Less than one month!

That’s right ladies and gents. One month from yesterday will be the day J and I have been waiting and planning for. I will get my hair done all perty, we’ll get dressed up, we’ll celebrate with family and friends, we’ll say ‘I do’, kiss, and party!

There are still a few things left on the list to get done, projects to finish, but the majority – the big things – are all planned and decided on. The emails of the day’s schedule have been sent out.

All in all, we just can’t wait for the big day!



Time to revisit Operation Debt Butt-Kicking

As the wedding fast approaches (we’re at 40-some days and counting!!), and our dreams of having our own place again continue to swirl around – the finance notebook has had a very prominent spot in out lives.  I fell away from budgeting a little bit within the last few months while some of the injury stuff was going on, but I am now back to it, and am updating the binder a bit.  If you missed it, I wrote about my method and the notebook that I use back here.  It’s also needing a bit of an update as J and I are budgeting together now.  We haven’t joined accounts just  yet, but we know that is coming.

The basis of the Notebook still remains, sections have just been updated a bit.  Here’s where we stand:

Before the sections: Sheets with financial goals, honeymoon payments, big payments I know are coming, etc.
1- Debts: I have listed out each of my debts that I am working to pay off, and update it after each paycheck and bill pay session.  I also have a spot where I track how much I put towards debt each month, and fees that are charged.
2- Paychecks: Since each paycheck varies, I track the amount and how much income I made each month.
3- Budget: yep, you guessed it – the meat of the binder.
4- Spending Track: Oh, the wonderful task of tracking my spending each month.
5- Extra Income: Extra and unplanned income. Anything including sales from my Etsy store to rebates, and other items.
6- Yearly goals: My goals for 2014 (January-June and July-August) written out and tracked to see the progress.
7- Net Worth: I’ve always been interested in checking this, but hadn’t figured it until now.

I do my budgeting old school – pen and paper, and I have an excel spreadsheet that I also have set up.  It may seem a bit overkill, but it works for me.

In the excel sheet, I have a few different worksheets:

1- Yearly goals: My goals for 2014 (January-June and July-August) written out and tracked to see the progress.
2- Monthly Spent: tracking for monthly spending with graph that shows how much I put towards debt each month.
3- Monthly Budget: as it says..the budget.  The meat and potatoes of it all.
4- All Expense: Used to view expenses month to month, this helps with how much to budget for each section.
5- Overall Expense: Used to view our main fluctuating expenses each month, along with paychecks, side hustles, and debt payments.
6- Debt Payoff Projection: Tracking of our debt payoff, gives us a good idea of when we will be able to be debt-free.

I work on finances once a week, unless large purchases are made.  It’s quite a system, but it works for us.  Right now, the goal is to have all the honeymoon paid off by December, and all of my credit card debt paid off by next May when J graduates.  Then it is onto finding a place to live and really tackling his debt.

How do you budget/track your finances?

Monthly Wishes :: July


Is it really July already?!?  I can remember back to April and May wishing for summer to come along, and here it is almost July 4th.  And rainy and wet.  June was the second wettest June in Minnesota since the late 1800s – no wonder we have many roads and cities flooded.

Since a new month is upon us, it is time for the Monthly Wishes session.  First, lets review my June wishes:

• June Wishes •

Head back to work after wrist surgery!  – Done!

Stay under budget and throw everything left at debt!  – Done!

→ Tackle the “21 Day Fix” once it comes in the mail.  – Didn’t get done, had a few complications with the wrist, so worked to get that under control before starting on this one.

One Caribou coffee drink a week. Done!  (Minus my FREE drink on my birthday!)

Have a great time celebrating the big 3-0!  – Done!  And quite a fabulous one it was!

Now onto my wishes for July!

• July Wishes •

Finish up the last few things that need to be done for the wedding.

Tackle my 9 Day Detox Challenge with my sister-in-law, then start the “21 Day Fix”.

→ Have a blast at our Co-Ed Bachelor/ette party!

One Caribou coffee drink a week.

Fit into my wedding dress (I have a wee bit to lose after gaining it back after surgery)

What are your monthly/weekly goals?

It’s the big 3-oh!! Wha?

Welcome to the big day. The day that I actually feel like I’m supposed to be an adult now. The day I turn 30! I’m not doing the “29 again” story, I’m going big (or go home, right??)! It started with a coffee run this morning, and awesomely enough, I got my FREE drink at 6:25am on 6/25! Now if only I was also turning 25, oh well.


Sidenote:  Isn’t she a stinkin’ cutie!  Niecey and I were playing peek under the table as she was working on her walking.  She is an absolute doll!

