Wednesday, January 26, 2011

food for finance: baby step 1

(healthy) food for finance is a column where we talk about how fitness and finance correlate with each other. join us on our journey to be both physically and financially fit.

Sometimes I feel a little self conscious when I talk about Dave Ramsey. And it is only because I don't want people to roll their eyes and say "oh there she goes again, talking about that Dave dude!" But then again....who cares!  I do try to tame myself around others and if I hear someone is a fan.....I get so excited then I take off!

So today my jeep broke down. I was about to exit the interstate and smoke was coming out from under my hood. I called work and when I pulled up to the parking lot, my manager and co-worker were there to assist. We all saw the leaky hose and the security guy confirmed it. It had to  be towed to make sure my engine did not lock up. I did learn that it was not smoke coming from my hood, it was steam. Who knew? All in all, the cost to fix my jeep was $315. I'm back to having transportation.

According to a recent CareerBulider survey, three-fourths of Americans live paycheck to paycheck.  The event that occurred today had the potential to be very stressful.  Kyle and I have always had a savings account, but we never had a plan for it.  Now we do.  Baby Step 1 on the Dave Ramsey plan is to have $1,000 in an emergency fund. It is for when something unexpected happens, you have something to fall back on. Baby Step 3 is to have three to six months of expenses in savings.  Kyle and I are still on baby step 2 and believe me, there will be a blog, party, you name it.....a much deserved celebration when we reach that goal!!  I'm so thankful that we choose to live paycheck to paycheck...but in a different way. All the extra money left over from our budget goes towards our debt snowball.  I'm so ready to kick my student loan to the curb!  We've come a long way with our budget. That story will be dedicated to another post. We cut back on a a lot of things in order to reach our goals. Keep in mind Kyle and I still have fun, even with the cut backs!

I'm thankful for a lot of things.  Thankful for my co-workers, Baby Step 1, and for Kyle! We have a plan for when bumps in the road come our way. A plan that doesn't stress me out but that makes having a car problem not a big deal.       

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

the gift that keeps on giving

Last Saturday, my college sorority sisters had our annual regifting party.  It is such a fun time! If you want to read all the rules, read my post from last years regifting party. We started off the day by eating lunch at Las Delicias. They have the best authentic Mexican food anywhere!!!

Then we went to Fergie's house for the party! Stewy brought these cupcakes from Jackson, TN from a cupcake place called Hali Hannigan's. See that peanut butter chocolate cupcake on the left? YUP, that was MINE! I wanted to try them all but I refrained. My common sense kicked in....barely!

Cindy's regift was pharmacy health fair swag. REALLY Cindy?! You had to have gotten something you could part with! 

Her bag of health fair flair even came with a book light. 

I promised I would not tell who brought this (protecting the innocent). But I will say the penguin that pooped out raisins was pretty funny.

I forgot who brought this but I have a close up later in this post.

Booner got a real cubic zirconium necklace and earrings to match!

Stewy really needed this bird! Who wouldn't?!

Back to Cindy's gift. Now lets talk about this. A panda and an owl Christmas something (I could never figure out what it was). WHAT? The AOPi's and Chi O's busted our ADPi party!!!

I did leave out a few gifts that will remain a secret....BRANDY! I am wearing the shawl that will soon have a new owner, Kristy Krotzer, once I deliver it to her. We had the best time. I look forward to this every year. We missed those of you that could not make it. I can't wait until the 50th anniversary celebration for ADPi at UTM in April! Get ready girls!!! OBIC!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

food for finance: weighing in

(healthy) food for finance is a column where we talk about how fitness and finance correlate with each other. join us on our journey to be both physically and financially fit.

Kyle and I weigh in every week.  We try to do it on Tuesday nights before watching the Biggest Loser! Cheesy, but that is how we roll!   We need that accountability to make sure we're maintaining our weight.  It does not bother me to get on the scales.  And if I've gone off track (holidays) I expect my numbers to be 1 or 2 pounds higher.  But that is ok because I know how hard I need to work the next week.  I need that in my life.  I need that kind of support. Kyle is the same way. It was real fun when he was losing weight every week!  We would look forward to it. Crazy I know. But when he was putting in the hard work, it is exciting to see the results. 

We got married and started a budget or as I like to call it, stepping on the financial scale.  That was all of Kyle's doing.  We had our first money weigh in and it was not fun.  When you know you're overweight, you can see it in the mirror (a Dave Ramsey comparison). It was so much harder to see our debt's true weight unless we laid it out on the table.  Our financial cholesterol was not within range. So instead of our money telling us what to do, we decided we would tell our money what to do. It was time for a financial diet lifestyle change! So, we did what any new/semi Dave Ramsey follower would do....we did "our" version of his plan.  I blame me for that as I had not yet read the The Total Money Makeover. I just heard Kyle talk about it.  But then something happened. A girl at work let me borrow the audio cd and I have been forever changed! I had to hear it for myself and I'm sad it took me 2 years to come around. Don't get me wrong, we were doing "our" version and still paying off debt. But since we started using the envelope system, we are paying off debt at a much faster rate! 

