Thursday, January 31, 2008

 

Camilla's Cool Cons

Camilla Engmann is an illustrator and an artist from Sweden whose blog I try to read every day; I would also like to clone her dog Morran. In August Camilla submitted a design to Converse for their RED program, as in Bono's RED program that was created to help fight AIDS, malaria, and TB in Africa. Converse selected Camilla's design and now the special Camilla edition Converse is on sale, first I want you to go buy a pair because they are super cute (picture from Camilla's blog):


And then I want you to go to her blog and check it out thoroughly and lastly I want you to go to her flickr account and watch Morran step dance.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

 

Mutual Fund Merger Question

Citizens Funds is merging with Sentinel Funds (proposed merger); I have a Roth Ira through Citizens and have been doing my 2007 contribution catch-up. So my question is, should I continue to play catch-up while Citizen's is still themselves or wait until after the merger has settled?

Monday, January 21, 2008

 

Going Back to My Frugal Roots


In November 2005 I started this blog as a way to keep myself honest on the path of living frugally and reducing my debt. Truthfully once I paid off the debt I lost interest in blogging about personal finance, it seemed as if I had nothing to say and everyone else definitely said it better. Well given that I have been rambunctious in the spending lately, I have decided to rededicate myself to living frugally. I think what is key for me is to strike a balance between frugality and doing without. I think that part of the reason I went bonkers spending over the last few months is that I was tired of not letting myself have anything because I was supposed to be "frugal". Well hello idiot!! Frugal is not denial, frugal (in my mind) is living happily within your means. For example it might mean that instead of buying a flat-screen tv right away, we plan for it and save up for it in order to not have the purchase impact our budget, but we do not deny ourselves the tv. Its kind of like dieting, if you deny yourself an ice-cream craving for long enough, eventually you will fall off that diet wagon and have a great big ice cream party. Then back on the wagon you go until the next time you fall off. Balance is the key and I am determined to find that balance in my financial life.

By the way, Ima Saver is my new hero, I checked in with her today to see how she did on the $20 challenge and she amassed $26,271!!! Whenever she saves money shopping she pays herself with it, she also pays herself $1 when the stock market is up, when she doesn't use gas or when she exercises. She even pays herself when the Braves win. Way to go! Our challenge starts today with $20 and the $16.40 we saved at the Grocery Outlet.

It's All About the Small Things has a great post today with money saving tips.
 

Global Warming - A Cow's Revenge

mmm meat, I love it; steaks are yummy, barbecued hamburgers on a summer day, hot dogs at the ballpark, ham at the holidays, sausage with french toast all good. Well the other day while reading my enewsletter from Stop Global Warming, I discovered that the animals are taking their revenge and I'm not just talking about added pounds and increased cholesterol levels:

Statistics from a 2006 UN report entitled Livestock's Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options state that 18 percent of global warming emissions come from raising cows, chickens, pigs, turkeys and other animals we eat. That's 40 percent more than all the world's cars, SUVs, airplanes, and other modes of fossil-based transportation, which combined account for 13 percent. For further comparison, every house, residential and office building in the world accounts for just 8 percent.

There's a trend in Europe called "Meat Reducers" where, along with recycling and not taking plastic bags, people are eating meat at least one day less a week. Become a "Meat Reducer." It is a simple thing everyone can do to lower their own carbon footprint.

Friday, January 18, 2008

 

Color Palette

I really, really love Kris's Color Stripes, and I wish I knew how it was done, I just think its so cool how she can take an image and break it down into all its various colors. I especially wanted to do it with my Maleficent pajamas because I had an idea it might make an interesting palette for a bedroom. And now thanks to a link found via Mirror Mirror, I kind of almost but not quite can.

The Colour Lovers website lets you create a five color palette from an uploaded image so you have to pick and choose from the colors generated by the program, here's mine from the pajamas:


I'm thinking white walls, black dresser and black four poster bed, the lavender for sheets and the pinks and green as accents. Might be quite nice, or might be too chaotic, however BF will never go for it so it shall remain a lovely idea in my head.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

 

Maleficent and a Strange Face

Maleficent is my favorite of all the Disney villians, I received this for Christmas and wanted to share the psychodelicious-ness of it








It's pajamas of course, flannel and huge which is how I like 'em. My only problem is I have a hard time rolling over in bed cuz of sticking to the flannel sheets.

please forgive the card table and the rug that needs vacuuming


This strange little dude showed up tonight when I made the BF orange-pear-pineapple juice with all our leftover fruit.

