Sunday, February 1, 2009

updates on simplicity ways and means

Hi, everyone!

Well, nearly a whole week off, unplanned, due to ice storm damage and power outages (not where i live, thankfully!), and I'm somewhat downcast about returning to work tomorrow. But who knows, it's supposed to snow again Monday or Tuesday, so we'll see ...! It was a much-needed time for settling back into routine, which I hadn't a chance to do yet.

I'll put up some more pictures before I go so you can see what I've been up to ... this includes making plans to get to the "design" of my living room, which has been waiting patiently for many months. Over this weekend, I have fallen madly in love with two of them (one pictured here, the other I'll photograph when I buy it). At first, I was deeply regretful about the prices ($165 for the pink one, $150 for the leather couch in perfect condition I have yet to purchase, I'm going to have it held in my name tomorrow) ... then I remembered I had Christmas money from mom and dad to spend, so I'm only investing about $70 of my own money for these. Which is good, because the room still needs paint, a coffee table, etc. I *hate* spending, especially with my goals of simplicity in mind, but shouldn't one's home have good energy so more time can be spent there? I've already really done the kitchen and bedroom/upstairs living space well ... so this is the last place I really need to focus on. I'll try to buy antique/thrift as much as possible.

Also in the last few days, I scored a much-needed shelf for my bulk items ... at Goodwill for $15.

Regrets: dresses and a skirt in the same Goodwill trip ... ran me about $20 out of budget.

Finds: Local market that sells great organic produce. Pros: closer to home, less business given to organi-Giant Whole Foods. nice. Who cares if I was the youngest person (by at least 30 years...) in the store?

Per some of Frugal Trenches' suggestions, I've been freezing some portions of meals I've made. It's nice to know I currently have 4 meals in the freezer. I have a calendar I got from somewhere that's not wall-worthy, I'm thinking of using it to record when items like these go into the freezer so I can keep track of their shelf life.

Ways in my life to make extra money:

*I listed my first-ever item on ebay, a small tv/dvd player I no longer have use for. There is a fee for posting and selling an item, but those fees are small... if i make even $20 off this i'll consider it a success, and sell more items in the future! Pretty excited about that ... i have some clothes i can try and sell, too.

*babysitting (i usually find i can sit at least twice a month)

*tutoring (probably $40/week)

*changing (next school year) my two days of after school child care to being the morning person. i'll go from 4 hours/week of extra pay to 7.5!!!! plus i will likely take over the once-weekly after school knitting club (only an hour extra after school), also a paid job. This means I should be out by 3:30-3:45 four days out of five, instead of schlogging through 2 more hours after a long day. And the pay will be more than double what I make now. awesome! this will help my goals of becoming a morning person, for sure, i just don't know if i can commit myself to that challenge!! i keep telling myself, what will i lose by going to bed earlier? not much ... the latest i could go to bed and still get 7 hours would be 10:45 ... to get eight hours i'd need to be in bed by 9:45 ... wake up at 5:45 on the button each day and leave for work about an hour later. ideally i'd like an hour and a half in the morning to putter about, enjoy breakfast, shower, whatever ... but i bet i could make good use of an hour. i don't know ... this is still on the table. i'm not feeling responsible enough to handle that just yet ...

*partylite (my new home party candle business .. my first party is scheduled for feb. 22 ...) ... i'd like to aim (low) for $400/month in extra income ...

Tonight, I'm making a batch of Rhonda's amazing cranberry-walnut scones, and trying, for the first time, to freeze a batch of the same ones with raisins, as i currently have more raisins than cranberries stored. I'm also going to henna my hair dark auburn (so the jar says!), after watching reruns on dvd of my-so-called-life (GOD loved that show!) and being reinspired by angela's hair color.

anyone have good ideas for all the old egg cartons i've been saving up, other than putting cookies or candies into them and giving them as gifts? and for paint containers while crafting?

so here are those pictures .... of this past week, more or less. enjoy, and we'll catch up soon ... in fact, now i'm off to read *your* blogs!!!!

yes, i finally got a french press! just realized this morning it takes no electricity to use!!

nearly-vegan pizza, homemade with flax tempeh, mushroom, broccoli and cilantro and basil pesto (the pesto had some cheese in it)

check out how close my pea soup with yogurt and mint is to the original!! yay me, yay food processor!

and without further ado ...the shelf!!

another weekend find, from a local shop:

weekend lunch. that's my homemade cornbread in the bowl, with some blackberry preserves. the salad is all raw with homemade vegan dressing. and that's grape juice mixed into water. Did you know, grape juice provides MORE of the antioxidant benefits that red wine does? (they have the same compound or what-you-call it, revestrol or something like that) ... minus the alcohol, score!

this morning's breakfast: avocado, tomatoes, and an egg with mushrooms and a generous spicing of black pepper and chana masala powder. YUM.

i leave you with the absolute beauty of nature, at once fragile and dangerous:

i'm going to try and do some home-video restorative yoga later before bed. EARLY to bed ... .hopefully early to rise!

peace and happy week,



  1. So glad the frozen meals are working for you, they so help eating healthy when in a rush!

    Love love love that couch!!!!

    That soup looks divine...I just happen to have some mint that needs using!

  2. i'm going to try to do this in the order of your post, so i can remember everything i had wanted to say! :)

    * that pink couch is gorgeous! but i'm sure the one you purchased is also awesome; i can't wait to see a picture!

    * oh, and glad to hear you weren't affected by the KY power outages we're all hearing so much about!! i was worried about you. <3

    * $150 for a nice couch is NOT bad at all at all at all! i think you made the right choice - you are right that we HAVE to splurge a little to make our homes nice & cozy, because that's where we aim to spend a lot of our time!! as before when i was having troubles with my roommate situation, i truly do believe that your home should be your sanctuary. and that should include pleasing aesthetics & comfy places to settle in...and sometimes hibernate. :)

    * please let us know how your eBay deal goes! i've never sold on there before, and i'm interested to know what the experience is like.

    * good luck with the morning plans! i used to find that having that extra hour in the morning before heading off to the office was invaluable...i really enjoyed eating a leisurely breakfast, reading some of my book, knitting/listening to NPR news, etc. so many nice, relaxing ways to start your day - but, it made it difficult to force myself out of the house sometimes!! :)

    * oooh, **PICTURES** please of the henna'ed hair!! can't wait to see.

    * your cooking looks *delicous*. it is so inspiring to me. i can't wait to go grocery shopping for some ingredients for this weekend's (hopefully!) cooking plans. :)

    * love the shelves. looks like you really had a need for 'em - you've already populated them with so much great stuff! it looks like it adds more coziness to your kitchen, yay.

    * i think i've written enough, haha, sorry!! good luck with the weather that's been hitting y'all, you're in my thoughts. love you so much!! xoxo

  3. darn, just tried to leave you girls a comment and i was denied!! darn it ... well basically i was asking frugal trenches how she defrosts frozen meals in a jiffy and telling arianna ... thanks for the validation on the couch purchases, and telling her it was bad here, but we're surviving...just still slick roads (my car slid twice this week on the way to work!) and utility trucks everywhere to deal with all the downed lines and trees (and there are tons in my school). there are still thousands of outages in LV ... just not in my apartment, lucky me!! however. .. .my gas heat bill is astronomical ... oh well. at least if the power's out i can keep warm!

  4. oops i meant, there are utility trucks FROM everywhere and there are tons in my TOWN. fast typing lol.