Looking back on January: 2013 goals recap

I posted my 13 in 2013 goals at the beginning of this month, viewable here. Now that February is knocking on our door TOMORROW (time really does fly so much faster when you get older), I figure now’s a great time to review the last month and see how much progress I’ve made so far.

Of the 13, I’ve especially focused on 4 this month more than the others:

  • Be healthier
  • Project Life
  • Become debt free
  • Truly invest in the Mary Kay opportunity

Be healthier:

I do all of the grocery and meal planning in our house. Josh does go with me to the store (which is a lot more than most guys from what I hear from my girl friends), so we’ll give him that credit.. but when it comes down to healthier eating, it pretty much falls on me to work out the how. When I wrote my goals list I imagined being healthier to include eating healthier in an overall, balanced sort of way (not a diet way) as well as exercising. Now, baby steps usually get you there faster than trying to jump into several things all at once. So this month, we stopped drinking sodas (I did anyway) and have started drinking MUCH more water. If I have the occasional rare coke, it’s okay. The idea is to be balanced, everything in moderation. But overall-less of sodas is better. I started working fish into our meal planning. I cut back the red meat purchases we’re making and switched to ground turkey and ground chicken. We haven’t really been eating bread and I switched our tortillas out for wheat tortillas. The exercising part hasn’t really been incorporated into my routine much.  Josh has been going for runs a little more frequently and working with weights. During February, I’m going to run my first 5k (and probably want to die) and will start training against my own body weight to continue to save money for now. Once we get a little closer to financial freedom, I’ll probably go look back at joining a gym again because I love the group fitness classes. 🙂

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Project Life:

I love Project Life. It really gives you the chance to notice and appreciate all of the the little moments in your life that you normally would forget about at the end of the day. It is also getting me back into the habit of printing pictures regularly and there’s nothing better than going to pick up actual prints. Because the pocket sizes in the page protectors aren’t all standard 4×6, some of the photos are printed as wallets and then I have a few extras to hang on the fridge or on my coffee table. It’s just nice to have updated photos around the house all the time, even if they’re not all portraits.

Become debt free

I’ve spent a few extra hours this month coming up with a new budget, tightening certain areas and meticulously writing down every purchase and every cent of income as well as engaging in new opportunities for income. I have a pen and paper system that I always end up going back to, but since it’s tucked inside my planner – sometimes I forget to update it right away and certain things get foggy when I’ve misplaced a receipt. I installed a new system in our office for being organized with regards to my Mary Kay business, this blog, and our finances (in a post coming soon!) and hopefully it will be a visual reminder every time I walk into the office to write down the day’s expenses.

I also have a Mint.com account that I spent time last night updating to reflect all of my new budget rules/added categories as well as newly updated goals. I knew the first month was going to be the hardest, but I used cash all month (even for gas purchases.. I actually went into the gas station and prepaid with cash)! I’ve also trimmed all of my spending and [subsequently] developed enough of a cushion in my checking account that I can make a $290 extra credit card payment this month (which was my goal) and not stress about it! Besides that, I also set a goal to transfer $50 to savings every month. It doesn’t seem like much but I don’t ever transfer money to savings and have to improvise when things happen and involve large purchases. I made my first $50 transfer to savings this month! It’s taken a lot of self control but I’m so proud of myself for actually sticking to the system and am filled with determination to keep moving forward.


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Truly invest in the Mary Kay opportunity

This is the first month where I’ve really put effort into Mary Kay. I became a consultant in December of last year and was trying to get my head around everything as well as do everything for the holiday time. Now that the holidays are wrapped up, I was able to spend time training and getting organized and start booking appointments. Now that I feel comfortable with the position, I am starting to see this business truly as a business and a real way to bring in extra income. This month I made a couple hundred extra dollars but now that I’ve proven to myself I can do it, I’m ready to get creative and get going to really make a splash. Everybody’s hesitant to try something new (especially a work at home something) but I have to say that although I was hesitant and stressed about the decision, I’m starting to see it was a fantastic decision and pretty soon I’m going to be reaping serious rewards and enjoying my life more.

I have made some progress in a couple other goal areas, just not as much. I’ve been working on small projects to add some TLC to our home (in posts coming soon). I’ve also made more of an effort in myself. For a while recently I was wasting my days and doing nothing but moaning about how I was frustrated with my life. I’ve set a schedule for myself and taken on projects and goals lately. I feel like I’m working towards something and finally holding myself accountable. The other major difference is that I’ve gotten into the habit of dressing for an occasion every day (most days). Just because there isn’t a special event every day isn’t a reason not to look and feel your best because you never know what’s waiting for you that day.