In honor of a little 30 action, here’s 30 things I plan to do while I am 30:

  1. Head to a St. Paul Saints game, their last year in the current stadium.
  2. Marry the love of my life, my battle buddy, my best friend!
  3. Travel to Hawaii for the first time ever.
  4. Take a bike ride around Maui while J and I are there on our honeymoon.
  5. Run my first 5k (not sure when or where, but it will happen).
  6. Meet J’s dad.
  7. Go to a roller derby game.
  8. Move into a loft with J.
  9. Sew myself a skirt with fabric that is all set aside.
  10. Finish the Scrappy Circles quilt and the Tumbling Gnome quilt.
  11. Go snow tubing at the local ski hill.
  12. Make 5 recipes for my Pinterest board.
  13. Re-learn sign language.
  14. Head on down to the Paint Pub with a few of my favorite people.
  15. Pay off all of my credit card debt!
  16. Go shooting at the range at least 5 times.
  17. Reupholster the chaise lounge.
  18. Reupholster our two big comfy chairs.
  19. Lose the pesky 20 lbs that won’t go away.
  20. Teach my niece some amazing things in this world.
  21. Attend J’s graduation for his associate’s degree.
  22. Cross off two other states on my & J’s list of 50 states to visit together.
  23. Cut and donate my hair to Locks of Love.
  24. Fill my Etsy shops, Art in My Soul and Recut Designs, and make extra income with them.
  25. Help J to get a website up, and possibly an Etsy shop, for his ceramics.
  26. Upgrade my phone to a newer model!
  27. Paint a piece of furniture for our new place, whereever we end up moving.
  28. Do the standing paddle boarding at a local lake.
  29. Try out 2 new restaurants that we haven’t eaten at yet.
  30. Go to an art gallery opening and get all fancied up for it.

And there we have it, 30 things to do while I am 30!  I’m ready to start crossing things off!

What is on your list of things to do this year??

7 Weekly Happies :: Vol. 1

It’s time for this week’s Seven Weekly Happies!

Weekly Happies

1.  Walking around the lake with J and reconnecting with each other.

2.  We finally have all of the invites out (or scheduled to go out this week)!

3.  This week is the big 3-oh for me!  I’ve decided I’m running to it, not away.  There won’t be any “29 Again years” for this gal.

4.  A meeting this week with our photographer for the wedding.

5.  Our massage appointments this week.  And I get a 90-minute (love my b-day gift from our therapist)!

6.  The sun is out and shining, and I can finally work to get some color.

7.  Visiting with family this weekend at our niece’s graduation party.

What makes you happy this week??

One step forward…two steps back.

Oh man, what a weekend.  All was well until Saturday morning when my wrist was a little itchy.  I removed my splint and sleeve underneath to reveal a little redness on my wrist and part of my knuckles.  Okay, a little reaction to the compression sleeve I wore when sleeping that I got from my physical therapist.  I called the on-call doc to check in.  Benadryl and stop in to get it checked out, make sure there wasn’t an infection at the incision.  Got it checked, no infection, check.  Benadryl, hydrocortisone cream.  It’s a go.

Until it started to get worse.  It began traveling along my scar and entire wrist.  Went in Sunday to get it check, now blisters have started to pop up.  Along with joint pain and pain along the scar.  Okay, now lets switch to Claritin and keep up with the cream.  Oh, and wrap in an ace bandage, no more sleeve and splint.

And then came Monday, full redness and blisters, itching and pain.  And off I was to see my doctor to have it looked at.  Oh, and it traveled a bit more, past the point of where the splint was, and around all knuckles and my thumb.  And the swelling, ooofta.  I look like the Hulk.  But instead of green and beefy, I look red and sausagey.  It’s an angry arm.  No infection, continue with Claritin, and was prescribed some high power cream.

As of this morning, I think it has finally stopped moving, now to just get it to heal up.  It’s not as red, but the pain – whoa.  And still a bit sausagey.

Now the mission is to find out what is in that compression sleeve, and what exactly it is that I will never be putting in contact with my skin again.

At least I have gotten the all clear to be brace/cast/splint free!

My Life in Numbers

Happy Monday! Just a fun little update for today.

68 : number of days until J and I – say ‘I do’ – kiss – and party!

70 : number of days until J goes back to school

9 : number of days until my big 3-oh!

12 : number of years I’ve known my girl standing with me on my big day

4 : number of states J and I have traveled to together (another one will be added in October!)

11 : number of months until my projected debt-free date

117 : number of days until J and I get to leave on a jet plane for our honeymoon!

5 : number of awesome people in our wedding party (including the kids)

1 : number of buffalo that will be attending our wedding