it then listen to some of the conversations that take place here at work. And if I feel like I’ve missed something or I don’t understand a certain passage, I just mark my spot in the app and go over it at home. I also say a prayer right before I start to listen that God will grant me the wisdom to understand His word and give me the strength to live out his word everyday. I also listen to some sermons on my phone, like John MacArthur on ‘Grace to You’ app, and Mark Driscoll on ‘Mars Hill’ church app. I can listen to my pastor’s sermons from Lakeview Church as well. My daughter bought me some nice Christian literature that specifically pertain to my particular situation and I’m getting to those soon.

So, yes, I’ve been a little discouraged about not seeing immediate results on my weight loss, but I know that’s just the Devil talking. So I need to continually seek God to keep that demon out of my thoughts. So, there you have it, my ultimate New Year’s Resolution; Seek God first.

#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow

My motto for LIFESTYLE CHANGE 2014, I think I’m going to get me a shirt made with that on it, and a bumper sticker, and a car window decal, and anything else I could put my motto on so that I’ll remember GOD FIRST.

Have a blessed one!!

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

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Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but blogging is so delightful

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Good afternoon lovely people,

 

Well, I’m sure many of you have already heard or are witness to the “Blizzard 2014” going on here in the Midwest. We’re snowed in and it’s frightfully freezing outside. So, I haven’t been to the gym in 2 days and I didn’t make it to work today, so I thought I’d share another one of my New Year’s Resolutions with you. I’m going to elaborate on the little baby steps I’ve been making to save money in order to pay off bills this year. I’ve been doing them for the past 3 months, again getting a head start for the new year. I have started extreme couponing, doing surveys for cash, and I use all of these nifty apps on my IPhone to save money and download coupons. I will say that I didn’t just come up with this idea on my own. A dear friend of mine at work started last year paying off all of his debt and saving money and he has worked miracles on his credit score. He introduced me to the Krazycouponlady.com, the paid surveys, and all of the money saving apps.

Let me tell you about www.krazycouponlady.com, it’s a website that is run by two ladies that know a thing or two about saving money. They have a daily blog where they tell you about all of these great deals at stores and online, and they tell you about which coupons to use, which insert a coupon will be in, and what store will have the best deals. I cut coupons like a crazy person and when I have the extra money I stock up on necessities, like shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, and paper products. I don’t however buy things that I don’t need and I don’t purchase items just because I have a coupon. They have this coupon binder that I’ve downloaded and use for my coupons, but I firmly believe in not buying just because you have a coupon. So a lot of my coupons go unused if I don’t really, really, need it. Because, again I’m trying to save money, not waste it on unnecessary things. Drop by their site, it’s very cool and it will teach you a lot about couponing.

 

And then I have all of these cool apps that I use on my phone that pay me either to buy things that I’m already shopping for or visiting stores. Like Shopkick, OMG I love this app! I think this is one of THE best apps that I have (even better than Candy Crush, Yeah, I said it). With Shopkick, they award you “kicks” (points) for stopping by your local stores, walking in, and scanning certain items. Most of the time they just award you kicks just for walking in a store and that’s it. Then you collect as many kicks as you like and you can redeem them for a lot of great things like gift cards, gas cards, merchandise, and you can even donate your kicks to a charity. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I have cashed in on over $100 worth of gift cards at Target. That’s all I ever use my kicks for, because I’m a Target-holic, you guys know what I mean. I live literally around the corner from a Target and I could get kicks everyday, if I wanted to, and believe me sometimes I do. Don’t judge (ok, you can judge, but it won’t stop my addiction to Target). But, definitely download the Shopkick app, if you haven’t already. Better yet, use my referral link, because every person you refer and they sign up for it you collect 50% of their kicks for 2 weeks. You don’t take their kicks, Shopkick just matches your friends kicks up to 50% for a 2 week period. You’ll thank me later!!!

http://get.shopkick.com/geary15041

AND, speaking of Target!!! I know you Targeteers, know about their RedCard and the 5% savings you get whenever you buy something and the free shipping with every online purchase. I know, I know, you’re thinking girl didn’t you hear about the theft of people’s Redcard and personal info from Target a couple of months ago? Yes, I know, and yes I shopped during that time period, but I check my bank account daily, just to make sure no funny business is going on and I assure you no one is out there buying Beats by Dre headphones, or 20 gallons of Edy’s ice cream with my card. And I hope you know about the Cartwheel app from Target that gives you additional deals at their stores. So, you can save money on a Target shopping spree with coupons, Target Mobile coupons (Target app), the Cartwheel app, and the Redcard!!!! Try it and see how much you save. You’re welcome in advance.