Here is a picture of Kyle budgeting with our new envelope system. He LOVES this!  He gets gitty when he gets to budget. I just review it and go along. We really do go together like fitness and finance (refer to this post for the story). Our 'weigh in' for our fiances is keeping our daily budget. Goes back to the accountability. I get excited paying bills! I love to see the balance shed pounds using the debt snowball plan. Crazy I know!

We're projected to be debt free but the house in March.  No car payment! No credit card debt! Not even a single student loan! Only the house.  We've learned so much through this financial marathon and I want to share all of it. Can't wait for my next therapy posting! Writing down my thoughts helps me cope! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

food for finance

I've decided to have a segment on our blog called (healthy) food for finance. For one, it will keep us accountable to being physically and financially fit. (I say "us" referring to Kyle and I but, I'm the main one who writes on here. However, I always have Kyle read it and add to it!) If I ever throw my hands in the air and say to myself "why are we doing this?" I can look back at these postings and say "that is why!" Secondly, I see a strong correlation between the two. My goal is to document our "marathon" of a journey and our thoughts of fitness and finance!  Kyle and I talk about both of these subjects all the time. I kind of feel like they are a marriage. It doesn't just magically happen, you have to work at it. The movie Forrest Gump comes to mind. Instead of Kyle and I going together like peas and carrots, we go together like fitness and finance. I personally think we go together like peanut butter and chocolate but for the sake of this post, I'll stick to my original statement!

Food for Finance: I am so thankful that Kyle and I are on the same page financially!  It has avoided us from having many fights. We have the same bank account so all the money we have is our money.  We also communicate very well with each other. We actually sit down and talk about our budget.  I must confess, neither of us had a written budget before we were married. Kyle bought the The Total Money Makeover  by Dave Ramsey before we were married but didn't read it until after we were married.  I will save that topic for another post.  We are also on the same page about eating healthy and exercising.  I've blogged many times on Kyle's weight loss and he credits me to a lot of his success. He does that because he had an encouraging person living with him and accountability! If he fell, I was there to pick him up!  Now Kyle helps me!  He runs faster than me now and can say 'NO' to sweets a lot better than I can!  Thanks for returning the favor Kyle! Speaking of being healthy...

Kyle and I at the Memphis Runners Track Club holiday party that was held Saturday night.

We got in free because we signed up for the road race series, which cost us $55 a piece.  We had the option to run 10 races, get a long sleeve dry fit running shirt, and a meal/party!  Talk about food for finance! You can't beat that price!  They have this event every year.  It is held at Woodland Hills....that is where I had my prom!  I've never been in a room where there were so many fit people and all the talk was "my pace was a 8:13" and "did he qualify for Boston?" A room full of people who think it is totally normal to run when it is 14 degrees outside! There were so many people! It was catered, with pasta of course!  There was an awards ceremony and a DJ with dancing afterwards.  We met our friends Chris and Lauren there and had a great time! Lauren and I got down dancing to the electric slide! Oh I almost forgot....

 We also got this nifty car seat cover since we finished at least 6 of the 10 races.  After a summer run when it is sizzling hot outside, you can sit in your car and not sweat on your car seat.  55 dollars well spent!  And it went to a good cause. You are considered to be a "road warrior" if you run all 10 races. Then you get a trophy and another prize!
I can't wait to gather more of my thoughts and jot them down on here.  I have so many thoughts on these two topics! Be on the lookout cyber space!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

ebony and ivory

I became a doggie mom when I got married in 2008. I love dogs but didn't want one when I was single. Mainly because I was gone so much and I would have felt bad leaving them all the time. I married Kyle and got 2 dogs in the process. I've grown to love them so very much! So much that I needed to post a lot of pictures of our children! 

Meet Bailey!  She is from the Collierville Animal Shelter
She just turned 4 and we think she's a chow/golden retriever/great pyrenees mix. I don't like calling her a mutt! She about 45 lbs and is very calm, gentle, fluffy, and loves to be around people.   

Meet Boomer!  Kyle got him in college from a girl at his work that didn't want him.
He turned 7 last October and is a Miniature Pincher (min pin). He is the opposite from Bailey. He is about 20 lbs (most min pins are 8 to 12 lbs) and is semi hyper, eats everyones food, stubborn, high maintenance, and loves to lay in any "ladies" lap.  

