Monday, May 11, 2015

Finding Worthy Pursuits

I've been spending a lot more time on living life versus online shopping, thinking a lot about shopping, etc. Here's a little recap on what I've been doing lately:

Focus on being a good Mommy

My daughter is almost 2 1/2 now. I've been working hard lately to be a better mommy. I found I was yelling at her too much and wasn't being patient enough with her. It's hard, because toddlers know how to push all your buttons and she understands so much that I get upset when she doesn't want to behave. For me, it's easy to feel frustrated when she isn't listening or having a tantrum (she's a big, sometimes dramatic, and very headstrong personality). I've worked a lot on being calm, patient, and am doing so much better in this area. Additionally, I've been taking her out on the swingset and walking to the local library (now the weather's nice) to borrow books to read together. It's been really enjoyable-- I love spending time with her!

Adding to the Family

Just this past weekend, we adopted a beautiful pair of kitties. They have names but we may change them. The calico is 'Mia' and she is the sweetest thing, and loves my daughter. She let's her do anything, never scratches, and is very gentle. She even let her stick her face right in her belly! The grey and white one is 'Daisy' and she really seems to love me. She's more skittish, but is more playful.

Exercise and Physical Health

I've struggled with health issues lately, particularly with my kidneys. I'm happy to report I am much healthier lately and only had one weekend recently where I was in too much pain to do much. I've been exercising almost every day lately and feel stronger and more fit. I'm also doing 1000mg of vitamin C a day, plus cranberry and dandelion root pills, all as homeopathic treatments for my kidney issues. I also recently had a good friend join in exercising with me a few times a week, which is a real treat. I feel much more motivated with a partner. We've been doing Zumba on my Wii, which is a lot of fun. I got the Zumba because I have always wanted to learn to dance, but have zero skill or experience and no classes near me that I could take.


I have a lot more to go in this area, but I'm really trying hard to get my giant yard in shape this year! I have several BIG projects in the works, and am looking at remodeling the kitchen this summer as well.

Reading and Writing

I'm not spending as much time reading now as I did, but I still love to read. I've lost some of my steam with writing my book in the last two weeks. I'm hoping my creativity starts flowing again soon, as I'm only about 14,000 words in. I was doing really well up to recently, but with all the sunshine I've been more motivated to be outdoors than shut up with my laptop!


This is a hobby I've always enjoyed, but since I had my daughter I've gotten little done. My supplies are in a room that is cluttered and I have not done as well in the decluttering department as I wish. I need to get some space freed up in order to be able to do it again!

The Expenses

The struggle with finding worth-while pursuits is to keep the expenses down. I've spent a lot of money recently in my 'worthy' categories, but I think of this as investment which over the course of time should be low-cost.

Kitties- We spent at least $300 on them between adoption fees, toys, litter pans/litter, beds, food, scratching toy, etc.
Zumba- $37.14 (march) on two Wii games, $170.54 on 2 pairs of athletic pants and a sports bra (april). I didn't have workout pants or a bra, so these were necessary!
Reading- $58.97 (feb) on 4 books I love and wanted physical copies of, $7.98 (feb) on 6 and $4.99 (jan) on one digital book I enjoyed
Writing- $832 (april) on a laptop

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

April 2015 Budget Post

The Rules: 

Out-of-door Clothing (as seen in original post here)
  • I can spend $1500.00 maximum out of pocket.
  • I can purchase 20 items maximum.
  • Re-sale adds money to the budget but not to the item limit.
  • Gifts do not 'count' in the item limit or budget.
  • At-home or underwear does not 'count'.
At-Home Clothing (see in this post here)
  • I can spend $700.00 maximum out of pocket.
  • I can purchase 20 items maximum.
  • Re-sale adds money to the budget but not to the item limit.
  • Gifts do not 'count' in the item limit or budget.
  • Underwear does not 'count' (listed as Other).
    This Month:

    Out-of-door Clothing:
    • This month I spent $109.25 this month on 1 item. I sold 4 items for $101 which was added back to the budget. Net spend of $8.25!
    • So far this year, I have spent $803.48 and purchased 11 items. I sold 10 items for $239.53 which was added back to the budget. Net spend of $563.95.
    • I have $936.05 left to spend this year on 9 items. This is about $104.00 each.
    • I received a $50 gift card for Christmas which is still unspent. I received a $50 reward card which is still unspent.
    • I purged 24 items to date this year.
    At-home Clothing:
    • I have spent $256.52 this month on 6 items.
    • So far this year, I have spent $341.78 and  purchased 10 items.
    • I have $358.22 left to spend this year on 10 items. This is about $35.82 each.
    • I purged 7 items to date this year.
    Other (under-clothing):
    • I have spent $84.44 this month on 4 items.
    • So far this year, I have spent $159.17 and purchased 6 items.
    • I have no limits on these items (budget or quantity).

    Sorry for posting this so late! I've been super busy being active in non-online activities and focusing more on my 'real life'! It's been great, which I hope to post about soon. April was an ok budget month. I only got 1 'out the door' item, and 6 'at home' items. I've purchased 10 'at-home' items and 11 'out the door' so far this year, with a limit of 20 each. I really think I did alright!