I also use Receipt Hog, which is an app that gives you points for taking pics of your receipts at grocery stores. I will say that it takes FOREVER to collect points, but I feel like I’ve invested so much time in it, that I’ll stick with it until I collect enough points for a cash out option or an Amazon gift card.

http://app.receipthog.com/share/t3wOouek

Another app that gives you points for going to certain movie theaters and restaurants is Plink. It gives you points for checking in at certain retailers and spending a certain amount of money there, as well.

Several apps that I use to get coupons are SavingStar, Coupons.com, and Google Offers. I use Favado because it’s just like Krazycouponlady.com because it shows you all of the local sales in your area and it tells you which coupons to use and which insert that the coupon came in to get the best deal.

And the ever wonderful Groupon app that has great deals for everything from merchandise, restaurant deals, and vacation packages. It’s where I snagged the great deal on my boxing classes that I will be taking soon.

 

So, not only do I use all of these apps before I go shopping, I’m making a list and checking it twice, and I have my coupons in hand before I even get to the store. Plan and be prepared so there is no impulsive buying, like that 20 gallons of Edy’s ice cream.

Stop by tomorrow and we’ll talk about the Survey sites that I use to earn extra cash or hopefully tomorrow will be a Gym day, because I’m going back to work, hopefully.

#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow

 

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God willing, gym day 6

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Good morning lovely people,

I hope you all had a wonderful New Years!!! I mentioned that me and my daughter went to the casino NYE, it wasn’t too bad. After we got lost getting there (totally my fault), we made it there by 11:50pm so we got a few turns on the slots before the countdown. We went to Indiana Casino Live in Shelbyville and it was PACKED!! My daughter is 22 and she’s never been before and she thought it would be neat to go on NYE. So, I took her straight to the penny slots, so she could get a feel of what they were like. A few of the machines I had to make her get away from because she just started pushing buttons, ie. MAX BET, lol. Well, at any rate, all’s well that ends well, we both broke even. No loss, no gain, no big deal.

Since my mission in 2014 is a “Lifestyle Change” I wanted to share a few of the ideas I’ve picked up from Pinterest, @Mankofit, @dashmalove, @stacie_thetrainer (all from Instagram) and of course my daughter and some googling here and there. I follow them on their blogs or through Instagram for their exercise, eating healthy habits, and motivational advice.

I think one of the hardest obstacles for me and most of us slackers out here is eating healthy. Most suggest eating 5-6 small meals a day and that is the hardest for me. Last year and numerous years of depression and sickness I had just figured that in order for me to loose weight I’ll just skip meals and not eat as much and my body got used to that. WRONG!!! I have been on several diets and yes I have even starved myself more times than I care to admit. Seriously I’m willing to share the good and the bad, so that maybe I can, not only grow from sharing my experience and maybe let someone see that they are not alone in all of the incorrect thinking that some of us do from time-to-time. I mean I’ve tried cleanses, diet pills, fasting (starving not the correct fasting), cutting out this or that from my diet, and it was all wrong. And the bad part about it, is that I knew all of it was wrong, but I figured that “ok, I’ll just do this for a short period of time and then I’ll start doing it the correct way after I see IMMEDIATE results.”
SOOO WRONG!! I know how stupid it sounds, but when you’re depressed and desperate, you think that you’re thinking logically and rationally, when you know deep down that it’s just plain destructive. Not only have I dieted a million times but I’ve also been on several different anti-depressants as well. I mean I’ve suffered from depression, migraines, anxiety, PTS, insomnia, sleep-apnea, and anything else that comes along with depression and obesity. I have high blood pressure and the ever increasing “belly fat” that us, ahem “older/middle-aged” women suffer from. But, it’s all good, because “Lifestyle Change 2014” is going to change all of that J. NO JOKE.

Yeah, that sounds like such a lofty idea, you say, just think you’re going to change and it’s going to magically happen overnight…No, I don’t think it’s going to magically happen overnight, because all of this fat and total mind destruction, that’s been going on for years, didn’t just happen overnight, not even just last year. I mean this has been going for decades (NO LIE). I’ve been fighting this battle for YEARSSSSSS! I’m getting teary-eyed thinking of all those years wasted being unhappy and putting on a brave, happy face for my kids, when deep down inside I’ve been dragging around this ball-and-chain just in the background. BLAHHHH, it makes me angry even thinking about it. I can tell you, that the ball-and-chain has reeked havoc in my life, many lost relationships and many lost opportunities. I’m going to use this little mental image of me just sweeping the old crap out of my mind and out of the door, instead of under the rug, for me to stumble over later on.