Supposedly, Boomer was a hell child when he was a puppy. Kyle says he is really glad I did not know Boomer when he was a pup. When Boomer is bad, Kyle says "if you only knew him when...this is nothing." Boomer is not a fan of bath time.

Sometimes we shave Bailey in the summer so she is cooler.

Boomer really hates taking outside baths.  I usually heat the water so it is not so cold.

And Bailey goes with the flow. 

Bailey is a great travel dog!  She is so very sweet!

She is all dressed up! I think she looks like a polar bear so she has the nickname "bear."

She does like sleeping on her back.

Boomer is mostly a good dog.  He loves to get his belly rubbed! He has a king-size homemade bed. And sleeps under the covers.

He is a stud muffin all the way! 

Bailey sometimes will take a break on Boomer's king-size bed.

Look at her cute bows the groomer put in her hair after they shaved her! They stayed in for about 2 days before she took them out.

This video was taken when we 1st got married. It is of Boomer "dancing" to the song Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas. It is such a 'Boomer' song!

My Bailey Bear loves to play fetch, but only with her purple ball.

Boomer loves to relax. 

He also likes to look out to the other side of the fence.

Here is what it looks like from the other side when he's looking out!

They are great protectors!

I took a pic of bear from her peep hole as well.

I love this picture of her and it shows off her spotted black, chow tongue! 

We always have bones in the house.

I could not resist getting Boom this shirt! He's such a killer!

He really is a sweet dog! This reminds me of the Travelers Insurance commercial. And one of my favorite singer/song writers is singing in the background, Ray Lamontagne.

They get along great! 

Sweet Bailey Bear

I had to post this as well!

I'm so excited! We taught Boomer how to sit AND shake!  You can teach an old dog new tricks!

I was trying to get some work done from home however, these dogs needed some lovin'.

This is a usual spot for my lap!

She loves the snow, another reason why I call her bear!!

This heater is for Boomer. I think it gets him through the winter time. Kyle wanted to see what it was like from Boomer's point of view! HA! 
I do love my Ebony and Ivory! They are both opposites in every way possible, all the way down to the color of their fur! But they make the best dogs! I wouldn't trade them!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

snow white

...and the 4 builders. Never mind, make that 2. Boomer and Bailey didn't really help build our snowman. Our 1st snow of the year was very pretty. I think we got 4 inches.

 Kyle is working hard!  He should be, they cancelled his work for the day!

 I needed a break!

So our snowman was leaning a bit to the right.  The leaning tower of snowmen!  He lived up to his name because he fell over about 2 hours later!

He was a little frumpy looking.  My Bailey Bear LOVED the snow! 

 Mr. Boom, not so much. I think his optimal outside temperature is about 78 degrees.

Kyle and I shoveled the driveway thinking it would refreeze to ice later in the night. That is some hard work! The media in our town goes crazy when there is expected snow. They interview people at the grocery store asking them how they feel about the snow, do they have enough food. It gets on my last nerve!
In honor of the media being so obsessive about everyone having enough bread and milk, I took a picture of Kyle with our bread and milk! However, they were both about 1 1/2 weeks old. Whew, sure glad we were not snowed in for 2 weeks! We wouldn't have made it!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

tag, you're it!

I stole, I mean borrowed all these pictures from facebook. I was tagged in them so they are mine to share right?! They are all from 2010.  It was a fun year so here is a run down.

Me and Cindy. I'm showing off my new hat that I love! I think this was taken in January. 

Lisa and I making a pizza at Cindy's! YUM!

How cute is Cindy and Betsy's little niece?!

In April, we all got together for Lisa's Bday.

Crawfish season. 
My little Boomer chilliaxin at our crawfish boil.

And here is a close up of how sweet he can look.

Joey's crawfish boil. 
I miss working with my Joey Joe. We worked together for 5 years in the pediatric ER. Fun times.

More April fun.
me, Lisa, Cindy, and Steph at the Shah's state-side wedding reception.

May was such a rainy/stormy month. It was music fest weekend and the tornado sirens went off at least 10 times.
There was a break in storms so Kyle and I headed to the Brasher's condo on South Main after eating at Beignet Cafe just to get out. There was a music fest after party at Ernestine and Hazel's. Here I am with my friend Brian and the "Angie's."

Cindy and I taking a break from dancing to pose for a picture. However, more storms were coming so Kyle and I hurried home just in time to take cover in the bath tub.  That weekend was exhausting.  I hope May has better weather this year.

Then I chopped my hair. 
Dustin and I at his surprise graduation party. I was Dustin's camp counselor for about 3 years at MDA camp. He was 6 the 1st year I had him and now he's a high school graduate! Where did the time go? My little Dustin is all grown up! 