In February, I hope to take the healthier living up a notch by incorporating exercise. I plan to keep on track with my debt free payment/savings plan and to get more creative with my Project Life album. My Mary Kay business is also going to change to be more dynamic and be influenced by more creativity. I am going to bring in double what I did this month.

Change is hard but the progress keeps you going. Here’s to a great February & great progress!

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Project Life: Weeks 3 & 4

I don’t know about the rest of y’all but pollen season has arrived in Florida and it is working me over pretty good this year. I have been battling congestion, headaches & I have a nice cough that has slowly made me lose my voice over the last week. I’m now working with a robot/frog sounding voice, but at least I can get words out. So, that being said – since I was not feeling well last week, I didn’t get much done in any category. But today I am playing catch up and posting reviews of the last two weeks for Project Life.

Week 3 
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FxCam_1359396408566Week 3 was filled with all kinds of Mary Kay activity. This was the first week that I actually put a lot of effort into planning and reaching out to my network and I had my first skin care party and set up for my first 1-on-1 facial session. I made my first sale and was super pumped about the Mary Kay opportunity to generate some extra income for our household [for now] and maybe transition into something I do full time hopefully at some point this year. I’ve been collecting stamps when I’m out and have found quite a few cute ones for a buck or 2. I like to incorporate the stamps onto the journaling cards for an extra something special. This week was focused not only on Mary Kay, but also on healthy eating so most of my photos are of those two things from this week. I used more of the journaling cards and experimented with printing on the journaling cards as well. I have to say I’m loving printing on non-traditional items.

Week 4

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During week 4, I got fancy making crepes for Sunday brunch – & they were whole wheat! Josh & the pups flipped for them and they still fit into our healthy eating goal for 2013. Score! We also cooked on the new grill for the first time, and we grilled salmon filets.. something else we’re trying to do, which is incorporate more fish into our diet and less red meat. Honestly we don’t eat much red meat as it is because it’s more expensive and tends to bust our budget, but I’m trying to find creative ways to work in a little more fish too. After all they say it’s brain food, right? Besides that I featured my baby pup Brooklyn because she’s just so stinkin cute. I know.. everybody thinks their dog is cuter than everybody else’s, so don’t mind my [almost] seemingly obsessive tendency to snap pictures of the dogs every day, but the Labelbox app (available in the android market for free) allowed me to add a cute little label that punches the photo up a notch I think. I took the photo using the PuddingCamera app (also available in the android market for free) and it’s really my new favorite camera app because it offers different cameras and colors/filters with each and each camera takes a different kind of photo. It really gives your images more dimension. Otherwise, we went to an antique show this past weekend, I FINALLY ordered new [better quality] work shoes (and they’re Crocs no less, which I swore I would never wear.. but for work, these shoes are amazing!) and the Farmer’s Market. I’m pretty excited about our trip to the Farmer’s Market, we were able to get all sorts of fresh fruits and veggies for cheaper than we usually can find them at the grocery store or Walmart. I think we may be going there regularly from here on out. Josh also surprised me with soup and cough drops one night (sounds silly) but when you’re coughing your lungs up and feel awful but went to work anyway.. that’s a sweet little surprise sitting on the counter when you get home.

I think for the next couple of weeks I need to pay more attention to places I go and things I GET that can be incorporated as well. I’m doing alright with photos but adding THINGS is the next step for me, I think.

Happy Monday!

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DIY Chalkboard mug

One of my other DIY Christmas inspirations this year was to take cute coffee mugs and take them up a notch & make them customizable. You’ve seen the idea with wine glasses all over Pinterest most likely and this idea lets guests write their name on their glass so that there’s less confusion when drinks are left unattended. It’s not quite the same reasoning with a coffee mug, chances are you’re going to either be the only one drinking coffee or there aren’t so many that you can’t remember where you placed yours. Nevertheless, the customization option is FUN. 🙂

2012-12-04 12.36.22I used the chalkboard paint that comes in a bottle and dipped my brush into it and worked in layers. I obviously taped off the area that I didn’t want to go past, but I think if I replicated this project in the future – I would maybe tape off both the top and the bottom to have a chalkboard stripe going around the mug.

After 3 coats had dried, I peeled back the painters tape and wrote the gift recipient’s name with chalk and added a couple pieces of chalk with ribbon inside of the mug. I will say the tape didn’t peel off quite as clean as I would’ve liked and could probably have done with a layer of some type of glossing agent to keep it from pulling up the chalkboard paint. It’s not perfect but it was a fun project and overall turned out pretty well for my gifts.

2012-12-04 12.55.26Even if it’s not perfect.. a DIY craft gift is way more personal 🙂

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