    Out-of-door Clothing Purchases:

    WHBM White Blazer, $109.25
    I've been wanting a white blazer for about as long as I started wearing blazers. At first, I was really unsure about this blazer and almost returned it. I'm so happy I didn't- this blazer didn't come off my body the first 4 days I wore it (well, I don't really love admitting it lol but it's true, luckily different people saw me each day)! I love this blazer, it's very versatile and is super comfortable with a soft knit fabric and great fit. Washers & dries like a champ! 100/10!

    At-home Purchases: 6 items, $256.52

    Athletic pants, sports bra- $170.54 tax included
    I went out to a sporting goods store to buy these. I ordered a Zumba game for Wii and I've been doing Zumba at home every day. I found myself really needing these! They're a lot more expensive than budgeted but worth the price IMO. 10/10

    WHBM Tunic Tops- $28.49 and $28.49

    I ordered these tops because I loved the black one from last month so much, and also as a nice aside they'll make great maternity shirts later on since they're long and stretchy with gathering at the bust rather than the waist. 10/10

    Venus Gray Skinny Pants $29
    I ordered these because I really wanted some comfortable, casual pants for at-home that I could be seen in and not feel embarrassed about them! They fit the bill and I'm very happy with them. They are much higher-rised than pictured and are a great lightweight fabric. 

    Other Purchases: 4, $84.44

    Nude Stockings- $3.57
    I picked these up since it was warming up and thick solid black tights (my norm) are not very season-appropriate anymore. I still need tights to stay appropriate at work, and luckily these are pretty close to my skintone and are not too obvious. I'll need another pair or two next month, since these accidentally ripped after the 10th or so wear.

    Knee-high Stockings- $5.87
    I get a new box of these about twice a year. These are my standard fare with heels and flats- they're thin and are not very noticeable.

    Venus 2-piece Swimsuit $36, $39
    It was time to replace my old swimsuit. It was too large for me (purchased when pregnant) and wouldn't stay on anymore. This one fits pretty decently, though I need to take in the top a little which is not unusual for me. The bottom fits great and I love the color!


    I received a $50 reward card from White House Black Market, due to my member status and based on what I spent last year (here's where I hang my head in some shame). This is unspent yet.

    Returns: 1, $32

    Venus White Top $32
    This top LOOKED great in the catalog, at home it was AWFUL- almost not the same top. 'Nuff said.

    Purges: 13

    Express Sequin mini-dress
    I wore this to a holiday party in January of 2012 and have never worn it since. I became a mother and minidresses didn't ever seem appropriate anymore.

    Express Herringbone wool flared trousers
    For once I can claim wearing something out! I've had these since 2012. These trousers shrunk and the fabric has pulls all over it from constant wear each winter.

    WHBM Black tiered sleeveless tank
    Last month I got rid of my burgundy printed tank that had the same issues this one did. It's too low cut and fitted, and the tiers are fussy because they pull and expose the underside. It's time to let it go!

    Black surplice sweater
    This poor sweater is worn out. It has pulled threads in the fabric and pills alot now.

    Black sparkle cardigan- added back from purge because I needed it!
    I realized that despite that I wore it once because I felt I needed it, it was a one-time only situation and it really did need to go.

    Dark denim zippered skinny jeans
    I never loved these, much as I tried to convince myself otherwise.

    Teal faux-leather jacket
    This jacket is a lovely color but is too boxy and unflattering on me. All the jackets I look good in have some kind of waist detail or are fitted, this is neither.

    Worn out black boots
    These served me two winters+, so about 300 days of wear in snow, slush, and some mud. It's time they retire.

    NY&Company Teal Trench Coat

    I'm really sad to purge my lovely teal trench. When I washed it and dried it last year, it shrunk and I didn't really notice. I knew something was off, but instead of confronting it I just put it back every time I tried to wear it. The weather was finally right for a lightweight trench, and I put it on this year. It was too tight, the kind of tight losing some weight won't fix.

    I also purged a lot of at home wear. An ill-fitting grey tee, a ripped burgundy lace cami, a worn-out pink tank, and two baggy and ugly knit shorts, a worn pair of pajama pants, and an awful hoodie (not pictured).

    Sold: $101

    WHBM Burgundy Top $19.00 + $0.75 shipping kickback

    WHBM Striped Pencil Skirt $29.00 + $0.75 shipping kickback

    WHBM Printed Cardigan $25.00 + $0.75 shipping kickback

    WHBM Teal Pencil Skirt $25.00 + $0.75 shipping kickback

    Shopping List

    So, how'd I do on my shopping list? I created this list in December 2014, when I was planning my budget and it is subject to change!

    Spring/Summer Items- 5
    • Flat pair of sandals
    • Replacement tan flats- updated to open jacket- the flats will last 1 more season- purchased
    • Blouse in a vibrant print
    • White blouse- purchased
    • New Gray or colored jeans - purchased dark denim jeans
    Fall/Winter Items- 5
    • Replacement winter coat
    • Replacement winter boots- black
    • Replacement sweater
    • Ankle Boots
    • Replacement Black Cardigan - updated to Sweater
    All Season Items- 10
    • Replacement purse - purchased
    • New pair of mid-height black heels - updated to little black dress - purchased
    • Necklace -updated to scarf
    • Earrings -updated to jewelry
    • Bracelet- updated to white blazer
    • Scarf in multiple colors - purchased
    • 2- updated to 1 top that works professionally and casually- updated to a jacket that works casually - purchased
    • New Jacket or Blazer- changed to Professional Dress - purchased
    • Wrap style or flowy dress - purchased