Moving on, back to a few eating tidbits. I started taking a multivitamin every morning. I bought ONE-A-DAY Energy, that has caffeine added. I will tell you that most things I’m going to recommend will be because they’re a trusted brand or because I caught it on sale, lol. I am a penny-pincher for sure and I probably won’t buy it if I don’t have a coupon or if it’s not on sale. Remember, I’m trying to save money and pay off debt this year as well. The ONE-A-DAY does make me a little jittery though, but I’m hoping I get used to it. I’ll start my morning with either a smoothie that I made the night before or protein/nutrition bar. And to make sure I get all of the 64 ounces of water a day, that is recommended to drink, I drink water between every bite that I eat, nerdy, but it works. I pack a my lunch bag with several snacks that I eat on all through the day. I like Yoplait’s Greek yogurt, blueberry is my fav. I’ve tried the Dannon’s Greek low-fat, and bleccckkkkk, it’s way too sweet for my liking. And it has aspartame in it, and I avoid that and any other “fake sweetener” because I’m one of those people that thinks they cause cancer. Please don’t take anything I say as the gospel truth because I won’t quote you some scientifically proven fact, just my opinion. I also keep my desk drawer packed with the protein/nutrition bars in case I don’t like what they’re serving upstairs in the cafeteria. I’m currently eating Simple Truth Peanut Butter Extreme and it’s very good, if you like peanut butter, and you guessed it, they were on sale at Kroger for 89 cents apiece. Anywho, I also eat, Planter’s NutTrition energy mix with my yogurt, because I love the combo, it tastes like a parfait and “Everybody loves parfait”-Donkey from Shrek, hahahaha. Gotta love it. I also pack fruit, Brownberry sandwich thins (wholegrain), and Natural Jiff peanut butter. From what the experts recommend, I read labels and I’m looking for low-fat, low-sodium, high fiber, high protein, low calorie per serving, and good carbs. But, don’t quote me, because you can’t believe everything you read on the internet and definitely not in this blog, lol.

I’m going to go workout today when I get off of work and get my cardio and strength training in. I’m going to strive for 4 workouts a week, Monday & Tuesday, and Thursday & Friday, I mean why not, I don’t have a social life so I can go to the gym whenever I want practically. So, there you have it, just a little more explanation on my goals for this blog this year and my “LIFESTYLE CHANGE 2014”. Every time you read that I want you to hear it in a ‘movie announcer’s’ voice and imagine the little minions saying “DUN…DUN…DUN!!!” afterwards, hahahahaha. That will make me laugh every time.

#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFolow

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalms 27:1 KJV)

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I’m baaaaaacccckkkkk!

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Well, well, well…Good afternoon lovely people,

Did I miss anything? I’m sure I missed a ton of wonderfulness from the blogosphere. But, I can tell you I’ve been a little busy myself, with none other than stress, work, stress, life, stress, health out of control, and depression. Sounds like fun right?!?!? Well not too much. I’m still working my 9 to 5, nothing new there but another corporate take over. I swear I’ve been there over 5 years and we’ve changed hands every year, smh. And I’m just there sitting at my desk going along for the ride. My motto, in this economy, ‘Riding Til the Wheels Fall Off’. My only options are waiting for a buyout, opening my own bakery/country antique shop, or hitting the lottery. Or a combination of the three would be fabulous!!!!

Anyway, my main concern that’s occupying most of my head space is my current transition stage. I’m currently staying with my parents with the bright idea that I’ll be able to pay off bills, save money, and find a cheaper place than where I had been living at the past 4 years. Well, that process is going slower than planned. I’ve been with my parents for the past 3 months now and I haven’t been able to save a dime yet. I keep telling myself that 2014 will be better and I truly believe that (seriously). So, everything I own is packed up and in storage, so I can’t sew, bake, or do anything creative and that’s like telling a cat they can’t meow!!!!! Ok, maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s killing me slowly inside.

Meanwhile, I’ve been gaining weight. So, I took the last week of December off to start on my “Always New Year’s Resolutions” but this year I’m calling it “Lifestyle Change 2014”!!!! I got a membership to Planet Fitness, I paid for some boxing lessons (training-no sparring) at Title boxing Club, and I’m getting some inspiration at home from my daughters, from Instagram @MankoFit and @LauraSykora, to eat clean, stay active, and try some yoga as well. Oh, and let’s not forget the ever emcompassing Pinterest (LOVE). I’m pretty excited!!!! So much excitement that I had to get back to blogging! Yes, you, whomever you are, if you’ll bear with me. Join me on my journey, a journey of a lifetime, where I’m determined, motivated, encouraged, and excited to change my mind, my body, and my outlook on life. I started at the gym, but I’m going to incorporate daily scripture for motivation and wisdom, eating healthier, and loving those around me more, you know showing others the love of Christ. So bear with me, I’ll be posting some pretty graphic and ugly stuff (all my work-in-progress photos, lol) and as much motivational stuff I can find to get me to my goal, which is; growing in Christ (first and foremost), weight loss (60 lbs in a year), no more meds (depression/HBP/pain/migraine/diet pills), eating healthy, and becoming financially stable.

Who’s with me?!?!?

WE CAN DO IT!!!!

#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow

‘but Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26