Tip Tuesday (A Day Late)

I decided to do a tip Tuesday series on money and how to keep more of yours.  I read a lot of articles and books on money (saving and budgeting). However, the main thing missing in these books (except for Personal Finances for Dummies, which is my favorite money book) they forget to tell you to first figure out where your money is going. If you are overspending you will never have enough to pay your bills or save.  Saving 15 percent of your income is a great concept but how do I get 15 percent to save if I am living paycheck to paycheck and barely making it in between.  Before you do anything track your spending.  This is affective in more ways then just preparation for your new spending and saving habits.  I found when I held myself accountable (writing stuff down) I was more reluctant to spend on the unnecessary.  I didn’t want to have McDonalds for dinner three times a week staring me in my face.  I would suggest tracking your spending for a minimum of 2 weeks (a month is better but we will work with what you are willing to commit to). Once you have tracked your money you can figure out where all your money is going.  Are you eating out too much? Is your spending on clothing too much? Is your car hooked up but you are eating oodles and noodles every night for dinner?  Is your car insurance too high? Is your car payment to high? All of these questions will be answered when you look at your spending list.  Do not limit this list to what you spend out of pocket, include all your automatic deductions as well.  I shop on HSN and QVC (I feel like the payment plans are the greatest thing going because there aren’t any interest charges involved).  However, that HSN and QVC thing was getting me in trouble.  I had over three hundred dollars coming out on automatic payments to QVC and HSN which is not good. So take inventory on where your money is going then we can work on the budget and savings.  I am starting over because I feel like I have gotten off track and I will use my Tip Tuesday segment to get me back on track.

Totally Disgusted

Screaming “I hate my nails right now”! The nubs still have it. My nails were so thin from the drilling done to do the acrylic tips that I had to get gel nails to avoid temperature sensitivity. The gel manicure lasted for a little less then 2 weeks. It let some of the really thin parts of my nail to grow up. Apparently (after some research) its going to take about 6 months for my nails to get back to their happy place. So I am totally disgusted. #GODSPEED

My To Do List

Does anyone else like to write their “to do” list down. I feel like I should use one of my many tablets, my laptop, or my phone even to keep up with my “to do” list.  But honestly nothing is like writing down what I need to get done and what I have gotten accomnplished to keep me accountable.  My cell phone is annoyng to me at times so I ofteen times forget about things that I have assigned myself on my phone.  I just forget to take my tablet off the charger more times then I remember to bring it with me.  Long story short I love the feel of a pen and paper.  I like watching my hands create the words and I feel so complete as I check off things from my list. I know in this technical day and age some might not understand but it is my thing.

Nail Progress (Not Good)

Everytime I take my artificial nails off I swear I am done with them. Then I see all the pretty nail designs on the pretty long fake nails and I get weak. Now I am remembering why I had sworn off fake nails with all the damage they cause to your natural nails. My nails are so thin that they are literally peeling off. Thank God for the Nailtek strengthener formula because the pain of the peeling has been minimal. Unfortunately my natural nails don’t keep polish on 2 to 3 weeks like with the fake nails. However, with the Nailtek system I can go a little over a week with minimal touch ups before they get so bad I need a fresh manicure. I am also using the Nailtek cuticle oil (it came in the kit) to help keep my cuticles healthy through this process. I got some great tips from: http://www.simplynailogical.com/2015/02/how-to-grow-your-nails-long.html?m=1 

Check her out, she also has some great tutorials on her Youtube channel. Godspeed.

This is what comes in the kit.

Menu Monday Recipe – Baked Alaska Meatloaf

I know I am late but please bare with me. This is a make ahead recipe (you can make this and freeze it for up to 2 weeks). If you need to freeze it for a long period before cooking eliminate the eggs and the mixture will keep as long as your ground beef will last in the freezer.:

3 hours prep + 3 hours make = approzimately 6 hours

3 eggs, unbeaten

4 tsp salt (salt substitute)

1 tsp pepper

3 c seasoned bread crumbs

1 package onion soup

2 T creole seasoning

1/2 c chili sauce

4 lbs ground beef

1 c grated carrots

1/2 c snipped parsley

2 boxes instant fluffy mashed potatoes (don’t stress yourself with real potatoes they complicate this recipe)

3 egg yolks, unbeaten

1 T prepared mustard

In a large bowl beat eggs; stir in the next 6 ingredients. Mix with your meat, carrots, and parsley (no less than 3 hours). Put in a container and cover (if you are making right away I’d put it in my baking dish and cover with saran wrap).  Your baking dish should be like a bowl (the idea is to make it look like an Alaskan snow covered mountain).