The fun times we had on our cabin trips to Pickwick!
Shelly and I are ready to watch some movies!

BBQ fest time!
I am modeling Kyle's shirt!

It rained so much in May but we finally made it in to BBQ fest. Kristy is so excited that Kyle is wearing a UT poncho to keep dry. Luckily there were no tornadoes. 

I love this picture of Betsy and I at Lindy's party birthday party.
We are being Lady GaGa. 

In June, we had a baby shower for one of my sorority sisters, Carol.  
April, Cindy, Carol, and me

me, Amanda, and Julie
I was so excited to see my ADPi's! I miss them so much!

    I also went to Le Bonheur's Cardiac Kids Camp
We made a heart! 

      In July, my sorority sister Holly moved to Texas.
      Her husband is doing a fellowship there so we had to see her off before she left.

Kyle had his 10 year high school reunion
I think we're pretty cute together!

It was the end of July so we went to the South Main Trolley Tour
me, Lisa, Elvis, Krista, and Steph. This night was a prelude to Elvis week. This guy was a great Elvis impersonator!

me, Lisa, Cindy, Krista, Steph
Somehow, most of us bought purses at Delphinium. Such a cute boutique!

Here is Kristy and I playing some cornhole before the Memphis vs Mississippi State game.

In September, my director talked me in doing a talent show. She really didn't have to talk me into to it, I love that kind of stuff!
It was for the associate feedback survey. Our goal was to get people excited about taking it! My very crazy, creative director Danielle changed the lyrics to Proud Mary and is "Tina Turner" in the video. We had a live band. She sang while I was one of the back up dancers.  What makes this SO funny is that our CEO's name is Meri!!!  She is the one all dressed up in the picture above. She loved it!

When you watch the video, you'll see a picture flash up, and that is our CEO Meri!
All those years spent as a cheerleader/pom dancer paid off. And I get to use those skills at work!

Through blogging, I've met some other blogging girls.  My friend Sarah sent me an e-vite for a blog girls dinner.
I've only been to one but it was fun! Can't wait to go to another one!

me and Jessica
I recycled my flapper costume and decided to hang out with friends while Kyle spent the weekend at a football game in Starkville.  

We had some lovely costumes!  
I think Cindy has a great look as a "LA ink" girl!  Tats look great on her! ha!

My friend Brian came as Tiger Woods! Love it!

The flapper and the Greek goddess! I like Betsy's new hair as well.

This was the best action shot of the night! My face is priceless. 

I'm amazed at the giant African animal  that walked in the room! How in the world?!! It was a fun night and all the proceeds went to the Church Health Center.

In November we had another lake trip to Pickwick. We went to relax, watch football (and Glee), and smoke a Boston butt!
This is our 4th time to come to this cabin!

When I got back from my walk with Betsy, I saw Kyle wearing this!  He is wearing Shelly's MEDIUM shirt. And it is a UT shirt. They were playing Ole Miss so Kyle gladly wore the shirt during the game!

Cindy and Steph! They are not Michigan fans. But the 3 of us worked there one summer in college. Such a pretty campus! Funny story: Mississippi State played Michigan in the Gator bowl.  It was the week of the game and I beat Kyle home from work. I changed clothes and had my Michigan sweat shirt on.  Kyle said "ANGIE? Why are you wearing that?!" I said "OH NO, I didn't realize!" so then I quickly changed! I didn't want to jinx the game. Good news, the Bulldogs won! Whew!

We stole the camera!

They are playing pretzel poker! Somehow, the chips started to disappear!

After 13 hours, the butt is ready to eat!

Ray and Kyle did an awesome job! The bbq sauce was even homemade!

Hanging on the porch, about to leave =(

Kyle and his perfect packing skills.  He gets this from his mom.

        I found some action shots from my St. Jude half marathon.
      Thank you April for taking this and cheering me on! 

      I was not a happy camper in this picture below. I had about .3 miles left and was hurting!
This is a strange story. Someone tagged me in this photo and I don't even know the girl whose album I was in. Thanks to whoever did that! 

We both ran under other people's name. Kyle's name is Rob and my name is Amanda!

PJ Christmas brinner (breakfast for dinner)
Basically, my friend Cindy C hosted a Christmas dinner (breakfast food) and we had to wear our PJs!!

Semi-surprise party for Kendall.
The Carter's were in town, they now live in Texas.  Brian works as the marketing director at Sea World.

I miss these girls! Kendall, Jennifer, and me.

Game night at the Brashers...the week between Christmas and New Years. My teacher friends are off and they are ready to hang out.
We played catch phrase.

The face (Ray) of defeat! My team lost. 

Kristy is so happy her team won and happy for Christmas break!
And that's a wrap! Thanks to my friends for all the pictures and fun times!