He appears a little snarky about his pending consumption but all went down well.
 

Etsy Addiction Strikes Again!!

My credit card balance has shocked me and I swore off shopping for non-essential items for a month. My previous blog life was all about personal finance and frugality and I embarrass myself with my flagrant spending lately. My BF is concerned, he told me tonight he's worried I'm developing a problem.

But I could not resist!!!!!!!!! Two Etsy sellers are having a sale:



These are both from Yellow Monday and I have been coveting them for awhile. Yellow Monday is having a special buy one get one sale, check out her blog for details, the sale runs through the 18th.


This delectable print is part of a specially priced print set available at the Art & Ghosts shop. I already own four of her hauntingly beautiful works, I am simply in awe of Lou and her talent. Today I bought a special five print pack to round out my collection, soon Art & Ghosts will need their own wall in my office. After you are done checking out her shop, make sure to check out her blog, she writes incredibly as well.

And lastly, I was reading Confessions of a Blueberry Bandit the other day and one of her goals for 2008 was to hit 100 in Etsy sales so of course I had to hop off to her shop and help her out. This little guy arrived yesterday and was very cheerily welcomed by the office inhabitants. Once I get everything organized and prettified (and hung) I'll post a picture, but for now welcome to Herbert (Harvey's long lost brother?):

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

 

Kiss of the Flea


Last month I decided that I need to start creating more positive energy in my life so I decided to start a thankful notebook. Each night before I go to bed, I write down what I was thankful for that day. There are a lot of food items listed....

My little notebook is a design by Kukuxumusu which means kiss of the flea in the Basque language, is that a good thing or a bad thing for a thankful notebook? I bought the notebook because the picture made me laugh and I think its super cute. At their website you can check out all their cool stuff and download wallpapers and screensavers and send e-postcards:

Friday, January 04, 2008

 

Financials for 2008

Resolutions

I hereby resolve to stuff away a minimum of $18,000 this year. I resolve to continue to pay off the credit cards every month. I resolve to use public transportation when the weather stops being so crappy in order to save money and wear on the car. I resolve to bring lunch at least three days a week.

Budget

The four paychecks/month I split up into two equal lump sums, I then pay half of the bills on the 10th and the other half on the 30th. It works great budgetary-wise but not so great pay yourself first wise. Because while I am very good about setting some aside on the 10th, by the time we get to the 30th I have given into a need for something or we've eaten out too often and instead of setting aside on the 30th that has to go to the credit card. So this year I've decided I'm really going to focus on pay yourself first. I want to be able to finish the emergency fund, contribute to my ira, and work on our downpayment fund. It magically worked out that we can actually afford to pay all the bills on the 30th which means the entire lump sum for the 10th can go into whichever of those funds it needs to. This is very exciting as it will extremely help to meeting resolution #1.

As for this fellow




He's my piggy bank (he's actually a toilet brush holder my sister made at one of those pottery/paint shops but don't tell him that). Whenever I have any loose paper money I toss it in his belly, when there's a nice big pile I seal it up in an envelope and put it back in his belly. I don't know why I do this, I just like to; anyway after receiving some Christmas cash he had a nice full belly and BF said that it needed to go into the bank. Well that's not much fun but I agreed and the cool thing is instead of putting it in the emergency fund we gave it to the downpayment fund as a Christmas present to ourselves. If you look very carefully at the downpayment meter you can just barely see that we are at .74% of our goal The fund is at Emigrant so its earning a decent interest rate now.

Remind me to check back on this post in December to see how well I did.

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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

 

She's not creepy!!!


BF saw me looking at a website of Blythe dolls and thought they were creepy looking. Well I think he's creepy looking, humph!!! So even though there is credit card debt from the rampant holiday shopping, I do have a birthday coming up and bought myself a little something. Little Ms. Piccadilly Dolly Encore and She is flying in from Hong Kong and I cannot wait until She gets here. Now I need to start thinking about names...