Bake on 400°F for 1 hour and 30 to 40 minutes. Drain as necessary (oily meatloaf won’t workout at the end). When done invert meatloaf on a wire rack to drain off excess oil. 

Prepare instant potatoes as packages states using only but for liquids use 3 1/2 c milk and 3 1/2 c chicken broth. Combine with egg yolks and mustard. Now frost (thick, thick layer) your meatloaf (like a cake). Bake again for 30 more minutes (same temperature) or until golden brown. (You can add cheese and bacon bits to your loaf once its done for some added flavor). Get creative and make sure you serve this with some nice leafy green veggies. Enjoy.

The Yarn Room in Progress

Late last year I had to have my basement waterproof. By God’s grace this was an expense covered by my HOA. My only responsibility was to move everything away from the walls. Although this may seem simple enough (especially when you are saving thousands of dollars) this became a daunting task. My basement had become a dumping ground for everything I thought I needed at every thriftstore, bargain sale, yard sale, deal, etc. and it wasn’t pretty. Werks I worked and worked to no avail. Exactly 3 days before the crew would come to complete the work my 2 uncles (bless their hearts) came and helped me move all this stuff into the middle of the basement. As this happened I realized (and they were my amen section) how much unused space was in my basement. All my money woes were stacked in the middle of my basement. I was headed to hoarder rehab if I didn’t get my act together. Then I saw it, a vision of a craft cave (something like a man cave but for a crafter). It has been my motivation. Donation pick up after donation pick up, I am slowly but surely purging through the “I might need that one day” pile. I am too embarrassed to put up a picture (I will do a before and after once it is complete). However, it has made me stay away from stuff I don’t need in the thriftstore and I avoid yard sales these days. I have chastised myself repeatedly when I open a bin and it burps yarn. I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO KICK MY YARN BUYING HABIT. I have slowed down tremendously though (hey thats a step). I am thoroughly excited about getting a yarn room. I know its going to be worth all this work.

Yarn Stash Taking Over

I have been struggling with not buying yarn. My yarn store frequently has great sales and I simply can’t resist. I already have more yarn then I can use in my lifetime (which is still not enough to me). I have considered quitting my job and making this my full-time business. However, when I discuss this with my partners; mortgage company, electric bill, car payment, car insurance, etc. they say I have to keep my good government job. I work on my eclectic blanket to use up yarn scraps just to make it seem like I am putting a dent in my yarn collection. Pretty soon I am going to need a storage unit to hold my yarn. I am currently working through patterns in my pattern collection books. I am hoping to organize my finished products for sale on Etsy by the end of next month (pray for me). I have recently lost interest in taking special orders and really just want to focus on working on patterns that interest me. I know this is a phase and hope that once I get my Etsy store stocked up, I will get back in the swing.
My eclectic blanket in progress.

Nail Recovery

I work a lot with my hands so I like to see them pretty. Usually I like to keep acrylic or gel tips on because my nails grow so pretty and long. However, both are very unhealthy for my nails and leave them in their natural state weak, brittle, and peeling. Also I find that this method of maintaing my nails is very expensive. I am a nail biter as well so its hard to keep my fingers out of my mouth to give my nails a chance to grow. I have decided that I want to grow my natural nails out and give up on the tips, acrylic, and gel. I have come across a few great products to help me reach my goal. One product is the Nail Tek line. I got a kit from Sally’s beauty supply store and after two weeks my nails already feel much healthier. The base coat/filler also aids in keeping the polish on my natural nails much longer. The kit costs around $14.00 which is less than a fill on my fake nails. Now my second product of choice I also picked up at Sally’s for about $3 and is only necessary if you are a nail biter. It is called “Bite No More”, this stuff tastes horrible and reminds me to keep my fingers out of my mouth. I tried putting it on the very top but it was transferring to finger foods when I eat so now I put it under my top coat. This way I only taste it if I bite (and I avoid that at all costs). Last but not least I love my “Out The Door” top coat. It helps speed up the drying process and keeps my manicure looking fresh. On a side note I use to buy the cheaper polish (only when it went on sale for 99 cents). However, I have to admit that after polishing with OPI I am a fan. I picked up some discounted OPI polish at Gabes for $3.99 and it was love at first brush. It went on evenly and paired with the Nail Tek it gave my short nails a nice, neat, and professional look. Of course less is more because OPI is rather pricey I won’t be able to buy as much but I think it is well worth the budget. They aren’t where I want them yet, but like me they are a work in progress. I hope this article is helpful to someone else on a go natural nail kick. GODSPEED.